Director: Hansal Mehta
Producers: Bohra Bros. Pvt. Ltd and AKFPL Production
Writers: Hansal Mehta, Sameer Gautam Singh and Apurva Asrani
Cast: Raj Kumar Yadav, Prabhleen Sandhu, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vipin Sharma, Kay Kay Menon
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Rating: * * * *
By: Keyur Seta
Story Outline: Shahid is a biopic on the life of the deceased lawyer Shahid Azmi. He was murdered in 2010 for defending innocents wrongly framed for terror activities.
The film traces Shahid’s journey from the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The incident has such a devastating impact on the youngster that he joins a terror outfit in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Fortunately, he realizes his mistake and manages to return home in Mumbai. Further circumstances ensure that he becomes a successful defense lawyer. But his real challenge starts now.
Review: There are good films and there are also very good films. But there are very few ones that make Indian cinema proud. Director Hansal Mehta’s Shahid is one such movie that has all the rights to hold its head high regardless of its fate at the box office.
The film is a fine example of an impeccable script (Gautam Singh and Mehta), gritty presentation and excellent performances. Result of the aforementioned mixture is sure to yield great results and that is exactly the case with Shahid. It is a good idea to reveal the climax at the start so that the viewer is able to concentrate Shahid’s journey. Although the protagonist’s life story is interesting, it is not an easy task to narrate such a tale, especially with such low budget.
The way diverse events and sub plots are woven together deserve special mention, especially Shahid’s love interest which doesn’t obstruct the proceedings whatsoever. Lastly, the flick throws a number of hard-hitting questions on the deterioration of democracy in today’s times. The only negative point one can find is that the ongoing appears a bit dragged after a point of time in the second half. Plus, the hardcore commercial audience might not appreciate this genre of cinema. However, these are not major flaws.
From the technical department, some crafty camerawork perfectly suits the need of the film. Few single-take shots through a hand held camera are very impressive. Some powerful background score and apt editing too deserve praise.
Some performances become a milestone in every successful actor’s career. Raj Kumar Yadav’s act in Shahid is one such milestone which will take his career to greater heights. His portrayal of different shades of the character can only be described as brilliant! However, despite such an act from the lead actor, Prabhleen Kaur manages to impress via her perfect portrayal as Shahid’s love interest.
After No One Killed Jessica, Jannat 2 and Raanjhanaa, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub is once again super impressive. In the role of Shahid’s mother, Baljinder Kaur suits well. There some wonderful cameos too from Kay Kay Menon, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vipin Sharma and Shalini Vatsa.
Overall, Shahid is a must watch. Those eager for meaningful cinema should surely support it if they wish to see such genre of films in the future. Positive word-of-mouth is the only hope for the film to make a mark at the box office.
Director: Ajay Naik
Producers: Solariz International and Sprint Art Creations
Writers: Kshitij Patwardhan and Sameer Vidwans
Cast: Umesh Kamat, Mukta Barve, Sidharth Chandekar, Tejashri Pradhan, Swati Chitnis
Music: Ajay Naik
Rating: * * * ½
By: Keyur Seta
Story Outline: Nishant Barve (Umesh Kamat), who works in the U.S, returns home in Pune on a short break to marry a girl chosen by his mother through a marriage bureau headed by a lady (Swati Chitnis) strictly believing in horoscopes. While on leave, Nishant loses his job in the US. The news exposes the true face of his to-be wife and he breaks up with her. Nishant, who always was a disbeliever in horoscopes and other such things, insults the head of marriage bureau and rubbishes off her profession.
He comes across a stranger Aditi (Mukta Barve) who slowly becomes a friend. Aditi is eager to start a unique marriage bureau. Impressed by Aditi’s determination, Nishant agrees to be her partner in the venture. Everything goes smooth for Aditi and Nishant, who also start developing feelings for each other. Their bureau also tastes its first success through the marriage of Rahul (Siddharth Chandekar) and Anandi (Tejashree Pradhan). But the business partners face a big hurdle in the form of the head of the rival marriage bureau, whom Nishant had insulted.
Review: Most of the modern day Hindi film love stories cannot be enjoyed by the entire family due to various obvious reasons. But that is not the case with Marathi cinema these days. No doubt, films like Shree Partner, Premachi Goshta and Time Please were new age romantic films but they also maintained a fine balance between modernism and traditions. This legacy of appealing yet clean love stories is continued with debutant Ajay Naik’s Lagna Pahave Karun.
The film surely has the boy-meets-girl saga but like all intelligent love stories, it doesn’t appear filmy and has a good flow and realistic touch to it. A mixture of wit and emotions in the dialogues keep you engrossed throughout.
But what truly sets this love story aside is the background of marriage bureau and the rivalry born out of it. This topic is hardly explored before. On a personal note, my hatred towards marriage bureaus has diminished after witnessing the working of the one explored here.
But the closing moments stop the film from being truly exceptional. Although the climax is heartwarming, it could have been presented in a better way. But what is more questionable is not including a triumphant scene between Nishant and the owner of rival bureau, for which there was every scope. This would have surely generated applause. Nevertheless, these points don’t reduce your overall satisfaction much.
Naik’s soulful compositions are placed well and suit the need of the film. The camerawork is impressive and so is the background score. The editing should also be lauded for keeping the length of the film inside two hours.
Like every love story, performances play a key role here too. Umesh Kamat once again gets every emotion right and provides a lovable act. Mukta Barve too deserves similar praise for her impressive performance. Siddharth Chandekar and Tejashree Pradhan play a troubled couple aptly. Swati Chitnis succeeds in providing the antagonistic effect very well. The rest of the supporting cast fits the bill.
Overall: Lagna Pahave Karun is yet another mature love story of the year.
By: Keyur Seta
So the news the world never wished to hear is out. The God of cricket Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has finally announced retirement from international cricket. Of course, the news is not surprising whatsoever even to a single cricket fan, yet it has hit everyone like a bolt simply because of Sachin’s priceless value. Some are literally into tears!
However, as strange as it may sound, in the midst of the emotional turmoil, I might be in the minority for not being sad, shattered or whatever. This might even label me as anti-Sachin or a Sachin hater, but believe me, I am not. My close friends would know that I have worshipped him as much as you people (you can read my poem on him by clicking HERE). It might sound rude but I think we should all accept the truth.
The law of nature is that everything has to end one day. None can escape this law including Sachin’s career. Every player has to end his career at some point or the other. Let’s be practical - Sachin had to retire one day, no matter how much we hoped against it. Also let’s face it – he is facing a lot of trouble with his technique and timing since recent times. And come on, he has been playing international cricket since 24 long years! How much more do you expect from him?
The number of great and proud memories provided by the Master Blaster is uncountable. It won’t be an overstatement to term them as priceless treasure. So instead of crying over his retirement, let’s be positive and cherish the priceless treasure. Our wailing will make things difficult for Sachin himself. By the way, one thing I can assure everyone is that the great man would continue to do his bit for cricket or other sports. Despite retiring, you will keep hearing good things about him for sure!
Sachin’s emotional strength was proved during the 1999 World Cup where he played against Kenya just after he lost his father. So being true Sachin fans, we can’t afford to be weak. In case, if we do, just revisit his numerous innings available on YouTube. After all, memories never retire!