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May 25, 2017 Thursday     
In a country known for its maddening passion for cinema, we repeatedly get to know about several reel-life inspired amazing instances happening in various parts of India, that even include temples being made of stars with their idols worshipped like Gods as a religious ritual. Almost every second person here has a hidden ambition of becoming a Bollywood icon moving to Mumbai and this has been the core subject or sub-plot of many films made in the past like CHALA MURARI HERO BANNE, GUDDI & more to the latest CALENDER GIRLS and the upcoming FAN. Interestingly, the same becomes the basic theme of BOLLYWOOD DIARIES too revolving around a middle aged person, a prostitute and a call center employee, all bitten by the acting bug having a strong wish to prove themselves and their art in front of the entire world.
No doubt the film has its heart in the right place and intentions pretty good to portray the hardships and struggle involved in the path, before even reaching the city of dreams called Mumbai. But it’s the presentation with an uneven mix of fine, mediocre and low grade kind of sequences put together that doesn’t let the film rise above the average despite a promising realistic start raising the expectations. Moreover it’s the extremely slow pace with many prolonged sequences in its first hour (heading towards nowhere) that doesn’t let you feel for the main protagonists, which actually has to be the main feature of such films talking about the common man making him feel that it’s his or her story unfolding on screen, putting it honestly.
So the first half gets over with long introductions, establishing the passion felt by the characters wherein the veteran Ashish Vidyarthi simply excels in his individual sequences followed by Raima Sen performing well as the prostitute. But sadly Salim Diwan isn’t able to make any impact until the final sequence that is indeed hard-hitting in terms of execution as well as heart-wrenching emotions expressed quite intensely. In short, when the second half moves into all overused and predictable story progression with an inclusion of a terminal illness, obvious betrayal by a director and a weird candidate used by the reality show judges just to bring in the TRPs, the film fails to deliver any surprise and doesn’t turn out to be as impressive as it could have been with such a relatable theme. Also clearing the doubts, the three stories here are not interrelated with each other following the fixed format adapted in films since the last decade.
In the technical department, the production values don’t give you much to complain, plus cinematography and background score try to capture the mood of the three characters and their surroundings in a pretty decent manner. However it’s the lyrics by Dr. Sagar and music by Vipin Patwa that surely remain the best part of the film along with Ashish Vidyarthi. As a matter of fact, though one might miss catching and enjoying the actual essence of its soundtrack while watching the film, but when you listen to the songs again giving full attention to its soulful lyrics & arrangement, the soundtrack does turn out to be much bigger than the film itself by all means. Particularly "Mann Ka Mirga” and “Titli” conceived brilliantly have a catchy melody too asking for a repeat play. And to further prove the point, just sample these words, “Mann Ka Mirga Dhoondh Raha, Kasturi Kahan Hai” and “Khwabon Ko Sach Karne Ke Liye, Titli Ne Saare Rang Bech Diye”.
In all, BOLLYWOOD DIARIES is unarguably a brave and sincere film directed by K. D. Satyam having noble intentions of guiding the people lost in the glitters that is not gold. It has a fine start and an eye-opening culmination too revealing the crude reality behind various TV talent shows fooling the participants, who simply don’t have anywhere to go even after winning such events giving you the actual picture.
However I wish the film was a much stronger visual expression reaching out to a wider audience providing the right insight. It is indeed a tribute to all strugglers still waiting for their deserving turn since long but the irony is that we are showing such film in the multiplexes with the ticket priced between 300 to 400 rupees which is not in any way affordable for any struggling artist. So it’s high time, the makers begin to think that it’s no use making a film when it cannot even reach its target audience due to the exhibition and price issue in particular.
Rating : 2.5 / 5 (Including the special brownie points for its soundtrack.)
Tags : Bollywood Diaries Review by Bobby Sing, Bollywood Diaries Film Review by Bobby Sing, Realistic Hindi films, Hindi social films on real life happenings, 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
29 February 2016 / bobbysing /
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In commercial terms, a sequel of a big surprise hit known for its novel, entertaining concept exploiting the infamous Osama Bin Laden looks like a pretty safe bet. But in terms of huge expectations to be fulfilled offering an equally good or a better time in the theatres, it’s an extremely difficult target to achieve for a sequel and TERE BIN LADEN: DEAD OR ALIVE isn’t any exception to the accepted fact unfortunately.
In few words, this time director Abhishek Sharma fails to deliver an equally engaging and hilarious film despite having an interestingly written plot roping in the original hit, its making, the success story and the consequences of its over-famous status all over the world (due to the exactly similar looking Osama) surprising the various terrorist groups as well as the American government.
However it’s the screenplay that is unable to materialize on the potential plot and all we get to see are some occasional witty scenes mainly in its first half like the wickedly unusual Olympic organized by the terrorists, the star-attitude in eyes portrayed by Manish-Pradhuman and the introduction sequence of the American president along with Sikander Kher as his intelligence officer looking for the body double of Osama. Giving the due credits, the entire cast keeps trying hard to come up with something good constantly but the low humour quotient in the writing & dialogues, doesn’t allow them to tickle our funny bones as desired. In fact the clichéd beginning with a supposedly comic sequence (again) based in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk forced me to think that why suddenly these narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk have been an essential part of many Hindi Comedy films in the recent past?
No doubt the film keeps progressing fast due to its crisp editing but with a strictly below average soundtrack (except the catchy rap number), routine camerawork, not so noticeable background score and a tacky VFX, it simply turns out to be a half-baked product shattering all expectations raised from the sequel. Moreover at times it also strongly reminds you of a hit Hollywood comedy TROPIC THUNDER (2008) revolving around a related theme.
In the performance department it’s really ironical to see Ali Zafar, the man who won hearts in the original, becoming the most annoying factor in the sequel, more interested in singing songs and showing his six packs instead of any acting skills. The otherwise highly talented Manish Paul also fails to make you laugh due to the uneven writing and same is the case with Pradhuman Singh, who was honestly too good in the original. Among the other wasted actors, Piyush Mishra and his partially enjoyable sequences remind you of another similar dud BANGISTAAN, whereas the actor playing the cameo of President Obama could have been utilized much better. In all, only one man makes his presence felt in the entire film and he is Sikander Kher as the surprise package playing the twin roles of an American Intelligence Officer and an Indian Film Producer with an appreciable ease. As a matter of fact, though his make-up and American accent seems to be over the top at times, yet Sikander remains the only person you enjoy watching TERE BIN LADEN : DEAD OR ALIVE to be precise.
Overall, where many might not feel thoroughly entertained sitting in the theater post buying a costly multiplex ticket, many might consider it entertaining enough while watching on a TV channel in the coming months without making any extra effort or expenditure. So do wait for the same and catch it later especially for Sikander Kher.
Rating : 2.5 / 5 (including the additional 1 only for Sikander’s spirited act becoming the big saviour.)
Tags : Tere Bin Laden 2 Review by Bobby Sing, Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive Review By Bobby Sing, Inspired Films, Inspired ideas from the West, 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
27 February 2016 / bobbysing /
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AligarhThere is a long history of bold and controversial Hindi films made on the subject of homosexuality being opposed and banned even after getting a censor certificate in the past. And the ‘term’ remains a taboo or a hard to accept truth for our society till date, where even the honourable courts have displayed a rare-strange confusion by changing and then re-changing their stand on the same in the last 7 years since the much appreciated favourable verdict of 2009.

Moreover the mainstream Hindi Cinema has largely been a culprit itself for treating and misrepresenting such characters as mere silly, laughable comedians since a couple of decades, making me recall many of the recent films by renowned directors like Karan Johar or Rohit Shetty and even Rahul Rawail’s MAST QALANDER starring Dharmendra in the lead, released way back in 1991, featuring Anupam Kher as a funny, laughable clown-like gay Pinkoo wearing a weird pink coloured wig teasing the people around. To clear the doubts, before the ‘90s they were included as CHARACTERS, but post the ‘90s the writers-directors started including them as CLOWNS or mere COMEDIANS just brought in to raise some silly laughter in the theatre.

No doubt, film-makers like Onir have also delivered a few thought-provoking films too moving far ahead than any of these questionable ventures. But what director Hansal Mehta and his writer-editor Apurva Asrani offer in their much appreciated eye-opener ALIGARH, remains the most realistic and touching portrayal of the subject revealing some brutal truths of our biased, immature society like never before. In fact the film has been released with a perfect timing when the matter is again being re-considered by the courts as required.
However looking at the film from a different angle, it’s not only a brilliant visual documentation of what happened in the life of a ‘homosexual or gay’ character in particular. But it’s actually a shocking and ‘at our face’ representation of the fact that how in our present derailed society instead of focusing on our own growth & progress, we actually get more concerned or rather disturbed about the progress or respect gained by an ‘outsider’, who doesn’t really belong to the same region, religion or language quite shamefully.
Based on the true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor of Marathi language in Aligarh Muslim University, the film is about the last tragic part of his life when he got suspended after getting exposed as a homosexual through a video and pictures circulated in the entire city with a purpose. The pictures/video was made by two men barging into his house at night with cameras, forcibly filming him and his male lover friend (a local rickshaw puller) in some compromising positions that later got leaked to the leading newspapers suspiciously.
The professor filed a case against his suspension order and won it too after giving logical justification for his privacy invaded by the people intentionally. But just a few days post the order, Prof. Siras was found dead in his rented house under mysterious circumstances with traces of poison found in his blood raising many unanswered question still haunting the people having lived those tense years in the university.
Yes, this incident occurred 6 years ago in 2010, but it still remains a burning relevant issue in the year 2016 too when ‘homosexuality’ has again been termed as a criminal offence by the court, a decision now being re-considered as mentioned above. Therefore, when even the courts of our country are not sure about the verdict passed earlier, I would like to talk more about the worth cherishing cinematic moments of the film instead, leaving the decision of favouring or not favouring the core-subject of homosexuality at your personal discretion.
The most appreciable beauty of ALIGARH is that the film goes much beyond its basic subject of homosexuality and also superbly explores the equally important sub-plots of middle or old age loneliness, professional jealousy felt for the ‘outsiders’, the ill-treatment faced by even old age bachelors, deliberate violation of a person’s privacy, looking at others through our own pre-set, biased notions and imposing a set social morality on to the people refusing their individual existence in the society due to many visible fears.
Its an important film, as it fearlessly reveals the things as it is without any kind of hiding or opinion forced on to the viewers asking them to take their own decision in the end. ALIGARH looks at the people as humans first without putting them into various categories differentiated on the basis of sexual preferences in particular. Powered with impressive writing, skillful direction and sensitive performances, ALIGARH doesn’t guide you towards anything, but leaves you alone with your own thinking ability to access the happenings as per your individual understanding of life.
Rightly conceived without any usual-mainstream songs, ALIGARH has a commendable background score and cinematography along with a fine editing as required (which might be its weakest part for many due to the slow pace). The film offers worth applauding moments in its both halves and among the best remain the ones where the Professor is deeply involved in his favourite old Hindi film songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar. These 2-3 minutes sequences are certainly going to be cherished the most by middle and old aged friends, personally living exactly similar moments almost daily in the evening while listening to their favourite tracks. Plus many would also smilingly agree to the dialogue wherein the Professor honestly admits that his love for books and Lata Mangeshkar was the big reason for his unsuccessful marriage too. Also the scene where the men are dancing together in an all stag-party remains one of the most subtly visualized sequences of the film besides the lunch scene between the Professor and the investigative journalist chatting in a casual manner.
Unarguably being a performance driven film, ALIGHAR entirely belongs to the immensely talented Manoj Bajpayee, who just transforms himself into the character expressing his inner feelings so truthfully with the drooping shoulders and a whispering voice-tone. It’s yet another career best performance by the gifted actor and particularly his scenes sipping whisky with Lata’s songs running in the background are sure to serve as text-book material for film & acting institutes in the coming years. Ashish Vidyarthi excels as the supportive lawyer along with other playing important small roles (like Professor’s colleague), but its Rajkumar Rao’s charming performance as the friendly journalist that simply adds a lot to the film’s overall impact, particularly in its final hour.
Having said that, I still found a few specific ‘must have’ features missing in the film, that certainly would have made the viewers feel a lot more for the main protagonist from heart post his tragic end.
Firstly, I strongly felt a lot less told in terms of humiliation faced by Professor Siras and the fight for justice in the court that could have provided an engaging pace and much more anger among the viewers thinking from the victim’s point of view.
Secondly, once again we have a typically added ‘kissing or romantic angle’ into the script that simply looked like deliberate or completely off-key in the middle of all seriously threatening events happening in the life of the lonely professor. (Here I would like to give the reference of the recent English film SPOTLIGHT, which also has a similar setting of investigative journalists and newsroom involving females, but it doesn’t even care to show them romantically involved for even a second, remaining completely focused throughout.)
Thirdly and most importantly, being a real life story of an experienced senior professor of a reputed university, I strongly wished to see the supportive or negative response of Professor’s students to the shocking findings in particular. But strangely the film doesn’t give you anything about that crucial aspect of the story at all and we don’t get to know what was Prof. Siras’s mutual relationship with his students and what was the students reaction to the acquisitions and invasion of privacy case filed as all educated, grown-up adults.
Moreover, it was also quite odd to call the university as Aligarh University repeatedly, whereas in reality the institution’s complete name happens to be Aligarh Muslim University. Now was it done knowingly or not, one cannot say, but I do recall noting the mis-quoted name at times while watching the film.
Anyway, despite having the above mentioned essential features missing in the film, ALIGARH still remains a brave, sensitive and heartbreaking expression to be seen as a must to get its right message. And the message is that its time we wake up realizing the fact that the laws we proudly quote in our court trials were actually made in 19th century when we were all slaves of the British, more than 150 years back in 1860s-70s.
Proving the irony, its being reported that the film titled ALIGARH is not being shown in the city of Aligarh itself without having any official ban imposed by the authorities. So the scenario has yet not changed in 2016, which makes it even more important to watch the film at the earliest and think about the tragedy using your own logical deduction instead of the suggested ones.
Rating : 4 / 5 (Including a big 1 for Manoj Bajpayee’s superlative performance as the Professor.)
Tags : Aligarh Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Aligarh Film Review by Bobby Sing, Aligarh on real life events, Realistic Hindi films, Hindi social films on real life happenings, 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
26 February 2016 / bobbysing /
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‘Love stories’ have always been the most favourite subject of our Hindi filmmakers and therefore we repeatedly get served with the same old routine romantic drama played by a fresh pair, clubbed with a few catchy songs, directed by a new name vaguely expecting the film to be a surprise Hit without any noteworthy appreciable qualities to be precise.
So following the same format, taking inspiration from several Indian as well as Western hits of the past, we once again have a film forcibly called LOVESHUDA, awfully inventing a new word or term, introducing yet another ‘beauty queen’ Navneet Kaur Dhillon with a young industry boy Girish Kumar (in his second film) directed by the debutant Vaibhav Misra.
Beginning with a familiar bold sequence reminding you of films such as HANGOVER & WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, LOVESHUDA later presents a story progression often seen in Imtiaz Ali’s romantic sagas like the recent TAMASHA, where in the first half the couple meets in a different state enjoying a foreign outing and then in the second they meet again after a gap of few years creating new confusions and dilemmas heading towards an obvious climax. Along with this typically clichéd script, here we do have a decent effort coming from cinematography and background music department trying to give the movie a different feel. But in the music section, there is another ‘new-age club version’ completely ruining ‘a classic song’ of the past giving its lyrics an entirely different meaning saying, “Aaj Phir Peene Ki Tamanna Hai”,making an irresponsible silly parody of the cult track from GUIDE.
In few words, nothing really works in this highly confused, predictable love story except the pretty girl Navneet looking gorgeous in her different outfits. Seasoned actors such as Sachin Khedekar and Tisca Chopra remain wasted in their short appearances, whereas both Girish Kumar (last seen in RAMAIYA VASTAVAIYA) and Navneet suffer majorly due to the film’s uninteresting ‘seen before’ concept and unexciting script/direction lacking the chemistry, romance and humour as required.
Overall films like LOVESHUDA certainly raise a serious question for the makers, that why even reputed production houses select such a familiar subject for their projects featuring more than one debutants, carelessly playing with their respective careers and future prospects in the industry?
Rating : 1 / 5 (including brownie points just for the debutant girl Navneet.)
Tags : Loveshuda Review by Bobby Sing, Loveshuda Film Review by Bobby Sing, Inspired Hindi Films, 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
20 February 2016 / bobbysing /
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