Siya Ke Ram T.V. Series Pilot Review:

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It has been some time since Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, an enthralling series which depicted Lord Ram, the manifestation of Lord Vishnu, in a sheer magnificent way.  With a head start, the ‘Devon Ke Dev….Mahadev’ fame’s producer has produced this much awaited Historical Television Drama, with the help of Triangle Film Company. I remember watching the 1986’s Ramayan as a kid. It used to evoke the right emotions and somewhere down the line, that’s what connected many people from that generation to our culture and religion. In many places it wasn’t right, but it had the simplicity, storytelling and Lord Ram used to be more altruistic. Nevertheless, I cannot say the same about the host of Historical & Mythological dramas of this century. Mostly, all of them have lost the cultural touch and retract giving that torch of knowledge that we used to look upon.

Siya Ke Ram

Siya Ke Ram

Moving to ‘Siya Ke Ram’, the series for which consultancy of the renowned author Anand Neelakantan has been accommodated. Though, as I feel, he is a wrong man to go to, if you’re hoping to educate the youth of our country, about our religion and Gods. I’m not against his writing, he is one of the best writers I’ve read but, all of his work is perceived from the point of the actual villains from mythology and his books exhibit them as heroes. This Series highlights the chronicle through Lady Sita’s perception.

I don’t need to brag about the story, but what I will nit-pick are its details. First off, to all the people, who watched the premiere of Siya Ke Ram, I’ll tell that, there is no mention about Lord Ram’s sister in Valmiki written Ramayan. The ambience set by the series and it’s aura aren’t in anyway going to give you even a hint, that it’s Ramayan running on T.V. Being only the first episode, I wouldn’t criticize it much, as there is much to see how the series grows from this point. But the visual effects are a harbinger of how tacky the technical department is. Also, like every other Indian series, it goes in the time-consuming-series list. It happens quite a lot and it’s almost as if it’s an implied condition, that if you’re producing an Indian series, you have to circle the camera across the room and hold it on every individual’s face so that their precious emotions are delivered to the people sitting across the T.V. It comes almost as a revelation, that the said policy hasn’t been applied much to this initial episode.

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The Final Word:

It’s too early to comment on the acting quotient, though, I sense a feeble storytelling, which will result in wrong creeds & disbelief of the actual facts by the younger population in our culture. On the other hand when, 1986’s Ramayan had a music so blessed, the lyrics and the composition of Siya Ke Ram fail to move the heart. But with a better cinematography and a hint of good directing, the series looks stable.

On a last note, I will say this, if you haven’t read Valmiki/Tulsidas Ramayan or heard it from your mother or grandparents, this series will place the wrong ideals of Lord Ram in your kids’ minds.

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The truth of my experience of ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusli’: Movie Review

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Words evade my mind and my hands feel numb as I sit to write about this spell bounding experience I had while watching the adaptation of ‘Musical- Katyar Kaljat Ghusli’. With the abundance of an auteur writer Purushottam Darvekar, a great personality in the world of music- Jitendra Abhisheki and an actor and singer- Dr. Vasantrav Deshpande, the play, “Sangeet Katyar Kaljat Ghusli” was premiered in 1967. This play was showered love and support and the viewer got completely immersed in it. It had a great run from its inception till now and Subodh Bhave decided to make it into a movie.

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Most people who are accustomed to watching Marathi plays or live in a very religious/musical ambience, must have heard the virtuoso of Abhisheki buva crooning to classical music. The emotions it brings out, are, to be honest, unexplainable. After listening to his songs, I know the power of music. It is that blessing endowed to humans, which puts our life into transition. It has been already said by somebody that many good scripts come and go every day, but an invincible, sensible and thought provoking script is a rare one. It would have indeed been the case when Purushottam Darvekar wrote this story. The screenplay for the movie was written by Prakash Kapadia, who has been a part of many accomplished projects, Devdas, Black and Bajirao Mastani (yet to release) being some of them.

Like the story, screenplay and dialogues were not good enough, comes Subodh Bhave’s directorial debut with this film. I knew the film was going to be awesome, but it was Subodh Bhave who with his extreme efforts and knack for filmmaking has taken the movie so high. I do not see any film coming near it and overtaking the prestigious place that it has engraved on my heart. A little something from the movie still lingers even now and it has been through sheer efforts of this whole team. The film also includes seventeen songs, each filled with the aura of classical music. I cannot help but think about how the composers (Abhisheki buva & Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) composed this musical elixir. A good thing I felt about the songs was, that was no actor changed the voices for every coming song.

Subodh Bhave like always has been much of a dominating actor and an attention capturer in movies. His simplicity, retained over by his character in the movie is captivating.

Shankar Mahadevan as Panditji was a brilliant strategy which to its fullest. It is evident that the singer can act very well through his maiden performance.

Sachin Pilgaonkar as Khansaheb was equally connecting. He has outperformed in every way he could. He was mesmerizing and was a target of being hated, because of his believable, but very sophisticated act.

Mrinmayee Deshpande, Amrita Khanvilkar & Sakshi Tanwar were absolutely marvelous. Even the actors who played the characters of the King and queen, evoked the right emotions. This is a movie where every actor has given invigorating performances.

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The Final Word:

It’s a disappointment, that this movie has got only four shows in Goa.  But that’s all that gets under the, negatives of this movie. I think it was the best movie of all time. You should not miss it for the world. I wish to watch it again and again and again.

From every film that I’ve watched this year, this was the best for me.

My rating 5/5.

This is the trailer, watch it if you haven’t:

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Review:

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With more heavy sets, sophisticated cast and a saporific touch of the 1990’s, Sooraj Barjatyas’ directorial has returned and with that, Prem is back. Sooraj didn’t take any projects for directing after Vivah, which was nine years back. A humongous hype had enveloped since the announcement of this film. The script was written and screenplay was sketched, which included almost all the elements from his previous work. So, Sooraj thought, it deemed fit to bring back the literally depreciated characters of all times; Prem. He had a great run with Salman Khan, and what best way to manipulate it? Thus, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. He put all his effort to project an almost similar story and ideologies into a profit making machine. And look it’s already working.

Prem Ratan Ratan Dhan Payo commensurates with Sooraj’s every movie. It’s nothing new, being in tow with the drama, emotional content, the seemingly sweet romance which are actually pretty much just a boring and awkward couple of moments and a creepy/cliché climax. Of all the above things, the worst is when I feel like he has picked off right from where he left. If I think about the story for a minute, I think it was Prem from ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’ or ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun’, who lived his life for past 16 years and appeared in Ayodhya and belied as a King, in this movie. It’s a serious thought that filmmakers need to consider before writing such crass stories. They are converting the public into their puppets and most of us laugh at what they throw at us.

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I thought, even with the kind of story in hand, the directing could have been a tidbit better. There were a few instances, when the screenplay needed some alterations. Sometimes it was unintentionally funny and sometimes, even creepy to watch the scenes unfolding on the screen. It cannot even be said that the sort of ambience created is a result of desultory screenplay, as there nothing to digress from.

Salman Khan looks comparatively boosted up after his last blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan. His complexion is way much cooler and his attitude and his maneuvers toward the camera are affable.

There was a time when Bollywood used to cast actors according to their age, skills, looks and chemistry. Now, that new trends have crawled in Bollywood, which emphasize on how to maximize profit, rather than focusing on the technicalities, much of it has changed. Salman is seen romancing with Sonam Kapoor, Shahrukh with Anushka, Katrina and so on and forth. Though Sonam Kapoor is average in her acting, being herself which involves overacting, this was an epitome of how wrong the casting of films is ubiquitous these days.

I really wanted to experience a good show of acting from Swara Bhaskar, but she was given very little screen space, despite her being one of the best actors. Anupam Kher has always been known for performing different characters with grace and this was one of them. It was good to see Aashika Bhatia, Deepak Dobriyal and Neil Nitin Mukesh in this movie. Neil is, as I like to think, a very talented but underrated actor. I wish he’ll get more offers after bagging a role in English T.V. series Game Of Thrones.

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The Final Word:

I you’re watching this movie because of Salman Khan, then beware, you might get bored of it. This was not a deal breaker for me but certainly a half-baked movie. From technical perception, this is a poorly made movie, but considering the entertainment point of view, it is just an average movie.

It may seem as a good entertaining movie in the moment, but take some time to think. Is it?

My Rating: 1.5/5.

If It’s Not Forever, it’s not love Novel Review: The love of the dead guy.

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Delhi was struck by an unexpected bomb blast which exploded in the vicinity of the high court in late 2011. It killed several people and destroyed several lives. In the memory of those hapless children, women and men, Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh teamed up to write a romantic novel. This novel inundates from time to time the life of a person, who narrates the incidents.

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The authors have tried to bring out the story as a semi-travelling romantic story, with bits of unnecessary elements diffused at some parts of the book. The main character is Deb, the story being narrated by him. So it necessarily points out to the novel, mostly being written by Durjoy at large. There are not going to be any big spoilers in the review, for I would want the read to read the book with novelty. As it starts off, Deb is caught in the middle of a blast besetting a heap of people. He wakes up to see love and concern in the eyes of his girlfriend, Avantika.  He suddenly is bogged down when he picks up a half burnt diary, from the scene and is held by only one thought; to get the story of the dead guy from the diary to his lover. And he goes on a road trip with his buddy, Shrey with only few leads to his dispatch. He’s left with no choice but to tell Avantika, Shrey and his newly met girlfriend, Tiya; the truth. Soon, they uncover the mystery about the dead guy and are dumbfound by what they learn.

It goes without saying that, there’s a lot of love-making and sexual talks which is to be inferred from the genre. But thankfully, that ends with the first half. You wouldn’t believe how horrible it reads when Deb is narrating the story. I mean, he’s just a lustful guy. He talks about love at one point, says something nice and appends it with a sexual comment. I think that was the most awful and abhorrent aspect of the novel along with a use of lot of spontaneous comments and phrases created apathy. Everything literally narrows down to intercourse with this guy. But what made me stick to the novel was the enigma and curiosity to find out what happens next.

The Final Word:

Whatever the reason may be, I am not repelled by this novel. In fact, I’ve come to like it. Though don’t expect much from this amateur writing style. I thought, at some point, Chetan Bhagat might have been able to do something more if he wrote this one. But that doesn’t take away the novelty of a bland created by Durjoy and Nikita, by infusing it with a thriller touch. Also, look out for the climax, actually two of’em. The climax singlehandedly made up for the disgusting and sexual comments.

The storytelling was what kept me going though, something could’ve been done about the perspective of Deb towards women. One wouldn’t know what Durjoy and Nikita garnered about the case or the diary, but they convert an atrocious act into a memorable romantic story.

cover page of if it's not forever it's not love by durjoy datta

My Rating: 3/5.