Movie Review: Force 2

Force 2: Forceful Action with Less Impact

force-2-review“Force” the prequel to “Force 2” directed by Nishikant Kamat which released in 2011 which was a remake of a Tamil Movie, established John Abraham as out and out action hero, since then John Abraham has not looked back. Every movie of John is packed with high octane action and show of muscle, and “Force 2” is no less…

“Force 2” starts 5 years hence from where the prequel ended in China where 3 RAW agents are killed, out of which is Harish (Freddy Daruwala), ACP Yashvardhan’s (John Abraham) childhood buddy. It is discovered by Yashvardhan that the leak of RAW agents operating in China has been leaked by the Indian Embassy at Budapest…Yashvardhan along with RAW officer Kamaljeet Kaur a.k.a KK (Sonakshi Sinha) are sent on a mission to Budapest to unveil the reason and the man responsible for the leak….whether Yash & KK are able to crack the conspiracy and find out the guy is what the movie is all about….

“Force” concentrated more on the operations of the Mumbai police and the script and writing had a lot of impact as a thriller and was high on emotional quotient. Well it is the emotional quotient which is almost absent in “Force 2”. The story and screenplay written by Jasmeet K. Reen and Parvez Sheikh is in a espionage format, but after a brilliant espionage movie like “Baby”, even this genre in Bollywood has a high standard now and unfortunately the writing fails to match those standards. The script has loop holes galore like how did Yash understand to decode the code sent by his friend, or how the antagonist has a army of men working for him or how did he crack the list of RAW agents in China which is supposed to be Top secret. Due to these loopholes the story falls through and looks amateurish. The hero is given too much of importance and the RAW people look like idiots. The script right from the word go was to cater to the masses and no importance is given to the finer details of the script. The duo of Yash & KK is on a killing spree and the Hungarian Govt. is not bothered, even in the climax where it shown that there is a Indo-Hungarian Summit happening it is the duo (Yash & KK) who are the crusaders and there is no Hungarian police in site. What is good about the writing is its pace which is very fast and too much time is not spent on romance etc…Otherwise the sequel does not match its predecessor in its writing…

The mounting of “Force 2” is much higher as compared to “Force” and so is the action, the chase sequences and the action are of international standards…thanks to action director Allan Amin and the international action crew which makes the movie worth a watch. Definitely it is the action which redeems the movie…

There is nothing in performance to write home about, John Abraham has the same expression which he had for the last few movies but he looks comfortable only when he has to show his muscles…otherwise John is losing as an actor with each consecutive movie. Sonakshi Sinha is becoming the female action queen of Bollywood and she does not disappoint us on the action front but if we talk of performance, well she did not have too much scope for histrionics, but she still looks and acts like a RAW agent well. It is again Tahir Raj Bhasin who steals the show from under the nose of the lead pair. After “Mardaani”, Tahir again gets his mean act perfect. Narendra Jha as the RAW Chief looks confused throughout the movie and has no clue whether he is coming or going. Adil Hussain as the HRD minister has very less screen time but he still excels in a minuscule role. Raj Babbar is wasted in cameo. The two scene appearance of Genelia D’Souza just warms your heart and you feel she should make a comeback soon. The international cast just manage the show, nothing impressive…

Cinematography by Imre Juhasz and Mohana Krishnan captures Budapest beautifully, even in action sequences…

Abhinay Deo , after an impressive “Delhi Belly” and hindi version of “24”, gives us an average fair. The idea had a lot of scope as a good espionage movie but Abhinay falls prey to the trappings of Bollywood and looses the plot. He needs to thanks the action crew who make the movie a worth watch. But I must mention “Force 2” is a better movie than “Game”…

“Force 2” fails to be forceful and ends up becoming any other action movie…I will go with Three Stars (1 star for its action)

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

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Movie Review HOLIDAY

Holiday: Nothing to Cheer about this Holiday….

Holiday-A-Soldier-Is-Never-Off-Duty“Holiday-A soldier is never off duty”, yes that is the complete title of the movie which is the remake of Tamil Hit film of 2012 “Thuppakki” staring Vijay and directed by A R Murugadoss.

A R Murugadoss re-creates the same movie in Hindi for Bollywood as his second movie with Akshay Kumar after the blockbuster “Ghajani”. Story & Screenplay by A R Murugadoss is the story of an Army Officer Virat Bakshi (Akshay Kumar) who comes for his annual holiday to Mumbai and look out for a girl for marriage and gets entangled in a web of terrorist attacks which threaten to rock Mumbai through the Sleeper cells.

The story has a novelty wherein a detailed knowledge is given as to how the sleeper cells of the terrorist organizations operate and work but it is the over stretched screenplay of 2 hrs 51 min which completely dilutes the real essence of the movie. The romantic track between Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar is unnecessary and has no connection with the main plot. To justify the romance there are songs which crop in and slows the pace of the movie. The characters also lack depth especially the main villain’s character, there is no background given. The screenplay looks disjointed at times. The Climax is too stretched. A R Murugadoss should have actually concentrated on the main plot of the terrorists and their sleeper cells and made it into a fast paced thriller which unfortunately “Holiday” fails miserably.

Akshay Kumar as Virat Bakshi the main protagonist is at ease in action sequences and when he is following the terrorists but fails miserably in romantic sequences, it is high time that Akshay should try to do some serious thrillers like “Special 26”. Sonakshi Sinha as Saiba Thappar is just for eye candy and does not create any impact in the overall scheme of things, would love to see Sonakshi in movies like “Lootera”. Newcomer Freddy Daruwala as the main villain the Head of the sleeper cells is one dimensional and has only one expression all throughout the movie and does not create any impact. Zakir Hussain is wasted in a brief role. Summet Raghavan as Mukund, Virat’s friend, is the only actor who impresses.

The main highlight of the movie is the action by Greg Powell & Peter Pedro the action directors of the Harry Botter series, Skyfall etc, the action is realistic and believable. Cinematography by N Natarajan Subramaniam is good and captures Mumbai well. Editing by Amitabh Shukla is average and is one of the flaws.

Music by Pritam is average and does not create any impact. Even the choreography by Ganesh Acharya & Bosco-Ceaser is nothing great.

A R Murugadoss fails to create another “Ghajani” and the movie remains half baked, I will go with TWO STARS….

Review : Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara

Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara: Not as impactful as the first part

Milan Luthria has a fascination for 70’s & 80’s, and it shows in his last two movies “Once upon A Time in Mumbai”, “The Dirty Picture” and now “Once upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara”.

The first part was an out and out gangster flick wherein it showed Mumbai in the 70’s when mafia was emerging and Sultan (Ajay Devgan) was ruling the city until Shoaib (then played by Imraan Hashmi) his protégé ditches him and takes control of the mafia of Mumbai (then Bombay) and flees to Dubai.

The sequel starts with Shoaib (now played by Akshay Kumar) is the ruler of Mumbai who operates from Dubai. His enemies like Rawal (Mahesh Manjrekar) try an assassination attempt on him in Dubai. In order to teach him a lesson Shoaib returns to Mumbai to kill Rawal with the help of his protégé Aslam (Imran Khan) but eventually falls in love with a struggling actress Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha) not knowing that Aslam his protégé is also in love with Jasmine. Rest of the plot mainly concentrates on the love triangle.

The story & screenplay by Rajat Arora starts off as a gangster flick but ultimately ends up being a love triangle and there is where the film fails to live up to its expectations created by its previous part. The second half is extremely stretched and too many songs slow down the pace and the run time also increases. Another issue is, there are too many characters and sub plots which have no relevance to the main story.
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The real highlights of the movie are its dialogues just like its previous part, which is again written by Rajat Arora. Every scene is packed with metaphors & punch line, but at times it also becomes repetitive and monotonous.

Akshay Kumar looks good as the gangster Shoaib but his act becomes repetitive after some time, though it shows he is trying hard. Imran Khan as Aslam is a miscast and never in the whole movie does he look convincing as a henchman, though he is good in the romantic scenes. The surprise packet is Sonakshi Sinha, she lightens up the screen whenever she is there, at times she overshadows Akshay & Imran in a few scenes. Sonali Bendre as Mumtaz (previously played by Prachi Desai in the first part) is wasted but she shines in the 2 scenes that she has in the movie. Mahesh Manjrekar does not impress too much. Abhimanyu Singh does not give the same punch which Randeep Hooda did in the first part. Overall other than Sonakshi Sinha none of the other actors create any impact.

Cinematograhy by Ayananka Bose is superb and captures the Mumbai in 80’s well. Production Design by Priya Suhas is excellent and creates the right ambience of 80’s Mumbai. Costumes by Manish Malhotra & Kunal Rawal do justice to the period. Overall the Cinematography, Production Design & Costume Department takes the movie a few notches above the first part.

Music by Pritam is average and does not have any song which is impactful unlike his scores in the first part.

Director Milan Luthria has gone completely wrong in the casting in this film and other issue is that he is not sure whether he wanted to make love story or a gangster flick. The length is another drawback. I would go with 2 and a half stars….

Review : Lootera

Lootera: A beautiful canvas without a soul

“Lootera” is a movie set in 1950’s India. An India which was young as a nation and there were many changes which took place ending the Zamindari system.

LooteraThe story starts with the Zamindar of Manikpur Roy Chaudhuri who has a huge estate and the only heir to this is her daughter Pakhi Roy Chaudhuri (Sonakshi Sinha). Enter an archeologist Varun Srivastav (Ranveer Singh) and his friend Devdas (Vikrant Massey) who comes to Manikpur for excavation near the Zamindar’s 300 years old ancestral temple and becomes their house guest. The story unfolds with Pakhi & Varun falling in love which each other with a decision to get married. Pre Interval a twist leaves Pakhi and her father heartbroken and they are robbed of their ancestral wealth. One year hence the lovers re-unite in Dalhousie. The story unfolds as to how Pakhi & Varun re-discover their love for each other taking it to a tragic climax.

The Story (inspired by O’Henry’s short story “The Last Leaf) & Screenplay by Vikramaditya Motwane and Bhawani Iyer captures the 50’s India well but fails miserably in the pace. Though the movie is a love story but somehow it does not connect and the soul is missing. The story has some good moments between the lead pair Pakhi & Varun but these moments are stretched and you start thinking when it would end. Being a bit of a thriller it lacks the drama and at the end it becomes predictable. Dialogues by Anurag Kashyap brings the crispness in the otherwise morbid pace.

The technical departments are the stars of the movie. Camera work by Mahendra Shetty is superb, each shot looks like a painting. Dalhousie is captured beautifully. Production Design by Aditya Kanwar compliments Mahendra’s camera work in creating the 50’s look. Every detail is taken care of starting with the props, the location etc, creating a riveting image. Another brilliant work has been by Costume director Subarna Ray Chaudhuri. She has done a remarkable job in creating the correct clothes of that period. Right from the clothes to the accessories has been brilliantly created. Overall the camera, Production design & Costume design has made “Lootera” a beautiful painting.

Editing by Dipika Kalra has been a letdown as the pace is too slow and the movie could have been 15 to 20 minutes short.

Amit Trivedi’s music is the biggest highlight of the film. The music reminds you of the music of S D Burman & R D Burman. Special mention for “Sawar Loon” which has rendered by Monali Thakur is brilliant. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics is poetic and blends well with the mood of the film.

Director Vikramaditya Motwane who gave us the brilliant “Udaan” creates a riveting painting but it does not have the soul. Vikramaditya stresses more on the expressions of the actor rather than the dialogues. Some sequences are directed well like the chase sequence. But movie fails to capture the attention of the viewer  because of the pace.

“Lootera” has some good performances; Sonakshi Sinha proves that she can portray sensitive roles well. Ranveer Singh is a bit stiff in the first half but slowly and steadily by the second half he shows why is he the most sought after newcomer in the current lot of new actors. But Vikrant Massey who plays Ranveer’s friend Devdas in the movie, shines with his easy performance, an actor who shows the spark. Rest of the cast like Adil Hussain & Divya Dutta do justice to their miniscule role. Rather Divya Dutta is completely wasted in a 2 minute role.

Overall “Lootera” could have been a classic but falls flat due to its pace, I go with 2 & a half stars.

Review : Rowdy Rathore

Rowdy Rathore: Trash Unlimited

“Rowdy Rathore” co-produced by UTV and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, directed by Prabhu Deva redefines trash. It is Imagetrue South remake with dollops of mindless action, cleavage show, loud music, disjointed screenplay etc. “Rowdy Rathod” has everything which can be termed as cheap & trash.

The story or should I say the lack of it is straight out of a 80’s pot boiler, the lead actor Akshay Kumar has double role, one a honest Cop and other a con man, can’t be more predictable than this. The honest cop Vijay Rathod, is posted in a small town of Bihar Devgarh, which is ruled by local goon Bapji(Nasser) and his brother. The honest Cop makes life hell for the goon. The goon attacks the Cop and kills him, wait there is a twist actually he is not dead and he is taken to a hakim by his colleagues and then to Mumbai for further treatment which the goon is completely unaware. Mumbai is the city wherein the “Humshakal” con man Shiva lives and he is mistaken as the cop. After a lot of drama the con man is persuaded to go to Devgarh as the cop who is now dead, then as expected the con man has a “Hriday Parivartan” and takes revenge from the goon and everybody live happily ever after. CONFUSED, well I said there is strictly “NO STORY”.

The screenplay is full of senseless action, songs which just comes with no relevance. The comedy track is utterly cheap. I am shocked a renowned production house like UTV and a director like Sanjay Leela Bhansali can even support such a “TRASH”.

Acting is replaced by hamming, Akshay Kumar hams throughout, Sonakshi Sinha is there only for the songs and pelvic thrusts. A actor like Naseer is wasted, rest of the cast are over the top.
The music is targeted to the front benchers which Sajid Wajid has mastered by now. The lyrics are senseless. With Prabhu Deva as the director we expect good choreography but SAD the dances are cheap & vulgar with only pelvic thrusts.

Overall “Rowdy Rathod” is definitely not a movie of 2012, it is from the genre of 1980’s trash pot boilers, but it still had an element of entertainment. But unfortunately “Rowdy Rathod” is far from being entertaining. “ONE STAR” from me….