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Archive for the tag “Zee Classic”

Gandhi, The Movie – Then and Now

When I saw that Zee Classic was showing Gandhi, the iconic movie of 1982, I was thrilled because who doesn’t love the classics from years past. 

But it also brought to mind an interesting interaction I had with my son, about music.

A few days ago, I was engrossed in editing a particularly difficult scene of my novel (WIP) when a few familiar lyrics from long-ago fell into my ears. After the song ended, I told my son, who was watching TV, that I was reminded of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. He replied that it was the same song. But it isn’t Tracy Chapman’s voice, I insisted. That was a classic.

With a laugh, he said it was a cover of Fast Car by Jonas Blue. I made a face and commented that it was certainly no patch on the original. He begged to differ – he preferred the modern, faster version.

I was faithful to the original and keeping aside the WIP,  I searched for all Tracy Chapman songs on YouTube and spent a few nostalgic, soul-warming hours with her.

Which brings us to Bollywood songs!

The number of contemporary songs that pierce the utter mundanity  of life and uplift it with their memorable lyrics, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And so it has become an acceptable trend to morph the unforgettable songs of yesteryears into today’s feet-tappers. These are successful just because of the exceptional quality of those songs of yore.

And then my mind drifted to the classic films of Bollywood. And this being the season of Independence Day, I realised TV viewers were in for a goody treat of iconic movies from an era that made us movie-crazyfans.

‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ by Zee Classic

Zee Classic has, in fact, rightly named its ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ section which showcases classics as well as new age movies along with their creators. In this endeavour the very first movie it premieres in celebration of India’s 70th Independence Day is the iconic ‘Gandhi’, this Saturday, on 13th August at 8 PM in ‘India’s Finest Films’ and on Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM.

This is the story of a barrister from India who responded to racial discrimination in South Africa with Satyagraha and used the same method of Peaceful Agitation  in India to drive out the British and bring the British Empire to its knees. He also proved that simplicity and the power of collectivism can bring about a massive change.

Yes, this is the story of Mahatma Gandhi, whose life inspires us even today in our fight against injustices. And in that vein every time I watch the movie I am in tears and feel enriched with motivation to be a better person. As Gandhiji said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

My mind again speeds ahead (or rather, to the past) and wonders how different it would be if the movie was made today:

Come, let’s see how it would be if Gandhi was made in 2016:

Director

directors

1982 : Sir Richard Attenborough had the ability and talent to accommodate a person’s entire lifespan in a couple of hours. He did a phenomenal job right from the research to bringing alive the legacy of the father of our nation on big screen.

2016: AshutoshGowarikar known for his love for historical films and bringing lost eras to life with Lagaan, Jodha Akbar and Swadesh, is undoubtedly our choice to direct this film today.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi

1982: Ben Kingsley played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the movie.

2016: Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan is the man for the job. Known for his chameleon skills to adapt to various roles and characters combined with his attention to detail, Aamir Khan should play the role of our beloved Bapu.

Kasturba Gandhi

Kasturba

1982: Rohini Hattangadi, beautifully portrayed Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

2016: Kajol, one of India’s most acclaimed actresses can easily pull off the role of Baa.

General Dyer

gen dwyer

1982: Edward Fox is etched in our minds as the dreadful and shrewd General Dyer who was hated by all for his infamous JallianwalaBagh massacre.

2016: Tom Alter with his international looks and versatile talent can be General Dyer in ‘Gandhi’.

Jawahar Lal Nehru

nehru

1982: Roshan Seth played the role of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to perfection. 

2016: The Nawab of Bollywood, Saif Ali Khan wins hands down with his charming royal looks.

Sardar Patel

sardar patel

1982:Saeed Jaffery pulled off the role of The Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel flawlessly.

2016: PareshRawal’s known for his diverse character roles makes him our choice to play the part.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

jinnah

1982:AlyquePadamsee brought to life an important historic figure, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, popularly known as the father of Pakistan in history

2016: Irrfan Khan, a global Indian will surely cut ice in this role.

Lord Mountbatten

lord mountbatten.jpg

1982: Peter Harlowe played the part with the sternness of a bureaucrat and an attitude on his face.

2016:The suave, Rajat Kapoor has our vote to play the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire.

This is a story that needs to be told again and again, down the ages, because this is an important story of India’s Independence and we and the generations to come will be inspired by this to understand freedom and what it really means and thus value it.

 Tune-in to Zee Classic to watch Richard Attenborough directed ‘Gandhi’ on this Saturday, 13th August at 8 PM and Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM

 

 

 

‘India’s Finest Films’ – A delicious offering from ZEE Classic

The very name Bollywood conjures up images of songs and dances, action and comedy.  Women in scanty apparel gyrating to lyrics that often cross the thin line between naughty and lascivious.  The lone hero outnumbered by but unhesitatingly bashing up men twice his size.  The female lead more often than not playing second fiddle to the hero.  Not the raw materials of India’s finest films, surely.

Bollywood: Songs and dances and action and comedy

Even before the Hindi film industry got its new moniker (Bollywood), films played coy in portraying romance and making do with two roses bending seductively towards each other or then two birds beaking vigorously.

One would then be tempted to imagine (especially nowadays, when Bollywood stars and movies have become so popular overseas) that the film industry was always making fluff – feel-good movies that lifted  you outside of your dull, drab life for three hours into the glamorous world of bold and beautiful people, the film stars.

Parallel Cinema: Hopes and dreams and angst and desire

ZEE PIC 1

But it was Bollywood that gave us Mirch Masala, a film that showed not just class struggles and the lowly status of women in society but was also a strong statement of women empowerment achieved with solidarity between women. Smita Patil’s performance in this movie was listed by Forbes on its list, “25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema”.

The viewer will experience over the next few months a selection of some of our landmark films packaged with some interesting trivia. A true spread for the Cineaste ! This is also a great moment to acknowledge the contribution made by the filmmakers and the film talent who walked with us on this journey and created these endearing works of cinematic expression ~ NFDC spokesperson, Ms. Nazhat J. Shaikh, Director (Finance) 

Who can forget India’s entry to the Oscars that swept away the awards. Yes, Gandhi , the film based on the life of the father of the Nation, and which took 20 years to finally be made. Every Indian who saw this move no doubt felt her heart quiver with the intense patriotism that movie inspired.

“Apne pasand ki cheez milna badi baat hai.
Agar sab kuch mil gaya, lekin apne pasand ki cheez hi na mili toh matlab kya hai jee kay!”
(“It is a big thing, to get what one desires.

If you have everything, but cannot get that one thing you desire, then what is the point of living!”)

The quote above is the reason the elderly maid in the eponymous film Gangoobai, strives to accomplish her dream of buying a costly Gara sari and changes the lives of individuals she comes in contact with while in Mumbai to purchase the sari.

These films, part of the parallel cinema, portrayed the hope, dreams, desires, anger and angst of a generation and they invoked intense reactions within us, also hoping to change the mindset of people by addressing subjects which were important but difficult to talk about.

Indian Cinema, over the years, has beautifully transformed and re-invented itself. From socially relevant topics of child marriage, dowry, female feticide, re-marriage to a simple love story, film-makers have done it all.

WohZamaanaKareDeewana:  A successful marriage between Zee Classic and NFDC

India's Finest Films

                          ZEE PIC 4

I personally feel Zee Classic’s initiative is a very good one. It will help to keep alive the film culture of our country and Zee Classic is in the ideal position to do this.      ~ Mr. Shyam Benegal

These films would be difficult to access were it not for the television channel, Zee Classic who tied up with National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) in ‘WohZamaanaKareDeewana’ to bring these iconic movie classics and new age cinema and showcase the creative talent of that timeless era not just to those that remember seeing the movies in theatres but also to today’s young generations.

Starting 16th July, every Saturday at 10 PM, Zee Classic will premiere ‘India’s Finest Films’, a distinguished property showcasing masterpieces like ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Ek Doctor kiMaut’, ’27 Down’  and ‘Salaam Bombay’ amongst many other such gems from the NFDC library.

These movies mark the debut of icons like Irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and many more.

Here is a list of the 14 ‘India’s Finest Films’ that will be showcased by ‘WohZamaanaKareDeewana’

  • 16th July – Salaam Bombay
  • 23rd July – Mirch Masala
  • 30th July – Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro
  • 6th August – Ek Doctor Ki Maut
  • 13th August – Gandhi
  • 20th August – Ardh Satya
  • 27th August – Pestonjee
  • 3rd Septemeber – Qissa
  • 10th Septemeber – 27 Down
  • 17th Septemeber – Gangoobai
  • 24th Septemeber – Mammo
  • 1st October – Massey Sahib
  • 8th October – Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan
  • 15th October – The Good Road

And if you are like me, loving to know more about that which catches your fancy, ‘India’s Finest Films – A Parallel Journey’ will appeal to you. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like ShyamBenegal, Mahesh Bhatt, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, RohiniHattangadi amongst others. Catch it on Youtube  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDRbplMpfOI or on TV as a prelude to ‘India’s Finest Films’.

~So hurry, grab the popcorn and your favourite seat on the settee starting 16th July onwards, 10 PM and tune-in to Zee Classic for ‘India’s Finest Films’ ~

(All pics courtesy: ZEE Classic)

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