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Children films a big achievement for 2011

If one were to talk about the major achievements for the year 2011, which surprisingly enough, has not been talked about at all in the mainstream media is the manner in which films on children and films about children were made in the year 2011. It indeed was a very monumental year for the films made with children in mind, and the year end demands that a compilation of such films be made. Among the films on children which made waves are:

Dialogues make or break a film: DON-2 underlining the maxim

From the promos of DON - 2, apart from the slick action razzmatazz that it is going to unleash, one thing that is apparent is that the film is going to stand out for its dialogues. The same is conveyed in the frame where Kunal Kapoor introduces himself to Shahrukh Khan and Shah Rukh Khan tells Kunal Kapoor should not address him as "Sir", but DON. Indeed, it is these kind of dialogues that become the paisa vasool moments and ensure repeat audience. In the age of multiplexes, it is difficult to find moments of coins being thrown on the screen, but in the single screen theatres around the countryside, it still is an ambience to be soaked into.

Hundredth year of the national capital and a trip down the memory lane with Hindi Cinema

This month the national capital of our country, Delhi or New Delhi celebrated its 100 year of coming into being. Delhi as a shooting destination used to pop up off and on within the Panavision of the film makers, but it rarely was a regular choice, though it is studded with amazing historicity. The picture started changing when the new generation of film makers, i.e. those who had grown up around Delhi used it as their reference point to shoot their films. Delhi, in particular during the last two three years has been a regular fixation of the filmmakers of the country. On the eve of this occasion it indeed is a perfect occasion to take a trip down memory lane with these films.

Conmen in Hindi cinema: LADIES V/S RICKY BAHL, one more addition to the saga

It is one of the most interesting paradoxes world over, more so in the context of the Indian cinema that the characters playing conmen are revered quite a lot. LADIES V/S RICKY BAHL, is the latest addition to this category. Proliferation of such portrayal of characters in the world of cinema could be owing to the fact that we have an element of historicity associated with it, it being in the form of NATWARLAL. If one were to look for the religious sanctity then the character of conman that Lord Krishna had played in mythology also provides the evidence to it. When the character of Lord Krishna is used, it also provides opportunity to rope in the lovely ladies as well in the game of conmen as it is being portrayed in LADIES V/S RICKY BAHL, the difference here being that the con is turned out on the male of the variety as well in the form of introduction of a lady character playing con, role being enacted by Anushka Sharma. 

Need for reviving cinema in Kashmir

The residents of Kashmir indeed would be feeling anguished that after a long-long time a film-ROCKSTAR was shot extensively in Kashmir, but they cannot see their heaven unfold itself on the silver screen as Kashmir does not show any cinema in the cinema halls. Neelam cinema hall, which was the oldest cinema hall, downed its shutters more than a year ago and there was no protest or a murmur of dissent against its closure.

Women empowerment, world of advertisement and Hindi cinema

Whenever women are talked about in the context of driving, they had been shown as atrocious drivers, a category that cannot be relied upon. But the realization seems to have dawned upon the marketing wizards that they need to factor in this category if they have to increase their client base. Even otherwise it is a category that is expanding fast enough and world of advertisement and cinema had to graduate to shift the woman companion from sitting into the adjoining seat along with the driver to driving it.

Cult films or commercially successful films: What does an actor/ star aspire for

Every actor worth his grain who may be immensely commercially successful aspires for a film which is critically acclaimed and establishes his or credentials as a performer par excellence. It has been there from the time, cinema made its debut, and the trend continues even to this day. It is more so pertinent in the case of female stars of the present times, who when they start reaching the wrong side of the age yearn and aspire for 'that' film which would become a cult film and establish them as one of the vital signposts in the cinematic oeuvre and history of the country.

Has the time come to have a relook at marketing a film? RA.ONE suggests the same

Those associated with marketing of RA.ONE did not leave anything possible to associate it with the movie, be it the bicycles, or the car, or the game consoles, anything and everything that they could imagine could have a synergetic association and lead to conversion as eyeballs for the movie in the cinema halls as tried upon. Shah Rukh Khan for that matter went for the overkill and traveled around the countryside to market his magnum opus RA.ONE. But did the overkill killed the product and developed apathy in minds of the audience about the film? 

Does Diwali magic work for releasing a film?

Diwali is considered the festival of 'Laxmi' and there is an accepted notion around the country side that if any new venture is undertaken on the eve of Diwali, it indeed is going to please goddess Laxmi and she would shower her benevolence and the home would be inundated with truck loads of money. Film industry being the place that worships money and strives to maximize the revenue from a product in one form or the other also tries to do associated stunts around Diwali to please goddess Laxmi. 

RA.ONE and deconstruction of the romantic hero

After a really long time the Hindi film hero is shown on a bicycle trying to woo his girlfriend as Shah Rukh Khan is doing it in RA.ONE and it indeed has been a long time before a mainstream actor tried to do it on a bicycle. It was a sine quo non in the age of Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor but as cinema evolved and along with came new modes of communication, bicycle became a discounted commodity as a tool to express romance.

Motor car sports in India and Hindi Cinema

Just three days after Diwali for the first time in India motor sports would make its debut in India and for scores of film stars; in particular for Shah Rukh Khan it must be an exhilarating moment that the advent of motor sports has become a reality in India. After all his first major box office success

RA.ONE: Chammak Challo and the trend of copycats in Hindi cinema

Copy cats in Hindi cinema flourish with impunity. RA.ONE's Chammak Challo has set the nation on fire and there are four different versions of the song in the film and each one of them has been rendered with finesse by Akon. It is difficult to discern that Akon, who has sung the song, does not know Hindi, but it is a fact. However, as it has been a tradition with the Hindi film industry, a successful song spawns illegal clones, so it has happened with RA.ONE's Chammak Challo as well. Akon may be fuming and even Shah Rukh Khan may not be amused by this blatant copying of his popular song, but it has been done in MILEY NAA MILEY HUM and it has been made into an item song, marking the debut of sultry and sexy Shweta Tiwari on to the silver screen, before she entered into the house of Big Boss.

RA.ONE: Androgynous male makes debut in cinema

While everyone has been talking about Chammak Challo by Akon as having set the pace for Shah Rukh Khan starrer RA.ONE, an interesting side light that is appearing in the teasers is not being commented upon, though it underlines the coming of age of the gender relationships as they are shown in Hindi cinema. Just rewind to the scene where Kareena Kapoor is trying to knead dough and has messed the situation and in that situation walks Shah Rukh Khan. Conventionally it would be expected that he would help Kareena Kapoor in completing the process, but he adds to the misery of Kareena by blowing the powdered wheat on to her face.

SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER: another feather by alternate actors

From the time that he made his debut in MAACHIS, Jimmy Shergill has tried to carve out a niche for himself that is slightly off tangent from the usual run off mill commercial acting. SAHEB, BIWI AUR GANGSTER is another such feather in his cap. As a matter of fact what started as an attempt to develop alternate cinema, a cinema that epitomized the angst, travail and tribulations of middle class, but was not that arty, and evolved primarily around the time when Amol Palekar was acting in Hindi cinema has now blossomed into a distinct entity with a melange of players giving it a rainbow hue. Apart from Jimmy Shergill, other actors who belong to this genre or have gravitated to this genre include Vinay Pathak, KK Menon, Rajat Kapoor, Mahie Gill, Neha Dhupiya, and now Lara Dutta also seems to be joining into this category. 

To maintain control over business of cinema, families step in to promote wards: MAUSAM latest offering in the list

While Big B may have been different whereby he has not launched or re-launched his son Abhishek Bachchan, parents of the film fraternity at one point or the other tighten up the shoe laces and try to provide a launching or a re-launching career to their sons and daughters.

Timeless love stories of Hindi cinema: MAUSAM latest entrant into the category

There is something about romance; it gets reflected through the performances, the manner in which the films are crafted, the location, the performances of the star cast and also the aura that is built around the story.

MAUSAM and the saga of Airforce through the eyes of Hindi cinema

When TOPGUN was released way back in early eighties it had created the buzz all over the world and had catapulted Tom Cruise as heartthrob of teenagers all around the world. Pankaj Kapoor along with Shahid Kapoor would also be hoping that the same kind of buzz is created around MAUSAM as well when it is released this Friday.

3D the new format of cinema viewing: RA.ONE to unleash the power of 3D

AVATAR, the iconic film of James Cameroon, which again opened the eyes of the film viewing public across the world to the outreach of 3D, more so in India, is assuming interesting propositions. 3D version had contributed to more than 45% of collection that AVATAR obtained from India. Buoyed by the manner in which Indian audience has lapped up 3D viewing, now Shah Rukh Khan  has decided to shoot his new film RA.ONE in 3D format as well. Akshay Kumaris already doing it for his film JOKER. But the real catalyst for the Indian film makers to turn their focus of attention to 3D films emanated from the stupendous success that HAUNTED had achieved. Made at a cost of Rs.12 crore, it could gross more than 43 crore at the box office underlining the fact that Indian audience was ready to pay for a real time experience.

Nudity v/s Aesthetics: To show or not to show

In the wake of Ketan Mehta's RANG RASIYA  winning the Audience Prize at the London Indian Film Festival, the issue of nudity in cinema surfaces once again. Made in 2008, the film is yet to be released in India reflecting the ambivalent attitude of the Censor Board towards nudity in films. 

Hindi cinema’s initiatives of empowerment: ZNMD another feather in the cap

One wonders why Royal Enfield manufacturers of Bullet motorcycles have still not roped in Katrina Kaif as their brand ambassador to reposition the eponymous bike among the youth, and to counter the competition that it is facing against the invasion of Chinese and Japanese bikes in the market. Here one is talking about the inspired journey that Katrina Kaif had performed in ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA to plant a kiss on the lips of Hrithik Roshan and to affirm her commitment towards a relationship.


When Zoya Akhtar had made LUCK BY CHANCE it indeed was a Luck by Chance that her film was a hit and now with ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, the Zoya factor (As enunciated by Anuja Chauhan in her famous book The Zoya Factor) seems to be working once again, manifest from the fact that all the prime seats in premier cinema halls, i.e. those going at the rate of Rs. 500 and above are filling fast. ZNMD seems to have carved a niche within a day of its release among the audience to which it was targeted the sophisticated, neo-rich urban Indian, be it in the country, or the Diaspora, they have lapped it up.

CHILLAR PARTY: Shed the inhibition, be bold and world will be your oyster

When one sheds the clothes, along with it, one sheds the inhibition and does not have fear to do anything. CHILLAR PARTY is shot through and through with this motif, and one after viewing the film can clearly understand, why Salman Khan has this penchant for shedding the clothes, and why though he is not there in CHILLAR PARTY, he has used the children to underline his penchant for shedding the clothes. After all, the Sanyas Ashram and the Baal Ashram in most of the Hindu religion is characterized by lack of inhibition about proper dresses and clothes. 

CHILLAR PARTY – another saga of children were a dog plays the binding element

One of the favorite themes of Hindi cinema is when a child is the focus in the bonding between the child and the dog. It endears the audience, especially the children, and CHILLAR PARTYbuilds around the same theme. 

Senorita from ZNMD, the charm of club Songs

Senorita, from ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA has set the heart of nation to dance to the care free tunes of Salsa on which the music of the film is based. The masti that Lillette Dubey has brought into the song is indeed, one of the rare occasions for Hindi cinema where a lady above fifty years of age has set the heart of the nation fluttering and has coaxed the country men to groove to its beats. Indeed, it has been one of the eponymous features of Hindi cinema that the songs having an ambience of club as the background, whenever they have been mixed and composed in an imaginative manner they have caught the imagination of the nation. The phenomenon had started with Madhubala doing the job in HOWRAH BRIDGE with Aaiye Meherban trying to serenade Ashok Kumar.

10 years of LAGAAN- A landmark achievement for cinema in the modern times

Indeed, it has been 10 years when cricket, sports which is not national as declared national by the government statute in the country was used as the binding element to throw away its original proponents from the country. The film was LAGAAN and cricket was sports, now that LAGAAN has completed 10 years, its aura still continues to grow and inspires millions to fight against all odds. Such was the impact of LAGAAN as a film that it entered the haloed portals of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad as a case study, and LAGAAN was the first film which was used as a case study for management students of the country from the country in all probability. 

Encounters and Hindi cinema: SHAGIRD another addition

Tigmanshu Dhuliya's latest offering SHAGIRD is one more addition to the encounter dramas that Hindi cinema has specialized in, and to provide a sense of reality to the affair Nana Patekar has been chosen by Tigmanshu Dhulia to be the lead protagonist in SHAGIRD. For the first time, in all probability, the action shifts to the national capital Delhi to portray a narrative based on encounters. Hitherto, encounters as a part of the cinematic landscape found expression in the bye-lanes of Mumbai, but may be it needed a Tigmanshu Dhulia to underline the fact that indeed encounters happen all over the place, more so, in the national capital, where the operative forces have got much more diversified manifestation, as politics rules roost in the city of Delhi in proportion in the manner which is difficult to fathom.

GAME: Fasten your seat belts for real action

If you readers out there have liked the Thums Up advertisements featuring Akhsay Kumar on air for quite some time, with the tag line "Tumne apne Thums Up ke liye kya kiya", well, you would surely like GAME, as the director Abhinay Deo is the man who shot those Thums Up commercials and he is the man who is waiting to make his debut in the world of Hindi films with GAME releasing on 1st April 2011.

GAME and the fascination for khel

Indeed, Hindi cinema could be the only industry in the world that would have the name of GAME as a title or its Hindi equivalent KHEL in one form or the other. Besides, whenever the nomenclature KHEL is associated with the title invariably the film has hit a bulls' eye and Abhishek Bachchan who is rather going through a purple patch as his career is not progressing in the desired manner, would indeed be hoping that GAME would turn the tide for him. 

Phone Booths: A discounted commodity in changed landscape of Hindi cinema

When was the last time when one saw an actor of a cinema communicating through a public telephone booth? In fact in all the gangster films of the yore as also in films have some element of sinister, phone booths played a very important part. However, it indeed is ironical that while Hindi cinema has embraced the new tools of technology, the importance that was awarded to a phone booth has now become a discounted commodity. This sweeping change that has come in the landscape of Hindi cinema has been more pronounced, as though Hollywood also embraced technology and in fact has been showing the satellite telephones through various films, in its eco-system the phone booths also share the space. It could be primarily owing to the fact that Hollywood still continues to rely on its gigantic studio sets to give the film a definite shape, while in the case of Hindi films, and Indian films per se, which are shot mostly on locations, as the phone booths have shifted out of the landscape they do not form a part of the cinematic oeuvre as well. 

Where have the Secretaries gone?

When was the last time one saw a Secretary, as a necessary accompaniment of one of the chief characters in a film. Not in the recent memory, as with the entry of personal computation devices, role of secretaries has been taken over by the PCs, Laptops, organizers etc. But wait, it suddenly made its debut in one of the advertisements of the IDBI Bank where a Banker when he is renouncing the world, finds that even his secretary is not happy at this development. Indeed, the element of office romance that used to proliferate between the secretary and the boss was one of the best guard secrets, but now with secretaries moving away the romance between colleagues, who hold the same position, is a talk of the town as the element of secrecy which was the hallmark of relationship between her and the boss has become a discounted commodity. It goes without saying that it was Ajit the villain of yesteryears who had added an element of halo around the institution of Secretary and till he was alive the oomph and glamour in cinema was majorly provided by the Secretaries.

2010: Year of Ajay Devgn and what makes him tick?

There are no two doubts about the fact that Ajay is the real success story for 2010, what with RAAJNEETI, GOLMAAL-3 and AAKROSH etc. The diversified roles that he has enacted have made him darling of the masses. However, is it the only factor that has endeared him to the audience?

In 2011, film enters television serial as a part of content

Innovativeness is yeast that is being adapted on a large platform by the television serial makers in a big way to catch the eye balls. One of the episodes of Balika Vadhu on Monday tried to take a giant stride forward by attempting to assimilate the content of cinema and built the story of the serial around it at least for next two three episodes. The film chosen for this experimentation was DABANGG. 

Can 2011 become Rahman’s swan song once again?

Music maestro A R Rahman would indeed be contemplating how to weave his wand again in such a manner that it mesmerizes his audience and lifts them off their feet through his musical compositions. The task indeed could be onerous as 2010 has not been too kind to him, as far as quotient of success in Hindi films is considered. 

Javed Akhtar be banned? Impasse in industry

The row over whether composers and lyricists should get royalty has got uglier with Javed Akhtar being banned by the Film Federation of India. The producers of the film industry have raised the ante and they do not seem to be in a mood to share the booty from the efforts of the song writer and the music director, as it is being demanded by Javed Akhtar. They need to pause and think for a moment, whether the two biggest hits of the current year Munni Badnam huifrom DABANGG and Shiela Ki Jawaani from TEES MAAR KHAN would have got the bumper initial opening at the centres that matter, i.e. Mumbai and Saurashtra. It is the songs which are the medium of publicity for a film and are the initial catalytic factors in bringing the crowds in to the cinema halls.

TEES MAAR KHAN, DABANGG, item songs and 2010

As 2010 is coming to close, an underlining motif for the year has been that two of the super hit films have been those whose item songs have rocked the country. DABANGG had Munni Badnaam Hui and TEES MAAR KHAN had Sheila Ki Jawaani. It indeed has been a characteristic of the Hindi cinema that an item song has defined the contours of success for the film as also for the star. For the year 2010 Katrina Kaif has created the benchmark, and set the standards for 2011, an act, which would be difficult to follow. It also provides us an opportunity to revisit the item songs and see for ourselves, how the maxim that has been propounded stands the test of the time.

Can TOONPUR KA SUPERRHERO make Ajay Devgn most Bankable at Box Office?

Ajay Devgn had a dream run in the year 2010 and whatever he touched, it became gold, be it GOLMAAL-3, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI, or RAJNEETI, and he would be anticipating that at end of the year 2010, TOONPUR KA SUPERRHERO would be icing on the cake of success for him. 


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