25 Years of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ): What Makes the Film So Special Even Today

There are films of all kinds that we are exposed to, very few of them go on to become commercially successful and maintain their iconic status despite the passage of time. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or DDLJ as it is more popularly known as, is one of the rare films to have that distinction. There has been enough and more that has been written about the film, with people praising the film for various aspects, while even attracting some criticism for its cheesiness, overtly sentimental nature and emphasis on a more old school romantic style and family values. So, let me not try and analyze the film per se, as that would simply not make sense, nor will it add any new insight into the film otherwise. So, what does this write-up intend to do? Simple, it is about why the film deserves all the love and appreciation that has been coming its way, and how I have evolved with the film over the course of these 25 years.Continue reading “25 Years of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ): What Makes the Film So Special Even Today”

DDLJ: Cutting across 3 decades. My Personal Ode & Journey with the Film

20th October 1995 was the first time DDLJ released in cinemas. I was 7 when I first watched the film at G7 Cinemas, Bandra with my parents. Little did I know that I would end up getting lost in the magical world that I was experiencing on screen. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I saw Amrish Puri slap SRK right before the climax sequence and I held my mother’s arms as each slap echoed in the pin drop silence inside the cinema packed with thousand people. I felt ecstatic when Kajol ran towards the stretched arm of SRK extending from the door of a running train in the end. I was mesmerized by the story that I narrated the entire film to my friends in school. When the songs came on the television, I would stop everything and listen attentively. Couple of months later, we revisited the theatre to watch DDLJ again. It was the same scenario as the first – a packed house with the same emotions. As a kid, I knew this film would stay with me forever. Continue reading “DDLJ: Cutting across 3 decades. My Personal Ode & Journey with the Film”

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!”

The Avatars of the Stalker

There’s a thin line between being in love and being obsessed – earnestly confessing your feelings for someone and coercing someone to reciprocate to your feelings. Writers, filmmakers and other artists have been universally enamoured by the psyche of the “stalker” – the innocuous or fiendish guy or girl who pursues the person he or she is in love with. A love that borders on obsessive compulsive disorder.

Let us not confuse the stalker with the villain – the stalker doesn’t tease, pass malicious comments or try to molest / abuse / rape his beloved. On the contrary, the stalker goes all out just to convince the profundity of his or her love. In most cases, these characters are showered with sympathy – a feeling that would never arise in a real life scenario. Perhaps, just to neutralise the same, the stalkers are also meted out a tragic destiny, to highlight the dismal eventuality of such obsession or for creative justification.

The portrayal of the obsessed lover has varied, not necessarily commensurate with the change in the social milieu, but definitely in a way that could play to the gallery. In this post, I look at six films, which have glorified the stalker – the silent lover whose mania gradually overpowers the love, transgressing into the other’s person life, and eventually bringing both of them down. However, I have ignored any film (read the “Sleeping with the Enemy” remakes and the likes) in which the victim and her tormentor have a shared past.Continue reading “The Avatars of the Stalker”

UTV Stars’ ‘Walk Of The Stars’ Felicitates The Versatile And Evergreen Actor: Jeetendra

 . (Sherwin Crasto/SOLARIS IMAGES)UTV Stars’ Walk of the Stars unveiled the celebrated actor, Jeetendra’s hand impression tile on Wednesday, 18th December, 2013 to honour him for his priceless contribution to the Indian film industry. The tile which was unveiled by the actor himself, in presence of family and close friends, will later be installed at UTV Stars’ premium property, WALK OF THE STARS, at the Bandra Bandstand Promenade.

 Walk of the Stars has honoured several silver-screen personalities from the Indian film industry since inception and will continue to do so. In order to commemorate the legendary actor Jeetendra, his tile will soon be joining this illustrious list. This award winning actor who has given super-hits like Mawaali, Himmatwala, CaravanGeet Gaaya Pattharonne and many more has also shown his versatility by producing films and television shows.Continue reading “UTV Stars’ ‘Walk Of The Stars’ Felicitates The Versatile And Evergreen Actor: Jeetendra”

MAM is now 2 Years ‘Young’: The Journey Continues

Last year around the same time when I was sitting down and penning down my thoughts on the recap of MAM’s 1st year, everything looked so nostalgic. The nostalgia still remains 2 years into the journey, but there’s also the eagerness to move forward and to branch out into frontiers not yet fully explored.Continue reading “MAM is now 2 Years ‘Young’: The Journey Continues”

Love is all around me

It was a regular Saturday afternoon with vegetable shopping being the first one to be ticked off the checklist which brought me to my present avatar of ferrying the wife to the market and making do with taking rounds of the neighbourhood till a good parking spot is filled in. I tuned into a random radio station to kill time for the next 40minutes and it had the contrarian effect. Continue reading “Love is all around me”

The Worst of Bollywood: 2012

Frankly, this is one article I look forward to writing each year. It takes a great deal of patience and hard research to compile this list, but in the end it’s all worth it. Just in case you are wondering, a few Hall of Famers do not qualify. That includes RGV and other Jokers. They transcend all such lists. Hope you enjoy reading about the others, as I have enjoyed writing about them.

Kachche Players

Abbas-Mustan, who have made a career out of borrowing from Hollywood, make their first ‘official’ remake – of The Italian Job. The budget seems to be in place, but the execution is crappy. A bunch of bad actors, who keep calling each other “Player” to justify the film’s title, combine their individual expertise to rob a moving train. This movie is a prime example of why Indian thrillers are ages behind their Hollywood counterparts.

Ugh-neepath

Although there is no ranking, I would rate this one as the worst of the lot. In the limited space provided, I wonder if I’ll be able to do sufficient injustice to it. To begin with, the story itself is flawed. In the first scene, the villain kills the hero’s father. In the last scene the hero avenges his death. He does this single-handedly and without any special aid. Then why was the rest of the movie made? Horrible, hammy performances grate on the nerves and script inconsistencies, make you, the viewer, look like a fool. I barely liked the original Agneepath, but this one gives commercial cinema a bad name.
Interesting, this film also revealed the hypocrisy of our Health Ministry in one stoke. Whenever, Katrina Kaif smoked during the Chikni Chameli song, there was a statutory warning at the bottom of the screen. No such caveat when Sanjay Dutt merrily puffed away a chillum in the same song.


Jism Thoo

I can’t decide which is more funny, the preposterous story or the bad acting. In order to spy on a rogue police officer, his former lover is ensnared. Another officer on the trail and the lover hire an apartment bang opposite where the rogue is staying hoping he will notice. He doesn’t. So finally, the lover has to walk up to his door and knock. Sheesh. The story is just an excuse to ‘show’-case Sunny Leone. But audiences have already seen more of her in her earlier, errr, features. An early Pooja Bhatt shows no signs of being an early Mahesh Bhatt.

Weak Tha Tiger

The mindless Salman Khan entertainer attempts to do something intelligent and fails. Primarily because then Salman does not fit the bill. A RAW agent falls for an ISI agent and they plan to elope and settle in marital bliss. Sounds like an interesting premise, but the film is far from it. Totally unimaginative and boring. Hard to believe this is coming from the director of Kabul Express.

Bore Bachchan

Bol Bachchan ke actors…..characters!
Bol Bachchan ki story…….chori!
After using the title for three films, Rohit Shetty finally decides to use Golmaal’s premise as well. The trouble is both Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan are bad at slapstick. In recent memory, Anil Kapoor has already used the faulty English routine in Tashan to disastrous effect. Why repeat that silly formula again? OK, I did smile a couple of times but that’s about it.

Raaz Cheee
Another lame attempt by Vikram Bhatt to scare you. This one is so bad I don’t even think it’s a copy. Bollywood horror films are stuck in a rut using same old themes of vengeful spirits. Why, one of them even enticed Aamir Khan this year.

Son of Sardard
This is a remake of a Telugu film, Maryada Ramanna which itself borrows its story from Our Hospitality, a Buster Keaton classic. While the mindless Salman Khan film provided bang for the buck early on, the Ajay Devgan counterpart has already run out of steam. And Sonakshi Sinha better contemplate a career more meaty than acting as the foil in most of them. This one also has the worst choreographed action scenes of the year.

Kab Tak Hai Yawn
8 years ago, Yash Chopra announced his retirement with Veer-Zaara and I was saddened. A brilliant career had come to an end with a whimper. So when he came out of retirement (they all do) for JTHJ, my hopes were up again, and were dashed with equal force. This is a bad, bad movie. And the de facto retirement will ensure that this remains the swan song. Shah Rukh Khan does odd jobs in London where he falls for Katrina. Due to reasons too childish to explain, he has to abandon her and return to India where he becomes a bomb disposal expert. A job he presumably found on naukri.dom. Enter Anushka Sharma, still bubbly hence annoying as the documentary film maker making a film on our bomb disposer. Circumstances lead him back to London and then, the ultimate film cliché…a convenient memory loss. If it’s a YashRaj film, SRK will be SRK. Be it anyone’s film, Katrina will be Katrina. Her lips will move, eyes blink alone and neck won’ tilt at all. That’s her acting for you. But the No. 1 disappointment – the Gulzar / A. R. Rahman combination does not give you a single song worth remembering.

DaJunk 2
For me, the year ended with this monstrosity of a movie. Critics often dismiss bad movies saying that it has no story to speak off. It has never been truer than it is for this one. Just stock chracters – hero, heroine, villain, supporting characters, an item girl and their interplay. Plenty of effete action and dumb comedy. After watching this, if you are still a Salman Khan fan, all I can say is…his 100 crore plus career has a bright future.

Disappointing Films of 2012

As the year passes by, every film buff likes to look back on the films that gave him/her a sheer viewing pleasure and made for a memorable movie watching experience. And then, there are films which also cause nothing but sheer disappointment, heartbreak and anguish, mainly due to the expectations that were attached to these films.

In this post I look back at some of the films that I personally found to be disappointing this year. So in case if you find one of your favorite films to be in the list, kindly mujhe maaf karna 🙂Continue reading “Disappointing Films of 2012”