Jodha Akbar, Controversies and more…

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While galloping google a few days back, I came across this article about the plans of Rajput outfits to boycott Jodha Akbar. If you read the link, then as per the organisations opposing the movie, Jodha was married not to Akbar(surprise!!!!) but to his son Salim. So, apun ka Bollywood, the prodigal daughter of controversies, has done it again. Or is it the other way round? If you would have followed the news on Bollywood controversies in the last few years, you would easily come to the conclusion that most of the movies which were made to gulp the controversy pill, were forced to do that for the most inane reasons. Its either because we don’t know the D of democracy or we can’t take the medium with a pinch of salt. Hence, its very important that the filmmaker should keep the following points in mind before starting a project :

  • Make sure that there are no jokes/references related to any communities. Always remember what happened to “Jo Bole Sonihaal”, “Khamoshi” and recently to “Aaja Nachle”. I could never understand, what in the name of Beelzebub, was the controversy behind Aaja Nachle? As far as I could remember, if a song used to have some controversial lyrics ( remember “Sexy Sexy” and “Sarkaiyo khatiya” ?), then the lyrics were changed and that decision was taken by the members of the Censor Board. But banning the movie in a state for this reason takes the cake. Are we moving back to the Neanderthal era?
  • If you want your movie to be released peacefully, make sure that you are not making a movie on any historical characters. Such movies have a high probability of running into troubled waters. Jodha Akbar, Mangal Pandey, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh rammed into trouble because of depicting lives of History book characters. The filmmaker will always find a set of people who will not agree with his research about the character which would lead to “Aa Bull mujhe maar”.
  • Never ever make fun of Veteran film personalities. If the movie is a hit then no one is going to bother but if its a flop then the filmmaker will have to live with the “kalank” of making fun of matinee idols whom he/she is supposed to worship. Recently Om Shanti Om went through the ordeal because of taking a dig at Manoj Kumar. Thankfully, the movie was a hit and recently Manoj Kumar was seen laughing at the Screen Awards function when the movie was mentioned.
  • Don’t make movies on social issues which are very hush hush. Remember the wars waged on Fire, Water and recently Black Friday. After finally watching Water, I think the kind of “Halla” created for the movie was nothing less than National disgrace. When are we finally going to grow up? Was there anything shown in the movie which we don’t know already? Do our beloved moral policemen consider the Indian audience to be so naive? Anyways, the point is that NO hushy hushy, only mushy mushy. 🙂
  • If a filmmaker has followed the above points religiously and has a bad luck, he/she will still land up in trouble anyways. The best examples in this category are Rang de Basanti(for the horse race scene (hhrumphhh!!!)), Fanaa( because of Aamir’s involvement in the Narmada river controversy in Gujrat) and recently Taare zameen par(for the same reason in Gujrat again!!!!). To evade such conditions the filmmaker should not actively participate in any Social causes, and should choose a cast which has an equally “I-don’t-care” attitude towards social issues and finally should consult an astrologer for the extra “Ks” and “Ms” in the movie title.

So, finally, what are the choices left? Well, love stories set in Alps, Fantasy(apparently, Indian movies are “too bad” in this category), Animation, crude comedies and stories which are different and don’t neglect any of the above points are the ones which would lead to a smooth and non-controversial release. 🙂 A last word for the audience and our self appointed moral policemen : Watching a movie is nothing different than reading a book or buying a painting. If you don’t like the book then don’t read it again, if you don’t like the painting then don’t buy it and if you don’t like the movie then don’t watch it again, but don’t take away the right of another person to form an opinion about it, specially when you are living in a country which is the largest Democracy of the world.

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Best of Bollywood in 2007

Its awards season again and Bollywood came up with quite a number of choices in 2007. And yes, this list does not contain Om Shanti Om. The last time you heard the name of this movie on this post was in the previous line. It also does not contain movies like Welcome and Partner as I can’t understand such movies. This year the keyword was – Different. A story which does not follow the trends, where character building is important than putting a dance number to pull the crowds.

Chak de india

az_b81290_chak-de-india_chak-de-india.jpg15 August would not have been better. As I sat in my seat waiting for the movie to begin, I had my own apprehensions. By the time the movie ended, I pinched myself to make sure that I have actually seen something like this and was not dreaming. The movie was path-breaking in the sense that it opened a new door, a new thought thread which could lead to different movie ideas. It also made a loud point that – Yes, you can have an entirely new plot and don’t need to rehash older plots again and again. Two thumbs up for the daredevil Shimit Amin.

 

Taare zameen par

437px-taarezameenpar.jpgI can bet that this movie can bring tears in the eyes of the most stone hearted person. As the song “hai na maa” started, there was hardly anyone in the theatre who was not crying. I consider this movie as a ray of hope. Its a tight slap on the face of the directors who say that we make movies for money and thus have to cater to the likes of the public. It woke up everyone to the power of the medium, to the fact that a movie can carry a message which can change so many lives. There are so many NGOs which try to spread awareness about dyslexia, but what this movie did in 15 days, the NGOs were not able to do in 15 years. Thanks to Aamir Maverick Khan, the director.

 

Jab we met

414px-jab_we_met_poster.jpgAahhh!!!! the DDLJ of this decade…as I call it. In a span of 10 years one such movie comes which somehow redefines love, underline the fact that a simple movie can be entertaining, the fact that a subtle plot and characterization is required for filmmaking AND the fact that love stories can still be told differently. The only problem as I see it is that this year there is no competition for Kareena in terms of Awards, but Shahid will be having a tough fight. Ironically speaking, this is the Biggest hit of the pair after the breakup. Both of them will be seen again in Satish Kaushik’s Milenge Milenge in 2008.

 

Cheeni kum

414px-cheenikumpos1.jpgThe promos of this movie were so compelling that I had to see it. Again I found it very different and daring too. Its not easy in India to showcase a romantic movie with such a dimension and get away with it. If I let go of the over extended ending, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. There were so many scenes like Paresh Rawal forgetting to zip his trouser after Amitabh tells him that he wants to marry his daughter and the one in which Tabu makes Amitabh run so that she can check his stamina and the one in which Zohra Sehgal keeps asking Amitabh if he went to the gym or not.

 

Namaste London

413px-namasteylondon_poster.jpgThis is the type of comedy I can understand. When the filmmaker try to find fun in real life situations and not by making actors vomit out loud and foolish PJs. The surprise package of this movie was Katrina Kaif. I didn’t knew she could act but somehow she surprised me and the role was tailor-made for her. Another hit in Akshay Kumar’s kitty which already includes Heyy Babyy and Bhoolbhulaiya from this year’s list of hits and thankfully Himesh gave some decent numbers after a loooong time. “Teri yaad” and “Rafta rafta” were way above the unbearable category of songs Himesh churns out these days. 🙂

 

Life in a metro

800px-metrohindifilm.jpgToo many cooks may spoil the broth. This is what came to my mind as I went for this movie. But the dish was made well and served well too. So many plots but well woven and well shown. Whether it be Dharmendra, Shilpa Shetty, Konkana Sen Sharma, Irfan Khan, Kay kay, Shiney Ahuja, Kangana or Nafisa Ali, everyone had a well etched character to play. The music was composed by Pritam Chakraborty who surprisingly popped up with his band in each song. grrrrr….

 

Guru

guruposter.jpgMani Ratnam splashed his talent in Hindi movies after a long gap. Its generally hard to show the life of a person in 3 hours as the director have to jump years, but it somehow worked in advantage for this movie. Abhishek and Aishwarya looked good together, specially as the older couple. 😉 Vidya Balan, Mithunda and Madhavan were perfect for their roles and the songs fitted like gloves. The love story between Vidya and Madhavan was heart wrenching and you actually feel sad for the couple. And thank God someone gave apna Mithunda a “Role” after ages.

 

Provoked

424px-provoked.pngThe real life story of Kiranjit Ahluvalia was well crafted. The public opinion was not too good but somehow the movie stayed with me after I saw it. What Kiranjit went through made me realize that even a smallest person can change the course of the future. Aishwarya was able to bring out the growth in the character from the time she accidentally murders her husband to the time when she faces the judge at the end. The scenes between Kiranjit and her cellmate Veronica were the best in the movie. Nandita Das was as usual great in her cameo.

 

Bheja fry

bheja-fry.jpgAfter Khosla ka Ghosla, Rajat kapoor again shined in Bheja Fry. There were no big stars in the movie but it stood on the plot and the cast assembled. Sarika was seen after a long gap and she is still pretty(sigh!). Milind Soman looked like he had just returned from some deserted island where he was marooned from the last 5 years. It was not the usual kind of film, was short and crispy and that is why it was enjoyable .

 

Aaja nachle

Aaja NachleI can’t let go of this one. 🙂 Madhuri’s comeback movie was something I was looking forward to from a long time and I was not disappointed at all. Again, a different movie and a great group of actors accumulated, whether it may be Konkana Sen Sharma, Rajat Kapoor or Kunal. The play at the end was unexpectedly well picturised. No matter what the public opinion may be, the movie was worth the wait for me. “Mohini” still rocks. 🙂

 

Heyy Babyy

425px-heyybabyyposter.jpgInspired from the 1987 hit comedy Three men and a baby, Heyy Babyy had something for everyone. Thankfully Sajid Khan’s debut as a director was not as “over the top” as his sister’s. The movie had good performances by Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan and surprisingly Fardeen was also seen “acting”. 🙂 Angel was very cute and adorable and held the movie together in the first half till Vidya Balan makes an appearance. The movie had some foot tapping numbers by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. A crowd of heroines made guest appearance in the title track and Shahrukh appears in “Dil da mamla” which is the highlight of the movie. All in all a complete package entertainer.

 

Bhool bhulaiya

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After being made in Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, the script finally reached apna Bollywood. I went for this movie after people started praising it. Yes, it was spookily surprising. Till the entry of Akshay Kumar the only holding factor was the ghost, but after his hilarious entry, Akshay takes the movie to an entirely different platform. The climax of the movie is a revelation. Just watch out Vidya Balan in the climax and you will surely get gooseflesh. The song towards the end where Vidya imagines herself as the dancer Manjulika is one of the best picturised songs in recent times.

 

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