Monthly Archives

July 2017

24 monday

Bhaage re mann (Day 1144)

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From Bharat Bhushan’s ‘Zindagi bhar na bhulenge hum barsaat ki ek raat…’ to Kishore Kumar’s naught y ‘Ek ladki bhaagi bheegi si…’ there are so many moods and colors of the rain, I remember a drenched Kareena Kapoor walking the street and singing ‘Bhaage re mann..’ in Chameli. I remember Shradha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff dancing to ‘Cham cham…’ in Baaghi and also during the ‘Baarish …’song in Half Girlfriend.

It was on a rainy night that years ago Aamir Khan had kissed Karisma Kapoor in Raja Hindustani and it was again in the rains that Pankaj Kapoor sitting in a tiny shop in the hills had spotted a Blue Umbrella blown away by the wind. It was in the rains that Vyjantimala arrives at a crucial decision of her life in Chottisi Mulaqat and it is for the rains that Dev Anand goes on a hunger strike in Guide.

So rain is a metaphor used by the filmmaker to at times instill faith and at inspire courage. Depending on the situation and the character rain was at times a reason to resolve conflicts and at times evoke submission and no matter what the consequences in the narrative the audience always celebrated these musical rain moments.

My favorite song for today is ‘Paani re paani tera rang kaisa…’

My favorite scene: When Raakhee is told she has to marry her sister’s beloved in Sharmilee and sings ‘Megha chaye aadhi raat…’

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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Movie Review: Indu Sarkar is disappointing 

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Film: Indu SarkarDate: 27 July 2017

Director: Mahesh Bhatt

Writer: Anil Pandey/ Screenplay Sanjay Chel/ Dialogues

Music: Anu Malik

Stars: Kirti Kulhari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Anupam Kher

Ratings: 2 stars

 

First thing first, there is absolutely nothing in the film for there to be such a hue and cry about it. It is not as if the screenplay is about to reveal some dark secrets about the emergency that we don’t already know.  

 

Some of us have been through the turbulent 21 months and recall the horrors; others have read about it or watched it on television/ Itihaas Gawah Hain recapping the milestone moments. Over the last 40 years there have been many films made on the subject, the most effective in my opinion being Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi directed by Sudhir Mishra.

 

Let me clarify that this is not a film about a political leader rather it is a film about an orphan Indu/ Kirti Kulhari finding her voice in a politically oppressive environment. Raised in an orphanage Indu writes poetry and nurses dreams of empowerment but is advised that marriage is the best solution for her so she now aspires to become the perfect wife to her ambitious bureaucrat husband.

 

Madhur Bhandarkar has always served a slice of life in all his films. In Corporate he traveled you into the business world and in Fashion he unmasked show business. In Satta it was the political world and in Heroine he exposed the film world. This time he chooses to focus on an era rather than a profession and that makes all the difference.

Unlike some of Bhandarkar’s earlier films Indu Sarkar is neither eventful nor insightful. It lacks the spunk of Page 3, the emotion of Chandni Bar or the research of Fashion. Granted it is a story of 40 years ago but the narrative could have been contemporary and upbeat. Indu Sarkar is carelessly edited and shoddy in presentation with no eye for details.

Some questions remain unanswered: 1.Agreed that Indu is in search of her voice but does Bhandarkar have to take it literally and make her stammer? 2. Whoever said that styling your hair adds to your self-esteem? 3. If Indu is such an inspiring poetess how come she does not pen more motivating verses? 4. In 1977 most educated women in big cities were working so for Indu’s mentor to suggest she aspire towards making a perfect wife is terribly regressive.

As the Chief worried for his mother, Neil Nitin Mukesh is competent so is Kirti Kulhari in the role of Indu, a pity that her expressive voice is lost in the stammer.

I rate Indu Sarkar with 2 stars.

@bhawanasomaaya

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Barkha rani zara jham ke barso (day 1143)

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In the olden days every time it rained the Doorrshan for some mysterious reason only aired two songs. The first where a drenched Shatrughan Sinha sings ‘Barkha rani zara jham ke barso…’ and the second, Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Rimjhim gire saawan…’from Manzil where Moushumi Chatterjee and Amitabh Bachchan walk down Marine Drive hand-in-hand drenched in Mumbai’s slashing rains. I have watched this song a million times but still stop to watch it every time it plays on the television.  It is a perfect image of torrential rain in Mumbai city.

Over the decades as satellite channels came in there were many choices of rain songs and that included ‘Lagi aaj sawan ki…’ from Chandani and ‘Ko ladka hai…’ form Dil Toh Pagal Hai both directed by Yash Chopra

 

My favorite song for today is Barkha raani zara jham ke barso

My favorite scene: When Shah Rukh Khan takes an impulsive decision to marry Kajol on the story night in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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26 wenesday

Aaj rapat jaayen (Day 1142)

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Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil surrender to the monsoon madness in ‘Aaj rapat jaiyo…’ in Prakash Mehra’s Namak Halaal. The song is a celebration of carnal desire just in the way ‘Koi ladka hai…’ in Dil Toh Pagal Hai is about adventure and to hell with medical complications, in this case, a fractured ankle. Karisma Kapoor is bed ridden for an injured foot but cannot resist a jig when the music comes on!

081004sridevimrindia1A trend setter of sorts is also ‘Kaate nahin kattey…’ in Mr. India where Seema (Sridevi) sways seductively, allowing her saree to fly with the breeze. Her abandon is a robust admission to desire while Akshay Kumar’s ‘Dekho zara dekho barsaat ki jhadi…’ in Yeh Dillagi is a spontaneous reaction to the moment, a physical and an emotional release!

Probably the most romantic rain song was composed by RD Burman in 1942 A Love Story shot by Vinod . Posturized on Monisha Koiral and Anil Kapoor it is an ode to the monsoon and to poetry.

 My favorite song for today is Aaj rapat jaayen toh

My favorite scene: The climax scene when they win the match and it begins to rain in Lagaan.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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Bol re papi hara (Day 1141)

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It’s interesting how perceptions alter with time. Some years ago, a shy Jaya Bhaduri taking shelter inside a cave and singing ‘Bol re papi hara…’ in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Guddi was heart rending. With time we accepted Kajol dancing with a towel to ‘Mere khwabon mein jo aaye…’ in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.

I’m of the opinion that Zeenat Aman’s ‘Hai hai ye majboori…’ draped in a clinging saree in Roti Kapda Aur Makaan was the beginning of the rain sequences. Zeenat invites Manoj Kumar to join her in the rain but he has to appear for a job interview and resists her advances but she is too tempting and he eventually relents but is still self-conscious.

There are so many instances when rain was not a part of the original scene but the song composition was so evocative that the choreographer and sometimes the music director suggested shooting it as a rain sequence for greater effect.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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24 monday

Kaali ghata chayen (Day 1140)

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On top of my rain favorites is ‘Kaali ghata chaye mora jiya ghabaraye…’ from Bimal Roy’s Sujata, the story of a Harijan girl brought up by a Brahmin family. Self assured in her simplicity she spends major part of the day attending to household chores. One such day, the sky line changes color and the clouds thunder! Sujata runs to her room and throws open the windows to allow the showers into her life. The close-up shot of Nutan smiling at the clouds and expressing her desire for a companion is refreshing and sensitive.

Equally endearing is Mitthu (Shabana Azmi) in Gulzar’s Namkeen, when she sets out for her morning stroll shrouded in a flowing black shawl, shot amidst swaying trees and dew drops Asha Bhosle’s mesmerizing ‘Phir se aiyo barkha bidesi …’ is among the memorable lyrics of Gulzar.

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My favorite song for today is Kaali ghata chayen

My favorite scene: Kareena Kapoor guiding Aamir Khan to deliver a baby via skype in 3 Idiots.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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Movie Review: Just beat it with Munna Michael 

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Producer : Viki RajaniDirector : Sabbir Khan

Music: Meet Bros

Stars: Tiger Shroff, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niddhi Agerwal

 The film opens with a dance sequence inside a film studio. Long haired Michael/ Ronit Roy grooves to the music among the chorus dancers and post pack up waits to collect his paycheck. He is informed a bit curtly that he will not be required for the next day shoot because everything has an expiry date and he is now too old for show business.

 On his way home on a rainy night, Michael discovers a baby in the garbage and brings him home but does not know how to silence him when he cries for food so plays music and the baby starts smiling. Not surprising that he grows up to become Munna Michae/ Tiger Shroff who looks for a new place to dance every night and if anyone messes with his group Munna is ready to punch him blue.

 Munna has a dream to become a professional dancer like his father but Ronit Roy wants him to take up a corporate job. In the meantime a Delhi mafia Mahinder Fauji/ Nawazuddin Siddiqui Munna meets accidentally wants to hire him as his dance guru and a small town aspirant Dolly/ Nidhi Agarwal wants Munna around her as her good luck charm.

 There are some films you watch for emotional content and characters, some for a feel good of location/ action/ music and choreography. Munaa Michael falls in the second category that combines action/ emotion/ drama with a lot of song and serious dance.

 The first half is racy and engaging and Tiger Shroff has you gripped to his grooves. The surprise packet is a hilarious Nawazuddin Siddiqui cast as the underworld with a passion for dance. The problem is the second half where everything becomes predictable and debutante Niddhi Agarwal is so dead pan that we need subtitles to explain her expressions.

 In a career spanning just three years this is the third collaboration of actorTiger Shroff and director Sabbir Khans, first action/Heropanti, second emotion/ Baaghi and now Munna Michael/ a film about dance.

 All of us understand that there is a deep connect between action and choreography because both call for rhythm and synchronization and Munna Michael establishes that an actor who can groove like Jackson can do serious action as expertly and gracefully. There are three reasons to watch Munna Michael. To applaud Tiger Shroff as a dancer, as an action hero and to encourage Nawazuddin Siddiqui match steps with Tiger Shroff.

I rate Munaa Michael with 3 stars.

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Movie Review: Lipstick is about women power

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Film: Lipstick under my Burkha

Date:   21 July 2017

Writer/ Director: Alankrita Shrivastav

Stars: Ratna pathak Shah, Kokona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur

Ratings: 3 stars

Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Uunder My Burkha has been in the headlines for some time because of its ongoing battle with the CBFC. Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India, the film chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of passion and dreams.

The oldest is the land lady of Hawa Mahal Ushaji/ Ratna Pathak Shah a middle-aged widow who spends all her free time reading erotic novels, as a result, finds herself attracted to her young and handsome swimming instructor. Suddenly Ushaji feels the need to look attractive again. Shireen/ Konkona Sen Sharma, mother of three boys who juggles her responsibilities with a secret part time job as a sales woman. Her husband works overseas and the only time he meets her is in the night in the bed.

Leela/ Aahana Kumra is the owner a beauty parlor, she is madly in love with her photographer friend and wants to explore the world but it is not that simple.

Plabita Borthakur’s college going Rehana has aspirations to become a pop singer and leads a dual life till she is ruthlessly exposed.

What works in favor of the film is that Shrivastava travels you into the crowded by lanes and gives you a glimpse of people’s lives and sufferings. For the kind of oppression, all of them go through Lipstick Under My Burqa could have been a dark, depressing film but Srivastava elevates her characters as free willed women and portrays their perils as humorous anecdotes.

Using lipstick as a metaphor the director comments on female sexuality, abuse in marriage and power play of parents in lives of unmarried daughters.  She addresses small town aspirations, peer pressure, and consumerism. In the climax, all of them come together not to mourn their loss but to move on with their lives and dreams superbly shot with fire crackers in the background.

The negative of the film are minor exaggerations necessary for the narrative which can be overlooked. All the performances are sparkling – Ratna Pathak Shah as the buaji living her sexual fantasies is both entertaining and vulnerable.  The always dependable Konkana Sen portrays scenes from a marriage while Aahana Kumara and Plabita the live wires reflect the angst of the youth.

Shot mostly in mid close Lipstick Under My Burqa is bold and intimate ready to challenge the patriarchal society. I rate Lipstick Unser My Burqa with 3.5 stars

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Sawan ke jhoole pade (Day 1139)

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A decade later, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had Raakhee just stroll the forest and sing to no one in particular ‘Sawan ke Jhoole…’ in Jurmana. Most of the time, rain was a metaphor or a muse to express longing for  a beloved as a result Hema Malini a dancer in Abhinetri  does her work singing ‘O ghata sawari…’ yearning for Shashi Kapoor while Rajesh Khanna -Zeenat Aman are in a playful mood during ‘Bheegi bheegi raaton mein…’ in Ajnabee.

Very often the rain sequence was a transforming moment for the character or the story. Remember how Amitabh Bachchan walks Raakhee home under an umbrella in Kaala Pathar and they become soulmates? Remember a young Anuradha Patel driving older Naseerudin Shah in a tizzy singing ‘Mera kuch samaan tumhare paaas…’ in Gulzar’s Ijaazat? Remember an anguished Vinod Khanna singing ‘Lagee aaj sawan ki phir wo jhadi hai…’ in Chandni as Sridevi in present and Juhi Chawla in the past dance in the rain?

My favorite song for today is Sawan ke jhoole pade

My favorite scene: Kajol watching Shah Rukh Khan on television in My Name is Khan.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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19 wednesday

O sajna barkha bahar aayin (Day 1138)

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If ‘Pyar hua iqrar hua…’ with Nargis and Raj Kapoor shot under a wind blown umbrella in Shri 420 is the anthem for monsoon songs in Hindi films, Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh dancing to ‘Kaale megha kale megha…’ in Lagaan is a song of hope and ‘Badal yun garajta hai ..’ in Betaab a song of reunion where childhood friends Amrita Singh and Sunny Deol meet after a long separation.

 

The poets always had a new expression for rain songs depending on the context of the scene and the character. The filmmaker combined with the choreographer always made sure that these moments were magical on the big screen. So if the Black & White cinema Bimal Roy just made Sadhna stand in the balcony, look at the desolate skyline and sing ‘O sajna barkha…’ waiting for Dev Anand in Parakh Shakti Samanta had the youth excited with ‘Roop tera mastana…’in Aaradhna.

ti_725_5167.3267887641 My favorite song for today is O sajna barkha bahar aayin

My favorite scene: Kajol watching Shah Rukh Khan on television in My Name is Khan.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  @bhawanasomaaya