Thursday, August 29, 2013

The WAGAH Border at Amritsar-Lahore and truth behind it

The residents of the city say there are only three places worth visiting in Amritsar:  the Sikh Golden Temple, Jallianwalla Bagh where the British Brigadier  Dyer in 1919 massacred unarmed Indians ---and the Wagah border. Indeed the flag-lowering ceremony at the end of each day on the India-Pakistan border at Wagah in Punjab has over the years become a tourist destination, attracting predominantly Indians and Pakistanis on the respective sides of the border, with a sprinkling of foreigners. 
 The Wagah check-point is about mid-way between the cities of Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India, each about 25 kilometers away,  on the  only road link  between  the two neighbours.  Here the border is marked in white as it cuts across the historic Grand Trunk Road (GTR). The road has been closed for years now at Wagah by two metal gates,  one on each country’s side.  The two flag posts are located contiguous to the boundary line between the two gates.

 Traditionally the flag-lowering ceremony has been a display of macho and mutual hatred by the border security forces on each side, though the animosity has been toned down in recent years. As the guards muster on each side and the crowds on both sides wave their respective  flags,   the air  resonates with nationalistic slogans, including “Pakistan Jindabad (“Long Live Pakistan”)  and “Jai Hind  (“Long Live India”).On the Pakistani side, there is also  the intermittent playing of Koranic verses .
 Then, at the appointed time, both gates are thrown open, the border troops take giant exaggerated steps towards the flag posts and stamp the ground vigorously with their boots. Their demeanor and facial expressions signify determination, defiance, even hostility.  After the flag lowering,  the two gates are shut with a loud clang, as if to signify a determination that each country will remain shut  to the other.   
 A South Korean visitor on the Pakistan side of the border last year could barely  contain his amusement over what, to him, looked like a farce. In his derisory merriment he forgot that it was  perhaps no more farcical than the  face-off between South Korean and North Korean troops at the Panmunjom on the 38th parallel border between the two countries.

Among the Indian and Pakistani crowds the ceremony seems to arouse tangled emotions,   a mix of   sadness, hostility,  curiosity and perhaps a  yearning to connect.   I observed the hostility and tragic pathos last year on the Pakistani side:  an old man  with a white beard was trotting up an down the thirty  metres of GTR  enclosed by the public stands, shouting slogans and waving a Pakistani flag.  I was told he was eighty,  lived nearby,  had lost two sons in wars with India, and performs this demonstration  everyday during the flag lowering ceremony.
 But  there are  those who have seen enough of politics and  wars  and are immensely saddened by the futility of sustaining such hatred. After all, the flat landscape,  the rolling  brown  wheat fields of April, broken by occasional clumps of trees,  were identical on both sides of the border ; the people, though of different faiths are the same too;  and the birds flew freely from one side to the other oblivious of the man-made barriers and the  grotesque displays of physical and psychological divisions.
 At the end of the ceremony each day, the crowds on both sides flock  near the boundary fence and peer intently and curiously at the other side. What unspoken emotions, what forces in the conscious and the subconscious propel them to do so? 
 The Indian province of  Punjab, which Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited recently, is India’s richest province, but it is only a small fraction of the pre-partition Punjab. It was then a land of five rivers and stretched from Delhi to Peshawar on the northwest frontier of today’s Pakistan.  The  present  Indian Punjab, with a  population of about 25 million, emerged from two partitions:  between  Pakistan and India in 1947, and, in 1966,  a  partition of the Indian Punjab into the three provinces of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as a result of Sikh demands for a Punjabi-speaking province.

In view of the thaw in relations between India and Pakistan in recent years, there are  hopes that border might be opened up and there can be  people-to-people and business-to-business links with  Pakistani Punjab. The revival of the forces of democratization in Pakistan further encourages such hopes. When that does materialize, the absurdities of Wagah will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Common sense, together with the sense of a common Punjabi identity, could contribute to the breaking of barriers between India and Pakistan at this epicenter of the divide between the two countries.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Understanding the Economics of a Movie

Today, I will talk about the economics of a movie. In today's fast paced world, Media is a very big contributor in every field be it politics, movie or communications.
Since this is a post about film business, so media has a lot to play in success or failure of a movie. There was a time when media was not that active and movies used to generate 100 crore after 1 year of successful running in cinemas. But now the scenario has changed, a movie can collect 100 cr only in 3-4 days and even a film is successful, it lasts up to max 15-20 days in halls.
But one thing we need to understand is "If a film is making 100 cr...Is it actually successful or it is just a hype??"... I will try to make you understand about the calculations on the basis of which a movie can be treated successful or dud.?

A movie is not made only by spending money on actors . Its budget includes cost of everything including music director, actors, junior artists, cinematographers, choreographers, director, associate director, sound recordists, director of photography, costume designer, set designers, laborers etc. After a movie is ready , money has to be spent on publicity, merchandise, games etc. All these figures are added to form the complete budget of the movie.
So lets say a movie is made with a budget of 40 crores including everything.
Now if it makes a total collection less than 40 cr, it is a dud and the producers are at loss.
You will be surprised to know that.. even if it makes some where around 50 cr , it is still at loss. Now you will be eager to know how can it be in a loss when there is a clear profit of 10 cr rupees.
Now read this carefully-
A producer is the one who has spent his money on the movie. Ultimately it is his money which is at stake but when he earns profit, he can not keep all that profit in his pocket. He has to give the share to cinema hall owners otherwise where will he release his movie??
He has to share his profit with all theater owners, circuit owners, director, actors.
So if he is making a profit of only 10 cr on 40 cr, ultimately he will have nothing in his pocket because it is not only one man who is responsible for making a film.
If the movie is making 60-70 cr, it is average-above average.\
A movie can only be termed as successful if it makes atleast twice the money spent on it. Here in this case atleast 80 cr has to be the collection to term it as success at box office.
If the collection is 90-100 cr it is a superhit.
Now ofcos, if the movie is making 120 cr or 200 cr on 40 cr, it is a block buster.

Now , one thing has to be kept in mind after you have understood the calculations.
In this media-savvy world, we see that even if a film is low in content but if it is publicized correctly, it can garner 100 crores easily. The  idea is to sell your product no matter how?
We also get to see that a film is very high in quality content that can make your shiver from your soul but due to low publicity, it can still be a failure.

Actors like Nawazudin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan, Vidya Balan, Amitabh Bachchan are always found in a sensible movie and their performance is so rich and outstanding that it can bring shame to the biggest actors of the industry in terms of acting. That is we call a true and magnificent cinema.For them collections are not important, the respect they earn is priceless. Industry and people should be proud  that we have actors like them here. 

It is very sad to say that today a film's success is measured only with the money it garnered at BO and somewhere media is also responsible for framing and feeding these kind of things in people's mind.
My request is- See the effort behind making a movie, see its content, see the hard work of the actors and laborers and then decide whether you have to watch or not.

So , we can not treat a film successful only on the basis of total collections. The calculations part was only to make you understand the confusion which generally media creates. If a movie wins your heart, if it make you think, if it hits you right in your heart, it is no doubt successful , no matter what the collections are.
Ultimately it is audience who is better to decide which is better which is bad.

I leave you with one question
If a film is very rich in content, the performance of the actors are over the top-no matter the star cast is big or small.. and it continue to run for 2 months in halls winning the hearts of people
If a film is very very low in content, performance of the actors are OK. OK..strarcast is very makes 100 crores in 3 days and next friday when you go to cinema, you can not find it there.
Which is successful?????

Please leave your comments.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Madras Cafe Movie Review

Rating: ****(4/5)

Director: Shoojit Sircar

What’s Good: An engrossing tale of Indian History which has been dumped in the pages of history, a tightly edited screenplay and some brilliant performances.

What’s Bad: There  is no commercialism, the story is very dark; so the movie is not for the masses, it is for selected class of people who want to have a beautiful cinematic experience. Others will feel bored.

Loo break: None

Review: Seriously, it's time now to get off the "Chennai Express" and get into "Madras Cafe" for a cup of the entertainment. We need a reality check. And we need to regain a sense of history in Bollywood cinema which seems lost in the hustle-bustle of commercialism.
Films like Madras Cafe, Udaan, Lootera, Gangs Of Wasseypur, Dev D, Chak de, MNIK etc come rarely in our Bollywood cinema as these movies are not meant for all types of audiences and they are not counted under main stream cinema. But now it is time to shift the focus to main stream and wonderful cinematic piece of art called Madras cafe.
Heightened realism is a means to achieve a synthesis of fantasy and history in this deftly scripted semi-fictional account of the processes leading to Rajiv Gandhi's tragic assassination in 1991.
The tight script, co-written by Somnath Dey and Shubendu Bhattacharya, attempts and succeeds in building the beautiful piece of cinema '. I feel Indian politics is far more complex than other countires. Our cinema tends to dilute, simplify and trivialize history because we are much too wary of and lazy about getting involved.
 John plays a RAW agent , Vikram with much ease. I would not hesitate to say that this would be perhaps John's career defining performance and he will be nominated for many awards this year for sure.
To understand the enormity of the story told in "Madras Cafe", the audience should be familiar with the violent history of the Sri Lankan civil war. But even if you don't know that thousands of Tamilians died in the war of separatism, it is no sweat off the screenplay's back.

Tucked away in the compelling creases of the plot is a terrific thriller about the assassination of a prime minister, who, let it be known, is not named in the film. Nor are the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), Prabakaran and the other key players.
But you can't escape the clutches of history. We know as we watch with helpless astonishment, that the 'Prime Minister' will die, that the hero in this case won't be able to save him.
Nargis plays the character of a corrospondent 'Jaya' and I must say that Nargis has improved her acting a lot after 'Rockstar'. As we all know 'Rockstar' was solely dependent on ranbir for its success, here it is not the case.
Nargis has a radiant presence on screen , I would not compare her to kareena or Priyanka but yes, she has a long way to go. One thing I found akward was ''Why does Jaya speak in English while Vikram answers in Hindi''?.
I mean I have seen some English channels also, when the host is speaking English and the person is answering in Hindi, the host begins to speak in hindi at once for two reasons- One , the person on the other side will not feel embarrassed and secondly, the hindi understanding people will get to hear their conversation a lot clearer.
Plenty of the credit for  narration must go to Kamaljeet Negi's brilliantly unadorned cinematography, which locks in on stunning visuals of violence and espionage-related action without falling into the mistake of making the frames look prettier than the grim situation that they are meant to capture.
Sircar's editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati gives a documentary style mood to the movie. But the sense of cinematic expansiveness is retained as large frame cinema.
When a key character dies in the second-half, the tragedy is handled without fuss. John's power-packed performance gives the film a sense of tragic grandeur.
Shantanu Moitra's background music is exceptionally honest and is well versed with every scene specially in the violence capturing frames. 

"Madras Cafe" is a dark deep and satisfying film about the politics of separatism. The film doesn't take  anyone's  side be it Sri Lanka or India. It is against the culture of violence that nations often feed into neighboring countries for their own gains. The overall morale which this film gives us is that violence is not the way to solve every problem, it only results in bitterness and loss of humanity from our society.
I would wonder that how can a director shift to movie like 'madras cafe' when he made a commercially viable film 'Vicky Donor'. I have to take a bow to Sirojit for this. Although Vicky donor was also based on a completely different subject but still it was meant for everyone and was a commercial movie.
Madras cafe is a completely different genre and is not meant for everyone. I would request the critics not to rate the movie according to commercial factors, these types of movies are rare to find in today's world where we only talk about 100 crs and 200 crs. Today even a non sense movie with a bigger star cast is earning 100 crs but we have to understand that earning 100 cr is not a parameter of a film's success.

Watch or not:- Madras Cafe is a film with a gritty, convincing and engrossing plot that will revel in its ability to leave you with an uneasy and helpless feeling!..GO WATCH IT NOW!!

Last word:- This is cinema signifying a coming-of-age with unforgettable visuals and drama and a rousing mature career-defining performance by its leading man.
So, Get off the train, baby. This is arguably the best political thriller that Bollywood has so far given us. 
I would recommend everyone to go to your nearest theater to watch this movie and appreciate the India cinema in a true sense and feel proud to say that Bollywood is also growing to world class standards in terms of wonderful cinematic experience.

Final Verdict:- Its a masterpiece!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What went wrong with Once Upon a time in Mumbaai Dobaara?

OUATIMD had everything in it --  A-listed banner (Balaji Films), a superstar  and a heroine, who has just delivered a career-defining performance(Lootera) in her previous film.

Plus, the first film Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai was a big success.

So what went wrong with Dobaara? The film has decidedly under-performed at the box office.

There are quite a few reasons, and the main villain was not SRK's Chennai Express.

Many people from the film industry  and me too believe that Akshay Kumar was not the right choice for the movie at all. Akshay kumar is a king of comdey and no body can beat him in that department, so he should have focused on that only. Also the Film's director milan luthria should have also thought that Akshay can not be portrayed as a mean, witty and negative guy. In real-life also, Akshay is a very positive person and it reflects in his personality also.
 The charisma of a DON which AJAY DEVGN or Vivek Oberoi brings on the silver screen can not be copied by any actor for ages be it Salman, Aamir or Shahrukh.
Although an actor should not stick to a fixed department but still every one has a upper hand in a certain field.
Lets say Shahrukh has an upper hand in Romance which no body can portray, Vivek or Ajay has upper hand in Don type roles. Aamir is experimental.
 People were used to see that fire in the eyes of Ajay Devgn in a DON avatar in Once Upon a time in Mumbaai-1.
Akshay tried his best but he could not bring back that charisma of Ajay in his role. Even the role of Sheob which Akshay is continuing in the installment was classically played by Emraan Hashmi. This was perhaps Emraan's career best performance.

Emraan Hashmi, who played Akshay's part in the first film, should have encored his role. “The sequel should have been made with Emraan in the lead. Casting Akshay made the costing impractical. If Emraan was lead in OUATIMD, it would have cost Rs 20 crores less and hence would have been more commercially viable. I don’t think any great purpose was served by casting Akshay in Emraan’s role,"
Trade analyst Komal Nahata feels it wasn’t the comparison between the two films that did OUATIMD in but its comparatively inept screen timings in theatres. "Cinemas allotted maximum shows to Chennai Express. OUATIMD suffered due to poor programming in the cinemas. But Chennai Express per se did not affectOUATIMD.

Also the music of the film was not at par. There was no such chartbuster which a person would take in his memories. The first installment had 'Pee loon' which rocked the charts in its time.

One point which several others missed it that casting Emraan as a DON was a foolishness. Imraan persona and over all looks does not allow him to do such negative roles. He has a chocolaty presence on screen and famous among girls. So portraying him as DON was inappropriate. According to me Shaheed Kapoor who was the first choice in place of Imran was absolutely fantastic if he would have been signed. No one can take away the career best brilliant performance of Kaminey from him in a negative role. But who can save a producer when his time is not good.

Well, I hope in future producers and directors will think and analyse before signing actors whether they fit for the role or not otherwise it will be a shame for both public and the actor.

God-knowledge (Brahm Gyan) is the seed of God-realization.

God-knowledge (Brahm Gyan) is the seed of God-realization.

God-knowledge is the seed of God-realization.
Unless we sow a seed, there can neither be a plant nor flower nor fruit. God-knowledge is the seed which sprouts into the plant of love, blooms into the tree of faith and bears the coveted fruit of Salvation.

After sowing a seed, we have to nurture it. When it grows into a plant, we set up a fence around it so that it is not damaged or destroyed. Similarly, there is a need to tend the seed of God-knowledge by association with the saints, God-consciousness and the spirit of selfless service. In this way the seed of God-knowledge can bloom into a sprawling fruitful tree.

God-knowledge is a seed which has to be nurtured by faith in God, manured by God-devotion and watered by God-glorification.

Your favorite blog guptacounsell is back with a bang after 3 years!!

First of all a sincere apology from my side for going in to the darkness for a period of three years in a row.
But I know this is your favorite blog. so here I come again after a gap of 3 years to entertain your again and I am back with a bang. I was just checking the statistics of the blog today and found that people specially from North-America are still coming to my blog in huge numbers despite 3 years of inactivity. This is the love of my readers that has brought me back.
Stay tuned for getting daily updates from now on.
Common people, show some love for me.
Thank you very much for all love