Posted in Reviews

“Chennai Express” Review–A lavishly boring journey!

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One never expects logic and brains when it comes to a Rohit Shetty film. His films are unapologetically inane and loud, orchestrated with loads of noise, flying cars and people, and a plot which is negligible to write about. But its a fact also that he is one of the most commercially successful Bollywood directors. So the huge hype and hoopla around Chennai Express was expected, with the director teaming up with SRK for the first time ( minus his regular faourite Ajay Degn) . But the lavishly mounted Chennai Express turns out to be dissapointing journey, with neither the director nor the Actor delivering what it promises to be– an Entertainer. What it turns out be is a smorgasbord of nonsensical humour,  hackneyed storyline and a modern yet puerile  rehash of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (SRKs most memorable film).

The thin storyline of this big budget movie revolves around a 40 yr old Rahul ( SRK), who boards the Chennai express train, hoodwinking his granny that he is going to Rameshwaram to immerse the ashes of his late grandpa. But in reality, he is all set to meet his friends midway for a trip to Goa.  He encounters  Meena( Deepika Padukone) in the train, who is on her toes to escape from his goon father ( Sathyaraj), the local Don of his village in Komban ( Tamil Nadu). Rahul is tricked by Meena to accompany her to the village, pretending to be her fiance. What follows is mad cap turn of events, with the lead pair running helter skelter to escape his fathers goons and the bulky menace Thamballi ( Niketan Dheer), with whom Meena is being forced to marry.

Chennai express gets derailed right from the beginning,  with a sloppily paced story and a trying too hard to be funny demeanour, which absolutely doesnt work because the jokes and gags are downright flat and boring. But the biggest drawback of the film is that most of the scenes have been shot in Tamil Language, which would be incomprehensible to the audience who are not even a bit aware of it. As Rahul calls Meena Ms. Subtitle throughout the film, the film indeed needs subtitles to understand the blabber of the Tamil goons . The film unabashedly pays tribute to SRKs own previous films, with references to DDLJ, My Name is Khan, Dil Se, Baazigar in sporadic dozes. But it simply fails to rise above the  mediocrity, mainly because of a waferthin plot and the usual Rohit Shetty tricks of action comedy- big bang stunts and loud noise.

 

Amidst all this madness, the lead pair gets feeble scope in displaying their histrionics or romantic chemistry. An ageing SRK is consistently inconsistent throughout the film, with doing the usual over the top act with elan in the first half, mellowing down a bit during the post interval portions, and repeating the hamming jazz again towards the finale. He is pleasant in some of the scenes, but gets completely off track for the majority of the film. Ironically, Chennai express will go down as one his worstly acted films , as he tries too hard too compensate for this elaborately riddled mess, and he gets intolerable for most of it. A die hard fan might take up his indulgence, but for the normal audience, his performance is a gigantic dissapointment.

Deepika Padukone gets it right, (thankfully), and is a complete delight to watch. Her Tamil accent coupled with her coherent and centered performance proves she has sharpened her craft considerably, almost 6 years after her iconic debut alongside the same SRK in Om Shanti Om. In fact, she is much better than Khan, and might be the only reason why Chennai Express deserves a review , actually.

The rest of the star cast are completely negligible, but the music of the film is hummable. The DOP does a decent job in giving the film an opulent look.

Honestly, I went to see this film with absolutely no expectations, but Chennai Express is a lavishly boring film. Come on SRK, you have done this umpteen number of times. You are capable of so much more !

Posted in Reviews

Cocktail ….is hackneyed and spiritless

How many times have we seen a love triangle where there are two girl and a guy..all three are great friends, then one starts liking the other, and the third, falls head over heals over the same guy..the guy feels bad for the former friend, and sacrifices her love..and then ultimately, the  boy girl settles with the original girl of her choice, and everything is happy thereafter..A Beaten to Death theme..Period

Cocktail follows this beaten to death theme, with a smorgasbord of exotic foreign locales, few hummable songs, typical todays youth lingo and loads of attitude.. Saif Ali Khan reprises a role which he does the best,of a confused lover boy, which has been become a cliche role for him. Here he playes Gautam, an audacious flirt,  who gets   into a no string attached relationship with Veronica, played by the debonair Deepika Padukone, who boasts of a carefree and kick ass attitude. Deepika’s best  friend Meera, played by newbie Diana Penty, who is hassled with her own marital woes, initially hates Gautam and considers him to be a good for nothing sort of a guy.  With Veronica being the common bond , all three friends have a blast , until the abrupt arrival of Gautams Mother ( played brillantly by the evergreen Dimple Kapadia), a staunch believer in Indian tradition and values, on a mission to get her nomadic son settled down with a pure desi Indian Girl.  To save himself,  Gautam introduces Meera as her would be wife, with uncle Boman Irani playing the supporting part in convincing his mother. Gautam and Meera start liking each other in enacting this play, which makes Veronica jealous and insecure, and thus starts the roller coaster ride of   high decibel emotions. 

Cocktail is an Old wine in a new bottle,lacking novelty and freshness. Director Homi Adjania and writer Imtiaz Ali make an attempt to punch in all the ingredients of a perfect love story, making the movie ardous and too sweet to digest. The movie begins with a bang, with some great comic moments, but slowly fizzles out in steam, ending up as a predictable love story. The directorial abilities of Homi remains unquestioned, but its the screenplay which is a big let down, making Homis second directorial venture ( after the much acclaimed Being Cyrus ) a ” Bloody Mary without a Vodka

Performance wise, Saif is strictly ok, with nothing new to offer. His ageing looks and patterned mannerisms as a disoriented lover boy, are getting extremely wearisome, and its high time for a talented actor like him to clutch himself out of his comfort zone. Diany Penty, in her introductory role, does a decent job, though , she has a long long way to go.  Randeep Hooda, in a miss and blink role, maintains a dazed look throughout, as if asking himself “What am I doing in this film?” Seasoned actors like Dimple Kapadia and Boman Irani are wasted in their concise roles, but the scene stealer is Deepika Padukone, who pitches in a riveting performance, enacting the transition from a  carefree girl to a neglected and insecure partner in love, with excellent dexterity. Watch her bursting out in an inebriated state , firing  a barrage of accusations to Gautam, Meera and her screwed up life. An absolutely scintillating  performance..

The much hyped music by Pritam boasts of one wonderful track ” Tumhi Ho Bandhu”  picturised brillantly on the lead stars. The rest of the tracks lack the punch, the only other saving grace being “Daaru Desi”

Cocktail , with a clear focus on the Gen X, has it moments, mostly sporadic and inconsistent, and  has the  right ingredients in right proportion,  and would have possibly  turned out to be a tempting and intoxicating love story.  Rather, its mostly flat romance and  a predictable story line, deliberately making it an  exhausting and vapid experience.

Share  this Cocktail with your best friend  at home guys..:)

Watch it for : Tumhi ho Bandhu Song, Deepika  Padukone ,occasional good comic moments, and only if you have nothing to do..

Love.