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January 22, 2017 Sunday     
Beginning with the hard truth, if a director decides to make a sequel of his first film after 15 odd years (which is a long time) and co-produces it too with the music company re-using its most famous track, then either he is too obsessed with the very idea or is not able/willing to go for any novel plots due to his own undisclosed limitations or professional fears. Ironically the statement gets proved when after watching the film one realizes that the director has not even gone for a sequel but has just remade the original film following the exactly same format with even more clichéd insertions in the name of fresh changes. (Spoilers Ahead)
So TUM BIN 2 loses its major marks as it’s not at all a sequel but a remake made by the same director after 15 long years when even generations change in a society following a completely different thought process and ‘their kind of’ cinema.
Mentioning its noticeable merits first, the sequel/remake begins on a shaky note with a good song and some grainy graphical visuals. But then picks up soon with the emotional quotient handled well in its first 30 minutes followed by some regular entertaining moments supported by the well written lines. In fact despite the completely predictable/outdated theme or story progression the film still decently manages to engage you till the intermission through its likeable performances, sweet interactions and Late Jagjit Singh’s voice on screen (though it would have been much better if the song was not tempered inserting an additional female voice.)
Where the first half has enough emotionally entertaining moments and songs, the second half fails to impress despite having a few good scenes coming at long intervals. The narration derails fast and then goes into a completely confusing zone becoming too lengthy with nothing novel or engaging happening in its prolonged climax. As a result what could have been a good emotional film (for the young viewers), remains just an average romantic saga based on a highly overused and lackluster theme wasting a fine opportunity of en-cashing the still fresh memories of its original film.
Offering nothing more than the routine predictable love triangle with ‘an assumed dead returning all of a sudden’ the film’s only merit is its touching scenes keeping the emotional level high especially in the first half. And the best scenes in the script include an emotionally distressed girl's honest conversations with her supporting would-be father in law, the family’s visit to the house of a Pakistani Hindu doctor living with his mother and Neha’s confession in a Gurdwara admitting her present love. Background score helps a lot in these particular sequences and cinematography does give it an elegant eye-pleasing look throughout. At the same time the soundtrack struggles to surpass or even match the standard of its original film with only a few good and not any outstanding songs to be exact.
Having said that just like the 2001 hit, TUM BIN 2 also has all sincere performances more specifically coming from the largely lesser known supporting cast. Aditya Seal impresses confidently leading them all (in the first half) and debutant Aashim Gulati is just okay with a lot of time ahead to learn the essential details. Neha Sharma tries her level best playing a difficult role and looks gorgeous on the screen providing the glamour too. But the greater impact comes from Kanwaljeet (as the father), Mehar Vij (as the elder sister), Sonia Balani (as the second sister) and the actors playing the cool Sikh husband and the young doctor from Pakistan. Plus Sandali Sinha (of the original) also features in a pleasantly surprising cameo in the film’s initial moments.
Coming to its shockingly unimaginative remake status, just see how writer-director Anubhav Sinha follows his own film without going for anything fresh and innovative in his ‘supposed to be safe’ sequel even after a gap of 15 long years.
Tum Bin 2 has the same story format of a boy dying and the girl getting attracted to the very (guilt-ridden) person who is responsible for her boyfriend’s death (reminding you of films like DUSHMAN, KINARA and more having related concepts). The original exactly had the same plot but in fact had a more matured one as there is no dead person returning in it like the sequel (strongly reminding you of films like SANGAM and more).
The 2001 film had debuts giving the lead cast a dream chance, a long road journey bringing together the two young souls, the falling business of the girl resurrected by the leading man, a key Sikh character helping the hero, the interval coming right after the entry of the second boy, the love triangle beginning post intermission and a hit Stereo Nation (Punjabi based) song added into the script making a good use of T-series’s own artists.
Surprisingly everything mentioned above is right there in this so called sequel too with a few boring and unexpectedly avoidable additions. Thankfully this time we have an original Sikh person playing the supporting character instead of any fake disguised one and TUM BIN 2 has another rehashed Punjabi track of the past too (following the current sick trend) re-proving the fact that the mainstream Hindi cinema today cannot really do without any Punjabi song.
But stating the positive difference, where the original moved around only its 3-4 lead characters without involving the supporting cast much, the sequel gives them a well written respected space and extracts some fine performances too enhancing its overall impact.
Yet that cannot be accepted as an excuse from writer-director Anubhav Sinha for re-serving the same old-fashioned love story to the new-age viewers in the name of an emotional, musical sequel.
In all, TUM BIN 2 doesn’t justify the status of a sequel (being a remake instead) and can simply be rated as ‘fairly watchable average film’ due to its emotionally rich first half, likable performances and the nostalgic cult song alone. Besides it just gets some extra marks due to a few noticeable lines as,
“LIFE is exactly like a nice summer vacation………… wherein the moment we are busy making our next grand plans….. it suddenly gets over and we don’t have any more time left in the granted days”
Indeed a nice ‘enlightening’ thought to take back home from the theatre.
Rating : 2.5 / 5
(On a personal note, I felt good to see ‘Sadness and Sentiments’ back on screen in a Hindi film portrayed well without any hurry (in the first half), which was not being allowed by 'the corporate producers and presenters' intentionally since last many years.
Ideally, this must make you think about ‘the emotional quotient or scenes’ in the recent Hindi films, not staying for more than a couple of minutes on the screen, forget about the SAD songs.
But let me keep this revealing info of ‘silent conditioning of young viewers’ for a separate detailed write-up to be posted in the coming weeks.)
Tags : Tum Bin 2 Review by Bobby Sing, Tum Bin 2 Film Review by Bobby Sing, Tum Bin Sequel, 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, Average and unrequired Hindi Film sequels
19 November 2016 / bobbysing /
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When one doesn’t expect anything from a project and still gets a surprisingly decent subject and a couple of fine performances too in an otherwise below average film, then it certainly cannot be considered as a complete disaster at all giving it the deserving credit.
However that still doesn’t allow me to recommend this mixed-genre product for a multiplex viewing to be honest, as such films can actually be enjoyed more on a TV channel, when one doesn’t have to make any extra effort or spend a good amount of money on the tickets along with the expensive food items.
A trilingual released in Hindi, Tamil (as DEVI) and Telugu (as ABHINETRI) simultaneously, TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA is directed by Vijay (a famed filmmaker from the South) as his debut Hindi film and is also the first film of actor Sonu Sood as a producer.
Thanking JACKIE CHAN in the credits for probably the basic idea of the plot, which also makes you recall movies such as Nargis’s RAAT AUR DIN (1967), NASEEB APNA APNA (1986) and BHOOL BHULAIYA (2007), the film begins on a terrible note wherein the dubbing and language issue crops up in the very first scene introducing Prabhudeva as an employee flirting with a new entrant. The unbearable scenario continues for a good amount of time with Prabhu visiting his hometown to see his ailing grandmother. And the film thankfully gets on the track with Tamanna coming in as Prabhu’s wife and they both returning to Mumbai beginning their new life in a rented or rather haunted house.
So it’s from here onwards that the film reveals its interesting comic-horror theme defying all the logic (declaring the interval). And post intermission it’s all about how Prabhudeva gets forced to manage his wife and the ghost of a struggling film actress together living in the same house.
Sounding good as a basic subject of a film dealing with comedy and horror, the director surely comes up with a few good sequences at times focusing on Tamanna and Prabhu. But overall the team fails to play with the idea in any highly appreciable manner using the interesting cast ensemble (wherein the three leading actors have their own experience in Hindi, Tamil as well as Telugu film industry) shooting the scenes thrice in three different languages.
Completely revolving around Prabhudeva and Tamanna as a couple, TTT manages to find some ground only in its second half (dealing with its actual plot) and till then you just have Prabhudeva trying to act and entertain, especially in its initial 30 minutes. Strangely you don’t see him dancing at all post his opening song which is sure going to disappoint many die-hard fans. But the choreographer turned actor-director surprisingly delivers a much better performance in the latter half displaying his fine comic timing recovering amazingly from a visibly shaky start.
Making a grand entry as a superstar of Bollywood, Sonu Sood is mostly there in the second half of the film but is unable to add anything significant playing a highly clichéd role seen many times before. Moreover when an actor turned producer is more interested in showing his body and six packs in a song instead of focusing on the film, then its surely sends some wrong signals to the team affecting the end result.
In short, TTT majorly gets saved by Tamanna playing her difficult role well using some entertaining voice modulations portraying the contrasting personas. She is much more than a glamour doll in this film moving ahead than her last few ventures. And providing a perfect support is the consistent Murli Sharma as the realistically entertaining star-manager of Sonu.
Technically the film doesn’t offer anything above the routine with the music failing to make any impact whatsoever, yet again rehashing or ruining two (decades old) cult Punjabi tracks as Tutak Tutak Tutiya (originally sung by Malkit Singh) and Saadi Rail Gaddi Aayi (originally sung by Mangal Singh), both from the late 80s.
Taking the hint from these songs, the makers decide to call their film TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA when neither the title has any meaning nor the film has anything to do with these unusual words. In fact this is yet another strong proof of the truth that how Bollywood repeatedly goes back to PUNJAB again & again for its themes, characters, music and titles too.
Overall this is no doubt a rare, clean, comic-horror film which can simply be recommended for a time pass routine watch on a TV Channel, but not for a theatre viewing for sure involving a big cost.
Rating : 2 / 5
Tags : Tutak Tutak Tutiyan Review by Bobby Sing, Tutak Tutak Tutiya Film Review by Bobby Sing, Comedy Horror genre, Hindi comic-horror films, 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
07 October 2016 / bobbysing /
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Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingIf you are in any way related to India and Pakistan, but yet unaware of a legend called Saadat Hassan Manto, then allow me to say that you haven’t really experienced one of the most blessed and brutally honest story tellers belonging to both the nations yet. And probably haven’t felt, read or known the actual, hidden reality behind three key subjects of life namely - a human’s eternal struggle with sexual lust, the sad state of woman in our sick-biased society and the unimaginable-horrendous bloodbath seen in the years of Indian partition around 1947.
In fact any kind of study about Indian Partition can easily be considered as ‘Incomplete’ if the person hasn’t looked into those times through the deep, sharp and straightforward expressions of Janaab Saadat Hassan Manto.
Among the most famous characters created by the maestro is of Sardar Bishan Singh, also known as Toba Tek Singh by the name of his native land, and this one story has been adapted several times before by various writer-directors of different eras since its origin post the Indian Partition. However after watching this latest adaptation by Ketan Mehta and his team featuring Pankaj Kapur, I haven’t got a slightest of doubt in rating it as the best ever film made on this particular story till date …….. that is sure to remain THE BEST looking at the present scenario around in terms of thoughtful filmmaking.
The above expression might sound ‘a bit exaggerated’ to many, but there is actually more than one reason for such praises articulated in the descriptive heading above, explained in the following points.
Adaptation – The present version of the story TOBA TEK SINGH excels as an adaptation since it rises much above the level of mere presenting the story as written by Manto, following a quite descriptive and innovative narrative never seen before in any other adaptation of the subject till date.
Interpretation – It has the rare merit of interpreting the original idea of its writer in the most authentic, meaningful and heart-touching manner that was more or less missing in all the previous attempts made by the various directors. May be because, they were just sticking to the famous storyline without trying any innovation or reaching its actual depth in absence of any gifted artist to play the lead role of Sardar Bishan Singh.
Visualisation - Though having a short duration of around 70-75 minutes, Ketan Mehta never visualizes it as a short film and shoots it exactly like a full length feature with a brilliant art direction, splendid camerawork and a perfect casting. Plus it’s the background music that truly enhances its overall impact on the viewer exactly like ‘a period drama’ shot at a decent scale. Having said that, I personally did feel the much required heart-piercing melody missing in those traditional verses & alaaps added just at the right moments in its various important sequences.    
Expansion - The most important and exclusive feature of Ketan’s TOBA TEK SINGH remains its highly appreciative, well thought of and pleasantly creative expansion given to the story idea by Ketan as the writer too.
And why it’s exceptional?
Because (hold your breath), Ketan adds the character of Saadat Hassan himself in the script as the Officer-In-Charge of the mental asylum, who has a passion of writing short stories. So he narrates the whole story of Sardar Bishan Singh and his inmates through the eyes of Saadat only that truly deserves a great unanimous applause indeed. 
Amalgamation - The second exclusive feature of this unmissable venture is that its just not the presentation of a single story of MANTO, but an amalgamation of more than one famous works of his, beautifully interwoven in the narrative giving a sudden unexpected shock to the viewers (as always there in Manto’s last lines). But maintaining ‘the exclusivity’, I will not like to ‘OPEN’ the name of that other prominent story featured in the film as a significant addition.
Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingEnactment - A film like TOBA TEK SINGH can never be made by a director alone, even if he has an outstanding vision in his mind to present a particular script idea. A director always remains dependent upon a team of equally talented actors who can enact his vision on screen in the most accurate manner. And to give them their much deserving credit, this particular gem could only become possible due to three highly talented and blessed artists namely Pankaj Kapur (as Toba Tek Singh), Vinay Pathak (as Officer Saadat Hassan) and the actor playing the role of asylum’s old caretaker. Together these three simply transport you into that painfully tragic era when even the decades old friends suddenly turned into two deadly enemies.
Individually where Pankaj gives another powerful, career best performance as Sardar Bishan Singh; Vinay very subtly plays his assigned role of Saadat Hassan with an adorable elegance and the old caretaker simply wins your heart with his constant smile and well written one liners right from the first scene itself.
In fact post experiencing this magnificent film, one is forced to accept the ugly fact, that how in our country we do not recognize and honour the blessed masters of their art in their given lifetime and always try to present them as the most loved and respected achievers of their field when they are already gone.
Sharing my personal viewpoint, the moment I read the story of TOBA TEK SINGH in the early 90s, I had only two actors in mind who could authentically portray the tough character on screen with their own conviction. One was Virender Saxena, who played the role of an eccentric, thin-bodied Sikh in the widely acclaimed TV series TAMAS, and two – Pankaj Kapur who could easily slip into the body of Sardar Bishan Singh knowing the language, tradition and region at a personal level. Luckily the role reached the most deserving candidate after almost three decades and the result is finally here proving my assumption right.
On a concluding note, this ‘lesser known’ gem should soon be released by the producers (Zee) either in the selected theaters or on any of their TV channels at the earliest, since TOBA TEK SINGH is not only a film with the power to transform hearts at both sides of the wires installed ...... but its also a rare masterpiece created by a blessed, visionary team that ideally should not be kept away from its starving audience for long.
(Note : The film has been made as a part of the Zee’s Zeal of Unity initiative wherein renowned directors from India and Pakistan are brought in together for making some thoughtful films.)

Rating : Movies To See Before You Die
(Make sure you do watch the film (when available) as well as read MANTO as the ‘next urgent task’ of your life and stay blessed.)
Tags : Toba Tek Singh Review by Bobby Sing, Toba Tek Singh Short Film Review by Bobby Sing, Manto's Toba Tek Singh by Ketan Mehta, Films made on Manto's stories, 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, Movies To See Before You Die, Must Watch Hindi Films, Unmissable Films made on Manto's stories.
27 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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