A No Means A No

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Except Pink, which I saw almost a month ago, I don’t recall seeing any movie in last few years which has resonated in my mind-space beyond few hours or may be a day or two at most. But Pink directed by Anirudh Roy Chowdhary is a different movie altogether and it’s courtroom drama is still fresh in my mind. But why is that so? Is it because of Big B’s baritone voice or is it because of contemporary issues of young women coming out of their hometowns and working in big cosmopolitan and merciless cities growing everyday ? For me, the arguments of contending lawyers Deepak Sehgal and Prashant Mehra played brilliantly by Amitabh Bachhan and Piyush Misra are still hitting the inside walls of my prefrontal cortex. The habits we have inculcated over years are stored there and one habits that is ingrained in the minds of all male Indians (even females, I would say), is that there are different rules of social behaviour for males and for females and therefore if any Minal Arora or Falak Ali or Andrea broke those norms expected to be adhered only by females, a lecherous Rajvir Singh or a Dumpy would find an able excuse to rob their dignity and respect. And Yes, it does not matter even if we were living in 21st century.

So, as the courtroom drama unfolds, the learned advocate of lecherous males questions the right of working women wearing short clothes and drinking with men and still say no to resultant rape? How could they ? They should have better known that they were females and they would be leached upon if they did not wear sarees and did not get escorted by a male family member and then were doing the sin of drinking like men (which for males was a health hazard at best) or went for late night parties like men. The norms enunciated eloquently by Advocate Mehra made very clear and very shamelessly that these ‘types’ of girls invited rape and invitation could not have been avoided by the testosterone fired males. Could we be more crude ever? What a ‘shit’ this is ?

I credit the team of Pink for exposing naked, the mindset of Indian Males including me of course. Perhaps even inside me there were some germs of unequal social norms of behavior for men and women, but I had been literally purged of them by the end of the movie. Misguided by the trailers of the movie before the release, I had gone to watch the movie with my wife and did not carry my teenage son and daughter along with to avoid confronting the embarrassing issues which movie intended to raise. But as soon as I came back I asked both, my son and daughter to watch the movie, more so to my son so as he grows into an adult and healthy Indian male without proselytizing into a MCP. I think the movie nails the lies on the head. Alas, If the movie had been made few decades ago, Jessica Lal would have been still alive perhaps because then people would not have asked question that why the hell, close to midnight, Jessica Lal was serving Liquor at Tamarind Bar? She was a hard-working women like your daughter or mine and was working late to take care of her family and she had every right to do so. Only if those Sharmas and Manus had seen the movie and respected her choice to say no !

Yes, A No means a No.

Bombay Velvet

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One of most awaited movie of 2015, Bombay Velvet was released today. The movie based on the novel by the same name by Gyan Prakash tries to present the Bombay of 1960s. Gyan Prakash has co written the story of the movie too. The Bombay of 60s was known for smuggling of gold, Jazz Bars, rivalry among builders and emergence of media as the game changer too.

The movie tries to project the era through protagnists Johnny Balraj played by Ranbir Kapoor and Rosie played by Anushka. The protagonists are of ofcourse surrounded by many characters, shady and otherwise,  including Karan Johar as one Khambata. The film starts with a backdrop of 1949 India and travels up to Bombay if 1969. Johny Balraj played by Ranbir Kapoor is a pugilists and street fighter. He wants to be a big shot like those of big guns of Hollywood films and does not mind even dying in the process. Anushka has played Rosie escaping from Portuguese controlled Goa and settling in Bombay as a Jazz singer and falling in love with Ranbir Kapoor and his earthy charm. The role of media and newspapers in settling personal and financial disputes is amply highlighted. The political-bureaucratic-Police-Builder nexus is well articulated in the movie. The cinematography and the costumes and the over all setting of Bombay is well presented in the movie. The setting is authentic and enjoyable.

The story of film lacks the novelty factor as the story of ‘Bombay’ has been well used in multiple movies. There is no surprise element therefore in the plots narrated through. Acting wise Karan Johar does not look and act villainous and is a week part of movie actually. The role of Johnny’s friend played by Satyadeep aka Chiman Chopara is watchable. Kay Kay Menon too adds his style and humour as a crime specialist. On the whole movie is watchable but without meeting the too high expectations of an ‘Anuarag Kashyap’ film. This is not his best film for sure. I will give only 2.5 star to this much awaited film.

p k

imagesOne of the most awaited movie of 2014, was released in 5000 screens last friday. It has already crossed 100 crore benchmark. I went to watch it with my family. The group notably included my octogenarian father, who normally does not trouble himself to watch a movie in theater. The reason of break in his usual habit was the hype around a movie coming from the stable of respectable producer-director duo of Vidhu Vinod Chopara and Raj Kumar Hirani. This was their first movie after one of the biggest entertainer of Bollywood. 3 idiots. So, the expectations from the movie were real high. The team of P K had fueled the hype even more by guarding the story line of movie, closely.

Father and I

Father and I

The movie starts with Amir being a naked alien astronaut who lands in deserts of Rajasthan and soon gets fleeced of his remote or communication tool with his planet called as ‘Gola‘ in Bhojpuri. He learns the habits of the people of Earth in his exasperating strive to get his remote back. In the process he meets, Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) who is a t v journalist. Jaggu’s father is a blind follower of Swami Tapasvi ji played by Saurabh Shukla, who in turn is a conman disguised as a Hindu sadhu of 21st century. The movie tries to push forward the reasoning and scientific temperament by exposing the hype and hypocrisy of Tapasvi ji by joint venture of Jaggu and P K. No regular watcher of Bollywood movie will miss the similarity of theme with 2012 movie Oh My God, in which Paresh Rawal as a protagonist had exposed the futility of the blind religious practices. It’s not surprising therefore that news has come recently, that producer-director duo had tried unsuccessfully, to negotiate a deal with the producer and director of OMG in 2012 for not proceeding with the movie OMG. What a pretext?.

The movie has some fine performances from Amir, Anushka and Boman Irani. while the performance of Amir was enhanced by ‘always wide eyed’ alien, the overly pouting lips of Anushka are a put off really. The cameo of Ranbir is not much interesting. The role of Sushant as Sarfaraz from Pakistan, is just a little more than a song, ‘Chaar Kadam’, hummed beautifully by Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan. The scenery of Belgium and its canals is beautiful. The music of the movie of Shantanu Moitra and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire is in sync with the story line and is decent.

The problem with p k is also of hyper expectations from Rajkumar Hirani, due to comparisons with his outstanding and incomparable gem, ‘3 idiot’. Raju has not been able to live up to the expectations, post 3 idiot. Same happened with Ramesh Sippy, after his biggest block buster ever, ‘Sholay’. Viewers can only hope, that does not happen with Raju  Hirani, as many as times as happened with Sippy in next 4 decades!.

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Curious Looks!

On the whole movie is watchable and is surely a cut above the regular poor stuff churned with audacity by Bolywood, week after week. I enjoyed it reasonably with my kids and specially my father, who had seen a movie after a long time in a cinema.