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)