Monthly Archives: February 2016


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Films like Neerja make people like me proud of the fact that we’ve surrendered ourselves to the art of cinema, as for a film to consume you to an extent where you have a colossal lump in your throat, hours after coming out of the theatre speaks for its stature and artistry.

Making a biographical film is always risky and can go either ways, since you know the entire plot and specially in a country like ours where people lose interest in seconds till they are presented with some high voltage dance numbers or over-the-top one liners, for Saiwyn Quadras​ (The Screenwriter) and Ram Madhvani​ (The Director) to courageously go about the entire film with a lot of silent-handheld shots, intercuts, extremely long takes and minimal drama is applaud worthy.
The point of views might differ from person to person but for me, I haven’t seen a better Indian film in recent times. This film would’ve become dreary if any of the technical department would’ve stalled, especially the screenplay but Quadras is top-rate. It’s also one of the best edited films I’ve seen over here and it’s commendable how smartly they intercut between Neerja’s family life and the Palestinian terrorists, who prepare themselves for the hijack.
Most of our filmmakers in the past have exploited flashbacks manipulatively but over here, Madhvani and his team show us how it’s actually done. They never completely immerse you into Neerja’s failed marriage or her relationship with Jaideep (played by the multifaceted Shekhar Ravjiani) because then obviously it would change the entire direction of the film and without letting any unnecessary sympathy factor slip in, Neerja continues making you feel uneasy and proud at the same time.
I always knew Sonam Kapoor​ could act but I think she never took herself seriously till this film happened. Not only does she fit the part but dives into it and moulds herself as Neerja. While her contemporaries Deepika and Kangana have been showered with awards and flattery all this while, this film would definitely change Sonam’s fate and I’m sure people are now going to take her seriously. Her best performance till date and I won’t be surprised if she gets rewarded for this because you need an out-of-this-world kind of a performance to surpass Sonam’s vulnerability and composure, as Neerja.
Kanika Berry​’s casting is mind-boggling, especially Jim Sarbh who plays the fiery terrorist. He shines particularly in a scene where we see his emotional outburst which to be honest is ferociously amazing and award worthy.
Yogendra Tiku, as Neerja’s father has been cast perfectly and he’s as effortless as ever. But if you have to get blown away by someone, then there’s no surprise-Shabana Azmi​ is the person you’re in for.
Rama Bhanot was an extremely strong headed woman and for obvious reasons, who could’ve suited her part more? Azmi’s ability to cursively get into the skin of the character she’s playing is known to all but what’s really fascinating about her is her process of reinventing herself as an actress even after so many years of being in the industry. A doting mother who tries really hard to compose herself after getting the news of the hijack of Pan Am 73, as Rama Bhanot you can feel her angst, you can feel her pain of losing her daughter and it’s definitely not pleasant to the eyes when you see the corpse of your daughter on her 23rd birthday. That scene is mostly silent and it’s Azmi’s brilliance as an actress that would pierce your heart and hit you right in the gut, followed by her monologue in the end, which is beautifully written by Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh.
Many people have forgotten about the music and the background score but Vishal Khurana has truly done an exceptional job, as for me all the songs-predominantly ‘Jeete Hain Chal’ worked big time and not to forget, Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics are vividly written, adding life to the soothing melodies.

From beginning to the end, Neerja would keep you invested visually and emotionally, making you feel uneasy throughout those 120 minutes but when you’ll come out, you’ll come out with happy tears, you’ll come out remembering Neerja Bhanot-A beautiful woman who could’ve physically been present today, having saved 356 lives but she chose to save 3 more and was martyred for humanity.

Don’t think twice before going for this film, more than the money, it’s worth your time.
And you’re definitely a robot if this doesn’t make you cry.



Review- Fitoor

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Courtesy: Wikipedia

It doesn’t happen regularly that you come out of the movie theatre whining about how that particular film could’ve been a paragon of virtue, as it had almost everything going for itself until the writing faltered, majorly in the second half.

Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor is actually a master-‘piece’ gone wrong and eventually could only manage the latter part of the adjective as overall it was just his miraculous cinematographer Anay Goswamy, Amit Trivedi’s alluring music and Tabu’s consummate ability to add life and value to whatever she picks up, that makes Fitoor a satisfactory affair even though it left me with a lot of questions and majorly disappointed.
Based on ‘The Great Expectations,’ Kapoor had a really interesting yet intricate plot that could’ve been explored in a way that would’ve made the audience’s heart melt and countered a whole lot of emotions, particularly the climax if he would’ve gone by the original ending.

Even though he hasn’t received a lot of acclaim for his work but yes, Aditya Roy Kapur is definitely an extremely talented and a sincere performer, as he fits himself into Noor’s character wonderfully. The innocence, vulnerability and helplessness of Noor blends perfectly with Kapur’s eyes, though I didn’t quite get the idea of making him build that kind of a body since he was an artist who’d succumbed to a lot of pain, with only one aim in his mind-Firdaus.
Another odd thing that caught my attention was that Noor lost his Kashmiri-Hindi accent after growing up, ahem.

Katrina Kaif was well suited for Firdaus’s part and she played it quite gracefully but she still couldn’t take it to another level. Or maybe because the writing didn’t give her enough material?
Firdaus, based on Esthella was a tease. She was extremely cold, thanks to Miss Havisham’s upbringing but at the same time, she was really confused. She didn’t know her mind, she didn’t know how she felt and there were a lot of layers to this extremely intriguing character but in Fitoor, Firdaus never really seemed to be in love with Noor, instead it seemed as if her attraction was more physical than emotional. And later on, the strong headed Firdaus turns into this cliched Hindi film heroine which isn’t quite believable to be honest because her transformation process was quite vague.

Same goes for Tabu’s character which was inconsistently written as Begum Hazrat even though Havisham was incredibly described by Dickens and had such eccentric traits to her. But well, Tabu being Tabu, even though the makers couldn’t quite figure out Havisham’s heart and eventually gave her an abrupt turn in the end, she definitely discovered her soul and I’m sure Dickens would’ve been elated to see Havisham come alive.

Ajay Devgn​ makes a special appearance and is in top form till his character too, fades away abruptly in the second half. Aditi Rao Hydari​ makes her presence felt, as the younger Begum Hazrat and is eminently graceful and beautiful at the same time but getting her voice dubbed by Tabu didn’t seem like a pleasant idea to me, killed the essence to be honest.
All the other characters, including Lara Dutta and Rahul Bhatt had some satisfactory presence in the beginning but later on the film scattered, as if they didn’t know how to deal with the characters and their conflicts anymore and just had to end the film, as abruptly as possible.

It’s not a bad film, but definitely quite incomplete. Could be watched at least once, especially for Tabu and Anay Goswamy’s beauteous frames.