Posts Tagged ‘ Saqib Saleem ’

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) 

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Mere Dad Ki Maruti

Mere-Dad-Ki-Maruti-Poster
Mere Dad Ki Maruti
Release date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Ashima Chibber
Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Saqib Saleem, Prabal Panjabi, Ram Kapoor, Ravi Kishan

Situated in a peppy, vehicle and song-dance obsessed Chandigarh, Sameer (Saqib Saleem) is the relatively inexperienced lover-boy in college who can ‘lock and pop and drop’ and the literal drop of hat. His friend Gattu (Prabal Panjabi) is also a copy of Sameer, except that his English is better and his name rhymes with Fattu, forcing him to be the wiser of the duo.

Sameer and everyone else in his college drools at the very mention of Jasleen (Rhea Chakraborty), or as she likes to correct everyone by responding with an “Itz Jazzleen”. Tej (Ram Kapoor) – Sameer’s loud and stereotypical dad has a family tradition of buying a new Maruti car for every major milestone. He buys a new Ertiga to gift his daughter for her marriage.

Sameer decides to impress the college queen in his dad’s new Maruti by sneaking it out at night for a party. This creates a scenario where the protagonist loses the car and keeps finding ways to not let his dad know of this escapade.

The writing is very witty, modern, and very high on twitter-sms lingo. There’s the usage of hashtags, twitter usernames and the very awkward condition of our youth who like to flaunt their grammatically incorrect English. And no, they’re as frigid as proposing their love by a “Baby, I’m not like you, I’m love you.” Cheap, real and funny!

The makers exploit the quintessential Punjabi machismo by making the leads step out of rotating cars, dress up to the nines with a hole in the head and the types. There’s an unnecessary focus on the film’s music, as the background score also consists of actual songs and there’s never a particularly silent moment. The camera work isn’t flashy, but it is compelling at the right moments.

There’s a small dampener, in the form of a heavy Punjabi feel to each department of the film, from Tej’s angry mouthings or Sameer’s “waste fail gayi” to all the sound mixing. If you’re not high on that, you might not buy into the film. The actor who shines out with his every shot is Prabal Panjabi as Sameer’s sidekick. The comedy flows in at all vital junctures and the screenplay, however simple it may be, never appears dull.

The individual performances along with the ‘hip’ dialogue make up for a very good film, with no major expectations. This Maruti is much like the ‘Life Utility Vehicle’ (sic) with its sincere effort.

My rating: ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5)

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