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Rohit Vats
Saturday , December 28, 2013

'Don't waste your emotions so easily, they are costly'

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A winter morning in Delhi is quite an experience, especially when you are forced to sleep on the floor. Some friends had stayed overnight as the discussion on films and contemporary culture surpassed the expected time limit. So, humans were found sleeping here and there on a cold floor, tussling for a piece of quilt. My phone rang and I picked it up without opening my eyes. My mind was heavy and half asleep when I saw the number flashing on the screen. It was a colleague who doesn't call me often. That means it's from office, has something happened?

You are expected to counter difficult information with a calm face while working in the news media. With the kind of unexpected news we media people get everyday, we become reluctant to show any kind of emotions instantly, at least when we are in....

Tuesday , May 14, 2013

Mandi House theatre circuit: Let's give voice to anger

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There is a distinct feel to watching plays. Most of the time, they give a sense of satisfaction. The viewer believes that he is directly contributing to the process of change in his immediate society. The spectators might not be very spontaneous in shedding as mush money as he does on a first day, first show film, but nevertheless the experience remains the same. I was naturally elated to see the poster of a free-for-all play when I was looking for an interesting way to dodge the boredom of a summer evening. Apart from the effervescent North Campus, Mandi House is one place in Delhi which can give you an option to spend a 'meaningful' day till 10 in the evening. The background artists and technicians were casually chatting when I entered the auditorium. The play was named 'Kahaani Jaanch Padtal Ki'....

Sunday , January 27, 2013

Marital Rape: Films like 'Akaash Vani' can be the agents of change

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I had different expectations from Luv Ranjan's latest offering 'Akaash Vani', simply because Ranjan's previous film 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' was a fun film. It became uneasy to sit calmly through the second half as it suddenly brought out a prevalent but covert dimension of the traditional Indian society. There is no point in uselessly articulating the issue, so let's come to the point, 'Akaash Vani' features a heroine who is a victim of marital rape. Vani (Nushrat Bharucha) accepts a sub-standard life because she doesn't want her parents to face the flakes from the conventional society in case of her divorce. The term is certainly not unique to us but we hardly see mainstream Hindi films talking about marital rape in such a direct tone. I appreciate the reviewers who judged the film on the basis of its content because this is something we can't ignore, especially in....

Saturday , January 12, 2013

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola: Let's decode the mystery of 'Gulabi bhains'

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Now, when all the reviews are out and the audience more or less know about the storyline of director Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola', there is a need to decode the mystery of 'Gulabi bhains' (Pink buffalo) featured in the film. It was a prominent part of the promos as well as the film but somehow the message hasn't been conveyed to the viewers. Despite facing the dilemma of sounding like an idiot who needs have a look at 'How to read a film', I am taking this chance. Interestingly, we have an established notion that visuals can be read differently in various contexts; basically I am shielding myself from being criticised just on the basis of ignorance. I am sure that you have attended so many such seminars where the audience knows more about the film's 'message' than the director himself, consider this as another....

Monday , September 10, 2012

How Amitabh Bachchan's 'Insaniyat' became gospel for hostel boys

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Once I lived in a hostel, a place completely secluded from the world of desires and dreams. The only contact with the outside was an old TV which could be locked, with a key that remained with the headmaster or any of his confidantes. Students could watch this TV only on Saturday evenings, when the National Channel used to telecast Hindi films. Most of the films were really heavy in their messages and thus the students generally preferred to play volleyball in the dimly lit ground than fighting for a space in the assembly hall, where the TV was placed. The principal was a man of beliefs. TV remained the Satan's mouthpiece for him till his retirement; however his departure from the school brought a relatively younger man to the helm of affairs. The new principal didn't loathe the film magazines or people who had interests....

Saturday , August 11, 2012

One can't be '18 Again' without growing up

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Let's not get into the serious debate about gender and sexuality, as that might kill the essence of a well crafted television commercial. The new TVC of '18 Again', a vaginal rejuvenation and tightening gel' is enjoyable till the ultimate seconds, when the voice-over drops a bomb by describing the product. The advertisement showcases a 30 something saree-clad woman bringing Tiffin for her blank faced husband. The husband is all set to leave for his office when the woman breaks into a song 'I feel like a virgin', and starts doing salsa cum tango. The man is not a loser either, and sings along 'Yes, it's true, it feels like the first time'. The other members of the joint family stare at them in amusement; one of them even flaunts a sarcastic smirk. The commercial proceeds as the woman dances across the galleries while....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kali-Ma beer controversy: Stop complaining

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Films are dangerous. Ask the person who named 'Kali-Ma', the beer named after the Hindu goddess Kali. The beer, by the Burnside Brewing Company based in Oregon (US), also has a picture of the goddess on the bottle. The beer was scheduled for a grand launch on May 15, but the news evoked a chain of fuming reactions from Indians all over the world and the company had to apologise for it. Now, the beer will be renamed and released later.

In its apology letter, the company wrote," In response to pleas from the Hindu community we have decided to postpone the limited release of 'Kali-ma' our imperial wheat ale flavoured with Indian spices and Scotch-Bonnet peppers. It is NEVER our intention at Burnside to offend or alienate any race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The inspiration for the beer label simply came from a favourite....

Friday , May 04, 2012

What happened to Rajesh Khanna?

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I am assuming that most of us have seen the new Rajesh Khanna fan commercial by now. Isn't it fascinating to see Rajesh Khanna performing after such a long gap? However, I have a doubt. How many of Rajesh Khanna fans wanted him to return in such fashion? The advertisement shows the star talking about the thrill that a star feels when thousands of fans run towards him. The visuals show Rajesh Khanna signing the autographs and feeling good about it. Then the story returns to the current scenario and he is going towards a stage. The visuals try to suggest that the man is going to make a comeback, but anti-climax happens. The superstar of yesteryears is now standing in front of fans (including ceiling, table and exhaust fans). He says with a sigh that the air can change but the fans can't.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why do today's Bollywood heroes look the same?

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How would you define Dev Anand's style? I think you are at loss of words. Similarly, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, and Amitabh Bachchan had their own styles but things started to get blurred during 80s when the Hindi film heroes easily fell victim to confused scripts and vulgar stylisation. 'Surakksha' and Gun Master G-9 achieved a cult status but only due to the jokes. Not many of us bothered to watch the film. At one point of time, one film wonder Hemant Birje was challenging the authorities of established actors. Basically films were devoid of acceptable content and good actors. Among the three Khans of 90s, only Shah Rukh Khan developed a distinct acting style but then came the new millennium and every actor started to look the same. This tendency did not spare the Khans either and Shah Rukh Khan had to....

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The perils of the macho hero's sister in Bollywood

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Don't you feel for the guys who fall in love with the girls with macho brothers? It's pretty clear that you have a social leaning but you can't do anything other than saying 'best of luck'. The Hindi film industry also thinks the same. Big brothers are made to protect their tiny sisters. Small sisters also understand the value of their brother's love and probably that's why they overlook a brother's friend at the pub, or at the beach, or in her own locality, so that the brother could know about her whereabouts. Communication without wasting a single penny. However there is a catch. What if Sunny Deol is the brother? He has all the rights in this world to correct the twisted sense of love of the sister's boyfriend, even if the boy has a powerful and rich father, actually it's bad because then Sunny is....


More about Rohit Vats

A former film student himself, Rohit 'Vats' feels that a good film is made with a zealous heart rather than brilliant technique. He thinks that films can be used as a tool of social change, as the language of cinema crosses all barriers and touches people's lives deeper than any other medium. A self-confessed film noir buff, Rohit has equal admiration for other genres as well. Currently he is trying to bud as a film commentator.