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 : 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)

 

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.