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…..!!!!!!
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.
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.
But 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.
After 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.
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.
The 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!!!!
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.