Shivaay Movie Review: Of Stunning Visuals, Adrenaline Pumping Action and…Nothing Else

Right from the time we were introduced to Ajay Devgn’s dream project Shivaay, I was intrigued. To start with there’s the title which seems to be obviously a tribute of sorts to Lord Shiva. Added to this were the reasonably eye catchy first look posters. And then of course we had the promos, again something which drew a lot of attention. In fact my gut feel told me that the film would either end up as a lovely visual spectacle that we would go on to admire or else be a complete failure. It certainly did not look like something that would fall in between these 2 extremes. And what did the promos indicate or promise?  A Himalayan action entertainer perhaps? Well that is probably what we feel while watching the first half an hour or so of the movie.  So we see the vast expanse of the mountains, the snowclad peaks in the distance and of course how can we forget Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) in the midst of it all.Continue reading “Shivaay Movie Review: Of Stunning Visuals, Adrenaline Pumping Action and…Nothing Else”

Musings Over The Diwali Releases: ADHM v/s Shivaay

This is not a review of either of the Hindi Diwali releases that hit the theatres over the weekend. Neither is this post devoid of spoilers, so read ahead only if you are okay with those two warnings.Continue reading “Musings Over The Diwali Releases: ADHM v/s Shivaay”

Ki & Ka Movie Review: Great Idea, Patchy Film and a Brave Arjun Kapoor

R Balki is sort of an enigma. The seasoned adman has so far directed 4 Hindi films – all of them beaming with exceptional ideas but somehow the end product does not have the finesse that it should have or rather could have achieved. No, don’t be offended because I have referred to films as ‘products’ – Balki’s sensibilities and ideas are resplendent with his advertising background and product is not exactly a term repulsive to ad-makers.Continue reading “Ki & Ka Movie Review: Great Idea, Patchy Film and a Brave Arjun Kapoor”

Ki & Ka Movie Review: Gender Dynamics for Dummies

The thing about R. Balki is that he is a truly gifted man. He has the talent to come up with the most unorthodox ideas, and present them in the most credible manner on celluloid. In his capacity as an ad filmmaker, it is safe to say that he is par none. After all, with a resume, that boasts of some highly memorable ad campaigns, like the heart-warming “Daag Acche Hai” campaign for Surf Excel and the powerful “Jaago Re” campaign for Tata Tea, not many will dispute the extent of his creativity. Unfortunately, this has also been his shortcoming when it comes to feature length movies, as his quirky sense of detailing doesn’t stretch far enough to make an impact on the audience.
Therefore, when he takes on the rather contentious issue of gender dynamics in Urban India, one does approach his latest offering with some trepidation.Continue reading “Ki & Ka Movie Review: Gender Dynamics for Dummies”

Hamari Adhuri Kahani Movie Review: Shockingly Regressive and Melodramatic

There are good films and there are bad films. And then there are some films that are so unbelievably bad that you feel like shouting – why did they make this film!!? Hamari Adhuri Kahani, the latest melodramatic overdose from the Bhatt camp, is so regressive, unbelievable, over-the-top and nauseating that you stop expecting anything within half an hour into the film. Mohit Suri, the film’s director, has a reasonable track record with good little films like Kalyug, Awarapan and Woh Lamhe under his belt. In fact, Suri has also been at the helm of affairs for three consecutive blockbusters for the Bhatt Camp in the recent past – Ek Villain, Aashiqui 2 and Murder 2.Continue reading “Hamari Adhuri Kahani Movie Review: Shockingly Regressive and Melodramatic”

Hamari Adhuri Kahaani Movie Review: A Good Director Cannot Save A Bad Script

In 1982, Mahesh Bhatt made Arth, with Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Kulbhushan Kharbanda. Since then, he has made it again and again atleast a 100 times. If not that, he has taken elements from Arth and twisted them around, rebottled them with new flavor, and made a film again. Arth was an absolute classic. Most of its derivatives are not. But Bhatt will never get out of it seems. And he must plunge us as well as he drowns. Directed by Mohit Suri, Hamari Adhuri Kahaani is concocted with a stellar cast, but it is supposed to be the love story of Mahesh Bhatt’s parents. In reality, it is another take on Arth. Albeit drenched in ham-fisted dialogue by Shagufta Rafique. Continue reading “Hamari Adhuri Kahaani Movie Review: A Good Director Cannot Save A Bad Script”

Hate Story 2 Movie Review : Inconsistent, But Better Than You Expect It To Be

I did not like Vivek Agnihotroi’s Hate Story (produced by Vikram Bhatt), which came a couple of years ago, largely because the film looked like a massive exercise in selling shock and sleaze, making the revenge saga go tediously trashy and unbelievable. Vishal Pandya’s Hate Story 2 is only a sequel by virtue of its brand name, but tells a new story all together with a new cast. But the covert revelation is that this one is not half as bad. Yes, contrary to the popular belief, Hate Story 2 is not easily hated, despite being an old concoction served in a new glass. Continue reading “Hate Story 2 Movie Review : Inconsistent, But Better Than You Expect It To Be”

Ek Villain Movie Review: Bad Story About Bad People

Ek Villain PosterNow I haven’t “Seen the Devil” so it is not possible for me to compare Ek Villain with the original it rips off blatantly. From what I have read online, the original is a brilliantly made thriller that is gory but still riveting. With Ek Villain, we have a watered down (read Indianised) version sans the gore and overt sexuality. Should work, like some rip offs have in the past one would say.

Unfortunately as a stand-alone story being told to first timers in the audiences (which there are many since the Korean original is not known beyond the connoisseurs of world cinema, or pyscho gore, or both; you get the point) Mohit Suri’s love story of a Villain is a train wreck of a script that is marginally redeemed by passable performances and a memorable musical score.Continue reading “Ek Villain Movie Review: Bad Story About Bad People”

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!”