Movie Review : Nil Battey Sannata

Nil Battey Sannata : Passed with distinction….

Some movies entertain you and you tend to forget them, but some movies are very simple but yet they  entertain you but also tend remain in your mind long after the movie gets over…”Nil Battey Sannata” is one such movie.

The story of “Nil Battey Sannata” captures the trials and tribulations of a mother who has high expectations and big dreams for her daughter. It also captures the strata of the society who need to earn on a daily basis to run their kitchens, our domestic help… Chanda (Swara Bhaskar) is one such domestic help in a small city of Agra who dreams to educate her daughter Apeksha a.k.a Apu (Ria Shukla) and has big dreams for her for which he works in two to three places in shifts in order to educate and give her daughter a different life so that her daughter does not end up becoming a domestic help….But her adolescent daughter lives a care free life devoid of any dreams and is a complete zero in maths… so Chanda’s main concern is to make her pass the 10th Board exam, whether Chanda is able to fulfil her dream of making her daughter pass the 10th Board exam is what the movie is all about…

In the last few reviews I have been emphasizing on the strength of a good script and screenplay and “Nil Battey Sannata” scores full marks for nil-battey-sannata-reviewthe same… The story by Nitesh Tiwari  & screenplay written by Nitesh Tiwari, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Pranjal Choudhary & Neeraj Singh is the biggest highlight of the movie….The relationship of the mother & the daughter is so heart wrenching that you would identify the sweet & sour relationship that we share with our mothers… every single sequence between the mother and daughter is brilliant… another relationship well explored is Chanda’s relationship with Dr Diwan where she works as a domestic help, the bond and relationship between these two characters is believable. To be very frank every character has its special place in the movie whether it is the principal or Apu’s friends, every character is very well written and justifies their presence in the story. Well it may not be too much to say that the writing is one the best which I have come across after a long time, the last such script was of “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”…

The dialogues written by the same team of writers is another highlight of the movie. It complements the script to the fullest. The diction, the language every word is spot on and you cannot find any blemishes in the dialogues as well. Overall the writing is just brilliant…

After writing it is the performances that makes “Nil Battey Sannata” worth a watch…especially the performance of Swara Bhaskar who plays the main protagonist Chanda, a domestic help…Swara just becomes Chanda and I don’t think so there can be any bigger appreciation for her performance. She owns the character and never ever will you feel the Swara Bhaskar of “Tanu Weds Manu” or “Ranjhnaa” or “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”…she is so natural and everything about her portrayal is just brilliant. Swara would definitely be the favourite contender for awards for this year. Next is debutant Ria Shukla who plays Chanda’s daughter Apu, she complements Swara’s performance with equal vigour and helps to create the right chemistry between the character of the mother and the daughter, definitely another brilliant performance. Ratna Pathak Shah as Dr Diwan, Chanda’s employer, is just amazing, the way she underplays the character becomes the beauty of portrayal and the chemistry of both the characters is full marks to Swara Bhaskar and Ratna Pathak Shah….Another brilliant performance is of Pankaj Tripathi who plays the Principal and the maths teacher of the school, Pankaj yet again proves his brilliance with his realistic portrayal, definitely a actor watch out for….rest of the cast also do a brilliant job….Sanjay Suri in a cameo is adorable….

Cinematography by Gavemic U Ary blends brilliantly with the narration and the beauty is how simply Agra and it’s by lanes having been captured….

The next highlight is the production design by Laxmi Kaluskar, which is so brilliant that you would never feel that it is a movie set….and the another highlight is its costume design by Sachin Lovalekar, the costumes builds the characters and Sachin does a brilliant job in getting the looks of the characters just right…

Will have to mention casting director Mukesh Chabra, who gets the casting, right….

At last and definitely not the least, the director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, first kudos to her for choosing such a topic and second executing such a brilliant script, co-written by her, in a simple yet beautiful way. Ashwiny gets the chemistry of the characters bang on and she gets the emotional quotient just right without any melodrama. Will definitely watch out for Ashwiny’s next….

“Nil Battey Sannata”, is simple yet will pull your heart strings and will make you laugh and cry and at the end will put a smile on your face…will go with FOUR stars….

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Kangana’s show all the way…

tanu-fullsize-story_032315071434Some movies go beyond their expectations due the brilliant performances by the cast, ”Tanu Weds Manu returns” is one such movie wherein the performances not only camouflages the overall flaws but raises the standard of the movie.

Himanshu Sharma’s story of “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” starts four year hence Tanu & Manu’s marriage when domestic problems crop up and they decide to part ways, the story takes a turn when Manu (Madhavan) meets Tanu’s look alike Kusum a.k.a Datto (Kangana Ranaut) and decides to marry her, do Tanu & Manu sort out their differences and re-unite or they part ways forms the crux of the story.

Himanshu Sharma keeps the spirit intact in the sequel as well which was the USP of the first part. The screenplay and story explores the couple’s life after marriage. The screenplay is quite fast and engaging other than a few sequences like Komal’s kidnapping which has no relevance to the main story line. Second half the pace becomes a bit slow due to too many songs. Himanshu scores high in conceptualizing and writing the character of Datto which becomes the major highlight as well as the USP of the movie. Rest of the characters is repeated from the sequel. The love story between Manu & Datto is captured with sensitivity and innocence. Himanshu showcases two type of outlook towards women in our society, one that of Tanu’s family who though being from a small town are open minded towards their daughter, and on other side Datto’s family who though Datto being a successful athlete are orthodox of her choice of life partner.

It is the dialogues which is the biggest highlight of the movie. It is in sync with the flavor of a small town and it is witty and gives you the laughs and makes the movie engaging. Rather the dialogues by Himanshu kind of overcome the flaws of the screenplay.

Performance wise the movie scores the highest and the shining star is Kangana’s portrayal of both Tanu and Kusum a.k.a Datto, her portrayal of Tanu as the bohemian free spirited is an extension from the first part but it the portrayal of Datto, the Haryanvi athlete from Delhi University steals your heart. Kangana’s body language to her get up to her dialect of Datto everything is so spot on that you sometimes feel that it is being portrayed by a different actor, another award winning performance by Kangana. Madhavan as Manu underplays himself and acts mostly by his eyes, which was the most endearing part. Deepak Dobriyal out did himself with this movie as Pappi, though in the first part he does show the spark but in the sequel he excels so much that he overshadows other actors in the frame at times, definitely an excellent portrayal. Jimmy Shergill as Raja Bhaiya again gives a restrained performance; he is one actor who has been underutilized by Bollywood. Rajesh Sharma as Datto’s brother has a brief and gives an impactful performance. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Chintu shines in his brief undefined role. Rest of the cast consisting of Swara Bhaskar, Ejaz Khan, Rajendra Gupta, Navni Parihar, K K Raina, Dipti Mishra do a brilliant job…

Music which was the highlight of the prequel, does not disappoint us in the sequel as well, the highlight being “Banno” by the newbie Tanisk & Vayu and “Ghani Bawri” sung by Jyoti Nooran and the “Old School Girl” rendered by Kalpana Gandharv brings a smile to your face.

Anand L Rai has been successful in keeping the basic ethos of the movie and extracting out some of the best performances by the cast, especially by Kangana Ranaut. Anand’s major highlight has been capturing the stories from small towns and characters as well which connects with the viewers well, and he does not disappoint us with “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”…
A MUST watch… I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Watch the trailer

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Official Trailer : Tanu Weds Manu Returns

After the surprise hit of “Tanu weds Manu” in 2011,  Anand L Rai and the makers decided to continue with couples journey in a sequel and hence “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” was conceptualized with Kangana Ranaut playing a double role of Tanu (Tanuja Trivedi ) from the first part and the Haryanvi athlete Kusum Sangwan with  Madhavan reprising his role as Manu Sharma again….tanu-fullsize-story_032315071434

Written by Himanshu Sharma the movie starts from where the first part ends and takes a look at Tanu & Manu’s life post marriage and the marriage issues that subsequently crop up.

Other than the main lead the rest of the cast comprises of Jimmy Shergil, Deepak Dobriyal, Swara Bhaskar, Ejaz Khan, Navni Parihar, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub & Rajeev Gupta…

Music is being scored by Tanishk-Vayu Krsna again after the success of the music of first part….

Looking at the promo it seems Kangana will have another ace up her sleeve and Anand L Rai has another winner after the successful “Tanu Weds Manu” and “Ranjhanaa”…..

Produced by Anand L Rai & Kishore Lulla and presented under the banner of Eros International….the movie releases on May 22nd 2015…..

 

Review : Raanjhnaa

Raanjhnaa: A confused Love Story

RaanjhnaaAfter the successful “Tanu Weds Manu” Anand L Rai comes with his next “Raanjhnaa” a launch pad for the debutant actor Dhanush (Son-in-law of Rajanikanth).

“Raanjhnaa” tries to portray the strengths of Dhanush as an actor and in the bargain the movie loses its plot completely in the second half.

The story revolves around the main protagonist Kundan (Dhanush) and his love for a Muslim girl Zoya( Sonam Kapoor). His dedication for his lady love forms the crux of the story wherein he waits for his lady love for 8 years much to the dislike of his friends. His blind love for Zoya creates havoc in Zoya and his fiancé’s Jasjeet’s (Abhay Deol) life leading it to the climax.

The movie fails as the screenplay tries to highlight the actor than the story. The Story & Screenplay by Himanshu  Sinha starts with a fresh approach but by second half when the political angle is introduced in the story the movie goes downhill. The first half is fresh and frothy and the second half is tedious. It almost seems that the first & the second half are two separate movies. The strong point of the movie is the dialogues again written by Himanshu Sinha.

Varanasi is shot beautifully by Natarajan Subramaniam & Vishal Sinha. Editing by Hemal Kothari lacks the finesse especially in the second half.

Dhanush’s  work shows the sincerity but he lacks the charisma of a leading man. Sonam Kapoor is much better than her previous movies but falls flat in the high octane sequences. But the main highlight performances are of the supporting cast especially Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, who plays Kundan’s friend Murari and Swara Bhaskar, who plays Bindu the secret lover of Kundan. Abhay Deol in a special appearance shines.

Music by A R Rahman is melodious, a good come back after the not so impressive “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics is poetic and riveting.

Anand L Rai’s narration is confusing of whether he wanted to make a love story or a political drama. Overall “Raanjhna” could have been poetic but unfortunately it is tedious. I will go with TWO & A HALF STARS.