Saturday, August 18, 2007

El Cantante - movie on Salsa singer

I saw this this Hollywood film ( 2006 release) El Cantante ( means the singer) yesterday. It is based on the real life story of Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe, who came to New York in 1975 and became a mega star of Salsa .The singer starts his career as a vocalist in Willie Colon's band and then becomes a successful soloist. He was part of the salsa revolution of the seventies in New York. In his personal life, Hector gets addicted to drugs and gets AIDS. His father disowns him, his son dies and his relations with his wife breaks down. He tries to commit suicide by jumping off the balcony but survives to cut one more disc and dies later in 1993.

Marc Anthony plays Hector and Jenifer Lopez his wife—Puchi. The story is told as a narrative by JLo as Puchi , the wife. She has acted brilliantly and her husband Marc Anthony's performance is also impressive.

There are lots and lots of salsa music all through the film. There are dialogues in spanish in many parts of the film. I love the English spoken by the characters particularly JLo with a Latino accent.

The salsa song El cantante, which comes many times through the film is poignant.

Yo, soy el cantante
Que hoy han venido a escuchar
Lo mejor, del repertorio
A ustedes voy a brindar

Y canto a la vida
De risas y penas
De Momentos malos
Y de cosas buenas

Yo, soy el cantante
Muy popular donde quiera
Pero cuando el show se acaba
Soy otro humano cualquiera

Y sigo mi vida
Con risas y penas
Con ratos amargos
Y con cosas buenas

The fans of the real Hector Lavoe have complained that the film has inaccuracies and focusses more on the negative side such as his drug addiction at the expense of the greatness of Hector as an artist.

But the film is a treat for the fans of JLo and Salsa.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant in New Delhi

The new Hotel Crown Plaza in Gurgaon has opened a Brazilian churrascaria restaurant called as Wildfire. This is the first churrascaria in India. phone-124-2383401.
someone told me that they bring meat from Argentina. I have not been to the restaurant yet.

Churrascaria is a typical brazilian barbecue restaurant, where meats are served in sword-like skewers. The waiters keep bringing the skewers with different meats and cuts to each table untill the client is "fed up". Yes is unlimited serving of meats at a fixed price. In some churrascarias in Brazil, there is a small wooden block with red and green colours at the top and bottom. When you want a break in eating, you need to put the red on top and the service stops. If you keep the green top, the meat keeps coming. In some places they have three colours including amber for slow service !
There is also a large spread of self-service salad buffet. the price is fixed ( ranging from 10 dollars to 40 dollars) and it includes both the meat and salad but does not include drinks. The Brazilian drink which goes with the meat eating fiesta is caipirinha, which is made of cachaza( cane liquor) and frsh lime juice and sugar... deadly!
Churrascaria is one of my favourites. I used to eat so much of meat and become vegetarian for the next one week.
Sao Paulo has the largest number of Churrascarias and best ones. Surprisingly, Rio does not have many. It is more popular in the sothern Brazilian cities like porto alegre. Brazilian churrascarias are there in many cities around the world such as NewYork and Tokyo. In NewYork there are two, of which one is in Little Brazil ( near 47th street ) and another called as Greenfield in Queens.

More than the meat, Churrascaraia is a typical Brazilian experience ! Even my vegetarian friends have been fascinated by the Churrascarias!