Kai Poche Review

As a movie buff, I am always in the hunt for that defining moment in a movie that justifies its title. The film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘Three Mistakes of My Life’ by director Abhishek Kapoor has been aptly titled ‘Kai Po Che’. A victory cry that is screamed out during kite flying challenges that Gujarat is so famous for, ‘Kai Po Che’ is a heart-wrenching story of three friends and real life tragedies faced by the bourgeois of growing India. More »

Rooting the New India – I, Me Aur Main

I, Me Aur Main, the new John Abraham movie, directed by Kapil Sharma and produced by Goldie Behl, is an underwhelming rom-com, where the talent of two beautiful ladies is not fully utilized. More »

Love, Lust and Politics – What the Sequel to Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster has to offer

A rather underrated franchise of movies, the sequel to the critically acclaimed ‘Saheb Biwi aur Gangster’ meets expectations in all aspects of a great film. With an intriguing plot, highly impressive performances and impeccable direction, the movie breaks all norms of sequel movies. More »

Talaash Review

By no means is Talaash a complete end to your search for a perfect movie of talented star cast, screenplay, music, drama and a tinch of Mumbai in dark and in light. Not being an action-packed movie it is a suspense thriller with a paranormal edge –a movie where climax is far from correct predictions. You can barely take your eyes off the screen. More »

 

Lunchbox Perfect Recipe for 2 hours

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Director: Ritesh Batra 

Imagine: You are a working middle-aged man and there are only dead ends in your dead beat life with no friends, no family members and same mundane routine where at work you push files of similar kinds for years and eat the same food every day, and then one afternoon you pull your lunchbox towards yourself and your life changes. An unknown fragrance with delicious food wafts out of the dabba, you pause, you look around and wonder if it is yours. Instead of tasteless, dull, regular food, you get to eat homemade variety delicacies. It would definably bring smile to your mouth and eyes.

This movie is a treat to the soul.

Irrfan playing Saajan Fernandes makes you see middle aged man leading normal and dull life working in insurance company settling claims. This is one of his finest performances. ILA (Nimrat Kaur) has played role of a young stay-at-home mother of a daughter whose routine is typically the same every day. Wake up, get kiddo ready for school, see of husband, sort out clothes for wash, prepare dabba for husband, and collect dabba from the dabbawala and small chats with neighbor. (We never get to see her, only hear her). She gives ILA pro tips on recopies, seasoning, ingredients and condiments to target her husband (Nakul vaid) with the intension of revitalizing their love.

“The Lunchbox” s about a dabba that is fetched at the wrong table to a wrong person completely unknown. It is movie about two lonely people in life who get attracted towards each other over letters exchanged in lunch box. They describe their life, happiness, and sorrows with each other by writing letters to each other. Director and writer of the movie have also included other 2 characters in the movie to add some voice in silence. Nawazuddin (sheikh) is an irritant who works as Saajans replacement has managed to demand attention in rightful way while sharing frame with Irrfan Khan.

Though the screenplay is repetitive and the story gets too slow, but the maturity of the characters keeps the rigor alive. Scenes where she struggles to impress her husband, makes good recipes, Lillete Dubey’s (playing mother to Ira) reaction to losing her husband, conversation with neighbor are well shot.

All the 3 main characters of the movie completely justify the role. Though the movie doesn’t belong to mainstream bandwagon with no songs or dance or glamorous outfits, its story line, acting and dialogue delivery are worth a watch.

“Highly Recommended”

Does Besharam Stand To Its Title

Action comedy drama is one of the most popular genres that Abhinav Kashyap banks on with Besharam after his superhit flick Dabangg 2. This time he tries to pool in Kapoortainment by bringing in Ranbir Kapoor playing the role of Babli, his real life parents playing couple on reel too as Police officer Chulbul Chautala and Neetu Singh Kapoor constable Bulbul Chautala.

Characters

Babli is an orphan and is a professional car stealer. He sells them and the income he earns is given to the orphanage where he is brought up. He becomes an inspiration for the kids at the orphanage and they too wish to become a car mechanic in the future as their Babli bhaiya. The twist adds when he starts flirting with a girl called Tara played by Pallavi Sharda and steals her car unknowingly, sells it off and shamelessly follows her.

The storyline revolves around obtaining the car of the girl he likes and has to steal it back from a dangerous hawala king played by Jaaved Jaaferi named as Bhim Singh Chandel.

The Soundtrack

The music and songs by Lalit Pandit are huge disappointments, with none of the songs really engaging except the title track that holds your attention. There seems an overdose of songs where there is a song after every sequence and adds nothing to narrative. The songs are shot in a typical manner, where an army of background dancers are roped in.  When you leave the theatre you may not be able to hum a single number barring the title track.

After six years in the industry, it has been proved that Ranbir’s success does not depend on his box office chart but in this movie he could not charm the audience as much as in other movies. Ranbir, perhaps by this movie tries to strike a chord with his small town audience who watch films in single screen theatres. He tries to portray character of punching guys, doing high-flying stunts and melodramatic. Nevertheless, his energy and commitment is noteworthy.

Ranbir’s sincere performance alone cannot rescue a film. The narration seems to be draggy that it hits the boredom level after a while especially in the first half itself. Pallavi Sharda implies too much energy on dancing and uttering her dialogues. The rare and only laughs in the film are presented by the real-life couple as married police officials are eager to make fast bucks before their retirement.

The movie does not stand to its title as it was unable to entertain the way it was expected.

Exploring a Different Genre with Madras Cafe

One must understand that it is difficult to make films on real life political events in India since there are pressurizing political and social groups who love to create controversies. That is the reason why director Shoojit Sircar and producer John Abraham are to be applauded for their bold attempt to make a film and pass it through censorship.

The film is set in the backdrop of late 80’s and early 90’s during the civil war in Sri Lanka while Rajiv Gandhi was in power in India. His attempt to conduct elections with peace was not successful and lead to a real life conspiracy of the assassination of the then Ex-Prime minister.

Cast and Location 

The casting director ‘Jogi’ has done a commendable job in avoiding to use familiar faces. John Abraham playing Vikram Singh is an army officer appointed by an R&AW agent who narrates the story to a priest in Church and that is showcased in flashback. The female in lead is played by Nargis Fakhri as Jaya Sahni, portraying a role of British Asian journalist who only speaks in English and has come to cover the war and has her strong sources to obtain information.

Siddharth Basu plays a role of R&AW chief in Robin Dutt, Piyush Pandey as cabinet secretary, debutante Rashi Khanna as Ruby makes a significant impact playing the wife of army man Vikram. Sanjay Gurbaxani is a perfect look alike to the former prime minister and a special mention to Bala played by Prakash Belawadi for being the chief head of Vikram Singh in Lanka.

The movie has shown different locations such as Delhi, Kasauli in India, Sri Lanka, London and Bangkok to show the links of communication during that period.

The Story

Vikram Singh is sent to make peace with Anna played by Ajay Ratnam and Arijit Dutta playing Mallaya, the chief of LTTE referred as LTF, a rebel group to create ethnic conflict in Lanka. In the course Vikram uncovers a conspiracy that involves foreign players and key persons of Indian bureaucracy. This is showcased when Bala leaks the information and the intercepts and codes are ignored and not being decoded until it’s too late to figure out the plan behind the assassination of then Prime-minister. Jaya as a reporter strikes the right chords with Vikram to reveal the information, however was unethical but she wanted to emphasize that she is not anti-national and is a thorough professional.

John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri more or less were in their comfort zone as John could show of his physical prowess and Nargis had to only converse in English. This film expects you to be well informed about the history and be attentive as there are continuous occurrences.

Salute the Hero Flying Milkha

Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Pawan Malhotra
Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra
Rating: Three and a half stars

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a movie that will remind you of hardwork, dedication and perseverance. A heroic epic which is best translated in pictures, words and songs. Biopics are truly made of disappointment, guts and glory. This story of nation’s prominent athlete Milkha Singh who gave this country a place in international sports tournaments. This movie is a combination of elaborate choreographed dance set pieces, global locations, computer graphics (enlarge the audience in the stadium), stylized colors and period detail which is accurately depicted.

This movie is an elaborated and lengthy film which talks about the discovery of athlete played by Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh. He loses his family at a young age and starts living with his sister played by Divya Dutta (no one could do a better job in this role than her.) he chooses to be part of goons and continues to live a normal life. It is when he falls in love with Beeru (Sonar Kapoor) his aim of life changes. Joins army to earn his living and ask for her proposal with dignity. Little he knows what is in store for future.

Milkha Singh participates in running with an intension of getting a glass of milk and skipping his rigorous training. With this starts his journey of becoming a world-known athlete who breaks world record in 200 meters running.

At the initial stage wearing  Indian blazer is the biggest motivator for qualifying state level. With all the hardships he crosses all the national levels and reaches to the olympics. Meanwhile Beeru marries someone else and dumps the actor. (as usual). Now the focus changes completely.  The scene where he sits in the airline for the first time is extremely natural and well enacted. However, directors surprise cameo is quiet irrelevant as a pilot. This movie need not draw focus on anyone as Farhan Akhtar can easily carry the burden of the film on him. First race lost in Australia with woman distraction breaks his morale completely.

On his way back he gathers his guts back to be trained by his mentor and coach to break the world record. The whole training period is outstanding.  This follows with winning almost all the races. Later stage answers or justifies why Milkha Singh turned back in Rome olympics and lost his winning chance. “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” reminds him of unforgettable past where he looses his entire family during partition.

Milkha is able to get over the whole incident after visiting Pakistan and representing Indian team in sports. As every Hindi movie ends with a happy ending this movie follows the trend. Milkha gets his new name as “Flying Milkha and continues with his career and breaking and making records.

Though the movie is stretched and slow with lot of unwanted scenes, it is worth a watch. A movie to be nominated in Oscars. Applauds for Farhan akhtar and Jabjet Singh. (Jr Milkha)

Lootera Few Skips for a True Classic

Actors Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh , Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

The first look of Vikramaditya Motwane’s love story Lootera‘s is quiet impressive and comes across as a period film. However, with every scene the disappointment increases. A glimpse of promo and teasers made a good impression for movie buffs and created eagerness to go for the show, however it was not a very exciting flick. The posters of the movie were very convincing of hottie Ranveer Kapoor and classic beauty Sonakshi Sinha’s romantic saga which looked picture perfect, but it was far from what was expected and promoted.

Story of Lootera is set in 1950s Manikpur in West Bengal. Pakhi played by Sonakshi is the daughter of Zamindar (Barun Chanda) who is deprived of romance till she meets Varun (Ranveer) in character of an archaeologist. Motive is to dig up her family’s property and hence stays with them. She falls for his charm during their silence and painting lesson.

The real motive of Varun devastates Pakhi and her father and the lovers separate. There is a re-union this time at Dalhousie and this time Varun with all his true feelings sticks to Pakhi , even if it demands risking his life.

Sonakshi has done justice to her role as a beautiful yet mischievous child woman who fall in love with a handsome man who gets knocked down by her car. Her character is dignified but is emotionally weak and child-like.

Ranveer has carried the role well as a staunch and charming man. His physique and personality is in sync with the role. He has learnt the art of expressing through his eyes and has done well in action sequence as well. Still could have done well acting wise. Looks like he was simply following directors orders and dint push himself to do justice as a romantic yet serious actor.

Though the chemistry is unique and well scripted, but one feels down with the limited scenes and lack of romance in the movie. The entire movie is so slow, one would wish to have a remote for fast forward. Still, scenes like the one where Varun injects Pakhi forcefully –with orgasmic effect is worth watching than their over hyped intimate scenes. Cinematography and locations are outstanding in the movie.

Motwani has taken an inspiration from Rabindranath Tagore-The Last Leaf. He must have completely enjoyed the process of filmmaking with using old-world cinematic language and Guru Dutt and Satyajit Ray style. No frame in the movie was wasted.

This movie will be remembered as a romantic slow saga. 

Ship of Theseus Bollywood Finally Matures

A narrative that is nothing less than fabulous, this Anand Ghandi creation is exactly what Indian cinema lovers have been waiting for, for years! A story that revolves around 3 lives and many others that is directly or indirectly associated with them, The Ship of Theseus has been effective in driving into our minds and hearts a myriad of points that keep us pondering for days after returning from the cinema hall.

The first story about an aspiring photographer, who relies on sound to take pictures due an eye infection that enabled her to lose her vision, highlights some hard hitting points on finding oneself and optimizing one’s potential. What may seem like a boon to a common person turns out to be the exact cause of the character’s misery.

Moving on to the second story, this narrative brings out some fascinating ideas with respect to many religious beliefs that are being advocated by Jain monks and monks of various other religions. With a continuous dialogue among people between different set of ideologies, the audience is hit with some extremely valid solutions to questions one may have asked all their life. This story gives a much more unique, real and practice perspective that is much different from conventional beliefs associated with religious leaders who are blindly labelled as fanatics.

Coming to the final story, this one is about a workaholic stock broker who after getting a kidney transplant feels that his kidney has been sourced through illegal means. While that belief checks out as wrong, he is still adamant about helping a construction worker who had his kidney stolen amidst a hernia operation. A heart wrenching story that ends with disappointment, this story to brings out a range of questions that tinkle your personal moralities.

Each story is adorned by excellent direction and scenes that are representative of the mood of the characters it surrounds. The name-sake of this movie the ‘Ship of Theseus’ also couldn’t be a more apt choice, considering that each story deals with different approaches and reactions to organ transplant.

The character of the Jain monk has been played with impeccable accuracy. Each actor emits a passion and belief towards the project in question and there is no doubt that significant research went into the creation of each character, setting and storyline.

Bollywood is blessed to have a movie of this calibre as a part of its archives and we can only hope that this is not the end of it.

Has Lootera Done its Job

The film ‘Lootera’ is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane; written by Bhavani Iyer and Mr. Motwane with dialogues by Anurag Kashyap. The movie is inspired by O. Henry’s ‘The Last Leaf’ short story and the transformation into a feature film is a challenge taken up by the director bowed towards loved story.

It is a film where the director has showcased his craft, inspired from the Bhansali School for its grandeur and drama. The film also has the element of Kashyap’s minimalist, slice-of life factor with restraints in the same story.

Lootera is a typical script of falling into love, heartbreak, then longing for it and finally finding closure. A period film needs to be well researched and Motwane and Anurag Kashyap the co-writer and co-producer seem to have given justice to this aspect.

The story and characters do not always display rose tinted images but also come with guilt and anguish. The sacrifices made by the lead characters are not logical enough and made as per the maker’s convenience; making it a strong limitation of the movie.

Sonakshi Sinha plays Pakhi, the daughter of the privileged zamindar, who is a Shantiniketan-alma mater and recites poetry on the direction of contemporary Bengali actresses. Sonakshi Sinha stepped into the shoes of Pakhi, lets her character overpower everything else.

The Lootera himself, Varun Srivastav played by Ranveer Singh is predictable. He is a retro, charming conman, complete with double-breasted shirts, slick-back hair and an Ariel motorcycle.

Motwane’s knowledge with his locale and backdrop is credible. He captures the vanishing glory of zamindars of Bengal in 1953 with lavish settings.

The male lead plays the role of an archaeologist and earns the zamindar’s trust with ease. Predictably, the female lead falls for him. They stroll through green lanes and sit by lakes, creating the perfect ambience for romance in the 1950s. The lovers then separate, to coincidentally reunite in Dalhousie.

A talented supporting cast is not given its due weightage. Amit Trivedi’s music is charming and numbers like ‘Sawaar loon’, ‘Monta re’, ‘Shikayatein’, each of these tracks are lovely and impeccably embellished as narrative.

Lootera is of a standard that is positively higher than the Bollywood average. The lead pair’s chemistry is inimitable in its love-hate nature. Actors Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh are at their acting best.

There is a certain conciseness and innate pace that must not be fiddled with, especially, when the source material is an inspiration on an O Henry finish. Had the makers kept the rest of the story with brevity and gripping it would have been flawless.

Romantic Saga Raanjhana

If you are romantic at heart and understand the pain and happiness of falling in love, Raanjhana is a perfect blend of it and a treat to watch. A well directed, well written and complete with extremely controlled dialogue delivery by all the characters of the movie. One of the most refreshing movies of the time, this did not require any item song or censored scenes to sell the script. It has madness of love, layers of characters and best adaptation of Benaras.

Movie starts with a childhood one-sided love story of a Tam-bram Kundan (Dhanush) who falls hopelessly in love for a Muslim girl Zoya (Sonam Kapoor). First half of the movie shows the decent of how he tries to impress her by following her, buying a musical love card, getting slapped by her and cutting his nerve to get her approval. It takes a twist when Zoya’s father discovers the romance and sends her to Aligarh for further education. However, he is all willing to wait for her and go to all lengths to be with her and marry her.

Kundan’s life is stuck in the same time frame and his love for Zoya grows more than his age. He waits for his lady love to come and accept him and marry him. Here is the twist. She breaks the news of losing her heart to a Delhi guy Akram/Jasjit (Abhay Deol). He is a social activist and is looking forward to make his own political party and enter the constitution. Kundan promises Zoya to get her married to Akram after getting her father convinced on his religious background. Little does he know that he is a Hindu and zoya lied to him. With anger he gets the marriage called off. Akram gets beaten up and Zoya in the hospital after slitting her wrist. Out of guilt Kundan gives the union another chance. But this time fate has something else in store for him. The movie takes a completely different angle. Zoya becomes the leader of the Akram’s political party where Kundan follows the group serving tea and other small duties. Gradually he becomes one of them.

The movie moves further with another twist where Zoya plays a conspiracy against Kunadan which leads to his death.  In a genre which constantly gets noticed for being cliché and tripe, director Aanand has comfortably displayed freshness and portrayed love in its purest form. The only drawback in the movie is the political twist. The Indian audience might find it a little difficult to accept as it gets very predictable. Music by A. R Rahman adds to the glory.

Overall, this is a highly unconventional film, with excellent acting skills of Dhanush. 

Watch Fukrey to live the fun life of Fukraa’s

The trend of bromance continues and it is evident that the buddy-buddy flicks are a success in Bollywood. Fukrey is not a typical boy meets girl story. It is about friends who keep dreaming out of their capability and strive to achieve their target by opting short cuts, which leads them nowhere but into more troubles.  

Hunny played by Pulkit Samrat and Choocha by debutant Varun Sharma are cronies who desire to get into the coolest college in town. Lali’s character played by Manjot Singh is the son of a halwai, a first year correspondent student, who has a girlfriend who attends the cool college and he too wishes to get admission. Zafar, played by Ali Fazal, is a struggling musician and had his ex-girlfriend, an accounts professor in the same cool college. This is how these four guys have in common to be associated with the college.

The four boys have their own traits and every character is crafted well and given its due importance. Hunny is shown as a quick thinker, Choocha is a naive, Lali is sloppy and Zafar is portrayed as reticent. Priya Anand plays a small role of the neigbour and love interest of Hunny.

Hunny and Choocha do not have the required grades, hence want to try and do some jugaad to get admission and are willing to take any risk in the bargain. They get in touch with Pandit, played by Pankaj Tripathi, the college watchman to leak the paper and he asks them to mange Rs.50, 000/-. The two buddies play a gamble on a number for lottery that is created by the dream which choocha sees every night. Regardless of the process, their winning ratio was higher.

While Lali and Zafar too had their share of trials to manage money, they got introduced to Bholi Punjab, played by Richa Chadha, a female don who makes their lives more miserable, after they lose their money in gambling. To get her money back, Bholi makes them sell drugs in a rave party in Gurgaon and they supposedly get into trap by police making a raid at the party. Eventually the lottery spares them winning a chunk and as they are ready to start their normal lives they are caught by the police and finally they come out with the truth in interrogation and Bholi is arrested.

The film revolves around with the dialect of Delhi’s streets and college campuses. The humour is finely rolled in throughout the movie with its dialogues and funny punches especially by choocha and foursome’s comic timings. Not many songs rule this bollywood flick, however, ‘ambersariya’ by Sona Mohapatra is soothing. If you happen to wander in the theatre, you will come out smiling.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Reinforcing Ranbir’s star quality

A story of four school friends reuniting as individuals on a Manali trek, exploring their inner selves and chasing their own dreams is a light hearted realistic movie by Ayan Mukherjee. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, one of the most awaited films, strategically released post IPL, is a youthful, full of drama, emotions, song and dance and proves to be a doze of entertainer.

Characterization

The lead role in the film played by Ranbir Kapoor as Kabir Thapar aka Bunny is a boy who does not want to lead life in a conventional way where he describes, education done at 22yrs and then job at 25, Marry at 26, kids at 30, retire at 60 and then wait for death. According to him the institution of marriage is the same dal-rice for the further 50yrs you live. By that he means that he is longing for a spice in life. He wants to explore the world, make new friends and celebrate adrenaline madness. He is looking for challenges, wants to run, jump, fall but does not want to stop for anyone. You may call as self centered and egocentric but he is pursuing his passion.

While the female lead is being played by Ranbir’s real ex-love interest Deepika Padukone as Naina Talwar and the audience are excited by the amazing chemistry shared by them onscreen that is evident in trailers. Naina is Bunny’s school friend. Unlike him, she is the bespectacled, studious girl of the class who is rooted with Indian traditional values and wants to focus on attaining all professional achievements. She is studying medicine and prefers neuro-immunology textbook than partying. But eventually she is bored with her monotonous life and tries to have fun by going on the Manali trek where she happens to meet other school friends and Bunny and creation of celebrating life commences.

The supporting lead played by Aditya Roy Kapur as Avi and Kalki Koechin as Aditi are strongly characterized and are convincing enough for the friendship equation they portray. Avi spends his money on cricket bets and opens a bar which incurs losses but does not seek help from friends. Aditi plays a bubbly girl who initially loved Avi but finally marries an Engineer which is played by Kunal Roy Kapur named Taran and it is at her fat Indian wedding, eight years later to the adventurous trek that the four friends reunite and things set straight.

The big names Farook Sheikh and Tanvi Azmi (parents of Bunny) and  Dolly Ahluwalia (mom of Naina)  have small roles but vital enough and play their characters with sheer experience and confidence. The song ‘Ghaghra’ at the start danced by the graceful Madhuri Dixit Nene should not be missed as you may not be able to take your eyes off her dancing ability.

Though the movie requires tight editing as it is almost three hours and has many songs like Balam Pichkari, Kabira, Badtameez dil which timely interrupts the narration, nonetheless are feet tapping.  Ranbir’s ease of delivering dialogues and effortless dancing moves is a delight to watch and you may ask for more. It’s onetime worth a watch for the versatile sensational actor RK!

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