Dil Chahta Hai: Time to acknowledge the Sameers around us

It’s been 20 long years since the movie released, and the trio made a trip to Goa. But the characters are etched in our minds forever. And I was just thinking about everyone, especially the character Sameer.

Continue reading “Dil Chahta Hai: Time to acknowledge the Sameers around us”

Ittefaq (2017) Movie Review: He Said, She Said!

It is funny how the making of the original Ittefaq back in 1969 came about due to an unfortunate coincidence, an injury to the leading lady of Aadmi Aur Insaan, Saira Banu, leading to her leaving for London to recuperate for 2 months. Owing to this unforeseen delay, Yash Chopra figured he had to make a movie within 2 months, and after coming across a Gujarati drama, Dhoomas, adapted from a famous English play, Signpost To Murder, decided to adapt it to the big screen with a then-upcoming Rajesh Khanna and the reigning matinee queen, Nanda. Almost 50 years later, BR Studios comes out with yet another songless crime-thriller, but the question remains, is the title the only similarity to the original?Continue reading “Ittefaq (2017) Movie Review: He Said, She Said!”

Dishoom: The Battle of the Beefcakes

This year a popular brand is introducing some new categories in their film awards and I thought I might help them with the finalists.

Best lead Actor in a static role: John Abraham for Dishoom- He manages to keep the same expression throughout the movie, a feat which not even accomplished actors like Naseer have been able to do. For this, he has even managed to get a lifetime award nomination competing strongly with Sunil Shetty. Moreover, his abs have started acting better though a similar feat was attempted by his bare bottom earlier. The director had to give him a cigarette throughout the movie to ensure that he didn’t give any unwanted expressions either.Continue reading “Dishoom: The Battle of the Beefcakes”

Dishoom Movie Review: Typical ‘Entertainer’ that Respects Your Time for a Change

Rohit Dhawan is an interesting name for a Hindi film director. The man obviously gets his surname from his iconic father, David, but it is his first name which lends an aura of interest to this entire name business. Rohit Dhawan seems to be inspired by ‘100 crore’ man Rohit Shetty and his stylized action sequences, and when you mix it with the inherent David Dhawan brand of humor and a bit of more inspiration from Hollywood buddy movies, you have the brand new Dhawan on the block.Continue reading “Dishoom Movie Review: Typical ‘Entertainer’ that Respects Your Time for a Change”

Dishoom Movie Review: Sucker Punch

In the midst of all the offbeat plots covered by Bollywood in 2016, like Kapoor and Sons, Ki and Ka, Neerja, Udta Punjab etc, there are times when one ends up craving for some old school masala, although lately, it’s only the Khans who’ve managed to keep the genre alive, especially with Salman Khan’s Sultan ending up as a monster hit. So when the trailers of Dishoom showed up, they promised old school masala with a mix of maar dhaad action and some David Dhawan styled humor, but does Dishoom deliver on this promise?Continue reading “Dishoom Movie Review: Sucker Punch”

Gandhi, Cinema

First of all, let me be very clear. I am not a Gandhian. But yes, he is the father of the nation, now that whole world has already accepted him, to be, it is pointless to go on with this discussion, as the socio political system has since changed, and the regression today, is the result of a beginning of an economy that fumbled then. All in all, we had a poor start, but then, at-least we had one, and it may take some time, by the time we are really strong on our feet. Other countries took a long time as well. It’s just that their struggle started quite early when compared to ours.

But this is not a column where I criticize our socio-economic-political situation, or Gandhi’s deeds. For that others, more knowledgeable, are there, and that topic is not the concern of our website too.  It’s just that I can’t deny my faith, but yes, Mahatma over the years, irrespective of whatever great or not he’s done in the past, has been, undeniably, a good subject, as far as cinema is concerned.

Today on your channels and TVs, you might find the usual suspects, Lage Raho Munnabhai or the very fine Shyam Benegal version of Making of Mahatma or Richard Attenborough’s epic-ensemble masterpiece Gandhi. One TV channel might be broadcasting “Hey Ram”, using its controversial nature for TRP, watch it though, it’s a very good, dogmatic, film, but there are 2, relatively less popular, more cinematic, and finer films and unlike “Making of Mahatma” or “Gandhi”, they are not biographical movies, but filmed around Mahatma Gandhi.

Father of the Nation, alright. But, was he really a good father first of all?

When Gandhi, My Father begins, we see an old man, bearded, lying down on a bed, who is very weak and sick, and the attendant asks him his father’s name, he says, “Gandhi”, but the attendant just can’t take this revelation seriously. We, as audience, know that the guy on bed is Harilal Gandhi, played brilliantly by Akshaye Khanna. Gandhi, My Father as a film doesn’t try to capture anything that other film makers usually do. It doesn’t bombard production values upon us, being a period film, or the hardships of the people living then, it doesn’t intend to become poverty porn, neither it takes sympathetic sides for the hero, or may be it does? It simply asks a question, was Father of the nation, a flawed father first of all? Or, his ambitions interfered in his son’s? Or Hari was just being too naïve, he should have supported his father in his intentions, and that he did too intermittently. But he just couldn’t suppress his urge, of being an independent personality, was it more than what he should have asked for? Or was it that his surname crippled his intentions, had he been outside the Gandhi family, would he be a happier person? Or was the guidance given to him, as a child, imperfect in the first place? This film dwells around those questions; it is like a saying in Hindi Raees Baap ki Bigdi Aulaad, and those brothers of him, who couldn’t establish themselves, joined family business, as they say.

This film focuses, on decisions, that Hari takes, wrong, mostly, and keeps fluctuating amongst them.  Cinematically, the whole disparity, ambition, disappointment behind the man, who wonders why every attempt he makes to become a man on his own backlashes, is captured on celluloid. He sees his failure and helplessness, and all his father could understand is his own ambition. His parents are traveling in a train, it is stopped to address the crowd; he brings a fruit upto them, and gifts it to his mother, clearly telling his father there is nothing for him, while his own financial situation is poorer than ever. It is shown that Hari was, indeed, arrogant at times, at times wrong and indecisive, but very minimal support he finds from his deserting father. In one scene, when Mahatma is assassinated, Hari is at a tea shop, upon the announcement, the tea shop owner mourns Gandhi’s death and declares he is an orphan, camera focuses on Hari’s face, he doesn’t say anything. Maybe, his situation, as such, was Gandhi’s sacrifice for the nation or Hari’s lack of dedication, but all it ends with, is, disparity and loss.

Anupam Kher showed us, that whatever we might think or see, may not be right, as we assume always!

Another, lesser popular, and a very fine film, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara tries to show us the sadness of a sick old man, who thinks he killed mahatma Gandhi, and tells us that we all have already killed Gandhi by disrespecting his morals and the principles upon which he intended to build his nation. This film shows the weakness of an old man struggling Alzheimer’s, a family trying to persuade him that no one will hurt him and that he is not responsible for Mahatma’s death, by virtually conducting a fake court case in which he is respectfully acquitted of Gandhi’s murder. The old man, collates an event from child-hood, his sickness adds up to it, and he dreams of people from his past coming to him and blaming him for Gandhi’s murder.

Anupam Kher, full of disappointment and sadness, all that he can remember is he is blamed for being the assassin. Throughout the film he is scared, people around him are unsure, what he is seeing or what he is afraid of, but he is afraid, when the fake court hearings begin, he gains confidence as fake evidence consoles him of being clear of the charge. His daughter, ready to do anything for her father, loses marriage in between, yet, the film ends with Nirala’s Himmat Karne Walon Ki Har Nahi Hoti, telling us, that the story is, not only Kher’s but also Urmila’s who is just trying to live, happily, as most of us, intend to, and this life is a plethora of problems, we just have to hang on till the end. The modest part of this film is, at no point of time, makers try to be preachy, they simply tend to talk about the right, and with efficient economy, they very subtly let us know what we might be seeing or thinking, that is right, maybe it is not.

Top 12 friendship songs of Bollywood

The bond of friendship has been one of the oft depicted bonds in Bollywood since time immemorial. From Jai and Veeru of Sholay to Akash , Sid and Sameer of Dil Chahta Hai , the depiction of friendship in Hindi cinema might have gone a radical change. Still it continues to be one of the most explored relationships in Hindi. Moreover , when it comes to declaring undying love and dedication to their friends no one does it better than Indian cinema.

On the eve of Friendship day, here is a look at the some of the best songs in Hindi cinema that have gone to immortalise the bond of friendship on celluloid.

Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge – Sholay

How can one not mention Sholay while talking about Best friends forever(BFF) jodis of Hindi Cinema? Right from doing daylight robberies, harassing “Angrez ke zamaane ke jailor” to taking on the most dreaded villain of Hindi cinema – Gabbar Singh, the duo of Jai and Veeru have done it all. And they survived through almost all of it, thanks to their strong friendship . And what could be better than this song , which brilliantly depicts their love and respect for each other.

Tere jaisa yaar kahaan – Yaarana

The film Yaarana sees Bishan (Amjad Khan) helping his best friend Kishan (Amitabh Bachchan) to realise his dreams of becoming a playback singer and they stick with each other through thick and thin , proving that their  bond of friendship is indeed a strong one.

This beautiful composition by Rajesh Roshan sees Amitabh Bachchan getting his moment of glory as a singer and performer in the film. And it also gives him a chance to thank his BFF for sticking with him through thick and thin.

Diye Jalte Hai – Namak Haraam

Namak Haraam directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee was loosely based on a Shakespearean play ‘Beckett’. The  film tells the story of   two best friends Somu(Rajesh Khanna) and Vicky (Amtabh Bachchan) belonging to different strata of the society and how their friendship gets affected due to a clash of ideologies.

This beautiful song composed by R.D Burman and sung by Kishore Kumar shows the duo in one of their happiest moments together.

Yaaron – Rockford

The film Rockford is a coming of age story set in hostel and centered around a school going kid. Though this song was a part of the Rockford OST, it was never featured in the movie. Instead, a separate music video was shot (which was a very popular trend those days and still continues to be ) to promote the film.

This beautiful composition rendered beautifully by K.K  implies that friendship and love are one of the best things to happen in an individual’s life. And the memories of such love and friendship are to be cherished forever.

Bane chahe dushman zamana hamara – Dostana

This Dostana doesn’t refer to the Abhishek BachchanJohn Abraham starrer. Instead this refers to the Amitabh BachchanShatrughan Sinha film in which the two actors star as childhood friends who are separated due to misunderstandings only to reunite towards the end in true Hindi film fashion.

This song sees them giving an ode to their immortal friendship. Composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal , this song is one of the rare collaborations of Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi who come together to do the playback for Amitabh and Shatrughan Sinha respectively.

Yaari Hai Imaan Mera – Zanjeer

The first solo megahit of Amitabh Bachchan sees him as an honest police officer who avenges the death of his parents who were murdered by Teja (Ajit) with ample help in the form of ladylove Jaya Bachchan and a good samaritian Pathan played by Pran.

This song follows after an explosive confrontation between Amitabh and Pran in the police station. And this song shows  the bond of friendship being cemented between them. With vocals by the versatile Manna Dey and music by Kalyanji Anandji, this song is undoubtedly one of the best songs that celebrates the bond of friendship in true hindi film style.

Dil Chahta Hai – Title Song

Director Farhan Akhtar created a revolution of sorts with his directorial debut , that had some brilliant cinematography (Ravi K Chandran), awe-inspiring visuals and some brilliant music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

The result was Dil Chahta Hai. A trendy, urban, coming of age movie set in an urban milieu.

The film is about three best friends Akash (Aamir Khan), Sameer (Saif Ali Khan) and Siddharth (Akshaye Khanna), their individual relationships and the effect that these relationships have on their friendship.

At a time when Bollywood was getting increasingly stereotypical, this film came as a breath of fresh air with its subtle and subdued depiction of individuals and relationships.

The title song sees the friends heading to Goa, wherein they are having a gala time whilst enjoying the company of each other , indicating that  the moments spent with best buddies are to be cherished forever.

Qurbani – Title Song

Qurbani directed by the late Feroz Khan was a stylish actioner with the right mix of action, setinments, romance and melodrama. The film focusses on two friends Vinod Khanna and Feroz Khan who drift apart since they are in love with the same woman – the superhot Zeenat Aman only to come together for a action packed and an emotional reunion in the end.

One of the film’s highpoints was undoubtedly the music by Kalyanji-Anandji and Biddu. The extremely hummable title song(co-incidentally once again song by (Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi) well establishes the bond between the duo of Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna in the film.

Jaane nahi denge tujhe – 3 Idiots

Based on the book ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat , 3 Idiots was a much better on-screen adaptation of the book directed by Rajkumar Hirani with his usual flair for feel good cinema.

The film focuses on three friends (Aamir, Sharman & Madhavan) and the ups and downs they face during the course of doing their engineering course.

The song comes at a time when Sharman Joshi’s character is going through one of his worst phases as a student. Being unable to take the pressure anymore , he attempts suicide. The song sees his other friends Aamir and Madhavan trying their best to help Sharman recover from the incident. Though the picturisation is a bit filmy unlike the normal style of Hirani , it does manage to brign a lump in your throat.  Shantanu Moitra and Sonu Nigam deserve a great amount of applause for doing a wonderful job composing and rendering the song beautifully.

Imli ka boota – Saudagar

At the time of its release , Saudagar was one of the most hyped and eagerly awaited films . For a very simple reason – since it brough together , two of the biggest superstars – Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar in the same frame. Besides this , the film also featured an ensemble cast of Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Jackie Shroff, debutantes Vivek Mushran and Manisha Koirala amongst others. It also featured music by Laxmikant Pyarelal which contained chartbusters such as ‘Ilu Ilu’ and the above featured song amongst others. And director Subhash Ghai met the expectations as the film went on to become one of the biggest box office hits.

The film tells the story of  best freinds Veeru Singh (Dilip Kumar) and  Rajeshwar Singh(Raaj Kumar) who become bitter enemies due to a misunderstanding created by Chuniya(Amrish Puri) and his accomplices. Only to re-unite towards the end to eliminate their common enemy Chuniya and rekindle their everlasting friendship.

This song which is the theme song of the film plays at various critical junctures of the film. At this point , the song is playing when both the friends reunite after a long time.

Khudgarz – Zindagi Ka naam dosti

Khudgarz which was the directorial debut of Rakesh Roshan tells the oft-repeated story of two best friends (Jeetendra  and Shatrughan Sinha) who become sworn enemies due to a series of misunderstandings initiated by the evil Kiran Kumar. Though the storyline is predictable , the film is well directed by Roshan and well enacted by Jeetendra and ‘Shotgun’ Sinha.

One of the film’ s highpoints was the music composed by Rajesh Roshan which featured a couple of hummable numbers, including the above mentioned number which very well depicts the friendship between Jeetendra and Shatrughan Sinha.

Mustafa Mustafa – Duniya Dilwalon Ki 

Duniya Dilwalon Ki was a dubbed version of the Tamil hit film ‘Kadhal Desam’ starring Abbas, Vineeth and Tabu amongst others. The film is love triangle where two friends (Abbas and Vineeth) fall for the same girl (Tabu).

The music composed by A.R Rahman was one of the biggest strengths of the film even in the dubbed version. The Mustafa Mustafa song was a rage when it had released.  The song which celebrates the spirit of friendship is rightly considered by many as an anthem of friendship.