Archive for December, 2015

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

In our “Best of 2015” series, earlier we shared the script of Neeraj Ghaywan’s MasaanMeghna Gulzar’s Talvar, and Navdeep Singh’s NH10.

Titli_Still_21

Yashraj Films produced 2 kickass films this year – Kanu Behl’s Titli and Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

Titli was one of the best debuts of the year. Violent, brutal, of people on the fringes whom we hardly notice otherwise, and a family film unlike any, at least in bollywood. And still, at its core, there’s a beautiful love story about two doomed people who can’t escape their fate and are forced to be together. With some excellent performances by its ensemble cast, this is what an assured debut looks like.

Film : Titli

Director : Kanu Behl

Writer : Kanu Behl and Sharat Katariya

 

 

dum-laga-ke-haisha_022615054156

The other film is Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Interestingly, Sharat also co-wrote Titli. A over-weight lead actress is a strict no in bollywood. Sharat turned it into a novetly factor for his film. Dipped in Kumar Sanu’s 90s nostalgia and flavours of small town’s lazy life, it felt like riding a time machine while you kept smiling at the love story of the unlikely lead pair.

Film : Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Director : Sharat Katariya

Writer : Sharat Katariya

Here’s the script of Sharat Kataria’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Like other scripts we have shared, this one is also a pre-shooting draft. Some scenes here are missing from the film and a couple of scenes in the film are missing from this script. Especially one scene I loved while reading (the very first scene!) is not in the final-cut of the film. One of the most fun scripts to read this year, in my opinion – Varun Grover

 

AIG

Among the many ways the Censor Board (CBFC) butchered Pan Nalin’s film Angry Indian Goddesses, this one was priceless. They had objection to the entire opening credits of the film. For us, a good opening title sequence is a thing of beauty. And lot of effort goes into making it. How to explain it to the board which believes that any reference to Gods should be wiped out. The makers had no option but to blur all the Gods in the entire film and the opening title sequence. So if you saw the film in the theatres, all you saw was the credits with a completely blur background.

Anyway, here’s the good news. The opening credit which was blurred is now online. Also, Art Of The Title site, which is great resource for title sequences of films/tv show, has featured it in their Top 10 title sequences of the year.

Click here to watch it on full screen or click here to go to Art Of Title page and scroll down to number 5.

Here is the credit list for the sequence

ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES
Studio: Plexus
Creative Director / Motion Graphics Artist: Vijesh Rajan
Associate Motion Graphics Artist: Yashoda Parthasarthy
Music by: Ram Sampath
Edited by: Shreyas Beltangdy

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

In our “Best of 2015” series, earlier we shared the script of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan and Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar.

NH10

Navdeep Singh made his debut with a critically acclaimed film, Manorama Six Feet Under. But unfortunately, it didn’t work at the box office. This time, with NH10, he has scored on both the counts – box office as well critical acclaim. A revenge thriller which constantly kept you on the edge as things become murkier, darker, and completely unpredictable. With its lead actor turning co-producer and backing the film all the way, it showed how it is possible to make content driven film in the right budget and make it work.

Film : NH10

Director : Navdeep Singh

Writer : Sudip Sharma

The brief was the same this year. A mail was sent to the usual cinema comrades who watch almost all the films, write about them, or contribute and help in running this blog. Pick a film (released/unreleased/long/short/docu/any language/anything) that stood out and has stayed with you, whatever is the reason. Since the idea was that we cover maximum films, so no two people were allowed to write on the same film. And nobody was told who was writing on which film. Also, this year, writers were asked to pick underrated ones. The more underrated it is, better was the choice.

So here is the final list – a mixed bag of few usual suspects and some underrated ones.

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kartik krishnan on Titli

We tail the protagonist who we’ve been informed has औकात के बाहर dreams under construction. Aspiration in his hazy eyes and cobwebs in his head, we see him traversing through the narrow lanes of east delhi (जमुना पार) leading up to the footsteps of his house. His brothers are supposedly arranging a newly purchased item into the house but the delivery guy argues that the door entrance is too small. Yes too small for such a big & expensive product. The casual disagreement escalates into an argument slowly. We get to know that birthday cake has been made by the eldest son of the family for his visiting wife and daughter. Hopes, aspirations, dreams of a ‘family’ day transform into an ugly senseless typical ego-fight. The family’s Babuji enjoys his tea & biscuits & watches with relish. This perhaps wasn’t the first time the ‘Bahu’ of the family was repulsed by the everyday violence and walked away. The protagonist watches the separation with helplessness and awkwardness. And we immediately know how difficult it is going to be for our hero to escape this gutter life. As the film progresses the director slowly subverts our idea of the underdog by showing his violent side too. Will he cross over and become like the ‘nark’ members he so despises? One of the finest debuts by a director who also wrote the killer Love Sex & Dhokha – Titli is the non pretentious ‘art house’ noir film that is firmly rooted in the Indian milieu without an eye at the festivals. The film which should have been celebrated much more in our country and abroad

shazia iqbal on Inside Out

We are closest to the voices within us, multiple voices that reside within us, our emotions that talk to us, maneuvers specially through life’s complicated phases. Pete Doctor personifies these complex emotions in Pixar’s Inside Out. It starts with Kaufman-esque question that most of us have asked ourselves, whether it is possible to get a peak inside somebody’s head and wonder what’s going on. Doctor’s pre teen daughter was the inspiration behind the idea when he wondered about her changing emotional behaviour, which was reminiscent of his own memory of moving out of his childhood home.

In the film the 11-year-old Riley goes through an emotional turmoil when her family moves from a quaint idyllic life in a small town to the hustle bustle of a city. The five emotions in her mind’s headquarters, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear struggle to help Riley maintain a balance.

The genius of the film lies in the interplay between Riley’s physical and emotional world where it tells us depression is not just a state of absence of Joy and Sadness but the role sadness plays as a heroic emotion to connect us to our closed ones. Inside out moves you to the extent that you will find yourself talking and empathizing with the running emotions of your own control room.

aniruddh chatterjee  on  Open Tee Bioscope

90s hold a special place in our hearts for us 80s kids. We grew up in the 90s. I grew up in Bardhaman, a small town then, which is very similar to North Kolkata, where the film is based.

The images are soaked in nostalgia.

The bylanes, the para culture (neighbourhood), street food, tea shops, evening adda eventually turning into political debate no matter where one started, the clubs and above all football. The characters we fondly remember from childhood. The overweight naive neighbour, the social activist who wears a jeans, the local goon who eventually becomes a policeman, the dubious left wing politician, the unwed, super orthodox, elderly, paternal aunt, the hipsters playing Bangla rock and the frustrated, angry coach who eventually becomes the mentor and more than a father figure.

The coming to terms with father’s absence, one has never seen since birth. The anger when bullied about the same fact. Turning rebel against the mother, a single mom who’s working round the clock to make sure her child goes to the best school. The displeasure of going to the local politician’s house for favour on mother’s repeated insistence. A new girl coming into the neighbourhood. The first love letter. The first kiss. The fight with best friend as both fell for the same girl.

 And eventually coming of age and growing up. Open Tee Bioscope is all that and more.

sukanya verma  on  Crimson Peak 

Watching Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is like securing a privilege pass inside the ambitious imagination of a dark genius inhabited by fanciful monsters and imprinted by a mammoth knowledge of art, literature and cinema.

Every corridor opens into wonderment but macabre and mystery occupy a place of prominence.

Crimson Peak relates the fanboy influences and how he’s manifested them to fashion an exquisite gothic romance.

In this spellbindingly atmospheric tale where production design is king, ghosts aren’t merely to terrify but provide gruesome clues leading up to a reality that’s far more creepier.

And yet its seductive narration isn’t concerned with revelations as much it is with dedicatedly fanning our morbid fascination for everything forbidden and murky. All this time testing if his viewer can recognize the hat tips to all the innumerable classics del Toro’s inspired by.

Gratifying if you do, educating if you don’t.

bhaskarmani tripathi  on  Phoenix

Talking about a dreadful and painful event, instead of considering it sacred, helps healing. That must be the reason why Holocaust is a very well documented event in European culture. It has been the premise of some of the greatest films ever made. Agar apne girebaan mein dekhein, we’ve not given Partition its due. A Holocaust survivor returns to Berlin after her wounded face is reconstructed, and searches for her husband only to come of age with the dynamics of the society that’s now a radically different one. An atmospheric, twisted story about the trauma, conflicts, loss and identity crisis in a post war Germany where Nazis and survivors now have to live together. But most importantly, it’s also about a love compromised. The title Phoenix serves as a metaphorical reference to the tragedy. The pain can be seen as a constant shade in Nina Hoss’s eyes in the film, especially in that gut wrenching climax that renders a different meaning to Goosebumps.

mihir pandya  on  मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर बाक़ी है / इन दिनों मुज़फ़फ़रनगर

पच्चीस अगस्त 2015। वो गाढ़ी ऊमस से कुचला हुआ उदास दिन था। जब मैं गांधी शान्ति प्रतिष्ठान के उस परिचित अंधेरे हॉल में घुसा तो फ़िल्म शुरू हो चुकी थी आैर मुझे भीतर परदे पर चलती फ़िल्म की रौशनी के अलावा कुछ आैर दिखाई नहीं दिया। संयोग नहीं कि वो फ़िल्मकार शुभ्रदीप चक्रवर्ती की पहली बरसी का दिन था। वही दिन जब उनकी फ़िल्म की कैम्पस में स्क्रीनिंग करना चुनौती बन गया था। यहाँ कैम्पस को दिल्ली पढ़ें आैर दिल्ली को पूरा देश। पृष्ठभूमि: एक अगस्त 2015 को दिल्ली के किरोड़ीमल कॉलेज में फ़िल्मकार नकुल सिंह साहनी की दस्तावेज़ी फ़िल्म ‘मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर बाक़ी है’ की स्क्रीनिंग को सत्तारूढ़ दल से जुड़े छात्र संगठन ने जबरन रुकवा दिया था। नया निज़ाम अपने डैने फैला रहा था। जिस कॉलेज से मैंने अपना मास्टर्स किया, जिस विश्वविद्यालय ने मुझे वो बनाया जो मैं आज हूँ, आज इनके नाम सार्वजनिक समाचारों में अजनबी लग रहे थे। शुभ्रदीप की मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर पर निर्मित दस्तावेज़ी फ़िल्म ‘इन दिनों मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर’ की स्क्रीनिंग नहीं हो सकती, हमें साफ़ बता दिया गया था। ‘देखा नहीं क्या हुआ’, छात्रसंघ चुनाव सर पर थे आैर नकुल की फ़िल्म का उदाहरण सामने था। आखिर शुभ्रदीप की एक अन्य फ़िल्म की स्क्रीनिंग हुई, मुश्किल से 15-16 दर्शकों के साथ, लेकिन सच कहूँ, हम हर आहट पर चौंक रहे थे।

पच्चीस अगस्त 2015। वो बारिश की उम्मीद से भरा उर्वर दिन था। परदे पर चलती फ़िल्म की चमक कुछ कम हुई तो मेरी नज़रें अंधेरे की अभ्यस्त हुईं। खचाखच भरा जीपीएफ़ का हॉल मेरे सामने था। दिल्ली में अगस्त की ऊमस भरी शाम बिना किसी एसी या पंखे के तीन सौ चार सौ लोग सिनेमा देख रहे थे, जिनमें ज़्यादातर के पास बैठने को कुर्सियाँ भी नहीं थीं। उस एक अगस्त की घटना के बाद, जहाँ दर्शकों की गवाही के बाद भी अन्तत: ‘मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर बाक़ी है’ की स्क्रीनिंग रुकवा दी गई थी, बहुत सारे सिनेमा को चाहनेवालों आैर ‘प्रतिरोध का सिनेमा’ के दोस्तों ने कौल लिया था फ़िल्म की सार्वजनिक स्क्रीनिंग का। पच्चीस अगस्त को, शुभ्रदीप की पहली बरसी पर यह स्क्रीनिंग हुई, लेकिन सिर्फ़ दिल्ली में नहीं। बाइस राज्यों के पचास से ज़्यादा शहरों आैर कस्बों में अस्सी से ज़्यादा स्क्रीनिंग्स हुईं ‘मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर बाक़ी है’ की। कहीं पचास दर्शक थे तो कहीं पाँच सौ। हज़ारों लोग साथ देख रहे थे उस सच्चाई को जिसे निज़ाम नहीं चाहता की आप देखें। भले ही यह शुभ्रदीप की फ़िल्म नहीं थी (उस पर सेंसर की रोक जारी है आैर मामला कोेर्ट में है) लेकिन उन्हीं के संघर्ष की साझेदार फ़िल्म थी। मृत फ़िल्मकार जिसके रचनाकर्म को निज़ाम कहीं गहरे गाड़ देना चाहता है, फ़िर राख़ से उठ खड़ा होता है।

अरुंधति अपने निबंध में एक जगह लिखती हैं कि लेखकों को यह भ्रम है कि वे सुनाने के लिए अपनी कथाएं चुनते हैं। दरअसल यह कथाएं हैं जो अपने लेखकों को चुनती हैं। समय भी अपनी कथाएं खुद चुनता है आैर एक ऐसे साल में जब सिनेमा की बात करना दरअसल प्रतिबंधों, राजनैतिक नियुक्तियों, जीवट भरी छात्र हड़तालों, पुरस्कार वापसी की प्रतिरोधी कार्यवाहियों आैर ‘संस्कारी फ़िल्मों’ की आेर नियंता संस्थानों के बढ़ते कदम की बात करना हो,  2014 के मुज़फ़्फ़रनगर दंगों पर निर्मित इन दो वृत्तचित्रों से ज़्यादा ज़रूरी आैर कुछ मुझे नज़र नहीं आता। सिनेमा कला के लिहाज़ से शायद यह साल की सर्वश्रेष्ठ फ़िल्में नहीं हैं। धर्म-जाति-जेंडर-वर्ग के भेदों बीच उलझे समकालीन यथार्थ को समझने के क्रम में शायद यहाँ कुछ सरलीकरण भी मिलें। लेकिन यह हमारे दौर को समझने के लिए सबसे ज़रूरी जीवित दस्तावेज़ हैं। शुभ्रदीप की फ़िल्म जहाँ बड़ी बारीक़ी से आकस्मिक लगती घटनाआें के पीछे के षड़यंत्र को उजागर करती है, नकुल दिखाते हैं कि कैसे इन दंगों के फलितार्थ  वृहत चुनावी परिदृश्य से सीधे जुड़ते हैं। फ़िल्म के एक प्रसंग में जहाँ एक युवा अपनी जला दी गई हलेवी के नष्ट अवशेष दिखाने फ़िल्मकार को भीतर ले लाया है, नकुल पृष्ठभूमि में ‘गरम हवा’ की दादी अम्मा की अपनी हवेली को याद करती आवाजें पिरो देते हैं। आैर मुझे याद आते हैं स्वयं प्रकाश की कहानी ‘पार्टीशन’ के कुर्बान भाई, “अाप क्या ख़ाक हिस्ट्री पढ़ाते हैं? कह रहे हैं पार्टीशन हुअा था! हुअा था नहीं, हो रहा है, ज़ारी है…”

anand kadam   on   Killa

Killa was cathartic. It ripped through my memories. That craving for a MTB cycle which we couldn’t afford, that desire to visit a city, sunday mornings watching Rangoli on neighbour’s television and friday nights with Philips top ten with Chitrahaar in somewhere between, Mowgli and Leela and Bagheera, those rainy days with gumboots, those unheard words, those unspoken sorrows, lost friendships and broken relationships without understanding any of those. It made me want to go back in time and hug my 12 year old self and let him know that it’s going to be a fuck up full of heartaches and scars but you’ll manage, you’ll survive, you’ll be all right. Killa did all this to me while being absolutely beautiful. Drop dead gorgeous. Each frame dripping with nostalgia and melancholy.

karan anshuman  on  Taxi

After This is Not a Film, one would expect Jafar Panahi to take it easy. Closed Curtain was a subject like many other Iranian films, a melancholic metaphor about the state of affairs except the parable here, was his own personal persecution.

But with Taxi, the moment you realize it’s him driving the titular car and that unassuming smile that he breaks into when one of his customers – a DVD bootlegger – recognizes him, you can’t help but salute the spirit of a man who will give up every personal freedom to make a small film to bring us within touching distance of life in theocratic Iran. And do it with such panache, humility, and sharpness!

And it is not only using filmmaking as a political vehicle, a point to prove. His life is his love for filmmaking itself. Look at the sheer craft of Taxi. Look at that flawless writing, casting, and performances. For those of us who’ve chosen a path where film is fantasy, Taxi comes as an awakening, to go back to our roots, to what inspired us in the first place. And that human rights lawyer who proffers us viewers a flower, keeping it on the dash and says “Here is a rose for the people of cinema, because the people of cinema can be relied on.” We must live up to her expectations.

silverlight gal  on  Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter  and  Experimenter

Anyone who has had film-related conversations with me (online or offline) will know that I’m an unabashed Coen brothers fan. So, in early 2015, when I got to know from a film news website that a Coen brothers movie Fargo forms a crucial part in a new indie movie, I knew I had to see it. While Kumiko The Treasure Hunter may not count as one of the year’s best, it has stayed with me and will stay so for a long time to come. First shown at Sundance in 2014 and later released widely in 2015, this film by the writer-director-actor Zellner brothers tells the story of the titular Kumiko, an office lady in Tokyo who finds her everyday life and job increasingly mundane and decides to leave everything in search of a supposed hidden treasure in the American midwest. To what extreme this journey takes her and what happens to her along the journey forms the premise of the film.

***

Experimenter (with leads Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder) is one of the underrated films of 2015. A biographical drama, it tells about the experiments conducted in the 1960s by Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist. Called as the Obedience experiments, they first generated some controversy due to the ethics involved in the experiments. Years later, the experiments were widely acknowledged and his book based on them went to win awards and accolades. The findings of his experiments are timeless and relevant even in this day and age, especially in the field of politics. With a bravura performance by Sarsgaard and an offbeat storytelling approach by Michael Almereyda, the film packs a neat punch.

rahul desai  on  The Threshold

I wandered into this film on a drowsy Mumbai Film Festival morning without any expectations. Pushan, the DOP-director, is a popular playwright, and the son of famous stage/TV actor Jayant Kripalani; this is his first feature-length film, which, rightfully, is a simple chamber-piece that seems to have found its origins on stage. It is entirely set in a cabin in the mountains, where a newly-retired Delhi couple are beginning the last phase of their lives. The husband (Rajit Kapoor) is shocked to discover that his wife (Neena Gupta) wants to leave him, a day after their only son gets married. “What do I tell others?” is a line that keeps popping up – representative of the form of many unions – sustained only through habit and comfort, instead of old-school passion and love. The film happens over one tumultuous, argumentative day – where, through their bickering and desperate pleading, we are left to imagine their 30 previous years of ‘wedded bliss’.

Perhaps I find myself writing about this film again and again because it hit me while I wasn’t looking. It isn’t a masterpiece, or even the best film I’ve seen all year; it’s just one I cannot forget, because it happens to touch upon a phase that I’ve always been very afraid – and increasingly curious – about. It shows me two very familiar characters I’ve seen in almost every Indian household, and gives me an intimate, uncomfortable peak into what happens behind closed doors. The two actors cultivate such a weathered, lived-in feel about them, and together, they prove that love is traditionally a subset of dependence, and that escaping isn’t the same as breaking free.

manish gaekwad  on  Bajirao Mastani

Period films are full of bombast – fire and brimstone. Some of the best achieved films of the genre this year – Baahubali and Katyar Kaljat Ghusli suffer from hammy content – characters often roar like bruised lions and run amok like musth elephants – as ill-behaved as the past comes through period dramas – since we couldn’t know better. And so amidst the general helter-skelter Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Kashibai gently burns the screen reflecting the ill-fated lovers, sits down in absolute silence – notice there is no hysteria and ham slips, or rather burns with the screen before us. A screen-burning intermission follows. This mute elegance (if fire can soothe), something Bhansali has himself floundered to reach over the hammy years, sab maaf hai. Despite its stiff or vapid leading lady, its hero engaging in simian behaviour, Bajirao Mastani – a pale version of Mughal-E-Azam deserves to be this era’s period film to beat. Writer Prakash Kapadia ko bada salaam.

kushan nandy  on  Victoria

A heist film that starts in a basement pub at presumably an hour before dawn, rockets to a terrace, travels through underground parkings and hotel rooms as night turns into dawn, love into desperation, a Linklater-ish tale into a Hadley Chase thriller, erasing from our minds the fact that this is all happening in a real-time and single shot sequence giving little space to actors or technicians to err, turning into a schoolbook of cinematic execution and improvisation, finally leaving us with the haunting image of Laia Costa, playing the protagonist Victoria, and successfully pulling off that rare blend of content and technique that cinema is all about.

varun grover  on  Junun

It was a rare event – watching JUNUN at MAMI-2015. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to an entire (virgin) album AND seen its making process together at the same time. Generally one looks for the ‘making of’ after one has experienced & liked the film or album, but in this case the process was reversed. (I think Imtiaz Ali knows that such a reversal works as he always releases the making of his songs before the very song.) The album was being launched to us through the film. We had no idea what to expect (except of course a ‘good’ film, as Paul Thomas Anderson’s name is attached) when we walked in & the first surprise was to know that Shye Ben-Tzur was present at the screening. What followed was an hour long session of madness – Jonny Greenwood and Shye Ben-Tzur jamming with local qawwals from Rajasthan as lots of shaky handy-cam/drone-cam movements took us into the emotional as well as real bylanes of the artists’ lives. (IMDB says PTA’s real cameras got confiscated at the airport so he had to make do with handycams and cheap drone cams. What a blessing!) The music, of course you’ve heard it by now, hit the flesh like a hot-red nail & the ultra-casual footage elevated the illusion of being in the same room of Mehrangarh Fort as the musicians. By the end, I had even forgotten that it was a PTA film. It was, but it was way more a Shye Ben-Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, Aamir Bhiyani (my fav musician in the film), Zaki Ali Qawwal, Asin and Afshana Khan (what voices!) film. (click here to see some deleted footage)

neeraja sahasrabudhe  on  Badlapur

If they have Fargo, we have Badlapur. Dark, twisted and extremely riveting. Delving deep into the psyche of what makes a crime/criminal. Is a cold-blooded murder worse than a crime committed in the heat of the moment?
The intended crime itself was flimsy – robbing a small bank, but nothing is that simple when you know that the director is Sriram Raghavan. So, as the film warns you – don’t miss the beginning!

As the film introduces us to its protagonists – I couldn’t help but think how much the idea of black and white has changed from the 80s, 90s cinema, when the hero was almost always lower/lower middle class – they had the moral high ground. I was soon proven wrong, for there is no black and white in Badlapur. The film shifts its perspectives and audiences shift their loyalties. The story moves through false leads, uncomfortable encounters, and some extremely tense scenes. Badlapur is uncompromising, and one of the most original films to have come out of Hindi film industry in recent times.

ranjib mazumder  on  Aferim!

We love to crib, criticise and abuse, because it’s easier than being objective or exercising compassion. History that retains all the seeds of our present dystopia is hardly present in our discourses, and our films, too, avoid any dialogue with the past. History is conveniently mauled in our cinema, because filmmakers find a shortcut to research in the name of serving popular entertainment. Just like it took a non-Indian to make the definitive film on Gandhi, the authoritative film on slavery in America, 12 Years A Slave, too, was made by Steve McQueen, a non-American.

In such a context, Radu Jude’s 2015 film Aferim! was a beautiful surprise. A Romanian director making a film on slavery, one of the grim realities of his country’s past, with anger so informed, it made me wonder whether we would be capable of such a feat in our cinema, without getting swayed by nationalistic fervour. Set in Wallachia of the early 19th century, and shot in crisp black and white, this costume drama sends a father-son duo in search of a fugitive slave. Masked as a road trip film, their journey reveals the ugly side of racism in a key historical period through the prism of black humour, and never for a moment, does the director let his contempt for the past come in the way of objectivity. It doesn’t wish to set the record straight, and makes you stand at the hapless space between the perpetrator and the perpetrated, something that J. M. Coetzee does most brutally in his novels. I wasn’t surprised a bit when I read about the backlash it received in its home country since its release. For those who are historyless, the past is a foreign country. And yes, the word ‘aferim’ is Turkish for ‘bravo’, and the director uses it several times in the film to lay the irony bare. Aferim, Mr Jude.

sudhish kamath  on  Kaaka Muttai

When a pizza outlet comes up where their playground used to be, two kids who make a living picking and selling coal off the railway tracks need to figure out a way to sink their teeth into this appetizing mouth-watering new dish called pizza.

Except that it costs 300 rupees. What they would make in 30 days of selling coal. Manikandan’s Kaaka Muttai, is the Slumdog Millionaire the world never saw. It shows us an India that’s happy and comfortable in its slums despite the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Kaaka Muttai is set in a slum at the edge of civilization where good and evil is simply a choice for kids. Having grown up with kids next door who steal phones (they wait for speeding trains to pass them and knock off phones from the hands of train passengers sitting at the door… all it takes is the swing of a stick), the two young heroes of Kaaka Muttai, in the middle of their adventure to buy a pizza through honest means, hit a dead end.

And the older kid picks up the stick and waits for the speeding train. He sees a guy engrossed on his phone sitting at the door. He stands ready to strike… and he realises. That it’s wrong. It’s not him. He drops the stick and walks away. This is India too.

(P.S: This is not how the film ends and there’s no way I would ruin the film for you but enough to say, it’s got one of the best endings of the year.)

suyash kamat on Lal Bhi Udhaas Ho Sakta Ha

Amit Dutta’s cinematic world isn’t what we are used to. We must submit ourselves, consciously as well as subconsciously. As he begins to guide us through his seemingly abstract narrative, we begin to lose our usual selves, and start living his sense of time and space. A rush of feelings engulfed me as I chose to walk back home after the screening instead of driving. I wanted to stay there, in his time, in his spaces. Contemplate a little more, meet myself. A written post couldn’t have possibly done justice to what his film had done to me. Following are the lines/poem that I noted as the feelings rushed past me, hazy and unclear.

It began.
A house, a bulb, a phone call and him.
Lost. Surrendering unknowingly to its world.
Valleys of Shimla echoing with the chants of Varanasi.
Mani Kaul’s Siddheshwari, perhaps,
We were now living his childhood
Strokes of green, red too.
Leaving his world, time lost its count
And I wonder, what changed by the end?

jahan bakshi  on   The Diary of a Teenage Girl

“This is for all the girls when they have grown.”

Dramedies about coming-of-age and dysfunctional families have become such a tired cliche, especially among American indies- and yet, once in a while comes a film that surprises you and gives the genre a fresh shot in the arm. Debutant Marielle Heller directs this adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s illustrated novel with astonishing confidence, sensitivity and poise. It’s genuinely risky and dark material, morally complex, not politically correct by any measure, and the film doesn’t take any easy stances or routes. It’s a daring portrayal of budding female sexuality- 15 year old Minnie Goetz (Bel Powley in a staggeringly good performance) is horny as fuck and yet aching for intimacy, vulnerable yet equally manipulative. She wants to be touched- in every sense of the word. The film is brave and astute enough not only to not judge her, but even her mom’s boyfriend who she falls into a torrid affair with. Her experience, sexual or otherwise change her, but don’t define her… she is more than the sum of them. A film critic remarked that ‘no man could have ever gotten away with adapting Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel in such frank terms.’ But isn’t that the whole point? This is a story about a woman, (which had to be) told by a woman… and we sure as hell need more of that.

PS: Marielle Heller and Andrea Arnold have both individually directed some episodes of the amazing second season of Transparent (if you still haven’t checked out this show, change that NOW) and it was quite interesting to realise this funny coincidence between their two (otherwise very different) films.

shubhodeep pal  on   Me, Earl and The Dying Girl

Where did movies with heart go? It seems that as Hollywood progresses through the years — or regresses, depending on which side of the glass you’re looking at — there is very little space left for small films to make a big impact, outside of film festivals. In fact, if you look at the top grossing movies of 2015, you inevitably find a sorry pattern in the films that made it big — franchises (Star Wars, Hunger Games, Spectre); action entertainers (Jurassic World); a combination (Furious 7); and, of course, the nearly unbearable Marvel factory (Avengers, Ant Man). Then, of course, there are also films that have grand ideas — science fiction / fantasy films generally fall under this umbrella: for instance, The Martian; Mad Max.

Inside Out is perhaps the only exception, but that too follows a relatively well-set formula of animated movies made painstakingly by Pixar. Of the major films released this year, it is only the last one that left me (and possibly everyone else) with a warm, fuzzy feeling. A feeling that was brought back in surprising ways by this year’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a film whose title says everything and nothing about the film. Forget the dying girl; forget the characters; forget the well-worn plot of evoking sympathy for an endearing character who is about to die (Rachel). Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about films; the joy of making them; the underpinning madness of it all; the tropes, and overturning the tropes (a tattooed, weed-smoking teacher; the ending of the film). Nothing is what it seems. Through the medium of parody film-making, Greg and Earl, show a madness for films that finds its pinnacle in the life (or what remains of it) of the dying girl. The final fifteen minutes are perhaps the most surreal and touching moments I’ve experienced through a film in recent times — a combination of sorrow and pathos that only film can engender. And, at the end, when the film — and the film within a film — is winding down, you discover that you knew nothing at all about the Dying Girl.
And that is why films never end, and the madness never fades. Because even after the final fade out, the story is still unwinding, and there are more scenes and lines to discover.
What is your pick of the year?

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

Talvar (Guilty)2

In India, we haven’t made too many ‘investigative thrillers’. Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar was not only a refreshing change which explored this space, but it looked closely at one of the most talked about double murder case in recent history. It was a fine line to tread on, but with Vishal Bhardwaj’s sparkling writing, and a brilliant ensemble cast, Meghna delivered one of the best films of the year.

Here’s the script of Talvar. Happy reading!

Film : Talvar

Director : Meghna Gulzar

Writer : Vishal Bhardwaj

 

In our “Best of 2015” series, earlier we shared the script of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan. Click here to read it.

 

REWIND 2015 : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year

Posted: December 27, 2015 by moifightclub in cinema

The Non-Bollywood music post. Here we look at regional languages, foreign languages, desi music movements and much more. Anything that we came across this year (doesn’t have to be released this year) and wasn’t bollywood music-y. Our previous posts like this can be found here for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In no particular order, here goes 2015 list!

  1. The year started with a bang with Bickram ghosh and Sonu nigam’s ‘The music room’. The album might not have been everyone’s cup of tea because it presented us with the familiar voice treated in an experimental manner. The music arrangement and presentation was splendid to say the least. In the days when people are making songs for getting Bollywood validation or ‘clicks’, an effort like this actually goes a long way in keeping our faith floating. Do hear Saiyyan bina and walida to know what I mean.
  2. Orfeo Band, Veera pandi tribute – I feel stupid in pointing out that the music of Thiruda Thiruda is in no need of being pointed out. It was the reason I converted to ARR-ism and continues to be one his best works. Now let us talk about the fabulous Orfeo Quintet. If you haven’t checked them out, now would be the right time to correct that mistake. All 5 musicians are a riot to see together and their Veera pandi Cover from Thiruda Thiruda will blow you away. They have kept the tease and the  belligerence of the song intact and don’t blame yourself if this becomes a part of your gym playlist. Possibilities, possibilities…what a time to be alive!
  3. Ayub Ogada, Kothbiro – I don’t quite remember who recommended me this charming african song from the legendary Singer Ayub Ogada. A simple composition that is so enchanting it can lead an enemy to surrender and say sorry to you. A song I stumbled upon and I thank my music list for that. Don’t miss it!
  4. Senraan Ra Baairya – Naiharwa Redux – Am sure there is a good chance you have heard the timeless Bhajan of Sant Kabir titled ‘Naiharwa humka na bhaave’. If not then you must. Kumar Gandharva revived this and that lead to a lot of new age artists giving their interpretation to the same. Cut to – CokeStudio Pakistan. Rohail Hyatt took a marwari composition called Senran Baairya and swayed mountains with the free flowing composition which you can experience here. Now, Zoom in to the magician called Krish Ashok. If you don’t know him, trust me it is your loss. Check out his site here. What Krish Ashok did was marry these two songs that would make anyone happy and probably shed a tear or two. Do not miss the song. Oh and before I forget, the song has been effortlessly sung by @rvijaynarain. It can be found here since there is no youtube link.
  5. Mast hua by Asrar has a familiar tune but easy lyrics and an intimate music setting (including that brilliant harmonium throughout)that makes the song light on the senses and it won’t take more than  one ‘play’ for you to have an opinion on the song. Super work! Main to aashiq hu logon mujhe doob ke jaana hai…Sounds familiar?
  6. Dil Dhadakne ka sabab by Shafqat amanat ali – Too many people have given their signature to this evergreen ghazal by Nasir Kazmi. While the video was a bit too much for me, this unplugged version by Shafqat is not at all bad to be included in your playlist. Give it a chance.
  7. Harpreet – For me, the most promising and relevant sound of the year came in the form of Harpreet. His album ‘Ajab ishq maati da’ had songs by known poets that were weaved into solid music and fused with energy so infectious, it can turn a normal listener into Harpreet’s brand ambassador. It didn’t come a surprise when YRF decided to pick a song from his album for the promotion of their film Titli. We hope his ‘film’ outings don’t dilute the purity that touched every listener of his album. Do check out ‘Nirala’, a song composed so well it would have made Shri Suryakant tripathi ‘Nirala’ proud. You can hear my review here, and read about this album here.
  8. Pyar bepanah – Any effort to keep ghazals recurring in our playlists should anyway be rewarded and talked about. Pyar bepanaah was an album that reminded us of the stillness that comes as a given in a typical ghazal. Penned by Meeta and sung by the fabulous Jazim Sharma, crediting this album for keeping ghazal as a genre relevant in 2015 is the easiest thing to do. Must check it out if you haven’t.
  9. Cokestudio at MTV Season 4 – This season of CokeStudio at MTV was not all that bad. While it came as no surprise that Ram Sampath’s episode was the best out of the lot (yet again!), Sachin Jigar’s Laadki was endearing and thankfully touched a new genre. ila Arun was as usual top class in her appearance in Nimoli. Ki Banu Duniya Da’ – Gurdas Maan feat. Diljit Dosanjh & Jatinder Shah is a song that CokeStudio at MTV should actually be proud of. What energy and singing! We are NOT using Gurdas Mann the way we should and how good is Diljit Doshanjh! Moner Manush by Anupam roy (Feat. Satyaki Banerjee & Babul Supriyo) also remains a favorite and will remain so for a long time thanks to the lavish treatment of the song. Till the last time I checked, the website of cokestudio at mtv wasn’t updated with these new episodes and these ‘episodes’ had a month or more gap between them. MTV is clearly disinterested in the brand and should probably transfer the same to lesser mortals to manage, trust me we would do a better job 🙂 That said, thumbs up for this season of CokeStudio at MTV!
  10. Coke studio pakistan season 8 – Growing up, I had this habit of filling up one side of an audio cassette with just one song if I liked that song because ‘repeat’ wasn’t available as a feature then. If this season would have premiered then, I would have surely wasted a lot of cassettes filling separate ‘sides’ with one song. Everything was precise and praiseworthy –  scale of presentation, the variety of genres, the melody…I could go on and on! I have included 3 songs in the playlist, the song of the season ‘Sakal bann’, the second best song of season ‘Rockstar’ and the yearning case study ‘Umran Lagiyaan’. If not already, then do explore the season 8, you have no idea how good it is. You can read our posts on the same here and here. Also, thanks to CokeStudio Pakistan, we came across 2 original songs which are mentioned as under
    1. Man ahmad em by googoosh – In a not so great tribute to this song, what CokeStudio Pakistan did nicely was to introduce people to the original song. Sung with disarming innocence, the song is infectious and you will find yourself smiling at the simple music video as well. Do check it out.
    2. Ae dil kisi ki yaad mein by Salim raza – I didn’t across this Pakistani song and when Ali Zafar and Sara haider paid a tribute to this, I couldn’t help but play this one on repeat. Don’t miss the fancy guitar play and the understated elegance of Raza. Beautiful!
  11. Idhar barq-e-tapaan rakhdi udhar barq-e-tapaan rakhdi –  This ghazal by Roshan Ara Begum is going to be a balm for those who haven’t heard this before. Penned by  seemaab akbarabadi and sung with her signature poise, this is the most played ghazal this year in yours truly’s playlist. Wohin kaaba sarak aaya, jabin maine jahan rakh di...
  12. Katiyar kalijaat ghusli‘Geet lubhavan yun man bhavan…jaise barse pehla sawan’ – this simple line from one of the songs from this marathi film album sums up the entire experience of coming across and later savouring this milestone of an album. While those words haven’t been invented that could pay right amount of gratitude to new age makers who are taking a risk of showcasing legends like Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki to audience, we tried to put our thoughts on the album here. Read that later but check out this magnificent album as soon as you can.
  13. Junun, the album –  by  Shye ben tzur, Jonny Greenwood and The Rajasthan express is a synthesis of myriad sounds, moods and moments. We couldn’t get enough of the album so we are recommending you to get some. You won’t regret swaying to the magnificent chala wahi des, mode or Hu for that matter (to name a few songs). An Album that your collection would be happy to include.
  14. Inayat by AnanthaalAnanthaal came as an interesting collaboration between three extremely talented and promising artists – Bianca Gomes, VijayPrakash and Clinton Cerejo. Do hear their album and check out the ‘inayat’ song that we have included in the list. Efforts and coming together of artists like this is what we need to give the film music dominance a run for its money and in the process enriching listeners all over.
  15. Bass rani by nucleya – You either like nucleya’s sound or you don’t. if you are those experimental sorts, do check this album out. Electronica fused (?) with mischief and sticky loops would give you good company as you workout or when you just want to unwind.
  16. Baanwarey by medieval punditz is part of their 2015 released album ‘light’ and is done beautifully. Do not miss out the video because I feel it is that rare effort where equal attention was devoted in ensuring that video completes the song and not contradicts or ignores it. Not that Midival Punditz need anyone’s endorsement, but this album is filled with exciting earthy voices like Kutle Khan, Malini Awasthi, Baiju Dharmajan and Papon. An absolute ‘must have’!
  17. Five (arko) – A fairly new album that got released in November itself and truth be told we are still getting used to the experimental leaps of the album,  but absolutely love its sound so far. It is an album by Arko Mukhaerjee and to quote the album ‘ It is about exploring Five folk music forms that has inspired Bengali traditional music over the last five decades, through five musical collaborations and presenting the songs in a modern contemporary organic soundscape of today’.

We hope you liked this longish post and more importantly the album and song recommendations here, Do let us know your favorite/finds. Here is hoping more and more independent voices throng the scene and the ‘legends’ don’t take themselves so seriously that they start taking listeners for granted.

Happy new year everyone!

Rohwit

It’s that time of the year again. And we are back with our year end “Rewind” series.

Here is a list of songs and albums that kept us hooked to film music, in the order we heard them, beginning from the oldest all the way down to the latest.

Dil-e-Nadaan (Hawaizaada) – Ayushmann Khurrana draws extreme opinions for his singing, and, I am the last one to like his work. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at his contemporary tribute to Ghalib’s classic. In Dil-e-nadaan, Shweta Subram and Ayushmann were fluid and the result was quite hummable . The song was released in January, and it continues to be in my playlist. The slight guitar riff in the background of ‘humko unse’ is what the rush of first love feels like. The entire album was actually quite good!

Jee Karda (Badlapur) – The trailer gave me an inkling to wait for the song that has the lionhearted guitar riff. Truth be told, I was underwhelmed by the album but this song is what I felt defined the tone of the film. Divya kumar is what Sukhwinder Singh used to be. More often than not, his presence in a song means the song would be good. For me, the guitar riff of the year…badass!

Dum Laga Ke Haisha (Album) – The music of DLKH is a case study in sticking to the feel of the subject without compromising on anything. While Rahul Ram, Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam were reasons enough to hear the album on the repeat, Moh moh ke dhaage gets my vote. I like the Monali Thakur version better. Delicate, unbelievably sweet and durable! Kudos to a certain Mr. Anu Malik! I don’t know why I kept on thinking about the music of ‘Mrityudand’ while listening to this album, in a good way that is.

Kya karein (NH10) – I became a fan of Rachel Varghese on the first hearing of Kya karein from NH10. Savera Mehta & Ayush Shrestha kept the sinking feel of the song with a harmony like treatment, and I absolutely loved the way the song ends, abruptly.  Haunting, heartbreaking, and so beautiful!

Chori chori (Hunterrr) – While I am still a proud lover of the title song of Hunterr, this song grew quietly on repeated listening for the simplicity of composition and emotive singing by Sona and Arijit Singh. Isn’t it reassuring to hear Arijit in a song that isn’t filled with ‘made-to-order-for-Arijit’ long taans?

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (Album) – Having the courage to have such varied contemporary genres in a film album itself is so crazy, and add to the fact that the film was based in 1940s, you get what I call the definitive album of the year! The album was filled with right amount of hysteria, melody, joie de vivre, and sensuous sparks. I don’t think we will have a better album than this for a long time, not only in terms of music but how the music came together in accentuating the feel of the film as a whole.

Journey Song (Piku) – I like the way Anupam Roy has made his debut in Bollywood with Piku. The entire album is musically light and lyrically rich. While it was tough for me to pick between ‘Bezubaan’ and this song, I picked the journey song because it is such a happy song and that bangla in between by Shreya Ghoshal is so charming, it nearly took me to ‘Learn Bengali in one week’ course coaching!

Dhadaam dhadaam (Bombay Velvet) – No other song this year can be called ‘Majestic’. In dhadaam dhadaam, Neeti Mohan has done what our people up north refer to as ‘Kaleja nikaal ke rakh dena’. Marvelous composition, excellent music arrangement got almost overlooked thanks to Neeti. The regular forceful rhythm of the composition is addictive to say the least. It would be wrong to call this a swan song for someone as promising as Neeti, but i feel this song would take some getting to be surpassed. Magnificence and pain in equal measure. Take a bow, Neeti and Amit Trivedi!

Mann Kasturi (Masaan) – is a song that will outlive us all. Future generations would keep coming back to the song to get the meaning of life. I don’t think anyone else could have done justice to the cogent lyrics than Indian ocean and talking of Indian Ocean, my senses swirl like a lattu every time I hear Rahul ram in the song. These are the kind of songs which, when we grow old would be a reference point to the ‘music of our times was so good’ argument.

O saathi mere (Tanu Weds Manu Returns) – The song that was too good for the film, and I say this because this is a song that would have worked wonders had it been included in the film and film’s promotion. Sonu Nigam has gone choosy in picking up his songs, but if he wants to give us songs like this, I have no problems with that. The layered composition and easy lyrics just needed the gayaki of Sonu nigam to capture our imagination, and boy, did the song did just that or what!

Bhor bhayo (Bezubaan Ishq) – Osman Mir wasn’t a new name to come across, thanks to my mum who played some of his songs over last few years and insisted that I like him because he was singing in Morari bapu’s baithaks. Anyway, in a film like Bezubaan Ishq, catching his name in the credit was intriguing and once you hear his powerful voice with the magical flute in the minimal music arrangement that adorns this song, you will know why he is one of the most exciting voices we have. Hope he gets noticed a lot and goes mainstream.

Sapna jahan (Brothers) – A film as inconsequential and boring as Brothers had one good thing, and that was this song. Neeti Mohan and Sonu Nigam gave us a very 90-ish Jatin-Llalit-sque dreamy song with Ajay-Atul’s signature splendour. The lullaby like treatment of the stanzas is a super touch. Sonu Nigam, please sing more!

Insaaf insaaf insaaf hoga (Talvar) – I didn’t know Arooj Aftab. I heard ‘Insaaf Insaaf’ from Talvar, and now I cannot wait for her next outing. Trust Gulzar-Vishal to come up with a song that gives us hope in a prejudiced backdrop of our logical society. Arooj’s voice gave newness to pain. I don’t think this song was talked about as much as it should have been, because here is a song that lifts the feel and leaves that sense of loss we can all empathize with if we just look around.

Tamasha (Album) – I couldn’t find anything ‘Level-ARR-outstanding’ about the album but it did give us four good songs, and for the same, it deserves a mention. Parade de la bastille is breezy, Wat wat wat is a riot, and so is Heer to badi sad hai. What surprised post-viewing the film was the ‘Agar tum saath ho’ song. I pretty much like it the way I used to like it before watching the film. I disliked the fact that the ‘composed-to-be-liked-after-watching-the-film soundtrack’ forgot to make good use of the moans in ‘wat wat wat’ 🙂

There is a lot to look forward to in 2016, and we hope there is more innovation than routine, more melody than soulless grandeur, more masti than item number driven chutiyapa.

What are your favorites? Comment section is all yours.

Rohwit

(Disclaimer – One of the editors of the blog was part of Talvar. Two of the contributors of this blog were part of Masaan. Also, fuck disclaimers)

You can hear the playlist here

 

Now that the ‘rewind’ is done, allow me to share the ‘other’ list that consists of songs which might not get you RT’s and endorsements from thinkers, but they are amazing when you play them and sing in your car, bathroom or any other place you think you are alone 🙂

In no particular order, here we go!

Chittiyan kalaiyan – (Roy) – If there were an award for wasting a song by badly filming it (and there were way too many this year), this song would win it hands down! Kanika kapoor can make you dance just by reading out daily newspaper and if you give her a tune that has 1990s ‘dance music’ touch, you are asking for a murderous dance song and this was it!

Hunterr 303 – Nothing and absolutely nothing can cause the same level of ‘let’s dance banjo’ mood like Bappi lahiri’s voice in a new film song treated with junk food level of sinfulness. This song had everything going for it especially the backup vocals and Bappi ‘cowboy’ lahiri giving it like only he can! Insanely enjoyable!

Tera happy budday (ABCD2) – Yet another party song by Sachin Jigar where they took a conventional song and twisted it. In this case, it worked and the ‘saarey bolo’ chants…heeeehaw!

Banno tera swagger (Tanu weds Manu returns) – Mix of Rajasthani folk, sprinkled with intelligent choice of english words and treated with punjabi  craziness..I say Winner!!!

Guddu Rangeela title song – While I love the ‘jagrata’ treatment and excellent word choice in ‘Mata ka email’, I keep going back to the title song of the film. I cannot get enough of Amit Trivedi’s yodel and his mischievous singing!

Hogi Kranti (Bangistan) – Never before sarcasm and repressed anger sounded better. Kudos on the lyrics!

Afghan jalebi (Phantom) – Asrar is amazing as we have already mentioned so earlier and this year he took the ‘dhaasu’ film dance song to another level with this belter of a track…Still addictive…Still infectious! 

Neeli bullet ( Main aur Charles) – With so many ‘nouveau riche’ making laddakh trips on it, we feel bullet the bike, deserved a song and it was long overdue (much before the ‘nouveau riche’ were born, to be precise). Lyrics might be a bit cringeworthy at times but my word the hook!

Neendein khul jaati hain (Hate story 3) – Yes! Hate story 3! Kanika Kapoor being herself in a naughty song with Mika singing so clearly that you can actually understand every single word…Junky tune and it works!

And here is the playlist…Let’s hear your favourites we have missed!

 

Disclaimer – All the editors of the blog have sometime or the other danced a bit (in public or alone) on one or more songs mentioned above 🙂

Happy new year everyone!