Chinnadana Neekosam | Movie Review


Post his directorial debut (Tholi Prema), Karunakaran has been making some disastrous movies. While Chinnadana Neekosam isn’t a disaster, it is no better than average.

Similar to most films this year, Chinnadana Neekosam deals with family sentiments. Boy falls in love with a girl, but is ready to let go of it for her family’s sake. While Karunakaran showcases the first half in an entertaining way, the second half goes totally haywire. Be it the premise or the storytelling, this half is a total disaster with some terrible screenplay and direction. The entire gay episode was absolutely unnecessary and the climax was clichΓ©d. Sad that a promising start couldn’t be cashed upon.

Nithiin tries his best to carry the movie on his shoulders but succeeds only to an extent. Come a point, his act seemed repetitive and boring. He needs to get out of the box and try something different. Mishty Chakraborty has a meaty role, but didn’t fit the bill. She looked odd in most angles and her acting skills aren’t worth mention either. Nassar is alright while Ali is terrible. The rest of the cast didn’t really make an impact.

Music by Anoop Rubens is alright. Editing by Praveen Pudi is below par. There are so many scenes which could have made the cut (Thagubothu Ramesh scenes, gay episode) but were inserted just for the heck of it. Cinematography by Andrew is decent. Dialogues by Harsha Vardhan were good in parts.

Is it worth your time and money??: Not really. While the first half is decent, the latter half is terrible, and if I might add, disgraceful. Unless you have nothing better to do, you can easily give this one a skip (or better, walk out from the theatre after the first half).

Worth mention: Some dialogues in the first half.

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

Verdict: 6.5/10

PS: @Nithiin: Gay men are men, just like you and me. I thought you knew better than that.

Shubham Dhaba | Restaurant Review

Place: Shubham Dhaba
Location: Kondapur Main Road
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch (with Foodie friends)

One of my foodie friend has been long telling me about how yum the food is at Shubham Dhaba, but I never got the opportunity to visit. Now that there was a foodie meet, I wasn’t going to miss it and on a lazy Saturday afternoon, here I was to hog along with some foodie friends. Ambiance of the place is nothing great, more or less similar to Santosh Dhaba, Abids.

They had a fixed meal for the meet which had a couple of drinks, starters, main course, a rice item and Dal Batti Churma. Their famous Train Papad was served a few minutes into the meal.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Train Papad

I’m not a fan of papad, but thought this was quite innovative – 4 papads with different toppings/chutneys served together. I liked the Imily chutney one the best.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Achari Paneer Tikka

Next came in the Achari Paneer Tikka. While the paneer was fresh, it wasn’t well marinated and so it felt like I was eating raw paneer. When we informed this to the waiter, we got another serving which tasted better but still wasn’t perfect.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Gobi 65

Gobi 65 was served next. While this was pretty good, the gobi was overcooked which kinda made the pieces soggy.


The last starter was Veg. Manchuria which turned out to be excellent. They were crunchy and had perfect taste. These definitely were the best manchuria I’ve had in recent times.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Buttermilk, Masala Thumps Up and Lassi

While hogging on the starters, we asked for Buttermilk, Lassi and Masala Thumps Up. The Buttermilk was thick and creamy, while the Lassi was too sweet for my liking. The Masala Thumps Up was alright

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Shubham Special Marwadi Curry
Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Assorted Breads

While I was full with the food so far, the main course was served – Shubham Special Marwadi Curry and Deewan-E-Khaas, along with some Aloo Paratha and Butter Naan. The Marwadi Curry turned out to be super creamy with full of nuts, and tasted delicious. The Deewan-E-Khas was equally good and tasty. The breads were alright.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Shubham Special Fried Rice
Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Dal Tadka

Next, Special Fried Rice was served with Dal Tadka (I know it’s weird combination). The fired rice was again excellent with the quality of rice being perfect. The Dal too was pretty decent.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Dal and Churma

The last item of the meal was Dal Bati Churma. I was totally stuffed by the time this was served so just had a spoonful to taste. It turned out to be oozing with ghee and tasted delicious.

Overall, a pretty good meal. While the first couple of starters weren’t great, the rest of the meal turned out to be palatable. My only concern is with the consistency of the dishes for the taste kept varying with every serving. And also, the food is full of ghee and butter, so it’s definitely not for figure/diet conscious people. That apart, the service was alright and the prices were pretty reasonable. If your bored of the same food at Santosh Dhaba, Shubham is a must try place for you.

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 300/- (Foodie Deal)

Verdict: 9/10

Eat India Company | Restaurant Review

Place: Eat India Company
Location: Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch (with a friend)

On a Sunday afternoon, decided to meet a friend at Urban Asia. Only when we walked in did we realize that they have a brunch on Sundays and don’t serve a-la-carte. Most of the stuff on the brunch spread was meat and so we didn’t see a point of spending 800 bucks on it. Next stop, Eat India Company on the floor below. This place has very Indianised ambiance, and we made ourselves comfortable at a table for two in a corner.

They had two different menus for starters and main course which I thought was pretty neat. We ordered Bharwan Dhingri for starters, and Patiala Shahi Paneer with some bread for the main course.

Eat India Company Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Bharwan Dhingri

It took about ten minutes for the starters to be served, and I thought the presentation and quantity were pretty good. The description on the menu read beetroot and cottage cheese stuffed mushrooms, but I didn’t find any beetroot. However, they were very well done mushrooms with perfect stuffing and coating. Yum!

Eat India Company Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Patiala Shahi Paneer

The main course was served pretty soon, and again I was very impressed with the quantity of curry served. On taste front, the panner was super fresh and melt in my mouth, and the gravy happened to be the best I’ve had in recent times. Creamy and silky, it was finger licking good (I actually ended up cleaning the bowl with my fingers). Super yum!

Eat India Company Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Atte ki Laccha Paratha

For breads we ordered Atte ki Roti and Atte ki Laccha Paratha. While the roti was a little dry for my liking, the paratha was excellent. It had perfect layers and was very well-baked.

Eat India Company Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Kesar Badam Kulfi
Eat India Company Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Pista Kulfi

To finish off the yummy meal, we ordered a couple of Kulfi – Kesar Badam and Pista, both of which turned out to be delicious.

Overall, a super satisfying meal. It’s been a long time since I had such perfect meal. To add to the good food, the service was perfect and so was the ambiance. While the prices are a little on the higher side, I think they are still reasonable for the quantity served. I hope they maintain the same quality (and quantity) unlike their sister restaurant Via Milano. I’d put this on my best restaurants list for sure. Go hog!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 1312/-

Verdict: 9/10

Olive Bistro | Restaurant Review

Place: Olive Bistro
Location: Near Ambedkar University, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Italian
Meal: Lunch (with few foodie friends)

About a month ago, was called upon by a few foodie friends for a tasting session at Olive Bistro. Though I visited the restaurant pretty recently, decided to give it a try for it would give me an opportunity to try more dishes. On a bright afternoon, here I was with six other foodies inide the closed dining section. Ambiance wise, the place looked very bright (for the shades were pulled up), and it actually looked better than during the night-time.

We started off with drinks, and I asked for Peach & Apricot Milkshake. A while later I also ordered for a Litchi Iced Tea.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Peach & Apricot Milkshake
Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Litchi Iced Tea

The milkshake was creamy and the flavour was perfect. While it was a little too sweet for my liking, it was still a great shake. The Litchi Iced Tea was absolutely perfect and one of the best iced tea I’ve ever had.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mushroom Soup

Next I asked for the Mushroom Soup. This again was very thick and creamy, and tasted excellent. I loved the strong mushroom flavour.

While other foodie friends ordered a lot of meat starters, I asked for Veg. Pizza Pockets (Panzarotti) and Saffron Arancini.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veg. Pizza Pockets
Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Saffron Arancini

It is well-known that the service at Olive Bistro is slow, but the fact that it took close to an hour for these to be served was quite disappointing. Furthering adding to my misery (and hunger), neither of them tasted any good; the Pizza Pockets had barely any filling in them with no sight of cheese, while the Arancini stuffing seemed uncooked. I was really hungry and craving for food and that was the only reason I gulped them without any qualms.

Everyone at the table wanted to try The All Veg on a Thin Crust pizza, so.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
The All Veg Pizza on a Thin Crust

The pizza was served in reasonable time (surprisingly) and was bigger than what was served the last time I was here. While the crust was neat, I was not really satisfied with the pizza for it tasted pretty bland and there was barely any cheese.

For the main course, I ordered Roast Almond & Creamed Spinach Ravioli.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Roasted Almost & Creamed Spinach Ravioli

For some reason I was expecting this to be served in a creamy sauce, but it was in fact served in a dry tomato sauce. While it tasted alright, the ravioli stuffing was also pretty dry and I could neither taste the almonds nor the creamed spinach. Not the best ravioli.

To finish the meal, on recommendation, I ordered for OB Signature Profiteroles.

Olive Bistro Review by Sasikanth Paturi
OB Signature Profiteroles

While Profiteroles were not something I would have ordered in general (for I would have preferred something more creamy), these tasted pretty good and crunchy.

Overall, while few items tasted good, it wasn’t a great meal altogether. I was more or less disappointed with the starters and the main course items, so it actually a disappointing meal. To add to that, the service was pathetic. If I were paying for the meal (not a tasting session), I would have probably stormed out of the place for such lethargic service. The restaurant might have a huge fan following and tons of regular customers, but it can definitely count me out of that list for I don’t think I’d be coming back to this place in the near future again even if it is a tasting session.

Food: 7/10
Service: 5.5/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Meal for 1: N/A

Verdict: 7/10

PK | Movie Review


3 Idiots was a great film and it would have had to be something extraordinary to beat it. The expectations were super high, and after almost 5 years in the making, PK delivers, but does not excel.

All of Rajkumar Hirani’s three movies to date have had a social message, and PK is no exception. This time it’s about religious extremism. While a little jittery in the first few minutes, the next 90 minutes are absolute fun. Almost every episode makes you ponder over religious beliefs while making you roll in your seats. These 90 minutes are pure brilliance on direction front and showcase why Hirani is one of the finest directors in our industry. But then come second half, the script goes haywire, especially the talk show and the embassy episodes (both seemed goofy). Hirani and co-writer Abhijat Joshi also falter on screenplay in this half of the movie. Nevertheless, it’s a bold attempt on their front to showcase such extremism, and they need to be commended for their work. If only they excelled with a better ending!

The character is perfectly etched for Aamir and he is outstanding. Him carrying the same expression till he starts speaking Bhojpuri is worth a mention, and even otherwise, this probably is his best performance after Rang De Basanti. Anushka Sharma could have performed better (or rather should have underperformed), but she still is bearable. Sushant Singh Rajput impresses in his brief appearance and so does Sanjay Dutt. Surprisingly, Boman Irani has limited screen presence (for a Hirani film) and he is good. Saurabh Shukla is impressive as the godman.

Music by Shantanu Moitra, Ankit Tiwari and Ajay Atul is decent. Lyrics by Swanand Kirkire and Amitabh Varma need special mention for they are apt for the situations. Editing by Rajkumar Hirani could have been better. Cinematography by Muraleedharan is neat.

Is it worth your time and money??: There are a lot of expectations from an Aamir Khan movie, and they become ten-fold when the director is Rajkumar Hirani. While PK excels in most parts, the message is lost down the lane, and the ending seemed patchy. However, it is still a good movie thanks to some brilliant acting by the perfect Khan. While religious fanatics might not enjoy it, PK is a good watch for the rest.

So do you have company dhabba (stamp) on you?? πŸ˜›

Worth mention: Undoubtedly Aamir as PK. Him apart, the temple, church and mosque episodes are epic.

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

Verdict: 8.5/10

PS: I was just having the same discussion about religion with my mom the other day – God and religion are man-made concepts which help us live in sanity but not someone/something which punishes or instill fear in us. While I couldn’t convince her entirely, the movie helped in conveying my point to her πŸ™‚

Lingaa | Movie Review


After disastrous Kochadaiiyaan, one would have expected Rajni to act in a sensible film which would make his fans happy. But unfortunately, Lingaa fails miserably at all levels.

Directed by K S Ravi Kumar,  the film starts off in the present age with our Super Star as a petty thief. Then we’re told that he is the descendent of King Lingeswara who build a dam and temple in a small town in the pre-independence era. The temple has been closed down for ages and Lingaa is required to reopen the temple. The first part of the first half is about Anushka trying to vie Lingaa to visit the town and reopen the temple, and once he does, we have to sit through 2 hour flashback/lecture about how great his grandfather is. This flashback is so bloody long that I actually forgot the reason for it. The problem with Lingaa is not just its running time but its predictable script; no wait, it’s lazy screenplay; no, its pathetic direction. If either of the latter were good, the movie would have been better. But thanks to below par screenplay and direction, most Rajni fans in the theatre couldn’t stop yawning (and cursing). The only positive point are some good dialogues.

Rajni tries his best to keep the boat sailing, but how much can he do (especially when his body double is in most of the shots)? I enjoy his style and everything, but I think it’s time for him to stop romancing young co-stars and instead work on some sensible scripts. Both Anushka and Sonakshi have limited roles and neither makes an impression. Jagapathi Babu is alright. Santhanam is loud and his dubbing is even more irritating. The rest of the cast is fine.

Music by A R Rahman was pathetic. Did he really work on this film? Cos neither the background score nor the songs are up to his standards. Editing by Samjith is mediocre. While cinematography by Rathnavelu is good in parts, the below average graphics ruin the impact on most occasions.

Is it worth your time and money??: The trailer wasn’t impressive so I walked in with minimal expectations, but Lingaa turned out to be a bigger disappointment than I had expected. It ain’t a terrible film, but still, the fact that hardcore fans didn’t seem to enjoy the movie says a lot. So it’s totally alright if you give this one a skip.

Worth mention: Rajni

Acting: 7.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5/10
Technical Aspects: 6.5/10

Verdict: 6/10

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies | Movie Review

The Hobbit -The Battle of the Five Armies

While the first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, of the series wasn’t great, the second part, The Desolation of Smaug, was a better movie. While I was hoping for an excellent end to the series (like the third movie in the LOR series), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ended up being more like the first movie – ordinary.

The movie continues from where it left off, with Smaug attacking Lake Town. The Dragon Slayer saves the day and the town, but the battle has just began with every army converging and fighting for the Lonely Mountain. This battle seemed a little too long and at times artificial. Nevetheless, things pic up towards the latter half with Thorin’s battle against Azog and Legolas fighting Blog piquing your interest. Direction by Peter Jackson is neat but the screenplay wasn’t as interesting as the second film.

On acting front, this movie provides every character to showcase their talent and almost everyone performs to their best. Ian McKellen does a good job as expected, while Luke Evans is impressive. Evangeline Lilly still looked odd as Tauriel but comes up with a decent act. The Hobbit (Martin Freeman) puts up a fine performance.

Music and background score by Howard Shore is alright, and so is editing by Jabez Olssen. While the graphics still seemed artificial at times, they were better than the previous two films. Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie is pretty good.

Is it worth your time and money??: While not as engrossing as The Desolation of SmaugThe Battle of the Five Armies is a decent watch. Let’s hope it all ends here.

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

Verdict: 8/10

Roll On | Restaurant Review

Place: Roll On
Location: Adj. Mom and Me, KPHB Colony
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner

I’ve been wanting to try this place since I’ve read about it on Zomato. I dropped down one night after a movie at Cinepolis, but it was already too late and they were done with all the veggie stuff. So here I was on another occasion, on my way to catch another movie. Roll On is a no fancy joint, a small kiosk on the corner of the road with a couple of stools laid in front of the kiosk.

I asked for a Mushroom Olive Cheese Roll, and it took about 5-10 minutes before I was handed the roll.

Roll On Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mushroom Olive Cheese Roll

Unlike most other places which serve a maida based roll, this place served a wheat chapathi (which was good). The roll was oily, but on taste front it was very good. They used green Olives instead of black and the stuffing was perfect. For 80 bucks, this seemed more like an appetizer though.

Here I was again a few days later after watching another movie at PVR to try something more fulfilling; I ordered for an Egg-less Mushroom Cheese Shahi Paratha.

Roll On Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mushroom Cheese Shahi Paratha

This time it took a bit longer, about 15 minutes for the paratha to be served. On first sight, the quantity seemed better. Taste wise, though pretty spicy, the paratha was excellent; there was tons of cheese with yummy mushroom masala. I was expecting for it to have some mayonnaise as well, but because I asked for a egg-less paratha, they skipped it. Nevertheless, it turned out to be yum and filled my tummy.

Overall, a decent joint which serves some good rolls and parathas. The rolls are a little overpriced, especially since they don’t really fill your tummy, but the Shahi Paratha was total value for money. Definitely worth a try if you’re in this part of the town, but only if you are willing to ignore the calories.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 80/- for the Roll; Rs. 90 for the Paratha

Verdict: 8/10

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 | Movie Review


The first movie of the franchise The Hunger Games set the context, and the second movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire doubled the expectations thanks to some amazing action sequences and great performances from it’s leads. Come the third movie, the expectations were high, but unfortunately, while the acting still stands out, the movie doesn’t!

Scripted by Danny Strong and Peter Craig, and directed by Francis Lawrence, the problem with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is it’s snail paced narration. Right from the word go, almost all the scenes seemed a drag and some of them were in fact repetitive. There’s enough emotion, with Jennifer Lawrence putting up a great act, but there nothing on the action front to substantiate the expectations of a Hunger Games movie. The slow screenplay plays a big time spoil sport.

Music by James Newton Howard is decent, with pretty good sound mixing and design. Cinematography by Jo Willems is alright while editing by Mark Yoshikawa could have been better. It probably would have been best if the producers didn’t break the third book of the instalment into two parts.

Is it worth your time and money??: Compared to the first two films of the series, this one is more or less a bore. But that doesn’t mean you can skip it, especially if you’re following the series. So unless you happen to be a fan, wait for the DVD.

Worth mention: Jennifer Lawrence is close to brilliant on acting front.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6.5/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 7/10

Happy Ending | Movie Review


The trailer looked similar to Saif’s own movies from his production house, especially Love Aaj Kal. And unsurprisingly, the movie is more or less similar. But…

Raj and DK are directors who’ve made different films till date. Be it 99, Shor in the City or Go Goa Gone, their movies have been really ‘hatke’. But come Happy Ending, they’ve played safe. While the movie is quite different from the regular RomCom’s, it’s still cliched and very predictable. Yodi, our protagonist is a once upon a time successful author who can’t commit into relationships. And as expected, he bumps into Aanchal, who doesn’t believe in commitment either. And guess what, he falls head over heals for her and is in love. How new is that? The directors try their best to make it appear fresh, but unfortunately you’ve seen it all in the past. Nevertheless, they’ve done a great job in creating simple humour, thanks to some amazing and realistic dialogues (Hussain Dalal). This adds the charm to the movie, and you might end up connecting yourself with the characters. The screenplay is neat while the direction is alright.

It’s Saif’s film all the way. He does a good job on acting front (for he’s already played similar character). However he looks aged for most of the film while Govinda, who charms in his brief appearance as a Bollywood actor, actually looked better and younger than him. Ileana looked really pretty and did a good job. She’s come a long way since her debut film Devdas (Telugu). Kalki is perfect as the naggy girlfriend while it was nice to watch Preity play a mature role.

Music by Sachin-Jigar is really good. I loved three songs, and can’t stop humming “Hilke naacho naacho“. The background score was decent. Editing by Arindam Ghatak is alright. I don’t think I’ve come across a Bollywood film using three cinematographers thus far; Chase Bowman, Yaron Levy and Mahesh Limaye all did a good job.

Is it worth your time and money??: While it’s all very predictable, I’d still say yes for the movie never bores you and I love the message put across. Apart from dialogues, acting is neat, cinematography is perfect and I enjoyed the music. With a runtime of less than 150 minutes, I feel it’s a nice way to spend your weekend. However, if you’re expecting something new, give this one a skip.

Worth mention: The title. While it remind us of a special kind of massage, I loved the way it was conveyed in the movie; you create your own Happy Ending πŸ™‚

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8/10