Movie Review : Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls: A mockery in the name of Realistic Cinema

Madhur Bhandarkar is synonymous with hard hitting realistic cinema in a mainstream format. Starting from Chandni Chowk, Satta, Page 3, Traffic Signal, Fashion, Corporate, Jail all had a premise which basically showed the real picture of our society. But his last offering “Heroine” was not that impactful and it showed how Madhur was losing the plot….

His latest “Calendar Girls” as the name suggests shows the life of 5 aspiring models Sharon Pinto (Kyra Dutt) from Goa, Mayuri Chauhan calendar-girls(Ruhi Singh) from Rohtak, Nandita Menon (Akansha Puri) from Hyderabad, Paroma Ghosh (Satarupa Pyne) from Kolkata and Nazneen (Avani Modi) from Lahore. They get the opportunity to model for annul fashion calendar post which their life changes forever. The film captures the trial & tribulation of each girl and what happens to their life….

“Calendar Girls” written by Madhur Bhandarkar and Anil Pandey looks like a cocktail of Madhur’s previous movies Page 3, Fashion & Heroine. Nothing wrong in that but here the writing is too amateurish and inconsistent. The characters do not have any depth and look lifeless without any emotional content, especially the character of the girls who were supposed to be the back bone of the script, look sketchy. The screenplay looks as if the writers Madhur and Anil have taken snippets of news from dailies and tried to form a story which does not work. To give the movie a realistic twist some sequences are added which falls flat as it lacks in emotional quotient. I felt the movie tried to show too many things but fails miserably and is a complete wash out. Even the climax does not sum up the movie.

Even the dialogues written by Rohit Banawlikar do not create any impact barring a few. Rather the English dialogues are unintentionally funny, and too much usage of words like “Babes”, “Sweet Heart”, irritates you after some time.

After the weak writing the casting goes completely wrong, the 5 girls Kyra Dutt, Ruhi Singh, Akansha Puri, Satarupa Pyne and Avani Modi on which the movie is based fail to impress, rather amongst the lot only Kyra Dutt is satisfactory, rest of the four girls just ham, especially Ruhi Singh whose accent irritates you and Avani Modi whose morose expression is intact all throughout the movie whereas she had the meatiest role as far as histrionics is concerned as compared to the other girls. Satarupa Pyne fails miserably in emotional scenes. Even the support cast of Rohit Roy, Suchitra Pillai, Kiran Kumar, and even Mita Vashishtha fail to impress.

Technically the movie lacks finesse and fails to capture the glamour which should have been the main ingredient of this movie.

Madhur Bhandarkar now needs a reality check; he needs to re-visit how he wants to make his movies as now his genre looks dated. He cannot repeat the same premise of his previous movies and try to present it in a new format.

“Calendar Girls” is a complete mockery in the name of realistic Cinema, I will go with One & a Half Star…..

Movie Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)

Official Trailer : Tamasha

Imitiaz Ali after the critically acclaimed “Highway” (2014) is back with a mainstream romantic drama “Tamasha”. As the title suggests it will be drama to its fullest….

The story is of Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) & Tara (Deepika Padukone), Ved who fanaticizes about various characters of the stories that he has Tamasha Trailerheard during his growing up years and Tara who is a huge fan of Asterix comics and lives life on her own terms. Both meet in the beautiful island of Corsica, France and they start living a life that they always wanted with no strings attached just like the story they had heard, post which they go their respective ways only to meet again after many years, but now they meet as what they really are, can they re-connect again is what the movie is all about….

The story premise sounds interesting and Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone again pair together after the huge box office hit “Ye Jawaani Hain Deewani” (2013).

Imtiaz Ali is working with both the actors for the second time, he has worked with Ranbir Kapoor in “Rockstar” (2011) and with Deepika Padukone in “Love Aaj Kal” (2009), and both the films consolidated the position of the respective actors.

Shot extensively in Corsica the cinematography of Ravi Varman looks appealing in the Official Trailer.

Imtiaz Ali again pairs with A R Rahman for “Tamasha”…..will it again put A R Rahman back in the marquee, well only future will tell once the music releases…..

Produced by Nadiadwala Grandsons (Sajid Nadiadwala) and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, “Tamasha” releases on 27th November, 2015….

Till then enjoy the Official Trailer which looks appealing…..


Movie Review: Katti Batti

Katti Batti: Too much of Katti  & less of Batti makes it dull

Love Stories has a come a long way in Bollywood, from rich girl falling for poor boy or rich boy falling for a poor girl and the opposition of the respective parents, to triangle love stories and at the end love triumphs against all odds.

Well that was 80’s and 90’s or even early 2000, but love stories have changed leaps and bounds in today’s Bollywood, and Nikhil Advani tries such a love story, something which he has been successful previously, remember “Kal Ho Na Ho”…..katti-batti-poster-3

Nikhil Advani tries to capture the love story of a modern couple  Madhav (Imran Khan) and Payal (Kangana Ranaut) who meet in college and fall in love. Both are opposites like cheese and chalk, Payal being a high society bohemian girl and Madhav a middle class seedha sadha guy who falls head over heels for Payal. But suddenly Payal leaves him and Madhav is shattered and is hell bent to know the reason, whether they re-unite and live happily ever after well that is what the rest of the movie is all about…..

Written by Nikhil Advani himself in association with Anshul Singhal, they try to put everything which may look or sound modern like live-in relationship, the girl not being holier than thou as she had relationship prior to meeting the hero or the boozing and the partying, in a nutshell a modern urban couple. The screenplay switches from flashbacks to present day trying to put the various pieces of the love story. First half is breezy and likable and you start expecting a new age love story without any pretentions, but the screenplay suddenly takes a U-turn in the second half when emotions are forcefully put in, which is vaguely inspired by Eric Segal’s “Love Story”. But somewhere the emotion just does not connect in the stylish and glitzy love story. It remains superfluous throughout and that is the main issue of the movie. In the second half unnecessary characters are introduced, like the band that helps Madhav. You feel that the movie is going to end but suddenly a new story or twist is introduced stretching the movie. Unnecessary songs do not help either. Overall the writers fail to grab the attention of the audience for too long….

The dialogues though are peppy and funny and very modern in lingo but then as the movie becomes serious the dialogues start becoming less effective and fail to lift the screenplay.

Imran Khan comes after a long sabbatical, but brings freshness to his character Madhav and is quite likeable, though at times he looks repetitive. Kangana as Payal is almost like she reprising the role of Tannu albeit who is modern and a very elite. I feel now Kangana should look at some really strong and different roles. Rest of the casting is fresh and brings certain amount of freshness as well with their performances. In a nutshell the supporting cast is the real back bone of the movie everybody has done justice to whatever they had been given.

Tushar Kanti Ray’s camera work again creates the magic with every frame. Production Design by Subrata Chakraborty & Amit Ray brings the urban modern feel which was required for the movie. Sheetal Sharma’s costume design is cotemporary yet stylish and apt with the theme.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy after a long time give some memorable tunes, especially the “Sarfira” the peppy no. and sufi inspired “Ove Jaaniya”, both are the highlight of the album.

Nikhil Advani gets the glitz and glamour correct in the movie and tries to put some freshness with the way he has shot the movie. But where Nikhil and “Katti Batti” fail is to connect with the audience and is very low in emotional quotient.

This could have been a different love story but alas it disappoints ……I will go with 3 stars…..

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)


Movie Review: Hero

Hero: Not so Heroic about this HERO

HeroIn India when Star Kids are launched, their launch movies are like a talent showcase wherein the actors are presented like super heroes who can dance, do action, look the best in Hip clothes and flex muscles in case of a actor. Acting it seems is the last priority, and in this whole mayhem of showcasing their talent the story somewhere takes a back seat. I guess the last launch movie for a star kid which created a stir was “Kaho Na Pyar Hai” way back in 2000, after which none of the so called launch vehicles created any major impact….

So is the case with “Hero” which is the debut vehicle of Sooraj Pancholi (Aditya Pancholi’s son) and Athiya Shetty (Sunil Shetty’s daughter). Salman Khan decided to launch the star kids in the remake of 1983 Subhash Ghai blockbuster “Hero”, which has been contemporized by director Nikhil Advani.

The original story is by Subhash Ghai and the adapted screenplay has been written by Nikhil Advani and Umesh Bist. The movie is largely true to the original in the first half but it falls flat in the second half when the movie is given a contemporary twist. Rather “Hero” looks like two separate movies, one is the first half which is fast paced and full of action and adventure and second is the second half when the love story becomes a drag which is extremely slow, and you can make out that the writers are going nowhere and the climax being the biggest disappointment when they run out of ideas and try to close the movie somehow. Another major flaw of the screenplay is, that it does not touch you anywhere and the whole movie looks bland without the emotional connect. Even the love story between the newcomers lacks the chemistry which is a must for a love story. Sooraj’s character lacked the depth and Radha’s character had a huge hangover of Poo from Nikhil’s mentor Karan Johar’s  K3G. Another thing which is lacking in this movie is the entertain quotient which is surprisingly missing throughout the movie. Overall the writing especially the second half is extremely weak which proves to be the biggest flaw and the real reason for the movie falling flat….

Umesh Bist’s dialogues is inconsistent, sometimes it sounds too 80’s and sometimes it sounds too modern. The dialogues are not written keeping in mind with the character, like Sooraj’s character is a local Mumbai goon, but he speaks eloquent hindi. Such things are quite vital in today’s movie which may not have been true when the original movie was made way back in the 80’s.

The debutant Sooraj Pancholi as Sooraj the local goon with a heart of gold shows a spark but has a huge hangover of his mentor Salman Khan, his honesty and sincerity shows on screen and he tries hard to be convincing but unfortunately the writing pulls him down. Another debutant Athiya Shetty  as Radha is a natural and it shows on screen as well, but whether she has the tenacity to do different roles is something which we need to see. Tigmanshu Dhulia as IG Shrikant Mathur and Radha’s father gives a restrained performance and yet again proves that he is a brilliant performer. Sharad Kelkar as Radha’s brother Dheeraj Mathur is good but he just could not match Sanjeev Kumar’s histrionics from the original. Aditya Pancholi as the bad man Pasha who is Sooraj’s foster father is impressive, rather in the combo scenes between his son Sooraj and him; he overshadows him with his personality and charm which is still intact. Vivian Bathena as Ranvijay Shekhawat hams incessantly in his bad man act. Rather Sooraj’s friends played by Trishaan, Ashish Verma and Randeep Jha do a good job. Rest of the cast also do a good job….

Nikhil Advani completely looses the plot in making a launch vehicle for the two star kids Sooraj and Athiya. He should have spent more time on the script rather than the presentation and the glamour quotient which is enhanced due to the excellent camera work by Tushar Kanti Ray. Tushar captures Mumbai, Himachal & Paris with equal élan.

Another plus for the movie is the music by motley of composers Sachin-Jigar, Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros Anjaan & Jassi. The one song which creates the biggest impact is the title song “Main Tera Hero” composed by Amaal Mallik and sung by Armaan Mallik and Salman Khan, both are equally impressive. Another song which creates an impact is “Yadaan Teri” composed by Jassi and sung by Rahat Fateh Ali. The foot tapping “Dance Ke Legend” is also impressive, composed by Meet Bros Anjaan. The other love duets by Sachin-Jigar are good but not that impressive to create an impact. The original had some timeless songs by Laxmikant Pyarelal, but the same cannot be said about this “Hero”.

Salman Khan took an original from the 80’s which was a masala entertainer, which he wanted to make it modern with a contemporary twist but unfortunately it failed and Nikhil Advani who is known for frothy modern romantic movies I think was a wrong choice as a director. I felt that Rohit Shetty could have done a better job with the remake as it belonged to his genre.

Nikhil Advani could neither make a masala entertainer nor a modern love story, I will go with Two & a Half stars (One Extra star for the debutants)….

Movie Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Movie Review: Welcome Back

Welcome Back: Slap Stick & Brainless comedy is BACK

Statutory Warning: While watching “Welcome Back” please keep your brains aside….Welcome Back Poster

Anees Bazmi is back with the sequel of his 2007 hit “Welcome” and his genre of comedy which is completely over the top, chaotic and off course lack of story….

“Welcome Back” starts again with Uday Bhai (Nana Patekar) and Majnu Bhai (Anil Kapoor) who again fall for the same girl Chandni (Ankita Shrivastava) but they need to get their sister Ranjana (Shruti Hasan) married to a decent guy, but the problem is she is in love with Ajju Bhai (John Abraham) who is Dr Ghungru’s (Paresh Rawal) son. Confused??? Don’t be because there is no cohesive story….

Story (or lack of it) is by Anees Bazmi & Rajeev Kaul and the screenplay is credited to a list of writers Anees Bazmi, Rajeev Kaul, Rajan Aggarwal & Praful Parekh, still the screenplay is inconsistent and looks like various situations have been first written and then all of them have been collectively put to make a screenplay. The emphasis is on Slapstick comedy and bizzare situations in an attempt to make us laugh. To give credit to the writers some of the sequences do make you laugh but then such sequences are limited. The sequences between Uday Bhai and Majnu Bhai are the only once which are worth a laugh rest all is trash in the name of comedy. Rather after certain point of time the sequences are monotonous. The climax is the most bizarre that I have seen for a long time. Overall a very sub standard writing….

The Dialogues by Raaj Shaandilyaa compliments the slap stick comedy theme of the screenplay but is quite irritating as well. The best dialogues are when Uday and Majnu interact…

It is the performances which are the saving grace to some extent. Nana Patekar as Uday Shetty is the best amongst the cast, his straight face portrayal will make you laugh and some of the so called comic moments have been provided by Nana Patekar. Anil Kapoor as Majnu also does complete justice to the character and the combination of both Nana & Anil Kapoor as Uday Bhai & Majnu Bhai is the highlight of the movie as it was in the previous part “Welcome”. John Abraham as Ajju Bhai a.k.a Ajay is a complete misfit, though he tries hard to be the rowdy gangster but fails miserably with only one expression all throughout the movie, honestly speaking John should stop trying comic roles as he is a Disaster, he should stick to action films which suits his physique and his frown face. Paresh Rawal again reprises is his earlier role of Dr Ghungru and he keeps his character exactly the same as it was in the previous movie. Nasseruddin Shah as Wanted Bhai brings some stability to the chaos and proves his mettle yet again by performing well, even though the writing was faulty, in short rising above the writing, a true performer. The girls Dimple Kapadia is utterly wasted as Maharani, Shruti Hasan as Ranjana is there only to look good and newcomer Ankita Shrivastava as Chandni was only there to look sexy and with skimpiest and garish dresses and even more garish make up. Shiney Ahuja as Honey looks confused as if he has landed on the sets by mistake. As for the rest of the cast the less said the better. Frankly speaking I missed Akshay Kumar tremendously….

Though a whole list of music composers have been credited for the music namely Anu Mallik, Meet Bros Anjjan, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Siddhant Madhav & Mika Singh, but unfortunately none of the compositions are worth while…rather some of the songs are outright cheap and so is the choreography by Ganesh Acharya…

Anees Bazmi  seems to be still stuck to his early 2000 formula of slap stick comedy which looks dated today and even if this movie works in the box office, still I think Anees Bazmi should rethink about the kind of script he writes and the kind of movie he makes if he wants to continue making movies in these times.

There is no problem of slap stick but only if it has a cohesive script, which was nonexistent in “Welcome Back”….

I will go with Two & a Half Stars… One additional star for Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor & Nasseruddin Shah

Movie Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)