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06-23-2006, 06:16 AM
Krrish - Movie Review
Friday, June 23, 2006


Yes, finally, the much-awaited KRRISH has arrived. Armed with monumental expectations, this sequel to KOI... MIL GAYA is touted to win the hearts of kids from 6 to 60. Most importantly, KRRISH is expected to rewrite box-office history.

Since the inception of the character during the 1930s, Superman has been fodder for a variety of movies and television series, both live and animated. Though Hindi film heroes have had the qualities of Superman, it's for the first time that a lead man with a mask and robe is about to invade the Hindi screen.

KRRISH is a crucial release for yet another reason. The Rakesh Roshan-Hrithik Roshan combo has given us back-to-back successes: KAHO NAA PYAAR HAI and KOI MIL GAYA. Quite naturally then, the expectations from KRRISH are humungous.

The great news is that KRRISH more than meets the expectations. The film works, and works big time, due to several reasons. Besides a novel premise for Indian moviegoers, it has Hrithik Roshan enacting a role that fits him like a glove. Mind you, the role of a man with superpowers and a robust personality to match would've fallen flat in inept hands and the best of techno-wizardry would've, hence, been ignored, unobserved and unnoticed.

http://movies.indiainfo.com/reviews/2006/img/krrish1-2306.jpg But one of the major highpoints of KRRISH is its penultimate 40 minutes. The fight between good and bad, noble versus immoral, virtuous versus corrupt has been depicted in film after film. And if the fight between the two extremes is portrayed in the most convincing fashion, the viewer is bound to carry the film home and most importantly, return to the movieplex to watch the on-screen clash once again.

The collision of righteous [Hrithik] and wicked [Naseer] in KRRISH and the usage of special effects and thrills takes the film to an altogether different level. It wouldn't be wrong to state that Hindi moviegoers haven't witnessed something like this ever. Also, the re-emergence of Rohit [the lead character of KOI MIL GAYA] in the story is a master stroke from the writing and execution point of view. It only strengthens the climax and makes the fight utmost convincing.

KRRISH also reaffirms the fact that Rakesh Roshan has adapted to the changing times well. While most of his contemporaries have slipped into oblivion, Roshan Sr. has moved with the fast-changing times and gathered courage to narrate a tale that's present-day and at the same time, inventive. At the same time, KRRISH is soaked in Indian emotions [the relationship Hrithik shares with his grandmom Rekha], talks of astrology using computer as a tool and shows the protagonist with superpowers -- a story Indians can absorb very easily. Concurrently, Roshan Sr. relies on dexterously executed special effects to narrate the tale. And the pulsating stunts and thrills only act as sone pe suhaaga.

http://movies.indiainfo.com/reviews/2006/img/krrish2-2306.jpg In a nutshell, KRRISH is a terrifically exciting and compelling experience. Move over SUPERMAN, BATMAN and SPIDERMAN. KRRISH, the Indian superhero, has arrived!

Krishna [Hrithik Roshan] is born with magical powers -- a legacy from his father, Rohit Mehra.

Free as a bird, he runs like the wind...
Like an eagle, he soars across rivers and mountain tops...
As a lion, he conquers rugged rocks without fear...

Priya [Priyanka Chopra] comes into his life and becomes his world. When she beckons him to Singapore, he follows her there. Little realizing it is destiny that has summoned him. Having sheltered him from the world, his grandmother Sonia [Rekha] reluctantly gives in to him and lets him follow his heart.

In Singapore, Dr. Siddhant Arya [Naseeruddin Shah], the megalomaniac scientist, is on the verge of changing the future forever. Only one man stands between Dr. Siddharth and his destructive dreams. Only one man has the power to block his ruthless ambitions. Krrish.

KRRISH is essentially three movies rolled into one: It starts off as a love story, changes gears and becomes a traditional superhero story and in the pre-climax, it's the clash between good versus evil. While the first part seems like any other love story, it has its moments. Note Hrithik's introduction and also, Hrithik saving Priyanka from an accident [their first meeting] and you know that there's more to the film than a saccharine-sweet love story.

The first hour, in fact, may give an impression that it's a routine fare, but knowing Roshan Sr.'s style of showing his cards in the second hour, you await the post-interval portions with bated breath. And lo! KRRISH takes giant strides in this hour. The story actually gathers momentum when Sharat Saxena spills the beans and the film goes into a flashback. From thereon, right till the end titles, it' a different film altogether. And that's its biggest achievement. The team of writers [Sachin Bhowmick, Honey Irani, Robin Bhatt, Akash Khurana and Rakesh Roshan] deserve brownie points for padding the film with pulse-pounding moments.

The film has its share of blemishes too. The pace slackens intermittently in the first hour, primarily because the story doesn't move beyond the romantic scenes. Also, the music [Rajesh Roshan] isn't as mesmerizing as the Roshan brothers' previous works. The songs of KRRISH are functional, barring the 'Dil Na Diya' track, which is complimented by an energetic picturization.

The action scenes [Tony Ching Siu Tung from Hong Kong and Sham Kaushal] are superb and will be greeted by claps and cheers. Hrithik's stunts in Naseer's den are simply awe-inspiring. Prior to that, the chase portions -- Hrithik chasing Naseer on land, water and air -- is astounding. The special effects [Marc Kolbe and Craig Mumma, both from U.S.A.] are incredible. In fact, the special effects are a pillar of the enterprise. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is exceptional. The film bears a stunning look all through. Salim-Sulaiman's background score is of international quality. It only heightens the impact further.

http://movies.indiainfo.com/reviews/2006/img/krrish4-2306.jpg To state that Hrithik is the soul of KRRISH would be an understatement. If the actor walked away with all noteworthy awards in KOI MIL GAYA, it's going to be an encore with KRRISH. You cannot imagine any other actor enacting the role of a gifted child with aplomb. If his mask and robe look is splendid, watch his make up, gait and mannerisms as the aged father and you'd agree, he's one of the finest talents on the Indian screen today. KRRISH is yet another ground-breaking film in his dazzling repertoire!

Priyanka is the archetypal Hindi film heroine. Not surprising, since everyone in Hrithik's radius is bound to get eclipsed. Rekha is highly effective, especially in the scene after the confrontation, when she narrates the true story to Hrithik. Naseeruddin Shah excels yet again. He plays the cool, calculating and conniving villain to perfection.

The remaining actors -- Sharat Saxena, Puneet Issar, Akash Khurana, Hemant Pandey, Manini Mishra, Kiran Juneja Sippy and Archana Puransingh -- are satisfactory. Preity Zinta is there for one scene.

On the whole, KRRISH is a winner all the way. At the box-office, the film will rewrite box-office history and emerge one of the biggest hits ever. The film will establish records from Day 1 itself, while the first weekend business will be brilliant and the first week billing should shatter all previous records. A money spinner, KRRISH is a definite blockbuster!

06-26-2006, 06:20 AM
http://www.apunkachoice.com/scoop/bollywood/img/20060624-3.gifKrrish : Review
24th June 2006 19.30 IST
By N. K. Deoshi

The wait was worth it. More than three years after Koi Mil Gaya , the Roshans return with the movie’s sequel, Krrish , a thoroughly entertaining film with Hrithik Roshan as its breath and soul.

‘Krrish’ is a wholesome entertainer that fuses romance, comedy with stunts and fights in a very digestible dose. But it is the action and stunts that stand out throughout the movie.

The film has Hrithik playing a superhero gifted with powers inherited from his father. Hrithik’s giant leaps, his upward somersaults in the air, his skidding through the trees in the forest and his speedy movements (faster than a bullet) reminds me of the action from films like ‘Crouching Tiger’, ‘House of Flying Daggers’ and ‘Matrix’.

Besides Hrithik, the film stars Priyanka Chopra , Rekha , Naseerudin Shah and Sharat Saxena.


The legacy of Rohit – the imbecilic youth who transforms into a superhero and a genius after meeting an alien in ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ – has passed on to his son Krishna, who lives with his grandmother (Rekha) after the death of his parents. Young Krishna’s prodigious abilities, his physical strength and mental intelligence astound his teachers and other children of his age. But his grandmother doesn’t want the world to know about Krishna’s superpowers. So she takes him to a nondescript village in the mountains where Krishna grows in the lap of nature into a strong, handsome, brawny young man (Hrithik).

He runs faster than his horse, jumps long distances in a single leap and climbs the mountains like a spider moving through its web. Only few are aware of Krishna’s qualities. These qualities make him special. But they also make him a sort of outcast among normal people.

Then, love enters Krishna’s life. It literally falls from the open skies into his lap as he rescues a wide-eyed, city-bred girl (Priyanka) from her faulty parachute landing atop a tree.

Their first meeting, as they keep sliding down branch after branch, with the girl in Krishna’s arms, has been shot very beautifully.

It turns out that the girl is Priya and she is a part of a group of adventure seekers from Singapore. A few pranks follow between Krishna and Priya and her campmates. The campers also get to see Krishna’s super-abilities. While Krishna shows Priya around his scenic village, he falls in love with her. But she returns to Singapore after a mere ten-day stay.

Then she calls him to Singapore on a false pretext, pretending her love for him. In truth she wants to save her job by showing Krishna’s skills on the TV channel she works for.

The gullible Krishna is eager to go to Singapore. But his dadi (Rekha) doesn’t want to send him into the world. She fears that the clever world will use Krishna the way it used and destroyed his father Rohit.

Anyway, Krishna goes to Singapore with the promise that he will conceal his qualities from the world. In the concrete jungle full of high-rises and skyscrapers, Krishna meets both good and bad people. But, can he conceal his super powers? Is he clever enough not to be used by people for their advantage? And will he be able to stop a megalomaniac scientist from making a computer that sees the future? In all the action and drama that follows, Krishna finds more than love. He finds someone whom he had presumed dead.

Trust me, there is no other ‘super’ star in Hindi film industry who can pull off the role of a superhero as convincingly as Hrithik has done. The actor has the right mix of brawns, youthful exuberance, grit and emotional vulnerability required for the role. He can be romantic, and he can be stern. He can yield, and he can be unforgiving. By large, ‘Krrish’ remains a Hrithik Roshan movie. But that is not to undermine the performances by Priyanka Chopra, Rekha and Naseeruddin Shah.

Priyanka holds her ground and breezes through her role with the act that doesn’t demand serious histrionics. Rekha still has a natural charm in her beauty. She provides emotional moments in the film.

Naseeruddin Shah is eloquent as usual, not just in his dialogues but also his facial expressions. I wish he had a longer role in the film.

Right from the opening reels to its conclusion ‘Krrish’ keeps you riveted to the screen. With the exception of a few songs, the movie flows smoothly without dragging even for a moment. There are good hilarious moments in the first half. Even the movie’s supposed villain, Dr. Siddhant Arya (Naseeruddin Shah), is not without a comic knack.

Rakesh Roshan , the movie’s writer, producer and director, has made a quality product – a film that lays foundation for other films of similar ‘superhero’ genre. Although some stunts could be depicted graphically more realistically, but that would require a very huge budget.

‘Krrish’, quite an expensive movie by Indian standards, heralds the ‘superhero’ genre creditably.

The film is worth a watch, definitely.

07-01-2006, 03:41 AM
By Taran Adarsh, June 9, 2006 - 16:29 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/php1.jpg Comedy is the flavor of the season. And sequels are rare in India. So if a dream merchant decides to make a sequel to an immensely popular laughathon, you fasten your seat belts and wait with bated breath for reels to unfold on the screen.

PHIR HERA PHERI is the sequel to HERA PHERI involving the famous trio -- Raju [Akshay Kumar], Shyam [Suneil Shetty] and Baburao [Paresh Rawal]. Only thing, the film has not been directed by Priyadarshan [who directed HERA PHERI], but Neeraj Vora, who has penned a number of Priyadarshan movies.

The question uppermost on everyone's lips is, Does PHIR HERA PHERI pale when compared to the predecessor? Or does it provide more laughs, gags and punches and lives up to the humungous expectations?

Before we answer the question on whether or not PHIR HERA PHERI works, let's get one thing straight. In keeping with the trend of laughathons that are the order of the day [NO ENTRY, GARAM MASALA, MALAMAAL WEEKLY et al], PHIR HERA PHERI also embarks on an identical route. Meaning, don't look for logic in the film, leave your thinking caps at home, never look for answers, rationale or reasons…

PHIR HERA PHERI doesn't promise to be different. It packs in ample laughs, illogical situations, rib-tickling sequences and witty one-liners in those 2.30 hours. In fact, writer-director Neeraj Vora borrows everything available on the shelf and comes up with a plot that may sound silly to a few, but nonetheless succeeds in its endeavor of making people laugh.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/php2.jpg Comparisons with HERA PHERI are inevitable. However, since there has been a substantial gap between the two parts, PHIR HERA PHERI still stands out as a comic caper that's amusing and entertaining. Watch the frolics of the three buffoons [Raju, Shyam, Baburao] and how they goof up yet again and you'd agree, PHIR HERA PHERI is a sure-shot paisa-vasool entertainer!

HERA PHERI ended with the trio [Raju, Shyam, Baburao] receiving a hefty sum in the end. So what did the trio do with all the money? Did they live happily ever after? Or did they become greedy for more? PHIR HERA PHERI takes off from here…

Raju comes across a scheme of doubling his wealth in a matter of weeks. But for Raju's plan to materialize, he needs to invest a minimum of Rs. 1 crore with a chit-fund company [Bipasha Basu]. While Shyam and Baburao are initially reluctant, they give in subsequently. Raju, Shyam and Baburao contribute Rs. 10 lacs each, but there's a shortfall of Rs. 70 lacs now to complete the Rs. 1 crore figure.

Raju bumps into a street-smart goon [Rajpal Yadav], who also contributes Rs. 20 lacs. As for the remaining amount of Rs. 50 lacs, Raju sells the bungalow [owned by the three] to a Parsi gentleman [Dinesh Hingoo], thus fulfilling the criterion of the chit-fund company.

Three weeks later, Raju, Shyam and Baburao realize that the chit-fund company was actually a big scam and has duped a number of investors. The goon also finds himself in troubled waters since he had borrowed money from a dreaded gangster, Tiwari [Sharat Saxena], who will eliminate him if he does not pay up.

In their quest for more wealth, Raju, Shyam and Baburao find themselves in one big mess. They have already taken a big risk and are now on the run to save their lives.

It's not difficult to relate to PHIR HERA PHERI even if you haven't watched the first part [HERA PHERI]. Of course, Nana Patekar's voiceover at the outset gives you an insight and refreshes your memory, but the antics of the three principal characters and how they get conned by the scamster [Bipasha] keeps you focused all through the first hour.

In fact, the first part abounds in funny moments. Akshay trying to impress Rajpal Yadav at a tea stall and then at his mansion are such sequences. Later, Akshay, Suniel and Paresh's constant bickering and squabbling after they've gone bankrupt, keeps you thoroughly entertained. The jokes may seem juvenile at times, but the impact is very, very funny.

The post-interval portions aren't as amusing. The focus never shifts from the main plot, but with the writer involving more characters [Sharat Saxena, Milind Gunaji, Johny Lever, Manoj Joshi, Suresh Menon, Razzaq Khan] in the fracas, the pace of the film slackens intermittently in this hour. Also, the romantic track of Akshay-Rimmi as also the song ['Mujhko Yaad Sataye Teri'], even though an excellent composition, looks like a forced ingredient in the narrative.

However, the climax in the circus is the highpoint of the film. Even though the entire exercise looks unbelievable, it seems like an ideal culmination to the story. The buffoonery in the circus, where everyone's chasing everyone, is truly hilarious and side-splitting. It wouldn't be wrong to state that the climax works as a damage control exercise in the second hour.

Neeraj Vora's writing and direction are aimed at the masses. Besides, Vora has been faithful to HERA PHERI by making the characters look and behave exactly the way they were in the first part. Only thing, as a writer, he could've packed in more gags in the second hour. Vora's dialogues, as always, are outstanding!

Himesh Reshammiya's music is of the popular genre. 'Yaad Sataye Teri' and the title track are first-rate compositions. The filming of the two tracks is also lavish. Cinematography is alright.

PHIR HERA PHERI belongs to Paresh Rawal from Scene A to Z. The actor is at his best yet again and all actors in the radius, even though they come up with competent performances, get eclipsed in front of this towering performance. If Rawal stole the thunder in HERA PHERI, he walks away with accolades yet again in PHIR HERA PHERI, no two opinions on that.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/php3.jpg Akshay Kumar is fantastic, but the only thing is he's repeating the same act in film after film. GARAM MASALA, DEEWANE HUYE PAAGAL and PHIR HERA PHERI have him playing similar roles, of a street-smart guy. Suniel Shetty is quite good. In fact, he compliments Paresh and Akshay beautifully. Both Bipasha and Rimmi are hardly there. Rajpal Yadav excels. Sharat Saxena and Johny Lever are able. The remaining actors enact their parts satisfactorily.

On the whole, PHIR HERA PHERI has ample masala to keep its target audience -- the masses mainly -- more than happy. At the box-office, the film has opened to a thunderous response and in view of the fact that there's no major opposition for the next two weeks, the film will prove a money spinner for its distributors. Has all it takes to attain the 'Hit' status due to the huge, record-breaking initial and patronage from the masses.

07-07-2006, 11:21 AM

By Taran Adarsh, July 6, 2006 - 23:11 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/corporate1.jpg Madhur Bhandarkar continues to walk on a tight-rope, balancing masala [AAN, TRISHAKTI] and thought-provoking films [CHANDNI BAR, SATTA, PAGE 3] consistently. Ironically, the noteworthy films in his repertoire have been those that dared to tackle an issue that hadn’t been explored on Hindi screens before: CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3.

Madhur now peeps into the glitzy world of corporate identities in his new outing CORPORATE. Like CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3, CORPORATE works for one solid reason: It brings to light the nitty-gritty of a world that most commoners never knew of. Battles fought in ostentatious and swanky offices aren’t known to the majority and it is this aspect that can be rightly termed as one of the USPs of the enterprise.

But the real strength of the film lies in narrating a dynamic story. The best of ideas evaporate into thin air if entrusted to inept, inexperienced storytellers. Thankfully, Madhur narrates CORPORATE in the most simplistic fashion so that the common man can decipher the games corporate entities play to stay at the top. Besides, CORPORATE is as hard-hitting as CHANDNI BAR or PAGE 3. Beneath a strong storyline is an underlying message that makes you think.

In a nutshell, CORPORATE is an astounding successor to Madhur’s earlier achievements!

Aristotle had once said, ‘The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.’ A century later, it could be rephrased as, ‘The secret of business is to know what the other person knows, and a little more.’

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/corporate2.jpg Welcome to the world of Corporates. A battlefield of power-hungry people. A world filled with deceit and corrupted minds. Where wealth, fame and success are fought over. And rules don’t exist.

CORPORATE tells the story of two leading industrialists in the food sector, led by Vinay Sehgal [Rajat Kapoor], Managing Director of Sehgal Group of Industries and Dharmesh Marwah [Raj Babbar], Managing Director of Marwah International P. Ltd. Powerful, ambitious and relentless.

While there are many diligent people working for these companies, there is also Nishigandha [Bipasha Basu], a businesswoman with high aspirations and hunger to move to the top. She is at the centre of all the action.

When the market opens up to international players, competition gets fierce. And the battle for supremacy begins. Moral codes are abandoned and ethics are forgotten as these two bitter rivals embark upon a deadly game of monopoly.

Success and prestige take precedence over everything else. Good is no longer good enough. And people are driven to the brink of insanity. All in the name of business. If the war was just between two companies then their battles should’ve remained behind the scenes. Unfortunately, its implications have an impact on the common man.

This film peeps into the mindset of the powerful people and attempts to find out what makes them tick. It explores the nexus between the corporate world and the political and follows the trail of sex and corruption that hides behind a glittering and glassy exterior.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/corporate3.jpg The initial portions of CORPORATE and also the power games that the high and mighty indulge in may seem like Greek and Latin for the Hindustani junta. Madhur tries to be as real as possible while laying the cards on the table. Yet, there are several characters in the narrative that you identify with instantly. Like the scheming politician or the lecherous CEO of a company, who has sex on his mind all the time.

If you don’t gather a powerful impression of the first half, it doesn’t really come as a surprise, but Madhur reserves the best for the post-interval portions. It is in the second hour that CORPORATE does a somersault and turns into a story that the commoners can identify with. The twist in the tale -- when Bipasha is used as a pawn in the game -- sends a shiver down your spine. The razor-sharp developments thereafter, right till the climax, come as a shocker and open your eyes to a world that’s a complete sham.

Directorially, Madhur Bhandarkar enters an alien territory yet again. Besides exposing the glitzy world of corporates, the film works primarily because the emotional twists and turns in the plot involve the common man. It’s in the post-interval portions that Madhur shows his competence, as a writer [screenplay: Madhur, Manoj Tyagi] first and as a storyteller subsequently. The impact the film makes from the pre-climax onwards proves that Madhur has only bettered the art of narrating a good story.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/corporate4.jpg There’s not much scope for music [Shamir Tandon] in a subject like this, but the three tracks are quite tuneful. 'O Sikandar' and 'Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai' are appropriate and only take the story forward. Cinematography [Mahesh Limaye] is of standard. The background score [Raju Singh] is in sync with the theme. Dialogues [Aje Monga, Manoj Tyagi] are sharp.

The film has a plethora of characters, but the one who breathes life into her role and emerges trumps is Bipasha. She is competent in the first hour, but watch her take rapid strides as an actor in the second half, more so towards the finale. After Tabu [CHANDNI BAR], Raveena [SATTA] and Konkona [PAGE 3], Madhur taps the hitherto untapped potential of Bipasha this time around, making you realize that there’s more to Bipasha than just being a glam-doll.

Kay Kay too comes into form in the second hour, especially during the twist in the tale. The supremely talented actor exhibits his vast range yet again. Rajat Kapoor is excellent as the shrewd industrialist. Raj Babbar underplays his part beautifully. Harsh Chhaya is first-rate. Sandeep Mehta [as the lusty CEO] is an actor to watch. Vinay Apte is superb as the corrupt minister. Achint Kaur is dependable. Bharat Dabholkar does a fine job. Lillete Dubey deserved a better role.

Minissha doesn’t get any scope. Sameer Dattani barely gets one scene, but is a silent spectator in the remaining three scenes. In fact, both Minisha and Sameer look completely forced in the screenplay. Payal Rohatgi is alright.

On the whole, CORPORATE works for its gripping drama towards the second half. At the box-office, the film is targeted at the metros and the multiplex audience in particular and has all it takes to keep its target audience completely satisfied. For the producers, the moderately-budgeted film has already proved a profitable proposition and for its distributors, the merits coupled with the open week will see the film growing from strength to strength thanks to a strong word of mouth.

- Indiafm

07-15-2006, 01:51 AM
http://www.apunkachoice.com/scoop/bollywood/img/20060714-4.gifGolmaal : Review
14th July 2006 23.00 IST
By Nikhil Kumar

Rohit Shetty’s movie Golmaal (http://www.apunkachoice.com/dyn/movies/hindi/golmaal/) is a well-rounded entertainer with a delectable dose of slapstick and wit.

The film stars Ajay Devgan , Arshad Wars , Tusshar Kapoor , Sharman Joshi , Paresh Rawal and Rimi Sen .

Despite the absence of a concrete plot, the movie entertains because the gags and pranks keep flowing in quick succession. There is hardly any sequence in the film that doesn’t evoke a chuckle, if not make you laugh. And the credit for this partly goes to Neeraj Vora , the writer. Once again, Vora spins a yarn replete with funny oneliners, silly situations, outlandish characters and hare-brained villains.

At the centre of the movie’s story are four friends – Gopal (Ajay Devgan), Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Laxman (Sharman Joshi) and Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor). Gopal is the brave, big bully of the four. Madhav is the idler. Laxman is the timid one, while Lucky is the bumbling mute.

Idling away, fooling other people, playing pranks and doing crazy stunts are the pastime of the four friends. It is this notoriety that eventually gets the quartet thrown out of their college.

With nowhere to go – and with a moneylender on their trail – the four friends decide to hide in the bungalow of an old, blind couple (played by Paresh Rawal and Sushmita Mukherjee).

The old couple’s grandson lives in America. The four friends enter the bungalow. Laxman, the cowardly one, hesitatingly agrees to pretend as their grandson, Sammir. Gopal becomes Sammir’s voice. While muteness comes naturally to Lucky, Madhav (the wittiest one) has to undergo the torture of keeping tongue-tied.

To their pleasant surprise, the four friends find a beautiful girl, Nirali (Rimi Sen), living next door. Without any exception, all four fall for her. They adopt the wackiest and wickedest ways to woo her.

Inside the bungalow, the foursome find it increasingly difficult to keep the farce going. Their college dean visits the bungalow, and Gopal and Madhav have to impersonate as the blind couple.

Meanwhile, a local goon sends his henchmen to the bungalow to find a hidden treasure chest. Like his recently released film Phir Hera Pheri , here too Neeraj Vora adds the angle of ‘race for the diamonds’.

The best thing about ‘Golmaal’ is that it doesn’t carry the pretension of a roller-coaster entertainer. Without lingering too much on any one sequence, the movie’s plot breezes from one situation to another, with light-hearted humour creating the base and witty puns filling the edgeways.

Comedy is not something one would expect from Ajay Devgan. But the actor manages to maintain an easy and cheerful demeanor throughout the film. Arshad Warsi provides the most hilarious moments. His comic timing, his dialogue delivery, the tone in his voice and his facial expressions all blend together in a unified way to create the desired impact.

Sharman Joshi ends up looking the most lovable of the four. There is a natural charm in him, which shows in every single scene he enacts. Tusshar Kapoor, too, is likeable, particularly when he bumbles absolute gibberish.

Rimi Sen plays a cardboard character, the mandatory heroine for the heroes.

Paresh Rawal relegates himself admirably against the jamboree of the four pranksters. Sushmita Mukherjee is a delight to watch.

All in all, ‘Golmaal’ turns out to be a well-rounded entertainer, with an illogical plot and funny characters enacted convincingly by the actors. The film lives up to its punchline – Fun Unlimited.

07-21-2006, 06:32 AM

By Taran Adarsh, July 21, 2006 - 10:00 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/yhtkh5.jpg When an actor of the calibre of Naseeruddin Shah decides to perch on the director's chair, you track the directorial debut with interest. It's an instant reaction since Naseer is one of the finest actors in the country who has been associated with qualitative projects since the past three decades.

In his very first outing, Naseer decides to narrate four parallel stories in those 2.05 hours. Of course, several storytellers have made an effort to narrate multiple stories in one film, notable among them being Mani Ratnam [YUVA], RGV [DARNA MANA HAI, DARNA ZAROORI HAI], Khalid Mohamed [SILSIILAY] and Samar Khan [KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE].

However, YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is the first Hindi film that makes an effort to present the 9/11 tragedy that struck America and had repercussions the world over. Although the penultimate portions of the film may appear similar to UNITED 93 [released in the U.S. in April this year], the fact remains that YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is a genuinely different attempt as it packs in a lot in those two hours, besides the devastating tragedy.

The vital question is, does Naseer's directorial debut make a solid impact as a movie? Yes and no! YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? works because three of the four stories are interesting to watch, but the film runs out of steam towards its climax. The ending looks so abrupt that you are taken aback when the end titles start rolling.

The director has worked extremely hard on building the drama and the moment the camera zooms to September 11 and stays focused on the date for a good 30-45 seconds, you expect a nail-biting, hair-raising culmination. But the film ends in the next few minutes, making you wonder whether the director was in a hurry to end the film or was a substantial footage scissored on the editing table.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/yhtkh1.jpg Another aspect that goes against the film is that portions of the film have been treated with a touch of realism and at times, the commercial aspect takes over. Agreed, the stories are identifiable and the characters are those that we encounter in our day-to-day life, but it's the treatment that has its limitations.

Story 1: Tilottima [Konkona Sensharma] is married to Hemant [Jimmy Shergill], who she met through the Net. Their honeymoon is cut short because he has to return to his job in the U.S. Tilottima is desperate to reach U.S., but has to face an irate mother-in-law [Carla Singh] in the process. She manages a visa and heads for L.A.

Story 2: Salim [Irrfan Khan] is the stockbroker son of a Godmother [Saroj Khan]. He's besotted by the much older but sensuous Namrata [Suhasini Mulay]. Even as he involuntarily gets involved in a killing [Boman Irani], he discovers that she has been cheating on him. Before the shattered man can gather his wits, his mother forces him to pack his bags and flee the country before he's implicated.

Story 3: Rahul [Ankur Khanna] is a brilliant but poor student who's already got admission into a prestigious university abroad. But he's hardly excited, nor appears to be too keen on going because of a lack of funds and an incapacitated father. Almost overnight, almost magically, all his problems get sorted out thanks to a friend [Ayesha Takia] and he finds himself flying out to a brighter future.

Story 4: Rajubhai [Paresh Rawal] is a small-time organizer of foreign shows. To be a part of his show will cost an aspiring dancer/singer a few cool lakhs. Old flame Tara [Ratna Pathak Shah] mortgages her house so that Rajubhai would include her only daughter [Shahana Goswami] into his show. And so the seasoned and hardened Rajubhai finds himself fathering a wide eyed, innocent girl on her first trip abroad.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/yhtkh3.jpg Tilottima, Salim, Rahul and Rajubhai from four disparate worlds, with distinct hopes and diverse motives, encounter something drastic…

Of the four stories, the ones that stand out are the Jimmy-Konkona and Paresh-Ratna tracks. The constant bickering of the mother-in-law [Carla] and her dislike for the new bride [Konkona] is smartly depicted. The portion at the U.S. Consulate -- Konkona's interview for a Tourist Visa -- is another noteworthy twist in the tale. But the culmination to this story is unclear. Why doesn't Konkona make a phone call to her husband, clarifying that she couldn't board the ill-fated flight and that she's very much alive? Also, didn't the director feel it's important to show that the newly-married couple has reunited? That's a glaring loophole!

The Paresh-Ratna story is by far the best segment in the film. The simple story appears straight out of life and that's one of the prime reasons why it strikes a chord. With a drunkard-husband abusing her constantly, the trauma and hardship that the woman [Ratna] goes through to raise funds to run her kitchen as also send her daughter to the U.S. for a better future, is deftly depicted. The sequences involving Paresh and Ratna are the highpoint of the enterprise. Also, the sequence at the U.S. Consulate -- when Paresh and the girl break into a song to convince the Officer [Rajat Kapoor] -- is expertly enacted.

The Irrfan-Suhasini chapter is alright, in terms of writing and also execution. The twist in the tale -- when Irrfan catches Suhasini cheating on him -- holds your attention. Resultantly, Irrfan walks out on her and flies to the U.S. However, the man is still in love with the woman and makes calls to her. But how and why does Suhasini have a change of heart? Why does she suddenly beg for forgiveness when the fact remains that it was she who had closed the door on him with her actions?

The weakest link in the film is the Ankur Khanna-Ayesha Takia-Sameer Sheikh-Imaad Shah part. The story could've been interesting had the writer spelt out the true feelings of the two main characters [Ankur, Ayesha] for one another. Is Ayesha in love with Ankur? Or is she not? Is that one of the reasons why she sponsors his travel to the U.S.? And why does Sameer constantly ridicule Mumbai/India? Agreed, every city has its share of plusses and minusses, but to come down so heavily on the city leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/yhtkh4.jpg Directorially, Naseer works best when he tackles drama. He has executed a number of sequences with flourish, not making you feel even once that the film has been helmed by a first-timer. But the rough edges do show as the script [writer: Uttam Gada] leaves a few questions unanswered. There's no scope for music [Viju Shah] in the film, yet the theme song has a haunting feel to it. Cinematography [Hemant Chaturvedi] is consistent. The D.O.P. captures the bylanes of Mumbai with as much flourish as Manhattan.

The film has an ensemble cast, but the characters you take home are in this order: Paresh Rawal [superb], Konkona Sen Sharma [brilliant], Ratna Pathak Shah [first-rate], Jimmy Shergill [efficient], Irrfan Khan [competent], Carla Singh [proficient], Sameer Sheikh [able] and Saroj Khan [a complete natural].

The remaining cast -- Ayesha Takia, Boman Irani, Rajat Kapoor, Ankur Khanna, Karan Khanna, Shahana Goswami, Imaad Shah, Ravi Baswani, Suhasini Mulay and Tinnu Anand -- are passable. Makrand Deshpande and Ranveer Shorey feature in inconsequential roles.

On the whole, YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is a well-intentioned film, but the sudden ending and the missing links in the script make things go awry. At the box-office, the film caters to the multiplex crowd only, but even this segment wouldn't feel completely satiated.

07-21-2006, 11:08 AM
The Killer

By Taran Adarsh, July 21, 2006 - 10:00 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/killer1.jpg There's no harm in adapting an English film in Hindi. After all, every director has his/her way of interpreting a story. Moreover, there's a strong possibility that a wide section of desi audiences may not have watched the original/source, which means that the adapted version may come across as a novel experience.

After attempting original concepts with flourish [ZEHER, KALYUG, GANGSTER], Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt's current outing THE KILLER borrows the essence from acclaimed director Michael Mann's Tom Cruise-Jamie Foxx thriller COLLATERAL [2004]. The story of a cabbie and a hit man and the series of murders that take place in one night haven't been witnessed on Hindi screen before. That, sure, makes for an interesting plot!

Besides an arresting plot, THE KILLER appeals, to a large extent, thanks to the chemistry between Emraan Hashmi and Irrfan Khan. In fact, the cat-and-mouse game they indulge in keeps you on the edge right till the penultimate reel. The sequences between the two actors are the mainstay of this enterprise.

Unlike COLLATERAL, which got dark and depressing at times, debutante directors Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwala have ensured that THE KILLER caters to the Indian tastes. The conversations between Emraan and Irrfan could've veered into a serious and gloomy alley, but thankfully turns out to be lively, interesting, smart and packed with wit and humor. The director duo strikes a fine balance between serious and funny, tense and comforting moments.

However, this shouldn't imply that THE KILLER is devoid of flaws. There are hiccups, but the fast pacing and crisp editing camouflage the flaws in the writing department. The impact in the end is what eventually matters, not the speed breakers on the way!

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/killer5.jpg Nikhil [Emraan Hashmi] is a cabbie in Dubai; he doesn't shy from going that extra mile to earn those extra bucks. He plans to open a travel agency some day and settle with the woman of his dreams, Rhea [Nisha Kothari], a bar dancer by profession.

Nikhil's life takes a turn when Vikram [Irrfan Khan] hires his cab for the entire night. Vikram is no ordinary passenger. He is in Dubai with a mission -- to eliminate five people in the course of one single night. Unaware of Vikram's nefarious plans, Nikhil drives him around, drops him to a destination, picks him up and moves on to the next destination.

But Nikhil soon realizes that he has been trapped and has to find a way out of this misadventure. The more he tries to get out of it, the more Vikram traps him. Nikhil begs, pleads, argues, retaliates, schemes… but to no avail as Vikram doesn't have intentions of letting him free till his mission is accomplished.

Slowly, Nikhil starts transforming himself into a personality that could counter-attack the man sitting on the rear seat.

THE KILLER catches your attention gradually. The initial portions between Emraan and Nisha may give an impression that it's one of those routine love stories one has witnessed unfailingly over the years. But the film changes tracks the moment Irrfan enters the scene and hires the cab. From thereon, it's an unexpected journey…

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/killer6.jpg The drama intensifies when Irrfan commits the first murder, but it's the second murder [of underworld don Jabbar's henchman Musa] and the dead body's crash landing on Emraan's windshield that proves to be the turning point. The third murder, of a ghazal singer, is skillfully executed, while the intermission point [Irrfan murdering Emraan's friend when he's about to call the cops] is the right way to end the first half of this 14-reeler.

The post-interval portions are largely captivating. The sequence at the hospital, when Emraan and Irrfan call on Emraan's ailing mother [Bharti Achrekar], is interesting. But the sequence that deserves distinction marks is when Emraan lands up at the don's [Zakir Hussain] mansion and the lengthy dialogue that ensues thereafter. It's a brilliantly penned, executed and enacted sequence.

But the writing fumbles at places. For instance, when the CBI officer gets to know that the murderer has already headed towards a club to eliminate the fourth witness [an Arab], why doesn't he warn the witness on phone? Ditto for the fifth witness [Nisha Kothari]. Even the end, when Emraan rescues Nisha soon after her dance, looks like a typical Hindi film setting, with the hero arriving at the nick of time.

However, the end in the shopping mall, when Irrfan is keen to eliminate both Emraan and Nisha, is nail-biting. It may not be the most original culmination to the story, but it works because of the two actors, especially Irrfan's manic behavior.

As first-timers, Raksha and Hasnain's direction is commendable. The duo has handled a number of sequences with amazing maturity. Technically too, it's a superior product. But they can [and should] improvise upon an area which is the lifeline of every film: Screenplay.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/killer8.jpg Sajid-Wajid's music is pleasant, but definitely not in league with Bhatt brothers' earlier films like RAAZ, MURDER and GANGSTER. Yet, in all fairness, 'Teri Yaadon Mein' and 'Dil Ko Churaya Tune Sanam' are melodious creations. 'Abhi To Main Jawaan Hoon' caters to the hoi polloi; it's a raunchy track. Cinematography is first-rate. The lensman has captured the beautiful locales of Dubai with flourish. Dialogues, especially the banter between Emraan and Irrfan, are exceptional.

Emraan is adequate in the initial portions, but comes in form when he starts confronting Irrfan. He is admirable in the sequence with Zakir Hussain. Irrfan is splendid all through. The eccentric character has been portrayed with gusto by the actor. His dialogues, at places, will be greeted with a thunderous applause. Especially his breaking into the song 'Zara Saamne To Aao Chhaliye' in the mall [climax].

Nisha Kothari doesn't get a chance to display histrionics, but exhibits her anatomy nonetheless. She is sure to send the masses into raptures in the 'Abhi To Main Jawaan Hoon' track. Zakir Hussain is powerful in that single scene. Avtar Gill and Bharti Achrekar are satisfactory.

On the whole, THE KILLER is an absorbing fare that should appeal to lovers of thrillers. At the box-office, its moderate pricing coupled with decent merits should help the film sail safe.


07-28-2006, 09:18 AM

By Taran Adarsh, July 28, 2006 - 13:34 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/omkara1.jpg The much-hyped, keenly-anticipated OMKARA, an adaptation of Shakespeare's OTHELLO, hits the screens today. With a mammoth star cast and a gifted director [Vishal Bhardwaj] at the helm of affairs, OMKARA is expected to prove a trailblazer, not only winning acclaim from those who appreciate realistic cinema, but also satisfying the needs of entertainment-seeking moviegoers.

Hollywood has, in the past, attempted cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare's works, including several versions of OTHELLO. Although the original-source is Western, Vishal Bhardwaj and his team of writers have placed the plot in the Indian milieu… in the heartland of India, to be more specific.

Attempting a film like OMKARA requires courage. It dares to swim against the tide. It defies the set rules of commercial cinema. It's not one of those candyfloss films. It's not sunshine cinema either. Nor does it follow trends… OMKARA is a serious film, about real people, about real emotions. You may find it dark at times. Also disturbing. And the generous usage of expletives [MCs, BCs, Cs] and dialogues [sample: Teri aur meri kismet gadhe ke *@!# se likhi gayee hain] could give you a cold sweat.

Clearly, OMKARA is not everybody's cup of tea, not everyone's idea of entertainment…

So, what works and what doesn't?
Vishal Bhardwaj is an accomplished storyteller. On surface, OMKARA is Shakespeare's OTHELLO, but the adaptation is very Indian. Human traits like suspicion and jealousy can be identified the world over and that's what OMKARA highlights all through its 18 reels.

But one of the prime reasons why OMKARA stands out from most Bollywood films is that every performance in the film is worth its weight in gold. And a few sequences are master strokes from writing and execution point of view. The film deserves brownie points for the change of events in its second hour specifically!

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/omkara2.jpg But you cannot ignore the deficiencies as well…
The slow pacing, the lingo spoken by the characters and the U.P. setting has its limitations. A film set in Mumbai, with generous doses of Mumbaiya lingo, appeals more in Mumbai/Maharashtra than in Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar or Rajasthan. Similarly, the U.P. dialect, the setting, the ambience, even the expletives would find tremendous identification from U.P. and Bihar, not at other regions.

Also, since the film follows an unconventional route, it tends to get dark and disturbing at times. Agreed, it's the demand of the story, but those who aren't aware of Shakespeare's OTHELLO and the tragic end are bound to feel disturbed by the climax. The bloodshed and violent slant is also not something that would hold universal acceptance.

Omkara or Omi [Ajay Devgan] is a gifted chieftain who heads a gang of outlaws, which include the crafty Langda Tyagi [Saif Ali Khan] and the dynamic Kesu [Vivek Oberoi] amongst his chief cohorts. The story begins when Omi appoints Kesu and not Langda as his chief lieutenant.

Langda's pride is slighted and raging with envy he hatches a plot to falsely implicate Omi's beautiful lover Dolly [Kareena Kapoor] in a love affair with Omi's “favorite lieutenant” Kesu. With the unwitting aid of Indu [Konkana Sen Sharma], Langda's wife, and the willing help of Raju, a fellow grouch, Langda's plan takes shape and results in horrific tragedy.

Using petty insinuations and lies, Langda keeps poisoning Omi's mind till one day it snaps and Omi goes about tearing up his own safe and secure world. By the time he realizes what he has done and the backlash of his actions, it is too late.

Omkara's love for Dolly, Dolly's unquestioning love for Omi, Langda's warped loyalty and jealousy for Omi, Kesu's unswerving devotion to Omi -- all lead up to a dark tragedy where Omi finally realizes what he has done…

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/omkara3.jpg From MAKDEE to MAQBOOL to OMKARA, Vishal Bhardwaj's transition has been simply remarkable. OMKARA shows that Vishal is a brilliant storyteller, who has a terrific command over technique too. In fact, it wouldn't be erroneous to state that every sequence in the film bears the stamp of a genius and most importantly, someone who knows how to adapt an English play into a 2-hour Hindi film.

Vishal's storytelling is equally noteworthy. The transition from a simple story to a complex tale and from a plain love story to a shocking, tragic culmination is what generates a terrific impression of the film. The narrative is absorbing in parts in the first half [it takes time to get used to the lingo], but the drama and the tense moments in the second hour is what really matters.

A few sequences leave an indelible impression…

The dialogue between Kareena's father and Ajay at the start: 'If a daughter is not loyal to her father, can she ever be loyal to her lover?';
Ajay choosing Vivek over Saif as the chief lieutenant and the varied expressions on Saif's face;
The conversation between Saif and Raju, who is in love with Kareena, at the banks of the river. Again, note Saif's expressions when Raju mocks at him: 'What could you do when Omkara made Kesu the lieutenant?';
The 'kamar-bandh' sequence in the second hour, when Ajay tells Kareena to search for it;
All sequences between Saif and Ajay, when Saif tries to poison Ajay's mind against Kareena and Vivek;
The climax - the 'suhaag raat' sequence - and the dastardly act that follows. It would be wrong to reveal the end, but the conclusion to Kareena's character is sure hair-raising.
http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/omkara4.jpg But, on the other hand, OMKARA tends to get too realistic at times. The director and his team of writers [Vishal Bhardwal, Robin Bhatt, Abhishek Chaubey] could've toned down the expletives in the film. Also, the tense-filled moments get too heavy after a point and would work only for those who appreciate realistic cinema. Vishal's music is in sync with the mood of the film and might appeal to connoisseurs of traditional music, but not to a wide audience. The 'Beedi' track holds mass appeal, while 'Naina Thag Lenge' is rich in lyrical value and has a haunting feel. Cinematography [Tassaduq Hussain] is excellent at most times, but certain dark scenes could've been better lit. Dialogues are natural to the core, but, again, the expletives in the dialogues make you uncomfortable at times.

OMKARA is embellished with great performances, but the one who steals the show is, without a shred of doubt, Saif Ali Khan, who plays the evil Langda Tyagi brilliantly. His looks, his mannerisms, his body language, his overall behavioral pattern takes you by complete surprise. The actor deserves distinction marks for portraying the role with such realism that you start hating him after a point. Sure, the actor deserves the highest award for this role!

Ajay makes a stirring and powerful interpretation of a man haunted by uncertainty about his lover's faithfulness. The serious look that Ajay carries suits him to the T. Of course, Ajay is exceptional in the film and looks every inch the character he portrays.

Kareena delivers an award-worthy performance. She looks gorgeous even without makeup. Vivek Oberoi is alright; he doesn't really get much scope. Konkona Sen Sharma is outstanding. She makes a towering impact every time she appears on screen. Bipasha [sp. app.] is highly effective. Naseeruddin Shah is adequate. Deepak Dobriyal [Raju] is a supremely talented actor.

On the whole, OMKARA is a brilliant film from the making point of view and is also embellished with topnotch performances. But the box-office will be a different story altogether. Thanks to the U.P. dialect, the film will appeal more in the U.P./Bihar belt mainly. In several circuits, the dialect, the dark and disturbing theme and also the expletives will curtail its prospects to an extent. The high pricing will also go against it in some circuits.


08-04-2006, 09:05 AM
Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar

By Taran Adarsh, August 4, 2006 - 13:41 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/skpgy1.jpg From saas-bahu sagas to ghar-ghar ki kahani, there's an overdose of parivaar, sanskaar and takraar on Indian television. So, if a film-maker attempts a story that has already made the rounds of Indian television or has been beaten to death on the big screen, the impact is bound to be minimal or, perhaps, zilch.

The problem with SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR is not just its oft-repeated storyline, even its look is jaded. It brings back memories of the cinema of 1980s: Flashy clothes, jazzy styling and gaudy sets. Moreover, the film has taken a long time to hit the screens and the common man is well aware of this fact -- something that goes against the film completely.

So does the star presence of Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty salvage the show? Not really!

In these fast-changing times, when 'think out of the box' is the keyword to success, a film like SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR comes across as an outdated and obsolete concept. The film would've worked, perhaps, had it released a couple of years ago. Not today!

Ayaan [Salman Khan], from an upper middle class family, falls in love with a model, Ahana [Shilpa Shetty], belonging to a liberal, ultra-rich family. After a passage of time, the two get married. Both Ayaan and Ahana look forward to a blissful and contented married life.

But the future has something else in store for the duo. Ahana gradually discovers that there is a cultural difference between her upbringing and Ayaan's family. Small differences crop up, which eventually lead to major confrontations between the two.

Can Ayaan maintain his cool and bring his wife and family under one roof?

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/skpgy2.jpg SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR is a khichdi of several successful films. There's a bit of HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN, a dash of RAJA HINDUSTANI and traces of the South socials starring Jeetendra, which enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Nothing wrong if you are inspired by your peers or interesting films, but the problem is that a film like SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR comes too late in the day.

The conflict between a bahu and her in-laws or the bahu's uppity mother posing problems is definitely not novel. In fact, one presumes that director K.S. Adhiyaman must've used all popular family socials as reference points before writing the script of this film.

SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR is plagued by one more problem. There are songs and more songs, whether or not the situation demands. And the situations are the same that you encountered in the 1990s: The hero starts dreaming and suddenly breaks into a song in London or the heroine gulps a few pegs of alcohol and breaks into an angry song.

Any redeeming aspects? Yes, of course! A few sequences between the couple -- Salman and Shilpa -- catch your attention. Agreed, we've seen similar situations before, but they keep the interest factor alive…

The first tiff between Salman and Shilpa -- when they return from their honeymoon and Salman's family gathers to see the goodies that they've picked up while shopping -- seems real.
Another sequence that stands out is when Salman breaks down upon learning that Shilpa has had a miscarriage and how Salman's mother Reema pacifies him and explains the truth [he thinks, she has aborted the baby].
The sequence after the party -- when Salman persuades Shilpa to return home -- keeps you involved.
http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/skpgy3.jpg But Adhiyaman loses track as he nears the completion post. The court decides to give the warring couple ample time to reconcile their differences and Salman starts staying in Shilpa's house. The entire track of Salman and Mohnish Bahl keeping a watch on Shilpa's eating habits et al looks plain ridiculous.

Directorially too, Adhiyaman's storytelling seems old-fashioned and archaic. Or, perhaps, he's obsessed with Sooraj Barjatya movies. The songs [Sajid-Wajid, Daboo Malik] are okay, with a couple of average tracks -- 'Taro Ko Mohabbat Ambar Se' and 'Kuch Bhi Nahin Tha'. Cinematography is passable.

Salman looks as if he has just walked out of the Rajshri set. His depiction of Mr. Goody Goody reminds you of his part in H.A.H.K. and HUM SAATH-SAATH HAIN. Shilpa's role has negative shades and she plays the wicked wife well. The film has a number of actors in supporting roles, but the ones who stand out are Supriya Karnik [first-rate] and Shakti Kapoor [effective]. Reema Lagoo is too repetitive. Mohnish Bahl gets no scope. Kunika and Aasif Sheikh are passable.

On the whole, SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR is a stale and outdated fare which reminds the viewer of the cinema of 1980s. At the box-office, this one's a non-starter.


08-04-2006, 09:07 AM
Anthony Kaun Hai?

By Taran Adarsh, August 4, 2006 - 13:59 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akh1.jpg Sure, you are elated to know that the successful and lovable MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. combo, Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi, have been teamed again. After all, the duo strolled into the hearts of millions of moviegoers with a winning movie. Naturally then, you await their new outing, ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, with equal enthusiasm.

But let's clear a few myths pertaining to ANTHONY KAUN HAI?...
Myth 1: If you expect to watch Munna and Circuit or an extension of those roles in ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, you're in for disillusionment. In this film, the two actors are on the opposite sides of the fulcrum. They are not buddies, they aren't working together either.

Myth 2: Expecting ANTHONY KAUN HAI? to be a hilarious entertainer, like some of the recent comic capers, would also be wrong. This is no laughathon. It's a thriller laced with a love story and light moments in minimal doses. In fact, the film is modeled on the lines of the Dev Anand-Ashok Kumar hit JEWEL THIEF, directed by Vijay Anand.

Now let's get to the realities…
On the plus side, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a stylishly shot film with several interesting twists and turns. In fact, the film is a complete departure from what director Raj Kaushal has attempted in the past [PYAAR MEIN KABHI KABHI, SHAADI KA LADDOO]. You could say that ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is Raj's finest effort so far, but it's not without its share of deficiencies.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akh2.jpg The hiccups come in the form of the script [writer: Soumik Sen]. Inspired by the Hollywood film WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? [2002; Christian Slater, Tim Allen], the film also brings back memories of BLUE STREAK [1999; Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson]. In fact, if you recall vividly, David Dhawan too had attempted BLUE STREAK in the past, when he made CHOR MACHAAYE SHOR [2002; Bobby, Shilpa, Bipasha].

Soumik's script is absorbing in parts and keeps the viewer on toes, but there's a major flaw. When you have a title like ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, the viewer wants to know ki bhaiya, Anthony aakhir hai kaun? There has to be a face to the character, but no one knows who Anthony is or what he looks like even after the film has ended. Yes, there are some body shots of Anthony Gonsalves [his face is hidden], but there has to be a face to every character -- at least in Hindi movies. From the writing point of view, this a glaring flaw!

Another defect -- and this has nothing to do with the script -- is that you expect Sanjay Dutt in the main lead [going by the promotions], but Sanju's presence is akin to a special appearance. Yes, Sanju's there at the start, in between and also in the end, but it's Arshad's story that he's listening to. Sanju comes in after every 20 minutes and his screen appearance lasts for not more than 3-4 minutes [at times, even less than that!] every time he appears. Obviously, the die-hard Sanju fans are bound to feel disappointed!

In a nutshell, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a mixed bag. It works intermittently, not in entirety!

Master Madan [Sanjay Dutt] is a hitman, a complete filmi, a die-hard Bollywood fan. Champ [Arshad Warsi] is an ace conman who's changed his identity more than his outfits. The story revolves around Master Madan, who receives an order to exterminate Champ. But is Champ really the prey or is there something more to it?

As the film opens, Mater Madan sticks a gun in the face of Champ and tells him that if the money is delivered as planned, he will kill him. In the meantime, he loves a good story. And Champ has one to tell him. Their meeting, Champ explains, is based on a misconception. Master Madan thinks Champ is Anthony Gonsalves, a journalist the villain Lucky Sharma [Chetan Hansraj] wants dead. But Champ is in fact Champak, who borrowed Anthony's identity after escaping from prison.

Meanwhile, Jiya [Minissha] is the only link who knows where the diamonds are stashed away. Unfortunately, the location [where the diamonds lie buried] is now a prison. The diamonds were stolen by a magician Raghu [Raghubir Yadav], who has been imprisoned for this act. In fact, Jiya is Raghu's daughter.

Detective Suraj Singh [Gulshan Grover] is entrusted the task of solving the mystery.

ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is not the usual thriller that Bollywood aficionados are used to watching. It's pretty evident at the start of the film itself that director Raj Kaushal and writer Soumik Sen have made a thriller that's targeted at the metros. The look as well as the technique , besides the storytelling, would appeal to the elite more than the hoi polloi, the masses.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akh4.jpg Although the story could've got very confusing and difficult to comprehend, since the film goes into flashbacks time and again, Raj Kaushal and Soumik have ensured that the layers in the story are peeled gradually. A number of sequences are noteworthy, especially the ones between Sanju and Arshad, and that's the mainstay of the enterprise. The climax of the film changes tracks and becomes a love story [Arshad-Minissha] and the sequence at the Bangkok International Airport is simply fantastic.

On the flip side, the storytelling is the type that would alienate the [I]aam junta. Also, as mentioned above, the Sanjay Dutt factor as also the faceless identity of Anthony are major deterrents. Besides, the placement of songs raises eyebrows. Like, for instance, there are two songs that come back-to-back after the film has ended -- the first on Sanju-Arshad ['No Way'] and the second on Himesh Reshammiya ['Jabse Tumko Dekha']. Why?

There's no denying that director Raj Kaushal takes a giant leap with ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, in terms of technique as also storytelling. This is amongst the most stylish films made in the recent times, although Raj can and should also try to think from the Indian masses point of view when he attempts a film next. The content should strike a fine balance between gentry and masses.

Soumik Sen's choice of the story is right, but the screenplay could've been more cohesive. You don't feel completely satiated after you've watched the film. Yet, in all fairness, the writing is a notch above the ordinary. Himesh Reshammiya's music is foot-tapping. The last two tracks specifically hold appeal. Hemant Chaturvedi's cinematography is excellent. The D.O.P. captures Thailand on celluloid like never before. The film bears a glossy look all through and the beautiful locales of Krabi and Bangkok give the film an international look.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akh5.jpg With Sanju in the background, the focus is on Arshad Warsi, who does an admirable job from start to end. The best part is that Arshad is always likeable; even if it's an ordinary sequence, the actor uplifts the portion with his amazing talent. Sanju looks dapper and does a decent job.

Minissha is likeable. In fact, the actress is far better in this film than she was in her first two films [YAHAAN, CORPORATE]. Anusha Dandekar has nothing much to do. Raghuveer Yadav is passable. Gulshan Grover is bankable. Ravi Baswani provides comic relief. His get-up is funny as well. Chetan Hansraj is hardly there.

On the whole, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a decent fare that would appeal to the elite more than the commoners. At the box-office, the film has the Sanju-Arshad pairing as its biggest strength, but the film lacks a strong screenplay to keep you hooked. The film has good initial-value and coupled with the star power and hype should sail safe for its distributors. But a long run is ruled out due to the mighty opposition next week [K.A.N.K.].

08-18-2006, 10:36 AM
Ahista Ahista, it grows on you
Sanjay Pendse- rediff

August 18, 2006 15:44 IST

'Don't reveal the end,' goes the old Bollywood refrain. Ahista Ahista, however, could do with a warning note, 'Don't let the beginning put you off.' For it is a delightful movie -- but it grows on you, like the title suggests, slowly.
The build-up to the film has been steady. Music videos set against the gorgeous Delhi winter have been seducing you for weeks now, accompanied by Himesh Reshammiya songs.
As a result, you have been eagerly awaiting a return to good old storytelling with director Shivam Nair and his crew. You are anticipating a story about plausible people and their palpable joys and pains.
You are waiting to see if lead star Soha Ali Khan, in her first post-Rang De Basanti release, moves closer to the title of national sweetheart -- a post once famously held by her mum [Sharmila Tagore].
You almost want to like this movie even before you have even seen it, but are annoyed by what greets you at first: An unbelievably clean marriage registrar's bureau, peopled by incredibly sweet, golden-hearted characters straight out of Saeed Mirza's Nukkad (television) series. They are an affront to Delhi's rough, macho self-image and to the intelligence of anyone who has spent two minutes on the capital's streets.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2006/aug/18ahista31.jpgWith realism thus given the short shrift, one begins to fear if Nair is headed for nauseating romanticism.
Enter Megha (Soha Ali Khan), who's run away from Nainital to get married. Her groom (Shayan Munshi), much to her shock, doesn't show up, leaving her penniless and vulnerable in big bad Delhi.
In comes Ankush (Abhay Deol), a professional marriage witness. His brilliant ideas of saving her include smuggling her into a friend's home without the mom's knowledge, spending the night together at Nijammuddin Aulia's Dargah, listening to the qawwals, spending another night at the kind of place where they rent you rooms by the hour...
Soha, thankfully, brings beauty and dignity to these implausible initial proceedings, while sloppy dialogue and Abhay's limited facial expressions make your heart sink further.
Then, mercifully, everything changes. One of Ankush's cronies suggests Soha live as a resident-volunteer at an old age home. The plot, which had limped along till now, suddenly comes to life and transforms the movie. The cast and crew begin to move like a finely-tuned orchestra. The initially annoying cronies assume crucial importance.
The dialogue, and Abhay, improve by leaps and bounds, handling some of the film's toughest scenes with panache: The dawn of love between the unlikely pair, the first hasty hug and kiss, the conversion of the padre at the old age home to their cause, the subtle undercurrent of class conflict... the film consistently tugs at your heartstrings with several warm and delicate scenes.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2006/aug/18ahista21.jpg</IMG>The plot is turned on its head again when Megha's original lover shows up again. The see-saw battle of love continues tantalisingly and plausibly till the very end.
Of course, we will not reveal the end. And yes, Soha could indeed come many notches closer to that national-sweetheart title with Ahista Ahista.
Abhay impresses progressively.
Delhi, with its imposing Indo-Islamic architecture (notice a terrace scene zoom out swiftly to encompass the grandeur of the Jama Masjid), plays a silent cameo in he film.
One cannot but help see in Ahista Ahista the kind of charm patented of late by Iranian cinema, that of beautifully mounted (cinematographer Prakash Kutty) and engaging stories about everyday people and the triumph of their incredible hope, spirit and love.
Give us that anyday, instead of the gratuitous sex, violence and preaching we are usually subjected to.

08-18-2006, 05:06 PM
Ahista Ahista : Review

18th Aug 2006 21.45 IST
By N. K. Deoshi, apunkachoice


Ahista Ahista is a film that doesn’t conform to the Bollywood stereotype of romantic movies with perpetual doses of melodrama and mush. It is a light-hearted, slow-paced, contemplative movie that strikes a chord gently.

The movie’s story, its characters, the dialogues they speak, have a realism seldom seen in big-budgeted magnum opuses from our much vaunted film industry.

The film, directorial debut of Shivam Nair (who has worked as director and editor in TV serials), has no big stars to boast of. It neither has any exotic locations against which the hero and heroine go dancing to their hearts’ content. It rather has a relative newcomer Abhay Deol and gorgeous Soha Ali Khan in very non-filmi, realistic roles. It has old Delhi – Jama Masjid, Lal Quila and Nizamuddin Dargah – making for a plausible backdrop against which the story of the two leading characters unfolds.

Ankush (Abhay Deol) somehow makes ends meet by working as a witness in the marriage registrar bureau in Delhi. Megha (Soha Ali Khan) has run away from her home in Nainital to marry her lover Dheeraj ( Shyan Munshi ) in Delhi. But she is ditched. Dheeraj doesn’t turn up for the marriage. Megha is left in the lurch with nowhere to go in an alien city.

Ankush comes to Megha’s rescue. Although he himself is in no favorable position to help her, he gives her moral support, helps her spend a few nights at different places before finding a job for her in an old age home. Going beyond his pocket, Ankush takes a loan for Megha.

Slowly and slowly, as the movie’s title goes, Ankush and Megha begin to complement each other, without being conscious of it. In a way, Megha inspires Ankush to become a better man, make a decent living. Ankush, on the other hand, helps Megha forget her bitter past and look forward to a new life.

There are a few moments when the sparks of their unexpressed emotions shine through. There are moments when the two make hesitant advances, but retreat. This restraint by the characters in the story actually adds to its emotive appeal.

Just when the relationship between Megha and Ankush seem headed for its expected culmination, the movie throws a surprise.

Dheeraj, Megha’s runaway lover, returns, repentant and determined to win back her love. Dheeraj’s return creates turbulence in Megha’s heart. She is torn between the two men. Ankush sees his world begin to fall to pieces, ahista ahista.

The film is not one of those romantic movies that attempt to overwhelm you with emotions. The dramatic portions in the movie are discreetly underplayed and the humour, cautiously restrained. There is no grandeur or opulence of a larger-than-life love story in Ahista Ahista. It is for this very reason the film will appeal to selected audience only.

Shivam Nair makes an impressive Bollywood debut with a movie that gives precedence to a good story over commercial considerations. The protagonists in the movie are not glamorized at all. They seem like ordinary people from real life. The film’s story, its progress, the situational turns and, above all, the movie’s unexpected end, too, are quite credible. After all, life is not fair sometimes.

Abhay Deol suits well the character of the polite, down-to-earth Ankush. There is a strange mix of vulnerability and rarely expressed self-confidence to Abhay’s personality that goes very well with the character he plays in the film. Considering his similar role in his debut film ( Socha Na Tha ) it seems such parts are tailor-made for Abhay.

After Rang De Basanti , we see Soha Ali Khan in a non-glamorous role once again. Not only does she look gorgeous throughout the movie, she shows moments of good acting too. She brings a remarkable lack of confidence in her character in the initial reels of the film. Her Megha is indeed a small-town girl not so open in expressing herself. However, she transforms as the movie progresses. Her performance at the movie’s end is particularly noteworthy.

Shyan Munshi has a small role in the film and he carries it with natural ease.

Ahista Ahista is an unconventional love story by Bollywood standard. The film doesn’t stir you. Gently and gradually, it strikes a chord.

08-26-2006, 09:58 AM
Aap Ki Khatir
By Taran Adarsh, August 25, 2006 - 13:31 IST

Dharmesh Darshan has, in the past, made films that emphasized on drama. If the discord between a newly-married couple was the core issue in RAJA HINDUSTANI, a married woman torn between her husband and lover was the crux of BEWAFAA. The one thing that remains a common link in most Dharmesh's movies is conflict.

Now, in his new outing AAP KI KHATIR, Dhamesh changes gears. He attempts a light entertainer this time. For those who're unaware, the ace director takes the inspiration from director Clare Kilner's Hollywood film THE WEDDING DATE [2005; Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney]. Wait… Besides THE WEDDING DATE, AAP KI KHATIR bears an uncanny resemblance to HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN as well as MONSOON WEDDING.

So, does this fusion turn out to be a delectable affair? Armed with a different theme this time around, you expect AAP KI KHATIR to be a refreshing change from the overdose of melodrama that dominates Dharmesh's films. The best thing about AAP KI KHATIR is, the light moments [in abundance in the first hour] work. But the sad part is, the drama in the second hour doesn't.

AAP KI KHATIR rests on a thin plot. Fine, that can be overlooked. But the director should camouflage the deficiency with an arresting screenplay. The sequence of events should have the power to keep you focused to the screen for the next two hours. Dharmesh establishes the plot well. The 'deal' between Priyanka and Akshaye brings a smile on your face and keeps you in good spirits all through the first half.

Just when you thought that Dharmesh had got it right this time, he throws up in the subsequent reels. In the pre-climax and climax specifically. The last 20 minutes of the enterprise act as a complete spoilsport. The culmination to the story takes the film to its nadir. The writing [Sunil Munshi] is clearly the culprit here.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akk2.jpg To sum up, AAP KI KHATIR could've been an invigorating experience. Instead, it turns out to be a half-hearted effort that lacks the stamp of an accomplished storyteller.

Anu [Priyanka Chopra], a London-based Indian, lives in Mumbai after her break-up with Danny [Dino Morea]. But she has to return to London. Reason: Her stepsister Shirani [Amisha Patel] is getting married to New York-based Gujarati businessman Kunal [Suniel Shetty]. As luck would have it, Danny is Kunal's best friend and also happens to be on the guest-list.

Anu hatches a plan to get back at Danny and make him jealous. She hires an escort, Aman [Akshaye Khanna], to accompany her to the wedding as her new beau. The plan works gradually. But the skeletons tumble out of the cupboard: Shirani was involved with Danny after he broke off with Anu.

Meanwhile, there's a twist in the tale. Aman realizes that he's in love with Anu. But Anu is keen on Danny.

AAP KI KHATIR can be compartmentalized in two sections. The first hour focuses on light moments [refreshing; there's not one serious moment all through this hour], while the post-interval portions try to highlight the misunderstandings that encircle the characters.

The film has a couple of lively [and likable] moments. The light banter between Akshaye and Priyanka and her attempts to make Dino jealous keep you entertained. The sequences between the parents [Anupam Kher, Lilette Dubey] and Akshaye as also between the sisters [Priyanka-Amisha] are expertly handled. But all this happens in the first hour. The second half is plain monotonous and moves about in the most predictable fashion.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akk3.jpg Also, there are inherent flaws from the writing point of view. Like, for instance, the writer doesn't bother to develop the relationship between Akshaye and Priyanka. It sort of materializes out of thin air. One moment, they are client and employee, discussing the terms of their arrangement, and the next, they're in love. It's a mystery how this transition occurs. There had to be a solid ground for them to develop strong feelings for one another.

The climax is a complete downer. The confrontation between Suniel and Dino looks fake primarily because Suniel comes across a narrow-minded individual. Agreed, his wife-to-be had a past and when she confides into him, he decides to act in the most irrational manner by creating a ruckus. Hello, should someone who was brought up in NY behave so fickle-mindedly? And why does Priyanka go back to Akshaye? Is it on a rebound since Dino doesn't love her, but loves her sister Amisha? And why does Dino broach the topic with Amisha a day before her marriage? Not happening, Mr. Writer!

Dharmesh Darshan's direction is just not in league with his earlier works, LOOTERE, RAJA HINDUSTANI and DHADKAN. The emotions don't strike a chord because Dharmesh is handicapped by a sloppy screenplay [second half]. Himesh Reshammiya's music is first-rate. The title track [during the beginning titles and also when Akshaye-Priyanka land in London] as also 'Tu Hai Kamaal' are pleasant-sounding. The latter is well filmed in a nightclub.

Surprisingly, W.B. Rao's cinematography is not at par with his accomplished works. In fact, the frames aren't as striking as one would've expected them to be. Dialogues are wonderful.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/akk6.jpg Akshaye is the soul of AAP KI KHATIR. The competent actor ignites the screen with a fascinating performance that's sure to win accolades by one and all. Priyanka goes over the top initially, but is controlled in the penultimate portions. Dino is perfectly cast; he looks suave and carries the role with effortless ease. Amisha does a decent job, although her role doesn't call for histrionics. Suniel Shetty is completely miscast. Bhumicka Singh is fair. Anupam Kher is alright. But it's Lilette Dubey who excels as the mother. Tiku Talsania, Kamini Khanna and the jing-bang [Suniel's family] try hard to make you laugh.

On the whole, AAP KI KHATIR is too mediocre a product that has some lively moments, but a weak second half [and climax] throws a wet blanket. At the box-office, the only advantage is its solo release, but the sustaining power is remote.

09-04-2006, 05:33 AM
http://www.apunkachoice.com/scoop/bollywood/img/20060903-0.gifJaane Hoga Kya : Movie Review
03rd Sept 2006 11.30 IST
By Neha Kewal

Jaane Hoga Kya – the title of this movie sounds like some big conundrum. But its fate at the box-office is apparently sealed.

Starring Aftab Shivdasani , Bipasha Basu and Preeti Jhangiani in the lead roles, ‘Jaane Hoga Kya’ is an old movie with a theme quite new to Bollywood.

If you are looking forward to watch this film, then you should be an ardent fan of science fiction movies and ought to have the cannot-miss-this-time feeling. Bollywood, which is already infamous for treating sci-fi genre shoddily, has given no different treatment to ‘Jaane Hoga Kya’.

Even though the movie tackles a relatively fresh concept, it will fail to draw the audience to the theatres because of its stale look and by-now-obsolete cinematic idiom. The film was completed in 2004 but couldn’t be released due to the arrest and jail sentence of its creator Alok Shrivastava.

The director duo, Glen and Ankush, have wasted their effort to bring a different concept that was not witnessed by Indian audience before. And the movie turns out to be a very bad adaptation of the Chinese movie, ‘DNA Clone’.

The storyline runs on the platform of cloning. It revolves around a young, ambitious scientist of IMRC, Siddharth (Aftab Shivdasani) whose ambition in life is to create a human clone in laboratory. On his way to success he loses a friend-cum-colleague of his.

Looking at Siddharth’s previous failures, IMRC doesn’t allow him to carry forward the project. Then his love Aditi (Bipasha Basu) helps him with finance to start his project once again. He sets up a hi-tech lab that looks somewhat like a poorly recreated set of a Hollywood sci-fi movie.

There is nothing extraordinary about the performance of the actors and the movie’s plot. The characters in the story are like automatons.

The proceedings take a slight turn when Siddharth disappears from the city for making his project a success. Inspector Rathore (Rahul Dev) is suspicious of Siddharth and he begins to trace him.

Eventually, Siddharth achieves his aim. But his clone turns out to be stronger than expected and is not even affected by powerful blows. The clone behaves like the Superman. It goes missing and makes Siddharth’s life miserable.

The clone plays around with Suchitra (Preeti Jhangiani), daughter of Siddharth’s guru, Prof. Krishnan (Paresh Rawal). It later kills Prof. Krishnan to get the project file.

Inspector Rathore swings into action and puts Siddharth behind bars, suspecting him of killing Prof. Krishnan.

From the speed at which the movie progresses, it is for sure that a turtle too could outpace it. Aftab looks more like a man overcoming his adolescent hangover than a scientist working on a serious project. Bipasha and Preeti have been able to enact their parts well. But the director has failed to utilize the potential and acting caliber of Paresh Rawal. Moreover, Rahul Dev is also wasted.

To give the movie a pinch of suspense, the directors have added a little grey shade in Bipasha’s character.

As the movie comes near its climax, it is shown that the clone is directed by Aditi, who wants to take revenge from Siddharth.

The film’s direction is plain mediocre. The script is full of flaws, the characters have no depth to them, and the dialogues are tacky.

On the music front, the songs are just like fillers which neither match the storyline nor have any catchy melodies that can be hummed. The composers Sajid-Wajid and Nikhil-Vinay have done nothing innovating with the music. An item song ‘Teri Mast Jawani’, sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan, also has nothing outstanding to offer.

‘Jaane Hoga Kya’ altogether is a stale package which can go flat because of its delayed release and lack of proper promotion. To add to its woes, the film is facing a stiff competition from a strong contender like Lage Raho Munnabhai .

It’s better to give this poor clone a miss and watch the jamboree of Munna and Circuit instead.

09-09-2006, 04:42 PM
Dil Diya Hai : Movie Review

09th Sept 2006 21.40 IST
By Nikhil Kumar, apunkachoice

In his second movie Dil Diya Hai , director Aditya Datt shows notable improvement from his lackluster debut Aashiq Banaya Apne . But he still leaves a lot to be desired.

What works in the movie’s favour is its plot, which, though not without holes, is still different and refreshing enough to make you sit through the entire length of the movie. What doesn’t work is some out-of-place songs and the obvious stereotypes that give the movie a rather tepid flavour.


One more thing! Emraan Hashmi is becoming too predictable in his roles. Kiss or no kiss, Emraan acts and emotes no differently from his past movies. Even his styling (the stubble, the outfits) is the same in ‘Dil Diya Hai’.

The film stars Emraan, newcomer Geeta Basra , Ashmit Patel and Mithun Chakraborty in main roles.

Emraan plays Saahil, a tour guide working in the UK. Apart from taking the tourists on a sightseeing tour of London, he sometimes dupes them of their money. He does this because he needs money for the treatment of his ailing mother.

Enters Neha (Geeta Basra), a simple, Punjabi girl who comes to UK along with her family. Saahil tries to con Neha too, but she forgives him. The two spend some special moments together. Then, Neha is left stranded in London after she misses a train to Scotland taken by her parents.

She urges Saahil to drive her to Scotland. Reluctantly, he agrees. As the two set forth on their journey, Neha is drawn towards Saahil but he maintains his distance because his mother’s illness is foremost on his mind.

And then, Saahil comes to know that his mother’s condition has deteriorated and he needs big money urgently. He tries to gamble but luck fails him. Then he takes a desperate step. He sells Neha to a pimp.

Kunaal (Ashmit Patel) is the brothel owner who buys Neha. Surprisingly, although Kunaal has dealt enough in flesh trade to become insensitive, Neha manages to stir emotions inside him. Kunaal finds himself falling in love with her.

On the other hand, Saahil regrets his action and returns to take Neha back. That is when the two men clash. In this fight, Kunaal has all his army of goons while Saahil has the support of Ronnie (Mithun Chakraborty).

‘Dil Diya Hai’ begins like any other love story, with the hero and heroine painting the foreign town red. There are shades of one-sided romance where the hero is bound by some obligation not to let his heart take over his mind. There are moments of intimacy left unconsummated. As the movie draws close to intermission, there comes a twist. The hero betrays the woman who loves him. In a way, it is here the story actually takes off.

The second half steers the movie to a different level (not necessarily a higher one). There are tense, dramatic moments as the two men clash over the woman they both love. Who triumphs in the end is predictable.

Geeta Basra makes a noticeable debut. Apart from her good looks, the girl also handles her first acting assignment with confidence. Her acting potential comes through in her sequences after she realizes that she has been betrayed.

Emraan Hashmi, as mentioned before, offers nothing new. Ashmit Patel does show some flashes of good acting. It is Mithun Da who stands out with his restrained, polished performance. However, the song picturized on Mithun is completely unwarranted and stands out like a sore thumb.

The music by Himesh Reshammiya is not at par with his usual standard. The cinematography by Attar Singh Saini is plain average.

On the whole, ‘Dil Diya Hai’ is watchable solely because of its plot. Had the director etched a different character for Emraan (or had Emraan played his character differently) and had the script been more taught, the movie would have turned out to be something to reckon with.

09-15-2006, 09:27 AM
Pyaar Ke Side Effects
By Taran Adarsh, September 15, 2006 - 12:38 IST

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/pkse1.jpg There have been teenage romances. There have been mature love stories. But you can actually count movies that tackle an urban relationship -- the love story between two consenting adults who are ready for a relationship, not marriage. PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS mirrors certain truths that several working people in a metropolis face. And it's this facet that forms the crux of the story.

PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is a simple film, about two ordinary people. The 'bone of contention' here is marriage. The girl wants to marry, the guy isn't ready for a commitment. They part ways, cross each other's path at regular intervals, try to find solace in others' arms, but can't erase the memory of their beloved.

What sets PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS apart from films of this genre is that debutante director Saket Chaudhary refrains from melodrama. Instead, he packs in humor to narrate the story. And that's one of the prime reasons why PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS turns out to be a watchable experience.

A well-told story backed by honest performances, PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is an ideal date flick that should appeal to everyone in love or those who've drifted apart. Targeted at the multiplexes and the yuppie crowd in particular, this one's a refreshingly pleasant experience.


Sid [Rahul Bose] leads an ideal life. He's a DJ. He has a girlfriend Trisha [Mallika Sherawat]. And right in the middle of a crucial cricket match, Trisha proposes marriage. Sid panics. But Trisha wants everything -- love, marriage, a loving husband, the brats, a beautiful home. And the only way Sid can keep Trisha in his life is by committing to her.

Sid searches for answers -- his sister's advice, his mother's guidance and his room mate's constant red alert against marriage. And as a confused Sid marches over to Trisha office, he ends up asking her to marry him.

Now begins his nightmare… the search for a perfect engagement ring, furniture hunts and conversations about children. And then, to top it all, Sid meets the family -- Trisha's father, Retired General Mallick [Sharat Saxena] or 'Papa' as Trisha would have him called the 'old monster' -- who hates the very sight of Sid and constantly tries to disconnect him from Trisha.

There are more characters in this story: Trisha's ex-fiancé [Jas Arora], her best friend and Sid's constant's worry 'Dracula' [Suchitra Pillai], a hot babe Tanya [Sophie Chaudhary], Sid's pregnant and hyper sister Shalini [Taraana Raja] and her husband Kapil [Aamir Bashir] and the always insane Nanoo [Ranvir Sheorey].

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/pkse2.jpg PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS talks of relationships, but it's narrated in a nonconforming format. At one moment, the protagonist is talking to the viewer, the next moment he's trying to keep the relationship with his sweetheart going. All this results in a number of enjoyable and entertaining moments.

Not that the film is devoid of emotions. In fact, any love story would look fake if there's no conflict or clash of ideas. In this case, the turning point comes at the intermission, when Rahul Bose confronts Sharat Saxena, Mallika's father, and the lovers part ways. It's a master stroke!

Note another sequence: Rahul walks in unannounced at Mallika's birthday party, after they've split, and finds Mallika's ex-fiancé there. There's another striking sequence: The foursome -- Rahul-Sophie and Jas-Mallika -- going out for dinner together.

But PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is not perfect. The second hour drags and the climax could've been better, realistic to be precise. Also, there should've been a solid reason for Rahul to go back to Mallika. Ranveer's girlfriend tying the knot with another person is not too strong enough a reason.

Saket is a director to watch. Not once do you feel in those 2.20 hours that you're watching a first-timer narrate an interesting story. His choice of the subject as also the execution of the material deserves to be lauded. If the purpose was to make a film that can be identified by the urban, multiplex-going audience, it fulfills the expectations. On the flip side, the film isn't the type that would appeal to the masses. In fact, its appeal will be restricted to the metros mainly.

http://i.indiafm.com/img/reviews/06/pkse3.jpg Pritam's music is in sync with the mood of the film. Manoj Soni's camerawork is only getting better with every film. The usage of vibrant colors [art: Omung Kumar] accentuates the impact.

Rahul Bose plays his part with amazing ease. In fact, the actor is natural to the core, handling the most complex scenes with flourish. Mallika Sherawat does a fine job, complimenting Rahul at every step. In fact, the scenes between Rahul and Mallika are the mainstay of the enterprise. The film has a number of characters, but the ones who stand out are Aamir Bashir, Ranveer Shorey, Sharat Saxena and Suchitra Pillai. Sophie radiates oomph. Taraana Raja, Jas Arora and Sapna Bhavnani are passable.

On the whole, PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS has a refreshingly different theme and is handled in an equally novel format. At the box-office, the film caters to the multiplex audience of metros mainly. Business beyond multiplexes seems doubtful.

09-17-2006, 10:11 AM
Shiva : Movie Review

17th Sept 2006 12.45 IST
By Nikhil Kumar, apunkachoice

It is disappointing to see a maverick filmmaker such as Ram Gopal Varma come up with an utterly forgettable movie.

Fifteen years ago, Ramu set his foot in the tinsel town with a film (‘Shiva’, starring Nagarjuna) that dealt with the angst of a young man who took on the campus goons with a small group of friends. Now Ramu takes the same premise and changes the story’s setting. The new Shiva is a cop, newly inducted, full of ideals, and ready to take on the bad guys no matter which side of the fence they happen to be.

Shiva has ‘been there, seen that’ written all over it. Like other films of the same ilk, it makes a rather sarcastic comment on the moral corruption in the police force, on the impunity with which criminals do their act in broad daylight and the blithe indifference with which power-greedy politicians run the administration. And amid all this, it is our supercop Shiva who stands tall and rebels against the system, with a little help from friends, of course.

The story of the film is nothing to write home about.

Mohit Ahlawat plays Shiva, a new recruit in the Mumbai police force. It is not long before Shiva comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt system – cops working in complicity with gangsters, dishonest politicians using their power to serve their own interests, et al.

Nisha Kothari plays a crime journalist and Shiva’s love interest. Her closeness to Shiva makes Nisha, too, a target for the bad guys.

The film has lots of fights (mostly fisticuffs), chases and gory action scenes. You will see nails getting hammered into people’s head, ears getting chopped off and bones getting broken.

Who wins in the end in this battle between good and evil is a forgone conclusion.

Mohit Ahlawat has a simmering intensity, but no acting skills. He scowls and glares for most part of the film, seethes with implosive anger and uses his fist more than his tongue. Nisha Kothari is forgettable, particularly when there are no skimpy dresses to hide her lack of talent.

On the sidelines, impressive performances come from Shereveer Vakil (playing a goon), Zakir Husain (corrupt cop), Upendra Limaye (gangster-turned-politician) and Dilip Prabhavalkar (corrupt Home Minister).

The film’s music by Ilayaraja provides no relief either. The romantic tracks look forced into the narrative and the background score (the oath track) is overdone.

All in all, Ram Gopal Varma surprises his fans, but for all the wrong reasons. Such films of a supercop taking on the corrupt system have appeal left only in the archives.

Also a footnote before I close : Ramu’s fascination to hammer a star out of Mohit has begun to appear rather neurotic. First, it was the superflop James . Now, the utterly forgettable ‘Shiva’.

09-22-2006, 09:07 PM
Dor : Movie Review
23rd Sept 2006 00.55 IST
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi, apunkachoice


Nagesh Kukunoor’s latest movie Dor is a compelling watch. It is a moving tale of two women – one who undertakes a long journey to save her love, and another who dares to break the shackles of tradition and choose life as her heart wants it.

Like Kukunoor’s previous movie Iqbal , ‘Dor’ too is a film on the empowerment of the weak and the oppressed. It is a beautiful tale of love, loss, friendship, and courage to live anew. The film is raw and realistic in essence. And this is the reason why its story is so believable and deeply touching.

Those who have the appetite for big-budgeted, opulent, star-studded, melodramatic Bollywood movies may not be enthused at the prospect of watching a relatively small-budget, realistic film with Ayesha Takia , Gul Panag and Shreyas Talpade in the lead roles. But mark my words dear friend, the acting performances and the direction in ‘Dor’ can put many self-proclaimed big shots of Bollywood to shame.

‘Dor’ is the story of two women, Zeenat (Gul Panag) and Meera (Ayesha Takia), both living in different parts of India. Their fate is invariably strung together by one incident that changes both their lives forever.

In the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Zeenat marries her lover Aamir just a day before he leaves for Saudi Arabia. In a Rajasthan village, the happily married Meera spends the few cherished moments with her husband Shankar before he too leaves for Saudi Arabia.

Zeenat is an independent woman who has struggled at every step in her life. She takes the financial responsibility of her in-laws after her husband’s departure. Meera, on the other hand, is domesticated into the strict traditions of a Rajput household.

The worlds of the two women collapse when Shankar is killed in Saudi Arabia, and Aamir, his roommate, is accused of the murder. Aamir is slated to get a death penalty.

According to the Saudi law, there is only one condition in which Aamir’s life can be spared : if Shankar’s widow Meera forgives him.

To save her husband’s life, Zeenat undertakes an impossible journey to Rajasthan to find Meera. On her way, she meets a Behroopiya (Shreyas Talpade) who adopts different guises to con people. Behroopiya first dupes Zeenat also, but later helps her find Meera.

As the two women come together, they become friends. They also learn from each other. The tamed and widowed Meera learns to live her life anew, while the hardened Zeenat learns mellowness.

What happens when Zeenat reveals the truth to Meera? Does she agree to forgive the killer of her husband? Will Meera resign to her fate and live a stifled life in her in-laws’ house?

The conclusion Nagesh Kukunoor gives to the story could not have been better. The movie’s climax takes the story’s emotive appeal to a crescendo and leaves a viewer overwhelmed.

Ayesha Takia has given the best performance of her acting career so far in ‘Dor’. In the first half, she is the meek, submissive housewife with dreamy eyes and many a muffled desires. In the second half, she becomes a woman who learns to defy the cruel tradition, who learns to listen to her heart and live the way she wants to. And Ayesha carries all these myriad emotions with the skill of a polished actress.

Gul Panag stands in equal stead, even though her character is shown mentally and emotionally strong and offers less challenge in the terms of histrionics.

Shreyas Talpade is a complete delight to watch. His comic imitations of the actors from Hindi film industry and the quicksilver changes in his appearances provide a welcome humorous relief in an otherwise serious movie.

To sum it up, ‘Dor’ is a film that definitely ought to be seen once. The movie’s theme is most relevant and the way it has been brought forth, without any melodrama and overblown emotions, is what makes the movie truly compelling. The dialogues are earthy and partly rooted in the local parlance. The background score (Padharo Maare Des) is just too good. The direction and acting performances are almost flawless.

A Must Watch

09-29-2006, 09:49 AM
Woh Lamhe
By Taran Adarsh, September 29, 2006 - 15:00 IST

Parveen Babi. The very mention of the name conjures images of a star who made news when alive and who hit headlines when she met with an isolated, solitary demise.

Her relationship with Mahesh Bhatt at their prime was fodder for gossip mills then. The party circuit as well as the studios reverberated with tales of this relationship. But not many knew how stormy this relationship was. Bhatt unravels yet another chapter of his life -- his relationship with Babi -- in WOH LAMHE…

While Bhatt maintains that the story is based on factual incidents, you take it on face-value for the simple reason because what transpired between two individuals behind closed doors is something only they know. At the same time, if Bhatt claims that WOH LAMHE… is a true account from start to end, no work of fiction, then there are certain sequences that do raise your doubts vis-à-vis Bhatt's claims.

As a cinematic experience, WOH LAMHE… is an intense love story, a bit complicated, but deftly executed nonetheless by talented Mohit Suri. Mohit's strength lies in the fact that he narrates the troubled side of a popular star with rare understanding, handling the character with kid gloves and making it come alive on screen.

Watch WOH LAMHE… not for any other reason but to carry home a sad segment of a popular star's life, a glamour queen who called the shots in the 1970s and early 1980s. It's a lump in the throat experience!

In the glitzy entertainment capital of Mumbai as dusk descends, famous actress Sana Azim [Kangana] slashes her wrists in a hotel room, in an attempt to kill herself. When this news reaches film-maker Aditya Garewal [Shiny Ahuja], he is devastated. Aditya has been searching for Sana, who was intensely involved with Aditya and who had mysteriously disappeared from his life without any explanation, three years ago, only to surface now in what could be the last moments of her life.

As Aditya waits outside the ICU in a death watch situation, praying to be reunited with her, he is hurled back into the perfumed days and champagne nights of his memory, wherein Sana played the role of both, lover and mentor to a struggling Aditya.

Everything was perfect, except for an enemy which lurked in the shadows, waiting to destroy their love. When Aditya realizes that the only way he can save Sana from total devastation is to take her away from Bollywood and the vested interests that threaten to destroy her completely, he runs away with Sana putting his career on the line. Those moments lived in the sanctuary of their love are like an oasis in the desert.

Until one day, suddenly, she disappears, leaving him with unanswered questions. Why did she leave at the very acme of their love, when there seemed to be hope? What pushed her to attempt suicide? Will Aditya finally be able to piece together the puzzle that has been haunting him and almost destroyed him? And most important of all, will he be reunited with his love?

A film like WOH LAMHE… is very difficult to make. It's not one of those love stories where lovers meet, separate and reunite in the end. This one's far more complicated and that's a major responsibility on Mohit Suri's young shoulders. It would've been easier for Bhatt to open pages of his life's diary and narrate the story himself since WOH LAMHE… happens to be a chapter from his life after all. But it's tough for someone who didn't go through the pain or was not even remotely connected to present the turbulent phase in a relationship. That's precisely why WOH LAMHE… works because Mohit Suri narrates the story in the most convincing manner.

While WOH LAMHE… works in entirety, a few poignant moments do make you sit up. Take the sequence at the party [when Kangana throws her undergarment at Shiny] and her rape by Shaad thereafter. It's a spine chilling moment. The conflict between Kangana's mother and Shiny at the hospital [discussing alternate therapy: shock treatment] is another powerful sequence. The birthday sequence in the second hour is the ideal way to lead to the culmination, where Kangana realizes that she needs help and walks out.

Any blemishes? Not really, except that the slow pacing at times does irritate you. Also, one doesn't know what really happens to Kangana after she runs away from Goa. Some info on that front, even verbose, would've only made the concluding reels stronger.

Mohit Suri takes giant strides as a storyteller. If ZEHER and KALYUG reiterated the fact that Mohit knows his job well, he climbs the ladder with WOH LAMHE…, which is undoubtedly his finest effort so far. Mohit gets abundant support from Shagufta Rafique's script. The chronology of events never gives you time to blink an eyelid. Dialogues too are wonderful and when required, pithy.

Pritam's music is soft and easy on your ear drums. 'Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai' is already a rage, but there are morel harmonious compositions as well. Cinematography [Bobby Singh] is excellent. The D.O.P. lends the right colors to the story.

WOH LAMHE… rests on two power-packed performances: Kangana and Shiny. Kangana gets the role of a lifetime in her second film itself and the actor sinks her teeth into it and delivers an astounding performance. If you've ever interacted with Parveen Babi, even briefly, you'd see a replica of the glamorous star in Kangana. Her styling is also excellent.

If you think there's not much space for any other actor since WOH LAMHE… is primarily a Kangana film, watch Shiny's performance here. Yes, he impressed us in H.K.A. and GANGSTER, but this one's the most difficult part he's got so far and his performance only accentuates the proceedings.

Debutante Shaad Randhawa springs a pleasant surprise in a negative role. The length of his character may not be substantial enough, but his performance more than makes up for it. Another talent from Vishesh Films to watch out for!

Masumeh as Rani, Kangana's 'hallucination', is first-rate. Her look and her dark makeup ignite the screen every time she appears. Purab Kohli is competent. The actresses enacting the role of Kangana's mother and also Shiny's friend [Salomi] are tremendous too. Sandeep Sikand as Hamida, Kangana's makeup man, is good.

On the whole, WOH LAMHE… is a well-made emotional film that lingers in your memory even after it's over. There are many lamhe in WOH LAMHE… that you carry in your heart and that's why the film works for the moviegoer. At the box-office, this one has the power to go from strength to strength, show-wise and day-wise. Business at multiplexes should be bountiful.



10-06-2006, 10:31 AM
Zindaggi Rocks: Dreadful
Gullu Singh -rediff

October 06, 2006 15:29 IST

A rock star (Kria) and a doctor (Suraj Rihan), who have no reason to meet in life, end up bumping into each other and fall in love.
Shiney Ahuja's Dr Rihan is a serious person while Sushmita Sen's Kria is all about fun.
She has an adopted 12-year-old son (Julian Burkhardt), and two women constantly hovering around her -- her business manager Kim Sharma and aunt Maushmi Chatterjee.
The doctor knows that he is in love but cannot his WHAT? feelings. So the rockstar simply hugs him and says she is in love.
But, wait a minute! Dr Rihan is a married man.
Kria breaks down when she learns this. But later, she discovers that his wife is a vegetable ever since an accident five years ago.
Meanwhile, Kria's son falls ill, and she discovers that he has a hole in heart. He needs a heart transplant and an urgent donor.
</IMG>http://im.rediff.com/movies/2006/oct/06zindagi3.jpg</IMG>Will her son be saved? Will Dr Rihan and Kria come together? That forms the suspense of the film.
Sushmita Sen and Shiney Ahuja do their best to save the film but the script and dialogues are so shoddy that it is impossible for them to do so.
Anu Malik's music is loud and bad.
Kim Sharma apparently has a special appearance, but she's onscreen all the time!
And do you know what's worse than Maushmi Chatterjee in a film? Two of them! And that, especially when she tries to speak in English, with the wrong pronunciation. Besides, one of her characters tries to be funny, and only ends up getting on your nerves.

1* :(

10-07-2006, 09:44 PM
A miniature masterpiece, at last
Khalid Mohamed
Saturday, September 23, 2006 19:50 IST

Cast: Ayesha Takia, Gul Panag, Shreyas Talpade
Direction: Nagesh Kukunoor

Rating: ****

What a knockout! In fact, anyone feeling strong would do himself a favour by seeing writer-director Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor. He’ll come out feeling stronger, wiser and perhaps a little less smug.

He’ll also see an extraordinary movie that holds one’s attention throughout – in spite of its grim story of two young women caught in a world not of their making.

Evidently inspired by a real life incident – which also sparked Kamal’s Malayalam movie Perumazakkalam (2004) – the intelligently constructed screenplay tackles a variety of issues, ranging from women empowerment and retribution to the need for secularism and humaneness.

Apart from its sub-textual concerns, the dramaturgy is also refreshingly entertaining , consistently plausible and above all, emotionally lacerating. Here’s a Kukunoor-nama you can associate with the sensitivity of Iqbal rather than the preppy fulminations of those Hyderabad Pinks, Purples and Blues.

Indeed, he pulls off the compassion-centric project – dedicated justly to Hrishikesh Mukherjee – within a shoestring budget that encashes such marvellously minimalist moments like the take-off on the razzmatazz Kajra re song in a barren desertscape.

Right off, the camera intercuts assuredly between Zeenat (Gul Panag) leading a clockwork life in lush Himachal Pradesh and Meera (Ayesha Takia) hip-hopping in a weather-beaten haveli of Rajasthan.
Zeenat marries her long-waiting beau at an unfussy nikaah ceremony; Meera sheds her inhibitions when her husband embraces her by moonlight. Both the men leave for lucrative jobs in the Gulf, their women are ordained to wait for their Godots patiently.

Twist of tragedy: The Rajasthan man dies in an accidental fall. His roommate from Himachal, suspected of foul play, is sentenced to death. The only way, Zeenat can save her husband is by securing a signature of pardon from Meera, the widow’s address and depth of grief unknown.
Abetted by a sprightly road trickster (Shreyas Talpade, lovable), Zeenat locates the widow, befriends her without revealing her agenda. Suffice it to say, the ensuing conflict is uncompromisingly real.

Unforgettable vignettes linger. The two women sneaking off to a masala movie, Zeenat’s loneliness as she considers a frugal dhaaba breakfast, her crouched body lingo at a railway station. Or Meera’s stolen pirouettes to a song playing in her head, her confrontation with her traditional in-laws and her question to an older widow, “Why can’t I smile anymore?” Very, very heartistic. And though the nail-biting finale may be Sadma remixed, Kukunoor executes it with a walloping intensity. Bravo.

Sole irritant: Kukunoor in the cameo of a lechy sort is about as convincing as a teddy bear masquerading as Gabbar Singh. Bracingly, the solid teamwork yields visually caressing cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee, authentic set décor by Munish Sappel, cool cutting by editor Sanjib Datta, literate lyrics by Mir Ali Husain and an inspired music score by Salim-Sulaiman.

Undoubtedly, the two leading ladies deserve all the acting awards of the year. Gul Panag, radiating intelligence and uprightness, is excellent. Ayesha Takia, as innocent and uncosmeticised as a Satyajit Ray heroine from Teen Kanya, is a revelation, asserting that she’s an actress to die for.

Panag and Takia, with Kukunoor at the helm, make Dor a miniature masterpiece. Grab a ticket... now.

Outstanding: *****
Very Good: ****
Good: ***
Average: **
Poor: *

source: dnaindia.com

11-08-2006, 09:15 PM
Vivah : Movie Preview

08th Nov 2006 21.45 IST
By Nikhil Kumar , apunkachoice


The journey from engagement to marriage is the most intense period in the life of a couple. Sooraj Barjatya’s forthcoming movie Vivah is one such story of a young couple’s love after their engagement.

This time around Sooraj R. Barjatya has moved away from his lucky mascot Salman Khan and has rather cast Shahid Kapur as Prem, the film’s hero. Amrita Rao is the movie’s heroine and Shahid’s love interest. Others in the cast include Anupam Kher , Alok Nath , Seema Biswas and Amrita Prakash.

‘Vivah’ has Shahid playing Prem, an eligible bachelor from Delhi. After repeated persuasion from his father (Anupam Kher), an unwilling Prem goes to Madhupur to see a girl for marriage. The girl is Poonam (Amrita Rao).

“She will come like an inspiration into your life,” is the advice of Prem’s father. Little does Prem realize then that his father’s words will come true!

Prem and Poonam meet. What begins as a formal, awkward conversation between them soon develops into something deeper. As the two spend more time together, love sprouts and a connection is made.

Prem and Poonam come from very distinct backgrounds. Prem is the son of a wealthy father and has lived his life in a city. Poonam, on the other hand, is an orphan raised by her Chacha (Alok Nath) and Chachi (Seema Biswas).

While Poonam’s chacha has loved her unconditionally, her chachi has always been jealous of her (Poonam’s) beauty and simplicity that makes her more attractive than chachi’s own daughter Rajni (Amrita Prakash).

Anyhow, Prem and Poonam get engaged. Thereafter begins the most magical period in their lives, the period from engagement to marriage. Months fly by and their love becomes stronger. But then, on the day of their wedding a tragedy strikes.

What follows is an ultimate test of Prem and Poonam’s love.

In many ways ‘Vivah’ is typical of Barjatya’s trademark genre that shows love blossoming against the backdrop of family gatherings, marital preparations and song and dance.

The music of the film (by Ravindra Jain) may not catch the fancy of today’s youth as it has simple melodies composed on Indian instruments.

‘Vivah’ has been shot in Nainital, Lonavla and Delhi. The movie’s dialogues are written by Aash Karan Atal, while the screenplay is by Sooraj Barjatya.

‘Vivah’ is slated to release on November 10.

12-23-2006, 12:42 PM
Bhagam Bhag

By Sameer Wadekar, Bollywood Trade News Network

Priyadarshan’s movies hardly had any place for straight on the face kind of humor. Instead he wants to make us laugh by placing his characters amidst a riot, a cacophony where the characters are just kept rumbling around in situations that look straight out of a comic book. His films can amuse, tickle our funny bones and have a little charm to them. But at the same time they are filled with scruffy, cluttered and most of the times over-the-top situations that almost pull the movie on the brink of getting bizarre. But that’s Priyadarshan’s style, his fashion of treating comedies and in the course of time it’s become his symbol. And quite frankly he’s very good at it. In BHAGAM BHAG too his inimitable touch never goes out of sight. But this time he does not rely on it or try to go overboard with his madcap tricks to bring out the laughter. He and writer Neeraj Vora instead try to wade the story through some unpretentious and toned-down sequences. The director has this time chosen to work on a suspense comedy and the story has shaped up well. Priyadarshan has also pushed aside the usual Bollywood elements in this film. None of his actors ‘sing and dance’ in this movie. Of course there are songs but not too many and they don’t intercept the story flow. And they seem plausible this time because the heroes work as stage performers. Yes there are blemishes in the screenplay but in a movie like this, one is really not supposed to bother about them as logic is never the motive!
Here we have two trouble-making guys Bunty aur Babla (Akshay Kumar and Govinda respectively) who are a pain in the a** for their irritated troupe boss Champak (Paresh Rawal). The heroine of their dance show walks out and they land up in London with their group but without a heroine. Bunty and Babla are assigned the job of finding a heroine but instead lay their hands on heroin!!! Soon they come on to the police books but the cop (Jackie Shroff) lets them off on bail. But trouble does not end for Bunty and Babla.

Bunty soon finds a lady called Munni (Lara Dutta) but we learn later on that nothing’s like what it seems with this girl. She goes by many names and has a traumatic and ambiguous past. It is then when the story takes a different turn. It’s not wise to reveal anything more about the story but as in most Priyadarshan’s movies, this movie too then parades through the trademark comic elements.
This is some sort of a comeback vehicle for the comedy champ Govinda. But sadly it’s not the usual Govinda that was visible here. In fact, don’t remember him being so uncomfortable and fluffy before. Actually his strength is his brilliant comic timing and his impressive facial flaunts. But in a movie like these qualities have got strangulated and it’s a little pitiful that this remarkable entertainer, to be a little harsh, seems slightly out of place. But he nonetheless does his job fine but he’s the second fiddle in the movie.

And this is exactly what trims down the chemistry between the leading actors. http://www.glamsham.com/movies/previews/images/bhagam_bhag3.jpg (http://www.glamsham.com/movies/stills/stills.asp?pg=3&mid=574)You have two major players of comedy here, Paresh Rawal and Govinda and also considerably adept Akshay Kumar but the chemistry is lacking. Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal do a decent job and because it’s Priyadarshan at the helms they are automatically placed in the comfort zone. In fact all the actors have given notable performances. There are the Priyadarshan regulars like Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor, Sharat Saxena, Manoj Joshi and others. The movie could have been exhausting and one point looks a little stretched. The movie isn’t thoroughly exciting either but it’s because of the talented caste at the fore the movie holds up itself. Jackie Shroff impresses with his little walk on.
And the chirpy music also helps in navigating the “chaos” in the movie a little further. The music is by Pritam and he provides a hummable bunch of tracks. The editing has been made swift but a little trimming down could have sustained the pace.
http://media.glamsham.com/download/wallpaper/movies/images/b/bhagam_bhag2_s.jpg (http://www.glamsham.com/download/wallpaper/wallpaperdetails.asp?cat=12&wall=565)Yes the movie has got some over-the-top comedy. It’s a little loud in places and some dialogues are plain annoying. But it’s a comedy and it’s real tough to come out with a flawless one. Filmmakers like Priyadarshan are at leas being true to their convictions, trying to bring a smile on the people’s faces. And no matter how glossy the comedy is there is an audience for such a film and they definitely go and check out the movie and have a nice time. This is what a comedy is expected to do. And why should a reviewer try to stop the people from bringing a smile on their faces! Wouldn’t that be unfair?

source: glamsham.com

07-25-2008, 04:06 PM
This Mission is a Turkey
Elvis D'Silva http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/25mission1.jpg
Shriya Saran and Zayed Khan in Mission Istanbul

July 25, 2008 15:11 IST
Sometimes, one goes into a movie screening with absolutely no expectations and finds oneself pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. In the case of Mission Istanbul even my low expectations remain unmet.
Let's recap. Zayed Khan plays Vikas Sagar, a leading Indian television journalist, who has just accepted a three-month familiarization assignment with Al-Johara (way to make the association without actually taking the name guys), a controversial news channel that wants to set up shop in India. His divorce goes through with Anjali (Shriya Saran) just in time for him to take up his new job without attachments or obligations. The official press release refers to a painful divorce but that pain is never really in evidence on screen.

In Istanbul, he is driven to the office of Ghazni (Nikitan Dheer), the man who runs Al-Johara, by Owais Husain (Suniel Shetty), a warrior-turned-war correspondent so that they can exchange CVs and the audience may see how cool these big screen journalists are.
Interestingly, the network boss takes his first meeting with Sagar in a tuxedo and then changes clothes for the nightclub scene that follows immediately after. I understand there was a clothing sponsor on this film but really, was that necessary? At the nightclub, Sagar also meets Liza Lobo (Shweta Bhardwaj), a femme fatale whose face twitches when it shouldn't and remains expressionless during dramatic sequences.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/25mission3.jpg</IMG>Needless to say, things happen. People are killed and Rizwan Khan (Vivek Oberoi), a Turkish 'commando,' pops up into Sagar's life to inform him that his life is in danger. Khan also tells him that he needs to access the thirteenth floor of the Al-Johara building to know the truth about Ghazni's 'Wall of Martyrs' and his organisation. And that's all the 'plot' I feel like sharing for the purpose of this review.
If memory serves, this is the movie that was offered to director Apoorva Lakhia, with the accompanying fat pay cheque, after the success of Shootout At Lokhandwala. It was not money well spent. In every single way that the director could make a bad choice in a sequence -- be it action or dramatic or (heaven help us) comedic -- Lakhia makes it in Mission.
Uncomfortably unfunny sequences linger on for seeming eternities while chase and action sequences are cut together so haphazardly that future generations of film students could write several inconclusive theses about why anyone would keep backing their escape vehicle into a van they've already got past instead of continuing on said escape.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/25mission2.jpg</IMG>Both the male leads don't seem to understand what it takes to get audiences to suspend disbelief while watching a thriller. Oberoi opts for a knowing smirk while Khan looks like he's barely able to control his steroid rage. No opportunity to overact is missed by either of them.
The antagonists Shabir Ahluwalia and Nikitin Dheer are no better. Aforementioned wardrobe choices notwithstanding, there is little else to write home about either of their performances. And the ladies? Shriya Saran constantly looks like she's straining to remember her lines (or she's smelt something unpleasant) while Shweta Bhardwaj's simpering appears better suited for ads in the back pages of certain lad magazines than it does for the big screen.
Sequences, set pieces and plot devices are liberally sourced from such Hollywood fare as Enemy Of The State, The Siege, The Matrix, Swordfish and the Hong Kong actioner Infernal Affairs. The rest apparently came from the fertile imaginations of the director and writer Suresh Nair. One of which would be the blatant product and tagline placement for a fizzy drink done so horribly badly that I, for one, am never going to be able to pick up a can of the stuff again.
The film could have made interesting points about the economics of terror, the commoditisation of news and its sensationalised packaging as entertainment. It also alludes to various vested Western interests in keeping the region in conflict but takes that thread nowhere. In the final analysis, all the hints and allegations and things left unsaid cannot distract from the fact that as a piece of entertainment, or education, this mission is a failure.
In the US, the major movie studios sometimes adopt a practice of not screening for the press, certain movies that they are certain will garner bad reviews. Most often, this practice is adopted for genre films, specifically horror, which have built-in audiences and are therefore considered critic-proof. Tellingly, Mission Istanbul was notscreened for the press. In that way at least, thefilmmakers seem to have managed to become international.
Rediff Rating: http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/rating1123456.gif

08-08-2008, 03:27 PM
Singh is RocKing
Raja Sen http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/aug/08king1.jpg
Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in Singh Is Kinng

August 08, 2008 13:44 IST

Find a new seat, Mr Bachchan. The throne has found a successor.
Very rarely, perhaps once in a couple of fortunate generations, comes an actor with such tremendous screen presence that it drips like sweat from his body. Others -- actors, filmmakers, financiers -- all struggle to stand closer to the star in question, to feel the charisma-drops ricochet off his megastar aura, to perhaps touch them. To bask in the reflected glory of the man of the hour. Today, this man is Akshay Kumar.
Remember those inanely campy Bachchan movies we love? Think of, say, Namak Halaal, a complete mess of a movie in terms of script and plot, but a film revered indulgently today as a classic comedy. Simply because of that one man in the middle of it all: doing his own thing, adlibbing expressions and tone and lacing it with lethal, natural comic timing to ensure cinema far more enjoyable than it originally had any business being.
And that's the formula Anees Bazmee has wisely decided on in his unashamedly Akshay-showcasing film Singh Is Kinng, and everything from script to sense takes a backseat as the actor makes an utter idiot out of himself and, clearly enjoying himself all the while, conquers the screen while at it.
And he does it in such mega sardarrific style.
In essence, the Sikhs are like India's answer to the Texans, a community of immensely hard-working men, who like their chicken spicy and their whiskey strong. Hailing from the country's West, they embrace the outrageous, are easily given to shows of violence -- and, indeed, great solidarity -- and, above all else, are visibly distinguished by their stellar headgear.
Bollywood, despite a clear bias toward Punjab and North India, has largely shied away from going hardcore in terms of Sikh characters. While there have definitely been some memorable ones, we really haven't had an all-out cinematic blast in celebration of our country cowboys.
Until now, that is.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/aug/08king2.jpg</IMG>The Sikhs go wild in Singh Is Kinng, and -- just like their weddings are the most spirited, and their music the most dancefloor-worthy -- this one might not have much thought behind it, but Holy Harbhajan, the film thumps with the rhythmic, excessive energy of a loud dhol. It's a hoot.
Bazmee himself has thankfully avoided the catastrophically high-pitched attempts at slapstick he pitched in both No Entry, and Welcome, and this is a film that doesn't try as hard. As a result, it's sigificantly funnier -- despite the fact that the script, in itself, isn't really laden with jokes. It doesn't have much, really.
What it does have is detail, and detail comes across so much better when a charmer is devilishly filling it in between the lines, creating inanely irresistible humour out of the wideness of a grin, the yanking of kurta-sleeves or just the essential addition of lines so natural they can't be anything but improvised. He might look like a simpleton, but this Rajeev Hari Om Bhatia is a pakka maestro.
The film itself is neat enough, a finely tuned formula script, roughly as plausible as a Dhoom 2, commercial to its very roots. The very idea of a Sikh mafia community is a fascinating one, considering they stick very closely together and would do very well adhering to most mafioso codes (except perhaps Omerta). The script takes this interesting seed and loops it around a goodguy-turns-godfather plot without much fuss about innovation and unique storytelling. Then, it stands back and gives Akshay room to play.
There isn't any real twist in the proceedings -- despite Act Three deciding to inconsequentially spin out a rapping googly -- and you can see most of the madness coming far before it actually shows up. The film deserves definite points for economy, though. Not just is Kinng timed well enough at just under two and a half hours, the emotional scenes aren't given much shrift. Stuck clumsily into the narrative like gangsters stumbling upon Hallmark cards, the scenes mercifully vanish just as they begin cloying on your nerves. Quite likely, the presence of Vipul Shah -- who did much the same in Namaste London -- as producer is what made the difference.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/aug/08king3.jpg</IMG>The film is also refreshingly well-cast for a comedy of this scale. Used to watching monstrosities like Heyy Babyy -- and indeed, No Entry -- palming themselves off as superhit comedies, it's good to see a nice, mostly low-key ensemble that doesn't really go overboard. Yashpal Sharma, as the perenially upset Pankaj, is the pick of the bunch among the supporting actors, while Sonu Sood gets to silently star in the film's most delightful scene. It is a scene involving alcohol, Om Puri and a character incapable of movement, and while that combination automatically invokes the greatest drunk moment in our cinematic history, this one's a pretty good scene as well.
Ranvir Shorey, that fine, fine actor, is wasted in a role that -- for the second week in a row -- requires him playing snivelling boyfriend to a believably violent and extremely ravishing woman. Surprisingly, Jaaved Jaafery, the most experienced joker of the pack, is the only one who seems to be trying too hard. Sudhanshu Pandey does well, but Kamal Chopra's Guruji really gives the film much-needed tone. The important thing about all these blokes, though: they stay completely in sardar character.
Katrina Kaif is devastatingly gorgeous -- not that you needed a review to tell you that. She is also, slowly but surely, developing a more assured screen presence, and her chemistry with Kumar is constantly crackling. There is a moment when she glugs a drink from a bottle, and Kumar breaks into glee at her manly ways. You can't help but chortle. Indeed, these two work.
The whole film does, really.
It's all very cut and paste, but the execution is top-notch, and Kinng emerges just what it wants to be: a polished summer spectacular stuffed to the gills with hardcore masala. Unlike most of this year's films, the soundtrack is an absolute winner, and completely appropriate to the tone of the film, with Akshay ensuring we look at the screen throughout the song duration anyway. Personally, I'm just totally gutted that they didn't use Daler Mehndi's mega rendition of Bhootni Ke -- the best rendered bhangra track in aeons -- and used the Mika 'tiger-style' mix instead. Damn. Yet overall, the singhing and dansingh works significantly well.
Finally when the end-credits roll, in case you'd forgotten just what a paisa-vasool time you'd had, you are treated to Snoop Dogg jiving with our man Akshay, pagris and all.
Hey, if the Doggfather calls him Kinng, you better believe it.
Rediff Rating: http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/aug/rating3half.gif</IMG>

11-20-2008, 07:06 PM
20 Nov 2008, 2120 hrs IST, Nikhat Kazmi, TNN


Yuvvraaj (drama)
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan
Direction: Subhash Ghai
Critic’s rating: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/photo.cms?msid=3738077

HE'S the last of the showmen left, apart from Yash Chopra, who seems to have taken a break from direction. Yes, not so long ago, Subhash Ghai was a synonym for Bollywood's opulent extravaganzas of the '80s-'90s, when cinema was still a larger-than-life narrative about good versus evil. Remember Karz , the original, Karma , Ram Lakhan , Khalnayak , Taal ...an era of cinema where the formula not only held sway, but was a grand success too.

The onslaught of new storytellers and new styles may have pushed the old guard into the background, but it failed to dim the passion. Today, after a lean phase, the veteran filmmaker returns with Yuvvraaj , a grandiose film that has lots to boast about, even though it falters here and there in terms of script and narrative.

Topping the list of positives is AR Rahman's scintillating music score which brings to life Gulzar's poetry with sublime fluidity. And since the film is essentially set against a musical backdrop, where Katrina and Salman are members of an Austrain orchestra, Rahman's ode to Beethoven seems in perfect sync with the script.

Secondly, it's the aesthetics of the film which leaves a lasting impression. Mostly shot in Prague and Austria, the film is picture-postcard perfect, with cinematographer Kabir Lal capturing the exotic locales in splendid hues. And finally, the film scores with its performances, especially by Salman Khan who essentially plays himself — a super brat — with perfect elan.

He is the prodigal son, who was thrown out of the family mansion by his father because of his sibling rivalry with his mentally challenged elder brother, Anil Kapoor. As a choir boy in Prague, he finds a soulmate in cellist Katrina Kaif, but cannot marry her since her dad (billionaire Boman Irani) doesn't approve of his impoverished situation.

Hoping to change his fortunes after the death of his dad, he rushes home to inherit the family millions, only to realise there's nothing left for him and his younger, equally roguish brother, Zayed Khan. Nerd Anil has been declared the sole heir, with sundry greedy relatives eyeing the moolah around him. Time for the dysfunctional family to outwit each other and split or to outsmart the outsiders and come together, once again....

Essentially a tale of three brothers, who rediscover their ties after hating each other for years, Yuvvraaj does have some fine moments of bonding between Salman and Anil. Zayed, however fails to connect and remains the outsider in this Trimurti, though surprisingly, Katrina does manage to hold her own in this bhai-bhai business. We do wish the duo (Katrina-Salman) had more time to set the screen on fire with their crackling chemistry, especially since all that we manage to get is a tantalising teaser with Katrina handcuffing a bare-chested Salman with her silken scarf. Kendi pump up the jam, janah!

On the flip side, the story hangs loosely in the middle and winds up in a mothballed climax, where old-fashioned baddies try to bump off the goofy Anil Kapoor who does an Eeshwar all over again. But Salman Khan and AR Rahman more than make up for the lapses, carrying you off on a sonata and a song. Watch Yuvvraaj for an in-fashion retro feel.

11-21-2008, 09:06 AM
Review from Bollywoodhungama:

Every step you take, every move you make... we'll be watchin' you. Have altered the lines of a famous song. For, this one's applicable for Subhash Ghai, a proficient storyteller, one of the most successful stories from this side of the Atlantic. Irrespective of how his films are received at the ticket window, Ghai's movies are always under scrutiny. You watch every film with a magnifying glass.

YUVVRAAJ is no exception!

Write your own movie review of Yuvvraaj Ghai's forte has been drama. Recall the dramatic moments in KARZ, VIDHAATA, MERI JUNG, RAM LAKHAN, KARMA, SAUDAGAR. He re-visits the genre with YUVVRAAJ. Besides, YUVVRAAJ is his most opulent work thus far. It has a sweeping effect, the film makes a stunning visual statement.

Honestly, YUVVRAAJ isn't Ghai's best work, but post YAADEIN, KISNA and BLACK & WHITE, YUVVRAAJ salvages him, even redeems the storyteller.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/08/yuvvraaj2.jpg The story [Ghai] mirrors a universal truth. Greed leads to disputes and in turn, ruins all relationships. A fact you've heard or witnessed time and again in real life. While the story is captivating, the screenplay doesn't really do justice to the thought. Also, Rahman's music acts as a soothing balm, but the problem is, it takes time to grow on the listener. And that could be a deterrent.

Yet, in all fairness, YUVVRAAJ is a notch above the commonplace. If you intend spending your hard-earned money on it or devoting 3 hours of your precious time on Ghai's new outing, chances are you won't regret it.

Deven Yuvvraaj [Salman Khan] is a chorus singer, in love with Anushka [Katrina Kaif]. Her father Dr. Banton [Boman Irani], however, is dead against this relationship. Things take a turn when Deven's father passes away and he returns to London to stake claim on his father's wealth.

He meets his two estranged brothers Gyanesh Yuvvraaj [Anil Kapoor] and Danny Yuvvraaj [Zayed Khan] after almost twelve years. But things aren't hunky-dory between them...

Ghai has an eye for visuals and every frame of YUVVRAAJ seems like a painting on celluloid. Unmistakably, that's the first thing you notice as YUVVRAAJ unfolds.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/08/yuvvraaj3.jpg It takes time to absorb YUVVRAAJ. In fact, Ghai doesn't open all his cards at the very outset. It's only when the father [Javed Shaikh] passes away and Mithun Chakraborty, the Executor of the Will, enters the scene that the wheels start moving.

The film gathers momentum after the interval. If the first hour has a few by-now-famous Ghai scenes, the second hour sees Ghai in form, with a number of sequences staying in your memory. The penultimate 20-25 minutes are the best. Watch Anil go through the handycam with disbelief, watch Anil and Salman's act during the concert, watch Salman's emotional outburst towards the end... also the titles [brings back memories of OM SHANTI OM].

On the flip side, the screenplay is erratic. There're constant highs and lows in this journey, the film works in patches. In fact, the screenplay falls prey to predictability and mediocrity at places.

Ghai handles the dramatic scenes with flourish. Rahman's music is soothing, but you expect more because Ghai's movies are embellished with lilting music that you recall even after 2 or 3 decades. Kabir Lal captures the striking beauty of Europe well. The output is superb. The sets [Omung Kumar] are truly majestic.

YUVVRAAJ belongs to Anil Kapoor, who towers above the entire cast and delivers a natural, believable performance. Salman's looks are inconsistent. At times the boyish look is intact, at times he looks bloated. Ditto for his hairstyle. His performance, however, is better, mainly towards the finale. Zayed tries hard and convinces in a few scenes. Mithun Chakraborty is fantastic in a brief role.

Katrina looks angelic. Despite the focus being on the three men, she registers an impact. Boman Irani is credible, especially in the scene when he steps out of the Operation Theatre towards the end. Aushima Sawhney is confident. Anjan Srivastava and the pack of villains/vamps look straight out of RAM LAKHAN and TAAL.

On the whole, YUVVRAAJ is interesting in parts, with the penultimate 20/25 minutes taking the film to an all-time high. At the box-office, the package [a mammoth cast, Subhash Ghai, A.R. Rahman, the stunning locales of Europe] should ensure a hearty opening and with no major opposition in the forthcoming week, it should keep its investors smiling.


11-23-2008, 03:44 PM
'Yuvvraaj' box-office collections disappointing

Mumbai (IANS):

Subhash Ghai's "Yuvvraaj", despite having a no-holds-barred promotion, is a box-office disappointment.

The movie opened with dismal initial collections, ranging from 40 percent to 45 percent. The box-office returns improved a little Saturday and may improve further Sunday.
But trade experts predict that collections of "Yuvvraaj" will slide from Monday onwards, going by its box-office performance in the first two days of its release.
They said that though the movie is lavishly mounted and is pleasing to the eye, what it lacks is novelty value in the script to hold the interest of the younger generation of cinegoers.
"Despite all his experience in filmmaking, director Subhash Ghai seems to be out of sync with the changing trends in filmmaking in Bollywood today," a trade analyst said.
The film is faring better at the small town single-screen cinemas than in multiplexes in big cities and metros.
In comparison, last week's release, Dharma Production' "Dostana," is garnering good collections across India even in the second week of its run. Unlike "Yuvvraaj", the movie is attracting young viewers in the big cities, even though both share the same number of screens there.
Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" and Aamir Khan starrer "Ghajini" due for release in the coming weeks, may have a big impact on the box-office collections of "Dostana" and "Yuvvraaj."
"While 'Dostana' will have by then made its pile of box-office revenues, the loser may be 'Yuvvraaj'," said a trade analyst.

The Hindu

01-09-2009, 11:47 AM
January 09, 2009 11:55 IST

You know a director is a true master when he can turn shit into dreams.
And if a man can do it twice over, he's a true bloody genius.
In Danny Boyle's 1996 masterpiece Trainspotting, Ewan McGregor's Renton pours himself disgustingly yet poetically through the worst toilet in Scotland for a handful of pills. The search goes from squalid to surreal as the filth is scavenged and the pills found, and for a brief hold-your-breath moment, the film becomes a beautiful ode to joy, before the patently polluted protagonist emerges into harsh reality.
In Slumdog Millionaire [Images], Boyle's latest masterpiece, pint-sized Jamal Malik (played by a marvellous Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) finds himself barricaded inside a messy Mumbai latrine with all thoughts of his own constipation forgotten in a starry haze. The lord God Amitabh Bachchan is descending, via helicopter, into the slums for a brief moment, and our irresistible urchin is a huge fan. Images of Coolie dance before his desperate eyes, he briefly contemplates the pile of excrement below, and jumps -- right into the mess.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2009/jan/09slumdog2.jpgStanding up like a swamp monster -- only a hundred times more disgusting -- this creature covered in the goo of strangers holds up a picture of his idol and, repeatedly yelling 'Amitabachchan' as one word, makes his way through a frenzied mob, one that backs away at the sight of this scummy fanboy. Renton hunted for a hit while Jamal hunts for the greatest hitmaker in the land, and his triumphant instant of glory -- when we see that mythic left-hand scribble an autograph just for him -- is an immortal one, reminding us just how magical cinema can be.
The film tells us the story of this very Jamal Malik, who at 18 has cleaned up to become a call-center chaiwallah capturing India's imagination by occupying the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? hot-seat with unbelievable accuracy. He seems to know every answer in the book, a fact that leads gleefully smarmy show host Prem to calls the cops on him on charges of cheating. The film thus begins with the cops torturing Jamal, but there is only that much of the saala slumdog they can resist as he spins them his tale, and it truly is a tale of wonder.

Also Read: Showcasing [I]Slumdog Millionaire

Loosely based on Vikas Swarup's novel Q&A, Simon Beaufoy's script uses coincidences instead of commas and weaves a grand drama, a fantabulous reality-mocking story, of love and of loss, of survival and of sweethearts. It is a Dickensian tale set in a merciless, mesmerizing city with no time for minor detailing quibbles, with characters speaking not as they naturally would but as the madcap narrative demands, and reality itself breathlessly bending over backwards to accommodate the frenzied energy of Anthony Dod Mantle's disarmingly honest camera.
By itself, the story -- set firmly in happenstance and high drama, in fantasy and formula -- could be just another piece of overbearing Bollywood kitsch, but Boyle takes it into his spirited hands and plays havoc, clearly relishing every bit of the high-intensity experience. A third of the film is in Hindi (co-director Loveleen Tandon has kept things impressively real) and Boyle uses up subtitles with delightful whimsy, bobbing about like unobtrusive comic-book speech bubbles instead of stagnating at the bottom of the screen. The result is an exceptionally dynamic energy that gels right into the film's rabid groove, urging the narrative forward even more.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2009/jan/09slumdog3.jpgThe ensemble cast is uniformly pitch-perfect. Dev Patel is wonderfully woeful as the grown up Jamal, breaking into a smile only as he answers his final question in the film's climax, but young Khedekar pretty much outshines him as tiny Jamal, while Tanay Chheda's middle Jamal does rather well too.
Jamal's brother Salim is played likewise by a trio of three (chronologically: Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala and Madhur Mittal), the performances going from strength to strength.
Frieda Pinto's grown up Latika has a wonderful smile, but the true meat of her character's part lies with her youngest version played by Rubiana Ali, while Tanvi Ganesh [Images] Lonkar's middle Latika has the most haunting moments.
Irrfan Khan [Images] seems to be in effortless vein as the police inspector, and it's great to see genuine vim in the eyes of the often-underused Anil Kapoor [Images]. As the show's ebullient host Prem, Kapoor finds nefarious joy in tossing seemingly harmless digs at young Jamal, and the actor sinks his teeth into the part as he masterfully alternates between an on-camera and off-camera persona, ego and arrogance giving way to silken charm soon as the lights are on. He shares a bathroom moment with Patel that leads to inevitable goosepimples -- not once but twice, in the moment itself and its eventual aftermath -- and the performance is a chilling one.

Also Read: [I]Slumdog Millionaire is just a masala film

Particularly laudable also, among the film's many revelations, is Ankur Vikal, who plays Maman, the Fagin of this particular tale, a begging-industry villain with a penchant for a particular Krishna bhajan. His character is the film's only absolute baddie, and he plays it stunningly, repulsively well. As for the bhajan itself, Darshan Do Ghanshyaam was penned by Gopal Singh Nepali and not Soordas, as Slumdog tells us.
But then in a world where Millionaire is broadcast live, where Kareena Kapoor from [I]Yuva [Images] dances when Kareena from Don should, and where little municipal schools feature Alexander Dumas in the syllabus, the tiniest details clearly don't matter. All that does matter is that everybody -- repeat, everybody -- gets up and dances.
And A R Rahman more than sees to that, in his own inimitable way. You'll see. That the director is from farflung Ireland and not right here in Mumbai -- not that you can tell, while watching -- is even more reason to celebrate this film. Grin through the joyous end-credits and pour forth your salutations to this magnificent tale of humanity's hope and hurdles, of the director's Bombaylove and his Bachchanmania, and of Jamal and his ridiculously irresistible heart.
Boylesa'ab, salaam.

01-18-2009, 09:33 AM
Chandni Chowk To China (January 16, 2009
By Taran Adarsh, January 16, 2009 - 08:26 IST

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/cc2c1.jpg In the initial years of his career, Ramesh Sippy made two gems that we remember [and cherish] to this date -- SEETA AUR GEETA and SHOLAY. SEETA AUR GEETA was about twin-sisters -- the docile and the aggressive. SHOLAY, of course, needs no introduction. Yet, to update the unacquainted, Ramgarh is gripped by a terror called Gabbar. Resultantly, Thakur recruits two men to put an end to Gabbar's tyranny.

Nikhil Advani pays homage to Ramesh Sippy's movies by merging SHOLAY and SEETA AUR GEETA. But this concoction called CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is as bland as khichdi.

Write your own movie review of Chandni Chowk To China (http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movies/userreviews/13650/index.html)
Come to think of it, Nikhil Advani had everything going for him. It's a dream project, what with heavyweights such as Warner Bros., Ramesh Sippy, Akhay Kumar and Gordon Liu agreeing to be a part of this mammoth project. But Nikhil slips and trips, falling flat on his face.

A masala film is always welcome. In fact, two desi films [RAB NE BANA DI JODI and GHAJINI] have been lapped up by the junta in a big way, but CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is an unbearable masala fare that insults the intelligence of the moviegoer

The problem with CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is that it lacks a watertight screenplay to keep you glued for those 2.45 hours. Agreed, you don't look for logic and reason in hardcore potboilers, but the least the director and his team of writers could do is provide loads of entertainment. Sadly, writers Shridhar Raghavan and Rajat Aroraa make mincemeat of a plot that had the potential to woo viewers from Chandni Chowk to China to Chicago to Cape Town.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/cc2c2.jpg So, what's the verdict then? Enjoy Chinese food instead. This one's a big, big, big letdown!

Sidhu [Akshay Kumar] cuts vegetables at a roadside food stall in Chandni Chowk in Delhi. He longs to escape his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts -- with astrologers, tarot readers and fake fakirs -- believing anything except himself, despite his father figure Dada's [Mithun Chakraborty] best efforts.

The story takes a turn when two strangers from China claim he's a reincarnation of a war hero and take him to China. Thanks to the devious translator, a conman by the name Chopstick [Ranvir Shorey], little does he know that he is being taken to the Chinese village of vicious smuggler Hojo [Gordon Liu].

Therefore, Sidhu blissfully sets forth to China with Chopstick, who instigates dreams of a delicious future and forgets to reveal the perils, which await him. Along the way, he meets Sakhi [Deepika Padukone], who has embarked on a journey to pay homage to the land of her birth and her dead father and twin.

Hojo catches up with Sidhu and eliminates Dada right in front of everyone. Sidhu seeks revenge and finds the one man who will make him a Kungfu expert and set the village free from Hojo's tyranny.

On face-value, what do you expect from CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA? Laughter unlimited, great martial arts, a glimpse of China. But what's served on the platter is so insipid, so lame, so senseless that you wonder if there was a script in the first place. The comic scenes [that make you laugh] are few and far between. The scenes depicting martial arts are hardly exciting. Also, barring the Great Wall of China, don't expect China darshan here!

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/cc2c3.jpg There are big holes in the script. Sample these... * How and why do the two oppressed Chinese men suddenly land up in Chandni Chowk in Delhi? Also, how do they zero on Ranvir Shorey? No explanations offered. * Deepika's track of visiting China is trite. Wasn't the twin-sister, an infant, thrown off the Great Wall of China? How did Gordon Liu suddenly decide to bring her up? * Similarly, Deepika's father was also pushed from the Great Wall, but he survives. Akshay too is beaten black and blue and thrown off [coincidentally, from the same place -- Great Wall], but is rescued mid-air by Deepika's father. Miracles never cease to occur, must add.

Post interval, Akshay undergoes a gruelling training session, but not once does the preparation give an impression that Akshay is seething with anger and vengeance. That's because the director has injected humour in these scenes and that takes away the seriousness from the plot. The climax is equally contrived and hence, makes no impact whatsoever.

Although the year 2009 has just begun, this film is sure to be a strong contender in Razzies in two departments mainly -- direction and writing. Nikhil Advani goes horribly wrong this time. As for the writers, well, they ought to take a crash course in film writing pronto. The songs are okay, with the title track and 'Naam Hai Sidhu' being the pick of the lot. The stunts [Dee Dee Ku] are plain mediocre. Even the dated martial arts' movies produced in the East offered better stuff. Himman Dhamija's cinematography lacks the picture perfect look.

Akshay Kumar is the sole saving grace, but the director hasn't tapped his potential to the fullest. Deepika Padukone is passable. Gordon Liu is decent. Ranvir Shorey is functional. Mithun Chakraborty is bland. Roger Yuan, Deepika's father in the film, is fair.

On the whole, CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is a brilliant opportunity gone appallingly wrong. The film falls way below expectations and is a major disappointment in all respects. At the box-office, the hype might translate into a bountiful weekend, that's it. Thumbs down!


01-30-2009, 03:32 PM
By Taran Adarsh, January 30, 2009 - 10:34 IST

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/luckbychance1.jpg One has often heard, read and seen [on screen] the positive and negative aspects of Bollywood. It would be erroneous to state that LUCK BY CHANCE does a pol-khol of the glamorous industry. Let's put it this way: The film mirrors the behind-the-scenes drama and manoeuvring exactly the way it occurs in showbiz. Watching LUCK BY CHANCE is like experiencing it first-hand.

If you're associated with Bollywood, if you know how the machine works, you'd laud and applaud, laugh and smile, identify and understand and at times, empathize and sympathize with the characters in LUCK BY CHANCE. Zoya Akhtar's take on an industry that attracts millions of hopefuls year after year is bang on target.

Almost three decades ago, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's GUDDI depicted a star-struck teenager's [Jaya Bhaduri] obsession for a top star [Dharmendra]. Along with the core issue, the film highlighted the behind-the-scenes hard work and labour that went into making movies.

LUCK BY CHANCE taps almost every important facet of Bollywood and presents assorted characters you've encountered some time in life: An over-ambitious aspirant who knows to make the right moves; an actress trying hard to get that big break, even if she has to compromise; an icon of the 1970s who desperately wants her daughter to be a star; a producer who looks at riding on big names, script be damned; a failed actor now looking at direction to redeem his career.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/luckbychance2.jpg One of the prime reasons why LUCK BY CHANCE works is because the writing [Zoya Akhtar] is simply wonderful. Right from the characters, to the individualistic scenes, to the way Zoya puts them in a sequence, LUCK BY CHANCE is easily one of the most cohesive scripts this side of the Atlantic.

The verdict? Leave aside everything and hitch this joyride called LUCK BY CHANCE. It would be sacrilege to miss this one!

Sona [Konkona Sen Sharma] arrives in Mumbai with dreams of becoming a film star. She does whatever it takes, to make it. Vikram [Farhan Akhtar] has just moved to the city leaving the comforts of his Delhi home. He is used to getting what he wants and is smart enough to know when to demand it and when to manipulate it. Gradually, Sona and Vikram develop a romantic relationship.

Rolly [Rishi Kapoor] is a successful though superstitious producer who only works with the biggest stars. He is making a potential blockbuster launching Niki [Isha Sharwani], the daughter of 1970s superstar Neena [Dimple Kapadia]. The hero of the film, Zaffar Khan [Hrithik Roshan], is the superstar.

Zaffar decides to opt out of Rolly's film and that creates havoc in Rolly's life. Rolly decides to cast newcomers and finally, Vikram is shortlisted for the main role...

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/luckbychance3.jpg LUCK BY CHANCE picks up characters straight out of life and that's the beauty of this script. The interesting part is that each of these characters has a story running parallel to the main story. Although the writing is foolproof, this review would be incomplete if one failed to acknowledge a number of scenes that are the hallmark of this enterprise...

Note the sequence when Rishi Kapoor breaking down after Hrithik has walked out of his movie. It moves you!

On the lighter side, Farhan strikes a conversation with Dimple at a movie premiere and extols lavish praises on her.

Much later, an angry Dimple instructs Isha to patch up with Farhan, soon after Farhan and Isha's debut film has been declared a success. Watch the moments when Dimple recalls her early years.

The sequence featuring SRK.

If Zoya's writing is superb, her execution of the written material deserves distinction marks. This may be Zoya's directorial debut, but she treats the difficult subject like a veteran. Javed Akhtar's dialogues are remarkable. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is a mixed bag; the score could've been better. However, the choreography of the circus song is remarkable. Carlos Catalan's cinematography captures the right moods.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/luckbychance4.jpg Farhan Akhtar is evolving into one of the most dependable actors of his generation. He's very real, very believable. No wonder, this character stands out. Konkona Sen Sharma is exceptional. The supremely talented actress delivers a sparkling performance yet again. Rishi Kapoor is incredible. A performance that merits the highest praise. Dimple Kapadia is in terrific form. It easily ranks amongst her most accomplished works. Juhi Chawla is first-rate. Isha Sharwani does her part well. Sanjay Kapoor springs a surprise. He registers an impact. Aly Khan is perfect.

Hrithik Roshan is truly wonderful. Note the sequence when he strikes a conversation with Karan Johar, only to realize that he himself had paved the way for Farhan in the industry. Only an accomplished actor could've handled this sequence with aplomb. Amongst the A-listers who make fleeting appearances in the film, the one who registers the maximum impact is Shah Rukh Khan.

On the whole, LUCK BY CHANCE is an outstanding film in all respects. A magnificent outing from the producers of ROCK ON!!, LUCK BY CHANCE is sure to prove an extremely lucky and rewarding experience at the box-office. Strongly recommended!


soucre: bollywoodhungama

02-20-2009, 11:07 AM
Delhi-6 (February 20, 2009)

By Taran Adarsh, February 20, 2009 - 09:55 IST

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/delhi61.jpg Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra thinks out of the box and it's more than evident now. First AKS, then RANG DE BASANTI, now DELHI 6. A two-liner of the story may give you an impression that it's similar to UTV's earlier outing SWADES, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker: An American of Indian origin returns to his roots and decides to stay back in India. But DELHI 6 bites more than it can chew.

Set in old Delhi, the screenplay [Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Prasoon Joshi, Kamlesh Pandey] takes its own sweet time to come to the point. In fact, the entire first half is dedicated to the sundry characters in the bylanes of old Delhi, where several stories run parallel with the main plot... The two warring brothers [Om Puri, Pawan Malhotra] and the wall that divides the two; the daughter of the house [Sonam Kapoor] aspires to be an 'Indian Idol' contestant; a moneylender's [Prem Chopra] wife has an illicit relationship with one of his lecherous debtors [Cyrus Sahukar]; an 'untouchable' [Divya Dutta] makes more sense than the so-called thekedaars of samaj; a friend of the family [Rishi Kapoor] has still not forgotten his first love [Tanvi Azmi]. Oh yes, there's also a 'Kaala Bandar' who spreads havoc in the locality. Really, Rakeysh tries to pack in multiple stories in those 2.18 hours.

But, alas, the problem is that barring a few individualistic sequences, you don't carry the film home. The film is engaging in bits and spurts. Worse, it tends to get monotonous, preachy and boring and the end is so bizarre, you actually want to ask the writers, 'Hey guys, you okay?'

Let's cut a long story short: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra misses the bus this time.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/09/delhi62.jpg DELHI 6 tells the story of a young American boy Roshan [Abhishek Bachchan] of Indian origin, who comes to India for the first time, to drop his ailing grandmother [Waheeda Rehman]. She wants to retire and spend the last leg of her life back home; dissolving into the soil she was born in.

In America, having led a very western lifestyle, Roshan is not familiar with the sites and smells, the food and culture, the religion and beliefs, this huge melting pot that India is. He believes that Dadi had left her family and loved ones back in America, only to realize that how wrong he was.

The warmth and affection of the neighbourhood embraces him with open arms. Amidst all this he meets the beautiful Bittu [Sonam Kapoor], who wants to break free from the typical Indian social structure, to whom Roshan is destined to lose his heart.

That Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is an accomplished storyteller is evident in several individualistic scenes. Note the scene when Vijay Raaz slaps Abhishek and Abhishek slaps him back. Also, portions in the second hour, when a Baba [Akhilendra Mishra] triggers off the Mandir-Masjid talk and divides the two communities, is very well structured. The sequences are disturbing and the writers and director succeed in exposing the fickle-minded people residing in the locality.

But the screenplay isn't foolproof. The romantic track is the weakest link in the enterprise. The love story falls flat. Also, the ending is so abstract that an average moviegoer would find it difficult to comprehend what the actual culmination is. The sequence in the end, when Amitabh and Abhishek have a conversation, looks weird. In fact, ridiculous. What was the need to have this sequence? It makes no sense. Even the Ram Leela sequences, interspersed at regular intervals, are forced in the screenplay.

Rakeysh's handling of the subject is exemplary at places. But the writing [faulty at times] as also the execution of the material isn't the type that would appeal to all sections of moviegoers. A.R. Rahman's music is outstanding; it's easily amongst his finest works. 'Masakali', 'Ye Dilli Hai Mere Yaar', 'Rehna Tu', 'Maula' and 'Genda Phool' are amazing tracks. Ditto for Prasoon Joshi's lyrics; they're gems. Binod Pradhan's cinematography is brilliant. Watch the Jama Masjid sequence [breath-taking] or the camera movements in the bylanes of old Delhi. Just one word to describe the output: Incredible!

Abhishek doesn't work. Also, his American accent looks fake. Sonam is likable. Waheeda Rahman enacts her part well. Rishi Kapoor is wasted. He deserved a better role. Amongst supporting actors, Om Puri [powerful], Pawan Malhotra [flawless], Vijay Raaz [tremendous], Deepak Dobriyal [genuine], Divya Dutta [admirable] and Cyrus Sahukar [likable] leave a mark.

Prem Chopra is alright. Atul Kulkarni looks like a buffoon. And what is Raghvir Yadav doing in this film? Supriya Pathak, Tanvi Azmi, K.K. Raina, Akhilendra Mishra and Dayashanker Pandey are passable. Amitabh Bachchan's presence in the penultimate minutes fails to evoke any reaction.

On the whole, DELHI 6 has a terribly boring beginning [first hour], an absorbing middle [second half] and a weak end [climax]. At the box-office, the business is bound to be divided. The film may record bountiful collections at multiplexes in its opening weekend. The popular music as also the fact that there's no major opposition will benefit the film in the initial days. But the business at single screens as also the mass belt will be a shocking contrast. However, the cracks will start appearing sooner than expected, even at plexes. Thumbs down!


source: bollywoodhungama

02-20-2009, 11:55 AM
REVIEW: Delhi-6 is disappointing
Abhishek Bachchan's latest fails to strike a chord, yet again
By Abhishek Mande . Buzz18 Feb 19, 2009 !

For all those of you who have come out with pitchforks against a certain Mr Danny Boyle, Delhi 6 is a must-watch.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's latest flick is set in what is now popularly perceived as 'real India'.

Unlike Jamal Malik however, Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) is no Slumdog. He is an NRI who accompanies his grandmother (Waheeda Rehman) whose last wish is to spend the remaining days of her life in Delhi 6, a locality she was married into.

Born and brought up in America, Roshan is fascinated with everything that happens around him. Traffic jams, Ram Leela, sweetmeat shops, bylanes, lack of water in loos – all of it to him is 'kewl'.

What mesmerises Roshan the most however are the human relationships in Old Delhi. "You don't know who is family and who isn't," he says to himself in one of the scenes where all the neighbours are present with his grandmother in the hospital.

Along the way, we are introduced to everyone from this neighbourhood – a sweetmeat shop owner, two warring brothers, an evil moneylender, his much-younger wife, a lecherous photographer, a local buffoon, a goat, a pregnant cow, an ancestral radio and god knows who and what else!

Delhi 6, we are told, is full of such characters – poor perhaps but with hearts of gold. And like in every story there is a pretty girl – Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) in this case – who catches the attention of our hero.

Roshan posits an interesting case. He is born of a Hindu father and a Muslim mother – the two prominent communities in the Old Delhi area. Before you know it, Roshan becomes part of this milieu and gets embroiled in the politics of hate.

Whether he manages to break out of this and show people the light is pretty much what the movie is all about.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Delhi-6 the film is that it is like Delhi 6, the locality. There's so much happening you don't know where to look
There is no single story – in fact there are times you ask yourself if there is a story at all. You have so many minor characters popping in and out of the screen you begin to wonder whose film is it anyway. Actually the first time you properly hear Sonam speak you are about 40 minutes into the movie already.

Abhishek Bachchan too has very few lines to speak of (no pun intended). Whatever he does say however, he botches up with his fake American accent which keeps appearing and disappearing.

Delhi 6 brings together some of the best-known actors in Hindi cinema – Raghubir Yadav, Pavan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak Shah, Deepak Dobriyal, Divya Dutta, Vijay Raaz, Tanvi Azmi and Atul Kulkarni among others play prominent roles in it.

Yet none of the characters they play stay with you because all of them just flit across the screen and before you can say 'Delhi 6', they are gone!

Waheeda Rehman who also played the protagonist's mother in Rang De Basanti does her bit. Rishi Kapoor, playing Abhishek's father figure in India, stands out. His little back story is the most interesting of all, and yet is not developed enough to pull at your heartstrings.

The poor characterisation extends even to the lead couple. You never know what Bittu does other than prepare for Indian Idol and dance around in the Delhi metro. Roshan's dithering about going back to America also finds little justification.

There is never a good reason for anything anyone does in the film.

Not surprisingly, all of this affects the performances too.

Each of the brilliant character actors mentioned above is totally wasted. My heart bleeds for Raghubir Yadav who makes a brief appearance in a poorly lit frame, while his singing makes a better impact.

A special mention must be made of Aditi Rao, Sonam's unwed aunt, whose silent suffering makes a better impact than a lot of things that are said or shown on the screen

Abhishek Bachchan seems to have sleepwalked through this ordeal – it's probably the only way he might have emerged sane.

Sonam Kapoor manages to look pretty but does little else. And her pigeon Masakali seems to be nothing but a wasted metaphor.

The metaphors – from the kala bandar, to Roshan's parentage and the never ending Ram Leela – also get lost in the locality called Delhi 6.

Indeed, the film itself is lost out on you. It supposedly aims to give a moral but ends up being preachy.

The dialogues are so clichéd, it's unbelievable. "India works! The people here make it work," Abhishek Bachchan tells Rishi Kapoor in his American twang.

What's worse is the way the film is picturised. Many of the sequences are shot against a croma background and digitally put together. Others are simply shot in a studio.

The entire essence of Old Delhi is simply missing. Delhi-6 even fails to be a touristy programme of the Nat Geo kind. There are some breathtaking shots of Jama Masjid but it pretty much ends there.

Even the parts at the Taj Mahal – some of the few scenes shot on-location – fail to evoke anything other than the 'move on, Rakeysh' sentiment.

Songs, like characters, simply make an appearance here or there never once justifying their presence in the narrative. Mohit Chauhan's Masakali, which became a talking point, is also randomly introduced. Ditto for the background score that never manages to gel with what's happening on screen. For instance, there is a riot unfolding before Roshan's eyes and all you can hear is some peppy track playing in the backdrop.

Delhi-6 fails in all departments – acting, direction, dialogues, characterisation and cinematography and even in its use of the songs.

Verdict: Don't bother wasting your money on this one. Mehra has got it all wrong.

Rating: 1/5

source: buzz18

06-12-2009, 12:18 PM
A truly dismal tomorrow

Raja Sen
A scene from Kal Kissne Dekha.

June 12, 2009 16:31 IST

Come on, you can't really expect to discuss Kal Kissne Dekha as if it was an actual film, can you? Please.

This is nothing but showreel in cinema's clothing, a heavily-budgeted demo film to someday take as an audition tape to real filmmakers. That is the only way to explain how it introduces us to the affectedly, moronically 'nice' Jackky Bhagnani, and goes on to show us how he can dance, fight, ride bikes and, a staple for any wannabe star, bask in sunlight draped in cardigans with his arms raised a la Shah Rukh Khan [Images].
There's also a girl, Vaishali Desai, whose showreel is intended to net her a shampoo commercial. This would be the only plausible reason for the way she presumably heads to a beauty salon before college, a new hairdo every single morning. Wow. She also tries -- but only the littlest possible extent -- to actually have something similar to what is called a character graph, which means she goes from being snooty to chirpy to scared as the 'film' carries on.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Jackky or Vaishali, who may well be pleasant enough kids on their ownsome. It's just that they, the poor little rich darlings, happen to have been born into film families, which these days means that -- after daddy buys them a sportscar and a horse and holidays around the world -- he must also buy them a pretty little launch vehicle, hoardings with their faces on it and a cartload of hype. It's unfair to the kids, who, based on what has released in theatres today, clearly have no business being lead actors of a movie. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

KKD is about a kid who can look into the future, and about all the movies Jackky presumably likes, chief among them Main Hoon Na [Images]. Along the way, the wannabe star-launch tragically impacts a wasted Ritesh Deshmukh [Images] and Rahul Dev, a pretty decent baddie who by now must be tired of soothsaying heroes. And then there's Rishi Kapoor [Images], who actually lets the mask slip and grins during the climax, knowing that this is one of the most embarrassing projects he's been in for a while.
Kal Kissne Dekha is one of those films that won't suffer at all from bad word of mouth.

Those who've watched it aren't likely to admit it in public, is all.

Rediff rating *

06-27-2009, 07:12 AM
click on image for lager version

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c110/Alexxia62/Bollywood/th_27_06_2009_004_003.jpg (http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c110/Alexxia62/Bollywood/27_06_2009_004_003.jpg)

Source: ePaper Hindustantimes - June 27, 2009

06-27-2009, 07:14 AM
New York, a remarkable effort

27 Jun 2009, 0000 hrs IST, SUBHASH K JHA - TOI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/thumb.cms?msid=4709238&width=200&resizemode=4 (http://javascript%3cb%3e%3c/b%3E:openslideshownew%28%27/slideshow/4709238.cms?imw=460%27,%27541%27%29)
A still from New York
This....ah, this! This is what cinema in contemporary times should be, must
[URL="http://photogallery.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4687161.cms"] (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4709214,prtpage-1.cms)be.

Though it seldom is. Once again the banner gives us cinema of the most clutter-breaking quality.

It isn’t as if New York is the first remarkable film to synthesize terrorism and friendship. Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se comes to mind immediately where the enigma of the female terrorist played with supine splemdour by Manisha Koirala was often invested into scenes of disarming domesticity.

New York goes a step further to explore the evolution of terrorism in the context of home-grown emotions such as friendship and betrayal. Director Kabir Khan, discards the exasperating documentary-like directness of his first feature film Kabul Express to transport us into a cinema that needles us into swirling sensations suggesting a close link between cinema and life. The resultant brew is gritty edgy and thoughprovoking.

New York challenges the existent codes of cinematic conduct, and not by being fashionably unconventional.
On the surface it is an oldfashioned film about three students who grow up and grow wise through the politics of our times.

Here, we must mention the camaraderie that Kabir creates among his trio of players. What’s it about able casting that lifts a film notches above its destined caliber? We can’t imagine New York being the crucial work that it is without any other players.

John, Katrina and Neil exude the scent of bonhomie. It’s in their secret-society smiles more than the words. The characters speak the language of today without making a strained effort to sound cool.

“I’ve just come,” Neil introduces himself to the American-Indian dude-dada on the NY campus after a hug.
“With just one hug?’ comes the campus hero’s cocky answer.

Ha ha. There’s a casual and comforting feeling to the threesome’s bonding, almost like a maturer mellower less in-your-face version of the hips youngsters in Jaane Tu ...Ya Jaane Na.

Sameer(John), Maya(Katrina) and Omar(Neil Nitin Mukesh) know life won’t be a campus filled with Christmasy delights for too lomg.

Disaster strikes soon enough. The progression of campus euphoria to the the way the grim political reality of American post 9/11 hits our protagonists ,is achieved with a refreshing lack of fuss and flamboyance.

Kabir Khan is a minimalist movie maker. The emotions that tie the three friends, or the way John, Katrina and their little son try to form a haven away from a world of strife stress and discrimination, shows the filmmaker’s fingers are on the pulse even as his characters’ hands move willy-nilly to the trigger.

It would be easy to designate New York as a well-shot engaging drama on how global terrorism affects the lives of three NRIs in the US. The politics underlining the drama of Kabir Khan’s cinema is so powerfully and persuasively positioned , right down to the pacifist ending when the terrorist ka beta is the school champ in the Land Of Dreams, that you come away from New York feeling chastened by your habitual cynicism about cinema on terrorism and violence.

Here’s a film that cares about the prejudices that have taken over the world. When a small –part actor called Nawazuddin on a camera-within-camera tells Katrina Kaif about the humiliation torture and indelible wounds that he suffered during detention for suspected terrorism, you are no longer watching a bright sassy film blending terrorism and entertainment.You are watching a slice of life. Make no mistake about that.
My two favourite sequences in the film both feature the unknown Nawazuddin. Watch his face when the American cop frisks Katrina’s character. It’s a moment that defines cultural prejudices and discrimination.

Katrina, indeed comes into her own as an actress of substance, giving her best shot to the last half-hour as a wife of a terrorist trying to keep her moral equilibrium in sync with her husband’s sinking values.From the carefree effervescent campus girl to the anguished wife, Katrina makes the journey look plausible all the way.
Neil as the sophomore with stars and stripes in his eyes is fully convincing credible and supportive of the two central performances.

New York is a coming-of-age film for John Abraham. As Sam(eer) the Indian-American dude whose American Dream turns into a nightmare of terrorism and persecution, John creates an intriguing graph for his character. He performs the sequences of incrcerated torture with a naked intensity that rips open wounds that never healed.

Whether he’s busy playing the campus rock-star or the guy fitting phone bombs into the FBI headquarters we don’t really know the angels and demons that occupy the Sam’s mind. John just flows with the character’s pain of karma with a performance that suggests seamless vigour rather than laboured angst.
Irrfan Khan as the FBI agent who has a point to prove about the Islamic mind-space is wry snappy cynical

His character’s back-projected life suggests an Italian wife who insists on feeding him pastas .
Stereotypical portrayals of the cultural diaspora are fortunately rare in this piece of contemporary art which has plenty of heart , a heart that never overflows in an embarrassing torrent of emotions. Indeed for better or worse, New York is Yashraj Films’ most international product to date. Aseem Mishra’s cinematography and Julius Packiam’s background score aid the narrative’s progession considerably, creating a powerhouse of picture-postcard images which secrete their terrifying subtext with a dormant fluency.

The dialogues on terrorism and the isolation and persecution of the average Muslim after 9/11 are brought into play much later. In fact the word ‘Muslim’ is not mentioned until the second-half when Irrfan gets into the diatribe mode.

What the film could and should’ve avoided is the rounding- off the horrific subtexts on terrorism with a rosy all’s-well-with-the-American-dream picture.

All in fact is not well with the way Indians and other Asians are treated abroad. New York depicts the end of a dream, American or otherwise, in a language that conveys the sublimated reality of a dream lived in sleep. It’s a fascinating view of friendship, loyalty and politics done in shades that reject garishness and embrace a serene, supple but strong style of narration.

New York is an important film. Not only for its political message. But also because it dares to treat basic emotions in a language that’s still largely alien to our cinema.

06-27-2009, 07:20 AM
New York Movie Review

June 27, 2009 11:47:15 AM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network

http://www.glamsham.com/movies/reviews/images/new-york.jpg (http://broadband.glamsham.com/search.php?keywords=New+York&btn=Search)

From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run ''black sites'' with no contact with the outside world. On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen. I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges. Since my release, the U.S. government has never explained why I was detained and has blocked all attempts to find out more about my detention. Mohamed Farag Bashmilah, Huffington Post. Posted February 20, 2009.

Here's a perfect illustration of the problem that was inherent in the Bush Administration's insistence on being able to hold terror suspects indefinitely: Benemar ''Ben'' Benatta is a Muslim man with a military background who was unfortunate enough to try and seek political asylum in Canada one week before the events of 9/11. On September 11 his five year ordeal began: About a week before, Canadian officials had stopped Benatta as he entered the country from Buffalo to seek political asylum. On that Sept. 11, he was quietly transferred to a U.S. immigration lockup where a day passed before sullen FBI agents told him what the rest of the world already knew: terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It slowly dawned on Benatta that his pedigree -- a Muslim man with a military background -- made him a target in the frenzied national dragnet that soon followed. The FBI didn't accuse him of being a terrorist, at least not outright. But agents kept asking if he could fly an airplane. He told them he couldn't. It made no difference. ''They gave me a feeling that I was Suspect No. 1,'' he said in a recent interview. The veiled accusations and vehement denials would continue for nearly five years -- despite official findings in 2001, that he had no terrorist links and in 2003 that authorities had violated his rights by colluding to keep him in custody.

The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is a detainment facility operated by Joint Task Force Guantanamo of the United States government since 2002 in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detainment areas consist of three camps in the base: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray (which has been closed). The facility is often referred to as Guantanamo, or Gitmo. In 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order that stipulated that US military could indefinitely detain any non-citizen who he believed was involved in international terrorism.

After the Bush administration asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006 that they were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

On January 22, 2009 the White House announced that President Barack Obama had signed an order to suspend the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days and that the detention facility would be shut down within the year. (Source: Wikepedia)

http://www.glamsham.com/movies/reviews/images/new-york1.jpg (http://www.glamsham.com/movies/stills/1031/2/new-york-movie-stills.htm)

New York for Oscars. Definitely. Take a bow Kabir Khan. Your work is excellent. Kabir, who says, he was in the US two days before 9/11 and saw first-hand the chaos that followed was stirred enough to work on this film. His second name is Khan! Immediately after the Twin Towers were targeted, the FBI picked up innocent civilians bearing Muslim names as suspects. What happened in captivity? Kabir tells a poignant tale.

New York is a tale of three friends Samir Sheikh (John Abraham), Omar Aijaz (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Maya (Katrina Kaif). Kabir captures their blossoming friendship and establishes Omar's moving away from their life for seven years. Suddenly the FBI pushes him back into their living room. Framed for transporting illegal arms, Omar is tortured and told to cooperate with the FBI. Omar agrees because he wants to prove that his friend is innocent. But is he?

If you have read Benamar Benatta's tale in the beginning, you will know what Samir, a happy-go-lucky college lad had to go through. Arrested on the airport, Samir is striped, searched, questioned and tortured... for nine months... and then released for lack of evidence. Mentally scarred, Samir is a mess. The FBI does not reveal this bit of information to Omar.

Everything about this film is first rate. The look, the cinematography, the songs, background score, script, dialogues and performances. All three friends, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Katrina Kaif give off standoff performances. In fact, you could say that this film is the turning point in John's career. The scene where he is surrounded by the FBI on the terrace of their headquarters and asked to surrender is super. His face portrays a range of emotions which say, I'd rather die than go through that torture again.'' In one fleeting moment, Kabir transfers Samir's emotions on to you.

Neil is fabulous and Katrina is proving to be a solid performer. Irrfan Khan as Roshan the FBI officer shows another facet to his acting prowess.

The end will blow you off your feet. You leave the theatre, deeply disturbed asking questions to yourself. What's more, the film stays with you the morning after as well.

What also works in the film's favour is that it is shot entirely in the United States of America. Can it get more authentic!

Please do not miss NEW YORK.

Rating - 5/5

Source: Glamsham

06-27-2009, 07:30 AM
By Taran Adarsh, June 26, 2009 - 15:58 IST - bollywood hungama


Myth: NEW YORK is about 9/11.
Fact: It's not. But it reflects the mood that's prevalent across the globe, post 9/11. The world is divided today. No two opinions on that!

Myth: NEW YORK bears a striking similarity to KHUDA KAY LIYE.
Fact: Nope. KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK may belong to the same family, of an innocent person being picked up for questioning after the WTC catastrophe, but the similarities end there. In fact, KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK are as diverse as chalk and cheese.

NEW YORK, helmed by Kabir Khan, attempts to be as real as possible. A tale of friendship, with terrorism as the wallpaper, NEW YORK hits you like a ton of bricks at several points in the narrative. In fact, there was a possibility that NEW YORK may turn out to be a dry experience, a documentary perhaps, but the drama is so well structured and so gripping that you get sucked into the world of Sam, Omar and Maya from its inception.

NEW YORK is a triumph for Kabir Khan, who deserves distinction marks for handling the subject with remarkable maturity. Also, this film should be a turning point for John, Katrina and Neil. More on that later...


The verdict? NEW YORK is, without doubt, one of the finest films produced by this premier production house, Yash Raj. Grab a ticket today!

Omar [Neil Nitin Mukesh] has gone abroad for the first time in his life and soon enough, he begins to see and love America through the eyes of his American friends, Sam [John Abraham] and Maya [Katrina Kaif]. But an incident changes the world round them.

At this point enters Agent Roshan [Irrfan], an FBI agent, who sets the ball rolling for a series of tumultuous events that turn the lives of these friends upside down.

NEW YORK affects you like no other Hindi film has done so far [on 9/11]. In fact, there are portions that give you goose bumps, especially towards the second half of the film, when John recounts his past.


One of the reasons why NEW YORK works is because not once does Kabir Khan borrow from the past or tilt towards predictable stuff. You just can't guess what and where the story is headed and what the culmination would be. The director and his team of writers establish the plot and characters beautifully, but the real action is reserved for the second half. The nightmarish experience that John undergoes is disturbing, but lifts the film several notches up.

But NEW YORK has its share of loose ends. The film dips in the second hour. It tends to gets lengthy before it reaches a powerful, brilliantly executed climax. Also, a few sequences only add to the length of the film, which could've been curtailed in the writing stage itself.

Director Kabir Khan picks up a real incident -- innocent civilians being suspected as terrorists, soon after 9/11 -- and weaves a brilliant tale around it. The screenplay is its biggest star, without a doubt. Given the fact that NEW YORK isn't one of those routine masala fares, Kabir has injected songs only when required. Cinematography is striking.

Now here's another surprise. John, Katrina and Neil, all actors, deliver their career-best performance. If the first half belongs to Neil, John takes over the second hour completely. John is superb when he recalls the past. You can feel his pain, that effective is his performance. Also, note his expressions towards the end. This is a different John, for sure. Just one word for his performance -- fabulous!

Neil was remarkable in JOHNNY GADDAAR, but disappointed in AA DEKHEN ZARA. Fortunately, he's in top form this time around. Katrina gives you the biggest surprise. Known for her glamour roles, Katrina proves that she can deliver if the director and writer offer her a role of substance. She's outstanding. In fact, people will see a new, different Katrina this time. Irrfan is, as always, first-rate.

On the whole, NEW YORK is amongst the finest films produced by Yash Raj. At the box office, there's no stopping this one. Go for it now!

06-27-2009, 07:58 AM
wow this sounds very good! I want to see the film - definitely!!

06-27-2009, 08:02 AM
Indeed - I have to see the movie as well. To bad that it doesn't have a release here in Austria :(

06-27-2009, 08:22 AM
neither in Germany Alex :( the reviews are fantastic! I hope the film will be a huge success!

07-27-2009, 09:17 AM
Review: When luck becomes a bad word

Aniruddha Guha
Friday, July 24, 2009 19:24 IST

Luck (U/A)
Director: Soham Shah
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan, Shruti Haasan, Ravi Kishan, Chitrashi Rawat, Danny Denzongpa
Critic's rating: * ½

Danny Denzongpa is Tamang, who is on the lookout for people with 'luck'. These lucky people will participate in a Fear Factor-like contest, where they will need all their luck to survive; the unlucky will die.
So Tamang delivers reams and reams of dialogue on luck, people with luck, how luck can change, how luck can save you, how luck can do this, luck can do that, and so on. If my repeated use of the word is already getting your goat, then you can well imagine what it would be like to watch this film, called -- sigh! -- Luck.
Welcome to the new-age Hindi action film. The dialogues are cheesy, the characters sketchy, the story nonsensical, and the scenes lifted straight from foreign films. Sanjay Gupta beware, someone else is treading your path.
Immediately after the opening sequence, which introduces the character of gangster/bettor Mousa (Sanjay Dutt, who else!), you know the film would require you to suspend disbelief if you are to be able to enjoy it at all.
Ram Mehra (Imran Khan, our hero) needs to run away to America, away from creditors left behind by his late father. He needs money and he needs it fast. You are supposed to pine for the sweet and vulnerable hero, even if he is shown taking his mother shopping in a mall barely days after his father's death.
So, our hero meets Tamang, who takes him to South Africa to be part of a contest that will require him to exhibit some daredevilry. It does not matter that the hero is a banker. He can jump, run, fight atop a moving train -- he is the hero, remember? There are others too -- a retired army man (a jaded Mithun Chakraborty), a Pakistani (Chitrashi, good) and a serial killer Raghav (Ravi Kishan, apt).
There is Shruti Haasan too, playing a girl called Ayesha. It turns out that she is actually Natasha, Ayesha's twin out to wreak vengeance on Moussa who, she thinks, was responsible for Ayesha's death. She makes one of the most lacklustre film debuts in a role that is almost incidental. She acts like a kid performing her first stage show at her school annual day. It would be surprising if she has actually done any.
Dialogue writer/director Soham Shah was probably not sure that audiences would understand that his film, titled Luck, is all about luck. So he makes his characters repeat it so many times through the film that it almost becomes a dirty word.
Shah also happily steals dialogues from action films of the 1980s and 1990s, which used to be a rage among frontbenchers. "Bhaade pe toh tattu bhi milte hain", "yeh khud khushi nahi, khud ki khushi hai", and "main aadmi kharidta nahi, bhaade pe leta hoon" leave you feeling a strange mixture of consternation and amusement. You crack up, however, when Mousa tells Ram, "Tumhe mere saath wahi karna hai jo tumne uss raat Tamang ke saath kiya tha." Talk of innuendo!
The film starts off better than it ends. The first half hooks you with some interesting action sequences and slick cinematography, but soon your interest begins to flag. The last 20 minutes simply leave you bewildered. Our hero gets shot in the chest but survives, because his "heart is on the right side". The doctor holds up an X-ray explaining to our hero what is called a "mirror image". Our hero looks back, incredulous. Exactly our reaction!
Our hero is Imran Khan. After he charmed you as Jai in his debut film Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, which seemed to have been written for him, he has only disappointed audiences. In Luck, Khan goes a step further, proving he is anything but hero material. Though his acting has always been suspect, in Luck he does everything a quintessential Hindi film hero should do -- dance, fight, emote -- and fails on all three counts. If he is still considered among the bright new prospects of Hindi cinema today, he has been plainly lucky.
That may change after this film. What doesn't seem to change, however, is the way our filmmakers blow up money, time, and resources, film after film. What luck!

09-25-2009, 07:00 AM
"What's Your Raashee"

By Taran Adarsh, September 25, 2009 - 11:54 IST

Let's come to the point straight away. When you've films like LAGAAN, SWADES and JODHAA AKBAR to your credit, every step you take, every move you make comes under a microscopic view. Naturally then, the expectations from Ashutosh Gowariker's WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? are monumental.

There's another reason why WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is special. Casting the same actor in 12 different roles is nothing short of a challenge - for the film-maker, for the writer and also for the actor in question.

Write your own movie review of What's Your Raashee?
Now let's analyze. WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? works in parts. There are 12 raashees, which means 12 independent stories, plus there's a story of the dulha [Harman Baweja] and his family as well, also there's a story of a family-friend [Darshan Jariwala] running concurrently. That makes it 14 stories, 13 songs, approx. 3.20 hours running time...

Now to the vital question: Does WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? work?

Let me answer this question by raising a vital point. Did the running time [of 3 + hours] of SHOLAY, HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN, LAGAAN, JODHAA AKBAR and GHAJINI bother you? I am sure, it didn't. The problem with WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is not its length/running time. The problem is its content.

If any film stands on a weak foundation [writing], even 1.30 hours seem never-ending. Conversely, if the writing is power-packed, even 3.30 hours of entertainment seems less. Let's not blame the length, for the biggest grosser of the world to date - TITANIC - also had a running time of 3.17 hours.

WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE?, unfortunately, lacks the power to keep you hooked and that's the prime reason why its running time/length is sure to be criticised.

Oh yes, WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? has some wonderful moments and award-worthy performance[s] by Priyanka Chopra, but everything pales into insignificance when the written material is weak.

To cut a long story short, WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment from one of the finest storytellers of India.

WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is the story of Yogesh Patel [Harman Baweja], a young man who, in his heart, has always wanted a love marriage. Till suddenly he is told that he must find his dream girl within ten days to save his family from utter ruin. Finding the dream girl is tough enough. Finding her in a hurry is even tougher.

His solution is simple; he will meet one girl from each raashee - sun sign, as he feels that is the best way to make sure he finds a suitable wife, while also giving himself twelve chances to fall in love. Two meetings per day gives him six days to meet them, three days to make the final decision and he can get married on the tenth day, or so he thinks.

Based on the novel 'Kimball Ravenswood' by Madhu Rye, the concept of WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is interesting, but the big screen adaptation isn't. To start with, you connect with barely a few stories, mainly the one who has a past and also the final one, of an underage girl. But several stories appear ridiculous and hence, ruin the impact generated by several wonderful moments. The jeweller's daughter, who believes in punar janam, falls flat. Ditto for the other jeweller's daughter, who pretends to be childish so as to test the intentions of the dulha. It's farcical. But the most ludicrous one is the businesswoman who has a pre-nuptial agreement in place, even before meeting the dulha.

Even Darshan Jariwala's track, towards the end specifically, tests the patience of the viewer. The detective drama is also ludicrous. Besides, the climax is far from convincing. The nanaji appears suddenly with a bagful of currency and the dues of the moneylenders and goons are settled soon after the saat pheras. How convenient!

Even the choice of the girl is debatable, since she has chosen him on a rebound [when she found that her lover was cheating on her]. In fact, the dulha had, rightfully, thought of the girl with the past and should've settled with her instead. That would've been a convincing finale.

Ashutosh Gowariker gets it wrong this time thanks to the poor screenplay. The writing is the biggest culprit here. Sohail Sen's music is easy on the ears, but why so many songs? A few songs can easily be deleted. Piyush Shah's cinematography is perfect.

WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? belongs to Priyanka Chopra. No two opinions on that. Words would fail to do justice to the remarkable portrayal of twelve different characters by this actor. This is her finest work to date. Harman is extremely likable and enacts his part with complete understanding. Darshan Jariwala is alright. Anjan Srivastava is as usual. Visshwa Badola is first-rate. Pratik Dixit does well.

On the whole, WHAT'S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment.

10-09-2009, 04:46 AM
Acid Factory

By Taran Adarsh, October 9, 2009 - 09:32 IST

Besides Abbas-Mustan, Sanjay Gupta has attempted interesting thrillers in the past. His new outing, ACID FACTORY, directed by Suparn Verma, is a cat-n-mouse chase that will have you on edge of the seat as it unfolds.

Inspired by Hollywood film UNKNOWN, ACID FACTORY is engaging in most parts. Also, it's well adapted to suit Indian sensibilities. It starts off strong enough and keeps the momentum going till the end, though, of course, it goes back and forth at times and that could get a bit confusing.

ACID FACTORY demands your attention from the very start. The viewer ought to stay alert and watch the goings-on carefully. Even if you blink, chances are you may miss a vital link and the subsequent portions may not work for you since there's something happening every minute.

At the same time, ACID FACTORY has its share of loose ends. The climax, for instance, could've been more impactful. Also, the concept is too urbane and holds appeal for the urban youth, who've a penchant for slick thrillers.

Final word? ACID FACTORY is a well-crafted, well executed film with the ensemble cast pitching in competent performances.

A man [Fardeen Khan] wakes up in a deserted factory surrounded by several other seemingly dead men. He has absolutely no memory of who he is or how he got there and he is unable to get out. Before too long, the others [Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Manoj Bajpayee, Danny Denzongpa, Dia Mirza] wake up and they all have amnesia too.

All they know is that some of them have been shot, one is tied to a chair, a third is hanging by his wrist, which is handcuffed to a railing... It is eventually discovered that they have lost their memory because of gas leaked from a container.

Much later, they figure out that two of them have been kidnapped by the other three. Who are the kidnappers and who are their victims? Meanwhile, the police are tracking a sinister man [Irrfan Khan], while a worried wife [Neha] desperately searches for her husband.

ACID FACTORY has enough going for it, thanks to its premise which is intriguing. But the plot is such that it takes time to come to the point. There's not much happening in the first hour, except the fact that everyone's clueless about their identity and how they seem trapped in a dilapidated factory.

But the answers start flowing in the second hour. The answers come quick and the reasons why they are trapped are also justified. But, as mentioned earlier, the conclusion could've been as realistic like the rest of the proceedings. Also, the track of the harried wife trying to trace her husband isn't too convincing.

This is Suparn Verma's second film as a director and midway through the film, you realise that Suparn has grown as a storyteller. The film bears a slick look and also, the narrative holds your attention for most parts. Cinematography is top notch. So is the sound design. Tinu Verma's stunts and chase sequences deserve distinction marks.

Every actor pitches in an effortless performance. They aren't putting on an act. The film has an assorted mix of experienced and accomplished actors [Danny Denzongpa, Manoj Bajpayee and Irrfan Khan] and yet-to-reach-there actors [Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea and Dia Mirza] and each display confidence in their respective parts. Neha doesn't get scope, while Gulshan Grover is as usual.

On the whole, ACID FACTORY is a slick thriller that has an interesting premise and also super stunts and chase sequences as its trump cards. The film is targeted at the urban youth, especially those who relish thrillers. Of course, the film will have to storm the dull pre-Diwali period which might curtail its prospects to an extent despite decent merits and also, the three biggies that arrive next Friday.


10-16-2009, 07:44 AM
Khalid Mohamed's review - BLUE

Sharks, there go those shucks! Ulp, excuzee, pardon, sowie. Shucks there go those sharks! And hey, they’re smooth-as-slate grey. Their teeth aren’t visible (must be senior seatizens). Plus every guy who owns a scuba-diving suit swims past them, happily, as also past National Geographic-like anemones, crayfish and fish life with silver fins. Fin and games?

Forget it. As soon as the credit titles of Blue,directed by former adman Anthony D’Silva, are over, you’re already seasick. A couple of reels later, you even want to cry out loud, “What on earth are you guys doing? Do you take us for ninnies?” Absolutely contemptuous of the audience’s intelligence, this one has more ‘action’ of sorts on terra firma, than down there 20 leagues under the sea. Strangely, ceaseless footage is expended on Zayed Khan riding a designer bike zippily through the expressways of Bangkok. Squawk.

Next: Vroom, this Dhoom-addicted dude strikes up a multi-million dollar debt, all because he took a fancy to this Smiley (Katrina Kaif, vapid) wearing a diamond lipling. Meanwhile, you’ve been subjected to a heap of weird information. That Kabir Bedi stepped out of the sea in 1949, wearing a freshly laundered naval officer suit. Then poof, he vanished like Aladin’s genie. Meanie.

Many many many many many years later, lobster fisherman Sethji (Sanjay Dutt, paunched out) and his buddy, Aarav (Akshay Kumar, in a Sam Tytlerish goatee) are upto some fearsome faltugiri. They box in a ring. Ping. And Sethji’s wife—or live-in gal (Lara D) – mumbles something about oceansful of cash to research marine life. Expensive, expensive.

Got the drift? It’s difficult to since the screenplay (if there was one),and the shot takings are conceptually as shallow as the powder-blue sea. A hurricane is announced but never shows up disappointingly. Every thing is all too childishly easy. When crisis calls, Sethji just takes off for an interlude of treasure hunting.Yippee do.

Blue movie posterFor sure, the hunteroos organised at college annual functions are much more demanding. Out here a ship that holds costume jewellery is quicky detected in a ruined hull (a nude mermaid statue looks freshly sculpted though). After a frown or two, roguish Rahul Dev and his oriental dakus are banged-banged to extinction. And if you think this is a spoler, it isn’t. Much more pop con is to follow. Hellow Akshay Kumar, predictably, hogs the end credits. Surely, Kylie Minogue who does a Chiggy Wiggy at the outset could have been brought back for a Tickly Wickly?

Essentially, this Blue movie (!) is awfully directed – disjointed, senseless shot taking and tiresomely lit like the time Sethji and Aarav converse at a dark oceanfront near-replicating a scene in Omkara. Shots through champagne and wine glasses are hilariously retro. Ditto those sudden pans to women’s butts which you thought had ended with Ram Gopal Varma’s posterior past. The editing is either too senseless (a gunfight through walls is insanely amateurish) or tempo-killing like the song sequence over a listless montage and flashbacks.

Unfortunately, Akshay Kumar engages in anti-women dialogue once again after Kambakt Ishk, asking smarmily, “Can I ride you?” He’s also racist, comparing a session with a black and a white woman to plonking piano keys.Besides, couldn’t he have been prevented from saying “blew” instead of “blue”?

Zayed Khan is not worth remarking upon. Lara Dutta is purely decorative, her sex appeal outdone by all the beach blondes and brunettes the camera keeps salivating over. As for Sanjay Dutt, arguably this is his career-worst.

Bottomwhine: Blue is one bloomer of a movie. Don’t even think of all the crores spent on this kiddish enterprise. That’ll just leave you with one helluva sinking feeling.

10-16-2009, 07:45 AM
All The Best
.bollywoodhungama. (http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movies/review/14054/index.html)

Sometimes, we laugh at movies. At times, we laugh in movies. Thankfully, ALL THE BEST, helmed by Rohit Shetty, belongs to the latter type.

ALL THE BEST makes no claims of catering to the intelligentsia or the elite. Instead, it's aimed at those who want to spend two hours of their precious life flexing their facial muscles. ALL THE BEST is for those who expect fun and laughter unlimited in those two hours. This one makes you smile, laugh, even break into a guffaw at times.

The jokes and the goings-on may appear silly, but who cares! As long as one feels positive and wears a smile on the face even after the show has ended, nothing else matters.

Comedy is serious business and Rohit Shetty is a pro at this genre now. This time, the talented director seeks inspiration from RIGHT BED, WRONG HUSBAND and what works to the advantage are two factors - the written material and the right casting. Both are just right!

From time to time, it has been noticed that some films are made with the motive of keeping you entertained. ALL THE BEST is one of those films. Go, have a blast this Diwali!

Veer [Fardeen Khan], a singer by profession, is greedy of extracting extra pocket money from his brother Dharam [Sanjay Dutt], a business-honcho. Veer lies to Dharam that he has got married and his friend Prem [Ajay Devgn], a concept car expert, lends a helping hand in cooking up this alibi.

Veer is in love with Vidya [Mugdha Godse], but has qualified in the hate list of her father. Prem is happily married to Jhanvi , who takes care of his ancestor's outdated gymnasium. Veer and Prem land up in debts as they had opted for a short-cut to earn easy money.

The two get into a bigger soup when Dharam pays a sudden visit to their place. Time does not give a chance and unavoidable circumstances arouse such situations that Prem's wife Jhanvi is mistaken for Veer's and Veer's girlfriend for Prem's.

Like his previous films, director Rohit Shetty rests the story on multiple characters, with a dozen odd actors in supporting roles. With so many characters in the film, it generally tends to get confusing, but ALL THE BEST has an easy-to-comprehend story and a trouble-free and uncomplicated screenplay [Robin Bhatt and Yunus Sajawal].

Ten minutes into the film and you know that ALL THE BEST is all about mistaken identities. But the proceedings actually take off when Sanju enters the scene. That's when you get drawn into this madcap world completely.

A number of sequences are howlarious. Note Johny Lever's intro. Ditto for Sanjay Mishra's track. Also, when Johny Lever regains his voice - towards the climax - it's sooooo funny. On the flip side, the pace drops in the middle of the second hour. Also Pritam's musical score is uninspiring and the songs act as speed breakers.

Rohit Shetty is in top form and his team of writers, Robin and Yunus, contribute enormously in making this film watchable. Dudley's cinematography is perfect. Farhad - Sajid and Bunty Rathore's dialogue are very much in sync with the mood of the film. In fact, a few one-liners are extremely witty.

Sanju portrays his part well. His sequences with Ajay are truly fantastic. But the show-stopper is undoubtedly Ajay, whose comic timing is only getting better. He plays to the gallery completely and delivers a sparkling performance. Fardeen needs to loosen up, though he makes a sincere attempt. Bipasha is sweet, while Mugdha doesn't get much scope. Amongst supporting actors, Johny Lever and Sanjay Mishra are in terrific form. Mukesh Tiwari, Vijay Patkar, Ashwini Kalsekar and Atul Parchure lend credible report.

On the whole, ALL THE BEST is fun and laughter unlimited. At the box-office, the festive period coupled with the solid track record of Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty and also the strong merits will ensure ample footfalls at cineplexes, making its investors laugh all the way to the bank. Recommended!

[B]Overall Rating: 3.5/5

11-06-2009, 05:00 AM
Review: Watch Jail if you're in the mood for a documentary
Aniruddha Guha / DNAThursday, November 5, 2009 22:01 IST Email

Film: Jail (U/A)
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Manoj Bajpai, Mugdha Godse, Arya Babbar, and others
Rating: **

Scene one: hero enters jail. Last scene: hero is set free. There is not much in Jail in between. Except for a few interesting scenes, some decent performances, and the Madhur Bhandarkar touch, the film requires a lot of effort to be watched.
The director, though, lends his typical style to the proceedings by presenting the film in a manner that has become synonymous with Bhandarkar films -- hard-hitting scenes, some very real characters, and the portrayal of a world that is not always spoken about in films otherwise.

But although his earlier films explored themes that weren't touched upon in cinema otherwise -- the Page 3 culture, the life of street urchins, and the fashion world, for example -- here he picks up a setting that has been explored in quite a few films before, Ek Hasina Thi being a more prominent name that springs to mind.
Parag Dixit's life is just about looking good, with a steady career and girlfriend (Godse) to boot, when he is implicated in a drug case. His flatmate Keshav Rathod is the one involved in the trafficking and is shot by police while travelling with Parag (Neil).
Found with a bag full of cocaine, which actually belongs to Keshav, Parag has no way of proving he is not guilty and lands up in jail. From there on, the film is about the characters he meets in jail, their day-to-day lives, and the way he copes with life in prison.

Jail then becomes a checklist of various crimes a person can be in jail for: match fixing, fraud, murder, and extortion. There is also a spoilt rich brat, in for running over a group of people under the influence of alcohol, Joe D'Souza a la Alistair Perreira, and a Mr Ghosh, who looks suspiciously like Binayak Sen, in for links with Naxals.

Even though Bhandarkar has managed to present the film well, it is in the writing that he falters. In fact, you can't help but wonder why he chose to make a film with such a single-track screenplay, when he could have opted for some more twists and turns, given the setting. Also, the film drags on and on about the life of inmates, which gets to you after a point and makes the film look like a documentary.

The only 'different' thing about Jail is the end where Parag, when set free, is shown to have not changed as a human being even after his two-year stay in prison, as in other films where a jail term usually leads to crime (Satya, for example). But it takes so long for the film to get there that you don't care much whether Parag is set free. All you want is to be set free yourself.

While Mugdha is just about okay, Neil Nitin Mukesh tries too hard in scenes that require him to 'perform'. Bhandarkar, however, gets it right with the casting, as Neil looks the well-bred, out-of-place prisoner he is meant to be.

Manoj Bajpai plays Nawab, the mentor to Parag, in a manner much subtler than you usually associate with the actor. The film, though, loses out on account of being so very subtle and without life. Watch Jail only if you are in the mood for a documentary on prisoners.

11-19-2009, 07:03 AM
Kurbaan Film Review [SPOILERS]

First things first. Kudos to Karan Johar for shifting gears completely and entering into serious territory. Of course, we do love him for his K-class cinema: all his crunchy popcorn films beginning with K, ever since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai redefined mainstream romance. But Kurbaan doesn't need the popcorn at all. It keeps the screen on overboil for most of its screen time with its hard-hitting storyline that dares to venture into undefined territory.

Like Khuda Kay Liye, Kurbaan too looks at the other side of Islamic fundamentalism and puts the post 9/11 tumult in perspective. Who are these guys who carry anger in their hearts, revenge in their heads and bombs in their pockets? Why are they hell bent on blasting the world, irrespective of the anguish it spells to all and sundry? Can there be a purpose behind their madness? Is one man's terrorist actually another man's activist? Kurbaan, written by Karan Johar, raises these pertinent - and extremely topical - questions, without glossing over the one undeniable truth: a suicide bomber can never solve the inequities of the world, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, notwithstanding.

So we have Ehsan Khan (Saif Ali Khan), the Pakistani who lost his wife and kid to American excesses, seething with a desire to avenge his loss. He isn't the archetypal, skull-capped, bearded fundoo, mouthing soliloquies on jihad and intifada (uprising). On the contrary, he's suave, sophisticated and a charmer, tutoring the world on the misconceptions of Islam in the modern world. Small wonder then he manages to win the heart of college professor Avantika (Kareena Kapoor) and follows her to New York on her stint with NYU. But the domestic idyll is short-lived as Avantika soon discovers it isn't her neighbours (the Afghani extended family, headed by Om Puri) alone who have suspicious antecedents. Husband Ehsan too is an integral part of the plot to bomb America for its excesses against Muslims, the world over.

In a classroom sequence, the film tries to put Islamic fundamentalism in perspective by linking the rise of the Muslim terrorist to America's oil-grabbing foreign policy and its questionable attempts at destabilising oil rich countries in order to remain a superpower. Almost every member of the sleeper cell that comprises the Afghan family has a sad story of loss and horror that drove them into becoming fidayeens (suicide bombers). And before you begin to question the filmmakers for going too lenient on terrorism, you find Avantika who remains a non-convert till the very end. Articulating the voice of reason - and non-violence - she questions her husband and oscillates between love and hate for the man who has fathered her child. A prisoner in her own house, her only hope is Riyaaz (Viveik Oberoi), the undercover journalist who has his story of personal loss that pitches him on the other side in this war. He is determined to fight the terrorists and derail their plot of bombing America.

Karan Johar's story has gravitas. Renzil D'Silva's narrative keeps you on the edge of the seat, for most of the time. Salim Suleiman's music score has a melodious feel. Hemant Chaturvedi's cinematography serenades both Delhi, where the Saif-Kareena romance blossoms and New York, where it cracks up. And the performances by almost all the lead characters are gritty. If Om Puri paints a chilling picture of the terrorist who masquerades in the garb of the commoner and Kiron Kher makes the myth of a suicide bomber plausible, then Viveik Oberoi lends credibility to the voice of the progressive Muslim. But it is the chemistry between Saif and Kareena that lights up the film as the duo bring to life a picture of passion and restraint as the doomed lovers. We do however wish their relationship had a stronger emotional graph, post the startling revelation. How did the duo contend with the fear, hate and disillusion that crept in after Saif revealed his true identity: a bit more on that? And a bit less in the length of the film which could do with some taut editing in the second half. Also, there are a few inconsistencies that mar the film's realism. Why does the FBI loom large like a know-it-all, do-it-all figure? Not only do the FBI sleuths always be a step ahead of the terrorists and arrest them without actually knowing who they exactly are, they also emerge unscathed in a suicide bombing attacking where almost everybody crumbles. Super Uncle Sam, did we say!
But Kurbaan sure does strike a chord and sets you thinking on stuff that needs to be sorted out before the new world order - a more humanitarian, less violent - sets in. Don't miss it.

A word about

Performances: Saif and Kareena transport their off screen tuning to the big screen. While their passionate encounters are a class in aesthete, their delineation of Ehsan and Avantika is mature, restrained and realistic. Om Puri, Kiron Kher and Viveik Oberoi are in sync too.
Music: While Salim-Suleiman have come up with an entire audio track which fits in with the ambience of the film, it is Shukran Allah and the title track, Kurbaan Hua which have lingering notes. More importantly, the songs blend in seamlessly with the story and have not been filmed as your run-of-the-mill song-dance numbers.

Dialogue: The conversation amidst the diverse protagonists has a realistic edge and seem straight out of life. It's only when he tries to explain the theoretical basis of Islamic fundamentalism that Anurag Kashyap, dialogue writer, seems to enter the realm of text-book knowledge. The exposition seems a rattling of newspapers headlines.

Story: Karan Johar explores new depths with his insightful story on the world's most pressing problem: terrorism.

Cinematography: Hemant Chaturvedi uses his camera deftly to create stunning vignettes of Delhi and New York, without losing out on the seriousness of the plot.

Styling: Kareena looks svelte in dresses and tights and brings to life a glamorous professor who dons the hijab with equal felicity. Saif is his usual dapper self, making casual seem haute.


11-26-2010, 04:52 AM

By Taran Adarsh, November 26, 2010 - 08:59 IST

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/10/breakkebaad1.jpg Aditya Chopra's DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE, Karan Johar's KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI and Farhan Akhtar's DIL CHAHTA HAI continue to inspire and motivate film-makers to this date. Danish Aslam's debut film BREAK KE BAAD borrows from the above-mentioned films, besides Imtiaz Ali's LOVE AAJ KAL and several other films churned out by Yash Raj and Dharma.

I don't think it's sacrilege to seek inspiration from a great film, a taut script or soulful music, but the storyteller ought to take that extra effort to present something more than what we've watched before, in his/her film. That's where BREAK KE BAAD fails to connect.

BREAK KE BAAD deals with space issues in a relationship, a much exploited and abused word used a lot in the present-day scenario. Space is almost like a break-up mantra and BREAK KE BAAD explores this concept rather than being a conventional love story. It has that typical Hollywood inspired urban drollness, approach and responsiveness, but what comes across on screen is a poor replication of romance-laden movies that we have enjoyed over the years.

BREAK KE BAAD goes wrong, sorry horribly wrong in its writing. The screenplay is full of glitches, the writing is juvenile, the situations are amateurish and I actually wondered how a shoddy screenplay like the one in BREAK KE BAAD was green-lit and approved in the first place. The intention was to make a cool film for the urban youth, but the writers [screenplay: Renuka Kunzru and Danish Aslam] have messed up and how!

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/10/breakkebaad2.jpg Final word? A boring fare that gets unbearable after a point!

Abhay [Imran Khan] and Aaliya [Deepika Padukone] have known each other since they were kids. Their friendship turned into love at the tender age of 15, when Abhay realized that Aaliya is the girl for him.

Aaliya's life is defined by her burning desire to become an actress and she is unmindful of what or who comes in her way. Abhay, who is still unsure about what he wants to do, finds himself competing with Aaliya's incessant plans and projects to fulfill her dreams. Things come to a head when Aaliya decides to go to Australia to study and Abhay has to deal with the prospect of a long-term relationship, secretly fearing that he will lose Aaliya forever.

They decide to give their relationship a break, so that Aaliya can pursue her dreams. As time passes by, Abhay realises his skills, while Aaliya realises that there is no joy in achieving one's dreams if one has no one to share it with.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/10/breakkebaad3.jpg The basic idea of BREAK KE BAAD may compel you to think that it's going to charter a new path completely, but what comes across is a sham. I mean, the lovers break up for a flimsy reason [there's no persuasive rationale actually], then become friends, then go separate ways, then become friends again, then argue animatedly and then get married. Besides, the film is talk-heavy, extremely verbose and the chatter is pointless, senseless and ludicrous.

One fails to understand why the girl drops the guy like a hot brick. Actually, there's no valid reason for her to do so. He is so committed, so devoted, so trustworthy that any girl would give her left arm to be with him. But the girl comes across as a no-brainer and expectedly, realizes her folly only towards the finale [as expected in a screenplay of convenience]. Besides a faulty screenplay, even the supporting characters [Sharmila Tagore, Shahana Goswami] are wasted.

Director Danish Aslam has handled a few moments well, that's it. A love story ought to be embellished with a lilting musical score, but Vishal-Shekhar disappoint this time. The songs are strictly okay and one misses that winning track that makes a love story memorable. Cinematography [Andre Menezes] is alright.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/reviews/10/breakkebaad4.jpg Both Imran and Deepika take a step forward as actors. Having watched Imran closely from JAANE TU YAA JAANE NA days, I feel that he has come a long way in his fifth outing and you can see a marked difference in his performance. As far as Deepika is concerned, I like the spontaneity that she brings to the character. After LOVE AAJ KAL, this is another film that will make people sit up and notice her talent. Sharmila Tagore is wasted. Ditto for Shahana Goswami. Yudhishtir Urs irritates. Lillete Dubey gets to deliver some spicy lines. Navin Nischol gets minimal scope.

On the whole, BREAK KE BAAD has a vibrant Imran and Deepika as its USP, but a faulty and an unpersuasive screenplay as is its major stumbling block. Fails to impress!

06-13-2011, 09:30 AM
Subhash K. Jha speaks about West Is West http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/templates/default/images/clip.gif (http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/my/index.php?mode=my_clip_add&clip_id=7589&clip_category=f)

By Subhash K. Jha, June 13, 2011 - 11:17 IST
http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/feature/11/jun/westiswest1.jpgTwelve years have passed since East Is East the cult British film on the blithe angst of the Asian diaspora in England. In the sequel, which let me quickly add, is a decent engaging and warm follow-up to the original film, the time-passage is condensed into a far more manageable time frame. The captivating device whereby we suspend our disbelief about the characters' aging process and look at them 12 years hence as though just 4 years have passed, works gloriously to the narrative's advantage.

So here we have the insufferably boorish selfish and intolerant Pakistani-Britisher Jahangir alias George Khan. For those who came in late George who's married to an English woman has sent his eldest son to get culturally accustomed in Pakistan. Now it's the younger son Sajid's turn. The elder one (Emir Marwa) has blended in nicely, we are told.

The younger Khan boy Sajid's incredulity, bafflement, disgust, disbelief and slow acceptance of life in rural "Pakistan"(the film was actually shot in rural Punjab in India) comes across in scintillating spurts of cultural humour. Admittedly Aqib Khan as the young British-Pakistani boy Sajid brings oodles of unhampered naturalness into the picture. There's no playing-for-effect here. Aqib plays Sajid as any culturally-challenged boy brought up in the West now faced with acres of unploughed Pakistani land and the ungainly sight of his eager-to-belong potbellied father trying to show skills with the bulls. Rishi Kapoor tried the same brand of assimilation in Vipul Shah's Namaste London.

It's a terrific occasion for humour on the malady of cultural displacement. Director Andy de Emmony milks most of the situations in Ayub-Khan Din's clever script for all that they are worth. Many situations, such as that quietly explosive 'dialogue' between George's British and Pakistani wives where neither seems to understand each other's language and yet knows what the other is saying, are so empathetic and expressive in their undercurrents that you forgive the excessive zeal shown by the art-director in creating the bazaar-like bustle of the large joint-family in rural Pakistan.

Often you feel the production design and the characters border on the touristic. The accents range from the strange (Vijay Raaz) to the strained (Om Puri).The actors playing Sajid's rustic chum and the village seer seem straight of Rudyard Kipling's imagination. What redeems the awkward slices of storytelling is the overall warmth and sincerity of presentation. Agreed some false notes are stuck. But the final tune of life strung in vibrant verses singing about a man trapped between two incompatible world ring true and melodic.

http://images.bollywoodhungama.com/img/feature/11/jun/westiswest2.jpgThe dilemma of a man caught between two worlds, cultures and wives is caught in an arresting arc across the characters. The performances are uniformly compelling. Om Puri takes up the role that he left behind 12 years ago without missing a beat. The Pakistani-British accent could have been a little less pronounced. But Puri plays the bigoted cultural anomaly with relish. His two screen wives Angela Bassett and and Ila Arun confer a comforting credibility to the goings-on. Ila has some brilliantly-written scenes which she digs into with carnivorous passion.

But it's young Aqib Khan as the freespirited rebellious but good-hearted British boy discovering the joys of rural Pakistan in the company of a local boy who could do with lessons on how to avoid imbibing bravura from cheap Pakistani films, who is the prized discovery of the show.

Some of the locational details are tenuous. Why is the Bollywood hit Piya tu ab to aaja from 1971 playing on the soundtrack of Pakistan in 1975? Why do the locals speak in English? And why does the village seer behave like Saeed Jaffrey in recession? The overall sincerity of the storytelling doesn't allow us to dwell on trivial incongruities. Like Vipul Shah's Namaste London this film takes us from England into the Indian heartland in search of what the NRIs generally refer to as roots. It could just be the long-lost comfort of the familiar.

West Is West provides an endearing slice-of-life entertainment even if you haven't seen the other film.

08-08-2012, 04:49 PM
Review: Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is fantastic but too long

Last updated on: August 08, 2012 18:40 IST


Anurag Kashyap shines once again in the concluding part of Gangs of Wasseypur even though the film is a tad too long, writes Raja Sen.

Gangs of Wasseypur II plunges straight into action, rendering the first part nearly redundant.

A man dies, and revenge is sought. That is strictly all we need to know, the rest falling into place as it goes along.

Backstories and complicated genealogies are frankly rather extraneous in this bloody, bullet-riddled Anurag Kashyap world, where we choose our allegiances to characters based on the movie stars they idolise and the songs they hum. Who shot first isn't as important as whose shot looked sexier.

And lest that sound like a deterrent, I assure you it isn't. Gangs Of Wasseypur II is a damned sight better than the first part, because a lot of the cumbersome subtext is already out of the way when the impressively visceral khoon-kharaba of the second film begins. Having dispensed with the potatoes, this film's pretty much all meat. And quite a feast it proves to be.
Sure, it is hours and hours of foreplay with an inevitable climax, but when done masterfully, there is much pleasure to be had in gambits and gulcharras, in, well, toying with one's food. The khilwaad before the maar is where Kashyap genuinely shines.
Part of this is because Kashyap, in pulling out all the stops, seems content here to let his madcap characters actually enjoy themselves a great deal, making for a far sillier -- and decidedly more joyous -- cinematic universe.
His badlands have now more puns than guns, and there is much ludicrousness on offer. Everyone's having a blast (often literally) and while these savage characters inexplicably decide, after a while, to hold off on the actual revenge angle of the saga, the digressions are often written, performed and shot with enough ingenuity and cinematic panache for the story not to matter. This one's a ride -- albeit not one for the queasy of stomach or the impatient of bladder.
Manoj Bajpai [ Images ], patriarch of the first film, is gunned down a la Sonny Corleone, his sudden death immediately turning his eldest son, Danish (a compellingly great Vineet Singh) into a slaphappy Sonny himself.
Younger brother Faizal, forever crafting a mix for his chillam, couldn't care less until events -- and a scornful mother -- jolt him out of stoned apathy. It is here that we see the uncaged intensity of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, alone reason enough for this film to be celebrated. With the ruthlessness of a pissed-off panther, Siddiqui's Faizal goes on the warpath, a natural despot softened only when rushing towards his voluptuous lady. When on the Three:Ten To Huma, so to speak.
http://im.rediff.com/movies/2012/aug/08gang2.jpgThe women are as important to the proceedings as the men, if not more, even if deprived of screentime. Huma Qureshi's Mohsina is a plucky stunner who fearlessly keeps Faizal on a leash, while the marvellous Richa Chaddha, the highlight of Part One, impressively evolves into a sunken-eyed but perenially confident matriarch. There is a visible Indira-ism to her look, just as there is a touch of Jayalalitha to her rival Reema Sen's [ Images ] visage: the wife and the mistress, the mothers presiding over the great, guttural divide.
The men have no such overarching narrative requirements. A schoolboy, slippery of tongue and morality, is named Perpendicular and fellates razorblades for fun, a character as memorable as can be. His ******* brother Definite -- played very well by the film's writer Zeishan Quadri -- is a fatally fearless opportunist and a Salman Khan [ Images ] devotee: a tribe who, as I've come to know over my years of messageboard feedback, are singularly frightening and most unpredictable.
Kashyap's film, in fact, is a lot about our cinema. Faizal fashions himself after Amitabh Bachchan [ Images ] but snaps when realising he might actually be Shashi Kapoor, Bachchan's frequent sidekick, instead. Despite his mercurial rise, he starts becoming less relevant at a time when Shah Rukh [ Images ] films dominate the world -- DDLJ plays in Wasseypur movie-houses even as Dil Toh Pagal Hai posters promise the future -- and when Definite, his hairdo-loving heir apparent, hears there might finally be a warrant to his name, he sings the Maine Pyaar Kiya lyric "Pehli pyaar ki pehli chitthi" in the hope that he might finally graduate with criminal dishonour.
Composer Sneha Khanwalkar's super original songs -- Kaala Re is this film's big, big winner -- is overshadowed by familiar songs from our past. Indeed, Tigmanshu Dhulia's geriatric godfather even claims the only reason he's outlived all his foes is because he doesn't watch movies.
We who do buy gladly into Kashyap's madness. Yet the film, eventually, starts to wheeze under the weight of its own winking. The first shot from Part One appears here, not as Part Two's climactic sequence, but somewhere after intermission and a long way from the end. It is thus not a circle but a spiral, this narrative, and concentric storytelling can be awfully repetitive. No matter how whimsically the tale is told.
Too much is unbearably cutesy -- "set right-va karo ji" goes a frequently repeated song exhorting the hero to fix it -- several chunks are entirely unnecessary, and the plotting can be almost moronically frustrating, as evidenced by a mildly amusing but mostly pointless sequence featuring vegetable shopping, dhoti-tying and incompetent assassins. With the film by now into its fifth hour, this fluff exhausts.
And yet, for all its folly -- and the fact that an hour could have been lopped off its running length, easy -- Gangs Of Wasseypur II provides enough cinematic memorabilia to single-handedly last us the summer.
Kashyap's visual flair has just grown with each film, and this one is not just cinematically self-assured but also highly nuanced: some of the touches -- like Mohsina's choice of paperback -- border almost on a Dibakarian immaculateness. Perpendicular Khan, meanwhile, like the Bob Biswas we met in Kahaani a few months ago, deserves his own graphic novel, pronto.
Like one of those unending strings of ladis, this is, then, a proper firecracker, even if far too long. Had Ramadhir Singh broken his coda and watched it, he'd have doubtless been gunned down mid-film, the length (and volume) allowing his foes more than enough celluloid cover to set up sniper-rifles, grenades and knifemen for the job. Sheer murder, surely.
Yet, like the inevitably doomed characters in this Kashyapverse, he'd have gotten to grin a few times before biting the dust.
Rediff Rating: http://im.rediff.com/movies/2012/aug/rating3half.gif

Raja Sen in Mumbai