Phata Poster Nikhla Hero : Fultooo Masala Entertainer!!!!!!

Slapstick is back and how. A couple of months back, Sajid Khan decided to pay an ode to the 1980’s and failed miserably. Its Rajkumar Santoshi’s turn now. And he makes it work and how. Getting together the looniest bunch of actors and a wacky script in place along with a heartthrob in the form of Shahid Kapoor, Santoshi makes this film rock simply on the strength of gags which for a viewer looking for an intelligent film might across as stupid, but if by any chance you have left your brains at home, then you are all set for the ride of your lives.

Packed with cliches like upright mother who wants make her son an honest police inspector, the son sacrificing his dreams to fulfil his mother’s wish, a lady who falls in love with the heroine after his first fight and so on, it is packed with seen there, watched kind of scenes but it still manages to tickle your funny bones. It is genuinely funny in places and Shahid’s kooky grin and infectious energy is just the tadka which a film like this needed. As for Rajkumar Santoshi, he picks up from where he left off with Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani and entertains you throughout the film’s running time.

The plot is about Vishwas Rao (Shahid) whow ants to become a superstar but his mother would have none of that. She wants him to become a plocie officer and how he manages to realize his mother’s vision and at the same time fulfill his aspirations forms the crux of the film. Ileana plays the eye candy who does the customary heroine jig but it is Padmini Kolhapure as Shahid’s mother who is first rate.

The music is typically Pritam with a  couple of groovy chart busters and Shahid’s dancing skills take the songs to a new level. The action scenes are over the top and add to the madness of the film.

Shahid Kapoor is terrific as the proverbial hero and this is easily going to be his biggest hit. Ileana is disappointing as she could have picked up a better role. The other supporting actors are all good with Saurabh Shukla deserving special mention for his hilarious acting.

So if you have been longing to watch a dhinchak masala entertainer for a while, then this is the film… Go Dhating NaacH.

Rating- 3.5/5



The Lunch Box – The Tastiest film of the Year!!!!!! Delicious to the core….

Do you remember how you  waited for the day when mummy will serve your favorite sabzi in your dabba? And that big wide grin on your face while relishing that. Life really was that simple. And that is what Lunchbox is about. Director Ritesh Batra narrates a simple, heartwarming tale of love, loneliness and food. The film is extremely minimalist in its approach. The director does not even care to include a background score during most of the film’s runtime and that is the film’s charm. This is also probably the most sound film in recent films. By that i mean, the ambient sound has been captured so perfectly that every sniff, every chop of vegetables, every droplet of water can be heard and felt.

The film is about two individuals, Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) and Ila (Nimrat Kaur). How a one in a million goof up by the Mumbai dabbawallas leads to a tender romance blossoming between the duo is the highlight of the story. Romance of the purest kind, where they exchange notes and share their experiences. And Mumbai as a city is a character in itself in the film. How the metro sometimes alienates you from the world is something the film attempts to showcase. The lead duo is ably supported by Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays Irrfan’s junior at his work place.

Lunchbox probably is the best film I have seen in recent times. It is everything which Ship of Theseus tried to be and failed. It makes you remember your childhood, your neighbors, your companion and all those memories which form an important part of your life.

The technical aspects of the film are marvelous. Lensed perfectly it brings alive the spirit of Mumbai. The rains, the trains, the roads. The bustling metro was last showcased so brilliantly in Wake Up Sid.

Coming to the performances, Irrfan Khan is mind blowing as a man who has spent the last 35 years doing the same job and it perfectly reflects in his performance. Nimrat Kaur as the lonely housewife is terrific and it would be no wrong to say that this is the best debut performance of the year easily. Nawaz gets limited scope but owns his part and provides the film with its most entertaining segments. The smaretest character is of Bharti Achrekar, never seen and only heard. She wins you with her voice alone. Such command, such control. I am awed.

The Lunchbox is a gem of a film, nourishing and mouthwatering and would definitely satisfy your thirst for a quality film.

Rating- 5/5


JAcob HillS – An Insight into the Dark side of Armykind……

The defense has always fascinated me. My grandfather was a part of Indian AirForce and my mother is a teacher at Army School. These are the only links I have to the world of defense. So, my major source of information has always been the countless films and books we have on this subject. And every time I come across one, I lap it up in the hope of getting more insights to the world which has always fascinated us civilians.

The Indian Army website greets you with this quote- ” To be born free is an accident. To live free is a privilege. To die free is a responsibility”. Impressive I must say, quite impressive. The ones associated with the world of defense do wear their badge of honor with utmost pride. And why not, they are the ones to be thanked for having a country where corruption and not war is an issue to be worried about. Which brings me to a book which I stumbled upon. Titled Jacob Hills, this is a tale which uses Indian Army as a backdrop to narrate a riveting saga which is thrilling, funny and interesting at the same time.

The plot takes you to a bygone era ( 1980’s to be specific) and focuses on a group of army gentlemen, their wives and the world around them. The expanse is limited which I believe is intentional and it manages to suck the reader to that make believe world of Jacob Hills where all that you have heard about the Indian Army being a group of gentlemen out to protect the motherland will go out of the window.Lets face it, the Army men are humans and Indians after all and they have as much right to be corrupt and inhuman as any other civilian. The dark murky world of Jacob Hills is full of tales of corruption, deceit, bigamy, pedophilia and lots more which will make you do a quick rethink about the world around you.

The world created by the writer Ismita Tandon Dhankher is edgy, sinister and very disturbing. It connects you to incidents which you hear about in the news but haven’t really come face to face with. The story all of a sudden changes gears and develops into a thriller and that as a matter of fact takes the anticipation level a touch higher. And as the story ends, you sit back for a moment and piece the puzzle together. And in that moment, my admiration for the author grew further as she very easily could have gone wrong. After all writing a whodunit is not an easy task and takes exceptional skills.

But like no piece of art is perfect, similarly Jacob Hills has its share of flaws. The characters remain a bit underdeveloped, as the story tries to focus on too many characters. In fact doing away with some characters wouldn’t really have hurt the story much. The build up to the suspense and the ultimate revelation could have been handled in a better manner. Yes, as a reader you are surprised but that punch is missing which is such a vital ingredient of a murder mystery.

Then again, this is Ismita’s second book and with time, she will only attain greater heights. Her style of writing is quite rare and is very believable. She keeps it simple and that in turn helps the reader participate a lot more in the story than he would usually. The illustrations for every character have been done brilliantly and help you identify that much more with every character.

I guess here is an author who is all set to create a mark for herself in the world of fiction….For her next offering,,,, The world shall wait…with Bated breadth!!!!!



John Day- A thrilling trip to hell and back!!!!!

Naseeruddin Shah and Randeep Hooda in a faceoff….That had me sold ever since I watched the first promo and I couldn’t really wait to watch the film. I was expecting a thrilling drama and honestly speaking, I was a wee bit disappointed. But that is a minor blemish for a film which otherwise is a cut above the rest. Debutante director Ahishor Soloman comes up with a dark, noirish film which leaves you wanting for more.

The story revolves around the murder of a teenager at a farmhouse where she has come for a romantic escapade with her boyfriend. The girl’s father who is a bank manager John Day (Naseer) and mother (Shernaz patel) are shattered by her death and before they completely recover, 2 years pass by and John is dealt a body blow when his bank is robbed and his wife is left for the dead. This sets in motion a string of events where he and ACP Gautam (Randeep Hooda) are involved in a cat and mouse chase to the finish.

The story is intelligently crafted or as I have heard inspired and the atmospherics are top notch. The opening scene of Randeep Hooda is terrific and sets the tone for the rest of the film. With two such great actors, the director keeps us gripped to the proceedings and the background score is terrific and further accentuates the narrative.

Naseeruddin Shah is brilliant as the man who loses everything and fights back not to avenge himself but to let the world know that not everyone can be messed with. This reminded me of his Wednesday Act where as a common man he takes a system as hostage and gets his way out. Randeep Hooda is devilishly remarkable as the corrupt cop and fully justified the director’s faith in choosing him. The rest of the ensemble cast also is terrific with Vipin Sharma as Randeep’s sidekick deserving special mention.

The film is technically superb with the cinematography leaving you awed. Especially the night shots are captured beautifully. If there is one thing which goes against the film, its the pacing which slackens towards the end of the film. The momentum is kind of lost but the end more than makes up for it.

Considering the alternatives playing at theaters near you, I suggest John Day is by far your best bet this weekend. Grab a bite of this exciting thriller and you wouldn’t really be disappointed.

Rating- 3/5



Grand Masti- Stay away if you do not want to get brainRaped!!!

At the onset, let me tell you I have no problems with sex comedies. In fact I enjoy watching sex comedies as much as any other genre of films. I had quite enjoyed watching the earlier installment of Masti. But nothing prepared me for the 2 1/2 hour onslaught I was about to face when I stepped in to watch GrandMasti. Calling the film senseless, bad or other such noble terms would be glorifying the film and giving it respect way beyond what it desrves. It is at best an attempt to showcase how unimaginative crass and disrespectful you can become at the cost of producing a hit film. I sincerely believe the director of Grand Masti must have been subjected to child abuse and must have been kept in an all men’s enclosure for years. Because he not just objectifies women, he literally strips every moral respect I had for him for making films like Dhamaal, Dil, Beta, Mann etc.

Inder Kumar, I am very sorry to say this, but if you had been given a tight slap when you were around 20 by a couple of girls, we wouldn’t have to then bear this wretched piece of crass. Such hatred for a film is very rare for someone like me as I try to find one redeeming factor in every film. Trust me, I tried my best and couldn’t come up with any point for this film.

The story is exactly like the previous film where three husbands bored with their boring family lives embark on a sex drive to their college reunion. The college is called SLUTS and the three girls they manage to ensnare are called Rose, Mary and Marlow. (You get the drift? It isn’t even half as funny as it was in Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum)…I don’t blame the writers…I believe they gave their all to Kyaa Super kool hai hum and Grand Masti is just a repetition of that and some sms jokes. So as usual, they end up getting caught for dropping their pants and doing nothing for hours under the sheets. ( You see, like everyone else they can only fantasize). The rest of the film is about how they try their level best to not let their hornier halves know about their sexcapades.

Now a script as obnoxious as this wouldn’t really catch the fancy of any star. So, the director decides to go along with the original cast. The only difference is 10 years back, all 3 of them were at the top of their game and in the current scenario whatever films they decide to participate in is declared a flop even before its release. Add to the mix 6 out of work item girl/out of work actresses and you have the perfect recipe to make a puerile film.

My problem with the film isn’t about the fact that it is downright crass, my problem is that no joke seemed like a joke to me. In the day and age of watzapp and bbm, these are jokes you have heard, read and imagined. So, the situations are so unfunny and the gags so pathetic that all you wish for is the film to end soon. Straddled with couple of terrible songs and gaudy sets, this film I believe was aiming for the Razzies.

I suspect it will take a terrific opening and will easily double its investment. What worries me more is that in a sex deprived country where raping a woman is not even considered a crime till it attains the level of brutality of the Nirbhaya case, a film like this will only give rise to such crimes. And then we will have the stars of these films tweeting about the situation of the country. To put the record straight, this is the worst film of the year and if you happen to even pass by a theater playing this film…you know what to do…Be scared..Be very Scared!!!!!

Rating- 0/5


Shuddh Desi Romance: A fresh and spunky take on relationships!!!!!

Indian Cinema has for long been accused of sticking to the ‘They married and lived happily ever after’ kinda ending. Most of the love stories show you what happens in love…without really showing showing you what happens IN LOVE…..Shuddh Desi Romance ventures into a hitherto unknown territory…It speaks about how do people confess undying love for each other between the sheets but refuse to do so on the marriage altar. And it refuses the usual girl will have to play the sacrificial lamb trend. It gives birth to a new kind of film which is fearless in its approach and leaves you thinking about what comes after love.

SPOILERS AHEAD….If you have not watched the film skip this paragraph and read ahead!!!!!

It is a story of 3 youngsters. Raghu, Tara and Gayatri.  Their dreams, their aspirations, their confusions and their COMMITMENT PHOBIA. Yes, their refusal to commit to each other is what drives the film. It explores how youngsters in so called smaller cities are no longer worried about ‘Padosi kya sochenge’, ‘maa baap kya sochenge’ and all that societal bondings. They are hellbent on finding their true love and it doesn’t matter if they find it in their second, third or for that matter their tenth attempt. But what happens when they do find that love? Raghu who is all set to marry Tara bumps into Gayatri on the way to his wedding and after spending a night on the bus, he realizes he is after all all set to marry the wrong girl. He runs away from his wedding, leaving Tara high and dry. After some time, Raghu and Gayatri cross paths again and this time, Raghu is in no mood to let her go and professes his love for Gayatri and after some yes-no, manages to convince her and moves in with her. Their love story begins and happily chugs along until one night in a state of drunken stupor, they decide to get married the next day. And this time, Gayatri develops cold feet and runs away from her wedding leaving Raghu high and dry. This hurts Raghu so much that he loses faith in the institution of marriage  and gets back to his normal life until a chance encounter with Tara sets in motion a chain of events where he ends up falling for her. Yes, he realizes the girl he was all set to marry before he developed cold feet is actually a hot, happening and the kind of girl he doesn’t mind getting married to. BUT like the proverbial entry of an old villian, Gayatri bumps into him at a wedding and the lovers realize they still have a thing or two for each other. Tara realizes she never really had a chance and quietly exits the story and Raghu and Gayatri decide to get married again, but alas both run away from their wedding AGAIN. So finally they understand that they don’t exactly need a societal stamp of marriage to spend a life loving each other.

The storyline is refreshing and fresh and the performances by the three main leads, Sushant Singh Rajput as Raghu, Parineeti Chopra as Gayatri and Vaani Kapoor as Tara is terrific. Add Rishi Kapoor to the mix and you have a perfect star cast. This has to be kept in mind that this is just the thrid film for Parineeti, second for Sushant and first for Vaani. But they give a seasoned performance and keep you entertained throughout. Casting Rishi Kapoor as the wedding caterer is a master-stroke. The man seems to be getting better with age and delivers a knock-out performance.

The music is peppy and suits the film just right. Sachin Jigar seem to deliver one hit soundtrack after another. The film has been lensed well and you fall in love with Jaipur and want to visit the city. A special mention for the art direction. Most of the locations are real and they add that touch of authenticity which the film required. the director, Maneesh Sharma who earlier gave us ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ and ‘Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl’ is in fine form here and brings out a terrific performance from all his cast members.

Married or not, in a relationship or not, this is a film which would keep you really interested for almost 75% of its runtime. Its only towards the end that the film loses steam and the plot becomes a bit unrealistic. But for its sheer freshness factor and spirited performances, I believe you should give this a watch!



Zanjeer- Renaissance of Ultra Corny Remakes…..

I have lately turned into a sucker for Bachchan remakes. Blame it on Farhan Akhtar and Shahrukh Khan. They started the trend and whipped up a delicious remake of one of Bachchan’s cult films-Don. That was followed by a ho hum remake of Agneepath which rose above average purely on Hrithik’s charisma and Sanjay Dutt’s menace along with a fresh new meanie in the form of Rishi Kapoor. And then comes along Zanjeer. This also features Sanjay Dutt doing his bit to make the film at-least palatable. But Zanjeer is a shocker of a film. Wondering why I spoke of the other remakes? Simply because all three Bachchan remakes featured him as Vijay and while comparing this Zanjeer to the original would be nothing short of Blasphemy, I decided to compare it to the remakes and there too it ranks no better and would surely be featuring in this year’s hall of shame. The only reason it is not topping that list is thanks to a certain Mr. Sajid Khan and his epic Himmatwala.

Coming back to Zanjeer, the very idea of adapting it to the current scenario was all good. Giving it a fresh treatment must have seemed a really cool idea. Although I am not much a fan of the original, but it can be safely said that this was a film which spawned an entire genre in itself and what Bachchan is today is because of this film. Alas, Ram Charan Teja will not be able to boast of any similar accomplishment. Now the guy is not a bad actor. I have seen most of his Telegu films and he has achieved unfathomable success in his films down south. But those are films of a different genre. They let a hero be a hero. He gets to sing, dance, romance, fight and crack jokes. Here saddled with a permanent scowl on his face, he is clearly at a loss and doesn’t really know what to do. Giving him company is Priyanka Chopra who seems to have decided that she will sign every Bachchan remake, however inconsequential her role may be.

Honestly speaking I wasn’t expecting much from this film. All I had hoped for was some cracking action and a couple of witty dialogues. Alas, the film did not even manage to do that. Eevry character in Zanjeer has attained a cult status and casting caricatures like Prakash Raj as Ajit, Mahie Gill as Mona and least of all, Sanjay Dutt as Pran seems to be the biggest blunder of all. The best part about the film is probably Atul Kulkarni and he just has 21/2 scenes in the whole film.

I wouldn’t really like to elaborate on the story part as clearly this film like its original is bereft on one. While that one ran on the kinetic energy of Amitabh and spontaneity of Jaya Bachchan, this one runs on buffoonery. Subtlety has never been Apoorva Lkahia’s forte and except for a remarkable Shootout at Lokhandwala, all his other films have been trash. Now add Zanjeer to the list. I would clearly like tro consider Shootout as strict aberration as he has continued his string of disasters since then.

Nothing at all works for the film. Blaring sound accompanies every time Dutt walks in, a cacophonous Raghupati Raghav plays a couple of times during the film for no rhyme or reason and lastly replacing gambling with car dealing and adding issues like oil smuggling doesnt really qualify as a tribute. Where is the research? Clearly the team believes the only way of stopping illegal oil smuggling is blowing up the place and the way it is blown up is hilariously funny. Lakhia I suspect doesn’t really believe in half measures.

Clearly targeted at the masses,this is a film which would have done bumper business if a Salman Khan had played Vijay, but that very If is what is going to fail this film. Because it needs a superstar to make a stupid film work which is why I believe this will be a blockbuster in Andhra Pradesh where Ram Charan Teja is bigger than most of the superstars.

But on my list, this ranks as one of the worst remakes ever made. And it will really take some skills and guts to beat this. And in case you were wondering all this while, I do NOT consider Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag as a remake of Sholay. Zanjeer atleast had the intent right,sadly it did not have the vision to execute it.

My Rating- 1/5