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: 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: Baaghi

Baaghi: Nothing Rebellious about this Rebel

Baaghi Movie ReviewSabbir Khan introduced Tiger Shroff to Bollywood in an impressive “Heropanti” which may not be termed as a classic but it was entertaining and an ideal launch vehicle for a newcomer and giving due credit to Tiger Shroff he did not disappoint us. The same director actor duo comes up with “Baaghi”….hence the expectations are high…

“Baaghi” has slim story line of a rebel Ronny who is sent to Kerala by his dying father to Guruswamy (Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj) to be trained in martial arts of Kalaripayattu to discipline his life. On the way to Kerala Ronny meets Sia (Shradha Kapoor) and falls in love. Trouble starts when Raghav ( Sudheer Babu Posani), Guruswamy’s son also falls in love with Sia. Does Ronny get his love and gets tamed by Guruswamy is what the movie is all about….

Story & Screenplay written by Sanjeev Dutta is extremely clichéd and predictable to the core. The love story between the two principle characters which forms the very basis of the story is the weakest without any emotion or chemistry amongst the pair. The love story is filled with clichés and looks dated, and at times the love story is unintentionally funny, like rain being a catalyst to their love. After a point the love story becomes unbearable and the last thing you want to see is the love track. The characters written are extremely sketchy, like why Ronny is rebellious, or why Raghav who is the son of the Trainer Guruswamy becomes so notorious, or the character of Sia’s father who seems to be greedy is never explored properly. The training and action sequences are a direct lift from South Asian movies especially “The Raid”. Rather the training sequences are the only interesting facets of the script but unfortunately it is not explored. Another flaw in the screenplay is, that the sequences are left unfinished, like what happens pre interval or nobody does anything when Guruswamy dies, making no sense. Many characters are introduced but never explored like the child character Subbu who sounded like the child character of “Hatya”. The first half is actually boring and drags….The dialogues also sound very 90’s and dated which pulls down the screenplay yet more….Overall the writing is extremely weak and at the end “Baaghi”  neither is a love story nor a complete action packed movie…

Even the performances do not save the day… Tiger Shroff as Ronny looks like he is repeating his “Heropanti” act, but what worked for him in his debut movie falls flat for him in this movie. He seems extremely uncomfortable in romantic and emotional scenes and looks comfortable only in action sequences. Another flaw is his dialogue delivery which has a heavy English accent; he really needs to brush up his Hindi diction if he wants to survive. Shradha Kapoor as Sia again repeats her “Aashiqui 2”, “Ek Villain” and “ABCD 2” act of a chirpy and girl next door but unfortunately fails this time. I won’t say it was a bad act but then there was nothing new as well, would love to see Shradha in more sensitive roles like that of Arshia in “Haider”. There is absolutely no chemistry between the lead pair… Telegu actor Sudheer Babu who debuts in “Baaghi” as Raghav the antagonist, is the only performance worth watching in the movie, he justifies his menacing act with his portrayal, but it is the writing which pulls down his performance, hope Bollywood gives more chances to Sudheer Babu…Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj the commando trainer of the Indian Army makes his acting debut as Guruswamy in this movie, and he does complete justice to his character and his sequences are few of the worth watching sequences of the movie especially the training sequences but unfortunately the screenplay did not give too much scope to his character. Rest of the cast like Sunil Grover, Sanjay Mishra end up hamming instead of acting and are wasted….

Action is the biggest highlight of the movie; action directors Kecha Kammpakdee and Javed Ejaz choreograph the stunt sequence brilliantly and give an international feel, they exploited the core strength of Tiger Shroff to the fullest…

The Cinematography by Binod Pradhan is one of the highlights of the movie…he captures Kerala and Bangkok like a dream…he gives the dreamy hue in the Kerala sequences and gives the gritty feel while capturing the by lanes of Bangkok….

Music is another highlight of the movie….the top three songs would be “Cham Cham” composed by Meet Brothers and rendered beautifully by Monali Thakur, the love ballad “Sab Tera” composed by Amaal Mallik and rendered by Armaan Mallik & Shradha Kapoor and last being “Girl I Need You” another ballad by Meet Brothers and sung beautifully by Arijit Singh…

Sabbir Khan could not salvage the already weak script with his direction; rather Sabbir is extremely weak in emotional quotient which was evident in his previous movies “Kambakt Ishq” and “Heropanti”. Sabbir looks completely confused what he wanted to make, whether a love story or a martial arts action movie….and the confusion is quite evident in the narration…

“Baaghi” is extremely clichéd and Tiger Shroff’s second outing is a BIG disappointment…the end credits where they show the behind the scenes clippings were more entertaining than the whole movie… I will go with “One and a half stars”….

Movie Rating: (1.5 / 5)

Movie Review : ABCD 2

ABCD 2: Too Much Dance, Too Much Glitz But Not Too much of Story

ABCD revived the genre of dance based movies in 2013, which gave Mithun and B Subhash success in the 80’s. It cemented Remo D’Souza as a sought after director and gave India its first answer to Hollywood’s movie “Step Up”…..

Remo takes the sequel ABCD 2 a step further where Vishnu Sir takes another task of training a group of underdogs from Nalasopara which includes Suresh (Varun Dhawan) a waiter, Vinnie (Shradha Kapoor) a hair stylist and a bunch of their motley gang to participate in the International Hip Hop contest in Las Vegas.

Well as claimed in the beginning Remo D’souza’s story is inspired by a true story of a dance group from Nalasopara called “Ficticious”. ABCD 2 ReviewScreenplay is by Tushar Hiranandani & Remo himself, which does not give that impact though the story is awe inspiring saga of bunch of nobodies who become somebody. The screenplay emphasizes more on the dances than on the story making it look like a Dance reality show. It lacks the emotional quotient. There are too many tracks one of Vishnu and his family, one of Suresh and his dancer mother, a dancer Vinod who has some ailment but none of these tracks make any sense in the overall scheme of things and it just remains just a track to increase the run time. The characters are not fleshed out properly not even of the 3 principal characters Vishnu, Suresh and Vinnie. Overall the ABCD 2 becomes an array of dance events and nothing more.

Dialogues by Mayur Puri, is funny in some sequences but for most part of it the dialogues does not give the required punch especially in the confrontation sequences or emotional sequences and the sequence falls flat.

One thing that stands out is the choreography and the well mounted dance sequences. Rather it is the dance sequences which are the hero of the movie. Everyone knows Remo’s fascination for Hip Hop and he utilizes his love for the dance form in this movie. Choreography by Remo & Terence Lewis is extremely well executed and shot. Especially the “Ganaraya” song in the pre climax, the usage of Ganesh mantras in a Hip Hop form was the best fusion I have seen in recent time. The love song “If you hold my hand” shot at the Grand Canyon is very well executed and the usage of the 3D format particularly for this song is very well utilized. The Climax song is very well choreographed but I just hope the song was also up to the mark.

Performance wise the movie takes does not boast of any stand out performance, Prabhu Deva as Vishnu Sir Looks disinterested all throughout the movie. Varun Dhawan as Suresh tries very hard but gives a very average performance; he actually falls flat in the emotional sequences. Shradha’s portrayal of Vinnie remains average as well. Lauren Gattlieb as Olive is good in Dance sequences but the same cannot be said about her acting skills. Puneet as the deaf & dumb dancer Vinod and Dharmesh as the dancer from Gujarat still stand out with their performances as compared to the rest of the dancers. Tisca Chopra is wasted in a miniscule role of Vishnu’s wife. Pooja Batra as the owner of an Indian Restaurant does not have much to do than smiling in all the frames. Overall the movie is very weak in performances.

Music by Sachin-Jigar is as peppy and melodious as it was for ABCD. Some of the songs like “Chunar” sung by Arijit Singh is a stand out and so is the “Ganaraya” song which basically mixes Indian classical ragas with foot tapping sounds.

Remo wins brownie points for the well executed and choreographed songs, but fails in creating an overall impact especially due to the lack of story and absence of any emotional quotient or should I say not so well executed emotional sequences. Somewhere the movie does not connect and remains as I said earlier an array of well mounted dance sequences….

For dance lovers the movie is a treat but rest it is just an average dance movie….It will go with 2 and a half stars….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

If you have not seen the trailer yet, click the link below

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Official Trailer : ABCD 2

Remo D’Souza continues Vishnu Sir’s (Prabhu Deva) journey in ABCD 2, which is a step up on the first part ABCD in terms of scale and grandness…

ABCD 2

This installment the cast comprises of Varun Dhawan & Shradha Kapoor playing the main lead as Suresh and Vinnie. Prabhu Deva repeats his act of Vishnu Sir and from the first part Dharmesh Yelande and Lauren Gottlieb are repeated along with Allu Arjun in cameo, Raghav Juyal and Prachi Shah…

Shot in US, Las Vegas and Mumbai the movie definitely looks sleek and the choreography as per the promo looks good…

Remo repeats his writing team from “ABCD”, Tushar Hiranandani writing the screenplay and dialogues by Mayur Puri….

Music again we have Sachin-Jigar scoring the music, this is their third association with Remo starting with  “FALTU” and  “ABCD” , now “ABCD 2”…expecting another foot taping music by Sachin-Jigar for this movie as well…

ABCD 2 is Produced by Disney and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures

Be ready for the Dance Musical Extravaganza from Remo D’Souza  on 19th June’15….

Till then enjoy the Official Trailer….

Movie Review : Haider

Haider: A Complex subject handled with care….

Vishal Bharadwaj completes his trilogy with William Shakespear’s adaptation of “Hamlet”, earlier he made” Maqbool”, an adaptation of Macbeth and “Omkara”, an adaptation of Othello.Haider_2014_POSTER

“Hamlet” was a difficult subject to adapt but Vishal Bharadwaj in association with Basharat Meer has adapted it beautifully. Vishal’s “Hamlet” or “Haider” is set in Kashmir, year 1995, and it tells the story of Haider’s (Shahid Kapoor) search for his missing father Dr Hilal Meer (Narendra Jha)who was captured by the army.

“Hamlet” had many layers to its premise and Vishal has tried to stick to the premise and interwoven those layers with élan. Each character right from Haider (Prince Hamlet) to the two Salmans (Courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) who play Haider’s childhood friends who spy on Haider to the Gravediggers has been etched well. Vishal has been true to the play and the writing is so strong that you feel the pain and ethos of Haider. Haider’s relationship with his mother Gazala (Queen Gertrude) has been portrayed with sensitivity and all the sequences between them are the highlight of the movie. It is Gazala’s character which is the best written character in the movie, it is mysterious and unpredictable till the end. It is the second half when the narration slips a bit and slows down the pace; even the climax seems a bit overstretched. It is the 162 mins run time which is a drawback; it could have been 15 mins shorter. Dialogues by Vishal Bharadwaj is witty and at the same time with a lot of depth.

Performances by the ensemble cast are the biggest highlight of the movie. Shahid Kapoor as Haider is one of his best performances till date and you can feel the pain and anguish. In some sequences he surpasses all expectations especially the sequence at Lal Chowk, it tapped his versatility as an actor, he proves that only he could have played Prince Hamlet which is the most complex character in English literature. Tabu as Haider’s mother Gazala is the best performance of the movie; she is brilliant and does justice to Vishal’s writing and vision of Queen Gertrude. Kay Kay Menon as Khurram (Claudius), Haider’s uncle proves again that he is an actor to watch out for; he is the most underutilized actor of Bollywood. Narendra Jha as Haider’s Father (King Hamlet) Hilal Meer is the surprise element of the movie. He does an excellent job considering the strong actors in the cast, still he shines. Lalit Parimoo another brilliant but underutilized actor plays Parvez Lone (Polonius), the army chief of Kashmir, and his portrayal of this conniving character who loves his daughter is another highlight performance of the movie. His portrayal is underplayed aptly and that is the beauty of his performance. Irfan Khan (The Ghost) as Roohdar the Pakistani militant is a cameo but his portrayal makes it a memorable character of the movie. Shradha Kapoor as Arshi (Ophelia) Haider’s love interest is good but her performance gets lost due to some brilliant performances by the rest of the cast. The two Salmans (Courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) Haider’s childhood friends played by Sumit Kaul & Rajat Bhagat give you the comic relief but are the weakest characters written in this movie. Kulbhushan Kharbanda in a cameo as Gazala’s father-in-law was a delight.

Shot entirely in Kashmir and it has been captured beautifully on celluloid by Pankaj Kumar. Dolly Ahluwalia again creates her impact through her costumes which were well researched and developed. Production Design by Subrata Chakraborthy & Amit Ray again was one of the best aspects of Haider. Music another forte of this movie by Vishal Bharadwaj in haunting, especially the Kashmiri folk inspired Bismil and the sensitive Jhelum sung by Vishal himself.

Vishal Bharadwaj again proves that he is a sensitive film maker and good with complex subjects. He succeeds in extracting some of the best performances of this year from his cast. The length and the overstretched climax make “Haider” a few notches short from being a classic.

This is definitely not an entertainer but if you want to watch a good sensitive movie (which is rare) go for it, I will go with 4 stars….a definite watch…

Movie Rating: (4 / 5)

Review Ek Villain

Ek Villain: A Violent Love Story

After “Aashique 2 “ Mohit Suri is counted amongst the top directors of Bollywood today and “Ek Villain” is his first movie outside Vishesh Films. Hence a lot of expectations were built before the release by Balaji’s Marketing strategy and with good music to back it, this could have been a cake walk for Mohit .Ek Villain

“Ek Villain” is the Bollywood remake of the Korean movie “I Saw the Devil”, Mohit with Tushar Hiranandani tries his best to put it in a Hindi Film formula. So it tells us the story of Guru (Sidharth Malhotra) who is the henchman of the local goon Ceaser (Remo Fernandes) who kills people for living but life changes for him when he meets Ayesha (Shradha Kapoor) and marries her but the happiness is short lived when a serial killer Rajesh (Riteish Deshmukh) plays havoc with their lives. How Guru copes up with the serial killer makes the rest of the story.

Written by Tushar Hiranandani the screenplay is bumpy and the problem is Tushar wanted to mix all genres in one film whether it was Romance or Thriller or Action and too many sub plots and inane characters in the sub plots weakens the main plot. The is no proper justification given as to why Rajesh becomes a serial killer, I felt some more work should have gone in making this character believable, it looks half baked. The biggest plus of the screenplay is, that it is fast. The dialogues by Milap Zaveri at times is good and at times it looks too dramatic for no rhyme and reason.

Mohit Suri’s direction emphasizes too much into blood and gore. The confrontation sequences between the two main protagonists Guru and Rajesh looks interesting initially but later becomes repetitive. Mohit tries to put quite a few twists which makes the movie a bit interesting. But Mohit fails to keep the interest of the audience till the end which is important for a thriller.

It is the performances by the lead cast which lifts the movie especially the chemistry between Sidharth & Shradha. Sidharth as Guru puts his best till date, it is a good to see Sidharth doing something which is outside his comfort zone. Shradha Kapoor brings the freshness with her portrayal of Ayesha and her presence gives the audience a breather from the blood and gore. Riteish Deshmukh as Rajesh brings enough menace required for the role but it is the writing which puts him down, this could have been a memorable character. Other actors like Remo Fernandes and Shaad Randhawa are wasted. Kamal R Khan (Remember KRK) is irritating and wastes screen time.

The music is another highlight of the movie, somehow Mohit just like his uncle Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt gets the best from his composers. So again Ankit Tiwari, Mithoon and the Pakistani music band SOCH ( Rabi Ahmed & Adnan Dhool )give melodious music, especially “Galiyaan” composed and sung by Ankit Tiwari and “Banjara” composed by Mithoon and sung by Mohd. Irfan are the best.

Cinematography by Vishnu Rao is pleasing to the eyes. Editing by Deven Murudeshwar is good.

Mohit Suri could have made the movie into a classic thriller but alas misses it; I would go with 3 Stars (One Extra Star for Sidharth & Shradha’s chemistry)