Category Archives: ZEE5 Originals

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

‘Date With Saie’ Trailer Review: A Date That You Can’t Afford To Miss

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The trailer of ZEE5’s much awaited Marathi original web series “Date With Saie” is out. The intriguing web series stars the renowned Marathi actress Sai Tamhankar in the lead role along with Rohit Kokate. The rest of the cast too is impressive and includes some of the known and upcoming faces of the Marathi television and film industry. The web series is directed by Dnyanesh Zoting, who earlier this year gave us Raakshas–a super hit Marathi fantasy thriller movie, and is produced by Potadi Entertainment’s Nikhil Sheth. Date With Saie consists of nine webisodes of around 22 minutes each. 

According to the synopsis mentioned on the OTT platform, Date With Saie is a thriller that revolves around the life of Sai Tamhankar who stars as a fictional version of herself. Eventually, she figures that she is being stalked by a fan played by Rohit Kokate. The fan wants to shoot a film on her and is ready to go to any limits to achieve this. Things at first seem normal to Saie, but as she explores more about this fan tension, fear and insecurity grip her.

Sai Tamhankar in Date With Saie

Sai Tamhankar in Date With Saie

Date With Saie Trailer Review: My Observation

The trailer gives us ample idea about what we are going to see in this Marathi web series – there is suspense, betrayal, fear and a whole lot of thrills.

In the trailer, a person introducing himself as the Chairman of Bank of Singapore (Mr. Himanshu) approaches Saie with an offer that somehow she can’t reject. It is a role in his dream movie which is going to be directed by him. But unknown to her, he wants to give his film a realistic touch and installs secret cameras in her house.

By the time Saie realises what is happening, things begin to get really twisted. Thus, Saie’s struggle to get rid of this dangerous situation begins.

What makes Date With Saie different?

We hear and know about stalking, be it through news reports or personal experiences. But, what we don’t realise is the fact that how this can lead to the destruction of someone’s life and privacy. With the advent of technology, it has become easy for stalkers to pick their target and ruin their lives. Dnyanesh Zoting’s Marathi web series revolves around this whole scenario in a spine-chilling fashion.

Apart from the intense premise, here are some more reasons to watch Date With Saie:

  1. This series has made Saie, the first and only celebrity in the Marathi industry to have a web series where she plays herself.
  2. Many big faces of Marathi cinema industry will be seen playing ‘crucial’ roles in the series such as Amey Wagh, Siddharth Chandekar, Lalit Prabhakar, Parna Pethe, Shreya Bugade, Girija Oak Godbole and Pooja Thombre.
  3. The impeccable direction of Dnyanesh Zoting, who efficiently delivers a story worth watching and pondering.
  4. The series has some crackling sequences and offer plenty of suspense with great background score.

My Verdict:

All in all, it seems that this latest Marathi web series highlights and capitalizes on a common but ignored aspect of modern society. It also shows us the other side of being famous – how brutal and terrifying it can be to be a celebrity.

Stay tuned to The World of Movies for my full review of the web series soon!

Reviewed by: Absar Ahmad

Kaali Trailer Review: To What Extent Can A Mother Go To Save Her Child?

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The trailer of ZEE5’s latest Hindi-dubbed web series “Kaali” is out. The web series stars Paoli Dam, Shantilal Mukherjee and Rahul in the lead roles. Directed by talented upcoming director Korok Murmu, Kaali will be the first Bengali web series to be streamed on ZEE5. It consists of eight webisodes of 22 minutes each.

According to the introduction mentioned on the OTT platform, Kaali is the story of a helpless mother played by renowned Bengali actress Paoli Dam and explores different shades of womanhood. It is a fast-paced crime-thriller drama that seems to have all the thrills to make it a big success among audiences of all ages.

Kaali Trailer Review: My Observation

The trailer starts with Paoli Dam telling her husband (who is in lockup for reasons known later in the trailer) that their son, Sunny has met an accident and she needs to arrange six lakhs in twelve hours to save his life. Her husband tells her a way of getting at least three lakhs in no time, but with a grave repercussion. It is revealed later that it is drugs that she needs to sell or supply to someone for those three lakhs.

Later in another scene, we came to know that somehow police gets the information about the drugs that are hidden in Kaali’s home. We also see that she might be considering some other ways to make up the rest of the money required for the surgery of her son. It is not clear from the trailer what she is considering, but I believe she might have run into some drug dealers who force her to do more work for them.

Who is Rahul? A Friend or Foe?

Rahul plays the most mysterious character in this web series. In a couple of scenes, he looks like a friend of Paoli, while in a few scenes it seems as if he is double-crossing her and trying to blackmail her to take physical advantage of her. I also feel that there’s an old equation between the characters of Paoli and Rahul that we will only be able to know once the series is released.

Why Kaali Kills Someone?

We also see at the end of the trailer that Kaali kills a man (most probably a drug lord). But why? The answer is difficult and can only be answered after watching the series. But, from the trailer, it seems that it was an act of “self-defence”. But knowing how good crime thrillers are made, I won’t be surprised if it turns out that Paoli was just used as a pawn in a great scripted scheme by people close to her–Rahul, Her Husband or even Sunny. So, basically, I have my fingers crossed till November 12, 2018.

Stay tuned to The World of Movies for my full review of the web series soon!

Reviewed by: Absar Ahmad