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A warm welcome to all friends visiting the site with a loving invitation to read my personal expressions on movies, music, poetry and life.

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May 01, 2016 Sunday     
One of those outrageously inferior films served in the name of cinema, SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD. has nothing to do with either detectives, secret agents or comedy clearing the doubts if any. In fact it’s such a badly conceived film that one feels like seriously questioning the intelligence and sense of humour of not only its makers but the known onscreen performers too, who simply look dumb or brain-dead enacting the annoying, boring sequences in a completely unfunny manner. In more blunt words, even the famous ‘I love trashy Hindi movies’ group at Facebook will find it hard to mention or discuss it in their posts as any enjoyable Bollywood Trash.
The film begins with an animation praising the Sikh community playing it safe (that might have been added later after the strong opposition) and then goes on to present a ‘so called story’ that hardly has something entertaining as rightly indicated by its lackluster promos and publicity material. The writing is simply flat with neither anything funny or engaging in terms of even individual sequences and one begins sensing the mess, right from the opening five minutes itself regretting the choice made to watch it in a costly multiplex. Full of dated jokes, dull performances and amateurish execution, it’s actually a film that everyone associated with, would love to give a miss in his or her career profile or show-reel to be sent for the future projects.
Having said that, I honestly didn’t feel irritated or angry while watching the film, but felt really sad witnessing two highly talented actors Boman Irani and Vir Das playing such sluggishly written lifeless characters on screen, who otherwise are quite known for their fun loving, witty nature in real life. Plus here we also have the underrated Sanjay Mishra, Vijay Raaz and the veteran Johny Lever too trying their level best to entertain in absence of any supporting material provided by the poor writing department. Adding their own ‘nothingness’ into the project Ram Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Lisa Haydon keep participating in the awful proceedings professionally and the disinterest can clearly be spotted on their expression-less plain faces right through the unbearable film. Deserving a special mention here we also get to see Sonu Nigam singing and dancing in a song with ‘some great’ lyrics as ‘Machhli Jal Ki Rani Hai, Aji Daaru Ke Sang Khaani Hai’.
Need to say anything more?
Accused of hurting the sentiments of Sikh community (with its lead characters modeled on the infamous Santa-Banta jokes series against which a moral fight has already begun), the makers as well as the actors have strongly denied any such intention in their recent interviews and press statements. But ironically that doesn’t seem to be the case as far as the title and appearances are concerned in particular.
Looking at the matter with an unbiased vision, Yes, the film doesn’t try to insult any particular community intentionally in its written sequences or dialogues. But its actually the title that does the damage much more than the ‘unseen content’ portraying two Sikhs as mere comedians with a clear motive. And the motive here is to encash the already known names gaining some instant attention that certainly would not have been possible with some Cheeku-Meeku, Ajay-Vijay or Albert-Pinto Pvt. Ltd kind of comic titles.
Further, this also looks like intentional since the entertainment industry had already witnessed a similar case back in the 90s and it’s not possible that the big corporate house and their sharp legal department might not be aware of this major fact. So sighting a sure shot news-making publicity campaign on the cards, the title seems to be purposefully kept as SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD., knowingly inviting the opposition of all Sikh organizations.
Informing the readers about the famous similar case of the 90s, it was related with a musical countdown show called “Zee’s Philips Top Ten” aired around 1994-95. The series became immensely popular due to its well written and entertaining immature conversation between the two lead Punjabi characters superbly played by the gifted artists Pankaj Kapur and Satish Kaushik as two loving brothers. A particular way of interaction among these two Punjabis became the talks of the town in those days and everyone from kids to college going youngsters could be seen imitating the same as,
“Wadda Kaun”
‘Tussi’
“Samajhdar Kaun’
‘Tussi’
and more.
In the beginning of this show both Pankaj and Satish were portrayed as Sikh characters wearing readymade turbans and talking in typical Punjabi tone (knowing it well). But later as the particular program became one of the top 3 TV shows of that time, a complaint was filed against the questionable Sikh portrayal in the series resulting in a break.
Later when it revived after a few weeks, both Pankaj and Satish were given caps instead of turbans but their way of conversing with each other remained more or less the same. At present the episodes available at Youtube are from the second version of the show with the first probably lost in the Beta tapes lying in some stores of a forgotten production house.
Coming back to the review, I think there is nothing left to say about this stale and avoidable film, so just forget about it.
Rating : 0.5 / 5 (And that too for the hard working technical crew giving their best as required)
[Note : Addressing the opposition, there was a Punjabi DVD film made within Punjab, with the title having the names SANTA BANTA in it, featuring two Sikh actors only playing the lead roles, released by a well-known audio-video company in the year 2011. When I first saw that product in the market back in 2012, I wondered why it wasn’t being opposed by the people and why they are not feeling upset by such prominent release also being publicized at the leading Punjabi TV channels? Anyway the movie is still there uploaded at Youtube at the time of writing this review and can easily be searched by the name of ‘Ghasita Hawaldar Santa Banta Frar’ also featuring one of the most famous actors of Punjabi cinema, Gurpreet Ghuggi.]
Tags : Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd. Review By Bobby Sing, Santa Banta Pvt Ltd 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
 
 
25 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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To begin with, this is a tricky film backed by a renowned filmmaker Anand L. Rai (of Tanu Weds Manu series fame). Tricky, because at one end, it appears to be a heartfelt presentation made with all noble intentions spreading an important social message of girl-education in the society. But on the other, its whole basic plot revolving around an unusual school admission is highly impractical and far from reality. Moreover, since the complete portrayal of an educational institute in the film remains more inclined towards comedy, mocking even the principal, hence NIL BATTEY SANNATA cannot really be considered as a truly meaningful attempt made with a focused vision.
(Spoilers Ahead)
Anyway, giving you an idea of the film’s story progression first, it begins at a simple and sweet note introducing a mother (working as a maid), her young school going girl and a caring lady doctor (the mother’s employer) through all realistic, likable sequences making a decent impression. In fact the first 20 minutes of the film are the most authentic moments in its entire duration of around 100 minutes as later it starts portraying everything too conveniently without any major hassles at all moving far away from what this particular section of the society faces in their real lives.
The first half keeps you engaged mainly through its well-conceived enjoyable sequences having a strong comical feel, specifically the school portions and interactions between the young kids. Keeping the basic (impractical) plot aside, the writing remains sensitive as well as entertaining using just 4 key characters intelligently. However the narration becomes inconsistent in the second half, having a few filmy inclusions like the repeated meetings with the local contractor, no clear reference of the mother’s own further studies and a hurried predictable climax with the girl becoming an IAS officer all of a sudden, leaving you with a mixed feeling about the project and its moral objectives.
Thankfully, it’s the performances that keep you engrossed and invested in the film despite its visible flaws. Swara Bhaskar, unarguably remains the soul of NIL BATTEY SANNATA playing the responsible & courageous mother who just thinks about her daughter’s bright future and nothing else. Her remarkable shining act wins your attention as well as sympathy right from the first scene itself, becoming the life-line of the project focusing on just 4-5 major characters in the entire script.
Ria Shukla, as the young-indecisive Apu makes you love her innocent anger too, even when she is not talking to her mother considering her as a competitive classmate and Ratna Pathak Shah is adorable in her short role (though coming up with a completely childish suggestion for Swara). The talented Pankaj Tripathi perfectly brings in the light humour as desired by the writer-director, but the character again is not given its due respect, being an honourable principal of a government school.
Coming to the impractical insertions in the film, director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari basically makes a project focusing on the mother-daughter’s emotional relationship around a significant backdrop of girl-education in our society. But at the same time keeps contradicting his own vision or concept by including a very unconvincing (unheard of) basic plot along with many questionable comic sequences insulting the key representative of an educational institute (in order to make a commercially viable film wooing the general public).
For instance it’s really absurd to see a highly educated, sophisticated doctor lady suggesting a 30+ aged maid to get admission in the class of her young daughter in a Government School (and that too in the crucial board exams class of Xth) as if it’s that easy, technically allowed and can quickly be done by pressurizing the Principal using someone’s influential status. In fact this major flaw simply changes the genre of the film from ‘Realistic’ to a completely ‘fictional’ exaggerated drama unexpectedly.
Secondly for a long part of the film, you see no one else but just Pankaj Tripathi as the only teacher in the school who also happens to be The Principal. So a principal only is taking the roll calls, he is only teaching the class, he is only taking the examination and he is only checking and giving back the papers too as if there is only one section and class in the entire school and he hasn’t got anything else to do.
Further the way, the character of a principal is comically used to bring in some laughter in the theater is nothing but the result of a confused vision that wishes to satisfy both the masses and classes together converting the film into a light hearted comedy. Particularly just see how the identity of ‘a principal’ is ridiculously portrayed in the scene when Ratna Pathak Shah comes to meet him with a weird and illogical proposal of a new admission.
Pointing towards its soundtrack (with a song coming right in the beginning), I personally fail to understand that how a story of a maid struggling with life (living in slums) can be represented through the musical arrangements of guitars, drums and all western instruments. That’s something which certainly doesn’t gel with the basic theme of the film as per my personal opinion.
In all, its quite painful looking at the present trend wherein the filmmakers are deliberately including or are being forced to include light hearted comic sequences and dialogues into almost everything, even when it’s a serious life-transforming subject such as EDUCATION or specifically GIRL EDUCATION. Hence despite having all praises for the film’s basic theme and its noble intentions, I would not be able to give NIL BATTEY SANNATA any higher ratings due to the reasons mentioned above, but you can still go for it for the performances and the subject alone if you must.
Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (with the additional one as a strong support to the cause of ‘Girl Education’ in our society)
Tags : Nil Battey Sannata Film Review by Bobby Sing, Nil Battey Sannata 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
 
 
23 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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Laal-Rang

Keeping in mind its dark realistic theme, a heavy regional feel and all unknown names in the cast apart from Randeep Hooda, no one was admittedly expecting LAAL RANG to be an enjoyable worth watching film made on a novel concept. Such timely surprises actually infuse a new life back into the medium and I really love living that Friday when a highly underrated film like this, turns out to be an extremely pleasant experience offering more than one big merit to mention, praising the effort as a whole. So giving you the good news, here is a film that proves all pre-release speculations (largely) wrong and successfully manages to entertain despite being based on a dark, depressing subject of blood-bank black marketing and exploitation of the poor.
Now may be it was my personal experience of watching it sitting behind a big group of young energetic Haryanavi boys enjoying it to the most giving their constant witty comments or it was our mutual admiration for YAMAHA RX 100 bike used in its key sequences that made me appreciate LAAL RANG much more than my own expectations ignoring its minor flaws.
Whatever might be the reason, the other truth remains that the film does prove to be a clear winner within its first 30 minutes itself when you simply start loving all the realistic characters on screen led by one of the most underrated actors of our times, Randeep Hooda. And then the highly original proceedings, a never before kind of fresh subject, immensely likable local feel, well written entertaining dialogues (using the raw Hariyanavi tone) and worth appreciating supporting performances give you a pretty good time in the theater, much beyond the promises made by its interesting trailer.
No doubt the ‘real life inspired’ theme of a blood-bank racket playing with people’s lives serves as the major strength of the film providing the novelty factor. But it’s eventually Randeep Hooda, who single handedly lifts up the whole narration to much higher levels in the later parts of the film, also getting a worth mentioning valuable support from the cinematography, soundtrack and background score department too, together putting up a great show.
Presenting it as a restrained crime-thriller, director Syed Ahmed Afzal neither uses any guns nor stylized gang wars in his true to life portrayal of the real life happenings. There are no high end car-chases or fight sequences generating the usual kind of filmy excitement. And yet there exists a certain likable (raw) aura around its entire distasteful proceedings that never lets you feel uninterested or tired right till the finale sequence having its own emotional appeal ending on a positive note.
With a perfectly chosen cast LAAL RANG progresses at a convincing easy pace (without any fast intercuts) pulling you into the world of its likeable realistic characters dealing with love, friendship, poverty, crime and their own individual conflicts in a highly believable manner. Apart from the engaging bromance, the film also successfully presents the sensitive romance between its lead couple with a much entertaining use of Rapidex English Speaking Course heard after a long gap. Besides, many of the supporting characters also manage to make a more than decent impact on the viewers like the short statured Shani Baba (Kumar Saurabh), the blood bank manager (Rajendra Sethi), the rival goons (including Ashutosh - the Roadies/Big Boss winner) and the thin rickshaw puller donating his blood every 15 days.
As a known blood-bank racket kingpin with solid high-level connections, Randeep Hooda simply nails it playing on his home turf with a perfect Haryanvi lingo and killer expressions. In fact, LAAL RANG just deserves a watch for his solo performance alone having an immensely lovable charm and a strong magnetism. Displaying a variety of shades in his characterization, Hooda truly wins your heart in the climax which even forces you to think, that do such good hearted, cool & sensitive criminals really exist?
Playing his student-cum-partner in crime, Akshay Oberoi gives an earnest performance managing well but its Piaa Bajpai who simply excels in her role of a clumsy girl deliberately using English words in her dialogues with an extra ‘s’ in the end. Rajneish Duggal is just fine as the Police officer in charge and so is pretty Meenakshi Dixit as the Randeep’s love interest. Whereas Shreya Narayan entertains as the lab-assistant reminding you of the good old Bindu or Aruna Irani and it was great to see veteran Keemti Anand on screen too after a long time.
Among the drawbacks, a lot of creative liberty has been taken tackling the donated blood packets, their transfer, delivery and storage in terms of medical restrictions as per my own assumptions. The narration does take a dip in the second half (in absence of Randeep) and also goes into an extra length adding a situational song towards the climax that could have been avoided. Randeep, not exactly looking like a young Diploma student and few clichéd references in the script may also be a concern for many. Moreover, the heavy Hariyanavi flavor in the dialogues might not be able to impress the viewers unaware of the language and its amusing raw tone (more relatable for the people of Delhi, NCR, Haryana, Karnal and the adjacent regions).
However, with a motive of inspiring you further to go for this underrated worth watching film as a must, would like to mention some of its interesting key features as given below.
Though the director intentionally presents the subject in an enjoyable comic style, still LAAL RANG boldly reveals the ugly blood-bank racket operational in almost every region of the country, shockingly including everyone from the local nursing homes to major city hospitals as shown in the film (at times also selling infected, untested or even rejected units of blood to the patient’s relatives).
The film draws your attention towards a significant part of our poor population that does consider ‘Blood donation’ as a major source of earning money both in the rural as well as metro cities.
Depicting the scary situation with a pinch of sarcasm, a poster of Subhash Chandra Bose in the film can be spotted with an alteration made to the famous quote as, “Tum Mujhe Khoon Do Main Tumhe Paise Doonga”.
Mentioning another intelligent insertion in the film, a sequence first showcases a group of young boys commenting upon the girls in the Diploma College premises as usual. But just after a few minutes a couple of girls are also shown doing the same with a smart boy passing by balancing the earlier act.
A few well-conceived musical tracks with a typical Hariyanavi flavour look simply great inserted in its various sequences, a lot different from what we usually get to see and hear in Hindi mainstream films. Like ‘Bawli Booch’ and specifically ‘Tere Pey Main Kardun Kharach Karod’ in its catchy slower version.
A character in the film, who steals blood pouches from the Delhi hospitals giving a regular supply to Randeep is named as “Dracula of Delhi” and the film has several other small references of Hooda’s repulsive yet entertaining sense of humour making it a compelling watch.
Summing up, I have interestingly read many discouraging reviews of the movie in the print and web media together giving their own various reasons. But the novel-fresh subject of the film, its intelligent execution, the sarcastic humour, an excellent realistic feel, the entertaining local lingo, the unusual original soundtrack and all worth praising performances from the entire cast do not allow me to rate it as any mediocre movie at all, putting it honestly. 

So as a BTC recommendation, do try to watch it and have a great time with its mostly unknown cast and a funny, bloody man played to perfection by Randeep Hooda.
Rating : 3.5 / 5 (Including a big one for Randeep alone for his flawless Hariyanavi act)
Tags : Laal Rang Review by Bobby Sing, Laal Rang 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, Real Life Inspired Films, Based on Real Life Events, Realistic films, Based on Blood-Bank racket
 
 
22 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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