Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tamasha - Movie Review

Tamasha - Movie Review

Ratings: 3/5 (Just for the last 30 mins of the film, which delivers an inspiring message)

Tamasha is an abstract, which won't go down easy in your digestive tract. Film starts with a wacky storytelling concept which keeps you bewildered and might be repulsive for some. I can draw a parallel between Tamasha and a 3 course meal. 1st course is a dubsmash, where video is of 2015 but all the dialogues are from 1970s films (Teja from Zanjeer, Mona Darling). If you can't relate with that era, you won't be able to decrypt the cryptic filmi language. Ranbir extends this character to play Dev Anand and fails miserably in mimicking his mannerism. 1st course lasts for 45 min and is largely unimpressive, far fetched and way too filmy. 

2nd course starts with a peppy song "Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai" and the film transitions from a Matargashti to a mushy mushy romance. Plot starts coming on track and looks believable, however this happiness is short lived and what follows is an hour long emotional melodrama. Character sketch of Ranbir is half baked and shifts gears from being a non-conformist of herd mentality ==> battling with internal complex ==> Schizophrenic ==> Wondering what director has in mind ?? Lack of clarity in Director's vision rubs off on lead characters and makes audience scratching their head. You'll also see inspiration derived from Hollywood classic Groundhog Day (1993) in showing routine scenes.

3rd and final course is a short 30 min power packed punch, which explains the mayhem shelved out at audience for last 1 hour 45 min. This is where the message becomes crystal clear and you admire the abstract beginning and director's point of view. However, it is too late and difficult for audience to appreciate the film. Having an awesome dessert doesn't absolve your sins of serving tasteless bland food. 

Director Imtiaz Ali is a champion of romance and his effort of delivering an abstract art film fell flat on his face. I can clearly see him bruised and distributors bleeding at the box office. Ranbir Kapoor handled his highly ambiguous characterization very well. Alas, his role is highly confusing for which I won't blame the actor. Deepika Padukone is consistently mediocre without any effort on improvement. Piyush Mishra as storyteller is marvelous and talks in poetic language (as always), which is very classy. I am sure he must have written some of those dialogues as well. 

Cinematography by Ravi Varman is impressive but not a differentiator. These days, every film has great photography, locales and sets. Music by AR Rehman is above average with special applause for "Heer Tu Badi Sad Hai". Music in other songs isn't impressive but none of the songs are forced and very situational. I loved the spread of singers ranging from Mohit Chauhan, Mika, Lucky Ali, Arijit Singh, Sukhinder Singh to AR Rehman himself. Wow!

Verdict: Definitely a hatke film as poster says, Why always the same story? It could have been a wonderful film if it was executed well. Don't go to theater expecting a lighthearted fun filled romantic film. This film might leave you a little heavy. Message delivered in the end is indeed inspiring.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bajirao Mastani- Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal - 2/5

Bajiro Mastani is a typical Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie which focuses more on Sets, Costumes, Locations and Cinematography than Script, Acting and Editing. In fact, that is the trend I am observing in most films getting made off late. You'll see lot of scenes and camera angles inspired from Jodhaa Akbar. 

Ranveer Singh is sporting different looks in the film and looks pretty passionate. Unfortunately, he forgot that he isn't playing Ranveer Singh but Bajirao Ballal Bhat. Priyanka Chopra looks absolutely stunning and immersed into the character of Kashibai. Her expressions and dance moves looks very realistic. Deepika Padukone looks more like Anarkali than Mastani. C'mon you could have a little originality in your depiction of Mastani. 

To me trailer isn't appealing and film looks more of a drag. Hope, they make it a fast paced drama instead of stretching melodramatic scenes. Also, hoping Piggy Chops and Deeps don't shed more than 2-3 litres of tears collectively.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Airlift - Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal - 3.5/5
Very inspiring plot based on a true story where Indian Govt safely evacuated 170,000 Indians from Kuwait. To me it looks like a nail biting thriller on similar lines of Argo and Last King of Scotland. Narration style is crisp and has remarkable similarity to Baby and D-day style. Akshay Kumar has perfected this thriller genre in Special 26 and Baby. Nimrat Kaur being the leading lady, it adds to the credibility of film.

I am a little skeptical about the direction though. Director Raja Menon is a rookie who has written-directed-produced 2 mega flops "Bas Yun hi" and "Barah aana". Nikhil Advani is the producer has also contributed in Story and in all probability would have micromanaged the direction too. I am not a big fan of Nikhil Advani's work except "Kal ho na ho" and "D-Day".

Responsibility lies on the able shoulders of Akshay Kumar, how well he can pull off this one. Let's hope he gets maximum screen time and movie is made crisp with good editing.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ghayal Once Again - Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal - 2/5

Ghayal once again has a nice concept and a different plot. Gripping narration and great to see new fresh faces. It could have been a nice film , everything was perfect in film except Sunny Deol. Here comes the great Savior with his punches, kicks and yelling to screw up entire film. Alas!

Now matter how well everyone else tried to make it different. Sunny Deol will ensure that this film looks no different from torture he has meted out at audience earlier.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo - Movie Review

Ratings: 3/5 (For charm of Prem, Sets costumes and cinematography)

Plot of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (PRDP) is more predictable than India Vs Bangladesh cricket match. As you would have guessed, it is a shudh shakahaari parivarik film without any onions and garlic. Barjatyas are trapped in a black hole and refuse to budge beyond 1990s. PRDP will remind all those in 30+/40+ about their jawaani and to teens/20+ audience about their nana naani. 

Paarivarik film genre is a citadel of Barjatyas. They have a secret masala recipe with pre-mixed ingredients, which has been dishing out Blockbusters ever since Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). Zero points for any direction and creativity as PRDP offers nothing new. 

PRDP is 95% about Salman Khan and 5% everyone else put together. Some of the critically acclaimed actors like Sanjay Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal and Swara Bhaskar were totally wasted in this film. Sonam Kapoor played the perfect mannequin as director would have expected. Anupam Kher, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Armaan Kohli disappoints.

With all its lows, this film has a very strong point which is the charm of Salman Khan's Prem character. Something which made him heartthrob of nation and made all the girls swoon. Even if it is a cliched character, still it has that perfect blend of idealism-romance-humor-impishness with a feel good factor. Ever since Salman Khan metamorphosed into Chulbul Pandey, it left a void in Bollywood for Prem's character. I personally find Salman more emphatic, emotionally expressive and appealing in Prem than any other role. 

Full marks to PRDP for its sets, costumes and cinematography. At one point, it feels like an advertisement of Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur) honeymoon suite package. My heartfelt sympathies with fellow salaried comrades who got a heartburn watching those scenes. Its OK, afterall Mount Abu, Mahabaleshwar and Yercaud aren't that bad honeymoon destinations either. Sulk Sulk.. 

Music of the film is pukeworthy and having Himeshji Reshamiyaji on the vocals was the last straw. Song "Aaj Unse Milna Hai" was promoted by Haldirams and the lyrics have summed up their entire menu. Title track Prem Ratan Dhan Payo has special DTS-Dolby echo effects of Kekta Kapoor.. It goes like this...Payo... Payo...Laayo... Chaayo....Aayo... Gaayo..Payo. WhyOOOO ? 

Verdict: If you are a die hard fan of Prem Avatar then its a must watch. Else you can skip it. 


Dilwale - Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal : 2.5/5
Trailer of Diwale disappoints. I can see plot of Hum and Main Hoon Naa clearly being reused. SRK looks way too young in some scenes. Have to be old footage or some animation mumbo jumbo. SRK was known for emotions in his voice and voice modulations. All of that seems missing. Overall humor quotient and Johnny lever in trailer are unbearable.

Who should watch it: Ardent fans of SRK n Kajol and all those who are crazy about new cars.


Jazbaa - Movie Review

Ratings: 2/5 

Jazbaa is one of those run of the mill products that you won't remember even after a month. Clearly, this film wasn't made without any Jazbaa. Not that I had any expectations from Sanjay Gupta, whose trademark style is Gangster-Violence-Smoke-Tashan-Cacophony. I was hopeful, may be he made some effort for this one. It was touted to be the comeback movie of Aishwarya after a hiatus of 5 years after Guzaarish. As expected, neitherSanjay nor Aishwarya have changed much.. still pathetic! Even, the suspense in movie was cliched something that we have already seen. 

Aishwarya has always been known for her barbie doll plastic image and poker face sans any emotions. In this film, she has taken the other extreme of being hyperactive. You'll find her shouting through out the movie. May be she has been watching too much of Kekta Kapoor's serials all this while. 

Jazbaa would be the first film, where 2 of my most respected actors (Irrfan and Shabana Ji) have disappointed me. Both of them chose a role, which didn't have any juice. Even, Atul Kulkarni and Siddhanth Kapoor didn't get much screen time. It would be interesting to find out whether heavy duty chopping was done in editing or the script was conceptually written only for Aishwarya's character. 

Total run time for the movie is 2 hours. May be director should have done away with all the songs, which don't fit in such a fast paced story. Some time could have been spent in character sketch of Yohan (Irrfan's character). What is his equation with Aishwarya's character? Whether Yohan is an efficient and practical officer OR good for nothing corrupt policeman. Also, the suspense should have been revealed a little earlier and antagonist should have been given some screen time to impress audience. 

Music is extremely boring though well timed. It gave me ample time for loo breaks and popcorn breaks. 

Verdict: It is one of those movies, which should be skipped at all cost. 

Singh is Bliing - Movie Review

Ratings: 1/5 

Singh is Bling(SIB) is a primitive senseless comedy (sorry tragedy) manufactured for front row audience of single screen theater. Humor in this film is inspired by jokers of Rambo circus, whose funny antics are capable to giggle only some toddlers. You can relate the humor quality of SIB with Sunny Deol genre movies like "Jo Bole So Nihal". One of the the scene is even inspired by Housefull of Sajid Khan. 

Akshay Kumar and Kay Kay Menon shouldn't pick up such crappy projects after doing films like "Baby" and "Haider". It only belittles their respect as a quality actor. Akshay Kumar's role is just an extension of his "Singh is King" role, where he played jerk of the century. Kay Kay menon looks like a famished psychotic goat with a funny pony tail. May be film's production company "Grazing Goat Pictures" motivated him for this look. Other than these 2 gentlemen all others are either B grade actors or out of job for a long time like Lara Dutta and Amy Jackson. Lara Dutta seems to have binged on Big Mac in last 2-3 years and have bloated twice her usual size. Amy Jackson is one mesmerizing creature, who always makes me wonder what capability she possesses to be on screen! 

Prabhudeva is one of the most talented choreographer and most incompetent director (after Sajid Khan) of Bollywood. He lives up to his expectation in SIB too. Every film of Prabhudeva sets a new benchmark of all time low quality. For some reason he thinks that cheap comedy of Vadivelu (One Joker in Tamil Cinema) is the epitome of creativity. There is a scene in film where various characters are pissing on each other in men's loo. That is heights of being gross! 

Film is shot in Romania and it conveniently becomes Goa and Romania with same set. Average Cinematography with most of the shots being just OK. Sorry, I couldn't find who is the script writer. Guess, they never had any script! Quality of music is at par with Anu Malik's composition. Meaningless, Cacophonous and pain to hear. Only song which I liked was Tung Tung Baje, which is composed by super talent Sneha Khanwalkar (of Anurag Kashyap Gang). 

In entire film, Akshay and Amy couldn't understand each other due to language barrier. Why couldn't they do dumb charades? Coz that also needs some amount of acting skill na.. Neither Prabhudeva nor Amy are qualified enough for that. Through out the film, Akshay gets bashed by everyone. Towards the end, he remembers the password to unlock his strength and he utters favorite dialogue of Sunny Paaji "Chidiyon ke sang baaz ladaun" and Raftaar becomes Neo of Matrix. Voila! 

Statutory Warning: Please pop a pill of Avomine with Caffeine before watching the film. Avomine won't let you puke and Caffeine won't let you doze off.

Verdict: I couldn't think of any reason for you to watch this film. My only motivation to watch it was to write a movie review. That's it! 

Talvar - Movie Review

Ratings: 3/5 ( Film can not have a drag and has to be entertaining, period. If it was a news documentary, then I would have given 5/5)

Talvar is thriller film based on Arushi Talwar murder case. It is however not one of those gripping murder mysteries which will keep you on the edge of your seats. But, it is a disturbing documentary which exposes the flaws, inefficiencies and corruption in Indian legal system. How, CBI is more concerned about professional rivalry and ego rather than focusing on punishing the guilty. It also highlights the influences of media on everyone.How media is quick to jump on conclusion even before the verdict in court? How media can create a bias even for investigating officers. Irrfan said a beautiful line in film, We people first decide on who is guilty then we try to find motives and evidences to frame him.‪

This was one of the tough films to make, since so much has been said about this case in media. It doesn't have much scope for creative freedom. Yet, if Meghana Gulzar chose to take this challenge, she should have lived up to audience expectations. I wasn't entertained by watching this film, but definitely it informed me about the case clearly like a well made documentary. Screenplay and editing were 2 weak areas, which could have been done better. I strongly feel that if Vishal Bhardwaj would have directed it as well, he would have done a much better job.

This film has some impressive ensemble like Neeraj Kabi, Konkona and Tabu. All these great actors were wasted in the film due to lack of much screen presence. Irrfan is the only reason, why someone might appreciate this film. He is a marvel, who can make any role lively even within such limited scope. Thank God, film didn't have any songs as they would have completely killed the fast pace of film.

Some people might argue that film should not have taken sides with one group of suspects. But, I think of it as director's cut and her version of story which she believed in. Unfortunately, media is too influential in our country and most of the audience would also believe in this version of truth. Does that influence actual proceedings of the case? It would be interesting to watch how it turns out to be.

Verdict: Watch it as a documentary and not as a film. It will leave you with a heavy heart and disturbed mind, so watch it at your discretion.



Tamasha - Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal : 3.5/5

To me looks like an extension of Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. Deepika's character very similar to Meera of Love Aaj Kal (Bindaas character, all game for masti). I could also see a tinge of Roy (Ranbir playing a role. Reel Vs Real life). Trailer doesn't show anything new and I would have given it a pass. But, it has backing of some consistent performers like romance magician Imtiaz Ali, music maestro A R Rehman and super talented Ranbir Kapoor. Just hoping that Imtiaz and Ranbir won't commit a mistake together. 

Manjhi - Movie Review

Manjhi - Movie Review

Ratings: 4 / 5

Bahut Bada Hai Tu. Bahut Akad Hai Tohra Mein. Dekh Kaise Ukadte Hain Akad Teri. There couldn't be a better tribute to Dashrath Manjhi and showcasing the saga of his unflinching arduous mammoth dream. Though, it is sad that it took so long for his "madness" to get recognized. I can bet that if people didn't know about Manjhi, no one would have even dared to pen a fictional script like this. 

I have always appreciated work of Nawazuddin Siddiqui but it is the first time that he has left me spellbound. By far, one of the best work done by him till date. From a romantic fun loving guy to an adamant gutsy old man. What variation, What emotions! If Irrfan will be remembered as Paan Singh, Nawaz would always be remembered as Manjhi. No one can touch your Filmfare this year Nawaz smile emoticon 

Phaguniya..Phaguniya.. Once again you have bowled me over yaar. Radhika Apte How effortlessly you can transition from a practical modern women in Hunterr to a seductress in Ahalya to a village damsel in Manjhi. Critics might call me insane, but I wouldn't resist from comparing her with legend Shabana Azmi. Today in Bollywood, Radhika Apte defines versatility and quality cinema. Please don't get lured by 100Cr Club and Karan Johars of the world. Earnest Request! 

Directors beware, old tiger is back on the prowl. In 2014, Rang Rasiya and in 2015 Manjhi- The Mountain Man. You totally rock Ketan Mehta. Welcome back to the pitch. We totally missed you in last 10 years since Mangal Pandey: The Rising in 2005. This film could have easily veered into the territory of boring documentaries. It requires the vision and expertise of an able director like Ketan to tell that compelling story infused with emotions and laced with the petals of romance. 

Tigmanshu Dhulia's character is straightaway lifted from GoW, which he must have done effortlessly. After watching Pankaj Tripathi in Masan, his role of Ruab in Manjhi was nothing more than chickenfeed. Most of the conversation has colloquial touch of Magahi but shouldn't be difficult to understand for Hindi audience. However, you might miss the intensity of those punches smile emoticon 

Due to absence of Khans, this movie won't touch any impressive financial figures but it'll be cherished forever in imdb lists of quality and meaningful cinema. 

Some of the lines which are absolutely clap worthy: 

1) Shaandar..Jabardast..Zindabaad! 

2) Bahut Bada Hai Tu. Bahut Akad Hai Tohra Mein. Dekh Kaise Ukadte Hain Akad Teri 

3) "Apna newspaper chalu karna asaan kaam nahi hai." 

    "Pahad tode bhi jaada muskil hai ka!" 

4) Bhagwan ke bharose mat baithiye, ka pata oo hamare bharose baitha ho! 

Verdict: Please watch it if you like to watch quality cinema. Should be watched with your better half smile emoticon