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Lootera - A Leaf of Love and Life

Lootera Review :

If one day, love comes before you with all its pain and happiness, what will you call it ? Silence... Oh, anyway my answer is Lootera!!

Vikramaditya Motwane is a tested and proven director. You might have seen his 'Udaan'. And now Lootera is here. It is one among the few perfect masterpieces ever produced in Indian Cinema. While you watch Lootera, you may feel that you are reading a Tagorian lyrical outburst.

Lootera says the LOVE story of Varun, a thief and Pakhi, an innocent girl in Bengal. The story happens in the 50's, when the land acquisition law was came into effect.

The whole setting of the movie matches the period. And the plot is not crammed with characters and sub-stories. It is the story of Varun and Pakhi. All other characters are kept away from the spotlight.

Varun had a dream. He wanted to paint a masterpiece before he die. Atlast he paints it. A leaf of love and life, just for her. His Pakhi. Here you can see the most touching adaptation of O. Henry's 'The Last Leaf'.Varun achieves his dream. That too for her. So he has enough reasons to smile at death.

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Lootera says, in a soft voice, that love is life. If you love somebody, you are giving life to him/her. And your life begins there. Pakhi's smile, which you see before the end credits is Varun's love and that love keeps her alive.

Sonakshi Sinha looks prettier than ever before. Can't take your eyes away from her. Pakhi is alive in her hands. Ranveer Singh adds colour to Varun. Their onscreen chemistry has a major role in the movie.

All the technical aspects including cinematography, editing, sound etc are in well sync. Songs and background score are perfect for the mood. vikramaditya Motwane needs a special applause for the flawless art of filmmaking. If I have to point out a negative, I should say, some parts of the movie are bit slow and dragging.

I hope you all might have seen Aamir Khan-Kajol starrer 'Fannaa'. Some narrow shades of similarities can be traced in both. But no comparisons at all.

Lootera is a simple movie.It is the story of Varun and Pakhi and their own love story. Never expect any of our bollywood romantic masalas in it. Lootera is tragic, but leaves you with a smile on your face.

Tail end : When few dew drops glittered in my eyes, I just turned around. Saw a girl sitting in the back row, fighting hard to hide a monsoon of emotions. Lootera...

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The Third Sex in Indian Cinema

Anticipation, adulation and celebration—this was how Kolkata responded to Rituparno Ghosh’s films. But, this time when his new movie is released, there will be anticipation and adulation, but no more celebration. The reason—Ghosh is no more.

He never beat a new path for himself in filmdom. Nor did he try any extraordinarily brilliant technical experiments in his forte, like Satyajith Ray, his creative mentor. Yet, he hogged the headlines and caused furor in the society he lived in.  How? He had a special eye for the lives of the marginalized, and a creative fond for the underbellies of Indian society. When Ghosh set his foot on filmdom, Bengali cinema was a barren land. He turned it into a fertile soil by exploring the sentiments of the urban middle class to which he, too, belonged.

By all means, he was like a truant child; curious, creative and forever unafraid to chuck stones into the placid pool that sometimes society is. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Ghosh made friends with movie-making through his father who was a documentary film maker. Starting his career with Hirer Angti, a film for children, he later made a seismic shift to movies of great intensity, the first in the list being Unish April. It explored a mother-daughter relationship and won him the national award for best feature film in 1994. He made 19 movies of which 12 won national awards.  In the mean time, he gave a go at Hindi cinema too, with movies like Chokher Bali and Rain Coat.

In 2008, Ghosh became a hot topic when he declared that he belonged to the third sex, and appeared his head being shaved off and sporting salwars, dupattas, bindis and ornaments. Unabashed to go public on his fluid sexuality, he perfected the role of a transgender in Arekti Premer Golpo, and that of a homosexual in Chitrangada. In the history of India cinema, Ghosh will be best remembered as a film-maker who spoke for subaltern. Yes, truly he is a subaltern-film maker.


Sreenath V S, 
Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Technology, 

V***na, No Longer a Swear Word!

The other day, I was chatting with one of my girl friends over a cup of tea. We discussed so many topics in which we shared a common interest. And at one point I asked her whether she had read the play The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Instantly, she gazed at me--her eyes blaring--and asked——   Hey, Sree! Aren’t you ashamed?”   It was really, really a shock to me. I thought an educated, high-profile girl like her would take it in its real sense. Poor I who mistook a Kerala village girl for a hi-fi one! So, I pondered very seriously on it later, and finally said to myself, “Nope. If Eve Ensler can write a book by this title, then I can surely speak about it."

That incident taught me a, too—“Don’t mention the name of body parts to girls, especially to one from Kerala." Long live Ensler, who was quite candid about her bodily experiences and considered vagina a tool for female empowerment. A playwright, feminist and an activist, Ensler is still remembered for groundbreaking work Vagina Monologues, an episodic play that was translated into some  48 languages and performed in over 140 countries.

First performed at Here Arts Center in New York City on 3 October 1996, the play is in the form of varying monologues rendered by three female characters. Each monologue speaks of one or other feminine experience, ranging from matters such as sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, and orgasm . The theme that recurs throughout the play is  vagina as a tool of female empowerment,and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.

Ensler says, "Everything about the patriarchal society has made women feel bad about their bodies, particularly about their sexuality." She wants all the women across the world, irrespective of their caste,colour and creed , to love their body. The more a woman loves her body, the more she turns creative and come into her own, says Ensler. And one more interesting factor before I conclude-- The work is a biological entity,too. Every year, it grows and widens its kitten of themes by adding a new monologue that highlights to a current issue affecting women around the world.


Sreenath V S
Research Scholar, 
IIT, Kanpur

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Raanjhanaa (Ambikapathy) - Monsoon of Love

Raanjhanaa (Ambikapathy) Movie Review :

A good movie. Not a perfect one, but recommendable. That is the briefest review I provide  if you ask about Raanjhanaa (Ambikapathy in Tamil). The frontiers of different cine'woods' in India are melting down and this movie is a result of that. Raanjhanaa is obviously a Dhanush movie. Because of his soulful performance, Kundan lives on the silver-screen and in the hearts of a million moviegoers.

Raanjhanaa is a romantic movie with some differences. It is special in its plot, setting, cast, music, cinematography and an invisibly visible emotional flow. For Dhanush, the character is not at all challenging. Because he has embodied the same in many of his previous Tamil works. And of course, for Sonam too the character is somewhat similar to the one she played in Mausam. All the other co-actors, including Abhay Deol, have enacted their respective roles perfectly.

A. R Rahman's soothing music flows through the entire movie like the holy river. Since Raanjhanaa is not a repeatedly repeated stuff, the director has a point in making this love story.  The script is convincing to a great extend. But the politics thing is just half-baked. The climax part makes it stand out of the hereditary box of Indian filmy romance.

Raanjhanaa is a tragedy  in the usual sense. But you will never get disappointed. It gives hope. It sings about 'a love'. A love which has more than one shade. And we could feel it...

Raanjhanaa is a multilingual hit for the thin, average-looking, extraordinary Star from South and a must watch in this monsoon. Love showers...