AHAA RE : The Lingering Aftertaste of Life

In one of the memorable sequences of Ahaa Re, expert chef from Dhaka and the protagonist of the film, Farhaz Choudhury, demonstrates how chocolate cake becomes a flavorful delicacy only when the senses of taste and smell work together in perfect conjunction. The specific finding is a new learning for the master home-cook Basundhara Ganguly. However, both of them know that the magic of food, just like love, works only when it finds its roots in the authentic ingredients; the passion and imagination to create something delectable is in full play; and when all the senses of taste, smell, touch and sight feel it in right proportions. Filmmaker Ranjan Ghosh is merely using this suggested expertise of the chefs to reiterate how a story when told with the right proportions of empathy, warmth, respect and soulful goodness, blended in a generous bout of subtle compassion, can become a beautiful love letter to life.

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Essential KHAYYAM : A Dozen Soulful Gems


Mohammed Zahur “Khayyam” Hashmi, fondly known as Khayyam, has always been one of those legends who had always let his music speak instead of himself. And it does speak beautifully, reverberating in melody & pathos, creating its own soothing soulful aura.

A second world war veteran, with growing up years deeply impacted by partition, Khayyam found his calling in music composition as early as 1948 for the film Heer Ranjha, when he made his debut along with partner Rahman Varma as Sharma’ji of the Sharmaji – Varmaji composer duo. However this partnership didn’t last long, as Rahman Varma decided to move to Pakistan, and the event turning a blessing in disguise for Khayyam. He soon found his footing as an independent music composer for Biwi in 1950, and from that point on Khayyam didn’t ever have to look back.

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SHANTILAL O PROJAPOTI ROHOSHYO : A Messy Transmutation

Shantilal o Projapoti Rohoshyo uses the butterfly in its name to seek metamorphosis into an end goal that isn’t what you expect it to be. The film’s name and the way it has been marketed throughout will build expectations of a taut and intense thriller for most viewers, which it is not. In fact, it never wanted to be one of that. Just like its protagonist Shantilal who is stuck in a line of journalism where he does not belong and always dreams of something bigger and more intense, the film also tries to fit into a genre that doesn’t do justice to its thought. Pratim D Gupta sets his aim to make a film about emotional and behavioral study of complex characters on much broader themes of dreams, marginalization and survival, with a constant subtext of hypocrisies rampant in the entertainment and journalism industries; but chooses a treatment garb of a thriller that somehow dilutes the overall impact significantly. It is one of those tricked cases of mismatched intent, expectations and execution.

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Kishore Kumar – A Playlist of Underrated Melodies

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If you are a cinema and music lover, you are bound to be in awe of Kishore Kumar! A Sampurna Kalakar with God gifted voice and talent, he has to be most popular playback singer across generations. In a career spanning 41 years, he sang to many beautiful compositions of the most respected music directors. My personally favorite phase of Kishore Kumar songs are the gems he produced with S.D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Hemant Kumar and others in the pre-Aradhana phase, but it was post Aradhana in a period of time in 70s to mid-80s where he almost single-handedly topped the musical charts of hindi films, being the voice of some of the most popular and evergreen songs. Naturally, there are so many of his songs which still dominate our playlists to date and offer a diverse listening pleasure.

However, there are so many beautiful songs of Kishore’da that are still less heard or remembered and can easily be part of best of his playlists. Many of these songs are from the post Aradhana phase of his career, where a host of more popular songs hogged the lion’s share of limelight. So on his 90th birthday, here is an attempt to list down 50 such less appreciated solo songs of Kishore Kumar – they aren’t necessarily all rare, but some of them are also in the list because they somehow don’t get remembered as much today because they weren’t either part of a popular film, or got overshadowed by a more popular song of that album, or just have not received as much love as they deserved.

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Jaidev – The Underrated Genius

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There is only one way to describe the immortal music composer JaidevThe underrated genius! For an artist whose entry into films was as a child artist, he induction as a composer happened as an assistant to stalwarts like Ali Akbar Khan and then Sachin Dev Burman. His first break as a music composer came in the year 1955, and over the next thirty plus years that he was active in, he score music for just over forty hindi films. And yet, he was the first music composer to be recognized with three national awards. That is the musical prowess of the man, who turned everything he touched to gold, and he didn’t need any big banner films to get attention and be heard.

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When Rafi Saab sang for S.D. Burman, Magic happened!

31st July marks 39 years since the greatest singer ever of hindi cinema and my ultimate favorite Mohammad Rafi left us for a world of eternal peace.. Incidentally 31st is also the tragic date (but that was October) when the world of cinema lost the most melodious music composer ever as well in S.D. Burman!

So, what else could be a more musical way to remember the two legends but recalling some of the best music that this duo created, melodious to the core, displaying a range of emotions that is mind boggling!

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JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA : Does Not Raise Itself Above Judgement

Bobby Batliwala Grewal in Judgementall Hai Kya is almost like a reel embodiment of the real life actor trying to make a statement – “Don’t judge me with my on the surface psychic and narcissistic behaviour, I can often see things that you can’t, and all you need is the right perspective to sense what is more dangerous around.

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A.R. Rahman – The Divine Connection

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A.R. Rahman is a musical revolution – and that is not saying anything new about him. Amongst the best music directors that India ever had, his music stands apart in the way he brought in fusion between traditional Indian classical music with electronic music, influences of world music. There is a very unique sound of his music that one can recognize just by listening to his songs, and all the national and international awards under his belt, or the legendary nicknames he has been given deservingly recognize his genius, his divine blessings.

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VIRUS : When cinema is at its best!

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Aashiq Abu‘s Malayalam film VIRUS is definitely one of the best Indian films of 2019 and is a masterclass in screen writing by Muhsin Parari, Sharfu and Suhas. Playing out like a gripping medical thriller, the film keeps its humane soul intact on how a group of very brave individuals come together to fight and control the deadly nipah virus attack in the state of Kerala. It is an outstanding story of survival in the face of a catastrophe, where humanity and hope triumphs over every medical, political, or any other obstacle. Compassion can be an overpowering strength, and Virus ensures that it does not deviate from that tonality at any time.

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2019 Emmy Nominations : It is a game alright!

So Emmy’s 2019 nominations are out, and even after the pretty disastrous final season of Game of Thrones, it still manages to secure a whopping 32 nominations!

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