Posts Tagged ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’

To quote Stephen Witt, Listening to hundreds of new releases a year could lead to a kind of jaded auditory cynicism. Last year, I wasn’t expecting a lot, and the year was fine. This year, I wasn’t expecting much yet some albums surprised me (Thank God I have always been a cynic). We have picked  one song per album. We don’t care how the colour scheme of the films to which these songs belong, compliment the character as movie progresses. It is just about the music. Do suggest your favourites which aren’t in the list for I am sure I have missed some gems.

If you are in no mood to read, just scroll down to play the embedded playlist.

  • Badnaam jiya –  Sung by Rekha Bhardwaj and composed so well by Rohit Sharma, this track sounds earthy, retains the charm of a filmi thumri and sounds splendid. I loved the entire album of Anaarkali of Aarah, and it was a task to pick this one over Sonu Nigam’s mann bekaid hua, but I did, gladly so.
  • Tera junoon – From the film Machine (yeah! Have you heard about it?), composed by Tanishk, sung by the excellent Jubin Nautiyal, penned beautifully by Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan, the song ticks all the right boxes – understated, melodious and very well presented.
  • Humsafar – There are confusing words/lines in the song (Hai nahi tha pata?), still I love the hopeless romanticism in the song from Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Akhil Sachdeva, thumbs up to you!
  • Alvida –  I love this entire album and the keyboard of my laptop will tell you how conflicted I was between this and the magnificent ‘Ye Ishq hai’ (Arijit Singh), both from Rangoon. Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj & Arijit Singh. Alvida wins because Gulzar reminded us to question all goodbyes and everything there’s to a goodbye. Aye kahin tu khuda to nahi? – God bless you Gulzar saab!
  • Rozana – Oh the delight of listening to Shreya Ghosal in her normal pitch! Composed intimately by Rochak Kohli and such fabulous words by Manoj muntashir, this one is from Naam Shabana. I quite liked the way the song has been presented. She longs for her love, yet she is not weak because she longs for her love. Aate jaate yun hee, mere liye theher, Rozana..  Simply beautiful!
  • Maana ke hum –  There is a lovely moment in Insomniac City* when O says to Bill,  ‘I’ve suddenly realized what you mean to me: You create the need which you fill, the hunger you sate. Like Jesus. And Kierkegaard. And smoked trout.’ I feel the same can apply to ghazals as well. There are hajaar genres and then there is ghazalThis year, Sachin-Jigar flirted with ghazal-like film songs, and if you remember Sachin’s Kho dia hai (from Bhoomi), you would know what I mean when you hear it along with this fabulous song. I am, of course, referring to the version by Parineeti Chopra in Meri Pyaari Bindu. A contemporary presentation of ghazal in my view. I love Kausar Munir’s pen for what it has done in this song.
  • Phir wohi – I see Amitabh Bhattacharya, Pritam and Arijit Singh together and my heart races in anticipation. I love this song from Jagga Jasoos (JJ)and I felt alive when Arijit went ‘gham ka jaya‘. It felt like a rejoinder to the first song of Arijit which I loved – beprwah rang ka jaaya. Back to JJ, I love the entire album but now that we are picking one song per album for the post, I couldn’t go to any other song than this gem. Arijit Singh
  • Safar – Haan, so what was I saying about Arijit singh? Oh yeah…Arijit Singh, please never stop singing. For me, this is the song of the year, from Jab Harry Met Sejal. Pritam, Irshad Kamil & Arijit singh – I bow to you for this one. Did you notice the ‘jaana maine’ part from 3:00 to 3:02? I could give my cassette collection to Arijit Singh for that. (I desperately wanted to mention Hawayein and Ghar but I won’t because we are picking one song per album. You didn’t hear anything from me Ok?) If I could live in a song, I would live in this song, may be I do. 
  • Ek Chaand – Guitars by Sanjoy Das, pretty much everything else by Tony Kakkar, this one is from Loev. I remember pausing the film and immediately picking this song, and playing this everyday since then, and perhaps this won’t change. I am still conflicted what I like the most? The music, the singing, the film, the lounge where Shiv is shown in the last shot? Well Jaane do…iss baat pe phir kabhi baat kar lenge. The song conveys pain and hurt yet it doesn’t console, doesn’t even demand to be heard, it plays almost in the background. Do yourself a favor, pick up the full song because the youtube clip doesn’t have the full song. Best 18 bucks you will ever spend.
  • Barfaani – Written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali, composed by Gaurav Dagaonkar and sung by the sublime Orunima Bhattacharya, this song is from Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. The excellent arrangement of the song sounds so close to the ground on which we stand and the singing ensures the song burns that very piece of the ground, just splendid!
  • Hoshiyar rehnaOh yes! The beauty of listening to Neeraj Arya’s Cafe singing Kabir without dumbing it down or polishing it excessively! Enough said.From Baadshaho.
  • Kho dia – Penned by Priya Saraiya, composed by Sachin Jigar and sung by Sachin, this song took me back to explore the whole album of Hariharan titled Kaash. I love the ghazal-sque vibe of the song and I hope at some point of time, the unplugged version of this song comes out. From Bhoomi.
  • Nachdi phira – Ah! My secret superstar of the year – Meghna Mishra! I loved this album a bit too much and this song just didn’t let me move on, and hello again Kausar Munir! Impossible not to shower adulation listening to this kiddo going all teri nagariya, teri najariya and doing all this so effortlessly..too much! Lastly, Amit Trivedi – Thank you kood kood ke ! I said (Thank Yoooooou in falsetto, kood kood ke)! From Secret Superstar.
  • Na jaa – For some reason, I couldn’t find Asees Kaur’s version of this superlative song (from Jia Aur Jia) on youtube. I like both versions of this song which is basically a friend calling out her friend, her sakhee. When was the last time we heard a hindi film song touch this genre? Excellent music by Nisschal Zaveri and brilliantly penned by Raqueeb Alam.
  • O mere sanam – The answer to ‘What if Benny Dayal decides to floor us with a song so romantic it charms our pants off’? First things first, apart from Benny’s superlative yet understated singing (hear him say ‘varak‘ so perfectly!), what stood out for me are the excellent words by Shakeel Azmi. Girish G has composed this song for The House Next Door.
  • Tu bann jaa gali banaras ki – Yep, Shakeel Azmi with his murderous pen again! Composed by Rashid Khan and sung in two solo version by Asit Tripathy & Asees Kaur respectively for Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana. Tujhe isskooter pe bitha ke main, tere saath hawa mein uda karoo – the way the song is presented comes across with a certain degree of purity and honesty, without being too self aware. It’s like a really cute kid who is indulging in all her** cuteness without caring if someone is filming her mischief. Please hear both the versions on my request. Everyone cries small-town-simplicity, if only half of them could make us live it. This one does it. Lastly, do check Shakeel Azmi on internet.

P.S. – I feel compelled to mention few more things here. 

Genres that Hindi film music touched this year which I absolutely loved 

  • Non manipulative kiddo love to her mum – Ammi from Secret Superstar
  • Teen love done right – I miss you – Secret superstar
  • A song for a friend, by her friend – Na jaa – Jiya aur Jia
  • Non manipulative comment on demons within – Hoshiyar rehna – Baadshaho
  • Classical done right – Babul morai – Poorna
  • Classical done right – Sunn bhavra – Ok Jaanu!
  • Scratch better than the recorded version – Main faraar sa (sung ONLY by Anupam Roy) for ‘Running Shaadi’. The writer of the film made me listen to it on his phone and i loved it. I don’t have it for he rightfully didn’t share it with me, but if you get hold of it, hear it, you will know what i mean.

*The entire book is filled with lovely moments. I am no book recommender, but do pick this one up, or not.

**Hashtag girlchild, Hashtag feminism

– Rohit

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 of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and 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-commercial exercise.

Talvar (Guilty)2

In India, we haven’t made too many ‘investigative thrillers’. Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar was not only a refreshing change which explored this space, but it looked closely at one of the most talked about double murder case in recent history. It was a fine line to tread on, but with Vishal Bhardwaj’s sparkling writing, and a brilliant ensemble cast, Meghna delivered one of the best films of the year.

Here’s the script of Talvar. Happy reading!

Film : Talvar

Director : Meghna Gulzar

Writer : Vishal Bhardwaj

 

In our “Best of 2015” series, earlier we shared the script of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan. Click here to read it.

 

It’s known as the Noida Double Murder Case. And it’s easily one of the most talked about murder case in recent history. More so, because it happened in a middle class locality in Noida, a city adjoining to India’s capital.

Shazia Iqbal saw the film Talvar, which is based on the same case, and writes about the big picture that concerns all of us as a society, and as part of the system. And why a filmmaker’s bias is completely fine.

Guilty2

23rd May 2008.

‘Its starting now. Quick, come here’, my mother loudly screamed as soon as the press conference was about to start.

The Delhi police was making the big announcement of the perpetrators in the Noida double murder case in which the 14 year old Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, the house help were brutally murdered a week ago. I almost didn’t hear my mother because of the noises ringing in my ears since two days. That morning when I left home for a meeting, the police van and the media outside the building opposite to mine seemed like the crime scene outside the Talwar society.

A day ago, Maria Susairaj, an aspiring actress had confessed to Malad Police that her fiancé, Emile Jerome had killed Neeraj Grover, a TV executive in a fit of rage when Jerome found Grover in Maria’s bed. Susairaj stayed in the building opposite to my house. On the night of May 7th, and the morning after, I had a party in my house and I was awake the whole night. After Susairaj’s confession and the gory details of cutting the body into 200 pieces and dressing up the crime scene, that story played in my head enough number of times to make me believe that I was there in that house that night and it all happened in front of me, and that I was a dumb mute spectator.

Neeraj Grover was close to the industry I worked in and we had common friends. His face haunted me, I hadn’t slept for a minute for over 48 hours. With all the drama that was happening outside the building, I didn’t want to step out. The media called the Neeraj Grover murder case as the face of changing India, the young India where relationships are fragile, infidelity is part of commitment and casual sex is no more a ‘man’ thing.

A week before this, the Noida double murder case made headlines as the murder involved a young teenage girl from an affluent family and an older servant who worked in the house. This did not happen 200 meters away from my house but the media made sure that it was very much part of my life. Everyone was talking about the murder and that press conference seemed like the episode from a popular TV soap in which the whole country freaked out when the main protagonist dies. Aarushi’s murder was presented like a high TRP whodunit thriller. Everyone wanted to know who killed her.

I went to the living room where my parents and sister were waiting for the press conference to start on the TV. IGP Gurdarshan Singh began the conference by calling Aarushi as Shruti.

‘How will he solve the murder, if he doesn’t even know the name of the kid’ my mother mused. And once wasn’t enough – Singh kept calling Aarushi as Shruti throughout the conference.

But that wasn’t the only eyebrow raising behaviour from him and his department. They claimed Rajesh Talwar killed his daughter in order to save his ‘honour’, gave details of Talwar’s extra marital affair, their involvement in wife swapping and the deplorable character assassination of a child who was murdered.

“Rubbish”, my father responded shocked, “They can’t find the killer and are making up these implausible stories. He is her father!” He couldn’t believe what was happening. Fathers don’t kill their children because of their affairs, he said. He was afraid this revelation could make every girl distrust her father. A silent tear rolled as I went back to my room.

None of what the IGP said made any sense. Last night when I watched Meghna Gulzar’s movie Talvar based on the case, I was glad it resonated with what I thought during that press conference. I just wanted to know the parents didn’t kill her. I wanted to know this young new ruthless India of frivolous relationships that people keep bringing up with every sensational murder case, is a farce. But, apparently, that India is very much prevalent and so is the antiquated patriarchal India where a police officer blames the Internet for ruining the cultural fabric of the country and 14 year olds having a boyfriend and ‘Sleep’-overs.

Lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh became the face of this primitive regressive patriarchal India after the Brit docu India’s Daughter was released by BBC. It featured a man who believes he would gladly burn his daughter if she has premarital sex – how would he react to a society where girls tell their fathers about their boyfriends? People who believe that honor killing is right, they also assume that the society also harbors such beliefs. And the effort that the government took in banning India’s Daughter is not as half as much as the combined effort of the local police, the assigned CBI team and the courts took to convict the Talwars.

So what happens when such men raised with such regressive values try to understand a culture belonging to the modern upper class allegedly corrupted by the internet? Talvar.

What more can you say about a murder case where every minute detail has been public for 7 years now. Talvar, written by Vishal Bhardwaj and directed by Meghna Gulzar presents us those details and engages us, without any melodrama or manipulation, mildly tilting in the favour of Talwars. Of course some might use the latter point to brand the film as being biased. I’d like them to know that a film is a writer/ filmmaker’s point of view/opinion on what disturbs them long enough to get up and say something. And that’s why Talvar happened. And I am glad it did.

What can this movie talk about about that you haven’t already read in the papers, news, from the police, CBI officers, from your parents, next-door uncles? ‘Human reaction’, for one. In the last 20 minutes of the film, in a round table sequence that is a master class in writing, the CBI officer who acquitted the Talwars says no two humans can have a pre-conceived reaction to an incident, specially a ghastly cold blooded murder of their only child. The side that files the charge sheet against the parents questions their unemotional façade post the murder and during the trial. Nupur Talwar appeared on a TV show and didn’t cry while talking about her daughter’s death. What kind of a mother is she? In a society with history of rudaalis, where being loud is part of our culture, melodrama is not just for the TV sets but an inherent way to express our emotions specially when it comes to matter of death, how can a mother not cry? Everyone questioned. Every logical person went against the Talwars with this one question.

‘She looks numb. Seeing your kid’s dead body can do that’, said my mother. It takes empathy and humanity to realize that. No other human can reason or understand inner doings of another’s mind. So how can human reaction be even discussed as a generic emotional response?

Watching a dark and disturbing story can be difficult but watching a dark and disturbing story based on real people’s lives can be very painful, especially with the way most of us are attached to Aarushi’s case. Bhardwaj, however, with his straight-faced dry wit makes it easier for you to watch Talvar.

That way Talvar is more than a movie. It is an important film, about the sword of justice that claimed not two but four lives. One of the slain was a child accused of being involved with a man thrice her age. The men who publicly assassinated her character are the ones who are responsible for the law and judiciary in this country. This movie needs to be seen. For Aarushi. To open our eyes and discover a system that failed a child. And as the movie says, it’s up to you to decide what the truth is.

Shazia Iqbal

(To read previous posts by the same author, click here)

Guilty9

(Disclaimer – One of our editors is closely associated with ‘Talvar’)

The first look of Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar is out. Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Shah, Atul Kumar, and Gajraj Rao, the film has been written by Vishal Bhardwaj who has also given the music. It has Gulzar’s lyrics and has been shot by Pankaj Kumar.

Do check out the trailer.

The film is based on Aarushi Talwar murder case and looks at it from the point of investigation.

Talvar will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Irrfan

The Toronto International Film Festival has just announced its line-up for 2015. And here’s the good news – two Indian films, Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar and Leena Yadav’s Parched have been selected for World Premiere in ‘Special Presentations’ section.

Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sensharma, Neeraj Kabi, Atul Kumar, Gajraj Rao, Sohum Shah and Tabu in a special appearance, the film is a gritty investigative drama about the Noida double murder case. With Gulzar’s lyrics, Vishal Bhardwaj’s music & screenplay, and cinematography by Pankaj Kumar (Haider, Ship Of Theseus), the thriller is a fictional dramatization of true life events revolving around Aarushi Talwar murder case investigation.

Leena Yadav’s Parched has Tannishtha Chatterjee in the lead role. The official page has one line description – In a rural Indian village, four ordinary women begin to throw off the traditions that hold them in servitude, in this inspirational drama.

(Disclosure – One of our editors is closely associated with Talvar)

Like in the last few years, Rajeev Masand has done a series of roundtable discussions this year too. And the one which has the best panel and which interests us the most is the directors roundtable. This one had Vishal Bhardwaj (Haider), Rajat Kapoor (Ankhon Dekhi), Vikas Bahl (Queen), Imtiaz Ali (Highway), RajKumar Hirani (PK) and Abhishek Varman (2 States).

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

To make an impressive debut is a difficult task. To follow it up with a sequel, and to deliver better than the first, that’s almost impossible. And Abhishek Chaubey managed to score on both counts. While Ishqiya was all rustic cool, Dedh Ishqiya was rich in tone, mood, texture and poetry, that also had Begum Akhtar, Ghalib, Bashir Badr and a delicious homage to Ismat Chugtai. All these in a bollywood film loaded with dialogues in pristine Urdu? what a beauty, what a rarity!

So thanks to Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey, we are sharing the first draft and the shooting draft of Dedh Ishqiya.

Do click on the “Scripts” tab on the top right corner of the blog page to access all the other scripts (Queen, Ankhon Dekhi, The Lunchbox, Shahid, Kai Po Che, D Day, Lootera, Kahaani, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Agent Vinod, Dev D etc) that we have posted here so far.

Film : Dedh Ishqiya

Director : Abhishek Chaubey

Story : Darab Farooqui

Screenplay : Vishal Bhardwaj & Abhishek Chaubey

Dialogue : Vishal Bhardwaj

(PS – As a writing exercise, do check out the notes about the climax in the first draft before they managed to resolve it)

(For more from our “Rewind 2014” series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Songs We Played In Loop is here. In Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)