Reviews

Oh My God movie review- Flawless Paresh, Average Film!

What do you do when you feel betrayed by God? If God is responsible for wrecking buildings and houses through his own created calamities like Tsunami and earthquakes, then why cant He be convicted in court? This idea  is behind  the interesting  postulation of Oh My God, the directorial debut of Umesh Shukla and co produced by Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar.  But its imperative to translate a captivating  premise into a riveting watch, through a tout screenplay, and thats where Oh My God falters badly.

The story revolves around Kanji Lalji Mehta ( Paresh Rawal), a  Gujarati shop owner and a confirmed agnostic in God. His bread and butter is through his antique shop of idols and deities, which he sells to the people, exploiting the devout qualities of the common man. His life turns topsy turvy when he  loses his shop in an earthquake, and his insurance film defies his compensation claim , terming it as an “Act of God“. Disheartened and distraught, he challenges the decision by taking both God and insurance firm to court, where he battles with a bunch of motley men, encompassing religious bigwigs, God men and Holy Men ( Mithun, Govind Namdeo). Amidst his chaotic life, enters Lord Krishna ( Akshay Kumar, in a modern day Bike!) who aids Kanji in his crusade and  clearing off  his mess that has enveloped his life.

 

OMG boasts of a courageous and novel story, with the chief protagonist questioning the existence of God, and subsequently, his battle with the religious Godmen and their coterie. But the film is overburdened with preachy messages and an overdrawn climax, only to categorise it into a strictly average viewing. What starts as a intriguing legal battle fizzles out meakly at the end, primarily because of the overstretched climactic portions , a verbose preachy screenplay and some over the top performances by the supporting cast.  Specially the courtroom scenes , where you tend to get bored with all the discursive arguments being splashed- right, left and centre.

To give the film its credit, it definitely uproots its core issue in a convincing way- the misuse of religion by the modern day Godmen and Sadhus, and that God is in us, and not in temples and mosques. Dialogues like “Jahan dharam hai wahan satya ki jagah nahi hai. Aur jahan satya hai wahan dharam ki zaroorat hi nahi” carries the essence of Modern Day India. The social message comes strong and clean,  and through that one man, who carries the entire film on his shoulders- Paresh Rawal. To term his performance as brilliant would be actually an understatement. Playing the role of a wise cracking atheist who is on a crusade against the existence of God and its collection agents, the indomitable actor renders a near to flawless performance. He sparkles in every frame, and keep the audience engaged and riveted to the proceedings. Infact, if OMG is worth a watch, its purely because of his convincing performance.  He undoubtedly , is the show stopper of the movie. 

Akshay Kumar as the modern day-Lord Krishna is a delight to watch, though he should have enjoyed a lengthier screen presence. The bantering and quirky conversations between Paresh and him are  one of the highlights of this drama. Mithun Chakravorty, playing an effeminate Godmen, is wonderful. The veteran actor brings a novelty to his devilish act .

Govind Namdeo dissapoints big time, going overboard in almost every sequence. Mahesh Manjrekar plays his subdued role with perfection. Om Puri excels in his cameo role.

There is not much scope for songs in the movie, but the much touted item track of Go Go Go Govinda ( Sonakshi and Prabhu Deva) is peppy and energetic.

 

Watch OMG for his novel and pertinent theme, and a brilliant performance by Paresh Rawal.  The film carries a wonderful social message, which comes loud and out on the screen. But if you are expecting to be gratified after the movie ends, hold your expectations there. The film falls short of your expectations!

Watch it out for: Paresh Rawal stupendous performance, and an absolutely novel theme

 

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Reviews

“Heroine” Movie Review- Three Cheers for Kareena, not for the film!

Movie Name: Heroine; Genre: Drama ; Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal

To be candid, I was really looking forward to watching Heroine, a film which has been in news for such a long long time!!- Aishwarya’s photoshoot for the film at Cannes, then her storming out of the project, barrage of accusation between her and director Bhandarkar, Kareena being roped in, her intimate scenes between her male co stars, the big publicity blitzkreig with the flick releasing on Kareena’s bbday- Heroine has been everywhere, for all right and wrong reasons!

But most importantly, it comes from the stable of Madhur Bhandarkar, the maverick director who believes in exploring the dark side of every industry, with a female lead as a protagonist. So whether it was the gritty life of Bar girls in  Chandni Bar ( Tabu), The dynamic social and media life in  Page3( Konkana),  the  political upheavals in  Satta(Raveena),  the fashion industry in Fashion( Priyanka) , and the corporate czars in Corporate( Bipasha), all delved with this   grim and dark genre.  His latest flick Heroine deals with the reality behind the most glamorous industry of today- Bollywood,  showcasing the life of a  female superstar ,the glitz  surrounding her career, and her dark side to fame and eminence. Sadly , this hugely hyped film just turns out be another pedestrian and monotonous cinema from Madhur, with nothing new in terms of story-line and presentation.

The story revolves around the  gorgeous Mahi Arora ( Kareena), an insecure, hyperbolic, and moody superstar who is highly proficient and affluent in her professional life, but is deeply insecure within herself,  leading  to a highly dynamic and unstable relationship with her only love of  life , the reigning superstar Aryan ( Arjun Rampal). Her sole focus to find happiness from her love and not from within leads to a series of events and controversies , broken relationships ( including a fling with cricketer Angad(Hooda)) , and eventually, her complete downfall from super stardom to a life of a loner!!!

Heroine encompasses all the ingredients of a Bhandarkar film – Oodles of Sex and Sleaze, dirty politics, scandals, gay fashion designers, rendering it a tedious and recurrent look throughout. You are never introduced to a new thing in Heroine, because you have already seen all this in a Fashion or Corporate. Adding to it, Madhur tries  to incorporate several sub-plots in this prosaic storyline-the lesbian angle between Kareena and Shahana, the prostitute track, tape scandal- making Heroine agonizingly long and boring! So while the first half has nothing new to  offer, second half springs back with some interesting and engaging moments, but are in bits and spurts. And yes, there are several platitudes about how to survive in this big bad world of Bollywood, which only makes Heroine preachy and humdrum.

I was pretty surprised to see the gay and lesbian track again  , which i guess, is slowly turning out to be Madhur’s another fascination of sorts. So we have dialogues like :“Hamari industry mein zip aur zabaan dono band rakhni chahiye’. You just cant empathise here, but end up laughing your hearts loud!  Heroine never really shows the rise and fall of Mahi, instead it just focusses on the downward spiral of a reigning superstar. Her insecurities are not well defined, and the film simply fails to rise above the mediocre.

The soundtrack of  Heroine has been overshadowed by one single track ” Halkat Jawaani“, which h been picturised well. But soft tracks like Saiyaan and Khwahishen have been integrated well with the narrative , and are hummable. Cinematography is good, specially in the second half.

Heroine belongs to Kareena Kapoor, without a doubt. Playing an insecure , troubled, uncertain and forlon superstar, Kareena fits the role to the T, and does complete justice to her role. Apart from looking stunning and gorgeous in every frame, Kareena displays the ranges of emotions magnificently- her triumph and dissapointments, her desperation and frustrations, innocence and connivance..each and every emotion has been portrayed with sheer honesty and brilliancy. A special mention of her acting talent during the climax portions- fabulous! 

Arjun Rampal , playing the role of a confused lover is decent, though in terms of screen space and talent, is completely wasted. So as Randeep Hooda and Shahana Goswami, who are  impressive in their brief roles. Govind Namdeo doesnt have much scope. Divya Dutta, otherwise an extremely talented actress, does go over the top in several scenes. Ranvir Shorey, in a brief role of a art filmmaker, is strictly ok. But its yesteryear star Helen who steals the show in limted space of time.

Heroine is more of a Kareena film rather than a Madhur Bhandarkar film. Sadly, Heroine is not even a film, its just another boring and  stretched to the limit cinema, testing the patience of the audience. Watch it if you are a Kareena Fan, else, just give it a miss!

      Watch it out for: Kareena Kapoor, thats it!

Reviews

“Jab Tak Hai Jaan” Trailer Review- SRK , Romance and Yash Chopra!:)

Exotic locales, romantic moments, emotional saga, colorful sets..Club this up and weave it into a love story..thats what a Yash chopra romance is..The 79 yr old prolific filmmaker has been mesmerising his audience since aeons, with memorable romantic films like Lamhe, Silsila, Kabhie Kabhie, Chandni, Darr and Veer Zaara..He is back after nearly 8 yrs with  his upcoming offering Jab Tak Hai Jaan!

The theatrical trailer of JTHJ has every stamp of a Yash Chopra Film, with his favourite male lead SRK crooning poetic lines, with two of his gorgeous female leads- Katrina and Anushka. Add to this the exotic  background of  London, Srinagar and Leh, coupled with AR Rehman Music and lyrics penned by Gulzaar, and you are all set for a perfect Diwali entertainer this year!

Undoubtedly,  expectations are sky high, and more so, because this Diwali, we will witness another big budget extragavanza clashing with this Yash Chopra Romance,  Ajay Devgn’s Son of Sardaar..And the extremely positive and promising looks for both the flicks makes the wait a lot longer.

So lets gear up this Nov 13, to witness another Love story siesta by the indomitable combo of Yash Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan!

Reviews

“Barfi” Movie Review- Poignant and Brilliant!!

Movie name: Barfi;Genre: Romance; Starring: Ranbir, Priyanka, Illeana ;Music: Pritam

 

 

Bollywood is coming of age, undoutedbly, with a strong conviction of exploiting  films of various genre. We are witnessing an influx of cinema of high standard and an eclectic mix of commercial and off beat cinema. So for every Ek Tha Tiger and Raaz, we had  a Shanghai, and now , Barfi..!

Way back in 1973, Gulzar portrayed the struggles of a deaf and mute couple in a westernized society through his  movie Koshish, which is considered to be a landmark cinema, primarily because of the poignant performances rendered by the principal cast Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri.. Barfi too depicts the life of a deaf and mute protagonist, but traverses a path which has been seldom explored in Indian Cinema- that disabled peoples have a unique ability of leading a life full of vigour and happiness. Yes, there is a love story, and an element of suspense too, but the film primarily  advocates the fact that ” We have one life, and we should savour and relish  every moment with happiness”   And kudos to director Anurag Basu for weaving out this  riveting tale  with utmost  sensitivity and passion.

Barfi, set in the backdrop of 1970’s Darjeeling and Calcutta, delineates the tale of a deaf and mute Barfi ( Ranbir), a charming prankster, who believes in leading a life full of spirit and happiness,  and his Love-hate  relationship with the two leading ladies- the elegant and beautiful Shruti(  Illeana Dcruz)   and Jhilmil (Priyanka) , an angel who is autistic by birth.  With the course of time, a dynamic relationship develops between the three , churning out a series of events which turns their life upside down.

Barfi is a must watch for three integral  reasons- An engaging script, sensitive characterization and brilliant performances. There are innumerable scenes which will bring tears to your eyes and smile on your face, and acts like a cushion which envelops you with a warmth of love and affection. The film does tend to drag a bit  during the  pre-intermission parts, but scales up again in the second half, to reach a crescendo of emotional gratification at the end. A special mention of the chemistry between Barfi and Jhilmil- two disable people who believe in leading a life full of contentment in everything they do, despite innumerable challenges- absolutely brilliant.

Director Anurag Basu once again proves that he is a proficient storyteller, armed with exceptional directorial skills. He portrays his vision of Barfi, Jhilmil and Shruti in a larger than life canvas, cushioned with touching and passionate moments. He handles this complex subject with brilliance, and composes a highly spirited story which educates us to lead a life of contentment and happiness.  The film has the power to transform you as a person,  and  definitely stands out as one of his most  accomplished and absorbing works.

 

Known for churning out popular hit tracks, Pritam surpasses himself with Barfi, rendering one of most beautiful albums of this year. Each and every track is appealing, completely in sync with the poetic  mood of the film.  Cinematography ( Ravi Varman) is top notch, creating a picturesque canvas , with genuine and authentic locales.

Ranbir renders a stupendous act,  and pitches in yet another top notch performance as the deaf-mute Barfi. Handling an intricate and complex character, Ranbir emotes through his eyes, and characterises a portrayal with a perfect body language. He leaves an astounding impact : You laugh and cry with him and you cheer for his indomitable spirit. His antiques and pranks ( Charlie Chaplinish!!) are an absolute delight to watch, and never ever he goes overboard.  Certainly, Barfi puts him into the top league and a strong contender for this years Best Actor Awards! 

Making her bollywood debut, Illeana Dcruz portrays her character with splendour, and comes up with a magnificent act. Buts its Priyanka who delivers  a riveting performance-yet again. Playing an autistic yet benevolent character, Priyankas performance is near about flawless. She knocks you out completely with her absorbing portrayal of Jhilmil, and there are several instances which will tear you out in love for her. Watch her in a scene where she  bursts  out to a group of children, and her lovely chemistry with Ranbir- mindblowing!

Supporting characters of Jishu Sengupta, Rupa Ganguly, Akash Khuran and Ashish Vidyarthi do complete justice to their role. A special mention for Saurabh Shukla, the inspector who says ” Meri kamar 42 inch se 32 inch ki ho gayi, Barfi ke peeche bhagte bhagte”. He is in top form throughout.

Barfi does tend to get a little sugary in some of the scenes, but the spirit of the film more than compensates for this minor blemish. Celebrating life with gratification and contentment, Barfi idolises the indomitable spirit of life. This film might not garner 200 crore at the box office, but will be certainly remembered as an exceptional film , with a heart. A must watch

Watch it out for : Absorbing story, poignant moments and Brilliant performances. 

Reviews

“Raaz3” Movie review- Watch it for its 3Deffects..thats it!!

Director: Vikram Bhatt ; Genre: Horror; Starring:Bipasha Basu, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta

Murder-Murder2, Jism-Jism2, Raaz-Raaz2 and now Raaz3. It seems the Bhatts have mastered the art of churning out sequels to each and every film of their stable.And the consistent success of their flicks have garnered fruitful propositions for them, safely categorizing Vishesh Films as a sequel making factory!

In a recent interview done during the promotions of Raaz3, director Vikram Bhatt has declared that he has proficient scripts to charter his Raaz franchise  till Raaz20!And going by his predilection in experimenting with horror genre ( Raaz franchise, Shaapit, 1920, Haunted, Dangerous Ishq!), his wishlist looks probably to be true.. Raaz3 has been in news off late due to several reasons- Bipasha Basu’s much touted comeback( the actress has been going through a lean phase off late), Emraan Hashmi (the actor has been churning gold at box office), and the anticipation built by Raaz franchise ( Raaz and Raaz2 being humongous box office hits). So  the big question now. Does Raaz3 satiate the audience ?- Yes and No!

Weaving out a horror tale, intertwined with an engrossing humane tale, complex characters, generous smattering of sensuality/sex  and disturbing emotions-this  has been the forte of the Bhatts. Added to it, chilling horror effects, and you end up having a winner on your plate. Raaz 3 does promise of an extremely relevant premise, something which the entertainment industry will completely relate to. But where it falters is its predictability , inconsistent script and an absolutely absurd second half.

The story revolves around the insecurity and jealousy of a fading superstar Shanaya (Bipasha), who is uprooted from her  superstar throne by an  upcoming and successful  newcomer Sanjana ( Esha Gupta).  Completely rattled with resentment, Shanaya resorts to Kaala Jaadu ( Black Magic), and aiding her in this mission of sorts is her lover cum  successful director Aditya ( Emraan). Thus starts a tale of vendetta and a fight of Good versus Evil. 

The movies begins with a promise, and the first half has several engaging moments. Bipashas tearing expression when she loses at the award function, the confrontation between Emraan and Bipasha at the pre interval portion , Bipasha’s chilling encounter with the spirit and the horror quotient does lay  a foundation of an interesting second half. But the film miserably slides down, and reaches to exhaustion level till its culmination. It gets mired into a quagmire of banal platitudes , pertaining to Aatmas and spirit world, and nosedives into the routine cliches of aatmas, and good vs evil fight.  Sensibilities are seriously tested at several instances, specially in  the climax of the film where God comes to rescue to our hero,   imminently reminding  you of  Vikram Bhatts previous horror flicks (1920, Haunted, Shaapit), clearly indicating that he himself ran out of idea while making this film .

The entire movie is clubbed with some absurd and preposterous dialogues :”If you love me, you can be stupid for me“,”Bachcha aur kutta sirf pyaar ka bhooka hota hai, aur mere dad ne mujhe sirf mere hisse ka pyaar diya hai‘,Ek zinda aurat ek zinda mard ke saath kya karti hai, wohi karegi  tu“- guess if this wouldnt have been a Vishesh Films Production, we could have taken it as any other  Ramsay Brother television episode!

Giving Vikram his due, there are some genuine scary moments, with 3dimensional effects rendering it the  much profound platform. Noteworthy scenes include multiplying flying cockroaches and the scene where Esha Gupta witnesses the murder of her maid- innovative and impressive. The sensual scenes have been directed well, but to be honest, looks forced .  Musically, Raaz3 doesnt stand any near to its prequels, though Rafta Rafta is hummable .

Performance wise, the movie clearly belongs to our Bengali bombshell Bipasha. Portraying a dark character with one dimensional shades of jealousy and vendetta, she delivers an impressive performance, not to forget her looks, as she is stunning in every frame. Esha Gupta is strictly ok, though she does shows promise in some scenes- especially the scene where she is attacked by flying cockroaches. Emraan Hashmi wears the same expression throughout- lost and confused. As a lover torn between two actresses, he has nothing new to offer in terms of his character. Supporting characters of Tara Dutt , Manish Chaudhari and Mohan Kapur do justice to their role.

Raaz and Raaz 2 had a genuine tale to narrate , but Raaz3 is an old wine in a new bottle,  an ardent example of languid film making. Guess Vikram Bhatt should seriously  rethink his plans of continuing this franchise till Raaz20, because our tolerance levels have been completely tested in this one!

Watch it out for: Bipasha Basu and some genuinely scary moments…Else, avoid it!

Reviews

“Aiyaa” movie trailer review – Rani is back!!

Release Date: Oct 2012

It seems Oct2012 is slated to be the comeback month of some of our leading actresses, who were on a hiatus and now are ready to rock the screen again. We have English Vinglish ( Sridevi), Ishkq in Paris ( Preity) and now Aiyaa , the much talked about heroine centric  film starring our very own Rani Mukherjee , who will be seen as a protagonist after nearly 2 years.

The trailer of Aiyaa clearly depicts that this flick has been designed , exclusively to showcase Rani’s talent and targeted at her admirers. The makers have wisely kept her in every frame in this snippet, rendering positive indications that Rani will be portraying a character, what she does best- boisterous and comical !


The unusually titled film ( reminiscent of South Accent!) boasts of an extremely watchable trailer. We have Meenakshi( Rani), a chirpy girl from a Marathi family who supposedly gets attracted and falls in love with a Tamilian guy (Malayalam Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran).  The film routes through  the implications and conflicts the couple  faces, amidst the backdrop of  South West cultural clash, and some really funny moments!

Produced by Anurag Kashyap and directed by relatively new Sachin Kundalkar, the film definitely makes for an anticipated watch, because of its impressive storyline and a delightful first look. Rani looks refreshing, and so as the treatment of the entire film.

Going by the first look, Aiyaa definitely looks a must watch. Lets wait for Oct 12, when Rani springs back at her alluring best on the big screen!

Reviews

“Bhoot Returns” First look Review- Get set to Scream and Scare!

Release Date: Oct 12

 

Ram Gopal verma is back!. The maverick director, known for his non conformism and churning out movies at a rapid fire pace, fleshes out another of his freaky stuff with “Bhoot Returns”, a sequel to his very own “Bhoot”, which surprised everyone with its box office success.  And you know its a Ramu directed film, as the first look boasts the archetypical stamp of the inconsistent director- bizarre and unusual.

So we had Bhoot, Phoonk ,Phoonk2, and now Bhoot Returns.  It seems director Ram Gopal verma has developed the penchant for churning out flicks at regular intervals, only to skip the most pivotal part of the film- thats the story, and if we go by the performances of all his recent films, one will usually shy away to develop an interest in watching his films.

So we have a trailer here which starts with a tagline :”Some people are not ready to move into new houses, and some new houses are not ready to move people in“. And then we witness one camcorded scene of a child (ghost !! ) playing around in an isolated room  , with  3D effects added to the enhance the fear effects of the film!!

Story wise, its seems to be predictable, but what might be the strong points of this flick is Manisha Koirala (Bombay, Khamoshi), the fading yet talented  actress who is all set to make a comeback with this film. And yes, one just cannot write off Ram Gopal Verma. The man who gave us Rangeela, Satya , Company might just spring back with a bang with this horror flick !

Slated to release this October, lets gear ourselves up for yet another horror presentation from Ramu..And lets hope, he doesnt let us down this time!