Archive for the ‘WTF’ Category

dedh-ishqiya3

This is a strange scenario. I read review after review after review, every damn possible review of Dedh Ishqiya. Just to figure out one thing – to see if anyone has written about the homage scene in the film, and the inspiration behind the film’s spoiler, or scratched it beyond the surface. And i was extremely disappointed to see that not a single reviewer has mentioned it.

They didn’t get it?

They don’t know about it?

They haven’t read it?

Just because the director didn’t tell or it wasn’t mentioned in the press release?

Because, for me, that is the highlight of the film. The smartest scene in the film. And that *is* the film too. Strange. Seems like we are reading a group of philistines who have been raised on a limited staple diet and don’t know how to read a film beyond their radar. Not that such funny things has never happened in the past, but this should straight go to FunnyOrDie section. So which scene i am talking about?

SPOILER ALERT (Don’t read further if you haven’t seen the film yet and if you hate spoilers)

In the scene where both Naseer and Arshad’s hands are tied and they are watching Madhuri and Huma having fun, getting physical. Naseer looks at Arshad and says, Lihaaf maang le. Arshad looks up and smiles. And then we see just a big shadow on the wall which suggests physical intimacy between Madhuri and Huma’s characters. That’s the homage to Ismat Chughtai’s Lihaaf. The setting, Begum, homo-eroticism, huge shadow play – the elements and the incident is the same as in Lihaaf.

That’s not all, the entire back story of Madhuri’s husband is also from the same story. And the spoiler – their relationship and her back story is the core idea of the film. Rest of it has been just built up to cover this plot. So it can be called a really smart adaptation of the short story. Much respect for the writers of the film – Darab Farooqui, Abhishek Chaubey and Vishal Bhardwaj.

So why is it such a big fuss?

1. Because it involves Ismat Chughtai – one of the most eminent, progressive and feminist Urdu writers.

2. Because it involves Lihaaf (published in 1942) – the most popular and celebrated short story by Ismat Chughtai.

3. Because Lihaaf created a big controversy. Ismat Chughtai was charged with obscenity and was summoned by the Lahore court in 1944. She went to court, refused to apologise and won the case. Click here to read a funny excerpt about the case from her memoir. And if possible, do watch Naseer’s play on the same which also includes Manto’s trial.

4. And most importantly, because it’s still relevant. Chughtai’s story dealt with homo-eroticism and lesbianism which created a huge ruckus then. And today, when we are still debating gay rights and article 377 in India, a mainstream Hindi film brings the subject on the big screen with mainstream actors, and connects it so smartly to such an important and controversial literary work, and to its history. And we have no fucking clue! Lilaah!

Strangely, it seems most reviewers didn’t even get the historical, social, or literary context. If i was the boss, i would have surely asked for some explanation, rejection, and resignation. Because what’s the point of reviewing films if one doesn’t know where one is coming from – our art, culture, literature and such an important bit of history. It’s utterly shocking and baffling to say the least. It might sound extremely snobbish, but am fine with me being accused of snobbery than being philistine, especially when we are talking about Ismat Aapa and Bhardwaj’s cinema.

– You can find the English translation of the story here or here or in the embedded link below (translation by different writers). Do read. And do remember it was published in 1942.

– Found another adaptation on the net – a short film based on the same story

– If you were born and brought up in some other planet, Ismat Chughtai’s wiki page is here.

– To know what we thought about the film, click here.

NotSoSnob

POTD : Why did YRF publish the spoiler of Dhoom:3?

Posted: January 1, 2014 by moifightclub in bollywood, POTD, Spoiler, WTF
Tags: , ,

Here’s the half page ad that was published in today’s HT Cafe of Mumbai edition.

D3

Are they done with the business of the film? No wonder it has done a great business so far and the claim in the advertisement is true too. And they are still making money. So why spoil the party for those who still haven’t seen? This is a rare thing.

For its latest box office numbers, check BOI here.

Or for that matter any bollywood film? Spoofing is a serious art and a good one needs much more than the combined acting talent of Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and Katrina Kaif. That’s a big problem with bolllywood – they don’t know how to take a joke. As me and many of my friends have faced similar situation many times in the past because of our tweets or blog posts, it’s hardly surprising anymore. Here’s the latest story. This one is about YRF and Dhoom3.

Here’s the kickass video by AIB guys which completely pwns YRF.

It’s that time of the year again. And like ever year, we are starting our Rewind (year end post) series. So we (the usual suspects who contribute here) sat together, poured some drinks, discussed, poured some more, fought, pondered, poured some more, looked back, debated, poured some more, and concluded the 20 things which we learnt at the movies this year. Also, 13 questions that baffled us all through the year.

This was our 2012 list. At first glance, Deepika Padukone and Tigmanshu Dhulia have made it to the list again.

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1. Deepika is Padu-Khan – 4 blockbusters. From just a beautiful face with weird ghataan accent and shaky acting chops to commanding the screen with her presence and talent, this has been quite a marathon.

2. Vacuous Versova – The film filmmaker made Versova world famous on FB and Twitter. It started here, and made headlines here.

3. Kahe ki tu hi hauw…..Hum tohre bin ab rah na sakiley….Jaani tui soodhuyee…saathi tui soodhuyee….Confused? Here.

4. Nawazuddin might be the flavour of the season, but Irrfan Khan is still the baap. Saajan Fernandes of The Lunchbox, Wali Khan of D-Day and Umber Singh of Qissa – those eyes that stare blankly into space should be counted as a school of acting. If he is pledging his eyes to be donated after death, they should go to a film/acting school for further research.

5. The password for script of Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola was the colourful abuse used in the film. GUESS.

6. Tigmanshu Dhulia is the most unreliable director. He swings from one extreme to other. On the scale of burn-the-reels-of-Shagird to awe-fucking-some-terrific-Paan- Singh-Tomar, he can fluctuate anywhere.

7. To be completely politically incorrect and if you can pardon this look-ist tweet, the rickshaw-walla-dikhne-wala-south-ka-hero can deliver a hit in Bollywood- Raanjhanaa.

8. Sonakshi Sinha CAN act. Lootera. Now, if only someone tells this girl that life and cinema exists beyond filthy remakes of South films or regressive masala overdose. Dabangg, Rowdy Rathore, Joker, Son Of Sardar, Dabangg2, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara, Bullett Raja, R…Rajkumar – nobody has ever been so consistent in picking up the same desi buxom bimbo roles again and again.

9. Aaloo bhaath, moordi bhaath in Badtameez Dil. Thanks to Amitabh Bhattacharya for getting these in Bollywood dictionary. Ask your bengali friends to explain.

10. Shah Rukh Khan needed a Rohit Shetty film. The theatrical trailer had the full filmography of Shetty.

11. “Sex and Shah Rukh Khan always sells” is passe. Sex with Shilpa Shukla sold. B.A Pass.

12. Northern-isation of Prakash Raj is complete. He played the villain opposite Deol paaji in Singh Saab Sunny Paaji The Great.

13. Motormouth Sajid Khan finally fell flat on his face. And has gone into hiding since Himmatwala crashed faster than the rate at which he abuses critics.

14. Uday Chopra says good bye to (his non existing) acting career. At least as a profession.

15. You can convert Chetan Bhagat’s unreadable book into a good film. Kai Po Che!

16. ABCD – Any Body Can Dance. AFCBH – Any Film Can Become Hit. Latest one : ABCD – A for Aao re aao, B for Bhaao na khaao, C se Chilla ke gaao, D se Daaru peete jaao. AACSKMP – Aao And Can Someone Kill Me Please.

17. Aftab Shivdasani, Vivek Oberoi and Ritesh Deshmukh have delivered one of the biggest hits of the year. DIGEST.

18. Milap Zaveri saved all his money on rent because he spent the entire year at Gaiety-Galaxy getting hard on watching audience’s reaction to Grand Masti and Shootout At Wadala. Also, every show was house full, on every show people danced, threw coins, and left cum on the seats. (courtesy – Milap’s live tweeting)

19. Tagore + Acid = Tasher Desh. Who would have thought? Q is the A.

20. Sona Spa is Inception redux. No, we are not joking. It’s the definitive cult film of this generation. If you haven’t seen it yet, WATCH.

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 8.52.57 PM

13 Unanswered Questions

1. Where is Rajeev Khandelwal?

2. What was Hansal Mehta smoking post Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar and pre-Shahid?

3. What’s the final box office collection of Chennai Express and Krrish 3?

4. Who earned the real Jackpot – Kaizad Gustad, Naseeruddin Shah or Sunny Leone? This is the only good thing about acting aspirations of rich kids.

5. what’s R…..?

6. What did the FFI committee see in The Good Road?

7. How did Ramaiyya Vastavaiyya make more money than D-Day and better TRP than most films? And it seems to be true.

8. What’s the real Milkha Singh story? Here

9. Why KRK is the last man standing with balls of steel giving out the right box office numbers?

10. Why is Raj Kumar Yadav (Rajkummar Rao or whatever he has become now) not a bigger star? who else can match up to his acting chops in the new generation?

11. Who directed Dabangg? Yes, that was 2010. But Besharam is 2013.

12. What murabba has Kashyap fed to Bachchan and KJo?

13. Were they really spoofing Bachchan as a chimpanzee in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2? Why Dharam paaji with Chimpanzee?

What have you learnt or discovered at the movies this year, do let us know in the comments. Also, if you have more questions or answer to any of our questions.

Sholay 3D Trailer – Blasphemy! Blasphemy!

Posted: November 8, 2013 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, WTF
Tags: , ,

Not the trailer. Or the 3D conversion. But the credit plates in the new trailer of the film for it 3D release.

This is the first credit plate that appears in the new trailer.

Sholay

WOW!

And there’s more.

Sholay3Sholay2

Wondering what happened to G P Sippy, Ramesh Sippy, Salim-Javed and R D Burman? Well, take out your microscope and see if you can find their names. This one appears after the one at the top.

Sholay4

If you still haven’t seen the trailer, here it is.

So what do you call it?

  1. Moronic
  2. Mistake
  3. Pettiness
  4. Travesty
  5. Bizzare
  6. Surreal
  7. Lack of respect
  8. WTF
  9. GREATEST FUCK UP IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA
  10. All of the above

Strange. Someone clearly thought “PEN” is mightier than THE Sholay.

A really sad day in the history of Indian cinema.

 

There is a new twist in the tale. Film Federation of India has written a letter to Ritesh Batra after all the Oscar hullabaloo.

Read on.

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(PS – What’s with ???)

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Because that seems to be the only reason why none of us could speak out openly about our “best” film to be sent for Oscars in the Foreign Language category.

Now that i have seen it, let me say it loudly – The Lunchbox is Casablanca compared to The Good Road. I will come back to the film later. Let me also clarify few things first. I have been reading articles, posts and tweets on similar topic since last 3 days, and some of them are on such a wrong tangent. So here it goes.

Oscars

No, it’s not white man’s approval. It’s not even the best function or festival as far as films are concerned. Some of the best American films and actors don’t even bag a nomination. So why are we getting jizz in pants about Oscars?

Because it still matters. Because it’s money, market and reach. Because one nomination (and win) not only puts the spotlight on the director’s entire filmography but the country also comes into focus. Because it opens every possible door for its lead actors. The examples are many. In the last few years only Chile’s No, Israel’s Ajami and Footnote, Algeria’s Outside The Law, Greece’s Dogtooth, Denmark’s In A Better World, Argentina’s The Secret In Their Eyes, Japan’s Departures and Denmark’s After The Wedding have brought so much attention to their country’s cinema just by being nominated. Same goes for actors. Who knew Matthias Schoenaerts before the Bullhead?

A Cannes win also has the power to do all that. Ask the Romanian filmmakers. But Cannes is not so mainstream, Cannes is French, and Oscar is Amreekan. You know the difference, and two shall never meet. One is purely about cinema, the other is more about box office. Btw, do auteurs eat big burgers?

That’s the simple reason why Oscars count. Not for any white man supremacy. In 2011, when Asghar Farhadi went on stage to collect his award for The Separation, almost everyone knew that it was not only the “best foreign film” but it was the “best fucking film of the year”. The white man supremacy and approval logic is so 80s. The world went back to all his films and he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Time magazine in 2012. Difficult to believe that the journey started with “Nader and Simin” (title was changed later) getting the distribution fund at Berlin fest.

So do i believe in Oscars? NO.

An award ceremony which never did any justice to Martin Scorsese, how can they be fair?

Do i watch Oscars? YES.

The only day in the year when i get up early and see the rising sun. Why? Because Marty believes in it. Because it’s good fun to watch some of your favourite actors, directors, screenwriters, all under the same roof and still be so cool and candid. And because they still make it “look” professional. Some of the best talents never get their due but when they get, it changes everything. One nod is all it takes. That’s it.

Foreign Language Category & The Good Road

In the last few years, this has become one of the most toughest category. The number of submissions keeps on increasing every year. You are not just competing with the best of the Amreekan cinema but from best of the world. Last year it was a new record with 71 films. This year’s running list already has 45 films. Heavyweight Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster is already in the ring.

Since FFI’s announcement on The Good Road came out, anyone having any doubts about it, the first question asked was have you seen it? And as far as i knew nobody except the FFI jury had seen it. So, before writing any post on it, i decided to watch the film, and am so so disappointed after watching it.

So far i was only arguing that it’s always about the “right” film at the Oscars, it’s not about the “best” film. Why get so holier than thou and sentimental about putting our “best” film?  Especially when Oscars is just another ‘market’ event that does wonders. Put the “right” film out, play according to the games, play it smart, and get a nod. Simple. Just look at the big picture.

Now, if i consider this is the standard of our best film which is being sent to the world audience, am sorry to say that people will laugh at us. Don’t believe me, go watch “The Good Road”. The film is easily available on dvds and #youknowwhere. It doesn’t even look professional. Except an idea and intention, it has nothing to offer. It’s boring, the production looks tacky, direction is bad, performances are inconsistent, and acting by non-actors look like non-acting only. The arid landscape and the use of music are the only things that work.

The only Oscars bait was a sequence involving young girls in prostitution racket standing on platforms surrounded by coloured tubelights. Haven’t seen anything like that on screen.

With “The Good Road” as our submission, what’s our chance at the Oscars? i think ZILCH. I hope am proved wrong but i doubt it.

And what i am most confused about is the sudden support for the film. As a friend pointed out, just because it has suddenly become the David in front of The Lunchbox Goliath with UTV, Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap in its support? Strange. Very, very strange. Watch both the films and compare the merits.

More strange is the fact that not a single mainstream critic in this country bothered to review the film when it released – in theatres and on dvds. That says more about the state of film criticism in this country.

The Lunchbox

With The Lunchbox, many of us believed it had a *chance*. Yes, just a chance. And we have been shouting about it. It’s a tough battle there. But with Sony Classics having its US rights and many influential American voices already pushing for it after watching the film at Cannes, Toronto and Telluride, it had the right visibility factor going for it. Michael Moore, Ted Hope and many others tweeted about it. Aseem Chhabra has written more about it here. Also, The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire, the two ends of spectrum, were counting it among the frontrunners. And am sure they know (at least little bit) more and understand their Oscars more than us.

It was just not the “right” film but it’s a much, much better film than “The Good Road”. Just ideas and intentions don’t make a good film, or a good road.

So what did the FFI jury saw in the film which i could not? Let me quote from this interview of Gautam Ghose…

The criteria is simple — we had to select a film that represents the country perfectly.

WTF! Represents the country perfectly? As in peacocks and elephants? Do they watch the Oscars? Not sure what it means (Can someone explain?). After watching the film, all i can say is that The Good Road represents us amateurishly. You all made us look tacky in front of the world. Forget The Lunchbox, any other film would have been better too.

Though just Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur’s performances were enough to pick the film. These two are not just the best performances of the year in Indian cinema, but they can be easily counted as among the best ones in world cinema too. So I would sincerely like to smoke what the FFI jury was smoking. Anyone?

Because this was our chance. Because we needed it. We needed to tell the world that we do more than naach-gaana now. We needed to assure Sony Classics that you can look and pick more Indian films that can do wonders. You don’t need to wait for 10-15 years again. We needed to tell the world that it’s not just Iranians, Romanians, Koreans, Greeks and Australians, we are also heading in right direction. And this was the best stage to do it. We had a chance, a bright and fair chance. But what a fuck up! what a royal fuck up this turned out to be.

One more thing – who made the rules suddenly that FFI can’t disclose the names of jury members? I would surely love to know the names of those 12 or 15 or 19 people who thought The Good Road was better than The Lunchbox and every other film that was submitted for consideration. As far as i remember, when the jury meet used to happen in Mumbai, almost all the jury members used to present in the press conference to announce their choice. What happened suddenly in the last two years or so? Are they afraid to endorse the film publicly because their taste will be questioned? Someone enlighten me here too. Come on, come out, tell us you loved The Good Road. And as the saying goes, any festival selection or win always tells you more about the jury than about the film. I will still try not to judge you.

@cilemasnob

( PS – The only consolation is we are not the only morons. We have company)