A story is named – Day 1755

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Who are you talking to I asked my intern at home, she looked at me and said Rim Jhim. ‘Rim Jhim?’ I repeated making action of raindrops. Yes, she replied, ‘My cousin was born in the monsoons and her parents love the sound of the rain. I love it too and the name Rim Jhim reverberated in my head for days at end. I had decided that irrespective of the  course of the story the title of my film will be Rim Jhim  and slowly I had found my protagonist, a young girl who was going to take you through the story, introduce us to her parents, other characters, their back stories, interactions and attachments. When I penned the synopsis, it was meant to be a film script and then on the advice of a filmmaker friend, I wrote the character sketches, their past, their present, their fears and anxieties and finally the beat sheet – which is a scene break up. I was ready to write a full-length screenplay but not before I had found a director to own my story so I waited…

To be continued…

@bhawanasomaaya

A story is born – Day 1754

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It was in the early 2000 when I was walking on the road and found a poor woman sobbing on the street mourning the death of her six-month-old infant.  On my way home I kept thinking about her life, her husband, her parents, her in-laws. There was nobody around her and she was wailing unable to get a grip of herself. I kept thinking about her husband and his reaction to the tragedy, will he empathize with her that she had to handle this crisis single handedly or will he blame her for what had happened even though it was not her fault. Weeks passed by but the incident was still hovering in my head, unknowingly I began making notes. The subject had the potential of a dramatic narrative but the details were taking long to form a pattern. I was certain that it had to be the story of a family but what kind of a family I didn’t know and so I decided to wait till the story in my head was ready to lead me…

To be continued…

@bhawanasomaaya

Movie Review – Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

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Unengaging

Film: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Release: 21.02.2020

Writer/Director: Hitesh Kewalya

Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Jitendra Kumar, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta

Actor Ayushman Khurana was a radio jockey before he made his debut in films in 2012. In the last 8 years he has made 15 films out of which many have been superhits. What is commendable about his choice of subjects is that all these films have addressed relevant issues be it physical like obesity in Dum Laga Ke Haisha or alopecia in Bala, marital as in Shubh Mangal Savdhan which was about erectile dysfunction or Badhai Ho about parent pregnancy.

If Bareily Ki Barfi addressed small town complexities and Hawaizaada elaborated on professional aspirations, Article 15 enlightened us on our constitutional rights.

Dream Girl was about deception but more about repression and sexual fantasies while Vicky Donor unapologetically celebrated sexuality. In all his films, Ayushman Khurana wittingly or unwittingly played the victim who has his say in the climax. For the first time in Shubh Mangal Zyaada Savdhan which addresses homosexuality, Ayushman plays the aggressor egging on his docile partner to defy his family and come out of the closet.

In the very first scene the lead pair Aman/ Jitendra Kumar and Kartik/ Ayushman Khurana are established as a couple, boarding a train to Allahabad, Aman’s home where Aman’s cousin/ Goggle is getting married.

The following sequences are a replay of what we have watched in earlier small-town movie releases that is a large joint family with innumerable characters running up and down, shouting instructions. Shot inside a dilapidated ancestral home, the characters are forever venting frustrations. In short, a story of family problems, family conflicts, family drama and family bonding!

Clearly there is no dearth of excitement in the Tripathi household where the son is discovered to be homosexual, the daughter runs away on her wedding night and the to be daughter-in-law is nabbed by the police with the family jewelry. There’s more, the parents have a past, the family has a history and the brothers, the co-sisters are all fighting old battles, with so many complications the story should have got us hooked, it does not!

The pace is slow, screenplay unengaging, dialogues lack-lustre and narrative devoid of any surprises. Some scenes are meant to shock you like the prolonged kiss scene between the heroes beneath the windcheater a la Aashiqui irritates more than amuses. Some scenes are meaningless like Ayushman in superman costume delivering gyaan and some annoyingly regressive like Gajaj Rao performing funeral rites of his alive son and women of the house obsessed with Streedhan.

Ayushman Khurana and Jitendra Kumar make a drab pair devoid of any chemistry and nothing about their portrayal or interaction makes me believe that they are genuinely in love. On the contrary there is a sparkle though not as strong as Badhai Ho between Neena Gupta aur Gajaj Rao and they are responsible for you to sit through the utterly boring film.

I rate Shubh Mangal Zyaada Savdhan with 2 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya

Memories of Sai and Shabana Day 1751

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Were you disappointed that they killed you halfway through the fi
No, my exit was very clearly stated in the script and the film is fair to the script. A lot of
people felt that the film ended for them when I die in the hospital but I disagree because
eventually. Saaz is the story of Bansi and her traumas.
How was your interaction with Shabana Azmi and director Sai Paranjpye?
Shabana Azmi is an old friend. We have done many films together in the past. She starred
in my home production Anokha Bandhan. Our careers had traveled different destinations
but the warmth remained consistent. I didn’t know Sai at all and did the film because I
was curious about parallel cinema but I was not very comfortable. I have been around for
a long time, started my career as a chorus dancer then solo dancer, then supporting and
second lead roles and finally played a heroine as well. Over the decades we adjusted to
the multi-starrers then the Gujarati films but the art and parallel cinema is a different
culture altogether. For a long time now, I have been associated with television and now
waiting to explore the web series which are more realistic and addictive I am told.
@bhawanasomaya