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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

For Your Consideration: Dil Dhadakne Do [2015]

HIndie Awards 2016

For Your Consideration: Dil Dhadakne Do [2015]

The latest Zoya Akhtar films like her prior works has an amazing re watchable quality to it; it's breezy, light and harmless fun without necessarily deriding and looking down upon its audiences [apart from that god awful annoying dog!].

Anyways, not much to say about Zoya Akhtar's latest; it is very much the definition of urban filmmaking for urban filmgoers and in some cases urban Indian people [of a richer class] of course.

And that doesn't mean it's bad, hence why it is here.

So let's get the cruise ship on its way;

Monday, 11 January 2016

For Your Consideration: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! [2015]

HIndie Awards 2016

For Your Consideration: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! [2015]

Like most of Dibakar Banerjee's film, it probably takes multiple viewings for DBB to grow on you. I haven't watched it twice, so I can't say that but the first time I did; I came out with an underwhelmed feeling.

That's what I felt, with the kind of hype I had surrounded under a film from possibly my favorite director of all time; what else could happen.

But that hype makes a big splash over here, including the fact that the film struck rave reviews and somewhat fizzled out because of its terrible box office draws.

Still one has to commend Yash Raj for attempting something out of the box, one must consider several aspects of this finely made film.

Here goes...

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

For Your Consideration: Bombay Velvet [2015]

HIndie Awards 2016

For Your Consideration: Bombay Velvet [2015]

Everyone knows the eventual fate of Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet. It was at time justifiably and at time unjustifiably lambasted but overall it is both a disappointment to many as well as a huge box office disaster.

Despite the reviews, Bombay Velvet isn't a bad film; yes it has its flaws and those too that cannot be discounted, but the film isn't that bad and in terms of technical and artistic qualities; it is a marvel.

I am not going to try and thoroughly justify why Bombay Velvet deserves to compete [that will occur depending on its nominations], however each section will try and justify the need for campaigning for this film in the slightest.

Also, while Bombay Velvet at its heart is very much about a romantic relationship in the midst of a rapidly growing city; the film itself will be competing in the dramatic category due to its other topics of Bombay's birth and evolution as well as the period crime drama at time taking precedence especially during the pre-release hype of the feature.

So let us just get to it, this one is actually a long one...

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Films I Watched in 2015

My 2015 in Cinema 

The Force Truly did Awaken this year!


So 2015 was the year I joined a film school; Whistling Woods International and made my first and surprising step towards becoming  a film maker in the Hindi film industry or as you know it Bollywood. 

So I decided to do something, I decided to list down all the films I have seen this year in certain categories; 

Those I watched in the theater including at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Even those I watched more than twice. 

Wong Kar Wai's genius In the Mood for Love was a masterpiece delight to see

Those films that I saw for the first time in my life

And finally those that I saw once more in my life. 

So without further rambling, here is the list; 

[Films seen more than twice in the theaters are highlighted in Blue]

Cinematic Delight/MAMI
First Time
A Revisit

Miss Lovely
OMG!: Oh My God!
The Drop
Kill The Messenger
Finding Fanny
Singing in The Rain
Dedh Ishqiya
My Fair Lady
Furious 7
The Imitation Game
Mary Kom
Detective Byomkesh Bakshi
American Sniper
Ankhon Dekhi
Margarita With A Straw
Jules and Jim
O Kadhal Kanmani
Teesri Manzil
Finding Fanny
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Still Alice
The Guest
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Andaz Apna Apna
Top Five
Bombay Velvet
Big Hero 6
Mad Max: Fury Road
Theory of Everything
The Graduate
Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Namak Haram
Dil Dhadakne Do
Clouds of Sils Maria
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Jurassic World
Jodorowsky's Dune
Sixth Sense
Loins of Punjab
Phone Booth
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligary
Terminator: Genysis
The Avengers
Inside Out
Mockingjay Part 1
Tropic Thunder
The Wolf of Wall Street
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Throne of Blood
Tanu Weds Manu
Drishyam (2015)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
Pitch Perfect
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him
American Pie
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her
Gour Hari Dastaan
Paris, Texas
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
The Gift
Internets Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
22 Jump St.
Manjhi: The Mountain Man
After Hours
The Man from UNCLE
Dear White People
Back To The Future
This is The End
Welcome Back
Inherent Vice
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
Mr. Turner
Katti Batti
3 Iron
Black Mass
Man of Tai Chi
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Pawn Sacrifice
Meeruthiya Gangsters
Office Space
Wedding Crashers
Beyond The Lights
The Break-Up
The Martian
We Are The Best
Shuddh Desi Romance
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Dil Dhadakne Do
The Odd Couple
Hot Tub Time Machine
Crimson Peak
I Love You Man
Dolly Ki Doli
Man of Steel
Bey Yaar
Le Havre
She's Out of My League
The Assassin
The Marine 3: Homefront
Luck By Chance
Song of the Horned Owl
No One Killed Jessica
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Rogue Cut)
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Pather Panchali
The Death of Superman Lives
Django Unchained
Weird Science
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Apur Sansar
Dead Man's Shoes
Delhi Belly
Risk of Acid Rain
Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Death at A Funeral (2007)
Sleeping Giant
Jewel Thief
Pulp Fiction
Groundhog Day
Cartel Land
Goodbye Children
Batman: Under The Red Hood
The Social Network/w Directors Commentary
Drishyam (2013)
The Lobster
In The Mood for Love
Gone Girl
The Shaukeens
Reservoir Dogs
For Here or To Go
In The Shadow of Women
True Romance
Dil Dhadakne Do
Karthik Calling Karthik
Don Jon
Andrei Rublev
Inglorious Basterds
Pitch Perfect 2
Bruce Almighty
Chauthi Koot
Namastey London
Mistress America
Guddu Rangeela
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Microbe and Gasoline
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Un Plus Une
La Haine
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Main aur Charles
Monsoon Wedding
Black Friday
Jolly LLB
Zack and Miri Make A Porno
Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
Horrible Bosses
In the Heart of the Sea
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Layer Cake
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Blood Simple [Director's Cut]
Blade Runner [Final Cut]

Bajraangi Bhaijaan
The Royal Tenenbaums

Turtles Can Fly

No Man's Land


The Avengers

Nine Lives
Dil Dhadakne Do

Paradise Now
Mad Max: Fury Road


Wet Hot American Summer
Andaz Apna Apna

Forbidden Planet
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Orange Mittai
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Fantastic Four [2015]
Chashme Buddoor

Kaun Kitne Panee Mein

The People vs. George Lucas

Star Wars: A Phantom Edit [Episodes I-III]
Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Meghe Dhaka Tara
Drishyam [2015]


Bottle Rocket



Court is one of India's finest films while Pyaasa was such an involving experience with everyone singing and mouthing dialogues along in the cinema hall

Total films seen in 2015: 294

Favorite New Movie seen this year: Room/Mad Max: Fury Road

Best New Movie seen this year: In the Mood for Love

Favorite Movie Revisted: The Godfather/Pyaasa [both on the big screen, one at my college audi and the other in cinemas]

Best Cinematic Experience: Court/Pyaasa/Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

Brie Larson deserves the Oscar this year!

Few interesting notes, though I watched it thrice and adored it; Age of Ultron doesn't live up to its predecessor [My favorite film]

I was introduced to some wonderful cinema and film makers this year; In the Mood for Love and Paris, Texas being some highlights of the year  

Also I ended the year with two films [outside of Star Wars in the theaters] Papanasam [Tamil] and Drishyam [Hindi]; both funnily enough remakes of Malyalam thriller Drishyam.

Seeing this scene on the big screen with these two legends gave me the chills

Anywho, that's it. As I continue on my path to becoming a filmmaker and writing my first ever feature film script, I hope to see much more dazzling works and increase my knowledge of world cinema. 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Tintin's Top Ten: Most Anticipated Hindi Films of 2016

Tintin's Top Ten

Most Anticipated Hindi films of 2016

Before we get started, I would like to spend some time to reflect on the past year in Hindi cinema. Coming from what is somewhat a to be insider perspective, now that I have become a part of a film school in India [setting up a career in the Hindi film industry]; I now have to tread lightly in my criticism [hence no worst of Hindi cinema 2015] :D :P

Still, the past year has been a tad disappointment especially when considering the past decade in itself that has seen great content being churned out in regularity despite the number of unnecessary blockbusters and commercial films also spat out.

This year did see a slew of mega commercial film being released as usual, headed by the stars of the industry; some were surprisingly good [Bajrangi Bhaijaan], some I didn't even bother with [Dilwale] and then some were an example of shoddy and lazy filmmaking to the hilt [Welcome Back].

And finally there were also those that came as an immense shock disappointment [Shandaar and Roy]

Even the best of list this year is well...not really best of...

This years films do contain a few that may stand the test of time, yet not so many that would necessary deserve a mention in any other given year.

Of course one should for the sake of these efforts take into account my now increased knowledge in filmmaking, hence my enhanced criticism of these films as well as for one other major factor.

That factor?

My eyes being opened to the potential of Regional Language cinema [Any Indian film, not in Hindi; the national language]

I have seen quite a few great regional films through the years; mostly Tamil and Malyalam, but this year simply blew me away.

I managed to take a sneak peak at not only the stalwarts of the year released in the theaters such as Court [Marathi], Killa [Marathi], Qissa [Punjabi], Kakaa Muttai [Tamil], Baahubali [Telegu] and more but also those as of yet unreleased and touted as the best of the best in film festivals such as Chauthi Koot [Punjabi], Visaranai [Tamil], Thithi [Kannada] and more.

The year has been an overall disappointment, and here is a look at how each of my most anticipated films from last year did for me;


Though I wasn't too happy by this film, Anushka Sharma did do something different and how while Navdeep Singh proved he has still got it; keeping you at the edge with a devilish twist of humor.

Verdict: Lived Up To Expectations


I am one of the few who really despised Amitabh Bachchan's unnecessarily hammy performance in this film, but Piku despite being what it was as expected went beyond and above the call of greatness.

Verdict: Exceeded Expectations


Everything I thought this film could be and it was, in fact at times more so [I cannot stop heaping praises on the subverted fight between Sushant Singh and Tapsee Pannu]. Yet the Argo lite ending and something quite odd and unexplainable left a bad taste. Though still, props to Neeraj Pandey's directorial sensibilities.

Verdict: Mild Disappointment


Will release this year

Verdict: Unreleased

Dil Dhadakne Do

The fact that Zoya Akhtar's latest has such a great rewatch quality like her past efforts, makes it a worthy film despite some major flaws. It has one of the most hated characters of the year, yet it still works wonders just as her films always do.

Verdict: Lived up to Expectations

Margarita With A Straw

More than making people agree that Kalki Koechlin indeed is a phenomenal actor, this one took two very sensitive subjects and worked marvels with them.

Verdict: Exceeded Expectations


What was expected was not delivered and in a good way. Neither was this a revenge thriller nor one influenced by past efforts. Instead this was a film on change, forgiveness and moral complexities that made one gasp at the end as much as it did to ponder and reflect on the futilities of keeping hate boiling for so long.

Verdict: Exceeded Expectations

Bombay Velvet

Not as terrible as people seem to claim it to be, but nowhere near a signature Kashyap film [though who are we to judge that]. Still there are elements of the film that work wonders and pieces that could have been better had they not been hampered by our perceptions and expectations such as the writing and Karan Johar's interesting performance.

Verdict: Mild Disappointment


Another film that truly comes from the depths of Imtiaz Ali's heart and thus forgets convention in favor of cinematic exploration. You are either going to like it or hate it, for me this one was a winner and more [just so as to stick it to those who didn't connect and engage].

Verdict: Exceeded Expectations

Detective Byomkesh Bakshi

I still have to and want to rewatch this film. It has some really surprising and good elements such as the tone, soundtrack, aesthetics and of course Sushant Singh Rajput's performance. However as far as I can remember, in bits this film really failed and it hurt coming from my favorite director who I expect nothing less of. His protégé Kanu Behl delivered in heft last year with Titli, and Dibakar never left a dent.

Verdict: Disappointment

While the first one really hurt in some cases [though I hope a more focused rewatch will change my opinion], the others were all in a good line; showing that not all is bad.

However what does 2016 have in store for us?

For one, the top stars are not falling over their feet to do something out right commercial.

Akshay Kumar builds on his collaborations with Neeraj Pandey to tackle mature and interesting films like Airlift and Rustom.

Hrithik Roshan returns to better days with works that will force him to act in Ashutosh Gowarikar's Mohenjo Dharo.

Aamir Khan from annoying us as a cute doggy this year to next will build on some of his better body of works with Dangal. Mind you PK is still one of his finest performances.

Even Salman Khan will completely shed his masala roots [though Bajrangi was a genuine surprise] to tackle Sultan, which might turn out terrible under Ali Abbas Zafar's helm [still not forgiven Gunday] but shows he is putting in better effort.

And most of all, one man above them all [who is mentioned below]: