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Best Indian Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 (10+1list)

Best Indian Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

And finally that moment is here, that very event for which we all Cinema-Lovers have been impatiently waiting for – the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016 starts from 20th Oct!

And so, it’s time to check out some of the best Indian films (Fiction) that demands your attention while you get busy with the festival!

  1. A Death in the Gunj

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

a-death-in-the-gunj-posterA unique coming of age film based on a young boy who has some conflicted ideas of masculinity.

Featured in the Section: Opening Film, the film cast includes Gulshan DevaiahKalki KoechlinVikrant MasseyOm PuriTillotama ShomeRanvir ShoreyTanuja among others.

The opening film at the festival and also actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut.

2. Lipstick Under My Burkha

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpHqeHF8NM0

lipstick-under-my-burkha-posterDirected by Alankrita Shrivastava, the film featured in the Section: India Gold chronicles the secret lives of four small-town women who wants to break-free from their regular lives, and rebel in search of freedom.

The film features a very interesting starcast – Konkona Sen SharmaRatna PathakVaibbhav TatwawdiSushant SinghShashank Arora among others. 

3. Idiot (TV Mini-Series)

Ahamaq (original title)

Featured in the Section: The New Medium this film was originally a idiot-postertelevision series based on Dostoevsky’s famous novel by the same name.

Featuring Shah Rukh KhanMita VasishtAyub Khan-Din among others and directed by the acclaimed Mani Kaul in the year 1991, this earlier unreleased movie is definitely one of the prime attraction in the festival.

4. Tu Hai Mera Sunday

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJxbALLv6ug

tu-hai-mera-sunday-posterDirected by Milind Dhaimade, this is the story of five friends who struggle to find a place to play football in Mumbai.

Featured in the Section: India Gold, this movie is not only about missing the every-Sunday football game ritual at the Juhu Beach, but it’s also about growing up, about friendship and about finding one’s own space, and then of course happiness!

 5. Bioscope

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlw58ZW-ViI

Mitraa directed by Ravi Jadhav, Bail by Girish Mohite, Ek Hota Kau by bioscope-posterViju Mane and Dili e Nadaan by Gajendra Ahire – four talented directors and their four short films!

Featured in the Section: Marathi Talkies, this is a highly anticipated anthology film in the festival that is definitely worth your time!

6. Kalpana (1948) 

kalpana-posterThe genius dancer Uday Shankar directed and acted in this classic film which is currently featured under the Section: The New Medium at the festival. 

A unique form of story telling, a real “dance film” – rare and brilliant, such accurate compositions and use of various dance forms makes this film visually breathtaking and highly unconventional as well.

7. Autohead

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

autohead-posterSection: India Gold, directed by Rohit Mittal, this one is a feature length mockumentary in which a documentary crew follows a notorious auto rickshaw driver called Narayan in the suburbs of Mumbai. 

The movie overall has a voyeuristic quality since the film-crew directly becomes the part of this weird, sexually frustrated and often mentally deranged life of the auto driver. Dangerous and realistic at the same time!

8. Maroon

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9g81zbVHA0

maroon-posterThe story is of an insomniac university professor in Dehradun, who betrayed by his loving wife has been marooned into loneliness; where he suffers psychologically and becomes delusional.

A thriller that is being featured under the Section: The India Story, directed by Pulkit – and casting  Manav KaulDevyaniSaurabh SachdevaSumeet Vyas among others.

9. Pinky Beauty Parlour

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KTFUg3YwBs

Directed by Akshay Singh, this film makes a statement on the Indian obsession of fair skin!pinky-beauty-parlour-poster The story revolves around a certain beauty parlour in Banaras run by two sisters Pinky and Bulbul.

But the film takes a different turn when a body is being found and soon two police men come to investigate. Featuring under Section: The India Story, this film is surely something to look out for in this festival.

10. Donkey in a Brahmin Village (1977)

Agraharathil Kazhuthai (original title)

Featured in the Section: The New Medium, this brilliant piece of cinema is a satire told in an uniquely innovative and surreal agraharathil-kazhuthai-posternarrative style!

Directed by the renowned filmmaker John Abraham, the movie is basically on brahminical bigotry and superstitions.

On the brink of being banned and the film was highly ignored for a long time inspite of receiving a national award!

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

+1. Anatomy of Violence (2016)

anatomy-of-violence-posterThough categorised as a Canadian entry, this film is based on an Indian issue, the language is Hindi and it’s also made by an acclaimed director from Indian origin, none other than Deepa Mehta!

The film revolves around the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl by six men inside a moving bus in New Delhi, December 2012. A fictionalised take on the incident and the consequences of such a gruesome crime on our society.

A few docu-fictions that also looks enticing and entertaining India in a DayThe Cinema TravellersBurqa Boxers and An Insignificant Man

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com and mumbaifilmfestival.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 police officers fighting against corruption (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption: The police officers in notorious crime world of Bollywood are rarely taken seriously!

Either they are shown as the corrupt sadistic nuisance with no honor, conscience or sense of duty (generally villain’s sidekicks who will be bashed up by the hero towards the end of the film). Or else they are fabricated into these caricatured super heroes who can singlehandedly beat up an entire town of bad guys (the likes of DabanggSingham and Rowdy Rathore).

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

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

Let’s hear the sirens!

10. Sehar (2005)

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

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

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

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

9. Yeshwant (1997)

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

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

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

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

8. Gangaajal (2003)

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

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

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

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

7. Mardaani (2014)

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

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

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

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

6. Sarfarosh (1999)

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

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

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

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

5. Khakee (2004)

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

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

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

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

4. Ab Tak Chhappan (2004)

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

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

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

Probably Nana Patekar’s best performance till date.

3. Shool (1999)

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

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

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

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

2. Zanjeer (1973)

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

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

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

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

  1. Ardh Satya (1983)

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

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

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

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

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

+1. Black Friday (2004)

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Featured article from Bollywoodirect.

Smita Patil – a powerhouse of talent

Smita Patil – a powerhouse of talent.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Numerous popular stage performances, more than 80 films in Hindi, Marathi and other regional languages, a torchbearer of the Indian parallel cinema, two National Awards as ‘best actress’, many Filmfare Awards and also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri – all-that in a career which spanned only over a decade as Smita Patil passed away at the young age of 31!

Smita-pic1In the early 70s Smita Patil used to be a television newscaster for Doordarshan when acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal took notice of her and gave her the first role in his film Charandas Chor (1975).

Mr.Benegal who later worked with Smita in numerous other films recalled the first time he met her ‘She had a presence which I felt could be well utilised in cinema’. And indeed so.

Smita patil’s performance in Bhumika (for which she received her first National Award at the age of 21) impressed Jaya Bhaduri so much that she commented ‘makes you sit up and take notice. Her reflexes are uninhibited and she has a face with tremendous mobility’. 

A few starting scenes from Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika.

The most expressive eyes ever to have graced the celluloid; her dusky and sensuous looks and the capability to play any character (no matter how challenging) with extreme ease and perfection soon established Smita Patil as one of the most talented actress of Indian Cinema.

A scene from Mahesh Bhatt‘s precious film Arth (1982).

In the early years of her career she concentrated only on art cinema.

Along with Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, Smita Patil formed the four essential pillars of the then popular parallel cinema.

A beautiful song sequence from the film Jait Re Jait (1977) along with Mohan Agashe

Smita Patil being an activist for women’s rights became particularly famous for her roles that portrayed women as capable and empowered.

Smita-pic2She was probably the first actress who gave the directors enough
courage to make films with female lead characters in mind, something refreshingly different from the conventional male-dominated cinema that existed in Bollywood.

In films like BhumikaUmbarthaBazaar and Mirch Masala Smita Patil’s performances were intensely appreciated both by the critics and the audience. 

A scene from Ketan Mehta‘s brilliant film Mirch Masala (1987) with Naseeruddin Shah as the notorious Subedar and Smita Patil as the daredevil Sonbai.

On the occasion of 100 years of the Indian cinema, in honor of Smita Patil a postage stamp bearing her face was released by the Indian government.

Probably the only actress who could do justice to critically acclaimed films like ChakraSadgati, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Ardh SatyaMandiAakroshChidambaram and on the other hand be equally comfortable with hardcore commercial films like Namak HalaalKasam Paida Karne Wale KiShakti and so on. 

In Smita Patil’s own words:

‘I remained committed to small cinema for about five years … I refused all commercial offers. Around 1977-78, the small cinema movement started picking up and they needed names. I was unceremoniously dropped from a couple of projects. This was a very subtle thing but it affected me a lot. I told myself that here I am and I have not bothered to make money. I have turned down big, commercial offers because of my commitment to small cinema and what have I got in return? If they want names I’ll make a name for myself. So I started and took whatever came my way.’

Picture curtsey: www.filmimpressions.com. 

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘Zindegi jeene ke doi tarikke hote hai, ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardash karte jao. Ya phir zimmedari uthao usse badalneki’. 

If translated – ‘There are just two ways to live life. First, let whatever is happening to continue, keep enduing it. OR else take responsibility to change it.’

rang-de-basanti-poster2Similarly, there are two ways to make films too. First, to accept the general trend as they exist and make a similar one. Or to take upon the responsibility and create something unique!

Rang De Basanti (RDB) released in 2006 – story by Kamlesh Pandey and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is one such special film that made Indian Cinema proud.

Starring Aamir KhanSiddharthKunal KapoorSharman JoshiSoha Ali KhanAtul KulkarniAlice Patten and Madhavan (guest appearance); and then the talented supporting cast Waheeda RehmanAnupam KherKiron Kher and Om Puri.

Music by legendary A.R. Rahman who took three years to compose for this one particular film. 

rang-de-basanti-poster4With such impressive star cast and epic musical score, of course RDB was a huge box-office success. The film also won the National award for the most Popular Indian Cinema along with numerous other awards (Filmfare, IIFA, ZeeCine etc).

And on top of that, it was also send as India’s official entry for the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

But apart from being just a blockbuster, award-winning, popular film, RDB also managed to do something very rare which hardly any Indian cinema have ever accomplished before – it communicated with the audience, specially with the youth of our country!

Rang De Basanti is probably the only Indian film that initiated such significant level of political awareness, sense of patriotism and social awakening in the minds of our younger generation.

rang-de-basanti-poster5After the release of RDB, young minds of our country (mostly students) who earlier were never bothered about politics or any such civic causes became socially responsible and took active interest in discussions regarding national problems like corruption, bureaucracy and political injustice.

Soon full fledged youth activism started – not only through the internet blogs but the students actually took to the streets to protest on public interest issues.

A perfect example is the Jessica Lall Murder Case, where people protested against the initial court judgement by a silent rally – a candlelight vigil at New Delhi’s India Gate exactly the same way as shown in RDB!

rang-de-basanti-poster3Thankfully though our younger generation was clever and responsible enough not to murder some politician while emotionally aping the film till the end.

But importantly, the message which they took home from the film was that of ‘No country is perfect, it has to be made perfect.’

And the brilliance of the script and the filmmaker is that this message wasn’t delivered in a preachy manner. It was cleverly communicated by a bunch of laid back fun-loving college guys who initially didn’t care much about their future; who were only interested in drinking beer and racing bikes, watching films and eating out (just like any other college kid).

rang-de-basanti-poster7The young crowd of India could very easily connect themselves to these naive and vibrant characters of the film. They spoke a language that the youngsters understood and could relate to.

But then, when due to some tragic events these characters in the film were shaken from their easy-going lives and when they felt a soul stirring sense of responsibility towards their country – the young Indian audience felt the same and experienced the same prick of conscience.

rang-de-basanti-poster1‘A generation awakens’ was the tag line of the film and from the film’s posters to it’s media partners (CocaCola, LG, msn, Airtel, Provogue) – everything related to the film and it’s promotion were focused on that tag line itself.

Such was the power of Rang De Basanti that after watching the film former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, used the line ‘Aag hai mujhmen kahi’ (There is a fire somewhere within me) which is a popular lyric from one of the film’s song.

Almost 10 years have passed by since it was released and still Rang De Basanti remains one of the most influential films in the history of Indian Cinema.

Best Bollywood Classics (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Classics

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Bollywood Classics: Can anybody pin point the place so popularly know as ‘Bollywood’?

You cannot, because interestingly enough Bollywood does not exist as a physical place.

Bollywood’s existence is only in the form of it’s Cinemas; the films that are produced from in and around Mumbai (earlier called Bombay) essentially in the language ‘Hindi’.

When Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke) made the first Indian silent feature Raja Harishchandra in 1913; when Ardeshir Irani directed films like Alam Ara in 1931 (the first talkie film of India) and Kisan Kanya in 1937 (the first Indian colored film) – little did they know that some day the Bombay-based Film industry (Bollywood) will churn out the maximum number of films in the world!  

Bollywood is our planet’s largest Cinema factory, producing more than 1,000 films annually; about the double of Hollywood’s output!

And now let’s focus on some of the evergreen Bollywood classics; films which are adored by all generations and are directly responsible for Bollywood’s world wide success.

Here we go.

1. Do Bigha Zamin (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmy8B_4bhAQ

Do-Bigha-Zamin-poster

Staring Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy, the film is a classic tale of economic exploitation with which we can easily relate to, even today.

Directed by Bimal Roy, it’s the heart breaking story of a poor farmer who in order to free his land-debts takes up rickshaw-pulling as a profession.

The film won the first ever Filmfare award and also got a special mention at the Cannes film festival.

2. Shree 420 (1955)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRg65WuI1tY

Shree420-poster

Probably the most influential film of the time that took Bollywood to global popularity.

A man comes to Bombay with big dreams that eventually comes true but with a price of course.

Director/actor Raj Kapoor sets a trend with his baggy trousers and the Chaplin-hat as he goes along the road singing ‘mera juta hain Japani’.

3. Mother India (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmPzpWQ5v_E

mother-india-poster

Starring NargisSunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar, it was the first Bollywood film that was nominated for the Oscars as the best Foreign language film from India.

The love and struggle of a single mother bringing up her two sons, director Mehboob Khan made the first ever Bollywood film with a female protagonist! 

4. Mughal-E-Azam (1957)

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

MughalEAzam-poster

A dramatization of the famous Mughal love story – prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) who falls in love with a court-dancer Anarkali (Madhubala) against the will of his father, emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor).

Director K. Asif manages to get the best out of these brilliant actors. With only expressions and dialogues – this film is probably the best ‘love-story’ ever made. 

5. Pyaasa (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBZYJAzz5ys

pyaasa-poster

A film about poetic injustice (literally), since it’s the story of a poet and his thirst for love, fame and recognition.

Guru Dutt, the visionary actor/director along with Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman brings us this masterpiece.

Soulful songs – Sachin Dev BurmanHemanta MukherjeeGeeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi at their best.

The 50s and the early 60s were considered as the ‘golden age’ of Bollywood and rightly so.

6. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDbIT13MRY

Sahib-Bibi-Aur-Ghulam-poster

Directed by Abrar Alvi, an illicit love story full of passion and desire, hate and loneliness – an epic tragedy.

Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Rehman in the star cast but the one who really stands out is Meena Kumari. Her drunken outbursts and the sarcastic laughs are textbook even for today’s heroines who dare to take such courageous roles.

7. Anand (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfGX2AEaMUU

anand-poster

A man who is too busy living his life to the fullest, too busy to notice his terminal illness, too busy to be afraid of his inevitable death!

Superstar Rajesh Khanna gives his career best performance and Amitabh Bachchan is a great support.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee‘s best, the film will make you laugh and cry at the same time!

8. Sholay (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLhzpe3_V_g

sholay-poster

Bollywood enters the phase of hard-core action and this film is an epic in it’s own right. A true entertainer.

Ramesh Sippy‘s direction, the brutal clash between Gabbar (Amjad Khan) and Thakur’s (Sanjeev Kumar) hired ‘hands’ Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra).  

Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri takes care of the love stories on the side.

9. Deewaar (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1ptONRWpE

deewar-poster

Enters the ‘angry young man’ – the era of Amitabh Bachchan best portrayed by this particular film.

The anger and an attitude of revolt against the system, the underworld and the police, the clash of two brothers, and the dilemma of their mother.

Yash Chopra direction, staring Shashi KapoorNeetu SinghNirupa Roy and Parveen Babi

10. Bhumika (1977)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdcVs0nceOY

bhumika-poster

Shyam Benegal was one director who held tight the reigns of art-cinema in Bollywood. This film is one of his greatest work and Smita Patil gives her best performance. 

The story of a girl growing up, her career, her affairs, her joy and her despairs.

Naseeruddin ShahAmrish PuriAmol PalekarKulbhushan Kharbanda all at their best.

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

+1.  Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spkmLziFFg4

Jaane-Bhi-Do-Yaaro-poster

And finally a comedy, an ultimate political satire, full of dark humor and many rib-tickling moments of absolute joy.

Directed by Kundan Shah, the film is about two photographers Ravi Baswani and Naseeruddin Shah who are sucked into a whirlpool of dishonesty, corruption and murder.

Om PuriPankaj KapurSatish KaushikNeena Gupta all at their best but towards the end of the film Satish Shah as ‘Draupadi’ is simply priceless!

Similar Interest: Best Hollywood Classic Romantic Films

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Similar Interest: Best of Film Noir

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.impawards.com.

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.

The hundred-foot journey (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5

The hundred-foot journey is a very well cooked film, tender and succulent, a perfect fusion of the spicy Indian masalas and the subtle French cuisine.

The film is an emotional drama, a journey of a young boy Hassan (Manish Dayal) from being a good cook to a world famous chef.

But not so fast.

The hundred-foot journey unfolds itself in a slow pace; lures the audience to get accustomed to the Southern French countryside to get introduced to the characters and be a part of a beautiful story told to perfection.

The Kadam family spearheaded by Papa (Om Puri) opens up an Indian restaurant at a hundred-foot distance from an already established French restaurant owned by none other than the ever-competitive Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

The battle begins and the battleground is their respective kitchens.

And what follows is a food fest.

At one end we have the delicate French sauces to entice you and on the other hand the aromatic Indian spices to create magic, believe me you will want to eat on both sides of the street.

And then of course though somewhat predictable, the aromas of the two cultures finally blend in and the result – a couple of sweet love stories.

Superb acting by Om Puri, he is undoubtedly the spine of this film and also provides the needed comic reliefs in regular intervals.

Helen Mirren is as usual at her best, Charlotte Le Bon, Manish Dayal all acted brilliantly. And if you care to remember Juhi Chawla’s cameo as the mother who made Hassan realize the essence of good cooking.

A.R.Rahman’s music perfectly compliments the superb visuals by cinematographer Linus Sandgren.

The last half of the film is a bit stretched but then again it’s probably necessary for the desired conclusion.

Overall the film has a sense of tranquility that tends to stay with you, one of those movies that leave you with a pleasant smile.

Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake – the producers.

The hundred-foot Journey comes from one of my favorite directors Lasse Hallstrom who has pampered us earlier with amazing movies like What’s eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House rules, Chocolat, Hachi: a dog’s tale and many more.

So I went with lot of expectations and came out of the cinema hall hungry yet satisfied.

Totally worth it.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEO1TWeM5JU

Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 2)

And here comes the Part 2 of the most anticipated world films of 2014 yet to release. The trailers are convincing enough to make us impatient but all in good time.

For Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 1) click the link below:http://www.cinemaforensic.com/most-anticipated-world-films-of-2014/

Here follows a list of another Ten films that promises awesome entertainment. Do enjoy the trailers for now and make sure you don’t miss any of these on the big screen.

Let the fun begin.

A walk among the Tombstones (releasing on 19th Sept)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HDQ_PEVgwI

a walk among the tombstones

A private investigator is engaged in a dangerous hunt to find a drug lord’s wife who has been kidnapped and killed.

Scott Frank‘s direction – by the look of the trailer the film looks like a perfect thriller in every sense.

And according to me in such suspense-action films Liam Neeson simply can’t go wrong. Let’s wait and watch.

Interstellar (releasing on 7th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WzHXI5HizQ

interstellar

This year Christopher Nolan comes up with a Sci-Fi thriller that looks superb (as the trailer goes till now).

With talented actors like Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain i bet the film will make enough waves all around the globe.  

A newly discovered wormhole! And a voyage in the space! An interstellar Voyage!! – Bring it on.

The hundred-foot journey (releasing on 8th Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6H8pAKKkgQ

the-hundred-foot-journey

Lasse Hallström is the director who has given amazing films like ‘Chocolat‘ and ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape‘. 

And on top of that this film has such an Indian connection.

An Indian family opens an eatery in France right across a French restaurant. Helen Mirren, Om Puri,  Rohan ChandCharlotte Le Bon – all look just perfect for the film.

Good people (releasing on 26th Sept)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC17twr50WU

good-people

A couple in the time of financial crisis discovers a bag full of money. And they decide to keep it.

Soon enough they find themselves trapped and become the target of both the police as well as some deadly thief who knows all about it.

Starring James Franco and Kate Hudson, even good people make mistakes in the time of crisis and has to pay their price.

St.Vincent (releasing on 24th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5BVn-eyAxA

st.vincent

The main attraction of this film is none other than Bill Murray.

Of course it’s a comedy and according to the trailer it looks like a good one.

It’s about a little boy’s friendship with an unlikely old man who is completely wrong as a mentor to the child. Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts are also starring in the film. 

The Equalizer (releasing on 26th Sept)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt0GkVZK8zA

the equalizer

An innocent girl as a victim, Denzel Washington, an ex commando is the savior and a lot of Russian gangsters.

What more can you possibly need for an action packed entertainer.

Antoine Fuqua‘s direction and the trailer looks damn cool.

I am sure this film will clench the thirst of all the action film lovers.

Unbroken (releasing on 25th Dec)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebHji2c_ciU

unbrokenDirected by Angelina Jolie and written by the Cohen brothers.

The film is about an Olympic runner  by the name of Louis Zamperini who was taken prisoner by the Japanese army during WW2 but he never give up his hope to come back. 

The trailer undoubtedly looks interesting and inspirational. All the best Angelina.

Jessabelle (releasing on 29th Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoBCEdt_BC8

jessabelleA horror flick that looks decent enough to make you sit in the edge of your seat. 

Returning to her home a girl finds some tapes and eventually comes in contact with a spirit that was waiting especially for her.

I wish the film turns out to be at least half as good as the trailer. I like horror films but unfortunately they never seem to scare me. Sad.

Before i go to sleep (releasing on 8th Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9QNAJm8E5g

before-i-go-to-sleep

Nicole KidmanColin FirthMark Strong – all look stunning in this mysterious trailer. 

A woman wakes up everyday without any memory of her past – it’s a matter of who she can trust.

The concept sounds familiar but hopefully the treatment will be different and better.

Dumb and Dumber To (releasing on 14th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMxwcRck9TI

dumb-and-dumber 2

After 20 years they are back and probably more dumb than ever (if that’s humanly possible).

Our all time favorite Jim Carrey and the hilarious Jeff Daniels team up again to make us laugh even harder at their brainless comedy.

This time they are going in an adventure trip to find one of their long lost children with the motive of gaining a kidney.

For Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 1) click the link below: http://www.cinemaforensic.com/most-anticipated-world-films-of-2014/