Life In A Metro – A Paradox of Dreams and Happiness!

Life In A Metro – A Paradox of Dreams and Happiness!

Saurabh Bharat
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Saurabh Bharat

Dentist turned Radio Jockey turned Social Activist turned New York Film Academy Graduate. Passion for telling stories in all possible forms. Writer and Editor.
Saurabh Bharat
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It’s now 10 Years of this amazing film which actually made the director Anurag Basu class apart from his contemporaries. Apart from the fabulous screenplay and characterization, the dialogues written by Sanjeev Dutta makes it really memorable. Here are our picks.

  1. Something about perfect men. Quite true, isn’t it?



2. The Fragrance of Love.



3. Some great advice for the youth of the country.



4. If you have any confusion regarding this.



5. One more harsh truth about relationships.



6. Heartbreaking! Something I can completely co-relate.



7. A race which gives no solace.



This is also in the Scriptors 100 Best Hindi Films of all time, so Watch this movie if you haven’t till now.

Mausam – Season Of Self-Condemnation

Mausam – Season Of Self-Condemnation

Yohaann Bhaargava
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Yohaann Bhaargava

Head - Business Development at SCRIPTORS
Movie Buff. Yohaann is a film critic with Jagran Prakashan Limited. He has been associated with Print and TV media as a branding professional. Presently he is a screenwriter trying to bring in some good scripts up for Bollywood. At Scriptors he works as a writer and handles business development.
Yohaann Bhaargava
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#Scriptors100BestFilms #Mausam

Mausam is laced with the most unusual elements of Hindi cinema.

The 1970s:  Gulzar is at his creative pinnacle, fresh from the critical acclaim of Parichay,Koshish, Aandhi. Here is when he attempts an unconventional story which is quite a bold decision in those antiseptic, righteous and contemporary times. The zany masala and bombast of Hindi film in the 1970s, was accompanied by a subtler side as well, a delicate strain of films that explored the raw places where human emotions intersect. Setting the standard in this kind of sensitive cinema are films by the likes of Hrishikesh Mukherje, Basu, Bhattacharya, Basu chatterjee and the brilliant Gulzar, who did the screenplay/dialogues/lyrics for Mausam and adapted Bhushan Banmali’s story into a heart wrencing saga of redeemed guilt on a rollercoaster of quicksilver emotions.
Pontificating tales of rich men trying to transform prostitutes into socially acceptable women are usually blase and predictable. They are often sodden with obnoxious moralistic subtext:  a sexually uninhibited woman needs a male savior to rescue her by teaching her to conform to societal norms.  But Mausam is a little different. Here, sanjeev kumar ( playing Dr Amarnath  Gil )seeks  to  gratify  his  own  guilt  and  embarks on a mission  more  for   his own redemption, than Kajli’s (Sharmila) – he is trying not so much to transform  Kajli for her own good, but rather to reconstruct her mother, so that he may ask her forgiveness for the volte-face  he did  on her so many years  ago. This lends a sadness and desperation to his efforts at rehabilitating Kajli, a very different approach to the Pygmalion-esque elements of the tale.
The  film opens  on  a poignant note  with whiffs  of  the lustrous  signature  tune ,Dil Dhoondta hai  ( also the swan song  of  composer Madan Mohan) setting the pace  for a series of  flashbacks in which the  story  unfolds.  Incidentally this is also Gulzar’s illustrative style to narrate the screenplay keeping the viewer engrossed (Ijaazat again  perfectly  embraces  the  film maker’s style) .Dr. Gill (Sanjeev Kumar), a successful doctor and marketer of an eponymous pain remedy, arrives in Darjeeling for an extended vacation – with a mission.  His objective is to track down the love of his life and seek forgiveness for abandoning her nearly a quarter of a century before.  In flashbacks we are shown the nascence of that old romance, between the young medical student Gill and the village ayurvedic healer’s daughter, Chanda (Sharmila Tagore). The two, though of diverse backgrounds (he an English-speaking student from the city, she a damsel from the village comfortable only in the local tongue) fall in love and having made promises to each other wave goodbye to each other as Gill departs to the city to finish his studies. For reasons best revealed when you watch the film, they never meet again and the love never consummates. Cut, to some 25 years later when the aged and yet unmarried Dr Gill arrives from Calcutta in search of his love. As the middle-aged Gil follows the trail of Chanda’s life since he left her, he discovers that she has died after a prolonged descent into madness brought about  by  his  failure  to keep  his  promises  and  Gill is horrified to learn, of  her miserable pining over the false promises of her faithless lover.  Forced into an abusive marriage, Chanda left behind a daughter, Kajli (also Sharmila), who Gill finds plying the world’s oldest trade in a coarse, ratty brothel.  Gill – without revealing his connection to her mother – buys her time indefinitely, dresses her in good clothes, and attempts to mould her into the upstanding girl her mother had been when he knew her.
How Dill reconciles with his past and with the daughter is what the movie is about.
Mausam becomes a landmark also because Sanjeev Kumar is one of the finest actors in Indian films. His controlled touch ensures that the film remains sensitive even as Dr. Gill leans heavily toward the paternalistic.  Gil is wounded and confused; he comes to Darjeeling hoping to ride off into the sunset with his beloved Chanda ,not to rescue from brothel the life a daughter he never knew Chanda had.  Sanjeev Kumar’s nuanced performance preserves Gil’s pain and uncertainty as he navigates the unexpected twists in his own fantasy.   Gill’s implicit sexual attraction to Kajli, who is after all the doppelganger of her mother as Gil last saw her is  kind of  skipped   in later  parts  of the  film, as  it is likely to  upset the  delicate  balance  between   affection and incestuous  love. There is an everyman quality to Sanjeev Kumar that makes his portrayal of human pain that much more effective and real; this is as evident in Mausam as it was in Silsila, in which he stole the show from stars with much more conventional charisma. Sanjeev Kumar gives a masterfully understated performance — his surface serenity is disturbed by emotions that ripple on his face, fleetingly yet evocatively. Despite playing a flawed human being, a rare entity in Hindi films, the air of sympathy and understanding that Sanjeev exudes lends a halo to his character. The tenderness with which he gazes at Sharmila before driving off with her in the climax is a moment to treasure.

Sharmila Tagore tears into her role with gusto spewing fire and brimstone as the shrewish prostitute. At the same time, she suffuses her character with aching tenderness. When she blatantly describes her parents as, “Baap langda tha, maa pagal “(Father was a cripple, Mother was a nut), to shut up an inquisitive Sanjeev, you can feel the pent-up frustration and anger.
Sharmila Tagore’s performance stands up as well; after seeing her astonishing performance as a young teenager in Apur sansar, her deep sadness in Amar Prem, and her jaunty work in another double role in An Evening in Paris, I am starting to believe in her completely as an actress.  Here, she ranges from coarse crassness to wonderment to confidence, doubt, tenderness, resentment.  There is a palpable difference between Chanda’s flouncy innocence and Kajli’s world-weary demeanor, exhausted and broken, until she is refreshed by her bond with Gill. There is also an adorable song in which Kajli tries to entertain Gill with a jaunty mujra.  Her dance is both sensuous and a little bit graceless; by Kajli’s own admission she is not a very good dancer, but she is clearly in her element performing for Gill, and it makes for a charming scene. Years later, Shabana azmi attempted the same in a strikingly similar situation in Doosri Dulhan, and the  comparisons  are   evidently drawn  to the two performances. A role that was  utterly   bold  and   unconventional in the   clinically  squeaky clean   70s, Sharmila   excels  all the avtaars  she dons  here : In the  younger role  she  is endearingly naive , in the mother’s  role: pithily poignant while capturing the forlorn  cheerfulness of a  mentally-imbalanced woman. And as a  prostitute,  she  lets go  with  abandon  :  her  heroine’s image  be damned:  and we get a  performance seemingly  unparalleled  in Hindi cinema till date.
The result of all this fine work by both actors, together with Gulzar’s script and direction, is a heart wrenching yet warm film; at its climax It is a delicate story, about delicate characters, delicately told. Almost 4 decades ago, Gulzar dared to break the rules about man-woman relationships on the Hindi film screen with Mausam. With a sensitive, non-judgmental eye, he delved into a knottily tangled relationship between a crusty (at times) old bachelor and a young prostitute.
It’s a sensitively written script, just what one has come to expect from Gulzar everytime; with attention to details, characters. The overall quality is perhaps slightly hampered by low budgets but more than made up by the script, songs, music and strong actors. The adequate and sweeping photography does not try for anything fancy but amply brings out the beauty of the hills of Darjeeling. Each shot is framed with a poet’s sensitivity.
Mausam was the last film Madan Mohan composed for.  Gulzar’s  mesmering lyrics are embellished  with   his  tunes  to create   nuggets  such as Dil dhoondta hai, in two  versions,Lata ji’s vocals are  extra  special in MM;s  compositions and   so  we  have  a  emotion encrusted  ‘Rukey rukey se qadam’  and  a spirited ‘charri  re charri kaisee’.
At a time when Hindi film’s umpteen fallen angels had their mouths washed out with soap if they didn’t speak in a refined argot, this film spouted starkly realistic, rough and ready language. The narration  drilled  straight   into the heart  and  grilled   the  thoughts  on    red  hot  skewers  where no   excuses  were offered   in cutting open the raw  emotions: there   are no  comic relief   scenes,  sub plots   or   action  sequences. Mausam just underscores the tantalizing ambiguity prevalent in many associations, after all, a bond involving two people is subject to their individual approach to the relationship

Just as the last dialogue sums it all up ;

‘Peechey mudd ke dekhney  ke liye hamarey paas kuch bhi nahi hai ..!!’


-Compiled in association with our reader Mohnish Bajwa

Parichay – Lyrical Acquaintance

Parichay – Lyrical Acquaintance

Debjyoti Datta
Debjyoti Datta

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#Scriptors100BestFilms #Parichay

A mellifluous rendition of Raj Kumar Maitra’s novel, ‘Rangeen Utthain’ which was initially made into a Bengali classic, Aparna Sen and Uttam Kumar starrer ‘Joy Jayanti’, 1971. Rakhi read the novel, finalized it and requested Gulzar to adapt it, that is how the dulcet ‘Parichay’ was made on the basic storyline of Maitra’s novel with a soulful ‘Sound Of Music’ like musical in 1972. It almost gives you ‘The Bollywood Broadway’ feel.

An epilogue to the movie, Nilesh (Sanjeev Kumar) – Music scholar who dreams to make it big as a singer, Rai Saheb (Pran) – Typical quintessential cinema father figure who believes music is recreation for the rich class and not a career option or a path to earn money, Nilesh’s dreams and aspirations are challenged by his highly opinionated father, forcing him to walk out of home only to return a few years later with his wife Sujata (Geeta Siddharth). Rai Saheb requests Nilesh very assertively yet politely to sail his own boat. Nilesh and Sujata have a fresh beginning of their life and they end up having five children. Sujata dies an untimely death, leaving Nilesh to bring up the children, but like destiny decides, he too succumbs to terminal disease and unwantedly leaves the kids in their grandfather, Rai Saheb’s custody. The children under the leadership of Rama (eldest) are bitter and blame their grandfather for their present situation and try to voice their displeasure by being naughty and mischievous. Rai Saheb is tired of their tactics and is in search of a tutor who can get sense into the kids and bring them up in a socially acceptable manner. This is where Ravi (Jeetendra) enters, accepts the position of tutor and with his own subtle way of teaching, his softness, his love, and with music he attempts to not only get to the heart strings of the children but also softens their temperament towards their grandfather. He also eventually falls in love with Rama. Rai Saheb is all full of accolades for Ravi for not only introducing the children to Rai Saheb, but also acquainting them to him and bringing both of them closes to each other. Hence the title ‘Parichay’ is justified. The movie has a very feel good successful ‘Happily ever after’ ending of Ravi and Rama’s love.

The music is a not only an auditory but a visual treat as well. Music plays a very important role in this whole movie; Gulzar has very smartly depicted human emotions and scenes with his smart timely music. With ‘Musafir hoon yaroon’, Gulzar and RD Burman worked together for the first time, Gulzar showed the uncertainty of Ravi’s decision and life yet affirming on the fact that journey is more important than the destination. ‘Beeti na bitai raina’, won Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh National award, Gulzar very aptly showed the vulnerability yet strength of Rama’ s character through this rendition. Through ‘Mitwa bole meethe’ Gulzar portrayed Nilesh as an excellent artist and made the audience feel pity for him not getting enough support from home. With ‘Sa Re Ke Sa Re’ he gave us a Bollywood version of ‘Do Re Me’ from ‘Sound Of Music’ which almost instantly wins your heart and the audience vouches for Ravi as a good tutor who can bring love in the children’s lives with music. This is how the great Gulzar smartly involved the audience in this story; he almost tied the emotions with musical strings.

The actors have surpassed their ability to only act and almost convince the audience of their character. Be it Pran as Rai sahib, very aptly portrays the role of a strict father, opinionated, helpless and sad to live his son’s death and take care of his grandchildren and striving for their acceptance. Sanjeev Kumar as Nilesh, dons the role of an imperfect son, idealistic, responsible husband and dutiful father. Asrani in the role of Narayan wins the audience heart and makes you realize that a servant is a part of the family too and they too have emotions, the change of expressions on asrani’s face when he talks of Nilesh to Ravi or be it, him looking at Rai Saheb laugh with his grandchildren are precious moments of subtle winning emotions for the audience. Jeetendra as Ravi impresses and makes the audience crave to have a tutor who teaches you to find life in music. Jaya Bhaduri as Rama was just the cherry on the top; she proves her demeanor through her sparkling teary eyes in ‘Beeti re bitayi raina’ convinces her ability to wrench your soul through just the pain in her eyes.

Just like ‘A few of my favorite things’ from ‘Sound of music’, a few of my favorite scenes are definitely worth a mention. Initially Ravi s sacrifice for his first job as it wasn’t ethical was how gulzar started building Ravi’s character, moreover his ideologies are mirrored through dialogues like ‘Bacche gunde nahin shararti hote hain’ and ‘Bacchon ko padhai ki nahin pyaar ki zaroorat hai’, later he goes on to win your heart by small acts of love like choosing not to inflict pain as a way of teaching. Most of the dialogues between Rai Saheb and Ravi almost seems like all the things Rai Saheb wanted to tell Nilesh but couldn’t. Rai Saheb’s helplessness and hope is depicted at the same time with dialogues like ‘In bacchon ko ab tum hi sudhar sakte ho’ and ‘Mushkil to yeh hai ki pyaar ki koi goli nahin hoti, warna khareed kar khila dete’. Beautiful comic punctuations has been introduced by gulzar through Narayan, where he says ‘Hasne ke liye aur gaane ke liye jungle mein jana padhta hai’. One of my favourite scenes depicting the romance between the protagonists is Ravi’s aunt telling ‘Chauka hi kyun, meri taraf se poora ghar sambhal le’ and the camera focuses on both their faces and then the burning fire. Ravi is the silver lining not only to Rai saheb but also Narayan portrayed through dialogue like ‘Aap unki hasi louta do, jo mangoge…humari haisiyat hi kahan..zindgi manglo’.

The direction and cinematography is beautiful, from the very starting, be it use of kaleidoscopic shots in the movie prologue or the lyrical display in songs, it makes you crave for such masterpiece musicals from Gulzar. Innovation of concept is clearly seen through mention of ‘Second track’ as his inner voice, very beautifully portrayed with a comic platter.

This movie may initially remind you of ‘Sound of music’, but then it takes off and grips you in complicated layers of human emotions but portrayed in a very simple yet melodious family drama. It takes you along a journey of believable characters, a stern father, an ambitious yet dutiful son, a daughter’s agony of losing father. It deals with delicate relationships like a father and son tiff, a father and daughter bonding over music. This movie also defines love in different levels, be it love of Rai Saheb towards nilesh, or his grandchildren, Rama’s love for her father and her responsibility towards her younger siblings. Ravi’s character is the most thought over, it seems like the author designed it on himself, Ravi is like the connecting link between emotions and people. He is the sole protagonist who introduces Nilesh’ s point of view to Rai Saheb, Rai Saheb’s feelings towards his grandchildren, Rama’s feelings towards nilesh, her siblings and Rai Saheb. Thus he is the main person who eventually brings the whole bits and pieces of the story symbolizing the emotions together in a string of family using music and love.

Probably Gulzar through his songs like ‘Musafir hoon yaroon’, dialogues about love and constant comparisons with music and life, wanted to say that love is not a destination but a journey. This masterpiece culminates with Ravi introducing the audience to the original seven characters and their equation. Rai Saheb, Nilesh, Rama and 4 siblings symbolizing the seven annotations of music.

Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti hai – India’s Most Honest Dacoit Movie

Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti hai – India’s Most Honest Dacoit Movie

Prakash Khare

Prakash Khare

Retired Government Officer, Big Time Indian Cinema Fan, Old Film Encyclopedia
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#Scriptors100BestFilms #JisDeshMeinGangaBehtiHai

आज़ादी के साथ बहुत सी अन्य समस्याओं के साथ डाकू समस्या भी देश को विरासत में मिली जो सदियों से चली आ रही आर्थिक व सामजिक असमानता की उपज थी व जिसे केवल पुलिस या सैन्य अभियान से रोका जाना मुश्किल था। भारतीय फिल्मों में अधिकतर इन डाकुओं के अँधेरे पक्ष या नकारात्मक पहलु को ही प्रदर्शित किया गया है पर १९६० में प्रदर्शित फिल्म जिस देश में गंगा बहती है में पहली बार राजकपूर ने इन डाकुओं की संवेदनाओं व उनकी असल ज़िन्दगी की जद्दोजहद को उजागर करते हुए उनके पुनर्वास को मुख्य मुद्दा बनने का साहस किया ।
फिल्म का नायक राजू गा बजाकर ज़िन्दगी बसर करने वाला एक भोला भला भाट है जो डाकुओं की एक गैंग के सरदार को बचाता है। गैंग के अन्य डाकू उसे पुलिसवाला समझ कर उठा ले जाते है लेकिन गैंग का सरदार उसकी सच्चाई को जानते हुए उसे इज़्ज़त देते हुए उसकी आव भगत करता है। सरदार की बेटी कम्मो उसके भोलेपन पर मुग्ध होकर उससे प्यार करने लगती है। लेकिन वह भोले भले राजू को यह समझ|ने में सफल हो जाती है की वो लोग डाकू नहीं बल्कि समाज को बराबर करने वाले समाज सुधारक हैं। लेकिन राजू को एक दिन यह सच्चाई पता लग जाती है। और वह जाकर पुलिस को सब सच्चाई बता देता है। पुलिस गैंग को समाप्त करने की योजना बनती है किन्तु राजू यह चाहता है की डाकू सरेंडर करके मुख्या धारा में सम्मलित होकर आम ज़िन्दगी जिए। आख़िरकार वह काफी जद्दोजहद के बाद अपने उद्देश्य में सफल हो जाता है।
फिल्म का निर्देशन राजकपूर के सहायक रहे राधू करमाकर ने किया है जिसमे राजकपूर की शोमैन वाली छाप स्पस्ट तौर पर नज़र आती है। राजकपूर की अन्य तरह फिल्म की कहानी को बृहत्तर स्केल पर कसी हुई पटकथा के साथ मनोरंजक तरीके से कहने का सफल प्रयास किया गया है। फिल्म में शंकर जयकिशन का संगीत फिल्म की पृष्ठभूमि के अनुरूप एवं अत्यन्त लोकप्रिय व कर्णप्रिय बन पड़ा है| गीतकार शैलेन्द्र व हसरत जयपुरी के फिल्म के गीत पटकथा की मांग के अनुसार फिल्म की कहानी को आगे बढ़ाते है और कई जगहों पर अत्यन्त संवेदनशील बन पड़े हैं ख़ास तौर पर फिल्म के गीत” प्यार कर ले नई तो फँसी चढ़ जायेगा “व “आ अब लौट चलें” फिल्म की पुरे उद्देश्य को बयां कर देते हैं।
फिल्म में भोले भले राजू की भूमिका राजकपूर ने अत्यन्त सहजता से निभाई है व गम्भीर कहानी में सहज हास्य भी उत्पन्न किया है व इसके लिए उन्हें फिल्मफेयर का सर्वेश्रेष्ठ अभिनेता का पुरूस्कार भी मिला है| फिल्म की नायिका के रूप पद्मिनी ने जहाँ सरदार की बेटी के रूप में अक्खड़पन प्रदर्शित किया है वहीँ राजकपूर के साथ रोमांटिक अनुभूति भी जगाने में सफल रहीं हैं। अभिनेता प्राण ने राका के रूप में एक खूंखार डाकू का चरित्र दृढता से निभाया है।राजकपूर की अन्य फिल्मों की तरह इस फिल्म में भी ललिता पवार की एक महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका है व उन्होंने एक डाकू की संवेदनशील पत्नी व माँ की भूमिका पूरी दक्षता से निभाई है।

फिल्म के अंत में राजू सभी डाकू परिवारों को समर्पण के लिए तैयार कर लेता है। वहीँ एक गलत सूचना के चलते पुलिस डाकुओं पर हमला करने निकल देती है. जब दोनों का आमना सामना होता है तो राजू डाकुओं के परिवारी, महिलाओं और बच्चों को ढाल बन कर दोनों पक्षों के बीच ला खड़ा कर देता है. बच्चों को देख दोनों पक्ष बंदूकें गिर देते है! अहिंसा का सच्चा उदाहरण सिनेमा में देखने को मिलता है. ये भारतीय सिनेमा के सबसे प्रभावशाली क्लाइमेक्स सीने में से एक है.
कुल मिलकर जिस देश में गंगा बहती है एक उद्देश्यपूर्ण मनोरंजक व संवेदनशील फिल्म बन पड़ी है जो बॉलीवुड की सरवकलिक महान फिल्मों की श्रेणी में आती है।

Dil Chahta Hai  – Friends Forever!

Dil Chahta Hai – Friends Forever!

Vishal Wagh
Stalk me

Vishal Wagh

Lazy Writer. Voracious Reader. Big time comedy and horror films fan. Love to chill and hate to chat. Still exploring.
Vishal Wagh
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#71 #Scriptors100BestFilms #DilChahtaHai

Every now and then comes a movie that redefines the moviemaking standards. These movies are considered milestones. ‘Coming-of-age’ genre is something Indian filmgoers were not really aware of, until Dil Chahta Hai hit the screens.

I still remember my first impression after watching the movie 15 years ago – The film smelt like a freshly baked cookie. The freshness of this ‘cookie’ was so pleasant that it was impossible not to munch on it again and again. Freshness, in what terms, one might wonder. Let’s see.

The era that preceded ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ saw ‘urban’ film characters to be something like Suman and Prem, Nisha and Prem, Simran and Rahul, or Pooja and Rahul. They were, more or less, all the same – young, dreamy, believed in love, searching for ‘the one’, respectful of their parents, they even had typical names (I mean, come on, enough with the endless Rahuls and Prems and Nishas and Poojas.) Many of these films made a huge impact in their time and gave us great entertainment. However, the movie watching experience always felt like a ritual. As an audience we could predict a few things and we were seldom wrong.

Dil Chahta Hai had three protagonists, three friends – Aakash, Sameer, and Siddharth (Sid). They were, in my opinion, quite different from what I had seen so far. Aakash didn’t care a hoot about anything. He didn’t believe in love. He just fooled around. Sameer was different in a totally opposite way. He believed in love so much that he fell in love, let’s say ‘generously’. Something, that Indian filmgoers had seen only a heroine do, i.e. frantically search for ‘the one made in heaven’ – Remember Pooja from ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’? Then there was Sid, a surprisingly mature (for a Hindi film hero) and sorted artist, whose definition of love… Well, he didn’t have any definition. He didn’t believe in ‘searching’ for love. He believed in ‘being searched’ by love and he also believed the moment of love is most sudden and nothing of that moment may be what you expected.

Then there were heroines. Were they ‘typical’ heroines? May be. I mean a heroine has to be adorable, understanding, and pretty – this they all were. But Shalini, Pooja (Come on, one clichéd is allowed :-P), and Tara brought something extra, something individualistic to their personas. Shalini was a simple and naïve girl and despite being in a relationship out of obligation she found the strength to do the right thing. Pooja was as confused about love as Sameer was. Being a girl didn’t make her any more sorted than a boy. Tara… well, for one, she was older, two, she was a divorcee, and three, she was an alcoholic. Not a typical ‘girl’ to be paired with a hero in his 20’s, now was she?

But Farhan Akhtar, in his debut screenplay writing and directorial venture, brought these characters together and made it happen. Akhtar gets extra brownie points for being a fresher (this might be the quality that brought the ‘fresh cookie’ effect). Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy complimented the freshness of the movie with music that had something different, quite youthful (in a 21st century kindda way) to it.

The film didn’t require any ‘method acting’ worth of performances, but ‘staying true to the characters’ is a simple yet tricky thing that every actor in the film seemed to have achieved successfully. Aamir Khan (35), Saif Ali Khan (30), Akshay Khanna (25) – at that time – managed to get into the skins of the new college pass-outs in their early to mid twenties. Saif, in particular, was noted for resurrecting himself out of the hackneyed 90’s. He was such a good surprise!

Preity Zinta always looked interesting, and interesting she looked in this film as well. I personally remember her in this film for her amazingly fresh presence. In my opinion Shalini is one of the most desirable heroines of the Indian cinema. Sonali Kulkarni, a new find in the Hindi cinema but a well-known face in Marathi, was quite a refresher from the same old faces. With her darker complexion and (not exactly, but sort-of) geeky or intellectual style she made herself noticeable. Dimple Kapadia, a beautiful and talented actress, proved that she ‘experiments’ by doing a role opposite an actor 20 years her junior. Since then she has come a long way doing films such as ‘Being Cyrus’, ‘Luck By Chance’, ‘Finding Fanny’ (Thing to be noted – All young directors).

Now we see all such kind of things happening in Hollywood or many other world cinema. This ‘freshness’ in Dil Chahta Hai is worth a special appreciation because it happened in the mainstream Indian cinema that is, hate to admit, but is quite a clichéd. This freshness came at a prize – the movie was a success only in the metro cities and urban regions. The good thing is it didn’t affect its revenue despite the heavyweight competition from the films, such as Lagaan and Gadar.

Commercially and critically successful, Dil Chahta Hai is one of the must watch Indian films. It may never carry the grandeur of Mother India, Sholay, or DDLJ, but it has a lot of ‘original’ to offer and that we must not miss.

Omkara: Othello at its Best

Omkara: Othello at its Best

Baljeet Randhawa

Baljeet Randhawa

Writer from Bhopal. Theatre Director and Co- Founder of Dream Stage Theatre along with Scriptors. Shy Actor performs rarely.
Baljeet Randhawa

There are stories which are capable enough to bring a whole new or unseen universe, and make you a part of it until the end credits roll. Omkara is that masterpiece. Omkara is a raw poetry presented  in an extreme desi-style.

Omkara (2006) is Shakespeare’s masterpiece “Othello” set in modern India. It is co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Vishal himself composed the entire music for the film, including the background score, with lyrics by Gulzar. It starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, supported by Naseeruddin Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma and Bipasha Basu.

The film became part of a series by Bhardwaj of film interpretations of popular literary works, including Maqbool (2003) based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, The Blue Umbrella (2007) based on Ruskin Bond’s The Blue Umbrella, 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) based on Bond’s Susanna’s Seven Husbands, and Haider (2014) based on Shakspeare’s Hamlet (source wiki).

On the day of Dolly’s wedding, Omkara (Ajay Devgan) attacks the groom’s party and abducts her as they both love each other. When her father advocate Raghunath is able to trace her and Omkara, and puts the gun of his head to get back her daughter, Bhaisaab (Naseeruddin Shah) intervenes and asks him to not to do so as the local elections are coming, and he must avoid bloodshed. Hence, begins the crime drama of love, politics, seduction and betrayals.

I think the most important thing for a film is its content. Knowing the fact that Othello is an amazing story in itself, the screenwriters surely haven’t taken the advantage of that. They had adapted it in the best possible manner and very creatively. The language of Omkara is beautiful, which takes the film to another level. And, the the way visuals and sounds are used to portray the emotions of the scenes is just perfect. The character’s are so real – be it the humanized devil Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) or the playful and innocent Dolly (Kareena Kapoor).

Omkara is also the best of Bollywood because the most brainy and creative souls of the industry clubbed together to do justice with Shakespeare’s masterpiece “Othello”.  Be it performances, the writing of it, direction to music, everything will spellbound you. To me, each and every song from the film is so meaningful and a delight to my ears. Gulzar Saab at his best.

To make a count of awards this movie bagged, it reaches almost a century. Yeah! A big number. This movie received awards of every possible category:  best film, best direction, best actor, best actor in negative role, best actor in supporting role, best music, best lyrics, best choreography. The list includes National Awards for Special Jury Award — Vishal Bhardwaj, National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress — Konkona Sen Sharma, National Film Award for Best Audiography — Subhash Sahoo, K. J. Singh, Shajith Koyeri. A total of thirteen awards were in Omkara’s name at the Filmfare Awards. The film was showcased in the Marché du Film section at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival along with a book on the making of Omkara. It was also selected to be screened at the Cairo International Film Festival, where Bhardwaj was awarded for Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema of a Director. The film also won three awards at the Kara Film Festival, an award at the Asian Festival of First Films, three National Film Awards, and seven Filmfare Awards. (source:wiki)

Omkara is a disturbing delight for all your senses!