Friday 30 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 358

Plight of Migrants
30 / 05/ 2014

Mukesh Bhatt produced aur Hansal Mehta directed Citylights Rajasthan ke chotte gaon ke chotte  vyapari, Deepak Singh ki kahani hain.

Deepak kapde ki dukan chalata hain, uske paas zyada paise nahi hain magar wo apne pariwar ke saath santoosht hain. 

Sanjog Deepak aur uske pariwar ko gaon se shehar aana laata hain aur dheere dheere unke uske saare sapne  todta hai.

Sean Ellis ki film Metro Manila par adharit Ritesh Shah adapted Citylights ek aur bade shehar ki roshni mein pallte jurm aur akelepan ki dastaan hain.

Aisi filmein humne post partition se ab tak bohat baar dekhi hain. Citylights ko anokha banati hai sabse pehle director Hansal Mehta ki neeyat aur sachai.

Jis tarha se ek chidiya tinka tinka chunke apna ghosla banati hai ussi tarha se Hansal Mehta apni kavita/ sangit aur kirdaron samit haule se aap ke dil mein jagah banate hain.

Film ka sabse bada plus film ki supporting cast.  Hero Rajkumar Rao toh effective hain magar nayi ladki Patralekha kamal karti hain!  

Film slow hain – depressing hain magar sachi hain, sensitive hain.

Agar aap entertainment ki talash mein hain, toh ye film aap ke liye nahi hain.
Agar aap zindagi se judna chahte ho toh Citylights aap ke liye hain!
Citylights ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 29 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 357

Writer’s Bloc 4


Playwriting has always faced extinction - the lucre of cinema and television tempting the young writer. In 2002, nurtured by Rage Productions and the British Council, UK’s international organization for cultural relations created as a unique playwrights’ program me, Writers’ Bloc which put the script at the focal point of the theatrical experience. The idea is novel and the process is at once simple and complex - playwrights from around the country are selected by a panel of theatre practitioners, the prestigious Royal Court Theatre, UK and then put through intensive training workshops. The scripts that emerge from these intense brainstorming sessions and workshops will then be staged at what a novel concept is called Writers’ Bloc Festival.

Conceptualized in 2004 the festival has blossomed in 2007 and 2012, producing 32 playwrights who've had their work staged both in India and abroad especially the UK. Young playwrights from across India writing stories of human conflict and struggle and love and hope and set in backdrops ranging from Kashmir and Orissa to metropolis like Mumbai and Bangalore, this is indeed a fruitful experiment in the new theatre language.

Bhawana Somaaya / Tweets - @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 356

Awakening with Bhramha Kumaris

Dadi Janki who is the senior most Bhrama kumari says, repeat “Om Shanti” three times every day.  The first time, to confirm that ‘I am a soul’…The second time, to confirm that ‘I belong to God who is the Almighty Authority’ and the third time to question ‘what is our task at this time of our life? Understand the depth of each point.  The soul has the aspects of mind, patterns of personality, and intellect.  Go into the depth of that and draw others around you into this novel experience of soul consciousness.  The knowledge of the soul should be very clear in the intellect.

The world talks about God, and at this time we have the realization that we souls truly are the children of God and it is this awareness that brings us close to Him. We are not aware but we are living in auspicious times, we have to terminate violence, take care not to perform any wrong actions.  It is the time to seek power from God to elevate our actions.  Whatever we have done so far, good or bad, right or wrong, is over, it is the past. It is now time to look ahead so revise your knowledge of the three lessons given to you again and again. When you are thorough in your revision, strive for realization and gradually without you realizing it there will be transformation.

Bhawana Somaaya  / 

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 355

Equestrian skills

Sonakshi Sinha better known as the 700 crores actor because every film she stars becomes a 100 crores recently surprised everybody on the sets with her horse riding skills. She was on the sets with hero Arjun Kapoor shooting for a mela scene, among the many props on the location was a horse and Sonakshi without talking to anybody just got on to the saddle and rode off. For a while everybody was concerned by what had occurred and the fight master got on to another horse to follow the heroine worried for her safety. He need not have worried because Sonakshi is a trained horse rider and has been riding since childhood, after she became an actor she did not find time to follow up on her passion and when she noticed that the unit was enjoying the lunch break used the opportunity for a little adventure.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawnasomaaya

Monday 26 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 354

Alternate Content

What is about the spiritual world that draws us so strongly to them and is that the reason PVR Cinemas have ventured into an alternate content with their forthcoming project The House on Dark Moon Avenue, an interactive play, the first of its kind in India.

During the Victorian era those suspected of possessing psychic powers were feared and isolated from society. On the Dark Moon Avenue, just outside of London, is a haunted home apparently a secret meeting place of similar powerful spirits and even though the building has since been broken down and the avenue renamed to dissolve superstition, the mystery continues and the play reveals these secret experiments

This interactive Play, performed by Mind Reader Mohit Rao is a journey into the fascinating lives of the psychics and their experiences with varied experiments. Set in 1870, this psychological thriller will involve live participation from members of the audience. Hosted by PVR Cinemas, this Play combines all the frills of a movie experience, with all the thrills of a Live Show.

In short, it sounds different!

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya 

Friday 23 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 353

'Heropanti' disappoints 'Kochadaiyaan' shines!

Sajid Nadiadwala produced aur Shabir Khan directed Heropanti  Haryana ke honour killings ki kahani hain.
Jaat biradri ke mukhiya Prakash Raj ki badi beti shaadi ke mandap se bhaag jaati hain.

Bhaagi hui ladki ki talash mein Prakash Raj aur uska pariwar sainkdo laashe bichane ko taiyaar ho jaate hain.

Kuch ke saath khoon kharaba karte hain, aur kuch ko ghar par bandi bana lete hain.
Iss tannav bharre vatavaran mein chupke se palti hain ek aur prem kahani…

Dimpy yaane Kirti Sanon aur Babloo yaane Tiger Shroff ki…!!

Film ka subject/treatment old fashioned hain aur second half unduly overstretched bhi.

Film ka music below average hain aur characterizations unrealistic -Aisa gaon  jahan ladkiyon ko bezuban mana jaata hain, film ki heroine buzurgo ke samne  kamar dikhati ghumti hain.

Film ka plus Anal Arasu ke stunts, film ka message aur debutant Tiger Shroff –jo pehli hi film mein action/ drama/ romance/ dance/ sab kuch karta hain!

Heropanti ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2 stars.


Eros International produced aur Soundarya Rajnikanth directed Kochadaiyaan bade maharaja aur bahdaur senapatiyon ki kahani hain.

Ek chotta bacha, raat ke andhere mein, toofani samandar mein kood jaata hain…

Kismet usse nayi manzil tak pohchati hain aur uska apna junoon, usse bada hokar, uss nagri ka senapati banata hain!

Aisi raja-mahrajaon ki kahaniyaan humne bachpan mein bohat padhi hain magar writer KS Ravikumar ki iss sadharan kahani ko asadharan banati hain film ki animation aur technical team!

Film ka sound, stunts, choreography, costumes aakarshak hain  khaas taurpe Ravi Menon ki cinematography aur AR Rahman ka music.

South stars Shobhana  aur Nasser ke alava ismein hain Rajkumari Vandana ki bhumika mein Deepika Padukone aur apna charishma dikhate hue ek nahi do Rajnikanth.

Jiss tarha se cinema pehle Silent aur Black & White thi aur aage chalkar Talkie aur Color bani, ussi tarha se animation filmein bhi, pehle 2D phir 3D aur Hollywood film Avataar ke baad nayi technology ka prayog kar rahi hain.

Ismein ghodde udte hain…Paanchi tairte hain… aur deepika morr ke saath naachti hain…
Kayi bhashao mein release ki gayi Kochadaiyaan Hindustan ki pehli Photo Realistic Performance Capture film hain…

Ye shayad pehli Rajnikanth ki film hain jahan wo kya bolte hain ya kya karte hain se zyada kaise karte hain, zyada maine rakhta hain!

Director Soundarya Rajnikant ko, Indian cinema ke 101 ve saal mein,  iss naye prayog ke liye 
Kochadaiyaan ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3.5 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya  

Thursday 22 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 352

Celebrating cinema at Whistling Woods


Whistling Woods International marked the start of the 100 years celebrations in 2012 holding a three-day event. In 2013 the festival focused on the future of Indian Cinema on a grand scale bringing together almost 3000 people to film screenings, free workshops, panel discussions and live musical performances.

From stalwart writers like Javed Akhtar, Salim Khan, Gulzar saab to ARRahman, Saroj Khan, Hema Malini, Amole Gupte, Shabana Azmi, Zoya Akhtar and many others paid tribute to Indian cinema and interacted with students and film enthusiasts. This year 2014 the festival kick started with a lamp lighting done by diva Rekha and Subhash Ghai followed by distribution of certificates to the students by the beautiful star.

Before leaving Rekha toured the campus and the exhibitions, she spoke encouragingly to the students and stopped to sign the portrait the students had put together of her films. The keynote address was followed by a music panel with Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu and director’s panel with Govind Nihalani and Shyam Benegal.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 351

Raj Kapoor lives on


Every year some distant relative of Raj kapoor is making into films. This year, it is Raj Kapoor’s grandson. Rima jain’s son Armaan Jain who will make his debut in Lekar Hum Deewana Dil. Armaan’s aunt Neetu Singh is thrilled that her nephew is reviving memories of her debut film Yaadon Ki Baraat in which she debuted with a dance ‘Lekar hum…’ Remember a young Neetu in a red dress and hip length hair left loose she danced happily to RDBurman track? Neetu was in class eight at that time and was facing the camera for the first time in 8th standard and had faced the camera for the first time. Armaan is sort of matching his aunt’s mood when he says that LHDD is about making mistakes and growing up. The film travels you through the journey of two friends who take decisions and face consequences. It reflects the "act first, think later" sentiments of today's youth and how relationships fail when you build unrealistic expectations. I have learnt that one must have no expectations from anybody and hard work is the only way to assure success.”

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 350

Asthama is curable


Dr Monica from Chest Research Foundation/ CRF invited me to Pune to judge a film festival to raise awareness on asthama. CRF is a part of a charitable trust and solely dedicated to the cause of research and education in the field of Asthma and COPD, which are diseases of the lungs that lead to difficulty in breathing. Doctor Monica explained to me at the seminar that today an asthama patient does not have to go through the suffering he did many decades ago.

The films screened at the festival addressed the misconceptions related to the ailment. Patient awareness is the first step to solving the disease. For a long time CRF raised awareness of the psychosomatic problems via live events, news paper, magazine articles and recently even radio advertisement. “Today we value the power of mass communication and have realized that a short film speaks more effectively than all the public statements we have been making so far. There are six institutes of film making in Pune so we invited them to make a film on this subject and were surprised with their insights. Our next step is to create a mass awareness campaign in India.  If we find a recognized face to endorse our concern it will become easier”.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya 

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 349

Oscar Lady


India’s first Oscar winner designer Bhanu Athaiya turned 85 last month.  Thirty one years ago she made the country proud by winning an Oscar for her costumes in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi shared with British counterpart John Mollo. The year was 1983 and the venue The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. Athaiya was the only Indian HOD on the film and the award was Bollywood was not surprised by her honour. Athaiya had been a path breaker and changed the texture of the films she worked in with her detailed, intricate and well researched costumes. She had worked with all the legends of the Black & White and Color cinema be it Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, BR Chopra, Yash Chopra, Lekh Tandon, Ramanand Sagar, Raj Khosla, LV Prasad, Conrad Rooks, Ashutosh Gowariker, Jabbar Patel, Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Athaiya’s career spans over 60 years and features male and female superstars both from Black & White to Color films. It was said that she transformed actors on screen be it the beautiful Meena Kumari as chotti bahu in Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam, Vyjayantimala in Amrapali, Hema Malini in Meera or Johnny Mera Naam.When it came to her work Athaiya called the shots even with legendary filmmakers be it Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Sunil Dutt or Vijay Anand and they willingly submitted to her. Two years ago in 2012 The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in Los Angeles held a collection of her works, donated by Athaiya including her Oscar statuette. A year ago, a selection of her costume sketches was exhibited at the East West Gallery in Honolulu as part of an exhibition celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.

Now Athaiya’s family is keen to make available Athaiya’s various sketches, costumes, photographs diligently preserved over the decades to a museum in her memory that will archive her research for future scholars and costume designers.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawana somaaya

Friday 16 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 348

Entertainment Entertainment Entertainment
16.05. 2014
Himesh Reshamiya likhi , aur Anant Mahadevan directed, The Xpose filmi duniya ke kuch sache, aur kuch fictionalized kisso par adharit kahani hain.
Ye daurr hain swinging 60s ka-  lambi taar wale phones/Impala gaadiyaan/ alishaan theatres/ dusty studios/ rangili partiyaan/still cameramen aur sab se badkar, theatre ke bahar 3 ka 5 bolne wale Black marketers ka.
Ek mashoor abhinetri chatt se girkar ,atmahatya karti hain aur yahan se shuru hoti hain bohat saari kahaniyaan…
Film mein anginat characters hain magar script sabhi characters ke saath insaaf karti hain.
Film ka plus - film ki supporting cast jo jam ke apna jadu dikhate hain.
Ashish Gaikar ki super smooth editing – pata hi nahi chalta Interval kab hota hain.
Film ka look, locations, super-hit music aur sab se shreshth, Bunty Rathore ke hilarious dialogues – agar isse nahi suna toh kuch nahi suna!
 Inke alava naye avtaar mein Yo Yo Honey Singh aur do ubharti, khupsurat heroines Zoya Afroz aur Sonali Raut.
Graveyard se shuru hoti, Paris ki sham mein khatam hoti The Xpose super confident Himesh Reshamiya aur uske  super attitude ka pradarshan hain!
Jiss tarha se Salman Khan ki filmein sirf Salman Khan ki hoti hain, ussi tarha se Himesh Reshamiya ki film bhi sirf Himesh Reshamiya ki hoti hain.
Isliye logic/ facts/ sensibility ko maro goli aur maza lijiye director Anant Mahadevan ka parosa entertainment, entertainment aur entertainment!
The Xpose ko iss surprise packet ke liye Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.
Bhawana Somaaya/@bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 15 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 347

Bouncers & Actors


Nobody in the olden days ever needed to be escorted by bouncers to film shootings or parties and when we watched Hollywood stars fiercely guarded by their security we were unable to fathom how superstars could be unsafe amidst people who loved them. Today, with electronic media invading our lives we have understood the paparazzi phenomena and experienced that private security for superstars is a necessity today.

I remember when director Govind Nihalani launched Dev at Rajkamal Studio the media got unruly and Amitabh Bachchan had to personally supervise the chaos before he could give his mahurat shot. Something similar happened on the last day shooting of Humshakal in London where fans in large numbers turned up to watch Saif Ali and the only way to disperse them was for Khan to take on the role of a crowd controller. Khan came out to wave at the large gathering and taking over the microphone requested them to allow the unit to complete shooting as they had permission to shoot just for a few hours and once they were done with the work, he would personally sign their autographs and pose for their cameras. The nawabi charm worked, the crowd dispersed and returned late in the evening for another glimpse of the star.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 346

Young directors in demand

14.05. 2014

This is the time for debut actors and directors and which is why most production houses are launching new filmmakers. Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi’s Grazing Goats unveiled the trailer of their second joint venture Fugly and the invited guests were treated to a stage dressed in crazy props from the film like a toilet seat and crazy mirrors. Everybody had a story to narrate about their shooting experience from director Kabir Sadanand, versatile actor Jimmy Sheirgill and the young and restless star cast. Ashvini Yardi said: ‘Fugly is a film that is very close to all of our hearts. It is a vibrant, youth centric entertainer it is funny and witty and packs a major punch. Akshay and I are delighted to introduce such a talented cast in this film, and feel that they have done a fantastic job in the film. We are all very proud to be associated with Fugly and we hope audiences will love it as much as we do.’ Many careers are dependent on the faring of the film as this is a new opening for boxer Vijender, a launch pad for Mohit Marwa who is cousin of Arjun Kapoor and Arfie Lamba who was introduced in a cameo in Slum Dog Millionaire.

It was refreshing to attend an event for a change not cordoned off by celebrity bouncers because the film introduces new faces. Infact the only body guards off the stage were those protecting the producer of the film, Akshay Kumar.

Bhawana Somaaya /Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 46

Election Fever 


Call it the election fever or the summer of discontentment but somehow nobody is in a mood to visit the theatres. This week six small budget films were released and only one, Amol Gupte’s Hawaa Hawaai made an impact. This is Gupte’s third film about children: Taare Zameen Par written by him, Stanley Ka Dabba written and directed by him and now Hawaa Hawaai, written/ produced/ directed by him, where he has even sung a song. Of the three big budget releases in the previous week -Revolver Rani, Kaanchi and Samrat & Company none of them fared well at the box-office and with a reason. I have always said that the audience has a way of smelling a film films and making up their mind even before the critics write their judgements. The hype of Revolver Rani clearly did not match to the content because while critics and Kangana Ranaut fans simply adored her as Revolver Rani it was not a film for the masses. Nor was Samrat & Company another Aamir from Rajeev Khandelwal nor Kaanchi another Pardes/ Ram Lakkhan from Subhash Ghai. Still, that that the showman can after 19 films and four decades continue to introduce a sensational heroine and connect with his audience is in itself commendable.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 345

Evergreen Films

12.05. 2014

On this day two super hit released many years ago, Bhai Ho Toh Aisa / 1972 that established Jeetendra and Hema Malini as a pair as they went on to do many films together in the years to follow.  

Zanjeer / 1973 altered the destiny of Amitabh Bachchan as an actor. Bachchan had been struggling to establish as an actor for some years but all his films were failing at the box-office. Mehmood recommended him to director S Ramanathan for Bombay TO Goa released in the same year and a moderate success. Salim Javed saw the film and recommended him to Prakash Mehra and Amitabh was cast as police inspector, a role many actors had declined. The film established Amitabh Bachchan as the Angry Young Man.

So many decades have gone by but we still remember these films, the former for the super chemistry between the lead pair and the latter for the intensity and the magic of Bachchan.

Bhawana Somaaya / Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

Friday 9 May 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 344

Chasing a dream

Deepa Bhatia produced, Amol Gupte likhi/ directed Hawa Hawai Mumbai ke street children ki kahani hain.
Ye Amol Gupte ki bachon ke vishay par teesri kadi hain…

Pehli, 2007 mein likhi Taare Zameen Par jo Dyslexia ke baare mein thi.
Doosri, 2011 mein directed Stanley Ka Dabba jo bachon ke lunch box ke baare mein thi.
Aur ab 2014 mein Hawa Hawai, jo bachon ke sapne ke baare mein hain.

Pita ke guzar jaane par Arjun Harishchandra Waghmare aur uska pariwar gaon chodkar, shehar ki tang galiyon mein bass jaate hain.

Arjun subah se shaam sab ko chai pilata hain aur raat dhale, badi gaadiyon se utarkar jab amir  bache Lucky sir se skating seekhte hain, tab issi jhilmilati roshni talle, Arjun bhi ek sapna dekhta hain…

Arjun ka sapna purra karte hain uske chaar dost Ashfaque/ Salman/Maaman aur Tirupati.

Film ka har perrformance, Neha Joshi, Anuj Sachdeva, Saleem Saqib, hero Partho aur uske chaaron dost extraordinary hain.

Jiss tarha se ek nipun skater haule se, apna balance jamata hain, director Amole Gupte apni creative/ technical team ko saath lekar iss sapne ko sache cheron se sajakar, rishton ki jhalar mein bandhte hain.

Hawa Hawai se behtar iss summer vacation mein bachon aur bachon ke maa baap ke liye behtar tohfa nahi ho sakta!

Film ke poster pe likha hain- ‘Kuch sapne sone nahi dete’…Main kahungi ‘Kuch filmein sone nahi deti…’
Hawa Hawai bhi dher saara pyaar ke saath Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 4 stars.

True story

Sumeet aur Neelam produced/ Sandeep Varma directed Manjunath Lucknow ki oil company se jude ek brilliant IIM graduate ki kahani hain.

Jab Manjunath ko pata chalta hain ki petrol ko kerosene mein milakar ghotala kiya ja raha hain, wo Uttar Pradesh ke saare petrol pumps bandh karane lagta hain!

Satya ghatna par adharit Manjunath wo sainkdo IIM graduates ki kahani hain jo bahtar zindagi ki chaah mein apne ussulon se samjhauta kar lete hain.

Film ki neeyat nek hain aur prayog imaandar, film ka treatment subject ke liye anokha hain aur message serious!
Film ka minus overstretched plot jiski wajah se film burri tarha se bikhar jati hain.

Manjunath ko aaj ki yuva peedhi ko prerit karne ke liye Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya