Review: SHUBH MANGAL JYADA SAVDHAN


Hyper, Overactive, Dramatic Gay Bois Meet Even More Melodramatic ‘Bollywood’ Small Town Family. A Very Gaudy Fare.

0.5 stars

Mini Review:

Two lads in love go to a small town for a sister’s wedding and end up telling the family they are gay. The family hyperventilates and hyperventilates until your head hurts and in the end the ‘over my dead body’ dad who never really says over my dead body, comes around. Bollywood small town is loud and everyone tries hard to be funny all the time and you come away with a headache, and eyes burned by all the garishness.

Main Review:

Kartik and Aman Tripathi. What a Horrible Pair.

Ayushmann Khurana plays Kartik, a nose ring wearing gay lad who is partners with Aman Tripathi played by Jitendra Kumar and the film opens with both of them wearing toothpaste superman outfits, selling toothpaste at a mall. 

From the mall they go off to help a girl run away from home. She gives them a lakh rupees, but because they bungle she runs away with their motorbike.

Is this their job? Bhumi Pednekar in that small cameo seems quite capable of running away on her own, no? Especially because she knows exactly how long her dad is going to sit glued to the TV, watching KBC. 

Why are they trying to be clever, you wonder. And you are not enamored of protagonists who say they want to help lovers unite but take money for it, and also bungle the whole operation. 

Hmm. But Ayushmann Khurana leaning on Jitendra Kumar on the motorbike is cute. 

Woah! Kartik throws a tantrum wanting to attend Aman’s sister’s wedding. Aman gives in because they sleep on a train then run (still in the toothpaste superman suits) to the train to Allahabad. Do they not have a home? What happened to the mobike bhumi pednekar appropriated?

Such a horrible pair, they are shown bickering all through the movie. There are angry glares, but no looking longingly at the person you love, nothing redeeming about their love. They even discuss how Aman is ‘not wholly in’ the kiss or whatever… 

Why should the audience care what happens to these two?

Sonam Kapoor – whom everyone disses for being unable to act because she’s a pretty face – did a hundred per cent better job in her ‘coming out’ film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga… You liked both the girls in the film, their relationship and hated Rajkummar Rao for outing them in public the way he does in the film…

Bollywood Small Town Is Nuts

There will be Mother and Father and chacha and chachi and neighbours and one annoying relative (possibly old grandma who coughs, or a dead grandpa, and in this film, a lad with an ipad).

The gas in the kitchen will always have tea boiling away and people will drink tea.

If they eat, god forbid they should have manners. Everyone will eat as if food was meant to be eaten noisily. And there will be Jalebi.

And to annoy the intelligent audience and to get laughter from the cheap seats, there will be the ghastly burp after eating.

Bodily functions like pooping and peeing will be shown generously. And the bathing with buckets. I try to not puke into my neighbor’s popcorn when i see toothbrushes in mouths. 

Such a horrid surprise to see Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao play full on Nautanki parents. Manu Rishi and Sunita Rajwar who play Chacha and Chachi are less OTT. (The half star for this film is shared by the two.) 

Maanvi Gagroo is a relief because she really looks like she’s having fun. But they should have given her gold lines goggles for the wedding, no?

And the scene where Gajraj Rao pretends to kill himself: Neena Gupta should have given any one of the sarees in the cupboard in the room instead of taking off the ‘new shaadi ki saree’ no?

When men write these supposedly funny scenes, they forget to put themselves in a woman’s place! Neena Gupta would have given him the sheet on the bed to make a noose instead, no?

Ghanta Promoting A Gay Narrative

Maaf karo! If this is how you want to help the gay cause, I am sure the community might not want it. 

First Bollywood need to get over the fact that gay men DO NOT LOOK LIKE BOLLYWOOD’S IDEA of gay men. They don’t always have floppy wrists, neither do they wear nose rings.

And members of the LGBTQ+ community DO NOT WANDER ABOUT WITH A RAINBOW FLAG EVERYWHERE THEY TRAVEL. 

I am sure gay men do not feel the need to be overly demonstrative (read ‘act despo’) all the time. If nothing, Netflix has a teenage show that deals with gay kids in a smarter way than this film does. The show is called Sex Education’ and it deals with teens with hormones. 

It’s a lame excuse to say this movie is pathbreaking because it is challenging/breaking the patriarchal system. Patriarchy is like Sairat. It uses guns. 

Even the lame Sooryavamsham got patriarchy right. Here Gajraj Rao just comes across as sham, not once talking about his vansh…

The film promotions said that the writer-director wrote the script for over a year. The audience could have waited longer for him to get this script right. 




P.S. When people start selling you the film as if it was going to do ‘uddhar’ of a community that didn’t have a voice so far, I’m sure the people from the LGBTQ+ community would rather wait for real tales than this gaudy, loud movie.

   







     

Review: SHUBH MANGAL JYADA SAVDHAN


Hyper, Overactive, Dramatic Gay Bois Meet Even More Melodramatic ‘Bollywood’ Small Town Family. A Very Gaudy Fare.

0.5 stars

Mini Review:

Two lads in love go to a small town for a sister’s wedding and end up telling the family they are gay. The family hyperventilates and hyperventilates until your head hurts and in the end the ‘over my dead body’ dad who never really says over my dead body, comes around. Bollywood small town is loud and everyone tries hard to be funny all the time and you come away with a headache, and eyes burned by all the garishness.

Main Review:

Kartik and Aman Tripathi. What a Horrible Pair.

Ayushmann Khurana plays Kartik, a nose ring wearing gay lad who is partners with Aman Tripathi played by Jitendra Kumar and the film opens with both of them wearing toothpaste superman outfits, selling toothpaste at a mall. 

From the mall they go off to help a girl run away from home. She gives them a lakh rupees, but because they bungle she runs away with their motorbike.

Is this their job? Bhumi Pednekar in that small cameo seems quite capable of running away on her own, no? Especially because she knows exactly how long her dad is going to sit glued to the TV, watching KBC. 

Why are they trying to be clever, you wonder. And you are not enamored of protagonists who say they want to help lovers unite but take money for it, and also bungle the whole operation. 

Hmm. But Ayushmann Khurana leaning on Jitendra Kumar on the motorbike is cute. 

Woah! Kartik throws a tantrum wanting to attend Aman’s sister’s wedding. Aman gives in because they sleep on a train then run (still in the toothpaste superman suits) to the train to Allahabad. Do they not have a home? What happened to the mobike bhumi pednekar appropriated?

Such a horrible pair, they are shown bickering all through the movie. There are angry glares, but no looking longingly at the person you love, nothing redeeming about their love. They even discuss how Aman is ‘not wholly in’ the kiss or whatever… 

Why should the audience care what happens to these two?

Sonam Kapoor – whom everyone disses for being unable to act because she’s a pretty face – did a hundred per cent better job in her ‘coming out’ film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga… You liked both the girls in the film, their relationship and hated Rajkummar Rao for outing them in public the way he does in the film…

Bollywood Small Town Is Nuts

There will be Mother and Father and chacha and chachi and neighbours and one annoying relative (possibly old grandma who coughs, or a dead grandpa, and in this film, a lad with an ipad).

The gas in the kitchen will always have tea boiling away and people will drink tea.

If they eat, god forbid they should have manners. Everyone will eat as if food was meant to be eaten noisily. And there will be Jalebi.

And to annoy the intelligent audience and to get laughter from the cheap seats, there will be the ghastly burp after eating.

Bodily functions like pooping and peeing will be shown generously. And the bathing with buckets. I try to not puke into my neighbor’s popcorn when i see toothbrushes in mouths. 

Such a horrid surprise to see Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao play full on Nautanki parents. Manu Rishi and Sunita Rajwar who play Chacha and Chachi are less OTT. (The half star for this film is shared by the two.) 

Maanvi Gagroo is a relief because she really looks like she’s having fun. But they should have given her gold lines goggles for the wedding, no?

And the scene where Gajraj Rao pretends to kill himself: Neena Gupta should have given any one of the sarees in the cupboard in the room instead of taking off the ‘new shaadi ki saree’ no?

When men write these supposedly funny scenes, they forget to put themselves in a woman’s place! Neena Gupta would have given him the sheet on the bed to make a noose instead, no?

Ghanta Promoting A Gay Narrative

Maaf karo! If this is how you want to help the gay cause, I am sure the community might not want it. 

First Bollywood need to get over the fact that gay men DO NOT LOOK LIKE BOLLYWOOD’S IDEA of gay men. They don’t always have floppy wrists, neither do they wear nose rings.

And members of the LGBTQ+ community DO NOT WANDER ABOUT WITH A RAINBOW FLAG EVERYWHERE THEY TRAVEL. 

I am sure gay men do not feel the need to be overly demonstrative (read ‘act despo’) all the time. If nothing, Netflix has a teenage show that deals with gay kids in a smarter way than this film does. The show is called Sex Education’ and it deals with teens with hormones. 

It’s a lame excuse to say this movie is pathbreaking because it is challenging/breaking the patriarchal system. Patriarchy is like Sairat. It uses guns. 

Even the lame Sooryavamsham got patriarchy right. Here Gajraj Rao just comes across as sham, not once talking about his vansh…

The film promotions said that the writer-director wrote the script for over a year. The audience could have waited longer for him to get this script right. 




P.S. When people start selling you the film as if it was going to do ‘uddhar’ of a community that didn’t have a voice so far, I’m sure the people from the LGBTQ+ community would rather wait for real tales than this gaudy, loud movie.

   







     

Review: Love Aaj Kal


Love Be Akal

0 stars

Mini Review:

The owner of a bar cum co-working space guides a young couple who have mixed feelings about love by narrating his own story of lost love. He tries hard to say that young people in love in the 90s had the same trouble of choosing between career or marriage that young people have today. Today? Thousands of people balance both rather well and with much less than the protagonists. The original film made by the same director had some heart. This film is so oxygen deprived the narrative is as tiresome as it is brainless. 

Main Review:

Poor Randeep Hooda is given the role of the bar owner who once chose career over love and hand holds Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aryan who play two young lovers. The two Zoey and Veer can’t seem to keep their hands off one another but stop right before they make love. Why? Not because ‘Sanskaar’ but because Veer wants ‘andar wali Zoey, bahar wali Zoey, career wali Zoey, roti banane wali Zoey…’ 

My brain froze there. These kids have not heard of Zomato? Young men still want their wives to make rotis? Young people today are more likely to order in, watch Netflix and never worry about career or love. Young men today are happy to move cities if their girl has a better job and then worry about finding one themselves, esp because Kartik Aryan is supposed to be a software programmer, something that does not need him to stay in a particular city. 

It’s just shoddy writing and poorly thought out story. Which generation is the filmmaker talking about? It’s worse because the original film had defined their career options better.

The story goes back and forth in the past as Randeep Hooda tells his story. It’s a time where QSQT plays in the theater, but Udaipur seems to be in the 30s or 70s or something because it is sepia toned. Why? Style? Seems needless. Then Kartik Aryan keeps spreading his arms like Shah Rukh, but the director forgot that Shah Rukh in the 90s was all about body suits/scuba gear type Polo jerseys. Why is Kartik Aryan made to wear strange coat collar bush shirts, only the designer knows. Even Raj Kapoor was better dressed in the movies of his time. It was certainly not the 90s. (Why they don’t refer to the gentleman’s guide to 100 years of fashion, no one knows.)

Why Bollywood, Why?

Why do men/women who have lost in love go to the Himalayas?

Why does Kartik Aryan pout so much? Why does he not have a hair person combing his hair? (bed head is fine, but…)

Why does Kartik Aryan work at a dam when he says he’s a software programmer hired by a water sustainability project?

Why do people always clutch their glass of tea with both hands in the mountains? 

Why does Kartik Aryan have to take his girl to meet parents when he does not live with them? Why do we never know why? Just like the two live separate lives in one home, couldn’t Kartik Aryan live with them? This just doesn’t compute…

This Love Doesn’t Compute. Actually.

Why make a bad version of a film people have already seen? Lack of new stories? Let’s say I have not seen the earlier version. Even then the story goes all over the place and you cringe when you hear: Oho! You can ‘feeeel’ (good, he means) even when the girl is not there?

Ugh. I just hope Kartik Aryan did not mean what the words said. I hope Imtiaz Ali does not now remake Jab We Met or something. Someone tell him: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.



P.S. A young couple attempting to romance one another (the movie releases on Valentine’s Day, after all) sitting next to me at the FDFS fell asleep during the movie, holding hands. 

    

Review: Love Aaj Kal


Love Be Akal

0 stars

Mini Review:

The owner of a bar cum co-working space guides a young couple who have mixed feelings about love by narrating his own story of lost love. He tries hard to say that young people in love in the 90s had the same trouble of choosing between career or marriage that young people have today. Today? Thousands of people balance both rather well and with much less than the protagonists. The original film made by the same director had some heart. This film is so oxygen deprived the narrative is as tiresome as it is brainless. 

Main Review:

Poor Randeep Hooda is given the role of the bar owner who once chose career over love and hand holds Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aryan who play two young lovers. The two Zoey and Veer can’t seem to keep their hands off one another but stop right before they make love. Why? Not because ‘Sanskaar’ but because Veer wants ‘andar wali Zoey, bahar wali Zoey, career wali Zoey, roti banane wali Zoey…’ 

My brain froze there. These kids have not heard of Zomato? Young men still want their wives to make rotis? Young people today are more likely to order in, watch Netflix and never worry about career or love. Young men today are happy to move cities if their girl has a better job and then worry about finding one themselves, esp because Kartik Aryan is supposed to be a software programmer, something that does not need him to stay in a particular city. 

It’s just shoddy writing and poorly thought out story. Which generation is the filmmaker talking about? It’s worse because the original film had defined their career options better.

The story goes back and forth in the past as Randeep Hooda tells his story. It’s a time where QSQT plays in the theater, but Udaipur seems to be in the 30s or 70s or something because it is sepia toned. Why? Style? Seems needless. Then Kartik Aryan keeps spreading his arms like Shah Rukh, but the director forgot that Shah Rukh in the 90s was all about body suits/scuba gear type Polo jerseys. Why is Kartik Aryan made to wear strange coat collar bush shirts, only the designer knows. Even Raj Kapoor was better dressed in the movies of his time. It was certainly not the 90s. (Why they don’t refer to the gentleman’s guide to 100 years of fashion, no one knows.)

Why Bollywood, Why?

Why do men/women who have lost in love go to the Himalayas?

Why does Kartik Aryan pout so much? Why does he not have a hair person combing his hair? (bed head is fine, but…)

Why does Kartik Aryan work at a dam when he says he’s a software programmer hired by a water sustainability project?

Why do people always clutch their glass of tea with both hands in the mountains? 

Why does Kartik Aryan have to take his girl to meet parents when he does not live with them? Why do we never know why? Just like the two live separate lives in one home, couldn’t Kartik Aryan live with them? This just doesn’t compute…

This Love Doesn’t Compute. Actually.

Why make a bad version of a film people have already seen? Lack of new stories? Let’s say I have not seen the earlier version. Even then the story goes all over the place and you cringe when you hear: Oho! You can ‘feeeel’ (good, he means) even when the girl is not there?

Ugh. I just hope Kartik Aryan did not mean what the words said. I hope Imtiaz Ali does not now remake Jab We Met or something. Someone tell him: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.



P.S. A young couple attempting to romance one another (the movie releases on Valentine’s Day, after all) sitting next to me at the FDFS fell asleep during the movie, holding hands. 

    

Review: SHIKARA


A Beautiful Mess That Walks On The Edge Of The Deep But Never Dives

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

It’s a beautifully told love story where you fall in love with the leads instantly, but the timing of the film borders on propaganda which makes you want to question motives of the film. Why this? Why now? The film doesn’t take a stand like Harud or JoJo Rabbit even, but offers a very tame Life Is Beautiful version. 

Main Review:

First, The Problem

It’s been six months since the Indian government led by the saffron heads Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have scrapped the special status given to J&K since our independence and appropriated it as a state without a plebiscite. We have been told life is normal but political leaders have been under house arrest, there is no internet or phone services and there are reports of infiltration from a neighboring country. Kashmir is still a time bomb, now covered in saffron. Yes, life for Kashmiri pandits has been awful. They’ve been refugees in our own country, driven out by guns and a helpless government that made many mistakes.   

There is a dialog in the film where a dying ‘extremist’ says, ‘You killed and we killed and the killing will go on in Kashmir’ which gives you goosebumps, but every other time it tries a political dialog, you hear Nirmala Sitharaman struggle with Myon Watan in your head and you wonder why did they make this propaganda film now?

The war is brewing and I am afraid, this film is not going to help.

There Is A Bigger Film Buried In This Film

No matter how beautifully this film has been shot, Harud it is not. I was more touched – shook really – by the montage of forlorn, shattered, abused, empty homes (presumably Pandit homes) than the entire political propaganda the film tries to make. You wonder how many more refugee stories are there, you wonder what horrors are buried in the rubble, you wonder if those apple trees bear any fruit today or is that fruit poisoned too?

There is a shot in the film where the lead pair return to their former home and look at the corner which was their ‘Puja Room’. It has now been replaced by the kitchen sink. The poignancy of the moment hits you really hard. And somewhere you want revenge from people who for very obvious political reasons painted the whole house green. But it is just one moment which could have been a part of a very different narrative. 

Another moment is when the children stare at ‘masterji’ and he asks, ‘Why are you staring at me?’ One child answers, ‘He has never seen a ‘pandit’ before…’

Could have been Jojo Rabbit, this film, but isn’t. Of course it instantly reminds me of the social media post where the kids in Kashmir are playing a game called ‘Frisk’. A game where some children play ‘Kashmiris’ and others ‘Police’. The police frisk the Kashmiris. A horrific childhood, no? But this film does not go there.

But let’s make a love story instead.

A beautiful love story of Shiv and Shanti who fall in love over poetry (of course about shikaras) and then get married in the traditional Kashmiri way (insert folksy wedding songs/traditional wedding rituals here) and they have a wonderful family and a brother who is a doctor and they have friends who are Muslim and everyone lives wonderfully and they eat fat, juicy luscious apples, and Rogan Josh. Shiv Dhar’s best friend who is a cricketer and Muslim and they love one another and Kashmir is truly a paradise until buses begin to go to Rawalpindi right from the main bus stand and there are cops with guns and terrorists with Amriki guns leftover from the Afghanistan war and his best friend’s dad is shot and of course he runs away to Pakistan and becomes a terrorist. Months later Shiv is picked up and he meets former best friend who is now terrorist and is told to leave for India with family because of the said friendship… 

Eventually everyone who is a Hindu is made to leave and live in horrendous conditions in Jammu and later Delhi and yet there is something incredible about their love which is enduring and fragile and beautiful. They make a life in the tents and Shiv keeps writing letters to the American president for justice and teaches camp children, and Shanti keeps making Rogan Josh. 

You wonder why she isn’t playing Florence Nightingale since she’s been shown to attend nursing college when they were romancing… But everything has been shot so beautifully that you care about their despair and the Rogan Josh.

I feel awful for not feeling the pain of the thousands that were forcibly evacuated simply because this is not a partition film where trains full of refugees from both sides of the India-Pakistan border were hacked to death. This is not a story by Manto which tears you apart inside because he lives there even though his heart belongs to Bombay. No Toba Tek Singh, no Leon Uris’s Exodus which chronicles the pain of homelessness and the hollowness of the promise of a promised land of Israel like nothing before or nothing after… But this love story is tender. Too tender to survive the harshness of the realities, and hence seem unbelievable in parts. 

‘We will always have Paris,’ Rick says in Casablanca. This film has love, but does not kick you in the gut like Casablanca does. This is Exodus lite. Casablanca Skimmed.

The lead pair make their debut and are beautiful together. Aadil Khan and Sadia are so perfect in their love, we love watching them meet, fall in love, get married and get old with a smile on our faces. 

The cinematography in Bajrangi Bhaijaan showed us how fabulous Kashmir is. The Chinars in Haider have left a permanent mark on my brain. In this film their wedding night on the Shikara is beautiful but the shot of fat, juicy apples on their tree made me hungry.

This film has crappy timing, and knows it. The claims of displaced people all over the world are real, but when accompanied with tales that become romanticised collective memories that communication students will understand… 

The problem is that the film dog whistles so much you are left in a quandary whether to like it (and hence aiding the propaganda) or to hate it (and then everyone looks at you as if you are a traitor).

So I came away feeling as stranded as the calf on Patnitop. Unkindly wondering if it became part of some Wazwan…   


Review: SHIKARA


A Beautiful Mess That Walks On The Edge Of The Deep But Never Dives

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

It’s a beautifully told love story where you fall in love with the leads instantly, but the timing of the film borders on propaganda which makes you want to question motives of the film. Why this? Why now? The film doesn’t take a stand like Harud or JoJo Rabbit even, but offers a very tame Life Is Beautiful version. 

Main Review:

First, The Problem

It’s been six months since the Indian government led by the saffron heads Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have scrapped the special status given to J&K since our independence and appropriated it as a state without a plebiscite. We have been told life is normal but political leaders have been under house arrest, there is no internet or phone services and there are reports of infiltration from a neighboring country. Kashmir is still a time bomb, now covered in saffron. Yes, life for Kashmiri pandits has been awful. They’ve been refugees in our own country, driven out by guns and a helpless government that made many mistakes.   

There is a dialog in the film where a dying ‘extremist’ says, ‘You killed and we killed and the killing will go on in Kashmir’ which gives you goosebumps, but every other time it tries a political dialog, you hear Nirmala Sitharaman struggle with Myon Watan in your head and you wonder why did they make this propaganda film now?

The war is brewing and I am afraid, this film is not going to help.

There Is A Bigger Film Buried In This Film

No matter how beautifully this film has been shot, Harud it is not. I was more touched – shook really – by the montage of forlorn, shattered, abused, empty homes (presumably Pandit homes) than the entire political propaganda the film tries to make. You wonder how many more refugee stories are there, you wonder what horrors are buried in the rubble, you wonder if those apple trees bear any fruit today or is that fruit poisoned too?

There is a shot in the film where the lead pair return to their former home and look at the corner which was their ‘Puja Room’. It has now been replaced by the kitchen sink. The poignancy of the moment hits you really hard. And somewhere you want revenge from people who for very obvious political reasons painted the whole house green. But it is just one moment which could have been a part of a very different narrative. 

Another moment is when the children stare at ‘masterji’ and he asks, ‘Why are you staring at me?’ One child answers, ‘He has never seen a ‘pandit’ before…’

Could have been Jojo Rabbit, this film, but isn’t. Of course it instantly reminds me of the social media post where the kids in Kashmir are playing a game called ‘Frisk’. A game where some children play ‘Kashmiris’ and others ‘Police’. The police frisk the Kashmiris. A horrific childhood, no? But this film does not go there.

But let’s make a love story instead.

A beautiful love story of Shiv and Shanti who fall in love over poetry (of course about shikaras) and then get married in the traditional Kashmiri way (insert folksy wedding songs/traditional wedding rituals here) and they have a wonderful family and a brother who is a doctor and they have friends who are Muslim and everyone lives wonderfully and they eat fat, juicy luscious apples, and Rogan Josh. Shiv Dhar’s best friend who is a cricketer and Muslim and they love one another and Kashmir is truly a paradise until buses begin to go to Rawalpindi right from the main bus stand and there are cops with guns and terrorists with Amriki guns leftover from the Afghanistan war and his best friend’s dad is shot and of course he runs away to Pakistan and becomes a terrorist. Months later Shiv is picked up and he meets former best friend who is now terrorist and is told to leave for India with family because of the said friendship… 

Eventually everyone who is a Hindu is made to leave and live in horrendous conditions in Jammu and later Delhi and yet there is something incredible about their love which is enduring and fragile and beautiful. They make a life in the tents and Shiv keeps writing letters to the American president for justice and teaches camp children, and Shanti keeps making Rogan Josh. 

You wonder why she isn’t playing Florence Nightingale since she’s been shown to attend nursing college when they were romancing… But everything has been shot so beautifully that you care about their despair and the Rogan Josh.

I feel awful for not feeling the pain of the thousands that were forcibly evacuated simply because this is not a partition film where trains full of refugees from both sides of the India-Pakistan border were hacked to death. This is not a story by Manto which tears you apart inside because he lives there even though his heart belongs to Bombay. No Toba Tek Singh, no Leon Uris’s Exodus which chronicles the pain of homelessness and the hollowness of the promise of a promised land of Israel like nothing before or nothing after… But this love story is tender. Too tender to survive the harshness of the realities, and hence seem unbelievable in parts. 

‘We will always have Paris,’ Rick says in Casablanca. This film has love, but does not kick you in the gut like Casablanca does. This is Exodus lite. Casablanca Skimmed.

The lead pair make their debut and are beautiful together. Aadil Khan and Sadia are so perfect in their love, we love watching them meet, fall in love, get married and get old with a smile on our faces. 

The cinematography in Bajrangi Bhaijaan showed us how fabulous Kashmir is. The Chinars in Haider have left a permanent mark on my brain. In this film their wedding night on the Shikara is beautiful but the shot of fat, juicy apples on their tree made me hungry.

This film has crappy timing, and knows it. The claims of displaced people all over the world are real, but when accompanied with tales that become romanticised collective memories that communication students will understand… 

The problem is that the film dog whistles so much you are left in a quandary whether to like it (and hence aiding the propaganda) or to hate it (and then everyone looks at you as if you are a traitor).

So I came away feeling as stranded as the calf on Patnitop. Unkindly wondering if it became part of some Wazwan…   


Review: MALANG


Heroine: Tumhe Maza Chaahiye Ki Sukoon?
Hero: Lemme Take Off My Shirt As Answer 

star

Mini Review: 

Cops are being murdered one after the other in a stylish way. The lead investigator is murderous but sings karaoke in a stylish way. The cop killer wears a stylish leather hoodie and hoodwinks everyone through stylish Goa carnival at night, Oooh! Cop killer has stylish lust and drugs and bucket list angle…All of this knit together with howlarious (yet stylish) lifestyle dialog that makes cola come out of your nostrils. And that’s okay because the film is stylish, audience is not.

Main Review:

There’s a hot girl in ‘abroad’ who smiles a lot tosses her hair and gives her computer and phone to a busker and boards a plane to Goa. That’s a Sara by Disha Patani.

There’s a dude who lives in some soft focus apartment with pictures of parents on walls. He packs his backpack, hands the picture frames to garbage truck guy and heads to Goa. How do we know he’s hot? They show him taking off his tank top ever so often. That’s Advait by Aditya Roy Kapoor. 

Of course the two meet and fall in lust while fireworks are going on. But it’s so stylishly done, they show no hot and heavy anything, no bodice ripping, no acrobatic kiss like in the poster. Only a ‘forward’ dialog from Sara: I wanted to do this wild you-know-what with a stranger.

Before you choke on this so stylishly sanskari desire of her bucket list, I must tell you about the stylish bead band she wears. It has knots, each representing a fear she must overcome. If she does it, then she unravels one knot. That’s what happens when you give away your phone…

My fear was: That bracelet had many many knots!

That brings us to how the movie begins. 

Hot dude is in prison, having a fight with a whole lot of burly men. Why? No one knows, but the prison fight is stylishly done (like the Punisher, Arrow… Take your pick!)… After he has hit many baddies and broken many tables, we realise a big guy had snatched Hot Dude’s bracelet.

Awwww! He fought for her bracelet! So much love! Obviously, since he’s wearing the bracelet and fighting other prisoners she must be dead…

Logic and learning from prison movies says Hot Dude should be put in solitary for fighting so many other jailbirds. But he’s out. He’s then calling demented cop who rubs what looks like cocaine on his hand (like salt for your tequila shots) sniffing it and gumming it too. Whaaat? But it looks stylish and the demented cop sings karaoke so it’s okay.That’s Anil Kapoor giving it his all to sing-and-then-kill routine.

So Hot Dude calls Demented Cop and says, ‘I’m going to kill someone.’ 
‘Why?’
‘Because, Happy Solstice.’

Both laugh maniacally. One because he knows why, other because he’s hamming it up and we laugh helplessly.

There are more cops, each outdoing the other in stylish ways. Kunal Khemu looks like the educated cop but turns out that he’s got Edward Norton from American History buried inside. That part appears suddenly and the audience is like, ‘Whaa…’ But very stylish violence against women (almost like the curb stomping) so I suppose you want Hot Dude to kill him too.

Hot Dude in the meanwhile has killed another cop at a New Orleans type night carnival during Christmas (?!) in Goa. Whaaa? And then another at a giant CGI football stadium with basement parking. As a footy fan and someone who has visited Fatorda, Tilak, Pandit Nehru, Duler and Bambolim stadia in Goa where football is played, this part felt more fake than stylish.

And which basement parking has TV screens? But Hot Dude (on foot) and Demented Dude (in cop car) play chicken which was very nice. After which Hot Dude gets caught. 

In the middle of it all are endless stylish scenes of Hot Girl and Hot Dude in various skimpy attire super fancy bucket list things with endless love songs that sound good initially but then become the antidote to inane pop philosophy both hot leads are spouting at each other.

‘I am used to running away from relationships’
‘Let us create a world for ourselves and live in the moment.’
‘Sure, I’m Instagramming this moment. What’s your handle?’
‘I don’t Insta.’
‘Whaa?!”

I head out for another flat white trying to understand why Hot Dude needs to post videos on Insta when he’s given up everything?

And on screen they’re scoring ‘drugs’ stylishly, dancing with lots of ‘foreign’ hippes, never running out of money. And helping them is the only amazing character in the film: a hippie with dreds: Elli AvrRam. She is Jessie who does her bit spouting Swedish life mantras and carries a magic pouch with an antidote for all ‘drug overdoses’. The cops have killed Hot Girl and now Hot Dude wants revenge. But we got this from the trailer and the details are painful to watch. 

A story cannot rely only on hot bodies of the lead actors.Nothing they did on screen made them endearing to us. Neither could we root for the cops. They were all just caricatures of bad cops in movies.Even though this film is made rather stylishly, Woohoo to the reveal moment of angel wings tattoo on Hot Dude’s back with the rest of the screen burning as he takes off his tank top yet again (which is why the lone star). But the writing was cringe worthy. 

Kunal Khemu’s reasoning for becoming a psychopath is one of those moments: My parents used to fight, mum was in pain. Pain travels through your head and ends up dangling between your legs…

The person next to me demonstrated Nosecola and I sputtered coffee all over the person sitting in front at that confession. 

But the worst is the dialog between the two hot leads:
‘In life there are two choices: maza or sukoon…Which one will you choose?’ 

Alas, this film offered the audience neither. 


P.S. If you are a girl in the movie and want to extract revenge, you must cut your long hair. Then wear hoodie.
This could be a trope.  

Review: MALANG


Heroine: Tumhe Maza Chaahiye Ki Sukoon?
Hero: Lemme Take Off My Shirt As Answer 

star

Mini Review: 

Cops are being murdered one after the other in a stylish way. The lead investigator is murderous but sings karaoke in a stylish way. The cop killer wears a stylish leather hoodie and hoodwinks everyone through stylish Goa carnival at night, Oooh! Cop killer has stylish lust and drugs and bucket list angle…All of this knit together with howlarious (yet stylish) lifestyle dialog that makes cola come out of your nostrils. And that’s okay because the film is stylish, audience is not.

Main Review:

There’s a hot girl in ‘abroad’ who smiles a lot tosses her hair and gives her computer and phone to a busker and boards a plane to Goa. That’s a Sara by Disha Patani.

There’s a dude who lives in some soft focus apartment with pictures of parents on walls. He packs his backpack, hands the picture frames to garbage truck guy and heads to Goa. How do we know he’s hot? They show him taking off his tank top ever so often. That’s Advait by Aditya Roy Kapoor. 

Of course the two meet and fall in lust while fireworks are going on. But it’s so stylishly done, they show no hot and heavy anything, no bodice ripping, no acrobatic kiss like in the poster. Only a ‘forward’ dialog from Sara: I wanted to do this wild you-know-what with a stranger.

Before you choke on this so stylishly sanskari desire of her bucket list, I must tell you about the stylish bead band she wears. It has knots, each representing a fear she must overcome. If she does it, then she unravels one knot. That’s what happens when you give away your phone…

My fear was: That bracelet had many many knots!

That brings us to how the movie begins. 

Hot dude is in prison, having a fight with a whole lot of burly men. Why? No one knows, but the prison fight is stylishly done (like the Punisher, Arrow… Take your pick!)… After he has hit many baddies and broken many tables, we realise a big guy had snatched Hot Dude’s bracelet.

Awwww! He fought for her bracelet! So much love! Obviously, since he’s wearing the bracelet and fighting other prisoners she must be dead…

Logic and learning from prison movies says Hot Dude should be put in solitary for fighting so many other jailbirds. But he’s out. He’s then calling demented cop who rubs what looks like cocaine on his hand (like salt for your tequila shots) sniffing it and gumming it too. Whaaat? But it looks stylish and the demented cop sings karaoke so it’s okay.That’s Anil Kapoor giving it his all to sing-and-then-kill routine.

So Hot Dude calls Demented Cop and says, ‘I’m going to kill someone.’ 
‘Why?’
‘Because, Happy Solstice.’

Both laugh maniacally. One because he knows why, other because he’s hamming it up and we laugh helplessly.

There are more cops, each outdoing the other in stylish ways. Kunal Khemu looks like the educated cop but turns out that he’s got Edward Norton from American History buried inside. That part appears suddenly and the audience is like, ‘Whaa…’ But very stylish violence against women (almost like the curb stomping) so I suppose you want Hot Dude to kill him too.

Hot Dude in the meanwhile has killed another cop at a New Orleans type night carnival during Christmas (?!) in Goa. Whaaa? And then another at a giant CGI football stadium with basement parking. As a footy fan and someone who has visited Fatorda, Tilak, Pandit Nehru, Duler and Bambolim stadia in Goa where football is played, this part felt more fake than stylish.

And which basement parking has TV screens? But Hot Dude (on foot) and Demented Dude (in cop car) play chicken which was very nice. After which Hot Dude gets caught. 

In the middle of it all are endless stylish scenes of Hot Girl and Hot Dude in various skimpy attire super fancy bucket list things with endless love songs that sound good initially but then become the antidote to inane pop philosophy both hot leads are spouting at each other.

‘I am used to running away from relationships’
‘Let us create a world for ourselves and live in the moment.’
‘Sure, I’m Instagramming this moment. What’s your handle?’
‘I don’t Insta.’
‘Whaa?!”

I head out for another flat white trying to understand why Hot Dude needs to post videos on Insta when he’s given up everything?

And on screen they’re scoring ‘drugs’ stylishly, dancing with lots of ‘foreign’ hippes, never running out of money. And helping them is the only amazing character in the film: a hippie with dreds: Elli AvrRam. She is Jessie who does her bit spouting Swedish life mantras and carries a magic pouch with an antidote for all ‘drug overdoses’. The cops have killed Hot Girl and now Hot Dude wants revenge. But we got this from the trailer and the details are painful to watch. 

A story cannot rely only on hot bodies of the lead actors.Nothing they did on screen made them endearing to us. Neither could we root for the cops. They were all just caricatures of bad cops in movies.Even though this film is made rather stylishly, Woohoo to the reveal moment of angel wings tattoo on Hot Dude’s back with the rest of the screen burning as he takes off his tank top yet again (which is why the lone star). But the writing was cringe worthy. 

Kunal Khemu’s reasoning for becoming a psychopath is one of those moments: My parents used to fight, mum was in pain. Pain travels through your head and ends up dangling between your legs…

The person next to me demonstrated Nosecola and I sputtered coffee all over the person sitting in front at that confession. 

But the worst is the dialog between the two hot leads:
‘In life there are two choices: maza or sukoon…Which one will you choose?’ 

Alas, this film offered the audience neither. 


P.S. If you are a girl in the movie and want to extract revenge, you must cut your long hair. Then wear hoodie.
This could be a trope.  

Review: MALANG


Heroine: Tumhe Maza Chaahiye Ki Sukoon?
Hero: Lemme Take Off My Shirt As Answer 

star

Mini Review: 

Cops are being murdered one after the other in a stylish way. The lead investigator is murderous but sings karaoke in a stylish way. The cop killer wears a stylish leather hoodie and hoodwinks everyone through stylish Goa carnival at night, Oooh! Cop killer has stylish lust and drugs and bucket list angle…All of this knit together with howlarious (yet stylish) lifestyle dialog that makes cola come out of your nostrils. And that’s okay because the film is stylish, audience is not.

Main Review:

There’s a hot girl in ‘abroad’ who smiles a lot tosses her hair and gives her computer and phone to a busker and boards a plane to Goa. That’s a Sara by Disha Patani.

There’s a dude who lives in some soft focus apartment with pictures of parents on walls. He packs his backpack, hands the picture frames to garbage truck guy and heads to Goa. How do we know he’s hot? They show him taking off his tank top ever so often. That’s Advait by Aditya Roy Kapoor. 

Of course the two meet and fall in lust while fireworks are going on. But it’s so stylishly done, they show no hot and heavy anything, no bodice ripping, no acrobatic kiss like in the poster. Only a ‘forward’ dialog from Sara: I wanted to do this wild you-know-what with a stranger.

Before you choke on this so stylishly sanskari desire of her bucket list, I must tell you about the stylish bead band she wears. It has knots, each representing a fear she must overcome. If she does it, then she unravels one knot. That’s what happens when you give away your phone…

My fear was: That bracelet had many many knots!

That brings us to how the movie begins. 

Hot dude is in prison, having a fight with a whole lot of burly men. Why? No one knows, but the prison fight is stylishly done (like the Punisher, Arrow… Take your pick!)… After he has hit many baddies and broken many tables, we realise a big guy had snatched Hot Dude’s bracelet.

Awwww! He fought for her bracelet! So much love! Obviously, since he’s wearing the bracelet and fighting other prisoners she must be dead…

Logic and learning from prison movies says Hot Dude should be put in solitary for fighting so many other jailbirds. But he’s out. He’s then calling demented cop who rubs what looks like cocaine on his hand (like salt for your tequila shots) sniffing it and gumming it too. Whaaat? But it looks stylish and the demented cop sings karaoke so it’s okay.That’s Anil Kapoor giving it his all to sing-and-then-kill routine.

So Hot Dude calls Demented Cop and says, ‘I’m going to kill someone.’ 
‘Why?’
‘Because, Happy Solstice.’

Both laugh maniacally. One because he knows why, other because he’s hamming it up and we laugh helplessly.

There are more cops, each outdoing the other in stylish ways. Kunal Khemu looks like the educated cop but turns out that he’s got Edward Norton from American History buried inside. That part appears suddenly and the audience is like, ‘Whaa…’ But very stylish violence against women (almost like the curb stomping) so I suppose you want Hot Dude to kill him too.

Hot Dude in the meanwhile has killed another cop at a New Orleans type night carnival during Christmas (?!) in Goa. Whaaa? And then another at a giant CGI football stadium with basement parking. As a footy fan and someone who has visited Fatorda, Tilak, Pandit Nehru, Duler and Bambolim stadia in Goa where football is played, this part felt more fake than stylish.

And which basement parking has TV screens? But Hot Dude (on foot) and Demented Dude (in cop car) play chicken which was very nice. After which Hot Dude gets caught. 

In the middle of it all are endless stylish scenes of Hot Girl and Hot Dude in various skimpy attire super fancy bucket list things with endless love songs that sound good initially but then become the antidote to inane pop philosophy both hot leads are spouting at each other.

‘I am used to running away from relationships’
‘Let us create a world for ourselves and live in the moment.’
‘Sure, I’m Instagramming this moment. What’s your handle?’
‘I don’t Insta.’
‘Whaa?!”

I head out for another flat white trying to understand why Hot Dude needs to post videos on Insta when he’s given up everything?

And on screen they’re scoring ‘drugs’ stylishly, dancing with lots of ‘foreign’ hippes, never running out of money. And helping them is the only amazing character in the film: a hippie with dreds: Elli AvrRam. She is Jessie who does her bit spouting Swedish life mantras and carries a magic pouch with an antidote for all ‘drug overdoses’. The cops have killed Hot Girl and now Hot Dude wants revenge. But we got this from the trailer and the details are painful to watch. 

A story cannot rely only on hot bodies of the lead actors.Nothing they did on screen made them endearing to us. Neither could we root for the cops. They were all just caricatures of bad cops in movies.Even though this film is made rather stylishly, Woohoo to the reveal moment of angel wings tattoo on Hot Dude’s back with the rest of the screen burning as he takes off his tank top yet again (which is why the lone star). But the writing was cringe worthy. 

Kunal Khemu’s reasoning for becoming a psychopath is one of those moments: My parents used to fight, mum was in pain. Pain travels through your head and ends up dangling between your legs…

The person next to me demonstrated Nosecola and I sputtered coffee all over the person sitting in front at that confession. 

But the worst is the dialog between the two hot leads:
‘In life there are two choices: maza or sukoon…Which one will you choose?’ 

Alas, this film offered the audience neither. 


P.S. If you are a girl in the movie and want to extract revenge, you must cut your long hair. Then wear hoodie.
This could be a trope.  

Review: BAD BOYS FOR LIFE


Unkle, Ab Bas!

1 star

Mini Review:

Mike and Marcus who gave us mad buddy cop movies are suddenly old. Not in the movie, but really. No amount of Miami flash is going to help them. In fact, they look like they’re part of a Florida retirement home than South Beach hot rods. And the film even more so. It’s predictable, and the formula is tired. It’s like watching a bad Hindi action film in wearying slow motion.

Main Review:

The movie starts like 100% action movies do, with a car chase. With Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the car doing the ‘one is speeding and the other is frightened of speed’ routine’. We’re not told who they’re chasing. But then cops are chasing them. That’s old as the hills. Then you see that they’re driving around the same area again and again. 

Aaaaah! Cho Chweet! They drove like that because Martin Lawrence was going to become grandpa. We like our heroes to break rules, but when the cops chasing our heroes don’t show up behind them grinning or taking them away in handcuffs as it happens in other movies, we are shown a prison break

The prison break is really well done. I sit up! This is wow!

But what follows is just a paint by numbers buddy cop action movie.

1. Buddy cops are estranged because one wants to retire and the other thinks he’s invincible.

2. Invincible cop gets shot. Buddy is retired.

3. Team chips in, invincible cop takes time to become team player.

4. More people get shot.

5. Team has to track one bad guy who makes those ‘special bullets’.

6. Invincible cop botches operation. More people die. Buddy is still retired.

7. Bosses disband team. 

8. Invincible cop stares at sunset decides to go at it alone.

9. Buddy cop comes out of retirement.

10. The team shows up too, for final fight. Good guys win. Bad guys die.

It’s Abbas Mastan so gaye thay type action, but then there is this awful  ‘Luke, I am your father!’ moment.

Mexican people again are shown to be witches and mumbo jumbo black magic followers. Seriously, Hollywood? Live and Let Die is older than the hills!

One last thing, is there any Will Smith movie where his face doesn’t get swollen up? Ab bas karo unkle.