Wednesday 29 February 2012

An Incomplete Picture

Bollywood’s Top 20: Superstars of Indian Cinema
Author: Bhaichand Patel (ed)
Publisher: Penguin
Price: Rs 599

The book rightly begins with KL Saigal and Devika Rani and wrongly ends up with Kajol and Kareena Kapoor. And, it doesn’t have Nutan, Rekha, Sridevi and Dharmendra in the list, says Utpal Kumar
An edited text is mostly a book written in a hurry. An author — eager to get a book published under his name — arranges for a few writers to contribute articles. And the book is ready within months, if not days. Such books lack focus, and the quality of writing goes up and down with each article. Even if you ignore the ordinary write-ups, the truly good ones too fail to break much ice due to lack of space and words; by the time the writer actually warms up, he is told to wrap up the piece!
Bollywood’s Top 20: Superstars of Indian Cinema, edited by Bhaichand Patel, is no different, though you won’t get a better set of writers — from Meghnad Desai and Madhu Jain to Nasreen Munni Kabir, Jerry Pinto and Bhawana Somaaya — to tell the history of Bollywood and its protagonists. The book rightly begins with KL Saigal and Devika Rani and wrongly ends up with Kajol and Kareena Kapoor. The inclusion of the last two, along with Hrithik Roshan, disappoints one the most, particularly when one doesn’t find Nutan, Rekha, Sridevi and Dharmendra in the list.
It’s not that the editor doesn’t know he is stirring up the hornet’s nest by including the three at the cost of other worthies. He justifies: “The reader may well ask why Kareena Kapoor found her way among the twenty and not, say, Nutan or Vyjayanthimala. Let me explain. Kareena’s competition was neither Nutan nor Vyjayanthimala. Her competition was Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Imran Khan. She is the most successful of the current crop. Nutan and Vyjayanthimala’s competitors were elsewhere, several decades ago.” But aren’t we selecting the top 20 of Bollywood? Will we leave Rahul Dravid from the list of 20 best cricketers just because there is one Sachin Tendulkar playing with him? The best doesn’t necessarily have to be from every era.
The book begins with Vikram Sampath’s eloquent portrayal of a young, lanky Kundan aka KL Saigal who spent “eight long wanderlust years” before finding music director RC Boral in Calcutta in 1931. Boral took him to Birendra Nath Sircar, founder of New Theatres, who signed “a five-year contract with him on a monthly salary of Rs 200”. Sampath showcases his rise, his simplicity (whenever people praised Saigal for his singing, he would say: “I haven’t killed a tiger. I was just singing”), and how the producers of Bombay, wherein Saigal had to migrate once Calcutta ceased to be the city of films in the early 1940s, “seemed to throttle the great artiste and squeeze the soul out of his throat”.
Cary Rajinder Sawhney carries the momentum forward with Devika Rani, whose life had been more theatrical than a Hindi film story — she married a much older man, ran away with a lover from the sets of a film and after the death of her first husband remarried a Russian painter to leave the glamorous filmi world forever.
Likewise, one finds interesting nuggets from the writings of other contributors, particularly Bhaichand Patel (Ashok Kumar), who has done a better job as writer than editor, Theodore Bhaskaran (Nargis), Pavan K Varma (Meena Kumari), Jerry Pinto (Waheeda Rehman) and Avijit Ghosh (Rajesh Khanna).
Shefalee Vasudev, Madhu Jain and Urmila Lanba, however, are the best. Vasudev demystifies Madhuri Dixit both as an actor as well as a woman, telling us quite convincingly that she has always been a polite but politically-correct person with no strong opinion on any issue. Jain and Lanba, on the other hand, have the benefit of covering the two most charismatic personalities — Dev Anand and Madhubala respectively. Though Jain has hardly anything new to add, especially after Dev Anand’s tell-all autobiography a few years ago, she seems to have dealt well with the actor’s chemistry with his two talented brothers. As for Lanba, she is sincere in depicting Madhubala’s conflicted relationships with her father on the one hand and Dilip Kumar on the other — and how she stood
by the former when she had to choose between the two. Lanba, however, falters in blaming Kishore Kumar for ignoring Madhubala during her illness. Dilip Kumar no doubt is the hero of the story, but Kishore Kumar doesn’t have to be the villain either.
The articles on Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor are good but predictable. We know so much about them — and we continue to hear so much on a regular basis — that there’s hardly anything new one can know about them. And, there’s hardly any desire to know them as well.
The two writers who disappoint the most are Meghnad Desai (Raj Kapoor) and Sidharth Bhatia (Amitabh Bachchan). If you have read Kishwar Desai’s Darlingji, dealing with the love story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt, you already know Raj Kapoor’s possessiveness and insecurities — how he stopped Nargis from doing movies with Dilip Kumar and Mehboob Khan, and how from being the lead actress in Barsaat and Andaz, she was marginalised with a cameo in Jaagte Raho. As for Bhatia, he tells nothing new about Amitabh.
The book is a good read and would be liked by lay readers. But serious ones will have to wait for some more time.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Season of Love

Namaskar - Cinema Review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya - aapka swagat karti hoon.
Iss hafte do releases hain - aur dono romantic comedies.

Prasar Visions Ltd. ki Jodi Breakers - aise ladke ki kahani hai - jo apne divorce ke baad...Ye thaan leta hai - ki wo har dukhi shadi-shuda jode ka happy divorce dilwayega...Aur wo bhi alimony ke bagair!

Siddharth - apne clients ko Nano Bar mein milta hai - aur unhe shaadi ke bandhan se mukt karwata hai.Woh apne naye profession se behad khush hai...Aur uske clients - usse bhi zyada!

Ek din - ussi Bar mein Siddharth ki mulaqat Sanjana se hoti hai...Aur dono partners ban
jaate hai.

Film ka first half - stupid jokes- blondes- beaches aur bikini mein chala jaata

Dher saare careless clients ke baad - Siddharth Sanjana ke paas ek serious case aata hai...

Aur Jodi Breakers ek decision lete hai…!

Iss baar - wo shaadi todenge nahi - balke jodenge!!

Business tycoon Mark - apni mashuqa Maggie ko chod apni biwi ke paas wapas aata hai.

Madhavan - Bipasha iss baat ko Greece mein gaana gaake celebrate karte hai.
Film Mumbai se Greece - aur Greece se Goa - ek hi baat ko lekar ghumti rehti hai.

Madhavan - jo chutkiyon mein kam banata tha - confession ke liye climax ka intezar karta hai.

Film ka pace bohat hi dheema hai - aur screenplay mein bohat saare contradictions...

Dipannita Sharma ko pehle Milind Sonam ki mashuqa bataya gaya - baad mein biwi.
Mrinalini Sharma bhi Milind ki biwi hai - to kya Milind ki do biwiyaan hai aur kyon?
Dipannita pregnant hai magar kabhi uska pet dikhta hai - toh kabhi nahi.

Zyadatar dialogues double meaning mein hai - aur kuch scenes itne outrageous hai - jaise hero ka OT mein dakhil hokar doctors ke saath vivaad karna - jo medical profession ki tauheen hai!

Film ki favour mein main kahungi ki idea, casting aur locations refreshing

Kuch sequences nirale hai - jaise jab dono kiss karte hai - Ya client ke saath - unki nahi - apni baat karte hai.

Iss ke bawajood film mein bohat kuch missing hai…

Helen film ki surprise packet hai.
Dukh ki baat ye hai ke wo as always - typecast hai.

Madhavan zaroorat se zyada scruffy lagta hai -Bipasha Basu sundar bhi hai aur sincere bhi...
Dono competent hai magar sorry- jodi nahi banti.

Jodi Breaker ko milte hai 2.5 stars.


Tips Music films ki Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya

Harayana mein rehene wale Bhatti - aur unki beti ki kahani hai.

Bhatti ka auto rikshaw ka business hai. Bhatti ki beti Miny - yani Genelia Dsouza khush mijaz aur khule dil ki ladki hai.

Viren - yani Riteish Deshmukh - Bhatti ke yahan rikshaw chalata hai.

Bhatti ko Viren pasand nahi - isliye koi na koi bahane se usse tang karte rehata hai.

Miny ko Sunny pasand nahi - isliye maan hi maan bhagne ka plan banati rehati hai.

Mangni ke din - Viren ka Bhatti se jhagda hota hai. Miny mauke ka faida uttha kar Viren ke saath ghar se bhaag jaati hai.

Iss lambe safar ke dauran - dono mein pyar ho jata hai. Kahani jaani pehchani hai. Aisi love story humne bahut baar dekhi hai.

Film mein regular dose of drama hai - kidnap hai - extortion hai - aur dher sara pyaar.

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya ko special banati hai -  Riteish Genelia ki magical jodi.
Dono dil kholkar haste hain - nachte gaate hain... Film ki lead pair - film ki khaas baat hai.

Dirctor Mandeep Kumar ki Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya sirf unke liye wasool hai.

Riteish Genelia - parde ke uppar - aur parde ke peeche - made for each other hai.

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya ko milte hai 2.5 stars.


The review appears as it is on Cinema Review on Zee Cinema, Fridays 9PM.
In an edited version over weekends on 92.7 Big FM

Tuesday 21 February 2012


Namaskar - Cinema Review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya aapka swagat karti hoon.

Iss hafte teen releases hain - ek horror - ek thriller aur ek love story.

Horror film ki back-up story film se bhi zyada interesting hai…

Do yuva filmmakers - Yash Dave aur Allison Patel - apni film ka kuch footage lekar– ek prominent production company ke paas pohche...

Producer unke enthusiasm aur courage se impress hue aur fauran screening rakhwayi. 

Footage dekhne ke baad  - producer duvidha mein aagaye ki ye - aap beeti hai -
satya ghatna par adharit hai - ya phir kalpanik kahani.

Kafi charcha ke baad - producer ne film ko - release karne ki thhani.

Percept Pictures duniya ki pehli - without title film release kar rahe hai -
jo sirf ek Question Mark - yaane Prashna Chinha hai.

Prashna Chinha youth targeted hai - aur Youtube par release kiye gaye video ko - sirf 14 dinon mein – 2 lakh log dekh chuke hain.

Agar aapko paranormal experiences mein ruchi hai - to ye film yakinan aapke liye hai...

Kyon ki ye film mein Darna Manna Nahi …Darna Zaroori Hai…!!

? ko milte hai  2.5** stars.

Writer director Dileep Shankar ki Married To America ka pardes se koi lena dena nahi hai.

Ye kahani hai Saura-bhpur ke Darbhanga Dam ki - jo bhari varsha ke baad toot jata hai...

Lakhon log mar jaate hain aur karodon ka nuksaan hojata hai!

Iss nakamyaab project ka ilzaam - NRI engineer - Ravi Malhotra - par aata hai.

Jab 14 hafton ke baad  bhi- Ravi America nahi lautte -  toh unki patni Anjali - unki talash mein India aati hai.

Anjali ko apne maqsad mein madad karte hai - taxi driver Raghuvir Yadav aur wahan ka local goonda - Ashok Samarth.

Hala ke Dam Disaster aur floods scenes realistic hai - kahani bohat hi outdated hai.

Aaj jab ghar baithe - Google aur mobile par sab kuch search kiya ja sakta hai...

Anjali  ka India aakar - ajnabiyon se madad lena - kuch hazam nahi hota.

Ashok Samarth ke sivay saare performances forgettable hai - aur shuruat ke kuch drishya ke sivay - America ke koi bhi locations nahi hai.

Film ka title Married to America - ke bajai Married to Bihar hona chahiyye tha!

Married to America ko milte hai 2** stars.

Gautam Mennon ne kuch saal pehle - Madhavan aur Diya Mirza ko lekar ek romantic film banayi thi - Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein.

Iss baar Gautam - Prateik Babbar aur Amy Jackson ko lekar ek aur love story laye hai - Ek Deewana Tha.

Ye film pehle Tamil aur Telegu mein bani hai - aur dono bhasha mein box-office par kamyab rahi.

Aam taurpe love stories mein kuch naya nahi hota - ya to paisa aur pariwar ka virodh hota hai ya phir dharam aur prant ka.

Ismein bhi kuch aisa hi hai - aur saath saath hai - lovers ke apne fundae aur confusions!

Sachin - Jessi ko dekhte hi - dil kho baithta hai - aur usse 'I Love You' bol deta hai.

Phir usse 'I am Sorry' bolne ke liye - wo uske peeche Kerala pahoonch jaata hai.

Jessi Sachin ko maaf  kardeti hai - aur ab dono dost ban jaate hai.

Train ke safar ke dauran - Sachin Jessi ko kiss kar leta hai...

Aur iss baar- Jessi ko gusse ki bajaye - Sachin se pyaar ho jata hai.
Sachin unemployed hai - isliye pyaar mein time pass karta hai...

Aur Jessi kyon ki apne routine se bohut bored hai - baar baar man badalti hai.

Romeo Juliet - Shiree Farhad - Laila Majnu apne pyaar mein attal the…

Sachin - Jessie kabhi dosti, kabhi pyaar - kabhi chemistry-kabhi co-incidence - kabhi haan, kabhi na mein - dhai ghante zaya karte hai aur audience ko frustrate kardete hai!

Sach to ye hai ki na unki dosti mein conviction hai - aur na hi pyaar mein!

Jab wo saath hai - to passion nahi hai - aur jab door hai - to dard nahi!!

Na hi A R Rehman ke music mein jadu hai aur na lead performances mein kashish.

Prateik aur Amy dialogues bolte toh hai magar jasbaton ko mehsoos nahi karte.

Film bohat hi slow, repetitive aur boring hai.

Kahani mein Kerala culture itna predominant hai - jaise hum Malyalam film Hindi mein dekh rahe ho.

Ek Deewana Tha ko milte hai 2** stars.

The review appears as it is on Cinema Review on Zee Cinema, Fridays 9PM.
In an edited version over weekends on 92.7 Big FM



Monday 13 February 2012

Perfect Valentine Film

Namaskar - Cinema Review - mein - main Bhawana Somaaya - aapka swagat
karti hoon.

Iss hafte do releases hain - Pehli romantic thriller -Valentine's Night.

Ye Delhi mein rehne wale chaar jodiyon ki kahani hain - jo Valentine
ke din judaa hote hain - aur break ke baad  nayi khushiyon ki talash
mein nikalte hain.

Unhe khushi milti hain - magar jurm ke sahe mein!

Valentine ki raat ko - ek murder hota hain - aur aathon kirdaar shak
ke ghere mein hain!!

Payal Rohatgi, Sangram Singh aur Rakhi Sawant ki Valentine Night se
kosso door rahiyein.


Dharma Productions aur UTV Motion Pictures produced - Ek Main aur Ek
do ajnabi ki kahani hain.

Rahul Kapoor - yaane Imran  Khan  - aur Raina Braganza - pariwar se
door - Vegas mein akele rehte hain - aur co-incidentally- dono filhaal
unemployed hain.

Rahul 25 saal ka - kuch complexed, kuch confused - raees maa baap ka
beta hain - jisse apni manzil ki talash hai.

Raina 27 saal ki - khush mijaaz, hasmukh ladki hai - aur zindagi ko
purri shiddat se jeeti hain.

Dono - ittefaq se ek supermarket mein milte hain -ittefaq se Christmas
eve saath guzarte hain - aur phir ittefaq se - shaadi bhi kar lete

Agli subah - breakfast ke dauran - dono shaadi ko annul karneka
decision lete hain - aur ek hafte baad - unki shaadi kharij ho bhi ho
jati hain.

Ab Rahul aur Raina - bagair dabbav ya bandhan ke - ek doosre ke ache
dost ban jate hain.

Kahani ka pace kuch dheema hai aur kuch character liberties hai.

Imran architect hai - magar hum kabhi usse koi drawing karte hue nahi dekhte.
Kareena hairstylist hai - magar wo Imran ke sivay - kabhi kissi ke bal
style nahi karti.

Dono - Vegas mein lambe samay se rehte hai magar kissi dost ya
colleague se rishta nahi hai - jo unusual hai.
Dharma productions se aur doosre productions se -humne bohat saari -
pyaar dosti ki kahani dekhi hai.

Agar KKHH mein - pyaar dosti hai -toh  DTPH mein -dosti pyaar nahi hai
- aur - Wake Up Sid mein phir se - dosti hi pyaar hai!

Ek Main aur Ek Tu - issi vishay se sambodhit - ek naya drishtikon hai.

Zyadatar youth oriented filmein - sirf unke pyaar ki charcha karti hai
-director Shakun Batra - pyaar ke saath saath - unke career goals -
frustrations aur loneliness par nazar dalte hai…

Music Director Amit Trivedi ka music mein thehrav hai - aur lyricist
Amitabh Bhatacharya lyrics mein dard - khas taurpe gana ‘Sab kuch wahi
hai/Tere aahat ki kammi hai.'

Film ki kahani, climax - message anokha hai aur romance ke niyyam badalta hai.
Kareena Kapoor hero Imran Khan se do saal ummar mein badi hai - magar
iska kabhi koi zikar nahi hota.

Wo apni marzi se - apni body - apne boyfriends ko discuss karti hai -
aur hum judgmental nahi hote!

Film ka presentation- dialogues -characters- contemporary hai.
Aur starcast charismatic.

Imraan Khan effective hai - magar  Kareena Kapoor bahar bankar -
screen par chha jati hai…

Aaap theatre se jab ghar jaate ho to akele nahi jaate - Raina Braganza
ko saath lekar jaate  ho...

Ek Main aur Ek Tu ko milte 3.5 stars.


The review appears as it is on Cinema Review on Zee Cinema, Fridays 9PM.
In an edited version over weekends on 92.7 Big FM

Sunday 5 February 2012

Review - Staying Alive , LYTD , Gali Gali Chor Hain...

Namaskar – Cinema Review mein – main Bhawana Somaaya – aapka swagat karti hoon.

Iss hapte teen releases hain - aur teenon chhotte budget - in a sense -Black comedies hain.

Shemaroo produced aur Anant Mahadevan directed Staying Alive – satya ghatna par
adharit - aur 7 International Film Festivals mein sarhayi gayi - Hinglish film hai.

Aditya ek journalist hai - aur teesre heart attack ke baad – aspatal ke ICU mein admit hai.

Uske bagal ke palang par - ek criminal hai – jisse pehla attack aaya hai – aur isliye bohat
zyada anxious hai.

Teen attack ke baad –Aditya maut se nahi darta - aur ek attack wala Shaukat Ali ki
himmat badhata hai.

Dono mein kuch bhi common nahi hai – iske bawajood -donon mein ek lagav ban jata

Dono ki biwiyaan – ek doosre se bilkul alag hai – magar ICU ke bahar lambe samay -
saath saath baithkar – dono mein ek rishta ban jaata hai.

Kuch filmein hoti hain manoranjan ke liye – kuch hoti hain vichardhara ke liye – aur
kuch – jaise Staying Alive - hoti hain zindagi ka sabak sikhane ke liye.

Staying Alive ko milte hain 2 stars.

Savla produced aur Rafeeq Ellias cinematographed aur directed - Love You To Death
India, USA aur Canada festival mein darshayi gayi hai aur bohat saare awards bhi jeete

Film ke poster pe likha hai -ladki kutta aur supari – jisse humme kahani ka kuch andaza
hojata hai.

LYTD - kuch funky hai – kuch crazy hai – aur ek alag tarike se – aaj ke daur ka aina bhi

Writer ka kehna hai ke kahani newspaper headlines se prerit hai - jisse unhone jaan
bujhkar ek Black comedy ki tarha pesh kiya gaya hai.

Isliye film ke saare characters whacko hain: Doctor Rockstar hai - directr supari leta hai.
Tarrot reader kutte ki aatma se baat karti hai – Mummyji ghar baithe baazi badalti hai –
aur Sonia jo crystals aur cards par jeeti hai.

Director Rafeeq Elios film ko experimental theatre ki tarha present karte hai – jiski wajah
se LYTD - anokhi hai aur saath hi mein - anjaani si lagti hai.

Film ke kuch hisse bohat hi sparkling hai – aur kuch bohat hi boring- kuch yaadgar pal
hai: Jab Sonia apne kutte ko vet ke paas lekar jaati hai aur climax – jab saare characters
gun party mein shamil hote hain.

Saare performances out of ordinary hai – khas taurpe Mummyji – yaane Suhasini Mulay
aur Sonia ki bhumika mein Yuki Ellias – jo nayi kalakar hote hue cinema ko achi tarha se
samajhti hai.

LYTD ko milte ha 2 stars.

One Up produced aur Rumi Jaffery directed Gali Gali Chor Hai Bhopal mein basse
Shivnarayan aur unke pariwar ki kahani hai.

Shivnarayan ka beta Bharat - bank mein cashier hai - aur uski bahu Nisha - school mein
teacher hai.

Bharat – shaukh ke liye -mohalla ki Ram Leela mein - Hanuman ki bhumika nibhata ha
aur apni saadi Zindagi se santoosht hai.

Ek raat –hawaldar Parshuram Khushwaa –Shivnarayan ke ghar khatre ki ghanti bajata

Khushwaa Bharat ko – uske khoye hue table fan ko lene ke liye- doosre din court bulata
hai - aur wahan se shuru hoti hai - ek aadmi ki mushqilon ki safar.

Chunnu chor aur Giulkand paanwale se lekar – Bharat anginat rishwatkhor afsaron aur
MLA se milta hai- aur nirdosh hote hue- har jagah dand bharta hai.

Director Rumi Jafrey ne iske pehle- sainkdo mainstream filmein likhi hai aur bohat saari
David dhawan ke saath hit bhi rahi.

As a director unki pehli film God Tussi Great Ho insaan aur bhagwan ke beech vivaad

Gali Gali Chor Rumi ka doosra directorial prayas hai - aur ab tak ki police politician ke
nexus ki filmon se bilkul alag hai.

Film ki neeyat nek hai aur writer Bhopal ke culture aur humour se achi tarha se waqif hai.

Film ka first half engaging hai – magar jab film ka second half jab bhrashtachar ke wohi
muddon ko baar baar dohrata hai - aap bore hojate ho.

Bharat table fan ko lekar sainkdo jagah ghumta hai – restaurant, hawkers, theatre, bus,
magar ek bhi jagah - usse raas nahi aati.

Ek baat samajh mein nahi aati – ye kaisa aam aadmi hai – jo kabhi jagrat nahi hota?

Jiss system ka usse shikar banaya - ussi system ka usne apni rihahee ke liye istimaal kiya!
Sirf do chaar thapad marne se- aur do chaar bhashan dene se – bagawaat nahi hoti.

Iske bawajood ke saare actors ne bohat hi badhiya kaam kiya hai Gali Gali Chor ek toote
pankhe ki tarha tuk tuk karte chalti rehti hai.

Gali Gali Chor ko milte hai 2 stars.

The review appears as it is on Cinema Review on Zee Cinema, Fridays 9PM.
In an edited version over weekends on 92.7 Big FM