Movie Review: Hichki

Hichki: Predictable yet Heart Warming

“Hichki” is a true example of safe film making; it is moulded in an existing mould taking inspirations from various movies international and Bollywood exploring the theme of teacher and student bonding. Starting from Jagruti to Imtehaan to Taare Zameen Par, this theme has been used successfully, and “Hichki” takes the same path, though primarily it is an adaptation of the book, “Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had” by Brad Cohen.

“Hichki” tells the story of Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherjee) who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome (a neurological disorder which forces the hichki movieindividual to make sounds as and when there is an obstruction in the nerves) who being a part time graphic designer aspires to be a teacher. After a struggle for 5 years she ultimately gets a job at a prestigious school St. Notekar’s as a teacher, wherein she is assigned class 9F which comprises of kids from the nearby slums as per Indian Govt’s right to education. These kids are seen as an outcast who does not blend with rest of the students from elite families which make the kids feel unwanted and they become rebels. Whether Naina is able to regain the kids trust and able to tame them is what the movie is all about.

“Hichki” is written by a team of writers comprising of the director Sidharth Malhotra, Ankur Choudhary, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit. Though the writing team comprises of five writers still there is nothing new about “Hichki”, and right from the word go you will exactly know how will the movie progress and end. Where the movie redeems itself are a few moments between Naina and her students that make you really emotional. Though the story and screenplay does not anything new but still it makes you smile and cry along with it, in short the premise and writing successfully connects emotionally because it is the characters and their equation, like the father daughter relationship, the mother daughter relationship, Naina’s relationship with her students that makes the difference. Overall the writing is decent but not extraordinary.

“Hichki” is a Rani Mukherjee’s movie throughout, she is in every frame and she just kills it with her performance, again showing what an actress par excellence she is. Rani internalizes Naina and almost lives her on screen, especially when she has bouts of Tourette. Rani carries the entire movie on her able shoulders and does not disappoint us even in a single frame. Rest of the cast like Neeraj Kabi as Wadia does a good job but I felt that his character was too one dimensional for a brilliant actor like him. Amongst the kids it is Harsh Mayar as Aatish who leaves the maximum impact, rest of the supporting cast does a good job.

Though “Hichki” has songs but none of the songs creates any impact.
Cinematography by Avinash Arun captures the moments well and creates the apt premise for the story.

Siddharth P Malhotra, after an unsuccessful “We Are Family” plays it safe this time around, and the best decision me makes is to cast Rani Mukherjee in the lead role, which was half the battle won. Though he gets the emotional quotient bang on but still we want to see more dimensions in his direction.

“Hichki” is a Rani Mukherjee movie throughout and she does not disappoint, I will go with 3 stars.

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: Brothers

Brothers: Emotion & Blood Gore both over the top

Remakes have been a part of Bollywood history since long, rather now it is more of Official remakes. “Brothers” isBrothers Posters one such remake of 2013 Hollywood movie “Warrior”.

“Brothers” is a tale of two half brothers David Fernandes(Akshay Kumar) and Monty Fernandes(Sidharth Malhotra)who due to circumstances get separated only to come face to face as rivals in a Boxing competition.

With the original story of “Warrior” written by Gavin O’Connor & Cliff Dorfman, and adapted screenplay by Ekta Pathak Malhotra “Brothers” is dipped in emotions, especially in the first half when it tells the story of the two brothers David & Monty and their equation with their father Gary Fernandes (Jackie Shroff). Rather the first half is so much soaked in over the top emotion that you start feeling quite uncomfortable 30 minutes into the movie. In the name of emotions all the characters are shown either crying, yelling and shouting (call it emotional outburst) or breaking things which gets on to your nerves after a certain point. Each and every character is one dimensional whether it is the brothers or their father or David’s wife Jenny (Jacqueline Fernandes) without any depth or variation neither in their expression nor in their overall impact. The second half is completely dedicated to the boxing matches which looks quite amateurish and with two extremely irritating commentators leading us to a very predictable climax. The only item song is placed in the most inappropriate of situation. Overall “Brothers” is a very poor adaptation of “Warrior”, which neither impresses as an emotional movie or a sports movie.

Dialogues by Sidharth & Garima are quite clichéd and you feel you are watching a movie from the 80’s, rather in the emotional sequences the dialogues do not create any impact making it fall flat on the face. Especially the dialogues of the two commentators are the most irritable.

Akshay Kumar’s honest and earnest portrayal of David Fernandes is the only saving grace of the movie performance wise. He portrays the Physics teacher turned fighter with gusto and also looks fit and agile like a boxer. Sidharth Malhotra as Monty Fernandes has the same expression all throughout the movie and tries very hard to portray the angry young man act but fails miserably, rather his good looks acts detrimental for the role of the rugged Monty, though credit should be given for the training that he went through to portray the character which shows as well. Even Sidharth’s dialect looks forced. Jackie Shroff’s performance as Gary Fernandes, the estranged father borders between over acting and hamming, in some sequences he is so over the top that you cannot even hear his dialogues properly. Jacqueline Fernandes as Jenny has very little to do other than being moist eyed in every scene of hers. Shefali Shah as Maria, the mother gives us a crackling performance in a cameo. Ashutosh Rana as Pasha is wasted in a not so well written role. Kiran Kumar as Briganza, the businessman is again wasted in a inconsequential role. Kulbhushan Kharbanda in a cameo as the school principle was earnest. The two commentators Raj Zutshi & Kavi Shastri are the most irritating of the lot, rather they looked like a caricature. Rest of the cast does not create any impact.

Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is gritty as per the requisite of the story.

Ajay-Atul’s music is very weak, excluding the item song “Mera Naam Mary”, rest of all the songs below par. Ganesh Acharya’s choreography of “Mera Naam Mary” is extremely cheap and I wonder what prompted Kareena Kapoor to do the song. This is by far the cheapest song that Kareena has done.

Karan Malhotra’s direction is extremely over the top whether it is the emotional sequences or the fight sequences which is outright gory in the name of boxing. The only emotion which is displayed is the emotion of hatred all throughout the movie.
It is Akshay Kumar and his portrayal which makes the movie watchable. Rather the whole movie is rested on Akshay Kumar’s broad shoulders.

I will go with 2 stars…

Movie Rating: (2 / 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)

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.

Review : Student Of The Year

SOTY:Karan Johar‘s larger than life Bollywood movie

Welcome to the world of KJo, actors in perfect designer clothes, best of cars, candy floss romance, good looking actors, picture perfect sets & settings well color co-ordinated,  in short a larger than life Bollywood movie fare.

Let us accept it that KJo has created his own brand of cinema, which you can love or hate but definitely cannot ignore it & SOTY is exactly the same Student Of The YearKJo brand of movie.

SOTY  is a story of two friends Rohan Nanda (Varun Dhawan) & Abhimanyu Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) who meet in St Teresa who initially hate each other but eventually become friends until the “Student of the Year” challenge is declared by the dean Yogendra  Vashisht (Rishi Kapoor). The challenge turns the friends into competitors, how it plays havoc in their lives forms the basis of the story…

Though the story is predictable but the screenplay by Rensil Dsilva creates the impact, some sequences are very well written and some look a bit amateurish, like the main challenge to win “Student of the Year” looks weak. The pace is slow at times. The dialogues of Niranjan Iyengar makes up for the loose screenplay, it is spunky and the lingo is contemporary adding to the zing.

The debutants especially Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra are impressive, they grow as the movie progresses. Varun in particular excels both in acting as well as dancing, a lad to watch out for. Sidharth does justice to whatever given. Alia Bhatt has little to do, her character reminds you of Poo in K3G but without the spunk, but overall she is decent. The main highlight is the support cast especially Rishi Kapoor who plays the gay dean with panache; his portrayal is both funny and moving. Other cast like Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Kayoze Irani, Sana Saeed, Mansi Rach, Sahil Anand & Gautami Kapoor are impressive.

The music by Vishal Shekhar is good and so is the picturization by Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant, Bosco-Ceaser & Remo. All the songs are lavishly shot and the look is rich, but the Disco Song by Remo & Radha song by Farah Khan stands out.

The camera work by Ananyanka Bose is good. How can you miss the costume designer in a Karan Johar movie both Manish Malhotra & Shiraj Siddique do a splendid job which gives the movie the zing.

In a nutshell SOTY is lavishly mounted candy floss over the top KJo –ish type of Bollywood cinema which is aptly shouldered by Varun Dhawan & Sidharth Malhotra. 3 stars from me, one extra for the debutants.