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November 26, 2015 Thursday     
Keeping all the comparisons aside, SPECTRE directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig in the lead offers a fresh visual treat at one side and the usual supposed to be thrilling drama on the other resulting in a mixed bag that can easily be rated as an above average venture that might not be able to satisfy many, especially the Bond fans.
Beginning with a terrific opening 10-15 minutes before the famous titles, the film scores a big star right away taking you onto a tour of the festival of the Dead in Mexico City blowing off a whole building post a worth noticing single shot following the Bond heading towards his chosen shooting spot. Further ending the sequence with a sensational scuffle in a dangerously flying helicopter frightening hundreds of people running away on the ground, SPECTRE raises your expectations a lot and then keeps delivering the well shot exciting moments before the ‘forced’ interval (in India) quite impressively. The plot focusing on a secret message left by the chief pointing towards a funeral that in turn leads to an international syndicate of criminals called SPECTRE lays a fine base for the much needed suspense element in the film. But sadly the same goes missing in its second hour, wherein the pace drops and it all falls down to the same routine stuff with only the cinematography and action thankfully maintaining the excellence displayed in its opening hour.
To be specific one strongly misses the suspense factor in its script and emotional depth in the key characters, becoming a major drawback of the film post its initial 50 minutes. Besides the two main attractions Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz delivering nothing entertaining enough as per their individual persona turns out to be the biggest disappointment unarguably. On the other hand, its supporting cast plays it fine but a few insertions like the ‘Special Car-Buttons’ and the huge henchman trying to kill Daniel, does remind you of ‘the classic Bond movies’ and its famous characters like the one played by Kabir Bedi in OCTOPUSSY (1983).
In all, SPECTRE does have Craig in a good form well supported by some spellbinding action, background score and breathtaking cinematography keeping you hooked onto the screen in its first hour. However it’s the less enjoyable script losing its charm post intermission, a lengthy duration of more than 145 minutes and lackluster performances of both Monica and Waltz that force you to rate it as an above average venture falling short of the expectations raised.
Interestingly the Indian Censor Board has trimmed the duration of ‘a long kiss’ featured in the film as per their new norms or guidelines raising a relevant question that, ‘how long a KISS should actually be in India, giving you the right amount of satisfaction or pleasure?” Hoping that the arguments given for the cut might be having the exact duration mentioned in second or minutes, you can surely try SPECTRE if you are a BOND-series fans since many years, but only for the opening 15 minutes and the visual treat it offers being the two major merits rising above everything else.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 just for the introductory sequence.)
Tags : SPECTRE Movie Review by Bobby Sing, SPECTRE Film Review by Bobby Sing, New English Releases Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, English Film Reviews by Bobby Sing, James Bond Latest Movie by Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig's SPECTRE Review by Bobby Sing at BTC
21 November 2015 / bobbysing /
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TitliCo-written and directed by Kanu Behl, TITLI is undoubtedly one of the most hard-hitting films of the year with performances capable of shaking you well establishing a highly relatable connection with the viewers, especially with the people living in Delhi and NCR. But unfortunately it’s not the same Delhi anymore on the screen that once had all positive vibes and a unique freshness as seen in films such as Sai Pranjpye’s CHASHME BUDDOOR in the 80s.
Interestingly Kanu Behl was also associated with two other projects of the new millennium effectively using the backdrop of Delhi in their respective storylines and they were Dibakar Banerjee’s OYE LUCKY LUCKY OYE (2008) and LSD: LOVE, SEX AUR DHOKHA released in 2010. However where these films specifically focused on the Punjabi ambience of the West, North or the Central Delhi, TITLI thoughtfully takes you into the virgin lanes of East Delhi (lower middle class regions of Yamuna Paar to be specific) painting a different picture of the city moving ahead of all the earlier films mentioned above.
In other words, it’s this authentic portrayal of the small adjoining houses of the region, the narrow lanes, huge sewer lines, tough living conditions, regular petty fights in the locality, unemployed youth looking for some easy money, numerous cases of road rages, builders lobby, easy availability of local ammunition, involvement of Police in even the small crimes and more, that exactly becomes the first strong merit of the film demanding a much deserving praise for its director along with his talented team of writers, art-director and the cinematographer in particular (capturing it beautifully on a probably lower format).
The second powerful merit of the film is its highly engrossing, impressive as well as disturbing performances that actually don’t let you think anything else till it all gets over on an open note (following a set pattern). The cast ensemble brilliantly portrays the story of a dysfunctional family of 3 brothers and a father, with the elder brother going through a divorce and the youngest unwillingly getting married to a pretty girl, with a purpose of using her in some hidden criminal acts of the family not many are aware of.
Towering them all, Ranvir Shorey as the elder brother simply nails it with a haunting act full of terrifying anger, rage and violence. Amit Sial as the second brother presents a balanced act with a touch of kindness too. And Shashank Arora as the youngest (Titli) delivers an intense performance of a confused yet desperate youth willing to get out of his family’s deadly mess at the earliest. Lalit Behl enacting their father (director’s own father) impresses you in a different manner with his awkward lost mannerisms and body language. But its actually Shivani Raghuvanshi as Neelu (Titli’s wife) who simply wins the contest along with Ranvir playing a strong girl living with her own agenda of life that in reality has no sane meaning or direction, performing sportingly in the masterstroke scene where she pisses out of fear in the car itself.
Together director Kanu Behl, his co-writer and the team conceives a film that simply isn’t interested in any spoon feeding (about the past) but does have a detailed visual description of the present life lived by its key characters with many small indicative insertions like the way they dress, eat, brush, gargle and talk to each other in a lingo that is so close to Delhi’s real life found in such lower middle class colonies. Though its stomach churning violence and raw treatment might not be a pleasant feature for a larger section of viewers looking for their usual entertainment, but with a brisk story progression and crisp editing, the film doesn’t drag at all and also provides the much needed relief factor too through some intelligent dark humour placed at regular intervals. In fact this remains the major reason why one isn’t able to point out the flaws while watching it, but then slowly starts thinking about them in a sequence, while walking out of the theater largely unsatisfied with the way it ends without making any shocking impact.
(Spoilers Ahead)
Stating the flaws or its major drawbacks, the film is just perfect in its opening sequences and impresses you strongly in these initial moments till they decide to get their youngest brother married to an even smarter girl. And its from here onwards that the narration tends to become quite filmy as well as overdone at times with no investigations shown for the regular loots undertaken by the brothers in the same region, easy & mindless stealing of the trial-car (probably) killing the salesman too in the broad daylight with no chasing of police and then intentionally breaking the girl’s right hand with a consent just to avoid the signing of a FD document. Besides, at one end the family is shown to be living in poor conditions throughout the film (though eating chicken most of the time in their meals), but on the other they are regularly looting rich travellers, taking away their cars too with no mention of where the money acquired from those crimes goes, skipping it completely.
However my biggest problem was with ‘the unusual marriage’ shown, that was just not believable right from the first scene itself where the two families and the couple meet each other. And here are the reasons why it was so in my personal opinion.
As per the plotline, the girl was having an affair with an already married person with a big age difference and knowing the shocking truth the worried parents wanted to get her married as soon as possible, hoping that she will change post marriage, getting involved with her loving husband and the new family members in her husband’s home.
Yes, that’s very much realistic as helpless parents caught in such concerning situation tend to think in the same manner for the betterment of their own daughter. But in the process they still cannot get her married to any Tom, Dick and Harry, ignoring the clearly visible mis-match, without enquiring about their family status or avoiding making any investigations about the boy or his family’s reputation from their close neighborhood. Even the most uneducated, poor or annoyed parents would not think of doing that with their own daughter, unless we are talking about an exceptional case of a highly disturbed family with only an old drug addict father who has lost his ability of thinking and decision making, which is not the case here in the first place.
Now taking up the very first scene when the two families meet, we get introduced to the girl’s parents as a decent couple representing an upper middle class educated family with the father doing well, probably through a respectable job/business as indicated by their well-maintained home (visible in the backdrop). Plus they seem to be the parents loving their grown-up daughter a lot despite the hidden truth of her affair, giving her a second chance.
In the same scene we also meet the girl (Neelu) sitting there at a couch, having an immensely likable appearance with a charming face, fair complexion, a fine sense of modern dressing and a confident persona in all, that’s way ahead than the ugly looking boy sitting right in front, willing to be her future husband….…being no match whatsoever for the pretty girl from any angle …… hands down.
Next, just look at the boy’s family of all men (4 in total) with an old weird father, an elder brother whose wife has already left the house (living separately from a long time asking for a divorce) and the middle one who has yet not got married for his own undisclosed reasons, running a small shop. So making their daily food & clothes themselves, the four are desperately willing to get the youngest brother married to break this teasing monotony of the house that should ideally raise many serious concerns for the parents of a girl in practical terms.
Furthermore, try to visualize their filthy home again, the rotten furniture, the dirty rooms, the way they use to sit, sleep, eat and bath. Will any father of a girl readily agree to send her charming daughter to such home where they don’t even have proper living conditions or a clean separate room with a proper door? (You can see Bawla fixing a bolt on the door of the room assigned to the couple before their first night.)
More importantly, just recall the scene in the latter half of the movie when Neelu is silently leaving the house walking through the lonely lanes at night and Titli manages to find her, asking her to get back home immediately. In this conversation, he clearly mentions that there would be no use of shouting here as everyone in this locality is very much aware of what we brothers do and who we are.
Still the girl’s parents were not aware of this widespread truth quite strangely when the whole neighborhood knew everything about the criminal background of this ‘all men’ family and their misconducts.
Okay let’s assume that Titli just made it up as a lie, only to threaten Neelu at that particular moment of the night. But then,
Why the parents didn’t make any investigations about the boy and his family from their close neighborhood before saying yes?
Why they didn’t even care to at least once visit the house their daughter was being sent to?
And, Why didn’t they thought of meeting the only lady of the house before taking a decision, i.e. Ranvir’s wife, (who was not living with them anymore), in order to know the exact truth about the people in the family ensuring the safety of their young daughter?
Strangely the writers were least concerned about these crucial points and just to move their story forward, simply decided to assume the girl’s parents readily agreeing to the mismatched marriage as two dumb individuals doing nothing to fulfill their big parental responsibility and having no issues in sending their young, beautiful girl to the unacceptable house of such horrifying criminals only because she was having an affair in the past and they wanted to get rid of her at the earliest.
Honestly this was not any realistic writing as it might seem to be in my personal opinion, depending entirely upon ‘A Marriage’ that was completely out of sync with the real life. Yet concluding the review on a positive note, you should surely watch TITLI for all its praiseworthy, intense performances rising much above the hard to believe sequences in terms of reality. Because though it isn’t perfect, the film still remains a highly appreciable and well enacted experiment that successfully draws your attention towards the kind of life lived in such narrow lanes of the otherwise developed metro cities of our country.
Rating : 3.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 just for Ranvir Shorey’s flawless portrayal of a psycho character.)
Tags : Titli Review by Bobby Sing, Titli Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
17 November 2015 / bobbysing /
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If it’s a Rajshri film directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya (returning after almost a decade), featuring Salman Khan in the lead, with an ‘already hit’ title song presented with a surprising grandeur not usually related with the esteemed banner, then what does one expect?
Obviously not something great in its story department, but certainly something highly likable, emotional and relatable with all lovable, homely characters on screen, giving the worth of our money spent on the entire family tickets bought after a long time.
Obviously not something novel in terms of presentation, but surely something moving enough to feel the warmth between our close relationships, dangerously missing in our present films specifically made just for the quick weekend returns.
And obviously not anything path breaking, but certainly something worth watching that satisfies us both in terms of emotional fulfillment as well as entertainment exactly like the three films directed by the big name as MAINE PYAR KIYA, HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN & VIVAH.
However what Sooraj delivers in his much talked about and awaited PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO after a gap of nine years, turns out to be nothing even comparable to the above three names, straight away reminding you of his two mistakes made in the past as HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN and MAIN PREM KI DIWANI HOON, clearly indicating towards no lessons learned from their big failures at all in a highly ignorant and casual manner.
Giving you the clear picture, nothing works in this latest venture of Rajshri-Sooraj-Salman, nothing whatsoever……except the man… Salman Khan, taking two steps backward from his last mega-hit BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. The film neither has some great characterizations in its shockingly routine screenplay, nor any memorable well written sequences or simplistic dialogues continuing the tradition started by MAINE PYAR KIYA. Above all in PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, the team comes up with such pathetically overused, clichéd storyline that makes you wonder that how confidently they keep on making films on the same stories again & again assuming the people to be dumb enough to keep on accepting them year after year with closed eyes without any complains as such. Yes, at times even the same stories become hugely entertaining due to the writer/director’s exceptional novel treatment & presentation. But sadly that is not visible anywhere in this film that unexpectedly even starts boring the viewers in its second half.
Recalling the experience of watching it in the theater, I was really surprised to see simply nothing executed on screen with the backing of some solid writing (post the decent opening Ramlila sequence) and the film progressing so casually without incorporating any kind of much needed suspense or enjoyable tension involving the double role. In fact, a few catchy songs and comic scenes remain the only relief moments in its first half, with the second turning out to be so painfully long that you keep looking at your mobile/watch repeatedly as if it’s already gone beyond 3 hours shattering all kinds of expectations raised.
The cast ensemble including a couple of forgotten names, seem to be only interested in carelessly completing their given jobs establishing no emotional connect with their ultimate viewers, contributing ‘nothing’. And the names include veterans like Anupam Kher followed by Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh and the snake-man Arman Kohli. To be fair, there is only one person who randomly makes you laugh in his few scenes and he is Deepak Dobriyal who sadly remains under-utilized in the entire film displaying a shocking lack of vision.
Rephrasing the above, in PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO we have two lovers but no loving chemistry between them despite the hit tracks, brothers and sisters with no depth in their vaguely written characters placed just to get united again, villains with no emphasis given on their evil intentions or villainy and many deliberately inserted sequences like the unexciting football match post interval lacking the much-desired universal appeal and joy. Moreover except a couple of catchy compositions, both the lyricist and composer desperately keep trying to get into the Ravindra Jain/Ram Laxman mood making a conscious effort.
Ruining it further, it was hard to understand the director’s obsession with the highly outdated mirror sequences towards the end that had no charm at all reminding you of the famous climax sequence of Bruce Lee's ENTER THE DRAGON. Besides the never-ending final hour of the film becomes so tough to bear, exactly like watching the last few overs of a one day cricket match that has already been lost in its 40th over.
To be honest, in the entire film I kept wondering that,
A. Was this the story Sooraj R Barjatya kept searching for since 2006 which is clearly a take-off from famous novels such as “The Prisoner of Zenda” and “The Prince and the Pauper” (with the shades of BAWARCHI), already adapted several times in the West as well as in numerous Hindi films changing the theme from Kings to Dons since the mid of last century?
B. Was this the film Salman approved of - full of old time obsolete feel, based on a ridiculously stereotyped theme, having only a few engaging moments, at your face brand promotion, lackluster background score, unimpressive ‘big-empire’ grandeur (that only worked in the promos) and loads of full length songs thrown in just like that, assuming that the viewers are still living somewhere in the 90s?
C. Or Was this a mess, wherein Sooraj was not allowed to do what he was willing to, with the major suggestions/interventions coming from the now much bigger STAR with no intentions of breaking through his own comfort zone?
In all, a big unexpected let-down, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO actually has nothing Rajshri, Sooraj and Salman together are known for, not even the emotional warmth they used to offer in their earlier films. But here I will like to end on a much alarming note addressing the younger brigade born post the 90s, watching just Hindi films alone and nothing else.
If you fondly consider yourself as a true lover of cinema, but still watch just the mainstream Hindi movies only due to any kind of personal reservation or assumptions, then you are actually keeping yourself deprived of the REAL INDIA – that is a land of diversified cultures full of uncountable great stories told in its different languages.
And since Cinema is simply ‘The art of Story-telling’ using the combined impact of sound & visuals on the screen, you are actually not watching Cinema if they are not giving you all ‘new virgin stories’ in these films conceived by your favourite writers, directors or the influential actors.
So if you are seriously interested in the REAL CINEMA capable of adding a lot into your personal perspective towards life, then boldly ask for new stories, new insights into relationships, breaking new grounds in these films coming from your lovable icons and not just be satisfied by the same old dull, routine, overused stuff they keep on offering in the name of mainstream entertaining Cinema on regular basis.
But admittedly, since that is not going to change in the near future, therefore shed off any of your childish inhibitions and start watching the HINDI CLASSICS and REGIONAL CINEMA being made within our own country that will shockingly stun you in such a way that you would start cursing why I wasn’t told this eye-opener truth before……… saving all those years spent just watching the new Hindi mainstream movies released every Friday.
For instance, the day I watched PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO in the morning, I also witnessed the National Award winner Malayalam movie titled INDIAN RUPEE in the afternoon and then saw the trailers of upcoming KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI & NATSAMRAT (both Marathi) in the night. And realizing the gigantic ‘quality’ difference in the vision expressed in these gutsy regional movies ……. I wrote,
“Yeh Khaali Bajte Gharhey Se Naam, Kaisa Shor Macha Rahey Hain,
Yeh ‘Kya Cheez’ Dikha Rahey Hain, Aur Woh ‘KYAAA CHEEEEZ’ Bana Rahey Hain”

Rating : 1.5 / 5 (Including the big 1 just for its couple of melodious songs & some better tracks)
Tags : Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Review by Bobby Sing, Sooraj Barjatya, Rajshri film, Inspired Cinema, Copied Subjects, Cliched Themes, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
14 November 2015 / bobbysing /
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