Posts Tagged ‘aamir khan’

Aamir Khan film. Trailer looked great. Inspiring story of Phogats. These were the top 3 reasons why we booked FDFS tickets of Nitesh Tiwary’s Dangal. When we say we, it means 4 of us. But as we came out of the theatre, we found ourselves on different sides of the fence. As we are quite down in the bollywood food chain (say ADs/Assistant Directors and such), we asked mFC if our discussion can be posted anonymously. Nobody wants to hear the bad words. So why burn our blood and careers so early.

Read it only after you have seen the film, and let us know where do you stand.

dangal

SPOILER ALERT

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Yes, the film is good and it really excels in performance and direction. I was riveted throughout except the cringe worthy climax. And I did feel it was really long.

Anyway, I have been thinking about it and there’s something that has been bothering me in the way women are presented in the film. I am aware that my reading is a little too ultra feminist but I did feel strongly about certain things. Here goes:

Though the film harps about being pro-feminist, it does so by still putting the men in control of the women. Sakshi Tanwar’s character completely shadows Mahavir. I would have loved to see some sign of revolt or at least a conscience. She is devoid of one and only allowed to play her strength through looks. The only time she is shown to have genuine anger and a rebel is when Mahavir is cooking chicken in the house. To a certain extent, I buy this because women from this world don’t have a say. But there could be a take, there could be a way to show some indictment. One example: She could have gone to Commonwealth Games to watch her daughter play. It’s in Delhi, not very far. Even the chicken seller shows up with his daughters with prasad to see Geeta wrestle. That bit of fiction would have been redeeming for the consistent lack of importance given to Sakshi’s character. But no, because nothing can come in the way of Mahavir’s glory.

One thing was smart that they used humour to hide the torture that Mahavir inflicts on the girls. You cringe when the boys make lewd comments at Geeta playing in a local match but find it utterly cute when Haanikaarak plays. Imagine watching the Haanikaarak video without the actual song and those cute lyrics. Watch the video imagining it with a empathetic violin piece. Add the cutting of the hair and the cousin being slapped at the wedding to the song montage. Aamir would have then sounded like the way his character actually is – a tyrant imposing his dreams. But then he has to be the hero. So yeah, smartly played.

The girls are constantly instructed what to do and how to play. Their personal transition of being forced to play to actually wanting to play seriously is given just a mere exposition scene. It feels so untrue. Aamir’s motives and choices are neatly etched out but the girls only hear their friend talk about freedom and have a change of heart. Their change is not so organic. And you can’t suddenly show your docile girls to be tomboys beating up neighbourhood kids. Least of parents see it. If they had shown Mahavir observing his daughters showing a streak of becoming wrestlers over the years, it would have been nice. Here in one scene they become nose breaking tomboys.

I felt so nice that Geeta revolts and questions Mahavir’s technique. The father daughter wrestling is the best scene in the film. It would have been so nice to see that Mahavir could go wrong. Like show a culmination of old ways realising there is some good in the new ways. But Aamir is right all the time. The film talks about less support from the state. But the institution such as the National Sports Academy is rendered completely useless and evil. Showing a caricature of a villain only heightens Mahavir’s heroism. It feels so deliberate/clever and not organic for a coach to behave like that. I would have loved it if Mahavir is shown agreeing to there being some merit in Geeta’s new techniques. It would have really emphasized the need of formal institutionalised training that this country so badly needs.

And then the final match: the coach and Mahavir are constantly playing on their egos to steer her match. Shut up! Stop confusing the girl. If she has willfully become a champion, she would have developed craft by herself. She may have her own technique. She is shown completely as a robot playing on the ego of these two men. The film realises it should have a conscience and gives one scene where Geeta plays on her own technique/volition. But even this is shown by a flashback where a drowning Geeta is told by Mahavir to become independent and her father is not going to be there all the time (by the way when you are under water you can’t hear from the outside). She remembers this and fights back. Even that show of individual drive is Mahavir’s glory. Imagine a scene where she would have remembered being bullied by some boys and she fights them all by herself. If she remembers this and had fought back in the match, it could have been her volition and not Mahavir’s conscience dictating her.

Even her win felt more Mahavir’s victory than the girls’. Yes the film is played through Mahavir’s point of view but I was constantly being bothered about the women showing no conscience. Yes, it is a true story and that’s how this part of the world is but as the makers you got to show some take. Even a sense of an indictment. The only flaw the film revels in showing is that Mahavir is stubborn and ego headed maniac but only to hammer down the point that Mahavir NEEDED to be that way to have won the medals. As if the film is saying that girls will have to listen to the men around them in order to become heroes, because if you are known as a weaker sex, you don’t have a conscience too.

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But read any inspiring sports story where one has achieved anything. PVSindhu (she wakes up at 4am, doing that since she was a kid) or Agassi, without tyrant parent (starts with parents, kids – how will they know what potential they have) or coach (mostly dad/male coach), nothing is possible. It’s life of a monk. There is really no other way.

Easy to see everything through feminist prism. But if it was a guy wrestler and his dad/coach was being tyrant, it wont be a big thing, right? Parents thrusting their choices remain.

But the point is in most individual sports, all athletes are like blind runners without their coach. Starting from 0 to 100, every step belongs to coach/dad/whoever. Again, there is no other way. At least i have never read any story.

Aamir becomes that gyaani baba in 3 Idiots, PK, TZP, but here i don’t agree.

And if that meat seller has come with his daughter to see the match, why is that character not worthy of feminist lens? The meat seller, daughter, both.

Also are you forgetting the entire first half – Aamir’s character fighting against entire system, society, men, office – just the idea that women can wrestle.
Do you realise how daring and daunting thought that is? That’s the most feminist thing one can do. The thought to empower the girls.

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I am not at all questioning the tyrannical way of coaching a sports person. We are saying it is smartly done in a commercial film. Nahin toh agar Whiplash jaisa karte toh you won’t sympathise with Aamir.

I am not so sure about coach being everything. Yes, off the match/game, surely. But once they are on the field, it is just them, right? Would you say that all boxers do exactly as told by their coach (just comparing for proximity with the player)? Initially, yes. But over the time, they will have developed instinct/technique, which is why they become what they eventually become. In that case we would have manufactured so many Usain Bolts and Muhammad Alis by now.

Meat seller – I will not argue about why he came to the match. Surely it is a nice touch but just that Geeta’s mother can’t make it but meat seller can make it to the match is what I felt odd about. This may be too much of nitpick, I agree.

And not denying at all that Mahavir didn’t fight the world but it was to satisfy his ego. To ensure his daughters gold on his behalf. I don’t think it came from a pro-feminist place. I am talking about other things in the film. Read Tanul Thakur’s piece. He has also spoken on similar lines. https://tanulthakur.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/review-dangal/

On casting, Girish Kulkarni was a total misfit for me. I just couldn’t buy him as the coach. He just didn’t have the personality. The character was anyway so stupid. Also the guy Aamir wrestles right at the start. I also think that the credit goes to their accent and wrestling training more than casting.

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I read his piece. You too talking the same. I don’t agree. Except that pre-climatic twist, I didn’t have much problem with anything.

Why is it ego? Why is it not aim or ambition or dream? Because ego has negative connotation. Why isn’t even Phogat celebrated as a feminist hero. Because he is not urban or smart or suave or articulate or he doesn’t know the F-word. The starting point might have been his dreams of gold but what that has done for girls there, I don’t think any govt policy could have.

Haryana has the worst sex ratio.

Haryana also has the biggest Olympic contingent of female athletes.

Compare the two numbers and read a bit.

It’s amazing what sports has done. That too in the worst patriarchy society.

It’s not fair to put white man’s feminism definition in the context of Phogat. It’s like demonetization idea. Look at his context. His education, society, culture, upbringing, gender sense. I am saying in that place even to think that his daughters could go out and wrestle, that thought is much stronger than bra burning feminism ideas.

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Oye! Don’t go out of the context of the film. We are only reading him as a character. You guys are clubbing him with the real life of Phogat.

Ego because you are making someone do something without their willingness. Replace sport with say, aeronautical engineering. Or let’s say my dad forced me into becoming IAS officer because he could never become one. That doesn’t remain ambition alone.

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But he is based on real character! If he was fictional, you could have asked the writer director. Here it’s him only. How can you separate the two.

Sports kids starting early? It’s grey area for sure. And it always happens in all sports. Don’t think this film is even aspiring to find the answers to those questions. So why burden it?

Are we going in loop?

We need to hear more voices.

Have you seen Dangal? What do you think? Do join our debate in the comments section.

talaash

SPOILER  ALERT

My blood group is C+ve. And i don’t mean the Hindi cuss word that starts with “C”. Because there’s no other explanation for me getting so restless about films and going to bed peacefully only after i have chased all the possible “sources” to know what the films (or its spoilers) are about. Blame it on occupational hazard, or maybe am in this occupation because of the same blood group. Also, because for me, films are more about “how they happen” and not “what happens”.

Nothing to boast about but i knew about the so called big twist of Talaash almost a year back. Though i had my doubts about it but everything related to the film was pointing in the same direction. And a year is a long time to make peace with the “ghostly” fact. As the release date of Talaash was near, i was travelling out of country. Curious that i am, got in touch with a friend who was watching the film much before anyone else. I asked him if he can let me know as soon as he is done with it. He saw it, liked it, and said, he is not going to tell me the spoilers. I told him, i am going to tell him what i know, and he just has to say yes or no. I asked him about the big twist. He said, yes, but how do you know? Well, the first rule is you never reveal your sources. Aha, much relief after waiting for a year. I quickly tweeted that yes, yes, yes, it’s the same twist that we knew since a year back. At least the C+ souls like me will get a good night’s sleep finally.

I saw the film almost a week after its release. And i have concluded that if you know the twist, the film works in a much better way. And there are many reasons for it. First, the pitch. The makers tried to keep the per-release campaign quite low-key because of the fear that the twist might get out due to over-exposure. Everything pointed out that it’s a thriller or suspense drama. The font of the print campaign started becoming bigger with the countdown – TRUTH will be out in 5…4…3….2…1 day. You can’t blame anyone when everyone saw the same story in the promotions – a cop chasing the death of a film star. He has to crack the case. So what is the TRUTH? The big twist? Now, if the baggage comes down to the fact that Kareena is a ghost who guides Aamir Khan’s character to crack the case, it seems straight out of @OMGFacts, or evn LOL-Facts. It’s easy to dismiss it when you have invested so much in the case which looks so real, and with such great mood that creates the world around it and builds the prefect pace. Ghost? That’s a joke, that’s so flimsy! The writers could not think of anything else?

Now, imagine if the film was pitched to you as “supernatural drama”. You are prepared for it and it’s much to easy to accept it that way. But i think the writers of the film did set up the track of Rani Mukerjee quite well to give you a hint in which direction the film was heading. It wasn’t like a pop-up music video. I can’t say with full confidence but i think i would have still liked it if i had no clue about the twist.

Show me a man who was shattered by the unnatural death of a loved one, and has made peace with it without doing anything unnatural. Shit happens, and then we find our ways to cope with it. I am an atheist but  i have seen/heard/experienced things which are difficult to explain and impossible to believe. They remain unanswered and life goes on till another death comes knocking.

Also, when you don’t know the twist, you are waiting for the big revelation in the end. The problem is the fashion in which we have been conditioned to watch films – the theory of “end me kya hota hai?” But Talaash is much more than that. And you can focus on the rest, which is so gorgeous, once the twist is out of your way. In fact, that’s not even the film. It’s about a couple coming to terms with the loss of their kid. Both take different routes to trace that piece of peace. The murder case is purely incidental. But the sad part is you won’t waste you weekend to watch a couple coming to terms with the death of their loved ones. Will you? You need coke, corn and crap on screen for your weekend outing. So most probably they decided to hook you with that “murder mystery” pitch. And i must admit that’s it gives me a kind of sadistic pleasure to know that you have been cheated.

And in a good way, it also reminded me of an all time favourtive film of mine – Umesh Kulkarni’s Vihir. Because love, loss, death, water, wandering souls, and peace – the motifs are the same here. If you still haven’t seen it, WATCH IT!

Without any doubt, Talaash is one of the best directed films of the year. Mohanan’s photography with Sampath’s music creates such a compelling mood. The tone is set as soon as the credit roll begins with those invisible faces and characters that bollywood doesn’t give a fuck about even though they are at every signal in this city. Rani Mukerjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Yadav, Sheeba Chaddha, Aditi Vasudev and Subrat Datta – all of them are in top form here. You are hooked to it till the interval happens, and then Cinemax Versova killed the mood for me by playing commercials for at least 30minutes. Had to go out and shout at the manager to start the film post-interval.

Another criticism i have heard so far is that the film scratches the surface, and it doesn’t go any deep. Aha, i have always believed that it entirely depends on you – how you want to read the film. If you can’t scratch beyond the surface, don’t put the blame on the film and the filmmaker always. Instead click here and read the best piece on the film.

I might not be a fan of Aamir Khan but you have to appreciate the choices he makes. He believes in them and pulls it off. Compare it to the films of others A-list stars of Bollywood. What are they doing? What are the delivering? All the focus is on 100-crore these days. And when it’s so much easy to deliver that with cheap crap-corn-cola, why put so much effort and take a risk? Respect for that.

Also, am wondering if it’s high time to divide Excel’s films into Farhan Akhtar Films and Zoya Akhtar/Reema Kagti Films. Someone compared Kartik Calling Kartik to Talaash on twitter and said KCK was better. I tried hard to control my laughter. That film had much more baggage on its twist and it was a (chinese?) joke in the end. And, remember Game – their another venture in similar space? Don’t have words in my dictionary to describe that garbage. Not sure why, but i feel these films belong to Farhan Akhtar who has been on a downhill since his brilliant debut, Dil Chahta Hai. But the ladies are trying new things and pulling it off with so much ease – Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd, Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and now, Talaash. To quote another favourite dialogue of the year, Farhan Baba, tumse na hoga ab, rehne do. Bus acting hi kar lo.

(PS – Can we please nominate Aamir’s eyebrows for performance of the year? Though his moustache was vying hard for attention but my vote goes for the eyebrows.)

– Posted by @CilemaSnob

Or is he really serious?

Like his film projects, his tv debut was also kept a secret till it finally came on air on Sunday at 11am. And it turned out to be exactly the same as we had told you earlier. It started with Aamir Khan’s voiceover (aha, the emotional modulation there, noticed?) talking about where we stand today. And then the chat show started where the topic was female foeticide. Case studies, tears, figures, tears, doctor, more case studies, more tears, more questions and finally a song by Swanand Kirkire and Ram Sampath overlapped with visuals of girl child, Aamir asking the kids to come sit close to him. Aha, if the last season of KBC was poverty porn, this is going one step ahead with just one mantra – we will, we will make you cry!

The set was tacky, production value made it looked like straight out of DD and graphics seemed out of CBSE school books. Who said serious issues need to look boring? Oh wait, our TA wouldn’t get it? That aside, i had two big issues with the show – First, the pitch and positioning of the show. Stand anywhere in Mumbai and you can see Aamir Khan staring into the void from one of the hoards. I am not sure why but i feel here’s our Aamir Jesus Christ. That look, that stare, the gaze, it’s all there in the stills, music videos, hoardings and the show. It’s so repulsive, so rehearsed and so bloody fake! The intention might be honest and i sincerely hope it helps in creating some awareness but one issue, one sunday, one episode – is it some kind of quick fix solution? Also, am cynical because he is the same actor who had suddenly felt about the Narmada Bachao Andolan during the promotion of Rang De Basanti and then vanished from the radar. Of course the release of RDB was just a coincidence. Blame it on my cynical mind!

My other issue is if he is really serious about endorsing social causes, why not let go your entire fees for it? Contribute to the cause and i will respect you for lifelong. There’s no harm in taking money and doing the show but i can’t digest the self-righteousness then. Doing 13 episodes for free isn’t a big deal, right? Go ahead, do it. Shut me up! Otherwise how different is it from NDTV Greenathon or IIFA Charity or such events which are organised by event management companies. Stars endorse the cause, gets paid, sponsors feel they have done their bit of corporate philanthropy and all happy. But is anyone really honest and serious? Aha, the cynical me.

But then the other point is our tv shows are pure garbage. There’s almost nothing to watch. At least this show is trying something new, it’s going to stand out. And in that process if it can serve a purpose, that’s great. Agree.

So i asked on twitter if anyone would be willing to write about the show. Posting two views on the same. First one is by Chintan Bhatt. From my previous interaction with him on twitter, i know for sure that he is a big fan of Aamir Khan.

I was not sure I was going to be able to watch Satyamev Jayate, though I had been waiting eagerly for it from weeks, because the night before which was full of drunken revelry, to celebrate the anniversary of another year of living, of yours truly, ended too late. But by some stroke of miracle, my eyes opened just to the tune of 11 am and with blurry eyes I switched on the TV. The show started and at least the format, the set, seemed nothing out of the ordinary. But as Aamir came on stage, giving a small speech, he did not sit on the sofa right away which was stationed on the middle of the stage. He slowly sat on the steps, just in front of the audience. I smiled and my hangover was gone.

He was not a superstar, or an expert, or a know it all and did not pretend to be one. He was like me, and everyone else. Surrounded by the problems, and people facing it, like we all are, and trying to understand it. Though this format, sets, was something we had seen before, this honesty and intimacy was something Indian television had not witnessed before. When he spoke of the problems, his style was not of preaching but was of self discovery, more than anything else, which let the viewers feel part of the show.

What was striking about the show for me was how all encompassing about the issue it was, or much more than anything I have seen before. Filled with facts and charts and statistics to supplement the emotional quotient and the true stories it presented, it attacked the issue right in its guts and where it hurts given the sense of denial, we as Indians have mastered to live in. The experts, the victims, their tears, the shock in the crowd, the silence that filled the room as they grasped the horror stories and the sense of disbelief on Aamir’s face, were all real and in a way reflected what so many of the viewers too felt.

A few days back I was watching Aamir’s interview on CNBC and the interviewer on being told by Aamir that he has invested 2 years into the show and has given up on the endorsements, crores of rupees he could have earned, of how his selection of show timing was termed suicidal, how to telecast the show on DD so that reaches the most commonest denominator of the population sounded impossible and unheard of, etc, she almost out of frustration asked him, which effectively was, ‘But why do you need to push yourself so much and keep such tough targets for yourself?’ And again, he smiled and shrugged.

My rage on seeing the views trying to demean him and the show on Twitter and elsewhere after watching the show, were gradually replaced by indifference of sorts. Fact which cannot be denied is that in a country obsessed with garbage in the name of entertainment and where smartness is equated with how manipulative and selfishly you can lead your life, he made the whole country talk about one of the most inhumane and disgustingly hidden practice which has become a commonality behind closed doors.

The anger towards the pointless and forced cynicism was further nullified by the thought I had of those thousands of families who would have done these heinous activities, which will be taken up in all the episodes of the show, who will now be forced to sit and think hopefully. Of all those silent voices, all those abused and assaulted, all those bullied and tortured who will now again have hope of fighting for their right to survive and live. Yes, its sounds good to say that we don’t need an Aamir Khan to tell us what is good and bad, we are too educated and intellectual for that, but as the biggest revelation of today’s episode was that education has nothing to do with goodness, intellect has nothing to do with being humane. We are living in an imperfect, corrupt and insensitive world, and we need heroes desperately, we need to face harsh true stories desperately, we need to know what being humane feels again desperately, and in this same imperfect world, this show does that. It forces the monsters in laws of the country to look in the eyes of their daughters in law, of their near and dear ones and face the truth. It makes the demonic husbands to feel ashamed and disgusted at themselves, if not from the inside, then the world in their immediate surroundings should have a collective voice to ridicule them, and this show will do that. We are living in a star obsessed country which silently breaths and breeds away from the confines of the cynicism of twitter and their likes, and that’s the nerve this show will catch, hopefully.

No, no one is claiming that this show will solve all the problems of the country. No one is that naive, but it’s worth an attempt, if it gets people to start talking. That’s all. And if that’s the minimum it can do, then be it. As the gentleman sardar who featured in today’s show with teary eyes said, – EVEN IF I CAN SAVE 1 GIRL, ITS ENOUGH. Some battles are worth fighting for, to win or lose is immaterial.

At the end, my bout of anger was gone completely when after about half hour after the show was over, the maid in my house came with a black eye and after few days of not coming to work. On coaxing by my flat mate she revealed that our husband is a drunkard and beats her in front of their two kids incessantly. From the fear of not telling anybody, she does not even scream, she takes it all on silently. And she is too scared to go to the police. Who will tell her and millions of other such stories? Will the cynics look in her eyes and crack a joke on the color of her wound? Well, you never know, they may. But this show talks about these victims, and will give countless number of them the tiniest bit of hope to fight back. By the end of the show Aamir said the biggest contribution was to be done by the youth of this country. And my rage towards the cynics was shifted to anger towards bastards like the maid’s husband, and attempts will be on to do something about it, like they have been from long. As they say there are those who say and crib, and there are those who do. Its very simple.

I remember debates with my father, who used to enjoy the so called escapist cinema which I despise. After a long heated debate, I simply used to ask him, ‘Why do we need to travel to a world unknown to find beauty and strength? Can’t we explore the same around us in our films?’ That is the biggest gift the show has given me. It has given me heroes who exist around me and us, whose beauty lies in their bravery, like all those women who were in the show today. They are the real heroes with real stories. Agreed, there may have been other shows who would do that, but for the first time I felt their bravery and strength, and that is why I thank Aamir and the channel for the show through this small insignificant post. All is not lost, yet.

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And here’s the other view. This one is by someone who calls himself The Pucca Critic.

After almost a month of promotion as “Har Baat dil pe lagegi toh hi baat banegi” by Aamir Khan, Satyameva Jayate’s first episode was aired on Star Plus, DD National & also Star Pravaah (with Marathi subtitles) today at 11 a.m. Let us see kitni baat dil pe lagi!

The show started with some scenic shots and Aamir Khan blabbering about himself as an actor and a human being. And that’s what he tried to do throughout the show: I’m The Aamir Khan. I’m India’s inspiring role model. The idol of the common man. I’m here to change your life with this TV show for which I’m charging hefty sum.

No sooner did the show started, we learn that it’s kind of talk show dealing with sensitive social issues. Aamir Khan pretending to be appealing enough for the aam – junta does gigs like sitting at the stairs of the dais while delivering his speech to expect Oh-look, this-superstar-doesn’t-mind-sitting-on-the-floor reaction.

Moving over, we are introduced with 3 ladies who narrated their ghastly tales about how they were tortured after delivering a baby girl. So that’s what the topic of the day was: female foeticide & how it is related with other criminal happenings like ignorance of women in society, sexual harassment and flesh trading. Their emotions were raw. Enough to give you a gulp in the throat.

While discussing a case, crude pictures of the lady being victimized of physical assault by his husband were displayed without a blur (which is how news channels are made to show). A leading daily once made a gore picture of a bomb blast victim to the headline to which their readers irked by remarking them as selling information porn. OK. So this is how Aamir Khan wants his words to touch the hearts?

All through the interview, you can hear Aamir interrogating silly questions. “Aur kaisa feel hua aapko tab?” “Aur kya hua tha?” Genuine thoughtful questions were lacked.

And more irritating were the reactions by the audience. “Haawww” “Ohh noo..” “Ohhff” That’s how general interactions with the common audience were lacked instead they were focused for their shocks and tears as if they were expecting the public watching on TV to cry too.  The flawed direction is made deliberate when a lawyer (part of the related case) interrupts midway of another interview and the interview is carried no further but diverged by the host. I don’t know how many retakes were needed to shoot this!

They also ended up with some marketing of 3G technology of a telecom network by a video conference with some bachelors of Haryana who discussed bachelorhood of Salman Khan. Don’t tell me this wasn’t rigged!

This is how the show meant-to-be inspiring ended with the uninspiring host who asks his audience to send SMS to a number if they support the cause. Do you really think sending SMSes will help?

Finally, Aamir calls up his friend and musician Ram Sampth along with Swanand Kirkire to perform a beautiful, lyrical song “O Re Chiriya.”

What we expect is some improvement in the direction of the show with retaining the raw emotions of the subject and uplifting the enthusiasm of the audience as the show ends.

P.S: If  you really want to see inspiring Aamir Khan, watch Sarfarosh or Lagaan. And if you hate Aamir’s face, watch Anoop Soni on Crime Patrol. He’s terrific.

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And here’s a video review to end the post on a lighter note…

…But were afraid to ask? Well, that doesn’t quite work out. Let’s say, But you were not sure whom to ask.

First came the teasers (Here, here and here).

And then came the official song where we saw Jesus Aamir Christ, who is here to save us.

But what is the show about? Well, like Aamir Khan’s movies, the show is also being guarded as a top secret. No details are being given out anywhere. And that’s why you don’t see anything about the show in the teasers or the song. But we suffer from a strange disease – the more you want to keep something as a secret, it makes us more curious. If you belong to the same tribe, we got all the answers for you. If you are not, skip the post.

– Satyamev Jayate is basically a chat show with guests and case studies from across the country.

– The first season will have 13 episodes out of which 10 have already been recorded.

– The idea is to pick one subject and discuss it from every possible angle – social, political, economic and such.

– The subjects include health, water, marriage, child issues (abuse and other), addiction and other social issues.

– The duration of each episode is 90mins.

– Each episode will end with a musical performance of a new song. All songs have been composed by Ram Sampath and lyrics are by Prasoon Joshi, Swanand Kirkire, Munna Dhiman and few others.

– The series is directed by Satyajeet Bhatkal (Aamir’s friend and director of Zokkoman) but every decision is taken by Aamir Khan. The final edit call is also his. Nothing is finalised without his approval.

– The series was earlier produced by Big Synergy. But they wanted to make it more commercial and Aamir wasn’t in favour of it. Currently it’s being produced by Aamir Khan Productions.

– Imran Khan and Sridevi will appear in two different episodes of the series.

– The pilot episode of the series was rejected by Aamir himself after it received negative feedback from test audience.

– The first episode is on girl child discrimination and female infanticide. Not sure if they have changed the sequence.

– Do expect lots of rona-dhona was they discuss sensitive issues. Aamir will be in full Oprah Winfrey avatar.

Anything else? If you have some more dope on it, the comment box is all yours.

It’s raining trailers and how! The much awaited trailer of Aamir Khan’s new film Talaash is finally out. Have a look.

And here’s the so called digital poster of the film.

Directed by Reema Kagti, the film stars Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherji, Kareena Kapoor and Nawazuddin. Produced by Excel Entertainment, Aamir Khan and Reliance Entertainment, the writing credits include Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar (Dialogues) and Anurag Kashyap (Additional Dialogues). It has been shot by Mohanan.

So it’s a murder mystery. A cop chasing a murder case. A housewife, a prostitute and lot of tension. Well shot and creates the right mood.

And the mystery is the big punch? Seems so. The tagline says – The Answer Lies Within. So what’s your bet? Reminds me of that weird and stupid film called Kartik calling Kartik. Is it on same lines? Murder, murderer, memory, all mashed-up.

Sir,

I am Pawan Kumar, the director of the Kannada film Lifeu Ishtene. On the 30th of August, you watched my film and you passed your views about it, and gave us a U/A certificate with a forced ‘voluntary’ cut. I’d like to bring it to your notice that if I had the luxury to fight for my right I’d not have accepted to cut what you insisted.

I am a first time director in a industry which is struggling to survive. Fighting for the cut meant you forwarding our film for further reviewing and that would take couple of weeks more, that would put a lot people involved in making of this movie in a very difficult position. Hence for their sake I simply shut up and bowed to your very tyrant behaviour. This letter is simply me putting out my thoughts, I am not challenging your decision through this. I want the people to know the truth, so that they can decide who was right and who was wrong. Am hoping that you will read this till the end and be convinced that you erred, that’s all I want, I don’t want you to change the decision or apologize, the damage you wanted to do is already done. The letter might seem long but I made it as entertaining as my film was, you will have a good laugh by the end of it.

This being an open letter, I guess the public should know what I am talking about. Here is a picture of the document that Mr. Nagaraj wrote down after seeing the film. He has listed his thoughts point wise, but before I dwell into those, I’d like to mention that I respect the man and his position. He is an IAS officer and I am sure it is pretty tough to be on the chair where he sits, I cant get there for my IQ levels. I like the man for the way he appears, he comes across as a through gentleman and has an aura of being smart, composed and intelligent. I was really hurt and shocked when he listed out his objections for my film. Something that I really didn’t foresee, especially by this person, whom I had met during the censoring of Manasaare and Pancharangi. I did and I still have high regards for him.

Mr. Nagaraj in the above document states “Remove the word sucker from the tag line of the movie, wherever visible in, Move on Sucker”. For those who don’t know, ‘Move on Sucker’ is the tagline of my movie title. Mr. Nagaraj had a problem with the word sucker. He simply said that I must remove that word. I tried arguing with him that it is not a bad word, that it is simply a slang term for someone considered gullible enough to fall for a very obvious prank or con and go about unaware of it. We all know what the word sucker is, we all have used it in phrases like ‘I am sucker for Chinese food’ or ‘I suck in maths’ or ‘the movie sucks’ etc etc. But he just didn’t want to listen to me. He said that he is not interested in the parliamentary meaning of a word, he is interested in how the word could be perceived by the masses and therefore I should cut it out from the film. There was no point arguing further because he was a man sitting there controlling the future of my film and I could see it in his eyes that he just didn’t want to understand even if I tried to explain. I said “ok I will remove it”. The word comes 3 times on the screen in the film, to remove that the producer has shelled out 45k till now. 45k is not a small amount, with that money I could have put an Ad in the papers and promoted the film more, get more people to watch the film and try to save our sinking industry, or I could have simply paid it to someone in the team who has been working day and night to offer something new to the people, but instead we had to waste it on a stubborn man with a lot of power. Look at the visual below, tell me how is removing of that word changed anything?

If sucker is such a bad influence on the society, what about the words ‘BoseDK’, ‘Ass Hole’, ‘Fucker’, ‘BlowJob’, all these words were featured in Delhi Belly. The same CBFC (Central Board Of Film Certification) passed it and the movie made pot loads of money!! I am not someone who encourages those words. I am a very clean guy, I don’t speak or promote bad language, you wont find it in my movie too. Before coming up with the tag ‘Move on sucker’ I did look through the internet to make sure the word Sucker didn’t mean anything wrong. Its only after I gathered enough information that I put it up. We are a small industry and we have very small budgets to make films. We are pitted against movies from Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and English; all these industries have huge budgets to take the audience away from us. If we have to get them to watch our movies we need to sound contemporary, talk to them in a language they understand. A line like ‘move on sucker’ would make the people in their 20’s connect to the movie, and they’d make an effort to watch it. Why is it that when Aamir Khan does it, its alright? He did way too much and it was still alright!!! By asking me to remove the word ‘sucker’ from my movie tagline, the Censor Board has been impartial to me. Mr. Nagaraj is aware of the financial state of the Kannada industry. He very well knows how much we are struggling to make people trust us. And he has seen my movie and he also said ‘your movie is 99% qualified for U certificate but sprinkled with some objectionable matter’. The word sucker was one of them. And the word was not simply a publicity gimmick, after you watch the movie you’d understand how that word makes sense in the movie. The guidelines by the censor board of India states – A film is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact and is examined in the light of the period depicted in the film and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to whom the film relates, provided that the film does not deprave the morality of the audience. Guidelines are applied to the titles of the films also.

People, please tell me and Mr Nagraj, if the word ‘sucker’ has in anyway depraved the morality of you all. What censor board needs is a sense of humour. It needs to grow up and wake up to the people who live around them and not in their guidelines. Television today has become horrible, it is impossible to see and hear many of the things that is aired on many news and entertainment channels. Something that you can probably watch with your family is Discovery channel and sports channels, not even the sanskar or astha who are using the dangerous weapon against the society, the religion . But the censor board is all quite about it. Television has no censor, it doesn’t come under their jurisdiction.

Mr. Nagaraj, we are all suckers, you are one, I am one too. And the people know that. They know that they are one too. And that’s the funny thing about it. When we accept our flaws and imperfections and laugh about it, we can put our egos behind and try to progress. That’s what my movie on the whole was trying to say. For some reason you didn’t see it beyond the word ‘Sucker’ without even knowing the meaning of it.

Now coming to the other angle to the whole issue, which I hope is not true but is very possible. I think it is the ego. I very strongly feel that it is the ego of Mr. Nagaraj that makes him do what he does. He sitting in his little cabin in the govt building, enjoys seeing us film makers dance to his tunes. I am sure it must be giving him a kick that he can in 2 hours 30 mins control a film makers 10 months of hard work by just using one word. He knows how difficult it is technically to remove those words from a completed film and that’s why he does that. For people who are not aware it might seem very simple, you must be thinking how difficult it is to just delete a word. If I get into the process I can do a 6 hour workshop and probably you’d learn most of the technical aspects of film making. In simple words, it took many people and many days of work in Banaglore and Chennai to erase that word. I hope all this makes Mr. Nagaraj very satisfied and gives him a good night’s sleep. This is the story of how the word Sucker got separated from the film Lifeu Ishtene.

Now, let me introduce you to some more blunders. But I could live with these because frankly I don’t give a damn whether my movie is U or U/A, and thankfully neither people are interested in those ratings anymore. Like I said the Censor board is so stuck up with their guidelines that they don’t see how people are today. My movie got a U/A because of a scene which is got something to do with condom. The government is trying really hard to reach out to people, they even come up with jingles, in kannada there is an ad – maatadidavane mahaashoora. But Mr. Nagaraj feels that it is very uncomfortable for adults to see such content with children. That’s precisely the point sir, that’s what government is trying to say ‘don’t be shy about it, talk openly and spread awareness’. Teenagers should get aware of it, they should be bold enough to talk about a condom and not make a taboo of it. But instead Mr Nagaraj goes to the extent of writing – delete comedy episode surrounding condom for a U certificate. But I didn’t agree with him, I agreed for a U/A instead and the scene is intact. In a week you will see it and you will know that it is not in bad taste and is for sure spreading awareness.

The second one is debatable, Mr Nagaraj has pointed out a shot where a woman is smoking. His justification was that it is not right to show women smoking and therefore he writes – also delete the visual of lady smoking. I am not going to defend this much. I don’t smoke and I am for anti smoking. I had even made a short film on the anti smoking subject.

In Lifeu Ishtene, the character which the lady was playing was of the types who would smoke and therefore I hade to make her light up. Deleting this shot would not change the reality though, we see so many women smoking these days, and it is really bad. Smoking is bad for both men and women, and I sincerely hope that smoking comes to an end. And in no way is my film promoting or glamorising smoking. The Censor guideline says – scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorise consumption of tobacco or smoking are not shown. To show the bad result of a habit, the story needs to build up and then show the effect. That’s what my shot of the lady smoking was doing. No problem here, I will gladly take a U/A for this point.

The third is silly actually. In the third point Mr. Nagaraj says – delete lip to lip kissing in the song. Well not much defending here, for some reason we Indians want to think that showing love on screen is more dangerous than showing violence. On a funny note may be the government has a strategy behind this, Lets not teach people to express love, there by reducing population and lets show more violence so that they could kill each other and again reduce population!!!! Am I the only one laughing at this stupid joke??? Ok Mr. Nagaraj I will accept a U/A for this too. I am sure the 15frames (less than a second) of lip to lip pecking in the mayavi mayavi song would make the adults very uncomfortable to watch it with children under the age of 18 years old. However I have one question for you – How did you pass the song ‘Padmavathi’ from the movie ‘Johny Mera Naam’ with a U certificate? That one really shocks me. Because though I am an adult and my father is an adult too, we both would be uncomfortable watching it together in theatre or on TV. Please ask yourself if the very aesthetically shot 15 frames of a small peck on the lip in my movie was worse than what you can see in a 4 min song. Here is the link to that song if you want watch it again and wonder why you gave it a ‘U’.

Your guidelines clearly states the following – human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity; scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are not presented. Isn’t this song violating all of this?????

People please note that from what I can read of Mr. Nagaraj, he is a very good person, I am not being sarcastic, I might be against his decisions but I don’t hate him. Please don’t think that he was expecting a bribe or anything like that. I can for sure say that he is NOT a corrupt govt servant. He is doing his job but he has to simply get some of the realities in the right perspective. Lets help him know what he is not aware of so that he stays with us as the regional head of Karnataka for CBFC, and make right decisions and help us all save good kannada films. If you believe in this article and you want to support me, then please mail Mr. Nagaraj your views in a few words and a few words only, lets not waste his time. I hope you will not send abuses because I am not in support for that. Mail him on robanglore@cbfcindia.gov.in or nagarajk1@yahoo.com and cc a copy to me on actorinme(at)gmail(dot)com . I guess the subject line of the mail should be with a sense of humor, keep it as – Lets grow up, suckers! 😉

(Note: I still haven’t received the final Censor Certificate from Mr. Nagaraj, he is going to give it to us after he checks the film and finds no ‘sucker’ in it. We have followed his instruction and removed it and showing the corrected film copy on monday. I could have waited till monday to get the certificate and then put this article up. But I didn’t want to be a chicken in expressing my views. I hope Mr. Nagaraj will stand up to his gentleman image and not take this article to his ego and create problems to the release of the film on the scheduled date. He is in a position to completely reject this article but he is not in a position to take this personally to take revenge.)

( PS – This letter was first posted here)

If Rangan can, why can’t we? So, here it is. All in bullet points.

  • Dil Chahta Hai released in 2001 and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the film. My friend Kartik Krishnan is among those counted few who doesn’t like the film. First grudge – three guys who don’t even say bhainchod. Not even once. While the rest of us claimed it to be new bollywood’s coming of age film, KK still believes DCH is NOT us. Delhi Belly scores there at least. It took 10 years for three friends to come together and say bhainchod. Oops, three came for Rock On and three more are coming soon for ZNMD too. But that’s trilogy from Farhan Akhtar brand of cool and confused characters’ coming of age without the cuss words .
  • In order of their appearance – Fucking, fucker, balls, dick, chooth, bainchod, bastard, fuck, chootiye, gaand, asshole, dumbfuck, teri maa ki, bhosdike, gaand marane.  I hope these words are not new in your cusstionary and you don’t giggle every time someone says balls. Because in Delhi Belly, it’s all there. Seems I missed “thevidiya” – tamil word for whore.
  • So what’s your mother tongue? And is it the same as the language you speak everyday? No, right? Well, that’s the case with most of us. English is not a phunny language any more, desi characters talking in English is phunny. Or at least bollywood made it phunny. Add Rahul Bose and it’s super funny. Remember Before The Rains? Delhi Belly scores here too. The film is in Hinglish, which seems natural for a film like this, and the actors are comfortable in it. No accent too. Like us, they walk, talk and sleep in Hinglish without any kind of baggage.
  • No interval. This is about 96mins long. But since we contribute to the revenue more via cold drinks and popcorn, am sure the theater will keep on reminding you about this. Buy, buy, buy. Not every producer can demand a no-interval screening. And even if they demand, nobody will care to listen. With Aamir, it’s a different game. You Don’t Mess With Aamir. Nobody will say it but that’s the truth. Even for Dhobi Ghaat he managed to screen the film without interval. A refreshing change, hopefully others will follow soon, and hopefully we will still keep on contributing to coke, samosa and popcorn so that the theater revenue doesn’t go down.
  • And the movie? 3 guys, 2 girlfriends, 1 husband, his ex-wife and 1 Don along with some really good character actors in small roles. Stool sample and diamond pack gets mixed up, lots of confusion and farts of every possible kind, some cuss words, few kisses and bhag D K Bose. It’s nothing that you haven’t seen before but in a country where it’s difficult to think of one good film which released in the last six months and has repeat value, even a timepass entertainer scores high.
  • Shehnaz Treasurywala has lost her “wala” but her treasury is very much intact. She is still selling “peek-a-boo-b”. Remember MTV’s Most Wanted where she would come close to camera, bend a little and you could feast your eyes? Well, she does the same in at least 2 scenes.
  • For a person with a weak tummy, the farting sounds were really uncomfortable that kept on reminding me that I might need a loo break soon. Luckily i survived.
  • If you are looking for layers, I would suggest you go for Buddah Hoga Terra Baap which should be having layers and layers of make-up.
  • Dear Aditya Roy Kapoor, Y U NO GO TO KUNAL ROY KAPOOR SCHOOL OF ACTING?
  • Is it the same Abhinay Deo who directed Game? Again Aamir Khan will walk away with the credit.
  • Dear Cunnilingus, welcome to Bollywood. No, knowing you doesn’t make us look cool but it just validates your existence. Good luck on the debut. Hope you survive.
  • Dear Akshat Verma, hopefully you get to direct your next one. I know you wanted to direct this one.
  • Shock value? That’s just the marketing pitch, there is nothing shocking if you have been to Chan-Wook Park’s school of incestous studies. or even if you know Lars Von Trier.
  • 90minutes. No songs (Ok, almost no songs). No interval. Adults only.  It works. Watch it.

(PS – Was there more to Vir Das’ love story? Chop-chop at Khan’s editing table?)