I liked what Kamal, a versatile film-star (legend), had to say to four budding, and very promising, directors in a TV show. He was saying “the more ethnic you become, the more global you get!” – I liked the way he thought about how a “world-class” movie should be made. To make a movie that will excite audience worldwide, you don’t need to go to exotic locations across the world, use latest technology etc. You just do a movie showing interesting characters that are soaked in taken culture. You normally do this right when you take your own culture. A fan loves to see Japan as it is and that goes to any other place. In his opinion, and I tend to agree, virumaandi, naan kadavul etc are world-class because they get more ethnic and hence world audience would want to have a peak! I have appreciated similar cultural portrayals in Memoirs of a Geisha, Troy, Aviator, Spanglish etc etc….

I thought this was interesting – don’t go elsewhere for glory, search within!

In a way this philosophy is good even for many other cases of identity building where one goes out of the board to differentiate without recognizing if you just be, you will be different! This goes to one as an individual (say professional), an organization in monopolistic competition (say restaurant), in children’s upbringing… almost everything I can think about!

Let me briefly explain the examples I took so as to illustrate the pattern. Individual – never try to be someone else to be noted. If you just be, you will be different. God never made any two men same! Restaurant – there is nothing better that explains ‘get more ethnic to get more global’ than a restaurant. The more authentic you get with food, ambience, experience the more global reach you will get! Upbringing – Don’t raise an American in India or an Indian in America – either will confuse the kids. Both are great cultures, just make your choice and teach core values – what I term as values are all single word adjectives (Honest, Open, Brave, Hard-working, Kind, Fun-loving…). My point about upbringing is that: don’t go broad across cultures rather go deep in one culture along with acceptance of other cultures.

Note: the beauty of getting more ethnic to get more global is based on the premise that people “want” and “like” multiplicity in – restaurants, cultures, people etc! So don’t loose it as a fanatic when you get more ethnic ;)

I welcome any thoughts on this – this topic roused interesting debates in my recent discussions with friends: best of both worlds is better? Spineless followers of west (or east)? Ethnicity is necessary but not sufficient condition? Get the hell out of your hole :) Etc etc….Pretty interesting stuff. Many valid observations but a man has to make his calls and I made mine :)

Harleen rocks

Love Aajkal - my favorite shot :)

Interesting idea. Refreshing screenplay. Reasonable execution. Wud give it 2.5/5. Even though this is not the first time we see similar stories, with period difference, being juxtaposed, Imtiaz Ali has done a good job executing the idea. The differences are highlighted very well – harleen’s happiness on seeing Viru in Kolkatta and bringing chai with so much fuss.. was poetic :) Similarly Jai & Meera’s ‘break up party’ was refreshing. Is it just me? Deepika has semblances of Hemamalini? She is gorgeous anyway. To me Harleen Kaur was the pick of the movie.

Bit less talk by old Viru paaji and more creativity in visual juxtaposing wud have taken the movie to heights. Mehra had cracked it in Rang De Basanti. Screenplay improvements and more natural comedy wud have made it a blockbuster. Forgive me Saif fans, I too like him, but he is no Aamir. At best, it was reasonable performance by him and Deepika.

Technically the cinematography was not glaring and disturbing – more functional and pleasant. At the same time, chimed with the beats for the songs. And there are couple of good songs – aahun aahun is my personal favorite (thanks partly to Zoom for playing it repeatedly – I had no other option really :) ) Few location choices and costume choices were great. Will be interesting to watch Imtiaz Ali’s tamil remake of ‘jab we met’ – ‘kandein kadhalai’!