Movie Review : Bombay Velvet

Bombay Velvet: Nothing Jazzy about this Velvet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review : Hunterr

Hunterr: A true Sex comedy of Bollywood which is not cheap or crass

Bollywood has been shying away from the genre of “Sex Comedy” for quite some time. Literally the first being “Grand Masti” in 2013, but it was crass and extremely irritating in the name of comedy.Hunterrr-Movie-Poster

But “Hunterr” tries to break the shackles of an arch typical Bollywood format of this genre and makes it more realistic and yet funny. Harsvardhan Kulkarni explores this genre through his Hunterr Mandar Pongshe (Gulshan Devaiah) who is a compulsive “Vasu” or in other words a person who has this compulsive urge to make love to any woman. The story explores Mandar’s journey right from his childhood when he first learnt of birds & bees to early thirties when he going to get married to Tripti (Radhika Apte). The story explores his escapades with women in his life and how his conscience awakes forms the rest of the story…..

Writer & Director Harshvardhan Kulkarni tries to make his debut as a director through a story and script which if not handled with care may derail and become crassly. But Harshvardhan successfully makes it realistic and refrains from being crassly with double meaning dialogues. The main issue is with the narration when the story switches from his childhood to his present day to a few months earlier which majorly disrupts the overall narration. Other issue of the movie is its climax which happens almost abruptly. The characters are very well written and all the female characters are shown as strong individuals who do not have any inhibitions to do what they want like the two main characters Tripti & Jyotsna.

The sequences are very realistic and a lot of people will actually identify with their adolescent days, especially men. The dialogues act as a beautiful wrapper on the script and does not sound crassly and double meaning. Rather the dialogues are very blunt and on your face.

Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar is so convincing that you may think that he is “Vaasu” in real life as well. Gulshan depicts the various ages of Mandar with élan, in short he is brilliant and the real spark of the movie. Radhika Apte as Tripti gives another power packed performance of a woman of today who knows and is aware for her needs. Sai Tamhankar portrays Jyotsna, Mandar’s neighbor with such brilliance that you sympathize with her at the end even after her having an extra marital affair with Mandar. Veera Saxena as Parul is the only weak portrayal in the movie but she somehow manages. In a brief role Rachel D’Souza as Shobha creates an impact. Other cast like Neena Kulkarni, Sagar Deshmukh, Suraj Jagan also give a stellar performances.

Music by Khamosh Shah is worth mentioning. The soundtrack has a lot of variety in genres, so you have “Hunter 303” in 80’s style disco mode sung by Bappi Lahiri which has become an instant hit, the romantic “Naina” & “Chori Chori” is equally hummable and the cherry on the cake is Altaf Raja rendered “Dil Lagana” which transports you to the 90’s. Overall the songs do not pose as hindrance but blends well with the narration.

Harshvardhan creates an impact with his debut, it is the narration which makes it less than brilliant. But I must say an impressive debut by Harshvardhan Kulkarni. I will go with 3 stars….

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

 

Trailer : Bombay Velvet

Anurag Kashyap is ready with his most ambitious, first mega project “Bombay Velvet”, based on Gyan Prakash’s novel “Mumbai Fables”.

Set in the 1960’s Bombay (and not Mumbai) this neo noir Romantic thriller tells the love story of a boxer Johnny Balraj (played by Ranbir Bombay Velvet TrailerKapoor) and jazz singer Rosie (played by Anushka Sharma) who works for a club Bombay Velvet, run by media mughal Kaizad Khambatta (Played by Karan Johar).

There are too many firsts in the movie, this is Anurag Kashyap’s first mega budget movie, going by the looks in the promos it looks quite stylish for a Anurag Kashyap movie, Karan Johar debuts as an antagonist for the first time (it will be interesting to see how he pulls off), this is Ranbir Kapoor’s first dark movie, all in all “Bombay Velvet” is a much awaited movie of the year.

Produced by Fox Star Studios and Phantom this mega budget movie has music by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya.

Looking at the promo of “Bombay Velvet” the whole look of the movie has been inspired heavily by neo noir Hollywood movie “LA Confidential” and some shades of “Godfather”.

Whatever maybe the case “Bombay Velvet” is undoubtedly a movie to watch out for…..and your wait ends 15th May’15…..till then enjoy the promo…..

Movie Review : NH10

NH 10: Gritty, Gruesome & Edge of the seat Thriller

NH10 PosterWe are in 2015 but rural India still reels in the shadow of bygone tradition and beliefs.NCR is a true picture of such India. Gurgaon which houses the best of MNC’s , Malls and plush housing societies just beyond that prevails a India where Honor Killing is not considered a crime and looked upon with a lot of pride. Well the same is the case with other A & B grade cities of India which epitomizes modern India but beyond it is still the old India which is as backward in thoughts as it was ages ago.

Navdeep Singh with writer Sudip Sharma shows the real & stark face of rural India through the eyes of the couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) & Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam). The couple plan a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city are in for a shock when their weekend plan falls through as they are drawn into a fight with the local goons.

Sudip Sharma’s script is fast and racy and keeps the audience on the edge of the seat. It is definitely not for the faint hearted because the killings are on your face and make you cringe in your seat but Sudip with the pace, kind of makes up for the gruesomeness. Some sequences make you think whether women are really safe in modern India. The main characters are well written but it is the support cast which lacks the depth due to half baked character development by Sudip. You tend to wonder how are the characters related especially the accompanists of the main goon Satbir (Darshan Kumaar) as they are not fleshed out properly. Some characters are a bit of stereotype which somewhere mars the originality. For the climax Sudip and director Navdeep Singh keeps it open ended for the audience to decide without giving any judgment.

The dialogues are dipped in authenticity with the correct accent and language, and it is not preachy with melodrama.
NH10 goes several notches higher due to the brilliant performances by the ensemble cast. Starting with Anushka Sharma who plays Meera a creative director of an Ad Agency, epitomizing the modern day woman who is independent yet fierce fully protective about her family, was quite a difficult role both physically and mentally as she is there right from the first frame to the last frame but she does it with élan and gives a crackling performance, her best till date. Neil Bhoopalam who plays Arjun an IT professional who is so full of ego that he does not care of his wife and goes ahead to fight with the goons to satisfy his ego. Arjun is definitely a complex character which Neil portrays convincingly and brilliantly. The surprise package of NH10 is Darshan Kumaar who plays the main goon Satbir. After playing the supportive husband in “Mary Kom”, Satbir’s character is a complete opposite for Darshan, but he gives his 100% and it shows, right from the accent to the body language to the demeanor he gets it right to the minutest of details. Deepti Naval in cameo of Ammaji, as usual does not disappoint, yet she again proves what a great actress she is….Another actor Ravi Jhankal as Mamaji performs well, an actor who has been around for long but not given enough chances….

To make the proceedings of the movie more gritty Arvind Kannabiran’s cinematography played a crucial role by capturing the ruggedness of the country side realistically and making the correct divide between Gurgaon high rise and the Haryana country side. Action by Armin Sauer & Abdul Salaam Ansari is too realistic and at times gruesome but I must say effective because reality is not that rosy. But I felt the editing could have been crisper by Jabeen Merchant.

Naveen Singh after a fantastic “Manorama Six Feet Under” does impress with “NH10”, albeit falls prey to a few Bollywood stereotypes which takes away a bit of originality which was the USP of his previous movie. NH10 may not be another Manorama but it definitely is a brilliant effort by Navdeep Singh especially the performances which were A class…

I must say for Anushka Sharma who is just 7 movies old, becoming a producer and that to with such a hard hitting subject really needs guts and kudos to her for doing so…

I would go with 3 and a Half Stars….

Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)

 

Trailer UGLY

TRAILER OF Ugly

At last Anurag Kashyap’s “Ugly” releases Aug’14….after almost a year from its official release date of Oct’13…..A psychological thriller Written & Directed By Anurag Kashyap himself stars Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhatt, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Surveen Chawla & Sidharth Kapoor….The trailer looks interesting and hope the movie is interesting as well…..

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.