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How bad can a film get? How low can it stoop? When it comes to pathetic cinema, I thought I had seen it all. But Hisss arrived and changed all my beliefs. Here’s a film where anything happens anytime. Moreover, that anything happens long after it should have happened! When a list of ten worst films of Bollywood will be prepared, Hisss would definitely be on numero uno position!
The story of the movie: George (Jeff Doucette) suffers from brain cancer and has only 6 months to live. He has heard about the legendary naagmani of icchadhaari naagain and wants to acquire it in order to become immortal. He penetrates deep within the jungles of India and captures the mate of the naagin. In other words, he kidnaps the mate and will release him when the naagin gives him the naagmani. The naagin transforms into a stunning woman (Mallika Sherawat) and enters the city of Naichi where George has kept her mate hostage. She fails to find him and hence starts killing rapists, wife-beaters et al. Her ways of killing people are most extraordinary, which baffles inspector Vikram (Irrfan) and his sidekick Navin (Raman Trikha). To find out how the naagin finds her partner and the kidnapper, watch Hisss!
What could have been told in precise 30 minutes is stretched into a 100 minutes affair. The direction is the worst I have ever seen (not to forget, the director is from Hollywood). Even the introduction of characters which should have been simple is done in an extremely weird manner. The director anyway didn’t have much scope here as there’s hardly any plot. The villain abducts the mate, provoking the naagin to transform into a woman to find the mate. While doing so, she kills some people and hence even the cops get involved in her adventure. Finally, she kills the villain, releases her mate. That’s it! Still the director (Jennifer Lynch) could have added some interesting and thrilling sequences to make it a watchable fare. But alas, that doesn’t happen.
Further, one fails to understand what exactly was the cop (Irrfan) doing in the whole movie? There was no need for the character at all as he was merely the onlooker in most of the scenes, even in the climax. His mother-in-law’s characterization was damn interesting. But in the end, she dies and no one bothers to arrange for her funeral. The cop gets to know about her death, mourns for few moments and then goes to work! Only 2 scenes were watchable-the chase sequence and Navin invited for dinner at Vikram’s place.
It’s the performances that are the sole saving grace in Hisss. Mallika Sherawat has no dialogue in the film but leaves a mark in several scenes. Irrfan seemed disinterested at several places but still does a fine job. Divya Dutta pitches in a nice performance but gets very limited scope. Raman Trikha was good and so was Princess Lakshmi Bai of Travencore (who plays Irrfan’s mother in law). Jeff Doucette looked villainous. Others were okay.
There was no scope for music in the film. There were reports that Mallika Sherawat has sung a song in the film but it didn’t make it to the final cut. Alexander Van Bubenweim’s background score was good especially in the chase sequence. Special effects could have been better.
There are instances where directors have come up with a great product even with predictable, ordinary storylines. Jennifer Lynch also had a simple revenge saga in her hand but messes it completely. In fact, it’s shocking that producers even came forward to invest money in such a passable flick.
On the whole, Hisss will surely pissss you! Stay miles away from it!
Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was the biggest surprise of 2008. While the film was in production, no trade pundit, or even its cast and crew members expected the film to take such an electrifying start and do a terrific business at the BO. Hence, the curiosity levels were skyhigh for Jhootha Hi Sahi, Tyrewala’s second flick. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t meet all the expectations and falls short of the level Tyrewala had set for himself with Jaane Tu. However, go for the film without comparing it with Jaane Tu or any other film and you are bound to enjoy. Jhootha Hi Sahi has a soul and loads of sweet and simple fun that makes it a perfect bet for this weekend for you and your friends/loved one!
The story of the movie: Siddharth (John Abraham), a shy and introvert guy, runs a bookstore named ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ along with his Pakistani friend Omar (Raghu Ram) in London. He’s compelled to take the part-time job of a suicide counselor after a suicide helpline agency wrongly publishes his number on their pamphlets. One night, he gets a call from Mishka (Pakhi). And life is never the same again for Sid. Both develop a bond for each other. Sid becomes her nameless and 4AM friend. He encourages her to live her life to the fullest once again. Sid, knowing for sure that he’ll never be meeting Mishka face-to-face brags as to how he has done it all…space travel, mountaineering, shark-taming! However, one day, they accidentally meet. Soon, Sid finds himself falling in love with Mishka. And that’s not good since he has said mountains of lies to Mishka. And not to forget, Sid isn’t single…he is ‘most probably’ the boyfriend of Krutika aka Kuttika (Manasi Scott).
Jhootha Hi Sahi after a point gets clichéd and also predictable, especially towards the climax. However, they are several factors that make Jhootha Hi Sahi an enjoyable fare inspite of the glitches. Firstly, most of the characters are hilarious and you instantly develop a liking for them. Be it Omar, her dominating pregnant sister Aliya (Alishka Varde), Aliya’s desperate-to-marry boyfriend Nick (George Young), Krutika and Sid and Mishka themselves, all are nicely sketched and nicely performed too. There are some more characters but the focus is more on the aforementioned ones who make this entire 2.30 hours film a treat. Secondly and most important, the film has a uniform pace. The film at no point gets dragging that you become restless or too fast that you don’t know what’s going on. It goes ahead with a perfect pace with significant developments happening at regular intervals.
The film begins on a humourous note with Sid receiving 3 calls in need of assistance (with voices of Imran Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh and Abhishek Bachchan). The scene where Mishka calls Sid for the first time was intriguing. The film gets better as Sid (and also the viewers) discovers more about Mishka. The problems faced by characters seem straight out of life and hence very relatable.
As mentioned below, the pace just doesn’t fall even during the 2nd half when most films tend to get drag before the onset of climax. Nothing as such however is to be seen in Jhootha Hi Sahi. Although the pre-climax portion was weird (Mishka breaking off all ties with Sid), the film thankfully gets on track soon. The climax was amazing but too filmy. Still it works! And anyways, even Jaane Tu had such an unbelievable climax and we still liked it, didn’t we?
John Abraham like everytime gives his hundred percent to his role and comes out with flying colours. This role was way different from his previous films but yet comes up with a fine performance. Pakhi was brilliant. Casting a debutant like Pakhi and not any established actress is the best decision taken by the makers. This way, we judge her purely on the basis of her performance in this flick. Also she looks so cute and performs so convincingly that you can’t help but actually sympathize with her even though the problem her character was facing in the film is beaten to death by many other films. A brilliant debut indeed!
Raghu Ram seemed confident and provided lot of laughs in the film. He’ll be seen next in Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan. Alishka Varde was excellent as the dominating sis without going over the top in any scene. George Young impresses while Manasi Scott gets it quite right. R Madhavan wasn’t the right choice for the role. Nandana Sen and Anaitha Nair were good in their respective roles. Others do a fine job.
A R Rahman’s music wasn’t the best from his stable but worth listening to. 3 songs – Cry Cry, Do Nishaaniyaan and Pam Pa Ra – have a high repeat value. Pakhi has even written the story which wasn’t fresh and new but the screenplay ensures that you don’t lose interest from the film at any point. If the film touches your heart, it’s also thanks to Abbas Tyrewala’s wonderful direction. It’s unsure whether Jhootha Hi Sahi will get its commercial due but one thing is for sure-Abbas Tyrewala, the director has certainly evolved and is here to stay!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Sid gets 3 mysterious calls
2. Mishka calls Sid for the first time
3. Mishka at Sid’s bookstore (hilarious!)
4. Sid at Mishka’s DVD Store
5. Sid and Mishka go for dinner
6. Mishka at Aliya’s place for dinner
7. Omar and Krutika go out for dinner (funny!)
8. Sid and Kabir (Madhavan) meet for the first time
9. The last 20 minutes
On the whole, Jhootha Hi Sahi is a sweet and cute entertainer that will surely make up for the perfect outing this weekend with your friends or loved one. Go for it!
My rating-*** ½
Our political system is filled with people who for some are demonic killers but for many, messiahs. They may be doing their work by breaking all laws but there might be doing it for the people and not necessarily for power and money. Demon in the guise of God or God in the guise of Demon, whatever you may call them, but such people do exist and no one could do any harm to them. Rakht Charitra tells the story of one such person who’s forced to spread bloodshed everywhere due to circumstances. A two-part film (with part 2 releasing next month), Rakht Charitra-1 is filled with violence, violence and more violence. But at the same time, it has a story and most importantly, the trademark Ram Gopal Varma direction that makes this film a gripping watch!
The story of the movie: Pratap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi) gets tragic news one day that his father (Rajendra Gupta) has been brutally killed by the people of his own party. Soon Pratap’s brother (Sushant Singh) too gets killed. Soft-spoken Pratap who always wanted to be away from violence now takes the matter in his own hands to avenge the death of his father and brother. Slowly, he eliminates all his rivals and becomes the undisputed lord of the region. He even joins politics and becomes minister in the cabinet of actor-turned-CM Shivaji (Shatrughan Sinha). However, as Amitabh Bachchan says in Sarkar Raj, “Apne sharto pe chalne wale ko keemat chukani padti hai”. The first part traces the rise of Pratap Ravi and presumably, the second part shall throw light on his fall.
Rakht Charitra-1 doesn’t have much story to tell and it’s the agitating background score and terrific direction that keeps you hooked from start to finish even though the film falls at some places in the 2nd half. A lot of important characters get mercilessly killed in the film but every murder is very well and impressively executed. However, as mentioned before, the film has too much of violence (especially the first half). In fact, Rakht Charitra-1 can be hailed as one of the most violent films to be churned from Bollywood.
There are several scenes that will give you an adrenaline rush. Vivek’s sudden violent outburst in the police station was too good to say the least. Then Vivek in the guise of a cop killing one his rivals was much unexpected and turns out to be another applaud-worthy sequence. Post-interval, the conversations between Vivek and Shatrughan were engrossing. And finally, the scene where Vivek orders all goons and bhai logs to stop all illegal activities and the scary looking goondas accept his order willingly gives an impression that RGV was and is still a fantastic filmmaker. At the same time, the film gives a glimpse of Part 2 of Rakht Charitra which also seems as exciting as the Part 1. Hopefully, viewers who’ll watch Rakht Charitra-1 will definitely go for Rakht Charitra-2!
I have always believed that Vivek Oberoi is a powerhouse of talent. But unfortunately, inspite of giving fine performances in films like Company, Saathiya, Yuva, Omkara, Kurbaan and Prince, he never got the appreciation and acclaim (and also fan base) that he truly deserved. With Rakht Charitra-1, he gives yet another outstanding performance and proves that he has loads and loads of talent in him. This wasn’t an easy role at all but Vivek does it quite effortlessly. And he looks quite cool with his moustache too. Hats off to you, VO!
Shatrughan Sinha was perfect for the role of Shivaji. The script demanded a larger than life personality and Shatrughan’s performance hits the perfect bullseye. Abhimanyu Singh (Bhuka Reddy) looked every inch the ruthless villain and leaves a deep impact. Nowadays, very few villains are able to make people hate them so much. But Abhimanyu succeeds in achieving the same. First Gulaal and now Rakht Charitra, Abhimanyu Singh will be surely getting more offers from now on. He deserves it! Srinivasa Rao Kota (Nagmani Reddy) also shines in the negative role. Sushant Singh was hardly there but as usual does a good job. Rajendra Gupta dominates the beginning scenes. Aashish Vidyarthi was terrific especially in the scene where he gets killed. Ashwini Kalsekar impresses as the cop. Same for Zarina Wahab (Vivek’s mother) and the actress playing Vivek’s love interest. Vishwajeet Pradhan, Darshan Jariwala and Sudeep were good in their respective roles.
There was no scope for music in the film. Yet, Sukhwinder Singh’s item song was incorporated which was pathetic! Action plays a crucial role in the film and Javed-Aejaz gets it quite right. Background score bears the trademark RGV stamp and was very effective and like most of RGV films, in Rakht Charitra-1 as well, the background score lifts several scenes. Amol Rathod’s cinematography was topnotch.
Prashant Pandey’s story was almost inspired from real-life incidents. It’s Ram Gopal Varma, the director, who wins hands down. It’s no secret that in such gangster flicks, Ramu is in full form. He proved it with Shiva followed by Satya, Company, Sarkar and Contract and he once again impresses with Rakht Charitra-1. Making a film where both sides are killing one person at a time is no easy task as the interest can wane anytime. However, thanks to RGV’s mindblowing execution, the interest stays right till the end. Barring some scenes in the 2nd half where the film fell, the entire film is fast-paced and gripping. Let’s hope Rakht Charitra-2 impresses the same way!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Pratap’s father gets killed
2. Bhuka’s intro
3. Pratap’s outburst in the police station
4. Pratap eliminating his 4 main rivals
5. Pratap takes away his love interest
6. The intermission point
7. Pratap joins hands with Shivaji
8. Bhuka gets arrested
9. The final scene
On the whole, Rakht Charitra-1 is terrific to say the least. With not much of a story, it’s the execution, performances and background score that make it a paisa-vasool fare. However, also be ready to see one of the most brutal violent scenes ever in this flick.
My rating-**** out of 5!
It’s an open secret now that thousands of crores of rupees are stashed in numbered Swiss bank accounts by our politicians. It’s the tax payers’ money but somehow has gone into the neta’s pockets. This issue has been a hot topic since several years with the opposition party during the last year’s general elections promising people to bring back this money. The ruling party, however, denies the existence of such accounts. Knock Out deals with this issue and does almost a great job. Loosely inspired from Phone Booth and ‘A Wednesday!’, Knock Out could had been better but nevertheless creates an impact!
The story of the movie: Tony Khosla aka Bachchu (Irrfan) is a streetsmart investment banker. He is married to a sweet wife (Rukhsar) but still loves to gets into flings every now and then. He has high political connections and carries out many of their corrupt jobs. To be on the safe side, he always finalizes odd deals and jobs from a particular phone booth and not from his cell phone. One day, when he finishes his phone job and is about to leave the booth, the phone rings. Like anyone else, he picks up the phone. The caller on the other end is a mysterious person (Sanjay Dutt) who happens to everything about Bachchu, including his odd jobs. He orders Bachchu not to leave the booth or else he’ll shoot him with a sniper. The astonished Bachchu has no option but to listen to the caller. Unfortunately for Bachchu, a murder takes place at that place and everyone feels that it’s Bachchu who killed that person. Hence, the police and media arrive. They are puzzled as to whom Bachchu is speaking to on the phone and why didn’t he run after murdering. Soon, Bachchu finds himself in the midst of the biggest political heist of independent India. Will he emerge triumphant or will he have to be finished off by the caller or the political bigwigs? And what’s the caller’s real motive? Watch Knock Out and find out!
The negative publicity regarding the film was that it’s a rip off of Phone Booth. The truth is, there are several portions of Knock Out that have been inspired from the Hollywood flick. In fact, this whole idea of a man held hostage in a phone booth by a caller is taken from Phone Booth (although the director denies it). However, the Phone Booth effect stays only till the first hour. The second half is truly original and very unpredictable. You never what’ll happen next. However, at the same time, the film drags at places in this hour too. However, it picks up wonderfully in the climax which was fantastic! The way the flick turns from a thriller to a patriotic one is worth appreciating. The film ends with a nice message, one that actually shakes you!
Making a film where the two protagonists are talking on the phone for a major portion is a tough task. The interest shouldn’t dip even at a single moment and the emphasis should be more on the dialogues and expressions. The film hits the bulls eye in both these departments. The conversation between Irrfan-Sanju is brilliant and nicely written and executed too. Besides the phone sequences, 3 scenes which stand out are Irrfan telling the cop (Sushant Singh) not to disturb him (that was hilarious!), Irrfan dancing on ‘Zara Zara Touch Me’ and Irrfan making the big confession.
Sanjay Dutt has always been a fine actor but many of the films (esp the recent ones) had failed to tap his potential fully. Knock Out, however, gives him a complete chance to display his histrionics and talents and completely succeeds. Same goes for Irrfan…as the helpless hostage, he gives a stupendous performance. The unusual chemistry of Sanju-Irrfan was also truly electrifying although both don’t cross paths at all in the film.
Kangna Ranaut looks ravishing in her new look. Although her accent was flawed for a news reporter, she tries her best and almost seems like a convincing journo. Gulshan Grover is an expert in baddie roles and shines here as well. Sushant Singh was as good as Sanjay and Irrfan. Nice to see him in full form yet again! Apoorva Lakhia surprises in his debut performance. Rukhsar and others were good.
There were a couple of songs in the film but none made it to the final cut, including the title track and Mahie Gill’s item song. However, the background score (Sanjay Wandrekar, Atul Raninga) creates impact in several scenes, esp at the intermission point. N Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography was topnotch and editing (by Make Films) was slick and stylish, which was really needed for this film. Allan Amin’s action was brilliant, especially when goons attack Irrfan from the car and later attack Sanjay. As mentioned earlier, dialogues played a big role in the film and Shiraz Ahmed wins here as the dialogue writer.
Finally, Mani Shankar who has given us memorable films like 16 December and Tango Charlie does a fine job in story, screenplay and direction. Story, although not completely original, still is appreciable. Screenplay was excellent at places but wasn’t consistent and fell at some places. If Mani had taken care of it, the film would have been a classic. Same goes for his direction. A good job overall though!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Bapuji (Gulshan Grover) at Euro Swiss Bank HQ
2. Bachchu picks up caller’s phone
3. Bachchu tells the cop not to disturb him
4. Murder takes place
5. Nidhi (Kangna) finds a significant lead in the happenings
6. Police raids Sanjay’s hideout
7. The intermission point
8. Cops seize Bachchu’s car
9. The last 25 minutes
On the whole, Knock Out, though flawed, is engrossing and arrests your attention and doesn’t leave till the end of the film. Contrary to popular belief, the film is very loosely inspired from Phone Booth and the end product is drastically different from the Hollywood flick. Watching this film will be no harm and will surely provide 2 hours of entertainment and drama!
My rating-*** out of 5!
Till a few years ago, words like ‘honour killings’ and ‘khap panchayat’ were unknown for most of the urbanites. But today, after reading the horrors of the same in newspapers, we are not only aware but also detest them. I often think how people can be so heartless that they are ready to kill their own offsprings for the sake of ‘honour of caste’? The brother, who grew up with his lovely sister, feels no remorse when murdering her; the mother feels no guilt when her son or daughter gets killed in front of her eyes…how is it possible? However, it is indeed possible and still happening in the interiors inspite of (feeble) government action and media reportings. Aakrosh, dealing partly with this issue, creates the right impact. It’s a terrific no-nonsense film that wonderfully exposes the system of merciless killings, the so-called ‘honour killing’!
The story of the movie: A lower caste guy, Dinu, and his 2 friends visit a small village, Jhanjhar, in Bihar and soon get disappeared. When their whereabouts aren’t known for 2 months, the pressure of the students in Delhi, where the missing guys belonged to, along with that of media increase considerably, forcing the government to appoint CBI officers Siddhant Chaturvedi (Akshaye Khanna) and Pratap Kumar (Ajay Devgn) to investigate the matter. Pratap was a localite and hence was well aware about the prevailing mindset. However, finding the truth becomes difficult for the duo. The local police and the corrupt police inspector Ajatshatru (Paresh Rawal) refuse to cooperate. A mysterious ‘Shool Sena’ operates in the area that has spread terror everywhere. The lower caste people also don’t open their mouths, for the fear of cops, upper caste people and Shool Sena. How Siddhant and Pratap find leads and progress in the investigation is what the rest of the film is all about.
Aakrosh might seem as a very serious fare. The film’s theme and the mood are indeed serious but it has been packaged as a fast-paced investigative thriller. And that’s why Aakrosh sustains the interest of the viewer from the first scene till the last. The film starts with the Ramlila scene depicted with utmost realism-curious audience watching with great interest, policemen stationed for protection, so-called VIPs at the place just for the sake of attending and talking and joking among themselves. The film gets better after Akshaye and Ajay get to know each other and begin the investigation. The roadblocks they face and how they get one lead after another is captivating. So much happens in the first half (75 mins) that you feel that some 2 hours have already passed by the time intermission comes. The best scene before the intermission is undoubtedly the rooftop chase sequence between Ajay and a suspect. Believe me, it’s one of the finest chase scenes of Bollywood!
The second half is shorter than the first hour but is nevertheless damn interesting. The film falls at certain places though but in no time picks up. Also there isn’t any suspense as such regarding the missing guys. In the beginning scenes itself, one will be able to guess who are the culprits. But that doesn’t pose a problem.
A film of this stature might fail if the climax is faulty. Thankfully, Aakrosh has an excellent climax where the duo finds the truth and punish the guilty tactfully. The film ends on a justified note.
Both Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna deliver incredible performances. They are together for most of the scenes and it’s interesting to see them working together and also arguing. In short, they complement each other well. Ajay, who earn accolades for his act in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, come up with yet another fine performance. This is a must for his fans! Same goes for Akshaye and it was great to see him on screen after a long time. And the good news is, he’ll soon be seen in 2 biggies-Anees Bazmee’s No Problem and Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan!
Bipasha Basu was excellent in the deglam role. Paresh Rawal was too good in the negative role…one of his finest performances easily! Reema Sen leaves a mark. Amita Pathak looks beautiful and does a nice job in the short role. Sameera Reddy was sizzling in the item number. There was another item song in the film, featuring Urvashi Sharma which has been chopped off. Jaideep and the actors playing Reema’s hubby, Amita’s dad, the three missing guys, Bahubali and Paresh’s senior do their job well.
Pritam‘s music was ordinary in this film which didn’t have scope for music in the first place. The only song that leaves a mark is Sameera’s item song, Issak Se Meetha. Background score is minimally used. Still many scenes create an impact. Tirru S‘ shaky cinematography creates a tremendous impact especially during action and chase scenes. Thyagarajan and R P Yadav’s action was very realistic but impressive. Some of the scenes however are too violent and gory. But it was necessary keeping in mind the film’s theme. Sabu Cyril‘s production design as usual was flawless. I especially liked the idea of using an abandoned theatre as CBI temporary office!
Robin Bhatt and Akash Khurana‘s story and screenplay was impactful. Story was well-written, inspired from real-life events. Screenplay overall was good although the interest does dip at parts. Aditya Dhar‘s dialogues were acidic and sharp. Finally Priyadarshan impresses a lot as the director. Often veteran directors fail when they switch from the genre of their expertise and try something different. However Priyan has in his vast career attempted many genres and have been more or less successful. Even Aakrosh, which is diametrically different from his recent comedies, has a topnotch direction. A great job indeed!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Ajay and Akshaye’s initial meeting
2. Ajay tells his story to Akshaye and attack in their room
3. Ajay-Akshaye at Paresh’s birthday bash
4. Ajay chases a suspect on the roofs (awesome!)
5. Amita Pathak taken by CBI
6. The lower caste settlements are attacked
7. Ajay-Akshaye get chased by Shool Sena fanatics
8. Ajay-Akshaye chase in the jungles
9. The last 20 minutes
On the whole, Aakrosh is a wonderful hard-hitting flick. It is a serious film, no doubt, but has enough doses of action and thrill to keep the interest alive and to reach a larger audience. Unfortunately, the film has opened to low collections. However, do for this one if possible. After all, its meaningful, it’s entertaining!
My rating-**** out of 5!
There was a time when masala action flicks were the order of the day. Such films were regularly churned out and it had a dedicated audience who wholeheartedly endorsed this kind of cinema. However, as time passed, the number of such films began to decline drastically. But still the love for these flicks hasn’t died down and we won’t mind watching them once in a while. Aamir Khan’s Ghajini re-popularized the trend followed by Salman Khan’s Wanted. And Sallu is now back with another sureshot masala entertainer Dabangg, a film that is meant to just fully entertain the viewers! Nothing new in terms of storyline, what works in Dabangg is solely Salman and his brilliant performance!
The story of the movie: Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is a fearless but corrupt police officer in the town of Laalgunj, Uttar Pradesh. He family consists of his mother Naini (Dimple Kapadia), step father Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna) and step brother Makhanchan aka Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan), the latter two who are hated by Chulbul due to bitter experiences of childhood. Chulbul at this point comes across Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha), a girl with a unique perspective of life and he instantly falls for her. Things were going smoothly for Chulbul when his world turns upside down with a sudden catastrophe. A ruthless villain enters his life-Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood). How he fights evil and emerges triumphant is what the rest of the film is all about.
Dabangg at several points reminds of Wanted. Remember Salman’s intro scene in Wanted where he enters the goon’s adda and attacks them single-handedly which is followed by a foot-tapping song? Something similar is to be seen in Dabangg too! Thankfully, the action scenes are much more refined and have a dash of humour too. Same with the interval scene which is similar to Wanted (Salman bashing up goons while the heroine looks on with an expression of shock)! Yet, the film doesn’t give a reason to complain as the treatment for both the films is drastically different. Also, as mentioned before, Dabangg is a full on entertainer. The film is made only to give the viewers a paisa-vasool experience and special care is taken by the director and writers for the same. There’s not a single dull moment and although the film slows down at places, it still keeps the viewers gripped.
The film begins with a bang with Salman’s rocking entry followed by the title song. Chulbul’s ways of wooing Rajo bring a smile on the face! The film jumps to a new level after the song Humka Peeni Hai with an interesting development in the plot. Post-intermission, its Chulbul’s unique way of marrying Rajo that was too good. The bomb blast and Makkhi realizing he has been used was damn impactful. And as for the climax, it was just outstanding and perfect for such kind of a film! See it to believe it!
However, while the director focused on making this film totally mass-centric, he didn’t prefer to give some additional touches to the plot and the characters which might have improved the film to some extent. Chulbul Pandey had a bitter childhood as he never got the love and affection from his father. The director could have treated this angle in a better way. Also, maybe, they could have focused on how Chulbul became a positive person and realized the importance of having a family after meeting Rajo. However, all these aspects were ignored in the quest for delivering a ‘massworthy’ product. Still no complaints as the film entertained!
The film obviously belongs to Salman Khan! He is totally rocking as Chulbul Pandey aka Robinhood Pandey! He’s an expert when it comes to playing such kind of roles. He proved it in Wanted and does the same good job in Dabangg as well. To be frank, I am at a total loss of words and will simply end by saying-Salman, you may be giving couple of duds here and there but still you were and you are THE SUPERSTAR! Rock on Sallu!
Sonakshi Sinha looks extremely beautiful and has loads of talent which she unfortunately doesn’t get to exhibit here. Hope to see her in better roles in future! Sonu Sood entered the narrative in the beginning, disappeared midway but came back into focus in the 2nd half. Performance-wise, he was too good and delivers as per expectations. He proved his worth with Singh Is Kinng and Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi (where he was the solo hero) that he has immense talent and with Dabangg, he’s going to be noticed by more and his fan base is bound to increase! Arbaaz Khan (who’s also the co-producer of the film) plays his part well. Malaika Arora Khan (also a co-producer and the sexiest one ever!) was sizzling in the item song Munni Badnaam Hui! Vinod Khanna was okay while Dimple Kapadia leaves a mark. Mahesh Manjrekar, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Tinnu Anand and Mahie Gill were good in their respective roles.
Sajid-Wajid’s music was foot-tapping and had the wonderful rustic touch to it. Tere Mast Mast Do Nain and Udd Udd Dabangg are the best of the lot followed by Munni (by Lalit Pandit). Special mention should be made of the choreography, especially of Salman’s phaadu dance steps in Tere Mast Mast Do Nain and Munni! Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score was topnotch.
Wasiq Khan’s production design was damn impressive. The sets seemed very authentic (especially Salman’s residence). Mahesh Limaye’s cinematography was flawless. S Vijayan’s action is one of the best things about the film. Some of the action scenes are creatively handled and executed which makes it a pleasure to witness them especially on the big screen.
Dilip Shukla and Abhinav Singh Kashyap, the writers, deserve credit and appreciation mostly for the fast-paced script and dialogues. In such kind of films, the dialogues have to be clapworthy and sharp. Dabangg fortunately has many such dialogues that enhance impact in many sequences. As for the story, well, as mentioned above, it was very ordinary and nothing special! Abhinav’s direction is excellent for most part of the film. He knew his job well and what he actually wanted to deliver and he does it convincingly. But as commented above, if he would have taken care of finer details of some characters, the film might have touched and impacted the viewers more. But notwithstanding the same, he shines and succeeds!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Chulbul’s entry
2. The title song, Tere Mast Mast Do Nain and Munni
3. Chulbul trying to woo Rajo
4. The intermission point
5. Chulbul marries Rajo
6. Makkhi joins Cheddi Singh
7. Makkhi realizes that he has been betrayed
8. The climax
On the whole, Dabangg is a totally rocking entertainer that delivers as per the expectations. Don’t go looking for a nice story. Just sit back, relax and enjoy Salman’s histrionics which is much more worth than a movie ticket any day! Another advice: if possible, watch this film in a single-screen theatre. The seeti-taali crowd present in such theatres will ensure you have a rocking time when you see Dabangg, something which you won’t be able to experience in multiplexes! Enjoy!
My rating-*** ½ out of 5!
It’s now an accepted fact that small films getting churned out at regular intervals have lots to entertain and give a good time than the biggies. To this list, one can now add one more flick and that is ‘The Film Emotional Atyachar’. The film is as unusual and weird as its title but manages to give a paisa vasool experience!
The story of the movie: Vikram Jaiswal (Mohit Ahalawat) is all set to sign a deal with Mr Khanna (Nasser Abdullah). But at the last moment, Khanna ditches Vikram and refuses to work with him. Khanna instead strikes a deal with Bosco (Abhimanyu Singh) and buys his club in Goa. Junior Bhai (Ravi Kishan), a small time goon, comes to know about the exchange of money between Bosco and Khanna and decides to attack them and rob all the cash. He takes the help of 2 wannabes, Goti (Snehal Dabhi) and Pichhku (Rajkumar Kanojia). Bosco on the other hand needs the money desperately to pay off to 2 corrupt cops, Joe (Vinay Pathak) and Leslie (Ranvir Shorey). The cop duo fears that Bosco might dump them after getting the money. Hence they take Bosco’s muse Sophie (Kalki Koechlin) as hostage until Bosco pays them their share. How all these characters unintentionally clash with each other on a secluded Mumbai-Goa highway at night is what the film is all about!
The film initially fails to impress and is damn confusing. Although all characters get introduced in style, you get a feeling that it’s not been a fine ride. However, the film picks up dramatically with the scene where Vinay and Ranvir enter when Abhimanyu’s room whose hands are tied up! The thrilling shootout minutes before the intermission escalates the impact. And if that wasn’t good, then the film turns better and better during the second half with each passing minute. A series of double cross by various characters and the unpredictability of the plot ensure that viewers remain gripped to their seats with no idea of what will happen next. The climax seemed totally justified.
The film might give you a déjà vu feeling of many films of this genre. The highway drama and heist episode gone wrong reminds one of Johnny Gaddaar, the somewhat-inferior production values is a remembrance of Ek Chalis Ki Last Local while the marvelous interconnection between characters bring back memories of Sankat City! But yet, the film and its script can be considered as completely original!
Without a shred of doubt, Vinay Pathak is the scene-stealer! His mannerisms and his sexy style works very well and put a smile on the faces of viewers although he is a baddie in the film (just like everyone else). Although he and Ranvir Shorey are together in every scene, it’s Vinay who leaves a mark. Ranvir on his part puts his best foot forward but fails up to match up to Vinay this time. It was nice to see Mohit Ahlawat after a long time (the RGV effect has totally waned away from for the better!). Kalki Koechlin looks stunning and gives a brilliant performance as expected from her! It’s indeed great that she has a number of films lined up! Ravi Kishan was very impressive and convincing. He was tailor-made for this role! Snehal Dabhi rocks in the scene where he is in the van sitting injured. Anand Tiwari (as Hiten Sardesai) comes up with yet another brilliant performance. Abhimanyu Singh and Rajkumar Kanojia play their part well. Others were okay.
There was no need for music in this film at all. However, the background score (Mangesh Dhadke) was simply fantastic. Editing (Pranav Dhiwar) was slick. Kartik Krishnan and Bhavini Bheda’s dialogues were witty and raise laughs at many places (esp the ones mouthed by Vinay). Story was truly hatke and very well written. So was the screenplay.
Director Akshay Shere scores a sixer with his debut! A film like The Film Emotional Atyachar wasn’t easy to make since there are so many characters and so much happening at every moment. But doing total justice to the script (not to forget that its Akshay’s first film) is a great feat indeed. The film has lots of abuses thrown in and some scenes are damn violent and gory. But that works and gives the film a real look. A great job indeed!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Hiten helps the injured Vikram
2. Joe and Leslie at Bosco’s club
3. Goti and Pichhku go to buy a gun
4. Junior, Goti and Picchku attempt the robbery
5. Junior and Picchku arguing as to what should be done about Goti
6. Vikram meets Sophie
7. The last 20 minutes
On the whole, The Film Emotional Atyachar is a neat little surprise of this season! It is extremely fast paced and gives 100 minutes of total thrill and entertainment! If you aren’t interested in any of the recent releases, giving The Film Emotional Atyachar a try would surely be no harm! Go for it!!
My rating-**** out of 5!
Lets one get one thing straight-We Are Family isn’t a ‘copy’ of or ‘lifted’ from Stepmom as is believed by some. It’s an ‘official adaptation’ of the Hollywood flick and due credit is given to its writers as well. With a brilliant plot in one hand and powerhouse actors on the other, the makers could have easily come up with a classic. However, We Are Family suffers from the same problem that some recent films helmed by debutant directors faced-an execution which just isn’t upto the mark. Inspite of it, the film has its moments and also the wonderful performance make it worth watching!
The story of the movie: Although Maya (Kajol) and Aman (Arjun Rampal) are divorced, they are still on good terms. They have 3 children – Aliya (Aanchal Munjhal), Ankush (Nominath Ginsburg) and Anjali (Diya Sonecha) who live with Maya. She’s the perfect mother and wonderfully takes care of them and adheres to their needs. Aman, too, catches up with them regularly. However, he has moved on and has a girlfriend Shreya (Kareena Kapoor). On Anjali’s birthday, he introduces Shreya to Maya and their children who develop an immediate dislike for her. Aliya is angry and feels that Shreya will ‘rob’ her daddy from them and they both will marry. Whenever Shreya tries to be friendly with the kids and strike a chord, something unexpected happens which leads to the kids hating her more! However, one day Maya discovers a very bitter truth and realizes that Shreya needs to be made a part of their family. Will that be possible? Will the kids able to love Shreya as they love Maya? Can 2 mothers make a home?
Let’s talk about the plusses first. The casting is just perfect! Every actor does total justice to his/her role. Storyline is unusual but works well. There were doubts that such kind of plot will not be accepted by Indian audiences. Not true! A story like this one is made for Indian audiences even though it’s little unorthodox. Moreover, some scenes are very well treated and instantly touch the hearts. Especially the climax which takes the film to a high!
However, on the flipside, as mentioned above, the direction isn’t topnotch. The plot needed to be more sensitively treated which unfortunately doesn’t happen. The director should have given more time to the characters to develop, mature and bond with each other even if that would have increased the duration of the film (which was anyways just 2 hours). Also, some scenes just don’t make any sense. For instance, Kajol’s outburst on Kareena when she had prepared peanut cookies was too exaggerated. It seemed like an unnecessary attempt by the director to add some drama and conflict in the film to spice up the proceedings! Wish if the flaws were taken care of, what a film We Are Family would have been!
The two actresses-Kajol and Kareena Kapoor-rock the show! Kajol was terrific to say the least! She gets better in the later portions of the film wherein she has a pale look. One of the reasons why you’ll get teary-eyed in the end is because of Kajol and her brilliant performance! Kareena Kapoor also manages to hold a strong position throughout the film. I was skeptical whether she’ll be able to play a convincing ‘stepmom’ considering she has never done even remotely similar. But surprisingly, she comes out with flying colours and was in fact perfect for this role! Another brilliant performance from a terrific actress!
Arjun Rampal also does a great job but somehow his performance doesn’t satisfy. Maybe because he had delivered the best work of his career in his last film (Raajneeti) that is still lingering in our minds. Or maybe because the scene here is dominated by the two ladies and in many scenes he’s just relegated to the background! Overall a fine attempt though! As for the kids, the youngest one, Diya Sonecha stands out because of her cuteness. Aanchal Munjhal shines in several scenes while Nominath Ginsburg don’t get much scope.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was strictly okay and this is easily their weakest attempt at composing. 2 songs which stand out are-Dil Khol Ke Let’s Rock and Reham O Karam. Raju Singh’s background made an impact in certain scenes. Cinematographer Mohanan captures the locales of Australia wonderfully. Costumes, especially those of Kareena Kapoor (Manish Malhotra) were too good and Kareena as usual was looking stunning! Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues made a mark at several points. Story (by Gigi Levangie who wrote Stepmom) was no doubt brilliant. The adapated screenplay (Venita Coelho) could have been better and fails to match up to the script of the original.
Finally, Siddharth P Malhotra’s direction wasn’t up to the mark. He has handled several scenes with utmost sensitivity but overall he was just okay. If Karan Johar had helmed this film, We Are Family would have been as brilliant and exciting as say Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham or Kal Ho Naa Ho! Hope Siddharth comes up better prepared when he directs his next!
Some of the best scenes:
1. The first scene
2. Anjali’s birthday party
3. Shreya takes care of the kids for a day
4. Maya stumbles upon the bitter truth
5. The intermission point
6. Maya realizes that Shreya can be a nice stepmom
7. Maya hospitalized
8. Maya gifts each child one by one (watch out for Kajol here!)
9. The climax
On the whole, a film like We Are Family needed an expert direction which Siddharth P Malhotra fails to do. And that’s what goes against the film which is otherwise well shot, well written and well performed. Notwithstanding the flaws, it is still worth watching for Kajol, Kareena and its theme!
My rating-*** out of 5!
The story of the movie: Rahul (John Abraham) is a compulsive gambler and a chain smoker. One day he succeeds in winning a huge amount in gambling and throws a party to celebrate. In the party, he proposes marriage to his longtime girlfriend Nafisa (Sonal Sehgal). However, immediately after doing so, he collapses. After a medical checkup, the results are out-he has lung cancer and only a few months to live. He is obviously shocked and then decides to shift to a hospice without telling anyone about his whereabouts. It is here at the hospice that he learns some lessons of life.
Aashayein begins well and grips your attention immediately. Rahul’s conversation with the doctor who was talking in circles about the former’s medical condition was brilliant to say the least! The film goes even higher as soon as Rahul lands at the hospice. The bond that he forms with 17 year old Padma (Anaitha Nair) which was the best part of the story, and Madhu (Farida Jalal) will put a smile on your face! Especially his relation with Padma was damn interesting and fresh-something shown rarely in our cinema.
Anaitha Nair is the surprise package of the film! She just stunts with her incredible performance! Her chemistry with John was too good! Your heart goes for her! Surely one of the finest performances in this year! Sonal Sehgal looks extremely beautiful and lends able support. Girish Karnad was good but disappears in the middle portions. Ashwin Chitale (as Govinda) has an important part to play in the 2nd half and does well. It was good to see Farida Jalal in an A-grade film after a long time! Prateeksha Lonkar (Sister Grace) and Vikram Inamdar (John’s buddy) do a great job. Others were fairly good.
Salim-Sulaiman’s music suits the mood and theme of the film. 2 songs which stand out are Ab Mujhko Jeena and Chala Aaya Pyaar. Their background score enhances impact in many scenes. Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography was excellent and captures the locales of Pondicherry exceptionally!
Nagesh Kukunoor, after giving 2 duds (Bombay To Bangkok, 8×10 Tasveer) comes up with a film that was better than these disasters but not as good as his classics (Iqbal, Dor). The plotline was little abstract at places. However, still it could have been an interesting film had Kukunoor not dragged the film and simplified some scenes. Overall, a nice experiment and hoping to see him back in form in his next!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Rahul finds he has lung cancer
2. Rahul leaves for the hospice
3. Rahul befriends Madhu and Padma
4. Rahul and Padma watching Anand
5. The intermission point
6. The Indiana Jones track (little weird but very well shot!)
7. Rahul takes Padma on a date
8. Padma at the deathbed
On the whole, Aashayein is a fairly okay film. It has a nice thought but tends to get too dragging because of which the impact withers away. However, it’s surely a must watch for all John Abraham fans!
My rating- ** ½ out of 5!
The makers of Hello Darling were surely at an advantage as their film dealt with sexual harassment at workplaces, something which is common in today’s time and also not to forget, there are handful of films which have tackled this issue. Unfortunately, while the writing is impressive, the execution is damn messy. Result: another disappointing flick from Mukta Arts!
The story of the movie: Mansi (Gul Panaag), Candy (Celina Jaitly) and Satvati (Eesha Koppikhar) work in a fashion designing company. Their boss is Harddick Vasu (Jaaved Jaafery), who leaves no stone unturned to lure young and good-looking girls working under him. No wonder that the trio hate him. By a small error, Mansi one day mixes rat poison in Harddick’s coffee who has to be immediately hospitalized. Fearing the worst, the Mansi and the other two try to hide her crime but they get caught by none other than Harddick himself. He lays down a condition in front of them-he’ll bury the issue and not take them to police if they agree to spend 7 nights with him at his Khandala bungalow! The ladies agree but silently decide that they will teach their lecherous boss a nice lesson.
Hello Darling has a fairly dry narrative in the beginning portions. The film picks up when Mansi puts rat poison instead of milk in Harddick’s coffee. The hospital sequence that follows was unbelievable but grips your attention. And not to forget, the fight between Chunky Pandey and Sanjay Mishra was the funniest sequence of the film although it was one of the most absurd scenes of Bollywood!
However, post-interval, the film just drops to a low and doesn’t pick up except in the track of the NGO dealing with erratic husbands and the mix up that occurs. Several scenes don’t make sense at all. Eesha’s transformation from a small-town girl to a glamorous babe was too sudden. Jaaved Jaffery, while chained, manages to access the telephone and calls his wife (Divya Dutta) who doesn’t respond properly. He could have called the cops because what the girls had done to him was akin to kidnapping! The climax, involving Sunny Deol, could have been great but disappoints.
Gul Panaag was the best of the three girls. Eesha Koppikhar comes next although some of her jokes were not funny at all. Celina Jaitly was alright. Jaaved Jaffery was totally convincing as the playboy. Divya Dutta plays her part perfectly like everytime! Chunky Pandey, who rocked the show in Housefull, does a brilliant job yet again in Hello Darling! Asawari Joshi as Tanya doesn’t get much scope. Seema Biswas as Phoolan Tai was too good. Vrajesh Hirjee was funny although he was there only for one scene. Sunny Deol makes a guest appearance and didn’t seem much in form. Others were okay.
Pritam’s music was plain mediocre. All songs are forgettable and unnecessarily placed. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background score, however, was decent. So was Ravi Yadav’s cinematography.
Pankaj Trivedi and Sachin Shah have written the story which was great but was totally lifted from 1980s Hollywood Hit Nine To Five. While some dialogues are indeed funny and witty, the rest are unimpressive. Debutant Manoj Tiwari’s direction was disappointing. He had a nice story in hand and if he had treated it well, he could have come up with a better film. Alas, that doesn’t happen!
On the whole, Hello Darling boasts of a good plot but unfortunately isn’t well made.
My rating-** out of 5!