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!


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: 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…