Wonderfully light lunch at Stir Oriental Kitchen, Koregaon Park 8th Lane

This place seems to have a wide variety of names by which folks refer to it. runab treated me to a “surprise” there on 29th of Sept 2007 and I am simply bowled over by the food. It is at 3A/3B Jewel Towers at Koregaon Park (below Talwalker’s) and they can be reached at: 020 66201796/97/98.

We went there at around 1330 – the one thing that I liked about it is the open area for cooking – makes an absorbing watch (and perhaps reminds one about Grain of Salt at Kolkata). The seating place is small and kind of cramped (and no that does not mean that I am obese) so there’s a fair chance of waiting for a place. However, we were lucky souls who got a place without much ado. And chose Chicken Dim Sum (for starters), Fried Rice and Roasted Lamb with Mushrooms (for main course). The Dim Sums were good and without the overwhelming garlic taste that Yo!China specializes in. The Fried Rice was non-oily and the lamb was well cooked. I don’t kind of by the idea of a dish with dried whole red chillies which seems to be a staple ingredient in Oriental dishes served here, but for once the chillies did not spoil the taste.

The service is above average – they don’t hover around trying to shoo you out but appear when it is required. 2.5 for the decor, 3.5 for the food and 3.0 for the service.

After that we went to Pune Central where some young fellows were making a merry hash of some classic tracks, but more on that some other time

The man is back with a classic caper film

We went and watched “Johnny Gaddar” yesterday. And it is as good as one thinks it would be. There are patches though – the screenplay sags a bit, a death scene is over-emoted, a bad choice for a female character (Rimi Sen is as wooden as they come and appears to be “acting” rather than being natural) and it is at least 20 minutes too long. But given that I loved every bit of “Ek Hasina Thi”, I’d say that I am being too harsh on Sriram Raghavan. It has elements that pay homage to the classic caper genre of Vijay Anand, the Coen brothers and Tarantino even not forgetting the ever present allusion to James Hadley Chase. The music has a tang to it and the cast of characters right from Dharmendra (“It’s not the age, it’s the mileage”) to Neil Nitin Mukesh (looks good and acts well but has to work on the diction a bit) are well etched. And Vinay Pathak – the more I see him play these roles (with their nuances and flaws), the more I feel sad as to why he was not acting in these movies even 3+ years back besides doing those goofball TV shows.

It is not a whodunit. Period. That fact is well established at the very outset. What it actually sets out to be is a joyride of accidental deaths, planned escapes and unplanned give-aways which keep you waiting to see if Johnny does really get away with it. Add to that the twisted expectations from the first film of Sriram Raghavan and you begin to explore options that are pretty much possible.

Worth the money of the tickets and this time we did not have popcorn too 🙂

Watch out for the cute jig along side the track “Doob jaa mere pyaar mein”

There’s a good review here.

Of games big and small

Here’s a small blog that talks about “new India’s new heroes” and talks about how the self effacing team is a role model and representative of new India. Without taking anything away from the glory of the team which won the T20 (after no one in their right minds gave them a chance) the post victory media massacre actually would pang them with a slight tinge of guilt. It was on some random news channel that I read that the total payout in terms of rewards is to the tune of 12cr. What also got sensationalized by the media was that the hockey team felt neglected enough to threaten a hunger strike. Can’t blame them. There have been earlier instances of such usurping of glory and resultant brouhaha. On TV there was a panel (with Aslam Sher Khan attending) wherein it was implied that it was the fault of the format of hockey that there were no changeovers and breaks. *Cough cough*. How does the English Premier League create such hype ? Based on what hockey offers, there ought to be a way to ensure that money flows into the game’s infrastructure and training in India – and this is also pertinent in case of Indian Football. As opposed to being spent on junkets that are really not required.

A rather late entry about a movie well done

This is a very belated entry more brought about by the brouhaha and hijacking of the theme song rather than the movie. So sometime back runab and me went to watch the film which spawned a lot of media stories. runab went to see it again, but that is another story. Before we watched the movie, there were a lot of media pieces positioning the “true story” or even how this is like this movie.

Utter rubbish.

The nearest movies would be either this one or perhaps this one. The central theme of a passionate mentor/coach glue-ing together a discordant and divided team who fight amongst themselves is old enough. One would say that the coach-as-a-hero movie story is best told when the situation is hopeless not because of external factors but because of internal rot. What made this movie a bit above the standard kitsch dished out on a constant note is that in spite of being based on a true story it never went overboard to depict what happened. The lead actor for a change did not really go his usual hyper-lip_throbbing-eyebrow_quivering self and was a composed presence. There’s this standard scene (here called “sattar minute”) which dips into the same genre as this speech. It is a good movie though, taking no credit away. Well edited, tight storyline, catchy music and a layout that you really want to root for the team. You want to sit up and cheer at their goals, laugh with their small jokes and cry when things go wrong.

That’s what movie making is about anyway.

A nice movie and a nicer evening spent doing nothing…

Yesterday, runab and me went to watch Manorama Six Feet Under. Folks would say that it is a not so extravagant remake ofthe 1974 cult movie Chinatown – which incidentally is on TV at one place in the movie. Don’t listen. Go watch the movie to see how good actors can make a difference in a story that perhaps has been told often. Go watch it for:

  • Abhay Deol : since the more I see of him, the more I realise that this is the one chap who is choosing movies carefully enough by not playing the over-the-top heroes his other brothers or uncle did. But by playing characters who could well be our next door neighbours. From his controlled acting to his natural ability to act out the aspirations of a wannabe detective “and” a failed detective story writer. His wardrobe, his family life, his scooter (and his motorcycle) and his fishes (let’s leave the goldfish motiff alone for some time) are so believable
  • Gul Panag : don’t be taken in by the dimples, she’s a natural playing characters that are simple on the surface but have their complexities simmering beneath. A perfect foil and sometimes overshadowing Abhay, she’s a firecracker in her small role
  • Vinay Pathak : he’s a wonderful actor. As a pragmatic hard boiled brother-in-law he’s the one who might put the easy in sleazy (that’s not my quote – Sanjeev Bhaskar said it on a show)
  • Kulbhushan Kharbanda : the old lion has enough roar left in him to send chills down your spine
  • Raima Sen : she’s showing that given the role she can deliver a nice rounded performance

And then we went for a stroll around Camp – not quite aimless though since we had to go to get my wristwatch fixed but it was a fine evening for a walk, some time together doing nothing.