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/

 

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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!)

action jackson seal

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: JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR (1992)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For language and mild sensuality)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           4.5/5.0

Directed by:    Mansoor Khan

Starring:          Aamir Khan, Mamik, Deepak Tijori, Ayesha Jhulka, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pooja Bedi

Music by:        Jatin-Lalit

Produced by:   Nasir Hussain

Lyrics by:        Majrooh Sultanpuri

Running time: 158 mins

Genre(s):         Comedy, Drama, Thriller
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SYNOPSIS

“JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR (JJWS)” is a 1992 sports/coming-of-age Hindi drama that highlights the importance of honesty, discipline, leadership and team-spirit in life, for all youngsters who aspire to make a name for themselves in the any field and especially sports. The film was a major hit when it was released over twenty years ago and remains a superior entertainer for both the young and adults to this very day.

 

JJWS is the story of two brothers from one of the three all-boys schools in Dehradun. An existing rivalry between three all-boys schools manifests itself through the annual sports championship. While the elder brother, portrayed on screen by Mamik, is serious-minded, disciplined, respectful and an excellent sportsman, the younger one, played by Aamir Khan, is happy-go-lucky, mischievous, unscrupulous, street-smart and at times deceitful. The plot of the film revolves around how the younger brother realizes the mistakes he has made in his life and how he restores the pride of his family, his brother and his school by winning the championship-defining bicycle race in the end.

 

WHY WATCH?

JJWS is not just a serious tale about a boy growing up but a complete entertainer, Bollywood style, with memorable music and wonderful locations. The storyline is replete with elements that tickle your bone, make you laugh, get you thinking, tug your hearts and give you an adrenaline rush, all within two and a half hours.

 

JJWS has characters and episodes that kids can learn a lot from. Sibling love, honesty in any relationship, respectfulness towards elders and dedication towards your goals are at the heart of this film. There are takeaways galore throughout, including what not-to-do, that adults will have no problems in discussing with their children.

 

Lying to your friends, stealing, using cuss words, being manipulative and cheating in sports are some of the areas that are rightfully portrayed in a negative light via both comic as well as serious episodes throughout the film. Things do get a little bit heavy and melodramatic at times but those instances are far and few in between.

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

BollySitter recommends this film for kids over 10 years of age. There are sequences where young school boys are shown smoking, saying cuss words (“Shit”, “Bloody Bastard”, “Haraamzaade”), flirting with girls and fighting with each other. Lying, stealing and disrespectful attitude towards is depicted but is never glorified and their consequences are also shown, so as to dissuade kids from adopting such attitude. There is a kissing scene between two characters and a scene where the skirt of a female is shown raised higher than usual, while she dances. However, none of these are overtly sexual in nature.

 

THE FINAL VERDICT

“Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander” is a rare sports film from Bollywood that not only entertains but educates as well. With a story that is for and about youngsters, a high entertainment quotient owed to memorable music, delightful comedy and thrilling moments and a higher than usual quality of performances and direction, BollySitter gives JJWS a “GO” rating of 4.5/5.0.

HAPPY NEW YEAR (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For language and violence)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           3.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          5.2/10.0

 

Directed by:    Farah Khan

Starring:         Deepika Padukone, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff

Written By:     Farah Khan, Althea Kaushal, Mayur Puri (dialogues)

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Vishal-Shekhar

Produced by:   Gauri Khan

Lyrics by:        Irshaad Kamil

Running time: 179 mins

Genre(s):         Comedy, Drama, Action

Happy-New-Year-Movie-Poster

BollySitter says

HAPPY NEW YEAR is a revenge cum heist cum dance competition drama that is larger than life, illogical at times, over the top and yet provides wholesome entertainment for the family just like any other signature Shahrukh Khan movie.

Director Farah Khan is an astute believer of show business and she follows the Manmohan Desai school of filmmaking where characters lead a life of grandeur with opulence, misery, coincidence, luck and fate – all at the same time – and yet her movies always have happy endings (a la “Om Shanti Om”).

Content

Happy New Year is story of a Boston university topper turned street fighter who brings together a team of 5 losers from varying professions to commit a big diamond heist in the garb of participating as a dance troupe at the World Dance Competition in Dubai. The primary motive behind his actions is to avenge the injustice meted out to his father by movie’s antagonist.

Violence 

The opening scene of the movie is a pre-fixed fight scene between two characters. Fist fighting, blows on face and blood oozing out of the mouth of the protagonist is shown. In another fight scene on top of a building, a scuffle, fistfights and bloodshed is shown. The violence scenes are not gory and have an exaggerated feel to them. In a suicide scene, a slit wrist and blood oozing out of wrist is shown. There is an elaborate group fight scene outside a bar that has a comical feel to it.

Intense & Frightening scenes

During a fight scene, a character hangs over the edge of a skyscraper roof and swings back. In a dance sequence, a small boy falls from the top of a human pyramid but is later saved. Both scenes may scare small children.

Sexuality

A bar dancer is shown wearing skimpy dresses in some scenes and songs but there are no scenes with overt sexuality or physical intimacy in the movie. In two brief sequences, a presumably gay association between two characters is suggested and they are shown dancing suggestively in a video recording. There is brief mock kissing scene where a character surrounded by women is shown with lipstick marks smothered on his face.

Language 

Some derogatory cuss words referring to one’s mother are liberally used in a few sequences. The opening line of the movie which is repeated throughout the movie has two cuss words in it (“Kutti”, “Saali”). One of the characters uses demeaning words against another character throughout the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are quite a few drinking scenes in the movie. One character is shown as a chronic drunkard. During one of the drunken stupors amongst lead characters, an emotional outburst is shown but no violence or aggression is depicted.

Attitude/Behavior

The movie is about 6 losers and each one of them has individual quirks and eccentricities that give an edge to their characters.  Their personality traits, social background, upbringing and other characteristics define their actions and attitude throughout the movie.

Discussion points

The movie primarily has only entertainment quotient and no depth to the story. Parents, however, can still teach children the value of team work as shown in the movie. They can tell children to believe in themselves and not let past disappointments define their future. They can also bring the kids attention to a statement made by a character in the film that respect is the ultimate destination of any man and that one should always protect his/her integrity.There is also emphasis on patriotism in the movie that can be talked about.

Bechdel Test 0/3

The female lead is the only primary female character in the movie. One character’s mother is shown as a domineering woman but she has no interaction with the lead female.

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

BANG BANG (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         13+ (For sensuality and violence)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           2.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          4.4/10.0

Directed by:    Siddharth Anand

Starring:          Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Danny Denzongpa, Jaaved Jaffrey

Written By:     Patrick O’Neill, Sujoy Ghosh, Suresh Nair

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Vishal-Shekhar

Produced by:   FOX Star Studios

Lyrics by:        Anvita Dutt, Kumaar, Vishal Dadlani

Running time: 153 mins

Genre(s):         Action Thriller

BollySitter says

BANG BANG is a mindless action thriller with standard Bollywood doses of romance, exotic locations, songs, dances, emotions and no plot thrown into the mix. The film is appropriate for viewing with kids in the 13+ age group due to scenes of loud violence and some sensuality.

Content

The official remake of Knight and Day, Bang Bang revolves around the escapades of a guy searching for a notorious criminal and a girl who inadvertently ends up becoming his accomplice as he shoots, fights and kills bad people around the world.

Violence 

There are liberal doses of action sequences throughout the film, some of which are intense while others are superhero type and larger-than-life in nature. The beginning and end of the film feature two scenes where people are thrown alive into a raging fire. These may be disturbing for younger kids. The film shows gun fires, bomb blasts, fistfights and acrobatic jumps – most of which are more hurtful to the ears than to the eyes. There are a few scenes of shooting people from a close range and a few dead bodies are shown.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are two scenes where people are set on fire alive. In one scene, a character cuts the finger of a dead body with a cigar cutter and uses its fingerprints to unlock a finger-scanning lock.

Sexuality 

Apart from a mildly erotic kissing scene, there is no overt sexuality in the film. The film, however, does have a few scenes of sensuality where a scantily-dressed female lead is either dreaming of singing/dancing with the male lead or mouthing dialogues that insinuate that she would like the male lead to have sex with her. Tanned, half-naked bodies of both the leads are on display throughout the film.

Language 

The female lead in the film is shown speaking suggestive dialogues in a drugged state that depict her desire to have a lover. The bad guys make threats using menacing words but no curse words are used. The word “bullshit” is used once. Certain dialogues may have a double-meaning. The usage of the film’s title “Bang Bang” is also used suggestively towards the end of the film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are scenes where various characters are shown drinking wine and other forms of alcohol. There are multiple situations where people are drugged and then kidnapped using the medicines or drinks served to them. One character is shown smoking a cigar in most of the scenes.

Attitude/Behavior

Parts of the film revolves heavily around the theft of Kohinoor diamond which was forcibly taken from India during British Raj. A number of characters are shown taking patriotic pride in stealing the diamond back from Britain. The female lead is shown to be a bimbo whose goal in life is to find “Trueluvv”. She is shown to have a poor judgment about people and takes everything on the face value, “good looking” face value that is.

Discussion points

The film has certain patriotic undertones which families can discuss with the children. The parent-children bond is highlighted in the film. Sibling love is at the center of the film and can be part of discussions with younger kids. Part of the film is an example of the “Stockholm Syndrome” where a victim falls in love with his/her kidnapper. Parents can talk to kids about the danger of accepting drinks or food from strangers or giving in to emotions when dealing with people they do not know.

Bechdel Test 0/3

There are three female characters in the film, but besides the main lead, the other characters don’t have a much role. The main lead shares a warm relation with her grandmother but her grandmother is shown to be constantly pushing her to find true love like yesteryears romantic heroes. Most of the conversations are between the two of them and involve men. The film has a strong patriarchal tone where the objectified female character simply wants to be swept off her feet by a prince charming in her life.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @

http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/bang-bang/

RAJA NATWARLAL (2014)

Directed by:    Kunal Deshmukh

Starring:         Emraan Hashmi, Humaima Malik, Kay Kay Menon, Paresh Rawal, Deepak Tijori

Written by      Parveez Sheikh

Music by:        Yuvan Shankar Raja

Running time:           141 Minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age: 15+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 1.5/5.0

Content

A small-time con man and a street smart hustler seeks assistance from his mentor with an intention of setting scores with a gangster.  It’s a decent massy movie that isn’t one of those loud masala blockbusters but doesn’t offer much for kids or as a family watch.

Violence 

Death via shooting at point blank range is depicted (blood shown). There is a scene of killing someone with hitting rapidly and repeatedly on head with a bat (blood shown). Various incidents of Gun pointing, shooting, and physical fighting are interspersed throughout the film. There is a scene of throwing a body in the river.

Sexuality 

Several scantily clad women are shown dancing in a few nightclub scenes and songs, and characters throwing money at them. The couple kisses and embraces several times but is never shown having sex. There is one scene followed by a song where it is implied that characters have had sex, no nudity is shown.  The couple is shown kissing in bed (he’s shirtless, she wears a nightdress).

Language 

No curse words are used, but threatening language is shown throughout the film. Couple of corrupt cops constantly harass the one female character and use threatening language.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are a few smoking sequences. Drinking is shown in a few sequences in a bar, nightclub, house etc., including characters getting drunk and losing balance. A child is shown selling cigarettes.

Attitude/Behavior

The theme of greed is prevalent in the film, and is the basic premise of the film, a conman/hustler is shown as protagonist of the film, and is constantly duping or conning people for money.

Bechdel test 0/3

Movie has only one significant female character, she is playing role of a bar dancer (Indian version of strip girl, who just dances in the bar in suggestive moves in skimpy clothes but no nudity shown).

Talking Points

Parents can talk to kids about: greed, street gambling, and how the protagonist was shown in the film, whether the female character role was objectifying women in shady bar or was adding to the story. The street kids’ situation and hardship in society, and their ways of making ends meet.

Bottom line

Overall, film is targeted at mature audience of 15 years and above who understand theme based on con and greed. Although the movie has a few interesting parts, story is weak and predictable, screenplay is far-fetched and half baked, relies mostly on mistake and silliness of antagonist rather than smarts of the protagonist.

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

 

 

MARDAANI (2014)

Directed by:     Pradeep Sarkar

Written by        Gopi Puthran

Starring:           Rani Mukherji, Jissu Sengupta, Tahir Raj Bhasin

Music by:         Shantanu Moitra

Running time:  112 Minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age: 18+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 1.0/5.0

Content

A high paced crime drama packed with action and thrill sequences. In order to save an orphaned girl she considered as her own daughter, a lady Senior Police officer gets embroiled in a cat and mouse chase with an organized sex trafficking operator. Taut editing and restrained acting by lead protagonist Rani Mukherji and antagonist Tahir Raj Bhasin makes the movie a good watch for adults.

Violence 

Minor scuffle is shown at the beginning of the movie where a police team captures back an escaped criminal. There are murders of three people in two different sequences through gunshots. There are two sequences showcasing destructive rampage by hooligans on public properties. Extreme physical violence is shown in the climax of the movie where the villain is roughed up by the lead actress. Perceived threat with undercurrent of physical abuse is shown throughout the movie where the trafficked girls are manhandled by the operators.

Sexuality 

In the opening sequence, through verbal moaning, an adult couple is referred having sex behind closed doors and the act is mentioned by the lead actress thereafter. A scantily clad woman is shown during the sequence.

There are no kissing scenes but there are some scenes of semi frontal and full back nudity of trafficked girls. Physical sexual assault of a teenage girl is shown in one sequence. Scantily clad young girls are shown in various sequences during the movie.

There is reference to prostitution and bidding of virginity of young girls in few sequences of the movie.

Language 

Hindi cuss words are used liberally throughout the movie by all actors and are part of the main dialogue delivery.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There is one Smoking sequence .Drinking and drug intake is shown in some sequences of the movie. There are two sequences showing drug dealing.

Morality/Attitude/Behavior

The main theme of the movie is drug dealing and girl child trafficking for prostitution. The behavior of the handler of trafficked girls is barbaric and disrespectful. The lead protagonist is shown of high morale and integrity. She has a positive attitude and analytical mind with grit and strong determination.

Bechdel test 2/3

Movie has only two adult female characters who meet for the first time towards the end of the movie. There are two main teenage female characters who share great camaraderie between them and with the female lead of the movie. The lead protagonist is a female police officer who is empowered and bold. She can handle adversities and tough situations very well. Movie shows a strong feminist influence on storyline in form of the lead protagonist while at the same time showcasing atrocities inflicted upon trafficked young girls who are forced into prostitution.

Bottom line

Overall, film is targeted at adult audience of 18 years and above who understand issues related to sex trafficking and drugs.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews on

http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/mardaani/