She took the road less travelled…

 

In an industry that is flocked by star kids who have either taken a bite out of the great pie (read: stardom) or are waiting in tow to befit the dazzling world, there are those who have carved a niche for themselves and earned the much-deserved praises off their own caliber. Alia Bhatt is one such star who bedazzled us with her grand debut, Student of the Year, and then went on to make it large with her second, Highway. As much as Imitiaz Ali is responsible for the stardom Alia is frolicking in, it was as much Alia’s effort that shone and brought her to the forefront of the new ladies in B-Town. The media and the celebrities raved about how Alia surpassed her “Baby doll chic” image and emerged as the unglamorized goddess with Highway.

This 20 year-old Highway girl trotted the red carpet and soon became the most sought after newbie. Her prim and proper demeanor, her glam doll look shimmered in the limelight, yet you could hardly ignore the child-like glee that made her the talk of the town.

Alia was raw, inexperienced, if we may say so, and hence easy to be molded into a character such as Veera. Perhaps, this is why Imitiaz (Ali) thought of casting her and he was right in doing so. She let herself be. She evolved with the character and she let herself go. She became a Patakha Guddi in the real sense of the word. It was evident that Veera was one with Alia while Alia transformed into Veera. In Student of the Year, Alia was a dolled up version of Poo (Kareena Kapoor) from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She learnt to be poised for such a role and when to the extent of attempting to walk around in heels, a thing she had never done before. She spoke to a leading magazine about the exercise and called it challenging. But what was more taxing for her was the character of Veera for it was “physically and emotionally challenging.” It left her emotionally drained. Papa Bhatt was all praises for his Glam doll. He called Highway Alia’s Arth and was thankful to Imitiaz to make Alia “live” Veera.

Yes, the battered and bruised Veera was real and very much alive. She was a plethora of emotions and left the audience numb with her heart-wrenching tale. She was equally naïve and juvenile as much as daring and dashing. The film Highway was a character film and not just a mere road trip. It staggered us with its simplicity and plain storytelling. It was evolving, revolutionary and emotionally-appealing. It was an in-your-face story and yet truthful. It certainly helped Alia evolve as an actress. Alia believes that Highway helped her undo the fakeness out of her (as told to a leading magazine) which was very much evident in her performance.

From a crying tot in Sangharsh to a nubile chic in Highway, Alia has come a long way in a short time. Highway was Alia’s film indeed but a rare phenomenon as well ’cause rarely does a newbie actress in the Hindi film industry gets to try her luck with characters as strong as Veera. What’s worth appreciating is Alia’s tact, her understanding of the characters that she portrays and her adeptness at a very tender age like 21! With two films in the pipeline – 2 States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania – we find this diva going multilingual with her characters. Alia will soon be seen in Mumma Soni Razdan’s film which is based on the notorious Nanavati case. However, what Highway has done for her and what she has done for herself with Highway is nothing less than giving her an instant star status, that, without putting to use her filmy background. In the true sense of the word, it appears to us that Alia has arrived for she took the road less travelled…

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Sunny Hoti Toh Kya Hota…

Only a few months old in B-town, Sunny Leone has become one of the topmost game changers in the country’s entertainment arena. She made many heads turn with her grand Bollywood entry (we know what you’re thinking, but this one’s a genuine sentiment :D). Leone is that aspect in a man’s life which is as hot as melting chocolate syrup, as blissful as the warmth of a blanket in freezing weather, and as wanting as the… ummm… I’d rather not say! Every man’s fantasy and every filmmaker’s dream come true – Sunny Leone swapped her career path for the best. Had this move happened a few years ago, perhaps, the audience wouldn’t have had to endure some really gruesome films. Gruesome, for they brutally murdered the cinephile in us! But when the need to break away from all the boredom and monotony arises, we are forced to bear these films. And perhaps, the only way to survive the fate is procrastinate.

Procrastinate. Imagine. Dream. Live the reverie with Leone!
 
Had Sunny (Leone) starred in a few of these bad (or choose your own adjective) films, their fate would probably have been much different from what became of them. This bombshell’s Midas ‘touch’ to the films would have been more than just a welcome change for the filmmakers as well as the actors. 
 
Here we list a few films from the past decade that Sunny Leone should have been a part of that would have changed the life course for many actors and filmmakers: 
 
Aag: As eccentric as she is, Sunny sans clothes is just too mainstream. What if she had been Durga Devi, the widow in RGV ki Aag? Seen in a white ensemble, putting out the lamps at night… By God, aag lag jaati! Or, had she been the lovely gypsy girl in Mehbooba, the film could have cashed on the item song and atleast recovered its production cost, if not the profits.
 

Jaani Dushman: Had Sunny Leone starred in this film, we would have had two Sunnys steaming the screen with their hotness – Deol meets Leone would be more like a “Sunny” side up! Adding to that, Leone’s lithe moves would have complimented the theme of the film – the reincarnation of a snake’s soul into the body of a inexplicably beautiful and hot woman."Bhai, kya acting ki hai nagin ki""Bhai, kya acting ki hai nagin ki" – would have been an oft-repeated dialogue of every person who watched the film. All this, owing to the intensity & dedication with which Leone’s supple moves would have mesmerized the audience. Armaan Kohli, our dearest villain, would have so been in awe of the actress that he would have pantomimed his act. (Neither Kohli nor the rest of the star cast, for the list is too long!) Inspite of being a “blah” topic, the film would have had its “hot” moments, thanks to the effect of the Sunnys!

Aiyyaa: If the film had been cast differently, when an actress with the caliber of Rani Mukerji had not been a part of the film, and Sunny had instead been the chosen one, Aiyyaa could have cashed in on all those raunchy item numbers. It would have been a joyous moment for the fans of Prithviraj too. The South superstar would have had dialogues to mouth. The talented actor that he is, he hardly got to speak anything. If there had been an alternate casting, he would have ranted his part even if it wasn’t a part of the script. While the audience would have clapped saying, "Bhai, kaisi jeebh laplapayiii…!" 

Love Story 2050: Perhaps, the lovely heroine could have become the savior of the “future” (pun intended) but then… honi ko koi tal sakta hai bhala! If Sunny had played the lead, she would have worked as a catalyst to get her co-stars to outperform (if you know what we mean)! If Sunny had been the lead, perhaps, Priyanka would have retained her relationship with Harman. And perhaps, Harman would have retained his status of being the Greek God duplicate. Again, honi ko kaun tal sakta hai… 

Neal N NikkiThis film scarred one too many minds for the romantic story that this was! But we strongly believe that the film would have been a lot more bearable if Sunny had been the lead instead of squeaky Tanissha. The focus would have shifted entirely from Uday Chopra’s face to the lady sharing screen space. But alas, that never happened. 

But we believe in keeping faith and having hope… So more power to a chance of an alternate casting in our films. 

Let us know your thoughts too…
 

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5 lesser known actors who made it big

Every business is based on the return of investment and Bollywood is no different. It is a gamble where the money is put on those actors who seem to have a promising career. Therefore, many talents go unseen. However, a sheer stroke of luck and these unspoken, unheard, unseen talents find themselves revelling in the glory of stardom. An overnight stardom is what the world of glitz and glamour is about.

Listing 5 lesser known actors who made it big in the industry:

Vidya Balan

She started her career with soaps and TVCs, went on to do music videos but was untapped until Vidhu Vinod Chopra changed her fate with Parineeta. Once upon a time, an untamed, dreamy-eyed chick waited for lyricist Gulzar to attend a music launch and years later the tables had turned, it was Gulzar who waited for the Ooh La La girl to inaugurate his new album. Vidya outdid herself with every performance and managed to bag the National Award for her sensuous performance in The Dirty Picture. Next came Kahaani and soon a Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India) landed in her kitty. All this in a very less time.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui

This man comes from the crop of actors who make it big with their non-glamorous image. Many stories have been heard about Nawazuddin’s struggling days. From taking a job of a watchman to a junior artist (Black Friday, Sarfarosh, Paan Singh Tomar, Dev D, Peepli Live etc) to an archtypal cop in Kahaani, it was a story of rags to riches and a long walk to fame for Nawazuddin.

Chandan Roy Sanyal

Only a few films old, Chandan Roy Sanyal has carved a niche for himself with his adept and prolific acting. From a supporting role in Rang De Basanti, he also played the role of Joseph D’Costa in Midnight’s Children. Although his short height became a deterrent in the initial phase of his career (owing to which he lost a pivotal role in Delhi 6), he was showered with praises and awards for his role in Kaminey. Sanyal continues to amaze the audience with the roles he has been taking up off-late.

Rajkummar Rao

Love Sex Aur Dhokha was perhaps a curtain-raiser to bring forth an immensely talented actor. From LSD to Ragini MMS to supporting roles in Gangs of Wasseypur 2 to Talaash to going solo in films like Shahid, Rajkummar has grown as an actor. Talking about the natural ability of this actor renowned critic Rajeev Masand says, “…it takes Rajkummar Yadav just one scene – in which he’s merely a spectator with a single line of dialogue – to show what a good actor can bring even to a small part.”

Piyush Mishra

It might come as a shock and a surprise for many movie buffs out there that his genius was considered for the role of Prem in Maine Pyar Kiya. However, Mishra declined the role and went on to pave his path. Although he rooted himself in Bollywood as a music director, lyricist, singer and scriptwriter, he got to do a few insignificant supporting roles until Anurag Kashyap’s Gulaal created a furore.

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7 reasons why you should follow Poonam Pandey on Twitter

Twitteratis, Social Media junkies and the know-it-alls have acknowledged this bold, dusky beauty. She received rave reviews for her debut film Nasha. And she continues to revel in stardom through her Twitter account. She lashes out at the biggies and is adept in creating controversies. She is the substitute to our gossip magazines.

Here are 7 reasons why you should follow Poonam Pandey on Twitter:
 
1. Everyday you will wake up to new promises. Pandey promises atleast one nasty thing and usually does what she says… usually. You can be rest assured that she won’t follow in the footsteps of Kejriwal. No U-turns when it is the Nasha girl we are talking about.
 
 
2.She is bizarre. She may be contentious. But she is your daily dose of laughter. What the dadi and bua from Kapil Sharma’s show does is least bit interesting when compared to PP’s tweets. They are most likely to evoke a #laughriot.
 
 
3. Her tweets are in your face. They show you reality. And you gotta face’em! (Or perhaps her Retweets show you the reality.)
 
 
4. Her tweets are retarded and a hope to the hopeless! If you think you are very bad at poetry, you ought to take inspiration from Pandey’s tweet rhymes.
 
 
5. You tweet something crazy using Poonam Pandey’s official handle and there, it is retweeted by her. She loves frolicking in this teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy fame. So let her be your ultimate tool to gain you more Twitter followers.
 
 
6. She is desperate for limelight. But you must mind your Ps and Qs. She helps you draw a clear line to distinguish between the Dos and Don’ts on a public forum.
 
 
7. Nothing gets better than this… she is convincingly blonde! You get to see it in all her tweets.
 
 
 
And if you still think that you are better off without following her handle then here’s one for you.
 

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5 unlikely romantic dialogues gone wrong!

Romance has been a staple of Bollywood ever since its inception and remains so till date. On the onset of Valentine’s, every year, we see a number of romantic films crowding cinema halls and our TV screens. Radio buzzes with romantic melodies; performances at different restaurants and clubs. Kishore, Rafi, Rajesh Khanna, Yash Chopra revived with vigor. The romantic spirit is set free.  The day’s celebrated as Bollywood’s Romance day!

While this remains a part of reel world, our real world comprises those guys who try "Bollywoodized" tricks to appease their girl. Albeit, some girls accidentally fall prey to it but there are those guys who keep trying every year. These majnus, found in every nukkad and galli of every city and state – Jimmy Moses look alikes and flamboyant-Govinda influenced majnus! And then comes the dreadful part, the dialogues that once sounded cool, soon sound cheap when heard from the unkempt “horse’s” mouth.
 
For instance while walking down the road you come across the Donkey from Shrek who goes like,
 
 
“Kya aap believe karte hai love at first sight mein … yah main dobaara ghoom ke aao?” (Cocktail)
 
Or while crossing the street you bump into Muttley, the dog who putters in mouth and asks you out,
 
 
“Phool hoon gulaab ka chameli ka mat samajhna … aashiq hoon aapka apni saheli ka mat samajhna” (Fanaa)
 
While you are still reeling from this shock and sipping a cup of coffee at a nearby café,  Cruella De Ville is heard convincing  her boyfriend,
 
 
“Green hai angoor, kele ka rang peela hai…Kehdo saari duniya se, Ram ki Cruella hai…” (Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela)
 
After a good laugh when you leave the café and walk down the deserted alley you hear the footsteps behind you. Turning, you see Whimpy beaming back at you. The hamdburger he held is swallowed in the blink of an eye and you stare back at the stout figure that now holds your hand. Smirking, he uses the most undesired pick-up lines on you,
 
 
“Lagda hai teri ragon mein khoon nahi … rabri daud di hai rabri” (Besharam)
 
Giving him your piece of mind, you tread down the alley and turn into your apartment. Dennis Mitchell who stays next door peeps out of the window throws a flower at you and stuns you into silence with his words.
 
 
“Yeh phool nahi mere dil ka lahu hai … aur Daddy yeh dushman nahi, tumhari hone waali bahu hai” (Ishq)
 

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5 surprisingly romantic films

The sugary nip in the atmosphere has been replaced by the sweltering heat. The chill has gone and torrid weather has taken its place. What remains of the weather is the warm feeling – to love, being loved, to be in love! The season of love perfects the mood.

Stupid cupid waits to strike us with its arrow of love while we wait to become prey to the innocent cherub’s naughty ploys.We wish to be the celebrators and the celebrated as the talks of Valentine’s day perforate in the environs. We time-travel, delusioned by a perfume called love, in our dreamy world, where we plan a dinner date or just a plain stroll alongside beach on the windy eve of V-day walking hand-in-hand with our beloved. The twinkle of the stars enlightens our hopes that perhaps this Valentine’s we’d bump into our soulmate. Casablanca, Titanic, 50 first dates, The Notebook or even Hitch, strengthens our expectations. Moving away from die-hard romantic movies, cinema serves romance on a platter that can be a tad to sweet, a tad too sour, a tad too spicy or a tad too bitter!

Bedtime stories

In this combination of hot and sour, we bump into RomComs, Rom-dramas, Rom-scifi, so on and so forth. Now that talks about RomCom have ensued, we cannot neglect the master of modern comedies, that are almost always ladled with a serving of romance, Adam Sandler. If 50 first dates is a must watch for a romantic movie buff, Bedtime stories shouldn’t be missed. For the intimacy with which the tale is woven, keeping in mind that the film is children fantasy film, one has to watch it! Though the title of the film is deceptive, the love element will hardly go unseen. You will giggle, you will cuddle, the film will make you laugh out loud and you shall also ponder over the climax!  If longing for a partner sounds way too boring then huddle together with family! Watch this lovable family entertainer.

Bridget Jones’ Dairy

Another one of the Romcoms, that is surprisingly romantic, Bridget Jones‘ Dairy. Sappy, it may be but for the women obsessed over cellulite, women who find it difficult to control their eating habits, women for whom finding love in life is a priority and women who often delve into self-help books when in need, should watch this film. It helps to overcome our anxiety, gives us hope, makes us fall in love, helps us to do away with our bad eating habits (well, not really…) and makes up for a splendid chick-flick evening. Soak your feet in hot water tub, relax on the couch and while you sip from your wine glass, feel the tension ease out, ‘coz Bridget Jones is one heck of a person who will make you fall in love with yourself!

Never Let Me Go

A Romance & sci-fi face-off, you will find in the film Never Let Me Go. Starring Andrew Garfield, the film sketches a love triangle amidst the sci-fi clamor. The characters easily mesh with our feelings and evoke whirlpool of emotions. We fight with the dilemma till the very interval, making sure such a thing may happen in near future. While science makes up for the backdrop of this film, what attracts the viewers is each character’s fight for survival and chase for love. The elements of love and survival bring us face-to-face with faith and hope. It is intimidating, intriguing and inimitable which touch bases with tender sentiments.

City of angels

A fantasy-romance that won’t make you weep but it will surely entice you with its concept – angels falling in love with humans. It defers from the usual romantic films as unlike Romeo-Juliet, the lovers don’t die in the end. It is one sacrifice that leads to a lifetime of consequences. Backed with strong performances and wonderful chemistry between the two stars – Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan- the film literally makes us fall for our guardian angel by casting a romantic spell which is quiet its own!

Just Friends

It may sound like a sitcom title or perhaps, name of a novel but it is indeed Just Friends we are talking about. A RomCom that starred Ryan Reynolds! While Ryan with his presence adds the oomph factor to the film, what the film does is, takes us back in time; to our childhood crush. The lead may have turned a womanizer but the strong feelings still holds for his crush. Just for a minute it makes us believe that may be, just may be, our crush will fall in love with us. The skip of our heartbeat resurrects the emotion and it is here that the film strikes a chord with the viewers. It is underrated but do not skip this one, this Valentine’s. Who knows you may turn out to be the lucky one, your crush may fall in love with you!

 

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Winter’s Tale: Film Review

Love is luminous. Love is a miracle. It can move mountains and make things happen. But souring the taste of a beautiful sentiment is the film Winter’s Tale. Touted to be Akiva Goldsman’s passion project, the film turns out to be repulsive fantasy meshed with bland romance.

Based on Mark Helprin’s novel by the same name, the film involves a stellar starcast – Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Eva Marie Saint, Will Smith. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a thug who falls for a a dying girl, Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Lake presumes that he was meant to be the miracle that can save her life. In this life-saving quest, Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) plays the devil’s advocate, (literally!) he tries to stop Peter from saving Beverly Penn for he thinks that miracle will thus be done if Penn survives!

In the endeavors to show a time-travel story, filmmakers mess with the entertainment quotient of the film. Winter’s Tale, thus, is a baseless, a pointless and lackluster tale from an Oscar awardee! It is predictable and incomprehensible. With flawed execution of the concept, it comes out as irrational and repetitive in its approach. It revolves around primal premise, a battle of good versus evil. It hardly ever retracts itself from this postulate in process meddling with the time-travel concept. This further makes the film’s plot daft and piffle. The film is high on the love philosophy and is determined to make you believe that miracles happen but this makes it ludicrous and boring!

Overall, the film punctuates love and miracle yet fails to ascertain that the message reaches across without any hitch.

 

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Hasee Toh Phasee: Film Review

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ho Na Ho. These are some high-rated films Dharma Productions has given us. They have gifted us with a few gems, albeit budding, like Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra with last year’s hit Student Of The Year. Starring Parineeti Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra, Hasee Toh Phasee is a complete family entertainer that has top-notch performance delivered by the two stars.

Teaming two very distinct individuals, when Dharma Productions took upon itself to grace the 70 mm with a “coming-of-the-age-film” (as Karan Johar puts it) alongside Phantom productions, it was indeed a very good decision on their part. It is commendable that despite being just one film old, Siddharth, who plays Nikhil, has the ability to awe the audience with his skills while Parineeti, who plays Meeta, goes “cucking frazy” with her third one. She is one heck of a geek. She can charge the car battery and unlock the automatic jammed doors of the car. Her only problem in life is her family’s inability to accept her gifted being. The only person who supports her throughout is her father. After a “certain heist”, she runs away from her sister’s wedding 7 years ago. Meeta, then, returns to Mumbai to attend another sister’s wedding. Here, she meets the boy who is perfect for her and yet is not hers. Nikhil is as crazy as Meeta but in his own sweet way. He has failed in his life and has been petting his girlfriend, Karishma, for past seven years, fulfilling all her demands. However, Karishma’s persistent threats to break-up, eventually leads him to fall in love with Meeta. Nikhil and Meeta, two flawed beings who come together gradually.

Amongst the many scoops about the film, one had been its similarity to a yesteryear film called Aaina. In some ways though, it is similar to Aaina yet has a feel of its own. It is inimitable and wild, all at the same time. It is a lighthearted Rom-com that will not only bring a smile to your face but will evoke whirlpool of emotions as you see the desperate need of Meeta to get a glimpse of her father. The negligence of Meeta’s family towards her as well as their seething hatred is what induces sympathy for this character. The film may be a Rom-com or a coming-of-the-age-film, yet Meeta’s strong presence also makes it a character film. She isn’t the typical graceful heroine of a Hindi film who is waiting for her Raj. She is unconventional, eccentric and ambitious. Meeta is the catalyst who helps Nikhil find his hidden talents and encourages him towards choosing his career path. Other actors – Adah Sharma, Manoj Joshi, Sharat Saxena, Neena Kulkarni and many more add to the X-factor of the film with their refined acting.

From Bhuleshwar to Filmcity, director, Vinil Mathew, captures the nooks and corners of Mumbai in his camera, making the film visually appealing. The film boasts of flashy sets, a signature style of Dharma. The dialogues of the film are as unconventional as Parineeti’s character. Set amidst a wedding the film is packed with Bollywood masala. Be it drama, romance, comedy, tragedy, suspense, the film is a balance of all the aesthetics of Hindi cinema. Vishal-Shekhar’s music doesn’t fail to placate the listeners. The film has peppy and foot-tapping numbers which add to the zeal of the wedding atmosphere.

Why must you watch this film?

Overall, 141:19 minutes long, this film is a must on your weekend planner if you are a Hindi movie buff. It is a fresh and refreshing take on Rom-coms set in the contemporary times. It is an engaging film with promising actors and a few cameos that will surprise you.

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Babloo Happy Hai: Film Review

Nila Madhab Panda who touched base with Indian cinema through endearing children films, I am Kalam (for which Harsh Mayar won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist 2011) and Jalpari, takes it upon himself to strike a chord with the audience with a commercial yet socially-poised film. Embracing a heartfelt and a raging social issue, the film, Babloo Happy Hai comes out as a close to reality yet a very mushy movie.

Opening with a bachelor’s party, the film revolves around the life of a bunch of characters – Jatin, Harry, Rohan, Tammy and Natasha – who with time get involved in very fragile social matters. Belonging to a highbrow society, Tammy aka Tamanna is a spoilt brat. As a girlfriend she is nagging, irate, over-reactive and highly-insecure. She keeps a tab on Jatin, time and again pulling on the leash. Jatin’s friends, however, are a happy-go-lucky lot consisting of a gay friend, Rohan and a desperate-cum-vestal virgin, Harry (towards the end although Harry does meet his Sally but it hardly matters to the story). Jatin on his bachelor’s party drinks a lot and the situation goes out of hand when he finds himself in bed with an unknown chick he just met during the party. Although the one-night-stand affair gets sorted quite quickly and promptly, yet the horrors of it lurk throughout the story and begin to spill the storyline way too hastily. Moving on… to enjoy his last days of bachelorhood, Jatin along with his two friends embarks on a road trip which also involves spending time with his fiancé to help her in a social project. But he unexpectedly meets some people from the past who change his life and outlook forever.

A good storyline with loose ends; the film irks you with some cheesy dialogues and incomprehensible sequences – a constantly blabbering girlfriend and always stuck in some snow-storm gabru pehelwan boys – to name a few. With a nice tempering of Salsa and Belly Dance, the film keeps you from falling off to sleep. Highly predictable, this 1 hour 53 minutes long film starts to look prolonged. The climax may placate the viewers, but then again we knew it was coming! There remains a certain void in several spaces which can be overlooked considering that the cinematography of the film is eye-catching or perhaps it is the picturesque Manali that allures our minds. However, here again a viewer might feel that the filmmakers could have added a tad extra to the whole scenic part! The twists in the tale are good, but there always seems a room to improvise. The songs of the film will not appeal to you or the sequences it is used in.

Acquainting the audience with a topic as vital as this has been a courageous step on the part of the filmmakers; however, there have been films that have ladled on this topic and which have connected a chord with the viewers in a much simpler, toned down and loving fashion! Anyone who has seen (or even not seen) the Marathi film Popat shall realize that this film misses the much-needed emotional connect with the audience. The film puts together a bunch of boys running helter-skelter, a Ileana D’cruz look–alike actress, slapped with an irksome supporting starcast. Pravin Dabas is possibly the only one who looks good enough amongst the gang of boys.

Despite all the flaws, the film gives away an essential social message and in a much mature way handles the issue of LGBT, all the while stressing on the importance of relationships. One point five rating only for the way it handles the social issue without tampering it a bit!

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The Book Thief: Film Review

There are very few films that befit this Martin Scorsese’s quote about cinema “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out." They adapt very well to what’s in the frame and what’s outside. They possess the ability to stir human emotions and leave them in the awe of the filmmaker’s adeptness.  For a bibliophile, a film like “The Book Thief” will mean a lot, although, those with a sensitive heart will also fall in love with the film.

Based on the novel by same name, by Markus Zusak, the film captures the essence of the Fuhrer’s Germany and is a tale told with competence. Set in terror stricken, gravelled streets of Germany, the film revolves around the character of a book thief and her hunger for learning, reading, books and thus, for knowledge. Leslie Meminger (Sophie Nelisse) owing to unspoken circumstances is given away to The Hubermann’s, who become her foster parents. A 12 or so year old child has seen death’s hand strike and jab at her from the very beginning. She is, therefore, an invincible and a mature soul. She adapts herself to the Hubermann lifestyle that comprises a caring father, Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush), and a nagging mother, Rosa Hubermann (Emily Watson). She meets a boy next door who becomes her dear friend, Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch). Steiner’s insistence that Leslie kiss him makes up for a beautiful unspoken, unrequited love tale. The film takes us through the war zone giving us the taste of dread and death. It entices us with the beauty of innocence and childhood. The interior monologue of the child is more enthralling. Her attempts to read begins from the book she steals during the burial ceremony of her deceased brother, the book called ”Grave Digger’s Handbook”. Her journey through the musty pages of life’s book makes the tale endearing and magnificent.

The tempo of the story is maintained throughout. Characters in the film have given an exquisitely brilliant performance. Each character moulds Leslie’s life, in one way or the other. Her pesky mumma, her loving father, her annoying friend Rudy or the Jew man trapped in the basement of her house, Max Vanderburg (Ben Schnetzer) , who becomes her inspiration and her best friend for life. The film is predictable, to a certain extent, but then there are "oh those" moments that we all can call a "hair-raising" experience! It has its moments of fun and merriment. And then, there are those that fill you with vehemence. Accompanied with strong performances, the film gifts viewers with beautiful lessons for life! When Leslie asks Max, “What did he do so wrong?”,  Max replies, “He reminded people of their humanity!” or when Rudy says to Leslie, “ I want to grow up before I die!”; the audience will certainly feel the sting of the words. The twinge that people must’ve felt during those testing times. It certainly is a tale when the world went mad, as Max puts it!

Although, you may find something amiss here and there, a heartbreaking climax leaves us in tears. The film comes out as breathtaking, wonderful and incredible. It offers us hope and faith. And when death says it is haunted by humans, you know the film does have an enchanting story to tell.

P.S: Every piece of work speaks of a writer’s individuality which is perceptibly unique. Let’s not compare this one with works of other authors/ auteur. It is inimitable in its own sweet way.

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