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August 27, 2014 Wednesday     

I Am - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

To start with, I would like to share that as reported in the news, many Indian Production Houses refused to provide financial backing to this film due to its objectionable theme revolving around sex abuse and gay characters. So, its director went public on the social networking site FACEBOOK and then went on to make the film with the friendly donations collected from all his FB friends.
Now coming to the film itself, I AM is undoubtedly a first of its kind attempt in Bollywood, bringing out some real dark truths of our society in the open, which force you to keep both your eyes and chin down feeling the shame. The director goes for the most brutal but truthful visualization of the reality faced by four different characters in their respective life stories. In fact the way Onir shows you the bitter truths of life in these four stories, might be a first for many Indian viewers who are not familiar with the world cinema and its famous classics. Interestingly, here the best part is that the film has no visual nudity or blood shown on the screen and the director uses only suggestive measures to portray his daring scenes of the script. Still, there are times when the sequences unfolding on the screen make you restless and you tend to see sideways feeling a little awkward. Hence, the film is strictly meant for adults and that also for mature adults above the age of at least 21.
Content wise I AM can be called as an amalgamation of four distinct stories or may be four different short films brought together. And I would like to discuss each one of them in details as below:
1 - The Story of Afia (Featuring Nandita Das)
The film starts with this first story of Afia who has just been ditched by her husband from a love marriage on the issue of having a child. The girl feels like losing his complete TRUST on any man when she sees her former husband taking his second wife to the hospital cause she is pregnant just within few months of their divorce. And then she decides to become a mother on her own through the means of Artificial Insemination. Now here the main conflict starts when Afia is willing to know the donor and his personality a little before going for it.
The doctor usually don’t allow that but she very logically asks that how can she just accept the semen without even knowing about the person who is donating it. To this doctor replies that don’t worry, the semen will be perfectly healthy as we carefully look into the medical history of the donor before selecting him. But Afia replies that its not the health she is worried for but it’s the other qualities she wants her baby to have such as creative and sporting abilities, which she is more concerned about. Now that’s what I call a highly thought provoking stroke played by the director.
Understanding her request the doctor arranges her meeting with the donor and she gets to know him a little more than before but not much. Still she decides to go for the insemination and sets off to live a new life of her own at her own terms.
The story very thoughtfully raises many logical questions and also indicates the changing mindsets of women living in the metro cities. Each dialogue in this story is intelligently written without any hiding or holding back kind of restrictions. The characters talk with each other very realistically in a language which is to the point, straight forward and pretty bold.  Nandita Das as the wannabe mother is simply a treat to watch showing her effortless mastery over the art. And she gets equally well supported by Purab Kohli as the donor and Anurag Basu (the famous director) as the doctor. And for me this was one of the best portrayals of the current changing face of our society.
2 - The Story of Megha and Rubina (Featuring Juhi Chawla and Manisha Koirala)
Next comes in the story of a Kashmiri Pandit girl Megha, who is now visiting her homeland after 20 long years and is visibly not comfortable seeing the paradise in its current state. Here she meets Rubina who has been living in the valley in all those years and there is a verbal as well as silent confrontation shown between the two ladies related to their homeland.
Now here the director depicts the problem of Kashmir in a very subtle yet effective manner unlike any other movie made in the past. In other words, this is the most impactful, expressive and thoughtful representation of the problem till date without using any visual reference of merciless killings by the militants or the military forces. The story bravely shows the facts about the huge numbers of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave the valley in the past. The strongest merit of this story is that it never takes any sides and shows you the problem as it is being faced by the people there. Onir ends this part with a brilliant question when Manisha asks Juhi that “Has she ever thought, what would have happened if by chance Juhi was left behind to live in Kashmir and Manisha had gone away to live in the metros.” And to this Juhi has no answer to give…..other than being silent.
Both Manisha and Juhi Chawla together not only look gorgeous but they also deliver highly appreciable performances in their respective roles along with Rushad Rana as Manisha’s brother. In short this story rightly explains the meaning of the word EMPATHY in the best possible manner ever on the silver screen.
3 - The Story of Abhimanyu (Featuring Sanjay Suri)
Post intermission the film starts with its 3rd story, which comes out to be the most disturbing and disgusting, revealing the ugly side of our society which very seldom comes out of the carpet due to our own conservative minds. Based on a true story, its about the haunting childhood memories of a person who was a victim of child molestation by his own step father for many years. The story is quite unpleasant, capable of making you uncomfortable in your chairs thinking about the difficult mental state of the victim. But its most difficult part comes when Sanjay Suri, the sufferer reveals the dark truth to his mother after the death of his step father.
Now here the director openly exposes the double standards existing in our society where even a real mother can live with this kind of black truth and doesn’t speak a word against it in order to maintain her social status. The moment when the mother becomes silent on the question asked by her son that “Whether she knew all about this in those years?”….., it’s like a mirror shown to the society right in its face. And for this very scene, Onir rightly deserves all those awards won at various festivals in the last few months.
All the actors in this particular part give you a real tough time doing full justice to their assigned difficult roles, which should be considered as a great compliment. Radhika Apte as Sanjay Suri’s girl friend looks sexier in her modern get-up. But Sanjay Suri as the victim, Shernaz Patel as the mother and Anurag Kashyap (the famous director) as the step father together, simply convert this part of the film into a hard powerful slap on the bright unreal face of our present society.
4 - The Story of Omar (Featuring Rahul Bose)
The final part of the film deals with few Gay characters and their undisclosed nexus with the police. The story is set in those times when there was no Law in favour of Gay community and the Police used to take the utmost advantage of the confused situation by harassing and extorting money from them. Though this part starts off as a serious take on the issue, but later on it reveals the con-game involved in it which once again makes you think about the limits to which a human mind and psyche can go in order to have some quick bucks.
This fourth section of the movie has got some extremely shocking scenes, shot fearlessly which might be a first for many viewers watching it in India. For instance, the male kissing scenes and the harassment sequence done by the police officer. In fact this particular part of the film truly shows that how a person is so helpless in the odd hours of the night when there is no-body else to help and the Police itself is there to make your position worse. Rahul Bose along with Arjun Mathur and Abhimanyu Singh, delivers one of his best performances till date which indeed shows a lot of courage and conviction in the actor.
As the fourth story finishes and the end credits role, you realize that you have just seen one of the most brilliant realistic portrayals of some hard dark truths of our present society. It is based on a well written screenplay and has been canned beautifully showing both Kashmir and the streets of Mumbai with an equal elegance. The soundtrack and the background songs are not used heavily but they do sound melodious as you hear them.
In all, I AM is a daring attempt by a thoughtful director which might be a first of its kind for many. It raises many valid and logical questions on the functioning of our present society forcing us to urgently find a solution of our own. Its films like these which can bring on some personal or social change around us and can make a difference. Personally speaking I didn’t like Onir’s last few movies due to various reasons, but with I AM Onir has readily made his way into my list of “Movies To See Before You Die” which simply means that you got to see this at the earliest.
Yes, in all possibilities, its not going to be a HIT anyway because the film has been released in only a few centers even in the metros. And its also not an entertaining kind of movie made for the masses. But if you really have an urge to watch some realistic meaningful cinema, moving away from the usual mediocre stuff, then just go and watch I AM as soon as possible.
Ratings : 4 / 5
Tags : I AM - Movie Review : Where its first half is a subtle masterpiece, its second is like a hot burning coal kept on your bare palm, Movies To See Before You Die, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must See Movies List at www.bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Watch Movies Listing By Bobby Sing
 
 
30 April 2011 / bobbysing /
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There is one decades long trend or habit of Bollywood that if any one particular project of a novel style gets appreciated all over, then we get to see numerous similar kinds of ventures offered to us after its release. And they all have the same kind of feel and ambience just trying to en-cash that new wave and nothing else. However, among this bunch of similar movies we have some good as well as many bad films which take away the freshness of the subject and disappear.

Luckily, SHOR IN THE CITY falls in the category of those good watchable films made in the same genre but at the same time it offers nothing new or fresh in terms of content. As discussed above, the film is another crime thriller, revolving around 3-4 different storylines with distinctive characters which get inter-linked with each other as the movie progresses. The backdrop of all these stories remains Mumbai, its under-world and the wannabes who want to make it big in their respective fields.
Though it has few engrossing moments and some good performances too but still the overall pace of the movie is not as energetic as it should have been. The tempo keeps dropping at regular intervals especially after the intermission and moreover some scenes also give you a feeling of seen before or going monotonous. And the main reason for this feeling is that the script has nothing fresh to offer to the audience, other than only one refreshing scene dealing with a bomb explosion. But sadly that scene too seems to be highly inspired from a similar kind of sequence seen in a 2010 British black comedy called “FOUR LIONS”. No, the film is not completely inspired or lifted from this smart comedy but its influence on the overall concept of SITC is quite visible.
Now since story-wise the viewer doesn’t get anything great (or not seen before) throughout the film, therefore he doesn’t have any strong impact or impression of the film while leaving the theater. At the most he can say, that’s its an ok watchable film with some good performances but that’s it. If only the writers had thought of something more exciting and novel re-inventing in the same genre, then the film could have been a different enriching experience in totality. But at present, it has the same extortion, looting, arms selling, bank robbery, revengeful killings and corrupt officials for the viewers which we have already seen umpteen times before. Particularly the cricket selection board scenes in the film remain its weakest part, written and directed with some minimum efforts which do not impress at all.
But here I would to like to mention one interesting insertion in the movie and that’s the Pirated Book-Publishing profession of Tushar which has been used for the first time in a Hindi Film. (Try remembering all the children selling those Best-Sellers books at the Red Lights with poor page quality) In fact this is the new Piracy snake biting the Publishing Industry today just like the uncontrollable Pirated CDs business hitting the Film Industry badly from so many years. And it was really an intelligent addition to their film by the directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. which at least had something new to reveal to the audiences.
The cinematography and background score gel with the theme of the film perfectly but I seriously felt that the script here missed something unexplored or virgin having a punchy surprising element for its viewers. Music is used in a minimal way as needed but thankfully it neither excels nor disturbs the overall pace of the movie.
As visible in its posters, SITC is an all men movie, wherein Tushar gives a heart winning performance and looks cool. Pitobash gives his all to his act, but as I said before we have seen many such spirited performances in the gangster genre before too so though his act will not go un-noticed but he may not get the benefits as desired. Nikhil Drivedi is just fine. Sendhil has his screen presence and is natural. Rest of the male cast including Amit Mistry and Zakir Hussain don’t get anything new to do on the screen. In the female section, Radhika is the best, Preeti Desai looks great and inviting and Girija is ok.
So in all, SHOR IN THE CITY has a fine direction, good performances and some well executed sequences too. But with nothing new to reveal or surprise in its content, for me it just remains a good one time watch and not anything more than that as being projected.

Ratings : 2.5 / 5

Tags : SHOR IN THE CITY Movie Review, Just a good watchable attempt but nothing exceptionally new, Review By Bobby Sing at www.bobbytalkscinema.com, Tushar Kapoor, Nikhil Drivedi, Films on Mumbai Underworld, Pirated Book Publishnig Business, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com,
 
 
29 April 2011 / bobbysing /
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This write up is neither meant to hurt anybody nor intentionally written to degrade the creative capabilities of any particular person. But its just a truthful account of what I felt while watching the first look trailer of an upcoming children film “Stanley Ka Dabba”.

We know Aamir Khan directed the famous and well acclaimed film, “Taare Zameen Par” and surprised both his fans and people within the industry with his impeccable sensitive handling of the subject. The film went on to win hearts left and right and is now considered to be a milestone trendsetter project of the Hindi Film Industry.
But within that thundering applause the film received in its first few weeks, the feeble sound of a controversy couldn’t be heard related to a person named AMOL GUPTE who very quietly indicated that the movie was actually his brain child and a result of his years long work and experience with all those special children. He did not come forward very strongly on this but silently accepted whatever praise was offered to him for his work or may be stepped backward due to any other unknown reason. Here it has to be mentioned that Amol Gupte was credited in “Taare Zameen Par” as the Creative Director, Story, Screenplay & Dialogue writer of the film, which means making a lot of contribution in the film and its making.
However before this news, nobody even knew who was this Amol Gupte and may be that was the reason why the news of his claim quickly faded off and everybody just forgot having heard anything controversial about the film.
But now as you watch the Theatrical Trailer of “STANLEY KA DABBA”, the very first thought which comes to your mind is that, Is this a sequel to “TAARE ZAMEEN PAR”? or Is this film in anyway related to TZP?
The thought arises in your mind because surprisingly each scene, framework, shot taking technique, feel and look of STANTEY KA DABBA, looks exactly similar to TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. The film at once reminds you of all the children and their scenes shot within their school as seen in TZP. Their innocently spoken dialogues and sound of collective noise in the school corridors exactly looks like a deleted, unseen scene from TZP.
And this conflict of mind gets cleared, the moment, director’s name comes on the screen, which says, STANLEY KA DABBA - Directed by Amol Gupte.
The name reminds you of the controversy heard during the early days of TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and gives you a lot to think over, about the system and its working in Bollywood.
Now whether Aamir took over the project from Amol in the mid-way and enhanced it with his own creative inputs OR whether it was a Amol Gupte’s labour all the way, we don’t know. But at present the trailer of “STANLEY KA DABBA” strongly tell us that the director AMOL GUPTE did have a major – major role to play in the making of “TAARE ZAMEEN PAR”.
Do take a look at the Official Trailer of the film, at the following link and let me know about your views in the comments.
(Interestingly, while writing this article as I visit the IMDB page of the film “TAARE ZAMEEN PAR”, it shows two names under the DIRECTOR credits……….and in front of Amol Gupte’s name it is written ‘Un-Credited’ in brackets!)
Cheers!
Tags : Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Why the look, feel and treatment of Stanley Ka Dabba looks exactly similar to Taare Zameen Par - By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Amol Gupte And Aamir Khan Controversy on Taare Zameen Par, Who actually directed TZP, Original Director of Taare Zameen Par, Bollywood Inner Talks, Bollywood Secrets.
 
 
28 April 2011 / bobbysing /
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After many requests to comment upon this latest Punjabi film, I finally got to see it and here I am writing my first review of a Regional (Punjabi) film DHARTI, made with a decent budget and a better vision. Now though the film was not able to make any kind of great impact on me, but still I would like to start with all the merits associated with the film, particularly for all the friends who want to listen only good things about the movie.

The best thing about DHARTI is that it has been made with a completely different mind-set moving away from the usual fixed norms of a Punjabi film. And for this Jimmy Shergil has to be the mastermind, since he comes from a Bollywood background and is also one of the producers of the film, quite thoughtfully. Further looking at the current scenario, I strongly feel Jimmy is the only person who can be instrumental in giving a new direction to the Punjabi Film Industry by starting more such products in the near future with the help of his Mumbai experience and team.
So, very thankfully the film is not even close to anything routine and is a hardcore political thriller, which sticks to its subject throughout and doesn’t allow any useless romantic angles or comedy sequences to come in uninvited. The director and the production designer get full support of their producers having a good budget for them which shows on the screen and leaves an impression. As a rare event, the actors rise above their assigned roles and perform exceptionally well, even when the writers do not give them a solid backing. Lead by Jimmy Shergill and Rahul Dev, the film majorly becomes enjoyable due to their most believable and outstanding polished acts. However I would like to rate Rahul Dev’s performance better than even Jimmy Shergill, due to his remarkable dialogue delivery and the laid back amusing style chosen to enact his role. Prem Chopra as the veteran delivers another great Punjabi act after his “Rocket Singh – The Salesman of the Year”. Binnu Dhillon makes his presence felt but only towards the climax. Ranvijay, the famous Roadies Anchor, looks sharp and charming in his limited scenes. Surveen Chawla softly provides the required glamour touch to the movie as required and Japji Khera fills the second heroine place quietly. So from performances point of view, the director Navaniat Singh surely deserves his praises for extracting the best from almost everyone in the cast, which is not an easy task, especially in a regional film.
But that’s all, as far as merits are concerned and unfortunately I have more flaws to mention about the movie which many may not be willing to read or accept in reality.
1. First of all, I couldn’t understand what the title of the movie meant in context of its storyline. The film has neither got any scene or feeling of patriotism shown anywhere, nor does it talk about the farmers or productivity of the region in any sequence as suggested by the title, DHARTI. So the title misguides the viewer completely.
2. Secondly, in the promos we get to see Jimmy as an Air Force Officer and many shots of him flying in a fighter plane suggesting the theme to be related with war, our country’s pride or similar subjects. But very surprisingly AIR FORCE has nothing to do with the actual concept of the film and it has been added only to have some extra grandeur in the final product and nothing else. So all the viewers who are expecting something great to see, written around a War or Patriotism are sure going to be disappointed.
3. Coming to the main storyline of the film, truly speaking it’s the Hit Hindi Film RAJNEETI made in Punjabi minus the illegitimate sons, brutal murders and sensuous scenes. The writers religiously follow the Prakash Jha film giving it a different ending with a suspense element roped in which fails to impress. So if you have seen RAJNEETI, then this has nothing fresh in store for you as far as its subject or plot is concerned. However, if only DHARTI had released before RAJNEETI, (which I seriously doubt), it surely would have become the talk of the town within days of its hitting the screen on a national scale. But for now it can be called nothing more than a good copy.
4. While watching the movie, I seriously wanted to ask the director many straight forward questions which would have given him a real tough time. For instance, how can a respected, responsible Ace Air Force Officer go on the roads like drunk and sing “Gaddi Modhange, Signal Todhange”? That was quite ridiculous watching on the screen being done by an Air Force Officer along with a young college going boy. Next, if a person gets hit by a truck coming at a great speed, gets thrown into the air with full force and then falls down on the road almost dead……..then how can his turban still stick on his head right till the sequence when he is being taken to the Operation theater in the hospital. Come on, I know it’s a Punjabi film and we are dealing with all Sikh characters here, but at the same time we got to be realistic while shooting such scenes too.
5. Apart from the above, DHARTI has one of the most ridiculous, questionable, bizarre and absurd climaxes ever seen, where a Car hits a truck in its back, loaded with long iron rods which get pierced into the car’s front glass hitting both its driver and his companion. Now in the next scene we are shown that the person sitting on the side seat is having 8 to 10 iron rods gone through his whole body, but at the same time the driver has escaped the rods miraculously, may be because he was the hero as well as the producer of the film in reality. And then the film ends silently with the hero coming on the screen without any major wounds. With this climax, DHARTI gives you a feeling of a film made in 1970s or 80s when the people used to get thrilled watching the hero escaping all bullets and wounds by the grace of GOD. But luckily its 2011 now and the viewers have grown up watching loads of International Stuff regularly on their TV sets.
5. Further all the songs featuring in the film are deliberately inserted and have no melody or lyrical value in them of any sort. And I was really shocked to see that the most likable song, which was all written, performed and arranged perfectly by its makers, was used along with the closing titles of the film in a very silly way. In fact, this very song “Sarkaran” could have been easily used repeatedly in the background throughout the movie. The track undoubtedly would have given new meaning and energy to all those political rallies scenes shown in the film and would have added a solid punch to them, as I can visualise.
6. Talking about the creative look of the movie, I really felt that the way “Dharti” was written in its posters and promotional campaigns could have been much better. Along with that I would also like to mention that the promos and (misguiding) posters of this movie were very loosely made which actually demanded to be designed and conceived with more power and impact telling about the real picture in store for the viewers. But here I also sense as if the producers themselves did not want to reveal their actual movie in the promos as they knew that it was a copy of the already Hit “RAJNEETI”. So they very tactfully made all its promos and posters more around the AIR FORCE stuff and other things, which were not even there in the film in reality. So in short they tried to fool the viewers by presenting many different kind of promos giving it a patriotic feel as suggested by its title DHARTI.
7. Lastly the biggest flaw of the film is related with the casting of Ranvijay Singh in the movie in a very underwritten and unimportant role. Roping Ranvijay in a Punjabi film in the role of a College Students Union leader was a real ace in the hands of the director. But I really felt sorry both for the makers as well as for the actor when I saw the kind of treatment given to Ranvijay Singh in a side role having no importance at all in the script. That really made me doubt the intentions of the makers regarding Ranvijay’s appearance in the film. Now, what I feel is that either his role was cut to make any other person look stronger on the screen or he had some problems with the makers which resulted in his fewer scenes in the movie in the end. Whatever may be the case, it is a loss both for the producers and the viewers to see Ranvijay Singh missing the action on the screen in such a wasteful way.
Summing up, I can only say that DHARTI is undoubtedly a brave and much needed, out of the routine attempt made in the PUNJABI FILM INDUSTRY. But I seriously wish it had an original script of its own and was not a copy of RAJNEETI. The film has too many flaws in it to be called as something exceptional. But still it’s a welcome change in Punjab, making way for something more fresh, innovative and original to be made in the near future.
Ratings : 2.5 / 5
Tags : DHARTI Punjabi Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Its RAJNEETI made in Punjabi minus the illegitimate sons and brutal murders, but still an appreciable attempt., Dharti Punjabi Movie Review By Bobby Sing, Dharti Film Review By Bobby Sing, Dharti Review at www.bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
26 April 2011 / bobbysing /
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