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224 Responses to “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the rest of the box office”
Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan on on Himesh Reshammiya’s wishlist for Masoom remake
Friday, Jul 12, 2013, 7:44 IST | Agency: DNA
Subhash K Jha
Himesh Reshammiya has negotiated for the remake rights of Shekhar Kapoor’s classic Masoom (1983) from the original producers Chanda Dutt and Devi Dutt.
The original film starred Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi as a couple, grappling with the reality of an illegitimate son in the husband’s life. The tearjerker, which had melted hearts across the nation, is based on the Erich Segal’s book Man, Woman and Child.
The remake would be directed by Bedobrata Pain whose historical drama Chittagong last year received lavish critical acclaim. Himesh wants Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan to play the two roles immortalised by Shabana and Naseer. According to a source, Abhishek and Aishwarya have agreed in principle to be in Himesh’s remake. “Now the details are being worked out,” the source said.
July 11, 2013
Political Brutality Sets a Running Champion on His Path
By NICOLAS RAPOLD
Opens on Friday.
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
In Hindi, with English subtitles
3 hours 8 minutes; not rated
The Indian running champ Milkha Singh may be the hero of the over-the-top “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” but this Bollywood film’s true, tormented heart lies in the brutal era of India’s partition. As a side character in the film puts it, Milkha — a k a “the Flying Sikh” — ran away from Pakistan and has been running ever since.
Partly just a supersize sports movie, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” (which translates to “Run Milkha Run”) trails this runner, played by the Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar, from his military training through noteworthy competitions in the 1950s at home and abroad. There are training montages, a dastardly rival, physically painful triumphs and a hard-driving but fair coach. The director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (“Rang De Basanti,” “Delhi-6”), juices the action with archival snippets, eye-catching composite effects and, for a meet in Australia, square dancing and a buxom sheila (Rebecca Breeds).
But flashbacks dig ever deeper into old wounds to show the horrors that helped set Mr. Singh on his path and that haunt him still when he is later invited to peace games between India and Pakistan. Mr. Mehra wrenchingly returns to the brutal killing of Milkha’s family, and the surrounding events, as well as the indignities and perils of refugee life. Even Milkha’s first love, who gets the requisite courtship sequence, practically plays third to the past and the races.
There’s also, more typically of Bollywood dramas, ample showboating, stand-and-deliver acting and goofy bits of business. But along the way the movie strikes its chosen couple of notes resoundingly, making clear what makes Singh run.
Friday 12th July 2013 11.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Raanjhanaa has grossed around 60 crore nett in three weeks as it grossed around 7.50 crore nett plus in week three. The film is the fifth highest grossing film of 2013 with chances to finish fourth. The top five grossing films of 2013 are as follows.
Friday 12th June 2013 11.30 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milka Bhaag had a fair opening of around 40-45% on average at multiplexes. The collections were a better in the North but lower in places like Maharashtra and West Bengal.
The opening is fair if we look at the face value of the film and will be by far the highest opening of a Farhan Akhtar solo film but the opening is not so impressive if we take into account the big budget of the film. A film with cost over 50 crore needs 60% plus start to make life a bit easier especially when its content mainly caters to multiplexes.
For the film to succeed in real terms it will need to show strength over the weekend and sustain well thereafter for a couple of weeks due to the high cost.
B.O. update: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ strong previews, Fri decent start!
By Taran Adarsh, July 12, 2013 – 14:31 IST
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, the much hyped biopic, which opened to rave reviews, had a strong start on Thursday evening, when the paid previews were organized. The morning and noon shows on Friday ranged from good [multiplexes of urban centres] to decent/ordinary [mass belt]. Overall, the start is fairly good, in view of the fact that films of this genre [biopics], generally, go from strength to strength from evening show onwards.
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG enjoys terrific word of mouth and the business is expected to escalate during the course of the day, as per trends.
Rakeysh Mehra to make Mirza Sahiban next; will cast SonamBy Bollywood Hungama News Network, July 12, 2013 – 10:46 hrs IST
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag releases today. While the film has generated tremendous hype thanks to Farhan Akhtar’s look and catchy promo, we hear that Rakeysh is already contemplating his next. In fact, Mehra is keen on casting Sonam yet again.
Mehra will be making Mirza Sahiban next which will be a period love-story. The film is currently being scripted.
“Ultimately, the only reason to watch this disappointment is Farhan Akhtar’s career-best delivery.
He visibly labours to acquire a stunning physicality, a body language that knows legs that run from legs that race and rinse off the urban texture of his personality to become the Flying Sikh who overcomes extraordinary battles — of mind, body and society to emerge a victor.
He is showing his true face as Islamist .. Sorry to use that word but seeing his tweets, Its now crystal clear.
Ya, Mediacrooks was scathing piece on PB Mehta.
Rest ‘Burqa of secularism’ is apt to bust this once and all this fake secularism debate going on in this country… It has hit them most and most ppl find it apt, that’s why you see all Cabinet minsters coming out in mrng itself🙂 LOL..
About Puppy thing it was wrongly interpreted and contextualised by TV debates and Paid Media as said by Author herself.
The problem with the right-wing position on secularism is that they try to have it both ways. Without getting into this larger debate there are two positions the right exhibits on this matter:
1)Secularism is a problematic notion to begin with. It simply shouldn’t be there. India is a Hindu land and those who want to live happily ever after here must respect this fact.
2)Secularism is a phony idea and those who engage in it are fakes or hypocrites or both.
The US equivalent of the same comes with respect to liberals and specially the welfare state:
1)It’s just a bad economic idea etc etc..
2)Liberals cheat when they advance these views as they’re only helping minorities avoid work and hence inflate their voter base, etc etc..
So this two-pronged move on the one hand involves dismissing the claim on theoretical grounds (or pseudo-theoretical ones) but then also attributing complete bad faith to the other. Depending on what’s more useful on any given day one can then oscillate between these two. Similarly the criticism of the Congress itself adds a number of objections to this list, all of which are often mutually exclusive. So a)the Congress is corrupt b)they’re cynically into secularism which in any case is a fake idea c)Sonia is Italian. On and on! One here reveals a certain attitude about the Congress but there is otherwise no coherence to the objections.
On the other hand my own Modi opposition would simply be framed this way — I don’t care even if he’s a good administrator or if he makes the trains run on time or whatever. Much as I don’t really care how efficient Hitler was or Stalin was or whoever. Once certain kinds of crimes are committed, once certain political ends are pursued in certain ways I am simply not interested in the rest of the argument. Of course even pogroms require competent administration. I’ll give you that! But let’s say that’s not the kind of competence I’m looking for! And so with respect to his recent remarks I am mildly amused. This is rather low down on the list of his problems though it’s nonetheless an important indication of how his mind works. Actually the ‘puppy’ remark is disgusting where the ‘burqa’ one which might be simply offensive or objectionable.
But again my larger point is that you could change the terms slightly and every right-wing outfit (not necessarily an extreme one) uses the very same formulations in a variety of situations. I have already quoted the American example. The same holds for claims of national or ethnic purity or demonizing the minority (the minority controlling the majority is an old and rather boring claim by this point!) or whatever. Every single orientation along these lines says the very same things. And not by accident. There is a direct genealogy. Modi consciously or not (most probably the latter) is following well-established Western traditions of right-wing fascism. This is so obvious as to not even be debatable.
By the way this doesn’t mean there aren’t excesses on the left but it’s been a while since we’ve seen that sort of Stalinist model dominant anywhere. At least outside North Korea! Similarly one can critique Congress for all sorts of things (I am hardly a fan) but it should be a debate in good faith. I for instance don’t think it’s ok if the Congress engaged in anti-Sikh pogroms. Whoever does it it’s not ok! It’s not about excusing one side because one agrees with that larger political ideology.
What you describe as being not coherent and totally ignoring the certain argument is frankly more of a rheotric or rather I say man unaware of ground realities….
You mean to say governance don’t matter to you neither does administration or mass scale corruption
Intact we have a congress president who calls him maut ka saudagar during election or A minister which says we will cut the hand of hindutva…..if talk is about secularism why people are running away from uniform civil code
You know what has happened in Assam very recently because of what you called phobia all these years
In israt case why ib that is intelligence bureau to says they are monitoring appeasement politics to whom they are referring what fascism right,left or in between hermophrodite
Remember some time back we had an excange and your usual rheotric and then I mentioned about gaya and its symbol and see ideology with blast there
Thing is when thing happen in mynmar why public and army property is destroyed in azad maidan or blasts in gaya
I dont have patience to read long replies. Sorry but just saw Modi. Fascist, Hitler and Congress and Pogrom … What is Fascist?? Can we define some points to label someone as Fascist and thn See if Modi comes in that or Congress aka Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Let us debate on Facts not rhetoric… long essays doesnt lead anywhere if they are not fact supported but its easy way to obfuscate the main Issue…
Moreover, Left and commies have developed this brilliant Art to Intellectualize their Savagery and demonise others even if they cough..
Rest I dont buy Rhetoric if they are not supported by facts… Show me Modi is Hitler, I will Prove you Congress, IG and RG were 1000 times more dangerous thn Hitler…
I’m not sure what you mean by ‘show me’ since clearly internationally supported impartial reports are also for you signs of a vast global ‘leftie’ conspiracy. Much like those who to this day say that either the Holocaust is a hoax or that Hitler wasn’t responsible. It’s true that there is actually no document bearing his signature that calls for such action! Incidentally Hitler too (like all other fascists) also used the left/Communist ‘threat’ in his day to make the very same claims that you’re making here. Again a lot of this is even amusing. It’s word for word the same stuff. Not just the Nazis but really every fascist group in every context. Because there is a formula to fascism! And once again I am not softer on Stalinism and the like. But unless we’re living in the knuckerhole in Alice in Wonderland it’s hard to subscribe to a sense of reality where the Congress is actually more dangerous in these contexts than the likes of Modi and Bal Thackeray.
So you shouldn’t say you support facts when you clearly refuse to accept those that don’t conform with your worldview. My position is a simpler one — whoever launches pogroms for whatever reason I am against them! The very fact that one cannot agree with such a blanket statement, the very fact that one wishes to always debate two sides of the story and really use the other to justify one’s own excess suggests one is not really interested in such a universal claim. Again whether it’s Muslims in Modi’s Gujarat or Thackeray’s Bombay, whether it’s Sikhs in Delhi in ’84, whether it’s Pandits in Jammu, whether it’s Tamilians in Sri Lanka….. on and on and on.. all kinds of persecution are all to be absolutely condemned. Without debate. If Muslims somewhere in Gujarat launched a pogrom against Hindu to equal the one engineered and/or abetted by Modi I would condemn it in exactly the same way. The argument that they would somehow have been more justified in doing so because it was done to them does not hold any water with me. Because every victim can always find another point in the history where their present actions might be justified. So before the pogroms there’s Godhra (even leaving aside the debate of what happened here) but before Godhra there’s something else… on and on. How far does one wish to go? As far back as the persecutions of Buddhists in ancient times and to a point where they were either exterminated or driven out and so in an odd irony there are hardly any Buddhists in the birthplace of the Buddha whereas there are tons elsewhere in East Asia? Or further still where Dravidians feel ‘Norther Aryans’ destroyed their cultures and what not. One can always choose an older point in the history. The issue isn’t whether such a point exists or not but that the moment one cannot understand such atrocities except through the prism of vulgar calculation where one pits victims against other victims, at that point the argument is already farcical as far as I’m concerned. Certain human responses are understandable but they are not for that reason excusable.
Saying the Congress is much worse than Hitler is not just an irresponsible statement, it’s an offensive one. For the record I have never said that Thackeray or Modi are worse than Hitler or even of the same magnitude as him.
don’t have patience to read long rhetoric again… Majority at some time in this world also believed that Sun revolves around earth.. Majority is not proof of Truth unless backed by Data or empirical evidence.. You dont want to go back because thn your shallow logic falls flat… You seem to say My worldview is right and those who dont agree they have wrong view… You again couldnt come with single fact to show how modi is fascist and Hitler… Congress is worse than anything… the lady who runs it comes from fascit family. I don’t indulge in rhetoric. I expected some facts but then I knew its not there but only rhetoric…Sorry there is nothing in ur argument…. just plain rhetoric🙂
I am not at all saying my worldview is right. I am just saying that the slaughtering of innocent people should be beyond ‘world-views’. But my second point is: what would you consider enough evidence? There have been various studies and reports on Godhra and its aftermath by people living outside India. But you don’t accept it. It gets to a point where unless the evidence is completely in line with your views it’s not acceptable. That is not a problem with the ‘facts’. Now of course I am not naive here. I know how the ‘facts’ are never really neutral and are always submitted through a prism of ideology and so forth. For instance 100 people might be killed in a ‘riot’ or it might be a ‘pogrom’. It depends on how you define the difference. Or you might accept it is the latter but hold the victims responsible in which case the death toll will be acceptable to you. I am proposing a simple rule. If people are being killed, raped, dispossessed or whatever let’s accept it as wrong in the deepest sense without resorting to calculus of religion or caste or gender or whatever. Why is it so hard to agree with this basic statement? Take the Indira Gandhi assassination. Yes two Sikhs killed her, there were many who were sympathetic in an ideological sense. Why? Because they felt their holiest shrine had been violated. So again the justification for violence can always be produced. But this entire history nonetheless does not at all justify the indiscriminate killing of Sikhs in Delhi even if some of them were sympathetic. The problem precisely is relying constantly on abstractions like ‘Sikhs’ or ‘Hindus’ or ‘Muslims’. if some Hindus somewhere in India massacre Muslims and the latter then arrive at your doorstep to take revenge do you consider that ok? The entire bankruptcy in this debate and often on both sides revolves around this inability to consider people (on either side) humans. If one insists on regarding them only as ‘Hindus’ or ‘Muslims’ or whatever then one forever sees them through that ideological prism and then many actions become justifiable. There is no such thing as a ‘Hindu’ or a ‘Muslim’ in that pure abstract sense of the term. There are always qualifiers. Regional differences, ethnic ones, caste ones, etc etc. The pure Hindu or Muslim is simply an imaginary figure.
the thing that people also miss in these situations is that there is a structural problem and then one ‘within’ that structure. So structurally blacks are at a disadvantage in the US. Many poor whites live in comparably bad economic circumstances but they’re not disadvantaged in the same way because the institutions of the state, specially the legal machinery, does not assume guilt in the same way. The recent movie Snitch (a guilty pleasure!) had this disturbing factoid at the end that federal minimal incarceration guidelines for drug possession even for people without a record are greater than the same minimal ones for murder and rape and kidnapping and robbery. Sounds incredible but how did this happen? Because drug possession is associated with inner cities and hence blacks and now hispanics, with justification. But it is precisely because the racial lines are here so clear that you can come up with such draconian codes where with those other crimes there is no such divide. So this is a classic example of how the system is structurally stacked against blacks for all the racial strides that have been made since the civil rights era. In India if you’re lower caste in many parts for the longest time things were atrocious and even with the great political progress made over the last thirty years or so things are still very unequal. Reservation policies and so forth attract great attention and even anger, some of it justifiable, but those who have not dealt with those histories don’t realize that the possibility of moving forward without the state intervening in serious ways are negligible. Institutional wrongs that are connected to centuries-long (or even longer) histories cannot be set right in a few decades. So yes Obama is the president, that’s stunning progress but that still doesn’t mean there’s a huge gap since his own story is also one about class and privilege in certain ways and it is certainly one about being brought up by a white mother in a land far far away from those inner cities! In India when one gets into these caste debates or the religious ones there are lots of remedies the state has put into place which then make certain people on the other side angry. But these remedies (and one can argue about the degree) are there for a reason. One has to be willing to look at the world through the eyes of others as well. This is what most people find very hard to do. And this is by the way I ultimately get annoyed with films like Aarakshan that take these enormously complex issues and distill them into simplistic sound bites. better not to touch the subject than do things this way.
Agreed but then it has nothing to do with case. There are prejudices (like clichés of movies) but they don’t become prejudices in isolation. There is statistics associated with it. people who believe in prejudices go by probability. Opposite (allegedly unbiased) wants you to look each person in isolation. If you don’t know the person, most likely people go by former and if they know person personally they go by latter.
yes but the point is that it’s not just about the evidence if one believes as I do that the entire case would be different if the tables were turned. So the very same jury would not have spared a black guy. The police would have arrested the same on the spot and not just let him go as they did with Zimmerman. And my argument would be that stats are often created by prejudices. if you say that you’re going to incarcerate people more for crimes that are inherently a part of the inner city landscape you are automatically going to put a disproportionate number of blacks in jail. You can then say that the stats suggest a certain reality but that reality was also creating by certain kinds of sentencing guidelines. And consider the longer arc of American history — the black male passes from being a slave to a victim of severe racism and violence to finally a criminal in the inner cities. There is no point in US history when an African-American is ‘normally’ represented. There is white responsibility for this entire history and sociology but it is never represented this way. It’s always about how slavery was bad but it’s over and now black folks don’t want to take responsibility. The institutional effects of that history are still with us today. Which doesn’t mean African-Americans don’t bear responsibility but they haven’t created the structure they find themselves in. Nor am I incidentally saying that whites are responsible in any crude sense. Just that the system that exists is essentially ‘white’ or at the most one that is not biased against other minorities as long as they’re black.
The charge about pogroms against Modi is greatly exagerated if not entirely fabricated.He did not order a massacre of a particular religious community. Going by most reports he asked Police to stand on the sidelines while the communities sorted out their issues amongst themselves. One can say he failed in one of the basic responsibilities of a government which is to provide protection and security to all the citizens regardless of their faith. But, it CANNOT be called a pogrom. I ,personally am not a fan of this action of Modi’s but the escalated charges and comparisions to Hitler et al are hardly justified. There was always the pitfall in being a conservative or a liberal to carry the ideology too far and stick to rigid judgements and look at them in isolation. But, I feel that is intellectually somewhat dubious.
I have often questioned my leniency in judging Modi’s post Godhra actions and I always come back to this question in my mind – How would I feel if if such an action was directed against ‘my people’? And, the answer in my mind is such a situation would never arise as the behaviour of the aggreived community ( on the whole) in the post Godhra incidents has always been so reprehensible that it is hard to duplicate. The question that arises is can an entire community be allowed to bear the brunt of the actions of a few from that community and here it gets tricky. I hate to paint an entire community ( atleast from one state or a city) with the same brush but if the community fails to suppress the unreasonable from wihtin ( over a period of decades) may be it HAS to bear the wrath and the retaliation.
Anyway, jsut trying to emphasize that defending Modi is not a knee jerk reaction and is something that one struggles with in trying to decide the right and the wrong of the issues. But, the castigation of Modi by the liberals is just the opposite and sometimes, I think not in good faith.
“Going by most reports he asked Police to stand on the sidelines while the communities sorted out their issues amongst themselves.”
don’t you think this is an incredible euphemism? If after 9/11 people started massacring people of subcontinental origin without discriminating among them and Giuliani told people to stand on the sidelines and let people ‘sort out’ the problem would you find it acceptable?!
Secondly should Modi be called a competent administrator if he could control the violence and chose to let it happen? It’s a bit bizarre to run on the tag of being able and competent and efficient when one can’t even guarantee basic security in such life-and-death situations!
Not to male light of loss of lives ( and some innocent ones at that), I think comparing Modi to Hitler is like equating a child stealing a pencil at school with a hardened criminal looting the nationa treasure from Fort Knox. One could say all thievery is equal and the same or one could be rational.
I wouldn’t say they’re the same at all but they draw inspiration from the very same ideologies. Now this is different from an Vajpayee who might also be intellectually allied with the same folks but who as a practical matter does not engage in certain actions. So it’s not just the ideological issue here but the proof of actually having done things. Yes Thackeray isn’t Hitler (even if he confessed to admiring him!) but he also never had Hitler’s power. With certain folks you’d rather not take the chance! Would we want certain extremists to be president in the US? This with far greater institutional guarantees and so on. Finally if I kill 10 people just because they belong to a certain ethnic group or caste or religion or what have you could I be considered a pencil thief just because others have murdered thousands using the same biases? I would submit that robbing a pencil and robbing a treasure involve questions of degree but when it’s a question of human life ‘degrees’ don’t work in the same way. There was the Stalinist logic where he infamously once said something along these lines ‘when you kill a 100 people it’s news, when you kill a million it’s just statistics’. Perversely this is the opposite of what we’re debating and in a sense it’s truer. Because the greater the number the more one can rely on an ideological abstraction to justify the ends. It’s like Mao’s Cultural Revolution where millions perished.
In a recent interview given by film script writer Salim Khan to a leading journalist he has an interesting comment: “Does anyone remember who the Chief Minister of Maharashtra was during the Mumbai riots which were no less deadly than the Gujarat riots of 2002? Does anyone recall the name of the chief minister of UP during Maliana and Meerut riots or Bihar CM when the Bhagalpur or Jamshedpur riots under Congress regimes took place? Do we hear the names of earlier chief ministers of Gujarat under whose charge hundreds of riots took place in post-Independence India? Some of these riots were far more deadly than the 2002 outburst. The state used to explode into violence every second month. Does anyone remember who was in charge of Delhi’s security when the 1984 massacre of Sikhs took place in the capital of India?”
Why just distant riots, does anyone remember the fate of hundreds of thousands of Bodos and Muslims who were uprooted from their villages in July 2012 because their homes were torched and destroyed? As of August 2012, over 400,000 people had taken shelter in 270 relief camps, after being displaced from almost 400 villages.
The Assam chief minister delayed deployment of the Army by four days even though a large number of army units were stationed right there in Assam. Thousands are still living under sub-human conditions in refugee camps. Why are those riots already forgotten?
The political discourse in India is so vitiated by Modi phobia that even if you express happiness at the quality of roads in rural Gujarat or 24×7 power supply in the villages and towns of Gujarat, you are branded a “supporter of fascism.” To say a word in appreciation of governance reforms in Gujarat is to commit political hara-kiri – you are forever tainted and tarred with the colour of fascism.
Modi has every time heard the delegation patiently and has taken prompt action wherever required. To one group he had said about 2002 that “yeh mere kaal kaa kalank hai, mujhe ise dhona hai.” His actions have spoken more than words. Modi has expressed his remorse several times in the past during his television interviews and also at his victory speech on the 20th of December 2012, where he said: “Mere haathon se kisi ko bhi takleef pahunchi ho to mein kshama chahta hun“.
As recently as his latest interview given in late June to Reuters, Modi was compassionate and was expressing his pain. But, as usual, his remarks were unnecessarily distorted and maliciously presented by one and all.
Muslims judge Modi by his actions and they will judge any other politician by what they do and not by what they say. The best parameter to judge a leader will be by his deeds. So the whole debate of saying sorry ends here. The consistent and growing electoral support to Modi from Gujarati Muslims shows that Muslims have already moved on.
I would sum up this point in the words of Mahesh Bhatt, who said in 2012 why the Hate Modi closure in not happening.
“Unfortunately, there are some conflict entrepreneurs who live off conflicts. Like, the war industries would cease to exist if human hatred evaporated. They have a tremendous investment in this hatred, so to keep the demon alive is to keep their God alive. They draw sustenance from this hatred. Those who talk of secular values need to go back and study the Mahatma because in the pages of the Mahatma there is no concept of the kshatru (enmity).”
I started with TM side but by the time I heard all the testimonies and read whole two days all the articles, I can see why it is difficult to make a case against GZ. And I must say most of the media is peddling wrong information again and again. Same with Eugene Robinson piece.
Recorded facts on 911 call
1. 911 operator asked to look where TM has gone.
2. GZ was already out of car following TM when the operator asked him to come back and he replied OK.
3. GZ was returning to car when he was accosted by TM, which was recorded on his call to girlfriend.
4. GZ never said black by himself, but was asked by operator. NBC has been sued for editing the tape.
5. There were 4 minutes time difference between GZ lost sight of TM and their confrontation.
It is tragic that confrontation happened and one of them died. But the case was never about race.
ps – Read somewhere else, that GZ took an Afro -American girl to Prom!
It’s true that the evidence revealed a more complicated picture. Hwoever the essential facts still stand. A white guy simply wouldn’t be gunned down in the same way and a black guy doing so would simply never be found not-guilty in a similar circumstance. So again the evidence matters if one thinks the larger structural problem doesn’t exist.
Re: If after 9/11 people started massacring people of subcontinental origin without discriminating among them and Giuliani told people to stand on the sidelines and let people ‘sort out’ the problem would you find it acceptable?!
I think you are comparing apples and gooseberies!
Plus the second part of my response above addresses this question. May be not eloquently as I would like but I have struggled with this in my mind. The 9/11 act was perpetrated by Muslim/Arab terrorists from Middle East and not residents from same community in NY. Post Godhra violence was directed against a community from the same state where Godhra ( not post Godhra ) massacre ( the forgottne one or the ignored one)
happened. The history of Muslims in Gujarat is vastly different from Muslims/Arabs in NY. So, it very obviously a far trickier comparision.
In a zero-sum game (game theory), the riots of 2012 were very important. This in my mind was only way to have the peace/progress/growth/development that Gujarat is having today. As a hindu, I do not view muslims (or for that matter any ‘minority’ community) with hatred. For me, they were all “ex” hindus…converted at some point..forcefully or otherwise and currently have absolute freedom in pursuing their beliefs. For a hindu, god resides in every human being. There are no labels. All practices will ultimately lead to the ultimate realty-supreme reality (Satyam).
However, if people who believe in zero-sum-game–the minorities if you will, are hell bend on abusing my compassionate nature…not for one year…not for decades…but for centuries…then I may also react at some point.
Assuming a zero-sum game, if you keep abusing me, then it is my prerogative to at some point make you know that this is not how it works. Once the other person knows that this is non-zero-sum game, then he/she/they too shift focus. Then “sarve bhavantu sukhinah…” prevails.
“For me, they were all “ex” hindus…converted at some point.”
By that argument the entire Mideast might be ‘ex-Christian’ and ‘ex-Jewish’ and more! Actually the ironic thing about your claim (and there are many who make it) is that ‘Hindu’ as a collective term is really a British invention. Essentially everyone who wasn’t part of a Biblical religion was grouped together this way. The idea that there was always ‘Hindus’ in India at every point is actually factually inaccurate. Because there were a wide variety of beliefs but they did not see the commonality that the word ‘Hindu’ suggests. Why? Because if you followed a belief system whether an animist one or a mythological one (note how all these terms are already part of a colonial history) or whatever you didn’t think the other guy was just the same much as if you’re Muslim you don’t believe a Christian is the very same thing despite all the commonalities. And among many of those belief systems the distinctions were and remain greater than those among Biblical religions. But the British felt it was all nonetheless the same thing. And hence the ‘Hindu’ was born. In ancient times people defined themselves in far more specific ways. Again the oldest recorded civilization in the Indian subcontinent is the Indus Valley one which isn’t ‘Hindu’ in any sense. So on and so forth. Check out on this note Yashpal’s Divya for a superb portrait of an ancient Indian world (of course there was great variation even here). But again this is like other claims where the purity of a race or group is always the result of the intervention of the foreigner. Even in ancient times there is some evidence that the Greeks for instance thought of those living in what is now India a certain way but for them the dividing line was just the Indus river. It had no other connotation.
the kind of a logic that you’re suggesting here has a very simple name — Pakistan! And with due respect to Pakistanis. The greatest proponents of the two-nation theory outside of Pakistan has of course been the Hindutva brigade who’ve always seen Pakistan as a model for how things must be handled in India! They actually have no quarrel with the idea of Pakistan at all!
Pehlay Aurangzeb nay frying pan mai dala; phir YJHD nay fire pay; aab “lootney” kay liyay kuch nahi rahe gaya. will have to wait for Ranjhana on dvd. Meanwhile I am trying to learn the language of devas (aab maat bolna kaunsi nahi toh..) and spiritual texts. This is going full time, so no time for mater-ghusti.🙂
Di is trying to wash away all the ‘sins’…
But as in the ‘agneepath dialogue’—
“Certain ‘sins’ can’t be washed away so easily!!”
Jus joking –suggest u borrow a good ‘stain remover’ from the likes of anu😉
“Hinduism” doesn’t have concept of sin, Mr Apex!!
Therefore there is nothing to wash away, other than ignorance. Also which other “religion” is going to tell you that YOU are god! Most others will con you out of your money and pockets. Where as you find a true guru in Hindu dharma, you are not charged a penny for the knowledge. Where as most others will tell you that you need to be “saved”, ours tell you that you need to be free…can be free…if not in this birth, then the next..the next..the next..the next. Such freedom! No coercion. No blackmail. No guilt feeling. Just Satyam-Jyanam-Anantam.
“Like most Bollywood films, Milkha’s story is supposed to be a saga. But aside from a horrifying experience in childhood and some major triumphs on the track, much of the rest of his history feels like filler held together by a faulty framing device. Would Milkha’s coach really know so many details about the runner’s language-barrier-filled fling with an Australian girl during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics?”
“The film’s copious montages of training runs also tack on needless minutes to the film’s run time…there are only so many times the audience needs to see Milkha running in circles. ”
“There are triumphs, both in front of and behind the camera, but they often get overshadowed by a story that tries to do too much.”
Now for the good things. The perfect capturing with meticulous detailing of Pakistan and India of the pre and post partition era adds to the film. Some of the performances by actors like Pavan Malhotra (who plays Milkha’s coach) and Divya Dutta (who plays Milkha’s doting but helpless sister) are commendable. Pavan looks and breathes the part with the ease of a great actor. Divya’s acting strength is evident in that one scene when she gets re-united with her younger brother, Milkha.
Some of the scenes manage to stay with you, even after you leave the theatre. The climax is thrilling, but only if it hadn’t taken so long to reach there. And subtlety is an art, which still seems to be grossly underrated.
Shooting for inspiring, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra only delivers the exaggerated and devolves the plot into a tangle of ditsy overwrought scenarios in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. And at three hours and ten minutes, the film is as bloated as its protagonist’s pectoral muscles and as emotionally resonant as Sunny Deol’s boxing matches in Apne. If the filmmakers hope to render Milkha Singh the respect that he deserves, they’re going to need movies a lot better than Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to do it. Prasoon Joshi is a gifted writer but a strong director would have been of utility here because ROM here seems to have been preoccupied with only staging mawkish over the top sepia toned flashbacks. Though some of the cinematography is stunning, and practicing gymnasts and torso enthusiasts will love Farhan’s exceptional physique, it’s neither riveting entertainment nor smart filmmaking for the rest of us.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag calls itself a biopic but it never stops feeling like an exaggerated yarn – the creative liberties taken are just ridiculous and expecting anything factually correct goes out the window when Farhan starts singing a country western style Hindi song at a Melbourne bar with an Australian girl. It’s not that obfuscating facts is always bad filmmaking – A Beautiful Mind was a well made film despite paying zero attention to John Nash’s real life. But unlike that film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is shabbily filmed and poorly acted, its lone positive is a thoroughly awful performance by Dilip Tahil whose hamming caricature of Pandit Nehru is the most unintentionally hilarious turn you’ll see this year. Despite Farhan’s charming screen presence and admittedly impressive dedication it’s a losing battle with a plot this clichéd, a script this underwhelming and truly woeful direction that makes you yearn for the assured hand of Shimit Amin.
Mumbai rains is wreaking havoc and when I tried to catch about trauma of the hapless citizens, the news of Pran passing away was on every channel. I think the channel people kept all the clips ready to telecast when the news is announced.
One consolation for his admirers is that he received phalke award while he was alive.
He was the most stylish villain and I always wondered why heroines did not fall for him!
Ya performance of farhan is uneven but Mehra has shown again he is in different league compared to motor mouth like kashyap …dont go by image
Amitabhs mean and devil side in and,the unexplored punjabiness of aamir in rdb,the nri touch of abhishek which never amounted to yashraj or kjos brand of bro cinema and now sardarness of farhan
Even in BMB
The guy who played father of milkha…art mallick the same guy was villain to Arnold Schwarzenegger in TRUE lies and has different image in britain and it was really ironical to see the same British Pakistani mouthing I will not eat beef and will not convert
Divya dutta though good but on same mode as her role in train to Pakistani and casting of moustached prakash raj as secunderabadi hawaldar was perfect
pawab malhotra the guy who broke system as tapori in langde salim pe mat to and black friday is fixing her (though both he and divya where part of d6 to
Like cdi indeed naration begins with failure and ends with highness but cdi never get in to life of mir ranjan negi but every event in track of milkha is beautifully integrated into his role and even jokes on him…though performance of farhan is patchy and editing is lethargic at times but its still a decent watch
Remember rocky 4 and how Stallone gets into enemy country and won over people with his skill…much before Hollywood we had someone that in India and we need is a right and sensible director to frame that
Yet another review that says : Watch it for Farhan’s performance.
“The actor in fact, and his committed performance, is the film’s biggest strength. From his convincing accent and his dialogue delivery to the sheer beast of his physical presence, Farhan is riveting as Milkha. But Joshi’s script, bursting at its seams with too much information that serves little purpose other than to establish Milkha as someone with a wholesome personality, shortchanges Akhtar with the weight of its mawkish melodrama.
Divya Dutta, as Milkha’s doting sister, and the only character in the film who appears to have never aged, hits all the predictable notes. Sonam Kapoor, meanwhile, in a smaller part, as Milkha’s first love, brings a quiet freshness to her scenes.
The film itself is well intentioned and shines a light on an important figure. But it’s too long and too unfocused to leave a lasting impression. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Watch it for Farhan Akhtar’s sincere performance.”
This is what I alwys thought where he will falter and badly… When Pawan Malhotra and he will be in same frame, thn it will be crystal clear that bodies dont help you but Acting…..
In short order, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag starts getting overlaid by too much drama and mawkishness. Farhan Akhtar is consistently likeable but not always believable as the eponymous hero. He does everything he needs to: the liking for duddh (milk) that gets him to start the back-breaking training, his early attraction to a pretty Punjaban (Kapoor), the little flirtations he indulges in (one with a saucy Aussie girl in Melbourne), and then straining every sinew for a win. You can see Akhtar’s hard work, both on his physique, and the way he runs on the track and field and everywhere else, as well as his accent. But the moment you place him alongside a Pawan Malhotra, who plays his Army coach, and who speaks Punjabi just the way it ought to be spoken, guttural, from the heart, that you know that difference between acting a part and the real deal.
Back from the launch of Ship of Theseus at Windsor Manor conducted as adeptly as ever by friend Sumeet Shetty. Very rewarding. Diretor Anand Gandhi is a remarkable mind. The only other filmmaker with a comparable intellectual bandwidth perhaps is Kamal Swarup. ( When I was talking with Anand briefly after the stage event, he did say Kamal was a friend . ) And then looking at the two clips from the film they screened, I could think of this as the only Hindi film with such deep philosophical enquiry. At its core. I got to learn a bit about Anand through the thoughtful Q&A session very thoughtfully put together by Sumeet. He is quite a multi-faceted talent. He has been an artist, sculptor, playright..has written dialogues for some 80 episodes of ‘ Kyun Ki saas Bhi Kabhi Bhau Thi’ and a similar number for’ Khani Ghar Ghar Ki’…all this when he was between nineteen and twenty…then dropped out of college to educate himself. Some of that erudition was revealed when a lady asked him to explain the well-known poster of the film. ( I have ben unsuccessfully trying to make sense of it ever since I fist laid my eyes on it almost a month back.) This is how he explained it: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a parasitoidal fungus that infects ants such as Camponotus leonardi and alters their behavior. The ant falls from the tree where it normally lives, climbs on the stem of a plant, clamps its mandibles on a leaf and dies there, while the fungus consumes its tissues and grows outside it, releasing its spores. The infected ants are popularly known as zombie ants.[ This is a prime example of a parasitoid that alters the behavior of its host in order to ensure its own reproduction. Possessed ants march to their death and the fungus lives inside the exoskeleton. Then he goes on to expound how the discovery f this altered his whole concept of entity, cause and effect, free will and what have you.
Kiran rao let Anand do most of the talking, herself fielding only questions related to the promotion of the film. Someone asked what did she expect to gain from ‘ presenting’ the film on a professional footing, spending so much time and effort. She said she was doing it just as an audience. She had heard about the film, saw it at Naya Film Festival in Mumbai, fell in love with it and felt it needs to be seen by more people. The producer of the film Soham Shah, who also acts in it, was present,. He said he had already recovered what he had invested in the film and his act of investing in the film was in the nature of someone investing ina classic painting. The audience was very mature and did not ask any trivial questions. One gentleman said he had watched ‘ Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘ 3 Idiots’ many times over and . How did the great Aamir Khan and his films like threes influence you ?” Kiran was going to answer when the gentleman said the questin was for Annad. Anand replied that unfortunately he had not seen these two films, and the matter ended there. Fortunately. One younglady asked wht was Aand’s personal views on organ donation, referring to the scene related to the issue in the film. Anand replied, he could se no rational explanationat all for anyone NOT donating his or her organ posthumously so that it could be of use to another human being. Kiran was silent trough this. But just now I read report saying she too had pledged that hr organs be donated after her death.
Any way, back to the film and it looks really brilliant. Thoroughly thought provoking and entertaining. ( I loved the the questioning young boy played by Vinay Shukla. The sage-like character in the film asks him his name. ‘ Charvak’, he replies. ‘Is that what your parents named you? ‘ No, they had named me Madhava. But I had other ideas. ‘ )
The film’s booklet cited lavish praise from filmmakers ranging from Shyam Benegal and Anant Patwardhan to Anurag Kashyap and Shekhar Kapoor. Anurag Kashyap: The most brilliant film to have been made in India in decades. Puts all of us to shame. Shekhar Kapoor: I can finally retiree to the mountains. Shyam Benegal: A rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating.
Of course , the most important achievement of the film has been being chosen among ‘ the 15 films that changed your life’ by Members of the Critics’ Circle, UK . The other 14 films? The 400 Blows, Annie Hall, Raging Bull, The Battle of Algiers, Celine and Julie Go Boating, The Garden, First Men In The Moon, East of Sudan, I Know Where I’m Going, The Lady Eve, Bad Day At Black Rock, If and Hamlet. All these were made before 1990.
So to end, what is Ship of Theseus. It is philosophical question that many including Plato, John Locke, but most famously Plutarch , have addressed: iF a ship had all its parts replaced one by one, would it still be the same ship? What do you think?
Ship of Theseus is releasing, as of now, in 6 cities, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad, on July the 13th.
^^ interesting thoughts utkal uncle…will read fully after seeing the movie.
“And then looking at the two clips from the film they screened”— have u written this review after seeing the whole movie of just the two clips…
Ps: there are jokes that anand Gandhi was out thru the ‘casting couch’ by kiran rao first🙂
The first viewing of a film is so spent on who the people are and what they do and how the plot thickens and how it all ends that the little oddities escape our eyes, the details that exist beyond who did what to whom. When I watched Raanjhanaa again – in its Tamil-dubbed avatar, as Ambikapathy – I caught the red piping on the hero’s orange-and-gold wedding suit and the slab of Amul butter in the heroine’s hand as she walks past a group of college kids singing about America. And I heard, properly, the background score that plays over the portions after an unfortunate scooter is steered into the Ganges. This film is so filled with songs that grasping them and their part in the narrative consumes all your energies the first time around, and it’s only now that I noticed the lingering unease in the piano strains as the hero comes to grip with the bitter reality that his love will never be reciprocated.
Some films surrender everything they have during a first viewing. There’s nothing left to discover when you watch them again. The political portions in Ambikapathy seemed as silly and amateurish as they did while I watched Raanjhanaa, but in the rest of the film, there wasn’t a boring moment. What a strange and complex anti-romance this is, making you want to call up the director the minute it’s over and ask: After the scooter incident, why did Zoya go back to Kundan, knowing how unhinged he can get? What is she doing embracing him after meeting the CM? What, exactly, is running through her mind? Why does Rashmi introduce Kundan to her parents as the one who saved her brother, when all he did was find him by the railway tracks and haul him to a hospital? In my review, I noted that Raanjhanaa was like a Selvaraghavan film, but I forgot to mention the aspect that makes it most like a Selvaraghavan film: it keeps gnawing away at you.
In some films, when we encounter “flaws” or “lapses,” we simply attribute them to bad writing – but here (as in Selvaraghavan’s films), we’re unable to turn away. We know the characters could be better, the scenes could be better, and yet, even amidst these imperfections, we’re compelled to keep staring at the screen. One reason is surely Dhanush, whose performance is magnetic, if not quite revelatory. Just watch him after he’s spit on by an angry Zoya, the mix of emotions than runs across his face. Dhanush has something beyond mere technical mastery, a rawness that reaches out and touches us, like an essay whose ideas are so powerful that the spelling and grammatical mistakes don’t matter. And the fact that he’s now speaking Tamil made the performance stronger, even though his name doesn’t sit well in a Tamil milieu. Inga vaa, Kundan. Nope. Doesn’t sound right. Neither do Zoya and Bindiya. Should the names have been changed, like how Aligarh was changed to Agra, a city more familiar to Tamils?
But niggles apart, there’s little to complain about the Tamilisation. (And oh, it’s amusing to see a “Tamil” film whose hero is an Iyer boy, a turn of events that can come about only through the miracle of dubbing.) I thought I’d be in for something as ludicrous as those Telugu movies dubbed in Hindi that play on TV at hours no one watches TV – but the dubbing is exemplary. The dialogues (by John Mahendran) –and, given the preponderance of music, also the lyrics (Vairamuthu) – aren’t an exercise in Junoon-Tamil, where the word-for-word translation can hurt the ear, but wise approximations, knowing that “Rooh Afza” – a drink more popular in the north – is best rendered as “juice.” Why, though, is the swearing beeped out? Why is the colloquial coarseness of the Hindi slang for one’s posterior allowed to ring out, loud and proud, while the Tamil equivalent has to hide like a coward?
Because of the inbuilt “Tamil”-ness of Raanjhana – its hero; its plot – it was easy to slip into the Tamil-dubbed version, and I wondered, later, if I’d have felt so much at ease with a dubbed version of, say, Lootera. This never happens to me with English films, which, from the Cold War era, for instance, never required a leap of faith. Take Hitchcock’s Topaz. It moves from Copenhagen to the US to Cuba to France, and everyone speaks English with a unique accent. We hear English even in a room filled with Frenchmen, and though we know they should have really been speaking French, the clipped vowels and the softened consonants keep us from questioning this falsity. Had I watched the same film dubbed in Hindi or Tamil, I’d have balked. I think it’s because English is so widely spoken in the West that we have no trouble tolerating its presence in that room filled with Frenchmen. Another reason, I think, is that we have been trained by “dubbed” literature to accept José Arcadio Buendía and Raskolnikov as English-speakers, and maybe if I’d grown up reading these novels in Hindi or Tamil, I’d find the juxtaposition less suspect. Any thoughts?
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Picks Up Well On Day One
Friday 12th July 2013 21.30 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag picked up after a decent start on Friday morning. Collections at multiplexes in most circuits of the country showed a good upward trend from the afternoon.
The morning collections suggested a 5.50-6 crore nett opening day but with late night shows to come the collections may well come out in the 7.50 crore nett region.
The film still has a long way to go to due to the big budget but the healthy pick up on Friday gives the film a good chance especially if it can improve further on Saturday and Sunday. The paid previews on Thursday collected 1 crore nett approx.
Saturday 13th July 2013 10.30 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag picked up from the afternoon onwards to record good first day business of around 8-8.50 crore nett as per early estimates. The film showed improvement with each show with the late shows recording 70-80% occupancies. The business was below the mark at single screens but multiplexes did good business.
The film performed best in Delhi city and East Punjab with very good collections in both areas. The Delhi/UP circuit overall scored big in Delhi city but was the opposite in UP as collections were poor in the state.
The weekend business of the film can go to around 30 crore nett on normal weekend growth. The film also collected 1 crore nett in paid previews on Thursday
The positive audience response for BMB is really heartening. Maybe the patriotic undertones, the biopic about a living legend about whose name students memorised for gk tests, nostalgia all did the trick. Not to underestimate the publicity, farhan’s dedication and his toned body. It is nice to be proved wrong. Javed Akhtar’s son proving something to Salim and Salman Khan. A cheese and chalk comparison is not inappropriate here if we take into account if we take into account the overall value contribution of the two.
Seems I have been proved wrong.The positive audience response for BMB is really heartening. Maybe the patriotic undertones, the biopic about a living legend about whose name students memorised for gk tests, nostalgia all did the trick. Not to underestimate the publicity, farhan’s dedication and his toned body. It is nice to be proved wrong. Javed Akhtar’s son proving something to Salim and Salman Khan. A cheese and chalk comparison is not inappropriate here if we take into account if we take into account the overall value contribution of the two.
Seems patriotic films when combined with sports will rarely fail. Lagaan, Chak de and now BMB. they touch the chord somewhere. The way the audience in different parts of the country react. Seems Delhi and Punjab respond more while Mumbai’s response is average. Partition wreaked more havoc in those parts while mumbai suffered only terrorist attacks.
honestly it is here that the involvement of actors come in handy – if aamir were given this script – he wud have suggested lot of changes and trimming i guess – he may not have agreed also in the first place……..he is a smart guy as he sees the entire product first as an audience and then takes on the script material
B.O. update: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ strong previews, Fri decent start!
By Taran Adarsh, July 12, 2013 – 14:31 IST
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, the much hyped biopic, which opened to rave reviews, had a strong start on Thursday evening, when the paid previews were organized. The morning and noon shows on Friday ranged from good [multiplexes of urban centres] to decent/ordinary [mass belt]. Overall, the start is fairly good, in view of the fact that films of this genre [biopics], generally, go from strength to strength from evening show onwards.
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG enjoys terrific word of mouth and the business is expected to escalate during the course of the day, as per trends.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag collected approximately Rs. 8 cr on Friday. The Thursday previews collected around Rs. 1.05 cr.
One of the best writer in India : MJ Akbar different layered take on BMB
Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s sensitivity and genius is at its nuanced best when, almost surreptitiously, he depicts violence in all its myriad evil, including the many forms which we compartmentalize into “lesser” categories. The tight, ringing slap of a husband across the face of a wife who did not respond to a demand for instant sex in a refugee camp is also madness mixed with hatred. Milkha’s girlfriend is dragged, screaming, into an arranged marriage while he is away, trying to prove that he can succeed in something more than petty crime. When he discovers his loss, his old friend from the mohalla puts it plainly: you know how we Indians treat women. Sonam Kapur, in the role of girlfriend, appears briefly, perhaps spanning fifteen minutes of a film that exceeds 180. Any commercial movie which stars a missing heroine is blessed with calm self-assurance. I will not mention the denouement, except to indicate that it will surprise those who enter the theatre with pre-conceived notions.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Picks Up Strongly Lootera Is Poor
Saturday 13th July 2013 09.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag picked up strongly on day one to record good collections. The film has recorded very good collections in East Punjab and Delhi city. Other circuits were good to average. The pick up means a strong weekend is on the cards if it shows growth on Saturday and Sunday.
Lootera was poor in week one as it collected 23 crore nett. The collections have come down heavily on its 8th day and even a 30 crore nett final total may not be possible. FLOP
Policegiri collected a poor 12.50 crore nett in week one. DISASTER.
Raanjhanaa added around 7.50 crore nett in week three to take its three week total to over 60 crore nett. HIT
Fukrey has collected 35 crore nett approx in four weeks. HIT
Yeah PACIFIC RIM exceeded all expectations….it’s the epic it was meant to be in the truest sense and then some.
PANS LABRYINTH was fantastic, but this is just unforgettable….missed it in 3D unfortunately.
POLICEGIRI on the other hand was a let down. No contextualization of the genre like say SINGHAM or DABANNG. Some funny one liners and Sanju is in top form, but the movie doesn’t work overall despite everything going for it. SAAMY was just brilliant in comparison.
Didn’t mind GHANCHAKKAR, very Guy Ritchie…..fast paced with some good comedy, not as bad as it’s made out to be.
ENEMMY was very OK. BARBARR was a better film, but some good performances and vintage action. The cast did a good job, def one for the single screens and mass belt.
RAANJHAANA I loved. Deserves every bit to be the success it is. Unconventional with some awesome performances and music. Extremely well made.
FUKREY: Fast paced and VERY funny. Loved the tempo of the movie , the dialogues and the comedy. Deserves to be a success.
Yet to catch BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG and SUPERMAN. Really wanna catch PACIFIC RIM again if I get the chance…..like I said, it’s a true blue big screen experience of the highest order….lives up to all expectations and then some. it is HUGE!
Also enjoyed COMMANDO a lot more than expected. Awesome action, awesome setup, and a hilariously over the the top throwback villain. Vidyut Jamwal should have good innings in the long run as a good guy or the villain. Jaideep Ahlawat is infinitely talented too. Their showdown is awesome.
Actually I saw the film last night, but was too exhausted at 2 am to write down my impressions as I usually do immediately after seeing a film to so that I don’t lose the spontaneity of the reaction. Well, let me try recapture the ardour.
To start with, let me confess, reaction to a film for me is a one –zero binary affair. Either it connects with me and engages or it does not. The nuances come later.
Well this one connected . Right from the first frame. The non-linear style of storytelling is that I have been pleading for has been employed here to great effect. It makes a long story more absorbing if you don’t start in the beginning and end in the end. Jodhaa Akbar did not follow this pat and dragged. 3 Idiots did and had us in its grip throughout.
And when a film connects, the length does not deter, in fact just the opposite happens. You want the movie to go on and on. Like a TV serial you are hooked onto. My other pet format is films that are. Apart from being long, are the types where there is no urgency to tell a story, where nothing much happens. Hum Aapke Hain Koun../ and from the recent crop, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani are good examples the genre. When a film is tightly scripted with a great plot it si very satisfying. But you are enjoying it as a story, a piece of fiction. But when a film unfolds ata leisurely pace as if not ina hurry to go anywhere, fools you into thinking that what you are observing is life, and not a film. The near 4-hour length of Lagaan works that way. Of course for this to happen, the characters must connect and the moments must resonate with emotions and humour.
And that happens fabulously in Bhag Milkha Bhag. The early Pakistan portions as well as the early days in the army just charm your pants off with detailing and honesty. The great production values also help. I love the scenes with the young Milkha and his buddy taking off their clothes to wade through the river on the way to school., his little moments with hi sister, his adventures with the boys gang, the scenes with the glass of milk and two raw eggs, the Indian blazer and many other such moments. I also love the sheer physicality of the film. You can touch and feel the rawness of Milkha’s early life. The way he gulps his milk with the eggs, the sheer visceral depiction of the stone piercing his bare feet, or the concreteness of how the young Milkha holds the rope of a refugee camp tent and swivels back to see his long lost sister. There are scenes which apparently have no relevance to the main narrative of Milkha’s life as a runner, and I love that . You know all the dots in your life do not join to form the picture which the world knows you by. The dots connect for sure, but to form many other smaller pictures, that are lesser known. The Pakistan scenes bring a lump to your throat precisely because of this. And also because many are the sense which you don’t often see in partition films..like the classroom scenes with mostly Muslim students and the Sikh teacher. The army scenes win our hearts because it sucks us into another world, the lived in reality of small town lowly recruits and their innocent hearts.
Because these sense work so well, you cringe at the pre-climax scenes where the director goes all mushy, making the young Milkha cry out ‘ maa’ interminably, letting him slip over blood, and trip over a heap of dead bodies. Same with the scene where the grown up Milkha is shown breaking down and crying , again for an inordinately long stretch, inviting teeters from the audience. Why was all this necessary when we had already bought into Milkha’s pain and sense of loss. Why a sledge hammer when a feather would have sufficed?
The theater reverberates with claps at many pints, starting from grown up Milkha’s entry to his first victory that will entail him to the milk and eggs to the bigger victories later. And the athletics portions too work reasonably well. The big challenge here was to how to fashion a rousing narrative out of a runner’s life whose highlight was a race that he lost. The writers solved it nicely by starting out with the race in Rome and ending with the race in Pakistan.
It avoids being a typical sports film with the episodes involving Sonam and the Australian chick. It is good to see a film where the ladies jst disappear as they do in real life and there is no attempt at connecting the dots. The songs are used very well without sticking out. The two dance sequences one in the army camp and the other in the Australia pub are very charming. The only grouse I have si about the background score. If the early portions are accompanied by boring mournful music, searing guitr solos make sudden appearances like when they are travelling to Pakistan, without any coherence or building of mood. My enjoyment of the film was significantly affected by this fact and I sorely missed Rahman here.
And what can one say about the performances? The film is held tohether by the superlative work of everyone starting with Farhna to Divya Dutta, Pavan Mlahotra, the young Milkha, and others. Farhan is of course brilliant and without him this film simply won’t have flown. When I read Aseem Chhabria’s review mention something like , “ He acts with every muscle in his body’. I thought it was cheesy. But after seeing the film I realize it is true. It has always been my grouse that how in Bollywood people think one acts only from neck upwards. Down south from Kamalahasan to Dhanush and everyone in between acct with their whole bodies. And when you are depicting the struggle and triumph of a runner, the body is the canvas on which the strokes have to be painted. And if anyone has done some athletics at any phase of one’s life one can appreciate his aspect better. Farhan brings out the emotions involved in pushing your body to the limit as any professional athlete in the highest league must. Here again the film succeeds in engaging the audience by drawing us into a world that most f us cannot experience… pushing your body to the limit. He is also equally lovable as the ingenuous , small town recruit in the army. After Dhanush in Raanjhanaa, this is the performance the nation will be talking
The plan was to watch Bmb yesterday-missed the show due to ‘tight scheduling’! Have loved Mehras works and have seen Aks thrice.
Want this film to work for Mehra and also for Farhan.
Farhan deserves credit for effort and dedication and gets 15/10 for that. It’s just that certain things can’t be bridged by effort ( as evident from pawan malhotra s role in the same film!). Without seeing the film, the best acting moment for Farhan will remain his one-scene showdown with the naseer in ZNMD wherein he stood ground. Instead of indulging in casting couch and inebriated ‘story hearing sessions’, Farhan has give in his sweat n blood for this role (literally) so u can’t be negative about him for too long.
Box office wise the start is reasonable but I wanted this to be a bid success. The subject has potential–poverty, deprivation, struggle, anger, partition, history, the indo-pak, sports, struggle and the works!! And when u have an A-plus director and setup why should u not expect anything less than a blockbuster (even commercially!).
The casting of Farhan sealed that in the beginning, try replacing him by akshay who would have readily accepted this role due to the prestige element (@ reduced rates most likely) and the box office maybe doubles!!
Anyhow Farhan deserves credit for being the buff milka who loves milk and manages to bluff even discerning viewers like utkal uncle to believing his role as Ben-Kingsley-esque –is no mean feat!
Hope the box office gives Rakesh Mehra his deserved rewards….
Ps: the above is not a ‘review’ since haven’t seen the film..
Apex: ‘try replacing him by akshay who would have readily accepted this role due to the prestige element (@ reduced rates most likely) and the box office maybe doubles!!’
Let me tell you, even the biggest blockbuster of Akshay in any genre will not earn double of what this film with Farhan will earn. And it will earn more than Any of Akshay’s offbeat commercial ventures like Special Chhabbis.
“Let me tell you, even the biggest blockbuster of Akshay in any genre will not earn double of what this film with Farhan will earn.”
–haha utkal uncle –I can appreciate u are excited with Farhan-the-muscle-buff but u get carried away lol
So u mean Bmb will earn the double of rowdy rathore!! Aka about 250 crores plus…????
One needs to respect economics (or one is not left to respect/dismiss anything)…
Anyhow–won’t pull your leg on this.
As said before, if u read my comments carefully haven’t nothing against Mehra and even farhan- want this to work–but there are issues…
Was thinking of checking this toda, but instead thiught I’ve seen the best part already. SELs return to form and a brilliantly put up vintage country music mixed with North Indian vocals with ace guitar…loved it.
Ps: this song has been earned by Margaret Ann!!
Will prefer to film the beach portions today –nice sunny weather..c’mon maggie and we will take oldgold as the photographer cum ‘director’….🙂
apex: Waht is happeni g to your math? I said, ” So u mean Bmb will earn the double of rowdy rathore!! Aka about 250 crores plus…????” No please read what I said, ” even the biggest blockbuster of Akshay in any genre will not earn double of what this film with Farhan will earn.’ Which means BMB will earn more than half of Rowdy Rathore.
Oh so that’s more realistic now eh.
Yeah hope Bmb does more than 80-90 crores -don’t remember now much rowdy did more than an year ago!
Bit it’s not a like to like comparison.
The bigger point is that to cater to the acting yearnings and attempts at recognition of being an ‘actor’ why should a genuine project like Bmb have to pay the price?
There are enuf ZNMD, rock ons for him.
The more relevant comparison would have been —
How would akshay do compared to Farhan in the ‘authenticity’ deptt as milkha
I’m sure akshay would’ve put in effort here..(though not as much as Farhan since its a project bigger than his shoes as actor for Farhan so the effort was understandable)
And finally –all things alike–
How much would Bmb have made with akshay as lead!!!
We are not talking about irrfan khan as in PST here who would have brought in great acting
Farhan isn’t irrfan khan !
So akshay was a reasonable comparison -both authenticity and box office …
We are not here to get points for trying something out just for ‘trying something out of the box!’🙂
I’m now actually lounging in the sun–lemme relax
–whatta life –lovely sun, nice drink, view and ….
We don’t thank god enuf
Sometimes I feel–do we deserve all this…..
U r underestimating a guy who has been around for two decades with no godfather and giving 3-4 release an year unlike sissy aamir who hides after giving a hit or years, who went into hiding after three idiots and after talaash underperformance hasn’t got the guys to sign a film since !!
Yeah akshay has issues but there’s no doubt who is the bigger star –akshay and Farhan
Even on the acting front, farhan isn’t superior…
My basic question— for the CPD –continuous professional develop,ment of farhans own acting career why should Bmb pay the price ?🙂
Anyhow — utkal uncle –lemme pour some -OH into your glass.
Note some DEEP lyrics I’ve penned
Hun kyon time ganwaye
Seedhe baahon mein bhar le
Sarsari kyon badhaye
Meri whiskiye, meri tharriye
Tu menu chadh gayi, meri soniye
Roko naa, toko naa
Ho.. mujhko peene do raj ke
Utkal uncle–I know it’s summers but its given some girls a license to raam around naked !!!
Sundday 14th July 2012 10.30 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milka Bhaag is set for big success as it showed very good growth on Saturday. The Saturday collections will come in at around 10.50 crore nett compared to the 8.50 crore nett on Friday. The film has collected 20 crore nett so far with 1 crore nett coming in paid previews.
The film has not done well at single screens but multiplexes showed very good growth all over. Even multiplexes in UP which were low on Friday showed very good growth. Below are collections from some circuits on Saturday with Friday figures in brackets.
Apex: We are not discussing Akshay’s strdonm vis-a-vios aamir or Frhan. We are discussing what could have Akshay brought to BMB. Zilch is my answrr. Actullay worse. He would have f**ed it up. Why should BMB suffer for the outdated star system of Bollywood?
“Why should BMB suffer for the outdated star system of Bollywood?”– not only BMB but every film has to pay the price.
Bcos ‘stardom’ is m essential part of showbiz!
For eg–3I, eht, Yjhd won’t have reached those figures without ‘star appeal’….
Stardom was /is/will be the bamboo on which the ‘tamboo’ of showbiz is standing on!
U can have sporadic cases wherein people think stardom has been circumvented…
Wait for the krish3, dhoom3 obscenities…
Ps: on a related note–I think u are under estimation the work of the director and the actual subject
The numbers show that Mehras work and the subject is being liked–so the numbers are good inspite of Farhan not due to him maybe..
It seems with Farhan Bmb may reach beyond 80/90/even 100 crores–I hope n pray
The makers SHOULD give 50percent of that to utkal uncle
And Farhan should personally come to thank him for all the support and praise for ‘ the way he sues his muscles’🙂
Apex: Taare aasman par jachte hain, zameen par nahin. Stars are okay in starry pictues. This is not one of them. Or else why coudn’t Bhaga t Singh with ajay. Bhagt singh with Bobby and Sunny and Mangal Pandey with aamir or Asoka with Sharukh couldn’t leave any mark i the box office?
Apex: The numbers show that Mehras work and the subject is being liked–so the numbers are good inspite of Farhan not due to him maybe..
If you scan all the reviews it is the other way around. The only think the find commending in the film is Frahan. There is not a SINGLE review that has liked Mehra’s work and not Frahan’s . The audience likes both. I have sat among the audience, so I know.
There’s one small shot in the promo with an apparently ‘angst-ridden’ milkha with a knife in hand about to attack folks….
The amateurish crap expressions given by Farhan there exposed the lack of skill set in Farhan
Yeah this is not a ‘starry picture’ but one needs someone like younger versions of irrfan, manoj Bajpai etc for this scenario if one needed to explore the ‘acting’ element.
As mentioned above–
Full marx to Farhan for effort/dedication–this performance will beefs his own curriculum vitae as an ‘actor’ more than the film….
Obviously for those who thought saif was mercurial as langda tyagi or mcconaughey was supreme In mud
Will continue to go orgasmic—nobody can/should stop those folks
After all ‘orgasms’ are free & her less (as Satyam will confirm)🙂
“Obviously for those who thought saif was mercurial as langda tyagi or mcconaughey was supreme In mud
Will continue to go orgasmic—nobody can/should stop those folk” And those people who like to carp at anyone successful will continue to crap, who can stop those folks!
Basically people like
Saif As langda tyagi
Mcconaughey in Mud
Affleck in Argo/loads others
Farhan now in milkha
Should be encouraged
Given a pat on their back
But they shouldn’t forget their ‘real space’🙂
Let’s not get carried away…
As for orgasms–well they are free & good for health
Keeps the heart working and other kit in good condition
So carry on folks🙂
Btw utkal uncle –im bored now—im NOT interesxted in farhan beyond a point for obvious reasons (!!)
what are your views on —
Man of steel
Ps: how was sonam and that Aussie gal in milkha (if u noticed them with Farhan around?)
Haven’t seen any of these. Interested only in Before Midnight, but dont have a copy or download. Sonam looks lovelier than ever before. The Australian chick is ultra charming. She can charm the pants off you like she did with Milkha.
“The Australian chick is ultra charming. She can charm the pants off you like she did with Milkha.”
— now that’s the real utkal uncle speaking
I was beginning to get worried eh
Good — finally the ‘Farhan ghost Is off
Btw she looked good in that ‘polka dot’ frock in ?’slow motion agreza’
C’mon Margaret Ann— let’s try that on🙂
Weekend Report: ‘Pacific Rim’ Loses to Family Sequels
by Ray Subers
July 14, 2013
Gauging by Internet hype, Pacific Rim was easily the most-anticipated movie opening this weekend. General audiences weren’t quite as enthusiastic, though, and the monsters vs. robots action movie wound up behind Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2 and animated hit Despicable Me 2.
Overall, the Top 12 earned an estimated $191 million, which is up 24 percent year-over-year.
In first place, Despicable Me 2 fell 46 percent to an estimated $44.8 million this weekend. That’s generally in line with last month’s Monsters University, though the drop is a bit steeper than that of the first Despicable Me (42 percent). Through 12 days, Despicable Me 2 has earned $229.2 million, and will pass the first movie’s $251.5 million total by Friday. Based on its current trajectory, it should wind up being the Summer’s second-highest-grossing movie with around $350 million.
In second place, comedy sequel Grown Ups 2 opened to an estimated $42.5 million from 3,491 locations. That’s slightly better than the first Grown Ups, which took in $40.5 million over its first weekend in 2010. It’s also the second-highest live-action debut in star Adam Sandler’s 20-year career (first place belongs to The Longest Yard with $47.6 million). Finally, it’s the top weekend for a comedy so far this year ahead of The Hangover Part III ($41.7 million).
After poor performances from Jack and Jill ($74.1 million) and That’s My Boy ($36.9 million), many speculated that audiences were tiring of Adam Sandler’s shtick. That may be the case, though Grown Ups 2’s opening suggests that audiences were simply rejecting off-brand, misguided efforts from Sandler, not Sandler himself. The marketing didn’t rest on Sandler alone, though: it made clear that most of the gang was coming back from the original, and had a few stand-out gags as well (the deer pee and cliff jump scenes may be crude, but they’re also very memorable). Exit polling indicated that the audience was 53 percent female and 54 percent under the age of 25, which suggests that this was a draw among family audiences.
While Grown Ups 2 opened higher than the first movie, it’s unlikely to match that movie’s $162 million total. It received a poor “B” CinemaScore—in line with Jack and Jill—and isn’t going to get the holiday boost that the first Grown Ups had over the Fourth of July weekend. Still, Grown Ups 2 is well-positioned for a final gross of at least $120 million.
Playing at 3,275 theaters, Pacific Rim debuted to an estimated $38.3 million this weekend. That’s the highest opening ever for director Guillermo Del Toro ahead of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which took in $34.5 million on the same weekend in 2008. Still, it’s not a particularly strong start: among recent non-sequel sci-fi, it’s about on par with Oblivion ($37 million), and way off from World War Z ($66.4 million).
The movie performed particularly well in IMAX, which accounted for $7.9 million (19 percent) of the opening. Its 50 percent 3D share was the highest so far this Summer, though that’s mainly a statement on how weak 3D has been at the domestic box office lately.
Going in to the weekend, some tracking suggested Pacific Rim was in for a truly terrible start (below $30 million). While it wound up opening noticeably better than that, its $38.3 million debut is still a little disappointing. Because director Guillermo Del Toro isn’t a mainstream selling point, and because the movie was entirely free of true movie stars, Warner Bros. marketing made the primary selling point the monsters vs. robots action. While that proved very appealing to a niche “fan boy” audience, the movie remained inaccessible to general moviegoers. Without their support, there’s only so high a movie can go on opening weekend.
As expected, the audience skewed younger (67 percent under the age of 35) and male (61 percent). It received a good “A-” CinemaScore; combine that with decent reviews, and it’s likely that Pacific Rim has solid holds over the next few weeks. Still, it’s unlikely that the movie winds up much higher than $110 million, which means that its ultimate success will be almost entirely dependent on international performance.
In its third weekend, The Heat fell 44 percent to an estimated $14 million. To date, the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy movie has earned $112.4 million, and is on pace to be the highest-grossing comedy of the Summer with over $150 million.
After a disappointing start over the Fourth of July weekend, The Lone Ranger plummeted 62 percent to an estimated $11.1 million. In comparison, Johnny Depp’s Public Enemies—also a poorly-received Independence Day opener—only dipped 45 percent at the same point. The mega-budget Western has now earned $71.1 million, and will likely fall just short of reaching $100 million total.
Monsters University added $10.6 million this weekend for a new total of $237.8 million. It’s now ahead of Pixar’s last movie Brave ($237.3 million), and is also currently the third-highest-grossing movie of 2013 (though Despicable Me 2 will take that spot within the week).
Surprise hit World War Z fell 49 percent to an estimated $9.4 million this weekend. The movie has grossed $177.1 million total, which puts it just ahead of Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($176.8 million).
In its second weekend, The Way, Way Back expanded to 79 locations and earned an estimated $1.11 million. The Fox Searchlight comedy/drama expands in to over 250 locations next weekend before making a nationwide push on July 26th.
Fruitvale Station opened at seven locations this weekend and scored a very impressive $377,000 (a strong per-theater average over $53,000). Expansion plans aren’t clear, though with great initial figures and strong reviews it will likely make its way in to moderate release by early August.
Despicable Me 2 led the overseas box office this weekend with an estimated $55.5 million. To date, it’s earned $243.2 million, which Universal Pictures reports is twice as high as the first movie across the same markets. By the end of the week, it should pass that movie’s $293 million total, and remains on course for a final tally well over $400 million.
Coinciding with its domestic debut, Pacific Rim opened in 38 foreign markets and took in an estimated $53 million. According to Warner Bros., those territories represent approximately 50 percent of the international marketplace.
The movie got off to very strong starts in South Korea ($9.6 million), Russia ($9.3 million) and Mexico ($5.3 million). It was much less impressive in the U.K. ($3.2 million) and Australia ($2.6 million). It still has openings in China, Japan, France, Germany, Spain and Brazil on the way; it should do particularly well in China and Japan, and $300 million overseas looks like it could be reachable.
Playing in 86 percent of the international marketplace, Monsters University added $30.2 million for a total of $236.4 million. It had fine openings in the U.K. ($5.3 million) and France ($3.7 million), though neither were real stand-outs.
World War Z continued its strong run with an estimated $22.4 million this weekend. To date, its earned $246 million overseas; adding in the domestic grosses, it’s now banked over $400 million worldwide.
After Earth opened to an estimated $11.6 million in China this weekend ($13.7 million across all its markets). This helped the Will Smith/Jaden Smith sci-fi disappointment pass $200 million worldwide.
Man of Steel added $13.3 million this weekend, just under half of which came from a very good $5.65 million start in Brazil. So far, it’s grossed $338.2 million overseas, and with a Japan opening at the end of August it could still make a push towards $400 million.
In 35 percent of overseas markets, The Lone Ranger earned $12.7 million this weekend. Its only major opening was in Brazil, where it took in $1.7 million. Its total so far is $48 million, and it still has six big markets left to open.
BMB seems to be enjoying a surprisingly good WOM and a domestic gross north of 90 crores seems quite.
US weekend was 670k from 140 locations. Thats a solid start.
Overall, ROM h as a winner on his hand and has to be given a lot of credit for this one. Speaking for myself, I was quite skeptical till last week about its BO potential but am happy to be proven wrong. Wont comment on Farhan without seeing the film but he DOES deserve quite a bit of credit as well!
Some critics praised it, saying the synergy in the story is subliminal and Farhan has got so well under the skin of the Milkha’s character that it seems he occupies the champion’s mind, body and soul. Others find it too long, and criticised it saying the director has reduced the human saga to a melodramatic and over-wrought tale.
But it seems that critics’ ratings have not influenced the viewers judgement.
Sanjay Ghai from Mukta Arts said: “BMB is doing extraordinary business in Delhi. It has collected around Rs.5 crore in two days, which is outstanding.”
He added, “Advance booking is on full swing and there are hardly any tickets available for Sunday.” Lyricist Prasoon Joshi scripted the film, which collected an impressive Rs.8.5 crore on its opening day.
Rajasthan-based Sunil Bhansal of Yashraj Jai Pictures Pvt. Ltd., sees a bright prospect for the film and says if footfalls don’t dip on Monday, it may join the Rs.100-crore club.
“So far, the collections are going strong and if the film doesn’t dip on Monday and goes steadily, then it may be in the Rs.100-crore club.”
There are 3 bollywood movies which captured the fancy of audience in many parts of the country for certain reasons. Inspite of critics thumbing them down. Jai Santoshi Maa, Gadar Ek Prem Katha and now maybe BMB. Nationalistic flavour, religion maybe playing some part.
The film picked up on Friday and there was no looking back as collections got stronger over the weekend. The film is a big hit and time will tell how big. The Delhi/Punjab area has had a fantastic weekend due to the local flavour. The collections in these two areas are only second to Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani this year.
“Prakash Raj who has been receiving rave reviews for his role in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Apparently the actor hasn’t taken his fee from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for the film. He loved the script so much that he even told Mehra he could offer him money to star in the film.” Aab toh dekhni padegi.
Here’s how the film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has been ripped apart by the so-called critics who love indulging in intellectual self-pleasure, believing that that contemporary classics are all about vintage cars, Bengali sarees and a deaf-mute chaplinistic character, the plagiarism and wafer-thin plot notwithstanding. So here’s what the film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has been accused of:
“A yawnathon of a movie on marathon”
There are some films that are meant to be sipped, not gulped, experienced not watched, indulged in, not restrained from. Brevity isn’t an option for a film like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, for it’s a story replete with ups and downs and demands your time and undivided attention to savour the multiple layers of the character’s life and the women in his life.
Farhan Akhtar breathes life into the character of Milkha Singh, thanks to his dedication and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s direction. The actor and director surely deserve every accolade remotely connected to acting and direction. The other actor who leaves you awestruck is Pawan Malhotra. It’s really sad that such actors seldom get accolades they deserve. Right from ‘Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro’ to ‘Black Friday’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Delhi 6’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, Pawan Malhotra has proved time and again that he is one of the finest actors we can ever have. Binod Pradhan captures the sepia-toned Pakistan with equal ease as he does the race tracks. The refugee camp at an old fort in Delhi reminds of the 1986 film, ‘Genesis’ directed by Mrinal Sen, starring Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, and Shabana Azmi.
“Too filmy and melodramatic”
There’s a scene in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, where Anupam Kher says, “Zara kuch bol do, to aaj kal ke generations ko lecture lagne lagta hai” In the same sense, whenever a director decides to delve into the emotional outbursts, especially character artists, the critics are quick to quip with a ‘too melodramatic’ retort. If the director chooses to do away with such scenes, he is lauded for his ability to practice restraint and spare the audience from melodrama.
Come to think of it, how would an elder sister react if she finds her lost brother after a gruesome massacre during partition? What’s wrong in shedding tears of joy when the same brother gifts her with golden earrings hidden in a blazer he has earned from the Indian government? How else would a man react after tracing his roots and being reminded of a mass massacre on the same soil he is kneeling on? Why wouldn’t a guy shed tears on finding that his childhood friend survived the killing and resides in the same village now in Pakistan?
There is a scene where Divya Dutta (in her career-best performance) is slapped by her husband and forced to have sex. This entire scene is shown, yet not shown in the film and still succeeds in creating a lump-in-throat moment. I don’t want to make this a spoiler by describing the scene, for this is a ‘sharing of experience’ and not a review or screenplay (both mean the same in the so-called reviews these days).
A Pakistani athlete being defeated by an Indian is bound to look ‘Gadar-like’. What did you expect the director to show? The Pakistani athlete had a heart of gold and gave up the gold as a deliberate gesture of ‘Hindi-Paki bhai bhai’? Unlike what we’ve seen in Gadar and Border, there is no Pakistan-bashing in the film. The only thing highlighted about the Pakistani athlete and his coach is their cockiness and over confidence, which perhaps could have been done away with. It’s quite amusing that the word, ‘Pakistan’ has been edited out in the scene, ‘Sir mein Pakistan nahin jaaunga’. One fails to understand why a scene repeatedly shown in trailer is asked to be omitted by our Censors, especially when the entire film’s narration is based upon that single line.
“Biopics are dramatized and somewhat exaggerated”
First and foremost, if biopics chose to stick what had exactly happened, they’d have ended up being a documentary film and certainly not a commercial film (all films are commercial for god’s sake, nobody makes films to lose their money, be it 10 lakhs or 100 crores. So please stop glorying low-budget films and pooh-poohing the 100-crore club – both genres have their audience). Do you believe that the background score, ‘Gurubhai Gurubhai aavya chhe’ was actually played each time Gurukant Desai, a character based on Dhirubhai Ambani emerged triumphant?
Furthermore, how can one tell that while narrating his/her story, the person is telling the truth or just making it up so that his life seems more colourful? Who knows Milkha Singh really slept with a woman in Australia? Did Milkha Singh actually write messages (SMSes of that era) to his beloved (played by Sonam Kapoor who makes her presence felt in such small role) in a rubber ball and threw it at her place? Not every fact is documented and verified before including in a screenplay, hence the disclaimer line, ‘Based on a true story’.
Such scenes can only be created when a writer like Prasoon Joshi is onboard as a screenplay writer and lyricist. Without dramatization and exaggeration, a biopic will look as dull as a tackily executed PowerPoint presentation on a company’s founder with a heavy baritone voiceover (you need to be a copywriter to understand how bad it is). The obvious criticism to follow is about focusing on Farhan Akhtar’s muscles than his sprinting abilities. Oh really? Will you buy the idea of a skinny guy making an international record?
“Slow motion is used and abused”
An injured athlete attempts to run and ends up winning the race with his undone bandage. This one line scene wouldn’t have been able to elicit responses as eloquent as a loud ‘gosh!’ or a silent curled lipped sigh in the auditorium, had it been shot using a crisply cut wide-angled shot or a pan-shot (come on, we all know what it is and am not being too ‘technical’ for you). Some scenes need to hold on to a certain moment so as to amplify it and the movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag does it quite often, which can be the only grouse against it. As for the loud background score, let’s not forget that the first victory of Milkha Singh before the interval is a silent one. Like Farhan’s character would like to put it, ‘Slow motion mein le chal, tu kyu time gavaaye!”
To sum it up, if you wish to read the actual review of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, just scroll down and read the readers’ comments on the news websites. A film of such caliber shouldn’t garner a meager 2.5-3 star-rating, while indulgent and mediocre films bags 4-star ratings. Not done, sir.
Tuesday 16th July 2012 11.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Lootera had a heavy fall in its second weeeknd as it collected around 2.75 crore nett compared to the 15.75 crore nett in its first weeeknd. A drop of 82.5%.
The film has collected 26 crore nett in ten days. The second week collections will be around 4 crore nett giving it a two week total of 27.25 crore nett and a lifetime finish around the 28.50 crore nett range.
The film has performed poorly all over with West Bengal giving better collections than the other circuits in India.
there’s an expectations gap here. I often used to make this point with some of the films Abhishek did or with a couple of Aamir’s films but this is another example along those lines. This is more like an offbeat film (haven’t seen it yet), it’s not Barfi where you have a pretty straightforward narrative disguised as ‘different’ or even TZP where an unusual subject is nonetheless handled in a format that can appeal to everyone. With certain films the handling itself is the ‘issue’ (with respect to audiences). So Udaan for an excellent film but adding stars in it wouldn’t have made it a huge success. Similarly lootera had a strong marketing campaign, it used stars and so on but the director (and this is a credit to him) wasn’t really changing his entire film because of this. The film got a higher profile but it was still a small offbeat film. Even in the West these kinds of films aren’t major grossers. Not by a long stretch. There’s nothing very odd about Lootera’s gross. Would be surprising if the film had done more! So whether it’s D6 or Dhobi Ghaat or whatever these films can get decent or better or even good initials based on various factors but they’re not regular films. 90% of the audience cannot ‘connect’ with them (to use the common parlance in these matters) but this doesn’t mean there are problems with these films. Or there might be those problems at some level but they’re not really relevant to the box office of those films. Much as problems in Bhaag.. will not exactly affect the film’s box office because it is a certain ‘kind’ of narrative. And again we see this in Hollywood all the time as well. The most interesting films are rarely ever the most successful ones, even at the film festival end of the equation. Bela Tarr doesn’t usually ‘work’ the way Almodovar does! But much like that rare moment of the 70s spearheaded by Salim-Javed (but also the middle cinema of that age) when great scripts were improbably married to box office success in the West a similar moment occurred in the 60s where important ‘foreign’ films from very many parts of the world created not just a critical but also a box office impact. Or on the other side of the equation a number of Hollywood films in the 70s that are now revered often underperformed or didn’t do well in absolute terms.
Satyam: Agreed with the major points apart from this-
“it’s not Barfi where you have a pretty straightforward narrative disguised as ‘different’”-
Now i get what you are trying to say that Barfi is hardly like, say a Ghanchakkar, but I don’t see it being any more mainstream than Lootera- the latter, very clearly shoehorned the O’Henry angle in order to make it more palatable for the masses. I also found Motwane’s film inferior to Barfii (and markedly poorer than Udaan)
Btw what did you think of Lootera? Have you posted your views already
I haven’t seen Lootera but let’s say I can make an educated guess about it. A good example (though I don’t like the film) is Raincoat. This isn’t he sort of film that would work in any significant way in any universe. It’s appeal is just too limited for a variety of reasons. On Barfi though I essentially see it as a romantic comedy with the difference being Ranbir’s inability to use his voice. But this doesn’t prevent him from doing everything else or using his body and so forth. Along the same lines it’s a far bigger blow to a star when he has to do Guzaarish because here everything that the audience most likes to see Hrithik doing he cannot (barring that superb magic sequence). Even otherwise a film with a guy in bed throughout unable to move doesn’t allow for the kinds of situations that Barfi does. This is where it’s not enough to simply call a film ‘different’. Yes there are films that are ‘different’ inasmuch as they don’t fall into one obvious commercial genre or another. But there is a ‘different’ which is simply meant for a limited audience. Which for a variety of reasons can never be a universal film. So again there’s a big difference between TZP and DHobi Ghaat. The latter is genuinely offbeat and art-house. The former is an unusual subject but it’s tackled in ways that are very mainstream, which is to say it exploits a whole set of tropes that are not unusual for films involving child protagonists. I say this as someone who likes the film a lot. Now sometimes these films might be marketed the wrong way, that’s a different problem. Even within very commercial cinema some of the more interesting films don’t work or work less than one expects because they’re not on the right side of their audiences for one reason or another. If you make Khakee you’re not going to get a blockbuster with the multiplex audience. The film might work at some level but not relative to its merits. And so when people celebrate dark films for working they’re either not comparing like for like or the film isn’t dark enough to begin with. Again we saw with Talaash the very same thing. Aamir’s enormous prestige nonetheless couldn’t take it to 100. I still think the film did well all things considered but the problem once again is that for this subject there aren’t very many takers. Most people didn’t dislike the film but not many are interested in something like this. Aamir got the initial but he couldn’t do more with this. So these examples keep coming up again and again. The problem is that within the Bombay media a discourse is dominant about a successful film being ‘right’ one way or the other and a flop being ‘wrong’ in the same sense. But films work or fail for all kinds of reasons. Even commercial cinema has not just dominant genres in any given age but also a set of ideological concerns. An age in which YJHD is such a huge success isn’t exactly waiting for Deewar! Notice how even Rockstar with so much else going for it otherwise didn’t do half the business YJHD did.
“The problem is that within the Bombay media a discourse is dominant about a successful film being ‘right’ one way or the other and a flop being ‘wrong’ in the same sense. ” And in Satyam’s world it is the other way round. If a film is successful it is not ‘right’, and if it is not so successful, then it must be having some real deep imports. ( eg Guzaarish, Raavan, Delhi 6). Why cant it be that , Udaan, Guzaarish, Raavan, Delhi 6, Saawariya..none of them made a lot of money. But only Udaan out of these was a good film?
UtkL, you are doing a great disservice to yourself by making this point. You know it is not true. One may disagree with Satyam is saying but the simplistic view you have wxpressed above belies your obvious intelligence.
that’s ridiculous and no one who has bothered to read my comments could come to such a conclusion. Beyond this it’s even bad faith to make such a claim since I have spent so long arguing for Salim-Javed’s scripts (for example), among the most successful in any age. But your Udaan example perfectly illustrates what I’ve been talking about. The others were big projects expected to do well, at least at a minimal level. With Udaan there was no such expectation. As for whether Udaan might have been the only ‘good’ film here how would you know? You could put a star in Udaan, it would do somewhat better but still be deemed a failure and you’d put it in that other group! But in any case how would you know? Some of those other films got good reviews too. Guzaarish got many good ones. It was hardly getting mauled like Saawariya or Raavan. And once again whether one film is better than another is more of a ‘micro’ argument. My larger point is that the whole field of critical and audience response in Bombay is structured a certain way. The latter can be excused since audiences all over the world respond to a certain kind of cinema that has an instant emotional appeal and that you would call ‘connection’. There are very many good films in this category too. However if certain kinds of films cannot be praised almost as a matter of definition there is a problem. Much as the box office is explicitly or implicitly always an important component in these discussions. But no serious US reviewer for instance would ever review a film based on those considerations. It’s often quite the opposite. Despite an authentic film culture having been around for ages there are still films that were treated unkindly over the ages. Over time opinions changed.
The problem you characteristically exhibit is the total inability to understand that there isn’t one kind of opinion on a work set in stone for all time. This doesn’t of course mean ‘anything goes’. But getting back to Udaan how do you know this is ‘better’ than those other films? Much as when you claim to ‘connect’ with a film and use this as the ultimate standard how do you know you’re not usually part of a majority that makes a film successful? I don’t mean this in an insulting way (because I love commercial cinema as much as anyone else) but how do you know? Since suspiciously you like what is successful at some level or the other 99% of the time. In other words you don’t like every successful but you also never like a film that has been ‘successful’ in some important sense whether at the box office or at the critical level or both. Usually successful films in India don’t get bad reviews while those like Udaan get good ones with no burden of box office success. Even here you like a film like Udaan where critical opinion was undivided. Even at this level you never love a work that not many critics liked. So my question again is: how do you know?
It’s certainly to illegitimate to only be able to like films with an instant emotional resonance but that certainly cannot be the only definition of worthwhile cinema. Otherwise an encyclopedic list of what’s valued would go out the window. And it’s useless to now say one likes many of those films because given one’s tendencies in the present one would have been part of those who rejected those very films in an earlier age!
“If a film is successful it is not ‘right’, and if it is not so successful, then it must be having some real deep imports….”🙂 Right on the money! lot of critics too think this way. I ‘agree’ in spirit for Satyam as far as Abhi/D6 is concerned. 😀
rajen1: ‘One may disagree with Satyam is saying but the simplistic view you have wxpressed above belies your obvious intelligence.” I thought mine was the less simplistic view: That all successful films are not bad, and not all unsuccessful films are good.
Satyam: “An age in which YJHD is such a huge success isn’t exactly waiting for Deewar! ” Why do you want a Deewar now? That is done and gone! Why not celebrate Gangs of Wasseypur or Ship of Theseus? Why get stuck up on the past? The Golden Age is NOW! Not in the 90s, 70s or 50s!
Possibly because it is not a tenth of the film Deewar is! I’m very serious.
But you’re larger claim is a bit like saying ‘why get stuck up on Mozart since there are musicians working today’? Or scratch that. You’re quite like to repeat the claim that Rahman is another Mozart! To repeat my older example you’re like the guy at the blackjack table who keeps doubling and tripling his bets even when he’s losing, eventually walks home with nothing and still thinks he has somehow won the day!
I still think there is no Indian epic like the Mahabharata. I might well be stuck in the past!
Satyam: ‘how do you know you’re not usually part of a majority that makes a film successful?’ I don’t. And I don’t care one way or the other. If hundred others like the film that I like that does not make me uneasy. And not if not many like what I like. Neither Cocktail or Rockstar were BO blockbusters, or got 4 star ratings. But the films gave me a great deal. And that’s what i care about.
“Even at this level you never love a work that not many critics liked.” There are many. ‘ No Smoking’. ” Dhobi Ghat’. ‘ Raincoat’.
And my response to successful films is also varied. Loved Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, adored Raanjhanaa, hated Jab Tak Hai Jaan, =was bored by Don1, could just about tolerate Don 2. So it has no relation either to BO or critical success. To be honest, I dont think much of any Indian critic apart from Baradwaj Rangan, and I respect the opinion of the audinces a wee bit more. That does not translate to : More money it makes the better the film. But what it means is when it comes to Gnachkkar, the awful reviews don’t deter me, I know the 31cr first week means there is something good in it, even it collapses the next week. With Lootera it is the opposite. The 4 star ratings don’t enthuse me. The 28 cr first week and 3 cr 2nd weekend means there is something missing. Mind you I am not expecting it to be a 50 cr opener. But a wee bit more would have convinced me to check it out. And the kind of response also matter. when they say it is a beautiful film, it leaves me cold. If they talk about characters or issues, or the philosophy showcased in the film ,then I ma interested.) I will check it out. But ater Raanjhana, Bhag Milkha Bhag and Ghanchakkar.
” It’s certainly to illegitimate to only be able to like films with an instant emotional resonance..”, you say. Out of the three words, only one word is critical : ‘ connection’. It need not be ‘ instant’ or ‘ emotional’, but yes , if it does not connect, it is a dud. ‘ My Dinner with Andre’ is neither ‘ instant’ nor’ emotional’. nor is Goopy Gyne’, or The Stalker, or Dial M For Murder, but they connect, they engage, they make you care… and they entertain…the only reason for going to the movies.
But you don’t have a definition of ‘connect’. You’re more or less ‘I liked the film’. Well that’s obvious isn’t it? But that’s not what I’m disputing. Unless you have a coherent set of idea behind the word ‘connect’ and which you don’t as far as I can tell you shouldn’t use that word as crutch because it suggests something objective. And you make many statements along these lines. Why not just say ‘I like these films, they connected with me but this does not mean anything for anyone else’! Even here you do the very same. The problem here is: there are very many great films that did not connect with people when they first released. Sometimes they were liked by critics, sometimes not. There is no general rule of a worthwhile film always connecting with some important group. Anyway who argues against this simply isn’t aware of film history. My approach is a more modest one. I have a certain set of concerns (which doesn’t prevent me from valuing a superior film achievement even when I find it problematic) that define my interests but I don’t pretend this is some neutral category. And so when I praise say Salim-Javed’s scripts I like their politics but I don’t praise them only for this reason but for the overall achievement in each case. Similarly I value very highly very many works (not just in cinema) where I completely dislike the ideology on display and so forth. When I praise Raavan I just hope to make a coherent case for why I like it. The same for Kadal. If others don’t that’s fine but I am free to point things out if I consider those dissents incoherent if not dishonest. Similarly I have a problem if others refuse to accept that there could be something of value in Raavan just because critics and/or audiences dismiss it.
SAtyam: “You’re quite like to repeat the claim that Rahman is another Mozart! ” Hundred percent. And I am quite sure, 400 years from now Rahman will be talked of the same way as Mozart is talked of today. just as god-knows-what’s-his-name was talked of during the time of Mozart.
And while there maybe no ‘ Indian’ epic like Mahabharata, Shakespeare will do just fine for me. Or Dostoevsky. Compared to Mahabharata Shakespeare or Dostoevsky is ‘present’ for me. ! Or maybe not. But then how many works of art are Mahabharata?
Shakespeare is more than 400 years old. That’s your present?! Dostoevsky is a century and a half roughly. And here you were objecting to Deewar which is only from 1975!
On Rahman excuse me for saying this but no one who knew something about music would say this. but let me borrow from Badiou who says (and most agree with him on this central point) that there is no brand of Western ‘popular’ music that is not entirely derived from classical forms barring jazz. In other words there is no ‘new’ in popular music no matter how important it might seem in the present. Much as we don’t listen to popular forms of music famous in the Europe of the 19th century. We listen to the great names. Great film composers anywhere in the world (and I worship many of them) are not the equals of those great names in ‘formal’ music. Sometimes the music might still be remembered. There are folk ballads and so forth centuries old but still known in the West. No one compares them to Mozart! Much as many hugely popular authors in 19th century England are not even known anymore. Rahman is a stunning talent but he’d be the first to be shocked at your comparison. And not just because of modesty! You’re taking that ‘Mozart of Madras’ label a bit too seriously!
Apex: Relax. what is a blog site for if we cannot discuss ideas? In the boarding school dorm, I used to argue with my next-bed friend about the superiority of Bollywood films over Hollywood films till wee hours of the night. Talking of which i realize it is past 3 and i go to work at 9.
On a slightly ore serious note–
There’s a difference between fact, perception, assumption,
Personal taste & agenda…
The above problems /heated debates happen when the elements I mentioned above are mixed up…
That’s why –I have a much more ‘simplified’ criteria even on judging films…
Good or bad film –that’s it.
Successful or unsuccessful film (box office wise)
And finally -the most important
Gripping/entertaining or not
The rest is intellectual masturbation which is good for a collective hobby (but nothing more…)
Ps: @ utkal uncle–“Talking of which i realize it is past 3 and i go to work at 9”— hmmm btw is utkal aunty not angry at u –she may be worried u maybe chatting online with some hot girls & here u r busy with only Satyam!!!
The past should always be remembered and respected as ‘heritage’, but ‘nostalgia’ & ‘respect’ shouldn’t be allowed to become ‘shackles’…
It IS a FACT that most people/films/products/public figures/writers etc who are now ‘worshipped’ were considered less than ordinary during their own lifetime
The wheels of time, the agenda and parallax of memory-based recollection changes perceptions.
Fr eg So how rahman is perceived now want be the same as decades later –maybe better or worse-but we can’t be confident.
As for Gangs of Wasseypur–I don’t wanna start again….
Things happen when I get into the GoW Mood🙂
Nostalgia only arises when one isn’t rigorous enough about why one likes certain things and not others. Plenty that was ordinary was worshipped later, this is true but the reverse is equally true. History offers no guarantee but there are certain ground rules. For example a lot of serious composers see ups and downs in their critical fortunes but no one starts confusing them with popular music! Of course and to quote Badiou again there might not be such a thing as popular music inasmuch as this implies a whole separate tradition or branch. Popular music is simply the dilution of classic forms to suit popular tastes. Which doesn’t mean it cannot be very good on its own right but it begins its ambitions with derivation.
The problem with learning /studying science is that the ‘questioning spirit’ gets ingrained and doesn’t know when to ‘switch off’.
Just like ‘nostalgia’, attempts at ‘rationalisation’ can be the undoing ironically in certain situations. Music is not the only such entity which shouldn’t be assessed by the brain but by the instincts.
It’s easier to learn ‘sciences’–
It’s much more difficult to ‘unlearn’ it when required.
Ps: that’s why we sometimes we get ‘perennially serious’ folks-which is good on paper technically but in real life, can be very counterproductive.
Ps2: trying to create a method or ‘system’ to music (like many other things) is a sign of ignorance (& innocence)—
This is NOT meant to be patronising or arrogant, & music is just one small example of thos malaise…
^^that reminds me—- along with this ‘rationalism’ comes hyperawareness of ‘practicalities’.
So u have ‘uber-practical’ goal-directed humanoids living ‘goal directed /evidence-based lives!’
For eg the psychiatrist mr/ ms anu here — who came to treat some here like me but who ended up in the treatment ward as a patient him/herself🙂
Ps: so Satyam — there’s a learning point there of knowing where to stop intellectualisation ….
Once a variable goes above this threshold, the assessment changes/should change, the rules change and ideally those who assess should also change!
This is not a ‘physical verifiable measurable’ threshold. Repetition and frequency does matter (as in rahmans case)
But in this stratosphere, it’s not essential to have reconfirmation.
For eg in the context of recent hindi films–haven’t even seen all of kashyaps works —
Bit sometimes a singular moment of brilliance
A sporadic episode of greatness
Seals it–since it has crossed the critical threshold by a margin.
( It may not be for others) but GoW1 was one such example for me..
“Popular music is simply the dilution of classic forms to suit popular tastes. ”
On the other hand classical music can be often popular music that exhibits certain qualities that are likely to last and offers aesthetic pleasure of high caliber. That applies to other art forms as well.
Many ragas like ‘ Pahadi’ are born from folk tunes and codified to a classical form . So to are dances like Bhartanatyam and Odissi, which has taken elements of temple dance and dances of popular theater.
It applies to other art forms as well. Shakespeare was popular theater, Dickensian and Balzac were popular writing.
Writing that succeeds at a popular level and writing that is popular because it is ordinary are two very different things. Much as when a Ray movie worked at the box office that wasn’t because he suddenly started making commercial films like everyone else!
And of course high art can often incorporate popular elements. But it is this ultimate ‘form’ that matters. So in your Pahadi raga example using folk music to create a new classical form is very different from the folk music itself becoming a classical form just by the passage of time. The latter never happens. Dvorak similarly used Eastern folk elements but that is different from the thing itself suddenly being elevated to that status. Film composers no matter how great within their field are always examples of the latter and never of the former. They don’t create new forms. Nor is their formal rigor ever at the level of a high art. Nor does it have to be by the way unless one starts comparing them to Mozart or whoever.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Heads For Second Spot In North India
Wednessday 17th July 2012 11.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is set to be the second highest grossing film in North India this year. Both Delhi/UP and East Punjab are likely to better for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag than Race 2. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani leads by a distance in both markets.
In Delhi/UP, Race 2 had a lifetime gross of 20.25 crore nett and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag will gross around 12.5-13 crore nett in week one while in East Punjab it will get to second spot even faster as Race 2 grossed 8 crore nett in its run while Bhaag Milkha Bhaag will do 7 crore nett approx in just one week.
Race to super-success!
By Taran Adarsh, July 17, 2013 – 08:26 IST
Success and failure is part and parcel of the film industry, but you jump with joy when certain films are embraced warmly by the paying public. These films are special purely because such [inspirational] stories need to be told. The common man ought to be enlightened of the contribution by the iconic personalities in their fields, in case he/she is not too aware of their saga… BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, the story of Milkha Singh, is one such cinematic experience and its splendid performance at the box-office makes you grin from ear to ear.
By now, I presume, everyone is well aware of the incredible business of BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG at the ticket window [Thu previews 1.05 cr, Fri 8.50 cr, Sat 11 cr, Sun 12.80 cr, Mon 5.75 cr. Total: Rs 39.10 cr], but what makes your chest swell with pride is the fact that many a spectator is watching the film again because the story, the execution of the written material, the performances, the soundtrack… most importantly, the life story of the icon is simply overwhelming. Expectedly, the laurels are pouring in from all quarters. The film has struck a chord with the paying public and I am confident, its success will inspire many a film-maker to think beyond the stereotype.
A film like BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG deserves to be nominated for the Academy Awards [from India] because, apart from the fact that it’s an original story, inspirational stories such as these need to reach out to as many people as possible globally.
In terms of business, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is setting the BO on fire. It has emerged the third biggest opener of 2013 [after YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI – Rs 62.11 cr and RACE-2 – Rs 51.35 cr; weekend figures; domestic BO], which speaks for itself, while the terrific business on weekdays should ensure a solid total in Week 1. It’s time to celebrate!
Chennai Box-Office – July 12 to 14
Tuesday, 16 July , 2013, 10:56
Suriya`s Singam 2 due to aggressive promotions seem to have conquered the CBO. In the first week the film has taken a distributors share of close to Rs 3.5 Crore from Chennai city, the smallest area in Tamil Nadu.
The number one at the CBO in its second week running is Singam 2, doing roaring business. The number two is Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru, which remains rock steady at the box-office in its fifth week.
In the third place is the Hollywood biggie Pacific Rim and its Tamil version which took a decent opening. And in the fourth place is Gopichand`s Telugu Sahasam which took a good opening. And in the fifth place is Bhaag Milka Bhaag, which took a decent opening in multiplexes.
“Shakespeare is more than 400 years old. That’s your present?! Dostoevsky is a century and a half roughly. And here you were objecting to Deewar which is only from 1975!”
I am not objecting to Deewar, just as I won’t object to anyone reading Shakespeare, Dostoevsky , or even Mahabharata. But please don’t expect or wish for another Shakespeare today!. Learn to celebrate a Beckett or Stoppard would be my humble pleading.
The amusing thing is that in insisting on the present you are unable to come up with people who are truly contemporary. First it was someone 400 years old, then someone 150 years old, now someone who’s half a century old! The larger point is this: the present cannot be celebrated simply because it is the present. It has to earn its stripes. And not every age is made equal. This fact might make one a little uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean one starts adopting an imaginary position where in every age the same kind of talent is identified. This might be a bit hard to comprehend when one starts comparing elements of Cocktail with those of Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam (!) but in any art form all ages are not made the same. This is a point so obvious that it seems even absurd to argue for it at length. It is so in the arts, it is so in scientific inquiry, it is so in philosophy and so on. This doesn’t mean that some ages have no talents, it’s about the comparison. Bollywood over the last decade has been vastly better than the industry of the 90s. But completely impoverished compared to the 70s. The 80s were on the whole a terrible decade but nonetheless one could draw up a list of 20 films that were very good or outstanding from that decade. The British novel since the end of WWII has produced a number of interesting writers but nothing comparable to the titans they produced in the previous century and a half. The world of classical music has not had anything extraordinary over the last 60 odd years. Some would say longer. ‘Foreign cinema’ had a moment in the 50s and 60s, a florabundance that since seems lost even though remarkable films are still being made, even great ones. I could go on and on. The histories are not the same in each case. In philosophy for instance the last 40 years or so have been very strong and better than many other periods. So it all depends. And most of the examples I’ve just provided if not all wouldn’t even be debated by most people who know enough in these matters. The question then is: how does one use the riches of the past? Does one simply consign them to the past? That’s absurd. Shakespeare is more ‘current’ than any contemporary dramatist. For a reason! No one says ‘hey we’ve had too much from a guy who lived centuries ago, let’s move on and start pretending August Wilson is as great’! Similarly when there are films in the present that I like a lot I celebrate them (and there have been many). At the same time those older films are for me a reference point or a way to critique the present, remind those unable or unwilling to understand either the riches of this past or the bankruptcies of the present (in many instances) what authentic cinema really is about. And once again Bachchan has remained current, those films of his have remained current for a reason. The past isn’t some abstraction for me, it is a specific set of reference points. The 50 means one thing for me, the 60s another, the 70s something else and so on. Just as with the other arts one has to be precise in these matters. It isn’t about just throwing out names randomly from the past. It is about identifying clear histories or a set of concerns or thematics common to an age and so forth. Nor do I expect Deewar or whatever to be made all over again. I expect an industry that is as rooted in its immediate environment as cinema once was, and as committed to a responsible socio-political project as cinema was in that decade. No cinema has to do this. But great works are ultimately judged along such lines. Finally when the work or the heritage is important enough the usual definitions of past and present don’t even apply. We engage with thinkers 2500 years old in exactly the same way as we do those working in the present. Because the important work creates its present, it is never a historical curiosity simple rescued from the past. It is always present. For various historical reasons it might sometimes be forgotten but the moment there is an age and a world willing to engage with it becomes part of the present. Meanwhile much that is of the present in a literal sense becomes instantly dated and forgotten. Films like Cocktail are consigned to dustbins even before two weeks are up on them and never get any attention again!
A folk creation does not become classical over the years. It has to be worked upon. But the core of many worthwhile creations are born from the earthy crust of folk psyche. The core melody of pahadi raga is what was already there in the folk tune. Then you embellish it, remove some of the grosser elements, give it a codified format, and it becomes a classical raga. Same is the case with Odissi dance. Gurus like Kelucharan Mohapatra acted and danced in folk plays ( jatra) before becoming dancer, dance choreographer and dance teacher. The instances of classical or high art borrowing heavily from folk arts is of course much more common. Picasso’s debt to African tribal art is huge. The point is great artists be it Picasso, Rahman or Ilyaraja or Kelucharan do not dismiss folk art as anything inferior. On the contrary they use it to infuse their art with vitality and soul.
You’re going in circles. No one is saying that a high art form begins with high art. That’s absurd. There are always sources in ordinary or popular tradition, from the music to the language to the stories to the beliefs and myths, on and on. This is hardly news! But the artwork is created when the form is seen as defining in some form or fashion. All but three of Shakespeare’s plays are derived from well-known stories or histories that often existed in various popular forms as well. No one’s calling folk art inferior either. But it is also never given the status of high art. The very fact that a folk tradition has to be ‘formalized’ into a raag proves this. It is given a form where it can then be considered a high art work comparable to others. In its ‘original’ form it is not accepted as such. But this is so for everything. The stories Shakespeare takes up are not as sophisticated in other narrations, in all sorts of ways. Homer used myths that his entire culture was completely familiar with. One could keep multiplying the examples. This does not contradict anything I’ve said in the slightest. Obviously high art isn’t going to borrow sources from outer space! Nor are these sources inferior. I don’t consider IR or Kishore Kumar ‘inferior’ in any sense. Except if the comparison is to a very great classical vocalist and so on. We’re just not comparing like-for-like in this case. Much as I find Ratnam to be an extraordinary filmmaker. As long as I’m not comparing him with Ray or Adoor! This does not make Ratnam inferior in the sense that he’s trying to do something different. There is no necessary comparison here. But nonetheless the ‘gifts’ each offers are not equal.
And as for things ‘connecting’ well people sometimes ‘connect’ with inferior stuff. Can’t say anything on this score. Lots of Akshay and Salman films in the present to prove these ‘connections’! That doesn’t mean it’s all the same cinema!
“For a reason! No one says ‘hey we’ve had too much from a guy who lived centuries ago, let’s move on and start pretending August Wilson is as great’! ” I don’t know about August Wilson, but I would pity anyone who is so stuck up with Shakespeare that he never made the time to check out Samuel Beckett. Or someone being so stuck up with Mahabharata that he does not make time to check out Dostoevsky or Balzac. It is not about someone being ‘as great’ , it is something being of here and now.
But you’re building up a straw man here. Because no one said this. It might be easier to argue with that straw man but I haven’t said this. And as I’ve said before it’s even bad faith to argue this considering the number of films I’ve supported and argued for in the present. It’s even a little hilarious for reasons I will not be immodest enough to get into.
“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has given me confidence to say ‘yes’ to subjects out of my comfort zone” – Farhan Akhtar
By Devansh Patel, Jul 17, 2013 – 12:48 IST
I personally think success cannot be defined. But in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s case, the box office figures say it all. It’s sprinting away to the Rs. 50 crore mark soon. But I still feel the team of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag haven’t made a great film. Rather, they’ve made a small film in a great way. That’s how I look at it, and it is that very intention and inspiration that got them the accolade they so well deserved. On a rare breezy sunny afternoon, I sit with Farhan Akhtar over a cup of black coffee to talk about success, how it has changed him and how really it’s going to change the way films are made in India. The track is set, the whistle is blown and Farhan’s still running successfully. Bravo!
There comes a point in every actor’s life that changes the way he thinks about movies. Has Bhaag Milkha Bhaag done the same for you?
The undeniable fact of life is that every movie changes me as an actor. But the most important thing that Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has done is – it has given me more confidence to say ‘yes’, as and when such offers do come by, that may seem very much out of my comfort zone. The confidence has got a nice boost. The film was challenging. Of course, with a lot of support from the cast and crew and more importantly Milkhaji and his family, this has been a journey worth it.
Post the success; you really won’t be a changed man, will you?
It starts to get a bit problematic when you start thinking that you are the cat’s whisker. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has been an amazing experience and it’s very rare that you get opportunities like these. But that’s where my character ends. I have moved on to Shaadi Ke Side Effects. It’s like moving from the North Pole to the South Pole. But yes, I had heard the script and I thought it was a fun, tender and a sensitive script and getting out of my character was quite a natural move after we finished the shoot.
Biopics are made once in a blue moon in our country. Aren’t we inspired by anyone?
Making Biopics is a very cultural thing. If you just notice, apart from certain sections of the society, if you speak to somebody, they are so shy to talk about their life. For the person who has agreed (if he’s still alive), especially in this case, it must be such a cathartic experience to open up about your life and then to portray it to the world by means of movies. When you ask people, a lot of people in this country will not tell you if they go to a shrink because they consider it a ‘dimaagi haalat theek nahi hai’ situation. In many parts of the world where biopics are freely made, going on a weekly basis to a shrink is just a part of the process, to talk about your life and go on a reality TV or talk to Seinfeld or Oprah. We do like to make biopics but the person has to be in an agreement to share it. I hope the cultural divide minimalizes.
You reinvented ‘coming of age’ in the form of Dil Chahta Hai. How do you define the term now?
‘Coming of Age’ is that you are seeing a shift, slowly but surely. There will always be exceptions. It’s like wanting to entertain but keeping it real. There is a certain audience who like entertainment and we make movies for them in the first place. At times when a film was made, audience started saying – ‘It’s an art film’. But now no one says that because the mix is good. Now that world has only stopped… now you either like it or hate it.
You are a great dialogue writer yourself. With the power of the spoken word, how well do you see the change in dialogue writing?
We still have films that have a very self conscious dialogue writing. There are the ‘seeti’ lines and lines that you don’t normally speak. Everything seemed scripted. Now people don’t speak in that manner. But there are some movies that demand those kind of lines. But the spoken language in movies is now becoming the norm as it mirrors how people are in real life. That’s a nice change happening in movies because we don’t have to separate the real world from the theatrical world.
Whose number has a busy tone? Milkha Singh’s or yours? What’s his take on the critical and monetary success the movie is garnering?
Both of us! I just spoke to him this morning. Personally, I’m sure he doesn’t care what’s happening monetarily with the film. If he did, he would’ve charged us a bomb for the rights to make a movie on his life and career. Milkhaji wanted to inspire sportsmen and athletes and he got that out of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He has a dream that India wins a Gold Medal in track at the Olympics. There has been some kind of ripple effect with the film. I spoke to him this morning and he was so happy. His legacy has moved on to so many more generations to come. How often does that happen?
We clearly are also not making an attempt to adapt a good book too. Today, all books have the headline ‘ best sellers’.
Most of the studios have a system set up for this. They pick up the ‘Best Sellers’ and try and find out sometimes a good read or an interesting read. That’s how movies are made. With Prasoon Joshi in this film, we are inspired by this person Milkha Singh, because his spirit is what motivated Rakeysh when he was a sports person. He wanted to share that with the world. For Prasoon, it must’ve been such a challenge and a daunting task, given that there is no actual starting point. I mean, how do you create a structure when you are putting it down on paper to support this vision.
When do we see you sitting on the director’s seat again?
Unless I am not gung-ho and inspired by something, I don’t want to direct my next movie. I have been acting since a couple of years. Ritesh Sidhwani handles most of the production decisions. In terms of the making of the film, my involvement is only creatively. The entire production is handled by Ritesh and it’s a damn serious task. I bless Sidhwani for how he does it. There is a very strong part of me that wants to write now. So I am going to dedicate the next three months on just writing my next movie and take it from there.
Our future in Hindi cinema is?
Our future in Hindi cinema is unpredictably good and with the whole digital revolution, it’s become more accessible with ideas to go out and shoot a film. Also, we have become more accessible on a world platform where people don’t want to see pristine perfectly shot films. There is a growing curiosity and that comes out of us having a very strong independent market. And then we have a one odd film that excite people globally but I think the success in film making is individual as to what he or she wants to achieve out of it.
Good to see Bmb doing better than expected. Hard work pays off usually and that’s what’s happening with Farhan
Thojgh i havent seen the film–The real credit should go to milkha Singh himself for being such an interesting case study(for many reasons)
And above all Rakesh Mehra for seeing the potential of the subject and having the conviction to pull it off…
Ps: my initial issues with farhans casting here remain nonetheless. His effort deserves credit but the people ( not taking about the reviewers) seem to have liked the subject
That I said has poverty, deprivation, indo-pak angle, partition, emotion, sports and achievement–the right kahaan esque/gaddar esque mix–but credit where it’s due…
Milkha Singh is bowled over by Farhan Akhtar’s performance. “He is exactly how I wanted to see myself on screen. Full credit to Rakeysh Mehra for seeing me in Farhan. Many actors, including Akshay Kumar, wanted to play Milkha Singh. But the boy (Farhan) has done ‘kamaal’. He has replicated me on screen. He even resembles me. The body language and the discipline Farhan adopted to play me… yeh koi maamooli baat nahin hai (it was not easy).”
He admits that the entire story of his life is not represented in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. “If they had taken all the incidents from my life the film would have been at least 10 hours long,” he said.
FA is very controlled in his emotions. Don’t see him smiling or elated with the success of the movie at BO and for the kudos he is receiving from all quarters for his performance. Had I been in his shoes, I would have….
Prakash Raj, 48, portrayed a strict Army officer in the recently-released Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
“It is a refreshing change to play a role like this. It is rare to get such a role and film like this. This is a film where you are not an actor, you are part of the film, you are part of that moment. This is learning and humbling experience. Here we unlearn lot of things. The joy is that these kind of films bring you lot of respect as an actor,” he added.
This should be interesting. Wish I could watch the live performance in Madras. Didn’t know Hema was a fan of Vijanti. Somewhere Madhuri Dixit said that the very best dancer in Hindi cinema was Vyjayantimala. Mostly I have heard #1 spot reserved for Rehman but rarely any praise for Vyjanthimala; most people have forgotten her.
“Yesteryear star actresses Vyjayanthimala and Hema Malini, both noted Bharat Natyam exponents, are all set to come together on stage in Chennai for the first time for a dance recital.
The idea reportedly came from Hema Malini, who happens to be a huge Vyjayanthimala fan and had always wanted to perform with her.
“It’s like any female singer aspiring to sing a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. When one reaches a certain position in life, one looks for the best in the field. And according to me, Vyjayanthiji is the best dancer-actress we have,” Hema says excitedly.
Vyjayanthimala, 76, confirmed the news.
“It’s really sweet of her (Hema Malini) to be so generous with compliments all the time,” she says. “When she says she idolises me, I feel good about it. Yes, we are dancing together but we need to work out the details. Us coming together on stage will generate a lot of interest among fans and we can’t afford to let them down.”
Hailed as a prominent figure in Hindi films of her time, Vyjayanthimala also said that she never allowed her two vocations to overlap.
“I never let Bharat Natyam mudras reflect in my film performances. I was very particular from the very beginning about compartmentalising the two in a proper way,” she reminisced.”
All this is not to deny the burgeoning growth worldwide of Islamic fundamentalism and its terrorist ways or minimize its capacity for mischief in a communally polarized India. However, it would be counter-productive, at least in the present circumstances, to project what is primarily a social problem and crisis of governance as a religious war. This is precisely what some sections of opinion, Hinduvta or otherwise, are attempting to do. The result is that every Muslim is being pushed into a situation where he is expected to wear a badge proclaiming his patriotism. Take the recent controversy over the Pakistan National Day Celebrations in Bombay. Warnings were issued by the BJP-Sena and even the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly to Government Officials to desist from attending the function. The irony is that while Dilip Kumar and Shabana Azmi were labeled anti-national even though they stayed away from the function, not a word was said about the BJP President, Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi attending an Iftar dinner thrown by the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi.
Indeed, the loyalty test is so patently superficial that it is bound to be exposed sooner or later. For example, Mr. Thackeray has always seen support for the Indian Cricket Team when it is playing Pakistan to be a mark of a true patriot. He might be intrigued to learn that during the one-day internationals in Sharjah, one man who speaks fluent Marathi has been spotted waving the tricolour and vociferously cheering the Indian Team. His name is Dawood Ibrahim.”
It is pretty clear what the paragraph is saying: it is talking about the superficiality of “the cricket test” as a marker of patriotism — ie if we go by that alone, even Dawood could seem a patriot! Whatever one thinks of these passages, this is very different from Bliss’ statement that Sardesai (who knows a thing or two about cricket, being the son of an Indian international player) called Dawood a patriot. He obviously hasn’t: he is criticising the “loyalty tests” imposed by the likes of Thackeray and others.
“And though Farhan Akhtar, the film’s eponymous hero, happens to be on the cusp of turning 40, miraculously that isn’t an impediment at all. The occasional actor is unconditionally stupendous. Here’s a tour de force performance, the most dazzlingly accomplished seen in years, if not decades.
Physically rigorous as well as interiorised, Akhtar’s portrayal brings us close to a man who cannot forget his past, with a single eloquent gesture. Note the resigned way he disconnects a ‘phone call on being summoned to return to the stadium, for the sake of his nation’s honour in Pakistan. Here’s a quiet moment that explains his trauma, faced during the partition, succinctly.”
It is RS’s personal opinion and one need not take it that seriously. Maybe he was overwhelmed by a mediocre actor suddenly presenting himself as a remixed Milkha for the consumption of today’s audience.