We all know what movies have been doing to the common man. Just that we choose to look away, every single time! Though movies have always been looked upon as entertainment, one can’t just stand in denial of the fact that movies have always influenced the behavior of the general lot of the society in a large scale. The aspect may keep varying from one stratum to another and one person to another. But movies have always occupied a larger-than-life place in the Indian mindset. Period.Continue reading “Movies and the Misogynist Concussion!”
This has been a bad year for the Hindi movie watcher. I am not particularly enthused about including any of these in the top 10 for they all have flaws, major or minor, which I have tried to point out in the synopsis. If you are amongst those who will first scroll down to see which film has come out tops…don’t bother. I have kept the No. 1 position blank for I did not see a film that in my books deserved to take this spot. The other 9 are arranged in ascending order.Continue reading “The Best Of Bollywood: 2014”
At the very outset I wish to express that I personally felt that 2014 was overall an ordinary year for Indian Cinema. It was largely devoid of truly path breaking content and Hindi Cinema in particular was very disappointing, especially the second half of the year. This is even more alarming considering that the 1st quarter of the year saw some decent films like Dedh Ishqiya, Hasee Toh Phasee, Highway, Queen and true blue indie films like Ashim Ahluwalia’sMiss Lovely, the long pending Om-Dar-B-Dar of Kamal Swaroop and Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi. The last among the films mentioned (Ankhon Dekhi) in particular was a delight, more on that later. But with subsequent weeks throwing up disappointment after disappointment, I had almost given up on the year but thank goodness for the last 2 Fridays of the year which brought in some relief. 19th December saw Raj Kumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan spectacle PKrelease, one of the most awaited films of the year while 26th December saw Anurag Kashyap’s long pending Uglyrelease. PK for me is Raj Kumar Hirani’s weakest film, but it is still an earnest film and Aamir thankfully is good in the film. So while I have no problem with the film’s spectacular success, I do oppose the way the so called moral and religious police are dragging it into an unnecessary controversy.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2014: A Perspective”
What does the quintessential Bollywood heroine do? Other than wear skimpy clothes, dance to crazy songs with cheap lyrics and play the damsel in distress perpetually waiting for her knight in shining armor you mean? Pretty much nothing. This fact has not changed for the last 100 years of Hindi cinema’s existence.
Barring the stray “Mother India” or a Kahaani, women have very little to do in our films. They play the docile wife, the obedient daughter, the chirpy lover or the evil scheming vamp- all characters cut out in 2D with very little resemblance to anyone living or dead.Continue reading “Bollywood in 2014: The Women Have it”
Two years back, a Tamil movie had a female lead who drinks vodka, albeit unknown to her family and on seeing a girl she calls her “matter”, having seen her profile on desigirls.com. By all means, this was an unconventional Tamil heroine character in a very conventional commercial Tamil film. The film is “Thuppakki“, one which is talked more about for calling a single terrorist as “sleeper cells” than anything else. I find it as one of the first commercial films where Tamil cinema is getting ready to see its heroine as more than the “veetu kutthuvezhaku” that she has been expected to be.
Film critic Baradwaj Rangan, tells about Silk Smitha and the image of the vamps of Tamil cinema as “Till the end of the 1960s, the bulk of movies, unlike the Hindi film industry, were not shot at hill stations. They were family dramas with strong family-oriented cores. The heroine was sari-clad, demure and sexy in a girl-next-door way. There was no boa, no bikinis. The first of the vamps were Jayamalini and Jyothilakshmi. They were made to stand for everything negative in society that the heroine could not represent. Who were the heroines at the time? Ambika, Radha, Revathi and Suhasini. These were the ‘sexy’ heroines in the non-erotic sense. They represented the family. As a variety of villains cropped up, they became gangster molls. The vamp began to represent society’s hypocrisy.”Continue reading “The Tamil Cinema Heroine: Mini Skirts and Bar Counters”
Much has been said and written about the beguiled amorous relation between Begum Para and Muniya in Dedh Ishqiya. Aloof of the Lihaaf of shame and societal-pressures, the mistress and the maid embroiled themselves in a beautiful bond of mutual trust and love. The shadow play where Khalujaan longingly and admiringly looks at the two women may raise all sorts of questions about the true nature of the relation. Continue reading “Women, Bonding, Films and Bollywood”