Secret Superstar.

Another woman centric movie from Bollywood. I am beginning to think that there is a wave or something for such a stream of woman centric movies coming out of Bollywood used for so long to mushy romances or violent action movies with male leads stealing the show.

My advice before I expand, go see the movie if you can.

Take a teenaged girl keen to show off her singing talent and to become a professional singer from an orthodox Muslim family, her mother who encourages her, teenage school romance, domestic violence, patriarchy, misogyny, feticide, eccentric music director, etc, and mix it all together in a story that is very believable and you get Secret Superstar.

Excellent acting by all the cast, super direction, photography and tight editing gives a great viewing experience and keeps playing with the viewers’ emotions all the time. I had a couple of viewers sitting in the row just before me who were constantly weeping and wiping their eyes or saying ooh and aah at various stages of the screening. A novel experience for me. I too was affected but not to that demonstrative extent.

What I liked most about the experience is the very believable yet small role played by the superstar Aamir Khan who has allowed all the rest of the cast to show case their talent while keeping his own role small but effective.

I reiterate, go and see it if you have not already seen it.

Another Case Of Doppelgängers!

This morning’s Pune Times had a news item with a photograph of a very well known producer of movies and I couldn’t resist thinking that he looked so much like a movie star. Unfortunately, the link does not show the actual photograph that appeared on the print version. The print version had this photograph.

A stock photograph of the gent, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is here:

The doppelgänger is the famous actor Irrfan Khan. His stock photograph is here”

I wonder if Bollywood has noticed the amazing likeness!

April Fool!

I just could not resist the temptation to suggest this topic for the weekly LBC post, as, it is a Friday which just coincidentally happens to be April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day as some would have it.

april-fool-33a

Lest the cartoon mislead you, in India, apart from the April Fools day, which is a hangover from our colonial past, we have other festivals where pranks are played, the most popular one being Holi. In fact it was played just last week over here.

I am sure that all my readers would have participated in playing pranks on this day or having been victims of pranks. The one prank that we used to play in school on this day is indelible in my mind for it having caused a lot of problems for my mother who had to repair the damage done. We used to carve the letters AF on sliced raw potatoes, as a kind of imitation rubber stamp and smear fountain pen ink; yes, those days before ballpoint pens, on it to tap friends with that so that the shirts would carry AF stamp on them. Naturally, I would also carry a few such stamps and to get rid of the stamps was quite a chore for my mother.

Of late, on this day, I have been quite wary of prank calls and visits and so, I have become a totally useless fellow for pranks. Since I do not have grand children and others to urge me to participate, it is by default that the first of April simply passes by like any other day. In my time, even as an adult, I have been both perpetrator and victim but it has been many years since I participated as age has finally caught up with me.

To sign off, let me share a piece of nostalgia from the sixties of the last century, two very popular Bollywood stars, Shammi Kapoor and Saira Banu in a typical Hindi film song and dance routine from a film aptly titled April Fool. Shackman should know that I am quite capable of producing something like this too!

Ugly.

Ugly

Sometimes fate seems to ensure that I do not miss out on good things of life. For the past ten days or so my partner in crime as he is affectionately called by our mutual friends, Ramesh has been wanting to see this movie Ugly and for some reason I was not very keen. Ramesh is a very persistent fellow however and finally persuaded me to go to it with him earlier this afternoon.

I was not very keen primarily because, I had not read any review of it anywhere, though many friends said that it has received very good reviews and moreover, the only name that I could recognise in the entire lot in the film was the director Anurag Kashyap. Since the names were unfamiliar, I was not keen to see the film as I thought that it must have been a low budget art film or something like that.

Was I in for a surprise or what! It opened my eyes to the guiles of Anurag Kashyap who has produced a masterpiece. It is a suspense thriller picture depicting quite a bit of reality of Mumbai’s life in relation to its police force and many scenes are what I have seen in some police stations in real life. Its depiction of some seedy characters associated with Bollywood too comes out beautifully and the icing on the cake is the sheer twists and turns that the storyline takes till the very end when one realises what cunning characters have been portrayed without our realising it. I was totally zapped for the sheer brilliance of direction and editing to keep the viewer on edge. I am so happy to see such a film being produced in India!

I have no hesitation at all in giving the film a [rating=6] rating.  Don’t miss it.

Finding Fanny.

finding-fanny01

As I had indicated in my post on A Walk Among The Tombstones, Ramesh and I went to see another film earlier this evening. A joint Hollywood and Bollywood production with an all Indian cast directed by a very young and promising Indian, the film has received rave reviews and I was pleased to find that all the raving is justified.

The cast, a blend of the old and new, the locale – the very picturesque Goa, a good story line, superb direction and editing made for a heady combination. The surprise package was Dimple Kapadia on who I had a crush some decades ago, in a remarkable role as a matronly busybody. The very young a bubbly pair of Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor give excellent counterpoint to the seasoned Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor. Anjali Patil in almost a cameo appearance does credit and offers promise for the future.

The movie has been shot in Hindi as well as English and if you are interested to see some scenes from Goa, a slightly wacky but still serious romantic film, I strongly recommend this picture for which I have no hesitation in giving a full [rating=6].