All posts by Absar Ahmad

Born on 3rd January 1989 in Aligarh, India. I have completed my Masters degree in Communication Studies. I believe "Cinema" is a very powerful tool to communicate with masses across the world.

Is Sanju Movie Worth Watching?

Movie: Sanju

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Year: 2018

Genre: Biography, Drama

Language: Hindi, English (some dialogues)

 

Before Sanju, the Sanjay Dutt Biopic was released many of us were thinking, “Should I watch Sanju”? “Is Sanju a biography based on truth”? or “Is Sanju just an effort to vindicate Sanjay Dutt”?

Well, I am not sure whether we can give answers to all these questions, but one thing that we are sure to answer is trying our best to give you a concise review of Sanju Movie.

Sanju Movie Review:

The most awaited biopic and foreseen blockbuster of 2018 has already taken the Bollywood by storm. At the end of its 6th day, Sanju has already crossed 200 crore mark*. The movie seems as a lottery ticket for the theaters. Almost, all the slots are booked for Sanju.

Theaters are houseful for Sanjay Dutt Biopic, even in the second week!

I give it 9/10 for its wonderful script and excellent acting by Ranbir Kapoor, who has literally transformed himself into Sanju Baba (Sanjay Dutt). The background score too is good; one thing that was a little disappointing was the songs–they are just okay to say the most.

The Real Hero in The Sanju Movie:

For most part in Sanju, Sunil Dutt (Sanjay Dutt’s father) is portrayed as a hero and became a thought-slayer. In fact, he truly is an ‘unsaid hero’ on the screen as well as in his real life. He was a Johnny On The Spot and supported the nation bravely during the post Babri Masjid demolition riots that rattled many parts of the country in early 1990s. Today, a very few of us have knowledge of Sunil Dutt’s contribution during that dark time of our motherland. The cinematic legend is an equally great human.

Read How Many Records Sanju Has Broken So Far in Bollywood History. Click Here!

About Direction of Sanju Movie:

The best part of Sanjay Dutt’s Biopic is it’s direction. Every scene in the movie gives you a travelling experience; travelling backwards to learn about  the unknown history of a worldly known face. It creates a perfect blend of mystery, drama, effects, and timeliness.

Cast:

Ranbir Kapoor is indeed the best choice to play Sanjay Dutt. After Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Ranbir Kapoor has really given a performance of his life. Paresh Rawal, as usual steals the show. Manisha’s comeback in Bollywood after a long-time was a charm.

The not-so-smooth flow of the story became a reason to make people sit on the edge of their chairs, with same level of curiosity till the end. Sanju. One man.. Many lives is truly a fascinating character.

 

*By 19th July 2018 Sanju Movie has crossed INR 520 crore mark and is expected to reach INR 650 crore by the end of July 2018.

Image source

Reviewed by: Pooja Mishra

 

Raise the Red Lantern – Movie Review

Movie: Raise The Red Lantern

Original Title: Da hong deng long gao gao gua

Director: Yimou Zhang

Year: 1991

Country of Origin: China

Languages: Mandarin

Raise The Lantern Movie Review –

This is a movie about the sexual enslavement of women in a feudal system in China. It is about four mistresses living together. Their master lives in the central house and each of the four mistresses has a house of her own opening onto a central courtyard. The family is guarded by strict family customs and rules laid by the ancestors. According to the customs, red lanterns are lit in the quarter of the mistress with whom the master decides to spend the night.

This huge house is made up of high stone and brick walls and covers a massive area. It is a movie speaking about the almost inhuman male dominance in the society and the defiant Songlian (Gong Li) who marries into this house as the 4th mistress. Once a woman is married into this rich family, she cannot escape- come what may. Three mistresses are already living, sharing a very uneasy relationship with each other. The entry of the 4th mistress Songlian fuels this heated atmosphere and adds to the rivalries. The house overflows with luxury which is available to the mistresses (concubines-a woman cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married, especially one regarded as socially or sexually subservient; mistress) but none has true freedom. Well, whats the use of a bath tub with candles and perfumes in a prison?

It is story of complete enslavement of women by their master under the effect of which the mistresses change their behaviour. The first mistress is old and has an adult son. She is the more experienced.  The 2nd mistress, Zhuoya (who first appears to be very friendly and helping nature) and has a son. The 3rd mistress, Meishan used to be a good opera singer. She is young, beautiful and filled with jealouy. The 4th mistress , Songlian, the lead actress in the movie drops out of college after her father’s death and marries this rich master, succumbing to the pressure from her stepmother. There is a teenage servant, Yaner, who is the master’s favourite and aspires to be a mistress herself…someday.

Watch “Raise The Red Lantern Full Movie Below

Everybody in the family along with the servants mindlessly adhere to the family customs. It is clear that they do so, not out of will but due to the force of tradition and culture. A very good depiction of millions around the world, who never question our value system and customs and verify their correctness. What stops us from evolving? We are almost blinded by them.

The mistresses are not really happy and their whole existence revolves around- whom will the master favour. That’s their sole sense of achievement. And exactly this competition is what changes them at times to show their worst face. (Competition brings out the best and sometimes the worst out of people.)

Songlian soon learns that she is trapped behind the closed doors of the palatial house and those who seemed friendly are in fact plotting against her. This frustration of not being able to experience freedom along with the fierce competition to be the master’s favourite alters her behaviour in such a way that their personal dynamics changes into war.

The cinematography of the movie is beautiful with the ‘reds’ of the lit lanterns forming a lovely contrast against the grays and the blues of the palatial house. But there is something sinister about  this redness. The deep reds evoke a feeling of danger telling us that all is not well in the house and add a passion to the whole drama. The ‘reds’ also express the fiercely burning passion, ugliness and jealousy in the minds and hearts of the mistresses.

Raise-the-Red-Lantern-Movie
Raise-the-Red-Lantern-Movie                                                                                                                                                        Image source:

All the drama takes place within the closed spaces of the tall, strong walls (there are some scenes in the open on the terrace of the house and they are beautifully pictured) . As a viewer at times you feel claustrophobic, gasping for fresh air. This is exactly how the mistresses feel in their own house which seems more like a big prison which they can free themselves from. The instrumental background score played while the lanterns are carried from one place to other is particularly befitting a thriller. This whole effect beautifully adds to the phobia and restlessness. The choir singing in high pitch is interimly used as background music and is very melancholy and haunting. It is beautifully crafted film.

The mistresses have to please their masters in bed and have to produce babies, especially a son to be an heir to the family. As the concubines express their reality of they being just animals and not human in the patriarchal society makes us sad and we get totally absorbed in their pathetic sate of existence. (Songlian ends up insane as she is unable to fight the inhumanity and is haunted by the guilt of her actions.)

The movie is about anarchy in a male dominated society and the results of it. But much more than that the movie has successfully initiated an argument in the superbly made 2hrs drama – We humans are always looking for dominance over each other. This chase of wanting to be on the top at times makes us lose our sense of well being and fairness. The four women knew they cannot escape. They could have come together to help each other and then may be they would have experienced a slightly happier life.  But they chose to fight with each other(wrong choice) to vent out their frustrations and for dominance and power. I completely understand the frustrations of a woman living in a male dominated society. I have been there. And some might feel that expecting the four women to co-operate is probably asking for something superhuman. But I still feel they could have handled it better. Its only in terms of crisis and severe pressure that we human are capable of coming out with our best and to rise above trivials. The mistresses could have empathized but they chose to criticize.  The film awesomely expresses that the whole helplessness of the human race of not being able to overcome jealously for a common good leads to tragic consequences for all. And after all that plotting against each other, does anybody really win? No…the anarchy continues. The 5th mistress arrives in the palace and the vicious circle moves on.

When there is too much ‘ME’, we not only lose the ‘WE’ but also destroy the ‘ME’.

 

Featured Image Source:

Reviewed by: Pallavi Patil

Watch “Raise The Red Lantern Full Movie Here:

3 Life Lessons from Tumhari Sulu

3 Lessons from Tumhari Sulu are Quick Fix of Life’s Troubles

 

Tumhari Sulu, call it a movie, a radio show or a character, in every form it teaches us some lessons. Yes! after unleashing the absurd reality of cinema in the Dirty Picture, in “Tumhari Sulu” the versatile actress, Vidya Balan exhibits different familial and social roles, a woman plays in her life, every single day, and every single moment. A Higher Secondary failure, a youngest sibling among two banker sisters, a bubbly, friendly and caring wife and a typical Indian mother of an adolescent dreams to run a business or do a job.

Except writing a résumé and registering on the job portals, Sulu does everything to get a decent job. And, eventually she gets one. Sulu becomes an RJ and gets popularity as “Tumhari Sulu”. And then… The real story begins which throws light on some unanswered questions, unsaid rules and unwanted situations of everyone’s life (not specifically a woman) and ends with a few lessons to learn from.

3 Life Lessons from Tumhari Sulu
3 Life Lessons from Tumhari Sulu

1. It’s never too late to start – 
A failure in Higher Secondary School exams, wife to an ordinary clerk, living in a 1 BHK house could have believed that whatever she got will shape her future and all she could do is manage her house and children. But, she had dreams, tiny dreams where she has an identity outside her house and also a very wide scope where she can contribute with her passion, skills and hard work. An Indian woman in her thirties plans to have a decent respectable job, a promising career and an independent life. This shows the possible reality which seems impossible without
any action. Sulu’s character is indeed an inspiration for those women who hold a secret wish and don’t act on it because they think, the appropriate time for them has passed, and the time remains after finishing all the chores isn’t enough to work for building career. Tumhari Sulu shows the possibility, all it needs is a proactive first move.

2. Lust and love –
If you have watched the movie, you must have remembered the scene when an old widower calls to radio station to talk to Sulu. He mentions, Sulu reminds him of his wife who has passed away. That one night, Sulu was the reason behind his smiles and happiness. What will you call that act of him, love or lust? The heart touching scene explains the difference quite clearly.

3. You stand for yourself, when your family approves societal rules –
The members in a family are committed with each other with unsaid promises to hold hands in difficult situation, but the irony is, sometimes they are the one, who does not hold you to offer support but pull you back when you need them the most. That mustn’t be a reason to abandon your dreams. Stay motivated by thinking about the beginning and about the better and stronger reason for why did you start everything. Start is justified when it has an end; if it is left on the mid-way, it loses its significance.

This way, Tumhari Sulu, the entertaining chick flick ends up teaching for an entertaining life that one, specially a woman can lead.

 

Written by: Pooja Mishra

The Long Road Home By Danielle Steel – Novel Review

“A Child’s Broken World”

The Long Road Home Novel Review

Before I give an insight on this book, I must admit I am a kid at heart. I picked this book from my best friend and I couldn’t stop crying reading first three chapters and throughout afterwards. I am someone who admires kids but never feel like owing one. And I give myself pat on the back for my decision knowing this fact; there are people in this world that would go extra-mile to hurt their own kids. Like the way I happened to read about Gabriella.

Gabriella Harrison: A fragile and decent soul. She is someone you will fall in love with. She was born out of sheer unluck and her mother never left any moment to degrade her feelings with much wrath and disrespect. As per her mother, she wasn’t a good girl and she should have been dead rather than the pain she inflicted on her. Gabriella was hurt countless times and beaten badly every now and then by her devilish mother. She was abandoned when she turned ten years old. She lived all her childhood in pain and started picking up the broken pieces of heart while being at Convent. She made friends with Sisters and loved writing poetry and small stories. She called her diary of secrets a small Journal of her painful scars. How did she meet Joe? How her life turned upside down? How all her life she cursed herself for being such a bad person? How she had to give up her baby? How she had to make living out of her life? Everything has been so tragically written and happened with her that I believe, it shouldn’t happen with anyone else in this world. She raised her spirit up whenever a big jolt broke her into pieces. She geared up and faced life instead of giving up. I would say that’s what made Gabriella, an astoundingly amazing courageous woman amongst all of the characters I have known so far.

Joe: He was a priest. All his life, he was always made to believe that he caused miseries to others. He was good for nothing and he should have given up life long ago. He used to come to Convent for taking confessional sessions and that’s how Gabbie met Joe. They fell in love and they both knew they were not allowed to be with each other. They had different purpose to serve in this life. But they couldn’t fell out of love and started thinking about a different life. Joe commits suicide and abandons Gabbie like everybody else.

Eloise Harrison: She was a retard without an iota of doubt. She kept on beating Gabbie for long ten years. She never treated her own daughter like a human since the day she was born. Eloise never wanted to get pregnant but she gave birth to Gabbie. She had to take revenge of this out her own child. My heart goes out to such people who first give birth and treat their children worse than animals. Even animals are better than us. Eloise ruined Gabbie’s life. She looked for reasons to beat her all black and blue for no fault of her own. Such people shouldn’t exist and if they do, they shouldn’t be blessed with children.

John Harrison: Another coward in the house apart from Eloise. This man never stood for what’s right for his own child. He always saw his own daughter beaten by that ruthless witch. He never took stand for Gabbie. He always came closer but left without saying words. He always observed everything apparently but never did anything to rescue Gabbie. It was a heart-breaking moment knowing both her parents detested her up to such an extent that no one ever come ahead to save her from all this bullshit.

This book is beyond the concept of book. It has got the power to change your thoughts. It has got painful experiences along with courage of young woman who instead of facing downfalls at every step, stood for herself. Gabbie never gave up no matter what she had been through and for how many times. She finally had to let go of her horrifying past experience to make her future a better place to make memories. I am going to pick more books by Danielle Steel as this one has touched the strings of my heart and soul. It was such a teary-jerk for me to turn the next page and cry a bit more. I wish no one should come across something as pathetic as happened with Gabbie in her story. And if it does, I hope people are as courageous and unbeatable like Gabbie to deal with it.

 

Image Source: Click Here

Reviewed By: Gurpreet Dhariwal

About Gurpreet Dhariwal: I am a free soul who likes to write about anything under the skin of the sky. I always believed in myself knowing if you trust yourself, you can definitely aim for the sky. I am the courage that I seek in others no matter what!