Holiday- Akshay Kumar for a change isn’t off duty!!!!

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.
BkiaRT3CEAEqetE_0It 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.



R….RajkuMar- A Violent Shahid leaves you silent at the end of it all!!!!

There was a time when films were star vehicles which had no story, no logic but were full of herogiri, hand to hand combats and lovey dovey songs. Then the audience lost patience watching the same thing again and again which gave rise to the Kashyaps and the Motwanes of today. But the tide changed yet again few years back, and the man who was partly responsible for this was Prabhu Dheva. His Wanted set the ball rolling and gave the perennial Superstar in the making Salman Khan a new lease of life. And we all know the box office monster he has become now. Not just that, Prabhu Dheva is also responsible for giving Akshay Kumar his biggest blockbuster, a feat which none of his subsequent films have managed to even come close to. Of course, Ramaiyya Vastavaiya was a minor aberration, but he managed to carve out a decent success there as well with a rank newcomer. So when he decided to cast Shahid, I had reasons to believe that this film would be a game changer for him and give him the hit he so desperately needs. That is for the audience to decide, but Prabhu Dheva gives it his all and serves a piping hot entertainer which strikes all the right notes.


The story is about Romeo Rajkumar, a roadside tapori who comes to a village with a specific agenda.  He gets into Shivraj’s gang (Sonu Sood in top form) and starts eliminating his enemies one by one, till  he falls head over heels in love with Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha, for the 99th time in the same old role).  Romeo’s attraction towards Chanda is so strong that every time she comes in front of him, he forgets  the world and only focuses on impressing her. The mauj masti and romance take a violent turn  midway when Shivraj also falls for Chanda’s charm. The battle lines are drawn and then begins a fight  to the finish between Shivraj and Romeo. Who wins is anybody’s guess, but this was one fight which  was among st equals. Then again it was refreshing to see a villain who is not Prakash Raj and is an  equal match to the hero.

The film worked for me in most parts. Shahid’s dancing to Pritam’s chart-busters is the film’s biggest  draw. Although when Shahid bulldozes over 50 odd men, it looks a bit unconvincing but he gives it  his all. He is an impeccable actor and his romance, dance, fights and above all his uninhabited style  take the film to another level. Sonu Sood in his nostril flaring role is uniformly good, but has nothing  new to offer. Sonakshi wears the same clothes she wore last week in Bullett Raja,its just that this role has her in a more spunkier avatar.

The direction is top notch and Prabhu Dheva who directs his first original Bollywood film deserves brownie points for his work. The dialogues by Shiraz Ahmad are clap worthy and are in sync with the mood of the film. Pritam delivers two excellent songs and 3 average songs which give Shahid ample scope to exhibit his dancing skills.

This is one spicy masala entertainer, probably the best among the several which have released this year and deserves a watch for Shahid alone whose metamorphosis into a violent killing machine leaves you silent at the end of it all!!!

Rating- 4/5

BulleTT Raja- An ensemble masala film which almost pulls it off!!!!

Tigmanshu Dhulia, the man famous for his trippy title sequences and for his penchant of making statements arrives again albeit in a more commercial avatar this time. He gives us a Saif Ali Khan we have been dying to watch ever since Langda Tyagi happened. And he doesn’t disappoint us. It is vintage Saif in full form supported by an equally fiery Jimmy Sheirgill who has quietly been delivering swashbuckling performances one after the other. This duo alone makes Bullett Raja a thrilling ride.

Set amid-st the badlands of UP, two men drawn together by fate, end up becoming a gang. Saif as Raja and Jimmy as Rudra make life hell for everyone around when they decide to become political commandos. Their mayhem continues till Sonakshi arrives on screen and predictably, Saif falls for her. But it is the way Saif professes his love for the damsel which leaves you charmed. Together, the troika with able support from the rest of the cast boasting of some heavy names like Raj Babbar, Chunky Pandey, Ravi Kissen and Gulshan Grover manage to keep you entertained in the first half. It is when Jimmy is bumped off at the end of the first half, that the film starts spiraling downwards. Even the introduction of our very own Vidyut Jammwal doesn’t bring life to the proceedings and you are left disappointed because you don’t expect half baked dishes from that man,Dhulia.


Performances are all top notch and if they had been given a better story then they would have wreaked havoc on screen or as Raja fondly says, Pralay macha denge. The film although belongs to Saif and Saif alone and he shines. He sinks his teeth into the role and dishes out a clap-worthy performance, Sonakshi is barely there and acts at best like a scene filler. Mahie Gill is average in an item number.

The music is disappointing and not even a single song registers. The dialogues, the camera work and the action all are good but alas, they are nothing extra ordinary.

I truly believe Dhulia is a director who makes small films look large and maybe a scale of such epic proportions made him deviate more towards the commercial side, hence diluting the impact. nevertheless, the effort deserves respect and for that reason alone, the film should be watched once.

Rating- 3/5

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.



Once Upon ay Time in Mumbaai Dobara: Too much Style, Zero Substance.

I am extremely miffed. A terrific first instalment although I had my reservations about the film being called Once upon a Time in Mumbai even then. But once i watched the film, the claptrap dialogues, the set design, the look and feel of the actors and the film and the absolutely terrfic performances from Ajay, Emraan and Randeep simply won me over. An instant gangsta classic, it is a film I watch even today every time it has a rerun on the tube. Which brings me to the second instalment. The same team with a different star-cast. I was expecting magic Dobara. Alas, what I got was a half baked film which seemed to be stitched up from the leftovers of the first part.

One of the things which worked for the first film was its spot on casting and that is the major flaw of this film. More on that later. The plot is about Shoib (Akshay) and Aslam (Imran) who end up falling for the same girl Jasmine (Sonakshi). How the pavitra heroine prefers the devil’s advocate over the devil as her soul-mate forms the rest of the story. Anything new? Naah. Anything remotely new? Absolutely Naah.

Now a harebrained plot like this would require a dumb blond kinda girl to bring sense into this nonsense. And who better than Sonakshi Sinha? All the good work, all the praise she earned for Lootera comes undone here. I for one thought that the girl has got hold of her mojo and would now look out for films which would require her to act. Oh, so wrong i was. Her character in this film is for lack of a better word stupid. Talking of Imran Khan, this guy is so talented. I mean he has like 3 expressions which he can keep using for 3 hours and that my friends is sheer talent. And casting him as a street side ruffian is stretching it a wee bit too much. And as usual, he tries earnestly, even coming up with a 4th expression at times but playing poor is not just his thing.

Which brings me to Akshay Kumar. The STAR of this film. With flaring nostrils and a constant grin on his face, he seems to be acting in a totally different film. Although its fun to watch Akshay playing bad, but then I have always believed that there should a method to madness. Constantly comparing himself to Bambayii or talking crap to Sonakshi is all he gets to do in this film. He claims to be the Villain of the film but gets nothing even remotely villainous to do.

The support cast is led by Mahesh Manjrekar and Pitobhash Trpathy. Both fine actors,but with a role of this calibre there was only this much they could do. Kader Khan’s son Sarfaraz Khan returns after a hiatus as a sidekick to Akshay and does his usual bit. But it was Sonali Bendre in those 3 and a 1/2 scenes who took my breath away. She should consider a return to big screen in a full fledged role pronto.

The music which again was terrific in the first part is an absolute let down here. Except for the tuneful ‘Yeh Tune Kya Kiya’, rest of the other songs are nothing to write home about and I believe Pritam was caught in a bad mood while composing for this film. The cinematography is amazing and Ayanaka Bose gets the mood of the film bang on. Milan Luthria after delivering two blockbusters back to back, disappoints big time as a director and I hope he forgets this as a bad dream. The dialogues which added so much gravitas to the earlier film, fall flat here as every character seems to talk in punchlines and that kinda irritates you after a while.

There were some serious expectations I had from the film. Alas, too many punches spoil a film. Bambayi can do without an ode for some time.

Rating- 1/5


LooTera- A Marvelous Masterpiece!!!!!!

You cant really start with a mindset that I shall create a masterpiece. Masterpieces happen, not by intent but by chance. When content marries breathtaking narration,then a masterpiece emerges out of the ordinary work around us. And this is what Lootera is. It promised us a poignant romance, a sweeping saga of betrayal in love and a daft inspiration to that other masterpiece O Henry’s Last Leaf. But what emerges on screen is sheer poetry. Vikramaditya Motwane, take a bow. As Anurag Kashyap rightly mentioned, you truly are a film maker amongst directors.

This is a film which doesn’t really set out to be anything. It just takes you on a journey,sweeping you off your feet into a timeless era where love has still not lost its innocence. In fact Vikramaditya has such control over his subject that he makes this period romance appear fairy-talesque where love transcends boundaries and the world is still full of goodness.

The plot is nothing new but the freshness is what you lose your heart to. The story takes place in the early 1950’s when zamindars lived a life of royalty and pride. It introduces us to a girl who lives a protected life wherein every wish of hers is treated as a command. Therein walks into her life a price charming and sweeps her off her feet. How the romance transpires before the shocking revelation happens,forms the crux of the story. Now I shall not spoil the fun for you by divulging the plot details. In fact i shall let you experience this cinematic effort,just the way it should be. Without any preconceived notions.

The performances are so good that I for was left amazed. Ranveer Singh for starters has given us an idea of what he is capable of in that gem “Band Bajaa Baaraat’, but it is Sonakshi Sinha who blew me away. Here was this 100 crore girl (pun intended) who we are so used to watching as a 40 plus hero’s arm candy, displaying a range of emotions which i never knew she was capable of. Truly,kudos to Vikramaditya for extracting this Sonakshi out of the mindless clutter she has been appearing in film after film.

The music breathes life into the film and is truly the backbone of the film. Amit Trivedi weaves a spell with such brilliant tracks,that the songs itself ensure your money’s worth. Yes,his background score has that stolen piece from an easily forgotten film ‘One Day’, but i guess with a title like Lootera, the musician for the first time has tried his hand at westward inspiration.

The camerawork is of such terrific quality that every frame just melts into another one and the lighting is just apt to create an ambiance which shall suck you into Pakhi’s and Varun’s world. Mahendra Shetty,the man behind the lenses can well expect to be flooded with offers after this brilliant effort.

Finally,the direction. Vikaramaditya Motwane, who has assisted film makers of the ilk of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Anurag Kashyap has married beautifully the styles of both the film makers in both of his works,namely Udaan and Lootera. His films are realistically opulent and both his films are instant classics. Infact to follow up a successful first film with an equally good or better second film is not an easy task ton achieve and most of the directors fade into oblivion when their second effort goes wrong. But Vikram belongs to a different class. he stamps his brilliance in every frame and leaves you with a lump in your throat with his cinematic masterpiece.

All, in all, if you have anything important to do this weekend which does not allow you to include Lootera in your calendar, then I strongly recommend a reschedule not because this is a must watch. It is because masterpieces are served once in a blue moon and you clearly do not want a friend of yours to recount how brilliant the film is. Trust me, you want to experience this bonanza firsthand. For me, Vikramaditya Motwane has ensured that his name shall be remembered for eons to come and if Udaan was his first stab at brilliance ,then with Lootera he climbs a step higher. To many more.

My Rating- 3.5/5