Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bajirao Mastani - Movie Review

Ratings: 3.5/5 

One charismatic Peshwa leader of Maratha Empire, who has won every battle fought against enemies but is challenged to handle internal battles of family and society. One dauntless warrior, who has put everything on stake to unite with love of her life. One elegant Peshwa queen who is caught in the conflict between morality and jealousy. There is an on going war being fought between draconian societal laws, self proclaimed religious fanatic leaders, scheming politicians, backstabbing family members, responsibility towards family and nation and all of them against Shrimant Bajirao Ballal Bhat. 

Historic romantic colorful saga of Sanjay Leela Bhansali takes you on a joyride invoking multitude of emotions as each crease of story unfolds to offer something different. Bajirao Mastani was a cherished project of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who left no leaf unturned to make it a grand success. He is not only the producer and director but also composed the music for this film. He didn't shy away from making his actors cry and curse until he got what he wanted from them. [More trivia on this in comments section]

For the role of Peshwa Bajirao, I can say with great degree of confidence that no in Bollywood could have played it better than Ranveer Singh. Confidence oozing out of every pore of his body, demeanor of a Peshwa leader, stern face of a warrior, authentic marathi accent and deft wrists holding his sword. I almost got goosebumps witnessing brilliance of Ranveer Singh in the film. He didn't act like a Peshwa, he became a Peshwa for Bajirao Mastani. Your eyes won't believe that he is the same person who gave abysmal performance 6 months back in Dil Dhadakne Do. 

Deepika Padukone for once was fantastic in this film. Be it her acrobatics doing sword fighting , skillful kathak dance on "Mohe Rang Do Laal", anger on her face when she is slaying enemies and her fearless face when she counters arguments of her ill wishers. She looks drop dead gorgeous in Deewani Mastani song. Priyanka Chopra looks authentic marathi mulgi. Especially when you see Priyanka and Deepika dancing next to each other in Pinga, expressions of Priyanka completely stand out. Tanvi Azmi as Maa Saheb is extremely intimidating and her role is quite similar to Ila Arun's in Jodha Akbar. 

One main drawback of the film is extremely slow plot post interval. 80% of the plot is over by interval, rest 20% of the plot keeps going round and round.. then stretch and stretch. May be Kekta Kapoor dropped in to Bajirao Mastani sets in interval and told SLB - "Dude story is far from out, I can make 500 episodes of Kaahaanii Mastannyy Kayy from rest of the film. Wham, here goes all fact paced gripping story and starts Saas-Bahu-Souten family drama. 

Music of the film is above average but for God's sake there are 10 songs in the film which makes it a drag. Many times you just keep your fingers crossed that God.. they are coming together in a group.. one of the queen looks cheerful, please.. no song now.. no song now.. tananana..Ati man sukh payo ri, Albelaaaa sajan aaayooo reee :D Having said that you should definitely look out for Deewani Mastani title track and Malhari song picturized on Ranveer. What dance moves.. Energetic war cry celebrating the victory. Lovely steps by Ranveer Singh.

Costumes, set designs, locations cinematography and visual appeal. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the benchmark for it in Bollywood. Sets of palace durbar hall, Aaina Mahal, Shaniwarwada, costume of mastani are nothing less than even Hollywood standards. 

Verdict: Definitely a great watch in theater for its grandeur, splendid performance by Ranveer singh and a beautiful romantic love story.

1. Bajirao Mastani is not only a historic film of 1700s but there is a history associated with it in Bollywood too! It was one of the deeply cherished project of Sanjay Leela Bhansali since 2003. He casted then famous love birds Salman and Aishwarya as Bajirao and Mastani. Alas, there was a rift and those 2 parted ways never to see each other eye to eye. Various actors considered for Bajirao included Salman Khan, SRK, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan and thankfully finally Ranveer Singh :), Dimple Kapadia,Shabana Azmi and Supriya Pathak were also considered for the role of Radhabai Bajirao's mother, which finally went to Tanvi Azmi.

2. SLB made actors learn Kalaripayattu for sword fighting scenes. Pandit Birju Maharaj was roped in to train Deepika in Kathak. Ranveer was trained to learn horse riding. Both Ranveer and Priyanka were trained in Marathi dialect spoken at the time of Peshwas. Deepika mentioned in one the interviews that she actually cried hard during one of the Kathak dance steps but SLB refused to budge! 

*************************Careful Spoiler alert ahead. Read at your own risk****************

3. Ending shown in the film is very tragic but reality wasn't so bad. Mastani was under house arrest when Bajirao went for the battle but she wasn't chained like a prisoner. That was just SLB being filmi :) Mastani was with Kashibai and Maa Saheb to perform final rites of Peshwa Bajirao. However, she committed suicide soon after her love was gone forever. 

4. Film doesn't show what happens to son of Mastani and Peshwa, Shamsher Bahadur. Whether he was killed or left orphan? Well, Kashibai adopted him as her own and he was was bestowed upon a portion of his father’s dominion of Banda and Kalpi. He became a great warrior and fought 3rd battle of Panipat against Afghans and died in that at the age of 27.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dilwale - Movie Review

Ratings: 2/5
Dilwale is not just another masala recipe of a 300Cr film by Rohit Shetty but it is a full fledged combo deal. Along with 154 min of non stop torture, you also get bucket full of cliches, barrage of coincidences, frequent leaps of faith (making mockery of physics laws) and Salmonella infested rotten Johnny lever.

Plot of this film was conceptualized in 1990. But before Rohit Shetty could construct a building (film) on this plot, municipality had put a stay order on it in public interest. At least 10-20 films got made on this plot including Angry young man's Hum and Thalaivar's Baasha. But, it didn't dissuade dauntless Rohit Shetty. He was super confident of dishing out this piece of crap and yet make 300Cr-500Cr with blessings of King Khan.

Story of the film travels faster than the light and defies Einstein's theory of relativity. At 8:00 pm hero and heroine meets, At 8:05 they go on a date, At 8:10 they are madly in love with each other. Glad we have censor board in India, else God knows what all they would have done in 150 minutes :D

SRK plays a larger than life character (as usual), who works double shift to remain competitive. In morning shift, he gives competition to DC (Dilip Chabbria) by metamorphosing Maruti 800 into BMW by tightening some screws. In night shift, he dresses up like Darth Vader (from Star Wars) and takes badla from all those who have hurt his alter ego. Andheri raaton mein.. soonsaan galiyo par!!! That so much Shehanshah (King Khan after all). Having said that, his acting is quite restrained and you won't see his usual melodramatic emotional outburst.

Kajol is in a love-hate relationship with SRK. Which side of the bed she has woken up from decides today is the love day or hate day. This love-hate relation keeps flipping for SRK and Kajol without any explainable logic. You can almost hear Rohit Shetty screaming on mike: Love - Hate - Hate - Love - Love - Hate - Love - Hate! Poor actors, what all they have to go through. For Varun Dhawan, Dilwale was one of his worst picks. Neither, he gets to show any killer dance moves nor there was any challenging role for him.

Rohit Shetty casted Kriti Sanon while he was shopping for veggies in Sabji Mandi.
Rohit: "Madam, lead actress chahiye. Kya Baav Diya ?"
Kriti: " Rs 60 lakhs"
Rohit:"60 lakhs mein 3 feet ki 2 legs. 10 lakhs/feet for each leg is not a bad deal. Done!"

Johnny the dirty lever learnt his Hindi from Meenalochani of Chennai Express. Coz, I haven't seen anyone speaking Hindi in that accent in Kerala or for that matter anywhere in South India. His jokes are older than AK Hangal and staler than last year's Diwali sweets. Boman Irani, Sanjay Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinod Khanna are all unbearable. Mind you, it needs a mastermind to waste such a breed of talented actors.

Music by Preetam is average and songs aren't impressive except Gerua. Gerua is one phenomenal song which is not only picturized aesthetically, but is melodious and catchy and vocals of Arijit Singh is outstanding. Action sequences look more like morning stretching exercises,effortless and doesn't cause even a crease of hero's clothes. For some reason, in every Bollywood movie after every fight, Varun Dhawan bleeds from right corner of his lips and King Khan always has blood on his right temple. May be something to do with sweet spot!

One example of leap of faith: There are 2 rival gangs in the film. Both gangs have super strong intelligence team who know every deal of rival gang - which deal, when,where.. everything! Except they don't know family members of rival gangs supremo. What!!! Ravan mar gaya aur Sita kaun thi??

Statuary Warning: This film is made only for those with IQ less than 80. Please get your IQ level checked with MENSA before watching this film. Any frustration arising out of mockery made to your intelligence is not director's responsibility. Nor it is liable to any legal action with punitive damages.

Verdict: Instead of buying tickets of this film, invest that money in your savings back account. Even at 4% interest rate, you'll get higher return! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Neerja - Trailer Review

Trailer Appeal - 2/5
Great plot based on true story about bravery of 23 year old air hostess Neerja Bhanot. She sacrificed her life to save life of other passengers and was awarded with highest civilian bravery award Ashok Chakra. 

As a tribute, I am glad that this film is made but unfortunately it would be one of the forgotten ones. Sonam Kapoor plays the lead character and falters to a great extent. Her dialogues are without any expressions or emotions. I wish director would have roped in someone more fearless to fit the bill. May be Anushka Sharma? 

There isn't a big starcast and no familiar names that might pull the crowd. Director Ram Madhvani is a newbie without any proven credentials. You will albeit see shades of brilliance in the scenes of Shabana Azmi. But, her role would be limited based on requirement of the plot. 

One more good plot might just get killed by substandard efforts and low budget.