By Utpal Borpujari
Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster
A modern version of Guru Dutt’s classic Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam, this Tigmanshu Dhulia film caught the attention of viewers for its fast-paced drama in which the sahib is a former royal now surviving through contract killing assignments, the biwi is a frustrated woman craving for the husband’s attention, and the ghulam in this case is a gangster planted in saheb’s household by a rival gang. With the saheb busy in his business and an affair with a mistress, the biwi gets into a relationship with the gangster, and uses him to settle scores with her husband. But the story does not end there as the gangster gets ambitious and wants the biwi for himself. A story of twists and turns, the film is a good watch, thanks to its well-written screenplay and solid performances by its cast, including Jimmy Shergill, Randeep Hooda, Mahie Gill and Vipin Sharma.
Dir: Tigmanshu Dhulia, Language; Hindi Reliance Home Video; Rs 299
The World At War
This sure is a collector’s edition if you are a history buff — especially world history. With narration by Sir Laurence Olivier, this nine-DVD box set is a dream come true for those who want to know all about the World War II without reading weighty tomes about it. Made for television, this series first made its screen appearance way back in October 31, 1973, when memories of the last great war were still fresh in people’s minds and a huge number of war veterans were still alive. Replete with rare footages from the War, this series makes for engrossing viewing, and can be a good tool to educate yourself and your children on the hows and whys of such humongous wars and how the Cold War evolved as a consequence of it. The dramatic footages, supplemented by Olivier’s powerful commentary and interviews of those who fought those wars or had witnessed them, make this a memorable viewing. A special attraction is the episodes on Adolf Hitler, and his people and politics.
TV series; 9 DVDs Boxset, Shemaroo; Rs 2,499
This is a slice of the story that makes for compelling viewing. A social phenomenon widely written about in the media, “groom abduction”, locally called “pakrauh shaadi”, is a practice in Bihar and parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh in which parents of girls, who cannot afford to meet obnoxious dowry demands per the abominable social practice, get suitable boys abducted and married to their daughters. Directed by Sushil Rajpal, this film, winner of the National Award for the Best Film on Social Issues, has competent performances by its cast comprising Raj Singh Chaudhary, Swati Sen, Vinay Pathak and Akhilendra Mishra, among others. Go for this one if you believe in your cinema to be thought-provoking and not brainless wonders.
Dir: Sushil Rajpal, Language: Hindi, YRF, Rs 199
The Rum Diary
Based on a novel by Hunter S Thompson, this Johnny Deppstarrer almost holds a mirror to many ills facing the media, albeit in an oblique way. Depp, known for choosing the unusual even within the mainstream Hollywood, plays Paul Kemp, a journalist who flees New York’s increasing noise and mad rush to the relaxed lifestyle of Puerto Rico, where he finds a job with a local newspaper run by a down-andout editor, played by Richard Jenkins. Quickly settling into the rumsoaked atmosphere of Puerto Rico, Kemp gets irresistibly attracted towards a beautiful lady who turns out to be the fiancée of a businessman whose dealings are nothing but shady. Kemp, approached by the businessman to write favourably about one of his new and shady projects, has to make a choice. Can he keep his conscience — is what forms the climax of this interesting story.
Dir: Bruce Robinson, Language: English, Reliance Home Video; Rs 499
(Published in Seven Sisters Post, http://www.sevensisterspost.com, 09-06-2012)