Movie Review: Rock On 2

Rock On 2: Nothing rocking about it…

Excel Entertainment, co-partnered by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani has always tried in re-inventing content in Bollywood, starting from their first “Dil Chahta Hai”. “Rock On” which released in 2008, introduced rock music to Bollywood and each and every song became popular taking the music directors Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to a different level, and so were the movie which was based on a rock band “Magik” and its team members. “Rock On” was not only received critical acclaim but it was a box office hit…So naturally when its sequel “Rock On 2” happens the expectations are naturally sky high…

“Rock On 2” takes you 10 years hence from where the prequel ended, it tells the story of each band member and their respective struggles and how they come together to make music again is what the movie is all about…rock-on-2-review

Story written by the erstwhile director of “Rock On”, Abhishek Kapoor and Pubali Chaudhuri and screenplay by Pubali Chaudhuri, completely looses the plot right from the word go. The movie just does not have any high at all, it is flat all throughout. There is not a single scene which makes you sit up. The screenplay is painstakingly slow and fails to create any interest whatsoever. Even the characters from the prequel Adi (Farhan Akhtar), Joe (Arjun Rampal) and KD (Purab Kohli) look bored and completely exhausted, and their beard look endorses the same. The characters from the prequel which were so interesting, the script fails to take them to the next level rather the writing turns them into a complete bore. Even the introduction of new characters like Jia (Shradha Kapoor) and Uday (Shashank Arora) does not help. The writing is too morose and fails miserably…

Surprisingly the dialogues by Farhan Akhtar which is otherwise witty just sounds mundane and does not help the otherwise bland script a wee bit..

But kudos to the performances, Farhan Akhtar as Adi again gives a honest and impactful performance but it is the writing which overshadows his sincere act. Arjun Rampal as Joe again plays the subtle act well, rather I must say Arjun has become a restrained actor in all these years and it shows well, so another good performance by Arjun. Purab as KD again reprises the role of the chirpy band member again but somewhere he overdoes it and it looks and sounds cheesy. Shradha Kapoor as Jia is her most restrained performance till date where she goes beyond playing a chirpy girl, and she does well but again the writing fails to do justice to her earnest and sincere performance, but whatever said Shradha shows that she can do serious role with equal ease. Shashank Arora and Prachi Desai are wasted in uninspiring roles. Kumud Mishra as Vibhuti Charan Sharma a sarod guru and Jia’s father is a one dimensional character and he has the same morose expression throughout the movie, and is Kumud’s weakest portrayal in recent time. But I must say one of the saving grace of the movie is its performances…

The prequel “Rock On” was success due to its amazing music, somewhere this movie just fails to create that impact with its music. None of the songs in the movie created by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is noteworthy that to in musical is a huge let down..I think it is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s weakest album till date…A complete let down…

Debutant director Shujaat Saudagar, fails completely in his first outing and does not any spark as well…I must say one of the weakest debut as director in this year…

The other good thing about the movie other than the performance is its cinematography by Marc Koninckx, it captures the natural beauty of Meghalaya like a dream and the movie looks more like a promotion for Meghalay Tourism than a feature film. I am sure after watching the movie visiting Meghalaya would be in the wish list of many…

“Rock On 2” fails at various levels barring the performances and the cinematography, and in a nut shell “Rock On 2” is a promotion for Meghalaya Tourism and nothing beyond that…I will go with two and a half stars…

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

 

Movie Review : Wazir

Wazir: Not too many thrills as a Thriller

“Wazir” has a fantastic set up, a stellar cast of Amitabh Bachchan & Farhan Akhtar, a good concept and a fantastic set up to mount the movie…..but still “Wazir” makes you feel wanting for more after the movie is over….

The spark that Bijoy Nambiar showed us in “Shaitaan” is missing in “Wazir”….the concept was brilliant with a premise of a crippled Chess player Omkar Nath Dhar a.k.a Pandit ji (Amitabh Bachchan) who meets Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) a suspended ATS officer who has lost his daughter for his duty and in bargain his wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Haidri) leaves him. Pandit ji whose daughter gets killed mysteriously at politician Izaad Qureshi (Manav Kaul) house wants to unravel his daughter’s death, the rest of the movie deals with Panditji and Danish’s struggle to get justice….

The story and screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi had a good premise but looses the steam as it Wazir Movieprogresses and the second half though full of twists and turns but still it fails to create an impact. And the climax which actually reveals the suspense does not create the impact which should have been created. The whole reference to chess and wazir does not come out that clearly. The screenplay could have been tighter by creating more twists. It is said that the antagonist of the story needs to be strong but somehow the character of Izaad Qureshi seems too weak and is shown as an easy target. Though the principal characters of Panditji and Danish are written well, the writing for the rest of the cast is not upto the mark. Rather the whole suspense of the Wazir just fails to impress making the climax look weak…

It is the performances of the cast that makes the difference especially Amitabh Bachchan who plays Panditji with complete conviction and gives a crackling performance to complement him Farhan Akhtar as Danish Ali as the ATS Officer gives a convincing performance as well, this being one of his first serious action role, he bowls us over with his earnest performance. But it is Amitabh Bachchan’s show all the way. Manav Kaul as Izaad Qureshi the politician gives a good performance but it is the writing which pulls him down. Neil Nitin Mukesh as Wazir has a small but effective role which he does with full conviction. Aditi Rao Haidri as Roohana does not have much to do other than looking beautiful. John Abraham in a cameo is wasted.

The cinematography of Sanu Varghese adds to the darkness to the thriller. The action sequences are a highlight of the movie, every action sequence is convincing…

Music in “Wazir” does not have much to do but some songs remain with you like “Tere Bin” & “Maula Mere Maula” by Shantanu Moitra..

Bijoy Nambiar had a fantastic premise which he fails to utilize completely, and gives us a half baked thriller which could have been better, though he does a splendid job with his direction but it is the writing which fails…..

Definitely a onetime watch, especially for Amitabh Bachchan…. I will go with 3 stars

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

Movie Review : Dil Dhadakne Do

Dil Dhadakne Do: Redefining the Indian Family

Family entertainers in Bollywood reminds you of two names Rajshri Productions and Sooraj Barjatya, where the large family sings, dances, laughs and cries together with their “Sanskar” intact.

Zoya Akhtar’s “Dil Dhadakne Do” redefines the Indian family or should I say the Indian High Society family. Portraying the Mehra’s, Zoya dissects the hypocrisy, the fakeness and the make believe world the so called high society families live in.

First_Look_Poster_of_Dil_Dhadakne_DoDDD is primarily a story of the Mehra family, a rich Punjabi family from Delhi which is headed by Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) the father, Neelam Mehra (Shefali Shah) the mother, Ayesha Mehra/Sanga (Priyanka Chopra) the daughterand Kabir Mehra (Ranveer Singh) the youngest son and heir to the Mehra Empire, not to forget the cute Pluto Mehra (Aamir Khan’s voice) the dog, who is the narrator as well.

So the plot unravels in the luxury cruise where the Mehra’s are celebrating 30 years of Kamal & Neelam Mehra’s, Wedding Anniversary with their friends, or should I say so called friends. How the skeletons of the Mehra family comes out of the closet, the so called business deals in the name of family ties, the bitchiness of the high society crème del a crème wives and the merry go round of relationships constituents the premise of DDD.

Story & Screenplay written by Zoya Akhtar & Reema Kagti emphasizes the relations and their complexities, how we fake in front of the world and how an Image in the society is more important than the feelings and relationship. But the biggest flaw of the movie is its pace. In an attempt to make it realistic somewhere the writers compromised on the pace. Another issue with the script was that it focused on too many issues of the heart and the end result was that none of the issues made any impact. But some sequences are so impactful that it remains with us long after the movie is over like the confrontation scene of Sunny and Manav, the pre climax hospital scene between Kabir and Neelam and all the sequences when Pluto is narrating the story. The one relationship which becomes the highlight of DDD is the relationship of the sibling Ayesha & Kabir, all their sequences do not have too many dialogues but their expressions said it all. The principal characters of Kamal, Neelam, Ayesha and Kabir are very well written, especially Kabir’s character which starts being a not so confident guy to a guy who comes on his own, the transition is shown beautifully. The screen time of 170 mins is another flaw, which could have been edited at least by 30 mins. The biggest flaw was the climax which according to me was NOT well defined and concluded.

The dialogues written by Farhan Akhtar is witty and yet impactful. Javed Akhtar’s dialogue of Pluto gives that necessary impact which was required.

The best USP of the movie are the performances, starting with Anil Kapoor who plays Kamal Mehra, his portrayal as the dominating, egoistic control freak yet weak and vulnerable when alone, is spot on and Anil yet again proves his mettle as a performer. Ayesha played by Priyanka Chopra was the most difficult role of the movie, a strong headed individual yet being loyal to her parents was not an easy portrayal, but Priyanka does it brilliantly and convincingly. Ranveer Singh’s portrayal of Kabir is the highlight of the movie, his portrayal goes through various layers and Ranveer portrays it seamlessly. Rather for the first time Ranveer’s scenes wherein he does not have any dialogues yet he creates an impact with his expression, I think this is Ranveer’s second best portrayal after “Band Bajaa Baraat” . I have to mention Pluto the dog, he was so cute that he remains in with you even when the movie gets over, and Aamir Khan’s voice over enhances the impact. Shefali Shah as Neelam Mehra gives the most restrained performance and it works wonders and makes her stand out in the ensemble cast, I must say Shefali is the most under rated and under used actress of Bollywood. Anushka Sharma as Farah Ali is wasted and her character is not only brief but does not add too much, she is decent in whatever she is given but does not create any impact. Farhan Akhtar as Sunny is a guest appearance role, but every sequences he over shadows the rest in the frame, Farhan’s aura is impeccable and I think one of the best guest appearance role in recent time. Rest of the cast comprising of Divya Seth, Manoj Pahwa, Parmeet Sethi, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, newcomer Ridhima Sud, Vikram Massey, Ayesha Raza, Vandana Sajnani, Dolly Matoo everybody did an excellent job and enhanced the overall impact of the movie.

Carlos Catalan’s cinematography remains the highlight of DDD as it was for Zoya’s previous movies “Luck By Chance” & “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, all sequences across India, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain and Tunisia has been captured beautifully and takes the movie a few notches higher.

Costume design by Arjun Bhasin, as usual is classy yet understated and apt for each character. Neil Patel’s Production design captures the mood of the movie well. The editing by Anand Subaya and Manan Mehta was the weakest; I think the editing could have been crisp.

Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is not that great excluding the title song and Galla Goodiyan song which has been picturised by Bosco-Ceaser well, the other song which has been well choreographed is “Girls can Swing”.

Zoya Akhtar scores high on performances that she has extracted from the ensemble cast but unfortunately fails in creating a cohesive screenplay and fails miserably in concluding the movie. I would say DDD is Zoya’s weakest film till date.

I would say a huge opportunity lost with such a crackling star cast if the screenplay would have been good then it would have a classic for sure….I will go with 3 stars (One additional star for the performances)…

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

Watch the trailer

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Official Trailer : Dil Dhadakne Do

Well “Dil Dhadakne Do” is the most awaited movie of the year 2015, thanks to the ensemble star cast of Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma , Shefali shah & Rahul Bose….Phew isn’t it exciting well the original cast was more exciting what with Anil Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Madhuri Dixit…well things did not work out and excluding Anil Kapoor the entire cast was changed….

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Zoya Akhtar after her critically acclaimed “Luck By Chance” and her successful road movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” comes up with her latest “Dil Dhadakne Do” a story on relationships.

The story written by Zoya Akhtar & Reema Kagti tells us the story of the dysfunctional Mehra family who plan to reconnect with each other on a cruise. The dialogues have been written by Farhan Akhtar so expect some witty dialogues and additional dialogues by Javed Akhtar promise the poetry as well…

Zoya repeats her favorite Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for music, so expect another chart buster album from the trio

Produced by JungleePictures and Excel Entertainment, distributed by Eros International the movie releases on June 5th, 2015….

The official trailer looks quite promising and looks like Zoya has another winner…..

Trailer Of DIL CHAHTA HAI

NOSTALGIA…”Dil Chahta Hai” a cult movie of 2001 which changed the face of Bollywood and how movies are made in Bollywood….see the Official Trailer of “Dil Chahta Hai

Trivia Of Dil Chahta Hai

TRIVIA….”Dil Chahta Hai” a cult movie which changed the way movies were made in Bollywood….it also consolidated Aamir Khan’s position in Indian Cinema…But did you know Aamir was not a part of the original cast of “DIL CHAHTA HAI“…..for more read below…

 

Trivia 8

 

Review : Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

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.

Bhaag Milkha BhaagDirector 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.