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ETAWAH: The Land of Talents

Etawah, my native place, is a city in the state Uttar Pradesh near Yamuna River. It is a part of a Kanpur Division. Also Etawah is a place of sangam between Yamuna River and Chambal River.  If we go in the history of the city, it was an important center for the Revolt of 1857.


Etawah – Constituency map Uttar Pradesh

Chambal ki Gattis are close to Etawah city, hence it is a notorious city even today. But today I, Anusha Pathak, want all of you to know that my native in not that bad as everyone thinks. Etawah is a land of talents too and here I am presenting few amazing talents of Etawah people.

Ustad Imdad Khan

1.      Ustad Imdad Khan (1848–1920), Instrumental Classical Musician: Even though his father Ustad Sahabdab Khan was the founder of Etawah Gharana, which comes from the most ancient school of music, the Gwalior Gharana, Ustad Imdad Khan was the one who developed the instruments, and created an innovative instrumental style that became characteristic of the Etawah gharana. The gharana is also called as Imdadkhani Gharana.

 Ustad Imdad Khan was born in Agra, but later shifted to Etawah. He was taught by his father Ustad Sahabdab Khan and the legendary beenkar Bande Ali Khan. He had served to kings of Mysore and Indore. He also played for Queen Victoria in Delhi.

In the 19th century, Senia style was dominating in the instrumental classical music of Northern India. But, Ustad Imdad Khan introduced the element of Khayal gayaki into the alap of the first time. All gayaki ornamentations were implemented and systematically developed into the techniques for this newly developed style for playing sitar.

Ustad Imdad Khan was the first Sitar player to come out with a recording.

Devesh Chauhan

2.      Devesh Singh Chauhan (1980), Hockey Player of India: Devesh Chauhan has born on November 12, 1980 in Etawah. He is a Hockey goalkeeper from India. In early 2000, Devesh Chauhan made his international debut for the Men’s National Team. He represented India twice at the Olympics in 2000 (Sydney Australia) and in 2004 (Athens, Greece) where India finished in seventh place on both the occasions.

 In the year 2001, Champions Challenge for Men was the inaugural tournament of Champions Challenge which held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Devesh Chauhan was the goal keeper of Indian Hockey team at that time. India defeated South Africa by 2-1 in the final to win the competition.


Gopaldas Saxena ‘Neeraj’

3.      Gopaldas Saxena ‘Neeraj’ (1924), Poet and Song Writer: E bhai zara dekh ke chalo song from Mera Naam Joker, would always remind you of Raj Kapoor and Manna Day. But Gopaldas Saxena ‘Neeraj’ (or popularly known as Neeraj as it is his pen name) was the one who wrote the song. Not only this but many songs like O meri Sharmili from Sharmili, Phulon ke rang se, dil ki kalam se from Prem Pujari, both sung by Shri Kishore Kumar. Rangeela re from Prem Pujari sung by Lata Mangeshkarji, Mera man tera pyasaa from Gambler sung by Mohammed Rafi and many more.

 ‘Neeraj’ji is among the best known poets and authors in Hindi literature. He is also famous poet of Hindi Kavi Sammelan. He has many collections i.e., “Neeraj ki Paati”, “Baadlon se Salaaam Leta Hoon”, “Geet jo Gaye Nahi” etc.

He was born on January 4, 1924 in the small village Ekdil of Etawah. His style is easy to understand but is compared with high quality Hindi literature. Besides writing he was the Professor of Hindi Literature in Aligarh.

In the year 2007, he was awarded Padma Bhushan. Recently in the March of this year 2012, he recited some of his works at Annual Inter-College Cultural festival, Spoculit of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. Nowadays he works as the Chancellor of Mangalayatan University, Aligarh.

Mulayam Singh Yadav

4.      Mulayam Singh Yadav (1939), Ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh: Mulayan Singh Yadav is an Indian politician, head of Samajwadi Party (SP) from Uttar Pradesh. He was born on November 22, 1939 in the village Saifai of Etawah. He did his education from different colleges of Uttar Pradesh like K. K College, Etawah, A. K. College, Shikohabad and B. R. College, Agra University.

 He was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice from 1989-1991, 1993-1995 and 2003-2007. He also served as Minister of Defence (1996-1998) in the United Front government.  His supporters call him Netajee and Dhartiputra. Mulayam Singh is a dedicated follower of Indian socialist leaders like Raj Narain and Ram Manohar Lohia.

Now his son Akhilesh Yadav (1973), who was also born in Saifai village, is Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He took his primary education from Saint Mary School, Etawah.


K. Asif

5.      K. Asif (1922-1971), Film Director: Asif Karim was born on June 14, 1922 in Etawah. He was a film director, film producer and screenwriter. He is most famous for his work for the epic Hindi movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960).

Asif Karim went to Bombay to his brother-in-law Nazir Ahmed Khan and later took the name K. Asif. His directorial debut was Phool (1945), with a star cast of Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote and Suraiya, which did well on box-office. Later he came up with the Mughal-e-Azam in 1960 with Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, which bagged him the status of legend despite his very few work.

The other film he made was Hulchul in 1951. While shooting on another film Love and God, K. Asif died on March 9, 1971 at the age of 48.

Along with all these eminent personalities and specialties of Etawah, former Indian President, late Dr. Zakir Hussain (February 8, 1897) pursued his school education in H.M.S Islamia Inter College, Etawah which is an epitome of unity and good relations between Hindus and Muslims.

So from all this we can see that Etawah, my native place, a small city of Uttar Pradesh, India, has so much of talent within itself. Etawah has given many prominent personalities to India in different fields like Music, Sports, Literature, Politics, and Films etc.

Hence, I can say even if it is notorious place, thanks to Chambal ke Daakus, it has given me many more reasons to say that I am proud of my native place. I am proud of Etawah.

Anusha Pathak,

TYBMM Journalism,

Sophia College.


Not watching Barfi would be a crime!

Barfi is worth watching!

Barfi! Yes, Barfi! Every other person I met was going gaga over Barfi. All I heard was ‘Did you watch Barfi? If not, go watch it. Missing Barfi would be a crime.’ Finally, on Sunday,  My friends and I decided to go and watch Barfi. We visited three multiplexes i.e. Inox at Nariman Point, Metro at Churchgate and PVR in Phoneix (Lower Parel) to buy tickets but we failed to get tickets. But this didn’t stop us from trying other theatres. We didn’t give up. We decided to give a try to the single screen theatres. We visited Roxy- located at Charni Road. The first-two rows (Silver row) tickets were available. Yes, they were available. Without thinking twice, we purchased the tickets. Yes, U read it right! We bought tickets of the second row from the screen.  This is how desperate we were to watch the movie.

The writer-director Anurag Basu creates a master piece. It is a typical Indian –Bollywood style of film with mixtures of love, funny, a love triangle, fearing of loosing someone special; the movie has few dialogues and is episodic yet has managed to grab many eye balls. The story is based in Darjeeling, 1970, about a guy Murphy (Ranbir Kapoor) who is mistaken as Barfi, is dumb and deaf. He falls in love with Shruti (Ileana DaCruz) who belongs from a well-to-do family from Kolkata. Like typical Bollywood movie, Shruti, despite being engaged to a rich guy, falls in love with Barfi but finally decides to spend her entire life with the rich guy. Now enters, an autistic girl named Jilmil Chatterjee (Priyanka Chopra) who hardly has any dialogues in the entire movie because Barfi plays a character of a deaf and dumb guy. Anurag Basu nailed the characters of both the leads. As expected, Jilmil envy’s Shruti. She disappears from Barfi’s life to teach him a lesson. Since, Bollywood movies are known for happy endings, Barfi also ends with a happy note. Barfi and Jilmil get married in the end.

The high point of the movie is the opening sequence, where Anurag Basu introduces Barfi. When one watches the character of Barfi, without a doubt, one surely recalls Charlie Chaplin. Ranbir Kapoor does full justice to the role (Charlie Chaplin) he plays in the opening sequence. Secondly, when Barfi proposes Shruti and expresses his anger (with his actions and expressions) on Shruti for choosing the rich guy over Barfi is another high point of the movie. Ranbir Kapoor proves that ‘Actions speak louder than words.’


Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi: It is a delight to watch Ranbir in the entire movie. He does full justice to his role. One just cannot stop praising him for his acting skills. He definitely is the next superstar of the Bollywood. I was so lost in watching Ranbir that I did not pay much attention to the storyline; that’s how good he is in the movie.

Priyanka Chopra as Jilmil: Often, people say that she is lucky enough to bag in good movies and roles but fails when it comes to acting. By essaying the role of Jilmil, Priyanka has definitely shut down everyone’s mouth. Though her role is too small with very few dialogues, still she has managed to win many hearts.

Ileana DaCruz as Shruti: It is pleasant to watch the newcomer in the industry. She definitely has worked hard to essay her role and has succeeded to a certain extent. She definitely has the potential to give tough competition to other new comers in the industry. She has fairly done a good job.


One must definitely not miss Barfi. Both, Ranbir and Priyanka have done full justice to their roles; they should definitely win the best actor and actress award. Not to forget Anurag Basu for making such a beautiful piece. I must say- Thank You Anurag Basu for giving us Barfi.

I give 4 stars to the movie.

Ruchi Nandu- TYBMM

The Sweetness of ‘Barfi’ is Magical


Image Image

Cast:      Ranbir Kapoor- Barfi
Priyanka Chopra- Jhilmil Chatterjee
Illeana D’cruz- Shruti

Some thought of Barfi to be an average love story that will do an OKAY job at the box office, but this film happens to be a surprise package. Anurag Basu has the potential of amazing you with every movie he does. With this film his talent comes to the fore very evidently. Barfi is a beautifully woven love triangle in its ‘purest form’, an unusual one with a mixture of ingredients- Comedy, Romance, Grief, a little bit of Suspense and the garnish of a ‘Happy Ending’. The story jumps from one time period to another. Anurag Basu has managed to do it wonderfully, in a manner that was not like a halting story but one with a flow. Somehow, the parts of the story are interconnected and not in a way that would confuse the audience. Brownie Points for that!

The film revolves around a speech-and-hearing challenged boy Murphy, which he pronounces as Barfi, who falls in love with a pretty young girl, Shruti (Illeana). After spending time with her and showing her a part of life she did not expect to see, they do end up not being together as she is engaged. He then falls in love with Jhilmil, an Autistic. Despite their disabilities they manage to communicate and create a special bond. The story moves from being a love story to a mysterious middle and ‘Live and Die together’ ending.  The ending may seem to be a sad one from Shruti’s point of view but from Barfi’s view it’s a happy one.

In the film, one thing you may notice evidently is the flawless effort of Ranbir as a jovial lad- who tries to make and keep everyone happy. Be it at times, when he is hurt or heartbroken he still puts a smile on his face. When he does something that may be ethically wrong- like theft or entering a goods train to give the goods away to the poor, it does not seem wrong at all. His optimism despite the shortcomings make him unique and special.

Ranbir and Priyanka’s act leaves you speechless. Illeana D’cruz, who makes her debut with this film, has done a great job as an actress and also as a narrator. She successfully leads the story and not get overshadowed by her co-stars, who are established actors. The film manages to keep you spellbound in its world. What makes this film a rather different one is that this is a love story of two people, who cannot communicate in the way you and I would usually.

Highlights of the film:

The opening scene where Ranbir tries to run away from the cops reminds you of Charlie Chaplin. That’s how well he essayed his character.

The scene where Ranbir expresses how hurt he is through hand gestures to Illeana- is done so perfectly that one can understand each and every word he would say if he could.

Reasons to watch this movie:

If you are a Ranbir fan, then this is a must watch, as his ability of making you cry with what he is trying to say even without saying is applaud able. His eyes express grief, anger and happiness brilliantly.

Priyanka’s acting is completely different from the glam roles she did in the past. You get to see the potential of the actress here.

This film has a good chance of being the movie of the year. With the splendid performance by Ranbir and especially Priyanka, whose role was a much more difficult one than Ranbir’s, the actors have created a standard and set the bar high not only for others but also for themselves.

Alice Peter,

TYBMM Journalism,

Sophia College for Women

Mujhko Pehchan Lo Main Huin King of Bollywood

By Niyati Agrawal

A young boy, who came to Mumbai from Delhi in search of his girlfriend stood at Marine Drive and said “One day I will rule this city.”

This boy like any other had a dream of becoming a famous actor one day. He started his acting career by playing a member of vanarsena in a Ramleela staged in Delhi. He then joined Theatre Action Group in Delhi under Barry John. After a lot of struggle, missing out on roles to other members of the theatre group, playing supporting roles, death of his parents and a stint on Television with serials like Circus and Fauji, a Bollywood superstar arrived.

He made his grand entrance singing “Koi na koi chahiye pyaar karne wala” on a motorbike. Little did he know then that “koi na koinahiHar Koipyaar karega uss se. After the audience went “Deewana” over him, he became “Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman” and even impressed “Maya Memsaab.”

He then appeared on screen as a negative character; something very uncommon for an actor who wanted to make it big. The “Baazigar” had created a “Darr” amongst audience. Ironically the psychotic lover loaded with blood and murders to his credit was loved by the audience. He even received Filmfare nomination Best Actor for Baazigar and Best Actor in Negative Role for Darr in the same year. These two movies also gave him his first patent dialogues: “I love you kkkkKiran “ and “Kuch jeetne ke liye kuch haarna padta hai aur haar kar jeetne waale ko Baazigar kehta hai.

After the Ajay Sharma and Rahul Mehra had walked off from the theatres, he came back as leather jacket wearing – mandolin holding – singing in mustard fields: Raj Malhotra; who still hasn’t walked out off the theatres and continues to entertain audience at Maratha Mandir even after 17 years earning the title of longest running movie ever in history. “Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge” he’d claimed in the movie and surely he did. With this movie he established himself as a romantic hero.

His on- screen romance did not end there. He acted as “Naam toh suna hoga” – Rahul, the Pardes – guitar playing Arjun, ever joyful “1, 2, 3 eeeee” – Aman and very smart Rehaan Khan. All of this earned him the title of King of Romance. He was as Aditya Chopra puts it, “every girl’s fantasy lover, every sister’s brother and every mother’s son.”

Unho ne humeKabhi Khushi Kabhi Gumdiya, jeena muskurana seekhaya kyunki kya pataKal Ho Na Ho”, aur ek baar jite hain, ek baar marte hain, shaadi bhi ek baar hoti hai, aur pyar….ek hi baar hota hai bhi bataya.

2006 he told the world ki “11 mulko ki police mera intezaar kar rahi hai”. He was back as the actor in a negative role with the remake of Amitabh Bachchan movie Don. I say actor in a negative role and not villain because bina hero ke villain kaha hota hai? Aur jab yeh movie mein hote hai toh koi aur hero kya karega?

The audience accepted him again with a negative role. He was then praised as a strict mentor and coach with the “Saatar Minute” speech of “Chak De! India.”

His kingdom was not restricted by Bollywood territory. He is a full – fledged entertainer; be it award functions or as a host or even owning an IPL cricket team.

You can be afraid of him as Baazigar or love him for being Raj. You can enjoy his performances or thrash him for owning a team which was an underachiever until recently. You can call him names, narcissistic, bisexual or adore him for being the family man that he is. You can look up to him for his personality or be critical about his acting skills. You cannot ignore him.

The prophecy a young Delhi boy made decades ago on Marine Drive came true.

The young boy (as you might have already guessed) was then known by a few people as Shah Rukh and now by the world as THE Shah Rukh Khan or King Khan.

Haters say what you want but I will remain Shah Rukh Khan’s fan though and through.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright – an Ek Tha Tiger review

A still from Ek Tha Tiger

I entered to watch this film with little expectation. Bodyguard had been a tiresome fare, with me being unable to sit through all of it. Ek Tha Tiger, much like its titular character and the regal feline, sprung a reasonably pleasant surprise.

Rating: ***

Tiger (Salman Khan) is an efficient, calculative RAW agent with dangerous levels of workaholism and a knack for making excellent ‘daal’. He impresses his boss Shenoy (Girish Karnad) and intrigues his neighbours (who can never quite make sense of his long absence and injuries). After recuperating from a physically taxing assignment (which makes for a cinematically captivating opening), Tiger is sent for a comparatively lighter mission to Ireland, where he is to keep a close eye on the activities of a reclusive professor. Prof. Kidwai (Roshan Seth) is suspected of leaking sensitive information to the Pakistani intelligence.

Tiger introduces himself as Manish Chandra, an Indian writer who is keen to write a biography on the Professor. The latter’s consent allows Tiger to observe him from close quarters. However, it is the Professor’s house-help Zoya who invites more than a cursory glance from the superspy.

The mission is relegated to the sidelines as Tiger begins to enjoy his quiet moments with her. Love inevitably follows, though it seems one-sided when Zoya steps away from him after he professes his love for her. Very soon though, Tiger understands why.

Zoya puts up more than a convincing front as a house-help cum dance student than Tiger does as a writer (“You do not have the hands of a writer,” Zoya remarks in a restaurant scene, a slight hint to her abilities beyond mere observation). She is an ISI agent. A very capable one too, as our heart-broken protagonist realises when he catches her swiping important information from Prof. Kidwai’s research onto her hard drive.

Torn between love and duty, Tiger spares her life though the ISI field operative who attempts to attack him at that fateful moment is not so fortunate. The mission ends but the feelings linger. Difficult to ignore, yet impossible to reciprocate. More so, when you are on the opposite sides of a fiercely guarded border.

“There are 201 countries in the world,” says Shenoy through gritted teeth in one scene, “and he had to find a Pakistani girl.”

The two agents struggle to escape their cloistered organisations. What follows are wild chases across grimy locales which explode into a volcanic climax thoroughly befitting the espionage genre.

Ek Tha Tiger is Kabir Khan’s third film after Kabul Express (2006) and New York (2009). Despite directing a spy thriller, he keeps to his trademark realism even if it is embellished by the flamboyance of the Yash Raj banner.

The action scenes are reminiscent of the Bourne franchise, choreographed as they are by Conrad E. Palmisano (a Hollywood man), Markos Rounthwaite (part of the award winning stunt team for the Bourne Ultimatum) and Pervez Feroz (action director for Kurbaan) should take a bow for weaving together an engaging crisscross of high octane action, instead of a dizzying handheld blur.

The lighter scenes are a delight too, with Tiger wooing Zoya, convincing Prof. Kidwai to allow him to “be a constant companion” around him (“Have you come to write a book on me or to marry me?” counters the amused academician). Also look out for the scene where he remains oblivious to the curiosity he arouses in his neighbourhood regarding his profession.

Together, the drama, comedy and action work as a cohesive  story-telling structure. A love of story of two agents on opposing fronts may seem like vaguely familiar territory (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Tourist, a few James Bond films like Goldfinger as well). But it is still a first for Hindi cinema. The writers (Kabir Khan, Neelesh Misra) could have very well made it into a Shakespearean tragedy but instead chose to keep the plot light yet tense – a delicate balance.

Simple too, in the opinion of this reviewer, for the filmmaker has for a good part of the film refrained from using pretentious jargon like “Alpha Q to Mother Hen, we have a 4-7-9 with us.”

The performances were also quite a surprise, with Salman Khan giving a restrained performance after a long time. Double entendres and the tapori appeal have traded place with the suaveness of an intelligence agent. Katrina Kaif does justice to a role that is tailor-made for her, the accent being explained away as a part of her character’s British upbringing. Ranvir Shorey delivers a wonderful performance as Tiger’s RAW contact in Ireland. Watch out for his voiceover in the opening montage of the film describing the constant conflict between RAW and ISI, which effectively set the mood for the film. The snippets could have well belonged to a Hollywood blockbuster or the extended opening to Person of Interest. Girish Karnad, Roshan Seth and everybody else in the cast provide able support.

Ek Tha Tiger is not a stimulating piece of intellectual cinema. It is an unapologetic entertainer. And a very good one at that. The story requires a little suspension of disbelief, but not the complete absence of the all-essential brain. Considering the tripe the industry has been doling out (et tu, Agent Vinod), this film is a welcome change. Do watch on the big screen. Keep the DVD as memento.


Film Review: VICKY DONOR

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Annu Kapoor

Scriptwriter: Juhi Chaturvedi

Cinematographer: Kamljeet Negi

Producers: John Abraham, Ronnie Lahiri, Ram Mirchandani and Eros International

Poster of Vicky Donor

Country like ours where sex is a taboo, anything related to it, is a taboo too. Hence, making a film on sperm donation is a very gutsy thing. Even though film revolves around this controversial topic, it is a “family entertainer”.

JA Entertainment (John Abraham), Rampage Motion Pictures (Ram Mirchandani), Rising Suns Films (Ronnie Lahiri) and Eros International’s Vicky Donor is about a young man who turns into sperm donor to make some money.

Vicky Arora (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a lazy, jobless, typically Punjab boy who believes in living life king size. He stays in refugee colony of Delhi with his mother (Dolly Ahluwalia), who runs a beauty parlour, and his paternal grandmother, Biji (Kamlesh Gill), who wants to own iphone with 32 GB and 42” LCD Television. He is persuaded by Dr. Baldev Chaddha (Annu Kapoor), a “certified” infertility doctor, to donate his “waste” sperms. Dr. Chaddha tell him that he is an Aryan race and doctor wants such young man like him (Vicky) who can help him to save his clinic. After much resistance, Vicky gets ready to donate sperm but makes it clear that he is not doing for charity but to earn extra money.

Meanwhile, Vicky meets Bengali banker, Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam). Later both fell in love and eventually get married. The way their love story takes a flow is very sweet and you somewhat relate yourself with it.  Since, Vicky is in a work which is not considered good and is look down; it is hidden from his family and love. But twist comes when his truth is out and then starts the tragic part.

The casting is very good. VJ Ayushmann Khurrana has proved that he has a talent and he can be a great actor if given chance. Every genre of his character be it comedy, romance or tragedy, has been played with an ease by Ayushmann. Acting comes to him naturally. Even the leading lady Yami Gautam has proved her potential. She is a pleasure to eyes to be watched. She has carried her role with a charm. What makes film superb is its supporting cast. Annu Kapoor with his special hand gesture for sperms has been the perfect choice as Dr. Chaddha. He has taken the film to another level. Even the casting of the family members of the couple has been the right choice. Every character in the film has given good details.

Director, Shoojit Sircar has created an aura around ever character. He has been successful in making a film with such a taboo topic with perfect comedy timing but no awkward moments. This is a film which works on performance and direction. But the backbone of the film is script, Juhi Chaturvedi has written a film, which is full of romance, comedy, bit of tragedy and which will touch your heart.

If we talk about music, then it is very peppy and lively. “Rum Whiskey” a Bhangra number, with special entry of co-producer John Abraham, can be a hit in discos. Even slow songs like “Pani da Rang” and “Mar Jaiyan” are treat to ears.

After a very long time we have seen a movie which is refreshing, funny, warm and sensible, in all, a complete entertaining.


– Anusha Pathak

TYBMM Journalism

Sophia College.



COCKTAIL. It lived up to its name in terms of the diversity in characters, their lifestyles and spirit that Imtiaz Ali very cleverly put together in his script to cater to the entertainment needs of the present modern generation. Homi Adajania did full justice to the script by getting only those actors who were most apt to play the characters. Pritam Chakraborty gave amazing music tracks that I’m sure most of us continue to hum to this date. Irshad Kamil, who also wrote the lyrics for ‘Love Aaj Kal’ did a rather splendid job too. But after all the glossy promotions, Glamorous star cast, Generation Next approach, did the cocktail work its magic? Not quite.


Gautam, played by Saif Ali Khan, is an outright Casanova who hooks up with any girl for casual sex. Veronica, played by the glamorous Deepika Padukone, calls herself a “Rich Bitch” and is basically dumped by her parents. She attempts to hide her loneliness by drinking too much, visiting night bars and discos and indulging in anything that gives pleasure to her senses. Yet, we see a soft side to her.  Meera, played by model Diana Penty, is a coy girl-next-door with all the supposed “Indian values” in her. She comes to London to meet her Husband, played by Randeep Hooda, who abandons her the very day she reaches London. For him, the marriage was an excuse to get some money.

The ingredient that ruins the cocktail is the unnatural bonding the characters share in an unbelievably short period of time. Veronica meets Meera in a washroom, listens to her story, takes her home, and the next thing you know, they call themselves sisters. Veronica plays a prank on Gautam, both get drunk in a pub, dance, have casual sex that night, and the next thing you know, they are living together. Meera is disgusted by Gautam. Gautam as one can clearly see is mesmerised by Veronica, but the next thing you know, he is in love with Meera. One would not have even realised that Meera was in love with Gautam too, unless the kiss that happened between the two. Friends can be difficult to share and love can be totally confusing, but to confuse the audience in all the confusion makes the cocktail real distasteful.

Now comes the part where the cocktail shows its true colours. The Generation Next approach falls flat on its face as the coy Indian girl, who knows how to cook, clean and impress mothers, is unusually unaware of her good looks until made cognizant of it by a guy, for whom she obviously falls later, is predictably the one the hero falls in love with in the end. What happens to Veronica, the girl with flimsy character and brazen dress sense? Someone who is not so different from Gautam yet condemned by all? Of course, as Veronica says, “someone has to lose”, the subtext being, a girl with the same character as a guy, is absolutely the kind of material one wants to sleep with but not take home to dear mommy. It is rather unfortunate that a movie such as cocktail that screams modernity out loud, gives such a sad message.When are we going to give up this archaic, patriarchal attitude?

Perhaps the only ingredients that gave some kick to the cocktail were the outstanding performances by the actors, especially Deepika Padukone. Taking on a very challenging role and doing complete justice to it, Deepika proves her capability as a prolific actor. She clearly takes the audiences’ attention toward herself for a major part of the movie, so much so, that instead of feeling happy for Gautam and Meera’s reunion, one feels utterly sorry for Veronica. The disco scene where Veronica’s composure and indifference eventually give way to a complete emotional breakdown deserves a standing ovation. Diana, as a debutante, and Saif, as entertaining as ever, also did a great job. The direction and cinematography are outstanding as well, especially those scenes shot at the disco where one moment Veronica is amidst a huge crowd and the next in an empty dance floor, hence speaking volumes about the circumstance and Veronica’s emotions.

To conclude, the cocktail may been a little watery as the story line is fairly predictable and redundant, yet the music is fresh, the faces are young and glamorous, the direction and acting are at their best. All in all, it is a cocktail worth trying.

Neel Kamal Mishra



The Nigerian film industry- NOLLYWOOD(review)

The Nigerian film industry- NOLLYWOOD


Nigerian  cinema is Africa’s  largest film industry. Nigerian film industry is known as the Nollywood. Nollywood  has derived its name after Hollywood and Bollwood. It is the third film industry after Hollywood and Bollywood. The Nollywood films are not meant for the big screen. The movies are shot by digital video. There are many movies in the Nollywood industry some of them include This is NollywoodWelcome To Nollywood, Check Point and many more. These movies bring about their cultural identity whether they are paid attention or not. The directors and film producers make films which reflect their changing political and cultural climate. They also include current events. They revolve around corruption, comedy romance etc that is intended to an African audience.

These films are of low costs and are not recognized in many countries. Most of the movies are not produced in studios. The movies are shot by videos and  in homes, villages etc. People in those villages are very co operative with the actors. The people living in those villages are dependent  on the money that they receive after shooting. Most of the movies were shot in remote places. The  Nollywood actors like Bollywood and Hollywood actors face many problems. Some of the problems include  lack of electricity, weather change etc. Every movies brings out a different point of view that brings about a social cause.

 One of the Nollywood movie is the Check Point. The movie is an action movie. The movie was a nine- day shoot and a limited budget movie. The  movie focused on a single director’s view. The movie was a low budget movie and was made for common man and not meant to influence the western audience. The shoot had to face many challenges. The actors a were literally seen starring at each other  when they were idle as the shooting was interrupted due to problems. There were weather problems which ultimately lead to the stoppage for shooting. There was a point when a shoot had to be stopped for half a day as  Muslims who had to fast and prayed over loudspeakers during Ramadan.  Rain was another reason which lead to the stoppage of the shooting. The film was eventually completed in eleven days.
There were some scenes in the  movie Check Point which brought out entertainment among the audience. The director of the movie was very friendly with his actors and the same time expected work to be done on time. There was a scene in the movie where the actor was shot by the gun which was overdone. The scene in the movie actually made me laugh. The scene was neither looking natural nor serious. Another reason which led to the stoppage of the shoot was the problems the actors had with each other. Despite of all these problems the actors were very hard working and completed their shoot. The documentary had various members of the film making community discussing how various types of films made an impact on their lives and described the common difficulties that they face during their hectic shoot.



Films and Society: Film Review – Zodiac

We all read about the Colorado Killer and his hooded rampage. The Dark Knight Rises supposedly gave him an excuse to go firing during a screening without a motive. But this isn’t the first time. There is a long list of english films, like the Child’s Play Series, The Basketball Diaries, The Matrix, Scream and so on, that have instigated crimes in the past.


Since we Indians are so fascinated with the west and have dedicated our lives to aping them in every way possible, such cases are not unknown to our country either. Paranoia is contagious. The incident that occurred in Ahmedabad on July 10th testifies my previous statement. A 16-year-old murdered his older sister in bed and was planning to kill his parents with the same knife, if it wasn’t for his cousins screaming. His justification for the act was that he wanted to kill he family so he could inherit all the money, just like the film Vidhwanshak.

Suddenly, people realize the role that films play in their lives. But the film industry, unfortunately, has criminals to thank for some of their greatest hits. Films based on real life homicide make for good entertainment. Some of these have actually been given high ratings. One such film, The Zodiac (2007), directed by David Fincher was adapted from the book, and nominated for several awards, even the Cannes.

Based on the true story of the killer who identified himself as Zodiac killed 7 people in the San Francisco area and sent letters to the press creating terror in the districts of San Francisco, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the film shows a young cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle who becomes obsessed with finding the identity of Zodiac, long after the police give up hope. The killer, Arthur Leigh Allen, was  pedophile and was thrown out of the school where he was a teacher, for touching children. He killed only the women and left most of the men alive. His killing pattern would constantly change but he never has his fill of media attention. He was suspected to be ambidextrous which made his letters to the editor all the more difficult to trace. He was found to possess two guns and bloody knives. His reason for killing was, as per his first letter to the Chronicle, to collect as many servants as possible that would serve him, once he dies, in paradise.

ImageThe film begins with him killing a friend, Darlene and her boyfriend in 1969 in their car, post which the killer starts sending letter of confession to the leading newspapers, without revealing his true identity. The SFPD soon gets involved but the case seems to be headed nowhere. Each time the police come close to catching the killer, things become more complicated. A reporter at the Chronicle gets a threat letter addressed to him by the Zodiac (possible retaliation to being accused of being a latent homosexual) which involves him in the case so deep that he loses himself. The cartoonist, Jake, somehow does not seem to be satisfied with the justification that the Zodiac is gone, given years of silence from his end. He obsessively begins investigating and trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle. He succeeds in the end, no doubt. However, due to lack of legal evidence and other similar loop holes, Allen is never truly proven guilty. Regardless, Jake writes a book called the Zodiac which becomes a bestseller in a few years. The film ends with Darlene’s boyfriend recognizing Allen as the man who had shot him all those years ago on the 4th of July.

With a promising cast including Mark Ruffalo, Jake Cyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., the 2 hour 40 minute film makes for a gripping and entertain mystery. 

One wonders if it is he easy access to weapons in the US that makes it easy for a person to carry out his/her psychotic fantasies, if that is the reason for the alarming number of crimes in the country. In India, you need a license to own a gun. But does that really reduce the crime rate? The film Jannat 2 ruled that one out by bringing to light the scandalous illegal arms trade in the capital city. 

We can thus say that it is a two-way street. If people can use films as excuses to commit crimes, films based on crimes turn out to be entertaining.  Children these days do not play, and if they do, it would only be on their expensive computers or cell phones. The games developed by the booming gaming industry can be blamed for the violent entertainment they provide to innocent minds. But are they not the only reason. Would it, thus be right, to brand society as hypocritic, to want entertainment, yet criticize it?

-Disha Deshpande

Kevi Rite Javana Aapde?

Dhollywood gets fresh lease of life 

The younger generations have faith in Gujarati cinema and just like every other sphere, they are open to experimentation, says Abhishek Jain, director of ‘Kevi Rite Jaish’  to our reporter, Disha Deshpande

Dhollywood has come of age after 30-year long wait! As the Gujarati film industry completes 60 years, the industry is undergoing a slow metamorphosis with newer film themes. After the golden era of the 70s, came the clone period where the films and music lacked innovation, post which the Gujarati film industry saw its viewership dwindling. But the silver lining may yet be visible as the young filmmakers explore newer and bolder themes to move past the long shadows of the Gujarati films revolving around the same old themes like mythology and love stories. But is it a comeback yet?


First time directors seem to be taking the reins in their hands, instead of migrating to television and Hindi films like before. “The younger generations have faith in Gujarati cinema and just like every other sphere, they are open to experimentation. They want to get into the Gujarati film industry and change its face. Their involvement will bring fresh perspective to the films. I have lived in Ahmedabad all my life, so I understand Gujaratis better. This gave me the confidence to make a Gujarati film,” says Abhishek Jain, debut director of upcoming comedy film ‘Kevi Rite Jaish’ (How will you go?),It is a satire on the fascination and obsession of Patels, a farming community, migrating to United States of America and starting a life afresh there. It has received a lot of attention post release, specially from the gujju crowd.

Multiplexes have a different story to tell. “Gujarati films lack the basic audio-visual quality. Even if the film is screened, it is a no show. People do not come to watch. The acting is not up to the mark and the actors lack the intensity in their expressions. It becomes pointless as the films are just not worth it,” says Manubhai Patel, owner of Wide Angle Multiplex. Owner of Ashok and Roopam theatres in Ahmedabad, Vandan Shah adds, “People are ashamed to watch Gujarati films. The government give filmmakers a sub- sidy of Rs 5 Lakh. Despite this, on an average, 40-50 Gujarati films are produced every year. Last year, the industry churned out 63 films.”

The involvement and contribution to the Dhollywood is definitely on the rise. But direc- tors are making sure they give the audiences a lot of variety to choose from. ‘Megh Dhanushya- Colours of life’ is one such film which is sure to raise some eyebrows. “My film is about homosexuals, their lives, and their struggles. They are criticised, mocked in public and used as humour props in several other films. The film is not aimed at increasing their acceptance, but to sensitize people about gays and their turbulent world.” says director K R Devmani, another debutant. His film is scheduled to be released worldwide. He is quite sure that his film will be accepted as it is an informative one, for all age groups, with no offensive scenes.


A still from Meghdhanushya

The new age directors and actors of the Gujarati film industry are very optimistic about its future. Devmani adds, “For the past several years, films were not very well made, and the repetitive aspect of the rural stories was not getting the audiences. Now, with new concepts pouring in, one hopes the audiences will re- turn.”

“Marathi cinema was in a similar position a few years back. But young directors gave a slew of great critically acclaimed films and they just could not be ignored anymore. The Maharashtra government had stepped in and it was made compulsory for cinema houses to carry Marathi films,” says Abhishek Jain, positive that a few good films will be an urban contemporary wave and everybody will accept Gujarati cinema as a something valuable. Will this new wave in Gujarati cinema turn the tide is something that one can only wait and watch! 


Disha Deshpande