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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>

Movie Review: Kahaani 2
Thu, 01 Dec 16 19:24:52 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-675852 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Kahaanirew-1.jpg" alt="Kahaanirew-1" width="750" height="450" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">This week sees the release of yet another film sequel at the Bollywood box office. This time round, it’s the sequel of the 2012 whodunit film KAHAANI. Titled KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH, it stars Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal in the lead roles. But will KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH turn out to be a successful ‘story’ at the box-office, or will it turn turtle, let’s analyze.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Boundscript Motion Pictures and Pen India Limited’s KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH is a whodunit thriller that traces a mother’s journey in the life of her child, the importance of a child in a mother’s life and vice versa. The film starts off with a day in the life of Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan), which oscillates between her wheel chair ridden daughter Mini (Naisha Khanna/Tunisha Sharma) and her office (in that order). One day she returns home from her office to find her house empty and her darling daughter Mini missing. Soon after she receives an image of her daughter bound and gagged, along with a phone call from an unknown number stating that her daughter has been kidnapped and that she should reach a stipulated spot if she wants to save her daughter. A visibly distorted Vidya wastes no time and rushes to the said spot. On the way, she meets with an untimely accident, which lands her in a coma. There enters the ‘promotion hungry’ police officer Sub-Inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal), who is the officer in charge of the case. While investigating, he gets hold of Vidya’s personal diary (in which she has written about all the events involving her and Mini), which shakes his world completely. When Inderjeet Singh reaches the hospital to meet Vidya Sinha, he gets a shock of his life when he discovers that Vidya Sinha’s face is an exact replica of a person he knew a long time ago named Durga Rani Singh. Unable to comprehend this, Inderjeet gets to work on the case to find out more whether the comatose accident victim is Vidyya Sinha or Durga Rani Singh. In the interim Inderjeet is informed by his superior officer that a dreaded killer and kidnapper Durga Rani Singh, was last spotted in their city. On his journey to uncover the truth Inderjeet discovers Vidya Sinha’s diary that shocks him completely, what is the mystery prevailing between Vidya Sinha and Durga Rani Singh and does Vidya Sinha ultimately land up saving her daughter Mini is what forms the rest of the film.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film’s screenplay (Sujoy Ghosh) is definitely one of the most shocking that Bollywood has witnessed in the recent times. It keeps the user hooked right from the word go. The film’s story (Sujoy Ghosh &amp; Suresh Nair) is engaging, thrilling, intriguing and as novel as compared to its predecessor. The story has plenty of twists and turns that keep the audience engrossed throughout. It engages the audience essentially for two reasons - the element of thrill it brings to the table and the taboo subject it addresses. Amidst all this, it's the emotional quotient raised by Vidya Balan that forms the crux of the hard hitting film. The film's dialogues (Ritesh Shah &amp; Sujoy Ghosh) are simple, yet stunning. Even though humour is missing in the film, its absence is not really felt in the otherwise serious drama.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After having produced the thriller TE3N (its Box-Office performance notwithstanding), director Sujoy Ghosh is back with what he best does: directing whodunit thrillers. After having directed KAHAANI, Sujoy Ghosh did face an uphill task of developing a story (with KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH) that not just encompassed the essence of a thriller, but also featured enough plot twists to keep the viewers guessing. KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH serves as a perfect answer to the same. Sujoy Ghosh deserves brownie points for having paid detailed attention to the fact that the sequel enjoys its own and distinguished identity under the sun. And he has taken every possible measure to do so and has been fairly successful in the same. Sujoy Ghosh needs to be applauded for keeping the film real and gripping, without having to resort to the typical Bollywood thriller route. While the film’s first half successfully establishes the plot and the mystery, it’s the second half that’s a revelation (quite literally) of sorts. Despite the presence of a handful of dull moments in the second half, the film’s pre-climax and climax makes up for everything. The film’s prime plot comes as a bolt from the blue. Do not miss the scenes like the film’s climax, Vidya Balan trying to unravel the mystery in her student’s house, her physical fight with a lady cop and the pre-climax face to face encounter between Vidya Balan and the lady cop. Another must watch sequence is immediate post the interval, where unlike conventional films that usually resume a minute a two before the break, Sujoy come up with a unique way that recaps the highpoints from the first half before resuming.</p> <img class="size-full wp-image-675853 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Kahaanirew-2.jpg" alt="Kahaanirew-2" width="750" height="450" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the performances, the film rides totally on the shoulders of Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal (in that order). After having done the forgettable HAMARI ADHURI KAHANI, Vidya Balan has once again joined hands with Sujoy Ghosh, with whom she had delivered a hit in the form of KAHAANI. The supremacy of Vidya Balan’s performance is so high that, it makes its predecessor KAHAANI look like a teaser of what to expect from its sequel. In the true sense of the word, Vidya Balan owns the film totally, so much so that, it’s impossible to think of KAHAANI without her. Her performance is only next to being flawless. The movie gives Vidya Balan a perfect platform to display an array of her emotions. Be it the caring and concerned mother, the conniving lady or convict, Vidya Balan gets into the skin of her character effortlessly. The fact that she looks ugly and unkempt in most parts of the film did require a hell lot of courage. On the other hand, Arjun Rampal, whose last film ROCK ON 2 was a dud at the Box-Office, springs back with an unexpected surprise and a superior (yet restrained) performance. Keeping in mind his towering personality in real life, he essays the role of Sub Inspector Inderjeet Singh with utmost aplomb, conviction and confidence. Arjun Rampal, besides being excellent in his role, brings in a lot of compassion and smartness to his character. Despite the presence of stalwarts like Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal, the cute little child artist Naisha Khanna makes her presence felt in the film and how! Even though she was an integral part in the film’s story, performances by Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal could have easily overshadowed her. Full credits go to Sujoy Ghosh for not just giving Naisha Khanna her place under the sun, but also for having extracted a superlative performance out of the girl. Jugal Hansraj, who returns to the silver screen after a long time is a pleasure to watch. The rest of the actors (some of them totally brilliant) help the film move forward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After having collaborated with Sujoy Ghosh in TE3N, music composer Clinton Cerejo has composed the music for KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH. Even though a film of this genre need not necessarily need music to bank upon, still, the music is passable with no out of place and thrusted tracks. On the other hand, the background music is bang on and acts as one of the film’s USPs. It simply adds to the aura of the haunting film.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film's cinematography (Tapan Basu) is outstanding. The way in which he has shot the locations are extremely top-notch. The camerawork, along with the colour tone are superlatively shot. The film's editing (Namrata Rao) is outstanding. The film’s timeline of around 2 hours works extremely in the favour of the film.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH comes across as a dark thriller that addresses a sensitive subject backed with fantastic performances. At the Box Office, the movie will be appreciated on the account of its engaging narrative. Highly Recommended.</p>

Movie Review: Dear Zindagi
Thu, 24 Nov 16 19:05:00 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-673575 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Dear-Zindagi-1-1.jpg" alt="Dear Zindagi-1" width="750" height="450" /> Bollywood has witnessed many a ‘slice of life’ films trying their luck at the Box-Office. This week’s release is the Shah Rukh Khan-Alia Bhatt starrer DEAR ZINDAGI, which also happens to be of the same genre. Will DEAR ZINDAGI breathe ‘life’ at the Box-Office or will it prove ‘Dearly’ to its makers, let’s analyze. DEAR ZINDAGI is a slice of life film, which gives an introspective insight about the various challenges that life offers to an individual and the way each one deals with these challenges. The film starts off with the ‘on-the-sets’ introduction of the extremely talented cinematographer Kaayra (Alia Bhatt), for whom work perfection towers above everything else in life. Not the one to make any kind of compromise in her work, she also harbours a heartfelt dream of directing her full-fledged feature film some day. One day, she gets a dream offer from Raghavendra (Kunal Kapoor), for co-directing a prestigious feature film on the foreign shores. Since Kaayra is in love with Raghavendra and vice versa, Kaayra becomes extremely happy thinking that she would be able to combine work with pleasure. Even before the feeling of her dream coming true sinks in, she gets a shock of her life when she gets to know that, Raghavendra has got engaged to his ex-girlfriend on the foreign shores. This news totally shatters the visibly distorted Kaayra. That’s when she happens to meet the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Jehangir Khan aka Jag (Shah Rukh Khan). Thereafter starts her therapy session with Jag. It is through these sessions that Jag gets to know that Kaayra has been silently suffering from many issues caused during her tender childhood. Gradually during the therapy sessions, a strong bond develops between Kaayra and Jag, so much so that she openly confides all about her past and present day happenings to Jag. While doing so, Kaayra realises that she actually has fallen for Jag. What happens to Kaayra in the end, whom she chooses to spend her life with, does the counsellor-patient relationship between Kaayra and Jag get converted into a love relationship, is what forms the rest of the film. The story and screenplay (Gauri Shinde) of DEAR ZINDAGI is a sincere attempt in the genre of slice of life. One has to really give it to Gauri Shinde for having tried to present the complications of life in a simplified manner. The irony of the film remains in the fact that, despite the film’s characters being relatable, the proceedings of the film are simply opposite. All of this may make the audiences fail to find resonance with it. On the other hand, because of the film’s dialogues (Gauri Shinde) being extremely lucid, it will definitely find its echo amongst the viewers. The film has got its humour intact and in right proportions. Do not miss scenes like Shah Rukh Khan’s introduction, the first meeting between Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt and Alia Bhatt’s emotional outburst during the pre-climax. When Gauri Shinde made her directorial debut with the Sridevi starrer ENGLISH VINGLISH, she showed immense spark of a director with an ability to not just touch the chord of the audiences, but also stir it with her story telling and directorial abilities. While her attempts to make DEAR ZINDAGI in the same league of ENGLISH VINGLISH seems visible in every frame, what does not work in the film’s favour are its length (mostly the second half), its disconnect with the audiences and the snail-paced narrative of the film. If that wasn't enough, despite the flying start in its first half, the film gets preachy and sermonising, which lands up testing the patience of the viewers. For all those who want to see Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt in their elements are bound to feel a bit disappointed, because the film starts behaving like a therapy session in its second half. Despite all this, one has to give her full credits for having extracted the best performances from the entire star cast of the film. <img class="size-full wp-image-673576 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Dear-Zindagi-3-1.jpg" alt="Dear Zindagi-3" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, DEAR ZINDAGI finds its true calling in Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan. After having done the hard hitting UDTA PUNJAB, Alia Bhatt has once again proved, with DEAR ZINDAGI, that why is she one of the finest actresses of Bollywood. Film after film, Alia Bhatt is simply growing from strength to strength. The flawlessness with which she infuses emotions in her character is something that needs to be seen in order to be believed. Alia Bhatt's portrayal of a naive and ingenuous girl comes across as pleasant and striking. Be it Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi or Aditya Roy Kapur, the onscreen chemistry that Alia Bhatt shares with all her co-stars is simply amazing. But, what really takes the cake is her impeccable onscreen chemistry with Shah Rukh Khan that grabs the audiences by their collar. Shah Rukh Khan, on the other hand, does an equally fine job with his character. What makes DEAR ZINDAGI different from other Shah Rukh Khan starrers is the fact that, in this film, despite Shah Rukh Khan being the ‘hero’, does not let that overshadow Alia Bhatt even a bit. It is this factor that works tremendously in the favour of the film. One cannot deny the fact that DEAR ZINDAGI definitely is Shah Rukh Khan’s finest and matured role after CHAK DE! INDIA. The rest of the actors (Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi, Ira Dubey and Aditya Roy Kapur) excel in their respective roles. Even though DEAR ZINDAGI does not have any superlative music (Amit Trivedi), the songs are not thrusted and do not act as a roadblock in the scenes. The film’s background score (Amit Trivedi) contributes decently  to the film’s progress. The flip side of DEAR ZINDAGI is that the movie is devoid of chartbuster music, romance and action. And this absence will be felt in small town and cities where the audience will find the movie bereft of any entertainment. While the film’s cinematography (Laxman Utekar) is decent, its editing (Hemanti Sarkar) could have been more tighter towards the second half. On the whole, DEAR ZINDAGI comes across as a slow-paced cerebral and contemporary slice of life tale about the challenges today’s generation of girls face in a rapidly shifting landscape. At the Box-Office, it will appeal only to a niche segment of the multiplex audience on account of lack of entertainment value as well as its abstruse and esoteric treatment. It will therefore find the going tough at the box office.

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fri, 18 Nov 16 15:10:53 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-672067 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Fantastic-Beasts-and-Where-to-Find-Them-1.jpg" alt="Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" width="620" height="800" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">Last week was rather slow for films, with releases suffering the aftermath of the demonetization of currency notes. Though things are a bit better now, the audience is still sceptical of spending money on entertainment over necessary goods. However, this week we see the release of a much talked about English film, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, which is basically a prequel to the famed Harry Potter series. But will this film entice the Indian audience like the Harry Potter movies did, or will it go unnoticed, is what we’re about to analyse.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is set in the year 1926, 54 years before Harry was born. The protagonist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) later writes a book by the same name, based on his experiences shown in this film.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Newt has just completed a global excursion to find, document and protect an array of extraordinary magical creatures. He takes a brief stopover in New York before reaching Britain to file his findings with the Ministry of Magic. However, things go haywire when he encounters a No-Maj (a non-magical human being, whom the British wizards refer to as Muggles). The No-Maj is a local baker by the name of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and their identical briefcases get exchanged by mistake. Though this wouldn’t usually amount to much, the problem is the contents of Newt’s magical briefcase, which results in a flurry of messy events. In an attempt to reclaim his briefcase, Newt hunts down Jacob. Unfortunately, the clasp of the briefcase comes undone, releasing a few creatures that scatter across the city. Now, Newt must track them down and place them back into the briefcase before they wreak havoc in the city. In the scheme of things, Jacob unintentionally becomes Newt’s accomplice, only to discover deeper, darker secrets that the magical community is trying to guard from the human world. Newt loves his beasts and maintains that they will cause no harm and that the only harmful creatures in the world are in fact humans. Timid and slightly nutty, will Newt manage to retrieve his magical beasts? Will he be able to end the darkness that threatens to end either one of the races—wizards or the No-Majs. Or will he fall victim to the plots set up by darker forces that lie ahead in the film?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Going into the film, every viewer who has read anything about it will have one question on their mind, ‘Will the film really live up to the Harry Potter saga?’ With a sceptical approach the viewer will soon be pacified as J.K. Rowling’s storytelling abilities transport them into a different reality. Once again, she creates a fantastical world in which the story takes place, while giving the viewer a ring side seat to witness the spectacle. Director David Yates, who also worked on the last couple of Harry Potter films, does an incredible job of bringing Rowling’s work to life. The introductory scene may seem a bit stretched and slow, but it keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats with fleeting glimpses of something spectacular that is in store. Though at the start none of the characters are explained, each one is introduced with a brief outline that is fleshed out with backstories as the film progresses. Apart from the onscreen goings, much like the Potter series, Rowling manages to create a bond between each of the main characters that lends a whole realm of emotional value to the film. Coming to the visuals, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is a treat for the eyes. Watching the film in IMAX 3D with a narrative that is well-scripted, infusing action, drama and humour into a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, is likely to transport the viewer into a universe worth exploring.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Talking about the performances, Eddie Redmayne has once again proved his mettle at playing the awkward individual. He portrays the character of a man who is socially awkward around people but at his best and in control among his beasts. Dan Fogler as the muggle Jacob Kowalski acts as the comic relief, who constantly is at sea being unable to comprehend the happenings in the magical world. Katherine Waterston as Tina, one-time Auror who finds herself smack in the middle of everything, does justice to her part. Colin Farrel as the principal investigator of the group of magicians who work as special agents in New York is brilliant. He commands fear and respect that his character demands in the film. Other actors in the film are cast brilliantly and perform their parts convincingly.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole, recreating an era gone by filled with unworldly magical beasts; FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride of suspense, thrill and drama, interspersed with humorous moments that click. Though not essentially a prequel, the film come across as a brilliant independent story that happens to fall into the realm of the Harry Potter universe. At the box-office, the film will be lapped up by Harry Potter fans and fantasy film lovers; however, due to the lack of publicity in India by the studio, the film will have to depend on strong word of mouth to grow.</p>

Movie Review: Tum Bin 2
Fri, 18 Nov 16 09:10:46 +0000

<p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="size-full wp-image-671872 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Tum-Bin2-1.jpg" alt="Tum-Bin2" width="620" height="420" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The year 2001 saw the release of TUM BIN which made overnight stars out of its lead starcast that comprised of Priyanshu Chatterjee, Himanshu Malik, Rakesh Vashisth and Sandali Sinha. This week sees the release of the film’s sequel TUM BIN 2. Will TUM BIN 2 ‘too’ prove to be a Box-Office success like the original or will it face the music at the Box-Office, let’s analyze.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">TUM BIN 2 is a couple's roller coaster ride in the lives of friends turned lovers, which mirrors the ups and downs of their lives. The film starts off with an untoward and unexpected skiing accident of Amar (Aashim Gulati). When the rescue team gives up their hope of finding Amar’s body, this leaves his fiancée Taran (Neha Sharma) and Amar's loving caring father Papaji (Kanwaljeet Singh) with no hope of finding him ever. Unable to bear the grief of Amar’s loss, Taran withdraws herself from the world and goes into a nutshell. One fine day, Papaji introduces his late friend’s son Shekhar (Aditya Seal) to Taran and her lovely and lively sisters. Seeing Taran in sorrow, Shekhar tries his level best to bring a smile on her face. Shekhar also helps Taran immensely in realising her dream of setting up a confectionary business. Amidst all the proceedings, Taran not just tries to forget her past and Amar, but also gradually falls in love with the happy-go-lucky Shekhar. Suddenly, one fine day, out of the blue, Papaji gets a call from Amar, whom everyone thought was dead long ago. Amar is extremely happy to be united with his loving family... especially Taran. While on one hand, love gets rekindled between Taran and Amar, on the other hand, Shekhar plans to leave everyone and let Taran and Amar have a happy life ahead together. The innocent Amar, who is totally unaware of the love affair between Taran and Shekhar, starts dreaming of his future with Taran. That’s when Taran confesses to Amar about her feelings for Shekhar. What happens to the love affair between Taran and Amar, whom does Taran ultimately go with and what is the truth that Papaji had been hiding about Amar all the while, is what forms the rest of the story.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When TUM BIN 2’s promos were released, it gave the audience a glimpse of a musical experience that the film offered. The film, in totality, does live upto the expectations that the trailers offered. The screenplay of TUM BIN 2 (Anubhav Sinha) seems heavily inspired by TUM BIN. It’s a typical conventional story that has been witnessed in Bollywood before. The presence of loopholes in the film’s screenplay does, at times, make the film less convincing (more towards the second half). Despite all this, it’s the treatment that’s meted to TUM BIN 2, which makes it worthwhile. Even though the film does not boast of any kind of memorable one liners, the film's dialogues are lucid without going over the top. Even though the humour element is present in the film, it is in negligible proportion. Do not miss the ‘India meets Pakistan’ scene in the film, in order to know what we are talking about.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="size-full wp-image-671874 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Tum-Bin-2007.jpg" alt="Tum-Bin-2007" width="620" height="420" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After having directed the sci-fi RA.ONE, Anubhav Sinha had been missing from the scene for some time now. His directorial work in TUM BIN 2 makes up for his absence. While the film’s first half sets up the ambience and the plot of the film, the film’s second half appears a far bit stretched. The drama that unfolds during the second half is way too cliché, something that Bollywood has witnessed many times in the past. Even though Anubhav Sinha stays true to the script and the legacy of TUM BIN, there are times when the film tends to go astray. Had the length of the second half of the film been a bit shorter, it definitely could have worked in the favour of the film. The ‘oscillation’ of the girl between her two lovers seems to test the patience of the viewers after a certain point.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the performances, the film rides majorly on the shoulders of the talented Neha Sharma. Besides being a visual delight, Neha Sharma is indeed a delight in TUM BIN 2, in terms of her performance. She is followed a close second by Aditya Seal, whose last film was the forgettable PURANI JEANS. Aditya Seal delivers a restrained performance in TUM BIN 2 and has handled the emotional scenes really well. On the other hand, after having carved a name for himself on TV, Aashim Gulati makes his Bollywood debut with TUM BIN 2. Despite not being majorly present in the film’s first half, he ensures his place under the sun in the film’s second half.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the major reasons for TUM BIN to be a runaway hit at the Box-Office was its melodious music. TUM BIN 2 is no different. Music composer Ankit Tiwari has composed melodious music for TUM BIN 2, which acts as one of the major USPs and the driving force for the film. Amongst the other tracks, it’s the mellifluous ghazal rendered by the late Jagjit Singh, which, once again acts as a chartbuster track in TUM BIN 2, just like what it was in TUM BIN.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film's cinematography (Ewan Mulligan) is top-notch. The way in which he has presented the film and shot the locations are extremely top-notch and exemplary. On the other hand, the film’s editing (Farooq Hundekar) could have been tighter.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole, TUM BIN 2 is a decent love triangle with a lengthy second half. At the Box Office, the film will turn out to be an earning proposition for its makers, considering the fact that a substantial amount of the production and marketing costs have been recovered from the sale of various rights.</p>

Movie Review: Force 2
Thu, 17 Nov 16 15:56:51 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-671715 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Force-2-1.jpg" alt="Force 2-1" width="620" height="800" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">This year seems to be a year of sequels. Testimonies to this are in the form of TERE BIN LADEN DEAD OR ALIVE, HOUSEFULL 3, ROCK ON 2, KYAA KOOL HAIN HUM 3, GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN, RAAZ REBOOT and MSG: THE WARRIOR LION HEART and the upcoming Vidya Balan starrer KAHAANI 2. If that wasn’t enough, FORCE 2 gets released alongside TUM BIN 2, which also happens to be the sequel of the 2001 hit TUM BIN. Will FORCE 2 become a ‘guiding force’ at the Box-Office windows or will it perish, let’s analyze.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">FORCE 2 is an out and out action drama between a RAW agent and a cop, both of whom are embedded on the same mission but with a different vision. The film starts off with a series of killings of three vital Indian RAW agents in China. These killings not just shock the Indian RAW wing, but also a send them into tizzy about the crime suspects and their agenda behind these killings. Amidst all this, they also discover that there is a mole (informer/ leak) in the Budapest Embassy, who is leaking all the vital information to the Chinese government, for reasons best known to him only. In order to unearth this mole, the RAW officials assign Kamaljit Kaur aka KK (Sonakshi Sinha) on the job. She is joined by the ‘raw’ and brutal Yashvardhan aka Yash (John Abraham) from the Mumbai police department. The reason why Yash joins KK in the mission, is to avenge the death of his best friend (Freddy Daruwala), who was amongst the three RAW agents killed. Amidst their mission to find the mole, Yash and KK are subjected to a series of uphill tasks, which makes it extremely difficult to unearth the mole. Just when Yash and KK think that they have solved the case, a shocking event happens that shuts down all the possiblities to solve the mystery. What is it that Yash and KK are failing to see and how will they solve this case involving the RAW agents, is what forms the rest of the film.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When FORCE 2’s promos were released, it gave a glimpse of the adrenaline rush that the film promised to offer. And in that aspect, FORCE 2 does not disappoint you at all. Considering the fact that one has seen the cat-mouse chase game in umpteen films by now, one is bound to feel that FORCE 2’s story (Parvez Shaikh, Jasmeet Kleen) offers nothing novel. But, what sets FORCE 2 apart from the other films are its unexpected twists and turns and that too at unexpected points. These twists and turns form reason enough for the audiences to be engaged and engrossed with the film till the end. FORCE 2’s screenplay (Parvez Shaikh, Jasmeet Kleen), besides keeping the audiences on the edge of their seats, also ensures no dull moment in the film. However the film is devoid of romance and music which are vital ingredients for a masala potboiler. Also the culmination could have been convincing for it comes across as totally filmy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While FORCE was directed by Nishikanth Kamath, FORCE 2 sees Abhinay Deo taking the director’s seat. After debuting with DELHI BELLY and then directing GAME and TV series 24, Abhinay Deo is definitely no newcomer to thrillers. Besides doing full justice in carrying the legacy of FORCE, Abhinay Deo also infuses his own uniqueness in FORCE 2. The film’s first half sets up the ‘pace’ of the film with its giant share of adrenaline rush from the first frame itself, which stays till the interval. The film’s second half, on the other hand, dips a bit. But overall the film is quiet fast paced and doesn’t let a dull moment seep in. Abhinay Deo has done a great job as a director in FORCE 2 and has managed to keep the film crisp and tight at the length spanning around 2 hours without wasting any screen time. Even though FORCE 2 is a visual delight as the whole, do not miss John’s introduction scene, the chase sequence during the film’s first half, the interval point and the unexpected suspense (which comes as a bolt from the blue) which changes the course of the film totally.</p> <img class="size-full wp-image-671716 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Force-2-2.jpg" alt="Force 2-2" width="620" height="800" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the performances, the film rides totally on the sturdy (quite literally) shoulders of John Abraham. Fresh from the success of the action packed DISHOOM, John Abraham delivers yet another power packed performance in FORCE 2. John’s role in FORCE 2 seems to be totally tailor made for him, who, by now has become a ‘pro’ in such no-nonsense action-packed roles. On the other hand, after having exhibited and proved her action prowess in her last film AKIRA, Sonakshi Sinha takes to her role of a RAW agent in FORCE 2 like a fish to water. She shares a crackling onscreen chemistry with John Abraham, which shows in the film. Sonakshi Sinha, not just complements John Abraham’s character in FORCE 2, but also walks shoulder-to-shoulder with him. Unlike a typical Bollywood heroine, FORCE 2 sees its Sonakshi Sinha as an extremely strong character, who beats the daylights out of the goons. Tahir Raj Bhasin, who made his debut as the smooth menacing villain in MARDAANI, ensures that he convincingly continues his villainous streak in FORCE 2 as well. Even though he does his job exceedingly well in FORCE 2, he should make sure that he chooses varied roles in the future, as he might just get stereotyped in such roles. Rest of the actors help the film move forward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Staying true to the fact that a film of such genre does not require any chartbuster tracks to push the story, FORCE 2 does not see any song (the club song notwithstanding) been thrusted into the film. While the music (Amaal Mallik, Gourov Roshin) of FORCE 2 is passable, it is the film’s superlative background score (Prasad Sashte) that holds the film tightly to the core.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The film’s cinematography (Imre Juhasz, Mohana Krishna) is top-notch. On the other hand, the film’s editing (Amitabh Shukla, Sanjay Sharma) is crisp and devoids the film of any dull moment. A special word of mention to the film’s action/ stunt director (Franz Spilhaus) for infusing such a wholesome ‘punch’ in the form of non-stop action, right from the word go. The film’s USP is its breath taking action, which will appeal to both the multiplex and single screen audiences.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole, FORCE 2 is a power packed adrenaline pumping action thriller which has the right mixture of zing and force. At the Box-Office, the film will be appreciated by the audience. However the lack of chartbuster music, romance and demonetisation might act as a spoilsport for the movie. All in all, FORCE 2 is however worth a shot!</p>

Movie Review: Rock On!! 2
Fri, 11 Nov 16 09:13:53 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-670042 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Rock-On-2-1-2.jpg" alt="Rock On 2-1" width="620" height="800" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">It all started off in the year 2008 when the cinegoers (esp. youth) got treated to a cult and raw musical journey in the form of the Abhishek Kapoor directed film ROCK ON!! And after 8 long years, the makers have come up with the film’s sequel titled ROCK ON 2. Will ROCK ON 2 prove to be a musical hit at the Box-Office, or will it lose its strings, let’s analyze.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">ROCK ON 2 starts off with the voiceover narration of ‘KD’ aka Killer Drummer aka Kedar Zaveri (Purab Kohli). The story then mirrors upon the distances covered by Magik band’s members from the prequel till today. Aditya Shroff aka Adi (Farhan Akhtar) gets settled in Shillong to lead an isolated life as ‘repentance’ over a certain mistake. It is here that he finds peace by running his self-initiated ‘Farmers’ Co-operative’ and a school for the poor children. Even though ‘Farmers’ Co-operative’ works selflessly towards the benefits of the farmers, it just does not go well with the local governing officer of that area. On the other hand, Joseph Mascarenhas aka Joe (Arjun Rampal) becomes a successful entrepreneur as well as a judge in one of the TV reality shows. One day, on the eve of Adi’s birthday, the entire ‘Magik’ team springs up a surprise by paying him a visit in the North East to celebrate his birthday. Despite the happy mood, there looms an atmosphere of tension, anger, repentance and anxiety amidst everyone. One fine day, ‘Magik’ sees the inclusion of a struggling musician Uday (Shashank Arora) alongwith Jiah Sharma (Shraddha Kapoor) as its new members. On the eve of the performance, Jiah chickens out on stage itself and is unable to perform because of her  father’s resistance to western music. On the other hand, Adi’s adopted village in Shillong gets gutted down due to forest fire. And the money given by the Central government for the welfare aid of the affected farmers gets gulped down by a corrupt government officer in Shillong. This is when Adi and his rock band plan to organise a rock concert in Shillong in order to highlight the plight of the helpless villagers. What is the reason for ‘Magik’s members never-ending guilt, do Adi and his band members become successful in their uphill task of organising a rock show amidst rock solid resistance from their area’s officer, does Jiah’s father accept her modern singing and what secret is Adi hiding from Jiah, is what forms the rest of the story.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When ROCK ON 2’s promos were released, it only rekindled many memories associated with its predecessor ROCK ON!! In reality, ROCK ON 2 sings an extremely different tune (in literal sense). First things first. With absolutely no head or tail to the script (Pubali Chaudhuri, Abhishek Kapoor), the film lands up being a confused mish-mash of too many things. Also, because of the lack of a strong and convincing storyline, the film simply flows all over the place without any ‘direction’. None of the film’s characters are well etched or defined, and hence they fail to build any emotional bond with the viewers. As a result of this, the viewers do not feel sympathetic or empathic towards any of the characters. As the film drags endlessly, one just cannot help feeling indifferent to the happenings on screen. In an attempt to incorporate multiple issues in the film’s story, the film’s writers land up meaninglessly infusing story angles like social situation of the North East India, the divide between Indian and classical music, relationship struggles between father-daughter, husband-wife and even a stalker and his target. The film's dialogues are very average with no outstanding one liners.</p> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-670044 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Rock-On-2-2-2.jpg" alt="Rock On 2-2" width="620" height="800" /> <p style="text-align: justify;">After having dabbled in advertising, Shujaat Saudagar makes his Bollywood debut as a director with ROCK ON 2. Without mincing any words, one has to admit that he has failed to present a credible story. He had no story idea to take his characters go on a journey. Most lead characters seem to have moved on in life and are forcefully brought in together to make a sequel. Shujaat Saudagar definitely has a long way to go as far as story telling in feature films is concerned.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the film’s performances, the film solely focuses on Farhan Akhtar. He tries his best to hold this mess together, but, after a point, he too seems to give up. His character is so delusional that he probably needs therapy rather than a guitar! Mind you, we are not joking when we say that. ROCK ON 2 focuses only on Farhan Akhtar's character, who is eternally confused and that too... for no credible reason! His character in the film gets so depressing and illogical, that even his on screen wife (Prachi Desai) refuses to take it any longer. Arjun Rampal, on the other hand, is completely wasted and looks totally disinterested in the film. It’s a real pity because, Arjun Rampal had won a National award for the prequel (ROCK ON!!) of this same film. Purab Kohli tries to bring in some genuine emotion, but, because he barely gets any space, his attempts go wasted. On the other hand, there’s Shraddha Kapoor, who looks endlessly lost in the film. She never gets a grip of her poorly written character Jiah, who is just wandering around in the film. All of these only add to the mess called ROCK ON 2. Other actors like Shashank Arora, Prachi Desai, Shahana Goswami and Kumud Mishra also barely manage to exist in this confused script.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For a film like ROCK ON 2, one expects a mind-blowing music album (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) with chartbuster tracks. Sadly, there's not a single track that stays back with you. The pace of the film is so slow, that even its music doesn't help. The film’s background music is average.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While the film’s cinematography (Marc Koninckx) is average, editing (Anand Subaya) could've been tighter.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the whole, ROCK ON 2 has no story, no good music and no entertainment value. With its slow paced narrative, limited buzz and the demonetisation move by the Indian Government, the film will be a disaster at the Box-Office.</p>

Movie Review: Doctor Strange
Thu, 03 Nov 16 06:34:35 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-668068 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Doctor-Strange.jpg" alt="Doctor Strange" width="620" height="420" /> Over the past few years, superhero films have become a genre to contend with. Be it THE AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, ANT-MAN or for that matter any of the unending list of characters from Marvel, films that bring these comic book heroes to life are fast becoming massive money spinners at the box office, both in India and internationally. Continuing with the trend of introducing each superhero from its gamut, Marvel’s latest offering is DOCTOR STRANGE that once again brings to life on the big screen, another comic book hero. But will the film that talks of a lesser known superhero as compared to an Iron Man or a Captain America be welcomed by the audiences, or will the film be just another introductory celluloid expedition well worth it to set up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is what we analyse. Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange, a gifted surgeon with a flawless medical record and an inflated ego who believes in helping himself more than others. However, his life is thrown asunder after a tragic car accident. Now Strange who has injured his hands must put aside his ego and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artefacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film starts off on a rather mundane note with an introduction of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) a pompous neurosurgeon working normal shifts in a hospital alongside his colleague and love interest Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Considering himself to be the centre of the universe, Strange goes about his life with the outlook that whatever he does, whoever he decides to save is for the sole purpose of propelling him to greatness. However, life as he knows it is thrown out of whack with a freak car accident that he meets with. Having lost the stability of his hands, Strange sets off on a mission to regain his ability. After exhausting the resources provided by modern science, and yet being nowhere near normal, Strange sets off on a last ditch effort to save himself. This journey takes him to the mystic land of the Himalayas in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he has to literally unlearn everything he knows to understand and wield the power that is now placed before him. Though most origin stories come across as being rushed, especially with the initial character introductions, director Scott Derrickson takes his time with DOCTOR STRANGE detailing each character and giving them depth. Despite this, with good screenplay and excellent time management the film does now slowdown in pace. Instead as the film progresses the overall pace of the film keeps time with the rising crescendo that plays in the viewer's mind culminating in a spectacular and novel climax. In fact Derrickson does a brilliant job with the visuals of the film, from mind numbing building powers to reality alteration a la INCEPTION; he melds both worlds, real and altered, seamlessly on screen. A special mention goes out here to the VFX and CGI crew whose efforts make DOCTOR STRANGE a worthwhile film and a more than equal contender among the bigger superhero films. Talking about the performances, Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange both the surgeon and the reality alteration sorcerer suits the role perfectly. In fact seeing him don the cape of levitation complete with the devilish goatee beard, the viewer cannot help be feel like this role was tailor made for Cumberbatch. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, a student of the Ancient One alongside Strange who plays the supporting character in the film is well detailed and used to help the story progress. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, whose vision and understanding spans space and time exudes a powerful aural presence, is spot on in depicting an individual in constant internal conflict but yet has a calm demeanour. Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius, a student of the Ancient One who has gone astray does equally well in his role as the precursor to doom. In fact Mikkelsen’s character that comes across a combination of several antagonists is used in the film to drive the introduction and development of bigger villains for the future. As for the music and editing of the film, DOCTOR STRANGE features a grand background score soundtrack. However, the score that is thrilling and insightful is impeccably composed and adds to setting the pace for the on screen happenings. The editing, given the context of the film, which could have been muddled up in umpteen number of places is flawless. All in all, DOCTOR STRANGE that apart from all the action also features some good one liners and some humorous moments offers a cognitive story of manipulative sorcery, clever screenplay, mind-melting action and mind-bending CGI brings to life the virtually unknown origin story of a superhero that isn’t quite one of the big league players in a spectacular fashion. Shot in IMAX, the film comes across as a visually stunning, entertaining worthy successor to the numerous superhero films before it. DOCTOR STRANGE is a big screen experience that is a must watch! Preferably on IMAX 3D.

Movie Review: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Fri, 28 Oct 16 08:07:07 +0000

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-672819 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Ae-Dil-Hai-Mushkil1-4.jpg" alt="Ae-Dil-Hai-Mushkil1" width="750" height="450" /> Romance has always been the eternal essence of Bollywood films. There’s hardly any film whose story has not been written with a pen that’s dipped in the ink of love and romance. This week’s release AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL also happens to be one such romantic film. Will AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL have a ‘mushy’ dream run or will it face ‘mushkil’ at the Box-Office, let’s analyze. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL is a roller coaster ride between lovers, which mirrors the ups and downs of their lives. The film starts off with the introduction of the singer Ayaan Sanger (Ranbir Kapoor) giving an interview, wherein he talks about the inspiration behind his successful singing career. The story, then enters a flashback that has Ayaan and the free spirited Alizeh Khan (Anushka Sharma) meeting at a night club. They start enjoying each other’s company as friends, so much so that, that they become inseparable. One day, when Ayaan and Alizeh go on a double date with their respective lovers (Lisa Haydon and Imran Abbas), an untoward incident happens which leads to them breaking up with their lovers. And to ‘celebrate’ their break up, Ayaan and Alizeh head to Paris, where they find seamless comfort in each other’s company. Despite Ayaan repeatedly confessing his love for Alizeh, she maintains that they are only best friends and nothing more than that. One day, when Ayaan and Alizeh go to party at a club, Alizeh finds her ex-lover Ali (Fawad Khan) playing at the DJ console. Alizeh, who now finds her love rekindled for Ali, announces her decision to Ayaan. She tells Ayaan that she wants to get married to Ali, who happened to be the only person whom she ever loved. A heartbroken Ayaan, then meets the stunning Sabah (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), a poetess who is happily divorced. Despite the two having a great live-in relationship, Sabah finds something amiss in their relationship. Amidst all this, Ayaan gets to know something shocking about Alizeh that changes everyone’s lives forever. What is it about Alizeh that leaves Ayaan shell-shocked, what happens to his relationship with Sabah and whom does Ayaan settle the rest of his life with, is what forms the rest of the story. Karan Johar’s films have always centred around relationships and emotions, which are woven together with larger than life opulence with music playing an integral role. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL also falls in the same space. Ever since the time the promos of AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL were out, it had only upped the curiosity of the viewers about the film. The film, in totality, is worth the audiences’ expectations.  The film’s taut screenplay (Karan Johar) makes its very realistic and extremely relatable to today’s relationships. The film’s dialogues (Niranjan Iyengar, Karan Johar) are really vibrant and its situational one liners will surely find resonance with the audiences (esp. the youth). Even though there is nothing new in the basic story premise of AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL as the audiences have seen this several times in the past, what sets the movie apart from others is its screenplay and utmost maturity with which Karan Johar has treated the film. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL, which has all the required ingredients of a typical ‘Karan Johar’ film, oozes universal appeal in abundance. The film will surely be liked by all the age groups (majorly by youth), despite its mature storyline. After having directed smash hit films like KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, MY NAME IS KHAN, and STUDENT OF THE YEAR, Karan Johar helms the directorial chair for AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL. The film, in totality, bears the trademarked ‘Karan Johar’s impeccable style of filmmaking. Karan Johar, who is known for extracting exceptional performances from his starcast, does the same with AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL as well. With AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL, Karan Johar only proves and reaffirms the fact as to why he is considered one of the best storytellers in Bollywood. The one word that describes Karan Johar’s direction in AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL is ‘exemplary’. Full marks to Karan Johar for handling and presenting the emotional moments and the twist towards the climax, without resorting to any kind of melodrama or ‘over-the-top’ scenes. While the film’s first half thoroughly establishes the characters and the proceedings, the second half sees a dip in the film’s pace (more towards the climax). Do not miss the scenes where Ranbir and Anushka go on a double date, Ranbir Kapoor dancing to the tunes of ‘<em>Tohfa Tohfa’</em> and ‘<em>Baby Doll’</em>, Anushka Sharma explaining to Ranbir Kapoor the meaning of ‘dil ka dard’, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma living their ‘Bollywood dream in the Alps’ and the medley song sequences in the second half of the film. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-672818 size-full" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Ae-Dil-Hai-Mushkil2-3.jpg" alt="Ae-Dil-Hai-Mushkil2" width="750" height="450" /> As for the performances, the film totally belongs to Ranbir Kapoor, who is in a dire need of a hit film, especially after the back to back debacles like ROY, BOMBAY VELVET and TAMASHA. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL sees Ranbir Kapoor excelling in the role that seems to be tailor made for him. Ranbir Kapoor, who happens to be the nucleus of the film, takes to his role like a fish to water. It just won’t be wrong to say that AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL is an out and out a Ranbir Kapoor film. Anushka Sharma, on the other hand, is decent and does her role with extreme conviction. The chemistry between Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma is superlative in the film, so much so, that people will surely leave behind the debacle of their last film BOMBAY VELVET. Overall, Anushka Sharma comes across as extremely pleasant in terms of her performance in the film. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, despite having limited screen time, manages to looks beautiful, classy and very different from all her earlier roles. Full marks to Manish Malhotra for presenting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan like never before. Aishwarya manages to charm Ranbir’s character and the audiences, exactly the way she is meant to be. Fawad Khan, whose role has been chopped mercilessly, looks good in whatever screen time he gets. The cameos by Alia Bhatt and Imran Abbas seem just passable. On the other hand, cameos by Shah Rukh Khan and Lisa Haydon are brilliant. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL’s music (Pritam) is already a superhit, and the songs manage to give an extraordinary feel to the story. Tracks like ‘<em>Bulleya’ </em>and the title track lifts up the tempo of the film to another level altogether. The film’s background score (Pritam) is equally good and helps the film immensely. The film's cinematography (Anil Mehta) is superlative. The way in which he has shot the foreign locales are extremely top-notch. Even though the film’s editing (Manik Dawar) is good, it definitely could have been tighter, majorly in the film’s second half. Had the length of the film been a bit shorter, it would have definitely worked in the film’s favour. On the whole, AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL is a contemporary and a progressive take on relationships from the master story teller Karan Johar. It is a perfect Diwali entertainer which packages rich visuals, chartbuster music and an engrossing screenplay on a large canvas. At the Box-Office, the tremendous hype, combined with the festive period and an extended weekend will translate into amazing returns for the makers. In a nutshell, AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL has got ‘S-U-P-E-R-H-I-T’ written all over it.

Movie Review: Shivaay
Thu, 27 Oct 16 18:53:40 +0000

<img class="size-full wp-image-666580 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Shivaay-Review1.jpg" alt="Shivaay-Review1" width="620" height="420" /> It’s not every day that you get to witness the clash of two gigantic films at the Box-Office. There have been times when two big films that got released on the same day and in some cases like LAGAAN and GADAR EK PREM KATHA (June 15, 2001), DIL and GHAYAL (June 22, 1990), both the releases managed to succeed at the box office. Despite releasing on the same date, these films proved to be blockbusters at the Box-Office. This week sees the release of two gigantic films in the form of SHIVAAY and AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL. Will the ‘divine intervention’ help the action packed SHIVAAY to outpower the mushy AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL or will it prove otherwise, let’s analyze. SHIVAAY is an emotional action thriller that touches upon the relationship between a father and his daughter and the extent to which he goes for her. The film starts off with the fearless daredevil Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) helping the Indian Army in an assignment amidst the snow-clad mountains and dangerous terrains. This is followed by him leading a group of enthusiastic mountaineers to an expedition. On this expedition, he meets Olga Paramski (Erika Kaar). Gradually, they both fall in love and have a love child Gaura (Abigail Eames). After the birth of Gaura (who is mute by birth), Olga leaves both, Shivaay and Gaura, in order to live her life in her home country Bulgaria. Post that, Shivaay looks after Gaura as a single parent and tells her that her mother is dead. But, one day, when Gaura discovers the truth about her mother, she gets very angry at Shivaay for lying to her. In order to pacify her, Shivaay takes Gaura to Bulgaria to meet her mother Olga. It is here that Gaura gets kidnapped by unknown human traffickers. Thereafter starts Shivaay’s search for his daughter Gaura. He is helped by Anushka (Sayyeshaa), Wahab (Vir Das) and Sharma (Saurabh Shukla). Does Shivaay manage to trace Gaura as well as Olga in the unknown country of Bulgaria, what are the obstacles that he faces while searching Olga and Gaura, what role does Anushka play in Shivaay’s life is what forms the rest of the film. When SHIVAAY’s promos were released, its serene locations and action packed stunts served as visual treat to the audiences. At the same time, the promos did not even reveal an ounce of a detail about the film’s tightly guarded plot. While the film does have stunning visuals and mind boggling action, the screenplay (Sandeep Shrivastava), despite a handful of flaws, manages to keep the viewer hooked. After having made his directorial debut with U ME AUR HUM, Ajay Devgn dons the directorial hat for the second time with SHIVAAY. While the film’s first half is slow as it sets up the story, the second half becomes racy, engaging and taut, and is loaded with brillaint action sequences. It is however the climax that seems far too stretched than required. Ajay Devgn has put his heart and soul as a director in SHIVAAY, which is pretty much evident in every frame of the film. Ajay Devgn comes out with flying colours as a director of SHIVAAY. He has successfully managed to package the product named ‘SHIVAAY’ in the right manner so as to suit the taste of the cinegoers. Even though the film’s setting, locales and actors are mostly foreign, the essence of SHIVAAY is totally Indian, which acts as a major connecting factor for the viewer. Ajay Devgn has successful incorporated the entertainment quotient in the form of action, which works as the right ingredient for the audiences. There are a handful of scenes in the film that one should not miss at any cost. That includes Ajay Devgn’s introduction scene, the avalanche incident amidst the mountaineering expedition, Gaura’s kidnapping scene and the chase that follows. Full marks for Ajay Devgn for being successful in extracting brilliant performances from the film’s cast. <img class="size-full wp-image-666581 aligncenter" src="http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Shivaay-Review2.jpg" alt="Shivaay-Review2" width="620" height="420" /> As for the performances, the film rides solely on the ‘divine’ shoulders of Ajay Devgn, who excels superlatively in the titular role of Shivaay. While his last film DRISHYAM was the psychological thriller, SHIVAAY marks the return of Ajay Devgn in his action mode. Ajay Devgn excels in the role that is totally tailor made for him. The onscreen relationship that he shares with the child actress Abigail Eames is extremely natural and flawless. While Ajay Devgn carries the entire film on his own, he is very aptly supported by a stellar performer in the form of Abigail Eames, who makes an extremely impressive debut in Bollywood with SHIVAAY. After having worked in Hollywood shows like LAWLESS and HARRY &amp; PAUL'S STORY OF THE 2S, the child actor Abigail Eames makes an endearing and a remarkable debut with SHIVAAY. Even though she is shown as a mute girl (hence, no dialogues), the way with which she expresses and emotes with her eyes is highly effective and impressive. Debutante actresses, Erika Kaar and Sayyeshaa, both do justice to their respective characters. On the other hand, Vir Das and the veteran actor Girish Karnad are effective in their cameos. The rest of the film’s actors do their bit to carry the film forward. The film's dialogues (Sandeep Shrivastava) are strictly average with no outstanding one liner that the audiences can cherish. The film’s second half does have a couple of corny moments, which could create unintentional laughter. Even though the music (Mithoon) of SHIVAAY is not impressive (title track notwithstanding), it’s extremely impressive background score (Mithoon) more than covers up for the music. The film’s cinematography by Aseem Bajaj is simply outstanding. Full marks to him for making SHIVAAY look so grand and beautiful, surely making it a big screen experience. The film’s editing (Dharmendra Sharma) is decent. Full marks to the action director and his team for doing a marvellous job. On the whole, SHIVAAY is a perfect emotional thriller that scores high on the account of its breathtaking visuals, amazing action and a high octane performance by Ajay Devgn. At the Box-Office, the extended weekend in the form of the festival holiday will prove to be bountiful for the film. Don’t miss this one.

Movie Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Thu, 20 Oct 16 08:04:04 +0000

Action is definitely one of the favorite film genres. Seldom have there been action oriented films that have failed to satiate the audiences’ hunger for high octane stunts and break neck speed chase sequences. This week, we see the release of yet another action flick with the Tom Cruise starrer JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK up for release. However, will the film which is a follow up to the 2012 film JACK REACHER impress, or will it like those few actioners be lost to the annals of time... is what we analyse. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK sets off four years after the events of the first film, when Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit. He comes to meet Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) who he has been working with him on solving cases across the country. Upon his arrival, he is informed that Turner is accused of espionage. Now, Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear Turner’s name. In his pursuit to find the truth, Reacher finds himself becoming a victim to the all-encompassing conspiracy that threatens to not just kill him but everyone else involved, including his illegitimate daughter that he has no idea of. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever. The film starts off with the introduction of Reacher who has just incapacitated four men single handed and is blissfully sipping his coffee in a diner. Upon his arrest by the local police, he informs them of an illegal smuggling racket whose main accused is the local sheriff. With the plot uncovered in minutes and Reacher walking out as a free man, he decides to make his way back to Washington DC in an attempt to meet and court Major Susan Turner. However, once he reaches DC, Reacher learns that Turner has been arrested and is awaiting court martial. In an attempt to clear her name, Reacher involves himself with the investigation that draws him further into the net, while painting a target on his back. While the basic plot of the film is nothing new from the first film, it does have potential to be applauded as a thrilling action film replete with stunts, hand to hand combat sequences, high speed car chases and red hot bullet flying sequences. Unfortunately, though the film does have all of the mentioned sequences, they are few and far between, leaving the audience constantly wanting more. If the lack of action wasn’t enough, the inclusion of a family angle that Reacher doesn’t know about, and has to uncover makes him less impenetrable from the first film that featured him as a lone wolf. This deviation gives Cruise’s character a more grounded feel, making him come across as more vulnerable and a bit at sea when it comes to planning his moves forward. If that wasn’t enough the fact that JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK reunites Cruise with director Edward Zwick after THE LAST SAMURAI, the viewer anticipates an engrossing narrative that will capture their attention, but here again the film lags. In fact the overall narration seems hastened with the story seeming like any run of the mill action flicks. However, the dialogues though which are a hit and miss series, do inject a bit of humour into the on screen proceedings, but again do not make up for much. Talking about the performances, Tom Cruise who has become synonyms for reprising action avatars in films does a decent job with the character of Jack Reacher. However, the actor seems to be at the fag end of his action career that comes across as a bedraggled 50+ individual still trying to put in that extra mile at being fit. Cobie Smulders as Major Susan Turner, despite her attempt to feature as a major player in the film with her anti-sexism rant still gets relegated to the background since the film’s main focus is and will be Jack Reacher. However, Smulders does a good enough job in her limited profile that could otherwise have been given much more interesting depth. Danika Yarosh as the teenager Samantha Dayton, Reacher’s unknown daughter, does not do a great job of establishing a connect with the audience. In fact, her portrayal of a distressed rebellious teen who has been shuttling from one foster home to another does not come out. As for the rest of the cast that features Robert Knepper as General Harkness the mastermind and Patrick Heusinger as The Hunter, who is bent on converting his task of eliminating the loose ends into a completion with Reacher are underused. On the whole, JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK does not offer anything new. It's a slow paced film that fails to give the adrenaline rush that is expected from a Tom Cruise starrer.

Movie Review: Inferno
Fri, 14 Oct 16 09:51:36 +0000

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in number of films being made that are based on popular novels. While a film cannot fully encompass the breadth of characters, plots and sub-plots contained within a single novel, they more often than not convey manage to convey the story in an effective way. This week, we see the release of yet another film that is based on a novel with the Ron Howard directed film INFERNO hitting screens. But will the film which is an adaptation of Dan Brown’s third book in the series live up to expectations is what we analyse. INFERNO starts off with Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) waking up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days. However, like the previous films, Langdon soon finds himself, the target of a major manhunt. With the help of Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) and his knowledge of symbology, Langdon will try to regain his freedom and lost memories, all while solving the most intricate riddle he's ever faced. Much like the earlier films, right from the start, the viewer is thrown smack in the centre of the on screen happenings, with an action-chase sequence coming into play within the first five minutes. From here on what follows is a break neck race against time to contain what could be one of the biggest catastrophes to hit the human race. But unlike the previous film that features Langdon taking on the roots of Christianity and Papal law, INFERNO sees him going up against a crazed billionaire geneticist, Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who has invented the titular doomsday virus to wipe out half of the world's population. Hot on the trail of bread crumbs, Langdon finds himself once again plunged into ancient culture, this time the focus being on the world of 14th century Italian poet Dante Alighieri's 'The Divine Comedy'. Aiding the professor is Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), who fast becomes the professor’s sidekick in the race against time. Adding to the already intriguing plot is director Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen), from the World Health Organization (WHO) and her gang of armed operatives led by Christoph (Omar Sy), and the fixer Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan) who constantly try to apprehend Langdon. Though the film has all the makings of a brilliant thriller, the film seems rushed, with the main protagonist running across continents in a span of a couple of days. Though the film does have its share of nail biting moments, INFERNO does not manage to live up to expectations that have been developed based on the previous films in the series. Considering that even the earlier films THE DA VINCI CODE and ANGELS AND DEMONS featured similar plot lines wherein Langdon races against time to undo the cogs of evil that have been set in motion, INFERNO does not feature anything new. In fact, after a certain point the viewer settles in for the journey already anticipating including not just the climax but also Langdon’s next move. Coming to the performances in the film, Tom Hanks as usual does a stellar job of portraying the professor, continuing with the image that was well established in the first film. Langdon’s character stays true to the form being able to draw references from vague yet meaningful clues left behind. Felicity Jones as doctor Sienna Brooks does well in her role of playing Langdon’s sidekick, while at the same time keeping her reasons for assisting him well under wraps. Irrfan Khan, as the fixer for a powerful security firm entrenched in the shadows is present throughout the film, but in limited on-screen appearances. However, Khan does well in his given character exuding a sense of mystery yet definite power in his crucial yet limited role. Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth Sinskey, the director of the WHO is not really defined till the end when towards the climax the viewer understands who she really is. But the addition of a side plot of the relation between Langdon and Sinskey, though adding perspective could have been better handled. Talking about the direction, Ron Howard, who over the years has given us visual extravaganzas, does it yet again, with a scenic, detailed view of each of the venues that Langdon is led to. While the short length of the film is a sore thumb, it seems to have forced the director into assimilating as much as possible from the book into a short time frame which hinders the narration of the story but it does add the much needed pace to the film. Despite this hurdle and the fact that the viewer more or less already knows how the film ends, Howard does an eloquent job of keeping the suspense while simultaneously building the crescendo to a gripping climax. On the whole, though INFERNO, which is similar to the previous films that have been based on Dan Brown’s books, is predictable, the film’s narrative and sheer pace of the adventure unfolding on screen keeps the viewer hooked. At the box-office, the popularity of the franchise, the star attraction of Tom Hanks and Irrfan Khan and lack of competition will ensure good foot-falls.

Movie Review: Beiimaan Love
Fri, 14 Oct 16 05:37:36 +0000

Bollywood has seen and witnessed many films pertaining to love, cheating (read ‘betrayal’), two-timing, deceit etc… This week’s release is BEIIMAAN LOVE, which also treads on the similar lines. Will BEIIMAAN LOVE prove to be truthful at the Box-Office or will it deceive its makers, let’s analyze. BEIIMAAN LOVE is a story of two lovers, both having hidden agendas against each other. The film’s flashback states that, after Sunaina Verma (Sunny Leone) gets insulted and blamed by her boss K.K Malhotra (Rajiv Verma), she plans to take revenge against him and his empire. She, then, with the help of Monish (Yuvraj Singh) sets on the financial demolition spree of  ‘K.K Industries’, which is owned by K.K Malhotra. On the other hand, K.K Malhotra’s son Raj Malhotra (Rajniesh Duggal) lays a bet with Monish for a (mere) one rupee that he will have Sunaina as his girlfriend, after Sunaina slaps him publicly. In order to win the bet, Raj pretends to ‘falls in love’ with her and makes her fall for him. But, gradually, he starts developing real feelings for Sunaina, who, simultaneously goes all out to finish of ‘K.K Industries’. On the day of the engagement of Raj and Sunaina, K.K Malhotra discovers a harsh reality about Sunaina’s mother’s past, which leads to the engagement getting called off. This hurts Sunaina’s mother so much that she commits suicide. Meanwhile, K.K Malhotra’s ‘richy-rich’ best friend Amarnath Kapoor (Avtar Gill) ‘strikes a deal’ with him stating that, in exchange of Raj marrying his (untamed and wild) daughter, he will make ‘K.K Industries’ totally debt free and back the business. Immediately after Raj’s engagement with Amarnath Kapoor’s daughter, Raj sees something very unsavoury about his would-be wife. Shattered to the core, he hits the bottle and ‘goes back’ to Sunaina. Who does Raj marry in the end, what was it about his would-be wife that shatters Raj and does Sunaina forgive Raj… is what forms the rest of the film. The promo of BEIIMAAN LOVE was in itself a big giveaway about the film’s plot and premise. The film, in totality, turns out to be an extended and an elaborated version of the promo, with no novelty factor attached to it. The film’s screenplay (Rajeev Chaudhari) offers absolutely nothing new that Bollywood has not seen. It is very poorly written and every scene seems disjointed from the earlier one. The film’s story is extremely similar to HATE STORY in many ways and features all possible clichés from the 90’s. The film’s dialogues (Vibhanshu Vaibhav, Rajeev Chaudhari) are terrible. After having dabbled in film journalism and PR, Rajeev Chaudhary made his debut as a director with the non-starter titled GUNAAH. Even though BEIIMAAN LOVE happens to be his second film, it looks like an extremely amateur attempt at filmmaking, with no technical finesse or expertise to boast of. Rajeev Chaudhary fails miserably in extracting the required performance (read ‘emotions’) from his lead cast, which adds to the film’s sorrows and miseries. While the film’s first half is all about establishing its characters, its second half starts beating around the bush without any reason. The film’s second half drags endlessly, thus, testing the patience of the viewers to the fullest. Rajeev Chaudhary seems to have no clue as to what exactly he wanted to make out of BEIIMAAN LOVE. If the terrible screenplay wasn’t tortuous enough, even the actors in the film look totally confused and awkward when performing the badly-etched scenes. There are several moments in the film that evoke unintentional laughter. One simply starts wondering in disbelief while looking at the proceedings in the film. Don't miss the scene between Avatar Gill and the actress who plays his daughter. It's hilarious to the core, totally unintented of course. As for the performances, despite the presence of Sunny Leone (who has been struggling at the box office of late), the film looks devoid of any ‘sunny’ performance from her or anyone for that matter. Blame it on the terrible script or the poor direction, Sunny Leone looks thoroughly confused and lost throughout the film. Also, with almost no sex factor (something that Sunny Leone became famous for), there's nothing for her fans to look forward to. On the other hand, with an extremely forgettable Box-Office dud LAAL RANG as his last release, the going seems to be getting from bad to worse for Rajneesh Duggal with BEIIMAAN LOVE. While Rajneesh Duggal’s struggle to find his place under the sun in with BEIIMAAN LOVE is pretty evident, the script plays the villain by not allowing him to do anything out of the box. Other senior cast members come across caricaturish in nature, while some side actors in the film are just terrible and beyond your patience. Despite the presence of multiple music directors (Ankit Tiwari, Kanika Kapoor, Raghav Sachar, Sanjeev Darshan, Asad Khan, Asees), the film fails to churn out even a single chartbuster track (the end credit song notwithstanding). The film’s background score (Aniruddha Kale) is terrible and confuses the scenes. While the film’s cinematography is tacky, the editing (Sadique Singh) is terrible. On the whole, BEIIMAAN LOVE is a bad film that comes across as a spoof video rather than a serious feature film. The film is a disaster from the word go and will struggle at the box-office due to its bad content and no hype.

Movie Review: Saat Uchhakkey
Fri, 14 Oct 16 04:54:20 +0000

Comedy is definitely one of the most favourite genres of film lovers. Having said that, there very few films that manage to impresss and sometimes go beyond a viewer’s expectations. This week’s release SAAT UCHAKKEY is a situational that features some of the best acting talent in the country. But will the film manage to impress at the box-office with its content or will it turn out to be yet another failed attempt at making people laugh…. Let’s analyze. Wave Cinemas and Crouching Tiger’s SAAT UCHAKKEY is a situational comedy about seven losers, who just like anybody, want to get rich. The film starts off with the introduction of Bichhi (Annu Kapoor), who does a hypnosis expert, who manages to escape from a mental asylum and sets himself free in the world where exist Pappi (Manoj Bajpayee) and his lady love Sona (Aditi Sharma). In order to win over Sona and her ‘concerned’ mother, Pappi tries his hand at many things to make quick money, but, somehow success eludes him every time. One day, while eating snacks at a roadside stall, he overhears a discussion about the hidden treasure inside the mansion of the eternally gun wielding old man Diwan (Anupam Kher). In no time, Pappi gathers his team consisting of Sona, Khappe (Aparshakti Khurana) and Haggu (Nitin Bhasin), who, then, join hands with Jaggi (Vijay Raaz) and his gang Ajji (Vipul Vig) and Babbe (Jatin Sarna). As a part of the ‘masterplan’, Pappi fakes his death after being shot by Jaggi, so that the righteous police inspector Tejpal (Kay Kay Menon) will never be able to suspect him after Diwan’s treasure is stolen. Amidst all this, it is revealed that the police inspector Tejpal is madly in love with Sona and wishes to marry her at any cost. Do the seven petty crooks (‘saat uchakkey’) successfully manage to execute their robbery plan, does Tejpal fall for their plan, amongst Tejpal and Pappi, who gets to marry Sona in the end and do the ‘saat uchakkey’ become successful in finding the hidden treasure… is what forms the rest of the film. With the quirky nature of the promo of SAAT UCHAKKEY, one did get a whiff of what to expect from the film. The film howevert turns out to be a big surprise with its incredible humor, funny characters and sticky situations. The film’s screenplay (Sandeep Saket, Sanjeev Sharma) is brilliant as it sucks you right into the world of these funny characters and keeps you hooked. The unique quirks of the seven loony characters have been so well written, that, sometimes, it becomes tough to believe that they are actors performing their parts on screen. The duo of Sandeep Saket and Sanjeev Sharma have done a fabulous job in handling this script with so much ease. They have definitely got the ammunition of the best talents to live and breathe the characters. After having tried his hand as a writer and an actor, Sanjeev Sharma makes his directorial debut with SAAT UCHAKKEY. Despite SAAT UCHAKKEY being his debut film, Sanjeev Sharma deserves accolades for the exemplary finesse with which he has directed the film. Kudos to the director for staying totally true to the story and the setting. If his directorial abilities in SAAT UCHAKKEY are anything to go by, then, Sanjeev Sharma is definitely a name to watch out for in the days to come. While the film’s first half sets the mood, tempo and the premise of the film as well as its well etched out characters, in the second half begins the comedy of errors while leads to confusion and chaos. Full marks to Sanjeev Sharma for brilliantly exhibiting the small town set up of old Delhi. One of the biggest highlights and USPs of the film are its absolutely superlative dialogues (Sanjeev Sharma). The language used in the film is extremely ‘colourful’ so to speak. However, since the dialogues are loaded and interspersed with expletives, it may not suit the taste of all the viewers. Having said that, one must add that the lines are outrageously funny and never come across as forced or thrusted. The characters talk naturally in the lingo where abusing each other is a common way of chatting. The dialogues are extremely hilarious and will generate nonstop laughter, especially with the masses. As for the performances, the film has some of the best known and some undiscovered talents. The film rides majorly on the able shoulders of the talented actors Manoj Bajpayee and Vijay Raaz. The impact of these two actors in the film is so huge that one just cannot imagine SAAT UCHAKKEY without them. While Manoj Bajpayee justifies his character of an eternal loser very convincingly, he also, with his stellar performance, proves as to why he is the unanimous choice for the said role. Manoj, who has never done this kind of goofy comedy before, is truly refreshing to watch. He totally carries the movie like a true hero with conviction. He is followed a close second by Vijay Raaz, who is in his full element in the film. Watch out for the scene when Manoj Bajpayee and Vijay Raaz get into a fight and then patch up. Another outstanding scene is when Vijay Raaz gives a eulogy at Manoj Bajpayee's ‘condolence meet’. Kay Kay Menon does his role of a lover and a righteous police inspector with utmost sincerity. Amidst the league of all the experienced gentlemen, Aditi Sharma successfully manages to create her space under the sun, with a brilliant performance of a headstrong and street smart girl. It's good to see her in a powereful role after a long time. Aparshakti Khurana, Jatin Sarna, Vipul Vig and Nitin Bhasin, who besides excelling in their roles as useless sidekicks, are simply hilarious. These four actors are the biggest surprise package in the film and are surely the talents to watch out for. Veteran actors Anupam Kher and Annu Kapoor do a good job in their extended cameos. Even though there is barely any scope for music (Bapi Tutul, Abhishek Ray, Jaidev Kumar, Vivek Kar, Saket and Niranjan) in the film, there are two songs which are very smartly placed in the film. The film’s background music (Sanjoy Chowdhury) is good. While the DoP (John Jacob Payyapalli) has done a decent job, the film’s editing (Shree Narayan Singh) is crisp as the film maintains a good place and never slows down. Overall, SAAT UCHAKKEY is an outrageously funny situational comedy, which will leave you in splits. However, the film has a high dosage of explicit language, which may restrict its audience reach in the multiplexes. Additionally, due to the film’s poor publicity and the lack of star value, the film will have to depend heavily on positive word of mouth, in order to do good business at the box office.

Movie Review: Tutak Tutak Tutiya
Fri, 07 Oct 16 10:44:21 +0000

There have been many films in Bollywood that have shared their title with hit songs. Examples to the same are in the form of JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA, BACHNA AE HASEENO, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI... to name a few. This week’s release TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA also shares its title with the smash hit track of the 90s. Will TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA prove to be music at the Box-Office or will it lose its strings mid way, let’s analyse. Pooja Entertainment Films Ltd and Shakti Sagar Productions’ TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA is a comical take on marriage, relationships, career and life. The film starts off with Krishna Kumar (Prabhu Dheva) and his never ending quest to get a modern girl as his wife, so that ‘his children can have a bright future’. One fine day, he gets a call stating that his grandmother is counting her last breath in the village. When an extremely worried Krishna reaches the village, he gets to know that his dying grandmother’s last wish is to see him get married to a girl of her choice. After a handful of rejections, Krishna’s grandmother finally ‘selects’ the village simpleton Devi (Tamannaah). Even though Krishna’s dreams of getting married to a posh modern girl are shattered, he compromises on his dreams and gets married to Devi. On reaching Mumbai, Krishna tells Devi to follow his instructions and not to get too close to him at any time, which Devi agrees to and obeys like a dutiful wife. When the newly married couple finally get a house to stay in, little do they know what twists and turns await them in the ‘new’ house. Just as life goes on smoothly, one day, the dutiful Devi gets transformed into a stunningly glamorous Ruby and impresses everyone with her dancing skills, especially Bollywood superstar Raj Khanna (Sonu Sood). Totally smitten by Ruby, Raj falls head over heels in love with Ruby. Situations become worse when Raj tells Ruby’s now manager Krishna to be the messenger of his feelings for Ruby. What is the mystery surrounding the entire situation, how are Devi and Ruby ‘connected’ to each other, does Raj become successful in confessing his feelings to Ruby and what happens to Krishna and Devi in the end, is what forms the rest of the film. The promos of TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA were good enough for the audiences to get a feel of what to expect from the film. The film, in totality does not disappoint the eager viewer, thanks to the film’s novel screenplay (Vijay and Paul Aaron) of horror comedy. Even though the film’s dialogues do not tickle your funny bone at the drop of a hat, it is decent enough to sustain the humor level of the audience. After having set his directorial flag flying sky high down south, Vijay makes his Bollywood debut as a director with TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA. One has to really appreciate the finesse and patience with which he has treated the entire film. With a film that boasts of a ‘different’ genre, there were many places whereby the film could have gone astray. But, thanks to Vijay’s able direction, the film never loses its track. While the film’s first half sets up the atmosphere for the story, it’s the engaging second half that really ups the excitement and comedy in the film. Even though the second half does look a bit stretched at handful of places, it does not hamper the film’s narrative, which works majorly in the favour of the film. As for the performances, the film rides entirely on the shoulders of Tamannaah and Prabhu Dheva (in that order). Even though Tamannaah was last seen in the smash hit BAHUBALI (which was dubbed in Hindi as well), it is really nice and refreshing to see her in an out and out role that seems totally tailor-made for her. The sincerity with which she approaches her role in the film is clearly visible throughout the film. Kudos to her for successfully pulling off her role which has two extremes (you have to see the film to know what it means). On the other hand, Prabhu Dheva does justice to his role of a simpleton with sky high dreams about his life partner. Sonu Sood, who, initially seems to be suffering from a huge ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ hangover, gradually, does his role with ease. Besides the glam aspect, the cameos by Amy Jackson and Esha Gupta are inconsequential. Rest of the film’s characters help the film move forward. Despite the presence of multiple music directors (Sajid Wajid, Dr. Bal Sidhu, Millind Gaba, Raaj Aashoo, Gurinder Seagal, Vishal Mishra), the film manages to churn only one hummable track (in the form of <em>‘Rail Gaddi’</em>). The background music (Gopi Sundar) is lucid and is in tune with the film’s narrative. The film’s editing (Anthony) is average and could have done much better in the film’s second half. The film’s cinematography (Manush Nandan) is decent. On the whole, TUTAK TUTAK TUTIYA scores purely on its novel concept. It will need to depend upon a strong word of mouth however, to register decent numbers at the box office.

Movie Review: Mirzya
Thu, 06 Oct 16 19:20:55 +0000

By now, everyone knows that the most important day in Bollywood is Friday, as it’s this day of the week that makes or breaks many a dream. This week’s release MIRZYA marks the debut of Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan Kapoor alongwith Saiyami Kher. Will MIRZYA see the ‘son-rise’ of Harshvardhan Kapoor and catapult the debutantes into superstardom or will it spell doom at the Box-Office, let’s analyse. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s MIRZYA is essentially an epic love story set during the contemporary times. The film starts off with the introduction of the childhood of Munish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) and Suchitra aka Suchi (Saiyami Kher). The duo not just go to the school together, but also, sit on the same bench and help each other every time in need. One day, when the school teacher asks Munish for his homework, Suchi lends him her copy. And when Sir asks Suchi for her homework, she says that she had not done the homework. And because of this, the teacher hits her with a cane. Unable to bear the sight, Munish lands up robbing the gun from Suchi’s (police officer) father and shoots the school teacher dead in broad daylight. After that, despite being sentenced to a juvenile remand home, the compulsive thoughts of Suchi make Munish run away from there. Meanwhile, Suchi and her father leave Jodhpur forever and shift to a new location. After a few years, a grown up Suchi returns from abroad only to be received by her fiancé Prince Karan (Raj Chaudhary). Incidentally, Munish (who now lives a ‘changed life’ as Adil Mirza) works in the horse stable of Prince Karan and starts teaching horse riding to Suchi. Munish recognizes her but does not reveal his true identity to her till she guesses who he is. The two fall in love again, but things are very different now as compared to their childhood. Does Munish confess his love to Suchi, does Suchi go ahead with her marriage with Prince Karan and does Munish and Suchi gather the courage to stand up against the world to fight for their love, is what forms the rest of the film. When the promos of MIRZYA were released, it gave the audience a stunning visual experience of a love story set in two different eras. The film, sadly, just does not live upto the expectations that one has from a Rakeysh Mehra film. The film's screenplay (Gulzar) is bizarre, confusing and extremely slow paced, to say the least. It is really saddening that to see a cinematic genius of Gulzar’s calibre and stature could go so very tremendously wrong with a classic love story. The film’s dialogues (Gulzar) are very average and leave absolutely no impact on the audience. MIRZYA, in totality, runs on three tracks. Firstly, it’s a real time love story between Munish and Suchi, second, the folklore of Mirza-Sahiban (visually heavily inspired by <em>The Game Of Thrones’</em> ‘Khaleesi’ track) and thirdly, an abstract bunch of folk dancers who look eternally high, sexually overcharged and randomly break into provocative dances. All of this land up becoming an intangible proposition for the audience to digest Besides Gulzar, MIRZYA’s director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (who has to his credit films like RANG DE BASANTI and the more recent BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG), is equally to be blamed. The irony of the situation is that, even though Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra knows the pulse and the taste of today’s audiences, he lands up making a mess out of MIRZYA, which was supposed to be the launch pad of two new faces and careers. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s direction in MIRZYA is not just poor, but completely ‘directionless’. Besides the film’s weak narrative, there are way too many loopholes in the film and many unexplained events and situations. All of this leads to the audiences being confused and puzzled by the time the film ends. While the first half is all about the ‘set-up’ of the couple’s romantic saga, the second half drags endlessly without a cause and a pause. The film sees Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra randomly ending every crucial scene, only to get enveloped by a musical track with Daler Mehendi’s high pitched tone. If that wasn’t enough, there are certain scenes that, besides making no sense, land up testing your patience with Om Puri’s voiceover that constantly states <em>“Hota Hai, Hota Hai, Ishq Mein Aksar Aisaa Hota Hai”, </em>in a way hinting that even the makers somewhere knew what they are showing is just illogical. All of this forces the viewer to wonder as to what exactly was going on in the mind of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and what was he trying to convey through MIRZYA. Although the plot of MIRZYA (rich girl-poor boy-disapproving parents) has been attempted umpteen times before in Bollywood, MIRZYA offers absolutely no novelty (in the form of twists and turns) in the film. The film, in totality, looks completely lifeless and falls flat on the face. As for the performances, the film rides totally on the shoulders of its lead pair Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher. Harshvardhan Kapoor shows promise as a debutante and is at ease in front of the camera. He tries to do justice to his half baked character with all that he has and manages to look confident on screen. Considering the fact that, Saiyami Kher has done a handful of modelling assignments before, she seems quite comfortable (in front of the camera) as a newcomer. She has an endearing screen presence with a confident body language and looks extremely gorgeous. She too seems very promising and should be an actress to watch out for in Bollywood. In all fairness, both the newcomers show immense potential as actors. Raj Chaudhary is decent in his part of a Rajasthani Prince. The veteran actor Om Puri, who is seen only in the film’s opening sequence, gradually disappears as the film progresses. He makes his ‘presence felt’ only through his voiceovers. The rest of the cast helps the film move forward. The film’s music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) seems forced into the film and is not at all impressive. Amongst the entire lot, the only tracks that stand out in the album are <em>‘Teen Gawah’</em> and the title song (whose repeated playing becomes irritating eventually). Besides the film’s background score being average, it also (many times) gets overlapped by the film’s songs. The film’s editing (P.S. Bharathi) is average. The film boasts of excellent cinematography (Paweł Dyllus). It’s his magical work that makes the film nothing short of a visual delight. He has very enchantingly captured the folklore of Mirza and Sahibaan. Paweł Dyllus needs to be appreciated and lauded for presenting the film so beautifully. While the film’s VFX seem tacky and could have been better, the action scenes (Australian action director Danny Baldwin) are impressive. On the whole, MIRZYA boasts of stunning visuals and good performances by the lead cast. However, it is marred by the treatment which is just not commercial in nature. At the Box-Office, the movie will struggle and will appeal only to a niche set of multiplex going audiences.

Movie Review: M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story
Fri, 30 Sep 16 10:02:20 +0000

In the recent times, Bollywood has witnessed many biopics, which have been made on sports personalities. Testimonies to this are in the form of the BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG (based on the athlete Milkha Singh), PAAN SINGH TOMAR (based on the athlete-turned-dacoit Paan Singh Tomar), MARY KOM (based on boxer Mary Kom) and many more. This week’s release M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY is a biopic on M.S. Dhoni, one of India’s most sucessful and celebrated cricketers. Will M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY manage to charm the audiences and score big at the Box-Office… let’s analyse. Fox Star Studios’ M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY, as the title suggests, is a film about the untold and unknown aspects of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s life. The film starts off with the iconic match that took place between India and Sri Lanka on April 2, 2011. This is followed by a series of flashbacks (read ‘insight’) into the life of MS Dhoni, who grows up with his passion of playing football. It is during one such match when his sports teacher spots his impeccable talent in goalkeeping. On his insistence, an initially reluctant Dhoni, then starts playing cricket. When Dhoni realises that he is only keeping wickets and not getting an opportunity to bat, he ‘creates an opportunity’ and starts smashing the ball in all directions, thus, impressing one and all. Things, then, start gradually moving forward for Dhoni, who, after playing for a handful of government organisations, lands up becoming a TC (Ticket Collector) at Kharagpur station and starts playing for the railways. As days pass, his job tires him physically and mentally, leaving him limited time for cricket practice. When frustration reaches its peak in Dhoni’s mind, he quits his railway job and comes back home, something that extremely annoys his father (Anupam Kher). Amidst all this, when Dhoni gets a call from the selectors to play for India, he does not play well on the ground, despite that being his first ever international match. He however gets insipired on meeting Priyanka (Disha Patani) who boosts up his morale and Dhoni regains his form. Just when life starts blooming for Dhoni, both, professionally and personally, an unexpected tragedy buoys him down miserably. Around this time, Dhoni happens to meet Sakshi (Kiara Advani). What is the calamity that stuns Dhoni, what happens to the blooming romance between Priyanka and Dhoni, what role does Sakshi play in his life and under what circumstances does MS Dhoni lead India to its historic win at the World Cup, is what forms the rest of the film. Right from the moment the promos of M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY got released; it had upped the curiosity amongst the viewers about the film. The reason being it promised to highlight ‘the untold story’ about M.S. Dhoni, whose ‘private life’ has been extremely guarded. The film, in totality, does not disappoint even a bit, as it delivers what it promised. What also works in the favour of the film is the fact that, while the film stays true to the title. The film is all about the trails, tribulations, challenges and failures and the eventual success of Dhoni, the very man who captained the nation to consecutive wins at both the T20 and ODI World Cup matches. Unlike other biopics, M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY remains clear of gossips, scandals and rumours in any form. Because of all these feel-good factors, the audience gain a sense of pride and achievement when they see Dhoni and his achievements in the film. The film is an underdog story who which will inspire millions. The film's screenplay (Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha) is extremely well-crafted and inspiring, which keeps the viewers engaged right from the word go. Besides doing complete justice to the life and lifestyle of M.S. Dhoni, the screenplay also helps in successfully mirroring his rise from a small town man to an international star. After having delivered blockbuster hits with films like A WEDNESDAY!, SPECIAL 26 and BABY, it was only natural and obvious about the (superlative) expectations one would from director Neeraj Pandey. One has to give to him for successfully living upto the expectations. While one can see the flawlessness of his direction in the engaging first half of the film, the second half is dominated by the sheer brilliance of Dhoni and his captaincy while winning T20 and World Cup matches (the romantic angle notwithstanding). Here, one must also point out that as a film, M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY was on a weak wicket from start. In other words, it was devoid of ‘A’ lister stars, a quintessential Bollywood masala script and even catchy music. But the very fact that the film was based on the life of the eternal sensation MS Dhoni, more than made up for the aforementioned vacuums. The way in which Neeraj Pandey has shown the life in small town and how so many people offered their rock solid support in the progress of Dhoni is really very touching. This is something that needs to be seen in order to be believed. There are many scenes that really touch your heart and stir the emotions. Prominent amongst them are Dhoni’s shuffling between exams and match practice, Railway Recruitment Officer Ganguly bowling to Dhoni, Anupam Kher’s constant fears and concerns towards his son, Dhoni breaking down in the middle of the road after the death of his girlfriend, the introduction of Yuvraj’s stylish character and the scene where Dhoni misses his flight despite all the efforts. Though the film is long with its run time of 3 hrs and 10 mins, it never becomes a tiring watch, due to its engaging narrative. As for the performances, the film belongs wholly and solely to Sushant Singh Rajput, who is ‘MS Dhoni personified’ in every frame of the film. While his last film was the ‘forgettable’ DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY!, Sushant Singh Rajput has given his all to make sure that his role in M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY is simply ‘unforgettable’. There are times when you actually land up feeling that Sushant Singh Rajput has transformed into M.S. Dhoni and you never see him as an actor playing just the role. All in all, M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY will surely be classified as Sushant Singh Rajput’s career best role. While Disha Patani makes a sparking debut with the film, Kiara Advani is average. Bhumika Chawla is decent and makes a comeback in Bollywood with this film. Veteran Anupam Kher does an exceptional role in the film. There are also many other characters in the film who form a brillaint supporting cast and make the film realistic. One has to give full marks to the casting director for the same. Even though the film’s music (Amaal Mallik, Rochak Kohli) is average, the film’s background score (Sanjoy Chowdhury) is gripping, especially during the film’s climax. The film’s cinematographer (Santosh Thundiyil) has done a fine job. The film’s editing (Shree Narayan Singh) is average. A special mention should also go to the VFX team of the film for doing a good job at masking Sushant’s face on Dhoni’s body during the match sequences, specially in the second half. On the whole, M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY hits it out of the park with a huge six on the account of its engaging narrative and a brilliant screenplay. In a nation where Bollywood and cricket are considered as religion, the amalgamation of both will work wonders at the Box-Office, setting new records. Don’t miss it for anything in the world. O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G.

Movie Review: Banjo
Fri, 23 Sep 16 02:38:25 +0000

From the time Riteish Deshmukh made his Bollywood debut in 2003 with TUJHE MERI KASAM till where he has reached today, he has shown immense versatility and growth as an actor. At the same time, the fact also remains that, he has delivered his career's biggest hits in multi- starrer films. This week's release BANJO sees Riteish Deshmukh as a solo hero, paired opposite the svelte Nargis Fakhri. Will BANJO prove to be a 'musical' success for both, its makers and Riteish Deshmukh at the Box-Office, or will it land up losing its strings, lets analyze. BANJO is essentially a musical action film that mirrors a musician's livelihood 'orchestrated' by destiny and his survival in this world without compromising on his self-respect. The film starts off with the 'musical introduction' of the Mumbai based Nandkishore aka Taraat (Riteish Deshmukh), an extraordinary banjo player who also doubles up as an extortionist for the sake of extra money. His banjo band consists of three (part time) members named 'Grease' (Dharmesh Yelande), 'Paper' and 'Vaaja'. On the other side of the globe (New York, to be specific), exists an aspiring and spunky DJ Chris (Nargis Fakhri), who wants to enter a prestigious music championship. While she is searching for the right music as her entry in the championship, her Mumbai based friend (Luke Kenny) helps her by sending a recording of Taraat's banjo performance during Ganeshotsav festival. Totally impressed by Taraat's mesmerising tunes, Chris reaches Mumbai, in order to search for Taraat and his talented team members, as she wants to collaborate for a song with them as her entry in the music championship. In no time, Taraat unknowingly becomes Chris' guide and friend in Mumbai. And while, doing so, he gradually falls in love with her. At the same time, Taraat and his gang refrain from revealing to Chris that they are banjo players, fearing insult and rejection from her. What they don't realise however is that it is in search of their band for whom Chris has especially flown down to India. One fine day, when Chris gets to know about Taraat and his banjo band, her happiness knows no bounds and she immediately starts jamming with them for her songs. Amidst all this, an unfortunate incident occurs that completely changes the lives of Taraat, his band members and Chris as well. Will Taraat ever muster the courage to confess his feelings for Chris, what was the unfortunate incident that splits Taraat with his band members and does Taraat become successful in helping Chris to reach her ultimate destination (the music championship), is what forms the rest of the film. While BANJO's promos beautifully mirrored the lives of street musicians, the film elaborates the same in totality. The film's story set up (Kapil Sawant, Nikhil Mehrotra and Ravi Jadhav) is relatable. After taking a promising start, the film also highlights the life, lifestyle and the dreams of those (unsung talents) living in the slums. The film successfully manages to establish the quirky characters of Taraat and his band members. The life and lifestyle of the slum dwellers have been convincingly portrayed in the film. The film's dialogues (Kapil Sawant, Nikhil Mehrotra and Ravi Jadhav) are simple, unassuming and funny. There are many one liners in the film, which have been used as punches, will surely have the audiences in splits. After having proved his mettle as an impeccable director in hit Marathi films like NATARANG, BALGANDHARVA, BALAK-PALAK, TIMEPASS, REGE and others, Ravi Jadhav makes his Bollywood debut with BANJO. Being an experienced hand in 'meaningful direction', he has done a decent job in BANJO. But due to the film's weak writing and confused narrative, there are places where the film tends to go off-track. It is this aspect that curtails Ravi Jadhav from going all out in direction. For example: One gets confused about Nargis' character and her ultimate goal in life. While her character starts off as a DJ, then, becomes a music producer and gradually, lands up being a performer! All of this, in the name of taking part in the New York music festival, which never happens. Her getting involved in Riteish's gang, searching for sponsors and performing in Indian clubs actually beats her basic purpose of coming to India! On the other hand, even Mohan Kapur's character definitely required more clarity. The film suffers its biggest downfall in the form of its abrupt ending too. The film's sudden ending seems like a deliberate attempt to cut short the film, which surely backfires heavily on the film's narrative. As for the performances, the film sails on the able shoulders of its protagonist Riteish Deshmukh. After having proved his mettle in multi- starrer films (majorly slapstick comedies), it's a refreshing change to see Riteish Deshmukh in an intense role. BANJO sees Riteish Deshmukh convincingly shouldering the responsibility of a solo hero film. On the other hand, Nargis Fakhri, delivers a decent performance in BANJO. She is extremely at ease with her character, and hence, she does complete justice to her role of a foreigner and her struggles of dealing with the slum based banjo players and their quirky lifestyles. Luke Kenny, who is totally 'in his character' in the film, is extremely convincing. Do not miss the scene where he 'reveals' his identity (in Marathi-Hindi lingo) to Riteish Deshmukh and his band members. Dharmesh Yelande, who is mostly known for his dancing skills, comes across as a stark revelation in BANJO. His comedy timing is bang on. The other actors playing Riteish's band members are brilliant. As far as the film's music (Vishal-Shekhar) is concerned, despite BANJO being a musical, lands up having only one chartbuster track in the form of '<i>Udan Choo</i>'. Even though the rest of the tracks are pleasant, they fail to leave an impact. On the other hand, the film's background score (Sourav Roy) is decent and is in tune with the film's narrative. The film's cinematography (Manoj Lobo) is decent. The film's editing (Devendra Murdeshwar) is average. On the whole, BANJO fails to strike the right notes on account of its low hype, confused second half and bizarre culmination. At the Box-Office, it will struggle for decent footfalls.

Movie Review: Raaz Reboot
Fri, 16 Sep 16 08:33:58 +0000

It all started off in the year 2002 when Vikram Bhatt directed the spooky thriller RAAZ starring Bipasha Basu, Dino Morea and Malini Sharma. The film's unprecedented success gave way to 'subsequent' films in the form of RAAZ: THE MYSTERY CONTINUES (2009) and RAAZ 3 in 3D (2012). This week's release is the next instalment of the RAAZ series titled RAAZ REBOOT that stars Emraan Hashmi, Kriti Kharbanda and Gaurav Arora in the lead roles. Will RAAZ REBOOT prove to be a 'Raaz-mataz' hit at the Box-Office or will it have to 'reboot' itself, let's analyze. Vishesh Films and T-Series' RAAZ REBOOT is essentially a horror film that explores many mysteries, secrets, human traits and evils. The film starts off with a voiceover narration about love and life amidst the picturesque locations of Romania. It is here where the married couple Rehaan Khanna (Gaurav Arora) and his wife Shaina (Kriti Kharbanda) have recently moved in. Post that, the film enters into a semi flashback of events that mirrors Rehaan's resistance and reluctance of shifting his base to Romania. Because of Shaina's insistence, Rehaan gives up his 'average job' in Mumbai and settles for a plush and high flying corporate job in Romania. But, ever since the time they shift to Romania, Shaina senses something amiss between Rehaan and his approach towards her. When repeated questioning yields no answers, she becomes extremely sad and disheartened. Amidst all this, Shaina starts witnessing eerie and weird things happening in her house. And when she tries to explain all this to Rehaan, he rubbishes Shaina's claims of the presence of evil spirit in their house. That's the time when a depressed and longing for love Shaina comes across the fashion photographer Aditya Shrivastava (Emraan Hashmi). Aditya, not only understands her situation, but also offers help in overcoming the evil happenings in her life. One day, when Rehaan goes outstation for work, Aditya meets Shaina to tell her a shocking secret that leaves Shaina totally helpless and shocked. Does Aditya actually tell Shaina the reason behind the evil spirit attacking her, why is he helping Shaina in an unknown land and does Shaina and how is Rehaan related to all this, is what forms the rest of the film. When RAAZ REBOOT's trailers got released, it definitely upped the curiosity factor amongst the audiences. And the film does not disappoint. Even though RAAZ REBOOT's screenplay (Vikram Bhatt) gets into the cliched space at times, it is definitely tight and gripping. It successfully manages to keep the audiences engaged and hooked to the film till the end. And it is purely because of this that the attention of the audience refrains from dwindling till the end. The film's narrative is simple and lucid. The film does have a handful of memorable and hard hitting dialogues (Girish Dhamija), mostly in the second half. Even though RAAZ REBOOT's premise happens to be its director Vikram Bhatt's favourite territory, there are a handful of things which seem amiss in the film. Even though his direction starts going a bit astray somwhere in the middle, he manages to hold the film together. While the film's first half is slow, the second half picks up with the horror and mystery elements kicking in. However, the film misses the presence of sex element, which is the forte of the Bhatts and movies belonging to this genre. Having said that, one has to make a special mention about a handful of scenes in the film that really stand out. Like the scene when Kriti runs back from her shopping to her house and her 'confrontation' during the recitation of shlokas, during the exorcism. After having starred in the earlier RAAZ films (RAAZ-THE MYSTERY CONTINUES and RAAZ 3), Emraan Hashmi definitely seems tad comfortable in his 'home turf'. Despite the fact that one starts feeling a bit letdown and disappointed with the lack of 'Emraan-isms' in full throttle, still, he manages to do total justice to his character and brings in the much needed pace in the narrative. Do not miss his confrontation scene with Gaurav Arora. Speaking of Gaurav Arora, he delivers a convincing performance in the film. RAAZ REBOOT might just prove to be a springboard for his future in Bollywood. However, the biggest surprise of the film is Kriti Kharbanda. Armed with an endearing screen presence and strong performance in the film, she could just be the name to watch out for. Even though RAAZ REBOOT is her debut film in Bollywood, she just does not come across as a debutante actress. While the film essentially belongs to the aforementioned trio (Emraan Hashmi, Kriti Kharbanda, Gaurav Arora), the other actors simply help the film in moving forward. The music of RAAZ REBOOT (Jeet Gannguli, Sangeet Haldipur, Sidharth Haldipur) is hummable and is bound to find its musical resonance with the audiences. On the other hand, the film's background score (Raju Singh) and sound effects are totally in sync with the film's narrative and add to the chills of the movie watching experience. The film's cinematography (Manoj Soni) is decent and nothing short of a visual delight. The film's editing (Kuldip Mehan) is average. On the whole, RAAZ REBOOT offers an unconventional horror story that will leave you haunted and scared. If you are an enthusiast of supernatural thriller/horror movies, get ready to be shocked and surprised with this one.

Movie Review: Pink
Tue, 13 Sep 16 18:09:32 +0000

The box-office has been reasonably dull in the past few weeks. This week's release is the Amitabh Bachchan starrer PINK, a courtroom drama, which deals with a sensitive premise of status of young women in the society. Will PINK turn out to be a colourful film at the Box-Office, or will it lose its colour, let's analyse. Shoojit Sircar's PINK is essentially a simple story about the complex problems issues like inequities and hypocrisies the women in India face everyday. The film starts off with a 'tensed up' introduction of Meenal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang), alongside the 'silent' introduction of retired advocate Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan). Meenal, Falak and Andrea live together as paying guests in Delhi, earning their respective livelihoods. These girls lose their smiles and peace of mind because of a terrible incident that threatens their lives. The incident takes place when Rajveer (Angad Bedi) forces himself upon Meenal and she hits him hard with a glass bottle injuring him seriously. After this incident, the girls come under attack from all sides as Rajveer happens to be a polticians nephew. Soon his friends start threatening the girls. When the incident gets registered with the police, it leads to an array of investigations, interrogations and character assasination of the three girls. With no lawyer ready to represent their case, the girls find their sole ray of hope in advocate Deepak Saigal, who volunteers to fight their case, despite having given up his law practice. How will the girls prove their innocence against such a powerful opposition and does advocate Deepak Saigal help the girls win the case and clear their names, is what forms the rest of the film. When PINK's promos came out, one expected an edgy and a realistic cinema. The fact is that PINK does not disappoint at all in this aspect. It boasts of a gripping screenplay that holds your attention till the end. Despite the film's slow narrative, especially in the first half, it keeps you engaged and hooked. The film has some hard hitting dialogues (Ritesh Shah), which elevates the situations and the corresponding elements. Do not miss the entire courtroom drama, especially when Amitabh Bachchan grills Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi and also when Kirti Kulhari breaks down in the courtroom. The film's director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who happens to be a big name in Bengali cinema makes his Bollywood debut with PINK as a master storyteller. While he uses the first half to just set up the film, it's actually the gripping second half that helps the film in reaching its crescendo. The manner in which Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury has extracted realistic performances from the film's actors is definitely laudable. Despite the film being rich in content, the film does carry a grim feel due to its subject matter. Also, the film does not explain certain elements very clearly like the relationship between Amitabh Bachchan with an ailing lady named Sarah. Another big loophole was that, despite Taapsee Pannu's character being molested in a car the second time, there is not mention of such a major event in the court case. Also, the scene of Kirti Kulhari's fake 'obscene poster' that costs her the job, seems totally forced into the film. PINK is embellished with bravura performances and it is undoubtedly and undisputedly the towering Amitabh Bachchan who steals the show. Even though this is not the first time that Amitabh Bachchan has played the role of an advocate, he manages to bring something different to the table in PINK. It won't be wrong to say that, with PINK, Amitabh Bachchan has not just delivered an immensely memorable performance, but also one of his career best performances. Trailing an extreme close second is Taapsee Pannu, who manages to 'earn her place under the sun' with her sincere portrayal of Meenal. Taapsee Pannu will surely be a serious contender for all the awards this year. Kirti Kulhari, whose last film was the forgettable JAL, delivers a rock solid performance in PINK. She utilises to the maximum the screen time that is offered to her. On the other hand, Andrea Tariang does a very job too. While Angad Bedi is scarily convincing, Piyush Mishra and his 'courtroom antics' are exceptional. Dhritiman Chatterjee is extremely convincing in the role of the judge. The rest of the film's characters help tremendously in the progress of the film. While the film has absolutely no scope for music (Shantanu Moitra), its background score (Shantanu Moitra) is extremely haunting and creates the ambience for the film. The film's cinematography (Avik Mukhopadhyay) is decent. The film's editing (Bodhaditya Banerjee) is average. On the whole, PINK is a compelling film which exposes hypocrisies and double standards against women in our society. With powerful performances from the starcast, the film leaves you shocked, stunned and speechless. At the Box Office, it will be patronised by the multiplex audiences and the positive word of mouth will translate into healthy footfalls for the movie. Don't miss this one as it hammers home a very powerful message.

Movie Review: Freaky Ali
Fri, 09 Sep 16 10:33:37 +0000

Amidst a clutter of sports biopics that often concentrate on mainstream games like cricket, boxing etc., FREAKY ALI dares to be different as it explores the not-so-known world of golf. Treating it with humour, the film shows the journey of an ordinary, poor man turning into a winner in a world of sports that is dominated by the rich and the sophisticated. Whether this experimentation works for Bollywood or not, let's analyse. Brought up in the bylanes of Mumbai, Ali (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is an adopted orphan who tries to make his living by doing odd jobs like selling undergarments. When his engagement breaks because of his image as a salesman and he sees tears in the eyes of the one woman he loves the most - his mother (Seema Biswas), Ali decides to turn rich by hook or by crook. He joins hands with his bestie Maqsood (Arbaaz Khan), a small-time gangster working under Sohail Khan aka Danger Bhai (Niketan Dheer) to extort money. Besides this, Ali is passionate about just one sport, cricket and even wins the challenge of scoring sixes at every ball during a gully-cricket match. During one of his extortion assignments, he decides to take up a golfing challenge and ends up victorious and he is spotted by Kishan Lal (Asif Basra), his neighbour and family well-wisher who believes that Ali's talent can create wonders in the world of golf. As his destiny takes him towards a new way of life, with new goals, dreams, Ali comes across new friends and love, Megha (Amy Jackson), he also makes new enemies like Vikram Rathod (Jas Arora). What follows is a series of matches where Ali has to prove his worth to his coach Kishan Lal while dealing with the success-obsessed Vikram Rathod and a man with selfish motives, Danger Bhai, who would go to any lengths to ensure the defeat of Ali at the tournament, even if it means turning his loved ones against him. We must give it to actor turned director Sohail Khan for bringing about a new sport to limelight with FREAKY ALI. While it's often cricket that takes away all the attention, sports like golf are left ignored. The film, that quite frequently reminds us of Adam Sandler starrer HAPPY GILMORE, has an intriguing first half filled with humour and the antics of Ali will definitely leave you in splits. While the expectations are at its peak during the second half, soon disappointment creeps in as director Sohail Khan fails to keep up the benchmark that he sets in the initial half of the film. The film succumbs to Bollywood cliches of an underdog's triumphs that makes the second half predictable. It also falls flat when it comes to humor, contrary to the first which boasts of a good collection of punchlines. Special mention to dialogue writer Raaj Shandiliya who has managed to give some of the best dialogues to Nawazuddin Siddiqui, especially in his introduction scene where he is seen selling male undergarments, however, we wish he could have retained his series of punches even in the second half. The screenplay written by Sohail Khan along with Raaj is decent but nothing beyond average. Despite the fact that the film manages to find its space between the series of films that show an underdog ultimately reaching his goal, some are done-to-death sequences that could have been easily avoided. As far as performance is concerned, FREAKY ALI solely rides on Nawazuddin Siddiqui's shoulders. And no points for guessing, the actor manages to carry off the role with aplomb despite the fact that this is his first full-fledged comedy role and he is known for serious cinema. Another special mention to Arbaaz Khan who has done a good job of adding those humourous punches in the film. Nawaz and Arbaaz's timing is one of the highlights of the film. On the other hand, Amy Jackson as the glamorous, pretty girl is decent but her character seems a tad bit half-baked just like the chemistry between her and Nawaz. Also making a mark with their presence are Seema Biswas as the mother and the actor playing Nawaz's bachelor uncle who deliver believable performances. Others help take the film forward. Jackie Shroff's cameo in the end seems forced neither does his 'bhidu' humour bring anything new to the table. The music of the film (Sajid - Wajid Ali) hardly has anything to boast about and the editing (Prashant Singh and Rathore) is strictly average. The cinematography (Mahesh Limaye) is decent. On the whole, FREAKY ALI kick starts with rib-tickling moments but fails to retain the humorous momentum throughout as it falls prey to predictable plotline and a disappointing second half.

Movie Review: Baar Baar Dekho
Fri, 09 Sep 16 09:58:12 +0000

While Bollywood has seen many genres being experimented with, the genre of time travel is still in its 'nascent' stages. The fact remains that the movies made in this genre (LOVE STORY 2050, FUN2SHH…, ACTION REPLAYY) have never hit the jackpot at the Box-Office. This week's release is the Sidharth Malhotra-Katrina Kaif starrer BAAR BAAR DEKHO also deals with the genre of 'time travel'. Will this film live upto its title or will it backfire at the 'Box-Office', lets analyze. BAAR BAAR DEKHO is a couple's roller coaster ride, which mirrors the ups and downs of their lives. The film starts off with the birth of Jai Verma and Diya Kapoor in Delhi and London respectively. Post that, Diya Kapoor's family settles down in India (Delhi, to be specific). As 'time' progresses, Jai and Diya grow up together and fall in love with each other. After years of knowing each other, one day, when 'painter' Dia proposes marriage to the 'Maths obsessed Professor' Jai, he becomes petrified with the very thought of marriage. Right before their wedding day, Diya takes Jai to a plush house that is gifted to them by her rich father (Ram Kapoor). This gift not just hurts the self respect of Jai, but also makes him confess to Diya that he is just not ready for marriage because his main focus is his career. Hearing that, a heartbroken Diya leaves Jai promising never to return back. Post that, a grief-stricken Jai lands up gulping a full bottle of champagne. And when he wakes up next morning, he sees the world and timezone around him totally changed. He sees himself transported into his future which shakes the ground below him completely. On one hand, while he sees himself resigning from a dream job at Harvard University (for which he had strived so hard), on the other hand, he sees his wife Diya divorcing him and moving on. If that wasn't enough, Jai 'lives through' many different crucial stages of his life. What are these situations and how does he manage to time travel and does Jai ever manage to 'solve' the mysteries, is what forms the rest of the film. When BAAR BAAR DEKHO's promos were released, it gave a feel that the film was a sincere attempt in the genre of time travel. In reality, the film's screenplay (Sri Rao, Nitya Mehra, Anuvab Pal) completely gives the film in. Besides being confusing, the film's screenplay is totally slow and un-relatable, which makes it extremely difficult to find resonance with the audience. The film's dialogues (Anvita Dutt) are very average with no outstanding one liners or anything to that effect. Though humor is sorely missing in the film, it is loaded with moments of unintentional comedy. Despite having assisted on successful films like LIFE OF PI, DON and LAKSHYA, debutante director Nitya Mehra struggles while narrating BAAR BAAR DEKHO. The way in which she has handled the aspect of time travel in the film is very weak, which only goes onto prove that such genres definitely require an 'experienced hand' for the film to be worth its salt. As the film progresses, one does start feeling about BAAR BAAR DEKHO being heavily 'inspired' by the Hollywood flicks like the Nicholas Cage starrer THE FAMILY MAN and the Adam Sandler starrer CLICK. While BAAR BAAR DEKHO's first half (especially the first 30 minutes) is engaging, the film starts collapsing piece by piece as Sidharth's character starts time travelling. The film's second half only gets worse and tests your patience as Sidharth starts travelling back and forth in time. It won't be wrong to say that, while BAAR BAAR DEKHO's essence is Indian, the concept is totally alien. All of this results in BAAR BAAR DEKHO becoming a mash up of sorts, thus, landing nowhere. And when the film's ridiculous suspense is revealed towards the end, it totally shows how much the makers of the film take the audiences for granted. As for the performances, the film rides totally on the shoulders of Sidharth Malhotra. After doing a fairly decent job in his last film KAPOOR &amp; SONS, Sidharth Malhotra comes up with yet another convincing (if not exceptional or superlative) performance in BAAR BAAR DEKHO. Even though he is believable in the role of a young man and a middle aged man, he fails to do justice to the old man's role. Still, it is him who holds the film majorly on his shoulders. On the other hand, Katrina Kaif delivers a just about passable performance in BAAR BAAR DEKHO. There are many places where she starts struggling with her character. Even though the age difference between Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif start becoming visible with every passing frame, the duo try and envelope that with their performances. Ram Kapoor notwithstanding, most of the other actors are wasted in the film. Despite the presence of multiple music directors (Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Jasleen Royal, Bilal Saeed, Prem Hardeep), the film manages to churn out only one chartbuster track in the form of '<i>Kaala Chashma</i>'. And by the time this track plays in the film (during the end credits), the audiences have already lost their interest in the film. The film's cinematography (Ravi K. Chandran) is excellent. The way in which he has shot the locations are extremely top-notch. The film's editing (Amitabh Shukla) is average. On the whole BAAR BAAR DEKHO is a confused film which underestimates audience's intelligence and takes them for granted. At the box office, the film's narrative will appeal only to the selected multiplex audience while the masses will find it difficult to relate to the movie.

Movie Review: Akira
Fri, 02 Sep 16 13:21:01 +0000

The year 1935 saw the release of a path breaking film in the form of HUNTERWALI that starred the 'Fearless Nadia'. Over the years, Bollywood has given way to many 'women-oriented' films like MOTHER INDIA, BANDIT QUEEN, KAHAANI, QUEEN, MARDAANI and more. This week sees the release of yet another woman oriented film in the form of AKIRA starring Sonakshi Sinha. Will this film manage to kick some butt at the Box-Office or will it get itself kicked, let's analyze. Fox Star Studios' AKIRA, which happens to be an official remake of the Tamil hit film MOUNA GURU, is essentially a story of a daredevil woman and her fight for survival amidst a bunch of brutal and corrupt cops who can plunge to any level in order to save their skin. The film begins with the 'vocal introduction' of Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha), by Inspector Rabia (Konkona Sen Sharma). The story starts off with a 14 year flashback of Akira's childhood in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). While returning from school, she witnesses an acid attack. This untoward incident encourages her mute and deaf father (Atul Kulkarni) to enrol her in martial arts classes. Angered by Akira turning a witness, when the culprits attack her, she accidentally throws acid on one of them, which results in her being jailed in juvenile home. As she grows up, at the insistence of her Mumbai based brother, Akira and her by-now widowed mother (Smita Jaykar) shift their base to Mumbai. It is in Mumbai, where life changes completely for Akira, who accidentally finds herself in a totally helpless situation for a 'crime' that she was not even a part of in the first place. What follows after that are a series of staged attacks, murders, physical and mental torture on Akira, all of which at the behest of the 'drug sniffing' cop ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap) and his trusted fellow policemen. The degree of atrocities which get subjected on the innocent Akira reache to such an extent that she gets 'officially certified' as a mental patient and gets thrown away in a mental asylum. What was the reason for ACP Rane to be after Akira's life, does Akira find a way out from the mental asylum and prove her innocence is what forms the rest of the story. Although women oriented subjects are looked forward to in Bollywood, it really requires an outstanding script and a compelling screenplay in order to make a film of this genre to stand out. In case of AKIRA, despite the film having a strong message and an interesting concept, the loosely penned screenplay (Santha Kumar, A.R. Murugadoss) gives the film in. The script is totally disjointed, which acts as the villain in the entire film. Add to this, the fact that, the film has limited action scenes, no romance and no music lands the film catering to not a single vector of entertainment. The film simply fails to offer any kind of entertainment value to its audiences. The film's dialogues (Karan Singh Rathore) are extremely average. Even though director A.R. Murugadoss happens to be a big name down south with many hit films to his credit, AKIRA happens to be his third Hindi film (the first two being GHAJINI and HOLIDAY: A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY). With his first two Bollywood films proving to be blockbusters, expectations were indeed sky high from him as a director as far as AKIRA is concerned. Despite the film taking off to a flying start in its convincing first half, A.R. Murugadoss starts struggling with the film at regular intervals, courtesy a weak screenplay. AKIRA's second half tremendously slows down the proceedings of the film. As the film progresses, it (unintentionally) lands up becoming too dark in virtue, something that Anurag Kashyap's films are generally synonymous with. While the film's tagline screamed 'No one will be forgiven', one is bound to expect oodles of action galore and adrenaline rush. With the film offering none of the two, the audiences are bound to feel cheated by the time the films ends. There are way too many unexplained and unwanted scenes in the film that seem to be thrusted in the name of 'cinematic liberties'. With the film's climax turning out to be a total damp squib, it serves as a perfect example of bad execution of a good concept. Scenes like a mental patient driving a van without any mistake and the late police investigations are very shoddily explained. As for the performances, the film rides majorly on the shoulders of Sonakshi Sinha and Anurag Kashyap. Even though Sonakshi Sinha comes across as a stark revelation in comparison to all her other films so far, the flip side is that, her action scenes are totally limited in the film. While one cannot deny the fact that AKIRA offered Sonakshi Sinha immense platform to exhibit her acting and action skills, the ludicrous screenplay failed to showcase the same. Unlike the film's promos that showed Sonakshi Sinha doing some of the breath taking stunts, the film turns out to be sore disappointment because of her limited action scenes. On the other hand, there's Anurag Kashyap, who means and spells menace with his performance in the film. Even though this is not his first film as an actor, his role of an unapologetic cop in AKIRA proves his mettle as an actor in all the films that he has acted in so far. Do not miss his introduction scene wherein he teaches his subordinates as to what 'perfect timing' is all about. There's also Konkona Sen Sharma, who, for reasons best known to the director has been shown heavily pregnant throughout the film. Despite having limited screen time, she does not disappoint the audience. The rest of the actors do their bit in taking the film forward. The film has no scope for music (Vishal-Shekhar), however the background score (John Stewart Eduri) helps the narrative. The film's cinematography (R. D. Rajasekhar, ISC) is decent. The film's editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) is absolutely average. On the whole, AKIRA has an interesting concept which fails on the account of its slack screenplay and lack of entertainment value. At the Box-Office, it will be rejected and will entail losses to its investors.

Movie Review: A Flying Jatt
Wed, 24 Aug 16 20:48:57 +0000

Bollywood has witnessed superhero films in the form of KRRISH, RA. ONE and a handful of others. This week's release is A FLYING JATT, which stars Tiger Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez and Nathan Jones. Will A FLYING JATT pass the 'Box-Office' test with 'flying colours' or simply 'land' with a thud, lets analyze. Balaji Motion Pictures' A FLYING JATT is essentially of the origin and inception of a reluctant superhero, who is afraid of heights. The film starts off with the introduction of the filthy rich and extremely money-minded Malhotra (Kay Kay Menon) and his expansion plans for his construction company. Amidst his plans of expansion, Mrs. Kartar Singh aka Bebe (Amrita Singh) acts as a barrier as it's her (late) husband's land that Malhotra wants to usurp for his project. Even when Malhotra offers double the value of the land to Bebe, she just does not budge to his offer, as she reasons that Malhotra's companies are the root cause of pollution in the city. That's when Malhotra summons the deadly and towering Rakka (Nathan Jones) so that he could throw Bebe and the other residents out of the 'Kartar Singh Colony', which is also home to an extremely pious and wish fulfilling tree. When Rakka is just about to cut down the tree, opposition comes in the form of Aman (Tiger Shroff), a normal martial arts teacher in a school. Just as when Rakka is about to chop the tree, a certain miracle takes place and, while Aman is blessed with superlative superpowers, Rakka on the other hand, gets the evil powers. Rakka's powers become deadlier whenever he inhales the polluted air. Seeing Aman with superpowers, his mother nicknames him as 'Flying Jatt', after his late father. What happens after that are a series of fights between Flying Jatt and Rakka, rescue missions galore and many such events. Amidst all this, there also exists Aman's unspoken love for Kirti (Jacqueline Fernandez), who is unaware of the fact that everyone's angel saviour 'Flying Jatt' is Aman himself. Does Aman ever muster the courage to confess his love to Kirti, does Kirti ever get to know that Aman and Flying Jatt are one and the same, does the Flying Jatt manage to beat Rakka's... is what forms the rest of the story. The fight between good and bad, noble versus immoral, virtuous versus corrupt has been depicted in film after film. And if the fight between two extremes is portrayed in the most convincing manner, the viewer is bound to carry the film home and most importantly, return to watch the on screen clash again. In the case of A FLYING JATT, the film has a weak screenplay (Tushar Hiranandani, Remo D'Souza), which acts as a major spoilsport that runs across the film, which has a fragile storyline. While the film's story has the genesis of good versus evil, the theme has been 'Indianised' and localised with a Punjabi tadka, so as to cater and appeal to the Indian sensibilities. Even though the film does offer entertainment in tangible proportion, there are places where the film starts looking lost. Scenes like fighting in the space in the climax is bizarre. And Remo adding a corny quote of himself while the movie is still running is laughable. Despite the fact that the film's dialogues (Aakash Kaushik) do not qualify to be exceptional or extraordinary, they manage to be in tune with the flow of the film. The film's story is relatable and the religious sentiments have been captured and portrayed in a clever manner. Director Remo D'Souza, whose last film ABCD 2 proved to be a Box-Office winner, does a decent job with A FLYING JATT, but the tacky VFX and weak screenplay overpowers the film's 'direction' (quite literally!). Despite Remo D'Souza's past laurels, one really wonders as to how he zeroed down and agreed upon the film's illogical climax. While the drama in the film's first half is pretty interesting, humorous and gripping, the film's second half loses track, and turns too preachy regarding environment and religion. There are some not to be missed scenes in the film, which includes Tiger Shroff doing a Sunny Leone, Amrita Singh coaching Tiger Shroff to behave like a superhero, Flying Jatt's first rescue sequence (though its lifted from the Hollywood blockbuster X MEN: DAYS OF THE FUTURE PAST), the introduction scene of Rakka and also his transformation into evil during the interval. As for the performances, with a title like A FLYING JATT, the film definitely belongs to Tiger Shroff. The film is all about the antics of Tiger Shroff, whose martial skills are in full display in the film. Tiger Shroff, remains sincere and true to his character, even though this film may not qualify as his career best. The role of a man with superpowers needs a robust personality to match and Tiger Shroff scores full marks in this department. Jacqueline Fernandez, on the other hand, does not do anything exceptional, besides looking pretty and providing the glam quotient to the film. The sad part about Jacqueline Fernandez's role in the film is that, despite being the film's heroine, her role is smaller in length as compared to even Amrita Singh and Gaurav Pandey. Gaurav does an extremely decent and convincing job as Tiger Shroff's brother. The wrestler turned actor Nathan Jones makes his debut in Bollywood with A FLYING JATT. Rakka, his character in the film, rides entirely on his towering personality and his muscle power. In the bargain, Nathan Jones does manage to instill fear in the minds of the audiences, which was expected of his character. Amrita Singh as the typical Punjabi mother delivers a decent performance and is extremely lovable in her character. Kay Kay Menon, on the other hand, does a decent job in the negative role. Shraddha Kapoor's cameo is effective. The rest of the actors do their bit in taking the film forward. Besides the chartbuster track '<i>Beat Pe Booty</i>, the film's music (Sachin-Jigar) is just about passable and has limited scope in the film. On the other hand, the film's background score (Sachin-Jigar) is impressive and enhances the film's narrative very effectively. With the film's choreography resting on the shoulders of the talented Remo D'Souza, it's no wonder that the film's choreography is bang on and extremely impressive. While the film's cinematographer Vijay Kumar Arora lands up doing a shoddy job, the film's editing (Nitin FCP) comes across as pretty average. Even the film's production value and VFX look tacky, which is quite a letdown in a superhero film. On the whole, A FLYING JATT has the ingredients that make an interesting superhero film. A section of the audience might find the film's proceedings to be corny; however, the mass audiences and kids might take a liking for the film. At the Box-Office, the film has the potential to fly, though, not to great heights. The extended weekend will help the film reap dividends at the Box-Office.

Movie Review: Happy Bhag Jayegi
Thu, 18 Aug 16 18:54:11 +0000

Last week saw the release of two films MOHENJO DARO and RUSTOM, both of varied genre. This week sees the release of a 'happy' go lucky film in the form of HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI. This film marks the 'return' of the petite Diana Penty, who had been missing from the silver screen ever since her debut in COCKTAIL. Will HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI manage to entertain the audiences… let's analyze. HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI starts off in Amritsar, where happens an Indo-Pak agro conference. Presiding over this crucial conference is Javed Ahmed (Jawed Sheikh), the ex-governor of Pakistan, who wants his dearest son Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol) to enter politics just like him and 'change the history of Pakistan'. Even though Bilal's heart lies in becoming a cricketer, he sacrifices his professional desires for the sake of his father. As the conference gets over and Bilal reaches his home in Lahore (Pakistan), he is shocked to see a mysterious fruit 'moving basket', which then, turns out to the hideout of effervescent and free spirited Happy (Diana Penty). When interrogated, Happy reveals that she had run away from her wedding with the local corporator Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) in Amritsar, because she is actually in love with Guddu (Ali Fazal), but her parents have opposed to their relationship. At the same time, she also confesses that, even though she was to run away from her marriage, her landing up in Pakistan was purely accidental and totally unplanned. Amidst all this, Bilal Ahmed also lands up falling in love with Happy, despite the fact that he is already to Zoya (Momal Sheikh). What happens after that are a series of chases, hidings, kidnapping and confusion across India and Pakistan. Does Happy survive in Pakistan amidst such pressures, and who will she ultimately marry and under what circumstances, is what forms the rest of the film. The film is written and directed by Mudassar Aziz. Despite the fact that the film's screenplay is predictable, it's the treatment that makes the film entertaining. The humour in the film is excellent and works magic in the first half. The second half however slows down due to multiple subplots and romantic angles, some of which seem quite forced. As a director, Mudassar Aziz, who had earlier made the forgettable DULHA MIL GAYA (2010), springs a pleasant surprise in the form of HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI. The way he has presented the film's characters is extremely real and that's what works in the favour of the film. The film, which takes off with an impressive start in the first half, gradually tends to slow down and lag amidst the second half because of multiple tracks. The good thing is that, despite losing its track amidst the second half, Mudassar Aziz manages to get the film back on track towards the climax. Mudassar Aziz needs to be applauded for not just making the film's characters interesting and very relatable, but also for having penned the film's funny dialogues. Even though HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI bears heavy shades (read 'hangover') of the Madhavan-Kangna Ranaut starrer TANU WEDS MANU, still, Mudassar Aziz successfully manages to give this film its own unique flavour. Amidst everything, one cannot but deny the fact that HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI bears the inimitable stamp of 'Anand L Rai' all over it. The USP of the film is that, despite being set in both India and Pakistan, the film doesn't get involved in making any kind of political statement in its narrative. As far as the performances go, as the film's title rightly suggests, HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI totally placed on the shoulders of the extremely talented Diana Penty, who returns to the silver screen after a long gap. While she showed immense promise in COCKTAIL, for reasons best known to her, Penty did not sign any films after that. With a tailor-made script like HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI (with a character that is in total contrast with her character in COCKTAIL), she just couldn't have had asked for more. Even though there are places where Diana Penty strongly reminds us about the spunkiness that Kareena Kapoor exuded as the iconic Geet in JAB WE MET, Diana holds her own by maintaining a strong and distinctive identity. Abhay Deol, whose last release was the damp squib ONE BY TWO, impresses to the core with his role of the Pakistani young politician Bilal Ahmed. His onscreen presence is extremely endearing and the way in which he enacts his character and holds the film is really laudable. Jimmy Sheirgill is decent in his role of Daman Singh Bagga. He plays his part with a lot of sincerity and dedication, which shows in the film. Making her debut in Bollywood is the Momal Sheikh (hailing from Pakisitan) whose approach towards her character exudes superlative confidence. Besides the fact that HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI is her Bollywood debut in which she had been pitted alongside seasoned actors, the conviction with which she handles her character is highly commendable. Ali Fazal, on the other hand, delivers what was required of him in the role of a lover boy. A special mention to Piyush Mishra for having the audiences in splits with his role of the policeman Usman Afridi. The rest of the characters help in moving the film forward. While there is hardly any scope for music (Sohail Sen) in the film, it's the film's background score (Sohail Sen) which impresses and acts as one of the important elements in the film's narrative. The film's cinematography (Saurabh Goswami) is good and deserves to be applauded for having 'shown' Pakistan in an extremely convincing manner. The film's editing (Ninad Khanolkar) is decent. On the whole, HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI comes across as a feel good film that will make you happy. At the Box-Office, its prospects will be rewarding for its makers.

Movie Review: Ben-Hur
Thu, 18 Aug 16 11:19:02 +0000

It is never easy to convert a novel into a full length feature film; leave alone if the book in question is over a 100 years old and has three films already made on it. However, the makers of the upcoming release BEN-HUR have attempted exactly that with their film. But will BEN-HUR manage to live up to expectations that have been set by not just the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace but also those set by the previous film that was based on the book that released in 1959 is what we analyse. The epic historical drama BEN-HUR starts off with a voiceover introduction being delivered by Morgan Freeman that details the setting from 33 BC. The film follows the life of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) a Jewish prince in Roman-occupied Jerusalem who is betrayed and falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) and is sentenced to a life of slavery. Following the accusation Ben-Hur loses everything and spends five years in the galley of a Roman slave ship and later takes on the Roman Empire and avenges his adopted brother in a grand chariot race while finding redemption and being forever changed after a series of encounters with Jesus Christ. Performance-wise, since the film relies heavily on Jack Huston as Judah and Toby Kebbell as Messala, it is just these two who make up for most of the screen time. Individually both Jack and Toby do a good job in their roles, but there is always a feeling of them being too overwhelmed by towering character sketches that they eventually fall a bit short of. But portraying the more sympathetic one time noble man who loses everything, hell bent on revenge only to find redemption, Jack fits in perfectly with the character. Similarly Toby as the ever chastised Roman orphan seeking validation and respect does equally well. In fact BEN-HUR hinges on the performance of these two actors who carry the film ably. Simultaneously, Morgan Freeman as Ilderim, who unlike the previous role, has a more grounded and serious character as compared to a comic one reprises his character with an air of authority. Here a special mention goes to writers Keith Clarke and John Ridley who have done well in developing the female character of Esther played by Nazanin Boniadi, especially since the new film gives her character a more independent and meatier role rather than just be another bystander in a war between brothers. Consider the fact that BEN-HUR revolves around the years when Jesus Christ actively preached his message of love, compassion and forgiveness, director Timur Bekmambetov does well integrating the parallel plot between the background and foreground, the plot and subplot. Talking about Christ's depiction in the film, Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ does a more than convincing job. Since the film is based on chariot racing, we do see a load of races, however, unlike the more modern sport of racing, be it cars or bikes, chariot racing was a more violent sport with riders either winning the race or ending it either dead or maimed. Here the CGI appears to be seamlessly merged with the live action visuals, however apart from this, there are a few other places where the visual effects could have been made in a more polished manner. On the whole BEN-HUR that is set around the last days of Christ does have a lot of references to the Christian faith that could leave the audience who are uninformed about the faith, a bit lost. However, BEN-HUR despite its lengthy run time does make for a decent watch.

Movie Review: Mohenjo Daro
Fri, 12 Aug 16 08:58:33 +0000

In the recent times, filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker has become synonymous with historic films and the surreal sets mounted on the larger than life canvas. Films like JODHAA AKBAR, SWADES, and LAGAAN stand as testimony to the same. This week's release is MOHENJO DARO, yet another period film from the stable of Ashutosh Gowariker. Will MOHENJO DARO have a 'historic' run at the Box-Office or will it bite the dust, let's analyse. The film starts off with the era of 2016 BC in the North West region, which happens to be the prehistoric India. This gradually leads to the introduction of Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) and his victorious fight with a predator crocodile. While on one hand the villagers felicitate him for the victory, on the other hand, Sarman is adamant to visit the city of Mohenjo Daro, something that his uncle and aunt are not too keen on, for reasons best known (only) to them. One day, after much reluctance, Sarman's uncle and aunt give in to his demands of visiting Mohenjo Daro, but, not without handing him over a 'identity coin'. When Sarman reaches Mohenjo Daro, amongst the many other things, he sees the beautiful 'Sindhu Putri' Chaani (Pooja Hegde), the daughter of a religious pandit (Manish Choudhary). Both, for Sarman and Chaani, it turns out to be unspoken love at first sight. One day, the curious Sarman happens to visit the 'upper city' in search of Chaani. It is here, that Sarman, besides being stunned by the visuals and locations, witnesses the disparity that prevails under the rule of the evil ruler Maham (Kabir Bedi), who had once been earlier exiled from Harappa. In no time, Sarman becomes the people's representative and raises his voice against Maham's atrocities. Amidst all this, the pandit reveals a secret to Sarman that not just shocks Sarman, but also, sweeps him off his feet. What is the much guarded secret that Sarman gets to know, what is his connection with the city of Mohenjo Daro, and does the blooming love between Sarman and Chaani culminate into their unison... is what forms the rest of the story. Despite the humongous canvas of the film, the film's story and screenplay (Ashutosh Gowariker) turns out to be a major letdown, thus disappointing the viewers to the core. One does agree on the fact that researching about an era (read 'civilization') that is as old as a whopping 5000 years is a task in itself. At the same time, while writing the screenplay of such a film, one has to ensure that the audiences and their sensibilities cannot be taken for granted. The sad part is that Ashutosh Gowariker fails on this front. Ashutosh Gowariker, who has always emerged a winner with his previous attempts at historic and period films, fails miserably with MOHENJO DARO as a director. It just won't be wrong to say that in the name of 'cinematic liberties', Ashutosh Gowariker has taken the audiences sense and patience for granted. While the film's first half is slow, the film's extremely dragged second half acts more villainous. The film's second half totally takes the steam off the film. The film's climax only makes things worse. Ashutosh Gowariker, despite his goliath attempt in fictionally (re)creating the Mohenjo Daro civilisation, fails to convince the viewers about the same. What one fails to understand is how can someone like Ashutosh Gowariker, who is known for making some of brilliant films, can go so wrong with MOHENJO DARO. As for the performances, the film clearly and rightfully belongs to the extremely versatile Hrithik Roshan, who has by now become the 'go-to-man' for such roles. With his Greek God looks and physical stature, Hrithik Roshan ensures and justifies his role of the unassuming farmer- turned-saviour. Hrithik Roshan walks that extra mile in terms of his spellbinding performance and muscle flexing action. He stands tall in every frame and delivers a towering performance. However, that by itself is unable to salvage a vacuous drama. In other words, despite the whole film riding (solely) on his shoulders, the film's extremely poor screenplay gives in. The film's heroine Pooja Hegde, after having done films down South, makes her debut with MOHENJO DARO. Despite her past experience, she's average in the film. The veteran actor Kabir Bedi, excels in the role of 'Maham'. What works to his advantage are his good looks and his baritone voice, both of which have been utilised beautifully by Ashutosh Gowariker. The other actors Arunoday Singh, Suhasini Mulay, Nitish Bharadwaj lend their able support in carrying the film forward. While we would like to make a special mention to the film's costumes (Neeta Lulla), the film's VFX oscillates between amateurish and average. The film's music (A R Rahman) is nothing extraordinary, as one would have generally expected from the music maestro. The film's background score is decent, but, a bit loud in many places. The film's cinematography (C.K. Muraleedharan) is above average. The film's editing (Sandeep Francis) lands up being one of the film's shortcomings. On the whole, MOHENJO DARO comes across as a grand historical fictional tale which appeals only in parts. The lack of engaging and relatable drama act as spoilsport in the narrative. From the Box Office perspective, competition from RUSTOM and lack of crucial narrative will act as a major hindrance.

Movie Review: Rustom
Thu, 11 Aug 16 16:39:36 +0000

Films based on real lives and real people have become very popular in Bollywood these days. This week's release is the Akshay Kumar starrer RUSTOM, a film that has been inspired by a 'sensational case of a Naval officer that led to the end of the jury system in India'. Will RUSTOM 'sail' its way through at the Box-Office or will it sink without a trace... let's analyse. RUSTOM starts off with a periodic era of 1959, when Mumbai was still 'Bombay' and the times when justice was done by the jury members and not by the judge. This is followed by the introduction of the 'habituated to his uniform' Commander Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) and his lovely wife Cynthia Pavri (Ileana D'Cruz). One day, when Rustom Pavri comes back home from the sea, earlier than his scheduled date, he is shocked when he gets to know that his wife Cynthia has gone out with the 'filthy' rich Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa) and has not been home since two days. Rustom Pavri, then, starts breathing fire and reaches Vikram's house, only to find Vikram and Cynthia together. Unable to bear the sight of his wife's deceit, Rustom Pavri loads his official gun and shoots the evil minded Vikram, killing him. Being the ever righteous man, Rustom Pavri then goes to the police station and surrenders himself. When the news of Vikram's death reaches the ears of his 'well connected' sister Preethi Makhija (Esha Gupta), she vows to revenge her brother's death. As the case goes to the court however, Rustom pleads not guilty. What follows after that is a heated court room drama, mudslinging, the role of the media in the case... all eventually leading to one common thing. What is the ultimate conclusion of all the events, is Rustom Pavri really guilty or is there more than what meets the eye. First things first. RUSTOM is essentially a crime thriller. While the film does not have a mystery element/ whodunit angle in the storyline, it becomes slightly predictable as it progresses. The fact also remains that, there have been two films that have been earlier made on the same premise. These films were the Sunil Dutt-Leela Naidu starrer YEH RASTEY HAIN PYAAR KE (1963) and the ?Vinod Khanna?-Farida Jalal? starrer ACHANAK (1973). The storyline of RUSTOM has been subjected to a contemporary treatment by Vipul K. Rawal, who is in charge of the film's screenplay, story and dialogues. When a film has Akshay Kumar as its hero, it's a given that the screenplay has to be essentially gripping which keeps the audiences on the 'edge-of-the-seat'. This element however is missing in RUSTOM. The film's screenplay not just slows down the film's pace, but also is very average. Had the screenplay been engrossing and captivating, it would have been a different story altogether. The film's narrative oscillates between 'convincing' and 'not-so-very-convincing'. Even though RUSTOM has been largely inspired by the famous case of KM Nanavati, the film does have its moments that make it furthermore enticing. Those who do not know anything about the (Nanavati) case, will surely take a liking for RUSTOM. RUSTOM happens to be Tinu Suresh Desai's second film as a director (his first being 1920 LONDON). Tinu Suresh Desai has done a decent job as a director. While the film is set up in the first half, the second half is filled with court room drama galore. Even though there are moments when the film starts lagging, Tinu Suresh Desai's manages to put the film back on track towards the end. The flip side (read 'shortcomings') of his direction can be seen in the courtroom drama scenes. Generally, court room scenes are filled with high voltage drama and power packed dialogues, something that is totally missing in RUSTOM. On the other hand, it's the 'situational humour' that connects with the audience. As for the performances, absolutely no prizes for guessing that it is the inimitable Akshay Kumar, who is the 'captain' of the ship. Akshay Kumar, who has been extremely versatile in terms of his (diverse) selection of films, adds yet another feather in his cap with RUSTOM. This is the first time ever in his career spanning many years that Akshay Kumar has played a Naval officer. And boy! He delivers such a spotless and flawless performance in this role by staying extremely true to his character. Lending him able support is Ileana D'Cruz as his wife Cynthia Pavri. Despite having limited scope as far as performance is concerned, Ileana D'Cruz holds her own with her restrained performance. Esha Gupta, on the other hand, is good in her role of a revenge seeking woman. Arjan Bajwa, despite his small role, is effective. Other actors like Kumud Mishra (in the role of a newspaper editor), Usha Nadkarni (as the servant), Sachin Khedekar (as Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani) and Pawan Malhotra (as Inspector Lobo) too have strong parts and keep the movie together. The film's music (Arko, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari and Jeet Gannguli) is pretty average. The film's cinematography (Santosh Thundiyil) is decent, if not superlative. The film's editing by Shree Narayan Singh is average. On the whole, RUSTOM comes across as a well crafted crime thriller that meets expectations. It has its share of captivating moments as well as the loose ones. At the Box-Office, competition in the form of MOHENJO DARO will limit its potential. However, the holiday period post the weekend and positive word of mouth will prove beneficial for the movie.

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