Movie Review: Dear Dad

I was introduced to the concept of romantic idealism when I was in college. I learnt it in political context but later realized that we have embodied this concept in our daily lives including our cinema.  The directors and writers sometimes give it the name of ‘cinematic liberty’. This ‘overrated’ liberty is many times difficult to understand and sometimes ruins the good script. In my opinion, the director-writer (Tanuj Bharmar) of Dear Dad have tried to solve a real problem using their thoughts on romantic idealism in the name of cinematic liberty.

The movie tells us the story of father (Nitin Swaminathan, 45, played by Arvind Swamy) – son (Shivam Swaminathan, 14, played by Himanshu Sharma) and their complicated relationship. Every ideal family in the world is not so ideal. Everyone has a crack or a past. In this film, the father has both. The father is gay and now wants a divorce from his decade long marriage. The son is left devastated after learning this truth about his father. It took a lot of years and courage for the father to come out to his family and son, who idealizes him. The father doesn’t expect from his son to accept him immediately for who he is but to understand why he kept his real emotions aloof.

The father-son duo battle over the facts, emotions and the decision of divorce which will break their happy family. These scenes are very crisp and designed very beautifully. Though the movie has it’s own slow pace, it successfully keeps you engaged. The dialogues are straight, small sentences and to the point. The picture perfect location for not so perfect family bonding is a complimentary treat. The director and cinematographer keeps the movie fresh. The actors surely pour their emotions out. But the movie lacks (in the script department) in it’s second half, where the above  mentioned romantic idealism takes over.

After a break of few months (I guess 5-6 months) the Tanuj Bharmar brings back the father-son duo. This time the son has accepted his father for who he is, his parent’s divorce and to some extent the fact that he soon might have a stepfather (or stepfathers). This is what made me question the movie. A teenager boy doesn’t come over the fact of his parents divorce and his father’s sexuality in a few months. And considering the drama in the first half, its highly difficult to understand his cool, calm and happy buddy attitude towards his father. It took me nearly a decade to understand and comprehend my parent’s divorce and seeing the same thing happening on screen (with a twist of sexuality) in few months was just pure entertainment for me. It pains me that a movie started with such an exclusive topic, lost its core to the romantic idealism.  The ‘acceptance’ by the son is a practical decision which in my opinion, a difficult one to make for a teenager.

The movie handles the subject of ‘coming out of the closet’ like no one else has ever done in Bollywood. Even after the not so expected rainbow and unicorn climax, I will still recommend everyone to watch this movie. Watch it for its crisp dialogues, for the characters who are true to themselves, for the courage and acceptance. And most importantly watch to learn that it doesn’t matter what the world thinks about us; what matters is what you and your loved ones think about yourself.

Dear Dad Teaser:

Dear Dad Trailer:

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It’s Time to Grow Up 90’s Kids

I was born in 1993 which makes me a 90’s kid. Everyday I see at least 10 images or links bringing back the television, film, sport and other nostalgic memories from my childhood. I feel happy and linger in my nostalgia for a while when I read or see such things. But I have noticed that this nostalgia is turning into a well tailored criticizing movement. The posts I read are now targeting directly to every single thing that is not from the 90’s and telling me how meaningless, uncultured and delusional the new era is.

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Yes they have the technology which we didn’t

Every era has its worst and its best. So did the 90’s and so do the new millenniums. In entertainment industry, trends tend to repeat themselves. In the 90’s people danced on the DJ-made remix tracks on the melodious songs from 1950’s-1970’s. Today, people are dancing on the remix tracks of the 90’s. In the 90’s, the remixes came as individual albums, today they are incorporated in films. In the 90’s, we saw M TV and Channel V; today we and the next generation is sticking to you tube, hot star and netflix. The 90’s gave us many album singer, each song had a love story, they were extremely melodious. Today we have web series on every possible topic.

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The kids today have to struggle more than the kids of 90’s considering the competition

The 90’s were different and the millenniums are too. The 90’s kids didn’t had so much of access to internet, television, there were no smart phones and very few people had desktops in their homes. Today every one has a smart phone, every room has a HD TV, we are surrounded by the waves of wi-fi. If we had so much of technology in our era, we would have behaved the same way. Each era brings technological revolution with itself. We can’t judge it from that.

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We WERE!! Remember its past tense…

Being a 90’s kid, I don’t have the right to negatively criticize each and every thing the new millennium has to offer me. I was criticized by the kids of 60’s-70’s-80’s when I willingly listened and danced to the songs by DJ Aqil and Baby Doll. I justified myself at that time and today I am just being stubborn. I agree that I feel bad when I watch badly rapped-up remixes or children playing ludo in their I-pads but I (and other 90’s kids too) have to understand that this is how time works. We are not kids anymore. We have to adjust with the kids of this era as we were of the 90’s. They don’t want to watch Dexter or Power Puff Girls. How many of us will watch those shows now if they start to telecast the old shows again? The answer is no one. We are so used to the actions of the Avengers that if DD plays Shaktimaan again, we will laugh on it’s production value (which we used to love when we were kids) and change the channel within seconds. Yes the shows like Surabhi were great but no one wants to compromise watching Sasural Simar Kaa for Surabhi.

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Now I watch Game of Thrones…

Our choices and priorities changed, so did the entertainment. We have to stop seeing each and every thing through the glasses of 90’s and accept the change. We need to move on so that we can truly call ourselves the youth of the new millennium.

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GROW UP!!

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Visit Kerala’s Off Beat Destination : Thangassery

When we travel to a place, we always wish to visit an off beat destination rather than a crowded tourist destination. You don’t find these off beat destinations easily, you have to look hard for it. Sometimes these destinations may be a total disappointment or sometimes they will feel like paradise. I found out such a off beat paradise like destination in Kerala.

I had planned a big busy trip to Kerala with my friends. We visited all the famous regular touristy destinations. But I had decided that we will visit an off beat destination, where tourists go  but it’s not always their first choice. I asked internet to help me to find such one place, and the name of Thangassery Beach popped up!

Thangassery beach is located in the Kollam city of Kerala. It’s just 5-6 kms away from main city. It’s easily accessible by road and rail too. Thangassery hosts a huge light house, ruins of an old fort and a fairly crowded beach. The small town has its own ancient history which makes it even more special.

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Panoramic View 1

We were living at the Summer House Holiday Home. Its located 3 kms away from the light house. Living at the holiday home felt like being in the heaven. The rates were cheap, rooms were huge and clean, food was testy and the view was BREATHTAKING. it was so amazing that we skipped our plans to visit the light house and fort and spent our time watching the sun set in the sea. We clicks 100s of photos posing on the rock body (which was working as a wall between the cottage and the sea).  Unfortunately we were there only for a day. I wish we could have stayed longer. But I am planning to visit and stay at the holiday home for a long time.

It will be absolutely fine if you miss a houseboat tour or a temple visit in Kerala. But mark my words, you don’t want to visit this awesome place.

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Panoramic View 2

When we entered, we were tired, sticky and singing Bollywood songs:

The moment we got dramatic:

Video courtesy: Durgesh Parmarthi

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What To Buy In Kerala’s Oldest Market?

I had a few things on my shopping list marked as ‘compulsory’ when I started planning my Kerala trip. I was sure that I will get those things in any of Kerala’s markets but like any other person, I wanted the best in quality and quantity. And I got my things with superb quality and local touch at Chalai Market in Trivandrum.

Chalai Market is serving the people in the capital city of Kerala as well as to the tourists from 18th century. It was built by Raja Kesavdas, the then Dewan of Travancore. The market was the central place to supply and segregate commodities and goods coming from around the globe. The market is spread over 2 kilometers with many shops selling the same things. To make your hunt to buy best easy, I am giving a list of shops I found genuine and providing best goods.

The Spice Stop:

Its impossible to anyone leave Kerala without buying any spices. In Chalai market, one can find more than 5 shops selling spices. But the Kannu & Co. spice shop was the one which caught our eye. The shop owners are very helpful and suggest you what to buy exactly. They have more than 50 types of spices, coffee, tea and other food items. The products are shipped from interior Kerala. The smell of the spices tell their quality. Also it’s not too expensive.

Buy the Metal Work:

Want to buy copper and silver statues to decorate your house or for gifting purpose? SKP (S. Kuttalam Pillai) & Sons is your destination. They offer a wide range of Samais’ (traditional lamps), statues of Hindu Gods and Godesses, elephants and other holy animals. They also undertake temple works. The shop is a little bit expensive but worth for it’s quality and options.

Buying the fragrance:

JAs Perfumes store in the heart of Chalai market totally steals your heart. One simply can’t decide which perfume to buy. The have more than 100 scents in the one tiny shop which is always crowded. Don’t back off when you see the crowd on it’s doors, just get in their ask what you want and you will get it. Even if you don’t know which fragrance is yours, the shop owner and the staff will help you to buy the perfect one. I got moon light and jasmine, two of the most soothing fragrances from the store. They also sell chandan face mask, fragrant dhoop and agarbattis, deodorants, air fresheners and bukhoors.

They sell online too. Check out their website:

http://jasperfumes.in/

Picture Courtesy: Durgesh Parmarthi & Tanvi Shaikh

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