Raees vs Kaabil: Clash of the Titans?

Jan 25th was slated to be the battle of the stars- Shahrukh and Hrithik battling it out with Raees and Kaabil respectively. The swords were all out with both the parties battling it out with their PR machinery. Some even called it as a mentor-pupil battle. And it mattered for both the stars as their previous movies were almost a washout (Fan and Mohenjo Daro).Continue reading “Raees vs Kaabil: Clash of the Titans?”

Raees Movie Review: Once Upon A Late Latif

It’s all Ram Gopal Varma’s fault. Till he showed up with Satya, Company etc, we were so used to the trope of the gangster being a modern day Robin Hood, a leader of the community, a do-gooder on the wrong path etc, that when we were exposed to what gangsters really are, ordinary men and women with a gun, who let their ego come in the way of reason, flawed human beings who may be larger than life for a few fleeting moments, but end up the victim of either the system, or their own hubris.Continue reading “Raees Movie Review: Once Upon A Late Latif”

Ghayal Once Again Movie Review: Ghayal Returns, But It Is Not Ghatak (Dangerous)

Ghayal Once AgainI must begin this review by stating that director Rajkumar Santoshi‘s stunning debut feature Ghayal is one of my all time favorites featuring one of the most explosive climax ever, that lasts for a good thirty minutes before Ajay Mehra (Sunny Deol) kills his nemesis Balwant Rai (Amrish Puri). I had seen this film on the first day at Metro talkies in Bombay and had paid almost double the amount in black compared what I paid today for the ticket of Ghayal Once Again. Indeed those were the days 🙂

Now 26 years and several delays later, Sunny Deol returns with a sequel to his vigilante classic and also dons the directorial responsibilities for the film.

Ghayal Once Again begins exactly where Ghayal ended. After completing his life sentence, Ajay starts a newspaper called Satyakam, making a credible name for himself in investigative journalism and earning a credible fan following in the process, especially among the youngsters. Four of his teenage fans, accidentally record a murder on camera whilst on an expedition, and it shows two of the city’s most powerful people involved in it. The kids get entangled in this mess and find themselves on the run from the most powerful man in the city. Whether Ajay is able to save these kids from the impending danger or not is what forms the crux of the film. 

The movie starts with scenes of Ghayal playing in black and white and immediately grabs your attention. It unfolds slowly as a thriller, making the patronizing Ghayal fans glued to their seats in anticipation of another explosive and long climax. The film keeps moving briskly and before the interval, we are rewarded with a heart-pounding chase sequence, but that is no match to the climax chase or the fish market chase witnessed in the original.

One of the best characters in the prequel was that of the no nonsense serious cop ACP Joe D’Souza played by Om Puri, who provided the right balance in the mayhem that ensues in the climax. But here he returns as a retired funny officer, who loves eating butter chicken with his wife. The villain here is played by the suave Narendra Jha, who plays Raj Bansal –  a powerful man having a strong nexus between media, politicians and police. One couldn’t help but notice uncanny similarities Raj Bansal and Mukesh Ambani. However withAntilia’ doubling up for Bansal Mansion made me root for Ajay Mehra. 🙂

Ghayal Once Again 2

Sunny Deol chews up the scenes with his dangerous frown, flaring nostrils and the dhaai kilo ka haath. Honestly, I don’t remember when was the last time I enjoyed watching him with such glee, while destroying the villains.

The film tries being true and faithful to its original and is therefore engaging, though it may appear clichéd to the average viewer for this very reason. But for a diehard Ghayal fan, these cliches doesn’t matter and neither does it dampen their viewing experience.

But sadly, post interval, the curse of second half’ continues. The film has a gripping start and then everything goes haywire. This happens very often in the movies now a days and now I wonder why.

Ghayal Once Again is very clichéd and silly, but honestly I feel  in its current form, it would not have been possible even for Raj Kumar Santoshi to match the thrill of original.

We have always loved the Sunny of the JP Dutta, Santoshi and Rahul Rawail films and here we only get glimpse of it. Go, Watch the film in the hope that it may work for you and also for Sunny who badly needs a hit.

Rating – ***

Manish Rathore

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”

Haider Movie Review: Love-ed

Sometimes it is so difficult to collect all the thoughts to write a review for a movie. What do I do then? I ask myself. Us Bhakts of Bhardwaj get swept away, most of the times, in blind faith. But the truth is, there is no way you can ignore the reality, as I learnt while I was talking to Sethu. The truth, in all of its probability is, that this Vishal Bhardwaj’s masterpiece…is not aberration free.  There are things in the plot that call for an unwelcome “what a coincidence.” There are things that call for an unwelcome “really?” moment. I mean how do you respond to a thing that’d happen – even in the context of the movie—but won’t because it’s a movie, based on a play — so there are events pending to happen? How do you respond to characters that exist because…well, it’s convenient for the storyteller? And no, I am not talking about Irrfan Khan’s Roohdaar (without trying to spoil anything.) There are coincidences, and character decisions — and yes they can happen, but! — But that jarred. Because it felt like some kind of an easy make-shift solution to drive the movie forward. That makes things look superficial. It takes away the gravity from a scenario otherwise really intense. It hinders seamless involvement.Continue reading “Haider Movie Review: Love-ed”

Haider (2014) Movie Review: The Return Of The Bard

Language : Hindi | Running Time : 162 Minutes | Director : Vishal Bhardwaj 

Irrfan Khan as Roohdhar, making a special appearance, dressed in white and sporting black goggles, walks onto the screen, mist clearing and I was reminded of a heroine walking into a hero’s life in our movies from the 80s. If not the same, the scene surely brings a similar effect on us. We are left gasping at the majestic beauty of the shot, the exhilarating bass and electric guitars of “Aao Na” announcing his presence. It is right there with some of the best intros I’ve seen in Indian cinema, because it elevates a simple intro into one filled with mystery and a desire to follow the man ourselves. It is something that draws whistles, claps and heightens our frenzy and Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider” will ask you the question, “To be or not to be” in every scene it throws at you.Continue reading “Haider (2014) Movie Review: The Return Of The Bard”