Monthly Archives: July 2015




Filmmaking is a creatively fictitious process and most of the filmmakers in today’s time try doing different stuff whenever they go on board. Keeping the competition in mind, each one of them aspires to do something completely disparate, as sustaining in the industry is extremely burdensome. But here comes Varun Grover (The multifaceted stand-up-comic, writer and lyricist) along with a highly experienced storyteller who’s actually making his debut with ‘Masaan.’

Highly experienced even though it’s his debut film? Exactly!
Assisting someone like Anurag Kashyap prepares you for something big and after watching ‘Masaan,’ all I can say is that only a full bloomed storyteller, someone who has seen life closely could have given this beautiful story a path and no one could have done it as well as Mr. Neeraj Ghaywan, the director of the film.
The most appreciable thing I’d say would be, staying away from the *trying to do something unusual* zone and still making a film that’s full of conflicts, is pitiful, heartwarming and hopeful in the end, however Grover and Ghaywan ensured that its treatment was humane, by keeping it as real as possible. They never hit a false note by overdramatising the tussles, over-intensifying the griefs or over romanticising the initial stages of a relationship.

Set in present day Benaras, ‘Masaan,’ which also means ‘Shamshaan’ or ‘Crematorium’ develops by the banks of the Ganga where cremations are a part of people’s daily lives. We follow two different people-Devi (Richa Chaddha) and Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and their different yet struggle-some journeys that coincide after a point.
The film begins with Devi’s dilemma, as she checks into an unsavoury hotel room along with her partner to make love but gets heckled by the sudden intervention of the cops. The senior officer records a confession tape of Devi and makes her look like a prostitute, further extorting money from her father Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra) to cover up and bury the entire scandal, but obviously Pathak, a retired Sanskrit teacher who now runs a small shop near the ghats and does some translation work finds himself stuck and pressurised by the evil policeman’s threats.
In the other story, we follow Deepak, an untouchable from the Dom caste who falls in love with the beautiful and chirpy Shaalu, who belonged to the upper caste. Even though Deepak’s an upcoming engineer and would soon get away from his ancestry, he feels marginalised, as he knows he’s forced to work on the ghats and burn funeral pyres.
Though their newfound relationship is pleasing to the eyes, heartwarmingly innocent and awkward at times, Deepak internally remains baffled because in the end, he knows that his caste would certainly create a problem. But Shaalu, willing to even elope with Deepak asks him to get a job, not worrying about the stereotypes around and that gives him hope, hope of moving out of the life he was trapped in. What followed next would devastate you as a viewer but that’s how his quandary began.

Varun Grover’s the actual hero of ‘Masaan’ for me, as his subtlety as a writer is something anybody would envy because this film is actually high on authenticity and realism. The moments between Deepak and Shaalu are so beautifully written that even if you would find their language a little different, you would certainly connect with the emotions as that’s how first time lovers behave or talk, especially in the initial stages. But all these moments would’ve fallen flat if Neeraj Ghaywan wouldn’t have donned the director’s hat. Avinash Arun’s powerful and picturesque camerawork, the out of the world performances, Indian Ocean’s riveting music and Grover’s exemplary lyrics put together and complete this cinematic journey.
‘Tu Kisi Rail Si’ is my favourite and Swanand Kirkire’s voice does magic. Not to forget, the way Ghaywan’s used balloons as an expression of love, the montage of Deepak and Shaalu’s confession and acceptance, it’s highly inspiring for young filmmakers like me, and Avinash Arun’s captured the song exquisitely.

When you’re a passenger of a cinematic ride, you know all the actors involved in the film are going to be flawless and top-notch. Each one of them, from the supporting cast to the protagonists, they’re all equally brilliant and terrific.
Richa Chaddha, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi, Pankaj Tripathi and the young Nikhil Sahni as Jhonta, they were all breathtaking but Vicky Kaushal, the debutant who played Deepak stayed with me long after the film was over.
He really has a long way to go and an impeccable filmography would soon follow.

Caste and gender inequalities, self-condemnation, sexual repression, prejudices, life and death.
‘Masaan’ is multilayered and it would definitely leave you spellbound, after all there actually is life after death, and there is hope after an end.

Please go and watch this film, films like these need to be seen and experienced.




Keeping aside my fondness for the man himself-Mr.Salman Khan, I’d genuinely recommend his latest venture ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ to you.

It’s a well known fact that Salman Khan films are full of over the top action sequences, dance, comedy, cheesy romance and obviously, his buffed up yet amazing physique. Basically he’s known for his commercial films and with time, as our cinema’s started progressing, we’ve all realised that it’s kinda demeaning to call it cinema.

But trust me, after a very long time we have a Salman Khan starrer which rides high on the shoulders of its writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasadand and especially Kabir Khan, the director of the film who has also written the screenplay and dialogues.  It’s not just about Salman, it’s about each and every actor, also the technical staff.
The story is simple and I guess most of us already knew what was supposed to happen. A speech impaired 6-year-old Shahida gets lost in India with no way to head back to Pakistan or cross the border. Somehow she manages to come across Bajrangi (Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi) who decides to be her saviour and drop her back to Pakistan so that she can reunite with her family.

It’s a beautifully written film, even though it’s predictable.
That’s exactly where Kabir Khan leaves his mark as an impeccable filmmaker. When your audience knows what’s going to happen next and when they know how things are going to shape up, you really need a tight screenplay along with sharply written dialogues. Kabir Khan never hits a false note, as the film never falls consistently.
Sure, in the first half to be precise, it tends to slow down in between and personally, some of the scenes involving Kareena and Salman weren’t really required, it manages to sail through. But after the interval, Kabir Khan takes full control of the film and makes sure that this film wrenches your gut and makes you weep. Probably the last half an hour’s going to be the toughest, as you might just cry a river and smile happily by the end of it.
Salman Khan has delivered one of his finest performances and yes, his innocence is back.
The macho image just got broken again as he does full justice to this really naive, honest and loveable Bajrangi.
One of the best things about ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ is the fact that Salman doesn’t get all the attention, as in the second half when Chand Nawab’s (A struggling Pakistani reporter) character’s introduced, it’s actually him who takes the film forward.
And do you think Nawazuddin can ever-ever disappoint? He didn’t even disappoint us in Kick where he was supposed to be really loud, how can he disappoint when his character’s written this beautifully?
He is the finest actor we have in this country and I have no second thoughts about that.
As Chand Nawab, he makes you laugh your guts out but at the same time, he makes you weep when he fights for his Bajrangi Bhaijaan, when he fights for his friend Pavan.
Saved the best for the last, this film would have fallen flat if anybody else would’ve played Shahida/Munni.
This little girl Harshaali Malhotra is the soul of this film and I’m telling you, you’ll fall in love with her. She is way prettier, way cuter and way more talented than most of the top actresses we have today and when she grows up, if she decides to continue acting, she’ll probably rule this industry.
Every time when I saw tears in her eyes, I couldn’t stop mine either. Whenever she smiled or laughed, she brought a really big smile on my face (Mind you, I hardly smile, so that’s quite an achievement 😛 ) and I really have to give the credit to Kabir Khan for this. A 6-year-old girl wouldn’t know how to act, she can just react to what she’s being told and since, she’s one of the best things about this film, Kabir Khan’s succeeded as a director big time.
Each and every actor is perfect and brilliantly casted and Mukesh Chabbra, once again, yes, once again deserves a thunderous round of an applause, especially for giving us Harshaali along with the Meher Vij (who plays her mother), even though she has minimal screen time, she still manages to give you goosebumps. People like Rajesh Sharma, Om Puri, Kamlesh Gill and the rest are brilliant. The film would’ve been incomplete without their presence and commendable work.
Aseem Mishra, Kabir Khan’s cinematographer’s a magician. One of my favourite Indian DOP’s for sure, as the way he’s captured the locations, as well as the frames that he’d set-it just blew me away, the long shots were breathtaking and  yes, Kashmir is unimaginably gorgeous.
Pritam’s music for me was perfect, even though many people didn’t like it. I guess, Selfie Le Le Re was apt for a Salman Khan introduction, Tu Chahiye was perfect for a montage song (as they had to build up the love story), Chicken Kukdukoo was a surprise package but my favourites come in the second half. Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata and Bhar Do Jholi Meri, Pritam couldn’t have done a better job than this. These two songs actually add a lot of emotions to the film and take it forward.

All in all, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ for me came as a surprise as I didn’t expect it to be this good. It has minor issues in the beginning probably, but it really worked after the second half. A lot of brilliant films have been made recently but I’d say this one is one of the purest films I’ve seen in recent times. I knew what I was watching, was a strange utopia and it cannot be true and we can never have a Bajrangi, but even then the film made me stay with it, I felt for the characters, I felt for both the nations and it generated that emotion, I guess that really speaks for the righteousness of Kabir Khan’s intentions and credibility.
I think he’s at par with Rajkumar Hirani, big words but certainly true.
Go for this film even if you hate Salman Khan, it’s beautifully made with all the right intentions and I really wish people understand there’s no point hating when you know how beautiful love is.



I’d written this poem a while back, I think it goes with the theme of this film, so I’d like to add it over here before signing off-

‘Kis baat ka gham hai sataata,
Jo mazhab ke andhere mein hum sabhi ko chhor jaata.
Insaaniyat ka rishta kyun bhool jaata?
Nafrat ki dor pakde, aaj bhi ek doosre se pyaar na kar paata.
Ae-Insaan tu kyun ye bhool jaata, dono ki mitti ek, phir kyun is doori ko koi bhi na mitaa paata?
Aaj bhi ye sawaal zehen mein roz aata hai,
Kyun ye Hindustan, kyun vo Pakistan kehlaata hai.
Kyun apne ko apna nahi keh paata hai,
Paraaya mulk hai vo, ye sun dil khud-ba-khud toot jaata hai.
Kyun ye Hindustan, kyun vo Pakistan kehlaata hai?’