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somaayabhawana

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Movie Review: Just beat it with Munna Michael 

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Producer : Viki RajaniDirector : Sabbir Khan

Music: Meet Bros

Stars: Tiger Shroff, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niddhi Agerwal

 The film opens with a dance sequence inside a film studio. Long haired Michael/ Ronit Roy grooves to the music among the chorus dancers and post pack up waits to collect his paycheck. He is informed a bit curtly that he will not be required for the next day shoot because everything has an expiry date and he is now too old for show business.

 On his way home on a rainy night, Michael discovers a baby in the garbage and brings him home but does not know how to silence him when he cries for food so plays music and the baby starts smiling. Not surprising that he grows up to become Munna Michae/ Tiger Shroff who looks for a new place to dance every night and if anyone messes with his group Munna is ready to punch him blue.

 Munna has a dream to become a professional dancer like his father but Ronit Roy wants him to take up a corporate job. In the meantime a Delhi mafia Mahinder Fauji/ Nawazuddin Siddiqui Munna meets accidentally wants to hire him as his dance guru and a small town aspirant Dolly/ Nidhi Agarwal wants Munna around her as her good luck charm.

 There are some films you watch for emotional content and characters, some for a feel good of location/ action/ music and choreography. Munaa Michael falls in the second category that combines action/ emotion/ drama with a lot of song and serious dance.

 The first half is racy and engaging and Tiger Shroff has you gripped to his grooves. The surprise packet is a hilarious Nawazuddin Siddiqui cast as the underworld with a passion for dance. The problem is the second half where everything becomes predictable and debutante Niddhi Agarwal is so dead pan that we need subtitles to explain her expressions.

 In a career spanning just three years this is the third collaboration of actorTiger Shroff and director Sabbir Khans, first action/Heropanti, second emotion/ Baaghi and now Munna Michael/ a film about dance.

 All of us understand that there is a deep connect between action and choreography because both call for rhythm and synchronization and Munna Michael establishes that an actor who can groove like Jackson can do serious action as expertly and gracefully. There are three reasons to watch Munna Michael. To applaud Tiger Shroff as a dancer, as an action hero and to encourage Nawazuddin Siddiqui match steps with Tiger Shroff.

I rate Munaa Michael with 3 stars.

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Movie Review: Just beat it with Munna Michael 

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Producer : Viki RajaniDirector : Sabbir Khan

Music: Meet Bros

Stars: Tiger Shroff, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niddhi Agerwal

 The film opens with a dance sequence inside a film studio. Long haired Michael/ Ronit Roy grooves to the music among the chorus dancers and post pack up waits to collect his paycheck. He is informed a bit curtly that he will not be required for the next day shoot because everything has an expiry date and he is now too old for show business.

 On his way home on a rainy night, Michael discovers a baby in the garbage and brings him home but does not know how to silence him when he cries for food so plays music and the baby starts smiling. Not surprising that he grows up to become Munna Michae/ Tiger Shroff who looks for a new place to dance every night and if anyone messes with his group Munna is ready to punch him blue.

 Munna has a dream to become a professional dancer like his father but Ronit Roy wants him to take up a corporate job. In the meantime a Delhi mafia Mahinder Fauji/ Nawazuddin Siddiqui Munna meets accidentally wants to hire him as his dance guru and a small town aspirant Dolly/ Nidhi Agarwal wants Munna around her as her good luck charm.

 There are some films you watch for emotional content and characters, some for a feel good of location/ action/ music and choreography. Munaa Michael falls in the second category that combines action/ emotion/ drama with a lot of song and serious dance.

 The first half is racy and engaging and Tiger Shroff has you gripped to his grooves. The surprise packet is a hilarious Nawazuddin Siddiqui cast as the underworld with a passion for dance. The problem is the second half where everything becomes predictable and debutante Niddhi Agarwal is so dead pan that we need subtitles to explain her expressions.

 In a career spanning just three years this is the third collaboration of actorTiger Shroff and director Sabbir Khans, first action/Heropanti, second emotion/ Baaghi and now Munna Michael/ a film about dance.

 All of us understand that there is a deep connect between action and choreography because both call for rhythm and synchronization and Munna Michael establishes that an actor who can groove like Jackson can do serious action as expertly and gracefully. There are three reasons to watch Munna Michael. To applaud Tiger Shroff as a dancer, as an action hero and to encourage Nawazuddin Siddiqui match steps with Tiger Shroff.

I rate Munaa Michael with 3 stars.

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Movie Review: Lipstick is about women power

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Film: Lipstick under my Burkha

Date:   21 July 2017

Writer/ Director: Alankrita Shrivastav

Stars: Ratna pathak Shah, Kokona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur

Ratings: 3 stars

Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Uunder My Burkha has been in the headlines for some time because of its ongoing battle with the CBFC. Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India, the film chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of passion and dreams.

The oldest is the land lady of Hawa Mahal Ushaji/ Ratna Pathak Shah a middle-aged widow who spends all her free time reading erotic novels, as a result, finds herself attracted to her young and handsome swimming instructor. Suddenly Ushaji feels the need to look attractive again. Shireen/ Konkona Sen Sharma, mother of three boys who juggles her responsibilities with a secret part time job as a sales woman. Her husband works overseas and the only time he meets her is in the night in the bed.

Leela/ Aahana Kumra is the owner a beauty parlor, she is madly in love with her photographer friend and wants to explore the world but it is not that simple.

Plabita Borthakur’s college going Rehana has aspirations to become a pop singer and leads a dual life till she is ruthlessly exposed.

What works in favor of the film is that Shrivastava travels you into the crowded by lanes and gives you a glimpse of people’s lives and sufferings. For the kind of oppression, all of them go through Lipstick Under My Burqa could have been a dark, depressing film but Srivastava elevates her characters as free willed women and portrays their perils as humorous anecdotes.

Using lipstick as a metaphor the director comments on female sexuality, abuse in marriage and power play of parents in lives of unmarried daughters.  She addresses small town aspirations, peer pressure, and consumerism. In the climax, all of them come together not to mourn their loss but to move on with their lives and dreams superbly shot with fire crackers in the background.

The negative of the film are minor exaggerations necessary for the narrative which can be overlooked. All the performances are sparkling – Ratna Pathak Shah as the buaji living her sexual fantasies is both entertaining and vulnerable.  The always dependable Konkana Sen portrays scenes from a marriage while Aahana Kumara and Plabita the live wires reflect the angst of the youth.

Shot mostly in mid close Lipstick Under My Burqa is bold and intimate ready to challenge the patriarchal society. I rate Lipstick Unser My Burqa with 3.5 stars

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Sawan ke jhoole pade (Day 1139)

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A decade later, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had Raakhee just stroll the forest and sing to no one in particular ‘Sawan ke Jhoole…’ in Jurmana. Most of the time, rain was a metaphor or a muse to express longing for  a beloved as a result Hema Malini a dancer in Abhinetri  does her work singing ‘O ghata sawari…’ yearning for Shashi Kapoor while Rajesh Khanna -Zeenat Aman are in a playful mood during ‘Bheegi bheegi raaton mein…’ in Ajnabee.

Very often the rain sequence was a transforming moment for the character or the story. Remember how Amitabh Bachchan walks Raakhee home under an umbrella in Kaala Pathar and they become soulmates? Remember a young Anuradha Patel driving older Naseerudin Shah in a tizzy singing ‘Mera kuch samaan tumhare paaas…’ in Gulzar’s Ijaazat? Remember an anguished Vinod Khanna singing ‘Lagee aaj sawan ki phir wo jhadi hai…’ in Chandni as Sridevi in present and Juhi Chawla in the past dance in the rain?

My favorite song for today is Sawan ke jhoole pade

My favorite scene: Kajol watching Shah Rukh Khan on television in My Name is Khan.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  @bhawanasomaaya

19 wednesday

O sajna barkha bahar aayin (Day 1138)

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If ‘Pyar hua iqrar hua…’ with Nargis and Raj Kapoor shot under a wind blown umbrella in Shri 420 is the anthem for monsoon songs in Hindi films, Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh dancing to ‘Kaale megha kale megha…’ in Lagaan is a song of hope and ‘Badal yun garajta hai ..’ in Betaab a song of reunion where childhood friends Amrita Singh and Sunny Deol meet after a long separation.

 

The poets always had a new expression for rain songs depending on the context of the scene and the character. The filmmaker combined with the choreographer always made sure that these moments were magical on the big screen. So if the Black & White cinema Bimal Roy just made Sadhna stand in the balcony, look at the desolate skyline and sing ‘O sajna barkha…’ waiting for Dev Anand in Parakh Shakti Samanta had the youth excited with ‘Roop tera mastana…’in Aaradhna.

ti_725_5167.3267887641 My favorite song for today is O sajna barkha bahar aayin

My favorite scene: Kajol watching Shah Rukh Khan on television in My Name is Khan.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  @bhawanasomaaya

18 tuesday

Barso re megha (Day 1137)

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Romance in Hindi films is synonymous with rain sequences. Much before the item numbers dawned into our entertainment business, rain songs were the only ticket to erotica in Hindi movies. Not all of them were explicitly sensual but they reflected a longing, an admission of desire and therefore all these songs were memorable. We remember some of these numbers for the extraordinary lyrics and the melody and some for the song situations and choreography.

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How can we 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..?

 

My favourite song for today is Barso re megha barso

My favourite scene: The flood scene in the climax in Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

For more on the #Monsoon Magic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  @bhawanasomaaya

17 monday

Tip tip barsa paani

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The rainbow has seven colours, the dancer on stage portrays eight roles, life offers nine emotions and the Hindu deity has ten avatars. Have you ever wondered how many shades exist to monsoon?  Hindi films portrays a million moments of this romantic season. In the coming days, I will unfold some mesmerising moments of the Monsoon Magic and will also share one favorite song and scene of the magical season.

My favorite song for today is Tip tip barsa paani

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My favorite scene: Nargis fighting to save their crop and field in Mother India.

For more on the #MonsoonMagic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  @bhawanasomaaya

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Movie Review: Jagga Jasoos – Detective loses the plot

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Film: Jagga Jasoos

Date:   14 July 2017

Writer/ Director: Anurag Basu

Music: Pritam

Stars:  Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saswata Chatterjee

Ratings: 2 stars

I have often wondered why a film that has been in the making for too long somehow never appeals to the audience. Does the film get delayed because the people making it lose interest or does the delay become the cause of the loss of interest among those involved? It is a mystery I have never been able to resolve. One thing is certain however the audience always senses the vibration of a film they somehow always know instinctively what’s going to work for them and what’s not.

Jagga Jasoos is the story of a lovable orphan raised in a hospital, until one day he finds a Godfather/ Bagchi who brings him home and fills his life with care.  The paradise is short lived because Bagchi/ Saswat Chatterjee has a secret mission to fulfil and admits Jagga into a boarding school promising to fetch him soon but never comes back. Months roll into years and now Jagga is a big boy/Ranbir Kapoor who has a nose for mystery and his friends call him Jagga detective.

At the onset, it has to be said that Jagga Jasoos is not a regular film. It is scripted like a play and shot like an opera where characters break into a jig and song every time they need to express themselves. Initially, it is all very attractive and we are drawn into the meadows and the melody, the yellow fields, the singing birds, the grazing animals and the mesmerising nature but after a while, the one-dimensional characters and the monotony of the treatment become a tedious watch.

When Jagga does not receive his annual courier from his father he sets on a distant journey to find him and accompanying him is his new friend, accident prone journalist Shruti Sengupta/ Katrina Kaif. The second half of the film travels to exotic locations and combines action an adventure but we are not entertained because the narrative is dull and far from engaging.

As Ranbir’s father Saswat Chatterjee delivers a convincing performance but the normally dependable Saurabh Shukla has no scope to shine. Katrina Kaif looks visibly disinterested and Ranbir Kapoor mysteriously lacks the zing! Just a few years ago director Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor together gave us Barfee that we have yet to recover from. Now they bring us Jagga Jasoos after a three-hour watch I have yet to recover from!!

Watch Jagga Jasoos only if you are a Katrina- Ranbir fan so that you can resolve the mystery what went wrong and why. I failed and therefore rate Jagga Jasoos with 2 stars.

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Mr Dhokla (Day 1134)

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Driving from the venue I realise I have not tasted the dhoklas brought for me because Parthiv Gohil’s musicians have finished them backstage. I feel deprived and call up Sohan Kalsariya. He promises to bring a parcel for me at the hotel in the morning and as promised arrives with neatly packed different types of dhoklas. Utpal Bhayani and I are tempted to carry the boxes with us to Mumbai and even though our bags have no space, Hitenbhai helps us to adjust the boxes amidst our clothes.

Over breakfast served at the hotel restaurant, we discuss the plus and the minuses of last night event. All good organisers must do this in order to retain the quality and content of the show. It is am and time for us to leave for the station. Hitenbhai cannot take the risk of me finding the bogey on my own and escorts me to the station. There is still time for the train to arrive and I am excited to notice coolies eating/ drinking/ washing face in exactly the same way that Manmohan Desai had projected Amitabh Bachchan in his film Coolie. Close to the bridge on the same platform I spot a shoeshine boy and think that so many years have gone by but Salim Javed’s Deewar but the character is still visible on the streets even today.

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My journey back home is as comfortable and I spend time observing people on the trains, most of them are either sleeping or reading, some are on the phone discussing GST what else. I am hungry but I will not open my dhokla box in front of strangers, so wait patiently to drive home…

 

 

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Yours Sincerely (1133)

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The English publishers usually release their books without any fanfare but the Gujaratis have a culture to combine a literary event with entertainment and the audience loves it. All of them organise a new release with drama and music, some sher-o-shairis from the anchor and some terrific word flow from sparkling speakers. Image Publishers are a front runner in this genre and make a star of an author overnight. All their events are innovative and a house full, not surprising that their members eagerly look forward to all Image events.

11bToday, the auditorium is packed with the who’s who of the city and everyone is prepared for a larger than life release. A 6feet tall book cover is wheeled on stage which I am expected to unveil.  It is a mammoth task and I include author Ajita in the process, we open the cover together housing many copies books and present them to all on the dais. It is time for group pictures, more smiles and more poses.

Finally, it is time for the author to make her speech, to tell all of us what made her turn into a writer. “I have everything a woman can ask for but there was something missing, something I could not define but it is called an identity beyond the many roles I play in life and I was searching for an outlet when came this opportunity and I grabbed it”.

Ajita is nervous and has a prepared speech so that she does not make a mistake. Hesitantly, she begins to tell her story, how the idea of the book came about and how her friends encouraged her to share her thought process. She remembers to credit everyone who made this dream possible, her team, her immediate family, her friends and finally, then the speech is over, Ajita looks visibly relieved.  She can finally heave a sigh of relief and enjoy the concert performed by Parthiv Gohil and his team.

 

I don’t wait for the concert because I have food on my mind, more on this tomorrow…