Month: December 2011
Don 2 | Movie Review
Did I go to watch the Don return, or was it Mission Impossible 5?? There were car chases, buildings being bombed, hi-tech bank robbery sequence, 300 feet jump off a building, a mask involved.. did I miss anything?? In one word, it was a potpourri of say all the MI, Ocean’s Eleven, and every other Hollywood action film of similar genre put together into a 2 hours 26 minutes film. But wait, it doesn’t end there; unlike all other films, this one has the bad guy playing the lead role.
With the European mafia planning to kill him, Don (Shahrukh Khan) surrenders to the Interpol in Thailand. He is sentenced to death, and is sent to a Malaysian prison where he meets Vardhaan (Boman Irani). Don and Vardhaan escape from the prison and reach Berlin. Together, they plan to rob a bank while Interpol officer Roma (Priyanka Chopra) is trying to chase them down. The rest of the story is all about how the robbery is executed, and Don’s real motive behind the robbery.
Shahrukh Khan is brilliant as Don. He suits such kinda roles to perfection. I cant think of any actor from the current generation who can do a better job than him. Hrithik Roshan just proves that in his brief cameo as Don (oops, sorry!!). SRK looked really stylish all throughout the film. I liked his antics (which are very decent unlike his regular films) and dialogue delivery. Priyanka Chopra has a limited role in the film. She tried too hard to get into the character, and failed miserably. Kunal Kohli was alright in his brief role. Strangely, both Om Puri and Boman Irani looked out of place. The guy who played the role of Jabbar, Nawab Shah, was pathetic. Lara Dutta was pretty good in her cameo.
Written by Farhan Akhtar, Ameet Mehta and Amrish Shah (also credited for the screenplay), the film, as mentioned, relies too much on other films of similar genre. The first half of the movie was well written, and made sense, but the second half was like a half-baked cookie. The whole episode of the bank robbery, which forms the crux of the story, just doesn’t make sense. If anyone could walk into a bank and get into its safety vault so easily, I believe there would be a robbery every other day. And ya, why did Don need Vardhaan with him exactly?? The best part was Don going back into the bank with Roma in order to save the hostages. Even better, what’s with the bomb blast after Roma was shot?? The whole episodes involving Don and Roma seemed entirely ridiculous. The screenplay was decent, but too haphazard, especially towards the climax. For the first time, Farhan Akhtar fails as a director. Except for SRK, I thought that everyone looked out of place, with blank/straight faces for most of the movie. He shot the film very stylishly and even brilliantly in parts, but failed to generate performances from his artists.
The usual’s of an Excel production film are all here. Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is a definite asset to the film. There are only three songs in the movie though. More than the music, its the background score and the re-recording which make an impact. Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, and dialogues by Farhan are good. Editing by Anand Subaya could have been more crisp. Cinematography by Jason West is again, fantastic. The action sequences were alright, but a little to much to handle. With the 3D, I could neither make head nor tail of most of the action sequences, cos everything happened really fast. Otherwise, the 3D effect was alright. Production values by SRK and Excel Entertainment are pretty good. It is apparently the first Indian film to be shot in Germany.
Inspired from a whole bunch of movies, Don 2 lacks the punch of the first Don. Its not that MI – Ghost Protocol dint have its flaws, but it managed to cover them with the action and direction. But for this film, except for SRK, nothing else holds. Plus points are SRK, music, cinematography and a couple of action sequences. But its the senseless script script and mediocre direction which pull the film down.
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol | Movie Review
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol is not a great film, period. But thanks to its adrenaline pumping action sequences, a decent story, direction, and acting, it delivers to its expectations. The awesome cinematography just helps the case. I would have loved to hear better use of the MI theme though. It’s a lil boring in parts, but you’re too engaged to notice these flaws. It’s without doubt the best film of the series so far.
Watch it for sure, and if you do, watch it on IMAX (I’ve watched it both on IMAX and regular screen. The regular screen just doesn’t do justice to the film, there is no adrenaline rush!!). I’ve never seen the audience clap without any particular reason, but they did today for the spectacular sequences shot using the IMAX camera. They left me spellbound.
Verdict: 8/10 + 1 for IMAX
For a detailed review, read on….
The Kremlin is destroyed, and the Russians believe that the IMF is responsible for it, following which the US government disavows the IMF. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) takes up the mission of trying to find the guy responsible for the blasts, and stop him from starting a nuclear war. But he has to do it like a ghost, with only three team members, and without any kind of support. The rest of the story is about how Hunt, along with his team, accomplishes the mission: impossible.
Tom Cruise is absolutely brilliant in the lead role. He looked old, yet fit, and performed the stunts with great ease. It takes real guys to perform the stunt on the Burj Khalifa without a double. He gets a close to perfect score on acting front as well. Jeremy Renner was very good as the ‘helper’. He looked really dashing, and at times, better than Cruise. Simon Pegg was excellent, and created quite some humor in the film. Paula Patton was alright. She has great body. I hate to say this, but Anil Kapoor was pathetic as Brij Nath. I don’t even understand why he took up such kinda sleazy role, which lasts less than 5 minutes (I don’t think an actor of his caliber should do such kind of roles, just to make a mark in Hollywood). Rest of the cast was alright.
The story of the movie is very simple. Someone blasts a building in Russia, the Russians want to attack US, but our hero (or rather his team) tries to stop them and evades the nuclear invasion. Actually, now that I am typing it, it sounds very familiar to X-Men: First Class. But writers André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum did a pretty good job with the simple script. They added quite a number of twists and turns, or rather challenges to our team. But its Brad Bird (director) who makes this simple script look amazing on-screen. Having directed animations like Ratatouille and The Incredibles in the past, he uses all his experience from the Incredibles count on this one. His take on the movie was absolutely superb, and I don’t think anyone else could have done a better job. His persistence on using the IMAX cameras really pays off. The shots are out of the world!! On the downside, there were a couple of dull episodes (the climax especially), and unrealistic scenes which could have been handled better. Screenplay was excellent. (I am now eagerly waiting for 1906).
Music by Michael Giacchino was pretty decent. He did a good job of the original MI theme composed by Lalo Schifrin, but the punch was missing (I wasn’t quite satisfied with it). He did a horrendous job with the Indian music though. Editing by Paul Hirsch is pretty neat. A few of the scenes could have made the cut on the final print. After 2 hours 15 minutes, you don’t feel bored, but you want the movie to end. Cinematography by Robert Elswit is absolutely brilliant. The IMAX shots in Dubai are spell-binding. Production values by Tom Cruise,J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are really good, but I wish they had shown real India instead of a set somewhere else in the world. And when you say Mumbai, shoot it in Mumbai, not Bengaluru.
I really don’t understand why these Hollywood films make a mockery of India. I mean, when you say you are in India, shoot in India for God’s sake (they did in parts, but not completely). It’s not that we don’t have the resources or production equipment; we are home to the biggest film studio in the world. And I hated Anil Kapoor’s role more for the reason that it will now symbolize how Indians are to the rest of the world (just like Slumdog Millionaire did). And again, when you say you are in Mumbai, shoot in Mumbai. Oh btw, for my foreign friends reading this, no, we are not perverts like Anil Kapoor; no, we don’t have so many sexy BMW’s on road; no, we don’t have automated car parking systems yet; no, we don’t play that kinda sad pathetic music at our parties; and no, those Indian streets they show in the movie are not real.
On another note, you get to see Allu Arjun, Gopichand and a couple of other Indian stars on-screen.
And finally, this is what Wikipedia reads: The first public viewing of the movie across the globe was held in Hyderabad, India at Prasads IMAX. The movie released ahead of scheduled start on the 14 of December and the first show was at 10:30 AM IST. Yours truly was there!!
Puss in Boots | Movie Review
Its a story about how Puss turned out to be Puss, far before he met Shrek. Its a pretty decent watch, nothing as great as Shrek. Its got its own twist and turns, but the story lacks the punch. The animation was spot on, 3D effects not so great (definitely not an IMAX film).
The Dirty Picture | Movie Review
The Dirty Picture tells the story of Reshma (Vidya Balan), a small town girl who wants to make it big in films. She runs away from her house to Chennai a day before her wedding. She tries to get a supporting role in a movie but is insulted for her looks and is rejected. She somehow manages to get the role of an erotic dancer at a later stage. Her act goes viral and she is christened ‘Silk’ by producer SelvaGanesh (Rajesh Sharma). She continues to act in sleazy film and achieves fame envied by her counterparts. The rest of the story is about how she handles the criticism and responds to it.
Oh Vidya Balan, you have stumped me!
It’s an out-and-out Vidya Balan film and she oozes out oomph factor in each and every frame. She should be really appreciated for taking up such a role, shedding all her inhibitions. She looks dusky and really good during the first half of the film, and then puts on flab like crazy for the second half (I know how difficult it is to lose those tummy tires, god knows how she managed to lose it so soon). She was absolutely brilliant, and is sure to bag all the awards for best actress in 2012.
It is very difficult to make a film based on the life of an actress who committed suicide (Silk Smitha). But writer Rajat Aroraa (story, dialogues and screenplay) comes up with a very good script without going too deep into details on Silk’s personal life. The plot of the film is something similar to that of Kalki Koechlin role in Dev.D – people want and watch girls in skimpy clothes doing sleazy dances on-screen, but then insult the same girls and label them as sex-sirens off screen. The story revolves around how Silk handles this situation, and how she gives in into it towards the end. Though well written, the story tends to lose steam towards the second half of the movie. Dialogues are brilliantly written and act as the second lead in the movie. Screenplay could have been more effective towards the climax. Direction by Milan Luthria is good. He’s certainly improved on his directorial skills since Taxi 9211.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is alright. Audiance were going nuts for “Ooh La La”. Background score is good. The south-Indian track “Naka Muka” is very effective as the BG. Cinematography by is pretty good and editing by Akiv Ali is decent. Production values by Balaji Telefilms are very good. They did a very good job recreating the 80’s.
As already mentioned, it’s a Vidya Balan’s film. If it weren’t for her, this film would have been crap. She has portrayed the best role of her career so far. Brilliant dialogues, superb acting by Vidya and Naseeruddin Shah, effective background score, and the oomph factor are the plus points of the film. On the flip side, since its based of a true story, it might/will bore you. It’s not a great film by any means, and even I found it boring at times, but Vidya made sure that I walked out of the theater satisfied.
Verdict: 7/10 + 1 for Vidya 🙂