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January 27, 2015 Tuesday     
Gulzar SaabIt was the last quarter of 1996 and the first night show of MAACHIS at Liberty cinema, the still operational single screen theatre in the famous Karol Bagh region in New Delhi. This particular Friday was one of the most awaited ones especially by the Sikh community since many months, as everyone was more than eager to see how Gulzar has depicted the sad state of Punjab and its people in the film with reference to the infamous terrorism, the invisible sufferings and exploitation of the youth ruining numerous families of Punjab in the ugly decade of 80s and early 90s.
The Punjabi community had many hopes from the film mainly because MAACHIS was directed by Gulzar, who with a Sikh background was expected to understand the core issue much better than any other director of Mumbai as a logical deduction. Thankfully the expectations were largely fulfilled for a major part of the audience all over making a solid impact and the hit song “Chappa Chappa Charkha Chaley” played a key role in it unarguably. The track was widely being used for Bhangra performances in colleges, schools or private functions and mind you it was still not the time of DJs coming for every small family party or get-together without an exception.
The song was one of our favourites too and by ‘our’ I mean my group of friends who used to meet every Friday night for the new Hindi film released unconditionally (whatever it takes to be there at the theatre, at any cost). And therefore that night too we were all sitting in the back rows of Liberty cinema, excited enough to watch the film with no information about what was in store next giving us a surprisingly pleasant time to be cherished for long.
A few advertisements were running on the screen as usual before the film when suddenly the lights came on again and there was a strange unrest in the hall with whispers all over. After a few moments, the person in our next row said,
“Koi Aa Raha Hai Kya?”
And then the other said, “Hero Kaun Hai Film Mein………Main To Pehchaanta Bhi Nahin!”
To this the first man replied, “Hero To Gulzar Hi Hai, Wohi To Nahin Hai Kahin!”
I was excitingly hearing their conversation and was feeling the goose bumps too with the name of Gulzar coming up in their talks. Was he really coming and am I going to see him in person tonight all of a sudden? The thoughts were fast running in my mind looking at the doors in the front when few people started rushing in hurriedly. And in the group behind were two young boys dressed stylishly (Chandrachur Singh and Jimmy Shergill as I can remember) along with a person in complete white attire who had to be the man I was looking for. As they all stepped on to the small stage in front of the screen, there was a huge roar of applause and I got the first glimpse of the maestro waving towards the crowd and then standing with folded hands on the stage till the compere asked the people to settle down.
Making many repeated requests the compere was unable to control the crowd and in no time big shouts of ‘Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal’ were all over the theater since almost 70% of the audience were Punjabis and students of Khalsa College situated quite close to the theatre. With the young ones not interested in calming down, the organizers decided to make it short and gave a quick introduction of the stars and then Gulzar Saab, asking him to say a few words. As the mike was passed to him he started addressing the people calmly and in no time I found myself rushing towards the front pushing everyone coming in the way quite rudely. Few of my friends accompanied me and just in few seconds we were standing right behind the crowd gathered around the director and his cast willing to shake hands with them as their true fans (there were no mobiles at that time to click pictures thankfully).
Noticing the crowd becoming restless inching ahead slowly, the compere asked the cast members and Gulzar Saab to move out and they once again waved to the audience before stepping down. During these few minutes, I didn’t even notice what was being said on the stage as I was only interested in being close to the master once and touch his feet too if possible. With the same intention as they all came off the stairs, I just bent down stretching my hand from within the people standing ahead of me and somehow managed to reach Gulzar’s Saab’s feet feeling the magic touch. The maestro probably realized someone has touched his feet and was willing to see the face for showering his blessings too. But by the time I managed to come up again to make an eye-contact, he had already moved ahead and just turned away not having found the face who touched his feet from within that crazy crowd as a passionate, loving fan. And watching him move out of the door, I found myself standing still like a stone with a big wish fulfilled all of a sudden without even making an eye contact with my beloved magician of words – Gulzar Saab.
Cut to, today after so many years gone by, I decided to share the personal experience here with all friends of BTC because of a loving inspiration coming from Sh. Pavan Jha and I truly hope this honest expression of mine somehow reaches the maestro too as another loving Charan-Sparsh after a gap of two long decades since 1996.
Tags : Gulzar The Magician of Words, When I touched the maestros feet, Those cherished cinematic moments By Bobby Sing, Nostalgia, Nostalgic Hindi Cinema of the 90s, Liberty Cinema Karol Bagh, Maachis, Gulzars film on Punjab Terrorism, Chappa Chappa Charkha Chaley, Articles on cinema, Articles on Music, Poetry and Life, Vinage Films and Articles.
27 January 2015 / bobbysing /
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Clearing the confusion over its inspired status first, yes the early half of the film (or the initial 20 minutes) are exactly similar to the Punjabi film RONDE SAARE VYAH PICHHON aka RSVP released in 2013. But since both the writers deny seeing each other’s films and claim to have taken the idea from few real life instances featured in the daily newspapers, hence we are forced to consider this as possibly a rarest of rare exception of two unrelated minds writing and visualising exactly similar sequences in their individual films released at a gap of more than one year.
Next keeping in mind its fairly novel plot of a ‘Looteri Dulhan’ and a whole con-family involved it the cunning business, DOLLY KI DOLI does have an interesting premise to offer. But after making a fine, enjoyable beginning, what the writer and director do with the film post intermission (different from RSVP) is really sad and awful, completely ruining its winning potential altogether. For instance it straight away begins with an abrupt scene introducing the lead pair chatting casually followed by an item song by the producer (Malaika) herself and then displays several big loopholes in the con games being played by the ‘Looteri family’ with two young boys. Still few enjoyable performances, funny local lingo and double meaning dialogues thankfully steal the limelight and one doesn’t really care about the flaws in its initial 45-50 minutes to be honest.
However post intermission, the 100 minute film goes entirely off-track and starts moving in various weird directions involving betrayals, silly love angles, revenge and more. The writers come with such weird and forced ideas like the family fleeing fearing a police raid, but forgetting to take along their old age (fake) Dadi…….and then remembering about her while sitting in the train. Moreover here we have a young energetic inspector who is unable to find the con-girl but the other victim boy can find her so easily, reaching her new home too without any problem as such. Plus, I really couldn’t understand what help did the film get from a lackluster cameo of Saif Ali Khan doing nothing.
In other words, in its second hour DOLLY KI DOLI simply fails to encash on its fresh con-plot leading towards an illogical climax and only three people give you something to enjoy in its short duration namely, Rajkummar Rao (with his excellent Haryanvi accent), Varun Sharma (reminding you of his ‘Choocha’ act in FUKREY) and Archna Puran Singh (as a loud Punjabi mother looking for a better girl for her boy). Strangely Sonam Kapoor is simply there in the lead role just to smile or look good and both Pulkit Samrat and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub are not able to deliver the expected due to their badly written roles. Brijendar Kala, Rajesh Sharma and Ishtiaq are entertaining in their small cameos, whereas debutant director Abhishek Dogra really could have delivered a much better enjoyable con-comedy with such a cast ensemble. The cinematography and background score remain average and so does its soundtrack having all mediocre unimpressive tracks (except “Mera Naina”) with sick lyrics such as “Aaj Phatte Tak Nachhna” (now I really don’t know what it means!) and “Launda Jawaan Banega Yahan Mere Passion Mein”…….great indeed!
To conclude, as the film ends another song starts playing along the end-credits with the words,‘Baba Ji Ka Thullu’. And one truly feels like having shown the signature sign while walking out of the theatre. In short, one might enjoy it partially while watching it (free of cost) during a channel telecast but sparing your precious time and money on a multiplex ticket is certainly not recommended.
Rating : 1.5 / 5
Tags : Dolly Ki Doli Review By Bobby Sing, Dolly Di Doli Film Review, Inspired Films, Similar Concept Films, Borrowed 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
25 January 2015 / bobbysing /
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If one delivers a path breaking, trendsetter classic as his very first film then it surely raises the bar substantially that is quite tough to manage in the subsequent projects. Thankfully Neeraj Pandey is a director constantly trying to deliver quality products post his A WEDNESDAY unanimously acclaimed by both the critics and the masses together. And though he might not have excelled himself in his next films as seen in both SPECIAL 26 and BABY, the fact remains that he does come up with all off-beat themes on a constant basis and tries to present them in an unconventional way too that more or less works with a larger part of the audience.
However in case of BABY, it was not a completely satisfying experience due to pretty lousy first half and big flaws in the execution that was too convenient to be considered as a realistic take on the serious issue of terrorism. Yet what largely saves the film are some particular sequences having that thrilling pull and its last hour where the director finally finds his brilliant form to end it all on a spirited note.
Beginning with a typical filmy action hero sequence with a racy background score (where the loud beep of the transmitter/phone is strangely not being heard by the goons), it loudly declares itself as a more action oriented film till Kay Kay Menon comes in to impress right away followed by another engaging scene featuring Rasheed Naaz from Pakistan. Offering just the usual, uninteresting stuff in its first hour (with another completely filmy jail escape happening in the middle of the road in broad daylight), the first major entertaining sequence of a clash comes in post 50 minutes leaving you stunned that how can the ATS team leave a self confessed, proven agent of terrorism just like that without making an arrest, after getting the desired information from him about another key suspect.
The visible flaws continue in the next sequence right before the interval too when again a terrorist (caught while making a possible bomb lying open on the table) is not arrested as per the strict procedure and is allowed sufficient time to trigger a blast killing many. Whereas in reality, the moment such a wanted man is caught, the first step taken is to see his clear hands, get hold of them quickly, so that he cannot press any button or take anything in his mouth leading to any further disaster. Hence till interval, BABY remains a well shot but average escapist kind of thriller that fails to make any major impact on the audience and offers nothing path breaking or fresh as compared to even Neeraj’s last venture SPECIAL 26.
But fortunately, the tables get turned in the second half when all new faces enter the scene led by Anupam Kher, Tapsee Punnu, Sushant and Rana Dagubatti infusing new life into the BABY making it alive again. Here at first we have another long chase sequence involving Tapsee and Sushant with Tapsee simply excelling in her well-directed action scene performed superbly. And from here onwards the pace picks up in a significant manner with Neeraj coming back into the form after almost 100 minutes of the film with a terrific final hour bringing you onto the edge of your seats through an engaging action and tension crafted well. In fact the final 60 minutes get you so much involved that you tend to forget as well as forgive the mess displayed in its first half and that’s exactly why the film turns out to be a winner altogether in the end with praises in your mind forgetting everything else.
So if one wishes to consider BABY from a commercial angle, then the film works well delivering the entertaining excitement anticipated (particularly) in its second half along with a worth praising cinematography (wonderfully capturing the action and the locales of Istanbul, Nepal, Abu Dhabi and more), a pulsating background score (that is a must for such thrilling ventures), fine editing (though a bit long), some well written dialogues coming at regular intervals and (especially) no songs to hinder the proceedings as usual (it has only one short love song in an unplugged form).
Akshay Kumar performs as a solid actor, enjoying his action & great fitness level keeping an unsmiling expression throughout that suits his character perfectly. And its really great to see that he is supporting ventures like these on a personal level following the right path. Taapsee (as the agent) looks great and performs well too in her few scenes and so does Madhurima (as Akshay’s wife). Danny, Anupam Kher, Sushant Singh and Rana Dagubatti, all play their cameo kind of short roles effectively. Plus both Rasheed Naaz and Mikal Zulfiqar from Pakistan make their presence felt, particularly Rasheed Naaz in his single scene through a peculiar kind of dialogue delivery demanding an instant attention.
Yet, despite all the above merits that mostly get visible in the film’s second half, I am unable to rate BABY as an exceptional achievement mainly due to four reasons as mentioned below.
Firstly for its entirely forgettable first half with many flawed sequences relying more on just action, cinematography and background score without any basic story as such. Though Neeraj has tried to connect each ATS operation with the other leading to their next boss, but the progression doesn’t have that thrilling excitement or suspense factor as seen in another cult thriller SARFAROSH.
Secondly for shockingly wasting Kay Kay Menon, who was prominently featured in the trailer as the key villain, but was only given one major scene in the entire film so cruelly. How can one do that with an asset like Kay Kay Menon, I frankly couldn’t get it?
Thirdly for being too convenient in its execution moving away from the reality with a typical filmy touch and cunningly playing it safe with reference to Pakistan and Muslim community (eying another commercial territory avoiding a possible ban) which further dilutes the impact justifying none. In other words, instead of Pakistan bashing, we have India bashing here for a change. But that’s exactly like two sides of a coin shouting out the same message in a different form, deliberately avoiding an offensive tone.
And lastly for having a borrowed kind of theme taking it from more than one source that is not like a Neeraj Pandey film unexpectedly. To elaborate further the major part of the film (its final hour) that actually works reminds you of the plot earlier seen in Nikhil Advani’s D-DAY where they wish to take Dawood back to India. And then the final setting of making fake papers and arrangements to fly back home with the man along, is exactly like the structure of award winning English flick ARGO.
Summing up, BABY has its moments in the first 100 minutes. But it’s the final 60 minutes that turn it into a fast paced engaging thriller giving you the return of your money spent. And if a film’s second half is much stronger than the first defying the famous jinx then that simply changes the game undoubtedly.
(Spoilers Ahead – Revealing the story plot)
Sharing my own perception of its main exciting plot, I wish Neeraj had considered the second half only as his complete film focusing on the air-escape alone.
For instance, just imagine Akshay and his team going for a mission in Istanbul for catching a known terrorist. In the first 30 minutes they work on the mission, reach there, plan it all, execute an attack and then in the next 15 minutes kill a whole group of terrorists who were having a sort of joint mafia meeting there in Istanbul. But just when they are about to leave the venue they hear someone is in the washroom and they hide. As the man walks out, to everyone’s amazement he is none other than Dawood putting his ‘ray bans’ back after cleaning them gently, who was not supposed to be there as per the information given. Spotting him Akshay instructs the team with his speaking eyes and then catches the Don alive……..catches Dawood the most notorious man till date unexpectedly all alone.
Now they want to take him back to India alive but cannot do so without any government interference. But no government help is possible as they are officially not government agents as such. Here we have the interval at around one hour with Dawood in their custody………alive and kicking ready to be taken back to India. And then post intermission comes the entire nail-biting drama of making fake papers, arrangements, medicals and other schemes of putting ‘the man’ on the plane flying back to India as the film’s second hour.
This being the basic script of BABY could have turned it into a masterpiece espionage thriller minus all the unrequired mess and wastage of reputed artists seen in its first half. Anyway in its present avatar too it thankfully works well (only) in its final hour that surely deserves to be seen and enjoyed. So without expecting anything novel on the lines of A WEDNESDAY or SPECIAL 26, do watch it as a well shot racy thriller, ignoring the first half.
Rating : 3 / 5
Tags : Baby Review By Bobby Sing, Baby Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Inspired Movies, Borrowed 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
23 January 2015 / bobbysing /
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