Official Trailer: Udta Punjab

udta-punjab-official-trailer“Udta Punjab” as the name suggests is based in Punjab and deals with a serious issue of drugs amongst the youth of Punjab….

Directed by Abhishek Chaubey whose earlier movies Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya was based in UP and was more of a love story, takes up a serious issue for this movie….

The movie primarily captures the lives of four characters played by Shahid Kapoor who plays Punjabi pop star Tommy Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan who plays Dr. Preet Sahani, Alia Bhatt who plays Kumari Pinky a labour from Jharkhand and Diljit Dosanjh who plays Sartaj Singh a Police Inspector. Diljit who is a super star in Punjabi films debuts in Bollywood with “Udta Punjab”. Satish Kaushik also plays an important role in the movie…

Music has been scored by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Varun Grover….

The movie has been produced by Balaji Motion Pictures & Phantom Films…

The trailer clearly shows each actor has done a role which they have not tried before and the premise looks interesting, whether this movie which looks and feels different would be appreciated by our audience, well we have to wait till 17th June 2016 when the movie releases. Till then enjoy the Official Trailer…

Movie Review: Shandaar

Shandaar: No Story makes Shandaar a dull movie

shaandaarIn Bollywood we have seen a trend in most of the cases wherein  a director after giving an immensely successful and path breaking movie gives a dud in his subsequent movie like Sujoy Ghosh after giving the spectacular “Jhankaar Beats” gave us “Home Delivery” , or Anurag Kashyap after giving the path breaking “Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 & 2” gave us “Bombay Velvet”, Vikramaditya Motwane after giving “Udaan” gave us “Lootera” and it is so true for Ram Gopal Varma who during his hey days used to always give a dud after a path breaking movie….Well another name has been added in the list and it is none other but Vikas Bahl, who after giving an immensely successful and critically acclaimed “Queen” can give us something like “Shandaar”…

For Vikas Bahl the set up was apt, what with a stellar ensemble cast wherein both father and son, Pankaj Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor were acting together for the first time, or the fresh pairing of Shahid Kappor & Alia Bhatt. Three big names associated with the movie Fox Star, Dharma Productions along with Phantom Films. Big Budget with shooting in England….Well nothing could have gone wrong, but unfortunately Vikas forgot the crucial thing, a cohesive story & screenplay which was the highlight of his previous movie.

The Story, or should I say the lack of it has been credited to Vikas Bahl himself and Chaitally Parmar (who also wrote Queen)….so if I have to sum up the story of “Shandaar”, well I am unable to do so as there is none. We only get a screenplay written by Anvita Dutt which is extremely inconsistent and non cohesive as there is no story to fall back to. There is only one line story, that it is based or should I say a spoof of the Big Bang Indian Wedding or destination wedding. All the characters are mad in some or the other way and they end up creating a chaos. I must add that there are so many characters that you get confused who is related to whom and half of them do not make any sense. The sequences look as if it was decided on the set and it was shot. None of the characters have any depth excluding the relationship of Alia (Alia Bhatt) with her father Vipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor), this is the only relationship which is explored well in the movie. The rest are superfluous, even the lead pair Jagjinder Joginder a.k.a JJ (Shahid Kapoor) or Alia’s relationship looks forced.

The dialogues again by Anvita Dutt sound quite childish at times and even silly in most of the time. In short the writing is the biggest flaw of the movie….

I must say the only saving grace of the movie is a few performances, staring with Pankaj Kapoor, the veteran actor who plays the docile Vipin Arora shines and how….he puts heart and soul to the character to make it look believable but the script pulled him down. Shahid Kapoor as the flamboyant wedding planner Jagjinder Joginder or JJ gives a natural performance and tries to put some sense and dimension to his character, even though the writing had nothing to back him up. The whiff of fresh air is Alia Bhatt who plays Alia with utmost sincerity and brings a certain amount of freshness to the movie with her natural acting. Teh pairing of Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor was super cute and there was a chemistry but unfortunately the writing was mediocre, I just hope somebody should try pairing them up in a better movie. I must mention another highlight performance has been of debutant Sanah Kapoor (Pankaj Kapoor & Supriya Pathak’s daughter) who plays the overweight bride Isha Arora, she gives a confident performance in her debut. Vikas Verma as the groom Robin Fundwani does a good job of an arrogant and narcissist character but gets lost in the plethora of talents in the cast. Sushma Seth as Kamla Arora the dominating and calculative business woman is one dimensional and is wasted in a badly written character. Sanjay Kapoor as Harry Fundwani hams throughout and is loud but and his dialogues are also not that clear. Actors like Niki Aneja, Anjana Sukhani (she does not have a single dialogue), Shibani Dandekar are wasted…..

Amit Trivedi’s music does not impress us completely, other than the foot tapping “Gulabo” and the romantic “Nazdeekiyan” none of the other songs create any impact, not even the title song….which has been choreographed brilliantly by Bosco & Ceaser…..The camera work by Anil Mehta is spot on and gives us the breezy feel of a Rom Com….

Vikas Bahl completely looses it with “Shandaar”…..A movie which Vikas wanted to make on the lines of a Hollywood rom com does not even fit the bill of an Indian rom com….A real waste of a talent…..

I will go with 2 stars….

Movie Rating: (2 / 5)

 

 

Official Trailer: Shaandaar

After the critically acclaimed and highly successful “Queen”, Vikas Bahl is back with his second venture “Shaandaar”…..

“Shaandaar” is India’s first destination wedding movie, with an impressive ensemble star cast of Shahid Kapoor, shaandaarAlia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapur, Sanjay Kapoor, Sushma Seth, Sanah Kapoor, Diljit Dasanjh, Shibani Dandekar, Anjana Sukhani, Niyati Shah & Karan Johar (In a cameo)…

Story is by Vikas Bahl & Chaitally Parmar and screenplay & dialogues by Anvita Dutt Guptan. Anvita was also the dialogue writer for “Queen”, so we can expect some good writing here….

Vikas repeats his favorite music director Amit Trivedi again, so expect some melodious tunes as well….

“Shaandaar” is jointly being produced by Dharma Productions and Phantom Films, a collaboration which gave us “Hansee Toh Phasee”, so expect the grandeur of Dharma Productions and realism of Phantom Films….

“Shaandaar” looks like light breezy movie from its Official Trailer, but whether will it repeat the critical and box office success of “Queen”…well we need to wait till 22nd Oct’15, the day “Shaandaar” releases…..till then enjoy the trailer

Movie Review : Hunterr

Hunterr: A true Sex comedy of Bollywood which is not cheap or crass

Bollywood has been shying away from the genre of “Sex Comedy” for quite some time. Literally the first being “Grand Masti” in 2013, but it was crass and extremely irritating in the name of comedy.Hunterrr-Movie-Poster

But “Hunterr” tries to break the shackles of an arch typical Bollywood format of this genre and makes it more realistic and yet funny. Harsvardhan Kulkarni explores this genre through his Hunterr Mandar Pongshe (Gulshan Devaiah) who is a compulsive “Vasu” or in other words a person who has this compulsive urge to make love to any woman. The story explores Mandar’s journey right from his childhood when he first learnt of birds & bees to early thirties when he going to get married to Tripti (Radhika Apte). The story explores his escapades with women in his life and how his conscience awakes forms the rest of the story…..

Writer & Director Harshvardhan Kulkarni tries to make his debut as a director through a story and script which if not handled with care may derail and become crassly. But Harshvardhan successfully makes it realistic and refrains from being crassly with double meaning dialogues. The main issue is with the narration when the story switches from his childhood to his present day to a few months earlier which majorly disrupts the overall narration. Other issue of the movie is its climax which happens almost abruptly. The characters are very well written and all the female characters are shown as strong individuals who do not have any inhibitions to do what they want like the two main characters Tripti & Jyotsna.

The sequences are very realistic and a lot of people will actually identify with their adolescent days, especially men. The dialogues act as a beautiful wrapper on the script and does not sound crassly and double meaning. Rather the dialogues are very blunt and on your face.

Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar is so convincing that you may think that he is “Vaasu” in real life as well. Gulshan depicts the various ages of Mandar with élan, in short he is brilliant and the real spark of the movie. Radhika Apte as Tripti gives another power packed performance of a woman of today who knows and is aware for her needs. Sai Tamhankar portrays Jyotsna, Mandar’s neighbor with such brilliance that you sympathize with her at the end even after her having an extra marital affair with Mandar. Veera Saxena as Parul is the only weak portrayal in the movie but she somehow manages. In a brief role Rachel D’Souza as Shobha creates an impact. Other cast like Neena Kulkarni, Sagar Deshmukh, Suraj Jagan also give a stellar performances.

Music by Khamosh Shah is worth mentioning. The soundtrack has a lot of variety in genres, so you have “Hunter 303” in 80’s style disco mode sung by Bappi Lahiri which has become an instant hit, the romantic “Naina” & “Chori Chori” is equally hummable and the cherry on the cake is Altaf Raja rendered “Dil Lagana” which transports you to the 90’s. Overall the songs do not pose as hindrance but blends well with the narration.

Harshvardhan creates an impact with his debut, it is the narration which makes it less than brilliant. But I must say an impressive debut by Harshvardhan Kulkarni. I will go with 3 stars….

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

 

Movie Review : NH10

NH 10: Gritty, Gruesome & Edge of the seat Thriller

NH10 PosterWe are in 2015 but rural India still reels in the shadow of bygone tradition and beliefs.NCR is a true picture of such India. Gurgaon which houses the best of MNC’s , Malls and plush housing societies just beyond that prevails a India where Honor Killing is not considered a crime and looked upon with a lot of pride. Well the same is the case with other A & B grade cities of India which epitomizes modern India but beyond it is still the old India which is as backward in thoughts as it was ages ago.

Navdeep Singh with writer Sudip Sharma shows the real & stark face of rural India through the eyes of the couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) & Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam). The couple plan a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city are in for a shock when their weekend plan falls through as they are drawn into a fight with the local goons.

Sudip Sharma’s script is fast and racy and keeps the audience on the edge of the seat. It is definitely not for the faint hearted because the killings are on your face and make you cringe in your seat but Sudip with the pace, kind of makes up for the gruesomeness. Some sequences make you think whether women are really safe in modern India. The main characters are well written but it is the support cast which lacks the depth due to half baked character development by Sudip. You tend to wonder how are the characters related especially the accompanists of the main goon Satbir (Darshan Kumaar) as they are not fleshed out properly. Some characters are a bit of stereotype which somewhere mars the originality. For the climax Sudip and director Navdeep Singh keeps it open ended for the audience to decide without giving any judgment.

The dialogues are dipped in authenticity with the correct accent and language, and it is not preachy with melodrama.
NH10 goes several notches higher due to the brilliant performances by the ensemble cast. Starting with Anushka Sharma who plays Meera a creative director of an Ad Agency, epitomizing the modern day woman who is independent yet fierce fully protective about her family, was quite a difficult role both physically and mentally as she is there right from the first frame to the last frame but she does it with élan and gives a crackling performance, her best till date. Neil Bhoopalam who plays Arjun an IT professional who is so full of ego that he does not care of his wife and goes ahead to fight with the goons to satisfy his ego. Arjun is definitely a complex character which Neil portrays convincingly and brilliantly. The surprise package of NH10 is Darshan Kumaar who plays the main goon Satbir. After playing the supportive husband in “Mary Kom”, Satbir’s character is a complete opposite for Darshan, but he gives his 100% and it shows, right from the accent to the body language to the demeanor he gets it right to the minutest of details. Deepti Naval in cameo of Ammaji, as usual does not disappoint, yet she again proves what a great actress she is….Another actor Ravi Jhankal as Mamaji performs well, an actor who has been around for long but not given enough chances….

To make the proceedings of the movie more gritty Arvind Kannabiran’s cinematography played a crucial role by capturing the ruggedness of the country side realistically and making the correct divide between Gurgaon high rise and the Haryana country side. Action by Armin Sauer & Abdul Salaam Ansari is too realistic and at times gruesome but I must say effective because reality is not that rosy. But I felt the editing could have been crisper by Jabeen Merchant.

Naveen Singh after a fantastic “Manorama Six Feet Under” does impress with “NH10”, albeit falls prey to a few Bollywood stereotypes which takes away a bit of originality which was the USP of his previous movie. NH10 may not be another Manorama but it definitely is a brilliant effort by Navdeep Singh especially the performances which were A class…

I must say for Anushka Sharma who is just 7 movies old, becoming a producer and that to with such a hard hitting subject really needs guts and kudos to her for doing so…

I would go with 3 and a Half Stars….

Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)