Class of ’83 Movie Review: A Misfired Shot!

Netflix India has garnered a reputation for churning out one after another boring series and films, I am sure that their recent original film, Class Of ’83 can firmly get a place in the walk of shame. And with this being the of the third collaboration of Netflix with Red Chilies Entertainment after Bard of Blood and Betaal,  should lead them to introspect on the quality of their output. Or may be there is an aim to get the audience to unsubscribe from Netflix, if that is the aim they are on their path.Continue reading “Class of ’83 Movie Review: A Misfired Shot!”

BADLA review: Murder, They Wrote!

BADLA is one of those words that has a duality about it. In Hindi, it can mean ‘revenge’ as well as ‘change’. And in Sujoy Ghosh’s latest thriller, he manages to incorporate both types of Badla into the sweet mix as he brings together the talents of Taapsee Pannu and the evergreen legend Amitabh Bachchan and place them in a room together to create the intended sparks and magic.

Ghosh, thanks to the Kahaani series, has become a trusted name to the ‘thriller’ genre. And therefore the producers (Red Chillies and Azure Entertainment) have got things easy when you have a name like Ghosh to associate with your thriller, an official remake of a 2016 Spanish thriller The Invisible Guest. The first major change Ghosh does here is the gender-swap on his principal characters from the Spanish original.

Though I haven’t seen the original, it does not take much to predict the final outcome of things. If you pay attention to the details, you can sniff it out right away. And that is not because the character of Badal keeps reminding you of it. But because the structure is such that the main portions are set within a confined room, involving just the two major characters. So you know the surprise also has to spring in from this setting. But Ghosh smartly manages to throw in enough curveballs to keep one guessing till the very end, and even throw offtrack every now and then.

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The case:  A crime in a hotel room in Glasgow. A man murdered, while a woman is found in the same room, next to the body. No signs or possibilities of any entry or exit with no presence of a third person.

The prime suspect is the woman of course, who happens to be Naina (Taapsee) , a highly successful businesswoman who was having an extra marital affair with the deceased. With all evidences pointing to Naina, an expert lawyer Badal Gupta has been roped in as a last minute ditch effort to save the client who stands to lose it all personally and professionally.

Badal, who has the reputation of never having lost a case, is determined to win this too before retiring professionally. However to do so, he needs to get to the bottom of the whole story and for which he drops into Naina’s flat where she is under house-arrest to dig up the whole truth of the stories and events around her case. In the three hour conversation that follows, Badal hopes to get Naina to reveal it all, right to the minutest of details that could prove vital to the case.

As we dive in, the audience also discovers how the disappearance of a young man turns also relevant to this whole case. As more questions and answers are poured out, we realise that there is more to what meets the eyes (Naina) and that one needs to look beyond the clouds (Badal) to reach the other side to all this surrounding mystery to the deaths as we navigate through the various versions coughed up.

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Somewhere in the middle of these discussions, the lawyer throws up an observation about his edgy client. That of there being two types of clients – one that thinks that they are smarter , and the one that genuinely is. And what he deduces about Naina holds true for the movie too. Here the makers do ‘think’ that they are smarter, but the truth unfortunately isn’t so.

Acting wise roping in the PINK duo was a smart choice even though they are repeating the lawyer-client act, but with more varied shades. Yet , despite the fabulous artists that they are, and despite carrying the entire thing on their shoulders, they fail to bring in that extra zing that could make their respective roles truly memorable and a stand-out.

Tony Luke, here had a much more impactful outing than the roles I have seen him earlier in his Malayalam films. Amrita Singh emerges the surprise package and gets a meaty role to sink her teeth into, despite her limited screen time. Manav Paul puts in an extended cameo or sorts, while British actor Tanveer Ghani stood out rather oddly amidst all these.

Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay manages to capture the cold, brooding winters of Glasgow hauntingly well, whenever the narration escapes from the confines of the flat.

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The screenplay keeps twisting and turning things occasionally on its head, keeping the audience very much engaged. Also, the screening where I watched it, thankfully came without an interval, which also helped immensely in keeping the audience on tenterhooks right throughout.

While I could give thumbs up to the staging and the way the cards are played out, the same cannot be said about the problematic “reveal”. It also brings me back to the loopholes that the lawyer bring about how characters develop new skills as necessary as the story goes forward. I do realise that the ending is very much from the original version itself. But then again, the original did not have someone as unique and iconic as Amitabh Bachchan in their cast, did they?

In the world of thrills, this is decent enough even though the pay-off might not be one that had me floored like, say a Kahaani. This is a decent enough thriller from Ghosh that ticks the right boxes, and rides on the talents of its lead actors.

Rating :  3  / 5 

 

 

BADLA (2019)

Cast:  Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Tony Luke, Manav Kaul, Tanveer Ghani

Directed by Sujoy Ghosh

Adapted screenplay by Sujoy Ghosh/ Raj Vasant

Terribly Tiny Talkies’ Jai Mata Di Starring Supriya Pilgaokar And Shriya Pilgaokar To Release Tomorrow On Occasion Of Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, Terribly Tiny Talkies will release their next short Jai Mata Di starring Shiv Pandit and the real life mother-daughter duo of Supriya Pilgaokar and Shriya Pilgaokar who have been cast as mother and daughter for the first time.

Directed by Navjot Gulati (director of the well known YouTube series Best Girlfriend) and produced by Terribly Tiny Talkies, ‘Jai Mata Di‘ will go live on the 13th May, 2017 at 9 p.m tentatively.Continue reading “Terribly Tiny Talkies’ Jai Mata Di Starring Supriya Pilgaokar And Shriya Pilgaokar To Release Tomorrow On Occasion Of Mother’s Day”

‘In my saddest moments, I am with Suhana’ says SRK

Bollywood buffs across the country were in for a special treat this year as the Baadshah, Shah Rukh Khan, went live on fame to wish happy Eid to all his fans. Immaculately attired in a white pathani suit, the actor answered questions put forth by viewers on fame on his upcoming movies, Eid celebrations, childhood memories and more…Continue reading “‘In my saddest moments, I am with Suhana’ says SRK”

Rohit Shetty’s “Dilwale”: Exclusive Stills

Come december, Rohit Shetty’s Diwale featuring SRK, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon and Varun Sharma will be unleashed upon us in cinemas all around us. Undoubtedly one of the more anticipated Hindi films of 2015, we present to you some exclusive stills from a recent shoot of the film.

 

 

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Bollywood in 2014: The Women Have it

What does the quintessential Bollywood heroine do? Other than wear skimpy clothes, dance to crazy songs with cheap lyrics and play the damsel in distress perpetually waiting for her knight in shining armor you mean? Pretty much nothing. This fact has not changed for the last 100 years of Hindi cinema’s existence.

Barring the stray “Mother India” or a Kahaani, women have very little to do in our films. They play the docile wife, the obedient daughter, the chirpy lover or the evil scheming vamp- all characters cut out in 2D with very little resemblance to anyone living or dead.Continue reading “Bollywood in 2014: The Women Have it”

Aamir Khan Decoded Part I: Chocolate Hero with a Hidden Talent

Note- Aamir Khan Decoded is a 6-part series encompassing the Bollywood superstar’s journey in the last thirty years through different phases of being a heartthrob, a method actor, an Oscar hunter, a media contributor and a money-maker.

Here is a question for anyone acquainted with Bollywood cinema history: Which face is more likely to strike a chord as a Bollywood star, is it (a) with stubble cheeks, unkempt hair, sweaty clothes, holding a gun or (b) clean shaven, perhaps with rouge, styled hair, designer wear and holding a guitar? As much rhetorical as this question may seem the truth is painfully undeniable. Choose any Bollywood star and dig up their most popular ventures in the early part of their careers. There is something eerily similar about all of them, e.g. Salman Khan in Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) and Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994), Shahrukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Akshay Kumar in Khiladi (1992), Saif Ali Khan in Yeh Dillagi (1994). The eerie similarity of being a ‘chocolate hero’, a term wildly popular during late ‘80s and early ‘90s Bollywood era, is prevalent in all of them. That trend continued even later in 2000 for Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Na Pyar Hai. It definitely appears that you had to be a chocolate hero to become a star in Bollywood, and Aamir Khan (AK) was no exception. Continue reading “Aamir Khan Decoded Part I: Chocolate Hero with a Hidden Talent”

Ladies we Loved & Lost

‘Lost’ is a hyperbole. None of them have passed away. But we certainly lost them to a plethora of options available around us – options that are merely entertaining but are passed off as talent.

While the story holds true many deserving people in the Hindi film industry – actors and technicians alike – I just picked a few actresses who came into limelight during early 2000s. It was definitely the start of a change in Bollywood in terms of content and execution. The Kashyaps and Bharadwajs were beginning to find their ground and were looking for new faces as the old ones were too obsessed with their returns on investments.

Some of the fresh faces found lasted for more than a few films while others bit the dust too early. But sadly enough, none of them had the longevity in the industry, I thought they would. Here are my top 5 picks:Continue reading “Ladies we Loved & Lost”

The Worst Of Bollywood: 2013

The bigger your box office collection, the bigger your star power, the more chances you have of making it to this illustrious list. Of course you also need to have sucked enough for me to take notice.

So presenting in chronological order, to the tune of drumrolls, the Worst Bollywood Movies of 2013.

(Dimaag Ka) Rape 2

Draw four points – A, B, C and D. Now draw as many lines as possible between any two of them so that you have space for no more. If the four points represent Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez and the lines represent betrayal, you have the plot of Race 2. The focus entirely is on showing off swanky automobiles and other things in the manner of swanky.  A bad beginning for the year.Continue reading “The Worst Of Bollywood: 2013”