Karan Johar films don’t usually fall in this league. It looks like he is trying hard to be someone he is not. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is confusing, soulless, torturous and plain stupid. Karan Johar has always been a filmmaker who may not have made epic movies, but his movies have been watchable and enjoyable and full paisa vasool till now. With ADHM, he tried to imitate Imtiaz Ali and fails miserably.
Ranbir Kapoor, who plays Ayaan, looks lost and tries to get bits from his Tamasha and Rockstar characters into Ayaan, but ends up looking like he’s clinically insane. The female leads Aishwarya and Anushka play their characters very well, but even Anushka’s acting prowess cannot help the moronic twists that her character Alizeh is subjected to.
Fawad Khan’s role is inconsequential and absolutely not worth all the hullabaloo that was raised against him. Even reshooting the bits played by him would have been viable for the producers and wouldn’t have made any difference to the final outcome. Only Aishwarya and Ranbir’s chemistry gives a brief respite from the aberration that is ADHM.
In short, ADHM is a poorly written, badly executed and pathetically edited film and such films should actually be banned to save the audience’s sanity.
My rating: 1/5
I did not intend to see this movie but I am thankful to Bobby Singh from http://www.bobbytalkscinema.com whose review and subsequent persuasion led me to watching it. At the offset, let me tell you that by the end of the movie, most people in the hall were left in tears and you could hear sniffling all over.
The reason I didn’t want to see it was because I didn’t expect much from Sonam Kapoor as far as her acting skills are concerned. But she is good in the role of Neerja Bhanot, a braveheart, who saved many lives through her courage and presence of mind in the Pan Am flight hijack at Karachi airport in 1986. But the actress who really shines through is Shabana Azmi in her crucial and impactful role of Neerja’s mother.
It was her dialogue delivery and heartfelt emoting that left us all in tears at the sorrow, regret and above all, the pride that a mother would feel when her beloved daughter dies at the age of 23, but does so while saving hundreds of lives of people who are not even related to her but she does so for the sake of her duty towards the passengers and basic human kindness. This kind of courage through kindness does not come to many people but blessed are those, who do not even fear to lay their own lives for the sake of duty.
Neerja was not a soldier but what she did was no less than what a soldier would do. The best part about this movie is the plot and the treatment of the plot. Sonam Kapoor does not let her own personality overshadow that of the character she is playing, which is commendable and I hope she continues improving on her acting and more importantly her dialect and voice modulation.
The camera being a little shaky at the start, kind of gives you a headache but that stops when the actual flight scenes begin. The irony lies in the scenes where Neerja is preparing for her first flight as the head of cabin crew and at the same time the terrorists are preparing to hijack the flight, and lacing themselves with guns and grenades. One wonders what does it all happen for. Are so many human lives worth being taken for the very God who has gifted them to us?
Watch this movie, even if you don’t like Sonam Kapoor because it is not about her. It is about the unflinching human spirit, love and compassion which is very nicely executed by Ram Madhvani. I would again like to mention here the sublime and stellar performance by Shabana Azmi. Its her depiction of the emotions of Neerja’s mother that brings you to tears and makes your heart go out to the family that has suffered through the pangs of losing such an exemplary daughter.
My Rating: 4.5/5
Before I start reviewing ‘Fitoor’, I must tell you that my judgement may be seriously affected, having read the book beforehand. I have hardly ever found a movie that has lived upto the book it’s based on.
Casting is highly flawed, right from Noor’s sister and brother in law to adult Noor and Fridaus themselves. But the young Noor is amazing and you wish that Katrina could emote as well as the young Firdaus. The first encounter between them and the Begum is exactly as Charles Dickens has written it and the beginning makes you anticipate that Abhishek Kapoor will do justice to the rest of it too. But, as I said before, the villain in this story is the highly flawed casting.
I feel Katrina has tried to emulate Gwyneth Paltrow from her 1998 movie Great Expectations, even copying her way of dressing at places, but there’s no comparison there too. I do not understand why she is incapable of working on her pronunciation!! Millions of Indian youngsters learn American and British accents to work in US and UK call centers in India, and even when she is getting paid in millions, she isn’t competent enough to learn a Hindi accent! Surprising to see that a girl who can write so well in urdu, cannot speak it well!
It starts dragging as soon as Noor and Firdaus grow up, which is very soon. You can never find a flaw with Tabu, even if you tried but our real life Ms. Havisham, Rekha, would have made it more real, had she finished the shoot. Fitoor makes you wish that you had a fast forward button or at least sleep through the drag.
Ajay Devgan is good in the short part that he is assigned and Lara Dutta seems to be making one bad career choice after another, first with ‘Singh is Bling’ and now this. Considering her work in Chalo Dilli, I am sure she is capable of better things than this. Aditi Rao Hydari is good in her short appearance as the young Begum too. Rahul Bhatt looks plain cocky.
Aditya Roy Kapoor looks like a prop in most parts. Fitoor is not bad overall, but lacks consistency in its treatment quality. Wish it was as good overall as it is in parts. You can miss this one as at the most, it will be a Snoozefest. I wish they had worked half as hard on the movie as they did on its promotional activities. I hope Abhishek Kapoor can revive his Kai Po Che and Rock On performance in his future projects. He sure has potential.
My Rating: 2/5
My expectations from Wazir weren’t quite set when I went for the movie. But the first 15-30 minutes raised my hopes and I thought that it will be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.But that was IT! It was a Sine wave, which never made it up again. The thrill was too predictable and the twist too obvious.
The moment Wazir entered the frame, and we got the first glimpse of an overtly theatrical Neil Nitin Mukesh, I figured it all out. And from there, it all went down the drain. Omkar Nath Dhar (Amitabh Bachchan) is supposed to be a Kashmiri Pandit but his mannerism and accent is far from that. He hasn’t worked at all on his character in this movie. Why the partiality? Didn’t he look, act and sound Bangali in Piku? Why does he appears the same in this character? Since Vidhu Vinod Chopra is from Kashmir, one would have expected more work on character building and maybe a background story too.
Anyhow, moving to Farhan Akhtar, I guess the kind of intelligence he has, he must have not been convinced with the script somewhere, but he still tries to salvage some of it with his acting, specially in the first few minutes as a father who is responsible for his daughter’s death. Aditi Rao Hydari looks pretty and although she has a smaller part, she delivers well.
Manav Kaul, as always is outstanding and shines through in his part. John Abraham makes a small but impressive appearance. Neil Nitin Mukesh tries his best to be creepy, but is just ok. Bejoy Nambiar really needs to up his game and choose and deliver on crisper scripts.
And whoever said “Wazir has a tight script”, was probably ‘tight’ himself.
My Rating: 3/5
(Although am more tempted towards 2.5)
Like all Sanjay Leela Bhansali movies, Bajirao Mastani is a feast for the eyes. While Sawariya was a blue toned movie by SLB, Bajirao Mastani is an earthy toned movie like Bajirao Peshwa’s personality who was a great Maratha Warrior and a true son of the soil. SLB has beautifully picturised the emotional struggles of Kashibai, Bajirao and his beloved Mastani. You can feel the passion between the lead pair and the helplessness of Kashibai at her heart being broken and her ego being crushed like any woman whose husband is in love with another woman.
While most of Bhansali’s previous films have been based on fiction and classic literature, this is his first attempt at a historical and he delivers by depicting the beauty and grandeur of the 18th Century Maratha rulers. Bajirao, who is a Brahmin Peshwa, falls in love with a half muslim dancer-warrior, Mastani and as they say, the rest is history. There are differences of religion, status and the fact that Bajirao is already married to the Innocent but brave Kashibai.
Deepika fits the bill perfectly, be it on the battlefront, in her armour or in the Sheesh Mahal with her glittery, flowy, layered Anarkalis. Speaking of Anarkali, The song Deewani Mastani is a beautiful odé to the immortal ‘Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya ‘. Trust Bhansali to picturise this magnum opus. He does the one thing he is best at and manages to mesmerise us everytime with the ethereal Cinematography and Art, present in all his movies. The only thing I found a little off place, was the casting of Ranveer Singh. He is a good actor but not graceful enough to make this character completely believable. His childish energy as an amateur in his field conflicts with the character that Bajirao Peshwa could have been.
Tanvi Azmi’s character as Bajirao’s mother is convincing but very brief for such a fine actress. But we are not complaining as it is not her story. Priyanka Chopra fits in more in ‘Pinga’ than Deepika does, but that is fine too, as Kashibai is a true blood Maratha, whileas Mastani is not. Priyanka is convincing in her depiction of the helpless wife Kashibai, which is a character quite contrary to her real life values.
The movie drags in places and the war scenes are brief too,but it emerges a winner, all thanks to it grandeur and an opera like quality that most of Bhansali’s movies have.
You can watch it this weekend and lose yourself in a bygone era for a few hours.
My Rating: 3.5 /5