Arjun Rampal’s persona as Arun Gawli is dazzling but unfortunately Daddy does not entirely cash in on it

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Third AC journey (2.75/5)

Starring: Arjun Rampal, Aishwarya Rajesh, Rajesh Shringarpure, Anand Ingale, Nishikant Kamat

Director: Ashim Ahluwalia

The Indian film industry, over the years, has continued to shed light upon some of the darkest, most notorious and petrifying characters of the Indian mafia. Whether it be the flamboyant and charismatic Sultan Mirza of Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, the many stylish and deadly faces of Dawood in films like D-Day or the cool, composite and stealthy Ramadhir Singh of Gangs of Wasseypur, Bollywood somehow manages to do justice to their characters that evolve out of the stories of real life gangsters. Ashim Ahluwalia’s portrait of Arun Gawli is dark and engrossing but suffers from some directorial and editing casualties in its 140-minute long run.

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What kicks off in the streets of Dagdi Chawl in 1976, soon begins to take shape around the evolution of the BRA gang and the metamorphosis of Arun Gawli, the protagonist, into a gangster from an average mill worker who loses his job. Just like every Bollywood-gangster film, Daddy also builds upon the hardships of Arun during his early days and how circumstances force him into partnering Babu Reshim and Rama Naik in their unscrupulous activities. Yes, it matches the tonality of others in the genre, but Daddy adds the unique touch to it. The time, locations, costumes and above all, the characters add a tangible and believable aura to the film. The first half gets almost all aspects of a Mumbai based gangster right; from the chawls and slum style life to the encounter with Dawood followed by shootouts and chase scenes, everything is done justice to.


Daddy follows a pretty simplistic and already explored story line but with a sensational protagonist at the helm of things. Gawli’s character is completely nailed by Arjun Rampal. From the prosthetics to the accent and the makeup, Arjun Rampal is without a doubt the best thing Daddy has. Music of the 80’s and effecient supporting cast members play their part in the transformation of Arun to Daddy, but after a rather eventful first half things start to get a little dull and dark in the second part of the journey. With Gawli reaching his peak as the leader of the BRA gang, Ashim Ahluwalia’s film tends to solely rely on Rampal’s on-screen persona.


Another feather in the cap for Daddy is that it keeps facts and figures in check. The film is well researched and ensures the chronology of events is not tampered with. As we near the end, the film successfully exits its temporary monotony as Arun Gawli enters into politics. From this juncture, the film sprints towards the end, giving a very high level view of Gawli’s career as a politician.


It’s well finished by a bold and touting speech by Rampal as we see Gawli being sentenced for life. Despite some of its flaws, Daddy ended it up impressing me. It could be because it does not conveniently tamper with facts or even because of the relentless efforts put into making this film given the innumerable challenges faced by the production unit. Summing it up, I’d say Daddy is watchable if you enjoy dark and treacherous hindi cinema, Daddy fits your genre.


Baadshaho is the perfect example of a cinematic catastrophe

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Unreserved Journey from Jaisalmer to Delhi (1.5/5)

The 1975 emergency background, the reunion of Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi with the stealthy presence of Illeana D’Cruz and Sanjay Mishra and a versatile director like Milan Luthria at the helm of things, Baadshaho’s trailer left a decent impression on me. But, sadly, the 3-minute trailer does not end up as a very delightful 3-hour film and hence adding another number to my list of disappointments.



It all starts during the year 1973 introducing Priyanshu Chatterjee playing a dull Sanjay Gandhi, who tries his flirting skills with a young and charming princess, Gitanjali devi (Illeana D’Cruz). Now, when the very first scene of the film fails to come up with charm, vigour and intent, one is just left with a depleting interest in what follows, especially if it goes on for 3 hours. Characters are introduced with a little background as more details would have been an unnecessary atrocity on viewers. Not only is Baadshaho built on a spineless story but also exhibits a dull and wannabe screenplay. Dialogues are terrible and end up complementing the damp storyline. The only part where Milan Luthria gets it correct is the entry of his characters and a part of his casting.


In an attempt to confiscate the royal gold the army brings in Vidyut Jamwal who also goes on a rampage of philosophical and stylish dialogues that do not suit his stature or character in the film. After producing a lively twist towards the tail of the first half, Baadshaho gave me a ray of hope for the second half. But, I was mistaken. There comes a point in the film, where the truck carrying gold actually looks more thought of than the characters and story of the film. The characters go on a rampage in the second half as character conflicts, intent, climax, plot and dilemmas are just rendered baseless terms. Despite a whole bucket of problems, Baadshaho gives you a generous background score, which is not enough to overshadow the perils of this journey. The acting department is also on a shaky wicket as on one hand Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Mishra and Emraan Hashmi are the eye candies while Illeana D’Cruz, Vidyut Jamwal and Esha Gupta destroy all that was left of this shipwreck.


After a lot of chaos and asymmetrical direction, Baadshaho finally nears its end in the deserts of Rajasthan. To sum it up neither the characters nor the plot of the film reaches its end making Baadshaho a waste of both, time and money.


The Big Sick is both: Bold and Beautiful

The Cinema Station’s Rating: A first AC journey (4.5/5)

Growing up as a Bollywood audience I have been quite well equipped to enjoy love stories and family dramas. The Big Sick portrays an aspiring Pakistani comedian, Kumail Nanjiani, subdued by the grass rooted culture and beliefs of a conservative Pakistani family, falling in love with an American, Emily. The film dwells in a romantic mood catalyzed by the befitting comedy, family drama and an enormous degree of emotion.


Now, if you have understood or even observed the traditionally conservative South Asian family culture, The Big Sick is something that would make perfect sense to you. The journey picks up on a light tone helping the audience get in the mood and gather as much information as possible about Kumail and his immediate surroundings. Some brilliant exposition covered with awkward moments, subtle background scores and stand-up performances, help this ride begin with the perfect momentum.


In his road to making it to the Montreal comedy festival finals, Kumail comes across Emily and instantly falls for her. After a lot of hitches, they begin dating but the affair does not sustain the rigid cultural boundaries set by Kumail’s family. The film does so well because it presents some intense dilemmas which an individual in Kumail’s position would actually come across. The director elaborates on the emotional conflicts of the characters involved which certainly helps the film get to a convincing end with no loose ends.


As the journey unfolds, the film gives us a peek into Kumail’s family which is really well done. An aspiring father (Anupam Kher), a hopeful and emotional mother (Zenobia Shroff), a bossy yet caring elder brother (Adeel Akhtar) and a chirpy sister in law (Shenaz Treasurywala) si the Nanjiani family for us. Michael Showalter does no wrong in painting a conservative, reserved yet comical Anglo-Pakistani family in contrast to a caring yet open minded American one. Essaying the character of Emily’s parents are, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, who are introduced once their daughter enters a coma.


The film builds on relationships and emotions, but all with a pinch of comedy, which makes it even more entertaining. The makers keep it simple as far as the dialogues and music go, ensuring the focus of any scene and the story is not lost. Kumail Nanjiani pulls off a perfect version of himself while Zoe Kazan’s (Emily) moving performance power the film to a high.


The film ends with Kumail making peace between the 2 worlds; the one from where he comes and the one where he is. Despite it being from the romcom genre, The Big Sick solidifies traditional family values assuring the right balance is struck between the East and the West. Summing it up, the film is something you should definitely watch if you have a taste for quality cinema.



Sridevi’s grace magnifies the emotional dilemmas Mom presents

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Third AC Journey (3.5/5)

Well packed suspense, sincerely-etched characters and brilliantly presented emotional conflicts sum up Sridevi’s comeback film, Mom. One great thing about Mom is that it lives up to the hype created by its trailer. The film revolves around the crippled relationship of Sridevi and her stepdaughter Sajal Ali that develops in rather troubled times for their family.


With one of the most common stories experimented in the industry, Ravi Udyawar’s directorial debut begins on a light and fun note and within no time takes a dark and. Despite the countless emotional flip-flops the film takes us it hardly allows you to shift your focus from the screen. The director makes sure to elaborate on the interfamily bonds and tensions from the very first scene making the exposition fall in place with the tone the film takes.


What I believed to be something of an Indian version of Taken turns out to be a mother’s journey to punish the criminals that raped her daughter and reconnect with her stepdaughter by earning her faith and respect. A.R. Rahman’s music enhances the soul of the film as Sridevi needs no convincing playing a mother out for revenge. Nawazuddin’s cameo is subtle and a few glossy dialogues light up his involvement in the film. One cannot complain much about the acting performances as the supporting cast puts up a strong formation with Sridevi in the lead.


Playing on emotions and the feelings of an 18-year-old who has survived a gang rape, Mom does a pretty decent job to entertain. Something that really needs to be applauded is Ravi udyawar’s skills as a director. From a potent screenplay to using the surrounding nature and objects to showcase the mood of the characters and the film, Ravi Udywar’s attention to detail is impressive given that he is a first timer.


In the end, Mom does end on a good note as everything falls in place for Devaki (Sridevi) and Arya (Sajal Ali) and the mother-daughter bond is finally built. The film does have a twist in the tale but I feel that could have been better treated. On the whole, Mom left me a pleasant aftertaste as the film does not give you much to rue. It’s fine,articulate and can be watched.


“Mere paas maa hai…” 10 times the 21st Bollywood moms intrigued us

Kirron Kher (Dostana)


How would an Indian mom react on finding her son in the act of being gay ? That expression and scene was nailed by Kirron Kher in Dostana. Even though the Bollywood veteran did not play a major role in the film her cameo added the extra element of comedy and mirth. Her portrayal of the “Punjaban” mom is deserving enough to earn her a nomination in our list.

Jaya Bachchan(Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham/Kal Ho Na Ho/Fiza)

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No one other than Jaya Bachchan can be thought of if you talk about Bollywood mothers. She has portrayed amazing characters with a lot of diversity ranging from the standard subdued Indian house wife in Kabhi khushi Kabhi Gham to playing the strong and calm mother in Fiza and Kal Ho Na Ho.

Tisca Chopra(Taare Zameen Par)


A film that gave a very different angle to the mother-son relationship at a very nascent and difficult stage. Not known to play largely impacting roles on-screen Tisca Chopra gave a moving performance as a mother to dyslexic child and won our hearts.

Deepti Naval (Listen…Amaya)

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Listen…Amaya is the story of a widowed mother and her relationship with her grown up daughter. As Amaya, the daughter, on seeing her mother (Deepti Naval) fall in love with a widowed photographer, Faarooq Shaikh, insecurity, shame and anger surface and estrange the mother-daughter bond for Swara Bhaskar(Amaya). The film goes on to give one of the most practical climax to the crisis as Deepti Naval not only plays a cool and composite friend but a protective and selfless mother in the modern age.

Amrita Singh (2 States)


Punjabi mom’s and mother in laws are one character that Bollywood has always understood perfectly. Whether it be her over dramatic loud tone or the extremely possessive and caring affection towards her son, Amrita Singh nailed the role of a Punjabi mother in 2 States. Capturing almost every aspect of a Delhi based Punjabi mom, Amrita Singh is one of our all time favourite on screen mothers.

Richa Chadda (Gangs of Wasseypur)


Gangs of Wasseypur was probably about everything else but motherhood, but Richa Chadda’s sassy character of Nagma Khaatoon where she plays a mother to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vineet Kumar Singh is one which is hard for me to forget. Her bold on-screen character and simple yet punch packing dialogues add essence to the film and land her up in the list of the coolest 21st century Bollywood mothers.

Vidya Balan (Paa)


Paa gave parenting a completely different look as we saw Vidya Balan and Abhishek Bachchan parent a specially abled child, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The film adds a fresh flavour to motherhood as we see Vidya Balan essay an independent mother who brings up her son ensuring he fits into the society despite his physical and medical challenges. Though it may not be one of her remembered roles, but Vidya Balan did pull off a stereotypical yet audacious mother in Paa.

Swara Bahskar (Nil Battey Sannata)


Another on screen mother daughter relationship which blew us away completely with its simplicity and adorable character. With Swara bhaskar essaying the role of a mother to a stubborn and out of control daughter the film talks about the problems a typical lower middle class mother faces in bringing her child to the right track.

Ratna Pathak Shah (Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na)


Ratna Pathak Shah will always be remembered for her television character Maya Sarabhai and her bold yet elegant mother’s act in Jaane Tu. Playing a single mother to debutant Imran Khan she adds the perfect amount of humour, wit and control to the mother’s character a film like Jaane Tu needed.

Zohra Sehgal (Cheeni Kum)


If you talk Hindi film mom’s you cannot miss out on the witty little Zohra Sehgal in Cheeni Kum. Playing a mother to the veteran Amitabh Bachchan could have been a tough task but late Zohra Sehgal pmade it an exemplary performance. Not only was she witty but also used the standard Indian mom style sarcasm to blow off the veteran Mr. Bachchan at times. If not an all time favourite, she is one of the top contenders for the coolest on screen mothers ever played.

Sridevi (English Vinglish)


In her directorial debut Gauri Shinde gave us an image of a Marathi house that is solely run by a housewife, Sridevi. As a mother to two children and a wife, her inability to comprehend and speak English is taunted at every step by her husband and her daughter. As the film progresses she goes onto learn the language to the best of her ability and ends the film wrapping up one of the most modest and self motivated Bollywood mums.


Ram Gopal Varma gets lost in his own genius as Sarkar3 is another misfired shot

The Cinema Station’s Rating: 2nd Sleeper Class Journey (1./5)

There is nothing more painful than witnessing the rise and fall of a film maker in your lifetime. First the legend of Subhash Ghai and now Ram Gopal Varma is all set to bite the dust. To be honest, I would not be lying if I had not predicted this after the infamous “Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag“, nothing short of an insult to Ramesh Sippy’s “Sholay“. Moving from the nature of Mr. Varma’s previous exploits to his latest cinematic mishap, Sarkar 3, RGV tries hard but miserably fails in recreating anything near to his earlier masterpieces.


Sarkar and Sarkar Raj had good memories with every Indian film lover and without doubt were Bollywood’s top notch attempts at the gangster film genre. With Sarkar3 being announced I expected nothing short of a treat to the mind blowing sequels. The film looked great from the trailers and with a star studded cast comprising of Amitabh Bachachan, Jackie Shroff, Amit Sadh, Ronit Roy and Manoj Bajpayee coupled with the effect of two sensational prequel films there was nothing much that could have gone wrong.


The journey kicks off from where things were left a few years back as Ram Gopal Varma quickly shuffles across all his characters in a flurry with no proper background and story, jumping directly into the line of action. One can mistake it with his style of direction but the director fails to support the intense scenes and backdrop with equally sensible dialogues and direction.


With a lot of focus hovering around the acting department, Mr. Bachchan, Ronit Roy and Amit Sadh are the only actors one can notice while Jackie Shroff wanders in and around an infinity pool oozing out his aristocracy and meaningless monologues that make him look classy yet obtuse. Yami Gautam and Manoj Bajpayee fail to make an impression as they are hardly utilized by the script. Despite a mile of demerits one has to hand it over to Amol Rathod for his powerful-suspense creating camera work and the music directors that help you get through the film with the constant background score support.


Mr. Varma may have chosen a tale good enough to be told but his screenplay spoils the mood of the journey. What could have been Ram Gopal Varma’s sensational comeback is marred with senselessly used bold dialogues along with poorly edited and abruptly ending scenes. With the first half ending on an average note the second half falls much below expectations as the fault line gets even more exposed. Just when the director realizes he has gone too far to mend things he thankfully ends the film with an unexpected twist in the tale.


Summing it up, I did happen to notice the remains of the genius of Ram Gopal Varma but Sarkar 3 could have been a much better experience if it would have not sported such a convoluted plot and intolerable screenplay. As the film ends its difficult to believe the mistakes the film makes and I wish we get something better to follow from Mr. Varma.

Phillauri is quite interesting only till the sparkling ghosts don’t haunt you

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Third AC Punjab Mail Journey (2.5/5)

Diljit Dosanjh, a Punjabi wedding and a Anushka Sharma as a golden sparkling ghost is what every Bollywood fan could gather from Phillauri’s trailer. Well, the film has a lot more to offer than these takeaways which make Phillauri a much more relishing film than expected. It gives you the punjabi swag and jolly moments with some naive yet adorable romance which everyone in the Bollywood’s target audience would enjoy.


Phillauri kicks off with a confused Suraj Sharma(Kanan) who is unwillingly being married to his childhood love Mehreen parizada(Anu). Sounds strange ? Yes, that is how Kanan’s parents responded when he tells them “I want to find myself” a couple of days before his marriage. Such light and hilarious family moments and pre wedding jitters make Philauri a remarkably interesting journey. Phillauri wears a fresh look as  a major section of the film is a Punjabi wedding that anyone in the world would love to be a part of. Despite its modern day coolness, Phillauri also takes you back to the age old musical romance of Diljit and Anushka. The fact that these two love stories brilliantly co exist and support each other makes Phillauri a director’s special.


Characterization is something that goes perfect for Phillauri. While Anushka Sharma charms you as the lovable sparkling ghost after challenging roles in Sultan and Ae Dil, Suraj and Mehreen make you fall in love from their very first on screen conversation. Diljit’s entry is a scene that makes you heart skip a beat and the portrait of him singing Sahiba and Dum Dum in a village of Punjab is quite brilliantly brought out. However, I would have loved to see more of Diljit whose aura is powerful yet short lived. He looks to multiply his Bollywood fans after his award winning performance in Udta Punjab.Despite lead roles, the performance of Anu’s grandmother who always has a witty answer and a glass of whisky, is the special gift from the filmmakers; the perfect Punjabi dadi.


It cashes on its music, frequent humour, pre independence family drama and superbly etched characters. Phillauri gives you hardly anything to complain about for almost 100 minutes of its running time until suddenly you feel the driver losing navigation and the journey going off course. Despite what could have been one of the prettiest love stories of the year, in a matter of moments Phillauri loses its charm as we see more and more of sparkling ghosts and lesser living characters take charge towards the end. Hence, Phillauri’s end is much more painful than Mustafa Burmawala’s acting debut, Machine.

Just like the Titanic did nothing wrong than hitting the iceberg, Phillauri makes every move right until its last twenty minutes. Director Anshai Lal’s first film looks good but could have been much better if the twist in the tale could have been better. In an age where ghosts can only scare Phillauri makes us fall in love as Anushka’s VFX created version ensures Phillauri lands safe with not much to complain about. To conclude, Since when did ghosts start sparkling ?

Trapped is Bollywood’s version of Man vs Wild

Bollywood’s capability of directing survival thrillers has always been questioned as its been a genre that has not been explored a lot by our filmmakers. Yes, its a fact that we may have not been able to achieve the level of classics like Castaway, Life of Pi and Alive, but Trapped might just be the breakthrough Bollywood needed in this genre. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, the man behind Masaan and Lootera, Trapped is a film for the elite and the brave hearted.


Starting on a light and comic note Trapped gives you an initial five to ten minutes to ease into the journey. Leading this one man show, Rajkumar Rao, is a happy go lucky person and is busy figuring out his new love life. In a series of events that surprisingly force him to rent an apartment in a deserted building in the heart of Mumbai, he moves into his new home with big dreams. The next day, while hurrying from his new home he gets into a situation where the door of his house shuts and the keys are left hanging on the outside of the door. Despite a slightly unconventional beginning, Rajkumar Rao’s acting makes you want to watch the remainder of this  tripping thriller.


As the journey gathers pace and we move ahead, the film gets into its real look, which leaves you gloomy and weary of what is to come up with all cameras on the leading guy and a few insects and rodents. Given his earlier ventures, Vikramaditya Motwane goes into a completely different theme and his lack of experience reflects in some parts of the film. After cries of help and gruesome trials to get himself out for a good forty to forty five minutes in the film, I lost hopes of an entertaining film and Rajkumar being able to get out of the house.


Monotony and failures were soon welcomed by showers of Mumbai and brought some relief to me and Shaurya (Rajkumar Rao) too. Slowly the tone of the film changes as Shaurya says “Kuch bhi ho jaaye idhar marna nahi hai”  and formulates a plan to escape his doomed abode. The film brings in a couple of songs which help lighten the scenario and hilarious references to the Man vs Wild show help Trapped being a worthwhile watch. Rajkumar Rao takes a step ahead as the actor once again gives us a glimpse of his fine mettle.


Trapped ends on an OK note with things changing drastically in the Shaurya’s life. Compared to the kind of cinema we are used, Trapped is a bit different but is an effort worth applauding. Trapped, according to me is the first film of its type in Bollywood and despite some of its naive flaws, the film does manage to do some good for the Indian film society.

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Short 3 Tier AC Journey.



Logan is just how you wanted to bid Farewell to Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine

Starring: Hugh Jackman(Logan, X-24), Patrick Stewart(Charles Xavier/Professor X), Richard Grant(Zander Rice), Stephen Merchant(Caliban), Dafne Keen(Laura), Boyd Holbrook(Donald Pierce)

Director: Marco Beltrami

Music: James Mangold

Logan was always going to be hard for those who have loved Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine outfit. The 100 seconds trailer projected an old and spent Wolverine accompanied by the ailing Professor, Charles Xavier. In his final portrayal as the Wolverine, Hugh Jackman tries hard to keep up his game but manages to make his final bout a memorable one.


Similar to other Wolverine films, Logan kicks off with a tone of monotony and depression, showcasing a beast in pain and agony after all his friends and fellow mutants have perished. The film in many ways is different from other X-men or for that matter, even Wolverine films. X-Men series have been loved over the years for their multiple mutant characters and links with which one can associate across the whole film series. Both these characteristics go missing in Logan.


In these days of despair Logan and Charles come across another scientifically carved mutant, Laura, who astonishingly bares resemblance to the protagonist of this journey. In their attempt to safeguard Laura, another product of the Transigen program, Charles and Logan come up against Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), the current head of the Transigen program and his security aide Donald Pierce(Boyd Holbrook). To be honest, none of them, either Zander or Donald pose a threat to the Wolverine as they fall below the expectations of a formidable negative character which one would expect the Wolverine to crush before his fall.


As we move ahead on the route, Logan gives some brilliantly directed action scenes that see Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen take the cake. With a peep into the future  X-men , director Marco Beltrami organizes his script well that at all points revolves around Logan and the last laps of his journey Besides the high voltage action the film capitalizes on the emotional bonding between the characters as we see the last of the remaining X-Men bite the dust.


In its 140 minute long run, the film tries to shift focus from Hugh Jackman, but in the end Logan’s soul stays with the Wolverine. The on screen performances are good enough to support the cause as Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen who steal the show even in the acting department. As the film goes onto live only on Jackman nostalgia, action, momentary comedy and emotion, some noticeable background scores or music composition would have really been the icing to the cake. Sadly, James Mangold’smusic seems to be missing from the film as the Wolverine fights his Transigen created replica.


If something other than Wolverine, Logan seems to be the bridge between the last race and the next generation of X-Men to come. AS the journey breaks on its last station its indeed a sad moment for Wolverine fans but simultaneously the film is the best way to end this remarkable superhero character that has entertained us for the 9th time as the Wovlerine. To sum up, Logan is the best way to treat yourself this weekend and if you are a X-Men fan then there should be no reason to not watch Logan.

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Second AC Journey



What could Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon have in Store for You ?


Passion, pain, agony, suffering and a heart breaking climax have been the stand out features of Vishal Bhardwaj’s love stories. Whether it be the bold and violent Maqbool or the political and malignant Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj’s love stories have never been known to end on a jolly note. In today’s journey we discuss more on Mr. Bhardwaj’s direction, characterization and story lines when it comes to romantic flicks.


The Deep and Dark Passion

The burning desire of living and dying together has always been the special spark of a Bhardwaj special love story. His films ensure that the lead pair always carry a soaring high passion and blind trust chemistry between each other. In his unconventional Shakespearean love stories, the initial deep rooted passion has been a major driving force to a violent, heart breaking yet classic climax.


Ranging from that of Tabu and Irrfan Khan in Maqbool to Priyanka Chopra’s for her seven husbands in 7 Khoon Maaf, passion has been one of Vishal Bhardwaj’s finest tools at his disposal to make his love stories what they are. Thus, passion is the first 2 Tier AC coach of our train journey of the day.

Locations and Culture : Corners of India

Vishal Bhardwaj has always been a man of the Indian villages. Simple and subtle sets that make sure your entire attention is drawn towards highly volatile story line and charismatic acting. While Ishqiya featured the rural sector of Gorakhpur, Omakara gave a glimpse of Rajasthan, Haider of Kashmir and Matru of Haryana, the director’s love for exploring different locations has been one selling point for his films.


Some may term it as an attempt to attract regional crowds, but the art of painting a romantic masterpiece in any state of India is another feature of Mr. Bharadwaj’s direction. With Rangoon all set to explore the North Eastern frontiers of India, lets hope his zest to explore different locations takes Vishal Bhardwaj’s latest, Rangoon to the heights Omkara and Ishqiya have achieved. Locations queue up as the first 3 Tier AC coach of Vishal bhardwaj’s Love Story Express.

Betrayal and Treachery : The Turning Point


The trailer of Rangoon highlights three words; love, war and deceit. What is Shakespeare without treachery ? The same questions applies to Vishal Bhardwaj’s eventful and nervy romance films. Whatever the end may be, pleasant as in Ishqiya or a massacre as in Maqbool, the mid story “baimaani” is a quality trademark of Bollywood’s desi badass director.


We saw Saif Ali Khan betray Ajay Devgan in Omkara, Priyanka kill her husbands in 7 Khoon Maaf and Irrfan kill Pankaj Kapur in Maqbool. This art of back stabbing and betrayal has been the table turning points in all of the directors love stories, successful or unsuccessful. Treachery and betrayal add up as the first 1st AC coach of the train of the day.

Characterization : Light, Efficient and Bold 


He has never been a fans of the big names and his films casting line up says it all. Vishal Bhardwaj has always kept his casting simple and made sure their talents are effectively utilized to suit his screenplay. Haider featured Shahid Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead with Tabu and Kay Kay Menon in the supporting cast and three out of these four went onto win Filmfares for their acting heroics.


Loud roles and too much of showbiz has never been Bhardwaj’s style. Going into Rangoon with his tried and tested combination of Shahid and Saif with the addition of Kangana Ranaut proves Rangoon is no different from his earlier films. Characterization is the next 2 Tier AC in today’s train.


Hard Hitting Dialogues

Omkara, Maqbool, ishqiya and Haider might have been great films, but without their deadly combination badass and poetic dialogues these films have would not have earned the honour they did. Being a decorated and qualified hindi film screenwriter Vishal Bhardwaj has always braced his films with some cheeky and sparky dialogues.

Aag ke liye paani ka darr bana rehna chahiye” – Maqbool

Tu toh bewakoof haiga..chutiya toh aadmi shaadi ke baad hove hai” – Omkara


While Maqbool’s wordings gave away a sigh of dark romance, Omkara gave the tangy and sassy “desi” double meaning slang that won over audiences in a jiffyWhile “Chutiyam Sulphate” and “Chutzpah” earned whistles his poetic couplets in Haider and 7 Khoon Maaf were widely credited.


Jise tairna aata ho use doobke aatmahatya ki koshish nai karni chahiye” – 7 Khoon Maaf

Paisa kamaane ke do raaste hote hai..ek shortcut..aur ek doosra shortcut” – Kaminey

Rangoon in its 3 minute trailer does give of the thrills of some brilliant dialogues and scenes , but the director’s name has set high hopes on the films dialogues. As our journey for Rangoon gets prepped up, we have Vishal Bhardwaj’s dialogues be the 1st AC cum 2nd Tier compartment of the train.


Pehle bhi dekha hai ishq mein andha baawla hote, par chutiya pehli baar dekh riya hu main” – Ishqiya

Music: The Tune is always the Soul 


Sassy poetry and bold voices with melodious low pitched music is what one can best use to describe Vishal Bhardwaj’s music. Over exposure to his wife, Rekha Bhardwaj’s sensational voice with chip ins from Sukhwinder Singh and other fine music talents, Mr. Bhardwaj knows his music and how to use it to set the film’s tone.


Popularizing his title tracks even before film releases, romantic tracks of Vishal Bhardwaj’s music direction are special. “Beedi Jalaile” (Omkara), “Darling” (7 Khoon Maaf), “Bismil” (Haider) and “Dil toh bacha hai ji” (Ishqiya) have been the standouts of his musical gallery. “Mere miya Gaye England” and “Ye Ishq Hai” are already making headlines as the film preps for release. Music adds to the next 2 Tier AC of our train.

The Downfall : All’s Well That End’s Well…Not Really

Some may call him a pesimist while I call him an genius of constructing declines and tragedies.  Bhardwaj is not a fan of happy endings and even though a few of his love affairs like Kaminey and Ishqiya may have overpowered his art of directing romantic tragedies, Haider, Omakara, 7 Khoon Maaf are much more loved for portraying rapid downfalls and elimination of the protagonist.


The ending scene in Bhardwaj’s romantic dramas has  always been the winning moment and some of Rangoon’s scenes do give us a hint of another exceptional romantic tragedy. Hence, the last coach of this train adds as the next 2 Tier AC coach in Vishal Bhardwaj’s romance train.








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