Monthly Archives

September 2021

Ramesh Talwar: Doosra Aadmi – Day 2059

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

On 14 September in the year 1977 released Yash Raj Films Doosra Aadmi and even though the film was not a great success it remains a critically acclaimed film after forty plus years. There is a reason for this, while there are innumerable stories made on the ‘other woman’ in the hero’s life, there are hardly any examples of ‘another man’ in the heroine’s life. 

The only relevant example I can think of offhand is the 1963 film Gumrah where Mala Sinha under difficult circumstances marries her brother-in-law Ashok Kumar but is haunted by her ex-flame Sunil Dutt, remember the famous ‘Chalo ek baar phir se’?

In the 70s it was Ramesh Talwar who ushered the extra-marital story of a young couple and an older woman. But before that a little flashback on Talwar. He was actively involved in theatre, when one day, B R Chopra came to watch his play and asked Talwar to join his banner.

To be continued

Ganpati festival and Dance shows – Day 2058

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Urmila Matondkar makes her first appearance on a reality show with Madhuri Dixit celebrating thirty years of her super hit film Saajan.  Directed by debutante Rima Rakeshnath, the success of Saajan had surprised everyone and looking back, I feel it was the magical casting of three superstars- Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit combined with the music that made Saajan a memorable film.

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi and it is the right day to talk about our Maharashtrian actors. Nutan was the first Maharashtrian superstar in the fifties. Smita Patil in the seventies though a good actor was never considered a mainstream star. In the eighties Madhuri Dixit came like a storm and offered stiff competition to Sridevi. And in the nineties came Urmila Matondkar better known as the Rangeela girl.  There are rumors that Urmila is coming back to movies butt she has denied all the stories, says she would rather live in the memories of her stardom instead.

Exhibitors are optimistic – Day 2058

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Shootings are still not permitted in Mumbai and cinema halls still closed all of Maharashtra but for some mysterious reasons the exhibitors are still optimistic. They feel that if Bell Bottom and Chehre can release in cinema halls so can other movies. Strange, that nobody is talking about the box-office collections. The fact is even in cities where the cinema halls have opened up nobody is willing to risk their lives and go for movies.

And why should they when they get to pick their choice on the small screen. Coming to think of it we need to give due credit to all the small screen artistes who risked their lives to shoot the web series in these difficult times. The positive of the corona in the entertainment business is that the OTT platform provided work to so many out of work artistes and the reality shows revived so many of our golden vintage stars who entertained us via music and dance shows.  

Movie Review: Thalaivii – Day 2057

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Film: Thalaivi

Date: 10.09 2021

Kangana Lives Jaylalitha

In Mahabharat Draupadi was disrobed in public. In1989 Tamil Nadu Assembly, leader of opposition, J.Jaylalitha was pulled by her braid and dragged by her sari pallu and now in 2021, writer- director Vijay’s Thalaivi Kangana Ranaut relives the anger and the anguish of both, Draupadi and Jaylalitha.

The film opens with this shameful incident and even though we are all familiar with the proceedings watching it replay on the big screen is devastating. Thalaivi is based on author Ajayan Bala’s book by the same title and captures thirty years in the life of Tamil Nadu chief minister J.Jayalalitha.

Beginning in 1964 when sixteen-year-old Jaya/ Kangana Ranaut met superstar MGR addressed as MJR in the film/ Arvind Swami on the sets of her debut film. This is a story of their attraction, their super hit pairing, their blossoming romance and the devotion of the audience. Their heartbreaks, their personal anguish, controversies, party politics and Jaya braved all these storms to rise and rule as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

Unlike other period films, Thalaivi makes no mention of dates and years, rather seamlessly travels time through changing sets and surrounding, fashion and conversations. We notice a change in Jaylalitha’s body language post her road accident, the medical complications and the steroid injections resulting in rapid weight gain and change in attire.

There’s no denying that Thalaivi is an engaging narrative but it is not the complete truth because all of us remember history the way we want to and Thalaivi is author Ajayan Bala’s perspective. Director Vijay adapts the book into a selective presentation, ignores many important facets and undermines the role of MGR’s wife Janki and Jaylalitha’s companion, Shashikala, clearly a conscious decision.

If you can ignore these prejudices or safety devices, there are many positives to appreciate in the film like music, lyrics, voices aur Rajat Aroraa’s dialogues. The cast is interesting and the performances competent particularly the versatile Nassar as Karunanidhi even though his eyes are forever covered with dark glasses and Raj Arjun as RNV, watch out for his expression when Jaya wins the elections!

If Kangana’s ensemble team of hair/ makeup/choreographer and stylist Neeta Lulla dress up the body of Jayalalitha, the soul comes from Kangana’s sparklingly, uncompromised, flawless performance. Ranaut is riveting in every frame and you cannot look at anything while she is on the screen.

I rate Thalaivi with 4 stars 2 out of which are reserved only for Kangana. Take a bow lady!

Bhawana Somaaya

Happy films and Happy Birthday – Day 2056

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

For some time, everyone has decided to make only happy films because the audience is in no mood for gloom. The OTT platform has all the dark content and the viewers are now fed-up of the dark web world. The actors are fed-up of playing complex characters and look forward to playing happy roles particularly Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh. Alia has just wrapped up a demanding Gangubai Kathiwaadi and Ranveer Singh an exhausting 83. Call it their good luck that the duo has been signed by Karan Johar for a frothy Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani.

Filmmaker Karan Johar is in happy space and enjoying it. He recently launched a jewelry line, then shot for Big Boss on Voot and is now shooting in the capital. Singer Asha Bhosle is in happy space too, spending most of her time in her bungalow in Khandala and when reality show demands, she drives to Mumbai and charms them all. At 80 plus Bhosle can still sing live. Today is her birthday, Happy Birthday Asha Tai.

Mood is changing – Day 2055

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I love the month of August because it initiates a long line of festivals. On the Janmashtami Day, almost every actor put up pictures of Lord Krishna on their social media, irrespective of whether they believe in the festival or not.  After covid, all of us are forever looking for opportunities to celebrate and rejoice.

The actors are suddenly in a good mood because shootings have resumed and everyone is back to the studios. Tabu who was invisible for two years is shooting round the clock and has not a single date free for a long, long time. Deepika Padukone has recently packed up two commercials back-to-back and is currently shooting with Shah Rukh Khan in Spain. After Kajol- SRK, Deepika-SRK is a lucky pair to have always delivered hits- Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express and Happy New Year. No wonder more and more filmmakers want to sign them in their films.

Hema Malini as Yashoda – Day 2054

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Yashoda Krishna is a tribute to universal motherhood and the ballet remains in demand by prominent families celebrating child birth. While daughters Esha and Ahana Deol have over the decades played the younger and older Krishna over the decades, Hema Malini remains the timeless Yashoda, more beautiful with passing years. In the nineties sometime, Hema Malini was at the airport and purchased a book that absorbed her so deeply that the following morning, she had planned her next production, Draupadi. Draupadi portrays her relationship with her five husbands and her sakha. “This is my most complex ballet and every time I perform her, I am distressed. Imagine, so many centuries have passed but her agony and rage still rattle us!

A few years ago, it dawned on Hema Malini realized that she had not yet portrayed Rukmini on stage and planned her next ballet titled it Rukmini Radha where both, the wife and the beloved have their say.  She is looking forward to performing her old and new ballets on stage again. For an artiste who has been on stage from the time she was a little girl and has been dancing for almost sixty years now, her passion for both dance and Lord Krishna remains undiminished.” Krishna is there everywhere around us so is it a surprise that he is omnipresent in my dance?” she concludes.