Archive for Hindi

Mardaani

Mardaani

Rani Mukerji is definitely one of the best actors of this age and has enough talent to carry a movie on her shoulders. However, even she can’t do much when the script is meek and too predictable.

After four years of hiatus, director Pradeep Sarkar is back with another female oriented movie. Parineeta was a path breaking debut for both Vidya and Pradeep. While Vidya proved her mettle with every film thereafter, he failed to make an impact. And now, he’s back with his fourth feature Mardaani which has its heart at the right place, but unfortunately lacks the punch.

Inspector Shivani (Rani) plays a blatant crime branch cop trying to nab a child sex trafficking racket in this two-hour crime drama. While Rani does justice to her role, the circumstances in which she does them seem too contrived. Emotions seem muted, therefore episodes which are supposed to make your tummy churn seem like run of the mill stuff. And though the scenes between Rani and her antagonist are well conceived, it all results in a boring climax face off. While screenplay is pretty decent, the direction is pretty mediocre.

If it weren’t for Rani, a movie like this would/could have gone totally unnoticed. While she brings charm and adds flare to the film, the weak script fails her. However, she needs to be commended for her effort. Tahir Bhasin  is very good as her counterpart and has a bright future. The rest of the cast is alright.

Music and background score by Salim-Sulaiman is pretty decent. Editing by Sanjib Dutta is neat and cinematography by Artur Zurawski is very good.

Is it worth your time and money??: It’s not a bad film, no. Nevertheless it could have been so much better. But for Rani, there is nothing special the movie has to offer. Watch it only for her. 

Worth mention: Rani all the way!

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Humpty-Sharma-Ki-Dulhania

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge released 19 years ago, and 16 years since the release of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. They were good movies, alright, but I really don’t think they are classics in any sense. Dharma movies seems to think otherwise.

Scripted and directed by Shashank Khaitan, the movie kicks off with our engaged heroine, Kavya flirting around with the hero, Humpty. Soon, as expected, they fall in love, and the rest of the story is about how our beloved Humpty convinces Kavya’s dad about their love. Sounds familiar na? While Shashank’s take on the story is pretty good, it is too predictable, and you start to wonder if you actually paid money to watch a rerun of a bunch of films. The first half is well executed, and then he loses it. Direction isn’t great and the screenplay is absolutely shoddy. And the climax was too filmy even to be featured in a film!

On acting front, Varun shines big time. He’s got a lot of energy and this is apparent on-screen. Alia on the other hand surprises me. While she was pretty good in 2 States, it looked like she refused to act in this film. She has the same expression for most of the movie. She’s got the looks and the nakhras, but no, she doesn’t act. Ashutosh Rana is pretty good as Alia’s dad. He can actually groom himself to be the next Amrish Puri. Siddharth Shukla is alright. Humpty’s side kicks Gaurav Pandey and Sahil Vaid are really good.

Music by Sachin – Jigar and Toshi Sabri is more or less mediocre. The only songs I liked were “Samjhawan” and “Daingad Daingad”. But for in the climax, editing by Manan Sagar was alright. Cinematography by Neha Parti Matiyani was very good.

Is it worth your time and money??: It’s a timepass movie. But honestly, you can give it a skip unless you have nothing better to do. The only plus point is Varun, nothing more.

Worth mention: The gay episode in the second half was hilarious.

Acting: 7.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5/10
Technical Aspects: 7/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

Bobby Jasoos

Bobby Jasoos

After The Dirty Picture and Kahaani, every movie of Vidya Balan releases with great expectations. While Bobby Jasoos isn’t as pompous or intense as the former two, it is definitely worth your buck!

Bobby is a beloved girl from a Muslim family of our Old City in Hyderabad, who considers herself to be a great detective. While solving a couple of petty cases in her neighborhood, she is called upon by a mysterious man paying big money, to find a couple of missing people. The rest of the story is about who the mysterious man is and whom does he want to be found. Scripted and directed by debutant Samar Shaikh, the story is kept simple and never gets too complicated. Showcasing the nativity of Hyderabad to the maximum, Samar brings out beautiful emotions from all his cast members. Direction is very neat, while the screenplay could have been little better. And ya, there is no real jasoosi in the move but for in the title, a disappointment.

Vidya owns the film big time and looks absolutely gorgeous. With this film, she once again proves that you don’t have to shed your clothes or have a perfect figure to look beautiful. Her expressions and smile in few episodes are priceless. Ali Zafar is great as the male protagonist. He had to downplay quite a bit to let Vidya take center stage, and he does it with ease. Arjan Bajwa is pretty good, while Supriya Pathak and the rest of Bobby’s family are perfect. The guy who played the role of Shetty, Prasad Barve, deserves a mention.

Music and background score by Shantanu Moitra are pretty good. While the first song was welcoming, the song in the second half was more like a speedbreaker to the film’s pace. Editing by Hemal Kothari is neat, and so is the screenplay by Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh. However, I felt that he could have captured more of Old City grandeur. Samar Sheik also deserves a mention for the dialogues in Hyderabadi slang.

Is it worth your time and money??: Yes. You might have already heard this before on various occasions – go watch the film for an amazing performance by one of the best actors in recent times, Vidya Balan! It’s no great film, but still enjoyable.

Worth mention: The entire episode before and after Ali Zafar talking to his abba jaan, and the message in the climax.

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8/10

Filmistaan

Filmistaan

So often, a movie with raving reviews disappoints you, probably because you walk in expecting too much. Thankfully, Filmistaan doesn’t.

Directed by Nitin Kakkar, this is a simple story of how we humans have created differences among ourselves because of a stupid line drawn by a Britisher, dividing us into India and Pakistan. It shows that we still share the same passion for things: cinema and cricket (they missed food), and a border cannot really divide us. Nitin was able to execute this message brilliantly, and was able to bring out the emotions from his actors to the best. He never complicates things, and I really liked the way he ended the movie. Apart from screenplay and direction, dialogues by Sharib Hashmi are a major asset; they are as filmy as possible, yet convey a lot.

Sharib Hashmi is brilliant not just with the dialogues, but also with his acting as the lead. He portrays such innocence and oozes out such charm that you can’t stop yourself from falling in love with his character. Inaamulhaq compliments Sharib in every sense and comes up with one of his best performances. Their acting in the climax is excellent. The rest of the cast, from the kidnappers to the village folk, everyone put up fine performances. 

Music and background score by Arijit Datta is perfect, and editing by Sachindra Vats is crisp. Cinematography by Subhrasnsu Das is another major plus point. The arid sands of Rajasthan have been beautifully picturized. It’s sad that a such a brilliant film came into limelight two years after release, only after it won a National award.

Is it worth your time and money??: Absolutely! It conveys the message I believe in, that a border does not separate us Indians and Pakistanis, so gets a bonus yes. Go enjoy some brilliant performances by the cast, and enjoy the beauty of cinema.

Whether you’re in Hindustan or Pakistan, go watch Filmistaan!

Worth mention: The Maine Pyaar Kiya episode, film auditions, and the beautiful climax.

Acting: 9.5/10 Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9.5/10 Technical Aspects: 9/10

Verdict: 9.5/10

PS: I prayed for the survival of the lead pair during the climax. The only other film I’ve ever prayed for was Lagaan. Now that say’s a lot 🙂

2 States

2 States

When I first read the book 2 States: The Story of My Marriage, in 2009, I thought it was decent, though it went a bit overboard at times. Come 2014, like any other Chetan Bhagat book, the movie is made, and this time around, I thought it went overboard in a different way, leaving out some of the niceties, nuances and struggles showcased in the book.

Adapted for screen by first time director Abhishek Verman, the movie kicks off well – with both our protagonists Krish and Ananya meeting at IIM-A, becoming friends, moving in together, and later, wanting to get married. The first half of the film is joyful and entertaining, but the second half seemed long and boring. It all seemed like a fairy tale, without any real challenges in the end. Except for one scene in which Krish is served food on Banana leaf, the cultural differences were not presented. It was just “He’s Punjabi, so don’t marry him” and vice-versa, with no real conflict point established. I also didn’t like the way the story was narrated at a psychiatrist for it did not add anything to the film. While direction is decent, screenplay, especially in the second half could have been better.

Arjun and Alia shine in their roles, and have matured as actors when compared to their debut films. However, not once did Alia look like a Tamil Brahmin. Revathi is simple as Ananya’s mom. Amrita Singh has a meaty role and she did justice to the T. Ronit Roy is pretty good.

I didn’t realize that the music was by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy until the end credits, for it sounded very different from their usual. It was refreshing. Editing by Namrata Rao is alright, while cinematography by Binod Pradhan is decent. I’m bored watching the grand sets in all the Dharma movies. Right from the hostel rooms at IIM-A to the houses Krish and Ananya live in, and the wedding, everything is so majestic and full of money! When will Karan Johar realize that middle class people don’t live like that??

Is it worth your time and money??: I really enjoyed the first half but cringed a bit in the second because it all seemed too easy. While the story could have been more powerful, the cast delivers with fine performances to make the film work. Overall, just a decent watch. 

Worth mention: Nothing!

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8/10
Technical Aspects: 7/10

Verdict: 7/10

Queen

QUEEN

After hearing some raving reviews, here I was watching Queen. And boy oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed one bit!

Directed by Vikas Bahl, Queen tell the story of Rani, an innocent young belle from Delhi who decides to go on her honeymoon alone after her fiance calls off the wedding. The story is simple, but Vikas handles it so well, that you connect with Rani easily. The witty dialogues by Anvita Dutt and Kangana herself add to the beautiful journey, while the screenplay  (by Parveez Shaikh, Chaitally Parmar and Vikas Bahl) is crisp. I loved the way the flashbacks kept coming in between the storyline. Direction is perfect, and Vikas was able to get right and beautiful emotions from every cast member. He is a director to look out for.

Kangana can take a bow. After some boisterous performances in the past, she portrays Rani with such ease and simplicity that you can’t stop falling in love with her. Her innocence charms you from the word go, and she comes up with an impeccable, probably her best performance till date. The rest of the cast is superb. Be it her foreign friends or her parents and relatives, everyone put up fine performances.

On technical front, music by Amit Trivedi is neither too loud nor weak; it’s just perfect. Editing by Abhijit Kokate and Anurag Kashyap, and cinematography by Siddharth Diwan and Bobby Singh are spot on. It’s nice to see a movie with no big star cast come so good, and proves the fact that script is the king/queen.

Is it worth your time and money??: Absolutely. It’s a brilliant film and should not be missed at any cost. Go enjoy Rani’s beautiful journey and get mesmerized by Kangana’s performance.

Worth mention: The episode when Rani gets drunk in Paris; and the end title credits.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10

Verdict: 9/10 + 0.5 for Kangana!

Hasee Toh Phasee

download

Directed by Vinil Mathew, Hasee Toh Phasee is a story of a three confused adults. Siddharth Malhotra plays Nikhil, who is about to get married to Karishma played by Adah Sharma. But trouble starts when comes drug addict/mad scientist Meeta played by Parineeti. The triangular love story looks good on paper, but the new director was unable to pull in the right emotions from his cast. Everything looked artificial, right from the love story between the to be married pair, the protagonists, and the father-daughter bonding. To add to this artificiality was the uninspiring and mediocre screenplay by scriptwriter Harshavardhan Kulkarni. The loopholes and lack of proper emotions didn’t help.

On acting front, Parineeti steals the show with her charming performance. She is cute and bubbly, but I thought her characterization was a bit inconsistent (so was her hairstyle). Siddharth Malhotra looked apt for the role, and does a commendable job. However, the rest of the cast is mediocre but for the guy who played wannabe Anu Malik. Adah Sharma looked odd, and Sharat Saxana was terrible as Siddharth’s father.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is alright, but the background score by Amar Mangrulkar could have been way better. The cinematography and editing work is decent, but what this film needed was a better screenplay and an experienced director.

Is it worth your time and money??: It’s a fun film, but again it’s nothing so great either. Lack of emotions and the uninspiring screenplay play spoil sport. On the positive side, Parineeti charms you while Siddharth is pretty good. You may watch it at your leisure.

Worth mention: The ACP Pradyuman and Daya episode. Absolutely hilarious!

Acting: 7/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

Dhoom 3

Dhoom-3

In every interview, Aamir has been going on and on about how he chose to do Dhoom 3 because of its amazing script. I’m sad to report that Aamir (whom I happen to like the most among today’s actors) seemed to have lost it. He probably should have done Mela 2 instead of Dhoom 3 for probably that would have been better. Co-written and directed by Tashan director Vijay Krishna Acharya, the film borrows its storyline from one of my favorite Hollywood film, one directed by Mr. Nolan, whose work Aamir has already enacted in the past. Instead of coming up with something innovative, or even copying it directly, Acharya decides to add a lot of masala, crazy, unbelievable and mostly dumb chases and stunts ala Rohit Shetty to bore us. Add to that a pathetically slow screenplay which adds to our misery. I can’t even write of all the dumb episodes for I will then have to write the entire script. Unimaginative and crappy is all I can say.

Abhishek proves with this film that he is no better than Uday Chopra (seriously). He has the same pathetic expression throughout the movie. Uday on the other hand, if not act, made people laugh more than a couple of times at least (intentionally and unintentionally). Katrina sizzles, but barring the songs, has screen presence of less than 10 minutes. The entire bhoj therefore is on Aamir’s shoulders, and thankfully, he is the only saving grace of the film. But somewhere down the line, he seemed to have realized what he landed himself in – he didn’t seem at his usual best. He reminded me of SRK on a couple of occasions while playing the “secret” role.

There is nothing great on the technical front either. Music by Pritam is mediocre, but the background score by Julius Packiam was decent. The tap dance was a bore with the taps not in sync more than once. Editing by Ritesh Soni could have been better: he could/should have deleted the entire intro sequence of AB and Uday, and the movie could have gained a couple more ratings. Cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is pretty good, but the graphic work was terrible.

Is it worth your time and money??: Unless you like no brainer films, I’d say stay away. This hold true especially for Aamir Khan fans like me. On the other hand, if you wanna laugh your asses off watching some seriously funny and impossible action sequences apart from the super hot Katrina, go for it.

Acting: 6.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 5/10

Verdict: 5.5/10 (only because of Aamir)

PS: Have you ever wondered how Aamir enters the bank?? 

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

bhaag_milkha_bhaag

Is it worth your time and money??:
Oh yes, this ain’t a film to be missed. After a disastrous Delhi-6 four years ago, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has a winner at his hand. Direction is perfect, and similar to Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh uses a non-linear narrative to unfold the story beautifully written by Prasoon Joshi. However, though the film starts off great and the first half is perfect, the film loses steam in the second half and feels like a drag thanks to slow screenplay.

On acting front, Farhan Akhtar, take a bow!! He seriously got into the skin of the character and did an awesome job as Milkha Singh. His performance, especially in the national record break race is brilliant. Forget director, Farhan is sure to win a best actor for his perfect portrayal. Pawan Malhotra and Yograj Singh were both brilliant in their respective roles, and Prakash Raj is good in his brief appearance. Divya Dutta does a commendable job as well. Sonam Kapoor has very limited screen presence (about 10 minutes), and was the only misfit. Rebecca Breeds is decent in her brief appearance.

Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy adds life to Farhan’s performance. The title track and ‘Zinda’ are both brilliantly composed. Cinematography by Binod Pradhan is of top-notch quality while editing by P. S. Bharathi could have been way better. The film, at more than 3 hours in length, is too long to narrate the story effectively. A number of episodes seemed out-of-place and could have made the cut. Placement of songs also derailed the narrative on a couple of occasions.

Overall, ignoring its flaws, the film is still excellent. Farhan comes up with an unforgettable performance. Go learn more about the flying Sikh now!!

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8/10

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

yeh-jawani-hai-deewani

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 7/10
Is it worth your time and money??: If fun is what you’re looking for, and have the patience to sit through a long movie, then this one is for you. Directed by Ayan Mukerji, whose last venture was the impressive Wake Up Sid, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani has all the elements required to make a good film. However, Ayan falters way too often, both with the screenplay and direction, which make YJHD just an average film. The story has shades of Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and 3 Idiots, but it does not charm you like any of those. I thought the screenplay was mediocre.

But its the leading pair which make the YJHD stand out. Ranbir is brilliant as the vibrant Bunny, chasing his dreams, while Deepika is superb as bespectacled Naina. Ranbir looked at easy and charms you with his performance, and Deepika oozed out the oomph factor and looks amazingly hot. Aditya Roy Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin are superb in their respective roles. Kunal Roy Kapoor is excellent, while Farooq Sheikh is brilliant in a small yet vital role. My only problem was with Evelyn Sharma, for she was plain irritating. Madhuri Dixit sizzles in the item song (However, I don’t like the fact that she’s stooped down to doing item songs!).

On technical front, music by Pritam is a definite plus point. The foot tapping numbers are well choreographed. Background score was pretty decent too. Cinematography by Manikandan is of top notch quality while editing by Akiv Ali could have been better. The film was way too long. Though the film looked extravagant and production by Dharma was excellent, I thought the artwork and sets, especially during the item song and Manali episodes looked pathetic (They looked similar to ones in second grade movies). That apart, the extras in all the songs looked plain dumb and out of sorts, especially the ones jumping without sync and rhythm in the far background.

Overall, a decent one time watch. Deepika and Ranbir sizzle up the screen, while the rest of the cast does a good job. On the downside, a shorter film with better screenplay would have been more effective.

Verdict: 8/10