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!


Review: GOOD NEWWZ


Thoda Funny, Thoda Tacky, Aur Bahut Misleading…

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

Since when do doctors play anti abortionists? Which doctor in their right mind says, ‘See your baby’s tiny heart is beating, and you want to kill it?’ Especially if it is a baby created by your mistake? Who advises against adoptions? There are so many things wrong with this film you cringe when the very obvious lifestyle jokes are cracked.

Main Review:

Last I heard, abortion was a woman’s right in this country. No doctor will tell the patient against going through with the procedure by pointing out to a ‘beating heart’ and emotionally blackmail a patient from going through with the procedure. And more so in this case, because the psychological trauma is caused by a ‘mistake’ of the doctor! 

So at this fancy-ass fertility center, the fancy-ass doctor suggests to the obviously stressed out fancy ass patients Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan to undergo the IVF. They agree because they’ve tried everything else from having sex during ovulation to saying ‘no’ to mumbo jumbo babajis.

(Having been through a similar push from family, I think it was a wasted opportunity for the filmmakers to have ignored the ‘babaji ka chooran’, ‘mannat maangi hai’ humor, which is way better than the tacky, ‘Holi ke din paida hua so the baby’s name is Holaraam’, and fatty aunties insisting that now it’s time to become fat. 

Which world are the filmmakers living in? How is that funny? Today young women are thinking of having babies because they can buy the Armani baby bag and go for baby and mommy yoga, and even show off their hot mommy bods because they went to a ‘mommy moon’… That would have a funnier trope to explore than what we saw…

The other set of Batras are rich too, but they’re not fancy, they live in Chandigarh in a bungalow with a pool, but they’re loud – they wear matching leisurewear, in sequinned velvet – and they sing zumba songs in the gym. 

I actually liked this pair of Batras, even though you are supposed to like the Bombay Batras. Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani make for a lovely pair what with ‘mata rani’s blessings’ and living with mummyji who heard from this auntyji who heard about the pregnancy from that auntyji whose daughter works in the doctor’s office.

There is a problem here: If Diljit and Kiara went to the Chandigarh branch of the fertility center, and Akshay and Kareena in Bombay, how on Earth did the sperm get mixed up? I chopped off two stars from five here…

Obviously no research was done here because rich couple go stay at the baby resort where couples who want babies live and eat and breathe and dream about having babies (they have everything from meditation and massage for harassed husbands and pink and blue fluffy rooms of love for wives) the whole thing is hormonal…

A mix up of sperms in real life would mean a cancellation of the doctor’s licence anywhere in the world! The moral consequences aren’t exactly nice… But first, which doctor is ever going to admit that it’s their mistake? 

As the movie progresses, the Bombay Batras and Chandigarh Batras become neighbors, Akshay Kumar continues to be a horrid man, unable to connect with a baby growing inside his wife because it is not his sperm. This prompts a rant from Kareena who looks so lovely you forget the big mistake in this speech. 

She says, ‘You don’t know the pain we got through at childbirth!’ 

What?! She’s yet to give birth. How does she know pain? Besides, had they done a little research, they would have come across a word called the ‘epidural’! It’s the injection that eases the pain of childbirth.

So I wiped my moist eyes and ended up rolling them at Akshay Kumar suddenly smoking pot inside the house (I guess the humor was so thin they needed him to smoke up in order to laugh hysterically! Since when do potheads behave hysterically? Chop one star off for this pathetic, un-researched idea).

Of course the babies are born and everything is happy happy joy joy, but not before Akshay Kumar is rude to his parents while getting into the car enroute to the hospital… That much awfulness needs to get a kick in his arse, and half a star chopped off. This was just not necessary.

But there are three awesome things about this film: 
one: Kareena Kapoor, 
two: one really funny line, and 
Three: A lovely cinematic moment.

Kareena is simply lovely.   

Then there’s a super funny line when Akshay Kumar sees giant baby pictures in the clinic and comments, ‘Why do clinics show white babies?’ 

The third is the lovely moment, the look the two women share when eating paani puri…

It would have been fun if families descended en masse on the two Batras and everyone wanted a hand in ‘Bringing up Baby’… But the filmmakers did not take even half a leaf out of Steve Martin… Even better had they thought up of baby gift registry, or internet domain names for the babies or started an Instagram account for their babies… But that would mean research, and having women on your team who have been there, done that…

If you see lots of stars flying about, don’t be fooled. These are the same people who loved the pathetic Bhai starrer recently released… Watch it for the limpid, glowing Kareena. 




      



Review: GOOD NEWWZ


Thoda Funny, Thoda Tacky, Aur Bahut Misleading…

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

Since when do doctors play anti abortionists? Which doctor in their right mind says, ‘See your baby’s tiny heart is beating, and you want to kill it?’ Especially if it is a baby created by your mistake? Who advises against adoptions? There are so many things wrong with this film you cringe when the very obvious lifestyle jokes are cracked.

Main Review:

Last I heard, abortion was a woman’s right in this country. No doctor will tell the patient against going through with the procedure by pointing out to a ‘beating heart’ and emotionally blackmail a patient from going through with the procedure. And more so in this case, because the psychological trauma is caused by a ‘mistake’ of the doctor! 

So at this fancy-ass fertility center, the fancy-ass doctor suggests to the obviously stressed out fancy ass patients Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan to undergo the IVF. They agree because they’ve tried everything else from having sex during ovulation to saying ‘no’ to mumbo jumbo babajis.

(Having been through a similar push from family, I think it was a wasted opportunity for the filmmakers to have ignored the ‘babaji ka chooran’, ‘mannat maangi hai’ humor, which is way better than the tacky, ‘Holi ke din paida hua so the baby’s name is Holaraam’, and fatty aunties insisting that now it’s time to become fat. 

Which world are the filmmakers living in? How is that funny? Today young women are thinking of having babies because they can buy the Armani baby bag and go for baby and mommy yoga, and even show off their hot mommy bods because they went to a ‘mommy moon’… That would have a funnier trope to explore than what we saw…

The other set of Batras are rich too, but they’re not fancy, they live in Chandigarh in a bungalow with a pool, but they’re loud – they wear matching leisurewear, in sequinned velvet – and they sing zumba songs in the gym. 

I actually liked this pair of Batras, even though you are supposed to like the Bombay Batras. Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani make for a lovely pair what with ‘mata rani’s blessings’ and living with mummyji who heard from this auntyji who heard about the pregnancy from that auntyji whose daughter works in the doctor’s office.

There is a problem here: If Diljit and Kiara went to the Chandigarh branch of the fertility center, and Akshay and Kareena in Bombay, how on Earth did the sperm get mixed up? I chopped off two stars from five here…

Obviously no research was done here because rich couple go stay at the baby resort where couples who want babies live and eat and breathe and dream about having babies (they have everything from meditation and massage for harassed husbands and pink and blue fluffy rooms of love for wives) the whole thing is hormonal…

A mix up of sperms in real life would mean a cancellation of the doctor’s licence anywhere in the world! The moral consequences aren’t exactly nice… But first, which doctor is ever going to admit that it’s their mistake? 

As the movie progresses, the Bombay Batras and Chandigarh Batras become neighbors, Akshay Kumar continues to be a horrid man, unable to connect with a baby growing inside his wife because it is not his sperm. This prompts a rant from Kareena who looks so lovely you forget the big mistake in this speech. 

She says, ‘You don’t know the pain we got through at childbirth!’ 

What?! She’s yet to give birth. How does she know pain? Besides, had they done a little research, they would have come across a word called the ‘epidural’! It’s the injection that eases the pain of childbirth.

So I wiped my moist eyes and ended up rolling them at Akshay Kumar suddenly smoking pot inside the house (I guess the humor was so thin they needed him to smoke up in order to laugh hysterically! Since when do potheads behave hysterically? Chop one star off for this pathetic, un-researched idea).

Of course the babies are born and everything is happy happy joy joy, but not before Akshay Kumar is rude to his parents while getting into the car enroute to the hospital… That much awfulness needs to get a kick in his arse, and half a star chopped off. This was just not necessary.

But there are three awesome things about this film: 
one: Kareena Kapoor, 
two: one really funny line, and 
Three: A lovely cinematic moment.

Kareena is simply lovely.   

Then there’s a super funny line when Akshay Kumar sees giant baby pictures in the clinic and comments, ‘Why do clinics show white babies?’ 

The third is the lovely moment, the look the two women share when eating paani puri…

It would have been fun if families descended en masse on the two Batras and everyone wanted a hand in ‘Bringing up Baby’… But the filmmakers did not take even half a leaf out of Steve Martin… Even better had they thought up of baby gift registry, or internet domain names for the babies or started an Instagram account for their babies… But that would mean research, and having women on your team who have been there, done that…

If you see lots of stars flying about, don’t be fooled. These are the same people who loved the pathetic Bhai starrer recently released… Watch it for the limpid, glowing Kareena. 




      



Review: Dabanngg 3

The Slower Than Sloth Film. 
Ek Ghante Ki Story, Kheench Ke Dhai Ghante Ki Banai.


Stars? 
Iss Baar Bore Kar Diya Chulbul!


Mini Review:

Remember Raymond S. Persi, the sloth from the DMV in Zootopia? How exasperation inducing his slow motion is, no? Now imagine it in the film. Every other minute. Chulbul is slow, the bad guy Balli Singh is slow, action is slow, the romance is slow, deaths are slow, explosions are slow, even the dancing is slow. The story is as old as the hills, and not even this fan girl of Chulbul Pandey can justify liking this painful boring film.

Main Review:

Prabhudeva Ab Thakela Hai 

Once upon a time , when you said ‘Prabhudeva’, you expected super dance moves, and mad action. And when he makes an appearance on the screen, you cheered his dance moves… Alas, those days are gone.

He’s directed other action films from Wanted to Rowdy Rajkumar and even Pokkiri. Remember the basketball court scene in Pokkiri? Where Vijay says, ‘Both the gun and the girl are mine!’ Pure action even when the bad cop and the hero are simply threatening one another. But that was good Prabhudeva. In this film, we got the thakela version… 

In this film the villain threatens hero, but the writing is tired and the only trick Prabhudeva uses is slow motion. No surprises, just slow threats,’ek taraf maa hai, doosri taraf ladki. Kisko pehle bachayega?’ Blah! Batman had to make this choice years ago…

You get so bored of the slow motion, you don’t feel like cheering when Prabhudeva shows up in a dance scene. And yes, he’s still Micheal Jacksoning. Meh!

And he uses the same sound as Ramesh Sippy did in 1975 for Gabbar. Come on! Kichha Sudeep is good, but he’s not Gabbar! 

Salman Khan, Needs Better Dialog, Better Action

Computer generated muscles on Salman Khan are a sad thing to see but I’m a fan and I still think he looks terrific in formal shirts that he wears in the movies.  

I think he’s sweet when he giggles as his girl hugs him, or offers him chocolate, or when he ogles his own wife in the shaving mirror. He’s funny when he realises it was his mum not the mean aunt he sent off on the train. And yes, he can still dance! But there’s no song that’s memorable. Not even, ‘Munna Badnam Hua!’ And I don’t remember the words to the song which happily talks of ‘set wet hair gel’ in a product placement way.

He is great in the action scenes and even though I know they are unreal, they are enjoyable. But why has suddenly action turned into Gore?

Oh yes, instead of the pecs twitching this time he’s made to twitch his butt. I love Salman Khan, but even I don’t want to see him twitch buttcheeks to music.

Kiccha Sudeep Whyy Are You The Bad Guy?

From Veer Madakari to this? From fighting the spook in Phoonk to burying girls in this film? I mean Sudeep’s Kannada films like Huchcha and even Swati Muthu show his acting chops, but here? It’s a good casting but he doesn’t come across as someone who would be raping girls and burying them in the rose garden. It’s just a terrible trope added in because it will make him look scary. 

He makes for a pathetic villain even though he gets the sneers and the cruelty right. He’s too well dressed to be in the open pit mine. He just looks out of place in small town politics.

The story is confusing. The bad guy lives in a Rajasthani palace, and is rich because he supplies girls to the rich guys. He keeps smelling cigarettes as though they’re something special, and chews on toothpicks (he gave up tobacco or something?). Why he runs someone down we don’t know but he meets Salman’s first girlfriend by staging a knockdown… Totally stupid, couldn’t he just have rushed to save the guy and made friends with the nosepin girl?

Single Expression Nosepin Girl Saiee Manjrekar

The tepidest debut ever as a girl who wants to be a doctor and is never shown to study or take an entrance exam to become one… But wait, this is a Salman film. Who cares about details like that? Isn’t it enough that she does innocent things like give him a chocolate as ‘Shagun’, shakes her head when Salman pretends to smoke and gives him a rudraksh beads ‘mala’ as a gift. Plus she talks like she’s searching for words in her empty head. In fact she’s so slow, I got up, left the theater, got coffee and came back in and sat down, and she was still saying, ‘Thank you for paying for my admission and four year ka medical college fees, Chulbul.’

I was so happy she dies. Tsk. They show it in the trailer naaaa! And that’s why the gorgeous Sonakshi Sinha becomes the wife…

Thankfully Chulbul married the fiesty Rajjo and not the silly nosepin girl.

Sonakshi Sinha. How Cool is she?!

‘Pyaar se dar lagta hai sahab’ has now turned into this cooking diva who looks simply awesome. Some sarees she’s made to wear are so loud, you begin to understand why Chulbul wears sunglasses at all times. 

She used to be fiery, and if you’ve seen Akira, you know she can be feisty. But she’s suddenly the bharatiya nari and perfect heroine who cooks and screams for help and snivels ‘kasam hai’ type of stuff even though there is one scene where she beats up some chap and lectures him about wasting water…

But then you realise that this film is so stuck in a time warp where the heroines have to damsels in distress… I wish wholeheartedly that this gorgeous woman would choose better films.

Other People In The Movie

Chulbul is Dabanngg and Rajjo is his sexy and sassy wife, how do they produce such a stupid kid? He’s old enough to wash his own butt but won’t. What is that? Makkhi is there, and his role is so transparent, you don’t buy the ‘sautela bhai’ shtick at all. 

There are some big bad South Indian baddies (don’t ask why they’re in Rajasthan!) who get beat up, there are men in cop uniform who get beaten up because they’re bad… and so on… Poor Dimple Kapadia has to be mom and agree with soon to die masi who says, ‘Jaisa Naam, waisa hee chehra’…Or is it, ‘Jaisa chehra, waisa hee nature’ something…

The songs are blah. The dances even more dull. And as a fan of Salman Khan, I feel cheated. 

As I said, all this is mish-mashed together and is presented in slow motion again and again and again… 

Such an exhausting morning. But there was a young man sitting in front of me who laughed whenever Chulbul Pandey put his glasses on or giggled or was backlit for ‘hero entry’… Perhaps there is an audience for this… 






  

Review: Dabanngg 3

The Slower Than Sloth Film. 
Ek Ghante Ki Story, Kheench Ke Dhai Ghante Ki Banai.


Stars? 
Iss Baar Bore Kar Diya Chulbul!


Mini Review:

Remember Raymond S. Persi, the sloth from the DMV in Zootopia? How exasperation inducing his slow motion is, no? Now imagine it in the film. Every other minute. Chulbul is slow, the bad guy Balli Singh is slow, action is slow, the romance is slow, deaths are slow, explosions are slow, even the dancing is slow. The story is as old as the hills, and not even this fan girl of Chulbul Pandey can justify liking this painful boring film.

Main Review:

Prabhudeva Ab Thakela Hai 

Once upon a time , when you said ‘Prabhudeva’, you expected super dance moves, and mad action. And when he makes an appearance on the screen, you cheered his dance moves… Alas, those days are gone.

He’s directed other action films from Wanted to Rowdy Rajkumar and even Pokkiri. Remember the basketball court scene in Pokkiri? Where Vijay says, ‘Both the gun and the girl are mine!’ Pure action even when the bad cop and the hero are simply threatening one another. But that was good Prabhudeva. In this film, we got the thakela version… 

In this film the villain threatens hero, but the writing is tired and the only trick Prabhudeva uses is slow motion. No surprises, just slow threats,’ek taraf maa hai, doosri taraf ladki. Kisko pehle bachayega?’ Blah! Batman had to make this choice years ago…

You get so bored of the slow motion, you don’t feel like cheering when Prabhudeva shows up in a dance scene. And yes, he’s still Micheal Jacksoning. Meh!

And he uses the same sound as Ramesh Sippy did in 1975 for Gabbar. Come on! Kichha Sudeep is good, but he’s not Gabbar! 

Salman Khan, Needs Better Dialog, Better Action

Computer generated muscles on Salman Khan are a sad thing to see but I’m a fan and I still think he looks terrific in formal shirts that he wears in the movies.  

I think he’s sweet when he giggles as his girl hugs him, or offers him chocolate, or when he ogles his own wife in the shaving mirror. He’s funny when he realises it was his mum not the mean aunt he sent off on the train. And yes, he can still dance! But there’s no song that’s memorable. Not even, ‘Munna Badnam Hua!’ And I don’t remember the words to the song which happily talks of ‘set wet hair gel’ in a product placement way.

He is great in the action scenes and even though I know they are unreal, they are enjoyable. But why has suddenly action turned into Gore?

Oh yes, instead of the pecs twitching this time he’s made to twitch his butt. I love Salman Khan, but even I don’t want to see him twitch buttcheeks to music.

Kiccha Sudeep Whyy Are You The Bad Guy?

From Veer Madakari to this? From fighting the spook in Phoonk to burying girls in this film? I mean Sudeep’s Kannada films like Huchcha and even Swati Muthu show his acting chops, but here? It’s a good casting but he doesn’t come across as someone who would be raping girls and burying them in the rose garden. It’s just a terrible trope added in because it will make him look scary. 

He makes for a pathetic villain even though he gets the sneers and the cruelty right. He’s too well dressed to be in the open pit mine. He just looks out of place in small town politics.

The story is confusing. The bad guy lives in a Rajasthani palace, and is rich because he supplies girls to the rich guys. He keeps smelling cigarettes as though they’re something special, and chews on toothpicks (he gave up tobacco or something?). Why he runs someone down we don’t know but he meets Salman’s first girlfriend by staging a knockdown… Totally stupid, couldn’t he just have rushed to save the guy and made friends with the nosepin girl?

Single Expression Nosepin Girl Saiee Manjrekar

The tepidest debut ever as a girl who wants to be a doctor and is never shown to study or take an entrance exam to become one… But wait, this is a Salman film. Who cares about details like that? Isn’t it enough that she does innocent things like give him a chocolate as ‘Shagun’, shakes her head when Salman pretends to smoke and gives him a rudraksh beads ‘mala’ as a gift. Plus she talks like she’s searching for words in her empty head. In fact she’s so slow, I got up, left the theater, got coffee and came back in and sat down, and she was still saying, ‘Thank you for paying for my admission and four year ka medical college fees, Chulbul.’

I was so happy she dies. Tsk. They show it in the trailer naaaa! And that’s why the gorgeous Sonakshi Sinha becomes the wife…

Thankfully Chulbul married the fiesty Rajjo and not the silly nosepin girl.

Sonakshi Sinha. How Cool is she?!

‘Pyaar se dar lagta hai sahab’ has now turned into this cooking diva who looks simply awesome. Some sarees she’s made to wear are so loud, you begin to understand why Chulbul wears sunglasses at all times. 

She used to be fiery, and if you’ve seen Akira, you know she can be feisty. But she’s suddenly the bharatiya nari and perfect heroine who cooks and screams for help and snivels ‘kasam hai’ type of stuff even though there is one scene where she beats up some chap and lectures him about wasting water…

But then you realise that this film is so stuck in a time warp where the heroines have to damsels in distress… I wish wholeheartedly that this gorgeous woman would choose better films.

Other People In The Movie

Chulbul is Dabanngg and Rajjo is his sexy and sassy wife, how do they produce such a stupid kid? He’s old enough to wash his own butt but won’t. What is that? Makkhi is there, and his role is so transparent, you don’t buy the ‘sautela bhai’ shtick at all. 

There are some big bad South Indian baddies (don’t ask why they’re in Rajasthan!) who get beat up, there are men in cop uniform who get beaten up because they’re bad… and so on… Poor Dimple Kapadia has to be mom and agree with soon to die masi who says, ‘Jaisa Naam, waisa hee chehra’…Or is it, ‘Jaisa chehra, waisa hee nature’ something…

The songs are blah. The dances even more dull. And as a fan of Salman Khan, I feel cheated. 

As I said, all this is mish-mashed together and is presented in slow motion again and again and again… 

Such an exhausting morning. But there was a young man sitting in front of me who laughed whenever Chulbul Pandey put his glasses on or giggled or was backlit for ‘hero entry’… Perhaps there is an audience for this… 






  

Review: MARDAANI 2


You’ll Love It. You’ll Hate It.
But Will Definitely Wish This Film Were Better.

(Love For Rani Mukerji Spilleth Over!)

2 stars

Mini Review:

Rani Mukerji needs to show up oftener on the big screen. She’s so good. She’s SP Shivani Shivaji Rai posted in small town Kota pitched against patriarchy and a serial rapist played by a young lad Vishal Jethwa. It’s a dark and violent film that reflects our dark and violent time, but… It falls short in my eyes because it relies on lines about women written for whistle podu…

Main Review:

Best part of the film? Rani Mukerji of course. She’s great as a woman cop who speaks her mind, and is posted in the middle of small town patriarchy. The trouble is, the damned trailer gives away too much. 

Vishal Jethwa is rather creepy young fellow (great debut), who would have been even more villainous had he been given a you-talkin-to-me Travis Bickle kind of madness instead of Frank Underwood talkin-to-the-audience style menace. That’s the writer-director’s decision, and it then falls into overacting ki chai ki dukaan type situation.

The third character in this film is patriarchy, that is rather crude in its depiction with constant mention of the word ‘aukaat’. The senior cop Shekhawat, the other cops at the station (who mostly eat wada pav in Kota, Rajasthan are all patriarchy. 

What?! Wada Pav?

No pyaaz kachoris or mirchi ke pakode in sight? 
Who did research for the film? 

NO SANE PERSON WILL SHOW A DUSSEHRA MELA IN KOTA ON FILM WITHOUT FEATURING PANNALAL KE PAKODE IN AT LEAST ONE SCENE. 

But I digress. Let me come back to patriarchy. And this is where the film gets boring. Erm… Predictable. The film seems like you’ve seen these things like… Forever. Women who work, women who study and want to be professional, men who want to undermine a woman at work… blah blah blah… And yet, somewhere inside you know it needs to be shown for the crap that it is and what horrors women put up with every day. 

This just means, I heard tons of cliches through the film. From both the heroine and the villain and the patriarchy ke patr.

Of course I cringed when the policewoman with Rani pukes at the sight of the mutilated corpse of girl, and the woman forensic pathologist says, ‘I hope you catch the bastard.’ (I almost puked at the cliche there!)

The most horrendous part is the awful TV anchor played by Rajesh Sharma who asks Rani Mukerji: If a man had been in your place, would the villain bait him? 

When Rani launches into how women have to work twice as hard etc and Rajesh Sharma does the ‘If men are Raavans you think you are Seeta maiyya?’ 

Ugh!

Rani Mukerji thankfully did not say, ‘Sometimes Seeta, sometimes Durga’…

At this point someone in the audience was clapping hard and whistling too. So I shrugged, and watched.

Perhaps I watch too many cop shows on Netflix. But these are things to ponder: 

If a girl’s corpse has been submerged in water, will the semen evidence be not contaminated?

How did the two women in the last act free themselves to do the final brave act? 
With what did he tie Rani up? Plastic ties? Are they easily available in Kota? 

How did the Bomb rescue happen? Why were we not treated to ‘blue-wire green-wire’ sweat on the brow moment?

Where did the baddie find Rani mask? It’s not like there are Kinkos ready to help you download pictures and print masks? Where did he find the time to do this stuff? He’s from Meerut, How does he know his way around Kota? Did he take training from Jason Bourne?

I loved the ease with which the villain did things, including get into her house. And yet again, I hated him speaking directly to me. It would have been creepier for us to know what the bad guy was doing and cringe when the good guys were falling into his trap…

To conclude: 

5 Stars For Rani Mukerji Belt Whip
2 Stars For Creepy Lad In Magenta Saree

Minus 3 stars For breaking fourth wall
Minus 2 stars For trite, ghise pite ‘Woman is Seeta also Wonder Woman’ type dialog

Total: 2 stars.

Review: MARDAANI 2


You’ll Love It. You’ll Hate It.
But Will Definitely Wish This Film Were Better.

(Love For Rani Mukerji Spilleth Over!)

2 stars

Mini Review:

Rani Mukerji needs to show up oftener on the big screen. She’s so good. She’s SP Shivani Shivaji Rai posted in small town Kota pitched against patriarchy and a serial rapist played by a young lad Vishal Jethwa. It’s a dark and violent film that reflects our dark and violent time, but… It falls short in my eyes because it relies on lines about women written for whistle podu…

Main Review:

Best part of the film? Rani Mukerji of course. She’s great as a woman cop who speaks her mind, and is posted in the middle of small town patriarchy. The trouble is, the damned trailer gives away too much. 

Vishal Jethwa is rather creepy young fellow (great debut), who would have been even more villainous had he been given a you-talkin-to-me Travis Bickle kind of madness instead of Frank Underwood talkin-to-the-audience style menace. That’s the writer-director’s decision, and it then falls into overacting ki chai ki dukaan type situation.

The third character in this film is patriarchy, that is rather crude in its depiction with constant mention of the word ‘aukaat’. The senior cop Shekhawat, the other cops at the station (who mostly eat wada pav in Kota, Rajasthan are all patriarchy. 

What?! Wada Pav?

No pyaaz kachoris or mirchi ke pakode in sight? 
Who did research for the film? 

NO SANE PERSON WILL SHOW A DUSSEHRA MELA IN KOTA ON FILM WITHOUT FEATURING PANNALAL KE PAKODE IN AT LEAST ONE SCENE. 

But I digress. Let me come back to patriarchy. And this is where the film gets boring. Erm… Predictable. The film seems like you’ve seen these things like… Forever. Women who work, women who study and want to be professional, men who want to undermine a woman at work… blah blah blah… And yet, somewhere inside you know it needs to be shown for the crap that it is and what horrors women put up with every day. 

This just means, I heard tons of cliches through the film. From both the heroine and the villain and the patriarchy ke patr.

Of course I cringed when the policewoman with Rani pukes at the sight of the mutilated corpse of girl, and the woman forensic pathologist says, ‘I hope you catch the bastard.’ (I almost puked at the cliche there!)

The most horrendous part is the awful TV anchor played by Rajesh Sharma who asks Rani Mukerji: If a man had been in your place, would the villain bait him? 

When Rani launches into how women have to work twice as hard etc and Rajesh Sharma does the ‘If men are Raavans you think you are Seeta maiyya?’ 

Ugh!

Rani Mukerji thankfully did not say, ‘Sometimes Seeta, sometimes Durga’…

At this point someone in the audience was clapping hard and whistling too. So I shrugged, and watched.

Perhaps I watch too many cop shows on Netflix. But these are things to ponder: 

If a girl’s corpse has been submerged in water, will the semen evidence be not contaminated?

How did the two women in the last act free themselves to do the final brave act? 
With what did he tie Rani up? Plastic ties? Are they easily available in Kota? 

How did the Bomb rescue happen? Why were we not treated to ‘blue-wire green-wire’ sweat on the brow moment?

Where did the baddie find Rani mask? It’s not like there are Kinkos ready to help you download pictures and print masks? Where did he find the time to do this stuff? He’s from Meerut, How does he know his way around Kota? Did he take training from Jason Bourne?

I loved the ease with which the villain did things, including get into her house. And yet again, I hated him speaking directly to me. It would have been creepier for us to know what the bad guy was doing and cringe when the good guys were falling into his trap…

To conclude: 

5 Stars For Rani Mukerji Belt Whip
2 Stars For Creepy Lad In Magenta Saree

Minus 3 stars For breaking fourth wall
Minus 2 stars For trite, ghise pite ‘Woman is Seeta also Wonder Woman’ type dialog

Total: 2 stars.

Review: PATI, PATNI AUR WOH

Yet Another Small Town Tale That’s Trying Too Hard To Be Funny...

1.5 stars


Mini Review:

Indore, Bhopal, and now Lucknow/Kanpur telling us how families will promise ‘acche din’ and ruin lives of young men who continue to hanker after ‘Western kapde’ wali mem, even though they are happily married to Indian saree wali babe. Kartik Aryan is distinctly uncomfortable playing ‘madhyam varg ka aam aadmi’ caught between Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Pandey. Only Apartshakti Khurana saves the sad state of that almost affair.

Main Review:

PLEASE TRY TO READ THIS WITH A GRIN. BECAUSE THE HERO GOES THROUGH 2 HOURS OF SPEAKING AND SMILING.


The young husband and wife call each other ‘Tyagi’ and ‘Tripathi’, offer to put ‘lotion’ on the other’s hand, and have squabbles about how he’s happy to live like a king in a small pond and how she wants to spread her wings in Delhi, so she calls him frog in the well and tells him that he should not expect tadpoles if that’s what he is happy being…

The husband’s friend is happy being unmarried and offers us, the audience relief from the ‘madhyam vargeeya aam aadmi’ and his tedious shaadi ka haal. Aparshakti Khurana crackles as this wisecracking friend (none of his lines though are memorable, except that you remember him getting ragged at the husband’s constant regret about a certain ‘Neha’ who left him…)

Kartik Aryan is rather uncomfortable playing the young husband Abhinav Tyagi (he played another husband in Luka Chhupi ), and he holds lots of khunnas because he has had to tow the line papa tyagi has thrown at him. 

I am still trying to figure out how the lad can smile and speak at the same time.

Bhumi Pednekar was ordered to be the slutty bhabi, Vedika Tripathi, who talks like she’s seducing all the time. Even when she’s teaching physics to teenagers like ‘Rakes Yadav’. 

Why she allows the student to write her love letters is just beyond imagination. It’s not like that child was promising her a life in Delhi, innit?

And it bothered me why she wore sarees in that odd way. 

That brings us to the friend Faheem Rizvi played by Aparshakti Khurana. He’s very very good. And takes away from the tedious life of Tyagi-Tripathi.

The ‘Woh’ shows up to get a licence for a leather factory. And the Pati who is fed up of his moffussil life and the nagging ‘Patni’ is enamoured by her ‘Western’ outfits. Ananya Pandey looks more like Student of The Year than businesswoman in small town.

Abhinav Tyagi wants his wife to be like this attractive girl and his dilemma is very clear in the gifts he buys for the two women: he buys a ‘western dress’ for his wife and a ‘saree’ for his now ‘almost girlfriend’.

I began pitying him then, and the fun simply vanished. Are Indian men so confused? Will they marry a smart woman and still ask her if she can cook…

Of course the movie behaves like ‘madhyam varg’ (middle class) because Abhinav Tyagi does not have the cojones to see his ‘affair’ through. He cannot forget his wife.

The wife has discovered his ‘affair’ and like all ‘madhyam varg’ women leaves home, and flirts outrageously with her ex.

And the damned ex is sober too. He will not cross the ‘mangalsutra’ boundary.

It’s all very tedious.

The color palette of the film is very, very refreshing. The events unfold really well, so there’s not a moment’s respite. It’s just that the predictability of the events is tiring. And the morality, is boring.

Thankfully there aren’t small town shaadi songs to add to the ‘feels’. 

There are women in the audience who cackled with delight when the reveal about how wife and woh got together and shame the guy. But there are also men in the audience who whooped when Kartik Aryan goes off on the painfully familiar rant about ‘patis’ being forced to understand consent or be labled balatkaris…

The film will show up on Amazon Prime soon, so as New Yorkers say, Fuhgeddabout it’.  
   



Review: PATI, PATNI AUR WOH

Yet Another Small Town Tale That’s Trying Too Hard To Be Funny...

1.5 stars


Mini Review:

Indore, Bhopal, and now Lucknow/Kanpur telling us how families will promise ‘acche din’ and ruin lives of young men who continue to hanker after ‘Western kapde’ wali mem, even though they are happily married to Indian saree wali babe. Kartik Aryan is distinctly uncomfortable playing ‘madhyam varg ka aam aadmi’ caught between Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Pandey. Only Apartshakti Khurana saves the sad state of that almost affair.

Main Review:

PLEASE TRY TO READ THIS WITH A GRIN. BECAUSE THE HERO GOES THROUGH 2 HOURS OF SPEAKING AND SMILING.


The young husband and wife call each other ‘Tyagi’ and ‘Tripathi’, offer to put ‘lotion’ on the other’s hand, and have squabbles about how he’s happy to live like a king in a small pond and how she wants to spread her wings in Delhi, so she calls him frog in the well and tells him that he should not expect tadpoles if that’s what he is happy being…

The husband’s friend is happy being unmarried and offers us, the audience relief from the ‘madhyam vargeeya aam aadmi’ and his tedious shaadi ka haal. Aparshakti Khurana crackles as this wisecracking friend (none of his lines though are memorable, except that you remember him getting ragged at the husband’s constant regret about a certain ‘Neha’ who left him…)

Kartik Aryan is rather uncomfortable playing the young husband Abhinav Tyagi (he played another husband in Luka Chhupi ), and he holds lots of khunnas because he has had to tow the line papa tyagi has thrown at him. 

I am still trying to figure out how the lad can smile and speak at the same time.

Bhumi Pednekar was ordered to be the slutty bhabi, Vedika Tripathi, who talks like she’s seducing all the time. Even when she’s teaching physics to teenagers like ‘Rakes Yadav’. 

Why she allows the student to write her love letters is just beyond imagination. It’s not like that child was promising her a life in Delhi, innit?

And it bothered me why she wore sarees in that odd way. 

That brings us to the friend Faheem Rizvi played by Aparshakti Khurana. He’s very very good. And takes away from the tedious life of Tyagi-Tripathi.

The ‘Woh’ shows up to get a licence for a leather factory. And the Pati who is fed up of his moffussil life and the nagging ‘Patni’ is enamoured by her ‘Western’ outfits. Ananya Pandey looks more like Student of The Year than businesswoman in small town.

Abhinav Tyagi wants his wife to be like this attractive girl and his dilemma is very clear in the gifts he buys for the two women: he buys a ‘western dress’ for his wife and a ‘saree’ for his now ‘almost girlfriend’.

I began pitying him then, and the fun simply vanished. Are Indian men so confused? Will they marry a smart woman and still ask her if she can cook…

Of course the movie behaves like ‘madhyam varg’ (middle class) because Abhinav Tyagi does not have the cojones to see his ‘affair’ through. He cannot forget his wife.

The wife has discovered his ‘affair’ and like all ‘madhyam varg’ women leaves home, and flirts outrageously with her ex.

And the damned ex is sober too. He will not cross the ‘mangalsutra’ boundary.

It’s all very tedious.

The color palette of the film is very, very refreshing. The events unfold really well, so there’s not a moment’s respite. It’s just that the predictability of the events is tiring. And the morality, is boring.

Thankfully there aren’t small town shaadi songs to add to the ‘feels’. 

There are women in the audience who cackled with delight when the reveal about how wife and woh got together and shame the guy. But there are also men in the audience who whooped when Kartik Aryan goes off on the painfully familiar rant about ‘patis’ being forced to understand consent or be labled balatkaris…

The film will show up on Amazon Prime soon, so as New Yorkers say, Fuhgeddabout it’.  
   



Review: Commando 3


Very Good Action Set Pieces, The Rest Is Kuch Bhi Dikha Do.


Throw This Film Back Into Time. Even Then It Won’t Earn More Than 1 star


Mini Review:

There’s a cool knife fight, fights with local white thugs, car chases, bike chases, helicopter rescue but the filmmakers forgot to chase this thing called logic and no one told them it is 2019 not the 70s. 

With all actors doing whatever they feel like, little wonder the camera person left his camera on close ups. Watch if you want to get really familiar with everyone’s skin, or if you have friends who laugh at every dialog by saying, ‘TWHS’ and ‘TWSS’!

Main Review:

‘Ooooh… Gulshan Deviah!’ I said, ‘Oooooh! So talented he is… Wasn’t he fab in Mard Ko Dard?’ I gushed right before the film, ‘He might bring some sense to the senseless display of muscle expected in this movie…’

How I wish I had not opened my gob.

He plays the Mad Muslim NRI Terrorist as if he had taken acting lessons from GIF selector. He displays ALL of the emotions in ALL of their glory ALL the time. 

No one told him ki bhaiyya terrorists do not have to be grim reaper walking the ramp all the time. 

But no one told all the other terrorists how to NOT overact either. If you are a bad guy in the film, you had better have a sneer ready. 

Learn villainy from Gulshan Deviah: ‘(Snarl!) Maine Biryani banayi hai… (Sneer)…Taste karoge? (Mad Eyes!)…No? (Narrow Eyes)… Eat! 

He has all the accents too: 

Urdu bhi, Hindi bhi, ‘Gonna-wanna’ type American English bhi, and whenever he remembers it, thoda Brit accent bhi…

But there are others in the movie too. The Hero Vidyut Jamwal has the propensity of choosing the worst scripts ever. A script where everyone talks. And talks. And talks. And you begin to laugh even at the seemingly simple dialog like: Koi Commando hai?

You automatically answer, ‘Nahi bhai, chaddi pehen rakkhi hai!

And it doesn’t help when he beats up langot clad pehelwaans on ‘hero wali entry’.

To his credit though, he is a great action star. And I don’t say this lightly. His jump across the balcony towards the guy re-loading his machine gun is full on paisa vasool, as are the knife fights. But the rest…

So there’s an angry Brit Indian Muslim man who wants to create terror in India via messages on VHS tapes. YAS! The Internet is only mentioned. Perhaps they knew how bad cell phone service is…

They assume all Muslims in India wander about in skull caps and can be converted to the ways of the jihad by butchering calves… I mean seriously?! Have they never seen Tik Tok videos where young people thrive on doing contrary things?

So Commando and his partner with an appearing and disappearing South Indian accent (she says ‘Roy garu’, but also wears the very North Indian Chooda to show she’s undercover in London) reach London (suspiciously empty during vehicular chase scenes)

The British Intelligence (they also know it’s an oxymoron the way this film treats everyone) has to have one cliche officer (oooh! yeh bhi Muslim hai, but ‘uski ungliyaan sirf computer par chalti hain’)…

Okay I fell asleep trying to explain…

But it’s fun to see Indian Intelligence chief and his British counterpart yell at each other over skype. Super fun how the Indian Intelligence HQ looks like NASA / ISRO operations room and you expect Akshay Kumar to show up any moment and save Chandrayaan.   

Almost forgot! The terrorist loves his one expression kid and hates his ex-wife (if my ex-wife spoke Hindi like that, I would hate her too). She runs a flower stall, and the British court granted custody of her minor child to the dad… Happens only in movies…

Never mind all that… The final encounter is so laughable I have to tell. 

So something big is going down on Diwali day. But they’ve got Ravans everywhere in India. Whaaat? Baaaad looking Muslim men indoctrinated by VHS tape messages are hiding AK47s, so you know they’re going to shoot people… But it give Vidyut Jamwal a chance to get real close (remember camera is set on CU) to Gulshan Deviah and ask him ‘When? Where?’ How? and so on as the very rich baddie with a ten rupee digital watch does face yoga as answers…

While bad foreign guy uses VHS, the good Indian guy does Sat phone video call that shows up on everyone’s cell phone in India (except the bad guys). Clearly better technology wins and bad guys are caught by the common people…

Do you want to wait for the Raamji beating Ravanji for Seetaji dialog?! 

Am only glad they don’t go Modiji ki jai…

I know there are plot holes in the film the size of Nazca lines, the scriptwriter is a wannabe Kader Khan, but you should watch this movie to be gobsmacked by the changing size of Vidyut Jamwal’s man bun. 


P.S: 

Q. Why does Vidyut Jamwal take off his shirt while fighting baddies?
A. He can’t take off his jeans because he’s Commando.