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Monday, 26 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Acting Awards Part 1

The HIndie Awards 2015

The year saw quite a few fantastic performances. 

Now Awards Season is upon us and while most shows have got it right in terms of winners, they've failed to acknowledge truly great nominees and more importantly a whole host of underrated actors. 

While Tiger Shroff sweeps most best new actor awards, one wonders what Bollywood be like if Nepotism weren't ingrained in its history. We'd have lost tons of great actors no doubt, but a Tusshar Kapoor, a Fardeen Khan, a Zayed Khan and now a Tiger Shroff would not have won Mal debut awards that they shouldn't. 

But then again, one wonders what if our awards shows were at least honest if not better. 

Not that my blog awards are top notch. One of this special awards on this blog that you'll see below reside on my ulterior motives. 

The award in question is...

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Music Awards

The HIndie Awards 2015


Like with any awards show, let's begin the first official HIndie Awards with the music awards. Now, music is an integral part of Hindi cinema. It's what makes it such a unique brand in the world, our movies are full of color and filled with some thriving and moving music.

This decade however has seen an influx of mediocrity where music has been simplified into basic lyrics and vulgar meanings. Still some really awesome soundtracks and scores elevated the films they featured in.

So let's start with the awards.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Technical Awards

The HIndie Awards


The technical field in Bollywood has always been superb. This past year the Hindi film scene saw quite a few masters of the game return to give us some stunning visuals, wonderful costumes, premier editing and much more. 

I'm still learning a lot about the technical aspects of film making, so forgive me if this is the least informative part of the awards. 

So here are the awards. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Whistling Away! My Film School Experience

A Freshman in Film

There's a palpable buzz in the air. The serene atmosphere entwines with the uneasiness of my breath, producing a chaotic burst of emotions and a bevy of questions. 

My first day and my first step into the next phase of my life and I'm already confused; where to go? 

scared; who to talk to? 

guarded; what do I say?

impatient; when will I start making films? 

and the most important, panicking; WHY AM I HERE?

Already I'd learned an important lesson about film writing and film in general. The five W's. The basis of which an idea needs to be manifested and trust me I've got a lot of them. 

But that Why always stumps me. 

No! I know why I'm here, but I don't know WHY I'm here. 

Ever since I've truly known myself, I knew that my love for comics would push me to become one of those dudes who writes and draws some of the fanciest looking heroes. 

But after being pushed around, getting confused and breaking my massive ego to bits and pieces. I rose like a metaphorical phoenix and decided, this is it!

Film making is an art form that has become the center of my existence for the past two years. This blog and the idea that a hundred people could be reading it, gave me the rush to test my writing skills in animation school. 

It festered in me an obsession, and has bloomed my desire to want to enter films. I'm not going to abandon my pursuit of working for Marvel, that's there. 

And with a burgeoning Indian comics industry, I hope to see myself push the ceilings, break barriers and make it so that the world notices me. 

The same goes for film, whether it be as a writer or a director. 

Learning about film has been such an exciting prospect, I can't wait to see how far I can go in this field and this colorful industry of Bollywood that I love. It's a struggle I admit, and it's not as idealistic as I'd like to paint it. 

But if I put my head down, work hard and have a bit of luck on my side. I know I can make it. 

That doesn't mean that I'll stop blogging, this piece has given me the strength and passion to push myself to write and write and write. I might slow down here and there during the year, but I always come back. 

So I'd like to thank my friends, who followed and read this blog amongst the many strangers, and made me want to write more and in the process learn a lot more about myself. 

This will also hopefully allow me to write better about film making, since I've learned a lot of new things. As well as right about the varying tastes of films, of different students. 

PS: I know, I should have started with the HIndie Awards but the re-watch is taking longer than expected. I'll do it as soon as I can. Plus I also need to talk about the Oscar nominees. 

Oh and yeah, In case you didn't guess from the title picture; my film school is Whistling Woods International, Mumbai. 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Monday, 5 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Final Nominees List

The First Official

HIndie Awards


After a grueling 365 days and more, I've completed the task of watching as many movies as I could in the best of conditions to present to you the main ballot of nominees for this year's HIndie (Hindi Independent) film awards.

There's a lot of changes in the nomination lists to discuss. A lot about the movies that might have been awesome that I just missed. And about the nominees in question. 

Now just cause it's called the HIndie Awards, it does not mean that the films nominated in question will be Independent films or for that matter Underdog films. It's just a word I want to use for my awards, and its a cool word. 

This year in Hindi cinema, has seen quite a lot of bad. What I hate though is when an audience will cry about the dredge that Bollywood churns out, but never look at the good. 

They'll complain on the Happy New Year's, Jai Ho's and Bang Bang's that they saw, but never remember the Aankhon Dekhi's, Miss Lovelies and Highway's that they missed. 

There's such good films that I maybe felt a bit too generous, thus I created a new system of awards in lieu of the Golden Globes. This now allows me to nominate fourteen movies in most categories including now even screenplay (a new addition). Along with a bevy of technical awards such as for VFX, costume, production and ensemble acting.

Maybe I'm becoming like the Indian film awards I despise so much. 

Granted once again this year most are getting it right with the wins; Haider picking up quite an amount of trophies. 

But my problem is with the nominations and the extra awards they hand out. A recent award show for example gave awards for each genre and then on top of that for overall best and also tertiary awards for fashion and box office. 

So much so that undeserving people like Sonam Kapoor (Khoobsurat), Jacqueline Fernandez (Fashion) and Shah Rukh Khan (Happy New Year) won awards. 

I have problems with too many dance numbers and bad comedy but more so with the nominations and giving out of awards at this show. 

You could also accuse me of doing that here, but I'm trying my best to give awards to deserving films. 

Of course in my opinion.

So new additions: VFX, Ensemble and more importantly a divided screenplay award between Drama and Comedy/Musical instead of Adapted and Original. 

Once again all these apart from the technical awards will be about 5-7 nominees. 

Speaking of which. 

At one point I really felt that this divide and more nominees experiment was a flop. In fact I'm still not convinced. 

I'll explain though, after I unveil the nominees list. 

    Best Motion Picture (Drama)
    Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical)
    Miss Lovely
    Aankhon Dekhi
    Hawaa Hawaai
    Dedh Ishqiya
    Hasee Toh Phasee
    Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore
    Finding Fanny

    Best Director
    Best Cinematography
    Anurag Kashyap-Ugly
    Finding Fanny
    Vishal Bhardwaj-Haider
    Miss Lovely
    Imtiaz Ali-Highway
    Dedh Ishqiya
    Vikas Bahl-Queen
    Rajat Kapoor-Aankhon Dekhi
    Abhishek Chaubey-Dedh Ishqiya
    Ashim Ahluwalia-Miss Lovely

    Best Screenplay (Drama)
    Best Screenplay (Comedy/Musical)
    Dedh Ishqiya
    Finding Fanny
    Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore
    Miss Lovely
    Aankhon Dekhi

    Best Actor in A Leading Role Drama (Male)
    Best Actor in A Leading Role Comedy/Musical (Male)
    Randeep Hooda-Highway
    Naseeruddin Shah-Dedh Ishqiya
    Vijay Raaz-Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore
    Arshad Warsi-Dedh Ishqiya
    Shahid Kapur-Haider
    Sharib Hashmi-Filmistaan
    Partho Gupte-Hawaa Hawaai
    Sanjay Mishra-Aankhon Dekhi
    Purab Kohli-Jal
    Naseeruddin Shah-Finding Fanny
    Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Miss Lovely
    Aamir Khan-PK
    Rajkumar Rao-Citylights

    Best Actor in A Leading Role Drama (Female)
    Best Actor in A Leading Role Comedy/Musical (Female)
    Priyanka Chopra-Mary Kom
    Vidya Balan-Bobby Jasoos
    Rani Mukherjee-Mardaani
    Parineeti Chopra-Hasee Toh Phasee
    Alia Bhatt-Highway
    Madhuri Dixit-Dedh Ishqiya
    Kangana Ranaut-Queen
    Tejaswini Kolhapure-Ugly
    Deepika Padukone-Finding Fanny

    Best Actor in A Supporting Role Drama (Male)
    Best Actor in A Supporting Role Comedy/Musical (Male)
    Vineet Kumar Singh-Ugly
    Vijay Raaz-Dedh Ishqiya
    Manu Rishi-Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore
    Rajat Kapoor-Aankhon Dekhi
    Anil George-Miss Lovely
    Girish Kulkarni-Ugly
    Rajkumar Rao-Queen
    Tahir Raj Bashin-Mardaani
    Pankaj Kapur-Finding Fanny
    Manav Kaul-Citylights
    Anil Mange-Hasee Toh Phasee
    K K Menon-Haider
    Gopal Dutt-Filmistaan

    Best Actor in A Supporting Role Drama (Female)
    Best Actor in A Supporting Role Comedy/Musical (Female)
    Neha Joshi-Hawaa Hawaai
    Lisa Haydon-Queen
    Tannishtha Chatterjee-Jal
    Anushka Sharma-PK
    Seema Pahwa-Aankhon Dekhi
    Shraddha Kapoor-Haider
    Huma Qureshi-Dedh Ishqiya
    Niharika Singh-Miss Lovely
    Dimple  Kapadia-Finding Fanny

    Kalki Koechlin-Happy Ending

    Best Breakthrough Actor (Male)
    Best Breakthrough Actor (Female)

    Best VFX
    Best Ensemble

    Best Production Design
    Best Costume Design

    Best Editing
    Best Documentary

    Best Soundtrack
    Best Score
    Ek Villain
    Dedh Ishqiya
    Finding Fanny
    Dedh Ishqiya
    Miss Lovely

A few things as I said to clarify. 

Despite being a supporting role in a film just full of them, I decided to bump Tejaswini Kolhapure to leading for Ugly. This is because there was a lack of a fifth nominee in that list that felt viable, I could have pushed Parineeti Chopra (Daawat E Ishq) or Alia Bhatt (2 States/Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania) but their performances weren't that great to be warranted and for that matter they're already nominated elsewhere. 

The technical awards will come first. These are the awards with no nominees (Expect for the breakthrough performances). 

I hate that I couldn't balance nominees to seven or five, so for screenplay, direction and movie I forced myself to get a balance equation between comedy/musical and drama. 

Once again the big rule pertaining to performance awards. All the leading awards will have their own post (same with supporting), the first set will depend on which side has the best award. 


If Randeep Hooda wins the leading drama award and he is better than leading drama (female), leading comedy/musical (male) and leading comedy/musical (female) say Kangana Ranaut. 

Then drama goes after comedy/musical. 

Separately if Kangana is better than Naseeruddin Shah, then Kangana goes last. 

As the last is mostly the respected one in the awards show. 

Anyways, you'll see one you see the posts. 

If there's anything more, I'll state it on the separate posts.

Also there's a few films I didn't see, so here's the list;

Suleimani Keeda: A slacker comedy, about film writers. This would have resonated so much with me. 

Rang Rasiya: A period romantic drama based on the life and paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. Randeep Hooda plays the titular character, and is supposedly brilliant. 

Children of War: Couldn't find a good print for this harrowing take on the Bangladesh liberation war. 

Titil (Unreleased) and Liar's Dice (Unreleased)

So that's it. 

The next time we meet, it will be for the technical awards. Also we wont meet very soon, I need a few weeks to settle down and also rewatch these films, so hopefully by February it's be HIndie Awards time (and in March-April it will be Underdog Awards time).

Up next: a stunning technical spectacle, a short but sweet tale of love and camaraderie and a top notch examination on India's B-Grade cinema...the Technical Section of the HIndie Awards

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tintin's Top Ten: Worst Bollywood Films of 2014


Tintin's Top Ten

Worst Bollywood Films of 2014

Oh God, has this year of Hindi cinema pissed me off.

It's produced some real gems and all time favorites, but as the good keeps on getting better...the worse just sinks to an all new low.

What's worse is that as with the growing theme of the decade, this year's worst are once again produced by the biggest stars in Bollywood. Whether it's to stick to formula, gain money and keep reign on their seats at the top of the food chain, or simply a mid life crisis forcing each big star to want to be soothed by a big ego movie revolving around their big selves.

So much so, that one thing is clear; below you'll see the correct list of worst films of the year. But you also will notice how low the scores are, this might be a slight biased because I just couldn't handle these terrible and I mean very terrible films.

It just pisses me off, that not only at a global but also local stage these are the kind of films that represent what Bollywood is. That's the saddest thing.

One film was so bad, it put me off watching or tolerating any others such that you'll see a triple bonanza of bad film making. Film making that's so terrible, it didn't deserve my attention for 1-2 hours.

Still there's worse movies this year, that I might not even have seen that scare me.

So here's a list of the films that looked so bad from the trailer I didn't bother seeing them. It's not that the worst films aren't on my list, but after seeing all ten of those I couldn't bother seeing these one's;

Action Jackson: Mind numbing stupidity meets scary misogyny. A film where a Independent working woman chases after a man to see his privates just cause she thinks it's lucky for her, no thanks. Prabhudeva falling to an all new low isn't so surprising, what is; is National Award winner Ajay Devgn destroying his reputation even further.

Creature 3D: It's a novel concept to bring a creature feature to Mainstream Hindi cinema and commendable for that. It still doesn't equal copious praise for just doing something different even in Hindi cinema, it needs to be good if not great and this one doesn't look like it.

Fugly: Shaitan-lite starring a talented boxer, two talented actors and a talented actors nephew in a film by a flop director.

More: Mr. Joe B Carvalho, One By Two, Ragini MMS 2, Kaanchi, Hate Story 2, Pizzar, 3 AM, Kill Dil and Ungli were all considered bad and I didn't see them

There were so many terrible films of varying scores, that an honorable or well dishonorable section is a must. Most of these movies had some redeeming factors, but their still terrible enough to induce a headache.

Here's the dishonorable mentions;

Holiday: A slickly directed espionage thriller remake of AR Murgadoss's own Thupakki. Surprisingly Kumar lacks the charisma of south star Vijay and the film in itself feels repetitive and dull.

Main Tera Hero: A charismatic Varun Dhawan and a hilarious Anupam Kher save a sometimes cool half baked David Dhawan comedy.

Kick: Nawazuddin Siddiqui chewing scenery like a pro and a game Salman Khan negate the bland effects of Jacqueline Fernandez in a high end production value action, romantic thriller. It might have propaganda all over it, but it's still guilty fun.

Bang Bang: Some stunning set pieces and lavish design. A terribly remade script of a terrible original one, with Hrithik and Katrina phoning it in. Style over substance, nothing else.

Total Siyappa: There are funny moments spiced in a feature that feels more like a sitcom episode than a whole movie. Stretching a short concept to nigh infinite minutes of dullness.

Khoobsurat: The Princess styled remake of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic. There's nothing new to the story and the actors mostly pull their same shtick; from an annoyingly loud Kirron Kher to a snooty Ratna Pathak Shah and a nicely brooding Fawad Khan. This films likability depends on how much you can tolerate Sonam Kapoor's real persona. For me; Not so much.

Raja Natwarlal: A terribly constructed con movie that wastes it's talented star cast. Also for a Bhatt film, it surprisingly has some bland music. 

Let me just say that this isn't even the base of the iceberg, let alone the tip. Some of the above listed films are even enjoyable guilty pleasures.

The bottom ten is where the real fun, I mean pain is. So let's just roast these fucking bitches!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A New Dawn: My Blog's HIndie Awards

The Second Annual HIndie Awards

An Introduction

For weeks now, I've been closely following the Awards season and road that will lead to the Academy Awards. Every point at this time of the year, my rage grows. Not at the nominees of the Oscars and the Academy (for missing some obvious worthy films) but rather at the system of awards in place in Bollywood.

There's no denying the pathetic lust as well known director Mahesh Bhatt would put it, Bollywood has for the Oscars. Yet the reason for it remains unknown, so let me shed my two cents.

The Hindi film fraternity has a fascination for the Oscars because despite being THE OSCARS, those only awards that would really matter even from a Hindi film awards perspective. Bollywood unlike regional Indian cinema, is obviously unwilling in most cases to make the kind of movies that could win them National awards. 

India's got to wait in line, cause Leo's been begging for that Oscar

This in most part leaves most Hindi films in the year, even the best  ones to scramble for awards that have to little to no meaning at all.

Hindi film awards are presented by media outlets, rather than let's say a film board like The Academy. The makers of these award shows are more interested in which stars will show up, who will dance and what awards they'll have to hand out to every single person that attended.

Awards from most Bollywood shows mean squat, their just a haphazard way for the industry to provide relief through mutual masturbation, and for these big corporations and media houses to make tons of money. It's sad, but it's true. 

And the Award for Least Expressions on screen goes to...Katrina Kaif, Nargis Fakhri...sorry Jacqueline Fernandez...oh who cares, they're all expendable

Not to say that the films that are good don't deserve awards, it's just at the end of the day on an awards night; it's the awards that matter the least. Even in fair years like 2011 and 2012, award shows would be about low IQ jokes, dance numbers and stars over films.

It's why it got me thinking. What could be done to fix the Indian film award system?

There's no denying that the Oscars are flawed, yet theirs is the system that works the best along with the Globes and the BAFTA's etc.

So I tried thinking of how the Indian film fraternity could co-opt the structure of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Then I realized, that's the dumbest idea I could think of. Their two big plot holes to the system.

The first is that The Academy works on a basis of structural bodies for most aspects of the Awards. Example theirs an acting body and so on. These bodies are filled with lots of members from the fraternity, relating to the aspect.

First of all, the Hindi film industry isn't as huge in terms of prestigious number of people who can be members. Certain boards would be really small compared to others, such as the writers guild which would be full of directors. This way the idea of guilds and bodies would be negated.

Secondly is if the idea of bodies would work for the structure, the fact that the Industry is so tight knit and closed out; we'd have the same problem as we do with media awards again. The Hindi film industries small closed out structure has a huge reason; nepotism. It's such an incestuous bunch of people, that for any award to be voted on there would be heavy biased. 

If it were up to Bollywood, then their own star sons and daughters would win all awards...although to be fair Alia Bhatt (center) has actually been fantastic this year

So this was stupid, but then I thought of something. Sure I want to in some capacity work there, but fuck the Hindi film industry.

I'll use the other part of my stupidly planned awards show for myself. The next part isn't really an original idea, heck I used it with the Golden Globes.

Now sure the Golden Globes aren't the best awards show format. Some would even say the division between Comedies and Drama is a bit insulting to the former genre, because Drama always ends up last on the show indicating it's importance over the other.

Still I like that the structure then allows for multiple nominees and at times it doesn't feel like some of the best of the year were left out. The Globes also has a tendency not to be as bait-y as the Academy.

So in vein of the globes and my own Bollywood awards from last year, I created this structure;

Best Picture

Best Director
Best Screenplay

Best Cinematography
Best Editing

Best Dialogue
Best Documentary

Best Actor in A Lead Role Male
Best Actor in A Lead Role Female

Best Actor in A Supporting Role Male
Best Actor in A Supporting Role Female

Best Newcomer Male
Best Newcomer Female

Best Soundtrack
Best Score

As you can see, I updated a bit. I'll be doing the main award numbers the way most Hindi film awards do, so there's no vfx/production or costume design.

Secondly, last year I had seven nominees for the major awards, so that stays here. The difference is in each category, there can be a minimum of five and a maximum of seven.

The next big thing is that unlike the Globes, I also divided the supporting categories between genres.

Finally the big question is my film award. Due to the two sides being divided, there's a chance that not the top ten best Bollywood films of the year are featured.

To explain, all ten best of this year could be from the drama genre. Thus the last three will miss out due to the awards structure.

As such I will put up singular posts for each of these awards like with my Underdog awards, but I will also do a Tintin's top ten Best Bollywood films of 2014.

Only difference being that in the top ten post, I will rank the films but only provide a pros/cons list and score but no in depth explanation. Though I will review the number one film of the year separately.

Also unlike the Globes, where they always favor drama over comedy, I'll decide the awards for acting presented on a best ranking system for each section. Such that if female supporting drama is better than male drama, then it will go last on its separate post e.g. Part 9. 

'Nuff Said, 

Aneesh Raikundalia