Review: LUCKNOW CENTRAL

<div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><br><span><b>Prisoners With Conscience And Music</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>2 stars</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Kishen, a lad with only music on his mind crosses path with the law and is jailed for the murder of an IAS officer. He hears about a jail band contest and offers his services to the lady from the NGO. At Lucknow Central prison, he finds a tailor, an engineer, a key maker and a procurer to make a fake band and makes a plan to escape. The jailor though is always one step ahead of them. The story of their great escape is a decent watch because of the supporting cast.</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Farhan Akhtar does not seem to get out of ‘singer’ role, whether he is a ‘has been’ or is a ‘Rockstar’. In this film he plays Kishen, a lad who writes songs and wants to record them and become famous. His dad (a very affable Robin Das) encourages him. Kishen records his music with the help of his friends, on a CD and decides to take it to a famous singer Manoj Tiwari (who plays himself). In his enthusiasm to hand the CD to the famous man, Kishen’s CD is stomped upon by an IAS officer. Kishen threatens him, and of course when the officer is killed, he is caught and jailed by the cops. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Kishen is transferred to the high security prison, where he hears about the contest of the Jail Bands. The lady who helps him is Gayatri Kashyap (Diana Penty, hair not out place is mostly expressionless) who works to rehabilitate the prisoners. The Jailor (as always, played with a brilliant mean streak by Ronit Roy) hates anything that lessens his stern rule over criminals. The Chief Minister is Ravi Kishan who is delightful and thwarts all the manipulations of the cops to stop his plans of having a prison band contest.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>This brings us to the band. How Farhan’s simple singer manages to figure out where all the guns and patrol cops are located and where the electrical switches as though he were James Bond is not explained. How he manages to find out which prisoner is good at what skill is a puzzle too. But we suspend our disbelief and watch Farhan survive bullying by the prison heavy Tilakdhari (a scary Manav Vij), and collect his crew, both for the band and the escape. Deepak Dobriyal, Imamulhaq, Rajesh Sharma and Gippy Grewal are a motley crew, and it’s a miracle they manage to crack a tune. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The bonding between the criminals pays off, but the jailor gets madder and madder. Especially when the IG Police (Virendra Saxena) agrees to let each band member go for a little while on parole. Implausible, because they know these prisoners (killers all) are never going to come back to a high security prison on their own. But you watch as they do and see the dream come true. They are a band in the true sense of the word. Unlike the recently released Qaidi Band, this film is grittier and thankfully fewer songs. The young heroine was the saving grace in Qaidi Band, but here, the band members are great characters. Each vicious and yet vulnerable. The feel of the film is gritty and grimy, the hero is limited by his acting chops and strange scraped by sandpaper speaking voice, you like all the characters on screen. You smile at the cops who can be bribed easily, cops who bet money on the band, the friend who betrays, the heavy in the prison… The empathy quotient is greater than the implausible liberties taken in the script. A decent watch.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>P.S.: Why does Farhan Akhtar want to play a non-urban person? Nothing in his demeanor or speech says that he's someone who would pronounce 'zero' as 'jero', especially because he says, 'Zindagi' and 'Manzil' correctly in the Rangdari song! He's more Krish than Kishen. Sigh!</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com)    </i></span></div><br><div dir="ltr"><span> </span></div></div>


Review: BA PASS 2

<div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span><span><b>Not Qualified For Anything? Become A Bollywood Star!</b></span></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>1.75 stars</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><b>An arts graduate needs to prove to her father that marriage isn’t everything and she moves to Bombay. She meets really nice people who help her find her feet in modeling, tv and films. But she’s not good at anything. And neither is she willing to work hard. Soon reality catches up with her. The premise is good, but the film goes all over the place.</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Have you ever found a bunch of wires and phone chargers entangled so much that it is a smarter decision to simply throw it all away than try and un-entangle it? Well, this film is somewhat like the jumbled up wires. Instead of watching the plot points come together as a story, you don’t know why all characters fall apart one by one.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Kritika Sachdeva plays Neha from Bhopal who has graduated in English Literature, and her stern dad (Saurabh Dubey) wants her to get married to an NRI groom. But Neha is wary of marriage because her sister’s is broken and she lives with her child at home. The mother does not have much of a role except make tea for the husband. It’s a well-to-do family, and they let Neha go to Bombay, the city of dreams, to figure out what she wants to do in her life.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>A real-estate chap Vijay (played by Sasho), brings her to a plush apartment, saying, ‘This is temporary’. He asks her where she works. Neha laughs and replies, ‘I’m not qualified for anything!’</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>That laugh shows up in many more inappropriate scenes. Vijay is an optimist. He says, ‘You are beautiful. You could be a model or an actress. Many people come to Bombay and get a break if they work hard.’</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>He introduces Neha to Manorama, a cigarette-smoking (their moralistic characterization) lady who indulges in casting-couch tactics with young men and ‘introduces’ young women to sleazy producers and rich men. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Neha takes a liking to a smart young man (Aarav Chowdhary) who has been a model and an actor, and says he will help her if she worked hard. She gets a commercial thanks to his recommendation, but turns out that she just cannot pronounce a simple word like ‘Tvacha’ (skin) right. She loses the chance here. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Neha begins to take a romantic interest in Aarav and then she and Manorama laugh hysterically because he turns out to be gay. And before you wonder why they would laugh or why his character had to be gay, you are dragged through a rich man (Indraneil Sengupta) who falls for her, decides to cast her first in a TV show where she is a disaster, and then in a movie, where she is happier seducing him (in a sports bra! </span><span><i>Bleaaarghh!</i></span><span>) than working. When he asks her why she’s not working hard, she just behaves like she’s some diva.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>The audience is so befuddled, they wonder why she’s so entitled. Suddenly from the sleazy casting couch lady, Manorama turns out to be a reluctant mother who could be suffering from a cyst, and turns into an almost servant to Neha, living in her home, being treated like trash by Neha. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Oh yes, there is copious amounts of alcohol being consumed because life is so unfair, and daddy keep saying, ‘Disgusting!’ with every loss of face he suffers as their neighbors comment on Neha’s life. You facepalm when you see Neha get married to the seemingly decent Vijay one drunken night and Vijay then turns out to be a psycho. Wait, what? Is the story changing? It’s over two hours, and you are happy when the psycho slaps her hard. When the camera shows you a bottle of drainex in the corner prominently, you know how the film will end.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div><br></div>


Review: DADDY

<div dir="ltr"><span><br></span><span><b>The Reluctant Gangster </b></span><br><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>3 Stars</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>The king of Dagdi Chawl is Arun Gulab Gawli. God to the people around him and a gangster to the cops of Bombay. Brilliantly shot, the film gives us a great insight into the gangs that ruled Bombay during the seventies and eighties. The biopic of the reluctant gangster who managed to eliminate the other gangs, earn a reputation and respect of his gang, and win an election. In 135 minutes the movie crams a whole life and even though it is the biopic of a gangster, you don’t like the cops chasing him either. A decent watch.</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Arjun Rampal, once reviled as a man with a wooden face, manages to give a marvelous performance of the quiet gangster who was reluctant to first, become a baddie, and second makes the best of the situation when the mantle of ‘boss’ is thrust upon him. Since he is quiet, he observes. And in his observation he manages to catch those who betray.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>This is a tale of cops and gangsters and you watch in awe because they manage to capture the look and the feel of the era brilliantly. Arjun Rampal plays Arun Gawli, who is pursued relentlessly by the cop Vijaykar (played marvelously by Nishikant Kamat). We watch Arun the chawl lad get dragged into a life of petty crime by his friends Babu Reshim, Rama Naik and Vijay. As they learn to make their first kill, and steal money off Matka scammers, they get an invite from the Bhai from Dongri. </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Even if you have no idea of the hierarchy of Bombay gangsters, you know that the Bhai is someone really bad. The four friends show up at Bhai’s home, and see only a little bit of him. Those in the know about crime families of Bombay, will know and see the incredible likeness of Dawood in Farhan Akhtar, who plays Bhai. While everyone is willing to take the pennies offered on the dollar they steal it is Arun Gawli who refuses to bow down. If they are going to steal and kill the men who cross Bhai, then they should be given adequate compensation, and even be treated as partners and minions, says Arun. That is how his life in crime begins.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>There are guns and molls and betrayals and sex and violence. But it is surprising that you don’t flinch, not even once at the violence on the screen. You are not put off even when a man is being stabbed again and again and when a bad gangster is being bludgeoned to death with a hammer.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The transformation of the quiet lad into a gangster is amazing and Arjun Rampal has done a great job. The mood and the feel of the film is visceral, and you can feel the cramped spaces in the chawl. You also understand why he wears the white of the politician and wears it well. There is also a brilliant character of lawyer and friend called Sada (played with sass by Shrikant Yadav). Even though he enters late into the film, you like him instantly. You begin to care about what happens to him, and when the events avalanche, you realise you have found empathy.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The movie feels like they have crammed too many things into the movie, but you know that the filmmaker is being clever by not giving you time to think. There is action, action and more action, even though Gawli himself is laconic and deliberate. This film is different (and is not just the strange prosthetic nose which makes the gorgeous Arjun Rampal look scary) and you will enjoy the difference.</span></div><span></span><br><br><br><span><i>(the review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span><br><div dir="ltr"><span>  </span></div></div>


Review: POSTER BOYS

<div dir="ltr"><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Hyuck! Hyuck! Groan! Hahaha Heeheehee! Groan!</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>2 stars</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A remake of the Marathi film with the same name (it’s ‘Poshter Boys’), Shreyas Talpade take the story to a North Indian town called Jamgheti and adds a whole lot of silliness that is enjoyable. Three men from the village are featured on the government poster on the vasectomy program without their knowledge and it causes huge confusion and trouble for the three men. The comedy of errors gets really funny in places, and sags in others. It makes for a one time watch.</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Sunny Deol of the ‘Dhai Kilo Ka Haath’ fame is Jagaavar Singh, a retired armyman, getting ready to get his sister engaged to a suitable family, when the father of the groom calls the engagement off claiming an ‘insult to honor’.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Bobby Deol is Vinay Sharma ‘Masterji’, teaches at a local school, and troubled and puzzled at his wife who wants a male child because ‘a boy carries the family name forward’ and suddenly dumps their two daughters on him and leaves him.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Shreyas Talpade is Arjun Singh is a local debt collector who wanders about with two violent sidekicks, threatening to beat up people if they did not pay up. The two sidekicks are really funny, and the trio is dressed in the most weird clothes (shiny glittery fake Ed Hardy type tees) and Arjun gets to wear the oddest jackets (a Michael Jackson poster pays tribute and we know about his choice of clothes). He’s in love with Riya, and his parents meet her family, but Riya’s father unexpectedly begins to yell at Arjun saying, ‘Why do you want to get married, you’re a gun without bullets…’</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The three men realise that their photos have been photoshopped on a government poster on vasectomy. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The fun begins when they have to figure out why everyone in town is laughing at them. Initially the ‘gun without bullets’ metaphors get a tad grating, but the fun is how each man reacts to the situation. The fun is knowing the movies the actors have starred in: Bobby Deol’s phone ringtone is the title song from his film ‘Soldier’, Sunny Deol faces a baddie called Balwant Rai, who has a sidekick, and the famous dialog from ‘Ghayal’ is used really really well. Shreyas Talpade has the funniest ringtone ever:  a song where the lyrics are something like ‘I was missing you so i dialled my phone, I am your ice cream, you are my cone’...</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>But the best, the funniest role goes to Ashwini Kalsekar who plays a gynaecologist. She has the most spontaneous funny parts in the film. The others have to bank on their previous films and clothes (you will want to dress your whole family in the cute cat nightwear the way Bobby Deol and his family wears!). Ashwini Kalsekar has the funniest bits of the film, beginning with ‘Where have I seen you?’</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The story takes you giggling to its most weird end, but it would be a shame to explain the situational comedy of men who have low sugar being threatened to be buried in a sugarcane farm, crowds chanting, ‘let him go!’ and the man pleading, ‘No, please don’t let me go!’ </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The comedy is not highbrow, but everyone has awesome comic timing. Go for the laughs. Be silly.</span><br><span><br></span><span><i><br></i></span><span><i>(the review appears on nowrunning dot com) </i></span></div><br><div dir="ltr"><span>  </span></div></div>


Review: MR. KABAADI

<div dir="ltr"><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Junk Or Shit? Both Descriptions Would Be Apt. </b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>1 star</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review: </i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Om Puri, Annu Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Brijendra Kala and Sarika come together in a film about shit and junk and despite their collective talent, the film is could be described as either. It is about junk collectors called Kabaadi wallahs who become rich by investing some inheritance into public toilets. The essence of the film: respecting your work, no matter how lowbrow gets lost in the sounds of diarrhoea, farts and jokes on shit. This film is so lowbrow you should hold your nose and step away from it. What a shame. </b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review: </i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>If you wish to gawp at usually decent actors (award winning even) at their worst, hamming and farting and crapping on the screen then this film is for you. The language is a tad confusing, they speak in the manner of people in Bhopal do (aa riya hai, jaa riya hai), but they’re located in Lucknow. Even if you agree that Bhopali people could be living elsewhere, and their accent and manner of speech would be confused (is it Punjabi?). But their speech is the last thing you’d worry about. The bigger problem is that the film is visually mind-numbing.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Except for Sarika, you see each of the famous actors in the loo, with their pants down, from a camera set above their heads. And the once svelte Sarika, making up the vomit-at-sight scenes by the men in the film makes it up by saying ‘Tattiyaan’ (shitter/shit) again and again to make everyone cringe. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>So Kallu Kabaadi’s (Annu Kapoor in the most disgusting ‘wannabe rich’ role) tale of wanting to rise up above the scum of junk is told by Channu Khan Surma or Suhaagraat wala itarwale - Om Puri with kohl lined eyes, hot pink hair, moustache and beard and a waistcoat with hearts made with glitter - who plays the ‘sootradhaar’ (storyteller or narrator). If you get over the bizarre get up, you begin to puke at Sarika spitting tooth powder everywhere in the bungalow they move into after an inheritance. No? Then there’s Vinay Pathak, who for some reason tends to cross his eyes when the camera is on him (accompanied by a comic sound). If the filmmaker wants to say that you cannot buy class even though you move into a posh bungalow with a swimming pool, they show them washing clothes…</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The family owns public toilets, but tell everyone they own a chain of restaurants, and each time people ask them what is the best dish they serve, someone says, ‘Whatever goes in, is served in our restaurants.’ </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The victims of this film isn’t the audience, but the young lad (rather presentable, but what a sad debut), his love interest and his sister. The sister is in love with a lad from the North-east of India (people from that part tend to have Asian features) and to our collective horror, not only is he called Chinese, but the background music begins to imitates Chinese song. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>There’s more, the fine actor Brijendra Kala is reduced to saying ghastly casteist things, stopping his daughter and yes, he’s shown taking a dump too. The movie is produced by Anup Jalota who is known for his bhajans (religious songs) but this film is so godless and humorless you begin to find junkyard shots better than the people.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>There’s not a single frame that makes you think this film could have been redeemed, or that it is a fitting finale film for Om Puri, who is no more. The final nail in this proverbial tale of shitty coffin is Vinay Pathak who asks his family to save water: ‘Everyone in the family should do their business in the same potty, and then flush once.’ Enough said.</span><br><span><br></span><span><br></span><span><i>(the review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div><br></div>


Review: SAMEER

<div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>How Many Stereotypes Can A Movie Have? </b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>1.5 stars</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review: </i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A young man, Sameer, shares a hostel room with an alleged terrorist and is caught by the Anti Terrorist Squad. He is forced to work for the ATS because there are threats of even more bomb blasts. Sameer fits right into the slum area and works for the cops. In the most convoluted plot the story moves ahead with lots of violence and you come away wondering why didn’t they just kill everyone and save us the trouble.</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is a decent actor who plays the lead ‘Sameer’. He is caught by the officers of the ATS who are chasing a dreaded terrorist responsible for serial bombings in Hyderabad. Sameer pleads with the officers that the terrorist was merely a roomie. But the ATS transports him to Ahmedabad, and persuades him to help them catch the terrorist. Sameer now has to stay with the terrorist’s mother (Seema Biswas, in a pretty convincing role as Khala who makes and delivers lunches to people, hence Tiffin Khala). The terrorist has a brother too, Shahid, who runs a bakery.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Of course there is religious politics involved, and Muslims are happily portrayed as terrorists. Once you see that this is a horrendous assumption, you begin to see the stereotypes. There is a Hindu journalist who is fierce and feisty, searching for the children lost during the Gujarat riots. She gets threats from the bad guys and reports the bomb threats to the ATS. The ATS officer is Hindu and committed and honest. The young lad Sameer is Muslim, but is a good Muslim. The brother of the terrorist turns out to be the kingpin of terrorists. There is also a painful street theatre leader called Manto (named after the famous writer) who attempts to bring peace between communities. And yes, there is a mentally challenged young kid who is so sweet, you know he is going to die, and he does.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The first half of the film promises a little, but then all the red herrings go nowhere. That’s when you begin to notice that the ATS officer is supposed to be Gujarati – his surname is Desai – and he has a strong Bengali accent (the actor is Subrat Dutta, and the filmmakers could have easily named him Bose or Bannerji or anything else) Sameer is meant to be staying with the Khala, but he wander about the city and Khala does not ask him of his whereabouts. There is a romantic thread between the journalist and theATS officer, but it sort of goes nowhere because he says: the first floor of my home is empty, stay there for safety, and then shows her a room.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Soon you realise that he movie is going nowhere and when the blasts happen, you have figured out who is responsible already. The trouble is the last twenty minutes where the big bad guy and the chap who is carrying out the blasts have a huge conversation telling the audience why and what and who they are and when the planning happened (basically a lesson on Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent) and it is this exposition that kills you.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div><span></span><br><div dir="ltr"><span> </span></div></div>


Review: SAMEER

<div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>How Many Stereotypes Can A Movie Have? </b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>1.5 stars</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review: </i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A young man, Sameer, shares a hostel room with an alleged terrorist and is caught by the Anti Terrorist Squad. He is forced to work for the ATS because there are threats of even more bomb blasts. Sameer fits right into the slum area and works for the cops. In the most convoluted plot the story moves ahead with lots of violence and you come away wondering why didn’t they just kill everyone and save us the trouble.</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is a decent actor who plays the lead ‘Sameer’. He is caught by the officers of the ATS who are chasing a dreaded terrorist responsible for serial bombings in Hyderabad. Sameer pleads with the officers that the terrorist was merely a roomie. But the ATS transports him to Ahmedabad, and persuades him to help them catch the terrorist. Sameer now has to stay with the terrorist’s mother (Seema Biswas, in a pretty convincing role as Khala who makes and delivers lunches to people, hence Tiffin Khala). The terrorist has a brother too, Shahid, who runs a bakery.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Of course there is religious politics involved, and Muslims are happily portrayed as terrorists. Once you see that this is a horrendous assumption, you begin to see the stereotypes. There is a Hindu journalist who is fierce and feisty, searching for the children lost during the Gujarat riots. She gets threats from the bad guys and reports the bomb threats to the ATS. The ATS officer is Hindu and committed and honest. The young lad Sameer is Muslim, but is a good Muslim. The brother of the terrorist turns out to be the kingpin of terrorists. There is also a painful street theatre leader called Manto (named after the famous writer) who attempts to bring peace between communities. And yes, there is a mentally challenged young kid who is so sweet, you know he is going to die, and he does.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The first half of the film promises a little, but then all the red herrings go nowhere. That’s when you begin to notice that the ATS officer is supposed to be Gujarati – his surname is Desai – and he has a strong Bengali accent (the actor is Subrat Dutta, and the filmmakers could have easily named him Bose or Bannerji or anything else) Sameer is meant to be staying with the Khala, but he wander about the city and Khala does not ask him of his whereabouts. There is a romantic thread between the journalist and theATS officer, but it sort of goes nowhere because he says: the first floor of my home is empty, stay there for safety, and then shows her a room.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Soon you realise that he movie is going nowhere and when the blasts happen, you have figured out who is responsible already. The trouble is the last twenty minutes where the big bad guy and the chap who is carrying out the blasts have a huge conversation telling the audience why and what and who they are and when the planning happened (basically a lesson on Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent) and it is this exposition that kills you.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div><span></span><br><div dir="ltr"><span> </span></div></div>


Review: BAADSHAHO

<div dir="ltr"><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><b>How Baad Can It Get?</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>1.5 stars</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A Rajasthani princess thwarts the advances of a politician and he takes revenge during Emergency (1975) by having her arrested and confiscating all the royal gold. The proud princess has a plan: her bodyguard is asked to steal the truck full of gold as it makes it way to the Capital. The story is that of the heist in the desert, where everyone double-crosses each other and by the end you wish they were all dead in the cross-firing.</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>‘Life is four days long,’ says Bhawani Singh, ‘I’ve been living it like it is the fourth day all these years.’</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Cool dialog this, and the bodyguard of the princess Geetanjali says it with a rather interesting Rajasthani accent. The princess in chiffon and pearl, falls for this big muscled dude who has promised to take care of her no matter what.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Ajay Devgn fits the role of Bhawani Singh well, and you know he’s a good choice. But Ileana D’Cruz as the princess lacks any expression and you begin to pay attention to her impeccable saree and hair in prison and her ghastly enunciation. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Bhawani Singh is asked to steal the gold confiscated by the army (led by Rudra Pratap Singh played by Denzil Smith) when it is en route to Delhi. Now the army captain has another plan, to steal the gold for themselves. The plan does not come through or they forget that they made that plan, who knows…</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Bhawani Singh offers the heist job to three other people: Esha Gupta (why? Because she’s princess Geetanjali’s friend), Emraan Hashmi (why? Who else would utter stupid lines in order to look the part of a petty thief, a low life in ghastly bell-bottoms and lover boy tees, and is found in brothels) and Sanjay Mishra (why? Because you need a drunken sod who can crack safes). You can see where each person is going to fall apart. But you watch because you like heist movies.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>In a ghastly bathrobe dropping scene, the princess gets into a clinch with Bhawani Singh and his loyalties are bought. But there’s a fly in the ointment: the army captain has brought in a cool moustachioed dude (the moustache seems precariously perched on Vidyut Jamwal’s upper lip, who suspects that the truck carrying the gold will be hijacked. But the truck turns out to be super armored: five safe locks, bullet proof, and has a red button that turns the truck into a cage which cannot be opened for six hours no matter what. And yes, the fab four hijack the truck (you will cringe each time they try to enunciate the word as if they were villagers, ‘Tarak’) and they are chased by everyone, including a police officer (Sharad Kelkar, whose police station is equipped with torture devices like waterboarding and electric shocks and makeshift racks. They even light a fire under Sanjay Mishra’s chair and he is forced to yell, ‘Am I a cock that you are roasting?’ to earn laughs from the cheap seats. And laugh they did. At Emraan Hashmi swaggering, ‘I don’t steal taraks, I steal hearts!’ or anything Sanjay Mishra does in the name of comedy (like fall down drunk at all times and wake up in jail to ask for tea, earning himself a slap). What is it with Bollywood and grown up people slapping each other?</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>You discover that the tarak with the gold is taken to a border village where the thief tribe will melt it (into what? Gold coins and chains are turned into little nuggets! Why? Who knows!). But first, they spend twenty minutes with Sanjay Mishra attempting to open the safe that is the tarak. For comic relief, they put blinkers on the man so he can concentrate on the job at hand. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Of course there’s another double cross waiting to happen. When it does, you just groan into your popcorn and hope the princess does not kiss the moustache so much it comes off. You have begun to check messages as soon as you realise you saw it coming a mile away. The story is so boringly predictable, you don’t care if the cast forgets that they are in Rajasthan and need to speak the lingo. The last scene is in a sandstorm and it is left for you, the audience to figure out what happened to the bad guys and the gold and so on and so forth. This is such a blatant attempt at wanting a sequel you facepalm rather loudly and wish Sunny Leone would show up again and dance in a giant barrel of water so you feel you did not spend the ticket money in vain. </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com) </i></span></div><br></div>


Review: SHUBH MANGAL SAVDHAN

<div dir="ltr"><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Limp Biscoot</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>2 stars</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review: </i></span></div><b><span><br></span></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A remake of the very successful Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, this Bollywood version brings Ayushman Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar as a couple whose marriage is in chaos because the groom discovers he is suffering from erectile dysfunction. A one trick pony that is carried for two hours by a fine ensemble of supporting cast and some funny writing.</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Ayushman Khurana plays Mudit Sharma, a shy lad who falls in love with Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) who seems to be working in the same area and is hesitant to say so. Sugandha has grown up with ideas of love from the movies, and even though she likes the shy guy staring at her, she wishes, he would do something about it. He does. He sends her a proposal via an online marriage bureau.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Both Mudit and Bhumi thankfully have families played by what are India’s best character actors: Brijendra Kala, Seema Bhargava among others. They have just not given any credit for holding a one line plot so brilliantly together. Most of these character actors are seen playing bit parts in sitcoms and movies, and you know they are familiar, but you cannot place them in any particular movie, or know their names. It’s a commentary on the state of Bollywood cinema that is so star struck. So Ayushman’s parents and Bhumi’s parents, the uncles and aunts and the vet, the punditji, Ayushman’s two long suffering friends, Bhumi’s brother all have the funniest lines delivered fabulously, while the lead pair only have one thing to struggle with: ‘gents problem’.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The funniest visual gag is the biscuit dipped too long in the tea. But it’s how both families react to Ayushman’s very personal problem that makes the whole thing ha-ha funny. Imagine a the two mothers gushing over ‘how little they were when they were born, and now they’ve grown up so quickly’ and the groom’s father - still smarting from the insult that his son is impotent - saying vehemently, ‘There’s nothing little about my son!’</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Good writing can only take the plot so far. The setting helps, of course. The local tea stall in the bazaar, the soulless offices, the home with water damage, the wedding area, the pictures of dead relatives staring down at the couple attempting to make out, the bride watching porn in order to learn how to seduce her lad… Everything is perfect. Yet, the movie seems to crash in the second half, because there seems to be no solution to the original problem about the lad’s inability to get it on.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Ayushman Khurana has been making interesting career choices, but his sad sack expression will only get him this far. He depends on his ever darkening stubble to do all the acting, and that’s not enough. Bhumi Pednekar is quite luminous, but then again we see her huff and puff and being irrational…</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The best ensemble cast too ends up just watching a really bizarre physical stunt, a pointless cameo from a sweet Jimmy Shergill, and a daft ending that makes no sense at all. It just seems that the filmmakers had no clue about where and what to do with the good stuff they had. Alas, a limp ending to the film. </span></div><br><br><br><br><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div>


Review: SHUBH MANGAL SAVDHAN

<div dir="ltr"><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Limp Biscoot</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>2 stars</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review: </i></span></div><b><span><br></span></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>A remake of the very successful Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, this Bollywood version brings Ayushman Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar as a couple whose marriage is in chaos because the groom discovers he is suffering from erectile dysfunction. A one trick pony that is carried for two hours by a fine ensemble of supporting cast and some funny writing.</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Ayushman Khurana plays Mudit Sharma, a shy lad who falls in love with Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) who seems to be working in the same area and is hesitant to say so. Sugandha has grown up with ideas of love from the movies, and even though she likes the shy guy staring at her, she wishes, he would do something about it. He does. He sends her a proposal via an online marriage bureau.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Both Mudit and Bhumi thankfully have families played by what are India’s best character actors: Brijendra Kala, Seema Bhargava among others. They have just not given any credit for holding a one line plot so brilliantly together. Most of these character actors are seen playing bit parts in sitcoms and movies, and you know they are familiar, but you cannot place them in any particular movie, or know their names. It’s a commentary on the state of Bollywood cinema that is so star struck. So Ayushman’s parents and Bhumi’s parents, the uncles and aunts and the vet, the punditji, Ayushman’s two long suffering friends, Bhumi’s brother all have the funniest lines delivered fabulously, while the lead pair only have one thing to struggle with: ‘gents problem’.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The funniest visual gag is the biscuit dipped too long in the tea. But it’s how both families react to Ayushman’s very personal problem that makes the whole thing ha-ha funny. Imagine a the two mothers gushing over ‘how little they were when they were born, and now they’ve grown up so quickly’ and the groom’s father - still smarting from the insult that his son is impotent - saying vehemently, ‘There’s nothing little about my son!’</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Good writing can only take the plot so far. The setting helps, of course. The local tea stall in the bazaar, the soulless offices, the home with water damage, the wedding area, the pictures of dead relatives staring down at the couple attempting to make out, the bride watching porn in order to learn how to seduce her lad… Everything is perfect. Yet, the movie seems to crash in the second half, because there seems to be no solution to the original problem about the lad’s inability to get it on.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Ayushman Khurana has been making interesting career choices, but his sad sack expression will only get him this far. He depends on his ever darkening stubble to do all the acting, and that’s not enough. Bhumi Pednekar is quite luminous, but then again we see her huff and puff and being irrational…</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The best ensemble cast too ends up just watching a really bizarre physical stunt, a pointless cameo from a sweet Jimmy Shergill, and a daft ending that makes no sense at all. It just seems that the filmmakers had no clue about where and what to do with the good stuff they had. Alas, a limp ending to the film. </span></div><br><br><br><br><span><i>(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div>


Proudly powered by WordPress