Blogchatter A2Z 2021, LIFESTYLE, Movie Review, People, top post on indiblogger

Remembering Irrfan

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Irfaan Khan was one of my favourite actors. “Life in a Metro” was the first movie where I saw him for the first time. Irfan has a small role of a man too keen to get married. His talent was matched by Konkona Sen Sharma. The film had a bevy of stars but Irfan was the only actor there. Subtle and expressive!

From then onwards, I started looking for his movies. Since crime is not my favourite genere, I did not watch movies like Maqbool.

Irfan Khan was described by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian as “a distinguished and charismatic star in Hindi and English-language movies whose hardworking career was an enormously valuable bridge between South Asian and Hollywood cinema”.

Filmy Career and Journey :

He started his film career with a small role in 1988 film, “Salaam Bombay”. Those were his struggling days. During these tough times, he got the central role in British film, “The Warrior”. This film was in Hindi and was much appreciated. Actually, this was the movie which helped Irfaan to showcase the wide spectrum of his talent. After this, he had the quantum leap in his career and got main roles in the dramas like Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004). He went on to gain critical acclaim for his roles in The “Namesake” (2006) , “Life in a… Metro” (2007), and Paan Singh Tomar (2011). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role in “Namesake”. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor for Pan Singh Tomar. Further success came from his roles in “The Lunchbox” (2013), “Piku” (2015), and “Talvar” (2015).  He had supporting roles in the Hollywood films The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), Jurassic World (2015), and Inferno (2016). His other notable roles were in Slumdog Millionaire (2008), New York (2009), Haider (2014), and Gunday (2014)  and the television series In Treatment (2010). The comedy-drama Hindi Medium (2017) and its sequel Angrezi Medium (2020) were two of his highest grossing films. These two performances won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 2018 and 2021.

Coming from a small town Tonk in Rajasthan and making a name and space in Bollywood without any connection speaks volumes about his talent.

Some of his films which I have seen were – Life in a Metro……, Piku, Hindi Medium, English Medium, Karwan, Qarib Qarib Single, Haider, Slumdog Millionair, Life of Pi and last but not the least – Jazbaa.
My most favourite Irfan movie is Jazbaa. How he had matched with Aishwarya’s glamourous looks was beyond comprehension. I liked  these two simple movies “Karwan” and “Qarib Qarib Single” too only because one can have more of Irfaan in these movies. He was good in every genere.

A master craftsman, he spoke more with his silence and eyes. I am a fan of his subtle acting.He was married to Sutapa Sikdar, his NSD  classmate and a writer. Today, I just happened to come across a chitchat with Sutapa about Irfan. In reply to one of the questions she said – “Everybody tells me that time is a great healer and time is going by and you know that it’s not healing”. She mentioned that she is a positive person otherwise but his absence is making her helpless. The lonliness is very strong, she said. They both were not very social and hence did not have many friends. They were two people unit. As irfan was working a lot and hence was away for long periods, but when he is at home, it was all about him. It is very difficult to figure out a life without him. Every thing she mentioned about Irfan points out that he was a great human being too.Sutapa said that- Religion for him was spirituality. He had read Upnishads, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Vivekanand , Osho, Mahaveer etc. He believed in being true to self. He was not a practicing Muslim. He could not fast but wanted to. Once he said, I will fast once a week and will fast on Mondays, the day of Shivji. Though he was very busy in the last two decades with his work, he was quiet a hands-on father.

His family has not yet come to the terms with his absence and yet to accept his being not there. My heartfelt sympathies to his family and wish God gives them strength to bear this loss. This is the hard fact that who is left behind and is alive has to live.  May his family find peace and find strength from the good time spent with him.

In a small life of 53 years, he has created a great body of work and there is enough to remember him for years to come. the best tribute to this great actor by his family and friends is to remember and enjoy his work and memories.

Irfaan you live in our memories through your films and in our heart for being a good human being!

Rest in peace !

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Photos are from Google.

 

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, Movie Review

“Once Again” – Movie Review

Thanks to the OTT platforms, there is no dearth of the variety of  content available online.


I mostly scan Netflix or Prime in search of  some interesting movies. Today, I settled for ” Once Again” , a movie of 2018 starting Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi. Shefali is one of my favourites and this is the sole reason, I settled for this movie. I think I have never seen any movie of Neeraj Kabi. I love subtle and powerful acting of Sheifali and I must admit neither Shefali nor Kabi has disappointed me. It was directed by Kanwal Sethi. His eye for details impressed me. 
I am otherwise also, a very simple person to be pleased.


This is the love story of a widow Tara who runs an eatery and catering business (with her son) and a senior actor Amar.
Tara had lost her husband when her two children were very young. Her son was only two years old when the little one lost his father. She also has a daughter.
Amar also has a grown up daughter.


Amar’s meals were sent from Tara’s restaurant on a daily basis. (Why – I don’t understand. Why there is no running kitchen in Amar’s palatial home? Anyway, chalo chodo ji ).
A chance phone call turned into  a regular daily call affair. They enjoyed their daily conversation and it became a routine in no time to call daily at 10 PM. The conversation was mainly about their family affairs and giving and seeking suggestions to each other.
And then they decided to meet. They were meeting often till they were caught by the media and became a news. When a popular actor is involved, it has to be news.
Tara’s son was about to marry and got annoyed as he had to answer a number of questions about his mom’s relationship with a Amar.
But both the daughters of Tara and Amar were very understanding. They were able to acknowledge  the loneliness of their respective parent and were happy that they both are coming together.
The subtle romance between the two seniors was going places. They were going out. In one of the scenes, when Tara came to Amar’s home with the food, few persons from films were at home. Amar introduced Tara as someone who supplies his meals. Tara was hurt and upset.

Amar apologized about it and said, I was not sure what name to be given to this relationship?

Finally after Tara’s son wedding, Amar expressed his feelings not by saying I love you but … “Main tumhaari fiqr karna chahta hun, tumhaare saath jeewan bitana chahta hun… This moment make you skip your heartbeat.
Tara’s border wali cotton sarees with deep neck blouses were so elegant. Anyone who looks into Shefali’s eyes will definitely be lost .

This movie has given voice to the people who have lost their partners either by death or by mutual differences and have decided to separate. Though they are doing everything for their families but everyone looks for some company, where they are accepted as themselves and not mother or father.

The only negative in my view is the photography in dark, whether, it’s inside home, restaurant or elsewhere.

Either my eyesight is dwindling or I need to change to a bigger TV set to admire this new trend of photography. Anyway, I think this is my issue.

Regarding my rating, I will give 4.5/ 5 and recommend everyone to watch it for the way story unfolds, dialogues or want of them, when Shefali and Neeraj spoke through eyes. 🙂

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LIFESTYLE, Movie Review

Pagglait -FREE SPIRIT – DEAD OR ALIVE

With lockdown, the movie theater has come into my bedroom because my TV is in my bedroom 🙂 . Though not a great movie or TV watcher, once in a while, I do scroll different apps. Yesterday, I happened to go on Netflix and Pagglait caught my attention. I misunderstood it for “pigtail” as Paggtail was not in my vocabulary. I watched it’s trailor and liked it. So gave my almost 2 hours to watch this movie.

Pagglait covers the period between Astik’s cremation and tehrvi, the concluding ceremonies on the 13th day after his passing. The title comes from the word “paagal”, which is Hindi for “crazy”, “mad”, sometimes “foolish”. It indicates the churning in Sandhya’s mind and in her life during this decisive phase that leads her to unleash the “crazy” within her.

Cast: Sanya Malhotra , Ashutosh Rana, Raghbir Yadav, Sheeba Chaddha, Sayani Gupta, Chetan Sharma, Rajesh Tailang, Meghna Malik, Preeti Khare

Director:  Umesh Bisht

Story: This is the story of a young woman who was widowed soon after marriage  and  unable to grieve. The behaviour of  quirky relatives and a startling discovery about her late husband has helped her to grow as an independent person. Beyond the mourning family activities like family gossips, financial wranglings and personal tensions all are woven through with deft direction  but keeps its focus on the family’s  attitude towards the newly widowed woman.

Sandhya Giri (Sanya Malhotra) loses her husband Astik soon after their marriage. His relativs condemn her in the way Hindu society often does in such circumstances. “No, she is not Manglik. Their horoscopes were matched,” one of them (Meghna Malik) tells someone in the film’s opening moments. This  sums up the protagonist family  “Giris” and their extended family as not the worst among conservatives, but they are not progressive either.

Sandhya is like any girl next door, who lets her elders decide for her. She has so far gone along with choices made on her behalf. Her MA degree earned her a husband with a salary that impressed her middle-class parents. She got married to the man her parents found for her. Now that he is gone, she is struggling to figure out why she feels no sadness.

This calm narrative style is a strength. It is matched by the shades of grey in all the characters: none of them are all-out evil, but they are no saints either, and they err in the most human of ways.

Pagglait then is not without hitches, but it is all heart with substance to match. The spotlight remains on Sandhya throughout, but the sidelights too are rich in detail, from observations about forbidden love and sexually curious teens in a traditional family, to that gorgeous Lucknowi home, and an unlikely bond forming between women who would have been pitted against each other by a writer prone to stereotyping.

There’s the grieving father discussing gadde (mattresses) ka rate, an elderly relative (Raghuvir Yadav) simmering at the raunchy, inappropriate door bell, Nazia Zaidi being served tea in special, separate cups, gossip, snide remarks, old grouses, a bed-ridden Daadi, one know-all government-servant relative.

It is a very creative experience to hear the call of a muezzin laid over the opening aerial shot of the city (Lukhnow)from wherethe camera travels all the way to Shanti Kunj where Sandhya lives. You can relate to every sequence of the film. Teenage love between cousines, family’s reaction to Sandhya’s Muslim friend who stays with them for 13 days, change in the relatives’ attitude when they got to know about 50 Lakh received by Sandhya from insurance and an affair of her husband with his collegue. You have it all these and much more.  Sandhya’s churning from all these as a strong and independent woman, the movie has all of it. It is definitely a movie of our times of changing social norms.

Hindi films, even progressive ones, have down the decades depicted widows as tragic figures. There is nothing miserable or sentimental about the portrayal of Sandhya. Not that she is a Rani Laxmibai either. She’s a regular woman leading a regular life of conformism who has an awakening in the midst of a tragedy. Pagglait’s big win is that it spots the potential for extraordinariness within apparent ordinariness.

The only break in Pagglait’s tone comes with the song ‘Phire Faqeera’ playing in the background at one point.  The title track is generic, but ‘Dil Udd Ja Re’ and ‘Thode Kam Ajnabi’ are pleasantly pensive albeit too similar sounding to each other. Singh has filled it with female singers, which is unusual even for women-centred Bollywood films. Neeti Mohan is lovely, and I love the buttery-voiced Himani Kapoor who sings ‘Thode Kam Ajnabi.

Ashutosh Rana, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Tailang, Raghubir Yadav , Sayani Gupta and Shruti are excellent.

Bist maintains a deceptively equanimous tone throughout Pagglait, although it kicks off with a tragedy and what subsequently occurs with Sandhya is also dramatic.

A must watch film, if you love the small town anecdotes.

Rating – 4/5

Photo credits – Google

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Tribhanga – Tedhi, Medhi Crazy

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Very rarely we see stories of the women by the women and for everyone else on screen and most importantly when it’s told right. Tribhanga is one of this kind. Written and directed by Renuka Shahane, a well known actor herself has done a commendable job.Tribhanga is a Hindi film recently released on Netflix.

It’s an emotional drama of a dysfunctional family spread over three generations of women who have made some unexpected / odd choices ( as compared to society norms) in their lives. The story is unusual but very thought provoking.

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“Tribhanga”, the title is derived from a dance pose from oddissi dance form, which means imperfect but beautiful, just like the three women characters of the film. Nayantara ( Tanvi Azmi) is Abhanga, a slightly mad genius; Masha ( Mithali) is Samabhanga, completely balanced; and Anuradha (Kajol) skewed and weird is Tribhanga. Each of them is leaning in a different direction.

A brain stroke that puts Nayantara in a coma forces the broken family to reunite and deal with their differences.

Nayantara (Tanvi Azmi) is an acclaimed writer and mother of Anuradha (enacted by Kajol) and Robindroo ( Vaibhav Tatwadhaan). Anuradha ( Kajol) is a Bollywood actor-dancer who is as complex and fierce as her mother. She is also a single mother. Mithali Palkar, who is playing Masha (Anuradha’s daughter), is different from the rest of the women in her family. She is a housewife who is willing to comprise on anything to have the “normal” life that she was deprived of. Multiple elements like sexual assault, domestic violence, and professional aspirations are added to justify the sour dynamics between the central characters and they are woven well.

The brilliant performance of Tanvi Azmi holds you throughout the movie. Mithali as young daughter of Anu ( Kajol) is very subtle and effective in the limited space, she has been given. Kajol fits in her role, but at many places, she was too loud and abusive. When cinema has so much of influence on common man, I feel, they should be responsible to spread atleast better and correct language .

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The men in Tribhanga

Kunal Roy Kapur as Milan, the writer who was helping Nayantara write her biography is almost unrecognizable. Manav Gohil as Raghav, Anuradha’s friend , Kanwaljit Singh as Raina and Vaibhav Tatwawadi as Robindroo (Nayantara’s son and Anu’s brother) had small roles and all have done justice to the story and their presensce on camera.

Renuka Shahane has very beautifully shown the mother(s) – daughter(s) relationships. This movie also breaks up the myth that mother knows the best. Mother is a human and to err is human.

Renuka Shahane’s Tribhanga examines the spontaneous reactions of its characters to their circumstances. Constantly taunted by her oppressive mother-in-law and let down by her husband who is not able to take any stand or decision on his own, Nayan (Tanvi Azmi) walks out of her marital home with her children Anu and Robindro.

In one of the scenes, movie star Anu (Kajol) sees her novelist mother Nayan (Tanvi Azmi) comatose in hospital, she has a decidedly unsympathetic reaction. Perfect, snarls Anu, she’s in a silent zone. In another instance, Anu pushes Nayan and tells her, I hate you, you are a sick woman. One can feel her hatred for her mother and kajol showed her mettle as an actress, which she is.

Later in life, Anu (Kajol) has her own moment of truth through a blistering exchange with her daughter Masha (Mithila Palkar).

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These flashpoints of rage and bickerings supply black humour and sage insights into the distraught ties between mothers and daughters. Anu’s hatred for Nayan has valid reasons, but she isn’t around to see that Nayan has come to regret her actions. The flashbacks reveal glimpse of Nayan’s struggle to forge an identity beyond motherhood. Their immediate responses to provocations are utterly relatable. Anu’s unfiltered statements about life in general and Nayan in particular are especially memorable, all the more so for being gleefully unorthodox and honest.

Shahane’s chronicle of imperfect mothers and difficult daughters says far more on the subject than is usually seen. Anu and her brother Robindra (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi) have dealt with the situation in different ways. Anu has become a well known actress as well as an Odissi dancer (although we never see her perform). She has let her hatred for her mother grow inside her. Robindro on the other hand is a Krishna devotee, and has learnt to let go while holding on what matters the most.

Anu’s own choices are, in turn, challenged by her daughter. Masha’s submissiveness troubles her firebrand mother, who has spent her adult life challenging conformity.

A renewed link between Anu and Nayan is provided by Nayan’s biographer and amanuensis. The earnest and pure Hindi-speaking fanboy Milan (Kunaal Roy Kapur) has become close to Nayan, which gives Anu yet another reason to explode.

Behind this seemingly irreconcilable estrangement is a complicated family history, forged by hard choices and unintended consequences.

Shahane plays the role of peacemaker and bridge-builder, forcing three divergent positions to point in the same direction. There is much in Tribhanga that lingers, but also a great deal that doesn’t quite come together.

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