Posts Tagged ‘ Ranvir Shorey ’

Titli

Titli Poster

Titli
Release date: October 30, 2015
Directed by: Kanu Behl
Cast: Shashank Arora, Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Sumit Gulati, Lalit Behl

Titli’ as we know, in Hindi, is the whimsical sounding word which translates to ‘butterfly’. The creature itself is often addressed with a prefixed adjective, ‘chanchal’ (fickle in English), in Hindi folklore and in a bazillion poems and lyrics over the years. In Kanu Behl’s debut feature, the title character is hardly ever chanchal. Titli (Shashank Arora) is mercurial in only a few situations. Some of these change the course of his life, and some affect others as well.

Titli is unflinching and uncompromising. The youngest son in a lower middle class family, down by the nullah on the other side of the Yamuna in Delhi; he admits that his name was originally meant for a daughter that his mother always wanted. The mother is dead, and there’s not a single archetypal photograph of hers with a garland on it in the house. The name lives on. Much like the name, Titli’s dream of owning a parking lot in an under construction mall lives on, no matter what hurdles lie in front of him.

It’s a unique aspiration in itself, even unclear at the very start. You’re then introduced to his family, a crew of hustlers and bustlers who moonlight as carjackers. They have respectable day jobs too, but violence and crime are long-accepted entities in their lives. Initially, there’s a scene where Vikram (Ranvir Shorey) has a stupid argument with a delivery guy, which ends in a bloody brawl laced with expletives. Titli tries to meddle and ends up with a bleeding nose. It’s hilarious to watch because you think of this instance as an exceptional burst of anger and deem it as outrageous.

The humorous appeal ends when you’re exposed to the violence in much greater amounts. They are bad and they are gruesome. Titli is perhaps the least apathetic of the three. His family frowns at his desire of getting out of the “narak” (hell) that his surroundings are. They decide that getting him married will get his mind out of having dreams and end up entrapped in matrimonial affairs. They also consider the aspect of inducting his wife Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi) in the gang.

The new bride has her own aspirations to fulfill, if not as convoluted, they can surely be labelled as “immoral” by the societal standards. Titli is a smart customer who tries to figure out a way to turn this abyss into a goldmine as well.

Sharat Katariya and Kanu Behl try to turn their story on to the path of resurrection. At a taut running length of 124 minutes, the film is perfectly compelling. You could replace the city with your own and still see all of it making sense. Where economic growth and development of real estate takes place at the expense of slums and farms, you can see the poor reeling and seething at the injustice meted out to them in their own eyes.

In their debut outings, Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi perform extremely well. Arora, with his wiry frame and steely eyes that almost never blink, casts a grim fervour over the proceedings. He embodies his character’s small-but-tough persona. And yet, he’s relatively the least violent, even when he proposes breaking another character’s hand. It’s in this scene, where the reason for all brutalities becomes self-evident. It’s just a way of life, when things can’t be controlled, you slap/punch/beat the crap out of the person you can’t deal with.

Ranvir Shorey puts up a display of a lifetime. In a recent interview, he claimed to be a “struggler” for his entire career. He acts as if this is his first film, or potentially even his last film. He gives it all. Amit Sial’s Pradeep has the most secretive private life as compared to his brothers, like how Vikram is facing a divorce, their father is facing acidic burps and a lungs-propelling cough. Sial shows why he deserves more work in the industry.

Titli, on the lines of Khosla Ka Ghosla, NH10, and even Aurangzeb, depicts what it’s like to exist when the growth of an ecosystem threatens to leave behind its inhabitants; it forces them to, as the cliché goes, adapt or perish.

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

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Bombay Talkies

Bombay_Talkies_2013_Poster
Bombay Talkies
Release date: May 3, 2013
Directed by: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Rani Mukherji, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Shubhangi Bhujbal, Naman Jain, Ranvir Shorey, Vineet Kumar, Sudhir Pandey

To type a personal paragraph(s) on what I love about films or not to type: that is the question.

Indian cinema, since its inception in 1913 has come a long way. Be it technically or professionally, whether it has made advancement in telling contemporary stories in a hard hitting fashion is not to be passed upon here. Bombay Talkies tries going in for the latter parameter and that is why you should love the film in its entirety for.

There are four directors with their own separate films, not all of them exactly revolving around cinema’s impact on us, but taking on different characters’ struggles and individual tales of varying emotions. The first one is Karan Johar’s film hedlining Rani, Randeep and the fresh Saqib from Mere Dad Ki Maruti. It starts off with a pumped up confrontational opening and his camera chasing Saqib.

With a style uncharacteristic to his, Johar maneuvers a telling tale of dysfunctional relationships and the society’s collective inability of accepting things as they are. He operates in a urban setting with the idealistic middle class mentality and equates it to the high classes’ apparent double standards. The actors save the plot from becoming clunky at times.

Dibakar Banerjee explores the chawls of Mumbai, where his protagonist (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) has a pet emu named Anjali. Oh how I love his subtle comedy! Nawazuddin plays an uninspired actor and a failed businessman (sic) with limited means to support his family. It’s his apparent gumption and the inner battles that form this amusing feature.

Sadashiv Amrapukar comes out of his spiritual and literal dumpsters to give him a reality check, obviously laced with good lines. It’s the ending that simply transcends into another dimension of its own. It is divine, fulfilling and succulent. The detailing is so brilliant along with Nawaz’s simmering performance, you rejoice every moment of his swaggering presence.

Post interval, Zoya Akhtar follows up with her story of a small family whose patriarch wants his son to get ‘tough’ by making him attend football sessions in school by sacrificing the daughter’s allowance for a history trip. The boy is enamored by Katrina Kaif and wants to emulate her dance performances in his fantasyland.

The approach for establishing plot devices is a bit faulty and rushed at times, but what Akhtar captures beautifully is the sibling’s relationship. It’s a simple I-look-your-back-you-look-mine one, but it’s charming, delightful and uh, heartwarming! Kaif delivers a special message in a fairy outfit and that is an added incentive to the joyful end of this film.

Indians love their films and they worship their actors with reverence and treat them as an abstract family member. Kashyap’s film is just about that. A son carries a jar of Murabba for his father’s idol (Amitabh Bachchan) to Mumbai. The reasoning for this task is what crazy fan fictions are made up of. Vineet Kumar plays the Bachchan obsessed Sudhir Pandey’s son Vijay.

He makes his trip to Mumbai from Allahabad to realize there are just a two dozen strong other Vijays hanging outside Bachchan’s house, awaiting their chance to have a few moments with The Man. Again, the finish scene with Kumar’s return to his father is purely frolicky.

Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap work a dark and cheery screenplay respectively; not their customary styles, which could cause some disappointments or surprise among their loyal viewers who could be expecting something more of the usual. I count it as one of the film’s strengths and a welcome change.

Altogether, Bombay Talkies is a great tribute that doesn’t focus on being one. And that is why it turns out to be so good.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars) 

Heroine


Heroine
Release date: September 21, 2012
Directed by: Madhur Bhandarkar
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Govind Namdeo, Harsh Chhaya, Shahana Goswami, Mugdha Godse, Sanjay Suri< Rashmi Nigam, Lillete Dubey, Ranvir Shorey, Helen, and a few Bhandarkar regular junior extras.

Stereotypical gay characters, the usual “You bastard” utterances from the female lead, and extreme portrayals of every circumstance are what you expect from a Bhandarkar film. And you do get them! But there’s obviously more nails in the coffin of this ‘heroine’. (All the pun in the Bhandarkar universe intended)

Heroine is a tale of a delusional and insecure actress Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) who’s struggling with her professional and personal life alike. But hey, there HAVE to be sidetracks that don’t mean anything to the narrative of the film. So Mugdha Godse plays some Riya Mehra who is also a rising ‘heroine’ and somehow you get a bisexual male director/producer in an after-coitus scene with a guy who just has three syllables in his verbatim, i.e. bro, dude and babes. He also delivers a line about how the zipper of one’s pants and lips should always remain carefully locked in the movie industry. WOW.

Mahi has a small support staff of three people on the move: an overtly gay fashion designer, a bitchy good-for-nothing-does-nothing friend Rats, and a secretary Rashid bhai (Govind Namdeo) This support staff appears and disappears with no reasoning and logic when our protagonist’s life is hit by hard times. But she still has a personal bar, iPhone, Blackberry, beautiful apartment and a bartender-cum-cook-cum-cleaner-cum-human-robot. If you’re troubled by my use of hyphens in that sentence, that’s how I felt while watching this film.

The caricatures never end. There are tons of inward pointed controversies picked upon here. Almost every controversy EVER! Ranvir Shorey plays an independent small time film director Tarun and gives Mahi achance to act in his first Hindi feature. Here Mahi is in a state of breakdown and in the process of getting back up. Oh wait, she’s always in a state of breakdown. Shahana Goswami tries to guide Kareena’s character to bring out her inner passion for ‘acting’ and slips into a small lesbian sequence. By the way, we have a new symbolic reference for two ladies making out in our films now, it’s two glasses of wine kept together and the women pass on to the bedroom. I hope the gay men don’t complain cos there’s finally a lesbian and bisexual reference as well.

Heroine is a compilation of the worst possible scenarios from different real stories all rolled into one. Nothing good happens. I’ll have to pick out one, for the sheer idiocy of it – Mahi is in the middle of a big spiral downwards and she reaches at an orphanage to adopt a child. Sushmita Sen won’t like it. And I’d advise all of you to contemplate on adopting a child whenever you’re staring into a deep abyss of financial instability and mental trauma. Helen plays out Shgufta, a yesteryear actress who ALSO tries to guide Mahi.

Kareena’s character never really grows with you to make you feel any kind of pain or sympathy whatsoever, because she’s been screaming and screeching right from the start. Heroine remains immature, crass, unrealistic and even stupid at some points. Unrealistic because it just encapsulates every goddamn issue/controversy/hardship that anyone has ever faced in the movie industry in the form of a handful of people.

Heroine is so bad I’m falling short of adjectives to tell you how Bhandarkar it is.

My rating: * (1 out of 5)

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