Author Topic: The Cinema of Bollywood  (Read 117603 times)

Offline westendboy

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #510 on: May 27, 2018, 00:01 »


I have been watching so many spy movies in the mold of Bond-Hunt-Bourne that I have started to believe spies are superhumans. Raazi’s timely entry reminds us that spies are real fresh and blood people. The film grips you with its central character’s authenticity, all the way to the last frame.

On her dying father’s (Rajit Kapur) request, Sehmat, a Kashmiri girl, agrees to marry Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal), the son of a Pakistani Brigadier General, Parvez Syed (Shishir Sharma). The year is 1971 and relations between the two nations is at its lowest; war is brewing. Before the impending wedding, Sehmat is trained in the art of espionage, self-defence and murder, by her handler Khalid Mir (Jaideep Ahlawat). Things would have been easy if her husband and in-laws are despicable war-mongers. As it turns out, they are the kindest people, which make things doubly hard for Sehmat who is privy to classified information that can turn the tides of war.

Unless you know the history of India and Pakistan’s conflict, the initial set-up of the story will throw you into the deep end. Deep animosity and secret allegiances are introduced from the get-go and there is even mention of some separatist groups, but thankfully I have seen the excellent submarine action thriller The Ghazi Attack (2017) which deals with the nautical events in the same time period. With that I had all the context I needed.

Writer-director Meghna Gulzar isn’t interested in giving us the typical spy thriller where action set-pieces punctuate every 15 minutes; neither does Gulzar double down on the jingoism till the audience starts to choke. Instead she focuses on the theme of patriotism and allows the scenes to breathe. That is not to say there are no tense bare-knuckled situations. The second half ramps up the tension to dizzying levels and amps up the emotional resonance. The film is well-paced and I didn’t fall out of the story at any time.

The main reason the film transcends another tier is Alia Bhatt’s sensitive portrayal of a spy caught between a rock and a hard place. Her sense of patriotism is keenly felt; it is not blind faith and definitely not born of obedience to her father. I have seen her in five other films and she can play characters with an anti-establishment and rebellious streak in her sleep. In Raazi, she has truly blossomed as an actress with a range I didn’t see coming. Another surprise was how Iqbal’s character was written. He is a good man and their budding romance (after marriage) is one of the highlights of the film.

The film does have its faults and it stretches credulity a few times, but I could easily dismiss them because it is a story intelligently told. It also invites us to question our sense of patriotism in these current times when allegiance can so easily shift for personal benefits. In the end, war is futile and it doesn’t just destroy lives and property, it destroys one’s very soul. When Sehmat screams and begs for one last ounce of humanity, it is the cry of every tormented soul in times of war.


4 / 5

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Offline francis wu

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #511 on: June 28, 2018, 20:31 »
I love Vidya as drama actress in Kahaani and I love her even more in this movie as a comic....staller performance!!
This is a feel good movie, warm, funny, light hearted and definitely make you smile and laugh a little.
Don't miss it if you are a fan of Vidya Balan

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Offline Jose

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #512 on: July 06, 2018, 11:29 »
I only watched Sridevi in English Vinglish and was very impressed with her acting. Sadly, she passed away in Feb 2018.



2017 is a poor output by Bollywood’s usual standards. Nothing, IMHO, pushed the envelope and blazed a new path for cinema. Mom was one of those “could have been” movies.

Mom is a 2017 Indian thriller film directed by Ravi Udyawar. Produced by Boney Kapoor, Sunil Manchanda, Mukesh Talreja, Naresh Agarwal and Gautam Jain, the film stars Sridevi, as a vigilante, who sets out to avenge her daughter, played by Sajal Ali. Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui play supporting roles in the film. Music for the film has been composed and produced by A. R. Rahman. Mom marked Sridevi's 300th film appearance. Sridevi was highly lauded for her performance in the film with Times of India saying that the actress "demonstrates why she is the high-priestess of Indian cinema."

The movie tries to push too many buttons and landed up not quite there in every aspect. The plot moves too linearly with little guile and the Mother-Daughter angle shoehorned into the final act with little irony. It is a shame because it has all the ingredients for a helluva cautionary tale, but nothing gelled for an organic experience.


3 / 5

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Offline neeravks

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Andhadhun (2018)
« Reply #513 on: October 09, 2018, 17:56 »
The literal meaning of the word is "Andha" meaning Blind and "Dhun" meaning Melody - Blind Melody.
What a ride!!! This has to be the best hindi movies I have seen in the last few years.

I don't really want to give any plot points, because I went into the movie completely blind and I enjoyed immensely. Suggest you do the same.

For those who do want to know the premise here :
It starts with this : "What is life? It depends on the liver"
A blind pianist Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) - a really talented one - meets a pretty gal. She becomes his muse and they make out. He starts working at her fathers bar and the money is good. An ex-movie star impressed by his music, invites him for a private performance to his house. Akash reaches the house and the film stars wife (Tabu) opens the door. This encounter sends Akash's life in a tailspin. There is no black or white here. Everything is grey. there is no morality. maybe a little bit. Other characters join the story and each of them are ok to cross any line to help themselves. Also there is a Rabbit.

The cinematography is brilliant. the best moments in the movie are visual and not verbal at all.
Ayushmann is brilliant, his best work yet. Tabu is mesmerizing. She just doesnt do enough movies. Radika Apte is everywhere these days, and its not hard to see why, she is just perfect and beautiful as hell..

Don't often get this excited by a hindi movie these days, but this is so refreshing. Brilliant movie. Go watch it.

Don't watch the trailer if you really are keen to watch this movie. But upto you.

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« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 10:50 by neeravks »

Offline westendboy

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #514 on: December 18, 2018, 16:33 »


Hichki is a story about a woman who turns her most daunting weakness into her biggest strength. Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji) is an aspiring teacher who suffers from Tourette Syndrome. After several interviews and numerous rejections, she lands her dream job as a full-time teacher in one of the most elite schools in the city. However, she soon realises that the class she has been assigned comprises of defiant and impish students who can't seem to keep out of trouble. Despite a few initial hiccups, Naina must do whatever she can to ensure that her students realise their true potential, and defy all the odds against them.

What’s Tourette Syndrome? It is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.

As you can see being teacher should be the last thing on a person suffering from the disease. But for Naina, it is her red badge of courage and she longs for people to treat her like she is normal. Hard luck that can happen. Rani Mukerji came out from a 4-year hiatus and nails the underdog role.

Coming on the heels of another excellent Hindi movie about education English Medium, Hichki turns the spotlight on the noble profession of teaching and the obstacles to education. It is a feel good movie. Even if parts of it feel like a stretch and it has a predictable plot, its heart is in the right place. Not the greatest movie about teaching but it is a good reminder of what teaching really entails. I like something that was said early in the movie and I quote: “A normal teacher only teaches you, a good teacher makes you understand. If he’s great he’ll show you how to apply it. But some teachers inspire us.”

I love watching some of Naina’s unconventional teaching methods and how she is able to relate the stuff in books to real life. It was quite inspiring. My wife was crying at some of the scenes, so you know the movie work. But it was too emotionally manipulative for my taste. (3 / 5)



Children of Heaven director Majid Majidi helmed his first Indian movie Beyond the Clouds.

Teenager Amir is constantly dodging trouble while dealing drugs in the underbelly of Mumbai. Following a drug bust, he evades the cops and ends up on the doorstep of his estranged sister Tara. Complications from concealing Amir land Tara in jail, but she still sees her brother as her only hope of living in the outside world again. While their lives have been darkened by despair, hope may shine from beyond the clouds.

Parts of this movie feel like they came from a place of pure sublime, but all the goodness is soon killed by bouts of manipulative mechanics. It is also a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to say. We do love the scenes of kindness that can move your heart. The characters are poor and deemed hopeless, but hope can come in many sizes like a rat. As the movie progresses I was thinking 3.5/5 and it will hit 3/5 in those manic scenes that carried on for far too long, but the ending is so abrupt and unfulfilling it dropped to 2/5 when it hit the credit roll.
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Offline westendboy

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #515 on: February 22, 2019, 15:21 »


I am a firm believer that all great stories stem from an unpleasant episode. That is why during my lesson opener in a writing class, I tell kids never to sweep that sad memory – a failure, a chiding, an embarrassment, an accusation, a ridicule – under the carpet. Because “you can recall it, feel it consume you and give yourself that redemption arc you didn’t think of at that moment”. Gully Boy must have originated from a world of hurt and anger, and of an ineptitude against the social injustice of the protagonists’ world, and it brims with electrifying energy.

22-year-old Murad (Ranveer Singh) hails from a ghetto in Mumbai. The young man is a wannabe rapper, and this is the story of his journey from realising his love for rap, to chasing his dream, and to inadvertently transcending his class. Hip-hop in India is a recent phenomenon and like anywhere else in the world, is rising from the streets. It is the only true political space in music right now and it’s coming from people that have nothing to lose, the colonised poor.

Zoya Akhtar’s (Dil Dhadakne Do & Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) storytelling has gusto and Ranveer Singh anchors it superbly well. Singh’s Murad wears a permanent listless scowl, is quietly diffident and a wordsmith, but he still has to work on his tempo. The movie rests ably on his shoulders and he raps it to the finishing line with finesse. His arc is very satisfying and I nearly punched the air in victory for his emergence. Perhaps the best accolade I can give Singh’s acting is that I walked out of the cinema fully believing he is a rapper and he does it for a living.

On the other hand, Alia Bhatt who plays the love interest Safeena felt criminally under-used, but with all the scenes she is in she plays Safeena memorably. Her Safeena has spunk and she is the living embodiment of a feisty spirit. She can turn violent with jealousy but never makes the scene become trite. Heck! Any man should be proud of his woman who can fight tooth and nail, and not sit there taking one for woman-kind. Watch out for Murad and Safeena’s “meet-cute” and you will understand why I put quotation marks around that when you see it.

Siddhant Chaturvedi who plays MC Sher deserves a huge mention too. I sincerely thought he is the real deal, an actual rapper from the streets added to the cast to bring authenticity to the story. A check on sources told me he is an actor. Wow!

Where the movie is strongest is with the music and rap battles, and Akhtar nails the scenes with aplomb. The scenes seethed with righteous anger and the music is infectious. Watch out for a MTV-styled vid shot in the slums that is toe-tappingly awesome.

The portrayal of the slums of Mumbai and all the injustice it brings is spot-on. I have seen these slums shot in numerous cinematographic styles, but I still get a shiver down my spine when a filmmaker can bring something different to the plate, and I got the shivers here. The slums might as well have been the prison of the poor, but occasionally we get a Phoenix rising that gives hope to everyone.

All said, Gully Boy played it too safe and it ran into cliché territory. Murad fails at his first attempt at the hurdle, he learns from a master and starts to experience success. He is constantly unhappy, not sure of what he truly wants but he knows it isn’t this crappy life. He may be not so good with love but has better luck with pals, and it all ends with him rising from the ashes of the slums. Tell me you have never seen that before. At 153 minutes, it could easily shaved off 30 minutes of the umpteenth detailing of society’s unfairness to make the story more compact.

But that said, Gully Boy has absolute conviction that keeps it from being too formulaic and it delivers as a superb entertainer that had this reviewer moving like a hip-hop rapper out of the cinema, I kid you not.

 
3.5 / 5

PS – I punched this review out while Kanye West’s The College Dropout was blasting. The right music has to go with the writing process, yo!

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Offline kevtomin

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #516 on: February 22, 2019, 16:15 »
I very much enjoyed "Gullu Boy". Its good to see Ranveer Singh in non Sanjay Leela Bhansali films, where in my opinion, he is asked to overact. Alia is good as well. I thought the socio economic side of a particular section of the society has been captured subtly but very well. Alia is good as well. Having seen the cluttered gullies of Mumbai from close quarters I can very well relate to the life style shown in the film, especially those tiny houses of Dharavi and the typical language.

Offline Heng

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #517 on: March 12, 2019, 17:17 »
Today went mustafa, so drop by the disc section. Wanted to buy Baahubali 1 & 2 on BR. They have part 1 on BR, but part 2 is only on dvd. Then went on to try my luck at Lata music ctr. Was told they had already closed down their movie/music section for good since last Sept.. Sigh..

Where else can I buy Baahubali 2 BR ah???
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 17:20 by Heng »

Offline westendboy

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #518 on: March 12, 2019, 23:27 »
Today went mustafa, so drop by the disc section. Wanted to buy Baahubali 1 & 2 on BR. They have part 1 on BR, but part 2 is only on dvd. Then went on to try my luck at Lata music ctr. Was told they had already closed down their movie/music section for good since last Sept.. Sigh..

Where else can I buy Baahubali 2 BR ah???

Here...

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=273187.0
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

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Offline Heng

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #519 on: March 13, 2019, 11:39 »
Here...

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=273187.0

Thanks, bro WEB!!! Really appreciate that!!! I jus SMSed him my interest!!!  :D
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 11:41 by Heng »

Offline westendboy

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Re: The Cinema of Bollywood
« Reply #520 on: May 02, 2019, 09:29 »


Sui Dhaaga: Made in India is a gem of a movie that made us 😭

Egged by his wife Mamta (Anushka Sharma), Mauji (Varun Dhawan) decides to ditch his demanding bosses for his own tailoring business. But amidst naysayers, unscrupulous relatives and lack of support, will his dream of turning into an entrepreneur become a reality?

The movie opens with a wondrous one-take that introduces all the characters as it weaves through a household. I love how the movie centres on an everyday middle-class family trying to make ends meet. Some of them may be at loggerheads with each other, but it is easy to see the love permeates in the endearing characters.

15 minutes in, the movie reminded me of another movie called Dum Laga Ke Haisha in terms of its tone. A quick check on IMDb told me the same filmmaker directed both movies. Am I good or am I good? 😊

Like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Made in India also deals with the institution of marriage and what are the qualities that make a marriage good. But the scope of Made in India is wider as it also deals with many hard-hitting themes like how the world is so cruel in that the rich will “eat up” the poor. The social commentary hits hard and true.

It is also an underdog story and they will have their day in the sun. The story is predictable, going through all the usual emotional cues, but it does it with finesse and scores with a pair of amazing performances in Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan. I love their scenes together that carry so much warmth.

Little nuances speak volumes than long dialogue. From Dum Laga Ke Haisha, I come away feeling one aspect of making a marriage great is the accumulation of kind acts. From Made in India, I learned that support for your life partner should be based on action and not mere words. But the lesson that hit me the hardest is that if we cannot gain the respect of our partner in what we do, it is as good as over. Strive to do one thing a day to make someone and you proud of you and yourself respectively. Do I make sense?


3.5 / 5
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

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