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.

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
JJWS_img

 

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.

MARY KOM (2014)

Directed by : ​Omang Kumar
Produced by :   Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Starring : Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumaar, Sunil Thapa, Zachary Coffin
Written By : Saiwyn Qadras , Ramendra Vasishth
Music By : Shashi – Shivamm
Running time :​ 122 Minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age : 10+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 3.5/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score: 6.2/10

Content

A transient account of events in the life of boxing legend Mary Kom who fought adversities in life to relentlessly pursue her love for boxing and become the World renowned boxing champion that she is known as today. Priyanka Chopra has put her heart and soul in the role as the lead protagonist in this biopic.

Violence

The opening scene has a curfew situation where disruption is shown on the streets at the night time. There is a fighting scene between the protagonist and a street fighter where blood is shown on former’s face. Since the movie is based on a boxer’s life, the sequences showcasing boxing matches exhibit extreme aggression by the boxers but no excessive blood and gore is shown in the movie.

Frightening Scene

There are couple of hospital scenes depicting child birth and an intense surgery which may perturb children’s sensitivity. Parental guidance is advised during these scenes.

Sexuality

There is no kissing scenes or any kind of nudity shown except for one brief wedding kiss between the protagonist and her husband.

Language

The language is bereft of any kind of profanity. The dialogues are simple and suitable for children.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There is no smoking scene. Supporting cast drinking alcohol and some empty alcohol bottles are shown in couple of brief sequences.

Attitude/Behavior

The strength, grit, determination and focus displayed by the sporting legend are depicted in the movie. The movie also shows her extremely angry nature and fighting streak against any kind of injustice meted out to those around her. Some sequences showcased Government authorities’ apathy towards the welfare of the players.

Bechdel test 2.5/3

Mary Kom shared a relationship of trust with her mother who, since her childhood, stoically stood behind her and supported her in her pursue of boxing as a career. Solidarity is shown amongst the women players of Manipur female boxing team who whole heartedly supported Mary Kom during the matches. There is a brief sequence where her rapport with a female journalist is shown.

Talking Points

Parents can talk to children about how to be focused and realize your dream by overcoming any adverse situation. They can also talk about the hardship faced by people living in North East India and how they live through tough social and political conditions through resilience and hard work. Why many young women still don’t have a voice in the patriarchal society and how married women aren’t expected to take their profession/career seriously. Parents can talk to kids about how corruption in Indian public offices affects success of deserving sportspersons.

Bottom line

The movie is a biopic on the life of a living sports legend. Though some of the sequences seem fictionalised and dramatized to suit the frame of a Bollywood movie, yet the movie has been able to capture the essence of the life of Mary Kom. Movie showcased how she fought all the obstacles to overcame many adversities in personal and professional sphere of her life to achieve her goals and in the end note, it is mentioned how she still continues to pursue the sport wholeheartedly despite of having a family and three children to look after.

The film makes a good watch for the entire family and can be inspirational for children in many ways.

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