Tag Archives: Cinema of India

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

 

Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Kangana tera swagger Lakh ka re”….. Looks like it’s that time when Bollywood heroines have decided to not only play strong female lead roles but also turn them into blockbusters; be it Anushka’s ‘NH10’, or ‘Piku’ from Deepika, and now the masterpiece by Kangana in ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns‘.

Big cheers for the girls!!!!

Tanu Weds Manu Returns, is a comedy drama sequel of 2011’s ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, directed by Anand L. Rai. He has earlier directed the first film too along with highly appreciated ‘Raanjhanaa’. This one is also one of his best work.

Tanu_Weds_Manu_Returns_Official_Trailer_Kangana_Ranaut_R_Madhavan (1)

Tanu Weds Manu Returns (TWMR), stars Kangana and Madhavan in lead roles. Other characters who have continued their roles from the original, are, Jimmy Shergill as Raja Awasthi, Pappi Ji played by Deepak Dobriyal, and, Payal played by Swara Bhaskar. New characters introduced in the sequel includes Zeeshan Ayub as chintu, and Rajesh Sharma as Datto’s brother.

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Kangana has played two roles in this movie, one is of Tanuja(Tanu) Trivedi, a feisty Kanpur girl who is appropriately called batman by neighborhood, now married to a soft-spoken doctor from London.

Another role is of Datto (Kusum), who is an equally fiery girl from Jhajjar, Haryana; an athlete with a typical haryanvi accent and determination to do something to be proud of.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Story starts where most of the Bollywood stories ends, that is, marriage. It’s been 4 years since Tanu and Manu get married to each other and now living their boring life in London. It becomes so hard for Tanu to deal with her monotonous life that she decides to leave her husband in a mental asylum and come back to Kanpur, her hometown. Divorce proceedings starts and so start Tanu’s involvement with her ex lovers from rickshaw puller deepak to Raja Awasthi.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

While Tanu is busy meeting his exes, Manu meets second Tanu – Datto. A haryanvi athlete who looks like Tanu, except for her big teeth, short hair and full on jhajjar personality. With Datto around, Manu started reliving his days when he had fallen in love with Tanu, only to realize that he actually loves Datto and wants to marry her. What happens next? Well, watch the movie, believe me you will not get disappointed.

Tanu-weds-Manu1

What makes this film stand out is its perfect star cast. Everyone fits so perfectly in every role that you can not imagine anyone else. Everyone has acted so beautifully that you can not think of them outside their characters, ever. Specially Pappi Ji. Deepak Dobriyal has made Pappi ji a legend with his baraati dance and apt one liners. He is the perfect side kick. Kudos to that person who have written Pappi’s dialogues. He was the most funny and lovable character of the movie.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

 

Same goes for Chintu, who was a new entry in TWMR. One of the best dialogue of the film comes from his mouth, when he tell Jimmy that he is a shoulder for girls to cry on and later be used. Jimmy Shergill has always proved his mantle in every film of his, here however he didn’t have much to do. But, he always look stylish and handsome to me. Swara bhaskar has also done justice with her role. I really liked the scene where she mimics Datto. All these theater artists, they are like a boon to Indian cinema.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Madhavan is madhavan, a gold hearted, good-looking, simple, plain, and soft-spoken common man, who wants to live a simple life. He has portrayed this character with such an ease that it looks like piece of cake. He is astonishing in his dialogue delivery and more so when he is expressing himself without saying anything.

tanu-weds-manu

Coming to the soul of this movie – Kangana. Just to give you an idea of what kind of performer she is, someone in the hall asked quietly to his neighbor, these two are the same girls? Same heroine?, referring to Tanu and Datto. She has played two totally different characters so distinctively that you forgot that she is the same person. They are totally different. From the walk to talk. Just to be more filmy, both have a different swagger. Kangana is a marvelous actress. She is talented, beautiful and a risk taker. She is what we need, and Indian film industry should respect this talent. 

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

It’s not like that this film has no flaws. Most annoying was the introductory scene from mental asylum. Seriously, how can that be possible? Film’s climax is also a bit cringe worthy. It has more to do with our society which treat marriages as ‘7 janam ka rishtaa’, forever kind of things. It looked like in the end, filmmakers did not want to take the risk.

 

 

But, beauty of this movie is that you will forget about all these small glitches in the mayhem of natural performances, fast paced storyline and apt dialogues. One of my best scene from the movie was when Tanu disrespect Datto for her looks and small town mannerism; and Datto replies back with pride telling her that she is a state level athlete who is taken admission on her merit basis and she is a self-made girl and proud of it.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Overall, watch this movie because it’s very rare that you will see effortless beauty of every actor synchronized together in a single movie. Watch it for its actors. Watch it for Kangana.

 

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Mouthwatering Monday – Oven Baked Mathri

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

Mathri and Namakpaare are the most eaten snacks in India. My husband love these salty snacks; only problem – It’s not a healthy snack.  😦

To overcome this problem I tried the oven baked method instead of frying them in oil.

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

 

Ingredients

Method

  • Preheat your Oven to 350 F.
  • Mix Flour, cumin seeds, cumin powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add melted butter/ghee to it and with the help of water knead into a dough.
  • To make Mathri, make small balls of dough and place them on baking sheet; just like you do with cookies.
  • To make Namakpaare, flatten the dough and then cut it into elongated rectangular shape with the use of a knife.
  • Spray some oil and put Mathri and Namakpaare on baking sheet.
  • Bake them in Oven for 20 minutes, turn them over and again bake for 15 minutes.
  • Oven temperature varies so just make sure that your Mathris are light golden brown and are crisp.

Mathris and Namakpaare are ready to serve. You can team them up with coriander or mint chutney, or ketchup. Best served along with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

Enjoy!!!

P.S. My cooking is experimental. You will find many similar and different recipes, but the idea is to explore your food and do experiments with it. Enjoy Cooking Experiments and Experiences 🙂

Tuesday Talkies – ‘Kill Dil’ or just Kill Me before I watch this film

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

You watch a movie, where everything is perfect; actors are at their best; songs are written by Gulzar; Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; Funny dialogues; but….. wait, what about story? Oh it has a good and hit story too, only it was a story from the past.

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

 

If time travel would have been possible, I would have gone some 30 – 40years back in time and then I could have loved this movie. Seriously I would have adored it by than.

Did you remember those ‘No Vacancy‘ signs popping up on your cinema screen when hero goes out in search of job. If yes, then you can really understand my pain when I was cringing while watching this movie.

kd

 

Kill Dil, is Indian Hindi Movie directed by Shaad Ali and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Banner. Remember Shaad Ali, same person who gave us ‘Saathiyaa’ and ‘Bunty aur Bubly’. RIP his direction skills. Remember Aditya Chopra, person who gave us ‘DDLJ‘ and ‘Ishaqjaade’…. RIP his story picking skills. Just to remind yo that Saathiyaa and Bunty aur Bubly was also a joint venture of these two. I am crying now 😥

 

Why you should watch Kill Dil?

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

Star Cast – Ranveer is holding this film on his shoulders. He is impeccable. His character is witty, unapologetic for the work he do, and still loving. With each passing film, Ranveer proves that he is not a regular star, but he has so much talent, only if he can get some meatier roles.

Kill Dil
Ranveer Singh

Parineet is good too, as always. But her character is not shaped well. One time she looks like a bar dancer another scene she tell us that she help rehabilatating prisoners. She is a modern girl, who falls in love with a gunda looking character without knowing exactly what he does for living. Which school did she go to??

Kill Dil
Parineeti Chopra

Ali Zafar, I love your deep voice and your look too, just not in this film exactly. Again, a good actor wasted here, with nothing to do much. His character just don’t have any background, no depth and no growth. Poor Ali just looked like hero ka friend in this movie.

Kill Dil
Ali Zafar and Govinda

Govinda. Nothing to say about him. Bad comeback. I loved your dance though, but this is not your movie.

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

Songs – If you listen to Kill Dil songs, you will love them; but if you watch them in the movie, you may prefer taking your pee break. They are just story stopper in the movie. Worst thing is that Gulzar is associated with this movie. Lyrics are so soothing and awesome and they are beautifully enhanced by music too; but somehow it doesn’t fit in the movie.

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

 

 

Why you would not like to watch this movie?

Story from the past – Govinda adopt two babies who were abandoned in a dumpster. Govinda is a Don, or Gunda; so these two baby boys also grow up to be goons. They are grown up Ranveer and Zafar obviously. One of them (Ranveer) fall in love; so he tries to come clean of his awful ways. Govinda didn’t liked this decision of him at all so, he plot to destroy Ranveer’s love life. That’s it. I have watched this type of movies a thousand times; so why should I watch this? Nothing new here.

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

Patchy direction – You don’t feel a connection between characters or their story. It looks like movie is going in one direction and then suddenly director decides no lets take a left turn…. oops lets g right again. One time you are shooting someone in the next scene you are singing a song happily. One time you are dreading Govinda, in other scene you are romancing Parineeti without any concern of the world.

Kill Dil
Kill Dil

 

Gulzar’s narrative voice makes me feel like I was about to watch a good critically acclaimed movie but somehow I sat in the wrong hall and instead watching a c-grade movie. I just wish that if so many good things/people won’t be attached to this movie, I could have hated it better.

 

Tuesday Talkies – Rang Rasiya / Color of Passion

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi Verma
Rang Rasiya – Story of Raja Ravi Verma

I was waiting for the release of this film since it was screened at cans in 2008, but Indian censorship took its toll on this movie, and finally it is released. Main motivation for me to watch this movie was the film protagonist – Raja Ravi Verma. I wanted to see the story of that man who revolutionized the way we see our mythological characters. The man who was responsible for first creating the poster of Goddess Laxmi standing on a lotus flower, the way we saw her today in every Diwali poster. The man who made sari clad Indian women looked sexier and elegant at the same time. The man who made come alive ‘Shakuntala’, Damyanti, Urvashi, Menka, Saraswati and many more. The man whose imagination defined the pathway for Indian arts and paintings.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi VermaYou can write a book on Raja Ravi Verma and still you won’t be able to do justice to capture his large persona, so when it came to capturing his life in an almost 2 hour long movie, I was skeptical. But, I was not disappointed.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi Verma
Rang Rasiya – Story of Raja Ravi Verma

‘Rang Rasiya’ is an Indian film based on the life of famous Indian Painter ‘Raja Ravi Verma’. This film is directed by Ketan Mehta of ‘Mangal pandey’ fame. It stars Randeep Hooda as the famous painter himself, and Nandana Sen as his muse. Feryna Wazheir and Paresh Rawal also plays a pivotal role in the movie.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi Verma
Rang Rasiya – Story of Raja Ravi Verma

This movie portrays character of Raja Ravi Verma from childhood moment of painting elephant on a temple’s wall to his old age when he get motivation to change his course of painting and focus on common people rather than Gods and deities. The way this character rebels against the norms of society is commendable. His selfishness when it comes to painting is shown honestly. His guilt, his progression, his imagination, everything is filmed beautifully.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi VermaThe very first moment you will see the title song of the film, you will be hooked to it. It is like watching a beautiful painting taking shape in every scene of the film. But to advise you, this film is not for everyone. My husband almost dozed off twice while watching it and ultimately he left.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi VermaRandeep Hooda has proven himself again. He has aged gracefully in this film, with every scene maturing his acting skills. His progression from a clueless but passionate painter to the one who is just eager to defy everything that comes in the way of portraying true art, is commendable. He has looked every bit of Raja Ravi Verma. Most laudable were the scenes of court, or his reaction when he saw his muse for the last time.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi VermaNandana Sen is one brave actress. She has done justice to Raja Ravi Verma’s life and paintings. She has looked beautiful and acted superbly. She was vulnerable yet strong, jealous but still madly in love, she was the goddess and yet she was the earthly woman, who could only live in imaginative world of his lover. Most worthy of the praise is the scene when she discovers that her existence to Ravi Verma’s life is only in his imagination. Nandana Sen has etched a lifetime role.

Rang Rasiya - Story of Raja Ravi VermaRang Rasiya‘, as a film is not perfect, it’s not even close to that, but if you watch it for Raja Ravi Verma, than it is far more that perfect. It is a masterpiece, just like all the paintings of Raja Ravi Verma.

 

Note: All Photos credit to Rang Rasiya’s Facebook page.

What I Miss About India The Most

What I Miss About India The Most
Taj Mahal

Last year this time I was in a plane, coming to USA for the first time, with my hubby and three kids. I was unsure of what future holds for me. How will I get along with new country, new culture and new people?

It turned out, pretty good. For those, who have read my post on How America is treating me…., would know what I am talking about. I didn’t write anything about India at that time, reason being, I wanted to feel it by the course of time, If I do indeed miss being in India? Or, what exactly did I miss about being there?

Now, that I have spent one whole year, I think I am eligible enough to write my first experience of missing India. So here it goes…. not necessarily in a specific order.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Indian Food

    Indian Food –  bet I won’t be the only one to agree on this point but, Indian food tastes better, in India only. You can visit any top notch restaurant of the world, but the taste of spices, that you have in Indian food, can not be found anywhere. I have been to the Indian restaurants here, but taste is not the same. I cook daily (almost), but still it’s not the same. I have eaten food cooked by others too, but it’s not the same. Miss that aroma, that smell of Indian soil and air.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Crowd

    Crowd – I know you may not agree with me on this one, but I do miss that crowd, that long stretch of people  everywhere around you. When you go out and you start seeing people the moment you step out of your door, to the small lanes, parks, elevators, stairs and main roads…. everywhere a stream of people running for their daily errands. It’s so lively, as if everything has a life. Here I can stroll around blocks away from my home without seeing a single soul for miles (if we leave people running to their destinations, in their cars).

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Movie Queen

    Movies –  I do see Indian movies here, in theaters too, but the feeling is not the same. Indian movies are meant to be seen in big halls, with a cheering and whistling crowd of movie watchers; with some school kids still in their school uniforms bunking their classes; few college going love birds trying to find their corner seats; some oversize uncles spreading their legs and bumping your seat over and over again; smell of that buttery popcorn and slurping sounds of big colas; this is what Indian movies audience should be like. Miss it here.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Kids flying kite

    Indian kids –  I miss kids playing in the neighborhood. Now, nobody rings my doorbell and runs away before I open the door. 🙂 I miss that innocence when little girls would come by ringing your door bells not once or twice but million of times and would ask, “Can we take Tisha to our home for play?”. I miss kids playing cricket in the streets or flying kites on the roof, and shouting with all the strength of their lungs, on small victories. I miss seeing kids all dressed up in their uniforms, looking fresh and tidy in the mornings. Miss seeing grandparents dragging and carrying those same kids, exhausted after school, and take them back to home. Miss the mayhem and mischief of kids.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Indian street

    My Neighborhood –  I miss that chat with the neighbors through balcony having sips of tea in between. How easily we discussed everything from household matters to cricket to debate on who should be the next prime minister, with the whole neighborhood, while still in the comfort of our homes. I miss those small gatherings on the stairs with the neighbors, which used to start with the simple namaste and how are you?, to discussion about their daughter’s friend’s kids school admissions. I miss those visits by neighborhood uncle, who will come by just to say hello. Miss listening to Hindi songs playing on a radio of a very distant shop.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Indian Food

    Late Nights –  In India we have a wrong notion that people in USA have a better night life, as if they party all night, and have more fun, than us. On the contrary, I have found, here people sleep early, to be precise 8pm is their sleeping time, while we on the other hand would not even have our dinner by that time. Markets are close by 8 or max 9, and then you have no place to go to. I miss those evenings/night snacks of chaat and golgappas by roadside at 10 pm. Going out to eat at 11 and still be able to find good food, specially those late nights aaloo paranthas in Noida.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Indian Driving

    Driving on Indian Roads –  It would be insane to say that, but seriously, the fun that you have while driving on Indian roads can never be the same in USA. I loved going on long drives there, specially on highways; here it looks like every road is a highway, pretty boring. Missed that road rage and honking. Cutting into each others lanes and taking wrong turns. It may sound bad, but it was thrilling (however, I would never advise others to do that). Miss bikes and rickshavalas passing alongside your cars and taking sharp turns, miss cycles and school vans, with kids waving byes.

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Golgappe

    Street Food and Dhabas on Roadside –  Dear dhabavalas, you are really a blessing, and now I have realized your importance. The way we can stop our cars anywhere on the road and would find a small dhaba, have a little glass (not cup) of tea with pakoras… yumm… and those jaljira places in summers…. ooohhh…. missing you. Miss aaloo chaat, golgappa, momos, chowmein, paranthas, ice creams, and jalebi shops/counters (thela to be precise).

  • What I Miss About India The Most
    Vegetable Market

    Indian stores and Markets –  Maggi and Dairy Milk Chocolate are no longer soem food item for me, they are life’s little pleasures. You will know it, when you have to go to 100 miles to buy a dairy milk chocolate. Running to Indian stores to buy that Imli chatni or Indian namkeens and sweets….. how easy it was in India, to go to a store on a walking distance and buy these life’s small luxuries. Step out of your home, and there you will have a shop, delivering everything that you desire, sometimes home delivery too.

  • Most importantly, I miss family and friends. Miss those times when we would just go to a friend’s place unannounced, just to have a cup of tea, and would come back fully loaded having dinner. Miss that, when you feel close enough to your family and friends to be able to reach them in time of need within hours. Every birthday or small celebration with your close ones. People who really matter in your life. Miss home and miss my hometown. Miss actually everything that my country has. Miss India. 😦

What I Miss About India The Most
Gurudwara Amritsar