Monthly Archives

June 2019

Movie Review: Kabir Singh

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He is disheveled, uncouth and impossible to communicate with. He drinks alcohol literally from the tank, fills up multiple glasses and falls asleep in his doctor’s uniform at a local dhabba. When he is angry he bashes up people, when he is hot he dumps ice cubes inside his pant. In a particular scene, he approaches a female patient and asks for a favor and when she does not comprehend he specifies he wants sex.  He is abrupt to a point of being obnoxious and self-indulgent to a point of nausea.

Meet Kabir Singh, the Hindi remake of 2017 Telegu blockbuster Arjun Reddy. The most striking thing about the film is the raw energy and overwhelming passion. Here is a story of a rebel doctor unable to contain in love. The background score is equally wild and hammers on your head racing your heartbeat. The intention of the filmmaker is to rattle you and Kabir Singh / Shahid Kapoor makes certain that you come out of the theatre a bundle of nerves.

While in college, Kabir is the leader, for the hostel girls he is the hero to be feared. The faculty dotes on him because he is brilliant in academics and also on the playground. He is funny, romantic, adventurous but uncontrollable when angry. The faculty has suspended him on misconduct many times but Kabir prides in being dangerously aggressive, being unpredictable and obsessive to a point of self-destruction. It is love on first sight with junior Preeti and over the seasons as love turns into obsession, Kabir transforms into new age Devdas!

Post interval as the background score turns lethal we witness a devastated Kabir transform into a monster preoccupied with everything destructive like smoking/ drinking/ drugging/womanizing. Now violence is a way of life with Kabir. The merits of the film are the well etched out characters, the individualistic music and the refreshing romance devoid of dialogues or song and dance. The demerits are the length- it is a full 3-hour melodrama, the fluctuating pace and the overdose of negativity which after a point becomes nauseating. I have serious concerns with the sensibility of the film: Considering Kabir has had a seemingly normal upbringing without any deprivations why is he such a freak?  The Dean at the college is aware that Kabir suffers from serious anger management but never recommends him to a counselor, why; would that not be more effective than suspension??

Which Medical Hostel allows girl and boy students to openly live together or better still, which hospital allows disheveled, obnoxious surgeons on the job? What kind of a girl is Preeti who falls in love with her oppressor, how can she want to be with somebody who isolates her from everybody? How can she submit herself so easily to a stranger so it is all about sex is it? Kabir is obsessive about his pet and addresses her as Preeti and in the later story when Kabir is embroiled in bigger complexities nobody seems to care about why the pet has gone missing including Kabir, strange! Parents of Kabir and Preeti have unnatural reactions to ordinary moments. I mean who behaves in this manner with their children today???

Kabir Singh is convincing as a love story but definitely not as a slice of life story even though the lead performances are very realistic.

Kiara Advani is fragile and sensitive and Shahid Kapoor as always first rate. The actor proves that he can mould into any character from the emperor in Padmavat to the singer in Uddta Punjab and now a drug addict doctor Kapoor is once again on top of the game.

Kabir Singh is misogynist, sexist, exceedingly violent and neurotic so it is up to you who do you want to watch the film with. I rate Kabir Singh with 2.5 stars.

 

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Alka Yagnik is spellbinding (Day 1602)

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Alka revealed that music was always a part of her growing up, the Saregama was always around her because both her parents sang. There was Tanpura at home, the guruji came to teach her mother and often she sat for the Riaz too.
There was a radio at home and it was forever playing. As a little girl I would plonk next to it and get lost in the melody. I liked the film songsnot the ragas my mother’s guru taught her.

One day my mother caught me humming s song I had heard on the radio and decided that I had to learn music and that was the beginning….

I must be 3 when I started singing and 6 when I started performing on stage. I was 14 when I recoded ‘Mete Amgen mein….’ for Lawaris. I was told I was subbing for another artiste so I was not at all nervous. Later they told me it was for playback and made me hear the final version. It was awesome I could not believe it.

Over the decades I sang so many songs for so many heroines, Juhi, Madhuri, Karisma, Kajol, Kareena, the latest was Deepika Padukone in Tamasha.
It has been a wonderful journey as a singer and I salute the universe for bringing music into my life.

@bhawanasomaaya

Gearing up for World Music (Day 1601)

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So Inox had an idea that we should celebrate the Wirld Music Day at their theatre and shared their dream with us at The Movie Moth.
Everybody’s first choice for the artiste was melody queen Alka Yagnik.

She was told to arrive at the venue by 2 pm but suddenly the clouds gathered and down came the rain. The guests called to say they were delayed because the traffic was bad so we asked Alka to come a little late too.

By then the rains got worse and Alka too linger to reach but once she was with us she was totally committed.

So what stories did she narrate and what songs did she sing…..? Will tell you tomorrow, same place, same time…

To be continued

@bhawanadomaaya

Rendezvous @Inox

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Sometimes people into your life because you are meant to walk far… I met Shalini Gupta for the first time at the Nagpur Airport. She was working with Lokmat Times at that time and had invited me to participate in an event. There was some misunderstanding about where she had to wait for me and I was walking up and down the airport looking for her as usual losing my cool but Shalini was cool as a cucumber and broke my defenses as soon as she met me.

We were together for the next couple of hours and when the celebrations ended, Shalini kept in touch. She thought of me often and I called her whenever I had an interesting idea. We were keen on doing some good work together but somehow there was no appropriate opportunity and then she quit Lokmat Times and joined Inox.

Shalini kept in touch as always, she invited me to Insignia to watch Avengers in 4D and boy what an experience that was. Now finally Shalini of Inox and I are doing something together, come and check it out at Insignia, Malad at 2pm today

More about this in my blog a few days later.

@bhawanasomaaya

 

The Movie Moth turns One – Day 1591

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#TheMovieMoth turns 1 year old….

So many films, so many conversations…

So many insights, so many confessions…

I still remember the day Archit Rastogi came to meet me. We agreed that we will undertake this experiment on Youtube even though none of us were sure how we will go about it. A few days later, we met again and this time he had an attractive girl accompanying him. Is she your girlfriend, I asked Archit hesitantly. ‘No ma’am, she is my wife’ he said a bit shyly. Soon we were three of us on board Tripti-Archit-me, putting our best foot forward, week after week.

Over the next twelve months, we did several interviews with actors and filmmakers and learned so much from these exercises and each other. A year ago, we were not sure if we would be able to do what we had set out for, Today, we feel we can do so much more and we will.

@bhawanasomaaya

Movie Review – Game Over

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Game Over guarantees palpitations 

 

Film: Game Over

Date: 14.06.2019

Director: Ashwin Saravanan

Writers: Ashwin  Kaavya/story/ screenplay, Shruti Madan/ Hindi dialogues

Cast: Taapsee Pannu

A young girl orders food and to facilitate the delivery boy, she comes down to get the parcel. She eats her dinner sitting in front of the television and in the morning she is beheaded and burnt, the details of her torture posted on a video that goes viral.

The second target is already a victim. She can barely sleep, is seldom hungry and is paranoid of darkness. She is claustrophobic and anti-social to a point that she does not step out of the house until absolutely necessary.

Swapna/ Taapsee Pannu creates video games for corporates on condition that she will operate from home and will not visit the office even for a presentation. She has a caretaker calledKalamma who is as faithful as a shadow and singlehandedly looks after Swapna and her sprawling mansion.

The film tells the story of the year 2017 when Delhi’s serial killer raped, beheaded and burnt bodies of young girls living alone in the city. First thing first, Game Over is not for the weak hearted because on the pretext of warning us the filmmaker goes all out to terrorize you with his unusual horror-thriller genre.

The merits of the film are the cinematography, tight editing(only 1.5 hours) the production design and the extra-ordinary treatment. The demerits include some repetitions – a significantsequence is replayed three times and third time is far from effective. Some misplaced superstitions like tattoos bring you ill luck and some exaggerations that girls who party late night invite trouble, I mean who takes these things seriously? 

Some things about the film are disturbing for example, why do Swapna’s parents keep calling and nagging her, why don’t they visit her when they know that their daughter is terriblydisturbed?? Also, isn’t it rather unusual that for a girl who is inaccessible a complete stranger walks into her living room and shares her darkest secret?

Considering Swapna is still fighting the demons of an earlier trauma it is unnatural that she chooses to live far away from the city in a remote bungalow and has no contact with any neighbor/ friend/ colleague except the caretaker and a security guard outside!

She is so vulnerable that she cannot meet her counselor without her escort, then how come she strolls into a coffee shop and even eavesdrop to strangers’ conversations? There are too manyquestions unanswered and too much fear, often unnecessarily lurking in every scene. Watch the film only if you are a horror/ thriller genre fan or a Taapsee Pannu fan because she is gorgeous as always.

Game Over guarantees palpitations and sleep deprivation, enter the auditorium at your own risk. I rate Game Over with 2.5 stars.

Bhawan Somaaya

 

Journey of a Fakir – Day 1590

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Maharashtrian mulgi Amruta Sant is gearing up for the Indian release of her first international movie The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir. Directed by Ken Scott, Amruta portrays the role of the protagonist’s mother and says opportunity came to her out of the blue when she happened to audition for a role  she had not come for but was there waiting in the same venue. Call it destiny casually and within a week she was finalized for the role of Aja (younger Dhanush)’s mother.

Amruts plays a single mother who earns her livelihood as a daily labourer. The director carried his characters to the location for rehearsals and after a series of workshops decided he was ready to shoot. Amruta is a theatre actor who is now popular in films. Her last film Panhala directed by Nagesh Bhosle got her a lot of acclaim and now awaits Nikhil Advani’s Batla House.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

 

Shahid Kapoor preps with Medicos – Day 1589

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For his upcoming film Kabir Singh, wherein Shahid Kapoor plays a surgeon the actor spent a lot of time observing and interacting with the best doctors at Mumbai’s hospital. He insisted on following them quietly on their rounds so he can get all the nuances right for the role.  What Shahid does not know is that now the doctors are waiting to watch the film to catch him on the wrong foot. I am told medical colleges are organizing a common screening to check out  how the actor has  portrayed the role of a surgeon.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

Superstar Mammootty – Day 1588

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For some actors it is never pack up and Malyalam cinema’s Mamootty is one of them. Over 300 films old and recipient of every award possible, is all set to bring to us the biggest film of his life, a true story based on a festival called Mamangam celebrated on the banks of Bharatapuzha in Kerala. For 280 years fierce battles were waged by a few men against a mighty king during Mamangam. The film will showcase the story of one great real hero and one glorious unknown hero.

This is not only the biggest project of Malyalam cinema set in the period of 1695 but also the first Malaylalam to be released in four languages- Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

The film will showcase Kalaripayattu, the oldest Indian martial art choreographed by Sham Kaushal.  Directed by M. Padmakumar and produced by Venu Kunnappilly of Kavya Films, Mamangam stars Achutan, Sudev Nair, Sidhique, Unnimukundan, Sureshkrishna and Manikkuttan.

@bhawanasomaaya

 

Black Hole – day 1587

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Black Hole is made up of three elements – a woman, a white sheet, and the idea of the cosmos.

The piece explores ideas from Theoretical Physics from the perspective of an ordinary person. The premise of the piece is a terminally ill mother and daughter who begin a game, discussing mysteries of science as a way to cope with the pain and fear of what awaits them. However, slowly, the theories and principles of science and wonders of the galaxies begin to unfold deeper mysteries of ‘who’ they are and where they will go.

As concepts from astrophysics intertwine with personal narratives exploring love, loss, mortality, experiential limits, and the bodies we live in, the piece examines our thirst for knowledge, our hunger for experience, and how the two combine to create our understanding of the cosmos we inhabit.

 The show has been traveling to small towns Palampur, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan in Himachal Pradesh, often alone, doing the minimal version of the show

@bhawanasomaaya