OK Kanmani- Love at Lightening Speed……..??? Mesmerisingly So!!!!


The Baap of Style and Uber cool romance returns! Many and I mean many had written off the great Mani Ratnam after two flops (namely Kadhal and Ravan), thus making his latest movie OK Kanmani all the more significant. Mani Ratnam being the celebrated filmmaker that he is, decided to answer in the way only he can. By returning with a film that throws cliché out of the window and delivering a crackling romance. Casting Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menon is another masterstroke. Both of them add the required gravitas to the film enlivening it up in the process. And then we have the man of all seasons Prakash Raj and the luminously beautiful Leela Samson playing the older couple.

The contrast shown in the ideologies of the free spirited young couple and the very much in love older couple is the film’s USP and without being preachy or sermonic at any point, Mani Ratnam drives the point home.

The story is about Adi and Tara, who meet by chance and fall head over heels in love. Both are ambitious, commitment phobic and define the new age romance perfectly. Adi moves in to Ganpathy’s (Prakash Raj) house as a paying guest and in turn embraces Bhavani, his Alzheimer stricken wife. How then does Ganpathy’s devotion for his wife change Adi’s outlook towards marriage and commitment is the core of the film.

One of my favourite scenes is when music plays the deciding factor in ganpathy agreeing to let Tara stay as a live in partner to Adi. That brings me inevitably to the music of the film. And where do I start. That I am in awe of Rahman would be an understatement. I am taken aback by the man’s consistent attempt to treat every film on a different level and give it a unique soundscape is what makes him legendary. The music is the soul of the film and the fine blend of EDM and Carnatic is eargasmic. The legendary PC Sreeram returns to Mani Ratnam’s gang after that unforgettable classic ‘Alai Payuthey’ and soaks every frame in lilting colors.

Nithya Menon is an old favourite. And apart from her dishy looks and fresh screen presence, the lady owns the role and makes us believe in tara. Dulquer Salman as ‘I care a damn’ Adi is a revelation. As a yuppie who dreams at 90 km/hr he is a class act.

But but but……above all this is a Mani Ratnam film and the man hits the bull’s eye. I am a fan and I desperately wanted a film that leaves me walking out of the theatre with a smile. This one though sent me dancing out. Thank You Mani Ratnam…..!!!!!!

 

Rating-4.5/5

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Gone Girl- A deliciously crafted thriller which left me thoroughly transfixed!!!


Cinema had started to bore me. Nothing really felt inspiring enough to write about. And that really should explain my Missing in Action state when it came to elaborate movie reviews. What made me come back? Blame it on Gone Girl, a film so deliciously wicked that I couldn’t really keep myself from writing about it.

So then it is that man again. If Fight Club, Seven and The Social Network weren’t really enough, this time David Fincher goes inside the deep recesses of the human mind and unravels it layer by layer adding his own touch of magic to a story which feels terrifyingly real. So you have Ben Affleck whose loving, pretty, beautiful wife Rosamund Pike goes missing. And on this concept rests the story of Gone Girl. Without giving anything away, it is a film which grips you and leaves you transfixed through out its 150 minute duration. It introduces us to people who seem absolutely normal from the outside, but are wicked within. People who have their own notion of right and wrongs and characters who will go to any lengths to have their way.

ForGone-Girl-Poster me, the film’s story really hit home. A lot of you may come out of the movie questioning do characters like these exist and the only answer I have is a vehement YES! They are all around us and till you don’t really know them, you don’t really know them. Another point which really caught my attention is the fact that the laws not just in India, but the world over are so lopsided that if a woman decides to use the law to her advantage, she can run riot and in the process leave men with no chance at all to defend themselves. The film’s narrative structure of letting you form an opinion before revealing the other side is simply a master-stroke and makes you root for characters which you eventually come out loathing.

The performances are all top notch, but what elevates the film’s tension is the background score composed by the maestros Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The duo never let the score go overboard and keep it consistently real and that works big time.

As you may have guessed by now, this is a film which has left a lasting impact on me. In fact some of the incidents depicted in the film left me with a sense of Deja-Vu. This is quite simply one of the best films of the year, so go ahead and watch this as soon as possible. Priority watching highly recommended.

Rating- 4.5/5

 

Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania- Cheesy hai, par breezy hai!!!!


Every film starring Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra is special because in just 2-3 films they have turned into stars. And Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania has two of them and in fine form too. What director Shashank Khaitan does right is using DDLJ as a leitmotif for decoding the story. What he also does right is creating a crackling chemistry between the lead pair.

The story does not really deserve any brownie points. Its the usual boy meets girl, boy woos girl, boy and girl want to marry but the father objects before he gives in. But in the treatment lies the film’s novelty. With a fine set of actors forming the support cast, HSKD is a film which keeps you smiling throughout.

hskd2As the story shifts gears in the second half and introduces us to Siddharth Shukla, the film gets even more interesting as the only thing missing in a romance also gets ticked off the box-otherwise called kabab mein haddi. Ashutosh Rana is given a well sketched role and he performs with gusto. The two friends of varun are riproaringly funny and do a brilliant job. But it is Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt who are the stars. They come up with a terrific performance which makes the story so believable.

The music is just apt with a mix of wedding, club and romantic songs. Director Shashank Khaitan hits a sixer with his first film and is a director who we can forward to.

As an audience, I enjoyed the film and I am sure you will too. Its illogical, makes no sense mostly but is a breezy watch and the jokes keep coming till the end..

Rating-3/5

 

Lekar Hum Deewana Dil- Could have been a Gem of a film, only if it had tried hard enough!


Let me start with what I was expecting from the film. With such pedigree behind this film, I was expecting sheer magic to unfold on screen. First of all, it was Imtiaz Ali’s brother who was making his directorial debut. Add to that Raj Kapoor’s grandson who was all set to carry his legacy forward. If that wasnt enough, add the greatness of AR Rahman to the mix and what you have on paper is a film bursting with spunk. What I got was a bland, boring film which didn’t have even an iota of originality to it. I walked out feeling cheated by a team which promised the moon, but sadly failed to even take off.

LKDD-1Two college friends turned lovers elope and get married when they realize the girl is getting into a forced life of matrimony. In wilderness, they realize they are not quite made for each other and return back to their families to duly begin the procedure of annulment. This takes up half the film. The procedure of annulment and in between how the two hearts start beating for each other forms the rest of the story. There, which of these even the words I mentioned above sounded original? Liberally picked up from classics like Saathiya and his own brother’s Socha Na Tha, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil is a disaster.

Armaan Jain in his first film proves why he will forever remain Raj Kapoor’s grandson and nothing else. The boy doesn’t boast of a single acting bone in his body and is ill equipped to handle such a complex character. Deeksha Seth in comparison is terrific in a role which required a mix of authority, madness and restlessness.. Probably a bunch of films down south added to her experience. Arif Ali as the director has a nice story to narrate, but some how fails to translate it on screen.

LKDDAmidst all that mess, the one man who stands tall is AR Rahman. Only if Arif had selected better tunes. Nevertheless, ARR whips up a crazy score which has some terrific songs and some plain average songs. The sun soaked locations of Goa and the jungles of Chhtisgarh have been shot well by Laxman Uttekar and that helps making the film look visually grand.

Nevertheless, with such a terrific team behind this film, all we get is a disastrous mess. I really hope Arif learns from his mistake and serves us a dose of originality in his next offering.

Rating-1/5

Ek VillAin- Deserves a Dekko Pronto!!!!


Mohit Suri has for long promised the moon with every film of his and although all his films are faithfully inspired from either Asian or European films, he has shown enough chutzpah in his work to have us believe that more often than not, he will deliver. But then again the horror of his last film is still fresh. Yes my dear lovebirds, Aashiqui-2 was a plod which completed a home run only on the basis of its soulful music and even Mohit’s weakest film Crook is a better watch than Aashiqui. Which brings me to Ek Vilian, a loosely adapted or should I say a watered down version of I Saw the Devil. Mohit Suri takes the original film, retains the feel and the central idea and Indianises it to suit our tastes. That means the sex has to go and the gore has to go, which often ends up leaving a remake soul less because Korean and Japanese films thrive on violence.

Mohit invests the film with a soulful love story, bucketful of emotions and a fine ensemble of actors who haven’t been seen in this kinda avatar before. This is what works for the film. The sense of urgency, the cat and mouse chase, the good vs bad all come alive and with the help of some terrific songs, Mohit Suri delivers a smash remake which would leave you rooting for the Villain. And for 99% of the audience who have never even heard of the original, the concept would create ripples in their heart and mind.

ek-villain-movie-poster-copyBut the film isn’t without its share of flaws. With such a terrific lead cast, when the support cast falters even a wee bit, it becomes glaringly obvious. Casting Remo as a mafia don is a gamble gone wrong. His thick accent spoils the mood of the film and I could not figure out what is Shaad Randhawa doing in the film and what is the reason he hounds Siddharth although clearly the man has left his criminal past behind. Kamaal R Khan as usual overacts and is a pain to watch. Those few minor blips aside, the film is uniformly good and holds your attention till the end. The crisp length of the film works to its advantage and the buzz the film has whipped up will ensure a strong word of mouth.

Coming to the performances, Siddharth Malhotra comes into his own in his third film and clearly has his Alia moment (pun intended). Shradhha Kapoor is terrific as the chirpy girl with a heart of gold. And Riteish Deshmukh who is often reduced to playing a sidekick in crass comedies is a revelation here. He performs with such gusto and intensity that you will for the cold blooded killer. Not easy I tell you, but such is the man’s performance. Aamna Sharif returns to the screen after a hiatus and is delight to watch.

Ek-Villain-2nd-PosterAfter some time, I have really come out satisfied out of a Mohit Suri film. The last time that happened was with Awarapan, which probably bombed. The reason i guess is Ek Villain is highly believable and can be the story of anyone. A common man going through the grind suddenly turning into a psychopath, we have all heard of that before. With so much going for it, the film deserves a watch and when it comes to Mohit Suri, all’s forgiven. This is what you do best and this is what we love most. Keep the fight alive.

Rating- 4/5

Fugly- A Furiously UGLY Film!!!!!!


Kabir Sadanand’s third film is a huge improvement from his earlier two films. That doesn’t really mean Fugly is a good film. It sim ply means his first two films were abysmally bad. A khichdi of popular blockbusters Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti, Fukrey and many others, Fugly is old wine served in an older bottle. It pretends to have a voice of its own, but at the end of the film it will be you who will be left squeaking, Yeh Fugly Fugly Kya Tha? What then is the brouhaha all about? It is Jimmy Shergill who is so good, so good that he makes a sloppy film like Fugly watchable after all.

Fugly-poster_small30x40cmThe film takes the tried and tested, done to death flashback approach wherein it narrates a story of 4 friends who go about flouting rules simply because one among-st them is a minister’s son. So apparently every policewallah in Dilli is scared of the bozo’s papa except one corrupted thulla, who goes by the name of Chautala. He doesnt really care who is the guy’s papa and frames all 4 friends and holds them at ransom. Why then is Chautala shown working for the same minister and again framing his son and getting bumped off by the same minister’s connection is something which will leave you as bewildered as reading the last line left you.

The 4 newcomers try their best and Kiara Advani even manages to deliver a decent performance. But it is Vijender Singh and Mohit Marwah who get the maximum screen time and utilize that to come up with a terrible performance. But then again, they are new comers working on their first films and if at all some one is to be blamed, it has to be the director.

The songs are decent and go well with the theme of the film. But the lack of a decent budget is clearly visible as locations are repeated and the slick factor is also missing. All said and done, this film will do no one associated with it any favors except Jimmy Shergill. As a wicked cop, he eats up the screen and delivers a knockout performance. Rest everything else- well its fucking ugly to say the least.

Rating-2/5

Edge of Tomorrow- Watch, Go Crazy, Repeat!!!!


Tom Cruise has always been a special actor. He is one of the few remaining stars who are above the performance of a film. So what happens when a star like Cruise gets a chance to sink his teeth into a terrific script? He ensures his act and the film in totality leave you zonked at the end of it all. Yes, Edge of Tomorrow is a terrific summer blockbuster which has everything going for it. The right story, the right cast, the right time and Tom Cruise.

Edge_of_Tomorrow_PosterThe story is about an alien invasion and how Cruise is thrown into the battlefield and forced to fight them. As he dies each day and wakes up again to fight another day, he realizes his aim is not to fight, but to win the war. Along with the terrific Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise goes about saving what is left of the world. What really intrigued me was the fact that in spite of a story where the novelty factor goes missing after a while, as Cruise lives the same day again and again, the director never lets the film go the monotonous route. He introduces us to a different aspect every time the day starts and that keeps us glued to the screen. The VFX has also been used intelligently and goes well with the narrative. Bill Paxton who plays a supporting role shines in his part and lends the film gravitas. What also left me impressed was the fact that Cruise chooses to not play his usual star out to save the world role and in fact lets Emily Blunt chew up more screen time and in the bargain gives a nuanced performance which I had stopped expecting from Cruise.
If Sci-fi is what gets you excited, this is a must watch film. You wont be able to take your eyes off the screen. Sheer magnetism this!!!!

Rating-4.5/5