Kapoor and Sons (2016) – Raw and Real Family Drama.

By The Gorgeous Palah Chinguz

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Rating : 4/5

Seriously i didn’t expect anything in this film and it turns out to have everything ; emotional journey, Great assemble of casts, strong plot and extra points for having fawad in the film. He’s such a Bae. I swear my head just wanted to explode because I can’t brain how wrong I am to think that this will be another cliche Bollywood film. A lot of spoiler will be discussed later on as I can’t hold myself any longer. I need to get this thoughts out of my head as soon as possible.

Homosexuality and the society’s acceptance.

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Rahul Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Tia Malik.

You’re kidding, right? It’s 2016 and we never had a fair share of bollywood films that tried to view homosexuality in a positive way. We mocked gays in the film and always portrayed them as too feminine and flamboyant person. Homophobic much? I get it that our parent’s generation might not accepted homosexuality and their takes on it will be it is not normal. How about our generation? Us? Millennials? Didn’t we saw that changes is coming? The cultural change can be done but it starts with us. With the right mentality, education and open mindedness, we can help them to feel that there are nothing wrong with them. It pains me to see how Fawad portrayed Rahul Kapoor , the perfect son, the successful author and the entrepreneur but still hiding in the closet. He pretended to have a girlfriend and all but deep down wishing that his mother will see right through him so he don’t have to pretend anymore. It was tiring living a double life and be a person you don’t want to be. Up to the point, he even said to his brother, Arjun Kapoor, that he’s willing to surrender his place of being the perfect son in their family to Arjun.

I wont drag my religion into it. Not to be defensive about it actually but i do believe what  you do and whom you choose to love is personal choice. It can only be between you and god. Simple as that. Fanatics, fundamentalists and conservatives might argue differently but let them be. They have no other job aside from being religious police.

Parent’s favourite child.

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Rahul Kapoor and… his father’s broken car.

If you can’t figure out whose your parent’s favourite child, that means you are the one. If you can, then it’s real. Don’t cry, your parents are human too. They make mistakes and these are one of their mistakes that we have to make peace & move on eventually. Of course they keep saying they love your siblings and you equally but ……. I think you can figure it out. Sunitha Kapoor and His husband, may not vocally said that their favorite son is Rahul but all acts pointed it was him. In this film, Arjun Kapoor is the innocent victim caught in this parents’ disease (as I called it).Sidharth Malhotra’s performance as Arjun Kapoor is not bad at all. There are moments which you could feel how unfair his parents treated him. Rahul drove and accidentally damaged the car yet their father get angry at Arjun. Rahul’s room remain intact when he’s gone but Arjun’s room being used by their mom to escape from her problematic marriage. Both of them are struggling authors but yet their mother choose to save Rahul’s career by sharing Arjun’s idea to Rahul. That’s really fucked up and no excuses could make up for it. Sunitha has her own reasons to do so , I guess but it was totally unfair.

Infidelity in MArriage.

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Harsh and Sunitha Kapoor reminiscing their fun memories.

I may not support polygamy but i know that there is no such thing as monogamy. People fell in love but they also fell out of love. When you get married, you not only need love to strengthen the relationship, you also need tolerance and compromise. I am surprised how many people didnt realized this and yet they wonder why they are not happy in their marriage. The question arose is how much longer can you tolerate and compromise, to what extend can you tolerate and compromise because for me if you tolerate and compromise too much, you’re going to lose yourself. Marriage is good for some people but if its begin to make you feel dreadful and despised it, then fucking leave. Why they bother to stay and try to save the marriage is beyond me. Rajat kapoor totally nailed the character of Harsh Kapoor ; Intense father and grumpy husband. Ive seen Rajat in his best performance especially in Ankhon Dekhi but this role also worth noting too. This is second time Ratna Pathak played Fawad’s mother and their chemistry never cease to amaze audiences. Fawad will always be the favorite son on screen, I presume especially in bollywood. What are the causes of infidelity in marriage? I just cant seem to place it mainly on the major cause.

Whenever I said Men wanted to be with younger and prettier wife, thats not necessarily true cause ive seen before whereby husband cheated on his wife with someone older/uglier than his wife. Is it because of unsatisfying and repetitive sex or lame bed skills? Could it be one of the causes of husband/wife betraying their own spouse? In this film, it was obvious that the feelings is not there anymore. Harsh Kapoor was having an affair with his colleague until he quitted his job at the bank. His wife knew the affair and thought it was over. She still taunted him occasionally but never in a million years thought that her husband is continuously meeting her behind her back.

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Overall, this is one of the good films that i’ve watched this year. Bad prediction from my side but i was satisfied the way this film turned out to be. Rishi Kapoor is amazing as a grandfather in this film. He is mischievous and playful. Rishi Kapoor take the acting to the next level by wearing prosthetic to portray someone 20 years older than his own age. Im sorry i didnt write much about him though.

kapoor-sons-Rishi Kapoor

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Men Who Save the World/Lelaki Harapan Dunia (2014) – ‘An unapologetically honest’ local film

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating : 4/5
My Rating : 4/5

        I seldom watched local films. There i said it. No offense but with a shitty content, mediocre actors and actresses, i rather shove a poison in my mouth and die than watching them. There are some of good actors and actresses in Malaysia but i felt like their potential remain hindered in local film industry. Having to play the same characters over and over again and being forced to conform on the standard of local film (which is majority of them are so sub par and repetitive story line) leaving them no choice. The situation is no different for directors and script writers as well. There are young and promising talents out there. They are trying to enter the industry with a new and fresh ideas but failed to make any mark for their careers. Some of them decided to take a path as an independent film makers. They managed to attract a small amount of crowd but that’s it. Some people recognized their films but how many? They have their own niche for their films but to put their films in big screens is risky business and many are not ready to take it. Statistically speaking, most ended up flop in cinema.

         Facing international films as a stern competition is one thing but attracting younger generations to watch a sardonic film like ‘Men who save the world’ is another thing. To begin with, it doesnt have what malaysian youths usually enjoy ; action or romance films. It doesnt even embrace what typical malaysian directors love to do which is recycling horror tales and calling it a new and upgraded horror flick ever released. This film is opposite of everything typical local films usually possessed such as a) Its not necessarily has a love theme B) It does’nt have glossy factors like a good looking actors or hot actresses C) It’s revolves around cultures, values and morality that we often forget D) It’s mocking our society’s bad habit in a sarcastic manner. Hollywood and even bollywood is way past making satire films but Malaysia is practically an infant at this. Why? Because we are too defensive about everything. We are too busy being offended for many things. If we are not busy being offended, we are demanding government to ban anything that might offend us.

Because we all know what 'kompang' is, right?
Because we all know what ‘kompang’ is, right?

               Take a chill pill, will you? Take this film as an example which is instead of focusing the content of film, they are fighting and arguing that this film is an insult to Malay’s dignity. Why? because the director is not belong to Malay Race. He is chinese and some malays cant accept that.  Seriously, How can you be stupid than you already are right now?  Many failed to highlight the intention of both writer and director in this film. ‘Muafakat’ and ‘Angkat Rumah’ culture is at the brink of extinction. Currently, Malaysian youths preferred to migrate searching for better opportunity rather than staying in a rural area. They even chose to live in the city and leaving the elders behind. They went back once or twice to visit the elders and truth be told, they forgot the culture they were raised in (including myself). The elders still practicing it but these culture will be gone with them to be honest. However, this is not the thing they are discussing once they watched the film. They kept dissing that the director is a chinese. They kept insinuating that Malays and Islam has been portrayed in a bad manner and it was unforgivable for them. They even went on asking all Malays to boycott this film. What bad manner? Which one? Shaman, ‘Bomoh’ or Tahyul belief has been long existed and deeply rooted in our culture. Sorry but not sorry, admit it that some of our relatives still go and seek their counsel. Although you yourself dont believe it anymore, people around you still do.

Bomoh, Bomoh & Bomoh
Bomoh, Bomoh & Bomoh

                Before those morons started imposing this boycott on all of us or before we blindly following their order, i urged you guys to watch the film first. Give this film the benefit of the doubt, watch it without any pre conceived notion that you have regarding this film, keep an open mind and you can see what actually the film is all about. Sometime we watched film for an entertainment, to make us laugh but sometime we watched it because it is realistic and speaks to us in a direct and sensible truth. This film is one of them. You can enjoy watching ‘Hantu Mak limah’ or ‘Polis Evo’ (no judgment here though i will not watch them) but save some time to enjoy film like this in the future. Hopefully, we can save our local film industry by showing adequate support to high quality films like this in the future.

Some scenes you shouldn’t feel offended at all even if you are malay (because obviously it was true) :

  1. Believing Shaman’s word over their own rationality.
  2. Trusting an illicit-substance addict words rather than checking the old house itself.
  3. Too quick to pass judgment before investigating it thoroughly.
  4. (There is no insult on islam or attack on islam whatsoever) The Animal slaughter in eid-ul-adha might seem ordinary in our eyes but imagine kids (i know i cried when i first saw cow’s got slaughtered), people who are vegans saw it, their brain might exaggerate the scene and perceived it was barbaric. The director seems to portray the scene in kid’s perspective. You saw in that scene that the kids cried so hard. You shouldnt felt offended instead make it as a responsibility that if any people asked why the slaughter seems barbaric, explain it based on Islamic teaching. We don’t simply cut animals and make it suffer. Thanks to Wikipedia and its information ; i would love to clarify this to my fellow Malaysians (Non Muslims especially) that one of the rules to slaughter cow in ISLAM is that the knife must be sharp and the cut must be placed on specific location so that cow can face a quick death.

This method of slaughtering lawful animals have several conditions to be fulfilled: (1) The butcher must be Muslim, (2) The name of “ALLAH” or “In the name of Allah” must be called by the Muslim butcher upon slaughter of each halal animal separately, (3) it should consists of a swift, deep incision with a very sharp knife on the throat, cutting the wind pipe, jugular veins and carotid artery of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact.

Plot :

'Angkat Rumah' Culture
‘Angkat Rumah’ Culture

              The story started with Pak Awang ( Wan Hanafi Su) intended to remove his old house to a new location. He intend to finish rebuilding the house before her daughter get married (She was never shown in the film, FYI). He was planning to give the house as her daughter’s wedding gift. The old house has been left for few years and some part of it beyond repair. Together with his friend, Megat (Harun Salim Bachik), they consulted a local religious leader who is also house builder known as Tok Bilal (Jalil Hamid) for some advice. At first, he was reluctant because of it is nearly impossible task to relocate the house. However, he agreed to assist and by using his influence to ascertain a quite number of villagers to lend their hand in this matter. The story then shifted to an immigrant African man (known as solomon) who’s working as a hawker for counterfeited goods like belts and wallets. However, without having a license to sell, it causes problem to Solomon. All his goods has been confiscated by the authority and he ended up being beaten mercilessly by them. Fortunately, he managed to escape and hide in the lorry. Authority currently searching for him but he successfully fled right into the nearby forest before security checked the lorry.

Solomon hide in Pak Awang's old house.
Solomon hide in Pak Awang’s old house.

                Solomon ran as fast as he could before he stumbled upon Pak Awang old house. He used the house as his shelter before his presence is noticed by ‘good for nothing’ villager, Wan (Sofi Jikan). Never seen a black and African man before, he panicked and alerted head of village and others that the house is haunted. The rumors has been spreading around but the ‘moving house’ activity still continued despite the rumors. Pak Awang intended to finish the moving in 5 days. Villagers kept gossiping about it and related to certain incidents befell to some people is due to the house curse. First, Megat step on fragile floor and sprained his ankle, then Wan saw the black figure in the house, the daughter of one villager has been allegedly bitten by ghost and now, the camel that will be sacrificed for Eid Adha is currently missing. The ghost theory kept getting stronger and villagers are being restless because of the house. In turbulent time like this, we always used Shaman or ‘Bomoh’ to connect the link. It’s in our culture to refer our problem to them. Although this is not widely accepted anymore because Islam forbids it, still few of Malays continuing the beliefs. The shaman concluded based on his prediction that it was ‘Orang Minyak’, one of malay ghost myths. His guess was solely based on Wan’s description and the bitten mark on one of the villager’s daughter. Some of you may not know what is ‘Orang Minyak’ or to translate directly as ‘Oily Man’.

The orang minyak of the 1960s was described as human, naked and covered with oil (supposedly to make it difficult to catch). However, there were also stories of the orang minyak where it was supposedly supernatural in origin, or invisible to non-virgins, or both. The mass panic has also led to unmarried women, typically in student dormitories, borrowing sweaty clothes to give the impression to the orang minyak that they are with a man. (All Credit goes to Wikipedia for this description).

To lure 'Orang Minyak' , all male in village has to cross dress.
To lure ‘Orang Minyak’ , all men in village has to cross dress.

                 The shaman then asked all villagers to cross dress as to lure the demon out. Its somewhat a bit chaotic seeing all male wore baju kurung and vice versa in this village. Thats what Solomon felt when he saw this. He dont understand but he didnt say anything. He made himself remain hidden. The male villagers , on the other hands, remain vigilant to the current situation. Pak Awang failed to convince the rest to not heed what the shaman and Wan said. It might be their imagination, he assumed. Pak awang resorted to bribe Wan seeing that he failed to convince the villagers. He asked Wan to revert his statement and admitted he never saw the ghost around his old house. Wan refused to do that though he did took the money from him.

                Did Pak Awang managed to move his house on time? Did they ever found out that the ‘Oily Man’ is not really an oil man? I wont write the ending because i wanted you guys to watch it.

I (2015) – A modern Beauty & The Beast Tale

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

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My rating : 4/5

Puli is bad. Nope, I think bad would be an understatement, its worse. I’ve been misled that Puli will be the next bahubali (which is it failed miserably and its story was failed to grip the audience utterly). Maya will be the new breath take to Tamil Film Industry but Puli will be their damnation. I hated it and I walked out of cinema in the middle of movie. I’ve never done that. That is my first time (and i intend to make it the last one). However, i cant get over the feeling of how bad Puli is causing me to search few highly recommendable Tamil films. This is the way to win back my confidence in watching Tamil films again. Luckily, i found it. Through I (2015) i discovered that Vikram is a big deal in Tamil Film Industry and one of critical acclaimed actors in Kollywood.

Vikram as Lingesan
Vikram as Lingesan

Of course a mainstream movie will have a love story as their essence. In this film, the magical true love story happened between Lingesan (Vikram) and Diya (Amy Jackson). Lingesan has been a simple guy all his life. He owned a small gym and having a passion in a body building . He is completely obsessed with Diya which is a supermodel and actress in India. Being her biggest fan, he will buy every single product that Diya has endorsed and even stopped whenever Diya’s commercial film is on air. He entered a Tamil Nadu district Body Builder competition and won the first place. However, There was some jealousy incident occurred and Lingesan has made some enemy out of it. Lingesan become famous right after winning the title and started to do a small scale commercial films on his own. It must be a fate for Lingesan to meet Diya on her film set. Diya treated him like a normal fan but Lingesan fell head over heels for her.

Amy Jackson as Diya
Amy Jackson as Diya

Diya is the rising star in the industry. She is a very hard working and talented artist. However, after she rejected the offer to sleep with one of her co-stars, her offers starting to reduce. She get replaced by other new models instantly. Diya is scared that she might losing her popularity. She asked her agent to help her. She wanted to recruit her co-star to avoid such issue happened again. She found Lingesan advert in newspaper and managed to convince Lingesan to change his appearance. Lingesan transformed from a rural body builder to the urban male model. He even changed his name to ‘ Lee’. Lingesan dropped his dream to win ‘Mr India’ Body Building Competition and followed Diya to shoot commercial film in China. Being a newcomer in modelling industry, Lingesan has caused some of prominent models to lost their contract. Without his realization, the number of his enemy has been increasing. He is not aware of it and proceed with his life without any worry.

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Lingesan changed his name to Lee after the transformation.

Lee and Diya has been such a lovely pair in television and billboard. People enjoyed their chemistry and public demand to see them together on screen. They enjoyed the popularity and attention that has been given to them. Lee has been asked to do a commercial film for a cool drink belonged to one company which he indebted to them for giving him a chance to be a model. Lee rejected it due to some controversy that product has. That cool drink apparent has a high level of dangerous substance that may cause death. Lee replied honestly regarding the toxicity level when reporters probe him to ask why he rejected to do that drink commercial film.  Due to this, the company suffered a major setback and suffered market crash. The company owner planned to make Lee suffered because he almost make his company went bankrupt.

Lee and Diya is enjoying their limelight.
Lee and Diya is enjoying their limelight.

(Spoiler) The most unexpected villain in this story is Diya’s doctor. I didnt expect it a bit. He looked like a decent person and never betrayed anyone. I was wrong. This doctor dotted on Diya and wanted her all by himself. He managed to shoo away all the man that are interested in Diya but failed to keep Lee on a leash. Filled with hatred towards Lee, he banded together all people who hated Lee and plotted their own revenge. Lee is injected with some hazardous substance called “h4n6”. The effect of it has caused Lee to transformed into a hunchback person. Lee suffered heavily from his deformity and remain hidden from Diya. When Diya is getting restless, Lee staged his own death so that Diya will believe that he is no more and she can move on. It all change when Lee is diagnosed by other doctor. He suggested that what Lee is suffering is not from Genetic Disease but a Virus. The doctor said someone might have injected him with it.

Lingesan turned into an ugly monster after being injected by hazardous virus.
Lingesan turned into an ugly monster after being injected by hazardous virus.

Lee finally discovered that Diya’s doctor is not someone he can trust. He kidnapped Diya and plotting his vengeance to all who has done wrong to him. He didnt kill them but he let them suffered from being deformed exactly like they did to him. Diya recognized Lee despite his terrible look after spending a few days with him. Diya refused to go and promised to care for him until he recovered completely. With the help of kind doctor, Lee is recovered partially. His skin return to normalcy but his hunchback is not disappear completely. Diya and Lee stayed in a very isolated place and enjoyed each other company without any regards to their past. They left their world behind and choose solace over fame.

I’ve nothing much to say about Vikram and Amy Jackson. Vikram for all i know has been praised by the critics for nailing both role as Lingesan/ Lee and the monster perfectly. Amy Jackson also received nothing but a positive review for her previous films both for her acting and her deliverance in Tamil language. She is a foreigner but people appreciated her effortless way in speaking the language well.  People who complained that this movie  has a long duration and so many unnecessary scenes has been put in it, they are being unreasonable. Every single scene for me has been put together so well with a story line. A soundtrack composed by A.R Rahman is so addictive especially the first track titled ‘Mersalaayiten’. The video of this song is featuring Lingesan and his vivid imagination turning Diya into every single thing that he saw or touch ; from mobile phone to a bubble in a laundry room.

MAYA (2015) – A WELL-MADE TAMIL HORROR FILM

BY THE GORGEOUS PALAH CHINGU

My Rating : 4.5/5
My Rating : 4.5/5

If it wasnt up to ruby, maybe i wont watch this film ever. First reason would be that Tamil films has a tendency to have a sloppy camera work and the quality picture usually is a sub par compared to Bollywood films. This is how my perception went and truth be told, i’ve watch quite few Tamil films that had a nice story line but you just cant ignore the hideous technical part of it. Sorry but not sorry, that’s how i felt. However, it was about to change. If Tamil film industry can maintain their quality and kept producing the good quality film like this one, i am sure they can even surpass Thailand (that most of us knew that they are the king in making a horror flick films).

Aari as Vasanth/ Arjun
Aari as Vasanth/ Arjun

The story began when 2 guys ( Vasanth and His friend) sitting in a living room playing a poker game. They are having a conversation about a girl named ‘Maya’. Apparently, this ‘Maya’ has been accused of poisoning her husband and she has been submitted to one of a mental institution in a forest named ‘Mayavanam’ due to her insanity. At that time, she was pregnant. Little did she know that her life is going to end there. After she delivered her baby, her child got taken from her. She pleaded and begged but nobody gives a damn. A few days later she was found dead and whether she committed suicide or someone pushed her, the hospital didnt care. They have been using that hospital as a base to test sickening experiment on those patients and one dead patient doesnt bothered them at all. ‘Maya’ story also have a freaky chant  that goes ‘ Maya, I dont have your baby‘ which legend told if you say it out loud 3 times, you are going to get a visit from ‘Maya’. His friend decided to chant it and calling out for Maya. At the third time, a dark figure shaped like a lady showed up behind Vasants, his friend was so shocked and fell behind from his seat. It turned out that Vasanth was doing some prank together with his friend’s wife who showed up dressed like a Maya ghost.

If you watch this film later, you might be wondering why there are some scenes in a black and white color and some are in normal color. Rather than giving you the sizzling spoiler, let me just tell you that there are 2 stories in this film and somehow , they are going to be converged together to make sure you understand the ending. To completely say this film is not a cliche horror film, i will not dare to. If you look at a mental institution, musical doll, lady ghost flying a few feet above the ground, its all there but how director reinvent those cliche that how he left me impressed.

Nayantara as Apsara
Nayantara as Apsara

Another story revolved around Apsara who just recently separated with her husband. She was miserable and at her wit’s end of trying everything to make her life works. She pursued her dream back which is acting but nothing seems to do good for her. Swathi, Apsara’s friend try to help her as much as she could. Apsara’s husband kept coming back and ask for her forgiveness but she remain cold and distant. She tore the check that her husband gave and doesnt let her husband to meet Meera, their daughter at all. What causes Apsara to be so indifferent with her husband, it remains a mystery until the end because thats when you can connect the dots in a story line that director has scattered all over the film.

Lakshmi Priyaa as Swathi
Lakshmi Priyaa as Swathi

Where is the connection of this 2 story that i just mentioned above, you might ask? Swathi, Apsara’s friend is an assistant director for  ‘MAYA’ film that slated to be released in 2 weeks. The film is based on the ‘Maya’ story that has been circulated around and considered a scary one because of some mysterious death related to it. There are rumors saying those who entered ‘Mayavanam’ couldnt find their way out and the tale of headless body cutting a tree in a middle of night happened there. The film production is having some trouble in getting the film distributors and try to market their film via contest approach. In order to generate interest among the audiences, they put up a price of 50 grand to anyone whom dare to watch this film alone in the middle of night at the cinema. The company also monitored a CCTV and heart rate monitor in case the participant cheated (close their eyes during screening and so on) and if anything like heart attack ever occurred during the contest.

Apsara has been avoiding a loan shark for over a week. She promised to pay him but failed to do so because her check bounced back. Her work in a commercial advertisement didnt deliver the payment although they promised her. She remembered about the contest that Swathi told her and decided to try it herself. She was scared but she has to do it in order to pay the debt and feed her daughter. She doesnt want to live under her husband’s assistance. She sat through a movie all alone although Swathi warned her not to to do it in the first place. Swathi told her about the first participant that has met his unfortunate death here. Swathi was convinced that this film carried a curse but Apsara wont heed any of her warning. Apsara calmed herself and watched the film from the beginning. She was scared but she has to endure it. A few minutes of watching the film, Apsara found herself in appeared  in the film.

After being so disappointed with Sinister 2, i thought i will never find  a good horror film this year. I was wrong. The storyline is a little bit complex and it requires you to think what are the connection of 2 stories that shown alternately in the film. The whole film is on point. The cinematography just screamed perfection from the start. This is not an exaggeration. The way they played with scenes in 2 different color tones is amazing. They even captured some of the scenes via shadow to kept the mystery alive. I would love to congratulate the technical department on such brilliant takes. It was a marvel to see takes after takes creating a movie magic. The soundtrack also shouldnt be left behind without any praise because they didnt play safe by playing the tune of cliche horror sound like a women’s laughing or shrieking. They keep it minimal but full of impact in certain scenes. The song featured in a film also not over the top in order to keep the audience in a horror mode. The performance by Apsara (Nayantara), Vasanth/ Arjun ( Aari), (Ram) Amzath Khan and Swathi ( Lakshmi Priya) is laudable and together they made a great ensemble casts.  The way Nayantara carried the film is award – winning performance . They stay true to their character  and managed to convince the audiences to feel the emotions together. You can feel empathy towards Apsara and you can feel angry when Ram dug Maya grave wihout any respect in a ‘Mayavanam’ Forest. Last but not least, The director of this film, Ashwin Saravanan who made a debut with this film, you are truly a gem. I will definitely looking forward to watch your next film. You played ‘fear lies in the unknown’ very well in this film. You let us into our own imagination on how ‘Maya’ will looked like. You didnt throw the cliche ending of how ghost will exposed herself at the end of story. You just produced a glimpse of Maya and finished it with a bang.

p/s: Usually, my post will be full of pictures but its hard to find any picture of Maya in google (either it was too early because it has just been released or this film keeping it simple in terms of promotion and advertising). I dont know but one thing i do know, please go watch this film, its worth your money and time. Trust me on this one.

Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) – A struggle of Daughter, Wife and Woman in today’s (conservative) society

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating : 4/5
My Rating : 4/5

You might think this film is filled with laughter and humor. You might think that it will be very entertaining and it will made your day after watching it. Yes, it is funny. Yes, you will laugh. What you dont know is Zoya Akhtar’s film is more than just an instrument to make people laugh. She will pinned down a message in it and you will find yourself pondering about it. At least, i found myself doing that. The plot started when Mr and Mrs Mehra (acted by Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah) invited their friends to join them celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in a cruise ship. It was their eldest daughter, Ayesha (acted by Priyanka Chopra) plan to begin with. They began their journey without any disturbance; enjoying their time together along with their youngest son, Kabir (acted by Ranveer Singh) and their family’s dog , Pluto Mehra. In a first glance, they looked like a typical upper class Indian family where money and career are the measurement of success. Where does Zoya hinted a woman’s struggle in a current society ; i’ll show you in a following paragraphs.

A daughter’s struggle.

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Farah Ali, a free spirit dancer.

On a cruise ship, Kabir found himself fell in love with Farah Ali (acted by Anushka Sharma). He loves the fact that they are totally opposite in nature and how farah inspired him to pursue doing what he wanted to do. Farah shared with Kabir about her past ; how she aspire to become a dancer but it was not sits well with her own family. Farah knew she wont be able to pursue her dream if she didnt take charge of her own dream. What did she do? She ran away from home, leaving her family behind and funding herself to learn dance at the art institution. How many people out there like Farah? I am sure it is more than thousands. While people are claiming things has change for girls today, it is indeed very slow and frustrating process. Kabir, as we known all his life has been sheltered and never did anything like it was drawn to Farah. Kabir wanted to become a pilot originally but it has been rejected by his parents saying it was not a real career and he should focus on running their family business. He kept it quiet and running his family business but deep down, he knew it wasnt right for him.

Ranveer Singh as Kabir Mehra.
Ranveer Singh as Kabir Mehra.

A wife’s struggle.

Mr and Mrs Mehra, An Unhappy Married Couple.
Mr and Mrs Mehra, An Unhappy Married Couple.

Mr and Mrs. Mehra (Ayesha’s and Kabir’s Parents) has been playing a charade of great couple for god knows, how many years. They are both miserable but didnt tell each other about it. Mr. Mehra has been unfaithful to Mrs. Mehra for for the past few years of their marriage. Mrs. Mehra knew about it but she wont confront her husband about it. Why? most wife wont leave her husband if she herself are not educated or didnt has any job. She depended solely on her husband and never earn a penny her whole life. This is just an ugly truth. Kabir and Ayesha knew about it but due to a nature of ‘Mind Your Own Business’, they didnt dare to meddle in their parent’s affair. Mrs Mehra acting among her friends how Mr. Mehra is a romantic and good husband. Her friends knew about Mr. Mehra’s infidelity as rumors about it spread faster but they shut their mouth to avoid any conflicts. How many women out there is letting themselves rotting in a prison of a bad and unhappy marriage, you tell me? Ayesha tried to suggest getting a divorce to her mother but has been dismissed completely. Divorce is a thing that scared women the most especially in a conservative society because it shows that you failed to be a good wife and you are completely undesired by your husband.

Anil Kapoor as Mr. Mehra and Shefali Shah as Mrs. Mehra
Anil Kapoor as Mr. Mehra and Shefali Shah as Mrs. Mehra

A woman’s struggle.

Ayesha Mehra is torn between career and tradition.
Ayesha Mehra is torn between career and tradition.

Ayesha Mehra, a self made entrepreneur. Despite her own success, she was being belittled due to her failure of being an obedient wife and good daughter in law. Among these three characters, i felt somewhat connected with Ayesha the most. She obeyed her parent’s decision to having an arranged marriage with Manav Sangha. She adopted his name and her family cut their connection completely with her. She was their daughter but now she belongs to them. I remember one scene when Mr. Mehra said that Ayesha belong to other family. Her parents wont even care a bit how successful she is after her marriage. She was told frequently by her mother to focus more on being a good wife. Her mother in law taunted her for not being a typical daughter in law which she said should be reserve, shy and kept their opinion to herself. None of these qualities possessed by Ayesha. She was independent, fierce and dare to confront the truth. She was listed in a India Forbes’ top 10 business owner but in her own home, she was pressurized of not trying hardest in having a baby. It is a woman struggle because no matter how successful you are, this gender roles of being a good daughter and wife will always haunting you. Ayesha felt the hollowness in her life and decided to ask for a divorce but her family strongly against her decision. She doesnt love Manav and she doesnt want to let herself trapped in the unhappy marriage. What makes me angry is how both her mother and mother in law kept saying that having a children will save their marriage. According to them, having a children with Manav will make Ayesha happy which she utterly disagreed.

Farhan Akhtar as Sunny Gill.
Farhan Akhtar as Sunny Gill.

Where is Farhan Akhtar in this film? Farhan acted as Sunny in this film. He is Ayesha’s lover before her marriage. Their relationship is over because Mr. Mehra decided to send Sunny further their study oversea and married Ayesha off to Manav. As a son of Mr. Mehra’s manager, sunny couldnt do anything. Their love sparked again when Ayesha met him after a few years separated. He has a minor role compared to others but man, i do love one scene when he talked about women’s equality with Manav, Ayesha’s Husband. It showed how different their mindset are and why Ayesha love Sunny not Manav.

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This is a normal family film if you want to look it that way. I wouldnt change my opinion, that’s for sure. It is normal to see family crises but if you look deeply, you will see how zoya creatively buried this long overdue of woman’s struggle in her film. It is entertaining but at least you will gain something from it. I gave 4/5 for this film because i think Zoya and the other casts deserved it.

HAMARI ADHURI KAHANI (2015) – A BITTERSWEET LOVE STORY

My Rating : 3.5/5
My Rating : 3.5/5

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Where do I start? I am not even a bit interested of seeing this film. I dont know when they will releasing the film or when it will hit the cinema. Least to say, this is not in the list of films ive been looking forward to watch. However, upon reading a bad review of this film, I was intrigued. How bad it was that it has been obliterated by critics in India. All of us can see that the casts of this film is merely no joke ; Vidya balan, Rajkumar Rao and Emraan Hashmi . They are an award nominees actors and their talent is incomparable. What went wrong in this film really arouses my curiosity. I downloaded this film and proceeded to watch it next day.

Mr. Ruparel (Emraan Hashmi) who found his true love in Vasudha, the florist that worked in his hotel.
Mr. Ruparel (Emraan Hashmi) who found his true love in Vasudha, the florist that worked in his hotel.

Here is my prediction on this film. It would be a love story. Hero and heroin against all odds will be together no matter what. Who doesnt love that, right? People pay big money to see that kind of illusion in a film. I was right. Yes, It is a love story. It is a different love story (kinda). How difference? It was between a widow and a single guy. Vasudha (acted by Vidya Balan) is a single mother who worked as florist to provide for her son right after her husband’s gone missing for 5 years. Here is the twist in a film. His husband has been missing for 5 years because of his involvement in a terrorist group. Police confirmed this to Vasudha due to some video clip resurfacing showing that Hari (Vasudha’s Husband) shot some of tourists in that footage. Vasudha get on with her life together with their son. It was difficult but she managed to did it on her own.

They have been working together in 2 films before this. Talk about overflowing chemistry, right?
They have been working together in 2 films before this. Talk about overflowing chemistry, right?

When is the conflict going to appear? Vasudha worked as a florist at one of the major hotel in India. She was good at her job and she was praised for her work. Her husband disappearances has been noticed by her colleagues but Vasudha told them it was normal due to his nature of work as tourist driver. Out of nowhere as usual, the hero appears and charmed the heroine. Mr Ruparel (acted by Emraan Hashmi) is a hotelier and looking for a venture to expand his hotel empire. He met vasudha accidentally in his room. It was cliché but it worked. People digs fell in love at the first sight. It was pure and filled with hope. Instantly, they liked each other but both of them has a different personality. Vasudha decided not to pursue due her status of a married woman but Mr. Ruparel felt that this was a first time he can love somebody more than his own self. Obviously, denial is not working out for Vasudha. She decided to seal her past and choose her own happiness with Mr. Ruparel.

UNFORTUNATELY…..

Vasudha (Vidya Balan) tried to deny her own feeling by running away.
Vasudha (Vidya Balan) tried to deny her own feeling by running away.

When Vasudha returned to India, she found her husband returned to their house with a very poor condition. His husband explained to her the calamity that befell upon him. He has been framed in the video footage causing police to believe that he was a terrorist. She believed him but she couldnt return to be his wife again. She told the truth to her husband about her relationship with Mr Ruparel. Her husband felt so devastated. At this point, she felt guilty but she doesnt love her husband. She was forced in to this marriage and Hari (acted by Rajkumar Rao) treated her more like slave than a wife. Hari took a drastic descision to surrender to police. It causes national chaos as hari is fugitive and police has been looking for him ever since the tourist shooting. Vasudha asked Mr. Ruparel to help release her husband from jail. Being a selfless lover, Mr. Ruparel promised to help her in whatever means he can. Little did Vasudha knew that Hari planned everything. He wanted to make Vasudha drenched in guilt so that she can never be happy with Mr. Ruparel. Vasudha will be attached to him and pleading so that Hari admitted that he is indeed innocent. Hari acted he was doing it to give Vasudha’s happiness. He wanted to make Vasudha’s life a living hell.

Hari (Rajkumar Rao) tried to act that he pleaded guilty for the sake of his own wife.
Hari (Rajkumar Rao) tried to act that he pleaded guilty for the sake of his own wife.

Mr Ruparel found a proof saying that Hari is innocent. However, He and Vasudha is unable able to be together. Suffice to say, the fate has decided. Nothing can be done and Vasudha’s life completely shattered. she dumped her husband and living independently without Hari. Hari managed to track her down and threatening to kill her if she doesnt return to him.

Vasudha replied him with Kill me. That’s what men like you have done to women like me. You either killed us in the womb or right after birth. What strange tradition is this? Everything belongs to you. I’ve to wear your vermillion on my forehead. Your nuptial necklace around my neck. My wrists and your bangles. My womb, my blood, my milk and the child takes your name. Everything is yours”.

This is a story about betrayal and infidelity in marriage. This is also a story about sacrifice and selfless love. You are served with a question ‘What if it was not a happy marriage, what if he was not a good husband and what if there are present chances that let you escape from it?’. You might like it, you might despise it but for me a brilliant casts and a decent plot is a good combination to call this a good film. You might beg to differ but I watched it and thats how I felt.

P/s: Although, the ending is sad but it is a kind of good sad. Hari got what he deserved and Vasudha finally has a chance in reconciling with Mr. Ruparel (sort of).

Inside Out – Animation Film Review (what if our emotions have feelings too?)

By; The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Stacey-Aoyama-Inside-Out

My Rating : 5/5

This is it. This is the film i’ve been looking for this year. Beneath its simplicity, it’s buried with memories about your childhood. Those memories contained of various emotions. It can be sad, joy, fear, disgust or anger. When we have to pick out the most memorable event happened in our life, it is undoubtedly comprises of the above emotions. Why i say it was simple? The story began with a baby named ‘Riley’ and how the emotions took charge in controlling her. The emotions played a major role in reflecting Riley’s perspective in her daily life. How she hated broccoli is driven by ‘Disgust’ emotion. How she enjoyed playing with her friends is influenced by ‘Joy’ emotion. She felt disappointed when her hockey team didn’t make it is the work of ‘Sad’ emotion. It was mind blowing to see how animation film depicted emotion that existed within us but in different angle. We sense this emotions but we never felt curious about it.

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I wont review much except to say this animation film is definitely not for kids. It is not intended for kids because kids could’nt understand it. Adult got it because we all have our own childhood. We passed the phase (and sometimes, wishing we could return to it) . This film contained an idea on how human minds operating in a colorful way.  I was touched by one scene when certain memories got deleted by memory workers when Riley didn’t remember about it anymore. It was sad. It is rational considering we couldnt remember what happened the moment we opened our eyes as baby until we reached  5-7 years old. Yes, we can remember a bit of memories here and there but not as a whole event. I am sure that most of us cant remember our imaginary friend because of this. When Riley deleted ‘Bing Bong’ from her mind, that was the scene i cried the most. It was unbearable to watch. ‘Bing Bong’ still clung to a promise he made to Riley that they are going to the moon together. I was inconsolable. This is too deep. How could you let ‘Bing Bong’ die?

This is Riley, everyone!
This is Riley, everyone!

Overall, it was total emotional ride for me. I gave a perfect score. Big hero 6 may make me laugh and enjoy the film but this set a new par for animation film. Inside out is unforgettable film, I kid you not.