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Movie Review: Bareilly Ki Barfi
Thu, 17 Aug 17 17:18:45 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-750744" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Bareilly-Ki-Barfi-movie-review.jpg" alt="Bareilly Ki Barfi movie review" width="750" height="450" /> Since more than a decade, our filmmakers have started churning out films set in small towns, particularly North India. Such rooted stories work big time, especially if they provide ample entertainment. The success of TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS, SULTAN and DANGAL in recent times have made it evident how such <em>‘desi’</em> flicks have a large acceptance. BAREILLY KI BARFI, this week’s release, too is based in Bareilly, as the title suggests, and looks entertaining from the promos. So does it manage to tickle viewers’ funny bone or turns to be yet another flop in the season of debacles, let’s analyze BAREILLY KI BARFI is about a printing press owner who devises a unique plan to woo the girl he loves but the idea backfires. Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana) runs a printing press in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. After being heartbroken, he writes a book called ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ on the girl he was in love with. Fearing that she’ll be slammed if he writes the book in his own name, he puts the name of Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar Rao), his shy, soft-spoken friend, as the book’s author. The book fails big time but five years later, Bitti (Kriti Sanon), the coolest girl in town, buys it one day from the railway station, when she was about to run away after her mother Sheela’s (Seema Pahwa) constant rants over her marriage. In the train, Bitti reads ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and is stunned to see that the girl described in the novel is very much like her – free spirited, break dance lover, smoker, film buff and progressive. She immediately returns back to Bareilly and meets Chirag, since he had printed the book, and asks him for Pritam’s contact details, since she is impressed by the book. Chirag slowly falls for Bitti but is not able to tell her that it’s him and not Pritam who wrote ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’. Chirag then devises a plan – he tells Pritam to have a makeover, meet Bitti, break her heart and run off. At this point, Chirag would take over and hopefully woo Bitti successfully. Sadly for Chirag, Bitti slowly starts falling for Pritam. How Chirag then attempts to ensure that doesn’t happen forms the rest of the story. BAREILLY KI BARFI begins well and the introduction of characters is done in a neat manner. But the film really picks up steam when Pritam enters the narrative. His transformation and the whole process is hilarious and in several ways, is the best portion of the film. Chirag-Bitti’s sequences in the first half aren’t great but make for a nice watch. One sequence which particularly stands out is Bitti celebrating Chirag’s birthday. Post-interval, things look fine initially. The comic and dramatic moments continue and entertain but after a point, the film drags. BAREILLY KI BARFI never was illogical but yet, few aspects seem too difficult to digest. Firstly, why did Chirag not use a pseudonym to write his novel? His character is also shown to be quite a ‘<em>dabangg</em>’ who has no qualms in ragging and terrorizing Pritam. Yet, he never gathers the courage to tell Bitti how much he loves her. There’s a twist in the tale in the finale which does catch viewers unawares and it brings a relief since the climax was getting clichéd. But the explanation given behind the twist again turns out to be too unconvincing. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/kriti-sanon-is-a-revelation-in-bareilly-ki-barfi-ayushmann-khurrana/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>BAREILLY KI BARFI is adapted from the book ‘The Ingredients Of Love’ by Nicolas Barreau. Nitesh Tiwari and Shreyas Jain’s story is weak and needed quite a bit of polishing. Nitesh Tiwari and Shreyas Jain’s screenplay is effective at places but otherwise, it drags. Nitesh Tiwari and Shreyas Jain’s dialogues however are terrific and probably the best thing of the film. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s direction is uncomplicated and simple and that’s her biggest victory. But the director, who helmed the well-made NIL BATTEY SANNATA last year, could have done a better job and kept the film tighter. Ayushmann Khurrana as always appears confident and dominates some of the sequences quite well. He looks convincing as the lover boy as well as the bully (in scenes with Rajkummar) and this is quite praiseworthy. However, his friendzoned avatar does remind one of his act in his previous film MERI PYAARI BINDU. It’s amusing that he played a role in a similar zone in two back-to-back films. Kriti Sanon delivers a decent performance and works on her accent, mannerisms etc to appear a small-town girl. She doesn’t succeed completely but nevertheless, it works for her progressive character. Rajkummar Rao is a scene-stealer. He’s seen as the shy, demure person and post the transformation, he turns into an outgoing, brash guy and he essays both the avatars brilliantly. If BAREILLY KI BARFI will be remembered in the years to come, it will be primarily for this National Award winning actor’s performance! Pankaj Tripathi (Narrotam Mishra) is funny and also excels nicely in emotional scenes. Even he has played roles in the similar setting but he manages to ensure each of his performance stands out. Seema Bhargava leaves a very huge mark. Her constant rants over Bitti’s marriage and the way she sparkles everytime she comes across a prospective groom is nicely done. Rohit Chaudhary (Munna) is fine as Chirag’s sidekick. Same goes for Swati Semwal (Maya). The music of the film is not memorable. <em>‘Sweety Tera Drama’</em> is the only track that registers.<em> ‘Badass Babuaa’</em> is relegated to the background during the entertaining montage of Pritam’s transformation. ‘<em>Nazm Nazm</em>’ fails to make a mark while ‘<em>Bairaagi</em>’ is wasted. ‘<em>Twist Kamariya</em>’ is forced but since it’s added during opening credits, one won’t mind. Sameer Uddin’s background score is highly entertaining and uplifting. Gavemic U Ary's cinematography is nothing special but the very first scene is very well captured. Chandrashekhar Prajapati's editing is pacy but goes off track in the second half. On the whole, BAREILLY KI BARFI has its moments and boasts of great performances but it’s too unconvincing. Also, lack of face value and low-key promotions coupled with insipid music as well as domination by TOILET – EK PREM KATHA will spell doom for the film at the box office.

Movie Review: Toilet – Ek Prem Katha
Fri, 11 Aug 17 08:31:42 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-748832" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Toilet-Ek-Prem-Katha-2-1.jpg" alt="Toilet - Ek Prem Katha (2)" width="750" height="450" /> When it comes to sanitation, our country lags far behind. The shortage of toilets can be seen in each and every corner of India. It is a sad sight to see people relieving themselves in the open. For women, things are even more difficult for obvious reasons. Also, a lot of rapes and sexual assaults happen on women when they are attending the nature’s call in villages and small towns. TOILET – EK PREM KATHA throws light on this aspect and also spins a love story out of it. So does this social drama manage to make the required impact or does it fail, let’s analyse. TOILET – EK PREM KATHA is a love story of a man who fights the system and his family to install a toilet in his house for the sake of his wife. Keshav (Akshay Kumar) lives in Mandgaon village in North India with his father (Sudhir Pandey). He falls for Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar) who also starts loving him. Both get married. She is unaware that Keshav’s house doesn’t have a toilet. On the first day post marriage, she is made a part of the women’s ‘<em>lota</em> party’, comprising of all ladies from the neighbourhood who relieve themselves in the open before sunrise. Jaya is enraged and she demands that a toilet is made in the house. Keshav’s father however puts the foot down. He argues that he won’t allow anyone to relive themselves in the house as he claims that it’s against their culture. How Keshav takes up the challenge to construct a toilet and stands up against the system forms the rest of the film. TOILET - EK PREM KATHA's first scene, depicting how the women bond while on their way to the fields, sets the mood of the film. Akshay's entry happens suddenly and this sequence serves no purpose to the rest of the film. The entire stalking bit is slightly objectionable but keeping in mind the small town element, it works. The marriage happens all of a sudden but the film takes a turn when Jaya finds out that there is no toilet in her marital home. The intermission point is terrific and takes the film to another level. The second half too has its moments. The scenes where Jaya ridicules the women for not standing up for their rights and Keshav's outburst after his toilet is destroyed are highly memorable. On the flipside, the film gets too long and should have been shorter by at least 20 minutes. Few scenes also seemed unconvincing. More unbelievable is when the ‘<em>lota</em> party’ ladies suddenly revolt against their husbands. Garima Wahal and Siddharth Singh’s story tries to balance a love story with a social problem plaguing the country. Garima and Siddharth’s screenplay however moves at a slow pace. The manner in which Keshav goes to insane lengths to ensure that Jaya gets access to a toilet daily is amusing. But a crisper narrative was required. Also, the film gets preachy in the second half and becomes a pro-government film at places that could have been avoided. Nevertheless, the seven-locks sequence deserves applause. Garima and Siddharth’s dialogues are sharp and witty. The urban audiences might cringe at the repeated use of words like ‘<em>sandaas</em>’, ‘<em>shauch</em>’ etc but then there was no choice. The film wouldn’t have made an impact without these terms. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/akshay-kumars-epic-reply-on-stalking-toilet-ek-prem-katha/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Shree Narayan Singh’s direction is why the film suffers to an extent. At places the film is too fast – Jaya-Keshav’s marriage happens in a jiffy and catches viewers unawares. But in the second half, it drags a lot. One can’t deny however that he has helmed some scenes deftly. One of the scenes where he really impressed is when the Brahmin father is compelled to take a bath in the pre-climax. Akshay Kumar is a relevation. Since the past few years, he has been essaying some well-written parts but with TOILET - EK PREM KATHA, he goes on a high. The way he reacts in the aforementioned breakdown scene is going to stun viewers. Bhumi Pednekar gives a towering performance. She appears extremely confident and convincing. Divyendu Sharma (Naru) brings in comic relief and is wonderful as Akshay Kumar’s brother. Sudhir Pandey is perfect as the strict father who is imprisoned in the age-old customs that serve no purpose in today’s times. Anupam Kher (Jaya’s uncle) also raises laughs but his part is not a caricature. He has a crucial part to play in the film. Shubha Khote (Keshav’s grandmother) is good especially in the pre-climax. Rajesh Sharma (D M Mathur), Mukesh Bhatt (journalist Rastogi), the actors playing sarpanch and the female journalist are good in their small parts. Sana Khan is wasted. Music isn’t memorable. <em>‘Hans Mat Pagli’</em> registers to an extent. ‘<em>Gori Tu Latth Maar’</em> is well-shot. <em>‘Bakheda’</em> and <em>‘Subha Ki Train’</em> are strictly okay. Surinder Sodhi’s background score is exhilarating at places. Udai Prakash Singh’s production design is straight out of life. Anshuman Mahaley’s cinematography is fine but in the aerial shots, it is praiseworthy. Shree Narayan Singh’s editing is average. On the whole, TOILET – EK PREM KATHA, despite the minuses, integrates a strong social message with entertainment wonderfully and also questions several age old practises in the society. At the box office, no competition, holidays in the next week as well as tax exemptions in certain states are bound to help the film resonate with the audience.

Movie Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal
Fri, 04 Aug 17 08:18:32 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-746562" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Jab-Harry-Met-Sejal-7-1.jpg" alt="Jab Harry Met Sejal (7)" width="750" height="450" /> Tour guides are an important part of people’s travel experience most of the times. A visit to a fascinating monument or tourist destination is incomplete if the guide doesn’t give the required information and thereby enhance the experience. But have we ever paused to realize if the guide is actually enjoying his job? Yes they do, most of us would argue. After all, getting a chance to visit some of the best places of the city on a daily basis is a dream job. But by visiting the same place again and again, does the charm remain for the guide? What if the guide himself is lost and needs guidance? JAB HARRY MET SEJAL attempts to tell the story of one such guide and his predicament. So are audiences able to relate with the guide or does the entire experience turns out to be boring, let’s analyse. JAB HARRY MET SEJAL is a story of a bored tourist guide whose life takes a turn thanks to a spunky tourist. Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) takes visitors on a tour across several European countries. He’s a bit aloof, rude and finds it difficult to maintain long lasting relationships. Sejal (Anushka Sharma) is a tourist who has taken the services of Harry along with her entire family. She gets engaged during the trip to Rupen (Kavi Shastri). Unfortunately, her engagement ring gets lost and she refuses to go back to Mumbai until she finds it. She compels Harry to help her find the ring and he agrees to do so reluctantly. How Harry and Sejal discover each other and also themselves during the course of their ‘mission’ forms the rest of the film. JAB HARRY MET SEJAL begins on a swift pace. No time is wasted in explaining Harry’s life – his enthusiasm as a guide, his moments of loneliness when no one is watching and his troubled relations with women are well explained in a few minutes in the song ‘Safar’. Sejal is also introduced in no time and the fun begins as they try to find the misplaced ring. The humour comes out very well and the first half moves at a breezy pace. The sequence where Sejal gets into trouble in a Prague bar and the scene thereafter stands out as the best and most exciting portion of the first half. The song ‘Hawayein’ is also played at a poignant and sweet point of the film minutes before the intermission. Post-intermission, the film becomes a drag. The makers seem confused as the narrative gets chaotic. The twist in the tale, related to the ring, might come across as stupid or unfair by a section of audience. At one point, one wonders where exactly the film is heading to. The finale also has a twist but this one is better than the first. The film ends on a predictable, clichéd note. Imtiaz Ali’s story is weak and gives a deja vu of some of the prominent love stories of Shah Rukh Khan. Imtiaz Ali’s screenplay is faulty and rather inconsistent. Some sequences are deftly handled and bring out the emotions. Watch out for the sequence where Harry innocently asks Sejal for a hug. But there’s not much of a backstory provided. What prompted Harry to leave his village and what exactly was his equation with his family? Why did he never return back to his ‘pind’? Harry getting overwhelmed in the church and crying seems bizarre. Same goes for him crying out the name of the girl in the echo sequence. Even Sejal’s actions seem unjustified. The manner in which she pretends to be Harry’s girlfriend and is vying for his attention and praises from him don’t make the intended impact. It’s also bewildering how Sejal’s family members leave her alone in Europe and they don’t seem too worried about her. Nobody decides to cancel their return journey to Mumbai for Sejal’s sake and she is left on her own. Moreover, it is revealed that Harry is a man with loose character who has been caught getting physical with his clients. In fact, he was to get deport after one more such case. Yet, Harry’s bosses have no qualms when such a high-profile client like Sejal is left at his mercy. Imtiaz Ali’s dialogues however are straight out of life and yet well-worded. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/jab-harry-met-sejal-gets-ua-certificate-without-any-cut-shah-rukh-khan-anushka-sharma/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Imtiaz Ali’s direction, just like the script, is also a bit shaky. Known for handling films like JAB WE MET, LOVE AAJ KAL, ROCKSTAR and HIGHWAY, the writer-filmmaker doesn’t seem to be in complete form. Performances are wonderful. Shah Rukh Khan looks dashing and performance-wise, he is good. He brings out the angst beautifully without going overboard. Also, the trademark sarcasm that he nailed in KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA and KAL HO NAA HO is brought out here in few scenes and it works very well. However, some of his Punjabi dialogues are difficult to comprehend. Anushka Sharma is on another level altogether in this film. She gets into the skin of her character and her performance makes one smile, guffaw and even move viewers, as and when required. Chandan Roy Sanyal (Gas) has a miniscule role. Aru K Verma (Mayank) has a crucial part and is quite decent. Evelyn Sharma (Mayank’s fiance) doesn’t get much scope. Pritam Chakraborty’s music is a mix of some great and average tracks. <em>‘Radha’</em> is definitely the best song of the lot, especially for the way it’s shot and placed. <em>‘Hawayein’</em> is the next best and again, it’s placed at a beautiful moment in the film. <em>‘Safar’</em> serves as a nice introductory track. <em>‘Beech Beech Mein’</em> and <em>‘Raula</em>’ don’t make the desired impact. <em>‘Phurrr’</em> is relegated to the background and could have been done away with. <em>‘Butterfly’</em> is foot-tapping, played during end credits. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is in sync with the film’s mood. K U Mohanan’s cinematography is stunning. The locales of Europe and its bylanes are very well captured. Aarti Bajaj’s editing could have crisper and smooth. The way the song ‘Beech Beech Mein’ begins all of a sudden immediately after the intermission confuses audience. On the whole, JAB HARRY MET SEJAL has its moments. But the film is riddled with cliches and flaws that takes the film down, thanks to the poor script. At the box office, the film might have a good weekend but will struggle in the weekdays and in Week 2.

Movie Review: Indu Sarkar
Fri, 28 Jul 17 08:38:05 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-744289" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Indu-Sarkar-4-2.jpg" alt="Indu-Sarkar-(4)" width="750" height="450" /> The Emergency of 1975 is considered as one of the darkest chapters of Indian history. In these forty years, however, only a handful of films have investigated upon this period. The last one to do so released twelve years ago, HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI. Now Madhur Bhandarkar takes up the challenge and comes up with INDU SARKAR. From the trailers, the film seems like a hard-hitting drama. So does it manage to make the desired impact or does Madhur Bhandarkar miss the bus, lets analyse. INDU SARKAR is a story of a simple, young girl who becomes the voice of the Nation when the oppressive Emergency is put in force in 1975. Indu (Kirti Kulhari) is an orphan who never got adopted because she stammers. She grows up and faces the same problem when finding a husband as well. However, Navin Sarkar (Tota Roy Chowdhury) gets attracted to her and she too develops feelings for him. Both get married. Meanwhile, the government declares National Emergency, suspending the rights of the citizens. Navin is a government officer who sees the Emergency as an opportunity to grow richer by serving in the government. Indu is oblivious to the horrors of Emergency at first but one day, she gets to see it first hand when she lands up at Delhi’s Turkman Gate at a time when the police is brutally demolishing structures and killing innocent, unarmed men and women. In the madness that ensues, a couple gets killed and is branded as Naxalites. Indu comes across their children and she takes them under her care. This enrages Navin and he tells her repeatedly to oust the kids from ‘his’ house. Indu however choses to walk out of not just Navin’s house but also the marriage. She comes in contact with revolutionaries and decides to protest against the government and its policies. How Indu goes ahead and the obstacles she has to face forms the rest of the film. INDU SARKAR deserves praise for talking about a period that the younger generation might not know about. Unfortunately, the film, in order to play safe, puts a long disclaimer that claims that the film is ‘completely fictional’. Not just that, the Prime Minister, who declares Emergency, is addressed just as Mummy (played by Supriya Vinod) and that too by her son who in turn is addressed as Chief (Neil Nitin Mukesh). And due to these play-safe attempts, the film fails to reach its full potential. On the positive side, the track of Indu commences well and her love story with Naveen makes for a nice watch. The Turkman Gate demolition and the sequence where Indu protests against the high-profile government event involving foreign delegates are well shot and leave a mark. But such scenes are few and far between. A song ‘Chadhta Sooraj’ is needlessly forced into the narrative at a crucial point and though the lyrics and picturisation are powerful, it could’ve been shorter in length. Anil Pandey and Madhur Bhandarkar’s story packs in too much in the film and at times one loses track of the ongoings. There are references to Jaiprakash and a sequence about RSS members’ arrests but it doesn’t add much to the story. Screenplay (Anil Pandey, Madhur Bhandarkar) should have been crisper and also braver for a better impact. Sanjay Chhel’s dialogues are sharp and the poems mouthed by Indu are well worded. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/movie-promos/theatrical-trailer-indu-sarkar/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Madhur Bhandarkar’s direction is definitely better than in his last two films (HEROINE, CALENDAR GIRLS). He handles some portions very well and avoids some of the clichés that he is known for (characters sleeping with each other, drivers gossiping etc). But one wishes if he had reached to the level of a PAGE 3 or CHANDNI BAR because the film has the potential for it. It also needs to be said though that this is Madhur Bhandarkar’s best work after CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3. Coming to performances, Kirti Kulhari is terrific and makes good use of this golden opportunity. This is no easy role but Kirti performs like a pro. The transformation of the shy, under-confident, demure Indu into an activist is nicely portrayed and doesn’t seem sudden. With PINK last year and now INDU SARKAR, Kirti Kulhari definitely would be noticed more and talked more about. Tota Roy Chowdhury, who impressed in KAHAANI, gives a yet another fine performance. His dialogue delivery is impeccable. Neil Nitin Mukesh looks menacing and does a good job. Sayajeet Sharma (Om Nath) is effective. Sheeba Chadha (Meghla) delivers a wonderful performance. Anupam Kher (Nanaji Pradhan) is first-rate in his supporting role. Parvin Dabas (IB officer) is decent but gets very little scope. Ankur Vikal (Shivam) makes an impact with his character and performance. Manav Vij (Inspector Sodhi) is endearing. Sahni (Mohan Kapur) and Rajesh Sharma (Shukla) are okay. Rashmi Jha (Farzana)’s entry scene grabs eyeballs but after that she is wasted. Supriya Vinod looks ditto like Indira Gandhi but she is hardly there for around fifteen seconds. Anu Malik’s music is poor. <em>‘Ye Awaaz Hai’</em> is the only song that suits the film’s theme. <em>‘Yeh Pal’</em> is relegated to the background. <em>‘Chadhta Sooraj’</em> slows down the film while the much publicized song <em>‘Dilli Ki Raat’</em> featuring Bappi Lahiri is missing from the film. Amar Mohile’s background score is much better and gives the film a dramatic feel. Devendra Murdeshwar’s editing should have been crisper and sharp. The length of the film works against it. Keiko Nakahara’s cinematography is satisfactory. Nitin Desai’s production design is authentic. On the whole, INDU SARKAR boasts of a captivating drama with post-interval portions packing a solid punch. At the box office, it’s success will depend on the word of mouth from the audiences.

Movie Review: Mubarakan
Thu, 27 Jul 17 18:34:13 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-744069" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Mubarakan-Review-Image.jpg" alt="Mubarakan Review Image" width="750" height="450" /> Mindless and slapstick comedies were in vogue in Bollywood at one point but now it’s rare to come across a film in this genre. HOUSEFULL 3, A FLYING JATT, GUEST IIN LONDON are some of the recent commercial comedies and now, MUBARAKAN gets added to the list. From the promos, it looks like a grand, clean, family entertainer. So does it manage to entertain or turns into a disappointing fare, lets analyse. MUBARAKAN revolves around the family of twin brothers and the madness that occurs as a result. Karan (Arjun Kapoor) is based in London while Charan (Arjun Kapoor), his twin brother, lives in Punjab. Karan is in love with Sweety (Ileana DCruz) while Charan loves Nafisa (Neha Sharma). Unfortunately, both are unable to tell their respective immediate family members about their relationship. Meanwhile, Jitto (Ratna Pathak Shah) who has taken care of Karan decides to fix the marriage of Charan with Binkle (Athiya Shetty), daughter of the very rich Mr Sandhu (Rahul Dev). Charan obviously is against this development and he seeks the help of his uncle Kartar (Anil Kapoor). He successfully manages to make sure that Charan and Binkle’s marriage does not get fixed but it also results in a major tiff between Jitto and Balwinder (Pavan Malhotra), Jitto’s brother and Charan’s guardian. And that’s not all. Balwinder fixes Charan’s marriage with Sweety while Jitto decides that Karan should tie the knot with Binkle. How the twin brothers and Kartar try to solve their problems and thereby add to the confusion forms the rest of the film. MUBARAKAN doesn’t have a proper commencement. Too much information is fed to the viewers in the first ten minutes. The introduction of characters is done haphazardly and even the jokes at this point aren’t that funny. However, the fun begins in the sequence where Charan goes to Binkle’s mansion for arranged marriage talks and hell breaks loose. From here, the film goes on a high and boasts of several funny and dramatic sequences. The intermission point arrives at a great point. Shockingly, the film goes downhill in second half. The film ceases to be funny and gets stretched. The film picks up in the climax and the film thankfully ends on a good note. Balwinder Singh Janjua and Rupinder Chahal’s story is complicated but has promise. Balwinder Singh Janjua and Gurmmeet Singh’s screenplay however makes the proceedings simplified. Despite the madness and double role, audiences never get confused. Rajesh Chawla’s dialogues are one of the highpoints of the film. The one-liners are hilarious and take many scenes several notches higher. Anees Bazmee’s direction is simple which is much needed, given the complicated plot. Also, he is a pro, having handled many well-made, complicated capers in the past like NO ENTRY, WELCOME, READY and WELCOME BACK. Also, he has used the whole Punjabi element very well that would be loved by the same community. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/anil-kapoor-reveals-about-his-character-in-mubarakan-anees-bazmee/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Coming to performances, Arjun Kapoor does very well in both roles. As Karan, he is mischievous and appears extra confident. As Charan, he gets the shy, demure bit very nicely. Moreover, there are several scenes where both the characters appear together and it must have been hectic for the actor to perform the scenes twice. But he does it very well. Anil Kapoor is the soul of the film. It’s because of him that the film gets its masala and humour. What’s endearing is that he not only makes viewers laugh but also makes your eyes moist in several scenes. Praiseworthy! Ileana D’Cruz looks glamorous and performs her part confidently. She could have gone wrong but she allows herself to go overboard only till a point. Athiya Shetty looks a bit different and has lesser screen time than other major characters. But she does better than her debut film (HERO) and shows promise. Ratna Pathak Shah who rocked the show last week with LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA does yet another great job in this film. Pavan Malhotra surprises with his yet another powerhouse performance. Neha Sharma has a crucial part in the film and does a fine job. She deserves to be seen more. Rahul Dev is another actor who surprises, as he makes one forget all his past villainous performances. Karan Kundra leaves a mark. The rest of the characters do a good job. In a family entertainer like MUBARAKAN, songs ideally should have been a crucial part of the enterprise. Surprisingly, not a single song is memorable enough. ‘<em>Hawa Hawa</em>’ is probably the best track of the lot. ‘<em>The Goggle Song’</em> is the next best. ‘<em>Jatt Jaguar’</em> and the sad ‘<em>Haathon Mein Thhe Haath’</em> were unwanted. Amar Mohile’s background score is filmy and exhilarates impact. Durgaprasad Mahapatra’s production design and Himman Dhamija’s cinematography are very appealing and gives the film a rich look. The work by the VFX team also deserves praise for making the double role bit look so seamless and real. Rameshwar S Bhagat’s editing could have been tighter as the film drags at places in the second half. On the whole, MUBARAKAN is a fine entertainer that should appeal to the family audiences big time. It has a strong Punjabi element that should enhance the film’s prospects in North India, Canada and Australia. At the box office, it will have a good ride for a week as it comes sans any competition. Worth a watch.

Movie Review: Dunkirk
Fri, 21 Jul 17 13:26:58 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-742214" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Dunkirk-Review-1.jpg" alt="Dunkirk Review 1" width="750" height="450" /> For the past several years, it has become the era of fast paced films and superhero flicks. Then, there comes a filmmaker like Christopher Nolan who has played with his big and outlandish ideas in films like <em>Inception</em>, <em>Prestige</em> and <em>Interstellar</em>. The filmmaker, who has dealt with the space, superhero genre and deepest depths of imagination, has brought one of his passion projects to life which he had dreamt for the longest time. There have been many war films made in the past including <em>All Quiet on the Western Front</em>, <em>The Wages of Fear</em>, <em>Unstoppable</em>, <em>Greed</em>, <em>Sunrise</em>, <em>The Battle of Algiers</em>, <em>Foreign Correspondent</em> and more. But, Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK rehashes some of the brutal memories of World War II. DUNKIRK is set in the era of 1940s during World War II. Based on the real life events, the film chronicles the evacuation of British soldiers who were cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) in France. In late May to early June 1940, nearly 400,00 Allied forces, British and French soldiers were driven to the edge by Germans during the war. The film is shown in three distinct timelines - 'The Mole' which is set over the course of about a week. 'The Sea' tells the story of the soldiers which set over a day and 'The Air' set over a period of one hour. The three different approaches to tell the stories makes it a compelling war drama and one of the best till date. 'The Mole' narrates the story of three young soldiers Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), Alex (Harry Styles) and Gibson (Aneurin Bannard) who try to survive during the brutal attacks on the beaches while they try to get away on the evacuation ships. 'The Sea' tells the tale of a civilian yacht called The Moonstone which is being headed by Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and accompanied by his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Peter's friend George (Barry Keoghan) as they head to Dunkirk to help as many soldiers as possible before the Germans kill them. 'The Air' showcases the story of two Royal Airforce Pilots Farrier (Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Lowden) as they try to protect the water front from the German planes that keep bombing the ships. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-742215" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Dunkirk-Review-2.jpg" alt="Dunkirk Review 2" width="750" height="450" /> DUNKIRK is less on conversation and more focused on storytelling through everyone's eyes. Newbie Fionn Whitehead who plays Tommy sums up the story of a young soldier trying to survive and reach home. In his very first big role, the 20-year-old actor leaves a mark and is the character one gets attached to. Teenage heartthrob, Harry Styles is making his Hollywood movie debut with this film and does justice to the role of Alex. Tom Hardy is the one air force pilot who, till the last second, makes sure his troops are safe. Academy Award winner Mark Rylance plays Mr. Dawson who brings humanity to this story. Visually, DUNKIRK is spectacular. It has been filmed entirely in IMAX. The film also features real Spitfires (fighter planes from WW II) and real warships which make the film look even more real. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema perfectly captures every frame from the dead bodies to raw emotions of the soldiers to the bombings. The ticking sound in the film has been made from Christopher Nolan's pocket watch and synthesized to build up the suspense. Music composer Hans Zimmer’s sound keeps everyone on their toes. Christopher Nolan, returning after giving blockbuster <em>Interstellar</em>, leaves you spellbound with his astonishing direction. He has beautiful connected the dots and intercuts between the three narratives of the Operation Dynamo which makes it a powerful film. Overall, DUNKIRK never shows the enemy but cleverly makes everyone root for the soldiers' safe evacuation. It is finely crafted war film which is worth watching on an IMAX or on a 70mm format.

Movie Review: Munna Michael
Fri, 21 Jul 17 08:25:42 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-742072" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Munna-Michael-112.jpg" alt="Munna Michael (112)" width="750" height="450" /> Michael Jackson has been a great inspiration for the present-day artistes. Tiger Shroff is one of them who have never shied away from speaking about his love for the deceased star. Hence, casting him in a film that pays a tribute to Jackson seems definitely ideal. At the same time, paying homage to Jackie Shroff by basing Tiger’s character in Mumbai’s Teen Batti, where the former resided at one point, also seems to work well, at least as evident from the promos. But do all these elements apart from Tiger’s usual action stunts manage to entertain in MUNNA MICHAEL, let’s analyse MUNNA MICHAEL tells the story of a Michael Jackson fan from the streets of Mumbai whose life changes when he meets a beautiful, charming girl and a Delhi goon. Munna (Tiger Shroff) has always been a fan of MJ. He also doesn’t take it lying down when people try to be oversmart and has no qualms in breaking their bones. During one such action adventure, he comes in contact with a ruthless gangster from Delhi, Mahinder (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). When Mahinder realizes that Munna is a born dancer, he asks him train him and help him become a pro dancer. Munna agrees, reluctantly. Soon Munna learns that Mahinder is learning dance to woo an aspiring star Dolly (Nidhhi Agerwal). Trouble arises when Munna falls for Dolly and she also develops feelings for him. How Munna balances his love for Dolly and his friendship with Mahinder forms the rest of the story. The film begins well showing how Munna Michael was so named. The childhood portion, though unreal and giving a deja vu of LA LA LAND, brings a smile. Tiger's entry as expected is whistle worthy and same goes for his intro song (Main Hoon). The entry of Mahinder in the narrative and his subsequent dance lesson sequences with Munna takes the film to a higher level. Trouble arises after Dolly is introduced. There's no trouble with the character but for some reason, the film goes into an unreal zone from hereon. The film gets overlaid with clichés and too many disjointed plots. The heights in cinematic liberty are attained in the finale. See it to believe it! The writing of the film is a major letdown. It seems that the scriptwriter (Vimmi Datta) didn’t have much to offer after a point and took the predictable, clichéd route. While the first half has action, dance and a little bit of romance, the film switches track in the second half as the drama shifts to the sets of a reality show. This switch however is not seamless. Vimmi’s dialogues however are decent. It is praiseworthy that director Sabbir Khan is making masala films at a time when more and more filmmakers are jumping into the realistic cinema bandwagon. Also, getting Tiger and Nawazuddin together is a masterstroke. But at times the proceedings on screen are unconvincing. In the midst, there are scenes that are genuinely funny, action scenes that will excite the viewers and songs that are foot tapping. However, a better script could’ve gone a long way in gelling all these elements together for a great masala entertainer. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/munna-michael-is-a-surprise-treat-for-nawazuddin-siddiqui-fans-tiger-shroff-3/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><center></center></center>Coming to performances, Tiger Shroff looks smart and doesn't overdo the jumps and kicks that he is famous for. He dances like a superstar and pays and good tribute to Michael Jackson. There’s also a hint of tapori style in his character and he catches it quite well. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is splendid to say the least. The actor has always worked his magic in any kind of a performance and this film is no exception. His dialogue delivery and comic timing hits the bulls’ eye and brings the much needed masala in the film. And yes, he dances very well! However, one was looking forward to see Nawaz shake a leg with Tiger, which doesn't quite happen. Nidhhi Agerwal is charming and looks confident on screen. Her performance is fine, more or less, but her dancing could have been much better, especially when she’s shown as the most popular dancer in a reality dance show. Also, there are scenes when she seems lost and out of place. Pankaj Tripathi (Balli), known for his performances in arthouse films, does a good job in this masala film setup. Ronit Roy (Munna’s father) has a superb entry sequence. He gives an adorable performance, although later on, he does go overboard. But it’s good to see him essay a positive character for a change. Chitrangda Singh, Farah Khan, Ameesha Patel and Shenaz Treasury fail to make a mark in their cameos. Songs are entertaining and well placed. <em>‘Main Hoon’</em> played immediately after Munna’s entry, is foot tapping. <em>‘Swag’</em> both versions, are well shot. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score is decent and has a ‘filmy’ touch. Hari K. Vedantam’s cinematography plays a big role in ensuring the film looks stylish. Manan Sagar’s editing is crisp. Rajat Poddar’s production design and Ganesh Acharya’s choreography are appealing. ANL Arasu and K Ravi Verma’s action is exhilarating. On the whole, MUNNA MICHAEL has its moments but struggles due to weak writing. However, Tiger Shroff’s fans would be a happy lot as the actor rocks the show with his dance and action. At the box office, the film’s growth will depend on word of mouth.

Movie Review: Lipstick Under My Burkha
Wed, 19 Jul 17 19:25:34 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-741594" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Lipstick-Under-My-Burkha-movie-review.jpg" alt="Lipstick Under My Burkha movie review" width="750" height="450" /> It is often said that there are two kinds of ‘India’ that exist. There’s one part of the country that has progressed beautifully and have accepted liberalism and the idea of equality among sexes to a great extent. But there’s another part that still thrives on regressive mindset and has no qualms in denying women their basic rights. LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA from the promos promises to take a dig at the patriarchal way of thinking with some funny and hard-hitting moments. So does it really manage to show a mirror to the society and make an impact, let’s analyse. LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA deals with four women of different age groups, all of them residing in the dilapidated Hawai Manzil in Bhopal. Usha Parmar aka Buajee (Ratna Pathak Shah) is the matriarch of this crumbling building and also a widow. Her favourite pastime is reading Hindi romantic novels, similar to Mills &amp; Boon, that ignite a strong desire for a male companion. Shirin (Konkona Sen Sharma) works secretly as a saleswoman and she is very good at her job. Unfortunately, she has to keep this part of her life a secret from her husband Rahim (Sushant Singh), who works and lives in Saudi Arabia for most of the year. Rehana (Plabita Borthakur) is a college-going student who is forced to wear a burkha by her family. She hates it and she too is hiding a secret from her loved ones, which deals with music and kleptomania. Leela (Aahana Kumra) is the most rebellious of all with a devil-may-care attitude. She loves Arshad (Vikrant Massey) but her mother forcefully arranges her marriage with someone else. How these four women have to face acute challenges, presented by society, in order to live a life that they want forms the rest of the film. LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA gives no time to audiences to get used to the unconventional premise. It straight away delves into the lives of these ‘wonder women’ and this might be unsettling for viewers. But in 15 minutes, things get better. The characters and their situations are very real. The four principle characters are very easy to identify with and it’s a pleasure to witness their quest, as they go about fulfilling their (simple) desires, but with utmost secrecy. Although amusing at first, it is also saddening to know what all women go through in small towns to act upon their wishes. The challenges and situations are overlayed with smart and humourous writing. Gazal Dhaliwal’s dialogues are sure to be noticed and appreciated. It is creatively written, especially the ones recited by Ratna. Alankrita Shrivastava’s story is unique and worth being adapted on the screen. Screenplay (Alankrita Shrivastava, Suhani Kanwar) is also written well. What’s praiseworthy is that equal screen time has been given to all four tracks. On the flipside, while the first half is brilliant and keeps viewers hooked, in the second half, the story struggles to get into new directions. Hence, the impact is incoherent – it is strong at few places but weak in the rest of the scenes. There’s too much happening in the film and it is unnecessary. For instance, the redevelopment track has no purpose as such to the principle plot. Also, in an attempt to become a ‘feminist’ film, it becomes an ‘anti-male’ film since almost all the male characters are presented as villains with not a single one who’s sensitive and supporter of equal rights. Alankrita Shrivastava’s direction is neat. She deserves kudos for picking up such a fresh and challenging subject. It’s highly different from what Bollywood is producing these days and that’s a very big plus for the film. Also, making a film comprising of four tracks is not easy but she jumps from one track to another seamlessly. Lastly, she keeps the goings on entertaining for most part and doesn’t get preachy at any point. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/lipstick-under-my-burkha-team-open-up-about-their-controversial-film/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA rests on some brilliant performances. Ratna Pathak Shah has delivered several powerful roles but this one is sure to surprise a lot of viewers. Not many actresses of her age will attempt such a risqué character. Ratna not only takes up the challenge but also comes out with flying colours. Konkona Sen Sharma is an absolute delight to watch. She plays her part with full conviction. Plabita Borthakur and Aahana Kumra are the biggest surprises of the film. The cute-looking Plabita is not only a great performer but also a first-rate singer. Aahana gives a highly confident performance. It was a challenge to make this a convincing performance but this young actress does it effortlessly. Vikrant Massey stuns with yet another powerful performance. The actor has been consistently delivering some great performances this year, from HALF GIRLFRIEND to A DEATH IN THE GUNJ. With LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA, he proves that he’s an all-rounder who’s capable of handling any kind of role. Sushant Singh is good in the negative role. Vaibhav Tatwawaadi (Jaspal) is impressive. Shashank Arora (Dhruv) is strictly okay as his performance gives one a déjà vu of his act in TITLI. Zebunissa Bangash’s music is foot-tapping but songs don’t have much scope. Both ‘<em>Le Li Jaan’</em> and ‘<em>Jigi Jigi’</em> are fine but are not memorable tracks. Mangesh Dhadke’s background score however is much better and gives a film a nice, light-hearted touch. Rohit Chaturvedi’s costumes are authentic but also glamorous. Charushree Roy’s editing is tight and crisp. Vikram Singh’s sets seem straight out of real life. Akshay Singh’s cinematography captures the locales of Bhopal very well. On the whole, LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA deserves praise for its brave premise, characters and storytelling. At the box office however, the film will face an uphill task as the risqué and unconventional content will appeal only to niche audiences and that too just in the metropolitan cities.

Movie Review: Jagga Jasoos
Fri, 14 Jul 17 08:57:00 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-740069" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Jagga-Jasoos-73-1.jpg" alt="Jagga-Jasoos-(73)" width="720" height="450" /> A fun, family film with children as the target audience is quite rare in Bollywood. When JAGGA JASOOS was announced, it seemed like a great idea that would fill this void in Hindi cinema. But the numerous delays and negativity surrounding the film partly took away the excitement. Now that the film is out, does it really manage to entertain and awe viewers or does it turn into a sleep-fest, let’s analyze. JAGGA JASOOS is a musical adventure of a detective teenager who along with a female companion, is on a mission to find his missing father. Jagga (Ranbir Kapoor) is orphaned at birth and grows up in a hospital. He develops a bond with a patient, Badol Bagchi (Saswata Chatterjee), who adopts him. Jagga stammers and Bagchi teaches him that he can be fluent if he sings instead of talking. In a mysterious turn of events, Bagchi admits Jagga in a boarding school and leaves for an important mission under Kishan (Saurabh Shukla). Jagga develops a detective bent of mind and starts solving small cases in an around his school. During one such case, he comes across Shruti Sengupta (Katrina Kaif) and both become good friends. When Jagga learns that his father is no more, he decides to find out the truth and asks Shruti to help. Whether Jagga is able to put all his grey cells to use in order to expose the wrongdoers is what forms the rest of the film. Those spreading negativity about JAGGA JASOOS were a bit silenced once the teaser and trailer were out. Both showcased the grandeur of the film and also the musical, fantasy element beautifully. However, despite being technically brilliant and boasting of top-class VFX, director Anurag Basu fails to do justice. JAGGA JASOOS commences as a lovely musical children's film, but it still gives one sense of deja vu of BARFI. Even the 'Picture Shuru' theme is played here, just like in BARFI. But this song suits JAGGA JASOOS more thanks to its musical theme. However, the kid-friendly element ends within 15 minutes as soon as Jagga grows up and he starts solving murder cases. Jagga solving the case of the murdered teacher makes for a nice watch. Shruti’s entry in the narrative takes the film a bit higher and the entire amusement park sequence has its moments. Surprisingly, it also makes one wonder how come both are able to win over the bad guys every time. Post-interval, the madness shifts to Mombaca, to track down Jagga’s missing father, and from here, the film should have gone on a high. Sadly, that doesn’t happen as the film gets stretched and even scattered. The film goes into unnecessary territory – for instance, the song <em>‘Khaana Khaake’</em> doesn’t serve purpose to the film. Jagga, throughout the first half, is shown singing while conversing but stops doing it for most of the second half. The result: Jagga stammers heavily and needlessly and after a point, it tests viewers’ patience. All these goofs would have still been redundant if the finale had some punch. Shockingly, the film ends on an abrupt and laughable note. Jagga provides a solution to end terrorism in the finale and it makes no sense. However, the final scene is a shocker and gives an indication that a sequel is in the offing. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/ranbir-kapoor-katrina-kaifs-chemistry-is-mindblowing-in-this-interview-teaser/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The film has a lot of rhyming dialogues and each one of them is creatively penned. However, the rest of the dialogues are simple. Anurag Basu, it seems, didn’t have a structured plot and put things haphazardly. The screenplay is faulty, stretched and incoherent, especially in the second half. The cinematic liberties are aplenty – Jagga easily enters a crime scene in presence of police and goes through the murdered person’s stuff and nobody batts an eyelid! In this regard, things get worse post-interval when Jagga conveniently ventures into the dangerous zones of the enemy and even escapes at will, quite easily. One might argue that such cinematic liberties are fine as it’s a film targeted for kids. However, even this part is debatable since the narrative is not so simple and kid-friendly. Also, it speaks about Naxalites, murder, international terrorism etc. which might not be easily understandable to the kids. Moreover, the finale madness should have been the best part of the enterprise – instead, it seems abrupt. In fact, several scenes have no connection with one another. It’s a known fact that Anurag Basu took almost three and a half years to make this film and looking at the final product, one can tell how confused and lost he was about the film. JAGGA JASOOS rests on the shoulders of Ranbir Kapoor. The actor, known for bringing freshness in each role, gets totally into the skin of his character and tries to bring something new this time as well. His stammering goes a bit into the unreal zone but he showcases his singing side very well. His sincere act is one of the big reasons why the film is bearable. Katrina Kaif looks lovely and ably compliments Ranbir. She also raises laughs with her goofiness which works well. Saswata Chatterjee, known in Bollywood for playing the menacing Bob Biswas in KAHAANI, is very adorable and delivers a fine performance. Saurabh Shukla is strictly okay and doesn’t make use of his full potential. Sayani Gupta, who has earned popularity with MARGARITA WITH A STRAW, FAN and JOLLY LLB 2, is shockingly wasted. The actress has donned the look of a 14-year-old and it’s very well done but one hardly gets to see her in the film. The actors playing kid Jagga, teacher couple, Miss Mala and others do a good job. JAGGA JASOOS, being a musical, has less of dialogues and more of songs. It is difficult to remember each and every track as there are close to 20-30 songs and none actually register. In fact, after a point, one starts dreading when the characters break into a song. However ‘<em>Galti Se Mistake’</em> stands out for its picturization and quirky dance moves. <em>‘Khaana Khaake’</em> is also very catchy but not needed in the film. Background score is very loud and at times, takes away attention from the proceedings. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is very eye catching. The film has been shot in some great locations and the lens man has captured them beautifully. Special mention should also go to the Art and VFX departments. Ajay Sharma’s editing is disappointing. The film is 2 hours and 41 minutes long with scenes being badly stitched together. On the whole, JAGGA JASOOS is a badly written and very poorly executed musical. The film doesn't offer any entertainment value for either children or adults. At the box office, the film will have a tough time.

Movie Review: Guest Iin London
Thu, 06 Jul 17 14:33:42 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-737546" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Movie-Review-Guest-Iin-London-review.jpg" alt="Movie Review Guest Iin London review" width="750" height="450" /> The year 2010 saw the release of ATITHI TUM KAB JAOGE?, which had the veteran actor Paresh Rawal playing the role of an uninvited guest in the house of Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen Sharma. This week’s release is GUEST IIN LONDON, which will see the chronicles of Paresh Rawal as an uninvited guest yet again. This time round, the ‘chosen’ couple to play his host is Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Kharbanda. Will GUEST IIN LONDON be welcomed with open arms at the Box-Office or will it bite the dust, let’s analyze. We live in a country where our guests are considered to be Gods <em>a la ‘</em>Athithi Devo Bhava’. But, when the same guests extend their stay endlessly, they tend to become a pain. GUEST IIN LONDON is nothing but a cinematic version of this saying. The film starts off with the flashback of events which mirrors the entry of an elderly man named Gangasharan Gandothra (Paresh Rawal) and his dutiful wife Guddi (Tanvi Azmi) in the lives of Kartik (Kartik Aaryan) and Anaya (Kriti Kharbanda). Both, Kartik and Anaya are on the verge of getting married for their individual vested interests. While Kartik wants a permanent citizenship in UK, UK citizen Anaya is getting married to him for the sake of money. Meanwhile Gangashara and Guddi land up in their house as uninvited guests and make this fake marriage of theirs into a grand celebration involving the neigbours from the locality. No sooner do they get married, Kartik and Anaya realise that they have actually fallen in love with each other. Gangasharan and Guddi’s love and affection towards the newly married couple only funnels their love for each other much more. As days pass by, Gangasharan and Guddi show no signs of going back to India. All the attempts to pack them back prove futile for Kartik and Anaya. One day, the world around Kartik and Anaya comes to a standstill, when they discover a startling truth about Gangasharan and Guddi. What is the shocking truth about Gangasharan and Guddi which Kartik and Anaya discover, are Gangasharan and Guddi as innocent as they appear or is there more than what meets the eye, is what forms the rest of the film. The trailer of GUEST IIN LONDON was more or less a giveaway of what to expect from the film in totality. Despite that, the film was expected to provide at least a decent level of comedy. The sad part is that, the film falters big time and fails in every aspect. GUEST IIN LONDON suffers big time for the want of a taut, engaging and appealing script/ screenplay (Robin Bhatt, Ashwni Dhir). Besides the ridiculous and nonsensical screenplay, the film also suffers for the want of logic at most places. In totality, the film is nothing but a bunch of random gags put together, which gradually gets distasteful with each passing minute (read ‘saturation point’). The film has a truck load of fart jokes, which are supposed to tickle your funny bone. Besides the never-ending fart jokes (which pops up every ten minutes), there are also jokes on poop! If you are expecting humour in the film, then gear up as the film serves you nothing less than ‘shit’ loads of toilet humour! If all of these weren’t ‘shitty’ enough, there is also a full 10 minute shaayari which is solely dedicated to farts! GUEST IIN LONDON defies all the possible logic at all the levels and yet, manages to have a runtime of 2 hours and 18 minutes, which is enough for the audiences to feel choked up as the film starts progressing. Barring a handful of one liners the film’s dialogues are just not funny, as it should have ideally been. After having directed films like ATITHI TUM KAB JAOGE?, SON OF SARDAAR and others, Ashwni Dhir hits rock bottom with GUEST IIN LONDON. He is clueless about the direction in which he wanted to steer the film. In an attempt to make it a comedy cum emotional film, Dhir fails miserably in delivering of the two genres. While the film’s first half starts off with comedy of errors in London, the film ends on an emotionally serious note in New York with 9/11 as its backdrop. Adding to the film’s ridiculousness is Ajay Devgn’s cameo. One can easily say that this film sees Ajay Devgn in his worst possible cameo! <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/kartik-aaryan-and-kriti-kharbanda-on-paresh-ravals-acting-genius/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>GUEST IIN LONDON is a film which, organically belongs to Paresh Rawal, right from the word go. Hence, it’s really a shame that a superlative actor of Paresh Rawal’s stature chose to feature in such a poorly set-up film. All that Paresh Rawal’s character does in the film is to fart and ham at every given occasion. It’s really sad to see a seasoned performer like Paresh Rawal agreeing to be a part of a senseless film like GUEST IIN LONDON. Kartik Aaryan does an average job and looks confused throughout the film. His character in the film is as lost in the film as he must have been about the film’s script. It’s about time for this man shows some variety if he is planning for a long inning in Bollywood. Tanvi Azmi does a decent job in the film within the space that she is offered. On the other hand, after having done the horror film RAAZ: REBOOT, Kriti Kharbanda lands up doing an average job within the available screen time in GUEST IIN LONDON. Sanjay Mishra has his share of comical moments and is strictly restricted to the film’s first half only. Other supporting cast does an average job. The film’s music (Raghav Sachar, Amit Mishra) is passable. The film’s songs don’t really register. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Amar Mohile) is average. The film’s cinematography (Sudhir K. Chaudhary) is decent. On the other hand, the film’s editing (Manan Sagar) is terrible. The film could have been cut short by a good 15-20 minutes! On the whole, GUEST IIN LONDON is a test on the sense and the sensibilities of the viewers. Loaded with fart jokes, which are passed on in the name of comedy, this film will struggle at the Box-Office.

Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming (English)
Thu, 06 Jul 17 07:52:55 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-737422" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Spider-Man-1-1.jpg" alt="Spider-Man-(1)" width="750" height="450" /> Back in 2002, we saw the web swinging superhero Spiderman making his debut with the character being played by Toby Maguire. Three films and few years down the line, it was Andrew Garfield who took over the mantle of playing everyone’s favourite neighbourhood superhero Spider-Man. However, despite the slick action and cutting edge tech shown in the film, we saw the franchise nose dive. Now yet again Sony Pictures has decided on rebooting the franchise with Tom Holland playing the teenager bitten by an arachnid. But will this third reboot of the children’s superhero infuse new life into a waning franchise or will it like the previous ones be relegated to a footnote in the Avengers series is what we analyse. Starting off SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING picks up several months after the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter Parker returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May<strong>. </strong>Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City, while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man. As a new threat, the Vulture, emerges, everything that Peter holds most important gets threatened. Will the teenage crime fighting superhero manage to overpower the forces of evil, will he eventually join the Avengers initiative or will Spider-Man remain as just another footnote for the Avengers is what forms the rest of the film. Considering the fact that we first saw Tom Holland essay Spider-Man in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR going toe to toe with the Avengers, it certainly wasn’t long before the stand alone Spider-Man film made headway to bring the neighbourhood superhero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike the previous films that kept close to the comic book story line, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING diverges to introduce a trainee superhero who is being mentored by none other than Tony Stark AKA Iron-Man. Thanks to this, unlike the previous films, this one features a Spidey who sports some of the latest technology aided with an AI, and we must say that the new suit and the new character work well for the film. If that wasn’t all, since everything comes with a touch of Tony Stark and the post Avengers/ Civil War, there is tons of action and of course some humorous light moments that are well interjected into the film giving it a more rounded feel. However, the film does have its drawbacks. Unlike the Toby Maguire version of SPIDER-MAN, the new Tom Holland one seems a tad bit unlike the Spidey that we have known and grown up on. In fact, while the first film in the series still resembles the comic book character to the best, the newer version is an active shift in including Spider- Man and making him a part of a team. If that wasn’t all, unlike the previous films that have detailed the villainous characters extensively giving them a back story and an overall menacing feel, in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, The Vulture though menacing in his armoured avatar and deadly as hell, comes across as slightly underdeveloped. But with well executed action and spot on performances, this drawback can easily be overlooked. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-737423" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Spider-Man-2.jpg" alt="Spider-Man-(2)" width="750" height="450" /> Talking about performances, Tom Holland as Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man does well in essaying a teenager grappling with life in high school while simultaneously being a secret superhero. Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture is convincing with his mannerisms and expressions that convey his motives with menacing precision. Interestingly, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING focuses mainly on these two characters with cameos from Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark AKA Iron-Man, while actively keeping the rest of the cast to a bare minimum. Director Jon Watts has done a marvellous job of endearing this comic book character to the masses while at the same time giving him a larger canvas to explore future franchise opportunities as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Similarly, Salvatore Totino who heads the cinematography is on point with sweeping visuals that take the viewer on a web swinging ride each time Spidey decides to swing his way through the city. Debbie Berman and Dan Lebental on the editing table have kept the proceedings crisp and tight making it a fun watch, while Michael Giacchino’s score adds to building up the crescendo for a thrilling, action packed climax. Here a special mention has to be made for the team of geniuses of Lauren Abiouness, Audra Avery, Beat Frutiger, Drew Monahan, supervising art director Brad Ricker and of course a host of others who have given the film a slick and fast paced feel with the VFX and CGI that are seamlessly integrated into the live actions sequences. On the whole, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING lives up to being a Marvel film complete with two post credit scenes. Apart from this, the film though unlike the previous ones and the comic books does well to establish a character while simultaneously giving him a larger canvas for future films. Don’t miss this Spidey tale.

Movie Review: Mom
Thu, 06 Jul 17 01:40:27 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-737252" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Mom-212-RAW-1.jpg" alt="Mom-212-RAW" width="750" height="450" /> The role of a mother has always been quintessential in real life and it is reflected to be so in the movies too. There have been many films which have been made that portray strong character of the mother, the all time classic being MOTHER INDIA. This week’s release titled MOM starring Sridevi also shows the power of a mother. Will MOM be able to prove itself to be the ‘mother’ of all the films in Bollywood or will it bite the dust, let’s analyze. It’s always said that ‘Since God cannot be everywhere, He created Mother’. MOM is a heart wrenching story, which mirrors the power of a mother <em>in lieu </em>of the aforementioned adage. The film starts off with school teacher Devki (Sridevi) punishing one of her students in school named Mohit for sending a lewd message to her daughter Arya (Sajal Ali), who also studies in the same class. Despite Sridevi’s love and affection towards Arya, Arya can’t get over the fact that she is her step-mom. There’s a constant brewing tension between them. One night, when Arya goes for a Valentine’s day party with her friends at a far off cottage, Mohit and his accomplices seize the opportunity to get even with her and land up brutally raping her and dumping her in a gutter. What happens after that are a series of court sessions, which ultimately end up declaring the ‘powerful’ Mohit and his partners as innocent and they walk away scot-free. Seeing justice slipping out of her hands, Devki approaches a small time detective Dayashankar Kapoor aka DK (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) to help her. Just as Devki starts ‘punishing’ the culprits, she comes under the radar of the razor sharp police officer Mathew Francis (Akshaye Khanna). What is the reason for Arya to hate Devki so much, does Devki succeed in her plan of exposing the culprits or does she get caught by Inspector Mathew Francis while doing so, what happens of the culprits ultimately and does Arya finally get justice, is what forms the rest of the story. No sooner MOM’s trailer got released, it immediately caught everyone’s attention with Sridevi’s daunting question “<em>Agar aapko galat aur bohot galat mein se chun na ho, toh aap kya chunenge?"</em> Thanks to Sridevi’s screen persona, the film’s trailer set the path for the film. The film is a hard-hitting tale narrated by debutante director Ravi Udyawar. What makes MOM different from other films in similar genre is the treatment and presentation. Since the film touches upon a very topical issue, it is definitely bound to find high resonance amongst the audiences. Even though the film has an extremely gripping screenplay (Girish Kohli), it could have been tighter and far more engaging, especially in the second half. Despite the presence of moments of sheer brilliance in the film, the writer fails to sustain the same till the end. The film’s story (Ravi Udyawar, Girish Kohli, Kona Venkat) is about today’s reality and has been written in a convincing manner. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/no-pain-no-gain-sridevi-rapid-fire-mom-mr-india-2/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>After having carved a niche for himself as an artist, illustrator, graphic designer and an ad filmmaker, Ravi Udyawar makes an astounding debut as a director with MOM. Ravi truly wins the hearts of everyone with the emotional connect that he brings in the film. The film’s first half is shot very well building an excellent set up and well-detailed and etched out characterisation. The first half also mirrors the reason for the brewing tension between Sridevi and her daughter. The film however begins to dip and stretches in the second half, especially during the pre-climax. By the time the film reaches the climax, the so far built up fizz starts fading away. Had the film been shorter in length, it would've been far more effective. Amongst all the highpoints of the film, do not miss the film’s climax and the scene in the film is when Sridevi breaks down when she sees her daughter in the hospital. This scene will definitely give you goose bumps. Speaking of Sridevi, with MOM, she touches the 300<sup>th</sup> film mark of her career. Sridevi is the lifeline of MOM, as the film rests on her strong shoulders. The magic, the aura and the magnetic charisma, for which Sridevi was always known is in full display in MOM. The way Sridevi operates and takes out one accused after another with the help of Nawazuddin Siddiqui is interestingly shown. With MOM, Sridevi, yet again, proves that she still is one of the best leading actresses in Bollywood. On the other hand, there’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who can rightly be called as a ‘performance chameleon’. The effortlessness with which he slips into his character in MOM is truly outstanding. MOM sees an elevation of his career graph with his exceptional performance. His looks and performance in the film is simply beyond words. Seeing him and Sridevi on the big screen together is nothing short of sheer bliss. Then, there’s the suave Akshaye Khanna, who is in top form in MOM. It’s great to see him in a strong role after a long time. Besides them, there are some really good performances from Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali. MOM, as a whole, comes across as a blazing powerhouse of some great performances, which also includes the actors playing the four culprits. The film’s music (A. R. Rahman) is decent, though the song towards the end was unnecessary. On the other hand, the film’s background score (A. R. Rahman, Qutub E Kripa) is very good and creates good tension in the narrative. It’s the background score, which elevates the films’ narrative by notches. The film has exceptional cinematography (Anay Goswamy), whereas the film’s editing (Monisha R. Baldawa) is just about decent. The film could have been trimmed for stronger impact. The action scenes in the film have also been executed very well. On the whole, MOM is a powerful film that reflects the horrors of the society that we live in today and how the world still remains unsafe for women. The film shocks and impacts you deep within. Watch it for it’s hard hitting content and Sridevi's brilliant performance.

Movie Review: Transformers: The Last Knight
Fri, 30 Jun 17 08:00:02 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-735751" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Transformers-The-Last-Knight-English-21.jpg" alt="Transformers The Last Knight (English) (2)1" width="750" height="450" /> Back in 2007, we saw the release of the film TRANSFORMERS which was an adaptation of yet another comic book that told the story of mechanized sentient life forms. Now almost a decade later, the films have developed into a franchise with the fifth instalment hitting screens this Friday. But will the fifth edition titled TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT transform into a success story at the box office is what we analyse. Starting off from where the previous film TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION ended, the latest in the series TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT follows the journey of Optimus Prime who eventually finds his dead home planet, Cybertron, in which he comes to find who was responsible for its destruction. Convinced by a higher power to bring Cybertron back to life, Optimus sets out on a mission to find an artefact that is on Earth. From here the film switches to the past, it is 484 AD, King Arthur's wizard Merlin forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have been hidden on Earth. The knights give Merlin an alien staff, and combine into a dragon to help Arthur triumph over the Saxons. The years pass and the staff is lost to history. In the present day, the governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and the multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) has been formed to eliminate the alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet to search for his creator), new Transformers continue to arrive regularly; the newest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago, where it is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager arrive and help them escape, but Yeager is unable to save the Transformer, Steelbane, in the ship. Before he dies, Steelbane attaches a metallic talisman to Yeager’s body—an act observed by Decepticon Barricade, who reports to his leader Megatron. From here on starts a struggle between the remaining Autobot transformers along with Yeager and the Decipticons to acquire the staff that will save Cybertron. Much like the previous films in the series TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT boasts of high octane action sequences that are not just shot on a large scale but also executed to create awe and wonder in the viewer’s mind. Director Michael Bay who has consistently been outdoing himself with each new transformer flick has done it yet again. The enormity of the canvas and the imminent doomsday knell that rings is portrayed on epic global proportions. However, despite the slickness of the film and the visuals that keep you gripped, the film does have its flaws. Though one does not expect an enthralling story line from a film like this, the rather weak plot and the by now monotonous idea that the world is going to end and the only hope of survival is Optimus Prime and his Autobots, does become a downer. If that wasn’t all, the film is pretty lengthy with a run time of nearly two and a half hours. This unexpectedly long run time, which could easily have been solved on the edit table, makes the film a bit of a drag and drawn out. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-735752" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Transformers-The-Last-Knight-English-2.jpg" alt="Transformers The Last Knight (English) (2)" width="750" height="450" /> The background score of the film by Steve Jablonsky, who incidentally has composed the music for all of the films in the TRANSFORMERS series, goes a long way in building up the onscreen happenings for a final crescendo during the climax. Jonathan Sela, who has earlier displayed his capabilities with films like MAX PAYNE, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD and JOHN WICK to name a few, does it yet again, as the DOP Sela excels in showing sweeping visuals that capture the grandness of scale that is heightened with the VFX. Mark Sanger, John Refoua, Adam Gerstel, Roger Barton, Debra Neil-Fisher and Calvin Wimmer who lend their abilities on the editing table do an equally good job. However, despite the rapid progression on screen there are instances that could well have been trimmed, reducing the total run time of the film. Anthony Caron-Delion heads the art department and does well with the on screen visuals, assisted by Todd Cherniawsky who developed the sets of the film, the duo manage to add a much needed scale to proceedings. Coming to the performances, though most of the characters are CGI developed, the live action actors viz. Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, Josh Duhamel as Colonel William Lennox, Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley and Isabela Moner as Izabella are decent. However, the inclusion of Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton though only in a cameo is pretty entertaining. Given the fact that Hopkins’ character acts as a link between the past and the present, the actor who has in the past held up films on his more than capable shoulders does yet another magnificent job with his limited role. On the whole, despite its weak story line, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT is a visual treat for the fans of the franchise. Also, given that there is no prominent release at the Indian box office this week; this is a good big screen experience for action movie lovers.

Movie Review: Tubelight
Thu, 22 Jun 17 20:38:34 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-733420" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tubelight-Movie-Review-Images.jpg" alt="Tubelight Movie Review Images" width="750" height="450" /> Besides the fact that films like BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN<em>, </em>KICK<em>, </em>EK THA TIGER, BODYGUARD, DABANGG and WANTED starred the inimitable Salman Khan, they were all released during the auspicious festive season of Eid. By now, every Eid has become synonymous with a Salman Khan film release. Continuing the tradition, this year too, Eid will see the release of Salman Khan’s film TUBELIGHT, which happens to be official adaptation of the Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gomez Monteverde’s war movie LITTLE BOY. Will TUBELIGHT ‘light’ up the Box-Office and create new records, let’s analyze. TUBELIGHT is a story about a man's unshakeable belief. Based on the adage, ‘Faith can move mountains’, the film revolves around the life of a simpleton named Laxman Singh Bisht (Salman Khan). Because of his exceedingly gullible nature, he gets nicknamed as ‘tubelight’, thanks to his inability to grasp, understand and analyse things like others. The story starts off with a narration by Laxman, wherein he takes the audiences through his childhood to adulthood. While the world doesn’t take him seriously, the one man who always stands by Laxman and has complete faith in him is his younger brother Bharat Singh Bisht (Sohail Khan). One day, in the wake of the Indo-China war, the Indian Army invites applications from young Indians to join the army and serve the nation at the time of crisis. While Laxman gets rejected outright, Bharat gets chosen to be a part of the Indian army to go to the border to fight against the Chinese invasion. Life falls apart for Laxman when he gets to know that there is no contact with Bharat and that he may have died in the war. That’s when Banney chacha (the late Om Puri) tells Laxman to have faith that his brother Bharat will return. Does Laxman Singh Bisht’s faith fight the test of time, does Bharat Singh Bisht return back home safely, and what happens ultimately of the Indo-China war is what forms the rest of the film. While the promos of TUBELIGHT simply ‘lightened’ up everyone’s excitement about the film, the film fails to live upto its title and eventually falls flat completely. The film’s story (Kabir Khan) is raw, extremely half-baked and totally convoluted. The film’s screenplay (Kabir Khan, Parveez Shaikh) is very convenient and rests on a wafer thin plot that gets stretched way too long, thus, spoiling the film’s novelty in a big way. The screenplay seems to have been born out of convenience rather than conviction. Even though the film has been based on the adage ‘Faith can move mountains’, TUBELIGHT just does not hold any kind of solid content to mirror the same. The film is not at all convincingly made in the context of a backdrop of a war as it lacks the emotional connect with the audiences. The film’s dialogues (Manurishi Chadha) are just about average and very much unlike a typical ‘Salman Khan film’. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/war-is-a-waste-of-time-money-and-life-salman-khan/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>After having started his career working on documentary films, director Kabir Khan gradually progressed into Bollywood with films like KABUL EXPRESS, NEW YORK, EK THA TIGER, BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN and PHANTOM. Known for his peculiar style of filmmaking and for his knack of extracting exemplary performances from his actors, one expects Kabir Khan to continue this tradition with TUBELIGHT as well. But, sadly he disappoints this time. Even though Kabir had a very interesting premise, he fails to convert the same into a good and an engaging entertainer. While the film’s first half is decent, the second half starts moving at an extremely slow pace with absolutely no story to boast about. While there are lots of elements which have been taken for granted in the name of cinematic liberties, there are absolutely zero elements which invoke a shock value in the dragged second half. Speaking of scenes worth noticing, do not miss the scenes wherein Salman Khan undergoes a selection process to join the army as well as the scene which has Shah Rukh Khan in a cameo. After having given smash hit films like KICK, BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN and SULTAN, expectations were sky high from Salman Khan’s TUBELIGHT. Salman Khan plays his part with utmost sincerity and dedication but it’s the script which fails him bitterly. Even though Salman Khan tries to be naïve and affable, the film’s poor writing gives him in. Ditto for the Chinese actress Zhu Zhu, who makes her debut with TUBELIGHT. While she is endearing to watch, the weak script fails to escalate the impact of her performance. The Indian audiences will find it tough to relate to her (half-baked) character in the film. The little boy Matin Rey Tangu is cute and endearing in his character, but doesn’t get to do much. Sohail Khan, on the other hand, is convincing in his extended cameo kind of role and plays his part with sincerity. The (late) Om Puri delivers a memorable performance, while Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo is effective. Rest of the actors help the film in move forward. The music (Pritam) of TUBELIGHT is very average. ‘RADIO’ is the only chartbuster song in the film. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Julius Packiam) is good. The film’s cinematography (Aseem Mishra) is excellent. The way in which he has captured the locations are worth mentioning. The film’s editing (Rameshwar S. Bhagat) is decent, if not outstanding. On the whole, TUBELIGHT come across as a colossal disappointment as it fails to engross the audiences due to its wafer thin plot. At the Box-Office, the movie will take a jumpstart due to Salman Khan’s star power and accelerate over the weekend and the extended weekend [due to the Eid festivities], post which, the business will see a sizeable drop.

Movie Review: Bank Chor
Fri, 16 Jun 17 08:24:07 +0000

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-720316 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/This-Honest-Trailer-Of-Bank-Chor-Will-Leave-You-In-Splits.jpg" alt="This Honest Trailer Of Bank Chor Will Leave You In Splits" width="720" height="405" /> It has been quite a while that Bollywood has seen an out and out comedy film. This week’s release BANK CHOR promises to provide that much needed comic relief. Will BANK CHOR help its makers laugh all the way to the ‘bank’ or will it spell doom, lets analyze. BANK CHOR is a simple film about three amateur crooks who plan to rob a bank and the situations which arise after their robbery. The film starts off with a Vaastu Shastra believing sloppy thief Champak Chandrakant Chiplunkar (Riteish Deshmukh) along with his two inexperienced accomplices Ghenda (Bhuvan Arora) and Gulab (Vikram Thapa). Citing unavoidable ‘personal reasons’, Champak and his two friends land up to loot the ‘Bank Of Indians’. Seeing the helplessness of the staff and the customers inside the bank after the robbery, Champak has a change of heart and decides to surrender to the police who surround the bank by then. On the other hand, the CBI officer Amjad Khan (Vivek Oberoi) is ‘handed over’ the case. As a part of his plan, Amjad declares that there is an undercover cop who is inside the bank. This creates total unrest amongst everyone inside the bank. On probing, it gets ‘revealed’ that the undercover cop is someone by the name of Jugnu (Sahil Vaid). Just as everyone thinks that the situation is under control, Amjad Khan confesses to his lie about the presence of an undercover cop inside the bank. There’s also a possibility of one more chor hiding inside the bank. Amidst all this, an unexpected twist takes place, thus changing the course of the story completely upside down. Does Amjad Khan manage to catch hold of the real ‘bank chor’, who is the real ‘bank chor’ and what is the real reason behind this bank robbery plot is what forms the rest of the film. Despite the quirky title, BANK CHOR’s promos failed to leave the desired impact on the viewers. Similarly, the film is a complete disaster, right from the word go. In other words, it’s nothing but a constant bombarding of the sense and the sensibility of the viewers. The film’s writing and screenplay (Baljeet Singh Marwah, Bumpy, Omkar Sane, Ishita Moitra Udhwani) comes across as one of the most absurd works of recent times. Besides that, the film's proceedings are slow and un-relatable, which makes it extremely difficult to find resonance with the audience. The film's dialogues (Ishita Moitra Udhwani) are hardly anything to write about. Despite being a film belonging to the comic genre, there are hardly any punch lines and gags that succeed in evoking laughter. Instead in the name of comedy and humor, the film is loaded with futile performances and rather tacky gags. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/i-will-watch-dabangg-3-whenever-it-comes-vivek-oberoi/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>After having made a handful of TV shows and a Bollywood film LUV KA THE END, director Bumpy aka Vivek Mathur (that’s his real name) lends his directorial expertise to BANK CHOR. The way in which he has handled the tongue-in-cheek humor laced film BANK CHOR is extremely weak. This only goes onto prove that films of such genres definitely require an 'experienced hand' for the film to be worth its salt. While BANK CHOR’s first half is relatively funny, it’s the second half where the film becomes worse and gradually starts getting on your nerves. One cannot deny the fact that BANK CHOR has been heavily inspired by films like BANK JOB, SPECIAL 26 and YRF’s very own DHOOM series. But the makers try so hard to make the film look smart and cool towards the end that it becomes a failed Bollywood potboiler from the 80s. There’s one twist after another and everyone starts outsmarting the other person. Sadly, these gimmicks fail to impress. After having worked together in films like MASTI, GRAND MASTI and GREAT GRAND MASTI, Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi come together yet again with BANK CHOR. Speaking about Riteish Deshmukh, he exudes his versatility as a performer. He manages to handle the role with utmost sincerity. But the poor script does him in and he starts looking helpless as the film progresses. Ditto for Vivek Oberoi, who tries to deliver a decent performance as a no-nonsense cop. However after his stylish entry, the super cop from CBI does nothing to save the day. He just waits outside for things to sort out magically and keeps talking to the press. After winning everyone’s hearts and attention with his performances in HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA and BADRINATH KI DULHANIA, Sahil Vaid tries to consolidate his position as an all-round performer with BANK CHOR. Though he tries his best, he fails to look menacing. On the other hand, Bhuvan Arora and Vikram Hazra do their roles with sincerity. After HALF GIRLFRIEND and DOBAARA: SEE YOUR EVIL, Rhea Chakraborty again gets a very small part in BANK CHOR. Even though the film boasts of multiple music directors (Shri Sriram, Kailash Kher, Baba Sehgal, Rochak Kohli, Shameer Tandon), the film does not have any song. The film’s background music (Shri Sriram, Superbia) is average. While the film’s cinematography (Adil Afsar) is decent, its editing (Saurabh Kulkarni) is average. On the whole, BANK CHOR is a damp squib right from the word go. At the Box-Office, it does not have any potential to score.

Movie Review: Raabta
Fri, 09 Jun 17 13:30:26 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-729524" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Movie-Review-Raabta-IMG.jpg" alt="Movie Review Raabta IMG" width="750" height="450" /> Over the years we have seen numerous films tackle the topic of reincarnation. However, given the limitations of a story line that follows this path, most of the films that have released have somewhere down the line featured a similar plot line or at least situations that have featured the past and present timelines simultaneously. Now we see the release of RAABTA, which again deals with the topic of reincarnation. But will RAABTA live on at the present box office or will it become yet another memory of the past is what we analyse. The year is 2017, Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Saira (Kriti Sanon) fall head over heels for each other and form an inseparable connection. However, their budding romance is left asunder when Saira crosses paths with a reincarnated lover from a previous lifetime who is determined to make her his lover again. Will Shiv and Saira’s present love for each other triumph over the past? Will Saira’s lover from a different lifetime achieve his dream of wooing her back are some of the questions that form the rest of the film. Starting off, RAABTA introduces the overly confident self-proclaimed crowd puller Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput), a typical Punjabi launda who is on top of his game. A banker by profession, Shiv goes to London with a friend to join a bank. Here, he comes across Saira (Kriti Sanon), who appears a bit unstable given the fact that she refers to her reflection in a mirror as her parents and is scared of water. So enamoured is Shiv that his usual charming self seems out of sorts, as he follows her around. Similarly, Saira too feels something that she has never felt until she met Shiv. The two hook up within two random meetings, post which Saira dumps her boyfriend for Shiv. The proceedings of the first half of the film progress at a good pace, with good sweeping visuals and an engaging background score that make for a decent watch. Towards the end of the first half, Zakir Merchant (Jim Sarbh) suddenly makes a grand entrance, gives his character a bit of mystery and does make the audience want to know the answers. Saira meets Zakir at a random party and instantly clicks with him. In the meantime Shiv is slated to depart for a banking conference in Vienna, where for some weird reason all he does is drink, party and dance. Back in London, Saira goes out with Zakir, who though obviously has another reason for meeting her seems to be unable to explain what he has in his heart. Unable to break Saira from the bonds of love for Shiv, Zakir drugs her and kidnaps her, taking her to his private island. On returning, Shiv who has long since given up his ‘player’ image is heart broken when he realizes Saira is marrying Zakir. Unbeknownst to Shiv, Saira is being held against her wishes and tries to escape from the island, in the attempt to escape she falls into the sea. While drowning, Saira’s present life flashes before her eyes, just moments before visions of her past life take over, revealing who she really was 800 years ago. From here the film goes back in time to an undefined period, wherein Saira and Zakir were lovers. On the other hand, Shiv in this past life was a warrior from an invading tribe who is hell-bent on usurping Saira &amp; Zakir’s kingdom. In an ensuing battle Shiv injures Zakir, only to see Saira take up the mantle of defending her kingdom and seeking revenge. Following this Saira heads to Shiv’s clan and the two decide to settle the matter with a (bizarre) jungle race, the winner of which gets the kingdom. Shiv let's her win the race letting her keep her kingdom, but now Saira has fallen in love with him. The two get married leaving Jim very confused and enraged beyond limits. In his rage Zakir kills Shiv on a night when a comet passes Earth, while Saira kills herself while attempting to rescue Shiv. Here Zakir is told of a prophecy and he too kills himself for her. Back to the present...Zakir has announced Saira to be his future wife in the papers, while she is still held as a hostage. Shiv now comes to her rescue and runs away with her. Will Zakir’s men track them down, will history repeat itself and Zakir kill Shiv again or will Shiv and Saira win this time… is the story of the film. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/hilarious-quiz-time-with-sushant-singh-rajput-kriti-sanon-how-well-do-they-know-each-other/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>The first half of the film is a breezy watch with rich visuals as it is set in today’s time in London. There are occasional gags and young romance that keeps you engaged. In the second half, the time line shifts and the unexplained past story that suddenly props up the main stay renders viewers confused. While the pace of the film in the second half is much faster than the first, the viewer is left at a loss due to a rather convoluted screenplay. While the first half of the film comes across as mash up of scenes and sequences from films like LOVE AAJ KAL, DDLJ and BEFIKRE to name a few, the second half is heavily inspired by GAME OF THRONES. Talking about the performances, Sushant and Kriti as Shiv and Saira share an intense chemistry. Sushant seems to have based his character on the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh. On the other hand, Kriti seems to play her role of being lost and confused perfectly. In fact post a certain point Kriti has very little to do in terms of taking the story forward, as it rests on Jim Sarbh and Sushant’s characters more. Speaking of Jim, the NEERJA actor who stunned us with his performance in his debut film is at a total loss in RAABTA. Compounding this further, his overacting as the eccentric Zakir is a let-down and Jim seems as a total miscast. Rajkumar Rao and Varun Sharma are sorely underutilized in this film. Debutant director Dinesh Vijan is hampered by a lack of a coherent screenplay. However, Dinesh manages to get the young urban romance right, which will work with the young audiences. Writers Siddharth and Garima could have done a much better job with the story. Martin Preiss as the DoP does a good job with the sweeping visuals and stellar locations [Budapest] that are a perfect fit for the story. The music of RAABTA lives up to the huge expectations that one had from it. Each and every song from the film works in the movie, with the tracks ‘Raabta’ featuring Deepika Padukone and ‘<em>Ik Vaari Aa</em>’ standing out from the lot. The background score by Sachin–Jigar is spot on enhancing the happenings on screen. On the whole, RAABTA is a well-enacted drama with beautiful locales and potent cinematography. It should be in your watch list if you like plots centred around romance, fantasy and reincarnation.

Movie Review: Behen Hogi Teri
Fri, 09 Jun 17 03:30:48 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-729357" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Behen-Hogi-Teri-3-6.jpg" alt="Behen-Hogi-Teri-(3)" width="750" height="450" /> Romantic films have always been the favourite genre of Bollywood. In fact almost every Bollywood film has a plot or a subplot that dwells on romance. This week, we see the release of the film BEHEN HOGI TERI that promises to tell a rather unconventional romantic story in a comic way. But will the film work for the junta or will it like the countless other romantic comedies be lost among the multitude is what we analyse. Starting off, the story of BEHEN HOGI TERI follows the life of Gattu (Rajkummar Rao) who faces a major crisis as he loves Binny (Shruti Haasan) who lives in their neighbourhood. However, since everyone advocates that the girls of the neighbourhood should be treated as their own sisters, Gattu is faced with a challenge to express his love for Binny. In fact, Gattu, who isn’t even considered as a potential groom for Binny, is constantly tasked with jobs that are usually assigned to the girl’s brother. Simultaneously, Binny who is rather mischievous is not totally committing to Gattu thus adding to the number of issues he faces. Will Gattu manage to overcome this issue and convince Binny and both the families that he truly loves her or will Gattu be relegated to playing Binny’s brother and assist in the search for her ideal groom… is what forms the rest of the film. The plot of the film and the concept appear a bit different from the conventional romantic outings that we have seen so far. While the first half is enjoyable with the well timed comic gags that elicit a response from the audience, the second half is a huge downer and that is where the film falters. In fact, the second half of the film comes across as a haphazard series of events strung together to create an ill-fitting collage that does little to entertain. If that wasn’t all, Rajkumar Rao’s character Gattu comes across as too much of an underdog right from the start, sadly as the film progresses, contrary to rising up to the situation, his character seems to disintegrate further converting him into a desperate soul who fails to connect with the viewer. Also the entry of Gulshan Grover’s character seems rather forced fit. The manner in which Shruti Haasan, whose character is depicted as a firebrand, falls for Rajkumar in a jiffy, makes the plot difficult to digest. Director Ajay Pannalal, who makes his cinematic debut with this film surely knows how to create comic moments but fails to narrate a strong story. Though certain scenes and sequences come across as well executed, there are others wherein his lack of experience in capturing the essence of the matter is very evident. If that wasn’t all, there are also parts of the film that come across as stretched and overtly lengthy, especially some that could have well been edited out. For instance, the sequence where Rajkumar and his friend interact with each other totally drunk is too long, uncalled for and boring. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/behen-hogi-teri-is-as-real-as-possible-shruti-haasan/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>However, more than the director, the writers are to blame. The film could have been much better had the writers Vinit Vyas and Rajat Nonia developed a more interesting premise. In fact since the setting of the story is in a small town and had a scope to show the flavour and humour of small town India but the second half of the film falls flat due to poor writing. Talking about performances, Rajkumar Rao who has proved his mettle as an actor does well in his given role as the love struck Gattu who finds himself in a dilemma. Shruti Haasan’s constant wallowing in the face of hardship and trails does little justice to her character. Despite this, the nakras and jhatkas she constantly displays, while giving Gattu a hard time adds to the comic element of the film making it a light hearted entertainer. Rajkumar and Shruti look good as friends but somehow there’s lack of chemistry between them as love birds. On the other hand, Herry Tangri as Bhura plays his part to perfection. Darshan Jariwala as Gattu's father is good in his limited screen time, while Gautam Gulati is totally wasted and underutilized in the film. Ninad Kamath who plays Binny's brother is typecast as the elder brother whose sole purpose is to support the family and ensure his sisters are married off to the best possible suitor. Though comic in parts, Kamath's role becomes rather monotonous and regressive by the second half of the film. Gulshan Grover and Ranjeet don’t get to do much. DoP Shamsher Singh does a decent job. However the film’s editor Deven Murudeshwar fails to make the film look seamless. He surely could've done a better job. Background score (Jam8, an initiative by Pritam, Yash Narvekar, R.D.Burman, Rishi Rich, and Amjad Nadeem) is average. Though most of the tracks in the film are situational tracks that play in the background, the tracks <em>'Jai Ma'</em> and <em>'Jaanu'</em> (recreated version of <em>'Jaanu Meri Jaan'</em>) stand out. However, while the situational tracks blend well with the film, they are sadly not enough to infuse life and direction into an otherwise chaotic plotline. On the whole, though BEHEN HOGI TERI has an interesting premise, the film disappoints due to a weak script. At the box office, the film will have to depend on good word of mouth to post decent numbers.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (English)
Fri, 02 Jun 17 15:41:00 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-727519" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/movie-review-Wonder-Woman-1.jpg" alt="movie review Wonder Woman-1" width="720" height="450" /> Over the past few years, we have been witness to the development of both the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the DC Extended Universe with each line of comics laying out the roster of their own superhero league with films that have progressively introduced each character. Following the same path is the latest release WONDER WOMAN which promises to introduce Diana Prince, the princess of the Amazons AKA Wonder Woman. But will the film leave the audience in awe and wonder or will it be just another setup film to something bigger later is the question. WONDER WOMAN, unlike Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the character in a brief scene in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, is much younger and naïve just setting out on a journey that will make her Wonder Woman. The film starts off in present day Paris where Diana Prince working at the Louvre receives a package from Bruce Wayne containing a copy of an image that features her standing with a rag tag bunch of soldiers comprising of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Sameer (Said Taghmaoui), Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) taken around the time of the First World War. From here the film goes hundreds of years back to the time Diana was just a girl being raised on the shielded island of Themyscira. Daughter of Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons, Diana displays her eagerness to become an Amazon warrior at an early age; however her mother, despite her aunt Antiope’s persistence, forbids her from training. Ignoring her mother, the queen, Diana begins training with Antiope in secret, until eventually her mother caves in and tells her sister to train Diana the hardest eventually making her the strongest among them. One day, Diana after training and defeating the best of the Amazons, runs off to be alone only to see a plane, something that she has never been seen before, crash into the sea. With no second thoughts, Diana dives into the water to rescue the pilot, Steve Trevor. Though she saves him, she soon realises the German forces who were persuing him cross the barrier that has till now shielded their island, wreaking havoc on the beach. In the ensuing skirmish though the Germans are overpowered, some of Amazons are killed, following this, Steve is taken prisoner and interrogated to learn why and how he has landed here. On hearing of the endless war that rages in the world, Diana makes up her mind to fight Ares, the god of war, and kill him to eventually bring peace to the land. But will she succeed or will she be overpowered is what forms the rest of the film. Starting of, WONDER WOMAN is simply put stunning and the casting of Gal Gadot is spot on with the actress more than suiting the part. In fact not many superhero films of today can boast of featuring an origin story that not just details the character’s background but also entertains in the process. However, this film does exactly that while at the same time is a visual spectacle. Director Patty Jenkins does a marvellous job of recreating an era that has long since been relegated to the history books. In fact Jenkins details each aspect of the terrible war while at the same time manages to keep the viewer in his seat with the film proving to be a ride that entertains with well-timed comic relief, good visuals and action sequences that are executed with aplomb. The first half of the film introduces Diana as a child and gradually progresses as she grows into the warrior that she is today. However, post the interval, things slow down, with Diana leaving the sheltered island of Themyscira to kill Ares. Here, the rather dreary death and destruction of the world war era are portrayed very well, but the colour drained war torn landscape severely dampens the viewer’s spirit. But, Jenkins still manages to keep the viewer in his seat. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-727520" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/movie-review-Wonder-Woman-2.jpg" alt="movie review Wonder Woman-2" width="720" height="450" /> Coming to the performances in the film, Gal Gadot as Princess Diana/ Wonder Woman is spot on in her portrayal of the part. Her gradual evolution from a naïve islander to the well informed and wiser Diana Prince is effectively portrayed laying the foundation for another film. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor does a convincing job as the American spy who had been behind enemy lines. His act as Steve and his earnest longing to see the end of the war and subsequent sacrifice that eventually brings Diana to her full potential is well captured. Though the film centres on the characters of Diana and Steve, the rest of the cast too performs equally well in their given roles. Coupled with the good direction and unquestionable performances are the script and editing that have been done precisely adding to the overall visual appeal of the film. The well-choreographed and subsequently executed action sequences will definitely leave you wanting more. Here a point of mention needs to be given to Jenkins who captures precisely the right moments in slow motion thus giving each fight sequence a larger than life feel. The recreation of a lost era and the visuals of war along with the explosions have been well developed in CG. On the whole, the script, story and film in entirety does full justice to WONDER WOMAN. In fact, the film is certainly a must watch. However, though the content alone of the film is enough for it to perform well at the global box office, within the Indian market, WONDER WOMAN faces an uphill task at the box office given the fact that the Indian arm of Warner Bros have done rather low key promotions for the film, and compounded this with a rather limited release in just one language, English.

Movie Review: Hanuman Da Damdaar
Fri, 02 Jun 17 11:14:53 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-727372" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Movie-Review-Hanuman-Da-Damdaar.jpg" alt="Movie Review Hanuman Da Damdaar" width="720" height="450" /> Animated feature films are an untapped genre in India, however some productions have tried to cash in on the popularity of stories based on mythological characters, such as BAL GANESH, RAMAYANA: THE EPIC, MAHABHARAT 3D, ARJUN – THE WARRIOR PRINCE and CHHOTA BHEEM franchise. In fact, the story of Hanuman alone has been retold several times. This week sees the release of yet another film based on the adventures of young Hanuman titled HANUMAN DA DAMDAAR. But will this film which features today’s lingo and lifestyle references appeal to the children… is what we analyse. The104-minute animated feature HANUMAN DA DAMDAAR tells the story of Hanuman as a scared little child and how different situations lead him to realise his full potential. It is set in a time before Ram and Raavan, a mythological tale with a modern twist if you will. We see a grownup Hanuman (Salman Khan) saying dialogues like ‘<em>Ek baar maine commitment kar di, toh main khud ki bhi nahi sunta</em>’ and dancing to ‘<em>Do you wanna partner</em>’. And we see Indra (Kunal Khemu), who’s supposed to be the king of the heavens, pulling silly antics and sneezing around. Surely this isn’t the best way to teach kids about mythology, but is passable as an animated film, strictly for kids. Too bad for the adults accompanying them! The story opens with adult Hanuman (Salman Khan) destroying the scripture of his life telling Valmiki (Javed Akhtar) that the world needs to know the story of Shri Ram only. However later, Hanuman narrates the audience his ‘real’ story—though we can’t tell for sure how much of it is real, given the extra seasoning added by the writer! Baby Hanuman (Arnav) is shown to be a coward but wants to prove his worth to his father Kesari (Saurabh Shukla) and mother Anjana (Raveena Tandon). He then lands up in a forest and makes friends with the animals, proving his accidental bravery to them with his accomplice, a chameleon named Siti (Sneha Khanwalkar). He makes friends with Garud (Hussain Dalal) along the way, but little does he know that Garud has actually been sent to capture Hanuman and destroy him before he destroys Lanka. This in turn, is a ploy by evil saint Vishrav (Makrand Deshpande) which ultimately leads to a war, so Hanuman must lose his fear and fight to save the day. The story could have been told better, but is just intriguing enough to catch the viewer’s attention. The 2D animation is decent with beautiful visuals of the forest and Lanka and some exciting action-adventure sequences. Coming to the main draw (or selling point) of the film—it’s stellar cast for voiceovers—well we’re sorry to say that it’s not reason enough to watch the film. Salman Khan, Javed Akhtar, Saurabh Shukla and Raveena Tandon have small parts. Unfortunately, even Vinay Pathak, who does the part of an eccentric parrot Popat Sharma, and Chunkey Pandey, who does the part of a gay tour guide, offer limited laughs with the comedy. Makrand Deshpande does a good job of creative a wicked character of Vishrav with his voice. The only real comic relief is offered by Siti, the smallest but funniest character in the film. The writing as we said is choppy in parts, with some rather frivolous dialogues that even the kids in the theatre didn’t find funny. The writers should know that kids these days are very smart; you can’t please them with trivial humour. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/urmila-matondkar-dances-on-lakdi-ki-kaathi-kids-favorite/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>Director Ruchi Narain does her best to make the mythological story young and more appealing to kids using today’s lingo. However, one feels that she could’ve done much more with the idea than what we get to see on screen. The kids as well as the adult audiences could have taken much more from the life of the loving character of Hanuman rather than just his jungle adventure, which really ends up appealing to a very young kids, who probably watching similar content on TV. The animation team of the film deserves to be applauded for doing a good job with the film. They manage to make the characters look cute and loveable. Though not at par with the Hollywood counterpart, the animation in the film is surely a good step forward and a big encouragement to Indian filmmakers who want to make animation movies. As for the music, (Sneha Khanwalkar) the songs are fun and appeal to the kids. ‘<em>Hanuman Chalisa’</em> especially is very well composed. The background score (Shruti Kumar-Jessica Weiss and Bapi-Tutul) complements the narrative. On the whole, HANUMAN DA DAMDAAR is a cute film that mainly appeals to very young kids. Given the fact that the summer holidays are still on, the film should manage to pull its target audience to the theatre.

Movie Review: Baywatch
Fri, 02 Jun 17 10:43:07 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-726778 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Baywatch-3.jpg" alt="Baywatch (3)" width="620" height="450" /> It isn’t often that we see a full length feature film being made on a once popular television series that ran unopposed for years. However, this Friday, we see the release of the much talked about film BAYWATCH which features none other than the Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra making her highly publicized Hollywood debut. But the film based on the adventures of lifeguards emerge as a solid entertain is the big question. Starting of, BAYWATCH introduces the character of Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) who heads the team of lifeguards at Emerald Bay in Florida. Mitch along with his second-in-command Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), protect the beaches and the bay as part of an elite division known as Baywatch. Having made over 500 rescues in his career, Mitch is beloved by the community, to the annoyance of local beat cop Garner Ellerbee (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Mitch's superior, Captain Thorpe (Rob Huebel). During one of his morning patrols, Mitch discovers a small pouch of drugs washed up near the Huntley Club, which is now under the ownership of businesswoman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopa). Though Mitch would rather focus on solving the drug trafficking issue, he has to oversee the upcoming tryouts for new lifeguards. Two people stand out in the tryouts, surfer Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and Ronnie (Jon Bass), a chubby nerd with a crush on C.J. The third recruit in the form of Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympic swimmer who fell from grace after vomiting during a race and now has to perform community service as part of an unspecified plea deal, is directed to join Mitch’s troupe. While Quinn and Ronnie both pass the trials, Brody refuses to do so and insists that his celebrity status alone entitles him to a place on the team. Will Mitch manage to control the self-serving Matt Brody, will the Baywatch team overcome the drug issue, or will Victoria Leeds prove to be too cunning for the team of lifeguards… is what forms the rest of the film. Right from the start, the viewer is able to understand that much like the TV series, BAYWATCH the film has little to offer, save for bikini clad lifeguards who seem to be in a permanent slow motion while running, and of course the never ending abs fest between Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. In fact, BAYWATCH comes across as a series of happenings and gags strung together in an ad hock manner to keep the viewer on a roller coaster that switches from not so rib-tickling gags to some surprisingly well executed action sequences and a testosterone fuelled battle between the male actors. On the other hand, making matters worse is that none of the female artists in the film (Priyanka Chopra included) seem to have much of a role or for that matter involvement in the story. In fact the film has no plot whatsoever. It's just a wafer thin concept of lifeguards trying to find drugs at a local club, something that the cops for some odd reason don’t wish to investigate. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/specials/priyanka-chopra-on-abusing-for-the-first-time-in-baywatch/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> Coming to the characters in the film, while there is nothing much to talk about in terms of performances, almost all the characters seem lost and severely under developed. Apart from Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron’s characters, none of the others seem to have either a meaty role or a back story that lends their characters any depth. While the meandering plot line is pointless, the comic love story between Jon Bass and Kelly Rohrbach literally saves the day, offering the viewer a much needed comic respite. If that wasn’t enough, making matters worse, none of the other girls’ viz. Alexandra Daddario and Ilfenesh Hadera get to do much until the climax action sequence. Priyanka Chopra, despite her promotion and talk about featuring as the main villain of the film, practically has very little screen time and is totally underutilized and wasted. Besides this her villainous schemes have absolutely no reasoning and her overly forceful bad ass character seems to be trying too hard to resemble a Bond villain with oomph. At the end of the day, one just feels that Priyanka deserves so much more than this. Director Seth Gordon who has also directed HORRIBLE BOSSES and the TV series Modern Family tries his level best to ensure a smooth proceeding. However, he is clueless as the film is neither a complete comedy, nor an action thriller. Much like the characters in the film, the writers have done a terrible job and have no clue of what they wanted to make. To add to all this, many of the jokes and glamour quotient in the film have been ruthlessly chopped off by Indian censors. There's literally very little BAYWATCH magic left in whatever has been cleared by the Indian censors. On the whole, BAYWATCH had so much going for it but it doesn’t live upto the expectations. At the box office too, with immense competition coming in from the multiple releases this week, BAYWATCH will face a tough time raking in the moolah.

Movie Review: Dobaara – See Your Evil
Fri, 02 Jun 17 08:44:09 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-727331" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Dobaara-2.jpg" alt="Dobaara-2" width="750" height="450" /> For years we have seen countless Bollywood films drawing inspiration not just from world cinema but also from folk lore and supernatural beliefs, developing story lines that sometime thrill and entertain or even leave you flabbergasted. Though there have been numerous films that have focussed on the genre of horror/ thriller that hit screens over the past years, this week we see the release of the horror film, DOBAARA: SEE YOUR EVIL, which is an official adaptation of a western horror flick Oculus that was well received. But will the Indianised version live upto expectations…is what we analyse. First off, it isn’t easy making a film that deals with multiple dimensions and time lines, leave alone one that deals with supernatural beings terrorising people from a different plane altogether. However, like the original film OCULUS, DOBAARA focuses on exactly this, with the main protagonists Kabir Alex Merchant and Natasha Alex Merchant played by the real life brother sister duo of Saquib Saleem and Huma Qureshi, who find themselves doubting everything and being unable to clearly define the real from the surreal. The film starts off with Kabir and Natasha’s parents Alex Merchant (Adil Hussain) and Lisa Merchant (Lisa Ray) who find themselves being driven apart by an unseen force, that has seduced Alex making him shun his family. Despite Lisa’s repeated attempts, Alex distances himself from his family, until one day he decides that they need to die. While Lisa is shot and killed by Alex, a young Kabir manages to disarm his father and hold him at gunpoint. Facing a loaded weapon, Alex has a moment of clarity wherein he realizes what he has done and forces Kabir to pull the trigger. Soon after the police arrive, Kabir is taken away to an institution, where he spends the next ten years coming to grip with what happened that fateful night. In the meantime, Natasha grows up with the sole objective to prove the supernatural power of the mirror before eventually destroying it. Will the duo manage to prove the horrifying tale of death that has followed the mirror? Will they succumb to the terrors the mirror induces? Will Natasha be able to destroy the mirror or will it destroy them is what forms the rest of the film. When it released, OCULUS turned out to be a rather path breaking film in the horror thriller genre which gradually builds up on the story revealing details as the film progress. However, in the case of DOBAARA, much of the story line is already known, which lends the viewer a sense of been there done that. But, despite this director Prawaal Raman undertakes the task of unravelling a horror mystery layer by layer as the film progresses. Sadly DOBAARA suffers from the same disease that plagues Indian horror films. Unfortunately despite the fact that the film could have been a stand out experience in this genre, it falters due to a rather underdeveloped screenplay and characterization. In fact, the first half of the film ends up being rather slow, with the progression on screen taking place at a snail’s pace. If that wasn’t all, each time the suspense builds up with the the audience expecting something to happen, the scene changes leaving the viewer in free fall. This sudden switching though acts as a roller coaster ride, becoming tiresome after a point. However, though the second half of the film does pick up in pace, sadly, the dual time lines and the constant switching back and forth leave the viewer disoriented and confused. With the duality of timelines and the never ending roller coaster ride, the audience eventually loses interest in the plot and keeps waiting for something to happen. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/dobaara-is-a-family-horror-film-everybody-can-watch-huma-qureshi/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center> <center></center>Coming to the performances, Adil Hussain proves yet again that he is an outstanding character actor. Given the limited scope of a horror film wherein his role is rather limited to that of a man possessed, Adil still manages to shine leaving a lasting impression of a loving father initially, and later as a man who has been hypnotised. His moment of clarity towards the end is well emoted. Lisa Ray as Lisa Merchant is decent as the mother who is terrorised by her husband. However, her character comes across as severely under developed lacking depth and relatability. Saqib as the Kabir who has now come to terms with reality and refuses to believe in all things supernatural is good. But there are a few times when his performance comes across as forced and overtly negative. Similarly, Huma does an agreeable job with the character of Natasha, a girl set on proving that an object has supernatural powers. But considering that the film focuses more on the mirror being the main antagonist, both Saqib and Huma’s roles come across as supporting characters in a plot that is driven by an inanimate object. Talking about direction, director Prawaal Raman, who has in the past given us films like, DARNA MANA HAI, GAYAB, DARNA ZAROORI HAI and 404: ERROR NOT FOUND seems to have lost the plot with this one. Prawal doesn't seem to know what he is doing with the already flawed script that keeps getting dragged despite being just about 100 minutes long. In fact, given that the film deals with the genre of horror, Raman had the opportunity to use lighting and camera angles to evoke fear while simultaneously also displaying the plight of the onscreen characters. Unfortunately Raman miscarries this with most of the scares, though few and far between, coming via the tried and tested jump scare technique that gives the film a very dated feel. Anuj Dhawan takes care of the film’s cinematography, but given the fact that the film is set within a house, cinematic liberty to take in wider visuals is non-existent. However, in DOBAARA, the cinematography is at best average with Anuj trying his level best to use the tight angles on staircases and under use of halogen lights to create a sense of eerie spookiness. With both direction and cinematography unable to boost the film, belonging to the horror genre, it falls to the background score that usually ends up setting the pace. Unfortunately, here too DOBAARA underperforms. Arko Mukherjee and Samira Koppikar despite helming the audio department rely heavily on the tired and tested audio intonations that build at climax as the plot traverses its roller coaster line. Sadly, there isn’t much to expect from the background score that gets lost. On the whole, the essence of DOBAARA: SEE YOUR EVIL being a psychological thriller set in the horror genre doesn't come across and is limited to a few scenes. At the box office, facing a cluttered weekend with multiple releases, it will be an ordinary fare.

Movie Review: Half Girlfriend
Thu, 18 May 17 21:07:29 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-722463" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Half-Girlfriend1-2.jpg" alt="Half Girlfriend1 (2)" width="750" height="450" /> Almost every book of the Indian author Chetan Bhagat has been turned into a feature film and it has now become a trend of sorts. Adding to that is the second collaboration of Arjun Kapoor with Chetan Bhagat after he played the protagonist in their much successful 2 STATES. HALF GIRLFRIEND yet again is a romantic drama but this time, the subject deals with the changing definition of young relationships. Will this film manage to retain the success quo of the duo or will it fail to match up to those expectations, let’s analyze. The story starts off with Hindi medium educated Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) entering the prestigious St. Stevens College in Delhi where he meets the modern and English speaking Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor). As they bond over basketball and explore the bylanes of Delhi during their college days, Madhav falls for her despite the constant warning from his friend Shailesh (Vikrant Massey). When he confesses his feelings for her, Riya decides to take their friendship a step ahead but afraid to give it the title of a relationship, she decides to be his ‘half girlfriend’. However, after a spat between the two, Riya avoids Madhav only to later hand him the invitation card of her wedding with her childhood friend Rohan. While the news leaves Madhav shattered, he decides to go to his hometown where he takes up the task of improving facilities at his mother’s school. He once again comes across Riya, now a divorcee, who helps him in his endeavor but soon disappears again from his life with a letter of confession about her love for him. Despite his repeated attempts, Madhav fails to track her down and decides to fly to New York which as confessed by Riya was the place where she wanted to fulfill her dream to become a singer. Yet again, swamped with love, Madhav decides to hunt her down in New York with a new determination of reuniting with her forever. Will he succeed in his attempt and find true love, is what the film is about. In a bid to redefine modern relationships, HALF GIRLFRIEND tries to explore a concept that is a tad bit confusing in its own way. Besides that, unlike 2 STATES that clearly defined the quirks of two different communities, the script of this film looks half-baked. While the makers continue to claim the film to be a ‘romantic’ drama, let us tell you that the explanation of ‘half girlfriend’ continues to remain ambiguous even as the film ends. Furthermore, the screenplay written by Tushar Hiranandani is way overdramatized for the young Indian audience and that is the biggest flaw of the film. The screenplay fails to keep the audience engrossed in its entirety. Though the story is coming of age, adult romance, the romance shown between the lead characters is not effective and entertaining and does not keep the audience engaged as it should. There is hardly any scene in the movie which establishes an emotional connect or touches the chord of your heart. Add to that, most of the drama that unfolds on screen is all about assumptions. For example, when Riya talks about her failed marriage, it is much more of a conversation between two characters. This to some extent makes the audiences feel even more disconnected with the characters and their emotions. The lead characters also lack depth. At the same time, the portrayal of constant problems surrounding them, leave an impression of the characters being disillusioned owing to their ever complicated lives. <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/arjun-kapoor-and-shraddha-kapoor-spice-up-half-girlfriend-with-aamir-khans-ishq-philosophy/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>While there are films like EK VILLAIN and AASHIQUI 2 to his credit, here Mohit Suri completely loses his grip on the subject. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the filmmaker hasn’t done any justice to the story. In fact, a lot of the scenes in the film range from drama to 90s melodrama, taking you back to his last flop film HAMARI ADHURI KAHANI. The second half of the film seems overly stretched, especially towards the climax. Despite the fact that the run time is hardly about 135 minutes, the proceedings come across as exhaustive testing your patience and therefore fails to create the desired impact. What also add to the woes are some unbelievable scenes like that of Bill Gates. While the VFX team has attempted to create the presence of Bill Gates in the film with special effects, they fail terribly, so much so, that the otherwise heart-touching scene comes across as a frivolous comic one. Considering that the film falls under the romance genre, it rides on the shoulders of Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. However, the most important part of the film, their chemistry or rather the lack of it is one of the most disappointing aspects of the film. Coming to performances, Arjun Kapoor manages to sail through his role as a Bihari boy but owing to the flawed script and screenplay, he gets very little scope to perform and his expressions are limited. Shraddha Kapoor lacks conviction as she tries to play her character who is a cross between a basketball player and a singer. Her lip-sync is off track when it comes to Riya singing the English numbers and a strong contradiction of her voice that can be sensed when she sings English and Hindi songs is a mood-killer. On the other hand, supporting actor Vikrant Massey as Shailesh does a decent job and other characters like Seema Biswas take the film forward. Mohit Suri’s films are known for its soulful albums but it seems that HALF GIRLFRIEND lacks melodious tracks. <em>‘Baarish’</em> attempts to break through the chartbuster list but otherwise the music is strictly situational. Despite five musicians like Mithoon, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Tanishk Bagchi, Raju Singh coming together, the music is quite disappointing. <em>‘Phir Bhi Tum Ko Chahunga’</em> and <em>‘Thodi Der’</em> along with its English version are constantly used in the film as background score, which gets annoying after a point. The dialogues written by Ishita Moitra are extremely dramatic and too filmy even for Bollywood. The editing by Devendra Murdeshwar too could have been a lot crisper considering that there were many scenes that could have been done away with it. Cinematographer Vishnu Rao doesn’t do anything to improvise the situation either. On the whole, HALF GIRLFRIEND comes across as an overtly dramatic piece of cinematic work that fails to create the desired impact. At the box office, it will struggle to survive post the opening weekend.

Movie Review: Hindi Medium
Wed, 17 May 17 07:29:30 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-722105" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Hindi-Medium-1.jpg" alt="Hindi Medium (1)" width="750" height="450" /> Despite Hindi being India’s primary language, many take immense pride in speaking English. The same is the scenario even with the education system where people do not mind going to any length to procure an admission for their children in an English medium school as compared to a Hindi medium one. This week’s release HINDI MEDIUM is an attempt to mirror the prevalent education situation of our society. Will it succeed in acting as a ‘medium’ in educating the audience or will it bite the dust, let’s analyze. HINDI MEDIUM is an extremely endearing, light-hearted romantic story (written by Zeenat Lakhani, Saket Chaudhary) about a young couple with aspirations to move into English-speaking society for their daughter's sake. The film starts off with a day in the life of the Batra family, which consists of a boutique owner Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan), who has the knack to convince his customers that they are not less than Kareena Kapoor! Besides Raj Batra, there’s his wife Mita Batra aka ‘Honey’ (Saba Qamar), the very lady who is ready to walk any extra mile and go to any extent to get their only child Pia Batra (Dishita Sehgal) admitted in the best of ‘English’ schools in Delhi. After reading a magazine’s survey of the top schools in Delhi, the Batras start the admission process of their daughter Pia. After being rejected in almost all the schools, the Batras enroll themselves in a ‘counseling’ centre, where, they not just train you with the tips to crack the interview, but also take utmost care of your attire and grooming as well. Despite all the efforts, when Pia still fails to get admitted in Delhi’s top schools, the only solution that the ‘reasonably-rich’ Batras find is to fake their poverty and get Pia admitted on the basis of ‘gareeb quota’. While enacting their poverty, they come across their selfless neighbour Shyamprakash (Deepak Dobriyal), who is a living example of the adage ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself’. The bond of friendship become further strong when the Batras get to know that even Shyamprakash has applied in the ‘gareeb quota’ for his son in the same school as their daughter. Do the Batras reveal their actual identity to the ever-helpful Shyamprakash, does Shyamprakash ever get to know about his neighboring Batras’ financial reality, what happens of Pia’s academic future in the end is what forms the rest of the film. When HINDI MEDIUM’s promos were released, the film managed to build huge expectations around it because of its strong storyline. The film, in reality, is an extension of what the trailers had shown. The film’s screenplay (Zeenat Lakhani, Saket Chaudhary) has been structured in a way that traces the parents’ trials and tribulations and the impact it has on their relationship as well as on their family. HINDI MEDIUM also successfully delves in various aspects of the Indian education system like the benefits of public school versus private school, the English–Hindi divide, the importance of English and the entire ‘experience’ of the admission process in a school. Though the film may seem to be based on a serious subject, the screenplay is laced with dollops of humor and light scenes. The biggest USP of the movie is its script, which induces an instant liking to it due to the relatability with the subject. What also works in favor of the film is the fact that the film’s makers have not attempted to become preachy at all anywhere in the film as they have kept all the characters as well as the situations as realistic as possible. The film’s dialogues (Amitosh Nagpal) are extremely effective, especially the one liners. <iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/irrfan-khan-best-interveiw-on-hindi-medium-with-saba-qamar/?jwembed=1" width="800" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> After having started off as an Assistant Director in the Shah Rukh Khan-Juhi Chawla starrer PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI, Saket Chaudhary plunged into direction with PYAAR KE SIDE EFFECTS, which was followed by SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS. This time round, Saket Chaudhary springs up a clear winner in the form of HINDI MEDIUM, a film that sees him and his skills improved immensely as compared to his last film. Full marks to him for making a film that successfully conveys a serious message in an extremely light hearted manner. Here, one should also give due credit to the film’s casting director Honey Trehan, for having handpicked all the characters. The film’s proceedings encompass human emotions in a perfect ratio of humor and seriousness. While the film’s first half is superlative, it’s the second half where the film’s context and pace dips. However, since the movie addresses a serious subject, the context of the proceedings could not have moved in the same humorous tone as the first half. Do not miss the scenes where Irrfan Khan and his daughter break into an impromptu dance during a party, Irrfan Khan’s salesmanship in his shop, his photography with his wife ‘exclusively’ for Facebook and the climax. The film does have its share of drawbacks as well. The song where the kids of the public school are shown cleaning the premises could have been done away in its entirety, as it portrays the public school in a negative light. Even, in the climax, the song presented by the children comes across as very superficial, which just could have been avoided. Had the last song been replaced by Irrfan Khan’s heartfelt speech, it would have rightly conveyed the message and also would have made a strong difference. Irrfan Khan’s speech in the finale could have been vocally strong in order to attain the desired impact. As for the performances, HINDI MEDIUM is a film which totally belongs to Irrfan Khan. Irrfan Khan owns the story in the same superlative manner as much as he owns his character in the film. The manner in which he uses his eyes to convey emotions is simply outstanding. His comic timing in the film is remarkable. With this film, Irrfan Khan only reinforces as to what a brilliant actor he is. On the other hand, the Pakistani actress Saba Qamar makes a strong and impressive debut in Bollywood with HINDI MEDIUM. Besides playing her part to perfection, she walks shoulder to shoulder with Irrfan Khan with her realistic performance. Besides them, there’s the ever-dependable Deepak Dobriyal, who charms you with his simplicity and vulnerability. His scenes are extremely powerful and they reflect the values and ethos of the lower strata of the society. The impact of his character is so huge and magnetic that, by the end of the film, you start longing to have a friend and a neighbor like him. While the academic counselor (Sarita Chaudhary) is impressive, sadly, Amrita Singh as Principal Lodha, comes across as totally wasted in the film. Mallika Dua is excellent in her part. The film’s music (Sachin-Jigar) is situational, with two of its songs (‘<em>Suit Suit’, ‘Oh Ho Ho Ho’</em>) topping the charts. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Amar Mohile) is decent. The film’s cinematography <strong>(</strong>Laxman Utekar<strong>)</strong> is efficient. On the other hand, the editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) is decent. On the whole, HINDI MEDIUM looks at the workings of the education system. It is a relevant and topical film that makes you laugh and get emotional at the same time. At the Box Office, the movie will be appreciated by the classes as well as the masses. Strongly recommended.

Movie Review: Alien: Covenant
Fri, 12 May 17 13:50:12 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-720380" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Movie-Review-Alien-Covenant-1.jpg" alt="Movie Review Alien Covenant-1" width="720" height="405" /> The minute you hear the title of the film reading ALIEN: COVENANT, you are taken back to the 1979 film ALIEN which of course will make you break out into goose flesh. However, we aren’t talking about a reboot, instead we are referring to the latest in the ALIEN series to hit screens. But will the film that comes after the last one in the series, PROMETHEUS, live up to expectations is the question. Taking the story in PROMETHEUS further, ALIEN: COVENANT begins where the last film left off with a new crew aboard the Covenant heading to a remote planet Origae-6 with two thousand colonists and a thousand embryos aboard. While en route to their destination, a neutrino burst is detected by the ship's computer but too late for the on-board synthetic, Walter (Michael Fassbender), to react in time. The ship sustains major damage which kills 47 of the colonists, the oxygen inside Captain Branson's stasis chamber ignites and he is burned alive, despite the other crew members and his wife, Daniels (Katherine Waterston), trying to save him. As the most senior officer Oram (Billy Crudup) assumes the role of Captain but he believes the crew do not trust him as he is a man of faith. When undertaking necessary repairs to the ship the pilot, Tennessee (Danny McBride) intercepts a signal through his communicator which is deciphered as a woman's voice singing Country Road by John Denver. Startled by the discovery the crew tracks the source of the signal to a near-by planet which more accurately resembles Earth's gravity, atmosphere and mass than their current destination, Origae-6. Despite the protests of Daniels, Captain Oram insists that they change their course and investigate the signal. The ship arrives at the unnamed planet which has an intense ionosphere which would cause catastrophic damage to Covenant if the ship were to land. A contingent of security personnel descends to the surface on a landing module with Captain Oram, Daniels, Faris (Amy Seimetz), Karine (Carmen Ejogo), Lope, Ankor and Walter. Karine and Ledward set up an ecological survey station whilst the others track the source of the signal to the Engineer ship that was piloted by David and Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission ten years prior. Whilst exploring the terrain both Ledward and Hallet are infected with a spore present on the planet and become seriously ill as a result. Karine attempts to bring Ledward back to the lander whilst Faris attempts to communicate with Covenant and its crew to relay the current situation. Faris quarantines Karine and Ledward as Ledward's condition deteriorates. Karine attempts to comfort him as he spasms uncontrollably but she is injured as a neomorph creature bursts from his back and kills him before mauling Karine to death. Faris attempts to shoot the neomorph however she hits a fuel canister and the lander explode, killing her and stranding the rest of the crew on the planet. Hallet experiences similar convulsions and a neomorph explodes from his throat, killing him before scurrying into the grass and out of sight. What began as a search and rescue mission soon turns into a fight for survival for the crew of the Covenant, who constantly find themselves cornered by an unknown game master. Will they survive the alien onslaught? Will the alien life form over power them and wreak havoc on their ship is what forms the rest of the film. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-720381" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Movie-Review-Alien-Covenant-2.jpg" alt="Movie Review Alien Covenant-2" width="720" height="405" /> ALIEN: COVENANT starts with laying the foundations that take the story forward from PROMETHEUS while introducing each new character that the viewer sees. However, unlike the previous films in the ALIEN series, ALIEN: COVENANT follows a similar path as PROMETHEUS. The progress is slow and dreary at times, but despite this director Ridley Scott’s mastery of his skill shines through since the film does not become a drag. In fact, on more than one instance viewers are taken back down memory lane reliving the same fear and thrill that one experience in the 1979 film. But for those expecting an ALIEN film from the days gone by, ALIEN: COVENANT is instead like most of the newer films, and features an alternative story line that enables the franchise to keep its fans while at the same time luring new ones. Though the story of ALIEN: COVENANT isn’t something altogether new, the well-executed action sequences, come replete with new age visuals that keep you gripped to the film. Each of the said sequences are done with refreshing freshness while at the same time give the viewer a feel of the older films. Similarly ALIEN: COVENANT also features some awe inspiring visual effects especially in terms of giving the film a feel of grandness. Certain sequences that depict the enormity of the location are shot rather well giving the viewer an exact estimate of what the location would really look like. Coming to the performances in the film, Michael Fassbender as the Android David / Walter is his usual best portraying an emotionless and detached droid to perfection, and his lack of feeling to the sudden and tragic demise of crew members is spot on. Katherine Waterston     as Daniels cannot really be compared to Sigourney Weaver’s character of Ripley from the previous films. However, Waterston does bring a certain tenderness to her role while at the same time putting up a brave front in the face of imminent death. Similarly the rest of the cast as well does a good job in their given roles, but considering that the film revolves more around Fassbender and Waterston’s characters and the neomorphs, they are the most prominent. On the whole, given the pace of the film and the fact that ALIEN: COVENANT faces stiff competition from newer Bollywood releases as well as the giant BAHUBALI 2, box office prospects of the film within the Indian market are limited. However, for the ALIEN fans, ALIEN: COVENANT is worth a watch to hark back to the memories of yore, albeit this time with renewed visuals and a larger scale of execution.

Movie Review: Meri Pyaari Bindu
Fri, 12 May 17 08:37:24 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-719917" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Meri-Pyaari-Bindu-Review-2.jpg" alt="Meri-Pyaari-Bindu-Review 2" width="750" height="450" /> There have been many films titled after hit tracks on yesteryears. Examples to this are JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA, BACHNA AE HASEENO, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI to name a few. This week’s release is MERI PYAARI BINDU, which happens to be the hit track from yesteryear’s hit film PADOSAN. Will MERI PYAARI BINDU be able to be as ‘adorable’ as the title or will it find resistance from the audiences, let’s find out! MERI PYAARI BINDU is an essentially slice of life love story between two lovers and the ups and downs that their lives are subjected to. The film starts off with the suicide attempt by the novel writer Abhimanyu Roy aka Bubla (Ayushmann Khurrana) because he is not able to forget the girl whom he loved so selflessly. The girl in question is the free spirited Bindu Shankarnarayanan (Parineeti Chopra), who, despite living life on her own terms, leaves everything in life incomplete. Since Abhimanyu had been staying away from his parents for a long time, his parents fake their divorce and call him back home to Kolkatta. Even though he gets angry on his parents for telling him a lie, his house brings back all the memories about his childhood wherein his then neighbour Bindu had gifted him with something that she claimed ‘will change his life’. The film, then, dips into an array of flashback events which mirrors Abhimanyu’s incessantly selfless help towards Bindu, where he does everything possible that will make her happy. Be it helping Bindu realise her dream of becoming a singer and release her own album or offering her a shoulder to cry on everytime things didn’t work out for her. One fine day, life crashes for Bindu when her mother dies because of her father’s drunk driving. That’s when; she decides to shift to Australia, much to the shock of everyone around, including Abhimanyu, who, now, gives up his writing career to become a banker. Does Bindu ever come back to India and enter Abhimanyu’s life, what happens to the unspoken love story between the two, does Bindu ever forgive her father for her mother’s death and what ultimately happens to Abhimanyu’s ‘pyaari Bindu’ is what forms the rest of the film. Even though the promos of MERI PYAARI BINDU tried to be unique, the sad part is that, they only landed up confusing the viewers about the plot of the film. The film, on the other hand, only adds more fuel to this confusion. The film’s story and screenplay (Suprotim Sengupta) is way too confusing and convoluted, especially in the stretched second half. The irregular timelines shown in the film adds to the already muddled up plot. Even though the film has its share of comic moments, the dialogues (Suprotim Sengupta, Soumik Sen) are good at certain places in the form of the one-liners. After having worked as an Assistant Director in highly acclaimed films like THE NAMESAKE, WATER and VANITY FAIR, Akshay Roy makes his debut with MERI PYAARI BINDU. While his direction is strictly okay, it’s the lack of a taut screenplay which majorly hampers his direction. Despite all the glitches in the film, Akshay Roy manages to sail his way through the film. The film’s first half is interesting, breezy and sunny, which will have everyone take an instant liking to it. The tempo of the first half is fast paced and in sync with today’s times, making one will feel connected with the proceedings. It’s the second half however that crashes the film like a pack of cards. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-719916" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Meri-Pyaari-Bindu-Review-1.jpg" alt="Meri-Pyaari-Bindu-Review 1" width="750" height="450" /> There moments in the film that are conveniently squeezed in. Example of the same is the scene where Parineeti gets married in a split second after all the past happenings. It is something that the audiences will find tough to digest, considering her past track record of ditching most of the guys in earlier occasions. Secondly, the aspect of creating a mixed tape in the film seems to have been thrown in for convenience, considering that the mixed tape just does not form an integral part of the film in any way. In the same breath, one can easily say that the film’s makers tried to play it smart by having the retro songs’ mixed tape as its hook, probably due to the lack of an impressive original musical score in the film. Additionally, the film also suffers due to the presence of many unnecessary scenes, which look extremely thrusted in the film. Examples to this are Parineeti’s house hunting scene and even the meaninglessly stretched final sequence. Neither of the lead characters’ ambitions get fulfilled in the film, even the message that the film was trying to convey could not be deciphered. In totality, the film comes across inclined and highlighting more of friendship than love. With a title like MERI PYAARI BINDU, the film, in totality belongs to Parineeti Chopra. After having done KILL DIL as her last film (her cameo in DISHOOM notwithstanding), Parineeti Chopra delivers a strong performance in MERI PYAARI BINDU. Like always, she looks effortless and at ease with her character of being lively, chirpy and energetic. It won’t be wrong to term her as the soul of the film. On the other hand, Ayushman Khurana churns out a decent performance in the film and delivers what was expected of him. Rest of the actors (Prakash Belawadi, Rajatava Datta, Aparajita Adhya, Kharaj Mukherjee) play their roles convincingly. Both, the music and the background score (Sachin–Jigar) are strictly average. The film’s popular track ‘<em>Haareya Main Dil Haareya’ </em>was missing from the film. The film's cinematography (Tushar Kanti Ray) is also average. The film’s editing (Shweta Venkat Mathew) definitely should have been razor sharp and crisper, more so towards the second half. Doing away with some of the unwanted scenes would’ve helped. On the whole, MERI PYAARI BINDU is a one-time watch which fails big time on account of its confused plot and convoluted screenplay. At the Box-Office, it will turn out to be an average fare. Disappointing.

Movie Review: Sarkar 3
Thu, 11 May 17 19:22:05 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-719915" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SARKAR_Review-1.jpg" alt="SARKAR_Review 1" width="750" height="450" /> After having successfully directed SARKAR and SARKAR RAJ, film maker Ram Gopal Varma is ready with his next in the same series called SARKAR 3. There have been tremendous expectations from this film. But will SARKAR 3 prove to be ‘third’ time lucky or will it face a washout, let’s analyse. SARKAR 3 is a political thriller with strong undercurrents of strength, might, betrayal, power games and relationships. The film starts off with the line ‘Real power is not about fear, it comes out of respect’. This is followed by the introduction of Subhash Nagre’s (Amitabh Bachchan) inspirational and motivational speech to his followers. The film starts building its momentum when Subhash Nagre plainly refuses to partner on a Rs. 200 crore project in Dharavi, which is brought to him by a certain Mr. Gandhi, on behalf of Michael Vallya (Jackie Shroff). The story deviates into yet another angle with the sudden entry of Shivaji Nagre aka Cheeku (Amit Sadh), who happens to be Subhash Nagre’s grandson. Right from the time he enters the scenario, Shivaji starts dictating his own terms, which leads to a cold war between him and Subhash Nagre’s most trusted man Gokul Satam (Ronit Roy). Despite being Subhash Nagre’s grandson, he falls in love with Annu (Yami Gautam), a girl who’s father was apparently killed by Sarkar. What follows after is a series of planning and plotting, broad daylight murders and display of political power. Amidst all this, a political leader Govind Deshpande (Manoj Bajpayee) gets killed by unknown people. What follows after that is a sudden turn of events which makes Subhash Nagre and his grandson Shivaji Nagre enemies of each other, so much so that they vow to kill each other. Do the grandfather and grandson end up killing each other, what role does Annu play in Shivaji Nagre’s life and do the lovebirds ever unite, despite the staunch opposition from Subhash Nagre… is what forms the rest of the film. First things first. All those who plan to watch SARKAR 3 because of the track record of its previous two instalments, will be hugely disappointed because of the film’s majorly flawed writing (Ramkumar Singh). The film has absolutely no story plot or premise. It is just loaded with gimmicks based on the previous two films (SARKAR and SARKAR RAJ), and the makers are just trying to encash on the franschise name. The film lacks detailing in every aspect. The dialogues in the film are way too corny and one can’t help but just laugh at it after a point. After having directed VEERAPPAN last year, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is back with SARKAR 3, the third in the SARKAR franchise. As a director, Ram Gopal Varma has completely lost his grip on the ‘SARKAR’ franchise. In an attempt to tell a hard hitting political story, Ram Gopal Varma keeps on going around in circles with SARKAR 3. What adds to the misery is the fact that, every second character in the film speaks in a parable and keeps giving out philosophy on how to live in a political world! But at no point do they speak anything that is even remotely associated or related to the main story plot, which only adds to the confusion and the irritation.  It won’t be wrong to say that there are many places where Ram Gopal Varma loses grip, which makes the film does go astray. The film’s first half holds your attention due to character introductions and also with a certain hope to see a larger set up in the second half. The film’s second half however turns out to be a massive let-down and goes straight into a disastrous circle, leaving the viewers to wonder as to how could Ram Gopal Varma go wrong even with his most celebrated ‘Sarkar’ franchise. Even the end of the film is random and cuts in the middle of a scene. This is where one gets convinced about Ram Gopal Varma’s confused state of mind while making this film. The film has got nothing new to offer except caricatural depiction of the earlier two films. &nbsp; <center><iframe id="jwiframe" class="playerFrame" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/celeb-interviews/why-everybody-gives-love-because-love-is-cheap-ram-gopal-varma-2/?jwembed=1" width="600" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center>As for the performances, no prizes for guessing as to SARKAR 3 is an out and out Amitabh Bachchan film, who has done an extremely commendable job. He holds the film with his strong persona and intensity. However, it is due to the lack of a credible story plot that even a legendary actor like him starts struggling with his character, which becomes seemingly evident, after a point. Following him on a close second is Amit Sadh, whose portrayal of Sarkar’s grandson is truly commendable. He is consistent throughout the film and delivers a good performance. While Ronit Roy is decent in his character, the same cannot be said about the rest of the characters. The sad part about SARKAR 3 is that, it sees the extremely talented actors like Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Supriya Pathak, Rohini Hattangadi totally wasted in the film. Speaking of Manoj Bajpayee, one feels really sorry for his character as it showed so much promise. On the other hand, there is Jackie Shroff, who has a totally gimmicky role, wherein he is eternally busy talking to some unknown entity on his phone. If that wasn’t enough, he is also in constant company of a skimpily clad woman who keeps jumping and dancing around like a clown, adding unintentional humour. Also, one really wonders as to what made Yami Gautam say yes to this film as she gets reduced to a prop with a poker face and has only a couple of lines to speak. With the premise of SARKAR 3 being political, there is hardly any place for music (Ravi Shankar), except for a religious Ganpati aarti. The film’s background score is totally disconnected from the ongoings on screen. While the cinematography (Amol Rathod) is average, the film’s editing (Anwar Ali) is terrible. The film even suffers from poor dubbing at many places. On the whole, SARKAR 3 comes across as an old wine in a new bottle and offers nothing new to the audience. At the Box-Office, the movie will find it difficult to sustain and will end with a whimper.

Movie Review: Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion
Fri, 28 Apr 17 07:17:26 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-716229" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Bahubali-2-The-Conclusion-4-5.jpg" alt="Bahubali 2 The Conclusion (4)-5" width="720" height="405" /> Everyone's curious to know the answer to this question: Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? We can guesstimate and offer varied versions and theories, but looking back, I don't think the moviegoers had an inkling of how the master storyteller, S.S. Rajamouli, would culminate the first installment of the epic saga BAAHUBALI and how the terrific cliffhanger would eventually become the talking point. I am also sure, Rajamouli must've not foreseen that the question -- Kattappa ne Baahubali ko kyun maara? -- would set off thesis, blogs and memes by movie aficionados across the globe. As a matter of fact, Baahubali, Bhallala Deva and Kattappa -- the iconic characters -- have captured the imagination of the movie-going audience like no film characters in the recent past. Cut to the present... The wait is finally over! BAAHUBALI-2 hits the marquee today. The excitement is palpable. There's tremendous curiosity to witness, scrutinize, analyze and dissect the concluding installment of the path-breaking film. Resultantly, the expectations -- much like the canvas of the film -- are monumental. Does BAAHUBALI-2 live up to those lofty expectations? Is the second part superior than the predecessor? With unprecedented hype surrounding the keenly-anticipated movie, the inescapable question is, will BAAHUBALI-2 set new benchmarks as a film and also at the BO? Let me come to the point right away. BAAHUBALI-2 is a joyride that you wish never ends. I haven't enjoyed any entertainer as much as I enjoyed this one. As a movie buff, I have followed Rajamouli's body of work in Telugu films and admired his prowess as a storyteller. After BAAHUBALI-2, it's not just admiration, but respect and reverence as well. It wouldn't be erroneous to state that you haven't watched something like this on the Hindi screen ever. Also, as a cinematic experience, BAAHUBALI-2 takes gigantic strides, taking Indian cinema notches higher… over and above the standards set by several skilled raconteurs in the past. It requires foresight, guts, vision and of course, the financial muscle to bring to life a lavish spectacle on the giant screen. And Rajamouli uses his strengths and opportunities to accomplish what a majority of storytellers can only talk about or dream of. Let me add, BAAHUBALI-2 is not merely a visually enchanting experience, but also a well-structured film that engulfs you into its world. BAAHUBALI-2 takes you back to the kingdom of Mahishmati and brings to fore the reason that triggered off the feud between Baahubali [Prabhas] and Bhallala Deva [Rana Daggubati]. It's the fight to the finish in the concluding part. Will Shiva, the son of Baahubali, succeed against the tyrannical and treacherous Bhallala Deva? Will he regain authority of the kingdom that was snatched from his family by Bhallala Deva? Why did Bhallala Deva keep Devasena [Anushka Shetty] captive all these years? Finally, the pertinent question: Why did Kattappa [Sathyaraj] eliminate Baahubali? Roll out the red carpet... Blow the conch shells... Beat the drums... It's time to celebrate and I will tell you why! On paper, the plot may seem inspired by history, mythology and comic books that we have read in our growing up years. But scratch the exterior and you realize, Rajamouli belts out an altogether new story that rests on the age-old adage, good triumphs eventually. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-716230" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Bahubali-2-The-Conclusion-2-2.jpg" alt="Bahubali 2 The Conclusion (2)" width="720" height="405" /> Rajamouli carries a huge burden on his shoulders: He knows that comparisons between the two parts of BAAHUBALI are inevitable. The concluding installment has to be bigger [canvas, VFX] and better [entertainment quotient] than the first part. It's a daunting challenge actually. And BAAHUBALI-2 delivers and how! BAAHUBALI-2 is seeped in Indian ethos [story: K.V. Vijayendra Prasad], while the drama is garnished with several awe-inspiring sequences and jaw-dropping visuals. The screenwriting vacillates between romance, high-voltage drama, tension-filled confrontations and luminously filmed and brilliantly crafted action sequences, resulting in a movie-going experience that doesn't insult your intelligence. The content is desi, while the packaging has an international feel. Okay, I am *not* a spoilsport to reveal the answer to the pertinent question: Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? However, I wish to add, the entire track is simply brilliant! There's no doubt that BAAHUBALI-2 is Rajamouli's most accomplished effort to date. His choice of the subject over the years has been diverse, but BAAHUBALI-2 is truly the big ticket entertainer that leaves you awestruck by its powerful storytelling and meticulous detailing. Any deterrent? The Hindi soundtrack could've been better, but that's a tiny hiccup. Also, the editing could've been sharper at places. The breathtaking, larger-than-life frames [DoP: K.K. Senthil Kumar], grandiose and opulent production design [Sabu Cyril] and stunning visual effects impart sheen and sparkle. The action portions provide ample exhilarating moments and I must add, it commands repeat viewing. BAAHUBALI-2 is powered by strong performances from the skilled cast. Having said that, the eyes are on the protagonist and antagonist all the while. You can sense the tension when the two gladiators clash and collide. Prabhas is electrifying and gives the two characters the authority that they deserve. The undeniable presence and winsome act adds weight to the magnum opus. Rana is menacing, ferocious and nails his part with precision. His physical transformation -- a prerequisite for the character -- makes him look powerful and unshakable. Anushka Shetty invests purity, valor and strength into her character and emerges triumphant. Tamannaah gets limited scope this time. Ramya Krishnan looks aristocratic and shines as the queen mother Sivagami. Sathyaraj uses his piercing eyes to convey intensity and owns every sequence he's in. Nassar is ruthlessly manipulative and pitches in a tremendous act. Subbaraju, the actor enacting the part of Kumar, is unmistakably earnest. On the whole, the BAAHUBALI franchise has successfully created its own world and some incredible characters that are sure to stay with you for a long, long time. Talking specifically of BAAHUBALI-2, it's a feast for moviegoers and has the trappings to make all generations its fan. The film is sure to vanquish previous BO records and rewrite the rules of the game. It shouldn't come as a surprise if it turns out to be the biggest grosser of Indian cinema. East, West, North, South... BAAHUBALI-2 is akin to a typhoon that will end the dry spell at the BO and go down as a textbook on how to make a solid entertainer. EPIC BLOCKBUSTER.

Movie Review: Noor
Fri, 21 Apr 17 03:44:46 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-713947" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Noor-22-Nov.jpg" alt="Noor-22-Nov" width="750" height="450" /> There have been quite a few films in which the leading ladies have played the role of a journalist. Testimonies to this are in the form of Kareena Kapoor Khan (SATYAGRAHA), Nargis Fakhri (MADRAS CAFÉ), Konkona Sen Sharma (PAGE 3), Preity Zinta (LAKSHYA), Rani Mukherji (NO ONE KILLED JESSICA) and many others. This time round, it’s Sonakshi Sinha who plays a journalist in this week’s release NOOR. Will the film create record-breaking collections or will it fall flat on its face, let’s analyze. NOOR is slice of life Bollywood drama which tells the tale of a journalist’s adventures and misadventures while navigating her way through the city of Mumbai. The film starts off with the narrative introduction of Noor (Sonakshi Sinha) and her near and dear ones which includes her father (Maharaj Krishen Raina), her buddy Saad (Kanan Gill), her best friend Zara (Shibani Dandekar), her boss Shekhar (Manish Chaudhari) and her maid Malti (Smita Tambe). Noor, who works as a journalist in Shekhar’s office handles a show ‘Mumbai’s Believe It Or Not’. Not the one to be satisfied with that, she repeatedly applies for a job at the prestigious CNN only to be rejected each time. Life continues to be full of downs and ups (in that order) for the ‘never-satisfied-with-life’ Noor. One day, when her maid Malti resumes work after a 4-day holiday, Noor discovers something shocking about her and her brother, which changes everyone’s life forever. What is the shocking incident which changes everyone’s lives and how does Noor cope up with the same is what forms the rest of the story. NOOR, which is a film adaptation of Saba Imtiaz’s book ‘Karachi: You're Killing Me’, is in tune with today’s time and age in terms of its canvas and presentation. The film’s screenplay (Althea Delmas-Kaushal, Shikhaa Sharma, Sunhil Sippy) is what binds the film together. There are no clichés and stereotypes in it that one generally links with such genres. The screenplay delivers a strong underlying social message. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-713948" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Noor-3.jpg" alt="Noor (3)" width="720" height="405" /> The British-Indian filmmaker Sunhil Sippy, who had earlier directed the offbeat film SNIP, makes a comeback into Bollywood with NOOR. The first twenty minutes of the film establishes the film’s characters. The first half of the film is decent but the film’s second half plays the spoilsport with its excessive length. The pace of the film is the biggest culprit post interval. Also had the culmination been convincing, the film would have created an even stronger impact. Having said that, one needs to applaud the way in which Sunhil Sippy has handled the film’s premise, which is very contemporary and very today. The trials and tribulations faced by Sonakshi Sinha’s character in the film will surely find resonance with today’s generation. As for the performances, it’s the feisty Sonakshi Sinha who leads the film totally. She is extremely earnest in the portrayal of her character. She plays her part with extremely conviction, so much so that, you cannot imagine anyone else playing her role. The role seems to be tailor made for her. On the other hand, the social media-star-turned actor Kanan Gill makes an impressive debut in Bollywood with NOOR. He has got an endearing screen presence. Despite having just an extended cameo, Purab Kohli delivers a decent performance. Smita Tambe and Maharaj Krishen Raina do their parts extremely well. Sunny Leone in a cameo is decent. Rest of the actors play their respective roles well. The music of NOOR (Amaal Mallik) is largely breezy, what with good entertainment quotient coming in a small pack. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor) is decent. The film’s cinematography (Keiko Nakahara) is decent. She has done a commendable job of capturing the bylanes of Mumbai. The film’s editing (Aarif Sheikh) could have been crisper. The film could have been trimmed by around 20 minutes. On the whole, NOOR is a decent one time watch for the subject it addresses.

Movie Review: Begum Jaan
Thu, 13 Apr 17 10:22:36 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-711825" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Begum-Jaan-2.jpg" alt="Begum Jaan (2)" width="750" height="450" /> Shyam Benegal's MANDI remains fresh in the minds of movie enthusiasts and aficionados to this date. Unlike the glamorous depiction of courtesans and prostitutes in several Hindi films then, Shyam Benegal -- known for portraying realism in his movies -- captured the ambience and lifestyle of sex workers most authentically. Srijit Mukherjee's BEGUM JAAN charters a similar path. Although it brings back memories of MANDI, BEGUM JAAN is *not* inspired by Benegal's film, nor is it a present-day adaptation of that film. A remake of the Bengali film RAJKAHINI [2015], also directed by Srijit, this one's set during the partition and is far more raw, brutal and violent than MANDI. The trailer of BEGUM JAAN was clear in its intent: It's not for the faint-hearted… actually, you ought to have a strong stomach to absorb this one. Let's give you a gist of the plot first, before we move forward… Cyril Radcliffe is entrusted with the task of drawing the border that would split Punjab into two parts: a portion for India and the other for Pakistan. The politicians [Ashish Vidyarthi and Rajit Kapur], representing their respective governments, go about doing their job earnestly, but their work hits a roadblock as they discover that a brothel -- run by the shrewd and sharp Begum Jaan [Vidya Balan] -- is positioned right at the border. Begum Jaan refuses to vacate the premises, despite being served an official notice. She's defiant and rebels against the move to relocate elsewhere. My body, my house, my rules is her motto in life. Begum Jaan and the inhabitants clash with the officials amidst the changing political scenario during partition. Srijit startles you at the outset itself: A shocking incident in present-day New Delhi makes you uncomfortable. Although it sets the tone of the film, a doubt crosses your mind as it unfurls: How pertinent and significant is this episode vis-à-vis the story Srijit intends narrating? I mean, weren't we prepared to watch a period film set in the 1940s? Was the sequence merely incorporated for shock-value? Srijit obviously knows what he's talking and answers the query only towards the final moments of the film. Oh yes, the appalling episode does have its connection with the plot and as you exit the auditorium, you realize that the mindset remains unchanged to this date. The communally tense atmosphere during the partition has left scars that are difficult to heal. But BEGUM JAAN does not document what actually transpired between the two communities then. It takes an altogether different route as it focuses solely and completely on the fight waged by a handful of prostitutes to save their brothel. BEGUM JAAN has its share of shining moments. Sample these: The confrontation between Vidya and the two politicians [Vidyarthi and Kapur] is the hallmark of the film… Vidya's interaction with Naseeruddin Shah and the latter's iniquitous demand is another startling aspect… The conversation that transpires between Gauahar Khan and Pitobash shakes you up… Vivek Mushran's volte face at a crucial juncture in the story is a shocker… These are standout moments that either bring a lump in your throat or haunt you even after the screening has ended. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-711826" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Begum-Jaan-1-1.jpg" alt="Begum Jaan (1)" width="750" height="450" /> On the flip side, there are imperfections that are hard to ignore: You expect the tension to build up soon after Begum Jaan and the politicians have had a confrontation. The simmering tension catches you at times, but there are patches when it seems superficial. You remain detached to the goings-on… Begum Jaan witnesses the exodus happening all around and knows that her business will dry up sooner or later, but she refuses to move on. Sure, she has her reasons, but given the fact that she's a shrewd and calculating woman, her stubborn attitude doesn't cut ice... Juxtaposed at regular intervals is Ila Arun's character, who narrates varied stories to an adolescent. Frankly, it serves no purpose in taking the main story forward, nor is it relevant to the main plot… The bloodbath in the climax appears overdone, but what baffles you is the change of heart of those very people who wanted the prostitutes to vacate the land. This portion should've been more convincing and persuasive. Notwithstanding the loose ends, BEGUM JAAN stands on its feet, courtesy the bravura performances from several actors of this ensemble cast. Unquestionably, Vidya Balan is the showstopper, the lifeline, the soul of BEGUM JAAN. She's loud, she's crass… it's wonderful to watch this powerhouse performer get into the skin of the character and deliver a memorable act yet again. The remaining cast supports Vidya brilliantly, especially Naseeruddin Shah [attention-grabbing cameo], Chunkey Pandey [wonderful as a coldblooded contract killer], Gauahar Khan [requires guts to do the sequence highlighted above, is first-rate], Pallavi Sharda [a complete revelation, is in terrific form], Vivek Mushran [a performance that's bound to be noticed, is at his evil best during the closing stages] and Pitobash [nails it with a very fine act]. The seasoned actors -- Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapur and Rajesh Sharma -- are dependable. Ila Arun deserved a meatier part. Sumit Nijhawan is alright. Srijit's execution of the material is top notch, no two opinions on that. He's an accomplished storyteller and a number of dramatic sequences cement this fact. Having said that, Srijit, the director is far more in command than Srijit, the writer here. The songs are well punctuated in the narrative, with 'Prem Mein Tohre' [rendered by Asha Bhosle and tuned by Anu Malik] being the pick of the lot. Cinematography [DoP: Gopi Bhagat] captures the mood of the film well. Dialogue are bold, gritty and acidic and enhance a number of dramatic sequences considerably. On the whole, BEGUM JAAN has curiosity-value and shock-value, both. Despite minor hiccups, BEGUM JAAN is a compelling watch with a hard hitting narrative and bravura performances as its USPs. The moderate costing of the film should also ensure smooth sailing for its investors.

Movie Review: Fast And Furious 8
Thu, 13 Apr 17 10:01:36 +0000

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-711820" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Fast-And-Furious-81-1.jpg" alt="Fast And Furious 81" width="750" height="450" /> Back in 2001, audiences across the globe were regaled with the action entertainer THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, a film that boasted of not just high octane action but also some of the meanest cars there are on earth. From there on, there have been a total of seven films in the series that have hit the screens, each being bigger and better than the previous. After the last film FURIOUS 7 that released in 2015 went on to become a rage globally, especially after the loss of one of the lead actors Paul Walker, we see the eight instalment in the franchise hitting screens. Titled FAST AND FURIOUS 8 or simply F8 in India, the film once again boasts of thrilling car chases and race sequences, adrenaline pumping action and death defying stunts coupled with an all-star heavy weight cast. But will the film live up to expectations is the question of the hour, and what we analyse. FAST AND FURIOUS 8 starts off following the events of FURIOUS 7, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodrigues) have gone on their honeymoon, while Brian (Late Paul Walker) and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew have begun to settle down to a more normal life. But when a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) convinces Dom to work against the people that he is closest to, the rest of the crew must face trials they have never seen before – including some former enemies – in order to bring back the man who brought them together in the first place. From an idyllic life in Cuba to the bustling streets if New York City and the icy plains of the Barents Sea, the team faces their biggest challenge going up against one of their own. Will they manage to save their family, will they manage to help Dom return to normal life or will Cipher destroy the idea of ‘Family’ and with it the entire crew is what forms the rest of the film. If you have been following the series or been a fan of it, by now you will know that you never really expect much in terms of a story. In fact the entire FAST AND FURIOUS series has been comprised on films that indulge a guilty pleasure of watching massive explosions, insane stunts, fast cars, good music and sex appeal. In the case of FAST AND FURIOUS 8 this trend continues, with a rather sub-par storyline that meanders on with unexpected turns and childish twists. However, there are some funny moments infused in the film with situational humour and slightly funny one lines that at times come across as done to death. Despite this the film that opens with an exhilarating race sequence on the streets in Cuba, to the massive vehicular carnage in the heart of New York City and finally an adrenaline pumping end on the frozen ice lakes in Russia, the film manages to shape up into a thrilling ride worth indulging into. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-711821" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Fast-And-Furious-8-1.jpg" alt="Fast-And-Furious-8" width="750" height="450" /> Coming to the performances in the film, there is nothing new on offer here with the cast doing what they have been doing from the start. Vin Diesel as Domnic Toretto is his usual self, comprising of the drawl and stare technique that has become his moniker. Michelle Rodrigues as Letty still remains the only person who can convince the bull headed Dom into rethinking his choices, while Tyrese Gibson as the motor mouth Roman Pierce and Ludacris as Tej Parker continue to reprise their characters from the previous films in a similar fashion. Dwayne Johnson as the beefy muscled Luke Hobbs adds to the action doesn’t really do anything different from his previous outing. However, the new addition to the cast in the form of Charlize Theron as Cipher is a big bonus, as she essays the evil, plotting and emotionally devoid genius hacker to perfection. Her devil may care attitude and complete disregard for public and private property that unleashes absolute carnage will definitely please your guilty indulgences. Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw continues doing what he does best – letting his fist speak, Kurt Russell in a cameo as Mr. Nobody and Scott Eastwood as Little Nobody essentially become the comic relief in the film constantly adding humour to situations that could effectively spell doom. Another cameo in the film this time featuring Helen Mirren though hardly five minutes long is definitely fun. Talking about the action, FAST AND FURIOUS 8 that takes happenings to the next level is definitely in league with the previous films with wanton destruction of property, insane blasts and gravity defying stunts. Though the CGI is not of award winning material, it manages to hold up well for most part of the film. Case in point being the sequence wherein Charlize Theron controls hundreds of cars and sends them careening down the street seems rather patchy. It is however the long action sequence in Russia that will blow your mind. It is a big screen experience, especially worth watching on IMAX 3D. Though director F. Gary Gray does a commendable job with the film, it somehow does not seem as large as the previous one directed by James Wan. Yet FAST AND FURIOUS 8 merges all elements that have made the franchise so popular. On the whole, FAST AND FURIOUS 8 offers the adrenaline rush that you seek from this series. The fast car chases and thrilling action sequences make for 'Paisa vasool' entertainment. Catch it on the big screen.

Movie Review: Naam Shabana
Wed, 29 Mar 17 16:57:15 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-707731 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Naam-Shabana1.jpg" alt="Naam Shabana review 2" width="750" height="450" /> This year, Bollywood has seen a number of sequels release at the box-office. However, this week’s release NAAM SHABANA is not a sequel, but a prequel to the hit film BABY. Will NAAM SHABANA live upto the expectations at the box-office or not, let’s analyse. NAAM SHABANA is a thriller that mirrors the private life of a secret agent and the drama and action that is associated with it. The film starts off with broad daylight murders of two secret agents. This is followed by the introduction of the ‘tit-for-tat’ natured Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu), who lives with her mother in the bylanes of Mumbai. Upon the insistence of her boyfriend Jai (Taher Shabbir Mithaiwala), Shabana reveals her disturbed past life wherein she was jailed by the juvenile court for killing her alcoholic and abusive father. One day, when Shabana becomes a victim of eve-teasing by handful of ‘well connected’ guys, Jai gets killed in the bargain. After knowing that the police is deliberately delaying the case to protect Jai’s killers, a frustrated Shabana gets an uncalled for help from Ranveer (Manoj Bajpayee), who promises to help her but on one condition that she joins the agency (RAW). The story then shifts to the rich locales of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), where resides Tony aka Michael (Prithviraj Sukumaran), the undisputed king of nefarious activities like arms supply, drugs and flesh trade. It is here Shabana meets Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) and Om Prakash Shukla (Anupam Kher) to help her in the mission. What was the deal that Ranveer had struck with Shabana, does she become successful in avenging the death of her boyfriend, what was the reason for which Shabana gets transported to Malaysia and in what way Ajay Singh Rajput and Om Prakash Shukla help her on foreign shores is what forms the rest of the film. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-707730 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Naam-Shabana-3.jpg" alt="Naam Shabana review 3" width="750" height="450" /> When NAAM SHABANA’s promos were released, even though it gave the viewers few flashes of its sequel BABY, it became successful in establishing its own identity. However, when it comes to the film, it is the writing that plays a bit of a spoilsport. The film’s screenplay (Neeraj Pandey) is such that the first and the second half come across as two different films altogether. So as a viewer, one doesn’t see much of a connect between the pre and post interval parts. In addition to that, the film’s screenplay fails to create that edge of the seat thrill that one expects from a film like this. Besides, NAAM SHABANA also has some jarring loopholes and cinematic liberties for which one can only blame Neeraj’s writing. After having directed films like AHISTA AHISTA, MAHARATHI and BHAAG JOHNNY, a film like NAAM SHABANA was a very promising project from the director. Shivam Nair surely does a decent job in directing the thriller film but it’s the weak and disjointed screenplay that acts as a spoilsport. As mentioned earlier, the film enjoys a lot of cinematic liberties. The final ‘execution plan’ shown in the film comes across as extremely convenient. It just does not have any kind of shocking or thrilling or surprise element, which one expects from a film of this genre. As the film progresses into the second half, it starts becoming very predictable. All of this just does not take away the fact that, as compared to his earlier films, Shivam Nair has improved by leaps and bounds as a filmmaker with NAAM SHABANA. The film’s first half wins you over completely. Those who have seen BABY will see many of the situations being simply recreated and repeated in NAAM SHABANA. If that wasn’t enough, the songs also act as spoilsport at regular intervals. The film does have its own set of flaws and shortcoming in the form of the film’s villain giving out his masterplan to the protagonists without much ado. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-707732 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Naam-Shabana2-1.jpg" alt="Naam Shabana review 1" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, it’s the immaculate and spotless performance of Taapsee Pannu who steals the show. Taapsee Pannu, who impressed one and all with her performance in PINK, does a brilliant job once again in NAAM SHABANA. Be it emotional or action scenes, Tapsee shows how talented she is. It won’t be wrong to say that her portrayal of a headstrong and confident girl in the film comes across as one of her finest performances till date. She is followed by the brilliant performance by the extremely versatile Manoj Bajpayee, who, as always, delivers what was expected of him. The veteran actor Virendra Saxena is as impressive as the rest of the film’s characters like Anupam Kher and Danny Dengongpa. The shocking aspect of the film is that Akshay Kumar, who is one of the biggest and most talented stars in the country does get much to do in the film due to its limited script. His character at times looks forced into the film’s narrative. Even though he gets credited as a ‘special appearance’ in the film’s credits, one does feel that his character appears for quite a long time in the second half. After having made his debut as a hero in AIYYAA (with Rani Mukerji), the southern star Prithviraj Sukumaran did AURANGZEB in 2013. After a gap of 3 years, he returns to Bollywood with a negative character in NAAM SHABANA. He remains extremely true to his character and his role requirement to look menacing in the film. The film’s music (Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros) is average with no chartbuster tracks to boast about. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Sanjoy Chaudhury) is decent, which is in sync with the film’s narrative. The film’s action (Cyril Raffaelli, Abbas Ali Mughal) is decent. The film's cinematography (Sudheer Palsane) is praiseworthy. The way in which he has shot the bylanes of Mumbai is really worth a mention. The film's editing (Praveen Kathikuloth) is decent. On the whole, NAAM SHABANA is a well-made thriller with two contrasting storylines in the film’s two halves playing the spoilsport. However, given the strong brand value of BABY, decent interest quotient and lack of opposition at the Box-Office, will work out to be a huge advantage for the film. At the Box-Office, it will do decent to good business.

Movie Review: Phillauri
Fri, 24 Mar 17 09:30:20 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-706140 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PhillauriReview-4.jpg" alt="PhillauriReview (4)" width="750" height="450" /> While Horror has been a popular genre in Bollywood, there have also been a few films made over the years that have dealt with the concept of the friendly ghost. Films like <em>Chamatkar, Bhoothnath </em>and<em> Hello Brother</em> are some of the popular movies in the space of horror comedy. This week’s release PHILLAURI happens to be set on the same premise of a friendly ghost. Will this film spin magic at the Box-Office or will it ‘vanish in thin air’, let’s analyze. Fox Star Studios’ PHILLAURI is about the unfulfilled love of a ghost who has not attained peace after death. The film starts off with an array of dangerous (inflight) dreams of the Canada based Kanan Rajinder (Suraj Sharma), who is on his way to India to get married to his childhood sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). After his arrival, his parents tell a ‘secret’ to Anu’s parents stating that Kanan is a ‘maanglik’. Without any frets or tension, both the families act on the advice of an astrologer and get Kanan married to an old tree, which they chop off later. Little does he know that, at the pretext of marrying the tree, he actually got married to Shashi (Anushka Sharma), whose soul has been within the tree since the year 1919. Even though Kanan gets scared of Shashi and her actions at first, gradually, he not only befriends her but also gets her ‘introduced’ to Anu. When asked about the reason for Shashi’s ghostly existence, she recalls her love story with Roop Lal Philauri (Diljit Dosanjh), which, till date as remained an unfulfilled dream because of unforeseen situations and circumstances. What were the circumstances which played the villain between Shashi and Roop Lal’s love, what happens to Shashi’s soul ultimately and do Kanan and Anu get married is what forms the rest of the story. Despite the film’s concept having immense potential, writer Anvita Dutt fails create magic with her writing. The film’s story and screenplay have no logic or direction. Besides being confusing, the film’s screenplay also slows down the narrative. PHILLAURI, which begins on a positive and funny note, starts getting endlessly dragged and predictable. Thanks to the confused screenplay, the viewers will find it extremely tough to relate to. The film's dialogues (Anvita Dutt) are lucid and do not hamper the film’s proceedings. The film has its share of comic moments in the first half, but that too disappears as the narrative moves forward. <img class="size-full wp-image-706138 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PhillauriReview-1.jpg" alt="PhillauriReview (1)" width="750" height="450" /> After having assisted on films like PYAAR KE SIDE EFFECTS, CHAK DE! INDIA, DOSTANA and HOUSEFULL, Anshai Lal makes his debut in Bollywood as a director with PHILLAURI. Sadly, Anshai fails to impress with his debut film PHILLAURI. In an attempt to tell the stories of two eras simultaneously, he lands up losing his grip on the plot totally. He fails to narrate either of the stories convincingly. While the film’s first half is funny (in parts) and bearable, the film sees a drastic downslide in its second half, which is mostly dedicated to Anushka Sharma character’s life in the past. The slow and predictable second half does nothing more than testing the patience of the audience. Even the parallels between the two eras seem extremely forced. One just cannot help but say that the film’s climax is bizarre and outrageous. Anshai Lal really needs to understand how to narrate stories if he is planning for a long innings in Bollywood. As for the performances, the film’s protagonist Anushka Sharma excels in the film. After having delivered a smash hit performance in her last film AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL, she delivers a decent performance in PHILLAURI. Even though her character comes as half baked (because of the script), she manages to pull it off with supremacy. After having done a decent job in his last film (the drug drama UDTA PUNJAB), Diljit Dosanjh shows his soft and vulnerable side in PHILLAURI. Despite having limited scope, he puts on a decent performance. The film’s scene stealer is however, the endearing Suraj Sharma, who has, to his credit Hollywood films like LIFE OF PI, MILLION DOLLAR ARM and others. He makes a decent Bollywood debut with PHILLAURI. He plays his part of a confused young boy extremely well. He also consistently maintains the fun quotient in the film. On the other hand, Mehreen Pirzada fails to impress with her Bollywood debut. The rest of the character actors (of both the eras) are extremely convincing and play their parts well. The film’s music (Jasleen Royal) is average and fails to impress except for one song ‘<em>Sahiba</em>’. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Sameer Uddin) is apt and elevates the film’s narrative. The VFX used in the film is decent. Full marks to the film’s cinematographer (Vishal Sinha) for turning the film into a visual delight. The film’s editor (Rameshwar S Bhagat) has done a decent job. On the whole, PHILLAURI fails to connect emotionally due to its weak and slow paced narrative. At the Box-Office, it will be an average fare.

Movie Review: Machine
Thu, 16 Mar 17 16:59:46 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-704134 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Movie-Review-Machine.jpg" alt="Movie Review Machine" width="750" height="450" /> Bollywood has always been about stars and godfathers. Very rarely does one see an actor reaching dizzying heights of stardom without the proverbial godfather. This week sees the release of MACHINE, which marks the debut of Mustafa Burmawalla, the son of Abbas Burmawalla aka Abbas (of the famous director duo Abbas-Mustan fame). Will MACHINE see a promising ‘son-rise’ in Bollywood or will it be a ‘worn out’ affair at the Box-Office, let’s analyze. MACHINE is essentially a love story (written by Sanjeev Kaul) which happens amidst the greed for money and mysterious circumstances. The film starts off in picturesque North India, with the introduction of the extremely helpful Saira Thapar (Kiara Advani). This is followed by the ‘racy’ introduction of Ranch (Mustafa Burmawalla), who is smitten by Saira at first sight. This is followed by a car race, which is won by the dashing Ranch, who doesn’t believe in the concept of ‘using brakes’, which forms his secret to success. Saira, who is extremely famous and immensely likeable amongst her friends, starts getting mysterious gifts from a secret admirer. And while Saira expects her secret admirer to be the adorable Ranch, it turns out that it was her best friend Raj. And when Raj steps ahead to tell his feelings to Saira, he is hit by a speeding car, which kills him immediately, along with yet another friend from the gang who incidentally is also in love with Saira. An extremely disturbed Saira not only finds solace in Ranch, but she also eventually gets married to him. This is immediately followed Ranch reaching Georgia to take part in a most prestigious car racing championship. It is here where he falls madly in love with Serena Altar (Carla Ruth Dennis). Ranch, then, meets up with Serena’s father Kriss Altar (Dalip Tahil) and asks for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Does Ranch have a mysterious past and is his life more than what meets the eye is what forms the rest of the film. When MACHINE’s promos were released, it did not create the kind of impact and impression that one generally would associate with an Abbas-Mustan film. Without beating around the bush, one can say that it’s the film’s extremely weak screenplay (Sanjeev Kaul), which mars the film in a big way. The film’s screenplay does not offer anything new and lands up following the same path which had been adopted by many films till date. The weak script also lands up making the film all style and no substance. There’s no denying the fact that the film’s writing could have been notches higher. The film’s dialogues (Sanjeev Kaul), besides being devoid of one liners, are very average and fail to leave an impression. A few lines do come across as corny. The comic in the films seems totally thrusted. After having directed thrillers like BAAZIGAR, RACE, RACE 2, the director duo of Abbas-Mustan changed gears with their last film KIS KISKO PYAAR KAROON, which was a rom-com. This time round, with MACHINE, Abbas-Mustan are back to what they are doing best - directing thrillers. Everyone knows that a typical Abbas-Mustan film is eagerly awaited because of its stylish presence, thrills, unexpected twists as well as the suspense. MACHINE does see the trademark film making style of Abbas-Mustan, but, the average storyline plays the spoilsport. The proceedings of the film’s first half is slow as it is entirely devoted to the typical routine boy-meets-girl romance, which is followed by their marriage. The ‘actual’ story of the film begins from the point of interval. As the film proceeds, one just cannot help but draw comparisons between MACHINE and Abbas-Mustan’s earlier film BAAZIGAR. The film’s second half sees unexpected twists and turns, which ‘accelerates’ the pace of the film. Because of the fact that the film’s climax is extremely long-drawn, it fails to touch the hearts. In movies where the mainstay are the twists, thrill and suspense, it requires a simplified way of narration and less confusion. However, despite having all the elements of a thriller, MACHINE starts moving around in circles and gets confusing. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-704136 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Movie-Review-Machine-1.jpg" alt="Movie Review Machine-1" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, the film is completely tailor made for the debutante Mustafa Burmawalla. The film acts as a complete platform (read ‘dream platform’) to display all his skills. The sad part, however, is that, despite coming from the famous Abbas-Mustan’s lineage, Mustafa Burmawalla (visibly) struggles in MACHINE. Mustafa, who is decent at places, does have lots of raw edges which require polishing. These areas include his dialogue delivery and while handling emotional scenes. Even though his performance looks sincere enough for his character, the flip side is that, it fails to look convincing. The film gives him ample opportunity to showcase every possible ‘heroic’ skill. He definitely has a long way to go before he makes it big in Bollywood. On the other hand, the 2-film old Kiara Advani (who was last seen in M. S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY), has a strong author backed role. She shows immense promise and utmost potential as an actress. She turns out to be the surprise element of the film. With a right combination of good looks and talent, she is simply raring to go with this film. Ronit Roy, who is at his menacing best, is excellent in the film. Johnny Lever’s track seems totally out of place and forced in the film and could have been avoided. Veteran actors like Dalip Tahil and Sharat Saxena have nothing much to do. Even the actors who play the friends of Mustafa and Kiara deserved better names and better talents. Abbas Mustan’s films (KHILADI, RACE, BAAZIGAR) which have been predominantly love stories and thrillers, always had good music. The music (Tanishk Bagchi and Zeus) of MACHINE is totally mediocre. The lack of great music also acts as one of the weak points of the film. Even the much hyped track ‘<em>Tu Cheez Badi Hai’</em> is totally wasted. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Sandeep Shirodkar) is good and helps in elevating the film’s narrative. The film's cinematography (Dilshad V. A.) is outstanding. The way in which they have shown the locales of Georgia are fabulous. The film's editing (Hussain A. Burmawalla) is decent and does not hamper the film in anyway. On the whole, MACHINE is strictly an ordinary fare. Lack of emotional connect coupled with a weak script, unknown faces and mediocre music will play spoilsport for the film at the Box-Office.

Movie Review: Beauty And The Beast (English)
Wed, 15 Mar 17 10:20:21 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-703835 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Beauty-and-the-Beast-2.jpg" alt="Beauty-and-the-Beast" width="750" height="450" /> Over the years, Disney has revived many of those classic tales and given it the modern touch. Disney has already given us live-action versions of animated films like ALICE IN THE WONDERLAND, CINDERELLA, SLEEPING BEAUTY and THE JUNGLE BOOK in recent years and some of them have even broken many box office records. What happens when you recreate one of the oldest tales like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? Is it something relatable in the year 2017? Do people resonate with the characters and story? Let’s analyze. As said in the film, the tale is as old as time, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a story about a beautiful girl named Belle (Emma Watson) who lives in a small provincial town in France where she is different from the crowd, a well-read girl in the 18th century which is an odd thing for many people. An arrogant hunter Gaston (Luke Evans) has unrequited feelings for Belle and is actively seeking her hand in marriage. Belle wants to be more than just a woman who wants to be married and has babies. Her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), is an artist, a tinkerer and a man who believes his daughter is more than just a normal girl. While this is the story of a small village, there lives a Beast (Dan Stevens) in a castle which has been forgotten by many. The reason is that there lived an arrogant prince who was cursed to take on a hideous form by an enchantress until he can get someone to fall in love with him. When her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) steals a rose from a secret castle of the Beast (Dan Stevens) for his daughter Belle, Belle comes for his rescue and selflessly volunteers to become the prisoner so that her father can walk free. This begins the tale of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST features of some of the finest actors in the cast. Emma Watson as Belle is enchanting on the screen, courageous, intelligent and brings soft nature to the character. The little things about her character like to never give up, makes this princess different in this modern time. Dan Stevens plays the role of the Beast who makes this character goofier yet dangerous. Just like the tale, Luke Evans' Gaston is a braggart who has a dark side. It's impossible to think about this story with mentioning the integral characters- the staff in the Beast’s castle who have all been transformed into household items by the curse. The fan favourites Lumiere the candelabra (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth the mantel clock (Ian McKellen) lighten up this enchanting tale. Mrs Potts the teapot (Emma Thompson) and her teacup son Chip (Nathan Mack) are equally good. Disney's biggest risk till date as to be with Josh Gad's character LeFou, a gay character in the film. Keeping in the mind of today's times, Josh Gad's character is more about inclusiveness. Legendary music composer Alan Menken has created four new songs for this remake but has also retained the iconic songs from the original including the opening number <em>'Belle'</em>,  <em>'Gaston'</em>, the raucous <em>'Be Our Guest'</em> and the magical title track <em>'Beauty and the Beast'</em> which has been sung by Emma Thompson. Emma Watson truly surprises the audience with her musical skills whereas Luke Evans follows his theatrical background to carry the songs. ‘<em>Evermore’</em> is a soaring ballad performed by Dan Stevens as the Beast. The visual effects are beyond mesmerizing in the film especially the castle and the Beast. Director Bill Condon has made this remake larger than life. What's missing is the story about the enchantress who casts a spell on the Beast could have been explored more. Bill Condon takes the classic tale and brings it to the audience with a modern flourish. In the year 1991, the original BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was a landmark film, which went on to become one of the biggest box office successes. The animated adaptation had also become the first animated feature to be nominated for the Best Picture back when the Oscars category only had five nominations and the Best Animated Feature category did not exist. Disney’s new live-action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is more than just a recreated and a refreshed version of the world’s most endearing love story of Belle and the Beast. It is simple story told in the most magical way and mostly won't really disappoint the fans. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST may be 'a tale is as old as time', it surely is mesmerizing in this era as well. Overall, at the Indian box-office, the film will mainly appeal to a younger audience segment, as the film sticks to the original story. The visuals and the 3D effects are mesmerizing. The film is a good one-time watch for the classic Disney movie fans.

Movie Review: Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Fri, 10 Mar 17 08:51:55 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-702500 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Badrinath-Ki-Dulhania-4-1.jpg" alt="Badrinath Ki Dulhania (4)" width="750" height="450" /> The year 2012 saw the release of the Karan Johar directed STUDENT OF THE YEAR. The teenage drama not just proved to be a hit, but also gave Bollywood the trio of ‘Gen-Next’ stars in the form of Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. While Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt went onto do KAPOOR &amp; SONS, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt came together in the 2014’s hit film HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA. This time round, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt are coming together again in BADRINATH KI DULHANIA. Will the film repeat history at the Box-Office or will it become history, let’s analyze. BADRINATH KI DULHANIA is an archetypal Bollywood rom-com drama (written by Shashank Khaitan), which mirrors the ups and downs in a couple’s life and the quintessential role of the society in the relationship. The film starts off in Jhansi with an extremely unique explanation of a boy being an ‘asset’ and a girl being a ‘liability’ <em>vis a vis</em> the prevalent dowry system. This is followed by the self-introduction of the tenth standard pass Badrinath Bansal aka Badri (Varun Dhawan) and his family which consists of his mother, his elder brother Alok Bansal (Yash Sinha) and his brother’s wife Urmila (Shweta Basu Prasad). The entire Bansal household is kept under his control by Badrinath's strict and patriarchal father Bansal saab (Rituraj Singh). One day, when the carefree Badri sees the effervescent Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) in a marriage, he instantly falls in love with her. He, then, starts pursuing Vaidehi relentlessly to marry him, only to get a firm no for an answer every single time. Even though Badri gets to know about Vaidehi’s past, that does not deter him from wooing her. One day, after much ado, Vaidehi says yes to Badri’s proposal for marriage, but, with a condition that she has to get her elder sister Kiran (Aakanksha Singh) married before her. After searching the length and the breadth of the city (which also includes a ‘bridegroom hunt audition’), Kiran finds her soul mate in Bhushan (Aparshakti Khurana). After all the ‘customary dealings’, the elders of both the families decide to conduct the marriages of Vaidehi and Kiran together. While Kiran gets married to Bhushan, Vaidehi runs away from the marriage without informing anyone, thus leaving both the families in an extremely embarrassing situation. An infuriated Bansal saab then orders Badri to get hold of Vaidehi from wherever she is, so that they can beat her up in the public and make an example out of her. Does the ever-obedient Badri listen to his father’s orders or does he listen to his heart which still loves Vaidehi, what was the reason for Vaidehi’s escape on the day of her marriage, does Badri become successful in tracing Vaidehi or does he return home empty handed and what ultimately happens to Badri and his selfless love towards Vaidehi, is what forms the rest of the film. When BADRINATH KI DULHANIA’s promos were released, the film managed to build expectations, considering that it happens to be the franchise of the hit film HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA. Contrary to the audiences’ assumptions, BADRINATH KI DULHANIA is not exactly a sequel of HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA, but, its franchise. Except for the film’s lead cast, its director and the basic premise, there are absolutely no similarities between the two films. The film’s screenplay (Shashank Khaitan) does not follow the regular route and ensures that the film is devoid of the clichés and stereotypes that one generally associates with such genres. The flipside is that, in an attempt to make a film with a (underlying) social message, the makers of the film seem to have gone on a ‘preaching overdrive’ (which is visible in quite a few places in the film). If this wasn’t enough, then, in the name of cinematic liberties and convenience, there are many scenes which challenge logic and sensibilities of the audience. <img class="size-full wp-image-702501 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Badrinath-Ki-Dulhania-5-1.jpg" alt="Badrinath Ki Dulhania (5)" width="750" height="450" /> Shashank Khaitan (after having directed HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA) springs up yet another winner in the form of BADRINATH KI DULHANIA, a film that sees him improved immensely as compared to his last film. Full marks to him for ensuring that BADRINATH KI DULHANIA enjoys a distinct and individual identity of its own and does not suffer from a ‘Humpty Sharma hangover’. Shashank Khaitan, who wins you over with his extremely eloquent direction, has kept the film’s narrative lucid and relatable, without resorting to any kind of over the top situations or incidents. He also manages to amalgamate the humour element in the film with the main crux of the film’s narrative (especially in the first half). While he becomes successful in conveying the film’s message of women empowerment using humour, what really plays the villain is the way in which he has culminated the film towards the end, which looks very abrupt, sudden and convenient. The film’s first half is interesting but it’s the second half that plays the spoilsport as it seems dragged and stretched after a point. Even though the film’s integration with ‘Singapore Tourism’ happens to be a smart idea, the way in which they have executed the same seems slightly off, which starts showing in the film, as the Singapore track just gets never ending in the second half. Even Alia Bhatt’s air hostess training contributed majorly to the film’s length, which, otherwise, could have smartly handled. Even though the film is not laced with memorable one liners, the film does have its share of hard-hitting dialogues and funny moments. Do not miss the scenes where they hold an audition to find a suitable groom for Alia’s sister, Varun wooing Alia in the running bus, the introduction scene of Aparshakti Khurana, Alia Bhatt’s ‘cover-up’ act of Varun’s bare chest’ with her dupatta, the fighting between Varun and his friend in the sea and also the oxygen cylinder scenes, which symbolises the state of Indian fathers in a very humorous way. As for the performances, it’s the impeccable duo of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt who carry the film solely on their shoulders. The chemistry that they share in the film is simply impeccable. One has to see it to believe it. As for Varun Dhawan, after impressing everyone with his performance in the last year’s hit DISHOOM, he creates yet another winner in his titular role of ‘Badrinath’. The attitude and the body language with which he approaches his character are spot-on. His natural childish charm and innocence only adds to his onscreen persona. He gives yet another reason for audiences to be in awe of him. The ease with which he has handled both, comic and emotions, are really clap worthy. On the other hand, it’s Alia Bhatt, who (yet again) pulls off her role in the film very flawlessly. After having proved her versatility as an actress in her earlier films like KAPOOR &amp; SONS, UDTA PUNJAB, HIGHWAY and her last release DEAR ZINDAGI, Alia Bhatt springs up with yet another heart winning performance in BADRINATH KI DULHANIA. The other actors in the film are also cast very well. Sahil Vaid who plays Varun Dhawan’s friend has done a fabulous job in the film and also has good screen time in the movie. Gauhar Khan however appears in a small role and seems wasted in the film. The film’s music (Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva) is average and does not live upto what one would ideally expect from a ‘Dharma’ film. Despite that, the film does have a couple of melodious tracks in the form of the remix of ‘<em>Tamma Tamma’ </em>and the film’s title track. On the other hand, the film’s background score (John Stewart) is decent, which is in sync with the film’s narrative. The film's cinematography (Neha Parti) is decent. On the other hand, the film's editing (Manan Sagar) is strictly average and could have been tighter. On the whole, BADRINATH KI DULHANIA is a beautifully textured love story and an enjoyable entertainer that wins you over and keeps you hooked right till the end. At the Box-Office, it will be a sure-shot success. Do not miss it.

Movie Review: Commando 2
Fri, 03 Mar 17 09:45:43 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-700597 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Review-Commando-2-2-1.jpg" alt="Review Commando-2-2 (1)" width="750" height="450" /> The year 2017 seems to be the year of sequels. Only recently, we saw the release of the Akshay Kumar starrer JOLLY LLB 2, which happens to be the sequel of JOLLY LLB. This month will also see the release of BADRINATH KI DULHANIA, which is a sequel to the last year’s hit HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA. This week sees the release COMMANDO 2, which happens to be the sequel of the 2013 film COMMANDO. Will COMMANDO 2 ‘command’ an outstanding response at the Box-Office or will it get shot dead, let’s analyze. COMMANDO 2 is about the bringing back of a commando to investigate black money trail and the twists and turns that follows his ‘comeback’. The film starts off with the prevailing topic of demonetization which is followed by the ‘action-packed’ introduction of Karanvir Singh Dogra aka Karan (Vidyut Jamwal). On the other hand, the Indian government readies a team in order to nab a certain ‘Vicky Chaddha’, the most wanted criminal who is on the verge of siphoning a huge chunk of black money that actually belongs to the poor and destitute people of India. In the mission to catch and bring back Vicky Chaddha to India, Abhaya Sharma (Shefali Shah), the ‘Director of Investigation Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes’, assigns the said task to a team of Inspector Bhavna Reddy (Adah Sharma), ACP Bakhtawar (Freddy Daruwala), Zafar Hussain (Sumit Gulati) and Sharad Pandey. In a sudden turn of events, Karan ‘replaces’ Sharad Pandey and joins the team. When the team reach Malaysia, they come face to face with ‘Vicky Chaddha’ and his lovely wife Maria (Esha Gupta). Seeing a friend and confidante in Karan, Maria tells him the entire background about how her husband was falsely accused of money laundering and how he has been made into a scapegoat by the higher authorities. Maria pleads Karan to save her and her husband Vicky Chaddha, so that they can avenge the death of their innocent child. Just as Karan helps Maria and Vicky Chaddha, a sudden and unexpected turn of events shocks the daylights out of Karan and his team members. If that wasn’t enough, even the duty abiding ACP Bakhtawar turns his back against Karan. Does Karan become successful in bringing back the notorious Vicky Chaddha to India single handedly, what was the incident that shocks Karan is what forms the rest of the film. After having achieved laurels in acting and directing TV serials, Deven Bhojani makes his debut as a film director with COMMANDO 2. Even though he does a decent job as a debutant director, it’s the film’s script that does the film in. Deven Bhojani, who has laced the film with some interesting twists and turns, does manage to catch you unaware with a handful of the shock elements in the film. Despite having done so much work as a director in many TV shows, it is sad to see Deven Bhojani struggle as a story teller with COMMANDO 2. While the film’s first half successfully manages to build momentum and the pace in the form of the introduction of the characters with some really stylish action scenes thrown in, the film’s second half starts dragging and also becomes predictable at many places. The second half, which looks very disjointed in many places, goes in random and unexpected directions and lands up confusing the viewers. It does come as a shock to see Ritesh Shah’s poor writing in COMMANDO 2, considering that he is the same man who was appreciated so highly for his extremely powerful and convincing writing in the smash hit film PINK.  At the same time, one really wonders about the need for the film’s makers to infuse the patriotism angle, which looks heavily forced in the film. Amongst all this, there are some memorable scenes as well in the film in the form of the post interval action sequence outside the mall, the massive fight during the climax and also the interval scene. <img class="size-full wp-image-700598 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Review-Commando-2-2-2.jpg" alt="Review Commando-2-2 (2)" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, it’s Vidyut Jamwal, on whose shoulders the film rides completely. On his part, Vidyut does a decent job and has justified his role of a ‘Commando’. He successfully keeps you engaged throughout with his performance and action. One just cannot deny the fact that Vidyut Jamwal has evolved as an actor. With a title like COMMANDO 2, one is bound to expect oodles of action. Given the fact that Vidyut Jamwal is a ‘pro’ in action scenes, he takes to the action scenes like a fish to water. Besides him, there’s Adah Sharma who plays Vidyut Jamwal’s love interest in the film. Adah Sharma, who was last seen in HASEE TOH PHASEE, does a decent job in the film. It does take some time for the viewer to absorb her south Indian accent in the film. Adah brings in the humour quotient in the otherwise serious film. Besides having her share of comical scenes, she does impress everyone with her action scenes as well. On the other hand, there’s Freddy Daruwala, who, having done films like FORCE 2 and HOLIDAY, does an average job in COMMANDO 2. The surprise element of the film is however in the form of Esha Gupta, who comes across as the high point of the film. Esha Gupta, who was last seen in a negative role in RUSTOM, takes COMMANDO 2 to a different level completely with her astounding performance in the film. Besides her, there’s Shefali Shah, who delivers a power packed performance. Rest of the actors help the film move forward. The film has only one song in the form of ‘<em>Hare Krishna Hare Ram’ (</em>which features only in the end). On the other hand, the film’s background music (Prasad Sashte) is impressive. The film’s cinematography (Chirantan Das) is really remarkable. The way they have shot the foreign locales is really commendable. The film’s editing (Amitabh Shukla, Sanjay Sharma) is average. A special mention to the film’s action director (Franz Spilhaus) for the breath taking action sequences. On the whole, COMMANDO 2 is a predictable entertainer that would appeal only to its target audience. At the Box-Office, it will do a fair business.

Movie Review: Logan (English)
Thu, 02 Mar 17 12:09:24 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-700388 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Logon-Movie-Review.jpg" alt="Logon Movie Review" width="750" height="450" /> What happens when an onscreen character becomes synonymous with the actor playing the part? Well, that is exactly what has happened in the case of the X-Men character Wolverine AKA Logan played by Hugh Jackman, who has essayed the role of the regenerative mutant with an adamantium skeleton and claws to perfection. Over the years, Jackman despite playing numerous others roles in films has always been looked at as The Wolverine. Cut to the present where the popular franchise seems to be taking the story of mutants forward decades into the future and despite his regenerative powers, Wolverine finds himself on the precipice of death and oblivion. But will a film that shows the bleak end of a much loved and adored superhero work, will the masses that have till date strived to be similar to a character accept his eventual demise, are a few questions that spring to mind after watching the trailer. LOGAN tells the story where in the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a hide out on the Mexican border. But despite Logan's attempts to hide from the world and live a life somewhat off the grid, he finds himself in the middle of a dilemma that involves him caring for a mutant child, something that he is not prepared to do. Will, the ailing Logan, manage to survive the forces he is up against, will he manage to save the mutant child, will he find redemption and will his legacy live on is what forms the rest of the film. After witnessing the previous film based on the character of Wolverine, one is sceptical about the progression of LOGAN. However, director James Mangold does a stellar job of reinventing the character while at the same time retaining the essence of what connected Wolverine to the audiences. In literally a path breaking attempt, Mangold merges drama, action and suspense together in a celluloid marvel. Right from the opening scene we see ‘Old Man’ Logan driving around in a car for hire that melds into a brutal action sequence complete with the adamantium claws being drawn to the eventual introduction of an ailing Professor X, Mangold draws, the viewer into establishing an emotional connect within the first fifteen minutes. But the film isn’t just a rambling end of days lecture; in fact proceedings soon pick up with the introduction of the little mutant girl Laura aka X- 23. From here on, the film becomes a fight for survival with Logan and Laura being perused across the country in search of a place across the border where mutants that have all but become extinct can live life in peace. But what sets LOGAN apart from previous superhero films is the fact that unlike the others that focus on action, this film features a gripping story filled with emotion that moves the viewer with its tragic tale. If that wasn’t all, the action sequences that are well spaced into the storyline do not seem forced and are extremely well choreographed. Staying true to the character of Wolverine, the film is a brutal, violent, hardcore R rated memoir to a superhero who represents just that. Another aspect that is done with aplomb in the film is the VFX that seamlessly merges with the live action. In fact the effects of merging live action and CGI is done so well that certain moments that use CGI seem life like. Coming to the performances in the film, Hugh Jackman who has become synonymous as Wolverine is as usual perfect. For those who have waited to see the animal in Logan released there are more than enough berserker rage instances that satiate your need for bloodlust. Jackman’s rendition of Logan is spot on, and might just be his career best, with the audience responding similarly to his on screen emotions in a similar form. Sir Patrick Stewart as Professor X does a commendable job as always of lending an emotional connect to the raw, unpolished character of Logan while at the same time establishing a rapport with the viewers. But it is Dafne Keen as Laura aka X-23 who is literally the highlight of the film. Despite her lack of dialogues, Keen does well at establishing a connect with the viewers, and towards the climax emerges as the perfect contender to take the legacy of Wolverine forward. All in all, after decades of waiting, we finally see a Wolverine film that is befitting in all aspects to the character. Though the film acts as a final ode to Wolverine, it more than justifies and takes his legacy forward in the form of X-23. A definite must watch for X-Men and Wolverine fans.

Movie Review: Rangoon
Thu, 23 Feb 17 12:26:09 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-698728 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Rangoon-7.jpg" alt="Rangoon (7)" width="750" height="450" /> There’s something about World War II that fascinates me. Perhaps, it has a lot to do with my fondness for the long-gone era. However, what I find odd is that whenever we -- like-minded friends who are enthralled by history -- discuss World War II or Adolf Hitler’s aggression/ambitions, the conversation *always* veers towards the American and European perspective. Hollywood’s fascination for World War II is equally evident as you recall several brilliant and a number of okay-ish movies dedicated to World War II. Vishal Bhardwaj also sets RANGOON during that era, when India was still under British rule. But, let me clarify, this is no war film. Vishal uses the World War II template, but narrates an enchanting love story that entwines conflict, deceit, politics and of course, history. Irrespective of how his films are received by the audience or reviewed by critics, you cannot deny the fact that Vishal knows the craft well. RANGOON too has the by-now-famous stamp of an accomplished storyteller and you realize this fact during the intense moments in the narrative. Sure, RANGOON has its share of flaws, but there’s no denying that several episodes stay with you much after the screening has concluded. RANGOON is a World War II drama primarily revolving around three characters -- Rusi Billimoria [Saif Ali Khan], an actor who now produces his own films… Julia [Kangna Ranaut], an actress who stars in Rusi’s movies. Incidentally, Rusi is also her mentor and lover… Nawab Malik [Shahid Kapoor], a soldier with the armed forces. Julia is asked to visit the jungles at the India-Burma border to entertain the English and Indian troops. In the midst of battles and betrayals, Julia falls in love with Nawab and learns some truths about the dream of Indian independence. Battlelines are drawn when Rusi learns of the torrid love affair. Does the plot summary sound familiar? Does the story give the feeling of déjà vu? On paper, the plot of RANGOON may appear oft-repeated, a story we have visited on the Hindi screen innumerable times in the past [lost count, haven’t we?]. But scratch the exterior and you realize that Vishal and his team of writers [Matthew Robbins, Sabrina Dhawan and Vishal himself] not only talk of matters of the heart, but also relationships and love blossoming amidst guns and thorns. Frankly, RANGOON is a complex film and it does take time to dissolve oneself wholly in the world of Rusi, Julia and Nawab. You don’t take to the film instantaneously, although you are drawn by the look and feel of 1940s India and are completely smitten by the old-world charm that Vishal painstakingly recreates at the commencement of the movie itself. The story moves constantly in the first hour, transporting you from the studios of Mumbai to the jungles at the Indo-Burma border. A few stand out moments during the course of the first half are magical indeed, but the narrative isn’t cohesive enough for you to go ga-ga over it. Thankfully, there’s much meat in the second half. In fact, Vishal reserves the best for the post-interval portions, when Rusi, Julia and Nawab’s worlds collide. There’s turbulence in their lives and that, for me, is the film’s biggest strength. The myriad emotions [love, jealousy, betrayal], the sequence of events in the second half, the nail-biting finale… Vishal keeps his storytelling simplistic, yet the impact is power-packed and compelling. There are shortcomings along the way. To start with, the writing in the first half is erratic... Editing could’ve been crisper… Also, the songs aren’t catchy [except ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ and ‘Bloody Hell’]. Now this is surprising because Vishal is the music composer as well. Besides, the film could’ve done without a song or two… A few sequences in the second half look unreal [Julia gets into the costume, jumps on the train and saves Nawab -- it’s too sudden]. Technically, Vishal keeps it simple so that technique doesn’t overpower content. While the soundtrack is ordinary, the background score [Vishal] is electrifying. The usage of a particular sound during the tension-filled moments lingers in your memory. Dialogue [Vishal, again] add weight to the proceedings. Would like to single out the sequence between Nawab and Julia, when the latter gets to know a shocking aspect of Nawab’s life. Recreating the long-gone period is a Herculean task and the endeavor goes for a toss if the DoP doesn’t do justice to the efforts. Not in this case! RANGOON is embellished with remarkable cinematography [DoP: Pankaj Kumar]. Additionally, the locales of Arunachal Pradesh are breathtakingly beautiful. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-698729 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Rangoon-8.jpg" alt="Rangoon (8)" width="750" height="450" /> The principal cast brings Vishal’s vision to life. Much has been said and written about the casting of RANGOON, but, to give the credit where it’s due, casting Saif as the suave film producer and Shahid as the duty-bound soldier is a masterstroke. The dramatic altercations between Saif and Shahid are subtle, not overdramatic. There’s not much of Saif in the first half, but the actor leaves his footprints when he re-enters the story at the interval point. From that point onwards, right till the conclusion, Saif is top notch, handling his part with precision. Shahid gets a meatier part and he takes charge of the responsibility bestowed upon him. He’s in terrific form. The scene-stealer, frankly. Although the year has just commenced and there’s so much to look forward to in the forthcoming months, I am sure, Shahid’s exemplary act will stay with you for a long, long time and the act will be a frontrunner at the awards next year. Kangna portrays the lifeline of Rusi and Nawab with commanding authority. She owns every sequence she appears in, she makes every moment come alive with a memorable act. What’s noteworthy is that Kangna is effortless and stands tall in the most challenging sequences. The supporting cast is equally effectual. Richard McCabe [as Major General Harding] excels. Saharsh Shukla [as Zulfi] is wonderful. Alex Avery [as Major Williams], Lin Laishram [as Mema], Gerson da Cunha, Rushad Rana and Manav Vij are perfect. On the whole, RANGOON is an epic love saga with strong emotional quotient, riveting second hour and nail-biting finale. Watch it for its layered plot, serpentine twists, proficient storytelling and bravura performances. A content-driven film that’s worth a recommendation!

Movie Review: Running Shaadi
Thu, 16 Feb 17 16:34:01 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-697007 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Running-Shaadi-1-5.jpg" alt="Running Shaadi (1)" width="750" height="450" /> Almost every second film in Bollywood has a wedding scene/ sequence. In other words, no Bollywood movie is complete without a wedding scene. There have been many films which have been based on wedding as its theme. This week’s release RUNNING SHAADI, too, is based on weddings, but, with a quirky twist in its tale. Will RUNNING SHAADI ensure its makers a long ‘Run’ in the Box-Office or will it turn turtle, let’s analyse. As the title suggests, RUNNING SHAADI (which has been written by Navjot Gulati and Amit Roy) is all about runaway weddings and the repercussions which follow after that. The film starts off with an 18 month flashback of events which has Nimmi (Taapsee Pannu) making a startling confession to Ram Bharose (Amit Sadh) stating that she wrongly timed her physical relation with a guy. Ram Bharose, who works as a salesman in the garments shop owned by Nimmi’s father, uses his sharp wit and bails her out of the situation. One day, on the occasion of Nimmi’s birthday party, the self-respecting Ram Bharose feels extremely hurt and ‘used’. Because of this, Ram Bharose lands up fighting with Nimmi’s father and leaves the job. The feeling of being unemployed and anger against Nimmi and her parents, forces Ram Bharose to give his nod to marry an 18 year old girl in Bihar. One day, with the technical help from his friend Sarabjeet Sidhana aka Cyberjeet (Arsh Bajwa), Ram Bharose starts a website that promises to help execute ‘runaway weddings’. Within no time, the website becomes a messiah of sorts to many couples who dream of eloping, to marry much against their parents’ wishes. Just as Ram Bharose plans to go to Bihar to get married, Nimmi appears before him and asks for an extremely unexpected request, which changes the lives of everyone around completely. What was Nimmi’s request, does Ram Bharose become successful in fulfilling her request, does Ram Bharose marry the 18 year old girl and what happens to the respective lives of Ram Bharose and Nimmi is what forms the rest of the film. When the promos of RUNNING SHAADI were released, it gave a feel that the film was an attempt based on the concept of ‘runaway weddings’. True to the promos, the film does ‘run’ in the said zone. While many films in romantic genre show couples running away from their parents and getting married, despite treading on a similar theme, it is RUNNING SHAADI’s quirky storyline that makes it different from other films. In other words, it is the treatment meted out by the film’s screenplay, which makes all the difference. The film's dialogues (Navjot Gulati &amp; Amit Roy) are decent. The film, however, does not boast of any outstanding one liners. The film does have its share of comic scenes, which evokes laughter. After having started his career as a DoP, Amit Roy makes his debut as a director with RUNNING SHAADI. Because RUNNING SHAADI happens to be his debut film, Amit Roy struggles in many places as a director, which can be seen in the film. Despite the film having a unique storyline, the direction could have been much better. Amit Roy tries his best to establish the film’s premise and characters in the film’s first half, but the proceedings are dull and slow. Additionally, the film’s first half is loaded with way too many clichés, zero humour and also no romantic tension or drama between Amit Sadh and Tapsee Pannu. It is the second half of the film which scores better. The film starts picking up and gaining its pace in the second half, more towards the pre-climax. Amidst all this, there are a few interesting moments as well in the film. These moments include when Amit Sadh’s would-be-bride sings a ‘modern song’, scenes featuring Amit Sadh’s uncle and the treatment meted out to the couple named Milky-Shonku in the film’s first half. <img class="size-full wp-image-697008 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Running-Shaadi-2-4.jpg" alt="Running Shaadi (2)" width="720" height="450" /> What really surprises everyone is the fact that, despite Amit Roy being an ‘experienced hand’ in cinematography, the film looks very dull visually and carries a dated look. Additionally, the long delay in the film’s release also adds to the film’s ‘dull moments’ as films based on similar themes made their way to the silver screens during this time. If these weren’t hindrances enough, even the ‘muted moments’ in the film (due of the controversy over its title) takes the steam off the film. Being a typical North Indian film, one really wonders whether it will find its resonance in parts of the country as well. As for the performances, the film rides majorly on Amit Sadh and Taapsee Pannu. Amit Sadh, who was last seen in films like SULTAN and AKIRA, does a commendable job in RUNNING SHAADI. However, there are a handful of scenes where he seems to be struggling with his character. But, overall, Amit Sadh not only shoulders the film, but also owns it alongwith Taapsee Pannu. Speaking of Taapsee Pannu, after having delivered a stellar performance in smash hit PINK, she retains her form even in RUNNING SHAADI. There are many places in the film wherein she looks effortless during her performance. She carries the right amount of spunk that was required by her character to look convincing. However, the flip side of Taapsee Pannu in the film is that, she speaks Punjabi with such a heavy accent, that, many a times one misses her dialogues/lines. Besides Amit Sadh and Taapsee Pannu, there is also Arsh Bajwa, who does a decent job in the role of Sarabjeet Sidhana aka ‘Cyberjeet’. Even though the film has an array of music directors (Anupam Roy, Abhishek-Akshay, Keegan Pinto, Anjana Ankur Singh, Sandeep Madhavan), the music is just about passable. With no hook songs to boast about, RUNNING SHAADI fails to score in the music department. On the other hand, the film’s background music (Abhishek Arora) is decent and moves in sync with the film’s narrative. The film's cinematography (Anas Ali Khan) is below average. The film's editing (Nipun Gupta) is mediocre as well. On the whole, RUNNING SHAADI is an entertaining film, but only in parts. The film suffers from the lack of an interesting drama. At the Box-Office, the film will be an average fare.

Movie Review: The Ghazi Attack
Wed, 15 Feb 17 18:53:02 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-696637 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Ghazi-Review-2.jpg" alt="Ghazi Review (2)" width="750" height="450" /> There have been many films in Bollywood which have been based on the India-Pakistan war. However, very rarely has Bollywood dealt with the subject involving the Indian Navy and even furthermore, about the underwater submarine war between the two nations. This week’s (bilingual) release THE GHAZI ATTACK is based on this unique unknown real life event. Will the film ‘sail’ its way to success at the Box-Office or will it sink without a trace, let’s analyze. THE GHAZI ATTACK’s story (Sankalp Reddy) is based on the mysterious sinking of ‘PNS Ghazi’ during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The film starts off with a tremendously engaging baritone voiceover of Amitabh Bachchan, who gives an insight into the story set up. After the Indian Navy decodes a cryptic message by the Pakistan Navy about a surprise attack on India, the Indian Navy officers become extremely alert about the situation. In order to combat the attack, they recruit a team of three officers to lead India’s submarine S21. The trio, then go on a classified mission to do a detailed underwater recce of the situation. The three principal officers chosen for the mission include Lt.Commander Arjun Varma (Rana Daggubati), Captain Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon) and Executive Officer Devraj (Atul Kulkarni). While Lt.Commander Arjun Varma happens to be the ever-duty-abiding officer, Captain Ranvijay Singh, besides being the senior most and experienced of the trio, also happens to be a man who likes to follow his instincts and not like to wait for the orders. On the other hand, the Executive Officer Devraj is someone who knows whose order to follow and at what time. Even though the officers aboard the S21 are merely sent for recce, little do they know that they will engage with Pakistan’s most decorated submarine ‘PNS Ghazi’, which is ventured into Indian waters in order to destroy India’s prestigious ‘INS Vikrant’. ‘PNS Ghazi’ launches an attack on an Indian merchant ship on the east coast to distract the crew on ‘S21’. While Captain Ranvijay Singh orders a direct and uninformed attack on ‘PNS Ghazi’ right away, it is the dutifulness of Lt.Commander Arjun Varma that prevents him from doing so. Thus begin fights and ego clashes between the two officers. What follows after that, are a series attacks and war games between both the submarines under the ocean. Do the Indian officers aboard ‘S21’ manage to survive the Ghazi attack and defeat the Pakistan submarine or do they succumb before the enemies, is what forms the rest of the film. THE GHAZI ATTACK’s promos gave a fair idea about the film’s plot. The film’s taut screenplay (Sankalp Reddy, Gangaraju Gunnam, Niranjan Reddy) and its well-researched script is extremely engaging and keeps the viewer hooked to the seats till the end of the film. Given the fact that the film’s premise was set majorly inside a submarine, one has to applaud the film’s writing and execution, which undoubtedly comes across as one of the toughest aspects of the film. Also, the kind of homework done in order to unearth the story is extremely commendable and remarkable. The film's dialogues (Azad Alam) are decent. <img class="size-full wp-image-696638 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Ghazi-Review-4.jpg" alt="Ghazi-Review-(4)" width="750" height="450" /> Despite THE GHAZI ATTACK being Sankalp Reddy’s debut film as a director, he shows immense promise and potential as a filmmaker. The way in which he has shot the film is extremely intriguing and engaging. He has, in true sense of the word, created an edge of the seat thriller war movie in the form of THE GHAZI ATTACK. The film’s first half not only establishes the film’s central characters, but also sets the technical know-how of how the Navy operates. It is however the film’s second half from where the story takes off. Brownie points to Sankalp for keeping the film’s narrative simple and to the point. As a filmmaker, Sankalp has ensured that there is never a dull moment in the film. Certain moments in the film when Pakistani Navy attacks the Indian submarine or when the Rana gives an inspirational speech to his crew are hair-raising and show the true talent of the director. There are also certain instances where the director could’ve made the moments more dramatic. Also, he misses out explaining certain crucial twists in the story like when Rana goes to rescue Tapsee and the time is running out, Tapsee’s relation with the small girl and the communication system breaking on S21. However, overall, he does a fine job of narrating a challenging story. When we speak of performances, it’s a bit tough and would also be unfair to single out one person in the film, as the film is a joint effort of many talents. The film, in totality, belongs to the impeccable trio of Rana Daggubati, Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni, who own the film right from the word go. After having done the smash hit BAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING, Rana Daggubati is definitely growing from strength to strength in Bollywood. Given his real life physical stature, he is extremely convincing in the role of Lt. Commander Arjun Varma, who, after starting off as an Lt.Commander, takes charge of the entire submarine when the need and situation arises. The scenes where he feels helpless whenever he gets overshadowed by Kay Kay Menon are outstanding. On the other hand, there’s Kay Kay Menon, who shines superlatively in the role of ‘I-set-my-own-rules’ Capt. Ranvijay Singh. The emotional aspect of Kay Kay Menon too has been captured very sensitively. Besides them, there’s Atul Kulkarni, who was last seen in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer RAEES. THE GHAZI ATTACK sees him rise phenomenally as a performer and qualifies to be of one of his career’s best films in Bollywood. Both, Taapsee Pannu and the late Om Puri are in cameos. Rahul Singh in the role of Pakistani Naval officer and the ruthless Captain of ‘PNS Ghazi’ is also brilliant in his part. Besides them, all the character actors are also well cast make their presence felt in the film. While the film has absolutely no scope for music (Krishna Kumar aka K), it’s the film’s background music, which is outstanding and helps the narrative in a big way. The film’s cinematography (Madhie) is quite good. On the other hand, the film’s editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) is tight and highly commendable. The VFX used in the film though could have been better. On the whole, THE GHAZI ATTACK is a gripping war drama that leaves a stunning impact. At the Box-Office, the positive word of mouth will help the film in a big way. Definitely, a must watch.

Movie Review: Jolly LLB 2
Fri, 10 Feb 17 08:44:21 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-695195 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Review-JoLLy-LLB-2-4.jpg" alt="Review JoLLy LLB 2 (4)" width="750" height="450" /> There have been many films in Bollywood which have been made on the judicial system and its functioning. There have been very few films which have been able to highlight both the sides of the judicial system. One such film was released in the year 2013 in the form of JOLLY LLB, which starred Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani in the lead roles. This week sees the release of JOLLY LLB’s sequel, titled THE STATE VS JOLLY LLB 2 or popularly known as JOLLY LLB 2. Will the film enable its makers to be ‘jolly’ at the box-office or will it spell doom, let’s analyze. JOLLY LLB 2 is a satirical courtroom drama that comments on the legal system as a whole and the effect that the judicial system has on the common man. The film starts off with the ‘two-wheeler’ entry of Jagadishwar Mishra aka ‘Jolly’, the very man who becomes instrumental in the mass-copying of the school children’s English exams. So much confidence Jolly has in his English, that he claims that even ‘Obama’s mother cannot fail any student’ this time. Amidst all this, Jolly, who works as an assistant to the extremely renowned lawyer Rizvi saab, keeps on dreaming about breaking free from the ‘clutches’ of his boss and go independent. In an attempt to realise his dream, Jolly lands up cheating a helpless and pregnant Hina Siddiqui (Sayani Gupta), whose husband was killed in a fake encounter. When Hina realizes that she had got cheated by Jolly, she commits suicide. The news of Hina’s suicide disturbs Jolly immensely that he starts getting nigtmares about her. As repentance, Jolly decides to take up the case for which Hina had given up her life. No sooner Jolly decides to take up the case, he is faced with strong opposition in the form of the superlatively experienced and ‘street smart’ Pramod Mathur (Annu Kapoor), who represents the case on behalf of his client, the accused Inspector Suryaveer Singh (Kumud Mishra). The man in charge of delivering the judgment is the Bollywood-loving Justice Sunderlal Tripathi (Saurabh Shukla), who, despite his frail heart condition, is torn between his duties as a judge and as a father of a to-be-married daughter. When the world turns totally against Jolly, the one person who stands by him is his wife Pushpa Pandey (Huma Qureshi). Will the rock solid support from his wife help Jolly win the case against the humongous system which relies on power and politics, does Jolly single handedly manage to win the case of the late Hina Siddiqui and deliver justice to her family or does Jolly succumb to the hands of the big daddies, is what forms the rest of the film. When JOLLY LLB 2’s promos were released, it gave us a glimpse of what to expect from the film. The film, in totality, does not disappoint as it exposes the harsh truth of today’s law and order. The film’s screenplay (Subhash Kapoor) is extremely eloquent. Full marks to Subhash Kapoor for successfully positioning the film’s story as the David vs Goliath clash, which truly depicts the flawed judicial system in India. Subhash Kapoor has also managed to subtly (yet convincingly) touch upon the aspects like crime, terrorism, religion, society, actual courtroom drama, present judicial system, human emotions and sentiments in its raw form, without resorting to any kind of over the top antics. As a film maker, he has managed to do all of this without being even a bit preachy. Besides all this, Subhash Kapoor has also managed to exhibit the ‘procedures’ a common man has to undergo in order to get justice, whereas, the rich and powerful manage to get away with any kind of crime. What works in the film’s favour is the realistic setting that’s peppered with fast-paced satirical humour. While the film has its share of a handful of witty one liners (majorly in the form of ‘Akshay-isms’), it’s the film’s dialogues (Subhash Kapoor) which come across as powerful and hard-hitting. The film has its share of humour, but, in the form of ‘situational comedy’. After having directed films like PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA, JOLLY LLB and GUDDU RANGEELA, Subhash Kapoor as a director brings yet another quirky film in the form of JOLLY LLB 2. Despite the film being a sequel of JOLLY LLB, Subhash Kapoor has taken utmost care to ensure that the sequel enjoys a life of its own and does not come across as a mirror image/ clone of its predecessor. As compared to the film’s first half which sets up the ambience of the film and establishes all the characters, it’s the film’s second half which comes across as extremely powerful and takes the film to a different level altogether. The makers of JOLLY LLB 2 have kept the courtroom drama scenes and the state of the Indian judicial system as realistic as possible, without resorting to any kind of glorification of any of these aspects. The filmmaker cracks jokes on their own characters, rather than caricaturing or dramatising things, which will find its connect with the audiences. The film even has a measured and calculated dose of action scenes (Parvez Shaikh), which are in sync with the film’s narrative. Do not miss the scenes like Akshay Kumar’s impromptu brainwave while fighting his first case, Saurabh Shukla’s telephonic conversation with his darling daughter over a Manish Malhotra lehenga, the dharna scene between Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla, Akshay Kumar’s change of heart after Sayani Gupta’s suicide. A special mention to the film’s climax speech by Akshay Kumar, which is extremely clap worthy. <img class="size-full wp-image-695196 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Review-JoLLy-LLB-2-1.jpg" alt="Review JoLLy LLB 2 (1)" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, it’s the power packed enactment by the trio of Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla, which acts as the film’s forte. Even though the film’s first half rides majorly on the ‘tried and tested’ shoulders of Akshay Kumar, the second half sees Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla, who, alongwith Akshay Kumar hold the film in a big way. Akshay Kumar, who plays the role of a lawyer for the first time in his entire career, portrays his character with superlative élan and supreme confidence and brings in an array of emotions in his role. Akshay once again shows what a powerful and talented performer he is, besides being one of the country’s biggest superstars. Trailing him closely are the seasoned actors Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla. Annu Kapoor is brilliant in the role of a corrupt lawyer. His character becomes powerful majorly in the film’s second half. And it’s more towards the climax that one gets to see his subdued performance. The supremacy of this man’s performance can be seen during the scenes where he matches frame to frame and word to word during the argument sessions with Akshay Kumar in the film. Saurabh Shukla, on the other hand, is outstanding in the role of a frustrated judge who can see everything, but does not always react. But, when the situation demands, he can very strictly put his foot down and call the shots with utmost authority. Despite Huma Qureshi being the film’s leading lady, her performance gets overshadowed by the trio of Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla. She does a decent job, if not an outstanding one. Rest of the characters are brilliant and do their job with utmost sincerity which shows in the film. Despite the presence of multiple music directors (Manj Musik, Meet Bros, Chirantan Bhatt), JOLLY LLB 2 has average music. In other words, the film’s soundtrack is plain and ordinary. While there are a couple of situational tracks, the ones that cover some distance are <em>'Go Pagal' </em>and<em> 'Bawara Mann'. </em>On the other hand, the film’s background score (Vishal Khurana) is good and helps in elevating the film’s narrative. The film's cinematography (Kamal Jeet Negi) is decent. On the other hand, the film's editing (Chandrashekhar Prajapati) could have been tighter. Had the film been reduced by a few minutes, it would have definitely created a stronger impact. On the whole, JOLLY LLB 2 comes across as a powerful courtoom drama which is laced with humour as well as emotions. With Akshay Kumar’s star power, positive word of mouth and almost zero competition at the box office, JOLLY LLB 2 has the potential to grow huge at the box office. A must watch.

Movie Review: Raees
Tue, 24 Jan 17 17:51:32 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-690439 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Raees-1-4.jpg" alt="Raees-1" width="750" height="450" /> There’s something about films based on gangsters, criminals and underworld… Have often wondered, why are several film-makers across the globe so fascinated by this genre? Though I am not a huge fan of this genre, I must confess, I have thoroughly enjoyed a number of crime sagas made in Mumbai: DEEWAAR, DHARMATMA, PARINDA, AGNEEPATH, SATYA, VAASTAV, GANGSTER, SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI… Helmed by some of the best names in showbiz, these films have tremendous recall value and left giant footprints on the sands of time, besides leaving an indelible impression on my mind. There’s tremendous speculation about RAEES… That the story is inspired by true events… That it’s based on a real-life character… Frankly, I am not the right person to comment on the authenticity of characters/episodes depicted in the movie or verify the speculations, but as a moviegoer, I must confess, RAEES did transport me to its world. A majority of films that highlight the lives of criminals/gangsters have a set template vis-à-vis the plotline: An ordinary person takes to crime, becomes a hotshot criminal, hobnobs with the rich, influential and powerful, but, eventually, the law decides to get even with him. RAEES follows a similar graph as well… the only difference being, this one is more realistic in approach than several films of this genre. Director Rahul Dholakia depicts the power play and the cat and mouse chase between Raees and the honest cop Jaideep with flourish and that, in my opinion, is the mainstay of the enterprise. Having said that, I must admit, what takes the film notches higher is the terrific portrayal by SRK and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who breathe fire in their respective parts. More on that later! Here’s the plotline in succinct…Set in 1980s, Raees [Shah Rukh Khan] is trying to beat the system and succeed on his terms. His natural flair for entrepreneurship and never-say-die determination while achieving his goals makes him both loved and feared. Enter Jaideep [Nawazuddin Siddiqui], a cop, who vows to eliminate crime… and Raees’ empire. Recreating the bygone era is a Herculean task, but the toughest part is to involve the present-day audience that’s clueless about the characters and ambience of that era. While the production design recreates the atmosphere flawlessly, Dholakia and his team of writers [Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi, Niraj Shukla and Dholakia himself] ensure that the written material has the power to keep the viewer engaged and engrossed. Resultantly, the movie not only brings back memories of the 1980s, but also gives you the feel of the days gone by thanks to the characters and episodes highlighted in the narrative. Dholakia is not really known to be a hardcore commercial film-maker. One look at his body of work and you realize he tilts more towards realism than make-believe. But he does an about-turn with RAEES, for the film marries realism and masala wonderfully. The narrative moves seamlessly from romance [SRK-Mahira] to the game of one-upmanship as the criminal and cop collide. This is a big ticket film with SRK and Dholakia knows that the stakes are high. He maintains the realism, ensures that the pace and energy seldom dip… but, most importantly, he makes sure SRK’s legion of fans aren’t disappointed. He takes a leap as a storyteller, doing justice to the written material and extracting bravura performances from each and every member of the cast. <img class="size-full wp-image-690440 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Raees-2-3.jpg" alt="Raees-2" width="750" height="450" /> Blemishes? Oh yes! The first hour unravels at a feverish pace, making you thirst for the second half. But it’s here that the problem arises. The pace slackens soon after the intermission and the romantic song and a few sequences act as spoilers. Thankfully, the film picks up when Raees’ life takes a dramatic turn, which leads to a high-voltage climax. The soundtrack is decent, although there’s minimal scope for the song and dance routine here. ‘Laila Main Laila’ and ‘Zaalima’ have already proved to be a favorite amongst the audience/listeners. In fact, ‘Laila Main Laila’ comes at a crucial juncture of the film and carries the story forward. Background score is effectual, especially the signature tune that has been used generously in the narrative. The DoP [K.U. Mohanan] captures the locales wonderfully on celluloid. Editing [Deepa Bhatia] is taut. Dialogue are aimed at the masses. Lines like ‘Baniye Ka Dimaag Aur Miyanbhai Ki Daring’ and ‘Ammi Jaan Kehti Thi, Koi Dhanda Chota Nahi Hota Aur Dhande Se Bada Koi Dharam Nahi Hota’ have found resonance amongst viewers already. I must draw attention to the lines delivered to Nawazuddin too; they will bring the house down, especially in the first half. Action sequences pack a solid punch. The performances in RAEES are consistently remarkable. Shah Rukh is the scene-stealer as well as the show-stealer. Cast in a character that has grey shades, the film brings back memories of his award-worthy acts at the commencement of his career. Nawazuddin matches his co-star’s brilliance and delivers a magnificent performance. Both, SRK and Nawazuddin’s performances keep you invested in the storyline as well as the characters. Mahira Khan looks gorgeous and handles her part with confidence. Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub sinks his teeth into a solid role [SRK’s confidante] and makes a big impression. Atul Kulkarni makes his presence felt with a committed performance. Sheeba Chaddha [SRK’s mother] shines in a brief role. Narendra Jha [Musa Bhai], Jaideep Ahlawat [Nawab], Utkarsh Mazumdar [doctor], Pramod Pathak [Chief Minister] and Uday Tikekar [Pasha Bhai] are perfect in their parts. Sunny Leone sizzles in the ‘Laila Main Laila’ number. On the whole, RAEES is a sure-shot hit. To state that SRK is sensational would be an understatement. The love, adulation and stardom that he attained in his early films will be showered on him yet again in RAEES. A few more factors contribute too: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s winning act, the aimed-at-masses written material and of course, the gripping finale. As far as the BO is concerned, there’s no stopping this one. An outright winner. Just don’t miss it!

Movie Review: Kaabil
Tue, 24 Jan 17 02:25:14 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-689769 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Kaabil-1-3.jpg" alt="Kaabil-1" width="750" height="450" /> KHOON BHARI MAANG [1988] -- helmed by Rakesh Roshan soon after his directorial debut KHUDGARZ [1987] -- ranks amongst the best vendetta sagas I had watched in the 1980s. Although one knew what was in store vis-à-vis its plot, Roshan Sr. made sure the storytelling was most effectual and efficient, holding your attention [and breath] till the penultimate moments of the enterprise. Almost three decades later, Roshan Sr.’s production outfit Filmkraft delivers yet another riveting revenge saga. This time, Sanjay Gupta is entrusted the responsibility of infusing life into characters that appear on screen. Much like the trailers of KHOON BHARI MAANG then, KAABIL too spells out a bit of its plot in its assorted trailers, with the viewers having a fair idea of what to expect in the film. Known for technically slick films, Gupta delivers a smart and enthralling revenge fest in KAABIL. The screenplay is beautifully constructed… the twists and turns are attention grabbing… the nail-biting episodes grab you by your throat and you are trapped in the goings-on till the final credits roll. Actually, you know the plot, but what Gupta doesn’t tell you what’s around the corner. Additionally, KAABIL doesn’t insult one’s intelligence and what emerges is a motion picture that’s visceral and intelligent at the same time. Let’s divulge the gist of the story, without revealing much… KAABIL narrates the story of Rohan [Hrithik Roshan] and Supriya [Yami Gautam]. In each other’s company, they find happiness and joy. Life is a bed of roses for the much-in-love couple till tragedy strikes. Rohan decides to fight it out, but his opponents are the powerful and influential Madhav [Ronit Roy] and his brother Amit [Rohit Roy]. Will he be able to settle scores? Gupta is known for western influences in his films, but in KAABIL, the emphasis tilts heavily towards emotions than the color tone or camera angles. KAABIL has compelling emotional content and the intent is crystal clear as the story advances: the storyteller wants the moviegoer to root for the protagonist [Hrithik] and despise the antagonists [Ronit Roy, Rohit Roy]. Although the plot may appear conventional, Gupta and writer Vijay Kumar Mishra avoid the clichés and standard techniques that you often encounter in movies of this genre to take the story forward. In KAABIL, the villains are as smart as the hero, but more merciless, and how the hero overpowers and outsmarts them eventually is its USP. KAABIL never fails to involve and entertain the moviegoer and if I may say so, it contains enough worthy material to hold the moviegoer’s attention for most of its run time. The emotional component is well balanced with low-key humor, tension-filled moments, energetic action pieces [fist fights, shootouts, explosions] and of course, some razor-sharp and punch-packed dialogue in dramatic sequences [penned by Sanjay Masoomm]. In the end, it’s the emotional journey of the protagonist that acts as a hook and lingers in your memory. <img class="size-full wp-image-689770 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Kaabil-2-3.jpg" alt="Kaabil-2" width="750" height="450" /> There are minor hiccups in an otherwise smooth narrative. The post-interval portions could’ve been slightly more persuasive, from the writing point of view. The strategies adopted by Hrithik, on a few occasions, take an easy route to depict that the protagonist has an upper hand. The soundtrack [Rajesh Roshan] gels beautifully with the mood of the film. In fact, the film borrows two evergreen compositions from the past [‘Saara Zamana’ and ‘Dil Kya Kare’], but the accomplished composer garnishes them delightfully. The other tracks are harmonious as well, especially the title number and ‘Mon Amour’. Choreography [Ahmed Khan] of ‘Saara Zamana’ and ‘Mon Amour’ in particular is fantastic. Background score [Salim-Sulaiman] is beautifully integrated in the narrative, enhancing the impact of several pertinent episodes. Cinematography [Sudeep Chatterjee, Ayananka Bose] is top notch. The film is visually stunning. Action [Sham Kaushal] provides ample exhilarating moments to get the adrenaline pumping -- something that the moviegoers relish. Editing [Akiv Ali] is sharp for most parts. Hrithik Roshan inhabits the part. As a matter of fact, he delivers his career-best performance and is the film’s biggest strength, no two questions about it. He astounds you on varied occasions, especially when he’s most vulnerable after catastrophe strikes and his life goes topsy-turvy. Yami Gautam is unmistakably earnest and catches you unaware with a tremendous act. Her innocence and simplicity act as a magnetic charm. Ronit Roy is at his vicious best here. Absolutely menacing as the conniving politician. Rohit Roy is intimidating and leaves a strong impression. Need to see him more in movies! Narendra Jha is first-rate, enacting his part with complete understanding. Girish Kulkarni, seen recently as the coach in DANGAL, is hugely competent. Suresh Menon springs a pleasant surprise in a non-comic character. The actor enacting the part of Wasim, Ronit Roy’s friend, is commendable. Akhilendra Mishra is alright. Urvashi Rautela sparkles in the item number. On the whole, KAABIL is gripping, gut-wrenching and is likely to stay with you for a long time. Now that DANGAL has almost exhausted its run at the ticket windows, the box-office is quiet and subdued and KAABIL should have no difficulty filling seats at cineplexes, despite a strong opponent releasing alongside. Rich in merits, this film has the power and potential to emerge a success story at the box-office. Highly recommended!

Movie Review: xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage
Sat, 14 Jan 17 09:31:18 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-687498 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/XXX-1.jpg" alt="XXX-1" width="750" height="450" /> After the initial lull at the beginning of the year, we finally see the release of big ticket films. The first of which for the year being the Vin Diesel actioner XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE. But will the film which is the third instalment in the XXX franchise woo the audience? Will the fact that the film features one of Bollywood most sought after names, Deepika Padukone, top lining its cast entice the Indian audience is what we analyse. XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE starts off with the extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), long thought to be dead coming out of a self-imposed exile to assist the CIA, in tracking down the killer of his erstwhile handler Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson). While on this mission, Cage realizes he is in a race against Xiang (Donnie Yen) to recover a powerful weapon known as ‘Pandora's Box’ which can control military satellites which could cause catastrophic damage. Recruiting a group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself caught up in a deadly conspiracy of corruption among world governments including insiders in his own country's government. Will he manage to recover ‘Pandora’s Box’, will Cage and his motley crew survive the onslaught of government agents sent to kill them, is what forms the rest of the story. First things first, if you expect this film to be anything like the previous ones in the franchise, you will be disappointed. Unlike the previous films that featured action sequences right from the word go, XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE starts off with the introduction of each character that will later play an important role in the film. In fact, though necessary, this introductory sequence that prolongs almost till the interval makes for a rather bland watch with more verbal banter than action. Director DJ Caruso has tried to liven things up a bit with some humour but the dismal screenplay, lacklustre story line and sub-par dialogues severely dent the audiences’ interest. However, coming to the second half, we finally get into action mode that features some high octane stunts, well executed hand to hand combat and of course massive explosions. Though the action keeps you gripped, it is not as impactful as the adrenalin pumping sequences that we saw in the first two films which literally kept the viewer on the edge of his seat. Coming to the performances, XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE mainly focuses on Vin Diesel as the central character Xander Cage. While Cage’s past is already known, Diesel still does a convincing job of following the script that gives a brief of who he really was. In fact, despite the rather bland verbal tack provided, Diesel does manage to make his character enjoyable. As for the rest of the cast, given that the film revolves around one individual mainly, they are relegated to supporting roles. However, from them, Nina Dobrev as Becky Clearidge, the CIA techie, brings in a bit of light-hearted moments. Her portrayal of an endlessly chatty tech genius goes a long way in adding that bit of humour to the script. Ruby Rose as Adele Wolff a sharp shooter who literally never misses is perfect in her limited role. Coming to our very own Deepika Padukone, we must say that though cast in a supporting role, she features from the first opening sequence of the film right till the end. Seen as Serena Unger, a master thief and a rather flexible personality, Deepika does justice to her role. However, there are times when her non-American or English accent literally throws the viewer off. In fact, despite seeing her on screen and knowing fully well that she will not feature the usual accents you hear in an American film, the viewer receives a jolt when she first speaks. DJ Caruso seems to have paid special attention integrating her character well into the story of the film. As for the visuals, like most action films, XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE features quite a bit of the usual fanfare, albeit with that extra bit of spunk to make it look ‘Dope’. However, the slow verbally heavy first half leaves a lot to be desired. On the whole, XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE makes for a good one time watch. At the Indian box office, the film stands a good chance of posting decent box office figures given the action genre, Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone's star power and the fact that it's releasing in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

Movie Review: Ok Jaanu
Fri, 13 Jan 17 08:52:16 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-687234 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Ok-Jaanu-1-1.jpg" alt="Ok Jaanu-1" width="750" height="450" /> With the advent of the year 2017, there have been films which have been queued up for release. This year’s first big release comes in the form of OK JAANU that stars Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles. Will the duo be able to recreate the magic that’s required for the audiences to give thumbs up and say ‘OK’ to the film, or will they fail in their attempt, let’s analyze. OK JAANU is a love story about a young couple’s live-in relationship and the ups and downs that they face in their respective lives. The film starts off with the ‘alighting’ of Aditya Gunjal aka Adi (Aditya Roy Kapur) and the ‘suicidal threat’ of Tara Agnihotri (Shraddha Kapoor). As luck would have it, these two rank strangers (Adi and Tara) bump into each other at a common friend’s wedding and hit off from there. Right from the word go, both, Adi and Tara are extremely clear about what they want from their respective lives. While Adi wants to make it big as a video game developer, Tara, wants to learn architecture is Paris. Despite being career oriented, Adi and Tara start enjoying each other’s company very much. At the same time, they are in unison with the fact that, despite being in love, they will not get married, for their personal reasons. A few days of knowing each other, Tara moves in to stay with Adi, who is himself living as a house guest with Gopi Shrivastava (Naseeruddin Shah) and his Alzheimer affected wife Charu Shrivastava (Leela Samson) in Mumbai. One fine day, while Adi gets a call to work in USA and Tara decides to go to Paris, they realise that they will be missing each other’s company. On the other hand, when Adi and Tara see the tender love that prevails between Gopi and Charu, the world around them seems to change from practical to emotional. Will Adi and Tara choose love over their careers or will it be the other way round, what happens of Gopi and Charu’s lives in the end, do Adi and Tara change their perspective about marriage and eventually get married or will they remain single throughout, is what forms the rest of the film. When the promos of OK JAANU were released, it gave a feel about the film attempting a modern day love story revolving around the aspect of live in relationships. The sad part is that, in reality, the film's screenplay (Mani Ratnam) turns out to be confusing, extremely plain and going in one direction (read ‘monotonous’) minus any variations. Because of this, the film loses its pace completely. In a nutshell, OK JAANU seems to be riding only on its moments rather than having a definite story. Despite the film being targeted majorly at the young and young at heart, the narrative tends to get confusing at times as it just keeps going round and round in circles. The film’s dialogues (Gulzar) are decent, if not outstanding. Thankfully though, the film’s dialogues do not resort to any over the top dialoguebaazi. OK JAANU, which happens to be the official remake of the hit Tamil film O KADHAL KANMANI, has been directed by Shaad Ali. After having directed the disastrous Ranveer Singh-Ali Zafar-Parineeti Chopra starrer KILL DIL, Shaad Ali returns with OK JAANU. Even though Shaad Ali exhibits sincerity with his direction, one cannot help noticing the fact that the film is many ways seems like a rehash of SAATHIYA. On the whole, Shaad Ali fails to build a convincing story with OK JAANU. However, thanks to Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor’s performances, the audience stays glued to the screen. While the film’s first half sets the ambience and the mood of the film, it’s the film’s second half that actually gets the film going. The flip side of the film’s second half is that, the climax looks way too thrusted and dragged in order to highlight the simple aspect of realisation of love between the lead characters. The biggest letdown, however, is the film’s writing. It’s the film’s writing gets convoluted and confused trying to address the concepts of love, live-in relationships and career. In an attempt to do so, the film goes astray, thus, not doing justice to any of the above-mentioned aspects. <img class="size-full wp-image-687235 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Ok-Jaanu-2.jpg" alt="Ok Jaanu-2" width="750" height="450" /> The film, however, does have its share of funny moments in the form of scenes like Aditya Roy Kapur’s brother’s arrival in Mumbai and his reaction when Shraddha’s mother reaches his house; also Shraddha Kapoor’s pranks of suggesting engagement and the maternity hospital scene. It is moments like these which keep the movie alive. Coming to the performances, OK JAANU portrays a good chemistry between Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor. Readers may recall that, prior to OK JAANU, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor were paired together in AASHIQUI 2, which was a hit at the Box-Office. OK JAANU only enhances the onscreen chemistry that Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor had shared in AASHIQUI 2. Aditya Roy Kapur plays his part well, though he struggles with the emotional scenes. His portrayal of an urban career oriented boy who is madly in love, is very believable. Shraddha Kapoor, on the other hand, plays her part with extreme conviction and ease. What really takes the cake is the chemistry between Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor. The veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson, on the other hand, play their part with utmost ease. Theirs is the old school classic love that lasts forever. In fact there are times when their story overshadows that of Aditya and Shraddha’s even. The casting of the other character actors is equally good. Despite the presence of tracks like <em>‘Humma humma’</em> and the title track, OK JAANU’s music (A. R. Rahman) is extremely average. The picturisation of the 90s hit song ‘<em>Humma humma’</em> seems forced into the film. Ironically, the film’s background music (A. R. Rahman) is impressive and ‘in sync’ with the film’s narrative. The film's cinematography (Ravi K. Chandran) is good. The way in which he has shot the locations of Mumbai is top-notch. The film’s editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) is decent. On the whole, OK JAANU is a decent love story which works only in parts mainly because of the chemistry between Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor. At the box-office, the film will mainly appeal to the youth, as it makes for a decent date movie.

Movie Review: Dangal
Wed, 21 Dec 16 17:44:03 +0000

<p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg"><img class="size-full wp-image-681465 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Review-1.jpg" alt="Review-1" width="750" height="450" /></p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Aamir Khan -- the name is synonymous with dedication, perfection and qualitative cinema… His films have set new benchmarks at the ticket windows: GHAJINI was the first Hindi film to gross Rs 100 cr… 3 IDIOTS created a sensation when it crossed Rs 200 cr mark [it was the first Hindi film to cross the magical figure]… PK, the highest grosser to date in the domestic market [Hindi films], was also the first film to cruise past Rs 300 cr…</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Obviously, DANGAL carries colossal expectations on its shoulders. The last biggie of the year 2016 is also expected to bail out the industry, since 2016 hasn’t been kind to Hindi cinema. The biz is at an all-time low, with most films sinking faster than Titanic.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Let’s clarify a pertinent doubt before I proceed ahead… DANGAL is *not* similar to SULTAN. There’s a world of a difference between the two films that eye the same sport: Wrestling. SULTAN was a work of fiction, with focus on the love story, while DANGAL is based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trained his daughters Geeta and Babita and made them world class wrestlers. So there!</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">2016 has witnessed stories based on real-life characters/incidents. In addition, films soaked in reality, generally speaking, take the realistic route without bowing to market diktats or over-stretching realities. DANGAL stays true to the material, yet its efficient storyteller Nitesh Tiwari along with the team of writers [story idea: Divya Rao; writers: Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra] ensures that the film connects with every segment of moviegoers. Besides, the writers stay away from the familiar and tried-and-tested tropes to woo Aamir’s legion of fans, which is credible.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">DANGAL is a flawless piece of work -- it’s captivating, unpredictable, spellbinding, entertaining and never overstays its welcome [run time: 2.41 hours]. Most importantly, DANGAL is seeped in Indian ethos. The highs and lows, the triumphs and failures, the laughter and heartbreak… you smile, you laugh, you weep, you cheer, you feel ecstatic… DANGAL encompasses it all adroitly, with the finale leaving you exhilarated.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">The plot: Mahavir Singh Phogat [Aamir Khan] is a wrestler whose sole dream is to win gold for India in the sport of wrestling and since he is unable to do so himself, he decides that he will train his son to become a champion. However, Mahavir is blessed with daughters and feels his dream of winning a medal for India lies shattered.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">One day, Mahavir gets to know that his young daughters have had an altercation with neighbourhood boys and bashed them black and blue. That’s when he realises that his dream of winning a gold medal for the country in wrestling could be achieved by his daughters. Mahavir decides to train his young daughters into world class wrestlers.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">The girls are reluctant initially and find it tough to cope with the gruelling training sessions, but soon become proficient in the sport. Will Geeta and Babita manage to fulfil their father’s dream?</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">After having directed CHILLAR PARTY and BHOOTHNATH RETURNS, Nitesh Tiwari delivers his most accomplished work so far. Most films take a long time to come to the point, but the middle and final acts of DANGAL are as attention-grabbing and enticing as its first act. Tiwari deserves brownie points for narrating the story with flourish and the message that the film conveys resonates loud and clear, without getting preachy at any point. The narrative style is simplistic, yet solid and that’s what catches your eye.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg"><img class="size-full wp-image-681466 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Review-2.jpg" alt="Review-2" width="750" height="450" /></p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg"><span class="x_gmail_msg">Emotions have always been the mainstay of Aamir Khan’s films and DANGAL is no exception. They are genuine and relatable. Besides, there’s a strong emotional connect as DANGAL depicts the delicate relationship shared by a father and his daughters most realistically. The drama is spot-on and the emotional quotient is poignant and heartrending. The penultimate moments take the </span><span class="x_gmail_msg">film to an all-time high, imparting the sheen and sparkle that it deserves.</span></p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Pritam contributes a couple of winning melodies that compliment the goings-on delightfully. ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’, ‘Dhaakad’, ‘Gilehriyaan’ and the title track are already well-liked and the best part is, they have been smartly integrated into the proceedings. The background score is effectual and enhances the impact of the drama. The DoP [Setu] deserves tremendous praise. The frames do complete justice to the vision of the director. Dialogue empowers the film wonderfully and at places, are clap-worthy.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">The wrestling sequences are superbly executed. Be it the training sessions or the <i>dhobi-pachhad</i>s or vanquishing the opponents in the <i>akhada</i> and in the ring, it’s a delight to watch these sequences on screen. Will surely evoke whistles and applause. Editing [Ballu Saluja] is razor-sharp and watertight. There’s no room for restlessness or boredom here.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">DANGAL is, without a shred of doubt, an Aamir Khan show all the way. The supremely skilled actor returns after a hiatus [PK] with yet another sterling act that doesn’t miss a beat. He takes giant strides as an actor and gives the film the much-needed power. His expressions, body language and the much-talked-about transformation from a fit and fine young wrestler to a pot-bellied, middle-aged father speak volumes. Another commanding performance that needs to be highlighted is that of Sakshi Tanwar. She compliments Aamir’s character marvellously, displaying the varied emotions seamlessly.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Both, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra inject freshness to their respective characters. Fatima is fantastic as Aamir’s daughter, who makes her father and nation proud of her achievements. She is in top form. Ditto for Sanya, who makes her debut with DANGAL. The ease with which she portrays her role is applaud-worthy. As a matter of fact, the relationship that Fatima and Sanya share with their on-screen parents [Aamir and Sakshi] seems straight out of life and identifiable.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">The actors who portray their younger parts -- Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar -- excel. Frankly, one is so invested in the characters that it makes it easy to root for them as they go from strength to strength during the course of the film.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">Aparshakti Khurrana is an actor to watch out for. Enacting the part of Aamir's nephew, the youngster not only contributes immensely to some lively and wonderful moments, but also delivers a first-rate performance. Ritwik Sahore [Aparshakti's younger part] is equally efficient. Girish Kulkarni [coach] is, again, a hugely competent actor, who shines in his part. Vivan Bhathena, in a cameo, is perfect.</p> <p class="x_MsoNormal x_gmail_msg">On the whole, DANGAL is a masterpiece. A terrific film that stays in your heart and remains etched in your memory much after the screening has concluded. A brilliant film that restores your faith in Hindi cinema. Actually, it won’t be erroneous to state that DANGAL is the finest film to come out of the Hindi film industry in a long, long time and mark my words, it will be remembered as a classic in times to come. It blends drama, emotions, sportsmanship and patriotism extraordinarily… the icing on the cake being Aamir Khan’s towering act. This rich-in-merits film has a major advantage too -- the holidays ahead [Christmas and New Year] -- which will ensure a glorious run at the ticket counters. A must, must watch!</p>

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Fri, 16 Dec 16 09:58:27 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-679847 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Rogue-One-A-Star-Wars-Story-1-1.jpg" alt="Rogue One A Star Wars Story-1" width="750" height="450" /> Over the years the STAR WARS franchise has developed a cult fan following across the globe. After last year’s release STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS which was the sixth instalment in the franchise; we see the release of a parallel film in the same segment with ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY hitting screens. But will the new film, whose story runs parallel to the STAR WARS world entice the audience is what we analyse. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, or simply ROGUE ONE, that promises to be an epic space opera film is the first Star Wars Anthology film that features a standalone story set shortly before the events of the original STAR WARS. The story follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), daughter of a high ranking Imperial scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) who hides away as the Imperial forces arrive to recruit her father to help them assemble their weapon. Hidden away from the clutches of the Imperial forces, Jyn is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whitaker). However given the circumstances Jyn lands up among the prisoners on one of the Imperial labour camps. But fate has much bigger things instore for Jyn as she is rescued by the Rebellion and whisked away to their headquarters. Once there she learns that an Imperial cargo pilot has defected and is being held by Saw Gerrera. Jyn opts to assist the Rebellion seek an audience with Saw, in exchange for her freedom. But on arriving at Saw’s hideout, she learns of a message her father sent, which sets the wheels in motion for a bigger plot that sends a group of Rebel spies on a mission to steal design schematics for the Galactic Empire's new superweapon, the Death Star. ROGUE ONE starts off with an introduction quite like the STAR WARS (SW) franchise that promises the viewers a memorable space odyssey across lightyears. Keeping true to the other SW films, ROGUE ONE too features plenty of things happening on the screen. In fact by the end of the film there are high chances that viewers will be left with a somewhat tired feeling with all the movements. If that wasn’t all, the film also features well executed action sequences across the vast expanse of space and the beautiful beaches with some Jedi action as well. Besides the action ROGUE ONE also boasts of some stunning visual spectacles that will leave the viewer in awe. From massive spaceships suddenly appearing from the void after a hyperspace jump to well executed aerial dog fights between the Rebellion and Imperial aircrafts, the visuals are gripping. Given the performances we have seen in the STAR WARS films, this one too features good performances from the cast. Felicity Jones does a commendable job with her role as Jyn Eros; though her dialogues are limited she manages to make an impact with her characterisation. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor fits his character perfectly, while Forrest Whitaker given his acting prowess is greatly underutilized. But, despite this director Gareth Edwards comes across as a man who clearly understands his craft of what makes for a great film. In fact Edwards brings even Donnie Yen’s supporting character of Chirrut Îmwe alive adding a much needed comedic relief to the plot. On the whole, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY makes for a fun watch, with special introductory scenes of key characters from the main STAR WARS franchise that are definitely not to be missed. Though the film is a bit predictable for those who have followed the franchise and does get a bit draggy in the middle, the short time frame and captivating 3D more than make up for it. At the Indian box office, considering the film's limited release and lack of publicity, it will face an uphill task of recording impressive collections.

Movie Review: Wajah Tum Ho
Fri, 16 Dec 16 08:55:28 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-679834 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Wajah-Tum-Ho-1-1.jpg" alt="Wajah Tum Ho-1" width="750" height="450" /> With the year 2016 almost coming to an end, Bollywood has seen films of almost every genre in the year gone by. This week sees the release of WAJAH TUM HO, a film that belongs to the thriller genre. Will this film ‘become the reason’ for its makers to smile their way to the bank, lets analyze. WAJAH TUM HO is a film that mirrors the battle between money and power <em>vis a vis</em> love and emotions. The film starts off with the gruesome murder of a corrupt cop ACP Ramesh Sarnaik. Besides murdering him mercilessly, the entire ‘episode’ of the murder gets telecasted on GTN (Global Times Network), whose CEO happens to be the highly influential Rahul Oberoi (Rajneesh Duggal). As a part of the proceedings, a sincere Inspector Kabir Deshmukh (Sharman Joshi) enters the scene as the Investigating Officer, who spares no space for doubts in the case. Because the entire murder was telecasted live on GTN channel, Kabir suspects it to be a handiwork of Rahul in thirst of TRPs for his channel. On the other hand, Rahul Oberoi’s case gets represented by his extremely able legal head Sia (Sana Khan). Sia happens to be in love with lawyer Ranveer Bajaj (Gurmeet Choudhary), who also happens to be Kabir’s helping hand in the complicated case. After all the hitches and twists, just when Inspector Kabir thinks that he has been able to crack the murder case, two more people get murdered in the similar fashion as ACP Sarnaik. Despite the best of ‘legal brains’ on the job, the case simply refuses to get solved. Day after day, the case gets further complicated. Who are the other two people who get murdered and why, what ultimately happens to the love story between Sia and Ranveer and does Inspector Kabir become successful in solving all the cases is what forms the rest of the film's story. It is the film’s screenplay (Vishal Pandya, Sammeer Arora) which is gripping in parts. The unexpected thrills and chills not just enhance the screenplay, but also elevate the mood of the film. The film's dialogues (Rashmi Virag) are simple and lucid, without resorting to any over-the-top lingo. In the same breath, a handful of dialogues do come across as cheesy and corny. Though one may find humour missing in the film, the film does have its share of (unintentional and situational) comedy, but, in minuscule proportion. After having directed films like HATE STORY 2 and HATE STORY 3, Vishal Pandya returns with a decent product in the form of WAJAH TUM HO. He does a good job in putting together the whodunit murder mystery in WAJAH TUM HO. Without resorting to any beating around the bush tactics, Vishal Pandya dives into the subject from the first scene itself. The film’s tight and gripping first half sets the mood and pace of the film. The film starts sliding down in the second half (specifically in the last 20 minutes) of the otherwise decent film. The film’s mystery remains intact and intriguing till the nail biting revelation. The revelation will keep the audiences guessing about the ultimate mastermind behind all the murders till the end. Even though WAJAH TUM HO may not keep you at the edge of your seat, it does keep you intrigued through its run time. Full points to Vishal Pandya for not just having built the film’s mounting suspense, but also for executing it decently. <img class="size-full wp-image-679835 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Wajah-Tum-Ho-2-1.jpg" alt="Wajah Tum Ho-2" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, the film harbours itself on the able shoulders of the ever-so-reliable Sharman Joshi, who forms the pillar of the film. After having done a decent role in 1920 LONDON (which released earlier this year), Sharman Joshi gives yet another good performance in WAJAH TUM HO. While on one hand, he exhibits his toughness as a no-nonsense cop, at the same time, he does full justice to his ‘role’ of a loving and caring single father. He is followed a close second by the beautiful and confident Sana Khan. After having starred in the forgettable JAI HO, Sana Khan bounces back with a poised and dignified performance in WAJAH TUM HO. However, despite having a good and convincing screen presence, Sana does need to rework on her styling and body if she aims to be a Bollywood movie star. With his last film (BEIIMAAN LOVE) not doing well at the Box-Office, Rajneesh Duggal and his fans must have definitely pinned all their hopes on WAJAH TUM HO. Rajneesh Duggal does not disappoint with his role in WAJAH TUM HO. He delivers a restrained performance and does complete justice to what was expected of him in the film. Gurmeet Choudhary, on the other hand does a decent and a ‘more prominent’ job in WAJAH TUM HO. He should be doing more challenging roles like this one in order to be in the Bollywood race. His chemistry with Sana Khan (mostly in the songs) is something that needs to be seen in order to be believed. Even though the entire film rests on the shoulders of the aforementioned cast, other cast members also do a decent job in taking the film forward. The film boasts of some excellent music (Mithoon, Abhijit Vaghani, Meet Bros). Songs like the title track, ‘<em>Dil Mein Chhupa Loonga’ </em>and<em> ‘Dil Ke Paas’ </em>are already a rage all over. The visuals of the film only complement the tracks. One does feel though that the integration of <em>‘Maahi Ve’ </em>is a bit forced in the film’s narrative. The film’s background score is taut and complements the film. While the film boasts of decent cinematography (Prakash Kutty), the film’s editing (Manish More) is decent. The film could have been a tight thriller had the last 20 minutes of the film been chopped off. On the whole, WAJAH TUM HO is a decent whodunit thriller with good amount of oomph, masala and entertainment value.

Movie Review: Befikre
Fri, 09 Dec 16 07:53:26 +0000

<p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="size-full wp-image-678019 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Befikre-1-2.jpg" alt="Befikre-1" width="750" height="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ever since the inception of the Yash Raj Films banner (YRF), almost every film of theirs is a celebration in itself. After having made his debut as a director with the blockbuster film DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE, Aditya Chopra went onto make a handful of films, which too turned out to be box-office successes. After having directed RAB NE BANA DI JODI, Aditya Chopra returns to direction after 8 long years with the coming-of-age film titled BEFIKRE, which releases this week. Will BEFIKRE turn out to be a ‘carefree’ hit at the Box-Office, or will it be a matter to worry about for its makers, let’s analyze.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">BEFIKRE, which celebrates being carefree in love, is a story about a couple’s ups and downs and their ultimate realization of love. The film starts off with a stereotyped break up scene between Dharam (Ranveer Singh) and Shyra (Vaani Kapoor) which ends up with Dharam calling Shyra a ‘slut’, which hurts her the most. This is followed by a flashback of events which mirrors their yesterday and connects it with their today. The flashback sees a young and carefree Dharam landing up in Paris at the behest of his friend, who gives him a job of a stand-up comedian in his night club. On one of the party-hopping spree, Dharam meets a tour guide Shyra, a French girl of Indian origin. A couple of casual encounters later, the strong minded Dharam and Shyra decide to have a live in relationship, vowing not to say ‘stupid’ things like ‘I love you’, because it will put an end to their carefree lives. Even when they break up with each other, they even land up celebrating that as well. All is well till the time a smart and well educated Anya (Armaan Ralhan) enters Shyra’s life. After a few meetings and partying with Shyra, Anya proposes marriage to her. When Dharam gets to know about Shyra’s marriage, he shocks Shyra by announcing his marriage to a French girl Christine. What happens after that, are a series of events that changes everyone’s equation with each other. What are the events that change the course of their lives, do Shyra and Dharam ever break their rule and mouth the three magic words to each other, who does Shyra choose ultimately between Dharam and Anya, is what forms the rest of the story.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When BEFIKRE’s promos were released, while the film resembled to be a kiss-fest, it did not give out even an ounce of the plot. While BEFIKRE may come across as an original piece of work, one can’t help overlook the similarities with the French film LOVE ME IF YOU DARE. Even though such unusual concepts are unfamiliar to the Indian audiences’ taste and sensitivity, full marks to Aditya Chopra for having presented BEFIKRE in a very novel manner. While it may resonate well with the youth of today, the traditional audiences might find it shocking to digest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film's screenplay (Aditya Chopra) is a coming-of-age, fast paced, entertaining and has more to it than just the kisses, dares and frivolous one-night stands. The characterisations in the film are strong and the dares form the highpoint of the enterprise. What keeps the audiences hooked to their seats is the fact that each of the dares keep on becoming more audacious and adventurous than the previous ones (even though they are a part of a song and not the extended screenplay). The film's dialogues (Aditya Chopra, Sharat Katariya) are funny, romantic, naughty, heartfelt and poignant... all at the same time. It will surely find its resonance with the audiences (esp. the Gen-Next). Even though the French dialogues in certain portions might act as a hindrance, it remains true to the ethos of the script.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="size-full wp-image-678020 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Befikre-3-2.jpg" alt="Befikre-3" width="750" height="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After having directed films like DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE (DDLJ), MOHABBATEIN and RAB NE BANA DI JODI, Aditya Chopra returns to direction yet again with BEFIKRE. For him, the film is a total tectonic shift from his DDLJ days, where traditions and old age theme ruled the roost. It won’t be wrong to say that Aditya Chopra had completely reinvented himself with BEFIKRE, which is a fun entertainer with basic Indian values. The film is about how you can retain your ‘Indian-ness’, and, yet be a global citizen and find goodness in cultural values of other countries. On the whole, Aditya Chopra gives one more reason as to why he is one of the best story tellers in Bollywood today. While the film’s first half does not have even a single dull moment and is lively, it’s the second half that dips a bit (more towards when Anya gets introduced in the story). But the unpredictably silly, yet, hilarious climax more than makes up for the same. Do not miss scenes like the pre climax sangeet, Ranveer Singh searching for ‘corn flake’, Karaoke sessions between Ranveer, Vaani and Arman.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the performances, the film rides majorly on the (sturdy) shoulders of Ranveer Singh, who has time and again, reinvented himself with every passing film. Besides his perfect comic timing, the energy and the freshness that he brings to the screen is extremely infectious. After having played a serious character in the historic last film BAJIRAO MASTANI, Ranveer Singh takes a complete U-turn as far as his character in BEFIKRE is concerned. He not only lives upto the film’s title, but also justifies every ounce of the character. The best part about him is that, he is unlike any other star and just believes in being himself, which is what makes him unique. On the other hand, after having debuted with SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE, Vaani Kapoor exhibits her screen presence in BEFIKRE with élan and style. She not just complements Ranveer Singh’s character in the film, but also, walks shoulder to shoulder with him as far as performances are concerned. There are scenes wherein, besides coming across as a super-confident girl, she looks super hot. She is not at all camera shy and displays her body with utmost ease. Armaan Ralhan is definitely a find of the film. Rest of the characters in the film help to carry the film forward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The music (Vishal-Shekhar) of BEFIKRE goes well with the spirit and theme of the film. Despite the album having half a dozen tracks, the snappy duration of the film’s soundtrack (26 minutes) helps it fit in extremely well into the film’s narrative. The film’s soundtrack is, by far, one of the best soundtracks of the year. Tracks like ‘<em>Nashe Di’ </em>and<em> ‘Ude Dil Befikre’ </em>are already a rage all over. The film’s background score (Mikey McCleary) helps film’s proceedings in a big way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film's cinematography (Kaname Onoyama) is outstanding. The way in which he has shot the locations (esp. Paris) are extremely superlative and top-notch. In other words, BEFIKRE looks like a blatant promotional exercise of French Tourism. The film's editing (Namrata Rao) is crisp and bang-on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole BEFIKRE is an urban youth centric fun entertainer with a new age theme which will find patronage with the youth. At the Box- Office, it will be loved and appreciated by the target audience. The masses might find the subject bold and shocking; however, they will be in a minority to make any sizeable impact to its box office prospects. A Sure-shot winner all the way.</p>

Movie Review: Moana
Fri, 02 Dec 16 04:41:57 +0000

<p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="size-full wp-image-675892 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Moana-2016-Disney-1.jpg" alt="Moana-2016-Disney-1" width="750" height="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Over the years, the mega production house Disney once synonymous for its ‘Princess’ films diversified into offering different cinema. Now after the 2013 film FROZEN that introduced a new Disney princess named Elsa, we see Disney reveal yet another princess of sorts with MOANA.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Basically, Moana, an animated musical fantasy adventure film featuring the voices of Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk, tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When blight strikes her island, making coconuts rot on the trees and fishing boats return empty, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod responsible for this disaster, and hopes to save her people. But will the film that sets up a whole new world work with the audience is what we analyse.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">MOANA starts off with the story of Maui (Dwayne Johnson) a demigod of the wind and seas who with a magical hook manages to pull islands out of the sea, ending up stealing the heart of Te Fiti, an island goddess who created life. With her heart gone, the darkness sets in, laying waste to the living while slowly spreading across the world. In the meantime, Moana Waialiki (Auli'i Cravalho), a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators, leads an idyllic life oblivious to the fate that is headed her way. When the darkness starts to encroach on her island, whose chief Moana is set to become, the Young Turk must set off on an epic journey to find the heart of Te Fiti, locate Maui and replace the heart.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Right from the start, the viewer is thrown into a make believe animated world where everything seems more colourful if not larger than life. The breath taking visuals combined with the unworldly powers possessed by the shapeshifting demigod Maui to the humble upbringings and simple life led by Moana in her village, the film covers every aspect that the story encompasses. Though characters are introduced as they come on screen, directors John Musker and Ron Clements do a commendable job of keeping the introductory sequences short and within the framework of the film, thus taking the story forward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Being an animation film, the makers of MOANA had ample opportunity to play around with the scope of the story. Unlike animated films that usually tend to overdo the special effects, MOANA keeps it simple with sweeping visuals that gather pace to build the crescendo for an action packed climax. In fact the animation of the character seems rather realistic with good use of conventional physics to lend weight and depth to the characters. Another high point for the film’s visuals is the development of liquid. Though recreating the mannerisms of liquid in CGI is a tough task, the makers of MOANA have done well, from high cresting waves to big splashes; they manage to capture the awe inspiring oceans very well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Coming to the voice overs, Auli'i Cravalho all of 17 years does a marvellous job as Moana. A huge round of applause and a definite tip of the hat for the young girl as she not only voices her character with aplomb, but also lends mesmerising vocals to the songs in the film. Dwayne Johnson as the shapeshifting demigod Maui brings his character to life with vocals that perfectly capture the essence of his role. From being the self-indulgent demigod to his humbling revelation, Johnson stuns with his vocal gamut. Apart from that, he also doubles up as good singer managing to pull off a few high notes with ease.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole, MOANA makes for a fun watch with quick paced visuals, pleasing music, catchy songs and relatable characters. But, considering that the film targets mainly the kids and has references to Maui culture a plenty, the film despite having a target audience, will have to rely heavily on positive word of mouth to post good box office figures in India.</p>

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