Earth (1998)

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Director – Deepa Mehta
The first of the elements trilogy by one of the best directors Indian cinema has ever seen. The film based on the lives of different people of the varied religions in the land of diversity, India. Earth provides a very strong cinematic experience to the viewers of the condition of the common people in the border of the nation. While the politicians made their decisions for the ‘greater good’, the film is a reflection of that bitter truth that persists not only in the borders but across the two nations, India and Pakistan.

A film that MUST not be missed..

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Table no. 21 (2013)

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Director – Aditya Datt

An entertaining, thriller with a public service message at the end. You can keep that guessing, though. You might even figure out, but the film probably won’t disappoint you. Not the best hit in the box office but I don’t think the producers went for a loss either. Datt has used an unconventional route to present a Bollywood masala, probably like Vishal Bharadwaj tried with Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola and that certainly is a different watch for an audience that loves Bollywood and wishes to see some change in the modus operandi. In the recent films like Vicky Donor and Chittagong that are a treat to the audience, Aditya Datt manages to make it to the strongly recommended kind of masala – thriller cinema.

Table No. 21 refers to an online game show where a couple (Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae) who are holidaying at Fiji on a gift package are made players in lure of money by its host, Paresh Rawal. In the game, there are no laws that can hinder, there are only rules that matter and as fishy as it might sound, the players end up playing it. I won’t it was the best game I had ever seen, even the direction was somehow crude. But Paresh Rawal is the stealer – of the show. He engages you like a loyal host and no matter how stupid the script might sound, somehow it all makes sense with a fantastic, fantasy humour that doesn’t regret you watching it.

Tena Desae is pretty and could be a good actor but not there yet. But I guess, the costume designer did a good job with her clothes and accessories. If you’re a girl, you’ll know what I mean. Rajeev has given finer performances before but you might swoon over his casual demeanour and upper middle class luxurious look. Its a good watch, atleast you’ll feel so when it ends. Bon appétit!

Special Chabbis (2013)

Director –  Neeraj Pandey

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The film is based on a real life event in the 1980s where a handful of swindlers dressed as cops and CBI/income tax officials looted many businessmen and politicians. Surprisingly, even if at many parts the film doesn’t make sense – you can feel like – ‘Ok. Dude. Is Indian intelligence THAT stupid?’ But you will enjoy the film! Like – really. Its fun, the dialogues are great, acting is good and obviously that’s not really a doubt. I mean, there is Akshay Kumar (who makes stupid films in which he acts well),  Anupam Kher (who is one veteran you always look up to), Jimmy Shergill (who definitely knows acting) and Manoj Bajpayee (I save the best for the last – I love him). Its fast paced – so it doesn’t give you time to get bored or even think. An entertaining drama thriller as it is, I don’t regret watching Special Chhabis.

36 Chowringhee Lane (1981)

36 Chowringhee Lane

Directed by – Aparna Sen

An English – Bengali film made by one of the best filmmakers of Indian history, 36 Chowringhee Lane is the story of an old anglo-Indian woman, Violet Stoneham who works as a teacher in an English medium school during the 70’s. Her daily life includes going to school, thinking and reading letters of her niece who is in Australia and meeting her old aged and diabetic brother, Eddie. And then one day, Violet invites an ex student Nandita and her lover, Samresh to her place for coffee. Samresh, who is an unemployed author convinces Nandita into asking the old lady for the keys to her apartments for some privacy. Violet readily agrees. Here I would like to mention one of my favourite scenes in the film – the one where she sees a nightmare about her long lost love – Danny. The story is about those happy moments in Violet’s life that Nandita and Samresh bring in return of her apartment and what happens, as the nature of human beings is – when they get settled. Personally, I loved the film. Damn the technical glitches. Its hard to believe a story like that, shown like that, could be made at that period. Do watch it if you admire classic cinema.

Saheb, biwi aur gangster returns (2013)

“Pata hai mard gaaliyan kyun dete hai? Kyunki wo rote kamm hai.”

Saheb, biwi aur gangster returns

Director – Tigmanshu Dhulia

I don’t know if I can rate the film higher than its prequel but the dialogues again have captured its audience like the way they were expected to! There were more actors, different plot in the similar sepia stained backdrop but with more colours and life that Irrfan Khan brings in all of his films.  I found the prequel more exciting, but this is no less entertaining. Infact, there are more laughs for the audience, specially “the minister’s act with his laptop”. It was hilarious. Here the crippled Saheb who detests his biwi, falls in love with another Thakur’s daughter, the princess. The intimidating Saheb scares the heir of a king – turned – MLA that he’ll ruin his family if he doesn’t let him marry her. And enters- the gangster – madly in love with the princess. Only in the Saheb, biwi and gangster series can you wonder how underrated Jimmy Shergill as an actor really is. I cannot think of a better king than him. One of my favourite dialogues: “Ab Khada ho gaya. Aur daraaunga.” Mahie Gill, the wanton Biwi is back for your treat, better and sexier than ever. Bollywood people – you don’t wanna miss this watch.

Kai Po che! (2013)

Kai po che!

Directed by – Abhishek Kapoor

One of the really good watches of the year. It has been made very nicely and the characters are adorable. Its funny, sweet and inspiring in more than one ways. Adapted from Chetan Bhagat’s novel, ‘Three mistakes of my life’, it will surprise you in the end. I wrote a review on it here.

The blue umbrella (2005)

The blue umbrella

Director – Vishal Bhardwaj

Adapted on a story by Ruskin Bond, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is the story of a little girl who finds a Japanese umbrella by chance and what happens when a miser of an old man who always has selfish reasons to share falls in love with the umbrella. The film might seem dragging, but not boring – at all. Pankaj Kapur really was something. From the accent to the hurt looks, everything was just adorable. Definitely a visual treat that should not be missed.