Nominations For the Best of Bollywood 2013!

Like most other years, 2013 too has been an eventful year for the Hindi film industry. And unlike other years, 2013 was also the 100th year for the Hindi film industry. However, the centenary wasn’t really a landmark in terms of quality; we didn’t have a watershed of extraordinary films. Yes, we had a few brilliant pieces of cinema but we also had a truckload of terrible movies. What has been most encouraging in this entire melee is the gradual acceptance and support rendered to smaller films. While we had Kiran Rao helping a “Ship of Theseus” to get a release, we had a Karan Johar taking “The Lunchbox” out to the masses. In this post, I enumerate my (completely) personal list of favourite films of 2013 and their different aspects. These are my nominations for the best of Bollywood in the year 2013. While I have considered six nominees for every category (most of which are non-technical), I have added one more as “Almost There”, whom / what I feel is good but not enough to be on the list. Would love to get your vote from the nominees or any additional candidate you feel like.Continue reading “Nominations For the Best of Bollywood 2013!”

Ek Thi Daayaan Movie Review: The Curse of Second Half

Ek Thi Daayaan
is the directorial debut of Kannan Iyer  and if you are like me who like to sit till the end of credits, you must have noticed his name on notable films like Bandit Queen, Daud and also the less said the better Harman Baweja Starrer Victory. Ek Thi Daayaan is adapted from a short story written by Mukul Sharma. Unfortunately I have not read it, which may be good to some extent as I was not comparing what I have read earlier to what happens on screen.Continue reading “Ek Thi Daayaan Movie Review: The Curse of Second Half”

Ek Thi Daayan Music Review: Serenity all over…

Gulzar & Vishal Bharadwaj forever, I wish.

I wish it never ends. I wish they continue making songs forever, because Hindi film songs are the only pop-music-culture we have. And they are the epitome of our culture. Vishal Bharadwaj, has been doing it for a lot of time, even in his feebler films (7 Khoon Maaf, for example) featured astounding music. He is not even directing “Ek Thi Daayan”, yet music beyond par major albums I’ve heard this year. I’ve been quite busy for last few days, (day jobs, and my own projects) so I have not been able to write a review for quite some time. But I find time today in office to write this. The sole reason I am writing all that is, because I want you know I am mesmerized. Vishal Bharadwaj, in my book, is the best Hindi film composer we have today. You may argue in favor of Amit trivedi, AR Rahman. Yes, they have a lot of albums up their sleeves. Though Rahman’s best, I think, come from his homeland (barring a few like “Dil Se”, Delhi 6), and Amit Trivedi has been consistently decent, at times very good, occasionally mesmerizing. But Bharadwaj has been consistently very good, at times mesmerizing, there’s no occasional stuff with him. He’s been delivering, one after another.

I, then, without any delay, should hop on to the album, and start describing the songs, not in any order.

Gulzar deserves each and every award bestowed upon him. All Grammys, all Oscars, all of them.  Sapna Re Sapna is as good as any Gulzar written song. And this proves why we are missing lullabies in movies. Taaron ke kanchon se raat bhar khelenge, chanda, main aur tu. Awesomeness, musical serenity, and magic of poetry embellish this song, it melts your heart. Its vintage Bharadwaj footprints make this as the song of the album, and, it proves that Gulzar & Bharadwaj partnership must never end, never.

Totey ud gaye sounds like snipped out of chappa chappa charkha chaley, from Maachis, and Sapne mein milti hai from Satya, and modernized. But, that’s not a bad thing. Because even if Bharadwaj is recycling, and it is quite a middling effort, it sounds great and fun bestowed upon by Gulzar’s brash rhyme scheme make this song sound just about fine, rather enjoyable. And in better marriages, one where people prefer music over noise, and celebration, it will be played. I am going to play this, no I am not getting married, but, when I’ll want to listen songs that could prompt me to dance.

A horror film, without a song with dark undertones? This can’t really happen. This hasn’t happened. Rather there are 2 songs. Kaali Kaali, starts with seemingly dark tones, with a sad guitar tone, as it progresses becomes a love song. In a melody that tells a story of two eyes of someone, possibly the narrator’s lover, and possibly the secret hidden within them, those betray sadness, and almost wet with tears. Maverick Gulzar, and the controlled composer Bharadwaj, make this incomplete story completely soothing.

Ah, guitar, and that electronic arrangement. And, that awkwardly proposing lyrics, one, where the first lines suggest, that singer is attempting to please someone. Amidst that, there’s some disco-esque arrangement, somewhere between country, hip-hop, and pop, Yaaram is the only totally happy song in this album. But that’s not to say you won’t listen it again, it is a great mood lifter. And you are going to go back to it, again, and again.

The second dark song of the album, the truly, dedicatedly horror film song, and one of the best compositions from this year, Lautungi Main dwells in one of the saddest melodies. And saddest melodies are also the best ones. It reminds me incidentally of those from Rudaali.  Very traditional Indian orchestra takes the longing of this track to another level. Remove the label of the film ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ from the disc, and the last horror poetry, and the unknown listener may not decipher whether this is a horror film song, or a period film song, where presumably the character, who sings this song, is presumably a woman who is promising to avenge her lover.

At 27 minutes, it’s a relatively small album, but you might end up listening it more often, spending more time with it .

As I go back to the song Sapne Re Sapna, and its magical softness, and the delicate care with which words are carefully placed in a rhyme scheme that slowly carves images from a clouded night sky, I would say only one thing:

Gulzar & Vishal Bharadwaj, Forever!

Finding The Real Mass Medium

This week, when every producer in the movie business was consumed in charting out innovative marketing strategies for their upcoming films and what not, Balaji Films led by Ekta Kapoor introduced a concept that could well be the next level of movie marketing.Continue reading “Finding The Real Mass Medium”

Ek Thi Daayan: Trailer

Emraan Hashmi is surely taking the right way forward. After Shanghai, Emraan teams up with Vishal Bharadwaj for Ek Thi Daayan. The film  which is a supernatural thriller is directed by debutant director Kannan Iyer. Besides Hashmi, the film also stars Konkona Sen Sharma , Huma Qureshi and Kalki Koechlin amongst others.Continue reading “Ek Thi Daayan: Trailer”