In Conversation with Richa Chadda: On Masaan and More

For a person who regaled us with her performance in her debut film (Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye) and kept enthralling us with each of her performance since, Masaan’s success is just another feather in Richa Chadda’s already crowded Cap!

On behalf of MAM I had a chat with her recently about the film, her journey and what can we expect from her from here on.Continue reading “In Conversation with Richa Chadda: On Masaan and More”

Nominations For the Best of Bollywood 2013!

Like most other years, 2013 too has been an eventful year for the Hindi film industry. And unlike other years, 2013 was also the 100th year for the Hindi film industry. However, the centenary wasn’t really a landmark in terms of quality; we didn’t have a watershed of extraordinary films. Yes, we had a few brilliant pieces of cinema but we also had a truckload of terrible movies. What has been most encouraging in this entire melee is the gradual acceptance and support rendered to smaller films. While we had Kiran Rao helping a “Ship of Theseus” to get a release, we had a Karan Johar taking “The Lunchbox” out to the masses. In this post, I enumerate my (completely) personal list of favourite films of 2013 and their different aspects. These are my nominations for the best of Bollywood in the year 2013. While I have considered six nominees for every category (most of which are non-technical), I have added one more as “Almost There”, whom / what I feel is good but not enough to be on the list. Would love to get your vote from the nominees or any additional candidate you feel like.Continue reading “Nominations For the Best of Bollywood 2013!”

Average Bollywod Films: 2013

There are two ways of looking at this list. Either these are films that lack that element necessary to have them counted amongst the best 10 or they have done enough to not merit inclusion in the worst 10. So depending on how you perceive it, the glass is either half empty or half full.

Arranged in alphabetical order.

Ankur Arora Murder Case

At the Jagran Film Festival where I was in attendance, director Sohail Tatari mentioned that he liked to take on issue-based subjects as against regular formulaic films. It is this choice then that almost works for the film. Medical malpractice is a subject rarely ever tackled by Bollywood. So even when the treatment is rather simplistic, it still interests you. The performances range from bad to OK to good with Kay Kay Menon being the best of the cast as the negligent, megalomaniac doctor.Continue reading “Average Bollywod Films: 2013”

Fukrey Movie Review : Largely a funny film

Fukrey, produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under Excel Entertainment, is a small little film that came out this weekend. The first trailer did invite me to watch the film, specially with the compelling Delhi (read Daehli) flavor that it reeked of. But then it looked like another coming of age story of 4 young guys who are out to have some fun. The music album struck a chord with one delectable song by a brilliant singer. And then it chose to clash with the magnum-opus, Man of Steel. Sometimes I wonder aloud the reasoning behind the decision, irrespective of how average Man of Steel was. Fukrey works for most parts, and provides you enough moments of bursting laughter as well.

Priya Anand in FukreyDirected and co-written by first timer Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, Fukrey is positively not the run of the mill coming of age story. In fact, it is sort of like a heist film built around a leap of faith. Screenwriters Vipul Vig and Lamba draw you into the world of four nobodies in Delhi, two of which are friends (Hunny and Choocha) from before but the pack comes together for one common reason, to make some quick cash. A wily female don, funnily named Bholi Punjaban, comes on board, to invest in their idea, and when the plan foils, to lynch their guts. A simple plot, profuse of fresh ideas and premises, Fukrey benefits from genuinely hilarious set pieces and one marvelously sketched character, but the suffers from a lack of coherence in its plot where not all pieces fall together in communion. The writers invest their heart and soul into building up four interesting characters who arent necessarily friends from before and the efforts do pay off well. Rooted well in the nuances of a Delhi-ite, our leads are thoroughly enjoyable with all their shameless notoriety, frequent swanning and continuous fallibility. Choocha, played by Varun Sharma, stands out and how. A delicious character churned out of a sidekick role length evokes generous laughs every time he talks. Bholi Punjaban is a fresh take on the characters of female dons, aided more by acting than writing.

A scene from FukreyBut Fukrey never leaves you in stasis. Continual banter between Hunny and Choocha, or the track involving the third guy, Lali, in a repetitive alterations of a situation where in he loses some part of his motorcycle are intoning of a much better writer in Lamba. How one wishes an equal focus was given to cover some loose ends of the plot and this one would be a winner!

Phulkit Samrat in FukreyFukrey has been mounted tremendously well by Excel Entertainment with Farhan and Ritesh themselves showing up for most promotions. Ram Sampath’s musical capture of the Delhi milieu is pretty accurate, with Ambarsariya being the covert gem in Sona Mohapatra’s voice. Mohanan‘s cinematography is easy on the eyes, while Anand Subaya has used his editing knife well. The spot-on casting by Honey Trehan must be credited heavily to make this film work and lend a certain melange to every dialogue. The acerbically sweet dialogues only accentuate the setup and you will find yourselves laughing for many minutes on at least four instances.

Pulkit Samrat (Hunny), Varun Sharma (Choocha), Manjot Singh (Lali) and Ali Fazal (Zafar) – the four leads are a riot together, with Sharma easily taking the cake followed by Manjot and Samrat. Running with roughly the same role sizes, the boys are a raging river in flood delivering spirited performances that palpably match the tone of the film. The surly words flow in with the mayhem of immatures and what you witness is some real new talent out there, save for Manjot Singh who has already proved himself many a times. Richa Chadda’s Bholi Punjaban oscillates between superb and choppy for me, where in the character loses its own skin due to inept writing. Pankaj Tripathi’s vast reserves of acting are under-utilized as the college gatekeeper who has a jugaad for anything.

Richa Chadda in FukeryOn the whole, Fukrey is a slice of life film with a fresh premise and characters which doesn’t quite hit the spot due to incoherence. It is still a reason enough to watch for Lamba’s next venture. It has opened low on the Box Office but I am hoping that some word of mouth will help this little film against a strictly okay Hollywood biggie. Watch it for the earnest efforts and some genuine hilarity!

Rating – 3/5