Sarbjit Movie Review: A cry for help

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From Omung Kumar, the director of much appreciated Mary Kom, comes a movie about an ordinary farmer from Bhikiwind, Punjab who under the influence of alcohol crosses the Indo-Pak border and is incarcerated in Pakistan for 23 years, being mistaken for an Indian spy. The film emphasizes on the plight of Sarabjit Singh and the hardships faced by his family, especially his sister, Dalbir Kaur.

The tone of the movie is a notch higher in terms of the intensity as compared to Mary Kom. Randeep Hooda starring as Sarabjit, brings out the predicaments of the man who is wrongly convicted for bombings in Lahore and Faisalabad. As the movie is narrated from the perspective of his sister, it rules out the possibility of him being a spy which the unconfirmed sources from RAW agree to disagree.

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Apart from the various controversies the story (real life story) has faced, the screenplay, dialogues and acting uplift the movie to a great extent. The screenplay goes in detail exploring the life of Sarabjit’s struggle to maintain sanity, Dalbir’s fight to bring her brother back and his wife’s and daughters’ disturbance at keeping Sarabjit’s memory alive.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s zealous and invigorating performance will surely dwell in your mind and remind you of your elder protective sister. Randeep Hooda as Sarabjit was captivating, profound and gave a stellar performance. His camaraderie with Aishwarya Rai was terrific in spite of her being his sister in the film. Richa Chadha has always been one of the best actors of Bollywood. Even the performance by Ankita Shrivastav and Shiwani Saini as Sarabjit’s daughters conveyed the intended effect.

The Last Word:

Omung Kumar in his dirctorial has immensly outplayed the boundary of Sarbjit being a boring and a tedious movie. He gives a great message through this film. Currently 403 Indians and 278 Pakistanis are in imprisonment between the countries, many of them mistaken for being a spy. Our responsibility is to not let anyone mislead us and to trust our conscience.

My Rating: 4/5.

 

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Baaghi Movie Review: Action packed, no brainer and unimpactful

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With the stock of a trailer with so much action, stunts and the scenery captured in a way gratifying the viewer, it seems the movie was quite surreal when it extended from two minutes to a little over two hours. With a chiseling body Tiger Shroff exuded some moves in Heropanti. But when it came to acting he just couldn’t capitalize.

We talk a lot about how Bollywood is entertaining, but no one sees past the naive and cheesy acts in the movies. For starters, even the name of the movie was a borrowed one. The premise is picked up from the Indonesian hit Raid, and if that wasn’t enough, the screenplay and dialogues were terrible.

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Tiger Shroff just couldn’t move past the words, “Abhi toh maine start kia hai”. Shraddha Kapoor kept the same demeanour as from the movie Ek Villain. With Sanjeev Datta’s debut writing experience, which is conjured from the diverse releases from Bollywood movies and Sabir Khan’s consistant work of directing muddled movies continues.

Though the action looks quite captivating, the same cannot be said about other aspects. Tiger Shroff’s and Shraddha Kapoor’s acting succumbs to keep the film entertaining. The film falls flat with the humdrum nature of the screenplay and the lack of originality.

The Last Word:

Though an interesting choice of playgarism has yielded the movie a bit of attention, the film has only a tidbit to offer besides the hand-to-hand fights and the kicks of Tiger. The film is tacky and it lacks a strong plot, but the cinematography and the scenic beauty somewhat pleases the eye.

My Rating: 2/5.

Bajirao Mastani Movie Review: An impeccable turret of moviemaking with a twisted storyline

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Though an elucidated disclaimer says that the story depicts the life of Bajirao Peshva and his love story revolving around Mastani, and that the real events have been changed as per the need, for the purpose of storytelling; it doesn’t make up for wrong idealizing of what Peshva stood for. It’s like saying, “I’m writing a story based on your life and showing you as a man who brought shame on your family.” Now, isn’t that fiction? Technically, yes it is. But, since I’ve used your name and portrayed your character through my writing, the whole story points out one name and it’s yours, and in it you’re a bad person. So yeah, by doing that, I am throwing mud at you. To make myself clear, by altering the real events the writer has in fact done an offense.

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I don’t know how many people from India have known about Bajirao Peshva, but its distressing to know that people have resorted to believing the story of the film and have painted an image, that’s by far, isn’t anything like Bajirao. So, other than the manipulation of the story and exploiting the whole Peshva house, the storyline for the film has been neat. The most salient and virtuous aspect on paper are the dialogues. They are the backbone of how the Maratha’s used to live, communicate and rule. They are the embodiment and the structure of the Maratha’s. Prakash Kapadia, who also assisted in writing the screenplay of the film Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, has also penned down few poetic lines, which increase the magnificence beyond praise.

When it comes to directing a historical film, a great responsibility is on the shoulders of the director. More than actors, he needs to be prepared for the guiding the actors, the etiquettes and the manner in which they are supposed to maneuver and act. Personally, I’ve never seen a director so blended in directing a historical love story. His direction cannot be criticized.

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And when it comes to acting, Ranveer Singh has left an impact so sturdy, as if it has been engraved on my heart. A fabulous piece of acting from him and it shows. The scene of the last battle, when he walks alone into the army of the opposition and decapitates and destroys a major part of it, is when you’ll realize, you’ve seen something magnificent which cannot be forgotten.

Portraying Mastani, Deepika Padukone has given the performance of her lifetime. She is the dandiest in the film and gives the best judgement to her role. Priyanka Chopra, after her recent success in American T.V. series, Quantico, is captivating beyond measure. Saying that this character played by her is tough, is an understatement. She is a treat to watch.

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The Final Word:

With picturesque cinematography and mesmerizing acting, the film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali touches the heart, though manipulating the story does not do any good. Gathering all the resources and conjuring a movie, which only focuses on the love story of a man, is not a biography but only an aspect of one’s life and I invite the youth (of at least our country) to think before believing some apocryphal stories. Showing Peshva dancing, or Kashibai and Mastani dancing together with their sarees wore below the belly button cannot be fathomed or forgotten. There are many flaws in respect of the story and the references made, but the worst thing is, they’ve created a fiction on the life of Bajirao Peshva; the Savior of Sanatan dharma.

So for this particular movie I’m going to implement a different rating system.

My Rating:

Acting: 5/5.

Directing: 4.5/5.

Materials or references used: 1.5/5.

Story: 0.5/5.

Overall rating: 0.5/5.

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.

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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.

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.

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My Rating: 3/5.