Archive for March, 2008



This may be news to many and surely an interesting one.

It was the master film-maker SATYAJIT RAY who was originally responsible for the Friendly Alien Concept to be filmed. 



Remakes are in news again. The latest buzz is that now ”Satte Pe Satta” is being planned again with Sanjay Dutt in the lead role which was perfomed by Amitabh Bachhan in the orginal in his unique style. However very few people know that “Satte Pe Satta” itself was a remake of a 1954 English Classic “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers”.

But here is an example where the inspired Hindi version is much better than its original. Raj. N. Sippy directed movie was highly entertaining with elements of a thriller also incorporated into it. And another memorable asset of the movie is the melodious music by R. D. Burman. The English version was also a musical comedy but the Indian adaptation surely scored above that in all departments.

The film is probably titled “Seven”, which is also an inspired name as there is a well known crime thriller classic featuring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt with the same title. At least the makers should come up with a new innovative title.

Regarding the Casting, there would no questions asked for Sanjay Dutt as he has proved the comic timing he has for comedies, but finding the other 6 brothers surely would be a tough task for the makers.

Few months back there was also news of “Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam” being remade. Replying to that I wish we could leave the Classics of Indian Cinema in their Hall Of Fame and not try making them again in any form.  

Giving it another thought, i feel thrillers can be remade in a different style, even dramas can be remade. But its tough to make a comedy remake as it will be like laughing on the same joke twice. For first timers it may work but its indeed a difficult goal to achieve.

Recently Subhash Ghai came back with “Black & White” and a lot was expected from him this time. But unfortunatley he repeated history and again gave us a weak and unimpressive movie. Even Anil Kapoor could not save the drowing ship since it was the script which had nothing new to offer. “Ghai’s Midas Touch” was again missing.

In-fact, I am quite surprised why he chose a plot which had already been tried before in “Baadal”, “Dil Se”  and “Hu Tu Tu”. Also it can easily be termed as inspired from “The Devil’s Own” too. It seems that the directors dont prefer to see the work done by others in the industry and then unknowingly committ the same mistake again.

I wish he had used a virgin topic for his latest movie.

And what i really don’t want to see is a DEV ANAND repeating himself in SUBHASH GHAI.

The veteran “DEV”also gave us some masterpieces in his young days and now is coming up with such incomparable movies. (though he always comes with a new theme, but the execution lacks a lot).

Dear Subhash Ghai, we really want to see you back with classics which can be compared to “Karz”, “Hero”, “Karma”, “Vidhaata” & “Ram Lakhan”.

Hoping to see you back in form again with your “next”.

RACE” One of the 10 Best Thrillers from Indian Film Industry in the recent years.
After seeing “Race”, I could say that keeping the inspiration fact aside from their track record, Abbas Mastan are no doubt one of the top 3 directors of thrillers movies in Indian Cinema. And “Race” proves that again and the movie can be stated as the most impressive work from the director duo after their last few pale attempts.

“Race” is a high paced and slickly edited thriller with shocks & more shocks for the viewers at regular intervals. And with each new turn you come forward on the edge of your seat. As I don’t prefer wasting words on giving out the story of the movie in my reviews, I would just like to add that its one of the most tightly written script and you dare don’t go for a popcorn in between the movie or else you will miss a new twist in the story.

All the characters have a well defined role and the casting is just near to perfect too (with only Sameera Reddy as a miscast). Each person in the script has a plan against the other and after the light 20 minutes in the opening, the movie just picks up the speed with a kick start. At times you feel that its going too pacy and there are too much twists and turns in the plot, but still its all enjoyable to a great extent.

The first half has Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna, Bipasha & Katrina as the lead. Saif clearly gives another powerful performance after “Omkara”. Akshay Khanna too performs a tough role in an impressive manner. He can easily add this movie in his career’s Top 3. Bipasha looks more ravishing than Katrina, but they both surely give the required “Oomph Impact” to the racy thriller.

At the end of the first half enters Anil Kapoor as the detective. And from here onwards you start enjoying the movie more with his one liners and comic timings. But Sameera seems to be unfit in her “Kitty-Karmachand” role as an assistant to Anil. Anil is very entertaining eating all kinds of fruits while he is investigating. Johny Lever is wasted as he is there only for one scene, but he had to be there since he is the lucky mascot of the director duo from “Khiladi” days. While watching “RACE”, each time you think that now the whole plan is told, there comes another twist and this continues till the last scene of the movie.

The one thing which can be said as the weakness in the script is that there is no Police involvement shown in the crime. Anil Kapoor is supposed to be the only official detective looking into the case and he is too involved in the plot. The second half belongs to Anil and Saif equally and they both simply excel. The Climax is one of best in the recent times as it is not concerned in showing the victory of truth, but shows how the conmen win and respect the intelligence of the other.

The songs are quite enjoyable but there is already plagiarism factor involved with “Pritam” lifting more than one tunes. The background score also seems to be inspired from “Mission Impossible” and “James Bond” Themes. I think the fast paced instrumental version of “Allah Duhai Hai” should have been used repeatedly in the background rather than the slow theme music. It would have given more pace to the scenes.

Summing up, this is one of the best works of Abbas Mastan, and one of the best Thrillers coming out of the Indian Film Industry. The only fear I have is that I should not receive any mails in the coming days that the movie is an inspired one. I pray that it should be an original work from the makers as this is indeed a commendable one.
Go for it, the movie can turn you into a fan of thrillers.

Rating : 4 / 5

Subhash Ghai returns after the debacle of “Kisna”. But unfortunately I was again disappointed and found the “Ghai Spark” missing in the movie. Infact, I am quite surprised why the filmmakers keep on using the same plot again & again even when they know that it has been exploited before by others in the industry. We have all seen the plot of “Inviting a new person to live in your house who in disguise is a terrorist and a suicide bomber” used many time before also.
The main source behind the inspiration is “The Devil’s Own” which came in 1997 starring Harrison Ford as the house owner & Brad Pitt as the guest. It was followed by Raj Kanwar’s “Baadal” released in 2000, in which Amrish Puri played the host and Bobby Deol was the terrorist. We also witnessed the similar kind of thing in the second half of Maniratnam’s “Dil Se” (1998) which had Manisha Koirala, staying in Shahrukh’s house. And now again it is repeated in “Black & White”.
Subhash Ghai surely moves ahead with an offbeat and an unusual track for Mukta Arts and he has broken his own old pattern of filmmaking with this venture. But its quite questionable why he chose a story which has similarities with many other movies.
The film lacks the grip from the first half hour itself and then the only engrossing aspect is the music which comes as a background theme in many scenes. The screenplay is predictable from the first scene and the viewer also cannot relate to the secular them in a big way.
The only impressive elements in the film are :
1. The unmatchable act by well know theater activist Habeeb Tanvir as the old poet.
2. And the Soul Stirring music by Sukhwinder Singh. Infact this is the first time I am impressed with this music for a film soundtrack. Way to go Sukhwinder…Keep it up. Subhash Ghai undoubtedly has a gifted ear for good music which he has proved again with this latest offering.
Anil Kapoor is impressive and establishes himself as veteran actor in the industry who can be a strong pillar for any project. However the sequence in which he finds his wife murdered and then criminates her in the night before the function day is quite unbelievable and not amusing at all. The debutant Anurag Sinha is a good find, but he has got not much to do and only has to give the starring looks according to his role most of the times. So he can be judged better when he emotes, fights and dances in his next movie. Shifali Chhaya is loud at some places and the rest of the cast just ok.
The “Climax” is the major letdown. The similar kind of climax you may recall in “Dil Se” and “Hu Tu Tu” when the suicide bomber is heading towards a national meeting place on 15th August or 26th January. Chandni Chowk and Heritage Sites in Delhi are the new craze in Hindi Films now a days. The best part remains the music by Sukhwinder Singh. Though he borrows a lot from the Punjabi Traditional Music Treasure, still I will rate it as his best work for a film soundtrack till date.
In simple words, its Subhash Ghai’s attempt towards a different kind of cinema. He excels in parts no doubt, but I wish he had chosen a virgin topic for this movie.
Watch it for Habib Tanveer…and do listen to its complete soundtrack…

Rating : 2 / 5 (Buy The Soundtrack, Its worth it.)

If you are familiar with the game of Spelling Bee, then you will surely love this only elaborate film made on the topic. And if you are not aware of the game, then it will be even more enlightening and entertaining for you to know about it. The movie revolves around a small town girl who wins a big championship and that also by not offending her opponents at the competition. The director beautifully explains what team spirit and sportsmanship should mean to the players. He also stresses on the student teacher relationship which should have freedom and discipline both in the right percentages. The screenplay is tight enough to get you involved after 10 minutes of watching and you enjoy the movie asking for more in the end. Another sensitive topic of racism is handled in the most subtle manner in the screenplay. The entire starcast excels lead by Laurence Fishburne as the teacher. The movie is one of those which can be shown in schools to boost up the confidence and spirit among the young ones. A pure delight to watch and an entertaining flick for all ages. Highly Recommended for the younger generation.
Directed By Doug Atchison
Starring : Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bessett