Trailer of 1989’s Blockbuster Movie MAINE PYAR KIYA

NOSTALGIA….the movie that made Super Star Salman Khan….Trailer of the Blockbuster hit of 2009 “Maine Pyar Kiya”….Re-visiting old memories when watching a movie was an event….I am sure many will have some memories to share associated with this movie

Movie Review Filmistaan

Filmistaan: Worth a watch for all movie buffs….

Nitin Kakkar’s “Filmistaan” at last had a commercial release after 2 years doing the rounds of Film Festivals and winning various awards since 2012, the most renowned award being the National Award for best feature film in Hindi in 2012

“Filmistaan” is a heartwarming story of how films bind two warring nations India & Pakistan. It is a simple story of a wannabe actor and movie buff Sunny Arora (Sharib Hashmi) who is struggling to become an actor and who gets an opportunity to work as an Assistant Director with an American Crew for a documentary in Rajasthan. During the Rajasthan outdoor shoot Sunny gets kidnapped by the terrorists by mistake and is taken to Pakistan and held captive in a small village near the border. In this village he befriends Aftaab (Inaamulhaq) another movie buff who has a business of selling pirated CD’s of Bollywood movies. How their friendship becomes stronger and what partition is meant for a common person is explored in the rest of the movie beautifully.

The Story and Screenplay written by Nitin Kakkar himself is the strongest point in this movie. It has some funny as well as heartwarming moments which explore the sentiments of the people of both the nations well. Some of the sequences like when the whole village watching “Maine Pyar Kiya” in zapped attention, or how the kids get entertained by Sunny mimicking various actors, or when the video of Sunny is being shot as a captive is hilarious. All the sequences between the two friends Sunny and Aftab are written and executed beautifully. All the characters are written with a lot of depth. It is the climax which I think could have been written much better, it looks hurried and as if the director wanted to finish the film anyhow.

The dialogues written by Sharib Hashmi blends beautifully, this is again hilarious as well as emotional. It lifts the screenplay, like the dialogue when Sunny states to Aftab about a situation if the nation was one then the cricket team would be the stongest with Sachin, Dhoni, Afridi & Shoaib in one team. All in all the writing of the movie is the strongest point.

The second strong point of the movie is its performances. Sharib Hashmi as Sunny Arora is brilliantly portrayed and to compliment Inaamulhaq as Aftab again a brilliant portrayal creates the on screen bond stronger. Kumud Mishra as terrorist Mehmood creates the conflict well and his portrayal of a silent and yet aggressive character is just too good, I hope he gets more opportunities in the near future. Another brilliant performance is of Gopal Dutt playing Jawwad, the complexity of the character is well brought out by Gopal. The rest of the ensemble cast also does a brilliant job, taking the otherwise simple movie into a different level.

Cinematography by Subhranshu Das captures the rawness of the desert well and blends with the narration well. Editing by Sachindra Vats plays a key role in making the movie a worth watch.

Nitin Kakkar does a commendable job without being preachy as to how both nations India and Pakistan have so much in common and especially the Bollywood connect. For a movie buff like me it was delight to watch “Filmistaan”, I will go with 4 Stars…

Movie Review HOLIDAY

Holiday: Nothing to Cheer about this Holiday….

Holiday-A-Soldier-Is-Never-Off-Duty“Holiday-A soldier is never off duty”, yes that is the complete title of the movie which is the remake of Tamil Hit film of 2012 “Thuppakki” staring Vijay and directed by A R Murugadoss.

A R Murugadoss re-creates the same movie in Hindi for Bollywood as his second movie with Akshay Kumar after the blockbuster “Ghajani”. Story & Screenplay by A R Murugadoss is the story of an Army Officer Virat Bakshi (Akshay Kumar) who comes for his annual holiday to Mumbai and look out for a girl for marriage and gets entangled in a web of terrorist attacks which threaten to rock Mumbai through the Sleeper cells.

The story has a novelty wherein a detailed knowledge is given as to how the sleeper cells of the terrorist organizations operate and work but it is the over stretched screenplay of 2 hrs 51 min which completely dilutes the real essence of the movie. The romantic track between Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar is unnecessary and has no connection with the main plot. To justify the romance there are songs which crop in and slows the pace of the movie. The characters also lack depth especially the main villain’s character, there is no background given. The screenplay looks disjointed at times. The Climax is too stretched. A R Murugadoss should have actually concentrated on the main plot of the terrorists and their sleeper cells and made it into a fast paced thriller which unfortunately “Holiday” fails miserably.

Akshay Kumar as Virat Bakshi the main protagonist is at ease in action sequences and when he is following the terrorists but fails miserably in romantic sequences, it is high time that Akshay should try to do some serious thrillers like “Special 26”. Sonakshi Sinha as Saiba Thappar is just for eye candy and does not create any impact in the overall scheme of things, would love to see Sonakshi in movies like “Lootera”. Newcomer Freddy Daruwala as the main villain the Head of the sleeper cells is one dimensional and has only one expression all throughout the movie and does not create any impact. Zakir Hussain is wasted in a brief role. Summet Raghavan as Mukund, Virat’s friend, is the only actor who impresses.

The main highlight of the movie is the action by Greg Powell & Peter Pedro the action directors of the Harry Botter series, Skyfall etc, the action is realistic and believable. Cinematography by N Natarajan Subramaniam is good and captures Mumbai well. Editing by Amitabh Shukla is average and is one of the flaws.

Music by Pritam is average and does not create any impact. Even the choreography by Ganesh Acharya & Bosco-Ceaser is nothing great.

A R Murugadoss fails to create another “Ghajani” and the movie remains half baked, I will go with TWO STARS….

Movie Review Citylights

Citylights : Falls short from being a classic

Citylights re-unites the director actor duo Hansal Mehta & Rajkumar Rao after a superb “Shahid” which won each of them the National Award this year.CityLights

Citylights is an adaptation of 2013 Award winning movie “METRO MANILA” directed by Sean Elllis and Hansal Mehta does complete justice to the original. The story is credited to Sean Ellis the original writer of METRO MANILA; the adapted screenplay is by Ritesh Shah. Ritesh stays true to the original but adapts it to the Indian context of people from smaller towns who migrate to the city of dreams Mumbai expecting to make a better living. Just a piece of advice if you are looking at an entertaining movie then this is definitely not the right choice.

Citylights is the story of Deepak (Rajkumar Rao) and Rakhee (Patralekha) who come to Mumbai from Rajasthan to make a better living but become victim of the shrewd reality of city life. The story by Sean Ellis captures the pathos of a small town guy well in his story and Ritesh’s screenplay captures the nuances well. At times the movie’s pace becomes sluggish especially during song sequences which was unnecessary. Some of the sequences are very well written albeit I felt the climax was a bit hurried and could have been presented well.

It is the performances which make the movie memorable. Rajkumar Rao gives another brilliant performance. His portrayal of Deepak Singh is so realistic that you wonder whether he is really acting. The Dialect to the body language is all up to the mark. Another superb performance is of Manav Kaul who plays Vishnu a friend of Deepak with ulterior motives. After “Kai Po Che” Manav again shows his caliber, this is an actor to look forward to. Sadia Siddique as Vishnu’s wife is good albeit her role is small. Patralekha as Rakhee does show a spark but gets overshadowed by Rajkumar and Manav.

Production Design by Rajat Poddar is realistic. Editing by Apoorva Asrani could have been sharp. Jeet Ganguli’s music is good but does not gel with the narration rather it hampers the pace.

Hansal Mehta’s forte is to get the human emotions bang on and he succeeds in this movie as well but fails a bit in giving it a Thriller edge and finesse in the narration which was the highlight in the original METRO MANILA. I will go with THREE AND A HALF STARS…

Trailer : Humshakals

Sajid Khan strikes back again with another slap stick comedy which has triple role of Saif, Reteish & Ram Kapoor….going by the promo it gives you a feeling of DejaVu….nothing new that you have not seen in Houseful 1 & 2….

Trailer : Bobby Jasoos

Vidya Balan strikes again with “BOBBY JASOOS”, story of a small time wannabe detective who wants to make it BIG…..Vidya disguises many avatars in the movie which is the highlight of the movie….Can Vidya create another Kahani is something we need to wait till 4th July’14…..looking at the trailer the wait should be worth….

Trailer : Humty Sharma ki Dulhania

SOTY pair Varun Dhawan & Alia Bhatt come together in this Dharma style rom com directed by Shashank Khaitan….going by the promo it looks the arch typical Bollywood romance for the NRI market….releasing 11th July’14

Movie Review Kochadaiyaan

Kochadaiyaan: A complete Rajni Masala Entertainer in animation

kochadaiyaan ReviewKochadaiyaan is India’s first movie made on the technology of Motion Capture, a technique used in Hollywood movies like Avatar, Tintin & Bewoulf. Do not expect the finesse like its Hollywood counterpart, but the attempt is worth an applaud for the director Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin.

Having Super Star Rajnikanth was enough to make the movie a blockbuster but taking a path which was not explored in Bollywood and more so animation movies are not taken seriously in India, for Soundarya to try something out of the box is commendable.

But it is not only the technology but the story and screenplay by K. S. Ravikumar which is fast paced with trademark Rajni style histrionics and a story which is appealing, in short a complete Entertainer.

Kochadaiyaan is a story based in the 8th century, which tells the tale of Rana, Kochaiyaan’s son who avenges his father’s death. It could have been a mundane revenge drama but K.S. Ravikumar keeps it interesting with a lot of twists and turns.

Rajni as usual is the highlight of the movie with a double role of father Kochadaiyaan and son Rana and Rajni as usual does not disappoint, he is bang on with his histrionics and charisma. Deepika Padulone as Princess Vandhana does not have much to do but suits the part albeit her animation is the worst as compared to other actors. Jackie Shroff as Raja Mahendra does a good job so does Naseer as King Rishikodagan. Shobhana and Sarath Kumar are wasted in brief roles.

Music by A R Rahman is apt as per the movie, though the songs are not memorable or hummable. Cinematography by Rajiv Menon is impressive. Neeta Lulla’s costume design is as per the period. Editing by Antony is crisp and keeps the pace.

After Rajni it is Soundarya’s direction which is the highlight of the movie. Overall the movie is a total masala entertainer; I will go with 3 stars….

Movie Review Heropanti

Heropanti : A well designed Launch Vehicle for Tiger Shroff

On the onset let me set the expectations that Heropanti is no classic and is a complete launch vehicle for Tiger Shroff.

The story and script written by Sanjeev Dutta is primarily focusing on the main protagonist played by Tiger. Heropanti is a quintessential love story of a rich girl Dimpy played by Kriti Sanon and a middle class guy Babloo played by Tiger Shroff. The screenplay is very smartly designed so that there are enough opportunities for histrionics, action and dance for Tiger. The problem with the script is with the characters which do not have any depth and are cardboard like. Babloo’s character does not have any background and his families, the characters of his parents are conspicuous by their absence. The dialogues are witty and all the best lines are reserved for Tiger. The dialect of the dialogues is inconsistent. In a love story the chemistry between the lead pair is essential but unfortunately it is absent.


Tiger is undoubtedly a STAR with his forte of action and dance he creates enough impact and “Ceeti” (Whistle) moments for the audience but as far as his acting abilities are concerned he needs to work hard especially on his Hindi dialect. Debutant Kriti Sanon who plays Dimpy shows spark. Prakash Raaj as Dimpy’s father creates impact but the scripts fails him. Other casts are average.

Music by Sajid Wajid is melodious, especially Rabba and Raat Bhar. Cinematography by Hari Vedantam gives a fairy tale feel and is decent. Choreography by Ahmed Khan in “Raat Bhar” gives enough scope to Tiger to show his dancing skills, similar is for Ganesh Acharya for “Whistle Baja”. Anal Arasu’s action exploits Tiger’s ability well and the action sequences are well shot.

Director Sabir Khan shows a growth as a director after “Kambaqt Ishq” and exploits and showcases Tiger’s ability to the hilt but overall Sabir gives us an average fair, but Tiger shines. I will go with TWO AND A HALF STARS….

Trailer : It’s Entertainment

“It’s Entertainment” is an upcoming Bollywood comedy film directed by debutant duo Sajid-Farhad. Sajid and Farhad have become Bollywood’s most bankable writers thanks to their witty one liners in super hit films like ‘Bol Bachchan’, ‘Housefull 2‘, ‘Ready‘, ‘Golmaal Returns‘ and ‘Golmaal 3‘, among others. The movie has a lead pair of Akshay Kumar and Tamanah Bhatia…..


Checkout the Review of Entertainment

Trailer : Ek Villain

After the super success of Aashiqui 2 Mohit Suri returns to the thriller genre with Balaji Telefilms “Ek Villain”…..Sidharth Malhotra after the soft romantic roles of SOTY and Hansee to Phansee comes up in a new avatar in this movie…..Shradha Kapoor pairs with Sidharth…Riteish Deshmukh will be seen in a completely different role which the makers are keeping under wraps….”Ek Villain” releases on 27th June’14….

Trailer : Citylights

From the National Award winning combination of Director Hansal Mehta and actor Rajkumar Rao comes another heart riveting tale of immigrants from smaller towns to Mumbai to fulfill their dreams….the promo gives an experience of a hard hitting tale….releasing 30th May’14

Trailer : Holiday

Akshay Kumar playing the role of an Army Officer… A R Murugadoss (Ghajini fame) directed “Holiday”…..the promo looks promising….releasing 6th June’14….

Movie Review : The Xpose

The Xpose: Too much Xpose of nothing

The Xpose claims to be inspired by true incidents from Bollywood of the 60’s. Anant Mahadevan tries to re-create the magic of 60’s through a murder mystery.

The Xpose

The main issue of the movie is the plot and story which is hackneyed and predictable which is a curse for a murder mystery and it is credited to none other than Himesh Reshamiya (Gawd first Music, then acting and now writing). Himesh Reshamiya and Jainesh Ejardar ‘s screenplay is just a mish mash of headline stories of Bollywood gossip columns of 60’s and 70’s. So it has an eccentric superstar, rivalry and catfight between 2 actresses, Publicity being used to make a film successful and the list goes on. In short it has everything which we have seen in many previous movies based on Bollywood, and the only twist is the murder mystery which is extremely half baked and looks amateurish. There are too many characters which has no relevance to the core story at all. Dialogues by Bunty Rathore is very 80’s and at times unintentionally funny.

Not much can be said about the performance as well. Himesh Reshamiya as the quirky super star Rajiv Kumar is monotonous and at times wooden. The two debutant actresses Zoya Afroz and Sonali Raut are average and are only there for skin show. Yo Yo Honey Singh as KD sleep walks through the movie. Other actors like Anant Mahadevan himself, Nakul Vaid, Bharat Dhabolkar, Jesse Randhawa are average and are lost in the half baked narration. The two bright actors Irfan Khan and Adil Hussain are wasted in a cameo.

Cinematograhy by Maneesh Chandra Bhatt gives the glossy look which is the only redeeming factor in the movie. Rest of the departments like costumes which is credited to a host of designers lacks the accuracy of its era portrayed and it imitates the Great Gatsby look. Production design also looks straight out of the Great Gatsby. I guess the reference point was “The Great Gatsby”.

Music by Himesh Reshamiya is good but too many songs slackens the pace of the narration. Choreography by Ganesh Acharya especially “Ice cream Khaoge” is lavish, again it imitates “The Great Gatsby” blatantly.

Overall a half baked movie by Anant Mahadevan, I will go with ONE Star….

Movie Review : Children of War

Children Of War: Ugly face of War portrayed Well

1971 Bangladesh war against Pakistan has a lot of facets which has not been discussed or shown. One of it is the genocide and the rape of woman by the Pakistani soldiers.

Debutant director & writer Mritunjay Devvrat creates a captive story and narration of the ugly face of 1971 Bangladesh war. Mritunjay takes the facts and creates a fictional story around the genocide and rape of Bangladeshi woman by the Pakistani soldiers so that they give birth to children with Pakistani blood.

The screenplay is gruesome and it makes you think about the pain and anguish which the people of Bangladesh may have faced. This movie is definitely not for the faint Children Of Warhearted. Mritunjay presents different stories of various people and their sufferings at various levels. The screenplay is moving and captures incidents with minute details but it is a bit long and a few sequences are dragged. One of the flaws is the climax wherein Mrityunjay takes a safe route to end the movie.

The ensemble cast comprising of Farooq Sheikh (his last film), Indraneil Sengupta, Raima Sen, Tillotama Shome, Pavan Malhotra, Ridhi Sen, Joy Sengupta, Rucha Inamdar & Victor Banerjee do a splendid job. But Pavan Malhotra as the Mallik the Pakistani Chief does a brilliant job of menacing and calculative chief. Ridhi Sen who portrays the village boy Rafiq is splendid in a complex character which goes through a complete makeover from a simple innocent village boy to a rebel. Tillotama Shome as the the fearless Bhitika steals the show. And above all Farooq Sheikh’s portrayal as Mojid is a delight, we will really miss him.

Cinematography by Fasahat Khan is breath taking and captures the mood of the movie aptly. Production Design by Angelica Monica Bhowmik is authentic and successfully creates the 70’s well, the costume design by Amita Bhatnagar is accurate and blends well with the narration.

Kudos to Mritunjay Devvrat for attempting such a controversial and difficult subject and bringing the realities of the 1971 Bangladesh war to fore. I will go with 4 stars….

Trailer : Le Kar Hum Deewana Dil

Raj Kapoor’s Grandson Armaan Jain debuts in this rom com with newcomer Deeksha under the direction of Arif Ali brother of Imtiaz Ali….produced by Armaan’s jijaji Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan….Releasing 4th July…

Movie Review : Hawaa Hawaai

Hawaa Hawaai : Inspirational movie on making dreams come true

Amol Gupte has a forte of working with kids whether it was Taare Zameen Par, Satnley Ka Dabba or now Hawa Hawai

Amol again teams up with his son Partho and gives a riveting tale of Arjun Waghmare (Partho Gupte) a boy working in a tea stall who dreams of learning skating. The story revolves around how Arjun with his bunch of street kid friends make his dream a reality.

The biggest plus of Amol Gupte as a writer is he captures nuances well and keeps the emotions subtle yet heart wrenching and he does the same Hawaa Hawaaiwith Hawa Hawai. The screenplay captures the life of street kids with élan and makes us believe in having dreams and fulfilling it as well. Some of the sequences are written so well that I had a lump. The story & screenplay is bang on albeit it could have been a liitle bit shorter.

Performance wise it is the kids who steal the show, Partho as Arjun is brilliant and in each frame he puts his nuances and makes you fall in love with his character. Ashfaque Bismillah Khan as Gochi the mechanic is incredible, he makes you fall in love from the word go. Salman Chote Khan as Bhura is another jewel of this movie. Maman Meman as Abdul a child labor in a weaving factory touches your heart. It is these kids who take the movie a notch higher. Saqib Salim as the skating instructor as Lucky creates an impact, this is an actor to watch out for. Special mention of Neha Joshi who plays Arjun’s widowed mother is too good; her portrayal is subtle yet impactful. Rest of the cast Makrand Deshpande, Anuj Sachdeva, also does a good job.

Cinematography by Amol Gole & Vikas Sivaraman is warm and captures the slum as well as the high rise apartment with equal impact. Production design by Subrata Chakroborty & Amit Ray is realistic. Music by Hitesh Sonik could have been better.

Amol Gupte again proves that he understands child psychology well and gives us a heart wrenching movie of dreams coming true. I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Review : Manjunath

Manjunath: A Real Life Saga which fails to inspire on celluloid

It is not easy to adapt a real life incident and make it into a full blown 2 hour saga on celluloid.

Director & Writer Sandeep Varma’s motive to make “Manjunath” was to bring the story of unsung hero Manjunath Shanmugham ,a 27 year old IIM, Lucknow pass out who was killed by Oil mafia in UP as he was exposing the racket of oil adulteration in 2005. Sandeep’s intentions are novel but fails badly due to a non cohesive screenplay and shoddy narration.

The screenplay oscillates from Manjunath’s life in IIM to his personal life to his professional life when he joins an oil company and his parent’s struggle to seek justice. Manjunath Movie ReviewOverall the screenplay becomes a mish mash and does not delve on any one aspect.
Sandeep could have made this movie inspirational and crisp by concentrating on his professional life and his fight with the Oil mafia and the uproar after Manjunath is killed.

But the movie does touch you emotionally due to its performances. The debutant actor Sasho Satish Sarathy does an incredible job of portraying Manjunath, his struggle his frustration is aptly portrayed. Seema Biswas as Manjunath’s mother is another highlight performance of the movie. Divya Dutta in a brief role creates an impact. The other cast like Anjorie Alagh, Rajesh Khattar, Yashpal Sharma, Faisal Rashid do a splendid job taking the movie a notch higher.

Sandeep Varma had everything going a splendid cast, an inspiring story and back up of Viacom 18, but alas he fails to put a cohesive screenplay making it less inspirational. I will go with 3 stars solely for the performances and its inspiring real life story.

Review : Hasee Toh Phasee

Hansee To Phasee: A different take on Bollywood’s quintessential Love story

What happens when Karan Johar (Dharma Productions) and Anurag Kashyap (Phantom Productions) come together?…..One production which produces larger than life Bollywood saga and another who are more into small budget realistic Cinema…

Well the combination doesn’t disappoint and offers a quirky love story of two completely different individuals one a directionless youth Nikhil Bharadwaj (Sidharth Malhotra) and other a weird extremely hyper, pseudo girl Meeta (Parineeti Chopra). How they meet for the first time and again Hasee Toh Phaseethey meet after 7 years but the situation is different, now Nikhil is marrying Meeta’s sister Karishma (Adah Sharma). How they come to know each other during the course of the wedding celebrations and fall in love forms the love story of “Hansee to Phasee”.

Though on the onset the story looks extremely hackneyed plot of a quintessential Bollywood triangle love story but where it scores is the character of Meeta, an imperfect girl and Nikhil the dashing dude and their chemistry which turns into a love story. The story and screenplay by Harshvardhan Kulkarni goes few notches higher for brilliantly writing the lead characters and the screenplay has some remarkable moments like all the sequences of Nikhil and Meeta ‘s interactions or the sequence when Meeta re-unites with her father. Though it also has some regular caricature characters of uncle and aunts and brothers seen in such kind of movies.

Another highlight of the movie is its dialogues written by Anurag Kashyap, Vinil Mathew, Harshvardhan Kulkarni & Purva Naresh. The dialogues are realistic and funny at the same time. The dialogues make the screenplay move few notches higher.

It is the performances that make the movie a worthwhile watch especially Pareeniti Chopra’s portrayal of Meeta is just excellent and takes the movie to a different level, right from her body language to the way she talks everything is PERFECT, it won’t be a too much to say that she is the ‘Jaan’ of the movie. Sidharth Malhotra in his second movie shows an exemplary growth in his performance and suits the role of Nikhil to the ‘T’. Adah Sharma as Meeta’s sister Karishma also gives a good performance of a quirky girlfriend who is ready for a break up anytime. The supporting cast like Dilip Joshi, Sarat Saxena etc also do a splendid job.

Cinematography by Sanu John Varghese captures Mumbai well. Music by Vishal Shekhar is average and does not have any song which is worthwhile.

Vinil Mathew’s direction captures the small nuances of a relationship well and is successful in keeping the narrative simple yet engaging and making the story believable. Overall an entertaining movie which is worth a watch. One star extra for Pareeniti Chopra for her brilliant performance.

Review : The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox: A Sumptuous Meal

Ritesh Batra’s first offering is like a three course meal which has all the spices albeit in apt proportion.

The story is of a to be retired Govt Employee Sajan Fernandes (Irfan Khan) a widower and Ila (Namrit Kaur) who is a housewife and whose life exists around her husband Rajeev (Nakul Vaid) and her daughter Yashvi. Ila’s only companion is her neighbor Mrs. Despande (Voice of Bharati Achrekar) who gives her tips how to make her husband happy. One day the lunchbox meant for Rajeev by mistake is delivered to Sajan and it starts a conversation between Sajan and Ila through The Lunchboxletters which they sent to each other in the lunchbox. How the relationship between these two characters blossoms constitutes the crux of the story.

The main hero of the movie is the script and story written by Ritesh Batra. It is poignant, honest and extremely heart wrenching. It captures the loneliness of staying in a big city beautifully. The story is sweet, humorous and at the same time sad, definitely a beautiful mix. The screenplay is slow but the details that it captures somehow compensates to the slow pace. Ritesh has written every sequence with élan. It is undoubtedly one of the best stories of 2013.

Performance wise it is brilliant, what can you expect with Irfan Khan & Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the same frame, it was crackling. But surprise packet is Namrit Kaur as Ila who is relatively new to bollywood but she shines with her riveting performance which matches the likes of Irfan and Nawazuddin, truly brilliant. Her loneliness is depicted quite expressively by her expressions.
Irfan as Sajan is brilliant; his precision in the characterization is to be seen to be believed. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as usual gives another crackling performance. Bharati Achrekar though is only heard as Mrs Deshpande gives a dynamo performance through her voice, she actually gives the comic relief to the proceedings. Another performance by Lilette Dubey who plays Ila’s mother is impactful, though she is actually in two scenes but she does justice to her character.

Cinematography by Michael Simmons captures Mumbai beautifully and gives enough depth to the story. Production design by Shruti Gupte is realistic and minimalistic and does not overcrowd the proceedings of the story.

Ritesh’s direction captures the nuances of the characters correctly and makes the characters believable. He has captured the pains and loneliness of his characters through their expressions.

“The Lunchbox” is a fulfilling meal, the taste of which lingers even after the movie is over. A definite watch. I will go with 4 stars.

Review : Madras Cafe

Madras Café: A complete Political Thriller

Madras Café on the onset is a Political Thriller which does complete justice to the genre. There are very few films in Bollywood which is of this genre and ‘Madras Café ‘will be remembered as one of the cult movies in this genre.

The story is set in 1994 when the civil war between in Sri Lanka between Sinhalis MCand Tamils was at its peak and Vikram Singh (John Abraham) is sent to Jafna to start peace talks between LTF chief Anna (Ajay Ratnam) and Sri Lankan Govt. The peace mission goes horribly wrong, and the mission is aborted resulting in a conspiracy to kill the Ex PM by LTF. The story captures how the conspiracy is hatched and the outcome thereafter.

The story & screenplay by Somnath De & Subendu Bhattacharya is very well written and extremely fast in pace not giving any moment for the pace to drop. The characters are very well written and realistic. Dialogues by Juhi Chaturvedi gels well with the screenplay.

The editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati has done a splendid job in keeping the pace on the edge. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi is brilliant setting the mood of the movie well. The war sequences are shot well by Manoher Verma.
Shoojit Sircar has again proved his versatility with ‘Madras Café’. It was a difficult movie to be made without being preachy and not taking sides and Shoojit has done a brilliant job at that. His command on the medium is amply clear with this movie.

Performance wise John Abraham shines in this movie (after Force), he is convincing and suits the role to the T. Nargis Fakhri who plays a war journalist ‘Jaya’ has a brief role but she does well (maybe because she had all English dialogues). But one actor who shines is Prakash Belawadi who plays ‘Bala’, he actually outshines the rest of the cast with his portrayal. Rest of the support cast like Sidharth Basu, Piyush Pandey etc .also does well.

Overall an entertaining political thriller, I will go with 4 stars…

Trailer : Krish 3

Much awaited Krish 3 Official Trailer

Krrish 3 is an upcoming Bollywood superhero science fiction film. The film will be produced and directed by Rakesh Roshan.[1] The film will continue the story of Rohit Mehra and his superhero son Krrish, after Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish.

Review : Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara

Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara: Not as impactful as the first part

Milan Luthria has a fascination for 70’s & 80’s, and it shows in his last two movies “Once upon A Time in Mumbai”, “The Dirty Picture” and now “Once upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara”.

The first part was an out and out gangster flick wherein it showed Mumbai in the 70’s when mafia was emerging and Sultan (Ajay Devgan) was ruling the city until Shoaib (then played by Imraan Hashmi) his protégé ditches him and takes control of the mafia of Mumbai (then Bombay) and flees to Dubai.

The sequel starts with Shoaib (now played by Akshay Kumar) is the ruler of Mumbai who operates from Dubai. His enemies like Rawal (Mahesh Manjrekar) try an assassination attempt on him in Dubai. In order to teach him a lesson Shoaib returns to Mumbai to kill Rawal with the help of his protégé Aslam (Imran Khan) but eventually falls in love with a struggling actress Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha) not knowing that Aslam his protégé is also in love with Jasmine. Rest of the plot mainly concentrates on the love triangle.

The story & screenplay by Rajat Arora starts off as a gangster flick but ultimately ends up being a love triangle and there is where the film fails to live up to its expectations created by its previous part. The second half is extremely stretched and too many songs slow down the pace and the run time also increases. Another issue is, there are too many characters and sub plots which have no relevance to the main story.
The real highlights of the movie are its dialogues just like its previous part, which is again written by Rajat Arora. Every scene is packed with metaphors & punch line, but at times it also becomes repetitive and monotonous.

Akshay Kumar looks good as the gangster Shoaib but his act becomes repetitive after some time, though it shows he is trying hard. Imran Khan as Aslam is a miscast and never in the whole movie does he look convincing as a henchman, though he is good in the romantic scenes. The surprise packet is Sonakshi Sinha, she lightens up the screen whenever she is there, at times she overshadows Akshay & Imran in a few scenes. Sonali Bendre as Mumtaz (previously played by Prachi Desai in the first part) is wasted but she shines in the 2 scenes that she has in the movie. Mahesh Manjrekar does not impress too much. Abhimanyu Singh does not give the same punch which Randeep Hooda did in the first part. Overall other than Sonakshi Sinha none of the other actors create any impact.

Cinematograhy by Ayananka Bose is superb and captures the Mumbai in 80’s well. Production Design by Priya Suhas is excellent and creates the right ambience of 80’s Mumbai. Costumes by Manish Malhotra & Kunal Rawal do justice to the period. Overall the Cinematography, Production Design & Costume Department takes the movie a few notches above the first part.

Music by Pritam is average and does not have any song which is impactful unlike his scores in the first part.

Director Milan Luthria has gone completely wrong in the casting in this film and other issue is that he is not sure whether he wanted to make love story or a gangster flick. The length is another drawback. I would go with 2 and a half stars….

Review : Chennai Express

Chennai Express: A De-railed Train

Combination of Shahrukh Khan, Rohit Shetty & Deepika Padukone was a right recipe for a sure shot entertainment. But Chennai Express disappoints and How….

The very premise of the movie is hackneyed with glimpses of DDLJ & Jab we Met . Rahul (Shahrukh Khan)  a 40 year old bachelor who embarks on chennai-expressa journey to Rameswaram to submerge his grandfather’s ashes , but in his journey  he meets Meena (Deepika Padukone) in the train “Chennai Express” who is the daughter of the local Don of Konnam village Durgeshwara Azhagusundaram (Satyaraj). Durgeshwara wants his daughter to be married to Tangaballi (Nikitan Dheer) against Meena’s wishes and she runs away from her home and meets Rahul in the train. The journey of Rahul & Meena forms the crux of the plot.

Story & Screenplay by Yunus Sajawal is very clichéd and repetitive. The screenplay is neither a complete love story neither a comedy. Dialogues by Farhad-Sajid do not help either and lacks in humor and becomes monotonous after some time. Though it gives you some sequences which make you smile but then that is it. You keep on waiting for that typical Rohit Shetty Comic moment but it never comes. Another problem is, that the Tamil dialogues does not have subtitles and audiences like me keep wondering what is happening on the screen.

Shahrukh Khan really needs to re-invent himself. He is good but not excellent. His performance borderlines between hamming and good acting. Deepika is pleasant but her accent as a Tamilian is inconsistent. Other actors look more like amateur actors and are over the top.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is very average and there is no memorable tune in the movie. The choreography by Farah Khan (Titli) & Chinni Prakash (Kashmir tu) are lavish and good.

Rohit Shetty ‘s direction is confusing. You keep wondering whether Rohit wanted to make a comedy or a love story. I think even he was confused coz you miss the Rohit Shetty magic which we have seen in his previous movies like the Golmaal trilogy or Bol Bachchan or All the Best.

This is definitely Rohit Shetty’s  average movie and  I will go with 2 & a Half stars…

Review : D-Day

D-Day: Re-defining Patriotism in Indian Cinema

Patriotism in Bollywood  is synonym with Manoj Kumar and his brand of cinema. Chetan Anand and J P Dutta have also contributed equally to the patriotism in Indian Cinema. But Nikhil Advani has tried to re-define patriotism in new India through an espionage genre of movie.

The story is of 3 RAW agents Rudra Pratap Singh(Arjun Rampal), Wali Khan (Irfan) & Huma Qureshi (Zoya)  and a small time assassin Aslam D-Day(Aakash Dahiya)who are  sent to Karachi, Pakistan for Mission Goldman wherein they are supposed to get India’s most wanted criminal Don Ibrahim (Rishi Kapoor) to India.


The story & screenplay by Nikhil Advani, Suresh Nair & Ritesh Shah is well researched and every minute detail is painstakingly correct in the script. It has the right pace of a thriller in the first half till the interval; post interval is when suddenly the screenplay dips in pace giving way to some romantic angle between Arjun Rampal & Shruti Hasan but then it recovers soon enough. The climax is the biggest highlight of the script and is straight forward which leaves you spell bound. The best part of the script is that each character is build well and makes complete sense and is believable. Dialogues by Ritesh Shah & Niranjan Iyengar gel well with the script.

Editor Aarif Shaikh has done a splendid job in keeping the pace intact. Cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is excellent and re-creates the mood with his vision which is raw and unpredictable. The real highlight of the movie is the action by Tom Struthers (Dark Knight & Tomb Raider series), it is gritty and raw just like the mood of the movie.

After watching this movie I realized how under rated actor was Rishi Kapoor for Indian cinema till recently. He is becoming brilliant with each movie right from Agneepath. In this film whenever he is there on screen he captivates you with his portrayal, he is mean, gritty as well as completely unpredictable. A REAL CLASS ACT. Irfan as usual is good.  Arjun Rampal is another actor who is growing from strength to strength and his portrayal of Rudra is cold, mean and at the same time emotional, quite complex but Arjun does an excellent job. Huma Qureshi & Shruti Hasan did well. Other actors like Aakash Dahiya, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sree Swara Dubey, Nasir & KK Raina are apt and do a splendid job.

And last and definitely not the least Nikhil Advani after some misses like Salaam-E-Ishq and Chandni Chowk to China, gets it right with D-Day. D-day shows patriotism without being preachy and there lies the real strength of the movie. Nikhil introduces a new genre to Indian Cinema the Espionage genre of cinema which is so common in Hollywood, and he does it well.

I go with 4 stars for D-Day….

Review : Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: An Epic Saga but a notch low for a classic

On the onset it is very difficult to make a biopic, and if the person is alive then it becomes more difficult as comparisons and speculations start building up. Such movies sometimes become more of a documentary on the achievements of the person on which the biopic is being made.

Bhaag Milkha BhaagDirector Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & writer Prasoon Joshi have been successful in telling a story with a lot of conviction and with equal amount of entertainment value. Rather they create an epic saga of “The flying Sikh”, but falls a bit short of becoming a classic due to its length.

The story of BMB portrays the life of Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar) since partition where he loses his family in the riots and he comes to India from Pakistan. The screenplay showcases his early teens when he was a ruffian to him joining the army and becoming the greatest athlete that India has produced. The story captures his struggle and tribulations but at the same time celebrates his achievements.

The Story & Screenplay written by Prasoon Joshi tries to create an epic saga but the main issue is the length of the movie which is around 3 hours. The movie could have been trimmed by 25 to 30 minutes at the most. The screenplay makes you laugh as well as cry in a few sequences like the sequences of Milkha and her elder sister. One such sequence is when kid Milkha and his elder Sister (Divya Dutta) unite in the refugee camp, it is really moving. Some of the moments are great and you tend to clap like the sequence when Milkha Singh runs with a wounded leg during his selection race. But Milkha Singh’s romance angle with Biro (Soman Kapoor) is weak and hampers the pace and is stretched unnecessarily.

Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has created a saga of epic proportion and also created the period from 1946 to 1960’s with efficient detailing and conviction. Cinematographer Binod Pradhan has done a stupendous job in putting the right amount of color in every frame. Production Design by Acropolis has been a highlight and has helped the movie to give that correct look and feel. Costumes by Dolly Ahluwalia have been the cherry in the cake wherein the clothes and the styling have been done with minute detailing and the styling aptly changes from 40’s to 60’s.

Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy blendes with the movie well like “Zinda” & “ Maston Ka Jhund”, but some of the songs are a hindrance to the pace of the movie. Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are inspiring and poetic.

Farhan Akhtar is the real reason why someone should watch BMB. The actor has really worked hard and it shows. Farhan blends into the character of Milkha Singh so well that you will not find any traces of Farhan Akhtar of his previous films. His body language, his dialect and especially in the sequences where he is shown running, he is so convincing that you feel some real athlete has done these sequences. Farhan will be the top contender for the “Best Actor” this year. Divya Dutta as Milkha’s sister is excellent and so is Pawan Malhotra  who plays Milkha singh’s coach. Jabtej Singh who plays young Milkha is the best discovery this year; he gets the nuances correct and is brilliant.

Review : Lootera

Lootera: A beautiful canvas without a soul

“Lootera” is a movie set in 1950’s India. An India which was young as a nation and there were many changes which took place ending the Zamindari system.

LooteraThe story starts with the Zamindar of Manikpur Roy Chaudhuri who has a huge estate and the only heir to this is her daughter Pakhi Roy Chaudhuri (Sonakshi Sinha). Enter an archeologist Varun Srivastav (Ranveer Singh) and his friend Devdas (Vikrant Massey) who comes to Manikpur for excavation near the Zamindar’s 300 years old ancestral temple and becomes their house guest. The story unfolds with Pakhi & Varun falling in love which each other with a decision to get married. Pre Interval a twist leaves Pakhi and her father heartbroken and they are robbed of their ancestral wealth. One year hence the lovers re-unite in Dalhousie. The story unfolds as to how Pakhi & Varun re-discover their love for each other taking it to a tragic climax.

The Story (inspired by O’Henry’s short story “The Last Leaf) & Screenplay by Vikramaditya Motwane and Bhawani Iyer captures the 50’s India well but fails miserably in the pace. Though the movie is a love story but somehow it does not connect and the soul is missing. The story has some good moments between the lead pair Pakhi & Varun but these moments are stretched and you start thinking when it would end. Being a bit of a thriller it lacks the drama and at the end it becomes predictable. Dialogues by Anurag Kashyap brings the crispness in the otherwise morbid pace.

The technical departments are the stars of the movie. Camera work by Mahendra Shetty is superb, each shot looks like a painting. Dalhousie is captured beautifully. Production Design by Aditya Kanwar compliments Mahendra’s camera work in creating the 50’s look. Every detail is taken care of starting with the props, the location etc, creating a riveting image. Another brilliant work has been by Costume director Subarna Ray Chaudhuri. She has done a remarkable job in creating the correct clothes of that period. Right from the clothes to the accessories has been brilliantly created. Overall the camera, Production design & Costume design has made “Lootera” a beautiful painting.

Editing by Dipika Kalra has been a letdown as the pace is too slow and the movie could have been 15 to 20 minutes short.

Amit Trivedi’s music is the biggest highlight of the film. The music reminds you of the music of S D Burman & R D Burman. Special mention for “Sawar Loon” which has rendered by Monali Thakur is brilliant. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics is poetic and blends well with the mood of the film.

Director Vikramaditya Motwane who gave us the brilliant “Udaan” creates a riveting painting but it does not have the soul. Vikramaditya stresses more on the expressions of the actor rather than the dialogues. Some sequences are directed well like the chase sequence. But movie fails to capture the attention of the viewer  because of the pace.

“Lootera” has some good performances; Sonakshi Sinha proves that she can portray sensitive roles well. Ranveer Singh is a bit stiff in the first half but slowly and steadily by the second half he shows why is he the most sought after newcomer in the current lot of new actors. But Vikrant Massey who plays Ranveer’s friend Devdas in the movie, shines with his easy performance, an actor who shows the spark. Rest of the cast like Adil Hussain & Divya Dutta do justice to their miniscule role. Rather Divya Dutta is completely wasted in a 2 minute role.

Overall “Lootera” could have been a classic but falls flat due to its pace, I go with 2 & a half stars.

Review : Ghancakkar

Ghancakkar: A complete chaos in the name of comedy

Rajkumar Gupta takes a break from the realistic brooding movies like “Aamir “ & “No One Killed Jessica” and tries his hand in comedy and the result is a complete chaos in the name of cinema.

The story is of a pro bank robber Sanjay Atre (Emraan Hashmi) who successfully loots a bank with Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) & Idris (Namit Das) and after the loot they decide to share the booty after 3 months. But when Pandit and Idris contact Sanju for the booty after 3 months they are shocked to realise that Sanju has lost his memory and does not remember where has he hidden the loot. The story revolves around as to how Sanju remembers where he hid the booty.

The story & screenplay by Parvez Sheikh & Rajkumar Gupta lacks the sleekness and the punch of a thriller and the climax is a downer. The movie is very slow in parts.

For the first time Vidya Balan completely falls flat in her portrayal of Neetu, a chirpy punjabi girl, she is very repetitive and after one point becomes irritating and her over the top avatar does not help much. Emraan Hashmi manages a decent performance. But Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das steal the show from the lead pair.

Music by Amit Trivedi is also not upto the mark and is more of a cacophony. Cinematography by Setu is decent but since the whole movie is limited to an apartment, there is not much that a camera man could show.

Overall Rajkumar Gupta dissapoints and Ghancakkar falls flat on its expectations. I will go with 2 STARS only for the performance of Rajesh Sharma & Namit Das.

Review : Raanjhnaa

Raanjhnaa: A confused Love Story

RaanjhnaaAfter the successful “Tanu Weds Manu” Anand L Rai comes with his next “Raanjhnaa” a launch pad for the debutant actor Dhanush (Son-in-law of Rajanikanth).

“Raanjhnaa” tries to portray the strengths of Dhanush as an actor and in the bargain the movie loses its plot completely in the second half.

The story revolves around the main protagonist Kundan (Dhanush) and his love for a Muslim girl Zoya( Sonam Kapoor). His dedication for his lady love forms the crux of the story wherein he waits for his lady love for 8 years much to the dislike of his friends. His blind love for Zoya creates havoc in Zoya and his fiancé’s Jasjeet’s (Abhay Deol) life leading it to the climax.

The movie fails as the screenplay tries to highlight the actor than the story. The Story & Screenplay by Himanshu  Sinha starts with a fresh approach but by second half when the political angle is introduced in the story the movie goes downhill. The first half is fresh and frothy and the second half is tedious. It almost seems that the first & the second half are two separate movies. The strong point of the movie is the dialogues again written by Himanshu Sinha.

Varanasi is shot beautifully by Natarajan Subramaniam & Vishal Sinha. Editing by Hemal Kothari lacks the finesse especially in the second half.

Dhanush’s  work shows the sincerity but he lacks the charisma of a leading man. Sonam Kapoor is much better than her previous movies but falls flat in the high octane sequences. But the main highlight performances are of the supporting cast especially Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, who plays Kundan’s friend Murari and Swara Bhaskar, who plays Bindu the secret lover of Kundan. Abhay Deol in a special appearance shines.

Music by A R Rahman is melodious, a good come back after the not so impressive “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics is poetic and riveting.

Anand L Rai’s narration is confusing of whether he wanted to make a love story or a political drama. Overall “Raanjhna” could have been poetic but unfortunately it is tedious. I will go with TWO & A HALF STARS.

Review : Ek Thi Daayan

Ek Thi Daayan: A Khichdi of Super natural & Horror

ETD Kanan Iyer the debutant director’s first offering holdspromise…not to ignore the strong backing of Ekta Kapoor & Vishal Bharadwaj.

The story of ETD revolves around Bobo (Imran Hashmi) who isan illusionist and is haunted by his childhood memories of his sister’s andfather’s death due to a woman ETDDiana (Konkona) who he suspects to be the WITCH.He is supported by his girlfriend Tamra (Huma Qureshi), but things take anunusual turn when a girl named Lisa Dutt (Kalki Koechlin) enters their life.The rest of the story uncovers the mystery of the WITCH in Bobo’s life.

The story & screenplay by Vishal Bharadwaj & Mukul Sharma starts well and keeps you at the edge of the seat in the first half,second half the screenplay starts losing its fizz and the climax completelygoes into a typical masala horror movie mould. What starts as a promisingconcept somehow ends at a low note, but overall it does not disappoint.

The ensemble cast does a brilliant job, starting with EmraanHashmi as “Bobo the Baffler” who under plays his character and does justice tohis role, Huma Qureshi as Tamra is natural, Kalki though she does well but hasnothing much to do, but it is Konkana Sen Sharma who steals the show with her brilliantportrayal of Diana, her body language her expressions give you the chill andnot to forget the child actor Vishesh Tiwari who play the kid Bobo is just tooimpressive. Rest of the cast like Pawan Malhotra , Rajatava Dutta areimpressive.

The camera work by Saurabh Goswami gives the right ambience,Editor Sreekar Prasad keeps the pace with his tout editing. Background score byClinton Cerejo is impactful adding the spooky quotient to each scene. Music by Vishal Bharadwaj & lyrics by Gulzar is the high point especially the song“Yaram” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan & Clinton Cerejo is brilliant.

Kanan Iyer ends the movie with a lot of questionsunanswered, do we see a Part II happening???…Kanan Iyer does impress andshows promise…I will go for 3 stars (One for Konkana Sen Sharma)

Review : Kai Po Che

Kai Po Che: Awesome Threesome

Abhishek Kapoor’s 2nd film after “Rock On”, “Kai Po Che” is also based on friendship..

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel “3 Mistakes of my Life”…”Kai Po Che” is a story of 3 friends Ishaan, Govind & Omi and their trials & tribulation to Kai Po Cheachieve success in life. Set in the backdrop of Gujarat of late 90’s it incorporates some of the major events like the Earthquake and the Godhra riots and its effect on the lives of the 3 friends.

The strongest point of the movie is the ensemble cast, Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh & Raj Kumar Yadav have been aptly cast for the roles of Ishaan, Omi & Govind respectively. These actors with their performance take the movie to a different level especially Sushant & Raj Kumar Yadav. Raj Kumar’s role of Govind had many layers and he has played it brilliantly. Sushant’s debut role of Ishaan is an author backed role and he does it well, you will remember his character even after the movie is over. Amit Sadh as Omi does a good job as his character changes from a naïve guy to a hard core politician. Amrita Puri as Vidya is likable with her bubbly portrayal. Rest of the support cast also does well.

The film lacks due to its pace. The screenplay written by Abhishek Kapoor, Chetan Bhagat, Pubali Chaudhari & Supratik Sen is good but it is slow in patches which is the biggest drawback. The camaraderie between the friends is captured well with some brilliant moments. The characters are very well written and believable.

The cinematography by Anay Goswami is rustic and gives the right feel and ambience to the narration. The production design by Sonal Sawant recreates the Gujarat of the 90’s well. Niharika Bhasin Khan has done a brilliant and detailed job with the costume. Music by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire is good and it flows with the narration, especially Meethi Boliyan & Manja.

For me it was not on the league of 3 Idiots or  Dil Chahta Hai or even Abhishek Kapoor’s Rock on, but it is worth a watch. I would sum it up as a good movie which could have been great provided the screenplay was crisp. I will go with Three & a Half Stars.

Review : Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children: A Rich Dish with all the ingredients but with an average taste


On the onset I salute Deepa Mehta for taking the risk of adapting a complex novel of Salman Rushdie “Midnight’s Children” into a movie.

The story spans from 1917 Kashmir to 1977 Mumbai, and tells the story of two children one born to a rich family and other to a poor family on the Midnight’s Childrenstroke of midnight of 15th Aug 1947, when India got independence. How their destiny changes after they are swapped, the son of the rich is swapped with the son of the poor forms the crux of the story.

Though the story starts long before the kids are born in Kashmir 1917 with a doctor Azam Aziz (Rajat Kapoor) and how he gets married to Naseem (Shabana Azmi) and has three daughters Mumtaz (Shahana Goswami), Emerald (Anita Majumdar) & Alia (Shikha Talsania). The story progresses with Naseem who gets married to Ahmed Shinai (Ronit Roy) and then gives birth to a son who is swapped by a son of the poor Saleem (Darsheel Safary/Satya Bhabha) and her son Shiva (Sidharth) by Mary (Seema Biswas). The destiny changes for Saleem who is bought up in a rich family and Shiva who is brought up by a street singer. How they grow up and go through ups & downs of life constitutes the rest of the story.

The screenplay by Salman Rushdie himself is the biggest hindrance, Rushdie struggles to put his renowned novel in a 2 and a half hour script. The main drawback is the pace which is slow at times, but it has its moments like the sequence when Emergency is called by PM Indira Gandhi, or when the kid Saleem realizes that he has gift of connecting with all the children who were born at the same time as him or Saleem’s interaction with his father or his nanny Mary, all these become the highlight of the otherwise slow movie.

Deepa Mehta has captured each era with minutest details with Production Designer Dilip Mehta, Costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia and cinematographer Giles Nuttgens. Actually the Production Design, Costume Design & Cinematography are the biggest highlights of the movie.

Performances by the ensemble cast starting from Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, Sidharth, Shriya Saran, Darsheel Safary and rest of the supporting cast do an exemplary job, but Satya Bhabha who plays the main protagonist the older Saleem in the movie does not come out as strong as the supporting cast.

Music by Sidharth Mahadevan blends with the mood of the movie. But where Deepa lags is the slow screenplay & Satya Bhbha’s performance..

Overall a Midnight’s Children is a rich dish with an average taste, I will go with TWO & A HALF STARS

Review : David

David: A mish mash of 3 uninspiring stories


I had expected a lot from Bejoy Nambiar’s second offering after ‘Shaitaan’, but was gravely disappointed.

‘David’ comprises of three stories based on three principal characters by the same name DAVID. One story is set in 1975 London, second story in 1999 Mumbai and third story 2010 Goa.

DavidThe first story has Neil Nitin Mukesh playing a side kick DAVID of gangster Iqbal Ghani (Akarsh Khurana) in London, 1975. Second story has Vinay Virmani playing DAVID an aspiring Rock singer and a son of a Christian priest Father Noel (Nasser) in Mumbai, 1999. Third story has Vikram playing DAVID a good for nothing alcoholic in Goa who falls head over heels in love with Roma (Isha Sherwani), 2010.

Amongst the 3 stories the first story of the gangster is the only decent one as compared to the other three. Shot is black & white it gives a different mood to the narration and definitely the story had a Bejoy Nambiar stamp all across. The second story of the aspiring rock star never really picks up and is completely flat albeit better than the last story. The last story of the good for nothing alcoholic is the weakest and has no relevance to the other 2 stories. The climax is the biggest let down wherein Nambiar tries unsuccessfully to join the 3 stories.

The story & screenplay written by Bejoy Nambiar & Natasha Sahgal is weak and uninspiring. Other the first story which has some moments the other 2 stories are a washout.

The biggest strength of the movie is the Cinematography & Music. The camera work by R.Rathnavelu, PS Vinod & Shanu Verghese is brilliant and gives a distinct character & mood to the three stories based 3 different eras. The music pulls the otherwise weak movie to a certain level, the music is a blend of folk, rock  & retro and Bejoy cleverly has roped in 8 music directors Bramfatura, Mikey McCleary, Maatibaani, Remo Fernandes, Prashant Pillai, Gaurav Godkhindi, Aaron Carvalho, Dub Sharma for the brilliant music, especially the “Mast Kallandar” song sung by Rekha Bhradwaj is a stand out.

Performance wise Neil repeats his Jhonny Gaddar act (its high  time he tries something else), Vinay Virmani  does not impress much in this movie, Vikram one of the best performance of the movie falls flat due to a weak script. Tabu & Nassar do a decent job, Monica Dogra as Noor is completely miscast, Isha Sharwani looks beautiful (well she was signed to do only that). The most impressive of the other cast is definitely Akarsh Khurana who plays Iqbal Ghani to the T. Other supporting cast Lara Dutta, Rohini Hatangady, Satish Kaushik, Prahlad Kakkar (his debut), singer Shweta Pandit, Shweta Menon do a good job. Sarika in a guest role for the song “Mast Kalandar” was brilliant.

Overall David is a huge disappointment, Bejoy Nambiar after a brilliant “Shaitaan”, gives a complete wash out “David”…I give 2 star (One star for the music and camera work)

Review : Student Of The Year

SOTY:Karan Johar‘s larger than life Bollywood movie

Welcome to the world of KJo, actors in perfect designer clothes, best of cars, candy floss romance, good looking actors, picture perfect sets & settings well color co-ordinated,  in short a larger than life Bollywood movie fare.

Let us accept it that KJo has created his own brand of cinema, which you can love or hate but definitely cannot ignore it & SOTY is exactly the same Student Of The YearKJo brand of movie.

SOTY  is a story of two friends Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) & Abhimanyu Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) who meet in St Teresa who initially hate each other but eventually become friends until the “Student of the Year” challenge is declared by the dean Yogendra  Vashisht (Rishi Kapoor). The challenge turns the friends into competitors, how it plays havoc in their lives forms the basis of the story…

Though the story is predictable but the screenplay by Rensil Dsilva creates the impact, some sequences are very well written and some look a bit amateurish, like the main challenge to win “Student of the Year” looks weak. The pace is slow at times. The dialogues of Niranjan Iyengar makes up for the loose screenplay, it is spunky and the lingo is contemporary adding to the zing.

The debutants especially Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra are impressive, they grow as the movie progresses. Varun in particular excels both in acting as well as dancing, a lad to watch out for. Sidharth does justice to whatever given. Alia Bhatt has little to do, her character reminds you of Poo in K3G but without the spunk, but overall she is decent. The main highlight is the support cast especially Rishi Kapoor who plays the gay dean with panache; his portrayal is both funny and moving. Other cast like Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Kayoze Irani, Sana Saeed, Mansi Rach, Sahil Anand & Gautami Kapoor are impressive.

The music by Vishal Shekhar is good and so is the picturization by Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant, Bosco-Ceaser & Remo. All the songs are lavishly shot and the look is rich, but the Disco Song by Remo & Radha song by Farah Khan stands out.

The camera work by Ananyanka Bose is good. How can you miss the costume designer in a Karan Johar movie both Manish Malhotra & Shiraj Siddique do a splendid job which gives the movie the zing.

In a nutshell SOTY is lavishly mounted candy floss over the top KJo –ish type of Bollywood cinema which is aptly shouldered by Varun Dhawan & Sidharth Malhotra. 3 stars from me, one extra for the debutants.

Review : English Vinglish

Good Movie Shuvie, GR8 Performance Sherformance

“English Vinglish” Sridevi’s most awaited come back film wherein she again proves why English Vinglishshe is thenumero Uno of Bollywood. She creates an impact & how.

“English Vinglish” is a story of a simple house wife Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) whose life surrounds aroundher husband Satish (Adil Hussain) and kids (Navita Kotia & Shivansh Kotia). She runs a small business ofmaking Ladoo’s, but her not knowing English creates a gap between her husband and kids. Her daughteris embarrassed to take her to her school’s Parent Teacher meeting, her husband keeps on making fun ofher that she was born to make ladoos. This makes Shashi go into her shell, she comes to her own onlywhen she is interacting with her son Sagar. Everything changes for her when she goes to New York toattend her niece’s wedding and enrolls herself in a 4 week English Learning Course. How Shashi re-gainsher confidence and comes to her own, forms the rest of the story.

The Story by Gaurie Shinde is simple but the screenplay is mind blowing, there are small moments in themovie which takes the movie to the next level like when Shashi goes to her daughter’s Parent TeacherMeeting, her interview at the Visa Office, when Shashi goes to a coffee shop in New York, when she callsher husband from New York to tell that she is an Entrepreneur, Shashi’s interaction with her classmateLaurent, the climax speech and many more brilliantly written moments which builds Shashi’s characterfrom a not so confident house wife to a confident entrepreneur. Gaurie has done a splendid job. All thecharacters are so real that it connects, like Shashi’s character can be any Indian housewife who is takenfor granted. The dialogues add the zing to the scenes. The only flaw is that the pace slows down in thesecond half, but does it affect the overall impact….

No, absolutely not, please applaud Sridevi for her impeccable performance which binds the screenplayall throughout. She is brilliant and the impact that she makes proves that she was aptly called the ladyBachchan. Rest of the cast Adil Hussain as Shashi’s husband, Navita Kotia & Shivansh Kotia as Shashi’skids, Priya Anand as Shashi’s niece, Sujata Kumar as Shashi’s sister, Cory Hibbs as her teacher and herclassmates are brilliant, especially Mehdi Naebbou as Laurent is stands apart with his sensitive portrayal.Surprise Amitabh Bachchan cameo is watch out for…

Music by Amit Trivedi compliments the movie, Editing by Hemanti Sarkar is crisp though it could havebeen a bit tighter, Cinematography by Laxman Utekar captures the mood of the movie well.

In a nutshell “English Vinglish” is a Sridevi movie but kudos Gaurie for making a movie on a simple housewife….I give 4 stars….

Review : Barfi

Barfi!: Re-defining love in Indian Cinema

“Barfi” as the name sounds unusual, so is the movie. Some movies stay with you long after it is over, “Barfi” is such a movie.

Barfi“Barfi” tells the tale of Barfi or should we say Murphy (Ranbir Kapoor) who is deaf & dumb and who falls in love with Shruti (Ileana D’cruz), but soon gets dumped by her due to his impairment, then enters Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) a autistic, and how Barfi & Jhilmil form a bond and which then translates into love forms the crux of the story…

The movie’s story & screenplay by Anurag Basu is brilliant, every scene is written with utmost perfection imparting the right emotion. Basu pays tribute to the legend Charlie Chaplin in many scenes. Dialogues by Sanjeev Dutta though less gel with the screenplay and create the right impact.

The highlight off course is the performances, Ranbir Kapoor proves that you do not need dialogues to convey the right emotion; his powerhouse performance makes Barfi a memorable character. Ranbir should be the top contender for all the awards this year.  Priyanka Chopra as the autistic Jhilmil is brilliant. In some sequences Chopra ‘s performance gives a new dimension, definitely a award winning performance. Ileana D’cruz as Shruti aptly supports with her subtle yet superb portrayal, definitely an actress to watch out for. The rest of the cast like Saurabh Shukla, Roopa Ganguly, Ashish  Vidyarthi   & Akash Khurana also do a brilliant job. Overall every actor no matter how small the role is, has done justice.

The captain of the ship, director Anurag Basu has created a classic, though I would not compare him to the legendary directors but with Barfi, Anurag has definitely created a niche for himself. The other departments like editing by Akiv Ali gives an edge to the pace. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is breathtaking, it creates the right ambience. The production design by Rajat Poddar creates the 70’s well.

Music in Barfi plays a vital role, Pritam does a superb job, I think one of his best this year. The lyrics by Swanand Kirkire, Neelesh Mishra, Ashish Pandit & Saeed Quadri does justice to the scores.

Overall an exceptional movie and A MUST WATCH, 5 stars from me….

Review : Raaz 3

Raaz 3: Bhatt tadka on a Ramsay Dish

Raaz3Vikram Bhatt returns to the Bhatt camp to direct Raaz3, a lot was expected since the Raaz franchise was formed way back in 2002 with Vikram Bhatt & Mahesh Bhatt combination….but it turns out to be a sophisticated version of a Ramsay genre of Horror.

The story revolves around Shanaya Shekhar (Bipasha Basu) who is a fading actress who cannot accept defeat; hence to re-gain her lost glory she takes help of Black magic to create havoc in the life of upcoming actress and her competitor Sanjana (Esha Gupta) with the help of her director boyfriend Aditya (Emraan Hashmi), how it effects the life of these 3 individuals forms the crux of the story.

The story & screenplay by Shagufta Rafique could have been better but Shagufta takes the hackneyed path of Tantrik, Shaitan, Kabrastan, God V/s Evil etc putting it in the mould of the 80’s Ramsay genre of horror. The characters other than Shanaya’s are half developed and become card board characters common in any horror movie. It has no shock element which is required in a horror movie; rather some sequences are unintentionally funny like an atma calling Bipasha on her cell phone to update her about the proceedings. It has overdose of melodrama which looks too artificial.

Amongst the performances Bipasha who plays the evil just has one expression throughout the movie, she has done better in other movies wherein she has played the negative role. Emraan Hashmi sleep walks through his role and looks utterly dis-interested a lot was expected after a sparkling performance in “Shanghai”. Esha Gupta is the weakest link, her expressions sometimes are funny. The best performance is of Manish Choudhary’s who plays the shaitan Tara Dutt.

The music is average which is a surprise for a Vishesh Films and so is the background music. The special effects is the only saving grace of the movie especially the cockroach sequence, the 3 D format is justified only in this sequence..

Vikram Bhatt has completely lost the plot after 1920, there is no Raaz in this Raaz…my rating ONE & a HALF STAR….

Review : Gangs Of Wasseypur

Anurag Kashyap’s Saga on the coal mafia of Dhanbad can be summed as a cult movie in Gangs Of Wasseypurthis genre.

The story is of the rivalry between Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) and Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) and commences pre independence and gives a complete low down as to how the coal mafia emerged.

The Story by Zeishan Quadri is a basic Revenge Drama, but the screenplay is the biggest highlight which is very well written and each character is well defined, and the sub plots seamlessly merge with the main plot. The screenplay is tight and there is not a single moment wherein the screenplay falters. The Dialogues are well written and helps in elevating the scenes, though the language used is raw and use of gallis is generous keeping in mind with the set up. The violence in the movie is crude and extremely realistic.

Another biggest highlight of the movie is the Casting by casting director Mukesh Chabra, each actor is aptly cast.

The strongest point of the movie is the performances. Manoj Bajpai again proves his versatility; he is aggressive as well as funny in his portrayal of Sardar Khan and does complete justice to the complex character. Tigmanshu Dhulia as Ramadhir Singh epitomizes the “The Great Indian Villain” and does a great job in his acting Debut; he should try acting as an alternate career. But real surprise is Richa Chaddha who plays “Nagma Khatun”, Sardar Khan’s wife, is a revelation and stands out in the ensemble cast with her fiery performance. Others like Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Faisal (Sardar Khan’s Son), Piyush Mishra as Sardar Khan’s chacha and others in cast do a splendid job, special mention of Huma Qureshi who has little in this first installment but shows a spark in her debut, I am sure she has more to do in the 2nd installment.

Other major highlights of the movie are the Cinematography, Production Design and above all the music. The Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi captures the spirit of the movie extremely well and adds on to the narration. The Production Design by Wasiq Khan is brilliant especially for a movie which spans through different eras, which is well captured right from the umbrella to the cars, every minute details of that time is well taken care of. And the biggest highlight the music by Sneha Khanwalkar, which is refreshingly different and the fusion of folk and modern beat is done well.

Overall a movie which has all the reasons to be larger than life, kudos to Anurag Kashyap for such an attempt in a large scale, can’t wait for the 2nd installment as the movie ended exactly where normally the Interval happens. 4 stars from me.