The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Category: Movies & Reviews

Fifty Shades Of Grey

How close to the truth is this.  For my life…

…I mean, I’ve heard about Fifty Shades Of Grey the book and all (who hasn’t) but never took much notice – until now, when my acquaintance from South Asia sent me a link to the trailer.

As a guy, this for me is just too close for comfort

My heart was in my mouth…



The Apprentice 2012 – First Episode – Week One

Simplicity Over Complicated

As I get more and more older, I convince myself more and more, that all the problems we face in the world is a result of ‘failed / bad communication’.

Last Wednesday – my notion was given further strength when I witnessed two teams battle it out to win a ‘simple’ task.  In life, somewhere and somehow we all go through an experience where we ‘over complicate’ simple tasks.  We learn, as we get older that a simple approach to a simple task is the better way forward – less time consuming and less complicated but with the same outcome.

So What Happened:  For those of you who watched The Apprentice 2012 Episode One – I won’t bore you any further with the details of what went on.  For those who didn’t watch it or have yet to watch it – don’t worry there are no spoilers here and, if you are still wanting to watch it then I recommend BBC iPlayer (you have 7 days).

Over the years, I have seen Lord Alan Sugar explain his tasks to the apprentices.  I admire his approach in explaining the tasks in less than 20 words.  This first task was probably the simplest I’ve ever seen on The Apprentice.  If I owned a business where I had a sales team – I would force my sales team at gunpoint  to watch this episode for ‘how not to do business’.

The opening moments of this first episode showed the future of British commerce, I had to grit my teeth while I watched self-promotions of these individuals.  I wrote a little about this few days ago and it’s worth the effort to mention this again as some had described themselves amongst other descriptions – ‘A master puppeteer pulling the strings’,A shark and total reflection of perfection’, ‘Like an animal I will roar my way to the top’, and ‘A blonde assassin’ delivered with total focus without batting an eyelid

My first impressions of some of the apprentices when they first entered the boardroom, at the beginning of the tasks, was the group consisted of loatheables apprentices with the usual delusional declarations of egotistical self priced – despicable characters.  Some were full of attitude and some were already raising their left eyebrows with a smirk as Lord Alan Sugar spoke at them.

So after regaining my consciousness after week one episode, I have compiled below ‘lessons learnt’ and where applicable tried to explain – how things should have been done.

Understand the Task:  Often people fail at the first hurdle and one factor to this failure is not understanding the task.  Understanding the Task means knowing what to do.
The Apprentice was no exception.  The task was simple and required a simple thought out process.  There was nothing complicated about it and neither did it need any debate.  I think both teams understood the task but the Boy’s team now called Phenix had the upper hand, as they felt confident from the start – and I guess they knew how simple the task was.

Do your Research:  In any market, be it business or your own profession – doing research is vital.  Most people fail to recognise how important ‘research’ is.  It prepares you to understand the future and more importantly prepares you to make those smart moves to keep you ahead of the game.
None of the apprentices made any effort to find out the market trend, potential explosive idea or even which area was strong to sell at.

Identify Individual Skills Set:  Knowing what the strengths and weaknesses are can make all the difference in achieving the end result.  This is more important to figure out in a group especially since you will be relying on those people to win you the task.
Both teams failed abysmally in my view to identify who will be good at what.  If you are going to be working together in the future, it’s very important to understand the skill sets of individuals.  Knowing who is good at what can potentially be a winning strategy going forward in this series.

Have a Strategy:  Having the right strategy makes all the difference in seeing where you are and how you intend to get where you want to be.  Think of it as a roadmap from A to B.
The Boy’s team seemed to have a good hold in this space.  It was clear in their mind – how much to spend on stock, what end product to produce and once you have a product, depending on its uniqueness what price should it be sold at.
On the other side, the Girl’s team, now known as ‘Sterling’ were terrible in getting organised, let alone defining a strategy.  They may have chosen a Project Manager who was in this trade already – and in theory should have already known exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it – but the Project Manager lost her ability to get organised or set a long term strategy which should have made all the difference.

Identify a Unique Idea or Product:  The product to sell and to whom is one of the most fundamental aspects of business.  Although it’s not the only thing which can win you the task, and as the Girl’s team proved so successfully that despite having a good product, if you don’t manage everything else correctly – you can still loose.
With so many ‘so called’ bright people on both teams, identifying a unique idea and producing a unique product should have been a walk in the park.  The unique product or idea sells itself, and both team failed to recognise this.

In the interest of keeping this post short, I’d like to sum up the remain points – as due to the amount of failures in the this task, I can go on and on.

In addition to the above, it’s equally important to ‘get your product right’, without which you can’t do justice to the good idea.  The other aspect which I think the Boy’s team succeeded in doing was to ‘delegate effectively’, this in the end proved to make all the difference between both teams.  The final point is to have ‘confidence to make decisions’, and again the Girl’s team Project Manager Gabrielle Omar clearly lost her confidence in making decision, especially when up against strong personalities constantly having a stab at you and your plan.

In the end, the Bulgarian block of flats came tumbling down:  Bilyana Apostolova who works as a trainee Wealth Manager in the UK didn’t last long, and as I witnessed Bilyana beg for a second chance, despite my gut feeling that the blonde assassin was on the verge of being fired I think Lord Alan Sugar changed his mind in the last second to raise his finger at Bilyana.

The following video are a tribute to Bilyana Apostolova:

..and to see some funny highlights of this episode, check out an edited version below:

Jhootha Hi Sahi Bollywood Movie Review

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching Abbas Tyrewala’s Bollywood movie ‘Jhootha Hi Sahi’.  Released October 2010.

I couldn’t help thinking, much of this movie is aimed towards University students, graduates or early adulthood and getting to know society and relationships.

What attracted me to watch this movie over other options was that it’s rare to find a movie which is based around British Asians, living a typical life, typical routine and typical humour amongst friends.

The first scene of the movie is indeed a very funny and hilarious one.  John Abraham playing Siddharth Arya has fallen asleep on the sofa while watching TV (Typical bachelor) who receives a call from someone who is about to commit suicide.  Siddharth thinking it’s a one off manages to talk the person out of it.  Few moments later another phone call from a different person with the same intention arousing his suspicions that this is a joke and a prank and responds to the person sarcastically.  Later he is made aware that his home number by mistake was printed on a Asian suicide helpline posters and leaflets that had been circulated.

Midways through the movie, I couldn’t help thinking that this movie was trying to imitate popular television series Friends.  A bunch of friend, all of them fond with each other, free and open with mixed relationships.  There are other characters such as a Pakistan brother and Sister living together, the sister is pregnant and is seeing a Chinese, while the brother is constantly engaged in fighting with Siddharth’s girl friend.

The movie is embarrassingly hilarious, with some scenes simply side splitting.  What really works well in this movie, is the constant piss take of each other and the situations they are in.  Something which is typical in everyday life.

Soon as Siddharth agrees to become a volunteer after having his home number accidental printed on Asian suicide promotion material, he happens to meet a lone voice of a girl called Mishka (Pakhi), who simply calls him but never utters a word in the first call.  Surprisingly, Sid (Siddharth) manages to recognise her silence and bring her to talk with him.  They become good phone friends and Sid never tells her who he is over the phone.  They then meet each other in real life, Mishka unaware that he is the person on the phone, whom she has named Siddhartho.  Sid lives two lives, playing a helper to her trouble life over the phone and being a friend in her real life.  What makes Sid appear to be two different people to Mishka is the fact that Sid has a problem in that when he is with beautiful women he stutters and when on the phone his words flow naturally.

On the acting front, John was good and managed to balance the funny side of his character and his serious side successfully.  Pakhi on the other hand appeared to be a little mature, a little old for her role – but I’m not sure if this was intended or not.  But the chemistry worked well between them both.  The chemistry between the friends was hilarious at the beginning but slowly turns to some serious scenes.

The movie overall (for me) is different to the regular stuff we get from Bollywood.  As a British Asian much of what the friends go through is something we would have experienced in real life.  What makes the movie enjoyable is the side splitting scenes which are executed fantastically well.

One song for me which stood out the most was by A. R Rahman called ‘I’m thinking of you’ which I have added a video below.  If it sinks into your mind and you find yourself humming it throughout the day, then please don’t blame me.

Because, the movie is different, and is made in our home ground – it makes it more believable and realistic.  If the scenes were set in any other country, I’m not sure if this movie would have had the same impact on me.

Overall I would rate this movie as 8 out of 10.  A high score simply because it’s more appealing to me being a British Asian


I’ll be waiting .

Force Bollywood Movie Review

Back in September I wrote about an upcoming Bollywood movie called FORCE.  That post was written prior to the movie being released.  Unfortunately I never got around to watching the movie in Cinema – due to a busy lifestyle, but as I mentioned then that once I had watched the movie – I’d share my views and opinions around the movie – well a little late but here I present to you my brief review.

Prior to the movie being released, speculation had it that this movie was a remake of a Tamil movie called Khakha Khakha.  Although, I’m not sure at the time whether the speculation was true or not, or if it actually mattered at all, but I don’t think anything was taken away from Force movie.

The movie was directed by Nishikant Kamat, who directed Mumbia Meri Jaan.  I’d like to give him credit, since he kept the movie alive and interesting throughout.  There seemed to be a good balance between art and violence, between a love story and creativity.  Force to me appeared to be a commercial movie and stood strong in all aspects.

John Abraham, I believe executed his role really well in this movie.  At times, when watching the movie, you can’t help thinking that John was emotionless or performed poor in different scenarios but as the movie goes on you understand that John’s character is one of a machine.  A guy, who takes no crap, has no feelings or emotions and he is dedicated in doing one thing – do his duty well and provide justice – be it the hard way if it works.

The female character, Genelia D’Souza seemed a little disappointing.  As always, she appeared to be childish, immature and at time poor at showing a serious side.  To me she seemed to be a lonely character, without her own life style.  If this movie was a spring board for her, to launch herself as a serious character and setting a bench mark, then I’m afraid she failed to achieve this.

What made the movie interesting throughout was the combination of choreography and cinematography.  The blend was good and kept the movie watchable throughout.

The story line was not fantastic but would qualify as good story.  It was slightly straight forward without any twists, Movies like Gajani and Wanted all seemed to be in to surprise the audience but with FORCE movie the acting and seriousness of John lead role was enough to make one believe that the movie didn’t need a twist to keep people excited or entertained.  The romance or love story within Force was not big, but appeared to be a casual part of the movie.  Some movies like Gajani, seemed to be based around love stories and tend to keep the love part alive throughout.  Force was a little different, in the sense that a point was made that love can overcome anyone no matter how stone hearted they might be – but the ultimate focus of this movie was to bring in a gang and provide justice the hard way.

After watching the movie, you will understand how hard John has worked on his physique and on his acting to remain a stone hearted person who knows just one thing – to do his job well.

Overall I would rate this movie a good 6.5 out of 10.

FORCE – Bollywood Movie and John Abraham

30 September we will be seeing the release of the Bollywood Movie FORCE.  Starring John Abraham (whose recent movies were Dostana, New York) and Genelia D’Souza (whose recent movie was Life Partner) is a 20th Century Fox’s contemporary action-romance movie.

What makes this movie a must watch is the performance of John Abraham, who’s last movie as the main actor was New York 2009, but later made odd appearances in movies including ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ early 2011.  I believe when an actor or actress returns after a big gap in their career they have no choice but to perform 100% to make it a success.  John Abraham finds himself in that position in Force.

Story Line (in a nutshell):  Sanjay Singh (John Abraham) is a no-nonsense cop, who is insistent pursuit of a ruthless underworld network.  His belief is firmly set in eradicating crime by simply shooting the criminals dead and not arresting them.

Physical Body:  For this movie, John Abraham admitted that he underwent eight months of physical training to achieve not a six-pack but an eight-pack physique.  This achievement attracted the attention of Hollywood stunt director JJ Perry (who has trained Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone, etc) who is said to be “extremely impressed” by John and wants to work with him.

Making a strong body is like a religion. When you preach a religion you go to a temple. I go to a gym and workout. I really worked out hard to make a strong body. I had put on 10 kilo muscles in eight months.” John told the media.  The movie FORCE it was required that John sported a muscular look.

Controversy:  Controversy broke out for the film, in a scene where John and Genelia had to tie knot. However, sources claim that the ceremony conducted was so authentic that had they completed the last round they would have actually been man and wife. The priest used for the scene was a real pandit and not a junior artist who read out the actual wedding mantra as he said he had forgot that the camera was rolling.  Again, following the reports of Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia’s marriage plans, the priest insisted that the couple couldn’t get married as Genelia is already married to John as everything was done from wearing a mangalsutra, to exchanging garlands and taking the saat pheras. He also said he wish to meet the onscreen couple and make them understand that he had pronounced the mantras one does at a real wedding.

FORCE Film Songs:

1. Khwabon Khwabon – K.K. & Suchitra
2. Chahoon Bhi – Karthik & Bombay Jayshree
3. Dum Hai To Aaja – Mahua Kamat
4. Main Chali – Naresh Iyer & Shreya Ghoshal
5. Dil Ki Hai Tamanna – Vijay Prakash, Shalini Singh & Neha Bhasin

I am personally looking forward to 30 September when this movie is released, as John Abraham is one of those actors who simply produces a good balance between acting and realism.

I will indeed share my views here once I have seen this movie.  If any of you are planning on watching this movie then I hope you can share your thoughts here too.

FORCE Bollywood Trailer

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