Movie Review: Saawariya

Title: Saawariya
Director: Sanjay Leela Bansali
Actors: Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor

A complete disaster is a simple and direct way to describe this film. The films is based on a Russian short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, originally published in 1848. The film was completely out of touch with the times. The sets were completely bizarre and impossible to relate to. The dialogues appeared even more out of place. The songs are nothing great either and they are thrust in quite unnecessarily at various points in the film. The two new comers Ranbir and Sonam could have done well to pick a mainstream masala over this one to make their debut. For first timers, the two performed reasonably well though I suspect Sonam has better acting talents that Ranbir. Rani Mukherjee and Salman Khan have been added for star power, but the film is so poorly made that their roles have little hope of saving the film.

This film unfortunately marks Sony’s maiden entry into Bollywood. Unfortunately, it could certainly have been better planned. I suspect they fell for Sanjay Leela Bansali’s brand name without resorting to even the slightest reality check. Besides, the clash at the box office with King Khan’s OSO meant that this film was bound to sink at the box office. Not surprisingly, we found very poor response at the theater.

What Bush and Gore Really Said to Each Other

Al Gore stopped by the White House recently for a photo-op with President Bush along with other Nobel Laureates. As part of this visit, the President had a private meeting with Al Gore. This would have been an ideal opportunity for late night political humor. Unfortunately the writers were on strike, and the world was deprived of some humor. Here is a small attempt at filling that huge void, with another fictitious conversation, this time between Al Gore and President Bush.

Gore: I simply can’t hold back any longer….You dork! I hate you!!

Bush: Ok…like you are some genius, you ozone man! Welcome back, anyway. Btw, call me Mr. President… eh, if you don’t mind.

Gore: Mr. President, you not only screwed up the US, you messed up Iraq and the rest of the world as well. Even the earth can’t stand you, its heatin’ up!

Bush. Yeah, yeah, like you are so smart! Yeah right, the earth is heatin’ up.

Gore: I might not be smart (oh, actually I take that back!)…. But good Lord! You are the pits!

Bush: Ok, Ok, Al. Let off some steam. You earned the right to.

Gore: Steam, my a…! I wish you would just fall off that chair!

Bush: Yup, you right. Its your ass, its huge! What’s up with that? Btw, you better not fall off and break my chair, you fat ass! Remember, I am still the “Decider”

Gore: Decider! Baloney! Lemme tel’ ya’…I just feel like punchin’ your face!

Bush: Al, unlike you I am fit. I can move faster than you can move your index finger…Ooh, did I just say index finger. To be honest, I don’t even know which one it is! Sounded pretty cool though, isn’t it? In any case, I really think you ought to hit the treadmill, Al. Gee! I can’t believe how much weight you have put on in six years. And we thought Clinton ate all the burgers!

Gore: Don’t get me started on Bill…..Just see what you have done to the world in six years! I got the Emmy, Sh…! I even got an Oscar. I mean, c’mon!!!

Bush: Oh, cool! Congrats, that’s terrific. You are doing a terrific job Brownie! Sorry, that was not a line meant for you.

Gore: I even got the f… Nobel peace prize.

Bush: Nobel, eh…what’s that? Oh yeah, that’s what you are here for, right? I almost forgot.

Gore: Heck, I even have tons of Google and Apple stock!

Bush: God, that stinks. Real bad. But I am sure you’ll vote Republican this time. You want those tax breaks dont’ya fat boy!! And you want them permanent, right?

Gore: Gosh, I still can’t believe you got my job.

: Sorry Al, I really gotta go now. Those guys from the Middle East are killin’ each other. I need to go help Condi hold ‘m back or Cheney will show up with his shotgun and then I’ll have to deal with World War III.

Gore: Gosh, not once, but twice you became President! God, I can’t believe this is for real!

Bush: Tough luck Al. I hear ya. I know this is inconvenient, but it is still the truth. I feel your pain (oops….I wasn’t supposed to say that). What can I say, “some people still want to drink a beer with me” — Face it, I got your job, nah-nah-nah-nah.

Gore: I have had it. See ya later, you freakin’ cowboy!

Bush: Ok, Al…. Seriously. I have a tough assignment for you. But I am sure you can do it. You deliver and then we are even. Ok, you ready?

Find Obama for me, sorry I meant Osama! (Crap! Its that guy Romney’s fault for messing me up with these names.)

Gore: Get outta here!

Karl Rove’s Advice to Obama

Check out Karl Rove’s advice to Obama in the Finanical Times. You can hate this guy with all your heart and blame him for all the problems faced by the Republican party and the current administration, but you got to admit that when it comes to political strategy (especially short-term) he is simply the best in the business. His advice to Obama is hard-hitting, tough and absolutely on the money. 

It is quite possible that the ulterior motive of this advice might be to derail Senator Clinton because Karl Rove thinks she is harder to beat with the current crop of Republican candidates! It will be interesting to see if Senator Obama takes up this advice in the coming weeks.

Pakistan: Desperately in Need of New Leadership

Pressure from America has resulted in the the most powerful man in Pakistan stepping aside. When the Saudi Arabian King decided it was time for Nawaz Sharief to return to Pakistan, his wish was promptly granted. When the America decided it was time for Benazir Bhutto to return, she did. On the Afghan border, the Taliban terrorists more or less call the shots as they make inroads by the day. To make matters worse, the emergency now ensures that the army is thoroughly disliked by the local population as well. The Pakistani army must be thoroughly demoralized.

Can the situation in Pakistan get any worse?

With President Musharaff no longer army chief and having announced elections, he, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharief are jockeying to either gain or share power. It is a pity that there hasn’t been an opportunity for the next generation of politicians to emerge from the grassroots. With both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharief being lifetime appointees of their respective parties, there is little hope of the next line of leadership emerging from their parties.

One can’t but help wonder what happened to the legendary Imran Khan. The man who transformed Pakistan cricket has been trying his hand at politics for a long time now. His commitment and resolve are more than apparent in his long struggle. One can only hope that someone like him with grassroots level support might rise to the top and provide the leadership to clean up the mess left by years of corruption and military rule. At the present moment this looks far-fetched to say the least.

For too long, Pakistan has been caught up between corrupt politicians and power hungry dictators on the inside and world powers on the outside. It is about time that the average Pakistani rallied behind new leadership (hopefully someone with grass roots level support and someone who is committed to peace with India) and threw out the dictators and corrupt politicians, and put Pakistan on a road to recovery and permanent freedom and democracy.

Newseek magazine pointed out that Pakistan was the most dangerous part of the world. It is probably fair to disregard the sensationalism behind the headlines, but it is about time, America (and other world powers) took serious steps to return Pakistan to democracy and quit supporting dictatorship under the guise of a war on terror. The war on terror can continue, but without democracy, Pakistan is fertile breeding ground for terrorists.

India-Pak Second Test: Boring Pitch

The first test between India and Pakistan featured Test cricket at its best. There was plenty for both batsmen and bowlers and each session was hard fought. The second Test on the other hand seems to have swung to the other end of the spectrum. Nothing can be more boring than one team amassing 600+ runs on a dead pitch on the first two days of the match. Players who haven’t had the pleasure of scoring a century for years are able to do so at ease. Bowlers seem to be lining up to be flogged. To make matters worse Pakistan went into this match with two unfit bowlers!

It is not in the least bit surprising that less than a full house turned up at Eden Gardens despite the fact that an international match was being held in Kolkata after many years. It is about time the BCCI used it’s big bucks to turn out some sporting pitches. At the domestic level Indian cricket can be well seved by preparing fast, green pitches.

Pakistan could still self-destruct on the final day. However, it doesn’t justify the preparation of such pathetic pitches for Test matches.