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

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January 20, 2017 Friday     
When you are making a crime-deceit drama in the year of 2016, then you obviously need to keep in mind the present technological and scientific developments in the field of investigations and then carefully pen down a script wherein a crime is planned taking good care of the same leaving the minimum loopholes.
(Clear Spoilers Ahead)
However what can one say about a film releasing in the present era made on the decades old outdated plot of ‘his own death’ staged by a person in heavy debts for his insurance money. And further focuses on a supposedly clever hero too, who doesn’t even bother to find a person or body of his same blood group to be presented before the police and insurance agents as a proof of his own death. Also here is a film, where we don’t even have any official or detective interested in investigating the unusual death (involving a completely burnt body) coming from the insurance company and then such an intelligent hero who even casually goes to a mortuary asking for a body without hiding his own identity. Moreover the man dares to return to the town too visiting his own apartment (post the staged death) without any disguise whatsoever, probably considering himself as the invisible man coming straight from the novel of H. G. Wells.
Wasting its entire first half on the build-ups and detailed introductory sequences that could have been easily edited in the opening 20-25 minutes, MOH MAYA MONEY actually begins just before the interval and then simply fails to make an impact the moment you come to know what the mystery is actually all about.
No doubt we have some fine performances from the lead (Ranvir/Neha) and supporting cast in this song-less crime thriller that might appeal to the viewers who don’t really care for the clues left or are interested in solving the mystery themselves. But for the ones who are die-hard fans and regular readers or followers of this particular genre, the film is going to be nothing more than a kids play to be honest.
Praising the debutant director Munish Bhardwaj for building a realistic (Delhi) feel throughout extracting mostly natural performances following a non-linear narrative, it was really shocking to see how he carelessly handled the mystery and completely ignored the simple loopholes in a crime plan executed in such an amateurish manner.
Overall, you can surely go for MOH MAYA MONEY as a casual time pass watch catching it on a television channel, but its certainly not going to be any amusing film for the friends, seriously into this particular genre of crime and mystery thrillers. May be we will get to see a much better film from Munish as his next project specifically taking care of its writing department.
Rating : 1.5 / 5  
Note : The outdated subject strongly reminds you of hit films like Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY that came more than seven decades back in the year 1944.
Tags : Moh Maya Money Review by Bobby Sing, Moh Maya Money Film Review by Bobby Sing, Outdated subject, Double Indemnity (1944), 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
26 November 2016 / bobbysing /
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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Gulzar together retelling Punjab’s folk tale of Mirza-Sahiba introducing Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan along with Saiyami Kher was enough to excite the filmgoers and there was a great buzz seen in the social media too when the teaser and trailers of MIRZYA were released followed by the unusual or experimental soundtrack made available on Youtube (the new-age way of releasing the soundtrack online).
However no such buzz was witnessed before the film’s release, probably because the makers themselves knew that they didn’t have a great product in hand and it will be suicidal to further raise the expectations by doing some heavy promotions. Sharing my personal expectations from the film, I never felt excited knowing the basic theme right from the start as it had nothing new to tell as per the storyline and therefore was only interested in the way director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra visualizes it on screen based on the screenplay/dialogues written by the veteran Gulzar, who with a Punjabi background was sure to add something unique into the script bringing in the novelty factor.
But shockingly MIRZYA comes up as a huge disappointment unexpectedly and I never thought Mehra and Gulzar together could make such a flat, repetitive and energy-less (supposedly) romantic film that doesn’t work even in a single scene from its first sequence to the last resulting in A BIG NOTHING, except a couple of above average songs and an eye-catching cinematography.
As a matter of fact, if cinematography can easily be rated as the only worth-talking feature  of MIRZYA in terms of visualization and presentation, then that too has been provided by an imported technician from the west, a Polish cinematographer Pawel Dyllus along with Australian action director Danny Baldwin, who no doubt excel in their individual departments well supported by the art director, especially in the sequences depicting the silent fantasy (with a touch of famous TV series “Game of Thrones”) and the stunning locations of Ladakh and Rajasthan.  
But again, are we supposed to watch and praise a film just because of its frames, art direction and cinematography ignoring everything else?
Made on an already known, paper-thin storyline with nothing new for the viewers, surprisingly the renowned writer-director duo present an utterly confusing story progression running on three parallel tracks (timelines) representing the past and the present. Following the similar ‘seen before’ format used in his RANG DE BASANTI (adapted in a pathetic manner), Mehra begins from a fantasy sequence denoting the past and then brings you back into the present focusing on the school days of his lead pair spent in Rajasthan (as always seen in traditional love stories like Laila-Majnu). In addition, he keeps throwing a third track in between showcasing a group of folk dancers over-reacting to the proceedings with some highly charged up dances and facial expressions making no connection whatsoever with the other two.
Don’t really know what the makers wished to portray with this kind of puzzling and indigestible ‘3-tier program’ frankly? And if a dear friend reading this would like to comment that this is art which I couldn’t understand……, then yes, I am certainly not able to understand this kind of forced, boring, unemotional, lethargic and unrelatable artistic expressions at all (quite thankfully!). I am all game for any kind of life enriching poetry painted on screen using many colourful backdrops, but definitely not when it is deliberately done to present some kind of ‘made to order classic’ to be very honest.
In straight words, a masterpiece cannot be made forcibly at will or on order, bringing in some foreign technicians as an enhancement to present your visual imagery.
Moreover, I failed to understand why Mehra and Gulzar decided to deduct PUNJAB out of a traditional folk tale of the region and the director presented both the main protagonist (Sahiba) and the brothers as some kind of foreigners (may be to impress the so called festival audience). Besides, though the past sequences were shot as a silent inclusion in the film (adding to the silly confusion), I truly missed the name SAHIBA in a film titled MIRZYA…… not mentioned even once in the entire story progression (or did I miss something enjoying my Nachos more!)
May be the acclaimed director was religiously following his strange but consistent career strategy of giving a big messy FLOP post his every HIT seen in the past as AKS-RDB-DELHI 6-BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG and now MIRZYA. Ironically he may successfully bounce back with his next film too in the coming years, but this is certainly not any sign of a great, thoughtful director as he is widely referred to in the trade circles and media.
On the other hand, it was really disheartening to see this kind of extremely slow paced, unexciting, depthless and stale screenplay penned by the genius GULZAR, blessed with an unparalleled experience of witnessing and participating in different schools of filmmaking in the past six decades.
On a personal note, I am a die-hard fan or mureed of Gulzar since the 80s and that’s the very reason I cannot appreciate MIRZYA at all, expressing the disappointment of a true fan with all due respect. In fact, will have to write with a heavy heart that it’s the impactless script of Gulzar only which remains the biggest culprit behind this colossal failure in reality.
Coming to the music, yes the film has a technically rich soundtrack featuring innovative arrangements and many interesting names as performers, but its also a highly overrated OST missing the much required instant connect with the audience. Contradicting the vision of a musical, the songs seem to be all forced into the narration coming one after another and despite being a good title track, Daler Mehndi’s high pitched voice actually starts annoying inserted in several uninspiring sequences along the changing timelines.
No doubt the lyrics are mostly fine including the regional touch too, but I would love to read them in a book penned by Gulzar instead of a lackluster soundtrack failing to deliver any highly melodious composition reaching my heart and soul. Honestly only three above-average songs manage to impress in the film, namely the title song, ‘Hitchki’ and ‘Teen Gawah’ among the cluster of many. Besides, the background score also remains like something trying to be too classy overlapped by the songs, along with the VFX using ‘the slow motion’ much more than required making it less exciting and tacky.
Lastly but most importantly if this is a kind of film planned, conceived and visualized for two young energetic debutants (including the son of a reputed star) then I would like to call it a highly irresponsible and directionless act from the veterans without any holding back. Hence instead of judging the performances of both Harshvardhan and Saiyami, I would humbly like to give them an urgent suggestion that forget the poor debut taking it out of your system, but do try to recall the people who wholeheartedly appreciated and praised this ‘bad film’ before its official release, as that should be your first eye-opener lesson in this fake show business.
Expressing it differently I found the gypsy girl sacrificing her life for love, having much more intensity, chemistry and sensuality in her eyes or act than any other person in the film including the lead pair. Unfortunately nothing great can be said about the supporting cast too wherein another British actor is strangely roped in to play the father and Om Puri remains wasted in just a two scene appearance.
Concluding it with another harsh comment, it really feels awkward to believe that these big names picked up a subject of MIRZA-SAHIBA to be made in a western style, forgetting all about its actual regional origin and the traditional composition associated with the folk tale spiritedly sung in Punjab since ages. Frankly for me it’s just like writing/making a film on HEER RANJHA without incorporating the cult composition of HEER killing the entire theme and folksy feel arrogantly.
In short,
You killed MIRZA once again after centuries dear Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Gulzar,
which is an unpardonable act as per my personal opinion.
Sadly MIRZA-SAHIBA never got any great film made on their unique, tragic end explaining their individual perspectives.
Interestingly Harshvardhan’s ‘forgettable’ debut film MIRZYA made me recall his father Anil Kapoor’s poor dud HEER RANJHA released in 1992.
But then it still had the ‘Heer’ composition sung by the incomparable Reshmafrom Pakistan, just like the 1947 released MIRZA SAHIBA (Noorjehan’s last film before partition) had the Punjabi traditional song in its climax and 1957 released MIRZA SAHIBA (with Shammi Kapoor playing Mirza) had the cult composition incorporated in a dance track maintaining the sanctity.
Unfortunately or rather ridiculously, the present MIRZYA neither tells you why this is the only love story having the male name first instead of the female nor it makes you feel any lump in the throat or goosebumps listening to the original poetry. So if you do wish to feel the magic in its beautiful composition, then just forget about this unexpected misfire of 2016 and listen to this rare, unplugged MIRZA sung by Asa Singh Mastana (at the given link) remembering ‘Peelu’ - the original writer of the poetry from the 17th century.

After playing the above track, experience another modern but a highly emotional, heartfelt take on the story by Harbhajan Maan at the following link having a video too.
Much more effective and impactful than the latest soul-less MIRZYA, these two tracks would make you feel for the legendary story from heart and after listening to them (even if you don’t really understand the lyrics), I am sure you will also like to end the debate saying,
You killed MIRZA once again after centuries dear Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Gulzar………. You just killed him once again like the betraying Sahiba”
Rating : 1.5 / 5
For interested friends,
more variations of the traditional composition can be heard at the following links :
The climax Punjabi track from Hindi film MIRZA SAHIBA (1947) – (Play it from 8 min 2 sec)
The earliest rendition by Alam Lohar (Pakistan).
By Daler Mehndi (in his first album released in the mid 90s)
By Arif Lohar (Alam Lohar’s son) at Coke Studio, Pakistan
(Would soon share a detailed write-up on an exceptionally unique track recorded by us a decade back, sung by one of my dear friends, presenting a completely different vision of the folk-tale you would have never read or heard before for sure. So stay tuned till I find/upload it on Youtube in the coming week.)
Tags : Mirzya Film Review by Bobby Sing, MIRZYA Movie Review by Bobby Sing, MIRZYA An unapologetic review by Bobby Sing, Inspired from traditional folk love stories,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
08 October 2016 / bobbysing /
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When a film is widely promoted as a biopic on the eventful life of an iconic sportsman/cricketer (or any achiever for that matter) then the viewer is willing and eager to watch two aspects of his life in particular.
ONE – The story behind the making of the icon, his early days as a kid in the school, his introduction to the game, his family members, his teachers, the coach, the first job and the close friends who actually provided the much needed support in those struggling years along with his relationships with girls or the love affairs.
TWO – The story post his becoming an icon, as a part of the Indian squad, how he met the other big stalwarts in the team, how he broke the ice establishing a relationship coming from a small town and how they handled the stress and failures together heading towards the bigger wins in various major championships or at least some relevant insights about their collective joys, their fights and known controversies giving us ‘the untold truths’.
So a biographical film essentially has to deal with these two important phases of a well-known achiever’s life in order to be rated as a great attempt which sadly cannot be said about M. S. DHONI to be honest. However, as a project made to excite and entertain the viewers talking about a renowned figure, the film still works on many levels discussed in details below.
It begins with a similar declaration as in AZHAR saying that this is not a biopic but a film based on true events from the life of its lead character (once again contradicting the wide publicity as a biopic). Plus just like AZHAR this one too has the icon actively involved in its making and promotion (also reportedly being the co-producer), so you are obviously not going to find any grey or negative shades at all in the entire film. In fact where AZHAR deliberately tried to present Azharuddin in all positive shades by including a major controversy, M. S. DHONI simply refuses to deal with any such thing and completely skips the controversy part related with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s career resulting in a clearly one sided projection of our sports icon.
Anyway would further like to talk about the film focusing on its two halves.
The First Half
MSD’s first half is a big winner as it beautifully portrays his early part of life, rightly fulfilling the first expectation from a biopic as mentioned above. These initial 80-90 minutes are long but full of amazingly executed moments right from the first scene of Dhoni wearing his No.7 jersey in the green room. Every individual character as well as the original locations transport you back into the life of a middle class boy who actually was more interested in being a goalkeeper playing football instead of cricket.
One feels like being a part of the narration brilliantly presented by the team beginning from the school days to the dilemma or depressions slowly creeping in during the Railway officer job specifically. There are several scenes in this first half making a strong impression but the ones featuring his immensely helpful group of friends score the maximum.
Having said that there is still a grave mistake made in this crucial part and that is of deleting the character of the real elder brother of M. S. Dhoni from his life as if he never existed showcasing a false picture of his personal family relationships to be straight.
Frankly I didn’t know filmmakers, writers or directors are also allowed or enjoy this facility to pose as GOD pressing ‘Shift+Delete’ for a character like the elder son of a real family in a biopic for their own convenience or reasons to satisfy the icon himself. I personally didn’t expect that kind of ‘buttering’ or 'fooling his audience kind of act' from a director like Neeraj Pandey? May be that is the reason why he chose to use the tag line as 'THE UNTOLD STORY'.
Second Half
Post interval, as the viewers expect to see some real insights into the unknown aspects of Dhoni’s professional life, the director once again moves to his personal life instead ignoring the latter completely.
For instance, becoming the captain of Indian Cricket team is undoubtedly the most crucial phase in the life of a cricketer or sportsman, but the film never tells you anything about that ‘major jump’ at all for some undisclosed reasons. Further it simply avoids or ignores any grey shades or controversies involved with the name, resulting in a quite shallow or deliberately painted ‘made to order’ kind of positive sketch to be precise.
So for friends looking for the professional anecdotes and stories, there is nothing of that sort in the film, not even the mention of the questions raised over his Captaincy, CSK betting case in the IPL or conflict of interest issues reported in the recent years. Moreover even in the scene where the board is discussing the chances of continuing with some known experienced players, the director decides to press the mute button, yet again pointing towards a film designed as a ‘made to order’ product as quoted earlier.
On the other hand, a sweet and subtle romance followed by an unexpected brutal tragedy still makes a strong positive impact, though it turns the film into another typical Bollywood venture due to the forced songs and much more time devoted towards the love affairs. However as the romance gets over, we once get to see a continuing program of highlights conceived as the spirited climax that successfully wins over the viewers bringing in the proud nostalgia, but doesn’t justify the film to be rated as an informative honest biopic as projected.
Despite its big notable flaws and intentional deletions, MSD can easily be included amongst those rare Hindi films that have a more than 3 hours duration but still thoroughly keep you glued to the screen because of many well-crafted, inspiring sequences and all flawless performances (discussed in details later).
With a director like Neeraj Pandey coming up with a biopic on the life of a cricketer post films like A WEDNESDAY, SPECIAL 26 and BABY, one is bound to expect something exciting as well as explosive following a different approach.    
But Pandey’s M. S. DHONI appears to be a half heartedly prepared dish on ‘a dictated recipe’ just to please the crazy fans of the icon, riding high on the already known famous characteristics of the unconventional captain of our Indian cricket team, unfortunately.
Because where at one end Pandey successfully portrays the early life of Dhoni with an amazing ease and conviction along with all fabulous performances, he simply shuts his eyes while portraying his hero’s professional life raising many serious doubts over his intentions of making a truthful biopic.
In clear words, it seems MSD was not a subject or a project chosen by Neeraj Pandey himself, but he was actually hired by a third party to direct this specific film serving their own hidden motives. Otherwise I don’t find any reason why a bold director like Pandey would simply ignore the professional life of a cricketer making his BIOPIC and get overindulged in his personal or love life instead (with full length songs too) in the second half.
In fact that’s so unlike a Neeraj Pandey film to be exact. Because we don’t really know him as a director who would agree to put many important truths under the carpet just to have a HIT film. A director who has no problem in deleting the ‘elder brother’ from the real life story of an icon cheating his audience, or a director who would like to focus more on affairs and songs instead of the other much exciting and expected professional aspects of the unconventional celebrity cricketer.
Besides the highly debatable projection of the game in the film also makes you wonder that is CRICKET only about SIXES hit for a long distance or helicopter shots of a player ignoring all his other skills of wicket keeping and tenure as a captain managing the other veterans in the team? Supporting the question, its really amusing to see that post the first half, the director simply portrays Dhoni as a batsman ignoring his above mentioned facets quite conveniently painting an incomplete picture.
Keeping in mind Neeraj’s earlier ventures, he is best at handling the characters with strong ‘grey shades’. But since MSD doesn’t even feature any such negative characteristic of its hero presenting him as ‘a perfect man’, the film ends on a ‘too sweet’ note on the cost of sounding ‘unrealistic’.
Why the film still works?
A 3 hours long,’ one dimensional’ biographical film with some major flaws still successfully works because of its extensive research of the early times, a powerful ‘emotional quotient’ making an instant connect and all commendable performances reaching out to the audience entertaining them thoroughly.
Where the first half does the trick with many inspiring sequences depicting the middle class struggle and value of true friends in a budding player’s life, the second half emotionally makes a solid impression with the shocking tragedy and real life footage of the original matches and clippings used brilliantly. Here a special mention essentially needs to be made for the VFX department enhancing the film with their exceptional work in both pre and post interval sequences amazing one and all (though it sometimes gets caught due the mismatching proportions).
MSD also works due to its fine cinematography (presenting the on-field sequences superbly) and a gripping background score that doesn’t let the film lose its uplifting spirit in even a single scene. Plus though not required, its songs still sound soothing in the film taking good care of the subtle and effective romantic feel.
In short its ‘Dhoni - Off The Field’ which truly works in the favour of the film instead of ‘Dhoni - On The Field’, giving you the right picture. And finally its the performances, which actually elevate this questionably conceived biopic to much superior levels.
As an honest confession, many including myself had some big doubts as Neeraj announced the film last year with Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead playing Dhoni on screen. But both the director and his lead actor proved us all entirely wrong as Sushant is unbelievably spot-on and makes the most of the big opportunity given proving his untapped talent. In fact now after watching the film, one cannot even think of anyone else playing M. S. Dhoni on screen other than Sushant Singh.
The actor literally transforms himself into Dhoni adapting every single mannerism of the icon including his body language, his stance, the famous shots and much more giving a terrific, award winning performance. He brightens up every frame in the film right from the opening scene and simply excels in the emotional sequences in particular. And the film should ideally prove to be the much awaited turning point in the career of Sushant Singh Rajput from here onwards.
Among the girls, Disha Patani as his first love interest makes a sparkling likeable debut but Kiara Advani is just fine playing the wife. Bhumika Chawla as the sister makes a decent comeback whereas Anupam Kher once again is impeccable as the hesitatingly supportive father. Apart from these key actors, three other supporting names make the film much brighter with their short but important roles and they are Rajesh Sharma as the first sports teacher introducing Dhoni to cricket, Kumud Mishra as his first official supporter and Herry Tangri who plays Yuvraj Singh in the film (and he is a great find). Majorly contributing in the best parts of the film, just watch out for the scene where Kumud Mishra requests Dhoni to forget about the past saying ‘Dil Mein Kuchh Mat Rakhna’ and then how Rajesh Sharma silently expresses his proud of being the first coach watching Dhoni hitting a winning sixer in the world cup with all tearful eyes.
Overall, M. S. DHONI as a biopic majorly focuses on 'the making of the icon' and his personal life in its 3 hours long duration ignoring the later events lived as an Indian player and captain (avoiding the controversies). Yet it’s still going to be loved due to the fabulous performances by the cast superbly led by Sushant Singh Rajput putting his mind, body and soul into the act coming up as a clear winner.
As a personal conclusion I would like to call M. S. DHONI as a Sushant Singh Rajput film much more than a Neeraj Pandey baby giving him the much deserving credit. The project is certainly not a six hit out of the park, but a four for sure, making M. S. Dhoni much bigger hero than he earlier was in the eyes of his numerous fans and countrymen appreciating this ‘made to order’ film.
Rating : 3 / 5 (with a big applause for Sushant Singh Rajput’s earnest effort made.)
Note: Addressing the repetitive issue of ‘Unfair increase in ticket prices by the Multiplexes’.
Though my site and write-ups might be too small in front of the big runners and my voice raised against this MULTIPLEX MAFIA also might not get heard or reach anywhere.
But what nobody can stop me from is deducting ONE STAR from every such film that takes ‘we the viewers’ for granted (in revolt). So a star goes from the rating of DHONI too since every big actor, director, production house and exhibitor is equally contributing in this sheer exploitation and willfully ignoring the issue over the last couple of years.
Final Rating : 3 – 1 = 2 / 5
Tags : M.S.Dhoni Review by Bobby Sing, MS DHONI Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Biographical film, 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, Hindi films on Cricekt, Hindi Sports movies
01 October 2016 / bobbysing /
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