Review: PANGA

Lovely little paint by numbers sports film. 

2 stars

Mini Review:

Happy housewife works at railway office in Bhopal was really India Kabaddi team captain. Now she’s looking after seven year old and husband. The child puts the idea of a comeback into her head and she gets back on to the kabaddi court, winning the championship for India. Sounds rather predictable, but director handles the matter gently, and makes for a very sweet watch.

Main Review:

Story Before The Star

Dangal this is not. It has humour, but real. No starry ‘Look I’m acting se well I have put on weight for the role’. Neither is it Mary Kom, which seems kind of impossible, superwoman homage film, again with a star dominating the story. This is not even trying to be the Indian girls playing football in England movie. 

Panga has a star too, and known for taking over the narrative. Kangna Ranaut is a very good actor but she has a reputation, and even before the movie people wondered if this film was going to be as terrible as Manikarnika. I must admit, I was wondering too. Thankfully credit goes both to the director and the star for putting the story before the star.

Kangna plays Jaya Nigam, housewife to Prashant Nigam and a seven year old mouthy boy in Bhopal. She works at the railway ticket counter, her husband is an engineer in the railways too and the boy, who has a delicate constitution goes to school. She kicks her husband in her sleep every night (cute scene), she’s organised about her child’s medicines and school routine (cute scene), she’s also cute with her coworkers. She has sweet neighbors and a crappy boss. who yells at her for being late telling us she is no longer India team captain (cute exposition here!).

Great Ensemble Cast

The husband Jassie Gill makes for a great debut. He fits in lookswise into the husband’s character. He’s sweet and accommodating and smiles sweetly and laughs a lot. He’s not a teensy bit irritated by his wife’s career, supports it, is a good guy… Jeeeeeejuss! Will be a pain to deal with in real life. But in real life most Indian husbands at least behave badly once like Manav Kaul did in Tumhari Sulu.

Then enters a fab, fab character: Meenu. She used to be team-mate with Jaya Nigam and they were best of friends until Jaya gave up her sports career when her child turned out to be weak and needing help (cute reason, because the husband is so sweet already!). Richa Chadda is brilliant as Meenu, coach, friend, confidant and commentator (sootradhar practically)…

Predictable Sports Hero Story

Hero works hard, fails, gets inspired, fights family and friends and himself and goes on to prove that they really are a hero… In the sports film, right from Rocky days, we’ve had (Burgess Meredith who plays) Mickey training Rocky to become a hero. Same here. The mouthy child wants mom to ‘comeback’ so he begins pushing her to exercise first. She then starts dreaming of a comeback too…

Yes, this film too has coaches. There are coaches who will use her ‘comeback’ story to get mileage for women’s sports, but at least it is not a sleazy coach who asks for sexual favours. Thankfully Rajesh Tailang is good coach. After all, we need this to be a family film…

But someone tell me one thing, why do all sports film have to show us ALL the matches in detail? From the word ‘go’ to flag waving after the win? It’s plain tedious. 

The police detective from Marathi film Saavat is the captain of the India team (Smita Tambe) and is the token villain who calls Jaya out for being the ‘bench warmer’, ‘token PR’. But here I wish the villainy was a little stronger for it to be believable. 

There’s even a secret move that will fox the opponents clearly mentioned and the whole audience said ‘Tiger Chan’ when the moment came… I admit most cinema is made for the lowest common denominator, but you cannot be so unsubtle…

But it’s so sweet and cute and family friendly, and tantrum free that we like it. Also because they say that this film is dedicated to all mothers who want a second chance… How can you be a monster and not like a film dedicated to moms?

Not me. I like, I really liked it. I’m not being sarcastic here… 

Review: STREET DANCER 3 in 3D


Moonwalk To Disaster!

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

The only saving grace for this disaster of a movie is Nora Fatehi’s dance moves. Even the super limber Prabhu Deva dancing his ‘Mukkala Muquabala’ is good, but predictable. That hat thing, the moonwalk… It’s not new at all. Even Mr. Earnest – Varun Dhawan – cannot make a movie work when there’s no story to hold on to. A dance movie that has nothing new or original…

Main Review:

Thakeli Choreography

I may have two left feet, but I watch just about everything the net and TV has on dance. I bought the laserdisc for Strictly Ballroom way back when there was only Dirty Dancing and Michael Jackson videos to learn from. Every time Step Up and ABCD movies show up on cable I watch them simply because the dances are so good. I was really looking forward to watching something new, but apart from some new moves, I did not want to clap for anything. I mean we have seen the ballerinas dance with a crew before and the Hiplets are famous for dancing to hiphop! 

There are movies like High Strung that bring ballet and hip hop and classical music brilliantly. Why can’t we steal those? Why steal from obvious dance movies?

Prabhu Deva is fab, but there is nothing new there… I clapped hard simply because everything else is like blah…

Varun Dhawan is very very earnest, but the poor lad has to dance also, act also, be the savior of his family also, and be romantic also, be kind also, be villain also, be guilty also, turn good from bad also… And hold the patchy story together also…  

The less said about Shraddha Kapoor the better. 

And they gave a fabulous dancer like Nora Fatehi a pathetic role/! She dances like a dream and even twerks mid air… She has the best thighs in the film and… Yes, we saw a whole lots of leg.

Story Nahi, Many Facepalm Moments Put Together With Sticky Tape

Punjab mein roni mom (Zareen Wahab) has an atee miserable son: Aparshakti Khurana. Just when we spoke about how he’s perhaps a better actor than his brother, he overdoes the homeless illegal immigrant sad sack thing.

(They’re all supposed to all be on business visas, errrr… To play dholak in UK… What?!)

Pakistani parents just don’t know what their daughter (Shraddha Kapoor) is doing… How does one believe that her mother has NEVER gone through her wardrobe and has NEVER seen her dance outfits? 

And she eats ‘paet bhar’ biryani after seeing how hungry illegal immigrants were? After seeing them eat leftover burgers from the restaurant? She should be put off food for ever, no? It’s like eating popcorn during Schindler’s List…

Varun Dhawan is so sweet, his spray on abs can be forgiven. 

The talented dancers from both the Pakistan and Indian group get shafted because they don’t get enough screen time. Even the Brit dancers are shown to be thuggish. Dancing releases endorphins, the happiness hormone… why will you be thuggish to dholak wallahs AFTER you have danced to their tune on the street?

Does. Not. Compute.

Varun and his brother (dancing with a broken leg) is a good moment. So is the dancing of a chap named ‘Body’ (?!) 

But all other dances in the infernal dance contest are B.O.R.I.N.G. Dances in ABCD2 were far, far superior.

The question everyone was asking, ‘Why is the film in 3D?’
Answer: So dirt, donuts, a hat and one drop of sweat from hip could come at you at four points in the film. 


Watching the movie was like watching milk curdle and separate into many stinky bits, slowly…

This is how all of us emerged from this screening: very sad.  

Related image

(image from the net, thank you!)

Review: STREET DANCER 3 in 3D


Moonwalk To Disaster!

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

The only saving grace for this disaster of a movie is Nora Fatehi’s dance moves. Even the super limber Prabhu Deva dancing his ‘Mukkala Muquabala’ is good, but predictable. That hat thing, the moonwalk… It’s not new at all. Even Mr. Earnest – Varun Dhawan – cannot make a movie work when there’s no story to hold on to. A dance movie that has nothing new or original…

Main Review:

Thakeli Choreography

I may have two left feet, but I watch just about everything the net and TV has on dance. I bought the laserdisc for Strictly Ballroom way back when there was only Dirty Dancing and Michael Jackson videos to learn from. Every time Step Up and ABCD movies show up on cable I watch them simply because the dances are so good. I was really looking forward to watching something new, but apart from some new moves, I did not want to clap for anything. I mean we have seen the ballerinas dance with a crew before and the Hiplets are famous for dancing to hiphop! 

There are movies like High Strung that bring ballet and hip hop and classical music brilliantly. Why can’t we steal those? Why steal from obvious dance movies?

Prabhu Deva is fab, but there is nothing new there… I clapped hard simply because everything else is like blah…

Varun Dhawan is very very earnest, but the poor lad has to dance also, act also, be the savior of his family also, and be romantic also, be kind also, be villain also, be guilty also, turn good from bad also… And hold the patchy story together also…  

The less said about Shraddha Kapoor the better. 

And they gave a fabulous dancer like Nora Fatehi a pathetic role/! She dances like a dream and even twerks mid air… She has the best thighs in the film and… Yes, we saw a whole lots of leg.

Story Nahi, Many Facepalm Moments Put Together With Sticky Tape

Punjab mein roni mom (Zareen Wahab) has an atee miserable son: Aparshakti Khurana. Just when we spoke about how he’s perhaps a better actor than his brother, he overdoes the homeless illegal immigrant sad sack thing.

(They’re all supposed to all be on business visas, errrr… To play dholak in UK… What?!)

Pakistani parents just don’t know what their daughter (Shraddha Kapoor) is doing… How does one believe that her mother has NEVER gone through her wardrobe and has NEVER seen her dance outfits? 

And she eats ‘paet bhar’ biryani after seeing how hungry illegal immigrants were? After seeing them eat leftover burgers from the restaurant? She should be put off food for ever, no? It’s like eating popcorn during Schindler’s List…

Varun Dhawan is so sweet, his spray on abs can be forgiven. 

The talented dancers from both the Pakistan and Indian group get shafted because they don’t get enough screen time. Even the Brit dancers are shown to be thuggish. Dancing releases endorphins, the happiness hormone… why will you be thuggish to dholak wallahs AFTER you have danced to their tune on the street?

Does. Not. Compute.

Varun and his brother (dancing with a broken leg) is a good moment. So is the dancing of a chap named ‘Body’ (?!) 

But all other dances in the infernal dance contest are B.O.R.I.N.G. Dances in ABCD2 were far, far superior.

The question everyone was asking, ‘Why is the film in 3D?’
Answer: So dirt, donuts, a hat and one drop of sweat from hip could come at you at four points in the film. 


Watching the movie was like watching milk curdle and separate into many stinky bits, slowly…

This is how all of us emerged from this screening: very sad.  

Related image

(image from the net, thank you!)

Review: JAI MUMMY DI

Mummify these mummies!

zero star


Mini Review:

It’s not a love story, it’s not a feud story. It’s half an idea and half baked film about two best friends now enemies who have kids who fall in love. The kids cannot act and the two mummyji’s overact. The story dies within two minutes and the supposed 105 minutes feels like an aeon because of constant Punjabi drumming. The reveal of this feud will make you barf.

Main Review:

Faaltu Family Feud

Two ex best friends live next door to each other and fight over things like ‘your maid threw your garbage into my house’. Whaaat? You are expected to laugh at this? This is worse than bad TV. 

How did Poonam Dhillon and Supriya Pathak as Lali and Pinky agree to do that scene? Whyyyyyy? How desperate were they to get back on the big screen? Is the writer/director blackmailing these two women? Why else would work in a film like this? 

Poonam Dhillon vanishes in the middle of the movie and then appears in the end, and Supriya Pathak offers us a khichdi role of Gujju aunty trying to be Punjabi!

Last week it was Hema Malini in Shimla Mirch, and now these two! 

Zero Acting Skills On The Kids

Sunny Singh is great in deadpan roles. He’s now being made to emote. NOT possible! His Puneet is so pathetic, I puked in my popcorn.

Sonnalli Seygall is Sanjh. And when you look at her non existent acting skills you wonder if they paid the numerologist to change her name for nothing! 

When they embrace, and Sanjh cires, ‘I can’t..’ (yes that’s the dialog), a helpful fellow critic at the screening commented, ‘Act’.

Nothing in the story makes us like the two lead characters. So you start wondering why they’re wearing a uniforms in college? Or is it a scene that shows bachpan ka pyar? Blah!

Punjabis Only Have Weddings And Parathas

The movie starts with a wedding, is about the lead characters wanting to get married and are to get married to two other mostly sex starved characters.

This means Lali and Pinky will wear shaadi ke costumes which are so tacky even Sarojini Nagar shops have better clothes. And why would anyone mention ‘Karol Bagh’ if you live in Rohini? There are at least 7 malls in that part of Delhi. Obviously ‘Krol’ bagh is mentioned for a cheap laugh. It didn’t work. Hindi Medium did a fantastic job of location snobbery in Delhi brilliantly.

Supriya Pathak is shown wearing an apron and making parathas. If a Delhi housewife has a househelp, she will never ever put on an apron and cook. All she will do is sit at the dining table and add that dollop of white makkhan to the paratha.

And not just the two mummy’s, everyone’s clothes are so tacky. Women in Delhi are great dressers. So when you see Sanjh dancing in college in an ill-fitting dress, you cringe. In fact the whole production design is just tacky. You can see corners cut everywhere. In fact, some mall scenes look so ordinary, they could have been shot anywhere. The Gangour Sweet shop in the movie looks like the one in Juhu in Bombay, Unfortunately I have visited three Gangour sweet shops in Delhi, and the nearest one to Rohini (where the characters live) is in Preet Vihar. To assume no one would care about geography, that’s dumb. What’s even worse is that ‘Gangour’ is Rajasthani, and it means Shiva and Parvati. Why would Punjabi Sikhs name their shop Gangour? 

But that’s neither here nor there.

So back to the wedding opening scene. For some reason, the two mamajis are also enemies. They actually have a scene where both drunk mamajis decide to throw daals at one another at the buffet. 

That should be enough indication for anyone to leave the theater. And the horrendous Punjabi wedding band background music that plays all through the film, no matter what the scene.

And am truly sorry for Netflix who bought this film. Let this be a lesson to not buy films from any production house in bulk. 

Men Who Think Women Fight Over Them.

If you are still mildly curious as to why the two friends are pissed off at one another, am sorry to say the reveal at the end of the film is so sexist, it is appalling. The writer director believes that two women will fight over a man for years once he has dumped both of them (after two timing them with a third).

Are your serious? If a man two times two women, they would probably get together and plot to kill him. That would make for a better plot.

Then the director has us believe that Varun Sharma is the sex god young Lali and Pinky are fighting over! And that he grows up to become Alok Nath.

Enough said. Cannot offer even half a star to such trash. 105 minutes should have been fun and games but it feels like an insult to the audience.



P.S.: You like the Punjabi songs? Listen to them on a free app. This film is a waste of your money












Even the gawdawful Hulchul did family feud better


these mummies

105 minutes too long

Review: JAI MUMMY DI

Mummify these mummies!

zero star


Mini Review:

It’s not a love story, it’s not a feud story. It’s half an idea and half baked film about two best friends now enemies who have kids who fall in love. The kids cannot act and the two mummyji’s overact. The story dies within two minutes and the supposed 105 minutes feels like an aeon because of constant Punjabi drumming. The reveal of this feud will make you barf.

Main Review:

Faaltu Family Feud

Two ex best friends live next door to each other and fight over things like ‘your maid threw your garbage into my house’. Whaaat? You are expected to laugh at this? This is worse than bad TV. 

How did Poonam Dhillon and Supriya Pathak as Lali and Pinky agree to do that scene? Whyyyyyy? How desperate were they to get back on the big screen? Is the writer/director blackmailing these two women? Why else would work in a film like this? 

Poonam Dhillon vanishes in the middle of the movie and then appears in the end, and Supriya Pathak offers us a khichdi role of Gujju aunty trying to be Punjabi!

Last week it was Hema Malini in Shimla Mirch, and now these two! 

Zero Acting Skills On The Kids

Sunny Singh is great in deadpan roles. He’s now being made to emote. NOT possible! His Puneet is so pathetic, I puked in my popcorn.

Sonnalli Seygall is Sanjh. And when you look at her non existent acting skills you wonder if they paid the numerologist to change her name for nothing! 

When they embrace, and Sanjh cires, ‘I can’t..’ (yes that’s the dialog), a helpful fellow critic at the screening commented, ‘Act’.

Nothing in the story makes us like the two lead characters. So you start wondering why they’re wearing a uniforms in college? Or is it a scene that shows bachpan ka pyar? Blah!

Punjabis Only Have Weddings And Parathas

The movie starts with a wedding, is about the lead characters wanting to get married and are to get married to two other mostly sex starved characters.

This means Lali and Pinky will wear shaadi ke costumes which are so tacky even Sarojini Nagar shops have better clothes. And why would anyone mention ‘Karol Bagh’ if you live in Rohini? There are at least 7 malls in that part of Delhi. Obviously ‘Krol’ bagh is mentioned for a cheap laugh. It didn’t work. Hindi Medium did a fantastic job of location snobbery in Delhi brilliantly.

Supriya Pathak is shown wearing an apron and making parathas. If a Delhi housewife has a househelp, she will never ever put on an apron and cook. All she will do is sit at the dining table and add that dollop of white makkhan to the paratha.

And not just the two mummy’s, everyone’s clothes are so tacky. Women in Delhi are great dressers. So when you see Sanjh dancing in college in an ill-fitting dress, you cringe. In fact the whole production design is just tacky. You can see corners cut everywhere. In fact, some mall scenes look so ordinary, they could have been shot anywhere. The Gangour Sweet shop in the movie looks like the one in Juhu in Bombay, Unfortunately I have visited three Gangour sweet shops in Delhi, and the nearest one to Rohini (where the characters live) is in Preet Vihar. To assume no one would care about geography, that’s dumb. What’s even worse is that ‘Gangour’ is Rajasthani, and it means Shiva and Parvati. Why would Punjabi Sikhs name their shop Gangour? 

But that’s neither here nor there.

So back to the wedding opening scene. For some reason, the two mamajis are also enemies. They actually have a scene where both drunk mamajis decide to throw daals at one another at the buffet. 

That should be enough indication for anyone to leave the theater. And the horrendous Punjabi wedding band background music that plays all through the film, no matter what the scene.

And am truly sorry for Netflix who bought this film. Let this be a lesson to not buy films from any production house in bulk. 

Men Who Think Women Fight Over Them.

If you are still mildly curious as to why the two friends are pissed off at one another, am sorry to say the reveal at the end of the film is so sexist, it is appalling. The writer director believes that two women will fight over a man for years once he has dumped both of them (after two timing them with a third).

Are your serious? If a man two times two women, they would probably get together and plot to kill him. That would make for a better plot.

Then the director has us believe that Varun Sharma is the sex god young Lali and Pinky are fighting over! And that he grows up to become Alok Nath.

Enough said. Cannot offer even half a star to such trash. 105 minutes should have been fun and games but it feels like an insult to the audience.



P.S.: You like the Punjabi songs? Listen to them on a free app. This film is a waste of your money












Even the gawdawful Hulchul did family feud better


these mummies

105 minutes too long

Review: SAB KUSHAL MANGAL


Funny, Funny Start. Then They Stretch The Joke.

2 stars

Mini Review:

Kidnapping a bridegroom is not a new concept. In fact Jabariya Jodi failed terribly. But Akshaye Khanna makes this film about small town ‘neta’ type ‘bahubali’ in the business of groomnaping totally funny. But in the second half the joke gets stretched too far and you begin to wish they knew how to leave well enough alone.

Main Review:

Ravi Kissen’s daughter Riva Kishen makes a confident debut in the film as Mandira who is unable to get a groom for some reason. I wish they had fleshed out her character a bit more and told us why, with things like f she’s educated or what she likes. Simply flouncing about the house and flying kites does not endear us to the lass. 

The hero, Pappu Mishra a TV anchor who has hair covering all of his forehead; and his sleepy large eyes makes him look like the sloth from Zootopia with bangs. Alas, Priyaank Sharma’s debut is rather lost in trying so hard to be Shah Rukh when romancing the girl. 

Thankfully there is Akshaye Khanna who is so funny in his Baba Bhandari avatar that we start grinning at the beginning of the film and carry on laughing and giggling until the interval. He has two sidekicks who are very very good. Between the three, they have so much desi swag you can’t help but want him to be the hero instead of the silly lad with bangs. Akshaye earns the star for the film.

The other star is the writing. Sparkling and utterly desi, the writing is also very sharp. For example, Baba and his sidekicks enter a dark room where Pappu Mishra has been groomnapped, Baba stops suddenly. The two sidekicks are expecting something incredible from their boss, whenone of them asks, ‘What now boss?’ 

Baba replies, ‘Light!’

The other sidekick says devotedly, ‘Baba is going to throw light on this situation.’

To which Baba replies, ‘No, idiot, I was asking you to turn on the lights.’

It’s delivered with so much deadpan, you begin laughing and have to stop because things get funnier.

The bride’s family is a good ensemble led by a very restrained Rakesh Bedi, and the groom’s family is a very OTT Satish Kaushik and Supriya Pathak. Kudos to them all.

The trouble happens when the writing gets stretched in trying to get everyone to be funny. And the part where Baba tries to turn “metro” goes on and on. They also don’t do justice to Baba Bhandari’s girlfriend Neelu (or Neelam) played rather well by Yuvika Chaudhary. She shows promise and they should have used her to bring Baba back from that infatuation with the heroine…

The finale is rather silly, but by that time, you have imagined every similar scene and wish for a Jimmy Sheirgill Tanu Weds Manu type scene… I was happy the movie had finally ended. A great idea that is frittered away… But fun while it lasts. 




  

Review: SAB KUSHAL MANGAL


Funny, Funny Start. Then They Stretch The Joke.

2 stars

Mini Review:

Kidnapping a bridegroom is not a new concept. In fact Jabariya Jodi failed terribly. But Akshaye Khanna makes this film about small town ‘neta’ type ‘bahubali’ in the business of groomnaping totally funny. But in the second half the joke gets stretched too far and you begin to wish they knew how to leave well enough alone.

Main Review:

Ravi Kissen’s daughter Riva Kishen makes a confident debut in the film as Mandira who is unable to get a groom for some reason. I wish they had fleshed out her character a bit more and told us why, with things like f she’s educated or what she likes. Simply flouncing about the house and flying kites does not endear us to the lass. 

The hero, Pappu Mishra a TV anchor who has hair covering all of his forehead; and his sleepy large eyes makes him look like the sloth from Zootopia with bangs. Alas, Priyaank Sharma’s debut is rather lost in trying so hard to be Shah Rukh when romancing the girl. 

Thankfully there is Akshaye Khanna who is so funny in his Baba Bhandari avatar that we start grinning at the beginning of the film and carry on laughing and giggling until the interval. He has two sidekicks who are very very good. Between the three, they have so much desi swag you can’t help but want him to be the hero instead of the silly lad with bangs. Akshaye earns the star for the film.

The other star is the writing. Sparkling and utterly desi, the writing is also very sharp. For example, Baba and his sidekicks enter a dark room where Pappu Mishra has been groomnapped, Baba stops suddenly. The two sidekicks are expecting something incredible from their boss, whenone of them asks, ‘What now boss?’ 

Baba replies, ‘Light!’

The other sidekick says devotedly, ‘Baba is going to throw light on this situation.’

To which Baba replies, ‘No, idiot, I was asking you to turn on the lights.’

It’s delivered with so much deadpan, you begin laughing and have to stop because things get funnier.

The bride’s family is a good ensemble led by a very restrained Rakesh Bedi, and the groom’s family is a very OTT Satish Kaushik and Supriya Pathak. Kudos to them all.

The trouble happens when the writing gets stretched in trying to get everyone to be funny. And the part where Baba tries to turn “metro” goes on and on. They also don’t do justice to Baba Bhandari’s girlfriend Neelu (or Neelam) played rather well by Yuvika Chaudhary. She shows promise and they should have used her to bring Baba back from that infatuation with the heroine…

The finale is rather silly, but by that time, you have imagined every similar scene and wish for a Jimmy Sheirgill Tanu Weds Manu type scene… I was happy the movie had finally ended. A great idea that is frittered away… But fun while it lasts. 




  

Review: Shimla Mirch


Blechh! Barf! Overcooked! Off Putting Romance! Hurl! 

0.5 stars

Mini Review:

Rajkummar Rao fancies himself Shah Rukh Khan and fails so bad you wish he’d take out a gun and be the terrorist from Omerta and shoot everyone in the movie. It would help the audience not watch Hema Malini in a ghastly desperate woman role, or the pretty Rakul Preet Singh being pretty vapid… Such an awful film! 

Main Review:

She’s not hot at all, no matter how much of her navel we get to gaze at all through the movie. The pretty Rakul Preet Singh gets a role that a young Hema Malini could have carried off in Sholay a hundred years ago: pretty girl, quick to anger, hence Mirchi.

She opens a cafe that looks more like a party shop than any cafe (watering cans, water bottles, fancy cupcake paper, party cups are on the sale shelf behind the cafe counter). There’s no food, no customers, but the Captain Uncle who’s helping her with the cafe keeps replacing jars of perishable foods on the cafe billing counter. If the cafe is not yet open, what accounts are you maintaining? On the black board a frappe is listed under ‘hot beverage’ and Turkish coffee that is usually served hot is listed under ‘cold beverage’…

Why do I spot these useless things? Because the setting is so pointless and ill thought. They could have opened a dhaba and it would still not changed anything with the story. 

So Rajkummar Rao becomes Raj Kuthrapalli from The Big Bang Theory – tongue tied in front of a girl. So when cupid’s arrow LITERALLY hits him (you cannot miss it because he sings a song about it), he chooses to work at Rakul Preet Singh’s fake cafe, to be near her. So they walk all over Shimla becoming friends. And a friend of Rajkummar Rao gives him an idea: write her a love letter. He does, signing it ‘secret admirer’.

Now Rakul Preet Singh has a mom in the form of Hema Malini, who is so desperate for her husband (Kanwaljeet Singh) who has left her for a younger woman, that she not only cooks on her husband’s birthday, but also climbs a tree near his home to get a glimpse. Of course she falls off the tree… And we wonder why we are watching this…

I would rather forget Rakhummar Rao trying to prove he is better than Shah Rukh at romancing! he looks more like a stalker than like a lovelorn lad. Getting advice from ‘Aaaooo Lalita’ Captain Uncle (Shakti Kapoor) does not help.

Rakul loves her batty mommy and in order to distract her from trolling dad, retypes the ‘secret admirer’ letter and sends it her mom. Mom suddenly is thrilled and begins preening and even gets a makeover in order to meet her ‘admirer’. But that’s not bad at all. Except that she gets battier: she tales the letter to all kinds of men in Shimla asking them if they wrote the letter. This gives the director Ramesh Sippy to appear in a cameo as one of the men…

Of course Rajkummar Rao ends up delivering the second ‘love letter’ and Hema Malini promptly falls in love with him. Rakul requests Rajkummar to pretend he loves mommy back…

Rest is so ghastly, you wish there was a bar you could rush to instead of barfing into your popcorn. You are gagging by the time Rajkummar Rao gets to kiss Rakul Preet Singh in front of his and her family. That’s a sight I could have done without. 

Dharmendra also gets to show up reminding us and Hemaji that she’s still hot and he loves her. That appearance wins the half star this film deserves. 


P.S: THE FACT THAT THIS FILM FLAUNTS THAT IT WILL BE ON NETFLIX SOON SHOWS CLEARLY THESE FOLKS AT NETFLIX HAVE MORE MONEY THAN SENSE.








Review: Shimla Mirch


Blechh! Barf! Overcooked! Off Putting Romance! Hurl! 

0.5 stars

Mini Review:

Rajkummar Rao fancies himself Shah Rukh Khan and fails so bad you wish he’d take out a gun and be the terrorist from Omerta and shoot everyone in the movie. It would help the audience not watch Hema Malini in a ghastly desperate woman role, or the pretty Rakul Preet Singh being pretty vapid… Such an awful film! 

Main Review:

She’s not hot at all, no matter how much of her navel we get to gaze at all through the movie. The pretty Rakul Preet Singh gets a role that a young Hema Malini could have carried off in Sholay a hundred years ago: pretty girl, quick to anger, hence Mirchi.

She opens a cafe that looks more like a party shop than any cafe (watering cans, water bottles, fancy cupcake paper, party cups are on the sale shelf behind the cafe counter). There’s no food, no customers, but the Captain Uncle who’s helping her with the cafe keeps replacing jars of perishable foods on the cafe billing counter. If the cafe is not yet open, what accounts are you maintaining? On the black board a frappe is listed under ‘hot beverage’ and Turkish coffee that is usually served hot is listed under ‘cold beverage’…

Why do I spot these useless things? Because the setting is so pointless and ill thought. They could have opened a dhaba and it would still not changed anything with the story. 

So Rajkummar Rao becomes Raj Kuthrapalli from The Big Bang Theory – tongue tied in front of a girl. So when cupid’s arrow LITERALLY hits him (you cannot miss it because he sings a song about it), he chooses to work at Rakul Preet Singh’s fake cafe, to be near her. So they walk all over Shimla becoming friends. And a friend of Rajkummar Rao gives him an idea: write her a love letter. He does, signing it ‘secret admirer’.

Now Rakul Preet Singh has a mom in the form of Hema Malini, who is so desperate for her husband (Kanwaljeet Singh) who has left her for a younger woman, that she not only cooks on her husband’s birthday, but also climbs a tree near his home to get a glimpse. Of course she falls off the tree… And we wonder why we are watching this…

I would rather forget Rakhummar Rao trying to prove he is better than Shah Rukh at romancing! he looks more like a stalker than like a lovelorn lad. Getting advice from ‘Aaaooo Lalita’ Captain Uncle (Shakti Kapoor) does not help.

Rakul loves her batty mommy and in order to distract her from trolling dad, retypes the ‘secret admirer’ letter and sends it her mom. Mom suddenly is thrilled and begins preening and even gets a makeover in order to meet her ‘admirer’. But that’s not bad at all. Except that she gets battier: she tales the letter to all kinds of men in Shimla asking them if they wrote the letter. This gives the director Ramesh Sippy to appear in a cameo as one of the men…

Of course Rajkummar Rao ends up delivering the second ‘love letter’ and Hema Malini promptly falls in love with him. Rakul requests Rajkummar to pretend he loves mommy back…

Rest is so ghastly, you wish there was a bar you could rush to instead of barfing into your popcorn. You are gagging by the time Rajkummar Rao gets to kiss Rakul Preet Singh in front of his and her family. That’s a sight I could have done without. 

Dharmendra also gets to show up reminding us and Hemaji that she’s still hot and he loves her. That appearance wins the half star this film deserves. 


P.S: THE FACT THAT THIS FILM FLAUNTS THAT IT WILL BE ON NETFLIX SOON SHOWS CLEARLY THESE FOLKS AT NETFLIX HAVE MORE MONEY THAN SENSE.








Review: THE GRUDGE

The Time Jumps Were The Scariest Part


1.5 stars

Mini Review:

We get it, we get it, the damned curse does not die. But how many years can 94 minutes try and accommodate? The movie jumps from one year to the next, giving the audience a very hard time to follow a story that is stupidly predictable. And bits that should be scary, are explained off as if they were unimportant.

Main Review:

I don’t mind that the curse travels from Tokyo to Pennsylvania. I don’t mind that it’s always rainy in that town. I don’t even mind that it’s always night time. I loved the hand coming out of his head when John Cho is in the shower… But we saw all that in the trailer. Does the film offer anything more?

John Cho’s role is a big problem. He has to enter the home which is locked, and he finds a child home alone. That’s reason enough to call Child Services. And that’s no ordinary nosebleed from the child, it’s reason to call 911 and get medical help. And who goes into a bathroom where a child who is not yours is having a bath? It’s plain wrong. Wanted to slap his silly face when he entered the child’s bathroom. 

And then there are other characters in the film. Alas, not even the awesome sauce of Lin Shaye mixed with Jackie Weaver can make our hearts beat faster. These two belong to every horror film, and in this film too they do their best. But each scene with them is so slow, you anticipate everything and more. Take the scene where Jackie goes to the supermarket. There are practically no customers there. and Jackie chooses everything so carefully, you wish hands would appear from behind tin cans, and from between the greens to stop her from picking them. But they choose to make the meat appear old and infested with flies. Blah.

Lin Shaye took so long to climb the stairs, you could feel the audience wanting to push her down the stairs.

Every gory thing, from maggot infested corpses looks more like a Halloween decoration than scary. The only interesting thing like the creepy ‘live garbage bags’ is given only like 30 seconds in the film. Sigh.

Of course, we cannot forget the dumb woman cop – the heroine – who insists on reading files, taking them home, generally disobeying orders, so you have no empathy for her. We know by now that horror won’t happen unless someone is obsessed with the ‘happenings’. But her actions are so self-defeating, and when she’s haunted, you begin to take sides with the Grudge. 

And that’s the problem with this film. We don’t care for the characters in the film. Unlike The Conjuring, where you began to care for the family who were haunted for no fault of theirs, here, everyone seems to deserve to die.  

Completely missable unscary fare. Not a nice start to the new year!