DUM LAGA KE HAISHA (2015)

Writer / Director: Sharat Katariya

Starring: Ayushmann Khurana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra, Seema Pahwa, Alka Amin, Sheeba Chaddha

Music: Anu Malik

Producer: Maneesh Sharma, Aditya Chopra

Running Time: 111 mins

Genre: Romance, Drama

BollySitter Recommended Age:  12+

BollySitter GO Factor: 3.0/5.0

BollySitter Says

“Dum Laga Ke Haisha” is a simple yet charming film about an unlikely lower middle-class couple who learn to look beyond each other’s shortcomings and slowly develop a mutual love, respect and understanding for one another.  Due to sexual innuendo and certain mature themes, the film is recommended for kids in the 12+ age bracket.

Content

DLKH depicts the story of an ordinary boy who gets married to an overweight girl and how, over time, they both fall in love with each other, overcoming a series of hurdles (both physical and mental) and looking beyond physical appearances. The story, set in Haridwar circa 1995, is simple, using chaste Hindi dialogues and situations that are true to life.

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Violence

There is no objectionable violence per se in the film. However, fathers are shown abusing and beating up their grown-up sons, mothers are shown throwing tantrums and wailing, sons are shown shouting at their parents (in frustration), wives are shown crying and repenting and friends are shown mocking and making fun of each other.

Intense / Frightening Scenes

A character attempts to commit suicide through self-immolation. A father beats up his son with flip-flops. A couple hurls abuses at each other and exchanges a few slaps under emotional distress.

Sexuality

There is a scene when a girl goes to a departmental store to purchase undergarments. In another scene, the shopkeeper of the same store expresses his life’s frustration by holding female undergarments in his hands. A girl dresses up in a simple nightgown in preparation for a night of lovemaking, while light sounds of moaning coming from a film playing on a TV are heard in the background. The lead couple share a few loving kisses.

Language

Overall language is mild other than a few curses in chaste Hindi that are exchanged between various characters.

Drinking, Drugs and Smoking

Friends are shown consuming alcohol together at a marriage party. A character is shown smoking in front of his wife and drinking alcohol from a bottle prior to entering a house.

Discussion Points

DLKH has a slew of important points parents can discuss with their children, starting with how physical appearances are not always important for a relationship to blossom. A married couple can lean on each other at all times and should not only accept the strengths of their life partners but should also attempt to overcome their own shortcomings, with each other’s help.  Family support plays an important role in a person’s life and how every member of the family contributes to a healthy and loving environment in a household plays an important role in the film. The movie is emotional and heart-breaking at times, especially for younger kids, but the payoff is eventually rich, endearing and entertaining.

Bechdel Test (2/3)

There are four primary female characters in DLKH. Most of their conversations, however, revolve around how to ensure a successful marriage and how to win the hearts of their spouses.

For the quality of the film, check out the review at http://www.thereviewmonk.com/movie/dum-laga-ke-haisha/

 

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Censor Board’s cultural policing effects on Artistic Freedom

This weekend the controversial feature MSG – The Messenger finally released in theatres. We at BollySitter do not plan on reviewing a film that anyone other than the followers of self-proclaimed Guru/demi-god Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will find worth spending their time or money on. Most of the Bollywood cinema is kitschy at best and sheer torture at worst served in the name of entertainment, and we at BollySitter have more than often felt the pain while reviewing so-called “popular masala films”.

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Earlier this week when popular Bollywood star Aamir Khan called AIB’s Roast of actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh a “violent” act, he received counter-criticism from certain quarters with people calling the actor, who has himself produced a “violently” raunchy comedy called “Delhi Belly”, a hypocrite. But Aamir cleverly hid behind the curtain of the censor board, stating that his movie was made for a specific audience and was approved by the board for that category of viewers, while also highlighting the difference between fictional characters (in a movie) and real people (the recipients of the AIB roast). When the Roast also drew flak from other authorities and the self-proclaimed “culture police” across the nation, AIB was forced to take down the controversial video recordings of the event from their YouTube Channel, fearing legal action.

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This past Friday when CBFC Chairman, Pahlaj Nihalani, sent out a circular to the Regional Offices (ROs) of the Censor Board, listing out words and phrases that he feels are objectionable and abusive, and worthy of being deleted from films, he drew criticism from within the board itself. Nihalani was appointed as Chairman of the Board by the Central Government after the previous Chair Leela Samson and her entire Board quit over MSG – The Messenger being cleared by the Film Tribunal despite the Board calling it a propagandist film and refusing to give it a Certificate. The Tribunal has the authority to override CBFC’s decision and clear any film for release that the board may have raised objections with, in the first place, but it appears certain rules were overlooked and film was cleared without the due process. In a somewhat related story, recently there was also a huge cry on Twitter when the Censor Board reinstated a ban on usage of the word “Bombay” (instead of “Mumbai”) in Mihir Joshi’s music video of the song “Sorry”.

Freedom of expression is an essential ingredient in a true democracy and censorship and restrictions on speech do not allow creativity to flourish.  Over the past few days, we at BollySitter have passionately debated the role of CBFC members in certifying (or not) movies like MSG – The Messenger, banning the use of words like “Bombay”, forcing the annoying appearance of the phrase “Smoking Kills” anytime someone smokes on screen, criticizing AIB’s roast of Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh and how it all relates to BollySitter and its core mission.

Whether one likes a particular film, song, book or a written piece is entirely the freedom of choice that they have. It should not be up to CBFC or anyone else to decide what one can or cannot read or watch. CBFC has anyway been inconsistent in its job to appropriately rate content, especially for the younger audience. On one hand, a bloody and violent sequence in a movie rated U/A is not approved by the censor board while on another, an overtly sexual situation or a scene containing objectionable language is passed without appropriate rating or parental guidance. There are no set parameters or rules and it often appears that their job is to either please the culture police (by banning words or content that some group finds objectionable) or to please the higher authorities. Of course none of us want inappropriate content to reach impressionable children, but banning should not be the solution. CBFC’s job should be to provide a medium that informs people, and let the audience decide on their own what is good for them and what is not. The need of the hour is not stringent censorship but an overhaul of the parental guidance system, a source that provides fair and trustworthy information and tools to the viewers, as well as a discussion forum so that families can make an informed decision about the media they consume.

Let us give the artistes their freedom, and not give undue attention and unnecessary hype to the likes of MSG-The Messenger, a movie that probably would not have garnered this much attention had it been certified in the first place, and would have died a natural death on the day of its release anyway.

 

SHAMITABH (2015)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         12+

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           2.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          5.8/10.0

 

Directed by:    R. Balki

Starring:          Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush, Akshara Haasan

Written By:     R. Balki

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Illaiyaraaja

Produced by:   R. Balki, Sunil Lulla

Running time: 153 mins.

Genre(s):         Drama

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BollySitter says

SHAMITABH is director R.Balki’s follow-up to “CHEENI KUM” and “PAA” that continues to highlight his fondness and appreciation for Amitabh Bachchan. The film is appropriate for viewing with kids 12 years and older due to language and sexual situations. SHAMITABH narrates the story of three individuals – an aspiring actor from a small-town village, a failed actor who has taken to drinking in his old age and a budding young female director – all three of whom join hands for a purpose that will eventually serve their selfish interests.

Content

SHAMITABH starts off as a simple, clean family film in the first half but degenerates into something suitable for more mature kids as it progresses. A character is shown drinking alcohol throughout the film. A love-making scene is depicted in a song (No nudity is shown but the expressions and actions of the actors make the act fairly obvious). There is a scene when a character is shown repeatedly hitting another character. In another scene, one character blurts a series of curse words, some of which are fairly gross and inappropriate for kids.  A female uses phrases like “Kiss My A**”, “Fat Bloody A##es”, “Brainless Pigs” etc. during her fits of anger. A male professes his love for a girl using inappropriate language.

In short, SHAMITABH is an amateurish attempt with a storyline that continuously oscillates between being manipulative, needlessly melodramatic, ludicrous and preposterous. The only positive message the film delivers is about how to never let your ego take precedence over what is right and what is wrong in life. Parents may wish to save a trip to the theatres and watch the film at home, when it is releases on home video.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @ http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/shamitabh/