Emergence of the online ‘grey market’ around video games in India

If you play games regularly or are vaguely aware of their existence, surely you can see that gaming is big business and is consumed world over by billions of people. Until the past couple of years retail was probably a big deal for those who consume games in India. Although in the recent past, the gaming market has evolved past it and started its trek towards the online world. Platforms like Steam have been gaining popularity overtime and along with that games are becoming considerably cheaper with the advent of smaller and independent studios starting to get into the mix.

Subsequently games are becoming more convenient to purchase in the digital sphere. Aforementioned platform steam isn’t the only one to offer games at a cheap price. There are a plethora of sites now part of this market. For instance, Humble Bundle, which started out as site that would club together some games titles and sell them as a bundle at dirt cheap prices. Further it would let you chose where your money would go, you could either give it all to charity or all of it to the game developers or to humble bundle. Since its start, the site has diversified with a storefront of its own and multiple other services. Then there are sites like GOG, largely dedicated to old games, but also acts like a general storefront for new games as well. These sites that I mentioned are only some of the many platforms out there in the international waters.

While in India, retail had a stronghold on most big budget games. Perhaps because of poor quality internet in India. For example some people were unable to download about 30 GB on an average big budget game due to a limited internet plan with fair use policy. Or perhaps it was due to the fact that the speeds just aren’t there, considering the national average speed is 2-3 mbps. This is why some people prefer to buy consoles like Xbox One or PS4, but with ever growing need for patches that fix the game on day one becoming a standard practice, it’s uncertain how much the retail market makes sense in India. Especially on the PC where publishers are cutting so many corners that they just ship out games with a key and a steam installer on the disc and then make people download the whole game from scratch as in the case of MGS:V. Eventually consumers in India would rather prefer to save some money and invest the time in downloading, I would guess, but this is a subjective matter and will vary from person to person.

That being said let’s look at how the division of the retail market for games works. The biggest retail players likely are Amazon.in, Flipkart and Snapdeal. The smaller players would constitute sites like Nextworld, Game4u and Gametheshop. Most of the retailers mentioned above haven’t migrated into the digital sphere, except for sites like Gametheshop and Game4u, which had a short stint in this market but since have stopped their operation in digital sphere.

Now before we jump into the next part I think we should first learn about what the term ‘grey market’ here entails internationally, then work our way towards India. The ‘grey market’ as we will refer to it, entails in it the sale and purchase of games that are sometimes procured through illegal means but not always. Sometimes people use the natural setup of recent free to play or free to pay games like Dota 2 or CS:GO respectively for trading on Steam. Games like these give players in-game items that can be sold on the Steam market and Steam market only. But, some enterprising individuals who want to turn these items of value into real world currency enter into the shady areas of the trade subculture. In this trade subculture, they try to get other people to give them real world money in exchange for a high value in game item. The exchange of money takes place through sites like paypal.

That’s only a part of the story though. There are some people that go a step further and set up sites like kinguin and G2A which act like a marketplace, enabling individuals to setup storefronts and sell their products in similar manner to a site like ebay, with sellers having ratings and such. On sites like kinguin and G2A people not only sell in game items but also sell actual games, sometimes at a fraction of the cost compared to legitimate online sites like steam. It’s not always the case that the keys sold are procured from what one would call illegitimate means. To be honest one can’t ascertain the legitimacy of these items, because some of these keys are just retail keys that these people got for cheap from dealers in countries that have a cheaper retail market price. This uncertain nature of these transactions leads us to employ terms like ‘grey market.’

There are people in this trade business that make very good money and have solely switched to this trading/re-selling as their main source of income. But when there is a highly unregulated market as such, there is bound to be fraud not far from it. This polygon article gives us a pretty good idea of how things function in this grey area of games trading online, internationally. The article talks of how people took advantage of platforms like kinguin and G2A to profit in both semi-legitimate and illegitimate manners. The former being the model of selling keys procured from essentially trading as stated above, while the latter being employment of illegitimate means, like credit card fraud, to purchase games from one of the legitimate sites like humblebundle.com during a sale. Further the reselling of said game on the ‘grey market’, and by extension, bringing out the ‘grey’ nature of the market and along with it the question of regulation or lack thereof. The aforementioned article focuses on the broader picture of this grey market, and I’ll try to focus on the Indian trade (grey) market from here on out.

The Indian trade market, much like the international one, is largely unregulated, but major players like kinguin and G2A don’t have much of a foothold in the Indian market. However there are small players trying to make a quick buck while the state of such a market stays untouched or unrecognized by Indian authorities. Most of the Indian traders are aware of platforms like kinguin and G2A, and are sometimes largely dependent on these platforms to provide them with a boost in their income. Some people in India try to focus on the Indian market as they see an opportunity. Let’s consider the poor infrastructure and red tape set up for the digital Indian consumer in India. Multiple debit/credit cards don’t work with major store fronts online due to the 2-3 step native verification systems that banks deploy to maintain security. Some of the banks block international online transactions by default and have an unnavigable customer service. Along with the above, we see a lack of other options like net-banking and the recent crop of wallet services that are present in the Indian sphere. It was only a matter of time before someone capitalized on this fact. That being said let us look at individuals that are functioning in this field, hailing from different parts of India and how they operate.


First up steamz.co, a site run by someone in their early 20’s who claims to have been running the site for about 6 years. He was selling retail copies internationally as the Indian retail games weren’t region locked back then and keys could be used across borders with ease. He claims to have started out by gifting a copy of a game to his friend, back when he hadn’t started online trading as the game was cheaper in India. The copy of game he gifted to his friend turned out to work. Soon after this, his friend asked him to procure more copies for more of his friends. Then he essentially thought he could make some real money out this stuff and contacted a distributor via skype and essentially started to delve deeper into the business. But since the keys started to get region locked, (In 2014 acc. to him) he switched distributors from Indian to Polish. He makes around (Rs) 20 lakh, (Rs) 10-15 lakh net profit (his claims.), and this is probably his main job, but he claims to help his family with their business when needed. He claims to know 7-10 people who do about the same work he does in India from different cities.

When asked about clampdown on the largely unregulated key market on G2A and Kinguin via publishers like Ubisoft, he explains why it happened and claims both site owners are prior customers of his who got shafted. Further when I asked what he thinks about what the developers think about his business, he says it’s better than piracy and they should stop complaining and focus on making good games.


Next up is reapershop.com. It’s operated by someone in his early 20’s, he has been at it for approximately 4 years, and he doesn’t really say much about how he got into trading. He initially states that he got into it for “fun” and “nothing specific” but later on in the conversation when asked about whether he has a day job or not, he reveals that he wanted to run his own business and that’s why he started this. He too thinks that his work is helping curb piracy in a manner. He says he knows about 2-3 Indian folks working in the trade business.

Upon being asked about his income a lot of different answers came forth. First a worst case scenario of (Rs) 15-30k per month which rounds out to be (Rs) 2-4 Lakh per year. Which is a lot lower than the other fellow I talked to claimed. I bought this fact to his attention asking who’s inflating the figure him or the other guy (apparently both knew each other too). After a bit of back and forth, and him jokingly suspecting me to be from Income Tax department, he tells me 4-8 Lakhs to be his combined income from selling to both Indian and international sellers. He tells me that the previous figure was for his dealings in India alone.

I further ask him about the clampdown on the largely unregulated key market on G2A and Kinguin a while back, he states there is a difference between the sellers in that instance and sellers like him. He further explains he buys legit retail keys from distributors (although doesn’t name any which is understandable) and then he states “till now none of my customers have faced any issues with copies (bought from the site) in past 3 years of my site”, but then adding that he also deals with trading steam gifts (essentially steam locked keys) internationally as there is a greater market there for trade and it is easier to make more money there, though he does reiterate that he is mainly focused on the Indian market. Lastly when I asked him about what the developers think about establishments like his, he states that their claims are false, and further adds that most of the regions which sold games for cheap in the retail market are now region locked and they (developers) are talking about losses? It’s not like sellers like him are stealing those games and reselling them. The developers are getting paid and selling copies through them.

Few things worth taking note are both these individuals are still part of the international markets like G2A and kinguin, as that is where most of the money is at the moment but they do manage to make a decent buck from their Indian endeavours. Both these individuals have a presence in social media especially on facebook, both having around 3-5k likes. Both individuals make similar amounts of money as compared to their international counterparts, as indicated in the aforementioned polygon article.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the Indian sphere as well, as we find individuals who got burned during these transactions. An Indian user on reddit tells me how he got ripped off with his endeavours in trade for (Rs) 50k (approx.). He got into the trade sphere via a game called dota2, which was one of the first games to employ micro-transactions in videogames. The game was in beta for about 2 years prior to release, and to gain access to the beta, people were given dota2 invite passes via various means, and this was around the time when trading on steam started out. Dota2 invites where hard to come by initially, hence you found people selling them or trading them for goods and services, and this reddit user was one of them.

As he puts it “I sold one invite for a steam game that I traded for many team fortress keys, the other I kept with me. The invite was global one which was rare and had a high price as it could be activated in china. I traded the invite for huge amount of keys and started sharking new invitees to buy new invites for less and selling for a huge amount. I found a dedicated seller and he became a good friend of mine. I used to give him a dota invite (playable or non-playable in china) and get around 30-40 keys per invite. Soon invites became common and down went the price. I traded out the keys for around 5-6 dragon claw hooks and few Timebreakers (Dota 2 immortal items). After keeping the items for a year and getting fed of trading, I tried cashing the items to real world money and that’s where I made a VERY VERY big mistake. Being new to paypal and other methods of getting money for virtual items. I was added by many scammers but they were easy to tell, then a smart guy with good rep added me and he took all my hooks and breakers with an easy scam (not possible now). That was a sad day and for weeks I could not bring myself to the fact I’ve lost everything I’ve earned in past 2 years. I left trading. Steam didn’t help at all and brushed at it was my fault giving item to somebody. I tried creating multiple tickets (complaints) and still same response (from steam)…that we explicitly warn you before trading items and you confirm that the items you are sending are gift (The scammer made a fake profile of my friend) to the other party.”

The case presented above is quite an old one, as it happened around when steam didn’t internally put up safeguards. As thus it might be a one off case, but it does give us some perspective into the fact that people indulging in the trade business have to be on their toes all the time. Trying to suss out whether the person you’re dealing with online has a malicious intent or not can be a tough task. The chance of fraud is obviously high, for both the people who procure these games and navigate the muddy waters of online game trade, and those who decide to buy from them. Not to say the above mentioned sites have malicious intent or are actively against the law. I can’t be the judge of that. What I can say is that this is very much a ‘grey’ area that requires people with thick skins to navigate on all ends of the spectrum. So, think twice before you buy games from sites online that aren’t exactly running a legitimate business as say a Steam or Humble Bundle does.

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The “Jaal” of Jai Gangaajal

Jai Gangaajal the last release of Prakash Jha the man of many hats in this project, produces one more in the line of movies that try really hard to take a stance on an issue but end up being a farce.

I don’t really get the appeal of going into topics only to belabor a simple point in a mostly haphazard manner but that is all one sees Prakash Jha doing most of the times with his “social issue” based movies. I recently watched Jai Gangaajal his latest, which is considered a spiritual successor of Gangaajal as both movies deal with the same story with a few things shuffled around to make things look slightly more current.

As I watched and re-watched both movies respectively, I find that both the movies carry a similar set of plot points with minor deviations, the main protagonists in both the case are propagating against retributive justice, although in Gangaajal the main protagonist “accidentally” does kill the culprits but that is after a long drawn out exposition trying to explain why retributive justice is bad and the end voice over telling that he had to live with his reality after all was said and done.

Let’s deviate for a moment to look at what is meant by retributive justice, it’s when you appeal to the baser notion of an eye for an eye especially in cases that are in the extreme like murder. That is you appeal for one life for another, there is no scope for improvement and this is the final solution. There are other theories of justice but we’re not concerned with them and this makeshift definition should do the trick for our purpose. Jha tries to startle the line, although it barely looks like there is a line between revenge and law. Things that happen to the poor seem to be very predictable from the get go, the term “suicide” gets thrown around like candy, people die and live at the whim of the writer without much effect in the society.

There are usually the part which propagates mob justice and retribution and the other its exact polar opposite which ends up creating overall confusion throughout. Punchline at the end leaves pretty much everything the film that was preached till then as inconsequential. After pulling out all my hair I thought to myself that Jha would have something to say about this, but I couldn’t find a single interview that point blank asked him what his stance was on retributive justice was. People where either praising the movie or praising the aesthetic setup. Considering his movies aesthetic seems to be stuck in a bygone era of film making this is surprising thing to laud. Be it the melodramatic scoring or shoehorned comic relief, I can’t make sense of what the authorial intent here is.

Overall from what little I could gather it seemed that his voice was the end note exposition where the protagonist is trying to deter people from committing retributive act of mob lynching in the first film or in the second film where the main protagonist literally unties the noose from the villain’s neck. One still doubts this though, considering Jha goes as far as to play the dirty cop in this one there is essentially no depth to this character. A slime ball that gets a second chance to reclaim his past glory but what movie fails to do is build any back story for the man nether do we get why the main protagonist allows this character to be redeemed in a manner. In the first movie there is a similar character which gets killed, that character at least has some sort of arch, there is an established past where he was actually good and why he deserved a chance at redemption and is subsequently redeemed by his action while the character played by Jha just gets mad one day and his character just turns around and starts shooting at people he was buddy-buddy with till the other day. Even with suspension of disbelief on my part, this doesn’t really explain the overall build towards the retributive end and the unbelievable subversion of what was building up to be death of the antagonist.

I think most people have went as far as to conspire that this film was only made so that Jha could get to act. I mean seriously the main protagonist isn’t even present in half the movie. I guess that’s what Jha wanted perhaps, subversion in a very deadpan and illogical manner. It’s as if he’s trying to tell us that having expectation is the sin that we all commit, don’t believe the hype.

At the end of it all it is just another inconclusive Jha movie, which only try’s to say something but fails to pack an impact in the most bombastic manner. Jha should stop directing and focus on his acting career, although it was an empty character, Jha wasn’t actually that bad.

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The F word and “Y-Films” “Man’s World”

Let’s talk about it I guess, maybe? Okay a little? No? Well think about it, will you? OK fuck it call it something else and subvert public opinion based on their biases with sophistry.

Let me just start with some basics, this is a review of the new web series by “Y-films” or some hip “cool dood” version of Yash Raj called “Man’s World”, I will let my mind wonder a bit trying to cover recent comments of one Parineeti Chopra who has a cameo role in this series which sort of match the greater narrative of this show. Along with this I will shortly look at the other criticisms leveled against the series and somewhere in there you will find my own qualms and concerns and meandering thoughts. OK, so we good?


What is this Man’s World Mini-Series all about?

This series is clearly from a male perspective front to back, and very you know, sterile…eh…how do I put it softly…have you seen a Yash Raj Film? Always a happy ending? Lesson learned at the end? Everything so explicit that, it takes a certain level of disbelief to enjoy the film? Yes? Am I getting some were? Ok, let me just try to explain the plot. Starting at the first episode, we’re introduced to a male character called Kiran who has a very lopsided premeditated view of how the world works and is constantly seen either berating or trying to “get with” women or generally bitching about how they (women) are treated better than men, by in large a typical caricature of a male right activist type people, who feel men are treated unfairly against women. So as the story progresses he keeps getting pissed off over the most inane things in his life ,in relation to women and finally breaks down when this girl he’s trying to court drops out of the engagement they had made earlier that day.

Rather than asking her what’s up with her, he starts to get drunk after calling up his friend who is equally misogynistic, and finally when they get done drinking and chatting, Kiran decides to go to some rooftop and he asks god for a switcheroo of gender in a drunken fit. Saying (I’m paraphrasing) that let me switch places with a women, he won’t bitch about the stuff that they (the women do) specifically he won’t demand feminism and won’t act like women do if his situation was like theirs.

The lack of a gender spectrum was also very annoying. Seeing all the people either be full on manly or feminine was very evocative of how most of the straight population see each other or how the writer of the series sees it rather as none seemed sort of masculine or sort of feminine other than one of the parts where the Lady from the bar saves Kiran from the police, who is sort of moderate on the spectrum.

OK, now that’s out of the way, I have a problem with the deity here, who makes a lopsided universe and then reverses the man’s role in that to be equally oppressive as that of a women and makes women do EXACTLY THE SAME SHIT MEN DO, as if a lopsided society would likely lead to the same future but for the men this time as against the women. Even if you just disregard this and take it for work of fiction and nothing else as in ignoring the world that has been set up over here.

To my mind’s eye this seems like a tone deaf attempt. It barely considers the playing field that it has of ideas to kick around, I mean seriously let your mind wonder a bit? Does your universe have to start and end at what you see? Can’t you take a leap of faith in few ways? Maybe have deeper female characters, rather than turning them into an equally oppressive male stereotype? Might you not just go ahead and make this story have the same plot lines with a female centric character?

Oh Crap…I forgot this was Yash Raj….sorry…continue, add some more happy go lucky scores in a forced manner, continue being that cutesy thing that you’ve always been. On a deeper level though I think this problem is way more problematic when you can’t even imagine a different reality even in fiction. It speaks volumes about a mentality that cannot be uprooted with one blow. I guess this is a start though, but knowing how things usually work I won’t be waiting for a future that is more profound and meditated.

Getting back to it, the thing is while the show is in its own broken way pushing people to think, it is very overt, the way the overall presentation goes, there is barely any subtlety in the plot everything from how the story progresses to the each shows ending, feel very tacked on and blunt, which isn’t a bad thing but when you do it to death, it becomes a bit much. I mean seriously, my sharing this video is barely going to change anyone’s view on gender equality or feminism, especially when you put your jack hammer on the extreme mode. I was at a point just imagining some middle aged uncle coming out of the woodwork to say something like “Han yeh toh, sahi bataya hai!” “Aisey he hota hai, ladkiyon ke sath” “Bahut badhiya dikhaya hai app ney, meri toh ankhey hi khol di app ney!” “Wah!” (Trans. “OMG! YOU HAVE OPPENED MY EYES! TO THESE TRUTHS!” “NOW I AM UNDERSTANDS HOW IT FEELS” “THIS IS EXACTLY HOW, THINGS GO DOWN OMG WHY HAVEN’T I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS!?”).

But alas, this is all a figment of my imagination they don’t go that far. But still they cross the line and are full on overt. I guess I understand on some level their thought process would be leveled against the general population who barely think about this stuff, and it’s hard to present subtlety to an Indian audience and this gets to a level of almost belittling the viewer and their ability to understand the slightest of nuance presence in the plot by being full flung overt and on top of that having the actors come and over explain this thing to death isn’t really a nifty solution to misunderstanding. Maybe it was an effect of the investment of UN’s The Global Goals for Sustainable Development , last time I remember UN poking their head into something related to feminism or gender was with this UNICEF video called “Baap wali bat” and that was something to behold I guess with its song telling father to act like idiots and uphold the patriarchal structure and save a girl child among other things like, let her go and study in a school and not get married early, it’s like you have humanized the girl child right? The TV show if looked at from that perspective, is better. But you know, it could’ve been a lot more, and it totally failed to take the bull by its horns.

Now there could be X number of things that led to this, Yash Raj/UN other producers and people who put money into this thing might have influenced this thing. Let us put aside that and think about just who is directing and writing this thing and what kind of perspective it brings to the table. It’s not a women and by extension the representation of problems are a mere caricature of women and how they function or would function in a “women’s world”, they are literalist and by extension being unimaginative. This almost harps back to morality plays of 15-16th century in the sense that it has a set agenda of sensitization, rather than anything else and how it does it is very blatant and unbecoming of something that tries to instill moral values via storytelling, also considering it’s supposed to be a comedy with dramatic elements. It barely packs much comedic value other than those few CID gags or the Vagina sign held up by Kalki Koechlin character among a few other things.

Other Criticisms and Conclusive Thoughts.

I have watch the whole series which is available online, I very rarely had a moment where I was able to have a different perspective on the series, its commentary what little it has is one note. I don’t know, maybe I was expecting too much from the get go. Perhaps a lowered expectation approach might have been more fruitful. Hopefully they try to push the envelope more than a square inch next time. Again I would’ve liked to hear from more women on this though, sad to see even the ladiesfinger had an article by a man on this, the only one from a women I did find was at best 2 paragraph, hardly any insight but I mostly agreed with it & the former one as well. I also ended up watching the 3(so far) behind the scene or interview with the starts thing they added few days back and I thought that was way better at reaching out to people and trying to tell people why this is the need of the hour or why more people need to think about feminism/gender equality in a sober manner.

The “F” word

As an aside I saw this tabloid report that quoted Parineeti Chopra saying “I do feel proud of my gender, of being a woman. I do speak against gender inequality. I am the brand ambassador for Haryana’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ campaign. And I think it is very important for me personally to strive for equality, especially the industry that I come from,” & “Now, I understand and accept that anything that I do, could and I hope should inspire young girls. Now, I am very particular about what I say or do. If that makes me half a feminist, then that’s okay. I want girls to be treated the way men are. Somewhere we lack that in our country. So, I do want to be a role model but not a feminist.” It’s truly sad to see crap like this, when you cannot even articulate the word or shudder at the thought of being associated with this word, just because it has certain connotation, doesn’t mean you can just wish it away and its true meaning which you tend to lean towards. But I guess she does come from a certain place and it’s understandable on some level but very few people even try to walk the walk when it comes to the word. See now even I’m not able to say it…what was it? Feme…nazi? Yeah! That’s what goes around some people’s head I’m sure Parineetis’ publicist being one of them or perhaps she herself. Who knows…


Hey! If you have something interesting for me or something interesting to say hit me up on twitter (@Crit93)



‘Piku’ pulls off a successful tight rope walk, after fumbling a few times.

So let’s talk about ‘Piku’, It’s a film directed by Shoojit Sircar & written by Juhi Chaturvedi , the duo come together once again after the train wreck that was ‘Madras Cafe’ and one of the more surprisingly earnest movie that was ‘Vicky Donor’. This movie try’s to follow the latter’s footsteps.

From the get go you get a pretty distinct feeling that it’s not at all about ‘Piku’, but about her father know in the movie as ‘Bhaskor Banerjee’. Opening is disruptive same as the character of ‘Bhaskor’ as he intentionally or unintentionally comes out as a self-deluding liberal who makes claims of being a liberal and having a open disposition while being a regressive and overbearing parent. ‘Bhaskor’ is clearly a classist and contains hints of castist undertone in him as well, but all this is essentially ignored or filmmaker just play it for laughs as in ‘haha look at the old fart being a dick’ perhaps to keep the plot moving I guess. As if it’s in a hurry. Well…to be honest it is. As ‘Bhaskor’ is an old man and his story must be told before he dies…what? The movie is called ‘Piku’ ? Well shit ok we’ll focus on her for a bit, I guess…

So, coming to ‘Piku’ the character. As it starts to develop, it is quite evident that “Piku” is a part of patriarchal structure in which ‘Bhaskor’ is the head of the family that makes everyone bow down to his will. This is made evident on multiple points in the story itself to the extent that it is just out right said in one of the dialogue of ‘Bhaskor’. Back to ‘Piku’, she keeps having to side step her fathers will and often just keep getting enraged by the old man’s constant blithering & things like calling her mother “low IQ” throughout the movie for not living up to her(Piku’s Mother) potential. Meanwhile ‘Piku’ has to follow the same path as her mother to a lesser extent perhaps but still she (‘Piku’) has to do it out of some sort of paternal love towards her father.

So, in a sense ‘Bhaskor’, out of habit is enslaving those who love him, who’re considered to be a part of the “low IQ” club, don’t know if its deliberate or not, but my disposition towards ‘Bhaskor’ leads me to lean towards the former i.e making the ‘Bhaskor’ a slaver is a deliberate choice that the filmmakers make.

Again getting back to ‘Piku’ everything from her sex life, who she chooses to socialize with, seem to essentially be dictated by her father, be it direct or indirect. She takes her time to make this i.e. her being overly attached to her father, explicit to ‘Rana’ who is the main love interest by the end by saying something along the lines of if you wish to marry me you will have to adopt this 70 year old manchild with me.

Ok, so I think that’s enough of ‘Piku’ for the moment lets shed some light on ‘Rana’, who was a civil engineer in another life and ends up handling his father’s business with an overbearing family of his own that wish to belittle him along with that he gets belittled by ‘Piku’ for the good chunk of the early half of the film. The filmmakers go for a ‘will they won’t they’ vibe from the get go, but in a subtle manner as its only when the road trip starts is when the sparks start to fly and this love story starts to stand up on its own two feet. ‘Rana’s’ love for ‘Piku’ seems to be more of an infatuation at the start, but slowly it turns towards a mutual relation of love and respect by the end. This love story was very well done, subtle and not overbearing at all, doesn’t fall for the usual tropes that Bollywood movies tend to fall for, nothing overly dramatic happens, even at the ending there is nothing solid said or done, the story can either carry on in your head or end, its left open to interpretation, which is often not done with taste if ever done. There are moments when you see ‘Rana’s’ character be classist as well though, but it’s often moved along in a hurry or it isn’t really focused on, a very minor part of the whole story but still it irked me, but I guess it is but a sad truth of our lives that we as humans are often forgetful and will overlook moments one person is being intolerant towards the other.

Explaining The Poop Tech

Beside this I would say one of the major strengths of the movie was the humor, the moments between ‘Rana’ and ‘Bhaskor’ were particularly well done, be it either one of them cracking wise or the moments where ‘Rana’ is giving advice to ‘Bhaskor’ on how to get the perfect motion. The musical cues are quite well done too if you are talking comparatively to most Bollywood movies, there is always scope for improvement, but they had the subtlety down at least and there wasn’t anything that felt offensive throughout the movie sound design wise. Lots of ‘laugh out loud’ moments that keep the movie never get too dark but helps it in the pacing of the overall plot.

One scene in particular the knife scene just doesn’t add up though. ‘Bhaskor’ doesn’t really seem like a pacifist to me, I don’t know why he is surprised by finding a knife in a taxi on a highway, and subsequently just overreacts and asks ‘Rana’ to get rid of it, and it seems silly. But I guess ‘Bhaskor’ was but an unreasonable character throughout the movie, hiding salt, indulging in homeopathic remedies, calling people “low IQ” just because they’re affectionate towards him. I guess it makes sense on that level also. So, later on in the scene ‘Rana’ finally caves in after ‘Piku’ asks him to, from here on out it seems like their love story really kicks into high gear. ‘Piku’ in Kolkata keeps making googly eyes whenever interacting with ‘Rana’ and he keeps cracking wise to keep getting a laugh out of her, its adorable.

Piku Breakdown

Coming to the linguistic problem that I have with this movie and many other Bollywood movies. I don’t know why more films can’t be like Court and just go in the bi-lingual direction rather than enslaving themselves to Hindi just to chase some sort of despotic gold standard. ‘Hindi’ should be but a lingua franca in supposedly proud Bengali family, which is deeply entrenched in its Bengali-ness, for a movie trying to have some sort of authenticity attached to it, I think it fails miserably at the point when it muscles out Bengali even when the characters are in Kolkata. They continue on converse in Hindi, but I guess with suspension of disbelief we can overlook it, but then why the accents? Have some consistency in your world logic is all I’m saying. If this movie where to be bi-lingual I would’ve liked it even more than I do, is all I’m saying.

At Ganga Ghat

The ending can be construed as good and/or bad depending on how you look at it I guess, for me it was more or less good in the sense as the ending is as abrupt as the start. Just as the arc of ‘Bhaskor’s’ character. As he dies and so does the life of the story, both metaphorically and literally. As I said in the beginning the story isn’t about ‘Piku’. It’s about ‘Bhaskor’ and his relation with the world, which include ‘Piku’ and the rest, they exist for him and their(people other than ‘Bhaskor’) real story begins after ‘Bhaskor’ passes, which is left to the imagination. The wake at the end just seems slapped together but perhaps it shows us a glimpse into ‘Piku’s’ mind as she has been all her life subconsciously just going for guys that are somewhat like her father, but that’s just my interpretation, and isn’t explicit in the story itself, but certain scenes are suggestive of the same.

Apt Kyam Churan Product Placement

Overall I would say it’s a great movie with great writing and great acting, its pitfalls are far and few between. One can look at the movie as a whole and say that this is one of the better movies that came out of Bollywood this year. It certainly is straddling a line, walking a tightrope falling, brushing itself off and then getting back on there to achieve its task. It does it with dirt on its face but even so it works out in the end. I would rate it 3.5/5, but remember this is but an opinion, I would highly recommend it for a somber afternoon.

PS : I had a conversation with someone I know about this movie. Have a listen if you want to find out how I came to some of the conclusions in the review.

PSS : Hey! If you have something interesting for me or something interesting to say hit me up on twitter (@Crit93)