Here’s why Rasika Dugal’s new short film, The School Bag, will stun you!

Dugal is perhaps a talent only people like Nandita Das can recognise…

Rasika Dugal is known for a very meaty body of art. She made her debut with the 2008 Tahaan, though she had done some character roles before that. Though she did a couple of films, she made heads turn with her performance in the 2011 Kshay and then in the 2015 Qissa opposite Irrfan Khan. She also starred in one of the short films in Shor Se Shuruaat.

Apart from this, Rasika has done many more short films, her latest being The School Bag. This film traces the ordinary life of a mother and her son. It’s the son’s birthday the next day and he wants a particular bag. The mother insists on not buying it but the child wants what he wants. Does the mother get him the bag then or if not, why and what happens after that? Well, to get the answer to that question, you’ll have to watch the film.

The plot of the story is based on true events from 2014, Peshawar. But what is truer are the performances. Child Actor Sartaaj RK is spell bound. I literally haven’t seen a child actor act so well. Whether it is his manner of complaining, loving his mother, changing clothes or even as basic as talking, it’s all so fresh. But for me, Rasika Dugal steals the show! She’s amazing, for the lack of a better word. She brings a certain amount of innocence to this character and it’s just beautiful. Like, I don’t really have words to describe it. I think that’s the thing about Rasika, she makes the audience forget all they know and immerse themselves in her art.

Director Dheeraj Jindal does a great job with the script and how he has handled the subject. He captures the essence of the oxymoronic relationship between innocence and violence with a certain dignity.
All in all, The School Bag is a short film that you should not miss, and maybe watch it a couple of times?

Image credits: YouTube

Bonnie

…Tillotama Shome in A Death In The Gunj

Every time I watch Konkona Sensharma’s A Death In The Gunj, I take out something different from it. Every single time I’ve had a bias towards some other character, I like some scene more than another, I fall in love with just another dialogue. But what doesn’t change is my love for Sensharma’s writing. When I watched the film today, I fell in love with Tillotatma Shome’s Bonnie. 

Bonnie is a kind of person we would meet in our everyday life. She’s a protective mother, the perfect daughter-in-law, a loving wife and an amazing friend, whether to Mimi or Vikram or Brian or even Shutu for that matter. She has a beautiful collection of sarees and shawls, she smokes with a kind of sass and ease at the same time which is tough to pull. Konkona seems to have taken a lot of time (and done a lot of research) while writing this character. And even though, all of us have a Bonnie in our lives, there is something different about Sensharma’s Bonnie. 

What works best for this character is the impeccable acting by Tillotama Shome. I had perhaps fallen in love with her craft in Monsoon Wedding. She’s recently played powerful roles in Qissa and Hindi Medium as well. Though her role in Hindi Medium is short, she owns the screen even when Irrfan Khan is on screen. Shome has always had a hold over the character she plays, no matter what she plays. Even in ADITG, Shome plays Bonnie like no one else could have. Even though I felt that Priyanka Bose and Sensharma herself would have played this character with equal ease, but Shome brings a certain texture to Bonnie that maybe just she could have. The raising of eyebrows, the (so natural) laughter at the dinner table, the tears in her eyes when Tani is lost, the irritation on her face when Mimi isn’t done cutting the tomatoes, everything is done with a kind of natural grace that we don’t see so regularly in Hindi Cinema. 

Basically, Bonnie, you have my heart! 

Trailer Tales: Toilet Ek Prem Katha

Bhumi Pednekar is back to shine, Akshay Kumar shines as always…

Bhumi Pednekar make a startling debut in Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Her talent was praised by everyone, and I think the same would happen after the release of Toilet Ek Prem Katha. She looks very convincing. And Akshay Kumar seems, as always, promising enough! 

The story goes like Akshay Kumar (Keshav) has one aim in life – to get married. He falls in love with a more modern woman, played by Pednekar (Jaya), and they eventually get married. But all hell breaks loose when after marriage, Jaya finds out that Keshav’s house doesn’t have a toilet and she leaves the house and goes off, maybe to her parents home only to return if a toilet is made. 

The film, apart from being a love story deals with the subject of so many Indian’s having to use natural areas, like farms, rivers, forests, etc instead of a toilet. It’s high time someone spoke about it! 

Image Credits: YouTube 

Raabta: Even ‘terrible’ is an understatement

Nothing but disappointing at every level…

Sushant Singh Rajput has delivered some amazing work in the past. There was a time when people thought that Kriti Sanon could be the next big thing. But unfortunately, Raabta is proof of neither. 

The story is technically about love. Shiv and Saira fall in love and when they think there isn’t any more to it and to check their loyalty, they start checking out other people. Things fall apart in their relationship when Saira goes out for dinner with one of these men, played by Jim Sarbh. After delivering spellbound performances in Neerja and A Death In The Gunj, Sarbh is a disappointment. He probably realised what a mess the final product was, and didn’t associate with all the promotions of the film. 

When we’re in modern day Europe, you tend to divert your mind to the materialistic things, because the film can’t hold your attention. The danglers on Kriti Sanon’s ears and the various outfits she wears have more colour than the entire script could ever have. Thanks to Anaita Shroff Adajania that at least the styling is in place. When taken back in time, you too wish you went back in time so that you would rather not waste your money buying the tickets. 

Sushant Singh Rajput is charming, but again, only look wise. The actor in him has taken a break. Jim Sarbh has been underused; it’s like a waste of his talent. The only good thing about this film is Deepika Padukone’s song. 

All in all, its films like Raabta that reduces my hope in Bollywood. 
If I had to rate the film, 2 cups of nice adrak wali chai is what you’ll need after watching the film. 

Trailer Tales: Mom

Mom is Sridevi’s 300th film, releasing in her 50th year as an actress…

Sridevi’ last Hindi film (English Vinglish) released 5 years ago and now she’s back. She played a mother in that film and plays a mother yet again in Mom. Although in the former, her character just didn’t revolve around just being a mom. In “Mom” Sridevi can be seen getting her life together as a mother and solving various conspiracies around her daughter. 

By the looks of the trailer, this film is not just going to be aesthetically pleasing, but promises power packed performances as well. Sridevi can of course be touted as one of most (rather the most) good looking moms in Bollywood and here she pulls off a rather no make-up look with grace. Akshaye Khanna makes an appearance after Dishoom and looks as dapper as always. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays a cameo, but you can’t just recognise him at the first instance, but of course his performance seems top notch. 

The film also stars Sajal Ali, who is a Pakistani actress and plays Sridevi’s daughter in the film, and Adnan Siddiqui. Directed by Ravi Udyawar, Mom is a woman-centric movie, produced by Sridevi’s husband, Boney Kapoor, Mom releases on July 7th. 

Hindi Medium: 1 run short of a century

Here’s a film you cannot miss…

Has human greed overpowered our emotions so much that we cannot look behind materialistic instincts? Hindi Medium is the answer to the same. The story is everything you saw in the trailer, no surprises here. As the title suggests, the film doesn’t deal with the problem of Hindi-English in our country alone. It also talks about greed, poverty and how a poor man’s life is better than a rich man’s; how his heart is bigger than a rich man’s. So Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar want to get their daughter admitted to the biggest, most popular and elite school of New Delhi, The Delhi Grammar School (which is, by the way, Modern School). And to get this done, jaan laga dete hai yeh log. They even pretend to be poor, to get admission through gareeb quota. 

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YouTube

Now this story is very relatable. I’ve studied in one of the top 10 prestigious schools in our country (not bragging) and I thank my parents for that. But there were students in my class who had taken admission through the gareeb quota. Now I don’t really know about the atrocities against them, but of course there was a difference between them and us. Like, we did not create a difference or think that they weren’t a part of us, but the differences were just there and unspoken of.

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YouTube

Back to the film. This film is just almost there. One more step and ‘yay, victory’! Where the film lacks from being a 10/10 is the second half, which, by the way, is the best they could have done. Though it is a little stretched, and I am not complaining at all. Had that extra bit been a little edited, this would have been a century. So now, it’s a run out at 99!

What makes the movie so perfect is the acting! Irrfan Khan will never ever fail to stun you. Is there anything that this man cannot do? No! His dialogue delivery is perfect, comic timing is perfect, dancing is also perfect and so is his romance! Matlab kuch galat nahi karta hai banda. Saba Qamar is a perfect find! This woman has acted in many Pakistani TV shows and Urdu films and is oh-so-talented. She catches hold of every single nuance of Meeta’s character with ease. There also is my favourite, Deepak Dobrial. Mann karta hai jaake ek jhappi le lu bande ki. He is so so so talented that there is no limit. His comic timing, serious dialogues, laughing, crying, all are brilliant! Swati Das makes her debut with Hindi Medium in a supporting role and is, like everyone else, perfect! She gets her accent on point and nails it while playing a poor man’s wife. There even is Tillotama Shome. I last saw Shome in A Death in the Gunj and she plays even this character, of a consulting agent, with equal panache! Dishita Sehgal plays Pia and even she is perfect! And, I couldn’t have asked for a better Principal than Amrita Singh.

The writing of Hindi Medium is crisp. Nothing is overdone, nothing remains underdone. The screenplay is how good screenplays are written. Here are my two favourite dialogues:

“Na aegi khushi, na rahega ghum…”

“Humare paas hai hi kya, dau pe lagane ke lie?”

-Deepak Dobrial

All in all, Hindi Medium is a film you should all watch, specially young parents.

If I had to rate the film, 25% seats are reserved for the poor, in good schools and the rich want them too. Think about it, we all have a role to play!

Is Deepika Padukone ready for Cannes?

If she has fired her stylist, maybe…

Deepika Padukone has given us appearances that have taken us by storm, be it on Filmfare red carpets, at airports or even in films. Her fashion game has always been sailing high and she has hardly been criticised for any of her looks. But what happens to her on international events? Does she forget where she is going? Perhaps!

The MTV EMA was the first red carpet appearance she made before the release of her first Hollywood project, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. But technically, that isn’t her first international appearance. She first stepped foot on the prestigious red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. Didn’t spot her? Don’t worry, she went practically unnoticed. Here’s what she wore:

Though, some could say that the Rohit Bal saree looks good, and we agree that the blouse is great, but this is CANNES. You don’t go to Cannes like this!

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RCFA

In 2014, Padukone made her next international appearance, when Ram Leela opened at the Marrakech International Film Festival. She opted for a mustard Gauri-Nainika gown, which looked absolutely beautiful on her. But why would you pair it up with such earrings?

Next, is her very famous appearance at the MTV EMA red carpet.

 

Here, Padukone is wearing a Monisha Jaising number custom-made for her. From the extra bling, to the danglers, nothing is right about this outfit. The actress received a lot of criticism for her look at this red carpet event and this was the first time the MTV EMA was so much talked about in India. International websites even called Padukone a ‘Bollywood Blunder’.

Unlike Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone went almost unnoticed at the Golden Globes.

After all that criticism at the MTV EMA, Padukone decided to keep it simple for her next appearance in a lemon yellow Ralph Lauren gown. But, don’t you think she missed a step and went ‘too simple, too soon’?

Deepika Padukone probably forgot where she was going when she went for the pre-Oscars party and the time while going for Oscar after party. Here are her looks:

This is what the actress wore the the pre-Oscars party. Though the floral Duro Olowu number is really pretty, it is more of a brunch dress. Padukone did receive praise for this outfit of hers, but the criticism was too much in abundance. And what’s up with the make up? And look at the shoes! Just, no!

 

For the after party, she opted for a, well, an old number. Here’s why we call it an old number:

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At the Oscars after party (L); at the Vogue Beauty Awards, 2012 (R)

Finally, here comes the Met Gala! It has been a while since Padukone has been trying to impress the fashion police, but has always failed at it. She played very very safe for the Met Gala, 2017 but ended up failing miserably, while Priyanka Chopra owned the red carpet like it was always hers. Here’s what Padukone wore:

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Deepika Padukone in Tommy Hilfiger

Well, we can’t really say if she will rock the red carpet at Cannes or no. We wish she does! But she certainly has made India proud by achieving so much!