Archive for category Hindi movie reviews

Lafangey Parindey – Skates with Identifiable emotions & lifting perfor

What is it all about?
After not a quite memorable experience with ‘Badmaash Company’, Bollywood premiere production company YRF comes down on the streets of ‘Amchi Mumabi’  to find the ‘pyaar’ of the audience and succeeds to a considerable extant.
The Story…Of course
‘Lafangey Parindey’ is about a group of youngsters living in the backstreets of Mumbai. It is an unusual love story of Nandu (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Pinky (Deepika Padukone) whose path to love is paved by friendship, grit and hope.
For Nandu the raw, champion street fighter, one-shot is literally what it takes. Absolutely wild, fierce, and hungry to win, this fighter takes boxing to a new level by knocking down his opponents – “Blindfolded”. He meets Pinky Palkar and his world changes.
Pinky who losses her eyesight in an accident is a fabulous dancer, she is born to fly. On one hand she works at a regular, boring 9-to-5 job at a mall but on the other hand, she is a kickass dancer on skates! Her life’s ambition is only one – to rise above all the ‘losers’ living in her locality and carve a niche for herself.
‘Lafangey Parindey’ is the love story of this two different people.
What to look out for?
Pradeep Sarkar after the miscalculations of ‘Laga Chunri mein Daag’ makes sure that this time he doesn’t slips and skates with identifiable emotions, positive energy and a delightful Deepika and the growing up actor Neil to come with a love story not set in Manhattan or New York and minus the candy gloss feel that was once synonymous with this production house.
Set in Amchi Mumbai, the production designed by Madhu Sarkar Kuriakose is done with perfection and gives the required feel that comes with detailing like the tulsi planted in a  Dalda ghee dabba, the bindiees on mirror at homes etc etc.
Dialouges by Gopi Puthran are punchy and well written with typical Mumbaiya lingo.
Fine background score by Bishwadeep Chatterjee and Nihar Ranjan Samel.
Eye pleasing cinematography by N Natarajan Subramaniam. Sharp scissor work by Sanjib Datta. Music by R. Anandh sounds better while one is watching the film.
Production values are first rate.
Pradeep Sarkar narrates Gopi Puthran’s screenplay with smartness and keeps the pigeon’s away from its crows by concentrating on the lead characters of Nandu – well played by Neil Nitin Mukesh who grows as an actor and shows significant improvement. He shows his versatility in fight and emotional scenes and is a good dancer.
 Deepika – Well the movie belongs to her as she is the backbone of this flick, portraying the role of a dancer who dreams big of being the no.1 at the top reality talent hunt show does her act with varied shades as matters proceed.
It’s delightful to see her dance with skates on and the dances are well performed by Neil and Deepika thanks to the choreography by Bosco Martis and Caesar Gonsalves, the lifts are finely done.
The side actors also impress and once again Piyush Mishra as Osman makes his mark. K.K. Menon in a cameo impresses.
‘Lafangey Parindey’ skates with identifiable emotions, positive energy and delightfully lifting performance.
What not?
On the flip side, the story is predictable and the pace in the second half is lazy.
The length and slowing of place during the end makes the movie miss the knock out punch.
The movie losses point on telling us a predictable story, getting lazy in the end and not having much time for laughs.
Conclusion: ‘Lafangey Parindey’ comes with the desi punch and the vada pav munch that gives the flick its ‘lifting’ moments; go if u don’t have anything more important this weekend.

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Antardwand – A real art house item

What is it all about?
Bollywood gets real, reel after reel, week after week. After Peepli (Live), it’s time to get more serious amidst Commonwealth scam and our neta’s pay hike.
‘Antardwand’ Sushil Rajpal’s ‘Antardwand’ re introduction to our ‘Incredible India’ where grooms are kidnapped and marriages take place by creating a hell – a phenomenon rampant during the eighties and still is active. Its told there where around 1000 odd cases last year, is a slow-burning slice of magical realism whose power lies in its subtlety rather than heavy-handed sensationalism.
The Story……of course
Groom Abduction or “Pakrauah Shaddi” once rampant in Bihar and Eastern UP during the 80’s is touched upon in Antardwand.
It’s a story of boy- Raghuveer who has just appeared for his Civil Services exams is admonished by his father against marrying his pregnant girlfriend in Delhi. Distraught and defenseless Raghu terminates his visit home in the interiors of Bihar and leaves for Delhi. But before he could get out of the village he gets ABDUCTED by another headstrong and ambitious father of a girl wanting to have a potential IAS officer as his son-in-law.
The boy is forcibly married off at a gun point much against his and the girl’s own wishes. Once married, they are locked up in a room for days end till they consummate their marriage and accept each other completely….but do they accept each other in the face of inevitability?
What to look out for?
Finding resonance in its light handling of a practice popular in Bihar amongst a section of upper caste, its tells a disturbing yet engrossing, frustrating yet sympathetic (towards the couple especially the bride in the end) without overstating its themes or sentimentalizing the drama.
Filmmaker Sushil Rajpal tells a story where you are’ forced’ to react.
At first, the movie seems a slow-moving, it only gradually becomes clear that Sushil doesn’t wanna play and keeps the setting s as it should be.
The film which could have been easily fallen prey to sensationalisms and bowed to the commercial push and pull of bollywood as the screenplay writer after the show told us about the atrocities done on the married couple in real but they omitted it and avoided the flick to become heavy handed.
And successfully create a vivid picture of our society where we live in and its problems.
Yeah there is a serial on Colours ‘Bhagyavidhata’ on the same issue but ‘Antardwand’ deals it more realistically and doesn’t go overboard as TV serials do.
Set in the 80’s, the movie is blessed with natural performance giving the movie more strength. Raj Singh Chaudhary as the abducted groom is simple and lives the role. Vinay Pathak is delightful in his Bihari accent. Swati Sen as the helpless bride is spontaneous and leaves her mark. Akhilendra Mishra as the egoistic father of the bride is perfect. Himanshi as Raj love interest is fine. Jaya Bhattacharya as Swatis bhabhi is wonderful.
Technically fine with good production values, Cinematography by Malay Ray is absorbing. Special mention for the art work by D.K Singh and Rajeev Dwivedi has to be made. Editing by Aseem Sinha is crisp. Amitabh Varma takes care of the bihari lingo in the dialogues.
The movie has scenes which get register like how the groom is forcibly told to consummate the marriage by making him drunk and hurting his male ego by calling him impotent.
The groom is made to take the saath pheras at a state when he is dead drunk with goons holding gun and giving him support.
What not?
So is there any problem.. yes.. For the ‘filmy’ junta it’s not happening.
The era of the film is 80’s but the wardrobe especially of Raj and Himanshi in Delhi isn’t. The helmer doesn’t bother to say whether Raj comes to know that he has a child from his forced marriage.
Raj’s father is worried about his son but the maker doesn’t make it feel for us on screen. Raj’s mother is mysteriously absent.
Conclusion: ‘Antardwand’ has bowed in 55th National Film Awards as the best in social issues, it’s provocatively infused with local colours, the film is a real art house item that should find champions as well as a few naysayers and need passionate support wherever it goes.

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Hello Darling – A tasteless chewing gum

What is it all about?
Honestly, this comedy on male chauvinism had enough potential to ensure a decent run but the 2010 inspiration of the 1994 Kamal Hassan starrer ‘Magalir Mattum’ which in fact was inspired by Jane Fondas’ 1980 laughter ‘9 to 5’ is a tasteless chewing gum which lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.
The story……of course
The writers Pankaj Trivedi and Sachin Shah are clueless on laughter and rely on double meaning ness to evoke laughter and fail even there. They tell us a story of three working girls – Candy (Celina Jaitly), Mansi (Gul Panag) and Satvati (Eesha Koppikhar) who bond together in a posh office of Mumbai, though each of them belongs to a different stratum of society. The biggest issue they face is in their work place. It is headed by their smart boss Hardik (Jaaved Jaffrey) a chronic playboy. He is smart. They have to be smarter. Who wins this battle of the sexes?
What to look out for?
The only funny moment is the pati sudhar Kendra where Seema Biswas brings errant and wayward husbands back on track is amusing. Javed does a fair job. Celina Jaitely is strictly okay and Gul tries hard but in vain. Seema Biswas is competent. Sunny Deol does as expected. Technical values are okay. Production values are rich.
What Not?
Neither naughty nor hottie in its premise, ‘Hello Darling’ becomes object of scorn that tries every thing possible but ends up as second-rate sex farce that again cements the thought that comedy is a serious business.
Mostly clunky and vaguely unsavory ‘Hello Darling’ won’t provide any comfort for Mukta Arts in this week’s release onslaught. Amusement level slides rapidly as the story of the male chauvinist progresses. What a waste of opportunity.. even worse, the girls don’t delight much.
Eesha looks pretty but is miscast as a Haryanvi. Divya Dutta overdoes. Mukesh Tiwari, Vrajesh Hirjee & Chunkey Pandey are wasted.
Conclusion: ‘Hello Darling’, it’s a tasteless chewing gum that goes on and on as the writing is feeble and it worsens scene by scene.

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Bumm Bumm Bole – Irani kebab mein Indian haddi?

 What is it all about?

Dear Priyan, what have you done? Milli delicious irani kebab ki recipe aap ne isme kyun Indian haddi dalne di. Joota karne laga chur chur aur audience ho gayi isse duur (away). Got it……….forget it. In simple English, Priyadarshan after being exhausted by the continuing ‘De Dana Dan’ and ‘Bhagam Bhag’, tries to revisit the ‘Kanchivaram’ terrain by adapting the familiar Iranian cinematic masterpiece ‘Children OF Heaven’ by Majid Majidi. Alas, the veteran this time losses considerable charm.

The Story…….of course

Adds the unwanted ‘terrorist’ element to this otherwise sweet, uplifting story of Majid Majidi ‘Children of Heaven’ which was nominated for 1997 Oscars in the best foreign film language film category. Khogiram (Atul Kulkarni), his wife (Rituparna Sengupta) and their kids Pinu (Darsheel Safary) and Rimzim (Ziya Vastani) belong to a terrorist-dominated region. Khogiram and Ritu have a hand-to-mouth income and can barely manage things. The kids are affected by this as well. They go to a respectable school as it is Khogiram's ambition to give them the educational opportunities he missed. But the financial crunch makes it difficult for kids to match the standards of the school. They don't have enough money for uniform or shoes.

What to look out for?

The moments between the kids are lovely but not original. The sister played by Ziyah Vastani is the best part of this flick. The girl is damn cute and acts beautifully; she is a bundle of talent. Darsheel is fine and a brand puller if not the crowd puller but the girl attracts maximum attention.

The child actors create winningly serious-minded characters nevertheless and the adults contribute valuable support where Atul Kulkarni excels. Camerawork is excellent. Sulabha Deshpande is competent.

At least it’s good to see Priyadarshan interest in trying something uplifting in Hindi.

What not?

Tries to please everybody in the huge Indian audience and adds unnecessary elements like ‘Terrorism’ to this sweet little idea which pleases no one but its brand promoters who shamelessly ruin, murder this flick which if the makers would have want to could have been a uplifting, beautiful experience which speaks in volume about faith, honesty and supports the adage ‘Do Your Thing Everything Else Will Follow’.

Alas, Priyadarshan who has the reputation of a smart story teller shockingly goofs up in vital departments. The story is supposed to be based in Assam but we hear Bengali somewhere. And the costumes appear to be rented from Kashmir.

Aamir smartly put the plucky yet vulnerable children on a quest thingies to a desire effect and mind you he was also inspired from the same maker ‘Majid Majidi’ who has handsomely used the child psyches to tell his story making it acceptable worldwide. Casting a child to tell a story can be useful if done right and can be disastrous if not done accordingly.

Rituparno doesn’t get much scope.

Conclusion: The sum effect of this Bollywood adaptation of the Irani masterpiece is a tedious affair which evaporates the charming beautiful intention of the original in its quest to please all and everyone. Wait for its worldwide premier on the small screen.

Rating **

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Admissions Open – Why, what for and for whom

What is it all about?

The 2nd follow-up of the ‘3 Idiots’ tradition comes with a warning. Censor board decides the age limit of viewing and this flick demands a warning sign on anyone who buys the ticket similar to those we see on cigarette packets and booze bottles.

The Story……of course

Professor Tariq Siddiqi (Anupam Kher) is disappointed with the orthodox education system and hopes to start a college, which lets students chase their dreams. Arjun (Ankur Khanna) is an under-achieving student who doesn't believe in the grading system. He feels his creativity and individuality are stifled by the current education system.

Since they posses the same perception towards our stereotype education system, they decide to go against to it and form an abstract pattern of education system to encourage the failure students of our society.

What to look out for?

You must be kidding. Well that boy Ankur Khanna shows promise.

What Not?

Another on the education system but with a slight difference, it supports the ‘gurukool’ tradition, where students learn the course according to their caliber. It’s a wonder whether the makers of this flick had followed this tradition while making this flick and selected the right candidate suitable for the right department. The writer helmer does a complete hara-kiri and tests the audience patience in this flick which has nothing absolutely nothing to offer.

The thought is mind blowing and any maker if serious would have made a decent film out of it but K.D. Satyam effort is so amateurish that you feel pity for everyone associated with this misadventure. Which institute will offer courses on seduction, bhaigiri, and all that crap, usually no government will authorize such idiocy and guess what after one year students from this departed are successful in their field of bhaigiri, godman. What the makers wants to show?

What was a seasoned actor like Anupam Kher doing in this film? Musically blah! Ashish Vidyarthi disappoints. Pramod Moutho and Sudesh Berry are wasted as the whole enterprise is a big waste.

Conclusion: Don’t even think

Rating *

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Kites – Winds on Hrithik’s powerful performance

 What is it all about?

The much hyped Hrithik Roshan starrer with a Mexican bala Barbara Mori as his co-star, a decent helmer like Anurag Basu and a reputed banner like Rakesh Roshan’s Filmkraft which has given quality entertainers in past turns out as a major disappointment.

‘Kites’ is an all time low empty luxury vehicle from its producer ‘Rakesh Roshan’, director ‘Anurag Basu’, Writer… sorry writers Akash Khurana, Anurag Basu and Robin Bhatt, that pushes the envelope in terms of just how much flashy packaging an audience will buy when there's absolutely nada inside.

The Story……of course

Shot in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santa Fe, ‘Kites’ is an unconvincing love story about an Indian man's affair with a Latin woman and their predicament as they don't understand each other's language, ‘Kites’ is about their misadventure.

The story starts in a harsh terrain of the Mexican desert where a mortally wounded man Jai (Hrtithik) is left to die in the heat of the scorching sun. Once a street smart, carefree young guy, he is now a wanted man.

As death looms, the only thing that keeps him alive is the quest to find the love of his life, Natasha (Barbara Mori) – a woman betrothed to another man. Jay and Natasha fell in love despite language and cultural barriers and embark on a crazy boring trip.

What to look out for?

Hrithik Roshan is sensational and gives his most matured performance till date.

Cinematography by Ayananka Bose is jaw dropping and Anurag’s shot taking is commendable.

What Not?

‘Kites’ cuts its own strings by a weak story, zero chemistry, no melody, no romance, and tries to fly with the winds of hype, good but unconvincing stunts and a sensational Hrithik Roshan who has just missed a great opportunity to introduce himself pleasantly to Hollywood. What a waste.

Anurag’s limitations as an helmer and a writer gets exposed with this flick and the movie ensures that Anurag sensibilities are limited to a certain sect where he can please his audience with some videsh influence in films like ‘Gangster’ and ‘Life in a Metro’ but when it comes to please the videshis and the desi together, he runs out of ideas and lacks   proper understanding of the term called ‘mass appeal’ and the audience pulse.

Which once again cement the view that shot taking is not film making.

Coming to the film which starts superbly and has an interesting concept of two lovers flying together but heir fate lies in the hands of others and in the end they are denied is spoiled by the makers who in their dream to make this fly high on international skies. The makers commit following blinders:

A) The characterizations is poor and its hard to connect with the two lead pairs Hrithik and Barabara who start loving each other but on what grounds is hard to believe. And its never gets explained in the film what makes them attracted towards each other when they can’t understand their language…… Is it lust that brings them together or what?

B) A love story can still survive even if the reason of attraction is not convincing provided the pair oozes on screen chemistry, warmth when they come together…. Alas, the chemistry between the Hrithik and Barbara who are torn between paisa and pyaar is thanda and in minus degree celsius. A blink of your eye and Barbara in bikini is gone.

C) Even if the attraction is not convincing and the pair is not delicious on screen and you are trying to woo the international audience, still some taste can be provided if the music is melodious, song dance, naach gaan is the only identity Bollywood has had to lakhs of cinegoers worldwide and mind you I’m not talking of experts. Even over here the movie scores a zero. Even worse, previously the music director Rajesh Roshan has given his best for this banner. The helmer Anurag Basu previous flicks have scored major plus in music.

D) Even after all this known departments fail and you run out of cards then still you can rely on some quality action to punch your films prospects, which are there but again it doesn’t seem to be the way it should be…… I mean not required, its not a chase movie.

E) And finally, the last nail in the coffin is provided by the language…. Sorry languages in the movie, people speak English, Hindi, and Spanish in the film where Spanish spoken by Barbara is subtitled in English whereas the English interaction are not subtitled and audience scratch their heads to recollect where and when was Hindi spoken in this Bollywood film.

The movie has some childish errors which are hard to digest like the editor Akiv Ali turns blind eye to repetitive shots. Kangana is reduced to minimum. A wounded tormented Hrithik on quest for his lost love in Mexican desert doesn’t shave but manages to change his clothes. From Mexican attire to jeans…..??, etc, etc. All this make this 130 minutes misadventure numbing and it’s more than such a frail conceit can sustain.

Conclusion: ‘Good looks can deceive’, go at your own risk.

Rating **

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Raajneeti – Watch it for Ranbir, Ajay & Katrina

 What is it all about? 

Prakash Jha mixes the elements of the greatest epic in the world the ‘Mahabharata’ with the mighty superior on screen drama ‘The God Father’ and gives us a studiously sincere film in which the human drama increasingly gets lost in the political twist and turns though its lead by a convincing cast where Ranbir Kapoor holds the key and it lacks the involving sweep of Jha’s previous political yarns like ‘Apaharan’ (2005) and ‘Gangaajal’ (2003).

But still it’s a recommended watch for its strong and superior quality acting by the principle cast. 

The Story……of course 

Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseruddin Shah), the fire-brand leftist leader, is feared for his single-handed ability to challenge the most powerful of leaders. Until one private mistake of his hurtled him into a self-imposed exile.

Cut to the present day. Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) is the heir to a powerful political legacy and impatient to seize the top position. But his cousin, Veerendra (Manoj Bajpayee), proves his biggest political opponent. He's a man who believes he was born to rule and who will now stop at absolutely nothing to claw his way back to the top.  

Cornered by family and political colleagues, Veerendra plays a new game: He picks up Sooraj (Ajay Devgn), a youngster with anger in his heart and leadership on his mind. Sooraj doesn't know the secret behind his identity, which, of course, is revealed much, much later.  

Prithvi's brother Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) is an 'outsider', with no political aspirations, but he gets sucked into the battle-ravaged arena of family rivalry. Only to turn into a master of the craft of political warfare. Indu (Katrina Kaif), daughter of a wealthy industrialist, is also caught in this web. Last but not the least, there's Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), who plays the role of mentor and guide to Prithvi and Samar as the battle gets bloodier by the day. 

What to look out for?

The movie has some great pluses where it impressively moves with intensity in the opening reels with fine assistance from its music score.

Each and every performance is noteworthy but Ranbir Kapoor holds the screen excellently and is destined to go places, he is well supported by Manoj Bajpai, Ajay Devgn who always has something special for Jha and of course Arjun Rampal who is very effective indeed and is a welcome surprise. Nana adds maturity to his role, Katrina is a revelation, the girl just transforms herself from the glam doll to desi mode with ease and improves her Hindi dictation as well. Rest of the cast that includes Dayashanker Pandey, Chetan Pandit, Darshan Jariwala, Shruti Seth, Kiran Karmarkar and Vinay Apte and Nikhila Trikha, as Arjun and Ranbir's mother add valuable support.

Sachin Kumar Krishnan’s textured photography, stressing the interiors of Madhya Pradesh convincingly conjures up the mood. Art by Jayant Deshmukh and costuming by Priyanka Mundada looks equally natural. Editing by Santosh Mandal is sharp.

Jha shot takings are brilliant, and helms the film like a master. 

What Not?

Completely fictional with very loose resemblance to characters from Mahabharata like Ajay is Karna, Manoj Bajpai Duryodhan, Nana as Lord Krishna and Nikhila Tirkha as Kunti, the absorbing first half suddenly post interval moves away from contempt parallels and starts to take on the gangster lane. With conspiracy and everything happening for state elections, issues are sidelined and personal enmity and rivalry takes over where the characters are fighting to settle their personal scores… making it difficult for the audience to draw identifications.

The climax is ridiculous where the script writers allowing the main characters who are shown as smart, cunning politicians taking guns to settle scores.

Jha paints ‘Raajneeti’ on a much bigger canvas then his previous films and assembles a mammoth cast and that’s really commendable but the characters get lost in the plot-heavy predictable script.

The length is also a drawback…

A senior actor like Naseer is wasted. 

Conclusion: The movie has tremendous curiosity attached to it, thanks to its promotions and the actors excel while the writers don’t. Watch it for Ranbir, his growth as an actor and performances by other principal cast as well.

Rating ***

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