Review: Chhichhore


Tiresome Nostalgia Trip

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

Why is it that men cannot get over ‘hostel life’? Kya dost thay, yaar! Kya din thay! And it’s bleddy annoying because these films come at you again and again in the form of Hyderabad Blues, Rockford Files, Faaltu, Dil Chahta Hai, 3 Idiots… Same chaddi buddies thing all over again…

Main Review:

The movie begins with Varun Sharma in his chaddis. 

Not fat shaming, but this is hardly something you’d want to see at ten in the morning! (Mera FDFS wala problem hai!) But it got me mad thinking how much achiever dads expect out of kids. Very obviously these guys have not read Harry Potter’s Cursed Child because they’re still living the dream all Indian dads dream: My son will go to my college and live my life.

Blecchh!

Of course Sushant Singh Rajput’s son cannot deal with the burden of his expectations and…

Bleddy, dad has to then rope in his hostel guys to save his child. They have cute names: Sexa, Acid, Derek The Baap, Bevda, Mummy…

Of course they are stereotypical friends: the oversexed one, the drunk, the sporty one, the mama’s boy and of course the hero who gets the girl.

Blecchh!

The girl is Shraddha Kapoor in curls. Looks quite nice, and says mean things to husband quite nicely. But then, she has the role of a girl in engineering college. Not exactly Hermione there… 

But she loves her son and makes bhindi ki subzi for him. She’s also engineer like her husband, but son goes to her house for food, not math.

Blecchh!

The hostel stories are so tired, even good writing brings not any lump to the throat. You can see manipulative writing a mile away: Usme itna acid bhara tha… (goodlooking lad this Navin Polishetty)

The story they’re telling the child in the hospital is so unoriginal, I’m sure if I were that kid listening to these stories, I’d want to pull my life support off all by myself when hearing about ‘being losers’. 
But when all seems to be lost, Sushant Singh spouts off a line I have yet to hear a dad say in Hindi cinema:

‘We are prepared for successes, but never for failure.’

That shook me up. Could there be something to this movie after all. Perhaps the four stars other reviewers have chipkaoed on this film is jaayaz…

But Prateik Babbar happens. And there’s a Student Of The Year type challenge shield that will help this bunch of losers prove that they are not that. I facepalmed so hard, it resounded in the theater populated not too well with older Bandra folk. I pretended that it was my umbrella falling down…

And just like Lagaan we watch the ‘losers’ take on the Maradona of Hostel 3 in football. They win by taking the fall like real footballers to send the competition off the field and other Tikdams. You wonder why Shraddha Kapoor does not dump this guy the moment Varun Sharma tells her ‘Usne tumhe daanv pe laga diya. (because you are his dearest thing!).

Blecchh!

Of course daddy-o and his now cool pals suddenly look like winners and child wants to be like dad again… I cannot pretend I hated it completely, but dammit… kuch toh original hota! I mean Legally Blonde had more original writing than this pathetic nostalgia trip!

The clothes retrofitted on the bunch are very, very well done. Thankfully there are no songs to annoy us, a couple of funny moments (Varun Sharma’s gladiator skirt falling off on stage, the canteen guy pretending to be Kabaddi coach) are funny in passing, but they get cancelled out because the other ‘funny’ moments are used undies being put on another person’s face. Ugh! 

I know two things for sure:

One. Never, never ever sign up for a class reunion. 

and two: 

Run far, far away when men begin to talk about ‘Woh bhi kya din thay, yaar?!’ 



Review: Chhichhore


Tiresome Nostalgia Trip

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

Why is it that men cannot get over ‘hostel life’? Kya dost thay, yaar! Kya din thay! And it’s bleddy annoying because these films come at you again and again in the form of Hyderabad Blues, Rockford Files, Faaltu, Dil Chahta Hai, 3 Idiots… Same chaddi buddies thing all over again…

Main Review:

The movie begins with Varun Sharma in his chaddis. 

Not fat shaming, but this is hardly something you’d want to see at ten in the morning! (Mera FDFS wala problem hai!) But it got me mad thinking how much achiever dads expect out of kids. Very obviously these guys have not read Harry Potter’s Cursed Child because they’re still living the dream all Indian dads dream: My son will go to my college and live my life.

Blecchh!

Of course Sushant Singh Rajput’s son cannot deal with the burden of his expectations and…

Bleddy, dad has to then rope in his hostel guys to save his child. They have cute names: Sexa, Acid, Derek The Baap, Bevda, Mummy…

Of course they are stereotypical friends: the oversexed one, the drunk, the sporty one, the mama’s boy and of course the hero who gets the girl.

Blecchh!

The girl is Shraddha Kapoor in curls. Looks quite nice, and says mean things to husband quite nicely. But then, she has the role of a girl in engineering college. Not exactly Hermione there… 

But she loves her son and makes bhindi ki subzi for him. She’s also engineer like her husband, but son goes to her house for food, not math.

Blecchh!

The hostel stories are so tired, even good writing brings not any lump to the throat. You can see manipulative writing a mile away: Usme itna acid bhara tha… (goodlooking lad this Navin Polishetty)

The story they’re telling the child in the hospital is so unoriginal, I’m sure if I were that kid listening to these stories, I’d want to pull my life support off all by myself when hearing about ‘being losers’. 
But when all seems to be lost, Sushant Singh spouts off a line I have yet to hear a dad say in Hindi cinema:

‘We are prepared for successes, but never for failure.’

That shook me up. Could there be something to this movie after all. Perhaps the four stars other reviewers have chipkaoed on this film is jaayaz…

But Prateik Babbar happens. And there’s a Student Of The Year type challenge shield that will help this bunch of losers prove that they are not that. I facepalmed so hard, it resounded in the theater populated not too well with older Bandra folk. I pretended that it was my umbrella falling down…

And just like Lagaan we watch the ‘losers’ take on the Maradona of Hostel 3 in football. They win by taking the fall like real footballers to send the competition off the field and other Tikdams. You wonder why Shraddha Kapoor does not dump this guy the moment Varun Sharma tells her ‘Usne tumhe daanv pe laga diya. (because you are his dearest thing!).

Blecchh!

Of course daddy-o and his now cool pals suddenly look like winners and child wants to be like dad again… I cannot pretend I hated it completely, but dammit… kuch toh original hota! I mean Legally Blonde had more original writing than this pathetic nostalgia trip!

The clothes retrofitted on the bunch are very, very well done. Thankfully there are no songs to annoy us, a couple of funny moments (Varun Sharma’s gladiator skirt falling off on stage, the canteen guy pretending to be Kabaddi coach) are funny in passing, but they get cancelled out because the other ‘funny’ moments are used undies being put on another person’s face. Ugh! 

I know two things for sure:

One. Never, never ever sign up for a class reunion. 

and two: 

Run far, far away when men begin to talk about ‘Woh bhi kya din thay, yaar?!’ 



Review: SAAHO

350 Crore Ki Jyaadati, Kyon Saho?!

1 star

Mini Review: 

Cool dude saves a baddie in a gareebon ki The Raid: Redemption style fight. Cool dude turns out to be super cop. He’s invited to solve strange robberies and chooses a woman in his team and behaves outrageously with her. The rest of the team is too enamoured with him to scream sexual harassment. Turns out robber wants to rob ‘black box’ type key to billions stolen from crime boss from some foreign shores. After many convoluted, windy events later when you are bored out of your wits at the slow pace of the film you see the end: Saaho sit down on a big chair in a blue leather suit. 

Main Review:

From Game Of Thrones to The Matrix to every other cop show on Netflix offers the story of Saaho conceived perhaps by a committee. Or should I say, there isn’t a single original thought in this 350 crore 175 minute mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Prabhas since his Chakram days, and I loved him in Bahubali. But this film is not his fault, especially because he looks uncomfortable in many scenes.  

The film begins with a bunch of bad guys sit around like the Yakuza Council from Kill Bill as the head guy announces he’s going legit. Before you can say The Godfather he’s killed by a truck ramming into his car when he’s talking to someone. Dammit! That was Jackie Shroff! How can you kill him so quickly?!

Cut to Prabhas the super cool dude going into a building full of baddies to save someone who looks like a failed GOT baddie about to be hung if he isn’t saved by the time five seetis blow on a pressure cooker full of khichadi. Should have taken that as a hint of the fight where he fights baddies like The Raid: Redemption and has a Harry Potter dog. 

Turns out he’s a super cop sitting in a super cool car asking the GOT baddie for information. 

Cut to super cop forming a super team that includes a woman cop – believe it or not – Shraddha Kapoor. All because super cop is enamored by her naak-naksh. Sad to report that her casting is as sad as putting Shahid Kapoor in the role of Mohammed Ali. Her role is so badly written, you want her to die by a stray bullet or something. And you wonder why Prabhas is attracted to her. She’s got sex appeal of a leaky tap. To her credit, she doesn’t even try. 

Then there’s Neil Nitin Mukesh who is the thief who has been behind all those robberies. Apparently the clue to his identity is that he wears matching clothes. Facepalm!

In the meanwhile, back in Baddietown, Arun Vijay shows up at the baddie council meeting as Jackie Shroff’s son and heir. There is Tinnu Anand and Chunkey Pandey, Mahesh Manjrekar, and others who are being gleeful about Jackie Shroff’s death. By this time you have stopped caring about why they’re all cackling even though the money is missing. All you remember is a shot of watery soup swirling and how Arun Vijay’s pants (all of the costume changes) are two inches too short and that he’s not wearing any socks. Odd design choice, you think…

Then you see our hero too wearing pants that seem to have shrunk by two inches… Could they be related? Perhaps it’s a clue…

Lots of convoluted things happen. Everyone is after a ‘black box’ but not before Shraddha Kapoor gets to wear Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua type costumes which have long flowy, floating in air type pointless extensions and the hero and the heroine sing a Punjabi song and pretend to dance on top snowy mountains on neat wooden platforms to stand on and railings to lean on. Thankfully there is a car chase across a bridge. 

And yes, the hero is really the villain and the villain the hero. The shock should have killed the heroine, but she too looks as comfortably numb as the audience. But the Villainous Hero sings, ‘I’m a bad boy be my bad girl’ type song with many girls and Jacqueline Fernandes convulsing as if under the influence of some Baba Bangali black magic.

Oh yes, Mandira Bedi is also there and she’s called Kalki. But she really wants to be Trinity from The Matrix but with a saree. There’s a scene where Kalki… I mean Mandira walks as she shoots like she were auditioning for Hindi Matrix… She wants to double cross the boss with funny pants but the photos of Jackie Shroff in the vault scare her to death. 

Our hero does a Fast & Furious chase through baddie town with a bank vault within a truck and he’s on a motorbike. There are Robocops too and they think they’ve got the hero but they haven’t. But Chunkey Pandey captures hero and gets all the GOT Russian extras to beat up the hero with medieval weapons. Hero beats them all up slowly. And we see last of our collective strength leave the theatre when the hero opens one glorious eye and stares into the camera hoping to gain your approval for the sequel. 

That’s how you spend 350 crores, folks. They forgot of course to pay the CGI guy to cover mistakes, or the screenwriter to come up with a new story and dialog. They probably were too drunk or scared of Bahubali to direct him. Perhaps the burden of shooting every scene three times in three languages made everything trite.

I so wanted to see Prabhas in something other than an outfit made for Bahubali. But we ended up seeing him in dated cargo pants and an ugly blue leather suit. His voice gets the half star this film deserves. And the other half for his beautiful hands.  


(watched Saaho at Movietime Suburbia in Mumbai, FDFS )


Review: SAAHO

350 Crore Ki Jyaadati, Kyon Saho?!

1 star

Mini Review: 

Cool dude saves a baddie in a gareebon ki The Raid: Redemption style fight. Cool dude turns out to be super cop. He’s invited to solve strange robberies and chooses a woman in his team and behaves outrageously with her. The rest of the team is too enamoured with him to scream sexual harassment. Turns out robber wants to rob ‘black box’ type key to billions stolen from crime boss from some foreign shores. After many convoluted, windy events later when you are bored out of your wits at the slow pace of the film you see the end: Saaho sit down on a big chair in a blue leather suit. 

Main Review:

From Game Of Thrones to The Matrix to every other cop show on Netflix offers the story of Saaho conceived perhaps by a committee. Or should I say, there isn’t a single original thought in this 350 crore 175 minute mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Prabhas since his Chakram days, and I loved him in Bahubali. But this film is not his fault, especially because he looks uncomfortable in many scenes.  

The film begins with a bunch of bad guys sit around like the Yakuza Council from Kill Bill as the head guy announces he’s going legit. Before you can say The Godfather he’s killed by a truck ramming into his car when he’s talking to someone. Dammit! That was Jackie Shroff! How can you kill him so quickly?!

Cut to Prabhas the super cool dude going into a building full of baddies to save someone who looks like a failed GOT baddie about to be hung if he isn’t saved by the time five seetis blow on a pressure cooker full of khichadi. Should have taken that as a hint of the fight where he fights baddies like The Raid: Redemption and has a Harry Potter dog. 

Turns out he’s a super cop sitting in a super cool car asking the GOT baddie for information. 

Cut to super cop forming a super team that includes a woman cop – believe it or not – Shraddha Kapoor. All because super cop is enamored by her naak-naksh. Sad to report that her casting is as sad as putting Shahid Kapoor in the role of Mohammed Ali. Her role is so badly written, you want her to die by a stray bullet or something. And you wonder why Prabhas is attracted to her. She’s got sex appeal of a leaky tap. To her credit, she doesn’t even try. 

Then there’s Neil Nitin Mukesh who is the thief who has been behind all those robberies. Apparently the clue to his identity is that he wears matching clothes. Facepalm!

In the meanwhile, back in Baddietown, Arun Vijay shows up at the baddie council meeting as Jackie Shroff’s son and heir. There is Tinnu Anand and Chunkey Pandey, Mahesh Manjrekar, and others who are being gleeful about Jackie Shroff’s death. By this time you have stopped caring about why they’re all cackling even though the money is missing. All you remember is a shot of watery soup swirling and how Arun Vijay’s pants (all of the costume changes) are two inches too short and that he’s not wearing any socks. Odd design choice, you think…

Then you see our hero too wearing pants that seem to have shrunk by two inches… Could they be related? Perhaps it’s a clue…

Lots of convoluted things happen. Everyone is after a ‘black box’ but not before Shraddha Kapoor gets to wear Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua type costumes which have long flowy, floating in air type pointless extensions and the hero and the heroine sing a Punjabi song and pretend to dance on top snowy mountains on neat wooden platforms to stand on and railings to lean on. Thankfully there is a car chase across a bridge. 

And yes, the hero is really the villain and the villain the hero. The shock should have killed the heroine, but she too looks as comfortably numb as the audience. But the Villainous Hero sings, ‘I’m a bad boy be my bad girl’ type song with many girls and Jacqueline Fernandes convulsing as if under the influence of some Baba Bangali black magic.

Oh yes, Mandira Bedi is also there and she’s called Kalki. But she really wants to be Trinity from The Matrix but with a saree. There’s a scene where Kalki… I mean Mandira walks as she shoots like she were auditioning for Hindi Matrix… She wants to double cross the boss with funny pants but the photos of Jackie Shroff in the vault scare her to death. 

Our hero does a Fast & Furious chase through baddie town with a bank vault within a truck and he’s on a motorbike. There are Robocops too and they think they’ve got the hero but they haven’t. But Chunkey Pandey captures hero and gets all the GOT Russian extras to beat up the hero with medieval weapons. Hero beats them all up slowly. And we see last of our collective strength leave the theatre when the hero opens one glorious eye and stares into the camera hoping to gain your approval for the sequel. 

That’s how you spend 350 crores, folks. They forgot of course to pay the CGI guy to cover mistakes, or the screenwriter to come up with a new story and dialog. They probably were too drunk or scared of Bahubali to direct him. Perhaps the burden of shooting every scene three times in three languages made everything trite.

I so wanted to see Prabhas in something other than an outfit made for Bahubali. But we ended up seeing him in dated cargo pants and an ugly blue leather suit. His voice gets the half star this film deserves. And the other half for his beautiful hands.  


(watched Saaho at Movietime Suburbia in Mumbai, FDFS )


Review: KHANDANI SHAFAKHANA

It’s Sex Ed Gone Bad

2 stars

Mini Review:

Sonakshi Sinha does it again! Carries a film on her able shoulders, even though the script for a sex ed comedy goes from ‘could be interesting’ to ‘jeez wtf just happened’ in real slow motion. The nudge-nudge wink-wink subject of a girl running her uncle’s sex clinic goes on and on and ends limply…

Main Review:

That Sonakshi Sinha is a good actor is of no doubt at all. Even if she’s pulling faces at everything around her. She plays Baby Bedi who is a medical representative, taking care of her mother and brother and is under debt to an uncle from her sister’s wedding.

Now the lad who plays brother seems to be unabashedly the same in every movie. Every. Single. Time. He’s the asshole sidekick in Arjun Patiala, the asshole friend in Fukrey, Fukrey Returns… He’s turning into the Omi Vaidya of small town movies. And he’s gotten simply annoying. 

Nadira Babbar plays the mom, aggrieved, widowed, and debt ridden after the older daughter’s wedding. 

Annu Kapoor is a lawyer called Tagra, and he is redeeming in his Punjabi-English dialog where he often quotes himself by saying, ‘Tagra says…’  He’s the genuine comedic thing.

So Sonakshi inherits a sex clinic owned by her uncle Kulbhushan Kharbanda who shows up ever so often as a ghost who guides her… She needs the money but can only do so if she stays there for six months and dispenses the Unani powder medicine mostly to his patients of ‘wiggly wiggly’ problems. 

Trouble is, beyond the ‘nudge-nudge wink-wink’ part there’s a problem here. Sonakshi has learnt from her unc and his copious notes symptoms of other diseases like liver and thyroid problems, piles and so on. Then why is the clinic called ‘Sex Clinic’? For ‘respectability’s sake’ couldn’t they just call it a ‘ Unani clinic’ and shown shady clients visit regularly?

Of course there are so many quacks who practice this kind of dispensing of herbal powders that the legitimacy of this kind of medicine is suspect. 

The encounters with patients of erectile dysfunction and other male libido oriented problems and Sonakshi are funny enough, but how long can you keep them funny to keep the narrative going? I imagined all kinds of bad whatsapp jokes about meds being accidentally so strong that the man is ‘up all night’ but complains to the doc that he’s not getting enough sleep… And so on. Alas, the jokes are a bit tacky whatsapp forward like and the cringe factor grows and grows as the movie seems to slow down to a crawl.

There is a great germ of an idea in ‘Baat toh karo’ (talk about it) that Sonakshi says when it comes to sexual ‘problems’, but it is frittered away and how.

The best part of the film came out of nowhere in the form of Badshah who plays a rap star Gabru Ghattak. (last name pronounced like ‘attack’ rather than the hindi word for lethal).

He looks great, acts well and is a completely natural. Iloved, loved, loved the elevator which has a giant poster of Gabru plastered…

Anyway, the film goes on and on and just when you think it is happily over like some bad sex ed class, they have sort of an epilogue/outtakes where Sonakshi Sinha has to offer sex advice: Agar soup bahut garam hain use phoonk phook ke phir piyo. Only when you are comfortable.’

I was rooted to the seat for five minutes. Jeez. Jeez. Jeejus!



Review: KHANDANI SHAFAKHANA

It’s Sex Ed Gone Bad

2 stars

Mini Review:

Sonakshi Sinha does it again! Carries a film on her able shoulders, even though the script for a sex ed comedy goes from ‘could be interesting’ to ‘jeez wtf just happened’ in real slow motion. The nudge-nudge wink-wink subject of a girl running her uncle’s sex clinic goes on and on and ends limply…

Main Review:

That Sonakshi Sinha is a good actor is of no doubt at all. Even if she’s pulling faces at everything around her. She plays Baby Bedi who is a medical representative, taking care of her mother and brother and is under debt to an uncle from her sister’s wedding.

Now the lad who plays brother seems to be unabashedly the same in every movie. Every. Single. Time. He’s the asshole sidekick in Arjun Patiala, the asshole friend in Fukrey, Fukrey Returns… He’s turning into the Omi Vaidya of small town movies. And he’s gotten simply annoying. 

Nadira Babbar plays the mom, aggrieved, widowed, and debt ridden after the older daughter’s wedding. 

Annu Kapoor is a lawyer called Tagra, and he is redeeming in his Punjabi-English dialog where he often quotes himself by saying, ‘Tagra says…’  He’s the genuine comedic thing.

So Sonakshi inherits a sex clinic owned by her uncle Kulbhushan Kharbanda who shows up ever so often as a ghost who guides her… She needs the money but can only do so if she stays there for six months and dispenses the Unani powder medicine mostly to his patients of ‘wiggly wiggly’ problems. 

Trouble is, beyond the ‘nudge-nudge wink-wink’ part there’s a problem here. Sonakshi has learnt from her unc and his copious notes symptoms of other diseases like liver and thyroid problems, piles and so on. Then why is the clinic called ‘Sex Clinic’? For ‘respectability’s sake’ couldn’t they just call it a ‘ Unani clinic’ and shown shady clients visit regularly?

Of course there are so many quacks who practice this kind of dispensing of herbal powders that the legitimacy of this kind of medicine is suspect. 

The encounters with patients of erectile dysfunction and other male libido oriented problems and Sonakshi are funny enough, but how long can you keep them funny to keep the narrative going? I imagined all kinds of bad whatsapp jokes about meds being accidentally so strong that the man is ‘up all night’ but complains to the doc that he’s not getting enough sleep… And so on. Alas, the jokes are a bit tacky whatsapp forward like and the cringe factor grows and grows as the movie seems to slow down to a crawl.

There is a great germ of an idea in ‘Baat toh karo’ (talk about it) that Sonakshi says when it comes to sexual ‘problems’, but it is frittered away and how.

The best part of the film came out of nowhere in the form of Badshah who plays a rap star Gabru Ghattak. (last name pronounced like ‘attack’ rather than the hindi word for lethal).

He looks great, acts well and is a completely natural. Iloved, loved, loved the elevator which has a giant poster of Gabru plastered…

Anyway, the film goes on and on and just when you think it is happily over like some bad sex ed class, they have sort of an epilogue/outtakes where Sonakshi Sinha has to offer sex advice: Agar soup bahut garam hain use phoonk phook ke phir piyo. Only when you are comfortable.’

I was rooted to the seat for five minutes. Jeez. Jeez. Jeejus!



Review: JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA


Faaltu Paise Hain Kya?
or
Chu**** Hai Kya?


1.5 stars


Mini Review:


Bobby is a dubbing artist, suffering from childhood trauma, is obsessed with murders and has a violent streak. But we’re supposed to think it’s cute because she is quirky and has a weird outlook on life. Keshav is her tenant with a new wife (lots of PDA), and is now the focus of Bobby’s obsession. Their encounters are funny up to a point. Then comes murder, and idiotic interpretations of mental health issues, Ramayana… don’t ask! Waste of time…

Main Review:

Quirky Ki Maa


The film opens to Bobby (played by Kangna Ranaut) dubbing for a film. It is delightful to see her literally get into the roles she is playing. She also plays hard to get with her agent cum boyfriend (played brilliantly by Hussain Dalal). Everything about her is quirky: from her funny sunglasses, to her clothes and decor in the house. She sees a man with a sign (which is fine a couple of times, but every single time? It’s an overkill). Even her cat is called ‘Panauti’ (bad luck)…


When she is dubbing for a policewomen, a producer gets fresh with her and she injures him with an exacto knife. We know what she will choose when the lawyer offers her a hefty fine or three months in a mental asylum. Of course in the asylum she plays pranks on the Super and throws away the medication. We know she is traumatised by her childhood, and she has a roach infested home. Before you can say ugh, you are told that she is imagining roaches. 


The dubbing part is delightful but goes on an on. Each time she gets a picture taken as if she were the heroine. Stops being fun and you want to say, ‘Get on with the story!’

Obsession, She Said

Thankfully she gets new tenants – a loving (read: lots of PDA) couple – Keshav (Rajkummar Rao) and Smita (Amyra Dastur).

Bobby is dubbing a murder mystery and she begins to obsess over Keshav imagining that he is going to kill his wife. Bobby stalks the two through the curtains and even enters their apartment through a connecting door when the two are not there.


He obsession grows so much that when the wife dies after a gas cylinder explosion, she tells the cops that he is responsible. She just comes across is crazy, and he is exonerated. 


By the way, the cops are quirky too.

Two years later she is on medication for imagining the roaches and obsessing over that man, and seems to be okay when she goes to London to be with her pregnant cousin (Amrita Puri) who finds her a job as an understudy in a play. Of course she comes face to face with Keshav again, except this time his name is Shravan. Her obsession becomes horrifically real and alarming. So much so that it could harm her cousin. 


If you’ve watched enough shows about serial killers and stalkers, you know what happens next. It’s just that a 121 minute film feels like it is longer simply because of a repetitive part when setting up her character, and his creepiness. Rajkummar Rao has to match her kookiness with menace but the constant, ‘Let’s see who’s crazy now!’ also becomes unbearable.


The editing is so choppy, you wonder why certain scenes just spring up as explanations (for example, her cousin’s broken engagement scene appears out of nowhere?). And no matter what the disclaimer says about treating mental health issues delicately, it is very obvious that the subject is treated flippantly (‘She’s crazy! She’s nuts!) and that she’s not really getting any real help. If someone is suffering from ‘psychosis’, I doubt the docs would let her consume medication on her own. But who cares, Bobby whacks the cockroach crawling on the doc and everyone in the audience laughs happily, ‘She’s such a cute paagal yaa!’

This ‘acting’ just gets annoying after a while. And don’t get me started about Ramayana Redux. It is insulting to all professionals trying to help patients in real life when they treat the ‘mental’ part of the title as if they meant ‘demented’ instead. The result is that people laugh inappropriately at her ‘madness’, and your popcorn loses its pop because the film is tiresome..  



(a kinder version of this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA


Faaltu Paise Hain Kya?
or
Chu**** Hai Kya?


1.5 stars


Mini Review:


Bobby is a dubbing artist, suffering from childhood trauma, is obsessed with murders and has a violent streak. But we’re supposed to think it’s cute because she is quirky and has a weird outlook on life. Keshav is her tenant with a new wife (lots of PDA), and is now the focus of Bobby’s obsession. Their encounters are funny up to a point. Then comes murder, and idiotic interpretations of mental health issues, Ramayana… don’t ask! Waste of time…

Main Review:

Quirky Ki Maa


The film opens to Bobby (played by Kangna Ranaut) dubbing for a film. It is delightful to see her literally get into the roles she is playing. She also plays hard to get with her agent cum boyfriend (played brilliantly by Hussain Dalal). Everything about her is quirky: from her funny sunglasses, to her clothes and decor in the house. She sees a man with a sign (which is fine a couple of times, but every single time? It’s an overkill). Even her cat is called ‘Panauti’ (bad luck)…


When she is dubbing for a policewomen, a producer gets fresh with her and she injures him with an exacto knife. We know what she will choose when the lawyer offers her a hefty fine or three months in a mental asylum. Of course in the asylum she plays pranks on the Super and throws away the medication. We know she is traumatised by her childhood, and she has a roach infested home. Before you can say ugh, you are told that she is imagining roaches. 


The dubbing part is delightful but goes on an on. Each time she gets a picture taken as if she were the heroine. Stops being fun and you want to say, ‘Get on with the story!’

Obsession, She Said

Thankfully she gets new tenants – a loving (read: lots of PDA) couple – Keshav (Rajkummar Rao) and Smita (Amyra Dastur).

Bobby is dubbing a murder mystery and she begins to obsess over Keshav imagining that he is going to kill his wife. Bobby stalks the two through the curtains and even enters their apartment through a connecting door when the two are not there.


He obsession grows so much that when the wife dies after a gas cylinder explosion, she tells the cops that he is responsible. She just comes across is crazy, and he is exonerated. 


By the way, the cops are quirky too.

Two years later she is on medication for imagining the roaches and obsessing over that man, and seems to be okay when she goes to London to be with her pregnant cousin (Amrita Puri) who finds her a job as an understudy in a play. Of course she comes face to face with Keshav again, except this time his name is Shravan. Her obsession becomes horrifically real and alarming. So much so that it could harm her cousin. 


If you’ve watched enough shows about serial killers and stalkers, you know what happens next. It’s just that a 121 minute film feels like it is longer simply because of a repetitive part when setting up her character, and his creepiness. Rajkummar Rao has to match her kookiness with menace but the constant, ‘Let’s see who’s crazy now!’ also becomes unbearable.


The editing is so choppy, you wonder why certain scenes just spring up as explanations (for example, her cousin’s broken engagement scene appears out of nowhere?). And no matter what the disclaimer says about treating mental health issues delicately, it is very obvious that the subject is treated flippantly (‘She’s crazy! She’s nuts!) and that she’s not really getting any real help. If someone is suffering from ‘psychosis’, I doubt the docs would let her consume medication on her own. But who cares, Bobby whacks the cockroach crawling on the doc and everyone in the audience laughs happily, ‘She’s such a cute paagal yaa!’

This ‘acting’ just gets annoying after a while. And don’t get me started about Ramayana Redux. It is insulting to all professionals trying to help patients in real life when they treat the ‘mental’ part of the title as if they meant ‘demented’ instead. The result is that people laugh inappropriately at her ‘madness’, and your popcorn loses its pop because the film is tiresome..  



(a kinder version of this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: SUPER 30


Gamchhe Ke Peeche Kya Hai…


Two stars


Mini Review:


A story about a free school for the poorest of the poor IIT aspirants run by a maverick mathematician should have been a hugely inspiring film. It starts out to be fabulous, introducing us to a bright mind and his yearning to become someone. The film crash lands and how! You hate everything about it, especially the brownface that Hrithik applies on his face to look like a small town lad. 


Main Review: 

Bihar Does NOT Mean Everyone And His Uncle Sports A Gamchha

I’ve lived in Patna, and what they showed in the film is not Mithapur (where the real Super30 school is located), neither is it Patna. It’s an urban idea of poor small town and their ‘sad’ lives where mother is forever making rotis and dad has a rickety bicycle and spouts homilies. Fuck the facts. They even claim the original teacher Anand Kumar has helped with the script. Did he forget to tell the filmmakers that he is a civil servant? An IFS (Indian Forestry Service) officer? Obviously it was easier to show dire poverty to make it more filmi, more melodramatic.

Also because they’re Bollywood’s idea of poor, they will all be:
1. Brown and dirty all the time (gag!),
2. Won’t have food but have big hearts (barf!) and
3. It will rain over their proverbial parade/adding to their woes all through the movie (puke!)

But Why Ruin Hrithik Roshan For Fans

I understand why everyone and their uncle wants to be politically correct and show ‘desh ka vikaas’ and all that, but why turn a gorgeous leading man who can out dance any hero that claims to know how to dance and give him a role that need him to downplay his assets? And NEVER break into a dance? Kya faaltugiri hai!

No one can deny that Hrithik Roshan is a good looking man. Then why does he have to tone it down by liberally applying the bronzer to look like he is a very poor, small town lad? Can someone tell filmmakers that ‘brownface’ might be insulting?

And what’s with the eternal hangover with the ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ mentally challenged act? That run, that confused look when he’s concentrating on the math is just wrong when repeated so many times…I did puke inside though when they made him look at his dad – awed by the homilies – like he was a ten year old instead of someone who had solved the most unsolvable math problem!

A Teacher To The Underdogs… Bollywood Ruins That Trope Too!


Hrithik still works in the first half of the film where plays the role of Anand Kumar, a math genius, doing the Good Will Hunting write on the blackboard thing. He hits sublime moments too, but the dirty gamchha gets in the way…

Alas he doesn’t have Michelle Pfeiffer of Dangerous Minds or Vind Khanna of Imtihaan to support him or inspire him he is going to be that prof himself…

But if Hrithik insists on being Koi Mil Gaya, it falls on the character actors to who win your heart.
His dad Eeshwar, played by Virendra Saxena is rather sweet and inspiring postman.

His brother Pranav played by Nandish Sandhu (great casting, looks like Hrithik’s brother in real life) is a great support for his school.

Pankaj Tripathi is flawless as the local politician who has his paws deep in the dirt of the business of education.

Even Hrithik’s dialog coach for the film Manish Kumar Singh has a one minute scene as a policeman who is unable to help protect the brothers against the threat to their lives.

Vijay Verma whom you saw in Gully Boy shines in this film as well as the award winning student of the Super 30 program reminiscing about Anand Kumar, a genius who could not make it to Cambridge because of poverty. 


The best act of course is by the villain. Aditya Srivastava plays Lallan Singh who runs a successful coaching class which becomes even more successful when Anand Kumar begins to teach there. When Anand realises that the coaching classes are only for the very rich, and that he is contributing to the scam by teaching there, he gives it all up and decides that he will coach 30 poor but bright kids for free. 


So far so good. You even hope that you will see something like Stand And Deliver where students from the wrong side of the tracks learn high math by teacher Edward James Olmos… But no! The filmmaker chooses what he thinks is going to work commercially and you facepalm when you see the students turn the film into a hospital version of Home Alone with many stupid baddies out to assassinate the teacher as well as the students. That half an hour spent on using math to defeat men with guns is perhaps the worst one has seen. It squanders all the goodwill Hrithik and the kids earned in the first half of the film. Of course all 30 students make it to IIT. But you are so disappointed, you want to drown someone in a vat of bronzer… 

(Why haven’t I mentioned the romance angle? Because it was dumb to show a heroine who only dances and then gets married off to an IAS officer. That made me chew the handle of my Gucci bag to bits. That Mrunal Thakur was sweet in the role fails to count)

P.S. Biharis will be grateful that they didn’t show the chhath puja to make the film ‘look and feel’ authentic!


(a sanitised version of the review appears on nowrunning dot com)


Review: SUPER 30


Gamchhe Ke Peeche Kya Hai…


Two stars


Mini Review:


A story about a free school for the poorest of the poor IIT aspirants run by a maverick mathematician should have been a hugely inspiring film. It starts out to be fabulous, introducing us to a bright mind and his yearning to become someone. The film crash lands and how! You hate everything about it, especially the brownface that Hrithik applies on his face to look like a small town lad. 


Main Review: 

Bihar Does NOT Mean Everyone And His Uncle Sports A Gamchha

I’ve lived in Patna, and what they showed in the film is not Mithapur (where the real Super30 school is located), neither is it Patna. It’s an urban idea of poor small town and their ‘sad’ lives where mother is forever making rotis and dad has a rickety bicycle and spouts homilies. Fuck the facts. They even claim the original teacher Anand Kumar has helped with the script. Did he forget to tell the filmmakers that he is a civil servant? An IFS (Indian Forestry Service) officer? Obviously it was easier to show dire poverty to make it more filmi, more melodramatic.

Also because they’re Bollywood’s idea of poor, they will all be:
1. Brown and dirty all the time (gag!),
2. Won’t have food but have big hearts (barf!) and
3. It will rain over their proverbial parade/adding to their woes all through the movie (puke!)

But Why Ruin Hrithik Roshan For Fans

I understand why everyone and their uncle wants to be politically correct and show ‘desh ka vikaas’ and all that, but why turn a gorgeous leading man who can out dance any hero that claims to know how to dance and give him a role that need him to downplay his assets? And NEVER break into a dance? Kya faaltugiri hai!

No one can deny that Hrithik Roshan is a good looking man. Then why does he have to tone it down by liberally applying the bronzer to look like he is a very poor, small town lad? Can someone tell filmmakers that ‘brownface’ might be insulting?

And what’s with the eternal hangover with the ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ mentally challenged act? That run, that confused look when he’s concentrating on the math is just wrong when repeated so many times…I did puke inside though when they made him look at his dad – awed by the homilies – like he was a ten year old instead of someone who had solved the most unsolvable math problem!

A Teacher To The Underdogs… Bollywood Ruins That Trope Too!


Hrithik still works in the first half of the film where plays the role of Anand Kumar, a math genius, doing the Good Will Hunting write on the blackboard thing. He hits sublime moments too, but the dirty gamchha gets in the way…

Alas he doesn’t have Michelle Pfeiffer of Dangerous Minds or Vind Khanna of Imtihaan to support him or inspire him he is going to be that prof himself…

But if Hrithik insists on being Koi Mil Gaya, it falls on the character actors to who win your heart.
His dad Eeshwar, played by Virendra Saxena is rather sweet and inspiring postman.

His brother Pranav played by Nandish Sandhu (great casting, looks like Hrithik’s brother in real life) is a great support for his school.

Pankaj Tripathi is flawless as the local politician who has his paws deep in the dirt of the business of education.

Even Hrithik’s dialog coach for the film Manish Kumar Singh has a one minute scene as a policeman who is unable to help protect the brothers against the threat to their lives.

Vijay Verma whom you saw in Gully Boy shines in this film as well as the award winning student of the Super 30 program reminiscing about Anand Kumar, a genius who could not make it to Cambridge because of poverty. 


The best act of course is by the villain. Aditya Srivastava plays Lallan Singh who runs a successful coaching class which becomes even more successful when Anand Kumar begins to teach there. When Anand realises that the coaching classes are only for the very rich, and that he is contributing to the scam by teaching there, he gives it all up and decides that he will coach 30 poor but bright kids for free. 


So far so good. You even hope that you will see something like Stand And Deliver where students from the wrong side of the tracks learn high math by teacher Edward James Olmos… But no! The filmmaker chooses what he thinks is going to work commercially and you facepalm when you see the students turn the film into a hospital version of Home Alone with many stupid baddies out to assassinate the teacher as well as the students. That half an hour spent on using math to defeat men with guns is perhaps the worst one has seen. It squanders all the goodwill Hrithik and the kids earned in the first half of the film. Of course all 30 students make it to IIT. But you are so disappointed, you want to drown someone in a vat of bronzer… 

(Why haven’t I mentioned the romance angle? Because it was dumb to show a heroine who only dances and then gets married off to an IAS officer. That made me chew the handle of my Gucci bag to bits. That Mrunal Thakur was sweet in the role fails to count)

P.S. Biharis will be grateful that they didn’t show the chhath puja to make the film ‘look and feel’ authentic!


(a sanitised version of the review appears on nowrunning dot com)