Category Archives: Indian Movies

Cabaret on Film – Then & Now

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Pooja Bhatt’s much-anticipated movie, Cabaret has finally released on ZEE5. The film stars the Fukrey and Masaan star, Richa Chadha, in the lead role and focuses on the almost forgotten genre of dance in Bollywood – Cabaret.

Origin of Cabaret in Bollywood

The modern Cabaret culture has its origin in post-World War – I Germany. In Bollywood contrary to the popular belief Cabaret was introduced much earlier than Helen made it her own. It was Cuckoo (an Anglo-Indian performer) in late 1940s and early 1950s who introduced Cabaret songs in Bollywood. She performed a brilliant cabaret song in the 1948 romantic drama movie, Anoki Ada that made her the heartthrob of the then Bollywood. She went on to give memorable performances in Awara (1951) and Aan (1952).

It was Cuckoo, who introduced the 13-year-old Helen to Bollywood. They both starred in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) and Yahudi (1958). While Helen continued her walk towards glory, Cuckoo bid adieu to the film scene after making a final appearance in Mujhe Jeene Do in 1963.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, many leading ladies such as Jayashree T, Asha Sachdev, Fariyal, Aruna Irani, and Bindu featured in many super hits, evergreen songs of Bollywood. But none of them could reach to the heights achieved by the vivacious and glamorous Helen. Helen literally rules the Golden Years of Cabaret in Bollywood in the 1960s and 70s. Some of the memorable cabaret songs of Helen are: Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu, Aa Jaane Ja, Jeena Kaisa Hai Pyar, Hello Everybody, Haye Mere Paas, Is Duniya Mein and O Haseena Zulfon Wale to name some. According to socio-cultural historian Mukul Joshi despite having a humongous fan following, Helen couldn’t really get her due.

Other than the Cabaret specialists many well-known A-grade actresses featured in cabaret songs such as Parveen Babi, Zeenat Aman, Mumtaz and Rekha among others.

Richa Chadha-In-Cabaret-Movie-2018

Richa Chadha-In-Cabaret-Movie-2018

Cabaret’s Present and Future

By 1980s and early 1990s, cabaret songs were replaced by other variety of dance songs such as Disco and Western. Eventually, cabaret songs faded from the Bollywood except for rare exceptions.

By the dawn on the 21st century, a new craze took over the industry–Item Songs. This marked the end of Cabaret in Bollywood. We can easily think of old Cabaret songs as today’s item numbers; though the stark difference between them is that they were a part of the movies’ story and were an integral part of them. While almost all of the item numbers of today are “forcefully fitted” into the films.

Now coming to the movie Cabaret, it revolves around the life of a Cabaret dancer Rosa and her struggle to live a normal happy life. The songs have been beautifully choreographed and give a feel of the golden era cabaret of the 1960s and 70s. Richa has performed extremely well and seems in place with her role. The background score is extremely well composed and goes in sync with the overall theme of the film.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Richa Chadha has once again made Helen relive on the silver screen. It might be another dawn for the cabaret genre in Bollywood. 

Written By: Absar Ahmad

Bollywood’s Best Movies of 2018

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As 2019 is a few hours away from us; The World of Movies takes a look at Bollywood’s Best Movies of 2018. The list is compiled by our regular contributor Pooja Mishra and me. We have included only those movies that we ourselves have watched and feel that they deserve mention in this list.

Pooja’s 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2018 

  1. Hichki

The film helped many in India discover a new term for abnormal Hichkis, Tourette. Before watching the movie, no one would have ever wondered that mere Hichki could be that annoying and turn out to be a strange syndrome. Rani Mukerji truly justifies her role in her comeback film by spreading a necessary awareness and sharing a beautiful social message about the neurological syndrome-Tourette.

The movie may not meet all the criteria for being in the list of the top bollywood movies but it has certainly met the expectations of the viewers and hence it holds a position here in my list of Best Bollywood Movies of 2018.

2. Sanju

Rajkumar Hirani, Ranbir, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala and a new rising star of Bollywood-Vicky Kaushal, what do you think this combination of one of the most acclaimed directors and the finest actors of India can produce? I would say, nothing less than Sanju-the mega blockbuster hit of 2018. Though, like all other biopics Bollywood has made, Sanju was also deprived of some realities and facts but entertainment, acting, music and story reciprocated the missing parts perfectly. Sanju is the Highest Grossing Bollywood Movie of 2018!  

3. Robot 2.0

The super duper legendary actor of India, Rajnikant is indeed one of the reasons why Robot 2.0 has achieved an immense success, but the other factors in the film are also equally important.

The movie brings viewers’ attention towards a neglected problem of our country, which no politician has ever being heard saying about, neither the media has thrown the light on, and common people are least bothered to take any responsibility for. Using the medium of comedy and entertainment, the movie communicates a very vital social message which undoubtedly needs to be implemented.

4. Andhadhun

A surprise hit of Bollywood in 2018, the movie indeed is a big break through of the year for its lead actor Ayushmann Khurrana. On the other hand, for the movie lovers it served the perfect dish cooked with some thrill, drama and a pinch of comedy being its main ingredients. The story revolves around a pseudo blind singer, Akash (played by Ayushmann) who unfortunately happens to witness the blood-game and then survives a series of foxy conspiracies.

5. Badhai Ho

Badhai Ho, is a coming of age, low budget popcorn movie, that unexpectedly turned out to be a big hit of 2018 making Ayushmann Khurrana the Bollywood’s face of the year. Though it is a family film, it is not recommended to watch Badhai Ho with your parents or children, of course, to avoid any embarrassment. Who doesn’t enjoy a lightweight funny family drama; Badhai Ho has it all. To some it gives a good laugh, at the same time to others a nightmare. Well, whatever it is, in every sense it is a comedy worth your time.

Ayushmann Khurrana the Bollywood’s face of the year - 2018
Ayushmann Khurrana the Bollywood’s face of the year – 2018

Absar’s 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2018

  1. Stree

For me Stree is the Bollywood’s movie of the year. The film is an excellent display of avant-garde cinema. For the first time in Hindi film industry, we have seen such a great seamless portrayal of horror and comedy intertwined. The on-screen presence of Rajkummar Rao along with the upcoming stars-Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee and the veteran Pankaj Tripathi is a treat for any cinephile. Shraddha Kapoor as the Stree has given her best on-screen performance till date.  The movies music and dialogues have become instant hit.

The dialogues: “O Stree Kal Ana” and “O Stree Raksha Karna” have become immortal in the industry.

The most astonishing aspect of Stree film was the rustic, antique and tranquil setting of Chanderi-a small town in Madhya Pradesh. It added a distinct charm to the movie.

2. Blackmail

A black comedy, most people failed to understand the gist of Blackmail movie. It tells that “once relationships are broken, they never mend”. The movie narrates the story of Dev Kaushal (Irrfan Khan) in a funny, often disgracing manner. Blackmail is not your regular dose of cinema, so please be cautious if you are about to watch it any soon. Also, it is a strictly “A” rated movie (in Indian society), therefore avoid watching it with parents and children.

The best element of Blackmail movie is its high-class acting by almost everyone involved in the film. For me, Arunoday Singh as Ranjit “Tommy” Arora was one of the best performances of the year in a negative role.

3. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is another typical Luv Ranjan movie. It has all that razzmatazz, mirch masala, latke jhatke and adult humor that are so inherent to Luv Ranjan’s cinema recipe. In his own words, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is a saas-bahu story with a twist.

The trio of Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh is well supported by Alok Nath, who played a role opposite to his “sanskari” personality. The movie was a huge commercial success and had one of the best soundtracks of 2018.

In my view, “Tera Yaar Hoon Main” is the Song of the Year.

4. Nanu Ki Jaanu

Nanu Ki Jaanu failed to achieve its goals-to spread awareness about not using mobile phones while driving, value of wearing helmet even when you are going for a short ride, and how cow lynching has filled people’s lives (especially butcher community) with fear even when they are not doing anything wrong. However, it turned out good to watch cinema ‘in patches’.

Abhay Deol’s acting and movie’s background score were memorable. The movie was a box office flop, but I am still adding it to my list of Best Bollywood Movies of 2018 because of Abhay Deol and the noble intentions of its Director, Faraz Haider.

5. Batti Gul Meter Chalu

It was difficult for me to chose only 5 movies out so many that I have seen this year. Therefore, I had to give preference to movies that had social message in it. Batti Gul Meter Chalu is one such film that is set in Uttarakhand and takes up the common but neglected issue of inflated electricity bills in rural/small cities of India.

The movie had some great picturesque locations, soothing music and great acting by all the cast. My favorite was Shahid Kapoor, he absolutely nailed it with his witty dialogues and aggressive body language. Batti Gul Meter Chalu was not a huge commercial success but still managed to grab people and critics’ attention.

So, here was our Best Movies of 2018 that Bollywood offered us. Other than the 10 movies mentioned in the article, we would love to tell about some good movies that couldn’t make it to our list. Some notable movies of 2018 that couldn’t feature in our list are: Padman, Karwaan, Tumbbad, October, Simmba, and Gold.

Written by Pooja Mishra & Absar Ahmad

Simmba – Movie Review

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Simmba – Yet Another OTT Filmy Movie

Rohit Shetty yet again brings us an over the top filmy movie with the charming and witty Ranveer Singh in the title role #Simmba. Multi starrer and the many extras in the fight and dance sequences is typical of a Shetty film.

Once again Ranveer proves his versatility with his acting skill and accents. Sara Ali Khan is totally under utilised as Shagun and seems to be full of potential in both acting and dancing talent and her sense of couture is bang on.

Sonu Sood as the villain is almost human until his younger brothers go overboard with their greed and egos. Ashutosh Rana and Ranveer’s bond and emotional scenes are pretty much the highlight.

Thumping Signature Tunes

Signature tunes are thumping but the music doesn’t make an impact neither does bringing K’Jo or the star cast of Golmaal into a song sequence. The social message is strong, especially the much needed ‘Teach your sons to respect women’ and ‘Instead of girls parents, it’s the rapists who should be frightened’.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

Extorsion, encounters and herd mentality is pictured well but two wrongs do not make a right. Showing the lawmakers break laws in the final act doesn’t sit right and that’s not a solution to bringing justice to rape victims.

Bringing in Singham was not at all a surprise but adding a preview of Akshay in forthcoming Sooryavanshi sure is.

3 Stars Exclusively For Ranveer!

Reviewed By: Shyamala Nawab

Image Source: Simmba Official Facebook Page

Kaatru Veliyidai – Movie Review

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I am not a Tamilian but I wish I knew Tamil language. The moment I came across Kaatru Veliyidai trailer, I felt a spark to watch the movie. Luckily, I found it on Amazon Prime and managed to watch it with English subtitles.

Kaatru Veliyidai means ’till the last breath’. The movie is set in Kashmir during the Kargil war of late 1990s, where Varun (Karthi), an Indian Air Force officer reminisces his love with Dr. Leela (Aditi Rao Hydari) as a prisoner is a Pakistani jail. Varun is young, charismatic, and wanna be Air Force pilot with a messed up childhood and emotional baggage of griefs, anguish, and self acknowledging fears.

Due to this he quits on people even before they quit on him. Dr. Leela is an astonishingly beautiful looking doctor who falls in love with Varun. They set on a picturesque journey of beautiful tale of love.

Acting, Direction and Music

The movie is directed, written, and produced by the famed Mani Ratnam and the music is composed by A.R. Rehman popularly called as the Mozart of Madras in the Southern film industry. Needless to say they are a brilliant combination. To my surprise, the movie had a Punjabi song as well.

Both Varun and Aditi will spell bound you with their on screen appearance and chemistry. They look so promising in their characters. Would recommend everyone to watch it for once.

Reviewed By: Priyanka Bhateja Walia