Feminist film review: Piku

Feminist Film Review – Piku

Regular readers of my blog already know about my Feminist reviews. These are film reviews done by me after wearing my feminist glasses. So this time I did an exclusive review for the women centric collaborative blog ‘Women’s Web’. Below is the full version of the review, they have put up an edited version. Continue reading “Feminist Film Review – Piku”

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Feminist Film Review: Mardaani – An important film, because it changes the way we see women

Mardaani is just the kind of film I always wanted to see – a film with complete gender role reversals.

The hundreds of movies I’ve watched in my lifetime, I’ve always wondered how would it be if we changed the gender of the leading characters? In Mardaani, that’s exactly what I have. As a film its nothing unusual, its not something we haven’t seen before. It’s a regular cop movie, a larger than life hero whom the common man can worship because he can single-handedly save the day by kicking asses and knocking solid punches. There are the usual Bollywood elements such as the hero trying to fight the system that is not very supportive, predictable turn of events such as the case being pulled out of the hero’s hands and so the hero decides to carry on investigation alone without any support from the police department and eventually emerge as the winner.  Continue reading “Feminist Film Review: Mardaani – An important film, because it changes the way we see women”

Rani Mukherjee’s Aiyyaa – Preview – Comedy of a Woman’s carnal desires

Rani Mukherjee Aiyyaa comedy of a woman's carnal desiresMy readers would be happy to know that the writer’s block has been lifted. A lot of writing is coming out these days, some personal, some for the book ‘This Is My Truth‘ and some for this space, my blog. The book hasn’t found a publisher yet, but am writing it anyway. These days if your content is good you can self publish and it would sell. The obsession for the TV Show Ishti Kutum continues as the show has become even more interesting. The that I was writing on it is going good, it is going to be a very long one, you all need to have patience to read it. Continue reading “Rani Mukherjee’s Aiyyaa – Preview – Comedy of a Woman’s carnal desires”

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Feminist Film review: ‘Fashion’ and other Bhandarkar flicks

Madhur Bhandarkar makes films for the dummies. In the wake of the release of yet another cliched film for the dummies, Heroine, I am republishing my feminist film review of Fashion and other Bhandarkar Films. I have not seen Heroine yet, but I can predict what’s is it about.

Continue reading “Feminist Film review: ‘Fashion’ and other Bhandarkar flicks”

Indian Panaroma 2009 screenings at Siri Fort Auditorium: Movies to watch

The public screenings of Indian Panaroma 2009 is going on at Siri Fort Audotorium from 24th May to 6th Jun 2010. Its an amazing line up of films. Below is my list of the must watch films. My list is based on a random google search, of course there is hardly any quality content available on the web on these films. Simply because no one bothers to watch them when there are such meaningful cinema as Rab De Bana Di Jodi available in the market (Hope you got the Sarcasm).

27th May, Thursday, 3.30 pm: ‘Ijjoduby Director MS Sathyu, Kannada 90 mins

I found an outlook review of this film which only gave it 2 stars I still think the plot is very interesting.

Ananda (Aniruddha Jatkar), a photojournalist, accidentally runs into Chenni (Meera Jasmine), a devadasi, in a village dotted by Hoysala temples. Like in the case of most devadasi women, here too, Chenni is pushed into prostitution behind the euphemistic veil of custom and her father, the village headman, is running a clandestine economy capitalising on his daughter’s innocence. Running parallel to this is the story of another woman, Kempi, who, when war-widowed, takes a bold decision to remarry a person younger to her. While Chenni leads a choiceless life, Kempi exercising her choice is a ready contrast.

Here’s a better review of the movie. I wanna watch it purely for being a women centric film though the protagonist remains a man.

Continue reading “Indian Panaroma 2009 screenings at Siri Fort Auditorium: Movies to watch”

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Darana Asaan Nahi Hai – It’s not easy to scare

This weekend I was bored at home, flipping tv channels, when I saw this very cheesy, formula driven badly executed horror movie One Missed Call. It was really quite a bore but I saw it anyway because there was nothing better to do. It was late in the night and I hit the bed immediately after watching it. My sister was still awake working on the laptop on her bed. We share the room.

10 min into my sleep I was suddenly woken up by a moaning noise made by my sister. I sat up and called her out turning towards her bed. She looked up from the laptop and said, “What?” I realized she didn’t make any noise and I was just dreaming. I said, “You didn’t say anything did you?”

“No, why?” she replied.

I said, “Nothing” and pulled the quilt back, adjusted the pillows and stretched my back a bit and moaned. As I heard my own moaning I realized this was exactly the same sound I heard in my dream few seconds ago. “wow this is just like the missed call movie I just saw” I thought and fell asleep.

In the film basically people received phone calls from the future, as in the call details on the display showed a future time and date and when they took the call they heard their own voices and on that future day and time they somehow died.

Continue reading “Darana Asaan Nahi Hai – It’s not easy to scare”

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Movie review – Luck: A demented psychopathic plot with sloppy direction

luck-movie-1I don’t know what bad ‘luck’ had befallen upon me last night that I went to see the latest release ‘Luck’. What bad karma did I do in my past life that in this life I was destined to go through such a disturbing movie? Never before in my entire life did I walk out of a cinema hall without finishing the movie. No matter how stupid a film has been I have seen it till the end but this film hurt my sensitivity as a human being so much that I couldn’t sit there anymore.

What kind of demented psychopathic sadist must have made such a film? The film was so disturbing from ethics and human rights point of view and so dumb and sloppy from cinema point of view, I don’t even have words to express. To put it in one line – a soul less mash up of crazy demented ideas conceived while smoking something funny.

The movie plot is about a betting industry set up by a guy called Mussa (played by Sanjay Dutt) which puts money on people’s death. I have seen many violent films but the insensitivity of such a concept was so disturbing it beats them all. Let me describe just one scene for you – So you have this one big hall where hundreds of people are betting on the players (various characters played by Shruti Hasan, Imran Khan, Ravi Kishen, Mithun Chakraborty etc.) like in a typical horse racing ground. On a big screen in that hall you have images of the players standing in a desert somewhere. A message flashed “Betting closed, Game begins.” The game is that all these players will have to jump off from a helicopter 2000 ft above a hilly terrain, each one is wearing a parachute but only 6 out of 9 parachutes are in working condition, the players don’t know who picked what. The people who’ve put their money on the players are watching anxiously on the big screen to find out who lives and who dies. Suddenly one of the player’s parachute fails and he crashes into a tree. His dead body is shown hanging from the tree on the big screen, camera moves and cash money is shown to move from hand to hand amongst the betters.

Continue reading “Movie review – Luck: A demented psychopathic plot with sloppy direction”

Sanjukta Basu Live Blogging: the best in India

Live Blog: My reaction to Filmfare awards ceremony 2009

Sanjukta Basu Live Blogging: the best in India

8th March 7.45 pm

Happy woman’s day to all my readers. A male friend said this day is to be wished only to woman. I said no, you can wish it to men too, its like independence day. Wanted to write a post on W-Day but was outside most of the time so couldn’t.

I don’t know how much and how many of my readers like reading these live blogs I write but I love writing them.

Today I am live blogging my reaction to the Filmfare Awards ceremony 2009 as I watch the recorded telecast on Sony TV. Filmfare is a necessary evil, never a fan but still I end up watching the ceremony every year. I mostly watch it keep assuring myself that my icon Aamir is so right in boycotting this award completely.

Right now Mini Mathur and Murari talking to the stars on red carpet. The show would be anchored by Imraan Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. As always a lot of humor is expected.

Continue reading “Live Blog: My reaction to Filmfare awards ceremony 2009”

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Celebreted child artists of today’s award winning film Slumdog Millionaire: where do they go tomorrow?

Came across this story on NDTV that touched my heart. Couldn’t stop thinking about the question – Where do they go from here?

Shafiq Syed, the child artist who played the lead role ‘Krishna’ in the Oscar Nominated 1988 film Salaam Bombay, a role for which he was given the National Award for Best Child Artist is today an auto driver in Bangalore. Doesn’t it just hit you so hard, the cruel irony? In this 1 min interview with NDTV Shafiq says how he has taken countless rounds of various Bollywood studios and knocked at producer’s doors but he never got a single chance, not one person gave him another chance in Bollywood. They all told him, “Oh you did a great job, Salaam Bombay is a great film” but it ended there. Today, he no longer has the privilege of pursuing a career in films, he have to make ends meet by plying an auto-rickshaw. But he has a dream of someone someday finding his life interesting enough to make a film on it. A story of a rag picker who was picked from the streets, put on a plane, flown across the world to the greatest of places and then thrown back to the same street where he came from.

Salaam Bombay was nominated for and won several international awards including Cannes, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Oscars, Montreal. Just the way today Slumdog Millionaire is getting praised all over the world today. The child stars are taken as far as the Oscars red carpet but where does fate take them when it is all over? I don’t know the background of Shafiq, but as he mentions in the interview, he probably was a rag picker or something similar. The Slumdog Millionaire stars it seems live in the same slum where the film was shot. Their home is made of tarpaulins and blankets in the Behrampada shanty area, where rats crawl around and sewage runs untreated. [Source] Isn’t it unfair for these kids to go to the Disney Land and be back to their slums? But do they have another option? And is anybody to be blamed or is it just their destiny?

Continue reading “Celebreted child artists of today’s award winning film Slumdog Millionaire: where do they go tomorrow?”

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‘Rock On’ grows on you

Disclaimer: This is not a film review.

When I really like a movie, the urge to share with the world why I liked it is uncontrollable. But when I write it down and publish on my blog I get the blame of being a hypocrite, they say, “oh you keep saying we don’t need film reviewers or critics in the world, people should just decide for themselves what films they want to watch, and now why are you writing a review yourself”

In my defense I am only trying to share why I liked the film. Nothing more really. I believe its never wrong to appreciate something. But it’s not always right to criticize. So you’d notice I don’t write about the films I don’t like. It’s like spreading positive energy and curbing the negative thoughts.

Anyway since this whole review writing business is all so tricky, I and good friend Saurabh, we decided to do something interesting this time. Thing is, I liked ‘Rock On’ and he didn’t. I give my reasons why I liked and he’d follow up with his reasons of why he didn’t like. We present you with an opinion and a counter opinion on Rock On and leave you with your free will and sound judgment to decide for yourself whether to go for it or not. It can’t get any more transparent than this.

Rock on – thumbs up by Sanjukta

Tell you what, loved sitting through the entire film. It’s a different kind of movie watching experience in Bollywood. For most of it you feel like you are in a rock concert, you are continuously tapping your feet, you can barely sit still, you feel like putting your hands up in the air and sing along with the rock stars from the rock band ‘Magic‘ performing on stage. It’s a great musical experience.

Continue reading “‘Rock On’ grows on you”

Ugly Aur Pagli: Worked for me

Before you get misguided by the high minded critics in town who fail to appreciate simple things in life and movies, who look for reasons under the earth and beyond the sky to say bad things about any and every movie ever made unless they are paid well enough to say otherwise OR unless they are member of the ‘Bollywood’s Mutual Admiration Society’ or ‘Star Power Sucker’s Club’, and before you fall victim of the vicious process of letting someone else decide what film you should and shouldn’t watch…let me tell you, please give this week’s release ‘Ugly Aur Pagli‘ … Continue reading Ugly Aur Pagli: Worked for me

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Good truth v Bad truth: A case of incestuous relationship between Josef Fritzl and his daughter

A horror house, a dungeon with secret chambers, where lived in captivity a family for 24 long years. A tender girl child of 18 year was lured in there on a casual pretext of carrying some stuff, then she was … Continue reading Good truth v Bad truth: A case of incestuous relationship between Josef Fritzl and his daughter

Holi 2008

Holi was good. Nothing much to write about it. I uploaded some pics on flickr, in 2 sets, Pondi and Alleppey’s Holi and Our Holi check them out.    The long weekend was eventful. Wrote an emotional email, contemplated marriage, got on everybody’s nerve pushing them for Blogathon Admin tasks and then on Sunday evening I went out for a bit to quickly visit the parlour. Parlour was closed, so I thought let me pick up some DVDs from the local rental library, picked up 9 movies. The next thought on mind was, I also need a good ear phone … Continue reading Holi 2008

Happy Birthday Aamir

You are the best thing that happened to modern day Bollywood and I simply Love you. All, watch out this space I am going to write a long post dedicated to this man by the end of the day today. Meanwhile, you could revisit my review rip off posts first and second. The two being some of my most popular posts on this blog. You might also want to read this nice piece by Lata Khubchandani, the author of Aamir’s biography, Aamir Khan an Actor and a Gentleman.   I remember I used to throw treats to my friends on Aamir’s birthday when were in … Continue reading Happy Birthday Aamir

Sanjukta Basu Live Blogging: the best in India

Live Blog: Filmfare Awards 2008

Info: This post have so far got 219 297 740 unique page views. It appears on the 3rd page if you google for “Filmfare awards 2008”

8.20 pm

I am watching the Filmfare awards ceremony right now on Sony TV. I specially earmarked this evening for this show. Have got some popcorns that I made in the microwave and some apple juice. Well Juice because I’ve already have had enough of beer in the afternoon.

Am I a big fan of Filmfare. Hell No. All my life I have hated filmfare, but could never ignore this necessary evil.

Continue reading “Live Blog: Filmfare Awards 2008”

Future of New Media

The writer’s strike might end by Sunday. A bright future of new media ahead. Apparently, the new tentative agreement assures writers that it “protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery.” That’s a major victory for new media stake holders. The end of the strike will also bring relief to thousands of workers and support businesses idled by the strike. In the new contract the heads under which new media / internet content is being recognized and paid for are as follows: Creators of original new media material Internet Residuals The … Continue reading Future of New Media

Taare Zameen Par - review by Raja Sen and Rangan Baradwaj ripped apart by Sanjukta Basu

Taare Zameen Par | My response to Raja Sen’s Review

I find film critics arrogant and snobbish. They tend to write bad things about all movies and even if it’s a great movie they’ll write something bad just for the heck of it, just to show that they are NOT biased.

Raja Sen’s review on Rediff. I have a lot of problems with the review. He writes…

It is hard to know, as a director, when there can be too much of a good thing. Khan indulges himself with his nice little visual flourishes significantly in the first half, to the point of repetition. There is the clever device of the child — being shunted off to boarding school against his desperate pleas — making a flipbook which shows a family with one kid moving away, as the pages turn. It’s a strong, simple touch, yet Khan chooses to show it to us again and again, showing the audience the flip book every time any character sees it.

I’ll tell you why. Not many among Aamir’s target audience would notice what’s happening with the flip book at the first or second go. What is a flip book to begin with, not many parents know. Continue reading “Taare Zameen Par | My response to Raja Sen’s Review”