Tag Archives: #MovieReview

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

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

Neerja – Power-Packed

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.

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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.

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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?

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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

Fitoor – Casting is the Villain

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Wazir – Fails to Thrill

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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Dilwale – DDLJ couple does not a good film make.

Making movies is not like making a khichdi. When you make a khichdi, you put in all the ingredients in a pan and let it simmer till its done and the khichdi tastes the same eveytime. But in a movie, you need creative adjustments and fine tuning of all the ingredients to make it delectable. You cannot mix Shahrukh and Kajol from your DDLJ hangover,  add two funny Varuns and another pretty face and expect the movie to be a landmark one. Dilwale never raised my expectations but still didn’t fail to disappoint. 

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‘Kajol-Shahrukh’do not a DDLJ make and it looks like even Kajol is wondering here what she signed up for. Chennai Express was much better than this Rohit Shetty flick. It looks like they have taken the audience for granted and feel that whatever they serve is,  will be lapped up and 100-200-300 crores will be earned in a jiffy. This movie makes one wonder if one should actually spend the time and money to watch this crappy mixture of 'stars' or instead light the money up in a bonfire and be a little warmer this winter.

The sense on dejà vû is not lost with the usual Rohit Shetty routine of burning cars and making them fly. It is getting old now and in his next movie, he should keep cars off the screen or at least keep them on the ground and maybe give them away in charity after the shooting wraps up. Dilwale will bore you and you will wonder why you left the warmth of your bed this morning. Was it for this?

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The song Gerua stands out for it’s visualisation and color palette. But don’t be fooled. The rest of the movie is just the contrast. You don’t take a romantic couple who have been doing the same thing movie after movie and make them do that, add what YOU have been doing movie after movie, and hope that it works somehow.

Thanks to the Shiv Sena ban on this movie, many people may have been spared the horror of watching this narcissistic load of junk in theatres and saved their hard earned money too. The humor is juvenile, the action repetitive, the romance lacklustre and the movie is a sure miss. Rohit Shetty needs to get off his trip and realise that it is the audience that he’s making the movie for, not for his personal viewing. The only ray of hope is Sanjay Mishra, who inspires some laughs occasionally.

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The Indian audience deserves better than an old wine in an old bottle. At least make the bottle new!

Dilwale did have the potential to be something better but I think, you may give this one a miss and stay home this weekend.

My Rating: 2/5

Tamasha – It’s not for everybody

When I went to watch Tamasha, I had already read some comments on twitter about how people were leaving the hall midway through the movie. And there were people leaving the hall when I watched it too. But I guess that these were the same people who make movies like “Happy New Year ” earn crores at the Box office.

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I, for one, liked the movie. It is not a ‘Rockstar’ or a ‘Highway’, but Imtiaz Ali does not disappoint with this one. Ranbir Kapoor could not top his ‘Rockstar’ performances in Tamasha and he looks kind of bored. Even though Ved is a layered character and Ranbir could have made it memorable had he tried a little harder, but he does get through to us in parts. A noteworthy performance comes from Deepika Padukone and although Ranbir must have been paid much much more for this movie than she has been paid, but she definitely deserved to be better paid than Ranbir, considering her stellar performance as Tara who never settles for the ordinary and isn’t afraid to go after what her heart desires.

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The movie starts with a young kid Ved, who is lost in his own world of stories like Ramayana, Helen of Troy and all great love stories like Heer-Ranjha, Sohni-Mahival, Romeo-Juliet. He is lost in his own world and is generally distant from the reality around him. Then Ved grows up and on a holiday in  beautiful locales of Corsica, he meets Tara who is on a vacation too. Sparks fly and they decide not to tell each other who they actually are. They make up names and thus starts their journey of a fun filled companionship while their holiday lasts. They go crazy and their chemistry crackles! They go their own ways, but Tara finds that she still has Ved in her heart.

You can’t help but notice quid pro quo between Ved and Tara. He saves her in a foreign country by helping her with food and money. And she in turn, saves his soul, gives him his life back with selfless and passionate love. She ultimately is his Knight in shining armour. So, in the end, it’s not your same old love story. The princess rescues the prince in this fairy tale.

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They go to their respective mundane lives and get stuck in the daily grind. What happens after that and how Tara helps Ved find himself underneath the ‘aam aadmi’ that circumstances have made him, is a journey in itself. The editing could have been better and that would have brought the movie a little together.

Although Tamasha is good, but Imtiaz Ali definitely has potential for something much better and he must explore his own mind to give us something much better the next time. I recommend watching Tamasha this weekend if you have the appetite for good cinema. I must warn you that it is not the ‘fun’ movie that it appears from its trailor and songs. It definitely is not for everybody!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Fun fact: The holiday in Corsica, where they decide not to meet each other again and even some dialogues in the beginning of Tamasha, are inspired by a portion of Kate Winslet and Cameroon Diaz starred “The Holiday”

Shandaar

While watching Shandaar,  you wonder if the likes of Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl watch their own movies before bombarding them on the audience. There’s nothing Shandaar about this one. The movie is all over the place and all the punches fall flat and then sink some more.

Dialogue delivery by everyone is oddly timed and though the story is really good, the way it is treated shabbily and molested badly by the screenwriter and the director, makes this a headache to watch. It could have been so much better!

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Shahid has established himself as an excellent actor with his recent Haider and so has Alia with Highway. And the likes of Pankaj Kapur and Sushma Seth need no introduction.  But their talents are wasted as Vikas Bahl seems to have lost his hold on the reins and actors seem lost and ignorant about how to act and react. I was really looking forward to this one but it has turned out to be a huge disappointment.  Sana Kapur has inherited her parents’ acting genes and may have a bright career ahead of her.

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The animated sequences seem unnecessary and the purpose of the movie is torn between making it a fairytale on one hand and a sermon on not treating overweight people in an unfair manner. The director has so many loose ends to tie, like Pankaj Kapur’s past, Shahid Kapur’s past, Alia’s insomnia, their family’s money issues, Sanaa’s weight and he is so overworked with all this burden that he has no idea how to treat any of it in a better way.

This movie had potential but alas, wastes it and let’s the audience down. The music is good though and I raise my rating by one, just for that. You can give this one a miss.

My Rating: 2/5