Saturday, October 20, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 - Reviewed

Overview: Creepy...anxiety provoking....and maybe a little less satisfying as compared to the previous installments...but still...keeps you interested....!

Characters: Katie returns....she is definitely the the protagonist of this series...and well....she does what she has been doing for the past three parts....and is effective. Alex, played by Kathryn Newton, does a good job and keeps you engaged for most of the movie as she is the central character in this part. She acts naturally and almost makes you believe that this movie too is based on live footage....but of course now we are very familiar with this concept after having already seen PA 1,2,3! :) The other characters are effective...the two kids are great...and as usual make you feel sympathetic as well as creeped out simultaneously.

Music: Obviously i am gonna skip this section we all know...PA's do not have any music of any sort...other than the brilliant use of sounds naturally occurring in our homes and when we get pulled out of bed by an unknown force! :)

Experience: Freaked me out enough! :) I had my jumps and shocks and "What the h$ll" moments! Paranormal Activity is a movie where you must go in with a mindset of getting scared....let go of your courage....make sure you stay focused and give full attention to the movie....only then will you be able to experience the fear factor of this movie! Agreed....this part does not employ any new technics....which was essentially why the first two movies were such a pleasure watching....but still...i think it offers enough thrills, anxiety, exciting silence and violence to keep you hooked on. The end....while pretty abrupt...surely makes you raise your eye-brow and....already start planning your PA 5 movie night out! :) I'd conclude with....may not be great....but if you are the kind who enjoys these reality-like will definitely find it at least worth a watch once!

Been-O-Pinion: I give it 3 out of 5. Perhaps a stricter review would imply that i should just give it a 2.5, however, being a fan of this type of movies....especially the PA series....I give it an extra liberal 0.5 more! :) Watch it....and enjoy it! :) 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Music Reviewed


Rahman's album...Gulzar picking up the pen to write it....Yash Chopra's Last movie...and SRK....! 

The most awaited album arrives with a the form of CHALLA....! A great composition with just right alternative rock music arrangements....a song which is truly made for Rabbi Shergill. 

Naa visaal hoya kadi na judai hoi (visaal: union)

Ishq de qaidi ki naa rihaai hoi

Challa tu sabka...Challe Tera koiee naiee!

Any number of people may complain that Rabbi's voice is a mismatch for SRK...but it matters not. Rahman remains true to his music and to the art...the only person who could do justice to this amazing track...has sung it! 

Wish they would have incorporated a hindi version of this song...just so that everyone could enjoy the poetry in this song. Still...if you really want to it and you will get enough links on the meanings. Poetically wonderful...and musically "rocking"! Set your iPods, iPhones on repeat for this song and enjoy this track! 

Next to arrive is a classic Rahman composition... Saans sung by Shreya Ghosal & Mohit Chauhan

Dil kab seedhi raah chala hai
Raah mude toh mud jaane do
Tere khayal me doob ke aksar achhi lagi tanhaai
Opening violins....then Shreya's beautiful voice...then the drums....and then the daflis kick in! Only Rahman....!
Mohit Chauhan enters the song with beautiful poetry by Gulzar...

Rooh ne chhu li jism ki khushboo tu jo paas aayi
Tu jo paas aayi, tu jo paas aayi

This song definitely requires at least a couple of listenings until you completely get drowned into its amazing arrangement and composition. Shreya and Mohit do a phenomenal job singing this soulful number. A haunting track...which you will fall in love with...more with every repeat!

Next up....Ishq Shava! Sung by Raghav Mathur & Shilpa Rao A fast number...a mastiful track....with an arabic flavor to it...any other 

Ishq Shava
music director would have probably used the usual dance/club music...but of course, you could not expect that from Rahman. Gulzar pens different lyrics for this.....he is probably the only lyricist who uses english words with such subtlety in his songs...just a and there...

Aaj ki raate kiski hai
Kal ki raat teri na meri
Chaand utha chal toss kare
Chehra tera aur chaal meri

After listening to it a couple of times...I would say...its fair to conclude...that....while it might not be a great number but it still has its own niche and its popularity will probably really depend on how it is picturized in the movie. Looking forward to seeing this one on screen with SRK and Kat grooving to it! Raghav Mathur is effective while Shilpa Rao once again proves...that she is supremely talented and can sing any type of song in the unique voice and style she possesses. 

At this point...arrives the next pure Punjabi track.... Heer Heer sung by Harshdeep Kaur.  
A sweet track and probably the only number in this album which does not require repeated listening to start liking it. A melodious composition....the stanzas do have a hint of Rockstar in them....recall "Sajra savera mere tann barse, Kajra andhera teri jalti lau!" from Kun Fa Ya Kun? Again, I wish there was a hindi version of this song....I am sure the poetry must be beautiful, but I do not understand it. In any case...whether you understand it or will be forced to keep listening to this track.

Enter Anushka Sharma...(my assumption of course)....Jiya Re sung by Neeti Mohan. I have no idea where Rahman gets his singers, but he sure picks the most talented of the lot. A typical bollywood heroine-only number with Rahman twist to it. The arrangements and the beats are fun....and the "Jiyaaa Re....Jiya Jiya Ree...." part is super catchy! Of course....with Gulzar writing the lyrics...even a fun song ends up with beautiful and deep lyrics...
Chhote chhote lamho ko teetli jaise pakdo toh
Haathon mein rang reh jaata hai
]Pankho se jab chhodo toh
Waqt chalta hai
Waqt ka magar rang utarta hai Akira
Udte udte phir ek lamha maine pakad liya re

Finally....the title track... Jab Tak Hai Jaan sung by Javed Ali & Shakthisree Gopalan (yet another new name?)
Starting soft and slow...Javed Ali starts singing....almost humming....and as the violins kick in...the song and instruments gather tempo and volume...the flute kicks in....Javed Ali gets louder....and song reaches its peak....and then......... tabla and dhols! Who would have thought....! The song has a a very title track feel to it....and is high on energy! Shakthisree's voice is simply amazing! The entry she makes into the song is brilliant! On the whole...the song is superb! 

A reprise version of Saans sung by Shreya (solo). A little over 2 minutes....Shreya's singing is the highlight....otherwise it is a usual "Sad" version song with dafli and sad violins.

Ishaq Dance.... An instrumental piece brilliantly arranged....goes without saying that Shiva Mani must be at the percussions....there is a sudden twist that comes in at 44 seconds past the 1st minute...and it takes the track further until another twist is added at 50 seconds past the 2 minute mark....! A very talented and creative number....Enjoy don't get to hear this kind of music too often.

The conclusion of the album comes with Jab Tak Hai Jaan - The Poem recited by Shahrukh Khan.  We have already heard this in the promos many times....yet the interlude music and the feeling with which SRK recites the poem...make the track worth listening to over n over again! 

All in all....a great some it might feel like a let down due to the massive expectations, to others it might appeal a lot more. Which ever be the case, one thing you must keep in mind while listening to this....or any other Rahman album....never expect the usual. This is exactly what this album is....not the usual. 

Best Tracks: Challa, Saans, Heer Heer, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ishq Dance
Hit Potential: Challa, Ishq Shava, Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Been-O-pinion: I give it 3.5 out of 5. The factors contributing to the album's expectations are too huge to be matched with the result. If you can keep your pre-notions aside...then you will eventually fall in love with the music....else...well....there's always Rockstar to fall back to! :)