Posted in Reviews

Dhrishyam Movie Review– A celebral thriller that keeps you on the edge

29-1438189187-cgt2yv1viaewfm5     Dhrishyam needs no introduction. Originally conceptualized and directed by Jeethu Joseph, this Mohanlal starrer Malayalam film garnered both critical and commercial success in 2013. Unsurprisingly, this low budget thriller spiraled remakes in virtually all the regional languages ( Kannada, Telugu, Tamil) in quick succession. The hindi version of Dhrishyam brings back the powerful duo of Ajay Devgn and Tabu pitted against each other on screen after a hiatus. Nishikant Kamat, director who helmed the impressive Mumbai Meri Jaan and an above average Force, stays true to the original blueprint of the Malayalam thriller. Despite of minor glitches, Dhrishyam comes up trumps as a compelling and engaging thriller, which will keep you on the edge right till the climax. The film  explores the ordinary life of Vijay Salgaocar ( Ajay Devgn) , a 4th class dropout yet a sharp and witty man who runs his own cable business in the outskirts of Goa. He is happily settled with his wife ( Shriya Saran) and two daughters and are a close knit family. While Vijay is obsessed about watching movies  most of his time, his affable nature makes him a local favourite at his place. His life is going on a perfect track until an unfortunate incident pits him and his family against Meera Deshmukh ( Tabbu) , a ferocious and unrelenting IG of police and her businessman husband (Rajat Kapoor). Thus begins an intense  battle of wits and emotions, fuming up a dramatic conflict which forms core of the film.

Nishikant Kamat does a splendid  job in weaving out this gripping story in its own pace. While the first half is mostly spent in  delineating  the respective characters and their lighter side , its the post intermission part which keeps you hooked and engaged till the end. The watertight screenplay is not designed as a murder mystery or thriller, since the audience is aware of the culprit. But its the cat and mouse game and the battle of wits that is the high point of Dhrishyam. Its a real thrill witnessing a web of lies being concocted by one side, and the other side investing all their efforts in  dissecting the theory and clawing back to the truth-This mental combat between the police and an ordinary family is a delight to watch. Its not that the film is devoid of flaws–the length of the film and songs should have been trimmed. Also, unlike the original, the bonding between Vijay and his family is not explored competently. But as i mentioned earlier, the excellent script trumps up all the glitches in one shot and keeps you riveted till the end.drishyam1 Dhrishyam also works because of some fine performances by its dependable cast. Ajay Devgn pitches in a remarkably understated performance, and its good to see him in form after his previous inconsequential ventures. He brings his trademark angst and converts it into a simmering portrayal of a father who can go any  extent to protect his family. Tabu  brings all her elegance and brilliance in her complex character of a yearning mother under the shell of a unforgiving IG police cop, and she is an absolute winner here. Shriya Saran does justice to her role and so as Rajat kapoor. Kamlesh Savant plays the role of a loathsome cop who revels in tormenting the innocent family with panache. Supporting actors ( a special mention of Ishita Dutta who plays the elder daughter) lend credibility to the proceedings. This film might just fall short of the original, but nevertheless is a great piece of work. A perfect combination of gripping story and terrific performances, Dhrishyam is a must watch.

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Posted in Reviews

“Satyagraha” Review–Works, but strictly in Parts!

Prakash Jha has been a long time crusader of political cinema for bollywood, with his each and every venture championing a social and political cause. He commands immense reverence for this, and with his latest Satyagraha, he deserves applause for raking up a burning issue that has engulfed India in its flames–Corruption. Satyagraha would have been a jewel, with such a noble background and an impressive starcast, but what plagues the film to mediocrity is that its inundated with too much of sub plots and sketchy characters. Inspite of its sublime  potential, it just ends up as a another moralizing sermon from the Jha stable.

The story revolves around Daduji ( Amitabh Bachchan), a retired idealist school teacher in Ambikapur,  who’s engineer son Akhilesh ( Indraneil) dies in a road accident. Home Minister Balram Singh (Bajpai) announces compensation which Akhilesh’s wife Sumita ( Rao) fails to get, inspite of pleading and running around the govt babus.  Incensed and angry, Dwarka Anand slaps the collector in front of his subordinates, and subsequently gets jailed. Manav ( Devgn), an ambitious enterpreneur and a dear friend of Akhilesh with the help of student leader cum social activitist ( Rampal), and a courageous journalist Yasmin (Kapoor), collectively start a campaign to free the system from the clutches of nepotism and malfeasance.

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Jha borrows heavily from real life events and characters, and weaves it into a plot which is a hodgepodge of several incidents, that are still crisp in our minds–Anna Hazare’s aamran anshan ( that brought the government to its knees couple of yrs back),  Mandal commission, Whistleblower Satyadendra dubey’s death- which is ok, but what mars the film is its simplistic solution that he provides  to all the root causes of this problem, which doesnt really concur with the tone of the film. You rather feel disjointed than angry once the film concludes, since it never allows you to be a part of the movement, with all the pivotal characters speaking jingoistic lines and volubles. This disconnect becomes the biggest drawback of the film.

But to give the director his due, the film has some poignant moments,specially in  the scene where Dwarka Anand slaps the collector. Also you get into tears when Dwarka touches the ground where his son died. Jha triggers patriotic moments with a well etched out remix of Raghupathy Rajaram song. But such moments are sporadic and few, leaving you asking for more in desperation.

But Satyagraha works primarily because of its towering performances by the principled cast. Amitabh Bachchan is immaculate as Daduji , with a terrific portrayal of an angst ridden activist who takes on the cudgels against the corrupt government, through his indefinite hunger strike. Modeled on the character of Anna Hazare, he weaves a brilliant portrayal, embellished with grief and fortitude. Devgn too stands out with a riveting performance, as an ambitious entrepreneur turned social activist who uses brains than brawns to deal with the nefarious netas and babus. The ever dependable Manoj Bajpai as a scheming politician is a delight to watch, though he tends to get overboard sometime. Kareena as the journo acts well, but is mired with a sketchy characterisation. Amrita Rao gets minimal scope while Arjun Rampal reprises his role from Rajneeti, of a hotheaded and daunting leader. He gets relegated to the background completely in the second half, and is just not effective as he was in Rajneeti.

Satyagraha might just score at the box office with the harried audience who are frustrated with the corrupt system currently, but its actually sad that the film fails miserably in becoming a hard hitting fare . I was rather disappointed when the ending credits started rolling. Watch Satyagraha for its performances, but dont expect any solutions from these bunch of “political activists”.

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Son of Sardar Trailer…Zany and Refreshing

” Kabhi Kabhi mere dil main sawaal aata hain, ki agar es duniya main Sardar na Hote, to kya hota”

Ajay Devgn seems to have mastered the art of flourishing in action comedies genre. The brilliant actor , knows for his riveting performances, has inclined to the format of commercial movies off late, with the Golmaal Series, All the Best, Singham, and  his latest offering Bol Bachchan.. Certainly, it has done him a world of good, with box office mullahs and escalating popularity among the masses..

The trailer of his upcoming release of this year, Son of Sardar…showcases another big bonanza entertainment, with a colourful razmatazz of comic sequences, witty one liners, and some incredibly innovative stunts..  The trailer indeed reflects a freshness, with some interesting gags and colourful sequences. Sanjay Dutt looks eerie in his long hairdo, and after a stupendous performance in Agneepath , seems set to play an integral role here. The pairing of Ajay and Sonakshi in novel, with both playing Punjabi Munda and Kudi to the hilt. The inclusion of Juhi chawla , being seen after a long hiatus, is a welcome incorporation. But its the  alluring connect to the Sikhs in the trailer, showcasing the benevolence of their heart and attitude of their life , which is the trademark of this trailer.

A complete mass and madcrap entertainer, this Diwali might witness another cinegoer feast from Ajay Devgn…

Watch this trailer for: Novel presentation, colourful sequences, and interesting comic moments/one liners.