“Chakryavyuh”Movie review- Strictly average!

If you witness the trend of Prakash Jha’s cinematic journey  ( Gangaajal, Apaharan, Aarakshan, Rajneeti..), you are assured of the fact that weaving out an engaging yet entertaining social and realistic  tale to his audience is his prime forte.  In  the current trend where most of the directors are churning out mindless entertainers to reach the coveted 100 cr club, the prolific filmmaker has always maintained his focus on realistic and gritty  cinema. His latest offering Chakryavyuh too  deals with the burning topic of Naxalite Movement, encompassing several elements pertinent to Naxalite ideology that are pertinent in today’s times. But Chakravyuh meets the fate of Jha’s previous flick Aarakshan- a relevant story faltering completely due to poor execution. Jha tries to stuff in too much in this 3 hour cinema, making Chakravyuh a completely stretched and inconsistent film.

Chakrayuh revolves around a upright and gallant  police officer Adil (Arjun Rampal), who takes in charge of the ardous task of tackling the menace of Naxal infested area.  Aiding him in this mission is his dear friend Kabir (Abhay) who believes in leading life kingsize. Kabir proposes to infiltrate into the Naxal camp, and to become a spy cum informer for the police. Adil accepts, and Kabir transcends the journey with the Naxals, only to realise the problems that has plagued them , and understands their ideology with their leaders ( Om Puri, Manoj Bajpayee). His burning conscience shifts his loyalty towards the Naxals, and creates a rift between the friends. Hence begins a clash between two best friends turns foe with completely contrasting ideologies.

Chakravyuh ‘s engaging premise completely goes off track primarily because they are several redundant characters and subplots which are interspersed in the narrative. So we see a collage of greedy politicians and industrialists and corrupt cops, coupled with platitudes of freedom and justice. Director Prakash Jha focusses so much on these elements that he fails to bring out the actual issue of Naxalite problem with authenticity. Agreed his intentions are noble and the research done by the coterie of writers ( Anjum Rajabali, Jha) is evident from the premise, but its Jha’s lack of vision that mars the film completely.

A serious film like Chakravyuh deserves no songs, but Jha tries to woo the masses with an item track filmed on Sameera Reddy, which is completely inconsequential. Action scenes are good, but are too  much to digest, making this film a bit gory and brutal.

Chakravyuh boasts of promising actors, and rendering complete justice to their parts is Abhay Deol and Manoj Bajpayee. Abhay Deol, in particular, enacts his role with full honesty. This is a first for him with Jha and he is in perfect form, rendering his character with shades of vulnerability and determination. This is definitely one of his accomplished works. Manoj Bajpayee, as usual, is in his sublime form. Playing the role of a ballistic Naxal leader, the intense role seems to be tailor made for his calibre, and he comes out with a stupendous performance.

Arjun Rampal is decent, though its evident in several scenes that he tries too hard to emote. Nevertheless, he comes up with a restrained performance. Esha Gupta, as Rampal’s wife cum cop, is completely wasted. Om Puri is commendable, and so as Kabir Bedi. Supporting characters , including Murli sharma and SM Zaheer, render justice to their roles.

Despite a decent and engrossing premise, Chakravyuh is victimised  because of its inordinate length and clumsy execution. Jha  makes a socio political drama into a inconsequential and boring affair, only to overshadow its core theme. A Dissapointing affair, Chakravyuh is strictly a one time watch!

Watch it out for : The performances of Manoj Bajpayee, Abhay Deol and Om Puri..And a relevant theme!


“Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola”trailer review- Interesting and Electrifying!

Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola looks yet another enticing offering from acclaimed director Vishal Bhardwaj, the man who entertained us with his critically and commercially successful movies like Kaminey, Omkaara and Ishqiya. And when you witness an impressive star cast of Pankaj Kapoor, Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma and Shabana Azmi, you are bound to set high expectations from the film!

The first look of MKBKM packs a solid punch, as we are introduced to Matru (Imran), Bijlee( Anushka) and Mandola(Pankaj) and their antique, with the rustic backdrop of village , guns and some wacky earthy humor! The chemistry shared between the trio looks electrifying and the film certainly holds immense promise. Specially Imran Khan, who looks completely different from his usual chocolate boy looks, and treads the path of rustic and uncouth guy.

Set to be the first big release of 2013, Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola promises to be another big entertainer from the stable of Vishal Bhardwaj. Lets wait and watch!


“Aiyaa” Movie Review – Watch it for Wonderum Rani!


Movie: Aiyaa , Director: Sachin Kundelkar, Starring: Rani Mukherjee,Prithviraj


Last week, we witnessed the magic of Sridevi on the big screen, after a long hiatus. And the reasonable success and huge critical acclaim for the film clearly indicates that women centric films are the taste of the season. Continuing the tradition, we have Rani Mukherjee, who is back in action this week  as the central protagonist in Aiyaa. First scene of this much anticipated film, and you are set to devour a deliriously loud  and a utterly nonsensical film to the borderline, with an absolutely novel premise to its credit. But what could have been an impressive watch turns out to be a bit of a dampener, primarily because of a wafer  thin script and a overtly stretched second half!


The plot revolves around a small town and vibrant  Maharashtrian girl Meenaxi ( Rani), who amidst her humdrum and boring life, seeks pleasure by escaping into her own make believe world, through her strong predilection and fixation of movies and movie stars. So she fantasizes and revisits every dream sequence of Juhi ( QSQT), Madhuri (Dil), Sridevi (Chaalbaaz!). In her real world though, she boasts of a complete madcrap and eccentric family- a shrilling and garrulous grandmother (Jyoti Subhash) who moves around in the house with the aid of a motorised wheelchair, an overprotective mom(Nirmiti Sawant) who unfailingly puts matrimonial ads for her daughter to see her settled and married,  an irritating younger brother (Ameya Wagh) who has a fetish for dogs, and a father(Satish Alekar) who smokes and inhales cigarette.  Under constant pressure from her family to tie the knot and settle down with kids, Meenaxi gets engaged to Madhav Rajadhyaksha ( Subodh Bhave), a boy next door, whose idea of romance is a  sweet and simple Deepti Naval- Farooque sheikh film!  Things become complicated when Meenaxi instanstly falls in love with a brooding Tamilian painter Surya ( Prithviraj), whose intoxicating smell makes her drool and drooze  every time she meets him in the library!

Acclaimed director Sachin Kundelkar tries to weave out a  a humorous and rambling journey of love and lust , amidst the backdrop of a Maharashtrian setting, and the film does begin with a promise. But the story loses out its fizz, and it seems too contrived a plot. The story completely loses out to its exaggerated treatment, and close to the heels of being an absurd film. Even the gags and jokes which starts with coherence becomes too repetitive , and tests the patience of the viewer. At the facevalue, A novel premise of a women drooling over his man because of his stimulating smell,  fails to be an engaging   watch, due to a waferthin and skeletal storyline.

The songs of Aiyaa matches up to its treatment- loud and gaudy, and the standout tracks ( Amit Trivedi) are undoubtedly the chartbuster   ‘Dreamum Wakeuppam‘ and  ‘Aga Bai’. Both the tracks have been wonderfully choreographed and brilliantly picturised.

Aiyaa belongs to Rani, and only Rani!! Playing a simpleton who fantazizes and lusts on his man because of his smell, the brilliant actress dishes out a riveting and delightful performance. She looks stunning and ravishing, and portrays the role of a simpleton and a harmless seductress with perfect dexterity!. Her livewire act is sure to win her accolades from all the quarters!

Playing the object of desire for the female protagonist, south actor Prithviraj does a decent job, apart from looking and smelling good. But his screen presence is sort of wasted. Each and every supporting character portray their parts brilliantly, but its Subodh Bhave who stands out in his role of a stodgy prospective groom.


Aiyaa could have been a complete delight to watch, but its energy and passion is wasted due to its tacky treatment. The sole bright spot of this stretched movie is our “Bong” bombshell Rani- stunning, stimulating and superb!


Watch it out for: A superlative performance by Rani Mukherjee





English Vinglish Movie Review- Warm, Refreshing and Sridevi!

Movie: English Vinglish; Genre: Comedy/Drama; Director: Gauri Shinde, Starring: Sridevi, Adil Hussain

The last couple of months have been special for bollywood lovers, with leading ladies of yesteryears geared up for a comeback of sorts with their movies. So we had Bipasha Bashu in Raaz3 in Sept, and now we have English Vinglish in Oct, marking the comeback of one of the most accomplishedEnglish Vinglish is an endearing and captivating tale of humane spirit and women empowerment.

Five minutes into the film, and we are introduced to Shashi( Sridevi), an uncomplaining and dutiful Maharasthrian housewife and a caring mother, who is also into a small but successful catering buisness, in the form of making and selling Ladoos.  But she is completely disregarded and disrespected by her own husband ( Anil) and daughter , and is constantly ridiculed by them through insensitive jibes ,  due to her poor English conversational skills. The only solace she founds is in her affectionate mother in law ( Sulbha)  and her lovely son , who amuses her through her childish banter and antics!

Situations change when she has to reluctantly go to NY for her niece marriage preparations, and its where her self respect is again challenged, as she is humilated in NY Cafe due to her lack of English Skills. Disheartened, she resolves to turn the tables in her favour and rediscover herself, when she enrolls into a English tution classes. With the aid of her loving and understanding niece, her resilience  leads to transformational and triumphant journey of humane spirit and rediscovery.

Director Gauri Shinde weaves out a engaging tale through  simple yet magnetic moments, where a under rated housewife overcomes her weakness to empower herself with self assurance and confidence, flushed with dignity. There are a number of sequences which moves  you to the core, and have been depicted with profound sensitivity. – Shashi’s daughter cringes with embarrassment when her mother accompanies her to PTA meeting and when another parent engages her into a english conversation, her daughter brisks Shashi away in embarassment  . Also, Shashi’s humilation in a NY cafe, and her being snubbed continously by her husband. But the hallmark of the film is the climax, where Shashi nails  her constant humilation with a dignified speech  and emerges as a true winner!

Shashi’s english classes reminds you strongly of Zabaan Sambhalke, a popular sitcom of 90’s , where the laughs and comic moments are derived from a motley of characters- a Pakistani cab driver , a Chinese hairstylist, a South Indian software engineer, a black kid, and a dishy French chef named Laurent who’s instantly attracted to our traditional yet gorgeous Shashi. And the classroom scenes are a delight to watch, with each and every character portraying their roles wonderfully. EV is immensely watchable because of the soft and tender moments which are in abundance in this film.

First time director Gauri Shinde smartly encapsulates songs( Amit trivedi) into the narrative, with ” English Vinglish“, “Dhak Dhuk” and “Manhattan” being the standout tracks. Cinematography (Laxman Utekar) is top notch. In addition, the film is inundated with several wisecrack dialogues: To visa consulates question of What will you do in America without knowing English,  a fellow indian consulate retorts: The same way as how you are living here, without knowing Hindi!

English Vinglish is unimaginable without Sridevi. The actress is effortlessly charming, and pitches in a top notch performance. Playing the central role of a neglected and humilated protagonist, she portrays her vulnerability and humane spirit with perfection.  The actress is in a stellar form in this film and is an absolute treat to watch. You just cant move away your eyes and her performance is thoroughly inspiring.

Another actor to watch out for is Adil hussain , who plays the role of Sridevi’s insensitive husband who incessantly taunts her for poor linguistic skiils. Equally delightful is Priya Anand, who plays the  understanding niece of Sridevi and is the only one who aids her in accomplishing her goal of learning and discovering herself.  The kids who enact the role of Sridevi’s children are endearing, but its the child actor who plays her son takes the cake , for rendering a first rate performance.  Sujata kumar, as Sridevi’s sister is terrific, and Sulbha Desphande is equally good. French Actor Mehdi Nabbu is strictly ok.

A special mention about a 5 min cameo by Amitabh Bachchan– fantastic. He is incredible in his cameo, lighting up the screen with his terrific presence.

English Vinglish is the perfect platform for a Sridevi comeback, and equally, for women empowerment. As Sridevi nails it at the end- A wife not only needs love, but also respect from her family. How true!

Watch it out for:  A refreshing tale of humane spirit, women empowerment, tender moments, and a poignant Sridevi