Tag: bollywood

Kapoor and Sons Review

Top 10 Bollywood movies for 2016

Here’s my list of top 10 Bollywood movies for the year 2016!

Bollywood had an average year as far as blockbuster successes are concerned. But I am happy that most filmmakers tried to come up with something new. Hope to see more of that effort work its way in 2017 as well.

[Here’s last year’s list of Top10 Bollywood movies]

10. Udta Punjab:

Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab brings parallel stories converging onto the drug menace in punjab. With powerful performances from Alia Bhat, Shahid Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh, this movie, even with a few glaring issues gets the message across.

9. Sultan:

Ali Abbas Zafar’s Sultan is a film made with a big heart. Even with melodramatic freedom that one can expect from a Salman-starrer, the film was an entertaining love story with wrestling as its backdrop. One of those rare Salman Khan movies where you see him making dedicated effort. Also starring Anushka Sharma, Sultan was a family entertainer.

8. Dear Zindagi

Reema Kagti’s Dear Zindagi belongs to Alia who shoulders the movie all on her own. The vibe that this girl brings along is magical, the therapy sessions in help, not only Alia but the Audience as well. Shahrukh Khan plays an extended cameo which definitely adds value to the film and anchors the movie to a feel-good tag.

[Here’s a detailed review of the film]

7. Ae dil hai mushkil

Heartbreaks are the USPs of a good love story. Add a dose of unequivocal love as the central theme and you have a story that clicks. Ae Dil hai Mushkil does just that. The time when the hero leaves with his bag, as firecrackers burst in the sky, with teary eyes and an Arijit Singh song in the background. You get the picture, don’t you?

It will be very MUSHKIL for your DIL to not like this.

[Here’s a detailed review of Ae Dil hai Mushkil]

6. Aligarh

Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh brings out one of the best performances this year from manoj Bajpai. The movie talks about the real life issue of Homosexuality and how an Aligarh professor was suspended after a sting operation. With the amazingly talented Rajkumar Rao playing the role of a journaist who befriends Manoj in the movie, this film was powerful.

5. Parched

Leena Yadav’s Parched, on the outset appears to be heavy “art” which might put off a lot of viewers who don’t watch similar content. However, the movie even when touching dark and grim topics, keeps tight on an engaging storyline. The three female leads, Radhika Apte, Tanishka Mukherjee and surprisingly Surveen Chawla, do a phenomenally good job.

4. Neerja:

Ram Madhvani’s Neerja is an amazingly crafted Biopic that brought to light Neerja Bhanots story to light. I’ll admit, I just don’t like Sonam Kapoor. But in Neerja, she definitely impressed. Shabana Azmi, as Sonam’s mother, just wells up your eyes with her sincerity to the role.

3. Dangal:

It’s an Aamir Khan film. Enough said. Right from the start when the trailer dropped, it looked awesome and it sure was. The detailing in terms of wrestling and culmination of numerous issues in the framework of wrestling was beautiful. The young actors portraying the Phogat Sisters on whose life the film is based were the true heroes of the film. Director Nitesh Tiwari has done a fab job.

2. Pink

Pink is a movie which makes you think not just while you’re watching it unfold but is also something which remains with you long after you’ve left the theater. It’s a must watch for all men, all women, and even the grownup kids to realize why “NO means NO”. It strikes hard where it should.

[Here my review of Pink]

1. Kapoor and Sons

Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons was a flawless emotional adventure which is filled with some amazing light hearted moments that will press the nostalgic buttons in your head and make you laugh and cry at the same time. Yes, it’s perfect. I even ended up giving it a 5/5. For me this was 2016’s best movie.

[Read the detailed review of Kapoor & Sons here]

Special mention: Akshay Kumar’s Airift

And when we finally got our SRK back in Fan

And of course the amazing MS Dhoni on-screen

Which of these were your favorites ? Let me know in the comments.

Shahukh in Jab tak hai jaan

Jab tak hai Jaan Movie Review

Low expectations always helps. Watched “Jab tak hai jaan” with the same mindset of low expectations. Although my die-hard-SRK-fan siblings, who had already watched the movie, were not helping at all in keeping those expectations low. Still, managed to keep my brains intact before entering the cinema hall.  One of them even said, “You should leave your brain and only go with your heart to watch a Yashraj movie”. Classic, I tell you.

Yeah, Right!

Jab tak hai jaan movie review

What would you expect from a Shahrukh-YashRaj film?? Romance!! right??

Well, you do get that from the script. Flawed, but still the script is designed to be romantic. Film starts off with Shahrukh, in Indian army uniform defusing a bomb, actually successfully defusing (Indian hero, how can you not expect him to diffuse that).

A stubble-carrying SRK looks uber cool.  The poetry recited in his voice is amazing.

Anushka Sharma’s entry is surely a mouth-watering one. She is vivacious and lively in the character of Akira, which she plays. Displaying that “makeup-breakup-generation-girl-attitude” is what she does quite beautifully. Making you smile at the way she goes about her “fitoor” (passion) of filming SRK for her documentary.

In the backdrop runs SRK’s never dying love for Meera (played by Katrina) who tries her best to act apart from looking glamorous. But fails, miserably. Acting is something that you should least expect from her (and I know, you won’t).

The chemistry between Samar (SRK’s character) and Meera is unconvincingly boring. Even with liplocks being planted in between. (Yes, SRK’s first onscreen kiss!!!) But it all looked too unconvincing and the romance that could have actually taken the movie to the level that you do expect from a Yashraj movie falls flat.

Songs are good, if not A.R Rehman-isque but with Shahrukh being the one on whom it was picturised, a Sonu Nigam would have appeared better. Picture a song like heer on an emotionless-katrina!!  Many of these things take some of the magic already away from the songs.

Dialogues are good, but some scenes, especially when SRK angrily challenges God in the church could have reached that Amitabh-God talk in Deewar.

But, even with all these flaws, be it in terms of script, acting, song picturization, etc. what stands out is the man in the centre of it all. The SRK. Delivering a solid performance as someone who is in love. Love which never dies. Each phase that he lives through in the movie makes you connect with his rage, his anger and the reason of all this, his love for Meera. The stubble-look reminds you of Chak-de, and he lives to that performance, although the script does not make him go beyond that.

Shahukh in Jab tak hai jaan

There should always be something that you can take back from a movie, and Jab tak hai jaan will make sure you do. Watch it for the love-struck SRK, the bubbly Anushka and glamourous doll Katrina. There was one joke that was going viral on twitter a few days back, “Human beings love jab tak hai jaan, while Being humans didn’t”. 🙂

Filmy Barometer

When the credits for a movie are rolled, there are names of all those people who have contributed in it. Right from the directors, to producers, actors to even the spot boys, each of them gets some “screen-space”. Each of them acts like an ingredient used into the making of a special dish to be served to the audience in theatres and subsequently in their living rooms from their screens. The storyline, being one of the most important one, used in making it all ingredients come together to enhance the enjoyment quotient of the audience. The entertainment value that they are able to generate is directly proportional to the mixture of ingredients and the proportion in which they are mixed up in accordance with a particular recipe. The manner, in which a particular dish is served, also forms an important role in the whole process of making that dish. The aroma that comes out from the dish makes others desire to have it and maybe because of that, publicity has become such an important part too. But is it the only one that can explain how the dish is???

Some movies (or in the Indian bollywood context, most of the movies), the ingredients (as mentioned above, if you remember J) are only concerned as to how to let the aroma of the whole dish (read movies J ) reach out to others, so that everyone gets a “bite” (read tickets J ).  The Great Adam smith’s said, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self- interest.” So, each of the ingredients, work up their asses for their own interest to make something which will earn money for them. In the process of doing so, this all tends to become what we now term as “commercial cinema” and each and everything, over the time is becoming commercialized and with it the enthusiasm of ingredients to combine and bring out the best dish is going down. Now, no one is concerned about how the dish might be, but how much money it will generate. Will it be correct to be concerned only about the record it will break or in how many days will it cross the 100-crore mark??? (there is also a 100-cr club of movies too)

The success barometer these days depends on how much moolah you generated and not how many stars you got from the critics. Why bother when you have the “people’s verdict” with you? And what is this people’s verdict? Blind fan following, excessive media hype or just good PR strategy??

Nevertheless, there is always a ray of hope building when one sees filmmakers putting their effort into living the life of the story on screen. One can actually see parallel lives running in the screens. They are not just bothered about how much money they are generating but also the correct treatment that a story should be given. They just don’t want people coming in, taking that one “bite” (which may just be because of the hype surrounding it) and go back. They also want them to take something back from the theatre too.

There are recent Indian movies like Udaan, Luck by chance, Wednesday, aamir, Gangs of wasseypur, Barfi on one side and then there is bodyguard, ready, houseful, Singh is king, and the list goes on. Such contrasts between the two sets of movies. While the second set boasts of movies that grossed over 100-crores, it’s hardly the case with the first one. But what differentiates them, or in my opinion makes them stand apart from the rest is in the sheer craftsmanship that is on display by the filmmakers who make them. It was not about the item numbers, big stars or cheap publicity that drew the audience towards them, it was their content which mattered. The prime reason being that these movies was made from heart to touch the audience’s hearts and not just their pockets. They might earn or they might not, still what mattered to the filmmakers to portray their thoughts and ideas and stories to the audience.

To take a recent example, the two movies that I saw recently made me again believe in this idea of content scoring over masala, one is the Gangs of wasseypur and the other is barfi. Both are different in their own rights. The former displays the dynastic enmity and mafia rule in bihar, while the latter is a mute protagonist’s life story where he always has a smile on his face, even in difficult circumstances. Wassepur displays characters which selfish, neither good nor bad, just selfish people who have an both the characteristics. To say it simply, this is just the actual description of the people that we are, only with the backdrop of violent dynastic politics and vengeance. While barfi is that kind of sweet that even a doctor would prescribe a diabetic patient. It’s not just about melodramatic love, but the choices one has to make in reality and how that influences our life. The one we love may not love us back, but we still are there for that person, smiling and helping them. Don’t think before falling in love, and don’t think after falling in it too.

Both the movies had one thing in common (apart from the first name of the directors in both of them), that they were made with a big heart. These movies might not even come close to being in the top grossing Bodyguards, tigers, singhs, etc yet they show us the kind of cinema which makes us think. It’s about the zeal with which these movies are made th at differentiate them, they may earn or they might not. Blockbuster hits have come and went, but after years, what remains with you is not the figures that each of these movies earned but what content it had. It may be possible that some might like all those commercial movies, and they are right in doing so. But question is should the barometer of success be judged only in terms of money alone, or does the content even matters????

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