Movie Review : Saala Khadoos

Saala Khadoos: It could have been better if it had been more Khadoos

It is good to see a new trend in Bollywood of sports movies, especially woman oriented sports movies which off course was started with “Chak De India”….Saala Khadoos Movie

But the problem is just having a concept and script of sports movie is not enough, it needs to have the soul at the right place, unfortunately after “Chak De India” none of the movies could create that impact, though “Mary Kom” had some positives…

“Saala Khadoos” takes the concept of “Chak De India” but in Boxing and tries to narrate the story of ex boxer Aditya Tomar (R Madhavan) who falls prey of dirty politics of Deb (Zakir Hussain) his ex coach and now the Head coach of the Boxing academy for Women and transferred to Chennai where he discovers Madhi a fisherman’s daughter and grooms her to be boxer, whether Aditya is able to fight the system and whether he is able to make Madhi a champion, is what the movie is all about…

Sudha Kongara Prasad who debuts as a director in Bollywood with “Saala Khadoos” has also written the story and screenplay. Sudha gets the premise absolutely bang on, the politics, non availability of resources to train the upcoming talents, lack of infrastructure for training and the corruption involved in selection process everything is shown with complete conviction. Where Sudha looses in the narration is the lack of emotional quotient which is extremely important for such movies and unfortunately it lacks throughout the movie, which fails the audience to connect with the movie. Another aspect which could have been better is the writing of the characters, not too much attention is given to the back story of Aditya which should have been the crux of the story justifying his violent behaviour, similarly Madhi’s character could been written better. If the characters were written better the audience would have sympathised and connected with the lead characters. The biggest flaw in the writing is its weak climax, in such movies the climax needs to be emotionally charged so that it ends with a high, but unfortunately it does not. Overall the writing could have been much better so the movie could have ended at a high….

It is the performances of the movie which is the biggest highlight. Madhavan as Aditya is one of his best performance, he gets into the skin of the character right from his body which he has especially build for the movie and his mannerism of a strict disciplinarian coach, definitely the best performance of the movie. Debutant Ritika Singh, who is a professional boxer plays Madhi convincingly right from her tapori act to her boxer act; undoubtedly a good debut. Debutant Mumtaz Sorcar as Laxmi, Madhi’s elder sister also does a good job and does complete justice. Nassar as the junior coach also does a good job. Zakir Hussain as the menacing Head Coach Deb is the second best performance of the movie.

Sudha Kongara’s debut venture as a Bollywood director is first rate but it is the writing which is a downer, but somehow she overcomes the shortcoming of the script by extracting brilliant performance from ensemble cast. Sudha definitely shows the spark and will be a director to watch out for….

The camera work of Sivakumar Vijayan blends well with the narration, by capturing Hisar to Chennai well…

“Saala Khadoos” is good sports movie but definitely could have been better as far the Emotional Quotient is concerned, I will go with Three Stars (One extra star for Madhavan’s performance)

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

Movie Review: Airlift

Airlift: A story of courage said with perfection

Movie Review of Airlift

Movie Review of Airlift

We always complain about the conditions of our country taking the facilities given to us for granted, well “Airlift” shows us whatever our country has given us should be cherished.

“Airlift” is based on the real life events wherein a Kuwait based Indian businessman with the help of the Indian Government took the responsibility of getting back 1,70,000 Indians from Kuwait when Sadam Hussain invaded Kuwait. It tells the story of Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) a successful businessman in Kuwait who takes the onus of 1,70,000 Indians stranded in Kuwait to send them back to India, and with the help of the Indian Government succeeds in getting back 1,70,000 Indians from Kuwait….

Written by Raja Krishna Menon, Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair & Rahul Nangia the screenplay chronicles the events which led to the rescue of the Indians stranded in Kuwait. The writers have been successful in re-creating the events but the biggest plus about the writing is its characterization; each character is written and conceived well. Though there could have been more tension depicted during the attack which is a bit of a downer, the other thing which could have better is the climax, it could have been a bit more nail biting. But otherwise overall the writing does complete justice to the events, especially when the flag is hoisted in the Jordan Airport at the climax, your heart will fill up with emotion….

But the biggest highlight of the movie is its performances. Akshay Kumar’s act as Ranjit Katiyal a shrewd businessman who decides to stand by for his fellow Indians is the best performance of the movie. After “Baby” Akshay yet again proves with his performance in “Airlift” that he is not an actor who can be ignored. With every movie Akshay is raising his bar as an actor showing his versatility. Nimrat Kaur as Amrita Katyal, Ranjit’s better half gives a power packed performance; her whole transformation from a snooty rich house wife to a woman who stands for his man in his endeavour is natural and believable. Nimrat’s performance compliments Akshay’s portrayal, and both look good as a pair, I hope more film makers cast them again. Innamul Haq as the Iraqi major gives a memorable performance, his dialect to his body language everything is perfect to the “T”, definitely an actor to watch out for in future. Prakash Belawadi as George the grumpy old man yet again gives a stellar performance after “Talvar”; he convincingly portrays the irritating character. Purab Kohli also shines in small role of Ibrahim, most of his performance is through his eyes, another actor who has been royally ignored by the industry though he has the talent. Another brilliant actor Kumud Mishra as the External Affairs Joint Secretary Sanjeev Kohli does an exemplary job, yet another actor who has been ignored for long. Rest of the ensemble cast of Nissar Khan, Ninad Kamat, Surender Pal, Kaizaad Kotwal do an excellent job, thus raising the standard of the movie.

Priya Seth’s cinematography complements the narration and brings that extra edge to the proceedings….

Director Raja Krishna Menon after relatively smaller movies like “Bas Yun Hi” & “Bara Anna” comes to his fore with “Airlift”. It is not an easy task to adapt a real life event, but Raja does it with complete conviction and succeeds as well, especially in extracting the performances from the actors. Thanks to Raja that a lot of good actors got a chance to showcase their talent in this movie. Well Raja Krishna Menon is definitely a director to watch out for…

Though Music does not play too much of part in “Airlift” but one song which needs a mention is the song “Tu Bhoola Jise” sung beautifully by KK and music by Amaal Mallik and the romantic “Soch Na Sake” sung by Arijit Singh, Tulsi Kumar and Amaal Mallik and music by Amaal Mallik…

“Airlift” tells the inspiring story of courage with panache, definitely a MUST watch, I will go with 4 stars….

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Movie Review : Wazir

Wazir: Not too many thrills as a Thriller

“Wazir” has a fantastic set up, a stellar cast of Amitabh Bachchan & Farhan Akhtar, a good concept and a fantastic set up to mount the movie…..but still “Wazir” makes you feel wanting for more after the movie is over….

The spark that Bijoy Nambiar showed us in “Shaitaan” is missing in “Wazir”….the concept was brilliant with a premise of a crippled Chess player Omkar Nath Dhar a.k.a Pandit ji (Amitabh Bachchan) who meets Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) a suspended ATS officer who has lost his daughter for his duty and in bargain his wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Haidri) leaves him. Pandit ji whose daughter gets killed mysteriously at politician Izaad Qureshi (Manav Kaul) house wants to unravel his daughter’s death, the rest of the movie deals with Panditji and Danish’s struggle to get justice….

The story and screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi had a good premise but looses the steam as it Wazir Movieprogresses and the second half though full of twists and turns but still it fails to create an impact. And the climax which actually reveals the suspense does not create the impact which should have been created. The whole reference to chess and wazir does not come out that clearly. The screenplay could have been tighter by creating more twists. It is said that the antagonist of the story needs to be strong but somehow the character of Izaad Qureshi seems too weak and is shown as an easy target. Though the principal characters of Panditji and Danish are written well, the writing for the rest of the cast is not upto the mark. Rather the whole suspense of the Wazir just fails to impress making the climax look weak…

It is the performances of the cast that makes the difference especially Amitabh Bachchan who plays Panditji with complete conviction and gives a crackling performance to complement him Farhan Akhtar as Danish Ali as the ATS Officer gives a convincing performance as well, this being one of his first serious action role, he bowls us over with his earnest performance. But it is Amitabh Bachchan’s show all the way. Manav Kaul as Izaad Qureshi the politician gives a good performance but it is the writing which pulls him down. Neil Nitin Mukesh as Wazir has a small but effective role which he does with full conviction. Aditi Rao Haidri as Roohana does not have much to do other than looking beautiful. John Abraham in a cameo is wasted.

The cinematography of Sanu Varghese adds to the darkness to the thriller. The action sequences are a highlight of the movie, every action sequence is convincing…

Music in “Wazir” does not have much to do but some songs remain with you like “Tere Bin” & “Maula Mere Maula” by Shantanu Moitra..

Bijoy Nambiar had a fantastic premise which he fails to utilize completely, and gives us a half baked thriller which could have been better, though he does a splendid job with his direction but it is the writing which fails…..

Definitely a onetime watch, especially for Amitabh Bachchan…. I will go with 3 stars

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