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Archive for the ‘Cinema/Tele’ Category

The Man from Earth: Holocene: Movie Review

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oldmanWith great expectations, I sat to watch the sequel to 2007 movie, ‘The Man from Earth’. Popcorn and all arranged. The original movie has gone on to attain a cult status. A story of a man who is 14000 years old, who was Jesus, hung out with Buddha and what not. Story told in a fairly scientific manner with proper research. I had many expectations with the sequel.

However, I found the Holocene underwhelming to say the least. First of all, it didn’t add anything to the story. Seemed more like a filler. I understand low budget and all, but the story was missing. Even the first movie was made on 200k budget, but had a solid plot.
Holocene is built upon nothing. 4 students at Johns new college find out his true identity and then he slips away. Writers tried to add a bit of religious discussion to it, but nothing substantial. I so wish they would have left the movie alone and never created this sequel or whatever it was.

Post credit message suggested they want to take it forward as a TV series. But that is no justification to leave the only new plot mystery unexplained. Not only Oldman’s starting to age destroys the soul of the first movie, but not explaining the reasons behind was pure cheating.

If the idea was to explain it in next movie or TV series, it should have been introduced towards the end. You cannot open with him starting to age and then leave it a mystery after 90 mins.

Much as I admire the first movie, I have no feeling towards the sequel. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I love the character of John Oldman so much, I would have liked even a fan service movie. But this was not even that. This seemed to be a 90 mins long snooze fest which served God knows what purpose.

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Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2018 at 6:37 am

Censor chops Indu Sarkar: Why no outrage?

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silenceThere is a certain section of people which is called intelligentsia, who we trust to depict our collective reactions. When movies like Lipstick under the Burka are blocked, we expect known faces to come out in outcry. When government acts towards appeasing majority or minority, we expect the people in public life to hit back hard. For all the money they mooch off our adulations, it is the least we expect them to do.

I am saddened by lack of outrage when Indu Sarkar is asked by Censor to chop off certain portions. The silence is deafening. This when same people are busy writing op-ed’s about another film where utterances by a well known economist have been muted. I wonder why?

It leads me to my conclusion; Incidents like emergency are implemented by buying of intelligentsia and people of prominence. Elites love restrictions like emergency during which they side with the powers that be. Even today the known and well off people scoff at such movies. When leaders who imposed emergency should have been relegated to the gutters of history, they are celebrated. I can even live with that. But during the era when any and each cuts by CBFC is portrayed in media as an act against freedom of expression and rightly so, the lack of support for Indu Sarkar is an eye opener.

Such selective collective approaches is what erodes the public trust. When media and elites rue the fact that Modi is PM or for that matter Trump is President, their own hypocrisy is to blame. Had they rallied against acts such as emergency and stopped bowing down to the Family, maybe public would not have been forced to look past the taint of Godhra. Had they called out Clintons on their misadventures, maybe public would not have looked past the sleaze audio tape.

There is still time for redemption, but I don’t see it coming. All we have to do is to apply same yardstick to everyone. But in todays polarized time, it is easier said than done.

Written by arpitgarg

July 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Indu Sarkar: Trailer, like nothing before

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06indu-sarkar1.jpgI just saw the trailer of movie Indu Sarkar, a movie about the atrocities of Emergency, a black chapter of lust for power. I came to know about emergency quite late in my life and have always wondered why? The dark chapter of our history should have been part of our school curriculum, but it never was. It was as if it never happened. A reason why such a movie was never made before today is simple, the dynastic rule never ended. The more I read about emergency, the sad I felt that judiciary, intelligentsia and media of the day knelt down in front of what they called Iron Lady, and they still do.

I always wondered why people voted her back post emergency and continued with the dynastic rule. Maybe we needed to grow as a nation to get out of bonded mindset. Maybe the internet and free knowledge needed to reach to deep interiors of our country to bring people together. I feel we have almost reached there. Movie like Indu Sarkar, if trailer is anything to go by, is bound to change the manufactured history of our nation. Couple of hard hitting dialogues stood out. Dialogues which should have been the part of our national psyche, but they never were.

“Bharat ki ek beti ne desh ko gulam bana ke rakha hua hai, doosri beti se ummed hai azaadi ki” (One daughter of India has kept the nation enslaved; it is up to the other daughter to free the country). Chilling! It took the nation good 40 years to reach here. But I am happy that we finally have strength to say it out loud. We were enslaved. Struggle against emergency was nothing short of Third War of Independence. It should have been celebrated like one, but it never was.

“Tum log zindagi bhar maa bete ki gulaami karna” (You continue being slave to mother and son, your whole like). I couldn’t control my emotions hearing this. So relevant even today! It makes me sick and sad watching septuagenarian leaders bowing to mother and son just to keep their position. Mind you, we as voters were equally culpable, coz we as a nation were ready to serve mother and son, then and now.

But the time seems to have come to say it out loud. Time has now come to absolve ourselves of the sin of electoral mistakes we made. Time has now come to absolve us of the slavery. Indu Sarkar might not turn out to be as hard hitting as its trailer, but it is a step in right direction nonetheless. A step towards mainstreaming the atrocities the nation faced.

I don’t expect the movie to be celebrated by the media and intelligentsia. I don’t expect the movie to be celebrated by the nation as large, as we all were culpable in our choices last 40 years. But I expect it to be a start for a brighter future. Only after accepting and internalizing our failures and mistakes, do we become better.

The story needed to be told. I’d say it came not 40 years late, but it came on time, whenever it came.

Written by arpitgarg

July 13, 2017 at 2:16 am

Shahrukh Khan: The end of a superstar

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fan_srk.jpgI grew up in an era when only Shahrukh Movies excelled at box office; others were relegated to a distant second, apart from occasional few. Now it’s the other way round. Chennai Express aside, there has been a string of duds from the ‘former’ megastar. It started from Don Line of movies, when SRK went from a mass hero to a multiplex one.

Still his movies kept getting initials (first weekend collection), which is driven mostly by star appeal and not by the content. But a string of movies backed by ‘loss absorbing’ corporate studios, has taken audience’s faith away from him. When Ra One bombed, there were murmurs but no one was deeply concerned. Even Aditya Chopra (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) and Yash Chopra (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) could muster mere hits with Shahrukh and not Salman/Aamir type of blockbusters.

More than Fan, I think what stamped the end of an era was Dilwale. Even with dream SRK-Kajol lead, it was beaten hands down by a period drama Bajirao Mastani, both released on the same day. There was a time when others planned their movies around SRK releases. It was saddening to see how SRK was forced to delay the release of Raees by a year and still struggled to find a solo Friday.

Some fans cited backlash against him for his intolerance remark, as a reason for failure; this until, mega success of Dangal. Aamir’s success showed that intolerance issue did not have public support and was just limited to political sound bytes. Road ahead for SRK seems tough mostly due to his failure to reinvent himself and the cult successes of Salman and Aamir.

Let’s see what Raees has in store for him and the audience. Don’t bet on a Sultan/Dangal type blockbuster.

Written by arpitgarg

January 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

Salman Issue: Bollywood gets creative

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bollywood.jpgBollywood has been caught in a dilemma. Their track record of taking high moral ground has come back to haunt them. They can’t speak against Salman. It would hurt their financial interests. They didn’t say anything against Salman on hit and run and invisible man. However they have spoken when similar things were done by politicians. They spoke when similar things were done outside their Bollywood and social circle. They were chatty on social media and in press conferences. They are chatty no more.

They have decided to get creative on this issue. They have to interact with media on daily basis and when the question is posed, they have to say something. So below is the compilation of the creativity of Bollywood on this issue.

1. shahrukh.jpgShahrukh Khan: “I myself speak such a lot (inappropriately), Who am I to judge him on this? Personally speaking, I don’t think I am anyone to comment on this. I am so inappropriate myself. I have said some really wrong things also”

2.varun.jpg Varun Dhawan: “I do not want to join anyone’s agenda to further the controversy; I am close enough to Salman to tell him my view point in person. When one knows someone personally, why would they say anything publicly about them?”

3. nagmaNagma: “There was No way he meant it the way it sounded. He should not have made this comment in public”

4. subhashSubhash Ghai: “It is very disgusting translation by someone. He just said one thing that it is a human agony he went through. He was talking about a metaphor. He is just a child and I know he respects women like anything.”

5. priyankaPriyanka Chopra: “First of all, you should be asking the person who made this comment. A lot has been said about the Salman issue. I don’t want to add to the noise. I would rather bring notice on real women issues.”

6. rakhi.jpgRakhi Sawant: “I promise you that Salman Khan hasn’t said anything like this. Salman has only done the lip movements while somebody else has dubbed on it.”

7. vikram.jpgVikram Bhatt: Silence. Was disgusted with KRK for anti-women remarks. Now he says this, “Salman Khan makes one comment and the whole world chases him, What about KRK? He will perpetuate lies and continue to do so”

8. pulkit.jpgPulkit Samrat: “Actors usually remain unaffected with controversies. As an individual, it also teaches you how to be strong and bounce back. Salman Khan is the biggest example of being strong and truthful. He has always bounced back.”

9. nawazuddin.jpgNawazuddin Siddiqui:He used the comment metaphorically. The discussions on it are over and there is no point in repeating it and asking questions about it.”

10. aamir.jpgAamir Khan: Silence. He was earlier hurt by intolerance. But when he himself used ‘balatkar’ for comedy in 3 Idiots. What else can we expect from him?

11. anushka.jpgAnushka Sharma: Silence. To her twitter trollers were misogynists, but sees no wrong in her Sultan co-star.

12. deepika.jpgDeepika Padukone: Silence. Times of India, cleavage controversy was bad. But now nothing.

13. kalki.jpgKalki Koechlin: Silence. Nothing from women abuse crusader.

14. farhan.jpgFarhan Akhtar: Silence. Mard Farhan shared stage with him during IIFA.

15. karanKaran Johar: Silence. Was deeply hurt when Udta Punjab was censored. Attends IIFA with Salman.

16. mouniMouni Roy: ‘Naagin’ of small screen said this, “Every girl wishes to debut with Salman Khan”

Written by arpitgarg

July 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Cinema/Tele

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Raman Raghav 2.0: Frighteningly Fun to Watch

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Raman-Raghav.jpgRaman Raghav is a movie which won’t get much audience. Whatever people do make it to theatres due to Nawaz and Anurag, chances are many of them will leave the movie midway. In fact the theatre I watched was scantily filled and many people did not return post interval.

So how is it? Well, I liked the movie. Now I am frightened about myself. I liked the subtlety of the serial killer. I chuckled at every senseless kill. When Raman innocently explains that he killed a guy because when Raman was walking on the divider (black and while alternate lines), he only stepped on black lines and this drunken guy stood on a black line and wouldn’t move, so he killed him. There was no dark reason, no childhood issues. As Rama explained that killing came natural to him, just like eating food. You just do it, no reason.

The movie has its weak points too. It goes excruciatingly slow and repetitive in the second half. The plot of Raman and Raghav is not well written and comes out as weak. Though the actor that played Raghav is good, the character lacks connect and depth. Nawaz as Raman is superb. His character has all the depth. He is a maniac with innocence. The scene at his sister’s house is chilling. I saw few people leaving theatre after that.

When Raman is locked up, he cries in front of God. The way he complains to God about being beaten up and not having matchstick to light the cigarette, in the same breath, is simply superb. The character as well as the movie will evoke extreme reactions. Either you will love it or hate it. There can be no middle ground.

Movie would have been better without Raman and Raghav plot. Raghav’s character could just have been a police inspector without trying to mirror Raman. But still, the movie stays with you. At least Raman’s character haunts you, makes you chuckle, long after the movie is over. And that is a win for Nawaz and Anurag. Well done!

Written by arpitgarg

June 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Nihalani Bad, Salman Good: Moral and Ideological Bankruptcy of Bollywood

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salman_iifa_2.jpgBollywood was united in berating Pahlaj Nihalani, maybe rightly so. The whole Bollywood cartel from dynasts to first gen, were ashamed and aghast with a guy like Nihalani heading CBFC. The same cartel likes Sanjay Dutt. Same cartel is silent on Salman Khan. Not just silent, the cartel is standing shoulder to shoulder with Salman at IIFA.

How can Nihalani be bad when Salman is not, I fail to understand. For me Nihalani is bad and Salman is much worse. Censor cuts just the movie reel, but people like Salman, with his huge fan following, ended up making Rape a Joke. It would not be far, when rape victim would be quizzed whether she was really raped or just went to gym. Such repercussions of insensitive and filth that the superstar spoke. Still he is good and Nihalani is bad.

I attribute this to moral and ideological bankruptcy of Bollywood. They have been and are all about their own dreams, regardless of what they say. When Udta Punjab controversy was fanned by thugs after free publicity, they played victim card. Whole Bollywood was up in arms. But now nothing. In fact there is a feeling that Salman is unfairly being targeted. Such is the apathy.

With such moral and ideologically bankrupt people running Bollywood, I would rather unleash 1000 Nihalani’s on them. Make them suffer. Maybe I am over reacting but I hate when these people come out and preach how the society should work and how intolerant we are. Maybe these guys are epitome of tolerance. They tolerated even Salman.

The least they could have done is to reject sharing stage with Salman at IIFA. Would have given a strong message. Please remember the name of people who are silent now, or are just mildly protesting. Next time when they come crying, kick them out. When you call Nihalani, a Taliban, have the guts to call Salman similar names. Have the guys to call Sanjay Dutt terrorist. But no, you just are after money and free publicity. You have the guts to preach us and call yourself torch bearers of creative freedom.

I remember your silence today. I will call you out when you find your vocal chords later, when your money is at stake.

Written by arpitgarg

June 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Cinema/Tele

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