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January 27, 2015 Tuesday     

Rang Rasiya

Hindi Cinema has never been keen on making enlightening biographies, especially of any talented creative artists born in our part of the world in the last century. In the beginning we made movies on all mythological characters and then the focus shifted on to the life of key historical figures, freedom fighters, rebels and occasionally a sportsman or a business tycoon too as seen in the recent times. But very rarely we have made a film (not documentaries) on any creative artist of our country who had an exceptionally god gifted talent in any particular artistic stream and celebrated his entire life with the blessed art right till the last days.
Thankfully, RANG RASIYA is one of those rare and important biographical dramas based on the life of 19th century painter RAJA RAVI VARMA, who was the pioneer artist, painting the divine Indian GODS and GODESSES on his canvas with an exceptional grace and beauty. Directed by Ketan Mehta the period drama stars Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen in the lead but unfortunately remained in the cans for six long years since its completion in 2008.
Now where a few blame the internal disputes of the makers as the cause of this long delay in its release, others mention its extremely bold scenes as the key reason for getting stuck in the censors, in order to avoid any communal unrest among the people. Anyway, whatever the reason might be, the sad irony remains that despite being a rare, courageous film made on one of the most famous Indian painters (who earned a world acclaim too), the project could found no takers till recently, when Randeep Hooda became a part of some highly successful films at the box office making a name of his own. Hence where the censors & controversies can be termed as the front side of the coin, the completely business minded & cruel exhibition norms of the industry form its other hidden side, never giving the much needed support to such artistic films since last many decades of our film-history to say the bitter truth.
Moving ahead, the film has now reached the theatres and is available for all the lovers of such meaningful or enlightening cinema waiting desperately. But if in case it fails to find a decent number of viewers in the theatres post this prolonged wait, then it will declare we the audience too as a part of this questionable partial system ruining such great attempts made, on a constant basis.
Recalling my experience of watching RANG RASIYA, I luckily saw it in a Film festival last year and was simply enthralled by the life experiences of the celebrated painter RAJA RAVI VARMA and the hardships he had to face leading him to the court of law on the charges of spreading vulgarity. Based on the biographical novel by Ranjit Desai the film passionately talks about Varma’s obsessive art and the struggle to practice his free artistic expressions depicting the mythological characters creatively. And many would be stunned to know that though his exquisite paintings were getting famous all over the world in that particular era, the artist was arrested in his own country on the charge of obscenity and offending religious & cultural sentiments of the public by painting in an indecent manner.
Frankly, RANG RASIYA was an eye opener for me too as I was also not aware of such astonishing facts about one of the greatest Indian painters of my own country. And that is exactly why bio-pics need to be made like an effective means of spreading awareness in the present generation to be precise. Yes, technically it can easily be called an artistically inclined film made with a sincere motive accompanied by a decent cinematography, average soundtrack (which could be much better) and impressive performances by the entire cast led by Randeep Hooda and the gorgeous Nandana Sen.
However it’s not the technical qualities for which the film is being included here in the list of must watch movies, but it’s the informative value of its shocking as well as educative content which essentially needs to be told to our younger generation and not to be slipped under the carpet as some forgettable part of our history. So ignoring all the controversies and unnecessary delay over its release, I would like to recommend watching RANG RASIYA as a must, since its a film which would straight away remind you of a sharp contradictory truth of the recent times related with another legendary artist M. F. Hussain.
Putting it more clearly, what we did with M. F. Hussain is nothing new as the same had been done with Raja Ravi Varma too way back in the 19th century. So its only the calendar changing its dates, whereas our thinking patterns still remain the same insulting the creative minds of the nation, giving them awards posthumously and refusing their respected dues in their lifetimes following a shameful pattern.
With a hope that the future India would learn this important lesson of giving that ‘artistic freedom’ to its creators through this brave, thoughtful and honest depiction by Ketan Mehta, do watch this at the earliest and know more about your history with a different perspective.
Directed By Ketan Mehta
Written By Sanjeev Dutta & Ketan Mehta
Starring : Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen & more.

(NOTE : Originally posted in March 2014 and reposted the edited version after the film's official release on 7th November.)

Tags : Rang Rasiya (2008), Rang Rasiya Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Rang Rasiya Film Review at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die Biographical, Must Watch Films List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Ketan Mehtas unreleased film, Indian biopic on Raja Ravi Varma, Not To Be Missed Films on Indian Creative Artists, Worth Watching Biographical films made on Indian Artists.
07 November 2014 / bobbysing /
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A new horror movie having 30-40% occupancy in its first early morning show once again strengthened my strong belief that Indian filmgoers are always ready for a good spooky movie without any doubt. However on the other side, the sad fact remains that 8 out of 10 times, they mostly feel like fools walking out of the theater after watching these badly made films in the name of horror, trying to earn some quick bucks through a cunningly planned promotional campaign.
Following the same intentions, here is RAGINI MMS 2 ready to make a fool out of the viewers once again, with the western porn star Sunny Leone promising you the glimpses of something which you must have already seen in its complete form on your PCs, Laptops or mobiles in all possibilities. And when a clever production house signs a famous, gorgeous girl who has no hesitation to bare it all in front of the camera for a Hindi horror film then there is no better recipe to make such a project, especially for our ‘sex-starved’ Indian market and that too with two hit party tracks working as a perfect icing on the cake ensuring its safe run.
Hence telling you the truth, RAGINI MMS 2 is not any so called horror film or a sequel at all. Instead it’s just a specially written and designed project (with no script as such), simply aiming at giving all its male audience a kind of ‘mental sexual pleasure’ in that dark ambience of the theater & nothing else. En-cashing the buzz around their earlier hit RAGINI MMS (2011), the famous production house vaguely takes the story forward and then conceives the whole project just like ‘a soft-porn’ made in the name of horror.
The so called sequel revolves around a movie shoot happening in the same haunted house of its first part. But in reality its every single scene has been written to use or exploit the ‘all willing star’, Sunny Leone in the best possible manner on the screen and the lady has also readily done everything what she is known for, offering a variety of erotic scenes. To give you a fair idea of its story progression, after a good scary sequence right in the opening, we have the ‘Babydoll’ song and then the director straight away shows Sunny undressing in her green room, being watched by the (in-film) director openly. Next she does a detailed moaning scene as if involved in a sex act in front of the whole unit to prove her acting skills followed by a long, bold bathroom sequence where even blurring effect has been used to hide her visible assets. A lesbian act involving Sandhya Mridul is thrown in without any purpose post the interval and then Sunny takes off all her clothes deep inside a lake seducing a lusty man to jump inside. After all these deliberately inserted suggestive scenes the director returns back to his basic theme of horror in the last 15 minutes, exactly like a clean-up activity required post the dirty act. And that is all what the film has got to offer in its 2 hours of duration.
Along with the sexual content, RMMS2 also features few cheap double meaning dialogues keeping everything focusing at the sex element alone. Plus we have some foreign film references too as usual, like the two little girls reminding you of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (2003) right away.
In the performances, Sunny Leone perfectly knows why she is being signed by these Bollywood producers eagerly and she daringly delivers what is expected from her too with a visible ease. The girl has an expressive body language and speaking eyes but her well known background doesn’t let you think of her as an actor even for a minute to put it honestly. Still it seems she is really trying hard to learn the basics of this art-form fast and may achieve what she wishes to in the near future.
The supporting cast has many over the top acts, repeatedly giving you an indication of the project being nothing but a quickly made, sexy marketing product to gain some quick profits. And it is really weird to see actors like Parveen Dabbas, Sandhya Mridul & Karan Mehra playing it so loud, forcefully in their respective roles. On the other hand, Saahil Prem at least plays it decently as required, Divya Dutta remains wasted in her short role as the ultimate savior but watching Anita Hasanandani in such a silly role was nothing short of a shock as I strongly felt. In fact this simply tells you a truth, that how a powerful production house can make or break the career of aspiring actors so cruelly as per their own wish.
For friends who wish to know about the horror element in the film, it just has the scary faces popping out from here and there, with some screechy sounds as usual and nothing beyond that. The camera remains more interested in capturing Sunny’s inviting curves throughout and does a pretty routine job in canning the creepy scenes, probably as instructed by the producer and not the director. So its only the two hit songs ‘Baby Doll’ & ‘Chaar Botal Vodka’ (used in the end credits), which give you some relief moments in this otherwise sick, sex product coming from a reputed production house, disguised as a horror film.
To sum up, looking at this film presented as a HORREX venture, I feel relieved that we have CENSOR BOARD here to stop these people to go over the board following their greedy intentions. Otherwise with a lead like Sunny Leone available to show it all, these production houses are capable of making any kind of sleazy product in the name of Cinema as it seems in order to make their quick money.
Rating : 1 / 5 (Just for the songs)
Tags : Ragini MMS 2 Review By Bobby Sing, RMMS2 Film Review, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.Bewakoofiyaan Movie Review by Bobby Sing, 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
21 March 2014 / bobbysing /
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In the last few years, particularly after debacles such as Saawariya & Guzaarish, the works of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali are being studied from extremely diverse angles by two different sections of viewers quite interestingly. Where one set of audience considers him to be a sheer genius and a master of his art with a great sense of music, the other simply considers him an over-rated director who has mostly worked on inspired projects and that too stressing more on their looks, feel, colours and art department rather than the script and the much required entertainment factor.
Honestly, I also consider myself to be the part of this second group keeping in mind his last two films and my belief got strengthened further after watching his latest RAM-LEELA which remains another self-obsessed, colourful but over-stuffed painting on the celluloid with some exceptional brush strokes failing to generate any huge impact on the viewer in totality. So yes, as expected (and as usual) this new SLB-Leela is again full of sparkling colours, stunning visuals, few dream like sets with peacocks and trees, an intense drama, actors trying to get deep into the skin of their characters, some melodious tracks and a forcibly enjoyable chemistry between the lead characters undoubtedly. But yet in the end, it all seems to be completely artificial, disoriented, overblown and excessive in nature as I felt, failing to make any kind of direct emotional connection with the viewer watching it passionately.
The film does have its worth watching moments which are mostly to be found in its first half watching the lead pair together doing their lusty sexual acts (questionably) portrayed as Eternal LOVE. But post intermission it all fizzles out drastically and the director tries to add too many unconvincing twists and turns taking it to an unnerving end sadly. No doubt few magical moments do come in at various intervals, consolidating the director’s famous status in the industry. But regrettably they are not something fresh or path-breaking, since either they remind you of a song sequence of his mega hit “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” or of a powerful scene of “Devdas” giving you a seen before kind of feel, repeatedly. The soundtrack too is able to impress only partially with a few good tracks in the initial reels and as the film progresses their excessive use starts becoming annoying, particularly in the second half.
To say the truth, being a powerful love story as per its theme, I found the famous “Bhansali Feel of Love” also missing in the film replaced by lust, sex and double meaning dialogues quite surprisingly. For instance, I may sound to be an ‘old timer’ but I don’t think a girl can easily come forward and give a straight smooch to a boy if he looks good and of her own type just in the first meeting itself in a public place. Moreover the way both the boy and girl start rolling over each other on the bed with several kisses one after another in their second meeting only…………, for me it wasn’t anything close to ‘Pure Love’ but only Lust, Sex or Body Hunger and nothing else.
Interestingly such depiction of love was not there in any of Bhansali’s earlier films. The director never showed his love birds in this kind of sexy, lusty avatars ever before. Hence undoubtedly this time Bhansali is more interested in reaching the masses with cheap insertions of a blue film parlour, David Dhawan like rhyming dialogues, guns, bullets, murders, rape attempts and bloodbath, may be in a state of desperation. Yes, he begins well with an exceptional sequence of rivalry between two groups in the first scene and then handles another sequence depicting the same with a superb camerawork & vision. But actually this isn’t a Bhansali genre at all and once the love birds get separated, going into the violent mood, the film falls flat with everyone behaving in a confusing manner not suiting their actual character as defined in the first hour.
Putting it differently, Bhansali’s visionary execution both as a director and art-director can easily be seen & applauded in many individual sequences of RAM-LEELA. But putting them all together in a 150+ minutes of film, doesn’t make a very entertaining venture, majorly because of a pretty weak second half (read screenplay) and a more than required length as usual, full of many unwanted songs coming one after another. In fact at times you realise that the director is unnecessarily trying to make his every frame a masterpiece with all forcibly stuffed details and over the top drama. And probably that is the reason why one doesn’t feel like having a direct connect with the characters as felt in Bhansali’s first few films in his early days.
In the performance section, the actors simply surrender themselves to the vision of their director and the three winners coming out of entire cast are Deepika, Supriya Pathak, and Richa Chadda unarguably. However even their performances keep varying between brilliant and superficial with some visible character differences in both the halves. Following the above are Abhimanyu Singh, Gulshan Devaiah, Sharad Kelkar and Barkha Bisht who play their parts well but the director should have given more mileage to Richa Chadda alone, who had the capability to bring that much needed explosion in the end. Along with these good performances there are some pretty ordinary ones too including Raza Murad, Homi Wadia and the deliberately added poor item number of Priyanka Chopra.
Talking about the lead pair, Deepika once again scores over her hero and she even goes shockingly bold this time as instructed by the so called love-guru i.e. SLB. She looks absolutely stunning in those revealing traditional dresses but her written character hasn’t got that desired depth of a pure selfless lover towards the end. Ranveer on the other hand, doesn’t offer something new, as he plays the same old flirty lover boy with the only difference of his Rajasthani attire and nothing else. So in terms of a love-couple also, you are not given anything new to watch, except their extreme eagerness to feel each other’s body instead of reaching the hearts.
Musically, RAM-LEELA has few well-composed and beautifully designed songs (in the first half) like “Lahu Munh Laga Gaya” and “Tattad Tattad”. But post Saawariya, SLB’s music has surely lost that magical feel to a great extent, with the director composing himself and not taking the services of the available musicians. Accompanying the songs, it has a fine background score, a splendid cinematography and a great art direction too bringing alive the vision of its director wonderfully. But I really wish this was all presented through a great script too with something novel to share.
Regarding the controversy around its title.

Revealing the truth, SLB’s film has nothing to do with either Lord Ram or his sacred Leela at all. So the director had a clear intention of using the phrase “RAM-LEELA” for his film’s instant publicity alone and all this controversy could have been easily avoided by using any other name with a regional touch. Moreover in the present sensitive times, there is no need of getting involved in such religiously objectionable phrases leading to further complications when they have nothing to do with your actual theme of the film and its storyline. But as they say, positive or negative, a film gets benefited by any kind of publicity, which seems to be the only reason of keeping this controversial title by the makers in all possibilities.

Regarding the over-used subject of Shakespeare’s “Romeo-Juliet”.

I remember watching QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK when I was in school and then few other films too with the same theme. Plus just recently there was not one but two films made on the same subject namely ISHAQZAADE & ISSAQ, which forces me to think that perhaps except Vishal Bhardwaj, very few have read the other classics of William Shakespeare in reality in our own Bollywood. And that might be the reason why they repeatedly pick the same old, over-used Romeo-Juliet again & again to bore the innocent audience quite arrogantly.
However there is one more reason which comes to my mind regarding the use of this same theme again and that is the ‘Fear of Rejection’. Because if a director has reached a stature of Sanjay Leela Bhansali then ideally he should feel free and interested in discovering new stories or subjects for his loyal viewers boldly. But ignoring the fact, when he goes on to make a big film with such a wide canvas and lavish budget on the same rotten storyline used several times before then he is surely doing this out of his fear of rejection and doesn’t want to try something experimental moving away from any tried and tested formula in the trade.
Interestingly though hugely inspired, but almost all his films since KHAMOSHI had something new to offer, which eventually did play a substantial role to build up the director’s current reputed status in the industry. But then why SLB picked this ‘too old & over-tried’ story to tell in a different style raises many bigger doubts in my mind about his future projects too.
Anyway, for me CINEMA means “The Art of Storytelling” and if a film hasn’t got a new or interestingly fresh story to tell then it is quite a waste of time despite all the great visuals, drama, music, performances and execution. To elaborate on the same, we have a small life here to live on this planet with a limited capability to read or know all the worth studying literature of the world. So we need the medium of cinema to introduce us to many unknown and unexplored gems written within as well as out of the country following a wider vision. And that is exactly what I search for while watching every new film coming my way in any form.
Moreover this reminds me a very thoughtful quote of the maestro SATYAJIT RAY about the huge treasure lying untouched in our own Indian Literature which would be a perfect ending to this review for all like-minded friends here……………wherein he says,
"The raw material of cinema is life itself. It is incredible that a country which has inspired so much painting, music and poetry should fail to move the film maker. He has only to keep his eyes open, and his ears. Let him do so.”
But unfortunately we are still only interested in re-visiting the same stories again and again due to the over-commercialization of art and a constant fear of rejection. So with a hope that these reputed film-makers of our industry would soon find their old courage back, I can only recommend RAM-LEELA to the viewers who are more interested in just the bodies and not their souls.

Rating : 2 / 5           

Tags : Ramleela Review By Bobby Sing, Ramlila Review By Bobby Sing, Bhansali's Ramleelam, Inspired from Romeo Juliet, 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
15 November 2013 / bobbysing /
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