Movie Review: Judgementall Hai Kya

Judgementall Hai Kya: Too mental to be Judgemental

On the onset let me warn “Judgementall Hai Kya” is not your regular Bollywood movie which follows a set pattern. Well I may say with this movie it is really DIFFERENT. Right from the concept to the presentation to the performance all are nothing that you may have seen in Bollywood Judgementall Hai Kyabefore.

“Judgementall Hai Kya” tells us the story of Bobby Batliwala Garewal (Kangana Ranaut) who suffers from mental issues due to what she went through during her childhood. A dubbing artist by profession, things change for her when young married couple Keshav (Rajkumar Rao) and Reema (Amyra Dastur) come to live as her tenant. Things gets more complicated when there is murder and both stand as a prime suspect.

Written by Kanika Dhillon, the story delves into the complexities that come with mental illness in a serious way, and the dark comedy cum whodunit screenplay goes extremely well in the first half and sets the tone, but it is the second half what you get is run down, extremely sluggish narration leading us to a shoddy and hurried climax. Rather the climax is so hurried that you feel that a lot of questions remain unanswered. Especially the last 30 minutes of pre climax and climax ,is so all over the place that you start feeling Mental and you want it to get over as soon as possible. Kanika’s inclusion of the Ramayan angle felt forced and the whole “Birdman” kind of narration takes you nowhere. The 2 hour long movie seems extremely stretched and too long because of a faulty second half.

Where the movie scores the highest is the performance by the lead pair, Kangana as Bobby is just so brilliant that you start empathizing with her though you know the character is doing wrong, she gets the beat bang on from the first frame. Rajkumar Rao as Keshav tends to retain the mystery of his character till the very end, which I thought was commendable and a performance par excellence. Another actor who creates an impact is Hussain Dallal as Varun, Bobby’s virgin desperate boyfriend cum manager. He just grabs the attention whenever he is on screen and gives you the required laughs, rather I must admit he had some of the funniest lines in the movie. Jimmy Shergill, Amyra Dastur, Amrita Puri, Satish Kaushik and Brijendra Kala though good, but could hardly create any impact due to their brief and not so well written characters.

Pankaj Kumar’s brilliant cinematography lifts the movie and adds to the mystery and quirkiness of the treatment. Another aspect which creates the magic for the movie is its background score by Daniel B George which accentuates the scene and gives the required impact.

This is Prakash Kovelamudi’s first Bollywood movie after his stint in South. Prakash really tries hard to be different, and I applaud him for the same, but you cannot justify a different concept without a strong script and this where Prakash fails. Though he does a brilliant job in getting a top notch performance from the principal cast and also in presenting the movie in a completely different mold, but he fails miserably to connect with the audience and goes haywire in the second half of the movie. This could have been a path breaking movie but alas it was not meant to be.

Judgementall Hai Kya is like a dish which looks great in presentation and look, with the correct ingredients, but when you eat it, you cannot make up your mind whether it was good or bad. This is the same feeling I got when I came out of the theatre completely confused whether I liked it or I hated it.

I will go with two and a Half Stars.

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

Movie Review: Aligarh

Aligarh: Manoj Bajpai all the way…

Till now Homosexuality or gay characters are shown as caricatures in Bollywood, and gay jokes are used more for comic situations and shown in bad light.

Well “Aligarh” changes it once and for all, Hansal Mehta has taken special care in handling a sensitive subject and done a commendable job. “Aligarh” is based on the true events of Dr. Srinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor and HOD of Department of Modern Indian Languages in Aligarh University. On 8th Feb 2010 two strangers from local news channel of Aligarh barged into Dr Siras’s (Manoj Bajpai) house and made a video of Dr Siras and a rickshaw puller in a compromising position. On 9th Feb 2010, Dr Siras is suspended from Aligarh University for misconduct. A journalist Deepu Sebastian (Rajkumar Rao) after reading this meets Dr Siras and writes the true story of Dr Siras and raises questions on Aligarh University’s suspension of Dr Siras. The article gets people’s attention and an NGO decides to fight the case of Dr Siras against Aligarh University. Dr Siras wins the case on 1st April, 2010 but is found dead in mysterious circumstances on 7th April 2010….aligarh-movie-review

Story written by Ishani Banerjee explores the events Dr Siras from 8th Feb’2010 and chronicles the events there after with utmost sensitivity and care. Her writing is less judgemental and more factual which raises pertinent questions on Sec 377 and right of an individual to choose his/her sexual preference and whether an individual should be victimised for his sexual orientation. The beauty of Ishani’s writing is its characterization, especially of Dr Siras which tries to explore the real Dr Siras and his pathos…

Screenplay by Apurva Asrani takes a step further with narration of the events on screen. But the pace is an issue, which oscillates from being extremely slow to abrupt. The court case is shown more as a background and ends abruptly, I felt some more screen time should have been given to the court proceedings. The other flaw in the screenplay is the relationship of Deepu and Dr Siras was not explored to the fullest. Otherwise the writing does complete justice to the subject and handles it sensitively….

It is Manoj Bajpai who owns the movie and does a spectacular job of Dr Siras, from his demeanour to his body language to way he speaks, everything is spot on. Manoj speaks a thousand words through his eyes. All the pathos and loneliness is depicted brilliantly by Manoj through his eyes, actually you start feeling his pain that is how brilliant he is. Rajkumar Rao as the journalist Deepu Sebastian complements Manoj’s performance with his carefree portrayal of a rookie journalist. Ashish Vidyarthi as the lawyer Ashish Grover makes an impact with his no nonsense portrayal; rather it is good to see Ashish back in Bollywood. The rest of the cast also does a brilliant job…

For a movie to succeed in connecting with the audience it is essential to have the right ensemble cast and I must mention Mukesh Chabra the casting director for getting it RIGHT as far as the casting is concerned for “Aligarh”.

Cinematography of Satya Rai Nagpaul captures the mood perfectly and blends with the narration. Production design by Indranil Chowdhury is apt and you feel as if the movie has been shot in the real locations. Pia Benegal’s costume design gives the right texture to the characters…

Hansal Mehta yet again proves that he is a pro in handling sensitive subjects with élan. The sensitivity in the subject is dealt; it is beyond doubt the best movie on homosexuality. And his combination with Manoj Bajpai definitely a Director actor combo to look out for in the future…

I will go with Three & a Half stars….

Movie Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)


Official Trailer : Dolly Ki Doli

Sonam Kapoor is back with yet another light hearted comedy “Dolly Ki Doli” after her not so successful “Khoobsurat”….


Written By Umashankar  Singh and debutant director Abhishek Dogra, it tells the story of a con girl “Dolly” who gets married  and loots the house at night and flees…

Well premise sounds interesting with an impressive cast of Rajkummar Rao, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma (Fukrey Fame) & Saif Ali Khan in a special appearance. Mallaika Arora Khan does yet another item number for her husband Arbaaz Khan’s production.

Produced by Arbaaz Khan, this is his first non Salman Khan starrer after Dabangg & Dabangg 2. Abhishek Dogra debuts as the director with this movie.

Music is by Khan’s regular Sajid-Wajid….

The movie releases on 23rd Jan’15…the trailer looks interesting only time will tell whether Arbaaz Khan will be third time lucky without his bade bhaiya Salman Khan….till then enjoy the Trailer….


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 : 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