Hare Rama, Where’s The Drama?

Hindi films are growing up and getting a tad staid. SHUBARNA MUKERJI SHU is missing all the hoopla of dramatic background scores, mad whistle-worthy scenes, heroines dancing under duress, and the works…

Agreed, we have matured, our films are just about exceeding the two-hour span and we do not have time for frivolous pursuits. Bollywood films have become sleek, even our actors no longer dress up in garish clothes to be larger than life, which is a euphemism for ‘over the top’. The change has been good, and in the bargain we don’t cringe as much as we used to when we see some blasts from the past; past being just three to four years ago! We no longer translate English dialogues into Hindi – ‘Are you like, checking me out, kya dekh rahe ho?’ We act supremely sophisticated – but yeh jeena bhi koi jeena hai, lallu? Whoever said we cannot have a healthy dose of OTT drama from time to time! Seriously guys, where’s the fun in being staid all the time? I, for one, like the anticipation building within me when the boy and girl are walking together or stranded together a little late in the night. Even if the ‘I love you’ hasn’t happened, we know there will be sex… By sex, I mean there will be rain and subsequently, flowers will bounce uncharacteristically, as if annoyed at being used as metaphors about crass deflowering during thunderstorm! Nowadays, sex is just sex; what’s more, it doesn’t even get unwed girls pregnant! Just the thought that we will never again hear a tear-streaked-face mouth ‘Main tumhare bachche ki maa bannewali hoon’ is a little depressing!

It is not really the question of one stuttering dialogue; the pregnant dukhyari has a domino effect on Bollywood films. We know how pregnant girls – if the hero’s relatives – usually commit suicide. If the pregnant lady is carrying our beloved hero, she will single-handedly sew – not sue, the world and bear a vengeful bastard (literally) who will give his commitment phobic father sleepless nights. Revenge sagas have totally lost their glory. Of course there is BADLAPUR but are there dialogues like “Jab tak meri saansein chalengi… mera inteqam zinda rahega”? Even if I want to whistle, there are no opportune punctuations in our films anymore! As if that wasn’t bad enough, they have robbed us off our ceeti-maar entry which is sequential to the wronged child who wants his vengeance…

Yes, Salman Khan does give us a share of some rather ceeti-maar entries, every now and then. The last we saw of him in SULTAN, he did us the honour of making us sweat in our seats, despite the AC blasting in the theatres. After all, no matter how often we have seen him bare-chested, we never really saw him in a langot *pauses at the imagery to drool*! But that’s that, where are those signature Bollywood scenes of yore when the little boy would run and run, and suddenly grow up? Uffff, despite knowing that we will see Master Mayur morph into Amitabh Bachchan, our adrenaline would pump high… It’s not the same anymore. For one, we won’t have our popcorn-laden hands paused in mid-air, trying to catch that exact moment when those tiny scrawny chappal-clad feet were snipped and edited into booted legs *claps and whistles hard*.

Without this run, would Mallaika Sherawat increase the TRPs on national television, speaking about Senior Bachchan’s lope with Bollywood? How many of you miss those swag-filled walks away from the bomb-bursting and fire-blazing backdrops that turned our actors into STARS? All this drama is gone, wiped out… In the attempt to look cool, I say we are turning cold without all the dramatics…

When was the last time you saw a good, senseless car chase? MAIN HOON NA? Rohit Shetty films do not count because he only rehashes old commercial potboilers into new commercial potboilers – the heart of the matter stays the same. So, like I was saying, where are the good car chases? Remember the time all the hero had to do was sweep his gaze around and there would come a vehicle, fuelled up and ready to chase? What’s more there would be the keys to the car right on the ignition to save precious moments for him! Really the most thoughtful of screenplay writers, don’t you think? Where are those good Samaritans these days?

Car-drama is a whole different carnama in itself. It has been so long that I have seen a brake-fail sequence in movies I am beginning to miss it. Those little rules of how if it is the hero driving, the brakes are giving up… He will either lose his memory or crash right into the love of his life… simple pleasures of Bollywood, we say. Somehow, other characters – unless they have to die – didn’t have their car’s brakes malfunctioning. But there is more to cars than that… thrill, romance, comedy… you name it and the car can do it. For instance, if the girl is driving, she would be rich enough to splash the muck all over the hero just smearing him with hints of blossoming romance. If she is being chased by ghosts, goons or even goblins her car will faithfully refuse to start till the hero of the film comes into the picture. If she is chasing the hero to the airport, then well, she cannot be the one driving. By an unwritten understanding, Bollywood filmmakers do not recommend the ladies of the film driving under duress. Or so it used to be during the good ol’ days. Now, well, Anushka Sharma and Kareena Kapoor refuse to take the backseat. More power to them of course… but where are our cheesy moments amidst these strong ladies?

If there is no duress, if there is no helplessness, how will we have those dance numbers in the villains’ dens!!!! ‘Jab tak hain jaan… main naachungi’ …heroines dancing on broken glass, heroines dancing while there is some vicious-looking liquid boiling in oddly shaped burners… fumes all over, but nothing will stop her gyrating… after all, the hero is depending on her. It is almost like these songs willed the death of the abla naari, making her so strong that all she had to do was dance, and the heroes would wake up from near death and sometimes the evil villains would just simply plonk dead. Somehow along with the damsels in distress, disappeared the villains’ dens, the torture chambers etc…

Cruel deaths, these, right at the script level. Yes it is true we have matured, we are sleek, we are capable of giving Hollywood a run for their monies but hey, every now and then, we feel like Rakhee from KARAN ARJUN, hoping – ‘Mere Karan Arjun zaroor aayenge!’

The king of Short films: Manoj Bajpayee


Like how Test cricket became a 50 overs match and similarly how 50 overs match became 20-10 to satisfy the thirst of an audience with short attention span. Similarly, short films are films that play for short span of time but deliver the exact message. And Manoj Bajpayee seems to have conquered this space already. The ace actor is known for his performance through all the forms of cinema. Be it commercial cinema or art house films or even short films.


The actor has been appreciated by audiences for his outstanding performances not only in feature films but also in the short film medium. The actor has received lot of accolades for his work in the all of his short films be it TAANDAV or KRITI or the latest one OUCH. Recently, Manoj was awarded with the Best Actor award for his performance in the short film TAANDAV at the Flamingo Film festival, which is associated with prominent Cannes Film Festival. Now adding another award into his kitty, the actor has bagged yet again the Best Actor award for his latest short film OUCH that is directed by Neeraj Pandey in the prestigious 5th Delhi Shorts International Film Festival – 16.


In Neeraj Pandey’s new short film OUCH, Bajpayee plays a middle aged man caught between the domestic pull of his family life and the lure of the forbidden. And not unlike before, Bajpayee, with his tragicomic touches, makes what could be seen as immoral, endearing. Manoj has done it all, from theatre to films to short films with utmost ease and terrific outcomes.


“Crisp acting is something I yearn for and I like to challenge myself with different roles that demand different things from me. It makes me work towards being more versatile and cross my last mark. I have been very blessed that I have been able to do what I have stated above and have been receiving so much love for it; but I always wanted to explore the possibilities of short films as I feel they are more challenging. You have to communicate a story and pass on the emotions in much lesser time than you get in feature films. It’s really overwhelming to learn that my performances in short films are being loved and acknowledged by not only the audiences globally, but also by the critics and members of the film fraternity” says Manoj Bajpayee when asked about his thought behind venturing into short films.


Manoj Bajpayee has been nominated/awarded at many esteemed film festivals like Asia Pacific Film Festival in Brisbane (Australia), Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF), 7th Jagran Film Festival and many more. His film ALIGARH was also screened in festivals like Busan International Film Festival, South Asian Film Festival of Paris, Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF) to name a few.


Alia Bhatt on Tinder?


Which way would you swipe if you found out Alia Bhatt was on Tinder? As we all know Alia’s upcoming film is all about new age relationships and how she deals them. One more interesting fact about the film was unearthed by the director of the film. The maker of the film, Gauri Shinde also announced Alia’s presence on Tinder as her character ‘Kaira’ from her latest film DEAR ZINDAGI.

Speaking about the collaboration with Tinder for this film, Gauri Shinde, director of the film DEAR ZINDAGI, says, “Alia’s character in the film is one with which the youth will instantly connect and relate to. The situations she faces, people she meets and her attitude to love and relationships is reflective of the way norms in our society are evolving today – the film deals with love and relationships in the time of Tinder. This collaboration is, therefore, perfectly synergistic.”

The film stars Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan in the lead and also Aditya Roy Kapur, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi and Siddharth Shukla doing cameo in the film.


Kolkatta fans stall shoot of KAHAANI 2


Vidya’s popularity in Kolkata is unmatched but this time while shooting for Kahani 2: Durga Rani Singh in the small hill station of Kalimpong near Kolkata, Vidya and director Sujoy Ghosh witnessed almost the entire town’s crowd at the set.

This development led to the whole shoot being stalled for 4 hours. The crowd became so excited to see Vidya that the crew could not shoot and Vidya had to pacify and request the crowd to cooperate with the team so that they could shoot.

Eventually they shot amidst the chaos with high security all around. Talking about the episode says Sujoy Ghosh, “For a moment I thought I won’t be able to shoot. The crowd went hysterical and I could not believe the immense stardom that Vidya has. I never expected a small town like Kalimpong to react the way they did to her.”

Director Sujoy Ghosh reunites with powerhouse performer Vidya Balan yet again for the second installment of the KAHAANI franchise, also starring Arjun Rampal.


Sushant Singh Rajput signs Omung Kumar’s FIVE

After MARY KOM and SARBJIT, Omung Kumar announced his third directorial venture, FIVE, a psychological thriller. It wasn’t much clear as to who would be playing the lead in the film. Names like Akshay Kumar and Sushant Singh Rajput emerged.

If sources are to be believed, Sushant has given a nod to Omung’s film, which will be his first after the success of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. “Sushant has a packed diary for the next one year, but he decided to squeeze in Omung’s film since he liked the script,” says an insider.

FIVE was initially supposed to roll at the end of this year, but given the delay in casting, the unit will now start shooting in mid-2017. “It will be shot across various locations in London. Casting for the female lead is underway, but it is the sort of film where the spotlight is on the hero,” the source adds.



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