sami.saayer

Sami Saayer

A Dubai based Pakistani looking for excuses to write.

Special 26: One of Akshay’s best performances!

Neeraj Pandey waited for three years after the release of his debut film so that he could release Special 26 (S26) with his first choice lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Three years is a long time, but it also goes to show that Neeraj knew exactly what he wanted from the film and his characters, just like he did in case of ‘A Wednesday’ (AW). AW ended up bagging critical acclaim, several awards and also heavy box office collections for a low budget film. This resulted in higher expectations from S26, especially when it had one of the biggest popular stars ...

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Apparently ‘Pakistani’ in French means ‘terrorist’

I experienced it again yesterday; I re-lived what it feels like to be accused – accused when you don’t even know why you are being charged. Again, I lived through the humiliation of someone pointing his finger at me and saying,  “Hey you… You look like a terrorist.” The temperature in Lille was cold; six degrees below the freezing point, to be exact. The behaviour of the four men around me was colder. I had noticed them the moment I had gotten off the train that had brought me back to Lille from Paris. I thought that I was being over imaginative ...

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Talaash: This is serious business

Talaash, as the name suggests, is a film in which people are looking for answers. It has some obvious searches like why did the car end up in water? Who is the killer? And then there are the subtly and beautifully embedded intrinsic quests of a father in search of reconciliation with himself, not really by self-flagellation but by being silent. Or a wife in search of her husband whom she lost to a tragic accident in their lives. I am disappointed in myself, because it took me over an hour to realise where I had seen Talaash before. I hadn’t ...

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Jab Tak Hai Jaan took all the jaan in me to sit through

I miss Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) the actor’. ‘SRK the star’ has overshadowed SRK the actor for quite some time now. Let me explain. SRK the actor is the one we saw in Chak de India and Dil se. SRK the star is the one we saw in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Om Shanti Om. I like the former but I have serious issues with the latter. I haven’t seen any SRK film since My Name Is Khan. I chose not to watch Ra One, Don 2, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi etcetera, as quite clearly they did not belong ...

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Ek Tha Tiger: A star studded project and nothing more!

Phrases like ‘it’s a masala film’, ‘total time pass’ and ‘mass entertainer’ have been used by filmmakers to cover up for their bad scripts and below par performances all the time. These are the same excuses under which films like “Bodyguard”, “Ra One” and Rowdy Rathore” were made. “Eik Tha Tiger” (ETT) promised to go a notch or two above these films with its pre-release build-up because let’s admit it, even though Kabir Khan’s previous ventures (“New York” and “Kabul Express”) may not have been pieces of cinematic brilliance, they were not absolute no brainers either. “Ek Tha Tiger” has been the most anticipated film ...

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Cocktail: More misses than hits

Indian cinema developed a young, urban audience which was receptive to hip films post Dil Chahta Hai. Trendy music, trendy fashion, trendy plots and trendy urban settings became the new blockbuster recipe. Be it Hum Tum, Salaam Namaste, Wake Up Sid, or Rockstar, these movies were all targeted towards the above mentioned segment of cinema-goers. Saif Ali Khan and Ranbir Kapoor became stars of the multiplex audience through starring in these movies, while the Khans, Ajay Devgan and Akshay Kumar remained the superstars of the masses. Cocktail is another film that caters to the modern, hip audience.  It has the same cast and believe ...

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Spoiler Alert: Gangs of Wasseypur – real to the core

I have serious reservations against the terms ‘parallel cinema’ or ‘art movies’. These just confine some dazzling cinematic experiences to a select audience. Why do people go to watch movies? For romance? For great music? For action? For sex? For humour? Would you go to watch a movie that has all the four? Probably not. You will call it an ‘art movie’ because it does not have a Khan or a Kapoor or a Kumar in it. Gangs of Wasseypur (GoWp), instead  has Manoj Bajpai in his finest performance ever. Yes, even better than Satya and that’s a lofty claim. This film is a shut-up call to ...

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Remembering my Misil

Mother’s Day is here, but June 1, 1998 will never come again. Today I am writing about my mother, my Misil, for the first time in the last 13 years. She was a simple lady. We never knew her date or year of birth. The only thing we knew was that she was born during the barsaat (monsoon season). I don’t remember an instance when she took longer than 10 minutes to get ready to go somewhere. She never wore make-up. She was even simpler in her eating habits. She would eat anything except for baingan (eggplant). While cooking, she made her ownmasalas; her biryani was pretty ...

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Kahaani: Vidya Balan’s hit with a twist

Bollywood has evolved a lot in the last five years. Gone are the days when running around trees and dancing in the rain was the formula for success, even though actresses like Kajol did accomplish a lot that way. Kahaani is a product of the modern day Indian cinema, one that is willing to experiment, keep the output quality high and deliver more than it promises. As we know from his previous directorial and writing ventures like Jhankar Beats, Home Delivery and Aladdin, director Sujoy Ghosh is no Karan Johar. But ...

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The perfect romantic comedy: London Paris New York

Love stories have been told again and again. Every now and then, a Jab We Met comes around – a film which that rises above the predictable. London Paris New York (LPNY) is one of those special films. Set in three lovely cities, this is story of Nikhil (Ali Zafar) a happy-go-lucky boy and Lalitha (Aditi Rao Hyderi) a simple, nerdy Madrasi girl, who fall in love with each other thrice in six years. And that’s it. That’s all the movie is. No impediments, no pretentiousness, no preaching, no ‘zaalim samaaj’ and not even a supporting cast. ...

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