Telling a socially taboo story on screen is a tight walk and many times it just falls into the documentry kind of narrative. Probably that could be the reason why many mainstream filmmakers avoid treading into that path. Still Sujoy Ghosh made an effort to bring that sensitive topic into the racy narrative with "Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh" but unfortunately he was let down by the incoherent screenplay. When a screenplay falters even Aamir Khan also can't save a film (E.g Mangal Pandey), so despite being called as Female Aamir Khan, Vidya couldn't take the film to the winning post single handedly. I tried to watch "Kahaani 2" as a stand alone film but I got to sense the "knot" in midway itself and when it was confirmed that my guess turned out to be right, there was no further interest in watching the rest of the movie. That pretty much sums up where "Kahaani 2" failed. Even though the makers claim the demonetization and the excess baggage that was carried by the fantastic "Kahaani - 2011" as the reasons for its underperformance at the box office, the real reason why you want to rush through Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh was the feeble screenplay despite the noble intentions. Vidya scores fully by outshining everyone else in the cast... No two ways about it, but Vidya alone can't make a mediocre movie success. Hope the actor rediscovers her uncanny knack of selecting deadly scripts, which is missing with her these days. Still there are people who like to watch her on screen and it is the matter of time till she bounces back. My prayers are with her. And.. the social taboo discussed in the movie was... Child abuse by the relatives.
I am a sucker for slice of life movies... especially the movies that are drawn from daily lives and a slow pace appeal me a lot. I believe I am one of the very few souls who enjoyed Karu. Palaniappan's "Pirivom Santhippom", which many people said that they watched the movie on 16X speed. Coming to 'Dear Zindagi', I feel that it is a beautiful movie from Indian cinema in recent times.... feel good, visually appealing yet offering something that you can take home.
Aren't we open to see bold films that deal into the gray areas of the relationships? Aren't we believing that Indian movies had come out of the stereotype comfort zones by discussing the infidelity and its aftermath in detail? By the time we thought that Bollywood movies are progressive, "Rustom" pushes the calendar back to few decades.
One thing leads to another... I was going through some promotional articles of the upcoming Bollywood movie - Rustom and learnt that it is based on a real incident that changed the judicial system in India - KM Nanavati Vs State of Maharashtra Case. When I searched for the Nanavati case in Wikipedia, I read many blogs which made the case interesting and intriguing. At the end I was convinced that this is a perfect recipe for a Bollywood blockbuster. Further search showed that there were already 2 movies made on this story - Yeh Raaste Hai Pyaar Ke (1963) and Achanak (1973) with the latter helmed by my favourite filmmaker Gulzaar. So I watched Achanak on YouTube.
Sex coming out of the closet.. is it good or too much of information to the kids? I happened to see this webseries in YouTube from YFilms - the youth division of Yashraj Films and I must say that I was able to connect with that because I am also having a "Pappu" at my home. In our Indian society we don't learn about sex from our parents, instead we are forced to learn from other sources like acquintances, porn magazines or subtle erotic messages from the sculptures of the temples. Anyway the kids need to learn about sex at some point of time, so why can't we talk to them and have it demystified? I used to tell my wife that I will gift Aadhi on his 12th Birthday a collection of porn classics porn rather than having him search and get into "violent" porns. The first episode of SCWPP is about how a father explains his son about masturbation and it is classically done. Looking forward for more from the dad-son sex chats..
Atlast I managed to watch the all the episodes of the Anil Kapoor's TV series - 24 back to back, the show rocked North Indian TV three years back and all gearing up for a season two. While watching first thing that came to my mind is "This is something that Kamal Hassan should attempt in South. At this stage of his career, he is a position to harness the power of small screen down south and do something that will liberate him from the cinematic limitations without bothering about the box office returns". I learnt that this is an Indianised version of American TV series of the same name and it ran till the season 8 before calling it quits forever.
I was little skeptical about watching the critically acclaimed "Aligarh" directed by Hansa Mehta. For those who came late, this movie is based on the late. Prof. Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras, a Marathi professor, from Aligarh Muslim University suspended on the basis of his sexual orientation. Siras later fought against his suspension and finally got reinstated only a day after his death. The movie was brilliant with powerpacked performances of Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.
Ever since my favourite Vidya Balan announced her comeback with the Hindi remake of a Bengali movie - "Rajkahini (2015)", I was intrigued about the original movie. Veteran actress Rituparno Sengupta is one helluva lot of actress and had played the role which Vidya Balan is about to essay in Hindi version. So when I stumbled upon the movie with subtitles in a torrent download, I didn't think a moment to initiate the download. The storyline of the movie is quite fascinating. During the India Pakistan partition, the international border line passes through a brothel which is headed by a powerful woman called Begum Jaan.
Sometimes the remix versions score better than the original song and this just proves the saying that you have to be at the right place at the right time. Jatin-Lalit's maiden song "Bin tere sanam" released in 1991 was much ahead of its times that when it was remixed in 2004, it became a rage across the country making every listener dance to it. I have sweet memories of hearing that for the first time in Dubai taxi. Another song that I remember better when remixed was 'Tu tu hai wohi..' from Rishi Kapoor - Tina Munim starrer 'Yeh Vaada Raha' (1982), which was picturised on 3 female models posing to work on a call center.
Noida Double Murder Case allegedly executed by Doctor couple Talwars of their daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj is one of the most intresting 'whodunit' murder case India had ever witnessed. Ofcourse a case of this stature will "inspire" so many novels and movies but the legal stay obtained by Talwar's for any work of fiction based on their case had curbed that. Still 2 movies made it to screens based on this twin murder case - Rahasya (2014) and Talwar (2015).
I am a serious hater of the TV serials ever since they turned into daily soaps. I am not against the frequency of the broadcasting but damn seriously against their content and the negativity it propogates. However oflate I make sure that I don't miss one particular daily soap. I don't watch it on TV daily but on Saturday I download that week's episodes and catch them up altogether in my mobile screen during the travel to hometown. The serial is nothing but the "Mahabharat" that comes in Star Plus.
Rarely comes a movie these days that has a simple midde aged house wife in a prominent role, forget being protagonist, but admaker Gauri Shinde must be lauded for even thinking such character in a leading role. Even than that Sridevi, considering her iconic status, must be congratulated for considering this role for her comeback. Normally when heroines comeback they choose a superwoman or smartie so that their talent can be justified. Madhuri Dixit and Karisma tried this route and ended up falling flat. But Sridevi chooses the role of an unassuming housewife that was related by every segment of the viewers and had made a successful comeback of the year. I personally feel that if Sridevi hadn't done this role, it could have been played by Vidya Balan after a few years to this much conviction.