Monthly Archives: February 2014

REVIEW- SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS

Directed by Saket Chaudhary
Produced by Ekta Kapoor,
Shobha Kapoor
Pritish Nandy
Written by Saket Chaudhary
Starring
Music by Pritam

Writer and director Saket Chaudhary is back with the sequel of the 2006 venture “Pyaar Ke Side Effects,” that featured Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose. Shaadi Ke Side Effects generated a lot of buzz due to its unusual pairing. Plus, after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, expectations from Farhan Akhtar rose to a completely different level.

The best actors of this industry together in a film, good music, witty humour and an appealing storyline! Is it really enough for a film to work? Yes, but not over here!
SKSE kick starts powerfully, where the audience is dazzled by the situation as all the promos made us believe that Farhan and Vidya are playing a married couple. After a certain point of time, we realise that yes, they are a married couple and acting like strangers? It was just to keep their marriage stable. To have fun and to avoid the rustiness. Unique and amusing idea!
Sid (Farhan) and Trisha (Vidya) are living an amazing life together, even though Sid is still struggling his way to glory, as a musician.
Speed-breaker!
Trisha’s pregnant and both of them have a baby. From there on, their bumpy journey starts off. How Sid is not at all prepared for the baby but due to some humorous fear, he decides to keep it. How their lives change after the baby finally starts growing up and how everything around them and the relationship they shared, starts changing. SKSE is based on that. The first half is so quirky, so witty and so grappling that you’ll probably laugh your guts off. The humour is not predictable, the humour is not old school. It instantly connects you to their story, to Sid’s narrative about the change in his married life. After the interval, the expectations from this film rose to another gigantic level. Thanks to its first half. But sadly, the second half is so poorly written, it is so poorly put together that it makes you wonder: “Is this the same film I was watching, one hour back?”
New characters come into the picture, the jokes begin to rust and everything just falls flat. Specially the climax!

PLUS POINTS:

Farhan Akhtar is undoubtedly the saviour over here. He gets inside the skin of Sid’s character and leaves you in splits. Impeccable comic timing diluted with some serious drama. He doesn’t try to be funny but still cracks you up, he is frustrated about life and Trisha, still doesn’t speak about it but you can feel the irritability.(Thanks to his expressive eyes and honest performance)

Ram Kapoor is another eye candy as he is finally used properly in a feature film, after Udaan. He plays his part with perfection and he makes you laugh whenever he is required to. Controlled performance.
The entire first half makes you laugh. Vir Das is the only good thing about the second half,(in a not so special appearance, as he has been credited ūüėõ ) along with an impactful scene of the child artiste.
The music also has its own life. It grows on to you, specially the song “Yahaan Vahaan,” sung by the multi talented Farhan himself. Overall, the music is damn good.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

The second half, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is too slow, over stretched and full off hotchpotch moments.(Thanks to the poor screenplay) New characters come and go. Sid and Trisha fight for a tiny reason and make it so huge, it got dragged till the end. An unusual, predictable and cheesy end.
Another negative point: Vidya Balan didn’t have enough material but whatever she had, she played it with immense grace and sincerity. An actress of her level was literally wasted, according to me. She was playing this stereotypical woman, who had to stick to 2-3 emotions in the entire film.

OVERALL:

Shaadi Ke Side Effects disappoints after starting off so well and striking the right chord. In the beginning, it had all the real moments and incidents that generated natural humour as I’ve seen my uncles and aunts go through this journey of raising a child and compromising on their social lives. But right after that, it dropped…really badly, as it never came back to the right track.
Best part about the second half: Vir Das and the scene where Mili (Sid and Trisha’s daughter) tells Sid that she doesn’t want to go back to Trisha, when she sees him crying (After continuously insisting that she wanted her mom). Saket Chaudhary could have taken this to another level but sadly, he couldn’t.
I still feel bad that Vidya Balan was wasted in this one. But the chemistry Farhan and Vidya shared, it is unmatchable. I wish they come back again, with a better script where Vidya gets enough screen space and material, and I’m sure they’ll be successful in mesmerising us.
Even though it is very bumpy and bores you down in the second half, you can definitely go and watch it for our very own Milkhu.
Farhan Akhtar, you beauty!

RATING:

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REVIEW- HIGHWAY

Directed by Imtiaz Ali
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala
Imtiaz Ali
Written by Imtiaz Ali
Starring
  • Randeep Hooda¬†as¬†Mahabir Bhati
  • Alia Bhatt¬†as Veera Tripathi
  • Saharsh Kumar Shukla as Goru
  • Pradeep Nagar as Tonk
  • Durgesh Kumar as Aadoo
  • Arjun Malhotra as Vinay
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Anil Mehta
Editing by Aarti Bajaj

Filmmakers are creators, filmmakers are magicians and filmmakers are people, who can, at times create something that you wouldn’t wanna see and what is that?¬†The Reality!

Imtiaz Ali is one filmmaker I genuinely admire a lot, specially because he has always made films on love. No, that’s not the only reason. The reason is that he has always presented love in a distinguishing manner. Always! Be it Socha Na Tha, which unfortunately failed at the box office, even though it was a delightful tale. Or Jab We Met, that till date is one of Bollywood’s best rom-coms. How can we forget Love Aaj Kal? And Rockstar? And Cocktail?
This man has always shown us the dimensions of love and differently, every single time.
Filmmakers usually write a lot of scripts but don’t start working on them immediately. Specially in our country because our cinema has always been stereotypical. We were stuck in that masala zone, since forever? That is why, till date we haven’t seen different stories and out of the box films. 15 years: It is A LOT. I was nearly 4 when Imtiaz Ali actually thought of this film called Highway! And after these terrain struck 15 years, he finally made this film with an unconventional pair and a really raw actress, i.e,Alia Bhatt.

WHAT IS HIGHWAY ABOUT?
At times, we don’t actually know what we want. We just want life to move on in the same way: Smoothly and softly, to a place where we can find peace, as today’s world, it has become immensely rapid. Highway is like this substantial and unconventional journey of two completely different individuals, who are unknowingly similar. They had a bizarre childhood and that’s the reason they are what they are today and that’s the reason they connect, that’s the reason they unconventionally start feeling for each other and that’s the reason they become each other’s strength.
It is about human beings, it is about emotions, irrespective of their class and upbringing. A girl who has been kidnapped, why would she enjoy her bondage? Why would she feel safe and comfortable with her abductor? Why would an abductor thrash his man for misbehaving with the girl he kidnapped? One answer for all these questions. “Humanity” is the answer.
Highway steals the show with every single frame. It has the realistic and situational humour that can charge you up in seconds, it has the emotional sector that’ll make you think, think really hard, about our society, about our country and how we behave like hypocrites and cowards whenever someone does something wrong and cheap, specially to a girl or a woman. It’ll haunt you after you come out of the theatre and it might just change you as a person, if you really watch it with an honest appeal.

PERFORMANCES:
Randeep Hooda is known for his rugged looks and different films, but, he has never really received enough acknowledgement and applause for his work. I am sure Highway will change his fate and he will finally get what he deserves. Nobody else could have played Mahabir better than him. He is natural, he is strong, he is frustrated but at the same time, he is like this little child who has lost his path in life, thanks to his turbulent childhood.
Randeep’s mentionable scenes:¬†The scene where Mahabir slaps his man for trying to misbehave with Veera. He furiously tells him that she’s not a slut, she is a normal girl. That scene symbolised that Mahabir is just a kidnapper and a goon but not an inhuman monster.
The scene where he smiles at Veera for the first time, whereas, she is literally howling. Another scene where Mahabir leaves Veera and begs her to go. Last but not the least, probably the best scene of the film: The scene where he looks at Veera, as she prepares food and puts some kaajal or something and he is suddenly in tears, howling and crying, thinking about his amma. Randeep Hooda, you’re a genius.
Alia Bhatt, the 20 year old Jennifer Lawrence of Bollywood! I still get goosebumps when I think about her performance in Highway. This is Alia’s actual debut film. She is an ACTRESS, yes she is. This is an award winning performance and no other actress could have pulled this off, I can bet a zillion bucks after watching Highway. The film actually belongs to her. Veera is Alia and Alia is Veera. From the first shot, till the very end: Alia burnt the screen throughout. Be it the bubbly-ness or the dumbness or the molested victim or the girl who wants freedom, she has played it all.
Alia’s mentionable scenes:¬†Even though most of her scenes are to watch out for, some of the revolutionary scenes were: The scene where she unknowingly keeps running on a¬†salt flat under a starry sky.
When Veera breaks down while telling Mahabir about how she was molested at the age of 9 and how she cried in pain but nobody heard, how she couldn’t do anything about it as her mother told her not to open her mouth. She’ll make you cry, she sure will. She makes you feel the pain of these unfortunate victims. Award winning scene.

When Veera is sitting on the rock and watching the water pass by, staring at it, totally confused and crying. Thinking about her life and wondering , how she actually took it for so long. Alia is MAGICAL!

When Veera tries to tell her dad about Mahabir and how the situation had turned different, whereas she was being given an injection. Even that scene exhibits real emotions and real¬†curiosity. Blown over! And the confrontal scene where she finally speaks up about the molestation. It wrenches your heart and makes you wanna cry along with her, for all the victims and for all the people who go through that and for Veera’s victory.
Parineeti just proved that she is the best in the current lot but Alia Bhatt in Highway, it just gave us another contender.

All the character actors were amazing and the credit, yet again, goes to Mr. Mukesh Chhabra for putting up an amazingly talented cast!

OVERALL:

I feel blessed that I got an opportunity to watch a film like Highway. I would do anything to watch such a masterpiece, again and again. All the credit goes to Imtiaz Ali. One film old, 20 year old Alia Bhatt couldn’t have come out like this, if Imtiaz Ali wouldn’t have been there to direct her and guide her throughout. This man is a sheer genius and deserves a standing ovation along with some bows for such a brilliantly put up film. The original score is as usual scintillating, it is A.R.Rahman, after all! The cinematography is one of the biggest highlights of Highway with so many symbolic shots and silent shots along with some beautiful shots of the intriguing journey. Capturing the movement of the clouds: My favourite visual! Anil Mehta, infinite gunshots for you, RESPECT!
How an abductor and a hostage become each other’s strength and change each other’s perspective towards life,during a beautiful and a visually amazing journey: That is Highway for you, it has a lot more which I can’t really put in words. It deserves to be watched, again and again.
P.S: It is not for people who like massy films, it is for people who like classy films.
Please take some time out and watch this masterpiece, it deserves it!

RATING:

4.5-stars

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REVIEW- GUNDAY

 

Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar
Produced by Aditya Chopra
Written by Ali Abbas Zafar
Narrated by Irrfan Khan
Starring
Music by Sohail Sen
Background Score: Julius Packiam
Cinematography Aseem Mishra

Sholay gave us Jai and Veeru, Jai and Veeru gave us Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. Andaz Apna Apna gave us Amar and Prem, Amar and Prem gave us Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.
Bromance is quite a killer thing in Bollywood and we didn’t have much of it in the recent past. Ego issues and solo films: Probable reasons? Maybe!
The good thing about Gunday is the “bromance,” as it somehow manages to stand out. The chemistry between Priyanka and Ranveer or Priyanka and Arjun is easily opaque, specially after watching and feeling the chemistry and the bond between Bikram and Bala, or I’d say Ranveer and Arjun!
Their real life equation comes handy. But for me, the true Bikram and Bala were the kids. Darshan Gurjar and Jayesh V. Kardak were there for the first 20 minutes I guess but they added weight to the film and the beginning seemed interesting. As Bikram and Bala grew up, their characters started losing the touch. Ranveer Singh does a decent job but after Lootera and Ram Leela, his performance in Gunday disappoints a bit. (Not his fault, I’m sure he was told to ham so much)
Whereas, Arjun Kapoor disappoints a zillion times more because he was the novel factor of Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb. He stuck to his Parma tone and at times, it really became irritating. He finally proved his worth during the emotional and silent  scene where Bala realises that he misinterpreted his best bud, Bikram.
Priyanka Chopra is brisk-full but sadly, her character is not that strong and after playing Meghna Mathur and Jhilmil Chatterjee, ¬†Nandita Sengupta’s character won’t create that memorable impact.
Irrfan Khan is the only actor who is true to his character even though his character is not intimately written. It is just his charm that works. He proves it time and again, give him anything and he’ll make it gold.
Saurabh Shukla also proves his worth as a veteran actor and is decent enough. Pankaj Tripathi doesn’t have much to do but he leaves a spark. His small cameo showed his versatility, specially after Fukrey.

Story and the screenplay, both are raw and there is nothing new. It is predictable and we have seen it all. Plus the love story, it was questionable for me. How can they fall for a woman, like that? And so much so that they are ready to kill each other, just for that woman? A bit dicey!
Films like Kaala Pathar and Deewar, they had similar structure but they made sense. They didn’t have cheesy dialogues like:
“Rum? Ab Dekh Dum.”
Even Salman Khan has stopped showcasing the unreal action. The action was REALLY disappointing. Ali Abbas Zafar disappoints. The cinematography is splendid and Aseem Mishra does an impressive job.

The music and the background score, along with Ranveer and Arjun’s chemistry together and the child artists: These are the only things that make Gunday watchable. It’s not a disastrous film but it’s certainly not a masterpiece!
It is already a hit, those who haven’t seen it yet, go and watch it for the feeling, the retro feeling.

RATING:
2-5-stars

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REVIEW- HASEE TOH PHASEE

Directed by Vinil Mathew
Produced by Karan Johar
Vikas Bahl
Vikramaditya Motwane
Anurag Kashyap
Written by Harshvardhan Kulkarni
Starring
Music byBackground Score Vishal-Shekhar
Amar Mangrulkar
Cinematography Sanu John Varughese
Studio Phantom Films
Distributed by Dharma Productions

Romantic comedies! Our filmmakers have more or less stuck to the basics, always! Most of them followed our very own Mr. Yash Chopra (The ultimate king of romance who passed away in 2012) and in today’s time, it is Imtiaz Ali, who somehow came up with something new and different all the time.
Karan Johar is famous for rom-coms and larger than life, massy cinema, whereas Anurag Kashyap is the man who took our cinema worldwide. The king of art cinema in India! What happens when these two filmmakers decide to collaborate? Decide to produce a film together? Well, we get to see a rom-com with immense class, standard, emotions and laughter. That’s exactly what happens, when we watch Hasee Toh Phasee.

Meeta and Nikhil, both are two unusual people. Both have their respective backgrounds and upbringing. Meeta is always cursed by her family and relatives for being different and not “girly.”
On the other hand, Nikhil has always been cursed by his IPS father.
Yes! It sounds very typical. But when we watch it on screen, we realise that it’s totally different from what we perceived or predicted in the beginning. The childhood build up takes time and we tend to wonder, is this actually going to be “Cuckin Frazy?”
The answer: YES, FOR SURE!

Nikhil and Meeta’s journey is like a roller coaster ride. It has all the craziness, all the butterflies and all the elements. How Nikhil falls for his fianc√©’s sister and how he is not the one who confesses and how Meeta gets her father back? All these things with a heavy amount of comedy, decent amount of build ups, equivalent emotions and exceptional performances: A treat for every viewer. Undoubtedly!

MENTIONABLE SCENES:

Nikhil’s family leaves for a movie and they leave him at home, while his father is leaving, he orders his hawaldar to keep an eye on Nikhil and make sure that he doesn’t come out. The hawaldar says: “Haanji sir, main Nikhil baba se Darkhaas karoonga ki vo andar raven.”
-The hall couldn’t stop laughing at this.

When Nikhil rescues Meeta from the pathetic guest house. The beauty of the silent shots and the camera work, the innocence Siddharth had in his eyes and the realistic and impromptu 2-3 liners on the phone. Amazing!

When Meeta takes all the women for shopping, that ¬†scene has its confusion and humour. It’s laughable and unavoidable.

When Nikhil locks Meeta in one room and leaves for the pooja, and comes back, he realises that it has been too long and since, she couldn’t go the loo she had peed inside her clothes. That silent moment with exquisite background score and Siddharth’s beautiful expressions, that moment certainly becomes the highlight of the entire film. That moment makes you believe that Nikhil and Meeta are meant to be.

When Meeta asks Nikhil to leave Karishma and marry her instead. That is a beautiful scene with a romantic giggle involved.

When Nikhil tries to fulfil Meeta’s wish of meeting her father and he enters his room at night, asking him to come out and talks rubbish. That too, twice! It’s hilarious and it’s done with so much of ease.

The scene when Meeta is surrounded by all the relatives after 7 years and her kaka curses her, abuses her and slaps her. That scene! Manoj Joshi nails every bit of that scene and undoubtedly proves that he is an “actor,” not just a good comedian. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you weep. That’s how a father is, that’s how they love their daughter, irrespective of what she does. Kudos!

The scene where Nikhil tries out the surprise he had planned for Karishma. It starts off with untouchable craziness and humour but ends up with a tincture of romance that is clearly visible in Partineeti’s eyes when she looks at Siddharth.

Last but not the least, the climax. Parineeti Chopra, Parineeti Chopra and Parineeti Chopra! The way she cries, the way that entire scene has been shot. The Manchala sequence…it is worth the money. Realism and filmmaking strikes gold with that scene.

PERFORMANCES:
Siddharth Malhotra is here to stay. After SOTY, I felt that he might just be the typical model, who doesn’t know how to act but my apologies Siddharth, my apologies. He is brilliant and carries Nikhil’s character with ease and finesse. After Shahrukh, he is the only person who has magic in his eyes. Be it romantic, be it emotional or even straight face scenes, his eyes are EXPRESSIVE!

Adah Sharma, as Nikhil’s fianc√© and Meeta’s sister is amazingly beautiful. She is not just pretty but an honest actor too. I hope she gets more films after this.

Manoj Joshi deserves a standing ovation for sure. His comic timing is unmatchable, we all know that. But, that one scene which I’ve mentioned above. The emotional outburst of a father, he deserves a special mention for that. Take a bow.

Sharat Saxena is hilarious even though he doesn’t have much dialogues. The scene where we see him investigating the petty robberies and when he gets caught, it generates crazy laughter.

Anil Mange who played the Kanpurian Idol and mimicked Anu Malik, most of his scenes generated natural and impeccable humour.
“Ek garam chai ki pyaali.”
The CID parody and the scene where Nikhil asks him to guard the room. You can watch it again and again, and still continue laughing.

I’ve saved the best for the last: PARINEETI CHOPRA! She is playing two characters. One is the crazy and the weird Meeta who transforms after the pills that she takes. The other one is the actual Meeta. The Meeta who is beautiful, who is depressed, who is innocent, who is madly in love with Nikhil, who is super intelligent and who is her papa’s favourite.
Parineeti switches characters with perfection. The mental Meeta is perfect with decent and requirable expressions and attire. The actual Meeta makes you fall. Parineeti steals it throughout. Her straight face dialogue delivery, her wittiness and humour, her dance, her expressions, her romance and her emotional appeal. God! She is the best we have ever seen. Yes, Vidya Balan and Deepika Padukone are amazing. Yes, they have the capability to sink into all the characters that they portray but Parineeti is the next superstar! She is an institution. She hasn’t set a benchmark, she IS a benchmark.
3 films old and we get to see such a performance. Imagine, what will happen when she gains experience.
Watch Out!

MUSIC:

Zehnaseeb, Ishq Bulava and Manchala are the soulful, soothing ones and are gonna stick to you, even after you walk out of the theatre. Drama Queen, Wedding Song and Shake It Like Shammi are the songs we’ll be listening to at weddings and sangeets. Overall, Vishal-Shekhar, nail it once again. There is one Gujarati Rap song in between the investigational sequence, composed by Amar Mangrulekar whereas it is penned and sung by Khamosh Shah. It is a quirkily funny one. Deserves a mention. ūüėÄ

OVERALL VERDICT:

Harshvardhan Kulkarni and Vinil Mathew deserve an applause for such a different projection of a fictional but a real love story, with real characters. Everything is right about this film, it might bore you in the beginning, as it takes time for the characters to build up. But, once it strikes the chord, it doesn’t stop after that! Everyone is brilliant in this film and another special mention: Mr. Mukesh Chhabra, the casting director is bang on with the casting. Bang On!
Siddharth and Parineeti are a treat to watch, Siddharth has raised his bar this time but Parineeti can be the independent reason for you to watch this gem. My review’s a bit late but people who haven’t watched this film, please go and watch it because it might lose out on the collections due to Gunday and Shaadi Ke Side Effects.
Parineeti Chopra, you deserve to be rewarded for this one!

RATING:
4stars

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