Posts Tagged ‘Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster’

We are desperate for comebacks. And we are quick to dismiss too. All it takes is just a status update or 140 characters.

When Tigamanshu Dhulia’s last film, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster released, it was the usual hype on the social networking platforms. As if friends, family and colleagues were dying to put that “comeback” tag on him. The film had it’s charm but it was nowhere close to what it was made out to be. The usual suspects tried the same with Ramu and his Not A Love Story. To put it mildly, that was unadulterated garbage in every way.

But, this is what a comeback looks like – Paan Singh Tomar. Ironic that the producers (UTV) had to sell the film as “from the director of Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster”. May be it wouldn’t have got a theatrical release even if it wasn’t for SBAG’s success. The film has been ready for quite sometime (about two years). They sent it to few desi festivals in USA where the general feedback was “Irrfan is good, film is bad”. News started doing the rounds that UTV was planning to dump it on tv along with some half a dozen other films. Then SBAG happened. Some strings were pulled, a release date was quickly announced and without much pubilcity or promotions, the film was released.

Those who have seen both the versions of the film, they said that music has surely been changed. But how much can just the “background music” change the film? No clue, not sure.

I went to see the film FDFS. Just because of that actor called Irrfan Khan. Or just Irrfan. Seems he has dropped his surname. Good, we have too many of them in this industry anyway. When i entered the auditorium, it felt like it was going to be a private screening only for me – the luxury that makers provide to few critics to give a bloated sense of being important and score some brownie points. Slowly some dozen people turned up including a director whose film has recently released.

The film opens with Brijendra Kala, an actor who is a delight to watch – the desi Bill Murray who knows his deadpan too well. As Irrfan narrates his story to Kala, it goes into flashback and we get to see the story of Paan Singh Tomar. I have been often told that narrating a story to a character to get into flashback is the worst device in a film. But with two terrific actors in the frame, they make everything mundane look so interesting. There are just counted few scenes between the two, but that thing called chemistry, well, it’s found in strange places between stranger people.

I have always felt that the mark of a good director is in the casting of those actors who have just one or two lines to deliver. You go to watch a film because of the lead actors but you come back home with those “character actors” who steal the show. This is where Paan Singh Tomar scores again. Even Zakir Hussain and Mahie Gill are so impressive in such small roles. Though it seems Nawazuddin had more to do in the film and it was edited out later on.

Paan Singh Tomar is the Tigamanshu we knew, the one we wanted to see again after Haasil. The director who could take us to a new place, away from bollywood where he knows the terrain, its politics and dialect well. Written by Sanjay Chouhan with dialogues by Dhulia, it captures the sound and soul of that barren land with a dose of black humour – a rarity in this industry. So when i saw his other film Shagird, i could not believe it was the same director. From one extreme to other – how could one go so far? As a screenwriter who saw the film with us  said, this is Race for intellectuals.

Welcome back, Tigmanshu. It’s been long.

And Irrfan? Well, he can do anything. Just anything. No wonder he is the only Khan they know in the west. It’s our bad luck that he is born in a country and at a time when we are obsessed with the weekend numbers and 100-crore mark, and we don’t make films that can’t justify his talent. Forget films, we don’t even dare to put him on magazine covers. I hope and pray that in your next birth you get a better place which knows how to respect talent.

The actor doesn’t need lines, his glances pack a punch. In the scene where he comes to meet his son and asks him not to touch him, when his son leaves and he looks around, that glance stays with you long after you have left the theater. Much like that awkward hug with his son’s girlfriend in one of my favourite films of all time, Namesake. He is about to hug her, she is about to kiss, and then that slight bend, slow movement and a strange look on his face. He can play young, can play old and even a father of a young man in the same film. He can run and romance with equal ease.

Only weird thing about the film is that it leaves you with a strange vacuous feeling – Not sure how you react to the character in the end. It keeps you engaged through the film but doesn’t hit the spot in the end which you desperately want it to.The emotional hook? Or may be just a bit of empathy.

As for Paan Singh Tomar, in other part of the world the most famous runner’s mom told him that life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. This side, we are sure about one thing – there’s no box, there are no chocolates and life is just a race which you must complete.

The year is about to end and since the world is busy making the top ten lists, we thought why should we be left behind. We are scooping all the best lists from across the world here.  Or just scroll down and see under the tab “what we are reading”. We are starting our 2011 Rewind series with a post on the songs/albums of the year.

There are hit songs, there are chartbusters, flop songs, cult hits and then there are the songs which we played in non-stop loop. Sometimes for few hours, days, weeks or even months.  And it’s not easy to dissect why a specific song got you hooked so much. Read on to see if you agree, disagree and if you played the same songs in non-stop loop this year. In no particular order.

1. Bekaran (7 Khoon Maaf)Ek baar toh yun hoga, thoda sa sukoon hoga. Na dil me kasak hogi, na sar pe junoon hoga...It started with these four lines.  And i was hooked.  And it ended with anothem gem of a word ‘Lillah’, which slowly became a part of our dictionary. At a time when twitter asks you to be smarter and put everything in just 140 characters, you can say so much in just one word -“Lilaah“. With Vishal Bharadwaj’s voice and Gulzar’s words, it was love, longing and goose flesh all over.

Extra Playlist – Tere Liye in Suresh Wadekar’s voice and the haunting Yeshu in Rekha Bharadwaj’s voice. Well, play the entire album in non-stop loop.

2. Kun Faaya Kun/ Dichotomy Of Fame (Rockstar) – The name is A R Rahman. I am not sure where and how to start. Will say the same thing which i keep on saying – if i ever convert to Islam, blame it on Rahman. If Piya haji ali (Fiza), Khwaja mere khawaja (Jodha Akbar) and Maula maula (Delhi 6) weren’t enough, he added one more to the list – Kun Faaya Kun and this one i played in non-stop loop for days. Though Kun faaya was the starting point, the album had another beautifully arranged instrumental piece –  dichtomy of fame. A blend of shehnai and guitar created a haunting mood.

Extra Playlist – Play the entire album.

3. Yun Hi (Tanu Weds Manu) – I discovered the film and the album quite late. Realised  that this is the best musical debut of the year – Krsna (music director) and Raj Shekhar (Lyrics). The laidback charm in Mohit Chauhan’s voice almost works everytime but there is a danger of getting repetitive. Krsna and Raj Shekhar made sure that they didn’t fall in the trap.

…Kitne dafe hairaan hua, main ye sochke,
Uthti hai ibadat ki khushbuyein kyun mere ishq se,
Jaise hi mere honth ye choo lete hai tere naam ko,
Lagey ke sajda kiya, kehke tujhe shabad ke bol do,
Ye khudai chodke,
Fir aaja tu zamin pe,
Aur jaa na kahin,
tu saath reha ja mere,
Kitne dafe dil ne kaha,
Dil ki suni kitne dafe…

Extra Playlist – Rangrez, Piya, Manu Bhaiya, Jugni and Saddi Galli. Aha, another album where you can play all the songs .

4. Hawa Hawai (Shaitan) – Like this music review of Shaitan, almost all other reviews missed this Hawa Hawai remix. Because strangely, the song wasn’t available for download. So all those who downloaded the music and reviewed it, had no clue about it. The twang in Suman Shridhar’s vocals and Mikey McCleary’s arrangement added a new zing to the song.

Though after the film’s release, it was a completely different story. Everyone was just googling Khoya Khoya Chand sequence and if you have seen the film, the reason is quite obvious.

5. Saigal Blues (Delhi Belly)  – Though Mikey’s work got noticed, another superb effort by Ram Sampath went completely unnoticed. Chetan Shashital, the man who can do wonders with his voice, went behind the mike to create the Saigal Blues.

…is dard ki na hai dawai…..majnu hai ya tu hai kasai..

Extra Playlist – Switty switty, Ja ja ja chudail

6. Senorita (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)  – This album is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s only saving grace in recent times. The song captures the casual, boisterous and celebratory mood of the Spain and Tomatino fest so well. And the use of  untrained voices of Farhan, Hrithik and Abhay made it look natural and completely  impromtu. Add to that, those perfect pauses.

Extra playlist – Khwaboon ke parindey

7. Saibo (Shor In The City) – This came as a complete surprise. The song and the film. Shreya Ghoshal’s melliflous voice and Tochi Raina’s husky vocals leaves a powerful impact. Music – Sachin-Jigar. Lyrics – Sameer/ Priya Panchal.

Extra Playlist – Karma is a bitch,

8. Main Ek Bhanwara (Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster) – Music by Amit Sial and sung by Shail Hada,  this one is an under-rated gem. A melodious track, the song instantly takes you back to the time when dhoom-dhaam noise wasn’t considered music.

9. Hona Tha Pyaar (Bol) – Purists still don’t believe that Atif Aslam can sing. But you can’t dismiss his voice so easily. There is something charming about the way he sings, though besura most of the times. This song is again one of the least played songs of the year. Heard it on FM radio first and then found out that the song is from the Pakisani film Bol.

10. Uh-ho Uh-Ho (Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge) – This album marked the bollywood debut of musician Raghu Dixit. As if the film’s title isn’t weird enough, this track is called uh-ho uh-ho. I never expected anything good from Y Films but this peppy number sung by Ash King and Shilpa Rao hooked me instantly.

11. Ban Gaya Kutta (Pyaar Ka Punchnama) – I have never laughed so much during a song. Had to play the song few times to get the lyrics and they smartly play with some of the words. Music and lyrics by Luv Ranjan and its sung by Mika.

What am i missing? What’s your non-stop loop playlist? Do let us know in the comments.