Archive for December, 2008

Recently I saw an old English Classic and the main reason behind my choice was that it featured one of my favourite comedian “I. S. Johar”. Though he was not playing a comedian in the movie but his usual one liners were still there in the movie. While watching the climax I discovered these scenes were surprisingly very similar to the famous train sequence in our own masterpiece “Sholay”.

Just check them out clicking here

Cheers!

ghajini1

If its Aamir, then it has to be big and something first of its own kind. It’s really commendable how Aamir has emerged as an icon synonym with quality and success in the last decade. There is a huge gigantic difference in his initial movies and the current world famous epics namely, ‘Lagaan’ & ‘Taare Zameen Par’. His latest offering “Ghajini” is also as expected based on a novel theme, which is a first in Hindi Cinema.

I called it a first as in the opening few minutes only you are introduced to a disturbed hero who is a hardcore killer. He is shown brutally killing a person and just after his cruel Kill-act he goes still and stands wondering why the person lying on the floor is killed and who killed him. Certainly the Indian (Hindi) viewers have never witnessed this kind of sequence before, so the audiences are simply awestruck looking at the proceedings on the screen. And with a rock solid performance by Aamir, the film starts impressing you as it moves ahead.

“Ghajini” is said to be a remake of a South Movie with a similar name, but I was a little disappointed as I found it all inspired and quite similar to the original English Flick, “Memento”.  Though it’s not entirely a lift but no doubt certain sequences got their inspiration from the original and there should be no denial to that. The basic plot is surely inspired with some Indian elements and sentiments added to the recipe. In fact I was expecting Aamir to declare this himself with dignity and honesty but he chose to take the other way instead.

“Ghajini” is a well crafted product technically and holds you tight in the first half hour. But as the love angle of Aamir and Asin is introduced, movie becomes light and usual. The songs in this part work as a drawback and could have been avoided. The grip returns whenever the evil persona of Aamir is on the screen and that is the strongest merit of the movie. Looking at Aamir, you can feel that he has gone deep inside the character and is truly living the role with all his efforts. That’s why he is called a perfectionist. It is purely due to Aamir’s passionate performance that “Ghajini” becomes a worth watching flick.   

The movie is simply a revenge thriller with the hero killing the villain and his associates. The turning point is that the hero has a short term memory loss problem due to his head injury caused by the villain. Interestingly, he can only remember the last 15 minutes of his life and has to be reminded again of his friends and enemies. He is a millionaire owner of a cell phone company but poses to be a simple man in front of his love Asin. Asin looks fresh and provides the required emotional depth to the screenplay. Unfortunately she is killed by the villain “Ghajini” in front of Aamir and in the incident he also gets a serious head injury leading to the memory loss. A college student, played confidently by Jia Khan, helps him in his revenge, knowing his mental condition.

Apart from the lead characters, all the supporting cast entertains in the right dosage but the choice of villain could have been better as he was not able to generate the right amount of terror on the screen. His language and way of rendering the dialogues also were not that impactful. I remember how intensely the villain was introduced in the movie “Gardish” featuring Jackie Shroff. Something of that sort was needed here.    

Musically I found only two songs equivalent to the name of A. R. Rahman. Rest all songs were not enjoyable at all. Moreover in my opinion such an intense movie should be a songless one, because songs work more as an obstacle in the otherwise tense and gripping screenplay.  Another strong point of the movie is its background music and sound effects which add another dimension to the thrilling sequences.

This time there are some flaws in this Aamir movie which was hard to digest because Aamir is known for his detailed work on every element of the script.

Firstly, why and how Aamir simply vanishes from a moving bus when the Inspector was chasing him?

Secondly, why the movie has been titled with the name of its villain “Ghajini” and why there is no explanation given for this particular name or title chosen.

Thirdly, how Aamir manages to escape the Law after making so many killings? He is not caught even when many know that he was the killer. Was this possible because he was a rich person having private planes and a huge status in the society.  

If you can just ignore these flaws and want to watch an intense, gripping, violent and hard hitting revenge thriller then “Ghajini” will not disappoint you. You may have seen umpteen revenge thrillers before but “Ghajini” has certain new elements which will keep you glued to your seats. The first one is no doubt the amazing body work done by Aamir and second is the truthful dedication with which he enacts his part in the movie. He simply looks engrossed in the movie from head to toe and that makes the performance superlative than all others in the business.

Most of the film-makers make movies to please the viewers and earn money but Aamir is more interested in amazing his viewers and enjoys making movies to satisfy his inner urge. That’s what gives him a cutting edge over and above his contemporaries.

Summing up, “Ghajini” is not a regular stuff for all and some may love to dislike it. But there is only one thing you will remember after watching it and that is “Aamir Khan” and his love for the craft. Period.       

Ratings : 3.5 / 5

guide-music

“Guide” – A masterpiece movie with eternal music still remains one of the best creations of Hindi Film Industry. The music director of this epic movie, S. D. Burman, was a Navketan’s (Dev Anand production co.) loyalist and Dev Anand had full confidence in him and his ability to create magical notes.

For their film “Guide”, Dev Anand & Vijay Anand wanted only S. D. Burman as the music director but since Sachin Da was ill at that time, Dev delayed the film music recording and decided to wait for him to get well.

But Sachin Da as a true friend, composed all the songs of “Guide” within five days. Dev Anand okayed four of the tunes in the very first session itself.

And there is one brilliant & surprising twist in the soundtrack of “Guide”. S. D. Burman was a real genius, as he used a similar tune for two different songs in the same movie. And both the songs are remembered as Gems from the master.

Yes, it’s true that two songs from “Guide” have identical tunes but still they seem to be so different due to the treatment given by the great S. D. Burman. They are :

1. Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya, Bewafa, Tere Pyar Mein   and

2. Mosey Chhal Kiye Jaaye, Saiyan Beimaan

Just listen to them again now and this time you will hear the hidden secret in the compositions.

rab-ne-bana-di-jodi-2

A Shahrukh movie along with Aditya Chopra having a unique look had great expectations. And fans all over were just ready to fall in love with the movie in any case. But the final outcome may not be upto the standards expected. In a short review RNBDJ is an OK sweet movie having good performances by the lead pair, has all predictable content, a bit lengthy and entertains only in few parts. No doubt Shahrukh’s fan following is capable of making it a Hit, but the movie leaves the viewer somehow less satisfied.

The best part of the movie is the starting 20-25 minutes where all the characters are being introduced impressively and you easily start liking the narration. Using the Punjabi feel, the current favorite of Bollywood, Aditya captures The Golden Temple beautifully and sets the mood showing the streets of Punjab. Everything is fine till the main plot of a dance competition is disclosed. From there onwards the movie starts entertaining in gaps. The plot moves around how a Husband (Shahrukh) tries to win his wife’s (Anushka) love by playing a double role of a shy husband at home and of a happening and chill out dance partner in a dance competition.

After the transformation of Shahrukh as a fun loving dance partner, the movie is completely open to the viewers as if they have already read the script. Every sequence from then onwards is all predictable and you also know how the movie is going to end too. Still as a loyal fan you keep waiting for more entertaining sequences but they are not too many to come. The movie never surpasses the mood set in first 20 minutes, so you start feeling lazy at times too. Whole movie relies on the two main lead characters and they both carry their part with perfection. But as the storyline has no exciting twists and turns to offer so it remains a sweet movie, nothing extraordinary, far below the expectations.

Among the merits of the movie are the top rate performances of Shahrukh and Anushka. Shahrukh plays the role realistically without falling in the trap of over-reacting. He surely deserves appreciation for the simplicity he adds to the role of a common man and his visible support to the newcomer. Anushka surprises with such a professional debut very close to just perfect. Her dialogue delivery and confidence doesn’t reveal that it is her first movie. She may not have the looks to kill but has got the talent to sustain. Vinay Pathak is purely lovable in his act and provides a good support to Shahrukh. These are the only three characters around which the movie revolves and that works as a drawback to the movie because you miss some more catchy characters in the plot. Apart from good performances there is nothing extra special about the movie to write on. It really does not look like a Aditya Chopra and Yash Chopra movie.

Among the weak points, first comes the thin and all predictable storyline. The moment viewer comes to know the plot he starts losing interest in it. Secondly the comic sequences in the movie, like the motorcycle run by Anushka, Gol-Gappa eating scene, both watching films in the theater and Shahrukh’s fight with Sumo wrestler are not convincing or entertaining at all. There are not many great moments to share in the direction. Thirdly the whole dance completion thing is played too simply and in minute details. There are no major judges to the completion and there are no major competitors to watch too. There are no lavish dance performances in the competition and Shahukh-Anushka pair simply wins the contest as they were the only couple competing there. Their final performance at the stage is completely uninteresting and unimpressive. The whole dancing couple contest and Stage sets were not as expected from an Aditya – Yash Chopra movie. The glossy and stylish look of a Yash Chopra movie is totally missing. In fact it seems to be a film from a not so established production house. Fourthly, the length of the movie pinches you at times and you feel some scenes to get over fast giving way to more good ones. And lastly there is a major flaw in the direction. If a garage owner (Manmeet Singh – from whom Shahrukh buys his new car), can recognize Shahrukh in his new avatar, then how his own wife is not able to recognize him.

Musically the movie is weak too with only one song to remember that is “Haule Haule”. Interestingly this only good song is also an inspired version of a Adnan Sami number. The other added attraction is a song featuring Kajol, Lara Dutta, Rani Mukherjee, Priety Zinta and more. But this song is not able to impress too as it was not even one tenth entertaining as the song in “Om Shanti Om”. Songs have been a merit of all Shahrukh-Yash Raj movies, but this one stands far out of that impressive list.

In few words, Rab Ne Ban Di Jodi, fulfills the expectations only to some extent. Everyone was expecting an entertaining movie with sequences of laughter, fun, youthfulness and excitement. But there are very few such moments in the movie. Aditya is not able to create the same magic as he did in DDLJ. It’s not a bad movie, but it is not a highly entertaining movie too. You will surely feel restless at few places and also bound to hear some noises in the cinema hall.

In the end, I would like to mention that after the first 20-25 minutes of the movie, the most entertaining part of RNBDJ is the Voice Over of Shahrukh along with the end credit rolls sharing the experiences of their successful Honeymoon in Japan. A Well executed ending makes you feel good while you leave the theater.

Rating : 2.5 / 5

dil-kabaddi

Movies on marital issues and post marriage relationships have been made earlier too but this is an altogether different movie which is not interested in entertaining you with some good humor or some realistic sequences. But instead the director is more interested in being extensively vulgar verbally than visually. The movie moves around some confused characters who are not happy with their spouses and find other ways to satisfy themselves emotionally and physically. Loosely based on Woody Allen’s “Husbands & Wives”, it shows an inside view of different bedrooms and their not so amusing stories with everything about the “3 letter word” wide open as never before.

Chek out at :http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104466/

Debutante director Anil, sadly is not able to hold the audiences neither with his bold subject nor with its cheap dialogues at various places. In fact I should mention here that the viewer would be shocked to hear some strong & bold words coming from a 20 something girl and that too in quite disgraceful details. Just imagine a young girl talking with her professor about her recently broken relationship. And the reason she gives for the break up is that “she couldn’t do it with his boyfriend due to his size”. Was the director trying to make a huge breakthrough in Indian Cinema with such liberty taken or it was only for adding a shock value to the movie. The comment was quite innovatively written by the writer for a young college going girl. And that clearly showed the real intentions.

Regarding the star cast, everyone has done a good job, but once again the talented star cast is not provided with enough good scenes. There are entertaining moments but they come after long gaps. Out of all the actors the most impressive is Saba, a new comer who plays a film student to Rahul Bose and shares her private experiences with him openly. The scene where she is talking about her sexual experiences and her birthday sequence where she boldly asks Rahul for a birthday kiss are not only shocking but they are also capable of generating an awful influence over the youngsters.

Rahul Bose as a confused professor and Konkona Sen Sharma as his wife are fine. Rahul Khanna returns after a long time with an entertaining performance. Payal Rohtagi as a mindless beauty looks sexy and inviting. But out of the ladies, the best act comes from Soha Ali Khan. She is again impressive after “Mumbai Meri Jaan”. And the main person, Irrfan Khan, as always is top rate. Though he is being given similar kind of roles by our film-makers but he is surely an actor to be proud of. He is the only person providing the comedy and comic element to the movie. As a sex crazy person he is too good and his bedroom sequence with his office colleague is the best sequence of the movie.

In spite of having Irrfan Khan and other well known names, the film is not able to hold you or impress the viewer with its content. It is neither a thoughtful social movie nor a good sex comedy. In fact in order to provide some fresh scenes the writer goes overboard and becomes vulgar. Especially the dialogues given to Saba, the young girl are quite debatable.  If the Censors don’t find these as vulgar then they must be having a very enlightening guidelines of censorship in their hands or maybe they are more strict with only visual and abusive words.

After seeing “Dil Kabaddi”, I was forced to think that there is a very thin line between a good sex or adult comedy and a vulgar film. Often our directors start off with the first and end up being the second. Same is the case with “Dil Kabaddi”.  

Rating : 1.5 / 5

maharathi

Based on a successful play by Paresh Rawal, “Maharathi” is said to be a thriller but I found it lacking the requisites of a tight thriller or a good murder mystery. The very start of the mystery sequence or murder scene pops up some questions which are enough to make you lose interest in the plot. The main blunder why I am calling it “An Unqualified Thriller” is made by the writer who penned it and the director who never questioned it.  

If the writer and director of a murder mystery think that putting a Dead Body in a deep freezer for many days will keep the time and day of the murder A Secret, then it simply means that they still have to get their facts right. It’s the most childish forensic liberty taken ever in a crime movie.

To make it simple, it’s based on a plot where Naseer shoots himself in front of Paresh Rawal and Neha Dhupia and leaves them a challenge to prove his suicide as a murder if they can. Now in the next scene you see that Paresh & Neha both decide to put the dead Naseer in a deep freezer and plan to take him out after some days. And this is all done saying that putting the body in the freezer will never tell the day and time of the murder to anyone. And the whole movie moves around that freezer in which the body lies.

The moment this came on screen I lost all my interest of seeing the talented star-cast together in a mystery movie. The movie has been shot competently but the writing leaves wide cracks open in the mystery. Paresh Rawal as always carries the movie on his shoulders and tries hard to make it convincing. Though the performances of Naseer, Neha and Boman were enjoyable and the director Shivam Nair also manages to shoot some good sequences. But the viewer cannot be served performances alone. The makers need to think that audiences have some to see a crime drama with twists and turns opening new angles to think.

If a Murder Mystery raises too many questions and there are no answers to those queries in the narration then it doesn’t qualify to be a good thriller. “Maharathi” is the best example to that. For example, Why Nasser kills himself and why not he kills his wife Neha instead to get rid of all troubles? Why he leaves everything inherited to Paresh whom he has met just few days ago? Ironically, there is a life insurance of 25 crores done by Nasser and he is living his life miserably all in debts. If he can manage to pay the premium of this huge sum then why he cannot pay his debts off? Tara Sharma, an architecture student, is kept as a house keeper who never visits the room of his sick employer and just keeps on washing floors. She is shown to be dumb and a night walker too but surprisingly she is sharp enough to help Paresh by giving false statement to the police knowing that he will never get caught.

What is Boman Irani (The Lawyer) contribution to the plot? What was his relationship with Neha? Boman seems to be doing silly things in the climax, not expected from a well established Criminal Lawyer? Om Puri (completely wasted) enters as a detective and he is so experienced but he doesn’t doubt Paresh and never questions him about background or his entry in the house just few days back. And in the climax he just shoots Boman, just like that as if it was an encounter. Why he doesn’t shoot on his hand as a responsible officer?

Apart from these there are so many questions which I can go on with but there is no use of listing them as they would not get any answers. But I must say that if a die-hard fan of Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, Felu-Da and Byomkesh Bakshi (like myself) watches this movie then he will not like to say anything but would only love to get back to the masters of mystery cinema as soon as possible and see or read any one of their creations again.

Interestingly the plot of putting the dead body in a box (deep freezer here) is quite similar to that in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope”.

You can watch “Maharathi” only if you can ignore the faulty plot and would love to see the performances of the talented actors together.

Rating : 1.5 / 5