Category Archives: Lets Talkies

Lipstick Under My Burkha

LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA: Speaks eloquently of women finding their space in a male dominated world. Director Alankrita Shrivastava, comes up with a film which touches upon the current status and sexual desires of women in the India I left behind many year ago. I was quite intrigued by the name of the movie, enough to keep me watching!

I loved how the director skilfully weaved the story of four women through the narration of one erotica book ‘Lipstick Ke Sapne’. With the depiction of Rosy in the book, the lives and issues of these four women is portrayed realistically and seamlessly. Based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the movie successfully opens the doors and shows us what goes on behind them. Behind the closed doors  –

  • of a conservative Muslim girl’s room, where she dances sans music to let out the rage; of a couple’s bedroom,
  • of a couple’s bedroom where woman who is supposed to be a latent victim to her husband’s libido & chauvinist attitude;
  • of a girl’s beauty salon, where intimate advice is doled out as smoothly as the underarm hair is waxed off and
  • of an older woman’s bathroom where she runs a tap to muffle the moans of her desires.

As the movie wore on, I started to feel that it was the women portraying these lives on screen that gave Lipstick… its true colour. Konkona’s helplessness makes you think about every woman who is a second-class citizen in her own home. Her agony, aggression and helplessness as a cheated wife is worth every penny of the ticket price. And Ratna’s portrayal of an infatuated older woman in the throes of passion, will make you look at older women in a new light. Plabita and Aahana light up the screen. Though I couldn’t relate to them, it was quite believable.

The four women are ably supported by the male leads! Vikrant Massey steals the show with his impressive act. Sushant Singh is as always brilliant in his less is more act as a dominant sex-seeking husband. Shashank Arora is just about okay in his small role. And Vaibhav Tatwawaadi shines bright in his small yet prominent role.

Quite honestly, if it was not for the idea of weaving 4 stories through one and brilliant acting by all its actors, Lipstick…. Would have been just any movie.the climax was just so run-of-the-mill putting the women who bravely went against the norm for three hours exactly where they started! This tale of women’s equality and liberation may be a mirror of “New India” but the culmination just proves that we are still happy to leave it status quo. Plus the tight close-ups in cramped spaces to make you claustrophobic. The sex scenes though necessary could have been more aesthetic. And  Nothing tasteful…

All in all a fair watch… but leaves you wanting for more. Rather than drastically changing things for women, as was the claim… it barely smudges a few boundary lines.

DeeScore 3.2/5

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Posted by on January 27, 2018 in Lets Talkies



HAPPY BHAAG JAYEGI: Takes the cake and runs away with it

Nothing to do in an empty nest I sat down to watch this movie with a view to bad mouth the director for making a hindi version of Runaway bride!!!! And I am so glad i watched this one!!!

The only connection it has with the runaway bride is how the bride runs away in a hurry in the first scene! Like a light and fluffy lemon sponge cake this movies is a fresh and light-hearted take on cross-border camaraderie that revolves around a ‘runaway bride’ with ample gags… both spastic and clever… and a lavish helping of romance. As long as you leave logic behind and watch it just for fun, its a lot of fun! 

The movie’s two pillars were – Comedy and Happy! The director explored the comedy in Urdu’s poetic misunderstandings when brought across the border and cat and mouse chase between the various characters with elan. But he did not do justice to Happy the Punjabi woman with spunk and gaiety with whom everyone falls in love once they get to know her. The character lacked depth and Diana Penty did the most she could given her awful script! 

The one that shone brightly was Abhay’s girlfriend, Momal Sheikh a Pakistani actress! Acting by Abhay Deol is top class as always, but my heart was with Jimmy Shergill!!! His always the best man never the groom act has sort of grown on me! Actually everyone did their bit pretty well and the team work shone through.

A must watch… on a lazy weekend, with some cheesy pizza and a nice Red! 

DeeScore: 4/5

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies




My review should just be that… unlike the film which is verbose and merely a sea of words and dialogues which are at best “same old same old” and at worst straining to be natural, causing my eyes permanent damage from three hours of eye rolls!!! Dialogues that are supposed to be deep and philosophical instead are just really plain, hollow banter.

Alia is great as a vulnerable go getting cinematographer who hides a little scared girl under her rebellious and tough exterior! Many years ago I swore i would never “Pay” money to watch SRK… and that decision paid off this time! Music leaves a lot to be desired!

So all-in-all, what could have been a great film ( ‘cos i must admit, the storyline was good) is just another SRK starrer!

Dee rating: 2/5

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies


KAHANI 2: Sadhu ya Shaitaan

What’s in a name???? Well… everything! Especially a name like this sets expectations. That it will take off where Kahani left off. And quite honestly, except for Vidya Balan and the now familiar Kolkatta Police uniform there is nothing similar! Maybe if all Sujoy Ghosh wanted was a deja vu experience, he should have called it… “Sadhu ya Shaitan”! That would have us looking for something else! and we would probably have found it!

The movie was totally gripping and tight in the first half. Not one frame is wasted. The scene is set to a compassionate school worker (not a teacher) with a painful past encounters a pretty little girl with whom she senses a strange bond. The plot seamlessly builds up wrought with dread and tension as the woman, Durga Rani Singh (Vidya Balan) tries getting close to the unnaturally silent and suspiciously reticent Mini (Naisha Singh). In the course of events she quite unwittingly gets involved in a murder and kidnapping. So is she a goodie or a badie???

Up until this point (which marks the interval), the audience is spell-bound. Vidya, plays her role to perfection. Her depiction of the role of a complex woman and her apparent inability to sustain a romantic relationship due to a childhood trauma, her strong bond with the little and defenceless child she sees going through the same trauma, her helplessness, and her inexplicable strength when she is determined to save this child from the clutches of all-powerful, abusive adults is a horror that is tough to imagine, let alone to live through; is brilliant. She powers the film, making even the most illogical scenes convincing. And, of course, her character saves the day 

As a matter of fact, to their credit all the actors were good… Jugal Hansraj as the unctuous uncle, Amba Sanyal as the creepy grandmother and Arjun Rampal as the dapper cop who reveals the gory story in a flashback as he reads the journal of this woman from his past who lies in a hospital bed in a coma.

And then in a flash, the bread fell buttered side down and the movie went belly up  The strings that held the fabric of the movie so tightly, slackened and it started to fall apart! Though it makes sense in retrospect, the plot loses the plot… so to speak, as all Bollywood films are wont to do and leaves you with the “BiiiiiiG Deal… I knew that” experience 

But honestly speaking, I would see it if only just for VB and the first half! You cant but help yourself await the ‘sequel’ to this one!!!

Dee Score: 3/5

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies


Jolly LLB 2: Jolly good!

Between study, work and other commitments, i managed to squeeze in this. The reason being two fold – one was the request from friends for my vishesh tippani and two was that i simply loved Jolly LLB 1 and given that it was directed by the same team i was curious to see, what they pulled out of the hat this time. So here goes…

I absolutely loved the movie! Akshay Kumar has taken the mantle from Manoj Kumar and made place for himself as the new Mr.Bharat! His movies over the past few years have been patriotic and elicit a Jana Gana Mana emotion from the viewer. I would not dare to compare Arshad Warsi (Jolly1) and Akshay Kumar (Jolly 2). Personally, Arshad’s journey from mediocre to star was far more believable and script more tightly written that Akshay’s. I suppose the director knew that he had taken a winner in Akshay who makes anything look believable But I think the gaps were far too many… Had it not been for Akshay’s very believable portrayal of nationalism, this movie could have failed massively. It was as though, this time we knew that Jolly would ‘make it’ so it was like watching the movie in retrospect. Don’t get me wrong… he was awesome for sure… just that Warsi’s role was more realistic and better scripted. 

The new man in my life is Saurabh Shukla! His sense of humour and timing is just bang on! From being the dad whose daughter’s wedding card script he is editing in court (which btw is a hilarious scene) to the out of box thinking judge, he was once again fantastic. Supporting roles by Annu Kapoor and Huma Qureshi were done seamlessly. Huma is such a natural with her dialogue rendition. Just noticed a Punjabi twang in the state of Kanpur… but i guess i am being pedantic 

All-in-all a lovely watch! Big screen please so you don’t miss the action scenes and quite frankly, the small screen doesn’t do Akshay any justice…. Akshay like wine and me seems to be getting better with age 

DeeScore 3.5/5

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies


RANGOON: Paisa Fizool!!!! 

So I went to watch this film because it was said to be a classic tale that had the musical charm of Moulin Rouge, the romance of Casablanca and the intensity and drama of Saving Private Ryan. But the music was less than impressive, in spite of near bare breasts the chemistry was nil and drama was just… ayoh rama!!!

Once again I proved to myself that I’d much rather watch Kangana where i can forward her presence! Saif to say, the master of Parinita and Eklavya didn’t have his heart in it! Shahid Kapoor was kinda bearable but anything more would be too much to say!
The storyline caught me sleeping a couple of times as it painfully weaved through the life of this “Hantarwali”esque KR.
The only thing that stood out in the movie was that KR has polished her English!
That’s 3 hours of my life I will never get back!!!! Bloody Hell!!!!

 DeeScore: 1/5
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies


Begum Jaan – bekaar jaan

Once again, a movie with Vidya Balan in a pivotal role fails to pique my interest. Don’t get me wrong, she as a Madam of a brothel is almost as good as or even better than Shabana in Mandi! However the storyline is below average. The music score doesn’t leave you with a single hummable tune, though the Holi song was kind of nice… Asha Bhonsle left me reeling in shock at the horrendous rendition of a supposed to be soulful song!!! Cinematography is ainwayin, direction ekdum bekaar… Can’t get over the ridiculous statement that a rape can be avoided if another woman willingly undresses in front of a perpetrator… sigh!!!! Honestly, N-O-T-H-I-N-G to write home about on any count.

EXECPT for Chunkey Pandey… (whom I didn’t recognise for a long time!). Its hard to believe that in a film starring Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah and Ashish Vidyarthi, Chunky Pandey is the best thing that happened to it!!!! He plays his role to perfection and is impossible to not hate him! Had we never discovered his talent or has he become better? Whatever it is… I would love to see him in more of these roles where he actually defines the role!

An evening wasted… By God ki kasam, I am going to watch a badass sallu flick to get over the onslaught of this rubbish… varna mujhe neend nahin aayegi! And maybe I won’t forward an Atif Aslam song… just to forget that Asha Bhonsle garbage!

Ekdum Bakwaas….

DeeRating 1/5 (woh bhi only for Chunky)

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Lets Talkies

Women in Bollywood

A journey through heroine-oriented cinema

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