Monthly Archives

June 2019

Farewell time – Day 1606

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Today it is difficult to imagine how the yesteryear stars communicated with their drivers when they emerged from a premier/ party/ event. The host escorted the guest to the gate and waited for the car to drive up but how did the chauffeur know when to be ready? I seriously don’t know but it was not so difficult and somehow all of them managed to safely find their cars and reach home.

In the eighties when the Walkie Talkies first came to India Jeetendra was the first t star to use it to summon his chauffeur, soon other actors followed suit.

In the 90s of course, life became uncomplicated with the arrival of the mobile phones, so now it is not just the stars but also the politicians phoning drivers as soon as they emerge from the Lok and the Rajya Sabha.  Alka is an emotional girl and does not believe in abrupt exits, so spend time with everyone, complimented us all, took a few more pictures and then was escorted to her car.

 

Next time, I will tell another back story of another star but before that subscribe to #TheMovieMoth channel now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qm1bF9qrPA&feature=youtu.be

 

@bhawanasomaaya

Rains and traffic jams – Day 1603

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This always happens, the first rains are chaotic. We asked Alka to depart home a little later than decided because all the guests kept calling to say they are delayed because of the traffic jams everywhere. And that’s what happened to Alka Yagnik too. A short distance took her a long time to reach the venue and the guests began to feel restless. To put them in a good mood we played songs of Alka  Yagnik  super hits over the years and while they were lost in the melody, quietly walked in Alka Yagnik, all alone without any star trappings.

The evening had just begun and there was much more to follow, will tell you more tomorrow….

Until then you can log on to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qm1bF9qrPA&feature=youtu.be

@bhawanasomaaya

Movie Review: Article 15

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Bravo Sinha-Khurana

Film: Article 15
Date: 28 June 2019
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Isha Talvar, Kumud Mishra, Sayani Gupta, Manoj Pahwa

It is raining heavily and the roofs are leaking but rather than grumble about the fierce wind, they are huddled under one roof, singing. The lyrics of their song go something like this…

The homes of the rich have sprawling rooms and chandeliers…The homes of the poor are devoid of walls or ceiling…
The rich are treated to a banquet for every meal…The poor are a fortune to eat roti with chutney…
The children of the rich attend school and tuitions… The children of the poor work for daily wages…

Based on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution that prohibits discriminations on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth,Anubhav Sinha’s latest offering is the story of three such girls who go missing at work and even though a complaint is filed at the police station by their family no FIR is registered!

Inspired from true-life incidents of Badayun gang rape/ 2014 and Una flogging incident/ 2016 writer Gaurav Solanki with Sinha present a harsh, cruel slice of life that is bound to shake you up!

If Sinha’s 2018 released Mulk was hard-hitting Article 15 through the eyes of a police officer/ Ayushman Khurana is spine chilling. Posted in a small town in Uttar Pradesh because he dared to respond ‘cool’ to his senior, Khurana is punished to serve in a deserted place and uses the quietude to reflect on life and relationships. Slowly, as he is overwhelmed by the social injustices, Khurana’s communication with girlfriend/ Isha Talvar changes from discussing scenic beauty to humanity.

Starkly photographed and crisply edited, the film is130 minutes peppered with diverse relationships and more important has a gripping beginning-middle and end. In my opinion, there are 4 reasons for watching Article 15.

1. The writing: Diligently researched and tautly scripted the narrative peels layers of conditioning and holds the audience as guilty as the accused.
2. The treatment: If Sinha was effective with Mulk he is up-close without buffers or filters in Article 15. So many scenes stay with you long after the film is over. The police station exterior layered with bricks to encounter the overflowing filth. The scene where Ayushman Khurana leads his team into the swamp filled with leeches and the stomach-churning moment when the sewage cleaner dives into the mess with a bucket and comes up breathless to do it again and again!!
3. The Performances: This is not a film about a hero/ supporting cast or about positive/ negative characters, rather it is a film about many shades of humanity portrayed by Ayshman Khuran , Ishita Talvar, Sayani Gupta, Manoj Pahwa, and Kumud Mishra.
4. The Message: Baba Ambedkar wrote the constitution more than 70 years ago but we let him down. It is still not late if we can support the tag line on the film poster ‘Farq bohat kar liya ab farq layenge’.

Bravo Anubhav Sinha and proud of you Ayushman Khurana for your choices. I rate Article 15 with 4 stars.

 

Watch the review: ttps://www.facebook.com/133710429085/posts/10156726179384086/

Bhawana Somaaya

Album memories – Day 1605

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In the digital media times it is never easy for a celebrity to leave the event premise without a photo opportunity and it is amazing how many permutations and combinations are worked out quickly and swiftly. Like the wedding receptions in the olden days, the celebrity stands in place and the guests change places. Most of them are very patient with the exercise but some of them are not as accommodating but more about them another time and another place, right now you can enjoy the complete interview by clicking on this link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qm1bF9qrPA&feature=youtu.be

 

@bhawanasomaaya

Celebrating melody – Day 1604

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The best thing about chatting with singers is that even when they are not singing they sound melodious. Once Alka had told me that she loved calling up Didi/ Lata Mangeshkar because she liked listening to her madhur awaaz on the phone. I didn’t tell her at that time but Alka herself sounds just as good to her friends when they called her.

 

There are all kinds of celebrities, those who appear easy but give you a tough time when you have to deal with them and those who are genuinely uncomplicated and make it as smooth for you as possible. Alka belongs to the latter. She apologized to the guests for keeping them waiting even though it was not her fault and agreed to hum a few songs even though she was not warned about this request.

 

Most celebrities are good raconteurs and Alka is one of them, she relegated stories from her long career in films and had the audience hooked on to her, don’t believe her is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qm1bF9qrPA&feature=youtu.be

 

@bhawanasomaaya

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