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Category Archives: Bijou

Films, music, dance, comedy from the Cine World

Thupparivaalan


So there’s a Vishal camp in the South and this movie clearly panders to them! He is in every frame of the film! He has done a great job as the Indian version of Sherlock Holmes – and by that i mean emotional and melodramatic with a conscience – but the movie itself leaves a lot to be desired.
Here Sherlock deduces and deduces but its more like guessing; as the viewers don’t get the opportunity to look into his thinking and what made him deduce what he did. Except of course the most obvious one that sound travels faster than light! He gets to yell and shout at a girl he employs because he pities her. Then he gets to cry and cry when…
Having said that, though it started slowly and obscurely, the second half is pretty gripping as the scattered pieces come together. Now you become the Sherlock and guesstimate the next scene and pat yourself for getting it right! The last scene which is rather long was quite elaborate (of course we still don’t know how he knows so much about the antagonist!) Acting by everyone was pretty awesome and the background score added to the effectiveness of the scenes and cinematography!
So if you want to see Vishal, you will love this crime thriller, but if you are expecting a thrilling experience, you may come out wondering whether you liked the movie or not… like me now… kinda like … whateva!!!
DeeScore: 3/5
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Bijou, Tamizh Special

 

DAAWAT-E-ISHQ: Daawat-e-Rushed


daawat267DAAWAT-E-ISHQ: The story of a shoe-sales girl disillusioned with marriage because of her encounters with dowry-seeking (jehez) men and a cook extraordinaire, coming face to face in the clash of diametrically opposite but equally spicy cultures of Hyderabad and Lucknow.

A story line with a sea of potential however gone to waste! Imagine going to a lazeez restaurant and being served an 18 course meal that slowly loses its flavour as it becomes cold and by the time you get to the dessert you just need to get out! That’s what this movie is. What started off as a ‘Dhaakad Tau’ movie lost the plot towards the end! Another ‘dhatt tereki’ feeling movie!

What really turned me off was the sloppy handling of the very issue it claims to address and making a mockery of a law that protects victims of dowry harassment. Secondly, the romance between the two leads feels hurried and unconvincing, established quickly over a bunch of songs. The music in general is lack lustre missing the X-Factor. The lyrics are better than the music itself. And a stickler for language, I found a little Punjabi Hindi sneaking into a Hyderabadi accent which was a bit off putting!

But what the film lacks the actors more than make up for it! Parineeti Chopra is becoming better at her stereotypical role of the spirited, emancipated and new-age woman! Aditya Roy Kapur, in a part more flamboyant than he’s tackled previously, gets the body language just right and builds from there. I think I have fallen in love with his versatility! Portraying a devilishly handsome, supremely confident of his looks yet uneducated, uncouth and bloody damn good at his job – cooking, he makes the character superbly believable! Anupam Kher, proves once again that he is the undisputed king of character acting, striking the right balance between comical and vulnerable, constructing a character that feels immediately recognizable.

The other thing I liked was the way they have successfully woven food into their narratives befitting the title of the film. Kababs, biryanis, jalebis and phirnis all get their close-ups and I love how realistic Pareeniti’s love for good cuisine is! I haven’t seen it done quite so well, not even in Cheeni Kum! Ironically, in spite of this food fiesta the film is unmistakably bland.

So I am going with 4/10! Watch on DVD or better still “Colours” and you won’t feel like you could have spent the money on a new shoe 😉

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Bijou

 

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Thoodonit!


xposeYup I spent my precious Saturday morning watching Himesh Reshmmiya’s The Xposé!!!!!

A review of this movie definitely deserves a few paragraphs and hence a note and not just a status update!

Firstly, and almost the best part about it is that its a short film… running just under two hours!!! Finally someone in Bollywood gets it!!! Secondly, it’s a mind numbingly stupid film that knows it’s a mind numbingly stupid film and loves it and revels in it, without being melodramatic!!! No one will go and watch the movie for its directorial prowess (Anant Mahadevan… come on!!) or the Hero (Himes!!! you must be crazy) or Music (Himes and Yo Yo Honey Singh… really?!?!?) but a combination of all these topped with the fact that you expect very little to nothing make the movie – dare I say – watchable!!!

Everything in the movie is a copy! Michael Jackson’s background score in Bad – copied. Hai Apna Dil – copied. Ashiqui2’s hum tere bin ab reh nahin saktey – copied. The sets of The Great Gasby – copied. Rivalry between sirens like Parveen Babi and Zeenat – copied. The hero Ravi Kumar is Rajnikanth and is even referred to as Thalaiva in the film – copied. The scene where Zeenat Aman comes in front of the camera for the first time in the temple in Satyam Shivam Sunadaram in the sets of film named similar Ujjwal, Nirmal, Sheetal – copied (remember the song?!?!!)The list goes on. I am sure you will pick up some that I missed out. Honestly there’s very little in the movie that’s original. But the good part is that it doesn’t seem like there was any attempt in trying to hide this fact. Actors, directors, cameramen all of them perfectly comfortable picking up bits and bobs from every available source and “danke ki chot pe” with a “yaar ki frak painda” attitude!!!

And honestly, the dialogues are a treat!!! Would give Navjyot Singh Siddhu a run for his money! One wonders where this guy picked up golden lines like “Tere shareer mein itna khoon nahin hoga jitna Ravi Kumar ek baar mein mooth deta hai” and “Na kafan mein jeb hain, na kabr mein almari aur maut ke farishtey rishwat bhi nahin lete!”. “Sir aap is movie mein hero toh nahin toh aapka role kya hai?” Response by Hime, “SuperHero”! A classic response to the question, “Subbuji, mera role kya hoga?” and he replies, “Na dance na expression na pose sirf expose”… wah wah wah taaaliyaaaan!!! This kind of unintentional hilarity is rampant and one forgets to see how much time till the movie finishes!

A word for Anant Mahadevan he has used Himesh’s inability to act as a feature in this film. A wooden faced cop, turned, actor, turned sleuth, turned lawyer does it all with as much expression as a goldfish in a China shop! And the best part is he is allowed to take credit this time for acting the part and not acting at all!!! Ok ok I don’t mean to confuse you but suffice to say he is so bad he is actually good and exactly what the director and the script expected of him!!!!

Yup, music is the mainstay for me in every movie and I would happily give this one a miss. Copy paste effort everywhere somehow didn’t resonate with me at all!!! Himes bhai forgets that naql ke liye bhi aqal ki zaroorat hoti hai. But we do have a winner in Ankit Tiwari’s rendition of Sheeshe Ka Samundar.
The ghazal-esque reprise by the brilliant Rekha Bhardwaj is pretty spot-on too!!

All in all a kingly 3.9/10 for a movie I wouldn’t have been caught dead watching!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Bijou

 

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The BigB


Legendary Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan has turned 70.  Trivia for his fans!
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1. He is a double MA.2. He wanted to become an engineer and had been keen to join the Indian Air Force.

3. He worked in Calcutta for the shipping firm Shaw & Wallace as executive and as a freight broker for Bird & Co.

4. His first salary was Rs 500 (not less, considering the times!)

5. It was in Calcutta that he bought a second-hand Fiat as his first car. Not a bad car in that zamana!

6. Though his surname was Srivastava, his father had adopted the pen name Bachchan. Amitabh has stuck to this name only. How would have Amitabh Srivastava sounded?

7. His actual height is 74 inches or 1.88 m, the tallest-ever top star in Hindi cinema.

8. His father considered naming him Inqilaab (Revolution) before deciding on Amitabh (unending brilliance). (Legendary
poet Shri Sumitra Nandan Pant suggested his name Amitabh)

9. He made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome. (In addition, imagine this voice was rejected by AIR!)

10. Sunil Dutt signed him for a mute’s role in Reshma Aur Shera because of a letter of introduction from then PM Indira Gandhi to friend Nargis. (Referrals always work)

11. Kalyanji – Anandji helped him in his struggling days and even introduced him to Prakash Mehra.

12. During his struggling days, Amitabh Bachchan had spent a few nights on a bench at Marine Drive, Mumbai. He loves to point out to the bench every time he drives past it. (Like the lampshades under which scholars have studied!)

13. Director Satyajit Ray also used Bachchan’s voice in his 1977 Shatranj Ke Khiladi.

14. Yet his baritone voice saw two rejections from the All India Radio. Ameen Sayani, radio ace, turned him down too in Mumbai. (Kya kehte hain Ameen sahib ab? You lost a real awaz ki dunia ka dost!)

15. He debuted in Saat Hindustani.

16. AB was paid Rs 1,000 for his debut film where he struck a lifelong friendship with Tinu Anand.

17. Comedian Mehmood was also a mentor to Bachchan in his days of struggle and offered him place to stay in his own home. He still mentions this in his blogs. Gratitude!

18. The superstar has given 12 consecutive flops before his first big hit Zanjeer. (Failures are the pillars to success!)

19. His favourite screen name is Vijay as seen in over 20 movies. Another common name has been Amit.

20. Big B met his future wife Jaya at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and later on the sets of Guddi. And it is said on seeing him she said, “Kaisi kaisi shakal ke log hero banne aa jate hain!”

21. AB married Jaya Bhaduri in 1973 after a long courtship. Eyewitnesses of their romance include actress Nadira and common mentor Hrishikesh Mukherjee. (Late Rajesh Khanna used to warn Jaya for going around with AB as he did not like him much, perhaps had some insecurity!)

22. Amitabh – Jaya are the only real life couple to have starred on-screen for 30 years from Ek Nazar to Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, 28 years after their marriage.

23. He is the only actor to have had a minimum one jubilee a year from 1971 (Anand) to 1988 (Shahenshah). He had no release in 1987 except for a cameo in Jalwa.

24. He has played more double roles than any other actor has. In Mahaan, he had a triple role.

25. He holds the record for most number of best actor nominations for popular film awards.

26. AB was the first choice for Shashi Kapoor’s role in Utsav and Jackie’s in King Uncle.

27. His last film, which cast actress Nirupa Roy as his mother, was Lal Baadshah in 1999.

28. He started being called Big B in late ’90s after his second comeback with Mrityudaata. (It was more of a go back!)

29. During the shooting of Khuda Gawah, Afghani president provided AB with his country’s air force for protection. It was the most watched Indian film in the history of Afghanistan.

30. Big B always maintains that no Hindi actress is more beautiful than Waheeda Rahman.

31. Salim – Javed had originally written Mr. India with Amitabh Bachchan in mind. (I bet he would have overshadowed the
Mogambo more than Anil could!)

32. The song “Rang Barse” from Silsila and some lyrics from Alaap were penned by his father, Dr. Harvanshrai Bachchan. So is the poetry in Agneepath.

33. He is the only actor to star in a remake of his own film as hero as well as villain. (Sholay we are talking about)

34. He is a vegetarian and a teetotaler. (That is an achievement being in glam industry)

35. Amitabh Bachchan is ambidextrous. (Bole to, he can write with his both hands)

36. The Indian comic character Supremo is based on him.

37. Jaya is often heard saying, “Amitji is a loner!” Perhaps, he needs time to miss and remember Rekha!

38. The first Asian actor to have a wax model of his likeness displayed at Madame Tussauds’ in London. Another statue was installed in New York and Hong Kong in 2009.

39. In 2001, Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the “Actor of the Century” award at an Alexandria Film Festival in Egypt.

40. Was named Actor of the Millennium in a BBC News Poll ahead of such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin and Marlon Brando.

41. In 2003, he was conferred with the honorary citizenship of the French town of Deauville.

42. Bruce Willis once commented, at the opening of Planet Hollywood, that AB was ‘bigger than any Hollywood star.’

43. Was awarded the Padma Bhusan in 2001. (No Bharat Ratna yet)

44. When he was out of work at the turn of the millennium, he called and asked Yash Chopra for a project. Mohabattein happened.

45. Has been known to suffer from asthma.

46. Also a rare muscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis.

47. Despite his near-fatal accident and subsequent myasthenia gravis (a muscular disorder), AB performed a stunt from a height of 30 feet for a scene in Aks.

48. On October 31, 2006, he shocked the unit of Shootout at Lokhandwala by recording 23 scenes in 5 hours!

49. His daughter, Shweta, is married to Nikhil Nanda, whose mother is the late Raj Kapoor’s daughter.

50. AB loves comfort. The flooring at his home is Italian marble, the bath fittings are from France and Germany.

51. It is said both his bungalows, Pratiksha and Jalsa, put together would be worth Rs 160 Crore!

52. Interestingly, Jalsa was gifted to the actor. (His brother’s wife Ramola Bachchan had gifted it to Jaya)

53. Amitabh Bachchan is very fond of suits. His favourite is Gabbana. They have been designing his suits for the past 30 years.

54. The fabric is especially imported from Italy, the thread from France and buttons from England. (Reminded of J. L. Nehru)

55. His other favourite brand is Fratelli Rosetti, with prices starting from Rs 35,000.

56. The Big B owns 11 cars, including one Lexus, two BMW’s and three Mercedes. (The list seems endless)

57. His favourite is the Lexus. The car is bulletproof.

58. The car has radial tyres that are normally used for Formula 1 races. The cost of each tyre is Rs 2.5 lakh.

59. When they were young, his kids Shweta and Abhishek asked him to not come to school because it caused too much commotion. (Ha ha ha!)

60. The Big B has a passion for collecting watches. It is said he never repeats his watches. His favourite brand is Longines, which costs about Rs 2 lakh.

61. His other interest is collecting pens. The actor has a collection of over thousand pens. Mont Blanc gifts him a special pen every year on his birthday.

62. AB loves to visit London and Switzerland.

63. In London, he prefers to stay at St James Court, five minutes from Buckingham Palace.

64. According to ad pandits, a company once paid him Rs 10 Crore for 10 days. That works out to Rs 7,000 per minute!

65. He hates the word Bollywood, the word that most use to describe the Hindi film industry.

66. He also dislikes the word Beti B, coined for his granddaughter Aaradhya. He preferred to call her bitiya. Jaya, his wife, calls Aaradhya Strawberry.

67. On the 27th of July, 2012, Amitabh Bachchan was given the due honour to carry the Olympic torch during the last leg of it’s relay in London’s Southwark.

68. Saat Hindustani is his only black-and-white film.

69. Was one of the judges for the 1995 Miss World beauty pageant. (Before ABCL organized one in India) .

70. On the 11th of October 2013 he will be 71 and, perhaps, one more ‘fact’ will be added.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Bijou

 

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Jolly LLB (Movie Review)


jollyllb1_1363358211_600x450

Director: Subhash Kapoor

Cast: Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Amrita Rao & Ramesh Deo

Inspired by the Sanjeev Nanda’s hit-and-run case, Subhash Kapoor’s latest venture has its heart in the right place but lacks consistency. Its about a rich Delhi kid, who is accused of mowing down six pavement dwellers with his speeding car and is let off for lack of evidence, a small-time lawyer spots an opportunity and gets the case reopened in a bid to get name, fame and wealth.

Meerut-bred Jagdish Tyagi, or Jolly (Arshad Warsi), whose ambitions are clearly bigger than the modest court in his town heads to Delhi where in  bid to gain publicity he reopens  a hit-and-run case where he has to take on legal heavyweight Tejinder Rajpal (Boman Irani), who is defending the accused. However the story turns when egged on by his fiancée (Amrita Rao), and in a powerful but silent moment by the Canteen Manager (Ramesh Deo) he wants to find the TRUTH. Rajpal, whose defense is built around a bunch of lies and a “botched-up police investigation”, resorts to everything from treachery to bribery to physical assault to scare off Jolly from pursuing the case.

Director Subhash Kapoor tackles these scenes with fantastic humour but gets carried away in histrionics, and a bunch of unnecessary songs which reminds you that its after all a Hindi film!!! A satirical sequence in which a corrupt cop (Sanjay Mishra) openly auctions off a promotion in the police department to the highest bidder amongst a fleet of dishonourable officers though extremely funny was unnecessary or way too long.  While a scene in which Jolly witnesses the plight of pavement dwellers first-hand is genuinely moving, other bits feel contrived and ring untrue. The aged spindly bodyguard assigned to Jolly mans up in the hour of need bringing a lump to your throat. The poignant and silent scene where veteran actor slaps Jolly speaks of all the pain and disappointment he feels without a word. A sequence of melodrama in the court was unnecessary & only helped to lend it a lame feel.

Jolly LLB’s screenplay maybe predictable, with lavish melodrama but what the story lacks in terms of surprise, the cast makes up with its performances. The film benefits from some fiery courtroom exchanges between its two leads and a very effective Saurabh Shukla playing the seasoned judge. Arshad Warsi brings Jolly to life giving him depth, revealing a simmering frustration beneath that cheery exterior. Boman Irani is superb as a corrupt lawyer, constantly texting, conniving and scheming, who revels in the dread he inspires in others. But the game set and match went to Saurabh Shukla Shukla for the ease with which he plays the oddball eccentricity of the wise ol’ judge. Not once does he strike a wrong note, as he dutifully witnesses the circus before him. Hell, he turns even the seemingly innocuous act of eating lunch into a riveting performance.

The movie is a perfect weekend arvo watch throwing up some relevant points about society’s apathy towards the poor, the loopholes in our judicial system, and the ease with which the rich often manipulate the truth while maintaining its levity through some great dialogues and strong performances from its three lead actors!!! An easy 2.5 out of 5!!!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Bijou

 

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Aside

Raga Name: Kedar

That Name: Kalyan

Aroha: S M P, M P D n D P S’

Avaroha: S’ D n D P, M P D P m,S R S

Jati: Audava – Sadava

Vadi: m

Samvadi: S

Swarupa: S M P, M P D P m, S R S

Prahar: 7th Prahar (9 PM to 12 AM)

Raagon mein Raag Kedar, the ancient (among our oldest raagas), all time favourite, late evening raag. Complex, rich, and uplifting, the raag derives its name from Kedar Nath or Lord Shiv who is the Lord of deep silence, of serious contemplation, the Destroyer, a formidable deity of ascetic temperament. However, in its contemporary form with some melodic enhancements this austere raga has adopted a more romantic/sensual aural image.

One of the most profound raags of the Hindustani system she occupies a pride of place in the Hindustani pantheon and is much loved in the ranks of both the lay person and the connoisseur. Its complex structure reveals a kaleidoscope of complex melodic gestures, conduct and richness of character giving it an intoxicating melody. And it is this very quality renders it suitable to any genre of music such as classical (Khayal, Thumri, Drupad and Dhamars), semi classical light classical or bhajan singing forms.

Maybe it’s the mysterious aspect and complex turns of the raag created by the way it meanders between notes that makes it brilliantly melodious and attracts me to it. One of my most favourite compositions based on Raag Kedar is from a film called Mughl-e-Azam. Janaab Naushad’s  melody perfectly rendered by Lata Mangeshkar is “Bekas pe karam kijiye”

Darshan Do Ghanshyam 

Aap Yunhi Agar Humse Miltey Rahey – EK Musafir Ek Haseena

Uthaye Ja Unke Sitam – Andaz

Kanha Ja, Ja Re – Tel Maalish Boot Polish

Aapki Aankhon Mein Kuchh – Ghar

Bahaut Shukriya Badi Meherbani – EK Musafir Ek Haseena

Humko Mann Ki Shakti Dena – Guddi

Bekas pe karam kijiye – Mughal-e-Azam

Pal Do Pal Ka Saath Hamara – The Burning Train

Mai Pagal Mera Manva Pagal – Ashiana

Saajan Bin Neend Na Ave – Munimji

Mil Ja Re Jane Jana – Benazir

Boley To Bansuri Kahin – Sawan Ko Aane Do

Ban Ke Chakori Jhoom Jhoom Re – Hum Matwale Naujawan

Tumhein Husn Deke Khuda Ne – Jabse Tumhein Dekha Hai

Malargale Malargale – Lovebirds

Raagon Mein Raag – Kedar

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Bijou

 

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Agar Tum Na Hotey – Asha Bhonsle


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The wonderful, vivacious, versatile voice that enthralled three generations of cine music lovers in India turns a precious 80 today. Asha Bhonsle the living legend, unmatched in variety is ‘the’ voice with ebullient attitude, inimitable style, dynamic vivacity and a supreme quality. Today’s music is just to see, not to hear. What modern musicians achieve by loud blaring rhythm and cleavage she achieved with her seductive voice. Be they playful love songs or lusty cabaret numbers, soulful ghazals or funky pop, she trod everywhere, with aplomb making it all look so easy. From the early rock ‘n’ roll of Eena meena deeka, to the seductive Burman number Piya Tu Ab To Aaja in Caravan, to the unforgettable ghazals of Umrao Jaan, from the classical Sooni Sooni Raag Ke Sitar Par to the soulful love songs of Ijazzat, she has enthralled her listeners who never actually needed to see the songs to feel them. A different Asha for every decade, every heroine and vamp or stars on the ramp. Her voice suited the mischievous Madhubala as much as it matched the oomph of Urmila Matondkar’s gyrations in the sexy Hoja Rangeela Re and Kambakt Ishq. A tribute to the true legend from her greatest fan…

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?action_edit=1&list=PLf4dxGntzJWxm7hm3UsVqqhCOYPT9yKsU

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Bijou

 

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Women in Bollywood

A journey through heroine-oriented cinema

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