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July 27, 2016 Wednesday     
Looking at the extremely low profile promotion of a reputed YRF-SRK film was nothing less than a mysterious act for many before the release of FAN. And I personally could only think of following three reasons why the film was being released with such an unexpected promotional strategy in a holiday weekend.
1. Due to the negative social networking campaigns being run against the star for the infamous reasons.
2. May be the film was so strong in its content & execution that it didn’t need any promotion at all.
3. May be it didn’t turn out to be as entertaining as expected and they wished to keep the expectation as low as possible playing it safe.
Honestly I really wished the second point to be the positive reason behind the film’s quieter release, but unfortunately it turned out to be the third that probably forced the team to opt for the silent strategy.
However the good news is that this time we don’t have a complete downer as the icon’s last few attempts like HAPPY NEW YEAR and DILWALE. Thankfully in FAN we have a new Shah Rukh Khan, who is finally willing to move out of his set acting patterns and successfully plays a character of 20+ with a completely different body language and a slightly dissimilar face with a commendable ease. And mind you, it’s much difficult to play a character half your age than an old person adding some grey shades in your hair and few wrinkles to the face. So in performance terms, FAN gives us a fresh, charming Shah Rukh, we last met watching his films such as CHAKK DE INDIA, SWADES, OM SHANTI OM or MY NAME IS KHAN. And since the first half of FAN entirely talks about this new lovable SRK alone, so it can easily be rated as a clear winner that only dips slightly towards the intermission making a rock solid impression on the viewers.
In other words, beginning from their favourite city Delhi and its enjoyable feel, both director Maneesh Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan strongly deliver the novelty in their first half and that too without getting any support from the otherwise essential music or dance in a YRF-SRK film.
But unfortunately its once again the second half that completely fails to match with the excellence shown in the first and falls simply flat with nothing but the routine, predictable, seen before obsession of a stalker, reminding you of SRK’s own films namely DARR and ANJAAM without offering any entertaining moments till the climax. Therefore if someone gives me his opinion that with FAN, Yash Raj Films have actually tried to re-make their own DARR with the look-alike twist inserted, then I would not be able to deny thinking about the film’s second half.
Putting it differently, here we have a film where its lead hero tries real hard coming up with a career best performance (of a double role) playing himself and a difficult character of half his age so impressively with all distinctive body movements and a highly believable makeover of a young fan. But its his writers and director who truly let him down, conceiving a pretty awful second half ruining his entire hard work put in for last many months. In fact even the cinematography and background score decently supports the film in its 142 minutes of duration. But who is interested in the technical brilliance when nothing engrossing is happening on screen in a film’s final 70 minutes.
Further, (before moving on to the details of its inspired status), would like to mention some major faults in the vision of its writer-director that actually harm the film quite brutally.
(Spoilers Ahead)
A. FAN has such a pathetic portrayal of POLICE in both India and abroad that you begin thinking that how they could present them in such a careless manner like a typical B grade film.
B. In one sequence SRK as the STAR reveals to his fan Gaurav that, ‘Police has brought you here in the Police Station on MY ORDER’. Now would like to ask the writers that how can one put it as ‘on MY ORDER’? How the Police was supposed to take orders from the Bollywood Star? In fact this was one thing that should have been pointed out by the censors changing the word from ‘My Order’ to ‘My Complaint’. But strangely neither the writers considered it objectionable, nor the censors did, and the dialogue goes on disgracing the POLICE as well as the system functioning on the ORDERS of a Hindi film icon.
C. Post KI & KA, this is yet again a Bollywood film deliberately portraying Delhi as a city of goons and sex maniacs, who keep watching blue films in the cyber cafes. Here, I personally would have appreciated if the director had gone for an image-makeover of the city instead of shattering it further. A city, that has contributed so much in his films becoming their integral part.
D. If you keep aside the brilliant portrayal of SRK as both Gaurav and Aryan, then the characters remain hugely flawed right till the end written carelessly. In specific words, not even once do you feel sympathy for either Gaurav or Aryan in the film’s second half due to this very reason.
E. Logic goes for a toss in the film’s final hour like anything. Gaurav keeps flying to various foreign cities without any legal hassles at all and even gets his crew I-card made with a false make-up as the writers were not even interested to give you the required details.
F. In the entire film, its confusing to judge that who actually can spot the difference between Gaurav and Aryan, and who cannot. For instance, where the British Police & the visitors of Madame Tussauds fail to spot the imposter, our Indian Police can readily do so. Moreover it was really bizarre to see that in the beginning of the film the local ‘Mela audience’ who clearly know about Gaurav and his physical appearance, are not able to recoganize the real Aryan standing on stage without any added make-up in the climax (and they go on assuming him to be Gaurav quite weirdly).
G. A complete film actually needs a great support from its additional cast. But in FAN you really miss the supporting actors given some decent space as required. Moreover I fail to understand that is Yogendra Tiku the only person left in the entire industry to play the father of our heroes and heroines. Has Mukesh Chhabra (the ‘numero uno’ casting director) gone for a long holiday?
H. When a single JABRA FAN song was so well promoted in different languages sung by all known regional singers in their own styles, then why it was not included in the film or at least in its end-credits becomes a very valid point to raise.
I. A young boy dies in the end in an unintentional accident; but the film doesn’t care to talk about the impact of his sudden death on the family and how they react to the incident knowing that it was a result of his fight with the Star on the roof top. Also the Star has no explanations to give to the Police for that deadly accident and the film ends right there like the typical 80s film (the most forgettable era of Hindi Cinema) where no such questions were supposed to be asked by the viewers.
J. Lastly the most important point that kept annoying me throughout the film was that ideally a concept like FAN should present its superstar in an extreme positive light as a hero. But why Manish didn’t present the actual persona of his STAR in a highly optimistic manner building an image? Why he chose to portray the real life personality of Aryan as someone highly arrogant, uncaring and so rude, who cannot even say a Sorry? Why he didn’t portray him as a thoughtful, compassionate and positive person as Dharmendra was shown in the exclusive 8 minute sequence (with a similar look-alike fan theme) in film SOORMA BHOPALI (1988).  
Coming to the inspirational sources,
if you would like to read about all the foreign and Hindi films based on the similar STAR-FAN theme, then please check the following link:
And here are the specific references that are quite close to the actual story progression in FAN.
1. The sequence of Gaurav waiting outside Aryan’s house with the large crowd, straight away reminds you of Anurag Kashyap's section in BOMBAY TALKIES featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his Sunday fan-darshan outside his Juhu bungalow.
2. Where the basic plot reminds you of several films related with fans or obsessed lovers seen in the past (including the double roles focusing on switching identities), few specific insertions in the film have some direct resemblances with Robert De Niro’s THE FAN (1996).
As shown in FAN, in the English film too, Robert De Niro is a mad follower of a Baseball star player and when he comes to know that his icon is not getting his famous form back missing his lucky jersey number 11 worn by another player, then he goes and simply kills the rival player and then expects his icon to express thanks to him for the timely help provided.
So both attacking the rival/competitor and expecting a Thanks (here Sorry) are right there in THE FAN superbly enacted by Robert De Niro.
3. Films based on such complex themes can ideally end on an identical note with the terrifying fan dying, settling everything for once and all. So the same finale of FAN was earlier seen in DARR and ANJAAM. Plus it is also there in the Robert De Niro film too where the Police does the ‘honours’ of shooting the fan.
Summing up, Maneesh Sharma’s FAN is certainly not a great film. But it still has one big worth praising merit like the bright silver lining in the dark clouds. And it’s the splendid, admirable performance of Shah Rukh Khan playing Gaurav, looking so amazingly young in his physical appearance and superbly enacted mannerisms creating a new identity. As a song less venture without focusing on any female character, it is a bold film too breaking the set romantic format of a typical SRK film that could have been a lot better with an extra care taken of its second half.
In short, if you are a FAN then you are sure going to cherish watching your beloved star back in form after a long time. And in case you are not, then the man will force you to do so praising his flawless act of GAURAV as a true appreciator. However I seriously wish the team had somehow worked upon the second half, turning this mediocre film into a classic for the sake of Hindi cinema.
Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (with the additional 1 just for SRK’s astonishing transformation as the young Gaurav)
Tags : Fan Review By Bobby Sing, Fan Film Review by Bobby Sing, 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, Inspired films from the west, Copied Films, Similar concepts borrowed from West, Inspired Films list by Bobby Sing
 
 
15 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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To begin with, the basic outline of the subject is actually the same we have seen umpteen times before in Hindi films featuring similar looking double roles and obsessive characters stalking their beloved with a dangerous killer instinct like in DARR, DASTAK, ANJAAM and more. However the major novelty here lies in the fact that the Hero is a big Bollywood superstar and the stalker is a look-alike fan who later turns into an evil force with changing circumstances.
But before moving on to Hindi films, here are some English movies revolving around the similar themes close to FAN.
THE FAN (1996) – Based on the novel with the same name by Peter Abrahams, YRF cannot be so naive to take it from a film with exactly the same title. Yet there can be no denial to the fact that there are some strong similarities in the concept, with the only difference being that here the two actors are not having any similar looks as in the SRK film. This 1996 film has Robert De Niro playing the temperamental die-hard fan of a baseball player enacted by Wesley Snipes.
Misery (1990) – Talks about a famous novelist and his passionate fan who saves him from an accident but later reveals her obsessive state of mind as the film progresses. Directed by Rob Reiner, Kathy Bates won the Best Actress Oscar for her powerful performance of a fan in the film.
The King of Comedy (1982) – Martin Scorsese directed this realistic comedy focusing on the fake ‘celebrity culture’ and ‘deep desire of fame’ among the aspiring artists. Here post the humiliation faced by Robert De Niro in his auditions, he decides to kidnap a celebrity to get featured in a TV spot. Focusing on dark humour, this is certainly the most underrated film of the two masters that deserves to be seen as a must considering it as a black satire.
Play Misty For Me (1971) – This directorial debut of Clint Eastwood revolves around a disc jockey played by Eastwood himself and his obsessed female fan who later turns into a stalker leading to more serious complexities with another girl entering the scene.
All About Eve (1950) – A different take on the relationship between a star and her fan, where the fan only becomes a rival getting closer to her idol as the time goes by. The film is  a classic with fine performances winning six Oscar awards in the major categories.
Turning to Hindi Films References
Soch (2002) – Though the thriller plot of the film is highly inspired from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers On The Train”. Yet the story actually revolves around a movie star played by Sanjay Kapoor and his obsessive fan who is ready to do anything for his idol played by Arbaaz Khan.
Soorma Bhopali (1988) – An 8-9 minutes exclusive sequence of this film (featuring a double role) can be stated as the closest one to Shah Rukh’s FAN in conceptual terms. Here we have a look-alike fan of Dharmendra who talks to his photos, worships him as a GOD and wishes to meet him once. Luckily there is a shooting in his neighborhood with Dharmendra, but as soon as he reaches there, the unit members take him in considering the Hero. He ruins the ongoing shoot for a while but then later meets his idol thanking him a lot for his kind gesture.
Admittedly SOORMA BHOPALI was the one reference in my mind while writing the script for a Punjabi film that got rejected in 2013 by an upcoming production house and a big Punjabi Star finding it not worth enough. (Mentioned in details at this link)
The second film was The King of Comedy (1982) mentioned above and the third was S1mOne (2002) featuring Al Pacino wherein a lady star walks off a film leaving it incomplete and the producer digitally creates the same star on screen, who becomes an instant hit finding a big fan following with people considering her as a real girl.
Keeping all these references in mind, there is a lot that has already been showcased in both English and Hindi films related with the specific idea. Yet hope FAN takes SRK back to the days of BAAZIGAR and DARR, and we once again get to see an entertaining performance from the icon impressing both the classes and the masses together.
Cheers!
Tags : List of films with a related basic theme as SRKs FAN By Bobby Sing, Inspired Film, Hindi and English films close to SRKs FAN at bobbytalkscinema.com, Copied Films, Inspired from the west.
 
 
14 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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When a film begins with all dark (unclear) night sequences in its opening minutes, then it largely hampers the spirit, particularly for the general public not there to witness any deliberately made so called ‘piece of art’. Moreover when in a 132 minutes film entirely depending upon its female star’s face value and popularity, if the lady is still not there even till the initial 45 minutes then you do feel irritated and cheated too as a viewer willing to witness a great romantic film with an interesting cast.
Yes, being based on the famous classic “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, a good part of the film does deal with the childhood of its leading couple. But sadly, its this part of the movie only which makes you feel restless and annoyed waiting for the colourful FITOOR to happen on screen as promised. As a result, all you get before intermission is some good soothing music, a supportive background score, many colourful frames, impressive lighting, eye catching costumes and nothing else to be precise including the beautiful Katrina.
Post intermission the film becomes a usual, repetitive love-saga with its every next sequence and the director Abhishek Kapoor arrogantly refuses to pick up the pace for his own reasons. In fact it will be quite enlightening to know about the director’s hidden vision in some ‘post-release interview’ as there is neither any intense love nor madness in his film simply wasting the chosen title FITOOR. Probably he felt putting the reference of Kashmir, Delhi and Pakistan along with the backdrop of art will do the trick. But on the contrary, it’s these forcibly added elements only that eventually make the film look like a highly confused product where people keep behaving weirdly and even a known painter suddenly becomes a sculptor towards the end without any given reasoning.
In short, FITOOR doesn’t seem to be a film from the director of ROCK ON and KAI PO CHE from any angle and appears to be a vaguely conceived project; where in the man behind the microphone is desperately willing to portray himself as someone highly artistic following the footsteps of names such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali. May be that is the reason you find detailed creative frames, fixed colour-schemes, experimental music and inspirations taken from a classic book of the World literature too just like Bhansali. However in the process director Abhishek Kapoor shockingly forgets to work on his basic script and doesn’t even realize that his chosen lead pair is not enjoying or displaying any kind of passionate-loving chemistry on screen as essentially required by the particular subject. Here keeping in mind the reported casting issues, its quite possible that Abhishek got forced to adjust with the limited options given, since even Tabu was the second (or may be third) choice for the film after Rekha walked out of the same due to some undisclosed reasons.
Anyway, with FITOOR, Abhishek comes up with a romantic film having no burning passion or fanatical love between its main protagonists Aditya and Katrina, who keep performing with the similar stone-like expressions without any major variations. The film has no supporting act providing the occasional push to the otherwise boring story progression including the most important role enacted by Tabu and other played by Lara Dutta, Aditi Rao Hydari, Ajay Devgun, Rahul Bhatt and more. Plus though the film does have a fine original soundtrack in both technical & musical terms, but that is not going to impress everyone unanimously, missing the typical mass appeal required for a Hindi film’s romantic score with a few catchy melodies. Still, mentioning an exclusive feature of Amit Trivedi’s appreciable music, it’s his (minimal) musical arrangement, the sound quality and choice of instruments that always make a much more solid impact than the main melodies of his compositions, as I have repeatedly felt.

In all FITOOR has an appreciable cinematography, eye catching art-direction and an interesting soundtrack too. But nothing in terms of storyline, performances and obsessive love to offer in return of your time and money spent. In more harsh words, we have earlier seen much better, intense, deep and insane 'Fitoor' in Hindi love stories made decades back.
Rating : 1.5 / 5
Tags : Fitoor Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Fitoor Film Review by Bobby Sing, 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, Based on Great Expectations
 
 
13 February 2016 / bobbysing /
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