Posts Tagged ‘Hansal Mehta’

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has unveiled the first set of film titles premiering in the Gala and Special Presentations programmes in this year’s edition of the fest. Three Indian films will have there world premiere at Toronto. All the three films are part of Special Presentations.

Anurag Kashyap’s latest film Mukkebaaz is titled The Brawler for the fest edition. The 145-min long film is about a lower caste boxer struggling to make his mark on the boxing world. The film stars Vineet Singh in the lead role.

Hansal Mehta’s Omerta recounts the story of infamous British-born terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. It stars Raj Kummar Rao in the lead and is 96 minutes long.

The third one is Bornilla Chatterjee’s The Hungry. It relocates Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy Titus Andronicus to modern-day India, where corruption, greed, and revenge run rampant at an extravagant wedding.

Two new trailers are out recently. One is of Parched, the Leena Yadav film which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.  This has been online for some time now but got spotted recently.

Official Synopsis – Set in the heart of parched rural landscape of Gujarat, it traces the bittersweet tale of four ordinary women Rani, Lajjo, Bijli and Janaki. We see them unapologetically talk about men, sex and life as they struggle with their own individual boundaries.

The cast includes Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain and Lehar Khan.

Do check it out.

The other trailer is of Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh. Based on the true life story of Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras who faced abject humiliation and persecution at the hands of university authorities and other citizens for being gay, it stars Manoj Bajpayee and Raj Kummar Rao. It’s written by Apurva Asrani.

The film will release on 26th Feb, 2016.

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A bunch of festival news about Indian films from across the world.

Busan International Film Festival will open with Mozez Singh’s debut feature, Zubaan this year. The film has Vicky Kaushal, Sarah Jane Dias, Manish Chaudhary, Meghna Malik and Raaghav Chanana in lead roles. For more details about the film, click here.

Aprt from Zubaan, Busan will also have a bunch of Indian films in various categories. In its ‘A Window On Asian Cinema’ section, there is Meghna Gulzar’s Guilty (Talvar), Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, Bhaskar Hazarika’s Kothanodi, Biju Viswanath’s Orange Candy, Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani, Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan, and Suman Ghosh’s Peace Heaven.

The “New Currents” section has Hari Viswanath’s Radio Set and the “Cinekids’ section will screen Nagesh Kukunoor’s Rainbow (Dhanak). The fest also has few Indian films in docu and shorts categories. The festival will run from 1-10th October, 2015.

Also, Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is on the Jury for “New Currents” section of the fest.

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Toronto International Film Festival has few more Indian titles to their 2015 edition. Apart from Meghna Gulzar’s Guilty (Talvar) and Leena Yadav’s Parched, it also has Pan Nalin’s Angry Indian Goddesses in the same ‘Special Presentations’ section. The film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sandhya Mridul, Sarah Jane Dias, Pavleen Gujral, Anushka Manchanda, Rajshri Deshpande and Amrit Maghera

Here’s a short description of the film from the fest site – On the eve of their friend’s wedding in Goa, a group of women discuss everything under the sun — from their careers, sex lives, and secrets to nosy neighbours and street harassment — in this largely improvised and refreshingly frank depiction of contemporary Indian society from award-winning director Pan Nalin.

TIFF will also screen Shambhavi Kaul’s Fallen Objects, Shai Heredia & Shumona Goel’s An Old Dog’s Diary in “Wavelenths” section, and Megha Ramaswamy’s Bunny in “Short Cut” section.

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 for Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible because some of the 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.

Who doesn’t love a great comeback story. Hansal Mehta’s Shahid was exactly that. The filmmaker who gave us Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, he came back with a terrific portrayal of lawyer and activist Shahid Azmi. It emerged as one of the strongest and best reviewed films of the year. No wonder it’s in Top 5/10 list of most reviewers and journalists.

Thanks to Hansal Mehta, we are sharing the script of the film Shahid today. Read, share, learn, and have fun.

Film – Shahid

Story – Based on real life story of Shahid Azmi

Screenwriter – Sameer Gautam Singh

Additional Screenplay – Apurva Asrani and Hansal Mehta

Here’s an interesting anecdote that Hansal shared with us – This was a draft when the film did not have a title. RGV saw the cover page and thought ‘Based On A True Story’ was the title and for nearly 3 schedules it became the working title of the film.

Hansal Mehta should celebrate his birthday today. After Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000, he has been making one forgettable film after another. Forgettable might be too polite to describe them. And then he makes a comeback with such a strong film that it grabs you by the throat, makes you sit down, and wonder if he really directed those forgettable ones. A rare achievement that few filmmakers manage to do – to pull themselves out of what can be called “Bro-Filmmaking-In-Bollywood”. This is nothing less than a rebirth.

Fatema Kagalwala tells you why you should not miss this one. Mehta’s Shahid goes straight into MFC’s “Must-Watch” list.

Shahid MFC2

You’ve heard about the film. You might have read the raving reviews too. Some of you have watched it. But the film gets its real glorious moment now. Theatrical release. It’s every film’s Holy Grail. It’s the child bride’s gauna. It’s a validation that matters more than awards at times. Especially for a film like Shahid. One that dares to speak about a man who dared to himself. Especially in our regressive, repressive, intolerant times.

For a long time, I kept pronouncing the title of the film as ‘Shaheed’ as in martyr. And isn’t it so true of the story and the man at the centre of it? You will find a number of reviews telling you how good the movie is. It is. Powerful and uncompromising with the truth. So I will quickly chart down the reasons of why I think (in no particular order) you must watch this movie –

Rajkumar Yadav – We all know he is a defining talent of our times. And so far we have seen him only in multi-character movies. He carries this film entirely on his shoulders and it is not an easy task to sustain. The film is a story of a hero but has an incredibly un-melodramatic and non-manipulative story-telling. It maintains a strongly unemotional, non-manipulative tone, satisfied to observe the characters fighting, losing and winning their battles. Any other actor (except Nawaz maybe) would be torn between trying to underplay the heroism and emphasise the man behind it all. Not Rajkumar. He finds it equally easy to portray vulnerability as he portrays stoicism.

Hansal Mehta – Every film-maker has his or her own journey and mostly it is tough. It rarely depends on how original or independent minded he is. It also rarely depends on his reasons for making the films he does. Hansal Mehta has had his own downward spirals but the important thing is he bounced back when most give up. With this. Fighting a hiatus and a creative bankruptcy (in his words) maybe tough, but fighting an unforgiving, unsympathetic system is much worse. Shahid was not a subject that would be easy to make in a socio-political-artistic environment like ours. But it got made and got made well. That alone deserves applause.

Realism – That elusive, enigmatic bitch that takes talent to realise onscreen. From sets to actors to screenplay to dialogues to costumes to direction to acting to everything else in between. Shahid comes so close to reality it could be yours and mine story. As a Muslim it is mine and well, it was very uncomfortable watching it play out like it did. It must have been uncomfortable for Mehta as well, to choose to include the gory, debasing insult he was subject to after he made Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar. It takes guts to make an effort to heal such wounds through artistic means.

Casting – Hansal Mehta gives complete credit for finding the right actors to his casting director Mukesh Chhabra. All that matters to us though is that Mohd Zeeshan Ayub brings alive the part of the protective, fatherly elder brother and Baljinder Kaur is so good as a Muslim woman I was shocked to learn she was a Punjabi. Prabhleen Sandhu as Mariam, Tigmanshu Dhulia as Maqbool Memon and Vipin Sharma are deft touches in a carefully created canvas.

Zero melodrama – How often do we get to watch films about heroes, about controversial material, about polarising issues, about our social reality that comes without a Dolby surround sound moralising or 3D level emotional manipulation? Shahid loses out on deifying its central character, it may have become a ‘My Name is Khan’ financially if it had done that. But the choice to go strictly biographical in structure, objective in tone and let the man’s journey speak about itself makes this film this decade’s Black Friday.

Muslim as humans – This is not a movie championing Muslim rights. Very few people understand that the right response to bigotry on the basis of racism and sexism is not deifying the identity or struggles of the ‘other’. The right response is to bring humanism into the equation to balance it. The film, just like its protagonist, with a rare perspicacity, speaks for Muslims as humans and not as a religious identity, and the distinction is very important. Especially at a time when we are simply revelling in bracketing people according to class, caste, gender, race, colour, community, geography with a ‘hey, let’s find more reasons to discriminate’ glee.  If the victimised community was Hindu, Sikh or Christian, the film’s viewpoint would have been the same. In our times of muddled philosophies, faux intellectualism and confused, twitterisque moralising, walking this fine line perfectly is refreshing and heartening.

Shahid Azmi – A victim, a trainee terrorist, an imprisoned accused, a lawyer and a crusader of human rights of the wrongly accused. He finished his college degree while in jail awaiting release and in career spanning seven years e had a remarkable 17 acquittals. It is a sign of our times that his end came the way it did. It is also a sign of our times that someone thought his story important enough to be told despite the evident dangers. There is hope.

We keep screaming, we need more movies like these. And now we have one. Go watch.

Hansal Mehta’s Shahid gets a new poster

Posted: October 4, 2013 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, Poster, Posters
Tags: , ,

And it’s killer.

The earlier poster was just a rehash of the old still.

SHAHID_2n 30x40_FIN

To know more about the film (cast/crew/synopsis/trailer), click here.

UTV is on a roll this year. First, they gave a big platform to Ship Of Theseus, made it visible enough, and got screens for it even when Chennai Express was running. Second, repeat the same act with The Lunchbox. And now, they have picked up another terrific film – Hansal Mehta’s Shahid. The film has got a new trailer too. Have a look.

Some of us saw the film at Mumbai Film Festival last year, and can easily bet that it’s another “must watch”. It also has one of the year’s best and break out performance by Raj Kumar Yadav. The film rides entirely on his shoulder and he makes you believe that he is Shahid Azmi.

The film is scheduled to release on 18th October.

Official synopsis

“Shahid” traces the story of a slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi. Set during the communal violence that was unleashed in the city of Mumbai since 1993. We see a remarkable tale unfold. From attempting to become a terrorist to being wrongly imprisoned under the anti-terrorism law to becoming a lawyer, a champion of human rights (particularly the Muslim minorities in India), “Shahid” traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy while following the rise of communal violence in India. The story of an impoverished Muslim struggling to come to terms with injustice, inequality and rising above his circumstances is an inspiring testament to the human spirit.

The cast includes Raj Kumar, Prabhleen Sandhu, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K K Menon, Yusuf Husain, Prabal Panjabi, Vinod Rawat, Vipin Sharma, Shalini Vatsa, Paritosh Sand, Pavan Kumar, Vivek Ghamande, Akash Sinha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Mukesh Chhabra.