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     
Shutter - Bobby Talks CinemaThere are films that make a strong, significant comment over our biased social standards verbally, and there are films that don’t make a single direct comment, but still leave you simply stunned, raising several upsetting questions through their multilayered narrative and all realistic next-door characters making an instant connect.
SHUTTER, a 2012 Malayalam gem stands tall among this second category of not to be missed, important Indian masterpieces. And the film has such an intense, compelling subject that points towards male dominance in a family, sex being a major issue in our society, casual paid sex post marriage, friends facilitating in the moral corruption of a family man and a father’s conservative outlook towards his daughter contradicting his own misdeeds, all together in a splendid storyline of two days and a night depicted thoughtfully.
An amazing debut project of director Joy Mathew, SHUTTER is a simple but highly meaningful social satire comprising many delightfully enlightening moments and stellar performances (from the entire cast) that are sure to haunt you for long post its unexpectedly disturbing and thought-provoking finale.
However to inspire you further, let me give you an indication of the story behind its strange title SHUTTER, which though would reveal the plot, but still needs to be explained in order to convince those friends, who otherwise might not like to go for a regional Indian film for some weird, inexcusable and (allow me to say it) silly reasons of their own.
As a mature, sex-based subject unveiling the fake masks representing our social double standards, the story revolves around a father (of a soon to be married young girl) returning from Gulf and the uncertain circumstances he gets caught in due to an urge to have sex with an attractive hooker found standing alone on the road-side waiting for her daily client.
Finding no place to spend the night with her in the near-by local hotels, his friends (led by an auto-rickshaw driver) think of an idea of locking them both in an empty shop for few hours, owned by the gulf-returned friend only, which is incidentally situated in a busy market just behind his residence. But instead of coming back after a few hours in the night, they get caught in some unforeseen situations and the couple remains locked for the whole night and the complete next day too resulting in an unexpected, embarrassing chaos.
Now what happens in that shop with the two locked up unwillingly, what do they do in this painfully long time and why the friends outside are not able to return in time, becomes the main crux of the innovative plot with many unpredictable twists and turns converting it into a highly thought provoking film with a terrific climax.
Referring to the title, interestingly there are two SHUTTERS in the shop where the middle aged father gets locked up with the hooker for more than 24 hours. One is the main shutter in the front closed by the friends with a lock and the other is a very small window at the back from where he can clearly see his residence, situated just behind the shop at a close distance.
And it’s through these two SHUTTERS only that the writer/director skillfully mocks at the sick, moral corruption visible all over in our society without indulging in any vulgarity, skin show or cheap crowd pleasing tactics resulting in a very fine film.
Besides, who eventually opens the shutter in the end after the news reaches his family and the last dialogue between the father and his young daughter is a sheer masterstroke played by the director leaving you with hundreds of thoughts about the future interaction within the family post that one shameful incident of a locked SHUTTER.
Highly recommended, the original ‘must watch’ Malayalam film got later remade in more than five languages including Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Punjabi too, which should clearly give you an idea of its strong and compelling content not to be missed.
‘A Poetic Violence on Celluloid” as one of its poster says.
Written and Directed by : Joy Mathew
Starring : Lal, Sreenivsan, Vinay Forrt, Sajitha Madathil, Riya Saira
Tags : SHUTTER (Malayalam 2012), Movies To See Before You Die Thriller/Drama, Not To Be Missed Indian Regional Language Films List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Worth Watching Indian Regional Gems, Joy Mathew
12 October 2016 / bobbysing /
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Before stating the exceptional merits of this epic project, it first needs to be explained why the reputed critic Roger Ebert called this magnificent creation ‘a murdered movie’ in his four star review written at the time of its release.
Directed by Sergio Leone as his last film, the maestro actually filmed the footage going into 6-7 hours and had an idea of releasing it as a two part film that was rejected by the producers right away (as per IMDB). Further though Leone wanted it to be a 250-265 minutes long film including all the key scenes edited together, the final version remained a 229 minute movie leaving out more than 40 minutes of footage he really wished to be included making the desired impact.
However, the editing process didn’t stop here with the 229 minutes version being premiered at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, since post the festival a severely (rather brutally) trimmed 144 minutes version was officially released for the public in America edited by the producers against the wishes of its director. So where the European and international audience saw a 229 minutes film, Americans were made to see the 144 minutes shorter version that strangely even had a changed script progression, editing all the flashbacks and ‘back & forth’ sequences into a chronological order (with a different ending too) that simply took away the real magic of the film and its actual charm. As a result the ‘cruel shortening act’ got hugely criticized by all and the film flopped at the box office impressing none. It was later also not considered for the OSCARS and received no nominations, not even in the musical score section (for reportedly lack of proper paperwork) that is now regarded as one of the best background music in movies of this particular genre till date.
After (rightly) realizing the mistake, the film was soon released in home video/DVD market with the original close to four hour version that deservingly found both appreciation and commercial success together as expected. But in 2011-12, it was again re-created/restored by adding all the deleted scenes as sequenced by Leone and a 251 minutes long version was premiered at 2012 Cannes film festival (though they wished to present even longer 269 minute film that couldn’t be done due to certain rights issues). So finally now we have a ‘Director’s Cut’ version of 251 minutes released on DVD that essentially needs to be seen in order to understand what was originally visualized by the director and how it went through various unapproved transformations following a faulty vision.
Sharing my personal experience, I had earlier watched the shorter version and a few sequences from the 229 minutes edit many years back and found it great. Whereas witnessing the 251 minutes version recently, I had to admit that the ‘new’ film offered a completely different experience much better than the earlier ones and certainly deserves to be rated as a not to be missed passionate classic by all means.
Now coming to the creation itself, as per many artists and critics this is Sergio Leone’s finest work that should have got a much better release and reception without any unrequired interference in the final edits by the production house. But having said that, it’s not going to be an easy watch for many with a pretty long duration of 4 hours and 11 minutes with a few slow sequences too where we just have the brilliantly scored background music enhancing the visual narration with minimum spoken dialogues as such. So where for the keen students of cinema this would turn out to be a sheer gem, for the regular viewers it might not be a hugely entertaining venture following a set pattern of a gangster classic asking for your four long hours at a stretch.
Largely based on real life gangster Harry Grey's novel ‘The Hoods’ with semi-autobiographical tones, it’s a story moving through five decades with a substantial focus on childhood days of four gangsters of New York city. Having many Oscar nominated and winner actors in its cast ensemble, OUATIA features one of the best performances of Robert De Niro leading the show as Noodles along with Elizabeth McGovern as Deborah and James Wood as Max.
The film has its own share of nudity with few obscene scenes forming an essential part of its descriptive screenplay. And at times one really has to concentrate hard to know what exactly is happening on the screen taking the story forward. Yet after going through the entire glorious effort having a remarkable art direction with terrific detailing of those times and events ending on a hard hitting note you surely feel like having seen a sheer masterpiece in terms of filmmaking, direction and performances reminding you of the cult THE GODFATHER series due to the similar theme. Interestingly, (as quoted in IMDB) Sergio Leone had earlier refused to direct the first part of THE GODFATHER and probably this was his way of overcoming the deep regret as it seems.
Anyway, concluding it with an honest statement, I am recommending this film for the die-hard cinema lovers alone, exclusively for these five outstanding merits of the classic given below.
1. It has an exceptional opening 15-20 minutes wherein you have very few dialogues and only background score slowly guiding you through the unclear progression beautifully.
2. Within these opening moments there is a continuous ringing of phone moving into various sequences as if its ringing in the subconscious of a person. And believe it or not, the phone actually keeps ringing for more than 20 times cutting through the silence like a sword.
3. Watch out for ‘A Frisbee’ coming in on the screen just to represent a change in times, conceived superbly.
4. Look out for the hilarious baby-switching scene in the middle that has been shot really well. And it truly scares you like hell thinking about the outcome in the times when there was no DNA test available to know the actual father.
5. The most intriguing scene in the film remains the meeting of Noodles with Deborah after decades (of a brutal rape), when Deborah is taking off her make-up in the green room, calmly talking with Noodles looking into the mirror. And I would like to rate it as one of the best intense sequences ever conceived, depicting the distance between two wounded souls when they accidentally meet again after a few decades.
6. Lastly Sergio Leone plays his final ace in the climax sequence that keeps you guessing with more than one possible conclusion taking the film to another level altogether.
But remember, this can all be found only in the longer version of the film, preferably the ‘Director’s Cut’ version of 251 minutes. So don’t dare compromise with anything shorter ruining your own experience of watching many maestros at work together led by Sergio Leone.
Tags : Once Upon A Time In America (1984), Movies To See Before You Die, Classic Thriller, Not to be missed movies list by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Watch Movies, Exceptional Gangster Movies, Worth Watching Films list at BTC
23 July 2015 / bobbysing /
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PapanasamBeginning on a serious note, I really feel sorry looking at the way our Indian regional cinema is ignored by the Hindi film viewing audience, considering it always something loud, over the top and action based fast moving drama to be eluded. In fact it really makes you feel the pain finding a film like DRISHYAM (Malayalam) not reaching a wider audience all over the country despite being capable of redefining ‘Indian Cinema’ breaking all the preset notions and assumptions about regional movies.
So as a review of the film’s original concept, its similarities with a foreign flick and other triumphs achieved, I would like you to read my earlier write-up on DRISHYAM (included in BTC’s Movies To See Before You Die List) at the following link:
And as a review of PAPANASAM, here are my honest views about the worthy, must watch remake given below.
Directed by Jeethu Joseph himself (the man behind DRISHYAM), PAPANASAM is a very loyal remake of its original since it even follows the lengthy first half as it is, that was pointed out to be ‘a drawback’ by many viewers and critics together. But looking at these initial 40 minutes of the film from a different viewpoint, it does help in building a solid base of individual friendships, rivalry and family-bonding having their own interconnected importance in the later crucial part of the film as required.
The biggest attraction of PAPANASAM (literally meaning ‘Destruction of Sins’) remains Kamal Hassan returning to his much adored portrayal of a simple, common man that was missing in most of his recent films featuring all ‘heroic’ or ‘larger-than-life’ characters away from reality. So here we have a loved maestro (Kamal) carrying the bright torch lit by another hugely respected maestro (Mohanlal) with the same dedication, sincerity and perfection that deserves to be experienced as a must.
Plus PAPANASAM also has Gauthami reappearing on screen after many years, once again proving her immense talent in the tough role superbly. In fact it was great watching them together as a couple making me recall those lighter days of APPU RAJA and many more. Just like the original the entire supporting cast here is again well chosen (a few retained from the original), contributing hugely in the overall impact of the film with many key sequences bringing you onto the edge of your seats repeatedly. Having a longer duration (3 hours) than the Malayalam film, PAPANASAM has a couple of catchy tracks and a powerful background score that successfully takes the film to the next level undoubtedly. And one of the major highlights of the film is its climax conversation scene between Ananth Mahadevan (better than the original) and Kamal Hassan that forces you to join your hands together praising their commendable job wholeheartedly.
No doubt, comparison between the two veterans is bound to become a matter of debate within film institutions & keen students of cinema in the coming months or years. But ideally instead of comparison, one should focus on the different approaches followed by the two in their individual portrayals on screen deserving a huge applause.
To give you the exact gist, where Mohanlal’s solid act in DRISHYAM stressed more on intelligence, confidence, patience and ruthless expressions in his interpretation of a concerned father, there Kamal Hassan in PAPANASAM keeps emotions in front and stays an intelligent emotional father right till the finale sequence crying in front of Ananth Mahadevan. And this major difference in their respective visions can be studied in the police torture scene & the climax in particular, dealt distinctively.
However in my personal opinion since a super composed, intelligent and less emotional personality remains more close to the ‘thinking’ character of the father hiding the unintentional crime, therefore Mohanlal and his DRISHYAM stays ‘one step ahead’ venture for me putting it honestly. But at the same time that doesn’t allow me to rate PAPANASAM any lower deserving an equal praise, successfully giving you the same pulsating, unpredictable, emotional and mind boggling experience in the theatre that needs to be cherished at the earliest without any slightest of doubt. Moreover it also becomes a must watch for the younger generation in particular since it raises a valid question on the use of all new age gadgets that can become both a boon as well as a curse if used with wrong intentions following an evil mind.
Coming back to the subject of regional films, if after reading and listening such strong positive views about the exceptional content of Malayalam DRISHYAM and now the Tamil PAPANASAM all over the media, if you still haven’t seen any of these films due to some of your own (silly) language reservations………. then that’s like a crime committed willfully by a supposedly true lover of great cinema if I must say that.
Summing up, where most of us (in the north) unfortunately missed watching DRISHYAM on the bigger screen making us feel the unparalleled excitement and the jaw dropping thrill like never before, PAPANASAM is right there in the theatres this week (with English subtitles) and we should certainly make an effort to watch it as a must grabbing the opportunity given.
Ratings : As DRISHAM, PAPANASAM also goes into BTC’s Movies To See Before You Die List right away. And it’s the first instance when both the original and the remake are there together.
(On a personal note : If you really wish to feel the magic on screen like never before, then please don’t wait for its Hindi remake version to release soon with the same title DRISHYAM featuring Ajay Devgan, Tabu & more. Since it’s going to be ‘almost impossible’ to excel what Mohanlal and Kamal Hassan have already displayed in their gigantic portrayals. However that’s my personal opinion and I would love to be proved wrong supporting great cinema)
Tags : Papanasam Tamil Film Review by Bobby Sing, Papanasam Drishyam Review by Bobby Singh at BTC, New Regional Film Reviews by Bobby Sing, Kamal Hassan in Papanasam Review at bobbytalkscinema.com, Tamil Film Reviews by Bobby Sing, Movies To See Before You Die, Must Watch Indian Classics, Not To Be Missed Indian Regional Cinema
05 July 2015 / bobbysing /
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