102 Not Out: Movie review

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi

Direction: Umesh Shukla

Rating: 3.5/5

Ever thought about how far ahead you can go in life if you just let go of some attachments? Umesh Shukla’s latest venture, “102 Not Out” gives you a taste of exactly that.

With two oldies living in the bustling city of Mumbai, one of them would remind you of the cranky and grumpy grandpas you see on your way to the park, who appear to detest everything the youth do. The other however, is a talkative and full-of-life grandpa who is ready to take all challenges thrown at him by life happily. While the former is a 75-year-old retired Mathamatics teacher, the latter is his 102-year-old father, who is mentally aged 26.

102-not-out-825

The story starts off with Dattatraya Vakharia (Amitabh Bachchan) trying to send his son Babulaal Dattatraya Vakharia (Rishi Kapoor) to an old age home. Why you ask? Well, because the jolly Dattatraya is determined to break the record of the oldest man on earth who has lived for 118 years. “Only 16 years to go. Yo!” says Dattatraya. And to live for another 16 years, as per his research, he needs to be away from negative and boring people, ie his son! According to Dattatrerya, Babulaal is afraid of both living and dying, so he attempts to teach his son how to enjoy life.

While Babulaal has accepted his age, his father hasn’t, which eventually leads to daily tiffs between the father-son duo. When Babulaal does not want to leave home for an old age shelter, his father gives him a condition: he has to fulfill all the dares that will be given to him in the course of six months. And thus begins a sweet journey of the two.

Rishi Kapoor’s smooth performance might remind you of the character Ove from Friedrick Backman’s “A Man Called Ove”, the ever annoyed old man who just wasnts to be left alone. Jimit Trivedi’s portrayal of Dheeru a simple Gujarati errand boy is like the sidekick to Bachchan’s Dattatraya, but he shines on his own mettle against the veteran actors. Big B is the soul of the film, with the ever smilling white bearded face, and gummy teeth calling out “Eh Baabu” and often finishing his sentences with “Yo!” he will instantly bring a smile on your face.

102-not-out.jpeg

The chemistry among the three characters in the film is well woven, and might as well get your eyes welled up at some moments. The special bond of human relationships, the closeness or the distance between a son and his father is what holds ground here with some very powerfull dialogues.

Aulad nalayak ho to usse bhul jana chahiye. Sirf uska bachpan yaad rakhna chahiye.” (A worthless son should be forgotten, only their childhood should be etched in the memory)

On the contrary, Dattatraya’s witty take on the concept of death, “Main to marne k sakht khilaaf hu. Main ek bar bhi mara nei. Jab tak zinda hai marna nei,” (I am strictly against dying. I have never died even once. One should never die while they are living) as an advice to his son will melt your heart.

Umesh Shukla’s direction seems to lose control over the entirity of the film, as it is certain sequences which seem to be well directed and thought out. But on the whole, the director’s job isn’t very appealing, if compared to his 2012 hit film Oh My God! 

102 Not Out could have been a slice of life film, but it’s stuck at being sweet and mushy.

The music and songs fit in well with the story, and Mumbai comes to life in a different way – not as the city witnessing a party animal’s night life, but as a city that witnesses lovable bonds closer to the heart. The use of minimal animation is put to good use by editor Bodhaditya Banerjee during change of sequence. Production designer Mansi Dhruv should also be lauded for making the set feel like a Gujarati home.

There are moments of fun, laughter, sorrow, and tension, all packed justly to create a feel-good family drama you can watch with your family, parents, friends or kids. Even though there are some layers of monotone in between, and a tinge of predictability, the overall presentation is fresh and lovable. The film is a tribute to all the ‘zinda dils’ (lively souls) out there.

Advertisements

When I said cut, Bachchan saab was still sleeping: Umesh Shukla

Filmmaker Umesh Shukla, who is ready with his film “102 Not Out” shares his story of casting Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor for the lead roles, and how the song ‘Badumbaa’ came to be, in an exclusive interview with me.

umesh-shukla-image-0017168001521798175

“I was producing the Gujarati play ‘102 Not Out’ written and directed by Saumya Joshi, and during the rehearsal I figured out that this is a universal subject just like it was in case of ‘Oh My God!’ where God, the central character is present everywhere in everybody’s home. Similarly, I assumed the story of this father-son duo will appeal to a universal audience. The subject is very funny and entertaining, and comes with a feel good factor. That’s when I decided that this is the kind of film I should make,” said the director talking about how the idea of making ‘102 Not Out’ came to him.

When asked how the thought of casting Big B and Rishi Kapoor come to mind, he said, “I wanted Bachchan sir for the role. I thought of him as the only actor who could do justice to this character of a 102-year-old lively and active man. When I narrated the story to him, he agreed to do the film immediately. The idea of a father trying to send his son to an old age home itself got him interested, and he said, ‘I don’t want to listen to the entire narration, I’m doing it.’ When I suggested him that I would cast Chintu ji (Rishi Kapoor) as the son, he was thrilled. Since they had worked together in the past, he loved the idea, and gave me a go-ahead. Chintuji also agreed immediately, even though he will be performing a very different kind of character, and both were onboard.”

102-Not-out-Trailer_637c4f57a8c72e99a314dd9bd317c89e_thumbnail

Many might wonder, having co-written the script for ‘Oh My God!’ why was Umesh Shukla not a part of the scripting process of ‘102 Not Out’? He says, “It’s not that I never suggested the idea… but the play was so brilliantly written, I was sure that Saumya will deliver the script perfectly for the film.

“He took almost a year to develop the script, because it takes quite some time to develop a scrip for a film. In a play you have to finish it within 7-8 scenes, but a film requires a lot of details,” added the director who helmed the critically and commercially acclaimed film ‘Oh My God!’ in 2012.

When asked how much time they took to shoot the film, Shukla’s promptly reply was, “We shot the entire film in 42 days. But before that we had workshops and we and invested a lot of time in detailing. This is the first time the two leads are playing Gujarati characters, so we focused on the costumes, the way Gujaratis wear shirts and t-shirts over pyjamas… Since I’m a Gujarati I know that they don’t wear chappals in the house… Everything was so detailed from the beginning that we managed to finish the shoot in 42 days.”

102-not-out-badumbaa-759

A still from the promotional song ‘Badumbaa’

What’s the story behind ‘Badumbaa’? “Once when we were shooting on the terrace, and when it started raining we all rushed into a shade waiting for the rain to subside. That’s when Bachchan saab came up with the idea and mentioned how Chintuji and he had always had songs in their films like ‘Lambuji lambuji’ from ‘Coolie’, and ‘Chal mere bhai’ from ‘Naseeb’. So why not in this film? He questioned, but I said that there is no requirement of it in the movie. But then he said, ‘let me compose it.’ I got thrilled and I said ‘sure why not?’ Once we listened to the song everyone started dancing to the tune.

“He (Big B) is very passionate about music, and he suggested Rishi Kapoor to sing the song as well. Chintuji didn’t agree initially, but one day during our rehearsal he realised that he could sing! And that’s how ‘Badumbaa’ happened.”

BP191541-large

Umesh Shukla also shared an interesting behind-the-scene moment, “We were shooting a scene where Bachchan saab was sleeping on the bed and Chintuji walks into the room and then leaves. When I said cut, Bachchan saab was still sleeping,” laughed the director. “Nobody else had the courage to wake him up, so I went towards him and said, ‘Sir the shot is over’ but he was still not moving! I repeated again a little loudly, and then got up said something very beautiful, ‘After a long time I actually fell asleep, the set of the house made me feel at home.’ It was only our 20th or 22nd day of shoot, and this moment made me very happy. Mansi Dhruv was the art director for the sets,” he added.

The story of ‘102 Not Out’ is about a very elderly man who aims to break the record for the oldest man on earth. The film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Jimit Trivedi is set to release worldwide on May 4.

Audience is like children, should be given right education: Majid Majidi

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s Hindi debut ‘Beyond the Clouds’ is about to hit the theatres today. During a press meet in the national capital, the director and lead actor Ishaan Khatter, shared their individual experiences of shooting the film.

Talking about his experience shooting in India, Majidi said, “All of my films are shot in rare locations that has been really a challenge here. I always take stories from people’s lives, the same happened here. I have travelled in India for a long time. Specifically for this film I researched in Mumbai for three months seeing every location in the city.”

“The biggest challenges were the locations, because we shot 80% of the film outdoors, on real locations. It was difficult to take the camera in those crowded places and to be able to capture the proper emotions. One of my locations was Dhobi Ghat, and we needed a lot of local people to be in the shots. Controlling and organising such a huge crowd, making sure that they are not looking at the camera was challenging,” confirmed Majidi.

The director also urged the common public in India, other than critics and film enthusiasts to watch ‘Beyond the Clouds’ in order to outgrow the standard formula of Bollywood films.

 

DSC_1123.JPG

Majid Majidi

In a powerful message to the people through the media, he said, “Audience is like children, and they should be given the right education. If you feed a child a particular type of food, he/she will not be ready to try anything else, similarly if the audience is used to a certain kind of cinema they will initially not be open to receiving a different form.

“Having spoken to some of the high profile Bollywood directors I got to know that they are themselves not very happy with the kind of films they are making, but since they know that the audience is used a certain kind of film, they don’t break away from the usual format due to the fear of failure,” said Majidi, discussing the lack of more quality films in Bollywood.

He also shared an anecdote about how some of his friends suggested him a different ending of the film to fit the Indian audience’s taste.

Majidi also pointed out that very few Indian films make it to the international film fests because they have dissociated from their traditional values. “Even the contemporary Indian dance and music in the films are westernised and are much different from the local culture. If the local culture can be projected in the films, can be viewed by the entire world, only then can Indian cinema reach out to everyone,” said the director.

Majidi Talking about his upcoming films, said that if everything goes well then his next film will be in Bengali.

ishaaaan

Ishaan Khatter in a scene from the film

Newbie Ishaan Khatter, portraying the lead character Aamir in the film, talked about his research for the character, “I spent a lot of time in Dharavi, roaming around, exploring the place, talking to the locals. I was fortunate to have some cast members, playing my friends in the film, who were born and brought up in Dharavi. We became good pals. Getting to know about their ways of life and experiences there helped me in understanding my character better.”

‘Beyond the Clouds’ is an extended story of Majidi’s Iranian film ‘Children of Heaven’ (1997). The story set in Mumbai is about a pair of siblings, and celebrates love and family.

.

From ‘damsels in distress’ to action divas

“Bachaaaooo; Help; Mujhe chhor do!!!” and such similar helpless screams of the Bollywood heroines have now changed to curses like “Jhand fakir suar ki aulaad mar ja saale kamine, thank you.” From “Ek chutki sindoor ki kimat tum kya jano Ramesh babu” to “Ek ulte haath ki padegi na to tere plastic sergeon ko bhi surgery ki zaroorat padegi” – the Bollywood heroines have evolved to much bolder beings. And that is not just in terms of dialogues, but in action and appearance equally.


Even two decades ago, there were only a handful of female protagonists in Bollywood, but in the last 10 years, the frequency of women-centric films have increased giving humanity a hope of progress. Some of the mention worthy films would be The Hate Story series, Samay, No One Killed Jessica, Gulab gang, Queen, Mardani, Akira, English Vinglish, NH10, Pink, Mary Kom, Parched, Angry Indian Goddesses, Dangal to the very recent Naam Shabana. And they have also been some of the most impactful films over the box office. Even though there have quality films like Mother India (1957), Mirch Masala (1987), Arth (1982), Lajja(2001), Aandhi (1975) and Bandit Queen(1994) but the frequency of such superior matter has been very less as compared to the recent decade.
It’s time that girls start having some fun without men saving them from circumstances. Filmmakers are pushing the limits of the definition of a ‘bhartiya nari’ with her ‘komal surili awaz’ to being an ideal wife. Life is not about being and living as someone’s wife, it’s about creating one’s own identity. Bold women were portrayed differently earlier through characters which were mentally tough. Mental strength and perseverance is not a sole weapon to tackle the cruel world out there, that is where action steps in. Like all emotions, an existence of fear is necessary not just in the minds of women but also in their male counterparts.
Hollywood and the Chinese film industry can be considered inspirational in terms of introducing female actors in action with some outstanding hits like Kill Bill volume I and II, Charlie’s Angels, The girl with The Dragon tattoo, Salt, Lucy, Kick-Ass etc and several Chinese hits like Kung fu Hustle, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (internationally co-produced), Chocolate among others. The internet as well has been a major contribution in this progress. Quick and worldwide access to information helped people in gaining inspiration from happenings around the globe.
Film viewing audience in India has a fair access to watching Hollywood and Chinese films other than Bollywood and Regional Cinema in the country. Chinese action heroines like Michelle Yeoh, Yuen Qiu, Connie Chan, Zhang Ziyi, JeeJa Yanin have done awesomely great in their films setting a good example for Southeast Asian countries, which are ‘considered to be’ not-so-favourable for women, where they are submissive, and do not have much participation in decision-making processes, as opposed to the West. Action heroines from Hollywood like Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Uma Thurman, Carrie –Anne Moss, Rooney Mara, Cloe grace Moretz are widely known to us but how many actions heroines do we have in our film industry? Bollywood has released very few female action films and out of the numerous potentials only Tapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Rani Mukherjee, and Priyanka Chopra have had opportunities to demonstrate hands-on action on screen.
Thankfully, some storytellers are taking up the responsibility to educate the mass about how a woman can remain a woman by not following the age-old mantras of remaining quiet and enduring violence through the big screens. Being bold is not just kicking asses and punching noses, (that’s a little part of it!) but also about knowing when to step up and say ‘NO’. Let’s hope that similar action films influence women in the country to take up martial arts and send a tough message across to bullies and potential molesters.
Tapsee Pannu’s performance in Baby, Pink and now in Naam Shabana, and Sonakshi Sinha’s Akira shows that there’s always an opportunity for females actors in B’town to try their hand at action and yet look dapper hot. You can ditch the low waist saris, and bikinis to pick up martial arts and make jaws drop and heads turn as you walk away from your injured victim. It is not so much about strength, but a power packed combination of techniques, determination, practice and stamina, can definitely make one win the game – a crucial lesson to learn from the audio-visual media.

Pink: The power of ‘NO’

Pink : movie review

Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Script: Ritesh Shah
Cast: Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Amitabh Bachchan, Piyush Mishra
A woman need not prove her character to a man or stoop to plead ‘not guilty’ when she knows that she comes clean. Even when in Ramayana, Sita was asked to undergo ‘agnipariksha’ the second time she took a stand and walked away, without having to prove anything. When she says ‘no’, it means ‘NO’ and men better get it straight and back off.
The bottom line of ‘Pink’ is how the society perceives a woman’s character by her clothing or late working hours. The story starts with two young men- Dumpy and Vishwa rushing to a hospital with an injured Rajveer to get him treated, while three tensed young women- Minal, Falak and Andrea return home late at night evidently after having a rough time. What follows is a strenuous battle between the two sexes to prove one another wrong. Minal was molested and despite the powerful backing, her molester had, her friends decide to fight back the offenders for mistreating their brave friend.
pink-poster-0122643
Tapsee Pannu has perfectly succeeded in fitting into Minal’s shoes, while Amitabh Bachchan as Deepak Sehgal, the experienced lawyer with frequent mood swings, is an audio-visual treat for movie lovers. Both Andrea and Kirti Kulhari (Falak) have performed to the core of their characters. Falak’s breakdown at the courtroom is something to look forward to. The movie’s script by Ritesh Shah is brilliantly written- every time Amitabh speaks in the courtroom one cannot resist oneself from seconding him or clapping after each dialogue delivery.
The best part of the movie is neither the gripping storyline nor the marvelous acting, but the closing credit verse voiced by Bachchan which talks about how a woman needs no man’s consent to prove herself, and she should set out on a journey to discover herself rather than let others label her as ‘somebody’. Every word in that delivery may give one goosebump.
Overall, Pink is an outstanding venture and a must watch for all. DO NOT leave your seat until you have watched and heard every single scene even the closing credits. More of such films should rule the market now rather than the spicy mindless formula films. The constant attempt and reminder to the society that women are not pieces of toys might actually work out to awaken people and take up the cause of educating and ‘saving the boys’ of the family rather than protecting the girls by marrying them off at early ages or confining them within the societal rules.
Thank me once you have watched the movie! 😉

Mission Accomplished

Movie- Captain America: Civil War

Director- Joe Russo and Anthony Russo

Cast- Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Chandwick Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Don Cheadle and Tom Holland

Run Time- 2hr 27 mins

Civil_War_Final_Poster

It is a real treat for comic lovers, when some of the most sought after Marvel comic characters come together in one movie. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ starts off when a collateral damage is caused during a mission in Nigeria, by the Avengers team which puts them in trouble. Talks of clipping their powers arise as the Secretary of State approaches the team to convince them to sign a document, named after the destroyed city from ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’, according to which the Avengers will be controlled and directed by the United Nations. They will be able to act only when the UN deems it fit for the team’s involvement. This generates a debate among the superheroes whether or not to give in. While Captain America(Chris Evans) believes that they must have freedom to defend humanity without the government’s involvement, Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr) thinks otherwise. This creates a tussle and divides the Avengers in two groups as they have to finally come to a decision even if they have to go against each other.

This mega battle of superheroes is a power packed action sci-fi which will be enjoyed by all action and fantasy lovers. The hero vs hero concept in the movie generates civil war, a fight within the Avengers which lead to the disclosure of some long, pondered upon and lamented secrets. ‘Revenge is never the answer to stop violence’, is what the story talks of. Another very important message one shall carry home from the movie, is the message from Margaret Peggy to Kate that one must never give in to peer pressure when they know that they are right, even if everyone calls them wrong. Captain America chooses to stick to his beliefs and fight off his friends unwillingly. Going against one’s enemy is rather an easy job than fighting a war over disagreement with a friend.

In between this debate, Captain America’s friend-turned-psychologically-controlled soldier Bucky plays an important role, because of whom the war gets more intense. Daniel Bruhl’s character, although not a superhero, is extremely crucial in the search for lost facts which eventually cause an intense war.

‘Civil War’ not only deals with the internal conflict between Captain America and Iron Man but also involves Black Widow, Hawkeye, Wanda, Sam, a young and chatty Spiderman, Ant-Man, Falcon, Vision and Black Panther.

Even though Black Panther’s character (played by Chandwik Boseman) did not have enough screen space in comparison to some of the other super heroes, one will not be able to walk out of the theatre without appreciating his bold intelligence and dedication. Tom Holland’s presence as Spiderman is another excitement as the young spidey successfully portrays every detail of the beloved character in his little screen time. Paul Rudd’s comeback as Ant-Man is one more admirable performance.

Chris Evans’ powerful presence and his awesome physique accompanied with an overwhelming performance may not allow you to blink, so is the case with Robert Downey Jr. even though Iron Man’s more serious and responsible nature has been portrayed here unlike the witty and carefree individual from the ‘Iron Man’ franchise. Scarlet Johansson’s action sequences as Black widow, are awesome as usual, and will keep you asking for more. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay has justified the characters with ample space to perform and display their characteristics.

One must watch Captain America: Civil War in 3D to get the best out of the movie and then sit for a power packed debate on the split between the superheroes and their beliefs. This movies is probably the best in the Captain America movie franchise.

Airlift: An effortless awakening of patriotism

Director: Raja Krishna Menon

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Prab Kohli, Inaamulhaq

Run time: 125 minutes

‘Airlift’ is the tale of the largest civil operation in the history of the world, where almost two lakh Indians were evacuated from Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war.

The film unfolds with Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based Indian businessman, who has almost forgotten his motherland, living a merry life in Kuwait, realizing his duty as a human being and an Indian, and eventually carrying out a huge civil operation of evacuation of 1,70,000 Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war in 1990.

airlift-movie-poster

Akshay’s star power definitely elevates the film. Ranjit Katyal is made authentic as Akshay does not display faux heroism for an unshowy heroism, and there is no one else who could have done the job better. His role seems to be inspired slightly by Liam Neeson in ‘Schindler’s List’. One may also find similarities between ‘Airlift’ and Ben Affleck starrer Hollywood evacuation tale, ‘Argo’. ‘Airlift’ takes us through a journey of the awakened sense of responsibility which Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) terms as a ‘manufacturing defect in some humans’ with thrilling empathy. A very crucial character in the movie is Sanjeev Kohli (Kumud Mishra) the government official who makes the evacuation of the Indians successful by convincing the ministers in India. Acting throughout the film is natural and also entertaining at times when the Iraqi general (Inaamulhaq) speaks in Hindi with an Arabic accent!

Bollywood has not been very famous for films based on real-life events because it mostly does not successfully connect the line between fact and fiction, which is extremely important for this genre. What often happens is an overdone representation with enormous drama and exaggeration of facts! But Raja Krishna Menon’s ‘Airlift’ plays it right, with the proportionate amount of drama, thrill, patriotism, fact and history.

For an overall evaluation, Menon has directed his actors perfectly to represent the Indian sentiment through their performance. Amaal Malllik and Ankit Tiwari’s music direction has served the film well, with less number of songs and relevant background score, which shall evoke a feeling of patriotism and give goose-bumps to many Indians.

Cinematographer Priya Seth had captured strong and predominantly masculine images flawlessly showing the fearful and tragic situations in the war zone. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is impeccably executed throughout as well.

The concept of an individual escalating to tackle an enormous crisis is placed at a key position in the plot. The scriptwriters Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah, Rahul Nangia and director Menon, have researched Saddam’s invasion suitably yet they did not allow the narrative to be boring or too preachy by the politics of history. ‘Airlift’ without any second thought is a worthy watch as it is informative, real-like and non-exaggerated.

Manjhi – The Mountain Man

Direction: Ketna Mehta

Actors: Nawazuddin Siddique, Radhika Apte, Gaurav Dwivedi

Run time: 2hours

Rating: 3.5/5

The legend of Dashrath Manjhi, a determined common man from Gehlaur village in Bihar’s Gaya district could not possibly have been told in a better way. Manjhi- The Mountain Man not only tells the tale of this indomitable man but also speaks of the innumerable deaths and suppressed stories of Bihar in the 1950s-60s. Manjhi had spent 22 precious years of his life to take revenge of his wife’s untimely death by carving a way through a mountain that separated the village from the nearest town and medical help.

The biography shows how a man, only out of love for his wife could carve out a way through the mountain that caused his wife’s death, with nothing but a hammer and a chisel. The film has an effect of an adventure yet it is not merely an adventure but portrayal of life itself in the silver screen. Ketan Mehta’s direction is so appropriate that one would feel that he is present in the 1960s’ corrupt Bihar where greedy zamindars kill and torture every person to fulfill their desires. Mehta has powerfully brought out the emotions of common men in a deprived village, along with this strong love story and sheer realism.

If compared to similar genres of films in Bollywood that were concerned about suppression, rebellious groups, and a strong will or biopics like Paan Singh Tomaar and Bandit Queen, Manjhi is wrapped in hard facts of sheer realism and carries off the blend of emotion, love, exploitation, and determination perfectly well. It bombards the audience with several known and unknown information of that critical era in Bihar. The photogenic scenery of Bihar and particularly the mountain though is not as beautiful as the Himalayas, but is somewhat alright to serve the visual appeal. The cinematography is not very appealing or attractive. Neither is the acting or dialect of the side characters.

Some of the scenes which show the couple romancing seems very fantasy oriented and hence do not quite fit into the realistic storyline. Even though all the actors could not keep up with the Bhojpuri accent, other than the lead characters, some of the dialogues in the film are really awe-inspiring and grand, like the one that Manjhi says towards the end of the film “Bhagwan k bharose mat bathiye, kya pata bhagwan humre bharose baitha ho…” followed by a heartwarming laughter.

Nawazuddin Siddique’s performance as Manjhi is overwhelming as Nawazuddin and Dashrath cannot be separately identified in any part of the film. While Radhika Apte kept a strong hold throughout the film with her sweet charming presence, Gaurav Dwivedi did a great job playing a journalist who narrates the story. The persuasive acting and set-up in the film may also get you teary eyed at times. The theme music and the songs were quite appropriate to fit in the situation of the film. A good incorporation of humour, realism, love, lust and determination, Manjhi- The Mountain Man is an essential watch for all movie lovers.

‘Piku- Motion comes with Emotion’

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan, Moushumi Chaterjee and Jishu Sengupta

Piku (Deepika Padukone) is a 30 year old woman, living at C.R Park, New Delhi with her complaining and ailing father, Bhashkor Banerjee. Mr. Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), is absolutely fit other than suffering from constipation, and some imaginary diseases. Her father is a stereotypical old ‘Bangali’, who discusses a lot about health issues, particularly of ‘motion’ and women empowerment and wants his daughter to be like Rani Laskshmibai, and AnnieBesant.

piku

Bhashkor Banerjee introduces his daughter to be a ‘financially, emotionally and sexually independent and non-virgin woman’ to almost every other man she meets! His erratic and childish behavior always puts Piku into difficulty!

Irrfan aka Rana Chaudhary, the ‘non-Bengali’ owner of a cab service finds himself in the middle of a family dispute on the long road trip to Kolkata from New Delhi. He tries to calm down situations and provide logical solutions to the problems between the father and the daughter but is misunderstood and asked to stay away from ‘family problems.’ Bhaskor Banerjee loves his daughter but his weird behavior often makes her feel annoyed and disrespectful, on one such occasion when he starts arguing about being a burden for Piku, Rana reacts and shuts him up to tell how caring his daughter actually is.

Piku does not offer any sexuality or spice to the audience, but what it does is, it takes you directly into a family and introduces each and every character the way you observe your family members. It is masterpiece of simplicity and not-so-ideal relations. Piku does not have any of the clichéd romantic moments that Bollywood films generally provide the audience with, rather the subtlety and beauty in the romance between Rana and Piku shows how real and admiring relationships are.

The use of Bengali terms in appropriate places has done wonders in the script by Juhi Chaturvedi. Even the music, by Anupam Roy seems apt for the setting. The character portrayal has been nailed by the worthy actors. Any Bengali man or woman can relate so well with the film that it might bring tears streaming down their eyes with the proceedings of the film.

Piku has less of drama and more of reality focused in it which enables the audience to understand the mentality of the old, loving and tantrum throwing father. Even though he loves his dead wife, he criticizes her, and calls himself a ‘critical man’ as a justification, he is partly selfish, yet his childish tantrums will make you love the 70year old man, and many can relate to their grandparents when they witness the endearing Bhashkor Banerjee. Finally, ‘constipation’ plays a major part in the film other than all the important characters, refer to the ‘Singhaasan’, Rana has mentioned throughout the film, you’ll know why I spoke of constipation. Piku is a family entertainer, and will keep you bursting out in laughter every now and then for the complete duration.

Feel like a Queen and live like one too…

“Myself Rani”, says the shy and simple Delhi girl, to introduce herself to anyone. When she’s asked what it means she says “Queen”. She had been injected with all the good qualities injected within her, and had been taught to obey and respect everyone. But how many respects her? Rani’s (Kangana) wedding gets called off just in the morning before her big day by her fiancé. She decides to go to Paris on her honeymoon which was pre decided all by herself.
In this journey she rediscovers herself and the hidden qualities she had in her. She experiences drunkenness, fights off a thief in a hilarious way, dances in a bar but consciously stuffs her sweater back in her purse after swinging it wildly. She travels Paris with a friend she makes at the Hotel, shops with her and enjoys her life.
Then opens the chapter of Amsterdam for her, she has to share a room with 3 boys in a hostel! Though it sounds tough, she does it and the boys turn out to be quite good too. Friends happen to her automatically and she gets all that she never got from her boyfriend – Respect, praise, a job and even a lip-to-lip kiss! Rani’s character gradually builds confidence. Vijay, her boyfriend was the one who called her queen but gradually she becomes the queen to all her friends. And definitely she looks like a happy queen when she runs to the rock show in her beautiful white laces gown and high heels and open hair fluttering in the air.
No wonder this has been the best rated Bollywood film ever (as it’s flying about in the internet)
The film gives a lot of lessons, as far as I could decipher
1. You should never co-operate and remain suppressed in life
2. Respect your lover
3. Adventure teaches a lot
4. Make friends not by judging their appearance but by their heart
5. And that Kangana Ranaut is a fabulous actress
images
She should get bagful of awards for her acting. Her character here was that of a middle class girl who fails to recognize a sex-toy shop, one who cannot speak proper English and mispronounces Alexander and names the man Sikandar. Direction of Vikas Bahl and the story stands out uniquely. The character analysis has been awesome, and so was the clever way of using foreign languages to make the audience feel equally helpless like the protagonist, to feel her situation. The film will make you laugh and wonder every minute; some of the scenes are really hilarious. I had personally loved the scenes when Kangana, orders food at a French restaurant and the waiter serves her disaster, once she ends up in embarrassing an Italian restaurant owner with her Indian sense of food, and the way she turns her face off from the Japanese boy named Taka when he tries to be friendly with her for the first time. One of the funniest sequences was when she gets drunk and endlessly recites the story of her life. The music is wonderful, in all Queen is a must watch for everyone.
Direction- 4.5/5, Acting-5/5, Plot- 3.5/5, Music- 4/5, Cinematography- 4/5