Posts Tagged ‘Imran Khan’

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Vishal Bhardwaj is a disturbed man.

At least that’s what it seems. And that’s a good starting point. Filmmakers and artists should feel disturbed by their environment. Great art always comes out of that disturbance. So while rest of the bollywood seems to be living in Tumbuktoo with no connect to the issues that matters, and want you to remain equally stupid, blind and deaf with their corn-cola-crap combo, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is Vishal Bhardwaj’s first reaction to the changing world around us.

At a recent presser, Bhardwaj said that wo jo ugly malls…meri saansein aani band ho jaati hai wahan…uske andar…wahan ke shor se. As i watched the film where Pankaj and Shabana talk about his dreams on a hill top with dark clouds hovering over them, and a surreal sequence involving giant cranes, industries and malls comes up, it was eerie (wish they had avoided those tacky interior shots of the malls though). That’s the core of this whimsical film by Vishal Bhardwaj – development at what cost?

Land.

That doesn’t feature in our dictionary. The ones who are born and bought up in city never knew that it existed. We, the kids of small towns who moved to smaller houses in bigger towns, used to hear about it from our previous generation. Now, we are either comfortably numb, or understand the size of 1BHK – space is our only connect with “land”. And in this scenario, it’s quite easy to understand how difficult and daring it is to make a film like Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. Land, farmers, farming, rainfall, pesticides, gobar, anaaz, anaaz ka bhav – they don’t exist in our films anymore. Not that it deserves all the credit just for the dare act.  But, then, the industry and this country doesn’t understand “satire” either. We are still stuck at Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Even on the day when the film is out, the makers are selling it as “massy comedy drama”, like they did with the trailer and tried to hide the film. Massy comedy drama? Paincho paincho!

And that’s the tragedy of Vishal Bhardwaj and his films – audience. Maybe the blame lies with him too. Intention is always honest, filmmaking is always top notch, but he wants big budgets. Big budgets means only one thing – big stars. Doesn’t matter if they can act or not. With big stars and big budgets, you need the big box office numbers too. So? Package it as “vitamin ki goli“, or massy comedy drama, as they would like you to believe.

Last time when he made a film without any compromise, he delivered two of the best films of his career which are classics in more than one way – The Blue Umbrella and Maqbool. Since then it’s always been a slippery ground. This balancing act is a tough business. Emir Kusturi-ca’s absurdity is full throttle. Bhardwaj’s absurdity is bollywoodised where every solution lies in hero-heroine ki shaadi. Some of the best cinema across the world never looks for solutions, and trying for a quick fix is unpardonable. Problems/issues – that’s the muse of a true artist. And this is what i found completely indigestible in Matru – how suddenly everything comes together in the end. Maybe they meant it’s “massy comedy drama” by its climax. Aha, the trappings of commerce when the film has an anti-commerce stand. Irony! And watching this film funded by a corporate giant in a multiplex inside a mall. Irony ka baap!

But other than its hurried and hotchpotch climax, the film has so much more to offer and is deliciously wicked. Sit back, relax, and chew it bit by bit like Gulaabo does. This one needs jugaali. (i hope you know what it is) Make sure you watch the film in a theatre which has good audio system. Miss one line and you will miss the joke. But wait, if your idea of being funny is 50 plus actors making faces on the tune of pon pon, this movie is not for you. Call it quirky, whimsical or absurd, i wonder if Mao and moo moo will ever get together in one film. Or you can just buy some species because you like their music. Or a Gulaboo bhains in such a pivotal role. It’s Cattle-ship Communism!

The story is simple – man has a daughter. man has a servant. daughter has a lover with a corrupt mother. It’s a hindi film and so you know the end. In the illustrious filmography of Bhardwaj, this is his first political film. i remember an interview of his where he said script aapko nanga kar deti hai…aap kya sochte ho, wahan sab dikhta hai. And if that’s so, am happy to tell that one of my favourite filmmaker looks smart even when his soch is stark naked. He makes other filmmakers of his generation who are still busy doodling with matters of heart, look like nursery kids. Paincho, ab toh duniya dekho! 

And hand over all, i mean ALL the trophies to Pankaj Kapur. A slur here, a sigh there, a blank stare in this direction – this actor is pure delight on screen. He owns it and how! Forget his Jekyll and Hyde avatar, he is 100 times the Jekyll hidden in one Mr Hyde! The film belongs to him and it’s no wonder that Bhardwaj calls him his most favourite actor on this planet. It’s been ages since an actor made everyone look like lilliput. Even if nothing interests you, just watch the film for him. Actors of his age are put in a bracket called “character actors” in this country and you never know when someone like him can get another terrific role like this one and will do full justice to it. Shabana Azmi is the Politician-who-licks-Lollypop and is a perfect match for Kapur as his footsie partner. And like any other Bhardwaj film, this one also has the entire supporting cast setting up a great ambience and a distinct world where the story unfolds. Any film which has great performances by actors in small roles, or even just for one dialogue – that’s my kind.

Book your tickets now!

– by @CilemaSnob

(PS – Dear VB, why this big dhokha this time?)

BiggerLOGO

Light play, clever shooting angels, or whatever people might be waiting for, when Vishal Bhardwaj announces a film, there is a breed of people that waits for the music of his film because even if it is ‘7 Khoon maaf’-ish, the music album comes packed with a lot of ‘Gulzar Goodies’. Save for the mess that the music release of the film created, we really can’t complain much because as someone wise once remarked ‘If it’s worth the wait, then shut up!’

1. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola – Sukhwinder…O Sukhwinder! You have done so much on the same lines already, yet you make it sound all so easy and peppy! Excellently arranged and marvellously penned, the song gives a lesson or two to some ill-fated idiots who think in order to sound catchy (and in order to use the name of the film in a song) they have to have an ‘item’ to endorse it. The splendid African weaving in between (with a continuous guitar note in the background) gives the song a certain amount of class that is always missing when it comes to halkat sheilas who are talking about munnis all the time. The bass effect that ‘stops and starts’ gives just the adequate thump to the song. 2 Thumbs up!

2. Khamakha – Beautiful ‘evening’ guitars, accompanied by a coral like backup group (with African lyrics?), excellent bass and, and, and Vishal Bhardwaj! Sung like a madly in love ‘aashiq’, this is easily one of the best arranged songs by Vishal ever. The simple yet never so beautifully expressed habits of those in love (sleeping by the window, for example) are a forte of Gulzarsaab. What amazes simple listeners like us is his ability to convey love every time in the simplest manner without EVER repeating words. Anyway, the end of the song, the last 1 minute and 14 seconds of the song, tell us why there is an ever-growing army of hopeless romantics who wait for a Vishal Bhardwaj music album. The song is pregnant with a range of varied emotions that haven’t been explored before. The note on which the song starts and the note on which ends will tell you exactly what we are talking about. 3 Thumbs up!

3. Oye Boy Charlie – ‘Singerwala Shankar Mahadevan’ starts the song and the song shoots higher thanks to Rekha Bhardwaj and Mohit Chauhan. There is a bit of saxophone and then there is a bit of nasal Shankar Mahadevan (that is just too good!) and then there is a good amount of ‘motorwala mouth organ’ in between along with good guitar. ‘Vishal purists’ might not like the song much because there is an element of cacophony in between, where you feel VB is trying too hard to arrest your attention by throwing in too many elements altogether. There are way too many elements that I missed in the first hearing. It is a fun song with an element of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ and ‘Kajra re’ and ‘Satrangi re’ and some comedy and this and that!

4. Lootnewaley – Sukhwinder and Master Saleem start the song. If you play the song with the ‘Awara’ expectation from Master Saleem, you will be a tad disappointed. Sukhwinder emotes better than Saleem to convey the anger. The track is serious. The words are direct and effective. Clearly, a revolution is being hinted. At times chaotic (which may be intentional), the song won’t set music charts on fire. You might argue that any other set of singers could have done the same job as Sukhwinder or Master Saleem have done. The fantastic possibility that these two names promised is clearly missing. How we wish they were exploited better!

5. Sha ra ra – Prem Dehati starts the song again with the typical mela like music arrangement. The brass bands sing along with the singer to elevate the effect of the song. A very short track that begins and ends leaving the brass bands in your mind.

6. Badal Uthiya – The track starts beautifully with Prem Dehati echoing at a distance and then the music setting takes a completely contemporary turn with generous dose of sitar in between. Rekha Bhardwaj does a splendid job (What’s new?) with this track and even though the Prem Dehati version of the song is my favorite, this track can’t be sidelined at all. Rekha Bhardwaj in her typical ‘soul drugged with romance’ voice makes it very hummable.

7. Char dina ki – A Haryanvi kickass item that just elevates the level of the album and how! Excessive usage of brass bands and some real catchy lyrics ensure that it has a very roadside feel. The beginning of this track has shades of ‘chicha leather‘ from Gangs of Wasseypur. Pankaj Kapur, Prem Dehati and Imran Khan go behind the microphone for this and clearly Mr. Kapoor is having fun like only he can. Excellent track! (Mind it – ‘Char dina ki chamak chandni’ will linger in your head…shart laga lo tau!)

8. Chor Police – A fun recitation by Pankaj Kapur with heavy dose of political wrongdoings that the elected government has been committing. Ends with a splash! Back up vocals, brass band and excellent tempo ‘waali’ claps is what make this track up…good one!

9. Nomvula – African track it may be, but this composition has fun written all over it. If you aren’t one of the ‘I don’t understand the words so I won’t automatically like the song’, then you will like it. A very ‘by the beach with beers’ feel. Really what’s music got to do with language?

10. Badal uthiya (Reprise) – There are few good souls that are trying their best to give the masses a taste of the sheer variety that Hindustani classical offers. This song is an addition to that effort. Prem Dehati accompanied with excellent sitar and a contemporary music arrangement hold your soul hostage. The words, the pronunciation of the same, the stillness, the sadness, everything has traces of God particle in it. If you didn’t know, God particle is generally defined as a song/composition that has mastery of Gulzar saab and Vishal Bhardwaj in it.

11. Lootnewaaley (Reprise) – A strong vocal demonstration against the shrewd landlords, Sukhwinder leads the backup singers in what sounds like a ‘lagaan-like’ track, feel wise. Word rich and music light. The track is clearly banking a lot on the visuals. It isn’t musically as structured as the other version. Clearly a circumstantial song.

Including the recitations and other titbits is the new ‘in’ thing for Hindi film O.S.T these days. Strictly ‘song-wise’ speaking, Khamakha, Badal Uthiya (both versions but Prem Dehati version), title song and Oye Boy Charlie are the ones that will remain with us and that’s a lot of them! We missed the mandatory ‘Have Vishal, so Suresh Wadkar will sing’ song.

An album that benefits (like all of us!) with the presence of Gulzar saab and showcases the obvious abilities of Vishal Bhardwaj, the composer. Also, those having silly doubts on Gulzar saab (Ref: JTHJ) have gone missing and how! ख़ामाखा का doubt, वो भी अल्लाह पे? हट पगले!

Post by @Rohwit (who is currently देहाती.)

The first trailer of Vishal Bhardwaj’s new film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is out. The film stars Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Kapoor and Shabana Azmi.

Now, this looks like Entertainment, Entertianment, Entertainment. (Ok, blame that overdose on Vidya Balan) It surely looks like great fun – mad characters, rustic setting, colourful elements and dhinchak music.

But what is it about? It says almost nothing.

If it’s a Vishal Bhardwaj, it just can’t be boy-meets-girl, right? Some of us have read the script and the same two words comes to mind again – great fun. Only issue is the hotchpotch climax.

We can also tell you that there is a serious political issue in it but the trailer has masked it completely. Because they want your bums on the seats in the first weekend itself.

So see the trailer again. And see if can you connect the dots and guess the basic plot.

…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.

Early reviews in bollywood are unlike anything in the rest of the world – you can never trust them. And at a time of social networking, everything spreads like wild fire. So when i heard good things about Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, the first person who was skeptical about it was film buff and screenwriter Navjot Gulati and rightly so. Big banner, big stars, screening for friends and family and early review by so called trade analysts – why would anyone trust it? And then he saw the film and ran in other direction. Why and how? Read on. Has SPOILER.

The heading is a popular line from a popular tv campaign. However, the Pappu in question here is director Shakun Batra, who did an Aamir Khan impersonation in the song Pappu can’t dance saala (from 2:46 ).

Now, before I start talking about the film, let me tell you that this post is about the film and also about the director. How a rank outsider was able to make such a big debut?  And to top it all, he was able to make a “perfectly average” film with the same banner that made great films (NOT) like Agneepath, Kurbaan, We are Family ( I call it We all Act Hammily) and I Hate Luv Stories. You may wonder what is so common between all these five films including Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Interestingly, all of them have been directed by debutant directors.

What sets Shakun Batra apart is the fact that he made a big budget romcom with an indie feel, and, with a banner which is known for making candyfloss films set in unreal world. Shakun is also the one who started the Assistant Director’s community on Facebook which has helped thousands of people since its inception around five years back. One would think it has to be good karma as he was able to make his debut after assisting in just four films. I know people who have been working with top production houses and have assisted in more than eight films and still can’t even write a story, forget about making a film. The point being if you are talented and smart, you will always be able to make a film. Shakun’s smartness was in striking friendship with Imran Khan, who, let’s face it, may not be a great actor but he certainly has an eye for “good” scripts. Yes, if you are an outsider wanting to make big films, this is one way which can work.

Now coming to the film.

EMAET is a film which almost 80 percent of the population of Indian will be able to connect to because every character in the film is relatable. The Goofball dad Philip, sexed up Boolani,  demanding Kapoors, not-in-a-zone-to-get-in-a-relationship Riana, highly-under-the-influence-of-family Rahul and my favorite, the Granny. We all have seen such people around us and that is what makes you believe that this is “your” story.

It starts off as little over the top but it was refreshing to see the detailing in the film and the body language of Imran Khan, an actor known for NOT knowing what acting is. Imran’s family was bit over the top too but then came Kareena, almost like a breath of fresh air and the film was never the same again. She reminded me of Summer Fin from 500 days of Summer – a girl every boy wants to fall in love with. As the film progresses, you know that this is going to end up in only one way but you still want the guy to get the girl and so the movie works.

The movie does not go over the top even in any of the dramatic sequences, like the dinner table chopstick scene and the one in the school corridor. Kareena is so good that I fell in love with her all over again. Last time it was in 2007 with Jab We Met. The character she plays is the girl every guy wants to end up with for the rest of his life. Sweet, sexy, adventurous and caring.

But the one who steals the show is Imran Khan. Finally, the boy becomes man and learns to act and changes his hairstyle too. Watch him in the scene where he goes on a date with Anusha. He is damn funny! This is the first romcom to not have a kiss in the end, or the Indian equivalent to kiss – “hug” or better “marriage”. The film breaks all the clichés of Hindi romcoms and does it in style by having an ambiguous end. Although it is very clear that she does not love him but what the director leaves us with is that lil’ hope, that she may come back to him sometime in the future.

The photography along with the background music sets the mood perfectly and lets you flow with the story smoothly. Just listen to the way Clinton Cerejo jazzes up aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera. Music by Amit Trivedi is of timeless variety – a rarity in today’s times when music is forgotten a week after the film releases. To sum it up, this is one of those rare films where I could not find a single thing that would put me off, everything was “Perfectly Average”, just like the 90 percent of the world’s population.

(P.S – I know the film has been inspired from various romcoms like What Happens in Vegas, 500 days of Summer, and desi flicks like Jab We Met and Wake Up Sid. But i did not mind the inspiration because the writers made something of their own from the inspired material.)

The first trailer of Pankaj Kapur’s director debut Mausam is out. The film stars Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in the lead and promises to be a “timeless journey of love”.

Yashraj Films is ready with a new film – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. The film stars Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar and is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. Strangely similar stories have been explored in Dan In Real Life and Onir’s Sorry Bhai.

Bhaag, DK Bose.

The first song promo for Delhi Belly is out and it looks pretty quirky and interesting, though a little more OTT than we would have liked (and yes, the Hangover hangover remains, like in the poster). Still, the song is pretty catchy and the film looks promising; looking forward to this one.

Take a look.

(The theatrical trailer, which was launched today should be out soon too. Also, you can read the synopsis of Delhi Belly right here.)