Saturday, May 16, 2015

Coffee Ani Barach Kahi

Movie Review : Coffee Ani Barach Kahi
Language : Marathi
Director : Prakash Kunte
Genre : Romantic Comedy
Starring : Prarthana Behere, Vaibhav Tatwawadi, Neha Mahajan, 
Released April 2015
My Rating : 6 out of 10

Just a few years ago, I realized to my absolute delight that, Marathi movies are once again watchable. Now it’s also possible to experience some of the Marathi movies in a theater in Bay Area, thanks to efforts of groups like Maharashtra Mandal, Swar Sudha, and Marathi Cinema Bay Area who organized screening of this movie as perhaps their first effort.

There is no such thing as a plot in this movie. Jaai (Prarthana Behere) is a software engineer, from an upper class family, in Pune. Nishad (Vaibhav Tatwawadi) is also a software engineer, and also from an upper class family, in Pune. They also work in the same office in Pune, and are also mutually attracted to each other, but haven’t been able to express it to each other. As the movie opens, we know that Nishad has invited Jaai for coffee and is going to propose to her. Coincidentally, Jaai’s parents arrange for her to meet a prospective groom on the same day, putting Nishad’s plan in jeopardy. Rest of the movie slowly makes a very uneventful progress towards the predictable conclusion via various flashbacks.

If that sounds like a very plain movie, then because it is a plain movie. Not much happens in the movie as it does a whole lot of talking going exactly nowhere.

In spite of this glaring flaw, it still manages to entertain us because of strengths in many other departments. The acting is on the spot, by everyone involved. Prarthana Behere has the main role and makes the most impression. The atmosphere is clean and fresh with posh surroundings, progressive parents, likeable characters and a complete lack of worldly problems. Editing is smooth and the movie in general is strong on production qualities. The main strength, in my opinion, is the dialogues, which I presume to be written by Aditi Moghe, who is mentioned as the writer. They are smart, funny and thankfully not too cheesy.

The song “tu asatis tar”, is nice on the ears, sung by Sanjeev Abhyankar, and has beautiful poetry penned by none other than Mangesh Padgaonkar. At the same time, I also have to point out that the Urdu couplets used in the movie had many mistakes. It’s good that someone in the team likes Urdu poetry enough to use it, but these mistakes ruin the usage. I am not claiming my reviews are widely read, but just in case, I want to offer my consulting services absolutely free of charge to anyone who wants to use Urdu poetry in their work to ensure correct words, appropriate context, proper pronunciation and anything related. I mean it. 

Coming back to the review. All these niceties prevent the movie from boring us. It remains fun. But in the end, these wrappings are unable to hide the truth that the candy is bland. There is not even a modicum of tension or conflict. The problem faced by the characters is simply superfluous. Everyone is just too nice. I suspect the filmmakers wanted to keep things realistic. I know, we don’t need to see another Amrish Puri not letting go of Kajol’s hand till Shahrukh’s train reaches a certain precise speed etc etc. I get that. But this story is too much of a straight line.

Generally the genre “Romantic Comedy” suffers in the comedy department, and offers cliches in the romance part trying to somehow make it work. Here, the comedy part works really well, and the romance part falls flat on its face. If that’s OK with you, absolutely watch the movie for a light hearted fun of around one and half hours. It’s perfectly OK for kids. The young generation might even enjoy the movie more.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ghalib, Iqbal and Faraz :-(

On social media (Facebook, What’sApp groups etc) I am seeing this mentioned again and again. Some ash’aar (couplets) are presented, claiming them to be written by none other than Ghalib, Iqbal and Faraz. A typical post will mention something like following. There will also be claims such as how these poets have expressed this across 3 centuries, and how interesting it is to see them offer different viewpoints on the same subject. Some posts also offer translations.
Ghalib Vs Iqbal Vs Faraz

Ghalib Sharab Peene De Masjid Mein Beth Ker,
Ya Wo Jagah Bata Jahan Khuda Nahi.

Masjid Khuda Ka Ghar Hai Peene Ki Jagah Nahi,
Kafir K Dil Mein Ja Wahan Khuda Nahi.

Kafir K Dil Se Ayah On Ye Dekh Ker Faraz,
Khuda Mojood Hai Wahan Per Usay Pata Nahi

This is misinformation at it’s finest. There is so much wrong here, that I do not even know where to begin. Maybe I can start by saying, everything, EVERYTHING is wrong. 

The first sher is well known. Except that the first word is “zaahid”, meaning a religious person. The order of words is wrong, and last word “nahi” is actually “na ho”. That’s not the real problem though. Replacing the first word with “Ghalib” does not make it a sher by Ghalib. Sometimes it’s hard to ascertain the originator of a very old sher. In this case, I am absolutely certain. This sher is not present in Deewaan-e-Ghalib. It’s easy to check. Accuracy of Ghalib’s deewaan is also not a suspect, because Ghalib himself published it. There is no argument here. To some it may be a good sher to recite at party over some wine, but please do not associate this sher with Ghalib.

Second sher is even more of a travesty. First of all it’s not a very good sher to begin with, and it’s definitely not by the great Iqbal. Now I do not have complete works of Iqbal, like I have for Ghalib and Faraz. But I do not need that in order to bet my money that this sher is not written by Alama Iqbal whose poetic prowess was boundless. When it comes to decide who is the best Urdu poet of all, his name features at the top of list, along with Meer and Ghalib. 

It’s not just the question of quality. Let’s get this straight. Iqbal was a devout Muslim. He would have never said that God does not exist in any place. Period. Secondly, he was religious, but not narrow minded. As a man of very high intellect, as a philosopher, he would never disrespect any other religion. Associating that sher with Iqbal is same as insulting him. Let’s not do that mistake. 

Now about the last sher. Faraz in my opinion, is the best Urdu poet of our times. He was primarily a poet of love and emotions. He hardly ever wrote about religion. The last sher is not his style either. More importantly, I have his works, I have checked, and I can tell you, the sher is not in any of his collections. 

All these couplets are not that good, but it’s my subjective opinion. The fact is, there is no deep message here. It’s fluff. And none of the great poets ever wrote those substandard couplets.

When I derive pleasure from the works someone, an artist, a singer, a poet - I feel gratitude. I feel I owe them something back. This is my attempt to do the right thing by bringing more awareness. I urge you to do the same thing. Please spread the word. You can link to this post, or just respond on social media pointing out that the attribution is wrong.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...