Begum Jaan Movie Review: Of Women Behaving Badly

Partition and Prostitution are two plot devices that can ensure a hard hitting cinematic experience if handled with restraint, and end up making a mockery of human tragedy and resilience, if handled without finesse. Therefore, when the promos of Begum Jaan showed up, one ended up being intrigued. A tale set during the partition involving women of the night promised to be a tantalizing premise. And when it is a massive cast headed by Vidya Balan in a never before avatar, one does walk into the theatre with high expectations. So does Begum possess enough Jaan to hook the viewers?Continue reading “Begum Jaan Movie Review: Of Women Behaving Badly”

In Conversation with Pitchers Fame Actor Naveen Kasturia: “I don’t try to give a great shot. Rather a sincere shot.”

In this freewheeling chat, actor Naveen Kasturia gave us an insight into his struggles to fame and process as an actor. 

How did the journey in the Industry begin?

I was working after engineering, when I decided to quit job and move to Mumbai to become a director. I never wanted to become an actor. In school, I used to make my own plays and also act in them, so I assumed I could follow a similar path in the film industry, that is make my own films and later act in them as well. I wanted to start as an AD, for which I was gong to different offices. There was an opening in Vishesh films and I happened to be at right place at the right time. I started with assisting Bhatt sahb in Jashn, before I met Dibakar Bannerjee and became his AD in Love Sex aur Dhokha.Continue reading “In Conversation with Pitchers Fame Actor Naveen Kasturia: “I don’t try to give a great shot. Rather a sincere shot.””

Love Games Movie Review : Vikram Go Back!

Since a couple of years, I have continued with the tradition of watching Vikram Bhatt’s films on the first day itself. Believe it or not, Bhatt is on a serious stroll of outdoing himself with each successive film, not with excellence but with absolute sub-par trashiness. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing a decent filmmaker go to the dogs. But once you realize that he wants to masquerade it as a formula for commercial cinema, and repetitively and surreptitiously makes films in similar genres, you wait for the next piece of trash installment to come, because it is going to be so much fun seeing him hit new lows. 

Bhatt’s filmography boasts of Shaapit, Haunted 3D, Dangerous Ishq, Raaz 3D, Creature 3D and Mr X in the past 5-6 years as a director. As a writer, he has written many more films which have been more or less despicable such as Hate Story, 1920 Evil Returns and Khamoshiyaan. And now he serves us Love Games

Continue reading “Love Games Movie Review : Vikram Go Back!”

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”

Mr. X (2015) Movie Review: Invisible Script

Emraan Hashmi is one actor who can do both an A grade film and a B grade film with ease, very few actors can do that. Emraan has been experimenting with his roles over the last two years, but the results have not been favourable. Hi last two films despite being what you’d call as typical commercial films, failed to garner moolah at the box office.

Most of us are familiar with H.G.Wells novel (The Invisible Man), it remains a perennial favourite among generations, and Bollywood has already made a few as far as I know in which the leading man turns invisible. Of these my personal favourite is Gayab, I prefer it over the much loved Mr. India.Continue reading “Mr. X (2015) Movie Review: Invisible Script”

CityLights Movie Review : A Dark Tale of the Grim Reality That Must Not be Missed

Hansal Mehta’s CityLights is one film I have been gushed about ever since I heard about it. After watching his earlier venture, Shahid, 2 years ago, I was convinced that Mehta has found his sleight in telling tales of the teething realities of our times. Gripped by the first trailer itself, I went in to watch the film first day first show, this morning. It is not a happenstance that he has cast the phenomenal Rajkumar Rao in this one, post their association in Shahid. The duo also won National Awards individually for the earlier film and Rao is undoubtedly India’s current best actor. Contrary to the struggles faced by Shahid to find a theatrical release, the Bhatts (Vishesh Films) took up CityLights early on and have watermarked it with their traditional music style without robbing it off its essence. Yet, CityLights is far less greater than Shahid which goes on to say that it is hard to create magic on screen everytime you decide to make a film.Continue reading “CityLights Movie Review : A Dark Tale of the Grim Reality That Must Not be Missed”

Citylights: Trailer

Citylights PosterCitylights is an official remake of Metro Manila (2013), a British-Filipino film that received critical acclaim and was even Britain’s official entry to the 86th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film. Produced by Vishesh Films and Fox Star Studios, Citylights sees the National Award winning actor-director duo of Rajkummar Rao and Hansal Mehta coming together once again. The film talks about Deepak Singh (Rajkummar Rao) who is forced by circumstances to move out of his native place along with his wife (Patralekha) and daughter to the big bad World of Mumbai to seek a better living, only to realize that things aren’t as rosy as they had expected it to be.Continue reading “Citylights: Trailer”

The Worst of Bollywood: 2012

Frankly, this is one article I look forward to writing each year. It takes a great deal of patience and hard research to compile this list, but in the end it’s all worth it. Just in case you are wondering, a few Hall of Famers do not qualify. That includes RGV and other Jokers. They transcend all such lists. Hope you enjoy reading about the others, as I have enjoyed writing about them.

Kachche Players

Abbas-Mustan, who have made a career out of borrowing from Hollywood, make their first ‘official’ remake – of The Italian Job. The budget seems to be in place, but the execution is crappy. A bunch of bad actors, who keep calling each other “Player” to justify the film’s title, combine their individual expertise to rob a moving train. This movie is a prime example of why Indian thrillers are ages behind their Hollywood counterparts.

Ugh-neepath

Although there is no ranking, I would rate this one as the worst of the lot. In the limited space provided, I wonder if I’ll be able to do sufficient injustice to it. To begin with, the story itself is flawed. In the first scene, the villain kills the hero’s father. In the last scene the hero avenges his death. He does this single-handedly and without any special aid. Then why was the rest of the movie made? Horrible, hammy performances grate on the nerves and script inconsistencies, make you, the viewer, look like a fool. I barely liked the original Agneepath, but this one gives commercial cinema a bad name.
Interesting, this film also revealed the hypocrisy of our Health Ministry in one stoke. Whenever, Katrina Kaif smoked during the Chikni Chameli song, there was a statutory warning at the bottom of the screen. No such caveat when Sanjay Dutt merrily puffed away a chillum in the same song.


Jism Thoo

I can’t decide which is more funny, the preposterous story or the bad acting. In order to spy on a rogue police officer, his former lover is ensnared. Another officer on the trail and the lover hire an apartment bang opposite where the rogue is staying hoping he will notice. He doesn’t. So finally, the lover has to walk up to his door and knock. Sheesh. The story is just an excuse to ‘show’-case Sunny Leone. But audiences have already seen more of her in her earlier, errr, features. An early Pooja Bhatt shows no signs of being an early Mahesh Bhatt.

Weak Tha Tiger

The mindless Salman Khan entertainer attempts to do something intelligent and fails. Primarily because then Salman does not fit the bill. A RAW agent falls for an ISI agent and they plan to elope and settle in marital bliss. Sounds like an interesting premise, but the film is far from it. Totally unimaginative and boring. Hard to believe this is coming from the director of Kabul Express.

Bore Bachchan

Bol Bachchan ke actors…..characters!
Bol Bachchan ki story…….chori!
After using the title for three films, Rohit Shetty finally decides to use Golmaal’s premise as well. The trouble is both Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan are bad at slapstick. In recent memory, Anil Kapoor has already used the faulty English routine in Tashan to disastrous effect. Why repeat that silly formula again? OK, I did smile a couple of times but that’s about it.

Raaz Cheee
Another lame attempt by Vikram Bhatt to scare you. This one is so bad I don’t even think it’s a copy. Bollywood horror films are stuck in a rut using same old themes of vengeful spirits. Why, one of them even enticed Aamir Khan this year.

Son of Sardard
This is a remake of a Telugu film, Maryada Ramanna which itself borrows its story from Our Hospitality, a Buster Keaton classic. While the mindless Salman Khan film provided bang for the buck early on, the Ajay Devgan counterpart has already run out of steam. And Sonakshi Sinha better contemplate a career more meaty than acting as the foil in most of them. This one also has the worst choreographed action scenes of the year.

Kab Tak Hai Yawn
8 years ago, Yash Chopra announced his retirement with Veer-Zaara and I was saddened. A brilliant career had come to an end with a whimper. So when he came out of retirement (they all do) for JTHJ, my hopes were up again, and were dashed with equal force. This is a bad, bad movie. And the de facto retirement will ensure that this remains the swan song. Shah Rukh Khan does odd jobs in London where he falls for Katrina. Due to reasons too childish to explain, he has to abandon her and return to India where he becomes a bomb disposal expert. A job he presumably found on naukri.dom. Enter Anushka Sharma, still bubbly hence annoying as the documentary film maker making a film on our bomb disposer. Circumstances lead him back to London and then, the ultimate film cliché…a convenient memory loss. If it’s a YashRaj film, SRK will be SRK. Be it anyone’s film, Katrina will be Katrina. Her lips will move, eyes blink alone and neck won’ tilt at all. That’s her acting for you. But the No. 1 disappointment – the Gulzar / A. R. Rahman combination does not give you a single song worth remembering.

DaJunk 2
For me, the year ended with this monstrosity of a movie. Critics often dismiss bad movies saying that it has no story to speak off. It has never been truer than it is for this one. Just stock chracters – hero, heroine, villain, supporting characters, an item girl and their interplay. Plenty of effete action and dumb comedy. After watching this, if you are still a Salman Khan fan, all I can say is…his 100 crore plus career has a bright future.