Sunday, December 27, 2015

Movie Review: Bajirao Mastani

Image Courtesy: bollyvisionnews.com
The Story Frame:

Bajirao Mastani is the story of the 18th-century Maratha Peshwa Bajira Ballal Bhat, who fought valiantly to matrialize his dream of a unified Hindu Kingdom. It is the return of Sanjay Leela Bhansali with yet another intriguing epic story with all its cinematic extravaganza. The film doesn't claim to be historically accurate and it depicts a disclaimer saying that it has taken creative liberties in portraying the life and times of the warrior.  Based on the Marathi novel 'Rauu' written by Nagnath S. Inamdar, the movie narrates the love between Bajirao and his second marriage with a half Rajput and half Muslim princess Mastani.

Cast: Ranveer Singh (Bajirao), Priyanka Chopra (Kashibai), Deepika Padukone (Mastani), Tanvi Azmi (Radhabai), Aditya Pancholi (Shilpat Rao), Milind Soman (Advisor and Friend), Vaibhav Tatwawdi (Chimaji Appa), Ayush Tandon (Nana Saheb, son of Bajirao), Mahesh Manjrekar (Chhatrapathi Shahu Maharaj), Raza Murad (Nizam of Deccan),

Genre: Period Drama

Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Produced by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kishore Lulla

Production Company: SLB Films

Distributor: Eros International

Written by: Prakash Papadia

Screenplay by: Prakash Kapadia

Story based on: 'Rauu' written by Nagnath S. Inamdar

Cinematographer: Sudeep Chatterjee

Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Assisted by Shreyas Paranik)

Background Score: Sanchit Balhara

Film Editing by: Rajesh G Pandey

Theatre Release: 18th December, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 158 minutes

Image Courtesy: bollywoodmoviereview.in
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Irrfan Khan's beautiful narration takes you through the life and times of Bajirao Mastani till the end of the movie. Who cares for the historical accuracy of Bajirao Mastani, what counts is the grandeur and opulence Sanjay Leela Bhansali indulges in to present his story on the silver screen.  Bajirao is yet another visual spectacle that mesmerizes the viewers with its fabulous portrayal of the life and times of Maratha warrior Bajirao. It is a clear take on religion and orthodoxy in the garb of portraying a Hindu-Muslim love story. Bajirao Ballal Bhat the legendary warrior-hero is hell bent to establish the supremacy of Hindu Rashtra across the subcontinent and want to see the Maratha flag flutter at Dilli. Sanjay Leela Bhansali intelligently and aesthetically handles and portray both the rise, triumph of Peshwa Bajirao as well as his turbulence in his married life because of his love and affection towards Mastani, the beautiful, dare-devil warrior, half Rajput and half Muslim princess of Bundelkhand.

It won't be an exaggeration to admit that it becomes hard to even imagine any other actor in the place of Ranveer doing justice to the role of Bajirao. Ranveer sway you by his terrific acting, he makes you confident by his patriotic dare-devil acts against his enemies, and more over make you fall in love watching the romance and commitment of Bajirao and Mastani. He is convincing in his Marathi lingo while he delivers lengthy dialogue to his enemies, army men, family members and his ladies in love.

Ranveer Singh has undoubtedly evolved as an actor after every film and his growth as a bankable actor is really commendable. I must say that Bajirao has won the baaji against Dilwale and it has added more brownie points to Ranveer's kitty. His dilemma in love between his wife and his accidental wife Mastani because of some unknown tradition he followed in his act of chivalry and enthusiasm is well enacted. His rise to the post of Peshawa under Chhattrapathi Shahu (Mahesh Manjrekar) and his encounters with his opponent Shilpat Rao (Aditya Pancholi) is quite watchable and keeps the viewers engaged.

Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, wife of Bajirao brings elegance and grace to her character. She makes us connect with her in her act as a beloved wife whose world is just her husband and his triumphs as a warrior. She makes you feel through her emotional turmoil when she comes to know about Mastani and her husband's love for each other. She beautifully expresses through her eyes and her mannerisms her vulnerability, helplessness and occasional victory in keeping Mastani at bay. Priyanka is outstanding in the role of Kashibai. She is a notch better in dancing and expressing than Deepika Padukone.

Image Courtesy: infomovies.in
Deepika Padukone as Mastani the Bundelkand Princess is good as a warrior pricess but fails to generate the off-screen chemistry with Ranveer on screen. She may have to hone her dancing skills. The 'Pinga' act fails to match the beauty and energy of Devda's 'Dola re' of Aishwarya and Madhuri Dixit. Nevertheless, Deepika to a greater extend manages to pull through as Mastani because of an ensemble of talented actors around her. She does evoke feelings at certain occasions but then fails to hold on in the act.

Tanvi Azmi as the widowed mother of Bajirao has done a commendable job. Tanvi as a tonsured lady calling the shots and trying all means to control her strong-willed son Bajirao from breaking the traditions of Peshawas comes out so well that the viewers love as well as dread the lady. She is compelling as Radhabai in her power-packed performance.

The movie has some awesome performance from Vaibhav Tatwawdi as Chimaji (Brother of Bajirao), Ayush Tandon as Nana Saheb (Son of Bajirao), Milind Soman as the friend and trust worthy advisor of Bajirao.

Sanjay Leela Bansali has beautifully portrayed the role of religion and the clergy in politics then. And it reminds us that there is nothing to be surprised of the role they still play in the contemporary society too and the kind of manipulation they do to safe guard their power and say in the day-to-day conduct of governance.

In short, Bajirao Mastani is a must watch, not to know the historical facts of who and what Bajirao was but to see how historical characters can be fictionalized and made to be so interesting to watch on screen. Kudos to Sanjay Leela Bansali and his filmmaking abilities. The songs are too good. You can give a miss to 'Dilwale' dilse and watch 'Bajirao Mastani' masti se at a nearby theatre because it is for sure a paisa vasool film.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Movie Review: Angry Indian Goddesses

Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/AIGtheFilm
The Story Frame:

Angry Indian Goddesses depicts the plight of women in a male dominant society where they are either seen as commodities or are expected to be subservient. The plot hovers around seven women who come together in Goa on the invite by their college friend for reasons not known to them till they reach and meet her. The story's women characters come from different walks of life and has their own individual ups and downs in life to share, through which the film catch momentum. An unwanted incident rocks the boat of all these beautiful girls' life.

Pan Nalin's film has a compelling message and it brings us face to face with the reality of our society and makes us reflect to think what kind of bonding and relationship do we want as Adam and Eve in our Eden. Pan Nalin's movie is considered as the first all-out female buddy movie and it is also his debut in mainstream Hindi Cinema.

Cast: Sarah-Jane Dias (Frieda), Tannistha Chatterjee (Nargis), Anushka MAnchnada (Mad aka Madhurita), Sandhya Mridul (Suranjana), Amrit Maghera (Joanna), Arjun MAthur (Zain), Rajshri Despande (Lakshmi), Pavleen Gujral (Pammi), Adil Hussain (Police Superintendent
Genre: Drama

Direction: Pan Nalin

Produced by: Gaurav Dhingra

Written by: Arsal Qureishi

Story by: Pan Nalin

Cinematographer: Swapnil Suhas Sonawane

Music by: Cyril Morin

Film Editing by: Shreyas Beltangdy

Presented by: Protien Entertainment

Production Company: Jungle Book Entertainment

Theatre Release: 4th December, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 115 minutes


Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/AIGtheFilm
 Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Pan Nalin's Angry Indian Goddesses is a movie that makes the society to relook the way it treats and view women in their life and around them. It is also a wakeup call for women in general to reflect what and how they want to liberate themselves from the misogynistic oppressions and restrictions. To depict the lives, aspirations and dilemmas of women Pan Nalin gathers seven women from different walks of life to give the audience a bird's eye view of why the Indian Goddesses have a right to be angry. The Angry Indian Goddesses in the movie are Frieda (Sarah Jane-Dias), an ace photographer who is known for her job; Suranjana (Sandhya Mridul) a corporate honcho who is always on her toes and phone to get things straight and is struggling hard to balance her personal and professional life commitments; Pammi (Pavleen Gujral), a Delhi homemaker and a gold medalist in studies who is dictated and nipped by her hubby for her entrepreneurial aspirations; Mad (Anushka Manchanda), a rocker who is insanely depressed because of her spiraling career; Joanna (Amrit Maghera), a half-Brit Indian aspiring actress who is in hope for a big break in the tinsel town; Laxmi (Rajshree Despande), Frieda's all-rounder maid, who has her own family issues that doesn't seem to resolve; and finally Nargis (Tannistha Chatterjee) the firebrand activist who is a potential threat for corporate land grabbers like Suranjana who are blindly ambitious and task oriented. To add to the fun and frolic there is Maya, the six-year old lonesome daughter of Suranjana.

The movie begins with a series of introductory scenes for its lead actors to depict their varied backgrounds and then focuses on all of them reaching to Goa on the invite they receive from their college best friend Frieda.


The film portrays the camaraderie amongst the girls and their squabbles on various matters of life very well. The reason behind the invite for all the friends except the host, her maid and the activist is not known. They only come to know it later that Frieda is going to tie the knot with her beloved and who is the lucky one is under wraps.  The bunch of girls in Angry Indian women are full of fun, uninhibited, open to the world and like to explore life. But they all carry a deep wound in their heart which is slowly unveiled at various phases of the story and it takes momentum that culminates into an incident that justifies why Kali the angry goddess becomes so relevant to the story telling.

Pan Nalin seems to package too many issues into Angry Indian Goddesses like gender discrimination, rape, eve-teasing, homosexuality, land grabbing by corporate, section 377 and that's where the film run out of steam. It appears that the filmmaker feels that this is the only last opportunity left to talk about all these issues and therefore, fill it to the brim and push it down the throat of the viewers.   

Having said this, the film is good to watch because of the message Pan Nalin wants to convey through his beautiful ladies and their life on screen. The song 'Pal mai samjthi hi, pal mai badalthi hi tu ... Zindagi" is too good and hummable. Adil Hussain as the Superintendent of Police is there for a brief period but is able to evoke the right kind of hatred to his creed that believe a woman who drinks, smokes, moves around alone or in groups having fun, dress as per her choice is the reason for atrocities against her.

The climax of the movie is flawed especially the church scene, where people stand in solidarity to these women without even knowing what has actually transpired between the Police officer and the women in question. May be Pan Nalin wanted to portray a symbolic gesture of solidarity to the cause he has voiced through his film but I feel it doesn't come out well when it is seen logically and sequentially with the happenings in the film.

With all its areas of improvement, ultimately Angry Indian Goddesses definitely deserves a onetime watch for its message. So go to your nearby theatre and watch the Indian Goddesses getting angry while you munch over a pack of flavored popcorn with your friends and family.
  

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.75/5

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Movie Review: Kajarya: Let the Truth Prevail

Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/Kajaryathefilm
The Story Frame:

The film Kajarya is a distressing story of a rustic village in Haryana where female infanticide is normal. Kajarya represents the vices of the society which we as humans are striving hard to get rid off but are repeatedly failing to wipe out this menace and inhuman act of gender inequality.

Kajarya is the stroy of a child widow who grows up to be the representation of Maa Kali who blesses villagers with the boon of having male child in their family and sacrifices girl child as a customary act every now and then in a year as part of Kali Puja. The writer-director Madhureeta Anand dares to talk about the ugliest truth of our nation and society in her second film Kajarya. Millions of girl child go missing in our country, millions of girl infanticide happen and more over millions are raped. Meenu Hooda as Kajarya is worth mentioning for her titular role and the rest of the cast has done justice to their roles.

Cast: Meenu Hooda (Kajarya), Ridhima Sud (Meera Sharma), Kuldeep Ruhil (Bhanwari), Shambhu (Shashi Bhushan), Sumeet Vyas (Nikhil), Nasir Ali (Sub-inspector), Manoj Bakshi (Police Inspector),

Genre: Docu-Drama

Direction: Madhureeta Anand

Produced by: Madhureeta Anand, Tilak Sarkar, Celine Loop, Qaushiq Mukherjee (Q)

Written by: Madhureeta Anand

Music by: Richard Horowitz

Cinematography: Alok Upadhyay

Film Editing by: Anuradha Chandra, Shyamal Karmakar, Manas Mittal

Theatre Release: December 04, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 134 minutes
 
Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/Kajaryathefilm
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Kajarya is a hard-hitting truth of female infanticide happening in our country unabated even when the law claims it is against any such act of inhumanity and gender inequality. Madhureeta Anand dares to bear to the society how harsh, rude and unapologetic men are when they ensure to be fascistically dominant in all matters of life.

Kajarya the pivotal character enacted by Meenu Hooda is intriguing, she evokes hatred, despair, helplessness and empathy at the same time effortlessly do justice to character she plays. Kajarya from a 13 year-old widow to a love-struck girl in the arms of Bhanvari (Kuldip Ruhil) and then on being a victim of manipulation and exploitation in the name of religion and custom is heartrending to watch. Kuldip as  the lover, exploiter, manipulator and her tormentor represents our mysogynistic society very well.

The world likes to sleep on the darkest and ugliest truth of women atrocities happening in our country and likes to push it under the carpet because it pricks their conscience. Therefore, they like to embroider the truth to make it convenient giving it the name of religious/social customs and traditions.

Kajarya builds a strong ground for a gripping and disturbing reality of a particular state which is already under the lens for its fast reducing women population in the society but then the filmmaker and the story falters in many areas. The film fails to justify the transformation in Kajarya from a ruthless, angry, helpless, exploited infant killer to a self-repenting, confessing and reflective woman. The transformation part is not well-build and conveyed.

Kajarya is heavily drugged with alcohol laced with opium everyday since many years and she is shown abstaining from all these one-day. Her struggle to come out this deadly habit is not supported with appropriate scenes. The transformation just happens because she comes across a reporter or is it because her judicial confinement or is it something else? There is no such empathetic dialogue or conversation that happens between the reporter (Riddhima Sud) to make the transformation happen, rather the reporter is found breaking the trust of Kajarya by coming under pressure of her bosses by revealing Kajarya's name and drawing the media attention to her. The film raises a serious point '"Is there anything like ethical journalism"? In fact, she is shown abusing and spouting expletives to Meera Sharma the reporter in the court premises when she is produced for trial. Ridhima Sud the Dil Dhadakne Do debutant girl does a decent job but could have been far better in her act as reporter and a girl representing women who are actually fence-sitters.


The love-hate relationship of Kajarya and her lover turned tormentor is not well translated because the viewers fail to understand when and how the love equation between the two went sour. There are too many things the film wants to convey like the rich boy-friend (Sumeet Vyas) of the reporter and his family's attitude towards female infanticide and women as such, the plight of the reporter's mother at home, the sensational news  seeking media bosses and the reporter herself as not so empathetic towards the victim and her desire to be in the lime-light for her story could have been more beautifully build. It seems the film fails and falters to stitch together logically and sequentially all that it wants to convey to its viewers.

What is worth watching is the relationship of Kajarya and Shambhu the village hangman and Kajarya's connect with his daughter is beautifully portrayed. In the world of doubt, exploitation and deceit there are Shambhus who do their act of humanity in silence.

Nevertheless, Madhureeta Anand's Kajarya needs to be watched not to talk about it's flaws but to reflect and act upon what she wants to convey to us. Madhureeta Anand portrays both the urban and the rural mindset with great ease. Ten million baby girls killed since 1986 in our country, three million in the last decade alone. Beti Bachao cannot just happen by a selfie with your daughter or through announcing some so-called vote bank schemes but getting down to the ground reality, rolling our sleeves to get rid of this blatant and unabated act for ever. We as a society and responsible citizen needs to reach out to women like Kajarya who becomes an easy prey and a scapegoat for all directly and indirectly involved in female infanticide in the name of religion, family traditions, and vote banks. Let's start this from our very own home.

The song by Lata Mangeshkar "Mohabbat Ki Jhooti Kahani Pe Roye" is well placed and it tugs at one's heart. The back drop of the movie is a rustic village in Haryana. Amardeep's production designs, Urvashi Bhargava's haryanvi attires, Alok Upadhyay's cinematography with Richard Horowitz's background score blends well.

Go and watch "Kajarya: Let the Truth Prevail" for its compelling message and it's realistic portrayal of the ugliest and harsh truth of our society.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.75/5

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Movie Review: Tamasha

Image Courtesy:www.tamashathemovie.com
The Story Frame:

Tamasha is the latest movie from the stable of Imtiaz Ali who gave us several hits in the past. The movie features Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor as lead actors. The story is about Ved Vardhan Sahni played by Ranbir Kapoor who goes through the dilemma of finding his true self and at the same time being constrained to perform according to the expectations of the authority figures in his life. Ved's life is tremendously influenced by the stories he use to hear from a mystic story teller and he decides finally to weave his own when he comes in contact with Tara Maheshwari played by Deepika Padukone. The film has a beautiful message that connects easily with everybody's life in one way or the other.

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor (Ved Vardhan Sahni), Deepika Padukone (Tara Maheshweri), Javed Sheikh (Ved's Father), Vivek Mushran (Ved's Boss), Nikil Bhagat (Tara's Father), Piyush Mishra (Storyteller)

Genre: Drama, Romance

Direction: Imtiaz Ali

Produced by: Sajid Nadiadwala

Production Company: Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment

Story by: Imtiaz Ali

Cinematographer: Ravi Varman

Music: A. R. Rahman

Film Editing by: Aarti Bajaj

Distributors : UTV Motion Pictures

Theatre Release: 27th JNovember, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 152 minutes


Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/TamashaOfficial/photos

Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Life is a Tamasha (Spectacle) and we are the creators. Imtiaz Ali in this new cinematic venture makes the viewers reflect upon their life's Tamasha and asks us to stay true to our core self that makes us perform better in life and not just succumb to the external and internal stress/pressures and become robotic. 

The film begins with a Tamasha on stage. The clown and the robot enthrals the audience and amidst cheers/applause, a beautiful story is unveiled. The story of Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) the mast maula, free-spirited youngster who lives life to its hilt  and Ved Vardhan Sahni the obedient, stressed out son, youngster who lives a monotonous life engaged in the mundane task of his career. The internal and the external dimensions of Ved fails to complement each other, and therefore, all conflicts with self and others.  

The filmmaker takes us to the beautiful locales of Corsica (a French Island) and undoubtedly the scenic beauty and the successful jodi of Ranbir and Deepika captivates you. Two sojournes- a boy and a girl- meets, the boy helps the girl, they decide to have fun but stay detached so that life doesn't get complicated as any other love stories, and therefore, decides not to reveal their real identities. The girl is there because of her fondness for her childhood comic character Asterix and the boy is there for reasons known to him only. They become Mona darling and Teja for each other and communicate the lingo of the characters they play then and there. In this whole Tamasha that is staged by our dear Imtiaz Ali the audience reach a no man's land sitting in a rudderless ship of a movie made by an ace story teller who has Jab We Met, Rockstar, HighWay, and a few more in his kitty.  The first half is a sheer waste of time except for the scenic beauty and the playfulness of the lead actors. We miss the craft of Imtiaz Ali's previous films.

Piyush Mishra as the mystic story teller who draws the little Ved again and again to listen to his stories is a major part and crux of the whole movie. All of us are attracted and drawn to stories and the characters of these stories we have heard and read, forms life within us. This is what happens with Ved too. But then Ved repeatedly tells the old storyteller that it is the same story he had told him every time by just changing the name of the characters and locales. The story teller admits that it is true because it is not the story that changes but the way we look at it changes it. Imtiaz's Tamasha becomes a soul searching and self reflective movie through these two characters  i.e. the little Ved and the Old Storyteller.

The achievements of life becomes actually the fulfillment of expectations of our near and dear ones of our life, Our life takes the shape based on the blueprint designed by the authority figures of our life because somewhere we fear them, respect them, owe them or may be because we never took a call in our life.

Tara Maheshwari (Deepika Padukone) and Ved meet both the real and the unreal and goes through the grind of life sometimes failing and sometimes successful in dealing with it. What happens to Tara and Ved when the mask they wear fall apart? How do they deal with each other? Do they stand hand-in-hand together to deal with new reality or succumb to the pressures and expectations of others in their lives and their relationship crumble like a cookie.

Tamasha has a very strong and meaningful message. The idea of this movie is brilliant but the execution and the story telling falls flat in many areas. In the first half of the movie the filmmaker splurge on time and the scenic beauty of Corsica and in the second half he gobbles up four years of Ved and Tara in a single song and thus deprives the audience to see how they actually deal with their separation and other happenings of life. This takes away the beauty of the movie and its story Imtiaz attempts to tell us. Nevertheless,  one must still go and watch Tamasha for its philosophy "Grow beyond your own expectations and perform and be a benchmark for self and others in your life", life then becomes more fulfilling!

Ranbir Kapoor as Ved is awesome but I doubt whether this movie shall give him any relief from the impact of his flop 'Besharam'. Deepika is on a high from one to the next and she looks more beautiful with Ranbir Kapoor. She is good in her act as Tara.

The real star of Tamasha is the versatile actor Piyush Mishra - the man who weaves the Tamasha for the audience. There is a powerful scene and would like to say the only scene that brings each one of us come face to face with our self and that is when the old storyteller screams at Ved and tells him " Why do you want me to tell your story, create your own story you escapist".
A.R. Rahman's music and Irshad Kamil's lyrics add soul to the whole movie. "Agar Tum Sath Ho..." song wins your heart and makes you reminisce your relationship with a dear one you hold close to your heart.


Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.75/5

Monday, November 16, 2015

Movie Review: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Image Courtesy: premratandhanpayoboxofficecollections.org/
The Story Frame:

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a story of a Royal family and it's sibling rivalry. It also showcases how a commoner becomes a medium to bring the royal family back to peace and harmony. Amidst the royal family melodrama there are sparks of romance and mistaken identities and its aftermath too. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is all and all Salman Khan film with a strong Barjatya flavour. It marks the return of Salman Khan- Sooraj Barjatya jodi on the silver screen after 16 years.

Cast: Salman Khan (Rajkumar Yuvraj Singh & Prem Dilwale), Sonam Kappor (Rajkumari Mythili), Anupam Kher (Deewan Sahab), Niel Nitin Mukesh (Rajkumar Ajay Singh), Swara Bhaskar (Rajkumari Chandrika), Aashika Bhatia (Rajkumari Radhika), Deepak Dobriyal (Kanahaiya & Nadaan Mazoori), Sanjay Misra (Choubey Chacha), Sameer Dharmadhikari (Maharaj), Armann Kohli (Chirag)

Genre: Romance Drama

Direction: Sooraj R Barjatya

Produced by: Ajith Kumar Barjatya, Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya

Production Company: Rajshri Productions

Distributor: Fox Star Studios

Screenplay by: Sooraj R Barjatya

Story: Sooraj R Barjatya

Cinematographer: V Manikandan

Music: Sanjoy Chowdhury, Himesh Reshammiya

Film Editing by: Sanjay Sankala

Theatre Release: 12th November, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 174 minutes

Image Courtesy: http://dilwaleboxofficecollections.co.in
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo lives up to the promise as a family entertainer in all its grandeur for those who are a Salman Khan-Sooraj Barjatya kind of movie fan who can actually afford with ease to overlook the big black hole but for those who look for brains and entertainment it turns out to be a damp squib.

The movie begins with the entry of Prem Dilwale the stage artist who is quite popular among the locals in Ayodhya as the star performer in the Dilwale Ki Ramleela play. Before we could actually get over the hangover of Salman being a Bajrangi bakht in Bajrangi Bhaijan, he dons the cap this time as a Ram-Sita bakht spouting lessons on moral values.

Dilwale is love-smitten with the generous princess Mythili of Devgarh who is devoted in social causes distributing freebies and relief goodies to calamity-affected victims under the aegis of her NGO - Uphaar Foundation. Dilwale sets forth with his friend Kanhaiya (Deepak Dobriyal) who also dabbles as Sita in the Dilwale ki Ramleela play to handover the fund he has painstakingly collected to the princess personally in Delhi and that's when he comes to know from Jyoti (an Uphaar foundation volunteer) that she is going to be present in Pritampur for the royal coronation ceremony of Prince Vijay Singh, who also happens to be her fiancée. Reaching Pritampur, Dilwale and Kanhaiya  finds themselves entwined in the drama of a royal conspiracy and deceit which they find it hard to untwine.

The movie shifts its focus on Yuvraj Vijay Singh (Salman Khan in double role), his trusted family loyalist Dewan Saab (Anupam Kher) who is also the royal secret keeper. Yuvraj Vijay Singh is in the midst of approving the schedules and arrangements of his Raj Tilak and he is unaware that he is falling prey to a grave conspiracy to annihilate him and stop his coronation by his own dear and trusted people.

The royal family melodrama unfolds soon when the audience is taken through a brief history of the erstwhile Maharaja and his mistresses, their children, how they used to happily live together and an incident that changes the family bonding and harmony. Well, the half brother Rajkumar Ajay Singh (Niel Nitin Mukesh) and the other two half sisters  Rajkumari Chandrika (Swara Bhaskar) and Rajkumari Radhika (Aashika Bhatia) born from another mistress  are loggerheads with Rajkumar Vijay Singh for no good reasons which the filmmakers repeatedly fail to establish the logic apart from a trivial incident that shatters the peace of the palace. Trivial because the erstwhile king is shown all throughout the movie in flashbacks as a caring husband and a loving father who made a Palace of Mirrors (Seesh Mahal) for the children to keep their  childhood memories  alive. He is also quoted by Yuvraj Vijay Singh that his father use to tell him after his mother's demise that " Vijay, never feel that you are alone in your life, you have Ajay's Mother and Chandrika and Radhika's mother to take care of you. The character of Maharaj is positioned as a generous, lovable and mature king and therefore, it is hard to believe that he would have left his mistresses and his children born out of them to lurch in the dark.

 A person like Yuvraj Vijay Singh who is seen approving every minute details of his coronation ceremony and who is also advised by hardcore loyal Dewan Sahab is unaware about the Estate CEO Chirag (Armaan Kohli) withholding the funds released to his half brother Yuvraj Ajay Singh so as to create rift among them is an irony. The half brothers are also shown involved in fencing as a recreational sport with no animosity with each other, rather they are found taking care of each other, this makes the viewers fail to figure out the storyline.  

The movie also falters terribly in portraying the relationship with Rajkumari Mythili and Rajkumar Vijay Singh. There is a scene where Mythili tells Prem Dilwale presuming him to be Rajkumar Vijay Singh that they are engaged to each other since five months and they have hardly spoken to each other five times and that they still don't know anything about one another. But then contrary to this dialogue the viewers find Rajkumari Mythili reminding Rajkumar Vijay Singh about all those encounters they had in the near past, like appearing for him in a short dress which he likes, arranging a special barbeque in the erstwhile king's garden, sharing with him how he would look more handsome without a moustache, how they end up quarrelling and so on.

Sanjay Misra as Choubey Chacha who manages all props and accessories for the Dilwale Ki Ramleela play is not given ample screen time to showcase his versatility and therefore the filmmakers deprived the audience to relish his talent. It is the same in the case of Deepak Dobriyal as Kanahaiya and Nadaan Mazoori. Deepak Dobriyal who enthused the audience to the hilt in Tanu Weds Manu 2, struggles hard to keep the audience in good humour not because he is not talented but majorly because his presence is dwarfed by two Salmans.

Neil Nitin Mukesh as Yuvraj Ajay Singh acts well as an emotionally and financially insecure and jealous half brother who connives with estate CEO Chirag (Armann Kohli). Armann Kohli in his comeback as a villain makes his presence felt and has fairly done a good job. Swara Bhaskar (Rajkumari Chandrika) the talented actress has done justice to her role, but it would have been great if she had more to act and perform. Aashika Bhatia is an add on with nothing remarkable to do. God knows why the filmmaker wanted one more half sister to showcase the family melodrama.

Anupam Kher as the loyal Dewan Saab and the royal secret keeper is commendable. He acts with ease and is successful in generating a few laughable moments with Prem Dilwale. But at the same time Prem Dilwale coming up with funny nicknames  for Dewan Sahab like - bapu, immature bapu, virgin bapu, mature bapu and finally telling Dewan Saab 'aap pichle janam mai koi sant honge" is something that goes overboard.

Salman Khan as Yuvraj Vijay Singh Moochwale (Moustache) and Salman Khan as Prem Dilwale as Moochmunde (clean shaven) are a treat but then the story and its flaws takes the joy away too quickly. Falling from a cliff and treated in one of the secret chambers of the royal palace with full medical amenities by two expert doctors, Yuvraj lie immobile, with bandages on head, shoulders chest, and arms. But what is surprising and ridiculous is we find our Yuvraj chained and shaking the whole Sheesh Mahal with his mighty chained arms venting his anger. He is also found with an arm- to-arm combat as well as fencing with his half brother Ajay Singh and thrashing him red and blue. Our powerful Yuvraj is also seen repeating the history by saving his half-brother from falling into the deep waters that surround the Sheesh Mahal by holding him by his arms. Now, what we need to understand is, all these karnamas are done by an accident victim who has been medically diagnosed with possible 'Brain Concussion and Brain Edema' by the royal medical experts four days back. Amidst all these terrible climax scenes we have our Prem Dilwale 'the divine', lecturing and tutoring on values, ethics and morals to the two half-brothers who are fuming with anger and revenge. But then it's a Salman Khan-Sooraj Barjatya film after 16 years of gap, therefore, just chill, chill, just chill with the innumerable songs that you will lose count off.

In short, if you want to learn and watch 'Bhaiyon mai maafi kaisi maangi jaati hi aur behanon ko kaise manaya jaate hi, aur diwali ke do din baad bhaiya dooj kaise manaya jata hi tho please throng the cinema halls which is near you without any delay because the coffers are already overflowing and it cannot be complete without your offerings. So Enjoy...Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.75/5


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Movie Review: Titli

Image Courtesy: http://cdn.koimoi.com/
The Story Frame:

The debutant filmmaker Kanu Behl's movie Titli was featured in more than a dozen international film festivals including at Cannes Film Festival in 2014 (Un Certain Regard). The movie is co-produced by Dibaker Banerjee and Aditya Chopra. Titli has some super talented actors in it like Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shashank Arora, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi. Kanu Behl is also known as the one who co-wrote and assisted Dibakar Banerjee in Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD) 2010.

Titli is a story about a world that co-exists with our world which we often dread and that emerges in the deserted dark alleys of Delhi in the middle of the night. The inhabitants of this world that Titli portrays has their own rules, logic and reason for their deeds and they are ok with not being ok. But what if one of the siblings of a dysfunctional family finds himself not to be ok with what is not ok, then?

Titli speaks about three brothers and a manipulative father who meets their ends as small time crooks and how their life spins and bears the consequence of their own creations. Writers Sharat Kataria and Kanu Behl tells us a compelling and a stark realistic story that hovers around patriarchy, intra-family conflict, gender based violence and insensitivity, and the inner urge to set oneself free.

Cast: Ranvir Shorey (Vikram), Amit Sial (Pradeep aka Bawla), Shashank Arora (Titli), Lalit Behl (Father), Shivani Raghuvanshi (Neelu), Prashant Singh (Prince)

Genre: Crime Drama

Direction: Kanu Behl

Produced by: Aditya Chopra & Dibakar Banerjee

Production Company: Yash Raj Films & Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt. Ltd.

Distributed by: Westend Films

Written by: Sharat Kataria & Kanu Behl

Cinematographer: Siddharth Diwan

Film Editing by: Namrata Rao

Theatre Release: May 20, 2015 ( Cannes Film Festival), October 30, 2015 (India)

Language: Hindi

Duration: 124 minutes

Image Courtesy: westendfilms.com
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Titli (Butterfly), in literal terms these insects that has a long thin body and brightly colored wings that flies mostly during the day are beautiful and catch your fancy but this movie is not about being beautiful or colorful. Titli wakes you up from a deep slumber to the harsh realities of the underbelly of Delhi, it talks about the shattered dreams and miseries of those youngsters who feel deprived of the good things of life and how they live their life to get what they want in their own terms by pouncing on any vulnerable victim/s in the dark alleys of Delhi.   

You end up having a love hate relationship with the characters. They scare you by their inhuman act, they make you empathize them by sharing their miseries, and their helplessness in dealing with odds in their life and at the same time repel you by doing those things that you would have never dreamt of to achieve anything you wanted to get in life.

Titli sheds light on a dysfunctional family of small-time crooks consisting of a manipulative father (Lalit Behl) and three sons. The eldest brother Vikram (Ranvir Shorey) has the final word and no one dares to question him not even his father, his second brother Pradeep aka Bawla (Amit Sial) is his confidant and partner in all crimes. However, the youngest sibling Titli (Shashank Arora) is a misfit among these brothers because he nurtures discreetly a dream of owning a parking lot in an upcoming shopping mall and thereby free himself from the clutches of his brothers and his manipulative father. Titli is a reluctant crook and this doesn't go well with seemingly responsible brothers and therefore, as any family they too decide to get him married with this hope that a girl in his life may make him more responsible to the business. Pradeep also convinces Vikram that this will lead to a new member in their gang and would increase the prospect of their business.

Titli the titular character essayed by Shahsank Arora goes through one setback to another, his whole plan to free himself from his ruined present to a better future goes haywire from frame to frame. The relationship of Titli and his wife Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi) is a marriage of convenience. Both of them have their plans up on their sleeves. It is quite interesting to watch how they negotiate with each other to ensure how both becomes instrumental to accomplish their dreams. Do they finally materialize their dreams? It's something to watch on screen.

Ranvir Shorey as Vikram, the decision-maker has done a fabulous work but Shahsank Arora has surpassed all of the characters by his act of helplessness, desperateness and his miseries. You experience the harsh side of life through him. Shivani Raghuvanshi is so real that you relate to her very well. Her timidity, her bold and blunt act to achieve what she wants are all awesome. Amit Sial as the peace keeper between brothers, advisor and a person in a pitiable state of distress and unhappiness driven by happenings in his life is well essayed for the role.

                                           

Debutant filmmaker Kanu Behl's Titli is harsh, disturbing but true to its core in storytelling. Titli is not a fun film that may appeal to all, especially not to those who only visit movie halls to escape from the realities of life. There are some sequences that may be disturbing and need viewer discretion. Titli makes you reflect and think after reaching to your comforts of your dwelling and accept that such world and people exists and have you ever experienced or thought about them and their lives.

Finally, whether Titli manages to fly to his dreamland is a question I would like to leave unanswered for the viewers to find. Titli is real, doesn't hide anything, you take it or leave it but for sure you would love it. If you expect me to issue a disclaimer for those who love only Kuch Kuch Hota Hi to please skip this one I won't, rather would like to urge them to take the risk and watch Titli, you never know after watching you may quote the popular brand's tagline 'I'm Loving It" !
  

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5

Friday, October 23, 2015

Movie Review: The Walk



Image Courtesy: http://i1.wp.com/
The Story Frame:

'The Walk' is the jaw-dropping true story of French high-wire artist Phillippe Petit's daring act of walking between the two then-not-quite-finished Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974. The film pulls the audience into Petit's passion, dream, fear, failure, moments of success, anxiety so craftily that it becomes experiential in the glory of Imax and 3D.

Petit calls his act an artistic coup supported by a bunch of friends who believes in his talent and conviction. What happens in the course of his artistic coup and what awaits him and his co-conspirators due to this illegal act is interesting to watch.

Robert Zemeckis, the director has done a remarkable work in setting this crazy dare-devil act in motion. The film was dedicated to the victims of September 11 attacks in 2001.

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levit (Philippe Petit), Charlotte Le Bon (Annie Allix), Ben Kingsley (Papa      Rudy), Clement Sibomy (Jean-Pierre), Cesar Domboy (Jeff), Ben Schwartz (Albert), Benedict Samuel (David), Steve Valentine (Barry Greenhouse

Genre: Biographical Drama

Direction: Robert Zemeckis

Produced By: Tom Rothman, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke

Production Company: TriStar Productions, Image Movers, LStar Capital

Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Phillippe Petit, Christopher Browne

Based On: 'To Reach the Clouds' by Philippe Petit

Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski

Music By: Alan Silvestri

Distributed By: TriStar Pictures

World Theatrical Release: 9th October, 2015

Language: English, French

Duration: 123 minutes

Country: USA

Image Courtesy: cdn1.vox-cdn.com
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Robert Zemeckis has made 'The Walk' extremely spectacular that it become so palatable for the viewers to savour every thrilling moment frame by frame with the dare-devil Philippe Petit on the tight-rope balancing on it mapping the void between the twin towers.

Philippe Petit's  story is legendary by now and no actual film footage of the real act exists. 'The Walk' gives us an opportunity to be right up there with Petit and see down the whole New York become a beautiful miniature painting.

On the morning of August 7, 1947 the New Yorkers saw a man walk in mid air on a tight rope harnessed carefully around the edges of the twin towers and secured around wooden bulwarks on either side. He walks a distance of 110 ft not once but repeatedly as if he was not done with his joy of his feat and that too at a height of 1776 ft above ground. When he walks he walks and when he does his act the viewers are there on the edge of their seat with their heart in their mouth, eyes wide open, biting their nails not knowing what awaits next for Philippe Petit and for them as viewers. Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest, rightly said, "It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves".

Joseph Gordan-Levit has slipped into the skin of Petit with so ease that he becomes admirable, inspirational, and a true hero on screen. He is  remarkable in emoting all those feelings a high-wire walker of Philippe's stature goes through.

Ben Kingsley as Papa Rudy Omankowsky Philippe's mentor is superb. His astuteness in seeing something in the seed (Philippe) makes him a genius and sets the path for the world to witness a great high-wire artist bewitched by his artistic coup. Papa Rudy's experience and knowledge clubbed with Philippe's grit and conviction sets the tone of the film.


Petit's girlfriend Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon) and the other co-conspirators along with Petit go through ambiguities,  hurdles, last moment betrayals, execution failures and what not to deal with the existing system and brilliantly execute their illegal act. Their act as a team proves once again to human kind that the alchemy of collaboration can do wonders to one's own and the world's destiny.

There are some beautiful moments that makes you want to freeze them viz: when Petit assures Annie that he never encroaches the space of another artist, their romance and their camaraderie; Petit's first encounter with Papa Rudy in the circus tent, their respect for each other;  the D day and the night of risk they undertake as a team to execute the plan on the twin towers; and finally the repeated walk between the twin towers by Philippe keeps your heart beating loud and makes you keep your fingers crossed when you look down along with Petit to find New Yorkers cheering him down on the street.

In short, The Walk has everything that can keep you glued to your street and also to walkout of the theatre inspired to experiment some of your wild dreams. It also conveys that we are either born to realize our own dreams  or to be instrumental to make others realize their dream. So look within and hear your voice and decide which role you are ready to play. The Walk is for those who have a dream and also to those who are still trying to figure out what their dream is. So go and watch.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5


Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Review: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2


Image Courtesy: http://wowdelhi.com/
The Story Frame:

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 is a sequel to the 2011 hit movie with the same name. This movie directed by Luv Ranjan hovers around three love-struck Delhi-NCR boys and the consequences and complications they face in their journey of love.
Cast: Kartik Aaryan (Gogo), Omkar Kapoor (Thakur), Sunny Singh (Chauka), Nusrat Bharucha (Chiku/Ruchika), Sonnalli Seygall (Supriya), Ishita Raj (Kusum), Manvir (Sunny)

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Direction: Luv Ranjan

Produced by: Abhishek Pathak

Written by: Rahul Mody, Tarun Jain & Luv Ranjan

Cinematographer: Sudhir K Choudhary

Music: Toshi Sabri, Hitesh Sonik, Luv Ranjan & Clinton Cerejo

Film Editing by: Akiv Ali

Theatre Release: 16th October, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 136 minutes

Reviewer's Thumb Mark

PKP2 (Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2) is definitely going to earn the ire of the female community for showing women in poor light as not so trustworthy lovers. PKP2 is released as a sequel to 2011 hit Rom Com film Pyaar Ka Punchnama.

PKP2 is brutally hilarious and has a very unpleasant, misogynist outlook towards women's approach on love, relationships, marriage and life. They are portrayed as manipulative, self-centered, gold-diggers and spineless. The story and its plot has close resemblance to its prequel and therefore, for people who has seen the first one the film is predictable. Like in the prequel the three heroes are flat mates and best buddies in the world. They slog in their workplace and party hard. They love booze, girls and party. And amongst the three Thakur  (Omkar Kapoor) earns a fat pay package.

The story is about these three Delhi boys (Gogo, Thakur, Chauka) and three beautiful girls (Chiku, Supriya, Kusum) and how they meet and then what happens after the initial excitement dies. They meet and fall in love with each other at different places - one in a party, second in a wedding, and the third in his gym. 

The movie definitely generate some laughable moments but then the girl bashing and the dialogues and the puns becomes repetitive. The much talked about monologue by Gogo (Kartik Aryan) is too long and fizzles out soon.

The movie fails to portray a balance outlook towards male and female approach on love rather it forges ahead and gives a generic statement on how bad women are in terms of love and men so innocent and trustworthy in love. May be Luv Ranjan and his team at the fag end of the movie may have felt guilty for the whole female bashing and so they suddenly deicide to make their heroes say that only Mommy loves unconditionally.

The female actors are all shopaholics, tantrum queens, pushy, fashionable and also party animals. Chiku (Nusrut Bharucha) comes from a rich and affluent family stays alone in a swanky flat and she expects her boyfriend to understand her even when she plays the agony aunt to one of her best friends and ends up sharing her bed with him.  

Kusum (Ishita Raj)is a girl believes in equal rights and for her sharing the expenses equally is one of the values she holds high and is non-negotiable. But as someone has said it is easy to choose values in life but people often fail to practice and that's what is with kusum too. She ends up owing more than eight lakhs to her all understanding and mature boyfriend.

The third beautiful lass Supriya (Sonnalli Seygall) keeps her boyfriend on tenterhooks guessing whether she will marry him or not. She is busy in love but doesn't have voice at home and makes her boyfriend end up doing her household chores from buying provisions to buying a printer for his would-be-father-in-law.

Pyaar Ka Punchnamma is one-sided and God knows what happened to Luv Ranjan to hate women. Well, that's his film and his take on love and women. If you want to hear how female bashing is done uninhibited go and watch. And if you want to give the film-makers a piece of your mind for their bias towards women, still go and watch and write and speak against them through your comments, review, views on the social media.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.5/5


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Movie Review: Talwar

Image Courtesy: wikimedia.org
The Story Frame:

Talwar is based on the infamous 2008 double murder mystery case of Arushi, a 14-year-old DPS girl in Noida and Hemraj, the domestic help in her house. The film revolves around three contradictory versions of the investigating teams and hovers more over the innocence of the parents allegedly involved in the murder. The story becomes a medium to revisit the most sensationalized case of the nation and also one which rocked and questioned the conscience of parents of the nation.

The film was screened in Toronto International Film Festival on 14th of September, 2015. The film is written by the versatile filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj and the director of the movie is Meghna Gulzar. The film is produced by Junglee Pictures a division of The Times of India Group.

Cast: Irrfan Khan (CDI Officer Ashwin Kumar), Konkana Sen Sharma (Nutan Tandon - Mother of Shruti Tandon), Neeraj Kabi (Ramesh - father of Shruti Tandon), Sohum Shah (ACP Vedant Mishra - Second-in-command of Ashwin), Tabu (Reema - Ashwin's Wife), Gajraj Rao (Inspector Daniram), Prakash Belawadi (Swamy - Boss of Ashwin), Sumit Gulati (Kanhaiya), Atul Kumar (Paul - The new CDI Officer), Shishir Sharma (JK Dixit - The new Boss of Ashwin who replaces Swamy)

Genre: Crime Drama

Direction: Meghna Gulzar

Produced by: Vinet Jain, Vishal Bhardhwaj

Production Company: VB Pictures

Written by: Vishal Bhardhwaj

Cinematographer: Pankaj Kumar

Music: Vishal Bhardhwaj

Film Editing by: A Sreekar Prasad

Distributors : Junglee Pictures

Theatre Release: 2nd October, 2015

Language: Hindi, English (film titled as Guilty)

Duration: 132 minutes

Image Courtesy: imgix.net
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

The CID boss Mr. Swamy (Prakash Belawadi) asks his protégé  Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) the investigating officer of the Shruti Tandon murder case that have he ever observed the statue of justice? He continues saying that people often look at the blindfolded statue holding the balance scales but miss out the sword it wields. The sword depicts the role of the police force.

Well, here in the Arushi Talwar case the whole case was botched and goofed up by all the investigating team, leaving the nation to speculate and live in suspense. The 2008 double murder case rocked the whole nation and the media, as usual, lapped up the whole story adding more spices and served them to us. The voyeuristic media in the name of seeking justice made all the people directly and indirectly involved in the case go under the media trial mercilessly. To add more spice the first investigating team and the following two CBI investigating teams came up with contradictory versions and claims about the whodunit theory. Finally in 2010, after a string of investigations one after another the CBI appealed for a closure of the case due to lack of evidence against the sole suspect Rajesh Talwar identified by them. However, the court rejected the plea and initiated criminal proceedings against the Talwars and the couple were convicted based on circumstantial evidence. Both are still languishing in jail while their appeal is pending in the Allahabad High Court.

It seems that the movie's screenplay writer - Vishal Bhardwaj- intentionally directs the viewers focus on the possible innocence of the parents involved and thereby giving them a benefit of doubt. The film very craft fully depicts different versions of the investigating teams and the various suspects under the scanner. The movie ends with an emotional happy family video recording done on a camcorder of the deceased to portray that everything was well before the brutal murder. The movie leaves the viewers to decide who deserves justice.

The film is good and is a onetime watch for those who would like to see what they already know on screen. It would be a bit disappointing for those who want to know the mystery and would like to reach the core because the film fails to do so.

Neeraj Kabi and Konkana are not in their element and probably their caliber is not explored to the hilt. Tabu as Reema and her marital discord with Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan) is an unnecessary add on and definitely a distraction. What was the compulsion of the filmmakers to bring such an angle is difficult to decipher. Irrfan Khan as the hard-nosed investigating CID officer plays well in his role in every frame - be it his sharp intelligence, his dark humor, his helplessness with authority - touches the viewers.

The real show stealer is Gajraj Rao as the Paan-chewing inspector Dhaniram. He stands out as an actor by his commendable performance. His lackadaisical attitude gets on your nerves. Sumit Gulati as Kanhaiya (compounder of Dr. Tandon) also has given an impressive performance.

Songs like : Jis din aakash bedaag honga, chehera chaand ka saaf honga and Lagta hi woh zinda hi moves you.

In short Talwar, doesn't offer much and I doubt whether it has been successful in garnering support to change the public opinion about the Talwar couple. A movie from the stable of Vishal Bhardwaj could have been more intense and intriguing.


Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3/5

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Movie Review: Diary of an Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager

The Story Frame:

Image Courtesy: Timescity.com
'Diary of an Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager' is a story of a girl who is not ready to be part of a 9 to 5 job in the corporate world. She feels that she has the potential to be an actor and dares to pursue her dream in Mumbai with some rider attached by her parents. The film holds your interest and attention till the end to know how this Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager girl deals with her dream and the happenings around it. This film is directed by Prashant Sehgal and it had been part of the official selection of: Delhi International Film Festival, 2013; Jaipur International Film Festival, 2014; Global Film Festival, NOIDA; Bioscope Global Film Festival, 2014, and River to River Florance Indian Film Festival, 2014.

Cast: Sakshi Oberoi Bahadur

Direction: Prashant Sehgal

Assistant Director: Nandita Anand

Produced by: Prashant Sehgal

Story by: Sakshi Oberoi Bahadur

Music: Taylor Hayward, Kevin Macleod

Film Editing by: Prashant Sehgal

Production Company : Phaltu Phillums

Language: Bilingual (English & Hindi)

Duration: 72 minutes


Reviewer's Thumb Mark

The movie begins with the said quote " The Desire to be Famous is as Old as the Desire to Desire". Prashant Sehgal's movie 'Diary of an Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager' aka D.O.O.R.M.A.T. is the story of a teenager who dares to listen to her heart and leaves the comfy environment of her home in Indore to reach Mumbai to pursue her dream to become an actor. The film takes you through her diary - a  priced possession (a laptop - a lovely graduation present by her parents). The laptop is her conscience keeper and it is her diary. She feels, she is lazy to write a diary and therefore, she comes up with a brilliant idea to record a diary.

Prashant Sehgal: The Filmmaker
D.O.O.R.M.A.T.  is actually a rendezvous you have as a viewer with the main protagonist, Sakshi. You slowly start liking this chirpy, bubbly young teenager for her weird thoughts, dilemmas and her sheer courage to tread the unknown path just because she is so much in love with what she wants to do in life. This 72 minutes film has been shot in such a simple but amazingly beautiful way that you become an integral part of the film because you realize very soon that without you, Sakshi cannot exist and that you cannot pull yourself out of this emotional bonding you have unknowingly developed with her.

Sakshi Oberoi Bahadur, as Sakshi is awesome as an 'Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager'. She holds your interest and takes you through her emotional roller-coaster ride in the pursuit of her dream in the city of Mumbai. You feel happy, confused, anxious, tensed, and also romantic along with her. You start experiencing her experience and that makes this movie distinct from some of the movie I have recently watched.

The film drags a bit because of the repetitive nature of the narration of the diary and  Sakshi's marathon in appearing in different dresses (precisely 46 or may be more than that because I lost count in between, in this short sweet 72 minutes film) keeps you guessing what she will appear in next frame. But the bubbly Sakshi makes you overlook the same.

What happens to Sakshi's dreams, who helps her, what does the city of Mumbai offer her, does her optimism towards life help her surge through the challenges she faces. Watch D.O.O.R.M.A.T. you will enjoy being her diary and shall for sure start missing her, like I feel now, once the movie ends.

Taylor Hayward, Kevin Macleod's music is good. In short, Prashant Sehgal, the film maker tells us to pursue our dreams realistically keeping in mind - the pros and the cons. Sakshi as a writer has infused a kind of freshness in storytelling.

Finally, to review a film made by a dear friend like Prashant is equally challenging and a delight.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.5/5