cinema cinema: hindi




For generations movies have sidelined or to say side-billed the heroine, in a way it is a proud moment when Vidya Balan’s name appears boldly in a typewriter font preceding the title.

Vidya Balan lives up to her name playing the heavily pregnant and equally resolute Vidya Bagchi whose actions of lifting her oversized sunshades reminds us of a knight who does a similar act before entering the arena, the arena here in Kahaani is the life throbbing city of Kolkata to which the computer professional Vidya comes to find her lost husband Arnab Bagchi.

Kahaani is packed with details, packed is the right word to use because you might lose an interesting bit while searching for underlying popcorn in the dark. You have been forewarned that the brilliant writing will keep you glued to screen and the characters that inhabit those words. Parambratha Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui require special mention amidst the robust cast who travel along with Vidya Bagchi on her quest until it all ends in a mythical climax.

But the final praise shall rest on director Sujoy Ghosh and his team of writers who have conceived a truly different film both in styling and content, in the time of inconsiderate romantic comedies.I counted upto six people involved in the writing of the film and the last time I saw so many names was in Shahrukh Khan’s much derided Ra.One, but this time the writers have won with some help from the divine feminine.

So what is wrong, if people can make stories for the Khans they should be able to make stories for the Balans, as long as the writing is good we will not complain.The writers have won. The writers have won!

Surely they should have listed Kolkata/Calcutta in the cast. Surely.



Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambratha Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saswata Chatterjee.



cinema cinema: hindi

Rubber Men in Leather Suits

If there is any book by the name “How to make a blockbuster”, Farhan Akthar will have no need for it. I assume to know the contents of such a book and I can extend my assumption to Akthar.

But he is definitely at an advantage compared to my position viz behind the dusty screen of my aging computer. He has the weapons of nostalgia and homage, and he employs them to its full potential.

In his latest Ocean’s 11 meets Mission Impossible which accommodates healthy bits of Italian Job, Die Hard and the styling of the recent Bond and Bourne films cleverly titled Don2.

The rolling ticker at the right bottom of the screen indicates the country and the city in which the story is set. Don, Asian drug kingpin now eyes the European market and in an opening sequence mirroring the underworld meeting in many a gangster films, his Caucasian counterparts wish him dead.

I will not complain for I did not expect any artistic interpretations of the heist/crime/action genre. The movie only delivers what people expect it to be and it is fairly intelligent in doing so, if you have not seen the aforementioned movies.

It would be fair to slot Don in the Vikram category (remember the 80s Indian Bond starring Kamal Hassan?), an Indian trying the ropes of the west. I enjoy Vikram, every time they show it on TV(which is not much), it is just the notion of some ‘our-man’ playing a spy/agent/smart thief doesn’t go down well with certain people, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Don2 has the all the best plotlines from the best action movies and the problem is that it tries to recreate them in its own pace, only for brief moments in the later part of the movie that there is some respite before everything falls flat like a true Bollywood film to fistfights and kicks.

I do not think I am entitled to find logical loopholes and I didn’t spend much time trying to spot them, it is only the ‘we have seen this before, show us something different’ feeling that makes watching Don 2 not only difficult but quite impossible.


Yes yes, they are still maintaining the same dialogues. I can only be satisfied with my assumption that this movie was made in well meaning nostalgia and not with a motive to fool an audience out of their memory.


cinema cinema: hindi

Of Cubes and Colours


I would wish to start abruptly, just that i am undecided on how much should a movie be promoted. I could have written a paragraph, but i will choose not to. The promotions can in no way affect your product, the thing it can do is bring people to the theatres. The working title of this blog was :Kind HARTS and INTERNETS.
just in case you wanted to know. 

 The increase in  gimmicks as purists call it may  be due to the rise of one Mr.Salman Khan. Like the Khan himself, we are also clueless how he manages to break industry records with films like Ready and Body Guard.

Coming to our Khan, i.e. the Khan in this film has not had a release since My Name is Khan and it might help to remember that the Salman Blitzkrieg began immediately after that and I am right in thinking that I was not the only one who was irritated by the constant promotions of Ra.ONE. I actually thought it would be quite a bad film and went without much expectation.

Ra.ONE (following the tradition of Goldfinger, Octopussy by naming the film after its antagonist) begins in contemporary London.( like most Hindi films)

Prateik Subramanium, the only son of Tamil game developer Shekar Subramanium is quite ashamed of the uncool-ness of his ‘Appa’ (pause), here I would like to take some time on the portrayal of South Indians up North; although we have stood up together for the same national anthem all these years Subramaniums and Ramamurthys are not looked upon greatly and they have a certain tendency to think that everyone below Hyderabad are idly sambar consuming Brahmins, so when the main character is named Subramanium there is not much reason to celebrate but only an excuse to loop in more idly sambar jokes(‘Now it is time for a South Indian Coffee break, that means we resume work only tomorrow’ says Shekar).

But the laudable thing here is a major Hindi film with a Tamil protagonist; we must also notice that none of our (tamil) films have heroes named Ajay Rathore or Rahul Singhania, the last time I noticed a North Indian name here was Yousuf Khan who was Vijaykanth nemesis in one of his many trips to save India (‘from Kashmir to Kanyakumari’that itself seems like a good title for a Captain movie).


So Shekar wants to create an impression on his son and assigns to himself and his sinking company (Baron Games?)to develop Ra.ONE(clever wording there, SRK) an indestructible villain, which he hopes will make him closer to his bad-ass son. Sonia his wife, looks pretty and sits at dining table conversations where Shekar quotes from V.Shantaram, it is obvious that she loves him and my reasoning is confirmed when they discuss condoms.

Where there is a villain, a hero is not far behind. G.ONE created is created as an exact opposite to Ra.ONE . He may not have the might of Ra.ONE but he does have a good HART, the battle between the good and the bad, makes the rest of the movie.


The concept of a Super-hero in India is not entirely local; we have always lived-off the fantasies of creators at the DC and Marvel offices and have often been awed at their films. It is only understandable for SRK wanting to play super-hero in a land where heroes are worshipped as Gods and thanked for his restraint as to not playing God in the same. SRK does well, both as the man who could never park a car and as the guardian angel from the gaming world made of blue cubes.

The film is visually stunning (I saw it in 3D) and I can safely say that graphics and special effects are put to good use, not the trashy ‘Dangerous Dave’ types which are visually affecting and embarrassing usually seen. A lot of work has been done to provide a quality super-hero movie.

Ra.ONE may not be a (to use an often used phrase) watershed in Indian Cinema, its inspirations are clear for us to see (Terminator 2, Iron Man and in its own way Endhiran) and uses many ploys of already seen blockbusters are understandable and forgiven assuming they were taken as points of reference, Ra.ONE sets out to do what it was made for; in spite of the hype and SRK’s insecurities. Ra.ONE is an honest film with proper casting and already popular music. The voice of Akon suspiciously fits the virtual creation it dubs for, and already the public are hailing with having a better pronunciation of the Rashtriya Bhaasha than Katrina Kaif. 

Then there is Kareena Kapoor in a wafer thin red saree, there is something mysteriously good about it. Must be the color.



cinema cinema: hindi


  1. The credits at the beginning state that Nishikanth Kamath’s Force is inspired from Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Kaakha Kaakha, interesting to note that the word inspired was used, rather than a remake. Inspiration is too big a word to be discussed with just these two movies, but then it is almost impossible for a person who had watched KK before not to compare it with its successor  Force.
  2. Kaakha Kaakha is strongly etched in the minds and hearts of tamil cine-goers from the past decade, it shook some walls and provided the much needed breakthrough for actor Surya at the same time establishing Gautham Menon. But having said that, just because a film has a lot of repeat audiences doesn’t make it a great film and i will stop with that on my personal opinion on the tamil film.
  3. Force as a film tries to deliver more and of course it was not made for people like us( people who have watched KK), so there is point in complaining and indulging in futile comparisons, as a movie Force is quite good with its protagonist John Abraham striving hard, not just physically.
  4. Keeping the two films side by side, mentally and not comparing them, according to me would yield better results in appreciating both. Nishikanth Kamat should be praised for not involving himself in the strict sense of the word: a remake. A remake in Indian Cinema is usually taking a South film shot in Chennai and just change the setting to Bombay; of course with different actors. Remakes here, do not necessarily delve deeper than its predecessor and chalk out better characters or smudge errors. Most of the time, the remakes are worse than the originals and fall short even in creating what filmmakers superficially call ‘atmosphere’. But looking back at the films of Kamath, Evano Oruvan and Mumbai Meri Jaan, Force does lack his visible comfort in handling social issues. In Force, it is narcotics.
  5. KK was a more personal film, it was more of a love story than a police story and as the voice over in the states it is ‘an episode in a police officer’s life’. The relationship between Suriya and Jyothika, Suriya and Jeevan being the focal points for which the life of a policeman was a sturdy guise. Here, in Force it is more of a cop movie and how clever cops and hash smugglers are, these events take most of our time and we are exasperated when it comes to the lackluster romance between Genelia and John Abraham, at some points it is almost like a NDTV coverage of a drug bust.
  6. Most of the characters are the same, in Force the villain is as menacing as the hero and is the only character that interests. Good work by Vidyuth Jamwal. Genelia as usual thinks she is still playing her role from Santosh Subramanium and John Abraham smiles too much in what should have been a gruff and socially distant police officer.
  7. Note to Hindi Filmmakers, mouthing ‘Anna’ doesn’t make a person look like he has come from the south of the vindhyas and girls in Bharatnatyam attire strumming the sitar!!!pls this is not a lesson on national integration.
  8. I would like to end by saying that(i like this line, i have waited many a seminar for people to say this) Force is a good film, if only you can shut your mind of the fact that it has already been made before.
  9. Why remake anyway?