Movie Review: Manto

Fri, 21 Sep 18 09:11:25 +0000

Is freedom of expression absolute? What constitutes obscenity and indecency? These are the questions our present-day Indian society is grappling with especially when artistes sometimes try to push the envelope. This is unfortunate, considering our history is replete with some very progressive artists who set the benchmark for progressiveness and yet, our society moved forward. Saadat Hasan Manto was one such writer and his works continue to fascinate readers even today. Nandita Das, after years of struggle, is finally ready with her film on this personality, titled MANTO. So does MANTO manage to stir and move viewers just like the writer’s works? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-900021" src="" alt="Movie Review Manto" width="720" height="450" /> MANTO throws light on the four decisive years of the life of Saadat Hasan Manto (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a rebellious writer. The story begins in 1946 in Bombay, India. Manto is a non-practicing Muslim but has his apprehensions when the communal riots break out at a time when the country is at the cusp of freedom. He is married to Safia (Rasika Dugal) and he earns his living by writing for films. His close friends are fellow liberal writer Ismat Chugtai (Rajshri Deshpande) and film actor Shyam Chadda (Tahir Raj Bhasin). Meanwhile, India gains Independence on August 15, 1947. Saifa goes to Lahore to attend her sister’s wedding. Manto meets Shyam’s family who have run from Rawalpindi to India and have lost a family member while escaping. Shyam, in a fit of rage, expresses his hatred for Muslims and even tells Manto that he could have killed him too. A distraught Manto decides to leave India permanently and settle in Lahore. There, he is slapped with obscenity charges over his story ‘Thanda Gosht’. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Nandita Das’s story is interesting as it doesn’t throw light on Manto’s entire life but only on the four years. It also makes a nice comment on the idea of freedom of expression and how society continues to create problems for those who are showing the mirror. Nandita Das’s screenplay has its moments with few scenes being exceptionally written. However, at a lot of places, the film fails to make the desired impact which is unfortunate since the film has a lot of potential. Nandita Das’s dialogues are sharp and acidic. Manto’s original quotes are also used and it adds an authentic touch. However, a lot of dialogues are in chaste Urdu and English subtitles thankfully have been provided. Nandita’s direction is unhurried and breezy. The subject reminds one of Ketan Mehta’s RANG RASIYA [2014], which also spoke of an artist being dragged to court over a frivolous issue, and the acclaimed Spanish film NERUDA [2016], based on the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. But Nandita with her execution ensures that viewers don’t start drawing parallels with these two films. Special mention should be made of two aspects – one, she doesn’t get overwhelmed with the period setup and doesn’t try to focus more on the sets and props. She instead keeps her focus on her protagonist. Secondly, she handles few sensitive factors with panache, one of them being Manto’s friendship with Ismat. The manner in which their pure friendship is depicted with Manto’s wife also acknowledging it makes for a nice watch. But on the other hand, she makes the film too dry, especially in the second half. This heavily mars the impact. MANTO is just 112 minutes long but could have been tighter, like Nandita Das’s previous directorial venture FIRAAQ [2009]. The characters are well established and the manner in which Manto’s stories are interspersed with the narrative smoothly is praiseworthy. The first half is shorter and has some memorable sequences – Manto getting livid with the producer (Rishi Kapoor), Manto and Safia trying to imagine the back story of a woman they see in a park and Manto and Safia witnessing the Independence Day celebrations. The best sequence of the first half however has to be Manto and Shyam’s confrontation in the local train. The second half is longer and this is where the film slips. Manto’s struggles could have been showed in a better manner. Also, the film has some great characters but barring 2 or 3, the rest don’t get their due like the lecherous film producer (Rishi Kapoor), Shaad Amritsari (Shashank Arora), Jaddan bai (Ila Arun), Nargis (Feryna Wazheir), Tea Stall Man (Neeraj Kabi), Ansar Shabnam Dil (Vijay Varma), Abid Ali Abid (Javed Akhtar) etc. The climax is symbolic but looks a bit abrupt. As a result, MANTO will appeal only to the high-end multiplex audiences. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the soul of MANTO and succeeds in giving a yet another memorable performance. The actor breathes life into the character and does justice as he portrays his various sides. One of the most underrated aspects of his performance is when he feels fearful (notice him in the scene with Ashok Kumar). Rasika Dugal has a crucial part and plays her part with aplomb. Tahir Raj Bhasin delivers a bravura performance. In the second half, his screen time is limited and although he does well, the happenings in the said sequence seem superficial. Rajshri Deshpande is terrific in a cameo and one wishes she had a longer role. Rishi Kapoor is good as the sleazy filmmaker. Shashank Arora has an important part but no explanation is given as to who exactly is he and how a bond is formed between him and Manto. Ila Arun gets to shine in the scene where she sings the song. Neeraj Kabi is as always exceptional but again, has hardly anything to do. Vijay Varma, mostly remembered as the antagonist in PINK, is decent. Javed Akhtar is impressive, giving one a déjà vu of Naseeruddin Shah’s cameo in the Pakistani film KHUDA KAY LIYE [2007]. Inammulhaq (Hamid) and Chandan Roy Sanyal (Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi) are okay and don’t get much scope. Feryna Wazheir gets no dialogue although she quite looks the part. The actor who played Ashok Kumar is a bit over the top but manages to get the nuances right. Then there are actors who play the characters of Manto’s stories. Out of these, Ranvir Shorey (Ishrat Singh) and Divya Dutta (Kulwant Kaur) get the maximum scope and create a tremendous impact. This is followed by Vinod Nagpal (Bishan Singh; Sikh man in Toba Tek Singh). Paresh Rawal (Pimp), Tillotama Shome (Prostitute), Gurdas Maan (Sirajuddin) and Purab Kohli (Kaifiyat) also do very well. Sneha Khanwalkar's music doesn’t get much scope. <em>‘Nagri Nagri’</em> gets registered as it’s played at an important part. <em>‘Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain’</em> comes during the end credits. The rap song <em>‘Mantoiyat’</em> thankfully is not made a part of the film. Zakir Hussain's background score is subtle and impactful. Kartik Vijay's cinematography is neat. Rita Ghosh's production design, Sheetal Iqbal Sharma's costumes and Shrikant Desai's hair and make-up are too good and play an important role in giving the film a realistic, authentic touch. Prana Studios's VFX matches the global standards. All these come together very well in recreating the bygone era. A Sreekar Prasad's editing is simple. On the whole, MANTO has its moments and makes an important comment which is relevant in today’s times. However, the second half is weak and the film overall is too niche. Hence, it won’t appeal to the mainstream audience and this would affect its box office performance

Review: Batti Gul Meter Chalu is an average, one-time watch

Fri, 21 Sep 18 07:30:56 +0000

It’s often said that there are 2 India’s within this country. One is the urban India where the infrastructure is developed and all facilities like electricity, water supply, sanitation etc. are readily available. But there’s a part of India which still struggles with basic facilities. Shortage of electricity is one of the major problems of our country even today with power cuts being very frequent almost daily. On top of it, it’s not uncommon to come across reports of people slapped with insanely inflated electricity bills. Director Shree Narayan Singh, who impressed audiences last year with the social entertainer TOILET – EK PREM KATHA, is now back with BATTI GUL METER CHALU, and it also promises to be an entertainer with substance. So does BATTI GUL METER CHALU manage to impress and move viewers? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-899956" src="" alt="" width="720" height="450" /> BATTI GUL METER CHALU is the story of the struggles of the common man with regards to the inconsistent electric supply. Sushil Kumar Pant aka SK (Shahid Kapoor), Lalita Nautiyal aka Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor) and Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyenndu) are thick friends. All three are based in Tehri in Uttarakhand. While SK is a lawyer who likes to earn a quick buck by blackmailing people and arm-twisting them, Nauti runs a boutique shop and dreams of becoming a top designer. Sundar is a simpleton who has recently started his factory, called UK Packaging. Both SK and Sundar have feelings for Nauti. Nauti decides to date both of them one by one and decides to announce her decision as to whom she’ll eventually get into a relationship with. At first, she dates SK and she has a lovely time. Then, it’s Sundar’s turn and he floors her with his simplicity and honesty. One day, SK sees them cosying up to each other and he loses his mind. He stops talking to them and leaves for Mussoorie. Meanwhile, Sundar is slapped with a bill of Rs. 54 lakhs by the private electricity company SPTL. He tries his best to find a solution to it and explain to the concerned authorities that it’s impossible that he has consumed so much of electricity. Moreover, due to power cuts, he’s already using generator which has put additional burden on his finances. Realizing that he might have to sell off his ancestral house to pay off the dues, Sundar approaches SK for help. But SK is hurt that Nauti chose Sundar over him. Hence, he ridicules both of them. With no other solution in hand, Sundar decides to end his life. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Siddharth-Garima and Vipul Rawal’s story is simple which held a lot of promise but is not put together well. The basic premise has potential as it’s very relatable but it doesn’t come out properly. Siddharth-Garima’s screenplay is engaging only at places. There are far too many flaws and they get noticed easily. The film also reminds one of another courtroom drama, the JOLLY LLB series. Moreover, a crucial development is similar to Shahid’s own film CHUP CHUP KE [2006]. Siddharth-Garima’s dialogue has some funny punchlines. But the excessive use of terms like ‘<em>thehra</em>’ and ‘<em>bal</em>’ could have been avoided. In fact, the film’s length could have been reduced by ten minutes if these two words were chopped off! Shree Narayan Singh’s direction is weak. He had a bit flawed but interesting write-up in hand and any other capable director could have turned things around. But Shree Narayan Singh doesn’t succeed much. There’s no doubt that he has handled some moments deftly and does make viewers aware about how acute the problem in question is. But his execution leaves a lot to be desired. BATTI GUL METER CHALU is almost 161 minutes long and it’s first half could have been easily shortened by around 30 minutes. The beginning sequences depicting the friendship of the trio are strictly okay. Things begin to heat up once Nauti decides to date SK and then Sundar. The scene where Sundar spots Nauti and Sundar kissing is quite dramatic. Also, the entire Mussoorie sequence raises laughs and also has a great confrontational moment. The intermission point is dramatic. Post-interval, the scene of SK threatening the SPTL lawyer in the ombudsman office is whistle worthy. But the real fun begins with the courtroom sequence. The way SK catches hold of Gulnar Rizvi’s (Yami Gautam) soft-porn book and reads aloud an excerpt will bring the house down! A few of the facts revealed by SK are also startling. The climax ideally should have been a highpoint but sadly, it’s a point where the film comes down. Moreover, the villains in the story are not powerful enough. SK is fighting such a huge electricity company and he has even got the public on his side during the course of his fight. Yet, at no point does the company threaten him or his family members or physically assault him. They quietly let things happen and this bit looks very unconvincing. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Shahid Kapoor is one of the major reasons why the film succeeds to an extent. He’s in top form and will be loved for his comic timing. In the second half, he’s a riot! Also, he gives a wonderful performance in the emotional sequences. Shraddha Kapoor is over the top in the beginning sequences and it’s only in the serious scenes of the second half where she scores. Divyenndu is quite sincere and as always, gives an able performance. Yami Gautam has a very late entry and gives a fine performance. However, the scenes where she gets teased in the courtroom might not be liked by the female audiences. Atul Srivastav (Murarilal Tripathi; Sundar’s father) has some important scenes and is nice. Mukesh S Bhatt (Upreti) has quite a lot of screen time but doesn’t contribute much. Sushmita Mukherjee (Judge) tries to do a Saurabh Shukla of JOLLY LLB but looks forced. Sudhir Pande (D N Pant) is strictly okay and some of his scenes, shown in the trailer, are removed from the final cut. His entire track of trying to find a second wife doesn’t add at all to the main plot. Farida Jalal (Dadi) and Supriya Pilgaonkar (Beena Nautiyal) are wasted. Samir Soni (Sanjay Baduriya) looks tired and it seems like his voice has been dubbed. Rajendra Chawla (Janak Khanduri; officer at the complaint office) and Sukhvinder Chahal (Pankay Bahugana; SPTL official who gets caught in sting operation) are quite nice. Bijendra Kala (Deendayal Gangotri Travels owner) is as always good. Vikas (Sharib Hashmi) is unrecognizable while Badrul Islam (Kalyan) is decent. But their track is such that viewers might not be able to comprehend its significance. Anushka Ranjan (Rita) gets no scope. As for the songs, <em>‘Gold Tamba’</em> is catchy and <em>‘Har Har Gange’</em> comes at a crucial juncture. <em>‘Hard Hard’ </em>and <em>‘Dekhte Dekhte’</em> are forced. Vijay Verma, Anamik and Lyton's background score is disappointing in the light-hearted scenes but gets better in the second half. Anshuman Mahaley's cinematography is appropriate but the makers should have avoided taking too many long shots of the town. Udai Prakash Singh’s production design is realistic. Darshan Jalan and Neelanchal Kumar Ghosh’s costumes are as per the requirements of the characters. Post House’s VFX is very bad especially in the scenes shot in the day but are presented as night sequences. Shree Narayan Singh’s editing could have been better and crisper. On the whole, BATTI GUL METER CHALU is an average, one-time watch entertainer that appeals only in parts. The film has lot of flaws and loose ends and Shahid Kapoor’s entertaining performance saves the day to an extent. At the box office, it will require a really strong word of mouth to attract footfalls

Movie Review: Mitron

Thu, 13 Sep 18 05:00:42 +0000

The entrepreneur spirit of the Gujaratis is well known globally. However, this aspect and the overall flavour of Gujarat hasn’t been captured well in our films. Barring KAI PO CHE (2013), none of the films based in Gujarat in recent times like GORI TERE PYAAR MEIN (2013), SWEETIEE WEDS NRI (2017), PATEL KI PUNJABI SHAADI (2017) and YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA PHIR SE (2018) have failed to do justice to the Gujarat setting. Now FILMISTAAN director Nitin Kakkar tries his luck with a film based in a Gujarat city. So does he manage to put up a convincing show? Or does he fail in the process? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-896784" src="" alt="" width="720" height="450" /> MITRON is the story of two people, both of whom are the black sheep in their respective families. Jai (Jackky Bhagnani) is a good for nothing youth in Ahmedabad. His father (Neeraj Sood) leaves no opportunity to chide him for wasting his life despite having a degree in automobile engineering. His interest lies in cooking and even he starts a YouTube channel. But it doesn’t pay dividends. He’s advised to make prank videos as it can get record views. Sadly his father catches him in the act. He decides to get him married, as per the recommendations of an astrologer and also with the hope that it’ll make him responsible. Meanwhile, Avni (Kritika Kamra) is a smart, responsible girl. She too doesn’t get respect from her father (Sunieel Sinha) since he always wanted a son. Hence he can’t wait to get her married. Avni is in love with Vikram (Prateik Babbar) and both plan to start a food truck business and also eventually settle down. However Vikram ditches her suddenly. Avni then accepts her father’s suggestion for arranged marriage. At this point, Jai and Avni meet. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Sharib Hashmi's story is adapted from a Telugu film PELLI CHOOOPULU (2016), which is written and directed by Tharun Bhaskar Dhaassyam. It is interesting and although a bit clichéd, it has potential. Sharib Hashmi's screenplay is entertaining and engaging. The food truck and the good for nothing character gives a déjà vu of CHEF (2017) and BAND BAAJA BAARAAT (2010). Sharib Hashmi's dialogues are quite creative and hilarious. Nitin Kakkar's direction is neat and uncomplicated, despite the non-linear narrative in the first half. In the second half, he could have done a better job at few places. This is especially in the scene where Jai gets late for the engagement brunch. That he had too much of drinks a day before and the manner in which he had no plan in place for the snacks that he was supposed to prepare seemed very unconvincing. Moreover, the title of the film doesn’t completely capture the film’s essence. However, overall Nitin managed to capture the flavour of Gujarat very well. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> MITRON's first ten minutes are flat with none of the jokes working. It’s only when Jai and Avni get trapped in a room and they narrate about their life is when the film picks up. The flashback is told interestingly; notice how the actors break the fourth wall at places smoothly while narrating their tale. The manner in which Jai catches his girlfriend Shruti indulging in cheating is sure to bring the house down. Also, Jai's attempt at pranking people by pretending to immolate himself is hilarious. The track of Avni and Vikram begins unexpectedly but it has its moments. The twist during the intermission point works. Post interval, the fun continues. The humiliation faced by Avni at the engagement brunch is a crucial sequence handled well (although the scenes that lead to it are difficult to digest) and also the following sequence involving Jai and Avni's father. The pace does drop here but it gets back on track in the climax. This is a comeback of sorts for actor Jackky Bhagnani (his last Hindi film was WELCOME TO KARACHI in 2015) and he gives a genuinely good performance. He gets the diction right and keeps his act controlled. Kritika Kamra makes a very confident debut. She gets chance to display her talent in the second half. Pratik Gandhi (Raunak) steals the show and gets to mouth some very funny one-liners. Deepu (Shivam Parekh) gets totally sidelined. Neeraj Sood also ensures he doesn’t get overboard and irritating and does a fine job. Prateik Babbar is impressive. The actors playing Perline (Richa) and Shruti (Jai’s girlfriend in the call centre) are okay. Songs are quite peppy and reflect the mood of the film. <em>'Kamariya'</em>, played in the intro scene and during the end credits, is the best song of the lot and is bound to linger in one’s mind for a long time. <em>'Sawarne Lage'</em> comes next and its theme music is a bit loud but again, very catchy. <em>'Ghar Ke Hai Na Ghat Ke' </em>has a nice 80s vibe and is also sung by Bappi Lahiri. <em>'Chalte Chalte'</em> is sweet. <em>‘Door Na Ja’</em> doesn’t make much of an impact although it’s sung beautifully by Sonu Nigam. Sameer Uddin's background score is fun and dramatic. Manoj Kumar Khatoi's cinematography gives the film a commercial touch. The locales of Ahmedabad, especially the long shots, are well taken. Urvi Ashar Kakkar and Shipra Rawal's production design is fine, with the food truck standing out. Mandira Shukla's costumes are quite real and appealing. Sachindra Vats's editing is quite impressive, especially in the first half. On the whole, MITRON is a feel-good film and can surely appeal to the family audiences. Unfortunately, the lack of buzz and acute competition this week will prove detrimental

Movie Review: Manmarziyaan

Thu, 13 Sep 18 04:00:39 +0000

Bollywood is primarily known for love stories and many of the films belonging to this genre have been huge successes. A lot of these have been love triangles. But soon it emerged that it doesn’t project the reality, especially the confusion that prevails in such situations. Anurag Kashyap, known for dark and hard-hitting cinema, decides to switch gears and make a light-hearted romantic story dealing with three characters. So does this ‘commercial experiment’ work? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-896770 size-full" title="Movie Review: Manmarziyaan" src="" alt="Movie Review: Manmarziyaan" width="720" height="450" /> MANMARZIYAAN is the story of a girl trapped between two lovers. Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) is a rebellious girl from Amritsar. She is orphaned at a young age and stays with her paternal uncle and family. She’s in love with Vicky aka DJ Sandzzz (Vicky Kaushal) who stays close to her house. Vicky is used to secretly coming to her house to meet her in her bedroom. One day, he gets caught and all hell breaks loose. Rumi’s family members decide to get her married. But Rumi puts her foot down, stating that she’ll marry only Vicky. She also assures that Vicky and his parents will come to their house to ask her hand for marriage. However, Vicky shies away from responsibilities. Hence, he gets a jolt when Rumi brings up the topic of marriage. Meanwhile, Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), based in London, arrives at Amritsar to meet his family and get married, as per the wishes of his family. Realizing that Vicky is commitment and marriage phobic, Rumi gives the nod to her family to find someone for marriage. Hence, Robbie and Rumi meet. For Robbie, it’s love at first sight. Rumi also agrees for marriage. Vicky gets livid when he hears about her wedding. A day before the marriage, he tells Rumi that he’s changed and is ready to take responsibilities and get married. Rumi still has love for Vicky and she agrees to elope with him. She first meets Robbbie at night and informs him that she can’t get married to him. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Kanika Dhillon’s story is impressive and a bit novel, despite based on a premise that’s been done to death hundreds of times. Kanika Dhillon’s screenplay is engaging and layered at places. The characters are very well fleshed out and the dynamics shared by them are superb. However, after a point, the film begins to slip in the second half. Also, at around 155 minutes, the film is a bit too long. Moreover, the bold theme of the film may put off certain section of audiences. The appeal of the film hence might be towards the urban and youth audiences more than others. Kanika Dhillon’s dialogues are powerful and acidic. The funny one-liners are also well written. Anurag Kashyap’s direction carries his trademark stamp although the subject here is a bit lighter as compared to his other films. He does justice to the overall plot but when the film begins to get a bit repetitive, even his execution is not able to do much. Let’s get one thing straight. MANMARZIYAAN is not a remake of DHADKAN [2000] or HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM [1999] as alleged by some netizens after watching the trailer. From the treatment to the characters to the happenings, there’s no similarity between these two films and MANMARZIYAAN. The film begins on a fun, musical note, depicting the hot romance between Vicky and Rumi. As the title suggests, the characters in the film do as their heart pleases. This aspect is brought right correctly, especially in the first half. The way dramatic sequences and songs are neatly blended also make for a good watch. One of the best scenes of the first half is when Rumi blasts Vicky in the middle of the highway. The intermission comes at a crucial point and one looks forward to what will happen next. Sadly, the film slips in the second half and even starts dragging. The pre-climax is unconvincing although the way the finale is presented makes up for it. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> MANMARZIYAAN is embellished with some fine performances. Taapsee Pannu is electrifying and one can’t take one’s eyes off her. In recent times, she has given some memorable performances like PINK [2016], NAAM SHABANA [2017] and in the recently released MULK [2018]. But her performance in MANMARZIYAAN stands out and is surely her most accomplished work till date! Vicky Kaushal who is on a great spree this year delivers a yet another rocking performance. He gets totally into the skin of the character and looks every inch a wannabe musician cum DJ from a small North Indian town. His breakdowns, his silences, his way of communicating with his eyes are too good. Abhishek Bachchan maintains a strong position and it’s a pleasure to see him on screen after ages. He gets to play the role of a soft-spoken guy while the other two characters are quite dynamic. But this doesn’t mean that he gets overshadowed. He makes his presence felt and his breakdown in the second half is something to watch out for. Also watch out how he emotes in the ‘suhaag raat’ sequence immediately after interval and when the marriage bureau guy tries to badmouth Rumi. Supporting characters in the film also do a very fine job. Ashnoor Kaur (Kiran; Rumi’s cousin sister) is fine. Saurabh Sachdeva (Kaka ji, who runs the marriage bureau) has a crucial part and does very well. Vikram Kochhar (Robbie’s brother) adds to the fun quotient. The actors playing Rumi’s Darji and Robbie’s mother are also quite good. Amit Trivedi’s music is one of the pillars of the film as it’s a musical. Not all songs are memorable but they are well inserted in the narrative. <em>‘Daryaa’</em> is the best of the lot and both the versions are played in some important scenes. <em>‘Grey Walaa Shade’</em>, played in the very beginning, sets the mood of the film. <em>‘F For Fyaar’</em> is hardly there while <em>‘Dhayaan Chand’</em> is funky and well shot. <em>‘Bijlee Giregi’</em> is peppy and <em>‘Kundali’</em> is a nice celebratory track. <em>‘Hallaa’</em> is played during a very tense sequence. <em>‘Chonch Ladhiyaan’</em> and <em>‘Jaisi Teri Marzi’</em> are sweet while <em>‘Sacchi Mohabbat’</em> is poignant. Amit Trivedi’s background score is also very much in sync with the film’s theme. And watch out for the twin sensations, Poonam Shah and Priyanka Shah, dancing in the middle of the Amritsar streets while the characters go about with their lives. It gives a unique touch! Sylvester Fonseca's cinematography captures the tensions, the realistic locations and the locales of Kashmir beautifully. Meghna Gandhi's production design is straight out of life and psychedelic in the scenes of Vicky’s studio. Prashant Sawant's costumes are quite appropriate. All characters are dressed as per their personalities. Aarti Bajaj's editing is simple and neat. On the whole, MANMARZIYAAN comes across as a contemporary and an unorthodox tale laced with some brilliant performances and powerful writing. The bold theme of the film might restrict its appeal but its target audience is sure to give the film a thumbs up

Movie Review: Paltan

Fri, 07 Sep 18 08:43:24 +0000

It’s always fascinating to know about a chapter of history which is forgotten but holds an important place. In the past, we have seen with films like AIRLIFT [2016], NEERJA [2016] and the recently released GOLD which spoke about heroic instances and all these films were lapped up by the audiences. Now, J P Dutta, known for his war films, is back with PALTAN. After BORDER [1997] and LOC: KARGIL [2003], J P Dutta completes his war trilogy with his latest flick which also enlightens viewers about something that they should be proud of. So does PALTAN succeed in giving the viewers an exhilarating time? Or does it disappoint? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-894354 size-full" title="Movie Review: Paltan" src="" alt="Movie Review: Paltan" width="750" height="450" /> PALTAN tells the story of a military clash between India and China in 1967. This is a time when the state of Sikkim isn’t a part of India. China wants to capture it by hook or by crook for strategic reasons but due to international pressure, they can’t make their intentions public. Yet, at Nathu La border in Sikkim, they keep engaging in minor skirmishes to scare the Indian forces which are stationed there after the king of Sikkim granted them permission. Maj. Gen. Sagat Singh (Jackie Shroff) appoints Lt. Col. Rai Singh Yadav (Arjun Rampal) as the in charge of Nathu La. Rai has undergone training in London and is well versed with Chinese tactics. Some of the officers under him at Nathu La are Major Bishen Singh (Sonu Sood), Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar (Gurmeet Choudhary), Major Harbhajan Singh (Harshvardhan Rane), 2 Lt. Attar Singh (Luv Sinha), Hawaldar Lakshmi Chand (Abhilash Chaudhary) etc. Frustrated with the constant harassment by Chinese, Rai recommends that a permanent fence be laid down dividing the Indian and Chinese border. This would stop the regular fights between the forces of both countries over where exactly the border line is. Work on the fencing begins on the Indian side and it rattles the Chinese as this would put their plan of capturing Sikkim in jeopardy. With no other option in hand, the Chinese forces open fire and a war breaks out between the two countries. What happens next forms the rest of the film. J P Dutta's story is based on real life incidents and he tries his best to keep it as authentic as possible. J P Dutta’s screenplay is engaging. Even in the repetitive scenes, one doesn’t get bored. J P Dutta’s dialogues are simple and sharp. But there are far too many famous quotes mouthed by actors every few minutes. J P Dutta’s direction is topnotch. Often, filmmakers who shined in the 80s and 90s are not able to move in with the times, a recent example being of Anil Sharma who directed GENIUS. But J P Dutta takes care of this bit and ensures the audience of today will be interested in the film. At the same time he has kept his sensibility intact. He however should have not let the proceedings to be stretched and should have avoided scenes similar to BORDER. But he executed the war scenes like a pro. Also he ensured the audiences can feel the tension at the border. PALTAN is two and a half hours long and takes a long time in the build up. The war commences only in the middle of the second half and that’s when the film truly shines. Before that, the film has its moments but not in entirety. One of the most heartbreaking sequences of the film is in the beginning showing a postman delivering the telegram to several houses in a neighborhood and thereby informing them of the demise of their family members in the 1962 war. The manner in which the postman nonchalantly delivers the telegram and cries can be heard in the background is quite chilling. After the story shifts to 1967, the film continues to be engaging. But it gets repetitive. There are far too many sequences of the Chinese soldiers arguing with the Indians. Also some amount of time is devoted in throwing light on the personal lives of the soldiers and their lovers. It is interesting but it has a BORDER hangover. The war sequence however is sans complaints. It is heroic and would surely induce claps and whistles. Also the scene of the family members receiving the remains of the soldiers will put a lump in your throat. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Jackie Shroff is in a supporting role and does fine. Some of his English dialogues in the beginning are a bit difficult to comprehend. Arjun Rampal plays the main officer in charge of the border and he nicely plays his part. The way he shows aggression but also knows when to restrain himself is impressive. Sonu Sood is a natural and adds a lot to the film. Gurmeet Choudhary leaves a huge mark with his humour, temper and also his romantic side. Harshvardhan Rane also delivers a stupendous performance and looks perfect as the angry young Sardar. Both Gurmeet and Harshavardhan are going to receive maximum applause and whistles in the finale! These two young actors get a chance to show their true potential in this film. Siddhanth Kapoor gets limited scope but is memorable as he plays the interpreter. Luv Sinha is alright but gets to show his worth in some very important scenes in the 2nd half. Abhilash Chaudhary and Nagender Choudhary get very limited scope. Rohit Roy (Major Cheema) is wasted. As for the actresses, Monica Gill (Harjyot) gets the maximum scope followed by Dipika Kakar (Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar's fiance) and both are nice. Esha Gupta (Lt. Col. Rai Singh Yadav’s wife) is hardly there while Sonal Chauhan (Major Bishen Singh's wife) appears only for a few seconds in a song. Anu Malik’s music isn’t of chartbuster variety but works for the film. The title track is average and <em>'Raat Kitni' </em>is forced but somehow works. <em>'Main Zinda Hoon'</em> generates the most impact. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background score is dramatic and adds to the excitement. Nigam Bomzan and Shailesh Awasthi's cinematography is breathtaking and has captured the locales beautifully. However in terms of authenticity, the film falters a bit as they have tried to recreate Sikkim in Ladakh and obviously the topographies of both regions are different. Amrish Patange and Dayanidhi Patturajan's production design is very real. The huge billboard of Mao Zedong creates an impact. Sham Kaushal’s action is terrific and makes the war scenes so real but at the same time he avoids gore. Ballu Saluja’s editing is appropriate. VFX however is could have better at a few places. On the whole, PALTAN not only enlightens viewers about a lost chapter in history but also entertains viewers while doing so. Though the buzz is limited, a good word of mouth can definitely help the film

Movie Review: Laila Majnu

Fri, 07 Sep 18 04:01:18 +0000

The eternal love story of Laila and Majnu has fascinated people over the centuries across several countries. In Bollywood itself, some 4-5 films have been made on the lovers, that too since the time of silent films era. Now Imtiaz Ali presents a film on this topic directed by his brother Sajid Ali in association with Ekta Kapoor. Imtiaz is known for his intense love stories and has shown obsessive characters in the past and Laila-Majnu’s tale is also on similar lines. So does LAILA MAJNU manage to do justice to the spirit of the story and turn out to be a great entertainer? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-894132 size-full" title="Movie Review: Laila Majnu" src="" alt="Movie Review: Laila Majnu" width="750" height="450" /> LAILA MAJNU is the story of two lovers who are not destined to be together. Laila (Tripti Dimri) is a young girl in Srinagar who’s a flirt and likes attention from guys. One day she bumps into Kaes (Avinash Tripathy), a Casanova who has just returned from London. Laila at first is repulsed with Kaes’s stalking but slowly she falls for him. Both start dreaming of a future together. However, things aren’t going to be easy. Laila's father Masool (Parmeet Sethi) is in a feud with Kaes's father Ghulam Sarwar Bhat (Benjamin Gilani) with the former alleging that the latter took away his land by fraudulent means and built a five star hotel. Hence, the fathers of both Laila and Kaes get livid on finding out about their love affair. At the insistence of Kaes, Ghulam goes to meet Masool to ask Laila’s hand in marriage. Masool however humiliates him. A war of words ensues between the two. Masool decides to get Laila to Ibban (Sumeet Kaul), his trusted protégé. Kaes tries to find a way to stop this marriage. But when he’s not able to find any, he lands up at the wedding. He begs Masool to stop the marriage and when the latter doesn’t agree, Kaes insults him. Laila gets angry and asks him to leave. Kaes goes away in anger. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Imtiaz Ali and Sajid Ali’s story tries to do justice to the actual tale of Laila and Majnu. But Imtiaz Ali and Sajid Ali’s screenplay is difficult to digest especially in the second half. Also it gives a déjà vu of ROCKSTAR [2011]. Hence, the freshness element gets marred since viewers have already seen it before. But there are places where the craziness crosses all boundaries and it is unconvincing. Imtiaz Ali and Sajid Ali’s dialogues are however effective. Sajid Ali’s direction is quite good for a first timer and he definitely seems inspired by brother Imtiaz. He keeps viewers engaged but he fails to achieve mass appeal for his film. LAILA MAJNU's beginning evokes mixed reaction. The character of Laila is presented in a unique manner but to show her as a flirt is unconvincing. The sequence of Kaes peeing at the same spot where Laila is hiding is disgusting and one wonders why the writer wrote such a scene. Things get better once Laila and Kaes start seeing each other. The scene where Ibban follows Laila and Kaes is quite dramatic and same goes for the sequence where both the fathers meet. The intermission comes at a significant juncture. Post interval, the film goes on a different track as Kaes transforms into Majnu. This bit is bound to go bouncer for a lot of audiences as the depiction of his craziness is extreme. The film also ends on an unconvincing note. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Performances however are exemplary. Avinash Tripathy delivers a confident and a very impressive performance. As Kaes, he’s efficient but as Majnu, he goes on another level. And it doesn’t appear like a caricature. This is no easy feat. Tripti Dimri does a great job in playing the vivacious Laila and again, knows where to draw the line while enacting. In the second half however she gets limited screen time. Sumit Kaul is the surprise of the film. He plays his part very nicely and he’s sure to get noticed and talked about! Parmeet Sethi and Benjamin Gilani deliver decent performances. Sahiba Bali (Laila’s sister) is fine. Others do a good job. Joi Barua and Niladri Kumar's music is indispensable to the film. Not all songs are memorable but they add to the impact. <em>'Hafiz Hafiz' </em>is the best of the lot as it is in sync with the crazy happenings in the film. <em>'O Meri Laila'</em>, <em>'Tum'</em>, <em>'Sarphiri'</em> and <em>'Gayee Kaam Se'</em> are soulful and melodious. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is also very nicely done. Sayak Bhattacharya’s cinematography is spectacular. Kashmir has been captured in a lot of films but never like this. Niharika Bhasin Khan’s costumes are very authentic and same goes for production design. Editing is simple and neat. On the whole, LAILA MAJNU is embellished with some fine performances but it is not meant for the mainstream audience. Also with very little buzz surrounding the film, it will be a challenge for the movie to register impressive numbers at the box office

Movie Review: Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se

Fri, 31 Aug 18 04:04:23 +0000

One of the most respected and humble film families has to be that of the Deols. It’s a treat to see the bond shared by Dharmendra with his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol. On-screen, it was first translated in APNE [2007]. But it was in the comic caper YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA [2011] where it worked big time. However, the sequel, YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA 2 [2013] failed to strike a chord with the audiences. Now the affable Deols are back with YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA PHIR SE. So does it entertain audiences like they did with the first part of the series? Or does it fail just like the second part? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-891114" src="" alt="" width="720" height="405" /> YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA PHIR SE is the story of one man’s fight against a corrupt pharmaceutical company. Puran (Sunny Deol) is an Ayurveda expert who runs his clinic in Amritsar. He uses ancient medicinal knowledge passed on to him by his forefathers. Marfatia (Mohan Kapur), owner of Marfatia Pharma, tempts Puran’s younger brother, the good for nothing Kala (Bobby Deol), that he’ll offer Rs. 1 crore if he can convince Puran to part with the ‘<em>vajrakawacha</em>’ that can cure a host of diseases. Puran refuses the offer and even physically assaults Marfatia. Marfatia decides to take revenge for this humiliation. Meanwhile, Chikoo (Kriti Kharbanda), a surgeon from Surat, comes to Amritsar to study Ayurveda under Puran. Kala falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Marfatia slaps copyright case on Puran, alleging that he has the patent for ‘<em>vajrakawacha</em>’ and that Puran can’t use it in his clinic. Puran realizes that Marfatia has stolen the formula from him. Enter Jaywant Parmar (Dharmendra), Puran’s paying guest who has overstayed by years and pays a paltry Rs. 115 as monthly rent. Puran and Parmar don’t see eye-to-eye but when Puran gets into this legal tangle, Parmar, who’s an excellent lawyer, decides to help. What happens next forms the rest of the story. Dheeraj Rattan’s story is very poor and dated. A plot like this would have worked in the 90s or even in the past decade but not anymore. Dheeraj Rattan’s screenplay is the biggest culprit. A wafer-thin plot can be turned into a great film if the script is cracked properly. But sadly, he makes a mess. A few sequences are well thought of at the story level but at the script level, it goes kaput. For instance, Parmar’s dilly-dallying in the court in the finale could have made for a hilarious sequence. Same goes for Kala’s drunken rants at night, a la ‘Mausiji’ sequence of Dharmendra in SHOLAY [1975]. Alas, these scenes are badly written and hence, make no impact whatsoever. Bunty Rathore and Vankush Arora’s dialogues are also not worthy enough. Only a few one-liners leave a mark. Navaniat Singh’s direction is very ordinary. He didn’t add anything of his own and just executed a badly written script. YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA PHIR SE does arrest attention in the beginning when <em>sutradhar</em> Annu Kapoor gives an introduction about Ayurveda medicines and its importance followed by Puran’s introduction. However, things go downhill once Kala is introduced. This is supposed to be a comic caper but throughout the film, there are hardly any scenes that would induce even a mild guffaw. The entire bit on who stole the formula from Puran’s clinic is very predictable. Kala-Chikoo’s love story is nothing special. In the second half, one expects things to get better as the madness shifts to Surat. But even here, there is hardly any scene that would be enjoyed or would touch audiences. The climax is long-drawn and the manner in which Parmar tries to waste time of the court goes on and on and tests audience’s patience. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Even in a poor film like this, Sunny Deol shines. He genuinely gives his best shot and he is the only one who strikes a chord with the audiences. His scene at the airport, for instance, is touching, though again the impact is marred by poor writing. In the climax, he gets a raw deal. His action scene should have got more footage than the dragging courtroom sequence. Bobby Deol is strictly okay and goes overboard in many scenes. Dharmendra shockingly has a late entry and has very little to do in the first half. It’s praiseworthy that he’s acting even at this age. He too tries his best but is letdown by the script. Kriti Kharbanda looks beautiful and gives a first-rate performance. She constantly tries to rise above the script and make the scene better. Shatrughan Sinha (Judge Sunil Sinha) is a well thought character and could have taken the film to another level had the writing being superlative. He looks quite old but entertains nevertheless. Mohan Kapur is alright as the villain while Rajesh Sharma (Lawyer Bhatia) leaves a mark in the courtoom scenes. Asrani (Nanu) is disappointing. Satish Kaushik (Bedi) is wasted. In fact, he is forced in the narrative in the climax. His presence makes no sense at all at this point. Paresh Ganatra (Real estate broker Paresh Patel) is fine and same goes for Binnu Dhillon (Billa). Bharat Bhatia (Sainath; Gujarati neighbour who’s always suspicious) plays his part well. Others are okay. Salman Khan has a cameo in the finale and he looks disinterested. Music is also disappointing. <em>'Little Little' </em>and <em>'Nazarbattu'</em> have zero recall value. <em>'Rafta Rafta Medley'</em> is shown in the end credits. Raju Singh’s background score is loud and over the top. Jitan Harmeet Singh’s cinematography is nothing special. Rita Ghosh’s production design is theatrical. Vikram Dahiya’s action is quite nice. Manish More’s editing is okay. On the whole, YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA PHIR SE is marketed as a comic caper but there are hardly any scenes that would make one laugh. Disappointing

Movie Review: Stree

Thu, 30 Aug 18 16:50:24 +0000

Horror comedies can be quite fun if handled well. Last year, we saw how GOLMAAL AGAIN became a blockbuster as it amalgamated horror and comedy in equal and entertaining doses. Earlier this year however, the Abhay Deol starrer NANU KI JAANU also belonged to this genre but failed miserably. Now debutant director Amar Kaushik is ready with his own horror comedy, titled STREE. So does STREE follow the footsteps of GOLMAAL AGAIN and entertain audiences? Or does it fail to impress, a la NANU KI JAANU? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-890996 size-full" title="Movie Review: Stree" src="" alt="Movie Review: Stree" width="750" height="450" /> STREE is based on folklore and a myth that has found acceptance in several states across India. Set in the Madhya Pradesh town of Chanderi, it tells the story of a bride’s wandering spirit who roams the streets for four days during an annual pooja. She calls out to young, unsuspecting men, and if they turn back, she takes it as their acceptance to be with her. Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) is a gifted tailor in this town and he doesn’t believe in this myth. On the first day of pooja, a mysterious young girl (Shraddha Kapoor) approaches him to design her ghagra. She shows interest in him romantically and Vicky falls for him. Vicky tells his friends Jana (Abhishek Banerjee) and Bittu (Aparshakti Khurana) about his love interest. Jana is happy for Vicky but Bittu cautions Vicky to be careful of her. Trouble arises when Bittu analyses the situation and realises that Vicky's love interest might be none other than Stree. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Pawan Sony’s story is based on a true phenomenon. They make great use of the plot as it’s quite fresh and they add the necessary elements to make it better. Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s screenplay is very effective and entertaining. The film’s duration is just right at 128 minutes and it keeps the audiences engaged. Sumit Aroraa’s dialogues are hilarious and very witty. Few one liners are sure to bring the house down. Amar Kaushik’s direction is commendable, considering that this is his first film. He has handled the horror as well as dramatic scenes with panache. However for a horror comedy, the film gets a bit too spooky. Hence, it might be a bit too much for the family audiences. Secondly it seems he rushed through the ending. The build up is excellent but then he finishes it in a jiffy. Also the final scene will confuse a section of audiences and they might come out of the theatre in daze. STREE begins on a high and sets the eerie mood. Immediately then, the entry of Vicky, Bittu and Jana make things light hearted. The manner in which Vicky and the girl fall in love is sweet. However the horror sequences are also neatly inserted in between. The sequence where Narendra (Aakash Dabhade) gets taken away is quite scary. However the most chilling sequence of the first half is the pre-interval sequence. Post intermission, the oscillation between fun and horror continues well. But the interest drops a bit at this point. Also, the ending has its moments but it’s also underwhelming and confusing. Rajkummar Rao gets a chance to dabble in a new genre and he excels thoroughly. He genuinely gives an earnest performance and is a treat to see him getting spooked, delivering monologues and behaving madly in love. He is sure to bring the house down when he loses his cool in front of Jana and Stree. Also watch out for him in the second half sequence when he’s trying to analyse <em>Stree</em>. He’s terrific. Shraddha Kapoor delivers a fine performance and has a mysterious air about her as per the character's requirement. In the second half she gets better. Aparshakti Khurrana gives a great performance and he doesn’t get overboard. Same goes for Abhishek Banerjee. In fact he’s superb in the last one hour. Pankaj Tripathi is hardly there in the first half and he rocks big time in the second half. Vijay Raaz (Shastri) leaves a mark in the lone sequence. Flora Saini plays an important part with elan. Atul Srivastava (Vicky’s father) brings the house down in the scene where he talks to Rajkummar Rao about sex. Nora Fatehi is sizzling in the item number. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Sachin-Jigar’s music is entertaining. <em>'Darji'</em> is peppy while <em>'Milegi Milegi' </em>is the best of the lot but is played during the end credits. <em>'Kamariya'</em> is entertaining while <em>'Nazar Na Lag Jaaye' </em>is okay. <em>'Aao Kabhi Haveli Pe'</em> is relegated to the background. Ketan Sodha’s background score is excellent and enhances the eerie quotient significantly. However the sound quality at some places could have been better. Amalendu Chaudhary’s cinematography is ideal and sans any vague camerawork that certain horror films often have in Bollywood. He also has shot the locales of Chanderi beautifully. Madhusudhan’s production design is authentic. Manohar Verma and Gulzar Amin Khatib's action is nothing special. Prime Focus’ VFX is upto the mark. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is simple and works well. On the whole, STREE is a unique concoction of humour and horror that floors you completely. At the box office, this entertainer surely has a chance to tickle the audience’s funny bone, send a chill down their spine and ultimately give them a roller coaster experience. Impressive

Movie Review: Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

Thu, 23 Aug 18 18:47:53 +0000

Every year, we have had sleeper hits that come out of nowhere and turn out to be surprise successes. HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI was easily the dark horse of 2016. It released with minimal buzz and ended up doing decent business at the box office. Audiences loved the humour quotient a lot which helped the film sustain and even have a recall value two years later. The makers are now back with the sequel, HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI and promises to be better or as funny as the first part. So does it manage to live upto the expectations? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-887947" src="" alt="Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI is the story of mistaken identity that takes place in the neighbouring country of China. Harpreet Kaur aka Happy # 1 (Diana Penty) is accompanying her hubby Guddu (Ali Fazal) to Shanghai in China where the latter is invited to sing at an event. In the same flight, Harpreet Kaur aka Happy # 2 (Sonakshi Sinha) is also flying to Shanghai to find Aman Singh Wadhwa (Aparshakti Khurana) who was to marry her but ditched and flew to China on the wedding day. Happy # 2 mistakenly takes the cab that had come to pick up Happy # 1. It is learnt at this point that Guddu has been tricked into coming to China by Chang (Jason Tham). They want to kidnap Guddu and then force Happy # 1 to go to Pakistan, meet her friend Bilal (Abhay Deol) and compel his father to get into a business deal that he had promised to fulfill but had later cancelled. Sadly for Chang and his men, they got Happy # 2. With no other option, they are forced to kidnap Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) from India and inspector Usman Afridi (Piyush Mishra) from Pakistan and force them into finding Happy # 1 and take her to Pakistan. Happy # 2 meanwhile runs away from the clutches of Chang and bumps into Khushwant Singh Gill aka Khushi (Jassie Gill), a sardar who works at the Indian embassy. He decides to help Happy # 2. Usman and Bagga too manage to get free from Chang's hold and they team up with Khushi and Happy # 2. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Mudassar Aziz’s story is based on a wafer thin plot and doesn't have much logic in it but the humor makes up for it. Mudassar Aziz’s screenplay is engaging but one wishes he had done something about the loose ends. The scene where Usman gets horny on seeing the semi naked girls doesn’t really induce laughter. Mudassar Aziz’s dialogues are hilarious and witty. Dialogues had been the mainstay of the first part as well and in the sequel, they are funnier. At some places, it’ll pleasantly surprise you. For instance, the DANGAL reference is killer! Mudassar Aziz’s direction is simple and uncomplicated. He uses a bit of a non-linear style in the beginning and it works very well. In the midst of fun and laughter, he inserts the somewhat sad flashback sequence of Happy # 2 and yet it engages viewers. It’s also thanks to his direction that the glitches in the script get overpowered to a great extent. HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI doesn’t waste time and the story starts to move forward from the first scene itself. The misunderstanding owing to the name is neatly established. The real fun begins once Bagga and Usman enter the narrative. Their interactions are hilarious and take the film to another level. One of the funniest scenes is the madness that happens in Khushi's house when Chang arrives with Usman and Bagga. The flashback portion of Happy # 2 keeps the interest alive. The drama at the adult toy centre and the prison is not that funny but makes for an interesting watch. Also the film slips in the middle of the second half. But it picks up well in the pre climax. Watch out for the escalator sequence here; hilarious! The climax might be a bit underwhelming but has some funny moments. The film ends on a positive and 'Happy' note. All the actors do a very commendable job. But it’s Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra who take the cake. Jimmy Sheirgill is the soul of this series. By now he’s become a pro in playing roles of guys who don’t get the girl in the end. But he does it endearingly and it’s a treat to see that. Piyush Mishra comes next. He also contributes a lot to the funny quotient of the film. In the adult toy centre sequence, he is too good. Sonakshi Sinha delivers a very able performance. She completely looks the part and in some sequences, she dominates beautifully. Jassie Gill enters the series and even Bollywood with no expectations. However he turns out to be a nice surprise. Watch out for him in the scene where he starts blabbering nonsense while in shock. It’s sure to bring the house down! Diana Penty and Ali Fazal hardly have anything to do initially but give their best shot in the last 20 minutes. Jason Tham is an actor to watch out for. Denzil Smith (Adnan Chow) essays a novel and a never before seen character and is very impressive. Aparshakti Khurana leaves a mark but only in the second half. The actors playing Happy # 2’s father and sister are decent. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Sohail Sen’s music doesn’t work. The title song is the best of the lot. <em>'Swag Saha Nahi Jaye' </em>comes next. <em>'Kudiye Ni Tere' </em>is forced but stands out as it’s a rare song in today’s times sung by Udit Narayan. <em>'Koi Gal Nahi'</em> is a forgettable composition but incorporating two Chinese men singing a Hindi song is funny! <em>'Chin Chin Chu'</em> appears during the end credits. Sohail Sen's background score however is much better and suits the film's quirky mood. Sunil Patel’s cinematography is sans complaints. Aparna Raina and Sheena Saini’s production design is realistic. Divya – Nidhhi and Ipshita Bhatnagar’s costumes are authentic and appealing. Ninad Khanolkar’s editing is slick but gets a bit dragging in the second half. On the whole, HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI turns out to be a worthy sequel. Despite the loose ends, it manages to make audiences laugh thanks to its funny dialogues and situations, clean humour and bravura performances. At the box office, it will turn out to be a decent fare

Movie Review: Genius

Thu, 23 Aug 18 17:47:41 +0000

We often come across reports of whiz kids who prove to be much smarter and intelligent than others their age. Anil Sharma’s GENIUS attempts to tell the story of not just one, but two such geniuses and what happens when they have a face off. So does GENIUS turn out to be as entertaining and exciting as some of the previous entertainers of Anil Sharma? Or does it prove to be a disappointment? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-887942" src="" alt="Genius Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> GENIUS is the story of two genius minds. Vasudev Shastri (Utkarsh Sharma) is an orphan from Mathura. His mind works faster than a computer. He not just knows his Sanskrit <em>shlokas</em> but also his algebra theorems and scientific formulas by heart. He goes to study at IIT Roorkee where he falls for Nandini (Ishita Chauhan). The RAW finds out about Vasudev and his intelligence and invites him to join the wing even before completing his course. Nandini however doesn’t reciprocate to his love. Vasudev gets depressed and one day he comes to the rescue of RAW when their servers get hacked. Vasudev then once again gets an offer to join RAW and this time he agrees. While investigating the hack and a fire in an ammunition godown in Ambala, Vasudev realises that the mastermind is the evil and mysterious MRS (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). How Vasudev tries to defeat this fellow genius forms the rest of the film. Anil Sharma’s story is weak and flawed. Anil Sharma, Sunil Sirvaiya and Amjad Ali’s screenplay has loose ends and is scattered everywhere. The idea of having a non-linear narrative in the first half doesn’t work. Anil Sharma, Sunil Sirvaiya and Amjad Ali’s dialogues are over the top and preachy. Some of them are absolute trash and it won’t be surprising if a fun listicle is made on them. Anil Sharma’s direction is dated and it looks like he’s stuck in the 90s, or even in the 80s. The way the songs are forced into the story and the manner in which few sequences are lifted from Hollywood films like the Batman series is shocking and is reminiscent of the bygone era. GENIUS has a non-linear narrative and it makes no sense why it was done. In the first 10 minutes, viewers get a fair idea about what has happened. One expects the makers to rush through these developments. But instead they take their own sweet time to unravel the story. The entire idea of genius bit is hammered needlessly. Everyone is shown to be in awe of Vasudev's genius side, constantly praising him for just any random reason. He’s also shown as someone who plans not just ten, but thousand steps ahead. This could have been interesting but sadly, it seems laughable. In fact it is shocking how the script got approved in the first place. The first half is longer with the romantic portions being bland. And not just the love story, even the revenge saga fails to impress. Utkarsh Sharma is terribly miscast for the role. He’s extremely raw and has a long way to go. He looks like a college kid and hence throughout the film, it becomes difficult to imagine him as a RAW agent or even as an IIT student. He also needs to work on his expressions. Ishita Chauhan also fails to give a decent performance. In the initial sequences, she has just one expression on her face. Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes an entry only minutes before the intermission. He saves the film with his excellent performance. Watch out for his dance in <em>'Pyar De Pyar Le'</em>! Mithun Chakraborty (Jaishankar Prasad) is decent. Abhimanyu Singh (Pravin Joshi) is wasted. Same goes for K K Raina (Mr Das) and Ayesha Jhulka (Nandini's mother). Malti Chehar (Rubina Sheikh) and Dev Gil are hardly memorable. Himesh Reshammiya’s music is peppy and soulful. It’s unfortunate that such nice songs are used in such a terrible film. <em>'Tera Fitoor'</em>, <em>'Dil Meri Na Sune' </em>and <em>'Tujhse Kahan Juda Hoon Main' </em>are melodious. <em>'Holi Biraj Ma' </em>is very catchy and <em>'Pyar Le Pyar De'</em> is entertaining. Monty Sharma’s background score is exhilarating and dramatic. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Najeeb Khan’s cinematography is nothing special. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action goes a bit overboard at places but otherwise it’s entertaining. The VFX however is very tacky. Bijon Das Gupta’s production design makes the film looks very rich. Ashfaque Makrani’s editing is haphazard. On the whole, GENIUS is an extremely poor and senseless fare. At the box office, it will be rejected outright by the audience. Watching this film is surely not a genius idea. Avoid

Movie Review: Gold

Tue, 14 Aug 18 11:39:36 +0000

In the beginning of 2016, an Akshay Kumar starrer, AIRLIFT, opened our eyes about an incredible rescue mission carried out by an Indian and shockingly, very few knew about it. It made people realize that there are many such episodes that have been lost in the pages of history. The fact that these stories are not popularly known coupled with the heroism attached to it make it ideal for it to be captured on celluloid. 2 ½ years after AIRLIFT, Akshay is back with another real-life story with GOLD and this time the genre is sports drama. So does GOLD manage to entertain and move viewers like some of the previous well-made sports biopics? Or does it fail in its endeavour? <img class="aligncenter wp-image-884106 size-full" title="Movie Review: Gold" src="" alt="Movie Review: Gold" width="750" height="450" /> GOLD is a story of India’s first big win in an international sports tournament after attaining independence. Tapan Das (Akshay Kumar) is the junior manager during the 1936 Berlin Olympics for the British Indian hockey team. British India defeated Germany quite easily and won the gold medal. Since India then was still under the British rule, the British national anthem was played at the end of the match. Tapan feels humiliated and he vows to help a free India win the Olympics and then stand proudly as Jana Gana Mana will be played. Sadly the World War 2 begins soon enough and the 1940 and 1944 editions of the Olympics get cancelled. In 1945, the war ends and in 1946, it is announced that the 1948 Olympics will take place in London. The independence of India is also near. Tapan by now has become an alcoholic and owes a lot of money to many. He has been ousted from the Hockey Federation. But the announcement of the 1948 Olympics excites him. He manages to convince the Federation board that he’ll move heaven and earth and get the best team for India and a gold for India eventually. Thus begins his search. The captain of the 1936 Olympics, Samrat (Kunal Kapoor) refuses to come on board but he recommends Tapan that Imtiaz Shah (Vineet Kumar Singh) should be made the in charge. Tapan then tours around the country and finds gems like Himmat Singh (Sunny Kaushal) and Raghubir Pratap Singh (Amit Sadh). All is going fine until the Partition is announced. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Reema Kagti and Rajesh Devraj’s story is surely something that deserves to be told. Of course, it has been dramatized and slightly fictionalized but it’s done well. Reema Kagti’s screenplay is topnotch and she keeps viewers captivated. However a few sequences could have been shorter and crisper. Also a few scenes give a heavy déjà vu of CHAK DE INDIA [2007]. Reema Kagti’s dialogues are sharp and acidic and give the right punch. Reema Kagti’s direction is neat and uncomplicated. The match scenes are very nicely presented but at a few places, some of the cliches could have been avoided. But it’s praiseworthy how she took the film on a high in the finale. The national anthem scene would surely move viewers and it doesn’t seem forced. The patriotic fervor comes out perfectly! GOLD has a terrific commencement. The 1936 Olympics finale is very well shot and the pain of standing for a foreign national anthem comes out very well. The opening credits don’t make the desired impact but the film gets on track once Tapan starts getting the players. The entire bit of Raghubir Pratap Singh stripping after seeing an impoverished person is lovely. However the best sequence of the first half is the Partition sequence involving Imtiaz. Heartbreaking! Post interval, the Kanheri Caves sequence involving a mute priest is great and will bring the house down. Another sequence worth mentioning is Samrat compelling the players to pick up bricks to teach them a lesson in unity. The film however also gets a bit long and a song or two could have been done away with. But the climax makes up for it. The tension and drama in the last twenty minutes would surely keep you hooked. Akshay Kumar might not be playing hockey in the film (save for one brief sequence) but he rocks the show. One can feel his passion and pain when he goes about convincing people that how important it is for India to win the gold. Even his comic timing is spot on, as always. Mouni Roy (Monobina) has an excellent screen presence and lights up few sequences. Unfortunately her role is limited.  Kunal Kapoor looks every inch a star player and it would have been great if he had more screen time. Amit Sadh gives a brilliant performance and gets to play a very interesting character. Sunny Kaushal is the surprise of the film. His track is very touching and he’s sure to win hearts! His outburst in the pre climax is too good. Vineet Kumar Singh also wins hearts. His performance as expected shines and he gets to play a very memorable character. His track and the way India-Pakistan aren’t shown as rivals as it usually happens is a beautiful aspect of the film! Nikita Dutta (Himmat's girlfriend) is cute and does fine. The actors playing Mr. Mehta and Mr. Wadia are decent. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> The songs are melodious and peppy but few of them are forced. <em>‘Naino Ne Baandhi’ </em>works as it’s nicely shot. <em>‘Chad Gayi Hai’</em> is forced and looks very much like <em>'Monobina'</em> played earlier. <em>‘Ghar Layenge Gold’</em> and <em>‘Khel Khel Mein’ </em>are okay. Sachin-Jigar’s background score however is in sync with the film’s moods and even elevates impact. Alvaro Guierrez’s cinematography is quite appropriate and helps a lot in simplifying the hockey scenes. Paul Rowan and Shailaja Sharma’s production design is outstanding and the duo recreates the bygone era authentically. But the VFX in the match scenes is bad, especially the spectators bit. Payal Saluja’s costumes are also quite realistic. Aimee Mcdaniel is the sports coordinator and he also deserves praise for his work. Anand Subaya’s editing is great, especially in the match scenes. On the whole, GOLD is a brilliant, touching saga that would surely entertain viewers and make them hoot for the retro men in blue. At the box office, it is sure to strike Gold! Highly recommended

Movie Review: Satyameva Jayate

Tue, 14 Aug 18 04:42:40 +0000

We all have seen corruption and apathy in the government and police force etc. from close quarters at some point in our lives. Most of the times, we have not protested and merely given up since the thought of taking on the system is just too much. But imagine if you could teach these corrupt officials a lesson. Milap Milan Zaveri’s SATYAMEVA JAYATE promises you to get into that space and give you a kick in seeing baddies facing a crushing defeat from an aam aadmi, as evident from the trailers. So does SATYAMEVA JAYATE turn out to be as action-packed, massy and satisfying as expected? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-883951 size-full" title="Movie Review: Satyameva Jayate" src="" alt="Movie Review: Satyameva Jayate" width="750" height="450" /> SATYAMEVA JAYATE is the story of a vigilante on a killing spree for a personal reason. Veer (John Abraham) is an acclaimed artist who has taken up a mission to kill corrupt cops. His first target is Sadashiv Patil (Abhishek Khandekar). He sets him on fire alive and then sends his ashes to his police station in Santacruz, Mumbai. In no time, he bumps off Inspector Irrfan Qadri (Shaikh Sami Usman) from Andheri Police Station in the same manner. DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) is given the charge of this case by the Commissioner (Manish Chaudhary). Veer meanwhile meets Shikha (Aisha Sharma) at a beach clean-up drive and both fall for each other. Meanwhile, Veer challenges Shivansh to stop him from killing his next target. Shivansh fails and Veer manages to eliminate Inspector Damle (Ganesh Yadav) of Thane Police Station. Shivansh is shaken by Veer’s audacity and his fearlessness and he goes on an overdrive in trying to know who his next target would be. Finally, Shivansh cracks the modus operandi of Veer. Shivansh realizes that Inspector Bhonsle (Rajesh Khera) from Yari Road police station is the next one in line. Shivansh lays a trap and is all set to catch Veer. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Milap Milan Zaveri's story is simplistic, massy and something that the masses would applaud. Milap Milan Zaveri's screenplay is also on the same lines but it gets repetitive. There’s no novelty value left after a point with regards to the killing of the cops. Also it’s a bit flawed. For instance, Veer giving all the clues through his painting was a bit too convenient. The climax is a bit confusing especially actions of Shikha. Milap Milan Zaveri's dialogues however are completely <em>paisa vasool</em> and would be greeted with <em>seetis</em> and <em>taalis</em>! Milap Milan Zaveri's direction reminds one of the 90s action dramas. Although it works in most parts, at some places the film begins to give a dated feel. In the second half, he could have executed the killing sequences differently as that would have enhanced interest. Moreover, the film gets a bit stretched towards the finale and perhaps, he could have avoided this aspect too. SATYAMEVA JAYATE begins with a <em>dhamaka</em> and the excitement keeps going. The entry of DCP Shivansh in the narrative adds to the fun. Veer’s first ever call to Shivansh is quite a dramatic sequence. The manner in which the three cops are eliminated are also quite interesting and viewers would surely root for these sequences. But the best sequence of the first half is the <em>‘namaaz’</em> sequence. Single screen audiences would go crazy at this point. The intermission point comes as a bolt from the blue. Post-intermission, the hospital sequence stands out. But then the film drops as it becomes too overdramatic and repetitive. Even the finale would be received with mixed reactions. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> John Abraham delivers a fabulous, nuanced performance. John is known for his action avatar majorly and his role in SATYAMEVA JAYATE is definitely the best as compared to other such flicks of recent times like FORCE 2, ROCKY HANDSOME and DISHOOM. Watch out for the way he dons a cunning act in the hospital sequence. Manoj Bajpayee provides able support and enhances impact in some scenes. His confrontation with Veer at various points is too good. Aisha Sharma makes a confident debut but sadly doesn’t have much to do in the film. Amruta Khanvilkar (Sarita) is completely wasted and that’s unfortunate considering that she just gave a memorable performance in RAAZI. Manish Chaudhary is fine but hams a lot in the climax. Rajesh Khera leaves the maximum impact out of the police officers. Ganesh Yadav comes next. Abhishek Khandekar, Shaikh Sami Usman and Ankur Sharma (Inspector Mohan Shrivastav) are okay. Chetan Pandit (Inspector Shiv Rathod) leaves a mark. Archita Agarwal (Muslim girl harassed by cop) has a good screen presence. Nora Fatehi looks and dances like a dream and is quite sizzling. The songs don’t have much purpose in the film. <em>'Dilbar'</em> is the best of the lot and this chartbuster is very well picturised. <em>'Paniyon Sa'</em> doesn’t register an impact while <em>'Tajdar-E-Haram'</em> is relegated to the background. Sanjoy Chowdhury's background score is dramatic and exhilarating. Nigam Bomzan's cinematography is decent while Priya Suhas' production design is a bit poor but works well for this film as it’s based in a realistic setting. Amin Khatib and Ravi Verma's action is the highpoint of the film. It’s not too gory but at the same time feels quite raw and real. Maahir Zaveri's editing should have been crisper. On the whole, SATYAMEVA JAYATE is a powerful and gripping drama that leaves an impact as it resonates with the problems of the common man. It is sure to work big time in the single screens where the various scenes are bound to induce claps and whistles. This one is for the masses

Movie Review: Vishwaroop II

Fri, 10 Aug 18 04:46:44 +0000

Terrorism is a global menace and its impact is felt more in the world now than ever before. Kamal Haasan tackled this issue head-on with VISHWAROOP [2013] and tried to give the film a nice, novel touch and matched it with international standards in terms of scale and grandeur. The veteran multi-talented performer is now back with the sequel, VISHWAROOP II. So does it manage to entertain viewers as much as the first part or does it fail? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-882333 size-full" title="Movie Review: Vishwaroop II" src="" alt="Movie Review: Vishwaroop II" width="750" height="450" /> VISHWAROOP II continues from where the first film ended. After the plan of Al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Qureshi (Rahul Bose) to attack New York City is disrupted by RAW Agent Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri aka Vishwanathan aka Vis (Kamal Haasan), the former and his aide Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat) escape. Wisam's wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) slowly begins to accept the fact that her hubby is a dashing secret agent and not an effeminate dancer that she loathed. Wisam, Nirupama, Wisam’s protégé Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah) and Wisam’s boss Colonel Jagannath (Shekhar Kapur) then head to United Kingdom where they get ambushed and they suspect that it’s the handiwork of the expat Rajesh Mehta (Ananth Narayan Mahadevan). Soon Wisam discovers that Omar has planned to explode the bombs situated under water since the time of World War 2 and thereby destroy the city of London. He also finds out about another shocking terror attack planned by Omar in Delhi. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Kamal Haasan’s story has some promise and it could have made for a nice, espionage action thriller. But Kamal Haasan’s screenplay is very weak and disjointed. The sequences are not stitched together well. There are some individualistic scenes involving Wisam and Nirupama and even Wisam and his mother (Waheeda Rehman) that stand out. But these scenes have no connection as such to the main plot and that’s not good for a film that’s actually an action entertainer. Atul Tiwari’s dialogues are simple and aren’t memorable. Kamal Haasan’s direction is very poor and he completely lost the opportunity of taking this franchise forward nicely. The film doesn’t involve or move viewers at all and there are too many tracks running simultaneously and none of them leave an impact. What works are the few scenes that are helmed well like Ashmita and Wisam finding the bug in the room in UK, the action sequence in the beginning, the underwater action madness and Wisam’s heroic entry in the finale. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> VISHWAROOP II’s opening credits are splendid and you expect the fireworks to begin right from the first scene and continue till the end. There’s an intense action scene in the first 15 minutes itself when the car topples after being attacked by a terrorist. From here on, the film goes downhill. The film then depicts some portions of VISHWAROOP (when Wisam goes undercover in a terror camp) in a fast-forward manner and at the same time, some extended sequences are also added. The manner in which it’s done is very bland and disinteresting. Also, VISHWAROOP doesn’t have a recall value and the first half wasn’t a critical or commercial success. Moreover, it had come 5 ½ years ago. As a result, most of the moviegoers will have no clue of the events that unfolded in part 1. But Kamal Haasan and team assume that viewers very well remember what all happened in VISHWAROOP. Even after the recap portions get over and the film comes back to present day, nothing much happens in the story. The intermission point is random but in the second half, a new chapter begins with no connection as such to the underwater sequence that happened before the interval. This bit too takes a lot of time to come to the main point and once it does, it is very abruptly and hurriedly done. As for acting, Kamal Haasan is decent and tries to give his best shot. But due to faulty writing and execution, his performance gets affected. Also, some of his dialogues are difficult to decipher. Rahul Bose has a very short role this time since the film goes off track and hence he gets limited scope. He hams all the way like never before. See it to believe it! Pooja Kumar makes her presence felt more in the sequel and gives a fine performance. Also she adds the required sizzle in few scenes. Andrea Jeremiah too has a better fleshed out role and she’s confident. Shekhar Kapur is dependable. Ananth Narayan Mahadevan is memorable but his track doesn’t serve much of a purpose and it was flawed. Jaideep Ahlawat gets some scope only towards the end. Waheeda Rehman is endearing but again, her track is just forced in the film. Yusuf Hussain is okay while Rajendra Gupta is disappointing and it was frustrating to see how he kept on hammering the importance of ‘collateral damage’. M Ghibran’s music is completely forgettable. None of the songs – be it the title song or <em>'Ishq Kiya Toh'</em> or <em>'Tu Srotu Hai'</em> - are good enough. But the background score is quite dramatic. Shamdat and Sanu John Varghese’s cinematography is eye-catching. Stefan Richter, Parvez Feroz, T Ramesh's action is too gory and bloody and would surely put off a section of audiences. Lalgudi N Ilayaraja’s art direction is authentic. Mahesh Narayanan and Vijay Sankar’s editing is nothing great. On the whole, VISHWAROOP II is a highly avoidable flick. The film has too many tracks and the narration and execution is flawed and weak. Also at the box office, the film will have a tough time

Movie Review: Fanney Khan

Fri, 03 Aug 18 04:12:34 +0000

It’s often said that not just talent, but luck is also required to fulfil your dreams of making it big in showbiz. As a result, those with oodles of talent but little luck find it tough to survive in this field. But many of these individuals don’t stop dreaming with the hope that one day luck will favour them. Atul Manjrekar’s directorial debut FANNEY KHAN talks about these relatable aspects and promises some touching as well as hilarious moments. So does FANNEY KHAN succeed in giving the audiences a great time? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-878957" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> FANNEY KHAN is the story of a father going to desperate lengths to ensure his daughter becomes a star. Prashant Sharma aka Fanney Khan (Anil Kapoor) was a local orchestra singer in Mumbai who has to give up his singing dreams when his daughter Lata (Pihu Sand) is born. Lata is now approaching her 20s and Fanney is now working in a factory. Lata is a huge fan of sensational singer Baby Singh (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) and aspires to be like her. But her attempts to participate in singing competitions lead to humiliation, more so because of her weight. Fanney wants to save money and cut an album for her. However, his earnings are quite meagre. And one day his world comes crashing down after the factory he works in suddenly closes down. Fanney thankfully starts working as a taxi driver. One day he gets none other than Baby Singh as his passenger. Instead of dropping her at her location, he puts her to sleep by lacing her water with sleeping pills. He then takes her to the factory where he worked, which is now abandoned. With the help of his colleague Adhir (Rajkummar Rao), he officially kidnaps her and also calls Baby's manager Kakkad (Girish Kulkarni) and informs him about the abduction. However, he doesn’t ask for money as ransom. What happens next forms the rest of the film. FANNEY KHAN is an official remake of the Belgian film IEDEREEN BEROEMD aka EVERYBODY’S FAMOUS [2000]. While the original film was shorter and had dark comedy, thereby maximizing impact, FANNEY KHAN on the other hand moves at its own pace and is too melodramatic. While this may work for some, others might find it unconvincing. Atul Manjrekar, Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal’s screenplay is lackluster at places but scores at a few places. Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal, Jasmeet K Reen and Athar Nawaz’s dialogues are simple but quite funny in some scenes. Atul Manjrekar’s direction could have been better and that in turn would have made the film better. There’s no doubt that he handled some scenes exceptionally well. However, at many places, he loses the plot. The storyline is quite illogical in the first place and it needed an expert hand to ensure the film works logically. Unfortunately, Atul partly fails in his endeavour. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> FANNEY KHAN has a decent commencement and sets the mood of the film. The introduction of characters however is not that impressive. The track of Adhir and Jinal (Swati Semwal) however is interesting. The film picks up thankfully once the kidnapping takes place. The manner in which Fanney Khan and Adhir make futile attempts to scare Baby Singh makes for a great watch. In the second half, the film drops again and hooks viewers only towards the end. The climax would be loved by a section of viewers as its quite moving. But some might find it too illogical. The performances however are too good, thereby helping the film. Anil Kapoor is in a great form and is the soul of the movie. The emotional scenes work thanks to him. One can feel his pain and one can’t help but hoot for him even when one knows that what he did isn’t right. Rajkummar Rao genuinely puts his best foot forward and is endearing. He raises laughs in the kidnapping scene. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks like a million bucks and adds a lot to the film with her supporting role. Pihu Sand seems a bit irritating at places but she makes up for it with her touching performance in the climax. Divya Dutta (Kavita) is dependable as always. Girish Kulkarni as usual plays the negative part quite well. Satish Kaushik (Kadar bhai) has an interesting part but is wasted. Barbie Rajput (Rhea), Swati Semwal and Asif Basra are decent. The songs are appropriate for the sequences in which they appear but could have better since the film is essentially a musical. <em>‘Achche Din’</em> is the best of the lot. <em>‘Tere Jaisa Tu Hai’</em> comes next and it comes at a crucial juncture. <em>‘Mohabbat’</em> serves as a fair introduction for Aishwarya. <em>‘Fu Bai Fu’</em> has interesting lyrics. <em>‘Halka Halka’</em> is the most unconvincing portion of the film as it shows a prominent singer, whose kidnapping has shaken the entire nation, roaming around freely! Tubby - Parik’s background score goes well with the various moods of the film. S Tirru’s cinematography is quite effective. Ajay Vipin’s production design however is nothing great although it works in the house scenes of Fanney Khan. Monisha R Baldawa’s editing is passable. Eka Lakhani and Manish Malhotra’s costumes are appealing, especially the ones worn by Aishwarya. On the whole, FANNEY KHAN is laced with illogical plot and a lot of loose ends. But the emotional and funny moments coupled with some fine performances ensure that the film turns out to be a decent, entertaining fare

Movie Review: Karwaan

Thu, 02 Aug 18 09:30:19 +0000

Road trip films have their own charm and some of the most memorable films in the West belong to this genre. Even Bollywood has excelled in this genre with films like PIKU [2015], QARIB QARIB SINGLLE [2017], ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA [2011], HIGHWAY [2014], JAB WE MET [2007], YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI [2013] etc. Irrfan Khan, surprisingly, has appeared in two such films in recent times – PIKU and QARIB QARIB SINGLLE. And now he’s all set to complete his travel trilogy with KARWAAN, which is the Bollywood debut of South star Dulquer Salmaan and the first leading role for internet sensation and Marathi actor Mithila Palkar. So does KARWAAN manage to entertain and motivate like other films in this genre? Or does it disappoint? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-877921 size-full" title="Movie Review: Karwaan" src="" alt="Movie Review: Karwaan" width="750" height="450" /> KARWAAN is the story of three diametrically opposite individuals on a journey together. Avinash Rajpurohit (Dulquer Salmaan) works in an IT company in Bengaluru and is frustrated with his job. One day he gets a call that his father Prakash Rajpurohit (Akash Khurana) has died in a bus accident while he was on his way to Gangotri. The travel company arranges for his father’s mortal remains to be sent to Avinash in Bengaluru. Avinash had a troubled relationship with his father as the latter compelled him to give up his dreams of becoming a photographer. As a result, he’s not quite affected with his demise. Avinash asks his friend Shaukat (Irrfan Khan), who runs a garage, to provide him with a van so that he can carry the mortal remains from the airport to the crematorium. Avinash picks up the body and reaches the crematorium, where he realizes that he is given the mortal remains of a woman (Beena). The woman turns out to be a victim who also died in the same bus accident and her family resides in Kochi, who in a terrible mix up, were provided with Prakash’s remains. Avinash hence decides to take advantage of the long weekend and take the woman’s remains to Kochi and exchange it with his father’s. Shaukat also joins in. On the way, the dead woman’s daughter Tahira (Amala Akkineni) makes a SOS call to Avinash and requests if he can pick up her daughter Tanya (Mithila Palkar) who studies in Ooty and is incommunicado. Shaukat has reservations with this idea but Avinash doesn’t listen. He reaches Ooty, picks up Tanya and then they head to Kochi. Unknown to them, a group of small-time goons are also following the trio. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Bejoy Nambiar’s story is promising and could have made for a great script. But Akarsh Khurana and Adhir Bhat’s screenplay fails to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. The film moves at a snail’s pace and many developments don’t happen organically. Also, the entire track of Avinash’s father forcing him to give up photography is something that’s been done to death in our films, most notable and recent example being TAMASHA [2015]. Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are funny and witty, yet worded simply. The ones mouthed by Irrfan Khan stand out. Akarsh Khurana’s direction is weak and he also lets go of the opportunity of turning a somewhat flawed script into a good film with his execution. One doesn’t feel much for the characters due to the way the narrative pans out. Except for the part where Shaukat speaks about his father, no other scene moves viewers, not even the monologue of Tahira and Avinash. Also, the predictability sets in since one knows that the road trip films usually end with the characters getting transformed ultimately. Hence, despite the scene of Avinash in the end with his boss being a good one, it doesn’t make the desired impact as the audiences already see it coming. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> KARWAAN begins well and the frustration of being a part of a profession that doesn’t suit Avinash is well depicted in the initial scenes. One expects things to get better once the road trip begins. And it does get better but not to a great extent. The film drags and a lot of humour and situations seem forced. The character of Tanya is half-baked and the writers should have etched this part in a better way. The intermission point is funny and again, the hopes rise for a better second half. Alas, that doesn’t happen and the film remains flat in the last hour as well. Even the climax lacks punch. In fact, the Indian audiences might have strong reservations in the manner in which Tahira and Tanya organize a feast, play cricket and make merry as if nothing untoward has happened in their lives, just hours after the funeral. On the positive side, the film has some funny moments that succeed in raising laughs. The best part in this regard is that track of the <em>shehnai wallah</em> (Habib Azmi). It’s sure to bring the house down! Irrfan Khan delivers a decent performance and contributes to the laughter quotient, but only at places. Almost all his dialogues are worded to create an effect and the endeavor fails. Compare this with Irrfan’s previous travel films – QARIB QARIB SINGLLE and PIKU – where the humour flowed organically. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here. But he surely dominates the film and gives the most memorable performance out of all actors. Dulquer Salmaan makes a confident debut. He understands his part well and watch out how he carefully ensures he doesn’t go overboard. This aspect would surely be loved. Mithila Palkar is strictly average. Her character lacked depth and even performance wise, she could have brought out various shades which would have enhanced the impact. Alas, her performance looks a bit monotonous. Amala Akkineni is genuine. Akash Khurana is good as the autocratic father. Kriti Kharbanda (Rumana) is quite lovely in the special appearance, but again, her track fails to add much to the film. Donna Munshi (Tasneem) has a striking face and does very well. Habib Azmi gives a fine performance. Beena is alright. The actors playing the cargo office staffer, Avinash’s boss, Rumana’s husband, new employee at Avinash’s office and Nambiar are good. Music goes well with the narrative but isn’t something that would have a long shelf life. ‘<em>Chota Sa Fasana’</em> is the best of the lot and is like a theme of the film. <em>‘Heartquake’</em> comes next and works due to its quirky lyrics and situation. <em>‘Saansein’</em> is also fair and the rest are forgettable. Anurag Saikia’s background score is good but could have been a bit more subtle. Avinash Arun’s cinematography is breathtaking and captures the locales so well that one feels that one is actually a part of the ‘Karwaan’. The lensman had earlier shown his magic in MASAAN [2015] and DRISHYAM [2015] and directed the acclaimed Marathi film KILLA [2015] and he ensures that he keeps his credibility intact. Tiya Tejpal’s production design is passable. Three locations – the house of Rumana, Tahira and Nambiars – all seemed to be shot at one location. Ajay Sharma’s editing is too slow and could have been slick. Also, the manner in which the flashback of Prakash Rajpurohit would suddenly pop up seemed unconvincing. Jaya Taurani’s costumes are fine. On the whole, KARWAAN is a good opportunity gone waste. Irrfan Khan is the biggest draw of this film but the audiences might be dejected to not see him in his full glory. At the box office, the film is going to struggle to stay afloat

Movie Review: Mulk

Thu, 02 Aug 18 03:57:12 +0000

One of the most burning issues of the country and also the world, since a long time, is the perception of Muslims in society. In India, the extremely traumatic memories of Partition of 1947 compounded the Hindu-Muslim divide. As time passed, the differences reduced significantly but it still exists. Anubhav Sinha’s MULK attempts to talk speak about this aspect and promises an intense, hard-hitting time to the viewers. So does Anubhav Sinha treat this sensitive topic well? Or does it fail to make any impact? Let’s analyse <img class="aligncenter wp-image-878300 size-full" title="Movie Review: Mulk" src="" alt="Movie Review: Mulk" width="750" height="450" /> MULK is the story of a family facing extreme crisis when one of their own is accused of being a terrorist. Murad Ali Mohammed (Rishi Kapoor) is a respected lawyer in Varanasi and he lives there in an almost century old building with wife Badi Tabassum (Neena Gupta), brother Bilal (Manoj Pahwa), Bilal's wife Choti Tabassum (Prachee Shah Paandya), Bilal’s daughter Aayat (Vartika Singh) and Bilal's son Shahid (Prateik Babbar). The Mohammeds are planning a grand party on the occasion of Murad Ali's 65<sup>th</sup> birthday. His daughter in law Aarti (Taapsee Pannu), married to his son Aftab (Indraneil Sengupta) comes from London and surprises them. On the same day as Murad Ali's birthday, Shahid leaves at night under the pretext of watching a cricket match at Kanpur. Unknown to the family, he has been brainwashed and he carries out a bomb blast in Allahabad, killing 16 people. Shahid is spotted in the CCTV footage and a hunt begins for him. He’s finally found and is eliminated by officer Danish Javed (Rajat Kapoor). For the Mohammed family, the world comes crashing down. Bilal is accused of helping out Shahid with the terror attack and is arrested. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Anubhav Sinha’s story is excellent and the need of the hour. There are a lot of characters and each of them is well written. Anubhav Sinha’s screenplay is highly effective as it keeps the audiences captivated from start to finish. He understands that he has a sensitive topic in hand and treats it very well. He takes up both sides of the issue and that’s very praiseworthy. Anubhav Sinha’s dialogues are hard hitting and acidic. The dialogues mouthed by Santosh (Ashutosh Rana) might squirm viewers but it was needed to make the impact. Anubhav Sinha’s direction is very good and he is in control of the written material. He has often been criticized for not executing his films well, be it DUS [2005], CASH [2007] or RA.ONE [2011]. But in MULK, he seems in seems in top form. Only blemish is that the film seems too long and it drops in between in the second half. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> MULK impresses viewers from the introduction itself. After acquainting them with the Mohammed family and the characteristics of each of them, it slowly indicates that Shahid is not what he seems to be. The sequence where Shahid is encountered is quite thrilling. But the scene in the first half that stands out is when Murad Ali refuses to accept Shahid’s mortal remains. It’s moving to see how he and his family gets branded as terrorists by those who knew him since years. In the second half, the film gets better as the courtroom drama goes on a high. At some places however the pace drops. But the film picks up when Aarti interrogates Murad Ali and asks him some tough questions. Note that this sequence might remind viewers about PINK [2006] which had a similar sequence of Amitabh Bachchan forcing Taapsee Pannu to speak up to prove a point. The closing arguments of Aarti are also terrific and surprisingly, even the monologue of the judge (Kumud Mishra) is remarkable and would induce claps from audiences! Rishi Kapoor delivers a bravura performance, and stands amongst his finest in his long, glorious career. Viewers are bound to move by his plight and helplessness and the way he was obligated to prove his nationalism simply because of his religion. His monologue in the pre climax is very memorable. Taapsee Pannu is quite nice in the first half and in the beginning of the second half, she’s a silent spectator to the goings on. But as soon as she takes up the case, she surprises viewers with her glorious performance. It’s thanks to her that the climax goes on dizzying heights.  Manoj Pahwa is the next best in line. He’s always been a fine actor but sadly never got his due. With MULK, he’s surely going to be talked about a lot! Prateik Babbar is terrific in a small role. Ashutosh Rana gets into the skin of the character and is quite good as the villainous, communal minded advocate. Rajat Kapoor looks every inch a no nonsense officer and performance wise, he’s dependable. Kumud Mishra is subtle yet impressive. Neena Gupta and Prachee Shah Paandya are decent but get scope only in the first half. Vartika Singh, Ashrut Jain (Rashid) and Indraneil Sengupta are fine. Others do well. Songs aren’t required in this film. Only <em>‘Thenge Se’ </em>stands out. Mangesh Dhadke’s background score is dramatic and enhances tension. Ewan Mulligan’s cinematography is fairly decent. Nikhil Kovale’s art direction is quite earthy and real. Yasmin Rogers's make up and Preetisheel Singh's prosthetics are excellent, especially in case of Rishi Kapoor. Riyaz – Habib’s action is straight out of life, in the lone action scene. Ballu Saluja’s editing could have been crisper and better. Few scenes ended and began abruptly and this could have been avoided. On the whole, MULK is a hard hitting and exhilarating saga that effectively talks about some of the burning issues of our country. At the box office, it has the potential to grow thanks to the positive word of mouth and thereby emerge as the dark horse of the year! Recommended

Movie Review: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3

Thu, 26 Jul 18 17:34:33 +0000

SAHEB BIWI AUR GANSTER [2011] arrived sans any noise and it turned out to be a surprise success at the box office. Encouraged by the response, the makers came up with the sequel – SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS [2013]. The first part had a great combination of sex and thrill while the sequel hardly had any sizzling scenes. Now the makers are all set to unveil SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 and it marks the return of the sizzle in the franchise. What’s more, this time, Sanjay Dutt plays the dashing gangster while Chitrangda Singh is also added to the cast. So does SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 manage to be as good as its predecessors? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-875738" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 begins where part 2 ended and twisted games that continue between the Saheb and the Biwi. Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill) is still in prison and is desperate to get out, settle scores and take back his lost power. His seductress wife Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill) is now an MLA and using all the tricks of the trade to get what she wants. Aditya hatches a clever plan and comes out on bail. Madhavi realizes that with the Saheb a free bird, she would once again be compelled to remain caged behind closed doors. She searches her way out and in the process bumps into the Gangster, Udai Pratap Singh (Sanjay Dutt). Shunned by his family and scorned by his love, the beautiful Suhani (Chitrangda Singh), Udai agrees to help Madhavi Devi. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Chouhan’s story is weak and stands on a wafer thin plot. In fact one can say that there’s literally no story in the film. There are far too many characters and too many plots running parallel. Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Chouhan’s screenplay is quite disjointed with the narrative not flowing in an organic manner. Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Chouhan’s dialogues thankfully save the day and spike interest in some scenes. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s direction is flawed and it’s shocking that a person who exceptionally helmed films like HAASIL [2003], PAAN SINGH TOMAR [2012] and even the previous parts of SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER is just not in form. There are multiple scenes which start and end abruptly. The VFX is tacky at places and in one shot, the colour correction changes mid way! For most part of the film, nothing much is happening. Only few scenes here and there work, along with the performances. The film’s length is another issue. It’s too long and with not much exciting stuff happening in the film, it tests your patience. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 arrives five years after the second part and the recall value isn’t that strong. The makers should have realised this and could have given some recap. But they don’t and as a result, audiences might get confused with some of the developments. On the other hand, the track of Sanjay Dutt is like a downer. His track is half baked. Audiences never get to know under what circumstances he had to leave India, separate from Chitrangda Singh and marry someone else. However some scenes stand out. The sequence where Mahie Gill picks up a hunk from a party and gets him to the haveli will bring the house down. Chitrangda's entry is power packed. A few sequences of Jimmy also work well, particularly his conversations with Mahie. When seen in isolation, these scenes look great but in totality, they get overshadowed by the many minuses. Sanjay Dutt's presence was supposed to take the series to the next level. But sadly he looks disinterested and tired and fails to do justice. Thankfully he gets to mouth some clapworthy dialogues, which will impress single screen audiences. Jimmy Sheirgill is yet again in top form. The actor enjoys playing the Saheb and it shows. The film will disappoint but Jimmy won’t! Mahie Gill is also exceptional and arguably creates the maximum impact. Watch out how her character cunningly gets her way out of any situation. Surely she deserves to be seen more and act in better films. Chitrangda Singh genuinely gives her best shot and her entry scene is kick-ass. But later on, she hardly has anything to do in the film. Deepak Tijori (Vijay Singh), Zakir Hussain (Bunny Uncle) and Kabir Bedi (Udai's father) are average. Deepraj Rana (Kanhaiya) plays the loyal assistant part well. Pamela Singh Bhutoria (Deepal) is quite promising. Nafisa Ali (Udai’s mother) leaves a mark. Soha Ali Khan is okay. The music is disappointing and songs are just forced, further adding to the film’s length. <em>‘Baba Theme’</em> has a massy touch while <em>‘Kesariya Jugni’ </em>suits the opening credits.<em> ‘Lag Ja Gale’ </em>has been promoted a lot but it’s wasted. Dharma Vish’s background score is quite exhilarating but badly chopped at places. Amlendu Chaudhary’s cinematography is okay. Dhananjoy Mondal’s production design and Tulika Dhulia’s costumes are rich, authentic and quite appealing. Nishant Khan’s action is nothing special. Pravin Angre's editing could have been slicker and at places, could have been smoother. On the whole, SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 is a disappointing fare thanks to its long length, flawed script and haphazard direction. At the box office, these flaws and the lack of buzz will hamper its commercial prospects

Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Thu, 26 Jul 18 13:09:43 +0000

Making a sequel to a highly successful film isn’t an easy task, leave alone making the sixth instalment in a franchise that has since its introduction back in 1996 developed a fan following across the globe. But this week we see exactly that with the release of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT. Marking the return of Tom Cruise to the legendary character of Ethan Hunt, after the highly forgettable THE MUMMY, the film comes with tremendous hype. But will the new film live up to the legend of old, or will it like the previous film in the series leave fans disappointed is what we analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-875633 size-full" title="Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout" src="" alt="Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout" width="750" height="450" /> MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT begins with Ethan Hunt on a mission to impersonate an arms dealer in an attempt to recover three nuclear cores. However, the deal goes south with Hunt finding himself caught between choosing the life of one of his team members and acquiring the cores. Putting his team’s value above everything else, Hunt saves Luther’s life but in the process loses the cores. After this IMF mission ends badly and Solomon Lane escapes custody, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfil his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives. Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe. Starting off, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT marks Christopher McQuarrie’s second directorial outing in the franchise, the first being the rather forgettable MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION. However, unlike the previous film in the series, with FALLOUT, McQuarrie has done a commendable job of harkening the new flick to the first three in the series. From high octane bike chase sequences, to the cliff hanging thrill of free had rock climbing the FALLOUT features quite a few sequences that remind viewers of the first three films. Well executed and deftly shot, the film makes for a rather thrilling adrenaline pumping right. Sadly though, FALLOUT has a rather flimsy story line. With a wafer thin plot and multiple utterances of the catch phrase, “I’ll figure it out” the film comes across as a project that did not really have a bound script. In fact, more often than not, the on screen progression comes across as ad hock performances strung together to make a whole. Coming to the performances, Tom Cruise has since become the main stay of the MI series. And with the new film, it isn’t much different, Cruise does well in his given role as the super agent that never was, while still retaining the charm and charisma from the previous films. Since the film focuses mainly on his character, the others viz. Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin find themselves relegated to supporting roles. While most of them have performed well, Sean Harris as Solomon Lane makes an impact. Playing the rogue agent who has since setup his own organisation, Harris imbues his character with a fierce menace and maniacal rage that chills. On the other hand, Henry Cavill as August Walker is plain pointless. Though the character has multiple arches both emotionally and mentally, Cavill just seems like a misfit. However, it isn’t performances or story that is the main stay of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, instead it is the action. Well-choreographed and executed marvellously, the film makes of an engaging watch. Though it doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat, it has enough elements to get the adrenaline pumping. With high altitude helicopter chase sequences to high speed bike chase scenes, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT features some of the grandest stunts that exist in the series. On the whole, with only action going for the film, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT does make for a decent watch for the MI fans who enjoy action films. At the Indian box office, with previous Bollywood releases fading away, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT that sees a wide release in multiple languages, looks set to enjoy a good opening weekend

Movie Review: Dhadak

Thu, 19 Jul 18 19:11:20 +0000

Falling in love in India comes with its share of major problems. This is especially true when the lovers belong to diverse castes or religions or regions. Honour killing is still prevalent in many parts of India and so many cases have been reported and talked about so openly in media that it doesn’t even shock us anymore. Yet, when Nagraj Manjule presented his 2016 Marathi film SAIRAT to the audiences, it left the audiences deeply impacted. But at the same time, they were thoroughly entertained too! The film became a craze in Maharashtra and also got noticed pan-India. Shashank Khaitan, who has proved his worth with films like HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA [2014] and BADRINATH KI DULHANIA [2017] decided to take up the task of remaking this flick in Hindi. Titled DHADAK, the film is significant as it marks the long-awaited debut of Sridevi’s elder daughter Janhvi. So does DHADAK manage to turn out as entertaining as or better than the Marathi original? Or does it fail to live upto the expectations? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-873109" src="" alt="Movie Review Dhadak image" width="720" height="405" /> DHADAK is the story of two young souls who fall in love against the restrictions of caste hierarchy. Madhukar Bagla (Ishaan Khatter) belongs to a lower caste in Udaipur, Rajasthan. He’s smitten by Parthvi Singh (Janhvi Kapoor), the daughter of the high-caste politician Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana). Parthvi has an intimidating personality but that doesn’t stop Madhukar from making her known that he has feelings for her. Parthvi gets impressed by Madhukar’s bravado and love blossoms between the two. Trouble arises when at the birthday celebration of Parthvi’s brother Godaan Kumar (Roop Kumar), Ratan Singh catches Parthvi and Madhukar together. Madhukar and his friends Shridhar Watsar (Purshottam) and Gokul (Ankit Bisht) are taken into police custody while Parthvi is grounded at home. Parthvi however reaches the police station and manages to free Madhukar and his friends. Madhukar and Parthvi escape to Kolkata where they try to start their life afresh. What happens next forms the rest of the film. DHADAK is adapted from SAIRAT (written and directed by Nagraj Popatrao Manjule). Shashank Khaitan’s story is on the same lines as the Marathi blockbuster with minor tweaks. Shashank Khaitan’s screenplay is very effective. One of the best things about the screenplay is that it’s shorter than SAIRAT. However the impact is more or less the same. In the second half, the film gets a bit slow but then it was necessary to show the hardships. Shashank Khaitan’s direction complements the script well. He keeps the film very rooted and also tells a very relatable story. In some sequences, he takes the film on another level. For instance, the scene where Madhukar and Parthvi have a showdown on the streets of Kolkata is very well handled. Also he shines in the climax. Shashank Khaitan’s dialogues are simple and funny and even acidic as required. Though DHADAK is an official remake of SAIRAT, one should not expect the former to be a scene by scene reworked version of the latter. As a result, there are quite a many changes. Hence even those who have seen SAIRAT will be in for a surprise. The film begins on a nice note with the food eating competition sequence turning out to be quite interesting. The manner in which Madhukar and Parthvi's love story develops will surely put a smile on the faces of the viewers. Two sequences stand out here – Madhukar meeting Parthvi at her mansion at night and Madhukar singing an English song for Parthvi. The film goes on a high as soon as Ratan Singh learns about their romance. Post interval, the film switches tracks as the lovers realise that love is not a bed of roses. But the best is reserved for the finale. It’s a shocker to say the least! <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Ishaan Khatter had already proved his worth with BEYOND THE CLOUDS and with DHADAK, he proves that he’s definitely here to stay. He’s very confident and looks so endearing in scenes where he’s head over heels in love, especially in the song <em>'Pehli Baar'</em>. In the emotional and dramatic, he’s equally efficient. Janhvi Kapoor also does extremely well and exudes lot of confidence. She handles this difficult role with so much ease and that’s a feat for a newcomer. Definitely, a star is born! Ashutosh Rana is a natural when it comes to negative roles and this one is no different. Shridhar Watsar is extremely hilarious and contributes a lot to the humour quotient. He’s going to be loved by the youth and single screen audiences. Ankit Bisht is fair but gets overshadowed by the presence of Ishaan and Shridhar. Godaan Kumar is good in the villainous role and leaves a mark in the scene when he’s asked to apologise to the college professor. Aditya Kumar (Devilal) gets limited scope. Ishika Ganeja (Ambika) looks lovely and gets noticed. Govind Pandey (Bhagwandas) is decent as Madhukar's father. Shalini Kapoor (Ashadevi) and Aishwariya Avinash (Gayatri) are fair as the mothers of Parthvi and Madhukar respectively. Manish Verma (Arvind Mama) is passable while Kharaj Mukherjee (Sachin Bhowmick) is very adorable and would be loved. Shubhadevi Harshal Choksey (Promila Bhowmick) looks beautiful and is confident. Balaji Gauri (Sulekhaji Goenka) makes a mark in a cameo. Vishwanath Chatterjee (Inspector Shekhawat) looks convincing. Ajay-Atul’s music is melodious. The title song has a soothing feeling. <em>'Zingaat'</em> is already a rage and should grow after the film’s release. <em>'Pehli Baar'</em> is soulful and well shot. <em>'Vaara Re'</em> is neatly relegated to the background. John Stewart Eduri’s background score is brilliant and enhances the impact. Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is one of the best things about the film. The locales of Udaipur have been captured like never before. Shashank Tere’s production design is convincing as well as appealing. Monisha R Baldawa’s editing is slick. Manish Malhotra, Natascha Charak, Nikita Mohanty's costumes are impressive. On the whole, DHADAK is a simple tale told in a beautiful way. Despite being a remake of an iconic film, it manages to stand up on its feet and entertain the audiences thoroughly. At the box office, the youth is going to savour this flick big time which will ensure commercial success

Movie Review: Soorma

Thu, 12 Jul 18 18:02:25 +0000

An anonymous quote says “Willpower is like a muscle: The more you train it. The stronger it gets”. Yet, it is easier said than done, especially in cases when the whole world is asking you to give up or not try. But there are a rare breed of people who have managed to shun all these notions and achieve the impossible through their sheer will. One such legend is the Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh who got back on his feet after facing a shocking accident. The plot is very interesting and can turn out to be a great, inspirational biopic. So does director Shaad Ali manage to do justice to this exciting storyline? Or does he fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-870658" src="" alt="Movie Review: Soorma" width="750" height="450" /> SOORMA is the unbelievable story of Sandeep Singh, his beginnings in the world of hockey, his accident and his comeback that shocked everyone. Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is from the village of Shahabad, Punjab. As a kid, he is enrolled for hockey training under Coach Kartar Singh (Danish Husain). But Kartar's strict ways forces him to leave the training in his childhood itself. When he turns adult, he gets interested in hockey again when he falls for Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu). She is an efficient hockey player and Sandeep decides to try his luck on the sport once again to woo her. Meanwhile, Sandeep's brother Bikramjeet Singh (Angad Bedi) never left hockey and has the potential to play in the national team. However he doesn’t get selected. He returns home dejected but is overjoyed when he realises that Sandeep can do the dragflick, an extremely difficult skill of hockey, effortlessly. Bikramjeet hence takes Sandeep to Patiala so that Coach Harry (Vijay Raaz) can train him. In no time, Sandeep gets selected in the national team. He also is given a job in an airline company. Harpreet is ready to marry him too. However, all his dreams are shattered on August 22, 2006, when he’s traveling in a train and a police officer accidentally fires him on the back. Sandeep survives but he gets paralysed from his waist below. Needless to say, he can’t play hockey again. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Shaad Ali’s story is quite promising and inspirational. But Suyash Trivedi, Shaad Ali and Siva Ananth's screenplay fails to do justice. It is a bit slow in the first half but on the plus side, a lot of scenes are well written. But in the second half, it is too quick and sans any impact. Suyash Trivedi, Shaad Ali and Siva Ananth's dialogues are witty, sharp and funny, especially the ones mouthed by Vijay Raaz. Shaad Ali's direction is inconsistent, with the first half executed very well more or less but the second half being a letdown. Post interval, he rushes through the narrative. He also fails to do justice to the romantic track at this point, which otherwise is quite cute in the first half. Also, hockey as a sport is not as popular as say cricket. Hence it was important for him to ensure that the aam junta can comprehend what’s going on in the hockey scenes. But that doesn’t happen. Few developments are not properly explained. For instance, why Chairman Saab (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is called back is not properly explained. A film like SOORMA should have ended with a punch. But the final match between India and Pakistan is lackluster. SOORMA is a bit shaky and one realises that in the very beginning. But one doesn’t mind as the first half is embellished with some lovely and dramatic sequences that keep the interest going. One of the most interesting sequences of the film is when Bikramjeet realises that Sandeep is a very good dragflicker and the latter is surprised that he possesses such a rare skill. Then, Vijay Raaz tickles the funny bone with his hilarious one liners. The intermission point is shocking. Unfortunately, the film goes downhill in the second half. The entire process of Sandeep getting back on his feet and on the field should have been the highpoint. Shockingly, director Shaadi Ali shows it in a bland manner within just a song, thereby completely diluting the impact. What also is a problem is that CHAK DE INDIA [2007] is still fresh in people’s minds and has set a benchmark when it comes to hockey related films. SOORMA is nowhere close to this iconic film. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Diljit Dosanjh however saves the film to an extent. He looks very endearing as he romances his ladylove and wins accolades for India. One feels terrible after he meets with the accident. Watch out for him when he has an ugly fight with his brother outside his residence. Taapsee Pannu gets to play an interesting character but sadly her part seems unconvincing after a point. Performance wise, she is very good though. Angad Bedi has a supporting part but is fairly nice and gets to be a part of some important scenes. Vijay Raaz steals the show. Some of his dialogues are going to bring the house down in the single screens! Satish Kaushik (Gurucharan) plays his part with honesty. Khulbhushan Kharbanda and Avtaar Singh (Mahavir Bhullar) are quite lovable. Danish Husain looks very convincing. Jimmy Moses (Lobo Joseph) gets a bit overboard. The real Bikramjeet Singh appears in the film as the villainous Pakistani player Tanveer Alam and is fine. Others do a good job. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is forgettable. <em>‘Soorma Anthem’</em> has the anthem like feel but is not well utilitised. <em>'Ishq Di Baajiyaan'</em> is lovely but is used in too many scenes. <em>'Flicker Singh' </em>and <em>'Pardesiya'</em> are strictly okay while <em>'Good Man Di Laaltain' </em>works as it’s well shot and choreographed. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Tubby’s background score is dramatic. Chirantan Das's cinematography is a bit disappointing. Some scenes could have been better shot. Sharmistha Roy's production design is authentic and same goes for Eka Lakhani's costumes. Farooq Hundekar's editing could have been better, in the second half majorly. On the whole, SOORMA is laced with a promising plot but the weak execution hampers the impact. The buzz is very low and at the box office, it should do better in the North compared to the rest of the country


Thu, 12 Jul 18 11:09:20 +0000

After the last Marvel release AVENGERS: INFINITY WARS fans of the series have been desperately awaiting the next film in the line, which is ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. With many unanswered question still remaining after the last releases, hope is that the new film will at least manage to assuage a few unrelenting questions. But will ANT-MAN AND THE WASP that comes with much hope attached to it live up to audiences’ mammoth expectations or will it be just another fly on the wall in the larger scale of things is what we analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-870507 size-full" title="Movie Review: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP" src="" alt="Movie Review: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP" width="720" height="405" /> Starting off ANT-MAN AND THE WASP begins with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man living life within the confines of his home for the past two years after the happenings in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL-WAR. Post Lang assisting Captain America in his fight against Stark, Lang has been put on house arrest with the threat that if he breaks the parameters of his new boundary or even comes in contact with quantum tech, he will be imprisoned for 20 years. With just a few days left till his house arrest is terminated, all hell breaks loose when Lang has a dream where he sees Hank Pym’s wife and daughter Hope. Confused with the sudden dream, Lang makes a call to Pym, who in turn reaches out and literally abducts Lang with the help of Hope. Once at the lab, Lang is told that Hank and Hope managed to open a tunnel to the quantum realm wherein Hope’s mother has been trapped for the past 30 years. And it was due to this that Lang, who has in the past visited the quantum realm, developed a link with Hope’s mother. But in the meantime, Ava/ Ghost, a young girl who has met with a quantum accident is hell bent on acquiring energy from the quantum realm to help stop her from phasing. While a battle ensues between Pym, Hope, Ant-Man and Ghost to acquire control of the quantum tunnel all hell breaks loose. Will Pym, Hope and Lang manage to rescue Hope’s mother, will Ghost harvest enough quantum energy or will the tech fall into the wrong hands is what makes up the rest of the film. Right from the start it is evident that ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is unlike any of the previous films released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). With a focus more on human values, the film sees the family and emotions play a more integral part in the overall story and on screen happenings. However, this does not diminish the action. In fact, keeping with the MCU format ANT-MAN AND THE WASP does feature its share of action and humour well interspersed that keeps the viewer in his seat. From witty one liners to some high octane action, the film has it all. But, the biggest drawback for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is the fact that unlike previous MCU films, the villain in this one is rather underplayed. After the progressions in AVENGERS: INFINTY WAR, the audience expects nothing less than a menacing antihero or if you will, the villain. Unfortunately in the new release, the role of the villains comes across more as an individual who has been led down a nasty path against their will. With the main antagonist owning up to their dark past while displaying remorse for what they have done, the viewer is gets the picture that is contrary to expectations Ghost is in fact a lost soul in desperate need of realignment. But it doesn’t stop here, instead ANT-MAN AND THE WASP comes across as more of a Disney film rather than a Marvel film for the plain fact that while typical Marvel films focus on interpersonal superhero relationships and their outcomes, this film follows Disney’s tried and tested method of instilling family values, with the good guys eventually saving the bad one who then turns over a new leaf to live a perfectly normal life. However, despite this, one must admit that ANT-MAN AND THE WASP does still make for a decent watch. With CGI and visual effects that are on point and a tight script, the film takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride with references to past films and TV series thrown in for good measure. On the whole, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP that makes for a good watch plays its role of acting as balm to assuage the anguish left after AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR perfectly. A light hearted film with true Walt Disney film values at its core, this is one film to watch just to complete the list of MCU releases that eventually will tie into the main plot of the next AVENGERS film. At the box office, with SANJU still running, and the other Bollywood release SOORMA taking up a good share of screens, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is likely to face a hard time raking in the numbers

Movie Review: Sanju

Fri, 29 Jun 18 08:40:42 +0000

Biopics are quite in vogue in Bollywood and in recent times, many of them have even tasted massive commercial success. But often, these biopics are criticized as they become quite hagiographic and tend to glorify the person in question. In such a scenario, blockbuster director Rajkumar Hirani’s SANJU promises to be different and shows the highs as well as lows and dark periods of actor Sanjay Dutt. That it’s directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who has a cent per cent track record and features popular actor Ranbir Kapoor, has added to the excitement considerably. So does SANJU live up to its hype and turns out to be a yet another feather in Hirani’s cap? Or does it fail to impress? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-866409 size-full" title="Movie Review: Sanju" src="" alt="Movie Review: Sanju" width="750" height="450" /> SANJU is the biopic of controversial actor Sanjay Dutt and some of the dramatic and significant episodes of his life. Sanjay Dutt (Ranbir Kapoor) is the son of famous actor Sunil Dutt (Paresh Rawal) and yesteryear actress Nargis (Manisha Koirala). He is about to get launched in a film by his father titled ROCKY. Upset with his father, he tries drugs for the first time courtesy his friend Zubin Mistry (Jim Sarbh). At this point, he finds out that Nargis is suffering from cancer and has few days to live. She is taken to New York for treatment. Sanju is unable to control his drug habit even when his mother is struggling. While in New York, he befriends Kamlesh Kapasi (Vicky Kaushal) and they both form a wonderful bond. Sadly due to his drug addiction, his relationship with his girlfriend Ruby (Sonam Kapoor) gets affected and ends on a dismal note. Nargis dies just three days before the release of ROCKY. An overwhelmed Sanju agrees to go for rehab in USA. Once he overcomes this addiction, he gets into a bigger problem. He gets arrested for illegal possession of arms. He’s also accused of aiding the terrorists in carrying out the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993. How Sanjay Dutt fights this dreadful charge forms the rest of the film. Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi's story is interesting but one can sense that they have tried to play safe. But they have balanced it out by not glorifying Dutt and showing his bad and dark side too. Also, it’s impressive how Rajkumar and Abhijat haven’t focused on his film career and have focused on his personal life and turmoils. Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi's screenplay is terrific and despite the minuses, can be used as a guide on how to write films. With so much happening in the film, the writers ensure that the narrative doesn’t go all over the place. Everything is neatly put together. For instance, when the sequence where the Dutts are returning back to India, Nargis’ remarks about Ruby. This is done organically and neatly links to the next sequence which is related to Ruby. Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi's dialogues as always are entertaining, sharp and massy. Few dialogues related to sex will bring the house down in single screens and in the hinterland. A section of audience however would also be put off by such jokes and dark humour at places. Rajkumar Hirani's direction as expected is highly effective. This is no easy film to make but he executes and presents the plot in a simple and crisp manner. His magic comes to the fore in several sequences and is bound to leave viewers smiling and teary eyed. However, the climax could have been better and more powerful. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> The biggest strength of SANJU is that the film never drops. The screenplay is riveting and keeps you hooked, even if you might not agree with the goings on. And that’s a feat for a film which is 160 minutes long. The back and forth narrative works very well and keeps viewers intrigued. The first half is excellent and boasts of some fine emotional, funny and dramatic sequences. The intermission point comes as a bolt from the blue. The madness continues in the second half but the plot gets a bit shaky here. The film goes on a high in the first half but the same doesn’t happen in the second half. The film should have ended with a punch or on a rocking note, as it has happened in the previous Rajkumar Hirani films. However, the film leaves a strong emotional impact overall, which works very well. Ranbir Kapoor owns the film and delivers a terrific performance. Nowhere does his performance seem like a caricature and he gives his best shot in ensuring that he looks and behaves like Sanjay Dutt. Watch out for him in the emotional sequence, particularly when his mother passes away and he confesses to his father that he needs to get better. Also he’ll leave viewers moist eyed in the scene where he fails to read his speech to his father and later the inevitable happens. SANJU surely ranks as one of the most or arguably the most accomplished performance by this young actor and is bound to win him accolades, admiration and awards! Paresh Rawal is also quite impressive and plays the important part of Sunil Dutt with perfection. SANJU is a father-son story and he compliments Ranbir very well in taking some scenes to great heights. Vicky Kaushal is the surprise package of the film. Right from his entry, he makes a mark and brings the house down at several places. Also, he’s rocking in the emotional sequences like when he meets Ruby or when he tells Sunil Dutt that they need to help Sanjay Dutt. Even in the second half, watch out for him when he meets Sanjay Dutt in the hospital and in the pre-climax when he listens to the radio. Manisha Koirala has a supporting part but is an important pillar in the film and charms with her performance. Anushka Sharma (as Winnie Dias) delivers a splendid performance. Again, her screen time is limited. Jim Sarbh makes an impact with his role. Sonam Kapoor (as Ruby) is decent in the cameo. Boman Irani (as Homi) contributes to the fun quotient. Sayaji Shinde (as Bandu Dada) looks every inch a gangster. Dia Mirza (as Maanayata Dutt) gets overpowered. Aditi Seiya (as Priya Dutt) looks quite like Priya but doesn’t have much to do in the film. Karishma Tanna (as Pinky) is quite sizzling and makes a mark, despite being there for just a scene. Mahesh Manjrekar (himself), Piyush Mishra (D Tripathi), Ashwin Mushran (security officer), Bharat Dabholkar (lawyer) and Aanjjan Srivastav (minister) are good. Songs are not that great but work well in the film.<em> 'Kar Har Maidaan Fateh'</em> is the best of the lot. <em>'Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya'</em> is very well picturised and imagined. <em>'Ruby Ruby'</em> (by A R Rahman) is relegated to the background. Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga's background score is much better and exhilarating. S Ravivarman's cinematography is splendid and has captured some of the locales beautifully. In fact, he impresses right from the first shot itself - a bird’s eye view of Bandra. Shashank Tere's production design is appealing and rich. Eka Lakhani's costumes are authentic. Vikram Gaikwad's make-up design, Clover Wootton's prosthetics and VFX by Fluiidmask Studios deserves the highest praise for making Ranbir look like Sanjay Dutt through the ages. Rajkumar Hirani’s editing is crisp. On the whole, SANJU is an entertaining saga that blends emotions, humour and drama in adequate doses. It is powerful, engaging, emotional as well as compelling. The combination of Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir Kapoor works like a dream. At the box office, despite not being a ‘typical Rajkumar Hirani family entertainer’, SANJU will score tremendously and emerge as a Monstrous Hit! Don't miss it

Movie Review: Race 3

Fri, 15 Jun 18 05:54:09 +0000

When RACE [2008] arrived in cinemas, everyone expected it to be a decent suspense fare. But the film exceeded everyone’s expectations thanks to its stylish narrative, performances, writing and most importantly, the numerous unpredictable twists! RACE 2 [2013] didn’t reach the level of its predecessor, forget going beyond it. Yet, the franchise had a lot of steam left. The producers obviously realized it and they have now come up with RACE 3. This time, the film is bigger in terms of scale and grandeur and moreover, it also features one of the country’s biggest superstars, Salman Khan. At the same time, the thrill element has been toned down a bit to make it more family-friendly. The lead of RACE and RACE 2, Saif Ali Khan, is no longer there and same goes for Abbas-Mustan, the director duo of both the parts. With all these changes, does RACE 3 manage to impress and entertain? Or do these changes lead to plain disappointment? Let’s analyse! <img class="aligncenter wp-image-861035 size-full" title="Movie Review: Race 3" src="" alt="Race 3 Movie Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> RACE 3 is the story of a dysfunctional family amidst a high stakes heist. Shamsher (Anil Kapoor) is the head of this family and Sikander (Salman Khan) is the kind-hearted and wise member. Sanjana (Daisy Shah) and Suraj (Saqib Saleem) are the youngest in the family and have a grudge against Sikander. But Shamsher is the pacifier who always ensures that things don’t go out of control. However, trouble arises when this family is entrusted with a task of retrieving a hard disk kept in a locker. This hard disk is worth millions. Shamsher entrusts this task to Sikander and the other family members. What happens next forms the rest of the film. The biggest problem with RACE 3 is that there’s hardly any storyline in the film. Whatever of Shiraz Ahmed’s story is there is lame and confusing and it rests on a wafer thin plot. Shiraz Ahmed and Kiran Kotrial’s dialogues are corny and one soon realizes that Daisy Shah’s ‘none of your business’ is not the only troll-worthy one-liner of the film! Shiraz Ahmed’s screenplay is disjointed as it concentrates more on style and action than substance. Also, just like its predecessors, the makers have added a lot of twists and turns but they are unnecessary and unconvincing. Remo Dsouza’s direction also suffers as a result of the flawed writing. The film is high on style and low on substance. The action bits are good but Remo has stretched these scenes unnecessarily. Moreover, he, the makers and writers have tried every gimmick in the book to appeal to Salman fans. Even dialogues and scenes are something that are tailor made for bhai fans but they appear unconvincing and evoke disappointment. The first half of RACE 3 is quite horrible and there’s absolutely no story. It’s only in the second half that the film boasts of some worthwhile moments. There’s no doubt that the film looks rich. Each and every frame is a visual delight and it shows that the money has been spent like water. The makers have even left scope for a sequel. However, one really doubts whether the RACE franchise would now be carried forward. At 2.40 hours, the film appears too long. Some of the scenes are so corny that it would surely become the talking point of social media in days to come. Talking of performances, Salman Khan does well and is in a way the saving grace of the film. He’s not in his top form like he was in his last film TIGER ZINDA HAI [2017]. But he sails through the film with his performance. Jacqueline Fernandez is shockingly disappointing and she struggles to act. Bobby Deol (Yash) is also strictly okay. There was an excitement to see him after a hiatus and he’s sure to disappoint his fans and admirers. Anil Kapoor however puts his best foot forward and is impressive. His look is also quite great. Daisy Shah and Saqib Saleem are hardly memorable. Same goes for Freddy Daruwala (Rana). <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The songs of RACE 3 fail to meet the expectations. However, <em>‘Allah Duhai Hai’</em> and <em>‘Selfish’</em> are quite memorable and are picturised brilliantly. <em>‘Heeriye’</em> leaves a bit of a mark. The rest of the songs are forgettable. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is much better and it adds to the thrill and dramatic element. Ayananka Bose’s cinematography is eye catching and captures the locales of U.A.E and Thailand very well. Rajnish Hedao’s production design is classy while Anal Arasu and Thomas Struthers’s action lifts the film to an extent. But again, it’s not as spectacular as Salman’s previous films like TIGER ZINDA HAI and KICK [2014]. Steven Bernard’s editing is haphazard and the film could have been smoother and shorter in length. Manish Malhotra, Ashley Rebello, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, Anaita Adajania, Akshay Tyagi and Rhea Kapoor’s costumes are quite good and suit the financial status of the characters. On the whole, RACE 3 is high on style and low on substance. It lacks entertainment value and is a disappointing fare due to its wafer thin plot. At the box office, the movie will take a jump start due to Salman Khan’s star power and accelerate over the weekend, post which, the business will see a sizeable drop. The film will entail losses to the distributors

Movie Review: Jurassic World - Fallen Kingdom (English)

Wed, 06 Jun 18 13:03:26 +0000

Back in 1993, JURASSIC PARK introduced viewers to a different breed of monster movies that thrilled and chilled. Following this, the JURASSIC trilogy with two more subsequent films viz. THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC PARK 3 hit screens in 1997 and 2001 respectively. Cut to 2015 when the first of the new trilogy that was based on the previous three films releases with JURASSIC WORLD made a splash. Taking up the mantle from the earlier three, the 2015 release did rather well at the box office re-establishing the JURASSIC brand. Now a couple of years on we see the second instalment in the new Jurassic trilogy gearing up for release with JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. But will the fifth film in the series live up to the dinosaur expectations of fans that have been developed over years or will it like the creatures in the film fade into oblivion is the question of the hour. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-857701" src="" alt="Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (English) Review" width="750" height="450" /> JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM starts off four years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down. Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there. Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Will they manage to foil the malicious plan or will life find a way again, is what makes up the rest of the film. Going into the film, the first question that comes to mind is whether the makers of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM will manage to provide a different take on the happenings in this film from the previous four? Well, the short answer is yes. Director J. A. Bayona has done a marvellous job with the new film; he has dared to take risk where others would have usually preferred to stick to the tried and tested formula. Though the basic plot line of the film still remains the same viz. dinosaurs are introduced into modern times and run amok while all hell breaks loose. However, unlike the 2015 film, the new one deals with a more human angle where the power of greed comes into play. Starting off with an epic sequence that grabs your attention, the film continues to engage viewers’ right through the first half. Set in the open landscape of Isla Nublar, the visuals are both breath-taking and thrilling giving the viewer a feel of the enormity of the dinosaurs and the task faced by Owen and Claire. Post the interval there is a change in setting with the on screen happenings shifting indoors. However, this restriction does not dampen the proceedings. In fact, thanks to this shift Bayona manages to recreate some of that old school charm, thrill and excitement that was felt in the first ever JURASSIC PARK. From introducing a new species to relocating the dinosaurs while at the same time battling for survival, the film encompasses almost every emotion that you would expect. Coming to the performances, for Chris Pratt (Owen) JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is a chance to recover a bit after his character’s faults in the recently released film AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and boy does he do a good job. Sticking true to his role of being a dinosaur trainer, Pratt does well in his given role managing to make the task of communicating with an animal believable. Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire too is pretty good, keeping up with the happenings. Howard makes her character believable by developing an emotional connect with the viewers. Similarly the rest of the cast as well do a decent job to lend support to the main leads. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-857802" src="" alt="Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (English) Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> Talking about the visuals, it has been 25 years since the release of the first film JURASSIC PARK and with the advancement in technology JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM can easily be classified as one among those that seamlessly interweaves CGI and live action. This coupled with a background score that builds up the crescendo at the perfect moment and the overall dark theme of the film lend a more plausible and relatable tale. On the whole, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM might not be the best in the Jurassic series but it comes pretty close. With stellar direction, action scenes aplenty and a thrilling depiction, this one is certainly a must watch. At the Indian box office, with no Bollywood release, the film is likely to do well especially since it enjoys a wide release across four languages

Movie Review: Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

Fri, 01 Jun 18 08:02:18 +0000

India has its own range of superhero comics since a long time. But unlike the West which is minting huge amount of money by making films on Marvel and DC comic characters, our filmmakers have lagged behind in this aspect. Bollywood has given a handful of superhero flicks like MR X [2015], DRONA [2008], A FLYING JATT [2016], RA.ONE [2011], ZOKKOMON [2011] etc. which didn’t work at the box office. KRRISH series is the only one that has been successful. Now this week’s release BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO gets added to the list of ‘Hindi superhero films’. So does it manage to entertain and give audiences a great time? Or does it fail just like most of the superhero films of our industry? Let’s analyse <img class="aligncenter wp-image-855733 size-full" title="Movie Review: Bhavesh Joshi Superhero" src="" alt="Movie Review: Bhavesh Joshi Superhero" width="720" height="405" /> BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO is the story of a one man’s fight against a corrupt practice in Mumbai. Siku (Harshvardhan Kapoor) is friends with Bhavesh Joshi (Priyanshu Painyuli) and Rajat (Ashish Verma). Siku and Bhavesh feel a change is needed in the country. Both participate in India Against Corruption (IAC) movement of 2011 and also start a YouTube channel called 'Insaaf TV'. As part of this endeavour, they’d wear masks in order to conceal their identity and expose those breaking local civic laws. When the IAC movement fizzles out by 2011 end, Siku gets disillusioned and moves on with his life. 6 years later, Siku is working as a coder in an MNC and he’s offered a chance to move to USA, which he accepts. Bhavesh meanwhile still believes in bringing change. An old aged resident contacts him and informs him of a huge racket involving water scarcity. Bhavesh uploads a video exposing the scam and the baddies involved in this racket are alarmed. They begin to find out his identity. Meanwhile an altercation takes place between Siku and Bhavesh and the former shoots a video of the latter wherein he’s speaking about the ills plaguing the country. Siku uploads the video online but only a part of it. Bhavesh is hence presented as someone who’s insulting India. The water scarcity baddies, headed by Rana (Nishikant Kamat), accuse Bhavesh of being an anti-national. He’s badly beaten up. Bhavesh however doesn’t relent and he continues exposing the racket. This time Rana's goons murder him. Siku reaches the airport to leave for USA but at the eleventh hour, he changes his mind. He returns back to the city without informing anyone and decides to avenge Bhavesh's death. He assumes the identity of Bhavesh Joshi and promises to teach the wrongdoers a tough lesson. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Abhay Koranne’s story is very disappointing and juvenile. The premise has too many loose ends. Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Abhay Koranne’s screenplay is also not effective. Only a few sequences are well written. Their dialogues also work only at select places. BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO's beginning portion is very dry and incoherent and makes no impact. It’s only when Bhavesh chances upon the water scarcity bit that the film gets better. The manner in which Bhavesh is tortured by Rana’s men is intriguing. The intermission point is when the film goes on a high. It is the best part of the movie and one expects fireworks in the second half. Sadly that never happens. The unconvincing moments are aplenty. It is bewildering how Siku and Sneha (Shreiyah Sabharwal) don’t communicate at all after the former pretends to move to USA, especially when they haven’t formally broken up. Moreover, Siku following Rana’s men without even changing his appearance is too much since they could have easily spotted him and his game would have been up. One expects at least the climax to be satisfying. But alas, the film gets worse at this point. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Vikramaditya Motwane’s direction is poor and this is shocking since he has handled his previous films [UDAAN, LOOTERA, TRAPPED] very well. A few scenes are deftly handled. For instance, the entire passport track is very relatable. But in the major part of the film, the direction goes haywire. Harshvardhan Kapoor is strictly okay and lacks the conviction needed for the part. At some places, he’s completely blank. For instance, after Bhavesh gets beaten up because of his folly, he ideally should have looked regretful and sad. But these emotions don’t come across on his face at all. Priyanshu Painyuli is much better and dominates the first half. His dialogue delivery especially is praiseworthy. Nishikant Kamat leaves a mark in a small role. Shreiyah Sabharwal is wasted. Ashish Verma is great and shines in the finale. The actors playing Hemant Patil, old aged resident and the cop do a nice job. Amit Trivedi’s music is nothing great. <em>‘Chavanprash’</em> is foot tapping but Arjun Kapoor’s version is missing. <em>‘Hum Hain Insaaf’ </em>stands out and<em> ‘Qasam Kha Li'</em> is relegated to the background. Amit Trivedi’s background score is dramatic. Siddharth Diwan’s cinematography is rugged and that works well. Cyril Raffaelli, Sébastien Seveau and Vikram Dahiya's action is entertaining, especially in the local train chase sequence. Aditya Kanwar’s production design is fair. On the whole, BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO is a poor show owing to its haphazard writing and bad direction. At the box office, it will be a disaster. Avoid

Movie Review: Veere Di Wedding

Fri, 01 Jun 18 03:45:58 +0000

Bollywood has given innumerable bromance flicks. But there have been hardly any such film involving our pretty ladies. This is quite a shocker as the urban, multiplex audience would love to see female bonding flicks talking about their problems, quirks, way of life etc. Finally Sonam Kapoor and her sister producer Rhea Kapoor took up the challenge and designed VEERE DI WEDDING. Despite their lead actress Kareena Kapoor Khan getting pregnant, they stayed put and refused to shelve the project. The film is now finally out for release and does it manage to meet all the expectations? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse! <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-855592" src="" alt="" width="720" height="405" /> VEERE DI WEDDING is the story of four female friends at an uncertain age. Kalindi Puri (Kareena Kapoor Khan), Avni Sharma (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), Sakshi Soni (Swara Bhasker) and Meera Sood (Shikha Talsania) are the best of pals. Avni is doing well professionally as a divorce lawyer but her mother (Neena Gupta) feels that it’s not all worth it unless she gets married. Sakshi is married and is facing tough times. Meera is married and also has a child and she is unhappy as her father has not accepted the union. Kalindi is dating Rishabh Malhotra (Sumeet Vyas) and all is going well in their relationship. But one day Rishabh proposes marriage. Kalindi says yes but she develops cold feet. Her marriage gets planned with much fanfare and it stresses her out. Of course her gang of friends assemble to be with her during the most significant period of her life, while battling their life problems. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Mehul Suri and Nidhi Mehra’s story is very relatable and raises some important points about marriage, relationship, friendship, broken families etc. But Mehul Suri and Nidhi Mehra’s screenplay fails to do justice to the plot. The script is haywire and hence one doesn’t feel totally involved with the goings on. Also there are far too many subplots in the film and too much is packed in 125 minutes. Mehul Suri and Nidhi Mehra’s dialogues are peppered with adult talk and abusive language. At places it is very witty and funny but at several places, it looks forced and that it’s added just for the effect. Thankfully most of the dialogues are left intact by the Censor Board. VEERE DI WEDDING rests on a great idea and interesting characters. But it doesn’t translate into a fully entertaining fare. It’s the direction that plays spoilsport. The execution is very shaky and it hampers the impact. The introduction of the characters is nice and the marriage prep sequence is the most relatable. Post interval, the Thailand sequence stands out. The climax should have been a highpoint but sadly that doesn’t happen. Shashanka Ghosh’s direction is the biggest culprit. The film just gives an overview and never allows viewers to delve into the lives of the Veeres. Also some shocking developments take place in the film like Rishabh's father (Manoj Pahwa) getting arrested. But it’s not executed in the desired manner. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The chemistry of all the four actresses is brilliant and looks very convincing. It’s difficult to say if it’s their performance that’s great or their chemistry in real is the same as shown in the film. Kareena Kapoor Khan delivers a marvellous performance. She indeed looks like a commitment phobic person who’s getting the chills with the elaborate marriage preparations. Sonam K Ahuja leaves a mark but other actors dominate her. Swara Bhasker is outstanding and her performance will surely be a talking point. Watch out for her excellent dialogue delivery! Shikha Talsania is a complete natural. Sumeet Vyas is quite endearing. Vishwas Kinni (Bhandari) plays the irritating character well. Neena Gupta is decent. Vivek Mushran (Cookie Chacha) and Anjum Rajabali (Kishan) are fair. Manoj Pahwa is his jovial self while Ayessha Raza (Rishabh’s mother) leaves a mark. Ishwak Singh (Nirmal) is apt for the part. Ekavali Khanna (Paromita) raises laughs. Edward Sonnenblick (John) is okay. The songs are well woven in the narrative. Shockingly, the film’s biggest chartbuster <em>'Tareefan'</em> is missing. ‘<em>Pappi Le Loon</em>', ‘<em>Bhangra Ta Sajda'</em>, ‘<em>Laaj Sharam</em>' and ‘<em>Aa Jao Na</em>' are all relegated to the background. ‘<em>Dagmag Dagmag</em>' is played during the opening credits while ‘<em>Veere’</em> makes the most impact. Arijit Dutta’s background score is quite good. Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti’s cinematography is bad. There are too many close ups which take away the charm from many scenes. Shweta Venkat Mathew's editing is razor sharp. Priya Ahluwalia's production design is rich. Rhea Kapoor, Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla’s costumes are quite bold and appealing. On the whole VEERE DI WEDDING has a bold theme that defies stereotypes and delivers a shock value. At the box office, the multiplex audience and the youth [especially female] will patronize the film in a big way. Watch it for all the fun and madness created by the four leading ladies

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (English)

Sat, 26 May 18 09:45:11 +0000

A little over four decades ago, in 1977, the first film in the epic Star Wars saga (that would extend over years to come) released with the release of A NEW HOPE. Now after nine films in the saga, we see the release of a spin off story line that brings fans in touch with the origins of one of the most loved characters Han Solo. But will this new age space western do justice to the mammoth legend of Han Solo or will it like so many other spin off/ origin satires falter, is the question of the hour. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-853334 size-full" title="Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (English)" src="" alt="Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (English)" width="720" height="405" /> SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY follows the escapades of Han Solo before he became the legend. Starting off from the early days, the film depicts the squalor that Solo came from that was ruled by the tyrannical Lady Proxima and his constant schemes and efforts to pay his way out. Besides this like most of the films in the saga, this one too features a budding love story angle between Solo and Qi’ra. But will the two young romantics find a way out of the hell hole or will they fall prey to the Empire’s growing power is what forms the rest of the film. Starting off one must bear in mind that the happenings in SOLO are dated before the rebellion came into being. In fact the film goes on to depict the rise of the Empire into a force to reckon with. While at the same time laying the base upon which the legend of Han Solo is built. If that wasn’t enough, through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes. First things first, with director Ron Howard at the helm of the film, one expects nothing less than a visual spectacle. Known for films like APOLLO 13, A BEAUTIFUL MIND and more recently RUSH and INFERNO, Howard brings with him, expectations of a space western film on epic proportions. However, unlike Howard’s previous cinematic outings, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY offers little scope for sweeping cinematic visuals. Despite this, when given the chance to depict a world that has been ravaged by time, Howard works his magic with aplomb. Going into SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, viewers are already aware of the fact that it will feature some of the high points of Han’s life that eventually made him the smuggler with a heart of gold, unfortunately this exact premise hampers the entire telling of what could become an epic due to the limited scope to explore unknown avenues, a detail upon which most of the film in the Star Wars franchise that thrived. But despite this, Howard has managed to pull together an enjoyable film that sadly looks like a series of highlight from a character’s life. Coming to the performances, Alden Ehrenreich is no Harrison Ford, but he does manage to do a commendable job with the role of Han Solo. Joonas Suotamo as the lovable Chewbacca and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian are sorely underused. Despite having prominent roles in the film, both their characters (though only supporting roles) appear to be greatly under developed and half baked. One wishes that both Chewbacca and Lando were given more meatier chunks to explore the entire depth of their characters. But it is the roles of Woody Harrelson as Beckett and Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra that come across the most dejecting. In fact, both good actors in their own right fall flat with a narrative that focuses on Solo alone. While one wishes that these two were used more to their full potential being a Han Solo film, they are relegated to the shadows serving only as waypoints to take the story forward. However, the biggest drawback of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is the writing and the narrative, with most of the suspense lost, the makers have had to rely heavily on the epic tale of Solo to develop a narrative that does justice to his character. Sadly, this does not suffice. Instead the film comes across as a rather poor attempt at developing a new story line to encash on an epic saga that has neared the end of its money making heydays. Simply put, with an underwhelming story and weak narrative SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is devoid of that charm and charisma that have over the years endeared the epic of STAR WARS to so many fans. Even the background score of the film, unlike most Howard directorial seems greatly underused. With a fall back to the now legendary Star Wars theme every now and then, this new venture offers very little to the viewers. But it isn’t all downhill. Though limited, the action and race sequences are well shot and choreographed but one wishes there were more. The CGI too though done well could have been so much better had the story line of the film given room to develop a bit more. On the whole, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY leaves you with a somewhat empty feeling. With nothing new to tell in the story and very little scope to deviate from the past, the film becomes just another run of the mill cinematic outings that is developed to cash grab the last bits of money from a fading franchise. At the box office, with the John Abraham starrer <em>Parmanu</em> releasing alongside the film, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY might just face a hard time raking in the numbers

Movie Review: Parmanu - The Story of Pokhran

Thu, 24 May 18 17:58:54 +0000

When India got independence in 1947, it was a challenge for those who assumed power. After all, they had to start from scratch in several areas and aspects. These challenges continue till date but it’s heartening to see that despite a lot of hurdles, India has made great progress in a lot of fields. One of the achievements was becoming a full-fledged nuclear state and this happened due to a series of nuclear tests carried out in Rajasthan town in 1998. The entire story behind these nuclear tests is quite fascinating and surprisingly, no filmmaker had picked it up in these two decades. Finally, actor-producer John Abraham took the challenge and has come out with PARMANU – THE STORY OF POKHRAN. So does the film turn out to be an engaging and thrilling fare? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-852673 size-full" title="Movie Review: Parmanu - The Story of Pokhran" src="" alt="Movie Review: Parmanu - The Story of Pokhran" width="750" height="450" /> PARMANU – THE STORY OF POKHRAN is the story of those people who secretly carried out a series of nuclear bomb test explosions in Pokhran on May 11, 1998. Ashwath Rana (John Abraham) is from the research department of the Central Government and in 1995, he advises the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct nuclear bomb tests in order to achieve supremacy in this field and establish fear among the nuclear powers of the world. The plan gets accepted but he’s not made a part of it. His plan is also not studied well. As a result, USA's satellites catch India preparing for the tests red handed. India is left red faced and Ashwath is made the scapegoat. He is removed from his job and shifts to Mussoorie with wife Sushma (Anuja Sathe) and son Prahlad. For the next 3 years, Ashwath does odd jobs while Anuja runs the house by working in an observatory. In 1998, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is made the Prime Minister. His principle secretary Himanshu Sharma (Boman Irani) summons Ashwath and asks him to help with the nuclear tests. Ashwath agrees and devises a plan to prepare and conduct the tests without the USA getting a whiff of it. He also prepares a team comprising of Ambalika (Diana Penty), Dr. Viraf Wadia (Aditya Hitkari), Dr. Naresh Sinha (Yogendra Tikku), Major Prem Singh (Vikas Kumar) and Purunganathan. How they manage to work together and put India on world nuclear map forms the rest of the film. Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh and Abhishek Sharma’s story is very promising and novel as it has entertainment and feeling of nationalism in adequate doses. Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh and Abhishek Sharma’s screenplay is neat and simple and they ensure that complex technical language is not used. As a result, even the layman can understand what’s going on. PARMANU – THE STORY OF POKHRAN has a shaky start. The 1995 sequence doesn’t involve viewers properly. It’s when Ashwath meets Himanshu is when the film picks up. From here, the film goes on another level and it’s fun to see Ashwath assembling his team and fooling USA. The intermission comes at a great point. The second half is better as the Pakistani spy (Darshan Pandya) and CIA agent Daniel (Mark Bennington) try their best to fail Team Ashwath's mission. There’s also sudden humour quotient added and it works very well especially in the confrontation scene between Ashwath and Sushma. The best is reserved for the finale. It is very well handled and the patriotic fervor comes out beautifully. Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh and Abhishek Sharma’s dialogues are nothing great but look real and conversational. Abhishek Sharma’s direction flows quite easily and is to the point. He very nicely packs in a lot in 130 minutes. However, one wishes if the tension levels could have gone higher. A film like this should have had more edge of the seat moments for an added impact. Also, though the team is shown facing roadblocks, it seemed a bit convenient at most places. Thankfully, the film has enough plusses that overpower these glitches. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>John Abraham delivers one of the best performances of his career. His act is subtle and yet leaves a mark. His character has suffered a lot and this bit comes out very well. Also he’s not shown as an invincible killing machine which is his image. Yet he pulls it off very well! Diana Penty has a crucial part and essays the no nonsense character very well. Boman Irani delivers an incredible performance and it was a pleasure to see him on screen after ages. Vikas Kumar is totally believable as an army major. Yogendra Tiku raises laughs while Aditya Hitkari looks quite smart and gives an impressive performance. Darshan Pandya leaves a mark. Anuja Sathe is very good and manages to create an impact with her supporting role. Mark Bennington and Zachary Coffin (Stephen) are okay. Sachin-Jigar’s music doesn’t get much scope and all songs are relegated to the background. <em>'Thare Vaaste'</em> is the only song that stands out, more so because of the execution. Sandeep Chowta’s background score is theatrical and impactful but has a major Hans Zimmer hangover which could have been avoided. Zubin Mistry’s cinematography is quite nice and captures the barren locales of Rajasthan well. Rameshwar S Bhagat’s editing is slick. T P Abid and Sandeep S Ravade’s production design is very authentic and realistic. Amar Shetty’s action is sans any gory. On the whole, PARMANU – THE STORY OF POKHRAN is an excellent saga that has a big chance of working at the box office despite the low buzz. The patriotic fervor and simple, effective narration works big time. Recommended

Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (English)

Tue, 15 May 18 18:26:45 +0000

Back in 2016, we saw the release of an unlikely superhero film in the form of DEADPOOL. Back then the makers of the film took a gamble and kept the film R-rated to do justice to the foul mouthed ass kicking, quick witted and sarcastic superhero Deadpool. The film which released amid much fanfare went on to work brilliantly well at the box office, warranting a sequel. Now a couple of years on and we see Ryan Reynolds, yeah the same guy from the forgettable and regrettable GREEN LANTERN, return to the big screen with DEADPOOL 2. But will the sequel work its magic at the box office, or will it like so many other franchise sequels bite the bullet is the question. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-849089" src="" alt="" width="720" height="405" /> DEADPOOL 2, starts off with the foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (A.K.A. Deadpool), blowing himself to pieces after a tragedy only to be rescued by Colossus, who is on a mission to enroll Deadpool at Professor Charles Xavier’s home for the gifted, and eventually into the X-Men. However, Deadpool being well basically Deadpool, manages to bugle things up when they are called to assist with a rogue mutant kid. After an initial altercation, Deadpool is sent back to the ‘ice box’ along with Russell AKA FireFists (Julian Dennison). Unfortunately, a super soldier from the future, Cable (Josh Brolin) travels back in time to eliminate Russell and save his era. Will Deadpool manage to protect Russell whom he has developed a liking for, will Cable prove to be too overpoweringly strong, or will Deadpool finally join the X-Men, are some of the questions that make up the rest of the film. Going into a film like DEADPOOL 2 you are faced with the question of how can the makers live up to the expectation that have been developed by the first film? Coupled with this is the fact that the makers are faced with a task of making a film wherein the lead character is constantly able to break through the fourth wall and communicate with the audience. This melange of rather tough questions is answered in DEADPOOL 2 with a stellar script and some top notch direction. David Leitch has done a marvellous job of interweaving the story of Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool along with the narrative that gives the character enough leg room to pass some snarky comments and establish a rapport with the viewer. Double innuendo gags, well scripted humour and oneliners that come with a punch are some of the high points of the film. However despite this, DEADPOOL 2 does have moments that can leave some viewers a little lost, yes we are indeed referring to the multiple references to pop culture, films from the years gone by that have burned themselves into memory and some latest releases too. But with a lead character that is aware of these references, it becomes a breeze to watch a comic character come to life on the big screen. Coming to the performances in the film, Deadpool 2 is as the name would suggest a Ryan Reynolds film all the way. No not like the 2011 film GREEN LANTERN, instead like the first DEADPOOL, it's very entertaining. With Reynolds going all out to infuse life into the character in the process spilling some of his own real life charm and charisma into it, the film rests firmly on his shoulders. Other cast members who have prominent roles in the film like Cable for instance, played by none other than Thanos err… sorry… Josh Brolin is on point yet again. Be it playing the mad titan or the time travelling super soldier, Brolin brings a depth to his character that is rarely seen on the big screens these days. Zazie Beetz as Domino, Julian Dennison as Russell, TJ Miller as Weasel and of course Karan Soni as Dopinder do an equally good job in their given roles. However, when it comes to Morena Baccarin as Vanessa one can’t help but notice how underused her character is. In fact with fleeting screen time, Morena’s might just be the smallest dialogued role in the film. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-849090" src="" alt="" width="720" height="405" /> Assisting the stellar performances in the film is the action. Like the first DEADPOOL 2 keeps the action crisp and limited, not going overboard with bodies flying lends the film a more plausible feel thus developing a better rapport with the viewer. But don’t be disheartened, for the action seekers, this film holds more than its fair share of awkwardly twisted limbs, head rolls (literally), blood splatter and yeah fire balls!!! Another aspect of the film that works well with the on screen happenings is the background score. But since the lead character is able to break through the fourth wall, the background score more or less acts like a playlist for the character as he goes about his business. This concept helps audience unconsciously prepare for an upcoming sequence without realizing that they have been drawn into it. But what is all this without the amazing visuals, right? DEADPOOL 2 features some of the best visual effects in recent times. No, it isn’t like AVATAR great; instead it is more like a live action film that has CGI and VFX blended into the mix seamlessly. This slick merger of CGI into the live action film takes things up a notch for DEADPOOL 2 delivering that extra bit of punch when it matters the most. On the whole, if you have watched the first film in the series and liked it, there are high chances that DEADPOOL 2 will blow you away. For those who like superhero films, this one is a superhero film with a difference. In the end, DEADPOOL 2 that features some crazy action, wicked humour, madcap one liners and well timed humour is definitely a must watch. At the Indian box office, with no big releases hitting screens for another couple of weeks, DEADPOOL 2 looks set to enjoy a stellar run

Movie Review: Raazi

Thu, 10 May 18 16:32:50 +0000

In the past few years, Bollywood has churned out some very exciting spy films like AGENT VINOD [2012], PHANTOM [2015], BABY [2015], BANG BANG [2014], EK THA TIGER [2012], TIGER ZINDA HAI [2017], D-DAY [2013] etc. Most of these films also had the role of a female spy who looked like she meant business and would easily kick ass. Katrina Kaif’s portrayal in the TIGER series is the most apt example. But imagine a spy who’s completely feminine replete with long, flowy hair and salwar kurtas et al. Anil Sharma did slightly touch upon this aspect in 2003 with his biggie THE HERO: LOVE STORY OF A SPY. Now Meghna Gulzar attempts to make a complete film on this aspect with RAAZI. So does it manage to engross viewers like the other spy films? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-847128" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> RAAZI is the story of a young girl from India sent to Pakistan as an undercover agent. The year is 1971. Pakistan is all set to make a surprise attack on India and the Indian intelligence is trying it’s best to get the details. Hidayat (Rajit Kapur) lives in Srinagar and travels to Pakistan for business. He is a part of the Indian intelligence but has convinced Pakistani Brigadier Syed (Shishir Sharma) that he works for them. Hidayat is terminally ill and he asks Syed if he can get his daughter Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) married to Syed's younger son Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal). Syed agrees and surprisingly, Sehmat also gives her nod. Sehmat is obviously being married to Iqbal to spy in the house of Syeds and she gets adequate training from Khalid Mir (Jaideep Ahlawat) from Indian intelligence. Sehmat gets married and she gradually gets attached to Iqbal, who gives her the space and doesn’t force himself on her. Meanwhile Sehmat begins her surveillance and finds out crucial information regarding naval attacks planned by Pakistan against India. However the challenges faced by Sehmat are immense and one wrong move can prove fatal for her. What happens next forms the rest of the story. RAAZI is based on Harinder S Sikka’s novel ‘Calling Sehmat’. The story is novel and stands out from the rest of the spy films as the lead character goes to any lengths, morals be damned. And this bit comes across very nicely. Bhavani Iyer and Meghna Gulzar’s screenplay is a mixed bag. In most scenes, it’s simplistic and engrossing. RAAZI doesn’t commence on a high note but grips viewers well. The characters are well established and Sehmat agreeing for the dangerous mission could have come across as not so believable. But thankfully that doesn’t happen. Her training sequence is interesting but the film gets better once she moves to Pakistan. Though the film drops for a while, it picks up brilliantly in the intermission point when Sehmat drives the jeep. Arguably it’s the best part of the film. Post interval, the film has some engaging moments but at the same time, the film begins to slow down. There should have been a more gripping cat and mouse chase game but that never really happens. The manner in which Sehmat is able to escape suspicion most of the times is very unconvincing. The finale however makes up for the minuses to an extent. Some of the scenes however gets complicated. For instance, some of the details provided by Khalid during Sehmat's training is difficult to process as it is presented too quickly. Also the interest drops in some scenes. Meghna Gulzar’s dialogues are simple and neat and are very craftily written. Meghna Gulzar’s direction is impressive. Despite the content being niche, she tries to tell the story in a commercial format. She does falter at places but overall, manages to do justice to the plot. Alia Bhatt delivers a powerhouse performance and this is surely one of her most accomplished works. Her character is living a double life and she brings out this aspect very nicely. In the emotional and breakdown sequences, she shines! Vicky Kaushal has a limited screen time but he leaves a mark. His character is sure to be loved. Rajit Kapur is quite endearing. Jaideep Ahlawat is very good. This talented actor deserves to be seen more in movies. Shishir Sharma is quite dependable. Notice how endearing he looks when he’s interacting with Sehmat but transforms in another avatar altogether when he’s talking business. Amruta Khanvilkar (Munira) is lovely. Arif Zakaria (Abdul) plays a dynamic role with panache. Ashwath Bhatt (Mehboob) has a small role but is effective. Soni Razdan (Teji) is okay. Other actors do a good job. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is melodious but won’t be remembered, except for <em>‘Ae Watan'</em>. The song has an anthem like feel and can get a longer shelf life if it’s played during Independence and Republic Day celebrations in the country. The title track gets noticed while <em>‘Dilbaro’</em> is completely relegated to the background. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Tubby’s background score is quite exhilarating. Jay I Patel’s cinematography works big time. The exterior shots of Kashmir are simply breathtaking. Nitin Baid’s editing is nice but should have been more razor sharp. Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray’s production design is very authentic. Maxima Basu Golani’s costumes are appealing. Harpal Singh’s action is subtle and not very detailed. On the whole, RAAZI is an interesting thriller brilliantly narrated by Meghna Gulzar that makes for mature viewing. It is a film that celebrates nationalism that is devoid of the colors of religion. At the box office, it has the potential to grow with positive word of mouth and keep its makers happy

Movie Review: Omerta

Fri, 04 May 18 06:17:40 +0000

Terrorism is arguably the biggest threat to humanity and every major country is at their wits end on how to eradicate it completely. It’s no surprise that in Bollywood as well in Hollywood, plenty of films have been made that talk about terror attacks and other related aspects. Talking specifically about Bollywood, some very interesting flicks have tackled terrorism like DIL SE [1998], BLACK FRIDAY [2007], NEW YORK [2009], A WEDNESDAY [2008], THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 [2013], FANAA [2006], FIZA [2000], PHANTOM [2015] etc to name a few. Hansal Mehta now brings up OMERTA and this film promises to stand out from the rest as it talks about one of the most dangerous terrorists of the world. So does OMERTA manage to shock and awe? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyze. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-844543" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> OMERTA is the story of Omar Saeed Sheikh and how he emerged as one of the forces to reckon with. Omar Saeed Sheikh (Rajkummar Rao) is British-born who gets affected with the way Muslims got butchered in the Bosnian war in 1994. At first, he joins the local protest with like-minded individuals. It’s at this point that he’s offered a chance to go one level up in this field and he agrees. After an intense training session, he arrives in Delhi and assumes the identity of Rohit Verma. He befriends a foreigner named Rhys Patridge and his friends and then kidnaps them to send a message to the world that the Whites are not safe. However, this act of Omar leads to his arrest. He gets released in 1999 along with two other terrorists in exchange for the hostages of the Indian Airlines that was hijacked from Nepal. What happens next and how Omar rises in the world of terrorism is what the film is all about. OMERTA gets into a very unconventional zone right from the word ‘Go’. From the manner in which the introduction and lead character is established to the non-linear narrative, a lot of aspects in this film don’t follow the norms. One of the most memorable sequences of the film has to be the kidnappings of foreigners in Delhi. The way Omar befriends them with his smooth talk in British accent looks absolutely real. One can actually feel that anybody else in the place of the foreigner would have fallen for it. In a way, it also helps viewers delves into the minds of these terrorists and how they are ready to go to any length for their endeavour. The entire Daniel Pearl episode is also engaging, and chilling. On the flipside, the unconventional narrative does make it difficult to digest things. There’s no message as such in the film and one really wishes that Omar’s fall or the fact that Omar regretting to choose this line of work is shown. Moreover, Omar’s contribution in the 26/11 terror attacks is only briefly put forward. The makers should have explored this angle more as it’s quite shocking. Actor Mukul Dev has written the story and it’s definitely interesting and novel. Dialogues are sharp. Hansal Mehta’s screenplay is terrific, especially in Delhi kidnappings and Daniel Pearl episode. But otherwise, it’s decent to even shaky at places. The film suffers a bit as a result of this inconsistency. Same goes for Hansal Mehta’s direction – he has handled the angle of Omar’s relationship with his father well. It makes an important comment how family’s silence can also play a role in their children going the wrong way. He also nicely creates the dark and violent feel for the film so that audiences get sucked in the world of Omar. But at some places, it leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, Hansal does show that Omar has a wife Saadia (Orvana Ghai) but he doesn’t delve much into this aspect. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> OMERTA belongs to Rajkummar Rao – no doubts on that. In his brief career, he has given some marvelous performances and with this flick, he continues his tradition. Notice how he has worked on his body language, accent, voice, eye movements – it’s drastically different from any other performance of his. OMERTA just confirms that Rajkummar is one of the finest actors that we have today. Timothy Ryan Hickernell (Daniel Pearl) leaves a mark as a passionate reporter whose quest for reporting leads to his gruesome death. Rajesh Tailang (ISI General Mahmood) is okay initially but makes his presence in the sequence where he comes to meet Omar wearing a burkha. Rupinder Nagra (Maulana Ismail) has a natural foreign accent that works to his advantage. Performance wise, he’s fair. Orvana Ghai sadly gets no scope. The actors playing Rhys Partridge and Omar’s father are quite nice. Ishaan Chhabra’s music has the thrill element that keeps the tension going. There’s just one song but is hardly memorable. Anuj Dhawan’s cinematography is quite raw and rugged in the tension-filled, action scenes. But it’s also quite simple and neat as per the requirement of the scene. Aditya Warrior’s editing is slick and razor sharp. Neil Chowdhury’s production design is authentic. Harpal Singh and Ravi Kumar’s action is quite gritty and disturbing. On the whole, OMERTA has some engrossing moments and Rajkummar Rao’s award-worthy performance as its USP. But the unconventional narrative and dark, violent theme of the film will restrict its appeal. Box office wise, this film will have a tough road ahead but critically, it’s bound to get accolades

Movie Review: 102 Not Out

Wed, 02 May 18 06:22:13 +0000

“Age is just a number” is a very old adage and many people swear by it. Despite their growing age, they prefer to keep the child inside them alive. The rest on the other hand feel that it’s better to come to terms with the old age and all the complications associated with it. R Balki handled this aspect beautifully in 2007 in CHEENI KUM wherein Amitabh Bachchan’s character at 64 was all set to get married while his to-be father-in-law, essayed by Paresh Rawal, was younger than his to-be son-in-law and was all set to become a ‘senior citizen’. Amitabh now gets into a kind of a similar zone with 102 NOT OUT. So does it turn out to be an ideal family entertainer? Or does it fail to evoke fun and madness? <img class="aligncenter wp-image-843612 size-full" title="Movie Review: 102 Not Out" src="" alt="Movie Review: 102 Not Out" width="750" height="450" /> 102 NOT OUT is an unusual story of a father and a son. Dattatraya Vakharia (Amitabh Bachchan) is a healthy old man at the ripe age of 102. He’s full of life and aims to live for 16 more years to break the record of the oldest man alive on Earth. His son Babulal (Rishi Kapoor) meanwhile is around 75 and has lost interest in life. Dattatraya is unable to tolerate the negativity oozed by Babulal with regards to old age, death etc. and decides to become the first father ever to admit his son in an old-age home. Babulal is naturally shocked and livid at this decision of his father and he protests. Dattatraya, as a result, decides to put few conditions in front of Babulal that he needs to fulfill if he wants to stay in their sprawling bungalow. As Dattatraya starts to fulfill these conditions, he becomes more and more excited and child-like. But few of the conditions also require Babulal to confront some of the past demons, which is going to be a challenge. What happens next forms the rest of the story. The opening credits of the film are creative, showcasing some of the important landmarks of Mumbai, many of which are also a part of the film’s narrative. The introduction of all the 3 important characters – Dattatraya, Babulal and Dhiru (Jimit Trivedi) is quite funny and makes for a nice watch. The film is just 102 minutes long and hence, no time is wasted. The film comes right on track after the quick introduction and it’s hilarious to see Dattatraya trying to get his son admitted into an old age home. The sequence where he reads Babulal’s love letter raises lots of laughs. From here, the film slips a bit as the direction is a bit disjointed. But the film picks up slightly with the church sequence as a new angle is introduced at this point. Post-interval, this angle gets a lot of prominence and that’s where the film gets emotional. The sequence where Dattatraya narrates a terrible ordeal from their lives is heart-wrenching but also one of the best sequences of the film. The climax is clap worthy and also puts a smile on one’s face. But in this process, the humour that one would expect after watching the funny promos of the film, might feel a bit let down as the second half is very serious, with very few laughs. Saumya Joshi’s story is novel, touching and gives a very important message. Saumya Joshi’s screenplay is effective, for most of the parts, but is too quick and slightly incoherent in the first half. For instance, the manner in which the film’s tone gets too emotional in the sequence when Babulal enters the park with the aeroplane is too quick and catches viewers unaware. Saumya Joshi’s dialogues however keep the fun and interest going and at places, are also quite acidic. Umesh Shukla’s direction is simple and neat. He struggles at a few places in the first half, but overall, he manages to leave a mark and ensure that viewers are moved and have laughed in equal measures. 102 NOT OUT is adapted from a Gujarati play by the same name, directed by Saumya Joshi, and Umesh manages to get it on celluloid very well. At a few places, it does give you a feeling of a play but no complaints as such since the content is strong! <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Amitabh Bachchan is in a great form yet again and delivers an outstanding performance. It’s amusing and endearing to see him playing a centenarian and still preferring to live life to the fullest. Even in the emotional scenes, he shines a lot. His Gujarati accent comes out well, but it’s not too in-your-face. Rishi Kapoor also puts his best foot forward and gets completely into the skin of his character. It’s nice to see him as an uptight senior citizen and his gradual transformation is also lovely. His best act is definitely in a crucial emotional sequence in the second half where he mouths no dialogues but communicates a lot simply through his expressions and eyes. Jimit Trivedi whose debut in BHOOL BULAIYAA (2007) was much talked about gives a yet another bravura performance. He also contributes a lot to the fun and emotional quotient of the film. Dharmendra Gohil (Amol) is decent in the lone sequence. Salim-Sulaiman’s music is hardly memorable. <em>'Bachche Ki Jaan'</em> and <em>‘Kulfi’</em> both are played in the background and go well with the narrative. <em>‘Badumbaa’</em> is missing from the film. George Joseph’s background score however is quite exhilarating. Laxman Utkar’s cinematography is decent and the exterior shots of Mumbai are well captured. Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing is slick, at times too quick, but overall fair. It’s commendable that a film with the title of 102 NOT OUT is actually 102 minutes long and kudos to the editor for managing it. Mansi Dhruv Mehta’s production design is appealing – the mansion looks quite rich. Veera Kapur Ee’s costume stylist is first-rate. The review would be incomplete without the mention of Preetisheel Singh’s make up, hair and prosthetics. She gives a great look to both the veteran actors which also turns out to be the film’s USP. On the whole, 102 NOT OUT is a complete family entertainer with strong emotions as its trump card. It carries an important message for today’s times. At the box office, it will have a strong word of mouth and families are bound to flock to watch it in theatres. Recommended

Movie Review: AVENGERS - INFINITY WAR (English)

Wed, 25 Apr 18 15:23:44 +0000

Making a film that spans not just two or three characters but instead features a multitude of characters, more precisely 76 of them is feat in itself. Well, the latest offering from Marvel in the form of the highly anticipated and keenly awaited AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is exactly that. An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. Given the immense hype for the film and the massive fan following each superhero character has developed over the decade long saga, it is a no brainer that the film will be a sure shot money spinner at the box office. However, we at <strong>Bollywood Hungama</strong> dissect the film to tell you why this one should definitely be on your must watch list. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-841236 size-full" title="Avengers Infinity War Movie Review Image" src="" alt="Avengers Infinity War Movie Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR starts off with the Avengers and their allies continuing to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle. But, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artefacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain. Faced with dire consequences, the Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. Going into the film you are inundated with tags like ‘epic film’, ‘not to miss spectacle’ and ‘definite must watch’ that are often used to promote and hype big ticket summer releases. In the case of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR each one of these tags hold true. Believe the hype, this film that features all of the Marvel superhero characters that have been introduced so far and some that are yet to be seen does full justice to what a Marvel film should be. The film starts off where the last Marvel film THOR: RAGNAROK left off with the Asgardian brothers Thor and Loki heading off on a spaceship. Thanos accosts their convoy laying waste their craft eventually acquiring the Space stone that was housed in the Tessaract. Defeated and left for dead, Thor teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy who arrive at the location following a distress beacon. On a parallel track, learning of Thanos’ evil plan, Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk makes his way back to earth arriving (read crashing) at Doctor Strange’s lair. Once there, he teams up with Strange and Tony Stark after detailing what he has learnt. With the location of five of the six power stones that Thanos is after being known, Earth’s mightiest defenders team up to formulate a plan to stop the mad titan and save not just Earth but half the universe. Whether they succeed or fall victim to the tyranny of Thanos is what makes up the rest of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.   Given Marvel’s penchant for larger than life cinematic experiences, expectations from AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is high, and the film lives up to each and every bit of hype. Naturally, the special effects and visuals as you would expect are top notch and seamlessly woven into the film. However, the high point of the film has to be its direction. In fact, the Russo brothers are faced with the mammoth task of telling a one line story that involves a multitude of characters and parallel story lines in a coherent way without confusing the viewers. In this regard it's fair to say that the Russo brothers have gone above and beyond in narrating the film interweaving each individual story line with the main plot of the film developing a stellar piece of beautiful filmmaking amid an ocean of chaos. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-841235 size-full" title="Avengers Infinity War Movie Review Image" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> Coupled with the marvellous direction is the spot on Editing that keeps the film crisp and edgy. Keeping up with the rapid progression on screen, the editing is fast paced and seamless in effect enhancing the story telling ability of the directors. If that wasn’t all, the Background Score of the film plays well with the narrative building up the anticipation for each climactic battle sequence. Besides this, a special mention needs to be made for the writing team who have done a brilliant job of detailing each character while at the same time not making the depiction too heavy or lengthy. In fact, Thanos too has been well detailed, from his mannerisms to his methods each and every aspect lends to the viewer understanding the tyrannical titan and his motivations. Performance wise, each of the members of the cast have gone the extra mile to bring to life the larger than life characters battling a cataclysmic evil. Though with the number of cast members this segment alone deserves a stand alone post, suffice to say that each and everyone from Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark AKA Iron Man to Chris Evans as Captain America, from Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow to Zoe Saldana as Gamora and from Chris Pratt as Star Lord to Tom Holland as Spider Man each have brought in their own charm. However, it is Josh Brolin as Thanos who steals the show. With a character that has been worked upon the most, Brolin does full justice in depicting the power hungry evil overlord. All in all, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is every bit an EPIC action film with amazing and fast paced action sequences. From featuring an engrossing story line to a well-defined and AWESOME villain, this film has it all, proving that the 10 year long, 18 film build up that leads to climactic surprise ridden visually extravagant end was well worth the wait. Watch it on the BIG SCREEN. Do not miss it

Movie Review: Nanu Ki Jaanu

Fri, 20 Apr 18 03:05:13 +0000

The success of GOLMAAL AGAIN has shown that horror comedies have immense potential in India. Now Faraz Haider, who last made a war comedy WAR CHOD NA YAAR [2013] attempts with this genre fusion in NANU KI JAANU. So does NANU KI JAANU follow in the footsteps of GOLMAAL AGAIN and provide humour and horror in ample doses? Or does it fail on both the fronts? Let’s analyse <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-838864" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> NANU KI JAANU is the story of a ghost that falls in love with a crook. Nanu (Abhay Deol) is a small time goon who works with Dabbu (Manu Rishi Chadha). Their modus operandi is to rent a flat and then threaten the landlord to transfer the ownership in their name. One day, Nanu is returning home when he sees that Siddhi (Patralekhaa) has met with an accident. He refuses to be a bystander and takes her to the hospital. Siddhi is barely conscious but she sees Nanu helping her and she falls for him. Unfortunately, she passes away as soon as she is brought in the hospital. Nanu gets disturbed by the episode. Soon he realizes that the spirit of Siddhi has followed him to his posh residence in Noida. With no other option in hand, he finds out the address of Siddhi's father (Rajesh Sharma) and meets him. But even that doesn’t help. He then approaches a ghost buster (Shreya Narayan) but it ends up in a disaster. To make things worse, Nanu loses interest in his illegal work and as a result their source of livelihood is in danger. What happens next forms the rest of the film. NANU KI JAANU is a remake of a Tamil film PISAASU and is written by Mysskin. The adaptation by Manu Rishi Chadha is very poor. Manu Rishi Chadha’s screenplay is very weak and only a few moments stand out. NANU KI JAANU doesn’t have a great beginning but one hopes for things to get better as the film progresses. The sequence where Siddhi is dying but is looking at Nanu lovingly could have gone wrong but is handled well. The film has some nice moments once the ghost starts to harass Nanu. The scene where Dabbu gets hung upside down by the spirit brings the house down. The intermission point is intriguing. But shockingly, the film goes completely downhill in the second half. The narrative goes haywire. The last 30 minutes of the film are bizarre to say the least and it’s going to raise questions as to how the script got approved in the first place. Manu Rishi Chadha’s dialogues are funny at places but they fall flat in many scenes. The dialogues get tacky in the finale. Faraz Haider’s direction is ineffective. He already had a weak plot in hand and his poor direction further messes up things. In the second half, he completely loses control. Even before the shockingly pathetic climax, he has done weird things like putting an intense chase sequence in a romantic song! <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Abhay Deol sleepwalks for most of the part but suits the role and is overall decent. He is known to be a thinking actor and has a credible track record. Hence it comes as a jolt to see him in such a bad film. Patralekhaa is shockingly hardly there in the film, maybe for around 10 minutes. Her performance is okay. Manu Rishi Chadha is funny and provides the much needed humour quotient. Rajesh Sharma is quite genuine even when he’s made to perform some very embarrassing scenes. Himani Shivpuri (Nanu's mother) is fair. Brijendra Kala (Mr Kumar) is nice in the intro scene but then hardly has anything to do. Shreya Narayan's scenes are a bit overboard but funny but she does well as per the characters requirement. Spandan Chaturvedi (Phantom) plays a difficult role with ease. Manoj Pahwa gets to play an unusual role and is quite good. Others like Gayatri (Shefalii Rana), Gurmeet Singh (Yahoo), Sameer Siddiqui (domestic abuser), Adithi Kalkunthe (domestic abuser’s wife), Mahendra Shrivas (kachauri seller), Ganesh Kumar (watchman), Chirag Sethi (Con man in building lobby), Kunickaa Sadanand (Mrs Nandi), Tarana Kaur (psychiatrist) and Reshma Khan (Promila) are good. Sapna Choudhary is alright in the item song. The music of the movie is forgettable. <em>‘Tere Thumke’ </em>catches attention while <em>‘Bhoot Aaya’ </em>fails to register impact. Other songs like <em>‘Tujhe Dekhti Hai Nazar’</em>, <em>‘Kali Choti’</em> and <em>‘Jai Mata Di’ </em>are also poor. Dhruv Dhalla’s background score is needlessly loud. S R Sathish Kumar’s cinematography is nothing special. Boishali Sinha’s production design is passable. Sunil Rodrigues’s action and Manan Ajay Sagar’s editing are okay. On the whole, NANU KI JAANU is an extremely poor show. At the box office, it will be a huge disaster

Movie Review: Beyond The Clouds

Thu, 19 Apr 18 04:58:52 +0000

The city of Mumbai has been shown by countless filmmakers, even by Hollywood filmmakers [the classic example being the Oscar-winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE]. But there’s still lot to the city that largely remains unexplored. Acclaimed Iranian director Majid Majidi now takes up the challenge of weaving a sensitive tale in the fabric of the maximum city and the result is BEYOND THE CLOUDS? So does this film manage to leave the audiences in awe like it happened in previous Majidi films? Or does the master director fail to impress? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-838512 size-full" title="Movie Review: Beyond The Clouds" src="" alt="Movie Review: Beyond The Clouds" width="720" height="405" /> BEYOND THE CLOUDS is a story of hope and happiness in the times of despair. Aamir (Ishaan Khatter) is a young guy from Mumbai in his early 20s who peddles drugs for a living. One day, cops get on his trail and to escape their clutches, he seeks refuge at his sister Tara (Malavika Mohanan). He also gives her a drug package and tells her to hide it. Both Tara and Aamir are orphans and Aamir had separated from Tara after her ex-husband used to beat him up. The next day, Tara goes to collect the package at the 'dhobi ghat', where she works. She goes to meet Akshi (Gautam Ghose) who has hidden the package. Akshi however at this point tries to rape Tara and she brutally assaults him. She is arrested on charges of attempt to murder. When Aamir learns about this episode, he goes to the hospital and finds out that Akshi is severely injured and unable to walk and talk. It’s important for Akshi to testify to the cops that Tara hit him in self defence. Realising that the faster Akshi heals, the faster Tara will be released, Aamir starts attending to Akshi and his medical needs. In jail, Tara is disturbed and befriends Chotu, a young son of an inmate (Tannishtha Chatterjee). What happens next forms the rest of the film. Majid Majidi’s story is simple and has scope for an emotional, touching fare. Majid Majidi and Mehran Kashani’s screenplay is a bit faulty in the first half but gets better in the second half. BEYOND THE CLOUDS’s first half is a mixed bag. In some of the scenes, the emotional graph goes over the top. For instance, Tara’s outburst after her argument with Aamir and Aamir banging on the police jeep at the railway crossing. Moreover, it was advertised as a film that’s entirely shot in Mumbai and has the city as a character. But shockingly, some of the scenes seem to be shot outside the city but are passed off as Mumbai. And the locations are such, like the railway crossing for instance, that one can easily make out that it’s not Mumbai. Even Tara’s house seems quite spacious for the city’s poorer section to which both Tara and Aamir belong. Also, the locality doesn’t give any feel of Mumbai. Even story-wise, there are some flaws. It is not established that under what circumstances Tara is arrested. Tara attacks Akshi in a place that was kind of in the middle of nowhere and she could have easily run away after the attack on Akshi. Whether she herself surrendered or whether she is caught by witnesses (the possibility is remote) is never shown. Moreover, the film focuses on the slums and poverty of Mumbai and hence, it immediately gives a déjà vu of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE [2009]. Questions might be raised as to why these international filmmakers always get interested in India’s poverty when the country has so much more to offer. Thankfully, BEYOND THE CLOUDS has its share of pros too. The first half gets better once Aamir starts to visit Akshi in the hospital. The way he threatens him makes for a great watch. In the second half, the manner in which Aamir forms a bond with Akshi’s family is lovely and even quite moving. In the parallel track, Tara-Chotu’s relationship is also quite endearing. The ending is a bit ambiguous but the film ends on a happy note. Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hindi dialogues are realistic but gets a bit unconvincing in the beginning portions. Majid Majidi’s direction goes a bit off track in some of the sequences of the first half. But overall, he tries to get creative with his execution and it works. The use of cloth and light, festival of Holi in the end and of course using the kids in the best way possible in his trademark style is surely impressive. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Majid Majidi also brings out great performances from his actors. Newcomer Ishaan Khatter is quite confident and takes the film to another level. He has the common man look and doesn’t possess any starry airs in his performance. This helps big time as he really looks like someone who belongs to the poorer section of the society. Watch out for him when he dances while injuring a person who betrayed him – it’s terrific! Malavika Mohanan doesn’t impress initially but then gets better and in control. Sadly, her screen time is quite limited as compared to that of Ishaan. Gautam Ghose conveys a lot through his performances and eyes. In the beginning however, he could have done a better job. G V Sharada (Jhumpa) delivers a brilliant performance and the sadness that she conveys through her eyes is seen to be believed. Dhwani Rajesh (Tanisha) is lovely and her track is quite crucial. Tannishtha Chatterjee is okay. The actors playing Anil and Rahoul are fair. A R Rahman’s music is subtle and doesn’t stand out. But it is in sync with the narrative. The sole song <em>‘Ey Chhote Motor Chala’</em> is relegated to the background. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is award-worthy and captures the gritty side of Mumbai beautifully. Amaar Shetty’s action is real and raw. Hassan Hassandoost’s editing is decent. Mansi Dhruv Mehta’s production design and Planet D’s art direction is nice but is quite unrealistic in some of the scenes. Payal Saluja and Bibi Zeeba Miraie’s costumes however seem authentic. On the whole, BEYOND THE CLOUDS is a nice, touching tale that works despite the minuses. At the box office however, its chances are bleak due to its niche appeal

Movie Review: October

Thu, 12 Apr 18 12:47:50 +0000

Almost every other film made in Bollywood is a love story or has some element of romance. Hence, it is a genre that has been extremely beaten to death. Making a film on love that is novel and unconventional can be quite a difficult and even a risk, since the audiences might not accept something that they are not habituated too. Yet, Shoojit Sircar takes the risk with OCTOBER, which promises to be a <em>‘hatke’</em> love story. Moreover, Varun Dhawan, who has not had a flop film in his career and known for his massy films, features in this film in the lead role. So does OCTOBER manage to entertain and impress? Or does the risk fail to pay off? Let’s analyse <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-836102" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> OCTOBER is the story of an unconventional bond shared by two people in an extraordinary circumstance. Danish Walia aka Dan (Varun Dhawan) works in a five-star hotel in Delhi. He is arrogant and often argues with his seniors and even the guests. Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) also works there and both are friends but aren’t that close. On the eve of New Year, the hotel staffers decide to have their own little party at the rooftop of the hotel, situated on the 3<sup>rd</sup> floor. Shiuli attempts to sit on the parapet and she slips and falls down on the ground. She is immediately hospitalized and slips into coma. Shiuli’s colleagues, including Dan, pay her a visit and in a few days, they move on. But Dan is unable to do so and few weeks later, he learns from his colleague that Shiuli’s last sentence before slipping was ‘Where is Dan’. As soon as Dan comes to know about this information, he gets even more obsessed. He regularly starts paying Shiuli a visit at the hospital and even gets introduced to her mother, Professor Vidya Nair (Gitanjali Rao) and her siblings. Shiuli’s uncle meanwhile makes it clear to Vidya that there’s not much hope when it comes to improvement in Shiuli’s health and that she should pull the plug. But Dan motivates Vidya not to do so. What happens next forms the rest of the film. Juhi Chaturvedi’s story rests on a wafer-thin plot and is too arthouse. Her screenplay is not quite engaging as well as it moves at a slow pace. The movie is devoid of love story and romance however there are moments which indicate that it is a love story. One has certain expectations from her since she’s written some very interesting films like VICKY DONOR [2012], MADRAS CAFÉ [2013] and PIKU [2015], all also directed by Shoojit Sircar. But her work in OCTOBER is a far cry from her previous films. Also one gets a déjà vu of the character of Anand bhai in MUNNABHAI MBBS [2003] and the recent much loved Hollywood film THE BIG SICK [2017]. But again, OCTOBER is nowhere close to both these movies. Even with the screenplay, she struggles. Juhi Chaturvedi’s dialogues however are quite interesting. Shoojit Sircar’s direction too is a bit shaky. It’s surprising to see such a film made by a prolific director having abrupt cuts, sudden fade out etc. A few sequences might be difficult for viewers to comprehend. For instance, the scene where Dan informs Shiuli where he was on that fateful night. The slow pace moreover tests the viewers patience. Thankfully, in the second half, when the film becomes a bit simple, the film has lovely scenes. But overall, a very miniscule section of audience is going to give the film thumbs up! The opening sequence of OCTOBER is beautiful. The opening credits are surprising as Banita Sandhu is mentioned followed by Geetanjali Rao and only then Varun Dhawan’s name appears on the screen! The workings of the five-star hotel are very nicely depicted and Dan’s entry is quite simple but gives an idea about his bizarre traits. The sequence where Shiuli falls from the rooftop is presented in a very matter-of-fact way, sans any drama. In a way, it adds a lot to the impact. But sadly from here on, there’s hardly any movement in the story. Even in the second half, not much happens but few moments are nice and touching. The climax is very emotional but these are too little and appear too late in the day. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-836103 size-full" src="" alt="Movie Review: October" width="750" height="450" /> Shoojit Sircar manages to extract some fine performances. Varun Dhawan is the soul of OCTOBER and is the glue who keeps the film tied together. He gets to play a very different character that is positive but also has certain annoying habits. But Varun ensures that in the long run, Dan doesn’t turn out to be an irritating person. The audience hoots for him as he struggles to heal Shiuli and this aspect would surely be loved by the viewers. Newcomer Banita Sandhu makes a very promising debut and gets to play a very difficult character. One might argue that she doesn’t have much to do. But even in scenes where she’s merely lying on the bed, the expressions that she gives are praiseworthy. Gitanjali Rao gives a very nuanced and credible performance. She brings out the trauma faced by a mother and the only earning member of the family who’s suddenly faced with the biggest challenge of her life. Sahil Vedoliyaa (Manjeet) is decent while Prateek Kapur’s (Asthana) performance works big time due to his impeccable dialogue delivery. Ashish Ghosh (Dr. Ghosh) is endearing. The actors playing Manjeet’s girlfriend, Dan’s mother, Shiuli’s siblings, Shiuli’s uncle and the nurse also do a fine job. OCTOBER surprisingly is a songless film with only <em>‘Manwaa’</em> played in the end credits. October Theme also is featured and has a nice, emotional feel to it. Same goes for Shantanu Moitra’s background score. Avik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography is excellent and captures the empty Delhi streets, the ICU, the cold Delhi weather, the flowers lying on the ground and the beauty of Manali perfectly. Mansi Dhruv Mehta’s production design is first-rate. Veera Kapur Ee’s costumes are real but at the same time appealing. Chandrashekhar Prajapati’s editing is good but a bit rough at places. On the whole, OCTOBER is an offbeat and a sensitive film which rests on a wafer thin plot and suffers from a slow pace. The movie is sure to win critical acclaim for Varun Dhawan's outstanding performance but has hardly anything for the masses. At the box office, the movie will appeal to a niche section of the multiplex going audience

Movie Review: Blackmail

Wed, 04 Apr 18 05:14:25 +0000

Extra marital affair is arguably as old as the institution of marriage. A lot of films have already been made on this aspect. But take a look at various newspaper articles on extra-marital affairs and you’ll realize that some of them don’t go the conventional way and twisted and weird developments do take place. BLACKMAIL, directed by DELHI BELLY director Abhinay Deo, attempts to tell one such tale and as per the makers, it is inspired from a true story. So does BLACKMAIL manage to entertain with its novel storyline? Or does it turn out to be a disappointing fare? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-818153" src="" alt="" width="720" height="405" /> BLACKMAIL is the story of a bored and in-debt husband who devises a bizarre idea when he finds out that his wife is having an extra marital affair. Dev Kaushal (Irrfan Khan) works for Boss DK (Omi Vaidya) at My Handy, a toilet paper company. He is married to Reena (Kirti Kulhari) and their marriage has lost the spark. He prefers being in the office till late and playing games on the computer rather than going home early and spending time with his wife. Dev’s colleague Anand Tripathi (Pradhuman Singh Mall) advises him to go home early one day, buy flowers and surprise his wife. Dev likes this idea and goes home early only to find Reena sleeping with her ex-boyfriend Ranjit Arora (Arunoday Singh). On the other hand, Dev isn’t going to get a pay raise from DK and he has mounting debts. Hence, he buys a prepaid SIM card and blackmails Ranjit anonymously. Dev asks him to pay Rs. 1 lakh or else he’ll tell the truth to Dev! Ranjit is married to Dolly Verma (Divya Dutta) who suspects that Dev is cheating on her. Ranjit is broke and he asks for the blackmail amount under the pretext of starting a new business. Dolly hands him the said amount and he in turns hands it to Dev. Dolly’s father (Nav Ratan Singh Rathore) then asks Ranjit to return the Rs. 1 lakh that he took from Dolly and threatens him with dire consequences. With no other option in hand, Ranjit creates an anonymous email account and blackmails Reena into giving Rs. 1.20 lakh! He uses the same kind of words used by Dev in the blackmail message so that Reena would assume that it’s the same blackmailer. Reena has only Rs. 30,000 as savings and desperate to arrange the balance amount, she asks none other than Dev for Rs. 90,000! Dev agrees to give her the money but also realizes that he’ll be in debt again! So he asks for more money from Ranjit! As a result, Ranjit takes the Rs. 1.20 lakh from Reena, takes Rs. 20000 for himself and gives away the remaining amount to Dev! While this merry go around is going on, Dev confesses about blackmailing his wife’s lover to Anand. Anand in turn blurts out about it to Prabha (Anuja Anil Sathe), who has joined My Handy recently and whom Anand crushes on. Now Prabha starts blackmailing Dev for money and threatens that she’ll tell the truth to Reena if he doesn’t pay her up. What happens next forms the rest of the film. BLACKMAIL doesn’t have a great beginning. The first 15-20 minutes are a bit dry and the film picks up when Dev learns about Reena’s extra marital affair. The madness enhances after a lot of players jump on the blackmail bandwagon! There are far too many characters and each one of them has his/her own quirks. Also the execution is stylish yet simple. Hence, despite so many characters and so much of blackmailing taking place, one doesn’t get lost or confused. The humour isn’t rib-tickling and it’s quite dark but it makes for a great watch. On the flipside, the climax is a bit of a downer. The film doesn’t sum up well at this juncture and a few questions are left unanswered. Dev’s act in the last scene is unpredictable but it’s not entirely convincing. Also, Dev-Reena’s bond is not properly established. No backstory is provided or no explanation is given as to why Dev is unhappy with his married life. Parveez Shaikh’s story is quite novel and very entertaining but loses steam in the last 10 minutes. Pradhuman Singh Mall's dialogues are simple, straight out of life and witty. Parveez Shaikh’s screenplay is effective and gives the film the required edge and quirk. Abhinay Deo’s direction is very good and he handles the plot with panache. The director disappointed with GAME [2011] and FORCE 2 [2016] but with BLACKMAIL, he gets back in the zone of his landmark film DELHI BELLY [2011]. In fact, there are lot of similarities between the Imran Khan-starrer and BLACKMAIL right from the opening credits to the unreasonable boss to the protagonist not being happy in the relationship to multi-track narrative and finally, the toilet humour! But no worries since the toilet jokes here are not in-your-face like in DELHI BELLY. Moreover, there are some novel additions this time as well like Dev stealing photographs of women from office every evening to pleasure himself. This aspect is hilarious and would surely bring the house down. Also, the use of texts and supers gives the film a nice touch. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Irrfan Khan delivers a great performance and surprisingly, he doesn’t get to mouth a lot of dialogues. But then, Irrfan is known to communicate a lot with his silences and that’s what he does with BLACKMAIL. Also, his eyes speak a lot and one of the most memorable sequences of the film is where he sees his wife sleeping with another man. Just his eye is shown and one can instantly feel the sadness. Arunoday Singh is like the second lead actor of the film since he has a very crucial part to play. He delivers a fabulous performance and after MIRCH [2010] and YEH SAALI ZINDAGI [2011], this shall rank as one of his most memorable acts. Kirti Kulhari gives a genuine and earnest performance but surprisingly, she has limited screen time. Divya Dutta has a rocking entry sequence and she takes the film to another level with her performance. Pradhuman Singh Mall brings in the required fun and he does much better in the second half. Anuja Anil Sathe has a small role but she leaves a tremendous mark. Omi Vaidya is as usual quite funny and it’s great to see him after long. Gajraj Rao (Chawla) gets to play an interesting character and is quite fair. Abhijeet Chavan (Inspector Rawle) and Nav Ratan Singh Rathore add to the madness. Vibha Chhibber (Blind Woman) is hilarious and her sequence would be greeted with claps and whistles. Neelima Azeem doesn’t have much to do. Urmila Matondkar looks glamorous in the item song. The songs are quite trippy and quirky which reflect the mood of the film. <em>‘Badla’</em> is the soul of the film while <em>‘Sataasat’</em> is in a similar zone. <em>‘Nindaraan Diyaan’</em> gets better in the last bit. <em>‘Bewafa Beauty’</em> is okay but comes at a crucial point in the flick. <em>‘Patola’</em> is played in the end credits. Mikey McCleary and Parth Parekh's background score has a similar feel as the music and that adds to the fun. It also prevents the film from becoming a serious fare. Mustufa Stationwala's production design is quite realistic and impressive. The sets are eye catching – right from Dev’s office to the restobar to Dev’s residence to Ranjit-Dolly residence. Jay Oza’s cinematography is neat and captures the locales of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai very nicely. Huzefa Lokhandwala's editing is slick and ensures the film moves smoothly. Harpal Singh’s action is real but doesn’t get gory at any point. Veera Kapur Ee’s costumes add to the realism touch. On the whole, BLACKMAIL is quite an unconventional entertainer and a good black comedy. It may not have a pan India appeal but the target multiplex audience are sure to enjoy this flick. The costs of this film are reasonable and as a result, it’ll turn out to be a profitable venture for its producers

Movie Review: Baaghi 2

Fri, 30 Mar 18 07:32:56 +0000

Action has been the mainstay of Bollywood flicks and it’s as important as song and dance. Although action flicks have been churned regularly by Bollywood, there are not many current actors who come under the category of action stars. At such point, Tiger Shroff came as a breath of fresh air. Action is his USP and the manner in which he beats up the baddies is quite entertaining. Tiger has become a darling of the masses and one of the big reasons why that happened was thanks to his second film BAAGHI [2016]. Now it’s second part, BAAGHI 2, has released in cinemas. So does it go beyond the first part and emerge as a great action entertainer? Or does it fail to entice? Let’s analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-831112 size-full" title="Movie Review: Baaghi 2" src="" alt="Movie Review: Baaghi 2" width="750" height="450" /> BAAGHI 2 is the story of a fearless rebel who undertakes a dangerous mission when his ex-girlfriend seeks his help. Ranveer Pratap Singh (Tiger Shroff) is a brave army officer. One day he gets a call from his ex-girlfriend Neha (Disha Patani). She asks for his help in finding her daughter Rhea who got kidnapped two months ago. Ranveer begins his investigation but hits a dead-end soon enough. Nobody is a witness to the kidnapping. Some even claim that Neha never had a daughter. Neha's husband Shekhar (Darshan Kumaar) also confirms this fact. He adds that Neha is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder due to which she is imagining her daughter getting kidnapped. Ronnie confronts Neha over this revelation but she remains adamant. Ronnie refuses to believe, prompting Neha to take a shocking step, which devastates Ronnie. What happens next forms the rest of the film. BAAGHI 2 begins on a thrilling note. Ronnie’s entry as expected is quite clapworthy. One expects fireworks as soon as he lands in Goa to find the missing Rhea. Sadly, two songs are placed almost back to back. This dilutes the impact a bit. But the action scene in the police station brings the film back on track. A sea of characters are then introduced in the next 30-40 minutes and they add a lot of weightage to the narrative. Thankfully, each one of them are there for a reason. There’s also unpredictability in the plot, which makes for a good watch. But the film suffers due to lack of logic. Also, the fights are hardly there before the interval. The second half has more action sequences and this would surely impress the masses. At the same time, the emotional quotient comes out well. The climax has a high dose of fights and the final scene of the film is lovely. BAAGHI 2 is adapted from a Telugu film KSHANAM by Sajid Nadiadwala and the plot is very weak. Although one is not supposed to look for logic in masala films, the level of absurdity in this flick is too high. Jojo Khan, Abbas Hierapurwala and Niraj Mishra's screenplay is twisted for no reason and is devoid of logic. In the climax, it gets a bit haywire during the flashback. It might be difficult for some viewers to guess what exactly happened. Hussain Dalal's dialogues are quite massy and whistle inducing. Ahmed Khan's direction is quite an improvement as compared to his previous attempts. He still falters in a lot of scenes but overall he manages to execute the film in a neat and simple manner. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Coming to performances, Tiger Shroff delivers a terrific performance and enters successfully in the intense zone. It’s great to see how he’s able to look agitated and at the same time quite vulnerable. His action and dance as expected makes for 'paisa vasool' fun. Disha Patani sadly has lesser screen time and she surely has a long way to go when it comes to her performance. Her chemistry with Tiger however is good. Manoj Bajpayee (Ajay Shergill) gives a nice, subtle performance as per his character's requirement. Randeep Hooda (Lodha Singh Dhul aka LSD) gets to essay the most colourful character in the film and he’s too good. Viewers are sure to go crazy after witnessing his antics. Prateik Babbar (Sunny) gets into the skin of his character. Deepak Dobriyal (Usman) leaves a mark with his performance and one-liners. Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj (Colonel Ranjeet Walia) is quite a livewire but sadly this time he doesn’t have much to do. Darshan Kumaar (Shekhar) is quite okay while Sunit Morarjee (Sharad Kute) goes overboard. Jacqueline Fernandez is quite sizzling in her item number. The Songs are strictly okay but barring the item number, the rest don’t make the desired impact. <em>‘Mundiyan’</em> is forced but is quite peppy. <em>‘Ek Do Teen’</em> is energetic, <em>‘O</em> <em>Saathi’</em> is lovely while <em>‘Lo Safar’</em> is wasted. Julius Packiam's background score is quite impactful. Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran's cinematography is eye catching. The aerial shots especially are quite well captured. Ram Chella, Lakshman Chella, Kecha Khamphakdee and Shamshir Khan's action is quite entertaining and the mainstay of the film. Rameshwar Bhagat's editing is okay and the film could have been shorter. Laxmi Keluskar and Sandeep Meher-Lasa's production design is rich. On the whole, BAAGHI 2 boasts of an extraordinary action and spectacular performance from Tiger Shroff with an absence of a convincing and engaging screenplay as a minus point. At the box office, it will score huge over the weekend in the mass dominated circuits. However the real test for the movie will begin from Monday onwards

Movie Review: Hichki

Fri, 23 Mar 18 09:01:33 +0000

Rani Mukerji is all set to make a smashing comeback after over four years with yet another woman oriented movie: HICHKI produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra. Judging by its trailer, the film gives out positive, feel good vibes as it is the story about a teacher who turns her biggest weakness into her strength. Is the movie as good as it looks? Read on our full review to find out. The story of the HICHKI revolves around Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji) and her earnest struggle to break into her dream career of teaching while battling Tourette’s syndrome. After much trepidation and tussle with management and Principal (Shiv Subramanium) of a fancy public school, she lands a job as a teacher. The glitch here is that she is given a class full of mischief makers as students. The challenge comes in form of these unruly kids and of course, her own physical shortcoming. First, it starts with the students resisting her efforts, pulling pranks on her, absolutely frustrating her to the point of breakdown and later it moves on to a great issue: Elitism prevalent in the education sector. Soon it is Naina’s class of unruly kids from a nearby ghetto vs the privileged students of the St Notker’s High School who ‘legitimately belong’ there. This class of 14 students essentially come from underprivileged background and are a part of school, only because of the compulsion by the Right To Education Act on the school management. It is a classic underdog-take-on-the-world and wins kind of situation. What happens when Naina takes up the challenge teaching this class of rejects is what forms the rest of the story. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-828564 size-full" title="Movie Review: Hichki" src="" alt="Movie Review: Hichki" width="750" height="450" /> HICHKI is inspired by the Hollywood flick FRONT OF THE CLASS based on the book by Brad Cohen, Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, co-authored by Lisa Wysocky. The premise is old and films like HINDI MEDIUM and TAARE ZAMEEN PAR come to mind when one thinks of HICHKI. The film works when it comes to the basic storytelling and holds the attention in the first half. While the story is predictable, the screenplay is engaging and keeps you hooked on to its first half. Anckur Chaudhry’s dialogue, story and screenplay starts off on a great note. It is sharp, clever, zingy and funny but slips eventually towards the second half. Director Siddharth Malhotra has co-written the story and screenplay with Chaudhry, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit. Though their intention was genuine, they try too hard to somehow to drive the message home towards the end. Director Siddharth P. Malhotra has done an earnest job by creating heart-warming moments between Naina and her students who slowly but surely come around to appreciate their teacher’s efforts. Malhotra takes a simple story but keeps it engaging throughout and that speaks a lot about his talent as a story-teller. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>What makes HICHKI a decent watch really is Rani Mukerji’s effervescent performance and the way she shoulders the film throughout with a renewed zest. Rani is likeable and inspiring and you sure empathize with her cause. She is relentless, spirited and totally right into her character. She does not lose her bearing even once and holds your attention with her amazing screen presence. There is a little ‘act’ in her acting and it makes you wish she did more films! The actors playing her students are true to their characters and do a brilliant job in their bearing of the rebellious turned studious kids. Harsh Mayar playing the role of Aatish stands out. Neeraj Kabi as the disapproving teacher is spectacular. Ivan Rodrigues as the Principal is good. Supriya Pilgaonkar, Kunal Shinde, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Asif Basra, Hussain Dalal, Suprio Bose, Jannat Zubair Rahmani are all fantastic. Editor Shweta Venkat Mathew does a decent job, though the second half could’ve been tighter. Avinash Arun handles the cinematography well as he plays with his lens to highlight small quirks about the key character of the film. His camera work makes the film look good overall. Music by Jasleen Royal is average. However background score by Hitesh Sonik is good and goes with the narrative. Overall, HICHKI is a simple, meaningful and an inspiring film that stays with you. Rani Mukerji is back in full form and her fans will be immensely impressed. At the box office, the film will mainly appeal to the younger audiences

Movie Review: Pacific Rim - Uprising (English)

Thu, 22 Mar 18 15:48:33 +0000

Today almost every film that hits screens comes along with loads of visual effects and CGI that promise to leave the viewer spell bound. Well, this week, we see the release of one such film, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, which heavily relies on visual effects to not just take the story forward but also to give the viewer a complete cinematic experience on a larger than life canvas. The film is a sequel to 2013 release PACIFIC RIM that created quite an impact with its massive mech warriors going head to head with alien life forms that threaten to destroy earth as we know it. But will it manage to live up to the expectations that have been created by the first, or will it buckle under the pressure, is what we analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-828327 size-full" title="Movie Review: Pacific Rim Uprising (English)" src="" alt="Movie Review: Pacific Rim Uprising (English)" width="750" height="450" /> PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING is set 10 years after the epic ‘Battle of the Breach’ which acted as the climax of the 2013 release. With a brief recap of what transpired in the first film, the sequel dives head first into telling a new tale on epic proportions. With the cataclysmic events behind, the surviving human race has moved on with life. However, there is still a division prepping in the wings just in case another such event happens. But with the advancement in technology, we see the rise of new breed of automated Yeagers that can be remotely piloted. Things seem to be progressing idyllically in the global neighbourhood when out of the blue; a rogue Yeager lays waste to the city of Sydney. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous Kaiju assisted by pilot Lambert (Scott Eastwood) must defend what is left. Stunned by this sudden attack, Pentecost and Lambert undertake a mission to investigate a base buried in ice. Here they are waylaid once again by the rogue Yeager. But the duo piloting Gypsy Avenger, manage to overpower it and haul it back to base. Back home, they learn that the rogue Yeager has been developed after cloning a secondary Kaiju brain. However, the battle is far from over with multiple such rogue Yeagers appearing opening up a new rift for the Kaiju to pass through. Will the battered and bruised team of motley Yeager pilots be able to defend Earth, is what forms the rest of the film. Right from the onset PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING directed by debutante feature film director Steven S DeKnight is a visual treat. With a throwback to the previous film, this one too gives viewers a feel of watching something larger than life unfold. The film does feature some of the best mecha warrior action with well-choreographed fight sequences, wanton destruction, thrilling after-effects and of course some touching dramatic sequences. However, the film does not feature anything new in the overall scheme of the story. In fact, like the first film, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING still toes the line of an alien species invading earth aiming to cause an extinction level event, being fought off bravely by a rag tag team of defenders ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. While the first half of the film starts off well laying the foundations for a thrilling second half, the on screen progressions do not really connect with the seasoned viewer. On the other hand though, the film does come across as one that is aimed more at catering to kids/ teenagers who would love the dollops of destruction and action on offer. Progressing further, the second half of the film doesn’t get any much better. Though replete with nail biting action sequences, unlike the first film, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING does not manage to develop a similar kind of awe in the viewer. Instead the film comes across as a valiant effort to live upto the cracker of a movie Guillermo del Toro gave us in 2013. Coming to the performances in PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, John Boyega as Jake Pentecost does well in his given role, however, the burden of living up to his father Stacker Pentecost’s image played by Idris Elba seems to be too much. Though Boyega does a decent job, his enactment of an inspiring speech session to mimic that of Elba’s from the first film falls flat. Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert, Cailee Spaeny as Amara Namani, Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb and Charlie Day as Dr. Newton 'Newt' Geiszler do similarly well in their given roles. However, it is the visual effects of the film that are truly its main lead. Unlike the first film, that features a slightly darker theme, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING is surprisingly light both in terms of theme and overall doomsday proclamations. Sadly, though the film is a fun watch, it does not compete with Del Toro’s ode to the monster films of old. Coming to background score, something that has become rather major when telling a large canvas story, is severely lacking in the film. With no memorable scores that help build the tension and overall weight of the on screen happenings, the viewer feels rather disconnected. On the whole, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, though not as good as the first part, does manage to hold its own. If you enjoy the thrill of watching giant mecha robots go head to head with monstrous aliens, this film is certainly meant for you. At the Indian box office, with a bit of competition coming in from the Bollywood release HICHKI, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING that enjoys a wide release across four languages, looks set to register decent numbers

Movie Review: Raid

Thu, 15 Mar 18 16:18:24 +0000

Director Raj Kumar Gupta is known for making critically acclaimed movies like AAMIR and NO ONE KILLED JESSICA. And now he is back with RAID starring Ajay Devgn. So, the expectations from the movie are high and well justified too. So let’s find out if RAID lives upto those expectations or not. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-825772 size-full" title="Movie Review: Raid" src="" alt="Raid Movie Review" width="750" height="450" /> RAID, the title itself is self-explanatory. But for the uninitiated, the plot revolves around the no-nonsense, honest-to-the-core Income Tax officer, Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn), and his quest to raid all the top notch businessmen, henchmen and politicians of the country defaulting on the Income Tax. Rameshwar Singh AKA Tauji (Saurabh Shukla), a typical greasy politician is his nemesis. Together, they begin a cat and mouse chase kind of game which results in amazing twists and turns as the film progresses, keeping masses at the edge of their seats, waiting for more. Amay’s target is to recover a whooping amount of Rs. 420 crores which Tauji has hidden away in his 'white house'. As the film progresses, Tauji mounts pressure on Amay to withdraw the raid but despite all this, he carries out the procedure. Does Amay succeed in his mission? Well we wouldn’t like to give that away. First and foremost let’s get to the performances of the leads. Both Devgn and Shukla shine through their characters. They are impactful and totally keep you hooked. Every time they appear on screen, sparks fly and you end up feeling the tension. Ajay Devgn looks strong and powerful playing the role of an honest IT officer who is not scared of anyone. He impresses everytime he delivers a punchline and emotes so much through his eyes. Saurabh Shukla as the corrupt politician is equally good and gives Ajay a tough fight on screen. Ileana D’cruz, as Devgn’s wife, gives depth to his character. Pushpa Joshi, who plays Saurabh Shukla’s mother, has a key role in the whole film. Every time she appears on screen, her wry sense of humour releases tension and provides a good break from all the intensity. While the leads have done justice to their characters, supporting actors, Amit Sial, Amit Bimrot and Gayathri, who play Ajay’s colleagues, give an honest performance. Saurabh Shukla’s family members played by Ravi Khanwilkar, Sheeba Chadha, Devas Dixit, Pravin Sisodia, among others stay true to their on screen roles of flawed relatives of a corrupt politician. Director Raj Kumar Gupta mounts the film well and has made sure that the audience’s attention is not diverted from the main topic: Raid. And it actually works in his favour. He arrests our attention with all the twists in the film, especially the sequence prior to interval which can only be described as top notch. Also, he has made sure that the movie culminates beautifully towards the climax, keeping us on the edge of our seats for most of the time. This has to be his best work till date. The only hiccup is that the romance between Ajay and Illeana is strictly okay and the songs create slight restlessness and deviation from the main plot. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center> The Background score by Amit Trivedi works well for the film but songs re-created by Tanishk Bagchi seem pretty unnecessary. A special mention to Ritesh Shah, who has written the screenplay, story and the dialogues of RAID. The dialogue-baazi is sure to be greeted with whistles and claps. While all dialogues are brilliant, one sequence is especially stellar. Somewhere in the film, Tauji is having dinner at the table. He rounds the people sitting with him one by one and then asks wryly, <em>“Vibhishan Kaun Hai?”</em>. In a dramatic style, the identity of this said Vibhishan is revealed in the end, shocking your senses. Talking about the editing, Bodhaditya Banerjee has done a decent job keeping the thriller crisp. Its total runtime is 2 hrs 8 mins. DOP Alphonse Roy is good as his camera moves smoothly, taking us head-on through this gritty narrative. RP Yadav’s action is pretty neat and whatever little scope there is for Ajay to show his expertise in the department, he does it with panache. Let’s take a moment here and appreciate Ajay’s choice of films. He maintains a sleek balance between commercial and content driven films with the proficiency of a seasoned performer. While he has films like GOLMAAL in his kitty, he does DRISHYAM and a RAID and impresses us just as effortlessly. On the whole, RAID is a realistic and hard-hitting thriller that keeps you hooked right till the end. A film that is sure to win accolades as well as positive word of mouth. This twisty tale is definitely a must watch movie this weekend

Movie Review: Dil Juunglee

Fri, 09 Mar 18 08:56:48 +0000

Taapsee Pannu has had a good run at the box office lately. She got critical acclaim with Amitabh Bachchan starrer PINK in 2016 and since then her career has seen an upward trajectory. JUDWAA 2 with Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez saw commercial success while NAAM SHABHANA got her critical acclaim. She also did a few South films which earned her accolades from masses. Now, she is back with a romantic comedy, DIL JUUNGLEE, which is presented as your typical rom-com fare. Taapsee Pannu is joined by Saqib Saleem in this flick. But does the film manage to impress at all? Find out here. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-823500 size-full" title="Movie Review: Dil Juunglee" src="" alt="Movie Review: Dil Juunglee" width="750" height="450" /> The story revolves around its two lead characters Koroli Nair (Taapsee Pannu) and Sumit Uppal (Saqib Saleem) and the way they meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. Bored already? Pannu essays the role of a rich London-based girl who comes to New Delhi to become a teacher. English literature is her calling and her character is a prototype of a typical ‘poor little rich girl’. Saqib’s Sumit is ‘Delhi ka desi launda’ who dreams of making it big in Bollywood. He starts taking English classes, no prize for guessing who his teacher is. After learning that Koroli is from a super rich family, he conveniently falls in love with her, elopes to Mumbai to get married but leaves her at the altar, or in this case mandap. Cut to seven years later, Koroli has become a no nonsense business woman in London, is all sleek and polished while Sumit is a small time actor essaying mythological roles in small films. They meet again and sparks fly. Koroli is engaged to a rich businessman while Sumit is committed to his co-actor. The movie plods further before giving us an unoriginal, uh-so-typical happily ever after! DIL JUUNGLEE is directed by the first timer Aleya Sen, who is the co-founder of a production house– Chrome Pictures. It is far too evident from the overall treatment given to the project to understand that a novice has helmed the movie. Writing by Aleya, Tanoya Sen Sharma and Shiv Singh is lacklustre and boring. Despite being a woman, Sen paints her female lead in a poor light often making her look needy, desperate and a pushover. Koroli’s aim is to ‘settle down’ and constantly hankers for male validation from her boyfriend, fiancé or father. She ultimately falls all over again for a man who can only be described as entitled and selfish. DIL JUUNGLEE has a fairly clichéd plot with clichéd characterisation. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Performance wise, Saqib makes an effort to keep masses engaged with his impeccable comic timing and other histrionics in the first half of the film. But it looks like Taapsee has sleepwalked through the movie after a point. She gives up on DIL JUUNGLEE midway, just like the audience. Web sensations Nidhi Singh (Sumit’s fiancée) and Sirshti Srivastava (Koroli’s friend) are good and are true to their characters. Abhilash Thapliyal who plays Sumit’s friend is fine too. Cinematography by Amol Rathod is decent; especially the camerawork in London. Background score by Abhishek Arora does not work and only one song from film: ‘Nachle Na’ by Guru Randhawa stands out. Editor Dev Jadhav manages to keep the movie short with its run time of almost 2 hours, yet the film feels like a drag. Going by the look of the film, costume designer Ayesha Khanna makes the lead actors look chic and young. On the whole, DIL JUUNGLEE fails to connect with its target audience, thanks to its predictable storyline and way too many clichés. With no buzz around the film whatsoever, it is bound to struggle at the box office

Movie Review: Hate Story IV

Fri, 09 Mar 18 05:44:42 +0000

HATE STORY has been a very successful franchise, with HATE STORY 3 [2015] doing huge business at the box office. So does HATE STORY IV also manage to entertain like the previous parts? Or does it falter like the recent adult flicks? Let’s analyse. HATE STORY IV is the story of a girl who causes a rift between two brothers. Tasha (Urvashi Rautela) comes to London to become famous but is unable to find success. Luck favours her when she meets Rajveer (Karan Wahi), a photographer who is also a womaniser. He is floored by Tasha's glamorous appeal and recommends her to his brother Aryan (Vivan Bhatena) and his girlfriend cum business partner Rishma (Ihana Dhillon), both of whom are looking for a fresh face for their upcoming cosmetic brand. Tasha is signed and she becomes famous. Both Aryan and Rajveer start lusting after Tasha and try to get close to her. Meanwhile their father Vikram Khurana (Gulshan Grover) is running for London Mayoral elections and he has cautioned the brothers not to do anything untoward which would jeopardize his chances of victory. However, things begin to go wrong as Tasha gets involved with both Rajveer and Aryan. A mysterious blackmailer also emerges who has photographic evidence of all the wrongdoings, including a murder. What happens next forms the rest of the film. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-823392 size-full" title="Movie Review: Hate Story IV" src="" alt="Movie Review: Hate Story IV" width="750" height="450" /> HATE STORY IV begins with intriguing opening credits and is quite nicely done. The first sequence is unexpected as the film begins midway and then the narrative goes in a flashback mode. Some of the recent erotic films failed as they didn't have adequate dosage of sex that the promos promised. HATE STORY IV thankfully is an exception. The film has enough steamy scenes and thrill to give the target audience its money's worth. Also despite the numerous twists, the narrative is very simple. Moreover, Hindi subtitles have been displayed during all the English dialogues. These efforts show that the makers want to ensure that audiences in B and C centers are able to fully enjoy the film. Sammeer Arora's story is a bit weak and has far too many twists and turns after a point. But Sammeer Arora and Vishal Pandya's screenplay is simplistic and effective, though it fails to neatly camouflage some of the flaws in the plot. Milap Milan Zaveri's dialogues are appealing and massy. But it's not fair to have punchlines in practically every sentence. Vishal Pandya's direction is decent. He ensures that the film remains a complete commercial masala fare. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Urvashi Rautela has the oomph factor for sure and it comes to the fore very well. Even performance wise, she is decent and nicely manages to ooze evilness and vulnerability. Karan Wahi looks dashing and does a fine job. Vivan Bhatena has a slightly lengthier role and performs as per his character’s requirement. Ihana Dhillon also has her share of sizzling scenes but her screen time is limited and is okay. Gulshan Grover delivers quite an entertaining performance. Tia Bajpai (Bhavna) and Shaad Randhawa (Ashwin Chaudhary) are good in special appearances. Mohit Chhabra (Ron) and Rita Siddiqui (Monica) are average. The music of HATE STORY IV is well woven with the narrative. <em>‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’</em> is the best of the lot. <em>‘Boond Boond Mein’</em>, <em>‘Badnaamiyan’</em> and <em>‘Tum Mere Ho’</em> come next and all these songs are laden with intimate scenes. <em>‘Mohabbat Nasha Hai’</em> is sadly wasted. Sunny Bawra and Inder Bawra's background score is quite exhilarating and adds to the drama and thrill. Sunita Radia's cinematography is neat and the film has been shot in some beautiful places and houses of England. Manish More's editing is slick while Neesha Sharma and Shyamli Arrora's costumes are quite glamorous, especially the ones donned by the girls. On the whole, HATE STORY IV has its fair share of intimacy and thrill, which has been the primary reason for the success of the series. At the box office, it will prove to be a safe bet for the makers considering its investment and the returns

Movie Review: Death Wish (English)

Sat, 03 Mar 18 07:42:31 +0000

It is known that the remakes and reboots are kind of Hollywood’s thing. In the recent past, many remakes like JUMANJI and MURDER IN THE ORIENT EXPRESS have made its way to the big screen. While some have done a little justice to the original movies, others have failed to impress the audience. Going on the same lines is the Bruce Willis’ gritty violent action-thriller, DEATH WISH, a remake of 1974 controversial film. For the uninitiated, the original DEATH WISH film starred Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Jack Wallace, and Stuart Margolin among others. The original film was a dark drama which revolved around a man who becomes a one man vigilante after his wife’s murder and assault on his daughter. Will this Bruce Willis version of the film impress the audiences? Lets analyse. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-821185 size-full" title="Movie Review: Death Wish (English)" src="" alt="Movie Review: Death Wish (English)" width="620" height="450" /> DEATH WISH (2018) follows the story of a doctor Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) who is leading a normal life working in an ER in Chicago until tragedy hits him. His wife Lucy Kersey (Elisabeth Shue) is murdered and daughter Jordan Kersey (Camilla Morrone) is in coma after a break-in at their house. This leaves him grieving and frustrated at the same time because the lack of the progress on the case by the police. Eventually, Paul Kersey decides to take justice in his own hands and follows the path of vigilantism. From getting untraceable weapons to taking lessons from Youtube, Paul takes the vigilante path to seek vengeance. Not only does he question that his actual profession as a doctor is about saving lives but somehow he has chosen now to take crime out of the streets. When he does get the lead on the goons who had broken into his house, he plans to seek revenge. Elli Roth’s DEATH WISH starts off a little slow as the story of the family is set up first and every key character is introduced. Even after the tragedy takes place, Bruce Willis’ character takes time for the reality to sink in, while his daughter recovers from her injuries. However, once Willis turns into a vigilante, the film goes into a fast track mode with its action thriller theme. The best part about the film is that director Roth maintains subtle humour throughout the film, especially after a doctor who has never even used a gun, turns into an amateur vigilante at night and shoots down the bad guys. Bruce Willis who essays the role of Paul Kersey is just as good as he is in his previous films. Every DIE HARD fan knows what he is capable of when it comes to acting and action. He takes over the role of Charles Bronson but nothing like the original character. He is angry, flippant and just in shooting spree. Dean Morris of Breaking Bad fame essays the role of Detective Kevin Raines. He makes a strong impact on screen. Elisabeth Shue, who essays the role of Lucy Kersey, has less screen time but is good in whatever time she has. Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays Paul Kersey’s ex-con brother, has literally nothing to contribute in the story. Camila Morrone is impressive in her role as Jordan Kersey. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> The screenplay by Joe Carnahan is average. It does build an emotional connect with the Kersey family but one does feel that the writing could have been stronger, especially when you have such a stellar cast to perform the material on screen. Cinematographer Rogier Stoffers uses stunning camera angles, especially while shooting the city at night during the vigilante scenes. Mark Goldbatt’s editing is tight and crisp. Ludwig Goransson’s music is catchy and helps build the momentum. The action scenes are shot very well as the gun fights are quick and action is very situational. On the whole, DEATH WISH is an action thriller which has a basic storyline but manages to entertain with its action scenes and subtle humour. The film will appeal to the hardcore Bruce Willis fans

Movie Review: Pari

Fri, 02 Mar 18 03:38:12 +0000

Anushka Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee are all set to spook us with their latest offering: PARI – NOT A FAIRYTALE. Mysterious title, scary teasers (nay, screamers) and a promising cast urge us to believe that Anushka’s experiment with horror is going to be rather interesting. The movie is produced under the actress’s banner Clean Slate Films along with Prerna Arora’s KriArj Entertainment. It is directed by the first time director Prosit Roy who also assisted on the sets of PHILLAURI. We have not seen a really good horror movie since long and so will PARI fit the bracket with its perfectly scary, sleek appeal? Let’s find out. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-820910 size-full" title="Movie Review: Pari" src="" alt="Movie Review: Pari" width="750" height="450" /> The makers were extremely careful so as to not let any plot details out before the release and hence went easy with their promotions. There is an element of mystery in the story which is NOT let out by its teasers. The film set in Kolkata, is about Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma) who is an orphaned woman. The story builds on the mystery about Rukhsana and we are left perturbed thinking if she is the ghost, or it's victim? Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee), a loner, provides shelter to her given that she is distressed and has no one to look out for her. Despite many warnings and family opposition, he develops a liking for her but little does he know that she has an evil, supernatural power. As the story movies forward, we are introduced to more characters. Rajat Kapoor is the spooky, blood thirsty professor in the film, who torments the thoughts of the lead character constantly. He belongs to a controversial exorcists’ group and is hunting down Rukhsana. Arnab is filled with speculation but is enamoured by the wild and vulnerable Rukhsana. As the movie progresses, Arnab goes through a tumult of emotions and is sucked into this mess. The movie then answers the most vital question: Is Anushka the tormented or the tormentor? And also explains us the title in the process. PARI – NOT A FAIRYTALE overall has a very gloomy palette and works well to create a scary setting. The makers have worked on creating atmospheric horror and are largely successful in doing the same. Prosit Roy and Abhishek Banerjee have a good concept but they fail to write an engaging screenplay. The scenes do create a lot of intrigue but a lot is held back from the audience for too long. Anvita Dutt does a good job with the dialogues, maintaining a much needed restrain. As a horror film, PARI has the right amount of chills and thrills that will spook the viewer. Prosit Roy, who has directed the film, carefully mounts the story, creating a lot of suspense and intrigue about the lead characters in the minds of audiences. However, due to a weak screenplay, the film falls weak at many places. Talking about the performances, Anushka Sharma successfully impresses with her carefully cultivated acting chops. Easily, this is one of her best performances till date. Restrained as the abused victim but completely spooky when required, it’s great how she displays her range as an actor. She is vulnerable at one moment and super scary in other. Her pairing works well with the Bengali sweetheart Parambrata Chatterjee. Param plays his part with a lot of conviction. Together, they create many innocently romantic moments, giving a much needed relief from all the gore in the film. Rajat Kapoor as the exorcist is beyond amazing and the twist in his role will leave you surprised. In the horror genre, the role of a DOP is the most crucial. Jishnu Bhattacharjee does not disappoint us at all. He creates a world which is very creepy and bone-chilling, at the same time but there is a strange beauty, allure and mystique to it. Editing by Manas Mittal is decent. Sunil Rodriques's action sequences well executed. Anupam Roy’s music and Ketan Sodha’s background score take the plot ahead. But it is the sound effects by Debajit Changmai and team which does the trick to spook the viewer! <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> A special mention to make up artiste Clover Wootton for transforming Anushka into a hollow eyed possessed victim Rukhsana on one hand and creating a totally different bloody, creepy look, a drastic change from her original appearance. The prosthetics and make up done for other characters in the film is also very impressive. Despite quite a few positives, PARI also comes with a baggage of some serious drawbacks. One of the major problems with the film is that it has a very slow pace and a weak first half. Though there are series of events happening in the first half, as an audience, one wonders where exactly is the story going. The answers to all the questions come much later in the second half. The director clearly wanted to build up the suspense but many may not be impressed with that narrative. Another factor is that more than the story of the film, it is the sound effects that do the scaring. In fact the story gets a little predictable towards the climax and even shifts away from the horror genre altogether. But the most risky factor about film is the amount of blood, gore and violence shown in the movie, which may gross out a lot of viewers. The promos of the film were spooky, but not every viewer, excited to watch Anushka Sharma’s experiment with horror, will be prepared to handle the gore scenes. Overall, PARI – NOT A FAIRYTALE has an interesting premise with a fair amount of chills and thrills. However, the weak screenplay and unnecessary blood and gore is off putting. At the box office, the film will appeal to the segment of audiences who enjoy the horror/gore genre of films

Movie Review: Welcome To New York

Fri, 23 Feb 18 09:32:41 +0000

WELCOME TO NEW YORK (WTNY), directed by Chakri Toleti and produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Puja Films releases this week along with Luv Ranjan’s SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY. WELCOME TO NEW YORK stars Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh and Karan Johar in pivotal roles and has an entire entourage of Bollywood A-listers making cameos as it is based against the backdrop of IIFA Awards. The film is meant to be a satire on the Hindi film industry and the two leads Diljit and Sonakshi play underdogs who make it big in Bollywood, despite coming from a humble background. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-818652" src="" alt="" width="750" height="450" /> The movie is about a sloppy recovery agent Teji (Diljit Dosanjh) who dreams of being an actor and a ‘dhinchaak designer’ Jinal (Sonakshi Sinha) who wants to escape from her dreary life. They win a contest and are selected to showcase their talent at the IIFA Awards by Sophie (Lara Dutta) who is a part of the organising team spear headed by Gary (Boman Irani). Sophie purposely selects the ‘two losers’ Teji and Jinal in order to settle scores with her Gary, who refuses her partnership in the company. The entire film is supposed to be a comedy of errors with both Teji and Jinal winning Bollywood fraternity’s hearts with their genuine talent. What it turns out to be is a whole different story. In between all this is the main celebrity host of the show Karan Johar, who has his own set of issues with the organiser Gary. But at the same time, Karan is also under threat of being kidnapped by his lookalike NY based gangster Arjun (Karan Johar) who wants to punish him for making romantic films. Riteish Deshmukh, who is the co-host of the show, uses this situation to his own selfish benefit. In between all this chaos behind the scene, IIFA awards take place in New York. Karan Johar, in his double role as Karan (the director and head honcho of Dharma Productions) and Arjun (the gangster) manages to keep the movie engaging. There is a lot of self-referencing and self deprecative humour (be it about his sexual orientation or his movies) which does make you laugh at quite a few places. Diljit Dosanjh as the goofy Teji Singh is adorable. His comic timing is impeccable. Sonakshi Sinha is lost throughout the film and is not very convincing. Even a dream sequence with Salman Khan does nothing to the character that is weak. Boman Irani as the stressed out, snarky stooge managing the event looks solely disoriented as he flits listlessly around from frame to frame. Lara Dutta tries to save the film as she does her part in whatever little scope she has been offered. Salman Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapur and Riteish Deshmukh ‘s cameos look forced and out of the sync. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The first half of the film manages to keep one engaged because the writers Dheeraj Rattan and Sara Bodinar create some interest in the lead characters after they land in New York and there is a certain curiosity about who Karan’s doppelganger is and why he wants to harm the Dharma Productions’ head honcho so bad. Director Chakri Toleti’s comedy of errors goes wrong especially in the second half because whole plot of the film goes out of the window, due to the lack of a proper script. Editor Ritesh Soni has kept the film at two hours, five minutes instead of making it even more long and exhaustive. The film’s music is forgettable except for the last dance number <em>‘Pant Mai Gun’</em>. Cinematographers Neha Parti Matiyani and Santosh Thundiyil do an average job. On the whole, WELCOME TO NEW YORK comes across as a blatant endorsement of IIFA with a handful of funny gags thrown in here and there. The impeccable comic timing of Diljit Dosanjh and Karan Johar's funny take on himself and the industry act as the saving grace. At the box office, the movie will have very limited scope

Movie Review: Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety

Thu, 22 Feb 18 17:01:21 +0000

Director Luv Ranjan shot to fame with a surprise hit, PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA, in 2011 and the highlight of the film was the bromance between the three new but attractive male leads: Kartik Aaryan, Divyendu Sharma and Raayo S Bakhirta. The film’s success was based on the fact that it was light, youthful and played on the fun stereotypes about women and dating. Now, the filmmaker is back with yet another film with his favourites: Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh and Nushrat Bharucha. Yes, and it is love triangle but with a twist. SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY (SKTKS) is a clash between Romance Vs Bromance. The undercurrent here though is the same: Is the dosti between men more precious than a romantic liaison with a woman? Find out here. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-818405 size-full" title="Movie Review: Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety" src="" alt="Movie Review: Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety" width="750" height="450" /> The movie revolves around Titu (Sunny Singh) who is a hapless victim of romance. A perpetual lovesick puppy, he falls in love way too easily and gets his heart broken at the drop of his hat. Sonu (Kartik Aaryan), his street-smart, suave pal is his saviour. He literally saves him from bad company, relationships and is kinda obsessed with him… in an endearing sort of a way. Sonu advises Titu to stay away from Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha). Titu does not pay any heed to Sonu’s advice but in turn tells him that his motherly instincts are making him say so! This sentence sort of summarises the extent to which these guys are close! So, the film mounts on as Titu falls deeper in love with the seemingly flawless Sweety who tries her best to woo him. Sonu remains skeptical, waiting for a chance to find something against her that he can use. She too realises his true designs and declares a full-blown war against Sonu. The suspense of the film is who wins? Dosti or Pyaar or do these plots take a totally different trajectory? The makers successfully hook us on with the cat and mouse game between his hero and the 'villain’. Well, there is no denying that the target audiences for these movies are young college going kids. The film caters to them and does a good job with its dialogues and plot to keep the viewer constantly hooked. The dialogues with punches written by Rahul Mody along with Luv are young and funny. There are many cusswords used with beeps in it, which add to the overall fun. Along with Kartik, Alok Nath’s punch lines are very funny too. Director Luv Ranjan holds the film in place and keeps us engaged throughout with surprise twists and the Tom and Jerry like chemistry between Sonu and Sweety. No, the ending is nothing like you'd ever expect and would take you by surprise. SKTKS will surely keep you on the edge of the seat. There are certain scenes which stand out and deserve a mention. The scene where Sweety is introduced for a rishta with Titu, Sonu keeps getting anxious at the prospect of his friend ending up with her are noteworthy. Another sequence which is interesting is when Titu’s ex Pihu (played by the electric Ishita Raj) shows up in the story. Sonu’s funny segment with servant Babu, who is appointed by Sweety, will make you laugh hard. Talking about the performances, Kartik Aryan’s screen presence is top class. His evil grin and devilish charm will make you fall in love with him. Sunny Singh is a total eye candy and delivers as a shy, romantic fellow. He is natural and believable as Titu. Nushrat Bharucha commands your attention and her moments with Kartik are pure fire. Their chemistry is sizzling and they totally look good together. She holds on to her character and delivers a solid performance. Special mention to Alok Nath who plays a quirky patriarch Ghasitaram. He is refreshingly good as a whiskey+kebab loving grandfather and adds a much-needed zing to the plot. Ishita Raj as Titu's ex Pihu does her role fantastically well. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The writing by Rahul Mody and Luv Ranjan is fiery and does not slip one bit. The film keeps you on the edge from start to end, guessing what’s coming next. The music of SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY is already hit after music director Hitesh Sonik revamped some of the chartbusters: ‘Dil Chori’ and ‘Bom Diggy Diggy’. Hitesh Sonik’s background score goes really well with the overall appeal of SKTKS. As for visuals, the film looks very good as DOP Sudhir K Chaudhary does a fine job of making every frame look pretty and colourful. Editor Akiv Ali keeps the movie tight and crisp. Vicky Sidana gets the casting spot on. On the whole, SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY entertains as well as packs a solid punch. It is witty and sharp both in terms of drama and execution. At the box office, it will be lapped up by its target audience - the youth - who will take an instant liking towards the film. Strongly recommended

Movie Review: Aiyaary misses the mark and is a huge letdown

Thu, 15 Feb 18 19:41:49 +0000

Director Neeraj Pandey is one of the best in the business and has a penchant for making thrillers taking a political, crime issues as its central theme. His past experiments with Akshay Kumar, <em>Special 26 </em>and<em> Baby</em>, have worked both at the box office and with masses. This time around, he is back with <em>Aiyaary</em> which again has a strong plotline and a holds out a promise of dumdaar performances by its leads Manoj Bajpayee, Sidharth Malhotra, Vikram Gokhale and Rakul Preet Singh and added appearances by director's favourites Anupam Kher and the effervescent Nasseruddin Shah. With masses still warming up to Akshay Kumar’s <em>Pad</em> <em>Man,</em> <em>Aiyaary</em> has released at an opportune moment. Here are our thoughts about the film. Watching the espionage thriller over the weekend? Find out our verdict. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-815864 size-full" title="Movie Review: Aiyaary misses the mark and is a huge letdown" src="" alt="Aiyaary Review" width="750" height="450" /> First of all, one must be wondering what <em>Aiyaary</em> actually means? So, according to the maker, the word is an embodiment of all the qualities a true soldier must have. A successful soldier is the one who brings out his best in the time of adversity. So, <em>Aiyaary</em> means a combination of sharpness, wit, tact, ability to change appearances and combating techniques a soldier uses to emerge victorious. The movie revolves around Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and Major Jai Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra) who are both army officers. It majorly focuses on corruption within the army and the system efforts to hunt down Jai who goes rogue after finding out the ugly truth about the defence system. While it is loosely based on the Adarsh Society scam which rocked the nation in 2010, the maker does not revolve the entire movie about it. Instead, he builds on the tension using different plots which come together to make one massive issue, in this case: corruption in the Defense Ministry. The undercurrent of the film is raging generation gap between Singh and Bakshi. Friends turned foes, both lead characters focus on keeping viewers engaged with their car and mouse chase. While the director Pandey tried to build on the suspense, he fails to keep the viewer's attention because of it's run time and clumsy writing. The movie talks about arms and ammunition scam for about one and a half hour, but ends with a focus on Aadarsh society Scam. The movie could have been salvaged by tighter editing but Praveen Kathikuloth fails to deliver on that front. <em>Aiyaary</em> suffers from a weak script but we liked a couple of dialogues which are apt to describe the Indian political circus and the subsequent corruption. For example, in one scene Manoj talks about the Kashmir issue and says the reason it's not getting solved is because lot of people have to gain from it. Kashmir is not just an issue but has become an industry. Bitter yet true. The film has all the makings of a Neeraj Pandey film. Yet, it somehow fails to have a massy connect. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> DOP Sudeep Palsane has done a good job. Special mention to the make up artistes and also costume designer Falguni Thakore for doing such amazing work with Sidharth and Manoj's different guides in the film. Action by Abbas Ali Moghul is okay but honestly, there is nothing to write home about. Talking about the performances, Manoj Bajpayee is as usual excellent. He tries really hard to hold the film on his shoulder; after all he is one of the central characters. His seasoned act shines through. Sidharth Malhotra looks to redeem himself, after the box office debacles: <em>A Gentleman,</em> <em>Baar Baar Dekho</em> and <em>Ittefaq,</em> with this film. His romantic portions with Rakul Preet Singh fails to work and seems forced. The supporting cast of Vikram Gokhale, Kumud Mishra, Aadil Hussain, Naseruddin Shah shine through. The music of the film is good but not extraordinary. This film has one such track <em>‘Lae Dooba’</em> which is on radio charts but is not as effective. On the whole, AIYAARY misses the mark and is a huge letdown on the account of its flawed script and the lengthy runtime. At the box office, it will be a disappointing fare

Movie Review: Black Panther (English)

Wed, 14 Feb 18 17:04:33 +0000

With so many superhero films releasing in a year, it often comes to feel like they all look the same. As Marvel continues to make more expensive and larger than life films, there comes Marvel's 18th superhero film, BLACK PANTHER. There arrives Ryan Coogler's sprawling saga which blends mythical tones with classic drama in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Black Panther was a character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, the son of the king of the African nation Wakanda. The film opens with a monologue from King T'Chaka while he introduces his son T'Challa to the big world of Wakanda. Cut to the story about King T'Chaka's brother played by Sterling K Brown who betrayed Wakanda. The film finally begins with Wakanda in flux over the death of its leader during CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is ready to take the charge as the King but is struggling to be the voice of continuity. He's regal, gracious and well- mannered to take the charge. The story moves to another part of the world where the main antagonist Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) is prepping to take over Wakanda and it's leadership and plans to turn it into an interventionist world power. As seen in trailers, Killmonger also turns into gold plated Black Panther who is one man army hellbent to kill T'Challa. The story unfolds as the director begins to tell the story of leadership, loyalty and black power. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-815450 size-full" title="Black Panther (English)" src="" alt="Black Panther (English)" width="750" height="450" /> Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther, was introduced back in 2016 in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. While the seed was planted earlier, his first appearance as Black Panther impressed the comic book fans. In 2018 film BLACK PANTHER, Chadwick Boseman brings gravitas to T’Challa’s struggle of becoming suddenly becoming a King from a Prince after his father's assassination. He brings charisma and charm to the table as he isn't just any superhero. He is a leading black superhero who makes the part his own. Michael. B. Jordan, the main antagonist Killmonger, plays the classic comic book villain and exudes spellbinding performance. His character channels the childhood pain and faces of the Black Panther. His complex and nuanced character plays the central part in the film which absolutely grabs attention. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o essays the role of T’Challa’s ex Nakia who is one of the nation’s undercover war dogs helping the community in need. Letitia Wright essays the role of T’Challa’s super smart kid sister, Angela Bassett as T’Challa’s proud mother, to Daniel Kaluuya as a shifty ally to Andy Serkis as a side villain. The breakout star of the film is Okoye played by Danai Gurira who happens to badass warrior standing up for the King and Wakanda. The script, co-written by director Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, is a dramatist who makes this mythical superhero come to life. Ryan Coogler has managed to assemble his own set of crackerjack Avengers aka actors who give texture to every character. On the whole, BLACK PANTHER is in some ways a world of fantasy but also seems to be a very real world. It blends dynasty drama with global politics very maturely. After 52 years since its first mention in comic books, BLACK PANTHER rises high on being bold, vital and brings a welcome refreshment to Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the story continues, Black Panther will be seen in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. And of course, lastly but definitely not the least, WAKANDA FOREVER

Movie Review: PAD MAN scores high on content as well as emotions

Thu, 08 Feb 18 15:58:42 +0000

Akshay Kumar for long has been championing social and nationalist causes in his films with TOILET: EK PREM KATHA, AIRLIFT, JOLLY LLB 2, HOLIDAY, BABY, NAAM SHABANA, among others. It would be safe to say that the actor has carved his niche with integrating pertinent issues in commercial cinema space, leading to few of his detractors limiting him to that particular category. Akshay, who also is one of the most bankable stars in the business currently, returns to the big screen with R Balki’s PAD MAN based on the issues, relating to menstruation, faced by underprivileged women in rural India. The film is produced by Twinkle Khanna’s Mrs Funnybones Movies and has Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in lead roles along with Kumar. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-813194" src="" alt="Movie Review: Pad Man" width="750" height="450" /> So yes, with all this hoopla around PAD MAN, it is only logical to expect a lot from the film. Does it meet our collective expectations? Read on to find that out. We have you covered. The film revolves around life of Lakshmikant Chauhan (Akshay Kumar) based out of a village in Madhya Pradesh and his inspiring journey of spreading awareness about menstruation and smashing taboos associated with it in the conservative society. Now, first of all let us all agree that it was indeed brave of Akshay to touch upon this subject, given his massy appeal. There is a probability that aam junta might shy away from watching the film because of its unconventional content. But the makers have made sure that there is enough publicity going around which will make people shun their ignorance and embrace this cause wholeheartedly. So, a newly married Lakshmi is a welder but extremely curious about female menstruation and is disturbed by the lack of sanitation or awareness around it. It all starts when he finds out that his wife Gayatri (Radhika Apte) uses dirty cotton cloth for the lack of sanitary pads during her periods. He then fashions a cotton pad and persuades his wife to use the same. Despite repeated attempts, he fails to make a sustainable napkin. His relentless pursuit to make the perfect sanitary napkin leads his entire family to disown him until he manages to convince the society that menstrual hygiene is a burning topic which needs to be addressed. Akshay Kumar is at his natural best in the garb of a village bumpkin Lakshmi. The supporting cast of Radhika Apte, Mrunmayee Gokhale and Jyoti Subhash are brilliant, complementing his performance. The first half is filled with a lot of bittersweet moments between Akshay and Radhika but one scene that stood out for us was just before the interval. Lakshmi, in an attempt to make a full proof napkin, attaches an animal blood pouch to his waist making the blood drip steadily into his handmade pad. Thinking that his job is done, he happily strides away only to realise to his dismay that the pad is leaking. The mere sight of Akshay taking a plunge into the nearby river with soiled pants is moving, impactful and breaks stereotypes in every way possible. It is indeed brave for a mainstream Hindi film hero to attempt something like this. The dialogues written by Swanand Kirkire and R. Balki are funny, emotional, bringing out a very earthy side of the lead hero. Though we felt that Lakshmi’s UN speech could have been shorter. In the second half, director R. Balki slips a little bit as the film gets too technical showing Lakshmi building a pad manufacturing machine from scratch. The editing treatment given to these bits by Chandan Arora could have been tighter. Also, Sonam Kapoor’s entry is a little too convenient and the way she begins her association with the PAD MAN Akshay is a tad bit filmy. Sonam tries to deliver an honest performance as a confidante and marketing guru to Akshay’s character but there is little focus on her in the movie. She however tries to make the best of what she has, engaging us for most part. Despite saying this, a love angle created by the makers between her and Akshay seemed forced and unnecessary. The screenplay (R. Balki) is quite engaging and entertaining. It sure drops at a few places but eventually manages to pick and keep you glued to the story. Since this film, which is inspired by the life of Tamil Nadu’s social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, is adapted to suit North Indian sensibilities for greater viewership, PAD MAN is shot across scenic locales of Maheshwar, Indore and Mahu in Madhya Pradesh. PC Sreeram has done an excellent job with the cinematography. The camera work is beautiful and expansive capturing the simplicity of the lifestyle of the people living there. One finds a massy connect in the way characters are treated as far as their costumes, dialogues and overall appeal is considered. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Amit Trivedi’s music is good but not spectacular, to be honest. Only two tracks ‘Aaj Se Teri’ and Pad Man title track stand out but then there is little scope for the music when the film is so heavy on content. It is worth mentioning here that Akshay Kumar manages to maintain perfect gravitas as a feminist icon who is emotional and passionate about his cause. It is indeed applause worthy for him to take a taboo topic (after TOILET: EK PREM KATHA) and make a commercial film out of it, without letting it get too preachy for its own good. Also, it is interesting to note that Balki’s gallery has always been the urbane multiplex going audience and yet he pleasantly surprises us by making a rooted film which has the potential to cut across class/caste barriers. On the whole, PAD MAN is a brave and an inspirational attempt at creating a commercial cinema out of a taboo topic. The movie scores high on content as well as emotions. At the box office, Akshay Kumar’s mass appeal will surely help to pull in the audiences. It has the potential to grow steadily at the box-office with the positive word-of-mouth. Period