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91 Responses to “Dharam Sankat Mein, the rest of the box office”
BROKEN HORSES : First Review
With not enough weightage given to the sub-plots, the overall piling of the plot seems superficial and shallow, especially the passage when Jackey goes to interview Mario Garza, the rival gangster. Also, the metaphor used in that scene is trite and oft seen in gangster films.
Though this is an original story by Vinod Vidhu Chopra, Broken Horses finds its genesis in numerous older films, which includes Chopra’s earlier film Parinda. But what makes it stand apart is its treatment.
The intelligently written screenplay and dialogues, especially the summation of the title of the film, by Chopra and Abhijat Joshi, more than make up for the deficit in the design scheme.
Tom Stern’s camera work is excellent. He has a flare for wide angled panoramic shots. Some of the shots of the Wild West and Jackey’s Ranch, captured in the twilight zone are worth noticing. So is the underwater shot during the climax.
Well mounted with good production and technical values, the film has an inexplicable gentleness to the narration, very characteristic of Vidhu Vinod Chopra. It will appeal to the emotionally inclined.
The international reviews of Broken Horses are turning out to be surprisingly good.
““Beautifully written, acted and imaged. This film wraps slowly around you like a king snake and squeezes.” – James Cameron
I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily any of those things, but Broken Horses was mesmerizing in a sense that I never knew what tone the next scene would be. The movie fluctuates from crime drama, melodrama and a surprisingly effective sibling bonding story.
Amid the extraneous stuff, Broken Horses asks a poignant question: What happens when you’re the oldest sibling who’s supposed to take care of your younger brother, but you’re mentally unable to? The answer is honestly heartbreaking, and that relationship made the rest of the movie worthwhile.”
Another international review of Broken Horses that is in the other extreme.
“Broken Horses is ambitious in its pursuit of awfulness. So much so that I’d entertain the theory that Vidhu Chopra intentionally made the film this poor to inspire any kind of conversation about Broken Horses, lest the film slip into obscurity where it belongs. This is a cheap, unpleasant movie with a hair-brained plot, abysmal dialog, hollow characters and truly bizarre performances. It’s best to put this horse down.”
I really don’t think this has much to do with any chauvinism or a parochial attitude or nationalism. It IS a fact that regional movies, at least in Maharashtra and Karnataka, do suffer from step-motherly treatment. The Tamil and Telugu fans do not have that much of a problem – the Tamil at least – because Hindi has never been a top priority for any Tamilian. So Tamil films do get the precedence. The ‘fan-atic-dom’ culture prevalent in Tamil Nad and Andhra ensure that the regional language stars/cinema will never be over-taken by Hindi films.
I myself have experienced this horrific treatment in Bangalore and Bombay. Once, when I went to see HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY in Bombay and then PUTTAKANA HIGHWAY in Bangalore. In Bangalore, they asked me to come for the 8:30 AM SHOW if I needed to watch the movie so badly! I haven’t even gotten up once at that time to study in my entire life-time and those morons expect me to get up and drive to the theater at 8 am to catch a show..And when you go for the 8 AM show, you will promptly be sent back saying not enough audience!! Duh. Can you tell HOW you can get an audience at 8? So an already drained Dad has to get up at 6 AM, wake his wife and kids, get the kids ready and reach the theater by 8 AM to ‘enjoy’ a Marathi film! Wow, what a marvelous break from his mundane week-day life..Look at the comments from common folks in the link above and how relieved they are they do not now have to ‘let-go’ of their desire to catch a regional flick thanks to the unhelpful timings.
These multi-plex owners need to be forced. There is NO pity for these guys at all; the same guys who sell a cup of tea — which is less than the quantity of urine-sample a doctor asks — for 40 rupees. And the tickets are priced at 300-400 Rupees! Give me a break. And these are they guys crying hoarse over a diktat to screen a movie of the language of the state they conduct their business in!
Out of the 10 or 12 odd screens, they cannot allot just 1 or 2 screens for a regional movie in prime time! Really. This is not protectionism. If we are so much for ‘systemic reservations’ in academia and professions, why this opposition to some reservation in this business? As it is, the regional language is a dying one – at least in the print and digital world — with English taking over almost everything. It is just a step-away from life-support thanks to the entertainment sector. And you want to take that away too!
But Tamil and Telugu are much larger industries. There’s a question of scale. Telugu might be the more relevant example here because of course it co-exists with Hindi in major cities of that state (now two of course) and Hindi is in the minor role here. But still theater shows either way isn’t a problem. The market drives this. With Marathi again I have no issues with all kinds of tax breaks or whatever being provided to foster the cinema. In effect the state could try and make it increasingly attractive for multiplexes to screen these films in prime slots. But doing it by dictat is another matter. Now is it inconvenient to watch Marathi films because of odd timings and so on? Sure! But that’s a fact of life one has to live with. There are lots of American and European films I’d like theaters in my vicinity to play but they don’t or they do in ways that don’t suit me. I then have to go to the city to watch them but I can’t do so as regularly and so I end up missing a lot of them. Clearly it’s not more profitable for anyone to screen these films with the same vol in the suburbs! what can one do about this? And the problem of ethnic nationalism comes in when one doesn’t look at the economics of the situation and one simply thinks something should happen. Think about it, why wouldn’t they screen Marathi films in prime time slots if they thought they could make a killing this way or if they thought they could better some of their other results this way? It’s a bit odd to imply that the multiplexes are shooting themselves in the foot on this one!
But this of course opens on to a larger problem. The whole insistence on converting Bombay into a ‘Marathi’ city. This is utter and total nonsense. Bombay isn’t like Chennai in that sense. Even if things haven’t remained the same and many of its cosmopolitan credentials have unfortunately been tested with Sena politics and so forth it is still not that sort of ‘ethnic’ city by any stretch of the imagination. Now politically you can change things by dictat and culturally this has been happening in Bombay for some decades but that hardly disproves the point. I’m all for promoting all kinds of cinema in all sorts of creative ways but I get extremely suspicious when all of this is the result of ethnic politics. Which in turn is based on a falsification of history (though Marathi ethnic politics is hardly alone in this respect).
That is true. But it is true for any kind of affirmative action. At end of the day you want votes and you want the subjects to remain in status quo. If the status quo is changed their voting pattern will also change.
And the Sena politics must really be dismissed in the strongest terms. Consider the madness this has led to — at one point they attacked Sachin Tendulkar for insulting Marathi pride. Why? Because he said that Bombay was for all Indians and while he was proud of his Marathi heritage he was still an Indian first. It’s just beyond mad! And because these things are tolerated this discourse gets legitimized. Delhi gets lots of people from the Northern heartlands. But here this discourse has emerged that it’s a city for Marathi speakers and that people from UP or Bihar are not welcome (of course they started their career attacking Tamil migrants). Now some of this chauvinism is there elsewhere too but nowhere else would anyone dream of attacking people like Sachin or Bachchan (the MNS in his case) on such grounds. And these are always desperate signs anyway. When was the last time the Sena got to a majority in Maharashtra or was the majority partner even in a coalition? It’s been more than 15 years! In even this great change election there this time people still voted for the BJP a lot more than they voted for the Sena. These parties need such absurd issues to somehow keep the cadres busy, make news and prove their relevance this way. It’s also true that even when they were in power they did some of this crazy stuff. But there it’s the classic syndrome of the party that cannot deliver on basic issues and tries to distract everyone with these chauvinistic ones. The reason I highlight all of this is that this is the kind of space from which such ‘debates’ emerge. Now the BJP might be trying to out -Sena the Sena, that’s another matter, but they didn’t create this ruckus over Shobha De.
Agree on Sena comment.
But I think media and people are not interested in things which makes life easier or better for most. If I get 24 hour electricity, I will probably don’t care for the effort it took to do that in a developing country? We focus on Pressitutes than the actual effort to bring people safely from Yemen. IMO a show a day for Marathi in multiplexes is non-issue for most part. But media makes it so big that people are wasting too much bandwidth out of our productive time.
It is not that there are stories but media tends to show things which attracts eyeballs and we in some way are responsible for that.
How many people know of this ?
but as a director, I don’t want to do plays because of overall ideas. In that way I’m the opposite of Vishal (Bhardwaj) and Basharat (Peer) and how they imagined Hamlet in Kashmir. What excites me about Shakespeare is specific scenes. When I’m dealing with a play like King Lear, it feels so brilliant on all sides that I desperately want to give myself the challenge of understanding that brilliance by creating the production.
Sunny Leone acts well in both the roles – of Meera and Leela. She looks glamorous and sexy and actually springs a surprise with her performance. Her dances, of course, are sensuous.
Leela is shown wearing clothes which make her look sexy and reveal her anatomy to the hilt. Leela’s intimate scenes with Shravan and with Bhairav are also integral to the story. Likewise, the love-making scene between Ranveer Singh and Meera is integral to the drama. Another good part of Jojo Khan’s screenplay is that the locations have been made a very good part of the drama, whether they happen to be the streets of London or the deserts and havelis of Rajasthan.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Has Poor First Week
Friday 09 April 2015 11.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy had a low first week of 19.75 crore nett. The first day was okay due to the holiday and Sunday was also fair but the film dropped badly on Monday and weekday collections remained poor.
The film has fared poorly in all circuits though West Bengal is comparatively better but still for a film set in Kolkata with the regional flavour, a first week return of just 1.50 crore nett is not good. The collections in Rajasthan, CP Berar and CI were a disaster with none of these circuits even managing to touch 1 crore nett.
The second week will not bring in much business and film will has no chance of reaching the 25 crore nett mark.
that video she released today is about as fresh as the latest Akshay comedy. She checks all the boxes but it’s a completely passion-less video otherwise. This is the problem with her. On the one hand I think there is a current built-in demographic advantage for Dems at the presidential level much as there was for Republicans for a long time. If you then factor in the very important notion that very many women (including Republican moderates) will vote for her and the fact that there are more women voters than men she should be able to win. On the other hand she’s the kind of candidate who could be taken down by a more exciting shrewder figure at both the primary and national levels. Now there isn’t another Obama on the Dem side and the Republican primary looks to be crazy again with Ted Cruz part of the proceedings. Even if a moderate Republican (though that’s a contradiction in terms these days!) gets through he might be as damaged as Romney and might well have to go through the same flip-flops (Already we’ve seen Jeb Bush’s on immigration or earlier Marco Rubio’s). Rand Paul is playing his cards smartly but I think it will be relatively easy to destroy him on ‘isolationism’ and so on not to mention some domestic issues. So you put it all together and Hillary might still be the last person standing. But still in politics the importance of freshness and excitement cannot be underestimated. Hillary hasn’t learnt anything. Still searching for a message, still positioning herself, still trying to play it safe. Unfortunately she’s never had the political gifts of either her husband or Obama (different though these are) as a retail politician. I have zero excitement about her though I certainly hope she wins. The Dems have a very poor bench though so she’s unlikely to be tested in the primaries. But again at the national level all else being equal she has a strong demographic advantage. even if she didn’t excite younger voters like Obama she could make it up to some extent with many older voters who never warmed up to Obama (for obvious racial reasons). I am at this point just looking for an Obama third term kind of like Bush Sr after Reagan. Just for things to get more institutionalized in terms of whatever has been done over the last eight years. Then there will be a possible Sup Ct vacancy and so on. The stakes are still high. But don’t think she excites anyone to be honest barring die-hard fans.
that won’t be very easy.. the executive actions are always reversible. In the Sen though they don’t have the votes to reverse legislation. In fact the next Sen cycle favors the Dems. they could even retake the Sen if a Dem wins the presidency. The harder seats are for republicans this time. But you’re right in that there’s a great deal of danger in certain ways. I’m less worried about health care because in the history of this country no one has ever snatched things away from millions of people. The rest can be problematic though. Which is why if they get one more term the changes will become too institutionalized to be reversed completely. But even more dangerous than all this is the Supreme Ct. If the Republicans could make it 6-3 everything could be reversed. The swing vote at that point would become inconsequential. To be honest I regretted this the most even during the Bush years. That he got two shots at the apple.
agree totally.. in the US it’s been this way historically.. it’s one thing to be ideologically inclined one way or the other and quite another to behave like total partisans as they do. On that note I still haven’t seen Recount.
blah…i’ve lost faith in the political system and national leaders to be honest. it seems like the system is already set up for “us”.
it’ll come down to hillary and bush because they will have the big money backing them up…after that it’s just whoever messes up first…the other one wins. Elizabeth Warren intrigues me…but apparently she is stern on not running. The other dems have no shot.
I just don’t believe Hillary with her “fight for the middle class” bs when she and her husband have gotten filthy rich after the presidency off the backs of those very same middle class people. And if we were to talk about foreign politics with her…its even a bigger mess. But I guess it would be better than another Bush right???
No doubt there is a perception that they are elitist and are out of touch with the “common” American. This will be a huge factor that the Republicans can pounce on but then if Jeb becomes their nominee then this issue will be nullified. Another drawback is the “dynasty” factor…more and more Americans are thinking the system is truly rigged and we have become an empire of sorts. But if Bush and Clinton become the nominee then again it becomes a moot point because neither will bring that up. So then it would just come down to the record of Clinton and her work as a senator in New York and also her work as SoS from 2009-2013 which is quite honestly atrocious, IMO. At this point I am inclined to say Jeb Bush (because of the unknown) might have a more favorable road to the White House…and Hillary will have a harder time to make it back.
I wonder what makes you say that though? I genuinely want to know why there is only a ‘niche’ demand for her and not the popular choice. Lack of foreign policy experience? There is definitely a rising tide for her to run for presidency within the democratic party (albeit very limited) and also the press wants someone to oppose Hillary.
For some reason British accent drives me away watching British movies/TV. I tried watching it once but stopped in first episode itself.
ps – Once I had a Scottish colleague and it was just too difficult to understand even a word of what he used to speak.
Q: Not sure if you have seen it yet, but the new Daredevil Netfix series is terrific (and quite close to Miller’s version even if it ends up making the show more a crime-thriller than a superhero show). Will recommend it quite strongly. And would like to know what you think of it.
Dharam Sankat Has Very Low Weekend But Trend Decent
Monday 13 April 2015 12.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Dharam Sankat Mein had very low weekend of 5 crore nett but the trend was decent as there was 30% growth on Saturday. Obviously the film had to grow more due to the poor start but still it could have a 3-4 week run depending on the hold on Monday. If the weekend had got to 6 crore it would have made a big difference and the film would have been sure to have a good run.
The film did best at multiplexes and on Saturday and Sunday it’s business was better than Ek Paheli Leela at premium multiplexes.
The film will do well if it can cross the 1 crore nett mark on Monday but although the weekend trend is pretty good it probably is not good enough to give it that sort of figure on Monday.
Review: ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!,’ a Calcutta Whodunit
By RACHEL SALTZAPRIL 5, 2015
Brainy, analytical and more interested in the truth than in social niceties, the detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a kind of Bengali cousin to Sherlock Holmes. Like Sherlock, Byomkesh started on the page — the creation of Saradindu Bandyopadhyay (1899-1970), he first appeared in 1932 — and has made the leap to the screen. (He’s even the hero of a lesser-known Satyajit Ray film, “Chiriyakhana,” or “The Zoo.”)
With Dibakar Banerjee’s atmospheric “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!,” a Yash Raj production, he now gets the full Bollywood treatment, or perhaps the half-Bollywood treatment. No songs or dances here, only a straight-ahead mystery, set in a 1943 Calcutta of smoke-filled canteens and sign-encrusted streets, elegant public buildings and cramped boardinghouses. (Kudos to the production designer, Vandana Kataria, and the cinematographer, Nikos Andritsakis.)
The Byomkesh here is just starting out as a detective. He is slapped for rudeness, then hired, by Ajit (Anand Tiwari), a young man whose father, a chemist, has gone missing. This sets off a whodunit that involves drug smuggling, patriotism in wartime (ruled by the British, Calcutta is in the path of the Japanese) and a love story made low-key by Byomkesh (a wryly understated Sushant Singh Rajput), a sometimes squeamish, often clueless genius — the kind of fellow who doesn’t recognize movie stars or politicians.
Mr. Banerjee, who wrote the script with Urmi Juvekar, keeps the pace slow and easy. And with the exception of some intrusively modern music (on an otherwise sharp soundtrack) and a few scenes of hyped-up 21st-century violence, the filmmakers maintain the period flavor, which is the movie’s strength.
The twisty story has a kink or two too many, a problem of whodunit plotting rather than of Bollywood excess. And the war comes across here as a kind of heightened backdrop rather than real crisis. But these aren’t fatal deficiencies in a film more attuned to movie-made ideas of history and style than to history itself. “How do middle-class people like us stand up for our country?” Byomkesh asks Ajit. The teasing answer: “We don’t. We go to the movies.”
LOS ANGELES — “Furious 7” continued to dominate the North American box office over the weekend, while the 10th film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, “The Longest Ride,” arrived to relatively muted ticket sales.
The sheer spectacle of “Furious 7” — Universal Pictures crashed at least 230 vehicles during filming — led to enormous chatter on social media networks after its arrival on April 3, which in turn has kept demand high: The movie took in about $60.6 million between Friday and Sunday, for a two-week total of $252.5 million.
That early total is simply massive. To compare, “Fast & Furious 6” took in less — $239 million — during its entire 15-week domestic run in 2013. “Furious 7” has sold an additional $548 million in tickets overseas.
I like him…seems like a genuine person. Although he kind of had some contradictory points…good interview overall. It is indeed refreshing to have stars who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. I think the interviewer has also a lot to do with how much a star opens up these days…not many celebrities trust them.
Really liked this bit from Urmi Javekar’s (writer of Dibakar’s Byomkesh) interview-
“At a time when politics is fast becoming a risky if not a bad word in our films, screen writer Urmi Juvekar dares to be different. For this long time collaborator of Dibakar Banerjee even Happy New Year is a political film. “I think politics and economics is the basis of human condition. It may take the actual backdrop of a power struggle or not. Because of my educational background I am always aware of the political nature of the world. Even a love story explores politics,” says this graduate in Social Work from Mumbai University, who actually proved it with Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula. “Every word you use has a political connotation. Like when you say meaningful cinema, responsible cinema it has a political undertone. I was speaking to a fellow writer on the current issue of censorship and he said do no harm but harm is also a label. Who is harmed, who is harming, what is the harm. Suppose you say something should not change because it will harm. That is exactly what my great grandfather faced when he sent my grandmother to school. One girl from a town in Maharashtra went to an English school. People threw cow dung on her; her father was ex-communicated from all the functions. Just because he was sending her daughter to a convent school meant that it was a bad activity. He was supposedly doing harm. That makes me see the world in a political sense,” says Juvekar whose adaptation of Greek novel “Z” with Dibakar as “Shanghai” was much appreciated. “There the guy who runs the truck over an activist, later drives the bulldozer on his own house. We all comment, ‘udaa diya’when a newspaper reports about an activist killed in an accident. I wanted to explore the mechanics of these political crimes.” ….
In her column, Twinkle Khanna expressed her view on Deepika Padukone’s much talked about ‘My Choice’ video. She spoke about her tea session with her mother-in-law when her she suggested Twinkle to prepare a lunch menu for a family get-together. While her mother-in-law said, “Beta, now if I tell you that you should also know how to cook a little, you will start with this new ‘My Choice’ thing. I went to the club yesterday and all my friends were saying that their daughters-in-law have recorded this video and play it at full volume. They were showing it to me; Hai Bhagwan, all these big words, ‘I am a snowflake, you are dandruff, I make brain freeze, you make head itch’. Beta I want to ask you, is this all you girls think about? Sex before, sex after, when do you find time to work or look after your children?”
Twinkle viewed her point in the column saying, “Mummy, at the very least it makes people think about women and their choices. What choices did you have when you were younger? You had to stay at home, then get married, have kids and by the time you were forty, life was at a standstill; at least women can try different things now.”
Filmmaker Farah Khan says actor Abhishek Bachchan has taken on the “responsibility” of writing a possible sequel of her hit heist comedy “Happy New Year”.
She says that after the success of “Happy New Year”, Abhishek, who played a key role in the ensemble cast film, was pressuring the filmmaker to make a sequel. So, she entrusted him with the job of the sequel’s story.
“Abhishek Bachchan is writing for ‘Happy New Year’ sequel. He has taken the responsibility now,” Farah quipped here on Monday during the screening of the film “Margarita With A Straw”.
“If I will like the script, then we would make the sequel,” she added.
Further, on being asked about her role in the sequel, she said: “I would be directing it.”
“Happy New Year” that released around Diwali last year, featured Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah, apart from Sonu Sood and Abhishek.
Maybe Abhishek can continue the movie with his track of double role. Like, Vicky Grover(a character I would have loved to see more in the movie) comes out of Jail and then there is fight with Jhakaas Nandu and replaces him and lives in the chawl to get into the gang and closer to Charlie. Finally he gets conned again in the end by Nandu. 🙂
Q. Which is the biggest actor director combination in hindi films?
Ans. It is Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Maine Pyar Kiya are probably amongst the top ten hits of all time and Hum Saath Saath Hain was also huge. But all these films were some time ago and if Prem Ratan Dhan Payo does not match up then it will mean Aamir Khan and Raj kumar Hirani is the top combination.
actually let’s be frank.. more bull from BOI as always.. let’s stick to the present.. I think Aamir and Hirani have had some success together.. could be wrong.. In any case the stuff they’re saying yet again is sheer idiocy but hey they too have an audience of like-minded people..!
How do you define ‘today’? The last time they came together it was 1999. That’s 16 years. But that film fizzled out after a strong initial (the total was significant just because of this.. it wasn’t even close to repeating the success of MPK, let alone HAHK..), HAHK was 21 years ago. So you’re saying what happened 20 years ago, specially when that director has has a mixed record since (HSSH wasn’t great at all, MPKDH also didn’t work though here too the initial made it look half-decent, Vivah was a small town hit and had amazing trending here but never got off to a big start and never did anything huge in the major metros) to put it kindly, not to mention the fact that in this period the entire industry has changed multiple times, so you’re saying this is the same as Hirani/Aamir doing 3I in 2009 and then PK some months ago? I don’t want to sound rude here but I’d have serious questions about someone’s intelligence if they really took seriously this statement you’ve just made and I find it hard to believe that when you say ‘today’ your definition of that word actually extends to a period 15-20 years. Essentially you’re saying that DDLJ (1995) or Sarfarosh (1999) released ‘today’.
All of this doesn’t mean that they cannot have a big success. But they have to ‘prove’ this. One can’t take it at face value when these things happened 20 years ago! Going by that logic if Aditya Chopra did something with SRK we should call this a top team because they did DDLJ. But of course we saw what happened with RNBDJ. Despite being a successful film it was nowhere close to Ghajini. It didn’t even have a massive start. It would be one thing if Barjatya had been giving hits in between but he hasn’t. Even with Salman he didn’t have a convincing one when they last worked together. Even HAHK was widely considered Madhuri’s film much more than Salman’s at the time (one of the reasons why nothing much happened to arrest his slide at the time despite this extraordinary success.. he later found a new lease of life with Dhawan). So really you can slice and dice it a number of ways but it’s really hard to justify one’s optimism about the pair this way. Anything can happen but that’s not the point. Maybe they’ll have a huge one. But in what universe does one look at 15-20 year old records and call them current?
But while Amitabh’s relations with Sonia and her children have seen many lows in recent years, his younger brother Ajitabh has maintained cordial ties with 10 Janpath.
It was his consistent support and affection that Priyanka was reciprocating by turning up at Saturday’s event. The Gandhis had missed the weddings of both Abhishek and Shweta, a source claiming to be equally close to the two families said.
Three areas had been marked out at the reception venue, including a VIP area where Jaya and Amitabh were ensconced with friends such as Anupam and Kirron Kher.
This seemed to limit the interactions between Amitabh’s side of the family and the Vadras. When they came face to face, they exchanged polite smiles.
Priyanka, who posed for pictures with several of the guests, left early with her husband. The younger Bachchans and their friends – Abhishek, Aishwarya, Shweta, Hrithik Roshan and Kunal – hit the dance floor.
Hours later, Amitabh’s blog spoke cryptically of “memories” without naming names.
“Nothing moves the mind greater than the memories of those that were a part of your life in constancy some ‘millions of years ago’… tonight as I met with them, it was a time capsule that had suddenly exploded before your eyes… each and every little detail of those days and years and situations and banter and fun… all came back like it had never gone away at all….
“Consumed by this invasion on my senses and surrounded by well-wishers who mob for that one handshake, picture or an autograph… it suddenly makes one alone and pensive… it is a wedding atmosphere, there are thousands of guests and rituals and bonhomie being conducted, yet somewhere in all the ‘rush of life’ there pounds a heart that does not wish to reconcile with the images that unfold before….
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
What’s the big deal about it?
Without net neutrality, ISPs would be able to devise new schemes to charge you more for access and services, making it harder for you to communicate online. The Internet could come to resemble cable TV, where gatekeepers exert control over where you go and what you see.
Without net neutrality, ISPs would be able to block content and speech they don’t like, reject apps that compete with their own offerings, and prioritize Web traffic (reserving the fastest loading speeds for the highest bidders and sticking everyone else with the slowest).
There’s a big debate on this going on in the United States, but why in India?
The problem began with Indian telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance woke up and realised that users were replacing traditional texting with WhatsApp or Viber and traditional network calling with apps such as Skype (also called Over-The-Top services).
They now want the right to charge what they want, when they want and how they want. In effect, if Airtel doesn’t like YouTube, but wants to push its own video app Wynk, it wants the right to offer that for free, while charging you a bomb to access YouTube.
Reliance already has a Facebook-driven scheme called Internet.org, where you can access Bing for free, but you have to pay to access Google; and you have access to BabaJob for free, while you have to pay for Naukri.com.
How is this going to affect me?
Well, you pay the price for telecom majors choosing to focus on network building (earning huge sums of money in the process) rather than focussing on building applications that OTT services like Skype and WhatsApp have milked to the maximum.
Now, if the OTTs don’t pay what telcos want them to, your messages will deliver slower and videos will take longer to download.
Your ISP may charge you more for services like YouTube because they consume more mobile bandwidth.
Also, according to an analysis in the Times of India, if telcos have their way the Internet as we know it will not exist. Instead of free access, there could be “package plans” for consumers.
Is there a law that can stop this?
No. Net neutrality is a new concept that has arisen because of changes to technology over the last few years.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 does not prohibit companies from throttling their service in accordance with their business interests.
Depending on how this saga plays out the government may or may not consider amending the telecom laws in future.
What about the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India?
As of now, the watchdog seems to be barking up the wrong tree.
Besides the fact that it sent out a 117-page discussion paper filled with jargon, its own observations on the issue have been criticised by many as leaning heavily towards the telecom lobby.
TRAI has said that mobile applications providing free internet-based calls and messaging services can be a threat to individual and national security.
TRAI says, ‘Most applications can trace the user’s location for underlying processes (such as GPS apps finding the nearest restaurants). This information may be used to commit a crime, or the location itself may be the target of a crime. Such threats can impact the nation’s security and financial health.’
It also says that OTT applications are eating into revenues of telecom operators and their revenue loss will also lower various government revenues.
What are the biggest concerns about Telcos calling the shots?
* Telecom operators could discriminate against certain types of content and political opinions.
* Could hurt consumers and diminish innovation in apps and content spaces.
* Discriminatory pricing proposals could raise anti-competitive concerns.
* Access networks, if left unrestrained by non-discrimination rules, have incentives to favour their own services, applications, and content and to kill competing services.
* A cartel of telecom operators could degrade traditional Internet access to force apps and content providers to use the telecom operators new “premium” service (without the degrading of access).
So what’s being done about this situation?
A group of Internet users has started a campaign asking the public to send submissions to TRAI, expressing their grief and discomfort about how telecom carriers are snatching away free Internet from them. Over 3 lakh e-mail petitions have already been sent via http://www.savetheinternet.in .
Comedy group AIB released a video on YouTube explaining the importance of net neutrality in India, and why users need to support it. In less than two days, the video got nearly a million views
Political parties too have been voicing their concerns. The Congress party has called for the committee set up by the telecom ministry on the issue be disbanded when the Centre had powers under Section 25 of the TRAI Act to issue any direction to the authority in public interest.
*** So here’s another example of our festival film-makers having no clue about masala movies***
But then great filmmakers Manmohan Desai and Basu Chatterjee also worked within a slot…
Mercifully or unfortunately, Manmohan Desai had a short career. God knows what would have happened to him if he had gone forward at that time. With the failing star power of Amitabh Bachchan and other actors in the ’70s, it wouldn’t have been a good space to be in and that would have been a direct consequence of the slot he was in. But times have changed and we all have to earn respect and money by making films. I am trying to do that so that I can pay my EMIs and for you to keep calling me.
It’s crazy to think Desai had a ‘short’ career. He directed films for 20-25 years and he didn’t have a failure for almost 20 years. It’s one of the most incredible careers in any movie industry. Much as he also had the feat of working on AAA, Dharam Veer, Chachca Bhatija at the same time, even part of Parvarish overlapped with this. massive star casts but he kept it together in each case and every one of those films was a success. Something like AAA was of course historic. Unfortunately, though quite characteristically for this generation of directors, they’re simply unaware of the Bollywood past. Similarly it’s also foolish to say that making masala all the time was being ‘slotted’. It was a different world, a different understanding of cinema. One might as well say John Ford was making Westerns all the time. Or chastise a novelist for writing about the same subjects. And so on. Even from the ‘best’ of Bollywood such lack of critical thinking is quite dismaying.
addedum.. he had a 28 year career as director. His first Chalia was a hit, his last was GJS which didn’t work but the one before this, Mard, was a blockbuster that grossed a bit more than Ram Teri Ganga Maili that year. A total of 19 films in that 28 year period. Between 1960 and ’73 he had a number of hits and barely a handful of failures. However in the period 74-85 he had 10 releases and every single one was a hit or superhit or more than this. There is no director in Bombay cinematic history, none whatsoever, who can come close to matching that record.
Satyam: it’s dismaying, but is a function of the failure of the contemporary industry: i.e. the profusion of Hollywood-inspired, and often soulless and simply fake films, is there for all to see. And those who make these films seem to paper over the anxiety caused by their own “derivative” status by telling themselves a comforting story, one which involves tearing down some imagined past where everyone’s always doing the same thing, as opposed to the beautiful world we are in now where Bollywood is a fount of creativity (mysteriously though, these films that are different today are just as easy to predict as the older ones! It’s just that the “originals” they are based on have changed). Stated differently, the fact that films are superficially still being made in Bombay shouldn’t lead to the error of thinking that an older tradition is being extended, re-invented, or opposed. The films that are being made today for the most part have nothing to do with those older films, it’s like a frame shift with a new umbilical cord, to Hollywood (thus Bombay Velvet is a gangster film where the costumes, guns, EVERYthing, is reminiscent of old American gangster films, and there is no attempt in the trailer to evoke any Bombay reality at all; it makes no sense except if seen as the latest in an unfolding cinematic history that is someone else’s history…).
Re: “But then great filmmakers Manmohan Desai and Basu Chatterjee also worked within a slot…”
Desai’s primary concern was on grand narratives that focus on the workings of fate, given a bit of a push by malignant forces, more specifically on fates sundered, disguised, and re-constituted. Through the mechanism of such narratives, he was able to hold up a mirror to the nation, one which often showed the face of another as one’s own reflection. And he used various mythic archetypes — the wise fool (Chalia); the switch-at-birth (Parvarish); the foundling (elements crop up in AAA, Parvarish and Naseeb); the picaresque figure (AAA); the magician (I’ll include Toofan here); the rebel (Mard); the man of the people (Coolie); the perfect man (Mard; Ganga Jamuna Saraswati) — to illustrate these themes. That isn’t “a slot”: that’s life. Heck it’s better than life, it’s something that endures…
it is such a f’in mess…the Saudi’s are in the middle of this mess. At least they didn’t call on the US this time…it took 25 years..but now they are fully trained to work all the military jets, guns, ammo’s all by themselves. It’s all about Saudi’s wanting complete control in that region and Iran is their biggest threat. I swear if the Republicans get in office and it’s Bush…then the next ‘war’ will be with Iran.