Compass Box Killer- A true homage to Bollywood…..A thrilling Page-turner!!!!!


Compass Box Killer is a fitting follow up to Pyiush Jha’s last smash hit…-Mumbaistan.. That book had 3 stories which had Mumbai as the protagonist. One of the stories called Injectionwala in that book, had a character called Inspector Virkar who plays the proverbial hero of the story. Piyush decided to give Virkar a book of his own and thus we have Compass Box Killer, Inspector Virkar’s quest to unravel a murder mystery.

This one is a cat and mouse chase thriller where the killer leaves behind a compass box and a the name of his next victim after every murder, challenging Virkar to nab him before he executes his next modus operandi. The story although sounds cliche on paper, but the way Piyush treats the characters and the plot, makes for a riveting read. I was left floored especially with the amount of detailing he goes into to establish the motive behind every character. He certainly takes giant steps and proves his first book Mumbaistan was definitely not a flash in the pan.

An entertaining and a racy thriller was what I was expecting and I can safely say I got double my money’s worth. If you are thirsting for a typical masala read where there is murder, double crossing, shady characters, theatrics and above all, maad thaad then Compass Box Killer will definitely quench your thirst.

Rating-4/5

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Mickey Virus- Too much Spam in there..Ends up corrupting your experience!!!!


Mickey Virus has spawned a new genre. I would like to name it MurMedy (Murder mystery + Comedy). The last film to attempt that was Bhagam Bhaag years back. That one too ended up as a confused mess quite like this one. The gags which make you laugh in the first hour are in short supply in the second half and you end up waiting for the end where the big mystery will be unravelled. But like most of the murder mysteries which come out of Bollywood, it suffers from a weak climax, the kinds where you place your bets on everyone and the butler who has precisely appeared for one scene in the film ends up being the killer. This is not the case here, but you get my point, right?

Saurabh Varma’s debut feature starts on a refreshing note with a debutant who can actually act and who is immensely popular among the TV audience. Yes, Manish Paul has already given us glimpses of his abundant talent on the shows he hosts, but this film gives him a chance to showcase the real deal. He plays the typical coming of age slacker who is as aimless about life as any 10 year old kid would be. But then, Ranbir Kapoor has set such high standards playing these kind of roles that Manish’s act pales in comparison. Add to that, firang import Elli Avram who is busy charming everyone in Bigboss gets to do what most phoren girls do in our films. Show some bust there, some legs here, sing a song with the hero and Poof…..he is knocked dead just like that in the first half of the film. And with her end, all fun ends as the film decides to take itself too seriously.

The story is about a group of hackers who have been killed by another bunch of hackers and the police sets out on a wild goose chase to nab the hackers by enlisting one of their own- Mickey Virus….The Slacker hacker!!! How he charms Elli and how he unravels the mystery behind the deaths forms the rest of the film.

The performances by the main cast are uniformly good. Varun Badola shines in the role of an inspector and it is such a delight to see him on screen after so long. Why isnt he seen more often? Manish Chaudhry is good in a role which doesn’t demand much histrionics out of him. Manish Paul is funny and actually good when he isn’t contorting faces. Pooja urf Chutney (last seen in Vicky Donor) is delightful in a small role and so are Mickey’s other friends. Elli Avram manages to raise the oomph quotient and expecting anything more from her would be asking too much.

The songs are breezy and I took a shine to the film’s theme song’ Pyaar China ka Maal Hai’. The camera work is good especially during the sequences where its handheld. The locations are apt and thankfully we aren’t taken on a tourist trip around Delhi.

The film I guess would have sounded great on paper but somewhere got lost in the translation and ended up as a confused film where the director couldnt really decide how to balance the comedy and mystery evenly. In short, I was left asking for more!!!!

Rating- 2/5

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Baramulla Bomber- A heady concoction of Science and Mythology!!!!!


Thrillers excite me. Add a dash of terrorism to it and it sounds like a perfect recipe for a week long read. So, when I picked up a copy of Baramulla Bomber, I realized right in the beginning that this is going to be a rollercoaster ride much in the vein of the Bourne series. But would it be as entertaining as Bourne? Well, partly yes. Its USP is the story which is narrated in real time and that was one of the major reasons for me to stay gripped to the story right till the end.

Coming to the plot, Baramulla Bomber follows the destiny of a young man, Mansur Haider from Kashmir who turns from an aspiring cricketer to the Baramulla Bomber. Something mysterious occurs in Shaksgam valley. Someone has tested a weapon that has the ability to work with the ancient technology from Vedas and Bible. Intelligence agencies throughout the world are trying to find the truth and everyone’s search seems to end in finding Mansur. Indian government and Home Minister Agastya Rathore are facing a dual threat from two neighboring nations and the only way out is to solve the Kashmir issue. What happens next is the crux of the story.
First time writer Clark Prasad manages to pack in enough juice in his story and that is what majorly succeeds in keeping the reader guessing. A thriller which boasts of liberal doses of technical jargon, it manages to strike a perfect balance with its tick tock way of storytelling where you can feel the drama the way the writer wanted you to imagine it.
To sum it up, it’s a great first attempt from a writer who clearly understands the ingredients of a perfect thriller and the preview to his next book only leaves us asking for more….

The Book Trailer- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqrRUPJqae8

Rating- 3.5/5

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Shahid: A Super strong film which grabs you and never lets you go….


Hansal Mehta, the director of Shahid was on a sabbatical, I guess. Why, isn’t difficult to guess. He was delivering one bad film after another. And then he returns all charged. If this is the result of all that soul searching, then I suggest he share his secret with Ram Gopal Varma pronto. For me, it is extremely important to analyse the maker and the circumstances which led him to make a film like these because such films are extremely difficult to make and even more difficult to find a commercial release.

But Oh boy, am I glad or what that Shahid found a release for itself. It is a riveting film which delivers a solid punch at the end of it all. Shahid is the story of noted criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi who was nothing short of a messiah for individuals wrongly accused of crimes and branded terrorists. In a career spanning 7 years, Shaid secured 17 acquittals. Which is an unbeatable achievement considering the slow pace of Indian judiciary and for this reason alone, his story had to be told. But what led Shahid on his quest for justice was the 7 years he spent in Tihar jail before he was acquitted as the police clearly did not have a shred of evidence against him.

This led him to decide to save others from a fate like his and he lost his life,but never gave up on his principals. And the film narrates it as it is and this ensures you are gripped from start to end, which isn’t really easy while making a bio pic.

One of the key strengths of Shahid is its fantastic music score. This helps to accentuate several scenes and takes the drama a notch higher. The performances are all uniformly terrific. Rajkumar as Shahid is perfect. Kay Kay Menon in a small role leaves an unforgettable impression and Mohd Zeeshan Ayub as Shahid’s brother is very very good. The girl playing Shahid’s wife Maryam left me stunned in some of her scenes.

It is not everyday that I come out of a film trying to find faults, but not able to find any. The pace, the dialogues and every other aspect is bang on.

If films are your first love, Go watch Shahid before it is taken off theaters. As Shahid says never give up on justice. ” Der lagti hai, par ho jaata hai”.

Rating-5/5

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Boss- All Gas, All Thump….Alas no Substance!!!!!


Let me state this fact loud and clear. I am a big fan of masala films. Between art and commerce, I will always choose commerce. That is the kind of cinema I enjoy and lets face it, YOU enjoy. But there always should be a method to madness. And BOSS clearly lacks that method. A film which is racy and funny in parts, loses gas midway and comes to a grinding halt simply because the writers choose to do so. Ronit Roy as the mean villian just does not cut ice as there just isn’t anything scary about him. Typically in a film which celebrates the act of one-upmanship, the hero and the villain need to keep going at one another before that penultimate point. Case in point- The baap of brawn porn-Force. But Boss is all about a snarling Ronit Roy who for sheer lack of dialogues ends up repeating the same dialogue thrice, but then it never sounded chilling even the first time round.

But then Boss isn’t all wrong. It has Akshay Kumar at his best, jumping buildings, kicking the goons and spewing Haryanvi as if he was born there. The action scenes remind you more of Akshay’s Thumsup commercials and just when he decides Aaj kuch Toofani karte hai, the director sets up his clash with Ronit Roy at a cement quarry. What is so wrong with climax places? In Besharam, it was a garage and now this. Nevertheless, it is a fight to finish and you quite enjoy the fun till its on. And there in lies the basic problem of Boss. The gags are too few and far in between and the rest of the film is just a boring drag. Mithun Chakraborthy as Akshay’s righteous father gives the year’s hammiest performance and the one Shaitan wonder Shiv Pandit is used just to fill up a role. Heroine, you may ask? Yes, the talented Aditi Rao Hydari gets exactly 3.5 scenes to exhibit her goods and her acting skills.

But if I have to compare Boss to Akshay’s biggest money spinner Rowdy Rathore, then Boss wins hands down as it is far more viewer friendly than that repulsive film. It also tries its best to extract tears out of you courtesy the strong bond between Mithun and Akshay. But Anthony D Souza after delivering a big budget disaster in the form of Blue decides to play safe and remake a southie and comes up with Boss. He garnishes his film with groovy music, saleable stars, expensive sets and for the first time a HOT Sonakshi Sinha.

So if you want to spend an evening watching the Khiladi Kumar back inform delivering those swerving kicks and thumping clap trap dialogues, then Boss is just what the doctor ordered. But keep your expectations in check. The title is where the fun ends.

Rating-2.5/5

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BesHaraM- A cringe worthy film which tests the extent of your tolerance!!!!


When was the last time you came out of a Ranbir Kapoor film feeling cheated? For many, the answer would be never. For me, the only unwatchable film in his body of work is Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani….That was, till I watched Besharam!!!! I am no one to debate on the man’s talents, clearly in a span of 6 years, he has transformed into a true blue superstar who has built up a reputation of taking up the most challenging roles and dishing out performances we take home with us and he in turn has been taking home the best actor awards every year. But the juggernaut had to end some where and clearly the buck stops here. Ever since I had watched the first promo of this film, I had braced myself up for a rip roaring comedy which would have fresh, peppy music and a solid quota of dishoom dishoom and add to that, the whole Kapoor khandaan package was like a sone pe suhaga.

But then, the music released and the seeds of doubts were sown right there. After giving us one chart buster after another, here was a Ranbir kapoor soundtrack which did not boast of a SINGLE groovy track. Not just that, the music harped back to a different era altogether and it was then I decided to not except too much from this film. 10 laughs and a couple of terrific performances was all i went in expecting. Alas, I came out not even laughing once during the film although the kapoor scion did deliver a rock solid performance. Sadly, the script failed him big time.

The story is about an orphan who grows up to be a car thief. He is the best in the business and is very kicked with his life until he falls in love. And thus begins the road to redemption. Its that simple really. There is nothing more to the story beyond this. Add to this a childless police couple who want to retire rich. Throw in a villain who has a permanent scowl on his face. Every character has been designed in such a manner that in their zaniness, in their madness, you will find relief and fun. Alas, what you end up getting is a film which is so obnoxious that you really double check the director’s pedigree and realize the fact that YES, he is Anurag Kashyap’s brother. Abhinav kashyap who gave us such an iconic character in Chulbul pandey manages to come up with a hero called Babli. Is that even remotely funny? Naah.

Shot amidst the hustle and bustle of Dilli and Chandigarh, the film spends its first half showing us how sweet and good hearted Ranbir’s Babli is beneath that naughty exterior. And in the second half, it makes him fall in love. In the middle of all that, there is truck loads of Potty humour (Literally) and scenes which make you squirm in your seat. I mean who puts a sock in his underwear? I mean I am a big fan of masala films, but the fact is that they should entertain. Besharam clearly forgot that part and the writers came up with a story which did not even deserve to be made as a B film. How then did Abhinav kashyap manage to get stars of the ilk of Ranbir and Rishi Kapoor on board is still a baffling mystery to me.

Ranbir kapoor once again delivers a superlative performance, but there is only this much he can do with such a shoddy script. Rishi kapoor lightens up the screen every time he appears and his final outburst ala Sunny Deol is too Rohit Shetty in attempt but is fun all the same. The ladies in the film are the ones who further contribute in making Besharam a boring and sorry affair. Pallavi Sharda seen earlier in a two scene cameo in Love Breakups Zindagi has just two expressions in her repertoire and she still doesn’t know which one to use when. Terribly miscast. Neetu Singh is too loud and delivers a one note performance.

The music is horrible and the fact that after every 15 mins, a song pops up doesnt really help. The songs are right out of a 90’s film and clearly the famous Jatin-Lalit are incomplete without each other. lalit pandit here is the one to be blamed. The camera work is adequate and captures every frame beautifully. The script as mentioned before is absoultely crassy. But it is the director Abhinav kashyap who dissapoints me the most. After a genre breaking Dabanng, he takes 3 years to pen such a terrible film.

No doubt, the star power of Ranbir kapoor will fetch this film a thunderous start, but with the kind of content this film has, it wouldn’t even come close to the heights Yeh Jawani…had attained collections wise. Unless our gud ol junta takes a liking to this screwed up film. After all, last month we had another puerile release called Grand Masti which has emerged a blockbuster. But die hard Ranbir fans, get ready to pluck your hair out of desperation.

Rating- 1/5

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