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Friday, June 17, 2016

Movie Review : Udta Punjab

Title : Udta Punjab
Language : Hindi
Year : 2016
Director : Abhishek Chaubey
Genre : Drama, Crime, Thriller
IMDB Link
Watch trailer on Youtube
Lead Role : Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt

After the seemingly never ending censor-related controversies, social media trending, rational court ruling, newspaper headlines and the condemned leak, Udta Punjab reached the big screens today to huge expectations.

And gladly, it proved worthy of all those hype.

As already discussed, the movie deals with the rampant substance in the state of Punjab. A pop singer who had more success than he could actually handle, A young wannabe hockey player who had to give up her hopes and migrate from Bihar to Punjab to sustain. A corrupt cop who mends his ways after being handed some hard lessons. A doctor with a golden heart.

The lives of these seemingly different persons are connected by a common theme - drugs - and their paths cross at times.

Technically and content wise, Udta Punjab is brilliant. A tight, reality based script is complemented beautifully by the stellar performances of the lead actors, especially Shahid Kapoor (who did a way better performance than the one in Haider) and Alia Bhatt (please give us more Highways & Udta Punjabs and not try to be a glamorous heroine. You ain't Deepika Padukone. But in you forte, you rock.) Cakewalk for Kareena.

The already hit song "Chitta Ve" introduces Tommy Singh aka Gabru in a scintillating manner. My personal favorite portions of the film are the ones involving Shahid and Alia. The song "Ik Kudi" lingers long after the end credits.

Go on, people. Catch it in cinema. Comes with English subtitles, in case language is an issue.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cut-Da Punjab

If you are a movie buff, you would have heard of the censorship issues regarding the upcoming Bollywood feature, Udta Punjab.

If you are a politically conscious person, you would have heard of the censorship issues regarding the upcoming Bollywood feature, Udta Punjab.

If you are a rationally thinking person, you would have heard of the censorship issues regarding the upcoming Bollywood feature, Udta Punjab.

In short, if you are someone who breathes and lives on the planet Earth, you would have a heard of the censorship issues regarding the upcoming Bollywood feature, Udta Punjab. For such is the magnitude of double standards and apolitical agenda adopted by the CBFC.

First, let us be politically correct:
1.       CBFC is not Censor Board. It stands for Central Board of Film Certification.
2.       The Board has not banned Udta Punjab.
       
Wait, if the movie is not banned, why raise all this hullaballoo over it?

Let’s get the story out. Udta Punjab, directed by Abhishek Chaubey and starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor Khan, was submitted for certification about a fortnight ahead of its slated release date, June 10. The Board members, who bats no eye while giving green signals to absolutely sexist lyrics of the songs of Yo Yo Honey Singh (The Punjab feature stands out!) or other songs glorifying booze and stuff (Choot, Yaariyaan, The Shaukeens – see what I am talking about?), wanted 40 cuts if the movie had to be cleared for release!!!

Obviously, the makers were not impressed by that decision, and they approached the revising panel hoping to find logic. (Logic? Bah, humbug!) The panel revised the number of required cuts from a condemnable 40 to an atrocious 89, which included the entire sequence of the already hit song Chitta Ve and all references to Punjab.

Ladies, gentlemen and CBFC members – hear this out. A movie is made on the rising instances of substance abuse among youths in the state of Punjab, and the authorities want to take out all references to Punjab. The fact that assembly elections are due in Punjab the next year and the government would face backlash if the film reaches the masses is pure coincidence.

Image Source : All India Bakchod


Well, if the film could be released after the specified cuts, why are the makers refusing to comply?

Let us put it this way. You visit Biriyani Hut, because the place is famous for biriyanis, and hey! Who doesn’t love biriyanis? You order beef biriyani. The chef prepares beef biriyani. The waiter is about to deliver the beef biriyani. That’s when the food inspector appears out of nowhere and asks the restaurant manager not to mention beef on the menu (You know why.) Hapless, the manager tells you that they are out of beef, but have instead prepared dragon biryani (You are about to point out that dragons are fictional – but then you remember the Khaleesi).

The case with Udta Punjab is only worse, because your renamed dragon biryani would still taste the same, but any single cut on the realistically made Udta Punjab would amount to murder of the film, according to the film’s producer Anurag Kashyap.

Before we sign off, do watch this video made by the president of the CBFC. Even though the intention was to create a sense of pride and skewed notion of nationalism, the 6 minute long video is strongly advised for a really good laugh! This is the work of a person who decides what kind of films should be made and viewed by the intelligent citizens of the nation!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Movie Review : East Side Sushi

Title : East Side Sushi
Language : English
Year : 2014
Director : Anthony Lucero
Genre : Drama
IMDB Link
Watch trailer on Youtube
Lead Role : Diana Elizabeth Torres, Yutaka Takeuchi, Rodrigo Duarte Clark

Are you a food lover? Do you like trying out exotic food from exotic places? Then, you are gonna love this film.

Do you watch those small, less-noticed, colorful, feel good movies? Then, you are gonna love this film.

East Side Sushi tells the tale of Juana Martinez, a Mexican woman who quits being a fruit cart vendor, try out many other jobs, and finally become what her heart wanted - a sushi chef. Her path was not easy a bit. She had to convince a hell lot of people, starting from her family, and had to wage her battles over notions that some jobs are gender specific. Well, one could say the movie belongs to the English Vinglish family.

East Side Sushi is one such movie which let the smile on your lips in tact throughout. I have never had any cuisine even remotely related to Japanese, but I felt like wanting to try out sushi, and nigiri, and all those stuff...:)

Diana Elizabeth, who played the lead role of Juana, was a delight to watch on screen.