Tag Archives: Irrfan Khan

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times (10+1 list)

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Offbeat Indian Cinema, huh?

The term ‘offbeat’ generally conveys a certain idea of non-commercial, arty, not-for-the-masses kind of movies; those
intellectual films which almost invariably wouldn’t do much business in the box office but will probably travel around several festivals and Offbeat-Indian-Cinemasurvive exclusively on the blessings of a handful of niche audience and critics.

Well, that more or less covers everything except for the most essential fact, that most often these so-called ‘offbeat’ films are the real trendsetters, so unique and revolutionary in their treatment and storytelling that they are responsible for the evolution of meaningful Cinema around the globe!

And this particular list of Offbeat Indian Cinema (many are in regional languages), although some of them might have been lost in the popcorn-culture a tad too quickly for my personal discomfort, but then again, all of these films are undoubtedly the most important Indian Cinema of our recent times!

Here we go! (Listed according to their year of release)

10. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaRevolves around a simple yet philosophical concept of a man’s belief, as he decides to believe only what he sees with his eyes!

Brilliantly written, directed and acted by Rajat Kapoor, the film that succeeds in recognising the true talent of performer Sanjay Mishra.

And most importantly this movie sets the stage for one of the most prominent Indian producer of today – Manish Mundra,  who in the following years have given us such brilliant films like MasaanDhanakWaiting and Newton.

9. Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Language: Punjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pAByInA4kM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaAn uniquely metaphorical film based on the post-partition era of India and Pakistan. A Sikh desperate for a male heir, but then when his fourth daughter is born, he declares her to be a boy and obsessively brings her up in the same fashion!

The first collaboration between director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan which resulted in such a brilliant piece of story telling and powerful acting.

Tillotama ShomeTisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal – absolute brilliant performances by all!

8. The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title), Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK3R0rvnlPs

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Ritesh Batra, this film is essentially a love story between an unhappy housewife and a middle-aged man, and they depend on the Mumbai’s famous ‘dabba’ delivery system to share their delicious little love-notes.

Probably the most commercially popular in this list, this unique love affair is crisp, real and yet as romantic as a fantasy.

The performances of Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes the movie a true memorable experience.

7. Ottaal (2014)

Language: Malayalam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuJPc8u8WM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaVisually the most eye-pleasing film in the list; a soulful story of a little boy and his grandfather and their beautiful fishing village somewhere in the backwaters of Kerala. But then there is ‘The Trap’ that awaits.

Superb direction by Jayaraaj, the story adopted from Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka.

The songs, the water, the innocence of the village – and the beauty of nature captured by M.J. Radhakrishnan in the most cinematic way ever!

6. Court (2014)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the film which won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) and was the official entry from India for the Oscars 2016! 

(Click for Review)

The film is a sarcastic take on the Indian dysfunctional legal system that revolves around a folk-singer’s prosecution!

A script so powerful and so confidently executed, superb performances, the most unique court-room drama ever made.

5. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Language: Bengali

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaLabour of Love, winner of two National Awards and many International ones, probably the most sensitive and poetic film in this list.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the story of a married couple who yearns to meet and spend time together but couldn’t because of their work timings. The best thing that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times!

4. Visaaranai (2015)

Language: Tamil

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mnzK2KIz9U

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaDirected by Vetrimaaran, this was India’s official entry for the Oscars last year!

Based on a true story, four state-immigrants who experience the tragic police brutality as they were forcefully arrested, illegally detained, tortured and threatened to admit crimes of which they have no knowledge whatsoever!

Dark, gritty and dangerously realistic, the movie emphasises on the corruption of the Indian police department and the helplessness of the common man.

3. Chauthi Koot (2015)

Language: Panjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFS-ETnMSw4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaMid 1980s, politically turbulent Punjab being the backdrop, the film focuses on one particular family that (like most of the other Punjabi families of the time) gets crushed in-between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists.

Brilliantly written and directed by Gurvinder Singh, (his debut film being Anhey gorhey da daan), this movie brilliantly portrays the agitation and terror of the innocents of that era.

2. Thithi (2015)

Language: Kannada

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NltD4Stv4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaA man, 101-year-old – dies. His sons and their sons and their family (the next three generations) prepare for his funeral, after the customary eleven days. The film is based on their actions and reactions over the old man’s death.

Smooth flowing, realistic and immensely engaging; a story of a seemingly every-day village life but told with such conviction.

Superb direction given by Raam Reddy, impactful performances, winning multiple awards – probably the best film in the list!

  1. Aligarh (2015)

Language: Hindi

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

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaBased on a true story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, and was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation!

(Film Review)

Masterfully directed by Hansal Mehta and such powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Manoj Bajpayee (according to me) deserved the National Award for his role as Professor Siras.

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

+1. Kaul (2016)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsR8pclAW1Y

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Vasudev Keluskar, this film is one of a kind – experimental, surrealistic, mysterious and stunningly visual!

The tale of a village school teacher who tries to maintain his sanity when assigned with an incredible responsibility that might change the fate of our universe!

Exceptionally well edited, shot in style playing with lights and shadows, sold performances – overall an exceptionally courageous example of story telling!

A few names of Offbeat Indian Cinema which are deserves the applause are Shahid (2012), Ship of Theseus (2012), Titli (2014), Killa (2014), Margarita with a Straw (2014), Talvar (2015), Haraamkhor (2015), Hotel Salvation (2016) and Trapped (2017).

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

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

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Jungle Book (2016)

The Jungle Book review

written by Souranath Banerjee

For some, this film will remain as a happy childhood memory and for others, it’s simply a nostalgia! 

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

The incredible story based on the jungles of India comes first hand for the Indian audience as The Jungle Book gets its release in India one week before any other country of the world!

jungle-book-poster4The heroic survival tale of an abandoned “man cub”  Mowgli, a wild kid in an underwear who can easily converse with all the wild animals in the forest!

And why not, since he has been parented by the wolves, Akela (the alpha male wolf-pack leader) and Raksha (the sensitive mother wolf), and then, Mowgli’s best buddies are none other than Bagheera (the protective black panther) and Baloo (the lazy mischievous bear)!

Mowgli’s life is mostly all fun and adventures unless he ends up face to face with Kaa (the hypnotic python) or King Louie (the power hungry orangutan, the King of the apes), but then, there is someone who doesn’t want a man-child in the jungle, the notorious Shere Khan (the one-eyed evil tiger) who desire to eat Mowgli alive!

All our favorite characters leaping straight out from the pages of Rudyard Kipling‘s collective fables (novel), and this time they are not jungle-book-poster7mere cartoons (as our childhood memories made us believe), but they are all dramatically alive and unbelievably realistic in this brilliant CGI drama.

A confession though (most probably a collective confession of all  those who were lucky enough to enjoy their childhood in the 90s); my instant recognition of the ever-popular character Mowgli and his friends neither comes from Kipling’s famous novel nor from the original Disney animated classic masterpiece The Jungle Book (1967).

It’s actually connected with the Japanese Anime television series called ‘Janguru Bukku shonen Môguri’ which was later dubbed in Hindi as ‘The Jungle Book’ and was aired on the one and only Indian channel of the time Doordarshan way back in 1993.

Ah! those lazy Sunday mornings and the unforgettable title song composed by none other than Vishal Bhardwaj and written by Gulzar!

And the impact of that TV series is the sole reason for me to watch the latest Disney Jungle Book film in Hindi!  – probably the first time ever I have intentionally seen a Hindi dubbed version of an English film and it’s totally worth it.

Fortunately this time, it’s not just a stiff translation but the jungle-book-poster6Hindi dialogues has been specially written by Mayur Puri and the Hindi voice-over artists are also the top in their business, Nana Patekar as Shere Khan, Priyanka Chopra as Kaa, Irrfan Khan as Baloo, Om Puri as Bagheera and Shefali Shetty as Raksha.

But keeping aside the nostalgic memories, the film directed by Jon Favreau is in itself a triumph!  

Visually stunning cinematography by Bill Pope and perfectly complimented by John Debney‘s music.

The young debutant actor Neel Sethi has done a great job playing the central character but the most astonishing feat is undoubtedly the computer graphics used to create the hyperrealistic animals and the jungle-book-poster8locations, the exceptional quality achieved by the combined effort of the studios Weta Digital, MPC and Digital Domain.

The film although it narrates the same old story but overall it’s a much darker version of the original tale; some intense violent moments and chilling chase sequences that makes the film frightfully dramatic (specially from a kid’s perspective).

Make no mistake this film in India is Certified as ‘U/A’ and for the right reasons too.

But then, the success of yet another version of The Jungle Book only confirms our love for Mowgli, a character so unique and universally acknowledged as Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s Tarzan, and also that the adorable wolf-raised-kid will always have a special place in the hearts of the Indian audience!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.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

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2015 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood Thrillers 2015 – People in general are instinctively curious by nature, which obviously makes them so very fond of thrillers.

And 2015 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.

So without any more introduction, let the list begin Bollywood Thrillers 2015.

10. Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Multiple homicides caught on camera and now it is the job of the Commissioner of Police (Naseeruddin Shah) and his rookie assistant (Auroshikha Dey) to connect the clues and decipher the mysterious case. 

Directed by Manish Srivastav, a classic suspense drama based on the many definitions of truth, or may be the multiple perceptions of it.

9. Main Aur Charles

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOF9MlEOfuE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A biographical film on the charismatic con man and a deadly serial killer Charles Sobhraj. 

Directed by Prawaal Raman, the film focuses on his jail break, and also his master plan where every other person is a pawn in the game.

Randeep Hooda brilliantly played the lead, supported by Richa ChaddaTisca Chopra and Adil Hussain

8. Baby

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yu_2nyOP5o

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015As part of a Counter Intelligence Unit, an elite team is desperate to prevent a terrorist attack on India.  

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, this one is a thrilling espionage drama full of tense heart racing moments and well choreographed action.

Akshay Kumar taking the lead, the film also has Danny DenzongpaRana DaggubatiKay Kay MenonAnupam Kher and Rasheed Naz among others.

7. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG–GOpi_0g

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Saradindu Bandopadhyay’s renowned Bengali detective is back in action; he is young, ambitious and ready to learn from his mistakes.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, and Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead; set in the 1940’s Calcutta, a mysterious case needs the attention of Mr.Byomkesh.

6.  Badlapur

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KEoZanqlOE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Sriram Raghavan, a unique thrilling tale of injustice and revenge.

The film is unusually realistic with strong and well motivated characters.

(Click for the review)

Brilliant performances by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Varun Dhawan, accompanied by Radhika ApteVinay Pathak and Divya Dutta.

5. Nh10

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A 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.

Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

4. Rahasya

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvm-KpdRrbk

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Manish Gupta, a film that is loosely inspired by the Arushi murder case.

A doctor accused of killing his own daughter, but the evidences somehow doesn’t add up. Kay Kay Menon as the CBI investigating officer finally brings justice to this mysterious case.

A perfect thriller with solid performances by Ashish Vidyarthi and Tisca Chopra

3. Drishyam

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A 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 last shot of the film.

2. Talvar

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed 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)

Very natural performances by Irrfan KhanKonkona Sen SharmaNeeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah among others.

One of the best realistic thrillers of this year. 

  1.  Titli

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

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A 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 (Shashank Arora), and this is his story of freedom.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Kanu Behl, the film is nominated in the Cannes Film Festival, a gritty thriller that shouldn’t be missed.

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

+1. Kajarya

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_1jBPqL9K8

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Madhureeta Anand, this one is not the ideal Bollywood thriller you expect but nevertheless, a very significant film of this year.

(Click for the review)

It focuses on the issue of female infanticide and tells a dangerous tale of murder, betrayal and injustice. Brilliant performance by Meenu Hooda

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Poster courtesy: filmywave.commovies80.com

Talvar (2015)

Talwar review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

A superbly well researched fictional representation.

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

The Noida double murder case (Noida, Uttar Pradesh) also known as the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case was all over the papers in 2008 (exact date of the tragedy 15-16 May).

14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found dead (her throat slit) and the maid servant Hemraj was the prime suspect (since he was missing).

One day later, Hemraj’s partially decomposed body (throat slit) was discovered on the terrace of the Talwar’s residence. 

Talvar-Poster2The case attracted extreme level of press attention and public curiosity since it was like a live whodunit film with numerous plot-twists, and steadily being revealed through the daily ruthless media updates.

Soon the police accused Aarushi’s parents Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar for both the murders openly in the media and termed the murders as a case of honour killings

But then, without much satisfactory results the case got transferred to the CBI.

Finally in 2015, the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case is actually been made into a whodunit film but fortunately it seems that Vishal Bhardwaj (writer) and Meghna Gulzar (director) have done their research very well and the film Talwar reflects a more or less unbiased overview of the tragic case.

A tight script that makes you involved right from the start.

With terrific performances by actors like Irrfan Khan (as CBI investigating officer), Konkona Sen Sharma (as Nupur Talwar), Neeraj Kabi (as Rajesh Talwar) and Gajraj Rao (police officer), Talvar-Posterthe film Talwar narrates such a gripping tale that it’s often difficult for the audience to remember that after all it’s a fictional representation of the dismal crime and its aftermath.

Talwar also reminds us of the uncomfortable reality about the ignorance and inefficiency of the Indian police force (specially in the small towns); probably the same reason why we unconsciously enjoy our Singhams and Dabanggs so much. 

And then the official politics in the CBI like any other bureaucracy; the contamination of evidence, the sudden change in the statements of the witness and the utter lack of motivation to seek the truth.

There is no end of controversies involving this particular case and till date people are fighting for justice or may be against injustice.

As the latest Bollywood trend continues and more films are made on real events/tragedies, we the audience can’t help but convince ourselves time and again that indeed reality can be stranger than fiction!
A film that is definitely worth your time.

Poster curtsey: en.wikipedia.orgwww.livemint.comhttp://indiatoday.intoday.in 

Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World review.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

My ratings: 3.8/5.

“We’re talking about an animal here.” – “A highly intelligent animal.”

“She is not eating them, she’s killing for sport.”

“Something is wrong. They’re communicating.”

Well, these are some of the dialogues in the film (even revealed in the film trailer if you remember) just to give you the basic idea of what a bad-ass dinosaur we are dealing with this time.

jurassic-world-poster4She is called the Indominus Rex (yes it’s a ‘she’). Primarily a mix breed of T-Rex and Velociraptor; which also has a bit of cuttle-fish DNA (so she can camouflage), and some amphibian DNA as well (capable of changing body temperature at will). And she also happens to be a killing machine!

Oh ya! Jurassic World the fourth franchise of the famous dino-saga is back and this time it’s bigger, though i won’t say it’s better but definitely ‘with more teeth’.

Steven Spielberg came out with the epic Jurassic Park way back in 1993 and it was a sensational experience (the best dinosaur film till date). And then followed The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001).

jurassic-world-poster5And now after a gap of almost fifteen years Colin Trevorrow brings us the dinosaur theme park – the ‘Lost World’ where researchers have managed to create genetically evolved creatures from the past who are more intelligent, more dangerous and supposed to be more entertaining.

These prehistoric hybrid monsters are the star attractions of the park and people buy tickets to watch them feed and they can even take a ride with their favorite dinosaurs in a special car called The Gyrosphere.

John Hammond’s dream for a “Jurassic Park” finally becomes a reality in this film. (RIP Richard Attenborough)

jurassic-world-poster3But then (though predictable enough) the most evil creation of the park (the Indominus Rex) escapes from her captivity and causes extreme havoc that lasts for a good entertaining 124 mins.   

The star cast is good and to-the-point – Chris Pratt the raptor-tamer, Bryce Dallas Howard the non-emotional business woman turned emotional savior, Vincent D’Onofrio the bad guy, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins the adventurous brothers to be rescued. 

Grand music by Michael Giacchino and superb visuals shot by John Schwartzman.

jurassic-world-poster1Overall a racy story-line, exciting chase sequences, dinosaurs killing humans, dinosaurs killing dinosaurs and superb VFX.

But when compared to the original Jurassic Park (since this one claims to be a direct sequel to it) Jurassic World falls short as it tries to show the emotional bonding of the main characters who are destined for not-to-be-eaten till the end credit rolls.

Watch Jurassic World in the biggest screen possible, keep your 3D glasses handy and enjoy the feeding frenzy of your favorite dinosaurs.

And for Irrfan Khan, helicopters may not be the ideal transport option.

Piku (2015)

Piku review.

written by Abhikendu Deb Roy

Ratings: 4.5/5.

Shit happens, probably the reason Piku was ever filmed. There are certain films where one aspect of the script gets more importance than the characters present in the film. Shoojit Sircar, who always comes up with out-of-the-box ideas for his films, gives life to ‘Constipation’ in his new film ‘Piku’. Not only does the film explore more on bowel movement, it also sheds light on the beaut father-daughter relationship.

Piku-poster1To be honest, Piku doesn’t really have a story. It is simply an assemblage of the daily fights we have with our parents, the skip-a-beat moments when we receive romantic vibes from another person or maybe the arguments families have regarding property sale. It is these nuances which make the film highly relatable. You will, however, never feel the absence of a story, because the premise keeps you engaged all throughout the road journey from Delhi to Kolkata. Screenwriter Juhi Chaturvedi collaborates such moments and stitches a well knit script out of it.

‘Bhaskor Banerjee, Bangalee’ – the prudent selfish constipated 70 year old widower effortlessly emanates ‘Hypochondriasis’ or illness anxiety disorder from every organ of his body. Amitabh Bachchan delights us time and again, sometimes irritating us with his stubborn attitude and at times being the sweetest white-haired child ever. Deepika Padukone has proves herself again as ‘Piku’, her eyes emoting tiredness alongside care and affection for her dad. Piku is the sole person ‘Bhaskor Babu’ can depend on. Irrfan Khan is one of the gifts to Bollywood which shall be cherished for life. Jishu Sengupta and Moushumi Chatterjee get into the skin of their characters with ease, as well.

Cinematographer Kamaljeet Negi frames the locales of Delhi, the bylanes of Kolkata and the Ganga ghats of Banaras with utmost passion which is exhibited on screen. The scenic beauty of the Delhi-Kolkata Expressway does snatch your attention at times from the cute little fights between the father and the daughter. Editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati makes the film as crisp and tight as possible, limiting the duration to around 2 hours 5 minutes.

Piku-posterThe greatest gift of the film, after the cast, is its music. Anupam Roy’s first Bollywood work leaves us mesmerized. Each and every track comes up right at the correct situation, at the correct time. The Journey Song is the jewel of all the songs, the only complaint being that the full song is never played in the film. The background music, again by Roy, is apt for the film and sets the mood of the scenes quite justifiably.

Final Verdict: The ‘Bangalee’ biasness shall always remain. A certain ‘Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoye’ sung by Bachchan, the father-daughter duo dancing their hearts out to ‘Jibone Ki Pabona’, the ‘Angry Not-So-Young Man’ mouthing cuss words like ‘Shuorer Bachcha’, there’s too much bangalianaa screaming out from the pages of the scripts. This light-hearted family entertainer, which also allows us to learn to take responsibilities of your parents after a certain age, is the perfect mood fixer for the weekend. Go and watch the film, you shall walk out of the theatres mesmerized and ‘Bezubaan’.

Haider (2014)

My Ratings: 3.6/5

If Macbeth is Maqbool, Othello is Omkara then what does Hamlet stands for in Bollywood-adaptation language?

Hint1: The film is released on 2nd Oct but it’s full of violence!

Hint2: A gun is kept hidden inside the toilet to be used later but the film is not related to Coppola’s The Godfather by any chance.

Hint3: The film in a very sarcastic way pelts stones at Salman Khan flicks but luckily enough most of the Salman-fans are not accustomed to such clever sarcasm.

Ok on a serious note – Is Haider really THE film of this year? Vishal Bhardwaj’s best film till date? Or is it simply a ‘chutzpah’ – nothing more than a well-shot lineup of a popular Shakespearean tale haphazardly told using Kashmir as the backdrop?

Such conflicting film-reviews always make me feel like a monk who must set out on a journey alone in the search of the truth.

And yes, after watching Haider I must say it is one of the most cinematic films made in Bollywood. Applause for the cinematographer Pankaj Kumar.

The delicate emotions shot through the white translucent drapes, the colorfully lit wooden houses in the verge of destruction, a blood red woolen scarf on the white snow, the golden hued flames from the fireplace gently reflected on Ophelia’s hair … and many more of such beautiful images that promises to linger around in your memory for a long time.

Wait, did I say Ophelia?

I must have meant Arshia (Shraddha Kapoor), the second love of Haider’s life.

The first one of course being his own mother Ghazala (Tabu). Fortunately the role of the invisible King Oedipus is handled in a very subtle and matured way.

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

Since it’s an official adaptation the story is predictable but Vishal Bhardwaj as always has utilized his cast in a brilliant way to tell his own desi-version of Hamlet.

The script does seem a bit abrupt at times especially to include the unnecessary songs in the film.

For example the sudden romantic song sequence right after the tragic news of Haider’s father’s death, then the gravediggers keep singing while digging graves and while shooting people as well; and the never ending dance performance of Shahid Kapoor to convey a not so subtle message to his evil uncle Kay Kay Menon.

I really think Vishal Bhardwaj creates good music but that’s not an excuse to put unnecessary songs in regular intervals.

But these issues are shrouded by the brilliant acting performances by each and every actor in the film.

Shahid Kapoor did try his best to be the loony, melancholic Hamlet who talks to the skeleton head and plots his revenge. Shraddha Kapoor does her bit efficiently.

Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan Khan are both outstanding as usual, so natural and dynamic, though unfortunately they don’t share the screen space together in this film.

And of course Tabu is at her best, such a powerful actor who proves herself time and again. Her character is probably the toughest to play since it has many facets and conflicting desires. And what a splendid job she has done!

Overall a good film which could have been a great film. Honestly for me Omkara and Maqbool were more layered and well scripted than this one.

But never the less this disturbing combination of Hamlet and Kashmir is definitely worth a watch.

Upcoming Bollywood must watch Films

Upcoming Bollywood must watch films. Some of them are artistic and others very much commercial.

But i am sure each one will entice you with their unique trailer. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

So let the fun begin.

1. Margarita, with a Straw

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

Margarita-with-a-straw

Almost after a decade the director of Amu, Shonali Bose (my personal favorite) is back with her second film.

The trailer looks superb and Kalki Koechlin yet again amazes us with her exceptional acting.

Sonali Bose along with Nilesh Maniyar share the director’s credit. I didn’t get a proper poster for this film (probably not released yet) so using a picture from twitter instead.

2. Bang Bang

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

Bang-bang

Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are back with a bang (a double bang actually), good news for those who loved their chemistry in Zindagi na milegi dobara.

The trailer promises an action packed film with dangerous car chases, gun fights and of course the dance numbers to entertain us.

Thrilling and fast paced, directed by Siddharth Anand and the screenplay by Sujoy Ghosh.

3. Monsoon Shootout

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJAMZQHA97U

Monsoon-shootout

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Vijay Varma in the latest crime drama based on Mumbai underworld.

Directed by Amit Kumar the film has already earned a name in the festival circuits.

The trailer looks good, very realistic and well shot. Anurag Kashyap being one of the co-producers i hope this film lives up to it’s expectations.

4. Haider

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

haider

After adopting Maqbool from Macbeth and Omkara from Othelo, Vishal Bhardwaj is back with another Shakespearean play adaptation -Haider based on Hamlet.

Shahid Kapoor with a skull in his hand, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor Irrfan Khan, K K Menon all geared up to present the tragic tale of Haider.

Hope the film is as good as it’s trailer.

 

5. Qissa: The tale of a lonely ghost

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORO6Zp0oHDU

qissa

Something unique and completely different from the trend, Qissa is a film that shows huge potential.

Directed by Anup Singh, the film has already been screened and applauded in many international festivals. Finally awaiting it’s release in India.

Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Tisca Chopra at their best; the trailer looks great, very well shot but doesn’t really reveal much.

6. Daawat-e-Ishq

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtsHlYO6TUc

daawat-e-ishq

Hyderabad in the background this one is Habib Faisal‘s upcoming film after his last two hits – Do dooni chaar and Ishaqzaade.

Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur make a fresh pair and are also good actors. Their chemistry will be the USP of this film.

YashRaj coming up with yet another romantic film and the trailer looks pretty cool.

7. Titli

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GseAIMlyvI

titli

The film that competed for the prestigious Camera d’Or in the Cannes Film festival. 

Overall very natural acting, directed by Kanu Behl the film already has some rave reviews and a trailer that promises a lot.

A fresh cast who acted superbly and an unusual story line. Hope it can win over the Indian audiences pretty soon.

8. Happy New Year

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0mrzMQJMQ8

Happy-New-Year

The king Khan’s latest film yet to release.

After Main hoon na and Om Shanti Om the director Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan teams up again.

This time also joining the team are Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani.

Hope this film brings a happy new year for us.

9. Ugly

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ougQY2-zpk

ugly

Anurag Kashyap direction and a very interesting trailer to watch.

A thriller, the story revolves around the kidnap of a 10 year old girl of an aspiring actor.

It’s raw and dark and it promises everything that we expect from an Anurag Kashyap film.

Personally a big fan of his cinema and eagerly waiting for this one.

10. Finding Fanny

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O86FUOrlkY

Finding-Fanny

After Being Cyrus and Cocktail, director Homi Adajania comes up with his latest film, a romcom it seems.

A very talented cast and so good acting guaranteed, shot in the scenic Goa in the background; the film looks like a lot of fun indeed.

Naseruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Panjak Kapur, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor – all driving around Goa to find Fanny i guess!

11. Sulemani Keeda

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdbxunrkZd4

sulemani-keeda

Very interesting concept and a fresh cast.

Sulemani Keeda is about two writers who want to make it big in Bollywood and what happens in their lives when they are given a choice between love, friendship and their career.

A comedy by debutant director Amit Masurkar which promises to win over the audience. There isn’t a proper trailer out yet i guess.

12. pk

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

PK

After his blockbuster hit Dhoom 3 Amir Khan is back.

And after his blockbuster hit 3 Idiots Rajkumar Hirani is back too.

Trailer not released yet but this is probably the most awaited film of this year. I am sure entertainment is guaranteed.

In this poster thankfully Amir Khan is wearing clothes instead of a radio.

13. Mary Kom

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxsKcx1IwI8

Mary-kom

A film based on the life of Mary Kom, five time world boxing champion; it’s about how she has challenged herself and achieved such glory.

Priyanka Chopra  playing the leading role  looks very athletic and perfect for the role.

Directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali the trailer promises a very real and entertaining film for the audience.

14. Rang Rasiya

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO576oIWuwE

Rang-Rasiya

Made in 2008, finally Rang Rasiya is getting a release.

Directed by Ketan Mehta, the film  seems to be on a controversial topic, it’s about an artist Raja Ravi Verma of 19th century who painted deities.

Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal have done a great job, the film looks like a riot of colors. I am very curious about this film.

 

15. Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DWghUPBQg8

Kamaal-dhamaal-malamaal

Priyadarshan coming up with his latest laugh riot, the trailer looks hilarious.

Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Nana Patekar, Asrani, Shakti Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Madhurima Banerjee – as usual an array of actors and nonstop comedy.

If you are a fan of Priyadarshan films like me please add this film in your watch list.

 

See you in the theaters. Have fun.