Bobby Talks Cinema.com - Bollywood Movie Reviews, Inspired Cinema, Movies To See Before You Die, Articles on Cinema, Music, Poetry & Life.

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!

KAHAANI 2 - A casually written crime thriller based on a sensitive subject that happens to be a forced, unrelated sequel with just a better first half. (Review by Bobby Sing).

ARRIVAL (English) - One might have different views overall, but this should not be missed and essentially needs to be seen in the theater as an unmissable audio-visual marvel spreading the message of PEACE. (Review By Bobby Sing).

MOH MAAYA MONEY - Such immature and outdated crime-deceit drama in the present times could have only been made by a team not well familiar with many crime mystery films or (Hindi/English) novels to be straight. (Review By Bobby Sing).

DEAR ZINDAGI - Unexpectedly repetitive and a wannabe kind of film from a promising director, irresponsibly wasting the earnest performances of both Alia and Shah. (Review by Bobby Sing).

MERE SAPNO KI RANI - The one exceptional phrase connecting K. L. Saigal, Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna together. (Did You Know - 88).

CHAAR SAHIBZAADE : RISE OF BANDA SINGH BAHADUR (Punjabi/Hindi) - With no energetic & exciting portrayal, this can strictly be watched for some lesser known historical facts of the early 18th century, but not as any detailed, insightful account of the era. (Review By Bobby Sing).

DOCTOR STRANGE (English/Hindi) - Begins like a classic but ends on the same routine note with some splendid, worth watching graphics in 3D. (Review by Bobby Sing).

TUM BIN 2 - An emotional first half, likable performances and the nostalgic cult song results in a fairly watchable (average) film, sadly based on an almost exact (cliched) format of its original. (Review By Bobby Sing).

FORCE 2 - If only you interpret a spy movie as nothing else than continuous action, chases, guns, explosions and foreign locations. Strictly avoidable! (Review by Bobby Sing).

ROCK ON 2 - It has a few mature sequences but not recommended even if they offer the tickets in return of the old currency notes. (Review By Bobby Sing).

 
 
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December 04, 2016 Sunday     

Island-City-Review at Bobbytalkscinema.com

A few days back renowned director Sudhir Mishra shared a valuable insight through his tweet remembering the maestro filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, and he said,
“The master once told a group of us in Tokyo that if you think you’re a director then you must have many stories!”
The quote at once got me sold, as that’s exactly what I look for in each and every film I see and the book I read, meeting a wide range of characters which is not really possible as an individual relating and interacting to a limited number of people in a life span of say 70 years.
These fresh, novel stories give us the opportunity of being with many new unknown characters studying their contrasting thought processes enriching our own being, and that’s precisely what Ruchika Oberoi’s ISLAND CITY offers in her rare insightful film conceived in an almost perfect manner justifying the maestro’s quote.
With an apt title as ISLAND CITY, this is a brave, powerful film that forces you to stop for a while and think about the way we all have been living since the last two decades with the technology turning us into mere mechanical robots living like an island far away from our real close friends and family.
The film follows an intelligently crafted narration introducing the viewers to its lead characters in three distinctive related stories or sections representing aimless robotic living, loneliness and purposeful feeding of our minds cleverly conceived by the successful marketing agencies. It gives you an insight into the life lived in the metros like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR or Bangalore with a sharp sarcasm. A strong satire on the present style of living wherein we are more interested in constantly looking into our web connected gadgets (affecting the mind & spine both) instead of the people around. In fact this is the net-savvy age where we wake up searching for the mobile phones lying somewhere over the bed instead of anything else.
In other words here is a rare Hindi film which truly excels due to its exceptionally innovative writing, futuristic execution and performances along with adequate dosage of fun, sarcasm, tragedy, empathy and blind following too. But here instead of revealing the three interconnected stories ruining their immensely valuable surprise element, I would like to give you an indicative hint that ideally should inspire you enough to search for this movie and go for it at the earliest to cherish a novel experience rarely offered by our Hindi Cinema.
The first story is titled FUN COMMITTEE
- And its about most of us working for various multi-national companies regularly reminding us of their ‘so called liberal policies‘ which always take an extra special care of their employees, their personal needs and the leisure time too. In fact it makes you recall the numerous times you had actually thought of picking a gun and shooting them all in that awful round table meeting in the last many years, enacted by one of the most underrated but fabulous actor Vinay Pathak.
The second and the most shocking story of the three is titled GHOST IN THE MACHINE.
- Introducing you to a simple middle class family with their sole bread earner (the husband) lying on his dead bed in the hospital, it’s about how this sudden tragic instance ‘positively’ changes the entire life of his wife, two young school going boys and the old mother living together. (Yes you rightly read the word ‘positively’)
The most appreciable and eye-opener section of the film, this one brutally honest story makes you accept and realize two extreme blunt truths of our new-age lifestyle which many would like to ignore or never think about.
A. In the present ‘gadget led life of this new millennium’ there are moments when we prefer ignoring and avoiding our close loving family members too for that one episode on TV or for that one continuing discussion/post/tweet at Facebook or Twitter.
(I think it will be hard to deny this ugly truth!)
B. At times, may be unwillingly or confusingly we do feel like celebrating the ‘absence’ of someone close who constantly keeps interfering in our individual life, personal aspirations or way of living. May be with a deep guilt or regret, we often feel like living alone without that one annoying person due to our own selfish motives or satisfaction.
Is thinking in that manner, refusing to sacrifice one’s own identity or life really a grave sin……is the question this story asks from its insightful viewers?
(Frankly, you are going to get this perfectly only after watching the film.)
This particular section of ISLAND CITY hits you the hardest, due to its ‘never before’ kind of shocking revelation and the flawless performances by Amruta Subhash (as the wife) and Uttara Baokar (as the mother) along with the young boys. Plus the way Ruchika brilliantly expresses this extremely difficult thought focusing on a typical Saas-Bahu TV drama running parallel to the actual storyline is nothing short of a rare, courageous insertion seen in an Indian Hindi film after a long time.
The third story is rightly titled CONTACT.
- And its about an average looking girl going through a mental transformation as she starts hearing praises for her beauty all of a sudden from a pleasant undisclosed source.
Interestingly this third section of ISLAND CITY, looking into the possibilities of gradually influencing the mind through constant positive suggestions made me recall two much appreciated cult English classics namely BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999) and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) which also talked about exploring the human mind in a completely different and innovative manner (that might be offensive for many). However if a Hindi film makes you recall these two outstanding gems from the much advanced cinema of the world’s renowned directors, then its nothing short of an unexpected, worth applauding achievement for sure as per my personal opinion.
The key character of the girl in this story is superbly played by Tannishtha Chatterjee who gets a decent support from Chandan Roy Sanyal playing her steady boyfriend.
Collectively, yes at times the three stories do get into the predictable zone for a while but the characterization doesn’t let that kill the flow and the performances contribute in the whole intriguing process with a stunning ease.
Admittedly it’s not easy to write and visualize a film like ISLAND CITY without compromising with the usual songs or spoon feeding loved by the Hindi film viewers. Thankfully debutant director Ruchika Oberoi makes her film exactly as she wished to and that’s precisely the reason it turns out to be like a fresh morning breeze in the overstuffed pollution of all mediocre Hindi movies made on the similar repetitive plots.
Supporting the thoughtful director, the cinematography compliments the proceedings beautifully and the background music excels at places with the use of the rarely heard Sitar expressing the right mood.
On the other hand, no doubt ISLAND CITY makes you think, sympathize and laugh too in a thoughtful satirical manner at the absurdities of this media-based life. Yet it isn’t a happy film at all giving you a clear idea. The three stories in the film do not have any positive culminations and they all end at a very shocking as well as sad note with no motive of impressing or reassuring the viewers with some kind of calculative end (another reason why it is a rare Hindi film and one of the best of 2016 unarguably).
Summing up, ISLAND CITY deservingly moves to BTC’s "Movies To See Before You Die" List for its second and third setions in particular. So if you are game for such out of the box, deep, and disturbing stories forcing you to sit back and think, then do search for the film and watch it at the earliest making an extra effort.
Rating : Movies To See Before You Die (Drama)
(Note : It was a treat to watch the film without any official interval, which ideally should be the way of enjoying such intense movies.)
Tags : Island City Review by Bobby Sing, Island City (Hindi) Film Review by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Films List at BTC, Movies To See Before You Die list at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Watch Hindi Films List at bobbytalkscinema.com, 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
 
 
28 September 2016 / bobbysing /
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Chauthi-KootBefore going into details, I would like to begin by calling CHAUTHI KOOT - a ‘tricky cinematic masterpiece’ that deserves to be seen as a must by both the elders as well as the youngsters together. And the word tricky has been used for two particular reasons that are sure to clear much confusion in your mind about the film’s actual content.
Firstly the term ‘tricky’ has been used for its unique title, which (though) is in Punjabi, but still remains ‘alien’ to more than 80% of even the born Punjabis, knowing and speaking the language since their early years. Honestly speaking, I also could guess its meaning taking a clue from one particular line of Gurbani as ”Chaarey Kunda Bhaal Ke”, meaning “After searching all four directions”. So CHAUTHI KOOT here literally means “The Fourth Direction” for both the Punjabi and non-Punjabi friends looking for the title’s actual meaning.
Secondly the film is tricky, because the moment one comes to know about its basic subject revolving around the dark times of Punjab in the mid-80s, he or she starts imagining the repetitive visuals of brutal killings, exploitation, police encounters and youngsters becoming extremists as earlier shown in various films of the past en-cashing the ‘sensitive subject’. Whereas CHAUTHI KOOT has nothing of that sort at all in its two hours of duration to clear all possible doubts.
In fact the film is neither about the 1984 riots in Delhi nor is any propaganda film made against the establishment giving you any chance of saying ‘Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal’ in the theatres pumped up by some intense, aggressive sequence as expected by a certain section of viewers excited by the 80s connection.
So on the cost of disappointing many reading this detailed write-up, I would like to add that you might have seen many movies, docudramas, documentaries, short films, clips or more based on that unforgettable dark era of Punjab in the mid-80s, but CHAUTHI KOOT is simply not interested in giving you anything similar to that making a brave move. Moreover the film goes way beyond your imagination presenting an entirely different perspective that cannot be compared with any previous film on the subject till date whatsoever.
Making it more clear, this is actually pure storytelling through the medium of cinema making the best possible use of realistic visuals (cinematography), actual locations, minimum dialogues, natural sounds, effective lighting and all relatable performances transforming you back into those uncertain times, but not in any usual (filmy) manner you have anywhere experienced before.
Incorporating two different stories of Punjabi’s renowned writer Waryam Singh Sandhu, the film is directed by Gurvinder Singh, who also won the Best Director National Award for his last Punjabi film ANHEY GOHDEY DA DAAN in 2014. Executing and visualizing the writer’s vision in the most authentic manner on screen, Gurvinder narrates the two stories unrelated to each other, which might be an issue for some viewers searching for an obvious interconnection between the two. But if you can overcome this one (possible) shortcoming of the film then CHAUTHI KOOT has a lot more to offer, forcing you to think about the uncertain life lived by the innocent people of those times in hundreds of small villages without any other alternative.
Here talking about the two stories, would like to mention one particular shot that got stuck in my mind for long and it was the dissolve shot merging the two narrations, wherein the back of a cart gets converted into the back of a train’s last compartment focusing on the two railway lines.
Having praised the film in length, it also needs to be warned that this isn’t going to be an easy watch for many looking for the same cliched stuff related with Punjab’s extremist movement clashing with the party in power of those times. CHAUTHI KOOT progresses at a very slow pace, with even the dialogues coming at long intervals and silence playing a big role in the narration which might be disturbing for friends habitual of watching the fast paced mainstream cinema as a routine.   
Besides, the film is not about any political or extremist figure, any group or revolt against the system to be precise. On the contrary it’s about those ordinary people and families that unnecessarily used to get caught in the crossfire between the forces and the militants resulting in a tense atmosphere of fear and uncertainty affecting one and all.
With no intention of revealing the basic plots, I would like to suggest that if possible please avoid reading many reviews online and watching its trailer too since a lot of advance information is sure to kill the shocking surprise element of the film and you will never be able to feel the tension as conceived by the writer and director together.
Accompanied by a superbly designed sound and brilliant cinematography with breathtaking visuals of wide fields, paths, swaying trees, the lonely house and that one long shot of vehicles with old people going for a protest, CHAUTHI KOOT deserves to be seen in the theatre. And you will simply be killing the whole effort, watching it on any kind of smaller screen ranging from 5 to 32 inches following the routine habit.
Performed by mostly an unknown cast including Suvinder Vikky, Rajbir Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur Bhangu, Kanwaljit Singh, Rajbir Kaur, Harnek Aulakh, Tejpal Singh and the two kids, the well-chosen actors never make you feel the inexperience in even a single scene, for which the entire credit goes to their director Gurvinder Singh. And this remains one of the big reasons for the film getting a loud appreciation at Cannes and many other film festivals all over the world, along with receiving the Best Punjabi Film National Award for the year 2015 in the country itself.
Heading towards the end, I still feel like writing something out of the box to influence you to watch CHAUTHI KOOT strictly in the theatres, despite lesser shows and odd timings ignoring the limitations of our exhibition system. So here is some information that might make the difference helping you to take a decision as desired.
The film is on two short stories taken from Sahitya Akademi award winning collection of Waryam Singh Sandhu titled Chauthi Koot (Fourth Direction) and Main Hun Theek Thaak Haan (I’m Fine Now). So the title of the film comes from one of the original story only.
As per the writer’s recent interview, both these stories are based on true events happened with his known people and family members, written with some creative freedom in order to enhance their overall impact. The writer has also been given due credit for the film’s dialogues too as some of the lines have been used as it is in the film, as there in the original published stories.
In one of his radio interview, director Gurvinder Singh reveals the actual meaning of his title CHAUTHI KOOT as the fourth direction a person normally fears to go for. The most risky and uncertain direction of the four, which one doesn’t wish to take until it becomes a matter of life and death without any choice left. However, after watching the film, I personally thought of another meaning of the title wherein the fourth direction can also be denoted by those innocent speechless creatures having no value of their own caught between the militants, authorities and the ordinary-common man representing the other three.
Giving you some indicative details, CHAUTHI KOOT is one unique film that dares to present those difficult times by focusing on the loving adorable relationship between a man and his pet animal against the backdrop of militancy and military forces in Punjab. Being more specific, one of its stories entirely talks about the pet DOG in the house and how it becomes the linking force between the family, armed forces and the visiting militants.
Truly surprising you with its strong, thought provoking content, moving far ahead than any of the earlier films made on Punjab’s separatists movement, CHAUTHI KOOT’s soul lies in its true to life, innovative stories fulfilling the basic purpose of CINEMA……..and that’s the reason it goes into the Movies To See Before You Die List at BTC.
Hoping that the above few lines rightly inspire you to go for it at the earliest, please do watch this film in the theatres as that’s the only way we can support such courageous, meaningful cinema and its exceptionally talented team thinking out of the routine.
Rating : Movies To See Before You Die
(Note: Wish they had made an entirely different trailer, as the present one reveals a lot killing the surprise element, giving many vague ideas to the viewers about something, which the film doesn’t directly talks about in details.)
Tags : Chauthi Koot Review by Bobby Sing, Chauthi Koot Punjabi Film Review by Bobby Sing, Chauthi Koot on Punjab, Militancy movement in Punjab in the 80s, Movies To See Before You Die List at BTC, Gurvinder Singh, Must Watch Movies, Not To Be Missed Punjabi Movies, Authentic Movies in Punjab Issue, Worth Watching Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
04 August 2016 / bobbysing /
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Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingIf you are in any way related to India and Pakistan, but yet unaware of a legend called Saadat Hassan Manto, then allow me to say that you haven’t really experienced one of the most blessed and brutally honest story tellers belonging to both the nations yet. And probably haven’t felt, read or known the actual, hidden reality behind three key subjects of life namely - a human’s eternal struggle with sexual lust, the sad state of woman in our sick-biased society and the unimaginable-horrendous bloodbath seen in the years of Indian partition around 1947.
In fact any kind of study about Indian Partition can easily be considered as ‘Incomplete’ if the person hasn’t looked into those times through the deep, sharp and straightforward expressions of Janaab Saadat Hassan Manto.
Among the most famous characters created by the maestro is of Sardar Bishan Singh, also known as Toba Tek Singh by the name of his native land, and this one story has been adapted several times before by various writer-directors of different eras since its origin post the Indian Partition. However after watching this latest adaptation by Ketan Mehta and his team featuring Pankaj Kapur, I haven’t got a slightest of doubt in rating it as the best ever film made on this particular story till date …….. that is sure to remain THE BEST looking at the present scenario around in terms of thoughtful filmmaking.
The above expression might sound ‘a bit exaggerated’ to many, but there is actually more than one reason for such praises articulated in the descriptive heading above, explained in the following points.
Adaptation – The present version of the story TOBA TEK SINGH excels as an adaptation since it rises much above the level of mere presenting the story as written by Manto, following a quite descriptive and innovative narrative never seen before in any other adaptation of the subject till date.
Interpretation – It has the rare merit of interpreting the original idea of its writer in the most authentic, meaningful and heart-touching manner that was more or less missing in all the previous attempts made by the various directors. May be because, they were just sticking to the famous storyline without trying any innovation or reaching its actual depth in absence of any gifted artist to play the lead role of Sardar Bishan Singh.
Visualisation - Though having a short duration of around 70-75 minutes, Ketan Mehta never visualizes it as a short film and shoots it exactly like a full length feature with a brilliant art direction, splendid camerawork and a perfect casting. Plus it’s the background music that truly enhances its overall impact on the viewer exactly like ‘a period drama’ shot at a decent scale. Having said that, I personally did feel the much required heart-piercing melody missing in those traditional verses & alaaps added just at the right moments in its various important sequences.    
Expansion - The most important and exclusive feature of Ketan’s TOBA TEK SINGH remains its highly appreciative, well thought of and pleasantly creative expansion given to the story idea by Ketan as the writer too.
And why it’s exceptional?
Because (hold your breath), Ketan adds the character of Saadat Hassan himself in the script as the Officer-In-Charge of the mental asylum, who has a passion of writing short stories. So he narrates the whole story of Sardar Bishan Singh and his inmates through the eyes of Saadat only that truly deserves a great unanimous applause indeed. 
Amalgamation - The second exclusive feature of this unmissable venture is that its just not the presentation of a single story of MANTO, but an amalgamation of more than one famous works of his, beautifully interwoven in the narrative giving a sudden unexpected shock to the viewers (as always there in Manto’s last lines). But maintaining ‘the exclusivity’, I will not like to ‘OPEN’ the name of that other prominent story featured in the film as a significant addition.
Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingEnactment - A film like TOBA TEK SINGH can never be made by a director alone, even if he has an outstanding vision in his mind to present a particular script idea. A director always remains dependent upon a team of equally talented actors who can enact his vision on screen in the most accurate manner. And to give them their much deserving credit, this particular gem could only become possible due to three highly talented and blessed artists namely Pankaj Kapur (as Toba Tek Singh), Vinay Pathak (as Officer Saadat Hassan) and the actor playing the role of asylum’s old caretaker. Together these three simply transport you into that painfully tragic era when even the decades old friends suddenly turned into two deadly enemies.
Individually where Pankaj gives another powerful, career best performance as Sardar Bishan Singh; Vinay very subtly plays his assigned role of Saadat Hassan with an adorable elegance and the old caretaker simply wins your heart with his constant smile and well written one liners right from the first scene itself.
In fact post experiencing this magnificent film, one is forced to accept the ugly fact, that how in our country we do not recognize and honour the blessed masters of their art in their given lifetime and always try to present them as the most loved and respected achievers of their field when they are already gone.
Sharing my personal viewpoint, the moment I read the story of TOBA TEK SINGH in the early 90s, I had only two actors in mind who could authentically portray the tough character on screen with their own conviction. One was Virender Saxena, who played the role of an eccentric, thin-bodied Sikh in the widely acclaimed TV series TAMAS, and two – Pankaj Kapur who could easily slip into the body of Sardar Bishan Singh knowing the language, tradition and region at a personal level. Luckily the role reached the most deserving candidate after almost three decades and the result is finally here proving my assumption right.
On a concluding note, this ‘lesser known’ gem should soon be released by the producers (Zee) either in the selected theaters or on any of their TV channels at the earliest, since TOBA TEK SINGH is not only a film with the power to transform hearts at both sides of the wires installed ...... but its also a rare masterpiece created by a blessed, visionary team that ideally should not be kept away from its starving audience for long.
(Note : The film has been made as a part of the Zee’s Zeal of Unity initiative wherein renowned directors from India and Pakistan are brought in together for making some thoughtful films.)

Rating : Movies To See Before You Die
(Make sure you do watch the film (when available) as well as read MANTO as the ‘next urgent task’ of your life and stay blessed.)
Cheers!
Tags : Toba Tek Singh Review by Bobby Sing, Toba Tek Singh Short Film Review by Bobby Sing, Manto's Toba Tek Singh by Ketan Mehta, Films made on Manto's stories, 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, Movies To See Before You Die, Must Watch Hindi Films, Unmissable Films made on Manto's stories.
 
 
27 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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