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! 

Sarkar 3: Sorry, but what did I just watch?

Sarkar 3 is not worth you time or money…

I don’t want to waste any more time on this film, but I have a lot to say about it – all negative – so I don’t know how long will this video be…

Now, honestly I haven’t watched the second part but even if you don’t, it doesn’t make a difference, because:

  1. You should not watch the film.
  2. If you do, you’ll understand.

So let’s begin with my list of problems. The first being the camera angles. I know Ram Gopal Varma does shoot from weird angles, but itna? I mean Amitabh Bachchan is speaking and you focus on a dog artifact, in fact a pug, which later Jackie Shroff pets. Slow claps. Similarly, a laughing buddha statue is given more importance than Yami Gautam in a scene, or maybe in the entire film. CCD cups are given more importance than her. Arey yeh sab chodo, her foot and palms are given more importance than her face. And every time someone enters or exits Sarkar’s meeting room, the focus is on Ganesh Ji’s statue on the wall…

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YouTube

Second, dialogues. Matlab 4-5 script padhi, dialogues churae, likh die. Mera naam Shivaji hai, Shivaji Nagre, naam toh suna hoga. And chalo theek hai aise dialogues, but actors ne objection nahi uthaya? Specially Yami Guatam, because there is a dialogue from Kaabil too. And there were some original dialogues too, like Jackie Shroff says to a nameless bimbo, “jin jin ko maine ring pehnai hai, woh mar gai”. Kya? Amit Sadh says to Yami, “Ek baar Sarkar khatm, phir sirf tum aur mei” Kya? Tum aur mei kya? Pehle dialogue toh khatm karo, phir Sarkar ko khatm karna.

Third, machoism ki toh vaat laga di. Matlab hatta katta Amit Sadh hai, and what’s his name, Chikoo. Not kidding. And even more hatta katta is Ronit Roy, but he is crying in the film. Aapne mujhpe shaq kia Sarkar…

Fourth, the background score.

Next, lets just not go to the acting. Matlab everyone has probably said bad things about it, so lets not go there and waste out time. Now you’ll think if even Bachchan Saab has acted bad. There is no potentiality in the script, or the director, to bring out the talent of the actors. Amit Sadh seems to have signed the film just to work with Amitabh Bachchan.

And, why is everyone wearing Colaba Causeway, Sarojini Nagar clothes and shades? Why? Budget nahi tha? Gareebo mei baat dete jitna paisa tha. Sukhi hota aaj yeh sansaar.

All in all, don’t you bother going for this film.

If I had to rate this film, 350 bucks at Metro Cinema ke layak nahi hai yeh film. Paying even 100 bucks at Sterling is a waste. Aap bhi gareebo mei baat do, thode paap dhul jaenge…

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion: Unmatched Ambition

There are scenes which are over done, but I am not complaining at all…

Patience is what you require the most while watching Bahubali 2: The Conclusion and if you have made it till here in the video, maybe you can make it through the film as well. Zaada ho gaya, haina…

This film is basically leading you to the answer ki Katappa ne Bahubali ko kyu mara! But that’s not all the film has. The first half is all about the love between Amrendra and Devasana and sibling rivalry between Amrendra and Bhallaldev. There is a major plot turn exactly before the interval, but you see it coming. The first half is slow and there is too much set up happening. It is the second half that answers your question about Bahubali’s death and has the major war sequence.

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Bahubali 2: The Conclusion talks about hope, courage and dharma. Though you don’t see the film reaching heights at all points, but SS Rajamouli’s sheer ambition deserves praise. Though at various points you will feel that the landscape is too animated, which it is, but it’s breathtaking. There is a scene in which a ship takes the shape of a dove and flies in the air, in another, palm trees are used as weapons. So there are scenes which are over done, but I am not complaining at all. It is a commercial film and I am happy because unlike other commercial films Rajamouli doesn’t let go of his conviction.

The performances are all great. Prabhas as both Amrendra and Mahendra Bahubali is very convincing. He does complete justice to the parts. Sathyaraj as Kattapa. and Nasser as the evil father are both good too. Sathyaraj carries on his legacy from the first part impeccably. The women however don’t really create an impact. Ramya Krishnan as Raj Mata takes the back seat. Tamannah Bhatia is hardly there. Anushka Shetty is good, really good, but I just couldn’t buy her as a warrior princess. Maybe because I had Tamannah as an already existing idea of a warrior princess in my head. Rana Daggubati too is not very appealing. But again, I am not complaining. Mujhe bada maza aaya.

All in all, whatever I say, you will watch the film, toh kyu bolu aur?

If I had to rate the film, 2 years we had to wait to solve the biggest mystery of our lives, and I am not satisfied. Ab kya kare?