Posts Tagged ‘Abhishek Chaubey’

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best bollywood 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.

To read the scripts of best bollywood films of last few years, click here. From 2016, script of Neerja is here, Kapoor & Sons is here, Pink is here and Raman Raghav 2.0 is here. And sharing Udta Punjab in this post.

udta-punjab

Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab was easily one of the best films of the year. It captured the wide spectrum of the dark and depressing world of Punjab’s drug scene. The script written by Sudip Sharma and Abhishek Chaubey didn’t pass any judgements on the scenario of the characters but made them humane by looking deep into their environment. And yet, they smartly packaged it well to keep it in the space of mainstream bollywood.

Happy  reading!

Film : Udta Punjab

Director : Abhishek Chaubey

Written by :  Sudip Sharma & Abhishek Chaubey

 

Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab has been topic of much discussion, both pre and post-release. Navjot Gulati and Mihir Desai got the director-writer duo to talk about the film in a post-screening session.

Do watch.

 

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-profitable exercise.

To make an impressive debut is a difficult task. To follow it up with a sequel, and to deliver better than the first, that’s almost impossible. And Abhishek Chaubey managed to score on both counts. While Ishqiya was all rustic cool, Dedh Ishqiya was rich in tone, mood, texture and poetry, that also had Begum Akhtar, Ghalib, Bashir Badr and a delicious homage to Ismat Chugtai. All these in a bollywood film loaded with dialogues in pristine Urdu? what a beauty, what a rarity!

So thanks to Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey, we are sharing the first draft and the shooting draft of Dedh Ishqiya.

Do click on the “Scripts” tab on the top right corner of the blog page to access all the other scripts (Queen, Ankhon Dekhi, The Lunchbox, Shahid, Kai Po Che, D Day, Lootera, Kahaani, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Agent Vinod, Dev D etc) that we have posted here so far.

Film : Dedh Ishqiya

Director : Abhishek Chaubey

Story : Darab Farooqui

Screenplay : Vishal Bhardwaj & Abhishek Chaubey

Dialogue : Vishal Bhardwaj

(PS – As a writing exercise, do check out the notes about the climax in the first draft before they managed to resolve it)

(For more from our “Rewind 2014” series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Songs We Played In Loop is here. In Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)

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

dedh-ishqiya-movie-poster-20

Some of us got to see Abhishek Chaubey’s new film Dedh Ishqiya at a preview show last night. Here’s all the early preview buzz from the show.

So what are you waiting for? Book you tickets and go to VB-land, sit back, relax, and get in the mood of Begum Akhtar’s Hamari atariya. Let Abhishek Chaubey dazzle you with some poetry and beauty, guns and glory, hues and adventure. This is how you are suppose to do a sequel – it’s not just about cashing in on previous success, but about being brave and ballsy.

Three hindi films this weekend. Its quite a film friday! Two debutants and one veteran! And since we belong to BBC (Bhardwaj Bhakt Club), we made sure that we saw it even before the release. Click here for our review.

Ishqiya is directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey and stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. Lets see how it has scored with the reviewers.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – I know its only January but I think its safe to say that Ishqiya is the most crackling film you’ll see this year. It’s feisty and sly and very, very sexy – 3.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ISHQIYA is definitely worth a watch. The film has a riveting plot, great performances, soulful music, an absorbing story and skilful direction to make the viewer fall in ishq with it. It should appeal to the hardcore masses as also the multiplex junta – 4/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Regardless of the rugged-and-rustic ‘City of God’ kinda setting, the flavour of the film is predominantly light-hearted, as instinctive comedy oozes out from almost every sequence. The director’s hold on humour is remarkable as he makes good use of some dingy desi dialogues and some exceptional expressions by the lead male duo to hilarious outcome. The comic timing between Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi is absolutely flawless – 3.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Ishqiya, directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey, is a delicious little film that teeters dangerously between saucy comedy and suspenseful noir. Unapologetically adult in its relationships, its language and its humor, the film sparkles for its inspired writing and uncompromised direction. It’s an assured, confident debut and one hell of a rollicking ride. A textured, compelling drama that’s unlike anything you’ve seen lately – 3.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – In Ishqiya lingo, the film is a sutli bomb (firecracker) that tickles and explodes. But for the hurried and harried end. Go, have a blast – 3.5/5 

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Small-town India is where the real stories are. `Ishqiya’ blends place and people in a way only those who’ve lived that life know how, and gives us a film with desirous flesh and pulsating blood – 3/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Mira Nair is right. Bharadwaj is probably one of the few of Bollywood’s unique voices likely to corner any genuine attention in the West. This road film is in parts, an Yi Tu Mama Tambien sort of bizarre romance, an El Mariachi type curry-western, and a City Of God kind of grimy thriller. Yet, the pungent odour is entirely original. Oh smell it – for sure – 3.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Imagine a sticky sweet jalebi with a cup of hot milk. Just as they would have on a foggy morning in Gorakhpur. Crunchy, sweet, and quite delicious. Now think Ishqiya. Set in a reimagined eastern Uttar Pradesh, where minor hoodlums dress like cowboys and women are earthy sex queens, the film elevates rustic chic to an art – 4/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – Rarely are grace and profanity cited in the same breath. Debutant filmmaker Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya, however, is a privileged exception. If VB is the equivalent of Quentin Tarantino in Hindi cinema, safe to say with Chaubey, we have a Robert Rodriguez in the making – 3.5/5

Aniruddha Guha (DNA) – Ishqiya, among other things, is a great start for director Abhishek Chaubey. The film — with its great music, superior performances, and memorable dialogues — cannot be missed, unless you are under 18 years of age. This is pure ‘adult’ fun – 3.5/5

Jaya Biswas (Buzz18) – High on drama and wild at times, you are bound to fall in love with Khalujaan and Babban – 3.5/5

The average rating seems to be 3.5! Go for it.

The other release is Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann. We are tired of RIP-ing Ramu, again and again but seems he still isnt. Lets see if this one is his comeback. Rann stars Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal, Sudeep, Ritesh Deshmukh, Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, playing the mole, bring some restraint and dignity to this cacophonous tale. Otherwise it’s sound and fury signifying little – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, RANN is truly a well-made film. No two opinions on that. The film should be patronised by viewers of serious, sensible cinema. Recommended! – 3.5/5 

Gaurav Malani (ET) – To be honest (like the film demands), Rann is not a new story but the news battle setting saves it from getting run-of-the-mill. Rather than a story designed around the media world, Rann is more of the clichéd corrupt politician chronicle (that Bollywood has been narrating since ages) set on the backdrop of the broadcasting business – 2.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Rann is not so much a bad film as it is a boring, predictable one. Varma and his writers borrow the Madhur Bhandarkar-blueprint and give us uni-dimensional characters who are either black or white, seldom grey. Although the film’s portrayal of a certain kind of Hindi news journalism may not be far from the truth, it is the film’s lazy stereotyping that is tiresome here. Varma uses crazy camera moves, tight close ups and a booming background score to create the drama that his simplistic script fails to – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – It’s gritty. It’s grey. And it’s greatly topical too. Ram Gopal Varma returns to his let’s-dissect-the-real-world brand of cinema with the racy-pacy Rann that might run on predictable lines, nevertheless it makes for a gripping viewing with its behind-the-scenes dekko on the Breaking News, any which way, syndrome that seems to have overtaken certain sections of the media – 4/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – All seen and said, the media ka kheema could have been infinitely superior. Gratifyingly, there are some redeeming moments which do leave you Zingin’ in the Rann. Thanks – 2.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Ram Gopal Verma has been watching too much news. So much that he has made a movie on exactly the same principles that he trashes. Ensure your anchors/actors indulge in crazy histrionics, forget about the research and use hyperbole at all times. Watch it if you want a good laugh – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Exposes are cheap devices; explanations, precious. Most good art achieves the latter, great films do. This is neither an expose nor an explanation. It’s just an exercise in corniness, not very different from the subject of its scrutiny – 2/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – There are a couple of moments in Rann involving a seemingly anonymous call to super tense Sudeep or Big B coming to terms with the humiliating truth about his son are reminiscent of vintage Varma, Then again, a messy climax, witless and uninspired writing and shoddy, detail-free narrative ensure these memories are washed out as soon as they are formed – 2/5

Aniruudha Guha (DNA) – Over the years, Varma has used, and abused, the same treatment in his films to such an extent that it has lost its novelty and fun factor now. Extreme close-ups, dark environs, a garish back ground score – Rann‘s soundtrack is awful, to say the least – we’ve seen it all in previous Varma films.  Rann just doesn’t work – 2/5

Shweta Parande (Buzz18) – Ram Gopal Varma brings us yet another gripping drama in the league of Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. The performances definitely make up for the flaws in the story. Also watch out for some good scenes and camera angles – 3.5/5

Ramu is still not back! The average rating seems to be 2/5! If you follow reviews every week, you know that Taran and Nikhat really dont count. Their operational cost is something different.

And the indie release of the week is Road To Sangam by debutant director by Amit Rai and stars Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ROAD TO SANGAM is mainly for connoisseurs of cinema and also for the festival circuit – 3/5 

Jaya Biswas (Buzz18) – No doubt the film got the best film award at MAMI and rave reviews at the International Film Fest of South Africa, Los Angeles Reel Film Fest and so on. And what better time to release the film when we are so close to commemorate Gandhiji’s death anniversary on Jan 30. It’s a journey worth exploring. Only if the packaging was good, the impact would have been more – 2.5/5

Abhishek Chaubey has been working with Vishal Bhardwaj since Makdee days. As a co-writer and also assisted him on almost all the films that Vishal has directed so far. When Vishal decided to produce Abhishek’s debut film, how can it go wrong! Chaubey graduates from Bhardwaj School Of Filmmaking with distinction.

Ishqiya stars three of my favourite actors. Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. The film is completely “fun on the run”. And its the badlands of UP, with crime, love, lust, deceit, gang war and conspiracies making a delicious rustic mix. Taste it. Except few filmmakers, Bollywood rarely explores the rustic charm and the desi flavours in the era of multiplexes, suave urban heroes and NRI money!

It opens with the husky voice of Rekha Bhardwaj. Aha! Though it took me some time to adjust to her voice on Vidya Balan. And then enters the Mama-Bhanja, Kalujaan & Babban. Add Krishna (Vidya Balan) to the gang and its teen tigada kaam bigada! Love triangle was never so much fun! With Bhardwaj’s dictionary & dialogues, he can say the most mundane thing in an interesting way! Tumhara ishq ishq aur hamara ishq sex! This is Love Aaj Kal! Mr Imtiaz Ali, are you listening ?

The first half is almost flawless. Never a dull moment. Vishal Bhardwaj’s killer dialogues takes care of the writing. Arshad got the best lines and delivers one of his career’s best performance. Have always felt that he is underrated and underutilised except for Sehar & Munnabhai series. This one does justice to him. Naseeruddin Shah doesnt need lines. He says more with his silences and pauses. The look, the smile, the charm, its all so perfect. Just watch him in the song dil toh bachcha hai ji! And the de-glam Vidya is the “laundiya waisi nahi hai jaisi tum soch rahe ho! ” Surprise!

Abhishek Chaubey – what an assured debut! Not a single weak patch anywhere! In an industry where filmmakers like Sagar Bellary (Bheja Fry) andManish Acharya (Loins of Punjab Presents) are applauded endlessly for their debut efforts, both the films which I didnt like, am not sure where would I place Abhishek Chaubey then! Mr Chaubey, get ready for the offers!

The only locha seems to be the climax of the film, much like Kaminey. It gets convulted, too many twists and some far-fetchd connections. The seeds have been planted from the start of the film and it all comes together to form the end.  But when the time comes for the close, the expectations grow so much that it seems jarring in trying to be over smart. But again, when the journey is such a joyride, you dont mind compromising with the destination. If only there was a better way to deal with it, it would have hit five out of five! 

In Ishqiya, there is no great story. Its screenplay and dialogues all the way. As they say, its not about the story but all about the storytelling! And brillant acting by the ensemble. Cant say much or will spoil the fun.

Watch it to know why Vishal Bhardwaj is the best dialogue writer in the country. Nobody even comes close. My favourite remains the dialogue from The Blue Umbrella where Pankaj Kapoor explains why he needs the umbrella. Pahadi ke picche se sooraj ko ugte huye dekha hai kya ?  Watch it to know why Naseeruddin Shah is still the God of acting! And watch it to know why you might end up liking that irritating song dil me baji guitar!

And if you are a fan of Bollywood’s golden oldies, you will smile more than once. Go, book your tickets.

Now that I have written some really good words about the film, can I get this T-shirt, Mr Bhardwaj! Saw someone wearing it, could not resist from clicking. He happily posed for me.

PS1 – Dont miss the beginning. Vishal Bhardwaj production got a new kickass logo, unlike any other. Its live action!

PS2 – Why Boney Kapoor’s company logo BSK needs to match his size ? 

PS3 – If kisses & smooches are still signs of growing up, Arshad & Vidya go for a full throttle & quite long smooch by hindi film standards! Bring it on, guys! Its ADULT film! Welcome to small town S & M!