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/

BABY (2015)

Directed by:     Neeraj Pandey

Starring:           Akshay Kumar, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Madhurima Tuli, Taapsee Pannu, Danny Denzongpa, Kay Kay Menon, Sushant Singh, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Rasheed Naz

Written By:      Neeraj Pandey

Music by:         M. M. Kreem, Meet Bros Anjjan, Sanjoy Chowdhury

Produced by:   Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia

Running time:  159 minutes

Genre : Action, Thriller, Drama

BollySitter Recommended Age: 15+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 2.5/5.0

baby_poster_202315aBollysitter seal_15+_2.5 star rating

BollySitter Says

Baby” is a fairly good, albeit long and drawn out, thriller that is appropriate for kids in the 15+ age bracket.  As expected in a film that has a backdrop of terrorism, it offers an overabundance of realistic action and violent sequences. However, the writing is a bit lazy and the actors seem to be just going through the motions, at times with no interesting arc that one would expect in such a thriller.  Even so, Neeraj Pandey does establish himself as one of the better Indian directors in this genre, and he displays expertise at mixing traditional Bollywood masala elements with witty humor and other essential elements of films in this genre.

Content

Baby is about a newly established group of professionals out on a mission to fight terrorists. They are required to protect Indian borders as it faces threats from immediate neighbors. The group learn of a new plot, and slowly start to eliminate the masterminds behind it. They track the international cells of the terrorists and eventually prevent them from striking terror in India.

Violence 

The film is full of violent scenes including endless killings & shootings with guns. There are real life-like fight sequences shown with knives and bloody faces that are depicted being hit repeatedly. There is plenty of blood shown as well as an attempted murder by gagging the victim. The film shows a couple of bomb blasts shown including one involving a suicide bomber. A scene involving a gruesome accident on a highway is followed by more bloody violence.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are numerous frightening scenes involving chases and loud background music. There are incidents involving car blasts & fires. Most of the violent and action scenes are fairly intense to watch, especially as the violence shown is not stylized but realistic and graphic. There is an extended fight scene between a man and a woman.

Sexuality 

None.

Language 

Language is mild except the word ch**iya is used a couple of times.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None.

Discussion Points

Violence in the name of religion is a very relevant topic in current age. The film can be misunderstood to present a very black and white picture (not with a deliberate intention to do so, but just consistent with the scope of the film); however,  parents should discuss with their children that even though some terrorists kill in name of the religion doesn’t make that religion or its followers evil. Secularism, national pride and protection of country against ill-meaning forces is another topic of discussion that film touches upon. It’s especially relevant in this era where people tend to take pride only in their personal gains and/or follow a faith blindly to extremes.  There are a few scenes showing propaganda and training camps which might invite questions from younger kids.

Bechdel test 0/3

Movie has only one female character in a minor role.

 

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

 

PK (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For adult language and sexuality)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           4.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          7.9/10.0

 

Directed by:     Rajkumar Hirani

Produced by:   Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Siddharth Roy Kapur

Screenplay by: Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani

Starring:           Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt

Music by:         Ajay Atul, Shantanu Moitra, Ankit Tiwari

Lyrics by:        Swanand Kirkire

Language:       Hindi

Running time: 153 minutes

Genre(s):         Comedy, Social Drama

 

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BollySitter says

Aamir Khan’s PK is a no waste of time. It’s a complete entertainer and can be enjoyed with the whole family. Apart from a mild reference to implied sex (which are already shown in the trailers) there isn’t anything to be worried about. The film’s director Rajukumar Hirani has already proved himself to be a master storyteller who portrays society’s problems in a light- hearted manner. PK also deals with complex stereotypes, philosophies, and orthodox beliefs in a very humane way without getting heavy-handed.

Content

PK is a story about a stranger named PK in the city, who asks questions that no one has asked before. They are innocent, childlike questions, but they bring about catastrophic answers. People who are set in their ways for generations, are forced to reappraise their world when they see it from PK’s innocent eyes. In the process PK makes loyal friends and powerful foes, mends broken lives and angers the establishment. PK’s childlike curiosity transforms into a spiritual odyssey for him and millions of others. The film is an ambitious and explores the complex philosophies and beliefs. It is also a simple and humane tale of love, laughter and letting-go.

Violence 

Apart from some slapstick violence and chases there is no physical violence shown. There is a scene of bomb blast in which few dead bodies are shown.

Sexuality

There are a few scenes where moving cars are shown implying couples having sex in them, no nudity is shown, faded moaning can be heard. In the opening scene PK is shown to be naked but nothing explicit is shown. Those scenes are also shown in the trailers. In one scene a character visits a prostitute. Age appropriate romance and one lip kiss is shown.

Language 

Language is mild with only minor cuss words like “tharki”, “harami” and “kamina” are used. In one sequence where two characters talk about a condom and its purpose, the discussion is humorous.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None

Discussion points

*SPOILER ALERT* (Only because the main plot of the film is not revealed in the trailers)

PK is an important film because it provides a lot of talking points for parents and other moviegoers. The main character, who is shown to be ignorant of the societies’ beliefs and other stereotypes, asks a lot of innocent questions which leave people tongue tied. The film questions fundamentalism and organizations of all the religions and how Godmen and priests are taking advantage of innocent people’s fear of God. PK asks some very smart questions which can be a good discussion points for the parents, and what kids think about the place of religion in life.

Apart from religion, the movie also questions how politics of the two neighboring countries has created a pre-conceived bias in the minds of their citizens who form views of other country’s citizens without fully knowing or understanding them. PK also brings up the taboo Indian topic of sex as a topic of discussion.

PK touches upon the current model of 24/7 news channels who feed news not to educate people about important current affairs and worthy stories, but to simply raise viewership to increase revenues. PK the film itself, however, doesn’t feel shy about product placements which are thrown in throughout the film.

Bechdel Test = 0/3

PK has only one main female character.

 

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

ACTION JACKSON (2014)

Directed by:     Prabhu Deva

Starring:           Ajay Devgan, Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Manasvi Mamgai

Written By:      Prabhudeva, Shiraz Ahmed. A. C. Mughil

Language:        Hindi

Music by:         Himesh Reshammiya

Produced by:   Gordhan P TanwaniSunil Lulla

Running time:  146 minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age: 12+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 1.0/5.0

BollySitter Says

If you must insist, the film can be watched by 12+ year-olds but is full of stylized violence, gore and includes some scenes brimming with sexual energy too. Adults could watch it if they leave their brains (& kids) at home and don’t mind masala escapist cinema at its best (or worst for some!)

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Content

Action Jackson is an absurd action comedy that is mainly a star vehicle for Ajay Devgan, and for Prabhu Deva who goes all out to show off the latest borrowed-from-Hollywood special FX for the action sequences.  The film is essentially action scenes and songs put together in random order to fill up a feature length film. The film is a revenge action drama in which the main lead, who worked for underworld don eventually turns tables against him.

Violence 

The film is full of violent scenes including endless killings & shootings with guns; plenty of blood and dead bodies are shown. Some of it is highly stylized, however, other sequences border on gore. There are realistic fight sequences shown with knives and swords ala Tarantino and Rodriguez. Bottles are broken on people’s head, plenty of people get stabbed & sliced and take this, toothpicks are used as a weapon for mass destruction, no less.  Two friends are even shown slapping each other often, just for you know, fun! It doubles as a “slap”-stick comedy too!

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are numerous frightening scenes involving chases, screams & loud background music. There are scenes involving car blasts & fire that are intense.  The film is basically a feature length intense action sequences broken by random comic (apparently) sequences and foot-tapping (seemingly) numbers to give some respite to the audience from the high kinetic energy.

Sexuality 

There is some crass sexual behavior shown where one of the girls thinks her luck changes for better if she sees her man naked. The villain’s sister lives a heavily sexualized existence and wants a man desperately. There are many scenes of seduction and making out though no kissing or sex is shown. One of the female characters is shown backless in one of the scenes and wearing a skimpy two piece bikini in some others.

Language 

Language is surprisingly mild with only minor cuss words like Harami and Kutta being used.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are many scenes of drinking and smoking shown throughout the film. In one scene a serving of coffee is drugged and consumed.

Discussion Points

One of the leads is shown in a Robinhood-esque role of a large hearted goon! Other than this, the film is just an escapist cinema which leaves your mind as soon you leave the cinema hall!  Parents, if you do end up watching the film, how about using this film as a way to teach kids and your other friends about lack of quality is a masala film like this.  Such mindless films are made all too often in Indian cinema and lapped up by audience who make it a blockbuster. You can discuss the lack of any message, cinematic quality or art in a film like this and suggest alternate films that should get more attention and recognition. If educated audience such as ourselves don’t reject such films, these films will continue to get made. There are many other films that are also escapist, masala & offer wholesome family entertainment which are well made with a lot of effort put in the art & craft of cinematic storytelling.

Bechdel test 0/3

Movie does have three main female characters but they don’t interact with each other at all.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews on http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/action-jackson/

BollySitter Recommends: ANJALI (1990)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For mature emotional drama & theme of terminal illness)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           4.0/5.0

 

Directed by:    Mani Ratnam

Starring:          Raghuvaran, Revathi, Shamili, Prabhu, Saranya Ponvannan, Tarun Vishnuvardhan

Written By:    Mani Ratnam

Language:       Tamil (dubbed in Hindi)

Music by:        Ilaiyaraaja

Produced by:   G. Venkateswaran, Nitin Manmohan

Lyrics by:        Vaali

Running time: 150 mins

Genre(s):         Family Drama

Anjali

SYNOPSIS

Dubbed in Hindi from Tamil, Anjali is a family drama about a married couple and their two children who live together in South India. Their third child, Anjali, is however born with a terminal disease.

The ailment is brought to the attention of the husband at the local hospital, and together, the hospital authorities and the husband collude to keep the child’s disease a secret from the mother. Their neighbors advocate the expulsion of the mentally-affected child from the colony as it is affecting other children. The film explores why the husband did what he did, how the family, including the two other children come to accept the child into their lives, how she is cared for, and whether they finally are ready to let her go. The film ultimately deals with the emotional trauma experienced by the family.

WHY WATCH?

Anjali is an emotional family drama which is packaged well with good writing, good acting and some entertaining songs as well.

The film promotes embracing the diversity around you. Through Anjali, a lot of neglected and misunderstood residents of the colony forge a bond with each other. The theme of compassion is prevalent throughout the film. Initially the normal kids are shown to dislike the mentally-challenged Anjali.

The mother and child are key characters in the film and it revolves around their relationship offering us rare female protagonists within an Indian film context.

A WORD OF CAUTION

The film is clean in terms of sexuality, language and smoking/drinking. However, there are some violent scenes and more importantly there are many intense scenes that are emotional and at times quite frightening. There are a few street fights shown in which the local goons create nuisance. The neighborhood kids also get into fights and altercations with each other. There is a murder shown after a long physical fight and another scene shows the protagonist is a witness to a murder scene.

One of the song sequences is scary with a mention of ghosts. There are intense scenes in the hospital where the kid is admitted during the final stages of terminal illness. In the beginning of the film, a stillbirth is depicted. The mentally challenged child is show hitting her mother   Neighbors are shown speaking in very angry tones with each other and with Anjali’s family.  Often the background music in emotional and a fight scene is very loud and intense. There is a scene where the mother packs her bags & threatens to walk out the house.

Kids watching the film may ask questions about terminal illness and about dealing with the death of a young child. The lead couple in the film also deals with infidelity and a potential divorce which could be very curious topics for younger kids.

The father is shown to lie in order to protect his family from any emotional trauma. The neighbors do not wish to interact with the family of a mentally-challenged child.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Anjali is a gut-wrenching emotional drama as one expects from a Mani Ratnam film. The film is appropriate for viewing with kids in the 10+ age group due to the mature emotional drama and theme of terminal illness. BollySitter gives Anjali a “GO” rating of 4.0/5.0.

HAPPY ENDING (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         12+ (For adult language and sexuality)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           2.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          5.3/10.0

 

Directed by:    Raj Nidimoru & Krishna D.K.

Starring:          Saif Ali Khan Ileana D’Cruz Govinda, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey

Written By:     Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K. Sita Menon

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Sachin-Jigar

Produced by:   Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan, Sunil Lulla

Lyrics by:        Amitabh Bhattacharya

Running time: 137 mins

Genre(s):         Comedy, Romance

 Happy_Ending_2014

BollySitter says

HAPPY ENDING is a romantic comedy set in Los Angeles that tells the story of a philandering author who has only written one book in his entire career and who falls in love with another author. The film is NOT recommended for kids under 12 years of age due to inappropriate and adult language, sexual situations and innuendos throughout.

Content

HAPPY ENDING tells the story of a “commitment-shy one-hit wonder” author struggling to make his ends meet. Much against his wishes, he falls for a fellow female author, only to realize that her views on love and commitment are the same as what they used to be for him before he fell in love. Despite being a rom-com overall, the film comes off more as a series of well-shot sequences, with a few laughs, some witty dialogues and plenty of frank and sexual conversations and situations.

Violence 

There is no violence in the film.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are no intense or frightening scenes in the film.

Sexuality

A couple is shown having sex multiple times. Although there is no explicit nudity, the lead-ups to the scenes involve sexual conversations. A couple is shown playing cards and taking turns to strip, depending upon who wins each round. A couple is shown stripping on the highway in order to hitchhike a ride. A married couple is shown arguing about how infrequently they have sex and how the wife could have gotten pregnant. Two guys break into a girl’s apartment and have a lewd discussion around her undergarments. Two guys have frank conversations about their sex lives. A song features scantily clad girls dancing in the background. A boy forcibly attempts to check out a hidden tattoo by pulling one of his former girlfriends’ shorts. Two guys are shown having drinks at a strip club with scantily dressed women in the background.

Language 

There is a liberal usage of inappropriate words and adult language throughout the film, including words like “f***”, “a**hole” “b**ch”, “screwed”, “shit”, “behanc***d” and “bastard”. A popular party song has risqué and double meaning lyrics. It is hard to overlook the usage of such language in a mainstream Bollywood film, thereby making it unsuitable for younger kids.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are multiple drinking scenes in the movie. Couples are shown drinking wine on regular basis. Two guys are shown drinking heavily in bars and eventually passing out, throwing up or waking up with a hangover. Smoking is shown intermittently in the background although none of the lead characters are shown smoking themselves.

Attitude/Behavior

The movie is about an author who does not wish to work despite his bleak financial situation and is afraid of getting into any serious relationship with a woman. Women are discussed as being harsh, non-understanding and difficult to deal with, throughout the film. Drinking excessively, lying and having relationships with multiple partners is also assumed to be an acceptable behavior.

Discussion points

This is a romantic comedy meant for adults, with no positive takeaways that can be discussed with kids.

Bechdel Test = 0/3

There are plenty of female characters in the film but none of them have any conversation with each other.

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

THE SHAUKEENS (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         15+

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           1.5/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          4.9/10.0

Directed by:    Abhishek Sharma

Starring:          Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor, Piyush Mishra, Lisa Haydon, Akshay Kumar, Rati Agnihotri

Written By:     Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sai Kabir

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hard Kaur, Vikram Nagi, Arko Mukherjee

Produced by:   Akshay Kumar, Ashvin Varde

Running time: 124 mins.

Genre(s):         Comedy

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BollySitter says

THE SHAUKEENS is a loose adaptation of the 1982 Bollywood film, “Shaukeen” and is not recommended for children under 15 years of age due to sexuality, adult language and sexual innuendos. The film tells the story of three elderly men who take a vacation to Mauritius in an effort to fulfill their sexual fantasies.

Content

THE SHAUKEENS depicts the story of three lecherous old friends who go to Mauritius in search of a sexual rendezvous. How the lustful three come to terms with reality, with the help of their beautiful host and the female lead of the film, forms the crux of the story. The film is filled with double-meaning dialogues, sexual situations and embarrassing incidents about elder guys trying to make out with younger girls, in the name of entertainment. The only entertaining parts of the film, however, are provided by a character who plays a superstar himself in the film and whose plot is not directly related to the one of the three main protagonists anyway.

 

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