Posts Tagged ‘ Dibyendu Bhattacharya ’

B.A. Pass

B.A. Pass
Release date: August 2, 2013
Directed by: Ajay Bahl
Cast: Shadab Kamal, Shilpa Shukla, Geeta Aggarwal Sharma, Vijay Kaushik, Anula Navlekar, Raveena Singh, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Rajesh Sharma, Happy Ranjit, Deepti Naval

In the setting of urban Delhi, a much known topic of repressed women sexuality and its coming to the fore is cultivated with a haunting feel in the bylanes of a railway colony. B.A. Pass presents the story of a boy who feels cheated by the world around him.

Inspired by Mohan Sikka’s “The Railway Aunty”, director and cinematographer Ajay Bahl’s film has young Mukesh (Shadab Kamal) as the grieving orphan who has two younger siblings to look after. He finds himself relocated to Delhi, fighting poverty, jostling to sustain himself and eventually gets his sisters to live with him. Through a midsummer’s ladies soiree, he’s introduced to Sarika (Shilpa Shukla) the desirable wife of highly placed Railway official, Khanna (Rajesh Sharma)

Mukesh tries to stand on his own feet by getting pamphlets printed endorsing himself as a home-to-home private tutor. Sarika gives him his rites of passage to a sense of authority and financial independence. Hesitatingly, he finds himself in a huddle of middle-aged customers asking for his services to be fine tuned and customized as per their whims and fancies. Life in the shadiest strata isn’t smooth and soon starts getting difficult for our protagonist too.

Heavily lit by hues of neon and lavishly laid out middle-class spaces, Bahl constantly maintains a compelling frame throughout the film. As Dibyendu Bhattacharya’s character describes the city of Delhi as deceptive and heartless, this holds true right till the end. Armed with powerful performers like him and Sharma, the focus doesn’t entirely lie on Shukla and Kamal.  The support cast has individual characters with their own depth and makes it easier to move away from the sex scenes.

The dialogue is restrictive and the few light moments are awkwardly phased out, making them appear forced for viewer gratification. Kamal and Shukla are particularly restrained, perhaps especially instructed to do so in order to refrain from appearing as raunchy or sleazy. Nonetheless, Shukla’s sensuality oozes right from the start only for her character to remain insidious.

The subtle undertones leave you searching for some heavy drama, and the second half serves exactly that with Mukesh’s breakdown and sparring confrontations. The climax may be predictable, but leaves you with a gloomy sense of how the outcasted sections of our society cannot even find solace in law and order amenities and how the moral compromises of the more accepted sections bear life-altering consequences on the less privileged.

B.A. Pass will make you gulp down a lump of vacuum, even if in an underwhelming manner, it makes a lot of right moves in untouched territories.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5)


Lootera (2013) Movie Poster
Released date: July 5, 2013
Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Adil Hussain, Arif Zakaria, Vikrant Massey, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Shirin Guha

As one of the two on-the-run men is fallen, and the accomplice manages to escape, snowflakes start falling. A pensive autumn tree losing its leaves being looked upon from the misty windows of a house in Dalhousie. The restless fiddling with a light switch depicting a young lady’s constant reveling in the same. These are just a few from a series of charmingly beautiful visuals from Lootera.

Set in newly independent India of the 50s, in an affluent zamindaar household of bright and sunny Calcutta, Pakhi Roychoudhry (Sonakshi Sinha) is an aspiring writer with gleaming eyes and perfectly tucked in saris. She is playful yet contained, portraying an innocence of a bygone era. Cushioned by a formerly royal lineage, she makes time to cherish the smaller things.

Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh) is a state archaeologist in search for ancient figures and in that pursuit lands in front of the Roychoudhry house. He starts his excavation on the property and finds a soft spot with the hospitable hosts. He creates a wooden canvas on his every assignment, and on being asked about his interest with blank canvases, he reveals he’s waiting to draw an eventual masterpiece.

From a head-on collision in a chance encounter to charring Varun’s hand deliberately; from stealing glances to sitting next to each other by the lakeside and whispering sweet nothings; from being passionately in love to forcibly injecting asthma curing drugs– it is this natural progression of Pakhi and Varun’s story that renders an intimate and uncontrived vibe to it. Abstaining from heavy declarations of feelings, Lootera thrives on situations and their power of carrying them through without unnatural dialogue.

Motwane and his cinematographer Mahendra J. Shetty elicit a vibrantly enthusiastic feel to the first half and at the same time juxtapose them with darker shades to consistently maintain a contrast that goes with the different characters. Open spaces are highlighted as diligently as the confined rooms and windowpanes. Amit Trivedi’s music and background score is more of a match tailor made for the film.

Sonakshi Sinha delivers one of her most valuable performances as she ranges between being young and chirpy, and morbid and gloomy. She is in such form that you’re often distracted by her expressions from her ethereal appearance. Ranveer Singh is not on her level here though, but even that’s enough to hold your attention. O. Henry’s short story, “The Last Leaf” is finely woven into the film’s narrative, so much that you relinquish a certain emotion and start cheering for one of the protagonists in a certain scene. (I don’t give away any spoilers.)

As much adjectives I’ve used up to this point to describe Lootera’s brilliance, I’m still left with a few more. But I’d rather not delve in the depths of its excellence again for that will simply not end. There may be a blemish or two, which I won’t tell you.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

P.S. Excuse the shoddy rhyme in the last line and go watch Lootera with compassion and all silence.

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