August 2004 Home

Contact Us
  Bollywood Watch
By Shephali J. Rele

In case you missed it, worth a look:
It's not often enough that we come across an original story in Hindi cinema. But there are unique, genre-defying movies on the screen. In each issue, this column will be devoted to telling you about such creative films. These films may not have been blockbuster hits but in case you missed it, worth a look.

A perfect example is “Teen Deewarein,” made by Nagesh Kukunoor, who is once again in the news with the release of “Hyderabad Blues 2.”

"Teen Deewarein" (2002): Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor; Starring Naseerudin Shah, Juhi Chawla, Jackie Shroff, Nagesh Kukunoor, and Gulshan Grover. About 120 minutes.

As the name suggests the story is about three jails mates whose goal is to get out of the jail by varying means. The movie takes us into the cells of three prisoners facing the death penalty. They are lawyer Jaggu (Shroff), accountant Nagya (Kukunoor) and petty thief Ishaan (Shah). The three are inmates of a progressive jail maintained by warden Mohan (Gulshan Grover). Enter documentary filmmaker Chandrika (Chawla), who has her own agenda in filming the three prisoners as they count their days until they are executed.

As the documentary progresses, a bond begins to evolve between Chandrika and the three men. She realizes the three men have completely different personalities and builds a very interesting kind of relationship with each. Her intentions seem to go beyond making a film on these prisoners . . . And with this bond unfolds an inexplicable series of events that leads to an edge of the seat finale . . . What is it that unfolds? This question is answered in this bittersweet saga about friendship, hope and survival.

Director Kukunoor has a compelling script. Even if the story meanders just a little at times, it's reined in by the characters. Kukunoor’s use of directorial style holds your attention in this character-oriented film.

This forms the other strengths of the movie. There are great opportunities for all the actors to explore their characters.

Chawla, for example, does so much more than the usual happy-go-lucky, comedic role we've come to expect from her. Similarly, veteran actors Shroff and Shah shine in their roles. Especially Shah, who so effortlessly conveys the many facets of Ishaan, from the self-serving to the self-deploring.

Next time you drop in at any of the Tampa Bay grocery stores, do ask for this genre-defying film. It’s definitely worth your time.

Bollywood Picks
By Shephali J. Rele

1. Main Hoon Na: Family masala entertainer, something for everyone with action, romance and hummable tunes. Choreographer-turned-director Farah Khan proves her directing capabilities in her debut-making film. ****1/2

2. Lakshya: One man's journey into finding a purpose in life. Hrithik Roshan doesn't disappoint in Farhan Akhtar's (of "Dil Chahta Hain" fame) second directorial venture and is aided by Javed Akhtar's refreshing screenplay. ****

3. Hum Tum: Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan make a cute couple in this fun-loving, romantic comedy. ****

4. Dev: Shady and corrupt politicians fuel communal disharmony. There is nothing new in the story but solid acting. Director Govind Nihalani disappoints. ***1/2

5. Yuva: Engrossing movie but expected more substance from Mani Ratnam. Abhishek Bachchan deserves a mention for impressive acting. ***1/2

Ratings Guide
Excellent *****
Good ****
Average ***
Poor **

Contact Information
The Editor:
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright © 2004 Khaas Baat.