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

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May 24, 2017 Wednesday     
MantostaanIf there is a film released on the famous short stories of Saadat Hassan MANTO, then I need to be there even if it is being shown more than 30 kms away from my home at a high end multiplex involving a whooping cost of around 400+ rupees, once again pointing towards the faulty exhibition system in our country.
Though unfortunately the aptly titled MANTOSTAAN falls way short of the original shocking impact of MANTO’s short stories, but honestly I cannot get how the exhibitors can even expect the unaware viewers to spend 300 rupees for a ticket of such experimental film (showing in a single show at just 2-3 cinemas in the entire city like Delhi), when they are not even opting for most of the well-publicized films too in the theaters, unless they hear a strong word of mouth about their worth.
Anyway coming to the film, the only positive feature of MANTOSTAAN remains the courage and noble intention behind its making, as the film simply fails to re-create the teasing tension and brutal shocks experienced while reading the original short stories of the master. And the basic reason behind the mediocre outcome is the questionable execution of director Rahat Kazmi, who instead of narrating the stories separately, mixes them without having any kind of relation with each other, even when they are from different time-frames (particularly the one dealing with the border forces).
Moreover the tacky production design and faulty representations are unable to transport the viewer back in them and one doesn’t feel the fear of those specific ‘inhuman’ months of the year 1947. For instance, the stylishly cut hairs of the key women characters (falling on their faces in the close-ups) do not represent the era of 1940s from any angle. And then the forced broken Punjabi spoken by almost all in the cast (particularly Sonal and the army men) actually keeps annoying right till the end lacking any kind of originality and emotional depth.
To be specific, its completely different experience reading a story wherein a character says words like Ram Singha…… Isher Seyaan….. repeatedly in his dialogues, because while reading an individual reads the words in his own likable tone as per the understanding of the said language and era. However when an actor speaks enacts the same words in a play or on screen then it all depends on the interpretation or presentation as per the brief given by the director about the finer details of the language, its original accent and the sound. Sadly there is no finesse seen in this specific department in MANTOSTAAN which essentially serves as the backbone of any period film recreating a gone-era. In fact, many a times it actually looks like an amateur kind of attempt because of its language alone, which ironically gets officially mentioned as URDU.
Despite having such explosive content in hand, the actors never rise above the routine offering all uninspiring acts. But the fault completely lies with the writing and execution department to be fair, completely ruining the original thought provoking texture of the chosen stories (with the biggest victim remaining the one related with the border forces). So I would not like to blame the actors including veterans such as Virendra Saxena and Raghuvir Yadav along with Sonal Sehgal, Raina Bassnet and Shoib Shah.
In short MANTOSTAAN doesn’t represent MANTO at all and thus cannot and should not be referred to anyone who isn’t known or haven’t read any of his stories till now. The joy and uneasiness felt while reading MANTO is nowhere to be found in this below average film and therefore all you should do is, note down the name of its four stories chosen by the director and then read the original text in Urdu or Hindi (avoiding English translations) meeting the real MANTO.
In fact that can only be rated as the most positive contribution of this mediocre film, which probably managed to reach and participate in many festivals just because of its theme of Indian Partition and the still working reputation of the one and only MANTO.
So just forget about the ratings and note down the titles of the four stories as Khol Do, Thanda Ghosht, Aakhri Salute and Gurmukh Singh Ki Wasiyat.
You can read these four and all other MANTO’s stories at the following link:
https://rekhta.org/Manto
And making a bold personal statement, it becomes difficult for me to consider anyone well-read in both India and Pakistan if he hasn’t read MANTO in his given lifetime.
Rating : 1+1 / 5 (Including the additional 1 just for the courage and noble intentions)
Tags : Mantostaan Review by Bobby Sing, Mantostaan Movie Review based on Manto Short Stories, 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
 
 
10 May 2017 / bobbysing /
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Maatr

If the chosen subject is the only thing that matters, then one can go on giving as many stars and ratings to MAATR for its theme, yet again trying to raise a timely social alarm with all noble intensions. However if you are supposed to rate it as a film then it strangely turns out to be so weak, which was certainly not expected considering the pre-release hype created by the ‘censor banning’ issue.
Yes, MAATR might have gone through some heavy questionable editing instructed by the censors affecting its major scenes. But the revenge planned and executed later in the film is so illogical and childish that it would have never made any dent even if the censors had passed the film without a single act.
Interestingly, though MAATR has many major shortcomings in terms of characterizations, presentation and the important story progression. But I will like to state only one, which would be enough to give you an idea about the minimum serious thinking behind the film made with the sole vision to win over the viewers with some kind of shock-treatment in the rape and revenge sequences and nothing else.
(Spoiler’s Ahead)
A middle aged mother (Raveena) and her young school going daughter get abducted and brutally raped by a group of boys led by the son of a minister. The young girl dies but the mother survives to suffer the tragic trauma of facing an unconcerned-coward husband, corrupted system and ‘unconcerned Police officers’ more interested in saving their jobs instead of grilling the culprits.
So she decides to go for revenge killing them one by one reminding you of films like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, ZAKHMI AURAT, BANDIT QUEEN, PRATIGHAT and many more from the last millennium based on the similar plots.
The mother here is a school teacher in the same institution where her daughter used to study, but the director and his writers are simply not interested in showing any sequence related with the school, its principal, the fellow teachers, the students or else, post such a major incident happening in the life of their fellow teacher and her daughter. And the mother simply joins back and starts teaching her assigned class just like that.
Next, the teacher finds a young classmate of her daughter to be familiar with one of those rapist boys and digging more into it learns that the poor girl is being regularly physically harassed (read raped) by that boy in hotel rooms since many weeks.
And from here onwards, in a film titled MAATR (meaning mother), the lady doesn’t help that girl at all, doesn’t see her own daughter in the face of that victim girl, doesn’t inform the principal about such a crude crime being committed with one of their own students since weeks, doesn’t go to police taking the girl along, doesn’t call her parents to inform about the same……… but instead uses that unaware girl to take her own revenge like a blindly mean lady betraying her selfishly.
Once again sending her to a hotel with that inhuman criminal, the mother not only plans the boy’s murder through the teenaged girl but also doesn’t even bother about her getting caught by the police, crying beside his dead body in a compromising state in the hotel room itself.
Honestly if that is what the writer-director wished to convey as the meaning of the word MAATR or MOTHER, as a lady who doesn’t care about ruining the life of another young girl of her daughter’s age for taking her own revenge, then I am really sorry and would not really like to comment upon the writing or the thought-process any further.
Hence MAATR just has Raveena Tandon giving her best to a pretty badly conceived role of an emotional, brave mother, but I really wish she had questioned the writers about the silly insertion in it victimizing ‘another still alive daughter of a different family’.
With none of the supporting actors making a mark in this crudely over dramatic film ending with another absurd sequence like a typical Bollywood revenge saga, MAATR can easily be described as a flawed film that faintly tries to raise a voice against a sickening social curse, that was much impactfully presented in Raveena's JAAGO (2004).
But beside the weak presentation, I was also really sad to see the unmissable poetry of Munawwar Rana neither promoted nor used in any effective or appreciable manner in a film titled MAATR.
In fact this can easily be quoted as the only positive outcome of the project as it introduces you to a unique and widely acclaimed, lifetime creation of the poet titled MAA. So it’s the book you should be going for instead of the film as my sincere recommendation.
Rating : 1.5 / 5
Tags : Maatr Film Review By Bobby Sing, 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
 
 
30 April 2017 / bobbysing /
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You got to be exceptionally brilliant having a few appreciable love songs in the package, if you are once again presenting the same old formulaic love story of Romeo-Juliet mixed with the climax of Punjab’s folk tale Mirza-Sahiba, calling it MIRZA JUULIET. Plus you desperately need to have some USP in the film too lifting it above the routine ‘seen before’ kind of love story bringing the required freshness.
(Spoilers Ahead)
Sadly director Rajesh Ram Singh isn’t able to provide anything mentioned above in his below average MIRZA JUULIET which simply falls flat in terms of novelty and even the lead pair looks pretty aged in their close ups and some scenes lacking the mass appeal. Wasting a powerful potential twist the film could have been much better focusing on the sub-plot of rape before marriage and its decisive political outcome creating a scary chaos. But the makers strangely keep sticking to the clichéd outdated pattern and deliver a film standing nowhere in the category of young romantic musicals.  
Vaguely talking about the Hindu-Muslim clashes, harassment of women within the family, scary political ambitions of goons and corrupted Police department in the interiors, MIRZA JUULIET takes it clear clues from films such as ISHAQZAADEY, TANU WEDS MANU, GANGS OF WASSEYPUR and more, but still remains unable to impress neither through its lead pair or their passionate love story treated quite awfully.
In fact the only novelty in the film is its lead female protagonist, who is not shy of verbally discussing or practicing sex with her lover making a bold statement and then informs about the same to her influential fiancé too when she is high on booze. The first half strangely keeps focusing on the same with a silly horny character and the second half simply becomes the typical runaway saga as usual. Moreover the climax yet again comes up with a similar conclusion we last saw in MIRZYA making no impact whatsoever on the already exhausted audience.
However in a 130 minutes long terribly stretched love story, we do have a shockingly disturbing scene as a dialogue between an elder brother and his sister, post her sudden pre-marriage rape by the would-be husband. Unfortunately the director and his writer could not present it in any highly impressive manner, which could have been a major twist and the much desired USP of the script resulting in a lot better film.
Playing the Juuliet, Pia Bajpai tries her best overdoing the act of Parineeti Chopra as seen in ISHAQZQAADE and Darshan Kumar as Mirza never appears to be the hero of a young love story despite of being pretty decent. As a result you neither feel any chemistry nor any emotional connect with the lead pair affecting the overall impact. In the supporting role, Chandan Roy Sanyal plays a clown like villain confusingly portrayed by the writers and Priyanshu Chatterjee keeps trying to enact a role of a local don, not actually suiting his persona to be very honest. In the technical department the cinematography gives you a deja-vu kind of feel reminding you of films set in the similar local regions and the soundtrack doesn’t have anything worth mentioning to support the on screen romance.
In all, revolving around a tragedy, the film is a tragedy itself, which certainly forces you to think that why such lifelessly repetitive movies get made and for what kind of target audience?
Rating : 1+1 / 5 (with the additional 1 for the fresh sub-plot of a pre-marriage rape criminally wasted by the makers.)
Tags : Mirza Juuliet Review by Bobby Sing, Mirza Juliet Film Review by Bobby Sing, 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
 
 
07 April 2017 / bobbysing /
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