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“Me or them?” He asked. Since I already had thought about living without him but without my girlfriends? No! So, I chose my girlfriends without even thinking twice.
The thought of living without them has never crossed my mind. That’s friendship!
People still keep talking about how strong male friendships are, but no one ever talks about female friendships. Surprisingly, Bollywood has made a few attempts to make movies about female friendships. We need to appreciate these movies! Here are a few wonders by Bollywood which proved that female friendships last a lifetime:

Veere Di Wedding- Kalindi, Avni, Sakshi & Meera
Veere Di Wedding
Image Source – Google

The movie portrayed female friendships at its best! It illustrated how female friendships function from school to eternity. It shows 4 school friends, who pledge to stand by each other, do so! Despite being busy in their own lives, they make time for each other. Even after years, despite being in different countries, when they reunite for a wedding it’s almost like they have never been separated. They share problems, they hang out and everything we all do with our girl pal group. They help each other overcome things the society did not understand.

Their friendship is not proved at a major event but the consistency they have, that’s what manifests true friendship!

Aisha- Aisha, Shefali & Pinki
Aisha
Image Source – Google

We have seen multiple Bollywood movies where the rich girl is mean. Meet Aisha, the rich girl who wants to help everyone she can! This movie truly embraces female friendship and shows us how our girlfriends help us see the truth in every situation. Aisha & Pinki are best friends forever, they welcome Shefali to their little group and make sure she is comfortable. This movie illustrates the ups & downs in a friendship.

We all fight and make-up with our best friend, even after a spiteful fight we go back to them. This is what Aisha is about!

Luv Ka The End- Rhea, Jugs & Sonia
Luv Ka The End
Image Source – Google

This one movie denounced the brat rich boy culture & illustrated the power of female friendship at the same time.
Rhea, a straight A student in junior college, dating the hunk of her college-Luv and dreams of marrying the dude. When Rhea finds out that Luv is cheating on her and is just using her to win the billionaire boy club contest, she is heartbroken. When Rhea feels helpless and feels her world has come crashing down, her friends make sure to turn it around for her.
Her friends help her plan revenge against Luv by making him drunk dance in a club, in a girl’s attire and making everyone believe he is a gay, which ruins his image of being the cool guy who is famous amongst girls. And then giving Rhea the courage to teach Luv a lesson!  Such friendships!

Cocktail- Veronica & Meera
Cocktail
Image Source – Google

“Pyaar Dosti Hai” is one iconic SRK dialogue. But is it true? Who knows? But, the movie cocktail proved one thing- Friendship conquers all, even love!

When Veronica lets Meera into her life, and into her house, we sensed start to a really pure friendship on screen. That is what happened! Even though Veronica and Meera were poles apart, they found a common ground to stay together. What was it? They just cared about each other. It was all good until Meera falls in love with Veronica’s casual boyfriend Gautam and Vice-Versa.

Guess what does Meera do about it? She leaves town! She gives up the love of her life because it would hurt Veronica.

Guess what Veronica does? After wrestling with her feelings a little, she gives up on her casual boyfriend as well! She packs her bags, finds Meera and tells her how important she is.

Talk about friendship now!

Angry Indian Goddess- Frieda, Nargis, Joanna, Suranjana, Pamela, Madhurita & Lakshmi
Angry Indian Goddess
Image Source – Google

This movie does not have a single male lead. It is one of those movies where you see a particular gender running around in the background for the sake! The movie pictures these ladies getting together for their friend’s marriage. Each one of them is going through some kind of patriarchal oppression or judgment in their personal lives. Some of them are meeting for the first time at Frieda’s wedding, and although all of them come from a really different personal & professional background, they do not judge each other. In fact, they help each other grow as a person, advice each other, become each other’s strength, encourage each other & stand up for each other.

When Joanna is raped and killed by the molesters, these ladies are seen taking a stand for each other and raising a voice against it together. That is friendship!

This is one of those movies which enlighten the world the fact that women are not jealous & in competition but stand by each other. It educates the world about purity in female friendship & strength.

Guess what happened after I chose my girlfriends over the guy? I never saw the guy ever again but my girlfriends? They stayed throughout! I guess that is the beauty of friendship.
I guess it is high time that Bollywood starts blessing us with such delightful female friendship movies because male friendships are overrated!

90s Nostalgia is one trend we can not get over. Starting from video games, cartoons, street games, movies, dating culture, junk food, fashion & music! Well, those were the day!

Remember the time when walkmans were in trend instead of iPods or your phone’s music player when radio & MTV were the only way to discover new songs and not youtube, and lastly when Justin Bieber was not into the music biz. Best days ever? We feel you!

Let us take you down the road of time by reminding you of the forgotten treasure of 15 songs:

1) Barbie Girl- Aqua

“Hi Barbie
Hi Ken!
Do you want to go for a ride?
Sure Ken
Jump in!”

Did you just get the chills from the past? You sure did! This was the anthem for every little girl. Every girl is reminded by her parents how the little girl jumped around and danced, every time this song started to play.

2) Who Let The Dogs Out?- Baha Men

“Who let the dogs out
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof
Who let the dogs out
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof”

You were singing & barking while reading this, weren’t you? This is one party anthem, played at every party!

3) Ketchup Song- Las Ketchup

“Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere
Sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí”

Did you just sing I said a hey ha ney hay lalala buididipi, buidipi? The song came out in 2002 and was considered as the coolest song then! Although, we didn’t understand a single word, yet we sang and danced to this song. Remember copying the cool dance steps?

4) Summer of ’69- Bryan Adams

“I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it ’til my fingers bled
Was the summer of sixty-nine”

While reading the lyrics, you were fake guitar strumming, right?

Although this song released in 1984, yet it was close to the heart of every 90s kid. I guess it has been the first English song, every 90s kid learnt!

5) Baby One More Time- Britney Spears

“My loneliness is killing me (and I)
I must confess I still believe (still believe)
When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me, baby, one more time”

We’re talking about the golden age music, we wouldn’t dare to miss Britney Spears! We kept humming this song because Hit me baby one more time!

6) In The End- Linkin Park

“I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter”

The Hard Rock song, we all loved to listen! Remember bangin’ your head in the air while playing air guitar, while this song played?

7) London Bridge- Fergie

“How come every time you come around
My London, London Bridge wanna go down, like
London, London, London”

Around the 2000s, Fergie taught us what Hip-Hop & Rap music meant. When the music played, we couldn’t help but move like a hipster, dancing like a pro!

8) You’re Beautiful- James Blunt

“You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful, it’s true”

The only thought which crossed our mind was “Will I ever find someone who’d sing this song for me?”

9) It’s My Life- Bon Jovi

“It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive”

The ultimate metal rock, which made us feel like a rebel! Listening to this song was like a relief like everything we did had a meaning to it. Like everything we are going through, it had a purpose.

10) Complicated- Avril Lavigne

“Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?”

We all had that one friend or boyfriend/girlfriend, we wanted to dedicate this song to! Avril said things with such ease, and her hair colour, sorry Lady Gaga, but Avril did it first.

11) The Real Slim Shady- Eminem

“Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
We’re gonna have a problem here”

Eminem is the god of rap and yes, he introduced the 90s kids to Rap music. Even though we couldn’t sing the song at the same pace, we still tried! And anyone who could do it was the coolest kid.

12) Milkshake- Kelis

“My milk shake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they’re like,
Its better than yours”
 

Even though we didn’t really understand the real meaning of the song then, we seemed to love this song. Now that we know what Kelis exactly meant, we love the song even more! You Go Queen!

13) Everybody- Backstreet Boys

“Everybody
Rock your body
Everybody
Rock your body right
Backstreet’s back alright”

How could we miss them? They were a treat to our ears & eyes! We all have been there, dancing to this song with all the hip-hop steps we knew.

14) Shalala Lala- Vengaboys

“My heart goes shalala lala, shalala in the morning.
Oh oh oh shalala lala, shalala in the sunshine.”

This song won our hearts! Every 90s kids hummed this song day & night, at times without even realizing that we’re singing.

15) Yellow- Coldplay

“I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called Yellow”

This one song won our hearts! Coldplay has been playing with our hearts since forever! Why? Because it was called “Yellow”

16) Smelly Cat- Phoebe Buffay

“Smelly cat, smelly cat what are they feeding you?
Smelly cat, smelly cat it’s not your fault…”

Oh wait, we said 15, didn’t we? But how could we miss out Smelly Cat? We loved this song and we will keep loving it! This song will remain in our hearts & minds forever.

So, all the 90s kids out there, go ahead and add these to your playlist. I wouldn’t blame you if nostalgia comes rolling down your eyes because my eyes are moist too!

(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)

They say Bollywood movies are too much overly dramatic. That isn’t entirely true! Bollywood movies do have drama and masala but, that is what makes them different. You might not agree but, you do take guilty pleasure of watching regulars like Sooryavansham & No Entry repeatedly! You don’t really have to lie here because we all do watch these movies. Why do we watch these masala movies anyway? Because after a busy day of brainstorming, we wish to mitigate the tension in our brains and watch something to relax. We often miss out on some really good movies because of this. Here is a list of must-watch Underrated Bollywood Movies:

15 Park Avenue (2005)
15 Park Avenue
Image Source – Google

A hauntingly beautiful movie by Aparna Sen, this movie is a must watch! It is about a Schizophrenic journalist Mithi played by Konkana Sen, who lives with her sister Anjali played by Shabana Azmi & Her Mother played by Waheeda Rehman. Mithi is shown as an ex-journalist who was raped & suffers from Schizophrenia.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • Konkana Sen’s portrayal of Mithi is breathtakingly beautiful. She left no stone unturned
  • Rahul Bose is in the movie, and let’s just say he looks like a piece of cake.
  • It covers major issues like rape & how women in India are treated.
  • It is an attempt to educate people about mental disorders like Schizophrenia and how people dealing are treated differently.
  • The movie ends with an open ending and opens the door for so many possibilities.

One should definitely watch this movie and, maybe you add another theory to all the internet theories about the movie ending.

Margarita With A Straw (2015)
Margarita With A Straw
Image Source – Google

An impressive movie by Shonali Bose, Margarita with a Straw revolves around Laila, played by Kalki Koechlin. Laila suffering from cerebral palsy and yet has the courage to live in New York all by herself. She is on a journey of self-discovery and explores her sexuality. She is steadily supported by her mother, played by Revathi. This movie embraces some really interesting insights about exploring one’s sexuality and suffering from a disability in India.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • The movie does not apologize for Disability.
  • Kalki Koechlin played the role like a pro. You can not tell if she’s acting or it’s all real.
  • Love it how Laila’s parents respect her decision to move to New York and don’t go all overprotective.
  • The movie is not just limited to disability but exploring sexuality. While Bollywood still uses it as an element of humor, Shonali Bose illustrated the actual side of the story.
  • The movie is also about a strong mother-daughter bond. A bond so strong that you wouldn’t be able to resist crying.
  • Self Love, Self Acceptance, & Self Discovery!

You must watch this movie! Margarita with a Straw is a truly impeccable movie and will leave you teary-eyed.

Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)
Qarib Qarib Singlle
Image Source – Google

Directed by Tanuja Chandra, Qarib Qarib Singlle has a really unique storyline. It is a contemporary love story between two opposites who meet on an online dating platform. Jaya played by Parvathy meets Yogi played by Irrfan Khan. They embark a journey to the past and end up falling for each other.

Major Reasons to Watch
  • The movie portrays Jaya as the confident next door girl who has a successful career and does not need a man to complete her. She lives the way she wishes to! Ladies, isn’t she the goals?
  • It shows us a new side of online dating. The only thing we know about online dating is swiping left & right for hookups. After watching this movie you realize that if you are willing to know someone, you can actually meet someone really interesting.
  • Watching this movie you realize how important it is to live in the present. There is a thin line between having memories from the past & living in the past. If you wish to find happiness, you need to let go of the past.
  • Age is no bar when it comes to dating! Everyone with a peanut size brain out there, don’t start with your haaaaaawwwws when you come across someone dating and getting to know that they have crossed the marriageable age prescribed by “Chaar Log” or “Samaaj”(Society!)

It wasn’t a hit but I wonder why? Oh, wait, because the notion of dating is unapproved in India!

Angry Indian Goddess (2015)
Angry Indian Goddess
Image Source – Google

India needed this movie! Although it wasn’t really appreciated by the audience and was highly underrated, it was definitely an eye-opener! Directed by Pan Nalin, this movie shows the strong side of female friendship and their struggle to be heard in this male dominant society.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • Frieda, played by Sarah-Jane Dias, the character was calm all the time, looking at her you will get to know how one should stay calm and get things done! Even if it is against the rules of society
  • Nargis, played by Tannishtha Chatterjee! Well, her character in the movie tells us how one can take small initiatives in their life to make the world a better place.
  • Madhurita, played by Anushka Manchanda taught us how to deal with depression like a “BAWSE”. You’ll learn how it is absolutely fine to feel like giving up!
  • Suranjana, played by Sandhya Mridul! She is one badass boss lady who teaches us that there is nothing a woman can’t do.
  • Pammy, played by Pavleen Gujral teaches us that is life is not all about making your husband happy.
  • Joanna, played by Amrit Maghera was a delight to watch! An aspiring actress who did not fear anything!
  • Lakshmi, played by Rajashri Deshpande is definitely my spirit animal! This character teaches us how a furious woman can turn your world upside down.
  • Aren’t all these women your favorites already?
  • Oh yes, there is another reason, the amazing music! My favorite is “Zindagi”!

This movie is about fighting stereotypes & taking a stand for people around us! The movie didn’t reach many people because hawww, ye ladkiya toh Goa me party kar rahi h, kitni besharam h kind of mentality! Ps. If you have a peanut sized brain, do not watch this movie!’

Finding Fanny (2014)
Finding Fanny
Image Source – Google

Starring actors like Dimple Kapadia, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor & Pankaj Kapoor, one would expect this movie to not be a hit! All these big Bollywood names were associated with this movie, it still did not get the recognition it should have. The movie is about 5 people living in Pocolim, a small village in Goa, Namely- Ferdie, Angie, Don Pedro, Savio, & Lady Rosalina on a long road trying to find Fanny. Fanny is Ferdie’s lost love and, he has been in love with her for 46 years!

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • It illustrates how every good deed one does has a selfish motive behind it.
  • While Ferdie’s friends accompanied him to find the love of his life, they actually were trying to find hope in their own life!
  • How India forbids widows to live their lives. No matter what part of the country you live in, it absolutely wrong to think about an amorous relationship for a young lady if she is a widow.
  • It is a story of self-discovery! How one may think that they know themselves and later on discover things they have been ignorant about.
  • Acceptance! We often forget to accept things about ourselves. We learn that true happiness is when one accepts their own flaws.

Finding Fanny is more like a play wherein you lose yourself. It is mesmerizing if you are willing to watch it with an open mind. It is a relatable quest of finding happiness!

So, you know what you’re doing this weekend! Some of these beautiful movies go unnoticed, and then we may find ourselves complaining that Bollywood movies make no sense, yet find ourselves binge-watching these futile movies, over and again!

The year was 1994 – Javed Akhtar pens down some of the most romantic lyrics of his life while R. D. Burman scores the last music of his life. From appropriate casting to acting, music to cinematography, direction to editing – every single thing about that movie was beyond excellence. It went on to win hearts and accolades. “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga” became the most popular song from the album. Naren hums it for Rajjo and there is truth, dare, innocence, & confession of fearless love. 1942- A Love Story dealt with a sweet love story in the backdrop of a caged country.

Cut to 2019, a movie named Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga release.  And it talks lovingly about love in a free country. But the irony is – the society and thoughts of its subjects are still caged!

 

ELKDTAL-1
Image Source – Google

That country is free now and with many known and unknown struggles, it has gathered some courage to decriminalize Article 377 barely 6 months ago. The topic of homosexuality on the Indian screen is not new. In the past also we have seen some portrayals but Bollywood played safe in this case. Except for some Onir’s movies like My Brother Nikhil or I Am or Shab, we have only found a caricaturish presentation of this topic.

So, when this movie named Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga was announced along with the star cast, I thought that it would be “just another regular love story” that Bollywood has been serving since ages. But the trailer pin-pointed the “USP” of the movie which is obviously “the most unexpected romance of the year”. In my mind, I was ready that the Punjab which Yash Chopra & his allies have explored with so many iconic romantic movies where the hero and heroines were running at the mustard field would be dealt differently here. Not Raj & Simran, but Sweety & Kuhu would sing & dance in a true Bollywood manner.

ELKDTAL_Fire
Image Source – Google

In that aspect, I was not disappointed at all. Just for the fact that a massy-commercial movie with homosexuality as a theme is backed by one of the most respected production houses of Mumbai. I would rate it 5/5. It took 21 long years for Bollywood to make a movie on a lesbian relationship. I am gladder of the fact that no one is threatening the director & actor or burning their effigies on the street or labeling them as “anti-culture”. What Deepa Mehta, Shabana Azmi, & Nandita Das went through in 1998 won’t be repeated again I suppose!

Story-Spoilers-Flaws-Strength-& Beyond Review
  • The main character of this story is Sweetie, played by Sonam Kapoor. While she was 14 she understood that she is different than the rest. She is cornered in her school and befriended by another boy who is also different like her. Her brother also studies in the same school. But the strange fact is amidst the buzz in the school, her brother doesn’t get to know the truth of Sweetie at all.
  • Sonam also befriends her diary where she rips off her heart out. This character Sweetie is depressed but shows that she is shy because she knows she won’t fit in this society. Therefore, to show her loneliness, pain, frustration, & indecisiveness, Sweetie has been given dark circles (good make-up). She wears very un-Sonam kinda of clothes. This research has been done perfectly. But I would have been happier if Sonam would have dug deep into the flesh of Sweetie to portray her pain meticulously.
  • Sweetie finds her love in a “tam-jham wala shaadi” and this is when her brother discovers that she is homosexual. And this is where I cannot call it a brave attempt. Two girls hugging each other is a very very normal sight after all! The director & writer could have tried something like “the exchange of emails, messages, or letters” at least!
  • Sweetie’s brother, Babloo, played by Abhishek Duhan is the male chauvinist who shouts on her and calls her sexual preference a “bimaari”. This actor is in a great form and he looked very convincing in his part.
  • Babloo now tells his father that Sweetie is having an affair with a Muslim guy to save her from her own truth. Balbir Chaudhry, played by the amazing Anil Kapoor is a staunch Hindu who won’t give her daughter to a Muslim boy. (Remember my intro paras – free country & caged thoughts!)
  • So, the “damsel in distress” (one of the inspirations of this movie) Sweetie is told not to step out of the house (just like the guys of the old Bollywood). In her little escapade to Delhi, she meets Sahil Mirza, played brilliantly by the “poster boy of the middle-of-the-road Bollywood movies”, Rajkumar Rao. He is a failed playwright who falls in love with Sweetie and follows her to Moga, Punjab only to find out that Sweetie is a lesbian.
  • Rajkumar Rao is like the “crunchy French fries” who can never go wrong. I want to give 1 whole star for that scene where his reaction is captured when he gets to know that Sweetie is lesbian. He laughs, he is in awe, he has teary eyes, he is flabbergasted, he is clapping, & he is heartbroken – man, all those layers in one man and that too in few fractions of seconds! He is in a terrific form!
  • The atom bomb of this movie for me was Juhi Chawla. She still has her great comic timing. And her on-screen rapport with Anil Kapoor are some of the highest highs of this movie. Her performance is “mind-shattering”.
  • When Anil Kapoor – the man of the house, the powerful rich businessman of Moga, & the proud father whose duty is to take care of his child reads Sweetie’s diaries & understands that he failed as a caregiver – Anil Kapoor was beyond brilliance! He is the rare 90’s actor who has survived all test of time & still has so much to offer us.
  • In one way, this movie is about the acceptance of the word “LOVE” which exists in everyone’s territory in a different meaning. The other way round, this movie is also about finding an identity by being truthful to the self. It is also about parenting. The character of Juhi Chawla, Chhatro ji plays the subtext of a moral teacher to our society who says “Indian Parents apne bachcho ki zindagi mein ghuse rehte hai”. The character of Balbir Chaudhuri wanted to become “India’s best chef.” But even after 50 years of his life, he is scolded by his mom for entering and experimenting in the kitchen. Why? Because, in this world, especially, in our country, there still exists a clear cut demarcation between the world of a guy and a girl.
  • One of the greatest regrets is that Seema Pahwa & Brijendra Kala are wasted here. I mean, actors of such brilliance should be given some space!
  • Regina Cassandra has a perky screen presence. But she is not given much screen time, so there is nothing much to write much about her.
  • In the end, Sweetie says to Sahil that there are many Sweeties scattered in thousands of villages, small towns, and cities, and we have to reach out to them. Just for daring to work on such a theme, people should watch it and understand that LOVE is LOVE, beyond all religion, caste, & so-called normalcy!

P.S. – Ok chalo, I understand that for keeping the “most unexpected romance of the year” a secret – you have used a male vocalist to sing “ELKDTAL” in a “Punjabified” R.D. Burman version. But while using it in the movie, wouldn’t it have been just perfect if a female vocalist was used? I mean I am not expecting a “Just Another Love Story”, “Nagar Kirtan”, or “Fire” kinda literally daring movie from you. But dear Bollywood, you have to show this much courage.

So, it’s a generous 3/5 for me. Share your views too!

I was randomly fiddling on my phone and so came across this Netflix movie “Love per square foot”, found this cutie really charming on the poster. I decided to watch but little did I know this cutie was a bomb of talent. After I finished watching the movie, I was pretty impressed with his acting and Googled him (Well, the rituals you see!). There he was…

Vicky Kaushal-
Introduction
Image Source – Google
DOB- 16th May 1988
Birth Place- Mumbai

Vicky Kaushal is the son of Sham Kaushal, an action director and has studied engineering from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology. He started his career in films, initially working as an assistant director to Anurag Kashyap in crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur. He performed in Manav Kaul’s Laal pencil, on stage. Vicky was also seen in a small role in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and Bombay Velvet. He bagged his first leading role in Masaan for which he won IIFA & Screen Awards for Best Debut-Male. He went on to work in big hits like Sanju, Raazi & Manmarziyaan.

(Shades of Vicky)
Shades of Vicky
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Pretty honestly, ladies were getting bored of all the Khan’s & Kapoor’s trying to fit into our “Man Crush” list. After Ranveer Singh & Ayushman Kkhurana, Vicky Kaushal came in like a breath of fresh air making all of us women feel the global-warming a little too much. This man in Netflix’s original Lust Stories, paired with Kiara Advani, shot this steamy scene and what a bummer when he got wasted way too early. The character was sensitive & it came across well to the young audience. I was glad to not see another male boasting his manly hood on his woman because he couldn’t “finish”. This quirky film had Vicky on a roll. Paras (Vicky Kaushal in Lust Stories) was still loved because the film felt way too real! *wink*

Zubaan, Masaan & Raman Raghav 2.0

He was also a part of an Indian film that didn’t do well in India but opened the 20th edition of Busan International Film Festival. The name of his character was Dilsher and the movie was Zubaan. The movie is about a boy who was bullied in his childhood and grew up aspiring to become a singer but was nervous to achieve, you must watch it to witness this man’s immense talent working his magic. He even justified his dark & bold character in Raman Raghav 2.0. Vicky proved he can play a drug-addict as easy as he could play a young college student in Masaan.

Raazi, Sanju & Uri

The nation’s crush was next seen opposite Alia Bhatt, in one of his biggest hit Raazi. The man was “Suave”! Vicky not only looked jaw-droppingly handsome but pulling off such a sensitive & serious character of a Pakistani Army Officer was commendable! Every bit of his acting was loved by the audience and hence, the biggest hit. Adding, Sanju & Uri in his blockbuster hits, he is unstoppable!

Just when he was becoming a sensation, Sanju made an entry to 70mm silver screen. Oh boy, Ranbir alone was not enough for all the “Too-Hot-To-Handle” quotient? Sanjay Dutt’s biopic was oozing out talent in heaps. With the cast that had Paresh Rawal, Ranbir Kapoor as the heart of the film. Vicky Kaushal was undeniably the soul!

Manmarziyaan

The man was a delight to watch in Manmarziyaan. An unstable, struggling Dj and seen enjoying his courtship with Taapsee Pannu. His choices of Tshirt paired with his hair dyed in blue color was weirdly refreshing.

Last image
Image Source – Google

Vicky Kaushal has 7 characters in his bag and how he justifies each one is truly a delight to witness. You just cannot help looking at this talented human. Oh, here’s a heart-breaker for all the ladies, the man is dating Harleen Sethi currently. We can blame his smile, it literally can melt your heart! What a charmer, isn’t he?

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
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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)
Bioscopewala
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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 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 his dad. His 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
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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
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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)
Kaalakaandi
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.

Aired on 6th July 2018, Sacred Games took Indian entertainment industry two notches higher. Thanks to Netflix – the online streaming channel for giving a platform to some unique story-tellers who are unrestrained in their way of formation of characters. Sacred Games came and became an overnight sensation. It introduced a whole new bunch of talented actors, re-emphasized the power of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and gave some soil under the feet of Saif Ali Khan. The story of Sacred Games travels from the ’80s till the current time. It is one of the best sensational stories where you have everything from drug, mafia, political hypocrisy, crime, mystery, murder, power, business, greed, sex, and what not! It is a story of fear and valor too!

What’s more interesting is the name of each episode of Sacred Games. All the names come from our mythology and has some significance for you all to know.

Episode 1: Aswatthama
Aswatthama
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Aswatthama was the son of Guru Dronacharya and was a warrior whom we find in the Mahabharata. Dronacharya lived a simple life with the meager amount of money and property and thus Ashwatthama had difficulty in his childhood. Aswatthama fought with the Kauravas against the Pandavas and for that he was cursed to suffer human life till eternity, in a way making him invincible. We see the character of Gaitonde played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui say that “I am Aswatthama. I am not going to die until the game is over”. He commits suicide but his reference comes back all through the 8 episodes and hence proved that he is not going to die soon!

Episode 2: Halahala
Halahala
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The meaning of Halahala is an extremely toxic poison that comes out as a by-product of an attempt by Devas and Asuras to extract Amrit, the nectar for eternal life. So, Halahala translates to “black mass” or “time puzzle”. This was the poison that Lord Shiva drunk so that the world remains safe. Now, here in the 2nd episode of Sacred Games, we see Sartaj Singh regards Ganesh Gaitonde’s warning and starts an investigation. Finally, he untangles international espionage. This surveillance is same as the poison that can cause complete havoc.

Episode 3: Atapi Vatapi
Atapi Vatapi
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Atapi & Vatapi were two demon brothers who trap and kill travelers in a unique way. As per the legendary stories, they invited saints to dinner and there Atapi turned the younger one into a food item and served the saints. As the saints had dinner and were on their way to home, Atapi would call his brother Vatapi. Vatapi would then tear the stomachs of the priests and come back to his brother. Actually, inviting people and being generous in treating them only to ruin them completely is what Sacred Games is all about. Everywhere from religion to politics – you would see this theory running!

Episode 4: Brahmahatya
Brahmahatya
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The concept of Brahmahatya or Brahmanahatya is the act of killing a Brahman or Brahma. Brahma resides in each one of us and thus it implies killing people and not only the Hindus in particular. Here in Sacred Games, Ganesh Gaitonde is a Brahmin and he does everything un-Brahmin – like consumption of non-veg food or agreeing to poach Muslim votes for a greedy politician. So, basically, he kills the Brahmin that resides inside him and that’s why this episode is perfectly called Brahmahatya.

Episode 5: Sarama
Sarama
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As per Hindu Mythology, Sarama is referred to the female dog of the Gods. In this episode, you would actually see how everyone, in the end, behaves like a dog on a tether. A chained dog can bark but remains powerless much like the characters here! Sartaj is lying about a case for which he had been fighting against the system since long and which has been a major reason for his boss’s dislike towards him. But here at this point, he bows down to his boss’s order just to keep his job. Every prime character at this juncture is shown powerless, “lachar”, and “bechari” types!

Episode 6: Pretakalpa
Pretakalpa
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Pretakalpa is a part of the Garuda Purana that is one of the 18 Mahapurana texts in Hindu religion. Pretakalpa gives us a detailed knowledge about the cycle of life, death, and beyond all that. It is narrated when the last rites of a deceased soul are performed. Here, in episode 6 of Sacred Games, Inspector Katekar – a prime character dies and Sartaj ends up killing Katekar’s murderer. Katekar is cremated and Sartaj totally discards his old self and becomes a new person.

Episode 7: Rudra
Rudra
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Rudra is the other name of Lord Shiva. It is also a name of a deity mentioned in the Rig Veda and that is associated with the wind of the storm. Rudra is also someone who “roars”. This episode is where Gaitonde roars. His darling wife Shubhadra is killed and Gaintonde turns complete mad and takes a pledge to burn the city. He goes on a rampage killing Muslims.

Episode 8: Yayati
Yayati
Image Source – Google

We see that in order to save Mumbai from the threat that Gaitonde, Sartaj continues his search to find out who was that 3rd father of Gaitonde and what is actually going to happen on the 25th day. His continuous search leads him to a large room of dangerous weapons wrapped inside wooden boxes. Now, this episode is named “Yayati”. Yayati was someone who was cursed with premature ageing and had asked his son Puru to swap their ages. In this episode, we also see that Pankaj Tripathi or Guruji finally convinces Gaitinde to join his cause and thus brings his son into the crinkle.

Sara Ali Khan, the eldest daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh is the new star kid in B-Town who has created a sensation on the silver screen with her stellar performance in her debut movie Kedarnath. And her terrific dance moves in popular song ‘Aankh Maare’ from movie Simmba are goals. Apart from being extremely beautiful, her acting skills are praiseworthy. The way she carries herself in front of the camera even being a newcomer is a real treat to watch. Unlike other star kids, she has no qualms about accepting that nepotism does exist in the film industry.

Have a look at the qualities that make Sara Ali Khan a delight to watch on silver screen.

She Is a Natural Beauty

You cannot simply ignore Sara Ali Khan when she walks and talks on screen. Call it the genetic factor or her charming personality, she is one of the natural beauties of the film industry who doesn’t require layers of makeup to shine like a star. The perfect blend of beauty and brains. Her amazing weight loss journey from 96 kgs to 52 kgs is applauding that makes her look all the more gorgeous. Sara Ali Khan’s transformation is inspiring for all of us and giving us major fitness goals.

Supremely Talented

Sara Ali Khan delivered more in her first movie that could be expected from a debutante. She looked no less than a seasoned actress in Kedarnath. Be it her dance moves in the song ‘Sweetheart’ or her notable act in the movie, she looked promising with utmost confidence and tight grip over her character. Even the renowned Bollywood superstars, film directors, and critics have appreciated her acting skills in the movie Kedarnath and believe that she is definitely going to make a big impact in the film industry.

Stands True To Her Character

When you watch Sara Ali Khan on the big screen, she is not just an actress playing her part. She very much becomes the character that she is portraying and does full justice to it. While she is delivering her performance on-screen, you want her to keep going and never stop. Her beautiful and expressive eyes deliver the emotions smoothly and you are left with no other option than to fall in love with her both on-screen and off-screen.

The Bundle of Energy

Calling her the female version of Ranveer Singh wouldn’t be wrong. She is so full of energy all the time while staying true to herself. In all her recent interviews and movie promotions, she is winning the heart of the audience with her bindass personality. Her quirky replies to interview questions, carefree attitude, and the ease to speak her heart out is very rare to watch nowadays among the Bollywood actresses.                     

A True Fashion Icon

Apart from being the girl of the moment, Sara Ali Khan is a true fashion icon. And she has proved that time and again. Be it the movie promotions, Bollywood weddings, or birthday celebrations, she manages to look gorgeous in every outfit that she dons with utmost grace and perfection. As charming as she looks in a simple white kurta-salwar, she does full justice to the glamorous western outfits as well. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that stunning looks and amazing dressing style add up to her graceful personality. For which she has always been in talks.

We really hope to see more of Sara Ali Khan’s supreme talent in the upcoming movies and wish her all the best for a glorious film career ahead!

Goa is not only famous for its soothing beaches, inexpensive beers, and a breezy climate, but also for hosting the prestigious International Film Festival of India or IFFI. This was the 49th year of Goa Film Festival or IFFI and it took place between 20th November and 28th November 2018. It showcased 212 movies shortlisted from 68 countries across the world. Indian Panorama segment showcasing the brilliance of Indian Cinema had 47 movies in its kitty. This time Israel was the focus country and Jharkhand was the focus state. The opening movie was “The Aspern Papers” from the UK and the closing movie was “Sealed Lips” from Germany. Take a look at the list of best movies from IFFI 2018 and arrange the DVD of these movies or watch them online if you are a cinephile.

  1. Birds of Passage (Spain)
Birds of Passage (Spain)
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Birds of Passage is a Spanish language movie directed by Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra. It was selected to open the 50th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival along with its selection at the 91st Academy Awards for the “Best Foreign Language Film”. This movie tells the story of a Wayuu family who is Native American Ethnic Group of the Guajira Peninsula in the Northern part of Colombia & Venezuela. The rise and fall of a Wayuu family is the basic storyline here that goes back to the time of illegal drug trading in Columbia in the late 1960s and 1970s.

  1. Climax (French-American)
Climax (French-American)
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Climax is a mystery drama movie directed by Gaspar Noé. Like Birds of Passages, this movie too was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the “Directors Fortnight” section. Some French dancers are shown gathered in an isolated and empty school building. They are there to rehearse on a winter night. Now, this all-night celebration alters into a hallucinatory nightmare when they get to know that the Sangria is mixed with LSD. This cool and hypnotic psychological thriller is something you won’t forget for a long time.

  1. Olu (Kerala, India)
Olu (Kerala, India)
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Olu is a Malayalam movie directed by the National Award winning director Shaji N. Karun. Perhaps it is one of the most unconventional movies presented in recent times. Olu means “She”. It is the story of a girl named Maya who is mercilessly raped and drowned in the famous Kerala backwaters. But quite mysteriously, she survives underwater and is carrying the child too. On full moon nights, she is able to see above water and on one such night, she meets Vasu, the painter who is in struggling to create something amazing in his paintings. To know the rest of the story, you have to watch this beautiful movie which is visually stunning. You would find a wonderful mix of traditional beliefs, religions, customs, and mythology that enhances the layers of this movie. A maverick world of fantasy is created which would soak in the minds of cinephiles for sure.

  1. Uma (West Bengal, India)
Uma (West Bengal, India)
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Coming from the exceptionally brilliant talent named Srijit Mukherjee, you can only sit back and gasp at the storyline with awe. This time, Srijit Mukherkjee has woven the emotional layers just like a dream. Cinema is all about a dream only – isn’t it? So, how a team of dedicated artists extends this dream is what you would see in this movie.

It is a story of a Bengali father and daughter settled in Switzerland. The daughter named Uma (the other name of Devi Durga) is terminally ill and want to witness the famous Durga Puja in Kolkata. The doctors say that she perhaps won’t live till October to see Durga Puja. So, a friend of Uma’s dad pops up the idea of celebrating a fake Durga Puja in a bustling Kolkata. They hire a yesteryear fading director for this job. This job requires a narrator who can blur all the lines between pragmatism and falsity. What follows is a series of “goose bumps producing” incidents.

  1. Winter Flies (Czech Republic)
Winter Flies (Czech Republic)
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It is a movie that narrates the story of two boys who are still in their teens – Mara & Hedu. They both left home and is driving through the countryside into the wild, adventurous, and frozen. They meet many faces in this journey which helps them to shape a theory about the world. Directed by Olmo Omerzu, this movie was one of the entrants at the “Best Foreign Film” category at the 91st Oscars. The director got “Best Director” award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on 2018.

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