I was sitting at home on a warm Sunday afternoon, with a cup of strong black coffee and a book I have been wanting to finish for quite a while. Mohammad Rafi’s Mausam Bada Baeeman Hai was playing in the background. Despite sitting with the book for a while now, I could not move beyond the one particular page. The reason suddenly struck me, it was the way the song was portraying a certain relationship between the two leads. While the song as a stand alone is quite a lovely one, the lyrics have a haunting underlying significance to them. The songs, not all, but most of them, reeks of misogyny.
In the past, there have been very few movies where women are portrayed as the protagonist. Even the few that are present are riddled with gender biases and rarely have a holistic character sketch to their name. Features like occupation, tradition and introduction of the female character are also done in a very bigoted manner, making it evident the woman in question is of no real importance to the story. Misogyny and Bollywood have always had a love hate relationship, with facts being converted to fiction for the large sake of entertainment.
Random age gaps, comments passed with complete abandon and equality is more often than not just completely tossed out of the window with Bollywood. The Casting Couch is considered to be a myth not a lot of people want to accept and it has, over the years, become the Big Bad Wolf of Tinsel Town. Our B’wood movies love the idea of glorifying everything that is wrong with the world. Our celebrities have claimed to put in a lot of effort into making the world a better place through their corporate social activities. However, what they fail to realise is the simple fact that they have a larger social responsibility through their movies than through the social work.
From eve teasing to stalking to marrying someone who has wronged you, we have learnt that if you (the man, in this case) try enough, then everything works in your favour. Since the beginning of Bollywood cinema, the norm for Bollywood actresses was to be a silent part of the system or risk being seen as ‘inconvenient’ if she speaks out about issues related to gender and objectification while playing glamorous roles on celluloid.
I remember just after the Nirbhaya case, a popular television network had called upon a panel of actors and actresses to address the issue of on screen representation. At one point during this debate, Priyanka Chopra had gone at length to define “item songs” and the showcasing of female body parts as a feminist movement. Shabana Azmi countered by pointing out a simple fact choice was one thing and flaunting your body for the male gaze quite another. Mrs. Azmi was perhaps one of the first actresses in the industry to recognise the subtle and not so subtle relationships sent through popular cinema. She also realised the need to direct messages and send them out in a positive manner. Ironically, Mrs. Azmi was the first woman in the industry to show off her figure or wear flimsy clothes for the camera.
It is not just the roles which have typecast women in a certain manner. Even the lyrics, which we all still enjoy, have a very strong negative connotation. In fact, the Bollywood eve teaser’s anthem should be Palat from the movie Tu Mera Hero. With poignant symbolism and derogatory remarks, the misogyny is extremely apparent in almost all the movies. While the actresses of days gone by did not want to make an issue about this, women from our time have said enough is enough.
Remember Karan Johar’s and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s major rift a while ago? It happened because the actress dared to ask for the same amount of money as the actor and clearly this did not fly well with our esteemed KJo. While there are other directors now who say there are more women centric films, the issue of male dominance is still prevalent. India, as a society is more flexible towards the male gender and Bollywood, has reinforced this fact rather than dispelling it.
Time and time again, we have been told by men, whether subtly or directly, that they are the ones holding all the power. When shown something visually, especially in the form of a movie, it reinforces traditions which we need to shed at one point or another. The time is now and the time is here to stop these misconceptions. It is the 21st century, a time where equality is celebrated and not frowned upon. It is a time where women are allowed to call out a director for his derogatory remarks and it is also the time for women to not be shown cracking eggs on their stomachs to make fried eggs.
Showing women as the weaker gender has to stop. Bollywood must reduce the age gap as well as the wage gap. Women have stopped putting up with this form inequality and it is quite the right time to stop this misrepresentation of the ways of the world. Wake up, Bollywood, you are about a decade old with your scripts and we, as an audience, are quite tired of the misogyny.
PM Narendra Modi Trailer Released
After a long wait (and just short of the Lok Sabha elections,) the trailer of the biopic about PM Narendra Modi was released today. With Vivek Oberoi playing Narendra Modi, the trailer maps out the Prime Minister’s life from before his entrance into politics to being a Prime Minister. With subtle prosthetics and makeup done the right way, Oberoi has pulled off Modi’s character perfectly.
Opening to the days of Modi’s life as a tea seller at a railway station, the trailer moves forward to show how Modi ended up as one of the most important persons in India. With hard hitting slogans, the tri colour fluttering with pride and hints of anti Pakistani sentiments, this movie is a tribute to Modi. Watch the trailer here and now!
— Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) March 20, 2019
Apart from giving us an insight into Modi’s life, the trailer also shows us what to expect from the different characters in the film. Furthermore, it also shows us Modi’s life as a child and about his self imposed exile from family and marriage life. From rescuing Muslims, to saving a burning Gujarat and to the victory of Modi’s party in 2014, this trailer shows Narendra Modi as not just a leader, but a man of action.
While some people argue, this movie is about furthering and promoting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Lok Sabha elections, others say it is a dedication to the Party’s leader. Also starring Boman Irani, Manoj Sinha, Zarina Wahab, Barkha Bisht, Darshan Rawal, Akshat R. Saluja, Anjan Shrivastav, Rajendra Gupta and Yatin Karyekar, this biopic is directed by Omung Kumar.
With most of the film shot in Gujarat, the biopic is co produced by Sandeep Ssingh, Suresh Oberoi and Anand Pandit. Initially scheduled to release on the 12th of April, the release date of PM Narendra Modi was changed. This movie is now slated to hit the screens on the 5th of April this year.
Kalank First Song Ghar More Pardesiya Out Now
After keeping us all waiting with bated breath for something other than just a teaser, the makers of Kalank have finally released a brand new song! Titled Ghar More Pardesiya, this new song doesn’t have a conventional pair as the lead but is instead, centered around Alia Bhatt’s and Madhuri Dixit’s characters.
Written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the voice has been given by Shreya Ghoshal and Vaishali Mhade. The song opens to Alia Bhatt’s and Varun Dhawan’s characters entering a Ramleela performance. While on the one side of the stage, Laxman draws the epic Lakshman Rekha in front of Sita, Madhuri Dixit’s character is seen swinging on the other side. Listen to the song here.
GHAR MORE PARDESIYA 💃 https://t.co/Lerpmqz3sW#Kalank @duttsanjay #AdityaRoyKapur @Varun_dvn @sonakshisinha @MadhuriDixit @abhivarman @ipritamofficial @remodsouza @karanjohar @apoorvamehta18 @foxstarhindi @DharmaMovies @NGEMovies @ZeeMusicCompany #GharMorePardesiya
— Alia Bhatt (@aliaa08) March 18, 2019
What makes this song stand out is the way the attention to detail and the old school charm the song has. From the way the song was picturised, to the way Madhuri and Alia are dressed, the picturisation of this song has been perfectly done.
Days before the song was released, Alia teased everyone with tiny bits and pieces about how the shoot for the song went, “A song that gave me sleepless nights, days & months is coming very very soon.. I think you can safely say that I have never been SO nervous for anything in my life.. *screams frantically and hides under bed* You may have to send a search party to find me. Meanwhile watch this space for more.”
Directed by Abhishek Varman (known for other brilliant movies like 2 States,) this movie is the most awaited film of this year. Also starring Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt and Aditya Roy Kapur in key roles, Kalank is all set to hit the screens on the 17th of April this year!
Photograph Review And First Day Box Office Expectations
Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra
Rafiq (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a street photographer who walks the streets of Mumbai trying to create special memories through polaroids. Into his frame walks Miloni (a CA, played by Sanya Malhotra.) However, while Rafi seems to think Miloni should definitely get a picture clicked, the latter is reluctant. Miloni finally succumbs to Rafi’s charms and persuasion skills and gets a picture clicked. The moment Rafi takes the picture, a conversation strikes up between Miloni and Rafi. The rest of the movie maps out to a family meeting on pretense and a slow romance in the works! With Miloni pretending to be Rafi’s fiancé Noor, the movie shows how the leads start getting closer even though they are playing a facade.
Despite being part of a world which is constantly obsessed with social media and staying connected, Ritesh Batra has created a setting similar to old school romance. As always, Ritesh Batra has breathed magic into every scene. Something as simple as a photograph (not a selfie, mind you,) is so powerful, it draws two strangers together. Who would have thought?
Photograph works for one basic reason. It pulls at the nostalgia strings of your heart! Miloni and Rafi realise they really do have a lot of things in common and these similar tastes and similar dislikes form the basis of a beautiful friendship between them, with hints of something more in the offing.
Like always, Nawazuddin’s acting skills are par excellence. With every line delivered perfectly and a perfect characterization of Rafiq, Nawazuddin delivers his dialogues with skills only a seasoned actor has. On her part, Sanya Malhotra also plays the role of Miloni really well. While in the beginning, she plays a reserved and slightly aloof character, Sanya seems to grow in a manner which shows her acceptance of the character she’s playing.
With some lines of resemblance drawn from Basu Chatterjee’s Chhoti Si Baat, Ritesh Batra has made quite a masterpiece with Photograph. All in all, with the cinematography and music adding a really fine feeling to the entire movie, this Ritesh Batra directorial is a delight. Watch it for the subtle nuances and the simplicity of the entire tale!
Kalank Teaser Out Now
After a long, long while, the makers of Kalank just dropped the teaser and by the looks of things, it is every bit worth the long wait. Painting a series of stories involving drama, love and multiple emotions, the teaser introduces us to the different characters of this film. A little longer than two minutes, the teaser is captivating in every sense of the word.
First comes Madhuri Dixit as Begum Bahaar, then Sonakshi Sinha as Satya and finally, Alia Bhatt as Roop. While the female characters of Kalank seem to be written well, the male characters have just as special a story to tell. From Varun Dhawan as Zafar, a daredevil bullfighter, to Aditya Roy Kapur as Dev Chaudhary and to Sanjay Dutt as Balraj Chaudhary, Varman has truly thought out the cast! Watch the teaser here and now!
The world of #Kalank coming to life! Presenting the #KalankTeaser! https://t.co/LislwpoSSd@duttsanjay #AdityaRoyKapur @Varun_dvn @aliaa08 @sonakshisinha @MadhuriDixit @abhivarman @ipritamofficial #SajidNadiadwala @apoorvamehta18 @foxstarhindi @DharmaMovies @NGEMovies
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) March 12, 2019
While the teaser doesn’t give a big clue about whose love story it is going to adress, the hints are certainly dropped with amazing subtlety. With only two dialogues forming the crux of this teaser, the visuals give an insight into what to expect from the film. “Kuchh rishte karzon ke tarah hote hain. Jinhe nibhana nahi, chukana padhta hai,” says Varun Dhawan at the beginning, while Alia Bhatt says the last dialogue, “Jab kisi aur ki barbaadi jeet jaise laage… toh humse zyada barbaad aur koi nahi hai iss duniya mein.”
Directed by Abhishek Varman, this particular movie is set during the last few years of a British governed India. From giving us a glimpse of the beautiful dance sequence by Madhuri Dixit, to showing us different scenes from that point of time, this teaser was needed to see what to expect from the movie. Produced by Karan Johar, Kalank is scheduled to hit the screens on the 17th of April this year!
Badla Movie Review And First Day Box Office Expectations
Cast: Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
An almost direct adaptation of the Spanish film, The Invisible Guest, Badla tells an extremely gripping story. Opening to Naina (played by Taapsee Pannu) pleading guilty, the movie follows the story of how Badal Gupta (played by Amitabh Bachchan,) fights to protect her, no matter what. Naina is accused of killing her boyfriend, Aryan and Badal’s biggest challenge lies in proving how Aryan was killed by someone from outside the house, despite the police finding no external footprints or break in evidence! With the story in itself being so hard hitting, the movie progresses and through every twist, new skeletons are revealed!
Fast paced and quick to the very end, Badla works really well because of the way the story is rendered. Starting with how the story unravels, to moving forward and showing the multiple layers of the different characters in the film, the quick cuts and the multiple transitions between each scene keep you hooked to the very end.
What makes this movie such a treat to watch is how both Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu fit so well into their characters. Furthermore, the way Sujoy Ghosh narrates the entire story, makes Badla an extremely compelling watch. With the way the songs pull the film forward and the way the scenes are done brilliantly, one can really can’t help but marvel at the brilliance and effort which goes into directing a movie like this!
Known for directing other amazing films in the past (like the Kahaani series,) Sujoy Ghosh has once more proven, in order to tell a really great story, there is a certain way to get your message across. All in all, with the storytelling being what it is and the entire cast putting their best foot forward, Badla makes for a very entertaining watch!
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