Sunday, 28 July 2013

*Casuale*- The Big Fat Filmy Family... Part-I (The Kapoor clan)

Hallo, people!!!
Guten Abend!

Ohhkay, WAIT!!
Before you, my favorite-favorite people, not waste a single more second to hop to some other random blog to read, the first two lines were my heartiest greetings in German to you on this rainy, pleasant Sunday afternoon in Manipal. Hmm... weekends are synonymous to relaxing. Why not do the same with this blog post? Instead of hitting your head with overload of information (I doubt if this post fails to do so :P ), let’s have some fun!!!

So, today, if not for anything else for time pass sake, I’ll take you through a maze which might make you feel all confused, lost or just amaze you. The big fat filmy family awaits you!

Try recognizing these already mentioned Kapoor personalities!! Photo courtesy: Internet
Try recognizing these already mentioned
Kapoor personalities!! Photo courtesy: Internet

 Considered to be the first family of bollywood is the Kapoor clan. The most familiar star from that family is the young heartthrob, Ranbir kapoor. His ancesters have occupied the Hindi cinema industry for the longest time since its inception. The family tree has its roots to Prithviraj Kapoor who started working here as early as 1940. Raj Kapoor, his son, was a noted Actor, Director, Producer being active for 50 years contributing to the industry.

 His sibling was  Shammi Kapoor who married Geeta Bali from whom were born two kids, Aditya and a daughter, Kanchan. Geeta Bali is also the niece of Yogeeta Bali, a former Hindi film actress who shared a short married life with Kishore Kumar for two years and later went on to marry the disco dancer of the 80s, Mithun Chakraborty and has four kids with him, of which the first one , Mimoh Chakraborty, is struggling hard these days to find a foothold as an actor.

             Try recognizing these already mentioned
Kapoor personalities!! Photo courtesy: Internet
Next in line is Shashi Kapoor, another of Raj’s sibling who married Jennifer Kapoor Kendal, a british actress and had three kids Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor who has done her share of bit roles in feature films (read: Salaam Bombay) and has for a long time been looking after Prithvi theatre, a venture set up by the family's head, Prithviraj Kapoor. 

There were other two of their siblings too who died in infancy.

Many others also boast to be part of the Kapoor clan but it is Raj Kapoor's descendants who have carried on the family legacy. He had three sons,namely, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor, the least known and most unsuccessful of the three siblings.

Randhir Kapoor married an actress of her time Babita Kapoor but they started living separately soon after. They have two lovely daughters who have been at the top of the game during their times and one of them is still ruling the roost.  Karisma Kapoor is the eldest daughter while Kareena Kapoor is the youngest daughter. Karisma is the second wife  to a Delhi-based businessman, Sanjay Kapoor who also happens to be her childhood friend. While Kareena, as is well known, is married to the Nawab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan. Now this alliance brought two culturally rich and prominent families together. Saif is the son of Bollywood actress, Sharmila Tagore, and Indian cricketer, Mansoor Ali Khan. 
Try recognizing these already mentioned
Kapoor personalities!! Photo courtesy: Internet

Both his grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, and father were professional cricketers. His mother, Sharmila Tagore, an actress within her own rights, is the grand-niece of renowned Rabindranath Tagore, who converted to Islam after marrying Saif's father, and changed her name to Begum Ayesha Sultana. He has two sisters, Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan, who is currently head-over-heals in love with Actor Kunal Khemu, who debuted as a child artist in the 90s and fashion designer Saba Ali Khan.

Saif Ali Khan married Bollywood actress, Amrita Singh, during October 1991, and has two children, namely daughter Sara Ali Khan, and son Ibrahim Ali Khan. The marriage ended in a divorce during 2004, and both the children live with their mother. Kareena became his second wife on 16th October 2012, amidst much glitz  and glamour.

Oops!! Where did we wander off? See, here, everybody is related to everyone. You never know when you hop from Peshawar ke Punjabis to the Nawabs of Pataudi!!! :)

Tracing out footsteps back to the K Khandaan, let's talk about the youngest of the Raj's sons, Rishi Kapoor.
Photo courtesy: Internet

Rishi Kapoor, the most successful of his two brothers, married his co-star of many films Neetu Singh and produced a superstar of today’s times in Ranbir Kapoor. His sister Riddhima Kapoor Sahani is a designer by profession and has her own fashion label ‘Ara’. 

Wait wait!!! This does not ends here. this post is just hardly 5 % of what we'll call The Big Fat Filmy Family. The Bachchans, Sridevi and Sonam Kapoor will all be in the maze waiting for you. There are many more such families which are interconnected, and I bet you'll enjoy those more than this one! So, watch out for the future posts of  *Casuale* right here! :)

P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :) 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Glorifying stalking? NO! NO!

Maybe it's too late. But then, strong voices make themselves heard. It was presented to the masses almost a month back. 'Raanjhanaa' grossed INR113 crore (US$19 million) in the domestic market and become the second highest grosser of 2013. Box office has declared it a hit in India and the reviews by many self-anointed critics recommend the movie as a must watch. A film well made and appreciated. But with its great display of artistic cinema, it also makes the viewer sit up and think on many sensitive issues, raising innumerable questions and demanding answers.

A still from the movie. Photo Courtesy: Internet

'Is Raanjhanaa the tale of an irrational, impassioned, obsessive lover, or thinly disguised male supremacist storytelling?'
Does it glorify stalking?
Does it speak volumes of the script being misogynistic?

Is the writer encouraging a completely male-centric perspective through its characters?

Putting all allegations raised against what the story is depicting to rest, Swara Bhaskar does a commendable job through this write-up. Swara or Bindiya for you from 'Raanjhanaa'. Swara or Payal Sinha for you from 'Tanu Weds Manu'. Apart from being an exceptional actress, she has studied English literature at Delhi University's Miranda House where she was classmate with another actress Minisha Lamba. She did her masters in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Swara Bhaskar. Photo Courtesy: Internet

She answers all your questions with full conviction. Here's the link to her article which was published on 21st of this month in the Sunday edition of The Hindu.

P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :) 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

3 Mistakes of Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag...

First and for all, apologies for the delay in publishing this review piece which should have aptly come a day before but then, better late than never. High on hopes and truck loads of expectations (I need not take the blame on myself since I knew what to expect from a Farhan Akhtar starer and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed film) I, for weeks eagerly waited for the film to hit the theaters. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag showcases the story of an underdog and his journey till he came to be known to the world as ‘The Flying Sikh’.

The story starts with Milkha Singh missing out on breaking his own record in the Rome Olympics in 1960 and the subsequent outburst of his Indian worshipers. In the quest of trying to convince Milkha to visit Pakistan again for a friendly game tournament between the two sibling countries, his coach Gurudev Singh (Pawan Malhotra) , Ranveer Singh(Yograj singh),milkha’s Indian coach and a government official leave together for Chandigarh and Milkha’s story unfolds through his friend-cum-coach Gurudev Singh’s narration and the simultaneous flashback(s). ‘Flashback’ is Mehra’s first mistake in BMB. One or two flashback’s is fine. But a flashback within a flashback, then coming out from the flashback to another flashback and then jumping into another makes the narrative fall to the ground with a loud thud. The story couldn't hold my attention and heart, in the very beginning, thanks to the needless flashbacks, making the whole experience of viewing tiresome.

Photo Courtesy: Internet

The movie is 187 minutes ‘short’( pun intended). Which makes it approximately 3 hrs long! ‘Long duration’ is Mehra’s second mistake in BMB. It's evident how leisurely the film is made. It's slow pace makes it a wee bit boring in between. While watching, I felt like I was made to travel through the numerous races the sprinter had run and it felt like forever and ever. I was desperately seeking for the ‘wow’ moment where I’d feel the adrenaline rush and jump from my seat or break down into tears except for the partition sequence where the young Milkha tries weaseling out of the misfortune that struck him: his family gets beheaded and his subsequent travel to India in search for his only surviving elder sister Isri Kaur played by the beautiful Divya Dutta.

She is incredible, yet again, as Milkha’s elder sister , blowing life and soul into her character with more of tears and less words. My second favorite character from the film apart from, of course, the central role. Pawan Malhotra, as ever, did a worth appreciating work. This is one actor, I feel, is the most underrated in today’s times. He keeps the story binding throughout.

'Unnecessarily complicating' the script is his third mistake. I felt lost in between trying hard to figure out what happened and when.

Sonam makes a special appearance as the shy Biro who is supposed to be the ideal coy Punjabi kudi, playful , innocent and beautiful.  She has not much to do: just a couple of scenes and a song. Farhan ‘pataofys’ his ladylove by singing the evergreen ‘Nanha Munna Rahi Hun’, making the situation hilarious. Biro is one of the 3 women in Milkha’s life whom he falls for: second is Stella (Rebecca breeds) an Australian whom he meets on his first foreign visit for the Melbourne Olympics. And the third is his real life wife, Mrs. Nirmal Kaur, whom the film doesn't feature. Interestingly, the film ends at a juncture just before her entry into Milkha’s life, as pointed out by the scriptwriter, Prasoon Joshi himself in a certain interview.
Photo Courtesy: Internet

Few light moments here and there make up for the long duration. Like Milkha’s first ever travel experience on an aircraft. So hilarious! An interesting observation that a keen and well informed movie buff can spot is the director himself, coming in for half a minute as the pilot of the aircraft and the hilarious chaos that follows, throwing the audience in splits. Talking of observations, jumping into the frame is for the first time(most likely) is Loy Mendonsa, belonging to the music composer trio, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who have also lend their music for the film, triggering the high spirited, fun, song ‘Slow Motion Angreza’.

Meesha  Shafi, a Pakistani actress, plays Perizaad, a national level swimmer who has next to nil screen time, though does well in whatever little she was supposed to do.  National award winning Tamil actor Prakash Raj can be seen in a delightful change as the Jawaan’s trainer who is feared by the most. He has his own unique antics making his character lovable. Art Mallick plays Milkha’s father. Though have heard a lot about this talented and international repute actor but found his casting misplaced entirely because of his British accent which was so evident during his dialogue deliveries.

The music and the background score for the film were composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, their first film collaboration with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The soundtrack features seven tracks with lyrics penned by Prasoon Joshi and needless to say, Joshi does a kick-ass job when replacing words for emotions. The ‘Zinda’ track is sung by Shanker Mahadevan’s son Siddharth. Impressive, he is for a first timer.
Photo Courtesy: Internet

Okay, till now your all hopes from the film must have died down. But,here’s the best part. As they say, keep the best for the end. Master Jabtej Singh’s performance, who plays the younger Milkha, is worth giving a standing ovation. Superbly essayed by the young star. The partition riots sequence is heart wrenching. Enough to make you cry buckets.

Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Now please put your hands together and welcome with a thunderous applause, the soul and heart of the film: FARHAN AKHTAR. Man!!! This is one actor who defines the word ‘awesomeness’ in all its senses. He did not play the part. He lived it, breathed it, ate it, slept it, bathe it and most importantly felt it. His hard-work, his dedication and strong will power (these are the three attributes the real Milkha Singh gives out to the audiences in a note as the credits roll at the end) is for the universe to see and celebrate. Every bulging muscle, every living cell, every drop of sweat speaks loud of the immense hard-work the actor has put in to fit into character. And proving out to be a supporting stick to him is the cinematographer of the film, Binod Pradhan who make Milkha Singh’s running a visual treat. They both deserve a grand salute!

When Milkha runs the race against his Pakistani counter parts in the ending sequence, one feels like jumping in the seat and shouting,’ Bhaaaggggg Milkhaaaa Bhaaaggg’. Ironically, these where his father’s last words to him when he is told to run away from his village.Well as for the director, Mr. Mehra has done a commendable job. With a few mistakes and lesser blunders, this is not Mehra’s best work. His best work still remains Rang De Basanti.

Overall, an inspiring, fun film that will make you laugh, cry and motivate you to put your heart and soul into whatever you do. Farhan Akhtar delivers a phenomenal performance. Go watch it for him!

Quick bytes
  • Sonam Kapoor charged only INR11 for the film.
    Photo Courtesy: Internet
  • International company ReelSports coordinated the sports action for the film and cast all the elite runners.
  • Farhan Akhtar underwent 7 months long extensive preparations for his role in the film before the actual shooting started.
P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :)