Tag Archives: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Best of Bollywood 2015 (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood cinema essentially means films made in Hindi language, generally produced and distributed in and around the Bombay Film Industry.

Last year 2015, according to me, was a good year for Bollywood.

Films, some of them of finest quality have been made or released, which successfully maintained the thin line between aesthetics and entertainment, and kept both the critics and the audience content.

And so, here is the list of Best of Bollywood 2015. Hope you agree with me on this. (If not, then let’s at least disagree on it)

10. Drishyam

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

Drishyam-posterA thrilling tale of a common man who by his intellect and imagination tricked everyone in order to save his family.

Directed by Nishikant Kamat, a south remake starring Ajay DevgnShriya Saran and Tabu.

A thriller that keeps you on the edges of your seat and doesn’t reveal the suspense till the very last shot of the film.

9. Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyX4toD395U

Bajrangi-Bhaijaan-posterA Salman Khan film, that has a realistic story line, enough scope for acting and most importantly high on emotions and less on dramabazi!

Directed by Kabir Khan, this one is about a big hearted man who went all the way to Pakistan to unite a cute little girl (who is also mute) with her parents.   

A perfect family entertainment clubbed with fun-filled sentiments.

8. Tanu Weds Manu Returns

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

tanu-weds-manu-returns-poster1With a double role (playing the sexy Tanu and the tomboyish Datto) Kangana Ranaut yet again shows that she is currently THE best actress in Bollywood.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aanand Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma Tanu Weds Manu Returns guarantees a smile on the audiences face as they leave the theaters. And believe me that’s a huge achievement. 

7. Nh10

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

nh10-poster1A perfect romantic trip turns into a nightmare.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Navdeep Singh, this is one hard hitting thriller where a urban woman experiences the brutal face of rural India, as she unintentionally becomes involved in a case of honor killing.

Raw, edgy, gritty and very much realistic, and undoubtedly Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

6. Bajirao Mastani

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHOc-4D7MjY

Bajirao-Mastani-poster2A take on the life of Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, a Maratha general of the early 1700!

(Click for the review)

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, there are rarely any Bollywood films (if any) that are so pleasing to your eyes that the story, content and characters almost get sidetracked by the sheer beauty of each and every frame.

5. Margarita, with a Straw

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

Margarita-with-a-Straw-posterDirected by Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar this is an exceptional film about a young girl with cerebral palsy who is not afraid to fall in love!

(Click for the review)

Kalki Koechlin – her innocence, her vulnerability, her dialogue delivery, her body language, expressions, her smile – she is the reason to watch this film.

4. Talvar

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

Talvar-Poster2Directed by Meghna Gulzar, this one is a well researched version of the Noida Double Murder Case of 2008, also known as the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

(Click for the review)

A gripping tale that often makes it difficult for the audience to remember that after all, it’s a fictional representation of the dismal crime and its aftermath.

3. Piku

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeiKUlUUNQ8

piku-poster1Directed by Shoojit Sircar, one of the best entertaining films of the year, emotional, real and so much fun.

(Click for the review)

Amitabh Bachchan as the selfish constipated dad,  Deepika Padukone as the devotedly caring yet tired of taking-care-of daughter and Irrfan Khan as the suitable suitor (perhaps).

2. Titli

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

titliA family whose family-business is car-jacking, often violently abusing the passengers and looting their valuables. The youngest member of this family is named Titli, and this is his story of freedom.

(Click for the review)

Superbly directed by Kanu Behl, the film even got a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival!

  1. Masaan

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVZzYa0MxM8

masaan-posterBrilliantly directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, there is a certain honesty about Masaan that eventually grows on you and within it’s 100 min screen time, the film compels you to relate to it’s characters.

(Click for the review)

Shot in Varanasi, stories and incidents are threaded together like precious little pearls and the thread being the holy Ganges!

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

+1. Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9KAoTQlEWs

mountain-man-poster-1Directed by Ketan Mehta,  a brilliant biopic of Dashrath Manjhi, a man who single-handedly (with only a hammer and a chisel) sliced open the mountain to make a passage through it, reducing the distance from his village to the nearest hospital to minimal.

(Click for the review)

It took him 22 years but he made the impossible possible.

Poster courtesy:  www.bollywoodmdb.com

Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Bajirao Mastani review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘Cheeteh ki chaal, Baaz ki naazar aur Baji Rao ki talvar par sandeh nahi karte, kabhi bhi maat de sakti hai.’

My Ratings: 4/5.

Almost twelve years back in 2003, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to make a film Bajirao Mastani with Salman Khan and Bajirao-Mastani-poster2Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles. But fate had some other plans. 

Finally in 2015, the film was made, i may add very beautifully made, with a fresh cast, Ranveer SinghDeepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

Now, there are rarely any Bollywood films (if any) that are so pleasing to your eyes that the story, content and characters almost get sidetracked by the sheer beauty of each and every frame.

Bajirao Mastani is one such example of cinema.

Mr.Bhansali along with his cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee and production designers Saloni DhatrakSriram Iyengar and Sujeet Sawant have managed to create stunning painting-like-shots (many Bajirao-Mastani-poster3of the frames in the film actually resembles classic paintings of famous Marathi painters) and have enthralled us with these great visuals through out the film.

And talking about the story of the film, (without going into the debate of how much historical authenticity it has), I would say it comes under the classic ‘doomed love story’ category, where love wins only through destruction of them who are in love!

Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, a great Maratha general of the early 1700, who though happily married and Hindu, falls in love with a charming half-muslim princess Mastani and eventually makes her his (second) wife.

But Baji Rao’s family (especially his mother and brother) are not too happy about this second marriage. So correspondingly, they humiliate Mastani and try to kill her a couple of times.

Bajirao-Mastani-poster7At the end, they do understand that ‘Baajirao Ne Mastani Se Mohabbat Ki Hai, Aiyashi Nahi’, but by that time it was too late!

Acting wise. superb performance by Ranveer Singh; his way of speaking Marathi, his body language as a warrior, his confident dialogue deliveries – basically he did look the part.

Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra also did great job, and played out the perfect love triangle scenario.

Even the secondary characters Tanvi Azmi (as mother), Milind Soman (as minister), Aditya Pancholi (as the rival), Vaibbhav Tatwawdi (as brother) and Mahesh Manjrekar (as Maratha King) – all were at their best.

The content is relatively simple but the presentation is creditable, a Bajirao-Mastani-poster4bit too loud often (specially the dialogues) but again, that’s the part of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s filmmaking style I guess.

A clever move to put a disclaimer in the very beginning of the film which basically said that the film doesn’t claim to be faithful to any historical facts; and then only did all the fuming historians calm down and concentrate on their popcorn tub.

Don’t forget the numerous elaborately choreographed dance sequences; decent musical score by Sanchit Balhara and Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself.

Do watch it in big screen to absorb the opulence and grandeur of this film.

P.S – Bajirao Mastani is banned in Pakistan since it is regarded as ‘a historical drama that is indirectly against Islam and Muslims.’ (No idea why or what that means).

Poster courtesy: www.muchask.netdailyroabox.comwww.bollywoodmdb.com

Mary Kom (2014)

My Ratings: 3.2/5

Five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is Bollywood’s next pick for a sports person biographical film.

Mary Kom, a poor farmer’s daughter from Manipur, who from a very young age dreams to become a boxer though against her parents will; and finally creates history by being the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.

Indeed a story that is worth to be told.

But unfortunately I won’t prefer to call this film a proper biographical account of her life.

The hard-core facts of Mary Kom’s achievements hold the story together and make it look like a biopic but on the other hand the over-dramatization of the events of her life makes the film look like fiction.

I must confess that Mary Kom is not an exemplary film (Bhag Milkha Bhag and Paan Singh Tomar undoubtedly scores better) but still it has its heart in the right place.

And the credit goes to Priyanka Chopra for taking up the lead role with such conviction. Though the painted freckles on her non-Manipuri face doesn’t help but still Priyanka has successfully managed to convince the audience into accepting her as Mary Kom.

She has transformed herself – her body language, her accent and her athletic built (result of an extreme fitness regime) – Priyanka’s performance is the spine of this film and the sole reason to watch it.

A handful of emotional scenes that comes to the audience as real, otherwise the story-telling is pretty ordinary, the unnecessary need to create dramatic moments out of every situation makes the film a bit too filmy.

For example Mary’s father excitedly shouts inspirations to Mary while watching her fight live in the TV and exactly at that point Mary (who is in a different country) looks at the camera and seems to get the signal, and miraculously inspired starts winning the fight. Wow!

In another occasion Mary Kom after loosing a fight unnecessarily accuses the match referees of being partial to her just because she is from Manipur (without any previous context or hint of such state-wise partiality). Seems kind of out of place and deliberate.

Then again the cast of the secondary characters doesn’t look apt, especially Mary’s father, Mary’s husband Onler Kom (Darshan Kumar) and the worst – a stereotypical boxing federation chief Mr.Sharma.

Also I am sure intelligent editing could have made a huge difference to the film.

Directed by debutant Omung Kumar (one of the talented art directors in Bollywood) and produced by Snajay Leela Banshali; overall an inspirational story of a woman who never gave up her dreams even after becoming a mother and achieved great success and pride for our country.

A film worth a watch.

P.S – my humble request to all the recent filmmakers will be that if possible they can advertise the sponsored products in their films in a more subtle way. I mean it kind of degrades the class of a film when the main actors blurt out lines deliberately written especially for the sale of products such as Iodex and Sugarfree.

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

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.