Posts Tagged ‘Rajesh Sharma’

This one is a brief  (and spoiler free) recco/review of the film. We happened to catch this at a private screening and quite enjoyed it. Here’s the post containing the trailer and the short story on which it is based on. The film releases on 12th July. Here are two small reviews by Kartik Krishnan and Nusrat Jafri.

BA Pass3

Ajay Bahl takes us through the narrow lanes of Pahadgunj and the badi badi kothis of Kamla Nagar/Rajpura/DU in his adaptation of Railway Aunty by Mohan Sikka (one of the many stories in the must read book Delhi Noir). The days are lazy with the freshly served wahi-purana-Rajma-Chawal-wali-Punju-Middle class Dilli-Roohafza sherbets-Cokey Coley; while the nights are neon lit with all kinds of depraved creatures on the prowl (Beer se naha kar Gaddi chalane wale Jaat, Rishwatkhor Thulley – you know the ilk). Such is the world the characters of BA Pass inhabit.

The story is fairly straightforward in the Noir ballpark. This ‘Postman Always Rings Twice‘  begins with the very talented Shilpa Shukla playing the seductress with zestful ferocity and oomph, charming the young & unsuspecting Shadab Kamal, who then delves deeper into the behind-the-parde-wala world of Kothiwali aunties residing in posh Delhi colonies. Money is tempting; Sex with ‘experienced’ married (lonely) women is irresistible, and a combination of both is a potent enough mindf**k for any below average BA/B Com/B Sc student. Not only is he struggling to make ends meet with two younger sisters (and their troubles) but is also feeling suffocated in a not so pleasant rishtedaaron ke ghar mein PG environment. Slowly but steadily, the pyaada goes onto becoming the wazir but not before he traverses through the netherworld, with the transition punctuated by clear daylights transforming into rang birangi tubelit hazy nights.

This erotic drama boasts of arresting performances by the supporting cast right down to the junior artists. While the ‘Bijis’ & the ‘Chachis’ add color to the story, the benevolent gravedigger Johnny (played adequately by Dibyendu Bhattacharya – though may be a Vinod Nagpal or M K Raina might have taken the role to another level) and the ever reliable Rajesh Sharma (once again pitching in with a bravura 3-4 scene performance) stand out. Shilpa Shukla nails Sarika Aunty to perfection and hope she gets meaty roles like this in Bollywood. One wishes however, that the pivotal performance by the sincere Shadab Kamal had been a little more nuanced and multi layered as opposed to the two note one. Also may be the film could have gone one a tangent than in the somewhat predictable direction, but that is perhaps a limitation imposed by a faithful adaptation of the short story.

But a special mention for Ajay Bahl (the Director – Dop – Producer) who’s done quite an impressive task of faithfully adapting the story and embellishing it with realism and drama. It is to his credit (along with the enthusiastic production design) that the film (considering the subject material at hand) steers away from B Grade/Kanti Shah/tacky-pulpy/Low budget ‘gareeb’ film territory and that there is enough foregrounding/back grounding in the frames to lend an aesthetic richness to the film. Definitely looking forward to the director’s next.

Kartik Krishnan

Ajay Behl’s Erotic Noir film, BA PASS is based on Mohan Sikka’s short story “Railway Aunty,” which was published in Delhi Noir. And true to the tagline of the book, B A Pass is indeed the story of “Darkness and Despair.”

Mukesh, is a young, shy, small town boy, who moves in to live with his Bua’s family in Delhi, after tragedy strikes home. He is burdened with the responsibility of two younger sisters, with whom he longs to re-unite. He runs errands in the house and plays chess in a graveyard at leisure. Until Mukesh meets the flirtatious Sarika “Aunty” at his Bua’s kitty party, and his rollercoaster ride of sex, life and deceit begins. Their surreptitious affair and dealings go on till Sarika’s husband walks in on them. Things go out of control and life reveals it’s ugly teachings to Mukesh.

When I saw the promo of the film, I was captivated. It looked classy and well made, even though the amount of sex in the promo itself was a bit concerning. Films made on such shoe – string budgets, can easily look tasteless but B A Pass is aesthetic to say the least.

Ajay Behl, donning the cap of both the Director and the Cinematographer takes you into the world of Mukesh, the naïve, and emotionally vulnerable boy. In a perverse world that not only exists but also flourishes behind the veneer of boredom that middle class lives project. It takes us into the mysterious world of Sarika, who is not only fiercely attractive but has desires that break the hypocrisy of our middle class notions of modesty. Shilpa Shukla, adds power to the character with her is impressive performance. She has gotten into the skin of the character and not let inhibitions get in the way. Rarely seen in Indian films.

Sex is a big part of the film.  Seeing purely from the growth of Mukesh’s character, it goes from initial lust driven to fulfilling the quirky requests of Sarika, to hilarious script narrations with one of the other women clients! But never once is it lewd.  The scene when Khanna, (Sarika’s husband) walks in on her and Mukesh, gave me goose bumps. It was scary and real in equal measures.

Behl has captured a middle class Delhi of colonies and gullies. One that is aspiring and ruthless at the same time. He uses sound and silences beautifully. Shadab Kamal, is raw and his performance as the lonely, timid and vulnerable boy, is very good. Though at some point I felt the transformation in his character didn’t surface too well. Supporting cast members, Dibyendu as the graveyard caretaker and Sarika’s husband are all fantastic.

I loved Bibiji, in the scene (it’s in the trailer too!) when she says “vo dayan hai” to Mukesh, she is brilliant!

Mohan Sikka’s short story ends quite metaphorically; Behl’s screenplay leaves Mukesh with even fewer choices.

If Noir has it’s roots in German Expressionist Cinematography, BA Pass has it’s in Neon – Realistic Cinematography (If I may be allowed to coin a phrase!). This is the Pahargunj we saw in Dev D, but only more asphyxiating, garish, neon lit, and yet real. Tough lessons for this BA Pass.

Nusrat Jafri

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

An interesting trailer of Ajay Bahl’s debut film “BA Pass” came out online recently. If you still haven’t seen it, click on the play button.

The cast includes Shilpa Shukla, Shadab Kamal, Rajesh Sharma, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Geeta Agarwal.

And here’s the official synopsis of the film –

A young small town boy moves to Delhi to stay with his aunt and finish his college. Soon a mysterious married woman seduces him known to him as Sarika ‘Aunty’. Set amidst the neon-lit by lanes of Delhi’s Paharganj unfolds an erotic human drama between the two. A relationship based on lust, lies and deceit is forged. As the young boy gets more and more entrenched into his surroundings he discovers a city that thrives on corrupting even the most naive and innocent.

– The film is based on Mohan Sikka’s story “The Railway Aunty”, which was part of the anthology “Delhi Noir”. The story is available online. If you haven’t read it yet, click here.

– Click here to read an interview of the director on DearCinema.com.

– The film will have its next screening at New York Indian Film Festival which is scheduled from April 30th to May4th, 2013.

– To know more about the film, you can follow its Facebook page.

If the title of the post doesn’t make any sense, please don’t blame us. We are also trying to connect the dots. Since we started the “2012 Rewind” series on the blog, we have been getting many guest posts on our blog mail id. This one comes from an anonymous account. And the writer wanted the same title for the post. If you are not familiar with allah duhayee hai, click here. So over to Mister Anonymous and his A,B,Cs of the year. or should we call him good ol’ Mr Screeny (here & here)?

(PS – It also includes a very embarrassing mention of the blog. Spare us. Had no choice, so letting it go.)

Chaalis Chaurasi

A – AgneepathCry cry cry itna cry karte kai ko hum. I expected to see a power packed revenge drama but got Hrithik’s cheeks shaking in slo-mo in bargain and Sonu Nigam’s melodramatic & painful song (Ab mujhe). Agneepath turned out to be Pursuit of Happyness masquerading as 300! But good to see Brijendra Kala and Pankaj Tripathi in meaty roles.

B -Barfi – Original or not, loved how they made the film such a meandering one. Quite an achievement to make the movie go all over the place and yet hold its own. And what visuals (though I believe the DoP was ‘instructed’ to reciprocate the referencing). And can all those people stop praising PC ? As Raja Sen says, she shouldn’t have played it full retard (ala Tropic Thunder)

CChaalis Chaurasi – No Sir. It is not good to make fun of Blueberry Hunt when you act in movies like 4084. Loved you smoking the pot in ZNMD, sleepwalking in Dirty Picture and even the marathi lines in Deool but sir why why why? Why 4084? And though you may be offended by me being offended at your selections, but sir, with humble hands folded, I concede “ANYBODY I CARE ABOUT IS MY BUSINESS!!!”

D3D wala D, Dheele वाला D. Disaster वाला plot, Dazzling visuals वाला Life of Pi. Dubbing वाला D. Shobhna ही ले लेते? या फिर Tabu से मद्रासी बुला लेते जैसे Kandukondein & Iruvar में किया. And Dhakkan वाला इरफ़ान who claims he is in the 1000 Crore league. Cummon Yaar. Even Naseerudin Shah never took the ‘League’ of Extraordinary Gentlemen seriously. But Richard Parker ने definitely नय्या पार करा दी sir.

EEditing. Did Aarti Bajaj (aided by the Background Score) save Pan Singh Tomar? Only those who had seen the early cut which premiered in 2010 would tell.

And another ‘Yeah’ for Namrata Rao for having edited Kahaani & Shanghai (one of my personal favs). I’m tempted to see Jab Tak Hai Jaan purely for her. No doughnut (but lots of dough) this year for Deepa Bhatia who edited SOTY.

P.S – Also Akiv Ali for Barfi. Now if only I can lay my hands on the script of the film.

P.P.S – Pure Promotion of the sexy mashup videos by Sumit Purohit. Do watch if here you haven’t

Fफर्जी Morality, फ्रॉड फंडे – FUCK YOU Censor Board for screwing up my movie watching experience with the Family Friendly Disclaimer “Ciggarette Smoking is Injurious to Health” in English & Hindi, everytime a character smokes on screen. Fuck you! You might as well, like William H Macy does in Thank You For Smoking, go ahead and ‘tastefully update’ history by putting a Disclaimer like “अनचाही संतान प्राप्ति से बचने के लिए, कृपया संभोग के समय, निरोध का प्रयोग करें” in the jaw droppingly gorgeous Roop Tera Mastana Song from Aaradhna. Hippo-Cracy की औलादें साले !

Gघोटाला (Dilliwai bhasha) or घोची (Bambaiyya) or what the hell happened (Universal). Why is Balki grating us with his irritating pun-figure-of-speech lyrics (Manhattan from Engish-Vinglish) in an otherwise Gauri Shinde film (which even has a marathi equivalent of Alay Payuthe Kanna in Navrai Majhi, or may be I’m glad we’re not made to suffer another Dhol Beats wala Punju Bhangra Folk song for that ocassion)? Why did Homi Adjania (ahhh Being Cyrus) make the infinitely regressive Cocktail? What gun did the industry to point to the takla sir of the very talented Naveen Kaushik (Rocket Singh) and force him to do what he did in KLPD & Ferari ki Sewari? Why does Naaser need to do a Rowdy Rathore (Pritam Pyare mein baincho kar kya raha hai woh? Aur kyun? What happened to Kabeer Kaushik (this time none of the Deols or Warsis were interfering were they?)? When will iRock Sid Jain stop uploading random photos and actually produce his 2nd film (with due payments to the crew) and actually ROCK a Shaadi ? Why did Sanjay Khanduri remake Ek Chalis and set it in Dilli (‘Balaatkar karwayengi‘ Jaats in Tempo seems so ridiculously relevant now in wake of the Dilli Gang Rape)? And of course, what happened with Agent Vinod?

HHaggaBai Halla machaye re – Loud maharashtrians who went Wakda (and as apna भाऊ invokeanand says, he has never heard the term in his entire marathi middle class life), there is something curiously wrong with Aiyya. Subtlety out of the window as a lavani would do away with sharam-o-haya. Kai chaleel? Tula mahatiyi hai ka? Or did you too like us went dreamam wakeupum? Agar batti ukhaadni thi toh Sai Paranjpe ki tarah ukhaadthey Bhau….Bhandarkar kyun ghola beech beech mein ? Raat ki Raani ki Gandha subah morning shift pe ‘differences’ le ke aati hai kya set pe?

Iइंकलाब. Independent Cinema. PVR Director’s Rare? A good initiative but 250 bucks for The Last Act at PVR Juhu (Reduced prices)? And wow Shahid, Ship of Theusus, Miss Lovely, Peddlers, and the released ones like Love Wrinkle Free, Supermen of Malegaon, Kshay.

बस यारों इन्तेजाम ऐसा हो की Inzamam-Style रिलीस हो बडे परदे पर. Ignoble या Ignorable तरीके से नही. कहीं ये इल्जाम ना लगे audience पे की इंक़लाब शुरू होने से पेहले Single Screen भाई लोगो ने उसे indoctrinate कर दिया है.

P.S – Dear director of the awesome looking Mizo film Khawnglung run. Can you please provide English subtitles for your film (Which is already uploaded on youtube by the way).

JJoker. How we missed him when we saw Bane in TDKR. TDKR was even more disappointing than the existential heist Inception. Probably for the first time, I didn’t want to see a Nolan film again. Although Skyfall made up for it to quite an extent with a (Bisexual?) Bardem. The rat story goes up there right there with the Jokers’s ‘Scars’ one. और साला क्या single shot intro है. If the father was a “drinker & a fiend” then, “Mommy was not good” in this one.

KKamal Swaroop‘s FB status. Even though it might take me a lifetime to appreciate his much ‘cultified’ Om Dar Ba Dar, the man’s FB statuses are legendary. And of course he shares some of the most mindfuck photos/articles you could find.

“ftii cinema began with bonga.met kudan today”

“if you are bad at every thing,.join films”

“The best firecrackers are always sold by people with 3 fingers.”

The stuff of nightmares! 15 Creepy Images of Ventriloquist Dummies

This bizzare photo

Kamal’s conversation with a certain Mr X filmmaker –

“Mr X. Aap 7 janmon mein film nahi bana sakte hain”

Reply from Mr X – “Agar aap filmmaker hain toh main filmmaker banna bhi nahi chahta hoon”

And because he is on FB & not twitter, you must be-Friend him even if you don’t follow him (Oh God!)

L Lingo, लेहजा, लिबास. Ishaqzaade’s ‘Musalli”, Kahaani’s ‘daknaam’, Vicky Donor’s Chadhdha, GoW’s ‘Kasai mohalla’ & ‘Kalkutta’, Shanghai’s handling of multiple worlds of lingo correctly and the mother of them – Pan Singh Tomar with the Chambal key ‘Mooda-Moodi’. Bhai Waah! Now if only a Vishal Bhardwaj written film had released this year as well.

M Maniratnam. Rangan’s Book. Hands down must read. Buy now! Read now. Even if it is non controversial and tries to read too much, but Rangan gets it 70% right (the subtext). The book is littered with trivia, insights, anecdotes, and gems like this

Rangan – How come the heroes in your films never use swear words ?

Ratnam – May be I save them for real life instead

N – Another Zimply south ‘controversy of sorts’ with the Kamal first calling the producer of NAYAGAN as ‘old school‘ and later the poor man retaliating by downplaying Kamal’s contributions. And eventually an extract from Ratnam’s book with Maniratnam saying “Kamal too didn’t expect much from the film”. Full on Rashomon in Rameshwaram.

O Obituary – (Mandatory Serious & Obligatory point) This year saw its fair share of filmy personalities passing away. Jagjit Singh, Pt Ravi Shankar, Jaspal Bhatti, Yash Chopra, Dinesh Thakur, AK Hangal, Ashok Mehta, Rajesh Khanna, Dara Singh, Mehdi Hassan, Achla Sachdeva, Raj Kanwar, Nikhat Kazmi, Anthony Gonsalves, Ravi, Joy Mukherjee and yesterday we lost Bobby Singh. RIP

Irrfan Khan (4)

PPAKAU – Every once in a while comes a world wide acclaimed BORING PAKAU JHELU film which wows everybody everywhere. If earlier it was ‘Uncle Bonhomee Who Can’t Remember The Film Title’ or Kinatay (the one QT loved and wrote this letter for), or Adaminte-Gareeb-Mallu-Abu, then this year it is AMOUR, hands down. Though it was well recieved even by the intelligent bloggers, critics all around, I however tend to agree more with this piece. ‘VAPID’ & ‘BANAL’ are right words for this film

And if there any Amour fans around, please do pass on my message to Mr Haneke – (NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE REAL WORLD?)

Q – ‘Q-tiyapa Hai‘ guys who do all those viral videos (TheViralFever led by Arunabh Kumar). It began with one on Roadies (must watch), Guide to Bollywood Balaatkaar and later created the Gaana wala song. Also in line are The Golden Kelas and The Bollywood Ghantas (hopefully the one for 2013 is better)

R – for all the Rajesh Sharmas of the year! (Bakwaas Na Kar Titu) from Luv Shuv (Along with an inspired Vinod Nagpal & restrained Rajendir Sethi); the often under utilized Anant Jog & Pitobhash Tripathy (in Shanghai), Jahangir Khan(Irrfan’s Dadda), Ravi Bhushan Bhartiya (his bhatija), the Corrupt Cop (Rajeev Gupta – who also apparently owns a mechanics shop in Delhi apart from being a Tishu regular since Dil Se, Charas, SBG) all in Paan Singh Tomar; Gauhar Khan in Ishaqzaade; Pankaj Tripathi in Agneepath (Cilemasnob‘s new Yashpal Sharma – who is good in every bad film), the entire cast of GoW; Sheeba Chadhdha (someone cast this woman in a big role now please) & Aditi Vasudeva (unrecognizable in Talaash, stellar in Do Dooni Chaar) from Talaash; – this year boasted of some awesome ‘chhipey huey actors’ performances. And of course Bob-Nomashkaar-Ek-minute-Biswas.

P.S – the heart goes out to talented actors like Ashraf-ul-Haque who unlike the Adil Hussains, Nawaz, Irrfan have been struggling since ages but are always relegated to Sujit Kumar type roles even in ‘art house’ films. One wonders who is the next Nawaz ?

SSci Fi film of the year – Rian Johnson’s Looper. After the disappointing Prometheus by Ridley Scott, the Brick director (No Brothers Bloom doesn’t count) made Joseph Gordon Levitt as the younger Bruce Willis, with both men in the hunt for each other, over a span of 20 odd years. Way more inventive than Inception, it goes for a repeat viewing. I’m sure there must be a logical flaw somewhere, I just haven’t found it. Reminded me a lot of Source Code (which was pretty good though more accessible).

And as the year ends, we are treated to the trailer of Shane Carruth’s Upstream Colour. The guy who made the mind boggling Primer on a budget close to 7,000$ 12 yrs ago, is now back. Even if this one disappoints, I’m sure it won’t be disappointing! If only we made better Sci Fi films than Ra-One & Love Story 2050.

T – Did the Twist destroy Talaash? Did the audience Talaash for a Thriller but got a Drama-Horror instead? There’s been a post on this already and I’ve met my share of rabid detractors of the film who yell at the ‘Ghost’ element in it. “Horror/Thriller बना रहे हो तो Horror/Thriller ही बनाओ ना. रोते हुए पती पत्नी की boring slow paced film क्यूं? क्या मॅर मॅर के रो रो के investigate कर रहा है Aamir?”

Does that imply that –

a)(Noir?) Procedurals unlike ‘Detective’ films, are tough to please to some of us? (Remember Manorama Six Feet Under? Police Adjective, MOM ya Anatolia toh marr hi daalenge humein?)

b)Never betray your ‘pitch’. The audience won’t forgive you. OR vice versa – we don’t like being betrayed by our film experiences.

UUkhaad Lo Jo Ukhaadna hai! Dev Saab often said it to the critics before releasing films like Mr Prime Minister & Chargesheet. Ed Wood simply picked up and moved on from film to film. Ram Gopal Varma continues to ignore us. We’ve beaten his films, lampooned his statements, had dispirin at his vodka fuelled twitter-isms (Samples below), and even pretended we don’t care. Yet the man goes onto make films as if nothing happened. Kudos sir. And I mean it with complete honesty & sincerity. You are a living example of how to continue doing work with a ‘Ukhaad Lo‘ attitude towards detractors. I hope someday someone makes a film on you with you delivering an Aviator-ish Climax, chastising everybody in the industry. Move over Pan Singh Tomar, Milka Singh & Mary Kom, you are the role model for us.

“A common man is a common man becos he thinks commonly nd thats why he very rightfully deserves to both live and die commonly”

“Was Gandhiji a gujju?”

“I rate Karan johar far far more higher than Mehboob khan v.shantaram Rajkapor guru Dutt and Bimal Roy”

“I honestly think either the mosquito or the cockroach should be declared as the national insect”

VVaalgey Tamil Vaalgey (Glory to The Tamils). The DMK rhetoric apart, this year two films made in the ‘commercial’ bracket by short filmmakers who regularly uploaded their well made shorts onto youtube, and somehow cracked into the Tamil Film Industry. Kadhalil Sodhapavudu Epidi (How to mess up in Love) by M Balaji, showed his short film (can be seen here) to Siddarth, who immediately decided to act and co-produce the short into a full fledged feature. Hopefully our Hindi Film Heroes can learn a thing or two.

Pizza, a horror-thriller by Karthik Subbaraj is even more audacious in it that it doesn’t have a single ‘known face’, and was made on a low budget. I can’t remember the last good Tamil Horror film. The film is out #YouKnowWhere with English subs. Do watch these films.

Karthik Subbaraj’s short films can be viewed here and M Balaji’s other short can be seen here.

W WTF Versova. The erstwhile ‘struggler Barista’ patrons have graduated to this place, and you will find tons of filmy people hanging out here at nights. And even among the ‘established’, you will always spot the ‘struggling established’ class here – the Sudhir Mishras, Abbas Tyrewalas, RGV, the not so famous Journos, ‘Bandiyaan’, and various well to do Chief ADs (advertising waley). A Mallu Beef Fry worth dying for, and general coteries of cake-painted-faces worth strangulating, that is if you can find space to do that!

X – The ‘XX’ chromosome. Female Power – Along with the two editor’s we have Reema Katgi, Zoya Akhtar (ok, ok, ZNMD was last year but she co-wrote Talaash), Juhi Chaturvedi, Urvi Jurvekar, Sneha Khanwalkar, (no Pooja Bhatt’s Jism 2 doesn’t count), Gauri Shinde. Call me a sexist but Kya baat hai!!! Can we get more such talented women in the industry ?

Yये भी बिकता है. This year saw the announcement/release of tons of ‘literature’ being picked up by movies. Life Of Pi (By Pandit Ang Lee), Reluctant Fundamentalist (Fodu Namesake aur Monsoon Wedding wali Mira Nair), Midnight’s Children (I-Am-Born-To-Sell-India Deepa Mehta), Kai Po Che (if 3 Mistakes of My Life can be considered Literature that is), Oh My God (Paresh Rawal co-produces another Gujju Play into a movie after the disappointing James Hadley Chase Maharathi), and the Realistic Shanghai (from somewhat slapstick Z). Here’s Cilemasnob‘s recco to all filmmakers – The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph. Btw, when is that film on White Tiger coming out?

Z – And finally ZehNaseeb – A self congratulatory, mutual mastrubatory, admirational clique wala Hi-Five to moifightclub for being the coolest Desi Film Blog of the Yr !

कांटो को मुर्झाने का खौफ नही होता,

और MFC का HAT हर एक फिल्म के लिये DOFF नही होता.

Lilaah!