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”

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

“ROCK ON is…….. BANGGG ON!!!”

Many eyebrows were raised when Farhan Akhtar-the Filmmaker decided to slip into the shoes of an Actor for his production house’s next venture: ROCK ON. Being an ace Director, instead of sailing the ship himself, he handed over the oars to late 90s’ Super-flop Actor Abhishek Kapoor aka Gattu. When initial promos were rolled on to the floor, Farhan was seen crooning few senseless lines that constitute the music of the movie based on Rock Band. Add to it an allegation of being “Dil Chahta Hia“ kinda movie was doing the rounds, so comparisons was nothing but obvious. Phewwww….. So Far…So Bad!!!! First impression is the last impression, isn’t it? Well.. Not really; atleast not in this case. Sadly for the Critics, all the bad-things culminate to a sudden demise then and there, as Farhan and his “Few Good Men” are Bang-On in their endeavor.

Farhan Akhtar has done a commendable job donning three different hats as an Actor, Singer and Dialogue Writer. He was more than comfortable facing the Camera as he was behind it. As a singer his unconventional voice gels well with the mood of the movie and it’s rather impossible to think about the songs sans his vocal skills. All the songs sung by him:”Socha Hai”, “Tum ho Toh”, “Pichle Saat Dinon”, “Sinbad the Sailor” and the title track “Rock On” creates an aura of Rock Music around you. Other three pillars of Rock On troop - Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli and Luke Kenny has done equal justice to their respective roles. Its hard to judge who was better amongst three of them; While Arjun played aggressive yet subdued character, Purab was his usual self with his tongue-in-cheek humor and Luke Kenny plays the peacemaker-in-chief. All these protagonists were never allowed to go overboard and emerge as a triumphant in their own shell of characterization. The credit should go to the debutante-director for taking the best out of his cast-n-crew. Prachi has made an impressive debut; she looked pretty and enacted both the lighter and emotional scenes with ridiculous ease. It’s refreshing to see her out of those trite K-Series and Saas-Bahu-sagas. Shabana Goswami, getting equal footage as her compatriot Prachi, was impressive both as a confidence-boosting girlfriend and as a middle-class frustrated wife. The rocking music by ever-so-experimenting trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is heart-n-soul of the movie and is best suited to watch within the closed doors of the Theatre; but once you are out of it you will even love to beat your ear-drums playing the tracks through your personal iPods.

Being touted as first ever Rock Movie in Bollywood, it has its share of emotional, romantic and humorous quotient to make it enthralling and a complete must watch. Without any tinge of doubt, the movie is aimed towards Youngistaan and will (already is) appeal (ing) to the youth, immensely. It’s a story of four friends and there journey spanning more than ten years. It’s a story of chasing their dreams, their passion; it’s a story about the special bonding known as friendship. Its story about their clashing egos, their struggle, their compulsions to thrive in this cut-throat competitive world that forms the road block to relishing their dream of being a Rock Band. As a construed thought, actually it’s not just a story; it’s a mirror image of one’s own life – Yours’, Mine and all the Youth-Brigade in one way or the other.

Harjeet’s Verdict: Rock On gives an ample testimony of the changing phase of Bollywood. It delineates the different kind of genre all together and targets towards the niche audience. It would be awesome for some, mediocre for few and utter rubbish for others. So make your own choice as per the gist deduced from the review; either raise a toast for FRIENDSHIP and “Keep Rocking” or just lay back and “Stay in Peace”.

It’s never too late to Re-LIVE your dreams; Grab the second Opportunity and cherish it forever….n ever!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

“Forget BADSHAH..Spare SHEHANSHAH; KINNG has arrived!!”

What is the parameter to judge the Stardom? When one can be called as a SUPERSTAR by every sense of the word? When the real Star stands tall while other actors’ fortune-pendulum swings every Friday from sky-high to the lowest-low? That happens when SRK cashes all his way through the Bank riding on the success of duds like KANK and OSO. When Aamir Khan literally walk through a “Mela” unfazed and unscathed and when Salman Khan can takes his shirt at will with no major Hits, still. And now one outsider is entering into this All-Khan Elite Club and that’s our very own Akshay “Khiladi” Kumar. Singh Is Kinng, the latest Akki-Offering, gives ample testimony of this fact and it goes like this:
: Few reels into the movie, the very title of the movie looks farce for the real SINGH like me because the portrayal of the character played by Akshay Kumar is inconsistent throughout the movie. Sometimes he is adorned in well-tied turban, but in continuation you will find him in capped-turban which looks really odd to say the least. In addition to that, he tried all kinds of beards possible under the sun. The story kicks off on a strong note with yet again Punjab-Village backdrop, but soon loses its sheen when it takes the shape of torrid tale of events portrayed in umpteen earlier flicks. The presence of over-dozen characters adds to the confusion and even though it has been advised to leave your brains at home, still there is serious possibility of a severe head-ache. The art of story-telling and standard of humor by Anees Bazmee is going down by alarming rate and that should be addressed at the earliest by the man himself.
: Without any tinge of doubt the movie belongs to Akshay Kumar who has dominated each and every frame of the movie. In today’s scenario, he has mastered the art of comic scenes and looks completely at ease while playing a stroll-in-the-park role. Katrina Kaif has done her best what she knows best, and that’s to look stunningly gorgeous. This movie has made a complete mockery of the talent of Om Puri and was totally wasted as Protagonist’s buddy, infact he was totally forgotten in second half’s proceedings. Kirron Kher continued where she left in OSO and hammed left, right and center. Ranvir Shourey was totally out-of-place and looked lost in wonderland. Javed Jafri got entangled himself in “goody” and “badie” souls but still was better than his other counterparts. Sonu Sood was average in patches, and what the hell Neha Dhupia was doing in the movie… your guess is as good as mine.
Music has played an important role in upward lift on the success-ladder of Akshay Kumar and Singh is Kinng is no difference. Whether its Pritam’s original compositions or plagiarized ones, few of the songs are already topping the chartbusters. The title track has been placed intelligently in the movie and looks best on the screen and in a way christens the Super Stardom of Akshay Kumar as a new King of Bollywood. While Teri Ore made ear-soothing by enigmatic voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Jee Karda has its Punjabi fervour intact- thanks to Labh Janjua. Talli Hua is a complete misfit and Bhootni Ke was wasted with the voice of Mika rather than in his Brother-Daler Mahendi’s voice. The must publicized Snoop Dogg’s version of Title Song is pointlessly saved for the post-flick-thanks-giving titles and gets lost in the oblivion.
Harjeet SINGH’s Verdict
: Barring charismatic Akshay Kumar and the Punjabi-flavored music, there is nothing to rave about the movie. There are few dialogues in the movie that makes SIKHs happy and proud as prior to this they are used as laughing stock in Bollywood movies. If these are enough reasons to watch the movie then give this one a shot, or else- STAY IN PEACE. 2 Star out of 5 for the flick and 10 out of 5 for the title, Yes.. Its true: SINGH IS always a KINNG.

Monday, July 7, 2008

“Pappu Paas Ho Gaya”…. For Sure!!!

We all do get a bit nostalgic while watching a good movie based on the college life with a bunch of young artistes reliving the moments we shared and will cherish till eternity. Truly, those are the best days of our lives and we all want those days to be portrayed in a manner so as to give the feeling of oneself. So, with lotzz of apprehensions and anxieties I stepped into the theatre to watch Aamir Khan Productions’ another venture - Jaane Tu…..Ya Jaane Na!!!

Initial few minutes and few reels later, the doubts mentioned above gave way to other more prominent ones, since the movie is surely about college friends but not about college days. On the contrary, the real movie kick-starts with the farewell day of our Protagonists- Jai and Aditi. Through-out the next two hours or so you will witness the sequences and situations that have been showcased on the silver screen for the umpteen times. And here lies the choice to the “Captain of the Ship”-The Director, either to make the hackneyed and clichéd storyline look fresh’n’new or to let the ennui crept into the audience’s weary mind. The Writer-turned-Director Abbas Tyrewala has done the former with panache, as he already won half the battle by getting on-board the near perfect casting coup for Jaane-Tu and giving them the work-shop training for getting into the skin of their characters. What makes the difference between Jaane Tu.. and zillion other “Friends falling in love”-sagas is the way the story has been portrayed and the credit should go to the man for achieving this easy-looking but an arduous task. True, the story drags a bit in second half but it never goes overboard to the level of being crawled.

Like the director, Jaane Tu.. marks the debut of Aamir Khan’s nephew Imran Khan and the new lad looks promising atleast in this movie. Surely, to excel in bollywood the current trend is to possess a well-chiseled body and to be blessed with dancing-prowess akin to that of Hrithik Roshan, but Imran did’nt gave any signs of these two pre-requisites. But the fact remains; this also doesn’t guarantee the box-office success as Harmen Baweja will give the testimony of the fact. The newest “Khan on the bloc” still needs to be tested in intense emotional scenes and few other challenges are waiting on the podium. But as for now he can take a sigh of relief as he has reincarnated the debut of three Khans in late 80’s and early 90’s. Jaane tu .. will definitely pump a breath of fresh air to the sinking boat of Genelia’s Bombay-Dreams. She is already a big name down south but somehow was not able to carve her niche in Bollywood. Jaane tu.. gives her an opportunity to be herself and she has done a tremendous job. She looked vivacious, chirpy and enthrallingly-vibrant in most part of the movie. She also looked at ease in intense emotional scenes and her beatific killer-smile gave many a hearts floating. It’s Bollywood-Calling for Genelia, finally.

A perfect foil has been created for the lead-pair in the form of few interesting characters to complete their gang of friends. All of them has done a decent job and keeps the audience glued whenever the focus is not on Imran and Genelia. Amidst the deluge of debuts, the maiden performance by Prateek Babbar- son of Raj Babbar and Smita Patil, doesn’t goes unnoticed and he’s quite impressive in his nitty-gritty role. Watch out for the efficacious camaraderie shown by the real life couple of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah. The former provides some of the most hilarious moments of Jaane tu… Naseer again gives the stamping proof of the fact that he can perform the spectrum of roles with ridiculous ease and minimum of fuss.

The music of the movie is youthful and peppy which is evident from the first promotional song of the movie: Pappu Can’t Dance and it’ll surely become the anthem for the party-goers with two left feet. Nazrien Milana and Kabhi Kabhi Aditi are the two other full-blown songs in the movie and do come with the situation and are soothing to the ears. Other songs viz the Title track and Jane tu mera kya hai are played in the background through-out the movie and hence trouble the proceedings by noughts.

Harjeet’s Verdict: The crux-story of Jaane Tu… is neither “Fresh” nor there is anything “Different” about it. Still, Jaane tu.. is “Refreshingly Different”.

To decipher my verdict go watch Jaane tu.. Ya Jaane Na. Till then, Stay in Peace!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

“SARKAR” will again “RAJ” the Roost

The fate of Ram Gopal Verma, the Ace Director who has perfected the art of story-telling involving Underworld through two of his best movies: Satya and Company, has gone from bad to worse in last couple of years. Blame it on his arrogance OR wrong choices of movie-selection, the RGV factory was in total doldrums. The only saving grace of his otherwise sorry tale of mis-endeavors was Sarkar, that came well three years back. Now to know whether the Ramu’s move to recreate the magic through its sequel gives hope to the sinking-ship or it back-fires (Read Back-AAG), lets take a sneak peek of Sarkar-Raj:

The Legacy Continues: In Sarkar Raj, Big B has taken a back seat and Abhishek,a nascent Politician, comes out of his shadow and transforms himself into a young and demure yet shrewd and intelligent Leader. The Father-son relationship has been shown in a subtle way, neither having over-the-top emotional clichés nor endorsing melodramatic drama. Similar to its prequel, Sarkar Raj too has dialogues in minimal, but wherever indispensable, it has been delivered immaculately. Displaying whole range of expressions through the eloquent eyes of his protagonists has always been Ramu’s forte and Sarkar Raj succeeds in that regard as well. Be it love and affection OR hatred and vengeance, the Bacchans accomplished it with ridiculous ease. While Big B still gives the new brigade the run for their money, Little B doesn’t shy away and gives the top-notch performance with élan.

Finally finding his Foothold: Sarkar Raj will definitely pump a breath of fresh air to RGV’s moribund factory. After giving us series of duds at BO, more importantly, nonsense crappers; he finally regained his lost touch with a flick in his own familiar and conquered territory. Right from the start to finish, its RGV’s movie; his usual artistic camerawork, his signature intermittent hiatus in between the dialogues, his vision that gives new dimension to the darkness which is proved by the fact that there is hardly any source of illumination used in the scenes enacted inside the rooms. All in all, the virtual presence of Ramu in every scene, yelling; NO-LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! is nothing but obvious.

Freshers in Sequel: Apart from the core-characters there are few fresh sailors in the boat named Sarkar Raj. Amongst all the new characters, Gobind Namdeo and Upendra Limaye stands tall in their small yet powerful role. Dilip Prabhavalkar and Sayaji Shinde excels in their nitty-gritty roles. Aishwarya Rai, it seems, has utilized the ace company she founds her self in, and learnt a few nuances of acting from her hubby-dear and Pa-in-Law. Bappi-Tutul has done a decent job with the music and more so since its goes well with the movie and doesn’t hampers its pace. The Original Music director of Sarkar, Amar Mohile , has donned the cap of the Background scorer and does full justice to it. The Govinda-Govinda track is the heart-n-soul of the Sarkar series and is used very diligently in Sarkar Raj as well.

The Verdict- Harjeet Ishtyle: If you have a sweet tooth for soft-romantic flicks, give this one a miss. If you liked Sarkar, you will surely enjoy watching Sarkar Raj provided you do that with full concentration on the dialogues, Bacchans’ demeanor and their acting prowess.
P.S: For Ramu- I give you the credit for few more AAGs in coming years if you promise to give equally enthralling Sarkar3. For the time being: Stay in Peace!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bhajji shakes Sreeshanth; Cheerleaders, The Nation

Ongoing IPL has its share of fun, mazaa, excitement, intermittent boredom, individual brilliance, top-notch performances etc etc etc. But in the hindsight what catches the limelight in the first half of first version of this dream project of BCCI is Bhajji-Sree brotherly ties and premature sacking of Chherleaders' old Dress-designers and some new one (Probably with more Indian-ness) appointed to reinstate their job.

In my opinion the 11-IPL Match Ban on Harbhajan Singh is justified to the fact that irrespective of the degree of provocation, physical contact with your teammate or oppostion team's member is higly unacceptable. This rebuke is long due for Bhajji taking in account his exaggerated aggro on the field. But what’s indigestible is easy let-off of his Partner-in-Crime Sree(A)shanth. His demeanor on and off the field is really unwanted for and sooner or later he'll also meet with the equally harsh fate as his counterpart in that slap-fiasco. They might have embraced each other for the shutterbugs’ delight, but deep inside there would be a bit of sourness and that’s for me is not a good news for Indian Cricket.

Coming back to my next topic and my favourite too: Cheergirls in IPL. Recently, there has been enough hoopla over the Cheergirls’ costumes in all the Quarters of Political corridors. It seems politicians were more concerned about their revealing outfits than the poverty and corruption in our Country. It has been discussed in all the houses of parliament and in the aftermath of word-war it has been decided to cover up the girls. That might have dampened the spirits of few of the IPL fans; those are waiting with bated breath for the fours and sixes from the players so that they can watch the girls perform the jigs and do the best what they are appointed for: Cheer ‘em up !!!!

The slap cost Bhajji a whopping 3 Crore plus and that might go into the record books as the most costliest Slap ever. I hope sanity will prevail and he’ll control his on-field aggression and transform that into some match-winning performances. On the other hand, stay tuned for further subtle or major changes in the Cheerleaders’ wardrobe. You might see them dancing in Sarees or Gaghra-Cholis as we want to give Saas-Bahu-Sagas the run for their money.
See who is smiling looking at them: Its none other than Rakhi Sawant. She can still wear those revealing outfits and can shake her legs anywhere and everywhere.
I hate to use the above name in my article, but if Aaj Tak is on threshold of making her their Brand Ambassador, then why should I shy away. Anyways, Rakhi won’t mind, after all no publicity is bad publicity.

My apologies for not concentrating on Cricket for scribing this article on the inaugural T20 Premier League because that’s what IPL is all about:
CRICKETAINMENT-Manoranjan ka Baap!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tashan: A Stale Offering

Gone are those days when big-banners almost guaranteed the success at the box office. Recent Yashraj debacles (barring Chak-De India) and “Johar’s Krap- KANK” presents the ample testimony of this fact. Also, record proves that most of the multi-starrers drawn blank in the past and fails to live-up to the ever-mounting expectations of the audiences. So there was lotzz of doubts and anxiety over Tashan of Yashraj Factory, more so because the story/plot was kept under wraps for most of the post-production promotions.
Where is Tashan: The promos of Tashan promised a stylish flick, with entertainment quotient intact. In Reality check, it proves out to be “All Gloss and no Steel”. It seems Vijay Krishna Acharya, the Director of the movie, did no good for himself and the movie by shouldering extra responsibilities of being a Writer and an Editor as well. The story starts with elsewhere and ends at nowhere. Infact, initial few reels (especially the introductory scene) promises a great deal but to no avail as it slips from bad to worse into the abyss of distinct disillusionment. There are countless errors and loopholes in the movie that one review will be short if discussed in detail. The camera work by Ayanaka Bose is noteworthy in bits and pieces, action by Peter Hinnes is average and Vaibhavi Merchant’s dance moves has nothing to rave about.
Hero-Heroine Ka Tashan: After rollicking performance in RACE, Saif renders a dumb show in a role that has nothing new to offer except to the fact that, off screen, Tashan has given a reason to encrypt a tattoo on his arm. It looks as if he went into his shell and got totally over-awed by presence of Akshay Kumar who outplayed him in many films in late nineties. Anil Kapoor again proves his versatility going a full circle of performances in last six months or so. From a knee-minded Welcome to intellectual B&W, and back again to this Joker-role with a tinge of negativity in Tashan, he proves his mettle. But saying that, if few scenes by this Actor-par-excellence puts smile on your face, few other leaves you with disgust; blame it on “Overdose of Hinglish”. Kareena Kapoor in her new emaciated avatar looks good when registering her name in Yashraj camp’s Bikini Babes. Other than that she fails to re-create the magic of Jab We Met and concentrated more on Exposure than on performance. C’mon Bebo your voluptuous figure was far more attractive than this zeroed one. The Ace in the pack by far is Akshay Kumar, who lives up to his new attained superstar status. I seriously doubt whether Tashan will continue his dream run at the box office but he surely has left no stone unturned to make this not-so-happening movie into a decent one. His Comic timing is impeccable, action sequences matchless and dialogue-delivery flawless. All in all he’s the lone torch-bearer of this Tashan-less affair.
Vishal-Shekhar ka Tashan: The talented Music-Director duo of Vishal Shekhar has again given a top-notch performance in Tashan. Their fav singer Sukhvinder Singh does justice with Dil Hara Re which is shot at luscious locales that makes it soothing both for ears and eyes. Chhaliya Chhaliya works as a tool for Kareena to flaunt her new well-toned body with some skimpy attire. Dil Dance Maare will lose into the oblivion once the movie wipes from the audiences’ memory-slate. Falak Tak is a good genuine romantic song in the album and Tashan Mein played in the background through out, goes well with the mood of the movie. In gist, a decent attempt to carry-forward the legacy of musical brilliance of Yashraj’s movies.
Harjeet’s Tashan: If you get the feeling that my Review is inundated with the word Tashan, then let me assure you that I’m not in dearth of words. Instead, its aptly deduces my verdict of the movie: Its all Tashan, nothing beyond that!! If you wanna watch for the sake of it, go watch it or else….as I always say: STAY IN PEACE………..

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bollywood Thrillers Coming of Age with RACE !!!

Like most of the other established craftsmen in the tinsel-town, the Director-Duo of Abbas-Mustan have lost the plot in their last few flicks. The usual thrilling element was missing and ever-so-mounting boredom was taking a toll over the audiences. But kudos to the Burmawalla-Brothers that inspite of recent box-office debacles they struck to their well known territory. Whether RACE will go in record books just as a gallant attempt or it'll stamp their Numero-Uno position in this genre of movies, let’s find it out for ourselves by Racing across this review:

H'Some Hunks & Long-Legged Lasses: This stylish and slick suspense thriller boasts of three sexy-sirens in their seductive best. Bips playing a dusky seductress and Kats, an innocent-faced smiling-assassin, keeps audiences guessing about their true color and loyalties. Their counterparts, playing musical chairs with the leading ladies, are Bebo-tatooed Saif and Abb-Must new favorite Akshay Khanna. While Saif, sporting a new smart and suave bearded-look, gives a decent performance, Akshay, on the other hand, dons the same cap which he has used for earlier Abb-Must movies. Despite of repetition, he plays his part with panache and adds the much-needed humor in otherwise fast paced thriller. Then there is age-defying actor Anil Kapoor who goes a full 180 degree swing from his last release and plays a new-age Karamchand gulping at all the possible fruits. The role was not demanding for the actor of Anil’s caliber and needless to say it was a cake-walk for him. Sameera Reddy plays the sexy-bimbette-Secretary to Anil and her revealing outfits adds to already soaring mercury level of the movie.
Allah Duhaai Hai: Nowadays every second movie has music composed by Pritam, and I presume, it pumps him more to churn out commercially successful music. When it comes to the suspense flicks, Songs always works as fillers and slows the pace of the movie as well. Although few songs do the same in RACE, but since the songs are good so no body complains a great deal. Arguably the best song of the Album, Pehli nazar me by Atif Aslam comes from no-way in the movie and hence fails to leave the same impact on the audiences as it does on their personal iPod. Similarly another chartbuster Allah Duhai delays the proceedings and hence the ultimate inevitable. Khwaab Dekhe is the other decent song which again comes from no way. Dekho Nashe me and Touch Me finishes at bottom two in the Race of Music.
Unsung Heroes: The heart and soul of any movie is its background score and Salim Sulaiman gives a top-notch performance in this regard. Ravi Yadav does an awesome job of capturing the luscious locales of South Africa in his camera. Allan Amin, the Action-Coordinator, as usual tries hard to narrow the gap between Hollywood flicks and our Bollywood Thrillers. Editor Hussain Burmawala’s flawless work also helps to tighten the screws through-out the Movie.
Thrillers Champs: The Director duo of Abbas-Mustan have carved a niche for themselves as Thrillers’ experts in Bollywood. And with RACE they have taken a huge leap forward. The movie in question has a gripping story with all the twists-n-tales in the offering that would leave the audience on the edge-of-the-seat for most of the time. RACE proves the fact that there is grey shade behind every persona and that becomes lethal when there is huge amount of money involved; as a result that gives birth to conspiracy, infidelity and betrayal.
Harjeet’s Verdict: If you have a sweet tooth for soft-romantic entertainers, then give RACE a skip. But if you are game for a helluva roller-coaster ride with needle-of-suspicion shifting from one reel to another, give RACE a shot.
Don’t harp for logic and you will enjoy the thrill pills. For others…. STAY in PEACE!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


After making debut with the record-shattering LAGAAN and then crafting a message-oriented flick SWADES, lot has been expected of Ashutosh’s epic drama JODHA-AKBAR. Amidst all the controversies and hooplah surrounding the movie, it has been appealed by the makers of J-A that it should be treated more as a fiction than as page-by-page adaptation of one of the most famous chapter of Indian history books. So letzz take a sneak-peek into the History Books adorned with the creativity of Mr. Ashutosh Gowarikar through Jodha-Akbar:

Extravaganza of Brilliance and Glitches: When the events of 16th Century are shown on the silver screen in modern times, then Directorial craftsmanship and technical delicacies are paramount; more so, when you are blending the little-known truth with lotzz of fiction. The movie is not about the bravado of Jilaluddin Akbar; instead, it shows the soft-romantic side of the Mughal Emperor. With each passing reel, it becomes quite evident that the fictional part is taking its toll over the ultimate truth to such an extent that it becomes a farce at the end. The Vamp spinning its web over the Protagonist’s love life comes straight from Ekta Kapoor’s K-series and all the other tricks-n-traits of the supposedly Bad-Men in the business looks inspired from umpteen Bollywood Flicks. What makes this clichéd story-line a bit different from other run-of-the-mill crappers is its execution through intermittent brilliance of the proven-director, eye-soothing Cinematography by Kiran Deohans and stupendous performance by seasoned campaigners Ash and Hrithik in relatively unknown territory. The sheer grandeur-look of the movie is just spectacular; the credit should go to the Art-Director Nitin Desai too. Ashutosh has picturised the scenes in Battlefield with élan, the Sword-Fight sequence in climax standout amongst others. But, as is evident from my title, all the above highs of the movie were dwarfed by the length of the movie. Editor Ballu Saluja is under the hammer for this three and half long costume drama which takes off brilliantly but literally crawls towards the Intermission and after mid-way even “Snail’s pace” fails to epitomize the lingering progress of Ashutosh’s dream Project. This proves the fact: “Slow and Steady not necessarily wins the Race”.

Jodha-Akbar: Two actors that could easily slipped into the shoes of Akbar and Jodha are Hrithik and Aishwarya, thanks to their royal looks. Hrithik Roshan surely possess the poise and panache to get into skin of the character of a “Larger than Life” image of Akbar, but what’s more astonishing is to watch him deliver those heavy Urdu Dialogues with ridiculous ease. Director somehow couldn’t resist himself to showcase well-toned and artistically-chiselled body of Jr. Roshan, whether or not Akbar has that kinda brawny-frame is left for everybody’s speculation. Thank heavens, Ashutosh restrained himself in showing Hrithik’s Dancing prowess – barring Akbar swirling around for few seconds in a song, else it could have been disaster. On the other hand, Aishwarya looks gorgeous and ravishing in those traditional attires. But to the delight of the audience, behind all those heavy costumes and jewelleries, she still gave a gem-of-a performance worth applauding.

Lord of the Music: The Music for the movie is composed by none other than A.R. Rahman. For a lengthy movie like this, the songs should come as a relief to make the audience totally engrossed in them, but alas- the charismatic touch of the maestro is missing here. Jasn-e-Baharaa by Javel Ali and In Lamhon kii by Sonu Nigam are melodious songs but at the same time it further elongates the movie and as a result delays the proceedings. Same is the case with other songs viz Khwaja and Ajeemo-Shaan Shehansha. While the former is too lengthy to my liking, latter is a treat to watch and credit should go to the Director, Choreographer and the Cinematographer for showcasing this song in a grand way.

Harjeet’s Verdict: I hope Makers of the movie could have edited the movie atleast by one hour so that I can pass on the verdict as a Must Watch. Kudos to Ashutosh for this brave attempt but he couldn’t relieved the audience from ennui out of his Magnum-Opus.
If you are complete movie-buff, could be watched once…..else Stay Home and Be In Peace!!!!!!!!!!

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