Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy New Year ~~ Heist-y Old Affair!!

With her latest offering, Farah Khan has proved that the competition starts at home and by reconciling with King Khan she is way ahead of the race. By being ahead I mean – making less crappy film as compared to her brother and out-of-favor husband.

The brownie points for Farah from my side, ends there itself. If she still feels that making fun of Bollywood icons (in HNY its Saroj Khan's turn) is cool and her monotonous-to-death humor still looks good on-screen as off it, then she is hugely mistaken. I presume, she also accepts this fact and that’s the reason she tries to hide everything behind greased 8-pack abs of a SuperStar and her success hinges on devout followers of King Khan. If somebody disagrees, replace SRK with any other ‘humane’ actor from Bollywood in HNY, and you would get your answer.

HNY is shot on a large scale - the visuals are breathtaking, costume designing is at par with any other magnum opus and basic premise of the flick was quite an interesting idea – if not novel. The money spent on the extrinsic features was compensated by hiring no dialogue writers and choreographers. Dialogues are ‘khichdi’ from all previous SRK’s movies and as I said at the start – Farah thinks it’s funny. I was waiting for ‘Ek Chutki Sindoor..’ too; not sure if that was also used somewhere because I dozed off in between. If dance competition is the crux of your movie and you don’t have any dance or song routine that you can think off once you are out of theatre, then that guarantees a self-introspection. Compare ‘Lovely’ with a ‘Sheila’ and Farah would understand that she needs an outsider at the helm ……. Now!!!! If I would say HNY is a predictable affair then that would be an understatement of this decade. The Climax of such movies is always predictable, but unfortunately in HNY every scene gives you an idea of a subsequent one.

SRK sleep walks his part as there is nothing new to offer for him in this (as 89.99% of his movies) barring working-out for couple of scenes to showcase his chiseled frame. Boman Irani is an actor who always performs in extremes – either he performs on unparalleled tangent or he hams his way annoyingly. Sadly in HNY, he is in latter avatar. Vivaan Shah was fine for his debut and his real test starts now. Deepika would be first to accept that she looked good and acted better in many of her previous outings. Farah thinks Sexy Deepika imitating disgusting Rakhi Sawant in ‘Dance Pooja hia…’ dialogue is funny. Well….. Err…. No Comments!! Sonu ‘shirtless’ Sood was unintentional hilarious but the movie belongs to Abhishek Bacchan. We all know he has penchant for comic roles as we have seen in Bol Bacchan. In HNY he was in full unabashed form and his ‘Esnakes Dance’ is sure shot hit. Infact he has the best scene in the movie, for me – at the climax – No Spoilers please!!

Good thing about HNY? Last half an hour!! Farah is shrewd story-teller, for sure. She knows Public loves Heist/Robbery/Revenge Dramas and normally such flicks end on a high. And when you amalgamate the same with a tinge of patriotism then – Kya kehne!! But in order to reach to that bright spot – aka last half an hour, you need to cross ‘Aag ka Dariya’ i.e. excruciating and whopping 2 and half hours. Ready for the Challenge?

HSR Verdict: Borrowing and twisting a dialogue from the movie. There are two types of moviegoers: first - SRK/Sallu (and alike) blind followers/worshipers who get ‘Kick’ in every ‘Happy New Year’ and second – all other sane ones who only expect undiluted and impartial entertainment. Second Category normally Stays in Peace!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sassy, Massy, Classy, HSRsy Picks of 2011

Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chhote

10) DOUBLE DHAMAAL: NOT amongst the worst, but pretty ordinary follow up to the Original Dhamaal. Its 'Half-Dhamaal' to me, not double. Nayyyyy!!!
9) DIL TO BACCHA HAI JEE: Again Not a BAD Movie, but disappointing to say the least. Rom-Com is not Madhur's cup of tea. So give us your 'type' of movie, Sir.
8) THANK YOU: The title should be "Sorry", instead.
7) SAAT KHOON MAAF: Hope Vishal Bhardwaaj won't gift us 'Saat' craps before his next creative brilliance.
6) BBUDDHA HOGA: Is there no other way to give tribute to angry young(old) man?
5) BODYGAURD: Biggggggest opening ever for any film. AGREED!! But little-bit of entertaining stuff could have been better :)
4) BhejaFRY2: Attempt a sequel only if you have a script, Mr. Bellary.
3) AARAKSHAN : Jha Sahab, Reunite with Ajay Devgn; you seems to have lost your sheen.
2) (i) MAUSAM: Pankaj Kapoor, return to acting. Direction ka mausam kharab chal rahaa hia aapke liye.
(ii) RASCALS: Dhawan Bhauu, Announce your retirement. QUICK!!!
1) RA.ONE: A grand, spectacular celebration of moronic Video-Game thriller.

Songs that would carry-forward to 2012

10) Senorita (ZNMD) and D-D-Dddd Dilli Dilli (No One Killed Jessica)
9) Isq-Risk and Madhubala (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan)
8) Title Track and Teri Meri (BodyGaurd)
7) Ooh-La-La (The Dirty Picture)and Ddddarling (7-Khoon Maaf)
6) Rabba and Ik-tu-Hi (Mausam)
5) Dhin-te-Chika (Ready) and 4 Bajj gaye (FALTU)
4) Phir Mohabbat and Haal-e-Dil (Murder2)
3) Jugni, Saddi Galli and Rangrez (Tanu Weds Manu); DK Bose, Sweety, Bedardi Raja (Delhi Belly)
2) Sadda Haq and Kun-Faya-Kun (RockStar)
1) Tum-Ho (RockStar)
..... and one certain "Kolaveri Di" :)

Pick-Flicks of 2011 (Not counting Crores, though)

5) Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara: A feel-good movie which I can watch couple of times more on lazy, laidback weeknds.
4) Tanu Weds Manu: Sometimes, movies made from heart 'sans' superstars does a trick. TWM is one such flick.
3) Delhi Belly: Enjoyed a comedy after such a long time. To Sum up:Even If Aamir puts his hand in Shit, it churns gold for him.
2) The Dirty Picture: Would like to quote Raja Sen "If She's not wearing such low-cut dresses, would ask her to take a bow". Its not a great 'picture' for me, but Vidya makes it one.
1) RockStar: Ranbir, Imtiaz, AR Rehman, Mohit Chauhan and Irshad Kamil Pushed the envelope...BIG TIME!!
Few Others I like : Shaitan, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, No One Killed Jessica, Pyar Ka Panchnama, Yeh Saali Zindagi and few others.

And the Award Goes to.....

Faadduu Actor of 2011
: Who else? Ranbir 'RockStar' Kapoor.
SuperStarni of 2011: Vidya Balan (NOKJ and TDP)
Voice of 2011 (Male): Mohit Chauhan (All RS Songs and others)
Voice of 2011 (Female): Shreya Ghoshal (Ooh La La, Teri-Meri and others)
BAD-MAN of 2011: Prashant Narayanan (Murder2)
Phunny Man 0f 2011 : Vijay Raaz (Delhi Belly)
Kya Entry Hai (Actor-Male): Koyi aaya kya?? Waise Vidyut Jamwal of FORCE fame was good.
Kya Entry Hai (Actor-Female): Parineeti Chopra (LvsRB)
Kya Entry Hai (Music): Krsna (Tanu Weds Manu)
Kya Entry Hai (Director): Abinay Deo (NO!! Not for GAME)
Kya Entry Hai (As SuperHero): Who Else? G.One= SRK ( This award is not given by me, just a suggestion to Filmfare. Anyhow, they need some excuse to award him, right??)

Musical 2011: A R Rehman
Good to Bad to Worse (Music) 2011 : Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Vishal Shekhar were saved by Ooh-La-La and Chammak Challo.
Chak De Phatte (Music) 2011: Mika Singh.
Re-Emergence (Music): Sohail Sen

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Super-Hero with a HART, but without BRAN!!

As I sit to put my Ra.One's experience in words (better way than to say ' I shall write review', 'coz who cares for reviews, anyways?), King Khan's dream project is already setting Box-Office ablaze with Rupees, Dollars, Pounds etc flowing-in a huge way. In any case, was it unexpected or unprecedented? After over-the-top publicity spree (which started a year back), King-Khan's global fan-following, releasing at humongous number of screens worldwide and festive weekend (with NO competition wat-so-ever), the success of Ra-One in initial few days is always expected and a certainity. But, the question remains: how it would fare in week-days and whether audience thinks that Ra.One has repeat value. Lets find out from a common man's perspective.

The movie starts with a lecture on how the video game characters could be seen, touched blah blah blah. Frankly I did'nt understood a wee-bit, or more importantly I did'nt found it worth pondering. First 'half an hour' surely test your patience as if you have done some crime sneaking-into the theatre. This 30 minutes includes:
a) SRK's tamilian humor (only novelty value was eating noodles with curd). None of my tamilian friends use 'Aiiyyo' as much as SRK's character does in half-an-hour.
b) Sanju Baba and Piggy Chops cameo in dream sequence: Both the seasoned actors, along with Shahrukh himself, compliments each other with weak (let me add, 'Silly') dialogues, ham acting and stupid facial expressions.
c) Kareena Kapoor doing a 'thesis in Gaalis (Abuses)'. Whatttt??? Ya, Right!! Go and figure it out and do 'enlighten' me too.
d) Humor comes from booby keys and condom-condom?? If that's way to tickle the funny bone, it surely brushes it the wrong way. Well, I must say I would prefer Shahrukh's interviews and his Filmfare Awards' hosting any day.
Free-Tip: For real-humor (and healthy laugh), watch out for dance-steps of the Chinese Character (Akaashi) in the 'Criminal' song. You would die laughing.

Then again, how the hell video game characters comes to the real world? I don't know, don't ask me!! Believe me , its rather inconsequential; I am sure even writers did'nt had any clue about this presumable clownishness. If you are craving for some action in this Super-hero flick, you need to wait 1 hr and 10 mins when the first time and Ra.One comes face to face. Immediately cars starts flying and our Super-Hero/Villain does fists-pumping and muscles-flexing stuff. Sadly, the wait is eternal and the outcome is too trivial to my liking.

After this 'duh high-octane' action scene, the 'two-Ones' meet at the climax. In between, there is lotzz of emotional drama and 'attempt-at-humor' and yes Chammak-Challo too. The best part surely is Chammak Challo; really happy to see 'Zero' of Kareena's figure going bit more rounder. Much touted local train action scene could have been better; it raises few 'OOHs' and 'WOWs' but fails to raise the adrenaline rush even by an iota (That, for me, is the drawback of excessive publicity; you tend to expect a bit-too-much for much-talked about scenes). Rajni's cameo still works as an exception and is welcomed by the whistling and clapping audiences.

FULL marks to SRK for using technology and VFX (Special Effects, Computer graphics, watever) to good effect and spending crores on his magnum-opus. Still I feel, a bunch of good writers, a good director and super-efficient editor could have been a better choice. I am sure SRK would have already recovered all his money back but if his intention was to entertain people with something that has never been tried before in Indian Cinema, then that 'novel-intention' is still not fulfilled.

Maverick's Verdict: Ra-ONE is a super-hero flick with a good HART (Or, Heart) but without a BRAN (Brain or Brawn).

Monday, December 28, 2009

All izz not only Well…….but itzz Awezzome!!

With his new release- 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan would be eager to chant Merry Christmas with the hat-trick of blockbusters after TZP and Ghajini thrashed all box office records in the last two years. Backing him up in his endeavor is the superhit producer-director duo of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani who has given us the affable desi character Munnabhai. So, the question remains whether 3Idiots live up to all the expectations or just fizzles amidst all the hooplah. Though in bolly-nagri fortune-pendulum swings every Friday, still if promos are any indication then the chances of latter is minimal.
3 Idiots is a satire against the society especially to those parents who overlook their children’s passion and dreams for more stereotyped yet alluring future prospects. Few reels into the flick and the sense of déjà vu surmount any other prevalent feeling at that point of time. While the engineering grads would feel at familiar grounds, others would find something or the other to relate to. The narrative never goes over the top; be it ragging sessions or campus masti, classroom arguments of the idiots and principles’ torch-bearers or hostel life antics, parents’ routine preaching or the romantic angle- everything kept well in control to keep the interest level intact. Ace craftsman Raju Hirani is mighty successful in churning out the best emotions out of one and all the actors throughout the roller-coaster ride. While few scenes prompt you to laugh your gall bladder out, few others will compel you to shed salient water intermittently. Add to it the fact that there were enough twists-n-turns that keep audiences conjecturing, tightly fastened on their edge of the seat. Agreed, few sequences were highly melodramatic and logic-defying which in turn might choke moviegoers’ intestines, but I presume our digestive system has been made immune to all these bollywood-sque idiocy, isn’t it? 3 Idiots is like a voyage that jump-starts with a fresh breath of air, jaunts with a fragrance of lilacs and ends on a summit.

Although, being a superstar Aamir Khan grabs the cake but still he is just the small cog in large wheels of 3Idiots; all the other protagonists gets the role that would grace their curriculum vitae in years to come . Sharman Joshi once again proves his mettle both in rib-tickling scenes as well as in the eyes-drenching ones. Madhavan plays his part as Aamir’s real buddy and gives an astounding act to be at par with other two idiots. As a lone 3 Idiots’ academic-foe, Omi does a superlative job with his cramming hindi recitation. He literally brings the house down with his hilarious “chamatkaari” speech on teacher’s day. Boman Irani continued the legacy of his previous two avatars for Raju Hirani and delivers a breathtaking rendition of obnoxious-yet- astute professor. Kareena excels in the short-n-sweet role and thankfully gives preference to the performance than to her new found zero-figure oomph. Coming back to the perfectionist, its amazing how an 45-year old actor get into the shoes of a 18-20 year old college going bloke, and that too with a customary ridiculous ease. He is one contemporary actor who convincingly tickles your funny bones with his unrelenting humor and also compels you to shed tears or two when he enacts the emotional self. I have made this as the title of my TZP review and couldn’t stop myself to encrypt here too “Take a bow Aamir, Take a Bow!!!”

The music and songs routine is stitched well within the movie and never looked out of context. Unfortunately, Raju as an Editor immolated the best song “Gimme some Sunshine” in the final cut, but still it would be the Youth-anthem for all those who miss their school-college days and want to relive those golden moments of their life. “Aal izz well” is the masti song and already scoring in the chartbusters, “Zoobie-Doobie” fills in the void of romantic number but picturised beatifically to give it a new fervor. “Behti hawaa sa tha woh” is like a rhapsodic ‘General Introduction’ of the lead actor while “Jaane nahi denge” is an elegiac plea to the almighty for the well-being of the friend; full marks to Sonu Nigam for crooning the song in pain-ridden voice.

Harjeet’s Verdict: (Abstaining from all Gyaanbaazi, my verdict would be ‘as fit as a fiddle’ and ‘as straight as a needle’; would surely be the shortest for me till date)
There are few other movies and there is 3 idiots. Watch it for all money and Stay in Peace.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Connubial Journey of 2 States goes haywire!!!

He is an idol to many wannabe desi writers; he is the one who advocates the mantra “live your Dreams and Passion” to the tee; he has made us to believe that best selling fictional books could be churned out through youthful exuberance without any prior degree in the concerned field. The Man is none other than Chetan Bhagat who stormed into this not-so-familiar territory with his all time best book “Five Point Some One” (will be called 5PS hereafter) and followed that up with couple of more viz "One night @ Call Center" (will be called 1N@CC hereafter) and "Three Mistakes of my life". He is back with his new novel which he claims to be “the Story of his own Marriage”. After two previous lackluster novels, the sheen has been going blurred off the Chetan’s otherwise ‘bright plate of success’ and its there to be seen if he is more than one-time wonder. So here comes my analysis which I call my version of diagnosis for the now-Full time Writer Chetan Bhagat’s new novel- "2 States".

The essence of the story has all the Indian-ness feeling in it as cross-cultural marriages has been and still is big deal in Indian society. As a reader, one is very much interested to know how Chetan manages to maintain interest in this otherwise stale concept; whether he overcomes the predictability factor or becomes its victim. Sadly, 2States, with its clichéd story line, kick starts on the wrong foot and ends on the flat note. I am sure all of us have a story or two of inter-caste love-marriages and few of them might be better than the Chetan’s adaptation of the same. FRIENDSHIP has always been the crux of Chetan’s story-telling with embellished “love-tadka” that makes it even spicier. Contrarily,here Love forms the nub of 2States but somehow the Punjabi-Tamilian love saga fails to connect to the readers. In spite of having some Chetan-special punches in 2States, it becomes a ho-hum read as those were hugely outnumbered by few zero-thrill instances, very less wow-moments and almost nil edge-of-the-seat twists-n-turns that make any novel lovable. Being a Punjabi-based-in-South India myself, I could very much relate to the situations, but to say the least, other than few tickles here and there the sequences were far from stimulating. The ‘Super-Climax’ has always been bone of contention for Chetan as he always looks perplexed in wrapping the story for a decent and awe-struck ending. The Good news here is that he did’nt had to face any such quandary; but the Bad news is the climax was always predictable. The writer’s job in such a situation is to make the journey from Prologue to Epilogue a scintillating joy-ride but in 2States all the way through it was just a matter of delaying the ultimate-inevitable.

Prior to this, the stories by Chetan has inspired the Bolly-makers to visualize a movie on it. If, 'HELLO' was a point-by-point adaptation of 1N@CC then upcoming ‘3Idiots’ is loosely inspired by 5PS. But my gut feeling sends a strong message saying nobody would dare to do so this time around, as there are zillions of movies already made based on the inter-caste conjugal encounters showcasing the protagonists’ attempts to win heart of their kins.

Harjeet’s Verdict: I don’t know whether it is a meek coincidence or a genuine attempt, but the title of all the Chetan’s novels’ starts with a numeral. Considering the same as the rating for the books, 5PS still hangs on to the top spot with 5 Rating points and this latest book would boast of only 2 rating points (out of 5). Its very hard to emulate your best work or even come closer to it, but since Chetan Bhagat is now a full time writer, we love to expect an unexpected from the pro. Borrowing your own phrase from the book: 2 states is a complete "Illa something... Something Illa".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

DEV D: An Atyacharik Cocktail of Emotions!!!

There were quite a few doubts and conjectures hovering over the fate of this modern-adaptation of perennial character popularly known as Dev-Das, for the simple reason that the man-in-charge Mr. Anurag Kashyap has quite an unimpressive trackrecord so far. His debut product ‘Paanch’ died even before it actually hit the silver screen because of the unavoidable eternal-delay; ‘Black Friday’ succumbed to the over-hype-n-hoopla of contentious issue combined with the jaws of piracy; his statuary warning named ‘No Smoking’ was only understood by the maker himself as it choked the viewers’ thought process and challenged the critics’ credentials to judge the movie. On the other hand, Abhay Deol is basking high on the adulation (critical or otherwise) bestowed over him for Oye Lucky, Manorama-Six-feet-Under and Ek-challis-ki-last-local. So it was interesting to see an end-result of the joint venture by two sons of entirely contrasting fate.
Anurag Kashyap has reinvented the portrayal of an inebriated loser that has been immortalized by first Dilip Kumar and then by SRK. There is slightest of familiarity with the characters; there is Paro who leaves our Dev D soaked in tears cocktailed with Vodka, there is Chandramukhi who provides support to the dipsomaniac and in turn craves for ever-eluding love, then there is Chunni too- the protagonist’s compotator. But that’s all for the similarity sake; the way characters has been concocted with the plot is something worth-praising, add to it the outrageously brilliant craftsmanship by Anurag and you are in for a pleasant surprise. There are quite few experiments as well, viz- typical background music is not used in the movie, instead the songs like Mahi menu,Hikknal, Pardesi, Duniya and Nayan Tarse are used for the purpose. The new music director Amit Trivedi deserves all the accolades for all these different-to-the-tee tracks. After long-long time a song has come that induces applause and whistles both from the masses and the classes; Emosanal Atyachar has already empowered itself as a youth-anthem and is sure shot hit. The cinematography is unconventional that comes from the fact that majority of the flick is filmed at night. The direction is flawless to say the least; finally Anurag makes his mark with his daredevil take on the Modern Devdas. On the flipside, the editing is efficacious in the first half but fails to negate the hangover and drags a bit in the second half. Mentally prepare yourself for few raunchy and sexy dialogues including F word; such dialogues combined with some bold scenes leaves audiences gasping for breath at more occasions than one.
The “Deol with the difference” does full justice to the hot-n-happening avatar of orthodox -Devdas as DEV D. With this new stellar performance to the fray, he further seals his place as a número uno of the so-called new-aged parallel cinema. If he has showcased his humorous self in his last release then here he epitomizes contemptuous nonchalance, self-centeredness, jealousy and impassiveness with customary élan. His impeccable act of devdas makes sure that moving forward, the ‘all-lost-in-love and found-solace-in-alocoholomania’ kinda guys would be epithetically known as DEV D. The leading lady Mahie Gill makes a confident debut and surely is a promising prospect, on the other hand Kalki is handled with care by Anurag in the flick but whether she will find her foothold in Bolly-Nagri is to be seen.
Harjeet’s Verdict: If you are not an hardcore fan of a “typical family entertainer”; If you are game for an outlandish treatment of the eccentric characters under bizarre circumstances; If you are ready to take bulls by horns by witnessing the coming-of-age adaptation of highly conventional love-story, If you are sick of all rosy love stories and want some temerarious attempt to redefine “Bollywood on the rise” tag; If your soft-soothing ears need some hard-on treatment through some bold words instead of covering up beeps; and finally, If you are headstrong for some ‘emotional atyachar’ on your traditional bolly-brainy; then raise a toast for DEV D and scream “CHEERS”. As against lots of IFs, there is only one ELSE:- Stay Away and Be in Peace!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mr. Perfectionist tattoos his name as Numero Uno..yet again!!

Finally, the wait is over and Aamir Khan is back with his customary single release of the year. Unlike his previous releases, this time around the hype created en-route to the D-day of the movie was something extraordinary. Aamir’s new scarred-hairdo and dream-physique was creating waves amongst movie-freaks and in process provided the additional impetus to the interest generated for Ghajini. Aamir undertook the publicity job on his experienced shoulders and left no stone unturned to make sure that Ghajini hits the jackpot. All said and done, the real test awaited him when the movie finally hit the silver screen this Christmas. Let’s find out whether Ghajini has similar brain-n-brawn à-la his superstar protagonist:
To kick off, I want to reiterate the fact that Ghajini is a remake of its tamil-namesake which in turn was loosely based on the Hollywood flick “Momento”. Would like to leave the obvious comparisons to my Southie-counterparts, and moving forward will treat Ghajini as the independent Bollywood product. Ghajini marks the debut of the director A.R. Murugadoss in bollywood fray who has successfully directed the tamil version of the flick in question. The supporting cast, the action sequences and the whole look and feel of the movie resembles a typical south Indian movie; so much so that it looks a dubbed version rather than a remake. What makes a difference is the flawless display of umpteen antics by Ace Khan. I guess this is the first ever movie where script demanded his grotesque actions and demeanor to speak louder than the words, and that explains the minimal dialogues in offer for him. Aamir Khan’s character has a two-pronged shades; One as a young, suave business tycoon that meant to be subtle and affable and another as a revenge-prone killing machine with supreme level of wrath and vengeance. The latter demanded mound of ultra-emotions with all the scowling and bellowing at display and not to forget Hrithiksque perfectly chiseled body; no marks for guessing, Aamir does all this it with ridiculous ease. Another winner is the core plot which enthralls to the tee and has all the ingredients to churn out a perfect thriller with love, romance and individual performances as an add-ons.
After Genelia and Shreya, another hotshot South Indian actress Asin embarks her “Bolly-journey with Ghajini”. Playing a complete babbler, she does full justice to her role that had lotzz of positive effervescence; add to it her infectious smile and pretty face you would know she is here to stay for sure. A. R Rehman’s music, as always, is of top notch quality. “Guzarish” and “Behka-Behka” sounds soothing for ears and looks good on screen with some innovation involved with the picturization of these songs. “Kaise Mujhe” is made special with some profound emotional lyrics and soulful singing by Benny Dayal. “Lattoo” and “Ae bacchoo” are mere fillers and doesn’t deserve a mention.
The drawback of Ghajini is its pace which slackens in patches; especially the editing needed a tightening-up exercise in flashback sequences. The main antagonist plays an integral part in Ghajini and that in turn defines the plot and its proceedings. Pradeep Rawat was called on-board to play the villian’s role as he has done in its Kollywood predecessor. He just fails to make any impact and incidentally this integral characterization of Ghajini goes kaput. The casting dilemma continues with selection of Riyaz Khan (who has played the same role in Tamil-Ghajini) for a short but important role of a Police investigator. This is interesting to be seen whether this “casting-ouch” will prove costly to the makers of the remake or not. De-glamorized Jiah Khan was like a soda without fizz and flatters to deceive sans her forte aka oomph.
Harjeet’s Verdict- Ghajini: A typical Bollywood entertainer with cosy love story commingled with sprinkled humor, revenge drama and unique core plot. If above mentioned loopholes are tolerable enough then Ghajini deserves a shot; else find solace and Stay in Peace.
Harjeet’s Verdict- Aamir Khan: In order to portray an apathetic individual who was put on an ordeal after being driven into traumatic experience, Aamir shows a complete new facet of his versatility. I would conclude from where I started my TZP review: “Take a bow, Aamir….Take a bow”.
Harjeet’s Verdict- Star Sign: 2.5/5 for Ghajini and 5/5 for Aamir. Take your pick, watch and enjoy for three hours…..and let it be “lost within short term memory”.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

‘X’ missing from the eXtraOrdinary Love Story!!!

Call it a well planned strategic move OR a mere restrained approach OR an ultra-confidence on one’s product, but it is the fact that the pre-release publicity of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (RNBDJ) from arguably THE Biggest production house of Bollywood- YashRaj Films, was a low-key affair. They might be superstitious, since similar ploy paid rich dividends with Chak De India, or it could well be a cautious decision after they have burnt their fingers with much touted Tashan-debacle. And with King Khan in the rings, RNBDJ could well be christened as an acid test to YRF.
The core plot might sound a bit different but in totality, Chopras are playing it safe again. One can expect all the masala in the movie that has been YashRaj’s forte over the years, combined with top-notch performances and even better songs-and-dance routines. Once again Punjab has been taken as the backdrop of story telling and even the minutest nitties-gritties are well taken care of that renders the sets an ethnic Amritsar look; that also speaks volumes of Adi Chopra’s credentials as a Director. Talking about the drawbacks, RNBDJ has a slackened pace throughout, that just refuses to kick-off anywhere. Another major skirmish point of debate is the predictability of the supposedly-fresh plot that was deprived of any oohs-n-aahs moments. Donning my Physics’ Professor Hat, I would like to describe the plot of RNBDJ as a Straight line without any oscillations; neither dips nor rises.
The debutante-actress Anushka Sharma has been kept under wraps till date assumingly for a good reason. The leggy-lass has done quite a decent job considering the fact, that it’s her first major acting assignment. It would be a wait and watch situation to see how far she would excel with her average looks and tall frame. It was long overdue and finally Vinay Pathak takes a giant leap from small budget endeavors and has made the proud entrance to the Yashraj bandwagon. He plays a pivotal role in RNBDJ as a SRK’s chaddie-buddie and his camaraderie and comic timing with Shahrukh is the high point of the flick. No marks for guessing, the movie belongs to SRK right from tip to toe where he gets to play two contrasting characters. My pick was the character of subdued and subtle Suri, where he outplayed himself and carried the performance-centric role with élan. Right from impeccable dialogue-delivery to inimitable shy-smile; from hesitant love-seeker to sacrifice-prone emotional fool, everything was just picture-perfect. The best part was the fact that he was more like the character in the movie rather than the SRK-The King Khan, himself. For the latter lovers, there is another character uniquely named as Raj (ohh..Not again) where he is in his hamming and stammering best. Check out SURI's Honeymoon experiences in the post-flick titles. You gonna love it for sure.
Salim-Sulaiman completes a hat-trick of sorts with the scintillating compositions in RNBDJ after Chak De and Fashion. All the songs are chartbusters in their own way and looks as good on screen as it sounds on your personal iPods. Haule Haule comprehends the growing love of a middle aged protagonist; Title track Rab ne, in its two versions, is made special by the mellifluous voice of Roop Kumar Rathod and Shreya Ghoshal respectively. Sunidhi Chauhan has done full justice with the lone peppy track of the album- Dance Pe Chance. The best track of the album is Phir Milenge crooned by the best singer in present era Sonu Nigam. The very theme of this song combined with few guest appearances makes this one a treat to watch.
Harjeet’s Verdict- One Point of View: RNBDJ would be a runaway hit, not because it’s a awesome movie, but because if SRK-factor can turn duds like OSO and Main Hoon Na into blockbusters, then this one is far better than those craps.
Harjeet’s Verdict-Another Point of View: If your idea of entertainment matches with sweet romantic stories churned from Yashraj banner then “Come Fall in love and Be diabetic….yet again”; If not, then stay away from Sugar and be in peace.
Harjeet’s Verdict-Star Sign: 3 out of 5. Moderately Recommended (*Conditions apply)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dostana aka……. “Gayness Personify”

…..And we thought “Jokes are not meant to be taken seriously”!! It all started with a ludicrous “KantaBen” chapter of 2003’s biggest money-grosser Kal Ho Na Ho; followed up with couple of memorable acts by two Khans in the Award functions and then dozens of other bollywood flicks took the cue and cracked jokes on them. Yes I’m talking about the G-Word making its prominence in Bollywood loud and clear. But it needed a valiant effort to actually devote a full-fledged movie on the homo-sexuality and none other than Karan Johar took the bait. At the outset, let me clarify that through Dostana he doesn’t stands as a gay-rights activist. On the contrary, the flick makes the mockery of such attempts, if any.
Shrewdly enough, Dharma Productions have not left any stone unturned to churn out a perfect entertainer. There is John in his new Sallu-Avtaar, who has shown his detest for shirts and love for shorts through-out the movie. There is Priyanka Chopra who has raised the oomph factor by quite a few notches without being vulgar. Whether she is in hot-pants OR in short-skirts OR in sensuous-Saree OR in golden-bikini she keeps the mercury raising high and higher. Then there is Abhishek, who deciphers the cool-dude-code to the tee. If that’s not all, there is Shilpa Shetty kick-starting the flick with her moves-n-grooves in skimpy tiny attires. Apart from all these embellishments, what works in favor of the movie is the continuous underline-humor that flows throughout the 14 reels. Always expect an unexpected surprise whenever you felt that “Ahh….here comes Johar’s typical-stupid EQ”. Agreed, few of the gay-scenes are witnessed in umpteen flicks and also the humor goes overboard sometimes that result into eschewal moments for the audiences. While first half juggernauts at the rate of knots, second half is painfully slow; thankfully K-Jo’s melodrama was kept under wraps by the debutante-director Tarun Mansukhani which in turn keeps the yawn-n-frown away.
The camaraderie and chemistry (err… biology as well) of the gays-to-be AB’s baby and Bips-Beau works big time and their crush-in-landlady Piggy-Chops looks gorgeous to say the least. Abhishek leads the pack by huge margin as he carries the embarrassing act of self-proclaimed gay with élan. John was busy showing his artistically-chiseled body and Priyanka wins the heart of millions with her beatific smile and voluptuous figure. Kirron Kher is at her hamming best; the mother-in-law act could have been a bit subdued for audience sake. Boman Irani’s you-blink-n-miss appearance is highly dispensable. Bobby Deol in his extended-Guest appearance does nothing other than smiling and scowling at different frames here-n-there.
The music always has been the selling point of Dharma Productions, and Dostana is no exception. Jaane Kyun amalgamates well within the movie, ShutUp-n-Bounce is made treat to watch by the sexy-siren Shilpa. Maa-da-Ladla has both Punjabi fervor and situational comic timing that makes it sure shot hit. Shaan rendered his mellifluous voice in Kuch Kum that fills the void of a pure sentimental song. Desi Girl is the best song of the album and will feature in all the pubs and discos in coming few days. But the surprise package of the album is the soulful composition by Vishal-Shekhar Khabar Nahi which is still alien to the promos and it’s sung by Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa’s talented finalists Raja Hassan and Amanat Ali. Watch Out for my money!!!! The Choreography by Vaibhavi Merchant is just above average; though Farah takes the cake for her groovy dance steps in Desi Girl.
Harjeet’s Verdict: If you don’t want to crackle your funny-bones; If you have an uncanny knack of harping for the logic; If you don’t have a sweet tooth for bitter comic entertainer- then KINDLY EXCUSE!!! For others: Keep your Family-Filter OFF, enjoy and cherish DOSTANA and Stay in Peace forever…..n ever.
P.S: *** out of 5 for K-Jo’s brave attempt of coming out of his comfort-zone.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Karzzz Stays on Himesh… deliver!!

So the Remake-season is back with wannabe-actor Himesh Reshammiya slipping into the shoes of “King of Romance” aka Rishi Kapoor and hoping against hope to recreate the magic that this tale of reincarnation has spilled over the audiences two decades back. Going by the pre-concieved notions of the majority of the movie-goers this audaciously bold step would backfire the Topi-less Musician-turned-singer-turned-Actor. But few of the hardcore optimists still feel that he can deliver the goods and will countervail the criticism fiercely bestowed upon him.

This reincarnation of 80’s blockbuster “Karz” switches over to the luscious locales of South Africa and Kenya in the first half and that I’m afraid is the only high point of the flick. The story crawls well below a snail’s pace in the first half and what you’ll witness is a Himesh-smitten “Chitrhaar” with few bunch of actors hamming right, left and center with HR leading the pack. Suddenly in the second half the Director remembers that they are remaking “Karz” and not the sequel to supposedly Super-hit “Aap ka Suroor”. So he speeds up the pace, exercises his brain and pours-in some innovative ideas to end up with an impudent attempt of remaking the classic. I would like to recall that I have christened the new twists-n-tales of the Don’s remake as an over smart move; on the similar lines I would dare to say those of Karzzz are utterly rubbish and infantile.

Music and Songs are always HR’s forte and in his own backyard there is no room for flaws and complacency. The music of Karzzz won’t create out-of-the-world kind of hysteria but nasal-twang songs are surely worth giving a shot. The best song of the flick- “Lut Jaoun” is used sparingly throughout and even kick-starts the movie. The second best song of the album- “Dhoom tere Ishq Ki” could’nt find a place in the array of songs and his supposed-replacement “Masha-Allah” fails to impress. The soulful tune of “Ek Haseena Thi” and the charisma of original composition is thankfully kept intact. “Soniye jee tere naal” manages to achieve grace marks due to the Punjabi-fervor and “Tandoori Nights” fills the void of a peppy track. The rest of the songs would appeal to hardcore HR fans, as they might sting to the others’ eardrums and when in the movie, further cripples its paralyzed pace.

If you ever wish to watch a bagful of under-performing renowned actors in a single flick then Karzzz is the apt choice. Gulshan Grover looks to portray a character in a MTV spoof rather than in a major commercial cinema, Raj Babbar was wasted to the tee, Asrani was ghastly-intolerable and last but not the least – Danny fails to impress in a role made memorable by great Pran Sir. New kid-on-the-bloc catty-eyed and stone-faced Shweta Kumar would be lucky if she gets another break to showcase her acting prowess, if any. The only silver lining of otherwise sorry tale of mis-happenings is Urmila Mantondkar who gives a much needed respite from other clowns in action. She shows the glimpses of her hey-days in flashback scenes and gives her compatriots run for their money with her greyish performance. Himesh Reshammiya, sans his trademark-cap & few pounds of weight and in his new weirdo-hairdo-look tried very hard to act. Kudos for the guts of the man but he really flatters to deceive; when he romances- he looks hilarious, when he delivers a dialogue- he yells instead, when he is emotional- he looks lost in Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa hang over, and when he dances- he hops and jumps. Still I would say, choosing such a challenging and immortalized role is a real bravado from Himesh but it would take another “Janam” or two for him to come even a little close to Mr. Rishi Kaoor. Till then – “Monty can never be back and Karz can never be re-presented.”

Harjeet’s Verdict:
For HR-haters and Average viewers- Watch the original “Karz” in dvd and use the extra ‘Zzzz’ for your sound sleep. For HR fans: Watch out for his brave attempt and the series of Nasal ridden songs.
In any case, keep “Loving to Hate him and Stay in Peace”