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.
For 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.
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.
As 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..
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.
Two 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.
Amidst 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.
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.
The 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.
Now if you have followed the trend of Akshay Kumar films over the past decade, you simply don’t know what to expect from the man. Amid-st the whole lot of trash he churns out year after year, there comes a film which is really good. But the rarity of a good film is what irritates the hell outta you. The last so called good film from Akshay’s stables? Quite easily- Special 26. Does Holiday make it to that list? No, it doesn’t. But then it is not a trashy film. It is a thriller which is honest, earnest and if it had been a bit crisper, would have thrilled as well. But Alas, at 2 hours and 51 mins, the film overstays its welcome.
First things first. The South Indian hit machine AR Murugadoss returns to Hindi films after half a decade. In fact he was the man who started the 100 crore trend and is thus to blame for all the nonsensical number crunching which films have been reduced to. On a serious note, he almost always strikes gold whenever he makes a film. So Holiday which is a frame by frame remake of his last blockbuster Thuppaki is a film which plays to Akshay’s strengths. As a one man army out to save the city of Mumbai from a gang of sleeper cells, Akshay jumps, fights, punches, dances and parties away to glory.
It is his story from start to end. As Capt. Virat Bakshi, he stumbles across a terrorist who blows up a bus and sets in motion a chain of events wherein the city comes under threat. Although Akshay manages to avert the disaster in a hare brained fashion, he manages to extract the villain from his liar and induce some dialogue baazi into the film before killing him and saving the city once again.
Moral of the story, you may ask? It is simply the fact that a soldier is never off duty. What about the leading lady Sonkashi Sinha, I hear…Well, she comes on screen, sings a couple of songs and vanishes. The film isnt all that bad and is good fun while it lasts and if you have even a wee bit of liking for Akshay and his antics, you will love the film. Go watch and decide which side you are on.
The Queen arrives again, this time in a bad ass avatar. Flavor of the season Kangana Ranaut returns 7 weeks after her biggest blockbuster in a role which is everything which Queen was not. A woman who swears and kills every second is something we don’t see much in Indian films. But director Sai Kabir gives us a new age Bandit Queen who is phun and extremely phasunable. An attempted westerner, again a genre very new to Indian films, works like a charm in the first part before coming apart in the second half. Alas, if only the fun had lasted a lil more.
The film takes you to Chambal where Alka Singh rules. She shoots and kills with elan and wants to possess everything. Enter Vir Das, who in an attempt to take Kangana for a ride gets stuck as her toy boy. Along with Piyush Mishra who plays Alka’s mama and guardian, this film chugs along quite nicely in the first half which introduces us to Alka’s quirks. A black comedy in every sense, it is intriguing and fun at the same time. But everything comes apart in the second half once Alka gets pregnant and becomes a typical girl which we all thought she isn’t before a rousing finale which leaves the scope for a sequel.
As an idea, I give full marks to director Sai Kabir. As an all conquering woman dacoit, Revolver Rani works. And Kangana again is a revelation. But saddled with a half baked screenplay and dull songs, there is as much as she can do. The charm and wittiness in the script which made Queen such a lovely film is missing here and that is one reason why Revolver Rani collapses. Nevertheless, it is a bold attempt and such films should be encouraged.
If a hatke film is your requirement, then Revolver Rani should do just fine. Expecting a Queen kinda encore would leave you disappointed.
There was a time when Indian books rarely witnessed cinematic translations. Our films were mostly the same old wine served in a new bottle. Then came a new breed of film makers who wrote stories which were edgy and fun. But some how once in a while, there was always a film which was adapted from a book. Chetan Bhagat changed all that. The most read Indian author writes books with a single point agenda- to see them made into films. And I will not disagree that most of stories have a seed which can see fabulous cinematic translations if only it is innovated well. This is where Kai Po Che worked and 2 States fails. There is nothing new which 2 States offers and stays loyal to its literary source. But that is the least of its problems. at 2 hrs 30 mins, its a film which is 2 long, 2 boring and 2 pointless which should have ideally ended in less than 2 hours. Why then is it doing so well? Blame it on the promotional campaign, the fan following of 2 States the novel and Alia Bhatt. Yes you read that right. The 2 film old Alia Bhatt scorches the screen and is the single most redeeming factor of the film.
The story is about a typical boy and girl who fall in love and agree to marry each other. What they sweat over for the rest of the film is marrying their families. The North vs South debate is stretched like a chewing gum and there wasn’t a single cliche which the director missed. As the film huffs and puffs to its end, we see both the leads Krish and Ananya slogging over getting accepted by the other family.
I would give credit where its due. Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt make for a cute couple, but in front of Alia’s charisma, Arjun’s act simply pales. The man who must be used to rough and tough roles by now, tries his hand at playing a upscale Delhi boy for the first time and doesn’t really falter. To support the sprightly young pair, we have Amrita Singh who still has the gravitas and Ronit Roy who snarls his way through as the boy’s parents and Revathi and Shiv Subramanium who are graceful in their parts.
With a spunky soundtrack and beautiful cinematography, all the film needed was crisp editing and that would have made it work like a charm. But sadly, that is not the case and the film remains a string of beautiful images strung together which as independent scenes make for a good watch, but as a whole film tests your patience.
Director Abhishek Varman makes a confident debut and the combo of Dharma and Nadiadwala esnures that he gets the crew and the locations he asked for. IIM Ahmedabad looks beautiful on camera and appears fresh.
But all said and done, it is Alia’s performance alone which I take back home from the film. If her performances in her last 2 films are anything to go by, this is an actress who will go a long way. Calling her phenomenal would be an understatement, sadly cant say the same about the film.