Tag Archives: Bollywood

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (2018)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Review: After ages I watched a typical Bollywood action masala film and enjoyed it to the bone. Ouch!

My ratings: 4/5

If a film keeps you smiling even after you have left the theatre, it has definitely done a job well!

Vasan Bala (writer of Raman Raghav 2.0) directs his second feature – and we have the best action comedy of recent times! An ode to the VHS era, Bruce Lee martial art flicks and also to the old Bollywood spells like Geraftaar (1985) and Aaj Ka Goonda Raj (1992)!

Separated childhood lovers finding themselves in adulthood, a set of good/evil twin brothers, a VHS inspired Karate kid who can beat 20 goons singlehandedly, a charming yet psychotic villain who kills in a wink – clichés lining up one after another. But the beauty of Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is that it takes advantage of all these clichés, owns them proudly and churns them into pure cinematic humour.

Now what is fresh in this movie is the concept of ‘Congenital Insensitivity to pain’, Abhimanyu Dasani (his debut film), a brilliantly choreographed action sequence with Kishore Kumar’s evergreen song ‘Nakhrewali’ playing in the background and then of course the overall amazing performances!

Abhimanyu Dasani (son of Bollywood actress Bhageshree) stands out clearly as a winner in his debut film. Superb screen presence, he looks like a younger version of Madhavan plus the extreme level of fitness. Then there is the immensely talented Radhika Madan (earlier seen in Vishal Bhardwaj‘s Pataakha) and she is an absolute delight to watch. Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi are at their best perfectly blending into the roles and giving the film the additional support it needed. Even Shweta Basu Prasad made her presence felt in her cameo.

And then of course we have Gulshan Devaiah in his effortlessly charming double roles – he is so natural, funny and full of charisma. His best performance till date.

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is essentially a love story but told in style and a rare confidence that we search for but seldom find in our current day movies.

Paap ko jala ke raakh kar doonga” (Will burn all evil/sins to ashes) is the idea in prominence throughout the movie but it gets specially silly and enjoyable when told from a kid’s perspective.

Though the voiceovers repeatedly reminds us “Har mindblowing kahani ke peeche kuch bahut bure decisions hote hain” (There are always some bad decisions behind every mind-blowing story), but trust me, your decision to watch this awesome movie will definitely be a good one!

Go watch it.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb0-Mw_V_bA

Poster courtesy:www.imdb.com.

Captain Marvel (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

My Ratings: 2.75/5

Captain Marvel Review: A debut hero movie with same MCU formula but with intense final moments which sets up an intriguing future for MCU.

The Basic Plot: The story of an USA pilot Carol Denvers who becomes Captain Marvel.

The opening moments of Captain Marvel give us a look into the latest addition of the Marvel Cinematic universe … Hala which is the home planet of the Kree force. These sequences give you a strong vibe of Asgard in Thor (2011) and Wakanda in Black Panther (2018) . There we have Brie Larson present as a fierce Kree warrior under the team headed by Jude Law. Is she holding more than what meets the eye ??? That forms the rest of the story.

Brie Larson gives a memorable performance as Captain Marvel. I must say that the hate she received for the trailer of the film is totally unjustified and she has made a decent debut as a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Samuel L. Jackson steals the show as Nick Fury in the 90’s. He adds a cool swag to the role and easily connects with the audience., specially the scenes he has with Brie Larson are really enjoyable.

The digital de-aging of Nick fury is pretty inconsistent though. It is revealing in some scenes and fabulous in others. 

Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening give a justified performance in their given scope.

The direction and screenplay in the film is pretty formulaic . Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck follow the same Marvel debut hero formula with only a few standout moments. The setting of the era of 1990’s could have been exploited more to make the audience have a better connect. And unfortunately the push of women empowerment is shown in a cliched way. We need to understand that women empowerment need not be born ONLY by trying to prove that men are wrong! 

The story is pretty dull. We have a main character, a mentor, a power discovery …. you get it right.

The Marvel problem of antagonist/villians (barring Thanos and Loki) still persists in its 21st film . These characters just come and go along the screen with most performances being pretty forgettable.

The first hour of the movie is bland. It’s a mix of Thor, Black Panther and nothing amusing . The second half brings out the acting range of Brie Larson effectively. The core of the movie lies in the last 15 minutes and solely because it has a great tie in to the Marvel cinematic universe. These moments greatly set up the Marvel universe for the next few movies!!

Many people would argue that captain Marvel is the most overpowered character in the MCU as of now. But in this movie, her powered state is felt to be OVER-powered due to the pretty weak antagonists who fight against her. It is like a Bollywood fight fest between Salman Khan and low level goons in Dabangg! Captain Marvel is rarely shown to be vulnerable which is a huge drawback.

Iron man is a classic example of showing this vulnerability. The character was hurled towards death , was highly vulnerable and then he defied all odds to come out all guns blazing. That made us root for the character. This particular aspect was clearly missing in Captain Marvel.

We really have to appreciate the marketing team of Marvel and the sheer brilliance of the head of MCU Kevin Feige. They have attracted audience to watch a movie pretty well knowing that they are here for the last few moments. The last 10 minutes and especially the mid-credits scene is why most of the people actually came to see the movie. And it’s by far the best Marvel mid- credits scene ever!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LHxvxdRnYc

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com


Sonchiriya (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

Sonchiriya Review:It is a movie that comes once in a decade and celebrates cinema in its purest form.

My Ratings: 4.5/5

The basic Plot line is simple enough – movie revolving around a gang of dacoits in Chambal valley during the 1970’s.

The first shot of this movie speaks volumes. The audience are given a feel of what the film is going to be right from the first shot. It is gutsy, violent, raw and yet peaceful at the same time. This is that kind of a film which makes you fall in love with cinema once again. The director Abhishek Chaubey has done a magnificent job of giving us this movie in the best possible way.

Manoj Bajpayee plays Man Singh, the leader of the Thakur baaghis (rebels). His character is such that, despite being a rebel, he follows certain principles and is deeply religious. He believes that once if you are cursed, no matter what you’ll definitely receive punishment for it.

Apart from that his highest principle is the Dharma of a rebel. That Dharma is given various genius interpretations throughout the film.

Manoj Bajpayee has once again proven that he can excel in any given role, and Sushant Singh Rajput is splendid as Lakhna Singh.

He is an important member of the Thakur gang. His character deeply resembles that of Manoj Bajpayee. And yet there are subtle differences which make their characters stand out in their own way. I believe this is Sushant Singh Rajput’s best performance since his portrayal as MS Dhoni. He effectively shows a range of emotions from fear to happiness to rage to disbelief.

Bhumi Pednekar‘s arrival with a child named Sonchiriya is the catalyst that elevates the film to a whole new level. Bhumi gives a stellar performance that is surely going to be remembered for a long time. The child artist gives a memorable performance as well.

All of the supporting cast like Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana, Mahesh Balraj and the rest manage to hold their own.

The most important fact to note is that of writing. Abhishek Chaubey and Sudip Sharma have written properly fleshed out characters who are given satisfying character arcs. There is very little shortcomings whatsoever. All the scenes are interconnected and the audience feel as if they are another character in the movie. The direction is pretty solid and screenplay is very fluent. Abhishek Chaubey gives us a realistic sense of women and their conditions in 1970s rural india. They are grounded and highly realistic. The dark humour scenes are the icing on the cake. The shootout scenes are well choreographed. The music is pretty decent.

The dialogues though few elevate the film to a whole new level. For instance when the rebels are involved in a shootout with the police forces, Manoj Bajpayee says “these government bullets won’t harm us but the government policies can Kill us !!”. This scene is even more special as it happens with the then prime minister Indira Gandhi declaring emergency in the background.

The cinematography by Anuj Dhawan does a fine job of conveying the desires of the characters even if they don’t utter a word.

Sonchiriya means a golden bird. People seek the bird truly knowing that they can’t find it. I urge you all to find THIS Sonchiriya in theatres before it becomes elusive.

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

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018 (10+1List)

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018

written by Souranath Banerjee

Nowadays thrillers are back in demand. But then again there’s always an appetite for thrilling stories in Bollywood, the problem is on the supply end of it.

Let’s face it, well made Indian thrillers are rare to find but fortunately this year we have just enough of Bollywood thrillers to make an entertaining list!

Hope you have seen them all, if not then go ahead and have a thrilling life!

10. The Ghazi Attack (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn2qOnKuOoc

Inspired by true events from the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.

The film reveals the true story behind the mysterious sinking of the US loaned Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi when it stealthy ventured the shore of Visakhapatnam to destroy Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

Directed by Sankalp Reddy, superb plot, a tad overdramatic but then again an entertaining thriller and surely India’s first ever Submarine war movie.

9. Blackmail (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDF1qdUtbzw

A man finds out that his wife is having an affair. But instead of the typical agitated confrontation, he secretly blackmails his wife’s lover for money!

Directed by Abhinay Deo, a comedy thriller pretty similar to the director’s earlier film Delhi Belly, the characters spiralling down through a vortex of chaos and mayhem. Irrfan Khan makes the film worth your time.

8. Raid (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4thS-Hcrk

The story of a fearless Income-tax officer who dared to raid the mansion of the most powerful man in Lucknow!

Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, based on several real accounts of challenging tax-raids where influential people will go to any length to stop the officers from doing their work honestly.

Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla at their best.

7. Mom (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctApy_i-qg

Veteran actress Sridevi‘s last film as a protagonist, this is a perfect revenge thriller where a ‘mom’ when denied justice in the courtroom seeks vengeance over her daughter’s abusers in her own way.

Directed by Ravi Udyawar, often predictable but with fine performances from Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui the film stands out as a decent thriller.

6. Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN_9DnBh3hM

On 13 May 1998 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee held a press conference to declare India as a nuclear state!

Directed by Abhishek Sharma, this film portrays the story of how Captain Ashwat Raina (played by John Abraham) plans and executes the mission of India’s second confidential nuclear test series at Pokhran.

Not only a thrilling story but a historic moment of triumph for our country portrayed in this film.

5. Monsoon Shootout (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdbAgeowew8

To shoot or not to shoot, that is the question! A rookie cop’s first assignment and he has to take a decision that will affect his life professionally and personally for ever.

Directed by Amit Kumar, good storytelling (structurally innovative), superb performances by  Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Neeraj Kabi and Tannishtha Chatterjee. A must watch thriller indeed.

4. Tigers (2018)

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

Coming from the Oscar winning director of No Man’s Land (2001) Danis Tanovic, this is the story of a pharmaceutical salesman in Pakistan (played by Emraan Hashmi) who challenges a multinational health care corporation realising that they are responsible for the death of hundreds of babies everyday!

Based upon a true tragic incident that took place in Pakistan in late 1990s and early 2000.

3. Ittefaq (2017)

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

Kind of a remake of B.R. Chopra‘s 1969 film Ittefaq, directed by B.R. Chopra’s grandson Abhay Chopra.

One crime scene, two suspects and their two contradicting versions of the same murder, it is time for the detective to decide which story to believe and who to arrest!

Starring Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna this is one thriller that keeps the suspense till the end.

2. Raazi (2018)

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

A brave Indian woman from Kashmir marries a Pakistani officer with a dangerous motive to spy on the Pakistani army.

Directed by Meghna Gulzar, superb acting by Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Rajit Kapoor.

An adaption of Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat” based of true events during 1971 Indo-Pak war. Surely the best spy movie of India till date.

1. Andhadhun (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iVYI99VGaw

A blind pianist must report a crime which he never saw! But then he seems to be always in the wrong place in the wrong time to see what a blind man should never have seen!

Brilliantly crafted by my favourite director  Sriram Raghavan, super cool performances by Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte. Undoubtedly one of the best thriller of recent times!

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

+1. Pihu (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhWLhuEhXm4

Here comes an out-of-the-box Bollywood concept – a cute two year old girl who finds her mom not waking up and Dad out at work, tries her best to make herself at home!

Directed by Kapri Vinod, beautifully performed by child-actor Pihu Myra Vishwakarma. Shot in one location, one character – a thrilling 1st half that goes a bit repetitive in the 2nd. A very different kind of thriller; according to me such innovative ideas should be encouraged more often!

A few other thrillers though not on the list but still worth your time are BaazaarLove Sonia, In the Shadows AjjiGurgaon, and Long Live Brij Mohan.

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

 Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Simran Review

Simran Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Simran Review: Kangana Ranaut is a hit but that doesn’t mean Simran (the movie) shares the same fate.

My Ratings: 3.6/5

The Bombshell Bandit: In mid 2014 a young girl of Indian origin wearing a wig and over-sized sunglasses, and pretending to be wiredSimran-Review with bombs went on a five-week crime spree robbing four banks across three U.S. states (Arizona, California, and Utah), until finally she was arrested and taken into custody. Her name was Sandeep Kaur, who was a nurse by profession, a gambler by avocation and a bank robber out of desperation!

Now, in the movie Simran the character of this daring girl played by Kangana Ranaut has got a new identity, being called Praful Patel, her profession also altered to a housekeeping-lady and then with plenty of obvious dramatics tossed in – we are finally introduced to this bizarre tale of the lipstick bandit (yup, bandit-name modified too).

Directed by acclaimed Hansal Mehta, written by Apurva Asrani (and may be Kangana Ranaut too!) the film Simran is a women-centric movie perfectly balanced on the petite but confident and able Simran-Reviewshoulders of the lead actress, none other than three times National award winner Kangana Ranaut!

And this time (again) she is remarkable to watch, her transformation to a typical NRI Gujarati girl enjoying her independent Amreeki lifestyle is simply flawless. Her zeal for life, her intensity to fight back, her yearning to live life to the fullest and most importantly her flaws and deficits – is what makes the film worth watching (that too no comparison with her performance as Rani from Queen).

But then the real question creeps in – does the other characters or even the script of Simran match up to her brilliance? Honestly no!

Often a movie gets stuck midway in-between a sensitive drama and a commercial comedy flick and unfortunately that’s exactly what has happened in this case.

Stereotypical characters, certain forced dramatic dialogues, the abrupt unnecessary need of comic reliefs with funny background Simran-Reviewscores – such absurdities takes away the film far from what could have been an incredibly emotional film.

Sohum Shah as the potential husband was decent, surely far better than the ever-fuming dad Hiten Shah or any other secondary characters.

The songs in the film doesn’t make much impact neither does any particular set of visuals, overall a decent flick that seems to be made purely to promote the sheer brilliance of one lead actor.

If only the movie Simran could have emphasized more on the reality of the true emotions – the anguish, the torment and the helplessness of the characters rather than awkwardly trying to please the Bollywood crowd with a happy end.

If only films like Dancer in the Dark (2000) were made in our country, not necessarily dark or tragic to that extent but at least true to its intent and content. I wish …

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com, Simran Facebook Page.

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016 – Curiosity has always been an unquenchable thirst for mankind and that is exactly why so many thrillers are being produced and catered to the audience throughout the year.

And 2016 has been a specially thrilling year for Bollywood!

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

So without any more delay, let’s begin the list of the Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016.

10. Rustom

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-20161959, 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016In 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016After 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016Directed 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016In 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016Raman 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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016And 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. 

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Parched (2015)

Parched review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Self-empowerment of rural women  – Parched instantly reminded me of Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala!  

My Ratings: 4/5.

Seldom issue based films (especially in Bollywood) suffer from striking a balance between telling a story that is both entertaining as well as didactic.

And that is exactly where Leena Yadav‘s remarkable film Parched comes out as a winner!

parched-posterDealing with four rural female characters in the lead – Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Bijli (Surveen Chawla) and Janaki (Lehar Khan) and then of course their struggle in a male-dominating society being the core of the film, Parched has done an incredible job in charming the audience, mostly through it’s unapologetic dialogues (thanks to Supratik Sen) that ranges from being real, straightforward to vulgar!   

The film through each of its feminine-character’s remarkable journeys efficiently tackles so many women-oriented social issues like domestic violence, sexual harassment, education, child marriage, dowry, status of the widows, choice of asserting her sexual preferences, fertility prejudices, prostitution, even the importance of rural small-scale businesses and then of course the independence of women on the whole!

parched-poster2

Such powerful acting by everyone in the film but electrifying Radhika Apte surely leads the pack.

Tannishtha Chatterjee also plays a very mature part, probably the most difficult one in the film. Even Surveen Chawla as the prostitute/dancer makes her mark. Riddhi Sen as the young egoistic male, and then Adil Hussain and Sumeet Vyas – all did justice to their roles.

Through the lenses of ace cinematographer Russell Carpenter and the appropriate melodious music by Hitesh Sonik, Parched has definitely managed to tell a fascinating story, most importantly parched-poster1something very different and genuine.

The backdrop being Rajasthan, and essentially dealing with strong women characters, Parched instantly reminded me of Ketan Mehta‘s epic film Mirch Masala (1987).

But i guess the real success of a film like Parched will be when the women of rural India can get to watch it and enjoy as much as the urban multiplex audience did!

Totally worth your time and money.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.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

Nil Battey Sannata (2015)

Nil Battey Sannata review

written by Souranath Banerjee

An issue based film double dipped in a cup of sweet mother-daughter-emotions, and it’s totally worth your time!

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

Stardom in Bollywood always guarantees a mega box-office collection but what if, you are in a mood to tell some decent humane tale through a film of real values and quality?

Well, for that all you need is a couple of brilliant actors like Swara Bhaskar and Riya Shukla, a director with a vision similar to Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and an awesome story like Nil Battey Sannata!

Yes, a highly anticipated film (among the non-comercial cinema
Nil-battey-sannata-reviewlovers) Nil Battey Sannata is finally released and it’s superbly entertaining, very emotional and most importantly a film that perfectly resonates our society.

A young mischievous girl Apeksha aka Appu studying for her 10th class board exams, when asked about her future career plans replies to her mom Chanda (who by profession is a ‘bai’ or house maid) –

‘Ek engenier ka beta engenier banta hai, ek doctor ka beta doctor, toh bai ki beti kyaa banegi?’

Now this particular line though delivered in casually by a girl says a lot about our current Indian society. It portrays the general mentality of a kid coming from a family below the poverty line whose dreams to become a doctor, engineer or collector is automatically restrained and are forced to be moulded according to their financial/social status.

Nil-battey-sannata-reviewThe film makes us question that being a single mother and that too from a poor financial background, is it too ambitious for Chanda (Swara Bhaskar) to dream a better future for her beloved daughter Appu (Riya Shukla)?

Though the film essentially revolves around the social issue of education and it’s importance in our community (especially for the women) but the real brilliance of Nil Battey Sannata comes from the  unique relationship between a mother who sacrifices her life’s happiness to give her daughter a decent education and her daughter who being too immature and naive doesn’t able to value her mother’s sacrifice (or so it seems to be).

Nil Battey Sannata though predictable at times has been made with great care and sensitivity, and it does manage to pull the right strings Nil-battey-sannata-reviewto make the audiences all chocked up and teary-eyed by the end.

And then, the superlative acting by Swara Bhaskar (she has always been my favorite and a real performer)Ratna Pathak (sheer perfection)Pankaj Tripathy (brilliantly funny), Riya Shukla (immense potential) and a couple of other child actors – such exclusive natural performances are the real reason for the film’s success.

It ends with a dialogue about achieving your dreams that instantly reminds us of The Pursuit of Happyness, but then Nil Battey Sannata is definitely a film to watch and get inspired from.

If you like good films with simple human sentiments – don’t miss it.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.com

Aligarh (2015)

Aligarh review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A cinema not just about gay rights, it’s about humanity. 

My Ratings: 4.2/5.

On the night of 8 February 2010, two men forced their way into a house in Aligarh where two adult people were having consensual sex. These hired goons who later claimed to be from a TV channel, took pictures and videos while illegally invading the privacy of aligarh-poster-1someone’s bedroom, and in the process humiliating and even beating up the residents.

It was the house of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, and he was ambushed by these local TV-channel camera crew while having sex with a rickshaw puller; gay sex to be specific.

And effectively the very next day, the 64 year old professor Dr. Siras, specializing in Marathi literature and also the head of the Department of Modern Indian Languages at Aligarh Muslim University, was suspended from his post because of his illicit misconduct resulting to such a scandal.

Fortunately such an act of atrocity, discrimination and injustice was noticed and denounced by those few, who still believe in terms like justice and equality. With the help of efficient lawyers a case was filed against the University and eventually the verdict was in favor of Dr. Siras. But probably, the man was too heart broken to enjoy his victory.

aligarh-poster-3The film Aligarh is a sincere account of Dr. Siras’s life; a calm and composed man by nature, a poet who won the literary award by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad in 2002. He loved to listen to Lata Mangeshkar songs with a few many drinks at night till he gets drunk.

And Manoj Bajpayee as Dr. Siras has given the performance of a lifetime. Such emotions in his eyes, the way he talks in a slow intellectual manner, his overall body language, even the way he moves his feet enjoying the song ‘Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha’ in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice – pure brilliance! 

Rajkummar Rao surely did support Bajpayee very well, the young reporter’s role was rewardless yet so important from the film’s perspective. Ashish VidyarthiSumit GulatiDilnaz Irani all were at their best. 

Almost 2 hours of screen time, slow paced, long single takes,  aligarh-poster-2emotional and brutally honest; the sheer authenticity and conviction of storytelling is enough to make this biopic a special one.

And exceptionally well directed by Hansal Mehta (this is even better than Mehta’s earlier two triumphs Shahid and City Lights).  

Based on the last two months of a man who was the victim of the university campus politics, framed by his own colleagues out of utter jealousy, a man whose life was turned upside down just because he was a homosexual.

‘I spent two decades here. I love my University. I have always loved it and will continue to do so no matter what. But I wonder if they have stopped loving me because I am gay’

Dr. Siras was a man who loved his life and expected to be loved back.

The film Aligarh has managed to keep alive his sentiments, it has the same poetic feel that so resembles Dr. Siras’s nature.

Poster courtesy:  www.bollywoodmdb.comwww.goldposter.com