Shaadi ke Side Effects- Talking of side effects, watching this lousy film left me thoroughly bored!!!!

When you manage to cast two of the finest actors around, you believe your job is done. When you manage to get like 3-4 chart-buster songs in your films, you believe you have cracked it. And especially when you have taken 7 years to write a fitting follow up to your spicy first film, you know you have a winner on your hands. How then can you mess it all up? Well, Shaadi ke Side Effects offers to answer this question. A lot has changed in Bollywood since Saket Chaudhry gave us Pyaar Ke Side Effects. Mallika Sherawat has become past tense. Rahul Bose only does niche films. And many other things have changed. But what has not changed is the winning formula. You make a good film and success would follow you for sure.


My problem with Shaadi ke Side Effects is not that its a bad film. My issue is that the film reeks of the episodic daily soap feel which has already been milked to death by one of the film’s producers-Balaji. So why then do you cast two sparkling actors and straddle them with roles which are so one note that I am sure even Farhan and Vidya must be wondering half way through the film that what have they got into.

The film by the way is the story of Sid and Trisha who are happily married and their lives are going along just fine, till they are blessed with a bay girl. All hell breaks loose and how the couple reacts to a new addition in the family and what sacrifices they make forms the crux of the story.

The film looks good throughout and the songs whenever they do pop up act as a sort of relief from the monotony. But then it is the performances of Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan which you take back home. Both the actors have pretty much conquered the awards stage recently. Farhan doing it this year and Vidya doing it last year and the year before. The music by Pritam is as usual peppy but it is Saket Choudhry who leaves a lot to be desired. From the director of Pyaar ke Side Effects and the screenwriter of Asoka, I certainly expected a better film. I don’t know whether it was the pressure to succumb to a sequel or something else, but if this kind of work takes you seven years to execute, then I suggest making a quickie film pronto.

For the new found fans of Farhan and the growing fans of Vidya, wait for their next film. Give this one a miss and you will be glad to escape the side effects of watching this boring story unfold on screen.

Rating- 1.5/5


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


BhaaG MilkhA BhaaG- A terribly exploitative film which overstays its welcome….

When i watched the first teaser of Rakeysh Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB from here on) way back in November 2012 , it had me hooked. A bio pic on one of our greatest sporting icons seemed like a mouthwatering concept. So, i walked into the film expecting mehra to set the screen ablaze. And after an agonizing 3 hrs and 10 mins, i was left awed by one man-Farhan Akhtar. And this man’s total surrender to a character blew me away. It is by far THE BEST performance i have seen in recent times and that was the only redeeming factor in this regressive mess of a film.

Biopics as a genre haven’t really caught the fancy of our film makers yet, so films like Paan SIngh Tomar and BMB are an exception. But the spunk and grit which made Paan Singh Tomar a runaway success, that is missing here. And to make a film on an icon and then just scratch the surface is not doing true justice to his charismatic abilities.

And here in lies my problem with BMB. It is a film which is tedious and exploitative. It tries to abuse slow motion to the hilt to create that lump in your throat moments but beyond a point, the only pain you feel is your back which kinda hopes THE END pops up asap.

With top notch technicians at his disposal and one of the finest writers at his command, BMB was expected to be a milestone film. Add Farhan top the mix and you have a classic ready to serve. But there in, it goes horribly wrong and its so bloody wrong that if I were Milkha Singh, i would have felt shortchanged.

The reason for Milkha not going to Pakistan is so bloody obvious that it feels immaturely kiddish to watch a 3 hour long story unfold punctuated by that silly question time and again that why wouldn’t Milkha run in Pakistan? And talking about Milkha running, I believe every character was just given one brief- You need to scream Bhaag Milkha Bhaag at the top of your lungs at-least once during your screen-time.!!!!

The performances are all top notch. Farhan Akhtar’s bravura act is complimented by DIvya Dutta whose act reverberates extreme pathos that you carry her character home with you. And Sonam Kapoor in a 10 minute role takes your heart away. Her charm and screen presence is mesmerizing. And Pawan Malhotra and Prakash Raj are equally brilliant in their characters. It is Yuvraj’s father Yograj Singh who sticks out like a sore thumb. His character comes across as a caricature and the less said about him, the better.

The technicalities are A-grade with that magician Binod Pradhan lensing Bhaag Milkha Bhaag so commendably that you fall in love with the visuals. As i mentioned earlier, this is a film where slow mos have been abused to the hilt but that takes nothing away from Pradhan’s magic. Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music is so foot tapping and terrific that not for a moment did i miss Rahman’s presence, who otherwise is a mehra regular.

So that brings me to the only two culprits who messed up this saga so horribly that it has taken Indian cinema back by 20 years. Prasoon Joshi and Rakeysh Mehra. With the script which lacks direction and with a director who has a wasted script, the film fails to rise above ordinary levels and with so much talent at your disposal, expecting a good film is not asking for much.

All said and done, this Milkha ends up running a little longer than what we would have savored!!!!!

My rating-2/5.