Saturday, December 21, 2013

Movie Review : Sar Chadhi Hai Dhoom Dhoom 3

Rating 3.5

The record breaking third film in the "Dhoom" series is an all in all Aamir Khan movie - who plays Sahir Khan - a thief who robs that banks not for money but for revenge. Sahir is determined to bring down the bank that was in a way the reason behind his father's suicide.

Yes, its an Aamir movie and there is a lot to be said about him but, this review must begin with applauding the movie's technical team. The technical team is always the back bone of any movie but it is rarely that their work moves from the backstage to the fore front to be noticed by the audience. It takes movies like Dhoom-3 for the audience to appreciate the magic of these back stage geniuses.

Coming back to Aamir, this movie being the third in the series is almost predictable and would not have been able to keep the audience glued to the seats without Aamir in the lead. His acting as always is flawless and his dance in "Dhoom Tap" and "Malang" ensures that you don't miss Hritik much.Of course there is Katrina in the movie who also has the power to keep the audience glued, but that is for reasons other than acting - she plays her part really well  i.e. getting the "oomph factor" to the movie. Who cares about how she acts? Am I right or am I right? :-)

Do you want me to talk about Abhishek and Uday too?  Well, they never were the stars of the series but at least they brought some humor to the first 2 movies in the series. However, in Dhoom-3 they have not been able to do even that. If the first half of the movie gets a bit boring at times, its because the the failed comic attempts by these two.To add to that, the costume designer appears to have completely ignored them and so has the director. Plus, what style statement are they trying with the "indoor goggles"  look - who wears goggles inside the airport?

The movie has already broken box office records and but there is one more thing that this movie has done really well  and that is in-movie advertising - BMW, Mountain Dew and Hallmark these are the three brands that I noticed. Did you notice any more?

Okay, now summing up - this movie is definitely a Bollywood Style Action Entertainer. Go and watch this for Aamir's acting, the stunts and acrobatics, the good music and of course Katrina.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Movie Review: What The Fish - Absolutely Tasteless

Rating  - Really?

Gurmmeet Singh’s What the Fish is an absolutely tasteless but very useful movie? Why useful? Because this gives you the chance to access the genuineness of movie reviews.  Today I judged the reviewers and not the movie. The verdict has been passed - any reviewer who gives this movie a rating higher than ½ * should not be trusted in the future.

The problem is not with the story, but with its treatment. This story could have been a successful comedy had it been treated well.  Unfortunately, it the hands of Gurmmeet Singh, it turned into a rotten fish. Are you nevertheless expecting me to brief you about the story line, the acting and the characters? Well, you will have to excuse me this time -  I have spent enough of my precious time watching this movie and I really do not wish to kill another few minutes reviewing it. Trust me, just steer clear of this one.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Movie-Review: Ram-Leela : A Lust (oops! Love) Story

Two clans in  Ranjaar have been feeding their age old enmity with bullets and blood - it appears that the only relationship that the two clans can ever have is that of ruthless hatred. However, each of the clans have an outlier - Ram (Ranveer Singh) the Rajeda Romeo and Leela (Deepika Padukone) the Sensual Sanera  who believe in peace and not war, and well also in intensely passionate romance. Bhansali’s Ram-Leela is is a story of war to peace and lust to love.

Movie’s screenplay is a test of viewers’ patience – if you can survive through the extra colorful and almost horny first half, you will be rewarded with a great second half. Those of you who  do not enjoy cheeky comedy and sexual irreverence will hate the leads, especially Raveer during the first half, but there are good enough chances that you will fall in love with his intense acting during the second half of the movie.

You might ask, does Ram-Leela qualify to be an eternal love story? The answer is a clear NO – not because the lead characters are weak but because there is a character in the movie that overpowers the characters of the love birds (Mor) -  “Dhankor” brilliantly played by Supriya Paathak. You move out of the hall and all you remember is Supriya’s marvelous acting. Also worth mentioning are the performances by Richa Chaddha and Barkha Bisht – the empathetic "Bhabhis" in the movie.

Had Bhansali not diluted the movie with an overdose of physical love, Ram-Leela could have easily scored a 4/5 rating for its superb performances, detailed costumes and jewellary, elaborate sets, tasteful music and choreography. However, the shallowness brings down my rating to a 2.5. Oh wait! On a second thought I would give it a 3/5 – a 0.5 bonus for the beautiful Gujarati folk song (Mor Bane Thanghat Kare) that I can’t stop listening to over and over again.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Movie Review: Shahid - Uncomfortable Yet Inspiring

Rating: 3.5/5

Harshal Mehta's Shahid - The biopic based on the inspiring life of Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Shahid Azmi is one of those movies which will keep lingering in your mind for hours or may be days after you move out of the movie hall, quite unlike majority of the Bollywood movies which you watch, enjoy and then completely forget about as soon as you walk out of the cinema hall.

The movie very beautifully deals with two very sensitive topics - terrorism and the baseless perception-induced harassment and ill-treatment of Muslims.

The movies "New York" and "My Name is Khan" too were based on the same subject and have both been successful; but Shahid is a much more powerful work on the subject than the two movies mentioned above.You may ask "What makes it so powerful?". Well, here are the reasons:

  • Raj Kumar Yadav's terrific performance:  Raj Kumar plays the role of Shahid with immense conviction - his acting helps you connect to the character's pain, joy, anxiety and fear. Other noteworthy performances in the movie are that of Mohammed Ayyub Zeeshan (as Shahid's elder brother) and Baljinder Kaur (as Shahid's mother) and Shalini Vatsa (as a prosecution lawyer).
  • No glamorization:  No A-list stars like SRK and Katrina, no songs to draw the audience to the theater, a non-fabricated depiction of the courtroom environment and yet the movie has the same impact.
  • A believable portrayal of Shahid's life: While taking us through Shahid's life, the writer Sameer Gautam does not attempt to camouflage any flaws in the character's personality. Most of the biopics on inspiring people just focus on the good in their personalities and thus the characters appear to be unreal. However, in this movie Sammer subtly highlighted the mistakes that Shahid made in his personal life - he ignored his wife and son as he got engrossed in work and also hurt the feelings of his ever supportive mother and elder brother at times.

There are a few disconnects in the screenplay; but overall, the movie manages to achieve what it intends to - create an impact in the minds of the audience.

This production by Anurag Kashyap may not be a huge box-office success but those who watch it will be happy that they did.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Movie Review: Gravity - A Marvelous Experience

Rating 5/5

Brilliant Si-Fi movies are many but those packed with a strong dose of emotions are rare - Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity is one such rare movie.
The story of two astronauts' struggle to survive a space calamity, very beautifully touches two subjects - the obvious astrophysics and the not so obvious human psychology. The characters are so strong that you will connect with them even without getting to really see their physical selves hidden underneath the space suits. 

The astounding performances of the two leads (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), the stunning cinematography that almost takes the audience to a 93 minute space ride, the brilliant direction and intriguing story - all these elements put together make this movie the best movie of the year.

For those planning to watch the movie - I earnestly request you to pay respect to this masterpiece by choosing a theater with a good 3D experience to watch this movie. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Movie Review: Weak Script + Bad Music = Besharam

Rating: 2/5

Over the years the cinema goers have developed a kind of trust in Ranbir Kapoor's ability to pick up good scripts; Besharam however, has definitely managed to mark a dent on that trust if not completely washed it away. 

All the movie goers who ignored the "boring movie" signals in the trailers just because they believed that Ranbir Kapoor and director Abhinav Kashyap will never fail to entertain them will be highly disappointed.

Besharam's script is so weak that even the stardom of and good performances by the Kapoors fail to keep the movie alive. Yes I agree, that quite a few movies with weak scripts or rather absence of scripts (movies like Dabang) have been box office successes in the past; but those movies at least had hum-able songs - Besharam fails on that parameter too. One, the songs are absolutely tasteless in terms of music and picturization, then to add to the boredom of the audience, there is a song after every few minutes. 

The movie still manages to get 2 stars because it was funny in parts and all the actors performed well - Pallavi Sharda's acting needs some polishing though.

In short, this movie is a family movie - the Kapoor Family movie I mean. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Movie Review: The Lunch Box - You Will Savour This One

Rating: 4.5/5

Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox is a movie about a love that blossoms by accident - it all begins when the Mumbai Dubbawalas mistakenly deliver the Lunch Box prepared by Ila (played by Nimrat Kaur) to Mr. Fernandez (played by Irfan Khan). But, this movie is not just about the love between the placid widower and the forlorn housewife;  it is also a movie about relationships that our day to day life gifts us with - those beautiful bonds that cannot be named but add substance to our life - the neighborhood 'aunty", the office colleague, the cigarette buddy or the morning train companion, we all have these people around us, enriching our lives in ways we might not even notice.

Mr. Fenandez' lunch box and the movie are both full of delectable desi flavors -while the "next-door Aunty" flavor  is the best of them all, it is the "Mumbai daily life" tarka that completes the recipe.

The brilliance of Irfan Khan and Nawazuddin  Siddiqui put together is the best thing that can happen to a debutant director.  Playing the character of a reticent man meant that the feelings of the character had to be depicted more though expressions than dialogues - no one except Irfan could have done justice to this character - each emotion and each thought had been expressed so well that it turned the movie into a masterpiece. Nawaz and Nimrat too have delivered a phenomenal performance. Nimrat beautifully depicts the agony and loneliness of all those housewives who spend their lives playing the role of a dutiful wife and mother with near perfection while their souls crave for that little bit of time and attention from their husbands.

The screenplay is all about attention to detail; this makes a few scenes in the movie too slow for an impatient viewer - especially the first lunch time scene where Infan's character spends a lot of time looking at and smelling the food before taking the first bite.The cinematography that ensures that the audience experience hunger pangs every time the lunch box is opened is worthy of a mention too.

This Lunch Box truly deserves a place is Bollywood's treasure box.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobaara

Milan Luthria's OUATIMD gets a rating of 3/5 - star one for dialogues , star 2 for dialogues and star 3 for dialogues! The dialogues by writer Rajat Arora are so powerful that they have overshadowed the performances by all the actors in the movie. Yet, if I were to pick one performance from to the movie as the best I would say Sonakshi's acting fairly stood out.

This sequel is almost like the first one except for the following differences:

The "Maashuka": In the last movie Mumbai city was Shoaib's "Maashuka";however in this one clearly all his energies are focused on his new love Jasmine.

The Magic of Ajay Devgan: I terribly missed Ajay during the movie. It took me some time to accept Akshay as the lead actor in the sequel. Akshay's acting is not bad but he clearly lacks Ajay's conviction.

Here is my advice to the movie goers:
For those of you who crave for action and thrill - steer clear of this one
For those who need enjoy love triangles - this is a one time watch for you
For those who need a dose of dialogues - go and watch this one, you will not be disappointed. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Movie Review: Chennai Express – Rohit Shetty manages to get SRK do some comedy

A North Indian man helps a South Indian girl board the train in DDLJ style,  and soon finds that he has given a helping hand to a don’s daughter. Through the series of events that follow - involving a good mix of drama, action and comedy – the two eventually fall in love. Yes, you are right, there is nothing great about the story. However, “Chennai Express” stills gets 2.5 stars from me for the movie did manage to make me laugh at regular intervals , beautifully presented  the  rural locations in South India and successfully kept  the non-Tamil speaking audience engrossed even with no subtitles for the plenty of Tamil dialogues in the movie.

After having watched Ra.One if you had lost faith in SRK’s comedy acting skills and dreaded the cheap humor in his films – this one will likely restore your faith to some extent – all credit goes to Rohit Shetty’s direction. Though, SRK still needs improve a lot - maybe take a lesson or two in drunken comedy from the Deols, I am glad that he has at least moved up a few levels from “horrible” to “bearable”.

SRK fans can watch the movie to get a few glimpses of his earlier romantic hits. Like most of the recent SRK movies this one too was scripted with just SRK in mind; however, kudos to Deepika,  who still has managed to leave a lasting impression as the accented Meena.

My final take on the movie is – “time-pass for a dull, uneventful weekend”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie Review: D-Day – Go and Watch it Now!!

Rating: 4/5

Very rarely do you see Bollywood come up with a thriller that actually qualifies to be one. D-Day is one of them – a very engaging plot from the beginning to the end. It is the story of 4 RAW agents on a mission in Pakistan .

d dayreview D Day Movie Review

Nikhil Advani has not only succeeded in keeping the thrill alive throughout the movie but he has also comfortably managed to add a large pinch of emotions to  the script to take care of an average Indian movie goers taste buds. For all of you who think that A Wednesday is a brilliant movie, you can safely assume that this one will not disappoint you either.
And its not just the plot, the performances are stellar too . Irfan Khan – effortless performance as always, Rishi Kapoor – flawless dialogue delivery,  Arjun Rampal – his performance is great too (and I am not being biased here). Huma’s and Aakash’s characters demanded more attention, but that is not the actors’ fault because the performances are good.

I give this movie a 4 out of 5, and urge you to watch it soon. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Movie Review: Bhag Milkha Bhag - Lengthy It Is!!

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" is a LENGTHY (3 hr 8 mins) portrait of Indian track and field sprinter Milkha Singh.

Bhaag Milkha BhaagThe movie’s screenplay, is an amalgamation of the screenplays from  other biopics  like “Chak De India” and “Paan Sigh Tomar”.The movie does touch the patriotic cords  a few times and instills faith in success through perseverance;  however, the movie would have had the desired heart-melting effect had it not been presented as a flashback - an unnecessary attempt to create suspense around the obvious reasons for Milkha's reluctance to go to Pakistan as the leader of a sports delegation  The movie’s script gives too much information, sometimes without serving any purpose. I do not understand why Prasoon Joshi decided to show Milka’s sister’s harassment by her husband during in the first half of the movie when he did not have anything to tie it to in the second half. 

The two really good things about the movie are Farhan’s acting and the fine compositions by Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy.

There were a few misses by the make-up artists and costume designers too – Divya Dutta (Milkha’s sister in the movie) looks too young for her age in the second half of the movie and Milka’s turbans are too trendy for the 50’s and 60’s ( tie & dye turbans, really?)

Well, I do not want to write a review as long as the movie, so I would conclude with a 2.5 rating for the movie – you can watch it to pay respect to Milkha Singh and to admire Farhan’s committed performance.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Movie Review: Ghanchakkar - Good Performances, Poor Direction!

Three robbers pull off a bank loot, decide to share the booty after 3 months when things settle down, the robber entrusted to keep the bags safe suffers a memory loss and so the booty goes missing. A good enough plot, but still the movie fails to engage.

Ghanchakkar Review @ Cine Essence
The movie in its essence is a overstretched comic thriller. Oh wait, let me think again. Okay fine, just because the director attempted to make a thriller, I need not be kind to tag it so. The movie is actually a clumsy comedy.A disclaimer, when classifying the movie as a comedy, I am assuming that a few laughs here and there are enough for a movie to be tagged as a comedy.

You will begin watching the movie thinking that Emraan's character is the movie is the "Lazy lad, but you will walk out convinced that the "lazy lad" in the movie is actually the scriptwriter.

The first thing that comes of my mind when I think of the movie is the loudness of Vidya's Character - though she far exceeds the expectations of the role, her acting cannot change the fate of the poorly directed movie. Rajesh Sharma too delivered a fine performance. Well, the others were not bad either. However, the best performance in the movie was given by the robbers' paper masks - I just loved those expressions!

I found myself looking at my watch thrice over during the movie, thinking if watching this absurd movie is the best use of my free time on a Sunday afternoon. For those who have not seen the movie yet, don't worry, there is nothing much that you are missing.