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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.

Music and Movies are like Ears and Eyes to me and if you also feel the same, then you are going to enjoy every moment spent on my works here, for sure.

Do send in your valuable comments and suggestions as they would be my guide for all the future works.

ENJOY!

ISLAND CITY (Hindi) - A not to be missed extremely intelligent take on life that puts you on a serious thinking mode like an innovative, experimental, thought provoking book. (Review by Bobby Sing) (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama).

PARCHED (Hindi) - The positive wave continues with a story of 3 strong rural women, but this time especially made for the international/festival audience having many forced cliches. (Review by Bobby Sing).

BANJO - Why we keep going back to the same old subjects and then expect them to be a success taking the viewers as granted? (Review By Bobby Sing).

RAAZ REBOOT - Yet another similar and poorly made project to fool us in the name of horror. (Review By Bobby Sing).

PINK - Do watch this hard-hitting new age DAMINI, especially for Amitabh's SAFETY MANUAL for girls, boldly ripping off our visible social hypocrisy and sick biased mindsets. (A detailed overview by Bobby Sing).

FREAKY ALI - Avoiding a complete copy of HAPPY GILMORE, Sohail makes a highly inspired Indianised version that's neither entertaining nor exciting full of cliched and predictable moments leading to boredom. (Review By Bobby Sing).

BAAR BAAR DEKHO - Another unexciting, lengthy and feeble (read boring) inspired attempt to make a 'Time-Travel' film in Hindi cinema, missing the entertainment factor. (Review By Bobby Sing).

This Friday's ONE LINE REVIEWS for your weekend plans - by Bobby Sing.

A mesmerizing sensual love song from SHEHNAI (1964) and the hidden unique beauty in its lyrics. (Articles on Hindi Film Music by Bobby Sing) - BTC Exclusive..

DON'T BREATHE (English) - A fine tense psycho-thriller that actually becomes superfine in its final 40 minutes. (Review by Bobby Sing).

 
 
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September 29, 2016 Thursday     

Island-City-Review at Bobbytalkscinema.com

A few days back renowned director Sudhir Mishra shared a valuable insight through his tweet remembering the maestro filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, and he said,
“The master once told a group of us in Tokyo that if you think you’re a director then you must have many stories!”
The quote at once got me sold, as that’s exactly what I look for in each and every film I see and the book I read, meeting a wide range of characters which is not really possible as an individual relating and interacting to a limited number of people in a life span of say 70 years.
These fresh, novel stories give us the opportunity of being with many new unknown characters studying their contrasting thought processes enriching our own being, and that’s precisely what Ruchika Oberoi’s ISLAND CITY offers in her rare insightful film conceived in an almost perfect manner justifying the maestro’s quote.
With an apt title as ISLAND CITY, this is a brave, powerful film that forces you to stop for a while and think about the way we all have been living since the last two decades with the technology turning us into mere mechanical robots living like an island far away from our real close friends and family.
The film follows an intelligently crafted narration introducing the viewers to its lead characters in three distinctive related stories or sections representing aimless robotic living, loneliness and purposeful feeding of our minds cleverly conceived by the successful marketing agencies. It gives you an insight into the life lived in the metros like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR or Bangalore with a sharp sarcasm. A strong satire on the present style of living wherein we are more interested in constantly looking into our web connected gadgets (affecting the mind & spine both) instead of the people around. In fact this is the net-savvy age where we wake up searching for the mobile phones lying somewhere over the bed instead of anything else.
In other words here is a rare Hindi film which truly excels due to its exceptionally innovative writing, futuristic execution and performances along with adequate dosage of fun, sarcasm, tragedy, empathy and blind following too. But here instead of revealing the three interconnected stories ruining their immensely valuable surprise element, I would like to give you an indicative hint that ideally should inspire you enough to search for this movie and go for it at the earliest to cherish a novel experience rarely offered by our Hindi Cinema.
The first story is titled FUN COMMITTEE
- And its about most of us working for various multi-national companies regularly reminding us of their ‘so called liberal policies‘ which always take an extra special care of their employees, their personal needs and the leisure time too. In fact it makes you recall the numerous times you had actually thought of picking a gun and shooting them all in that awful round table meeting in the last many years, enacted by one of the most underrated but fabulous actor Vinay Pathak.
The second and the most shocking story of the three is titled GHOST IN THE MACHINE.
- Introducing you to a simple middle class family with their sole bread earner (the husband) lying on his dead bed in the hospital, it’s about how this sudden tragic instance ‘positively’ changes the entire life of his wife, two young school going boys and the old mother living together. (Yes you rightly read the word ‘positively’)
The most appreciable and eye-opener section of the film, this one brutally honest story makes you accept and realize two extreme blunt truths of our new-age lifestyle which many would like to ignore or never think about.
A. In the present ‘gadget led life of this new millennium’ there are moments when we prefer ignoring and avoiding our close loving family members too for that one episode on TV or for that one continuing discussion/post/tweet at Facebook or Twitter.
(I think it will be hard to deny this ugly truth!)
B. At times, may be unwillingly or confusingly we do feel like celebrating the ‘absence’ of someone close who constantly keeps interfering in our individual life, personal aspirations or way of living. May be with a deep guilt or regret, we often feel like living alone without that one annoying person due to our own selfish motives or satisfaction.
Is thinking in that manner, refusing to sacrifice one’s own identity or life really a grave sin……is the question this story asks from its insightful viewers?
(Frankly, you are going to get this perfectly only after watching the film.)
This particular section of ISLAND CITY hits you the hardest, due to its ‘never before’ kind of shocking revelation and the flawless performances by Amruta Subhash (as the wife) and Uttara Baokar (as the mother) along with the young boys. Plus the way Ruchika brilliantly expresses this extremely difficult thought focusing on a typical Saas-Bahu TV drama running parallel to the actual storyline is nothing short of a rare, courageous insertion seen in an Indian Hindi film after a long time.
The third story is rightly titled CONTACT.
- And its about an average looking girl going through a mental transformation as she starts hearing praises for her beauty all of a sudden from a pleasant undisclosed source.
Interestingly this third section of ISLAND CITY, looking into the possibilities of gradually influencing the mind through constant positive suggestions made me recall two much appreciated cult English classics namely BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999) and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) which also talked about exploring the human mind in a completely different and innovative manner (that might be offensive for many). However if a Hindi film makes you recall these two outstanding gems from the much advanced cinema of the world’s renowned directors, then its nothing short of an unexpected, worth applauding achievement for sure as per my personal opinion.
The key character of the girl in this story is superbly played by Tannishtha Chatterjee who gets a decent support from Chandan Roy Sanyal playing her steady boyfriend.
Collectively, yes at times the three stories do get into the predictable zone for a while but the characterization doesn’t let that kill the flow and the performances contribute in the whole intriguing process with a stunning ease.
Admittedly it’s not easy to write and visualize a film like ISLAND CITY without compromising with the usual songs or spoon feeding loved by the Hindi film viewers. Thankfully debutant director Ruchika Oberoi makes her film exactly as she wished to and that’s precisely the reason it turns out to be like a fresh morning breeze in the overstuffed pollution of all mediocre Hindi movies made on the similar repetitive plots.
Supporting the thoughtful director, the cinematography compliments the proceedings beautifully and the background music excels at places with the use of the rarely heard Sitar expressing the right mood.
On the other hand, no doubt ISLAND CITY makes you think, sympathize and laugh too in a thoughtful satirical manner at the absurdities of this media-based life. Yet it isn’t a happy film at all giving you a clear idea. The three stories in the film do not have any positive culminations and they all end at a very shocking as well as sad note with no motive of impressing or reassuring the viewers with some kind of calculative end (another reason why it is a rare Hindi film and one of the best of 2016 unarguably).
Summing up, ISLAND CITY deservingly moves to BTC’s "Movies To See Before You Die" List for its second and third setions in particular. So if you are game for such out of the box, deep, and disturbing stories forcing you to sit back and think, then do search for the film and watch it at the earliest making an extra effort.
Rating : Movies To See Before You Die (Drama)
(Note : It was a treat to watch the film without any official interval, which ideally should be the way of enjoying such intense movies.)
Tags : Island City Review by Bobby Sing, Island City (Hindi) Film Review by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Films List at BTC, Movies To See Before You Die list at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Watch Hindi Films List at bobbytalkscinema.com, 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
 
 
28 September 2016 / bobbysing /
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Continuing the positive wave of PINK, this week we have PARCHED introducing another group of 3 strong rural women willing to move out of their suppressed lonely lives rediscovering their own identity. But somehow the film doesn’t come up as impressive as it should have been mainly due to many forced clichéd insertions targeting a different set of viewers (discussed in details later).
A rural parallel to the last year’s ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES (as many might like to call it), PARCHED has a relevant theme, a few worth applauding performances and some fine songs too (using the folk element). However as a fresh new film, it honestly misses any surprise or shock value as such, since it yet again portrays the same ‘seen before’, never-changing state of our remote Indian villages, still brutally exploiting their women in the 21st century.
Having said that, a different kind of shock is rightly there, focusing on the sexual awakening of its key characters along with some extremely revealing sensual scenes involving Radhika in particular, which again seem to be added targeting a particular audience.
Taking you into the oppressed lives of Rani (a widow with a young spoilt son played by Tannishtha), Lajjo (a physically abused childless woman played by Radhika) and Bijli (a bold, aging sex worker played by Surveen), PARCHED is the story of these women living in a distant village around Rajashtan, who at first willfully try to live with the ages old exploiting traditions like a mute social being. But then decide to break all barriers moving into a different phase of life as three freely floating birds in the limitless sky.
For a young viewer who hasn’t seen the impressive eye-opener ‘art wave cinema’ of the 70s and 80s, PARCHED is sure going to be disturbing as well as insightful revealing the questionable state of women living in such rural areas. But for the ones very much familiar with the earlier enlightening gems depicting the harsh truth, PARCHED is just a better film from its director Leena Yadav post the mediocre SHABD and TEEN PATTI representing a notable growth.
It captures the rural feel of the region quite well with an eye-catching cinematography, decent background score and an interesting soundtrack featuring some soothing folk compositions namely Baisa and Mai Ri Mai. The intimacy between the characters is heartwarming at times showcasing their true love and affection for each other. Plus it does offer some worth mentioning scenes at intervals too like the one where the women question - why every abusive word unconditionally targets the females only, and the early sequence focusing on the long beautiful hair of the newly-wed young girl.
But despite these credible merits, PARCHED never turns out to be a great thought-provoking film to be very honest and the end result is not as uplifting and fulfilling as it ought to be.
Giving the performers their deserving due, it gets an amazingly bold support from the cast led by Tannishtha giving a highly authentic and emotional performance as the most mature and caring friend. Radhika plays it really well as the physically abused wife, but (strangely) agrees to such shocking exposure in her intimate scenes (as if they were ‘really demanded by the script’ giving a usual argument). And Surveen sincerely keeps trying hard to act as bold as possible saying a wide range of cuss words with a weird accent. In the supporting cast, Riddhi Sen, Leher Khan and Chandan Anand are just fine, whereas the internet sensation Sumeet Vyaas (sadly) remains wasted.
Coming to the minuses, PARCHED is certainly a film that has been especially made for the international and festival audience instead of the Indian viewers. And here are the reasons for the conclusion along with its drawbacks giving you a clear picture. (Spoilers Ahead)
A. Yes, the intimate scenes in the film have been shot aesthetically with a subtle and realistic approach. But can a director really conceive and shoot such explicit nude scenes for the Indian audience knowing the censorship prevailing in the country……is the question revealing it all?
Moreover where the emotionally charged sequence between Tannishtha and Radhika can still be justified depicting their individual loneliness living a sex-starved life, the Radhika-Adil sequence has been purely added to get some instant eyeballs in the foreign market without any slightest of doubt. Interestingly the way the director conceived it taking the viewer into a mysterious mountain cave occupied by a meditating sadhu, it just reminded me of those typical Ismail Merchant films that specifically had such references exploiting the Indian mysticism.
B. Amongst the entire scenario devised around the women in particular, the film also has a simple, gentleman like character played by Sumeet Vyas, who runs a small handicraft unit employing the village women. The man is supposed to be ‘a revolutionary’ managing the small scale production, but illogically decides to run away from the village just after one cowardly attack by the young boys forgetting his ‘social revolution’. In fact most of the male characters in the film are depicted as weak deserters by the director, may be intentionally.
Further Sumeet also has a wife, who is an educated girl from the North-Eastern region of the country, which again seems to be a forcefully planted character pointing towards another burning national issue, not in any way related to the film’s basic theme or story structure.
C. At one end we are shown the main protagonist (Tannishtha) regularly conversing on a mobile phone having a catchy ringtone. But on the other there comes a sequence where all villagers are excited to have a TV and Dish in the village creating a visible confusion about the time period director is talking about.
D. The names of three reputed foreign technicians can be found in the film’s credits in the Cinematography, Sound and Editing department, who surely were roped in to add some notable weightage to the film in the international and festival arena.
Otherwise just think why we need foreign technicians to shoot a story talking about Indian remote villages, its people, their life and the local lingo or sound. Now had it been a film shot under the water or up above in the sky involving some great ‘never before’ stunts or chase/action sequences then it would have been rightly justified.
But calling such reputed (and obviously expensive) foreign technicians to shoot a film like PARCHED clearly gives you an idea of the target audience it was specifically planned and made for.
E. Lastly and most importantly, just think who would like to keep such a difficult title in English like PARCHED for a HINDI film talking about villagers and village life to be released in India?
To be specific, PARCHED is an apt title for a film (releasing abroad) revolving around three lonely women. But it’s certainly not a good title for a Hindi film to be released in the country itself. Perhaps the makers decided to use the same English title for its Indian release too as its literal translation in Hindi becomes PYAASI (in context of its theme), which would have been differently suggestive for the viewers, along with the leaked nude clippings before its official release.
Summing up, PARCHED can certainly be seen once for its relevant theme, cinematography and the key performers. But the film surely cannot be rated as some great or novel - path breaking attempt made for the Indian audience. In fact even for the westerns its nothing more than ‘an intelligently packaged mixed bag’ looking for an undeserving standing ovation as received by a couple of recent Hindi films in the known festival circuits.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its enjoyable soothing/folk songs heard after a long time.)
Tags : Parched Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Parched Film Review by Bobby Sing, 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, Hindi films especially made for International markets, Hindi films made for festivals
 
 
25 September 2016 / bobbysing /
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What can be said about a film which is all about musicians and music makers but still doesn’t offer any great memorable song except a decent Ganapati track coming up in its predictable climax. Putting it differently, how is one supposed to enjoy or appreciate a film titled BANJO, when it doesn’t even have any catchy musical piece (or theme music) played on its particular highlighted instrument that stays in your mind for long, like the one played in KARMA released three decades back.
Revolving around the street musicians known for their local Banjo Band active during the Navaratras and other state festivals in Maharashtra, the film begins with an intro of the key members of a group led by Ritesh Deshmukh. And this introduction is conceived in an interesting, engaging manner depicting the daily life in slums using Vjiay Raaz’s voiceover.
However post this impressive start, the first 40 minutes can be best described as a colourful Chitrahaar featuring all average songs (without any story as such) and then the next 90 minutes offer nothing new in the name of content or plot, straight away reminding you of ABCD series and the earlier ROCK ON moving on the similar path. So it’s yet again the same old stuff presented along an unconvincing sub-plot of an ‘attempted murder’ and some dazzling, grand visuals of Mumbai’s colourful festival.
In other words, the writing as usual turns out to be the major culprit here heavily relying on everything strictly routine, also full of confusions and contradictions in its main characterization. For instance, Ritesh is more than once shown as soaked in filthy gutter water for no reason whatsoever and one never gets to know who Nargis Farkhri actually is - a singer, composer, producer, a DJ, an entertainment company’s representative or what, coming from abroad in search of the local band? The same goes for the cunning and lusty character given to Mohan Kapur. But becoming the most hilarious feature of BANJO, the one international music competition/festival its supposedly all about, never actually happens in its 137 minutes of duration and the film ends without even mentioning it, probably because the writer-director wished to quickly finish it off avoiding any such ‘unnecessary details’.
As the directorial debut of Ravi Jadhav, the man behind much appreciated Marathi films such as NATARANG, BALAK-PALAK and TIMEPASS, this is nowhere close to any of the gems Ravi is known for. And the sole responsibility of this lies in his uninventive choice of subject, which could have only worked if made on some kind of extraordinary script supported by an outstanding soundtrack like SAIRAAT. No doubt his directorial experience and talent is visible more than once in the film in the depiction of slums, Ganapati celebrations and the climax song. But with such a weak, predictable, confused or ‘seen before’ writing and execution, it doesn’t really seem to be a film directed by the same person.
Frankly the biggest mistake in this attempt has to be the casting of Nargis Fakhri, who doesn’t look like acting for even once and keeps rendering her dialogues with just a single face expression throughout. In fact the girl has never been able to deliver even 10% of what she displayed in ROCKSTAR in all her later ventures. And this one major miscast truly hampers this specific film quite drastically.
On the other hand, the versatile Ritesh Deshmukh once again gets betrayed by his writers, music composers and the director too unfortunately. Ritesh makes a sincere effort along with Dharmesh Yelande (known for his dancing skills), Aditya Kumar (the perpendicular of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR 2) and the fourth friend. But together they are unable to deliver anything worth appreciating in the film due to its lazy and repetitive writing making a zero impact. The same can be said for the entire supporting cast including Luke Kenny as the only helping hand of Nargis in India.
Moving over the performances, the dialogues are fine as per the theme and cinematography strikingly portrays the life in slums as well as the colourful grandeur of Ganapati festival as required. However both the background score and editing remain just average.
In all, in this musical film called BANJO, there is neither any music nor any fresh storyline or execution to justify its chosen title. So just play some good music on your audio system instead and leave this BANJO alone, may be to be tried later when aired on a channel soon.
Rating : 1.5 / 5

(Note : The Indian style Banjo is also called Bulbul Tarang)
Tags : Banjo Review by Bobby Sing, Banjo Film Review by Bobby Sing, Banjo Movie Review at BTC, Inspired Films, 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, Inspired Films.
 
 
23 September 2016 / bobbysing /
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