Tag Archives: Film

Movie Review: Satyagraha – It’s Just Okay!

By Shankar Venkatraman

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Satyagraha – reminder of the “Lokpal” Andolan!!! Some good insights in “what could have transpired behind the scenes of Anna Hazare hunger strike”, great use of technology with focus on Social Media Marketing, minimal ‘gyaanbaazi’ though Jha had the platform to rake in ‘n’ number of issues and the brilliance of Bachchan…

Corruption, politics and revolution huh…a poignant and helpless B speaks the angst in the climax “where is the nation headed as there is no one to hear us out…”True indeed as ‘aam junta‘ continues to suffer for there is nobody to listen to them. It is better to forget the civic lessons we’ve had on the freedom and rights fundas!!! The movie takes a dig on almost all aspects – youth to take up a cause with the advent of technology, the games played by the political parties, conscientious citizens who sacrifice their “current” in lieu of a “future” which looks still bleak. A moralistic media (for a change) who speaks on the “need for a change” without unscroupulous means…the tirade against justice continues.

The movie has come at a time when the country is perhaps undergoing the worst economic and social turmoil ever. There has been a complete breakdown of every possible fabric that binds the nation together. The movie limits itself to a small town while addressing that “this is the state of affairs” across the nation. But how far can a common man go to make life better is still unclear! We pay all our taxes right?

Income tax with onions and oil prices going up…30% of our earnings and efforts…are donated to the national and state exchequers for these goons to keep looting us in every plausible way!!!

Road tax with no proper roads…an aam junta is so burdened with his own troubles…where has he got time for such idealist movements??

Devgan is in his usual space (as always in a Prakash Jha movie), Rampal gets wasted, Kareena is poise personified and Amrita is just about okay…Manoj is cheesy and awesome. BiG B-wallah re wallah…check out his eyes, his gait, his downburst…too much!

Go watch it and if possible grab a copy of “Main Azaad Hun” movie – nothing has changed in the last 25 years though.

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लिखते हुए कुछ ख़्वाब से – 1

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– अनघ शर्मा

” जब मोरे राजा पिया गये हैं बगीचा
भौंरा भनर-भनर होये मेरी गुइंयाँ ”
लक-दक करके दामन से झाड़ो तो अनगिनत यादें झड जाती हैं। पर ये भी तो सच ही है कि इतनी आसानी से कभी कोई याद भी नहीं आता। दिली तौर पर याद करना और ज़हनी तौर पर याद करना दोनों अलग-अलग हैं, फिर भी कुछ यादें ज़हन और दिल के बीच कहीं अटकी रहती हैं। उसकी याद भी कुछ ऐसी ही थी, कहीं ज़हन और दिल के बीच सुस्त पड़ी। पर एक कोशिश तो करनी ही थी इसे निकालने की। सो ये तय हुआ कि यादों के तोशखाने में से एक रजाई निकाली जाये। फिर रात भर कोई याद ओढ़ो। पुरानी याद की धुंधली गंध रिसते-रिसते दिल के तहख़ाने में बैठ जायेगी। यूँ एक कहानी के जन्म की बात होगी …… शर्त ये कि पैदाइश तक रजाई तोशखाने में वापस न रखी जाए।

उसकी तो पूरी कहानी ही शर्तों पे टिकी हुई थी।
पहली शर्त ये की …
“उसे उसके असली नाम से बुलाया जाये न कि लोक-प्रचलित धीमरी से ”
दूसरी ये की …….
“वो कहाँ से है ये कोई न जान पाए ”
दूसरी शर्त तो जायज़ है। पर पहली,भला ये भी कोई बात हुई,असली नाम से पुकारें। उसके माँ-बाप या हमारी माँ को छोड़ इक्का-दुक्का ही कोई होगा जो उसका असली नाम जनता होगा। सभी तो उसे धीमरी कह कर बुलाते थे, अब इस नाम में क्या बुराई है भला ?
बुराई है,यह बड़ा व्यक्ति -वाचक है।एक बार लो तो तमाम दुनिया जान जाये। सो असली नाम छद्म पहचान का काम करेगा। न लिखने वाले के मन पे ही कोई बोझ और न उसके ही मन पर।
कई बार बड़ी बहन से कहा तुम ही लिख मारो उसकी कहानी। किस्से-कहानियों में तुम्हारा हाथ सधा हुआ है। पूरा न्याय कर पाओगी उस के साथ, जैसे अनुभवी शल्य चिकित्सक के हाथों त्वचा को सिलने में टांका इंच भर भी इधर-उधर नहीं होता, ठीक वैसे ही।
सो हर बार की तरह वही एक जवाब। अरे ! उस पर कहानी लिखना कोई डबल रोटी का टुकड़ा खाने जैसा है क्या ? कि जैम नहीं तो न सही मार्मलेड लगा कर खा लेंगे। ये तो याद है, ठीक नमक की तरह, अगर स्वाद लेना हो तो खुद ही चखना पड़ता है। बाकी मौका-बेमौका, वक़्त-बेवक्त तुम्हें ठोंक-पीट कर दुरुस्त करते रहेंगे। फिर तुम्हारी यारी-दोस्ती भी थी उसके साथ सो तुम्ही लिखो।
अजी क्या ख़ाक दोस्ती थी ? असल नाम तक तो याद नहीं हमें उसका। करो, अब करो दुरुस्त ??
अच्छा याद कर जब वो कोई काम बिगाड़ देती थी तो क्या कहती थीं अम्मा ?
“एक काम भी ठीक से नहीं होता तुझसे, वही हाल है तेरा आँख के अंधे नाम नयनसुख। आँखें है या बुझते दिये, देख के भी नहीं चलती। ”
ये अलग बात है कि नज़र उसकी पाक-साफ़ 6/6 थी।
तो पहली शर्त के लिहाज़ से उसका नाम नैनतारा था।
उसकी जो सबसे स्पष्ट याद है,वही बड़ी धुंधली है। चेहरा-मोहरा, कद-काठी तो अब याद नहीं ढंग से, मगर कुछ याद है तो उसके कॉलर-बोन के गड्ढे। वो इतने बड़े और इतने गहरे थे कि मुझे हमेशा लगता था जैसे दो सूखे हुए तालाब हों, और कभी इनमें बेतवा का साफ़-ठंडा पानी भरा रहता होगा। बेतवा इस लिए की दूसरी शर्त के लिहाज़ से वो ऐसे इलाके से भाग कर आई थी,जो कहीं बेतवा किनारे था।

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

By Ankit Chandra

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Off late, or maybe its an exponential function of getting older, I’ve begun to see more shades of gray in our lives. Not to mention I have a huge trouble differentiating between greens and grays ( I think I am colourblind), but that again, is digression.

The grays I am talking about are absolutely divergent from the simple problems as we used to face. much like the transition from 11th standard’s finding forces of friction between two cubes, to finding the forces of friction between all bodies in a moving cycle.

Earlier it was so simple to point the good vs the evil. God Ram was good, Ravan was evil! it was simple. But then IBN live ran a story saying that in south India, some people actually worshiped Ravan and thought Ram was evil! Even that could have passed off as an exception, if it wasn’t for a wiki article on Indo-china war in 1965. Before that, as most Indians, I thought that the fault was all Chinese. After reading that article, it wasn’t clear who was wrong. Chinese, according to that article, were just trying to protect their territory. Whose fault was it then?

Then I watched Devdas (new one, again). Obviously the hero in the movie, Devdas, was loved by everyone. Poor guy, because of the pain he went through because of Paro leaving him or his father punishing him for everything, he got into drinking problems. Although otherwise a drunkard is considered bad, in this case Devdas won all the sympathy because we all ‘knew’ why he became a drunkard. So then, something becomes despicable only when we judge the act. But as soon as we get to know the reason behind the act, the whole picture turns itself on head, and the character become a hero of a Rs. 30 crore plus movie.

There was this character in this movie. That of Devdas’s bhabhi (sister in law). She comes out in a very sinister portrayal. But I now think that was because the movie doesn’t get into the details of her character. If Devdas had his reasons for turning into a drunkard, she must have hers for turning into a bitch. Maybe if those reasons were shown in the movie (like a disturbed childhood, early rape or whatever is heart wrenching enough), we might not have considered her evil. Assuming her part of story was shown and we looked at her with the same sympathy as Devdas, who was responsible for all the fracas? Whose fault was it anyway?

I think the point that comes out is that there are so many shades of gray that I am bound to get confused in between them (and I almost thought I was colourblind :P) Most of the people in the world are living in the various shades of gray. Let’s be a little more careful the next time we point are fingers ‘knowing’ whose fault it actually was after all.

Review: The Wolverine: The Best We Saw Wolverine on Screen

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By Ankush Kumar

The Trailer and the Movie are worlds apart. This movie feels like a wolverine movie. Do some of the characters come off as cheesy? Yes. Viper is hard to take seriously. But… does the movie deliver?

Its pretty gory for a movie trying to sell toys. It really sets Wolverine up to be almost a zombie. In a sense that if he has his healing factor, you better get creative on how to kill the Mofo. Because it aint going to be easy. We see wolverine dealing with a lot more than he has ever had to deal with in this movie. Losing his healing factor is just one of the many things. PTWS is another.

Jean plays a great role in showing us that Logan is dealing with suicidal thoughts after killing his lover and seeing his professor explode. I guess they actually try to get you to see his personality. Which is hard to do, because at Wolverines truest, he is an IMMORTAL GYPSY.

There is a scene in the beginning of the film that deals with a grizzly… it really makes an effort to get you to understand Logan’s character.

Now… what fans will complain about. Never suits up. Silver Samurai is a Mecha and totally butchered the origin. Some fight scenes are cut short while some drama character developing scenes seem to drag on (which is one of my favorite parts about this movie). And the movie just does not feel like a superhero flick. It feels like a superhero drama, which is something I will not fret about.

Darren Aronofsky was suppose to direct this originally.. I am not sure if he had any influence on the script but… I could see him directing this movie. It was dark, and violent, there was blood on claws! (Never thought I would be excited about that).

So… this was the best Wolverine we will get on screen for a while. Hugh was pushing for this kind of a movie, he has wanted an almost R rated Wolverine forever; it was his push for Darren Aronofsky to direct it. I have to give Hugh credit for knowing that the fans think Wolverine is a violent, Clint Eastwood type of wander and trying to figure out to be that on screen and still sell toys to kids for Fox’s greedy execs. I think if that is the goal… the team nailed it. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Hangover 3 – The Madness Gets Reviewed

Kartik Kannan reviews the Wolf Pack’s last adventure! The hangover does not seem to have lasted this time!

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Get Drugged, Wake up in a strange place with an animal, one of your comrades missing, and re creating your night story through a treasure hunt with clues, in the underbelly of a hedonistic city- That’s the Hangover template, that after passing through Vegas and Bangkok, decided to chart a different path ( or so we heard in the reviews).

To get prepared, we downed 3 Kamikazes in an hour before we rushed to the theatre and started watching the flick. It helped us do the ROTFL act more naturally, but somewhere deep down, the movie meandered away without a serious plot, and ended pre maturely.

The movie starts with the demise of Alan’s father, and how the family wants Alan to move to rehab, so that the chinks in his brain get ironed. The wolf pack convinces Alan,and accompanies him to the rehab facility, when the predicted twist happens( Its already 15 minutes into the movie, and its about a twist was manufactured). A gang kidnaps the 4 musketeers, and want them to locate Chow, in connection with some unfinished business. 3 days of time to go find Chow, else one of their partners get killed(who’s held hostage).

To find an international criminal in 3 days, that the FBI and Interpol could not, our wolf packs set themselves on this mission, which is as tough as the Indian Cricket team chasing 300+ totals in England. Chow keeps messaging Alan, and they end up finding Chow. Chow takes them on a trip and deceives the trio and that forms the core of the movie. In between there’s time for Alan to meet some one like minded, and a few LOL moments, but just when you think its time for take off, its touch down time, with a mild hint of what looked like a curtain raiser for another wolf pack adventure. That’s what keeps you happy, as you leave the cinema hall.

For a movie that featured Bangkok, in its sequel, you’d expect a ‘happy ending’ to the 3rd part, but you’ve got to do some self service (like get 3 Kamikaze shots nursing a mild hangover) to really get the ‘happy ending’ that the movie should have given!

An Era Passes Away With Rituparno Ghosh!

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We laughed at him because of this dressing sense…made fun of his mannerism because it seemed strange to us…loved his films because they were par excellence…and today, we cry at his passing away at such a young age! Of course, we would have mourned his passing away at any age; simply because, icons such as he are rarest of the rare.

For most of us, Rituparno Ghosh was a butt of ridicule when alive! However, hearing of his sudden death evoked a strange sense of loss in me. My first thought was “Oh no! This is not true!”

rituparno-ghosh1What was in this man that brought out such personal feelings in an otherwise impersonal person like me? Is it because he made path-breaking films? Or, is it the sensitivity he showed towards the female characters in his films? Or, is it because he had the courage to live the life of a non-conformist – something that probably all of us wish to do but are not able to do so?

May be, it is all of these and more that actually made me feel sad. His erudition, his understanding of human nature, his ability to set trends and the fact that he exhibited the chokher-bali-by-rituparno-ghoshkind of potential that Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen did – had kept everyone enthralled and in his grip. The Indian film industry – irrespective of its spatial location – had always been male-centric. He was one of the very few directors who offered splendid roles to women – be it Aishwarya Rai, Indrani Haldar or Ananya Chatterjee.

With Rituparno Ghosh’s death, another era in film-making has passed away! At this point of time, I am reminded of Steve Job’s Stanford Speech of 2005. Therein, he had said that “death is the destination we all share…no one has escaped it…it’s the single-most best invention of life…it’s life’s change agent…it clears up the old to make way for the new…your life is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life….”

Perhaps, great men from all spheres of life think similarly! I SALUTE Rituparno Ghosh for being what he was and for doing what he thought best!

Happy 100th Birthday Bollywood: From a Fan Turned Critic

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Ankush Kumar talks of how Bollywood has taken copying seriously in the name of being ‘inspired’. He though hopes someday the west also will be inspired from our films. Must read.

Assistant Director: Sir we need to make the breakdowns before the film goes on floors!

A trainee assistant talking to his director in the office.

Director: Don’t worry son, it is all in here (signals towards his brain)

Assistant Director: But sir how will we execute the movie, if we don’t have things on paper?

Director: Don’t worry son I can see the entire picture clearly, you go and see if the food has been delivered?

The Assistant Director leaves the chamber and goes back to his cubicle.

Director: Today’s kids. I tell you have a habit of challenging the vision, when will these boys learn? Filmein aise thodi banti hai?

Friend: Bilkul sir, aap toh genius ho, kahan yeh aaj kal ke smartphone generation ke bacche samjhenge.

The director excuses himself, locks himself into another room and is seen directly on the day of the shoot!

On the day of the shoot the entire crew is clueless of what is going to happen? The director walks in, and in a very smooth manner executes almost twenty percent of the movie.

Friend: sirjee aap toh great ho, maan gaye yeh film toh superhit hai.

The director smiles and leaves the set; this process is continued till the shoot is done. The trainee assistant has unlearned everything he was taught in his film school! He is baffled by the execution of the film.

The above written script of course is fictious but the bitter reality is that for a very long period of time this has been the norm when it comes to making Hindi language films. Today though the trend is changing, we have filmmakers who follow the right pattern in executing a movie, the one thing though that hasn’t changed though is ‘getting inspired from others’. For time immemorial directors have had the right DVD’s in their hands, and have executed movies accordingly. Earlier before the advent of satellite television in our country, our makers blatantly lifted movies from the west, copied their music and made it their own. Since the common man on the road had no access to the original literature, praises were heaped on the talent of these makers.

Times have changed now, we have better access to movies from Hollywood, even the Hindi heartland speaking people have access to movies translated into their language of comfort, and so what do the makers try? Execute movies of other foreign languages and claim it as their own.

Exceptions to the rule do exist too, we do make cinema that is refreshing and original, but that unfortunately can be counted on finger tips. There is a dialogue in the movie Nayak, it said ‘Ek chaprasi se lekar neta tak humare desh mein sab bhrasht ho chuke hai’. This holds unfortunately true for our movies too. ‘Ek film ke poster se lekar us film tak sab copied hai. OOPS! Inspired hai’.

Now as we enter ‘100 years of cinema’ and we have been celebrating this feat for a long time, we should wonder what are we proud of? In the age of ‘Google’ where we have access to the world in nanoseconds, most of our movies are not entirely originals. They say ‘nothing is original in this world, not even GOD’ but that can be the lamest excuse for someone who hesitates in producing features that can be claimed as their own.

They say with age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes the responsibility of doing something sensible, but as we have entered the second decade of the 21st century our makers (barring a few) have actually been churning out more nonsense than ever. The prime difference now though is ‘Their ideas have the stamp of a copyright contract’, they finally have seem to run out of inspiration too!!!

P.S: In a country where our constitution is made by combining the best laws of several other countries, it is quite natural our cinema has been the same. Someday ‘The West’ will get inspired by our movies too!

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