Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Fiction, Inspirational, Reality Check

Dream Girl – Eye-catcher.

Ayushmann Khurrana actually did tell the audience to leave their brains at home before going for this one. It is that kind of an entertainer. It was quite a bold move, saying that aloud, but I did that and he was right. And no, it is not similar, but, it is way more interesting and funnier than Total Dhamaal.

It is Raaj Shaandilyaa‘s first directorial in films. Let me remind you that Raaj is responsible for direction and content writing for Sony TV’s hit show Comedy Circus. Well, until Kapil Sharma got out. Without a doubt, this film is going to be a hit. The timing and the quality of it’s comedic punches were on point. This is Shaandilyaa‘s specialty. Couldn’t have gone wrong.

The originality of the concept is what impressed me more than anything. In the story, some great stereotypes were broken. There was a tiny message too. It was also the brilliant character creation for this particular concept that caught my attention. I could sense a lot of satire too, coming from a mind behind the many Comedy Circus scripts. All the characters fit perfectly in the film. Although, I did get a vibe of Anees Bazmee during the flick, in terms of the plot and cinematography. Yes! It is way better than Mubarakan. Even though it was timed to 132 minutes, it felt like the film is going to take forever to end. This, indeed, was the biggest drawback.

Full marks to Khurrana (as Karam Singh/Pooja) and the supporting cast. Lovely performances by all. Especially, Annu Kapoor (as Jagjeet Singh), Rajesh Sharma (as W), Manjot Singh (as Smiley), Vijay Raaz (as Rajpal), debutante Raj Bhansali (as Toto) and Abhishek Banerjee (as Mahendar). Meet Bros give shipshape music. Plus, I am really happy that the trend of all eleven songs playing in the film with choreography is ending. Herein, there were two, which were obligatory. All in all, you should and must take your family or friends along with you to enjoy this one!

3.5/5

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Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Fiction, Inspirational, Psychological, Reality Check, Romantic, Sports

Chhichhore – Entertainingly inspirational.

The writer and director of Dangal enters the ring again and this time without the ‘A’ factor. Could he (Nitesh Tiwari) actually do something as wondrous as his last directorial? Let’s find out.

First of all, full points to the casting director and the cast itself. Not only the the extremely talented Sushant Singh Rajput (as Anirudh “Anni” Pathak), Shraddha Kapoor (as Maya), Prateik Babbar (as Raggie) and Varun Sharma (as Gurmeet “Sexa” Singh Dhillon) gave great performances but the newbies and the lesser experienced Tahir Raj Bhasin (as Derek), Naveen Polishetty (as Acid), Tushar Pandey (as Sunder “Mummy” Saxena), Saharsh Kumar (as Bevda) and Mohammed Samad (as Raghav) too were exceptional.

The predictable plot inspires us with a message which is mostly directed towards the young students of India. Chhichhore is surprisingly funny. It gets serious when necessary. It generates hope. It has concentrated on a topic which has just been a tad part of a few films before. Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Mehrotra, the screenplay writers, enhance this topic with grace and successfully keep it peppy at the same time.

The music by Pritam is not too bad. It doesn’t interfere in anyway in the film. Just graciously plays as a background score, adding the required emotion to it. Plus, the kind of reviews I have been hearing about last week’s Saaho, I surmise it is safe to say that this one’s a better watch.

3.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Drama, Fiction, Reality Check, Television, TV

Four More Shots Please! – What’s the selling point?

Four women, who are poles apart, trying to make their fragile life whole, meet at a bar and become each other’s crying shoulders, eventually becoming close to each other, sharing their life’s sunrises and sunsets.

A lot might have compared this web series to the film Veere Di Wedding, I surmise it is much more enhanced than it, giving the story a more practical touch. But it is definitely not a ‘version’ of it. It might be similarly themed, but it isn’t an adaptation of it. I found it really okay, when and if compared to other mind-boggling shows out there today. It proves to be more individualistic than overall.

Four More Shots Please! tries to be cool, throwing bold dialogue and strong characters at you. Yet, the script isn’t serious and that’s where it deteriorates. The characters too aren’t perfect. Maanvi Gagroo (as Siddhi Patel) and Sayani Gupta (as Damini Rizvi Roy) being the best out of the four lead characters, give you one reason to watch this. Gurbani Judge (as Umang Singh) [who calls herself “Bani J“] really needs a lot of improvement in terms of screen presence. She is over-confident. Isn’t giving attention to detail. Kirti Kulhari (as Anjana Menon), despite having experience in a few films, carelessly tends to overact. Not every time, but has done it more than a few times.

The recurring cast is a blessing to this mediocre show. Credits to all, Prateik Babbar, Milind Soman, Neil Bhoopalam, Ankur Rathee, Simone Singh, Amrita Puri and Paras Tomar. Lisa Ray, 47, however, is still not a good actor. But so is one of the LEAD characters.

People who are feminists OR tend to have a feminist outlook, in life, will favor this one. On the contrary, audience who have a general opinion & taste of things and are really looking for a critically acclaimed show, this one’s not it. Even the ending of the show might make you feel like it’s trying too hard. Director Anu Menon & writers Devika Bhagat and Ishita Moitra really have to up their game, in season two, to impress THE REST of the humans of the world.

2.5/5

Posted in General, Psychological, Reality Check, Social Media, Technology

Is WhatsApp a lifeline today?

I tried this for ten odd days when I had given my phone for repair and didn’t have a backup phone. I said to myself, “Let’s try living in a world without WhatsApp”. I put my sim card in a feature phone – which doesn’t have a capability of installation and usage of social media applications and messengers. I had a little bit of ego growing inside of me. Whoever wants to contact me, shall do it in any way. There are other mediums too. They could call me? Or text me. Just like the olden times. The era of late nineties and most of 2000’s.

Most of my contacts didn’t realize that I am off WhatsApp. Well, I had put it on my story. Didn’t they see it? I used to log in on my Facebook account, once in a while, through my laptop to check if it really was the “other” medium of communication. But, I found my inbox empty.

I really didn’t bother so much about my friends and family trying to connect with me or contacting through this application. Because I knew they would do it through any medium, if they really needed me. Whom I got worried about, were my clients. Some of which contacted me ONLY through WhatsApp to place orders. And when finally I made a rough decision of buying a low-budget backup phone and appeared again on WhatsApp, there really was a message from one of my clients {along with hundred other group chat messages and personal messages from friends} and he did give me a couple of orders. If I would have been a week late, I might have not gotten that order.

I really feel that most of us humans have become so dependent on WhatsApp. Probably chained and locked to it. Gone are the days where we used to be without smartphones. Gone are the days where there used to be so much of letter writing. Gone are the days where there used to be one-to-one, face-to-face, real conversations. Hence, I want to ask you this question. Do you really think business should be done on these social messengers? Isn’t electronic mail a better option? Doesn’t it feel more professional? Can WhatsApp and other social messengers be neglected? Just for a little bit of peace, perhaps?

Posted in Based On True Events, Bollywood, Drama, Reality Check, Television, TV

Made In Heaven – I didn’t want it to end!

The show is so compelling that it forced me to open my blog and write about it. It is one of the most deserving television shows I have ever witnessed. I am privileged and honored to write about this marvel.

Initially, when I heard a buzz around in the social media and through word of mouth, I wasn’t curious to know as to what it is and why are people talking about it so much. I assumed that it must be some romance flavored, fruitful show – which I probably won’t be interested in.

All I needed was one more recommendation to watch it. My brother did that and as soon as I finished the show I was watching before this (Inside Edge), I started what I didn’t know would be one of the best shows I would ever watch. The topic what they have focused on is indeed a very large one. I admired and adored each and every episode which was made and thought of, with absolute class. It has enough power to generate all kinds of emotions. Gave me goosebumps. Gave me teary eyes. Made me smile wide. Made me frown. Gave me hope.

Each and every thing involved in story telling and which is to be portrayed in front of the camera is given the utmost detail. The costumes, the casting, the dialogue and the camerawork. Made In Heaven is a profound show. It revolves around India’s mightiest weddings and their innermost flaws, realities and tales. At first, I presumed that it is all about the behind the scenes of such Indian (traditional and rich) weddings. Their deepest and darkest secrets. But, after a few episodes, I learned what this show was really about.

I would love to give my hearty congratulations to the whole cast and crew of the show [secretly hoping for you to read this article of appreciation]. There is a long list of crew but I would specially mention, the writers and the directors, Zoya Akhtar (director & writer), Reema Kagti (writer), Alankrita Shrivastava (director & writer), Nitya Mehra (director) Prashant Nair (director). Apart from this, the actors who have really showed what a true performance is, Arjun Mathur, Shobhita Dhulipala, Kalki Koechilin, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Vinay Pathak, Vijay Raaz, all the guest appearances and recurring cast.

M.I.H very evidently depicts the struggles of the people of the LGBTQ community over the decades. Not to mention, this was before the ground-breaking day for them arrived, last year, where the law of Section 377 was made unconstitutional. It also speaks about relationships which you never consider to be important, actually are the most valuable ones and are the only ones which prosper at the end. I have never been so proud to know that everything in India has been evolving, rapidly, on a major scale. What was already legalized in the foreign countries, years ago, is OKAY in India too. Because of this, India is NOW is actually becoming democratic and boosting such kind of bold cinema to be released and showcased in the country, without any roadblocks.

5/5

Posted in Based On True Events, Bollywood, Crime, Drama, Reality Check, Thriller

The Tashkent Files – Nothing but the truth?

There is a lot of divulgence in this flick, relating to a few blunt, unresolved topics from the Indian politics, in regards to the ex-government. The trailer seemed very intriguing in terms of the controversial topic and a fantastic star cast. It didn’t include a typical Karan Johar type, high profile cast but consisted of critically acclaimed, underrated actors.

Well, when speaking about the film, it highlights the fact or fiction sort of a plot which is based on India’s second Prime Minister after independence, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri‘s death. Herein, the topic is inclusive of some evidences which are followed by a few mouth shutting questions, which I think blurt out everything, indirectly. Intellectual people would understand it faster.

This is one of the many films which has been released in the past four months, on purpose, to obviously showcase something which had been hidden for almost five decades. To show people [especially Indian residents] something factual for them to realize what they were dealing with, for the past sixty years. Yes, I agree that they haven’t presented any evidence in relevance to a few other stated facts, but I think the intention was to just put it out there, to create a buzz.

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Now, The Tashkent Files seems to be half documentary – half drama, where there is nothing mind-blowing EXCEPT the topic of argument. Moreover, I quickly glanced through all the reviews and critical analysis of this film, just for the sake of curiosity. I was shocked to see that ALL of the major newspaper and magazine editors and critics giving only negative reviews to the film. I don’t think it deserves that.

Agreed that the film has nothing major to offer [and I don’t speak in support of any political party] but the kind of points which have been pinched, are worth a watch. As usual, for me, the film is only until it’s attention-drawing nature. At least, films like these are much more stirring than the idiocy out there [Total Dhamaal]. Plus, apart from a bit of melodrama by lead actress Shweta Basu Prasad, everybody performed their roles with complete justice and honesty. Especially, Mithun Chakraborty, Mandira Bedi, Naseeruddin Shah, Pallavi Joshi, Vinay Pathak and Pankaj Tripathi.

P.S.: Vivek Agnihotri (writer & director) shouldn’t have added Shweta‘s awful and displeasing jogging scenes.

3/5

Posted in Bollywood, Drama, Reality Check, Romantic

Qarib Qarib Singlle – The undervalued stunner.

In the Bollywood year of 2017, a lot of films released. While some being box office flops, critically failed or even unknown, films like TubelightTiger Zinda Hai, Judwaa 2, Baadshaho, Raabta, A Gentleman, Poster Boys, Lukhnow Central, RangoonMeri Pyaari Bindu, Munna Michael, Noor, Bhoomi, Simran, Haseena Parker and Chef couldn’t be borne by the audience.

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On the contrary, some barely hit mediocrity but still earned their proceeds, some became the low-budget hits or a couple even went way beyond average, critically. In the massive, fast-paced crowd of films like Raees, Hindi Medium, Golmaal Again!!!, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Baahubali 2, Kaabil, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Newton, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Jab Harry Met Sejal, MubarakanNaam Shabaana, Ok Jaanu, Fukrey Returns, Phillauri, Jolly LLB 2 and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, somewhere along the road, people forgot about this beautiful motion picture, originally penned by Kamna Chandra, called as Qarib Qarib Singlle.

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Magnificently presented by the daughter of the writer, Tanuja Chandra, who also wrote the screenplay alongside Gazal Dhaliwal, this film will astonish you. It will give you goosebumps, make you smile and giggle. It will give you hope. You’ll be enchanted by the whole experience of the cinematography. You’ll be surprised to hear, post watching it, that it’s all shot in India.

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Who could imagine, at this day and era, Irrfan Khan could play a romantic hero and that too so thoroughly with his excellent comic timing, given his usual genre of films. Making the debut in Bollywood industry with this one, Parvathy Kottuvata proves the reason she won those numerous awards and nominations. She is a detailed actor. Made for the camera. Promoting and marketing dating websites, this motion picture proves that you could find love at any age and at a very unusual time, only if you want to.

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Without watching the film I had come across a track from it, the lyrics of which gave me goosebumps, the melody soothed me and Atif Aslam garnished it exquisitely with the softer version of his voice. Now, there was a point in the film, around the middle, when this song played. And the moment was so right that I was sold with that one five-minute sequence.

I had been meaning to watch QQS since it’s release but missed it in the theaters and thanked the people at Netflix later, for still keeping it in their library. The plot is strong, the cast is adroit, this is my Netflix recommend.

4/5