Category: Special Article

From Farts To Toilet: Is Bollywood Breaking Barriers? 


Filmi Fanatic
Aren’t the titles of the films going really quirky and different? Imagine telling a movie illiterate person, oh I went to see ‘Fan’ or ‘Tubelight’… that poor chap would be wondering as to what’s so special seeing the basic things of existence. And now we are all geared up to see ‘Toilet’, funny indeed… you use it every day and infact see it more than you see your sweetheart, but yes you would be seeing ‘Toilet’. But this is not what are article is all about. It’s actually about how things that were perceived taboo earlier are slowly coming in the mainstream cinema. 


Remember ‘Hum Dil Chuke Sanam’ and how coolly Ms Ash made fun of Sallu’s name as ‘Sameer, Hawa ka Jhoka’, which was a taunt at the fact that he farted in front of her. But on second thoughts how many movies ever since have actually shown the lead actors farting, c’mon its natural phenomenon, but still films are scared of showing it… scared of the smell it would generate? 

There are many things which were still considered a taboo or shame showing in movies but with the new breed of directors and writers and their innovative thinking, some of them are now being considered normal. Flashback yourself and think that had you ever seen the concept of ‘sperm donor’ in movies… shh what are we talking sperm and all that… but with movies like Vicky Donor and various web series, now we actually find the idea practical, it’s a way of helping the childless couple and in a way creating awareness. And talking about Sperms, the next thing which is haww so shameful to show in a movie is Oral Sex. Isn’t Sex an integral part of our lives and what’s wrong in showing the various forms of sex, thanks to films like Delhi Belly where the lead actor was actually shown going down on his girl rather than being on the top, we actually saw a little ‘different’ aspect of it even though it was not shown fully, but yes it was a change after all. 

And how many of us have actually seen frontal nudity in films? We go ga-ga when the man shows his 8 packs or when the heroine strips down to her bikini, but people there is more to that and it seems impossible that we shall see a full Monty in movies soon. But hopes are alive… one day …one day!!

Sex leads to think us about relationships and yes, the concept of ‘live-in’ are now being shown pretty commonly in movies and so are the ‘gay relationships’ with Mr Karan Johar contributing to it in a way, how can we forget ‘Kanta Ben’ looking all shaky and shocked seeing SRK and Saif in the same bed! But why is a gender discrimination here also, if Gays are shown why are we still scared to touch the topic of ‘Lesbianism’. After all, if men have feelings don’t do the females have and the one film that dared to show it was ‘Fire’ although it is still considered parallel cinema. Waiting for that day when Lesbians would be shown in a main stream masala movie.


Awareness is also being spread in the form of making movies which cater to a certain section of society like in the case of My brother Nikhil, where AIDS was discussed or for that matter Taare Zameen Par which dealt with the problem of Dyslexia which is something not talked about it so openly, but yes, these movies are breaking the barriers. Movies are not only generating awareness about superstitions in fairly dominant religious country thanks to movies like PK and OH! My God, but upcoming movies like Toilet- Ek prem Katha takes the social mission of ‘Swatch Bharat’ forward. 

When movies were just considered a mode of entertainment where you could forget about your life problems and just enjoy, the new trend is breaking barriers in making us sit and think and in a way making us aware, but there is still a long journey ahead and hopefully one day it would be achieved.

Special Article: Needless Debate On Nepotism & Talent


 
By Apoorva Raturi

Nepotism has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many this year. The term used to describe the mind-set of a few who believe that they are privileged and that they deserve certain perks because of the family they are born in, was used by Kangana Ranaut in an episode of Koffee with Karan, which then triggered a fire amongst the people within the Hindi film industry and opened ground of discussions amongst the fans as well.

As she tagged Karan Johar as the “Flagbearer of Nepotism” and “A Movie Mafia” on the show, the entire industry rose to how the actress had questioned the judgement of a well-established filmmaker who was known to have given chances to many Bollywood biggies.

What followed was a public backlash from KJo that acted like fuel to the fire and led to the common people talking about the preference that is given to those who already have a Bollywood connection. With mixed reactions over the issue from various levels of the society, many actors came forward stating their opinions too, while some decided to stay mum.
While actors like Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt have played safe, Ranbir Kapoor, openly went on record to say that he is a “disarming product of nepotism” and a few others chose to scream at the top of their voice taking digs at Kangana and not just stopping there but going on to say in front of thousands that “Nepotism Rocks”.

The IIFA act by Varun Dhawan (son of filmmaker, David Dhavan), Saif Ali Khan (son of actress, Sharmila Tagore) and Karan Johar (son of late filmmaker, Yash Johar) had further got the entire nation by surprise. When the three big names of the industry boasted of how they had been born with a silver spoon and that it “Rocked!”
Viewed by millions of people, the three self-designated privileged men were flaked by the common people on social media. What they termed as a ‘Joke’ was clearly not taken down well by those who looked up to them. Owing to such reactions, Kjo, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan decided to make public apologies to anyone and everyone who had been hurt by their humour.

Saif even further, went down to pen an Open Letter on Nepotism which led to more backlash than what its actual purpose of calming everyone down was. He said that biologically a person was much more competent to do what his ancestors had been doing and so justified how acting was in his blood and that he was obviously supposed to follow his ancestor’s footsteps. Kangana retaliated back with a witty response saying that if the profession of the ancestors determined the value and capabilities of a person, then she would have been instead farming rather than have made a place for herself.

This ongoing war of words is something that seems will not calm down easily. With the struggles that the people who have no connections in the industry whatsoever face to those who feel it’s their birth right to be able to get a place in the industry is both a matter of opinions due to the background that they belong and also the connections that they are easily available to. As for many common people like us, Talent has just become a word that has lost its meaning in this whole feud.

Special Article: Mid Year Report On Bollywood 


By Filmi Fanatic

It’s that time of the year, yes, its July 2017, which means the time has come to review the Bollywood movies released in the past 6 months from January till July. This year has been a mixed bag of sorts, the films that were thought won’t do well, kept the box office registers ringing and the films which were to hit the bulls eye with its blockbuster performance sank without a trace. So, here’s looking back at the months gone by with our special ‘Filmi Files’ report card:
a) BAAHUBALI 2


The first half of 2017 definitely belonged to the sequel Baahubali 2 which was made in Tamil, Telugu and later dubbed in Hindi. The magnum opus turned into a blockbuster thanks to the brilliant special effects and the action sequences. Infact the sequel fared better than the original and the Hindi version crossed the 500-crore mark too.

b) RAEES


People loved Shahrukh ‘bhai’ in Raees, his first release of 2017 where he played a bootlegger and it went on to become a hit. Now the audience is eager to see him in his ‘Punju’ singer avatar in Imtiaz Ali’s “Jab Harry met Sejal’. Would SRK’s magic work again?

c) KAABIL

When the films of two big stars release at the same time, either one of them becomes a hit or both flop, but not in the case of Hrithik starrer ‘Kaabil’ which clashed its release date with Raees but despite that did great business at the box office becoming another hit of 2017. The intense story of a blind man who avenges his girlfriend’s rape and death hit the right chords with the audience.

d) BADRINATH KI DULHANIA


Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt again proved that star kids can perform. The sequel Badrinath ki Dulhania showed their magic and chemistry and proved to be one of the top films. The audience loved the peppy numbers especially the recreated ‘Tamma Tamma Loge’ and the box office danced with the 200-crore mark.

e) JOLLY LLB 2

One can never go wrong with an Akshay Kumar starrer and Jolly LLB was just one of them. Portraying a lawyer, his performance was given thumbs up both by the audience as well as the critics. Now this is one man who is on a roll, give him any character and he plays it to the T.

While there have been films which kept the audiences hooked to their seats, some of the films that were thought to be blockbusters in making, could not adhere to the audiences’ expectations.

a) RANGOON

Vishal Bhardwaj’s highly ambitious period drama set in the pre-Independence era could not gather the interest despite boasting of stars like Shahid, Saif and Kangana. Despite the visuals, the film could not please the audience and was one of the disappointments of 2017

b) BEGUM JAAN


Touted as the Vidya Balan movie, this film had a very unusual story line and with its promos had garnered a lot of curiosity, but unfortunately despite the humungous star cast, it didn’t do well and slowly it has even started to fade from the memory of the audience.

 

c) TUBELIGHT
Salman Khan + Eid release = Sure Shot Blockbuster hit, but this year this Eid release did not match the expectations for a diehard Sallu Fan. Well, it can’t be touted as a flop, this movie has got mixed reviews, some liked the sober and childlike Salman while some thought it was the re run of his Bajrangi Avatar. Time for a makeover and having the action Salman back? Food for thought?

6 months of 2017 has had more of mediocre films like Raabta, Half Girlfriend, Noor and Philluri which created the much hype but unfortunately ran for a week or so before being replaced by another movie.

The audience is now waiting anxiously for the latter half releases which show some promising stuff in the form of SRK starrer ‘Jab Harry met Sejal’, Lipstick under my Burkha, Toilet -Ek prem katha and Mubarakan. Varied topics, varied movies, how they do at the box office. only time would tell. Till then sit back, enjoy and wait for our Yearly report of 2017

A New Wave Of Entertainment Hits The Internet

By Deepti D.

Just the other day I switched on the TV and saw ‘Mera Naam Joker’ playing and it suddenly struck how my parents used to tell me about this unique movie which had 2 intervals which was something very different for those days… imagine going and buying popcorns twice, just because ‘picture abhi baaki thi’. And then came ‘Jodha Akbar’ in the recent times which was also a 4-hour long movie but thankfully no 2 intervals, so yes people sat and sat. But it led me to think that in this day and age of fast moving life and social media, do people actually have time to sit for such long movies and still not get bored…

It seemed that some whiz kid in the entertainment industry actually read my intelligent and curious mind which led to the popularity of a new kind of movies… it was the invention of cinema which was short, crisp, to the point and interesting, keeping the audience’s attention intact. Yes, we are talking about the WEB SERIES/ SHORT MOVIES which have gained immense popularity on You Tube and one does not need to book tickets and go to a theatre to watch them, you can simply log on from anywhere on Planet Earth and just enjoy these ‘different’ movies lasting not more than 20 to 30 minutes. The best part about these ‘movies’ are that the directors and actors are experimenting with fresh ideas and bold concepts and hence the outcome is very refreshing and unique


1-MAAYA

Vikram Bhatt always tries to experiment whether it is in his films or this new erotic Web Series called ‘MAAYA’. This word always has some mystery to it and so does this series which deals on the bold issue of sexuality. Starring TV actress Shama Sikander, Maaya deals around a housewife whose sexual desires are repressed. Too bold, well wait and watch it where the leading lady pleads a stranger to tie and spank her while fulfilling her ‘needs’. Sounds like the desi version of ’50 Shades of Grey’, we thought so but Mr Bhatt instead it’s not 50 but ‘100 volatile shades of Grey ‘. The cherry on the top is Shama who is oozing sexiness and is not at all wary in doing bold and raw sex scenes. Am sure the traction of ‘Maaya’ is soon going to increase after this ‘very sexy’ description.


 2- PEANUT BUTTER

‘Are you unmarried, alone in the city and pregnant??’ Haww, how could you do this, you are a disgrace to the society…what will people say….

Haven’t we heard it umpteen number of times, so, that is why this 20-minute movie called ‘Peanut Butter’ has been made to change your perspective on abortion and single parenting. Starring Gauhar Khan who plays a single working woman who accidently gets pregnant and who encounters a stranger who finally changes her views on single parenthood. So, who is the stranger… voila it’s her own subconscious child after 18 years. The film is a coming of age movie and revolutionizes the concept that you don’t need a man to raise a kid… if you are willing, successful and strong, you as a woman can do it alone too. And why ‘Peanut Butter’ because the mum and her would be adult ‘child’ loves it immensely!!


 3-THE WHITE SHIRT

Do all love stories have a happy ending? Ironically no, and mostly all of them suffer from some flaw or the other. The White Shirt is one such 20-minute movie which explores the high and lows in a relationship. With Kunal Kapoor and Kritika Kamra in lead roles, this movie is all about moving on and leaving the past behind when relationships don’t work due to the main issue of infidelity and cheating. The main ‘protagonist’ is the white shirt and how is that… well… we won’t disclose it go and watch it on You Tube…

 4-TRIPLING

How does doing a ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ sounds? Yes, I know it sounds perfectly fun, but instead of friends, take it with your siblings and you would thank me later for the experience. TVF’s Tripling is one such web series which forays into this domain where siblings all having their own set of issues and problems undertake a road trip to take a break from everything and in turn end up discovering themselves and their own blood. Yes, ismein emotion hain, drama hain, humour and realism bhi hain and one can relate to the characters shown. So, all you brother and sisters, let’s take a road trip what say?


 5-TWISTED

So, all set to experience an adult web series… yes, we are talking about another thriller adult series by Vikram Bhatt which has a captivating tag line… ‘Warning! Do not trust them! Nia Sharma, the 3rd Sexiest Asian lady is playing the main lead and shares a sizzling chemistry with newcomer Namit Khanna. The plot of twisted is based on murder where a man and a woman are having an affair and the man’s wife is found dead. The man says that his girlfriend is the one who killed his wife and the woman is confident that the husband himself killed his wife. Intriguing indeed and with few racy sexy scenes, this one is a seller.

 Gone are those days when Indian Cinema and TV industry thrived on the same old formula of poor boy-rich girl romance or for that matter the saas-bahu sagas. Now with these short movies and web series gaining popularity… it won’t be long when the entire story would be said in just 140 words… sounds interesting, doesn’t it…any takers!!!

Period Films Are Here To Stay


By Monica Arora
It’s been almost two years and we are still wondering as to why did Katappa kill Bahubali?

 We all have grown up reading larger than life stories of kings and queens, princes and princesses, gods and goddesses and so, on through fairy tales, Amar ChitraKatha comics or purely through word of mouth stories being passed around for generations from our great grandparents to our generation. Why just in India, a good fairy tale or a historical tale set in the golden days gone past evokes an eager audience everywhere in the world as the child in us still seeks a fascinating story of victory of good over evil or about a monarch or queen who hascaught our imagination through their riches, wealth, kingdom and lavish lifestyles. Think Cleopatra or Elizabeth or Braveheart in Hollywood or Mughal-e-Azam, Bahubali, Jodhaa Akbar, Bajirao Mastani or even the recent dud Mohen-jo-daro closer home in Bollywood.

 With the Bahubali II trailer having just being released, audience excitement mounts and the anticipation to discover as to why Katappa killed Bahubali is on full brim. The 2015 release, marketed under Karan Johar’sgrand Dharma banner was made at a budget of Rs 120 crore (1.2 billion), and went on to become the highest grossing Indian film within India, besides earning the title of third highest grossing Indian film globally. Actually, it was the first and only South Indian film directed by S. S. Rajamouli to gross over Rs 650 crore (6.5 billion) worldwide. So much is the frenzy around the sequel that a three-part book, entitled ‘Bahubali: The Untold Story’ has already been released for those curious to read the story in its entirety. Fans have gone on to compare it to the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies and just cannot wait to see part two!

 Of course Bollywood is known for its period dramas right from the K Asif directed Mughal-e-Azam starring Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor. Conceievd in 1944, the film took more than 15 years in making and was eventually released only in 1960. Narrating the doomed love story of Mughal Prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar), who falls in love with a courtesan (Madhubala), only to be strongly opposed by Saleem’sfather Emperor Akbar, the lavishly mounted sets in those days, particularly the Sheesh Mahal created for the Pyarkiya to darna kya song, literally drew thunderous applause from audience whenever it was played on screen. 


Recent years have seen a revival of period based movies in Bollywood after a lull. Ashutosh Gawarikar directed Jodhaa Akbar in 2008 was amongst the fairly successful period dramas that depicted the love story and marital life of King Akbar and his Rajput queen Jodhaa. The main protagonists were played by the Adonis-like HritikRoshan and the queen by the stunning Aishwarya Rai Bachchan whose chemistry left cinegoers enthralled, not to forget the grand sets, stupendous war scenes, and aw-inspiring expensive jewels and costumes and plenty of arms and armour that were especially crafted to lend authenticity to the film. Deemed as a moderate hit, the movie had its cult following amongst those who loved its Sufi music and story.


And then came Bajirao Mastaani, Sanjay LeelaBhansali’s magnum opus in 2015 which became one of the highest grossers of all times, with collections touching some Rs 350 crores. What started as a dream project after his Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam became a huge hit in 1999, his original lead pair of Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai fell through owing to personal reasons and the film got stalled. Until 2014, when Bhansali cast Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, the luminous beauty Deepika Padukone as his Mastaani and Priyanka Chopra as Kashiba, Bajirao’s first wife. Ranveer’s killer physique and Deepika’s grace, costumes and mesmerizing beauty, besides her near-perfect portrayal of Mastani made the movie rake up a frenzy. Truly, the period drama had been revived and on a scale that had been unimaginable a few decades ago.

 The same year also saw Bahubali leaving audiences spellbound, not just in India, but all over the world. A good story enacted by actors and actresses with perfectly toned and well-maintained physiques and with so much thought, planning and detailing going into every aspect of filming has made this genre much sought-after.

With Bahubali 2 around the corner and ‘Padmavati’ in the making one thing is almost certain that period films are here to stay.

Dear Censor Board Bollywood Is Really Getting ‘Lady Oriented’


By Monica Arora

On the eve of yet another Woman’s Day celebrated with alarming alacrity on 8 March every year, it was amusing to see social media trolling and tabloids trashing Hollywood star Emma Watson for wearing a see-through top and exposing her breasts. The Sun carried a story titled ‘Beauty & the Breasts,’ while website, Pret-a-Reporter, stated: “Is Actress and Feminist Emma Watson a Hypocrite for Going Topless in Vanity Fair?”
Befittingly, Emma retorted with the very well-worded statement to Reuters in which she opined: “It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is. Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing.”

 Truly, it is indeed confusing as to what feminism is all about going by how society, particularly the Indian patriarchal society judges women and the male gaze is always looking down upon the female anatomy and sartorial choices.

 But what is heartening to note is the fact that currently, women or actresses in Bollywood are thriving and perhaps getting the best choice of roles that they could have ever envisaged. Right from the Vidya Balan’s portrayal of south Indian siren Silk Smitha in the bold and beautiful The Dirty Picture to a feisty woman protagonist in Kahaani 1 and 2; from Aalia Bhatt’s sexually abused little girl act as Veera in Imtiaz Ali’s much-acclaimed Highway to a state-level hockey player who gets embroiled amidst drug peddlers in Abhishek Chaubey’s heart-wrenching Udta Punjab; from Sonam Kapoor’s south Delhi miss hoity toity act in Aisha to the brave airhostess who saved so many lives whilst sacrificing her own in Ram Madhvani’s Neerja; Deepika Padukone as the quintessential Bengali professional and doting daughter in Shoojit Sarkar’s Piku to her powerful Mastaani portrayal in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastaani; and from a woman jilted by her fiancé on the eve of her wedding portrayed oh-so-effectively by the effervescent Kangana Ranaut in Vikas Bahl’s Queen to the female stuntwoman in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon, current Bollywood actresses are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to playing meaningful and powerful characters.

 Not too long ago, all a Hindi film heroine was required to do was two or three romantic numbers and five scenes to support the “hero” in the film but refreshingly, all that has changed. In fact, even when Madhuri and Sridevi ruled the roost in the 1990s, films like Beta, Tezaab and Ram Lakhan of the former, and Chandni, Chaalbaaz and Lamhe stood out as shining examples of how women centric subjects and powerful heroines were adding much value to the male-dominated industry. But these were few and far in between until very recently, when the above listed women actors started not just getting accolades and recognition for their roles, but movies even got a good opening by virtue of their leading lady. Case in point being Tanu Weds Manu 2 and Ram Leela.

And the best part was that more and more women centric films were doing very good business be it Kahaani 1 and 2, The Angry Indian Goddesses winning much critical acclaim, Dear Zindagi, or Sridevi’s comeback vehicle, the Gauri Shinde directed superhit, English Vinglish or even Aishwarya Rai’s impactful lawyer’s portrayal in Jazbaa or the Omung Kumar directed Sarbjit in which she plays the wronged man’s sister, women oriented subjects have found a breath of fresh air in the contemporary scenario.

 When Rani Mukherji left her husband portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan for lack of passion in a lackluster marriage in Karan Johar’s multi-starrer Kabhi Alvida na Kehna, the film drew gasps and groans from traditional Indian audiences back in 2006 as no one was willing to accept that she made love to the man she was attracted to, played by Shah Rukh Khan. The film generated a lot of mixed reactions and debate but cut to 2017, audience tastes have matured and they are all-embracing and all-encompassing to women’s issues such as attempt to rape in Pink; female infanticide in Matrubhoomi; extra marital affairs as in Tabu’s Astitva; child abuse as in Aalia’s Highway; casting couch in Kareena Kapoor’s Heroine; and above all the dignity of a wronged woman in Queen, English Vinglish and Gulabi Gang, all prove that women roles in Bollywood are undergoing a heartwarming transition and people are accepting flawed, real and very down to earth women in movie parts.

As the Greek philosopher Marcus Aurelius stated: “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” That is my ode to womanhood on this Woman’s Day! More power to the women stars…Shine and sparkle and bedazzle with your sheen…

Standing Up When National Anthem Is Being Played In A Movie Is Not Obligatory: SC

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New Delhi (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified that people are not obliged to stand up when National Anthem is played as part of a film or documentary, reports ANI. This comes months after the SC had ordered that National Anthem must be played in all the cinema halls across the country.

Also, ordering for the playing of National Anthem before the film starts accompanied by the showing of National Flag on screen. Earlier, SC stated that everyone present in the cinema halls must rise at the time of National Anthem playing and show respect towards it. The full version should be played and not the edited part of the anthem. Also, that the National Anthem cannot be played in between the film for any commercial benefit, SC had directed reportedly.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi made this clear after one of the petitioners said that the apex court should clarify if people are expected to stand when the National Anthem is played in a film, newsreel or documentary.

“It is clarified that when the National Anthem is played as part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or a documentary the audience need not stand,” the bench said. The bench, which said the issue raised by petitioners needs to be debated, has fixed the matter for further hearing on April 18.

The apex court had on November 30 last year ordered cinema halls across the nation to mandatorily play the National Anthem before screening of a movie and the audience must stand and show respect.

This order had come on the PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that National Anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and proper norms and protocol be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present.

The apex court, while passing a slew of directions, had also observed that “time has come when citizens must realise they live in a nation and are duty-bound to show respect to National Anthem which is a symbol of constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality.”

It had said that “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag”.

The court had barred printing of the anthem or part of it on any object and displaying it in such a manner at places which may be “disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect”. It had also barred playing or displaying an “abridged version” of the anthem.

Various other petitioners have also approached the apex court, which has tagged them with and the bench has tagged with the main petition. Earlier, while promoting film ‘Pink’ megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Shoojit Sircar too had backed the demand to make the playing of National Anthem compulsory in halls.