Dear Zindagi is Alia’s puzzle solved by Shah Rukh Khan

Dear Zindagi is the perfect example of how small things (or incidents) can go on to become something really huge. ‘What is the movie?’ would be a question in your head right now… My answer would be that it’s a small slice from the life of a girl, Kaira.

Kaira who faces problems just like any other person does (obviously, some a bit exaggerated) and then, she manages to come over it. This movie is the real example of how to face your own demons and come over it (though in a fun way).

Those strolls on Goa’s beaches have been shot beautifully.

I’ve seen that Alia has been doing the role of a girl in distress since a long time. Like in Highway where she had a disturbing childhood or in Udta Punjab where she again played a tough role. It’s no different in Dear Zindagi. She gives probably the best performance of her life.
Ok, till now you must be thinking ki ‘Boss, Shah Rukh bhi toh hai movie me…!!’. Oh let me tell you he is in probably one of his best supporting role of all time as ‘BD’ (Brain ka Doctor). It was refreshing to see him come over films like Chennai Express and Happy New Year .

And between both of them are talks that inspire you to understand yourself.

Gauri Shinde, the director of the movie knew that Dear Zindagi was always Alia’s movie and she justified this by making us realize that we don’t have to see any insight into Jehangir Khan’s life (the role play by Srk) but instead keep understanding the troubles and issues which are unresolved in Kaira’s life.

The movie raises many social issues and tries to answer them unconventionally. Do look out for the witty humour, hidden and brought out in front at the most unexpected moment.

Also don’t miss any of SRK’s puzzling stories which will leave their mark in your mind. Moreover his way of blending his charm into every word he’s spoken is so authentic. One can easily recognize the difference in Kaira’s anxious nature and Jug’s patient demeanor.

Gauri Shinde is spot on after her directorial debut English Vinglish.

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FAN: A movie for anyone who has ever been a fan

I would like to begin by thanking Shahrukh Khan. I am pretty sure not many would want to attempt a film like FAN… and you would think a lot before taking such a risk when you are SRK. To create a 2 hours 22 min long movie without a love-story, without a single song and with only one person from the first frame to the last frame is a very big challenge.

I was very excited for this movie. For me it was like, after almost five years I will be seeing SRK in a movie which has a proper story, a unique concept and a screenplay to support his acting. And to be honest he didn’t disappoint. It seemed like a breath of fresh air to see SRK away from that old image of an-over-the-top guy who kicks people and sings song with his lady-love. This time, in the movie, SRK (as both Gaurav as well as Aryan) looked vulnerable.

“Ab tak fan star k peeche bhagta tha, ab star fan k peeche bhagega”

The stand-out dialogue of the movie!

For me what stood out was SRK as Gaurav. Yes, he had help of prosthetics to enhance the look, he had modulated the voice to make it sound different but at the end of the day it was him. He took it to a completely new level. From all the agony that Gaurav goes through to the realization both Aryan and Gaurav have in the climax, the movie touches the deepest corners of the heart. (yes, I am an SRK fan and it makes me proud to write this)
To pull off such a double role is not an easy thing. I personally kept on switching sides from Gaurav to Aryan then back to Gaurav. There was a conflict of opinion as to which side I am. Both had their share of mistakes, their share of ego and then towards the end, their share of realizations.
The only thing I would have wanted Maneesh Sharma (the director) was to reduce the length of the chase sequence. His thought that a star is chasing a fan got through at various points in the movie. In the end it requires guts to attempt such a movie and who else but the king khan could do it.
I will always remember him for FAN, for Gaurav.
It feels proud to be your FAN 🙂

Neerja: Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nai

There are very few movies which make your mind think about it, once it gets over. It takes time to come out of it. The portrayal leaves a lasting impression and you feel a lump in your throat when you try to say anything. I felt the same after watching Neerja.

Neerja, a 22 year and 364 days old braveheart who played a major role to save 359 lives but gave up her own, was like one of us, like us she too was afraid. But then, she stood against her fears and didn’t bog down. That was the only difference. She believed We are stronger than our fears and proved it. This is her story of conquering her fears.

Ram Madhvani, director of Neerja, adhered to a fine concept of story telling; showing Neerja’s fears, showing her inspirations and making us understand that it can be a struggle coming up against it but its worth giving a try. ‘Don’t die before your death‘ the way Neerja sums it up. From showing how she was treated in her failed marriage, to how she stood up against it, the director never misses a point.

photo courtesy: http://www.indianexpress.com

I personally never knew Sonam Kapoor could act so fine and I still don’t like her voice, but overall her acting was commendable. Her best till date. Shabana Azmi, as Neerja’s mother, has given one of the finest performances. The speech she gives in the end had so many people in tears, including my mom. I somehow managed to control mine. It was the most touching part of the movie.

Neerja Bhanot (1963-1986)

The actors who played the role of the hijackers were so convincing. I could feel my heart racing… What will happen now? How will everyone be evacuated? The script was tight and held the attention through out. Yes, some scenes were a bit melodramatic but never exaggerating anything.

This is a movie you should not miss. It surprises me how our history books never included such inspiring stories!

In the end to sum it up, Neerja, as an ardent fan of Rajesh Khanna, proved Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nai…

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Expectations v/s Reality

Sometime back I saw the movie “500 Days Of Summer” and one of the scenes that still lingers in my memory for its so touching portrayal was the Expectation v/s Reality scene, where our protagonist Tom Hansen goes to meet his ex Summer Finn with a baggage of expectations and comes back beneath a truck load of harsh reality. The video link is posted below.

The song in the background goes ‘ It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright…. No one’s got it all’ looks so appropriate. Our expectations never get fulfilled to its fullest and we end up wanting far more than what we get. I am sure most of us can relate to it at times.

So I would like to leave you with this sublime scene from a very different movie which even has a tag-line ‘This is NOT a love story’. How in the war of his perceived reality and the actual reality, Tom gets disheartened and walks on the solitary road which looks so picturesque.

Enjoy the scene 🙂

(image courtesy: Google)

‘Tamasha’ a must watch movie

 

Have you ever asked yourself ‘What are you’ or ‘What makes you the person you are today’ or ‘Have you always wanted to be where you are right now’ ? Tamasha raises all sorts of questions and, surprisingly, tries very hard to answer each one. It succeeds too, upto some extent.

‘Why always the same story?’ That’s the tagline of the movie. It fits perfectly. Why does a boy and a girl have to meet, fall in love, then separate, only to realize they are meant to be together? Tamasha is no different but in no way it is same.

Imtiaz Ali has a real vision. Ranbir’s character has been written so well. From his childhood to his college days and then to his office days, it shows such an intertwined connection. We actually realize how our hero Ved has gone on to become what he is shown as, especially in the second half.

A special mention to the song ‘Wat Wat Wat’. The awesome story behind it about that certain rickshawala. A brilliantly thought correlation between what Ranbir goes through at that time and that rickshaw-driver. It touched me.

Also coming to the scene which literally had me in tears.. When Deepika tries to stop Ranbir, glimpses of which can be seen in the song ‘Agar Tum Saath ho’ . I mean, brilliant work by Deepika. You get goosebumps when you see that. ‘How can she love him so much?’ That’s the question that surges in my head.

Where Rockstar failed to make most of the people understand what happens in the end, that is where Tamasha succeeds. The last half an hour of the movie is genius work by Imtiaz Ali. Story-telling at its best.

Finally in the end I would like to discuss about the beginning of the movie. Tamasha begins within Ranbir, he was the answer to all his questions and that’s probably the life lesson Tamasha wanted to make its viewer understand. You are more than an ordinary, mediocre human. You are someone special only if you do what you really want to do, only if you look within yourself.

Thank You Rahman, Ranbir, Deepika for your honest efforts. Thank you Imtiaz Ali, I feel blessed to have seen Tamasha and lived it as if it was my story.

(Image courtesy: http://www.twitter.com/tamashaofficial)

Dev D movie Review

Anurag Kashyap is the director who can give Indian Cinema the reach it deserves at the world stage. His style of direction is exceptional, his quest for detailing his characters and his unconventional choice of music is what makes him the standout director of Bollywood. All thanks to Dev D the movie which made him an overnight star.
As Dev, the rich father’s wayward son, reaches his hometown after completing his studies in London we see how over the years he has been in touch with his childhood sweetheart Paro. How he calls her often and also both of them use Instant Messaging too.
Paro, the ‘Gaon ki chori’ isn’t actually behind in her lifestyle. She’s a free spirited woman who also falls in love with Dev just as much as Dev himself is with her. But the various situations (call it ‘misinterpretations) causes Paro to marry a rich gentleman from Delhi.

Dev, completely drowned in Paro’s love, watches her getting married. He finds solace in alcohol. His favourite Vodka mixed with coke starts becoming a habit. As Paro moves to Delhi, Dev also follows her there. Being son of a rich politician, Dev goes on a spree of self destruction portrayed to perfection by Abhay Deol.
At this tym we are introduced to Chanda, role essayed by Kalki. Her story is different. She being a teenage girl gets trapped when her MMS goes viral on the internet and how her own family starts disowning her. She goes through a lot but then decides to become a sex worker. Indeed a brutal and spine chilling portrayal.
Dev, surrounded by cigarettes and Vodka, meets Chuni, the guy who gives work to Chanda. Chuni is shown as a selfish guy and he analyzes Dev as a rich dad’s son who can be used for some easy money. He brings Dev to his place where Dev meets Chanda. Their life-stories, then, bring them closer.
The chaos and confusion in Dev’s head. His trouble in living a life without Paro, a life without a purpose is successfully supported by Amit Trivedi’s superb background score. The songs are always on the perfect time and none make you feel they are unnecessary. Also a note to the dark surroundings and a perfect use of dim lights and colours to represent the setting.
Yes the second half is considerably slow but then the director didn’t compromise on the quality of content. A special mention to Nawazuddin Siddique, he was hilarious in the song ‘Emotional Attyachar’. I wish Anurag Kashyap keeps gifting us such memorable classics forever.

BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance

Today for the second time I watched Birdman. A movie that touched me deeply. How unconvincing is the title which made ‘BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance’ the movie with the biggest title to win an Oscar. Alejandra, the director, showed what a marvellous vision he has.

The movie begins where a certain Riggan Thompson, essayed beautifully by Michael Keaton, is preparing for his first ever Broadway show which he has written, directed and will be acting in. ‘Too Ambitious’ regards another main lead as it would be Riggan’s first ever stage performance. Riggan, who is a yesteryear’s celebrity, had in the past featured as a popular comic book character ‘BirdMan’. The people remember BirdMan but not the real Riggan Thompson as his daughter rightly points out.

This Broadway show, Riggan tells his wife, is his only chance to do something worthful. Instead it feels as a fight with his alter-ego, the character Birdman keeps running in his head, talks how his life would have been had he agreed to do a certain Birdman-4 movie, sequel to his other work, and how he landed into the place he was then. As he keeps disregarding him as just a ‘Mental Formation’, he keeps regretting how people no more understand philosophical stuff and only enjoy the comic book IronMans, SuperMans and Spidermans. It’s the most intriguing part of the story, the unconventional talks with his own alter-ego, how it keeps eating him in and out.

Mike Shiner, another beautiful character created by Alejandra, stuffed with ambitions and an awesome screen presence. His altercations with Riggan are so impressively shown. Tabitha, the critic from The Times, a person who vows Riggan that she will be destroying his show after the opening night by penning a poor review, also is a charm to watch on screen. Jake, Riggan’s best friend and producer of the play is amusingly genuine, especially when he says ‘I am the one who is keeping the boat afloat’.

More than everything, the type of direction style adopted for the movie is something that I have never seen. So many long, single shots, smart camera angles and the fluid transition from one act to the other is the heart of the film. A special mention to the largely orthodox drum score which keeps hammering in the background. Probably capturing the chaos present in Riggan’s head.

Now coming to the title ‘BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance’ is so apt. The critics never had expected that Riggan’s play would be so perfect, especially after what happens in the climax. Moreover ‘The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance’ is the title Riggan finds on the front page of The Times, describing his play. To sum up everything, Birdman is a comically thoughtful fight of Riggan with everyone surrounding him and the BirdMan that resides within him. He comes out of it pure and honest, accepting how he always has carved for the admiration that he missed.

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Bombay Velvet Review

It is almost after two weeks that I yesterday saw Bombay Velvet. The movie suffered due to the negative criticism surrounding it. But I don’t feel it deserved such a harsh treatment. After all we made lacklustre films like Kick, Rowdy Rathore, Chennai Express a massive success, though they were short in every department of film-making. I hope you take out two minutes to read this.

Bombay Velvet is a very honest attempt by Anurag Kashyap (I will refer him as ‘AK’) but it has its share of flaws as well as some really touching moments. Ranbir’s character Johnny Balraj is the heart of the film. It is a movie that revolves around him. In one of the scenes where he reduces people to dust by firing two tommy guns is so fantastically shot. Reminds me of Tarantino’s Kill Bill in someway but obviously not at par with it. It is because of him, that the film goes to a different level. Also how Johnny goes to fight with a ‘Japanese’ boxer every time he wants to vent out his frustration is shown superbly. That intensity in his eyes when Khambatta calls to hear from Chiman if Johnny is dead but instead Johnny picks the call and none of them speak, is so intriguing.

But AK has under-utilized various actors, and plots go incomplete like K K Menon was not given adequate screen time to show his presence. Also the rivalry between Khambatta and Jimmy was left unattended in the end. But what can AK do, he introduced so many characters that to handle each of them is so difficult.

Rosie played by Anushka was so so perfect in every way. Those fine moments between her and Johnny always leaves us wanting more. Her expression in every song makes her so convincing as a jazz singer. But then the plot where AK introduces Rita as Rosie’s twin sister sounds really stupid. That is where the film suffers post interval.

Every frame of the movie is grand, it boasts of people wearing shining suits, throwing cash, smoking pipes and consuming alcohol. After sometime you start feeling it’s not-so-real. Also Johnny’s best friend Chiman’s death doesn’t come as a shock because AK never connected us to him. Where Johnny feels bad for Chiman we feel indifferent.

Now to come to the music, Amit Trivedi has made every song perfect for the situation. “Sylvia”, “Behrupia” and also the two versions of “Mohabbat Buri Bimari” are standout. Also “Fifi” is beautifully shot. The background score though seems a bit loud but is genuine and feel-good.

Finally talking about the climax, it comes at a time when you are a bit tired and want the movie to end. This is where the ‘Tommy Gun’ scene comes which brings you back into the movie. And finally in the end with Johnny’s death Rosie says to him ‘Big Shot’, completes the movie for me. I don’t know but I feel satisfied with Johnny, he achieved what he went for. In a society where he aims big and says “Iss baar Ghoda chunega uspe kaunsa Jockey baithega”, he does succeed, but the film lives as a flawed classic. I will remember it forever and would like to thank AK for giving a new experience of hindi cinema to me.