Tag Archives: Absar Ahmad Articles

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

Jason Momoa – All You Need To Know About Him

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Jason Momoa born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa in 1979 on a beautiful island of Hawaii, is an American Hollywood actor. Jason has starred in a dozen movies so far in his career, and most of his movies are average in terms of box office value as well as public acceptance. He has also starred in over half a dozen TV series that includes the likes of Game of Thrones and Baywatch-two of the most famous and successful TV series of this century.

Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa

The 39-year-old muscular hunk is over 6 feet tall (6 feet 3 inches to be precise) and has a huge female fan following around the world. Jason’s stroke of luck came when the famed Hollywood companies DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures decided to cast him as Arthur Curry AKA “Aquaman”. Jason Momoa has starred in the last two DC movies along with the other superheroes of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice he had a little part to play and was only there to make DC lovers understand that the DCEU has a counterpart of Avengers Thor. However, he created an impact in the Justice League with his swashbuckling style, heavy tone, and authoritative acting.

It is expected that his forthcoming movie – Aquaman – will be a milestone in his career. The movie is predicted to earn in excess of $800 million, making it one of the biggest hits of the year.

Read More About Aquaman Here

Personal Life of Jason Momoa:

Jason Momoa is married to Lisa Bonet, who is 12 years older than him. They have two lovely kids – a boy and a girl. Jason identifies himself as a religious guy and practices Buddhism. He often visits Tibet in China for religious purposes. The Braven actor also loves tattoos and has plenty painted on his body-adding a distinct charm to his personality and giving unique touch to the character of Aquaman.

Interesting Facts About Jason Momoa:

# The dashing actor was slated to appear in 2016 blockbuster – The Magnificent Seven. However, he dropped out due to his busy schedule and commitment with Aquaman.

# The most famous and distinguished tattoo of Jason is a half-sleeve on his left forearm. The tattoo is a tribute to his family god “Aumakua”.

# The Sugar Mountain star has a step daughter named, Zoe. And, he loves her a lot like his own kids.

# Our beloved Aquaman has also auditioned for a role (not known) in Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy. Imagine, what would have happened, if he was not casted as the Aquaman? Probably, we would not be rooting him this much as we do now.

# Jason Momoa is the first world-famed superhero belonging to the underwater world. Sounds great isn’t it?

# In an interview recently, Jason told that he used to jump from cliffs as kid and he did the same on an occasion for the promotion of his upcoming movie.

# The Game of Thrones star Karl Drogo loves playing guitar and drums.

# Jason Momoa has studied Marine Biology for some time. How strange that now he is playing the role of lord of the water in Aquaman!

# He has also worked as a lifeguard in the Gulf Coast. Well, it appears as if Jason Momoa was destined to be the Aquaman oneday!

List of Jason Momoa Movies:

  • Aquaman (2018)
  • Braven (2018)
  • Justice League (2017)
  • Once Upon a time in Venice (2017)
  • The Bad Batch (2016)
  • Sugar Mountain (2016)
  • Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
  • Debug (2014)
  • Road to Paloma (2014)
  • Wolves (2014)
  • Bullet to the head (2012)
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011)

List of Jason Momoa TV Series:

  • Baywatch (1999-2001; Famous American drama; Jason appeared as Jason Loane), Johnson
  • Family Vacation (2004)
  • Game of Thrones ( appeared as Khal Drogo in 10 episodes)
  • Frontier (appeared as Declan Harp)

Notable Performances of Jason Momoa:

To be true, I haven’t seen most of the movies starring Jason. So, in this section, I am only writing about the performances that I have watched and appreciated of Jason Momoa.

  1. Justice League (2017) starring Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, and Henry Cavill; was the fourth most expensive film of all time  at the time of its release. Jason appeared in the role of Arthur Curry/Aquaman and won accolades not just from the public but critics also for his impressive performance. His long hairs, trident, and heavy accent were a treat to watch for superhero movie lovers. I personally liked the scene where Arthur Curry stops the water in the labyrinth and saves his friends. You watch it below:

2. Once Upon a time in Venice (2017) an action comedy; in the film Bruce Willis was compelled to perform some difficult tasks for a gang’s leader performed by Jason Momoa. The film was a box office bomb and was snubbed by public and critics alike.

3. The Bad Batch (2016) starring Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves alongside Jason Momoa was selected for Golden Lion Award. The movie was based on people who are dumped outside Texas because they are deemed as anti-social elements by the society; Jim Carrey played the role of a Hermit in the film. Jason’s performance as the Miami Man was appreciated all around. The Bad Batch to was a box office bomb, but received some positive response from the critics.

Apparently, I have not seen any TV series that Jason has worked in, so I am not writing about it. Moreover, I am really hoping that in two weeks time, I will add a paragraph more on Jason Momoa’s performance in Aquaman film.

Written by: Mirza Yusuf Faiyaz & Absar Ahmad

How 50+ Stars Still Rule Bollywood?

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Some say age is nothing but just a number. Over the years, in our part of the world, it is believed that with age your popularity diminishes. However, some of our beloved Bollywood actors have defied this belief with flying colours. Recently, I watched some movies on India’s second-biggest OTT platform, ZEE5 and came up with an idea of writing an article on Bollywood stars who are over the age of 50 and still doing well in the industry.

While writing, I chose 4 actors to features in this article:

1.Akshay Kumar: At 51, Akshay Kumar’s box office prowess is all but increasing with every film. For the record, his last 3 movies–Gold, Padman & Toilet: Ek Prem Katha–have all been box office hits, earning more than double of their budgets. Padman, in particular, was highly praised by critics and public alike as it is based on a topic which is considered a taboo in our part of the world–female sanitary pads.

Akshay has evolved over the years from being an action hero to a comedy star and of late shedding some much-needed attention towards social issues on screen. One reason behind his continued success can be attributed to his disciplined lifestyle. For example, he is known to be incredibly punctual during shoots and has a strict policy of not working on Sundays! The actor is also very conscious of his health and ensures that his shoots start early morning and finish before night so that he can have a good sleep.

2. Shahrukh Khan: The name is synonymous with Bollywood for many foreign countries. With over 280 awards in his cabinet, he is described by the Los Angeles Times as perhaps “The World’s Biggest Movie Star“. Shahrukh has won 8 Filmfare Awards, in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role, the most by any actor.

The 52-year-old actor started his journey with films like Deewana, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and Dil Toh Pagal Hai to name a few, and successfully established himself as the leading romantic actor in 1990s. Over the last few years, he has played some mature characters too. His latest movie, Zero is slated to release later this year, has already generated a lot of buzz in the B-town.

3. Aamir Khan: Popularly known as Mr Perfectionist in the Hindi film industry. Aamir has to his credit, India’s highest grossing movie – Dangal, the only movie so far to have crossed the figure of 2,000 crores ($300 million). Aamir, 53 is still considered a potent force in Bollywood because of his commercial as well as public value. His forthcoming movie, Thugs of Hindostan is made with a budget of 300 crores and is set to hit the screens early next month.

American magazine, Newsweek named him as “the biggest movie star” in the world. Aamir has won 9 Filmfare Awards and 4 National Film Awards, besides being nominated for an Academy Award.

4. Salman Khan: Another superstar of Bollywood, who is in his 50s, Salman has a crazy following of fans. Salman’s market value can be assessed by the fact that in 2015 Forbes listed him as the highest ranked Indian with earnings of $33.5 million in the list of Top-Paid 100 Celebrity Entertainers in the world.

Known as ‘Bhaijaan’ to his fans, the actor has done roles ranging from a sanskari beta to macho man to a humble do-gooder. Three of his movies (Tiger Zinda Hai, Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan) have been listed in top 10 highest grossing movies of Bollywood. Salman also does philanthropic activities through his charity non-profit organisation, Being Human.

Stay tuned to The World of Movies for more such articles and more!

Image source: Official Facebook pages of the stars mentioned in the article.

Written by: Absar Ahmad