Posts Tagged ‘ Sneha Khanwalkar ’

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

detective_byomkesh_bakshy_poster

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
Release date: April 3, 2015
Directed by: Dibakar Banerjee
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Neeraj Kabi, Meiyang Chang, Swastika Mukherjee, Pradipto Kumar Chakraborty, Takanori Kikuchi, Mark Bennington, Divya Menon, Arindol Bagchi

Formerly recreated as Rajit Kapoor’s middle aged adaptation is a satyanweshi (seeker of truth), and now brought back as a just-out-of-college youngster Byomkesh, Sushant Singh Rajput perhaps plays a younger personification of the character, who’s probably still to become a truth seeker. This same undercurrent is the constant throughout the film.

The young Byomkesh is approached by Ajit (Anand Tiwari) to solve the case of his missing father. He displays the socially inept mannerisms of the BBC’s Sherlock, and ends up coming across as a complete tool. Byomkesh’s charm isn’t as beguiling as that of a classic noir’s private detective. He isn’t even super-smart at picking up clues, yet he figures out there’s more foulplay to the disappearance than what appears on the surface.

Bakshy begins the search for Ajit’s father and ends up at a boarding house run by Dr. Guha (Neeraj Kabi) where an eclectic assortment of young and old Bengali men are put up. Ajit’s missing father had lived here for a healthy span of time and everyone, right from his paan-addict roommate Ashwinibabu (Arindol Bagchi) to Kanai Dao (Meiyang Chang), is a potential suspect. And similarly, every one of them is quite a quirky character. Puntiraam (Pradipto Kumar Chakraborty) is a domestic help whose hands tremble right until the gory end. Thus showing Dibakar Banerjee’s undying affinity towards detailing.

The same eye for detail, along with Nikos Anditsakis’s masterful cinematography, creates a picturesque composition of scenes and shots in the meticulously recreated Calcutta of the 1940s. The second world war is still on, and the Japanese and Chinese forces are eyeing infiltration on the eastern end of India. The foreigners don’t speak chaste Hindi, they interact in their own languages, unlike the ridiculous expatriates of the older Hindi films who were freakishly good at Hindi. Authenticity of the war period is never compromised even in this fictional universe.

The film is richly textured as almost a Hollywood film with the color palettes in use. There are hardly any real locations and thus there is an abundance of wide shots, often tracked through very long and short distances as well. The film’s dialogue is reminiscent of a bygone era, yet it doesn’t go overboard.

The pace of the film isn’t breakneck, and it is only fit for a story where the makers are going from creating a sense of mystery to making the viewers care to be seated in their chairs to patiently wait for what happened and who’s pulling the strings of a complex mob that’s probably in cahoots with Japanese forces. The mystery seems to be solving at the halfway mark, but our Bakshy, with a unibrow, isn’t the brightest detective in the world currently. There are a bazillion flashbacks to ease the putting-together of the clues for the protagonist and us, but this pattern becomes increasingly intolerable and plodding to watch.

Every suspect gets a special flashback of the clues, and the protagonist is trapped by the antagonists quite a lot more times to make the plot seem like a convoluted mess. The performances of Anand Tiwari and Neeraj Kabi shoulder the film tremendously well. Both of them put up a glowing display of their acting chops. My favorite music composer, Sneha Khanwalkar, collaborates with indie acts and renders a fresh new-age background score and theme to the film, which isn’t necessarily optimized to its complete potential.

The action sequences are limited and slickly choreographed, yet the antagonist never physically grapples with Bakshy. Hence, summing up the general apathy towards the climax of the film. The only silver lining in the survival of the villains and the constant silly pitfalls of the young detective is that this film is probably like a prequel for another film. Banerjee seems to be laying a foundation for a series of adventures and cases to be solved by Byomkesh in the future.

DBB, the film, is just like Sushant’s woefully flawed Byomkesh. Even if it doesn’t grow into another future installment, this film warrants a patient watch for its brave effort.

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

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Gangs of Wasseypur 2


Gangs of Wasseypur 2
Release date: August 8, 2012
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Pankaj Tripathi, Satya Anand, Raj Kumar Yadav, Zeishan Quadri, Richa Chadda, Anurita Jha, Vineet Kumar, Piyush Mishra, Jameel Khan, Reemma Sen

Revenge was the center point of Gangs of Wasseypur and with the change in characters and situations, the theme gets gory and murkier. The lines which were drawn earlier are now more unclear than ever. And with the evolution of the story the realistic moral values of the characters also get a tweak in the form of double-crosses and debaucheries.

The earlier part presented us with a massive narrative that spun around three generations with its central protagonist – Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) – inflicted by gunshots mercilessly fired at him by Sultan (Pankaj Tripathi) and his partners at a petrol pump. This is the starting point of our second part.
This film is set in a shorter time-period. Starting from late eighties-early nineties and going up till 2009.

Danish Khan (Vineet Kumar) had always been the more active of Sardan Khan’s sons as he was the oldest and definitively loyal to his family, unlike some of his family members who held a few grudges against their patriarch. Nagma (Richa Chadda) insists her sons to avenge their father’s death and soon, the third generation of the Khan household steps into the battleground for a final all guns blaring battle of brutality.

Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) was shown as the ever ganja smoking, cinema-influenced physically meek brother who never wanted to get involved in  Sardar’s dirty business. The increasing number of deaths in his family drives him to the edge and soon, Faizal is the new Sardar. Faizal’s half brother Definite (Zeishan Quadri) was born and brought up at the Khan arch nemesis Ramadhir Singh household. Definite also, like the rest of Bihar/Jharkhand wants to be the next top-gun mafia head.

Perpendicular a.k.a. Babua is Faizal’s brother and is perhaps one of the most interesting characters ever created. With his razor blade chewing skills that terrorizes everyone alike, Perpendicular creates havoc by robbing everything from groceries to jewelry. Shamshad Alam (Raj Kumar Yadav) sweet talks his way into Faizal’s empire by making ridiculously inappropriate business plans with his own intentions of reaching the top.

Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) tries to rope in every wayward soul that works for Faizal and make them work in his favor. Though limited in presence, Ramadhir sure has some helluva punching lines. Mohsina (Huma Qureshi) is the anchor to Faizal’s struggling ship. She pumps up his confidence with a song and few sensual hugs, which never look questionable or unconvincing.

The chase sequences also get a touch of Wasseypur and turn out to be hilarious. They are so precious that I will not even divulge any more than that. Anurag Kashyap again guarantees visually appealing dimly-lit shots, nothing short of aesthetically orgasmic. Every loose end of the earlier part finds a logical connection and closing in this part except for a few. (Too intrinsic to be listed)

G.V. Prakash’s haunting background score reappears and still remains captivating alongside with Sneha Khanwalkar’s brilliant music which cannot be just described in enough words. Zeishan Qureshi’s debut isn’t your quintessential one, but it sure is brilliantly earthy and convincing. Nawazuddin Siddiqui treats the camera like it’s his long-lost lovelorn partner and gives out a passionately wonderful performance as the conflicted Faizal.

Gangs of Wasseypur Part One was defined by powerful ensemble actors and this part finely encapsulates the ‘other guys’ as vital players. This may not be as grand as the first part, but it’s more slick, cutting and hip. Hat tip to the well-depicted action scenes with detailing the tiniest of bloodspills. Gangs of Wasseypur 2 need not be compared with the first part as it is a completely different and separated product which delivers a new jolt to the impending masterpiece.

Now why do you even need any more reasons to watch it?

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

Supermen of Malegaon


Supermen of Malegaon
Release date: June 29, 2012
Directed by: Faiza Ahmad Khan
Cast: Shafique, Nasir Shaikh, Akram Khan, Farogh Jafri

Supermen of Malegaon is basically an inside view of the micro-filmmaking experience. Nasir has a strong affinity towards Hollywood, he admires their techniques and innovative methods through whatever he got to watch in his semi-video library. He’s made a film that parodies the classic Sholay, and names it Malegaon Ke Sholay. This time, he ventures to make a spoof on Superman. He symbolizes the films made in Mollywood, i.e. Malegaon’s filmmaking unit.

Malegaon enjoys its bereft remains of cinema and the entire town runs on the handloom industry. Probably, any other village with the impending issues of job insecurity and power cuts. Nasir gets his quartet of writers to make the story ‘as strong as possible’ and presents two contradicting styles in Akram and Farogh. The former believes in a commercially viable, action-impact brand of writing and the latter is the embodiment of the content driven, character loving philosophical style.

Akram multitasks as per the evolving needs of the inner workings. Akram plays the bad guy of the film, mixes sound, sings, dubs and shaves his head. Shafique is our finalized Superman with a frail bodyframe. He knows that this is just a small step in his long way to his imagined success. Nasir keeps reaffirming that the entire filmmaking scene is his hobby and not a career alternative because he doesn’t hope to sacrifice his own vision by working with a more hundred people. Each character has certain dreams and aspirations, to make it big in cinema or monetarily.

The entire filmmaking experience is delightful to say the least. It shows you the difficulties faced while handling the camera and collecting funds and small-time maverick ideas by the makers to incorporate maximum ‘flying sequences’ of the Superman, because, why else would the audiences watch a film titled Malegaon ka Superman (Malegaon’s Superman) – along with the under-developed social and psychological ideologies of the majorly Muslim populated place. A special mention to the couplets in Hindi-Urdu that exemplifies almost every village in India. Supermen of Malegaon puts forth a mix of social pathos and highlighting of ordinary Supermen living even in the most conflicted regions.

Supermen of Malegaon also shows you how cinema – even after hundreds of years – still remains one of the most emotionally releasing and stimulating mediums of harmless intoxication for the working classes and the oppressed. It is a shame how this gem of a piece waited for years before seeing the light of the projecting rays in India, even after going through various film festivals.

It’s depressing how the ever-smiling Superman, Shafique isn’t alive to see the adulation that he longed for. Supermen of Malegaon is not a regular experience, watch it while it lasts.

My rating: ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5)

Gangs of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Richa Chadda, Jaideep Ahlawat, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Piyush Mishra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Reemma Sen, Huma Qureshi, Pankaj Tripathi, Jameel Khan

La vengeance se mange très-bien froide – which means, “revenge is a dish best served cold” from French novel Mathilde by Marie Joseph Eugène Sue is perhaps the center-point of this magnum opus. The canvas is set for fluent masterstrokes for Anurag Kashyap and his meticulously selected creative team and cast alike. Gangs of Wasseypur is set in different eras, where the definition of revenge keeps evolving.

The opening sequence starts from a scene that has a significant futuristic importance.  Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) goes against the tide in his village and bears the brunt of that sin, giving rise to an insane need of seeking vendetta from the wrongdoers of Shahid in Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai). Sardar knows what exactly happened and promises to not rest until he gets blood on his hands. Literally, and figuratively. Richa Chadda plays the role of Najma, Sardar’s wife, and she brings the same amount of confidence and ease that she did in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye as Dolly. Najma puts up with Sardar’s all habits with her own inane traits.

Tigmanshu Dhulia with his portrayal of Ramadhir Singh shows you a formidable villain under that director’s hat. Sardar’s indiscretions carry on and reach their peak when he comes across incredibly attractive and young Durga (Reemma Sen) who’s yet a virgin. Ramadhir hangs on to his powerful position while Sardar carries on with his domination, unaware of his intentions. Meanwhile, Sardar’s neighbors from his village seek his help to get rid of the newfound dominance of Sultan Khan (Pankaj Tripathi) from the Qureshi household. Here cultivates the ultimate combination of gory means to establish dominance and put the adversary down in the most gruesome manner.

Nawazuddin plays Faizal Khan , Sardar’s younger son. He’s that somewhat dull kid of the family. He sets his eyes on the strikingly vivacious Mohsina (Huma Qureshi) and plays out an interesting small-town budding romance between them. Gangs of Wasseypur leaves at a break-point where you can’t seem to get enough of the flowing storyline. Do not leave your seats until the end credits finish rolling out, that’s when you get to see the trailer for the next part.

With little scope to display his love for brilliant cinematographic spots with colored themes in the background, Kashyap makes the optimum use of every possible chance that he gets. Making the already binding plot more juicy and visually appealing. The running time could be touted as long, but not once did this viewer stare at his watch in dismay and pain. Gangs of Wasseypur could spoil you with all its seeming perfectness and excellent background scores that provide that ‘extra’ bit of push into the building thrill. No point in raving more about Sneha Khanwalkar’s haunting and well-researched musical compositions.

Jiya Ho Bihar Ka Lala gives you that great question mark at the end making you lust for more of this film. Kudos to the writers and everyone involved in developing the rust-free screenplay that is exhaustive and extensive at the same time.

Gangs of Wasseypur might be compared to the Godfather series and the likes, but it has surely redefined Indian gangster flicks. GoW is a must watch in every aspect.

My rating: ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5) 

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