Showing posts with label Bollywood Movie Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bollywood Movie Reviews. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Besharam Movie Review

Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Javed Jaffrey

Director: Abhinav Singh Kashyap

Rating: Two Stars

The number of times Ranbir Kapoor, that simmering restless bundle of unstoppable talent, calls himself besharam (shameless) in this movie is not funny. And with good reason, one might add.
The plot is evidently written as a back-handed homage to the 1980s and 90s cinema of outlandish logistics where coincidences covered up for the lack of a sound sense in the script, and every actor screamed his or her dialogues to conceal the embarrassment of doing stuff that no one with an iota of intelligence would attempt. 

But even the logistics of the cinema of the absurd had a rhythm of its own. 

Besharam, however, is devoid of rhythm, sur or taal. It's shot like an ongoing television sitcom where the actors are clueless about which way the intended laughter would take them. Everyone in the movie, from the redoubtable Rishi Kapoor to the gifted-in-her-own-right Himani Shivpuri, is in it just for fun.

I am sure the script, when it was narrated to the actors, must have had them in splits.

And why not? Director Abhinav Kashyap's debut in Dabangg gave a new language to the Hindi commercial cinema. The language of cocky hero-giri. But then, Dabangg featured Salman Khan who does not need to act to impress audiences. He does not even try. 

Ranbir Kapoor in Besharam goes the other way. Every scene in the film is an "acting" moment. Ranbir does the equivalent of a very accomplished gymnast who must impress the sports council that he is qualified for the next Olympics.

The director obviously thinks very highly of Ranbir's talents. So do we. But does that mean he must attack every scene like an audition? There is a desperation in the narration hidden out of our view, but discernible nonetheless. A desperation to project the protagonist as infinitely wacky.

Cynical disregard for basic decency is meant to be cool in this film. In the endeavour to imbue Ranbir's car-thief character with a sense of mischievous artlessness, the narration becomes woefully heavy-handed. The tone adopted is that of a conversation between two reputed stand-up comedians who are out to prove they can convey the seriousness of existence even while maintaining the jokey tone. 

Everyone, barring the villain Javed Jaffrey, is given funny lines. They speak it with twinkle-eyed pleasure that, alas, is lost somewhere as it makes its way from the screen to the audience. There are passages of excruciatingly gauche writing where the actors run around in circles, trying to be cute replicas of characters from the movies in the 1990s.

Among these aimless drifters in the province of the potboiler are Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, playing a corrupt quarrelsome Haryanvi cop couple. Their roles seem to start with the firm resolve that their real-life relation to the hero would be kept completely out of bounds. But then, as the script progresses, real-life references like "Tum toh meri maa samaan ho" ("You're like my mother") and "Main tera baap hoon" ("I'm your dad") creep in, until the margin of satire shrinks to the extent of being non-existent. 

And we finally come to a stage where Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh "adopt" Ranbir's character!
"Go for it," Ranbir's sidekick Titu (well played by Amitosh Nagpal) tells the hero. "You even look like the female cop (Neetu Singh)."

The trouble with mainstream Hindi cinema is that when all is said and done, it is nothing but a star-vehicle. Besharam stars off cocking a snook at conventional trappings. It eventually ends up sucking up to cinematic cliches, and with not even a pretence of subtlety.

Besharam is clogged with plot-holes into which the characters happily fall. There they remain happily wallowing in the uni-dimensionality of their narrow world-view. 

The fuss, if you must know, is over a posh car bought by the girl that our hero, Bunty, has fallen for.
That the girl, Pallavi Sharda, seems to belong to another plot and another film is besides the point.
Bunty loves her, period. And what follows is a series of goofy escapades where Bunty outwits the villain. Laughter.

It is sad to see Rishi Kapoor reduced to sitting on the potty and noisily clearing his bowels. And at one point, the heroine herself asks: "Yeh thoda vulgar nahin ho gaya?" ("That got a little vulgar?")

To Read Full Review Click Here

Monday, September 30, 2013

Prague movie review

Film: Prague; Cast: Chandan Roy Sanyal, Elena Kazan, Kumar Mayank, Arfi Lamba; Directed by Ashish R Shukla

Prague opens in India where the dynamics of Chandan’s inner world are manifested in his relationship with an undependable Indian girl named Shubangi and his two closest friends Gulshan (Kumar Mayank) and Arfi (Arfi Lamba) one of whom, we soon realise, is dead. This is when we begin to realise that Chandan’s character is losing his mind. As he and his two best friends move to Prague, the stage is sturdily set for Chandan’s descent into hell.

As for Chandan the actor, he embraces all the confusion, complexities, insecurities and insanity of his character. In some sequences where his madness overtakes his better judgement, he allows his character to take over. We can see him floating in the tides of whimsy.

The casting of Chandan’s two friends is also of the utmost importance. The cocky self-centred Gulshan as played by Kumar Mayank is the most fatally charismatic character in this intricate jigsaw of light and death. And the wimpy, whiny, over-possessive Arfi.

Then there is Elena Kazan, last seen as Randeep Hooda’s neurotic alcoholic girlfriend in John Day. Here she plays a far more normal girl who is forced to join her lover in his journey into hell. Elena brings a whole lot of tragic charm to the proceedings.

But we know this love story too would end in terrible tragedy. Just as the first love story in the Mumbai section of the film when ‘Shubhangi’ the bitch, who betrays in love, becomes indicative of the malaise of rejection that destroys Chandan’s life.

Dark, sinister, wild and unpredictable, Prague takes us into the depths of despair. Not all, or even some of the events in the film make sense when judged against conventional populist elements. This film dares to court the dark side of the human mind. The very powerful Chandan plays an artiste on the brink. As he topples over, we get a vivid view into the abyss that separates man from madness.

Prague is a tough film to ingest.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Phata Poster Nikla Hero movie review

Director Rajkumar Santoshi disappoints. Not only does this film carry the hangover of his last hit with Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif, Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani, but also seems like Santoshi has sought inspiration from David Dhawan’s mindless comedies and Abhinav Kashyap’s Dabangg, especially in the action scenes. The filmmaker uses a half-baked, done-to-death plot where even the romance between the film’s lead pair fizzles due to a lack of build-up. The chemistry between Shahid and Ileana is almost non-existent. Ileana was promising in Barfi!, but she isn’t impressive as ‘Complaint Kajal’ – blame it on her bad dialogue delivery or the director’s caricaturish presentation of the film’s characters. Darshan Jariwala (as Commissioner of Police) and Sanjay Mishra (as Guruji) are good, but haven’t been properly used. Saurabh Shukla is wasted, but Salman Khan’s guest appearance is perfectly set into the movie.

The film’s music is impressive and its saving grace; however, the picturisation harks back to that of Ajab Prem…, whether it is the Agal bagal song that has shades of Prem ki nayya or Mere bina tu, modelled on Tu jaane na. We have to wonder if Santoshi is sticking to a set pattern or some kind of formula, because the film lacks surprises – so much so that even the twists are predictable. Nargis Fakhri’s item song is a jump in the bumpy flow. Is this a film made in the factory of a man who gave us cult comedy like in Andaz Apna Apna? We expected more, or at least something different, for sure.

Shahid Kapoor looks great, especially in a cop avatar

Friday, September 13, 2013

Horror Story movie review

Star cast: Karan Kundra, Nishant Malkani, Ravish Desai, Hasan Zaidi, Aparna Bajpai, Radhika Menon, Nandini Vaid, Sheetal Singh

Director: Ayush Raina

The film is laden with spookily created jarring sounds and successfully builds the fearsome aura.
The film is heavily inspired from flicks like The Exorcist along with the climax turning into a bhoot-fair of sorts!

Vikram Bhatt’s expertise over the genre is impressionable but Horror Story isn’t the best of his work. The film uses too many ideas from popular films like The Ring and lacks tremendously on elaborating the writer’s imaginative bent! It is a brazenly written, uninspired work lacking originality and freshness. You can easily give this one a miss unless you are desperate to scare yourself, in which case I assure you, the film will need a great deal of effort from your side to numb you off!

The film begins with a man walking up Hotel Grandiose into Room No. 3046 and jumping off the building. The story swiftly cuts to a nightclub where a bunch of friends are gulping down shots to bid farewell to one of their closest buddies. News flashes show that the Hotel is shutting down for good, and that’s when spooky stories about the haunted place unspools to the gang!

The friends in a gusto of being foolhardy decide to go check out the place. Like luck would have the property is indeed haunted by a witch who wouldn’t stand anyone loitering around there. The friends are soon pinned down by the paranormal intervention as each of them will have to pay for entering the haunted land!
For more reviews click here

Grand Masti movie review

The makers of Grand Masti have been promoting the film as an adult comedy so we obviously can't blame them for the non-stop adult humour in it but what we can and should blame them for are a lot of other loopholes.
Grand Masti, as we know, is the sequel to the 2004 hit movie Masti. As the opening scene shows college students Amar, Meet and Prem (Ritesh Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi and Aftab Shivdasani respectively) are teaching their juniors how to have a good time at college. So when they say 'A stands for', the camera zooms into the girls' backside and there is a montage of tight close up of girls wearing hot pants and even lesser. As soon as the point is loud and clear they move on to the letter 'B' and the director focuses on the women's chest. The opening scene sets the ball rolling and makes it clear as to what one can expect in the next two hours ten minutes. Once out of college, Amar, Meet and Prem are married and well, not having a good sex life. So their only hope is the reunion at their college SLUTS, of course the full form is something else, 'Shree Lalchand University of Technology and Science'. Back in the campus, the three boys are chasing three hot women whose names are Rose, Mary and Marlowe of course pronounced as 'Roz Meri Maarlo'!

We knew what to expect from the posters and promos but the problem here is that the humour is cheap and forced. The makers have not just gone too far but they have scrapped the bottom of the barrel to dig out the cheapest possible double meaning jokes. Throughout the film, the close up of private parts, male and female both, leaves you disgusted.

Funny and Cheap are two different things, this one is definitely the latter!

For more reviews click here

John Day movie review

John Day does a few things right. It stars the venerable Naseeruddin Shah in his best performance since Sona Spa. It is a straight up revenge thriller without any songs to interrupt the flow. It’s shot in some locations that have seldom, if not never been used in Bollywood thrillers. Some of the dialogues are good. We’ve now reached the end of the rosy section of this review.

What really destroys the film is that even in the final hour it never feels like anything is at stake. The climactic scene falls completely limp because the story never makes you care about anything that’s going on.

Incomplete, boring and confusing comes easily to the mind when describing the film. All in all, a bland thriller. One can't help but think that Naseeruddin's character John Day is similar to the role he played in 'A Wednesday'. While in 'A Wednesday' he played the common man taking a stand against the system and correcting a few wrongs, in 'John Day' he plays a man who has his own reasons to do what he does.

For more reviews about the movie please click here

Friday, September 6, 2013

Zanjeer 2.0 movie review

Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, Zanjeer 2.0 starring Priyanka Chopra and Ram Charan is nothing close to the original version which had Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. The film comes off more as a typical Bollywood masala flick than an action thriller. No, we aren’t saying there is no action. Of course there is, with numerous fights in the film… in fact, so many that after a while we lose track of who is bashing up whom and why, but these brawls fail to create too much of an impression.

Unlike the original film which begins with the murder of Vijay Khanna’s parents, the remake starts with a squalid item number ‘Chahe jitni guzaarish kar le’ and though the director had promised that his item girl would take the industry by storm, this one is definitely thanda. We’ve certainly seen better! Once the song ends, Ram Charan (ACP Vijay Khanna) wakes up to his oft-repeated nightmare, of a hooded man killing his parents. A sweaty Ram vents his frustration on a punching bag – the scene would’ve looked very hot if it wasn’t for Ram himself! Soon after, the fight sequences begin, one following the other in quick succession. Ram single-handedly and very violently fights off a politician and his goons, which results in his being transferred for the umpteenth time. This scene reveals one truth: politics always triumphs over what’s right!

No, the romance between Bollywood Stars Piggy Chops and Teja doesn’t begin until Ram shelters Priyanka in his home when she’s almost killed and loses all her belongings. How sweet, no? That’s not all, though. Ram, like any good superhero, is always at the right place at the right time to save the damsel in distress.

The villain, played by Prakash Raj (Rudraprakash Teja) is rudra in every possible way. He is cruel, violent, brutal, savage and barbarous. We love this bad man! Mahie Gill (Mona darling) plays his horny mistress. While there’s no chemistry between the two, their cheesy dialogues convey their relationship.
The cinematography is not bad. In fact, the camera angles are just right, especially while capturing Ram Charan. But despite that he doesn’t have a strong screen presence. Some dialogues by Priyanka and Prakash hit the target. The songs were forced and one or two less would have worked well to help us stay in our seats instead of restively longing for the interval.

Of course, the film has a happy Bollywood ending with the triumph of good over evil. In fact, after watching the last scene, it seems as if the makers are hoping to do a sequel to Zanjeer 2.0 – as if the remake wasn’t enough! Priyanka’s fans can enjoy this one for her presence, but anyone hoping to watch some great action is likely to be disappointed…

Shuddh Desi Romance movie review: Absolutely unadulterated shuddh desi entertainment!

In Shuddh Desi Romance, we get to meet the innocent looking Raghuram Shriram (Sushant Singh Rajput). Well! do not go by his name. He's is a super confused chap, really naughty and romantic at heart. Raghu falls in love with the bold Gayatri (Bollywood Actress Parineeti Chopra), with whom he starts living together. The couple seems very much in love, until the day when they decide to get married to each other and Gayatri dumps Raghu on the day of their wedding ceremony. 

Then enters the beautiful Tara (Vaani Kapoor), who is actually a matured and sensible woman. Tara is the same woman, who was once dumped by Raghu in the past on their day of wedding. Well! does the plot seem really confusing? If so, there's a lot more boredom coming up in the flick.

Shuddh Desi Romance lacks soul and suffers due to its weak script. Though funny at times, on the whole, very monotonous. Shuddh Desi Romance could have got rid of some unneccesary scenes and instances, but at the end, gets stretched to an extent, when the viewers literally starts to yawn.

Sushant Singh Rajput is super cute and retains his boy-next-door charm. He delivers an amazing performance and lives up to our expectations. Parineeti Chopra overracts at times, and does an OK job. Vaani Kapoor is impressive and equally gorgeous.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Satyagraha movie review

Satyagraha is a word inspired by Gandhi's movement of non-violence. As heavy as the word may be, Gandhi easily demonstrated how effective a tool it can be.

When it comes to cinema, its truth is equally divided in to three parts - story, acting and direction. What the movie lost out in story and direction, it made up for with acting. The movie's saving grace was the Bollywood Celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpai and somehow managing to secure the third spot on this list, Ajay Devgn.

Despite most media reports of satyagraha movie review, 'Satyagraha' is not a follow-up to the Ranbir Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai and Arjun Rampal starrer 'Rajneeti'.

The movie 'Satyagraha' covers hot-wire topics that have stirred the nation. It is undeniably a culmination of Anna Hazare's movement, the Jan Lokpal bill, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, engineer Satyendra Dubey's murder and Gandhi's last days on earth. Barring this, most other things - melodrama, love, item numbers and other 'thought-provoking' scenes according to Prakash Jha - seemed forced.

These points strip the movie of any value, and leave it looking neither realistic or entertaining.

What the viewer does manage to remember, though, is the fact that Prakash Jha is the same director to gave us 'Gangajal' and 'Apaharan', movies that were ripe with socio-political issues.

What the viewer is also left with, is episodes from a not-too-old past that managed to move an entire nation, of which some, sadly, were replaced soon with the worries of a daily routine.

Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Dwarka Anand who blames the basic human flaw - greed - for corruption. Jha makes a clean case of corruption with this character. Dwarka Anand's son Nikhil Anand, after getting a degree, starts working for a highway construction company with all the honesty of a simple hard worker. On the other hand, his friend Manav Raghvendra (Ajay Devgn) is an owner of a telecommunication company in Delhi whose sole aim in life is to make it big. What happens with Nikhil is what happened in reality with engineer Satyendra Dubey, when he stands in the way of corrupt authorities and insists on building a secure highway.

Enter TV reporter Yashmeen Khan (Kareena) who's placed at this point in the movie after she carries out a sting operation on a power broker.

After the murder of his friend, Manav reaches Ambikapur. There the situation is ripe with need of a new people's leader and it so happens that Amitabh Bachchan's character becomes the face of a new movement, by finding himself in jail. What spurs the movement, is people's new found conviction to get him out of prison, no matter what.
Arjun Rampal plays the youth leader in the movie, with the same first name. Social media is also seen playing a role in the movie. In addition to Arjun's support for the movement, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are also used to spread the word of the movement. This episode continues well into the interval.

Cut to later. The stage is set. The air is packed with drama.

Enter Manoj Bajpai who plays the role Balram Singh, a corrupt minister. Suffice it to say, he falls into the role with great ease and manage to enthrall as always. 

Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai deserve credit for their commendable performance.

Amitabh gives new meaning to the words perseverance, courage and conviction, while Manoj as always gets beneath the skin of the character with great ease. Although Ajay Devgn's a great actor too, he failed to make an impression. And after watching Arjun Rampal in Rajneeti, one could spot great potential in him. It went to waste with his character in this movie.

Kareena Kapoor seemed to have been carried away by her role. She tolerated and delivered news with all the seriousness of an entertainer (and not that of a reporter). Amrita Rao's role isn't worth too much talk. As predicted, her performance was ho-hum.

The element that eventually works to hold the many aspects of a movie together, was missing. It was almost as if actor and screenwriter Anjum Rajabali was dealing with a certain sense of urgency while working and decided to add as much as possible in the 152 minutes that make up the film. This explains the flat response the film has generated from the audience till now.

Not only that, the movie is replete with the old tried-and-tested formulae - including item numbers - which also helps explains why the movie lost ground. Whether the movie will survive the weekend audience, is only a matter of time.