Posts tagged ‘critique’

Dharm: A riveting portrayal of true religion

When swords are drawn to taste blood in the name of religion, knives are shrapened to rip apart the souls from the flesh with slightest of provocations, not for a moment anyone would think that we all came from ONE source. Religions are just different instances of a parent object — with shapes tweaked, colors changed, behaviors modified. Yet, in reality, the true secularism has always found extremists blocking the road of progress.

dharm 2007

Pandit Chaturvedi, the most revered Hindu priest of Benaras, India, has always been a picture perfect symbol of Hinduism, treading along the traditional lines of religion. Despite his impeccable knowledge in Vaidic traits, never did he question his inner soul when it came to religion and its dictates. But a toddler, whom he incidentally adopts, would shake his beliefs when he realized that the godsent tiny soul he fell in love with is not a Brahmin boy as he was told by his wife so that she can adopt the boy, but a Muslim child who was abandoned by the mother. Shaken and raged, he heartlessly returns the son to his biological mother, and goes on performing every rituals to cleanse his body. mind and soul; but only to fail. Pandit’s life starts falling apart between love and his religion, where the later has had always the priority.

Amidst a communal flare and signs of brutality everywhere, Pandit Chaturvedi finally realizes that his understanding of religion was never right; the true duty of a religion is to love and be loved: unbiased. He dared the fanatics by embracing his beloved Karthikeya, the son he abandoned because of his religion.

Gist: Dharm is a very powerful movie with riveting thoughts that will shake the feigned secular beliefs. i personally feel that everyone must watch this movie, and the State Govts should have made it tax free rather than awarding movies like Chak De the same.

Imdb profile

The film’s music, composed by pandit Debajyoti Mishra, has a list of excellent renderings from the likes of Sonu Nigam and Sreya Ghoshal.


September 20, 2007 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Water: Are you thirsty?

If there’s one movie that has quenched my thirsty soul in a long time, it would be Deepa Mehta’s Water that I had for long ignored and kept under the wrap. To be honest, i am not much fond of depressing cinema, however good or critically acclaimed that they may be. It was under that condition when you don’t know what to do in a rain-soaked Saturday evening that I reluctantly played the disc. For once I didn’t repent for not catching up with a current movie playing at the nearby multiplex. I was completely absorbed by the experience I had have in that two hours.

After a huge controversy in India, makers of Water had to complete the shooting in Srilanka, which was nominated for Oscar (under foreign film category) as a Canadian entry and went very close to wining it. I have no clue what the controversy was all about. Did we try to hedge the dirty past, which had suppressed women for centuries – sometimes in the form of sati, the child-marriages, disgraced widowhood and many more we’re not probably aware of – because we found it like a potential threat to our emerging image? I think somewhere we are scared to even admit the past, forget discussing.

Coming back to the movie, Water provides a very powerful snippet of these cultural blotches of our society during that early twentieth century time frame, where widowed women were denied their rights to live a respectful life. What could be termed as a gross violation of humanity, they were shoved and quarantined like harmful viruses, once their husbands would die – most of them were of their grandfather’s age, counting their last few days, at the time the marriage happened; sometimes the brides would be so young that they wouldn’t even know what marriage was all about. Imagine how inhumane it would be when an young widow – a playful little girl – was sent to a filthy widow home to spend rest of her life performing pujas (self purification that is!) to make amends for the sins from her previous life that supposedly caused her husband’s death. The home, located at one of the ghats of Varanasi, was already cramped with veteran (sarcastic) oldies. The wealthy men, many of them were revered figures, would use agents like Gulabi to bring the younger women from the home to fulfill their lust. So, as you see, a such ecosystem was created by men in the name of religion for their own purpose. The story walks you through this system through its characters – chuiya, a child widow (played by Sarala Kariyawasam, a Srilankan girl), Kalyani, a beautiful young woman (Lisa Ray), Shakuntala, a middle-aged woman (Seema Biswas), and Madhumati, the oldest of the lot, who ran the ashram (Manorama) – all of whom were primarily the victims of this system. The iconic representation was so strong in the movie that you will feel your skins crawl at some point, visualizing the women in your life in such context. The movie also shows a positive transition of the society towards the end, which were mainly leveraged by the great reformers like Mahatma Gandhi, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, and brought through the characters of Narayan (played by John Abraham), an young man from the upper-class society and an ardent follower of Gandhi, and Sadanand (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), a priest who would later provide the inputs to Shakuntala that helped her finally realize the truth; ultimately giving her the strength to liberate the child from this infested system – a metaphor that the director used brilliantly to showcase the uplift. this is where it succeeded too – for being able to radiate the positivism. At least, it worked for me.

The music is also gracious and regarded as one of the best from AR Rehman, which he himself rated as 10/10. Listen it here.

Here is a video on Deepa Mehta talking about the cinematography from the film.

August 8, 2007 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Jhoom BarAbar Jhoom: Booms to the Doom!


I have class…”, insists Rikki (Abhiskek Bachhan) in every possible opportunity he gets, though he completely lacks it. And so does ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’; Ditto. Yes, that’s how I can sum up the entire movie and possibly end the infuriating tumult inside me that it caused. But some insipid yet big-mouth entity like this needs a bit more assaults for the loss, shock, and agony it offers for our hard-earned money.

Two people, engaged to different people, arrive in Europe to get married, but fall in love with each other instead. That’s the movie plotline, and the moment you read something like this, expect nothing. Lesson One!

Then you see a bizarre looking Big B in tight pants humming a song like an erratic nomad. By now, you already have the feeling that you’ve actually bought a moronic fart machine thinking it as a hi-fi music system! Still you go into the ‘denial’ mode and think that it’s just an aberration—a temporary glitch—that will go away. “Hope feeds broke”; so you hold your breadth and prepare yourself for a story to emerge. The clock ticks. The idiotic duo, Abhishek and Preity, are still caught up in telling stories to each other at Waterloo station, as they wait for their respective fiancées to arrive. Sr. Bachhan wanders in between to croon. And the situation predictably turns into a romantic (or comic, or stupid?) one. “wat the hell!”, you think, “Where’s the damn story?”

Then you remember the tagline—This June dance… jump… shout..—and you suddenly feel an upward pressure at your rump to jump out and shout loud “B-A-****-D”!!!! But by the time you do that, the Yash Raj gang has already sucked into your wallet, and are raising toasts somewhere else, while their paid critics are busy inserting a few extra stars into the ratings.

Way to go bollywood. It’ll take another 100+ years to arrive at the international landscape, despite IAFA and the cine-stars continually and comically boast of doing that, if such movies continue to be made, sold and encouraged.

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, now you know, is worse than going to a filthy public toilet under pressure; though, both such ordeals evoke the same expression at the end (“Thank God it’s OVER!”), but in the later case you eventually thank it for being there…

That makes me wonder if YRs would better build public toilets than movies! For now, they got no one to Jhoom with 😦 which reminds me of our men in blue…


Listen Songs:


Bol na halke halke

Ticket to Hollywood

June 27, 2007 at 8:46 pm 3 comments

The Train: Travel at your own risk!


Another Hollywood rip-off. this time the victim is Clive Owen-Jennifer Anniston starrer ‘Derailed’. yes, victim!! because, this localised photocopy cant even stand out in the other aspects of what we call ‘movie’, and eventually dampens the (ripped) storyline. i think it’s time that the indian film-makers understand that their multiplex audience also see f-o-r-e-i-g-n philims!!!! and besides, a little more rationale also needs to be applied. For example, can can someone explain me how come all commuters in a train, or every working personnel in an office in Bangkok are Indians? Since when did we add Bangkok in our growing list of states in India? 🙂 yeh baat kuch hajam nahi huyee…

Coming back to the movie; so, if you already dont know the story of ‘derailed’, this is a mingle-mangle of a couple of adulterous affairs between hashmi (Vishal), Anjali – Vishal’s wife (sayali Bhagat), and Roma – the ‘other’ woman (Geeta Basra). The crumbling marriage leads Vishal to Nikki, whom he met in ‘the train’ and eventually runs into a complex web of incidents…

the movie has at-its-best a few moderate performances, an OK story-telling flow and a few good songs, which as usual are cinematically un-necessary. you’ll, of-course, find lots of umm-amm-ohhh smooches (thanks to Emraan Hashmi, who has ripened up as a fine soft-porn actor) and a few trying-to-be-bold scenes as a bonus for watching this movie. well, all said and done, this train needed steam to run, not kisses!!


Songs i liked:

Beetein Lamhe

Teri tamanna


June 16, 2007 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

Provoked: Are you?

provoked.jpg Strong, Realistic, Serious, Violent…

IMDB Profile

Genre: Dramma

Tagline: Her suffering was unimaginable, Her solution unthinkable

Directed by: Jagmohan Mundhra

Music: AR Rehman

Finally i decided to try my eyes on the film Provoked. based on the real life story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who dared to snap her torturous husband in a bid of survival, the film caught large public interest, but ironically not many rushed to the theaters to see it anticipating horrors at their own home!!!!

Usually, i avoid movies of Ms Aishwarya Rai since the day her Umrao Jaan avatar inflicted such execrable pain on my soul 😦 , and adding more salts to my wound is her current marital event, which has invaded every corner of the media space, making my tv life miserable to say the least. so bugged i was that i unplugged my cable wire, and gulped a full can of beer in a (false) sense of victory over the inundated senseless media streams into my home. 🙂

But did i have a surprise in store? and to my horror, it was. Besides having a strong storyline and wide public attention (which partly worked for the movie), Provoked has an average-to-good range of performance by Ash – a rare one after Bansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. hoop hoop hoop. i patted my own back seeing my decision-making-skills are not so bad as i thought them to be (again a false sense of achievement? 🙂 dont know!).

jokes apart, being fed by the fantasy sops of bollywood all through our lives, we haven’t yet come to the terms of serious real-life stories. it’s hard to motivate people to see a film that is expected to deliver gory ingredients of our real-lives — struggles, violence etc. We, as a matter of fact, don’t like to leave theater feeling worse than when we arrived. but sometimes, may be it feels a little good to feel so bad.

Here’s a good review of the film at Radiosargam.

The music by AR Rehman is pleasing; soft and melodious. (Genre: Country / folk)

A beautiful music video by Karen David & AR Rehman for Provoked.

April 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm 1 comment

Delhi Heights: ouch! it bites!

Delhi Heights

To consolidate a two-hour torturous filmi experience that Delhi Heights instilled on my soul, only a few words are worth the pain; A height of frustration, like that one handed rock-climber, who suddenly felt like scratching his **** while hanging from a rock! it was only the irreversible sadness of digging a hole in the pocket that refrained me from running away after the interval, reminding me how wise it would be to enjoy (atleast) a 2 hour free cooling in this hot summer… i felt nothing better than that rock climber, you know!

so, do you still expect me to write a review of a film that i only pretended to see? 🙂 the online versions are out already, figure out on your own if you’re really interested! they say that there lies an opportunity in every adversity; see if you could pull out one!! On that positive-finding note, here is one that may work. If you have never been to Delhi, then it may not be a bad idea to visually experience the city through a movie camera!

Rabbi’s songs are highly touted, but, except for this one (Tere Bin), they really fail to stand out!

Tere Bin
You can find the lyrics of the song here

April 3, 2007 at 11:44 pm 3 comments

Nishabd: a costly silence though…

As the curtains come down, one is left with an eerie silence; trying to overcome the uneasiness of a relation that is brilliantly etched by director Ramgopal Verma and superbly performed by Amitabh Bachhan. Nishabd is a bold attempt by every sense – specially its climax though it’s unlikely to find many takers among the mass. though one may find a few loopholes in the theme, the overblown and unrealistic Anything-but-Sexual kind of lust, this movie has all the trappings of a classic from the film-making point of view. What remains to be seen is, whether the public embraces it. To sum it up, Nishabd will get a thumbs-up from the thinking class, but unlikely to fare well in the box-office!

March 6, 2007 at 5:33 pm 6 comments

Traffic Signal: dont jump it

critically trashed; and true that it’s not for the ones, who prefer buying the colorful, and fantasy flavored bollywood pies. there are only a few movies that zoom into the dirty bags of the society and try to dig the up-front reality. Traffic Signal revolves around that corner, where the color is of black and grey. to me, it is a noble effort for a movie that deliberately keeps the pinks and reds away. set up in a documentary style, the camera simply pans the sreet-world of Mumbai suburbs, which crawls out of its nest in the broad daylight; find its livelihood around the traffic signals, where the city life takes a little break, albeit forcefully. it’s quite interesting to see the synchronized operations of these people, who would do anything for that every inch, which belongs to anybody and everybody – the roads, the streets. Armed with some real good performances by Ranveer Shorey, Konkona and the other little-knowns, Traffic Signal is a simple on-your-face story, which is worthy of your little time; So, stop over. and despite the hammerings by the critics, the movie has performed better than its big-budget peers; declared ‘Average’ in the latest Box-office reports, despite being surrounded by the big releases since it landed up on the theatres.

February 23, 2007 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

Don surfaces on youTube!

It seems that our new DON has nowhere to go!! After being thrashed out of boxOffice quite misrably, the DON has now taken refuge in a tube, moving surreptitiously in the under(web)world! but a little bird, soon unearthed his new avtaar – the tubeDon 🙂 hhheyyy hhoooo heeee, catch him soon before they kick him out of the tube sphere too. HURRY!! 🙂

October 30, 2006 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment



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