Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nishabd: Film review.

Let's not have any doubts about the fact that Nishabd is a bold move for Ram Gopal Verma. That's because in Indian society, we still don't want to talk about certain things in spite of being aware of their presence.

Nishabd tells the story of a photographer (Mr. Bachchan), his wife (Revathy), his daughter (Shraddha Arya) and her friend (Jiah Khan). During holidays Jiah visits her friend and comes to stay with her family at their quaint house in a beautiful hill station. In the process, Mr.Bachchan (Vijay in the film), falls in love with Jiah or we may say gets attracted to her, who throughout the film roams in skimpy short pants and exhibits her nice pair of legs to the audience. As we know that love can happen anytime anywhere and between any two people. In this case it happens between 60 yr old Vijay and 18 yr old Jiah. Jiah is a carefree, effervescent teenage girl who finds this 60 yr old very sexy and hard to resist.

There is obviously a sexual connotation attached to this attraction (though Mr. Bachchan claims otherwise in his numerous interviews on different News channels). But RGV the director comfortably stays away from showing anything overtly sexual; (Jiah gives a kiss on Mr. Bachchan's cheeks only). I am disappointed here. But may be Ramu didn't want to hurt the celebrated & much talked about Indian sensibilities! Though I must say that in spite of this self-control (on part of Ramu), there is a sexual undertone in the script and it gets manifested in the manner of 'shot taking' & 'camera angles'. By the way, cinematographer Amit Roy's craft is wonderful in the movie.

I am not going to give out the full story here, because that's going to spoil the charm for readers who haven't yet watched the film. The story is good, with Ramu's directorial brilliance present in glimpses but as a whole Nishabd fails to deliver. Moreover the 2nd half of the film is bland and surely lacks the pace, which was prevalent in the 1st half. To some, even the ending may seem a little abrupt.

Mr. Bachchan is brilliant and is surely the saving grace of the film. Only he could have depicted this role with such sobriety. Kudos to Mr.Bachchan, for being a part of this bold (by Indian standards) venture. And he delivers his job with unmatched composure and aplomb. If only he had the chance or opportunity of doing such varied roles in his younger days!

Jiah Khan is beautiful, sexy, and attractive.She does a fine job in her debut. She gives quite a mature performance, being just 18/19 years of age.
Revathy as usual is excellent and naturally beautiful, while Shraddha Arya is a talent to watch.

In conclusion, I would say that Nishabd is good in bits n parts but as a whole the movie fails to deliver. A niche audience will appreciate it, only (in multiplexes).
But RGV should be complemented for showing the courage to break away from the inconsequential candy floss style of film making, yet again. In the same breath I would say that he could have done a better job, we all know that he has the talent required. I give Nishabd 3 Stars out of 5.

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E-Bikes are a cool way to ride

With inflation at more than 6% and fuel prices zooming only upwards, it is hard time for the common man in India. But now there is an easy and fun way to cut the pain in your pocket. It is simple. Just get yourself an E-bike (electric bike) - two-wheelers that run on electric power instead of petrol/gasoline.

There are many advantages of using E-bikes.

  • Zero fuel consumption!
  • Lower maintenance costs (almost negligible).
  • Environment Friendly (zero emissions).
  • They can run for 10 to 15 paise per km in comparison to fuel cost of Rs1 per Km for regular bikes or two-wheelers.

Though the cost (Rs14,000 to Rs 35,000 depending on the model) of E-bikes is a little more than petrol powered bikes, the obvious advantages cannot be overlooked. Plus, as these bikes have a top speed of 25 Kmph, are below 25 cc category and are gearless, most of them do not fall under 'Automotive Research Association of India' (ARAI) requirements. So there is no need of registration and payment of road tax. One doesn't even need a license to drive these bikes! Now ain't that cool!

According to a recent 10-city study by A C Nielsen, it is assumed that the nascent electric two-wheeler (E-bike) market in India is at nearly 5 lakh units. It is not a small market for a comparatively new technology and obviously many companies want to launch their models in India. According to (ARAI), since January this year atleast 12 companies have applied for certification to launch their E-bikes in the Indian market.

Among the existing E-bike manufacturers the well-known ones are:

  • Electrotherm India (Ahmedabad based), Brand name: Yo-Bikes.
  • Ace Motors (Maharashtra based).
  • Hero Electric [this is a joint venture between the Hero group (India) & Ultra Motors (UK)].
  • Atlas (Haryana)

Various surveys indicate that its only a matter of time that E-bikes take-off in a big way in India and become a popular mode of transport. So students, housewives, office travelers or whoever you may be, just be ready for the E-effect?!

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