Why Should Men Direct All The Films?

Gone are the days when women were seen only in front of the camera. In the last decade, we have seen a huge participation of women in different aspects of filmmaking. They have excelled as a producer, writer, cinematographer, director and so on. And we are indeed proud of it and are dreaming of a time when there will be gender equality in its true sense. Out of all, the ones which hog (unintentionally, maybe) the maximum limelight is the directors. As it’s not possible to mention all of them, we would be drawing your attention to a few who grabbed the maximum headlines.

1. Alankrita Shrivastava

She made her debut with Turning 30 (2011). The movie had Gul Panag and Purab Kohli in the lead. It didn’t receive positive reviews and had fallen flat at the box-office. Her second movie Lipstick Under My Burkha is releasing this Friday which has already won several accolades in the International Film Festival circuit. With just two movies, she is among the favorites of many. Read our review of Lipstick Under My Burkha and you will know what an ace director she is. 

2. Divya Khosla Kumar

Her first movie Yaariyan (2014) was a sleeper hit. It was a coming-of-age romantic youth film. The second one Sanam Re (2016) was commercially successful, thanks to the controlled budget in which the film was made. She is definitely a noteworthy director and we are eagerly waiting for her next with Akshay Kumar.

3. Farah Khan

She is a brand in Bollywood. Though she is more popular as a choreographer but has also proved that the director's cap also fits her well. Except for Tees Maar Khan, all other films were blockbusters. There are speculations that her next movie is about girl power which will be produced by Shah Rukh Khan and have two female debutants playing the lead. Well, it seems Farah is trying to do something out of her comfort zone. Kudos!

4. Konkona Sen Sharma

She has recently made her debut with A Death In The Gunj. And like her acting, everyone was impressed with her direction too. The movie received rave reviews and is considered as one of the best movies of the year. It was one of those rare movies which will completely blow you. Don’t believe us. Read our review here.

5. Meghna Gulzar

Meghna is better known for her writing skills. Who would have thought that she will impress us all by saying Action & Cut. Her last release Talvar (2015) was widely appreciated. Her upcoming Raazi starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal have already become the talk of the town as it’s based on Harinder S. Sikka's novel Calling Sehmat.

6. Reema Kagti

She has proved her mettle with Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. Her upcoming Gold is one of the most awaited movies of 2018. The film is a biopic on the life of hockey player Balbir Singh which will be played by khiladi Akshay Kumar. We don’t think you need any more reason to watch Gold.

7. Zoya Akhtar

Zoya is one of the most favorite directors of urban movie lovers. Her movies like Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and Dil Dhadakne Do are arguably the best among the lot that released in the last decade. The upcoming Gully Boy which will see Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt pairing for the first time is touted to be one of the biggest movies that will release in 2018.

These are the few who have left an impact. We are eager to know your pick. Let us know the same by leaving your comments. You can also book your tickets for Raazi right here.

Mark Your Calendars, the HillTop Festival is Back in February!

February 2018 is starting to look like an exciting month in Goa as HillTop Festival’s 6th edition will begin from the 9th and will end on the 11th. Unlike its previous editions, this time, the three-day musical extravaganza is solely dedicated to EDM loyalists. The organizers have created the festival in three stages with a mix of both national and international artists.
               

Needless to say, the best of psychedelic trance will be performed. The organizers are also hosting a dance party exclusively for the attendees, which will start from 3 PM, and is likely to carry on until 10 PM at night. Apart from the renowned artists and bands like Raja Ram, Lucas, Symbolic, Sonic Species, Starling, Atriohm, and Janux, there will several debut performances that will give the scope to the attendees to experience some fresh outings. 

The early bird, first, and second phase of Day 1 has already sold out. So all you EDM lovers, keep an eye on the BookMyShow site and our social media handles to know when the next phase of ticket sales go live. You still have a chance to be on the HillTop!

7 Bollywood Movies That Were Victims of Tarikh Pe Tarikh

The year 2017 was an underwhelming one both for the audiences and the film fraternity. There were fewer entries in 100 Crore Club nor the moderately hyped movies performed well at the box office. Having said this, the year saw certain sleeper hits like Hindi Medium, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan which again proved that movies should be content driven. Here’s a list of seven movies that kept us waiting for long.

Padmaavat (25th January, 2018)
The movie was scheduled to release on 1st December but thanks to the self-proclaimed revolutionaries of Rajput pride, the makers postponed its release. We are already mesmerized by the trailer and songs and are eagerly waiting to watch it on the big screen.

2.0 (Still waiting)
This is one movie for which we have started feeling that the wait is forever. The Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer is the first Indian film that is directly shot in 3D. The movie was scheduled for 2017 Diwali release and now is pushed to April 2018. The director Shankar said the VFX requires a lot of post-production work and he is okay to release the film late, rather than compromising on the quality. Well! It’s definitely going to be worth the wait.

Raees (25th January, 2017)
The Shah Rukh Khan starrer was first scheduled to release on EID 2016 but was moved to avoid a clash with Salman Khan's Sultan. The irony is that the movie clashed with Hrithik Roshan starrer Kaabil. Though Raees was a commercial hit the but business was clearly divided with Kaabil. Read our review of Raees.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams (26th May, 2017)
The movie based on cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s life was postponed multiple times and was finally released on May 26th. It got an overwhelming response from the audience. The movie didn’t hit the century at the box office, but had glorious innings, considering that it was a docudrama. Check out our review of Sachin: A Billion Dreams.

Jagga Jasoos (14th July, 2017) 
The Anurag Basu directed musical took almost three years to complete. It had Disney production value written all over it, such was the grandeur of the movie. The movie got mixed reviews and failed to recover its budget, which was a whopping 131 Crore INR. Here’s what our reviewer had to say about Jagga Jasoos.

Lipstick Under My Burkha (8th September, 2017)
The film had a really long battle with CBFC and it wouldn’t be easier for the film to release if Ekta Kapoor didn’t came to the rescue. The efforts were encouraged by both the audience and critics. The film made on a shoestring budget of 6 Crore INR made more than 30 Crores at the box office. Read our take on the movie

Firangi (1st December, 2017)
The movie was not completed on time. The major reason was Kapil Sharma’s busy schedule and his health conditions but it was finally released on 1st December. With this, he made it clear he is ready to experiment with his roles rather than encashing on his comic talent. Here’s our review of Firangi

Here’s What You Need to Watch at Ranga Shankara – December 2017 Edition

There’s a myth among theatre, art, and music concert lovers in Bangalore that if you don’t know Ranga Shankara, then you are not a Bangalorite. Such is the brand value of the world-class theatre that regularly showcases both national and international plays. Ranga Shankara also encourages new theatre forms, helps in productions and numerous outreach programmes to build a more loyal audience for theatre, and bring out fresh talents. So if you have an appetite for such performances, here’s what you need to look out for in December:

1) Shylock (Dec 1 – 2, 2017)

Just like the name suggests, the play is based on 'The Merchant of Venice' by William Shakespeare. Most of us know the story but watching a set of talented actors performing live is a different experience, isn't it? Book your tickets here.

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


2) A Little Calm Before the Storm (Dec 5, 2017)

The history of late German politician Hitler is very intriguing. There are three actors who are preparing for a panel discussion about playing Hitler on stage. While two of them have played the character, the third has played another German politician named Joseph Goebbels. As the discussion progress, a clash between the old and new cultures emerges. Interesting, right? To watch this interesting clash, you can reserve your tickets here. 

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


Now, here's something for our beloved Kannadigas.

3) Shraddha Mattu Stainless Steel Patregalu (Dec 6, 2017)

Here are two plays with a common theme. Both the plays are about children's perception of their parents during their childhood. The story is narrated on their respective parents' death anniversaries. We often hear the parents' perception of their children. Now, let's hear the other side. For that, all you need to do is get your tickets here. 

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


4) Sattavara Neralu (Dec 7, 2017)

Sattavara Neralu is a unique theatre expression that subtly pulls a philosophical string and delineates a dreadful tune. So are you ready for a philosophical and spiritual experience? If so, then grab your tickets here.

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


5) Maavina Gudi Colony (Dec 26, 2017)

Maavina Gudi Colony is the latest colony that is being destroyed in the name of globalization. Like the name suggests, a mango tree is a central point. A group of friends decides to meet under the tree before it's cut down and recollect their childhood memories. Get ready to feel nostalgic and know the pros and cons of globalization by booking your tickets here.

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


6) Sahebaru Baruttare (Dec 27, 2017)

The play is an adaptation Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector. It takes us on a comical ride on the political and administrative turmoil of a small town. Things become funnier when unknowingly, a senior officer from the capital is in town for inspection. To know what happens next, reserve your seats here.Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow


7) Gundayana (Dec 29, 2017)

The play is based on a novel by Na Kasturi. It is full of puns and witty punches that will surely tickle your funny bone. So be prepared to laugh out loud. Book your tickets now.

Ranga Shankara - BookMyShow

India! Are you Ready for Arijit Singh’s First National Tour?

It wouldn’t be considered an overstatement if we say that whoever regularly listens to Bollywood songs is a fan of Arijit Singh. He rose to fame with Tum Hi Ho in 2013 and now after four years – he is considered as the voice of his generation. In these four years, he has delivered numerous hits. Now, the craze for his mellifluous voice is such that the soundtrack of a movie seems incomplete without his song.

Though he is at the peak of his career, he feels that people will be exhausted if they listen to him all the time. Though a fan may not agree, considering the number of songs that he has been recording each year, there is indeed a slight possibility of such a situation. In an interview with PTI, he said, "I have stopped listening to the radio these days because whenever I switched it on, my songs were being played”.

Maybe that's the reason why Arijit is trying hard to cut down his work so that he retains the freshness of his voice for each song. By mid-2016, he started doing concerts very actively. This might have been a strategic move for him as he would manage to cut down on his recordings and at the same time remain active in the music front. Whatever it may be, we are ready for his various stints, whether we are listening to him virtually or live, he never fails to entertain us.

And now, Arijit is getting ready for his first national tour. The Arjit Singh India Tour is presented by MTV India and Wizcraft International. The tour will kick off on December 24th, 2017 at his hometown Kolkata followed by 9 concerts in 9 cities, concluding on March 17th, 2018 at Hyderabad. The tickets are exclusively available on BookMyShow and registrations for early access to ticket sales are open now. Click here to register now.

We all know that MTV has been a pioneer in presenting multidimensional musical programs. MTV Unplugged and Coke Studio are the prime examples of the same. So, with MTV bringing forth such a massive concert for the first time further raises our expectations. Reportedly, there will be a special element in each city to give the audience an experience that will be unique and remains forever etched in their memory.

So, all you Arijit fans, stay tuned on our Facebook and Twitter handles for all the updates about Arijit Singh India Tour!

Aravind SA – Macha! Ni Vere Level Da

Aravind Subramanian is one of the most popular stand-up comedians in Namma Chennai. Unplanned things are the best things that happen in our life. This is 100% true in the case of Aravind, since being a stand-up comedian was never his agenda. It all started five years ago. He holds a postgraduate degree in filmmaking from the renowned LV Prasad Film Institute. So, it wasn't surprising to know that he started his career as an assistant director. The journey of being an AD had its own challenges and gave him enough enriching experiences that he often shares in his comical acts.

Things changed when Bhargav Ramakrishnan of 'Stand-Up Tamasha' fame invited him to Urban Turban auditions in 2011. The first phase of his hilarious journey was depressing. Mostly, he would perform the opening act, then set the stage for his fellow comedians to rock on. But after much struggle and continuous persuasion, he has finally established himself as a brand whose shows often crash the ticketing portals.

He is one of those rare breeds who turn their weakness into their strengths. What makes him stand apart is his broken English and heavy use of the local lingo. He had his own reservations about the way he presented his comical acts, but thanks to his sincerity and hard work – the broken English and the use of local lingo worked wonders for him and now people thoroughly enjoy all his mannerisms.

His most popular stand-up special Madrasi Da featured 60 shows across 6 countries. The first show was premiered in 2014 and 1200 tickets were sold in less than 8 hours. A record that is still talked about in the comedy circle. The special piece of the show Why Tamils Don't Speak Hindi sparked an outrage as attempts to impose Hindi in southern states have always met with political controversies. In the segment, he tells the audience that Chennaiites know Hindi but don't wish to speak the same.

He further breaks all the misconceptions that are associated with the song Lungi Dance. While the live crowd has enjoyed every bit of it, the virtual crowd had their own interpretations which are visible in the comments section of YouTube where he uploaded the same. The comments section literally portrays the mindset of people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and their take on such burning issues.

And now, he is ready with his brand new show titled I Was Not Ready Da. The show was recently staged at the Bengaluru Comedy Festival 2017. We reviewed it and believe us, it was a laughing riot. Like all his shows, the tickets for this one are also selling fast. So, before a sold-out scenario for all the shows – here’s your chance to book tickets!

Book your tickets for Aravind SA's I Was Not Ready Da here.

Also, read our review of the show.

Panchlait: Film Review – The Light That Keeps Fluctuating Shines Brightly In The End

Verdict – A decent attempt to light up Renu’s Panchlight on celluloid.

Phanishwar Nath Renu is one of the most celebrated writers of modern Hindi literature. His works were often considered as the reflection of rural India and are regarded as ever contemporary. This is not the first time when his short story has been adapted into a feature film. The National Film Award winner Teesri Kasam was adapted from his short story Mare Gaye Gulfam. And now, another popular story ‘Panchlight’ (Petromax) has been adapted by director Prem Prakash Modi. Does the movie shine bright? Let’s analyze.

WHAT’S PANCHLAIT ABOUT:

The story of Panchlait is set in a remote village of North India that goes into darkness after sunset. The only source of light is a lantern that shines brightly for a limited period of time. All the nearby villages have their own ‘Panchlight’ and mock the central villagers. So one day, the villagers decide to buy their own Panchlight. The incidents that follow is what the story all about.

Panchlait - BookMyShow

WHAT WORKS:

Director Prem Prakash Modi and screenplay writer Rakesh Kumar Tripathi have tried their best to showcase the era of the 1950s. To a certain extent, they have succeeded. For instance, how the panchayat takes decisions on social problems is a satirical take on the social and cultural fabric of villages in North India. The authentic locations add more flavor to the narrative of Panchlait. The star cast of the film has also performed well. Amitosh Nagpal, who made his debut in Dabangg as Sonakshi Sinha’s brother, has made a sincere effort. Anuradha Mukharjee, Yashpal Sharma, Ravi Jhankal, and Malini Sengupta have also performed to their best abilities. The director has given a tribute to Phanishwar Nath Renu and Raj Kapoor’s collaboration in Teesri Kasam.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:

In an attempt to make the short story into a full-fledged feature film, the film falls into the trap of the usual fillers such as the romantic scenes between the lead Amitosh and Anuradha, and the addition of many songs. These scenes overshadowed the satirical part of the story, which was actually its core. Had the editing been crisper, the outcome could have been better. The 125-minute runtime seems stretched, considering the limitations of the short story from which the film has been adapted.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE:

If you enjoy dark humor, then you can give this one a try. The simplicity of the story and the satirical take on the villages of North India is what makes this film a watchable fare. 

Qarib Qarib Singlle: Film Review – Likeable And Almost Lovable

Verdict: Irrfan and Parvathy make this usual fare an unusual one.

Rom-com is perhaps the most predictable genre in cinema. We always know how the movie will begin and how it will end. The basic sketch of all the romantic comedy movies is the same. So it becomes more difficult to make a rom-com that will have people smiling and walking out of the theatre with satisfaction. Qarib Qarib Singlle has almost managed to do so.

WHAT'S QARIB QARIB SINGLLE ABOUT:

Jaya (Parvathy) is a widow who hasn’t moved on after the death of her husband. How will she – when she talks to him at regular intervals and saves his name (Manav) as the password of her phone and laptop? There’s a scene in the intro track when we see her buying two movie tickets just for herself. Seeing how she is drawn towards the illusory presence of her late husband, we are assuming that the other ticket was reserved for him. And yet, she is lonely and not long into the movie, she ends up making a profile on a dating app. After a few filthy messages from a set of morons, she connects with Yogi (Irrfan Khan), finds him reasonable and decides to meet him. A few meetups over coffee helps them to get to know each other (not completely though). Later, they decide to embark on a journey to meet Yogi's three exes in Rishikesh, Bikaner and Gangtok. How that journey changes their lives is what the story is all about.

Qarib Qarib Singlle - BookMyShow
WHAT WORKS:

The director Tanuja Chandra, known for Sangarsh and Dushman, presents her lead characters Jaya and Yogi in a subtle manner. For instance, Jaya is as real as an independent woman of 35 years can be. She is a regular, ordinary person, unlike the plastic beauties that we are used to in Bollywood cinema. While there is not much scope for Irrfan to work his regular magic, he doesn’t disappoint. We cannot imagine any other actor playing Yogi so beautifully. Parvathy as Jaya would be a revelation for the Hindi audience as down South, she has already proven her mettle. Eeshit Narain's cinematography captures North India in its raw form and the music of the film is situational, which goes well with the narrative.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:

Nearing the climax, there’s a scene in which Jaya advises her assistant to take it slow with a guy she met through the online dating app. This is exactly how we felt in Jaya's situation, as there is not much detailing in the initial bonding between Yogi and her. It’s a bit unconvincing and hard to digest for the logical audience as to how two near-strangers embark on a journey together. Even before we see the trust building between them, they are already at the airport to board their flight for Delhi. The climax also seems to be shot in rush. But the director overall makes up for it, all thanks to her leads – Irrfan and Parvathy.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE:

This is not a typical Bollywood rom-com where you get to see exotic locations and forced intimate scenes. Rather, it’s one of the most subtle romantic comedies to come out after a long, long time. So this weekend, you can take a trip with your friends and family to the nearest theatre and let Qarib Qarib Singlle give you a fresh dose of entertainment.

If you are still not convinced, then check out our 5 reasons to watch Qarib Qarib Singlle

Faster Fene: Film Review – Amey Wagh is the New-Gen FaFe

Verdict: Faster Fene is a thriller that will make you bite your nails.

When it was announced that Mumbai Film Company’s next production is Faster Fene – there was a sheer delight among Marathi cinephiles because FaFe is one of the most celebrated characters that children’s writer B.R. Bhagwat has ever created. He has ruled the hearts of Marathi readers for decades now. Bhagwat’s work was later serialized on Doordarshan where Sumeet Raghavan breathed life into the character. Even the series got an overwhelming response then. And when Amey Wagh was cast as FaFe, the expectations from the new-Gen hero among the audience and in the Marathi film circle is skyrocketing.

What’s It About:

Banesh Fene (Amey Wagh) is an extremely sharp, adorable, humorous and fearless guy who has Sherlock-esque investigative abilities. He comes to Pune to give his medical entrance exam. After the exam, he boards a bus to his hometown. In the bus, while reading the newspaper, he came to know the suicide of a fellow student. The incident shakes him from within and he decides to find the root cause behind the suicide. With the help of his friend Aboli (Parna Pethe), Bhubhu (Shubham More) and Bhagwat Aajoba (the brilliant Dilip Prabhavalkar), he investigates further, only to know that it's more than one could imagine – enters Appa (Girish Kulkarni), the mastermind of the entire game plan. Anything more than this will be a spoiler. Will FaFe survive all the odds to bring out the truth? Well! The answer lies in a theatre near you.

Faster Fene - BookMyShow
What Works:

The watertight screenplay is the soul of the film. There are no songs, the cliché romance between the lead pair or any sort of fillers. Right from the intro scene to the end credits, it’s purely a masterpiece that will add another feather in the cap of both, the Mumbai Film Company and the Marathi film industry. All the scenes perfectly complement the new meanings of internet abbreviations – like LOL means Link Of Logic. These are the instances when you realize how brilliantly director Aditya Sarpotdar and his screenwriter Kshitij Patwardhan have crafted the new-gen FaFe. Kudos to both of them. The cast has given an outstanding performance. Amey Wagh has been on a winners' streak with Casting Couch and Amar Photo Studio going strong, critical appreciation for Muramba and now this. Girish Kulkarni has time and again proven to be a fine, fine performer who excels at his craft. The background score further raises the intensity level. The cinematography is apt too.

What Could Have Been Better:

If we must nitpick, apart from a few scenes where twists are a bit stretched and the avoidable explanation in the climax – there was nothing to point out. It’s a flawless film.

Why You Should Watch:

Riteish Deshmukh has a winner on his hands this time. If you have grown up reading and watching Faster Fene – you can’t afford to miss this one. And those who are not aware of the literary history of FaFe, he is the new-gen Sherlock of Marathi film industry. Faster Fane is a guaranteed blockbuster, so don’t think twice. Just book your tickets and enjoy one of the best crime thrillers made in recent times with your family.

Play Review: Striptease: The Gender Dialogues – The Need of the Hour

The name might give you a slight hint of what is coming your way, but believe us, it’s much more than one could think. The Zubin Driver Theatre group gave their first performance at a public venue (The Cuckoo Club, Bandra). Normally, they perform in private spaces such as people’s living rooms and community halls. The idea behind this mobile theatre is to promote theatre as genre among the non-traditional audiences. Through this initiative, they also intend to trigger the people to raise their voice on several burning social issues such as gender inequality.

The play begins with the title piece Striptease followed by three monologues namely Booby-trapped, Wings and Devi. Lopamudra Mohanty walks up to the audience as a seductive woman. Through her captivating performance, she draws the audience in an interaction where both Lopa and audience participate in her 'stripping' of bias and prejudice mindset of our society. It’s an artistically clever piece and explores several instances on how women are ruthlessly stripteased every day and the pain they go through. Lopa also performed the third monologue Devi, where she throws light on the monotonous life of a homemaker.

Striptease - BookMyShowThe first monologue Booby-trapped performed by Dolly Bose is a wonderful piece on how our physical appearances influence us in making life choices that lead us to live a meaningful life. By the end, it also helps us in understanding that it’s not that difficult for women to reach a new level of self-knowledge and be comfortable with their body. The second monologue Wings performed by Abhishikta Das is again, a performance that is worth applauding. Abhishikta effortlessly explores that beautiful and empowering moment when a woman realizes her true value and rises like a phoenix bird to create her own destiny.

Striptease - BookMyShowThe icing on the cake was the interactive session after the performance where the team engaged in a constructive and productive discussion with the audience. The audience was enthusiastic throughout the discussion. Among the audience, a 14-year-old Aarohi put forth her experience of how her teachers have a prejudiced mindset about her just because her best friend is a boy. This is the moment where we realize that plays like Striptease: The Gender Dialogues is the need of the hour and we should promote such dialogues which have the potential to ignite the change in our society.

Don’t forget to watch the play when it is staged next. You can buy your tickets for the next performance here.

Image Credits – Zubin Driver.

Disclaimer: If the dates for this event have expired, it means that there are no upcoming shows for the same. Dates will be updated once new shows are scheduled by the organizer. Keep checking this space for more.