Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996): Sleepless in the city of Bombay

There are some movies which get a cult following, but probably do not receive much adulation during its time of release. Though Sudhir Mishra’s Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin is still talked about, I still feel that the film has not got the love it deserves. Even though I have watched the film in bits and parts earlier, now thanks to the lockdown I watched this film again on Amazon Prime. The noir film might seem normal now, but back in those days it was supposed to be path breaking.Continue reading “Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996): Sleepless in the city of Bombay”

Begum Jaan Movie Review: Of Women Behaving Badly

Partition and Prostitution are two plot devices that can ensure a hard hitting cinematic experience if handled with restraint, and end up making a mockery of human tragedy and resilience, if handled without finesse. Therefore, when the promos of Begum Jaan showed up, one ended up being intrigued. A tale set during the partition involving women of the night promised to be a tantalizing premise. And when it is a massive cast headed by Vidya Balan in a never before avatar, one does walk into the theatre with high expectations. So does Begum possess enough Jaan to hook the viewers?Continue reading “Begum Jaan Movie Review: Of Women Behaving Badly”

Aligarh Movie Review: Manoj Bajpayee’s Poignant Performance Leaves You Thinking for Long

The world out there is a mad sprint. Everyone is running. Running to prove a point, to get the numbers, to make money, to impress, to get to the goals. And in the process, quite a few fail to keep up the pace. Ironically, those who lose out in this sprint are advised to make peace with it – and that’s another mad sprint in itself.Continue reading “Aligarh Movie Review: Manoj Bajpayee’s Poignant Performance Leaves You Thinking for Long”

Yennai Arindhaal (2015) Movie Review: Well, The Same Old Menon World

Language : Tamil | Running Time :  176 Minutes | Director : Gautham Vasudev Menon

A Gautham Vasudev Menon film. It isn’t a phrase that makes me go gaga but I look forward for this man’s films. I look forward because there is almost no other filmmaker who caters to the urban middle class youth like he does with his self portrait of a hero who remains courteous to women, walks beside them with his hands in his pocket, shuffles like a 17 year old crushing on the hottest girl in school when he finds the love of his life, has the sentimental attachment to a scooter his dad used and takes his kid on it, be this man of honor and sensibility that makes you smile and feel like it might be a reflection of you. But more importantly, I look forward to his portrayal of the heroine.Continue reading “Yennai Arindhaal (2015) Movie Review: Well, The Same Old Menon World”

Yennai Arindhaal Movie Review: If You Know Gautham!

Spoilers Ahead…

The defining moment of every celluloid love story is the stretch where the lead couple meet. Or so they say.
But watch out; if its an Indian movie featuring a star with a huge fan following among the masses, the tropes and templates are pretty much simple. No breaking the head for scriptwriters here. The following are fitted in using various permutations and combinations.
1. The dashing lady develops a liking for the loafer with a golden heart, while he is busy stalking her on the street and passing lewd comments about her to his friends.
2. She ogles over his manliness and decides her partner for life while he is giving her some life-lessons on how it is so ‘un-girly‘ to have brains of her own.
3. She falls head over heals in love with his raw energy while he instructs her on the supposed ‘divinity’ of womanhood, only to romance her wearing a (decent!) bikini the next sequence.
4. She gets to look pretty and coy while letting the coffee mug slip when the guy’s fingers touches hers, in an expression of utmost femininity.
5. She is humiliated repeatedly (physically and mentally) until she realizes that the lead man is indeed her savior (of life and chastity), and she is a ‘nothing’ without him

Continue reading “Yennai Arindhaal Movie Review: If You Know Gautham!”

Meaghamann Movie Review: True-blue Action, Served in Style!

Despite the obvious surplus of regional movies that tout themselves as super-hit action dhamakas, an entity called ‘a logical, racy action thriller that truly entertains’ is kind of a rarity. I would even go the distance to compare it to the unicorn as it is only rumored to exist, making it literally ‘next to impossible’ to actually find any in our commercial cinema space. The reasons are many. Our mainstream industry still operates in the understanding that Indians can never really move on from the ‘lunch thali‘ mindset in their movies. The main dish (genre) may be anything under the sun, but irrespective of that, the belief hitherto was that all other 23 essentials must be served to the audience for a ‘paisaa vasool’ experience.Continue reading “Meaghamann Movie Review: True-blue Action, Served in Style!”

Avatarachi Goshta: Trailer

Avatarachi Goshta PosterWritten and directed by Nitin Dixit and produced by Sachin Salunke, Avatarachi Goshta (Tales of Avatar) has been winning a spate of awards of late including Maharashtra State Awards (2014) for Best Film and Best Director. This Marathi film once again is a children’s tale (a trend by now in Marathi Cinema) but thankfully the premise is unlike any of the other films seen so far. Featuring Mihiresh Joshi, Yash Kulkarni, Adinath Kothare, Leena Bhagwat, Sulabha Deshpande etc, Ashish Vidyarthi will also be seen in a cameo. The film has music by Gadhar while Nagaraj M.D is the DOP and Mayur Hardas is the editor.Continue reading “Avatarachi Goshta: Trailer”

Haider Movie Review: Love-ed

Sometimes it is so difficult to collect all the thoughts to write a review for a movie. What do I do then? I ask myself. Us Bhakts of Bhardwaj get swept away, most of the times, in blind faith. But the truth is, there is no way you can ignore the reality, as I learnt while I was talking to Sethu. The truth, in all of its probability is, that this Vishal Bhardwaj’s masterpiece…is not aberration free.  There are things in the plot that call for an unwelcome “what a coincidence.” There are things that call for an unwelcome “really?” moment. I mean how do you respond to a thing that’d happen – even in the context of the movie—but won’t because it’s a movie, based on a play — so there are events pending to happen? How do you respond to characters that exist because…well, it’s convenient for the storyteller? And no, I am not talking about Irrfan Khan’s Roohdaar (without trying to spoil anything.) There are coincidences, and character decisions — and yes they can happen, but! — But that jarred. Because it felt like some kind of an easy make-shift solution to drive the movie forward. That makes things look superficial. It takes away the gravity from a scenario otherwise really intense. It hinders seamless involvement.Continue reading “Haider Movie Review: Love-ed”

Haider (2014) Movie Review: The Return Of The Bard

Language : Hindi | Running Time : 162 Minutes | Director : Vishal Bhardwaj 

Irrfan Khan as Roohdhar, making a special appearance, dressed in white and sporting black goggles, walks onto the screen, mist clearing and I was reminded of a heroine walking into a hero’s life in our movies from the 80s. If not the same, the scene surely brings a similar effect on us. We are left gasping at the majestic beauty of the shot, the exhilarating bass and electric guitars of “Aao Na” announcing his presence. It is right there with some of the best intros I’ve seen in Indian cinema, because it elevates a simple intro into one filled with mystery and a desire to follow the man ourselves. It is something that draws whistles, claps and heightens our frenzy and Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider” will ask you the question, “To be or not to be” in every scene it throws at you.Continue reading “Haider (2014) Movie Review: The Return Of The Bard”