Movie Review : Robert Akbar Walter

Robert Akbar Walter: Too RAW to be served

Lately Bollywood has been in a mood of espionage thrillers, a genre which has been successfully dealt in movies like BABY (2015), D-Day (2013) and Raazi (2018), and not so successfully in Phantom (2015) and Agent Vinod (2013) both staring Saif Ali Khan.

Robert Akbar Walter belongs to the same genre, set in 1971 it tells the story of Romeo Ali (John Abraham) a bank teller whose life changes when RAW Chief Shrikant Rai (Jackie Shroff) approaches him for a covert mission in Pakistan. The rest I don’t want to reveal as it will steal the fun from the movie.

Written by the director Robbie Grewal in association with Ishraq Eba andRAW Moview Shreyansh Pandey, RAW starts on a wobbly ground, as the first half is outright flat and does not give you any thrill which is a must with an espionage thriller. It takes the complete first half to set up the story and by the intermission moment you have already lost interest in the proceedings. The second half does have its moments with some twists which look half baked. It is only in the last 30 minutes that the movie really does justice to its genre but it is too late to salvage. The twists are too less and too convenient. The edge of the seat moments are also few, unlike in Raazi which kept you invested and on the edge of the seat. The characters other than the two principal characters of RAW Chief and Romeo Ali look as if written in a hurry or no thought has been invested behind building these characters. The character of Parul (Mouni Roy) looks written in a haste and you never really get to see the real character, similar is the case with other characters. Another problem is the pace, it is so slow with screen time of 139 minutes, that at the end you just want the movie to end. The screenplay is the biggest drawback of the movie. The premise was promising and interesting but the screenplay just doesn’t pick up and remains flat throughout barring the last 30 minutes.

Performance wise John Abraham in the titular role tries hard and it shows on screen but somehow does not convince us as an intelligent spy. John being a weak actor somehow burdens the movie which already has a weak screenplay. Jackie Shroff as the RAW chief Shrikant Rai looks too stylish for the character he plays, but frankly he is the only actor who does justice to his role. Mouni Roy as the love interest of Romeo remains a decorative piece in the movie with nothing meaty to do. Performance wise Mouni falters big time and the sketchy character does not help either. Sikander Kher as Col Khan, tries to look menacing but fails, his dialect is also inconsistent. Rest of the actor like Raghuvir Yadav who is wasted, Suchitra Krishnamurty, Rajesh Shringarpure, Alka Ameen do not create any impact.

Director Robbie Grewal whose Samay (2003) was very impressive and his best till date, again fails to impress just like his previous movies like Aloo Chaat (2009) and MP3 (2007). Robbie Grewal picks up an interesting premise but fails to stich a consolidated screenplay which is edge of the seat. Though he does not fail with the look and the tone of the movie but execution wise he fails. Give me Samay any day, I guess one of the best performance of Sushmita Sen till date.

It is the cinematography by Tapan Tushar Basu that makes the movie a visual treat, he get the tonality of the premise bang on. The second department which scores big is the production design by Swapnil Bhalerao & Madhur Madhavan, every nitty gritty has been taken care of to the point of perfection. The third department which scores high is the costume design by Ameira Punvani, she gets the time correct with her costume and nothing looks out of place.

Overall Robert Akbar Walter remains RAW throughout, I will go with TWO Stars.

Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Movie Review: Brothers

Brothers: Emotion & Blood Gore both over the top

Remakes have been a part of Bollywood history since long, rather now it is more of Official remakes. “Brothers” isBrothers Posters one such remake of 2013 Hollywood movie “Warrior”.

“Brothers” is a tale of two half brothers David Fernandes(Akshay Kumar) and Monty Fernandes(Sidharth Malhotra)who due to circumstances get separated only to come face to face as rivals in a Boxing competition.

With the original story of “Warrior” written by Gavin O’Connor & Cliff Dorfman, and adapted screenplay by Ekta Pathak Malhotra “Brothers” is dipped in emotions, especially in the first half when it tells the story of the two brothers David & Monty and their equation with their father Gary Fernandes (Jackie Shroff). Rather the first half is so much soaked in over the top emotion that you start feeling quite uncomfortable 30 minutes into the movie. In the name of emotions all the characters are shown either crying, yelling and shouting (call it emotional outburst) or breaking things which gets on to your nerves after a certain point. Each and every character is one dimensional whether it is the brothers or their father or David’s wife Jenny (Jacqueline Fernandes) without any depth or variation neither in their expression nor in their overall impact. The second half is completely dedicated to the boxing matches which looks quite amateurish and with two extremely irritating commentators leading us to a very predictable climax. The only item song is placed in the most inappropriate of situation. Overall “Brothers” is a very poor adaptation of “Warrior”, which neither impresses as an emotional movie or a sports movie.

Dialogues by Sidharth & Garima are quite clichéd and you feel you are watching a movie from the 80’s, rather in the emotional sequences the dialogues do not create any impact making it fall flat on the face. Especially the dialogues of the two commentators are the most irritable.

Akshay Kumar’s honest and earnest portrayal of David Fernandes is the only saving grace of the movie performance wise. He portrays the Physics teacher turned fighter with gusto and also looks fit and agile like a boxer. Sidharth Malhotra as Monty Fernandes has the same expression all throughout the movie and tries very hard to portray the angry young man act but fails miserably, rather his good looks acts detrimental for the role of the rugged Monty, though credit should be given for the training that he went through to portray the character which shows as well. Even Sidharth’s dialect looks forced. Jackie Shroff’s performance as Gary Fernandes, the estranged father borders between over acting and hamming, in some sequences he is so over the top that you cannot even hear his dialogues properly. Jacqueline Fernandes as Jenny has very little to do other than being moist eyed in every scene of hers. Shefali Shah as Maria, the mother gives us a crackling performance in a cameo. Ashutosh Rana as Pasha is wasted in a not so well written role. Kiran Kumar as Briganza, the businessman is again wasted in a inconsequential role. Kulbhushan Kharbanda in a cameo as the school principle was earnest. The two commentators Raj Zutshi & Kavi Shastri are the most irritating of the lot, rather they looked like a caricature. Rest of the cast does not create any impact.

Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is gritty as per the requisite of the story.

Ajay-Atul’s music is very weak, excluding the item song “Mera Naam Mary”, rest of all the songs below par. Ganesh Acharya’s choreography of “Mera Naam Mary” is extremely cheap and I wonder what prompted Kareena Kapoor to do the song. This is by far the cheapest song that Kareena has done.

Karan Malhotra’s direction is extremely over the top whether it is the emotional sequences or the fight sequences which is outright gory in the name of boxing. The only emotion which is displayed is the emotion of hatred all throughout the movie.
It is Akshay Kumar and his portrayal which makes the movie watchable. Rather the whole movie is rested on Akshay Kumar’s broad shoulders.

I will go with 2 stars…

Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

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….