Tag Archives: Deepti Naval

Lion (2016)

Lion Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

 A passionate narrative that celebrates both emotions and technology at the same time!

My Ratings: 4.1/5

80,000 children go missing in India every year never again to be reunited with their families, unfortunate indeed.

But then how many of these lost children are fortunate enough to get adopted by some kind-hearted couple from Tasmania, who are lion-poster1not only willing to give them their family name, but also enough love and affection, education and freedom to relive their own lives?

Well, Saroo a kid from rural India who loves Jalebis, happened to be one such unfortunate, yet fortunate soul!

At the age of five an unintentional train journey took him to an unknown city, alone in the streets, miserable and hungry, missing his family, and on the verge of getting exploited. But then, he survives, was sent to an orphanage and from there taken for adoption by Brierley family from Tasmania!

The first half of Saroo’s tale is dramatic enough to be made into a motion picture but the story doesn’t end there!

lion-posterAfter 25 years Saroo decides to find his roots, his village, his people, his family – he comes back to India in search of his brother and mother!

Exceptional performance by Dev Patel as Saroo, supposedly he had spent eight months preparing for his role! But more surprising was debutant Sunny Pawar‘s role, who played the part of young Saroo and stole the show!

Then of course Nicole Kidman (a great come back for her), David Wenham and Rooney Mara all made their presence felt. The Indian actors – Tannishtha ChatterjeeNawazuddin SiddiquiDeepti NavalKoushik SenAbhishek Bharate all shined in their cameos. But again the performance of Priyanka Bose as Saroo’s mother deserves a special mention, she is so natural yet subtle!

lion-poster2Brilliantly shot by Greig Fraser and edited by Alexandre de Franceschi. And also well complemented by the music of Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.

Since Saroo used Google Earth to try and locate his origins, Google have helped in the production of the film and gave the crew satellite imagery access and other technical support.

Director Garth Davis‘s Lion will remind you of Slumdog Millionaire but then for me it’s an entirely different treatment and story, after all it’s based on a true story!

P.S. – But why does the film named ‘Lion‘? Well, for a very good reason but you have to watch it to find it out!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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An Actor – Farooq Sheikh

Writing about Farooq Sheikh has been the toughest. Despite being, one of the greats Hindi Cinema has produced, there is so little to read about him, either in books or even on the internet. All that you know about this gifted actor is through his films and the characters which he played. Farooq Sheikh was one of the pioneer actors in the New Indian Cinema along with Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri. Yet he was not them.Farooq was one actor who had always underplayed himself. When he was asked once, that what he thinks of himself as an actor, he replied saying that he is a very lazy actor who hasn’t achieved much but is happy for what he has achieved. His brutal honesty towards himself is what people loved in him. He never ever got ambitious in his life.

Farooq was labelled as an actor who never had any commercial viability. But he had no regrets accepting this tag. In an interview, he had even accepted his failure at being ‘not so famous’, and still be proud of what he was. He had told, “I have never been commercially viable: People recognise me, smile and wave at me — but I have never received marriage proposals written in blood. In his heydeys, when Rajesh Khanna drove down a street, the traffic stopped — I don’t mind not receiving this kind of adulation. But I do miss not having been able to command the kind of work I wanted. I miss not being 100 per cent commercially viable.

He was a gem in the art film corridors of our industry. Yet, he was different in the way other actors of the same genre went about themselves. Farooq didn’t do an ‘ArdhSatya’ or an ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyo Aata hai’, yet he was present with his own finesse and style in films like ‘Chashme Buddoor, Kissi Se Na Kehna’.

Farooq Sheikh_Chasme Buddoor_Ravi Baswani_Rakesh Bedi_Bollywoodirect

Farooq Sheikh in Garam Hawa_Balraj Sahni_M S Sathyu_Bollywoodirect

Those who adore Farooq, are normally the ones who have seen ‘Chashme Badoor’. His absence from the film scene in the 90s almost made him forgotten for once and all. Television and theatre had then kept Farooq going. His, first love, was theatre. IPTA came as a breath of fresh air in his life after his short stint as a lawyer began to frustrate him. His acting prowess was seen at IPTA and then came the big break with M.S. Sathyu’s Garam Hawa for which he did not take a single penny.

Ironically,  ‘Garam Hawa’ proved to be the cool breeze every young actor needs at the start of his or career. What followed was something that even Farooq had not expected of himself. Satyajit Ray offered him to play Aqeel in ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’. This was not one of the best Satyajit Ray had filmed, as per the critics but this film definitely fulfilled Farooq’s dream to work with the legend Satyajit Ray himself.

Rekha_Farooq Sheikh in Umrao Jaan_Bollywoodirect

Farooq was a brave actor back then; he would choose movies no other actor would dare to say yes to. A case in point is ‘Umrao Jaan’. This film was all about Rekha and in those times when male-dominated films existed, I am sure it was a tough call as a male actor to do Nawab Sultan. Even the poster of the film had Rekha all over it.

With ‘Noorie’, he announced that he could deliver single-handedly. ‘Noorie’ went on to become the seventh highest-grossing film that year. For someone like Farooq, this would be a straight jacket entry into mainstream cinema as ‘Noorie’ was a Yash Chopra film. But he never let anyone categorised him. He did whatever came his way and this is why we see such diversified roles done by him in such a short period of time. If in ‘Katha’, he was the ‘Hare’ who liked chatting a lot and boasting about himself to woo people then in ‘Sath-Sath’, he played a stern man who could not sacrifice his principles. Then, in Bazaar, he was entirely in a  different story. This versatility in him created an image for himself in the industry. Farooq Sheikh could do a ‘Siddharth’ in Chasme Buddoor with the same ease he did ‘Basu’ in Katha. All these films became classics with time. and Farooq had a major role to play in making them one.

But despite these great performances, what he got were just appreciations in the form of good reviews and the tag of ‘good actor’. It was, finally, in the year 2010 that we saw him getting the National award for the best actor in a supporting role for ‘Lahore’ – a film that won several accolades around the globe. This recognition came much later to Farooq who deserved more than what he got. But as he was Farooq  Sheikh, these things – awards and recognition- never mattered to him.

I have written how he wasn’t an ambitious man. It was for this reason that he did even the smaller roles with the same excitement and vigour. Despite him being lost from the film scene in the 90s, he had no ego whatsoever to do serials like ‘Chamatkaar’ and ‘Ji Mantri Ji’.

And who can forget ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’, one of the best show Indian Television has produced and undoubtedly, the main reason for the show to get engraved in our memories was Farooq Sheikh. He wasn’t very glamorous and fizzy in the way he anchored. He was simple, genuine, calm in the way he handled the guests at his show. In two simple words, he was just Farooq Sheikh. Clad in Kurta and Pyjama, a dress he wore the most in his last 15 years of life, Farooq made sure there was no boredom in the show.

farooq sheikh_Deepti Naval_Bollywoodirect

It is not correct to say that he wasn’t an aware star. Those who knew him on- screen, they loved him. And those who know him off-screen, they adored him for being a person that he was. Deepti Naval remembers him as a man who was part of her career. She acted with him in as many as nine films. For her, he was a constant part of her professional as well as personal lives.

After his funeral procession was over, teary-eyed Shabana Azmi came out and said, “There will be no ‘Tumhari Amrita’ Without Farooq. The curtains have fallen.” ‘Tumhari Amrita’ was one play which both of these greats had been performing for the last twenty years till 2013. In early December of 2013, Shabana and Farooq had performed the play in Agra and after the completion of play, Shabana had told him, “Let it be our last play, Farooq. I believe this should be the end of ‘Tumhari Amrita’ to which he resisted, “Why! I think we should do this role for another 20 years to come!” After two weeks or so, Farooq Sheikh left the world leaving everyone shocked.

Written By: Shubham Pandey 

Caution: The opinion expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author. Cinemaforensic/Bollywoodirect is not responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information/Opinion, facts appearing in it do not reflect the views of Bollywoodirect & Bollywoodirect doesn’t assume any responsibility or liability of the same.

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Nh10 (2015)

My Ratings: 3/5.

After a brilliant debut with Manorama Six Feet Under  in 2007, now after eight years director Navdeep Singh is back with his second venture Nh10.
NH10-poster2No doubt a hard-hitting film, Nh10 contains graphic violent scenes and doesn’t hesitate to portray the raw, brutal face of rural India.

Leaving behind the sophisticated Delhi environment, Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) and Meera (Anushka Sharma) drives through Nh10 highway – a romantic gate away in order to celebrate Meera’s birthday.

But as they were passing through Haryana they witnessed some rowdy villagers abducting a young couple and soon enough Arjun and Meera gets sucked into a whirlpool of gruesome violence and there begins a brutal cat and mouse game that promises deadly consequences.

These blood thirsty group of villagers leaded by Darshan Kumaar (of Mary Kom fame) would stop at nothing to retain their so-called honor. 

The issue of ‘honor killing’ in the backdrop, Nh10 not only creates edgy and tensed moments of panic but also manages to showcase the backward mentality of people in the interior villages of India.

nh10-poster1Powerful performance by Anushka Sharma, she also happens to be one of the producers of Nh10!

And Deepti Naval as Ammaji deserves a special mention as well.

Decent cinematography by Arvind Kannabiran and cool editing by Jabeen Merchant.

A few illogical plot points in the story line but overall Nh10 is a very real, fast-paced film.

If you have an inclination for hand-to-hand brutal violence (preferred weapon – iron rods) or if revengeful feminist heroines make you feel good,  then probably you will like Nh10 a lot.

P.S. Did anybody else notice any similarity between Nh10 and a film called Eden Lake (2008)?

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