Bow Barracks Forever
If The Bong Connection indulged in a fond, irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at the gone-global Bengali ghetto, then Bow Barracks Forever is an equally fond look at a fast-disappearing community in India ( TOI Photo)
Bow Barracks Forever (drama)
Cast: Victor Bannerjee, Lilette Dubey
Director Anjan Dutt seems to be on an anthropological trip in celluloid. But unlike mothballed academic texts on the study of mankind, his is an artistic inquiry on the life and times of different communities. If The Bong Connection indulged in a fond, irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at the gone-global Bengali ghetto, then Bow Barracks Forever is an equally fond look at a fast-disappearing community in India. It’s a ghetto of another kind, where instead of macher jhol , you can smell wine and cakes in the quaint alleys of the Anglo-Indian colonies that dot almost every Indian city. In Kolkata, they form an entire new heartland that could easily be labelled Little England, a para where London is El Dorado, Cliff Richards is the in-house crooner and Christmas ushers in a season of good cheer, for all and sundry.
If Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane was a heartwarming-heartbreaking study in solitude of a single Anglo-Indian, Bow Barracks Forever gatecrashes into the homes and bedrooms of an entire community of Anglo-Indians that has been living as tenants in a red-bricked barrack vacated by the American Soldiers after World War 11. The gora sahibs may have gone, but their colonial cousins desperately hang on to the remains of the day. So much so, their mongrel existence has left them schizophrenic, neither completely Indian nor completely phirang . In Potter terms, they are the original half-blood prince and princesses who build their local bands on terrace tops, while dreaming of making it Beatles’ land. And juxtaposed against the battery of dysfunctional youngsters, there is an equally restless adult generation that sees destruction staring into its eyes. Destruction of its dreams, because the English shores never seem near; destruction of their habitat, as new builders try to evict them from this heritage site. But everything’s not lost…they still have their trumpets, guitars, home-made wine and cakes and lots of community camaraderie that spills beyond Christmas.
Peter the Cheater, (Victor Banerjee) a veteran soldier who now spends his time duping people, reflects the mind set of this sad yet happy bustee. And keeping him company as the community’s cheerleader is the greying Emily Lobo (Lilette Dubey) who never gives up speaking to her son’s answering machine in distant England, hoping he’ll call back someday. The disgruntled youth find their trauma represented through two characters primarily, Anne (Neha Dubey) the battered wife of an Armenian smuggler and Bradley, her boy-lover who knows the best he can do in new India is to end up as a waiter in Park Street.
Living people, breathing people, Bow Barracks Forever captures this ‘heritage’ community is all its colourful details. A little more attention to production details, (the low cost canvas gets tacky in places) with some cutting edge editing would have made the film a complete winner. Go for it nevertheless to savour an India that might soon disappear.
Meera Madhava Raghava (Kannada)
In his second venture after Mathadana , director T N Seetharam has selected a good story with a completely commercial theme (TOI Photo)
Meera Madhava Raghava (drama)
Cast: Ramya, Tilak, Diganth
In his second venture after Mathadana , director T N Seetharam has selected a good story with a completely commercial theme. There is freshness in narration combined with adventure, romance, and sentiment. But the director seems to have a small-screen hangover with many scenes resembling a TV serial. Fortunately, Seetharam’s firm grip over the script eclipses all the negatives.
Meera (Ramya), a singer, marries Madhava (Diganth), a teacher from a poor family, ignoring Raghava (Tilak), a rowdy, who loves her. Meera urges him to quit his job and pursue his dream of becoming an IAS officer. She even promises to get the money from her brother to pay for his training. When her brother can’t lend her the money due to personal commitments, she turns to Raghava. Without Madhava’s knowledge, she even forges her husband’s signature for this.
The plot thickens when Madhava is posted as deputy commissioner of Hemagiri and is required to bring Raghava to book. The rowdy blackmails Meera with the forged letter. How does our heroine handle this dilemma?
This is Ramya’s film all the way. She has done a good job as a music teacher and later as a homemaker. Tilak and Diganth excel. Camerawork by H M Ramachandra is okay. Hamsalekha’s music is a mixed bag of sweet and bitter melodies.
Gandhi March towards your nearest theatre for this one
Gandhi My father
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Darshan Jariwalla, Shefali Shah, Bhoomika Chawla.
Direcor: Feroz Abbas Khan.
Producer: Anil Kapoor Films Company and Eros Entertainment.
Rating: *** 1/2
Indian and world cinema has witnessed many movies on Mahatma Gandhi from different points of view. There was Sir Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi which spoke of his involvement in the Indian freedom struggle, Shyam Benegal’s Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar showed the title character’s disapproval of Gandhi while last year’s Lage Raho Munnabhai made us see Gandhi in contemporary times.
As the title suggests, the film is about Gandhi (Darshan Jariwalla) and his son Harilal Gandhi (Akshaye Khanna). It speaks of Harilal’s gradual disproval of his father’s methods mainly because the former doesn’t get any special conduct from his father.
The film begins when Harilal is brought to a hospital in an inebriated state and it is then that you realize that he has reached a point of no return.
Moving to a back flash we see how Harilal despises his father completely mainly because he cannot move out of the latter’s shadow. “Meri haar mein uski jeet hai”, says he and this constant battle with himself to create an identity outside his father’s name and persona is what leads to his downfall.
Johnny Gaddaar is a reverse kind of suspense thriller
Sriram Raghavan returns after a long break of three years with Johnny Gaddaar. His last film Ek Hasina Thi stunned the audiences with its amazing storyline and brilliant direction. Raghavan sticks to
his suspense thriller genre and brings you Johnny Gaddaar. The promo opens with the audio from Dev Anand starrer Johnny Mera Naam where Dev Anand shouts out his name, “Johnny”. Sriram Raghavan explains, “I am a big fan of Vijay Anand… there is also a certain justification for the title in the movie”. That probably explains the addition of Dev Anand’s dialogue and the movie title.
The first scene gives a glimpse of all the actors – Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain, Vinay Pathak, Daya Shetty and debutant Neil Mukesh. It’s clear that the five men are conspiring for a robbery.
The promo then focuses on Neil Mukesh. Rimii Sen plays his lover. Every character above then makes appearances and they all seem to be stuck in tricky situations. One interesting scene is when Dharmendra twists Neil’s arm, Dharmendra is back to being the iron man. Suddenly there are shots of Neil counting and accumulating money. Loads and loads and loads of money. “It’s a reverse kind of suspense where the audiences know right from the beginning what’s happening and who the culprit is but the characters don’t know”, informs Raghavan.
The promo clearly suggests that the film is about conspiracy, betrayal, suspense and action of course. Neil is the highlight of the promo and he seems promising enough. The promo is catchy and generates interest in the film.
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Tadap / Himesh Reshamiya, Tulsi Kumar
Aa Khushi Se Khudkushi Kar Le / Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan
Saathiya – 1 / Adnan Sami, Tulsi Kumar
Hasaye Bhi Rulaye Bhi / Shaan, Tulsi Kumar
Saathiya – 2 / Adnan Sami, Tulsi Kumar
Akele Tanha / Tulsi Kumar
Tadap (Remix) / Himesh Reshamiya, Tulsi Kumar
Awaaz Koi / Pryadarshini
Aa Khushi Se Khudkushi Kar Le (Remix) / Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan
Hasaye Bhi Rulaye Bhi (Remix) / Shaan, Tulsi Kumar
Saathiya (remix) / Adnan Sami, Tulsi Kumar
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Hai Aag yeh (Theme Music)
Yeh Pyaar Kya Hai (Seven Stages Of Love) / Shaan
Ye Pyaar Hai (That’s Love) / Chorus, Shaan
Paagal Se Saari Lereren (Beach Blanket Bollywood) / Vikas Bhalla, Alka Yagnik
Sachha Pyaar (The Meaning Of Love) / Nikita Nigam
Tan Man (Marigold Erupts) / Vikas Bhalla, Alka Yagnik, Sneha Pant, Nihira Joshi
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The Meaning Of Love / Truth Hurts
Seven Stages Of Love / Shaan, Truth Hurts
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Chak De India / Sukhwinder Singh, Salim Merchant, Marianne D’Cruz
Badal Pe Paon Hain / Hema Sardesai
Ek Hockey Doongi Rakh Ke / Sharukh Khan, K.K., Hockey Team
Bad Bad Girls / Shah Rukh Khan, K.K., Hockey Team
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Mind Blowing Mahia / Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal
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Naughty Naughty / Anushka Manchandani
Zara Bach Ke Jee (Kickin It Rockin It Mix) / Vishal, Shekhar, Anushka Manchandani
Cash (Remix) / Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal, Shekhar