• Feluda

    “Feluda: Shabash Topshe” ...

    ‘Shabash Topse’ – this way, number of times, Bengalis most beloved fictional detective ‘Feluda’ used to praise his cousin assistant ‘Topesh’. We the’ Feluda’ lovers, familiar to it very much.

    But any idea why the word shabash is used to praise someone or, something? from where it has come?

    One of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran from 1501-1736 was the Safavid dynasty. And 5th Shahvid Shah of Iran was Shah Abbas or, Abbas the Great. He did reign between 1588 – 1629. The Safavid King is considered the greatest ruler of Persian history. The King, not only had an outstanding knowledge of warfare but, administration, architect-sculpture & so many things. In his time the Ottoman Empire was the greatest threat to Iranian Emperors & he prevented them.  

    Under his leadership, Iran developed the Ghilman system where thousands of Circassian, Georgian, Armenian slave-soldiers join the civil-administration & army. Thus he managed to eclipse the power of Qizilbash in the civil-administration & defeat the Ottomans & Uzbeks in war. He moved his Kingdom’s capital from Qazvin to Isfahan, making the city pinnacle of Safavid architecture. He improved the infrastructure & roads of his Kingdom; build hotels for pilgrims and bridges to connect places. Also his capital Isfahan was then called ‘Nesafh e Jahan’ (half of the world).

    Shah Abbas

    The Persian word ‘Shabash’ came from the name of Shah Abbas and to praise something or, someone’s achievement, the word is used.

    Henceforth the word Shabash is adapted not just to Indian languages but Georgian, Azerbaijan, Turkish, and many others.

    Mal Mash Importance

  • JL50 on Sony Liv

    JL50 Review – Is it worth strea...

    JL50 is a time travel thriller via Indian mythology. In this real world, there’re so many stories & incidents who claimed real without any clinching evidence, that’s why the time travel concept is also considered a paradox. The theory simply states that with or without a time machine, we can travel to the past & future. There is a concept of space-time curvature and wormhole, if one can find the coordinates of wormholes in space-time curvature, he/she can travel to the past or future through that.

    Director – Shailender Vyas

    Cast – Abhay Deol, Pankaj kapoor, Ritika Anand, Piyush Mishra, Rajesh Sharma

    Ratings – 7/10 (extra 0.5 for the unique time travel movie genre)

    Realised in – Sony Liv

    In the Western world, there are so many time travel novels & movies, few popular ones are: ‘Harry Potter’ series, ‘Interstellar’, ‘The Lake House’, ‘Insidious’ & many more. JL50 web series is a pioneer to portray time travel to Indian audiences.

    JL50 is a thriller series, so without spoiling the charm, let’s go straight to the storyline – it’s in the hills of West Bengal where a plane is found crashed. CBI gets the intelligence that a flight AO26 has been hijacked. Hence the team goes to the spot in suspect that the crushed plane is the hijacked one but found it’s another flight JL50. There are only two survivors found in the cockpit – the pilot (played Ritika Anand) & another passenger (played Piyush Mishra) while all other passengers are burned badly. Investigation reveals that the JL50 took off from the then Calcutta airport 35 years ago in 1984 and crashed in 2019. So the question arises where was JL50 since these 35 years? Shantanu (Abhay Deol) & Gauranga (Rajesh Sharma) then starts the investigation to find if it’s a staged incident or real?

    Quantum physicist B.C Mitra was a passenger of the flight JL50; so what was he doing in the cockpit? Prof. Das was a trustworthy assistant of Scientist Mitra then; now after 35 years how he is connected to this? What is the fact of flight AO26 hijacking? Who is the separatist organization leader & how he and scientist Mitra connected? Pilot Bihu Ghosh was pregnant in 1984 & gave birth to a boy said born dead; was the boy dead? If not then what happened to the boy & how he is also connected to this plot? All these questions in this thriller answered very satisfactorily. The ending has been rested on the viewer’s explanation. They can conclude it was real-time travel or, just imagination; but there is a clue where the director clears his intention, viewers have to spot that.

    The camera angles and editing are very good. The screenplay is engaging. There is a clue for season 2. Unlike ‘Avenger-Endgame’ here time travel to the past do not create a parallel present rather it indicates that if we change something in past it reflects on the present. This treatment makes the theme more understandable to the audience.

    Web series on OTT platforms are nowadays getting cliché of dark contents like crime-mafia-drug-sex; hence the subject line of this web series is unique & producers must deserve my eulogy. Viewers will certainly applaud to explore & enjoy a new genre in the Indian OTT Platform which can be enjoyed by sitting together with family.

    Conclusion

    So, did you like JL50 web series? Do let us know in the comment section?

  • Gunjan Saxena the Kargil Girl

    “Gunjan Saxena the Kargil Girl&...

    Movie: Gunjan Saxena the Kargil Girl

    Director: Sharan Sharma

    Cast:  Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Manav Vij, Vineet Kumar Singh, Angad Bedi

    Rating: 5.5/10 (pretty average out of which extra 1.5 for the storyline)

    Gunjan Saxena release date: 12 August 2020 (Netflix)

    Nepotism, the most in question word of nowadays among movie buffs & common people after the tragic demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput; which again comes into highlight with the Gunjan Saxena movie release, as the lead actor is Janhvi Kapoor produced by Karan Johar, Dharma Production.

     

    Gunjan Saxena is an Indian Air Force (IAF) Pilot who fought 1999 Kargil war with great valour & won Shaurya Chakra. In that 90’s girls were not welcome in all professions especially in Defence Services. So in that way flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena’s dream fulfilling story is a perfect motivational example for those girls who dream to fly to touch that sky. Here script writer Nikhil Malhotra (who was also co-script writer of blockbuster movie ‘Dangal’) & director Sharan Sharma choose to portray  the journey not in a biopic way but in a sentimental father-daughter relationship way.

     

    Lucknow girl Gunjan dreams to fly plane, become pilot since her childhood days. Her mother & brother discourage her in every stage pointing out its not the girl’s job but, her father who is a colonel in Indian Army, fully supports her to fly for her dream. She first tried to be pilot but course fees of the institution were beyond their permissible limits. Then she found an advertisement where Indian Air Force was opening doors first time for female candidates. She opted for that and from now on her actual fight starts; sometimes it is her medical disabilities, sometimes fellow colleague’s point of view towards female cadets. Her sortie cancelled frequently as no male co-pilot want to be with her in sky; she do not have separate female rest room, facing difficulty to change uniforms; in every way her colleagues, commanding officer pointing her out that IAF is not right the place for her.  In family her mother & brother who is an Indian Army officer also pulling her back in every way. With her father’s support she overcomes all obstacles towards her goal. That is the motion of screenplay.

     

    The film actually does focus on two things: one is father-daughter relationship & other is Gunjan’s survival in IAF.  Here the film somehow depicting Armed Forces in such a negative way that passes wrong message to young female aspirants. On this ground IAF officially asks explanation to the production house. Although our former Army General Mr. Bipin Rawat said once that, female cadets cannot join infantry division & writers may defend with creative liberty, but the IAF’s present stand is very logical indeed & supportive to our constitutional rights also. The real fact is that female cadets are serving Indian Air force, Indian Navy & Indian Army very efficiently & armed forces never discriminate.

     

    In the film Gunjan was trying to pursue pilot training programme once after her 10th exam, again after 12th exam & every time she comes to know that rules have changed. This is not practical because in real life the aspirants for any course generally gather all necessary information before go for it. The film does focus only on her Kargil mission but not her any other mission though those are mentioned in after credit line. The dialogue where Gunjan says “main plane chalana chati hoon is liye air force join kiya; mujhme desprem ki koi baat nahi. Kya yeah desh ke saath gaddari to nahi?” And her father’s reply “pyar se, imandari se apna kaam karna hi deshprem he. Air force ko Bharat mata ki jai bolke chillane wale nahi chahiye” is unnecessarily pulling attention to recent political activities. The proud moments in the film you can feel as you are aware of the valour of real Gunjan Saxena not for the acting of Janhvi Kapoor.

     

    In script, Janhvi Kapoor had all the moments, emotions to portray real Gunjan in a convincing way but she fails. The body language, dialogue delivery, facial expressions are the props of actors to convince viewers with the character he/she plays.  Considering that new comer Janhvi is yet to reach that stage of acting, her expressions are even not that mature to do minimum justice with the character. Thats why nepotism issue arises. Pankaj Tripathi is outstanding as expected. He played father’s character in other movies very convincingly also but here he is holding high by delivering the exact flavour of the character. Manav Vij & Vineet Kumar Singh are excellent. In their dual scenes with Janhvi her slip ups can be senses more. Angad Vedi in his feudal role had nothing much to deliver.

     

    Keeping in mind the real Gunjan Saxena for her great dream, courage, valour & inspirational fight back legacy, the film is a must watch. 

  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui

    Raat Akeli Hai movie review:

    Movie:- Raat Akeli Hai

    Director:- Honey Trehan

    Cast:- Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Aditya Shrivastava

    Ratings:- 6.5/10

    Released in Netflix

    A murder, too many suspects & an investigating officer- with all the necessary ingredients, crime detection movie Raat Akeli Hai released on the Netflix web platform. Its ‘locked room mystery’ concept reminds us of the famous Agatha Christie novel, ‘Knives Out’. This film is just not a ‘who done it’ type crime detection movie but very much a social film in the wrap of crime-thrill-detection, revealing a story of violence against women.

     

    The movie starts with a double murder in Highway. A truck smashed out a car. An injured woman is trying to come out from that smashed rolled over the car & then truck driver chopped her throat down. The story moves on 5 years and we found a very influential person in Kanpur Raghubir Singh, assassinated on the very night of his marriage.  Raghubir Singh’s kept Radha (Radhika Apte) was the bride. Inspector Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddique) gets entry to investigate.

    Here Jatil Singh is not only the name of the investigating officer but overall the journey is jatil’ (complex) also. Underneath the murder mysteries, the story reveals to us not only the exploitation of women in a patriarchal society but also the peculiar mindset of the same society where a man believes fairness cream can help him to get the desired bride. That is why a crime thriller unveils to us not only the culprits but the psychology of different humans & society too.

     

    Director Honey Trehan was the casting director of Vishal Bhardwaj before and Assistant Director of Abhishek Dubey also. Hence their influence – exploring dark humor in society, is found here. The cinematography, Lighting, color palate is extraordinary. The camera work is creative, the use of the Poly-Sound effect is interesting; the scenes did not end but the background music changes to connect with the next scene- that is splendid.  

     

    As the pattern of the film demands, the run-time of the film is too lengthy, hence sometimes not so engaging though it is must in crime-thriller. The climax scene is interesting but can be approached more engagingly & rationally. Actually in the way of depicting characters, the tight engaging treatment of crime-thriller movie slips up a little bit.  

     

    Nawazuddin Siddique is just outstanding but Radhika Apte also does so; in some scenes, her screen presence seems to push him indeed. Another outstanding performer is Sweta Tripathi.  The most underrated actor of Bollywood Aditya Shrivastava showed his class here too. Other actors like Ila Arun, Swanand Kirkire, Shivani Raghuvanshi & Tigmanshu Dhullia did very much justice with their roles.

  • Vidya Balan

    Shakuntala Devi movie review:

    Movie: – Shakuntala Devi

    Director: – Anu Menon

    Cast: – Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta, Amit Sadh

    Overall Ratings: – 5/10

    Shakuntala Devi release date on Amazon: 31st July 2020

    After Gulabo Sitabo (Amazon Prime) and Dil Bechara (Hotstar) Bollywood movies, the digital streaming trend continues with ‘Shakuntala Devi’ movie, released on Amazon Prime. This movie is actually not a biopic but the journey of a genius mother from her daughter’s eyes.

    Shakuntala Devi is a genius mathematician, holds a place in ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ & popularly familiar as ‘The Human Computer’; but as a mother, as a wife, as a person how she is- here director Anu Menon tried to unfold that from the point of view of another woman, her daughter.

     

    Shakuntala devi review: 

     

    The story starts from a low-middle class family in Bangalore where we can see how little Shakuntala is growing up. With her father she is performing math-magic in ‘Math-Shows’ in various colleges, universities; computing hard to harder calculations in seconds and  letting viewers dumbfound, spellbound.  She is not only achieving claps & fame but earning money also. She grows up and the things continued; spreading all around the world. Her extra-ordinary skill & confidence has endowed with more money, more fame & more ambition. Love comes to her life; hence marriage & daughter. And conflict with the daughter also. From this point, the focus shifted to that & continues till the end. The journey of ‘Human Computer’ Sakuntala Devi (once who proved the machine computer wrong) just become an ambitious mother-deprived daughter ego conflict drama.

     

    The creative liberty taken by director will confuse viewers that what is actual & what is just for the sake of drama. The ‘human’ part of the human computer, portrayed in screen in such a way where viewers find her a self-centred, highly ambitious woman. Her flamboyant presentation of math -shows in typical Indian attire makes the scenes loudly melodramatic. Dialogue writer Ishita Moitra & writer Nayanika Mahtani creates the comic situations, mostly dialogues, in a very louder way. The way of English spoken in 60’s/70’s presented there in dialogues in desolated way.

     

    Sanya Malhotra, portrayed her character ‘Anupama’ very genuinely especially in conflict scenes where the character gets vulnerable. Jisshu Sengupta & Amit Sadh played their character reliably with proper screen presence. And above all Vidya Balan, is her movie; as usual, a fine actor like her depicted the character with all the shades appreciably but it is not up to her as the character has been written in such a melodramatic way.

     

    Actually, the all-women brigade of director Anu Menon, writer Nayanika Mahanti , Ishita Moitra & editor Antara Lahiri put the script & screenplay very melodramatically in a typical Bollywood way. Every scene is coming with a statement hidden. The making is like ‘Twelve Stages of the Hero’ a fairy tale type. On homosexuality, a book (The World of Homosexuals) was written by Shakuntala Devi is also mentioned here but without context. In 1987 Shakuntala Devi was the patron of The Institute of Indian Astrology and there are some controversies in her approach & statements regarding astrology. As the script is in typical larger than lifestyle hence all the grey controversial slip-ups have not been touched.  Although Shakuntala Devi & her genius is in pubic after all these years, that is also a good thing.

  • Amazon Prime – Breathe II, web ...

    Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Nitya Menon, Amit Sadh

    Director: Mayank Sharma

    Overall Rating: 6/10, out of which 2.5 for an interesting screenplay

    Amazon Prime’s hit web content ‘Breathe’ comes with the new season, web debuting Abhishek Bachchan with the director Mayank Sharma. The writer duo Mayank Sharma, Abhijit Deshpande of season 1 together with co-writers (Bhavani Iyer, Arshad Sayed, Vikram Tuli) kept the basic essence similar to season 1 – a father’s helplessness, vulnerability for his offspring, and how far he can push his limits to save his child by taking one. Although the plots are different, a sense of comparison with the first season automatically comes to the viewer’s mind, is narrated below.

     

    Plot:

    Psychiatrist Dr. Avinash Savarwal (Abhishek Bachchan) & his wife Ava, a professional chef (Nitya Menon) have their daughter Siya (Ivana Kaur), who was kidnapped from a birthday party. This kidnapping remained clueless through police investigation for nine months & then suddenly a video comes into the air which contains the sufferings of Siya in these months & instructions for Dr. Avinash to kill someone. Now the father is in jeopardy – the punch of a thriller. Meanwhile, the case is assigned to a hot-tempered inspector, Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) who unveils the killer as the story progresses.

     

    Screenplay:

    Very interesting screenplay and the camera angles are very creative. The introductory drone shot and the shot where Avinash was lying on to a sofa & the camera follows from a top angle to a linear lower angle are fabulous; Also crowd shots are very unique especially where the crowd looks like acting as professionals, no one is looking at the camera neither paying attention to the stars. However poor color efforts to create a pure feel of thrill & suspense were disappointing.

     

    Up to a certain episode, the story theme is – who did it & after that why did that, but both the themes are equally engaging.

    Here the kidnapper’s style of messaging in a videotape with a joker-face certainly reminds some of the viewers of the ‘SAW’ movies.

    The storyline echoes manifolds of ‘Ravana’, the mythological demon who is generally symbolised as the vice, but he too has some unparallel virtue. The great warrior had intense knowledge in ethology & music. He created many ‘Ragas’ of classical music was a great’ veena’ player too. Ravana is within every human, here in the story he is incarnated in Avinash as “J”. From childhood “J” remains dormant in Avinash who gradually takes control at the end and possibly it’ll persist till he executes rest of his victims (season 3)

      

    Not so great digital debut of Abhishek Bachchan:

    Abhishek portrayed the forlorn father’s character with all the shades of dilemmas, inner clash & helplessness of a father who has a profound love for his daughter. Yet in a few scenes, it seems Bachchan junior is trying hard to justify the character.

     

    Great comeback of Amit Sadh:

    Two characters are the same since the last season, Inspector Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) & Sub-inspector Prakash Kamble (Hrishikesh Joshi), but in this season Amit Sadh is more impressive with his muscular appearance and thoughtful hunches despite too much media & department pressure.

     

    South actress Nitya Menon is just outstanding, playing the little girl ‘Siya’ is also great. Saiyami Kher’s character (Sharlie) may have a little bit shine more.

     

    What is C-16 in Breathe:

    C-16 is the silver lining in the story, while ‘J’ took Avinash’s revenge by taking Ravana’s heads but seven more heads of Ravana’s are still breathing. C-16 can be many things possibly the seat number of the abandoned cinema hall where ‘J’ kidnapped ‘Siya’, he might have covered the next victim’s name there or the pneumatic drug PKRi to bring out the Ravana within, or could be the hotel room number. However, this is very clear that C-16 has some connection with the next victim which ‘J’ decided to execute by Sharlie (Saiyami Kher) this time.

    Unrealistic prolonged episodes:

    The series comprises of 12 episodes of 45 mins each, almost 9 hrs long running time may give the feel of breathlessness to viewers not because of its exciting plot, and twists and turns but the impractical lengthy episodes.

     

    Finally, the mask in the kidnapper’s den may remind of another web series ‘Asur’, but ‘Asur’ was far more thrilling. The overall effort of Breathe 2 is acclamatory, but many choosy viewers may miss the ecstasy of Breathe 1.

  • Guwahati HC grants divorce a to man a...

    In recent days a high court verdict has come into the limelight which was regarding a divorce case. Divorce cases are very usual for a family court or, even to a High Court; so what is the big reason here? The Guwahati High Court has granted divorce to a man in Assam after observing that his wife’s refusal to wear the ritualistic Sakha (a bangle made of a conch shell) & sindoor (vermilion) signified her disregard for marriage.

    According to Hindu mythology Sindoor signifies energy. It is presumed since days long that red is the colour of extremes, the colour of passionate love, seduction, symbolise creation of a new. Indian Hindu women traditionally do wear sindoor for the wellbeing of their husband.

    Ancient saint Patanjali was the inventor of Yoga & he pointed out about ‘Kula-Kundalini’ power. To ignite that power one have to pass through Satha- Chakra (Six Cycles Point) already present in the human body. These six points of Chakra’s are in anus (muladhar-chakra) –  genital/ vagina (sadishthan-chakra)  – belly (manipur-chakra)  – heart (anahoto-chakra)-  neck (visudhdha-chakra) – forehead (gyan-chakra). Through these six chakra’s one have to reach Sahasra Padma (thousand lotus) – chakra in brain. It is an upward movement process. Every chakra is dedicated & symbolizes to a God; Lord Bramha resides in Sahasra  Padma-chakra. Devi Laxmi resides in the prefrontal cortex area of a woman. Hence, to offer respect & show devotion to Devi Laxmi & Lord Bhamha, this sindoor wearing had been advised in our Sastras.

    From Archaeological angle, it was just the signature of win of land & women for the Nordic –Arians. The conquerors mark the women of the conquered clan by hitting on their forehead to shed blood & put iron cuffs into their hands. Red sindoor & iron bangle of married hindu women is the adapted, refined form of that.

    The Apex court didn’t overrule the High Court’s judgement as there were more issues & points in that divorce case, but the point is that, a Hindu married woman will wear sindoor, sakha, mangal-sutra or other traditional things, should be absolutely her choice. Not wearing all these does not signify she is unwilling to accept her marriage. In 1955 Hindu Marriage Act, one can marry all rituals traditionally but in further life, she has to carry all those, is not abide by the law, rather society. Hence the choice comes. A woman can be considered modern & dignified with or, without all marriage signs, as modernization lies in an individual’s way of thinking, not the way of looking.

     
  • ‘Aarya’, Susmita Sen with her power p...

    Nowadays over-the-top platforms are very popular not just because of the viewer’s comfort but also the contents are coming with a lot of variety. Dark sided crime background plot, containing – police, mafia, chasing, smuggling, killings are the most popular content as psychologically it appeals to the sublime, subconscious dark zone of the human mind.  

    In ‘Aarya’ (now streaming on Hotstar), there is an additional angle of mythology; but, being made of with trendy way, it is far beyond average & touches the special tag. The director trio Ram Madhwani, Sandip Modi & Vinod Rawat tuned the series in a perfect note as they present it from a women’s perspective. Not in UP & Delhi, the story place is Rajasthan which is also an interesting thing.

     

     Aarya’s father is a Drug Mafia King. Her brother Sangram (Ankur Bhatia)& husband Tez (Chandrachur Singh) & friend Jawahar (Namit Das)take the charge later. In their field, they plant Opium, from which Poppy & Heroin both can be extracted in the laboratory. They choose the poppy drug business which runs under the shadow of a Pharmaceutical Company but not heroin though that is more profitable. One day Sangram seized 300 crore heroin of Heroine King Shekhawat (Manish Chowdhury). In consequence, Tez gets killed. Now, enemies are all around, who killed whom, whom to trust, whom to not, who is envy…. plot tights up. The business, Aarya always hated, eventually she had to take over the charge of that to save the family.

    Apart from the usual crime drama the passions, emotions of all the characters have been written & executed very interestingly. The shades of characters, twist in the story, binds up throughout 9 episodes. Khan performs salah(namaz) in front of Aarya’s house; Sampat gives a sanitary napkin pad to kidnapped Aaru; these tiny tiny nuances appeals a lot. Thanks to the makers for crafting scenes with such minute details & humanitarian touch. Some old days songs just complete the icing on the cake there. 

    The basic Poppy-Heroin plot may remind some of us the 1973 released 007 movie ‘Live & Let Die’ though it is originally based on the Dutch Web Series ‘Penoza’ by Pieter Bart Korthuis. Such plots often pay tributes to the classic -‘Godfather’ &’ Aarya’ is no exception. However, its appreciable because of its making.   

    However, in some scenes where Aarya got shattered, betrayed, desolated, Sen’s promptness could have been better. After a long interval, Sushmita Sen gets such a powerful character, with the magnificent screen presence she fights with her fellow co-actors to dazzle.