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!

SARBJIT - Hooda remains the only saving grace in this lackluster filmy take on a real life tragedy, more interested in the STAR, using a forced mixed language sounding awful at times. (Review By Bobby Sing).

DEAR DAD - A forced & unconvincing attempt made on an underdeveloped bold plot that doesn't get any kind of support from the writing department. (Review By Bobby Sing) .

AZHAR - Keeps focusing on the court case and affair instead of any finer details of the icon's contribution to cricket, resulting in a big disappointment. (Review By Bobby Sing).

This Friday's ONE LINE REVIEWS by Bobby Sing to make your weekend plans..

BTC's Excellence in Hindi Cinema Awards for 2015 (Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing).

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (English/Hindi) - Excelling in its action, focusing on mutual relationships, it somehow turns out to be less exciting than expected. (Review By Bobby Sing).

1920 LONDON - An interesting twist and no forced erotica remain the only two merits of this repetitive, avoidable venture. (Review By Bobby Sing).

ONE NIGHT STAND - A project that probably got made, just because the lady agreed to do it for her own reasons. (Review By Bobby Sing).

TRAFFIC - Watch its original Malayalam film to feel the real magic, giving the right kind of farewell to the director Late Rajesh Pillai. (Review By Bobby Sing).

TRAFFIC (2011/Malayalam) - That's how real life gives you stories to be adapted as a spellbinding, engrossing film for the starving viewers. (Review by Bobby Sing).

 
 
  Directors I Love  
  Alfred Hitchcock  
  Mehboob Khan  
  Woody Allen  
  Akira Kurosawa  
  Basu Chatterjee  
  Bimal Roy  
  Charlie Chaplin  
  Chetan Anand  
  Govind Nihalani  
  Gulzar  
  Guru Dutt  
  Hrishikesh Mukherjee  
  Kamal Hassan  
  Ketan Mehta  
  Mrinal Sen  
  Quentin Tarantino  
  Raj Kapoor  
  Richard Attenborough  
  Sai Pranjpe  
  Satyajit Ray  
  Shyam Benegal  
  Steven Spielberg  
  Vijay Anand  
  Ram Gopal Verma  
  Ashutosh Gowariker  
  Mani Ratnam  
  Aleksandr Petrov  
  Saeed Akhtar Mirza  
  Shekhar Kapoor  
  Yash Chopra  
  Frank Capra  
  V. Shantaram  
  Billy Wilder  
  Rajkumar Hirani  
  Vishal Bhardwaj  
  Tigmanshu Dhulia  
  Dibaker Banerjee  
  Rajkumar Santoshi  
  Majid Majidi  
  Ritwik Ghatak  
  Clint Eastwood  
  Prakash Mehra  
  Manmohan Desai  
  Shoaib Mansoor  
  Anurag Kashyap  
  S. S. Rajamouli  
  B. R. Chopra  
  Stanley Kubrick  
 
  Also Active at  
  Gurmat Darshan.com  
  At Youtube.com  
  At Wordpress.com  
  At Facebook  
  At Twitter  
 
 
 
FROM THE GOOD
OLD DAYS
 May 2016 (10)
 April 2016 (17)
 March 2016 (10)
 February 2016 (10)
 January 2016 (9)
 December 2015 (11)
 November 2015 (10)
 October 2015 (10)
 September 2015 (11)
 August 2015 (12)
 July 2015 (15)
 June 2015 (10)
 May 2015 (15)
 April 2015 (16)
 March 2015 (12)
 February 2015 (10)
 January 2015 (14)
 December 2014 (11)
 November 2014 (10)
 October 2014 (10)
 September 2014 (12)
 August 2014 (12)
 July 2014 (21)
 June 2014 (23)
 May 2014 (24)
 April 2014 (23)
 March 2014 (21)
 February 2014 (26)
 January 2014 (28)
 December 2013 (10)
 November 2013 (14)
 October 2013 (16)
 September 2013 (14)
 August 2013 (14)
 July 2013 (12)
 June 2013 (11)
 May 2013 (23)
 April 2013 (10)
 March 2013 (14)
 February 2013 (14)
 January 2013 (15)
 December 2012 (18)
 November 2012 (14)
 October 2012 (15)
 September 2012 (14)
 August 2012 (15)
 July 2012 (12)
 June 2012 (14)
 May 2012 (16)
 April 2012 (15)
 March 2012 (10)
 February 2012 (11)
 January 2012 (11)
 December 2011 (10)
 November 2011 (11)
 October 2011 (15)
 September 2011 (10)
 August 2011 (11)
 July 2011 (11)
 June 2011 (13)
 May 2011 (16)
 April 2011 (14)
 March 2011 (11)
 February 2011 (10)
 January 2011 (12)
 December 2010 (10)
 November 2010 (12)
 October 2010 (11)
 September 2010 (11)
 August 2010 (12)
 July 2010 (12)
 June 2010 (11)
 May 2010 (14)
 April 2010 (15)
 March 2010 (14)
 February 2010 (12)
 January 2010 (15)
 December 2009 (12)
 November 2009 (14)
 October 2009 (15)
 September 2009 (18)
 August 2009 (14)
 July 2009 (16)
 June 2009 (18)
 May 2009 (16)
 April 2009 (18)
 March 2009 (20)
 February 2009 (19)
 January 2009 (20)
 December 2008 (20)
 November 2008 (17)
 October 2008 (21)
 September 2008 (19)
 August 2008 (22)
 July 2008 (23)
 June 2008 (21)
 May 2008 (25)
 April 2008 (22)
 March 2008 (25)
 February 2008 (22)
 January 2008 (22)
 December 2007 (24)
 November 2007 (22)
 October 2007 (22)
 
 
 
 
 
May 25, 2016 Wednesday     
Keeping in mind the promotional campaign of the film titled AZHAR, I haven’t seen a better example of the public being fooled by the makers, actors and ‘the man’ together so openly. Making it clear, at first they loudly sell their project to the viewers as ‘An Exciting Biopic’ (including Azharuddin visiting all TV programs/events along with the lead stars) and then begin the film with a brazen declaration that this is not a biopic on Azhar, but only a dramatized presentation of some events inspired from his life taking the required creative liberties. Now if that is not an evident example of cleverly ‘misguiding the end-user’ then I don’t know what else can be.
Moreover in all his pre-release interviews and statements, Emraan Hashmi kept explaining that how he had a real tough time studying and imitating Azhar’s unusual body postures, his walk, his way of playing the famous strokes, his magical wrist moves, his habit of speaking fast, his actual persona on the field interacting with other players and a lot more practicing for weeks and months. But astonishingly, you never find anything of that sort ever while watching the lengthy film except Hashmi trying to walk with a bent shoulder and his collars up as if that was sufficient to portray Azhar on screen fooling the eager viewers.
In short, despite making a sincere effort, I never found the actor anywhere even close to the icon portrayed on screen, except in those few scenes on the field wearing the helmet. To be honest, with all due respect to the practitioner and his trainers (guides), it was 90% Emraan and just 10% Azhar right from the first frame to the last, which in reality is more the fault of his director, not able or willing to see the discrepancies.
Adding to the above, the same can be said for almost everyone featuring in the ‘important cast ensemble’ that ideally has to be the strongest merit of a real life inspired film presented in the name of a bio-pic.
Elaborating on the point, none of the actors chosen to play the known characters of Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Anil Kumble, Vinod Kambli, Sachin and more are able to make any kind of impact whatsoever (presented as caricatures), becoming the biggest drawback of the film revealing the limited thought process of its writer and director. In other words, the entire group of supporting characters remains unconvincing and under developed in their every single scene and then the blunder mistake of casting Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta pulls the film down like nobody else. Interestingly Nargis never looked so awful both in her looks and performance ever before in her earlier films. Accompanying her in the acting department Lara Dutta keeps struggling hard in her absurdly written role of the opponent lawyer and Rajesh Sharma doesn’t get enough scenes playing the only bookie shown (as if it’s that easy and accessible) and that too along with a blurry image of person reminding you of notorious ‘Dawood’.
Putting it bluntly, there is only Prachi Desai (as Azhar’s first wife) and Kunal Roy Kapur (as Hashmi’s lawyer) who prove out be the only two actors making some kind of impact in their onscreen portrayals. Otherwise AZHAR is a film that actually suffers a lot due to its ‘wrong casting choices’ made apart from the poor writing, execution and direction.
Coming straight to the point with the match-fixing case, the film begins well moving back and forth in time focusing on Azhar remembering his initial years of life sitting in the court room. The first 20 odd minutes give you the impression of a responsible film keeping the interest alive, but very soon one gets to know that they are actually not interested in talking about Cricket but only the court case and his love life ignoring a lot hell of the things one really wished to see in the projected bio-pic. Still at interval it somehow remains an average entertainer minus the most desiring component i.e. the game.
However post interval as the focus completely shifts to Manoj (Prabhakar) and Sangeeta Bijalani poorly played by Nargis Fakhri, the film nosedives steeply and never gets back on the track despite a few engaging sequences. The love affair hinders the pace pretty badly and some immature courtroom scenes turn it into a huge disappointment ending on a routine note where the hero gets declared ‘not guilty’.
As usual, a couple of songs get inserted since they have to be there fulfilling a Hindi film requirement as a mandatory clause. And we yet again get to hear the typical music arrangements with some good poetic verses (deliberately adding Urdu words), rendered by the similar sounding voices moving to the unrequired high pitch tones (read screaming). A reworked version of “Oye Oye” is just unbearable and the original sounds better even today (though it also isn’t an original in the first place). The background score fails to add any exciting value into the narration and so does cinematography that remains unable to present the match sequences in any appreciable manner.
In fact these particular scenes of the cricket match, once again raise a valid question that why we are not able to recreate the game on the bigger screen expressing the same enthusiasm as we feel while watching it on our TV screens? Why in almost every Hindi film based on cricket, the on-field scenes always turn out to be quite amateurish and messy with only a couple of exceptions there like LAGAAN. Unfortunately the same gets repeated here in AZHAR too where we don’t even get to see a good coverage of the spirited crowd cheering for their teams even in a match between India and Pakistan (and you really need a vision to avoid showcasing the crowd in a match between these two rivals). Besides it was quite weird to see a highly absurd interaction between the chief of the selector’s committee and Azhar in an empty ground with a tape-recorder being used to play the noise of the crowd.
A bio-pic or a film inspired from real life events of a sports icon actually requires loads of research and solid preparation on paper before going on floor. And when it’s a film on the happening life of a controversial icon like Azharuddin, then the makers certainly have a solid subject in hand that has all the probabilities of becoming a big hit among the masses as well as the classes.
Sadly AZHAR is not able to deliver the desired in either its story telling, direction or dialogues department ruining big expectations of many, particularly of the fans who were more interested in knowing the lesser known facts about their icon’s inspiring passion for the game and his cricketing secrets. Strangely the makers went on promoting the film as a bio-pic when it had nothing at all related with Azhar’s famous persona of a cricketer, any information about his personal career guru or ideal, the story behind his innovative style of using the wrists, his state of mind making 3 consecutive centuries in the first three tests, his famous fight with Navjot Siddhu, his relation with the youngest player of the team Sachin Tendulkar and a lot more about those blessed days of glory lived with the entire team. The film isn’t interested in talking about any such thing but is only busy in presenting Azhar as an ex-captain fighting a case of match fixing filed against him by the authorities.
At times, this single agenda style of narration also makes you think that was this film purposefully made to clear the dicey image of Azharuddin in front of the cricket loving nation? The possibility is right there, but contradicting the thought, a highly shocking and ridiculous justification given for a horrendous crime committed by the onscreen Azhar is so much hurting for a true cricket fan that one seriously begins to think that ‘Did he really do it?’
The deadly insertion comes when the film shows Azhar taking money from a bookie for throwing away an important match abroad. The unexpected sequence simply makes you go numb and the situation worsens when Azhar later doesn’t underperform as per the instructions given by the bookie, but returns the money taken giving a silly justification that he actually agreed to do it so that the amount doesn’t get offered to any other player in the team keeping it all clean. This offensive and unforgivable step taken by the Captain of Indian team definitely hurts the most (if you are a true Cricket fan) and one really feels the pain like a strong betrayal coming from a Nation’s Hero followed since last three decades.
Ironically with Azhar himself being there supporting the film, providing all the source material to the writers, the inexcusable instance might be true. But I personally would love to believe that it was one of those big creative liberties taken by the script writers, since I would not be able to respect the icon any more if the crime was actually committed with any kind of noble motive whatsoever. Also because this would in turn force me to accept that match-fixing does exists and there is a lot hidden behind the curtains that might include many more big names shattering all our beliefs about Cricket being a gentleman’s game followed by almost every single Indian since the last century.  
Anyway, having slammed the film above mentioning all its big downers, here are the three positive features of AZHAR that thankfully save the project from becoming a complete non-performer.
A. The engaging sequence of the match against Pakistan with a dialogue with Mian Dad and the important catch (despite the tacky execution).
B. The touchy reference of public humiliation faced by Azhar while inauguration a gym (that every celebrity would easily relate with).
C. And the unconvincing yet interesting twist in the court case calling Lara Dutta as a witness, who is also a big fan of Azhar, turning the tables on her.
In all, you can still go for the film taking it as a fictional filmy account of a cricketer not talking about cricket at all, if you must. But if you wish to see a bio-pic on the former Indian Captain’s prime years on the field and his untold secrets of the game, then AZHAR is going to be a big disappointment offering nothing in those terms, failing in almost all its departments.
In simple words, its a poor film falsely presented as a bio-pic of a renowned cricketer to the nation that treats Cricket as a religion. A film that unfortunately confirms the existence of distressing match-fixing in the game, resulting in no emotional feelings felt for its lead character. A film that could have been a lot more with such an explosive and potent subject focusing on a major controversy. And a film that can easily be termed as a big life-time opportunity missed by its director Tony D’Souza.
Rating : 2 / 5
Tags : Azhar Film Review by Bobby Sing, Azhar Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Azhar Biopic in Hindi, 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
 
 
13 May 2016 / bobbysing /
leave a comment
 
We have often seen exceptional actors (unwillingly) getting caught in a ‘specific image format’ in Hindi films. The same is being repeated in Punjabi Cinema at present with Diljit Dosanjh, who is probably the most talented ‘singer turned actor’ of the current times if considered in comparative terms. A gifted performer, who finds himself trapped in the web of ‘mostly comic characters’ given to him as per the audience demand, a pattern that could only be broken once in the past and that too riding on the shoulders of an ever-controversial subject of 1984, touching right there where it hurts.
To be straight, it can either be 84, a social issue based film or a religious subject where the audience wouldn’t mind watching Diljit minus his quick, witty one-liners or naughty smiles. But otherwise a big majority of viewers are just there to enjoy yet another comical act from the man, who has really mastered the art in a short span of time of just 5 years (since JATT & JULIET). Personally I hope with the upcoming UDTA PUNJAB, he somehow manages to come out of this hit-monotonous trap for his own growth, but talking about his latest AMBARSARIYA, Diljit is once again doing the same kind of role, with the similar hilarious dialogues delivered with an impeccable comic timing, offering nothing new or fresh in terms of his individual performance.
Giving you a clear idea, AMBARSARIYA is lot better than (the cursed) MUKHTIAR CHADDHA but a lot less than the fresh & well-crafted SARDAR JI, heavily relying on the tried and tested formula the actor is known for.
So in case you are just interested in some timely entertaining scenes, a few good laughs here and there, a couple of catchy songs, three gorgeous female faces and Diljit in almost every frame of the film enacting a casually written screenplay with an absurdly executed climax you really don’t mind or damn care about, then AMBARSARIYA is just for you and it wouldn’t disappoint as a whole in return of your precious time and money spent in the multiplexes.
However, if you are among those true fans of the actor, who want him to grow, who want him to emerge as a path-breaking flag bearer of Punjabi cinema breaking this set pattern of comedy played like a funny clown, taking extra care about the subject, the writing and the execution of his carefully chosen projects, then AMBARSARIYA would be nothing more than an average-ordinary film, purposefully made to encash the current craze around the name without any polished, skillful direction, based on a script taking its inspirations from more than one sources.
Giving the film its deserving due, it progresses well with a worth praising cinematography and background score enhancing the opening sequences. The ‘official assassin’ twist successfully surprises the viewers without wasting much time and then the investigation of three Manpreet’s keeps them all engaged like a light comic entertainer having some thrilling elements. But sadly it’s the second half that yet again goes back to the same old routine formulas focusing on some unimpressive romantic moments, leading to a badly written and conceived climax that simply ruins the whole impact made by its entertaining first half.
The climax has a sequence of a stage show involving a 10 years old kid holding a real loaded gun, ready to press the trigger. And our hero instead of running and snatching it from his hands, goes on provoking him to fire with some spirited historical references as if the boy is well trained in fire-arms and has done it several times before shooting the people without killing them hitting at the safe spots. Here it seems the scene was specifically written to infuse some cliched patriotism mentioning few historical names, but I honestly couldn’t feel the same, stunned by such amateurish irresponsible implementation on screen involving ‘the star’ himself.
Unlike his earlier films, AMBARSARIYA has Diljit doing everything from 1 to 10 with no great support coming from the rest of the cast, particularly the three girls who sincerely keep trying to act and catch his unmatchable comic timing putting in all they have got. In other words, the film can easily be termed as a lame venture saved by ‘the one man army’ alone that neither has that polished visual appeal nor some competitive writing by the team, utilizing a highly capable subject revolving around an undercover agent. In fact throughout it’s more than two hours of duration AMBARSARIYA literally remains a childish ‘wannabe’ thriller that cannot afford to leave its parallel path of comedy deeply associated with its lead star.
Here would like to mention another serious contradiction I felt while watching a particular scene in the film where a family is eating cakes like some mad, eccentric people and an elderly Sikh person is also there sitting at the back portrayed as a silent-funny character in repeated shots. Now it’s really strange that the Punjabi community really feels offended and insulted, when a similar scene is found in a mainstream Hindi film featuring a big star, but nobody feels the same kind of shame or disgust laughing at such ridiculous comical scenes included in their own Punjabi films for exactly the same purpose. Certainly a point that first needs to be accepted and then deeply contemplated upon, before raising objections and strongly opposing to how others portray Sikh characters on screen in an unacceptable comic manner.
Anyway, coming back to the critique, let me share my own vision, how this project must have been conceived in its initial stages keeping in mind an unusual central character inspired from a successful and well appreciated Hindi film featuring Vidya Balan.
Yes, the film is KAHAANI and you must be remembering the most famous supporting character in it known as BOB BISWAS so subtly played by Saswata Chatterjee, who became so popular post the film that people started calling him Bob instead of his original name.
Now writers often get influenced by a particular famous character of a film or a novel and can intelligently weave a complete script around the same if given a free hand. AMBARSARIYA seems to be a perfect example of the same as its character of Diljit is almost exactly similar to Bob Biswas with a pinch of legitimacy added to it being the lead hero. So here too we have an ‘Insurance Agent’ with a given responsibility to complete his policy targets in the office, who in reality is a secret Raw agent silently eliminating (killing) the terrorists in their hideouts as per the tips given. Just like Bob, he also visits their homes ringing the door bells and then smilingly greets them all with a gun, completing his assigned deadly task like a thorough professional. The only difference being, that here he is not a criminal but an official assassin appointed by Raw (being the Hero of course!)
So writing a whole script around this fascinating character alone (taking some foreign inspirations for the ‘non-disclosure’ of name in the end) we have AMBARSARIYA focusing on a Chief Minister assassination targeted by a terrorist, who is one of the three key suspects (with identical names) being investigated by the Raw agent. Since the film keeps revolving around this secret agent alone right from its first frame to the last, so here we neither have any established actress playing the female lead nor much footage given to the cameos played by three major names of the industry including Gurpreet Ghuggi, Rana Ranbir and Binnu Dhillon along with Karamjit Anmol (the four big names without whom you possibly cannot make a Punjabi comedy film in the present scenario).  But surprisingly both Gurpreet and Rana get only a single individual scene with Diljit followed by another cheaply written sequence around a yoga session.
Among the girls, both Navneet Kaur Dhillion and Monica Gill are just there to add some glamour, whereas the vocally struggling Laureen Gottlieb fails to provide any extra edge to the project playing a ‘badly written’ character. Binnu Dhillon, Gul Panag and Rana Jung Bahadur remain utterly wasted, whereas the child actor tries too hard rendering his thoroughly revised lines stressing at each and every word quite forcibly.  
With only a couple of songs (included in the final edit) composed by Jatinder Shah, AMBARSARIYA also doesn’t have any of those killer tracks that could lift up the film substantially. Plus its visually unpolished look and execution doesn’t deliver a product, as it appeared to be in its appealingly designed poster and a catchy title. In fact, the film has nothing much to do with the city of Amritsar in particular except the beautiful aerial shots showcasing Harmandar Sahib (wrongly or more popularly known as The Golden Temple).
Overall, AMBARSARIYA is yet another typical Diljit Dosanjh film where he doesn’t even take a single step ahead as an actor or a performing artist. He once again does the same without offering anything fresh or novel coming out of his own comfort zone making a deliberate effort and the film fails to rise above those typical Punjabi comedies trying to sell themselves as some well written taut thrillers in disguise.
In straight words, if only witty one liner jokes, repeated taunts and cleverly rendered dialogues is all what you wish to see in a Diljit Dosanjh film, then the choice is all yours. But I am not interested in supporting the same acts again and again like some irresponsible, careless viewer ignoring the known capabilities of the star. So where you might enjoy watching AMBARSARIYA due to your own preferences, I would like to wait, till they deliver something that Punjabi Cinema can be proud of in terms of content and not in terms of some quick crores earned in their initial weekend proudly announced at all social networks.
Rating : 2 / 5
Note : Keeping the spirit of INDIA alive, I loved noticing a Punjabi film titled AMBARSARIYA beginning with the image of MA SARASWATI and the divine symbol of OM in its first few frames………..truly representing the actual spirit of our country, the real INDIA celebrating the equal existence of all……….. with HIS BLESSINGS!
Tags : Ambarsariya (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing, Ambarsariya Film Review by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema, New Punjabi Films Reviewed by Bobby Sing, Inspired Films.
 
 
02 April 2016 / bobbysing /
leave a comment
 
Beginning with the film’s pre-release hype, it’s not often that you get to see a trailer which simply tells you nothing about the film or gives no clues about its actual storyline but you do get to see some impressive, meaningful sequences giving the relevant social messages by all brilliant performers. As a matter of fact, that was exactly the impact of ARDAAS’s trailer before the release and that is precisely the impact after watching the film too giving you a fair idea.
Focusing on its main character of Gurpreet Singh (a teacher, leaving his house to join a school situated in another village), the film commences with a typical religious feel generated through a devotional track and then some well-chosen quotes from the Sacred Gurbani give you a clear indication that this is surely not going to be anything usual raising the expectation levels. However, what you get served within the next couple of hours is not any specific storyline but a heartfelt amalgamation of many social subplots or short stories raising many relevant questions about our sick social system and personal choices made without taking any stand.
The film introduces you to a wide range of characters living in a particular village and tries to put in everything ranging from comedy, romance, action to emotion, religion and spirituality in its more than two hours of (a bit long) duration. Stressing on the present crumbling structure of Punjab, it tries to incorporate multiple social issues including female foeticide, farmers suicides, drug peddling, drug addiction, liquor business, improper school education, common ambition of youngsters to becomes a singer, irresponsible parenting, religion followed as a mere ritual and caste discrimination widely visible in the region in its various forms. Here though reading about these TEN meaningful issues might seem to be a great idea, but it isn’t easy to justify each one of them in a script giving them sufficient mileage in individual sequences roping in a huge supporting cast.
Thankfully ARDAAS manages to do so in a fairly appreciable manner if not in an exceptionally great style as required. And for this its writer-director Gippy surely deserves praises from the viewers as well as the industry with much love and respect. In fact his contribution to the film becomes even more important considering the point that before ARDAAS he was widely considered as a singer turned actor who could sing and perform decently on screen, especially in romantic comedies. But post ARDAAS, the man is sure to gain huge respect as a creative personality who knows much more about his art other than just singing and acting. Precisely the reason, why you hear a huge applause when he makes his screen appearance in the film (towards the end) as a turbaned Sikh. Here another person who truly deserves a big mention enhancing Gippy’s vision is his DOP Baljit Singh (a renowned director himself) who plays a major role in bringing Gippy’s dream onto the screen with impressive frames and lighting adding a lot into the film’s overall impact.
Talking about ARDAAS as a whole, there is a constant religious as well as preachy tone in its narration that gets intentionally broken with the appropriately placed comedy sequence bringing back the lighter feel. The director keeps using the flashbacks at different occasions, but since one does wish to know the real story behind its main protagonist Gurpreet, nobody feels irritated or less interested. Revealing the actual picture, ARDAAS is not any ‘masterpiece’ film presented with a highly polished vision or almost perfect execution, offering an in-depth description of several crucial issues. The film impresses majorly due to its message oriented writing and beautiful performances, that in reality lift up the narration to a much higher level demanding respect, despite having quite less to offer in terms of entertainment.
The Performances
Leading from the front, Gurpreet Singh comes up with a performance which will never allow anyone to address him as a mere comedian from here onwards in the Punjabi film industry. He makes you intensely feel for his own losses in life and delivers a career best act displaying a wide range that needs to be applauded wholeheartedly. Both BN and Sardar prove themselves as the respected veterans of Punjabi cinema through their flawless acts and Ranbir makes a big contribution in the dialogues along with playing a crucial emotional role of a postman. Ammy once again gives you an indication that here is yet another great actor in the making and so does Karamjit proving his hidden, unexplored talent using a fabulous accent. Playing the female counterparts both Mandy & Mehar underplay their given roles with elegance, Harinder, Isha and Zora play it fine as supporting cast, but the one name that truly wins your heart through his authentic dialogue delivery and innocent act is the child artist Mithu, who completely steals the show in his well-written, individual scenes so adorably.
(Spoilers Ahead)
Interestingly the best sequences of the films are the ones featuring Gurpreet and Mithu together, followed by BN’s emotional outburst remembering his son, Gurpreet’s sequence in the hospital and his sudden encounter with the spirit of his dead wife and (unborn) daughter saving him from a silly disaster. However I seriously wished this last particular scene was dealt with much more stay and emphasis to make a stronger everlasting effect on the viewers, as it was indeed a novel thought brought forward by the writer-director.
A worth publicizing hidden merit
Mentioning a hidden merit, ARDAAS has been co-produced by none other than the famous and ‘much criticized’ singer-rapper-composer Badshah making a very confident move and that too neither featuring in the film in any manner nor using his ‘professionally known’ name in the credits. Unarguably a notable example set for the entire current generation following a deceptive lifestyle.
So I would personally like to thank & congratulate Aditya Singh aka Badshah for this courageous and thoughtful move that should truly be an eye-opener for many.
The Downers
Coming to the major downers, with more than three known musical names in its key team, I honestly expected a much better soundtrack giving more emphasis to the traditional content matching the theme. But sadly there is nothing path-breaking, highly melodious or out of routine offered in its songs (apart from some appreciable lyrics). Besides in a sensible film like ARDAAS, it was painful to see many unrequired songs added as usual, including the supposedly Sufi track sung by Kanwal making a visibly forced cameo leaving no impact of any kind, whatsoever.
Tackling more than required issues and independent subplots together, the film doesn’t have an escalating pace and keeps moving on the same track with random message oriented sequences coming one after the other heading towards a predictable climax. As a result you never feel any kind of crescendo in its second half and it all ends on an open note without offering the much desired spirited peak.
In the technical department, the background score keeps trying too many things in its various sequences without maintaining any kind of consistent feel or linkage. At times it becomes too loud and melodramatic but thankfully delivers when it was required the most, in the finale. Yet ARDAAS once again made me realize that the background score mostly turns out to be a highly neglected part of a project in Punjabi Cinema, often handled too casually or inefficiently.
Anyway coming to the most avoidable part of the film, if you are making such a noble project focusing on the core issues of Punjab following a serious vision then abrupt brand promotion of already established music company & their owners in a deliberately added sequence not only looks cheap but quite illogical & irresponsible too as per my personal opinion. Hence that should have been strictly avoided and refused.
The religiously conflicting inclusions
Lastly reaching the most important part of the review, I would like to disclose some major contradictions in the film that is supposed to be an enlightening religious-spiritual project giving many valuable life-teaching lessons to the viewers believing in Gurbani and Sikhism. So here are a few honest points that might turn out to be offensive to many due to their own conflicting understanding of the sect and its various concepts.
Firstly, it can be simply ignored if this kind of mistake was made by a Hindi or any other regional language film in India, but how can a Punjabi film, made by the people of Punjab themselves, using many life teaching quotes from Gurbani, make the mistake of saying SASSRI KAAL instead of SAT SRI AKAL in its few sequences. Here even if you are ready with the much obvious justification that this is how it’s actually spoken in real life, then it even becomes more important for the makers to add a sequence teaching the right way of saying it to the audience as a part of their ‘educating’ film or mission.
But contradicting their own projected vision, it was pretty strange to see that no-body in the entire team (right till the dubbing), even thought of correcting the pronunciation of ‘Sat Sri Akal’ in the film ironically titled ARDAAS (that in reality ends with these three words only when read as a daily ritual in Gurdwaras)
Secondly, a 6-7 years old kid girl in the film is shown writing letters to the GOD calling him ‘Satnam Waheguru’ and then on the constant encouragement of Gurpreet, the postman Ranbir writes a return letter to the girl as an answer from the GOD named the same. Now as per an emotional sub-plot of a Punjabi film this seems to be very fine and touchy. But when you include this interaction in a film titled ARDAAS using the exact words ‘Satnam Waheguru’ in particular, then it all becomes highly misleading and contradictory to the faith in question i.e. Sikhism, giving an utterly wrong message to the kids watching the film taking it as something authentic.
Now why it is contradicting?
That’s because there is no concept of someone sitting up there as GOD in Sikhism. Further, neither these words ‘Satnam Waheguru’ are referred to any person listening to our prayers, nor the 10 Gurus in Sikh history along with the 11th Guru (The Divine Granth) are looked upon as GODS as per the Sikh Code of Conduct in particular. The exact word used to refer them all is GURU and not GOD (having a whole different depth in spiritual terms)
However it’s the sad irony of this faith that most of the families here teach their innocent kids with the words that Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh is their GOD, also introducing them to some pictures which are not even authentically accepted and are just a mere personal depiction of an exceptionally talented painter famous worldwide.
In short there is no form of GOD to be prayed to or worshipped as per the Sikh faith and it’s all about an universal formless power guiding the existence that considers every being on earth as equals.
Anyway coming back to our topic of ‘the kid-girl’s perception’ as shown in the film, it would have been perfectly fine and appreciably conceived too, had they done it without using the religious words ‘Satnam Waheguru’. Because the moment you use these two specific words, the kids watching the film are bound to get hundreds of new vague ideas considering it the truth, beginning their own undisclosed journey on a wrong path.
Here for many this particular point might not be relevant enough to be considered. But for me it certainly is, since till the moment I was not rightly guided by my respected teachers, I too as a kid used to go to the Gurdwara with a list of things to be demanded from The Waheguru, who was supposed to be living in that clean-attractive building as his official home. And since I personally kept on dreaming with these funny illusions till long, I don’t wish the kids watching the film begin thinking the same, getting inspired from such avoidable insertions in a project titled ARDAAS (meaning prayer).
Moving ahead to the most burning or rather hurting part of the write-up, a particular well-written sequence in the film gives a highly relevant message about the caste discrimination in our society. The scene conveys that a Sikh has neither got any different caste or gotr (clan -traditional divisions in people), but believes in an equal social existence for all as taught and guided by the Gurus.
Now for once, please go through all the names mentioned in my review above and kindly notice that I have deliberately written only their first names without using the castes (surnames) in particular. This was intentionally done as that was only the core message given by the film in one of its key scenes which was evidently the best part of its impressive and widely appreciated trailer too.
However, again contradicting their own liberal vision, when I see the film’s posters, titles and credits then unfortunately I don’t find the message being followed by the makers themselves so openly and boldly. Consequently, we have GREWAL, DEO, SHARMA, VIRK, SOHI, TAKHAR, BHULLAR, VIJ, RANDHAWA & more clearly and boldly mentioned all over in the publicity material…… which are nothing but the same caste references that the film teaches you to get rid of as per the message of Sikhism.
In other words, here nobody seems to be interested in the saying ‘Practice What You Preach’. Here at one end the writer, director, actors and the entire team is proudly giving you the message of ‘No Caste Divisions in Sikh faith’, and on the other they themselves are not ready to write off their own surnames (caste representation) and keep sticking to them in the entire publicity material presenting the issue like a big JOKE.
Anyhow leaving the decision on this sick misrepresentation of the message to the intelligent readers, I would like to reveal another shameful truth about the Sikh Caste Divisions. And the truth is that though Sikhism is said to be the ‘most modern sect’ formed just a few centuries back with much liberal thought process free of all discriminations………….. the inner fact is that the word CASTE today plays a big decisive role in this sect and Sikhism has hugely wide divisions in the name of castes that are mentioned with great pride and honour in Punjab as well as in Punjabis living all over the globe, openly disobeying the clear guidance of their own Gurus.
To give you a fair idea the biggest ‘Khaayi’ (a visible ugly division) between Sikhs is of JATTS and BHAPAAS, wherein both consider each other to be some inferior beings following a sick, narrow and questionable mindset. In fact such is this wide open divide between the two, that just more than a decade back there used to be comedy audio-video albums (like Chhankata & more) in which the Jatt writers-performers openly made fun of Bhappa community projecting them as some funny creatures wearing printed clothes and Pagdis cracking silly jokes.
But why we are going back to the 90s when even one of the most famous Punjabi films that revived a dying industry in 2012 also did the same? Yes, I am talking about the cult JATT & JULIET which also has the same shameful references focusing on a father-son duo as a comic side plot added to generate some silly laughs.
For the ones who are not actually aware of this conflicting truth, there is such a deep and proud association of people of Punjab with their respective castes that you cannot even dream of writing their names without including it. To prove my point just take a look at the social networks like Facebook. See who all are praising ARDAAS appreciating it whole heartedly and then re-check their profile names. You will find the surnames mentioned in most of the cases leaving the few well-aware, not really interested in such unrequired tags.
Putting in bluntly, they all are actually praising a film that is clearly pointing towards no caste system in Sikhism and yet are using the same proudly in their profile names, redefining the word hypocrisy.  So I am really keen to see, how many of them actually get rid of these caste references from their profiles realizing this big mistake post watching ARDAAS - conveying the basic message of Sikhism with ‘No Caste Divisions”
Drawing your attention to another bizarre practice of putting and taking off the turban & beard for a screen role, many Sikhs and Sikh organisations get really upset when Bollywood actors do the same in their films wearing the fake make up of a Sikh character. However when it comes to their own singer-cum-heroes in Punjabi films they don’t really seem to have any problem when these people start growing the beard and become a turbaned Sikh in one film teaching Sikhism and then get clean shaven with shorn hair in their very next playing a romantic lead. Nobody seems to be objecting this in Punjab and Punjabi films, whereas they all consider it as an insulting issue when it comes to Bollywood and the Hindi film heroes in particular. Now if this is not hypocrisy being practiced openly then I truly don’t know what it actually is?
Incidentally this also reminds me of a highly absurd as well as funny real life instance when one of my friends was involved in the promotion of Punjabi-Hindi film called I AM SIKH released in 2011. Puneet Issar was the director of this film, also playing the key role of a Sikh police officer in it, featured prominently in all the pre-release promotion and film’s official trailers. Now when the interview was scheduled to be shot, the actors came and my friend was highly shocked to see Puneet Issar arriving in his original appearance of a bald man. Imagine he was there to promote his film I AM SIKH in which he himself had played the role of a Sikh officer, but the man was there for a promotional interview talking about his vision on Sikhism as a bald and clean shaven man without any hesitation or regret at all.
My friend called me up for suggestions and I replied, “You can do nothing my friend, just take off the standies kept in the backdrop saying I AM SIKH and shoot the interview………. Plus while shooting just keep humming one song that goes, “Golmaal Hai Bhai Sab Golmaal Hai”.
He laughed out loud and went ahead with the shoot.
The Inspirational source of ARDAAS.
Frankly I don’t think many viewers would have cracked this inspirational source of ARDAAS. But giving you an opportunity to guess, just try to think where in a famous Hindi cult classic you have seen the following story progression directed by a reputed name.
An unknown man applies for a servant’s job in a house that has many members, not having any smooth relationships with each other, caught in their own individual problems of life. The man gets the job, starts living with the family and begins teaching new precious lessons to each one of them in the film’s various segments solving their undisclosed personal issues with an amazing ease. As the time passes, the family goes through a significant positive change and the members become more cheerful and respectful to each other. They start having a dialogue and good times return to the house due to that one unknown man who was just a stranger to all only a few months back. Towards the end, the mystery man suddenly disappears and we are told that he is now gone to be the member of another troubled family who needs his specialized services.
Guessed the film? Yes it was Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s BAWARCHI featuring Rajesh Khanna as the mystery man changing the people around.
Now just visualise the man as a teacher instead of a servant, the home as a small village and the members of that one household as various families living in the village having their own problems. A teacher joins the local school, starts dealing with every key member of the village individually and tries to give them new insight of life bringing in the much needed positive change. Add a respectable religious-spiritual preachy tone to the film and incorporate all the major social issues faced by the people of Punjab as its various sub-plots played by reputed actors to the best of their ability.
That makes BAWARCHI into ARDASS to be precise.
Having said that, the mention of this inspiration angle is not to degrade the film in any manner but to make you aware that the basic structure of our Punjabi Cinema still somehow remains largely dependent upon the Hindi films only unfortunately. (However that’s a completely different tale that even BAWARCHI had its original inspiration taken from a Bengali and English film) .
Summing the long write up, Yes, Gippy has quite intelligently adapted the basic format of Hrishi Da’s film roping in some important social issues and a talented cast-ensemble giving their best to the project. As a result ARDAAS turns out to be a rare, praiseworthy, clean, message oriented film surprisingly coming from a singer turned actor revealing another facet of his creative personality to all. The film no doubt works as a whole with many well enacted, emotionally moving sequences making a solid impact, but with the message of Sikhism (imparted through extensive use of Gurbani) not being followed by the makers themselves, I am not able to rate it as any great visionary film or a trend setter.
ARDAAS surely demands respect for its concept and lessons taught, but I wish these lessons were given by setting a personal example too and not just as a pure theoretical presentation to be forgotten later.
With a hope that my honest expressions would lead to some serious introspection by all readers proudly using the castes in their names, I would love to see what Gippy announces his next as the writer-director.
Rating : 3 / 5 (The film loses its major marks because of the message being preached but not followed by the team itself)
Tags : Ardaas Movie Review By Bobby Sing, Ardaas Punjabi Film Review by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Film Reveiws at bobbytalkscinema.com, Punjabi films inspired from Hindi Cinema, Gipyy directs his first film, Punjabi films based on Gurbani, Punjabi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
14 March 2016 / bobbysing /
leave a comment
 
 
 
Reviews in All (734)

 
 
 
Inspired Hindi Movies
Alphabetical
List (452)
 
 
 
 
Articles on Music,
Poetry & Life (89)
Did You Know! (85)
Few Life Inspiring Words! (21)
Nostalgia (Books on Cinema,Vintage Magazines, Scans & more) (27)
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
   
 
   SEARCH
 
 
 
 
   
 
   
 
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Google Analytics Alternative
 
 
 
The site is a collection of personal expressions of the writer to share his own views on different mediums of art, with no intention of hurting any person or organisation in particular. The site is also not responsible for any inappropriate acts practiced by the third party links added here only for information purposes.
   Visit bobbytalkscinema.com for Bollywood Movie Reviews, Inspired Cinema, Movies To See Before You Die, Amazing Bollywood Facts, Articles On Cinema, Music, Poetry & Life
 
Site Best View At 1024 X 768 Resolution & Above