Chillar Party, Surf Excel & Other stories!

Thanks to my job, I need to keep updated on Luxury marketing and innovations that are taking shape there. So this morning I was reading an article on how luxury brands are taking to in-film promotions – particularly for regional films. Increasingly, regional (rather, rural folk!) are beginning to consume aspirational brands which were earlier associated with urban folk.

HUL (Hindustan Unilever Limited) has gone a step further than in-film product placement. In the recently released movie, Chillar Party, the movie actually starts (or so one thinks), in a classroom setting with school kids playing pranks on each other. The teacher enters and sees a couple of kids with dirty uniforms. Needless to say, the ad concludes with the (now!) legendary “Daag Achhe Hain” campaign. Wonder if this is a case of in-film placement or a pre-film placement.

Incidentally, the legendary campaign was created by Lowe Lintas and R Balki (Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas, India) is widely credited with the campaign. Balki, of course, has himself directed 2 bollywood movies – Cheeni Kum and Paa. I attended a very engaging talk by him when he was down at IIM Lucknow for a Guest Lecture session.

Aah – all these “creative types!” 🙂 .. <Sigh!>

9 things I liked about 99: The Movie

There are some movies that are in the category of “light” movies – that entertain delightfully and make you chuckle in your seat! 99 is one such. It contains, good, clean, unparalelled humour!

The twists and turns in the plot reminded me of “Lock, Stock and Two smoking Barells – a 1998 British movie by Guy Ritchie. 






There are some movies that are in the category of “light” movies – that entertain delightfully and make you chuckle in your seat! 99 is one such. It contains, good, clean and humourour humour! The twists and turns in the plot- and the overall “feel” –  reminded me of “Lock, Stock and Two smoking Barells – a 1998 British movie by Guy Ritchie.  A friend felt that it reminded him of “Snitch.”


I am not going to give you a full-blown review of “what the movie is all about” … All I am going to do is give you – in a jiffy – the 9 things I liked about the movie:


  1. The detailed characterization … Everyone fitted their roles perfectly – Especially Mahesh Manjarekar. He was PHENOMENAL as “AGM!” 
  2. Some of the dialogoues in the movie are absolutely hilarious – This is the sort of movie that can make you go into splits even while watching it alone on your home theatre system!
  3. Kunal Khemu and Cyrus Brocha made a good duo – Cyrus Brocha surprisinly did not over-act.. and it takes effort on the part of any Director to ensure that does not happen with someone like him!
  4. There were no useless song and dance sequences. Neither was there a nagging, irritating background score – except in action sequences where it adds to the impact!
  5. The “violence” was more funny, than violent .. and intentionally so! 🙂
  6. Amit Misrtry keeps uttering things like “She Cut” (when a women hangs up on his face!) .. and “Speak truth” (while pointing a gun at another goon!)
  7. It subtely portrays how Mumbaikars and Delhi-ites feel about each other – all i ngood spirit, of course!
  8. The movie appeals equally to the “intelectual elite” and to the “aam aadmi!” – Something very few movies can boast of!
  9. The movie has a good, SOLID ending!

All in all, a must-watch! – And it’s good that it cae out at a time when our multiplexes are virtually famine-stricken, else it wouldn’t have gotten the attention it deserves!

Star Cast: Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani, Cyrus Broacha, Mahesh Manjrekar; 
Directors: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK; 
My Rating:  4 out of 5.

Ghajini – Reviewed!

Ghajini Poster
Ghajini Poster

(NO SPOILERS!).. Read on.. I wonder if this is the first audience blog-post about Ghajini on the internet! 😉


Ghajini has all the makings of a block-buster! (Duh! – Aamir Khan!) … Actually,  I am an Aamir Khan fan myself (Read my review of Taare Zameen Par) and I was lucky enough to be able to catch a paid preview of Ghajini at Fame Aurangabad. I think the best way to really “review” a movie is to watch it alone and not have your opinions / perceptions / interpretations clouded by the people you might be watching it with! – I caught the movie alone because I had nothing to do at Aurangabad until the the late night train back to Mumbai made it’s way to the heritage city!

The movie is an entertainer – some of the action sequences are of the quality that Bollywood has never seen. Ghajini portrays Aamir Khan as a near super-hero as far as the action is concerned! – In fact, if this becomes a commercial success – I will not be surprised if the promoters decided to make him a “regular” super-hero who has 15 minutes of memory and a physical ability matching that of Popeye, the Sailor (sans spinach, of course!)

Asin (playing Kalpana) does an absolutely fabulous job as the sensitive, chirpy, middle-class girl-next door! – Kudos to her really – she was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Jia Khan hardly has too much of screen-space and time, so this should not be a barometer for her. Aamir Khan, as usual, has put in 125% and some of his expressions are scary! – Now that takes some hard work, given Aamir’s otherwise chocolate loverboy looks! But I have to admit one thing here – Aamir is the second most appropriate actor in Bollywood who could have done this role. Hrithik Roshan would have been my choice #1! If you have seen the movie, do you agree with me?? – I would like to know!

The Music by A.R. Rehman is Average! – I do not think he has lived upto his reputation post-Guru! The cinematography, editing and camera-work is phenomenal and the director has an excessive eye for detail! The movie thrills at times and goes over-board with the romances and useless song-and-dance sequences – not called-for in a movie like Ghajini. Another point to note is that this is a movie which is named after the antagonist (villain!) rather than the protagonist!

On a more personal level, what made watching the movie slightly more exciting was that it is shot in Hiranandani in Mumbai – where my workplace is located! 🙂 .. All in all, it was time (and money) well spent. Actually, I don’t know if the “time” bit is justified – 3 hours 15 minutes. I think Aamir comes out with only ONE movie every year(or two!) so he can’t help but increase the length of the movie! :mrgreen: