Monthly Archives

April 2018

Maharashtra Day (Day 1320)

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Every year on this special day Big FM honors a special candidate.  Last year it was director of Sairat Nagraj Manjule who made headlines not just all over the country but also abroad. When Nagrat was at our office he confessed that it was his dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan and probably he will soon.

mah day 3This year we honor writer, filmmaker, singer, dancer, actor Sachi Pilgaonkar. He arrived at our office in his traditional kurta and was more than happy to be bestowed with a paghdi and presented a sword in the hand. That was a cue for the musicians to start the dholak and for the energetic ones to come on the floor and dance.

Big FM was happy to present Sachin Pilgaonkar with the Maharashtra Icon of The Year and Sachin shared that Maharashtra has been instrumental in shaping his career and life.  Now it was time for the moment everybody was waiting for,  cutting of the big white cake and Sachin made sure that he fed a piece of the cake to everybody including the dholak team.

My new book Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is now listed on Amazon. For pre-order click here: https://amzn.to/2vogOtk

unnamed

Movie Review: Daas Dev is dark and oppressive (Day 1319)

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Film: Daas Dev

Date 27 Aril 2018

 

Director: Sudhir Mishra

Cast: Richa Chadda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Rahul Bhat. Saurabh Shukla.

Music: Vipin Patwa, Sandesh Shandilya, Arko Pravo Mukherjee,Shamir Tandon, Anupama Raag.

Little Dev is hiding near the pond, puffing a cigarette behind the bushes, soon little Paro joins him and insists on trying a puff as well or she will complain about him to his parents.

In a way the scene sets the tone for the irreverent take of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic.

In the 105 years of Indian cinema Sarat Babu’s novel Devdas has captured the imagination of several filmmakers in several languages.

If K L Saigal immortalized the character pre-independence, for the independent nation Dilip Kumar is the hero they hated to love in Bimal Roy’s version and Shah Rukh Khan film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s portrayal of Devdaas in the new millennium.

There were some who did not use the characters but based the story on the same relationships like Prakash Mehra’s Muqadar ka Sikander and Anurag Kashyap’s over the top Dev D.

Now writer director Sudhir Mishra comes up with yet another version as Daas Dev. The modern hero embraces not just alcohol but all the possible vices – drugs, lust, power and violence.

Unlike the original hero, Daas/ Rahul Bhat, is not an escapist far from irresponsible. He is committed in relationships and not a wastrel, which is refreshing.

Richa Sharma/ Paro and her family do not live across Dev’s home as in Sarat Babu’s book but inside Dev’s magnificent mansion in a two and half room donated by Dev’s family.

Paro is haughty and unafraid. In an interesting twist of a memorable scene in the original, this time it is not Paro but Dev who visits her chamber at midnight and it is no big deal!

Eventually she marries an older man/ Ram Ashrey and for the sake of justice jumps into the cesspool of politics.

Chandni/ Aditi Rao Hyadri unlike Chandramukhi is not just twinkle toes but a big player in the dangerous game.

Sarat Chandra’s Devdas was about love and yearning. Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev is about power and ambition.

What is attractive about the film is the irreverent interpretation. Dev is volatile, complex but also vulnerable.

On the flip side the film is unusually long and unnecessarily violent. Every frame is dark and depressing and poetry of prominent writers play as background score in almost every scene which is oppressive.

The actors try their best to engage you with their performances but the politics dominates every emotion. This is not a story about love and longing rather it is about deception and betrayal.

Don’t know about the others but I think I have had enough of the UP politics, the guns and the cuss words.

Watch Daas Dev only if you are interested in UP politics

I rate Daas Dev with 2 stars.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

 

Deconstructing Deity (Day 1318)

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The narrator Krishna/Ninad Limaye definitely has the better role than the Mahabharat Krishna/ Nakul Ghanekar and delivers a confident performance. From the childhood in Gokul and Vrindavan to adolescence in Mathura and later Dwarika, Hastinapur, Indraprasth, Kurukshetra and finally Somnath where he is hit by the arrow of Zaraon his foot and it is time to say adieu,.

19 pril aIt is not possible to feature all the phases and all the places, all the characters and all the conflicts but writer Vivek Aapte picks the crucial moments and bypasses others. Narrator Krishna counts his merits and demerits and interprets mythology and the deity for which all credit is due to co-directors Raghu Kul and Vivek Aapte for portraying a never done before format that is both shocking and refreshing.

 

The ballet is eventually about the extraordinary choreography by Sonia Parchure but also about Krishna’s philosophy and how to apply it in our day to day lives and face all the ongoing struggles.

My new book Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is now listed on Amazon. For pre-order click here: https://amzn.to/2vogOtk

unnamed@bhawanasomaaya

Tribute to saints (Day 1317)

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The ballet borrows not just from films but also from Mahabharata, Puranas, Bhagwat, Harivijay and the Bhagwad Gita and pays tributes to popular poets and songwriters in many languages.

 

The dancers excel in abhinaya and also in footwork and it is apparent that the choreographer has spent long hours with them practicing every entry and exit, every expression and gesture to perfection.

18 april bThe USP of the ballet is the concept, the script and the idea of two narrators Lord Krishna himself and another modern time Krishna, in trousers and coat who introduces himself as the Narrator Krishna and who skillfully and appropriately deconstructs the concept of the deity that is Sri Krishna.. .

 

This is without exception the first time ever in any performing medium and therefore special.

My new book Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is now listed on Amazon. For pre-order click here: https://amzn.to/2vogOtk

unnamed@bhawanasomaaya

Songs from Cinema (Day 1316)

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The best part about the ballet are the songs and the dances,  at any given point girls in colorful costumes energetically move around on the three-layered recreating memories from old and new films. Accompanying them are boys in beige and off-white dhotis and kurtas at times doing acrobatics and at times doing maharaas.

17 april aThe choreography is well co-ordinated and the stream of dancers appear and disappear from the stage displaying all the nava rasas of natyashastra.

The beauty of the ballet is the simplicity, the backdrop comprises of ornate doors that lead to Krishna’s past and in the centre is the audiovisual of  the time and era of the story – at times  lush grass, at times swaying trees , at times the angry Yamuna and at times the  images of the resources for  research material.

Like all ballets, there is a sutradhaar but more about him later…

My new book Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is now listed on Amazon. For pre-order click here: https://amzn.to/2vogOtk

unnamed@bhawanasomaaya

Jai Sri Krishna (Day 1315)

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It all began with me reading an announcement of a new ballet on Lord Krishna to be performed by a group never heard of before. There are already so many ballets on the deity and they become all the more visible during Janmashtami so I was curious how different this one was going to be and put the cutting on my social media asking the producer to get in touch with me.

16 april bA few days later I got a call from Sachin from Globus who was the caretaker of this mammoth project. He spoke extensively to me on the telephone and to ensure me that his show was different from anything I had watched so far mailed me pictures of the ballet. I was attracted to the images and when I read the concept I became all the more curious to watch the concert.

Come Sunday I drove to Rang Sharda Auditorium in Bandra and came home strangely rejuvenated.

Details on the coming days…

My new book Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is now listed on Amazon. For pre-order click here: https://amzn.to/2vogOtk

unnamed@bhawanasomaaya

Entertaining & enlightening (Day 1314)

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Jai Sri Krishna can do with a little trimming in the first half and adding more colour in the second half.   There is too much gyaan and almost no dances post interval and you miss the energy on stage. The directors need to think of a fitting finale using the combined talents of set/ Sandesh Bendre, research/ Shakti Kumar and lights/ Shital Talpade. The finale is a big letdown, too casual, the directors need to rethink of a fitting idea  inclusive of all the opportunities in sets, costumes, lights, background music and all the dancers, in fact this should be the curtain call of the entire cast and actors to bow out.

Jai Sri Krishna has great potential and I hope the producers Fulwane, Potdar and Shelke will do all within their means to promote and market this show  with the fanfare it  deserves.

@bhawanasomaaya

 

 

 

 

Deconstructing Deity (Day 1313)

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The narrator Krishna/Ninad Limaye definitely has the better role than the Mahabharat Krishna/ Nakul Ghanekar and delivers a confident performance. From a childhood in Gokul and Vrindavan to adolescence in Mathura and later Dwarika, Hastinapur, Indraprasth, Kurukshetra and finally Somnath where he is hit by the arrow of Zaraon his foot and it is time to say adieu,.

It is not possible to feature all the phases and all the places, all the characters and all the conflicts but writer Vivek Aapte picks the crucial moments and bypasses others. Narrator Krishna counts his merits and demerits and interprets mythology and the deity for which all credit is due to co-directors Raghu Kul and Vivek Aapte for portraying a never done before format that is both shocking and refreshing.

The ballet is eventually about the extraordinary choreography by Sonia Parchure but also about Krishna’s philosophy and how to apply it in our day to day lives and face all the ongoing struggles.

@bhawanasomaaya

 

Tribute to saints (Day 1312)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The ballet borrows not just from films but also from Mahabharata, Puranas, Bhagwat, Harivijay and the Bhagwad Gita and pays tributes to popular poets and songwriters in many languages.

The dancers excel in abhinaya and also in footwork and it is apparent that the choreographer has spent long hours with them practicing every entry and exit, every expression and gesture to perfection.

The USP of the ballet is the  concept, the script and the idea of  two narrators Lord Krishna himself and another modern time Krishna, in trousers and coat who  introduces himself as the Narrator Krishna and  who skillfully and  appropriately deconstructs the  concept of the  deity that is Sri Krishna.. .

This is without exception the first time ever in any performing medium and therefore special.

It is indeed courageous of  Prashant Fulwane, owner of Vaastusankalp Group to believe and support this out of ordinary concept.

@bhawanasomaaya

Songs from Cinema (Day 1311)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The best part about the ballet are the songs and the dances,  at any given point girls in colorful costumes energetically move around on the three-layered recreating memories from old and new films. Accompanying them are boys in beige and off-white dhotis and kurtas at times doing acrobatics and at times doing maharaas.

The choreography is well co-ordinated and the stream of dancers appear and disappear from the stage displaying all the nava rasas of natyashastra.

The beauty of the ballet is the simplicity, the backdrop comprises of ornate doors that lead to Krishna’s past and in the centre is the audiovisual of  the time and era of the story – at times  lush grass, at times swaying trees , at times the angry Yamuna and at times the  images of the resources for  research material.

Like all ballets, there is a sutradhaar but more about him later…

 

@bhawanasomaaya