A warm welcome to all friends visiting the site with a loving invitation to read my personal expressions on movies, music, poetry and life.

Music and Movies are like Ears and Eyes to me and if you also feel the same, then you are going to enjoy every moment spent on my works here, for sure.

Do send in your valuable comments and suggestions as they would be my guide for all the future works.

ENJOY!

HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI - A below average, feel good romantic comedy made on a repetitive predictable plot, once again trying to encash PAKISTAN as a comic element. (Review By Bobby Sing).

The inspirations behind SWADES (2004), including a '90s TV series where the director himself played the role of SRK. - By Bobby Sing (BTC Exclusive) (Did You Know - 87).

RUSTOM - Where the first half presents the real life case sensibly, the second half purposefully uses it as a spoof, resulting in a one-time watch crime drama that should have been just between Akshay and Pavan alone. (Review By Bobby Sing).

MOHENJO DARO - Its criminal to choose & agree to this kind of poor script for such a scale, investment and collective efforts by all. (Review By Bobby Sing).

GELO (Punjabi) - Despite its visible shortcomings, this is an appreciable attempt reviving the rich Punjabi literature & its inspiringly bold vision, especially for the young viewers. (Review by Bobby Sing).

BUDHIA SINGH BORN TO WIN - A well-made film on an amazing real life story that leaves you with a severe shock & many unanswered questions in mind raising an important debate. (Review By Bobby Sing).

FEVER - An overstretched thriller that stresses more on long conversations and steamy scenes than its mystery element. (Review By Bobby Sing).

THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL MISHRA - Once again a weird film forcing you to think that how such projects get approved and then made too without any alarm raised in time. (Review by Bobby Sing).

CHAUTHI KOOT (Punjabi) - A perfect example of cinematic art of storytelling with a thoughtful depiction of the dark times in Punjab, without any typical provocative inclusions or the usual biased stuff. (An overview by Bobby Sing).

The smart move of presenting old cult compositions as fresh Punjabi film songs to the unaware viewers. (A BTC Exclusive by Bobby Sing).

 
 
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August 25, 2016 Thursday     
Swades
Though SWADES (2004) was not a major box office charmer as per the expectations raised, yet it successfully won hearts and is widely considered as one of the finest works of three creative men namely, Ashutosh Govariker, Shah Rukh Khan and A. R. Rahman.
Apart from its heartwarming subject, lead performance and a melodious soundtrack, another contributor who silently left a mark on almost every single viewer watching the film remained Gayatri Joshi, who looked gorgeous in her first and only appearance as an effortless actress playing the role of Geeta. In fact such was the impact of her adorable act that the girl and her only film appearance is still remembered as one of those most lovable performances by many Hindi cinema enthusiasts including myself.
Receiving widespread critical acclaim, SWADES was also regarded as one of the finest films of the decade and along with CHAKK DE INDIA is often quoted among the career best performances of Shah Rukh Khan in an off-beat experimental film, other than his more famous ventures.
However not many are aware of the fact that the basic idea of its storyline or rather the exact idea of its major content came from a TV series aired at ZEE TV titled “Yule Love Stories” in the year 1993-95. And you are sure to get amazed reading the following pointers revealing the specific references taken from the two particular episodes of the series titled VAAPSI.
A. The director Ashutosh Gowariker himself played the character of a foreign returned young man in the serial that was enacted by SRK in SWADES using the same name as Mohan Bhargav.
B. In the serial too, Mohan first visits an old age home to meet his Kaveri Amma (the name remains the same in the film), but finds that she had already left the place a couple of years back and is now living in a small village with her young grand-daughter.
Yule Vapsi
C. Next there is the book shop sequence as seen in the film where Mohan agrees to sit behind the counter for a while on a request made by his owner friend. A customer steps on the books, a girl confronts him pointing out his mistake, Mohan watches them both, the girl brings a lot of books to the counter, keeps telling the right total while Mohan is calculating and then forgets to collect the change before leaving.
D. Post the book shop sequence, the lavish caravan features in the serial too and Mohan travels in it to the village Kaveri Amma is supposed to be living.
E. He reaches there and surprises Kaveri Amma exactly in the same manner as Shah Rukh Khan greets her in the film and then meets Geeta - the girl he had earlier met in the bookshop. (Again having the same name as used in the film)
Yule VapsiF. The story keeps proceeding on the similar lines and among other exactly identical scenes (as seen in the film) we have Mohan living in the caravan itself, an innocent postman/postmaster getting confused over the unknown inventions like FAX (it gets converted to E-mail in the film), Geeta angrily talking to Mohan while he is taking a bath, Mohan visiting the school and sitting in Geeta’s class as a student, his confession of love made in the classroom itself (standing next to the blackboard) and then both Geeta and Kaveri Amma not agreeing on leaving the village to get settled abroad.
G. However in the serial it all ends when instead of flying back Ashutosh decides to stay in the village along with Geeta and Kaveri Amma.
H. Considering the rural environment, amazingly even the house of Kaveri Amma in the serial reminds you of a similar one seen in SWADES and if I am not wrong then even after a gap of almost a decade, it’s the same actress (Kishori Ballal) playing Kaveri Amma in the film too who actually enriched the serial with an immensely likable warmth and natural ease.
Hence a major part of SWADES more or less remained exactly identical to the storyline and execution of these two-episodes of the series titled VAAPSI produced by Odyssey Video Communications Ltd. for Zee TV. Unfortunately the recently uploaded episodes (at Zee's OZEE app and website) don't have any credit details as such but according to an unconfirmed information available at a link it was Anand Subramanium who directed the two episodes in the mid 90s. Interestingly in case of the film SWADES, the credit of Story has been given to M. G. Sathya & Ashutosh Gowariker whereas Screenplay has been credited to only Ashutosh Gowariker.
Coming to the final section of the film related with the problem of electricity in the village, it was highly inspired from a real life incident when a NRI couple returning from abroad actually built a power generating unit in a village of Maharashtra.
The two social activists were Ravi Kuchimanchi and Aravinda Pillalamarri who returned to India with a mission to serve the country and through the collective efforts of the local villagers and other social organisations (Narmada Bachao Aandolan) were able to build a small power generating unit in the village of Bilgaon, Maharashtra in 2003. The successful initiative soon became a benchmark in the field of rural development and gained even more popularity around the states post the film’s release in 2004.
But unfortunately three years later in 2006, an unexpected flood washed away the innovative, inspiring project coming as a big blow to the villagers and the entire region again went back into the same decades old forgotten era of the ugly darkness.
As per the latest news reports, the project lies abandoned today due to various reasons including lack of water-flow in the river, no revival initiative by the state authorities and the usual hiccups. (Details of which can be read in the links shared towards the end of the write-up)
Among the other worth mentioning features of this new age classic:
1. The film begins with the quote of “Mahatma Gandhi” and interestingly its lead actor is also named as Mohan, most probably inspired from the real name of Gandhi as ‘Mohandas’. And the worth contemplating quote is,
“Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress”
2. The Opening titles also mention a book "BAPU KUTI: Journey In The Rediscovery of Gandhi" by Rajni Bakshi as an inspiration, since it’s about the people who courageously left their respective corporate careers only to work for the community following the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
And you can also spot the book lying on the desk in the scene, when Shah Rukh Khan is preparing a carry bag for Gayatri in the book shop.
3. Beginning with the sequences of SRK working in NASA, SWADES is the first Indian film to be shot in the premises of NASA Research Centre and the project SRK is working upon in the film is also an actual NASA project as reported. (The opening credits duly thank the Centre in details.)
4. The soundtrack of the film has a unique instrumental version of the song “Yeh Jo Des Hai Mera” with the lead melody played by a Shehnai, a short phrase of the same melody repeated throughout and a continuous chorus kind of sound that seems to be clipped from another track of the album (quite innovatively). Certainly an exceptional attempt made by A. R. Rahman that actually becomes a major highlight of the music album, probably being the only official instrumental version of a film song using the Shehnai.   
5. Lastly in another track “Pal Pal Hai Bhari” where the act of Ramleela is being staged in the second half of the film, one of the male voices singing the song is of director Ashutosh Govariker himself.
No doubt with such interesting lesser known features SWADES has a lot that can truly inspire many young creative minds as a worth watching new-age classic of Hindi Cinema.  
Cheers!
© Bobby Sing (Harpreet) – Bobbytalkscinema.com
17th August 2016
(With A Big Thanks to CHRIS for reminding me of the subject in his valuable comment) 

Useful links for interested readers:
Tags : Swades Inspirations, Swades inspird from Yule Love Stories, Swades inspired from Zee TV Serial, Swades inspired from real life inspired event at Bilgaon Maharashtra, Swades and real life project at Bilgaon, Swades and Shehnai song, Swades Bapu Kuti, Swades and Mahatma Gandhi, Swades and NASA, Swades as a must watch inspiring film.
 
 
17 August 2016 / bobbysing /
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Subah-O-Sham - 1

The news of our Prime Minister’s recent visit to Iran reminded me of Subah-O-Sham, the first Hindi film shot in Iran, released way back in 1972 as an Indo-Iranian project featuring Mohammad Ali Fardeen (or Fardin), the matinee idol of Iran as one of its lead actors (as mentioned in its titles) accompanied by Simin Gaffari, Loretta, Irin, Azar and more in the supporting cast.
Among the Indian actors it had Sanjeev Kumar and Waheeda Rehman playing the key roles under the direction of Chanakya (of Ram Aur Shyam fame). Story and produced by B. Radhakrishna, the film’s music was by Laxmikant Pyarelal, lyrics by Anand Bakshi and DOP by Khani, an Iranian cinematographer along with many other technicians from Iran.
Interestingly Sanjeev Kumar played the younger brother of the Iranian star in the film that actually revolved around an affair between Fardeen and Waheeda, who played an Indian-origin dancer by profession, not acceptable on any terms by Fardeen-Sanjeev’s royal family. Including a long comic sequence presenting Waheeda as a princess in front of their dominating mother, the film had all predictable twists in the script ending on a positive note wherein both Waheeda and the illegitimate child of the couple is finally accepted back into the family after a tragic incident.
Subah-O-Sham in IranIts soundtrack had Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Mohd. Rafi giving voices to songs “Chhorh Mujhe Peene De”, “Saaqi Ki Zaroorat Hai, Na Jaam Ki Zaroorat Hai”, “Teri Meri, Meri Teri Nazar Lad Gayi”, “Tumko Mubarak Ho Yeh Shaadi Khaana-aabadi”, “Meri Biwi Jahan Se Niraali Hai” and “Mere Laal Aaj Tera Janamdin Hai”.
Released with the title of Homaye Saadat (Bird of Happiness) in Iran, it had many known Indian actors dubbing for the Iranian cast in the Hindi version and it was Satyen Kappu who became the voice of the lead star Fardeen. Mostly shot in indoors instead of sets or outdoors in Iran, the film is one of those lesser known and discussed films of Hindi Cinema despite being the first Indo-Iranian project to be shot in the particular country featuring its famous star.

Cheers!
------------------------------------------
This article was published on NEWS18.com on 24th May 2016 with the title :
“Remembering ‘Subah-O-Sham’, the first Hindi Film shot in Iran.” – By Bobby Sing
------------------------------------------
Tags : Subah-O-Sham First Hindi film shot in Iran in 1972, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Did You Know 86 at bobbytalkscinema.com, Did You Know Book Series by Bobby Sing, Published by Notion Press
 
 
31 May 2016 / bobbysing /
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RDB

Keeping the initial phase apart, if we divide the history of Hindi films broadly into two segments, namely before and post the ‘90s, when the cable and digital revolution made its foray in India, then only two legendary artists, Amitabh Bachchan and R. D. Burman, have been able to leave a mark on every generation of these times through their amazing body of work. So either we talk about people born in the ‘60s, ‘70s or the ‘90s, these two legends have millions of fans from different age groups and are still continuing to win hearts in the present decade.
Incidentally the latest proof of this continuing love affair is the release of two new films in the week when this piece went to press. Wherein one is ‘Piku’ starring Amitabh Bachchan in the key role of a cute, eccentric father and second a comedy ‘Kuch Kuch Locha Hai’ featuring a remixed song of R. D. Burman, ‘Jaane Do Na’ from the film ‘Saagar’ (with all newly conceived antras/verses) picturised on the infamous Sunny Leone and Ram Kapoor.
However, returning to our key subject, the master composer is widely known for his melodious tracks, innovative orchestrisation and wide range of compositions made for various film and non-film projects. But not many are aware of the fabulous background scores composed by the veteran in his illustrious career apart from the evergreen familiar sounds of the epic ‘Sholay’. And one of those lesser-known projects, largely depending upon its background music alone, was O. P. Ralhan’s comic-thriller ‘Hulchul’ released in 1971.
OP Ralhan creates HulchulIn fact, it’s the only film of R. D. Burman that had no songs as such but just a title track with the word ‘Hulchul’ sung by RDB and Asha Bhosle. Plus a more than seven-minute long, superbly choreographed dance sequence (beginning with the commentary by Amrish Puri) performed by Helen on a well-composed instrumental track representing various cultures of the world and our own traditional dance forms with RDB singing some abstract phrases occasionally.
Based on a mysterious plot of a husband planning to kill his wife, ‘Hulchul’ was promoted with a tag line ‘Most Unusual Motion Picture Ever Made’ introducing both Kabir Bedi and Zeenat Aman on screen (as mentioned in its titles)and had an unpredictably entertaining climax, which was never seen before in a Hindi film. The timely use of its title track at regular intervals with an apt background score did bring up the thrilling moments in the film quite beautifully and thus one has to acknowledge RDB’s evident contribution made to its mysterious story progression.
So if you are a true, die-hard RDB fan, then either you must have already seen ‘Hulchul’ or would be going for it at the earliest to witness the only project of the maestro with no songs but a powerful background score making a solid impact.
Bobby Sing

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(This article of BTC was published on IBNLIVE website on 13th May 2015 with the following title)

"When an R. D. Burman film had no songs in it" - By Bobby Sing
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Tags : Did You Know facts about Hindi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema, Unknown Hindi Films Facts by Bobby Sing, Lesser known facts about Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing, RD Burman and his only film with no songs, RD Burman's background scrore, Bobby Sing at IBN Live, Rare Facts on Bollywood by Bobby Sing
 
 
14 May 2015 / bobbysing /
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