Jagga Jasoos Movie Review: Arrested Development

Let’s be honest here, as a desi audience that’s grown up on Bollywood Masala, we are definitely no strangers to the musical. But in Jagga Jasoos, director Anurag Basu tries to push the envelope by presenting most of the movie in tune and verse, an attempt to bring Broadway to Bollywood, something we probably last saw in Shirish Kunder’s equally befuddling debut effort, Jaan-E-Mann. But with an experienced hand such as Basu at the realm, some stunning cinematography by Ravi Varman, as promised in the promos, a promising soundtrack by Pritam, and an extremely good-looking starcast, does this audacious experiment work?Continue reading “Jagga Jasoos Movie Review: Arrested Development”

What is Non Linear Cinema?

I heard a lot of people complain that they did not understand the plot; found it too complex. Well, to them I recommend Nolan’s debut feature The Following which had as many as three timelines running parallel. And in this movie he did not keep them distinct through choice of colors. The entire movie was black & white. In fact, I believe that he intentionally “dumbed” down the screenplay of Memento as people might have found his debut feature’s structure plot.. errr.. a bit beyond their range of comprehension. :P

Wikipedia defines it as “a narrative technique, where events don’t follow the direct causality pattern of the events featured.” Parallel distinctive plot lines, dream immersions or narrating another story inside the main plot-line; non-linearity is often used to mimic the structure and recall of human memory. I grew up on a diet of Hindi cinema where the yaddasht-bhool-jaanaused to be a common formula.Continue reading “What is Non Linear Cinema?”

Sunday Watch- Episode 8-The Director's Roundtable Hollywood and Bollywood

Wish You all a very Happy New Year 2013,we are back after a break.This Sunday we bring you the famous Round-table interview from Hollywood and our own Bollywood. The Hollywood Round-table features Quentin Tarantino, David. Russell, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper and Gus Van Sant. We believe it is a must watch if you ever wanted to make films.Some of the points they discuss is what they do by making films,how do they Handle studio pressure, how they fire a bad actor,Why Ang Lee prefers to stay in New York. How Quentin Tarantino was nervous and doubtful about if he could ever make movies etc.Continue reading “Sunday Watch- Episode 8-The Director's Roundtable Hollywood and Bollywood”

Thank you 2012: You changed our lives !

While we lost many icons in 2012, there were many who got a new lease of life. Character actors making breakthroughs, directors finding appreciation after a spate of flops, veterans making comebacks; 2012 saw it all.

I have tried to put together few of those names here. Not an exhaustive list. Just a few I personally felt were significant.Continue reading “Thank you 2012: You changed our lives !”

"Joota Phake Leather, Dil Chicha Ledar" Barfi!: Movie Review

If there were lines of poetry, written by someone, and he were describing innocence, naughtiness, magic, and dreams, his description would begin with extracting silk from rays of light, painting clouds from dispersed water droplets, autumn leaves hazed out by smoke, floating joy in the evening mingled with all colors of the spectrum. That’s precisely the magic of “Barfi!”. In cinema, the greatest subject, as we have learnt, is the face of the human being, where characters talk, not through words they speak, but through their eyes. And slowly, poetically, lyrically, they come closer, and closer.

This, is that artistic film, where characters, if they talk, they do it via expressions, they don’t simply speak it out. When Shruti (Ileana) tells us that, when she first met Barfi when her parents got relocated to Darjeeling, we are told his back story, of how he earned his name, or how he cried in mute, or he couldn’t listen to shac-shacs, all through a song, the song that refuses to be sentimental, even if there is a devastating reality told, it is still charmingly sweet and amusing. And this is where the film succeeds. It avoids unnecessary schmaltziness, over sentimentality and melodrama, well, almost.

Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi
Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi

The beauty lies in its moments, and there are plenty. Because every time when it is evening, the frame is never completely lit, but it does gradually, slowly, the lights are turned on, or sometimes, suddenly. Or sometimes, minor details are shown by the moving headlight of the steam train, and suddenly they are hidden again. And the steam train, or fog, or haze, everything that is used to add beauty of this film, seems to be taken from a dream and when everything is so imaginative, and this visual flair is added to the non verbal flow of emotions amongst the characters, you know that the director, Anurag Basu, is gifted, the film is superlative and his cast & crew is ready to give in total commitment, perhaps, they have.

But then sometimes, that isn’t enough. And this film falls short, somewhere. This film, no matter for how long it tries to stay away from melodrama and superfluous show of weakness of its characters, and that pitfall of a film about physically/mentally challenged, it goes straight into it. Just, as another love story takes off. When Barfi tries to help her childhood friend Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) who is shown mentally challenged. And this triggers a plot, the greatest weakness of this film. And the focus of the film diverts from the chemistry amidst the characters to the plot, and there this film stumbles, and continues to stumble, even if it drags, in the second half, and drastically towards the end. Perhaps, whenever Ranbir Kapoor Joota Phakes Leather, the movie’s dil goes chicha ledar (he throws his shoe high up in the film, to signal his presence, to call Jhilmil).

Still, even if the unnecessary plot reduces the overall impact marginally, even if Priyanka Chopra isn’t half as effective as she could be (though I must say she isn’t bad, she is just not good enough), this film still gives us that rare magical cinematic elegance, as Scorsese told us in his own dreamy masterpiece, Hugo, cinema can be used to create and capture dreams, that we just don’t find in Hindi movies these days. And this film gives us that, along with characters who don’t speak, they widen their eyes, they squeeze it, they have a very beautiful grin on their face when they meet, and they look at each other, for a long time, or they don’t, even if they do, it is more than visible that they are thinking about something else, even if they are seeing something, they are thinking something else.

And this was just not possible without the tremendous effort put in by the technicians. The magic wouldn’t be half as effective if it was not properly shot by Varman’s far more than effective imagery, or Poddar’s authentic production design, or striking costumes, or Pritam’s & Amitabh Bhattacharya’s songs. And score, those scenes, would have terribly missed the background score, even if Pritam pays homage to Michael Giacchino’s “Married Life” from the film “Up!” when Ranbir Kapoor throws his shoe high up for the first time, still when the whole film pays homage to Charile Chaplin and The Notebook, I don’t mind that with the soundtrack too, it really works, more than most of the times when we produce the cacophonous ear drum exploding score.

And the actors, Ranbir Kapoor outdoes, everyone we have in our industry, everyone. It is this performance we as an audience, and this character he as an actor of this calibre, deserves. It is unique, subtle, powerful, enchanting, with his shoulders high above all, all in this film. Ileana, who most of the times, as her character demands, is plain vulnerable, and she does her part so well, that seeing what and how Shruti goes through makes your heart melt. Priyanka Chopra, falls into the pitfall, perhaps her story, which forms the major part of the film, is the weakness, and the culmination, because it reduces the overall impact, also makes the experience tiring to some extent, she does it fine, if, first of all, her character sketch wasn’t overdone, secondly, her story supported her well, either of the two don’t happen and only weaken the film.

Still, for every fiber of light that floats in the air, saturated color that literally moves in the forms of costumes, players of the skit in a traditional marriage, or a refracted image through a transparent sphere of glass, the whole film feels magical, every subconscious calculation that directs a physical movement, or every test of loyalty is bizarre and funny in its own way, and it is rich and dense and colorful. For that glossy imagery, masterful expressions, and cinematic purity, where characters feel more than they think, “Barfi” as a film must be applauded. It would be a masterpiece, if only Barfi hadn’t thrown his shoe, so high up.

Also Read:
“You are as sweet as your name” Barfi! Review by Souvik Gupta
“Hugo is Huge” Review by Prateek

Barfi Movie Review : BARFI! – you are as sweet as your name…

barfi poster

When I booked my review for BARFI!, of course there was a lot of excitement that led to the decision. However, there was an apprehension, “What if I don’t like the film? What if the film falls flat on its face just the way KITES did?”Continue reading “Barfi Movie Review : BARFI! – you are as sweet as your name…”

Trailer of Barfi

After Rockstar and getting all acclaim and awards Ranbir Kapoor returns in Anurag Basu‘s Barfi. One of the eagerly anticipated films of this year Barfi stars Priyanka Chopra and Illeana D’Cruz with additional support from Saurabh Shukla and Akash Khurana.

Plot Synopsis:

His parents named him Murphy, but everyone calls him Barfi! Always ready with a prank up his sleeve, he’s quite the charmer, especially with the ladies! In Darjeeling, Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) is the talk of the town. Even though he can neither speak nor listen! His bitter-sweet relationship with two beautiful young ladies, Shruti (Ileana D’cruz) and Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) sets in motion a chain of events that will turn his life upside down! UTV Motion Pictures and director Anurag Basu invite you to witness the amusing, naughty and sometimes crazy antics of Barfi. A heart-warming tale of selfless love and about finding happiness in the smallest things in life; that tells you no matter how tough your life may be, “Don’t Worry. Be Barfi!”

Plot Synopsis Source: Wikipedia

Produced by UTV and set to music by Pritam and Cinematography by Ravi Varman, check out the charming trailer and do drop in your comments.