My Review :A Death In The Gunj

My Review :A Death In The Gunj

Prelude :
I don’t know how many of you know this ? The 18th edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival was open with Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut ‘A Death in the Gunj’.
Unfortunately, I had missed it and was eagerly waiting all this while to watch it at the theatres.
I did watch this film last Friday, due to a busy schedule..I am now posting my review-)

Review :
This entire story takes place in a place called McCluskieganj, which is a small hilly town in Jharkhand State,about 40 miles northwest of the capital,Ranchi.
The town used to have a significant Anglo-Indian community at one time but this has declined considerably.
Although the story is set in the late 70s with its retro setting, it does give faint glimpses of modern receptivity with subtle bold scenes and crude language.

The film has taken great care of it’s atmospherics,which is one of the reasons why you can relate to it so well.
Right from the very first frame, you are drawn into their world and their deceptively cozy holiday.
First Scene : The film begins with two men Nandu (Gulshan Devaiah) and Brian (Jim Sarbh) pondering over how to get a body into the boot of a car.
Then you are taken back a week ago, through seven distinct settings – each embodying a different emotion.

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Synopsis:
Its’ a simple story, when the son Nandu, his wife Bonnie, their daughter Tani and their introvert cousin Shutu along with Bonnie’s friend Mimi come visiting for Christmas holidays. The rest of the events of the film unfold over seven days. Nandu’s childhood friend Vikram and Brian also live in the same town, and daily come over and induldge in drunken evenings, impromptu games of kabaddi and long afternoon naps.
These friendly get-together acts a setting for hidden skeletons of these characters to come tumbling out,

Vikram is a bully and has a secret sexual affair with Mimi despite Vikram being married. In all this Shutu,who is also the family’s weak link, is left to babysit and take care of Tani.
Shutu is a total misfit who wants to be a part of the group but always finds himself the butt of stupid insensitive pranks and jokes. Nobody takes his side or gives him the time of the day.

The seven day vacation plot leads up to one death ( Still not giving out spoilers)

Technical:
A Death in the Gunj reminds me of the story telling session, I used to experience many years ago, conducted by my beautiful mom every Friday night post dinner just before I went to bed. All her stories necessarily did not have a moral purpose or a deep meaning.
The same way, this film is just a story about a dysfunctional family gathering, which ends in a tragedy.
After watching the film, I really would like to read the original short story written by Mr Mukul Sharma.

These are the kind of films Indian cinema and Indian audience needs to watch. Real stories, natural acting, real set ups in real locations and top it all an interesting story line.

Shipra Ray’s cinematography very aptly showcases McCluskieganj in a haunting way and you do feel a sense of intimacy in the story and it’s characters. Thanks to the Director Konkona Sensharma

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Performances :

Vikrant Massey steals the show with his brilliant, powerful and top notch performance.

Gulshan Devaiah Kalki Koechlin Tillotama Shome were convincing and engrossing in their characters.

Ranvir Shorey was fabulous..he is just going from strength to strength.

It was a pleasure to watch Mr Om Puri and Tanuja ji in a diffrent
role.

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Verdict :
A Death in the Gunj is a well made film and deserves a watch 😊

My Review : Hindi Medium

My Review : Hindi Medium

Prelude :
SCHOOL ADMISSION‘ is a parent’s biggest nightmare and this film took me down the memory lane and I could recall those horiffic days, when my parents went through hell getting my brother and me admitted to a premium school in Kolkata. Believe you me,parents can go to any extent inorder to secure the future of their own kids.
I take this opportunity to thank my Mom and Dad for going through so much and providing us the best of everything.

Review :
When it comes to portrayal of ‘Real Characters’ there is hardly any match for Irfan Khan.a versatile actor for sure.He has successfully translated intricate travails of human nature so effortlessly that his performances will remain etched in your memories for a long time.
It tells us the story of a mother who,like any other parent, is concerned about getting her daughter admitted into a “good school”.
It narrates the tale of complex emotions parents go through while trying to get their child admitted into the best school possible. It is the inherent simplicity of the narration that makes the tale so endearing.
The mother’s fear of failure and the dilemma of the father torn between his own lack of self-confidence and the humongous task to passing an interview to ensure the best of education for his daughter reflect a life that we all have experienced at some point in our life.

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Plot :
Hindi Medium traces the journey of Mita and husband Raj Batra who fail to get their daughter admitted to a reputed school. Their lack of awareness and inability to speak proper English comes in the way of their daughter’s admission.
The parents are paranoid and are getting dragged down to worry about their daughter’s future as they desperately try to put him into a modern English medium school.
The good news of one of their employees’ child getting succesfully admitted to a premium school through the underpriviledge quota.
On hearing this, they mutually decide to apply through the ‘Underpriviledge Quota’ and get their daughter admitted.
Rest of the story is a must watch…

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Technical :

The Director and the writer give us an important message of loving our National language as much as foreign ones. Our love for English (or any other tongue) should not lead us to looking down upon our own Mother Tongue or National Language.
There are several moments in the film that will remind you of your own childhood.
During the climax, when Raj Batra gives a very profound speech about how school admissions have become a pure business and nothing else.
The second half seems cluttered compared to the hour before the interval. Maybe the writer wanted to make it more happening and ends up messing up few scenes.
Btw, This film is not a remake of the 2016 bengali film Ramdhanu, but it does share the same one line synopsis.

Performance :
Irfan Khan (actor) nails it as the simple and straight Raj Batra who runs a reputed Garment store at Chandni Chowk for a living and starts getting goosebumps at the very mention of English. , Irfan scores high when it comes to putting in that ‘extra’ effort to get his daughter,into a good school.
Though he goofs up more often than not, is immaterial. It’s the effort that will make you roll around with laughter. In fact, his speech at the end is a must watch.

Gorgeous and beautiful Saba Qamar is virtually flawless as a mother who is succumed to Society pressure and the fear of failure.Her subtle chemistry and understanding with her husband, too, is sparkling and well shown.

Super talented Tillotama Shome executes her character of a ‘parent-student groomer’ quite well,

Lastly, the powerhouse Deepak Dobriyal nails it as Shyam Prasad andf is a breath of fresh air.

Verdict :
Hindi Medium is a family drama with a touch of innocence and simplicity that will make you want to watch it again. A Must Watch

My Review : Half Girlfriend

My Review : Half Girlfriend

gPrelude :
Thank you Chetan Bhagat the term ‘Half-Girlfriend’ will become a revolution now, especially among the youth (both girls and boys). So my dear brothers, don’t be sad if your crush/love rejects your love proposal, you do have a back up plan” Will you be my Half -Girlfriend? Vice-versa.lolz
Frankly speaking, Half Girlfriend was one of my favourite Chetan Bhagat novels coz the film talks about a guy who is not ready to give up on love and I, a die hard romantic also believes in the same philosophy and I totally related to the story.
In all aspects, the book did work for the youth because nowadays boys and girls are not clear about their relationship status with each other. A boy may think he is more than friends with the girl, but the girl is still not his girlfriend.
Chetan Bhagat writes, India reads….Bhagat’s books have been turned into cinematic successes by the talented filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani (3 Idiots) and Abhishek Kapoor (Kai Po Che!) for creating something unforgettable in the field of cinema.
So now Balaji Motion Pictures and Mr Mohit Suri turns one of his novels into a film.

Plot :
The movie talks about the sentiments and linguistic struggles of a backward rural Bihari Hindi-speaking boy from Bihar as he enrolls himself at the prestigious English-medium St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and falls in love with a “high class English-speaking rich Delhi girl”
The girl does not admit the relationship but agrees to be his “half girlfriend”

Technical :

Overall, the story is quite cliched and offers nothing new ‘Old wine in a new glass’ Both the book and the movie are low on emotions, as the film very conviniently leaps through every available narrative hoop. How and when 1 year or 6 months get passed or covered in the film ? god only knows?

I was so confused as to how i was going to review this film because i had mixed feelings and I didnot want to write a Half-review lolz. But i can say one thing for sure that the screen play was a big let down and the narrative looked so cold, monotonous and crafted.

Highlights :The scene where Madhav is stopped by a bouncer from entering into a bar and Madhav emotionally rants out his ‘Ram-Kahani’ to him was really absurd and funny.
Microsoft founder’ Bill Gatess head superimposed on a body double looks comic and scary at once.

Wimpy characters and predictablen conclusion makes ‘Half-Girlfriend’ a Half -baked affair 🤔

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Performances :

Arjun Kapoor plays Madhav Jha decently and tries his best to stick to the bihari accent and the body language. He did work hard for the role and gave his best.

Shraddha Kapoor was okay as Riya. I am not a very big fan of Shraddha ( not because she resembles my bro’s ex, whom I hated) coz she lacks the spark and presence on screen.

A special mention to Vikrant Massey ,Seema Biswas & the sexy Rhea Chakraborty (pleasing cameo)

Music :
The songs featured in the film are composed by Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Ami Mishra and Rahul Mishra. The music is soulful and the saving grace of the film. My personal favourite is “Thodi Der”, by Shreya Ghoshal and Farhan Saeed.

Verdict :
Overall, Half Girlfriend is Half entertaining, Half the fun, Half of everything 😢 Undone….Watch it at your own risk or read the book Online-)

My Review : Meri Pyaari Bindu

My Review : Meri Pyaari Bindu

Prelude :

“Pyar karna bahut log sikhate hai … par afsoos us pyar ko bhulate kaise hai … yeh saala koi nahi sikhata”.

I absolutely agree with the above statement coz I was going through the same phase many years ago.
During my Graduation days, I fell head-over-heels for a girl of my batch..true love I must say..my first I am sure.
She was undoubtedly the most beautiful girl I have ever seen (I still maintain dat) she was a breath of fresh air, bubbly, funny, smart and immensely charming.
“Zindagi se behad pyar tha usse … aur khud se zindagi se bhi zyada”
All the boys (in all the batches) were in love with her and I was just one of them.
We did become friends (not bff) but things din’t go as I had expected and ofcoz she is a married woman now..My bad-(-( But she will always be my first love…Meri pyaari Bindu.

This film reminded me a lot about my first love..so wanted to share it with all of you.

I guess Bengali men are very romantic… Meri Pyaari Bindu talks about the premise of a young bengali guy named Abhimanyu who talks about his first love through a series of flashbacks and tapes.

Review:

We never remember in chronological order, especially when we’re going back over a failed romance. We start near the end, and then hop around between the times that were good and the times that left pain.
Have you ever been in love with someone like that? In romance, we believe what we want to believe.
That’s the reason I found “Meri Pyaari Bindu” is so appealing and could relate to it.
Abhimanyu Roy aka Bubla is in love with Bindu from the moment he sees her. His thoughts on love may not run as deeply or in sync with Bindu’s thoughts.
He writes pulp fiction/ Adult novels, and you suspect he is yet to write his own perfect love story.
Can he accept that she simply likes him for now, not for forever? The movie, which is a delightful comedy, alive with invention, is about Abhimanyu wrestling with that reality.

If a woman wants to enchant a man, she is wise enough to become his best buddy. Men fall for this. Abhimanyu set out in life to be a successful writer, not a writer of adult pulp fiction. He and Bindu share the same favorite old retro Bollywood songs (ones you might have heard it before), and both of them record their favorite songs on one tape and save it as a memory.
This is fun not because we get to hear wonderful evergreen retro hindi songs, coz so rarely in the movies do we find characters dancing to these wonderful foot-tapping songs.

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Technical :
The movie, directed by Akshay Roy from a screenplay by , Suprotim Sengupta, zeroes in on one of the chief predicaments of post-modern dating – the definition dilemma.
When one party wants to stamp a label on what they’ve got going, the other gets cold feet. Why should it need defining? Bindu gently squirms her way out of the issue, but we guess from her reaction that Abhimanyu’s days are numbered.

The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is beautiful as he captures the beauty of Kolkata in every frame.

Post intermission, the film doesn’t seem to move ahead and fails to offer us anything new. I say instantly, The film is at its best during its first half.
In its opening scene, they’ve already broken up, and we skip back and forth between significant moments of their lives, through various soulful evergreen retro tracks.

Performances :

The talented Ayushmann Khurrana has acted in a lot of movies, ranging from ‘Vicky Donor’ to the gem ‘Dum Laga ke Haisha” He comes into focus here playing a believable, likable guy, hopeful, easily disappointed, a romantic Bengali guy. He is strong enough to expect love, weak enough to be hurt.
Parineeti Chopra evokes that ability in some women to madden you with admiration while never seem to give in or be completely in love with you.

Three cheers to our very own actors from Bengal Rajatabha DuttaAparajita Auddy Kharaj Mukherjee for their amazing contribution and performances.
I felt like a proud Bengali watching this film Thank you Director Akshay Roy Great job-)-)

Verdict :
An ideal version of this film would be painful and playful, and you might just relate to it like me.
But the one we get certainly has delightful moments. After all it’s unlike our mainstream rom coms, it’s a breeze. Go For it…

Why can’t we get enough of Mahira Khan?

Why can’t we get enough of Mahira Khan?

We all know her name—It’s a name that, for the past 7 years, has continued to grace the covers of countless magazines, infinite social networking pages, and endless conversations from all around the world.

Beautiful eyes, magnetic personality, the infectious smile, Mahira Khan is just about the most photogenic woman ever captured on celluloid. It’s difficult, though, to imagine someone so poised, elegant yet so down to earth. That’s probably part of her appeal.

From her iconic work  like Humsafar, BinRoye, to Raees, it’s no secret that Mahira Khan is one of the most revered and beloved women in the world of entertainment. However, what many don’t know is that Mahira is far from being “just another pretty face.” With her work towards the Shaukat Khan Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness program, devotion to being a mother, and life founded on kindness and compassion, Mahira has always has remained a treasured household name; and not just from of her style and career as an actress, but from her inner beauty, wisdom, and love that touches everyone around her.

Women want to be like her; men want to be with a woman like her. This is not necessarily the case for all beautiful women. There is something about Mahira Khan’s beauty that is childlike and unthreatening to women. Despite being a gorgeous, successful actress, Mahira has not lost sight of her priorities and stays humble and down to earth.

My first encounter with Mahira Khan was last year July 27th 2016 at Taj Land’s End during the Vogue Style Awards. My meeting experience seemes so surreal and magical that I still have not managed to get over it lolz ( Will describe the meeting on another separate blog).

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Mahira Khan and Me at Vogue Style Awards

As her biggest fan, I believe I have a lot to learn from our favourite Mahira Khan. And while she had many memorable traits, here are few top reasons why we can’t get enough of Mahira Khan

  1. She is always Humble – As one of the most idolized beauty icons in the world, it’s hard to imagine Mahira Khan as someone who is so down to earth and sweet. Humility is undoubtedly the most attractive quality in her. Mahira is always ready to interact or click a selfie with her fans and she never fails to make them happy and always lives upto their expectations.

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    Mahira Khan promoting Breast Cancer Awareness
  2. She’s a Mom First –   Despite her glamorous life outside of the home, Mahira never forgets the most important people are the ones who would be there even after the curtain went down. Mahira is the happiest when she is home playing with her cute 7 year old son Azlan . Not only a perfect actor but a dedicated Super Mom too.

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    Mahira with her son Azlan
  3.  She is a Role Model to all-  Every girl on earth, given the chance would love to look, be and perform like Mahira. Mahira is one in a billion and I would love to make an inspirational film called “Main Mahira Khan banna Chahti hoon’ inorder elucidate the craze and colossal stature of this iconic actress!
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    ‘Masala Awards’

     

  4. She Conquered Bollywood – Mahira made her Bollywood debut  Raees– opposite Shahrukh Khan this year and ended up becoming the top grossing female actors of Bollywood this year. Mahira is the ‘Unstoppable Khan indeed”

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    Mahira Khan in Raees
  5. She exudes class and grace – Mahira is almost synonymous with elegance in our minds. Her movement, posture and speech are drenched in grace. There’s almost something surreal about her, as if the actress herself is just an idyllic character from a fairy tale. wp_ss_20151201_0003
  6. She is Bankable – Be it films, television dramas to various brands,. What ever Mahira touches it turns into gold. Recently Veet Pakistan selected her the brand Ambassador and the face of their brand. Don’t you feel good every time you see that gorgeous smile and feel her “energy?” She evokes a spiritual, high energy in her branding – even in her most simple photos or mentions in magazines. That is connection and resonance. 18194047_1895123730764686_755373804073556966_n
  7. She raises the bar all the time – Mahira Khan is one actor who constantly challenges her self and pushes the envelope. Mahira always offers something new and fresh to her audience and selects new and interesting projects all the time.
  8. She’s unapologetically herself. She gives herself permission to be all she is with no apologies. She is confident, strong, feminine, creative, funny (love her laugh), brilliant,  strong, a loving mother, etc. CjpnCoTWUAYMvHA

     

    No offense to any of our leading ladies, but it takes a lot to have Mahira’s charisma. Despite being talented, many actresses fail to leave an impression on the audiences because of their low screen value. Mahira has an exquisite ability to stand out in a crowd with her glowering presence.

    Mahira Khan is inspiring a generation of actresses, enchanting millions of men and has managed to attain her own place in Bollywood and also the Pakistan Film Industry that is unimaginable to most actresses of today’s generation!

    Ultimately, it’s not the roles she plays that makes her an enduring cultural icon, but who she is. And this is why we just can’t get enough of Mahira Khankeep-calm-and-love-mahira-khan-4

     

     

    Read all my previous blogs about Mahira Khan – Deep Basu’s blogs about Mahira Khan

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    Deep Basu- Biggest fan of  Mahira Khan on earth

    If you enjoyed the article, please tweet, share, like and +1 it. Would so appreciate you leaving a comment below, too!

     

     

 

My Review : Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion

My Review : Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion

So Why did Katapa Kill Bahubali ??? 

This question has been haunting us for quite sometime and this weekend everybody all over the world will get the answer.
Fortunately, after watching the film the previous night I have the answer too..Do you want me to reveal it ?? Ofcoz not…I can assure you that there will be no spoilers ahead in my review.

Two years ago, I watched the first installment on the big screen and the experience was so awesome, I struggled to find the words that’d do justice to the experience I felt. And it was among my favorite films that year.

I was awe-struck by Rajamouli’s ambition, guts and his epic imagination, I love the way, he understands the science of extremes and I was looking forward to Bahubali-The Conclusion, said to be the legend on celluloid.

The second Installment, turns out, it is everything I expected it to be — mega, ingenious and envelope pushing. But Alas ! the 3 hour epic fantasy was not up to my expectations…as I found it predictable and too long. I can tell you that the second part is not half as satisfying or fun as the original.
Its bigger but not better…

Here, we introduce you to the Indian Super hero Mahendra Bahubali, who jumps as high as a bird and can fly too. He is invincible and can take on 100 people single – handedly.
Bahubali as a whole, is more like a Sci Fi film than an Action Drama flick.

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Plot :
Katappa continues to narrate the story of how he ended up killing Bahubali…rest you need to watch ( No spoilers..I had promised)

Technical :
The second installment of Bahubali is basically the prequel and its been killed by its long,predictable story-line (Not Katappa ofcoz lolz). The actual reason why Katappa kills Bahubali is unconvincing and predictable.

Be it the mountains, palatial sets or stark battleground infested with CGI-enhanced cavalry and infantry, Bahubali is magnificent to look at (take a bow, cinematography-K K Senthil Kumar, production design-Sabu Cyril).

The visuals are so enrapturing, they take over the experience. After a point, I observed their lip movement and believe you me, the hindi dubbing was brilliantly executed and not even once you will feel that its a Telugu film.

The Editing done by Mr Kota Venkateshwara Srinivas Rao was fabulous but the script could have been more tighter.

Performances :

All the actors did a competent job be it Daggubati’s suave menace, Prabhas’s charismatic energy, Sathyaraj’s stony-faced enigma and Ramya’s classy act stand out like always.
I was very happy to see Anushka Shetty once again..I had a major crush on her 6 years ago after watching Singham (Tamil) and I did fall in love with her once again
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Overall :

Bahubali 2: The conclusion deserves a watch…Happy weekend everyone.

My Review : NOOR

My Review : NOOR

Prelude :
“Mumbai You are Killing me” – This statement was very commonly used by me years ago, when I was going through a pretty rough phase in my life and I did blame Mumbai for it.
Even now, I do utter it out when things around me tend to put me down…I do have a love/hate relationship with Mumbai and neverthless I love this city a lot.
The film ‘Noor’ is a film adaptation of Pakistani journalist-writer Saba Imtiaz’s novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me!
I have not read the book so I will not be able to compare and tell you exactly which version was the better one.

Synopsis :
It follows the story of 28 years old something reporter Noor, battling the woes of journalism, love, and existence in modern day Mumbai. Her life between the newsroom, friends, partying her out of balance life.Inspite of all the flaws, she manages to bring it back and finally find what she’s been missing.

The film can be described as “Bridget Jones’s Diary” meets “The Diary of a Social Butterfly.”

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The film does bring out and highlight few important points such as :

1) The Happening Journalistic Life in Mumbai – The brutal honesty with which the writer describes the day to day life of a journalist and the risks they have to take.

2) The truth about living in Mumbai – Mumbai city gives you a lot and also takes away a lot from you.

3) The daily grind of being a female journalist -This film provides one of the best and most amusing accounts of what it takes to be a female journalist in Mumbai.

4) Sonakshi Sinha lolzz…..

Technical :

Mumbai is the strongest character in the film in an otherwise predictable storyline — overwhelming the characters with its sub plots and realistic anecdotes.
Every character in the film has a different outlook towards the city. Noor shares a love-hate relationship with the city, often proclaiming that she “hates” the city. She feels suffocated – by the lack of opportunities and low salary.
But navigating the by-lanes of Mumbai, reporting doggedly on Sunny Leone, woman wearing a helmet for 24 hours etc she seems to thrive in the chaos. At the end it is her knowledge of Mumbai that becomes her calling card in journalism.
Noor is an average film and doesn’t offer you much-(
The entire first half is spent to estabilish Noor as the main protagonist and the daily challenges she faces in her day to day life.
The story actually begins to pick up post intermission but hardly gives it much scope to get you intrigued and interested in the film. The focus is so much on Sonakshi Sinha that few important and relevant matters automatically take a back seat.
The climax is very conveniently penned and is predictable. The film could have been more edgy and intriguing.

Performances :

The characters in Noor are somewhat believable and you will relate to them.

Right from Sonakshi Sinha Purab Kohli Kanan Gill to Shibani Dandekar are very convincing in their respective roles.
A Special Mention to the very talented Smita Tambe & Manish Chaudhari (Actor) for the splendid performance.

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A great effort by the Director Sunhil Sippy for making a watchable film ( I had loved his debut film Snip).

Music :

The music for the film is composed by Amaal Mallik is soothing and refreshing like always.

Verdict :
Overall, Noor – film is watchable but an average film…watch it for Sonakshi Sinha