During my week long holiday (= holiweek) last week I watched lotsa movies n few plays. Here goes the list with brief comments.

1) Notting Hill
Sk had long back given me this saying any romantically inclined person has kept a permanent copy of the movie. I did not have the inclination and time to watch it so far. The movie is cute. With the usual romantic ups-downs and few hilarious oments and most importantly with the happy ending, movie remains a candy.
Both the leads (Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant) put up a fine show and their fans would enjoy their chemistry on the screen.

2)Life is Beautiful
During one of those few(only when some Indian origin movie/person has a chance to win the award then do I watch and in ’98 Elizabeth was doing rounds ) Oscar awards live functions I have watched, there was this person Roberto Begnini jumping & walking over the seats, dancing and replacing the customary thank-you speeches by blowing kisses and I love you all gestures. He had won three awards for the movie, direction and erformance. It took me so much time for myself to watch the movie, the creation that had touched the Oscar jury.
Not to mention, I too was moved and touched. It is so funny at times. So cruel at other. It portrays the victory of human convictions amidst the adversities. Triumph of happiness over the approaching sadness. Living and enjoying life before the inevitable. When a happy wave is riding on a sad note, the viewer is restricted to enjoy. At the same time, the gloom is delayed. Anand was another such movie which had the same tune.

My fav scenes include, in no particular order:
The girl falling from the sky; Doc asking puzzle when hero was hopeful of his freedom; the final tank scene; Many others.

3)Mission Impossible (1)
Just like that.

4)Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
I had long wanted to see this. Have heard rave reviews. And after getting belittled by friends for not having known Sudhir Misra who directed this one, I _had_ to see this. My initial impressions are not that good. But after few thoughts and discussions I have bettered that.

Even then, my views are not that hailing. It is a different kind of movie and good. Movies like this and White noise might elevate the ways/nature/standard of movies in Bollywood. Audience cant just immerse themselves in popcorn, they have to sit up straight, notice, think and absorb.
But it was kind of dark. And to a person ignorant of situations in that place and time, it is not convincing. The actions are too less considering the intentions and intensity.
In the lighter view, it gets simple. It is about the person who loves a girl and does anything and everything for her. About a girl who chases something only to realise she had not wanted it and wanted something different.

5)Mangal Pandey
Total disappointment. Okay, I did shed all the expectations of a mega budget movie. Of Aamir khan. Of Lagaan. Of Ketan Mehta. Everything. No, it does not help.
I will tell you why. If you had named this some Bhuvan Pandey, I could have still taken it, I guess. Or no I guess. The problem is the story of Mangal Pandey is not that much to make a commercial bollywood movie. I read somewhere that he was just a normal soldier. It is good for a documentary or otherwise involve others (like Rani Laxmi Bai) and show us the complete war.
You show us few events (or was it only one??) and end it with only a narration ? I don’t like it when all the typical masala is added and most of it unwanted. Each song was a pain and an obstacle. Give me complete masala typical bollywood with as fictional a story, or give me honest and complete factual story that would move me. Not a pathetic mixture of both. Asoka pathetically tried and failed and now this.
A bit over rated but talented Aamir (and his hairs) had very few scenes to show themselves. His hairs marginally won over, I guess. Rani and Amisha had lot of free time and decided to be a part of this.
Now I see in how many ways Lagaan could have failed. I remember some statement like this “Best of content can be pulled down by a bad process but bad content can not be helped by best of process”.

Few movies I could not fit in: Sehar, 7 1/2 Phere, Kill Bill.

6)Play: Snakes and Ladders
I feared if this was “haavu mattu yeni” in English in which case I had already seen “Sleuth” in both the languages. Thankfully it was not. But I should say this was the disappointing play so far. The energy level was good. The message they wanted to convey was also ok. But it was too loud, chaos and disturbing. Only classmates and parents of the artists were among the audience other than us. For the first time I saw that theater was no near to full house. The lead artist’s accent and performance was good and also that of the cute girl who got to slap and kick everyone!
With this, Nbk’s jinx broke and finally he watched a play at RS.

7)Play: Chitrapata
This is one of those the traditional song and dance plus a story play. Jayashree was all there with her high pitch singing, energetic acting and direction. Other troupe members did their bit well.
The story is about Sita. About the argument of how right Rama was to lead her into Agnipariksha. About Shoorpanaki and her revenge. A fictional continuation of the story where Sita is forced to draw the picture of Ravana, which gets life and impersonates Ravana.
There is a display of pictures to aid the narration and the play. But the title refers to the picture of Ravana written by Sita. Taking a branch of mythological story and narrating it in a way we like and adding some stories to it have always been attracted story tellers and playwrights. The body language, song and dance were the nice things about the play.

With this, after the nth it-didn’t-happen, I will stop asking one person out for the play.

Along with these, I met up with few friends, re-worked on this site (thrice), played carrom, browsed a lot listening to lovely music. So much for a week long break. This is my 3rd week-long break in 6 months 🙂 One more coming soon.