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.


ANAARKALI OF AARAH - You praised Amitabh teaching the meaning of a woman's NO in the court, now praise Swara doing the same in a differently authentic manner. (Review By Bobby Sing).

PHILLAURI - It's a confusingly conceived Punjabi film made in Hindi, based on an interesting but inspired idea with the only merit being its emotional climax. (Review By Bobby Sing).

TRAPPED - Post an unconvincing start, it fairly keeps you engaged as a praise-worthy off-beat attempt featuring an impressive solo act and some notable merits. (Review By Bobby Sing).

This Friday's One Line Reviews by Bobby Sing for making your weekend movie plans..

KONG SKULL ISLAND (English) - Though lacks an emotional pull and the original charm, it's still an incredibly made entertaining comic-book adventure to be experienced in a well-equipped theater. (Review by Bobby Sing).

BADRINATH KI DULHANIA - A unique case of the makers returning with the same lead pair, a similar title, identical looks and the same old premise of a wedding, mocking at the viewers patience & choice. (Review by Bobby Sing).

LION (English/2016) - An emotionally uplifting film which once again depicts INDIA in a bad light and we know the westerners do have a fascination for such dark representation of our country since decades. (Review by Bobby Sing).

ANUPAMA (1967) - Its touching emotional climax and DDLJ - By Bobby Sing.

COMMANDO 2 - Focusing on suspense instead of action, Vidyut gets no support in this poor and so casually conceived film unfortunately. (Review By Bobby Sing).

LOGAN (English/Hindi) - You will make faces, tighten your fists and do several things going through this brutal, cold blooded must watch thriller for sure. (Review by Bobby Sing).

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March 30, 2017 Thursday     
Post a decent YAHAAN (2005) and a stalled project with Amitabh Bachchan called SHOEBITE, director Shoojit Sircar came up with a brilliant VICKY DONOR made on an unexpectedly bold yet highly entertaining subject widely acclaimed all over in the year 2012. So after such a confident success, planning his next movie as an intense spy thriller was indeed a very bold and daring step, for the kind of audience who are not really known to appreciate this particular genre in a big way since decades.
So at one end, MADRAS CAFE has some notable merits to its credit worth praising. It fairly adds to the bright welcome change ignited by the recent success of D-DAY exploring the rarely attempted genre of spy thrillers. It is no doubt a courageous (as well as risky) choice of subject for John Abraham as one of the producers. The film talks about an important, shattering assassination of an ex-Indian Prime Minister never depicted on the screen before. It has been written and directed with a completely focused vision without inserting any thrown in love angle, an untimely song (it’s a song less movie as it should be) or spoon feeding as normally seen in the routine Hindi films. It very aptly points towards the money lobby working behind all the major drastic events of the world. The performances don’t care about their short or long lengths and try to do full justice to their respective roles. It has a splendid cinematography (great civil war sequences) and a fine background score reminding you of many foreign spy movies made in the realistic style. And with a sharp, intelligent editing it never gives you any dragging moment in its more than 2 hours of duration and has an engaging climax conceived well.
However on the other hand, MADRAS CAFE hasn’t got that pace, thrills and shocking twists essentially required as the key features of such political thrillers. It keeps progressing in a documentary style without taking any sides like a well researched feature. But the facts incorporated in its script are sure going to face some hard criticism from different section of viewers as it seems. The film begins impressively and keeps explaining its basic premise of the Sri Lankan conflict for too long. As a result the viewers sitting in the theater expecting some high paced action-adventure from John Abraham start getting disappointed. Moreover with no deliberate build up for the main wanted man authorities are looking for, the excitement is missing and one doesn’t find himself pulled in any chase or attack sequences quite frankly.
Post intermission when it all become clear about the big historical assassination the film is heading towards, suddenly the suspense is all lost since we already know what is going to happen next and there is no guessing left for the viewers. And further when it all happens exactly like it is expected too, one walks out of the theater with an impression of having seen something good & well attempted but nothing exceptional in terms of return for the ticket bought. Hence its pretty obvious that MADRAS CAFE is strictly not for the smaller centers and is going to struggle at the single screens theaters for sure. Plus it may also get a mixed kind of response at the multiplexes too as there are not many who would be willing to buy a costly ticket for a political thriller made on the Sri Lankan conflict. So where a particular section of viewers may find themselves praising the movie a lot, many others are not going to consider it worth their time and money spent. And that’s exactly why I would like to call it as a film not really for ‘the common man’, a phrase used by Shahrukh in his latest money grosser.
Regarding performances, MADRAS CAFE has John Abraham honestly putting all his efforts to fulfill the director’s requirements but I seriously found his confession in the get up of a lost (retarded kind of) bearded man quite weird and unexplainable since there was no fault of his in all those tragic incidents. Nargis Fakhri perfectly plays the role of a foreign war correspondent and the move of using her complete dialogues in English (with Hindi subtitles) is sure going to prove as a big downer in the centers other than the metros. Sidhhartha Basu plays the media expert superbly and Prakash Belawadi is impressive as the cunning mole working against the government. Rashi Khanna doesn’t get much to do as John’s wife and Ajay Ratnam fails to make any solid terrifying impact as Anna.
In all, MADRAS CAFE is a good watch if you are really fed up with the usual Bollywood stuff repetitively being served by the big names. Its unarguably one of the better attempts to make an enlightening political thriller, but could have been a lot more with some high paced, engaging and unpredictable twists used in its basic structure. At times a little dramatization of the real life happenings add to the overall impact hugely and completely refraining from them makes the end product quite raw and tasteless. And I personally missed that delightful taste sitting in Shoojit’s MADRAS CAFE this Friday but still would like to recommend it to all thoughtful viewers strongly.
Ratings : 3 / 5
Tags : Madras Cafe Review By Bobby Sing, Madras Cafe Film Review by Bobby Sing, Shoojit Sircars MADRAS CAFE, Nargis Fakhri, Johan Abraham, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, 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 August 2013 / bobbysing /
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Tamas - A Must See ClassicAfter more than six decades of Indian Cinema since independence, if one tries to make a list of the most significant and worth watching attempts on the cruel subject of PARTITION in films as well as television, then there are just two projects which would always be there at top of all the lists compiled, unconditionally.
And these two creative masterpieces are M. S. Sathyu’s GARAM HAWA and Govind Nihalani’s TAMAS (presented as a TV Serial in 1987). Now without going into the irrelevant discussion of which should be placed at first or the second I would only like to say that, if you haven’t seen these two cinematic triumphs of Indian Cinema yet then probably you are just pursuing the passion of watching movies on the periphery only and still haven’t taken a deep dive into the actual mesmerizing, blue ocean of the ‘Real Indian Cinema”. Giving you an indicative one line description of these immortal classics, where GARAM HAWA is a very quiet, suggestive, subtle yet extremely thoughtful depiction of that terrible era. TAMAS is the most descriptive, explicit, verbal, brutal and shockingly authentic portrayal of those tough times ever filmed by an Indian film-maker till date.
Honestly, writing about the research, direction, performances, sets, costumes, background score and music of TAMAS (including brilliant devotional renditions by Singh Bandhu) actually deserves a pretty long note of praises going into several pages, which you can or might have already read in several other articles in many similar sites and publications. So here I would like to applaud the legendary achievement by the entire team lead by Govind Nihalani in a different way, by sharing few real life experiences of those months when this serial used to be aired on Doordarshan at nights after 9pm (in the following points).
And reading these surprisingly unbelievable kind of real life instances, you would probably realize that what was the impact made by TAMAS on every single person of especially North India at that time and how important and useful can be this epic re-creation of our bleeding, avoidable history for the present young generation to contemplate upon.
1. Based on the award winning book (with the same title) by Bhisham Sahni, who himself came to India from Pakistan during the partition, TAMAS ("Darkness" in English) was originally shot as a film on 35mm but since it was too long for a theatrical release with a length of approximate 300 minutes, it was later telecast on Television as a 8-10 part mini-series on Partition.
2. Contrary to the general belief, TAMAS didn’t take sides of either Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs and presented a very truthful, realistic and the most frightening portrayal of the tensed bloodshed of 1947 involving all the three sects in different regions. But despite its impartial viewpoint of the era, there were several agitations made against the serial, just after the first episode was aired and a case was also reportedly filed against the director to stop its transmission. However as the court didn’t find the objections justified, the telecast was resumed in time and all its remaining episodes were aired as scheduled.
Tamas - A Must See Classic3. The epic also got huge support from the students and all the educated social groups in the major cities and did raise a very informative as well as an enlightening positive debate in the whole nation on the subject of partition and its after effects on both the sides.
4. Towards the end of 80s, there were two serials which were held responsible for a deliberate market closure (or late openings), deserted roads and a curfew like situation in the locality in the most literal sense and I myself have experienced that unexplainable euphoria caused by RAMAYAN in the mornings and TAMAS in the evenings still fresh in mind as ever (because that has never been repeated again in the next 3 decades till date).
In those weeks, once it was the day of TAMAS and we were anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 9 pm which was the relay time of the serial as I can recall. Those were the days of my late teens and I had my elder cousins (living in the same area) studying in college who were quite active in all the local festival celebrations and club activities in our region. As the clock was going to strike 9, our door bell rang and I quickly got up to open the door in order to get over with the duty at the earliest.
As I reached there, my cousin was standing outside and he hurriedly said, “Open it fast as we don’t have much time to reach our homes, so wish to see TAMAS in here only…..So just unlock it fast”. Hearing this I quickly opened the door and my cousin entered the house immediately. But surprisingly he was not alone, as there were not 1, 2 or 3 but more than 10 boys in the queue, getting into the house one by one and then taking whatever space available in the room, on the sofas, chairs, bed and even floor in order to see that week’s episode of TAMAS so eagerly. So that evening, we were about 16-17 people jam packed in a small room of 10 by 15 watching TAMAS like maniacs (on a black & white TV set) and I could never get that scene out of my mind ever.
5. In those days, a cricket match between INDIA & PAKISTAN was like a Festival day, where in people used to plan an off or half-day, weeks before in order to watch the game at home or with friends. But the match was also considered to be highly sensitive in security matters, particularly in some specific regions of Delhi city and there were extra arrangements made to tackle a probable tense situation in those areas during the match and its end.
Now recalling that time once again, I still remember that once the first 2-3 episodes of TAMAS were aired on television, the specific day of the serial’s telecast in the week was exactly treated like an INDIA-PAKISTAN match for the next few months by the authorities and the security arrangements were all tightened up during its telecast, since it was considered to be so authentic in its depiction which could actually create some serious trouble in these areas.
Tamas - A Must See Classic6. After about 5-6 years post its transmission when I was in College, then there were few friends in our group from Delhi and Meerut city (U.P.), who told me that in their areas the moment TAMAS was supposed to begin, suddenly a suspicious load shedding used to be there and the services exactly resumed after the episode was over. Now they were pretty sure that it was being done deliberately to avoid the possibility of some tense clashes in the sensitive localities caused due to the series. And these were the times when once you missed it, there was no chance to catch that particular episode again as the serials were not released on any home video VHS immediately and CDs were still a product of the unknown future in the late 80s.
    Concluding the distinctive description of this legendary creation, I would like to add that director Govind Nihalani is known as one of the most gifted & visionary directors of Indian Cinema with films such as AAKROSH, VIJETA, ARDH SATYA, PARTY, DRISHTI, DROH KAAL, HAZAAR CHAURASI KI MAA, DEHAM, DEV & many more to his credit. But when it comes to his contribution made to the Indian Cinema then TAMAS has to be included as the foremost name unquestionably, since it still enjoys an unparalleled majestic status of the most authentic movie made on the subject of partition till date and you got to see it at the earliest like a necessary medication required for your human soul.
In fact, if you haven’t seen TAMAS yet and have just heard or read many good things about it in few sites or books then you are actually missing one of the most valuable and crucial chapters of 100 years of Indian cinema and haven’t really witnessed or experienced what our Indian visionary directors are actually capable of.
However, another serious point to be considered here is that TAMAS is just not another fast paced entertaining, historical thriller to be seen with the dinner being served side by side and the internet running at the laptops lying at the other corner. TAMAS needs to be seen with your full devotion and it deserves RESPECT a lot more than just interest or curiosity from the younger generation. It has the content to teach you life and the way to live it harmoniously with love and reverence towards every fellow human being and his individual religion.
Hence if possible try watching this gigantic 5 hour long epic (available in a 2 DVD set) at a stretch with very few breaks and see what shameful things we all did collectively with each other in the name of religion and independence in the year 1947.
(Note : I hope we get to see the complete uncut version of TAMAS in the theater soon, probably in the Director’s Cut series just as they showed the two part GOW together at one go. Frankly that will indeed be a dream come true treat for many cine lovers like myself.)
Directed by Govind Nihalani
Written by Bhisham Sahni
Music : Vanraj Bhatia
Starring : Amrish Puri, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Saeed Jaafery, Virender Saxena, Manohar Singh, A. K. Hangal, Deepa Sahi, Bhisham Sahni, Dina Pathak and more.
Tags : TAMAS (1987), Movies on Indian Partition, Indian partition, Movies To See Before You Die, Historical Drama. Govind Nihalani's masterpiece, Classics from Indian Cinema, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing, Worth Watching movies on World History, Indian History
20 August 2013 / bobbysing /
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One of the most famous & highly appreciated horror movie, which is sure to be found in every best films list made in any part of the world without any doubt, was actually inspired from a less than half an hour episode of a famous Television Series as reportedly accepted by its director M. Night Shyamalan himself (stated at IMDB).
THE SIXTH SENSE was one of the very few horror films to get an OSCAR nomination for the Best Picture and was also included in the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list made in 2007 by the American Film Institute.
But interestingly, the basic idea behind this well made film was inspired from one of the episodes of famous American Tele-Series ARE YOUR AFRAID OF THE DARK? titled, THE TALE OF THE DREAM GIRL directed by David Winning, which revolves around a loving brother and sister who later disclose the secret of the ghost.
Now if Shyamalan really revealed this well guarded secret about his most famous film till date then it was indeed a truly honest & a very brave revelation made by the director himself.
(with thanks to Raj Vardhan for sharing this rare info with BTC)

Note : For all interested friends, at the time of writing this article the particular episode of the television series could be seen at the following link :
Tags : M. Night Shyamalans THE SIXTH SENSE inspired from a famous Horror Tele-Series, Hollywood gets inspired, Inspired movies, Copied movies list, Hollywood Gets Inspired, Inspired Movies List by Bobby Sing.
19 August 2013 / bobbysing /
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The success rate of Hindi Cinema has always been an unpredictable enigma for both the viewers as well as the makers since the mid of the last century and ‘Hero Worship’ has always been there as a significant part of our ‘Box Office Success System” unarguably.
However there was a major shift witnessed in the interest and response patterns of Indian audience in the year 2012, which surely brought in a pleasant and much required change in the system awaited from many years. It all started as a few unexpected (not so big), off beat films with no superstar to woo the audience, became the major hits at the box office and were appreciated all over unanimously both by the viewers and the critics together. The two key ones beginning the welcome trend were KAHAANI & PAAN SINGH TOMAR which had no major star-cast to attract the viewers, no songs to make them dance and no familiar themes to enjoy for the Indian audience. Where KAHAANI had just one well known name of Vidya Balan playing a pregnant woman, without any sex appeal support as seen in her previous THE DIRTY PICTURE, the other had Irrfan in the lead role of a real life national athlete turned into a rebel. Besides the hidden unknown fact about PAAN SINGH TOMAR was that this Tigmanshu Dhulia directed ambitious project was there lying in the cans for more than one and a half years without any interested buyers or takers (since they obviously assumed that the subject cannot run at the box office with such an unusual cast).
Post these two thoughtful attempts well accepted by the audience, there came another shocking surprise with VICKY DONOR (again without any known name in the project) as it was a film made on a very novel but conservative kind of subject (as per Indian social standards) of a professional sperm donor and his love life. The film literally broke many fixed notions about the so called sexually repressed Indian society as it got an unexpectedly huge appreciation from almost every corner of the nation and was widely loved by especially the youth, announcing their new age state of mind dealing with love, sex and life quite clearly.  
The stage was positively set by these 3 brave and well made movies in Hindi Cinema and then the nation saw a series of many first timer projects in the coming months which again enjoyed a great successful run at the box office proving the changing thought process of the viewers all over the country.
In the subsequent months, there came BARFI, a daringly different concept, wherein neither the lead hero nor the leading lady had much to speak in the entire film mostly dependent upon its well composed background score. OH MY GOD, which simply raised many valid questions on the worshipping rituals, religiously followed by majority of Indians in more or less a foolish manner, which was surely one of the most risky projects in these burning times. ENGLISH VINGLISH, drew our attention towards the respect and importance deserved by a hard working housewife, who very silently gives her precious yet invisible support to the whole family unconditionally. EEGA (MAKKHI), a technically advanced and highly commendable, never before kind of an Indian movie completely based on an animated character of a small ‘Bee’ who is eager to take the revenge for his murder in the previous birth. ISHAQZAADE, a decently conceived love story set in UP, again with a fresh star cast, few good songs and appreciable performances. FERRARI KI SAVAARI, reminding us of Vittorio De Sica’s BICYCLE THIEVES (1948) redefining the father-son relationship on the Indian screen beautifully. TALAASH, revisiting the rarely attempted genre of a murder mystery or suspense drama in a well guarded secretive manner. And then there was the brilliant two part series of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, which once again proved the fact that viewers are certainly ready to embrace the change in this second decade of the new millennium, but one only has to serve them with an exceptional film based on a fresh subject or execution giving them that much needed novelty as desired.
After going through all these distinctive, well conceived films mentioned above, exploring some new avenues in Hindi Cinema representing the ‘Step Ahead’, let’s take a look at the actual, major money churners at the box office in 2012 which will easily give you the reason why the title of the article says “One Step Ahead and Two Steps Back”.
And these major Hits of the year are Sajid Khan/Akshay Kumar’s HOUSEFULL 2, Karan Malhotra/Hrthik Roshan’s AGNEEPATH, Prabhudeva/Akshay Kumar’s ROWDY RATHORE, Rohit Shetty/Ajay/Abhishek’s BOL BACHCHAN, Homi Adjania/Saif Ali Khan’s COCKTAIL, Kabir Khan/Salman’s EK THA TIGER, Karan Johar’s STUDENT OF THE YEAR, Yash Chopra/Shahrukh Khan’s JAB TAK HAI JAAN, Ashwani Dhir/Ajay Devgan’s SON OF SARDAR and Arbaaz Khan/Salman Khan’s DABANGG 2.
Now though these all happen to be the biggest hits of 2012 undoubtedly, yet the other bitter truth about them remains that none of the above had anything new, important or path breaking to offer in its storyline, content or execution at all. In precise words, all the above mentioned movies either worked due to their huge star-power, solid backing of a big production house, well promoted item songs, cheap mocking comedy or open skin show and nothing else. So as mentioned before it was clearly like taking one step ahead and two steps back in terms of quality of films in Hindi Cinema in the year 2012.
In fact the trend is exactly similar to the kind of “Dualistic Society” we have been living in from ages wherein both a bullock cart and an expensive elegant car is proudly running on the same road, without any visible conflict. So where a considerable section of viewers is eager enough to accept all the new, path breaking experimental films at one hand, the box office still continues to be on the side of the same old clichéd, routine stuff on the other, as always.
Interestingly an exactly similar pattern is continuing in the present 2013 too with an appreciable diverse range of subjects seen in its first half, followed by some pretty weak films hitting the screen with the beginning of the long Indian festive season in August (till December), which always remains guarded and booked by all the big names of the industry in advance.
The year opened with TABLE NO. 21, an unusual suspense drama based on ragging of innocent students and then there was SPECIAL 26, based on real life con events of the mid 80s, presently superbly. ABCD, a whole film majorly based on dance performances by all new actors coming from a reality dance show worked well and then we had KAI PO CHE, an emotional story of 3 true friends based on Chetan Bhagat’s famous novel targeting the youth. JOLLY LLB, an unusual court room drama full of tense and comic moments won decent appreciation all over and CHASHME BUDDOOR, an official remake with a fresh outlook and not so big starcast also won hearts. RANJHANAA, an innocent caste based love story featuring Dhanush, a fine actor from the south, without having any standard looks of a Bollywood hero, ran as the hidden dark horse and GO GOA GONE came as one of the first movies in India made on the Zombie theme. AASHIQUI 2, a love story with again two new faces, many good songs and an unconventional climax did fine with the power of music and BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, brought in some fresh air as a well directed and brilliantly enacted bio-pic made on our national hero, Milkha Singh. D-DAY superbly explored the lesser attempted genre of sharply edited spy thrillers after a long gap and then finally we had SHIP OF THESEUS (Hinglish), which can easily be rated as one of best Indian movies made in the recent decades without any doubts.
But despite all these worth praising projects released in the current year, if anyone asks about the top grosser(s) of the year 2013 till August then they again are movies offering nothing new or fresh in the name of content, script or storyline, quite sadly. And these two big hits are Ayan Mukherjee/Ranbir Kapoor’s YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI and Rohit Shetty/Shahrukh Khan’s CHENNAI EXPRESS as expected which solely ran on their Star Power alone without any doubts.
Incidentally this also reminds me of a recent personal discussion, in which I was loudly appreciating the unexpected success of many path breaking films in Hindi Cinema beginning from 2012 (with a friend of mine from a foreign origin). Interrupting my words in between all of a sudden, he simply asked a question that “Which 3 films have earned the most in the last few years in Hindi Cinema”. And listening his query, I was really looking around since (apart from 3 IDIOTS which came way back in 2009) none of these (recent) major hit movies was a worth praising, commendable one having any unique presentable feature at all with names like DABANGG 2, ROWDY RATHORE, BOL BACHCHAN, EK THA TIGER, JAB TAK HAI JAAN, SON OF SARDAR, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI and CHENNAI EXPRESS coming to the mind at once.
So the hard truth remains that where we do appreciate, some innovations tried in our Hindi Cinema at regular intervals quite evidently. Our major box office successes (now popularly referred to as the 100 crore club) still remain the same good old repetitive, masala movies only, well supported by all ‘The Big Stars’ of the industry unarguably (even in this new millennium.) And therefore its exactly like taking “One Step Ahead and Two Steps Back” in terms of quality of films in Hindi Cinema. Nevertheless the hope is not all lost yet and maybe we will see a turn of tables soon in the coming years.
Bobby Sing
All Rights Reserved - Aug 2013
Tags : Hindi Cinema In the recent years, One Step Ahead and Two Steps Back, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Hindi Cinema Hit Trend in 2012 and 2013, 100 Crore Club of Bollywood, Quality of Films in Bollywood.
16 August 2013 / bobbysing /
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