July 21, 2017

Hindi Medium – Film Review

Posted in Chit Chat, Film Reviews at 9:06 pm by వసుంధర

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India is an interesting country. Indians in India are more interesting than the country. We are the most disciplined, law abiding and patriotic – if we live in a foreign country. In our own country, we are different. We believe in values, more to preach. We encourage corruption and wrong means for the right end. We seem to be fanatics of our own languages to the extent that we divide ourselves on those lines. At personal level, our craving is only for English, a foreign language very intelligently injected into our veins by the British. We consider English as the language of the privileged. The mother tongue is neglected, if not heckled.   

This is the theme on which the film Hindi Medium was based. The film was released worldwide on May 19, 2017.  

Raj Batra (Irfan Khan) is a rich businessman with no sophisticated background. His wife Mita (Saba Qarim) aspires to be in sophisticated company. She wants her 5-year old daughter Piya to study in a corporate school. Raj can meet the financial demands for admission into such schools but his real problem is meeting the required social obligations. The parents of a prospective student are supposed to be fluent in English and have high class culture. Raj and Mita tried to comply, through a consultant. However, Raja failed miserably to the disheartenment of Mita. Now, they have just one option. The corporate schools have a quota for the poor. Raj is sufficiently rich to bribe the concerned officials to get a certificate that he is very poor. Unfortunately, a situation arose in which the certificate had to be backed by proper evidence. Raj and Mita have gone to temporarily live in a poverty-ridden nighbourhood. There they have come across Shyamprakash Kori (Deepak Dobriyal), a compassionate poor person. Here, the film has dealt with the sufferings of the poor even for basic amenities, along with some interesting and touching twists.  Finally, Pia got the coveted seat but at whose cost? The story had a beautiful climax.

Irfan as expected made his character memorable. Unexpectedly, Saba too could match him. While all actors in the movie managed their roles admirably, Deepak needs a special mention and is sure to make an impression on the audience. The songs are different and well- picturized.

The theme is serious but the film entertains like a good comedy movie. The narration touched many thought-provoking aspects of the society not so common for regular commercial movies. However, it is a mix of natural, dramatic, over-dramatic and some over-simplified situations. The message that the main purpose of education is to make good human beings – justified all these means. In the end, the viewers come out of the theatre wiser, thoughtful and satisfied.      

The movie might not be rated as great. But it falls into the must-watch category for all those who love watching meaningful entertainers.

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September 28, 2016

Pink – Film Review

Posted in Film Reviews at 4:48 pm by వసుంధర

pink

link to the poster

Minal is a working woman living independently in a rented house with two other working women. She lost her virginity at the age of nineteen out of love to her boyfriend. Later she had occasional affairs with some acquaintances.  She goes to parties and does not mind drinks or exchanging sex jokes even in the company of male friends. Can she be branded as a prostitute or taken for granted for sexual advances? Does she not a have a right to say no to the sexual desire of an advancing male? Is it a crime if she attacks a predator-like male with all her might?

This is the question, for which the male chauvinistic society has innumerable answers, all heavily loaded against the women. They suggest a dress code, behavioral pattern and many restrictive measures to keep the predator in males away. All for the hunted and none for the predator.

However, Deepak Sehgal, a lawyer, gives a befitting and the most relevant reply to this question. A woman may be a domestic help, drunkard, prostitute, or even a spouse – she has every right to say no to man’s sexual advances.  The man has to honour her feelings; if he fails to honour, he be branded a criminal and booked. It may sound feministic to some, but it is nothing but a fight against inequality.

The essence of the recently released (September 16) movie Pink is just this. The plot as presented in the Wikipedia is reproduced below:

Three girls – Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) are staying together as tenants in a posh South Delhi locality and are normal working professionals in their respective fields. One night, after a rock concert they accept a dinner invitation from Rajveer (Angad Bedi), who is the nephew of a powerful politician from South Delhi, and two others to a resort in Surajkund, Faridabad district, Haryana. Rajveer is known to Minal through a common friend. Rajveer and his friends get drunk, and so do Minal and her friends. Finding the opportunity, the three men separate the three girls from each other. Rajveer gets close and tries to molest Minal (Taapsee Pannu) and her two roommates,despite they saying NO to them. Minal picks up a bottle and smashes it on Rajveer’s eye, leaving him bleeding.

To avenge the same, Rajveer and his friends try to vacate the girls from their houses and threaten them over the phone. Minal is forced to approach the police with the intention to file an FIR against Rajveer and his friends. However, knowing Rajveer and his family, the lady police officer on duty does not register the complaint. Upon realisation Rajveer lodges a false FIR against the girls, labelling them as prostitutes, using his powerful contacts. Minal is then charged for ‘Attempt to murder’ and for soliciting, where she could face imprisonment for more than 10 years, if convicted. The other girls are labelled as co-accused.

Deepak Sehgall (Amitabh Bachchan) is a retired lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder who experiences frequent mood swings and has an ailing wife (Mamata Shankar). He is also a neighbour of the 3 girls (Minal, Falak and Andrea). He witnesses their troubles and after consultation with his wife, takes it upon himself to represent the girls in the court. The film revolves around how Deepak fights the girls’ case against these influential boys.

The film begins as it should. The scenes appear as per relevance. The actors are just natural. There may be songs but they were so interspersed in the movie that the audience may not notice them to give a separate identity. The incident at the rock concert forms the crux of the plot but was shown after the film ended. Ingenious!

Amitab Bachchan played the pivotal role with all the majesty and for a change all the actors in the movie matched him in expression as well as dialogue delivery.

There was no over dramatisation anywhere in the film. Yet the audience get so involved that they smile, laugh, cry and struggle empathising with the three girls throughout.

eroThe movie has a message for the parents who are casual about their sons. The movie has a message for the police, our system and for those who are supposed to administer justice to the needy. It has a message even for the independent working women while also creating awareness in them of certain provisions in the law made exclusively for women. Zero FIR is an example.

Sure, the audience, irrespective of their gender and status, would give a pink slip to male chauvinism and male ego of our society. For that, they should not give a slip to the Pink. All, please watch the movie!

Kudos to the director, actors, technicians and the entire team for making such an introspective movie. Kudos to the audience for making the movie a big hit!

To be on the lighter side, here is a link for a scene in the 1980 movie Dostana: a police inspector preaches the heroine to wear decent dress to avoid eve-teasing. Interestingly, the police inspector’s role was played by none other than Amitab Bachchan.

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July 17, 2016

The Conjuring 2- An Enduring one

Posted in Film Reviews at 5:35 pm by వసుంధర

link to the picture

A haunted house. An evil force. Some exploited innocents. Some holy minds. These are the common constituents of a routine horror movie – be it Western or Indian.

The Conjuring 2 (released in June this year) is made of such common constituents but presented in an uncommon way. Nor the movie can be branded routine.

The story began with mass murders in Amityville house. The vision of Ms. Lorrain, a paranormal investigator, recognized an evil force behind the murders. Those who believed in logic brushed aside her words as pure imagination or some cheap tricks to attract public attention for popularity. Lorrain did not object as her vision suggested  grave danger for her husband Ed, if she continued pursuit. She wanted to lead a peaceful life not knowing that fate had other plans.

The story then jumped to the next year and to a school premises where a teenage girl Janet was caught smoking by her Principal. Janet tried to convince, the Principal and later her mother, that she was only holding a cigarette of her friend and indeed she was not smoking. None believed her. Then came an evil force in her house and kept on scaring her. Naturally, no one believed her. However, after experiencing themselves a series of horrifying incidents – her mother, elder sister and younger brother all had to believe her. Even the police, who came to investigate, had to believe the presence of an evil force in the house. Finally, Lorrain and Ed had to involve themselves in the case. They established the presence of the soul of an old man, who was the former owner of the house and wanted the present occupants to evacuate. However, some rationalists suspected foul play and could record a video establishing Janet as a prankster. They attributed the prank to the poverty of Janet’s family. In their opinion, all the family members resorted to this prank to plead the Government to help them acquire a better house than the present one. Convinced, the Lorrain couple left the place in despair.

And then followed the breathtaking climax.

It is interesting that there were no dull moments in its entire length (134 minutes) as this is a horror movie with its narration in the classical mould. There were no artificial attempts to scare the audience. On the other hand, the story presents the Lorrains in the mould of a happy Indian family. Janet and her family members remind the Indian audience of a typical middle class Indian family with all the ingredients of bonding, sacrifice, love, affection, concern and even frustration. It is a very pleasant experience to watch these characters interspersed with some nerve-racking incidents. All the scenes were well-planned and contributed to the theme in a significant manner. Some of them eg., Janet trying to convince her mother that she was never a liar, Ed singing a song to entertain the kids, the romantic feelings of Ed couple while sleeping on separate beds – are just a few touching beauties among many to mention.

The movie might have been placed in the horror category bus is a complete family movie. Even children below 18, can enjoy the movie if they are a little brave. The horror was not as intensive as that of a Harry Potter movie. Sub-titles in English is an additional facility for the Indian audience. Hope more Hollywood movies follow this trend.

Clean entertainment, while propagating family values makes the Conjuring 2 an enduring experience. . Kudos to the producer, director and all his team mates.

May 16, 2012

Jannat 2- Film Review

Posted in Film Reviews at 6:09 pm by వసుంధర

     Trailer      Other Review      sample song 

Democracy is meant to be by the people, of the people and for the people. In practice, the people are replaced by the so called leaders. Similarly movies are meant to be of the producer, by the director and for the audience. But movies from the Bhatt house are different: they are by the Bhatts, of the Bhatts and for the Bhatts. Jannat 2 is a movie from the Bhatt house.

Interestingly, the movie, which is a sequel to Bhatts’ Jannat, has a plot too. The hero was a gun dealer for the crooks but fell in love with the daughter of a corrupt and violent politician. The heroin is so good at heart that she hated her father and left her father to lead a simple life as doctor. She is very traditional in thoughts and attitude but not at all in attire. She can provoke even an innocent or saint by mere appearance. Provocation or not, the hero fell in love with her at first sight.  He was prepared to marry her but reforming himself was to be included as part of the preparation. A cop, whose wife was a victim of heroin’s father, befriended the hero to hasten the process of his reform. Action, suspense and romance engage the before the villain was killed and hero sacrificed his life. The heroin, not aware of the reformation of hero, moves on with her traditional attitude and provoking attire. May be Jannat 3 awaits her.

The story may give the feeling of age old flavour, but was told in a manner to keep viewer’s interest. Narration was effective but only in parts. The songs were unexpectedly different for a film of this type. Dialogues were unnecessarily vulgar. There was a kissing scene, which was almost a must for a Emraan Hashmi movie.  However, the intensity of the scene was not felt. It appeared as if Emraan was casual and Esha Gupta not interested. Even the romantic (erotic!?) scenes followed the same pattern.

The film belonged to Emraan Hashmi. He lived in the character and gave life to the story. Esha Gupta was good-looking but somehow did not apply herself to the role. The rest of the characters were artificial in their expressions. We may here a lot about Randeep Hooda as cop in this movie, in a role tailor made for Big B or Nana Patekar. He tried his best but missed a golden chance. We may have to admit that roles always do not make stars.

For the information of viewers, the film is already a hit and Randeep Hooda is being noticed for his performance.

May 7, 2012

Housefull 2- Film Review

Posted in Film Reviews at 3:50 pm by వసుంధర

On April 28, 2005 a Telugu movie by name Hungama was released. The plot was on greed. Greed in marriage. Brides as well as their fathers wish the same- alliance with the rich. And then there were revenge dramas and mistaken identities to tickle all viewers. Comedy of errors with crude scenes and dialogues formed the content to tickle some kind of viewers. The film was packed with noted Telugu comedians for all the main roles and not so well-known feminine flesh for glamour. Director S.V. Krishnareddy, well-known for his good taste, was credited with the story also.

About 7 years later, on April 6, 2012 a Hindi movie by name Housefull 2 was released. The plot, content and execution suggested the film as just a sophisticated version of Hungama. But the producer of the movie, Sajid Nadiadwala, was credited with the story. It may be coincidence or both might have lifted the same Hollywood content. One would know if S.V of Telugu objected. That he did not object suggests more of helplessness than generosity.

Sophistication to the film was brought through foreign locales and by packing with big names (present and past heroes & heroines) of Mumbai film industry. Asin may be from the South but she was the Ghazini girl for Mumbai also.

The film was entertaining because of the presence of big stars. The film was good because of the average Indian viewer’s taste.  

Among the actors, Mithun Chakraborty was quite impressive. The Kapoor brothers (Randhir & Rishi) did not disappoint. For the first time Boman Irani was too human to err in acting. Johny Lever and Ranjeet lived up to their expectations but Chunky Pandey’s was beyond expectation. Among the four heroes Akshay Kumar fit well into a comic role with some different maanerisms while John Abraham had good looks and no expression. His limitations in dancing were well exposed in the movie. The other two were filling the blanks. All the four heroines were limited to glamour and exposure. They had a stiff competition from the item girl Malaika Arora in the Anarkali song.

Songs are rhythmatic and the moves in dances are arithmetic. Forget the Gulzars, Hrishikreshs, Basus etc., Housefull 2 approved a new genre humour, to which the audience was already getting accustomed. One may not miss much by not viewing this movie. With you are without you, it won’t miss its house-full stature. Sure another sequel Housefull 3 is likely to follow.

Interestingly, one may not get disappointed after watching the movie. It has something in it to satisfy all kinds of viewers. Only those who can think a bit may get disappointed with themselves for not getting disappointed with the movie.

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