Movie Review: Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive

Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive: A half baked satire which could have been better

Tere-Bin-Laden-Dead-or-Alive Movie ReviewBollywood has not been too successful with sequels, excluding an off case of Munnabhai series wherein “Lage Raho Munnabhai” was better than the prequel…

“Tere Bin Laden” in 2010 was a surprise hit, wherein a satire was presented extremely well by director Abhishek Sharma. Actor Pradhuman Singh became famous as a Osama Bin Laden look alike…

I guess it was the success of the prequel which motivated the film maker to make a sequel. “Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive” starts with the making of “Tere Bin Laden” by director Sharma (Manish Paul) who meets Paddi Singh (Pradhuman Singh) and decides to make a movie on Osama Bin Laden. The movie becomes a hit but all the accolades are taken by Ali Zafar the lead of the movie. Sharma & Paddi Singh is left high & dry. In the mean time America kills Osama Bin Laden and the world media ask its President (Iman Crosson) for the proof of Osama death. The president asks his associate David (Sikander Kher) to look out for a solution. David stumbles upon a video of the movie “Tere Bin Laden” and he comes up with an idea of shooting a video with the Osama look alike Paddi Singh wherein the entire sequence of Osama’s killing is shot. In the mean time an arms dealer in Pakistan Khaleeli (Piyush Mishra) whose business is down due to the killing of Osama Bin Laden also stumbles upon the video of “Tere Bin Laden” and he wants to kidnap Paddi Singh to make a video and show the world that Osama is alive. So what happens to Paddi Singh whether the Americans get him or the terrorists is what the movie is all about…

Story written by director Abhishek Sharma himself is a half baked satire and more of a mockery. The screenplay again written by Abhishek Sharma with Neha Sharma looks more like a mesh mash of sequences put together as a screenplay. The main issue of the writing is its flow which is not cohesive and every sequence looks dis-jointed. But we have to give to Abhishek & Neha who have been successful in putting in some punches which make you laugh like the “Olympia E Dahshat” sequence or the whole kidnapping sequence is hilarious. The first part excluding the beginning wherein too much time is spent on the making of “Tere Bin Laden” still holds on and you have enough laughs. It is the second half where the movie slips and the punches look repetitive and monotonous. The climax is actually extremely clumsy and does not end on high as its prequel. After the movie only three characters remain with you Paddi Singh, David and Khaleeli, rest of the characters does not have enough meat in the writing to create an impact. Overall a very average writing…

The dialogues by actor Pradhuman Singh try to lift the screenplay. I must say it is the dialogues which is the saving grace of the movie, especially that of Paddi Singh which gives you the laughs…

It is actor Pradhuman Singh as Paddi Singh who creates the maximum impact in the movie, though it is repeat act from the prequel but it does not look monotonous even a wee bit, all thanks to Pradhuman’s excellent performance. Another actor who makes an impact is Sikander Kher as David Chaddha, I think this is Sikander’s best film till date. Sikander gets enough screen time and does justice to it as well. Manish Paul as director Sharma fails to create an impact and looks lost, though he tried very hard but you can feel that his spontaneity which is seen more in his hosting is missing. Piyush Mishra as Khaleeli yet again proves what a brilliant actor he is, and also shows that he can excel in comedy as well. Rest of the cast like Sugnadha Garg, Iman Crosson, Rahul Singh, Chirag Vohra does not create too much of an impact. Ali Zaffar hams in his cameo which was completely not needed.

The production design by Wasiq Khan looks a tad shoddy and at times amateurish, I may say a bit over the top especially the choppers look like cardboard boxes… Cinematography by Amalendu Chaudhary also was inconsistent. Chandan Arora’s editing could have been better. Overall the technical aspect of the movie could have been better…

Music by Ram Sampath & Ali Zaffar fails to impress….

Abhishek Sharma had a brilliant concept and idea but somehow fails to implement both in the sense of engaging script and technical finesse, but where he wins brownie points is getting crackling performance by Pradhuman Singh, Sikander Kher & Piyush Mishra…

It won’t be too much to say that the movie is worth a watch for Chaddi Singh a.k.a Pradhuman Singh, I will go with Two & Half a stars….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review: Aligarh

Aligarh: Manoj Bajpai all the way…

Till now Homosexuality or gay characters are shown as caricatures in Bollywood, and gay jokes are used more for comic situations and shown in bad light.

Well “Aligarh” changes it once and for all, Hansal Mehta has taken special care in handling a sensitive subject and done a commendable job. “Aligarh” is based on the true events of Dr. Srinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor and HOD of Department of Modern Indian Languages in Aligarh University. On 8th Feb 2010 two strangers from local news channel of Aligarh barged into Dr Siras’s (Manoj Bajpai) house and made a video of Dr Siras and a rickshaw puller in a compromising position. On 9th Feb 2010, Dr Siras is suspended from Aligarh University for misconduct. A journalist Deepu Sebastian (Rajkumar Rao) after reading this meets Dr Siras and writes the true story of Dr Siras and raises questions on Aligarh University’s suspension of Dr Siras. The article gets people’s attention and an NGO decides to fight the case of Dr Siras against Aligarh University. Dr Siras wins the case on 1st April, 2010 but is found dead in mysterious circumstances on 7th April 2010….aligarh-movie-review

Story written by Ishani Banerjee explores the events Dr Siras from 8th Feb’2010 and chronicles the events there after with utmost sensitivity and care. Her writing is less judgemental and more factual which raises pertinent questions on Sec 377 and right of an individual to choose his/her sexual preference and whether an individual should be victimised for his sexual orientation. The beauty of Ishani’s writing is its characterization, especially of Dr Siras which tries to explore the real Dr Siras and his pathos…

Screenplay by Apurva Asrani takes a step further with narration of the events on screen. But the pace is an issue, which oscillates from being extremely slow to abrupt. The court case is shown more as a background and ends abruptly, I felt some more screen time should have been given to the court proceedings. The other flaw in the screenplay is the relationship of Deepu and Dr Siras was not explored to the fullest. Otherwise the writing does complete justice to the subject and handles it sensitively….

It is Manoj Bajpai who owns the movie and does a spectacular job of Dr Siras, from his demeanour to his body language to way he speaks, everything is spot on. Manoj speaks a thousand words through his eyes. All the pathos and loneliness is depicted brilliantly by Manoj through his eyes, actually you start feeling his pain that is how brilliant he is. Rajkumar Rao as the journalist Deepu Sebastian complements Manoj’s performance with his carefree portrayal of a rookie journalist. Ashish Vidyarthi as the lawyer Ashish Grover makes an impact with his no nonsense portrayal; rather it is good to see Ashish back in Bollywood. The rest of the cast also does a brilliant job…

For a movie to succeed in connecting with the audience it is essential to have the right ensemble cast and I must mention Mukesh Chabra the casting director for getting it RIGHT as far as the casting is concerned for “Aligarh”.

Cinematography of Satya Rai Nagpaul captures the mood perfectly and blends with the narration. Production design by Indranil Chowdhury is apt and you feel as if the movie has been shot in the real locations. Pia Benegal’s costume design gives the right texture to the characters…

Hansal Mehta yet again proves that he is a pro in handling sensitive subjects with élan. The sensitivity in the subject is dealt; it is beyond doubt the best movie on homosexuality. And his combination with Manoj Bajpai definitely a Director actor combo to look out for in the future…

I will go with Three & a Half stars….

Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)

 

Official Trailer: Ki & Ka

Ki_and_Ka_Official_TrailerTrust R Balki to come up with something extremely different right from his first movie “Cheeni Kum” (2007), Paa (2009), Shamitabh (2015) and now “Ki & Ka”….

“Ki & Ka” as the name sounds different so is the plot wherein Kia (Kareena Kapoor) and Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) our quintessential urban modern couple do a role reversal, where Kabir decides to be the house husband and Kia decides to be the career woman who will take care of house hold expenses. So will our Indian society accept this unusual couple is what the movie is all about….R Balki himself has written the script….

R Balki has taken an unusual pairing of Kareena Kapoor & Arjun Kapoor and the rest of the cast comprises of Swaroop Sampat (making a comeback), Rajit Kapoor and Amiabh Bachchan & Jaya Bachchan in a cameo….well quite an interesting cast I must say…

R Balki again teams up with P C Sreeram for cinematography and for music he again teams up with Illaiyaraja, but to give a contemporary sound Balki has also used Mithoon and Meet Bros Anjan to score the music for Ki & Ka…

The movie has been produced by R Balki, Sunil Lulla, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala & R K Damani….under Hope Productions and distributed by Eros International….

The movie releases on “Fools Day”, 1st April’16….till then enjoy the Official Trailer…..

Movie Review: Neerja

Neerja: A befitting tribute to brave heart Neerja Bhanot

Neerja Movie ReviewMovies based on real life incidents are very difficult to make as the people are aware of most of the facts and to top it all are aware of the outcome in such a scenario it is a challenge for the director and the writers to weave in a screenplay which keeps the audience glued till the end….

“Neerja” is based on the PAN AM plane highjack incident of 1986 in Karachi where the flight purser Neerja Bhanot saved the lives of 329 passengers from the Palestine terrorists. Neerja (Sonam Kapoor) a senior purser of PAN AM and a part time model boards PAN AM Flight 73 on 5th September 1986 to New York via Karachi and Frankfurt. When the flight lands in Karachi early morning 5th Sept’86 it is high jacked by Palestine terrorists, who had a plan to fly the plane to Cyprus and force the Government to free the Palestine terrorists who have been jailed. But their plan hits a road block when the pilot crew of the flight escape from the cock pit. The passengers and the rest of the crew are stranded with the terrorists in the flight not knowing what will happen. How Neerja with her intelligence and bravery is successful in saving the lives of the passengers forms the crux of the story.

One of the biggest highlight of the movie is its story and screenplay by Saiwyn Quadras. The screenplay captures the string of events in a thriller format keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Saiwyn beautifully weaves in back story of Neerja Bhanot’s failed marriage in the screenplay. Where the screenplay scores the highest is its characterization, whether it Neerja Bhanot’s characterization or her mother’s Rama Bhanot’s characterization or her father Harish Bhanot, even the terrorists, every character has been written with utmost precision which eventually elevates the narration. Another highlight of the screenplay is its pace which does not slow even for a moment but still it has the emotional quotient intact. The mother daughter track is the best track of the movie; it gives you the moments and also builds the tension. Saiwyn has been successful in maintaining the tension all throughout the movie without making it melodramatic and keeping it as realistic as possible. Though I felt a back story of why the terrorists high jacked the plane would have been put an extra edge to the narration, but overall the screenplay is the winner….

Dialogues by Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh are real and believable without any melodrama or any discourses on patriotism or bravery. To keep it realistic the dialogues of the terrorists have been kept in their native language with sub titles without trying to explain in Hindi which does not hamper the narration. The best dialogue off course is in the climax which gives the last bit of finishing touch to the story of a brave heart Neerja Bhanot…..

Second highlight of the movie are its performances, Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot makes it her own and gives a crackling performance, frankly her best till date. To be honest I had written off the movie even before watching “Neerja” as I thought that Sonam Kapoor was a wrong choice for the movie, but I am happy to say that I was wrong. But the best performance has been of Shabana Azmi as Neerja’s mother Rama Bhanot, she underplays her character as a house wife in the beginning but slowly and steadily displays the strength of a tough woman as the movie progresses. Shabana Azmi kills it in the climax with her performance and ends the movie on a high. Yogendra Tikku as Neerja’s father Harish Bhanot also does a brilliant job of a supportive father. Music composer Shekhar Ravjiani debuts in a cameo of Neerja’s lover Jaideep, and he shines in the cameo though there was not much to be done. Jim Sarbh as the hot tempered terrorist Khalil is the most impactful performance of the movie. Jim’s portrayal exudes tension in the narration and the unpredictable streak kept the audience guessing. Rest of the cast also does a commendable job making the movie worth a watch…

Third highlight of the movie is the back ground score by Vishal Khurana which enhanced the tension of the narration. Vishal did not make it jarring or overpowering the sequences, but blended with the narration….

Fourth highlight of the movie it is production design by Aparna Sud and Anna Ipe, recreating the PAN AM flight to Karachi Airport to a middle class house everything is done with precision and with eye on details. Especially the PAN AM flight, no where will you feel that it is a set….

Ram Madhwani  in his first Hindi and second movie as a director (his first movie was the highly acclaimed Boman Irani starrer “Let’s Talk” in 2002) showcases his genius well. Right from the research for the story to extracting brilliant performances from the cast, especially Sonam Kapoor to an engaging narration, Ram has hit the bull’s eye. He really has proved that he is director to watch out for and you do not need to be melodramatic to show bravery or patriotism, it can be subtly done with realism and yet can create an impact….

A movie NOT TO be missed and worth a watch I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Latest Movie Trailers: Kapoor & Sons

Kapoor & Sons- Synopsis

Dharma Production is back with a triangular love story “Kapoor & Sons” which is primarily a story of two brothers Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) who fall for the same girl Tia (Alia Bhatt). Well you wonder what is new, the new twist is the backdrop of a dysfunctional family of the Kapoors which includes the GrandpaOfficial Trailer of Kapoor & Sons (Rishi Kapoor), the parents played by Rajat Kapoor the father and Ratna Pathak Shah the mother. Written by Ayesha Devitre Dhillon and Shakun Batra “Kapoor & Sons” is a heady mix of a triangular love story with a quirky dysfunctional element makes it a bit different…

The ensemble cast of Rishi Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Rajat Kapoor & Ratna Pathak Shah makes it more compelling…

Shakun Batra is back wearing the director’s hat for the second time after “Ek Main Aur Ek Tum”(2012). Dharma Production’s latest offering has music by a band of music directors Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Fazilpuria, Arko Parvo Mukherjee, Benny Dayal, Nucleya & Tanishka Bagchi, well which makes the music much awaited…

The cinematography is by Jeffery F Bierman and Edited by Shivkumar V Panickar…..

“Kapoor & Sons” is produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar & Apoorva Mehta and distributed by Fox Star Studios and hits theatres 18th March 2016….

Till then enjoy the Official Trailer Below….

Movie Review: Ghayal Once Again

Ghayal Once Again: Hardly anything to be “Ghayal” About

Ghayal Once Again Movie ReviewOnce upon a time in Bollywood there was a genre called the Deol genre which meant shouting in the name of acting and Super human powers accompanied with “Dhai Kilo ka Haath” where people used to fly if Sunny Deol gave them one punch, the adrenalin rush made box office hits. But that was 1990’s but now we are in 2016, and today Bollywood movies have seen a sea change in the way the movies are made and presented….

But unfortunately “Ghayal Once Again” belongs to the 1990’s genre of Bollywood action movies where the hero is the supreme power and has the capacity to change the society single handedly….

So the story of “Ghayal Once Again” starts where “Ghayal” (1990) ends and Ajay Mehra (Sunny Deol) who is out of jail and suffering for nero issues (which is not made clear whether it was mental issue or neuro issue)and runs an honest newspaper “Satyakam” which is famous for its various sting operations and expose. Things changes for Arun when his good friend and confidant Ex ACP Joe D’Souza (Om Puri) gets killed in an accident, but his whole world gets completely changed when a bunch of college kids comprising of Rohan (Shivam Patil), Anushka (Aanchal Munjal), Varun (Rishab Arora)  and Zoya (Daina Khan) accidental shoot the video of Joe D’Souza’s murder by city’s richest businessman Raj Bansal’s( Narendra Jha) son Kabir Bansal (Abhilash Kumar) and the real reason of Joe D’Souza’s death surfaces. Is Arun able to get justice for Joe’s murder is what the movie is all about..

Story written by Shaktimaan Talwar, Sagar Pandya and Sunny Deol himself and screenplay by Sanjay Masoom & Vishal Vijay Kumar tries to re-create “Ghayal” through its main protagonist Arun Mehra, but somehow fails miserably. The main issue of the story & the screenplay is its confused genre whether it is a movie on youth or a revenge drama or a thriller or an out and out action movie, till the end the audience could not make out. Just showcasing technological advancement does not make it a modern and contemporary movie. “Ghayal Once Again” tries to be under the shadow of its original “Ghayal”, but the problem is times have changed and the way a story is narrated is completely different in 2016 than how it was told in 1990. The screenplay follows the age old style of narration which falls flat, especially in the second half when unnecessary emotional twists are introduced which has no relevance what so ever. All the characters including the main protagonist Arun Mehra look like card board characters straight out of a below average Bollywood potboilers from the 80’s….

The dialogues by Vishal Vijay Kumar is too 90’s and sounds artificial. Having some English dialogues does not necessarily mean that it is today’s lingo. None of the dialogues make any impact in this high octane melodrama…

The biggest flaw of the movie are its performances, starting from Sunny Deol as Arun is over the top and repetitive shouting and screaming in the name of acting really bogs you down. The young debutants Shivam Patil, Anchal Munjal, Diana Khan and Rishab Arora are complete wash out as far as their performances goes, they look outright unconvincing. Narendra Jha as Raj Bansal is the only decent performance amongst the entire cast, though weak writing puts his performance down. Soha Ali Khan as Dr Rhea looks perpetually lost throughout the movie. Manoj Joshi as the Home Minister Appa Saheb overacts and hams incessantly. Other actors like Ramesh Deo, Zakir Hussain, Sachin Khedekar, Tisca Chopra, Neena Kulkarni, Nadira Babbar and Om Puri are wasted in small roles.

Sunny Deol as a director has only emphasised on the CGX which I must say is good, but fails to put a soul into the movie neither through its writing nor by extracting good performances from his ensemble cast. Sunny Deol’s first movie “Dillagi” was still better than “Ghayal Once Again”. In this movie Sunny completely looses track of what he intends to show….

Definitely an extremely weak attempt…I will go with One and a Half star….

Movie Rating: (1.5 / 5)