Tag Archives: Amitabh Bachchan

Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Curiosity is an unquenchable thirst of mankind and that is exactly why so many thrillers are being made nowadays. And 2016 has been indeed a thrilling year for Bollywood!

Enough murder mysteries, conspiracies and suspense dramas, be it fictional or based on real events, most of these films have managed to keep us guessing till the end.

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

So without any more introduction, let begin the list of the Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016.

10. Rustom

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L83qMnbJ198

Rustom-poster1959, the story of Rustom Pavri as the decorated naval officer who is accused of murdering his wife’s lover – three shots that shocked the nation!

Directed by Dharmendra Suresh Desai, this is a decent crime drama, a court room suspense thriller that reveals itself in time. 

As expected Akshay Kumar gives a great performance.

9. Madaari

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4s3JmLGLCA

Madaari-posterA war against the government, a fight against corruption, and a man seeking his personal revenge!

A thriller directed by Nishikant Kamat, that tells us the story of a man who has lost his family and blames the corrupt government for his loss and now he is out to take his vengeance. 

Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Shergill makes the film a decent watch.

8. Te3n

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeBCB5ERnps

Te3n-posterA remake of the South Korean thriller Montage (2013), the Bollywood version revolves around a grandfather (Amitabh Bachchan), a cop (Vidya Balan) and an ex-cop turned priest (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) – all desperate to solve a case of kidnapping.

Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, a slow paced yet well articulated thriller that keeps you guessing till the end.

7. Phobia

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBP6rYLfgFE

Phobia-posterA young girl due to some tragic events become agoraphobic – develops a phobia of the outer world. But being indoors also starts taking a toll on her mind.

Innovative storyline, good cinematography, and brilliant performance from Radhika Apte.

Directed by Pawan Kripalani, this is probably the most underrated thriller of this year.

6. Wazir

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdwM7xKOph0

Wazir-poster1A master chess player and a valiant cop become friends but soon they fall prey of some dark conspiracy that threatens to twist their lives forever.

(Click for Review)

Directed by Bejoy Nambiar, this is a thriller that tries it’s best to hold the suspense till the very last scene. Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar at their best.

5. Airlift

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb5xCMbMfZ0

Airlift-posterIn 1990, when Iraq invades Kuwait, almost 170,000 Indians lost their homes and were stranded until one Indian businessmen named Ranjit Katyal managed to rescue them all – and it is the largest and the most successful evacuation mission ever attempted by any country, in the history of the world!

Directed by Raja Menon, this Akshay Kumar starrer is one historical drama that can be well qualified as a ‘thriller’ because of it’s tight suspenseful storyline.

4. Kahaani 2

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez4mXaeSKuk

kahaani2-posterAfter the huge success of Kahaani in 2012, this time director Sujoy Ghosh and actress Vidya Balan has teamed up again to give us another suspense thriller. 

A woman whose daughter goes missing and soon enough she herself is being charged of kidnapping and murder!

Not entirely dependent on logics but then again, a decent entertaining thriller for sure.

3. Pink

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL2TShb6fFs

pink-posterDirected by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, this is a thriller very much in sync with our modern society and it’s issues. 

(Click for Review)

Three girls who were harassed, both physically and mentally, and then wrongly accused of finally got some help from an annoying yet clever retired lawyer.

A thrilling courtroom-drama; and brilliant performances by Tapsee PannuKirti KulhariPiyush Mishra and Amitabh Bachchan.

2. Neerja

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7779JrWy04g

Neerja-posterIn 1986, when Pan Am flight 73 was highjacked the credit of saving  the lives of 359 passengers goes to one courageous Indian girl – Neerja Bhanot.

(Click for Review)

Directed by Ram Madhvani, this is the thrilling biography of Neerja, played superbly by Sonam Kapoor and her heroic story of determination, acuity and sacrifice. 

  1. Raman Raghav 2.0

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq1cEmhVa68

Raman-Raghav-2.0-poster1Raman Raghav, an infamous serial killer from the 1960s comes to life when director Anurag Kashyap join hands with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal to create one of the darkest film of Bollywood ever!

A thriller that doesn’t shy off from getting all gory and uncomfortable, extreme level of violence not exactly suitable for children and the weak hearted.

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

+1. Buddha in a Traffic Jam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkp7br61ixE

Buddha-posterAnd finally a political thriller.

A genre rare in India but this one is an effectively constructed story on the how the poor adivasis of our country are being tortured and exploited in the name of different ideologies and political colours.

Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, starring Arunoday SinghAnupam Kher and Pallavi Joshi the film is surely innovative and different from the regular trend of thrillers. 

Poster courtesy: www.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

Pink (2016)

Pink review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Powerful message in Bollywood style, and yet very entertaining!

My Ratings: 4/5.

‘Perfect film for our society boss, aise film aur banne chahiye yaar’ – these were the exact words of a man sitting in front of me in the cinema hall right after the end titles of the film Pink.

According to an Indian Express Article dated at the beginning of this damini-posteryear, the number of rape and molestation cases in India were recently at it’s peak. Unfortunately it’s a known fact.

Inspite of maximum cases not being reported, in Delhi alone last year (2015) there were six cases of rape and 15 cases of molestation registered every day!

Indian filmmakers have been tackling such grave and challenging social issues for a long time now; portraying them in a sensible manner and creating awareness through films like Ankush (1986), Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980), Damini (1993), Dahan (1998), Bawandar (2000), Grahan (2001) and more.

But then, coming back to the latest release Pink, this movie has somehow managed to sum up all the significant problems of our current Indian society and put them raw on a platter. And furthermore the film also succeeds in reminding us that the solution to these problems are very much within us (basically our mind-set) and can be countered only if we realise and act on it.

The story-line doesn’t seem too complicated at the first glance – three independent working-girls Minal, Falak and Andrea (Tapsee PannuKirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang) get mixed up in a brawl pink-poster1with a group of rich influential guys (Angad BediVijay VarmaRaashul Tandon and Tushar Pandey) who had the intention to sexually harass them. The girls did protest but can they eventually fight back against the corruption and the feudal mentality of our current male-dominated society?

Who will help these girls win their battle for justice? (Hint: an actor named Amitabh Bachchan)

Superb performances by Mr.Bachchan as the cranky lawyer Deepak Sehgal wearing his spooky mask and all, probably one of his best roles in the recent times!

Tapsee Pannu and Kriti Kulhari have also displayed such amazing acting capabilities, subtle yet so natural!

Then of course we have Piyush Mishra as the challenging lawyer
pink-posteragainst Amitabh Bachchan in the dramatic court scenes, always a delight to watch him perform!

Also we have acting stalwarts like Dhritiman Chatterjee and Mamta Shankar in brief yet important roles.

But according to me the true success of Pink is not because of the film’s overall brilliance in the acting department; the real heroes are the writer Ritesh Shah and of course the director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury who has managed to balance such a sensitive topic so well. 

Shantanu Moitra‘s music perfectly complements the film while Shoojit Sircar rocks the show as the creative producer.

A few unnecessary dramatisations and distractions here and there, but overall pink is a film that connects to the audience and shoots it’s message across from a point blank range.

Go watch it.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.com

Best of Bollywood 2015 (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood cinema essentially means films made in Hindi language, generally produced and distributed in and around the Bombay Film Industry.

Last year 2015, according to me, was a good year for Bollywood.

Films, some of them of finest quality have been made or released, which successfully maintained the thin line between aesthetics and entertainment, and kept both the critics and the audience content.

And so, here is the list of Best of Bollywood 2015. Hope you agree with me on this. (If not, then let’s at least disagree on it)

10. Drishyam

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuuX2j14NBg

Drishyam-posterA thrilling tale of a common man who by his intellect and imagination tricked everyone in order to save his family.

Directed by Nishikant Kamat, a south remake starring Ajay DevgnShriya Saran and Tabu.

A thriller that keeps you on the edges of your seat and doesn’t reveal the suspense till the very last shot of the film.

9. Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyX4toD395U

Bajrangi-Bhaijaan-posterA Salman Khan film, that has a realistic story line, enough scope for acting and most importantly high on emotions and less on dramabazi!

Directed by Kabir Khan, this one is about a big hearted man who went all the way to Pakistan to unite a cute little girl (who is also mute) with her parents.   

A perfect family entertainment clubbed with fun-filled sentiments.

8. Tanu Weds Manu Returns

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

tanu-weds-manu-returns-poster1With a double role (playing the sexy Tanu and the tomboyish Datto) Kangana Ranaut yet again shows that she is currently THE best actress in Bollywood.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aanand Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma Tanu Weds Manu Returns guarantees a smile on the audiences face as they leave the theaters. And believe me that’s a huge achievement. 

7. Nh10

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9icNqWlylw

nh10-poster1A perfect romantic trip turns into a nightmare.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Navdeep Singh, this is one hard hitting thriller where a urban woman experiences the brutal face of rural India, as she unintentionally becomes involved in a case of honor killing.

Raw, edgy, gritty and very much realistic, and undoubtedly Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

6. Bajirao Mastani

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHOc-4D7MjY

Bajirao-Mastani-poster2A take on the life of Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, a Maratha general of the early 1700!

(Click for the review)

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, there are rarely any Bollywood films (if any) that are so pleasing to your eyes that the story, content and characters almost get sidetracked by the sheer beauty of each and every frame.

5. Margarita, with a Straw

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

Margarita-with-a-Straw-posterDirected by Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar this is an exceptional film about a young girl with cerebral palsy who is not afraid to fall in love!

(Click for the review)

Kalki Koechlin – her innocence, her vulnerability, her dialogue delivery, her body language, expressions, her smile – she is the reason to watch this film.

4. Talvar

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQNMsw8Ljjc

Talvar-Poster2Directed by Meghna Gulzar, this one is a well researched version of the Noida Double Murder Case of 2008, also known as the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

(Click for the review)

A gripping tale that often makes it difficult for the audience to remember that after all, it’s a fictional representation of the dismal crime and its aftermath.

3. Piku

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeiKUlUUNQ8

piku-poster1Directed by Shoojit Sircar, one of the best entertaining films of the year, emotional, real and so much fun.

(Click for the review)

Amitabh Bachchan as the selfish constipated dad,  Deepika Padukone as the devotedly caring yet tired of taking-care-of daughter and Irrfan Khan as the suitable suitor (perhaps).

2. Titli

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

titliA family whose family-business is car-jacking, often violently abusing the passengers and looting their valuables. The youngest member of this family is named Titli, and this is his story of freedom.

(Click for the review)

Superbly directed by Kanu Behl, the film even got a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival!

  1. Masaan

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVZzYa0MxM8

masaan-posterBrilliantly directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, there is a certain honesty about Masaan that eventually grows on you and within it’s 100 min screen time, the film compels you to relate to it’s characters.

(Click for the review)

Shot in Varanasi, stories and incidents are threaded together like precious little pearls and the thread being the holy Ganges!

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

+1. Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9KAoTQlEWs

mountain-man-poster-1Directed by Ketan Mehta,  a brilliant biopic of Dashrath Manjhi, a man who single-handedly (with only a hammer and a chisel) sliced open the mountain to make a passage through it, reducing the distance from his village to the nearest hospital to minimal.

(Click for the review)

It took him 22 years but he made the impossible possible.

Poster courtesy:  www.bollywoodmdb.com

Wazir (2016)

Wazir review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A superb concept made into an average film.

My Ratings: 3.3/5.

The basic script of Wazir was written as early as in 1994 and later around 2004, the film was supposed to be producer/director Vidhu Vinod Chopra‘s first Hollywood venture, with Dustin Hoffman in the lead!

But then it had to wait for another 12 years to be finally made by director Bejoy Nambiar and released as a Bollywood thriller last Friday. 

The film Wazir has no doubt an innovative concept.

If you have played chess you must be knowing that Wazir (meaning Wazir-poster1the ‘minister’) is the most powerful piece on a chess board and using this as a metaphor the film title has been conceptualized. Actually there are several references of chess being repeatedly associated with the film’s story line.

And then, watching two of the most talented actors of our industry sharing screen space, Amitabh Bachchan (as the old crippled vengeful Pandit Omkarnath Dhar) and Farhan Akhtar (as the traumatized officer of law Daanish Ali) brilliantly complementing each other with their effortless performances is indeed a treat for the audience.

Graceful Aditi Rao Hydari doing the needful while Manav Kaul as always giving his best, and then not to forget the not so demanding cameos by John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh – though overall everyone did hold on to their ends pretty well. 

But unfortunately a cool concept and great star cast doesn’t seem Wazir-poster3to be enough to create a cinema of superlative order.

The story has too many illogicalities that are difficult to ignore, too many convenient routes taken by the script writers (in total nine writing credits including the dialogue writers!), and on top of that the ending becomes predictable after a certain point of time.

May be a bit of more pace/thrill and a tinge of less emotional drama and background songs could have worked better.

Overall a decent first half that drags into a wobbly second half and then an unsurprising ending!

In spite of creditable camera work by Sanu Varghese and appropriate editing by Vidhu Vinod Chopra himself, the film simply doesn’t satisfy you to the fullest.

Hope 2016 brings many more quality films that will eventually quench our thirst for better cinema.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.com

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption.

written by Souranath Banerjee

I have noticed that the police officers in Bollywood are rarely taken seriously, i mean in a realistic manner.

Either they are shown as the corrupt sadistic nuisance with no honor, conscience or sense of duty (generally villain’s sidekicks who will be bashed up by the hero towards the end of the film).

Or else they are fabricated into these caricatured super heroes who can singlehandedly beat up an entire town of bad guys (the likes of DabanggSingham and Rowdy Rathore).

In such glorious history of Bollywood only a few handful films portray a cop in the right perspective; someone who has dignity, honesty, the will to fight against corruption and most importantly a common man with no superhuman powers.

And here’s some of the best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption, a list that celebrates all those real life brave Indian police officers who respects their uniform and we respect them.

Let’s get started.

10. Sehar (2005)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uzJPW7qqxE

Sehar-posterAn uncorrupted cop, Ajay Kumar (Arshad Warsi) when transferred to Uttar Pradesh, clashes with the brutal mafia don Gajraj Singh (Sushant Singh).

Ajay Kumar leads a team of daring officers who took up the mission to stop organized crimes in Lucknow.

Directed by Kabeer Kaushik, the film is a dramatic take based on the real lives of gangster Shiv Prakash Shukla and gallant SSP Arun Kumar. Also watch Pankaj Kapur in a unique role as Prof. Tiwari. 

9. Yeshwant (1997)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yPO2EA_YEE

Yeshwant-posterMaverick, tough and committed Inspector Yeshwant Lohar (Nana Patekar) is the man to watch out for in this film.

Directed by Anil Mattoo, this is a cop who struggles in-between his professional and personal lives; a man who is too straightforward and undiluted for surviving our current work system.

Basically, a one man show for Nana Patekar and a must watch for his superb energetic performance.

8. Gangaajal (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf5mD-Q05_8

Gangaajal-posterSP Amit Kumar (Ajay Devgn) is given the charge of Tezpur police station in Bihar, where law and order is known by the name of a corrupted politician Sadhu Yadav (Mohan Joshi).

But of course the situation changes by the time our strict and honest SP is done with the notorious Yadav gang.

As with most of Prakash Jha‘s films, this one too tries to restore our faith in law, constitution, and democracy by the end of the film.

7. Mardaani (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04E-jHtWrDA

Mardaani-posterA girl goes missing and eventually senior inspector of the criminal branch Mumbai, Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) takes up the case.

Soon she is confronted by the child trafficking mafia kingpin Walt (Tahir Raj Bhasin) who wants her to stop the investigation.

Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, this lady cop drama is one of the pretty realistic sketch of a devoted cop trying to accomplish her duty at any cost.

6. Sarfarosh (1999)

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

Sarfarosh-posterA personal tragedy makes Ajay Singh Rathod (Aamir Khan) to join the police force to fight against terrorism.

And soon famous Pakistan-based Ghazal singer Gulfam Hassan (Naseeruddin Shah) becomes a suspect of Ajay’s hunt for terrorists.

Directed by John Mathew Matthan, this one is a fine crime drama that is portrayed in a very realistic manner, a thriller at its best.  

5. Khakee (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuo5cq2QBcg

Khakee-posterDirected by Rajkumar Santoshi, this is the story of DCP Anant Shrivastav (Amitabh Bachchan), who is responsible to escort a terrorist Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) from Chandangarh to Mumbai.

Though determined to accomplish his mission, he faces tremendous resistance from the terrorist leader Yashwant Angre (Ajay Devgn).

Along with Akshay KumarAishwarya Rai Bachchan and Tusshar Kapoor this one is a cool police drama to consider.

4. Ab Tak Chhappan (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tKzKJko34A

Ab-Tak-Chhappan-posterWith Inspector Sadhu Agashe Nana Patekar is back as the encounter specialist, who believes that its better to eliminate the rouges of our society than taking them into custody.

Directed by Shimit Amin, this is one gritty tale of how the volatile equation between the police and the underworld is maintained.

Probably Nana Patekar’s best performance till date.

3. Shool (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqU4vpL-0LA

shool-posterInspector Samar Pratap Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) is transferred to Motihari, in the Indian state of Bihar along with his wife (Raveena Tandon) and kid.

And there, the officer’s honesty and diligence is tested against the local MLA Bachoo Yadav (Sayaji Shinde).

Directed by Eeshwar Nivas, outstanding performances and the film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

2. Zanjeer (1973)

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

Zanjeer-posterBollywood has never seen such an honest cop story told with such conviction before the release of this super hit film.

The film that made Amitabh Bachchan a super star and gave him the iconic screen name ‘Vijay’!

Along with Jaya BhaduriAjit and Pran, and directed by Prakash Mehra, this film established the well known ‘angry young man’ image!

  1. Ardh Satya (1983)

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

Ardh-satya-posterWhen talking about a lone honest police officer fighting against the odds of the system, this is the first film that comes to my mind!

A newly appointed Sub-Inspector Anant Velankar (Om Puri) wants to make the world a better place but soon finds out the reality of how our system works.

Directed by Govind Nihalani, along with Smita PatilAmrish Puri and Sadashiv Amrapurkar, this is a film that perfectly depicts an honest cop’s humiliation and frustration as he is sucked into the whirlpool of corruption.

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

+1. Black Friday (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

Black-friday-posterThe film (though it’s not exactly a story based on an honest cop’s struggle) shows the thorough investigation process that followed the 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap, one of his earlier films and of course the most controversial one.

A superb thriller and Kay Kay Menon as DCP Rakesh Maria is an absolute delight to watch.

Poster curtsey: en.wikipedia.orgwww.imdb.com, www.koimoi.com/www.filmiclub.com.

Zindagi Ek Safar-Kishore Kumar- Documentary

Experience and discover the journey of Kishore Kumar in this classic rare documentary film called “Zindagi Ek Safar! Kishore Kumar” which chronicles the life and times of the evergreen playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, and scriptwriter on the special occasion of his 86th birth anniversary.Watch this documentary film for excerpts from his friends, family and stalwarts of the Hindi film industry to know more about the story of the irreplaceable and amicable talented star “Late Shri Kishore Da”!

Produced by Sambhu Munshi & Kartik Das

Directed By: Jyoti Prakash Roy

Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, Kishore Kumar was the youngest of the four siblings, the other three were Ashok (the eldest), Sati Devi, and Anoop. He started his career as a chorus playback singer in Bombay Talkies studio.

His singing talent was presented in songs written and composed by well-known names of Bollywood like R. D. Burman, S. D. Burman, Bappi Lahiri, Gulzar, Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Anand Bakshi. The hit songs were picturized on superstars like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dev Anand, Shashi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and many more!

Some of his famous songs include:

“Roop Tera Mastana” – Anand (1969) 
“Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera” – Amanush (1957)
“Khaike Pan Banaras Wala” – Don (1978)
“Pag Ghungroo Baandh” – Namak Halaal (1982)
“Agar Tum Na Hote” – Agar Tum Na Hote (1983)
“Saagar Kinaare” – Saagar (1985)
“Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana” – Andaz (1971)

His notable work as an actor include:
Mr X in Bombay
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Half Ticket
Padosan
Door Gagan Ki Chaoon mein
Dilli Ka Thug
Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi

Featured article from Bollywoodirect. 

Amitabh Bachchan : The Blender of Perfect Combinations

Over the years, we have seen many great actors; we have seen many entertaining actors and have also seen many popular actors in Bollywood. But, nobody has got the attention and limelight for so long and towered over the rest as Amitabh has for much of his 46-year-long innings.

Amitabh Bachchan is certainly the strongest imprint, Bollywood has left in the lives of Indian cinema lovers.  Amitabh Bachchan kept himself evolving and adapting to the times of Bollywood and kept challenging the undefined boundaries of an actor´s limit. He was popular for his “Rebel” characters and also for his romantic styles. But, one thing which has always been ignored about him was his ability to support the other male protagonist of the movies. He played supporting roles with many actors and each time he adapted himself to their style, like with Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and many more. Let’s have a hindsight over his chemistry with his male co-stars.

The Tussle with Muscle Man – Vinod Khanna

Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna were the two giants of Bollywood in the ’70s and worked together in 10 films. Sometimes they played brothers to each other, sometimes friends; and onscreen competition was a bonanza for the audience as it brought the best out of them. The super hit pair delivered five enormously successful and entertaining films together – Hera Pheri (1976), Khoon Pasina (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) Parvarish (1977) and Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978). Even though Amitabh played the lead role in their films, Vinod managed to steal the limelight from him at times with his devastating good looks. While the Big B is a legend, industry naysayers have said that Vinod could have outrun him had he not left the industry at the peak of his career.

Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna -Bollywoodirect

The Superstar who witnessed the Rising star – Rajesh Khanna

The rivalry among the stars is not the talk of today’s Bollywood scenario rather it has been leaving its foot marks since the day one. Decades back, the rivalry between the two superstars – Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan was the hot talk of the town. Rajesh Khanna did only two movies with Amitabh Bachchan and at the two very different point of his career. When Amitabh Bachchan had entered into the industry, Rajesh Khanna was already an established star. As a cancer-stricken patient in Anand, Rajesh Khanna was a delight to watch. Decidedly he had an edge over Babu Moshai, played poignantly by Bachchan. But by the time they appeared together again in Namak Haram, the equations had changed and Amitabh was the new Superstar. But, watching them together in a movie was a delight for the cinema lovers in any period of time.

Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna - Bollywoodirect

The “Do Aur Do Paanch” Combination – Shashi Kapoor

It all started with “Roti Kapda Aur Makaan” and then they worked together in the superhits like Deewar (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Trishul (1978), Shaan (1980), Silsila (1981) and many more. Together they formed, arguably, one of our most popular two-hero combinations ever, from whom the audience allure and box-office expectations was next to only one pair, i.e. Dharmendra and Hema Malini.

Bachchan ji once said that “Shashi Kapoor and I became inseparable in many successful ventures that followed. Leading ladies would shy away from our projects by proclaiming that there would be nothing left for them to do once SK and AB were there together.” Though both worked a lot in the ’70s and ’80s, the clear secret of their collaboration was their obvious off-screen comfort zone coming up trumps on-screen as well. Their relaxed demeanor at work was there for all to see.

Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor- Bollywoodirect

Partners in Crime “Jai and Veeru” – Dharmendra

Dharmendra was one of the few actors during the 70s and 80s who could come close to matching AB’s charisma and star power. During the 70s and 80s, he gave quite a lot of hits in an era dominated by Amitabh. Dharmendra and Amitabh were very similar in respect of their camaraderie with other male leads. And together they  performed the most popular on-screen friendship of “Jai and Veeru” in movie “Sholay”. Apart from that they worked together in two other movies, “Ram Balram” in 1980 is the lesser known of the two because the other one happens to be the Hrishikesh Mukherjee´s “Chupke Chupke”, which is all time classic. The on-screen rapport between them was as a guarantee for entertainment.

Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra - Bollywoodirect

The Perfectionist “Thakur” – Sanjeev Kumar

From playing Amitabh Bachchan’s father in ‘Trishul’ to playing the husband of his former beloved in ‘Faraar’,Sanjeev Kumar is still remembered for playing a variety of roles on the big screen with Amitabh. At a time when actors were branded as a romantic hero or action hero, Sanjeev Kumar was one actor who was difficult to typecast. And Amitabh Bachchan plays stick to stick and walked a yard to yard while working with him. Who can forget the “Thakur” who manage to convince “Jai” for his motive in Sholay. Or who can forget the duel between father and son in “Trishul”. They worked together in 5 superhit movies like Silsila, ImaanDharam, Trishul, Khuddar and Sholay.

Amitabh Bachchan with Sanjeev Kumar - Bollywoodirect

The “Lambuji Tinguji” Partnership – Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor worked with Amitabh for the first time in 1976 in Kabhi Kabhi. He later usually played Amitabh’s friend or younger brother in films such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Naseeb, and Coolie. The flamboyant personality of Rishi Kapoor was well matched by Amitabh with his serious persona in the movies. Young Rishi Kapoor came as an answer to the roles, which directors planned for his uncle Shashi Kapoor (who was not able to play younger brother roles due to his aging). Rishi Kapoor took the challenge to substitute his uncle from the super hit combination of Amitabh and Shashi and marked his own partnership with Amitabh. The last time they came together was for Shashi Kapoor’s only directorial venture Ajooba, that was 22 years ago. Now, the Big B and Rishi Kapoor are all set to reunite for Sudhir Mishra’s “Mehrunissa”.

Amitabh Bachchan with Rishi Kapoor - Bollywoodirect

The Yaarana of Jai and Gabbar – Amjad Khan

In normal life, Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan were great friends, but on screen they normally found each other on the morally opposite side of the story. They worked together in more than 10 movies, importantly Parvarish (1977), Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978), Mr. Natwarlal (1979), Lawaaris (1981), Yaarana (1981) & Nastik (1983). But, it all started with “Sholay”, where their stellar performances created the immortal masterpiece of Bollywood.

Amjad Khan kept himself improvising and gave many memorable negative characters against Amitabh. The on-screen rivalry between them kept the audience engaged and thrilled. But, “Yaarana” was a totally different movie in compare to others, where Amjad Khan played a role of a best friend of Amitabh and the song “Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan” was a superhit. They remain friends until the unfortunate death of Amjad Khan.

Amitabh Bachchan with Amjad khan - Bollywoodirect

The Dostana with Shotgun – Shatrughan Sinha

They came together on screen in Parwana (1971) first, where Shatru just made a guest appearance in the film. The real chemistry between the duo was seen in Bombay To Goa (1972) where Amitabh played a fun-loving guy who came between the leading lady Aruna Irani and the suave villain Shatrughan. They reportedly shared a good rapport off-screen; encouraging producers and directors to cast them together. Even with all the Amitabh-Shatru movies, Shotgun was never really overshadowed by Amitabh’s stardom.

Their next film, Kala Patthar (1979), is the prime example of the classic Bachchan-Sinha camaraderie. Shatrughan Sinha had a role with better lines and even won the audiences’ sympathy with his character dying a brave death. Amitabh, on the other hand, had a silent brooding role. But when they came on screen together, it was pure entertainment. The off screen tussle began at the time of Dostana (1980). With their growing egos, neither Amitabh nor Shatru wanted to work together. However, things looked better when, keeping their personal differences aside, Shatrughan appeared in the next Bachchan-dominant movie, Shaan (1980).

Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha- Bollywoodirect

The Surfing with the Southern wave – Rajnikanth

Amitabh had already some experience to work with the India’s most popular heartthrob like Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra, but working with Rajnikanth was totally different for him. It was the time when Superstars from The South were trying their hand in Bollywood for the first time. Producer were eager to try Amitabh- Rajni combination to have their reach in the south. They worked together in three movies – Andha Kanoon (1983), Geraftaar (1985) and long after Hum (1991). Even they were the superstar, their humility made each other comfortable on screen and off screen. The most remembered movie was “Hum”, where they played brothers to each other and their comedy timing along with Govinda left everybody laughing.

Amitabh Bachchan with Rajnikanth- Bollywoodirect

The Sehansaah and the Baadshah twain– Shah Rukh Khan

It was a time when Amitabh Bachchan was playing the elderly roles and Shah Rukh Khan was playing the roles, which two decades back would have penned for Amitabh. They have their own styles, but one common thing was their dedication. The first time, they were seen in together in “Mohabbatien” (2000), where Amitabh played a role of strict Principal and Shah Rukh Khan enacted the character of “Raj Aryan”. The On –screen combat of generation was grand to watch and audience gave a very good response to this pair. Then came the movies like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001), Veer-Zaara (2004), Paheli (2005) and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). Their professionalism has always brought the best out of them. Hope there will be more to come from this pair.

Amitabh Bachchan with Shah Rukh Khan - Bollywoodirect

The difference between success and failure is a great team and Amitabh have several great teams.

Featured article from Bollywoodirect.

Bhuvan Shome – the beginning of the Indian New Wave/Art house Cinema

Bhuvan Shome – the beginning of the Indian New Wave/Art house Cinema.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In history we have witnessed many revolutions; be it the political revolts of common men against some tyrant, or simply a revolution of ideas (scientific, social, economical or cultural) that seemed to challenge and unshackle the primeval customs and convictions of the society.

Cinema being the most significant collective art-form that plays a pivotal role in developing and mirroring the different cultures has also been revolutionized many a times and always for good.

Mrinal-Sen-with-Satyajit-Ray-posterItalian Neorealism, the French New Wave, the Japanese New Wave – and then, finally it was India’s turn to surf the waves of experimentation. 

Renowned directors (the neo-realists as they were called) like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal SenRitwik GhatakKhwaja Ahmad AbbasTapan SinhaChetan AnandBimal RoyGuru DuttV. Shantaram, later joined by Shyam BenegalAdoor GopalakrishnanG. AravindanBuddhadeb Dasgupta, and Girish Kasaravalli, inspired by the foreign film movements made films that were unorthodox in both style and execution.

mrinal-sen-posterThe already popular ‘parallel cinema’ became more radical and avant-garde.

And thus in the late 60s, Indian Cinema was revolutionized once again and it was the birth of the ‘new wave of Indian Cinema’, popularly known as the ‘art house’ cinema.

It is said that Mrinal Sen‘s epic film Bhuvan Shome (1969) along with Mani Kaul‘s Uski Roti and Basu Chatterjee‘s Sara Akash were the very first creations of the Indian New Wave.

bhuvan-shome-poster1Based on a Bengali story written by Banaphool (Balai Chand Mukhopadhya), Bhuvan Shome was Mrinal Sen’s first film in Hindi language.

It had the first appearance of Suhasini Mulay as an actor, ace cinematographer K.K. Mahajan‘s first feature, first music composition for a film by Vijay Raghava Rao and also the first ever voiceover given by none other than Amitabh Bachchan (he wasn’t even introduced as an actor at the time).

That year the film bagged three National Awards Best Feature FilmBest Director and also the Best Actor (Utpal Dutt).

But more importantly, Mrinal Sen introduced a new kind of film-language that was innovative and amusing to both the audience and the critics of Indian Cinema.

bhuvan-shome-poster3The basic story line of Bhuvan Shome is surprisingly uncomplicated.

The lead character named Bhuvan Shome (brilliantly played by Utpal Dutt) is a high-posted railway official, a widower (probably in his late 40s) and also an authoritarianwho steps out of his mundane office routine with the intention of playing the hunter.

But after being touched by the beauty of nature and then an encounter with a sweet and mysterious village girl Gauri (Suhasini Mulay), Mr. Bhuvan Shome’s perspective of judgement changes and he finally learns to relax and enjoy life. 

bhuvan-shome-poster4Though the interpretation of the film is often made from a highly cynical overview – that Bhuvan Shome’s character was actually manipulated by the not-so-innocent villager girl Gauri whose (only) real motive was to save her husband’s job. But again that’s debatable.

In an interview director Mrinal Sen interestingly pointed out: Our intention was never to tame a tough bureaucrat. On the contrary, our intention was to “corrupt” a bureaucrat suffering from Victorian morality.

Probably it was Mrinal Sen’s first attempt to satirize the Indian bureaucracy and indeed a successful one.

Shot mostly in the deserts of Gujarat (such locations were also rarely used that time) the film cleverly exploits the city-to-village contrast scenario – the bullock carts and the muddy roads, the hospitable simple-minded villagers and the picturesque flock of flamingos!

Superbly innovative editing by Raju NaikGangadhar Naskar and Dinkar Shetye.

Right from the first shot of the railway tracks (from the point-of-view of the fast moving train perfectly synced with classical alap) to the creative documentary format of narration and then the extensive use of still frames, use of live footages and also the innovative utilization of animation – Bhuvan Shome was the most stylized and inventive film of that time.

bhuvan-shome-poster2A film so deliberately diverging from the general norms and trends of filmmaking and yet such a visual treat for the cinema lovers. An exceptional artistic triumph!

Bhuvan Shome was Mrinal Sen’s most successful film and also one of the first feature that trumpets the beginning of a new era in Indian Cinema – the rise of Indian New Wave/Art house cinema.

Photo Courtesy: www.mrinalsen.orgPhoto (Sen & Ray) Clicked By: Nemai Ghosh.

Dilip Kumar – the man who redefined acting.

Dilip Kumar – the man who redefined acting.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In the 40s, when the legendary actors K.L. SaigalPrithviraj Kapoor and Ashok Kumar were still running the show in the Mumbai Film Industry, three superstars burst into the scene with their debut films lined up within a couple of years to each other – Dipil Kumar Jwar Bhata (1944), Dev Anand Hum Ek Hain (1946) and Raj Kapoor Neel Kamal (1947).

dev-anand-raj-kapoor-and-dilip-kumarThey changed the concept of stardom and in the process revolutionized Indian Cinema!

One of the most popular heroine of the time, Devika Rani and her husband Himansu Rai, the owner of the famous Bombay Talkies studio spotted young Dilip Kumar and gave him his first break.

And thus, at the age of 22, Mohammed Yusuf Khan, the son of a fruit merchant from Peshawar and at the time a canteen manager by profession, changed his name to Dilip Kumar and tried his luck in acting.

Dilip-kumar2But his first film Jwar Bhata was a big flop and all the critics doubted the debutant’s acting capability!

Little did they know that this debutant’s career will span over the next six decades and with over 60 films; that this aspiring actor will be the first recipient of Filmfare Best Actor Award (1954) and will also eventually hold the Guinness World Record for the maximum number of awards won by any Indian actor ever (8 Filmfare Best Actor awards and 19 Filmfare nominations). And in 1993 he was given with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award too.

Devdas-poster1Dilip Kumar is honored by the Government of India with the Padma Bhushan award in 1991, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contributions towards Indian cinema and is also nominated to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament for a term.

Even the Government of Pakistan honoured him with their highest civilian honour Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1997!

Dilip Kumar’s image as an actor was primarily that of the ‘Tragedy King’. HulchulJoganTaranaDeedarDaagMadhumatiGunga Jumna – in all these films he specialized in playing the intensely passionate, sensitive yet doomed lover (no wonder he was also the ideal ‘Devdas’ for Bimal Roy‘s famous tragic drama Devdas 1955).

Madhumati-posterSuch was his involvement in these tragic roles that he soon suffered from depression in his personal life and following his psychiatrist’s opinion Dilip Saab started acting in light-hearted films and social dramas as well. Such films were AanAzaadNaya DaurMusafirKohinoor.

In the films Ram Aur Shyam and Dastaan he played double roles and in Bairaag he even did a triple role!

andazHis acting capability was probably most appreciated in Mehboob Khan‘s superhit film Andaz (1949) where he was paired opposite to Raj Kapoor and Nargis. And also (towards the last phase of his acting career) in the film Shakti (1982) where he clashed with superstar Amitabh Bachchan

But Dilip Kumar’s most popular role till date will be as Prince Saleem  in K. Asif‘s magnum opus Mughal-E-Azam (1957).

Mughal-E-Azam-posterHis performance – the emotional duels with Prithviraj Kapoor (who played the part of Akbar) and the romantic chemistry with Madhubala (who played Anarkali) have become some of the most proud moments in the history of Indian Cinema.

Dilip Kumar’s use of silence in certain scenes was legendary. Many a times he managed to convey a lot without even speaking a word, only through his eyes, expressions and body language.

And he mastered the technique of turning his back to the camera, hiding his facial emotions from the audience and intensifying the drama of the scene in an unique way.

A famous scene with Raj Kapoor from the film Andaz is a perfect example of such tenique.

He was recognized as “the ultimate method actor” by Satyajit Ray himself.

By the way, Dilip Kumar refused the role of “Sherif Ali” which was offered to him by the famous British director David Lean for his film Lawrence of Arabia (1962). The role eventually went to the Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif.

with-Bimal-RoyDilip Saab had great regards for director Bimal Roy with whom he had worked in classics such as YahudiMadhumati and Devdas. He fondly remembered him with his kind words:

Today we have institutions, they teach cinema, acting etc. We did not have these in our times. We had instead directors like Bimal Roy’.

As Dilip Kumar recently touched 90, we wish him good health and thank him for not only his enormous contribution to Indian Cinema but also for entertaining us for decades by his sheer enigmatic screen presence.

A living legend indeed!