Fenil and Bollywood

Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews by Fenil Seta’ Category

Ken Ghosh is back with a film after almost 6 years. His first, Ishq Vishk, was a runaway hit and it was a dream launch for Shahid Kapoor. His next, Fida, also with Shahid, was a smashing thriller although it failed at the BO. Now Ken is here with his third film, Chance Pe Dance, and this one also features Shahid. However, unlike his previous two films, Chance Pe Dance fails and falls at several points. The only saving grace is Shahid. In fact, the talented young actor takes the film to dizzying heights in several sequences!

The story of the movie: Since 3 years, Sameer (Shahid Kapoor) is in Mumbai and is waiting for that one golden opportunity which will make him a Bollywood superstar. He gives auditions wherever he can and earns a living by doing odd jobs. He has faced rejection at many points but still doesn’t give up. His dad (Parikshit Sahni) is calling him back to Delhi but Sameer has no plans of quitting. Finally, Sameer gets a break as the lead actor in a musical film to be made by the famous director Rajiv (Mohnish Behl). Also he finds a new friend in Tina (Genelia) who is the choreographer in that very film. Everything was going fine for Sameer when came a big blow for him.

There isn’t any problem with the film’s first half. The story doesn’t move in the first hour but still one doesn’t find any reason to complain as it is laden with many interesting sequences. The film starts with the energetic number ‘Pe..Pe..Pepein’ followed by the innovative introduction to the world of Sameer. Then Tina’s entry in the narrative was cool and the scene where she drops Sameer home was simply hilarious! The intermission point was well shot and well written too and you expect some fireworks in the 2nd half too.

But things don’t go as expected in the 45-minute long second half. The writer came up with some conflicts in the narrative but it lacked meat. The climax was too predictable and the song Pump It Up that comes just before the film is about to end fails to brighten up the things. However, the final scene was nicely executed.

Performance wise, Shahid Kapoor wins hands down! The film may be forgotten but Shahid’s performance will surely be remembered for a long time. He single-handedly took control and many of the scenes turned out to be fabulous, thanks to him. He gave a performance that one would expect only from the superstars. There was no need for a hero’s sidekick in the film to provide laughs as Shahid did the needful! And not to forget, he danced like a dream! If you are a Shahid fan, Chance Pe Dance should not be missed at any cost!

Genelia, as usual, looked charming and pitched in a sincere and confident performance. Best thing about her is-pair her with any actor and the resulting chemistry will be electrifying! The Imran-Genelia pairing in Jaane Tu and the Fardeen-Genelia pairing in Life Partner were cute and a treat to say the least and in Chance Pe Dance too, she and Shahid form a sweet pair!

Parikshit Sahni was alright. He should stop doing roles of a father who is scolding his son. He did it in 3 Idiots and does something similar in Chance Pe Dance too. Mohnish Behl was great. Vikas Bhalla was okay. The teen who played Genelia’s brother and the girl who played Shanaya leave a mark. Satish Shah is also there in a forgettable role.

Adnan Sami’s music was good but could have been better. The magic that was there in his music in Lucky is missing here. Pump It Up is the best among all. Pritam’s Pe Pe Pepein was superb.

Kiran Kotrial’s dialogues were funny. Story was faulty-there ought to be some zing that would have made the film interesting and much better. Just like how Zoya Akhtar had exceptionally made Luck By Chance (which was also the story of a struggler), Ken Ghosh could have adopted a similar route in writing. However, undoubtedly, his direction was upto the mark and if equipped with better scripts, he can do great job. Hope to see you with a better film next time Ken!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The song ‘Pe Pe Pepein’ and ‘Pal Mein Hi’
2.       Sameer preparing his breakfast, innovatively!
3.       Tina and Sameer’s first entry
4.       Tina drops Sameer home
5.       Sameer meets Rajiv in the latter’s office
6.       Sameer’s first class with the students
7.       The intermission point
8.       Sameer proposes Tina
9.       Sameer’s speech during the auditions

On the whole, Chance Pe Dance is an average fare. It is well directed and has an outstanding performance by Shahid but is let down by negligible and unexciting storyline. Watch it if you are a Shahid fan. It’s alright if you miss it in theatres!

My rating-** ½ out of 5!

Although 51 weeks had passed in 2009, it still seemed incomplete. There was not a single Hindi flick this year which could be happily showered with never-ending appreciation and 5/5 ratings. Thankfully, 3 Idiots has arrived in the final week and given us the much needed ‘film of the year’! To tell you the truth, I am finding it difficult to express my satisfaction and happiness in words. Rajkumar Hirani has come up with an extremely superior product. And like his previous Munnabhai flicks, 3 Idiots also entertains and at the same time enriches! And the enlightment is such that will remain with you for a long time and would not vanish away after coming out of theatre! Needless to say, it’s a must watch!!

The story of the movie: Farhan (R Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) are in search for their college friend, Ranchoddas aka Rancho (Aamir Khan) who has vanished after the convocation. They missed him terribly as he was a special friend. He was different from others. He reaffirmed the simple ideas of life which were left behind by everyone for ‘textbook knowledge’ which results in profitable future. He propagated his ideas in a humanistic manner without fear and thus, challenged even the head of college, Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani). He inspired Farhan and Raju to think out of the box and to not end up mugging knowledge. Watch the film to find out where Rancho had disappeared and why.

3 Idiots is a winner from the first scene! The essence of the film could be explained even in serious manner but then that would have been too boring. Rajkumar Hirani smartly uses his smart technique of making us laugh (like hell) throughout the film but at the same time, giving us some important lessons of life. Also, what is immensely likeable about Hirani’s style is the protagonist’s character sketch. In all the 3 films, the lead actor is a source of positivity, giving important teachings in a sweet manner and spreading smiles everywhere. Rancho is also Munna Bhai and vice versa!


The film is wonderfully structured and perfectly comes back and forth (the flashback portion is running parallel in the film). The first scene, where Madhavan exits from the plane which has already taken off sets the mood. Then the ragging session where Rancho enters the film and teaches a nice lesson to the seniors was simply outstanding scene! Undoubtedly, the funniest scene in the film was where Chatur aka Silencer (Omi) gives the speech on Teacher’s Day. Believe me, it would bring the house down for sure! After a loooong time, I was laughing uncontrollably for 5 minutes continuously! This reminds me-the humour in the film is not slapstick or crass-it’s novel and something that would surely tickle your funny bone!

The intermission point was bewildering but the mystery unravels beautifully in the 2nd half. The best thing about 2nd half is you can never guess what will happen next. When a conflict arises, it is solved well in time and when you feel the film is ready for the climax, another conflict surrounds the main characters. However, one doesn’t get bored and doesn’t get impatient for the film to get over. Everyone will enjoy and get engrossed to whatever is dished out by Hirani.

The delivery sequence (involving Mona Singh) was just fabulous. It shows that quick and out of the box thinking can save the day when all our knowledge fails. Just brilliant! As for the climax, it was totally justified. The film touches various topics concerning student life (including student suicide) and depicts and debates in a just manner.

Each character had a purpose in the story and not a single one was unnecessarily added. Aamir Khan, without a shred of doubt, was the most important character of the film and needless to say, he was amazing! The best part is the way he slipped easily into the character of a student and came out with flying colours. Notice the manner in which he scratches his head and ears, the way he walks, his mannerism and body language-all matched with that of a restless and mischievous student. Also, seeing Aamir as Rancho, you’ll forget all his past performances. You’ll forget that he is the same Aamir who played the ferocious amnesic in Ghajini or the lovely teacher in Taare Zameen Par. Like all his recent films, 3 Idiots will also be remembered for a long long time to come!

R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi also maintained a strong position throughout the film. Madhavan is the narrator and does a great job in it. Also rocking was his beautiful performance in the airplane scene and his confrontation with his father. Sharman, on the other hand, did full justice to his character which was no easy task.

Boman Irani rocks! I had mentioned earlier too that it’s extraordinary that this actor plays a different kind of character in all his films and each performance stands out from the other. Here, he was great as strict disciplinarian and watch out for his dialogue delivery! Kareena Kapoor (as Pia), too, has an important role and looked lovely in the bespectacled look. Nice to see that after delivering 3 flops in this year, she finally came up with a winner! Omi was exemplary! Everyone will surely love his chamatkaar speech! What an actor he is! Mona Singh has amazing screen presence. Although her role here was miniscule, she would hopefully receive more offers after this film. Jaaved Jaaferi and Parikshit Sahni were alright in their small roles. Others were good.

Shantanu Moitra’s music was melodious and ‘ear-catching’ (can I use this phrase?!). Best song was of course Aal Izz Well. Zoobi Doobi’s picturisation was amazing. Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe was quite touching.

Sanjay Wandrekar, Atul Raninga and Shantanu Moitra’s background score was perfect. C K Muraleedharan’s cinematography was flawless and he’s one of the contenders for Best Cinematography for sure. Watch out for the lensman’s amazing aerial shots in the song Behti Hawa Sa!

The film is loosely inspired from Chetan Bhagat’s first novel Five Point Someone. Hirani has smartly adapted only some portions of the book and interpreting and modifying it to suit the story. Hirani along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi wrote the screenplay which was brilliant to say the least!

Finally, Hirani came up with the story and directed the film too. Like his previous flicks, here too, he raised questions but didn’t turn the situation overdramatic or serious. He kept it light by adding jokes and funny situations and at the same time giving us an important lesson-do what you feel like in life. Even ‘Rock On!!’ had touched this topic but 3 Idiots will have a wider reach. Also note the outstanding way in which he handled Sharman’s suicide sequence beautifully! Hats off to these geniuses! Keep delivering such meaningful flicks!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

1.       The first scene
2.       All songs
3.       The ragging session
4.       Rancho in the first lecture
5.       Viru Sahastrabuddhe aka Virus tells Rancho to teach in the class (amazing!)
6.       Rancho and Farhan at Raju’s place
7.       Rancho meets Pia in the wedding
8.       Rancho and Pia bring Raju’s dad to hospital
9.       The intermission point
10.     Farhan and Raju with Jaaved Jaaferi (hilarious!)
11.      The chamatkaar speech!
12.     Drunk Rancho enters Pia’s room
13.     Rancho and gang trying their best to make Raju normal
14.     The last 25 minutes

On the whole, 3 Idiots is undoubtedly the best film of 2009! Whether you are a student or parent or professor, this one’s a must for all! Needless to say, missing it can be a big crime! Commercially, the film should be the 2nd film after Ghajini to cross 100 crore collections in domestic market! All Izz well indeed!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/3_Idiots-182740-1.html

It was always felt that Hollywood films’ release in India won’t harm the prospects of Bollywood films. But the success of Titanic, King Kong, Spiderman series and more recently the blockbuster collections of 2012 has finally made everyone realize that Hollywood is a force to reckon with in India too. And that’s why all Hindi films scheduled to release on 18 Dec ‘ran away’ to avoid colliding with the release of the biggest film on earth, Avatar. With so much euphoria and curiosity surrounding the film, Avatar was expected to give a fascinating experience. Thankfully, it does! The film is not only a visual treat but is stunningly well made. A must watch for all those who love cinema!

The story of the movie: The year is 2154. A human corporation is assembled in a distant moon, Pandora, in order to colonize it and extract a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by strange looking people called Na’vi. The Na’vi are 9 feet in height, their skin is blue and they have tails too. Their way of life is primarily primitive but they reside in perfect harmony with the environment around them. The human researchers on Pandora, under Dr Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) manage to get the Na’vi DNA which enables any human to control and engineer Na’vi bodies of themselves which they called Avatars. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic ex-Marine is dispatched to Pandora and given opportunity to take over his dead twin brother’s place who was an integral part of the Avatar program. He also gets a chance to go through the program and live in the form of Na’vi Avatar. Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) promises Jake that his legs will be fixed if he manages to get information on Na’vi culture and win their trust which in turn will help the military unit. Soon, Jake’s avatar manages to become a member of the Na’vi clan and also falls for a female Na’vi Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), the daughter of the Na’vi chief. Gradually, Jake begins to love Na’vi lifestyle and starts considering as its own. But when the humans start attacking Na’vi to eliminate them, Jake gets in a dilemma as to whether he should be a part of his fellow humans and support their extreme colonization policies or help the Na’vi fight the humans.

Avatar is a masterpiece-no doubt in that! The film not only boasts of some mind-blowing special and visual effects, it has a nice story and execution too which is what makes the film immensely likeable. Moreover, the film is 160 mins long but the best part is that you won’t get bored even for a single moment. There are so many exciting things happening throughout the film that it’ll be difficult even to blink!

James Cameron uses a perfect way of storytelling. He first wonderfully acquainted us with the Na’vis, their way of life, their culture, lifestyle etc and made us fall in love with all these aspects so that our blood boils when the humans barbarously begin harming them later in the film. You rejoice when Na’vi counterattack and you get lump in your throat whenever Na’vi moan and cry helplessly. Thus, Avatar is more of an emotional flick at several points but it is this that will work big time across the world.

Another plus-point is the wonderful depiction of Pandora. It is just like Earth but in several ways, poles apart from our planet. The giant trees, the legendary floating mountains and the animals-the flying banshee and toruk, the strong direhorse, the ferocious thenator and hammerhead, the ugly viperwolf and the blue apes are an interesting watch.

Sam Worthington puts in a worthy performance. He was most impressive as the Na’vi. Zoe Saldana impresses the most with her exciting expressions throughout the film. Of course, it was the CGI that finally made them look wonderful and Na’vi-like. Other Na-vi characters which leave a mark are C C H Pounder (as the queen) and Laz Alonso (Tsu’Tey).

Sigouney Weaver pulled off the ‘I-care-a-damn’ attitude very well. Michelle Rodriguez looked amazing and comes with a brilliant performance. She looks cool navigating the airplane wearing aviator glasses! Stephen Lang perfectly essays the antagonist. The other antagonist Giovanni Ribisi (as Parker Selfridge) also leaves a mark. Others also do a great job.

James Horner’s music was haunting. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography was top-notch and it was nice to see new techniques adopted by the lensman for capturing scenes. Also, the modified 3D Fusion Camera system developed by Cameron and Vince Pace succeeded in providing a visual treat.

The film is nothing without the special effects, CGI and all other kinds of technological advances used in the film. It was undoubtedly a technological feat and also a paisa vasool experience for the viewers! Kudos to each and everyone who contributed in this department!

Finally, James Cameron, the writer and director of the film needs to be lauded for his outstanding work which was no easy task at all. Firstly, it requires vision to think of such a set-up. And it requires patience and meticulous task in executing the film. Cameron succeeds in each and every aspect of making Avatar. Also, he shrewdly and indirectly reminded us of US’ policies towards Iraq. The dialogue “If people are sitting on the $hit we want, you make them your enemies!” sums it up! And finally, what makes Avatar stand out from the rest of SFX films is that in the battle of alien v/s humans, here it is the aliens who finally triumph over the humans!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       Jake’s Avatar running from the beasts
2.       Jake and Neyitri meet for the first time
3.       Neyitri teaches Jake the Na’vi culture
4.       Jake gets his own banshee
5.       The human’s first round of attack on Na’vis
6.       Jake, Doc and other escape from detention
7.       The final 35 minutes

On the whole, Avatar is without a shred of doubt an outstanding flick in all respects. It boasts of some of the best special effects but at the same time, it has soul too. It has universal appeal and that’s why will succeed everywhere in the world. All movie freaks and even those who are not should not be missing Avatar at any cost. The 3D version will of course give you never before sensed experience but this film will be enjoyed in 2D too. JUST GO FOR IT!!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Avatar-182387-1.html

Priyadarshan has always come up with zany comedies but De Dana Dan takes away the cake. In your entire life, you would have not seen such complicated and bizarre film ever, nor would you see it in future! There are some 25 characters; the entire action takes place inside a luxurious hotel and misunderstandings galore in the film. In fact, the flick thrives on misunderstandings and mistaken identities! However, like many other pathetic comedy flicks attempted this year, this doesn’t disappoint all thanks to Priyadarshan’s excellent handling and execution!

The story of the movie: Nitin Bankar (Akshay Kumar) works for Archana (Archana Puran Singh), a rich lady in Singapore and who loves her pet dog named Moolchandji the most! Nitin’s only friend is Ram (Suniel Shetty). While Nitin is in love with Anjali (Katrina Kaif), Ram loves Manpreet (Sameera Reddy). However, both Anjali and Manpreet are born and brought up in rich families and their families would not like their daughters to marry financially unstable men. So Nitin and Ram come up with plan to get quick money-they decide to kidnap Moolchandji in exchange of a huge ransom from Archana! Without realizing that the kidnapping has gone awry, both hide in the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel waiting for the ransom. Unfortunately, there are more colourful, anti-social, gadbad-types people in the hotel at that time! And then starts the mother of all misunderstandings, mistaken identities and unlimited, uninterrupted laughter for the viewers!

There is absolutely no logic whatsoever in De Dana Dan. There are some big big loopholes in the story too! But if you are lover of masala Hindi comedies, then you won’t mind at all as there is so much fun happening in the film every second! Except during the songs, you won’t get a chance to yawn or check out the time in your watch or look anywhere else than the screen!

The first half is where the characters are introduced and established which is perfectly done. The asli mazaa begins when Nitin and Ram hatch the kidnap plan. The actual kidnapping and the events that follow was brilliant! Also, there are lots of tracks going on in the film, each one which is well written and worked upon. There is Harbans Chadda (Paresh Rawal) who is deep in debt and who wants to marry off his son Nonny (Chunky Pandey) to the best amir khandaan ki ladki; there is Brij Mohan Oberoi (Manoj Joshi) who is happy to marry off her manglik daughter Manpreet to Nonny; then there is smart theif cum club dancer (Neha Dhupia), Harban’s unfaithful wife Pammi (Aditi Govitrikar), a killer on a mission Peshawarwala (Johny Lever), an oversmart waiter Duggu (Rajpal Yadav), an Indian ambassador Paramjeet Lamba (Vikram Gokhale) and her wife (Supriya Karnik), Anjali’s dad Kakkad (Tinu Anand), Anti-corruption cop (Sharat Saxena) and a letch (Shakti Kapoor) (I hope I haven’t left anyone). Whew! With so many characters with interesting characteristics, Priyadarshan and the writing team excellently links up unrelated characters creating multiple mistaken identities, all which provide laughter unlimited!

The first half is laced with 4 songs but still the flick didn’t turn boring. However, it was the 2nd half where at a point, everything gets too monotonous and you want the flick to end. In fact, the film is close to 2 hrs 45 minutes. However, the climax again takes the film up and it was the most weird and bizarre climax I have ever witnessed! Once again, I state that don’t watch the flick if you can’t stand any nonsense in films. Or else you’ll surely faint watching the nonsense climax! But for those who love comedies, the climax will surely entertain!

With so many characters, it becomes difficult to decide who the best was. In fact all put their best foot forward and contribute well. Akshay Kumar was like everytime rocking! His films may not entertain everytime but he always impresses. In fact, it was so great to see a fantastic Akshay Kumar film after so long (the last such film was Welcome, 2 years back). Keep rocking Akki! Suniel Shetty gives an amazing performance and it was great to see him after a long time! Watch out for him in his next, Red Alert!

From the rest, the ones who impress and provide maximum laughs are Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh, Johny Lever and Vikram Gokhale. Vikram Gokhale particularly entertains a lot! The rest-Asrani, Chunky Pandey (he had no role at all!), Manoj Joshi, Rajpal Yadav, Supriya Karnik, Tinu Anand and Sharat Saxena also did a nice job but it got overshadowed in presence of so many actors. Producer Ratan Jain is also there in the film!

As for the heroines, Katrina Kaif has the meatiest role and sizzles full on in the song Gale Lag Ja. Neha Dhupia gives a bindass performance. Sameera Reddy looks charming but hardly has any dialogues. Aditi Govitrikar’s performance was flawless.

Music was fine. Baamulaiza, Gale Lag Ja and Rishte Naate are the best songs of the lot. K Ahambaram’s cinematography was too shaky in some scenes which didn’t work. Salim-Suliaman’s background score, as usual, was flawless. Sabu Cyril’s production design deserves special appreciation especially for the climax where the entire hotel gets flooded. Some parts of the hotel were recreated in Mumbai, it was flooded and shot and it was so accurately done that it’s impossible to distinguish the actual hotel in Singapore from the set! Great work! But at the same time, disappointed to see enormous quantity of water wasted under the guise of entertainment!

Finally, we come to the writers and director. Suresh Krisshnan’s story was unusual. Jay Master’s dialogues were amazing and also contribute to the entertainment quotient in the film! And this is undoubtedly Priyadarshan’s one of the finest works! It requires guts and courage to screenwrite a film with so many complicated and tangled scenes and then directing it and also giving it a proper conclusion. Any other director would have either failed miserably or would have run away midway! So hats off to Priyan….keep giving us such films!

This time, there would be no section of Best Scenes….there are some 3 to 4 dozen memorable scenes, half of which I can’t even recollect now but enjoyed while watching! So please excuse this time!

On the whole, De Dana Dan is one of the most complicated comedies of all time. Those who love Priyadarshan and his slapstick comedies should not even think of missing it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on Mouthshut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/De_Dana_Dan-181702-1.html

Bollywood is coming out with creative, out of the box films and the year 2009 is a witness to it. Paa is one such film that can also be safely termed as ‘most unique film of 2009’. Of course, the USP is undoubtedly Amitabh Bachchan’s wonderful portrayal as a 12/13 year old kid. But that alone isn’t the only thing that makes the flick special. The execution by R Balki is marvelous and the film would have surely fallen like a pack of cards if the treatment wasn’t appropriate. Paa, thus, works well and is definitely a must watch!

The story of the movie: Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) is a 12 year old suffering from a rare genetic disease, progeria which results in accelerated ageing. So although he’s just 12, his body age is 5 times more. But Auro is witty, mischievous and intelligent and just like any other school going student of his age. He lives with his mother, Vidya (Vidya Balan), a gynecologist and Vidya’s mom (Arundhati Nag). All three are living happily but one day their world turns upside down when Auro comes to face to face with his own father, MP Amol Atre (Abhishek Bachchan). But both Auro and Amol are unaware of each other’s ‘connection’.

Paa is simply made and the film grips you from the first scene itself. Auro and Amol’s entry in the narrative is highly impressive. The innovative projects made by the students and Amol’s beautiful speech in the school instantly put a smile on your face. Also note how very less time is reserved for the flashback portions and the focus of the story is entirely on the star of the film-Auro and his paa!

However, the film deviates from the main plot in the first half in the slum redevelopment track. But trust me, it was damn interesting and you’ll silently wish if the politicians of our country were such visionaries and witty.

However, the second half won’t give any reason to complain. Auro’s reaction after finding out the truth and the time he spends with his paa in Delhi is supremely rocking! The pre-climax, when one of the main characters finds out the truth could have been more impactful. But the final 10 minutes which is beautifully directed and leaves the strongest mark, compensates for it.

Although the film is titled Paa, the film doesn’t only focus on the father-son relationship. It wonderfully showcases the child’s relations with his mom, grandmom and also with his classmates, the latter being the cutest! Also, the film isn’t made to only evoke sympathy on progeric patients. Throughout the film, Auro is being treated as any other normal child by everyone around him and this also works a lot in the favour of the film.

There is not a drop of doubt about Amitabh Bachchan’s performance. He was marvelous and outstanding-even this doesn’t justify his well performed job! One forgets that one is actually watching Amitabh Bachchan on screen. The way he speaks like an adolescent and also behaves like one is just amazing and leaves you in awe and shock. And the look given to him is actually quite cute! However, the performance wouldn’t have worked solely with great work by make-up artistes. It was Amitabh’s great work that makes the character believable and lovable. Kudos to Big B-keep shining, keep rocking!

The characterization of Big B as Auro is so strong that you even forget all the past performances of other actors. Abhishek Bachchan simply rocks as the young cool politician and builds up a strong position to himself throughout the film. After Guru and Dostana, this is yet another memorable performance of Abhishek. Watch out for him in another rocking performance in his next, Raavana!

Vidya Balan is a relevation. She gives a brilliant performance, of the same level that she delivered in Parineeta. Watch her in Paa and you’ll forget all about her disastrous period that she faced 2 years back. She is expected to please everyone in her next Ishqiya too!

Arundhati Nag was perfect. Paresh Rawal was fine in his miniscule role. Pratik, who plays Auro’s buddy Vishnu, was excellent and provides laughter in some scenes. Taruni Sachdev, the girl who terrified Auro throughout the film was amazing! Also, Kiran Shah, who played the 5 year old Auro did a great job in his one scene. Kudos to Vidya for lifting this 53 kg old on his shoulder in one of the scenes!

Ilaiyaraja’s music was soulful and melodious. Songs are there in the film but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film-the story moves during the film too. Mudi Mudi is the best song of the lot. Mere Paa, sung by Big B deserved to get a better focus in the film. Background score was cute and mischievous, just like Auro!

P C Sreeram’s cinematography was top notch. Christien Tinsley and Domini Till, the makeup artistes, deserve the highest praise for transforming a 66 year old actor into a 12 year old child! Hats off!

Finally, R Balki deserves the highest praise for coming up with such a wonderful film and making complete use of the opportunity provided to him. As a director he was perfect and it was nice to see the quick editing done in certain scenes so that the film doesn’t drag at any moment. But as a writer, he could have done a better job, especially in the flashback portions of Abhishek and Vidya. But he impresses most as the dialogue writer. Dialogues and wittiest one-liners are the best part of the enterprise! Also, the toilet jokes which are a complete put-off at times are hugely funny in the film!

There were reports that Paa is a copy of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and a section of moviegoers even believed this. By now, the truth is out Paa is miles away from the Hollywood flick. But it’s really sad to see our media and some moviegoers are always waiting for an opportunity to thrash Bollywood and its films. Our industry churns pathetic films at times but it also comes up with sweet films like Paa. Let’s not always act and think so negatively about Bollywood. And now there are reports that Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai’s next, Action Replay, is Benjamin Button’s rip off without even knowing a single line of the plot of the film. Alas, some people don’t want to grow up ever!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Amol at the school, looking at the projects and delivering a speech
2. Auro orders pickle from grandmom
3. Amol’s slum redevelopment track
4. Amol and Auro’s video chat
5. Auro all set to go to Delhi (you really feel sad for the poor kid here)
6. The intermission point
7. Vidya’s Hichki-ous justification
8. Amol and Auro’s trip to Delhi
9. The last 30 minutes

On the whole, Paa is a beautiful film, written wonderfully and performed outstandingly! Undoubtedly, it’s a must watch! Go for it, if you haven’t seen it yet!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Paa-181639-1.html

It’s always a pleasure to see a meaningful flick which entertains as well enlightens. Rajkumar Hirani is the master of such flicks (his forthcoming 3 Idiots is also expected to be the same). Rocket Singh also falls in this category. Although it is laden with some glitches, overall it gives you a great time and also teaches you some valuable lessons which we may have forgotten or ignored because of living in this fast-paced urban ‘corporatized’ life!

The story of the movie: Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) has just graduated with low marks but is determined to enter into the world of sales. He justified himself as ‘number kam hai dimaag nahi’! With his confidence and ‘never quit’ attitude, he lands as a trainee in the reputed company, AYS. But he soon realizes that in this professional field, the people worked with the most unprofessional attitude! He always believed in working honestly and caring for the customers. He even attempted to apply his principles which received a sharp reaction from his seniors. Harpreet was then denounced and humiliated. And this is when he realized that instead of merely being an observer, he’ll be the change he wants to see! From here begins the journey of Harpreet aka Rocket Singh!

One won’t take to Rocket Singh instantly, esp in the first hour. This hour focuses more on establishing characters. Also the film hasn’t applied sync sound system well due to which one has difficulty in deciphering some of the dialogues. But after some time in the film, we get ‘accustomed’ to it!

But there are some sequences in the first hour that deserve a mention. The ‘complaint’ scene was great and the boss’ (Manish Choudhari) angry reaction looked quite real. Also watch out when Ranbir is humiliated by the boss with his ‘zero-value’ theory. It was a bit over the top but made an impact.

But the second hour is when the film rocks big time! Ranbir creating a company within a company and popularizing it with his honest ways and making partners was damn interesting. The pre-climax wonderfully built up tension but the climax was dragged a bit. Maybe, the lengthy dialogue should have been a bit crisp. It would have made a better impact.

But nonetheless, the film manages to put its message across in a cool manner. It’s a must for all in the sales field or anyone dealing with customers…maybe it will inspire them to adopt more ‘human’ and honest ways of working!

Without a doubt, it’s Ranbir Kapoor who carried the film fabulously on his shoulders and came up with a great performance. He looked charming even in his sardar look and managed to do a great job-as great as he did in Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. The film may unfortunately not work at the BO but Ranbir will surely be appreciated and Rocket Singh will be remembered as one of his best performances!

Prem Chopra as Ranbir’s paa played his part well. D. Santosh (famous for his Rajguru act in The Legend of Bhagat Singh) was outstanding! In fact, he delivers better performance than Ranbir in many of the scenes involving both of them! Watch out for him!

Besides these, the rest of actors were all newbies but leave a mark. Gauhar Khan as Koyna looks stunning and gives a top-class performance. Her career in Bollywood is on the right track with this film! Shazahn Padamsee gets very little scope but manages to impress. Mukesh Bhatt as Chotelal was just brilliant! And finally, the other two actors who leave a maximum impact as Ranbir and Santosh are Naveen Kaushik (as Nitin) and Manish Choudhari. Both were wonderful and if the film impresses, then they are also to be credited!

Salim-Sulaiman’s music doesn’t make a mark as song-and-dance isn’t part of this film. Pocket Mein Rocket is missing from the film. But their background score like everytime was fabulous.

Vikash Nowlakha’s cinematography was flawless. Manas Choudhury, the sync sound recordist, could have done a better job.

Jaideep Sahni has written the story, screenplay, dialogues and lyrics. His work was exceptional in all four. Only the screenplay could have been a tighter in the climax and easy in the initial portions. But the best part is-his Khosla Ka Ghosla magic is wonderfully seen in some of the scenes which really makes the film impressive.

This is Shimit Amin’s weakest directorial venture, simply because his last two flicks, Ab Tak Chappan and Chak De! India are considered as classics. But still even in his weak performance, he impresses! Watch out for how he has paid attention to little details to make the film look as realistic and closer to real life as possible. Watch out for the beginning portions when the credits appear-observe how the simple articles found in every household are impressively highlighted. Overall, a good job, could have been better and best wishes for the next project!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.     Harpreet’s first interview
2.     Harpreet’s complaint box ‘kaarnama
3.     Boss reacts to Harpreet’s kaarnama!
4.     Colleagues scold Harpreet
5.     The intermission point
6.     Koyna joins Harpreet
7.     Harpreet and his boss’ telephonic conversation (best scene of the film!)
8.     Boss finds out the truth (amazing!)
9.     The final scene

On the whole, Rocket Singh is a feel-good film and should be seen by all sales professionals and corporates. A must watch for Ranbir too. Go for it to have a different kinda experience!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Rocket_Singh-181580-1.html

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html


TM

Any kind of calamity, whether natural or man-made, is immediately picked up by the film fraternity to capture the event in celluloid. The 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge was one of the biggest natural disasters in India in this decade and surprisingly, no film, comprising A-listers was based on it yet. Finally, Tum Mile takes the initiative. It’s a love story and the floods serve as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the ‘flood’ connection wasn’t utilized well and hence, the film fails to impress fully.

The story of the movie: Akshay (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) become friends when they both were based in Cape Town. Although Akshay was struggling painter and Sanjana was a creative writer cum environmentalist and a daughter of a rich billionaire (Sachin Khedekar), they both hit off well and fall in love. They decide to move in. Unfortunately, both face problems, more so because of Akshay’s financial insecurity. Finally, both have to break up. Six years later, they meet each other once again in a London-Mumbai flight. Things have drastically changed for both Akshay and Sanjana now. However, once they land in Mumbai, they have to go through a roller coaster ride as heavy rains have crippled the entire city. The date was July 26, 2005. They have no choice but to be together in this dark time.

Let’s get one thing straight-although Tum Mile was promoted as a film based on floods, it is actually not. 70% of the film is Emraan-Soha’s flashback in Cape Town. The remaining 30% focuses on the deluge. However, the story wonderfully moves from the present to flashback and back and that’s why the film works a bit.

The first scene of the film is in fact the best one! Weather dept officials who were more interested in playing cards than looking at the warning they received about a downpour just a day before July 26 is a rocking scene! It gives an indication that how the careless attitude of these officials led to a disaster.

The first half of the film has no glitches. The flashback portion begins wonderfully and goes ahead nicely too. Also the scene inside the flight were well executed. The intermission point was scary. However, problems start in the second hour. The flashback scenes quite dragged. Director Kunal Deshmukh could and should have had a crisp narrative. The problems faced by the couple in the floods were engrossing but the climax disappointed. The way both Emraan and Soha accept each other in the climax (after the rains stopped) seemed little indigestible, because their interactions with each other was very limited during the time of crisis. But then it is said, “When you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep”. So maybe only the very limited bonding was more than enough for the characters!

The visual effects in the film at some places were tacky and could have been better. The film also exhibits some of the actual footage depicting the horrors of 26/7. But that doesn’t work. Also, factual errors can be noticed-the lead actors are shown wading through chest-deep water in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. However, nothing of that sort had happened there on that day.. In fact, it was in the suburban areas like Juhu, Kalina etc where water had arisen till the first floors. However, some of the horrors of that day were wonderfully captured. Most notable is how the central locking system caused the death of many inside the car after their car’s doors and windows failed to open.

TM2

Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan carry the film on their shoulders wonderfully. Emraan delivers a sparkling performance and proves that he’s one of the best performers around. He looked charming, esp in the flashback portions. However, his bespectacled look in the present track is not as great as the similar one he had in Gangster. But still, he manages to do a great job. Watch out for him when he’s high-tempered and in the scene where he enthusiastically paints Soha. A fine actor indeed!

Soha Ali Khan too comes up with a brilliant performance-one of the best of her careers after RDB and Khoya Khoya Chand. She appears confident and it’s great to see that she slipped into her role so easily. Actually, she wasn’t the original choice-Esha Deol was offered the role initially. After she refused due to some reason, Soha was approached!

Mantra, who plays Emraan’s pal, also gives a confident performance. Sachin Khedekar was impressive. Others were good.

Pritam’s music was one of the USPs of the film. The 3 songs which completely rock are the title song, Tu Hi Haqeeqat and Dil Ibaadat. Watch out for Dil Ibaadat-it was just brilliantly executed!

Prakash Kutty’s cinematography was flawless. So was the design.

There was nothing wrong in the story; it was the screenplay that failed at places. Ideally, equal emphasis should have been there for both the tracks. The flood portions were underutilized. Although Kunal Deshmukh’s first venture Jannat was fantastic, Tum Mile isn’t, unfortunately.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The first scene
2.       Akshay restructures Sanjana’s cake
3.       The title song and Dil Ibaadat
4.       Akshay’s confrontation with the curator
5.       Sachin Khedekar’s only scene
6.       Akshay and Sanjana’s argument the next day
7.       The intermission point
8.       Akshay and Sanjana in the bus and in cracked building

On the whole, Tum Mile unfortunately doesn’t work in totality. Performances and music were brilliant but the film was too dragged for no reason. But the film doesn’t bore even for a moment and the first half was great. Watch it if you are an Emraan/Bhatt fan!

My rating-** ½ out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tum_Mile-179553-1.html

TM4

ajab

I am out of the theatre and still thinking, “Is this the same Rajkumar Santoshi who gave some hard-hitting and intense films for a long time?”. Yup, he directed Andaz Apna Apna but that was like some 15-16 years ago. Post-AAA, he came up with close to dozen intense and almost realistic films. A certain image of Santoshi was carved out thanks to his kind of films. But with Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, he breaks that image and proves that he STILL can come up with solid youthful entertainers! Sweet, witty, little absurd… Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani succeeds completely in making you laugh!

The story of the movie: Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) lives in a town called Mount Valley and runs ‘Happy Club’ in the coffin shop of one of his friends’ father! He is carefree, happy and wants to make others happy. A case of mistaken identity leads him to meeting Jenny (Katrina Kaif). He soon falls in love with her but doesn’t profess even though both he and Jenny become thick pals. The reason-both are as different as chalk and cheese. To begin with, Prem is the son of a staunch Hindu while Jenny is Catholic. Jenny wants her dream man to be literate and who works hard for his family. But Prem is 9th standard pass and doesn’t work at all. And lastly, Prem is a vegetarian and Jenny is not (or is she?)! And does Jenny feel the same for Prem? Or does she love someone else?

ajab2

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is a different entertainer, esp in terms of storytelling and execution. Every director in Bollywood attempting a comic film takes a usual stereotypical route. But RS doesn’t show any such signs. He treats the plot in his own way. Either he knew it would work or maybe, he himself was little confused and misfit for the film! But whatever maybe the reason, the end product rocks!

If one is looking forward to some sense, logic and intelligent comedy, then Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is not for them! The film abounds in complete loud entertainment and also in absurdity at times. However, it gives equal importance to romance and scores here too. In fact, it maintains a fine balance between romance and comedy and delivers a fab rom-com to the viewers!

Some scenes rock in the film and make you laugh loudly! Ranbir’s entry in the beginning itself is hilarious! The following kidnapping sequence and the weird misunderstanding that crops up in Katrina’s mind was damn funny! Note how a sad song is incorporated in the beginning itself when the prem kahani has just begun, unlike in other films where tragic kind of tracks are mostly towards the end. It’s a novel film as I said!

The film gets a bit slow in the 2nd half and the song ‘Tu Jaane Na’ in this hour stops the flow of narrative. That’s one glitch in the film besides the title of the film. It sounds cool but doesn’t suit the film completely. The explanation for the title was done towards but still it didn’t justify. But fortunately, no one’s complaining nowadays about incorrect titles. Films like All The Best and Wanted were also so named although there was no connection between the title and the content!

The film belongs to Ranbir Kapoor, without a shred of doubt! He was extremely lovable and does an extraordinary job. He was funny during comic scenes without going overboard even in a single place. At the same time, he scores in emotional scenes as well. Watch out for him when he keeps on regretting about Jenny but at the same time, tells his pals to change the topic. And how can I forget-the club scene where he dances flawlessly and comically a la Shammi Kapoor! That sequence would have been just another funny scene if it was not for Ranbir. With such great job in all his 4 films that has released till now, Ranbir proves that he’s soon gonna be the next superstar! Fortunately, we’ll get to see him soon in Rocket Singh and Rajneeti. Ranbir is supposed to have strong roles in both the films. This Kapoor boy is definitely on a roll!

ajab4

Katrina Kaif was equally good as Ranbir and surprises one and all with such a fab performance. Earlier, she used to face the criticism that she is famous only because of her looks. But all this will stop now for sure. With Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, she has proved that she can act well and can maintain an important position in the film even in front of a powerhouse performer like Ranbir Kapoor! Way to go, Katz!

If you hated Darshan Jariwala in Life Partner, you’ll love him in this film as Ranbir’s dad. His scenes with Ranbir were excellent! Even Smita Jaykar, who played Ranbir’s mom was great and is a perfect actor for the role of actor’s moms! Upen Patel disappointed. He was a miscast-with his Western accent, he didn’t suit at all as the son of a politican (Govind Namdeo) seeking Hindu votes. Also look out for the scene where he laughs in a stupid manner! I liked Upen in 36 China Town and Shakalaka Boom Boom but here, he was simply not impressive at all!

Govind Namdeo’s performance was nothing special. Zakir Hussain convincingly played the over the top villain. The actor who played Tony did a great job. All actors playing Ranbir’s pals were good. Salman Khan rocked in a special appearance and the person who played Jesus delivered a ‘divine’ performance!

Pritam’s music is rocking. So were the songs. ‘Tera Hone Laga’ and ‘Main Tera Dhadkan Teri’ has already topped the chartbusters. ‘Prem Ki Naiyaa’ is a cool number too. S. Thiru’s cinematography was flawless. Nitesh Roy’s art direction was impressive, as it reminded of the sets used in the comedies of 90s.

There’s nothing much to speak about the story as it was plain ordinary. However, the screenplay by R D Tailang and Rajkumar Santoshi was fantastic. The one-liners, the gags and the funny hilarious situations that arise in the film are praiseworthy. So kudos to the duo!

And finally, hats off to Rajkumar Santoshi for coming up with such a wonderful entertaining film even though he has been making some serious intense films since 15 years. Many directors have failed in the past after attempting a genre which isn’t their cup of tea. But Rajkumar Santoshi survives, all thanks to his great execution. He’s also there in one of the scenes (did anyone notice?). Note how scenes unintentionally remind of Andaz Apna Apna. The humour in some scenes and also the kind of misunderstandings faced by some characters as also the climax fight-all give a sense of déjà vu!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

1.       The first scene

2.       The ‘yellow outfit’ sequence

3.       Jenny slaps Prem

4.       The scene involving Salman Khan

5.       Prem turning into non veg

6.       Dancing Prem at the club

7.       The intermission point

8.       The chase

9.       Prem regretting that he didn’t profess to Jenny

10. Prem meeting Rahul for the first time

11. Jenny hiding in Prem’s house

12. The scene at the police station

13. Prem at the Church

14. The songs ‘Tera Hone Laga’, ‘Mein Tera Dhadkan’

15. The last 25 minutes

On the whole, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is an out and out entertainer. It has some really wonderful comic moments that are novel and will make you laugh for sure. At the same time, the romantic moments are well handled. Ranbir rocks and his chemistry with Katrina is electrifying! A must watch for people of all ages!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Ajab_Prem_Ki_Ghajab_Kahani-179060-1.html

ajab3

bab3

Parinda, Satya, Vaastav, Company and Gangster-these are handful of Hindi films which were based on the mafia/gangster menace and also very well executed. Now Baabarr should be added to this list of ‘finest gangster films of Bollywood’! The film is violent, gory and raw but at the same time, it’s thoroughly engrossing packed with award-winning performances and amazing execution! It was a must-watch but unfortunately, was missed by many!

The story of the movie: The film is based in Amarganj, the Uttar Pradesh town where criminal incidents occur daily and has become a part and parcel of the residents. In one of its dingy lanes, Baabarr (Sohum Shah) emerges as a ruthless gangster. Working with his 5 brothers, Baabarr runs an extortion racket and doesn’t think twice before killing. The govt entrusts the task of eliminating Baabarr and his gang and all their activities to S P Dwivedi (Mithun Chakraborthy). How Dwivedi, along with corrupted Daroga (Om Puri) go about doing their duty is what follows next in the film.

Director Ashuu Trikha may not accept, but the truth is that Baabaar, undoubtedly, is based on dreaded UP gangster, Rafiq Qureshi’s life. The director and the screenwriter (Ikram Akhtar) wonderfully trace Baabarr’s journey from his first murder at 12 years to his death at just 22 or 23 years. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat right from the beginning and has several high-voltage shocking scenes which give goosebumps.

One of the four factors that make Baabaarr stand out is that it takes us to a world which we are ignorant about. The film throws light on Amarganj where murders take place casually, where people have more guns in their houses than chairs, where people are never ever given lessons on good manners and where people are addressed as ‘Oye Pehelwan’ instead of ‘Hey Dude’! However, the setting doesn’t look unrealistic at all (it isn’t actually) and the viewer absorbs everything that is projected in the film. Secondly, every character in the film is added with a purpose and each of them is damn interesting. My 5 favourites were Baabarr, Daroga, Maamu (Tinnu Anand), Sarfaraaz (Shakti Kapoor) and the sexiest one in the film, Tabrez (Sushant Singh)!
Thirdly, everything that happens in the film has a purpose. Meaning, none of the scenes were unnecessarily added-it was all connected to the main plot. For instance, one may feel that grown-up Baabarr’s intro scene where he kills a businessman named Jilani was just added to project Baabarr’s ruthless and merciless nature. But the scene is well connected to the next one and also to the storyline. And lastly, the climax of this film is shocking! There is an excellent twist that takes place which catches you unawares! It doesn’t spoil the film at all and also looks justified. In short, a great work by the writer-director duo!

bab2

Some scenes of the film are memorable. Baabarr’s first murder at 12 and Baabarr killing Jilani in his own factory set the mood. Tabrez finishing Akram in a cow slaughter house is gruesome scene but clapworthy. The intermission point was easily the best scene of the film!

The only glitch in the entire film is that it gets a bit slow in the 2nd half.

Every actor in the film has pitched in a fabulous performance-in fact, much much better than their other films in recent times. Newcomer Sohum Shah rocks with his finest performance. Since it his debut, he doesn’t come with the baggage of any past significant performance and thus, one connects to his character instantly. Also, the actor wonderfully exhibits the ruthlessness that his character needed. Even his dialogue delivery rocked. This year, except Raj Singh Chaudhary of Gulaal, none of debutants have managed to impress and hence, Sohum has high chance of bagging the Best Debut award next year!

However, the question arises that based on his appearance and the kind of character he played in Baabarr, will he be offered other types of roles in future? I hope he gets as he’s a truly a gem! Best of luck! (P.S.: Is Sohum Shah Mukesh Shah’s son who is the co-producer of the film?!)

Mithun Chakraborty does his job with élan. His meeting with Sohum is an explosive scene! Om Puri rocks and this was certainly one of the finest performances of his life. The way he changed his mannerisms, walking style and accent for this role and did a great job is definitely praiseworthy. Same goes for Sushant Singh who delivers phaadu performance! I have loved this talented actor since 16 December and am impressed to see him in such an interesting role. Here is an actor who deserves to be a superstar!

Urvashi Sharma was fine but one may argue that her character was unnecessary. Mukesh Tiwari was brilliant, esp in the pre-climax scene inside the prison. Ditto for Tinnu Anand, who shows his extremely talented side in the pre-climax. Shakti Kapoor is surprisingly, extremely likeable! Govind Namdeo was as usual. Kashish Khan as Baabarr’s wife gives a nice ‘Kaminey’s Charlie-type’ performance! Abbas Ali Moghul, the action director of the film, is there for a scene and plays the role of Akram Qasai. He’s a great actor! Pratima Kazmi plays Lilavati, a character based on Mayawati. Shockingly, a beep tone is inserted whenever her name is mentioned in the film! Others also do a great job.

Anand Raj Anand’s music was alright. The title song is impressive. Suhass Gujarathi’s cinematography is brilliant and the dingy by-lanes of Uttar Pradesh towns are well captured. Abbas Ali Moghul charms as the actor and also as the action director! Although some scenes had too much bloodshed, it was needed. Sunil Singh’s background score was in sync with the film’s mood.
Vikram Misra and Ikram Akhtar’s dialogues were one of the best things about the film. The best dialogue of the film (and one of the best in recent times) is: “Gas khatam ho gayi hai…tujhe jalakar chai banayenge tujh pe!” Absolutely rocking!

Ikram Akhtar has also written the story and script of the movie and he excels thoroughly! The film keeps you on the edge of the seat and doesn’t bore even for a moment! Great job by Akhtar, who has scripted some contrastingly light films like Nayee Padosan, Joru Ka Ghulam, Chal Mere Bhai etc!

Finally, Ashuu Trikha is a revelation! The director has always done a fine job in his past films (Deewanapan, Sheesha, Alag) but was let down by faulty scripts. In Baabarr, however, he is armed with a flawless script and he does a brilliant job. He succeeds in exposing the gangster-police-politicians nexus that is rampant in the interiors of the country and where lawlessness prevails. Hats off to Ashuu and hoping to see him with such nice films in future!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Baabarr’s childhood
2.   Baabarr finishing Jilani
3.   Tabrez’s entry
4.   Baabarr and Tabrez’ confrontation during the tender meeting
5.   The intermission point
6.   Baabarr shot
7.   Dwivedi teaches Daroga a lesson
8.   The last 25 minutes

On the whole, Baabarr is surely one of the best gangster films that has come out from Bollywood. Although it has excessive violence, it manages to impress with his intriguing execution and performances. The film wasn’t publicized well when it released in September this year. But now, all movie buffs, do catch it on DVD! Don’t Miss It!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Baabarr-178084-1.html

bab