Archive for November, 2008

sorry-bhai

Firstly, after “Bas Ek Pal” this is another movie from director Onir, with its inspiration from the West. The plot is quite similar to “Dan In Real Life” (2007) and it is too bold and a strange choice of topic by the director.

Secondly, the story is indigestive and unacceptable both in our part of the world and in the West too. Because still the viewers haven’t gone broadminded to this extent that they can accept such kind of story all in the name of LOVE & EMOTIONS.

Thirdly, even in this controversial plot there are performances worth watching and worth praising but they all may go un-noticed due to the non availability of viewers.

About the story, think about a younger brother falling in love with the fiancée of his elder brother, just before 5 days of their marriage. Then as the marriage gets postponed for few days, they cannot resist, make love to each other in a garment store’s changing room. After knowing the truth the mother of the boys strangely allows the couple to have a live in relationship leaving the elder brother alone.

This is not out of the box thinking or innovation of any kind. In my opinion this is simply wrong choice of plot and looks like deliberately chosen to create a controversy and get the extra attention.

And the most debatable part is the climax and the solution given to the unexpected problem. It looks like Onir was not able to decide how to end this unconventional plot and he settled with whatever he could think of. I simply couldn’t understand why the mother suggests his younger son and the girl to have a live in relationship. And why does she want them to get married (post her death) after 11 years and that too when they have got two children out of their live in years. Also absurdly the elder brother remains witness to all this and even is shown celebrating their marriage. The last half hour is completely confusing and nonsensical.

As I see it, the love making scene was not required at the first place and was totally avoidable. This gave a complete new and blind turn to the movie. On the other hand, the plot should have used the love angle only as an infatuation. This situation can arise in real life too and it is quite possible. We all do get attracted towards many persons we come across in our lives, but we cannot start an affair with anyone we like. And that too with the lady who is going to be married in 5 days and we are there invited to attend her marriage only. In my opinion, if the characters were made to control themselves and accept it as a healthy and friendly infatuation then the movie could have been a milestone for Onir. But instead he decided to mould it in an unethical way which was a drastic mistake.

Now if we just keep the story out of mind and emphasise only on the performances, then there are worth watching acts by almost all the characters. Among the top on the list are Shabana Azmi and Chitrangda Singh. Shabana gives another milestone performance of her career. She is more than perfect in the role of mother of the family and she was the only one who could do justice with this role. Chitrangda has the beauty out of this world. She simply lights up the screen with her presence. In fact you cannot watch any other person sharing screen presence with her as she never allows you to take eyes off her. She was rightly compared to Smita Patil in her first film as she has got the talent and beauty both in the right measures. She stands at equal heights confidently with the veteran Shabana Azmi and makes her presence felt in front of her. Moments where Shabana and Chitrangda are together on the screen are brilliantly directed and give you back the worth of your money.

Boman Irani is so cool as the father. Though Shabana & Boman together remind you of “Honeymoon Travels”, but still they look as a perfect couple and Boman Irani provides the required comic relief to the movie. Sharman Joshi as the younger brother impresses and his magical smile says a lot. But Sanjay Suri is ok as the elder brother. He also does not get enough attention post interval. Musically the songs sound soothing while watching but a song worth remembering is missing. The movie is mostly shot outdoors in Mauritius and the beautiful locations are canned superbly.

In short, the story in unconvincing and the script is indigestible but you may watch the film only for the superlative act by the leading ladies, Shabana Azmi & Chitrangda Singh. You will love them both.

Rating : 2 / 5

oye-lucky

Dibakar Bannerjee, won millions of hearts and received worldwide appreciation for his first movie, ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’. So his next venture was eagerly awaited by comedy lovers as well as lovers of quality cinema. His present offering showed good vibes with its promos and catchy theme of life of a famous thief. But surprisingly, Dibakar chooses to go with a Documentary film-making style in “OLLO”. The movie is like a biography of a thief, an account of his childhood and youth, about his various relationships and how he manages to escape each time he is caught by the police.

 

Dibakar, though not Punjabi by birth, does has a soft corner about Sikhs and Punjabi culture. His first movie had a Punjabi culture feel allover and the same is more evident in this one two. In fact in OLLO he even casts a teenage Sikh boy to play the role of young Lucky. The movie opens with the childhood of lucky. The boy (young Lucky) is well chosen and shows great confidence. It never seems to be his first movie as he is so convincing in his act. The opening scenes between him and Paresh Rawal (his father) are a treat to watch. In simple words this part of the movie showing his start as a thief, his teenage love and fights is the best portion of the movie.

 

After this section, enters Abhay Deol with his cute smile and cool attitude. Here I have to say that Abhay is one of the most under-rated actors Bollywood has. His choice of films clearly shows his class cinematic thought process and he deserves praises for that. As Lucky he just floats calmly and impressively in the skin of a famous thief. He again gives a superlative performance as the famous conman of Delhi. Paresh Rawal in a triple role is competent but sadly has very less comic scenes. His best shows in his role of a Vet doctor who becomes partner with lucky for opening a new restaurant. Neetu Chandra is also impressive with her subtle persona.  Archana Puran Singh shows excellent timing for which she is known for. Another worth mentioning act comes from the actor who plays Lucky’s close friend. He is top rate and also gets excellent one liners which entertain the most.

 

But despite having talented actors, brilliant performances and bright direction, the film lacks on the part of entertainment.  The movie only tells you the story of a thief, but doesn’t entertain the viewer. It doesn’t have fast unexpected turns in the story. The narration gets repetitive post interval and you know what is going to happen next. Though portrayed as a comedy, the movie doesn’t have enough comic scenes. The funny chemistry is missing which was strongly there in “Khosla Ka Ghosla”. While watching it, you can smile at certain scenes but a hearty laughter would be difficult.

 

Dibakar sticks to his choice of realistic topics, having real life inspirations and also again selects Delhi for his backdrop of the story. Its nice to see that atleast he is deriving inspiration from the real life happenings around him and not copying ideas from the English flicks. His present idea of a movie on a famous conman was also interesting and had potential of becoming an interesting movie. Sadly it only remains interesting to a certain section and lacks the expected entertainment factor, which goes against the movie.

 

Instead of coming out as an entertaining movie on robberies and chases, OLLO is more like a docu-drama on the life of a famous thief. There is a very limited section of viewers who will find it good enough. People in Delhi Punjab and North territory can relate to it in a better way. Dibaker is surely a director to watch out for and I am waiting for what he plans next. He also knows one thing for sure and that is not to put any song in the script if not needed. So this is another song-less movie from him. But one thing I would surely like to request to our film-makers here – Do give a worth watching role to Abhay Deol, the boy has got a hidden talent to explore.

 

So “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye” is an interesting movie with a touch of difference but don’t expect a great comedy out of it.

 

Rating : 2.5 / 5 

It’s not a mistake, and you read it rightly.

Read the real truth here

don-1

There are many interesting facts related to the Original “Don” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Pran & more.

The most famous song of the film “Khaike Paan Banaraswala…” featuring Amitabh was added later on in the film and was not planned at all before. It was felt that the film’s narration was going too fast with all the chase and thrills and some kind of relief or calming effect was needed. To cut the tense atmosphere, a song was suggested. So a whole new situation was created, the song was shot & added in the film after the interval to make some balance. And who knew the song would create history and will be remembered for years to come.

When this upbeat song was being recorded in the studio by Kishore Kumar, then as he was known for, Kishore actually demanded some paans in the studio itself. He chewed paans and spat it on a sheet spread don-poster-collectionon the floor and then sung the song with the natural effects. So the sounds of paan chewing and spating which you hear in the song are all real.

Another worth mentioning truth associated with this song is, that Amitabh was made to eat more than 20-25 paans, to have a real red effect on his lips. The effect did come as desired but due to the “Chuna” in paans, Amitabh, burnt his lips and was in pain for several days.

And the most amazing fact related to the song is that “Khaike Paan Banaraswala” was originally written for Dev Anand’s movie “Banarasi Babu” (1973) but was destined to get featured in Amitabh’s Don.

While the movie was being shot, Pran met an accident and was only able to walk with a stick. So his character in the movie was re-shaped, adjusted and “Jasjit” (Pran’s name in the movie) became a person with a wrecked leg, walking with a stick.

And thus was made a great thriller called “DON” in 1977-78.

The movie was remade in 2006 by Farhan Akhtar and featured Shahrukh Khan in the role of Amitabh Bachchan.

Last week, destiny took me to the divine ghats of sacred Ganga at Haridwar and there incidentally I witnessed a strange and beautiful historical place which had amazing ancient wall paintings combining Sikhism, Hindu Mythology and Mughal Dynasty in India. I was stunned to see those paintings shining bright and also wondered that has anyone thought of researching on them or have they been researched already which was not in my knowledge and even not known to the locals there. I was very much eager to write about it here, expecting someone reading would be able to explain their origin in a better way and enlighten me about them.

Read my complete article with real location pictures here ….

yuvraaj

As a big fan of Subhash Ghai, I remember almost 20 years back, buying ticket for the first show of “Ram Lakhan” at double the price and then sitting in a packed houseful show with people whistling, dancing and clapping on every scene and song. And now comes a day when I easily get a ticket for the first show of “Yuvraaj” from the window itself and become a part of few people watching the movie in the theater. There is no excitement in any viewer, no whistles or claps and no dancing around the screen.

Surely times have changed a lot, and surprisingly “Subhash Ghai Sir” has also changed his style of film-making. But the sad part is that the change of style is not coming up good enough for the viewers. As witnessed in his last few movies, “Yuvraaj” too has its merits but falls short of the expectations from the famous  “Showman” of Bollywood. The discouraging opening response must be due to the unimpressive and confusing promos which were not able to explain what the movie was. Even Salman and Anil looked puzzled in their acts in the on air promos.

Coming to the movie itself, it starts off with Salman, Katrina and Boman Irani (as Katrina’s father) with their love story angle. 50 minutes into the movie and the same goes on & on with no sign of Anil and Zayed. This makes the viewer restless as it is too lengthy and should have been trimmed heavily. Then with the news of Salman’s rich father dying the story moves on and the other two brothers of Salman are introduced, Anil Kapoor & Zayed Khan. After every one is there on the screen the story goes into the “Jaydaad” & inheritors drama with a twist in the form of autistic Anil Kapoor.

The locations are fresh, sets are huge, songs are shot lavishly, but nothing hits the right note. Everyone looks playing his part knowingly that something is wrong and not working. There are very few scenes to watch out for and it all seems to be too lengthy and repetitive. The most lacking part is the story and screenplay of the movie which does not give ample scope to any star in particular.

The film mainly moves around Salman & Katrina with Anil Kapoor taking the limelight post interval. Salman Khan & Katrina look good as a couple but it is not one of their best movies. However, I liked Salman in the last scene when he cries in front of Boman to save the life of his brother Anil. He never looks like acting in the scene and proves that he has got the talent too along with the fab body. The scene where Katrina is playing and teasing topless Salman shows their off screen bonding clearly. Katrina has a fresh look but her hair style could have been better. Anil Kapoor as usual is almost perfect but at places repeats his “Eeshwar” act. Actually Anil gets betrayed by the script and hence his character fails to strike the emotional chord with the viewer. Zayed Khan still relies more on his looks than his acting. Boman Irani is a bit loud but calms down in his last scene with Salman. Mithun Da in a guest appearance enjoys his few scenes with elegance.

Like in his earlier movies, “Yuvraaj” also has a rich family with a Mama ji, cunning uncles, brothers, loyal servants and a vamp bhabhi. Here the bhabhi is too hot to handle and has the looks to kill. Climax is the least convincing part with a twist told so many times before where the performer is poisoned before his main grand show. Even the song is not enjoyable enough for the grand finale. Till you reach the climax you lose interest in the happenings and wish the movie was only around Salman and Katrina.

Apart from the fresh cinematography, the other major highlight of the film is the music of A. R. Rahman. Though this time the magic of “Taal“ is missing and the music needs time to grow on the listener. Two songs score over all the others with “Tu Hi Meri Dost Hai” being the best. The songs may not be that entertaining for the Indian audience as they are designed giving more stress on Western Arrangements. Honestly I also cannot rate this as one of Rahman’s best as i was expecting much more from the combination of Rahman & Ghai.

In few words, I again found the “Golden Touch of Subhash Ghai” missing in this. But if you are a Salman-Katrina fan then you will surely enjoy their lovable screen presence together.

Rating : 2 / 5

After a long time, here is a movie which raises a serious question that “Whether the youth should be made familiar with the ugly part of the history of a nation or not?.”  Writer-Director Shonali Bose certainly deserves praises for choosing this kind of uncommon topic for her film. And she even deserves bigger applause to make a film on the trauma faced by a community which she doesn’t belong to by birth. “Amu” is a movie based on the Sikh Riots which were witnessed in New Delhi after the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, then, the world famous Prime Minister of the Country.

 

Normally you expect movie on such burning topic coming from the people of the victim community like “Maachis” directed by Gulzar, who belongs to a Sikh background. He could easily relate and understand the problem faced by Punjab due to the terrorist movement at that time, which was visible in his widely acclaimed movie.  But to my amazement the brilliant agony and pain of the riots, expressed in “Amu”, comes from a person who is a Bengali. May be she had some relationship with the happening in any way but this is a pure example of how a human heart can feel the pain suffered by another human irrespective of any community differences.  I was awestruck after viewing the film and couldn’t believe how intelligently the subject was handled by the writer and director.

 

The movie is about a small girl whose parents are killed in the Sikh riots and then she is adopted by a Bengali family. She is living with the family abroad and now when she has turned into a young lady, she gets a chance to visit Delhi for a family function. Coming back to the city she feels somehow attached to the surroundings and finds it strange. With the help of her friend she discovers her past and comes to know the ugly history of the city which everybody is trying to hide from the youngsters. Interestingly the movie is about riots, but there are only few scenes showing the angry and mad crowd, instead the director emphasizes on the victims and people who unknowingly participated in the happenings and regret doing it till now. Not going into it politically, the director gives indication to many incidents of that time, which are still considered controversial.

 

It is really remarkable that in a film based on riots there are only few scenes of actual killings, yet you can strongly feel the torture realistically. The movie was allowed a Censor Certificate in India after several cuts and it could only manage an unpublicized release due to reasons unknown. Now it is released on DVD with some extra features related to the making of the movie too.  Coming back to the question the movie raises, I would suggest that the youth of a nation should be made familiar to both the good and bad past of a country as that would make them think better about their own future and about the path they have to choose.

 

The movie is a must watch for all those who were part of that tough time in Delhi and it’s an even  more essential watch for all those who have just read about it, as it is very close to the reality which could have been avoided. A well made movie which deserves a standing ovation for choosing the unconventional subject and executing it brilliantly.

 

Directed By Shonali Bose

Starring : Konkona Sen, Yashpal Sharma, Brinda Karat, Ankur Khanna, Loveleen Mishra & more.