Brilliant Concept and a compelling cast are two ingredients of a good movie, but if the screenplay and execution falters both the ingredients is just a waste. Well “Irada” is such a catastrophe.
“Irada” tells the story of small town of Punjab where a PPFL, a Pharma company owned by businessman Paddy Sharma (Sharad Kelkar) has a supremacy in the city and the state, having the CM Ramandeep Braitch (Divya Dutta) under his influence. The company does reverse boring to dispose the chemical waste, wherein the chemical waste of the Pharma Company is drilled inside the ground which in return has contaminated the water and soil. Unaware of all this ex armyman Prabjeet Singh Walia (Naseeruddin Shah) and his daughter Riya (Rumana Molla) lead a normal life until Riya is diagnosed of cancer and she dies. On the other hand a journalist who has evidence of PPFL polluting the city is killed and Maya (Sagarika Ghatge) his girlfriend goes pillar to post to unravel the mystery of the killing of his boyfriend. In the meantime there is a blast in PPFL and the reverse boring plant gets destroyed, to investigate a NIA officer Arjun Mishra (Arshad Warsi) is sent for investigation. What does Arjun find in his investigation and who is responsible for the blast is what the movie is all about.
The concept of Eco terrorism has been explored first time in Bollywood, and it has an element of novelty, but the screenplay unfortunately fails to live up to the novelty. The movie could have been a great thriller but the sequences look scattered and has no logical graph in the events depicted. How the blast was planned and executed is completely written in haste. The characters are also not fleshed out properly and they end up looking like mindless caricatures. The pace is also an issue; it has a lazy demeanour to the pace. Some shocking facts have been highlighted like the cancer train or the reverse boring etc, but a weak narration loosens its impact. The climax looks too amateurish to be true. Overall the script is only able to scratch the surface of the issue, unlike “Udta Punjab” where the issue was researched and presented well. Somehow it is the dialogues which are so well written that it somewhere redeems the bad writing. But the overall script fails miserably.
“Irada” has an impressive cast and their performances do not disappoint. Naseeruddin Shah as Pramjeet Walia does a brilliant job with all earnestness. Arshad Warsi as the NIA Officer Arjun Mishra yet again proves that he is a brilliant actor but it is teh movies that fail him. He is definitely an underutilized actor who has been ignored by Bollywood. Divya Dutta as the CM does her first negative character with brilliance and her cold demeanour gives her character the depth required. Sagarika Ghatge as Maya is good but she gets overshadowed being surrounded by such brilliant actors. Sharad Kelkar as the shrewd businessman Paddy is excellent, another actor who trying to make his mark slowly and steadily. Rajesh Sharma as Jeetu the GM of the company yet again gives a brilliant performance, but I feel somewhere Rajesh is getting type cast in the roles that he is doing, he needs to do some different roles as well. Rumona Molla as Riya has a brief role but she successfully portrays her character with near perfection and could stand up to the stature of Naseeruddin Shah with whom she had all her scenes. It is the performances which redeems the movie to an extent.
Debutant director Aparnaa Singh takes a topical subject and a brilliant cast but fails in execution which hampers the movie completely. I would say Aparnaa loses a brilliant opportunity in creating a riveting cinema, due to its faulty script.
“Irada” fails to live up to its expectation but the performances save the day to an extent; I will go with Two and a Half Stars…
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. Overall 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.
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.
Director 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.