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Best Child Psychology Films ever made (10+1list)

Best Child Psychology Films ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Child Psychology Films ever made: From birth to adolescence, the period loosely termed as our ‘childhood’ seems to be the most important chapter of our human life when seen from the point of view of a psychologist. Make no mistake, your nature, personality, Child-Psychology-Filmshabits, characteristics, hobbies, passions and fears all have their seeds deep embedded in your youth!

And thus Child Psychology is not only a significant subject for the scholars but an equally important concern for the parents if they really want to know their children and nurture them, love them and raise them in the best way possible.

There are many movies that have tried to get an insight into a child’s mind, the world from a kid’s perspective, an effective way of portraying their innocence, their emotions and the unconditional love they seek and share. But only a few films have honestly dealt with the various sensitive problems a child faces while growing up!

And so here we are with the Best Child Psychology Films ever made. Watch and if possible learn!

10. Broken (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8AmM54kf1M

Child-Psychology-Films

For children violence in any form (even if they are only the observer) has a huge impact on them. It robs their innocence and makes them feel in a way ‘broken’.

It’s about a young girl, her family and her neighborhood and how her life changes after witnessing certain violent events.

A highly engaging British film directed by Rufus Norris, humorous yet intense; superb acting by Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Lily James!

9. Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn_2Ie_jtX8

Child-Psychology-FilmsChildren are so prone to academic pressure from such a small age, strict parents and rigid school regimes doesn’t allow them to discover their passion, face their problems and overcome them.

Directed by Aamir Khan (and Amole Gupte uncredited), the movie brilliantly explores the mind of an imaginative child Darsheel Safary and probably the best teacher-child relationship I have seen on screen!

8. What Maisie Knew (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHHt5eYl95c

Child-Psychology-FilmsDivorces are always a painful affair for the adults but it is the children who really suffer.

Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, an emotional film from the perspective of a young girl who is caught right in the middle of her parent’s bitter custody battle.

Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Steve Coogan and Onata Aprile as the tormented girl Maisie who knew … 

7. Mean Creek (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZESQyJX_pis

Child-Psychology-FilmsBulling has always been a serious issue specially among children.

But in this case a bully is being lured to a trip into the woods – a planned revenge from one of his earlier victims. But the problem with young children is that they don’t know where to stop!

Directed by Jacob Estes, this is a highly underrated yet brilliant movie and one of the best insight into teen-psychology!

6. The Hunt (2012)

Jagten (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK9cO7QN8Ak

Child-Psychology-FilmsMinds of children sometimes play cruel tricks and their one innocent playful lie – may be it’s just a game for them but it can certainly ruin the life of an adult forever!

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, the Danish movie touches a sensitive subject where a young girl’s false account of a molestation story turns a Kindergarten teacher’s life upside down! A superb drama brilliantly performance by Mads Mikkelsen.

5. Ordinary People (1980)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdjlLq1tqmU

Child-Psychology-FilmsChildren react to death of their close ones in most unexpected ways, their pain can often turn into guilt that eventually leads to strain and emotional instability.

Directorial debut of Robert Redford, a film that dares to explore the complexity of relations within a family after the death of their older son. Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton at their very best.

4. Lord of the Flies (1963)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtzU3gfLV3M

Child-Psychology-FilmsIn the complete absence of adults how does the children act, what are their priorities and instincts?

Directed by Peter Brook, this film is a savage case-study of a group of young survivors of a plane crash and what they do to survive and declare their dominance over one another!

Based on the famous book by William Golding, undoubtedly one of the best works on child psychology till date. Though as in most cases, the book is much better than the film!

3. Children of Heaven (1997)

Bacheha-Ye aseman (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqxvZeQsVzY

Child-Psychology-FilmsIranian directors are globally acclaimed for their children oriented dramas, simple stories and absolutely brilliant performances and this film by director Majid Majidi is no exception.

A young boy (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) has lost the shoes of his little sister (Bahare Seddiqi) and he is determined to find them! A film that explores a child’s unconditional love and devotion!

2. The 400 Blows (1959)

Les quatre cents coups (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i89oN8v7RdY

Child-Psychology-FilmsA childhood without the care and affection of the loved ones (specially parents) is the worst suffering for a child.

Directorial debut of François Truffaut, the acclaimed French director tells the story of a neglected mischievous young boy (Jean-Pierre Léaudwho is hungry for love and affection.

This film starts The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, the epic collaboration between the director and actor which includes in total five films – four features and one short.

1. Pather Panchali (1955)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr4yNlLZ-uI

Child-Psychology-FilmsA poor family from a rural Bengal-village struggling for a better life but does kids really get affected by poverty? They seem to find happiness in the midst of the most simple and unexpected surroundings!

Directorial debut of Satyajit Ray, the first part of the acclaimed Apu Trilogy which deals with the innocence of a child’s mind and his attachment to his family!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The Reflecting Skin (1990)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxlnDRqPUXE

Children are often very possessive of people whom they look up to or admire, especially their elder brothers and sisters. And they also have a vivid imagination!

Directorial debut of Philip Ridley, this brilliantly shot movie is about a young boy who is convinced that the woman his brother loves is actually a vampire. It’s a dark thriller that perfectly captures the vulnerability of a young mind.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

written by Souranath Banerjee

JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival 2016, it’s happening right now, right here and it’s a heaven for film lovers!

And this time MAMI had one of the most grand Opening Ceremony ever!

The Venue:

Mumbai, October 20, 2016: Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star kicked off its 18th edition with a grand ceremony at the iconic Royal Opera House as world-renowned filmmakers, talent and 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the city’s very own film festival.

The Royal Opera House is the last standing Baroque building in Mumbai. The royal family of Gondal – the owners of the venue – have worked towards ensuring the complete restoration of this centre under the watchful eye of conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah. The iconic structure has a long standing association with art, literature, theatre, music, and has hosted operas and live performances of many celebrated artists.

The stars:

Bollywood came in full support at the 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016 Red Carpet which was attended by Amitabh 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Poonam Dhillon, Ayan Mukerji, Vinod Chopra, Genelia Dsouza, Shabana Azmi , Zoya Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Shobha De,  Rajeev Samant,  Reema Kagti, Ashutosh and Sunita Gowariker, Huma Quershi, Rahul Bose, Harshvardhan Kapoor,  Kunal Kapoor, Nandita Das, R Balki, Abhishek Kapoor, Mini Mathur, Imran Khan, Diya Mirza, Richa Chaddha,  Abhay Deol, Vicky Kaushal and many more.

Jacqueline Fernandez hosted the event. Also present were Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Co-Chairperson Kiran Rao and other 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Board of Directors including Anurag Kashyap, Rohan Sippy, Riteish Deshmukh, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Star quotes:

Mrs. Nita Mukesh Ambani, Festival Co-Chair said, “We are all privileged to be here at the resurrected Royal Opera House in its new avatar, a quintessential Mumbai Icon that has been lovingly brought to life for all of us. We really could not have asked for a more befitting venue to open this festival. In the true tradition of the Mumbai, Jio MAMI continues to delight us and surprise us.  Each year they are raising the bar higher and higher for themselves. The festival has put together a truly 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016incredible program and a stellar line-up of films this year. Today is my proud privilege to announce and introduce a new category of award- ‘The Jio MAMI Award for Excellence in Digital Narrative Content’. Through this award we want to discover and celebrate, the talent and potential of our youth. This award will be presented from next year onward. We hope this award will encourage young talent to reimagine their creative promise and take Indian cinema to newer and greater 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016heights, especially in the digital space. Jio MAMI is of Mumbai, by Mumbai and of Mumbai.”

Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India said, “Mumbai Film Festival stands out as a more celebratory event than a ceremonial one. It celebrates great stories and serves as a podium for young talent. In our third year of association with MAMI, our endeavour is to make world-class cinema an accessible and organic experience to the people of Mumbai – a city with deep roots in cinema and its 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016history.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said, “The 18th Edition of the festival will celebrates stories and cinema traditions from around the world. We hope that people enjoy this film feast.”

Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Dazzled by the elegance and grandeur of the Opening Ceremony of the festival at the Royal Opera House. At one point I think I was not even breathing. Over 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016500 film lovers ringing in the festival for 2016. It was a dream come true.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema-India’ was presented to Director and screenwriter Sai Paranjpye by Mrs. Jaya Bachchan. Paranjpye has won numerous awards, both National and International for her writing and films. She was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2006 and has served on numerous juries and has been the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema-India, Filmmaker and Screenwriter Sai Paranjpye said, “It is wonderful to see the program being made here, encouraging new directors and women directors. I really feel privileged to receive this award from Mrs. Jaya Bachchan 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016in the magnificent Royal Opera House.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema- International’ was presented to Chinese Filmmaker, Jia Zhangke known for his cinematic representation of his country’s post-Mao and post-globalization cultural history. His recent films A Touch of Sin, 2013; Mountains May Depart, 2015), has offered a unique perspective on a transitional generation whose commonplace lives evoke universal resonance. The award to Jia Zhangke was presented by Actor Aamir Khan.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema- International, Chinese Filmmaker Jia Zhangke said, “It is the first time I am coming to Mumbai and India and really thankful to MAMI film festival and the film fraternity.  No matter if its China or India, we have really good 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016audience and we should continue to produce good movies for them.”

Also present at the Opening Ceremony were the esteemed jurors of India Gold section – Head of Jury Reha Erdem, Mychael Danna, Stephanie Zacharek, Yonfan and Tomasz Wasilewski. Head of International Competition Jury, Miguel Gomes was present along with other jurors Tala Hadid, Chris Mcdonald, Anurag Kashyap and Christine Vachon.

The special guests of the evening were nine delegates from Bhutan who were especially flown down to Mumbai to experience this 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016festival. The Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications – Mr. Dasho Karma W Penjor, Librarian, Department of Information and Media – Mr. Thinley Dorji, Assistant Information and Media, Department of Information and Media- Mr. Phub Wangdi, and other members from the Bhutan Film Association were present to grace the evening.

Four-time National Award winner, Shankar Mahadevan gave a mesmerising performance at the opening ceremony!

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

Dil Chahta Hai – the film that redefined friendship

Dil Chahta Hai – the film that redefined friendship.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood since it’s early days, has always been an expert in portraying ‘romanticism’ on celluloid, the classic ‘love story’, a specialty that has been experimented and mastered through years of relentless practice.

But then, when it comes to ‘friendship’ being the primary focus of a film, they would first try to convince you with either ‘love-triangles’ Dil-Chahta-Hai-posteror ‘brothers-separated-in-their-childhood-but-later-united-to-avenge’ kinda concepts!

If not, then you will have to choose from films like Chashme Buddoor (1981), Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) or Andaz Apna Apna (1994) which somehow aren’t primarily made to celebrate ‘friendship’.

And when you are still not convinced, the memorable song ‘yeh dosti hum nehi todenge’ would be played ceremoniously from our favorite film Sholay and the topic of ‘friends and friendship’ will be closed then and there.

Well, that was the situation before 2001.

In the year 2001, a film Dil Chahta Hai was made and it not only won the National Award for that year but also redefined the concept of friendship in Indian Cinema forever.

Super-talented writer/director Farhan Akhtar‘s first film, who later turned out to be a brilliant actor, producer and singer as well!

Film trailer for a quick recap.

The film Dil Chahta Hai, a comedy-drama, is based on three friends whose friendship is tested as they go through a period of transition in their lives. From the enjoyable, carefree college days to accepting responsibility and trying to deal with their jobs and relationships with their recently-earned maturity.

The film was so unique not only as a young and fresh concept, but also for it’s innovative overall treatment.

The leads characters – Akash (Aamir Khan), Sid (Akshaye Khanna) and Sameer (Saif Ali Khan); they as individuals and also their superb chemistry in-between themselves were undoubtedly the life of the film.

Three friends, a sudden plan, and a long drive to Goa; since Dil Chahta Hai, such road-trips have become a trend for the youth of India!

And then of course, their three love affairs – Shalini (Preity Zinta), Tara (Dimple Kapadia) and Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni), who creates enough drama in their lives but also in a way completes them.

A trend-setter in many ways, the film revived Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna’s career, helped Dimple Kapadia to re-establish herself as a powerful actress, made composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as famous as they should be, and most importantly opened the gates for innumerable friendship-oriented films to be made.

Jhankaar Beats (2003)Rang De Basanti (2006), Rock On!! (2008), 3 Idiots (2009), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), Delhi Belly (2011), Kai po che! (2013) and even Go Goa Gone (2013) and Grand Masti (2013) and many other Bollywood films that kept on exploring (mostly exploiting) ‘friendship’ with the same ‘three friends bonding’ formula.

Dil-Chahta-Hai-posterDil Chahta Hai, when it released was a decent commercial success, specially among the urban younger generation (i believe the film’s primary target audience).

And the critics applauded its sensitivity too.

The film Dil Chahta Hai though coated with enough comedy, is actually a pretty matured film that sheds a very realistic perspective on growing up and being capable of respecting other’s sentiments.

But the best part of the film is neither the story, or the brilliant performances nor the complete set of catchy songs; it’s actually the little funny situations here and there and the perfectly timed dialogues to complement them!

Hum cake khane ke liye kahin bhi jaa sakte hai

Aaj Pooja, kal koi dooja

Ya toh dosti gehri hai … ya yeh photo 3D hai

Perfection ko improve karna mushkil hota hai

These and many more such hilarious dialogues are the first things that come to our mind when we think of Dil Chahta Hai, and they only make the film such fun to watch every single time.

If somebody, new to Bollywood, would ask me to recommend one single film that he/she needs to watch – I would definitely suggest Dil Chahta Hai. Bollywood at its best!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.india-forums.comwww.filmycurry.com.

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘Zindegi jeene ke doi tarikke hote hai, ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardash karte jao. Ya phir zimmedari uthao usse badalneki’. 

If translated – ‘There are just two ways to live life. First, let whatever is happening to continue, keep enduing it. OR else take responsibility to change it.’

rang-de-basanti-poster2Similarly, there are two ways to make films too. First, to accept the general trend as they exist and make a similar one. Or to take upon the responsibility and create something unique!

Rang De Basanti (RDB) released in 2006 – story by Kamlesh Pandey and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is one such special film that made Indian Cinema proud.

Starring Aamir KhanSiddharthKunal KapoorSharman JoshiSoha Ali KhanAtul KulkarniAlice Patten and Madhavan (guest appearance); and then the talented supporting cast Waheeda RehmanAnupam KherKiron Kher and Om Puri.

Music by legendary A.R. Rahman who took three years to compose for this one particular film. 

rang-de-basanti-poster4With such impressive star cast and epic musical score, of course RDB was a huge box-office success. The film also won the National award for the most Popular Indian Cinema along with numerous other awards (Filmfare, IIFA, ZeeCine etc).

And on top of that, it was also send as India’s official entry for the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

But apart from being just a blockbuster, award-winning, popular film, RDB also managed to do something very rare which hardly any Indian cinema have ever accomplished before – it communicated with the audience, specially with the youth of our country!

Rang De Basanti is probably the only Indian film that initiated such significant level of political awareness, sense of patriotism and social awakening in the minds of our younger generation.

rang-de-basanti-poster5After the release of RDB, young minds of our country (mostly students) who earlier were never bothered about politics or any such civic causes became socially responsible and took active interest in discussions regarding national problems like corruption, bureaucracy and political injustice.

Soon full fledged youth activism started – not only through the internet blogs but the students actually took to the streets to protest on public interest issues.

A perfect example is the Jessica Lall Murder Case, where people protested against the initial court judgement by a silent rally – a candlelight vigil at New Delhi’s India Gate exactly the same way as shown in RDB!

rang-de-basanti-poster3Thankfully though our younger generation was clever and responsible enough not to murder some politician while emotionally aping the film till the end.

But importantly, the message which they took home from the film was that of ‘No country is perfect, it has to be made perfect.’

And the brilliance of the script and the filmmaker is that this message wasn’t delivered in a preachy manner. It was cleverly communicated by a bunch of laid back fun-loving college guys who initially didn’t care much about their future; who were only interested in drinking beer and racing bikes, watching films and eating out (just like any other college kid).

rang-de-basanti-poster7The young crowd of India could very easily connect themselves to these naive and vibrant characters of the film. They spoke a language that the youngsters understood and could relate to.

But then, when due to some tragic events these characters in the film were shaken from their easy-going lives and when they felt a soul stirring sense of responsibility towards their country – the young Indian audience felt the same and experienced the same prick of conscience.

rang-de-basanti-poster1‘A generation awakens’ was the tag line of the film and from the film’s posters to it’s media partners (CocaCola, LG, msn, Airtel, Provogue) – everything related to the film and it’s promotion were focused on that tag line itself.

Such was the power of Rang De Basanti that after watching the film former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, used the line ‘Aag hai mujhmen kahi’ (There is a fire somewhere within me) which is a popular lyric from one of the film’s song.

Almost 10 years have passed by since it was released and still Rang De Basanti remains one of the most influential films in the history of Indian Cinema.

Margarita, with a Straw (2014)

Margarita, with a Straw review.

My Ratings: 4.2/5.

Good news for the cinema-lovers.

Shonali Bose the director of Amu (2005) is back (almost after a decade) with her second film Margarita, with a Straw.

Co-directed by Nilesh Maniyar, the film Margarita, with a Straw is probably one of the best made films you will see this year. 

Margarita-with-a-StrawStory of a college-going girl named Laila (Kalki Koechlin) who is a talented lyricist and a gifted chess player; a girl who is not afraid to fall in love, even to explore outside the stereotypical norms of our society; who is determined to live life in her own way.

And also, Laila is permanently on a wheelchair, a young girl with cerebral palsy.   

Margarita, with a straw is one such rare cinema that treats a sensitive topic of disability with the right proportion of sympathy, dignity and sentimentality. Never goes over-the-top, so natural and intuitive, very emotional yet perfectly balanced.

And what a brilliant performance by Kalki Koechlin! Her innocence, her vulnerability, her dialogue delivery, her body language, expressions, her smile – she is the reason to watch this film.

All the other actors also did great – Revathy as Laila’s mom, Sayani Gupta as Laila’s girlfriend deserves special mention. 

Margarita-with-a-Straw-posterResul Pookutty comes in for sound design, great script, captivating performances and overall the joy of watching a good cinema.

A comparison with Aamir Khan‘s Taare Zameen Par (2007) is inevitable i guess.

The challenges and the determination to overcome these obstacles by a dyslexic kid Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary) in a certain way seems similar to that of Laila’s struggle to fit-in but of course due to the age difference of the characters their perspectives and needs are completely different.

And speaking of ‘needs’ and desires, Margarita, with a straw is probably the only Indian film that dares to explore the sexual urges of a disabled person and also makes us realize that their attractions and infatuations are in no ways different from any of us.

A 100 min film with an extraordinary first half, a good second half and a bit pretentious ending. Overall a must watch.

 

Dharam Sankat Mein (2015)

Dharam Sankat Mein review.

My Ratings: 1.5/5.

Imagine OMG: Oh My God! (2012) without the unique storyline, the innovative dialogues and Akshay Kumar.

Imagine PK (2014) with only it’s preachiness but no bhojpuri speaking Aamir Khan or sexy Anushka Sharma or the cool music to add fun to the film.

Unfortunately that’s Dharam Sankat Mein for you.

dharam-sankat-mein-poster1Paresh Rawal (the anti-dharmic family man) and his sarcastic comments on religion and scrupulous God-men are kept intact in this film (though his one-liners are not so well-written/funny as it was in OMG: Oh My God!).

And then Annu Kapoor and an overdramatic Naseeruddin Shah is being added but underutilized. Sadly enough, somewhere down the lane all these superb actors become victims of a poor script.

But again i have to admit the basic story line of the film sounds interesting though.

dharam-sankat-mein-poster2Dharampal (Paresh Rawal), a man who is by birth a muslim but brought up by a Hindu family tries his best to adopt to both the religions to achieve his goals. Nawab Mehmood Nazeem Ali Shah Khan Bahadur (Annu Kapoor), his neighbor gives him a helping hand.

A plot that could have been easily built up into something good but instead it turned out to be an illogical, repetitive and highly predictable film.

Only a hand-full of dialogues and a few comic scenes generates laughs in the cinema hall, specially the ones between Paresh Rawal and Annu Kapoor (such talented actors!).

Cinematographer turned director Fuwad Khan for his debut film had the right intentions, a good plot and a great casting. Better script and execution would have helped a lot. 

A comedy with high morale but low entertainment value.

Best of Bollywood 2014.

Best of Bollywood 2014.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

It’s time to ride the flashback roller coaster in search of some meaningful cinema in Bollywood that released in the year 2014.

The phase ‘meaningful cinema’ itself is debatable since everyone interprets cinema in their own way. For me a film that successfully walks the thin line between quality content and entertainment always wins the race.

So, let the race begin.

1. Queen

queen-posterMost entertaining film of the year and an award-winning performance by Kangana Ranaut.

(Click for the film review)

Girl power punched with fun and friendship.

Awesome music by Amit Trivedi, Vikas Vahl’s superb direction – a great story of a girl who learns to live her life Queen style!

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGC6vl3lzf0

2. Highway

highway-posterBrilliant performance by Alia Bhatt – so natural and spontaneous that she has even managed to eclipse a much senior actor like Randeep Hooda.

(click for the film review)

The film takes you in a tour of the whole North India; the combination of Imtiaz Ali’s direction and A.R.Rahman’s soulful music – a treat for film lovers.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o66nNnGZ5Rg

3. Haider

Haider-poster

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider is a film that doesn’t shy off from it’s attempt to show the real Kashmir (set around 1995), the daily agony of the locales and their struggle to survive the police, the military and the numerous violent groups inflicting terror.

(click for the film review)

A combination of Hamlet and Kashmir that is definitely worth your time.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xakmvJ0WPa4

4. Ankhon Dekhi

ankhon-dekhi-posterThis film deserves a lot more appreciation, a beautiful story of a man with a strange conviction – he wants to believe only what he sees with his own eyes!

Rajat Kapoor skillfully directs this family drama and Sanjay Mishra gives the best performance of his life.

A rare gem – entertaining and thoughtful cinema.

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

5. City Lights

Citylights-posterAfter the National Award winning film Shahid, (director) Hansal Mehta and (actor) Rajkummar Rao comes together with yet another promising film.

(Click for the film review)

A remake of the British film Metro Manila, uncomfortably real and raw, the film forces us to look at poverty and despair from disturbing proximity.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

6. Ugly

Ugly-poster

Anurag Kashyap‘s Ugly is a thriller that revolves around the kidnapping of a little girl and the rigorous search that follows. A nasty tale of mayhem, greed and corruption that doesn’t spare anybody – no one comes out clean and innocent.

(Click for the film review)

Probably the most dark film recently made in Bollywood.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

7. PK

pk-poster

The much awaited film PK is the latest Aamir Khan flick directed by none other than Rajkumar Hirani; a blockbuster that seems to have broken all the records in box-office collection.

(Click for the controversial film related article)

A light-hearted comedy with an important social message! A film surely worth a watch.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

8. Miss Lovely

Miss-lovely-posterThe underground sleazy film industry of the 1980’s is never been explored before in such gritty details.

Ashim Ahluwalia (the director) has captured the dark underbelly of the C grade industry with brilliant realism.

Anil GeorgeNawazuddin Siddiqui and Niharika Singh have all given superb performances.

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzoAOoHdACk

9. Filmistaan 

filmistaan-posterA fresh take on the popularity of Bollywood and also the India-Pakistan tension.

(Click to see the film review)

Filmistaan deals with pretty sensitive issues but always with a divine comic touch.

Great acting performances overall; especially the dynamic and hilarious Sharib Hashmi.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0LWnz8Ut0

10. Children of War

Children-of-War-posterHistory often gets blurred with time but such courageous films revive them and voices the truth.

(Click to see the film review)

The film successfully recreates the horrific crimes orchestrated by Pakistan over the Bangladeshi (Bengali) people in the pre-independence era of Bangladesh in 1971. Great effort by director Mrityunjay Devvrat.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzIa0wYfUwU

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch)

+1. Mary Kom

Mary-kom-poster

Mary Kom, the biographical film on a farmer’s daughter from Manipur, who become a boxer and creates history by being the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.

(Click to see the film review)

Directed by debutant Omung Kumar and produced by Snajay Leela Banshali – one of Priyanka Chopra‘s best performance till date.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzIa0wYfUwU

And some honorary mentions are Finding FannyMardaaniKya Dilli Kya Lahore2 StatesBhoothnath ReturnsDedh IshqiyaHolidayHawaa HawaaiLakshmi and of course Sulemani Keeda

PK or Boycott PK – that is the question?

PK or Boycott PK – is that really a question?

written by Souranath Banerjee.

I originally planned to write a review on PK (the latest Aamir Khan, Rajkumar Hirani blockbuster), a light-hearted comedy with an important social message; though i felt the same message was conveyed in a much better way in Umesh Shukla‘s OMG: Oh My God! a couple of years back.

Then again i liked PK and especially Amir Khan’s exceptional performance.

But to my surprise i stumbled upon the fact that some people recently took the social media with the sole intention to convince others to boycott the film!

On Twitter and Facebook, the hashtag, #BoycottPK is used for such propaganda. They are the so called ‘Hindu fundamentalists‘ who are crying foul about the “portrayal of Hindus” in the film; some of them even accused PK of promoting ‘love-jihad’!

According to these religious guardians of our society the film PK insults Hindus and Hinduism. They also claim that just because the other communities – the Muslims and Christians are generally more aggressive in their forms of protest – the Hindus are repeatedly made the soft target of such religious slanders.

It is also blamed that Lord Shiva is specifically being insulted in the film as referring to the comic sequence where a man dressed as Lord Shiva is worshipped and also being chased by the character PK as he mistook this man to be the real God himself.

Then again some others point out that a blooming love story between an Indian girl and a Pakistani boy (as shown in the film) is spreading a wrong message and probably even encouraging Love Jihad!

FIR has been launched against the team of ‘PK’, against the lead actor, director and the producers. A plea to ban PK on the grounds of religious sentiments being hurt and picturing nudity was also being made which was very recently rejected by the Supreme Court.

Wow! Is this really happening?

Though such accusations and allegations are both surprising and irritating but still one should listen to their perspective as well (or else down the line we will be called the next fanatics). After all, in our free, secular, democratic country everyone is entitled to state their own opinion and are allowed to voice their grudges and views no matter how doltish they may sound.

For me a film should firstly be treated only as a form of entertainment. And the huge box office collection (more than 50 crore in the first weekend) simply proves that PK is VERY much entertaining.

Then again as many good films often does, PK highlights some social issues, especially the corrupted ‘business-side’ of all the religions, and attempts to unmask the con God-men or ‘dongibabas’ (unfortunately to be found in every religion) who exploit innocent people both financially and emotionally. PK emphasizes that we should love and protect our one and only creator, our God and not our individual religions.

And the good thing about PK is that it’s not at all preachy, the film offers a comical take on these serious issues of our society and still has a huge impact on the audience.

It is such an irony that a film like PK with a strong message against religious biasses should fall prey to such bigoted religious controversies.

As a sensibly religious guy who also likes to watch films, I humbly request the people (with accusation lists) to please watch the film again but this time with a broader mindset.

I am sure these accusers, at least many of them are not really ‘religious fanatics’ as many newspapers and news articles tag them to be. I think they are simply sensitive people who are soft in their hearts as well as in their heads.

In the style of Rajkumar Hirani‘s earlier films they all need ‘jaddu-ki-jhappis’ and ‘thank you’ cards tagged with colorful flowers.

Let us all remember that God is above all religions and all we can ever do is pray for peace and harmony; and keep watching films of course.

P.S. – Did you guys take into account the free additional publicity PK is getting from these ‘BoycottPK’ groups ?! (just a thought).

 

A few articles which consist of the various tweets that both accuses and supports the film and the supreme court verdict:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/aamir-khan-pk-anti-hindu-rajkumar-hirani-twitter-boycottpk-wesupportpk/1/408199.html

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/supreme-court-rejects-plea-to-ban-aamir-s-pk-says-just-don-t-watch-it-575874