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”

Bangistan Movie Review: Only if There Were More Laughs

A film critic turning into a film director is a mouthwatering prospect. Karan Anshuman does the courageous act with Bangistan and you expect the nitty gritties of the film to be tightened. After all, those who throw stones at others should know how to save themselves if those stones are tossed back at them!Continue reading “Bangistan Movie Review: Only if There Were More Laughs”

Bhootnath Returns Movie Review: The Friendly Ghost Turns Socially & Politically Active

Bhootnath Returns PosterBhootnath (2008), directed by Vivek Sharma was a loose adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost, which was reasonably appreciated for its engaging tale of a friendly ghost Bhootnath aka Kailashnath (Amitabh Bachchan), the lovable brat Banku (Aman Siddiqui) and his mother Anjali Sharma (Juhi Chawla). It was a slight departure for Bollywood where one usually associates the presence of a ghost in a film with out and out horror/supernatural thriller element and not with a supernatural comedy. Post Bhootnath the producer Ravi Chopra and his firm, the legendary B.R.Productions have been saddled with a series of health issues and financial and legal impediments respectively. Hence with the sequel to Bhootnath i.e. Bhootnath Returns getting announced, it was but only expected that there would be a lot of expectations from the movie. Would the sequel be able to appeal to the family audience and kids in particular like the previous film? Would the film be able to help Ravi Chopra and B.R.Productions to sort out most of their financial issues? And most importantly how does it feel to see the one and only Amitabh Bachchan in the centre stage in a movie after quite some time?Continue reading “Bhootnath Returns Movie Review: The Friendly Ghost Turns Socially & Politically Active”

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

Celluloid Man: A Legendary Archivist, Archived!

Celluloid Man PosterPassion. Work. Only when these two become synonymous that truly great things can be achieved. There are no two ways about it. P.K. Nair, who was the founder of the National Film Archive of India and also helmed the organization for 27 long years, is one of those rare breed in India who can indeed say that their work was passion for them. And as you try to assimilate the enormity of his life-long dedication toward archiving Indian and Foreign films and also running the Archive with a deft hand, you just can’t help but be simply blown away by the man.Continue reading “Celluloid Man: A Legendary Archivist, Archived!”

Talaash- The search that leads no where

Director: Reema Kagti
Rating: **
As part of its pre-release publicity, Aamir Khan appeared on C.I.D. on television. Now, having seen the movie, I can see what an apt platform it was to publicize it. Talaash is very much like an episode of C.I.D. – it starts off with a death, holds our interest briefly and then peters out as you realize the story isn’t going anywhere. Continue reading “Talaash- The search that leads no where”

Achi Suspense Picture ki “Talaash” – Film Review

In “Talaash” directed by Reema Kagti, Kareena Kapoor in one of the most uninspired scenes to explain the plight of someone who comes from the red light area, to one of the most regressively churned policeman played by Aamir Khan, she tries to tell the policeman that she has to tell him the law. This scene, is so amateurishly treated, that one can’t feel for anyone, neither the policeman, nor the call girl, because we’ve seen it, many times before.
Continue reading “Achi Suspense Picture ki “Talaash” – Film Review”

Talaash Hindi Film Review -The excellence lies within

Directed by Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd), written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, dialogues by Farhan Akhtar and additional dialogues by Anurag Kashyap, the latest film of Aamir Khan can be classified as a crime drama. Talaash is a story of betrayal, loss of a loved one, deceit and greed set against the backdrop of the city, where only the fittest survive.

Reema sets the tone of the film in the credits, which shows the cross section of working society on a Mumbai night. The camera leisurely captures the road side dhabas, the prostitutes and pimps, the taxi drivers, the beggars who NEED to work through the night to survive. In this lonely night, a movie star crashes his car into the sea-face and drowns to his death. Enter Inspector Surjan Singh Shekawat, who starts to investigate the case. The case appears to be an open and shut accident case, but

Aamir Khan as Surjan Singh in Talaash
Aamir Khan as Surjan Singh in Talaash

Continue reading “Talaash Hindi Film Review -The excellence lies within”