Sharyat (Marathi Movie) Review

Apart from story and direction, Marathi movies have come a long way even in the technical departments like cinematography, sleek editing and background music. These factors are visible in Viju Mane’s Sharyat, which, minus few hiccups, is surely a one-time watch.


Ladies VS Ricky Bahl Box-Office Prediction

Star Value: Anushka Sharma has become a famous actor courtesy films like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Badmaash Company, Band Baaja Baaraat, etc. Ranveer Singh is just one film old but despite that has become a known face. This is due to his performance in BBB, chemistry and off-screen link-up with Anushka. And since their jodi is returning in Ladies VS Ricky Bahl, the film has gained star value.

Hype: The usual hype which is associated with a Yash Raj Film is missing this time. The promotion of the movie was overshadowed by Vidya Balan who went all out promoting The Dirty Picture. But then, even BBB hadn’t created a great hype yet the film picked up slowly after its release.

Music: Songs ‘Aadat Se Majboor’ is being liked by youngsters. Even ‘Thug Le’ is slowly becoming popular. Since two popular songs are enough these days, we can say the music of the movie is a hit.

Prediction: Ladies VS Ricky Bahl won’t take the box-office by storm, that’s for sure. It will rely heavily on the initial positive reports and positive word-of-mouth, else it will suffer.

He passed away at a young age!

After watching few of his films during my childhood, I have hardly seen a Dev Anand movie in complete in last few years. As soon as I realized this fact, I vowed to watch Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) as I was amazed by some of the songs and scenes I saw of that movie and also some of his other films. But after struggling to find its original VCD or DVD, I get to know today about his death due to heart attack in London!

From his various interviews and speeches, Dev saab made it clear that age is just a number. According to me, the energetic enthusiasm which was felt in his thoughts and attitude towards life is missing even in some of today’s youngsters. This compels me to say that Dev saab died young even though his biological age was 88!
But now, I will have to watch Tere Ghar Ke Samne without the legend being in the world.

Let’s recall his song which perfectly describes his life story: –

May your soul RIP and, more importantly, may you spread youthfulness even in heaven!

The Dirty Picture Movie Review

Direction: Milan Luthria

Production: Balaji Motion Pictures, Alt Entertainment

Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Rating: * * *

Plot: Based on the story of the late South Indian sex siren Silk Smitha, the film tell the story of  a young Reshma (Vidya Balan), who dreams of becoming a filmstar. Since her mother decides to marry her off forcefully, she flees from her house and her quest to become a star takes her to Madras. After some struggle, lady luck favors her and she bags a role opposite superstar Surya (Naseeruddin Shah). The village belle Reshma now becomes Silk. To climb the ladder of success, Silk shows no qualms even in accepting casting couch displaying her body to the fullest. But for how long will her life be hunky dory?

You wish to narrate a story of a sex symbol that has tragic consequences but at the same time you are also eager for commercial success. So what do you do? Give ample footage to sex and naughtiness to make sure the audience is entertained or titillated enough before the tragic part starts. Milan Luthria follows that formula in The Dirty Picture, which excels mainly due to Vidya Balan’s earth-shattering performance.

It is difficult to know what the real Silk Smitha went through in order to get a break. But Rajat Aroraa (story, screenplay and dialogues) shows Vidya’s character happy to be a victim of casting couch to become a known name. The viewer is given no time to think about the rights and wrongs of Vidya’s acts as the idea was simply to portray her as unapologetic in whatever she does.

Intentionally or unintentionally, the writer takes leeway of this idea by going overboard with sleaze, which, after a point of time, gives a feeling as if the main intention is to please the frontbenchers. Even the dialogues are used as a tool to titillate. Having said that, Aroraa deserves plenty of applause for wonderfully mixing wit and philosophy in the lines especially in the second half. But it’s the way the tragic climax is conceived that gives you a sense of satisfaction as you move out of the hall.

There’s some sharp editing by Akiv Ali although the film loses some pace in the pre-climax juncture. But for this, the writing should be responsible.

Director Milan Luthria adds another feather in his cap by handling such an unusual subject with maturity and making sure their actors deliver quality performances.

Music composer duo Vishal-Shekhar rise well to the occasion. ‘Ooh La La’, the theme song, suits the film well even if Bappi Lahiri finds it difficult to pronounce ‘Fantasy’. ‘Ishq Sufiana’ and ‘Naka Maka’ are also a pleasure for your ears. The cinematography and background score are perfect too.

While playing the central character in such a movie, it was vital that Vidya Balan gives one of her top performances. However, she goes a notch further and gives her best act ever, although she looks way different than the original Silk Smitha! The way she easily portrays naughtiness, happiness, eagerness and lastly sadness will make sure her act will be the talking point throughout her career.

As expected from a brilliant performer Naseeruddin Shah, he shows his class in an unusual role of an aging South Indian star who continues to play a young actor. His expressions and the way he delivers his lines also succeed in tickling your funny bone.

After Vidya, the one who appeals the most is Emraan Hashmi. His mature act as a frustrated realistic filmmaker who later falls for Silk deserves applause. Easily one of his better acts. Tusshar does well as an innocent youngster who has a crush on Silk. Although not a significant role, he manages well and so does Mangal Kenkre.

Overall, The Dirty Picture has its downfalls which will be overshadowed by sleaze, entertainment and of course Vidya. These factors will also make sure the film enjoys very positive collections at the box-office.

The Dirty Picture Box-Office Prediction

Star Value: Although the film doesn’t boast of any superstars, actors like Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah and Emraan Hashmi are well popular amongst the masses so as to pull the audiences in the first weekend.

Hype: The Dirty Picture is in the news ever since its first poster was released in June. And when the first promo was out, it created a rage. This was largely because of Vidya’s bold moves and exposure. Even when a section of the audience weren’t happy to see Vidya in such an avatar, it helped the film be in the news.

Since the film is based on the life of the late sex symbol Silk Smitha, it created further interest amongst the audience. Adding the fact that Silk’s brother lodged a case against the makers for reportedly portraying her sister in a negative manner, helped the film indirectly.

Music: The unusual and bold number ‘Ooh La La’ is being liked by the audience and the words of the song have also become highly popular. Even the mesmerizing romantic song ‘Ishq Sufiana’ is well received.

Prediction: Judging by the above factors, the film is sure to take a very positive box-office opening in the first weekend. Even if the movie fails to impress majority of its viewers, the producers will have nothing to worry as they will earn enough dough in the first week, since that is the period these days which determines a film’s fate. And if the word of mouth is positive for the movie, the film will find its place in the list of most successful movies of 2011.

List of protest rallies in December for Jan Lokpal

As expected, the Government and our parliamentarians have betrayed us once again by passing a weak Lokpal in the on-going Winter Session of the Lok Sabha. Hence, the time has come for us to show once again that we won’t take it lying down. We are ready to do what we did successfully in April and Augsut 2011- protest!

There will be a number of protest rallies all across India in the month of December before the massive protest from December 27 begins.

Here is the list of protest rallies all across India: –

1)      Kanpur: December 1, Thursday (Candle March)

Venue: Phool Baug, Near Gandhi Statue. Contact – 9580303575 , 9616002123

Time: 5pm

2)      Mumbai: December 3, Saturday

Venue : Mahajan Wadi, Opposite Voltas, Dr Ambedkar Road, Below Lalbaug Flyover,

Chinchpokli East, Mumbai.

Time: 5:30pm to 8:30pm

3)      Chandigarh: December 4, Sunday (Car and Bike Rally)

Venue: Sec 17/21 roundabout, Opposite Sec-17 Bus Stand, Chandigarh, India.

Time: 11am to 2pm

4)      Pune: December 11, Sunday (Full day Dharna)

Venue: Kamala Arcade, Opp. Balgandharva, J.M. Road, Pune.

Time: 10am to 10pm

5) Pune: December 11, Sunday – Freeze Mob to Support Anna Hazare’s Fast

Venue: Outside Pune Railway Station at 1pm, at Swargate Bus Stand 3pm and at Shivajinagar Bus Stand at 5:pm.

6)      New Delhi : Anna Hazare’s protest on December 11, Sunday

Venue: Jantar Mantar

Time: Full day

Let us show the government once again how wrong they are in underestimating the power of The Common Man!

Common Man to rescue Indian TV?

Finally, there comes something which revives my interest in TV serials. After more than a decade, I felt like watching a soap (as they call it now) when I saw promos of R K Laxman Ki Duniya – Aam Aadmi Ke Meethe Namkeen Kisse on Sab TV.

There are three reasons for me being attracted to it. Firstly, it’s based on R K Laxman’s Common Man. His cartoons based on the daily life of the aam aadmi are captivating for all of us. Secondly, because I am obsessed with the concept of The Common Man. And lastly, it was more than refreshing to see something clean and simple on TV during an era of meaningless and obscene content.

I am hoping the show rises at least to the level of my expectations. R K Laxman Ki Duniya starts tonight (November 28, 2011) on Sab TV at 9:30 from Monday to Friday. Let’s see if The Common Man can rescue Indian TV from the dumps it has fallen into!

Dirty Resemblance?

For making a biopic, the most important ingredient is to find an actor who resembles the person on whom the movie is made. Of course it is impossible to find an exact lookalike but there should be at least 15-20% similarity in the looks of the personality and the actor.

Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture is based on the life of the deceased southern sex symbol Silk Smitha. The makers have signed Vidya Balan to play the character of the dusky actress. However, I feel it was a wrong move to sign Vidya for the role as, according to me, there is hardly any resemblance between both the actresses.

Look at the pictures below and try to understand my point.

(Article continued after picture.)

* Silk was dark while Vidya is fair.

* Silk’s expression was naturally sensual. Vidya’s face doesn’t have that sensuality. Looking from the promos, the latter has to make efforts to give that kind of expression.

* Silk’s face had that naughtiness but Vidya has a cute face.

* There is a big difference in the overall look and body structure of both actresses.

* Most importantly, Silk had expressive eyes, i.e she could speak by just looking at you. Vidya’s eyes, on the other hand, clearly lack that kind of expression.

The Dirty Picture might well become Vidya’s best performance till date but I seriously have doubts with the makers’ choice for the reasons already stated above. Having said that, I would be happy if Vidya manages to make the character alive and I am proved wrong. Let’s wait till the release of the film which is on December 2, 2011.

Hello Jai Hind! (Marathi Movie) Review

Direction: Gajendra Ahire

Production: Trupti Bhoir

Cast: Nitin Chandrakant Desai, Trupti Bhoir, Kedar Shinde, Ravindra Mankani, Vinay Apte, Murli Sharma

Music: Illaiyaraja

Rating: * *

Plot: Durga (Trupti Bhoir) is married to Shivaji Pawar (Nitin Chandrakant Desai), a police constable who worships his profession. Mighty proud of being a part of Maharashtra Police, Pawar is always ready to lay down his life while on duty. He gets a chance to show his courage when 26/11 happens in 2008 only to become physically handicapped while battling the terrorists.

Looking from the point of view of the victims, the 26/11 Mumbai attack was much more disastrous than it appeared. Ganjendra Ahire’s Hello Jai Hind! tries to portray the effect of the horrifying incident on one such victim. Although the end result is rich in terms of performances, the weak script becomes the reason for its downfall.

Having said that, the makers should be appreciated for depicting the life of a victim and throwing light on the shameful fact that terrorist Ajmal Kasab is still not punished for the heinous crime.

After the initial few minutes, the film goes on to the flashback mode which shifts the focus from the main issue. Later on, although it was important to show the difficult and realistic life of the cops, the proceedings keep dragging on without coming to the main point. Two lengthy songs (‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ and one during the couple’s marriage) don’t help either.

Finally, there comes the crucial moment at the interval point which raises your expectations for an interesting second half. However, the post-interval portions focus too much on the tragedy and helplessness of the protagonist with the story hardly moving forward. In addition, two more songs ‘Laut Ke Aane De’ and ‘Ganjalela’ add to the drag.

The terrorist’s conversation with Pawar is too fictional and just goes overboard. Perhaps, it was used as a justification for Pawar’s act in the penultimate moment. Lastly, the climax doesn’t provide a punch either.

Well-known music composer Ilayaraja’s Marathi film debut deserves appreciation. The background score and Amalendu Chaudhary’s cinematography are worth mentioning and so are the dialogues.

Performances are the biggest plus points. Art-director-turned-filmmaker Nitin Chandrakant Desai makes his acting debut in a central role and does exceedingly well especially while showing physical disability. Barring few moments, he overall gives a laudable act. Trupti Bhoir in the role of a housewife is terrific. She perfectly fits into her character and gets to deliver some praiseworthy lines.

Rest of the cast Vinay Apte, Kedar Shinde, Ravindra Mankani, Murli Sharma and the actress who plays Durga’s sister chip in with good performances too.

Overall, Hello Jai Hind! succeeds in paying tribute to the 26/11 victims but is let down by the writing department. Adding the fact that the movie hasn’t taken a positive opening, it will have a tough time at the box-office.