Tag Archives: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

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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Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

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

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

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

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

10. Rustom

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

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

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

As expected Akshay Kumar gives a great performance.

9. Madaari

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

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

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

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

8. Te3n

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

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

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

7. Phobia

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

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

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

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

6. Wazir

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

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

(Click for Review)

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

5. Airlift

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

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

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

4. Kahaani 2

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

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

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

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

3. Pink

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

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

(Click for Review)

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

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

2. Neerja

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

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

(Click for Review)

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

  1. Raman Raghav 2.0

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

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

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

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

+1. Buddha in a Traffic Jam

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

Buddha-posterAnd finally a political thriller.

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

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

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

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18th JIO MAMI – the Closing Ceremony and the Awards!

18th JIO MAMI – the Closing Ceremony and the Awards! 

written by Souranath Banerjee

Every thing, no matter how good it is must come to an end!

And thus, with a dazzling star-studded closing ceremony the 18th JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival bids adieu to all us Cinema-ayan-mukerji-and-anurag-kashyaplovers!

The curtain fell on India’s biggest Film Festival, Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star on Thursday, 27th October, 2016. The ceremony took place at Bal Gandharva Rangmandir, Bandra. World-renowned filmmakers, talent and Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the end of Mumbai’s very own film festival’s latest edition.

Sonam Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Abhay Deol, Kabir Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Abhijat Joshi, Rahul Bose, Kunal Kapoor, Zoya Akhtar, Ayan Mukerji, Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Shakun Batra, Konkona Sensharma, Rajkumar Hirani, Richa Chadda, Neha Sharma and others walked the red carpet at the closing ceremony along with Jio 18th-jio-mami-the-closing-ceremony-and-the-awardsMAMI with Star Co-chairperson Kiran Rao, Festival Director Anupama Chopra. Shweta Tripathi and Vicky Kaushal hosted the event.

Jio MAMI with Star Co-Chair, Kiran Rao said, “We are now at the end of this festival- a Festival that not only showcased work from all over the world but also provided cinephiles a chance to be a part of panels, workshops, and master classes with experts in the field, leaving them with the best of experiences. On this day, I am filled with profound gratitude and satisfaction and I would like to thank all our partners for going out of their way to support us.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said “For the last 7 days, we 18th-jio-mami-the-closing-ceremony-and-the-awardshave all participated in a remarkable film feast. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our amazing audience, our fantastic sponsors and the fabulous film industry in Mumbai for helping us to make this edition such a success.”

And finally, the winners under various categories were announced.

HALF TICKET

  • The Golden Gateway Award (Feature) – ‘Hang in There, Kids!’ By Laha Mebow
  • The Silver Gateway Award (Feature) – ‘At Eye Level’ by Evi Goldbrunner and Joachim Dollhopf.
  • Special mention (Feature)– ‘Colours of Innocence’ by Mrinmoy Mondal and Shupratim Bhol.
  • The Golden Gateway Award (Short) – ‘A Town Called Panic: Back to School’ by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier. 
  • The Silver Gateway Award (Short) – ‘We Make Images’ by Nina Sabnani.
  • Special Mention (Short)- The Best Sound in the World by Pedro Paulo De Andrade.

Book Award

  • The Special Mention for Excellence in Writing on Cinema (Hindi) went to ‘Naye Daur Ka Naya Cinema’ by Priyadarshan.
  • The Special Mention for Excellence in Writing on Cinema (English)went to ‘Kanan Devi: The First Superstar of Indian Cinema’ by Mekhala Sengupta.
  • The Excellence in Writing on Cinema Award (Hindi) went to Anil Bhargava for ‘Bhartiye Cinema ka Itihas’.
  • The Jury announced The Excellence in writing on Cinema Award (English) in favor of Jai Arjun Singh for ‘The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’.

Festival Director Anupama Chopra along with Stephanie Zacharek, Film Critic- Time Magazine handed over the Young Critics Award to Matthew Vetticad.

  • Young Critics Choice Award went to ‘Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya.

Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality went to ‘Lipstick lipstick-under-my-burkha-posterUnder my Burkha’ by Alankrita Shrivastava.

Porush Singh, Country Corporate Officer, India and Division President, MasterCard South Asia handed over the ‘Mastercard Best India Female Filmmaker 2016 Award’ to Konkona Sensharma for the film ‘A Death in the Gunj’.

 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui gave away the ‘Audience Choice Award’ to the movie ‘The Salesman’ by Asghar Farhadi.

DIMENSIONS MUMBAI

  • The Golden Gateway Award was bestowed to Santosh Ganpat Kamble, Director of ‘Mumbai’s Mahuwa’ by Mr Mehmet Akay (General Manager- Western and Southern India, Turkish Airlines)
  • The Silver Gateway Award went to Tabu Kaariya, Director of ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’.
  • ‘Bombai’received The Special Mention (Dimensions Mumbai) Award by Director Yashwardhan Goswami.

INDIA GOLD

  • Haobam Paban Kumar received The Golden Gateway Awardfor ‘Lady of the Lake.’
  • The Silver Gateway Awardfor India Gold went to ‘The Narrow Path’ by Satish Babusenan and Santosh Babusenan.
  • The Jury Grand Prizewent to Aicheng Jai Dohutia for ‘The Hidden Corner.’
  • The Special Mentionwent to ‘Autohead’ by Deepak Sampath.
  • The Special Mention went to ‘Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

  • David Chou received The Golden Gateway Awardfor ‘Diamond Island’.
  • The winner of The Silver Gateway Awardfor International Competition was Ralitza Petrova for ‘Godless’.
  • The Jury Grand Prizewent to the movie ‘Everything Else’ by Natalia Almada.
  • Special Mention for Political Commitment of the Filmwent to ‘When Two Worlds Collide’.
  • The Special Mentionwent to Macarena Arias for the film ‘Alba’.

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

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Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

People in general are instinctively curious by nature, which obviously makes them 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.

10. Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein

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

charlie-kay-chakkar-mein-posterMultiple 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

main-aur-charles-posterA 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

Baby-posterAs 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

detective-byomkesh-bakshy-poster1Saradindu 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

badlapur-poster4Directed 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

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.

Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

4. Rahasya

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

rahasya-posterDirected 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

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 last shot of the film.

2. 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)

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

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 (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

kajarya-posterDirected 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

Poster courtesy: filmywave.commovies80.com

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Haraamkhor (2015)

Haraamkhor review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4/5.

Haraamkhor recently won the Silver Gateway Award at the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and according to it’s producer Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment, the film is all set to release in the theaters very soon.

It is a rural tale of a teacher-student liaison.

Till now Bollywood has always played the safe game while portraying the ‘sacred’ emotions of a teacher-student relationship; such relations have always been handled delicately, from a safe distance and that too often dipped in deliberately dramatized dignity.

Haraamkhor-poster1But in the film Haraamkhor, the only emotions that are taken into consideration are unprocessed and raw, intense, realistic, and devoid of any kind of sugar-coating for sure.

Set in a small town of Gujarat, a school teacher named Shyam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is said to be having an affair with one of his student Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi).

At the initial stage though, it all seems to be just a rumor, a small-town gossip but as the film reveals itself along with it’s characters, it soon becomes pretty evident that Shyam and Sandhya’s relation is way beyond the usually expected tutor-pupil correlation. It’s a strange mix of lust and passion, of naive innocence and also a bit of love.

And then, Sandhya being underage (15-year-old) and Shyam being a 35-year-old married man makes their relationship more of a taboo!

The premise is simple but the execution is savagely precise and gritty and very entertaining as well.

Now of course, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the selling point of the film as undoubtedly he is the most gifted actor of our recent times. And yes, he has done a tremendous job with his character in Haraamkhor; the cunning, libidinous, occasionally violent school teacher who at the same time is desperate to maintain his reputation!

But this film is not a one man show.

Haraamkhor-posterThe stage is been shared by another very talented actor Shweta Tripathi, who already appeared earlier in a soulful film called Masaan, and yet again in this film has proved herself to be one of the best upcoming talents of our industry.

Along with the two child actors who added enough humor to the script, Trimala Adhikari‘s performance is also much creditable as Sunita, the wife of the flirtatious school-teacher Shyam.  

Written and directed by debutant Shlok Sharma, the film is an unique combination of serious adult drama and numerous fun-filled moments. An awesome debut film!

Though the ending is not the part to be particularly proud of but overall the film is based on a taut script, beautifully portrayed emotions, attention given to every little details in preparing the characters and superb acting.  

If you prefer realistic films and aren’t shy of looking into an illicit relationship between a minor girl and a much older married man, this film is definitely worth a watch.

poster curtsey: www.clickmaza.comwww.ibnlive.com

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JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7 (Nawazuddin’s Haraamkhor and much more)

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Every good thing in this world comes to an end and so did the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival.

Featuring 200 films from over 35 countries and this is what the last two days of the festival had in store for me.

 

Day 6 (4nd NOV)

The first film that was waiting for me on the sixth day of the festival was Haraamkhor (2015). A very interesting film to start the day.

haraamkhor1Directed by debutant Shlok Sharma, a film that though gives an impression of light comedy (specially looking at it’s poster) but then it’s not.

A few comic moments here and there, but essentially the film is based on the illicit relationship between a teacher and his student and it’s brutally realistic. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is as usual the heart of the film, his acting skills are currently the best in the Indian film industry and we all know it. But Shweta Tripathi is one actress to look forward to. She is brilliant in the film and has all the potential of becoming a great actress.

 

And then there was this animated gem of a beautiful film called Belladonna of Sadness (1973).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdp85x9d0A4

Belladon-posterA peasant woman who has a pact with the devil and challenges the social norms!

Directed by genius Eiichi Yamamoto, a master of visual art and animation.

A film that is considered to be as a classic and why not? Extraordinary visuals and spectacular color play, powerful erotic imagery and a very thin narrative structure.

A must watch for people who are more into visual arts and animation.

 

And then there was The Club (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqv8PPDfiyw

club-posterDirected by Pablo Larraín, this is both an innovative and a disturbing film.

In a Chilean beach town, the disgraced priests and nuns (suspected of crimes in their past) are sent to stay in a house. And then one day a crisis counselor comes in and everything changes!

Beautiful images and great acting, a terrific story that is too real and hard hitting at times. Something that lasts an impact on you.

 

And the day ended with a superb film called Mia Madre (2015) aka My Mother.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWiFif96t3Y

mia-madre-posterDirected by Nanni Moratti, this one is a film so sensitive and emotional that it makes you miss your own mother/parents.

A film director whose mother in in the hospital, and in-between her busy schedule she visits her and try to comfort her.

Brilliant performances by Margherita BuyNanni MorettiGiulia Lazzaroni and some well deserved comic reliefs by John Turturro – a film that that is complete in it’s own unique way.

 

Day 7 (5nd NOV)

On the last day i watched the only 3D animated film in the festival, Monster Hunt (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR6JRIlf1jM

monster-hunt-posterThe monster’s world and the human’s world collide and two humans become responsible to protect a baby monster (the future monster king).

The film boasts of awesome animation and superb use of VFX.

Directed by Raman Hui, this Chinese animated film reminded me of my all time favorite film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

A bit kiddish of course but a good watch.

 

And then, there was this soulful film Ottal (2014) aka Trap.

Ottal-posterDirected by Jayaraj, this one is about a poor, young boy whose grandfather wants him to study and become somebody respectable.

But instead of going to a school, the boy ends up as a child worker in a distant town away from the love and protection of his grandfather.

The film is the voice of thousands of such children who are illegally being forced to work under inhuman conditions.

 

Well, this ends the spectacular journey of films and also the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival. I was glad to be a part of it and will eagerly wait for it the next year.

Thank you.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.ibnlive.comisammakesstuff.tumblr.comwww.cinenews.be.

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Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015)

Manjhi: The Mountain Man review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4/5

A man who is blinded by rage, a man who believes in true love, a man who has nothing else to loose, a man with tremendous willpower, a man with a mission.

manjhi_poster2The latest biographical drama by Ketan Mehta is inspired on the real life story of a poor labourer Dashrath Manjhi from a village called Gehlaur (near Gaya, in Bihar).

Gehlaur was surrounded by hills and the nearest town with school and hospital facilities was almost 70 km away, and that too one had to take a path around the difficult mountain road.

After the death of Manjhi’s wife Falguni Devi (she accidentally slipped and fell from the mountains and couldn’t survive due to delayed medical treatment), Manjhi in a feat of madness vowed to take revenge on the treacherous Gehlaur mountains and cut it down to make a short-cut road for the benefit of his fellow villagers.

And incredibly enough Manjhi kept his word.

dashrat-manjhiIt took him 22 years but Dashrath Manjhi, single-handedly, with only a hammer and a chisel did slice the mountain and made a passage through it, reducing the distance from his village to the nearest town to a mere 15 Km.

An achievement of which even Thor (the mythological God of thunder always seen with a hammer) would probably be jealous or even proud of.

The film Manjhi: The Mountain Man tries to depict the passion and determination of Dashrat Manjhi. And it succeeds too to an extent but in a very ‘bollywoodish’ and filmy way!

Ketan Mehta, undoubtedly a talented director with a vision but in this case his job becomes easier because of the choice of casting.

manjhi_poster3Nawazuddin Siddiqui as we all know is the one of the finest actor in India and he himself admitted in a recent interview that playing the role of Manjhi is his best performance till date. Probably it’s not just promotional talk but he is telling the truth!

Nawazuddin easily transforms himself from the easy-going comic lover to a delirious victim of love. The madness in his eyes, his hysterical laughter, the frantic resolution and the demented strength of character – i can’t imagine anybody else performing such a challenging character.

Radhika Apte, playing Manjhi’s wife (Phaguniya), has also done a great job. In her no-blouse-saree-draped costume, she is the perfect combination of innocence and seduction. 

manjhi-poster3And then Tigmanshu Dhulia as the corrupt Mukhiya and Pankaj Tripathi as his scandalous son did make their presence felt.

The mountain man’s journey wasn’t an easy one – not only for the sheer physical strength that was demanded for the job but also because the ignorant man was repeatedly mocked, harassed, cheated and once even arrested. 

But the important lesson to learn is that he never stopped doing what he believed is right.

Darshat Manjhi is a legendary figure in his own right; though this 120 min film may not be that legendary but it surely made Manjhi a much more popular legend than before.

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Badlapur (2015)

My Ratings: 3.8/5.

“Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.” – a quote from the book/film The Godfather. And then “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind” – the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

Badlapur is a film that tries to establish a balance between the above two quotes; a movie that thrives on the concept of revenge but also condemns it in the process.

badlapur-poster4Within the first ten minutes of the film a bank gets looted, two bandits on the chase and two innocent hostages loose their lives. One of the thugs get caught but the other one runs away with the money!

Raghav looses his wife and son (both were hostages) and it shatters his life.

And hence the mood is set for a perfect revenge thriller.

Badlapur revolves basically around the two main characters and their goals in life – firstly Varun Dhawan (Raghav) and his thirst for retribution and secondly the gangster who gets caught Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Liak) and his unending desire for freedom, money and his long-lost love Jhimli (Huma Qureshi).

A film that burns in the flames of Violence and Vengeance.

badlapur-poster1A hammer used as a weapon (i guess this is an inspiration from the South Korean action flicks); make no mistake Badlapur is a hard-core, realistic action film where even the letters on an innocent scrabble board-game spells “revenge”.

Superb acting by all, specially Nawazuddin Siddiqui, his simplicity while delivering dialogues is outstanding. Even Varun Dhawan did give his best, his matured look with the beard and all looks very promising indeed.  

Huma Qureshi, Divya Dutta, Yami Gautam, Radhika Apte all played their parts pretty well.

Edgy editing by Pooja Ladha Surti and good casting choices by Mukesh Chhabra.

Sriram Raghavan is back; if you have enjoyed his earlier films like Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddaar i am sure you will like his latest Badlapur as well.

So go watch it.

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Best of Bollywood 2014.

Best of Bollywood 2014.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

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

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

So, let the race begin.

1. Queen

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

(Click for the film review)

Girl power punched with fun and friendship.

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

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

2. Highway

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

(click for the film review)

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

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

3. Haider

Haider-poster

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

(click for the film review)

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

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

4. Ankhon Dekhi

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

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

A rare gem – entertaining and thoughtful cinema.

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

5. City Lights

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

(Click for the film review)

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

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

6. Ugly

Ugly-poster

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

(Click for the film review)

Probably the most dark film recently made in Bollywood.

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

7. PK

pk-poster

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

(Click for the controversial film related article)

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

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

8. Miss Lovely

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

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

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

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

9. Filmistaan 

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

(Click to see the film review)

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

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

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

10. Children of War

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

(Click to see the film review)

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

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

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

+1. Mary Kom

Mary-kom-poster

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

(Click to see the film review)

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

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

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

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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.

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