Monthly Archives

July 2018

Devgns Dare (Day 1409)

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The stars are getting more and more media savvy and the latest to start a trend is Kajol and Ajay Devgn who have chosen to announce the new release date 7th September 2018 of their upcoming film Helicopter Eela on social media. It is a super idea and miles ahead of the conventional press notes and press conferences.

Kajol and Ajay were planning to do something together for a long time and finally they have found a project both are looking forward to. Starring National Award winning actor, Riddhi Sen who will be playing Kajol’s son, the film has Neha Dhupia and Tota Roy Chowdhary. Directed by Pradeep Sarkar and written by Mitesh Shah, the film will see Kajol playing a single mother and an aspiring singer.

Last seen together in Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha this time the husband will be behind the scenes as the presenter of the film in association with Jayantilal Gada of Pen.


Vikram Bhatt launches Astrobuddy (Day 1408)

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Our dream merchants find many different things to endorse and Vikram Bhatt has found the most unusual ones to lend his name. He has become the brand ambassador for an astrology app – Astrobuddy, which is founded by Bhupesh Sharma.

The idea is to make astrology into a household name and is a content/ service provider for Astrology powering digital and voice astrology products globally. With over 30 million customers they understand diverse audience sets and content consumption preferences. The app is world’s first Astrology application that facilitates live text chat for the users to seek advice

The objective of setting up AstroBuddy is to dispel the way astrology has been misinterpreted and showcased over and over again. Sharma says they defy myths and work on people’s strengths with the objective of productivity.

 Sounds good and in any case, astrology and cinema have had a very long association.

Movie Review: Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3 (Day 1407)

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Welcome to the intrigue of palace politics


Film: Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3

Date: 27 July 2018

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia

Writers: Sanjay Chauhan, Tigmanshu Dhulia

Cast Sanjay Dutt,Jimmy Shergill, Mahi Gill, Chitrangada Singh


In a dark corner of a grand hotel in London, the Maharaja of India dressed in a hood plays a dangerous game for living. He sniffs vodka and shoots bullets. He is a master at the game and has made millions playing it but he is an unhappy man because he cannot return home and then accidentally, opportunity comes in disguise.

A brawl at the hotel followed by a police case and the Maharaja is deported to India and Uday Singh/ Sanjay Dutt is back to his palace and beloved.

Franchises globally are usually conceived with superstars which is why they spell big business. Tigmanshu Dhulia is perhaps the only writer-director who has dared to take super actors instead of superstars and weave stories of ambition, lust, and deception and create a trend of sorts.

If Randeep Hooda was the outsider in Saheb Biwi aur Gangster released in 2011 and Irrfan Khan in Sahbe Biwi aur Gangster Returns Sanjay Dutt is a pawn in the ongoing domestic drama between the King Aditya Pratap Singh/ Jimmy Shergill and his queen Madhavi Devi/ Mahie Gill.

This time, the film is about two kings/ Sanjay Dutt and Jimmy Shergill, two queens/ Mahie Gill, Soha Ali Khan, and two loyalists/ Kanhaiya and his daughter played by Paoli Dam. This time the premise shifts from Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan and briefly to Europe so the scale gets bigger adding a glamour quotient that was not visible in the franchise’s earlier installments.

There is an item number, a romantic song between Sanjay and Chitrangda which frankly interrupts the storytelling and is the only sore point of the film. The positives are the hard-hitting dialogues, essentially the narrative as the characters get more layered and the situations more complex.

The director wastes no time in setting the plot and embroils you in the dark, dangerous, morbid tales of palace politics.

As Suhani Chitrangda Singh adds fragrance to an otherwise ruthless story, Sanjay Dutt is disappointingly repetitive. Jimmy Shergill looks royalty and plays the king with amazing poise and restraint while Mahie Gill for the third time has you riveted to the cruelties and the vulnerabilities of queen Madhavi. Saheb and Biwi are clearly the reasons for us to watch the film.

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3 is unpredictable, unconventional; watch it if you are a fan of the franchise or if you relish the dark side of human stories.

I rate Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3 with 3 stars.


Bhawana Sommaya/ @bhawansomaaya






Cham cham barsa paani (Day 1406)

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As we come to the end of the Rain Special many songs and scenes play in my mind like ‘Cham Cham barsa paani…’I recall Srividya playing modern day Kunti telling Rajnikant to withdraw  his support to the enemy to protect her other son in Mani Ratnam’s Dalpati.


I remember a forlorn Rakhee singing to no one in particualrSawan ke jhoole pade…’ in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Jurmana. I remember Kajol discovering her lost husband Shah Rukh Khan suddenly on television in My Name is Khan and sensing anxiety…I remember the sexiest of all rain songs in ‘Aaj rapat jaayen toh …’ in Namak Halaal and of course the climax when the entire village gathers to dance in the rain in Lagaan.

How can we ever forget the spirited Aishwarya Rai dancing to ‘barso re megha…’ in Guru,  Kareena Kapoor drenched in the shower seducing a shy Rahul Bose in Chameli and before that  a cheerful Madhoo jumping in the paddy fields singing ‘Dil hai chotasa…’ in Roja..?  How can we forget the melodious Barkha raani zara jham ke barso and the turning point in Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham when Shah Rukh Khan takes an impulsive decision to marry Kajol and bring home his bride and sister on a stormy night to his father.

And last but not the least the song that in a way started the monsoon magic in Hindi films ‘Zindagi na bhulenge hum barsaat ki raat…’ from Barsaat Ki Raat.


You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/







Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si (Day 1405)

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We don’t like to attach logic to rain but there is something called a Rain-maker who actually visits locations deprived of rain and guides them how they can benefit from the reason and there have been films where the Rain-maker/ Barishker has been used as a metaphor to transform dry and dreary lives of the protagonist, interesting stories that add more intrigue to the concept of the monsoon.

Nature affects us more strongly than we realize which is why we are usually impatient and angry during the summers and in a reasonably good mood during the winters and the monsoons because the downpour makes us submit more easily in the rains than in normal circumstances, and which is why filmmakers prefer to project tragedies in the backdrop of thunder and storm for greater impact.

Rain is a reason for celebration for the village farmers always and it becomes a bigger moment when the entire village rejoices the moment together as it has happened in many of our old/ Do Bigha Zameen and new films/ Lagaan.

My favorite song for today is ‘Ek ladki bheegi haagi si…’

My favorite scene:  When Neetu Singh runs out of her home to meet her beloved in Priyatama borrowing Asha Sachdev’s umbrella.

You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/


Bhaage re mann (Day 1404)

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There are many moods and shades to the season of monsoon in Indian movies and I have been writing and speaking on this extensively on the subject for the past few weeks. I have lined rain to erotica, to anxiety, to drama and to conflict/ confrontation as well.

Commitment to attraction is the first and probably the most difficult step in romance and majority of our songs in films address to this state of mind the hero/heroine when they struggle to express themselves. Both are shy and unsure but when attraction is mutual expressions finds a way and then love blossoms leading to unabashed romance.

Rain is synonymous with sensuality, to reflection and change of mind as well.  No romance is complete without heartache and longing that emerges from separation with beloved and those are scenes elaborating on desolation and yearning.

My favorite song for today is ‘Zindagi na bhulenge hum barsaat ki raat…’

My favorite scene: When Shaban Azmi walks with an umbrella from her college to her home, books in hand thinking of her beloved in Swami.

You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/


Aaj rapat jaayen (Day 1403)

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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…’

You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/


Movie Review: Dhadak (Day 1402)

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Film: Dhadak

Writer/ Director: Shashank Khaitan

Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter,Ashutosh Rana

Music: Ajay-Atul

‘I love you’ says the girl while the boy stares without blinking, ‘now you say it’ demands the girl. The boy lowers his eyes, says he feels shy but the girl will not give up until he has uttered the three words. Shashank Khaitan directed Dhadak is the official remake of the iconic Marathi film Sairat now being adapted into several Indian languages.

Set in the picturesque Udaipur, Dhadak is the love story of an upper caste Parthivi/ Janhvi, daughter of a rising politician Ratan Singh/Ashutosh Rana and Madhukar/ Ishaan, son of a middle-class restaurant owner.

The fatal attraction between Parthivi and Madhukar spells doom not just for the lovers but their families and friends and the only solution to the growing outrage and despair is escape and isolation.

As the protagonist’s journey from Udaipur to Mumbai to Nagpur to finally settle down to an anonymous existence in Kolkata their problems only multiply and gradually both lose courage and breakdown alternately but there is no way out now.

The positives of the film are the unconventional characters, the girl is the initiator in the romance and when obstacles arise she assumes moral responsibility for her beloved.

Music composers Ajay-Atul who had the viewer’s dancing inside the theatres in the original repeat the magic in Dhadak ably supported by John Stewart’s haunting background score and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s heart-rending lyrics.

The negatives of the film are primarily the comparisons with the raw, rustic and hard-hitting Sairat shot in real locations and often with real people without the slightest fuss or frills.

Dhadak is mainstream, contemporary and unapologetic about opulent hotels; stunning landscapes, designer costumes, and styling that don’t alter even after the couple hits desperate times.

There is a special chemistry between the lead pair, Janhvi is vibrant and effective and Ishan is intense and energetic with myriad expressions in his eyes.

Director Shashank Khaitan who has so far flirted with Badrinath / Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya for the first time steps into a darker zone and addresses deep-rooted prejudices in our society and most of the time follows the original template barring a few alterations as in the climax. If Sairat stunned you with its ending Dhadak will leave you numb in the cinema hall.

Watch Dhadak without the baggage of Sairat, watch it with your family particularly teenage children because there are many lessons to be learned from this.

I rate Dhadak with 3.5 stars.

Bol re papi hara (Day 1401)

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A 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.


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 Kaali ghata chayen

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


You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/


Kaali ghata chayen (Day 1400)

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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.


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!


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.


You can also watch my rain feature on youtube link/