Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) Zoya Akhtar | Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra & Ranvir Singh

The film lays out the story of a family, a father, a mother, a daughter and a son. Dysfunctional is the word the trailers and promos use for the Mehras of Delhi headed by a cast of Anil Kapoor as the father, Shefali Shah as the mother, Priyanka Chopra as the daughter and Ranvir Singh as the son. There is no word that describes them more than this, but all in all I hope you get the picture.

A father who worked hard to make a mark in society with his company Ayka, named after his daughter AYesha and son KAbir, a logo that reminds the audience of the logo of Dell, perhaps… Upstarts would be another suitable word to describe the Mehras, the first generation of sooper rich in their clan who grow up to be a name in the Delhi circles. However, while they grew richer, they grew apart and became strangers to each other. The father with his many women friends, partying in different countries on the pretext of work, a mother who pretends to be happy knowing the truth of her husband’s unfaithful ways and in the midst of such public display of affection between non loving parents, the children bond and grow to become the support for each other.

What the film truly holds up to in the mirror, is the relationship shared by the siblings, played by Priyanka and Ranvir. I could connect because that is the kind of bond I share with my brother. The open talks, the fights, I’ll cover your back always, and the unconditional love that passes between them makes the film watchable. Farhan Aktar does a cameo, walks in later in the film.. who is loved by the dog and the siblings and all the genuine and earnest people on the cruise.

Oh! I forgot the essential detail. The Mehras are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, according to some calendar it would be called the Pearl. For the occasion, they have invited their closest of friends, who often are found bitching about them and each other for a cruise to Greece and Turkey. Now, Turkey is a country that makes me go weak in my knees.. one place I loved being and love exploring.. and have very fond memories of with regard to food, people, monuments, the mingling of many histories and more than anything awe! May be I will settle in Turkey or at least go on a long vacation to that country to immerse myself in its beauty (I’m not considering the bad parts such as the traffic, for instance, so stay with me in my dream).

I’m sure filming would have been fun, roughly about 35 people on board, but the fun did not step out of the screen to the audience such a me and my group of friends. For most of the first half I wondered why the film had no intermission.

The highlight according to me, Ranvir Singh. He had an expression for every occasion and it hit the target every single time. He I would say is the star of the film. This is one film where I loved to watch Ranvir on screen.. and he is the one who tries to bring it all together in the script, puts the film to an end, ties all the loose ends .. melodrama for a change is headed by others.. !

It is not a bad film, but not the one I enjoyed in the theatre. As always, there are moments, which I loved … and the little girl with a specs with a butterfly frame is given ‘some’ lines .. 🙂 D

Piku (2015) Shoojit Sircar & Juhi Chaturvedi

….Once upon a time, in a far away land…. his Minister’s reply shocked a King. He could not believe that the happiest moment according to his Minister was after a trip to the loo to clean his bowels!… days went by and one day, the Minister and the King decided to go on a boat ride in the river… the Minister offered the King a lot of food to eat.. and the King ate, ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate… until the King felt the need to visit the loo. He told his Minister! Since they were somewhere in the middle of the river, it took some time for the boat to reach the shore, for the King to get out, find a loo, run right into it and wash it all out! Finally when the King came out after relieving himself, he realized the truth and the happiness factor of his Minster’s reply of a few months ago for his question.. ” (a la King Lear story and many other such stories about late realizations, kings and minister tales, Akbar & Birbal tales)

Now, when I heard this for the first time from one of my roommates, I was a little more than taken aback! Who talks about shit in public, outside the smells of the four walls of the toilets and jokes about it, was my instant reaction..eeeesh! but living with her for a year, and her many many many jokes of the kind and daily routines, I happily tucked into the world, she into mine and me into hers… and in turn began to spread her jokes.. in short, I became extremely comfortable broaching the topic of shit in public.. added to that, since we all lived in a hostel on a campus where the food was not that great at all, almost everyday, a conversation at the mess table would begin by .. ah! bad! yellow today ~ liquidy ya! need to visit the health centre.. or solid today, let’s party~ bluum bluum or shweeeeeeeesh 😀 😀 Piku, the film brought back all these memories, of the tap being thrown open from the bottom hole or having to build pressure by drinking hot water to unload a load! Never thought that somebody would make a film on it, but yes there is one today written by Juhi and directed by Shoojit.. as I told everyone who asked me about it, my sides ache from laughing and laughing and laughing at whatever was going on screen… I hope the continuous no stop laughter has melted away at least an inch of fat from my muffin top 🙂 Brilliant performances, acting, words, looks, silence… stubborness ..

.. and that scene of the river, in the morning with the sun’s reflection of the waters.. mind blowing!

Highly recommended 🙂 for laughs.. thoughts, to throw out inhibitions, newer perspectives on the younger generation ..

Trivia: In the state of Kerala, there are out of the many kinds of bananas, two, which almost every family buys on a daily basis.. one, the famous neendrapazhram, that is used to make the banana chips/wafers/fritters.. it aids a loose tummy to help to keep it all bound up like the other fruit apple does, and the other, palayamkodan, a variety malayalees eat after supper every night for smooth motions and happy London mornings to visit the queen! (every family and state has their own loo jokes.. ;))PS: we saw the film to a full house at 11 pm… In between all the laughs, I forgot to take a picture to show you the crowd, the packed theatre.. or record and replay the laughter that ensued..

PS1: There are many many more issues which the film takes up in between the bowels talk.. first watch, laugh and then we can discuss it all.. and laugh again remembering the “simhasan” 😛

Weekend Films : Dum Laga Ke Haisa (2015)

The only grouse I have towards the director is the film ended too soon, and the climax if it was a climax at all.. came too soon, and that it was predictable.

The story of the film lies in that question about “Bua, can I close the window,” the giggles of the elders sleeping on cots just outside the room of the newly weds, the only fight between them with songs, the buying of the nightie, the food she eats at her home, the kachori night.. the film says a lot in the little things without drama.. I think that’s how it is.

I thought it was all in the vibe between two people … the frequency and the quality of the heart, because those are the traits that remain permanent with changing shades in the structure and colour of the body.. anyways, those are entirely my views, because I consider the vibes as of utmost importance..

I remember watching a Marathi film with a similar story line a while ago.. don’t remember the name though..

I wonder when was the last time I remember somebody referring to the library as the pushtakalaya…And to hear so much of the literal Hindi since school Hindi texts…..

And from the beginning, from the time yash raj opens the title credits, we enter into a Kumar Sanu music zone ..

Farah Khan’s Happy New Year (2014), the Diwali release!

Farah Khan makes a visit to Btown this diwali with a film titled, Happy New Year. As I prepared to go watch the film… a song from Main Hoon Na came up.

I love Main Hoon Na! It was a dream come true because Farah Khan as a director brought to screen, a lot of student imagination into the film. Little things about wipers on spectacles for instance, haven’t we all at some point had a teacher with a spit problem.. we would have thought out loud about a spectacles with wipers .. or a mask with wipers…

google images

What about those violins in the background when in love.. these are specs of imagination that she has captured and brought to the screen. Most of us would have felt an instant connect with the various scenes.. Add to that, the film has a gorgeous Sushmita Sen in chiffons.. add to that, the music Gori Gori .. add to that, the dance.. add the nonsense fun.. plus, the end credits.. I found it soooper cool on the part of Farah Khan to acknowledge all those people behind the screen in the way she did.

The serious part of it comes with the problem at the border, a problem which has its roots even beyond 1947 Partition and into the past .. It brings in Ram and Lakshman, two names when given to brothers which always brings the Ramayana to picture. Again, another film in the backdrop of the army. It is the story of a family that is destroyed because of an extramarital affair in the backdrop of the border issues between India and Pakistan. It also brings in the age old problem of being disappointed in the birth of a daughter, a father is in this film because he has a baby girl.. there are many socio-politico-cultural everyday aspects which make the film very Indian, with its cultural markers..

All in all, this is one film I go to many times, one on the comfy list..therefore, I take SRK’s staged fall and his rickshawala scene in in my stride.. It is all part of the game called Main Hoon Na

Now, .. I think I  need to change the title of the post….. I had started with a review of Happy New Year (2014), but ended up praising Farah Khan and Sharukh Khan not for the latest disaster that is, Happy New Year, but for Main Hoon Na. Happy New Year, waste of talent and money.. The Vigil Idiot has saved me from the trouble and energy to write a review for the film… I don’t think I can add anything more to what has already been said.

Haider reflections…

I’ve been trying to reconstruct the story of Haider almost the entire afternoon. And, I feel that I have forgotten a lot of what happened on screen. However, the gloom remains, it does not leave you even hours after the credits disappear.

An image of Irrfan Khan in a white coat spotting black goggles/safetynglasses walking down that bridge, remains. In him, Bhardwaj plays out the ghost… the rooh, literally, the catalyst who triggers the action post intermission. I loved the concept, a ghost informer and the way khan executed the role.

Chutzpah stands out. so does AFSPA. Shahid Kapoor in the role of the chutzpah, the escaped Irrfan Khan in the role of the chutzpah. Haider completely transforms into one starting with his monologue or was he always a chutzpah or/and a chutzpah in the making….The transistor he carries with him in the scene is very similar to the one Aamir Khan holds in the PK poster. Soon after there is the wedding. Haider adorns a headgear for it, a headgear of a bird, does that plumage indicate a bulbul? The bulbul, the army operation proposed by the army cheif (?)character played by Aashish Vidyarthi, to kill whoever they think is and on the side of the millitants? bulbul could be the symbol. afspa. synecdoche.

Haider nodding his head with the gear is classic. It brings out how badly he does not want this wedding to take place. The punch in haider comes in subtle lines, such as when tabu recounts a childhood practice, and haider interjects “so what should I do when my uncle touches you in the absence of my father” the moment is there, and then the moment in not there.

The colours remain as a memory. They also narrate a story. In the background of the white snow, sometimes the dirty white snow, the white of the snow is stained by the red of the human blood: army blood, police blood, militant blood, a son’s blood. The red maruti car of Haider’s girlfriend, Arshia (shraddha kapoor) the red muffler she knit for a police officer father Lalit Parimoo, the white maruti used by Irrfan khan… the colourful shawls worn by Tabu.. the black of the goggles …. the autumn season with its yellow hues.

Tabu in a green shawl/attire with black goggles alongside Kay Kay who also wears black goggles is classic. Throughout the film, the one character who undergoes change in outfit is Kay Kay, from his younger, no beard days face to a man who looks in control of his estate and is powerful at the wedding and after. That tranformation is tangible. 

The film has followed the Hamlet Acts. The film has its actors, its ingredients right, however, the story never pulls through, a tragedy has to have a tragic flaw, this could be it. It is not about its pace nor its length, it is about retaining an interest in the audience for what’s to come. However, at the same time, nobody will touch the popcorn or sip into their coffees and cokes during the film. Still, the film lacks something, I think it lacks that binding agent that brings it all together, and a satisfaction of a cathartic kind!

The creation of the gloom with the landscape, background score and music is to be noted. Is this film an experimentation to sustain such an effect post the movie watching. 

The film is about the clash of perspectives. Tabu as a wife feels neglected by her doctor husband, she is drawn towards his brother, the lawyer. However, as an audience we will feel a warmth in the doctor-tabu relationship. During the course of the film, Haider tells his mother about trying to look from somebody else’s perspective.

perspective makes an entrance when the doctor says he stands for zindagi in the beginning of the film, that is how he negotiates what he does as a doctor…. perspective peeps in when tabu is unsure on whose side her son and husband are on, perspective makes a grand entry when Haider tells a (South Indian)* army officer, that he is going to Islamabad. Perspective brings the army the power to kill in the name of protection. Perspective that creates rebels out of innocent people who were captured and tortured by the army. Perspective of being a half widow. In the film, perspective begins with a doctor who stands for zindagi but his perspective changes when he realizes what has been done to him, he wants his son to take revenge.

What the film successfully brings out is how people live under army rule, torn apart by feelings of whom to be, whom to support, who they are, whose gain. The everyday experiences of staying in fear is writ large in the film. That scene when a man stands outside the threshold of his house for hours and his mother does not know why, until irrfan khan comes along and calls it a psychological disorder.

The way Irrfan Khan handles that boy, does a mock check and frisk, brings home some cruel ground realities.

It is also about how a person musters courage to have an audacity and a conviction. Circumstances. In Haider’s case, he comes back to a burnt down house, his home of memories of his life with his parents, a home he did not want to leave, but was forced to leave on account of blackmail from his mother. Tabu’s conviction. Haider’s conviction. The police chief’s conviction. Tabu seems to hold the reigns to the narration. it is her character’s insecurity that drives her to be her son’s blackmailer and her lover’s informant, her husband’s whistle blower. At the end of it all, I feel no remorse for neither haider, nor his mother or his father or anybody as such. Nevertheless, I carry the gloominess back home. If this was an exercise in mood building it worked. 

*this thing about south indians into bollywood, I’m not sure I understand. The army officer in Haider, his name is nagaraj, has an accent as well. The commissioner of police, Delhi in Mardaani, the kerala saris worn by the hockey players in chak de! India.

Haider, Hamlet, Shakespeare and a student of English

A student of English most probably may find an adaptation of Shakespeare always interesting. Because it is from Shakespeare, the bard, and purists imagine him with a halo! Although, my most vivid memory of Shakespeare is the clue of “the shaking of the hand and throwing a spear” for our dumb charades practise sessions in school. For all you know, Hamlet may have been written by Marlowe. (Gaiman does some mind twisting scripts with the Sandman series bringing in marlowe, shakespeare and dream together in one platform.

Therefore, haider becomes something of value, haider becomes one of those must watch films not to be missed. It may also be counted as a level of obsession.

If you have parents who have studied English academically, you may have grown up with Shakespeare.

We did.

Initially, we read stories with pictures, those paint the picture and read the story kinds; then we graduated into the abridged prosaic versions and finally to the drama proper in the original. This may have been preceded by bed time stories :). Reading and trying to understand old English is a pain, worse when the text at hand is in blank verse. However, read we must, for that is the prescribed text and marks come with answers to questions based on an exercise in annotation for the boards!

Shakespeare is one man who has created a deep impression in many souls. When I started college and took up English as my main subject of study, the syllabus had undergone a change. We were taught one play from the bard! Sacrilege!!! Othello. Therefore, watching and critiquing Omkara is always an exercise in smugness.

Was it something to mourn about, may be may be not, but my teachers later focussed on the minor plays of Shakespeare as the major ones were something we would any way read and study.

Have I read all of Shakespeare, no. Have I read Hamlet, yes. Do I own a copy of the complete works of the bard, yes. Have I seen the originals, yes and no.

It becomes something of a trump card to watch Haider, even to talk about it. Aaargh. One because it is inspired from Hamlet. Two, it is from Vishal Bhardwaj. In a day and age when most of us associate films with the director, the production house along with the on screen cast, Bhardwaj is a big name in Bollywood with reference to Shakespeare, and commercial yet not main stream cinema. Even the use of the word cinema is profound 😛 the terms, film and movie seem too commercial to be tagged along with this director. It somehow seems to rupture the halo he has inherited from the English Bard.

Haider then is a must watch, intellectually.

Even Raja Sen has given it a 5 on 5. For almost all of these 10 years, I thought Mr. Sen knew to count only from 1 to 3, 3 and a 1/2 max.

Do I go by his review. Sometimes. I like to revisit 3 idiots but do not like to even come close to a tv screening of kabhi alvida na kahna. We concurred on the later not on the former.

It is not only Raja Sen, it is a lot many others as well.  They are raving about it. At that precise moment, India today or is it TOI, one of them comes up with the news article that Siddharth Anand’s Bang Bang scores better at the box office this week.

I’m a little Sceptical about to watch or not watch because of all this hype.

May be I should just take to my rocking chair in the balcony and get back to reading my Hamlet again, to find an answer.

Mardaani – Comeback of Rani Mukherjee & the rise of an actor, Tahir Raj Bhasin

Mardaani has Rani Mukherjee as the protagonist. She is an officer who is tough, and has no excuse for criminals, men or women. She hounds them out of their cosy hideouts and tries to bring justice to the people they have caused harm. Unlike rumours, she shares a healthy relationship with her male peers, they respect her for her caliber. 

However, the irony of it all is that every day living habits such as strength, for instance, in a woman, is gendered! A phrase such as a tough woman seems to be an oxymoron. Therefore, the title? What those girls did to the villain in the end, is a reaction many caged, suppressed men and women, and children would take part in. It is a release of sorts to take it out on their perpetrator, the days of humiliation they are put through under pressure, what they had to do without their consent, what they had to do in fear, under the influence of drugs…etc.

I have a big problem with the title of the film. I don’t know why it should be called mardhaani when a woman steps up to the fore. When a man does, it is called Singham returns or Sarkar! Yes, she works outside her home. Her work takes her to the police station. It involves encounters and fights. It at times puts her dear ones in trouble? So what if she comes late from work and the family celebrate her birthday later than midnight, or she buys food from outside on her way from work… some of the film plots and its viewers are still stuck in some other century! Hmm!!

If the protagonist is a woman, we have an equal surprise with the character of the villain.

Tahir Raj Bhasin plays the antagonist. The film just may have two heroes, the character played by Rani and by Tahir. Rani Mukherjee may have made a comeback. But the boy of a villain, that actor, Tahir Raj Bhasin takes the cake and the icing. The villain for a change is a young chap. He is nasty, he is shrewd, he is less of an action oriented man, no loud talk. Unlike our Gabbar Singh or Mogambo, the man is neither flashy nor raw. He is patient and calm, nevertheless, very dangerous. He too wields a gun, runs a business, and strategizes. The  effect of them all, is the terror they create on screen in that plot as the villain. 

The main plot runs as a conversation between Tahir and Rani over the phone. He is mostly a voice but he acts with his talk, its modulation, its intonation, a face that mostly remains unseen… 

For most part of the film, I wondered where had I seen this boy before. He seemed very familiar. Looks a lot like Purab Kohli. May be that, or may be bits and pieces of that Abhay Deol film, one by 2.

Mardaani presents the social problem of child sex trafficking. The real state of affairs is harsh. The film also depicted the torture. I squirmed in my seat while watching some scenes. The helplessness of the characters transpires outside the screen. The cruelty of the villain also gets to us. The stereotype of a South Indian also comes through because he plays such a character in an ad for an air conditioner.

It may not be easy watching this film for the social problem it presents. But it is a treat in the case of acting talent 🙂

Mary Kom (Biopic, Milkha Singh & films on sports in Bollywood)

A biopic is difficult to attempt in a span of say 3 hours (or a little more than three hours.) It brings out a distaste. A similar kind of distaste when a (favourite) book is adapted into a film. Even to this day when I watch the first film in the Harry Potter series, I look out unconsciously for Hermione Granger solving the potions riddle in the last scenes in the trio’s quest of the philosopher’s stone. The fact is that the scene just does not make its presence in the film version, while it is there in the book. I go back to the book soon after to read the part!

In making some thing for 3 hours, there needs to be a conscious process of selection of scenes and episodes from a life. In Mary Kom, therefore, the inclusion brings to screen a strand that narrates the story of how a woman, a daughter of a poor tenant farmer, and wrestling enthusiast, made it to the top league of world boxing. It relates to the many odds she faces that range from corrupt federation officials to a disregard for the north-eastern states of India, to a culture of looking down at women, to innumerable and unfounded biases questioning her position and career in society. My caveat is that I do not know much about Kom’s life to know what has been excluded, but what I can say is that the strand in the film is tied to a woman’s emancipation line of thought, which works for a mass audience. For some it is inspirational for some motivating, for people like me, stale!

The task at hand in those 3 hours is to bring on-screen, a life live, to us audience. The task at hand is also to make money since the producers and the crew have invested many hours in the making and getting permission to shoot in Manipur, and money in the making of it. The selection needs a lot of care. Because if the editing eyes are skewed, it may create a reduction of a reduction of a life, it may just not bring out what actually is.

Here, many parts are created to add some effect. That is Bollywood melodrama making an entrance, some cheap tricks to take the audience up the hill of emotions, so that we heave a sigh when the baby and mother Kom survive their respective lives. However, I like the fact that Bollywood film makers through the medium of the Hindi film is bringing parts of the story of an Indian icon to a larger Indian audience. The film has potential to be translated into multiple Indian languages so that it reaches even the most interior of parts. In addition, the larger Indian audience who are not interested in sports gets educated about a sports personality outside cricket. We need to either agree or agree to disagree that cricket is a big game in India.

Many of us may have heard the name of Mary Kom; if we haven’t then it means we have not been reading newspapers! Haw!!! 😉 It is hard to ignore. Or it could be that the other popular sport which receives all the limelight and sponsorship has blinded us to the existence of other sports and sports people.

Milkha Singh, and now Mary Kom.  The coincidence in the first letters of their names, the fact that I get to see both of them one after the other in the same weekend, brings to light that a perspective about a film (or in general, anything) is based not on the film at hand, alone, but also on what lies outside the frame of that film. The spread on the table outside this frame has the picture of a tough Irom Sharmila (the raging quarrels between the nagas, the maitheyis and the kukis for statedom, and a novel, The Princess and the Royal Agent by a late Manipuri novelist, Binodini).

Both films talk about the will and the grit. It harks back to that proverb we have heard from our days in school about the Will. However, their journeys include more than the will, more than what we call as luck, and their combination. The combination makes a biopic come to life, the rest are passe. 3 hours of a person’s entire life till now. It is a difficult task.

Film Review (Hindi): Chakravyuh (2012)| Prakash Jha| Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee, Anjali Patil, Om Puri |

Chakravyuh was released yesterday, 24 October 2012, as a Durga Pooja/Dusserha film. I did go to watch Chakravyuh yesterday itself, an on the spur of the moment kind of decision over lunch, by just remembering the trailer seen a few months back. It was screened to an almost full  audience at a multiplex screen down the road.

There is no mystery about the plot. The trailer tells you all. For those who haven’t seen well you will realize the line of thought soon enough. The film is about its narration and picturization. It is as it is in the trailer — two friends, one a police office, SP, (Arjun Rampal) and the other seemingly non-serious bachelor (Abhay Deol) strike a plan to bring down a group of naxal leaders who are causing rampant damage to the cops, and instability in the particular state and the country in general.

The Trailer of the film realized eons ago  in August shows how the spy sent to bring back information becomes the leader of the group, eventually creating a rift in the friendship. More than a rift, there is an emotional war waging between two friends, among the affected people who are fighting for their rights, the invisible poor of rural India for whom the movement comes to the fore to give them back their rights, their land, their respect. The politicians play into the hands of the rich, worried only about the money coming into their pockets, development seems to be such a  hollow term for a section of the people… at the grave of the squashed poor! Intense, the film drives you to stand up and fight.. In the case of Kabir, the character played by Abhay Deol, what started off as a light-hearted help for a friend becomes the aim of his life. The transformation of his character is shown and seen starting with his apparel to the attitude he wears on his sleeve. Pros and cons are on either side, however, a spark is enough to set the flame, and trust is government machinery is something that is hard to come by, because for every good cop, politician and landlord, there are 10 bad ones! Whom do you place your trust in! The Chakravyuh!

I say, except for the end, the film builds the atmosphere of the struggle very well. There is not a stray scene. I haven’t been to Bhopal, however, I overheard my neighbours in the audience commenting that it is authentic Bhopal, the buses and all in place. The characters seem to be realistically sketched and portrayed, names changed and glimpses of real life personalities. Realism also in the case of the press conferences, their motives, their cause, the idea makers, the role of the government, the industrialists who want to set up shop there to create employment, tap into rural India’s resources, the middle men, the greedy politicians, the good and bad cops, the good and the bad naxals… in short it shows the shades of the participants involved in both the parties.

Of course, one cannot forget the origin of Chakravyuh, but it is not the simple Abhimanyu aka Abhay Deol going into the camp, gets trapped and cannot return situation here. He takes a conscious decision to stay and fight, and die in the group. Chakravyuh, the word is appropriate for the viscous circles of development, underdevelopment, movements for development, regional movements, hope, despair, money, the rich and the poor, the rebels… the good and the bad cause, the good cause gone bad, the good cause portrayed as bad, the situation that gets grave with every knot one unties… the noose gets tighter…

Recommended, of course 🙂

 The Cast: Arjun Rampal toned and with the mush (added emphasis, I heart men with that line of thick hair above their upper lip 😀 :P) makes the perfect cop. Abhay Deol, what do you say, he gives his niche to every character he plays, Manoj Bajpayee, is there a need to say anything, hats off 🙂 

Anjali Patil, somebody to look out for… she gave to the role what it demanded – strength, character, subtle emotions, intensity. Om Puri under utilized just like Naseeruddin Shah in Rajneeti, but the presence is more than enough to make the impact. The film would not have lost anything with the absence of Esha Gupta… in fact it is her Sorry, that makes the last scene drown in laughter! instead of the seriousness and intensity built up until that time.  Continue reading Film Review (Hindi): Chakravyuh (2012)| Prakash Jha| Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee, Anjali Patil, Om Puri |

Film Review: Shanghai Hindi (June 2012) | Dibakar Banerjee |


Shanghai is an upcoming Hindi political thriller film directed by Dibakar Banerjee, starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Amin Raj and based on the novel Z by Vassilis VassilikosWikipedia

Oh Yes 🙂 I did watch Shaghai, first day second show, that makes it a 1 pm show the first one that day there was at 12 noon, which PB and I missed by a few minutes because hunger pangs were top priority then 😛

Silences speak volumes in the movie, so does the subtle instrumental music, think it is the santoor at some places. Realistic. The violence. The party worker who does anything for the party, even kill… his blind patriotism for the party! That superior party worker (bald head) who threatens and the the way he threatens (look out for the scene where he comes up to Hashmi’s character) Imraan Hashmi’s fear! Kalki’s rage at the truck driver! and Deol – learnt his act of the South Indian well 🙂

Raw Emotions. The transitions of the characters, their mannerisms – detailing is too good. Hashmi’s tongue movements! That dance on the streets 🙂 Deol’s submissiveness out of pressure! and Farooq Sheik’s upper hand play!

The film is in its details

  • the room allotted for the inquiry commission – dirty,
  • how it is cleaned
  • the basket ball that bounced in
  • the expression of the girl who jumps into the room from the window to catch it
  • how the Kalki and Deol balance from not slipping and falling from on the wet floor
  • When the party worker persuades the truck driver
  • Just the two of them having a friendly, but serious (kind)of conversation
  • Then the party worker enters a mob, snarls and launches himself into the attack
  • Smears a shopkeeper open on a hartal day with black paint
  • Smearing in slow motion, the movement of his hands, and the cheeks of the shopkeeper… ! Gory not in red, in black, the intensity achieved
  • Krishna (Deol) gets a breakthrough evidence.
  • Heads over to the Chief Secretary’s office/conference room
  • Seats himself in on of the chairs near the door
  • Opens the file and says Sir, I’ve got something
  • Farooq Sheik (Chief Secretary) says, something about his future Stockholm promotion
  • Krishnan closes the file.
  • Chapter closed!


  • I went in with zero expectation. Because I just couldn’t stand Love Sex Aur Dhokha for some reason, it was a hyped movie, and I totally hated what I saw on screen! One movie after which I looked at Ms. Chopra and Mr. Masand reviews critically with the market in mind!!
  • The attraction was our dear Prosenjit Chatterjee after watching Dosar and Baishe Srabon🙂 He does have a charm 😀 and we, (the blackholes) call him the Mohanlal of Bengal
  • Abhay Deol for some reason 😉 (No I’m not one who see all of Deol’s films because he is there)
  • And after The Dirty Picture, a new found admiration for Emraan Hashmi. He has proved he can do good stuff. Watch out for the transition in him! Mannerisms! worthwhile.

Credits : Very well lined up, in red bold letters with the black background. Reminded me of Ram Gopal Varma‘s Sarkar and Sarkar Raj.

Lights, Sounds & Colours: It is not in that black and white, it is shot in colour, there is colour but with darker shades and tinted. There is enough of day light and pastel colours as well.

The plot tactics: The chief minister is omnipresent character. She is revealed bit by bit, as posters, cut outs, as memories, as phone calls, as reported speech, as an inspiration, as power personified. She is the all in all and the crux of the movie, but when she appears towards the last half an hour in person, the audience is ready to receive her.


  • I would love (no I’m not in for the violence) out of curiosity see it a second time.
  • It has layers of the powerful, it is not just one powerful man or woman on top, every level has its own hierarchy. Power rules! And history repeats! sad but true!
  • The last scene is a classic!
  • Very intense. The topic is of utmost importance.
  • The plot has a focus, and is consistence
  • Not saying anything more, go watch.
  • At least watch it for Hashmi boy, who is trying to act and doing a good job 😛