Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Mumbai… You Be the Judge! - DAY 667

After Jagran it is the turn of Manhattan Short Film Festival. Filmgoers in Mumbai will unite with audiences in over 250 cities spanning six continents to view and judge the work of the next generation of filmmakers from around the world when the 18th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival screens for the 6th consecutive year in India at Matterden CFC, Lower Parel.

This year, Mahattan Short has terrific feedback with a lineup of  672 short entries from 52 countries. The 10 Finalists hail from eight countries, with short films from Turkey and Kosovo representing their respective countries for the first time. These short films will not only entertain a global audience but will be judged by them as well. Cinema-goers are handed a ballot upon entry that allows them to vote for the Best Film and Best Actor. Manhattan Short is the ultimate audience award that salutes the creative talents of both directors behind the camera and actors in front of it.

Mahattan Short 2015 highlights the importance of women in cinema and films feature actresses ranging from teenagrs to senior citizens. Other interesting films that deserve mention are: Bear Story and Patch, sophisticated animations. 

The Vote For India section will screen the winning films: Aavratiabout a teenage girl’s encounter with a good-hearted cop; El’ayichi starring Nimrat Kaur, Divyendu Sharma and Vibha Chibber; Karan Tejpal’s No Anaesthesia starring Deepak Dobriyal; a first-hand and unique account of the Bhopal tragedy in Bhopal Diaries 2012 and Ganesh Matkari’s take on sexuality in the glamour world Shot.

Votes will be sent through to Mahattan Short HQ with the winner announced at ManhattanShort.com on Monday Oct 5.


 @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Jagran Film Festival opens with Standing Tall - DAY 666


September is the month when on one hand are the cultural festivals and on the other hand come a host of film festivals in India and Jagran Film Festival is always the first to start the season.
This year Jagran is reaching Mumbai after its three month run in 15 other cities of India. Opening with Standing Tall the festival will hold two screenings of the much talked about film amidst prominent Indian, international feature and short films.
 “Beginning with a film like ‘Standing Tall’ is a beginning on the right note” opines Manoj Srivastava, Strategic Consultant of the Festival. 
Directed by actress Emmanuelle Bercot who won the Best actress award this year at Cannes Film Festival, Standing Tall narrates the story of a six year old Malony, abandoned by his mother who is constantly in and out of juvenile court. An adoptive family grows around this young delinquent: Florence, a children’s magistrate nearing retirement, and Yann, a caseworker and himself the survivor of a very difficult childhood. Together they follow the boy’s journey and try unfailingly to save him.
Malony is sent to an educational center, where he meets Tess, a very special young girl who will show him that there are reasons for hope.
The film also stars Benoît Magimel, Sara Forestier and is produced by François Kraus & Denis Pineu-Valencienne.
Standing Tall is an exemplary cinematic exploration by Emmanuelle Bercot who has also written the screenplay of the film along with Marcia Romano. The film is due for release in Italy on 15 October 2015 after its screening in India.


@bhawanasomaaya

Monday, 28 September 2015

Kapil Sharma creates history - Day 665



Kis Kis ko Pyaar Karun breaks all records at the box office and even surpasses Karan Johar’s Student of the Year ( 9.25 CR) opening day figures which marked the debut of three actors! The film has apparently collected Rs 10.15 Cr on the very first day which is better than many star studded films. The collections are exceptional considering the fact that the film makes Bollywood debut of none other than Kapil Sharma. Two factors helped the film. That it was released on a public holiday, Bakri-Eid and Kapil’s stupendous popularity. There is one more reason for the fabulous draw: the other releases of the week (MadhurBhandarkar’s Calendar Girls and Bhaag Johnny) are below expectations. The film is produced by two brothers Ratan and Ganesh Jain and directed by two brothers, Abbas and Mustan. Abbas Mustan so far known for only making thriller movies with A list actors have for the first time ventured into comedy with a debutant and touched gold.
The film has sparkling performances from Kapil Sharma, Arbaaz Khan, Varun Sharma and the four heroines Manjari Fadnis,Elli Avram, Simran Mundi and Sai Lokur add glamour appeal.

Kis Kis ko Pyaar Karun proves that box-office has no favorites and everything is possible in show business.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Kapil entertains Bhandarkar disappoints - DAY 664



Abbas Mustan directed Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karun kahani hai Kapil Sharma yaane SRK (Shiv Ram Kishen) ki, jo asal mein ek hi insaan hain magar teen naam se teen alag alag zindgiyaan jeeta hai.

Apni ye mushkil zindagi thodi aasan banane ke liye, SRK ne apni teeno patniyaan, yaane Simran, Juhi aur Anjali ko, ek hi building mein alag alag floors pe thehraya hain.

Kahani Cocktail Towers ke teen floors aur SRK ki teen patniyon ke ird gird ghumti hai, tab tak, jab tak ke, SRK ki chauthi patni, yaani Elli Avram natak mein shamil nahi hoti!

Film ka plus: Abbas Mustan Kapil Sharma ko ek original performer ki tarha pesh karte hai.

Film ka bada plus: Kapil Sharma jo ek bahtareen comedian hi nahi sampoorna kalakar hai.

Kapil Sharma saabit karte hai that he can sing, he can dance and he can cry!!

Unka saath dete hai, unke dost ki bhumika mein, ek aur bahtareen adaakara, Varun Sharma.

SRK ke eklaute saale ki bhumika mein Arbaaz Khan hilarious hai!

Film illogical hai/ senseless hai/ stupid hai magar entertaining hai, Kapil ke show ki tarha nahi, algg tarike se, aur shayad isiliye film dekhni chahiye.

Kis kis ko Pyaar Karun ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 3 stars.
                                                                                       
                                                                    
                                                                  **


Madhur Bhandarkar likhi/produced/directed Calendar Girls Bhandarkar ke vyavsayik genre ki ek aur film hai.

Iske pehle, Bhandarkar ne hum Dancing bar/Corporate/Fashion/Film world, yahan tak ke Page 3 celebrities aur Traffic Signal par bheekh maangte aur kaam karte logo ke baare mein filmein di hai jo jeevan aur samaj ki sachai hai.

Iss baar wo bade Calendaron par dikhti glamorous tasveeron ka parda faash karte hai.
Chotte shehron se bade sapne lekar paanch ladkiyaan maya nagri aati hai, aur pehle hi photo shoot mein professional ban jaati hai.

Film ka minus: film ka unconvincing aur exaggerated screenplay. Bhandarkar Calendar Girls ki safalta ke baad ki kahani mein iss tarha se kho jaate hai ki  wo unke safal ban ne ke sunghursh ko bhul jaate hai.

Wo do insaan, business man Suhail Seth aur photographer Rohit Roy jo ladkiyon ko Calendar Girls banate hai, unka do scenes ke baad kabhi zikar nahi hota.

Saare performances bejaan hain aur paancho heroines ek jaisi lagti hain jo apne aap ko Calendar Girl kehkar introduce karti hai, mano wo Calendar Girl nahi Ms World ho!

Ashcharya ki baat ye hai, ki film aakhir tak, Calendar Girls ka arth nahi samjahti jaise ki ye humari zindagi mein aam baat ho.

Na film mein Chandni Bar ke jasbaad hai, na Page 3 ki sachai aur na hi Fashion ki kadwahat.

Haan iss baar Bhandarkar positive end laaye hai magar afsos film dil ko nahi chooti.

Calendar Girls ko Big Entertainment ratings milte hai 2 stars.


Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya




  


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Rainbow Stories - DAY 663



A unique event is being held in Chandigarh at the Punjab University on September 22nd – a film festival on gender and sexuality followed by discussion b organized by the Center for Human Rights & Duties, Punjab University and supported by Chandigarh based NGO Saksha Trust.Titled ‘KASHISH Forward’ the event will screen award winning Indian and international short films and documentaries related to youth and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)

In present times where we hold every kind of festival it is important to create awareness about issues related to understanding of identity. A lot of them unable to understand themselves face peer and family pressure and end up depressed or commit suicide. KASHISH is trying to change the world and perspective for people of this community and world at large.


@bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Drishyam rules - Day 662


When I saw Drishyam I was not sure if the film would be liked by the audience. I didn’t because it posed a moral conflict for me but box-office proves that the audience does not care for morality any longer!


The film has completed 50 days and is still going strong. Not that director Nishikant Kamat’s Hindi remake of the film is a patch on the Malayalam film but even then the story has struck a chord with cinema lovers.


Perhaps Drishyam is about our changing morals and inadvertently our changing society. Perhaps this is what cult movies are about; stories that make you think and alter perspectives.


In times of crisis that engages a family what would a common man do?


What would you do? 


Would you do what Ajay Devgan did? Is he right? 


Is Tabu wrong for handling the case the way she did? Both are parents and both are suffering for their loved one.   


It is no minor achievement that Drishyam is listed as the fourth Highest Rated Feature Films Released in the year 2015 with as many as 12,515 votes on IMDB. For some reason Drishyam has been trending on the social media too.


Yet again actor Ajay Devgan proves that he understands the pulse of the audience and has made the right decision.



@bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A star is born - Day 661


The first time I heard that filmmakers Abbas Mustan popular for thriller genre were making a comedy Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon with Kapil Sharma I thought maybe it was a gamble but over the week end when I watched the duo dancing and enjoying themselves with Kapil on his show I changed my mind.


Here are two talented filmmakers who have worked with all the superstars but never got their share of limelight partly because they have always been shy of camera and partly because media did not find them savvy to feature in glossies.



One film with Kapil Sharma and Abba Mustan have turned into household names. 


It is so refreshing to watch them enjoy themselves and enjoy the promotions of the film both on the radio and on television.



Kapil Sharma is enjoying the film promotions too but more than him it is the audience where ever he goes.



Last spotted the actor was mobbed at Season’s Mall in Pune and even though the organizers had organized tight security, nothing could have prepared them for the chaos that followed.


Don’t believe me look at the pictures.



@bhawanasomaaya

Monday, 21 September 2015

Gauri Ganpati - DAY 660


Today is Day Five of Ganpati festival.

On Day Four, Mata Gauri mother of Lord Ganesha comes to visit him and her parents at her maiden home.


It is a special day for the family and they begin preparations for her arrival days in advance. They cook her favorite food and buy her favorite clothes. The home is dressed like a bride because the daughter is special and will stay with her parents only for a day.

Gauri has visitors all day because everyone is curious to know how she is and whether she is happy at her in-laws home.


Today, Gauri will leave for her home and every one will be very sad. 


Her parents will be desolate because they will have to wait another year for their daughter to pay them a visit and son Ganpati will be heartbroken to part with his mother.


It is said that if you watch a Gauri idol closely you will find her weeping on her way home. In the villages all the women gather and cry together when they bid farewell to Gauri mata.



There is another story why Gauri has to depart before Ganesha. She will be waiting in the sea her arms outstretched for her son.



We think we immerse Ganesha into the sea, but that is far from true. Ganesha’s mother collects her baby in her arms before he can drown and carries him to their abode in the heaven.


What a delightful story and quite believable that too.


 @bhawanasomaaya


Friday, 18 September 2015

Kangana embraces one more complex character - DAY 659


Nikhil Advani likhi/ produced/ directed KattiBatti, university mein padhte, Maddy aur Payal ki prem kahani hai.

Dono ko pehli nazar mein aakarshan ho jaata hai aur thodi shararat, thodi noke jhoke ke baad, wo ek saath rehne lagte hain.
Paanch saal guzar jaate hain...


Ab Maddy ek badi company mein architect hai aur Payal bhi chotte mote jobs kar leti hai.
Dono ke beech ab bhi pyaar hai magar takraar bhi!
Ek din, Payal gayab ho jaati hai aur Maddy, apni zindagi par kabu kho deta hai.


Film ka minus, film ka narrative – kahani frequent flashback/ flashforward mein aage peeche ghumti hai. Bohat saare situations unrealistic aur exaggerated hain - khaas taur pe Maddy ke office sequences.


Film ka plus, film ke characterizations, kuch highlight moments jaise Devdas ka play aur kuch Kangana ke hilarious dialogues!


Nikhil Advani, dosti aur mohabbat ko naya expression dene ke koshish karte hai aur hassi mazaak mein hi, kuch aham mudde bhi uthaate hain.


Imran Khan ne lambe arse ke baad, sensitive performance diya hai.


Kangana Ranaut, hamesha ki tarha, film ki jaan hai, jo phir se, ek naye kirdaar ko apna bana leti hai!!


Thodi tedhi medhi magar achi neeyat ki Katti Batti ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 3 stars.


Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya


Thursday, 17 September 2015

SALAAM BOLLYWOOD 8 - DAY 658

                        Kabuliwala to Chokherbali

The legacy of the famous poet and writer, Rabindranath Tagore lives onscreen,
touching our souls even after his death

Around four years ago there were worldwide celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore turning 150 years. Tagore is not only India’s most revered poet but the most progressive writer as well. In the recently-launched Epic Channel, director Anurag Basu is revisiting Tagore’s short stories and wonders, when Gurudev was so ahead of his time, why has India turned regressive?  I piece together a tribute to the ultimate guru of our country, Rabindranath Tagore and his relationship with cinema.

Born in 1861 and died in 1941, Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore was a multifaceted personality. He wrote short stories, novels, dramas, recited poetry on public platforms and yet Tagore is not
as frequently translated on celluloid, as Sharat Chandra or Bankim Chandra for example. This is because his interplay between characters did not conform to tradition. Revisit any of his films, be it ‘Charulata’ or ‘Ghare Baire’, and you realise that Tagore’s stories were devoid of childhood love, separation of brothers, villains, betrayal or even a broken heart which are a pre-requisite for the
mainstream cinema.There is another more practical reason why Tagore could not be reached to a
wider audience. Everything associated with him - his songs, dramas, stories, poetry, whenever presented in a medium had to be cleared by Vishvabharati University instituted by him many decades ago. The process was long and tedious and dissuaded passionate filmmakers attracted to Tagore’s writing because they didn’t have the time and patience to cross those hurdles.
Tagore’s strength as a writer was that he was rooted to the soil. This was also a limitation because when his stories were turned into films, there was little scope for dressing up his milieu and characters. His writing was too truthful and pure to be deviated or distorted and called for an aware audience willing to go beyond the spoken word. His stories demanded skilled filmmakers who understood his art and mind.

Tapan Sinha directed ‘Kabuliwala’ (1960) set in the social context of feudal Bengal and also (1960) about a young collector living in a haunted mansion who falls in love with a ghost. Satyajit Ray was fascinated with Tagore’s novella ‘Nastanirh’ which he made into ‘Charulata’. When Ray was shooting the film, he was in conflict about the concluding scene. The book ends with the husband knocking on the door and the wife opens it standing wordless, leaving the interpretation to the reader. Satyajit Ray felt the unexplained scene was appropriate for literature ‘Kshudito Paschan’ but unreasonable in cinema, and altered it to Madhabi Mukherjee saying “Ashi” and stretching her hand. The film ends with their outstretched hands that don’t meet. It was a very minor deviation from the original, but when the film was released, there was uproar from Tagore fans who criticised the climax. There were angry protests from Vishvabharati and the controversy settled only after Ray penned a column in a newspaper to explain his stand that he meant no offence to Gurudev. It is therefore not surprising that very few filmmakers dared to present Tagore on celluloid. Satyajit Ray made a documentary ‘Rabindranth Tagore’, ‘Teen Kanya’ (‘Postmaster’, ‘Monihara’ and ‘Samapti’) 1960 followed by ‘Charulata’ 1964 and decades later, ‘Ghare Baire’. Ray had been obsessed with ‘Ghare Baire’ ever since he first read the story and was eager to make it into a film but no producer was willing to risk investment. As a result, Ray was coerced to shelve the project. He tried to make ‘Ghare Baire’ again in the 50s and 60s but again failed to convince the financier. Finally, Ray was able to make his dream project as late as mid 80s, which many of his critics describe as Ray’s weakest film. This was partly because the lead actress did not match to the charisma of Madhabi Mukherjee, a Ray favourite. But Ray nursed no regrets. He said to senior writer Swapan Mullick in an interview that he was happy he did not get to make ‘Ghare Baire’ (1985) earlier, because those days he was greatly influenced by Hollywood and would have made a dishonest film. The passing years had mellowed him and the present version was closer to Tagore’s sensibility and vision of emancipated women.

Tagore’s idealism and crusade for gender equality was influenced by Bengal’s Renaissance leader Rajaram Mohan Roy who fought for widow remarriages and that is why his films are about the mental journey of his characters, especially women trying to find a foothold in feudal society. His women were real and engaging, be it the little girl Minnie in ‘Kabuliwala’ or the adolescent
Mrinmoy in ‘Upahaar 71’ directed by Sudhendu Roy. Sometimes she was manipulative like Binodini in ‘Chokherbali’ where the young widow manipulates not just the men but all the women who come into her life. In the end, Binodini has everything she wanted, but hankers for peace and walks out on everybody.

There is an interesting story about how Tagore got associated with cinema. Everybody knows that Tagore was absorbed in words and his churnings resulted in novellas, songs, poetry and drama. In pre-Independence time, Tagore travelled extensively to perform and raise funds for his university. Those days, his troupe staged a dance drama ‘Notir Puja’ based on his story. The drama was extremely popular and collected large crowds wherever he traveled. One day in the audience, was
owner of New Theatres BN Sircar who was mesmerised by the beauty and power of the ballet. He expressed his desire to make the ballet into a film, provided Gurudev recited poetry in his voice and made an appearance in the film. Tagore agreed because it meant big funds for his university.

The year was 1932 and ‘Notir Puja’ was premiered as part of Tagore’s 70th birthday celebrations, but sadly the film was not as effective on the big screen as on stage, but Tagore had no regrets. He said cinema was the only complete medium that combined sound and moving images. Today most of the reels of ‘Notir Puja’ are destroyed and all that remains in the archives are a few scenes that work as documentary on Tagore.


It is important to mention the lesser talked about Tagore films like ‘Char Adhyay’ 1997 directed by Kumar Sahni and ‘Chaturanga’ directed by a theatre director. ‘Khoka Babu’ was a tale of a long serving domestic help who robs the son of his master and gifts him back on the son’s wedding day. ‘Nauka Dubbi’ made as ‘Ghunghat’ by Ramanand Sagar in 1960 and now ‘Kasmakasha’ is about a new bride landing up with the wrong groom after a ship wreck. All his films ‘Maryada’ or ‘Chirokumar Sabha’ were about trauma and complexities, sensual and lyrical. Music played an important part in all films penned by Tagore. Whether it was ‘Komal Gandhar’ celebrating the universe or Kishore Kumar humming “Ammi chni go chini” in ‘Charulata’, Tagore has been an inspiration to many musicians. Late Kanan Devi, Pankaj Mullick and KL Saigal played a role in projecting life to Tagore’s poetry on screen.

Among the younger music directors, SD Burman was vastly influenced by Gurudev, and this is apparent in his playback of ‘Guide’ and many years later in ‘Abhimaan’. Director Rituporno Ghosh has used Rabindro sangit undiluted in a long sequence of ‘Chokherbali’ and those moments are magical!

As long as Tagore lived, he remained in Shantiniketan, Bengal, but his vision and words were global and that is why they touch our soul till today.


- Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

EXPRESS ANGER - DAY 657


                                        “I was angry with my friend;

                               
                                      I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
   
                                    
  I was angry with my foe;
                               

 I told it not, my wrath did grow.
   
                                    
         And I watered it in fears,

Night and morning with my tears;
    
                                    
                     And I sunned it with smiles,
    
                                      
                                    
                     And wish soft deceitful wiles.

                              
                                  
                And it grew both day and night.
    
                                       
                                    
                   Till it bore an apple bright.”


                       
                                    William Blake / speakingtree.in


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

SALAAM BOLLYWOOD 7 - DAY 656

                                          Bollywood in tidbits
It has been an eventful year for Sanjna Kapoor who broke away from Prithvi Theatre to launch Junoon three years ago and this year launched another baby, SMART it means Strategic Management
in the Art of Theatre and aims to build knowledge, skills and expertise about arts management
within the theatre community itself. For a long time Sanjna felt the need for something like this but did not know how to go about it. Then she spoke to her partner Smita Iyengar and together they worked out a map to enable practitioners to develop strategic management systems for aspects of theatre that lie outside the direct creative process.

Sanjna said that the creative processes are so consuming that one was always exasperated when it was time to showcase the creativity. She decided that there had to be a long term solution to the problem and began having a dialogue with experts. It worked. Theatre needs funding and the funding had to go beyond sponsors. The new map which is conceived, designed and developed by experts from different fields addresses the dire need for effective arts management in our country. Their vision and motive is to impact much more than just the theatre community and Sanjna is proud that just six months into the idea they celebrated their first batch of 17 SMART graduates. This is the beginning of a new India, new theatre and new creativity.




Lara Dutta - Akshay Kumar together again
Lara Dutta is another happy heroine these days. When Dutta came into movies, she knew that this was not something she could continue to do for the rest of her life, so she got a life beyond films, be it her business or her marriage and now her baby. However she is not fully disconnected to show business married to a sports legend and her own background, so once in a while when Lara is offered a good role she weighs the pros and the cons and says ‘yes’. We all know Lara started her
career with Akshay Kumar, so when Akshay asked her to be a part of ‘Singh is
Bliing’, Lara obviously could not refuse.

The last time she shared screen-space with Kumar they were a romantic pair, this time we don’t know given that Lara plays Emily and is the cause of trouble in Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson’s
love story in the film.




Manisha Koirala on screen after a break
Manisha Koirala was in news after a long time because of her forthcoming film ‘Chehre’. She said Jackie Shroff and she had done many films together and she was happy that Jackie was doing well in his career. Manisha said ‘Chehre’, written and directed by Rohit Kaushik has been in the making for a long time but is an interesting subject about an old-time star. The film captures the journey of cinema from silent films to talkies, captured in both black & white and colour. It is a psychological
thriller set in 1952 in England that plays upon interpersonal relationships of the various protagonists. Meant to be a musical thriller, ‘Chehre’ will unmask many secrets on Friday, said Manisha Koirala.





Meghana Gulzar films

Aarushi murder as Talwar. Early this year we saw a version of the Arushi murder case released and now Meghana Gulzar has shot a film taking the Talwar couple into confidence and presented
another perspective of the story. Starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Irrfan Khan among many others, this is Meghana’s second film after ‘Filhaal’. Recently the trailer of the film was released by the producer attended by the entire cast. On another day, Sanjay Gupta released the trailer of his ‘Jazba’ attended by the cast of the film including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. While most of the time husbands expect wives to talk about their films but seldom shout praise of the wife, Abhishek Bachchan is going out of his way to express his joy about ‘Jazba’ trailer and is even promoting it on his social platform.






Waheeda Rehman is wildlife photographer
I have attended all kinds of festivals and last week I attended a festival on wild life aptly titled Tigerland India Film Festival. In a grand function held at Samanvay Bhawan, legendary actress Waheeda Rehman, who few people know is a lover of wild life, was the Guest of Honour.
All the films in Panorama and Competition section Revenge of the Tiger by Shri Nalla Muthu; Birds of Narsinh Talav; Wetlands: Question Mark and In Deep Coma were engaging in storytelling and I caught Waheeda Rehman watching the films very attentively. The awards were given under four different categories and judged by a seven member diverse panel of judges consisting of experts from the fields of wildlife, media, films and art. The highlight of the Tigerland India Film Festival was an exhibition of photographs on wildlife clicked by actor Waheeda Rehman that surprised everybody.
Though Rehman was very modest and described herself as just a hobby photographer, those present at the event could not stop raving about her images. Waheeda Rehman said that she always felt passionate about wild life and has been inclined towards it from a long time. However, it was her son who introduced her to photography and encouraged her to follow it actively. She said both of them were part of a photographer club and regulars on Safaris both in India and abroad to practice their passion. She said she has been shooting pictures for years now but has never talked about it and never shared them with anybody. This time was an exception because she was invited to a Tigerland Film Festival and could not be secretive about her passion any longer.


- Bhawana Somaaya/@bhawanasomaaya

Monday, 14 September 2015

THE GEETA EFFECT 1 - DAY 655

               
The story of the Mahabharata has a philosophical significance. The Pandavas and the Kauravas represent the positive and the negative qualities of an individual.


The Kauravas having larger forces than those of the Pandavas suggest that the negative generally outnumber the positive.


The goal of human existence is the realization of the supreme Self within. To realize the self, you need to rise above your involvement with the good and the bad forces of the world. Non-involvement with the good and the bad is essential for attaining spiritual knowledge. That is symbolized by Arjuna receiving the sermon of the Gita in the chariot between the Pandava and the Kauravas armies.




The Gita contains 701 verses spread over 18 chapters. The 18 chapters can be divided into three sets of six chapters. And the three sets explain and elaborate the supreme aphorism of the Vedas: ‘Tat tvam asi – that thou art’.



The first six chapters explain ‘Tvam – Thou’, the middle six ‘Tat’ – That, and the last six, ‘Asi’ – Art. ‘Tvam’ represents the Self within. ‘Tat’, the supreme God. And ‘Asi’ indicates that the Self in you and God are one. You art God


The Gita leads one to the ultimate state of spiritual enlightenment. Moreover, it gives a philosophy of life which can be translated into practical living in one’s social, official and domestic lives.


SWAMI PARTHASARATHY/ speakingtree.in 



Friday, 11 September 2015

Hero – Disappointing - DAY 654


Salman Khan produced aur Umesh Bist likhi, Hero, saal 1983 Hero ka remake hain. Peechli baar director Subhash Ghai ne Jackie Shroff-Meenaxi Seshadri ko launch kiya tha. 

Iss baar, director Nikhil Advani do aur naye kalakar, Sooraj Pancholi-Athiya Shetty ko launch karte hain. Saal 1983 ki Hero mein shandaar sangit, masti aur manoranjan tha. 

Saal 2015 ki Hero mein, na dil hai, na jaan aur na hi jasbaat! Ritesh Soni ki slow editing, kahani aage hi nahi badhati aur badhati hai tab, ek hi gaane mein 2 saal nikaal deti hai. 

Sawal ye hai ki producer/ director ne iss film ka remake kyu socha?  Aur agar socha, toh isse naye tareke se kyon nahi likha aur pesh kiya? 

30 saal pehle, hero ka heroine ko agvaa karna aur police ka unko na dhoond paana, samajh aata hai! Aaj ke daur mein, unka barfeele pahadon mein khulle aam ghumna aur police ka unko na dhoondh paana, unrealistic hai.

Film ka plus: action aur locations. 

Film ka minus: saare kirdaar aur saare rishte jo khokkhle aur banavti lagte hai. Na IG officer-Pasha ki dushmani convincing hai aur na hi Radha-Sooraj ki do mulakaton ke prem kahani. 


Film mein ek dialogue baar baar dohraya jaata hai: Alt Control Delete!

Kaash director Nikhil Advani ye kar sakte...

Kaash Athiya aur sooraj bhi ye kar sakte...

Film ka sab se khubsurat pal, end credits hai, jahan Salman Khan apni awaaz aur mein gaate hai.
Thoda sharmate hai…thoda muskurate hai aur sach much hero lagte hai…

Hero ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 2 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday, 10 September 2015

SALAAM BOLLYWOOD 6 - DAY 653

                                       My films are based on true stories



It is 1 pm and I’m attending the trailer release of Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Calendar Girls’ in Mumbai’s newly opened Carnival Theater in Oshiwara. Like always Madhur has made sure to invite all his guests personally and seek support for his new venture. “Big films find audience on their own but small films need the support of cinema buffs so you must come for the event to express solidarity,” he says on the phone and I respect that.

It is probably a result of his personalized invitations that most of the people he has invited have turned up on time and appear a bit restless at the delay in starting the event. In the front rows I can spot politicians from different a party, which is understandable because the producer Sangeeta Ahir is the wife of a politician.  

Excerpts from the interview: 
You once said that you feel like an activist taking up a social issue in every film.
That is true, I crusaded the cause of the bar girls, exposed the insecurities of the corporate world and deglamourised the life of a ramp model in ‘Fashion’. Our films have depicted beggars in many films but no film has shown the brutalities of ‘Traffic Signal’ or the way the media operates as in ‘Page 3’.

And how do you think does society perceives you for your brand of films?
With trepidation I think. They feel it is better not to tell me too much about their world or I will expose it in a film. The other day I was getting into the elevator of a 7-star hotel filled with top level industrialists probably from a seminar. I recognised them and I think they recognised me too. I noticed they stopped talking till I got off at my floor. Maybe they thought I will use the information in a film on industrialists in future.

How do you always mange to find a novel contemporary subject for a film?
I don’t know if I find them or they find me but it all happens quietly and naturally, I encounter an experience, reflect about it and before I know I have decided to make a film on that experience.

Do you accept that your new film ‘Calendar Girls’ is inspired from tycoon Vijay Mallya’s
annual Calendar?
Of course it is but the film is much more than that. I have visited Vijay Mallya’s calendar events often and he sends me his exotic calendars every year. They are superb and extremely glamorous. One day my office boy was on a cleaning spree and put a few of these old calendars on my desk demanding to know what has to be done with them? I revisited the calendars and an idea struck me but I wasn’t sure so I asked him to let the calendars lie on my table for a while. Every day I would turn a few pages and slowly a script was being born.

You never thought of taking an established heroine for the role?
 No because the roles demand new faces. It is the story of girls next door who become famous and are forgotten after a year. An established star would not have fit the role. I had to find new faces and they had to be from different parts of India and also neighbouring countries.

So it is the story of five girls?
 Yes, there are multiple tracks running simultaneously in the film as we are introduced to various characters and their families. The story familiarises us to them and there comes a point when all the protagonists are visible on the same platform. It is the story of their anxieties and dreams.

And how did you get familiar with their lifestyles?
 This is where extensive research comes in, the team of writers work hard. I came to know about the whereabouts of some calendar girls who have retired to a life of anonymity, I met them up; they put me on to more people and so on and so forth. All their stories are heart rending. This is a tough life.

‘Chandni Bar’ to ‘Corporate’ and ‘Fashion’ to ‘Heroine’ you have traveled the tapestry of many professions, don’t you feel like a Peeping Tom?
Those who are making love stories are also foolishly indulging in the same emotion and can be accused of exploitation! I’m at least traveling different lanes in every film. I’m exposing both the urban and the rural India in my films. I have portrayed the glamour world and the shanty town and also the traffic light urchins. I disagree that I’m a Peeping Tom because if I were my films would have been more brazen than they are. I alter incidents and identities to not reveal my sources. I’ never expose them on the contrary protect them from the public glare.

But everybody knows that they are inspired from true people and incidents.
Everybody also knows that the facts are altered to a great degree and my films are real stories woven with fiction. The real stories are often very, very sad while I offer a ray of hope to my characters be it Tabu in ‘Chandni Bar’ or Priyanka Chopra in ‘Fashion’.

You are coming with a film after a long break?
Yes this time the break has been longer than intended. My last film ‘Heroine’ had contradictory opinions but was still applauded by the critics. I feel I’m fortunate to have worked out a niche genre for myself. This sets me apart from my contemporaries and I’m not biting my nails in competition.

Are you satisfied with the film?
I think I’m more than satisfied. I think it is my boldest film and this time it is not an open ending film like the critics accuse me of. I take a stand and let me share a bit more; it is not a depressing ending. You know when we say ‘Calendar Girls’ we associate it only with glamour and sex but there is more to them than that and my film is about that. About their lives, their journey, their reality.

 How was the experience of launching five new faces?
 Not easy at all. From the auditions to the final shoot it is not easy to watch over the performances of five debutants simultaneously. But they learn and evolve and one saw the change as the shooting progressed. All of them have done their parts so well. The film works because of their characters and their commitment.

- Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya