Sooryavanshi (2021) Movie Review: This Needed More Masala

I decided to watch Sooryavanshi at a theatre near my home as the theatre had just opened 3 days before lockdown and was soon shutdown. Strangely during the pandemic I was consuming a lot of masala films and rewatching films which gave me comfort and gave a sense of poetic justice to me.

Sooryavanshi could not have come at a better time when one of the most celebrated cops in the country has been under scrutiny and there is a slugfest around him due to politics and an ex-commissioner is missing . thus the film comes at the right time when it gives us hope that Mumbai will bounce back and so will Mumbai Police.

Rohit Shetty started his career with the actioner Zameen which was a Bollywood take on Kandahar Hijack, but Rohit changed his tracks later and met with success due to his comedy films. As far as I know Rohit Shetty hasn’t worked again on original scripts (apart from Zameen) as most of his film have been adaptations of Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films but with his take on it.

Sooryavanshi to be fair in most parts is an original film but has strong shades of Thuppakki, with Akshay Kumar having featured in the Hindi version (Holiday) of the same. Now let us be honest, politics or subtlety is not a strong point of Rohit Shetty. This is where Rohit flatters the most.

Sooryavanshi starts with this idea where Pakistanis are marrying Hindus and waiting to carry of sinister plan against India. Love Jihad check. The film mentions that Bombay/Mumbai has been under attack since ’93 by Pakistani sponsored terrorists, which is true and also tells us that the hero had lost his parents due to the Bombay Blasts, the largest attack ever carried by terrorists pre 9/11.

We have Kabir Shroff (Javed Jaffrey) obviously an ode to one of Mumbai’s supercops, Rakesh Maria, who along with his team from Mumbai police solved the case within a record time. But strangely there is no mention of Bombay riots, it is as if the makers are scared to utter the incident or that they think that it did not affect millions of Mumbaikars. But then I guess this is now part of rewriting history.

Then for some reason the makers confuse ISIS with Pakistani terrorists and terrorism. This is followed by a mention of Padgha where these religious teacher is recruiting Indian Muslim youth to fight against the state, strangely we all know how the so called accused or perpetrators of crime were declared not guilty by the court but then I guess we need to toe the line of propaganda and our hero needs to deliver sermon on who is a good Muslim or bad Muslim.

Surprisingly the much touted helicopter scene is marred with bad vfx and compared to this I would still say the action sequence in 1994’s like in flms like Sab Se Bada Khiladi had much better aerial sequence.

Also Bollywood needs to stop remixing old songs, Tip Tip Barsa Pani is one of the worst picturised songs of late and it does not do any justice to the original and Katrina is nowhere near the league of Raveena. Also do not know why Katrina looks jaded in the movie.

In Singham and Simmba despite being alpha action movie, the lead female character had an objective to support hero here that is totally missing and in one scene it becomes misogynistic also when Sooryavanshi glances accusingly his wife when the security lapse was on the part of his team.

Now that we have done with the bad parts, let me come to the good parts. It emerges when Rohit Shetty stops taking himself seriously and goes full on Bollywood masala mode, beginning with the Hum Hindustani song and you know it is cheesy but that is the time when you start to enjoy the movie. From here on Rohit is in full control, bringing back Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Simmba (Ranveer Singh) to set up his cop universe.

This where we see Farhad Samji with their witty one liners like ” aa gaya Dev leke Gun”, wordplay reference to Ajay Devgn. From here on the film is irreverent with a bomb disposal scene which includes fun and tense moments in parts.

It is where the movie shines, when the focus is on Simmba and Singham and the action shifts to hand to hand combat and punchlines and boy it is what we missed about our movies, in the end hero saves the day.

Alas the last act comes tad too late, but it entertains.

Also a request, if you are watching this in a cinema hall, please follow the guidelines issued by local authorities and listen to the cinema ushers. They are doing their duty to keep a safe environment for you and other film buffs, show your vaccine certificate when asked, be seated in your allotted seats, keep your masks on and do not argue as to why you want to eat inside the theatre.

Be safe, stay safe and welcome back to the movies.

Jagga Jasoos Movie Review: Arrested Development

Let’s be honest here, as a desi audience that’s grown up on Bollywood Masala, we are definitely no strangers to the musical. But in Jagga Jasoos, director Anurag Basu tries to push the envelope by presenting most of the movie in tune and verse, an attempt to bring Broadway to Bollywood, something we probably last saw in Shirish Kunder’s equally befuddling debut effort, Jaan-E-Mann. But with an experienced hand such as Basu at the realm, some stunning cinematography by Ravi Varman, as promised in the promos, a promising soundtrack by Pritam, and an extremely good-looking starcast, does this audacious experiment work?Continue reading “Jagga Jasoos Movie Review: Arrested Development”

Fitoor Movie Review: Of Katrina’s Red Hair and Dickensian Red Herring

FitoorFitoor roughly translates to ‘obsession’ in English. And, it’s a pity that a film called Fitoor suffers from bouts of directorial indifference throughout its runtime. Director Abhishek Kapoor, who had very good last two outings in form of Kai Po Che and Rock On!!, puts up pretty looking caricatures and canvasses in Fitoor but forgets to infuse soul into them. So, amidst the snow-laden, paradise-like Kashmir and Katrina Kaif’s gorgeousness and red hair, there’s something which is clearly amiss. Throughout. Right from the opening credits till the lights are turned back on in the theater.Continue reading “Fitoor Movie Review: Of Katrina’s Red Hair and Dickensian Red Herring”

Fitoor Movie Review: No Love Here, Just Impossible Inanity

Ask me no questions and you will be told no lies. If you still want to know how this adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations is, well, you asked for it.

Fitoor spares nothing, and no one, as it annihilates anything and everything that was beautiful and sacred in the source novel and the milieu this adaptation is set in. For the most part, this massacre is orchestrated by a disastrously miscast Katrina Kaif while some part of the blame should deservedly reach the doors of Aditya Roy Kapoor and Tabu (yes, the lady can misfire too).Continue reading “Fitoor Movie Review: No Love Here, Just Impossible Inanity”

Bollywood Pairs to look forward in 2016

Let’s take a look at some of the unusual and never seen together pairs who will be seen romancing on the silver screen in 2016:

Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur:
Akshay Kumar will be seen romancing Nimrat Kaur in their upcoming film ‘Airlift’. Their film’s song ‘Soch’ is already out. Definitely the duo looks promising on screen and quite unusual as well.
 
Rana Daggubati and Taapsee Pannu:
The two actors who were seen in ‘Baby’ didn’t share screen space together in the film. However, the two will be seen romancing each other in their upcoming film ‘Ghazi’. It’ll be interesting to see them together on screen as both have quite a rage in in South and B-town.

Continue reading “Bollywood Pairs to look forward in 2016”

Phantom (2015) Movie Review: Bollywood’s Poetic Justice

I have lived in Bombay for more than 25 years of my life. I have witnessed more than dozen terrorist attacks on my hometown, with two of the attacks, the 93 Bombay Blasts and 26/11 attacks being the worst terrorist attacks ever seen in mankind’s history in my opinion. Unfortunately, there have not been many films on these attacks, or on the after effects of the attack.  I still remember 26/11 vividly, the reason being I was supposed to go to Cafe Leopold on the same day but I was not keen to travel to South Bombay. Not a day goes by thinking, what if I was there on that day at that place. For those who grew up in Bombay, it was like seeing a part of our identity being destroyed.Continue reading “Phantom (2015) Movie Review: Bollywood’s Poetic Justice”

Bang Bang Movie Review: Bang for the Buck? Not Quite!

When I first heard of Hollywood hit Knight and Day (2010) being officially adapted in Hindi as “Bang Bang” I just sighed in semi disbelief.  In my opinion Knight and Day was a rather ordinary Hollywood entertainer, which only worked due to the lovely lead pair comprising of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Well to be honest their Indian counterparts, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif seemed to be perfect choices to carry on the same roles in Hindi, but I was wondering why a studio like Fox Star had to not just look at shelling out money to buy the remake rights, but also want to invest mega bucks in a film which has no novelty as such. Adding to the gloomy scenario was the fact that the film was to be directed by Siddharth Anand, someone who has had moderate success making romantic films (Salaam Namaste, Tara Rum Pum, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Anjaana Anjaani). Considering this was to be an action film I was wondering why the studio would entrust the film to a director who’s never dabbled with the genre earlier.Continue reading “Bang Bang Movie Review: Bang for the Buck? Not Quite!”

Dhoom 3 Movie Review: Kuch Bhi!!

Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3 with his hatWomen & Children first was the cry. People are to distance themselves from something that is a mix between Dhoom 1&2, Fast and the Furious, Prestige, Jumanji (Uday Chopra was the chimpanzee), the Road Runner and the Bugs and Daffy Show. Welcome to THE land where truth is stranger than fiction.

Despite my ranting, my ravings, my warnings and all that is good and holy in this world, my fears came true. I ended up seeing Uday Chopra in a larger than life avatar and sadly no amount of Katrina’s legs can make up for this.

For those still contemplating (and the few of you who read my reviews regularly) I always give a brief about the story and here it is:Chase Scene…Dance…Chase Scene…Katrina Kaif….Dance…Chase Scene….Katrina Kaif…Dance….(Intermission)….Dance…Katrina Kaif…Dance…Dance again….random talk…Aamir Khan kills himself. The End.

I guess you could figure out that wasn’t accurate. I wish I could say the same. Continue reading “Dhoom 3 Movie Review: Kuch Bhi!!”

Dhoom 3 Movie Review: An Inconvenient Marriage

The best shot of Dhoom 3 remains the way Aamir’s character as an adult is introduced. He wakes up perturbed from a night-mare and the camera only focuses on his bare-essentials. This is the most unheroic, uncharacteristic, but really exhilarating introduction of an arch-villain in a full-blown, frivolous ‘franchise’ of a movie. This introduction soars one’s expectations – especially of one who is an admirer of the way an artiste like Aamir places emphasis on the entire movie-making process rather than the parts of the whole sum. And then a reel later, one sees the introduction of the cop-duo, with a wonderful intro of Ali first and then Jai in a rick-shaw! What a wonderful proceeding, one thinks – Aamir all subdued running down the walls of a bank in Chicago and Abhishek’s Jai all ‘desi’ in a rickshaw in a slum-colony! This is going to be one great, multiple time-pass viewing, one thinks! Little did one realize that Aamir’s Saahir running down the bank’s building would turn out to be the one and only grand metaphorical shot in the film – of the film only going downhill!Continue reading “Dhoom 3 Movie Review: An Inconvenient Marriage”