Movie Review: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Ranbir wins Dil without any Mushkil

ADHM-movie-reviewKaran Johar movies are essentially escapist cinema which is more of candy floss with beautiful actors wearing high end clothes, amazing locations and high profile song sequences, with a story of the rich and the famous. Barring “My Name is Khan” all his other movies till date have the above formula.

“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” the much awaited Diwali release tells the story of Ayan Sengar (Ranbir Kapoor) who is a rich brat from London who is doing his MBA (Mere Baap Ki Aarzoo)but who wants to be a singer . Things change for him when he meets Alizeh Khan (Anushka Sharma) a free spirited girl who does not live her life by the rules. Both forge a strong friendship, but things get complicated when Alizeh’s ex lover DJ Ali (Fawad Khan) enters their life and Alizeh decides to marry Ali, not knowing that Ayan has started loving her. After Alizeh’s marriage Ayan distances himself from Alizeh’s life and starts life a fresh with Saba (Aishwarya Rai) a Shayara, what happens next as to whether Ayan is successful in forgetting Alizeh and whether Ayan & Saba take their relationship to next level is what the rest of the movie all about…

Written by Karan Johar, the movie celebrates friendship and love with equal fervour, it defines the relationship between a girl and a boy in today’s world. It explores the pain and tribulations of unrequited love through its main protagonist Ayan. Karan in the first half pays tribute to Bollywood with various hit Bollywood songs and gives us many sequences which give us hearty laugh. What Karan gets bang on is the crackling chemistry of Ayan and Alizeh right from the first frame. Some sequences are beautifully written and executed like the Alizeh’s marriage sequence or the dinner table sequence between Ayan, Alizeh and Saba, Karan uses only expressions of these characters to convey the message. The twist at the end just puts the story in a different pedestal. Overall Karan with ADHM tries to drop the candy and keeps the floss intact rather for the first time you see some matured writing from Karan. It is undoubtedly a brave attempt to break the clichés of a love story and presenting a completely different perspective of love, the matured love and the platonic love. The script borders between being chic and modern to melodramatic but with equal balance.

Dialogues in ADHM by Karan and Niranjan Iyengar lifts the script, the first half speaks more of an urban language of youngsters whereas the second half takes a 360 degree and the dialogues are more of shayari and matured.

Well is won’t be wrong to say that ADHM is a Ranbir Kapoor show all the way, and he does not disappoint a wee bit, rather his earnestness in his performance wins your heart as Ayan. Whether the gawky act in the first half to a heart broken and matured lover in the second half, Ranbir does complete justice and carries the movie on his shoulders brilliantly, definitely an actor par excellence. Anushka Sharma as Alizeh brings the required freshness and madness to the character and gives a brilliant performance. Rather it the chemistry between Ranbir and Anushka is what makes ADHM worth a watch. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Saba, the poetess and seductress shows shades of Rekha in her performance, but she holds her own and does complete justice to the character, rather she brings stability to the madness of Ranbir and Anushka. Fawad Khan in a special appearance as DJ Ali rocks. Lisa Haydon as Lisa, Ayan’s girl friend brings the required quirkiness which was required for the character with élan, but at times you feel she overdoes it. Imran Abbas as Faisal looks lost in the bunch of brilliant actors. Shahrukh Khan in a cameo just melts your heart. Overall the performances of the cast do complete justice…

Anil Mehta’s cinematography is like a poem which captures every nuance beautifully, whether it is the picturesque locations of London, Vienna, Paris, Austria or Rajasthan or the emotions portrayed by the actors. Production design by Amrita Mahal was apt as per the premise of the movie.

In a Karan Johar movie costumes play a vital role and ADHM is no exception, the clothes in the movie would easily be a trendsetter, what with some brilliant work by Manish Malhotra, Anahita Shroff Adajania and Samidha Wangnoo…

Another highlight of any KJo movie is its music and Pritam scores some really soulful music for this movie, namely the title song, Bulleya & Channa Mereya, some peppy numbers like the now hugely popular Break Up Song and Cutie pie. All the songs are melody with the superb lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya especially for the title song, Bulleya & Channa Mereya….Music is definitely a high point of ADHM…

Karan Johar has been a king of candy floss in Bollywood but he shows depth in the emotions in ADHM, so in a nut shell the candy is out and the floss remains intact. He makes us laugh even in morbid scenes which shows his inherent humour that he posses and he also shows how big Bollywood fan he is. Portraying unrequited love with entertainment intact and celebrating friendship and platonic relationship with such vigour, kudos to Karan for doing so…

ADHM may not be Karan Johar’s best and may not be a classic but ADHM definitely has its soul intact which is important, I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Movie Review: Sarbjit

Sarbjit: An Inspiring Story, But Falls short to Impress

It is raining biopic this month first it was “Azhar” and now “Sarbjit”. “Azhar” failed to impress the critics and audience alike, will “Sarbjit” be successful in winning the hearts is the big question…

“Sarbjit” tells the heart wrenching story of Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) and her struggle to get her brother Sarabjit Singh (Randeep Hooda) back to India, who by mistake crosses the LOC and is arrested by Pakistani soldiers and is falsely convicted for terrorist activities in Pakistan. The movie chronicles Dalbir’s fight of 23 years to get her brother justice.Sarbjit Movie Review

Written by Uttkarshini Vashishtha and Rajesh Beri, the screenplay tries to capture the sorrow and pain that Dalbir and her family went through for 23 years to get Sarabjit back to India, but fails to be realistic in the bargain the so called sorrows and pains look forced and plastic. Another problem with the writing is the flow which is not very smooth it just jumps from one year to another not specifically capturing the real struggle which Dalbir Kaur went through, it just puts the incidents in a chronological order as far as the happenings are concerned. The writing is hell bent on only getting the emotional quotient right whereas in a biopic or for a real life incident it is essential to capture the facts correct, but unfortunately the writing just does not do so. It is clear the script lacks research and is written from a single point of view. But there are few sequences which do touch your heart, like when Sarabjit’s family visits him in the Pakistan or all the moments of Dalbir and Sarabjit does make your eyes misty. Other than a few sequences the overall writing is very average and “Sarbjit” misses the mark due to this. The dialogues written by Uttkarshini Vashishtha are apt but fail to uplift the scenes other than a few….

“Sarbjit” boasts of some earnest performances, starting with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who plays the central character of Dalbir Kaur with earnestness, but as an audience you will not connect with her, first her Punjabi dialect sounds forced and second you feel it is Aishwarya all the way and Dalbir gets lost in the persona called Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. I would say the casting goes completely wrong, frankly speaking missed Vidya Balan, I think she should have been the best suited for this role. Randeep Hooda who plays Sarabjit steals the show and how, every scene he is perfect, from a mischievous youngster to a convict to a frail old man especially in the jail sequences, your heart just goes out to him. In every scene he gives 100% and it shows thanks to the transformation he has gone through for the role, it won’t be a too much if I say it is Randeep Hooda’s show all the way. Richa Chadha who plays Sarabjit’s wife Sukhpreet does not have much to do but where ever she gets a chance she shines and makes her presence felt, she shows a few scenes are enough to make your presence felt for a good actor Darshan Kumaar as lawyer Awais Sheikh from Pakistan has a brief role but he impresses in his few scenes. Rest of the cast also do a good job…

Omung Kumar in his second biopic seems more in control but the script just fails him. He does get the emotional quotient correct which was somehow missing in his first “Mary Kom” but fails to impress overall. The biggest mistake was casting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Dalbir Kaur, her star presence just steals the real essence of the story, and it just does not work. Another issue is lack of research which blatantly shows as it lacks realism, I think Omung Kumar should have done some more research on the subject which is needed in a biopic or real life incident. Overall Omung Kumar should take a break from biopic and try to get the finesse in his direction…

Music does not play much importance in the movie but it fails to impress as well. Though there are a list of composers like Jeet Ganguli, Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Shashi-Shivam and Shail-Pritesh but the songs just do not touch your heart, a simple case of too many cooks spoil the broth…

Cinematography by Kiran Deohans is good and captures the nuances well from the Paddy fields of Punjab to Govt Offices of Delhi to the grim of a jail.

Production design by Vanita Omung Kumar is impressive and gets the details correct right from the Punjab village house to the jail, all are well designed…well Omung Kumar could not have got this wrong…knowing his past experience with set design…

Costume Design by Shahid Amir & Neetu Singh helps to build the characters well with their eye for details from the Phulkari to the Prison clothes all are done well…

“Sarbjit” could have been an inspiring story but it falls short….I will go with 3 stars…one extra star for the brilliant performance of Randeep Hooda and the story of inspiring story of Dalbir Kaur & Sarabjit Singh…..

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

Movie Review: Jazbaa

Jazbaa: Not too much of Jazbaat…. but only style

JazbaaSanjay Gupta, the name is synonym of movies which are remake of Hollywood and loads of style with a larger than life canvas but less of substance. The two movies which had both style and substance were “Kaante” (2002) & “Zinda” (2006)….

Sanjay Gupta is back with a remake of a Korean movie “Seven Days” for Aishwarya Rai’s comeback vehicle. Aishwaraya is in all the frames of the movie and not for a moment do you forget that this is Ash’s comeback movie. The plot tells the story of Anuradha Verma (Aishwarya Rai) a famous criminal lawyer who has never lost a case and a single mother of a daughter Sanaya (Child actor Sara Arjun). Things take an unexpected turn when her daughter is kidnapped and the kidnapper asks for an unusual ransom by asking Anuradha to fight for the criminal Miyaaz Shaikh (Chandan Roy Sanyal) who has been convicted of rape and murder of a girl Sia and set him free. Is Anuradha able to fulfill the ransom asked and whether she gets back her daughter is what the movie is all about….

The story inspired by the Korean movie, has a screenplay written by Sanjay Gupta himself and Robin Bhatt. On the onset the biggest flaw of the script is its pace which is inconsistent for a thriller, as it lacks edge of the seat moments. Though the screenplay has a lot of twists and turns but none make a mark, except the one in the climax. Another flaw of the screenplay is its loopholes which are disaster for a thriller, like the movie never really concludes as to how the girl was really murdered, or how the kidnappers kept a watch on Anuradha Verma, many such loose ends are kept unresolved. The one thing which could have been the biggest highlight of the movie could have been the court scenes, but the weak writing does not create any impact. Overall the script falters and the concept which could have been a good thriller is wasted.

Though I must say Kamlesh Pandey’s dialogues saves the day to some extent, especially for Yohan’s  (Irrfan Khan) character for which Kamlesh gives Seeti Mar dialogues…

I must say Sanjay Gupta managed to get a crackling cast for the movie and almost everybody did a good job except for the leading lady Aishwarya Rai. Aishwarya’s portrayal of Anuradha Verma is quite inconsistent. On one side Aishwarya had to play a tough lawyer and on the other side she had to play a loving mother, must say an author backed role, but while playing the tough lawyer she comes out as too stiff and for showing the loving mother side she is too melodramatic, hence she completely fails to strike a balance. Irrfan Khan as Inspector Yohan gives a crackling performance in style, what with all the seeti maar dialogues are given to him, but he does complete justice to his new avatar of a typical Bollywood hero. Shabana Azmi as Professor Garima Chaoudhary, the victim’s mother as usual gives a strong performance which was expected from her character. Jackie Shroff as the politician is wasted and he does not have much to do. Other actors like Atul Kulkarni, Chandan Roy Sanyal & Sidharth Kapoor are wasted in small roles which are not too well defined….

One thing which stands out in every Sanjay Gupta movie is the stylized camera work, and even in “Jazbaa” he does not disappoint us, Sameer Arya’s stylized camera work with a green hue captures Mumbai as never before, really a splendid job by Sameer Arya…

Another highlight of any Sanjay Gupta movie is its music, though “Jazbaa” did not have too much of scope for song and dance, but somehow Sanjay created a few brief moments in the movie and the most impressive being the ghazal “Jane tere Shehar ka”…..but the rest just do not gel with the narration…

Sanjay Gupta does not disappoint us on the style quotient, but as in most of the Sanjay Gupta movies style overtakes the content, the same can be said about “Jazbaa”. Though he is successful in extracting some good performances by the support cast and Irrfan Khan but he fails miserably in extracting a crackling performance by the leading lady Aishwarya Rai. Sanjay also fails to create the chemistry between Aishwarya & Irrfan, and the pairing just comes out as too “Thanda”…..

“Jazbaa” is an opportunity lost by Sanjay Gupta and definitely a weak come back movie for Aishwarya….I will go with Two & a Half Stars….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Trivia Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s DEVDAS

TRIVIA….Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s DEVDAS went over budget due to its lavish sets….for more details read below…

 

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Trivia Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s DEVDAS

TRIVIA….Did you know how much time it took to compose the songs of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas“…..Read Below

 

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Trailer Devdas (2002)

NOSTALGIA….Trailer of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “DEVDAS“…released on 12th July 2002…based on the novel of Sarat Chandra Chottopadyay this movie is remembered for its grand scale sets, its dialogues and its music which still is famous even after 12 years….