Women’s Day

‘WE’ was born last year on the same day and as expected, today’s that special day when we’ll realise the importance of the opposite gender. Frustration, angst, disgust, concern, hope and a whole lot of questions attached to the existence of females led to the development of its concept.
It’s been a while since I’ve noticed how certain liberals have started attacking the idea of feminism and maybe that’s why people are either extremely uncomfortable talking about it or they just want to rebut, as feminism according to them is ‘only’ about empowering women and that’s how perceptions are formed, further unfolding unequivocal misconceptions.
The idea is to give them what they deserve, the idea is to acknowledge them for who they are and how bloody strong they are, the idea is to support them whenever and however we can, the idea is to treat them as equals and look beyond breasts and vaginas.
It’s a global problem and since we are all tutored to believe that men and women have fixed roles in the society, there is this distinct differentiation that uplifts my gender and that’s how we tend to overlook the biases, also forgetting its bigoted nature.
Talking about economic participation, women have negligible opportunities as compared to men and they are paid around 15% less for the same job.
Education’s another key area where the focus has to be shifted, even though there is some progression, the destination is far away.
Around 25% of girls in the developing part of the world don’t attend school and the less fortunate families prioritise education for their boys, as the girl is supposed to concentrate on household chores, getting married and having a family, rather than creating a life for herself and probably that’s why they’re majorly away from the political processes as well.
Sexual subjugation, female infanticide, domestic violence, marital rape, psychological abuse, trafficking, maternal health issues.
It’s a deep colossal problem that would take ages to solve, but we have to start right? From somewhere at least?
So rather than showering our love and respect on just one particular day, it would be great if we could try and change our mentality towards the biases and start treating them as equals, also appreciating their quiddities, as I personally believe if we had to live like them-even for a day, we would all give up in a few hours and eventually die because we are really not as profound or zealous as them.
They are the blessed ones making the world beautiful, even though some of them misuse their existence and the laws that are made to protect them, the majority still needs a humane approach and I hope we will have a better place for women, someday, maybe a few years down the line.
Till then, to all the women out there-
It’s a battle between the majority and the minority, where majority of the men make life difficult for you along with the minority of your section who demean your presence but not all men are the same and there are many like me, who love you and respect you for whoever you are and whatever you do, it’s your life.
Let’s hope we’re able to celebrate humanity each and every-day.
Happy Women’s Day!
🙂

Review-Neerja

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 1.53.16 pm.png
Courtesy:Wikipedia
Films like Neerja make people like me proud of the fact that we’ve surrendered ourselves to the art of cinema, as for a film to consume you to an extent where you have a colossal lump in your throat, hours after coming out of the theatre speaks for its stature and artistry.

Making a biographical film is always risky and can go either ways, since you know the entire plot and specially in a country like ours where people lose interest in seconds till they are presented with some high voltage dance numbers or over-the-top one liners, for Saiwyn Quadras​ (The Screenwriter) and Ram Madhvani​ (The Director) to courageously go about the entire film with a lot of silent-handheld shots, intercuts, extremely long takes and minimal drama is applaud worthy.
The point of views might differ from person to person but for me, I haven’t seen a better Indian film in recent times. This film would’ve become dreary if any of the technical department would’ve stalled, especially the screenplay but Quadras is top-rate. It’s also one of the best edited films I’ve seen over here and it’s commendable how smartly they intercut between Neerja’s family life and the Palestinian terrorists, who prepare themselves for the hijack.
Most of our filmmakers in the past have exploited flashbacks manipulatively but over here, Madhvani and his team show us how it’s actually done. They never completely immerse you into Neerja’s failed marriage or her relationship with Jaideep (played by the multifaceted Shekhar Ravjiani) because then obviously it would change the entire direction of the film and without letting any unnecessary sympathy factor slip in, Neerja continues making you feel uneasy and proud at the same time.
I always knew Sonam Kapoor​ could act but I think she never took herself seriously till this film happened. Not only does she fit the part but dives into it and moulds herself as Neerja. While her contemporaries Deepika and Kangana have been showered with awards and flattery all this while, this film would definitely change Sonam’s fate and I’m sure people are now going to take her seriously. Her best performance till date and I won’t be surprised if she gets rewarded for this because you need an out-of-this-world kind of a performance to surpass Sonam’s vulnerability and composure, as Neerja.
Kanika Berry​’s casting is mind-boggling, especially Jim Sarbh who plays the fiery terrorist. He shines particularly in a scene where we see his emotional outburst which to be honest is ferociously amazing and award worthy.
Yogendra Tiku, as Neerja’s father has been cast perfectly and he’s as effortless as ever. But if you have to get blown away by someone, then there’s no surprise-Shabana Azmi​ is the person you’re in for.
Rama Bhanot was an extremely strong headed woman and for obvious reasons, who could’ve suited her part more? Azmi’s ability to cursively get into the skin of the character she’s playing is known to all but what’s really fascinating about her is her process of reinventing herself as an actress even after so many years of being in the industry. A doting mother who tries really hard to compose herself after getting the news of the hijack of Pan Am 73, as Rama Bhanot you can feel her angst, you can feel her pain of losing her daughter and it’s definitely not pleasant to the eyes when you see the corpse of your daughter on her 23rd birthday. That scene is mostly silent and it’s Azmi’s brilliance as an actress that would pierce your heart and hit you right in the gut, followed by her monologue in the end, which is beautifully written by Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh.
Many people have forgotten about the music and the background score but Vishal Khurana has truly done an exceptional job, as for me all the songs-predominantly ‘Jeete Hain Chal’ worked big time and not to forget, Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics are vividly written, adding life to the soothing melodies.

From beginning to the end, Neerja would keep you invested visually and emotionally, making you feel uneasy throughout those 120 minutes but when you’ll come out, you’ll come out with happy tears, you’ll come out remembering Neerja Bhanot-A beautiful woman who could’ve physically been present today, having saved 356 lives but she chose to save 3 more and was martyred for humanity.

Don’t think twice before going for this film, more than the money, it’s worth your time.
And you’re definitely a robot if this doesn’t make you cry.

20-1453283929-neerjaMs-Neerja-Bhanot-e1431512750818sonam-kapoor-neerja-759-1sonam-kapoor-neerja-759

Review- Fitoor

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 6.11.48 pm.png
Courtesy: Wikipedia

It doesn’t happen regularly that you come out of the movie theatre whining about how that particular film could’ve been a paragon of virtue, as it had almost everything going for itself until the writing faltered, majorly in the second half.

Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor is actually a master-‘piece’ gone wrong and eventually could only manage the latter part of the adjective as overall it was just his miraculous cinematographer Anay Goswamy, Amit Trivedi’s alluring music and Tabu’s consummate ability to add life and value to whatever she picks up, that makes Fitoor a satisfactory affair even though it left me with a lot of questions and majorly disappointed.
Based on ‘The Great Expectations,’ Kapoor had a really interesting yet intricate plot that could’ve been explored in a way that would’ve made the audience’s heart melt and countered a whole lot of emotions, particularly the climax if he would’ve gone by the original ending.

Even though he hasn’t received a lot of acclaim for his work but yes, Aditya Roy Kapur is definitely an extremely talented and a sincere performer, as he fits himself into Noor’s character wonderfully. The innocence, vulnerability and helplessness of Noor blends perfectly with Kapur’s eyes, though I didn’t quite get the idea of making him build that kind of a body since he was an artist who’d succumbed to a lot of pain, with only one aim in his mind-Firdaus.
Another odd thing that caught my attention was that Noor lost his Kashmiri-Hindi accent after growing up, ahem.

Katrina Kaif was well suited for Firdaus’s part and she played it quite gracefully but she still couldn’t take it to another level. Or maybe because the writing didn’t give her enough material?
Probably!
Firdaus, based on Esthella was a tease. She was extremely cold, thanks to Miss Havisham’s upbringing but at the same time, she was really confused. She didn’t know her mind, she didn’t know how she felt and there were a lot of layers to this extremely intriguing character but in Fitoor, Firdaus never really seemed to be in love with Noor, instead it seemed as if her attraction was more physical than emotional. And later on, the strong headed Firdaus turns into this cliched Hindi film heroine which isn’t quite believable to be honest because her transformation process was quite vague.

Same goes for Tabu’s character which was inconsistently written as Begum Hazrat even though Havisham was incredibly described by Dickens and had such eccentric traits to her. But well, Tabu being Tabu, even though the makers couldn’t quite figure out Havisham’s heart and eventually gave her an abrupt turn in the end, she definitely discovered her soul and I’m sure Dickens would’ve been elated to see Havisham come alive.

Ajay Devgn​ makes a special appearance and is in top form till his character too, fades away abruptly in the second half. Aditi Rao Hydari​ makes her presence felt, as the younger Begum Hazrat and is eminently graceful and beautiful at the same time but getting her voice dubbed by Tabu didn’t seem like a pleasant idea to me, killed the essence to be honest.
All the other characters, including Lara Dutta and Rahul Bhatt had some satisfactory presence in the beginning but later on the film scattered, as if they didn’t know how to deal with the characters and their conflicts anymore and just had to end the film, as abruptly as possible.

It’s not a bad film, but definitely quite incomplete. Could be watched at least once, especially for Tabu and Anay Goswamy’s beauteous frames.

images.jpeg

Fitoor_Hindi_Film_Poster.jpg

Review- Bajirao Mastani

 http://youtu.be/eHOc-4D7MjY

Holding on to your vision for 13 years after being spurned by so many producers can’t be normal.It requires great confidence, immense faith and utter conviction for a person to stay patient for these many years with an idea that’s so beautifully woven, with characters that have so many layers attached and yet the treatment is completely nonjudgmental. 

That poetic tint throughout Bajirao Mastani would make any cinema lover’s heart weep with happiness and I believe Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the only person who has the ability to do that, not because he’s talented but because he’s the chosen one, the extremely blessed one. 
And having actors who express not just through their face but their eyes is definitely an icing on the cake:

Priyanka Chopra’s done it so many times in the past, Barfi in particular and Deepika Padukone’s recent one Tamasha showed us what she’s capable of, that she’s not just beautiful but she’s immensely expressive and volatile as a performer.

But then comes this overenthusiastic, extremely wild kind of a person and he ends up surprising everyone. 

Ranveer Singh showed glimpses of his talent in Lootera which unfortunately didn’t work but after Bajirao Mastani, if this man isn’t acknowledged for his skills as a performer, it would be a shame. He might be loud and too buoyant in real life but for any actor to transform himself not just physically but mentally for a film/play is a big deal and for Ranveer to succeed majestically and deliver one of the most enigmatic performances by a male lead till date is commendable and award worthy. 

(Special Mention: Malhaari song, speaks for this man’s passion for acting and performing on screen)
Sudeep Chatterjee’s artistically captured frames, the pitch perfect casting, mind-boggling production design and art direction: Each and every department stands out in this beautiful piece of art. 

Thank you Eros for letting Mr. Bhansali’s vision see the light of day.
The climax would wrench your heart and it is goose-fleshingly stunning.
Lastly, if William Shakespeare were to make films in 2015, we’d definitely call him Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

🙂
   
 

REVIEW-TAMASHA

When an Imtiaz Ali film is about to release, the expectations are sky-high and for obvious reasons, they start off well. But after some reviews pour in, the numbers begin to deteriorate, probably that’s the reason ‘Jab We Met’ still remains one of his most loved films, followed by ‘Love Aaj Kal’ because they were liked by the majority. Reason for that? Maybe because it was our quintessential Bollywood rom-com with brilliantly crafted drama.

But on a personal level, two of his average grossers ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Highway’ have been my absolute favourites.
Both these films were far from perfect, they were flawed and quite complex as well. That’s exactly why many people didn’t like them, these films weren’t entertaining enough, focused more on your emotional journey as a human being and well, let’s be real-Who wants to invest their time and money on such convolutions?
But then I wonder why many people after slamming these films regret it later on? Just like Rahman’s music, his films grow on you and eventually perceptions change.
Since his latest film ‘Tamasha’ is finally out and yet again, it doesn’t completely satisfy you but manages to wrench your heart for some reason and long after the film’s over, as I begin to share my review I don’t know why, I don’t know how but my heart feels heavy, even though this one has a happy ending, unlike his previous two. To be honest, Ali’s films are exactly like our lives-unpredictable, not completely satisfying but still filled with precise intricacies and the right emotions.
Either you’ll love them or you’ll hate them and as per my observation, I think many would end up hating Tamasha, even though it’s a unique gem.

(Describing the audience: 5-10 minutes into the film when the impeccably ideated ‘Chali Kahani’ began, I realised I was watching the film but nothing was going inside my head because this really annoying couple besides me kept making fun of the film, even though it had just been 5 minutes. They wouldn’t stop talking and laughing, so after a while I decided to give away my top row seat and went way ahead, I knew I’d be able to watch the film peacefully now.😛 )

So Ranbir Kapoor plays Ved, who’s captivated by stories, who grows up hearing them and expresses himself by performing them but due to societal and parental pressure he’s never really able to express himself and ends up doing a corporate job. On the other hand Deepika Padukone plays Tara, who’s very persuasive and emotionally agile.
It all starts with their random encounter in Corsica as strangers and how they decide to keep their identities to themselves without letting any insecurity, social norm or commitment disrupt their behaviour towards each other. How both of them part ways and meet again after 4 years, the difference being Ved now is a completely different person. He’s the ideal gentleman, extremely formal and decent, not even close to what he was earlier, the free spirited Don that Tara had fallen for. That’s when the complexities begin and we witness the actual Tamasha.
Trust me, no one can handle human conflicts better than Imtiaz Ali, no one. He creates those frames with so much of ease that not even for a moment would you find it irrelevant or unrelated. Human drama with sheer eloquence? Fall back to Imtiaz Ali.

There are a lot of things that didn’t work for me, especially the first half as it seemed too vague and forceful but as soon as the Corsica bit ends and the second half begins, Tamasha starts working and how. Though like I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s something really strange about his films that they’re far from perfect but they consume you emotionally, that’s exactly what happens over here because there were a lot of things that could’ve been justified but probably Ali left it for the audience to interpret or he just didn’t want to get into the details to avoid distraction. For instance, the audience would know that Ved was suffering from a disorder but we don’t exactly know what was bothering him. Partly schizophrenic or dual personality, maybe he didn’t want us to sympathise with the character but whatever said and done, the way he captured Ved’s dilemma, his pain, his struggle to come out of his shell, especially during ‘Tu Koi Aur Hai’ when we see montages of the 19-year-old Ved, shouting and howling out of frustration, I swear it would give you goosebumps. How can you possibly go wrong if you have actors like Ranbir and Deepika along with A.R.Rahman as the composer? That’s exactly why Tamasha chokes you moment, after moment. Even though Tamasha is about Ved’s journey as an individual, it’s Tara who awakens his soul. The camera mostly follows Ranbir but whenever she’s in the frame, trust me you won’t be able to take your eyes off her and no, I’m not saying that because she’s the most gorgeous woman alive right now but because her eyes are so expressive that you won’t be able to stop yourself from falling in love with her, irrespective of the gender.😛
This woman has evolved so much in these 8 years that it’s not even funny, Ranbir was always one of the most talented we had but today, especially after watching Tamasha, all you can do is clap for this woman who’s worked her way up and so much so that she would literally jolt your heart and make you cry along-Just watch the apology scene that’s shot at Social Offline and ‘Tum Saath Ho.’

For me, she’s the best Indian actress ever and she’s proving it each and every time. Talking about Ranbir, how can someone not like him? He’s extremely talented, extremely hardworking and it shows. He makes Ved come alive and gives one of his most accomplished performances ever.
So confident, yet composed. So layered, yet raw and naive. We are lucky to have an artist like him in this country who’s equally at par with actors like Irrfan and Nawazuddin.
Just like ‘Rockstar,’ this film would’ve fallen flat if Rahman wasn’t behind the music. How can you ‘not’ like his music? Even if you don’t, he’ll make sure you like it, as it definitely grows with time. For example, I really didn’t like ‘Tu Koi Aur Hai’ and ‘Safarnama’ earlier but after coming out of the film, I ended up humming these songs and ‘Tum Sath Ho’ never left my mind, it’s still playing in the head.
How does he do this? No one knows but yes, Rahman’s the only composer who can enhance storytelling and he’s done that with perfection over here.
So overall, Tamasha isn’t perfect but even if you don’t like it, something about this film would definitely stay with you no matter what and well, that’s Imtiaz Ali for you, my cinematic institution.

Watch it for the award worthy performances, Ali’s theatrical vision and Rahman’s music along with Irshad Kamil’s sour stirring lyrics.
Hits you in the gut.
And yes, the poster says-Why Always The Same Story?
The answer to that:

Because Imtiaz, no other storyteller can do it better than you.

REVIEW-MASAAN

COURTESY-WIKIPEDIA
COURTESY-WIKIPEDIA

richa-chaddas-masaan-poster

Filmmaking is a creatively fictitious process and most of the filmmakers in today’s time try doing different stuff whenever they go on board. Keeping the competition in mind, each one of them aspires to do something completely disparate, as sustaining in the industry is extremely burdensome. But here comes Varun Grover (The multifaceted stand-up-comic, writer and lyricist) along with a highly experienced storyteller who’s actually making his debut with ‘Masaan.’

Highly experienced even though it’s his debut film? Exactly!
Assisting someone like Anurag Kashyap prepares you for something big and after watching ‘Masaan,’ all I can say is that only a full bloomed storyteller, someone who has seen life closely could have given this beautiful story a path and no one could have done it as well as Mr. Neeraj Ghaywan, the director of the film.
The most appreciable thing I’d say would be, staying away from the *trying to do something unusual* zone and still making a film that’s full of conflicts, is pitiful, heartwarming and hopeful in the end, however Grover and Ghaywan ensured that its treatment was humane, by keeping it as real as possible. They never hit a false note by overdramatising the tussles, over-intensifying the griefs or over romanticising the initial stages of a relationship.

Set in present day Benaras, ‘Masaan,’ which also means ‘Shamshaan’ or ‘Crematorium’ develops by the banks of the Ganga where cremations are a part of people’s daily lives. We follow two different people-Devi (Richa Chaddha) and Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and their different yet struggle-some journeys that coincide after a point.
The film begins with Devi’s dilemma, as she checks into an unsavoury hotel room along with her partner to make love but gets heckled by the sudden intervention of the cops. The senior officer records a confession tape of Devi and makes her look like a prostitute, further extorting money from her father Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra) to cover up and bury the entire scandal, but obviously Pathak, a retired Sanskrit teacher who now runs a small shop near the ghats and does some translation work finds himself stuck and pressurised by the evil policeman’s threats.
In the other story, we follow Deepak, an untouchable from the Dom caste who falls in love with the beautiful and chirpy Shaalu, who belonged to the upper caste. Even though Deepak’s an upcoming engineer and would soon get away from his ancestry, he feels marginalised, as he knows he’s forced to work on the ghats and burn funeral pyres.
Though their newfound relationship is pleasing to the eyes, heartwarmingly innocent and awkward at times, Deepak internally remains baffled because in the end, he knows that his caste would certainly create a problem. But Shaalu, willing to even elope with Deepak asks him to get a job, not worrying about the stereotypes around and that gives him hope, hope of moving out of the life he was trapped in. What followed next would devastate you as a viewer but that’s how his quandary began.

Varun Grover’s the actual hero of ‘Masaan’ for me, as his subtlety as a writer is something anybody would envy because this film is actually high on authenticity and realism. The moments between Deepak and Shaalu are so beautifully written that even if you would find their language a little different, you would certainly connect with the emotions as that’s how first time lovers behave or talk, especially in the initial stages. But all these moments would’ve fallen flat if Neeraj Ghaywan wouldn’t have donned the director’s hat. Avinash Arun’s powerful and picturesque camerawork, the out of the world performances, Indian Ocean’s riveting music and Grover’s exemplary lyrics put together and complete this cinematic journey.
‘Tu Kisi Rail Si’ is my favourite and Swanand Kirkire’s voice does magic. Not to forget, the way Ghaywan’s used balloons as an expression of love, the montage of Deepak and Shaalu’s confession and acceptance, it’s highly inspiring for young filmmakers like me, and Avinash Arun’s captured the song exquisitely.

When you’re a passenger of a cinematic ride, you know all the actors involved in the film are going to be flawless and top-notch. Each one of them, from the supporting cast to the protagonists, they’re all equally brilliant and terrific.
Richa Chaddha, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi, Pankaj Tripathi and the young Nikhil Sahni as Jhonta, they were all breathtaking but Vicky Kaushal, the debutant who played Deepak stayed with me long after the film was over.
He really has a long way to go and an impeccable filmography would soon follow.

Caste and gender inequalities, self-condemnation, sexual repression, prejudices, life and death.
‘Masaan’ is multilayered and it would definitely leave you spellbound, after all there actually is life after death, and there is hope after an end.

Please go and watch this film, films like these need to be seen and experienced.
55af8daf0a73727a3616ede9-1

REVIEW-BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN

COURTESY-WIKIPEDIA
COURTESY-WIKIPEDIA

Keeping aside my fondness for the man himself-Mr.Salman Khan, I’d genuinely recommend his latest venture ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ to you.

It’s a well known fact that Salman Khan films are full of over the top action sequences, dance, comedy, cheesy romance and obviously, his buffed up yet amazing physique. Basically he’s known for his commercial films and with time, as our cinema’s started progressing, we’ve all realised that it’s kinda demeaning to call it cinema.
Agreed.

But trust me, after a very long time we have a Salman Khan starrer which rides high on the shoulders of its writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasadand and especially Kabir Khan, the director of the film who has also written the screenplay and dialogues.  It’s not just about Salman, it’s about each and every actor, also the technical staff.
The story is simple and I guess most of us already knew what was supposed to happen. A speech impaired 6-year-old Shahida gets lost in India with no way to head back to Pakistan or cross the border. Somehow she manages to come across Bajrangi (Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi) who decides to be her saviour and drop her back to Pakistan so that she can reunite with her family.

It’s a beautifully written film, even though it’s predictable.
That’s exactly where Kabir Khan leaves his mark as an impeccable filmmaker. When your audience knows what’s going to happen next and when they know how things are going to shape up, you really need a tight screenplay along with sharply written dialogues. Kabir Khan never hits a false note, as the film never falls consistently.
Sure, in the first half to be precise, it tends to slow down in between and personally, some of the scenes involving Kareena and Salman weren’t really required, it manages to sail through. But after the interval, Kabir Khan takes full control of the film and makes sure that this film wrenches your gut and makes you weep. Probably the last half an hour’s going to be the toughest, as you might just cry a river and smile happily by the end of it.
Salman Khan has delivered one of his finest performances and yes, his innocence is back.
The macho image just got broken again as he does full justice to this really naive, honest and loveable Bajrangi.
One of the best things about ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ is the fact that Salman doesn’t get all the attention, as in the second half when Chand Nawab’s (A struggling Pakistani reporter) character’s introduced, it’s actually him who takes the film forward.
And do you think Nawazuddin can ever-ever disappoint? He didn’t even disappoint us in Kick where he was supposed to be really loud, how can he disappoint when his character’s written this beautifully?
He is the finest actor we have in this country and I have no second thoughts about that.
As Chand Nawab, he makes you laugh your guts out but at the same time, he makes you weep when he fights for his Bajrangi Bhaijaan, when he fights for his friend Pavan.
Saved the best for the last, this film would have fallen flat if anybody else would’ve played Shahida/Munni.
This little girl Harshaali Malhotra is the soul of this film and I’m telling you, you’ll fall in love with her. She is way prettier, way cuter and way more talented than most of the top actresses we have today and when she grows up, if she decides to continue acting, she’ll probably rule this industry.
Every time when I saw tears in her eyes, I couldn’t stop mine either. Whenever she smiled or laughed, she brought a really big smile on my face (Mind you, I hardly smile, so that’s quite an achievement😛 ) and I really have to give the credit to Kabir Khan for this. A 6-year-old girl wouldn’t know how to act, she can just react to what she’s being told and since, she’s one of the best things about this film, Kabir Khan’s succeeded as a director big time.
Each and every actor is perfect and brilliantly casted and Mukesh Chabbra, once again, yes, once again deserves a thunderous round of an applause, especially for giving us Harshaali along with the Meher Vij (who plays her mother), even though she has minimal screen time, she still manages to give you goosebumps. People like Rajesh Sharma, Om Puri, Kamlesh Gill and the rest are brilliant. The film would’ve been incomplete without their presence and commendable work.
Aseem Mishra, Kabir Khan’s cinematographer’s a magician. One of my favourite Indian DOP’s for sure, as the way he’s captured the locations, as well as the frames that he’d set-it just blew me away, the long shots were breathtaking and  yes, Kashmir is unimaginably gorgeous.
Pritam’s music for me was perfect, even though many people didn’t like it. I guess, Selfie Le Le Re was apt for a Salman Khan introduction, Tu Chahiye was perfect for a montage song (as they had to build up the love story), Chicken Kukdukoo was a surprise package but my favourites come in the second half. Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata and Bhar Do Jholi Meri, Pritam couldn’t have done a better job than this. These two songs actually add a lot of emotions to the film and take it forward.

All in all, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ for me came as a surprise as I didn’t expect it to be this good. It has minor issues in the beginning probably, but it really worked after the second half. A lot of brilliant films have been made recently but I’d say this one is one of the purest films I’ve seen in recent times. I knew what I was watching, was a strange utopia and it cannot be true and we can never have a Bajrangi, but even then the film made me stay with it, I felt for the characters, I felt for both the nations and it generated that emotion, I guess that really speaks for the righteousness of Kabir Khan’s intentions and credibility.
I think he’s at par with Rajkumar Hirani, big words but certainly true.
Go for this film even if you hate Salman Khan, it’s beautifully made with all the right intentions and I really wish people understand there’s no point hating when you know how beautiful love is.

HARSHAALI <3

bajrangi-Bhaijaan-afqf

I’d written this poem a while back, I think it goes with the theme of this film, so I’d like to add it over here before signing off-

‘Kis baat ka gham hai sataata,
Jo mazhab ke andhere mein hum sabhi ko chhor jaata.
Insaaniyat ka rishta kyun bhool jaata?
Nafrat ki dor pakde, aaj bhi ek doosre se pyaar na kar paata.
Ae-Insaan tu kyun ye bhool jaata, dono ki mitti ek, phir kyun is doori ko koi bhi na mitaa paata?
Aaj bhi ye sawaal zehen mein roz aata hai,
Kyun ye Hindustan, kyun vo Pakistan kehlaata hai.
Kyun apne ko apna nahi keh paata hai,
Paraaya mulk hai vo, ye sun dil khud-ba-khud toot jaata hai.
Kyun ye Hindustan, kyun vo Pakistan kehlaata hai?’

REVIEW-DIL DHADAKNE DO

Courtesy:WIkipedia
Courtesy:WIkipedia

When you enjoy a film that falls short of a good story but rides high on realistic moments, high-octane screenplay, brilliantly written dialogues, superlative performances, scintillating camerawork and a director like Zoya Akhtar, you know that commercial films have been redefined, there and then. 

Without a doubt Zoya Akhtar’s one of the finest filmmakers we have in this country and right from her first film
‘Luck By Chance,’ she had carved her own niche by making an artsy-yet-commercially viable film, though it couldn’t manage the numbers, it received a lot of critical acclaim and slowly, through television and other mediums people actually realised how wonderful it was. After her first film failed at the box office, she decided to let go off her artsy ambitions and she went into the commercial zone, keeping realistic elements intact, with ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and she succeeded big time.
It was loved by the critics, as well as the audiences and Zoya had become the queen of ensemble films in India.

Similarly, her third film ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ twirls between her first two and keeping the content in mind, it’s probably her weakest, but if you were to take a filmmaker’s opinion (or an aspiring filmmaker’s opinion), this one’s actually her most accomplished film as a director.
Written by Zoya herself and Reema Kagti, DDD is about a rich dysfunctional family (The Mehras) from Delhi, as they set out on a 10-day luxury cruise in the Mediterranean to celebrate Kamal and Neelam Mehra’s 30th marriage anniversary.
It’s about The Mehras and their problems, as it captures the plasticity of all those ‘perfect’ families that we’ve probably seen around us. Many people believe that money can buy you happiness and most of us presume that all these wealthy families must be having a perfect life, as they don’t have any problems or hiccups in their day to day lives, but that’s where we go wrong.
DDD captures the hypocrisy, it captures the backwardness of a lot of those wealthy families and I’m sure it would’ve offended a lot of them because a lot of it was real and I’m sure hard-hitting, as well.
The messed up Mehras somehow find themselves back towards the end of the film, but the journey seems a bit too long.
‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ is more of a momentary film than a story based narrative, as the one line plot is simple-

A wealthy dysfunctional family, a tad bit broken-comes together in the end and we have a happy ending.

So basically, we were watching a three hour film that had a predictably strange end and we always knew how things would shape up.
But it’s really hard to engage your audience for this long without having a proper narrative and that’s where the team of this film blew me away. The screenplay works more than the plot, even though it’s really broken at times and could’ve been way crisper, but still, it tightens up in the second half.
The dialogues by the genius and multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar work like magic. His dialogues saved nearly half of the film, especially the dialogues he wrote for Ranveer’s character Kabir. They’re packed with humour and wittiness.
Another thing I really liked about the Kagti and Zoya’s writing-Their characterisations.
The way they developed each and every character, irrespective of that character’s length-It really was brilliant, as not even for a moment you could feel that a particular character was just forced into the narrative and you’ll come out remembering almost every character, so hats off to both these ladies for capturing the essence beautifully.
And Farhan complimented their characterisation by penning down some of the craziest lines of the film.
For instance, I loved Zarina Wahab’s dialogues (She plays the typical Delhi wali aunty who has all the problems in the world, from arthritis to asthma to what not and she’s played her part with perfection) and even Manoj Pahwa’s bit.

Javed Akhtar wrote Pluto’s dialogues (narrated by Mr. Aamir Khan) and the dialogues actually make a lot of sense if you listen to them carefully. From a dog’s perspective we’re shown the unnecessary complexities of human beings and it was really heartening.
The music of DDD is pleasant and breezy, even though it’s not as good as Zoya’s previous two films but ‘Gallan Goodiyan’ and ‘Pehli Baar’ work like magic.
The background score is topnotch and works brilliantly.

When you have actors like Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, Manoj Pahwa, Parmeet Sethi, Vikrant Massey and the gorgeous debutante Ridhima Sud, how can you ‘not’ expect good performances? Even the rest of the actors, all of them.
The cast is brilliant and rock-solid. But for me shockingly Ranveer Singh was the start of the film, along with Priyanka Chopra and the extraordinary Shefali Shah.
I felt the film would’ve fallen flat if Ranveer’s energy wouldn’t have been exercised properly but Zoya Akhtar can never fail as a director and she proved it once again that she knows her job very well.

This was a director’s film, as some of the most brilliant scenes didn’t have much writing to it. Those scenes were purely dependent on the director’s vision. It was Zoya who could’ve guided her actors through and she did just that.
For instance, the sequence where Kamal (Anil Kapoor) finally stands up for her daughter Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra) or the scene where Kabir (Ranveer Singh) opens up in front of his parents and confesses his love for Farah (Anushka Sharma) and also, the scene where Neelam (Shefali Shah) breaks down while gobbling on some cake kinda violently, only a director like Zoya could’ve mastered those scenes.
And not to forget, Carlos Catalan’s out of this world camerawork. He’s another unsung hero of DDD. I couldn’t help but rave about his brilliant cinematography and I still can’t believe, ‘Gallan Goodiyan’ was a one take song. A new high in Indian cinema!

Though ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ is not one of the best films you’d see, but it’s certainly one of those films you’d want to go and watch, just for the incredible talent-right from the Akhtars to the all the actors.
It lacks a brilliant story, it stretches a bit too much and the end is really weird and abrupt, but still, it’s worth it.
Commercial films have been redefined and DDD is one of those feel-good films you’d see around. It’s not a typical Bollywood film, but you’ll still feel at home.
Watch it for Zoya Akhtar’s brilliant direction. She’s blown me away completely.

Dil-Dhadakne-Do1 552da46788bcc-1.image

REVIEW-TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Courtesy: Wikipedia

Seenti-maar dialogues, exceptionally built characters, good music, brilliant casting and two Kangana Ranauts-
A lavish meal for you served with another extraordinary talented lad-Deepak Dobriyal.

Tanu Weds Manu released in 2011 and it was a fun film. It wasn’t exceptional and I never expected a sequel but it was nice to see something different, it was nice to see a female protagonist get ample amount of screen space, not just as an actor but as a character.
The sequel came as a surprise and I really wondered what made Anand Rai go for this one. At first, I thought it might just be another cringy sequel but then I had faith in his filmmaking capabilities because I had actually loved Ranjhanna.
The most interesting part about Tanu Weds Manu Returns in the beginning was Kangana, as Datto, the Haryanvi college girl. Kangana’s always given power packed performances and she’s always been brilliant, but highly underrated.
Thanks to Queen, now she’s being accepted and Kangana, as Datto was an eye candy.

The film begins quite abruptly (at least for me) as we get an insight into the estranged marriage of both Tanu and Manu.
It’s quite typical and I thought it wasn’t working till the character of Datto came into the picture. But even though there were problems with the screenplay in the beginning, the dialogues worked majestically. The dialogues and Deepak Dobriyal saved the film till Datto got introduced.
And after that, Rai’s film hardly hit a false note. What I really liked about this film was that Rai kept it quite simple.
The characters are relatable and we’ve all seen such people around us.
Even though these characters belong to a middle class family, they have their complexities and they make mistakes, like we all do and they have the power to break stereotypes, they have the power to surpass cliches.
Though some people might feel that the climax degrades women, as Manu sticks to his original Tanu (SPOILER) and he doesn’t choose Datto, but that’s probably the harsh reality? That’s how people are.
Rai never made a film on idealistic characters and both his protagonists are screwed people. They are messed up and they are far from perfect. Datto’s the only sorted character in the film, but I’m sure she’s got her flaws and Rai didn’t highlight them because that’s how a creative person works and if we look at it rationally, then we’ll see how Tanu and Manu actually loved each other. It was the ego that came in and later on, it was the distance and Datto’s presence that made them realise how much they felt for each other.
Another thing that left me quite awestruck was the way Rai placed Datto’s characteristics. Without a doubt, you’ll come out of the theatres loving her unconditionally. She belongs to a small village, she belongs to a conservative family, but that doesn’t stop her from being independent or having a broadened mentality.
She’s a self-made woman, she’s a national athlete, she’s a graduate-She has no problems with Manu’s first marriage, she has the ‘balls’ to fight for the person she loves and she even has the ‘balls’ to let go off him because she cares about everyone’s happiness and she’s selfless.
Rai’s writer Himanshu Sharma’s brilliant and the way he has created Datto, I’m sure it’s gonna stay with people for a really long time.

Technically too, it’s a wonderful film and all the departments deserve the acknowledgment. The music by Krsna Sola compliments the film and is truly outstanding. Banno Tera Swagger and Ghani Bawri leading from the front-They’ve already become hit dancing numbers, followed by the beautiful Mat Ja Re.

The casting is so brilliant that you can’t help but praise each and every actor. Madhavan shockingly didn’t have much to do, but he still leaves a mark. I don’t think anyone can cry like him, he makes your heart sink whenever you see him enacting an emotional scene. (Took me back to Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, one of my all time favourites)
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar and Eijaz Khan-They all have small but really important bits in the film, especially Jimmy Shergill and all of them are extraordinary. (We really need to see more of Shergill, he’s class-apart)

But TWMR belongs to Kangana Ranaut and Deepak Dobriyal.
Deepak Dobriyal’s comic timing is so perfect that he can actually transform a Manoj Kumar into a Navjyot Singh Sidhu.
He’s underrated, impeccable and pitch-perfect, hope to see him a lot more.
And what can one say about this powerhouse of talent? The exceptional, the mesmerising Kangana Ranaut?
She slides into both the characters with ease and forms two completely different personalities with sublimity.

As the wild and impulsive Tanuja Trivedi, she makes us believe that not everyone’s sorted in life, she’s messed up and broken, yet she hides it with her unnecessary wit and overconfidence. There’s a small moment in the ‘Move On’ song where you’ll notice her expertise.

^Notice how her expressions change after 1:34 seconds:It’ll blow your mind, that small moment speaks for Tanu’s dilemma and Kangana’s brilliance.

And as the old-school-girl Datto, she’s adorable and powerful at the same time. There’s another small moment in the film where Datto quite tranquilly calls off the wedding and walks away confidently, in the end breaking down like a small baby.
It’s a tear-jerking moment and you might just shed a few tears along with Datto.
Kangana’s finally getting her dues and I’m so glad that she exists.
Even though there are a few loopholes in the film and it takes a few bumpy turns, you will still enjoy this film, as it’s heartfelt and real. Anand Rai’s a genius and Himanshu Sharma’s an envious writer-Special commendation for the dialogues and if you still need just one reason to watch this film?
It’s Kangana Ranaut.

‘Vo Dekh Kabootar’

4 stars

12460665369877434717

maxresdefault

REVIEW-PIKU

Courtesy-Wikipedia
Courtesy-Wikipedia
A 70-year-old constipated hypochondriac who’s too grumpy to handle, a young and successful architect who takes care of her strange father as if he’s her son and the owner of a private taxi company who’s rational yet complicated.
Three central characters and poop.
Yes, that’s what completes Piku and Juhi Chaturvedi’s undeniably the star of this beautiful ‘motion’ picture. 
(Mango Pulp, anyone?)

Piku doesn’t talk about complexities, Piku doesn’t talk about anything exemplary.
It’s a piece of you, it’s a piece of me, it’s a piece of our lives.
It is simple, full of heart and mesmeric.

Piku Banerjee is a well brought up, intelligent and highly successful woman who takes care of her 70-year-old childlike hypochondriac father Bhashkor Banerjee, as her mother had passed away a while back. Her life’s entangled between work, her father and her messed up personal life, as Bhashkor doesn’t want her to get married and ends up pushing away all her possible beaus by telling them that she isn’t a virgin.
It might sound weird and crass but that’s when you realise Bhashkor is actually like a little kid and just can’t let her daughter go away-adorably selfish.
Along with impeccably written characters and dialogues, it’s the casting that works over here.
The casting and then the performances are like those cherries on top of a perfectly baked cake with extremely tempting and mouthwatering icing.
Amitabh Bachchan was destined to play Bhashkor and I say this with full confidence, as he raises the bar for actors with each film that he does. From his Bengali dialect to his body language, his expressions to his walk, everything reminded me of my grandfather and I’m sure it’ll do the same to you. Mr. Bachchan was the perfect choice and he did full justice to the exquisitely written character of Bhashkor.
He irritates the maid by standing on top of her all the time, he taunts his wife’s sister about her innumerable marriages, he doesn’t let her daughter get married because he wants her to stay independent and take care of him, cribs about his bowel problems all the time, irrespective of the place and time, and even then, you’ll fall in love with him.
In one scene Bhashkor criticises women and their capitulation towards their better halves. He feels that women should not get married, as it takes away their independence and they end up surrendering their freedom.
Bhashkor wasn’t just a pain in the ‘ass,’ he was intelligent and wise, as well.

Deepika Padukone surprised me as Piku. Probably her own nature coincided with Piku’s and that helped her carry the character forward, but Deepika’s surely got her critics going, as they’ll have to shut themselves up and hide in some deserted part of the world now.
You would want to marry her after watching the film, she’s that gorgeous. She’s effortless, immensely confident and stands tall amongst maestros like Irrfan Khan and Mr. Bachchan.
Piku’s the ideal modern woman-She’s smart, she’s intelligent, she’s successful, she’s independent, she’s sexually independent, she takes care of her father and has no regrets about it-Basically, she’s a wonder woman, but she’s got her flaws.
Chaturvedi’s just brilliant with her characters and Deepika’s complimented her writer so well that you would end up forgetting that you’re watching Deepika Padukone in a film, it’s that natural and authentic. She’s undoubtedly the reigning queen of our industry alongside Kangana Ranaut.

Saved the best for the last-
Irrfan Khan, naam toh suna hee hoga?

Irrfan as Rana Chowdhary, who owns a private taxi company and drives Piku and Bashkor to Kolkatta in some uncertain and weird circumstances delivers yet another profoundly accomplished performance.
His straight face-dry and dark humour always does the job. He has some of the funniest scenes with Mr. Bachchan and they would really chuckle yours bones up. This man is gifted and he can never hit a false note.

Piku’s music by Anupam Roy is a delight and the camerawork by Kamaljeet Negi is extraordinary. The entire technical staff deserves an applause along with the supporting cast, especially Moushumi Chatterjee as Chaubi Mausi.
But Juhi Chaturvedi takes it away for me.
She’s written the story, the dialogues and the screenplay.
Piku’s actually her baby and this baby is extremely gorgeous. Chaturvedi’s one of the best writers in the country and it’s time we start respecting and acknowledging the female writers of our country.
Shoojit Sircar provided the perfect path to Chaturvedi’s vision and together they are as strong as Bhashkor and his constipation.
They’ve done it with Vicky Donor, they’ve done it with Madras Cafe and this time, they’ve done it again with Piku.
Do yourselves a favour and catch this lovely film as soon as possible. (To those who haven’t seen it yet.😛 )

And don’t forget:
‘Insaan Ka Emotion Uska Motion Ke Sath Juda Hua Hai’
Chaturvedi used this strange metaphor to perfection and formed a highly ironic end.
Piku’s full of laughter, nostalgia, love and little bit of tears.
In short, go for it.

4 stars

First_Look_Poster

piku-poster2-embed