Tag: Amazon Prime

The magic of cinema will never fade away: Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri

Photo- MBF

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 18 June 2020: Director Shoojit Sarkar and Producer Ronnie Lahairi whose Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurana starrer is making global waves on the streaming service Amazon Prime, remain committed to the magic of cinema which they feel will never fade away.

The two cinema icons were recently participating in the inaugural IFFM Film Club on Zoom organized by the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2020, and hosted by Rajeev Masand. Their film Gulabo Sitabo is one of the first mainstream Indian movies to release exclusively on a streaming service.

Rajeev Masand, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri. Photos- MBF

Answering to a question by SAT Editor, Neeraj Nanda, Saoojit Sarkar said, “The magic of cinema will never fade away. When the lockdown opens up, it is normal human behavior to watch something at a stadium, a tennis match, cricket or a movie in a cinema. This because human behavior is to come together and cinema magic will remain.”

“And, of course, streaming services being a new evolution will co-exist with cinema, he said.

Ronnie Lahari said, “We are a community of people and enjoy when we are with a lot of people. That’s not happening when you are watching on a streaming service. These are unrepresented times and we took a decision to release Gulabo Sitabi on the basis of the current situation.”

“It’s not that all our films will be on streaming services. As soon as the lockout opens I will be happy to release my next film on the big screen where everyone can watch it together,” he said.

The IFFM Film Club interview and interaction with Saoojit Sarkar & Ronnie Lahari event on zoom on the eve of the release of Gulabo Sitabo attracted massive participation from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Host Rajeev Masand’s penetrating questions and interesting questions from participants added to the glory of the unusual but lively and informative interaction. Kudos to IFFM CEO Mitu Bhowmick Lange and the Mind Blowing Films team for this exceptional digital experience. SEE FULL VIDEO BELOW:

QUICK REVIEW- ‘Paatal Lok’ lockdowns viewers


By Neeraj Nanda

PAATAL LOK (Amazon Prime; 9 episodes; 6 and half hours; starring Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, Gul Panag in the leading roles, an investigative thriller series created by Sudip Sharma, the writer for Udta Punjab, NH10, produced by Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Filmz)

MELBOURNE, 25 May 2020: An attempt to assassinate a leading Liberal-Left Editor is thwarted by Delhi Police. The investigation into the attempt takes one into the maze of real-life situations encompassing India’s socio-economic fault-lines. Fractured family life, crime-ridden society, faith-phobia, struggling media, overburdened & captive police, corrupt politics, and what not form the building blocks of Executive Producer Anushka Sharma’s take on the current morbid horrors of day to day life. Grisly violence laced with the choicest swearing could put you off but looks real. At the start it is revealed there are three Lok’s (World or Place) – Swarg Lok, Dharti Lok, and Paatal Lok. The production is on the third Lok (Paatal Lok) which is Delhi’s Yamuna Par (Trans Yamuna area), a part of which saw riots only recently.


So, Paatal Lok is where the vice is though all three Lok’s are somehow connected. The serial is bold in the sense it does not hesitate to speak out through its characters. For example, a journalist’s fate can be that of Gauri Lankesh, snakes and politicians never forget, taunting of the minority community and collapsing ‘morality’. The leading negative character’s affection for dogs gives the idea of how complex the human mind is as it cruises through a brutal rough patch. Script, direction, and performances are excellent.

I give it 4 & 1/2 stars out of five.

- The review first appeared in South Asia Time (SAT) Facebook page.