Movie Reviews by Fenil Seta
After a hiatus, the double role phenomenon is back in Bollywood with Arjun Kapoor-starrer Aurangzeb. Resting on an interesting premise and laced with some brilliant performances, Aurangzeb does have its moments. But it’s the execution and certain glitches in the script that very sadly makes Aurangzeb an average fare.
The story of the movie: Yashwardhan Singh (Jackie Shroff) is a real-estate mogul in Gurgaon who also deals in several illegal and criminal activities. His son, Ajay (Arjun Kapoor) is a spoilt brat who has no interest in Yashwardhan’s business and prefers to hang out with friends or girlfriend Ritu (Sasheh Aagha) for long hours. DCP Ravikant Phogat (Rishi Kapoor) wants to expose Yashwardhan, for more reasons that the obvious ones. One day purely by chance, Ravikant’s nephew, ACP Arya Phogat (Prithviraj Sukumaran) comes across Ajay’s lookalike Vishal (Arjun Kapoor) in Nainital. Ravikant, on learning about the same, hatches a plan – he kidnaps Ajay and plants Vishal in his place. Vishal is expected to get the confidential details of Yashwardhan’s deals, especially the ones that can bring him down. Trouble begins when Vishal has a change of heart.
It would be wrong to compare Aurangzeb with Don, Trishul and such other films because only the basic premise of Aurangzeb is similar to these flicks. The characters, setting and the conflicts faced by characters are entirely different. The film is set in Gurgaon 2013 and its continuing transformation from a quaint More >
A film dealing with kids ought to be convincing and films like EK THI DAAYAN, BOMBAY TALKIES, STANLEY KA DABBA, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR etc are successful instances of the same. GIPPI, sadly, fails to do so. It could had been a touching and exceptional flick but few instances doesn’t let the film reach dizzying heights (Shamira taking a dig at Gippi on stage in front of school authorities…like seriously?!). On the positive side, the film has its moments and the 97 minute long film doesn’t let audiences get bored even for a minute. Also, it’s great to see a film with a 14-year-old as the protagonist. Riya Vij is terrific as Gippi and the rest of the kids too put their best foot forward. Taaha Shah is rocking. Divya Dutta as always rocks and watch out for her only scene with Taaha…faadu! On the whole, not great but a good timepass film!
My rating-*** out of 5!
Bollywood filmmakers have often borrowed (and I don’t mean copied) ideas from the West but most of them make a mess. Few most successful ventures in this regard in recent times are Rakesh Roshan’s Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish and Abhinay Deo’s Delhi Belly. These films might have got the basic idea from the west but the script on the whole was original and most importantly, damn interesting and entertaining. Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s Go Goa Gone can now be safely added to the list. One of the first zombie films of Bollywood, Go Goa Gone is a roller-coaster and fun ride from start to finish. If the trailers made you laugh, the film will make you go ROFL!
The story of the movie: Luv (Vir Das) and Hardik (Kunal Khemu) are good for nothing dopeheads who stay with their focused-in-life buddy Bunny (Anand Tiwari) in Mumbai. One day, Hardik gets fired from his job while Vir gets dumped by his girlfriend. Feeling low, they tag along with Bunny to Goa where he’s going for a presentation. In Goa, Luv comes across Luna (Puja Gupta) who invites him to a rave party on a remote island. However, all hell breaks loose as some party goers turn into zombies mysteriously. The four friends meanwhile find it difficult to get back to the mainland. Enter Boris (Saif Ali Khan), a ‘Russian’ druglord who’s determined to get out of the island and save the friends too.
The major strength of Go Goa Gone is its terrific and watertight writing. The conversations are funny but most importantly, straight More >
Sanjay Gupta-Apoorva Lakhia’s Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007) was a landmark film that gave birth to the idea of providing a fictional angle to the real-life events that happened in the history of Bombay underworld. Thus was born Shootout At Wadala which attempts to deal with the events that led to the first encounter orchestrated by the Mumbai Police. Resting on a brilliant premise, Shootout At Wadala does pack a punch at several places but a few glitches here and there prevent the film from being in the league of Shootout At Lokhandwala!
The story of the movie: Manohar Arjun Surve (John Abraham) has seen tough days. His brother Bhargav (Vinit Sharma) is an absconding criminal and his enemies and the cops are always at Manohar’s doorsteps to harass him and his mother. He plans to pass his graduation exams with flying colours, secure a good job and thus move away from the world of crime and insecurity. Fate, however, has different plans. He is falsely implicated in a murder case and sentenced to life imprisonment. The prevailing circumstances and jail life change the outlook of Manohar aka Manya. He befriends Sheikh Munir (Tusshar Kapoor) and Veera (Sanjeev Chadha) and once out, he forms his own gang in Bombay. In doing so, he gets into the wrong books of underworld dons Dilawar Imtiaz Haksar (Sonu Sood) and his elder brother Zubair Imtiaz Haksar (Manoj Bajpayee), and also Inspector Aafaque Baagraan (Anil Kapoor), the latter who plans to eliminate the underworld at any More >
I enjoy watching feature films comprising of short segments and made by various directors. Whether these stories are inter-connected doesn’t matter much to me. Bollywood hasn’t been able to churn many films in this regard. Bombay Talkies comes at an apt moment and besides the amalgamation of four stories made by four prolific filmmakers, it also weaves in the aspect of celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. Although each story has tried to put forth something fresh in front of audiences, all work only partly. But for the novelty factor, Bombay Talkies is definitely worth a watch!
Story # 1: Gayatri (Rani Mukerji) is married to Dev (Randeep Hooda) but both have developed serious compatibility issues. Avinash (Saqib Saleem), a homosexual, meanwhile joins as an intern at Gayatri’s workplace. After this, Dev and Gayatri’s life is never the same again.
This is a breezy tale that keeps one hooked. The best part is that the homosexual character is not depicted in a stereotypical and comical manner which is definitely a welcome change. Also, the way in which the old classics – ‘Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh’ and ‘Lag Jaa Gale’ – are incorporated in the narrative is praiseworthy. What don’t work are the initial portions where Avinash is shown speaking about Kamasutra and sex to his senior who doesn’t seem to mind. Somehow, it doesn’t look convincing but on second thoughts, it’s a welcome change to see a lady speaking about her sex life openly without much of qualms in a film. And not to More >
It had been a while since Bollywood came up with a passionate love story. Aashiqui 2 neatly fills the void and provides some exceptional romantic and intimate moments that are sure to leave a lasting impression on the viewers. Unfortunately, the film has its share of glitches but the execution and characters overpower the minuses.
The story of the movie: Rahul Jaykar (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is a star singer whose popularity over the years has taken a beating owing to his reckless-violent behavior and dependency on alcohol. One day, after creating furore in his show in Goa, he decides to spend the night in solitude and bumps into Aarohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor), a singer in a bar performing to one of Rahul’s hit song. Rahul is enchanted by Aarohi, who he believes can sing his songs better than him. He decides to take her under his wings, mentor her and transform her into a superstar. He persuades her to try her luck in Mumbai. As luck would have it, she becomes a singing sensation, with a section of media and industry calling her the ‘nightingale of India’! However, her almost overnight success dents her relations with Rahul whose popularity and stardom is slowly fading into oblivion.
The first thing that crosses one’s mind while watching Aashiqui 2 is that it doesn’t look like a ‘Vishesh Films’ product. The setting, the mood, the music, the feel…everything is atypical of the Bhatt films churned out in the last 10-12 years, most of which were adult themed flicks. Besides the More >
Horror films have become a regular fare in our cinema but most of them, several times, are more or less clones of each other. Most of them focus on aatma, tantriks or haunted houses, with slight variations. Ek Thi Daayan however is an exception. It is unlike any other horror flick one has witnessed in Bollywood. Storyline is novel and Kannan Iyer’s gripping direction makes Ek Thi Daayan an absolutely riveting fare. And yes, it does give a scare as well!
The story of the movie: Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) is country’s most accomplished magician and illusionist. He’s all set to get married to Tamara (Huma Qureshi). But all of a sudden, his tragic childhood comes to the fore and starts haunting him. Two more women, meanwhile, enter his life – Daayna (Konkona Sen Sharma) and Lisa (Kalki Koechlin) and the more Bobo tries to get out of his past and the wrath of a certain ‘daayan’, the more he gets sucked into the trap.
Ek Thi Daayan maintains a great balance. It is scary and spooky, yes, but still fit for universal viewing (the U/A certificate is just apt). Moreover, rarely a film in Bollywood has dealt with daayans. Kannan Iyer, hence, ensures that the concept and characteristics of daayans is deciphered well by the audience, but not to the point of spoon feeding. Also, the special effects are simply outstanding and again, unlike, something seen in Hindi cinema before. Hence, all those who love horror fares but have reservations with filmy and tacky VFX can be assured for a thrilling More >
COMMANDO-A ONE MAN ARMY has some mind-blowing action scenes but story-wise, it’s predictable and offers nothing new and gets stretched after a point. Barring Saawan Bairi, rest of the songs was eyesore especially the item number. Most importantly, the reason why the film works, to an extent, is that it looks convincing. A rare Hindi film where a hero beats 20 baddies at one go and one doesn’t feel that it’s unreal! Vidyut was apt and Pooja Chopra and Jaideep Ahlawat prove their worth. Sadly, the flaws are there which remain etched in viewer’s mind when he/she comes out of the theatre.
My rating-** ½ out of 5!
Many prominent filmmakers and experts stress on the need for a good story for a film to work. I am no expert but from my experience, I have gathered that it’s the execution that matters the most. There are films boasting of waferthin plots but still manage to win hearts because of effective direction. On the other hand, there are films like, case in point Nautanki Saala, that have the advantage of a brilliant concept. But, Rohan Sippy’s direction somehow fails to engage, especially in the second half. A film that could have been a mad quirky and feel good ride turns out to be just an average fare!
The story of the movie: Ram Parmar aka RP (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a theatre actor-director and plays the role of Raavan in the very popular play, Raavanleela. One night, while on his way to meet his girlfriend Chitra (Gaelyn Mendonca), he comes across Mandar (Kunaal Roy Kapur) who is all set to commit suicide. RP saves his life and learns that Mandar is depressed thanks to his breakup with his very beautiful but easily manipulative girlfriend, Nandini (Pooja Salvi). RP also learns that Mandar is a good actor and persuades the play producer, Chandra (Sanjeev Bhatt), to let him play the role of Lord Rama. On the other hand, RP gets curious about Nandini and meets her in her floral shop and falls for her. Things take a bad turn as RP builds mountains of lies to avoid a confrontation with Chitra, Mandar and Nandini.
The Raavanleela play forms a great backdrop to the story and also More >
No one other than David Dhawan can be rightfully hailed as ‘King Of Comedies’ in Bollywood. The director started a new era in Bollywood with his comic capers which in turn inspired many filmmakers to churn out similar themed-films. Sadly, David’s last two films, Do Knot Disturb and Rascals, failed to impress audiences, with the latter being counted as his worst film. But thankfully, David Dhawan springs back in form, and how, with Chashme Baddoor! This one’s a total laugh riot!
The story of the movie: Siddharth (Ali Zafar), Omi (Divyendu Sharma) and Jay (Siddharth) are good friends who stay in a rented flat in Goa, owned by Josephine (Lilette Dubey). The penniless trio tries all the tricks in the book to avoid paying the rent to Josephine and also to sailor-turned-café owner Joseph Furtado (Risi Kapoor) whom they owe too. One fine day, the friends spot Seema (Taapsee Pannu) and the ‘kamina’ guys Omi and Jay try their luck on her and even reach her residence. But their plan misfires badly. Good-natured Jay, who doesn’t try her luck on Seema, bumps into her by chance and both fall for each other. However, the road ahead is not smooth, leading to misunderstandings, execution of devious plans and a lot of fun and laughter.
Chashme Baddoor has a brilliant start that sets the mood. Divyendu trying her luck on Seema was funny but Siddharth embarking on a similar idea isn’t impressive and that’s where the film fell. But the film picks up from the next sequence and in fact gets More >