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/

 

HAIDER (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:   17+

BollySitter Family GO Factor:       3.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:   7.2/10.0

Directed by:    Vishal Bhardwaj

Starring:          Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Shraddha Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Narendra Jha

Based On :        William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet

Written By:   Vishal Bhardwaj, Basharat Peer

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Vishal Bhardwaj

Produced by:   Vishal Bhardwaj, Siddharth Roy Kapur

Lyrics by:        Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Gulzar

Running time: 162 Minutes

Genre(s):        Political , Social Drama

BollySitter says

An intense socio political drama suitable for viewing of kids in 17+ age group. Set in Kashmir of 1995 when Militant Insurgency was at its peak and many innocent Kashmiri men were detained by Army under AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and some disappeared, never to return again.

It is a complex story of human conflicts and a quest of a son (Haider) who has set out to find his disappeared father.

Content

Haider is the third and final movie in the Shakespearean trilogy by Vishal Bhardwaj that began with Maqbool followed by Omkara. Based on tragic socio political drama Hamlet, Haider is an intensely dark tale of complex human relationships, human conflicts and betrayal.

It is story of a Young Kashmiri man who discovers deceits in the family and wants to avenge his father’s death from his uncle who betrayed his own brother to woo Haider’s mother and his own brother’s wife.

The movie also showcases an intense love and hate relationship between Haider and his mother Ghazala, who in her innocence, becomes the reason for destruction of her family.

There is also a passionate love affair between childhood sweethearts, Haider and Arshia. In order to protect Haider, Arshia inadvertently becomes his nemesis and betrays his trust.

Violence

Blood, gore and extreme violence is prevalent all throughout the movie. Extreme physical torture inflicted upon people holed up at secret army camps is explicitly shown. Men with guns and hand grenades, houses blown off with hand held missiles, dead bodies followed by a shootout is shown in more than one  sequence. A human skull in the hands of protagonist is shown in one song.

Intense & Frightening scenes

A human bomb being blown off, leading to bloodshed is shown .Two men are chased and brutally murdered with boulders in one sequence.

Sexuality

There are a few lip to lip kiss scenes. An elaborate sequence in a song showcases lead pair making love. Semi nudity is shown during the love making sequence.

There is one sequence showcasing out of marriage cohabitation and intimacy between a man and a woman but no nudity or love making is shown.

The film gives out subtle hints of Oedipus Complex in few sequences of the movie. Intense chemistry is suggested between mother and son but no explicit intimate physical gestures are shown.

Language

Since the movie is based in Kashmir, the language is mainly Hindi with Urdu and Kashmiri words used sparingly. The dialogues are taut and intense, some with dark connotation to the complex plot of the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No drinking, drugs or smoking is showcased in the film.

Attitude/Behavior

The theme of the movie is deceit and betrayal within the family. The attitude of the lead protagonist undergoes a complete metamorphosis from being an innocent poet in love with his childhood sweetheart who is also his muse, with an extreme fondness for his father and intense love for his mother to a disillusioned psychotic man with a mission to leave no stone unturned to avenge his father’s death.

There are shades of psychological degeneration in the lead protagonist’s behavior in the latter part of the movie. Haider’s mother is shown torn between her desire to live a comfortable life to intense love for her son.

Discussion points

Families can discuss the importance of mutual trust and faith within the family members. Parents can also tell children about the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan and the internal conflict with mass exodus of Kashmiri Pundits from the valley. They can also explain the genesis of AFSPA and its effect on lives of people in Kashmir and North East States.

Bechdel Test 1/3

There are two primary female characters in the film but they have no conversations or scenes together in the movie except for one monologue wherein Haider’s mother tries to convince a passive Arshiya in mourning, of innocence of Haider.

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

HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY (2014)

Directed by:     A.R. Murugadoss

Starring:           Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Govinda, Sumeet Raghavan

Written By:      A.R. Murugadoss

Language:        Hindi

Music by:         Pritam,  Kaushik Dutta

Produced by:   Aruna Bhatia, Twinkle Khanna, Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Running time:  170 minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age: 15+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 1.5/5.0

Content

Holiday is an action packed film mainly a star vehicle for Akshay Kumar who plays an Army officer. The main subject is that of terrorism; the film is quite graphic with plenty of violence and gore on display. The film doesn’t make for a great family viewing though it does mix it up by offering some typical Bollywood masala with entertaining song sequences and good production values.

Violence 

The film is full of violent scenes including numerous Bomb blasts, shooting, kidnapping and fire with plenty of blood shown. There is very long sequence of physical fight with bloody faces. Possibly, the most violent & graphic scene was of a character’s finger being cut and blood with removed body part is shown explicitly.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are scenes of chase thru traffic with loud background music. There are many other scenes of commotion, fire & kidnapping which don’t make for easy viewing for small children. Threats of killing and hurting show up at regular intervals throughout the film. There are a couple of intense encounters via self-killing/suicide shown that are very frightening to watch.

Sexuality 

None

Language 

None

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None

Attitude/Behavior

Stealing is shown early on in the film. The theme of corruption and direct violence against other human beings without any reasonable setup or a context could be very disturbing to young kids. The concept of “sleeper terrorist cells” is brought up numerous times that would leave curious kids wondering and asking for explanations.

Bechdel test 0/3

Movie doesn’t have any female character of note *including* the leading lady.

Bottom line

Overall, the film can be watched by 15+ year-olds but is full of violence and gore. You have been warned.

 

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

http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/holiday-a-soldier-is-never-off-duty/

SINGHAM RETURNS (2014)

Directed by:     Rohit Shetty

Starring            : Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Amole Gupte,  Anupam Kher

Music by:         Jeet Ganguli, Ankit Tiwari, Meet Bros Anjjan

BollySitter Recommended Age: 12+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0

Content

Singham Returns deals with the corruption in the system and black money used during the election period. It is designed as one cop’s (Ajay Devgan) fight, almost by himself, to bring the baddies to justice.

Violence
All of the action sequences are highly stylized and over the top. They are filmed on a large scale and include destruction of property, blowing up of cars, shooting from all directions, usage of rocket launchers, people blowing up in the mid-air and other stunts that defy the laws of gravity.

In one sequence, a cold blooded murder by strangulation is shown. Blood is shown in a few other sequences and in another one, the kidnapping of a child is implied. People are shown being threatened by goons and taking law in their hands.

Sexuality 

Flirting, Romance.

 

Language 

Although no hard curse words are used, the characters are shown shouting in general and at each other throughout the film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are shown drinking in a few sequences.

Attitude/Behavior

Although the film is mostly pro-police and appreciative of their effort to cleanse the political system and reduce crime, it flirts heavily with the idea of vigilante justice by the cops. The film attempts to justify the Judiciary role played by the police, who punish the criminals and eliminate them whenever justice is denied due to a weak court system. There are scenes of a corrupt/fake religious guru doping people and indulging in illegal and immoral activities.

Bechdel Test 0.5/3

The movie does have more than two female characters. Of these, two roles are more prominent than the others, but not as much as the male characters, and they do not communicate with each other.

Bottom line

Overall, the target film audience is ones who would enjoy over the top action movies. The story, as such, has nothing new to offer and the overall treatment is highly formulaic. To avoid “aata majhi satakli” Carry ear plugs.

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

http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/singham-returns/