Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Kangana’s show all the way…

tanu-fullsize-story_032315071434Some movies go beyond their expectations due the brilliant performances by the cast, ”Tanu Weds Manu returns” is one such movie wherein the performances not only camouflages the overall flaws but raises the standard of the movie.

Himanshu Sharma’s story of “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” starts four year hence Tanu & Manu’s marriage when domestic problems crop up and they decide to part ways, the story takes a turn when Manu (Madhavan) meets Tanu’s look alike Kusum a.k.a Datto (Kangana Ranaut) and decides to marry her, do Tanu & Manu sort out their differences and re-unite or they part ways forms the crux of the story.

Himanshu Sharma keeps the spirit intact in the sequel as well which was the USP of the first part. The screenplay and story explores the couple’s life after marriage. The screenplay is quite fast and engaging other than a few sequences like Komal’s kidnapping which has no relevance to the main story line. Second half the pace becomes a bit slow due to too many songs. Himanshu scores high in conceptualizing and writing the character of Datto which becomes the major highlight as well as the USP of the movie. Rest of the characters is repeated from the sequel. The love story between Manu & Datto is captured with sensitivity and innocence. Himanshu showcases two type of outlook towards women in our society, one that of Tanu’s family who though being from a small town are open minded towards their daughter, and on other side Datto’s family who though Datto being a successful athlete are orthodox of her choice of life partner.

It is the dialogues which is the biggest highlight of the movie. It is in sync with the flavor of a small town and it is witty and gives you the laughs and makes the movie engaging. Rather the dialogues by Himanshu kind of overcome the flaws of the screenplay.

Performance wise the movie scores the highest and the shining star is Kangana’s portrayal of both Tanu and Kusum a.k.a Datto, her portrayal of Tanu as the bohemian free spirited is an extension from the first part but it the portrayal of Datto, the Haryanvi athlete from Delhi University steals your heart. Kangana’s body language to her get up to her dialect of Datto everything is so spot on that you sometimes feel that it is being portrayed by a different actor, another award winning performance by Kangana. Madhavan as Manu underplays himself and acts mostly by his eyes, which was the most endearing part. Deepak Dobriyal out did himself with this movie as Pappi, though in the first part he does show the spark but in the sequel he excels so much that he overshadows other actors in the frame at times, definitely an excellent portrayal. Jimmy Shergill as Raja Bhaiya again gives a restrained performance; he is one actor who has been underutilized by Bollywood. Rajesh Sharma as Datto’s brother has a brief and gives an impactful performance. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Chintu shines in his brief undefined role. Rest of the cast consisting of Swara Bhaskar, Ejaz Khan, Rajendra Gupta, Navni Parihar, K K Raina, Dipti Mishra do a brilliant job…

Music which was the highlight of the prequel, does not disappoint us in the sequel as well, the highlight being “Banno” by the newbie Tanisk & Vayu and “Ghani Bawri” sung by Jyoti Nooran and the “Old School Girl” rendered by Kalpana Gandharv brings a smile to your face.

Anand L Rai has been successful in keeping the basic ethos of the movie and extracting out some of the best performances by the cast, especially by Kangana Ranaut. Anand’s major highlight has been capturing the stories from small towns and characters as well which connects with the viewers well, and he does not disappoint us with “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”…
A MUST watch… I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Watch the trailer

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Official Trailer : Hamari Adhuri Kahani

Hamari_Adhuri_Kahani_First_Look_PosterWith “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” Mahesh Bhatt  again goes in autobiographical mode for this story. It is based on the love story of his mother Shirin Mohammad Ali, father Nanabhai Bhatt and his step mother. Whenever Mahesh Bhatt has created a story out of his life it has been a remarkable effort. Remember Arth, Janam, Zakhm and Woh Lamhe. Well we hope that “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” also creates the same impact as it did with the previous movies.

It has an impressive cast of Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao, Sara Khan, Madhurima Tuli & Amala Akkineni in a cameo.

Directed by Mohit Suri who is riding high with super success of Aashiqui 2 & Ek Villain, can this movie create a hat trick from him, well we have to wait and watch.

The USP of Vishesh Film’s has been their music, and this movie also has music as its USP with tunes by Jeet Ganguli, Mithoon & Ami Mishra

Produced By Mahesh Bhatt & Mukesh Bhatt and presented by Fox Star Studios, the movie releases on 12th June’15….

The Official trailer gives us an impression of a movie with immense emotional content……let us see whether the viewers gives a Thumbs Up or Thumbs down to “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” on 12th June’15…

Movie Review : Bombay Velvet

Bombay Velvet: Nothing Jazzy about this Velvet

The much awaited Anurag Kashyap mega budget saga “Bombay Velvet” released this Friday. Looking at the track record of Anurag who breaks norms, the same was expected of “Bombay Velvet”. The movie was touted as the best neo noir movie of Bollywood.

But alas the bubble bust and “Bombay Velvet” based on the famous historian Gyan Prakash’s book “Bombay Fables” is just an ordinary movie which is high on the glamour quotient. The story captures the lives of two individuals Johnny (Ranbir Kapoor) and Rosie (Anushka Sharma) and their love story. Set in 1960’s Bombay it chronicles the events which actually made Bombay the Financial Capital of the country which it is today and how the lives changed for the people living in the city.

Screenplay written by Gyan Prakash & Anurag Kashyap and co-written by Vasan Bala & Thani oscillates from being a love story to being a Bombay Velvet Reviewmafia movie and the outcome is a complete chaos. The movie neither could justify being a love story nor being a mafia thriller. The flow of the screenplay is not smooth and looks as if the events were conceptualized in isolation and later put together. In a nutshell it lacks a story line and instead relies heavily on presentation and glamour. Too many characters without any proper graph are another issue with the writing. The second half is a drag and you just wait for the end to happen. Few sequences are stretched unnecessarily.

The dialogues are hardly impressive. It varies from being either serious to outright stupid making the plot more inconsistent.
It is the Production Design by Sonal Sawant which is the biggest highlight of the movie and actually overshadows other aspects. Every aspect is detailed and is flawless. The other highlight is the costume design by Niharika Khan. Every character’s costumes is detailed to the T, especially the costumes of Anushka during the Jazz performances are commendable. Another highlight which makes the movie a worth watch is the cinematography by Rajeev Ravi, he captures the Bombay of 60’s beautifully. Predominantly shot in Sepia tone, it complements the mood of the movie beautifully.

Editing by Prerna Saigal and Hollywood’s Thelma Schoonmaker is another flaw; it could have been more crisp and concise.
Amit Trivedi’s music is the most soothing factor of the movie. Amit’s jazz compositions will be remembered for a long time. Amiabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics go from being poetic to outright chessy what with words like “Dhadham Dhadham” in a song sequence meant to be sad sequence.

Performances by the ensemble cast make the movie bearable. Ranbir as Johnny the fickle minded, short tempered orphan does an earnest job, though I would not say this is his best performance but he tries very hard to overcome the short comings of the writing. Anushka as Rosie the jazz singer is a complete miscast. She lacked the oomph factor which was required for this role, though she brings the innocence but fails to create an overall impact. Karan Johar as the scheming and menacing Kaizad Khambatta does well in whatever was given to him, but looks visibly uncomfortable in the menacing acts. Kay Kay Menon though has a brief role of a detective, but he shines the most and overshadows others. The surprise package of the movie is Satyadeep Mishra as Chimman, Johnny’s best buddy. Satyadeep’s act is effortless and extremely impressive. Siddharth Basu as the Mayor struggles both in language and in performance. Manish Choudhary as Jimmy Mistry is impressive. Rest of the cast does a good job.

Anurag Kashyap ambition unfortunately did not match his vision, which resulted in “Bombay Velvet” being a wannabe mix of Martin Scorsesse and Quinton Tarrantino movie. Kashyap was not clear whether he wanted to make Broadway Musical or a Criminal Thriller or a quintessential love story, a huge disappointment by Anurag Kashyap. I will go with Two and a Half Stars…

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review : Piku

Piku: A “Mishti” Father Daughter relationship… Bong style

Shoojit Sircar right from his first film “Yahaan”(2005) has dabbled in distinct subjects which showcases our society in various forms. “Piku” looks at the father daughter relationship with a refreshing twist.

Juhi Chaturvedi after her impressive debut “Vicky Donor” comes up with a simple yet refreshing story of father daughter relationship. The Piku Movie Reviewplot is a simple tale of Father Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) a hypochondriac and his daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone). The story is essentially the bitter sweet of the father daughter relationship and going to one’s roots. The story does not have any conflicts nor any high voltage drama but still you fall in love with the movie and its characters.

Juhi compensates the wafer thin story with an engrossing screenplay of daily mundane father daughter squabbles and a road trip which changes the course of their respective lives. Every character has been written well whether it is the main lead or the domestic help Budhan. Every sequence is written with minutest details. The humor is subtle but it dominates the theme which is the most incredible quality of the screenplay. Where it fails albeit marginally is giving the story a conclusive end, rest it entertains and takes you back to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee genre of movies.

Dialogues it another big plus of the movie, Juhi Chaturvedi’s tongue and cheek dialogues complements the screenplay and takes the movie a notch higher.

Where the movie makes the biggest impact, it is its performances. Amitabh Bachchan as the quirky Bhashkor Banerjee is brilliant and is another feather in the superstar’s cap. To complement Amitabh’s act, Deepika as Piku gives a sterling performance by far her best till date. But it is Irrfan’s act as Rana Choudhary which steals the show, though a bit under played but Irrfan shines and how. Another highlight performance is Moushumi Chatterjee’s Chobi Mashi act, her free spirited performance makes you fall in love with the character, though it is a brief role. Other actors like Raghuvir Yadav, Jishu Sengupta, Balendra Singh, Swaroopa Ghosh give a good performance making it a worth watch.

Kamlajeet Negi’s camera work is simple yet captivating and complements the plot. Veera Kapur’s costumes are absolutely apt and done with minutest details.

Music by Anupam Roy flows with the narration and extremely soulful, though songs are at the back ground but helps in taking the plot further.

Shoojit Sircar again shows his mettle with “Piku” and yet again proves that to tell a good story you do not need a big canvas….
“Piku” is like a fresh air which rejuvenates and lingers in your memory long after it is over….A DEFINITE WATCH…I will go with Four & A Half Stars….

Movie Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Movie Review: Gabbar Is Back

Gabbar Is Back: Old Bottle New Wine

Gabbar PosterWell as the name suggests “Gabbar Is Back” is your quintessential Bollywood action pot boiler albeit with a slight freshness in the presentation.

After the critically acclaimed “Baby”, Akshay Kumar is back playing what he is best at, an action hero who punches the goons, does somersaults and kicks in flying motion, in short our own Bollywood masala hero.

“Gabbar Is Back” is the remake of 2002 tamil hit “Ramanna” Directed & Written by A R Murugadoss. A R Murugadoss’s story does not have any new plot to offer, what with our lead Aditya (Akshay Kumar) plays soft hearted crusader who fights against corruption and punishes corrupt Govt. official with a pseudo name “Gabbar”.

The story & screenplay is extremely predictable, but there has been an effort with additional screenplay by Rajat Arora to make the screenplay more contemporary and to add flavor of Bollywood. A few sequences like hospital sequence or the initial kidnapping sequences makes the movie impactful in the first half but the freshness and nuance factor fades away in the second half. More cardboard characters are introduced including the arch typical villain Digvijay Patil (Suman Talwar). Especially the climax becomes too preachy.

Dialogues by Rajat Arora have nothing new to offer and sounds too pompous and extremely over the top.
It is the performance of Akshay Kumar as Aditya a.k.a “Gabbar” which binds the movie. Akshay is extremely comfortable playing the character and looks at ease which adds to the overall impact of the character. Shruti Hasan has a very brief role of a typical chirpy girl which she tries hard to make it look convincing and is successful to some extent. Suman Talwar as Digvijay Patil plays the arch typical villain with flaring nostrils and angry face, in nut shell nothing new. Jaideep Ahlawat as the CBI inspector Kuldeep Pahwa hams incessantly and literally shouts his dialogues. Sunil Grover as Sadhuram puts an honest effort and gives us a convincing performance. Not much to be said of the rest of the cast.

Krish ,the debutant director in Hindi films who is big name of Telugu movies, fails to do complete justice and the stale story & screenplay did not help as well. Where Krish scores is in the overall presentation which has a slight freshness….

The rest of the technical team does not impress too much….Even the production value is low considering the movie coming from Bhansali Productions which is known for its opulent production value…

If you are a diehard Akshay Kumar fan then you may like the movie, others please wait for the television premiere…I will go with Two & a Half Star….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)