Movie Review: Ok Jaanu

Ok Jaanu: Sweet but NOT Impactful

Love Stories are a tight rope to walk on, it either can be extremely engaging and cathartic or it can be flat and boring.

Ok Jaanu is a remake of 2015 Tamil Hit “O Kadhal Kanamai” written & directed by Mani Ratnam, an ace in love stories, hit the bulls eye..Ok-Jaanu-movie-Review

“Ok Jaanu” is an urban love story of a couple Adi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Tara (Shradha Kapoor) who does not want to get married and settle for a live- in relationship as they do not want to commit for long term as they have their respective careers to take care of. They stay with an older couple Gopi (Nasseruddin Shah) and Charu (Leela Samson), Charu suffers from an advanced stage of Alzheimer. Will Adi & Tara be serious and commit themselves to matrimony or do they go their separate ways, well that is what the movie is all about..

Written by Mani Ratnam, the story is an amalgamation of sweet and bitter moments of the couple Adi & Tara. Well there is where the problem lies in the writing; it remains sweet throughout the movie without too much of conflict. The screenplay remains flat throughout and never picks up either emotionally or otherwise. The older couple was meant to show the real meaning of a relationship, but somewhere even that track lacks conviction. There are moments but it stops at that, and only a few moments cannot give pace to a run time of 137 minutes. The screenplay is painstakingly slow, till the interval nothing really happens. The climax looks a bit hurried and abrupt. In a nutshell not a great script, hence this love story falls in the other category of flat and boring..

Dialogues by Gulzar do not make any impact either, and it sounds very average coming from an ace writer like him.

Performances of the cast try to salvage the script, the chemistry between Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shradha Kapoor as Adi & Tara makes you sit through the movie. Aditya Roy Kapoor as Adi is almost like Aditya playing himself, he breezes through the role and looks and acts well. Shradha Kapoor as Tara on the other hand again gives a remarkable performance, a slight notch higher that Aditya. Nasseruddin Shah as Gopi, the retired judge, tries hard to make sense through his performance, for a half baked character, but still creates an impact. Leela Samson as Charu, Gopi’s wife does not have much to do but still does a decent job. Kitu Kidwani as Tara’s Mother is wasted. Rest of the cast also do a good job..

Ravi K Chandran’s camera captures Mumbai so beautifully that it becomes a character in the narration. Production Design by Sharmistha Roy is chick, urban and modern, apt for the movie. Costumes by Eka Lakhani suits each character to the T…

Shaad Ali yet again fails to impress, all the departments compliment the movie, other than the script which falls flat. Shaad has been missing the bus for the last few outings because of its writing which is underwhelming. But kudos to Shaad for extracting some good performances, but overall Shaad fails to deliver…

The chemistry between Aditya & Shradha is the only saving grace for the movie; I will go with Three Stars…

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

 

Official Trailer: OK Jaanu

The hit pair of Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shradha Kapoor is back with “OK Jaanu” after 4 years since their last “Aashiqui 2” which released in 2013 and was a big hit. “Aashiqui 2” catapulted the career of both the actors in Bollywood, who were struggling till then…Ok-Jaanu-Official-Trailer

“Ok Jaanu” is a remake of the 2015 hit tamil movie “OK Kanmani” directed by Mani Ratnam, which had Dulquer Salmaan & Nithya Menen in the lead. Written by Mani Ratnam and Dialogues by Gulzar, the story is of a modern day couple who decide not to get married and go in for a live in relationship…

Directed By Shaad Ali, the principal cast of “OK Jaanu” comprises of Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shradha Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah & Leela Samson..

After a string of flops like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) & Kill Dil (2014) whether Shaad Ali will redeem himself with “OK Jaanu” is yet to be seen…

The music of “OK Jaanu” is composed by the ace Music director A R Rahman…

“OK Jaanu” has been produced by Mani Ratnam & Karan Johar under the banner of Madras Talkies & Dharma Productions respectively…

The official trailer gives us a peek on the premise of the movie which looks similar to “Love Aaj Kal”….

“OK Jaanu” releases on 13th Jan 2017….till then enjoy the Trailer…

 

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)

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)

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

Official Trailer : Ungli

Ungli_2Dharma Productions new offering “Ungli” is something completely different from their usual Candy Floss love stories and Rom com…

Directed by Rensil D’Silva, it tells us the story of a group of five who rebel against corruption and start a group called Ungli, whose main motto is exposing the corrupt and teaching them a lesson…

Rensil D’Silva has earlier directed “Kurbaan” in 2009 for Dharma Productions which bombed at the box office.

The ensemble cast comprises of Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda, Neil Bhoopalan, Angad Bedi, Neha Dhupia & Arunoday Singh. I must say quite an interesting cast…

The movie was initially scheduled to release last year but the movie got delayed due to Sanjay Dutt’s arrest and later Karan Johar thought of introducing songs which was not there in the original script. Shradha Kapoor is doing an item number in this movie.

The promo is looking promising. The movie releases on 28th Nov 2014…let’s see whether Rensil gets a hit with this one….

 

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 : 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.