Movie Review : Sanju

Sanju: A Heart Warming Blend of Reality & Fiction

“Sanju” was in limelight from the day the movie was launched, the reason, the talented combination of Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir Kapoor Sanju Movie Reviewcoming together for the first time and above all the man on which the movie is based Sanjay Dutt, whose life has been nothing more of a blockbuster movie.

“Sanju” largely captures two very eminent chapters of Sanjay Dutt’s life, one his struggle during his drugs days and how he rose like a phoenix and re-started his life, and second his brush with law for possession of arms first under TADA and next under Arms Act. It also captures his relationships with his parents and his friends with the most emphasis on his relationship with his father Sunil Dutt.

The deadly combination of Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi again weaves in the magic as their previous movies (Munnabhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munnabhai, 3 Idiots and PK). The screenplay is the strongest point of the movie wherein Sanjay Dutt is not shown holier than thou and is shown as human with all the shortcomings and shown more as a victim of circumstances, which may not be completely true but we are not complaining. The movie primarily captures what the Dutt household went through during Sanjay’s Drugs days and later his case for keeping AK 56, what the common people do not know and how media played havoc in their lives. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry and it makes you think whether all is true that is circulated in the form of news. The screenplay very smartly blends the melodrama to heighten the emotional quotient but still it keeps you entertained and does not look over the top. The father son scenes are the highlight of the movie and stays with you long after the movie is over.

Even the best of screenplay cannot shine without the right set of actors and the casting by Mukesh Chabra is apt. Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt just kills it by living the role and gets everything correct, right from the mannerism to the swag and the way he looks from being a 20 year old to a man of 50 years, even the way he talks, all is so apt that 10 minutes into the movie and you forget the real Sanjay Dutt and start thinking Ranbir as Sanjay Dutt. Ranbir Kapoor will definitely sweep all the awards for this year in all award functions. We can say Ranbir Kapoor is back. Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s friend Kanhaiyalal Kapasi does a brilliant job, he is not only good in comic sequences but raises the bar in emotional scenes, especially that one scene when he confronts Paresh Rawal who plays Sunil Dutt. Vicky after “Raazi” re-iterates his calibre and credential with “Sanju”. Vicky will sweep all the awards for “Best Supporting Actor” category this year. Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt gives a crackling performance; especially his scenes with Ranbir Kapoor are a delight to watch. Manisha Koirala who plays Nargis Dutt brings the breath of fresh air in her performance of an ailing mother who is spirited and loves his son to death, a brilliant come back I must say. Anushka Sharma as the biographer Winnie Diaz, though a relatively small role but she makes an impact nonetheless. Dia Mirza as Manyata Dutt does not have much to do. Jim Sarbh as the drug pedlar Zubin Mistry continues with his mean act with élan. Sonam Kapoor brings the glamour quotient to the movie. Rest of the cast like Boman Irani, Karsihma Tanna, Sayaji Shinde and Anjan Shrivastav do a good job.

Rajkumar Hirani does not lose his Midas touch in “Sanju”. His simplistic way of narration strikes the chord, making it relatable and connecting with the audience well. The beauty of Rajkumar Hirani is that he keeps the melodrama intact without making is jarring and even in serious scenes he has the element of humour which makes it entertaining. Hirani has this knack of creating the right ambience for his scenes whether it is a comic sequence or an emotional scene which does the magic. Yet again Rajkumar Hirani proves his worth as a fabulous film maker.

A movie cannot be what it is without its technical crew who make the vision of the director live. Starting with the cinematography by S Ravi Varman, who presents Hirani’s vision with the right colour and texture to the scenes through his camera, Production Designer Shashank Tere accentuates visual appeal of the movie with the right props as per the time which is being presented in the scene.

There are precisely 4 songs in movie starting with “Main Bhi Bandhiyaan” by Rohan-Rohan which is beautifully sung by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan and is a fun song, which will play in the party circles for long, Ruby Ruby by A R Rahman is melodious but I thought that song was not given its due credit in the execution, the third song “Kar Har Maidan Fateh” is a motivational song by Vikram Montrose and sung hauntingly by Sukhwindara Singh and Shreya Ghoshal is the best track of the movie and even in the movie it comes at the right time and the last song which is in the credits “Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho gaya” is again a fun song by Vikram Montrose and sung by Papon and Ranbir Kapoor has an element of surprise in the movie.

In a nutshell “Sanju” strikes the right chord, thanks to the magic created by Rajkumar Hirani and the fabulous performance by Ranbir Kapoor and rest of the cast, making it one of the best biopic of Bollywood, I will go with 4 stars.

Movie Rating: (4 / 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)

Movie Review: Tamasha

Tamasha: Ranbir & Deepika crackle in the otherwise confused Tamasha

Imtiaz Ali after a subtle “Highway”, comes back with the big budget love story “Tamasha”, which explores an array of human emotions….

Imtiaz again teams up with Ranbir Kapoor after “Rockstar” and Deepika Padukone after “Love Aaj Kal” and explores the crackling chemistry of Ranbeer Kapoor & Deepika Padukone very well…Tamasha Review

“Tamasha” explores the story of Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) & Tara (Deepika Padukone) who meet in Corsica when both are on a holiday and they promise not to reveal their true identities and will behave as somebody else without any inhibitions. They spend time at Corsica and separate with a promise that they would not meet again. But destiny had different plans as both meet again and plan to have a relationship, but Tara could not fathom the Ved who is more like a corporate machine and in a rat race, what happens to their relationship is what the movie is all about…

Imtiaz Ali’s story & screenplay starts with a lot of colours and develops the lead characters well with a lot of fun sequences in Corsica. The movie looses steam in the second half when the movie becomes predictable and becomes a mish mash of Imtiaz’s previous movie “Jab We Met”, “ Love Aaj Kal” & “Rockstar”. Imtiaz Ali oscillates from effervescent love to dark emotions like “Rockstar”, rather Imitiaz  over does the dark emotion even in sequences where it was not required. One of the major issue of the script was the to & fro of flashback which puts a break to a smooth narration and also dilutes the message of being what we believe we are…..Another part where he falters is to justify the lead Ved’s erratic behaviour time and again. Somewhere I felt Imtiaz was confused on what he wanted to make, a flowery love story or a dark love story which was clear in a not so convincing and predictable climax……

It is the lead pair of Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone who make the movie a worth watch, especially Ranbir Kapoor who yet again proves his mettle as a class actor, he just lights up the screen and to compliment him is Deepika Padukone who as Tara is like a fresh air and shows immense confidence and maturity in emotional as well as comic scenes. The chemistry of the lead pair just engulfs the entire movie that the other actors just do not matter. Though Piyush Mishra as the story teller and Javed Shaikh as Ved’s father do a brilliant job and make their presence felt….

Ravi Varman’s cinematography elevates the movie by capturing Corsica, Shimla & Delhi like a dream. Aki Narula & Anahita Shroff Adajania’s costumes give the required colour to the characters…

It is the music of A R Rahman which brings another dimension to the movie and elevates the narration in a musical format with the sequential songs, but “Mutturghasti” rendered by Mohit Chauhan tops the chart with its fresh rendition…

Imtiaz Ali tries to play with various emotions in the movie resulting in NOT so consistent narration which ultimately becomes the biggest drawback of the movie….but he successfully renders the message of “Living Life Full size by being what you are”

But the crackling chemistry of Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone deserves 3 stars….

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

 

 

Official Trailer : Tamasha

Imitiaz Ali after the critically acclaimed “Highway” (2014) is back with a mainstream romantic drama “Tamasha”. As the title suggests it will be drama to its fullest….

The story is of Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) & Tara (Deepika Padukone), Ved who fanaticizes about various characters of the stories that he has Tamasha Trailerheard during his growing up years and Tara who is a huge fan of Asterix comics and lives life on her own terms. Both meet in the beautiful island of Corsica, France and they start living a life that they always wanted with no strings attached just like the story they had heard, post which they go their respective ways only to meet again after many years, but now they meet as what they really are, can they re-connect again is what the movie is all about….

The story premise sounds interesting and Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone again pair together after the huge box office hit “Ye Jawaani Hain Deewani” (2013).

Imtiaz Ali is working with both the actors for the second time, he has worked with Ranbir Kapoor in “Rockstar” (2011) and with Deepika Padukone in “Love Aaj Kal” (2009), and both the films consolidated the position of the respective actors.

Shot extensively in Corsica the cinematography of Ravi Varman looks appealing in the Official Trailer.

Imtiaz Ali again pairs with A R Rahman for “Tamasha”…..will it again put A R Rahman back in the marquee, well only future will tell once the music releases…..

Produced by Nadiadwala Grandsons (Sajid Nadiadwala) and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, “Tamasha” releases on 27th November, 2015….

Till then enjoy the Official Trailer which looks appealing…..

 

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)

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 : Roy

Roy: No joy in this Roy

It is good to see that story telling in Bollywood is changing and film makers are trying different subjects and Roy Posterdifferent formats of storytelling. But being different does not mean that the entertainment quotient is missing or the pace needs to be slow.

Vikramjit Singh the debutant director and writer of Roy completely loose the plot in being different. Roy tells the story of hot shot film maker Kabir (Arjun Rampal) who is not only known for his successful movies but also for his Casanova ways and his link ups. While making his third movie he meets Ayesha (Jacqueline Fernandez) a British film maker while shooting his movie in Malaysia and falls in love. As a film maker he gets the writer’s block in scripting his movie which is based on a thief ROY (Ranbir Kapoor). Somewhere Kabir’s personal life starts reflecting in the script and what happens when Kabir gets entangled in the web of real life and his imaginary life of his movie forms the crux of the rest of the movie.

Vikramjit’s concept is different and very complex and trying such a movie in itself is a big task. But where Vikram jit fails as a writer is his inability to execute the idea both as a story and screenplay. The story had an inherent flaw of being completely abstract and the screenplay pulls down the movie further. The 147 min movie is extremely slow and does not pick up at all; being a thriller this is the biggest flaw. Secondly the audience keeps on expecting some twist but every time it disappoints and the climax completely falls flat. The movie fails in the genre that it belonged, a thriller.

The dialogues again written by Vikramjit and Hussain Dalal is good in some sequences and it does not makes any sense in some and sounds too preachy and completely out of sync.

Performance wise Arjun Rampal as Kabir does complete justice and his earnestness shows. Ranbir Kapoor looks extremely out of sync and completely disinterested in his portrayal of the thief Roy, in some sequences he looks visibly uncomfortable. I think this is one of the weakest performances of Ranbir Kapoor after Besharam, it was sad to see Ranbir not being upto the mark. The bright spot of the movie is Jacqueline Fernandez’s portrayal of both Ayesha as well as Tia. She looked extremely glamorous and shows a huge improvement as a performer. Shernaz Patel, Rajit Kapoor & Anupam Kher are wasted completely in insignificant roles and cameos. Rest of the cast hardly has anything to contribute.

Himman Dhamija’s cinematography is so mesmerizing and he has captured Malaysia so well that you would plan your next vacation at Malaysia. The next strong point of the movie is its music by Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros & Ankit Tiwari. The music is melodious and has been beautifully choreographed by Ahmed Khan.

As a film maker Vikramjit Singh presents the movie with enough gloss & glamour and style, but unfortunately only these elements do not make a Good movie. As a debut film Vikramjit had a fabulous cast and equally good technical team. Even Vikramjit’s overall concept was also fresh and new for Bollywood but he completely wastes this opportunity with a weak story and an extremely slow paced screenplay. I will go with 2 stars…

Movie Rating: (2 / 5)

Review : Barfi

Barfi!: Re-defining love in Indian Cinema

“Barfi” as the name sounds unusual, so is the movie. Some movies stay with you long after it is over, “Barfi” is such a movie.

Barfi“Barfi” tells the tale of Barfi or should we say Murphy (Ranbir Kapoor) who is deaf & dumb and who falls in love with Shruti (Ileana D’cruz), but soon gets dumped by her due to his impairment, then enters Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) a autistic, and how Barfi & Jhilmil form a bond and which then translates into love forms the crux of the story…

The movie’s story & screenplay by Anurag Basu is brilliant, every scene is written with utmost perfection imparting the right emotion. Basu pays tribute to the legend Charlie Chaplin in many scenes. Dialogues by Sanjeev Dutta though less gel with the screenplay and create the right impact.

The highlight off course is the performances, Ranbir Kapoor proves that you do not need dialogues to convey the right emotion; his powerhouse performance makes Barfi a memorable character. Ranbir should be the top contender for all the awards this year.  Priyanka Chopra as the autistic Jhilmil is brilliant. In some sequences Chopra ‘s performance gives a new dimension, definitely a award winning performance. Ileana D’cruz as Shruti aptly supports with her subtle yet superb portrayal, definitely an actress to watch out for. The rest of the cast like Saurabh Shukla, Roopa Ganguly, Ashish  Vidyarthi   & Akash Khurana also do a brilliant job. Overall every actor no matter how small the role is, has done justice.

The captain of the ship, director Anurag Basu has created a classic, though I would not compare him to the legendary directors but with Barfi, Anurag has definitely created a niche for himself. The other departments like editing by Akiv Ali gives an edge to the pace. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is breathtaking, it creates the right ambience. The production design by Rajat Poddar creates the 70’s well.

Music in Barfi plays a vital role, Pritam does a superb job, I think one of his best this year. The lyrics by Swanand Kirkire, Neelesh Mishra, Ashish Pandit & Saeed Quadri does justice to the scores.

Overall an exceptional movie and A MUST WATCH, 5 stars from me….