GHAWRE BAIRE AAJ : When Life loses out to Politics

Aparna Sen‘s contemporary take on the Tagore classic, that she has named Ghawre Baire Aaj is an unabashedly political film. So much so that I was almost wondering as I sat through the film, as to how difficult would have been the film’s certification process. So much so that much before Sen would have finally completed the film would she know that many would outright reject her film just because they don’t agree with the film’s politics. In a country that has never been this politically divided before, just that Ghawre Baire Aaj exists makes a strong enough statement. It takes a lot of courage to just be there. As a viewer, I just wished that the film was as flawless in its execution as clear it was on its intent, and didn’t compromise on the emotional quotient to meet its aggressive political ambition.

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Year End 2019 – Best of the Year and the Decade

It is that time of the year when we start looking back at the Best of films, performances and music of the year. This year is special as we are also winding up a decade, and hence we will also retrospect across the entire decade over the next couple of months and come up with the Best of films, digital content and more over various languages. We will keep appending the links of all such blogs in this index post, so keep watching this space for more:

Best of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

 

Best of the Year 2019

  • Coming up…

25 Best Hindi Film Albums Of The Decade – Ranked

The passing decade of 2010 – 2019 has been special in terms of how cinema molded itself to be more experimental, more fearless and breaking more boundaries. The phenomenon was true irrespective of film industries and languages and naturally we see the impact in Hindi films as well. As stories evolved, so did the music; and hence as we look at some of the Best Hindi Film Music Albums of the Decade, we see a very interesting mix of traditional, contemporary and experimental music.

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LITTLE THINGS S3 : Wide Perspectives, Deep Impressions

The new season of Little Things, that takes forward the journey of Dhruv and Kavya on a more grounded and realistic journey, grows wider in perspective and leaves behind deeper impressions. Unlike the previous seasons that dealt more with the live-in couple exploring life with and in each other, this time around life takes them long distance, and that possibly gives them a breather to look outward, rediscover themselves in their individual worlds, take them back to their roots on what shaped them to be the people they are today, and find their own happy places and comfort zones. That doesn’t mean though that the show achieves that at the expense of the chemistry between Dhruv and Kavya. If anything, we only find them more matured and stronger to handle spaces, people and things of past and present that life has offered them over time, that in turn make them more lovable individually and together.

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BALA : Has its Moments, But Just About That

The weakest parts of Amar Kaushik’s new film ‘Bala‘ is when it tries to go extreme by embracing the fake to drive home a point – whether it is the much discussed odd dark skin paint on Bhumi Pednekar’s Latika; or the ultra repetitive mimicry acts by Ayushmann Khurrana’s Bala or Javed Jaffery’s Bachchan Bhaiyya – whether of Shahrukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan or Dev Anand; or the ultra-smart facade or soon getting stale desperate tricks by Bala to salvage his balding hairline; or most of all the entire tik-tok act of Yami Gautam’s Pari and her plastic courtship with  Bala built on an artificial and messy chemistry.

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Amitabh Bachchan – Most Memorable Characters!

Amitabh Bachchan – The Biggest Superstar ever of Hindi Cinema completely 50 years of ruling the screen today! The range of his body of work is incomparable, and he has been tremendous in everything that he has done from Action to Comedy to Drama to Extrovert to Introvert to you name it, but my favorite ones have been his serious understated types! Making his debut as the voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s award winning Bhuvan Shome in 1969 and then with an on screen debut with Saat Hindustani in the same year, the Maestro has come a long way! The Dadasaheb Phalke honour, Padma Vibhushan, 4 national awards, 15 filmfare awards, 41 filmfare nominations and a host of innumerable other accolades and counting, his journey continues! May be his performance of the lifetime is yet to come!

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JALLIKATTU : Overwhelming Technical Brilliance, but…

Noted Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery‘s recent film Jallikattu got released on digital within a month of its theatrical release, and though the dazzling film is crafted in a way to be best consumed at the cinemas, this quick digital release will definitely help it to reach far and wide to many who have been wanting to experience the film, given the interest it has already generated with its critical acclaim and positive word of mouth. In fact there is much to learn from Malayalam and Tamil cinema how well integrated is their digital strategy in the overall distribution planning of their films, which has helped them to move ahead of the curve to gain much wider national/global following and appreciation. Jallikattu is no exception.

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KEDARA : The Soliloquy of Solitude

Silence speaks a thousand words in Indraadip Dasgupta‘s deeply immersive and stunning debut directorial Kedara. Through the almost forgotten art of Ventriloquism, the film takes us on a journey in search of humanity, to go back and grow intimate with many things lost or forgotten, befriend our solitude, and reflect back upon the definitions of success and failure of a dejected existence. In these ultra fast and busy times, Kedara is the much needed thoughtful pause that celebrates the songs of silence, and relishes on living life king size in a unique personal universe that is otherwise laden with the burden of not-haves.

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SAAND KI AANKH : Quite a Misfire

The unbelievable real life story of the Shooter DadisChandro Tomar and Prakasi Tomar is the stuff of legends. It is such an incredible story of triumph over so many kinds of isms – sex, age, class (and counting..), that it naturally fits in to be a very engaging cinematic drama with opportunities to explore so many layers of story telling.

It is a pity then that filmmaker Tushar Hiranandani is least interested in exploring any layers and complexities of such an incredible plot setup in Saand Ki Aankh, and wants to play it to the gallery in a full blown massy commercial setup in the most simplistic and loud manner. He shoots completely out of range, and there are only very few moments sparsely showing up in an unbelievably dragging long film, that genuinely connect and get anywhere close to the bull’s eye that he was aiming for.

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THE SKY IS PINK : ‘Coz the Colour of Grief is very very Personal

In one of the scenes in The Sky is Pink, Niren Chaudhary, the helpless father, asks his terminally ill child Aisha to consider going for a lung transplant because it can possibly add 10 more years to her life sinking off pulmonary fibrosis. To this, Aisha very pragmatically asks him back if saying goodbyes would become a tad easier at 28 instead of 18. Niren is obviously left speechless. And along with him we are also reminded how it is never going to be easy to face the final eventuality how much ever preparatory time you get. Not today, not tomorrow, not few years later; and not for any of the family members, who are possibly all dying their own emotional deaths even though only one of them will be finally going away. It is then a personal journey of every individual how one wants to deal with the impending death, and find moments of happiness and hope along the way in the zeal of life.

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