Posts tagged flashback
The Ramayana is easily the oldest and the best instance of the battle of good v/s evil. Adapting the epic into modern times is of course a daunting task. One error and the entire work would fall like a pack of cards. Unfortunately, that’s what happens with the film Raavan. The makers did a huge mistake and that is, they tampered with the original concept. In Raavan, Rama isn’t good and Raavan isn’t bad…both have shades of grey. Fair enough since this is ‘modern Ramayana’. However, Raavan is more like Rama and vice versa in the film! Moreover, the flawed script and the disappointing climax make things worse. Raavan works but only in parts!
The story of the movie: Dev (Vikram), a tough cop, shifts to Lal Maati town with his wife Ragini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) after he’s given charge there. The town is not under the control of the police but of the outlaw Beera (Abhishek Bachchan). Beera maybe the demonic force to reckon with for the police but for the locals, he’s God. Dev is adamant to wipe out Beera and gives a huge blow to him which shakes him. An angry Beera then seeks revenge by kidnapping Ragini. Thus begins the journey of Dev into the jungles of Lal Maati as he hunts for his wife and the kidnapper. Helping him in his mission is Laxman Pratap (Nikhil Dwivedi) and the eccentric forest guard Sanjeevani (Govinda). Will they succeed? And how come Dev hurt Beera so much that he kidnapped his wife? Watch Raavan to find out.
Raavan begins very unconventionally, making us expect fireworks in the next 2.15 hours. Then the scene where Beera kidnaps Ragini was just out of this world! I haven’t seen anything like this before in Bollywood! But after a point, the storyline doesn’t move ahead at all. The film wanders too much in unwanted quarters. Hence it’s not a completely absorbing flick. However, things bright up at the intermission point when Laxman is kidnapped by Beera’s men.
The 2nd half begins with a bang and the highpoint is definitely the entire Jamuniya (Priyamani) track, told in flashback. This reminds me…there are lots of flashback portions in the film especially in the first hour which does a bit in keeping the interest alive. Getting back, the entire Jamuniya sequence was very impactful and from here, you begin to see Beera in a new light. Then the dramatic fight of Dev and Beera on the wooden bridge was again exemplary. A scene like this is rare in our cinema. But the film slips down completely after this point. The climax was well shot but didn’t seem justified at all. Same with Ragini’s actions in the ending. The makers not only gave a wrong interpretation of the tribals and tribal activists, they ended messing up the whole film as well!
Several questions remain unanswered. Why did Beera wanted to kill Ragini only after 14 hours and not before? Also, the film is shown to have a North India setting. It is difficult to believe that considering they show wild jungles, fierce waterfalls and over-the-cloud mountain tops…all of which found in Maharashtra and in the South but definitely not in the North!
This wasn’t the best from Abhishek Bachchan but at the same time, he doesn’t disappoint as well. He was acting too weird in the beginning portions but then balanced off in the later scenes. However, the director should have made his role more villain-like which he didn’t. He didn’t seem fearful. This is the director’s fault and hence he’s to blame and not Abhishek. He followed the director’s orders perfectly which is evident. Raavan would flop but this won’t be a problem for Abhishek as he can cover up in his next half a dozen films that are soon going to hit theatres!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looked stunning even in scenes in which she was bruised! Performance wise, she was excellent and it was a treat to see her after such a long time! Vikram played his part perfectly as the tough cop. Govinda’s entry scene was awesome and he does a great job! However, it was sad to see that he got disappeared after a point in the 2nd half. Same with Nikhil Dwivedi! Watch out for him when he’s being tonsured….what acting! He surely deserves to be seen more! Ravi Kishan was perfect for his part. Priyamani gives an amazing performance, although she had a very short role. But still, it will help open doors of Bollywood for her. Ajay Gehi was sidelined completely in the beginning portions and was brought to the forefront only when required. Not good! The one who played Priyamani’s fiancé was great. Others played their part well.
A R Rahman’s music was marvelous and surely one of his best works. All songs are excellent and are well picturised too. However, Ranjha Ranjha is very pathetically used and placed in the film. This beautiful song deserved to be used in a better way! Behne De, Kata Kata and Khili Re were well shot while Thok De Killi was unwanted but its visuals were great.
Raavan was a very difficult film to shoot and capture. Cinematographers Santosh Sivan and V Manikandan deserve full marks for their outstanding work. The visuals are breath taking and in fact, one of the reasons why the interest doesn’t get lost is because of their camerawork. Hats off to production designer Samir Chanda, especially for the bridge fighting scene (he had to build 3 bridges for different shots)! Sham Kaushal and Peter Hein’s action scenes were a visual delight! Vijay Krishna Acharya’s dialogues seemed convincing and weren’t over the top.
Lastly, Mani Ratnam fails this time! He came up with an improper storyline and even the script, at places, didn’t work. His direction also suffered as a result although some scenes are smartly and creatively treated. Let’s hope he bounces back with his next flick!
Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Beera kidnaps Ragini
2. The song Behne De, Kata Kata and Khili Re
3. Ragini is photographed with Beera’s men
4. All scenes of Sanjeevani (Govinda)
5. The intermission point
6. Jamuniya’s flashback
7. Hariya (Ajay Gehi) goes to talk to Dev
8. The fight on the bridge
On the whole, Raavan, unfortunately, is disappointing. Although it boasts of stunning cinematography, melodious music and fine performances, it just doesn’t work because of its plot and script. The film is sure to suffer a huge loss. Very unfortunate!
My rating-** out of 5!
ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 8, 2009)
Life, as a whole, is a celebration for Dharmendra. ‘Be happy and spread cheer all around you’ has always been his mantra. “I am a very emotional person. I love people. I want to see genuine warmth in human beings where there is no artificiality, only true care and concern. There should be harmony all around,” is his birthday wish.
Talking about celebrations, he says it’s a personal choice not to celebrate his birthday. “I stopped doing so after my mother passed away in 1985. She used to be very excited about my birthday… bahut chahel pahel machati thi,” he fondly recounts. But, wishes from across the globe are going to pour in today, as they have over the years. He’s just received a beautiful t-shirt from a girl in New Zealand and a call from a group of 80 boys from Gwalior, who will be donating blood in his name today. Overwhelmed by the affection, Dharmendra says, “It’s this love from my well-wishers that keeps me going. In fact, recently after I appeared on Dus Ka Dum, I received so many letters from people asking me to do more films and make more appearances on TV.” Audiences’ response to Apne, Johnny Gaddar and Life in a Metro has given him tremendous motivation and he’s all set, looking forward to his next innings. “I want to do more films and do good films. I like to see myself on posters. Who doesn’t?” he smiles. A career spanning 50 years in Bollywood (this is his 50th year) and with a number of hit films to his credit, Dharmendra’s seen it all. He’s played the diehard romantic, action hero, and also done comedy. But ask him about his favourite genre and he says he loves every form of acting. He was born to be an actor and will continue to pursue his passion with as much gusto.
On his birthday, as he goes into flashback mode, when he first came to this city of dreams, when he signed his first film and faced the camera for the first time, one can see the same excitement and charm that he may have exuded then. Nothing’s changed… he’s as fit and handsome, his face radiating the same exhilaration even today when it’s ‘lights, camera, action’ time.
Any kind of calamity, whether natural or man-made, is immediately picked up by the film fraternity to capture the event in celluloid. The 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge was one of the biggest natural disasters in India in this decade and surprisingly, no film, comprising A-listers was based on it yet. Finally, Tum Mile takes the initiative. It’s a love story and the floods serve as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the ‘flood’ connection wasn’t utilized well and hence, the film fails to impress fully.
The story of the movie: Akshay (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) become friends when they both were based in Cape Town. Although Akshay was struggling painter and Sanjana was a creative writer cum environmentalist and a daughter of a rich billionaire (Sachin Khedekar), they both hit off well and fall in love. They decide to move in. Unfortunately, both face problems, more so because of Akshay’s financial insecurity. Finally, both have to break up. Six years later, they meet each other once again in a London-Mumbai flight. Things have drastically changed for both Akshay and Sanjana now. However, once they land in Mumbai, they have to go through a roller coaster ride as heavy rains have crippled the entire city. The date was July 26, 2005. They have no choice but to be together in this dark time.
Let’s get one thing straight-although Tum Mile was promoted as a film based on floods, it is actually not. 70% of the film is Emraan-Soha’s flashback in Cape Town. The remaining 30% focuses on the deluge. However, the story wonderfully moves from the present to flashback and back and that’s why the film works a bit.
The first scene of the film is in fact the best one! Weather dept officials who were more interested in playing cards than looking at the warning they received about a downpour just a day before July 26 is a rocking scene! It gives an indication that how the careless attitude of these officials led to a disaster.
The first half of the film has no glitches. The flashback portion begins wonderfully and goes ahead nicely too. Also the scene inside the flight were well executed. The intermission point was scary. However, problems start in the second hour. The flashback scenes quite dragged. Director Kunal Deshmukh could and should have had a crisp narrative. The problems faced by the couple in the floods were engrossing but the climax disappointed. The way both Emraan and Soha accept each other in the climax (after the rains stopped) seemed little indigestible, because their interactions with each other was very limited during the time of crisis. But then it is said, “When you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep”. So maybe only the very limited bonding was more than enough for the characters!
The visual effects in the film at some places were tacky and could have been better. The film also exhibits some of the actual footage depicting the horrors of 26/7. But that doesn’t work. Also, factual errors can be noticed-the lead actors are shown wading through chest-deep water in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. However, nothing of that sort had happened there on that day.. In fact, it was in the suburban areas like Juhu, Kalina etc where water had arisen till the first floors. However, some of the horrors of that day were wonderfully captured. Most notable is how the central locking system caused the death of many inside the car after their car’s doors and windows failed to open.
Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan carry the film on their shoulders wonderfully. Emraan delivers a sparkling performance and proves that he’s one of the best performers around. He looked charming, esp in the flashback portions. However, his bespectacled look in the present track is not as great as the similar one he had in Gangster. But still, he manages to do a great job. Watch out for him when he’s high-tempered and in the scene where he enthusiastically paints Soha. A fine actor indeed!
Soha Ali Khan too comes up with a brilliant performance-one of the best of her careers after RDB and Khoya Khoya Chand. She appears confident and it’s great to see that she slipped into her role so easily. Actually, she wasn’t the original choice-Esha Deol was offered the role initially. After she refused due to some reason, Soha was approached!
Mantra, who plays Emraan’s pal, also gives a confident performance. Sachin Khedekar was impressive. Others were good.
Pritam’s music was one of the USPs of the film. The 3 songs which completely rock are the title song, Tu Hi Haqeeqat and Dil Ibaadat. Watch out for Dil Ibaadat-it was just brilliantly executed!
Prakash Kutty’s cinematography was flawless. So was the design.
There was nothing wrong in the story; it was the screenplay that failed at places. Ideally, equal emphasis should have been there for both the tracks. The flood portions were underutilized. Although Kunal Deshmukh’s first venture Jannat was fantastic, Tum Mile isn’t, unfortunately.
Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. The first scene
2. Akshay restructures Sanjana’s cake
3. The title song and Dil Ibaadat
4. Akshay’s confrontation with the curator
5. Sachin Khedekar’s only scene
6. Akshay and Sanjana’s argument the next day
7. The intermission point
8. Akshay and Sanjana in the bus and in cracked building
On the whole, Tum Mile unfortunately doesn’t work in totality. Performances and music were brilliant but the film was too dragged for no reason. But the film doesn’t bore even for a moment and the first half was great. Watch it if you are an Emraan/Bhatt fan!
My rating-** ½ out of 5!
This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tum_Mile-179553-1.html
By Subhash K. Jha, August 8, 2009 – 11:45 IST
We’ve heard bits and pieces and even entire songs from films being scrapped. But Love Aaj Kal (LAK) takes the cake. While the recession and the multiplex strike proved a curse for the rest of the industry, it proved a blessing for Pritam. He was able to scrap and re-do the entire score.
Says Pritam, “I saw the film with Imtiaz and my lyricist Irshad Kamal in January. I was horrified. I very bluntly told Imtiaz the music in LAK was not working. You have to understand, Imtiaz is the most chilled-out guy. He didn’t flinch when I told him this. He immediately told me to do what had to be done.”
The first thing that needed to be changed in the soundtrack was the absence of a love ballad. Says Pritam, “LAK was a love story and there was no love song! Imtiaz wanted to know where it could fit in. I suggested we put it in the flashback in the Kolkata portion. Imtiaz was in Kolkata and was supposed to fly to Delhi to shoot ‘Chor Bazaari‘ in a couple of days. I flew to Kolkata and gave him a love song. He didn’t like it. Then I came up with ‘Aaj Din Chadhiya‘…over the phone! In fact most of tunes were played by me and approved by Imtiaz on the phone. That includes ‘Chor Bazaari‘,” reveals Pritam.
The ballad ‘Main Kya Hoon‘ was also altered. “It was earlier designed as a fast-paced go-for-the-kill ballad. But then I changed the pace and profile of the number.”
Barring ‘Twist‘, the entire score was scrapped and redone just a few months ago. The secret was out when the film’s ebullient music composer in the course of our conversation revealed how after the film was ready, he suggested to Imtiaz Ali that there should be an item song at the end of the film, just like in Jab We Met.
Says Pritam, “Imtiaz said, ‘Get me a song like ‘Mauja Hi Mauja‘ that ended Jab We Met. And you’re on’. That’s how ‘Ahun Ahun‘ which comes at the of LAK was born. It’s a traditional Punjabi folk song.” Then began the hunt to get the copyrights.
“While getting the rights for the been music from Nagin was easy, getting the rights for this folk song proved impossible since it has originally been sung by 18 singers many of them from Pakistan. So we just credited it as ‘traditional’. Let’s hope no one comes forward to claim a slice of the song,” Pritam has his fingers crossed.
Only two lines from the traditional track were used, the rest was all by Pritam. “Luckily Imtiaz loved the number and that’s how the end-song in LAK happened.”