Hindi movies


(Please bear with the length of this review because I tried to bring justice to the length and multiple annotations of Gully Boy)

“Someone beautifully painted a splash of fire with the Ashes” – Gully Boy is revolutionary, inspiring, heart-breaking (at parts), cruel, casual, empathetic, gutsy, & a real tale. In fact, it is not a single movie, it is like a huge thali of varied dishes – all cooked with truth! I am falling short of words to explain the feelings running in my head right now. Very rarely, they make movies that elevate your senses to this level. Only a cool-headed, calm, and composed set of hands could have pulled off this gigantic movie. Zoya Akhtar was ridiculed by a segment of moviegoers that “she makes movies on rich people” to which she retorted “Really! India goes to the theater to watch poverty?!” And here she bounces a story where not only poverty but many shades of the burning challenges of India are accommodated.

Zoya & Reema Kagti has an outstanding caliber of creating a world of their characters where you find the rustic flaws marrying the ironies! Be it Luck By Chance, Dil Dhadakne Do, or Lust Stories – she showed it every time that dichotomy prevails as an underline in every stratum of our society. This movie is dedicated to the life and fame of Divine & Naezy but the movie is way above them.

Story In Short
Story In Short
Image Source – Google

The story primarily focuses on the life of Murad who lives in Dharavi and is pursuing graduation. His father is a driver of a “rich” family who is earning and investing in his education so that his son can become an able man. The family like every other family has its “not so comfortable” stories. Murad’s father marries again and that leads to some friction in the family (beautifully depicted in an un-Ekta Kapoor way). So, Murad writes poetry and listens to world-famous rap stars to deviate himself from his domestic life. His long-time girlfriend of 9 years Safeena played by Alia Bhatt is a motor mouth and a hot spring of anger and rage. One should not mess with her life.

Safeena is an upper-class girl and her parents are more interested in getting her married and not her career in surgery. Murad gets in touch with MC Sher played by Siddhant Chaturvedi. (the invention and gem of the movie) Who helps Murad to polish his skills. From here, the story focuses on Murad’s journey of becoming a rapper who literally rises from the rags. In this journey, he is preparing for his exam, driving a car for the rich, working as a sales guy, and also stealing cars at night! There is also turbulence in his family due to this “not so conventional” form of music.

Moments That You Will Take Back Home
Moments That You Will Take Back Home
Image Source – Google
  1. From rags to riches, comparison of “haves” & “have nots”, patriarchy to conventional norms, dreams vs. reality, dilemma vs. confidence, religion vs. humanity, the reeling gap between rich & poor to dissolving the differences, revolt vs. adjustment, fair & lovely vs. brown & beautiful – there are too many subplots here. The director uses all these elements to create the world of Gully Boy. Never ever trying to be preachy and yet propelling you to think sensibly.
  2. The dialogues of this movie deserve a separate blog. From the awe-inspiring “duniya mein sab comfortable hote to rap koun banata?” (MC Sher) to the selfish “itna sa to life hai mera, ab isme bhi wo ghusegi” (Safeena) and “apne idhar to sab jaat paat dekhte hai, inke yaha direct aankho mein jhankte hai” (MC Sher) – there are multiple moments in this movie which are gutsy, raw, hard-hitting yet so subtle! The dialogue writer Vijay Maurya is impeccable at his job both on & off screen. On screen, you have seen him in Tumhari Sulu and here as the Mama of Murad.
  3. The whole transformation of a shy boy Murad (quite opposite of Ranveer Singh’s real-life aura) to a rap star performing in front of lakhs is carried out to perfection by RS. Zoya taps into a very different Ranveer Singh (we’ve seen that in DDD too) and he never ever falters. During the end of the movie where Murad performs the final round of selection and sings “Aapna Time Aayega” – you can truly feel his heartbeat (& yours too).
  4. The light work and camera angles (Jay Oza) create a beautiful emotional sphere. And that is a prime reason which makes this movie so lovable!
  5. Alia as Safeena is unapologetic about hitting anyone and everyone who she finds out is getting closer to her boyfriend. With every movie, she is breaking her image and making it her career best!

    Moments That You Will Take Back Home
    Image Source – Google
  6. Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher puts up a laudable performance who is the discovery of 2019. Outstanding would be an understatement to describe him here. The movie belongs to him & Ranveer totally.
  7. Vijay Varma as Moeen justifies his role and is another pillar of the movie.
  8. Vijay Raaz plays the father of Murad who is utterly selfish but a bit restrained than the dad of Secret Superstar. He is there to prove a point that patriarchy is detrimental even to the growth and development of art & culture!
  9. One of the highest highs of Gully Boy is that Ranveer Singh. A mass superstar by his own merit is a character here. The hungry eyes and composed body language used to become Murad makes a permanent home in your heart. He is Murad and nothing more than Murad where even for an inch you won’t see the charismatic star flair. In fact, the camera also treats him like that. There is no close-up shot for the heroic entry that is so rampant in Bollywood.
  10. In a particular scene, Zoya infuses Javed Akhtar poetry “Doorie” to play as a monologue to the audience. Murad drives the rich girl home from a party and sees her cry relentlessly. That big gap that our society draws between “have” & “have nots” is captured to excellence here with lines like “Ye behte aansu main pochhu itni meri aukaat nehi”.
  11. Murad once goes to the home of Sky (Kalki Koechlin) and uses her washroom. Belonging to a slum, he knows where he stands in the eyes of the society and thus maintains that gap with his simplicity. He uses a towel and folds it exactly the way it was. Not leaving a mark that it was used by someone. He then counts his steps to gauge the measurement of the washroom. That plays a parallel to the fact that his “kholi” is smaller than this washroom.
  12. Like many, I was not familiar with the Rap music that became a rage in the 80’s – 90’s in America and later came to India too. This album made me listen to these songs in loop. The reason is revolutionary lyrics which are sensible and amazingly records the rage and roar of our times!

A single space to narrate the narrative of Gully Boy won’t be enough! Many movies were made as a commentary to Mumbai. But no one romanced so engagingly with Mumbai where you feel proud of the scars. Many movies were made as a tale of “becoming something” be it biopics or imaginary stories. But no one is “so sold to its passions and dreams” like Gully Boy.

P.S. – Beyond everything else “Ek Hi Raasta” narration of Murad is that anthem that will lubricate your engines of passion. A big salute to Javed Akhtar for inspiring us to take the “other route”!

4.75/5 – (0.25 deducted for not showing a bit more of Kalki Koechlin)

Movies have always been two types, one type has always submerged themselves to the regular song-dance-drama stuff while the other type has focused on a nice story from which the characters and actors pierced the hearts and souls of the audience. 2018 was way ahead of what was left in 2017 in terms of content. For the last few years, content has really ruled the screens but the final siren was blown this year where the audience have worshipped only content. Thus, it has been a tough year to filter the best. Here are some of the hugely underrated but wonderful Bollywood movies of 2018 which you must watch sometime.

Gali Guleiyan (Director- Dipesh Jain)
Gali Guleiyan
Image Source – Google

You have names like Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, & Ranvir Shorey in this movie. The CV of this movie carries screening in 23 Film Festivals with the premiere at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. Gali Guleiyan is a psychological drama where it portrays a maze – both physical and mental.

The character of Manoj Bajpayee Khuddoos lives in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi where buildings are just overlapped on each other and the bare spaces are filled up with cable wires. He is a voyeur and a lonely person who fears to step outside but keeps a check on his neighborhood through the CCTV monitor. He wants to help the local butcher’s son Idris and the movie focuses on this journey. Khuddoos is broken and infected irreparably. His mind is a maze of regrets, punishments, and memories and Manoj Bajpayee was outstanding here. But we neither see this movie nor Manoj Bajpayee in interviews or award shows. Another special mention would be Neeraj Kabi – whose piercing eyes would scare you. This man is always on fire – be it Detective Byomkesh Bakshi or Sacred Games!

Bioscopewala (Deb Medhekar)
Image Source – Google

This is a modern day twisted an adjusted “Kabuliwala”, written by Tagore and enacted by Balraj Sahni & Chhabi Biswas. So, in this adjusted script, Rehmat instead of selling dry fruits from Afghanistan shows films to children through bioscope. The story remains the same in befriending Minnie in Kolkata whom he compares to his daughter. Minnie grows up to become a documentary film-maker who has a strange and harsh relationship with her dad. Her father takes a flight to Afghanistan and before boarding the flight he writes a letter to Minnie. The flight crashes leaving Minnie to understand and unravel the reason behind going to Afghanistan. The raw, rustic, and senile Rehmat and the friendly and easy-going Rehmat was impeccably portrayed by Danny Denzongpa. He is truly a gem of an actor and Bollywood has wasted & underused him.

Khajoor Pe Atke (Director- Harsh Chhaya)
Khajoor Pe Atke
Image Source – Google

I included this movie among the best movies of 2018 article and want to voice for it here too. Simply because it is underrated. Bollywood has seen many first time directors (products of full or half nepotism) and either praised or forgot their inventions. But believe me, this one is a perfect family comedy-drama which you would love to watch again and again. It is more on the lines of Hrishikesh Mukherjee School of film-making.

The basic aim of watching a movie is to get entertained and you would get amused in every frame of KPA. Without any nudity, sleazy moves, and double-meaning dialogues, this director has truly shown how to direct a movie. It tells the tale of a family of three brothers, a sister, and their children and family members. One of the brothers fall ill and how they react with middle-class sentiments is all that you would enjoy here.

Once Again (Director- Kanwal Sethi)
Once Again
Image Source – Google

Neeraj Kabi & Shefali Shah comes together for a heart-warming and heart-wrenching love story that would make you think twice about the characters you meet daily. Two lonely middle-aged independent persons belonging to two different worlds connect with each other. They are also careful of the so-called society that may taint their characters and thus hides their relationship. The children who are hip and happening also somehow rebukes them. More than the script and story, it was Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah who passionately embraced their roles breathing perfection.

3 Storeys (Director- Arjun Mukherjee)
3 Storeys
Image Source – Google

Produced by Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment, I expected better publicity from this one! This is a story of a 3 storey Chawl in Mumbai named Mayanagar. Renuka Shahane plays a Catholic widow who wants to rent a part of her house but cannot find buyers due to strict rules. Varsha played by Masumeh Makhija (of Maqbool fame) is being abused and beaten by an unemployed and alcoholic husband. Leela played by Richa Chadda is a glamorous lady who throws seductive looks to men around the town. These characters living in 3 storeys of this chawl have some secrets too which is revealed in due course. Enjoy this wonderful ride. Special mention is Renuka Shahahe who is overshadowed in the industry!

Hope Aur Hum (Director- Sudip Bandyopadhyay)
Hope Aur Hum
Image Source – Google

From the trailer itself, I knew it is going to be a nostalgia ride. It is a sweet and simple story of an old widower, Nagesh, played beautifully by Naseeruddin Shah who cannot sell off the old Xerox machine that seldom works. It takes up unnecessary space at home and this leads to some friction in the family. Letting go off is a painful act and art. The latest photocopy machine comes and Nagesh has to come to terms with his memories. Various sub-plots of the movie also point at “new replacing the old”. Watch out Naseeruddin Shah & Kabir Sajid in this nostalgia-ridden movie.

Kaalakaandi (Director- Akshat Verma)
Image Source – Google

This movie didn’t work at the box office because it was way ahead of its time. Bollywood and the audience are perhaps still not ready to taste this slice of life yet an off-beat movie. If released digitally on streaming platforms, perhaps this movie would have fared better. The doctor says that Saif Ali Khan is in the last stage of Stomach Cancer and he now just want to do all those things that he has never done before. This is a story of a night of full of adventure, exploration, compassion, discovery, comedy, and tragedy. Apart from Saif, there are other stories also who are constantly going through a mad ride all over the night. This type of comedy is perhaps overlooked now but would be treated as a cult classic after a few years!

Some other mentions of underrated Bollywood movies from 2018 would be Hansal Mehta’s Omerta, Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, Gauravv K. Chawla’s Baazaar, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, and Sanjay Patel’s Union Leader.

Movies are the biggest source of entertainment in India. Made up of the ingredients of drama, comedy, and acting, they transport your senses to a different world filled with fantasy and imagination. Bollywood, in general, is known for making movies with the huge budget, elaborate cast, and sets larger than life. Of course, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Bajirao Mastani, Padmavat, etc, are a few names to be clicked in your mind. But lately, some low-budget movies with the strong script, impressive characters, and top-notch acting skills have won over people’s heart. So here are 5 budget Bollywood movies that made it big on the silver screen in 2018.

Pad Man
Pad Man
Image Source – Google

Featuring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte, the story of Pad Man is based on the real-life inspiring story of Arunachalam Muruganantham. He is a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads. The menstrual cycle is still considered taboo in India. Many women in various parts of the country suffer from several diseases. As a result of using unhygienic, dirty rags during their periods. Which is sometimes due to the lack of knowledge about the importance of hygiene during menstruation. And mainly because they cannot afford pads due to financial issues.

This movie puts light on the efforts of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who is commonly known as Pad Man. And spread awareness about menstrual hygiene in a loud and clear voice. Made with a low-budget of Rs. 20 crores, this movie gained great popularity among the audience and garnered the total box office collection of Rs. 120 crores.

Image Source – Google

Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel, Calling Sehmat. It stars Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal and directed by Meghna Gulzar. It is the true story of an Indian Raw agent who was married into a Pakistani family of military officials. To spy for her country and provide information to India before the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The incredible act of Alia Bhatt won the heart of the audience. The movie emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films featuring a female protagonist. Made with an approximate budget of Rs. 35-40 crores, the movie managed to make the total box office collection of 194 crores.

Image Source – Google

Stree is a comedy-horror Bollywood movie that makes people laugh out loud. While keeping them scared enough to bite their nails with curiosity. Starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, this movie is based on the real story of a woman’s spirit. She is popularly called “Stree” who attacks men at night when they are alone at that time. And only leaves their clothes behind. A sentence “O Stree Kal Aana” is written at the entrances of the house to protect men from her wrath. The entire budget of the movie including production and marketing cost was around 24 crores. Which successfully garnered 174.5 crores on the big screen.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Image Source – Google

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is a Bollywood comedy movie directed by Luv Ranjan. That stars Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh. The perfect amalgamation of Romance & Bromance, this movie is filled with several twists and turns with not even a single dull moment. Filled with several gripping scenes and witty moments, the movie will leave you in splits. You must definitely watch with your best friend. Made within the budget of 30 crores, the film managed to score a total of Rs 148.5 crores on the silver screen. It emerged as one of the commercially successful films of 2018.

Sui Dhaaga
Sui Dhaaga
Image Source- Google

Sui Dhaaga is a social drama Bollywood film of Yash Raj Banner. It stars Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan as a young couple in rural India who start their small-scale clothing business. Without any financial and emotional support from the family. Despite several hardships and struggle, the couple sees positive results in their self-sufficient business. They receive both money and respect from their family and society. The entire movie was made within the budget of 35 crores. And it managed to make the profit of 119.9 crores on the big screen.

You should definitely watch these low-budget Bollywood movies to experience the world-class act and impressive storyline!

Classic things can never be wiped away from our memories. Like any other classic and timeless movies, Jab We Met didn’t meet with stupendous Box Office collections. It was definitely a hot film but when compared to the content of other potboilers, the profit of Jab We Met was low. But who wants to know the Box Office of Mughal-e-Azam, Pyasa, or Silsila? There are certain movies which are made ahead of times and their charm crosses the boundaries of time easily. Jab We Met is one of those rare movies which would always make you more confident about yourself, make you enjoy life, urge you to shed your inhibitions, and finally teach you to love yourself to the fullest.

The most interesting fact about this movie is that nobody expected anything from this movie. Imtiaz Ali was a flop director, Kareena & Shahid had a string of historic flops in their career. But this movie made them emerge from the ashes. Till today the fashion and dialogues of this movie are followed with pride.

In October 2018 this movie would celebrate its 11th anniversary. Let’s revise some major life lessons taught by this classic movie and refine our life once again.

  1. Love Yourself Without Conditions
Love Yourself Without Conditions
Image Source – Google

No one can fall in love with you if you don’t love yourself. This is the most important tenet of Jab We Met. “Main apni favorite hoon” – Geet says it without any inhibition. She knows she has flaws like others but is simply proud of the way she looks or the way she thinks or the way she behaves. Half of the problems of life would change if you start loving yourself the way Geet loves herself.

  1. Practice What You Preach
Practice What You Preach
Image Source – Google

It is definitely easy to preach something to others but practicing what you are preaching is most important. Geet was a happy-go-lucky, cheerful, and optimistic girl in the first half of the movie who teaches Aditya that one should never lose hope in life or face his challenges with bravery rather than escaping. But when life hits a rock bottom, she forgets her own teaching and becomes a pessimist who has no motive in life.

  1. Everything Is Fair In Love
Everything is Fair in Love
Image Source – Google

Very simplistically, Geet understands the problems of Aditya’s mom even when she has never met her. A middle-aged lady who has an adult son runs away with her lover leaving only insult for the whole family – this is what Aditya thinks of his mom. But Geet enters his life and utters that age-old priceless logic – everything is fair in love. It really is! Maybe for a temporary time, your friends, relatives, and family members would be angry at you but eventually, they would understand. That’s why you should take every possible step to fulfill your love without fear.

  1. Break-Up is Just a Part of Life
Break-Up is Just a Part of Life
Image Source – Google

Geet is madly in love with Anshuman whom she met during her college days. After her return to her home, she learns that her family is fixing her marriage with one of her childhood friends and she runs away from home only to learn that Anshuman is not ready to marry her. He breaks up with her citing she is very childish and crazy. Geet cannot handle this break-up and becomes another version of Aditya. Just like your job, social status, peer group, etc., the break-up is also just a part of your life, and not your whole life. Your whole life, therefore, cannot succumb to self-pity – right? The right one would enter your life just at the right time!

  1. Follow Your Heart …. Always
Follow Your Heart …. Always
Image Source – Google

This is from the book of Shah Rukh Khan and his romantic mannerism in Bollywood. Your brain and your heart would always have a tussle but always follow what your heart says for happiness in the long run. Geet thinks that she cannot convince her family easily to marry a non-Sikh man and thus effortlessly plans to run away. Why? Because her heart is convinced that after some time, all will be fine! And she takes up every other step with that ease!

  1. Simply Play Life, Don’t Get Serious
Simply Play Life, Don’t Get Serious
Image Source – Google

Here is another lesson from the world of Geet and Aditya – stop taking your life seriously. Be attached to everyone, feel for everything, but also know to free yourself from everything. Because the moment you are serious, you feel pain more intensely. Geet is a family-oriented person who would do anything for her family but she also knows how to get the love of her life and thus doesn’t wait for her family to reprimand her for choosing a non-Sikh man. Instead, plans to elope with plans of returning later. In a line or two, she changes the world of Aditya. She says that “In the future, I don’t want to blame anyone and say that my life got ruined because of you”

  1. Never Let Go Off Your Passion
Never Let Go Off Your Passion
Image Source – Google

You may have a passion – everybody has! Never ever give up on that passion. Life may make you do something else but always save your time for that passion because that would keep you happy. Aditya forgot about his singing passion and started leading life like a robot. Geet made this logic clearer to him and he found happiness in his office.

  1. Friendship & Love Is found In The Least Expected Places & Situations
Friendship & Love is found in the Least Expected Places and Situations
Image Source – Google

You never know when and where you will meet someone who would become an intrinsic part of your life. Maybe you end up influencing that person or get influenced by him/her in a big way. Geet found Aditya in a train traveling between Mumbai and Delhi. With a spate of horrendous incidents, they explore each other and become friends. Geet ends up inspiring an almost dead (emotionally) Aditya. Geet finds love when her ex-lover is back in her life and is ready to take the relationship further. So, basically, life is full of surprises and friendship & love which forms the major part of life are formed when least expected.

  1. Be Crazy Now To Laugh Later
Be Crazy Now to Laugh Later
Image Source – Google

There is some need for craziness in your life. These crazy or weird attitude would give you some shining memories to ponder forever. The tasks that we do in life are mundane and sometimes you simply need to jerk off the monotony. Geet urges Aditya to take a plunge into deep water. She also urges him to burn his ex-girlfriend’s picture and flush it away. All these are creepy to Aditya but he finds a charm in it later.

  1. The family Is Always The Medicine During Crisis
The family is Always the Medicine during Crisis
Image Source – Google

The family is the one place where you are always safe. You can be wrong or very wrong, but your family would always accept you. They may punish you for a while or say something harsh but that is only for a moment. They will always love you unconditionally and without any expectation at all. Geet was away from all contacts for 9 months and her family doesn’t ask anything to her, simply accepts her.

  1. Plans Hardly Work Out, So Don’t Fret
Plans Hardly Work out, so Don’t Fret
Image Source – Google

Geet had a plan ready for herself after college. She was supposed to elope with Anshuman, the love of her life, and later settle in the hills. But life definitely had some other plans for her. Sit down and count your best memories – how many of these memories were a result of pre-planned actions? I hope you got the answer – always rely on unplanned trips or activities and never fret when plans are dissolved. Because the Almighty always keeps the best plans for you.

After reading this whole blog, you must be feeling like watching this movie again! Go and enjoy it once again and don’t forget to share with us about your favorite life lesson from Jab We Met.