Archive for August, 2008

Its a proven fact now that there is only one person in Indian Cinema, who can give you much better “Horror movies” than the “Ramsay” kind of cinema made some decades back. Gone are the days when “Horror” meant just Ugly faces and some Skin show incorporated deliberately. At present viewers are more interested in seeing genuine Horror movies based on original themes. Here RGV comes back with a topic he is best at other than his underworld plot.

More than 15 years ago, when I saw “Raat”, I felt relieved that at least one person is there in Bollywood who knows his work and also understands the “Horror” genre. But then RGV took long time to make his second in the series, “Bhoot”. And now he is back with same kind of sparks in “Phoonk”. Though “Phoonk” is quite repetitive in treatment but it works due to its novel subject of “Black Magic” and brilliant performances from a new lead pair.

The movie has its moments to enjoy, but you may also feel less supplied to you in respect to info about the subject. The explanatory factor is missing in the script and it only stresses at showing the results of the Magic Spell on the victim. The climax where in a “Learned Person” comes to rescue the family is same as you have seen earlier in “Raat” & “Bhoot”.

In “Raat” there was Om Puri, Rekha played the role in “Bhoot” and there is “Zakhir Hussain” in “Phoonk” giving the top most performance of his career. He plays the role of a crippled Tantrik and he has acted superbly. Not once the viewer can think that he is acting as he looks so real in his get up and act. Thats the reason he is seen in almost all RGV films and its time others in the industry also use this talented artist more often.

The lead pair, Sudeep & Amruta Khanvilkar both impress with their top rate performances. Sudeep is surely a great discovery. He has some resemblance to Javed Jaffery but has acted like an experienced performer. Baby Ahsaas Channa makes an impact as the main sufferer.  Ashwini Kalsekar as the culprit manages to give you shocks but also crosses the border in certain scenes. The actress playing Sudeep’s mother gives the required mystic touch to the movie. The project is a collective & commendable effort by the whole team.

One observation, I would sadly like to mention here. I think Indian Audiences come to see “Horror Movies” in the theater not to enjoy the theme and subject, but only to scream and shout intentionally. Moreover during the whole movie you can hear laughters and giggles in the cinema. May be this is another way of enjoying a “Horror Flick”, but certainly not as it should be. I hope the subject of Horror needs a silent and intense watch and I fear “Horror” is not taken as another form of “Comedy” by our dear viewers.

Though you may feel similarities with RGVs earlier flicks at times but still the movie is worth a watch if you love this genre of cinema.

Rating : 3.5 / 5    

Its more difficult to make a good comedy than a action thriller or an emotional drama. The reason being that there is a very thin & minute line between a good comedy and some cheap sequences trying to make you laugh. The present movie should be considered in the second category where you keep waiting for the expected hilarious moments but nothing comes and the film ends just like that.

The story idea of a “Theater Team” getting involved with “Gangsters” was good but its lacks the required punchy execution for a comedy. The script fails to entertain and also could not make use of the talented starcest it had. Both the plots get confused with each other, which results in a movie going in an unknown direction. Cheap imitations of real life characters is not tastefully done. Naseeruddin Shah’s part of a Ghazal Singer involved with terrorists in “Sarfarosh” is also used in a comic way but this too falls flat.

Paresh Rawal is completely wasted and in my opinion apart from his other roles, the comedy movies are the one which he should choose with utmost care. After his past successes in comic roles, people now go for a movie only for him. But the writer neither gave him good scenes nor good dialogues to deliver. I suppose he was more concerned with showing Mallika Sherawat and her silly affairs with everyone in the story.

While watching you wonder what K.K. & Rahul Bose are doing in the movie. They are just playing their role because they have signed the movie. Rahul Bose doesnt seem interested anywhere in the 2 hours and K.K. looks like just enjoying doing a light comedy for a change. Mallika Sherawat is over possesive about her “sex-siren” image. But now after the failure of her 2 recent movies one after another, its time she comes with something more original & creative in order to sustain. Musically there is nothing to comment upon as its just another musical score for a movie with nothing exceptional.

In the end, I can only say that the movie is not entertaining enough with even Paresh Rawal being there as the lead. I was expecting at least some good moments but sadly couldn’t find enough to recommend the movie to others.

Rating : 1 / 5    

Yash Chopra camp is moving on a tough road since last few months and they hope to move on to the highway again with Bachna Ae Haseeno. But the journey may not be that easy as the movie is intense, mature and also has repetitions at a very slow pace. It lacks the youthfulness of “Jaane Tu…”, so you may not get the result as expected looking at the young and peppy promos.

Excitement of watching “Bachna Ae Haseeno” goes down the moment movie starts with the main title song. It takes away all the charm of the brilliant track worked upon with the original voice of Kishore Kumar. That was a major letdown from the director in my opinion.

The story is about a killer lover boy “Ranbir” who goes on betraying his girlfriends and regrets his past when he himself is dumped by a girl. The two girls he hurts are Minisha Lamba & Bipasha. Deepika is the girl who says “No” to him for her own reasons.

If you feel that it’s an original story idea then you must see John Cusack’s “High Fidelity” in which he also tries to find out why his affairs were not successful in his youth. And then goes back to his girlfriends asking them the reasons of their breakups. The only difference is that here Ranvir goes back to say sorry for his deeds to his past girlfriends.

First half of the movie hugely resembles “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” and even the characters talk about the film in their scenes. This part bores you as you know every scene which is coming one after another. It features Minisha Lamba, who looks cute in some and aged in few scenes. There is no novelty in this part of the movie.

The second part is a bit bold as it shows a live-in relationship between Ranbir & Bipasha. Bipasha gives a very subtle performance in this part and looks ravishing in her revealing outfits. She acts well in the scene when she is left by Ranbir on the wedding day.

The third part has a fresh and gorgeous face of Deepika Padukone who dumps Ranbir when he proposes to her. In fact Deepika takes the highest numbers in the looks department as compared to the other two. She has the minimum footage but has a descent dress sense and impresses the viewers in the few scenes she has.

Post interval Ranbir goes back to Minisha & Bipasha to ask for their forgiveness. Out of the two, Minisha sequence is the best one, which is also highly influenced by “DDLJ” and “Jab We Met”. Kunal Kapoor as her sardar husband looks perfect and has also acted brilliantly. This part of the script is well written and executed. Bipasha sequence is too fast and looks hurried up a little.

The second half is bit slow in parts and that makes you hear noises in the theater. There are some intense dramatic scenes which are heavy for the young audiences and they may miss the youth factor in the movie.

The persons who impress you most on the whole are Ranbir, Kunal Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. Though Minisha & Bipasha get more footage but Deepika scores over them with her powerful screen presence. Bipasha acts well but her limitation is that she has to play the role of a supermodel (which is a reality too).

Kunal looks great and equally acts his part with competence. His getup proves that being from Punjab themselves, Yash camp knows how to portray a Sikh in films (much better than Aneez Bazmee).

Ranbir has a very camera friendly face and he is brilliant in his act of a person at different stages of his age. No doubt a far better attempt from “Sanwariya”. Both Ranbir and Deepika dont look like doing their second movie. Together they look the best in the movie and you will surely enjoy watching them together.

Music of “BAH” is rich with the brilliant title track and “Khuda Jaaney”. Vishal-Shekhar have done a splendid job with the original voice of Kishore Kumar and the song is just superb. “Khuda Jaaney” grows on you as the film finishes and you remember it moving out of the theater.

Director Siddharth Raj Anand, is excellent in some sequences and knows his job well. But the screenplay makes the movie slow at times which proves a handicap for the director.

In my opinion if only the Minisha–Ranbir-Kunal story was adapted for the complete movie then it may have resulted in a more entertaining flick.

The conclusion is that it is a mature and intense film lacking the youth factor which was expected. It is slow paced at times and will face mixed responses at the box office. Musically its a hit but at the ticket window, it will face a rough road.

Rating : 2.5 / 5    

As you may have guessed the movie is inspired from Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty”. But keeping that fact aside, the movie is a simple, sober and clean flick which also has a sweet message to give. In other words its a well adapted movie which is not great, but still good for a family evening. “Bruce Almighty” sticks to its comedy theme throughout but “GTGH” shifts its emphasis from comedy to social issues too. Therefore it cannot be called as a complete comic entertainer.   

The film starts slowly and takes too much time to settle down. The director should have come to the main theme of “God” much earlier, but instead he introduces this plot just before the interval. The movie could be more enjoyable if the script was based on this single plot with some more comedy sequences.

The story revolves around a plot in which God gives Salman the powers to run the world for ten days. And then Salman does what he thinks will be good for all, but messes it up. The first half of the movie is all predictable with repeated scenes seen many times before. The novel theme comes too late which is the major drawback of the movie. After “The God’s” entry, it picks up and that makes the second half much better than the first.

Performance wise Salman Khan plays his part convincingly. But Priyanka is just there in the film as the leading lady. Though they both look good together in their scenes and songs. The chemistry between Sohail & Salman was quite similar to “Hello Brother” and it entertains in some scenes. Amitabh Bachhan as “The God” looks very descent and elegant. In fact no other actor comes to your mind who can play “The God” dressed in white suits, other than Amitabh. All the comic actors in the movie (like Rajpal Yadav) have very few funny lines to offer which makes you feel asking for more. It can be said that everyone has acted his part well but the script is too simple to give any one an opportunity to stand out.

Music department only comes with one good song, “Aa Chalti Kya” and all other songs are below average. Songs in the second half were not needed at all as they slow down the pace of the movie. Special Effects are also ok and don’t go over the board. But it was a little strange to see that “The God” chooses to meet Salman, through the unexisting floor of a five star hotel.  

The direction is very simple and the director keeps shifting between the comedy and social track in the second half. It could have been executed in a far better way. The best part of the movie comes in the last 40 minutes where the narration is inspired from Hrishikesh Mukherjee kind of cinema. Interestingly it made me remember one old Hrishikesh Mukherjee film “Naukri” starring Rajesh Khanna, where he meets an angle, who shows him the real world (which was also an inspired one).

Another impressive part of the movie is the message it gives in the last minutes. That makes you feel good about what you have in life and teaches you to be contented always with whatever you get from your life & “God”.

So, its not a great movie and gets only average marks. But it is a cute, clean, family movie which can be enjoyed in the festive weekends. It lacks the content of becoming a hit or blockbuster.

Rating : 2.5 / 5    

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Before the movie started one could feel the excitement in the hall with all the whistles, shouting and claps. But all went calm slowly and no one was excited enough as the last credits were rolling. There were mammoth expectations from Akshay Kumar in the role of a Sikh and coming up with a solid title “Singh is King” raised those expectations to the highest level. But sadly the film fails to satisfy even half of what was expected.

The film starts promisingly with some village sequences and then the story takes a similar turn like in “Jo Bole So Nihaal”. Here also a villager is sent to a foreign country to bring back his fellow villager, who is now the DON of that country. Last time we saw Sunny Deol going abroad to bring back a criminal, but this time Akshay has an associate Om Puri who goes along with him.

The story proceeds introducing some funny associates of the don who fail to raise enough laughter, a  lady selling flowers, her daughter and her fiancé. Since the original don gets paralyzed, Akshay has to take over as the don and then he goes on to transform hearts. That’s the storyline of the movie.  

It commences with Akshay & Ompuri, boarding on to a wrong flight and they land in Egypt instead of Australia (Quite a new thought). The writer takes them there only to meet Katrina and sing songs and then they get back to Australia where the Don plot comes in.

The question arises what this storyline has to do with the title “Singh is King” and a Sikh hero. It simply shows that the Sikh element was roped in to cash on to the Punjabi people (not only Sikhs) living all over the globe. The first half of the movie does has its moments but not in the required quantity. The second half dips down with unwanted love triangle plot and the viewer is left asking for more.

It can be noticed that there are two get ups of Akshay as a Sikh in the movie. One is in the Green turban in the opening where he is looking like a proper Sikh and the second is after this sequence (for rest of the movie), where he is not wearing a proper turban, has a french cut beard and is looking more like a magician. It looks like there was no knowledgeable Sikh person to guide them when they were shooting abroad. And when they understood the mistake they did some reshooting again for the opening sequence of the movie. Intelligently the promos also feature Akshay in the proper get up only which was rightly done by the team.

Performance wise Akshay is fine as a villager and the don. He starts the movie with his perfect comedy but loses the track in the later reels. He has very few funny lines to say & for that the script writer and the director has to be blamed severely. You will miss the famous Akshay Kumar laughter in the movie which can be found nowhere. Katrina looks ravishing but hasn’t got much to do. Ranvir Shorey is completely miscast and wasted as the loser fiancé. Ompuri and Kiron Kher are ok.

Interestingly there are a large number of talented people who are simply wasted in the movie like Neha Dhupia, Javed Jaffery, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Khayali and Sonu Sood. All these names are capable of adding more colours to the movie, specially the comedians but they were not given any chance.

Musically, it has few good numbers which are already a hit. But some unwanted songs are also there like “Bhootni Ke”. Surprisingly Daler Mehndi’s voice in this track was missing in the movie. Preetam always manages to give few hits in all his scores, which is good for him but may be not for the movie this time.

The director, Aneez Bazmee seems to be missing the train this time. It looks like he was in so much hurry to make this film that he forgot to work on the script and on the entertainment quotient. This time, his direction lacks the perfect comic timing which we have seen in his last few ventures. May be he relied too much on the crowd pulling power of Akshay Kumar and on the solid strong title.

In the end I would like to say that I was feeling completely unsatisfied after watching the movie as it had a misleading title which had nothing to do with the film. Moreover it failed to entertain as per the huge expectations. But the film will definitely get a huge opening that’s for sure. And I will also not be surprised if the film is declared a hit because we have seen some mediocre film working in the past too.

Rating : 2 / 5    

Pritish Nandy Productions comes with another experimental movie after its “Pyar Ke Side Effects”. But this time the experiment has been done on a borrowed thesis. The film is a loosly inspired from a korean movie “Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo” or “My Sassy Girl” (2001) which was then remade in English in 2008. The story – no there is no story but it’s a collection of anecdotes about the meetings between a boy and a girl. Its how the boy is rudely shaken and ill treated by her girl friend and then he keeps on trying to cope up with this strange relationship. The director couldn’t catch the right spirit of the movie with no particular scene worth talking about.

Ranvir Shorey underplays his role but as he doesnt get any support from the script department therefore fails to impress his fans. He gets very few funny scenes to satisfy the viewer. On the other hand Mallika Sherawat acts pricy and pretends to be the top most actress. She is surely the most sought after actress in one sense but strangley her enigma failed to bring in the crowd this time. Musically film has very less to register with one song becoming famous due to its cheap lyrics, “Main Talli Ho Gayi”. Here Poetry takes the back seat once again in recent times. In today’s competitive world of young music directors Anu Malik will have to rediscover himself once again.

The promos were innovatively planned with good tag lines but the movie is another example of good promotion but bad content. Seeing some recent flicks its time the makers should concentrate more on the movie and its ingredients rather than on its promotional tactics. No doubt, good promotion is a must but you should not fool the audiences with wrong and misleading promos.

Rating : 1/5