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How Kapoor and Sons got its gay character right?

Kapoor and Sons released in 2016 a remarkable year for Hindi cinema and especially Alia Bhatt

It was 2016 and the world was waking up to the charisma of Fawad Khan. Fawad Khan plays a matured man with a baritone to please. He is truly an epitome of classic beauty. A gay character in a Hindi film is usually caricaturish and very very one-note. Here for a change there is character building, character arc and an entire projectile graph of the character. For once there was a character who wasn’t superficial and flimsy though there was a thin layer of conventionality. He had to live in New York and be a successful writer. Kapoor and Sons had a touch of reality rarely seen in Bollywood movies. The film is about two brothers and a family feud in the middle.

Kapoor and Sons was a brave attempt and successful in its portrayal of a homosexual character. That apart the film highlights pressing issues that surface when a family reconciles. The masterful craftsman that Shakun Batra is, the frames didn’t look any less perfect. The affluent lives that they live also has an air of deficiency. The characters belong to a middle class diaspora but their space and careers don’t seem demanding at all. That is my only complaint with the film. Coming back to Fawad and his character nowhere does he loose his dignity nor does the film.

Featured

Oscar vs Filmfare

Sadly Filmfare has always remained a poor cousin of the Oscar. It is still to get its due credit.

Oscars or the Academy Awards has a long-standing history of supporting author-backed roles. Every Patriotic hue is celebrated and is a perfect example of an Oscar fodder. Filmfare is considered to be a poor cousin of the Oscars. An Oscar nod ensues a flurry of congratulatory messages. In India, original ideas find more footing and recent years female directors have made a dent in the glass ceiling not yet broken it. Back in 2014, Queen was chosen as the best film. A female-driven story led by the superb Kangana Ranaut. She actually became a household name after the film broke several records. Then there was Gauri Shinde who started it all by making English Vinglish. For the first time, a female vision was so successful commercially. But Oscars has been the polar opposite. It hasn’t been forthcoming in celebrating a female director helming project. Sophia Cappola missed the bus twice. Hopefully, Greta Gerwig wins it someday.

How Hasee Toh Phasee dealt with depression?

Hasee Toh Phasee is a great work best described as a dramedy masquerading as a romcom

There are many films that leave a mark on our lives. But Hasee Toh Phasee is a sweet little film that serves its purpose well. It will have a bittersweet aftertaste. Carved from the same thread as Rachel’s Getting Married, it is quite a rare film on the commercial space. Hasee Toh Phasee starred the spunky and vivacious Parineeti Chopra, who matched up to a well-written role. The arc of her character is well balanced and that speaks volumes about the dimension. The girl in question is reticent, different, genius and constantly battling her own demons. Her insecurity to find solace and peace among a cacophonous wedding ceremony is in place. The film delves deeper and that later transpires into a penultimate scene of self-confrontation. The shuttle nuances of the character match the overtly loud family wedding background. Sid is the perfect foil for Pari’s character who holds up that much-needed teacup. He makes her see the world a little more rationally and approves of her weird ways. In the end, they seal the deal with a soft tender kiss.

हिंदी सिनेमा का अंतर्राष्ट्रीयकरण

सिनेमा का दौर शायद ही कभी ख़तम होगा मगर उसमे आने वाले बदलाव को भी परिभाषित नहीं किया जा सकता है. यह बदलाव समय के साथ आये है और कहीं न कही अद्रिश्य है . सिनेमा हमेशा ही समाज का प्रतिबिम्ब रहा है, अंतराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर यह शुरू से ही दिख रहा है. अब हमारा सिनेमा भी समाज को दर्पण दिखने में सक्षम है. समाज की परिवर्तनशीलता ही सिनेमा को प्रभावित और प्रोत्साहित करती है , ताकि सिनेमा अपना दृष्टिकोण बदले। हमारे सिनेमा में वह बाहयेपन झलकता है जो पहले अनुपस्थित था.

हिंदी फिल्में अर्थात कमर्शियल फिल्म्स की अपनी ही एक श्रेणी हुआ करती थी। कमर्शियल फिल्म्स और पैरेलल फिल्म्स का अंतर अब घटने लगा है. इसमें मल्टिप्लेक्सों का बहुत बड़ा योगदान है। दिल चाहता है और फरहान अख्तर के साथ जो सफर कभी शुरू हुआ था वह आज राजकुमार राव और आयुष्मान खुर्राना के साथ आगे बढ़ता जा रहा है. यह एक यादगार सफर रहा हिंदी फिल्म जगत के लिए।इसका लेखा जोखा सब इतिहास के पन्नो मे स्वर्ण अक्षरों से लिखा जायेगा। इसी समय हमे अंतराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर जिस तरह से सफलता और उपलब्धियां प्राप्त हुयी वह अवर्णनीय है. इरफ़ान खान का इसमें सबसे बड़ा योगदान है. खेद है की उसका निधन इसी वर्ष हो गया, वरना वह एक ऐसे कलाकार थे जो मर कर भी अमर है. उन्हें ऑस्कर्स यानि अकादमी के तरफ से भी स्वीकृति प्राप्त हुयी है । उन्होंने आसिफ कपाडिया, मीरा नैर यहाँ तक की राइली स्कॉट जैसे दिग्गजों के साथ काम किया है. अंग ली और डैन्नी बॉयल भी इस फाये लिस्ट में शामिल है. प्रियंका चोपड़ा को भी अपने अंतराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर किये गए कार्यो के लिए वाहवाही मिलनी ही चाहिए। उन्होंने भारतीय फिल्म सितारों को एक नए आयाम तक पहुँचाया है. निर्देशकों में अनुराग कश्यप और ज़ोया अख्तर जैसे चुनिंदा कुछ है जो हमारे राष्ट्रीय ध्वज को ऊचा फैरा रहे है. कहानियां कहने का कोई ढंग नहीं होता बशर्ते वह दिल से कही जाये। प्राशंगिगता और आंचलिता आज की फिल्मों के केंद्रबिंदु है. एहि कारण है की कुछ फिल्में ही अंतराष्ट्रीय मानचित्र पर अपनी चाप छोड़ पाती है ।

Is Varun Dhawan the new Govinda?

While dissecting a character in a film we usually find the actor reacting rather than a character emoting. Every manoeuvre is structured and designed to suit the narrative, yet Hindi cinema has a place cut out specifically for heroes. Some are style icons, others are dancing icons, but there are only a few that are a combination of both of these. Govinda for long stood on that pedestal, he was a smooth-talker, a slick dancer and had a swag of his own. His cinematic turns brought a smile to your face and you also idolized him for his image. I find a very similar trait in Varun Dhawan. For a generation that is constantly breaking new grounds with its cinema, Varun Dhawan is an out-an-out commercial star, yet he shows range and restraint in the off-beat space. He too oozes a certain charm, has great moves and is the solo hero for the Dhawan family. David Dhawan the man who made us chuckle in the 90s took a lot of risks when it came to finding the main man for his films. His son moulded himself accordingly to become the Govinda of this generation. But putting him on that high place is justified, as he has proven himself time and again. With his comic turns and brilliant dancing skills he has made a special place in the hearts of children. Even with a film like October, he was very sincere and the realistic background suited his acting chops. With the new crop rather breed of actors looking to teach and entertain at the same time, Varun wants to make us laugh which is rare in today’s world.

Why Binnu ka Sapna is a standout short?

Violence is a recurring theme in both the films directed by Kanu Behl. Titli, that spoke of the dysfunctional status of a north Indian family and the politics surrounding it. Here, too the protagonist goes through similar mental turbulence that slowly, sucks him into the world of violence. In this gun-wielding big-bad world of Delhi, the protagonist suffers certain claustrophobia inside out. When his two worlds collide and he suffers from the internal dilemma, he coils into his shell. His own personal life is nothing short of hell which turns him towards crime. His regular encounters with a girl come off as respite. Sepia-infused tone gives it a sedative-like texture, the kind that eludes realism. Violence here engages with his life and encircles it. Its a personification of the dysfunctional, still existent within the four walls of his house. Since the protagonist is educated, he initially questions his surroundings, but later surrenders to it. His reluctance shows in his way of communication. He is no longer wrapped in naivety nor is he a complete monster. His dreadful real-life experiences bound him but they also push him to the edge. He too draws parallels from his upbringing. He isn’t much different from what or who he refused to become.

Why is Delhi-6 an important film?

Delhi 6 never fails to captivate and amuse with its intrinsic tales.

Delhi-6 reeks of sheer nostalgia and a sense of melancholy that lingers on. The tantalizing scent of etar or perfume fills up the closed space, the over-powering smell from the spice markets of Khari Baoli or claustrophobia of Chandni Chowk are all used as props in the film. Delhi-6 forms a sun-set so rare and real that is bound to grip you with its magic. The film didn’t find many takers upon its release, but for me it is a little gem. The internal and eternal dilemma of belonging that Roshan faces is so universal yet rooted. A confused desi who lands at the heart of Delhi only to reconnect with what he has lost. Bittu, on the other hand is an aspirational Indian who wants to make it big in the singing world. Chandni Chowk as the background makes it a picture-perfect storyboard to tell stories. Every character represents a certain part of the Indian milieu. The conflicts formed are a regular part and parcel of our lives. Delhi as a city is somewhat frozen in time with its socio-political positioning finding favour with most kings and later politicians. It is a masterstroke by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra to choose it as his setting. But there is too much stuffed together, there are too many characters to be developed, too many stories to be told and too many conflicts to be solved. The kala bandar of the plot in my opinion caters and questions our insecurities and our prejudices. We end up killing an innocent for the sake of finding a solution. Atul Kulkarni’s character is the stand out one. He teaches us the importance of being stupid in a world populated by very smart individuals. The music moulds and structures the film accordingly. The maestro that is A.R.Rehman has actually done a miracle with this film. All the songs will find themselves in the musical history of India. ‘Rehna Tu’ is my favourite song, it matters that it is penned by Prasun Joshi who has caught the essence of the film spot on. It has happened twice now that A.R.Rehman’s music has exceeded the very film itself. One is Delhi-6 and the other is Rockstar. A word about Sonam Kapoor that she was refreshing as a new face. Delhi-6 for me looked apart from most Bollywood films and looked within to delve deeper into the psyche of the society.

Why is Dil Chahta Hai my favourite film?

Dil Chahta Hai never fails to cheer me up. It manages to melt my heart to this very day.

If there ever was a film that defined an entire generation, it was and will be Dil Chahta Hai. The film has intangibly touched a billion hearts with its soulful and foot-tapping music. The boisterous friendship is glorified by terrific performances and even better character arcs. Every beat, every plot is driven organically and seamlessly. For me, it was a film that made more sense today than ever. Since I turned 25 this year, the journey of three friends and in my case three cousins meant more about personal endeavours than professional ones. We have all ventured out on different levels and it now feels like different worlds. We were more than cousins, we were friends and for a significant part, we were each other’s biggest confidants. Sid, Sameer and Akash too were less of friends more of each others’ cheerleaders. When in doubt they all came to each other’s rescue. Sameer was meant to bring comic relief, Sid was the silent artist and Akash was the charmer. Dil Chahta Hai has survived the testament of time when most commercial films failed to remain relevant. 90s Bollywood was slapstick and was mostly about potboilers with occasional gems like Andaaz Apna Apna. Elements like sing-song technique was reintroduced through the film. Sameer to this very day lights up a dull day like no one could. Kanan Gill or a Kenny Sebastian would resemble a Sameer of today. Sid was the quietest of the lot, he expressed more through his eyes than his speech. But my sole disappointment remains that they had to find him someone in the end. An end doesn’t necessarily need a partner but it does need a partner in crime, by this I mean friends. Akash, the college hunk is the ultimate man-child of the story(Ranbir Kapoor in every film). He needs a woman to make him grow up, to make him see the true meaning of love. In the theatre scene, where he finally understands what is love because he now knows who he loves. Love for me is about nostalgia and every scene of this film is soaked with that feeling. I associate my friendships with my cousins, that sheer joy of saying ‘Cheers’ over a cup of tea or over that sweet and sour golgappa. Cafes have replaced malls, chat-rooms are a thing of past too. Now you are just a click away from finding a friend or a match. Dil Chahta Hai was before Orkut or Facebook, it was a different era. A time where dreams were harbored, most of our pop-culture icons come from the time. Now in this generation we are already living our dreams. A teenager in 2000s must be a parent now and I really wonder what sort of a rebellion would he or she face from his or her kids. Rebellion now must be limited to that much needed Goa trip(since we are still desi parents), Everything in between has changed. Dil Chahta Hai for me is that Goa trip which I skipped and my friends took. That might just be a sign of rebellion to a millennial of 2020.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.