Movie Review: Dear Zindagi

Dear Zindagi: Dear Actors make it Dear to watch

“Dear Zindagi” has a fabulous set up, a stellar ensemble cast led by none other than Shahrukh Khan & Alia Bhatt who come together for the first time, a director like Gauri Shinde whose last outing as a director was “English Vinglish” which was both critically acclaimed and a box office success and a good concept…dear_zindagi_movie_review

“Dear Zindagi” is a movie from the eyes of the principal character Kaira (Alia Bhatt), who has issues with her love relationships as she is commitment phobic, this leads to turmoil in her life, at this juncture she meets a shrink Dr Jehangir Khan a.k.a Jug (Shahrukh Khan) who shows a different perspective of life. Is Kiara able to fight her inner demons and comes out clean is what the movie is all about….

Concept wise “Dear Zindagi” gets ten on ten, but it is the screenplay which becomes the Achilles heel for the movie. The first half is spent on delving on Kiara’s life and just like her life the screenplay by Gauri Shinde also does not go anywhere and it picks up a bit just pre interval when Dr Jehangir Khan enters, and you feel now the movie is going to pick up, but sadly the movie just looses the plot in the second half and becomes a drag. The biggest problem of the writing is that it never peaks and is monotonous throughout. The pace is another hindrance especially in the second half where the numerous psychiatric sessions just becomes too much and you as an audience start feeling to go to a shrink. The biggest drawback of the screenplay is that there is no entertainment quotient which could enhance the overall viewing experience; rather it is more cerebral without any outcome. The writing fails to live up to the entire set up..

Where “Dear Zindagi” scores is its performance from the entire ensemble cast, Alia Bhatt as Kaira is a huge revelation; she carries the complex character on her young shoulders with ease and gives a crackling performance. Alia overshadows everybody including Shahrukh Khan in her portrayal. As an actress Alia’s performance in “Dear Zindagi” is another feather in her cap. Shahrukh Khan as Dr Jehangir Khan plays his age and gives his best after “Chak De”, a very subtle yet impactful performance. We need more such performances from the brilliant Shahrukh Khan. Amongst the host of male leads,  Kunal Kapoor as Raghuvendra, Angad Bedi as Sid and Ali Zafar as Rumi, it is Kunal Kapoor who creates an impact, definitely a good actor who has been under rated and not utilized by Bollywood that much. Angad Bedi after the impactful performance of “Pink” just fizzles out as Sid in the crowd can’t blame him completely but even the writing needs to be blamed. Ali Zaffar as Rumi looks appealing only in the songs and not much can be said about his acting, he remains an eye candy in the movie. Kaira’s friends Fatima a.k.a Fatty played by Ira Dubey and Jackie played by Yashaswini Dayama support Alia Bhatt aptly with their natural and sincere performance, without which Alia’s performance would have looked out of place. Kaira’s Brother played by Rohit Saraf as Kiddo, though not a prominent role and character but still he leaves his mark and his chemistry with Alia as brother and sister is believable. Rest of the cast live up to the expectations and add up in making “Dear Zindagi” bearable…

As the captain of the ship we had huge expectations from Gauri Shinde as a director, especially after the impressive “English Vinglish”, but to our disappointment she falls flat in her second outing whether it is her writing or story telling capabilities. The only department Gauri scores is the concept and above all the performances from each and every actor, I think these are the only two elements which redeems her as a director. But we still believe in Gauri Shinde as a director and would wait for her next with equal anticipation…

Amit Trivedi’s music just does not match the standard of “English Vinglish”, though a few songs like the title track sung by Jasleen Royal & Amit Trivedi and “Just Go to Hell” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan & Amit Trivedi stand out. Was disappointed to see the rip off version of Ilaiyaraja’s “Ae Zindagi Gale laga le” from Sadma sung by Arijit Singh in this movie is left out, it was definitely a track worth to be incorporated…

Laxman Utekar’s camera work makes you fall in love with Goa yet again, and you wanna pack your bags and go for a holiday to Goa…

“Dear Zindagi” unfortunately fails to deliver, it is Shahrukh Khan & Alia Bhatt’s performance which makes it worth a watch…I will go with Two and a Half Star…

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Official Trailer: Udta Punjab

udta-punjab-official-trailer“Udta Punjab” as the name suggests is based in Punjab and deals with a serious issue of drugs amongst the youth of Punjab….

Directed by Abhishek Chaubey whose earlier movies Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya was based in UP and was more of a love story, takes up a serious issue for this movie….

The movie primarily captures the lives of four characters played by Shahid Kapoor who plays Punjabi pop star Tommy Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan who plays Dr. Preet Sahani, Alia Bhatt who plays Kumari Pinky a labour from Jharkhand and Diljit Dosanjh who plays Sartaj Singh a Police Inspector. Diljit who is a super star in Punjabi films debuts in Bollywood with “Udta Punjab”. Satish Kaushik also plays an important role in the movie…

Music has been scored by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Varun Grover….

The movie has been produced by Balaji Motion Pictures & Phantom Films…

The trailer clearly shows each actor has done a role which they have not tried before and the premise looks interesting, whether this movie which looks and feels different would be appreciated by our audience, well we have to wait till 17th June 2016 when the movie releases. Till then enjoy the Official Trailer…

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: Shandaar

Shandaar: No Story makes Shandaar a dull movie

shaandaarIn Bollywood we have seen a trend in most of the cases wherein  a director after giving an immensely successful and path breaking movie gives a dud in his subsequent movie like Sujoy Ghosh after giving the spectacular “Jhankaar Beats” gave us “Home Delivery” , or Anurag Kashyap after giving the path breaking “Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 & 2” gave us “Bombay Velvet”, Vikramaditya Motwane after giving “Udaan” gave us “Lootera” and it is so true for Ram Gopal Varma who during his hey days used to always give a dud after a path breaking movie….Well another name has been added in the list and it is none other but Vikas Bahl, who after giving an immensely successful and critically acclaimed “Queen” can give us something like “Shandaar”…

For Vikas Bahl the set up was apt, what with a stellar ensemble cast wherein both father and son, Pankaj Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor were acting together for the first time, or the fresh pairing of Shahid Kappor & Alia Bhatt. Three big names associated with the movie Fox Star, Dharma Productions along with Phantom Films. Big Budget with shooting in England….Well nothing could have gone wrong, but unfortunately Vikas forgot the crucial thing, a cohesive story & screenplay which was the highlight of his previous movie.

The Story, or should I say the lack of it has been credited to Vikas Bahl himself and Chaitally Parmar (who also wrote Queen)….so if I have to sum up the story of “Shandaar”, well I am unable to do so as there is none. We only get a screenplay written by Anvita Dutt which is extremely inconsistent and non cohesive as there is no story to fall back to. There is only one line story, that it is based or should I say a spoof of the Big Bang Indian Wedding or destination wedding. All the characters are mad in some or the other way and they end up creating a chaos. I must add that there are so many characters that you get confused who is related to whom and half of them do not make any sense. The sequences look as if it was decided on the set and it was shot. None of the characters have any depth excluding the relationship of Alia (Alia Bhatt) with her father Vipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor), this is the only relationship which is explored well in the movie. The rest are superfluous, even the lead pair Jagjinder Joginder a.k.a JJ (Shahid Kapoor) or Alia’s relationship looks forced.

The dialogues again by Anvita Dutt sound quite childish at times and even silly in most of the time. In short the writing is the biggest flaw of the movie….

I must say the only saving grace of the movie is a few performances, staring with Pankaj Kapoor, the veteran actor who plays the docile Vipin Arora shines and how….he puts heart and soul to the character to make it look believable but the script pulled him down. Shahid Kapoor as the flamboyant wedding planner Jagjinder Joginder or JJ gives a natural performance and tries to put some sense and dimension to his character, even though the writing had nothing to back him up. The whiff of fresh air is Alia Bhatt who plays Alia with utmost sincerity and brings a certain amount of freshness to the movie with her natural acting. Teh pairing of Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor was super cute and there was a chemistry but unfortunately the writing was mediocre, I just hope somebody should try pairing them up in a better movie. I must mention another highlight performance has been of debutant Sanah Kapoor (Pankaj Kapoor & Supriya Pathak’s daughter) who plays the overweight bride Isha Arora, she gives a confident performance in her debut. Vikas Verma as the groom Robin Fundwani does a good job of an arrogant and narcissist character but gets lost in the plethora of talents in the cast. Sushma Seth as Kamla Arora the dominating and calculative business woman is one dimensional and is wasted in a badly written character. Sanjay Kapoor as Harry Fundwani hams throughout and is loud but and his dialogues are also not that clear. Actors like Niki Aneja, Anjana Sukhani (she does not have a single dialogue), Shibani Dandekar are wasted…..

Amit Trivedi’s music does not impress us completely, other than the foot tapping “Gulabo” and the romantic “Nazdeekiyan” none of the other songs create any impact, not even the title song….which has been choreographed brilliantly by Bosco & Ceaser…..The camera work by Anil Mehta is spot on and gives us the breezy feel of a Rom Com….

Vikas Bahl completely looses it with “Shandaar”…..A movie which Vikas wanted to make on the lines of a Hollywood rom com does not even fit the bill of an Indian rom com….A real waste of a talent…..

I will go with 2 stars….

Movie Rating: (2 / 5)

 

 

Official Trailer: Shaandaar

After the critically acclaimed and highly successful “Queen”, Vikas Bahl is back with his second venture “Shaandaar”…..

“Shaandaar” is India’s first destination wedding movie, with an impressive ensemble star cast of Shahid Kapoor, shaandaarAlia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapur, Sanjay Kapoor, Sushma Seth, Sanah Kapoor, Diljit Dasanjh, Shibani Dandekar, Anjana Sukhani, Niyati Shah & Karan Johar (In a cameo)…

Story is by Vikas Bahl & Chaitally Parmar and screenplay & dialogues by Anvita Dutt Guptan. Anvita was also the dialogue writer for “Queen”, so we can expect some good writing here….

Vikas repeats his favorite music director Amit Trivedi again, so expect some melodious tunes as well….

“Shaandaar” is jointly being produced by Dharma Productions and Phantom Films, a collaboration which gave us “Hansee Toh Phasee”, so expect the grandeur of Dharma Productions and realism of Phantom Films….

“Shaandaar” looks like light breezy movie from its Official Trailer, but whether will it repeat the critical and box office success of “Queen”…well we need to wait till 22nd Oct’15, the day “Shaandaar” releases…..till then enjoy the trailer

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

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.