Movie Review : Article 15

Article 15: The Bitter Truth of our Society

On the onset I would say kudos to Anubhav Sinha, for attempting such a subject and that to in a commercial format. I don’t remember any main stream director even trying to do something on the subject of caste divide in our Indian society.

The movie which is inspired the Badaun Rape of 2014, tells the story of Article15Ayan Ranjan (Ayushman Khurana) a new recruit as DCP, who goes for his first posting at Lalgaon a small district in Uttar Pradesh.In his very first assignment he has a case of two dalit girls who are hanged to death and a missing girl.What unfolds in Ayan’s quest for resolving the case is what the movie is all about.

Written by Anubhav Sinha himself and Gaurav Solanki the movie does not waste any time and throws you in to harsh reality of caste system which still prevails in modern India. The writers very smartly weave the movie with a social message in a crime thriller format with enough twists and turns which eventually makes it worth a watch. There is not a single frame where you are not engrossed. Every character in the movie is fleshed out well and has something to contribute in the whole scheme of things.

The movie is a compilation of some memorable and heartwarming sequences like the sequence when Ayan Ranjan enquires his team about their caste, it was hilarious yet it was extremely hard hitting and drives home the message how we follow a shallow system in our society. You will also cringe in some sequences like the sequence when a Dalit scavenger dips himself in the man hole and cleans the gutter without any precaution and he is covered with filth. Both Anubhav and Gaurav make us uncomfortable from the word go and I am sure we will all relate to one or the other incident in our lives when our families also discriminated between us and the low caste. Definitely a fabulous script in recent times.

Another ace for Anubhav was the ensemble cast, starting with Ayushman Khurana who plays Ayan Ranjan with so much conviction and sincerity that he creates the requisite impact and how. We have seen Ayushman in comic frothy roles, this movie establishes him as a serious actor. Manoj Pahwa as
Brahmadutt Singh is another actor who creates a great impact and establishes again that he is a brilliant actor. Kumud Mishra as the low caste constable Jatav brings the caste divide beautifully in the movie
and yet again proves his mettle. Sayani Gupta as Gaura brings that fire and frustration of the low caste so effortlessly that you are drawn towards her performance from the word go. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub as the torch bearer and the leader of the low caste in brief role creates the requisite impact. Even the other actors like Ashish Verma, Shubrajyoti Bharat, Rojini Chakraborty, Sushil Panday, Nassar in a special appearance all do a brilliant job.

The two other technicians who make the movie impactful, first being the cinematographer Ewan Mulligan who creates the grimness through his camera so brilliantly that you are drawn to every frame and the mystery that he creates also gives the movie the edgy look, second the background score by Mangesh Dhakde which again accentuates the impact of every scene. After a long time the background music actually added value to every frame and gave the feeling of eeriness and discomfort.

Anubhav Sinha after his last outing Mulk yet again proves that with Article 15 that he can handle topical and sensitive subjects with élan. Though subtlety his not Anubhav’s strong point but still he drives home
the message with a sledge hammer and forces you to think and make you uncomfortable in some way.Looking forward for more such topical movies from Anubhav Sinha.

Article 15 is NOT your regular popcorn fluffy movie which you see to entertain yourself, but a hard hitting griping saga which shows us the mirror of our Indian society and how we follow shallow caste system, definitely a MUST WATCH, I will go with 4 stars.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Movie Review : Kabir Singh

Kabir Singh: Devdas rebooted as a Lust Story

“Kabir Singh” is the Hindi remake of highly successful Telegu movie “Arjun Reddy”.

Though I have not seen the original, but somehow it felt as a frame to frameKabir Singh copy of the original only difference being the premise being shifted to Delhi and Mumbai.

Kabir Singh written by the director of the original Sandeep Vanga and who is also debuting in Bollywood with this movie, explores the Male Chauvinism to the hilt. So in the movie we come across the really bright and extremely short tempered, extremely stubborn character Kabir Singh (Shahid Kapoor) who is a terror in college and does whatever he likes, as if being a good student is a license of doing all the anti-social activities possible in college. The first half is dedicated to the college life of Kabir Singh and how he comes across this demure muted girl Priti (Kiara Advani) from first year and Kabir falls in love or should I say gets infatuated to her, because the love story between the main lead never felt like love but a lust story to be honest. So Kabir almost breezes through the first half stalking ( That is the correct word) the girl of his dreams which crashes in the intermission point, which is still tolerable. Second half is
dedicated to how Kabir Singh is hell bent on destroying himself as he did not get his love almost the Devdas way, the new addition being he becomes sex maniac along with alcohol and drugs. In the second half Kabir’s self-destruction jibe is repeated so many times, that by the time the character has a change of heart you are least bothered as an audience. The climax adds up to the test of your patience and you just want the ordeal to end.

One of the biggest flaw of the movie is its run time of 172 minutes and the movie could have easily been edited by 30 to 40 minutes.

The biggest flaw of the movie is that it justifies everything which is wrong from alcoholism, to drug abuse to woman beating to being a sex maniac. And the funny part is the youth in the audience are enjoying it, which is a serious concern.

Sandeep Vanga, justifies everything that Kabir Singh does wrong and at the end the redemption is so feeble that it gets unnoticed.

The movie is bearable only for one person and that is Shahid Kapoor who does a brilliant job with his performance of Kabir Singh. The best part of Shahid Kapoor is that he gets so engrossed in the character that there is no difference between the character and the actor, another feather in his cap. Kiara Advani who plays Priti, Kabir’s Love interest is muted in substantial part of the movie and only speaks up in the climax, but she looks good and her chemistry with Shahid Kapoor was just too good. Kamini Kaushal as Kabir’s Dadi get quite a screen space and is a lovable character. But another actor who also creates an impact is Soham Majumdar who plays Kabir’s best friend Shiva, rather your heart goes out to the
character when he supports Kabir Singh in all his ups and downs, really a commendable performance.
Other actors like Suresh Oberoi, Dolly Minhas, Arjan Bajwa, Nikita Dutta, Adil Hussain could hardly make an impact because of the under rated writing.

I may sound cynical but such movies should be conceptualized also looking at how it’s going to impact the population at large. I will go with 2 and a Half stars.

Movie Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review : Bharat

Bharat: An Extraordinary journey yet NOT so extraordinary

“Bharat” as the name suggests has patriotic theme throughout. Based on the 2014 Korean movie “Ode To My Father” the movie traces the journey of an ordinary man Bharat (Salman Khan) through the various events of India, right from partition till 2010.

Original Story written by Su-jin Park and adapted screenplay by Varun V Sharma and director Ali Abbas Zafar, could have been an emotional joy ride of only they had stuck to the original format. But Varun and Ali choose an alternative wherein they try to mix humour with the emotional content, and that is where somewhere the content loses its steam.

Bharat

It starts with the event of partition and how Bharat is separated from his father and sister, makes an emotional and a perfect beginning. The movie progresses to Bharat in his young age wherein he works in a circus to fend for his family, the sequence is weak and ends abruptly making no sense to the overall story. The third sequence of Bharat joining the oil field in UAE where he meets Kumud (Katrina Kaif) does pull your heart strings and keeps you engaged till Intermission. The next sequence of Bharat joining the merchant Navy is the weakest and just does not make any sense to the overall proceedings, rather you feel impatient in this sequence as it goes on with no specific agenda. The movie again gets a boost in the sequence wherein “Bharat” goes in search of his father and lost sister. This sequence is the strongest and does make you choke. But again the movie dips at the climax sequence giving it a shoddy finish.

The problem with the movie is the events in Bharat’s life is not stitched properly and Emotional Quotient which is so important in a Drama dips at times. Though Varun and Ali try to make it entertaining by putting comic elements but they fail miserably. Some of the characters are not fleshed out properly and the focus is on the central character Bharat throughout. The emotion of other characters are not catered at all and you do not feel connected due to this reason. Bharat as a character is forcefully shown as a messiah. Well such characters were fine in the 80’s, but in today’s world of
realistic cinema the character looks dated. The pre climax fight sequence and the only fight sequence looks out of place and suddenly an ordinary man becomes a superman, it was just not needed. The major issue of the smovie is that, it is NOT a typical Salman Khan movie, which his fans would have been expecting. Though the movie has its moments but only moments cannot define an entire movie of 167 minutes. The biggest problem of the movie is its run time which could have been trimmed. The songs just does not gel with the story and it looks forced in the movie.

Performance wise Salman Khan as Bharat revisits his Sooraj Barjatya Prem act which is so dated in today’s time. Salman really needs to rethink his strategy if he wants to be in this race of content oriented cinema. Katrina Kaif as Kumud, Bharat’s boss and love interest still creates an impact, ignoring her accent overall she does a good job. Katrina for a change is more of histrionics and less of glamour, but I still didn’t understand the horrendous curly hair style. Disha Patani is exactly there for 5 to 8 minutes, and is there for a slight glamour. Sunil Grover as Vilaiti, Bharat’s best friend does do a good job. Jackie Shroff as Bharat’s father does shine. But the real surprise is Tabu as Meher, Bharat’s sister whose guest appearance makes you choke for sure, again confirming what brilliant actress she is. Other actors like Sonali Kulkarni, Shashank Arora, Aasif Sheikh, Kumud Mishra, Ayesha Raza Mishra are wasted in not so well written characters.

Some of the major highlights of the movie are the production design by Rajnish Hadeo, Snigdha Basu & Sumit Basu which is completely in sync with the times portrayed in the movie, Cinematography by Marcin Laskawiec adds on to the overall appeal. Though the same cannot be said about the costume design by Ashley Rebello, Alvira Agnihotri, Veera Kapur and Leena Bains as it looks inconsistent. Music is the key for any Salman Khan movie but unfortunately Bharat cannot boast of that, other than “Chashni” the rest of the songs do not create any impact whatsoever.

Director Ali Abbas Zafar wanted to make a movie which was hugely mounted and larger than life but what he gives is a mish mash of some impactful and some not so impactful sequences which looks disjointed and does not gel on an overall scheme of things. Another decision of casting Salman Khan as Bharat I thought was not a good decision, as it required a good actor and Salman maybe a star but an actor well less said the better.

There are some movies which is neither BAD nor so GOOD and you feel it could have been better well I had the same feeling after watching “Bharat”….I will go with Three Stars…

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)