There are films of all kinds that we are exposed to, very few of them go on to become commercially successful and maintain their iconic status despite the passage of time. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or DDLJ as it is more popularly known as, is one of the rare films to have that distinction. There has been enough and more that has been written about the film, with people praising the film for various aspects, while even attracting some criticism for its cheesiness, overtly sentimental nature and emphasis on a more old school romantic style and family values. So, let me not try and analyze the film per se, as that would simply not make sense, nor will it add any new insight into the film otherwise. So, what does this write-up intend to do? Simple, it is about why the film deserves all the love and appreciation that has been coming its way, and how I have evolved with the film over the course of these 25 years.Continue reading “25 Years of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ): What Makes the Film So Special Even Today”
20th October 1995 was the first time DDLJ released in cinemas. I was 7 when I first watched the film at G7 Cinemas, Bandra with my parents. Little did I know that I would end up getting lost in the magical world that I was experiencing on screen. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I saw Amrish Puri slap SRK right before the climax sequence and I held my mother’s arms as each slap echoed in the pin drop silence inside the cinema packed with thousand people. I felt ecstatic when Kajol ran towards the stretched arm of SRK extending from the door of a running train in the end. I was mesmerized by the story that I narrated the entire film to my friends in school. When the songs came on the television, I would stop everything and listen attentively. Couple of months later, we revisited the theatre to watch DDLJ again. It was the same scenario as the first – a packed house with the same emotions. As a kid, I knew this film would stay with me forever. Continue reading “DDLJ: Cutting across 3 decades. My Personal Ode & Journey with the Film”
As another Netflix crime documentary streams on our screens, is there fatigue which audience is facing? Going by the slate of Netflix it seems that the audience is lapping it up. American Murder relies solely on footage from cops and friends to narrate and it does away with voiceover completely. This becomes the major plus for this documentary as we are placed right in the middle of happenings.Continue reading “American Murder-The Family Next Door (2020): Till Murder Does Us Apart”
A Perfect Crime is the first documentary to come out from Netflix’ German production team. It deals with the assassination of Detlev Karsten Rohwedder. As Indians for us, the early 90’s was a period of turmoil with socialist policy combined with licence raj that had crippled the nation on the verge of bankruptcy, forcing the Indian government to open up to the market. In three decades after the forced reforms, India still grapples to maintain balance with socialism and capitalism due to vote bank politics. Even the recent right-wing government of India has embraced a more socialist approach.Continue reading “A Perfect Crime (2020): Who Killed Rohwedder?”
Serious Men releases at a time, when the Uttar Pradesh state machinery has gone all out and try to cover up the Hathras tragedy that has been in the headlines of late. It is also interesting that it comes at a time when filmmakers like Pa. Ranjith and Nagaraj Manjule are giving voice to the Dalits of India.
Serious Men is based on the novel of the same name by Manu Joseph. It tracks the journey of resourceful Ayyan Mani (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who works at a prestigious scientific organisation in Mumbai as a PA for his boss Acharya (Naseer). Both come from different class and different caste while Ayan is from the lower caste, his boss belongs to the uppermost caste.Continue reading “Serious Men (2020 Netflix Original) Movie Review: The Angst of India’s Voiceless”
Raahul Jatin, the multifaceted musical talent has come up with his third single Yaadein Aane Lagi, a ballad sung and composed by him while the lyrics are penned by his father, legendary music director, Jatin Pandit. The melodious romantic number features Raahul and the music production is done by Aditya Dev and Raahul.
US-based actress and model Madison Trunnell features in the song as Raahul’s love interest. The couple is seen romancing in the lush green countryside, a vintage scenic house& beautiful locales in California. The music video was entirely shot in the US with a very limited crew size and following all protocols and guidelines pertaining to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the song, Raahul said, “It is a romantic number which I feel would appeal to the youth. Has a very cool vibe. I actually intended to compose another upbeat number but with the general state of affairs, I believe there is melancholy in the air. The world has slowed down and there is uncertainty. I started with high octane notes, but I ditched it altogether because it just did not feel right and I ended up composing a ballad. I got my parents to hear a scratch version of it, my father was very gracious to work on the lyrics and we promptly recorded it. We recorded it in Mumbai during the lockdown. Then when I came to US during the later half of the pandemic, my producer Dr. Sandhu heard the song, and we decided to shoot it.“
Talking about the shoot Raahul said, “This is my first video shot outside India. I was a bit apprehensive initially, especially with the ongoing pandemic. However, it all worked out smoothly. We worked with a limited crew and wrapped up the shoot in a record time frame, given the number of locations we covered. We did not even include hairstylist and make-up artist in the crew to keep the head count as minimum as possible. We were all tested prior to the shoot. It was a fun shoot, we were all in-sync and energized& therefore it was a very fulfilling experience. I met Madison for the 1st timebut it didn’t feel like that. She is so pretty, congenial& easy to work with despite not understanding Hindi. My Director Harper has done an amazing job. He was operating the camera, lighting and the drone single handedly. He was like a One Man Army. Shooting this single was a memorable experience that I will always cherish and remember.
The 3.30-minute-long romantic number was shot across San Francisco, Jamestown, Copperopolis, Bay Area and Sonora all flat in one day with a limited crew size of four people including the actors. It will be released by Funk Box in Association with Jatin Pandit.
Speaking about the lyrics, ace music director Jatin Pandit said, “The idea of music has really changed with Raahul’s generation, so I was very surprised when I heard the tune in its raw form. In a strange way it took me back to Pehla Nasha so I offered to help with the lyrics. The concept, melody and even the idea of a slow soft tune is all Raahul’s. I was tempted to meddle with the music a bit, but I refrained because an original composition is always the best”.
Raahul made his musical debut with “Aankhon Ke Ishaare” released by Zee Music and followed it up with a somber and, soulful prayer song “Prabhu Hum Ko Kshama Kar” alongside his father at the outset of Covid-19 pandemic in India.
You can listen to the song here
Actor Ankur Rathee who is currently geared up for his next big release, Taish excitedly recounts his experience shooting with Bejoy Nambiar. Rathee will be playing the role of a British Indian young man who discovers a secret about his fiancé amidst the chaos of their own wedding. Add to their precarious situation an emotionally tumultuous family and you get the revenge drama that is Taish.
Recalling how he bagged the role, Ankur said, “I got a call from Karan Mally and Nandini Shrikent, who recently cast me in Thappad. Bejoy liked my audition and asked to meet, but a few days prior I badly sprained my ankle playing basketball, ironically, with Jim Sarbh who had to carry me off the court! I remember limping my way into Bejoy’s office and awkwardly sitting with my crutches. He narrated the film and his enthusiasm was infectious. I felt transported.”
Ankur describes working with Bejoy Nambiar a dream come true. He said, “Bejoy gives a lot of creative liberty to his actors which is refreshing. It made us feel like it was just as much our story to tell as it was his. I remember there was one scene where Pulkit Samrat, Jim Sarbh, and I started improvising and building little moments that weren’t in the script. We just kept playing off of each other and Bejoy kept rolling. He would encourage that kind of experimentation, but also knew when to help us reel it back. His trust in us fed into our faith in him“.
Recently Ankur gave memorable performances in Thappad, Four More Shots Please, Undekhi, and Made in Heaven. The actor has worked with renowned directors like Bejoy Nambiar, Anubhav Sinha, and now Nagesh Kuknor on his next. Ankur said, “Whenever I’m mesmerized by a film I always tell myself ‘I want to work with this director’. You say that enough times and you end up with a wish list of filmmakers that have really pushed the boundaries of Indian cinema. I’m so grateful to God that as my career progresses, one by one I’m checking off directors from my wish list.”
The actor is currently busy shooting for Nagesh Kukunoor’s next and promoting Taish which is due to release on 29th October. Also in the pipeline is Rishi Deshpande’s much-awaited Marathi film, ‘Nirmal En Route’ which stars Ankur Rathee as the male lead actor.
Harshita Shekhar Gaur who’s super thrilled with the views and feedback the trailer of Mirzapur 2 is receiving, spoke about her offline bond with her on-screen brother Ali Fazal. The trailer of the much-awaited show Mirzapur season 2 is out, launched at a virtual press conference. Harshita, who plays Dimpy, Guddu Bhaiya’s (Ali Fazal) and Bablu Bhaiya’s (Vikrant Massey), sister in the crime thriller Mirzapur revealed that the on-screen brother-sister duo have actually developed a sibling bond in real life as well. Continue reading “Ali and me share a Libran connection says, Mirzapur Actress Harshita Gaur”
Debut Hinglish single Sha La La, backed by Hungama features 65 legendary musicians and 21 visual artists coming together to ignite India with a deeply pertinent message: Love. Without Boundaries.Continue reading “Shayan Italia presents Sha La La; the most symbolic music video to “come out” of India on International Coming Out Day.”