Movie Review Citylights

Citylights : Falls short from being a classic

Citylights re-unites the director actor duo Hansal Mehta & Rajkumar Rao after a superb “Shahid” which won each of them the National Award this year.CityLights

Citylights is an adaptation of 2013 Award winning movie “METRO MANILA” directed by Sean Elllis and Hansal Mehta does complete justice to the original. The story is credited to Sean Ellis the original writer of METRO MANILA; the adapted screenplay is by Ritesh Shah. Ritesh stays true to the original but adapts it to the Indian context of people from smaller towns who migrate to the city of dreams Mumbai expecting to make a better living. Just a piece of advice if you are looking at an entertaining movie then this is definitely not the right choice.

Citylights is the story of Deepak (Rajkumar Rao) and Rakhee (Patralekha) who come to Mumbai from Rajasthan to make a better living but become victim of the shrewd reality of city life. The story by Sean Ellis captures the pathos of a small town guy well in his story and Ritesh’s screenplay captures the nuances well. At times the movie’s pace becomes sluggish especially during song sequences which was unnecessary. Some of the sequences are very well written albeit I felt the climax was a bit hurried and could have been presented well.

It is the performances which make the movie memorable. Rajkumar Rao gives another brilliant performance. His portrayal of Deepak Singh is so realistic that you wonder whether he is really acting. The Dialect to the body language is all up to the mark. Another superb performance is of Manav Kaul who plays Vishnu a friend of Deepak with ulterior motives. After “Kai Po Che” Manav again shows his caliber, this is an actor to look forward to. Sadia Siddique as Vishnu’s wife is good albeit her role is small. Patralekha as Rakhee does show a spark but gets overshadowed by Rajkumar and Manav.

Production Design by Rajat Poddar is realistic. Editing by Apoorva Asrani could have been sharp. Jeet Ganguli’s music is good but does not gel with the narration rather it hampers the pace.

Hansal Mehta’s forte is to get the human emotions bang on and he succeeds in this movie as well but fails a bit in giving it a Thriller edge and finesse in the narration which was the highlight in the original METRO MANILA. I will go with THREE AND A HALF STARS…

Trailer : Humshakals

Sajid Khan strikes back again with another slap stick comedy which has triple role of Saif, Reteish & Ram Kapoor….going by the promo it gives you a feeling of DejaVu….nothing new that you have not seen in Houseful 1 & 2….

Trailer : Bobby Jasoos

Vidya Balan strikes again with “BOBBY JASOOS”, story of a small time wannabe detective who wants to make it BIG…..Vidya disguises many avatars in the movie which is the highlight of the movie….Can Vidya create another Kahani is something we need to wait till 4th July’14…..looking at the trailer the wait should be worth….

Trailer : Humty Sharma ki Dulhania

SOTY pair Varun Dhawan & Alia Bhatt come together in this Dharma style rom com directed by Shashank Khaitan….going by the promo it looks the arch typical Bollywood romance for the NRI market….releasing 11th July’14

Movie Review Kochadaiyaan

Kochadaiyaan: A complete Rajni Masala Entertainer in animation

kochadaiyaan ReviewKochadaiyaan is India’s first movie made on the technology of Motion Capture, a technique used in Hollywood movies like Avatar, Tintin & Bewoulf. Do not expect the finesse like its Hollywood counterpart, but the attempt is worth an applaud for the director Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin.

Having Super Star Rajnikanth was enough to make the movie a blockbuster but taking a path which was not explored in Bollywood and more so animation movies are not taken seriously in India, for Soundarya to try something out of the box is commendable.

But it is not only the technology but the story and screenplay by K. S. Ravikumar which is fast paced with trademark Rajni style histrionics and a story which is appealing, in short a complete Entertainer.

Kochadaiyaan is a story based in the 8th century, which tells the tale of Rana, Kochaiyaan’s son who avenges his father’s death. It could have been a mundane revenge drama but K.S. Ravikumar keeps it interesting with a lot of twists and turns.

Rajni as usual is the highlight of the movie with a double role of father Kochadaiyaan and son Rana and Rajni as usual does not disappoint, he is bang on with his histrionics and charisma. Deepika Padulone as Princess Vandhana does not have much to do but suits the part albeit her animation is the worst as compared to other actors. Jackie Shroff as Raja Mahendra does a good job so does Naseer as King Rishikodagan. Shobhana and Sarath Kumar are wasted in brief roles.

Music by A R Rahman is apt as per the movie, though the songs are not memorable or hummable. Cinematography by Rajiv Menon is impressive. Neeta Lulla’s costume design is as per the period. Editing by Antony is crisp and keeps the pace.

After Rajni it is Soundarya’s direction which is the highlight of the movie. Overall the movie is a total masala entertainer; I will go with 3 stars….

Movie Review Heropanti

Heropanti : A well designed Launch Vehicle for Tiger Shroff

On the onset let me set the expectations that Heropanti is no classic and is a complete launch vehicle for Tiger Shroff.

The story and script written by Sanjeev Dutta is primarily focusing on the main protagonist played by Tiger. Heropanti is a quintessential love story of a rich girl Dimpy played by Kriti Sanon and a middle class guy Babloo played by Tiger Shroff. The screenplay is very smartly designed so that there are enough opportunities for histrionics, action and dance for Tiger. The problem with the script is with the characters which do not have any depth and are cardboard like. Babloo’s character does not have any background and his families, the characters of his parents are conspicuous by their absence. The dialogues are witty and all the best lines are reserved for Tiger. The dialect of the dialogues is inconsistent. In a love story the chemistry between the lead pair is essential but unfortunately it is absent.


Tiger is undoubtedly a STAR with his forte of action and dance he creates enough impact and “Ceeti” (Whistle) moments for the audience but as far as his acting abilities are concerned he needs to work hard especially on his Hindi dialect. Debutant Kriti Sanon who plays Dimpy shows spark. Prakash Raaj as Dimpy’s father creates impact but the scripts fails him. Other casts are average.

Music by Sajid Wajid is melodious, especially Rabba and Raat Bhar. Cinematography by Hari Vedantam gives a fairy tale feel and is decent. Choreography by Ahmed Khan in “Raat Bhar” gives enough scope to Tiger to show his dancing skills, similar is for Ganesh Acharya for “Whistle Baja”. Anal Arasu’s action exploits Tiger’s ability well and the action sequences are well shot.

Director Sabir Khan shows a growth as a director after “Kambaqt Ishq” and exploits and showcases Tiger’s ability to the hilt but overall Sabir gives us an average fair, but Tiger shines. I will go with TWO AND A HALF STARS….

Trailer : It’s Entertainment

“It’s Entertainment” is an upcoming Bollywood comedy film directed by debutant duo Sajid-Farhad. Sajid and Farhad have become Bollywood’s most bankable writers thanks to their witty one liners in super hit films like ‘Bol Bachchan’, ‘Housefull 2‘, ‘Ready‘, ‘Golmaal Returns‘ and ‘Golmaal 3‘, among others. The movie has a lead pair of Akshay Kumar and Tamanah Bhatia…..


Checkout the Review of Entertainment

Trailer : Ek Villain

After the super success of Aashiqui 2 Mohit Suri returns to the thriller genre with Balaji Telefilms “Ek Villain”…..Sidharth Malhotra after the soft romantic roles of SOTY and Hansee to Phansee comes up in a new avatar in this movie…..Shradha Kapoor pairs with Sidharth…Riteish Deshmukh will be seen in a completely different role which the makers are keeping under wraps….”Ek Villain” releases on 27th June’14….

Trailer : Citylights

From the National Award winning combination of Director Hansal Mehta and actor Rajkumar Rao comes another heart riveting tale of immigrants from smaller towns to Mumbai to fulfill their dreams….the promo gives an experience of a hard hitting tale….releasing 30th May’14

Trailer : Holiday

Akshay Kumar playing the role of an Army Officer… A R Murugadoss (Ghajini fame) directed “Holiday”…..the promo looks promising….releasing 6th June’14….

Movie Review : The Xpose

The Xpose: Too much Xpose of nothing

The Xpose claims to be inspired by true incidents from Bollywood of the 60’s. Anant Mahadevan tries to re-create the magic of 60’s through a murder mystery.

The Xpose

The main issue of the movie is the plot and story which is hackneyed and predictable which is a curse for a murder mystery and it is credited to none other than Himesh Reshamiya (Gawd first Music, then acting and now writing). Himesh Reshamiya and Jainesh Ejardar ‘s screenplay is just a mish mash of headline stories of Bollywood gossip columns of 60’s and 70’s. So it has an eccentric superstar, rivalry and catfight between 2 actresses, Publicity being used to make a film successful and the list goes on. In short it has everything which we have seen in many previous movies based on Bollywood, and the only twist is the murder mystery which is extremely half baked and looks amateurish. There are too many characters which has no relevance to the core story at all. Dialogues by Bunty Rathore is very 80’s and at times unintentionally funny.

Not much can be said about the performance as well. Himesh Reshamiya as the quirky super star Rajiv Kumar is monotonous and at times wooden. The two debutant actresses Zoya Afroz and Sonali Raut are average and are only there for skin show. Yo Yo Honey Singh as KD sleep walks through the movie. Other actors like Anant Mahadevan himself, Nakul Vaid, Bharat Dhabolkar, Jesse Randhawa are average and are lost in the half baked narration. The two bright actors Irfan Khan and Adil Hussain are wasted in a cameo.

Cinematograhy by Maneesh Chandra Bhatt gives the glossy look which is the only redeeming factor in the movie. Rest of the departments like costumes which is credited to a host of designers lacks the accuracy of its era portrayed and it imitates the Great Gatsby look. Production design also looks straight out of the Great Gatsby. I guess the reference point was “The Great Gatsby”.

Music by Himesh Reshamiya is good but too many songs slackens the pace of the narration. Choreography by Ganesh Acharya especially “Ice cream Khaoge” is lavish, again it imitates “The Great Gatsby” blatantly.

Overall a half baked movie by Anant Mahadevan, I will go with ONE Star….

Movie Review : Children of War

Children Of War: Ugly face of War portrayed Well

1971 Bangladesh war against Pakistan has a lot of facets which has not been discussed or shown. One of it is the genocide and the rape of woman by the Pakistani soldiers.

Debutant director & writer Mritunjay Devvrat creates a captive story and narration of the ugly face of 1971 Bangladesh war. Mritunjay takes the facts and creates a fictional story around the genocide and rape of Bangladeshi woman by the Pakistani soldiers so that they give birth to children with Pakistani blood.

The screenplay is gruesome and it makes you think about the pain and anguish which the people of Bangladesh may have faced. This movie is definitely not for the faint Children Of Warhearted. Mritunjay presents different stories of various people and their sufferings at various levels. The screenplay is moving and captures incidents with minute details but it is a bit long and a few sequences are dragged. One of the flaws is the climax wherein Mrityunjay takes a safe route to end the movie.

The ensemble cast comprising of Farooq Sheikh (his last film), Indraneil Sengupta, Raima Sen, Tillotama Shome, Pavan Malhotra, Ridhi Sen, Joy Sengupta, Rucha Inamdar & Victor Banerjee do a splendid job. But Pavan Malhotra as the Mallik the Pakistani Chief does a brilliant job of menacing and calculative chief. Ridhi Sen who portrays the village boy Rafiq is splendid in a complex character which goes through a complete makeover from a simple innocent village boy to a rebel. Tillotama Shome as the the fearless Bhitika steals the show. And above all Farooq Sheikh’s portrayal as Mojid is a delight, we will really miss him.

Cinematography by Fasahat Khan is breath taking and captures the mood of the movie aptly. Production Design by Angelica Monica Bhowmik is authentic and successfully creates the 70’s well, the costume design by Amita Bhatnagar is accurate and blends well with the narration.

Kudos to Mritunjay Devvrat for attempting such a controversial and difficult subject and bringing the realities of the 1971 Bangladesh war to fore. I will go with 4 stars….

Trailer : Le Kar Hum Deewana Dil

Raj Kapoor’s Grandson Armaan Jain debuts in this rom com with newcomer Deeksha under the direction of Arif Ali brother of Imtiaz Ali….produced by Armaan’s jijaji Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan….Releasing 4th July…

Movie Review : Hawaa Hawaai

Hawaa Hawaai : Inspirational movie on making dreams come true

Amol Gupte has a forte of working with kids whether it was Taare Zameen Par, Satnley Ka Dabba or now Hawa Hawai

Amol again teams up with his son Partho and gives a riveting tale of Arjun Waghmare (Partho Gupte) a boy working in a tea stall who dreams of learning skating. The story revolves around how Arjun with his bunch of street kid friends make his dream a reality.

The biggest plus of Amol Gupte as a writer is he captures nuances well and keeps the emotions subtle yet heart wrenching and he does the same Hawaa Hawaaiwith Hawa Hawai. The screenplay captures the life of street kids with élan and makes us believe in having dreams and fulfilling it as well. Some of the sequences are written so well that I had a lump. The story & screenplay is bang on albeit it could have been a liitle bit shorter.

Performance wise it is the kids who steal the show, Partho as Arjun is brilliant and in each frame he puts his nuances and makes you fall in love with his character. Ashfaque Bismillah Khan as Gochi the mechanic is incredible, he makes you fall in love from the word go. Salman Chote Khan as Bhura is another jewel of this movie. Maman Meman as Abdul a child labor in a weaving factory touches your heart. It is these kids who take the movie a notch higher. Saqib Salim as the skating instructor as Lucky creates an impact, this is an actor to watch out for. Special mention of Neha Joshi who plays Arjun’s widowed mother is too good; her portrayal is subtle yet impactful. Rest of the cast Makrand Deshpande, Anuj Sachdeva, also does a good job.

Cinematography by Amol Gole & Vikas Sivaraman is warm and captures the slum as well as the high rise apartment with equal impact. Production design by Subrata Chakroborty & Amit Ray is realistic. Music by Hitesh Sonik could have been better.

Amol Gupte again proves that he understands child psychology well and gives us a heart wrenching movie of dreams coming true. I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Review : Manjunath

Manjunath: A Real Life Saga which fails to inspire on celluloid

It is not easy to adapt a real life incident and make it into a full blown 2 hour saga on celluloid.

Director & Writer Sandeep Varma’s motive to make “Manjunath” was to bring the story of unsung hero Manjunath Shanmugham ,a 27 year old IIM, Lucknow pass out who was killed by Oil mafia in UP as he was exposing the racket of oil adulteration in 2005. Sandeep’s intentions are novel but fails badly due to a non cohesive screenplay and shoddy narration.

The screenplay oscillates from Manjunath’s life in IIM to his personal life to his professional life when he joins an oil company and his parent’s struggle to seek justice. Manjunath Movie ReviewOverall the screenplay becomes a mish mash and does not delve on any one aspect.
Sandeep could have made this movie inspirational and crisp by concentrating on his professional life and his fight with the Oil mafia and the uproar after Manjunath is killed.

But the movie does touch you emotionally due to its performances. The debutant actor Sasho Satish Sarathy does an incredible job of portraying Manjunath, his struggle his frustration is aptly portrayed. Seema Biswas as Manjunath’s mother is another highlight performance of the movie. Divya Dutta in a brief role creates an impact. The other cast like Anjorie Alagh, Rajesh Khattar, Yashpal Sharma, Faisal Rashid do a splendid job taking the movie a notch higher.

Sandeep Varma had everything going a splendid cast, an inspiring story and back up of Viacom 18, but alas he fails to put a cohesive screenplay making it less inspirational. I will go with 3 stars solely for the performances and its inspiring real life story.