After months of staying away from cinema, partly because we were focused on ensuring a smooth shift to our new home, we reignited our romance with movies. There was no better way to do it than to head out to watch the very pretty, Vidya Balan's tryst with Kolkata in Kahaani!
The first time I saw Vidya's performance in Parineeta, I had predicted that she would leave an indelible mark on Bollywood. Her successive power-packed performances have indeed proved that she can pull it off, solely on her own.
Kahaani kept us gripped, as "Bidya Didi" weaved a magical performance, that threaded right into the finale. Some people claim that the climax of Kahaani had been lifted from the 1994 Hollywood mystery-thriller, "Taking Lives" starring Angelina Jolie. Frankly, even if that is true, I feel no one else, no other female lead, other than Vidya Balan could have breathed life into the role of "Bidya" Bagchi.
But we watched Kahaani way back in March. After we completed the elongated settling-in process at the new house, it was time to freak out again and what better way than to get back to the nearest multiplex. Even though that's become somewhat of a task - the nearest multiplex, PVR at Oberoi Mall is a good 3 kilometers away, unlike earlier when we had three multiplexes within a radius of a kilometer - we used to finish dinner 10 minutes before the scheduled time and then leisurely walk across. We don't have that luxury anymore.
But after many recommendations, we drove across to PVR, at Oberoi Mall, to catch up with Vicky Donor. All the actors did a marvelous job of entertaining the audience, especially Annu Kapoor, who played the role of Dr. Chadha, as well as the mother and grandmother of the lead character, Vicky Arora.
Yami Gautam was refreshing, while Ayushmann Khurrana played his part as a pro. The plot, though an excellent comedy, was an exciting way to communicate the importnce of sperm donation the audiences.
Besides the social message, this movie is indeed a tribute to Punjabiism - the very fact that Vicky Donor was directed by Bengali shows how well filmmakers can pull it off, commercially, setting the story in a Punjabi household! Imagine how the film would have bombed had it been set in the all so proper Bhadralok household - it would have been scored a big zero on the comedy meter. Or, even a Gujarati setting would have rendered the movie unwatchable for over 75% of India.
Most Indians may hate to admit it, but contemporary Bollywood proves how chilled out the Punjabis are! And we Punjabis, will undoubtedly remain proud of who we are!
Then rustic-ness of Uttar Pradesh was wonderfully captured in Ishaqzaade, a welcome break from an overdose of Punjabi-isms. We watched Ishaqzaade back-to back with Vicky Donor.
Ishaqzaade beautifully captured the election time machinations of local politicians. Woven around these machinations was a beautiful love story where the parts were played by the two newcomers - Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor. They both played their roles to perfection and set sparks flying with their amazing on-screen chemistry.
Arjun Kapoor's depiction of Parma, a young lad in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh was real, true and honest. Parineeti who played the role of Zoya, was both fiesty and spunky at the same time - its rare to have an absolute newcomer have that kind of spunkiness. It was after a long time, that I did genuinely feel that debutante (in a lead role) would go a long way in filmdom. The last time I felt this way was for Vidya Balan, after her debut in Parineeta.
I am not kind, at all, on slapstick Hindi comedies and avoid such movies at any cost. I did think my romance with Bollywood was over when in the mid-2000s there was a quick succession of slapstick stuff. However the evolving, experimental genres which are lent a different twist by some talented newcomers have truly rekindled my romance with Bollywood!