I have watched, yet again on the plane, two movies about Mumbai, both about the muscle of Mumbai. One is about the immigrants who form a large part of the society and are the muscle of Mumbai. And the other is about the conflicts of men in mafia (supposed based on true story). One is an art film with outstanding actors produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India. And the other is a mainstream Bollywood Boxoffice hit produced by a rich daughter of an old time Bollywood actor.
Disha has Nana Patekar moving to Mumbai as an immigrant, living in terrible conditions, always wanting to go back to the village and yet stays on after he loses his wife’s loyalty. Om Puri plays a man who would never give up hope and sticks to the village in spite of terrible finances, proving that hard work and dedication will prevail in the end. Shabana Azmi plays a nagging wife, who acts tired of Om Puri’s never giving up attitude but loves him deeply and is proud of the same attitude. The plot unfolds delicately with the actors’ abilities rather than dialogues. It talks of the simple village life, its struggles, its malicious nature as well as protective nature and the male ego. A beautifully made movie! Yet, I would say it is only a onetime watch. But it stays with you for a while.
Once Upon A Time in Mumbai has all the glitz and glamour of a mainstream Bollywood movie. It talks about the rise of a good-hearted, helper of the poor, mafia don played by Ajay Devagan who is shot dead by a dark character played by Emraan Hashmi whose main goal since childhood was to get the power, money and fame that comes from being a mafia don. The movie was well made keeping up to pace and makes for a good watch. Except that I do not like bad endings, this one is almost lame. But some say it is about some true story and I am not aware of it so I still feel it is a lame ending. Also, I thought both of the love stories were randomly put and sort of stupid. Everyone has to agree with me that Ajay Devagan and Kangana Raunat’s romance was outright nonsense. And Prachi Desai’s role was more like made for an award and all that. She apparently won a lot of Supporting Role awards even though I do not see how her role is in anyway supporting the film. Remove her from the movie and the story will not suffer. However, remove Emraan’s father, the sub-inspector and the narrative will suffer. He played his role perfectly. All in all it’s a onetime watch.
As the tag line suggests, Dhobi Ghat is a movie that records the events taking place in the lives of 4 protagonists from diverse strata of Mumbai’s society.
Arun, played by Aamir Khan, is a reclusive painter who gets his emotional fix from voyeuristically following the life of a newly wed Muslim girl (Yasmin, played superbly by Kriti Malhotra) who has just shifted to Mumbai with her husband. Arun moves into a new apartment that was previously occupied by Yasmin and her husband and happens to stumble upon her recorded videotapes, which contain a documentary of sorts about Yasmin’s life. She was filming them to send to her brother back home. The beauty and idiosyncrasies of Mumbai, as perceived by a new inhabitant of the city, are captured perfectly by Yasmin’s recordings.
By Gokul B
This is not a review for Endhiran.
Well that doesn’t mean I won’t be talking about the movie. I would of course. But I would be talking of random aspects which I thought of at various points through the day, while watching it and while discussing about it. Reviews are but a way of either selling a movie or degrading it, and the former is not necessary for a Rajni movie while the latter would amount to blasphemy.
And also excuse me for the title. Being an MBA student, I am obliged to use terms like “economy”, “branding”, etc in whatever I write.
One thought which kept playing in my mind throughout the movie was the evolution of Rajni. My friends from the north keep asking me what’s the Rajni craze all about. Why does the man signify so much to his fans, much beyond what any star ever has. Well the answer I can think of is, the man has always portrayed what an ordinary man aspires to be. Rajni attained stardom playing Kaalaian in Murattu Kaalai, at a time when TN was primarily agrarian and people associated themselves with a lifestyle where the fields and the livestock played a huge part of their existence. At that time, for a man, the greatest glory possible could be to tame the wildest beast in the local Jallikattu. It would be his ultimate claim to fame in his small little world of village fairs and festival time games.
-A prize winning entry by Ramana Krishnan
“Nobody tells me what to do. Nobody tells me what to do.”
No Smoking starts off paraphrasing Aristotle, Plato, and Frank Sinatra. That, and what might easily be the most visually pleasing dream sequence in Hindi cinema give the viewer a peek into what to expect.
K., just K., as the protagonist would want us to believe, is more than just that. He is a character straight from Kafka’s set pieces; a character straight from a story of any struggle for individualism and freedom; a character straight from morally-policed India; a character straight from the field of arts and K., just K., probably is Kashyap, the writer-director himself.
K., a business man doing rather well for himself – at least professionally – is a heavy smoker, much to the dismay of his wife. Some marital discord, some emotional blackmail later, K. is packed off to what appears to be a boot camp straight from the Nazi era, only somewhere in the labyrinthine depths below Dharavi’s slums. The overlord of this otherworld, Shri Shri Prakash Guru Ghantal Baba Bangali Sealdahwale – whose dictatorial views and surveillance skills would make Hitler and Big Brother (from Orwell’s 1984) proud – warns K. of incremental punishments which would result in killing of his brother, cutting-off of his fingers, killing of his wife, and the ‘unspeakable punishment’ (Remember 1984?) for each instance of smoking. As the Baba’s methods get clearer and clearer to K. he realizes that the (Fincher-inspired?) Game he has stepped into which makes him question his sanity and the blurs boundary between the reality and his dreams (or nightmares!).
K. is defined by the quote at the start. He starts-off as the arrogant person who doesn’t let anybody dictate anything to him and ends up being a person forced (by family, by society, and by the authority) to stop what essentially defines him, and his consequent way of life. Ostensibly, everybody is out to help him ‘get rid of a bad habit’, but would he remain the same a person after changing? Would he not have ‘sold his soul’ due to the forced change?
Smoking might not be the best analogy of the artist’s right to creative pursuit, and the movie is such a personal reflection of the director, that he is caught showing-off too many times – be it in terms of the infinite homages to cult favourites, or the general abstractness of the movie which ends up showing a proverbial middle finger to the audience.
A one-of-a-kind movie in Hindi cinema, and fitting perfectly into the works of David Lynch or other such ‘abstract’ directors, this movie is a strong metaphorical work in defense of the artist who faces the censor board, or the moral police which takes out demonstrations for arbitrary hurting-the-sentiment-of-minority argument. Overall, the movie ends up leaving a strong taste in the mouth and depending upon the audience’s taste for self-indulgence, it might make for the best or the worst viewing.
It’s beautifully made.
The subtle humour.
The emotional surges.
The poetry and the young mind.
The little kid and his quiteness.
The small place called Jamshedpur.
The ‘Kanti Shah ke Angoor’
The friendship and tears.