Posts Tagged ‘Nawazuddin Siddiqui’

The first look of Anurag Kashyap’s new film, Raman Raghav 2.0, is out. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal and Sobhita Dhulipala in the lead.

The film will have its world premiere at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Do check out the poster and the stills.

(click on any image to enlarge and start slide show)

sniffer-002

Two new teasers of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s new film Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa (Sniffer) has released online. Both the teasers don’t say much about the film but there’s a great mood there. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Niharika Singh and Ananya Chatterjee. Have a look.

Official synopsis

Master Bengali filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta teams up with India’s hottest indie actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in this richly textured black comedy, set against a magical, surreal tableaux of the Bengali city and countryside that’s typical of Dasgupta’s eye. Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a well meaning if clumsy private detective, or ‘sniffer’, who can’t help getting personally embroiled with the clients he is spying on. His only true companion is an old dog. His pet and his regular drunkenness put him at odds with the local orthodox Muslim housing block, who want him out. At the same time, Anwar increasingly struggles to cope with his small-time sleuth work that shows him that, in the modern world, even love is for sale. When a case takes Anwar back to his rural homeland, he’s forced to confront his own love tragedy. Siddiqui lights up the screen, displaying a talent for deft comic timing that makes Sniffer a joy to watch.

Duration :132 mins

The film premiered at London Film Festival last year and will be shown at New York Indian Film Festival this year.

Aseem Chandaver, or Baba Jogeshwari or Gina Kholkar on Twitter or Neelouli on youtube, or by whatever name you might know him, he is hands down the baap of all B-C Grade movie buffs that we know of. Working in Mumbai as a copywriter, the man is responsible for sifting through tons and tons of campy movies, selecting clips, uploading and sharing them in his spare time, purely for the joy and love of B-C Grade cinema. We thought it would be fitting to post what he thought of Miss Lovely and requested him for a review. So here it goes, Aseem on Ashim’s film –

Miss Lovely1

Since the global connection of interconnected computer networks is presently imploding with acute interest, unanticipated awe and limitless curiosity for the once shadowy genre of B, C & D-grade films, I thought since the past one and a half years that director Ashim Ahluwalia’s film Miss Lovely will uphold a sense of equilibrium by retaining the novelty, cleansing the category of all its amassed gloss and prolonging fandom through unseen and unheard tales of cinematic obscurity.

Well, I was wrong. Miss Lovely is definitely a new brand and flavor of soda pop, but without any strong hallmark fizz. An incredibly well-researched and chronicled film that leans on its experiential past without ever paying attention to the evidently weak screenplay and character extinguishes. A stalwart and his coerced unenthusiastic brother who falls in love with the struggling actress, asphyxiated in a subterranean world is not only captivating, but a ticking calm bomb set to explode when you least expect it. Instead of a pensive postmortem or even seeing the world through seedy filmmaking eyes, it does a staccato job of introducing you to half-baked and sometimes clichéd characters with anticlimax dialogues that literally deflate moments of visual narrative and accomplished story.

The film starts with a brilliant spook sequence, which even incorporates cleverly reconstructed POV shots from Director Baby’s B-Grade magnum opus House No. 13, a slight Desi rendition of the movie ‘The Poltergeist’. Ahluwalia’s profound knowledge of what the audience wanted and what psychoactive levels the filmmakers went to entertain those fantasies can be unmistakably seen here.

House No. 13 scene. Watch from 1:00:55 –

In the House No. 13 intro scene, just as the audience gets bored with the ghost being charred to flesh and dust, Ahluwalia reveals years old secret that made some of these films a runaway success. As the House No. 13 reel ends, there begins a Double X rated film which were in the 80s and intermittently in the 90s cut pasted all throughout the film. These double X films were either shot separately with a completely different cast or with the film’s cast continuing a lovemaking scene in the same film but with topless or semi-naked shots. Some insider moments like these keep springing in the first half of the film; two of the most memorable ones being the scenes from Wohin Bhayaanak Raat and a motleyed recreation of Khooni Panja & Hatyarin, where Ahluwalia unveils yet another fascinating tale of fetish based cinematic excellence – Spectrophilia/Necrophilia.

Wohin Bhayanak Raat – From 3.27 –

I think Ashim has been a lot around the sets of B-Auteur Vinod Talwar – The Dulhan Scene particularly motif from these two movies –

Khooni Panja – From 1:02:28

Hatyarin – From 11:23

In one scene, a newlywed bride is being ravished by a monstrous aberration in a sexually charged hypnotic trance which is depicted by Ahluwalia with a hysterical and precise recreation of the shooting style of Camp filmmakers; while in the other we have Kiran Kumar’s deep-fried chicken pakora avatar who ferociously sucks the blood out of female victims is superbly incorporated in the film as if it is made by the film’s lead pair The Duggal Bros (assuming it is made to sound like The Dhillon Bros, a famous B-movie duo).

There are several triumphs like these where the Director outshines and puts a wide smile on enthusiasts and novices alike. The entire movie is laced with a ‘Green Room-esque’ motif, and when you combine the moody direction with ace cinematographer Mohanan’s virtuosity, you are inadvertently left with a princely smack of Cuticura, the mentally depressing lights of the backstage and the impending doom of a wrathful breakdown from the funding Underworld Dons and unpredictably sinister Distributors. The music of the film is absolutely mind-blowing. Instead of lackadaisical 80s guitars and off-tune keyboard sonatas by less known music directors, the music has been perceptively compiled containing the best of post-disco pop such as Nazia Hassan & Biddu and even contains psychedelic compositions by Maestro Ilaiyaraja and Italian exploitation composers Egisto Macchi and Piero Umiliani of Manha Manha fame.

Dum Dum Dede – Miss Lovely Official Song

The musketeers of Miss Lovely are its stylized treatment, costumes, production design and lastly, Da Man Nawazuddin Siddiqui, an actor who rises like a phoenix from a deadpan screenplay and heightens his character even when he stands still, traumatized and sickeningly numb after a prison term, watching his heartless brother’s wife beseeching him not to enter her newly started life. An unforgettable scene where Nawazuddin lifelessly stands still and simply gives a smile, flummoxed at the heartlessness of the world. What masquerades as a dense narrative is actually an intensive lack of scenario. The story is about a forlorn and discontented bloke Sonu (Nawaz) who joins his slightly established B-movie filmmaker Vicky (Anil George) in the Camp movie-making business. After initial shocks and frustrations, he meets Pinky (Niharika Singh), an innocent struggler who hails from a strict family. Sonu pretends to be a filmmaker who promises her a lead role in his upcoming film titled Miss Lovely. After a brutal clash from the underworld and sundry financiers, Vicky lures Sonu into a last resort plan that forever exiles him to oblivion.

Even with the leading characters’ galling complexities, insecurities and their escapades, the film battles between two worlds whether to tell the story of the B, C & D-Grade World through the eccentric mentation of Vicky and Sonu or try to salvage the maladroit storyline impediments of all three characters, leading to an inevitable Bhandarkar-esque situation. And yet the movie is sandwiched by some of the most painstakingly showcased cultural phenomena and developments of the late 80s and early 90s.

With all its narrative faults, Miss Lovely proved to be a commendable watch due to its spectacularly rich recreation of the first ever D-Grade Era, its uncompromisingly Pulp and Psychedelic 80s settings, the Behind-The-Scenes of extremely paltry budget films, dark humor of its characters and of course for the glory for Camp/Cult fanaticism.

P.S – I’m extremely angry as someone flagged my Qatil Chudail video as inappropriate and pulled it out from youtube.

(Editorial Team note – You can check out Aseem’s videos collection here, here and here. And click here for our 2012 rewind post in which we’d written about Miss Lovely)

Ashim Ahluwalia’s film Miss Lovely premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and has been doing the fest rounds since then. Finally, it’s all set to release this friday.

The official synopsis describes the film as follows – Set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry, MISS LOVELY follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sex horror films in the mid-1980s. Some of us saw the film at Mumbai Film Festival and loved it. A great atmospheric film which makes you feel claustrophobic and displays great filmmaking craft which is so rare in Indian cinema.

In this post, Ashim takes us behind the scenes of the film and tells the story of making of the film through these 8 images. Do click on any of the pic to start the slide show and do watch the images in full size because even these stills capture the mood of the film so well.

PIC 1 – Nawaz (top left)

I was very lucky to cast Nawaz in his first leading role – he had struggled for ages and nobody would give him a lead, only character parts. I didn’t know who he was, but when he did the screen test he appeared so broken by the industry, so frustrated, with a lot of pent up anger, I was amazed. I realized that he was, in real life, just like my character Sonu Duggal – who is also very unfulfilled, working like a donkey for his dominating elder brother.

PIC 2 –  DoP, Horror film set (top right)

My DoP is Mohanan. He shot my first film, John & Jane. We are like brothers separated at birth. He gets me – we discuss stock, processing, colour temperature, texture, framing  – and we are almost always on the same page. Miss Lovely is in some ways about the end of celluloid, the end of cinema as we know it – so I didn’t want to shoot digital – it needed to be on film. I wanted Miss Lovely to look like it was shot on the (now unavailable) Indu stock of the 1980s. F**ked up, warm, grainy, with a very particular desi look. He thought I would ruin his career with all the Ramsay Brothers gels that we were using, but I think that he now feels very proud, like this is one of the more beautiful films he has shot.

PIC 3 – Cat fight. Crowd (2nd from top right)

We don’t have enough cat fights in our films anymore and I kind of miss that. This is a scene where two actresses – Poonam and Nadia – get rough with each other. Poonam is from a previous generation, she’s had her time, and Nadia is young and all set to replace her. Nadia is wearing an outfit straight out of a silk smitha film. Unfortunately, they actually started fighting and it got out of hand. Nawaz tried to separate them and got slammed into the mattebox of the camera. He was bleeding – it was stressful to shoot this scene.

PIC 4 – Movie on screen

Everything was shot on location. We were trying to recreate a Bombay of the mid-1980s that is also the Bombay of mid-1980s cinema. You will get it if you’re from a certain kind of background. I wanted quintessential Hindi cinema—the villains by the pool, the cabaret. Miss Lovely is an architectural film—it’s my kind of Bombay film, in a way.

It’s virtually impossible to recreate 1980s Bombay since there’s almost nothing left. Forty per cent of our locations have been knocked down.

The times were flash but also faded. We spent a lot of time dipping costumes into tea and deteriorating them. I wouldn’t let anybody take a shower or wash off make-up. I wanted things to look lived in.

 PIC – 5, 6, 7 (Nawaz on bed, Anil George with crowd, Legs on top)

Shooting a fake porn scene at the Darukhana ship breaking yard was not easy. We didn’t have permission and while we were shooting the police raid where Sonu gets arrested, all the dock workers showed up to watch the shoot. They saw cops (who were actors in costume) chasing a woman covered only in a bedsheet and a guy in his underwear and thought that there was something serious going on. They thought we were TV crews covering the real event. I decided to include the actual crowd in the scene without them realizing it – it was total madness, an almost riot-like situation, but I am most happy with this scene.

PIC – 8 (Niharika on the sets)

Both Nawaz and Niharika were frustrated with the industry when I met them. I didn’t know either – I just screen tested them. Niharika had shot two Himesh Reshimmiya films that had been shelved. She was fed up waiting to be a heroine and was ready for something new. Her character Pinky is a struggling actor, who is also very exhausted trying to make it – so like Nawaz her real life overlapped a lot with her character in the film.

 – To know more about the film, cast and crew, click here.

Ashim Ahluwalia’s film Miss Lovely is finally all set to release on 17th January, 2014. For its domestic run, the makers have released a new trailer of the film.

The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain regard section and it stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh and Anil George.

Official Synopis

Set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry, MISS LOVELY follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sex horror films in the mid-1980s.

A sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love, the film dives into the lower depths of the Bollywood underground, an audacious cinema with baroque cinemascope compositions, lurid art direction, wild background soundtracks, and gut-wrenching melodrama.

To know more about the cast and crew, check out this embedded pdf file to read their profile.

Liar's DiceSundance Film Festival has unveiled its line-up for the next edition. Geetu Mohandas’ debut feature Liar’s Dice has been selected for the festival to premiere in “World Cinema Dramatic Competition” section.

Here’s the note on the film from the official release – “Liar’s Dice” (India) — Directed and written by Geetu Mohandas. The story of a young woman who leaves her native land with her daughter to search for her missing husband, encountering a free-spirited army deserter along the way. Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa, Manya Gupta. International premiere.

The film has been shot by Rajeev Ravi.

And this was our snippet review from Mumbai Film Festival daily report when it screened – Liar’s Dice –   Set in difficult weather and tough terrain, Kamala (Geentajali Thapa) is looking for her missing husband. From moutains to plains, from Delhi to a single-bed room in a shady hotel, her companion is a selfish and untrustworthy stranger Nawazuddin (Siddiqui). A stark, grim and almost unsentimental portrayal of urban migration. Has a charming kid too. Looking forward to Geetu Mohandas’s next.

– To read about the complete Sundance list, click here.

– To read an interview of Geetu Mohandas on the film, click here.

– The film’s FB page is here.

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ShortsShorts, an anthology of five short films was released in the theatres few months back. Now the entire film is online. The five film in the order in which they appear are as follows

1. SUJATA is by Shlok Sharma and stars Huma Qureshi, Shweta Tripathi, Satya Anand (JP Singh of GoW) and Aditya Kumar.

2. EPILOGUE (from 20:33) is by Siddharth Gupt and stars Richa Chaddha and Arjun Shrivastav.

3. AUDACITY (from 35:00) by Anirban Roy starring Preeti Singh, Sankar Debnath and Kanchan Mullick.

4. MEHFUZ (from 48:30) by Rohit Pandey has Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aditi Khanna in the lead.

5. SHOR (from 01:04:00) is by Neeraj Ghaywan and stars Vineet Singh and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee.

And do VOTE for your favourite film(s). You can vote for maximum 3 films.

If you want to read about the films before watching, go on.

1. SUJATA – Sujata is a riveting tale of a young girl, who is struggling to come out of the clutches of her tormenting cousin brother. At a very young age, she is forced to live with her cousin and his family. Herein, begins a life of incessant harassment by her cousin brother. Even as an adult she lives in the shadow of fear. For years, she changes addresses and identities in the hope of finding freedom; but each time he hunts her down. Neither the police, nor the NGOs are able to help her. Pushed to a corner, she decides to take the extreme step.

2. EPILOGUE – A relationship that has already fallen apart and is just about to snap. It describes the love and intimacy, the entangling of two lives and the completely symbiotic nature of a couple. It reflects the possessiveness control isolation, depression and desperation that a relationship can lead to, representing a cycle that needs to be broken in order to keep sane.

3. AUDACITY – A thirteen-year-old girl has her first real confrontation with authority when her father forbids her to play the American dance music she loves. When she decides to take revenge, the situation escalates to become a neighbourhood scandal. A dark comedy about parental authority, teenage rebellion, curry, whiskey, and house music.

4. MEHFUZ – In an ambiguous space and time. The city has turned mad, as violence has taken its toll. But, far away in the sounds of silence at the border of the town, a man takes care of all the death around. He drags away this usual routine with every passing night. One night, he notices a strange woman wandering on empty streets. As her behavior changes, so does his journey.

5. SHOR – Lallan and Meena, a couple from Banaras, are consumed by their pursuit to survive in the city of Mumbai. Meena takes up a job in a sewing factory. One day over a phone call, they find each other while embracing death, divorce and redemption. It takes the darkest hour of our life, the fear of death, to regain our consciousness back in to life. To find the beauty that is lost in our relentless angst towards an unyielding life.