Write & Watch

Salesh Dipak Fernando

Tag: BOLLYWOOD

LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA – MOVIE REVIEW

 

 I would love to say LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA a great film but it ends up being yet another plausible film which is saved by a great cast and good performances.

Oh yes, the conflicts that arise when a woman yearns for sex does evoke interest especially when you see it in four different dimensions but after a point, it goes on and on ultimately leading to a finale where the conflict remains as it is without a proper closure. It is as if the creators opted for a safe landing when there was an option to go all out

All the 4 ladies do their best to elevate the film. It is always a pleasure to see Ratna Pathak and Konkana Sen Sharma perform. Ratna Pathak earns the viewer’s empathy as the older woman. Her role is an echo of how the Indian society views sex. It is almost a taboo to yearn for sex irrespective of how badly your body needs it.

If the film had replicated the execution of Ratna Pathak’s portion it would have been one of those spectacular films that we would be raving about. But it falls well short

But kudos for the thought process which alone makes it a worthy one time watch. But lipstick didn’t give me a sense of fulfillment like Parched did. Parched was a complete film.

You don’t settle for a moan when there is an option of screaming in pleasure. But lipstick Under My Burkha is just a moan.

 

 

PINK – MOVIE REVIEW

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Pink isn’t merely a film. It’s a strong statement. It is also a proof of the creator’s conviction in his craft. The film deviates itself from commercial trappings that usually hinder Hindi Cinema to dare the audience. Pink is a difficult film to digest. But the narration is relentless and forces you to put yourself on the victim’s shoes.

The opening act of Pink belongs to Taapsee Paanu. She surprises with an astounding performance which captures the fear, helplessness, anguish and the inherent strength of a woman being victimized.  After a brief sparkle in Baby she re-invents herself as an actress in Pink.

The second act of Pink belongs to  Kirti Kulhari  and Andrea Tariang who are at their best when forced to break down before the law. In more ways than this follow up is of utmost importance. It forces us to re-evaluate our perceptions towards the actual victim. It also shows us how vulnerable we can be when forced to take a stand before the law.

 The final and most important act of the film belongs to Amitabh  Bachchan and his famous baritone. Without his famous voice this would have been just another critically acclaimed film lost in the film libraries. But his presence elevates the film and gives it a whole new dimension. The stalwart underplays letting the girls hog the limelight. His experience shows as he battles own demons while fighting for the girls. The trick lies in knowing when to voice out and highlight the star performer hidden within. He stays in the background for most of the film making the audience wait and yearn for that moment of magic which happens right at the end when he begins the No means No closing statement and he makes a lasting final impression. He makes the final moments his own with a flawless finale.

 A big thumbs up to  Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Ritesh Shah, Rashmi Sharma Shoojit Sircar and team for taking a diversion from the commercial route and giving us a film which we needed. Pink never shies away from baring it all. It questions the misogyny still spread like an epidemic in our flawed system. It questions our moral convictions.

How easy is it to label a woman? We give her an identity based on our own perceptions. Pink is a film which has it’s heart in the right place. Hopefully someday reality too might mirror the actual verdict of the film. But we still have a very long way to go. But I wish, I hope and I believe a better tomorrow awaits the women suffering in silence.

My verdict – A perfect 5/5 for the intent and stellar performances by the lead cast. Go watch it on the big screen.

 

SHAANDAAR – ALL GLOSS AND NO SOUL

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Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, the ever young Pankaj Kapur in a Vikas Bahl film. The director’s follow up to the fabulous QUEEN.   An awesome film Oh no it’s just an illusion.

One more Bollywood film which solely banks on it’s grandeur with absolutely no content or soul. It follows the template of most Bollywood films these days where two much money is spent on nothing. I wish these producers spend some money on hiring a scriptwriter.  Get the script in order and then pour in the money.

I feel sorry for poor Shahid Kapoor whose talent gets wasted in rotten films. Despite being in the industry for a long time he isn’t sure of what works for him. But he’s teaming up with Vishal Bhardwaj yet again. So you never know.

Vikas Bahl you hooked the whole nation with your enthralling Queen. Give us a film where we can root for the protagonist yet again.  Wishing you the best. 

I yearn for the glorious 80’s and 90’s where filmmakers were sure of how they wanted to present a film. Some wonderful soul stirring films were done with so much ease. There was no dearth of entertainment too. 

The film makers down south have come of age with smaller content driven films  ruling the box-office. I yearn for the same magic in Bollywood.

As for Shaandaar – It’s not quite Shaandaar enough. Please stay away or re-watch Talvar instead. Don’t waste your money on this bore fest

JAZBAA – A GREEN MONSTER

 

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Bollywood has been plagued by one permanent illness for a very long time now – THE STAR SYSTEM  which means you have to endure loads of crap for that rare good film

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan makes a comeback. I wonder why. Can someone please tell her the difference between looking good and acting well? Both are completely different traits. It’s a role which should have ideally gone to an actress who could evoke empathy. But Aishwarya’s glycerin filled eyes rarely moves us.  

Heroine oriented films are a good trend.  But Bollywood often gives a sense of faux feminism. The female protagonists are elevated just for the sake of impressing the audience with absolutely no sense of direction or purpose. Jazbaa is one such film.

And what’s with the green tone. Did somebody tell the makers that green evokes a sense of fear and builds up anticipation?  To be frank it gave me a headache.

In more ways than one it is a half baked remake. Sanjay Gupta takes up an interesting premise and dilutes the soul. The only saving grace is Irrfan who after a power packed performance in Talvar lifts Jazbaa from being a complete mess. I only wish he had someone to compliment his majestic screen presence.

Sanjay Gupta please get your script right before directing.  How can you even think of wasting a powerhouse like Shabana Azmi. It’s unforgivable.   Aishwarya please stick to your appearances at Cannes. Acting doesn’t suit you. The only film which showed the audience you could act was Mani Ratnam‘s Guru but Mani Ratnam can make a stone come to life so that doesn’t count. 

If you’re still curious to watch how the thriller unfolds watch Seven Days on DVD. It will save your time and money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIL DHADAKNE DO – A TRIP TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER

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I loved the Mehras. Of course there are flaws but some films are irresistible even with the flaws.  While TWMR was a little regressive Dil Dhadakne Do forced me to look beyond the gloss and lovely locations.  The Mehra’s aren’t a perfect family. Each member of family is flawed and caged due to some wrong personal choices.  Beneath the elitist mentality there’s a soul waiting to break free.

This isn’t an upper class story it is a story of each and every family in this universe. Don’t we all have regrets.  I do. If anyone says they don’t have regrets they are selling you a lie. Of course not all of us get a chance to find each other on an anniversary cruise but a little effort can make a lot of difference.

Anil Kapoor is awesome as the successful but self indulgent Kamal Mehra. It is wonderful to see Anil Kapoor experiment with his roles. Shefali Shah plays the perfect foil. Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akthar and Anushka Sharma play their roles with admirable ease.  Ranveer Singh stunned me. I haven’t been impressed with Ranveer’s role choices so far but this one has a lot of depth. Despite the galaxy of stars Ranveer steals the show.

I quite loved the fact that Zoya gives each and every character a part to play in the larger scheme of things. No one is left out or isolated. Zoya Akthar once again pulls it off with a stellar cast. Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy once again deliver with some peppy songs.

Zoya you are a rock star. Keep going. I wonder why it didn’t rake in the moolah like Tanu Weds Manu Returs. Perhaps people will realize it’s worth after repeated viewings on Radio and TV.

Did I forget somebody ? Oh yes it’s Aamir’s best role till date. No I can’t bear to see Aamir give the same owl like scorn in film after film and call it expression. If you are wondering how Aamir fits in this star lineup you have to watch the film to find out.

My Rating – 4/5. A special thanks for projecting Aamir Khan in the best possible way 🙂

Go for it. it’s a cruise you will enjoy.

TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS – THE QUEEN AND THE MESS

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There’s a scene at the very beginning where MANU attributes all of Tanu’s craziness to Bi-polar Disorder.  I myself had a split personality disorder while watching the movie. Should I applaud at the jokes like the mass audience or should I tear down the shallow script and character sketch like a critic?

It’s a Kangana Ranaut vehicle from start to finish and she owns it like a star with her enthusiasm and energy.  Madhavan plays second fiddle like he always does. The plot – Tanu and Manu’s post marriage troubles.  I can see why the movie clicked with the masses. There are no over the top jokes, crass humour or sex. 

But the plot had two major loopholes Tanu’s character sketch and the cliché end. There’s a thin line between stupidity and craziness.  I found her antics stupid and not liberating and running away from responsibility isn’t freedom either. That’s exactly what Tanu does and Manu rightfully leaves her.

The lookalike Datto is an achiever and responsible but the bridegroom leaves her to choose his former crazy wife once again. Oh come on which era are we living in. Does it mean that marriages can be broken and patched up again at convenience? 

Kangana’s Queen and Vidya Balan’s Kahaani are good examples of well sketched woman-centric plots. Somehow Tanu weds Manu returns fall short.  Anand L Rai once again makes a half baked script work aided by some fine supporting act by Deepak Dobriyal and Jimmy Shergill. The songs suit the mood of the film. Anandji please give us a better script next time. The audience deserve better especially if you want to convey feminism

Tanu Weds Manu Returns – Watch it for the earnest performances of a wonderful cast

My rating – I stick with Rahul Desai’s 2.5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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