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May 01, 2016 Sunday     
If it’s a Rajshri film directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya (returning after almost a decade), featuring Salman Khan in the lead, with an ‘already hit’ title song presented with a surprising grandeur not usually related with the esteemed banner, then what does one expect?
Obviously not something great in its story department, but certainly something highly likable, emotional and relatable with all lovable, homely characters on screen, giving the worth of our money spent on the entire family tickets bought after a long time.
Obviously not something novel in terms of presentation, but surely something moving enough to feel the warmth between our close relationships, dangerously missing in our present films specifically made just for the quick weekend returns.
And obviously not anything path breaking, but certainly something worth watching that satisfies us both in terms of emotional fulfillment as well as entertainment exactly like the three films directed by the big name as MAINE PYAR KIYA, HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN & VIVAH.
However what Sooraj delivers in his much talked about and awaited PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO after a gap of nine years, turns out to be nothing even comparable to the above three names, straight away reminding you of his two mistakes made in the past as HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN and MAIN PREM KI DIWANI HOON, clearly indicating towards no lessons learned from their big failures at all in a highly ignorant and casual manner.
Giving you the clear picture, nothing works in this latest venture of Rajshri-Sooraj-Salman, nothing whatsoever……except the man… Salman Khan, taking two steps backward from his last mega-hit BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. The film neither has some great characterizations in its shockingly routine screenplay, nor any memorable well written sequences or simplistic dialogues continuing the tradition started by MAINE PYAR KIYA. Above all in PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, the team comes up with such pathetically overused, clichéd storyline that makes you wonder that how confidently they keep on making films on the same stories again & again assuming the people to be dumb enough to keep on accepting them year after year with closed eyes without any complains as such. Yes, at times even the same stories become hugely entertaining due to the writer/director’s exceptional novel treatment & presentation. But sadly that is not visible anywhere in this film that unexpectedly even starts boring the viewers in its second half.
Recalling the experience of watching it in the theater, I was really surprised to see simply nothing executed on screen with the backing of some solid writing (post the decent opening Ramlila sequence) and the film progressing so casually without incorporating any kind of much needed suspense or enjoyable tension involving the double role. In fact, a few catchy songs and comic scenes remain the only relief moments in its first half, with the second turning out to be so painfully long that you keep looking at your mobile/watch repeatedly as if it’s already gone beyond 3 hours shattering all kinds of expectations raised.
The cast ensemble including a couple of forgotten names, seem to be only interested in carelessly completing their given jobs establishing no emotional connect with their ultimate viewers, contributing ‘nothing’. And the names include veterans like Anupam Kher followed by Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh and the snake-man Arman Kohli. To be fair, there is only one person who randomly makes you laugh in his few scenes and he is Deepak Dobriyal who sadly remains under-utilized in the entire film displaying a shocking lack of vision.
Rephrasing the above, in PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO we have two lovers but no loving chemistry between them despite the hit tracks, brothers and sisters with no depth in their vaguely written characters placed just to get united again, villains with no emphasis given on their evil intentions or villainy and many deliberately inserted sequences like the unexciting football match post interval lacking the much-desired universal appeal and joy. Moreover except a couple of catchy compositions, both the lyricist and composer desperately keep trying to get into the Ravindra Jain/Ram Laxman mood making a conscious effort.
Ruining it further, it was hard to understand the director’s obsession with the highly outdated mirror sequences towards the end that had no charm at all reminding you of the famous climax sequence of Bruce Lee's ENTER THE DRAGON. Besides the never-ending final hour of the film becomes so tough to bear, exactly like watching the last few overs of a one day cricket match that has already been lost in its 40th over.
To be honest, in the entire film I kept wondering that,
A. Was this the story Sooraj R Barjatya kept searching for since 2006 which is clearly a take-off from famous novels such as “The Prisoner of Zenda” and “The Prince and the Pauper” (with the shades of BAWARCHI), already adapted several times in the West as well as in numerous Hindi films changing the theme from Kings to Dons since the mid of last century?
B. Was this the film Salman approved of - full of old time obsolete feel, based on a ridiculously stereotyped theme, having only a few engaging moments, at your face brand promotion, lackluster background score, unimpressive ‘big-empire’ grandeur (that only worked in the promos) and loads of full length songs thrown in just like that, assuming that the viewers are still living somewhere in the 90s?
C. Or Was this a mess, wherein Sooraj was not allowed to do what he was willing to, with the major suggestions/interventions coming from the now much bigger STAR with no intentions of breaking through his own comfort zone?
In all, a big unexpected let-down, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO actually has nothing Rajshri, Sooraj and Salman together are known for, not even the emotional warmth they used to offer in their earlier films. But here I will like to end on a much alarming note addressing the younger brigade born post the 90s, watching just Hindi films alone and nothing else.
If you fondly consider yourself as a true lover of cinema, but still watch just the mainstream Hindi movies only due to any kind of personal reservation or assumptions, then you are actually keeping yourself deprived of the REAL INDIA – that is a land of diversified cultures full of uncountable great stories told in its different languages.
And since Cinema is simply ‘The art of Story-telling’ using the combined impact of sound & visuals on the screen, you are actually not watching Cinema if they are not giving you all ‘new virgin stories’ in these films conceived by your favourite writers, directors or the influential actors.
So if you are seriously interested in the REAL CINEMA capable of adding a lot into your personal perspective towards life, then boldly ask for new stories, new insights into relationships, breaking new grounds in these films coming from your lovable icons and not just be satisfied by the same old dull, routine, overused stuff they keep on offering in the name of mainstream entertaining Cinema on regular basis.
But admittedly, since that is not going to change in the near future, therefore shed off any of your childish inhibitions and start watching the HINDI CLASSICS and REGIONAL CINEMA being made within our own country that will shockingly stun you in such a way that you would start cursing why I wasn’t told this eye-opener truth before……… saving all those years spent just watching the new Hindi mainstream movies released every Friday.
For instance, the day I watched PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO in the morning, I also witnessed the National Award winner Malayalam movie titled INDIAN RUPEE in the afternoon and then saw the trailers of upcoming KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI & NATSAMRAT (both Marathi) in the night. And realizing the gigantic ‘quality’ difference in the vision expressed in these gutsy regional movies ……. I wrote,
“Yeh Khaali Bajte Gharhey Se Naam, Kaisa Shor Macha Rahey Hain,
Yeh ‘Kya Cheez’ Dikha Rahey Hain, Aur Woh ‘KYAAA CHEEEEZ’ Bana Rahey Hain”

Rating : 1.5 / 5 (Including the big 1 just for its couple of melodious songs & some better tracks)
Tags : Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Review by Bobby Sing, Sooraj Barjatya, Rajshri film, Inspired Cinema, Copied Subjects, Cliched Themes, 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
14 November 2015 / bobbysing /
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Prithipal SinghBeginning with a basic question, “Why films are made on our worth-knowing heroes of the past?”……That’s because they wish to entertain as well as enlighten the young viewers with the inspiring stories of the heroes who could scale such astonishing heights in their respective deeds or fields setting new benchmarks to achieve for the coming generations.
However when one an unknown film informs you about something so important you are not even aware of (despite being a follower of the related sport), then it certainly becomes a much greater and appreciable attempt deserving a loud applause. So with a heartfelt thanks to the entire team for attempting a feature film on such a huge yet unknown chapter of our Indian sports history, I would love to give you the details of the triumphs achieved by the forgotten hero (in the later part of the review) who is strangely not remembered by even the hockey enthusiasts in our country of the present times.
But before that, reviewing it as a film, PRITHIPAL SINGH is unfortunately not any highly impressive bio-pic in terms of filmmaking, conceived with quite a casual and laidback approach by its debutant writer and director Babita Puri. Yet keeping in mind the limited budget of the project and mostly ‘first-timers’ working in its technical as well as music department, it still cannot be termed as any awful project since the makers do present it with a sensible approach making an intelligent use of the archive footage and sequences presented in Black & White, along with all average to above average performances given by the supporting cast, somehow serving the basic purpose of informing and enlightening the unaware viewers as desired.
Having said that, no doubt such a strong subject truly deserved much better execution by an experienced team in order to reach a wider audience all over the country as well as abroad like earlier seen in the case of BHAAH MILKHA BHAAG and PAAN SINGH TOMAR. In fact Prithipal Singh’s story being quite close to Paan Singh Tomar’s individual struggle for life, it surely had all the elements of making an effective, powerful bio-pic inspiring many youngsters, especially the ones playing Hockey in their school and college teams looking for a career in it.
Anyway moving ahead revealing the major or rather only merit of the film, it’s the performance of Vikas Kumar featuring in his debut movie, whom you must have seen in many TV serials playing some interesting roles (like CID). Vikas not only manages to reach the soul of his character with all the required aggression, anger and ‘no smiling’ mannerism portrayed well, but also looks like the role he is playing of a Sikh sportsman without any concerning visible hassles (and that too minus the over-famous six-pack abs or gym preparations as shown in BMB). In fact many would be surprised watching his published pictures after watching the film, as it really becomes hard to accept him in his original appearance entirely different from the character of Prithipal Singh in the film (just like Farhan Akhtar). Indeed a big compliment for the actor, who tries his best putting everything he has got in an unfortunately weak film made without any passion or fire as it seems. Here I would also like to mention the appreciable work of Vikas’s make-up artist and the cinematographer too adding a lot to his spirited performance on the screen in technical terms.
Coming to the most important section of the review, I would like to mention all the lesser known achievements of Prithipal Singh and the astonishing facts related with his professional as well as personal life that are sure going to be an eye-opener for most of the readers here in all possibilities.
1. Prithipal Singh (1932 – 1983) was an Indian hockey player nicknamed “The King of Short (Penalty) Corner” by the then hockey commentators as he was known to surely convert the corners into a goal with his exceptional skills.
2. He participated in the Olympic field hockey thrice and every time scored the highest number of goals by a single player. The Indian team won Olympic silver in Rome (1960), Gold in Tokyo (1964) and Bronze in Mexico (1968), but Prithipal had to leave or retire from the sport (post the Mexico games) after getting fed up from all the internal politics played by the official selectors against him.
3. In Rome (1960) India lost for the first time in Olympics and that too to Pakistan, settling for the Silver medal. But the team bounced back in the next games in Tokyo (1964) winning the Gold, and out of 22 goals in these games 10 were scored by Prithipal alone making another big record.
4. Even after winning the Gold in Tokyo Olympics (1964), due to the personal conflicts with the selectors, in the next Games held at Mexico the Indian team was sent with two Captains heading the boys………..Yes (unbelievably) two captains…….. only to humiliate Prithipal Singh and divide the team members negatively getting into two different groups. As a result, the team was not able to perform as earlier and could win only a Bronze medal due to its inner tussles, forcing Prithipal Singh to leave or retire from hockey forever.
Prithipal Singh5. A post-graduate in agriculture, after working for both Punjab Police and Indian Railways, Prithipal Singh became the deputy director for youth welfare in Punjab Agricultural Unviersity, Ludhiana. And it was there that he got involved in students politics leading to many serious consequences in the early 80s.
At one end, he was supposedly accused of murdering a famous student leader active in campus politics, on the other was also known to be a guiding figure for many involved in various college sports too. But with the group clashes taking a decisive turn, it came as a shock for everyone when Prithipal Singh was shot dead in broad daylight right within the campus in front of several students and officials witnessing the bullets being fired.
Shockingly none of the people watching the brutal murder came forward as witness to support Prithipal Singh identifying the known accused and the case got closed without any person booked allowing the killers to roam freely.
(However the death was not in any way related to Punjab Militancy active in the early 80s. Still it might have made the availability of arms easier for the students as it seems causing the campus bloodshed.)
6. Mentioning the awards, apart from receiving various honours from Agricultral College Ludhiana and Indian Railway Police, the first-ever Arjuna Award to a hockey player was conferred upon Prithipal Singh in 1961 by the Government of India and he was later also given the Padma Shri in 1967 for his meritorious contributions to the Indian Hockey.
Admittedly where a few readers might be already familiar with Prithipal Singh and his life history through any of their personal experiences, I was honestly not aware of the name before watching the film, despite having many friends actively following the game of hockey (as Delhi has a large number of hockey lovers, particularly living in West Delhi). So where I am extremely thankful to the makers for attempting a film on this ‘must-know sports personality of India’, I frankly also wish the impressive Vikas Kumar had got a better writer-director visualising this proud but rather unknown, shocking, upsetting, shameful and scary chapter of our Indian sports history on the silver screen.
So you should ideally watch it not as any film but as an informative document featuring the spirited Vikas Kumar, reminding us about a forgotten chapter of our proud sports history which also reveals how sports authorities have been questionably working in our country since the mid of last century.
Ratings (as a film) : 2 / 5 (with a big thanks for making us aware of the Indian “King of Short Corner” named Prithipal Singh)
Tags : Prithipal Singh Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Prithipal Singh Film Review by Bobby Sing at BTC, Real Life Inspired Films, Hindi films based on Indian Sports Personality, 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 movies
31 October 2015 / bobbysing /
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If one is still wondering why there is a sequel-mania witnessed in the film industry then the opening day response to PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA 2 should clearly answer the question (surprising even the trade pundits), further ensuring that the trend is here to stay and is not going to fade out any sooner. Taking it sportingly there is no harm to make a sequel if you have something new to offer continuing with the base-content presented in the original. But since PKP2 exactly follows the same pattern/progression and conclusion as seen in PKP1, so it would be better to call it a REMAKE instead of a SEQUEL giving you the exact picture.
However despite moving on a similar-seen before path, the film still scores well in terms of entertainment basically due to its young realistic feel, local language, enjoyable dialogues and performances specifically written from the point of view of its 3 victim boys projecting the girls as simply mean, ignorant, greedy, money-minded and wicked witches just there to exploit their foolish boyfriends using them to the maximum. So where the boys are truly going to love it, the girls would more likely hate it for their silly, dumb and unpleasant portrayal throughout.
Describing the theatre experience, the film right away comes to the point with its 3 male characters speaking their comic dialogues in a typical Delhi-NCR lingo with many annoying beeps. But the young viewers easily get to understand what’s being said (behind the beeps) mocking the questionable Censor Board, that insists on muting some key words even in a film given an ADULT rating pointing towards all confusing standards. Introducing the three girls next, PKP2 goes on maintaining the young feel and the well written dialogues, executed superbly on screen do not disappoint at all till it says intermission.
In the second half, though the viewers can easily judge that its nothing new from the team progressing on exactly the same format of its prequel, they still don’t mind enjoying it as the fun continues in its final hour too, but following a strictly one sided mindset ridiculing the three girls. Moreover it all ends on another high point in the police station sequence wherein once again it’s the boy playing the winning stroke insulting the girl for not coming up with the truth in front of her father.
In few words there are three basic reasons why PKP2 works majorly for the young boys despite having a stale subject talking about the same things. Firstly, because here we have a completely natural actor Sunny Singh who never lets you miss the most loved character of the original i.e. Liquid (played by Divyendu in PKP1). In fact Sunny brings his own freshness and charm to the character impressing one and all post the initial hiccups felt mainly due to his well built appearance of a macho-man. Secondly it’s the realistically written dialogues of the film every boy can easily relate too, making an instant connection with the viewers. And thirdly it’s the superbly executed 6.30 minutes long monologue brilliantly performed by Kartik that receives a roaring applause from the audience as if it was their personal feelings expressed by the man on screen so truthfully. No doubt, the most hilarious moment of the film indeed, quoting Kate Winslet of Titanic to discussions after sex in a highly funny tone pointing towards the intolerable attitude of girls.
In the performance section, I would like to rate Sunny Singh scoring the most (playing Chauka) as it was certainly not an easy task to match up the performance of Liquid in the original and that too with a contrastingly different (and strong) physical appearance not suiting his sheepish character at all. Next is Kartik Aaryan playing almost similar role as in PKP1 but again coming with a fabulous monologue scene deserving all the attention. And then Omkar Kapoor playing it real cool in a pretty decent manner as the main financer of the trio irrespective of an illogically written character constantly being fooled by his greedy girlfriend.
Coming to the girls, Ishita Raj scores the maximum (especially due to her belly dance scene), followed by Nushrat Bharucha working hard on her dumb character that at times also turns to be hamming in some specific sequences. Sonalli Sehgall looks hot and beautiful taking a few steps further than the prequel and the supporting cast does a fine job too including Sharat Saxena, Mona Ambegaonkar and the two girls playing Nushrat’s (Cheeku’s) friends. Technically PKP2 becomes better in art direction, cinematography, editing and background score supporting the theme aptly, but this time its vision as well as the writing becomes more biased supporting the boys in particular.
Stating the downers, PKP 2 doesn’t offer anything worth mentioning in its soundtrack and one frankly misses a song like “Ban Gaya Kutta” in its various sequences. Probably the makers couldn’t come up with anything equally exciting or catchy, hence decided to use the same track running in its backdrop providing the much needed support especially in the second half. The basic characterization also turns out to be hugely contradicting when we get to see a supposedly talented and educated person earning 3 lacs a month (Omkar) being fooled so easily by a girl met in a gym, living alone in a big apartment. And then the otherwise confident boy (Kartik) forgetting all his smartness once the girl says ‘Yes’.
For friends who think the film is once again misogynistic in nature as earlier, it’s actually not the same as seen in PKP1 which did have some major features pointing towards the same. As per definition, a misogynist is a person who hates, dislike, mistrusts or mistreats women. Whereas in PKP2 the boys are all loving, trusting and believing in their girls wholeheartedly right till the end and it’s the girls only who repeatedly ditch them on purpose either for money, security or being plain dumb like the one portrayed by Nushrat. As a result, the three girls simply get projected as someone highly selfish, intolerable, manipulative and always looking for money or security in their man, instead of love or togetherness. (And if the film gets appreciated by even the girls then they will be readily agreeing to the portrayals proving them all to be true!)
In comparative terms, where PKP1 could easily be called as a fine satire on love and cracking relationships among the youth, PKP2 is a more comical take on the subject conceived specifically from a male point of view as being the key sufferers.
In other words, in PKP1 we did have a decent relationship also reaching the stage of marriage talks with the parents, a playboy having an affair with another playgirl teaching him some essential lessons and then a revenge taken by Liquid from his rival boyfriend in the end balancing it all. But in PKP2 the major emphasis is entirely on giving you a good time in the theater with loads of witty one liners following a female-bashing attitude that majorly works (but obviously for the boys alone). Interestingly, sex doesn’t become any centre of attraction of the script this time for a change and it’s the humour that takes care of every shortcoming of the film providing a fine return of your money and time spent on the multiplex outing.
Having said that, though PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA 2 surely deserves a good rating for its entertainment factor well taken care of, it still remains ‘a guilty kind of enjoyment’ derived from a one dimensional project sidelining its female characters. Perhaps in the third part we will get to see an equal fight of the sexes scaling much better heights. Till then the boys are definitely going to have a great time in the theater supporting Chauka and more.
Rating : 3 / 5 (including an additional 0.5 for Sunny and Kartik together)
Interesting Observations for the interested friends
A. Writer-director Luv Ranjan delivered a surprise hit as his debut film PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA in 2011 and then went to make a more mature film focusing on an extremely important social problem rarely taken up in our Hindi films due to the obvious reasons. It was AAKASH VANI (2013) made on the theme of “MARITAL RAPE” having a worth listening soundtrack too with some exceptional lyrics. But since the film flopped without making any kind of impact whatsoever, Luv had to keep his meaningful projects aside and deliver a remake of his own debut movie to prove himself once again, which in fact represents the ugly truth why we don’t get to see great cinema from even the young thoughtful directors around.
B. Continuing with the tradition of having an extraordinary monologue (as seen in PKP1), there is a brilliant 6.30 minutes long monologue by Kartik in the present film too with the first 3 minutes progressing without any cut going non-stop at a super speed.
Now at one end this undoubtedly raises the standard of performance expected from the young entrants, on the other it would really be interesting to see that whether any KHAN, KAPOOR or KUMAR would like to try this in their upcoming films complimenting the exceptional effort.
C. The film has a scene shot in Gurdwara Bangla Sahib (Delhi) wherein the three boys are coming out of the main premises and then bow down in front of the ‘Kesari Flag’ known as ‘Nishaan Sahib’. Now its not the director’s fault here, as the bowing down to the ‘Nishaan Sahib’ is normally considered as an essential ritual by a majority of devotees visiting any Gurdwara all over the world due to their innocent ignorance.
In reality, there is no such religious ritual of bowing down to the ‘Nishaan Sahib’ and its simply done out of ‘pure (innocent) devotion’ or ‘shraddha’ as we usually like to put it. A person has to bow down only in front of the ‘Divine Granth’ and not anywhere else as repeatedly instructed by the learned teachers, scholars and care-takers of the Gurdwara. But since everyone is performing the act so lovingly, it seems to be as a religious ritual to be followed unconditionally.  
Giving you the exact logic, the high rise Kesari flag known as ‘Nishaan Sahib’ is the traditional symbol of 'Khalsa Panth' that is also supposed to be an indication for the travelling people, visible even from a long distance, informing them that here is a Gurdwara where you will be given free water, food and shelter too for few hours along with the spiritual blessings of the ALMIGHTY irrespective of any caste, colour or discrimination. And that is why the word used is ‘Nishaan’ meaning ‘Symbol’.
Tags : Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 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, Remake of his own film, Luv Ranjan remakes his own film.
16 October 2015 / bobbysing /
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