Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘abhimaan

By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:26 IST

In real life, if you feel your colleague is far more superior to you in intelligence, talent, charisma, efficiency, chances are you might feel the heat. Jealousy, generally, stems from there. In the process, the best of relations get strained. LONDON DREAMS, directed by Vipul Shah, talks of two musicians, thick pals actually, and how jealousy drives a wedge in their friendship.

Let’s clear a few myths before discussing the positive and negative factors of this film. LONDON DREAMS is not BAIJU BAWRA. LONDON DREAMS is not ROCK ON!!, ABHIMAAN, YAARANA or SAAJAN either [a section of the industry wants us to believe that]. The truth is, LONDON DREAMS borrows from Milos Forman’s brilliant film AMADEUS [1984], which was based on Salieri and Mozart’s life. In fact, Suneel Darshan too had made a film based on AMADEUS called SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM [2007; Bobby Deol, Upen Patel].

BY BOLLYWWOD HUNGAMA.COM

LONDON DREAMS is a complete departure from Vipul Shah’s earlier outings, AANKHEN, WAQT, NAMASTEY LONDON and SINGH IS KINNG [produced by Vipul, directed by Anees Bazmee]. This film is about relationships and tends to get very real and intense, in the post-interval portions specifically. The scale of LONDON DREAMS is gigantic and the execution of concerts [it’s about a band] sweeps you off your feet.

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In terms of execution, it wouldn’t be erroneous to state that LONDON DREAMS is amongst Vipul Shah’s most accomplished works to date. Also, it boasts of incredible performances by Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. But there are hiccups too and it’s these deficiencies that bog the film down!

They were childhood friends. But they had little in common except their family’s connection with music. While Arjun’s [Ajay Devgn] life was consumed by a passionate drive to get on stage and realize his grandfather’s unfulfilled dream, Mannu [Salman Khan] was content with remaining a child at heart with no higher ambition than enjoying the good things in life.

As Arjun forges a band with Zoheb [Rannvijay Singh], Wasim [Aditya Roy Kapur] and Priya [Asin], a music enthusiast from a conservative South Indian family, far away in Punjab, music becomes a survival tool for Mannu, who takes to playing in wedding bands in his village.

Arjun gets Mannu to London and makes him a part of the band, but soon realizes he’s created the biggest threat and obstacle to his own ambitions.

Mannu, with his inherent musical gift, becomes an instant darling of the crowds. Arjun’s unbearable pangs of jealousy and insecurity only worsen when Mannu also unwittingly woos and wins his secret love, Priya. As he battles his inner demons, Arjun slowly devises a sinister plan to destroy his best friend.

It takes time to get into Ajay’s world [its Ajay who’s narrating the story here]. The film moves back and forth and it’s only when the two buddies, now adults, meet that you realize where the story is headed. The first hour depicts the two extreme characters – Ajay, who’s an introvert and who cannot think of anything but his goal and Salman, a happy-go-lucky guy, laidback and fun-loving, least focused.

The narrative has some interesting moments in the first hour, but the actual story unravels only towards the second half. The first half, frankly, only sets things up for the explosive drama that is to follow. The wheels start moving when Ajay plays a vicious game and hatches a conspiracy to ruin his buddy’s career.

It’s the second hour that does the trick. You can’t help but carry several sequences in your heart, even after you’ve made an exit from the auditorium…

  • Note the scene when Salman makes four different tunes from the original tune created by Ajay.
  • Note the scene when Ajay meets an inebriated Salman and professes revenge, while Salman is completely clueless about Ajay’s sinister plans.
  • Note the scene when the band arrives in London after a 3-city concert and they’re received by aggressive mediapersons.

But there’re roadblocks too. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is a downer. LONDON DREAMS is about a rock band, about music, about concerts and the music had to be the soul of the film. Unfortunately, it’s not! The songs have been filmed in the most energetic fashion, but how one wishes the music was one of the strengths of the film.

Also, the film could’ve concluded when the two friends re-unite at the station. Adding one more song thereafter only dilutes the impact of the emotionally correct sequence that has just been witnessed. Besides, the song in question hasn’t been promoted either, so it only comes across as an aberration.

Prior to that, Ajay’s outburst at the end of the concert is far from convincing. The film has a real feel, real characters and real situations, but the outburst looks unreal and is one of the drawbacks, from the writing point of view. It’s just not convincing!

Besides, Ajay’s childhood character is shown fleeing from the airport and making it big in a foreign land [London], without any support whatsoever. It’s unpalatable!

Vipul Shah has handled this intricate subject well, but the writing could’ve been tighter. Sejal Shah’s cinematography is super. Brownie points for capturing the concerts brilliantly. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score matches international standards.

Both Salman and Ajay vie for top honours. Salman has a role that the junta would take to instantly and the actor too endears himself to the viewers. He’s stupendous. When it comes to displaying intensity on screen, very few can live up to the standards set by Ajay. To state that he packs in a power-packed performance would be an understatement. They, in fact, compliment each other wonderfully well.

Asin is admirable and pairs off very well with Salman. She is sure to have a new name after this film – Chennai Express [that’s how Salman addresses her affectionately, all through the film]. Om Puri has a brief role. Aditya Roy Kapur is very good and registers an impact. Rannvijay Singh doesn’t get much to do, except throw nasty looks at Salman. Manoj Pahwa provides some funny moments. Brinda Parekh is okay.

On the whole, LONDON DREAMS has superb performances from its principal cast and several emotionally-charged sequences as its two trump cards. But its biggest drawback is its climax and also the music, which is the weakest link of the movie. At the box-office, the film should appeal more to the multiplex audience than the masses. Business at big centres, especially at metros, should be better, but mini-metros and towns will be a contrast.

By Taran Adarsh, July 10, 2009 – 10:52 IST

Till quite some time back, remaking a successful film was considered a safe bet. In fact, the most reliable, foolproof way at hitting paydirt. But let’s not forget, not all stories have the potential to strike gold.

SHORT KUT, a remake of the Malayalam film UDAYANANU THANAM, written by Anees Bazmee and directed by Neeraj Vora, arrives a bit too late. Actually, it should’ve hit the screens a couple of years ago. That’s because it abounds and relies completely on clichés and which, in turn, makes you break into a big yawn.

By BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Sad, since the basic story of SHORT KUT had the potential to keep your attention arrested. It even starts off well, but runs out of breath soon after. In fact, the graph of the film only goes down as reel after reel unfolds.

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Seriously, you want to ask something vital to Anees Bazmee and Neeraj Vora, who have penned, even directed laughathons successfully: What kind of cinema is this? Did Bazmee and Vora lose interest while writing this one? Or did they decide to take the viewer for granted?

In short, SHORT KUT is meant to be a comedy, but is actually a tragedy for the viewers.

Set in Bollywood, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON tells the story of two strugglers, one who makes it big as a superstar [Raju – Arshad Warsi] after stealing a script and the other whose struggle as a director [Shekhar – Akshaye Khanna] continues after his script gets stolen.

There’s a twist in the tale when reigning actress Mansi’s [Amrita Rao] romantic involvement with Shekhar gets culminated into marriage. To add to the chaos, destiny again brings Raju and Shekhar face to face, when Shekhar is set to direct his first film with Raju. What follows now is a clash of egos.

As mentioned at the very outset, SHORT KUT could’ve turned out to be an insider’s view on the film industry. The two aspirants, their struggles, the hardships that they face to get their first break… SHORT KUT could’ve explored all that and more beautifully. In fact, a few moments do try to capture that at the very start.

But the moment the romantic track sets in, things go for a toss. The plot, suddenly, makes you feel you’re watching a diluted version of ABHIMAAN [Amitabh, Jaya]. Then, suddenly, another unexciting track surfaces — of the superstar throwing his weight on the sets. The film starts losing grip.

The post-interval portions are simply unbearable. You expect things to brighten up, but the writing is so pathetic and the climax so childish and absurd that you’re shocked. Looks like the writers must’ve gone on a vacation and entrusted the responsibility of writing the climax to some amateur types who has zilch knowledge of screen writing. It’s the worst climax undoubtedly!

Director Neeraj Vora gets its wrong completely. The writing as also the execution are archaic and outdated. Mr. Vora, which era do you belong to? As for cinematography, the DoP tries hard to make the bad product look enticing. Musically, nothing to hum about.

Akshaye Khanna puts up a sincere act, but what can the best of actors do when saddled with shoddy scripts? Arshad gets better lines, also gets a role that the masses would take to instantaneously, but he’s getting typecast. Amrita Rao exposes her anatomy freely. Chunky Pandey manages to make you smile at places. Ali Asgar looks fake. Haider Ali is alright. Siddharth Randeria is theatrical.

On the whole, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON is a poor show all the way. A major disappointment.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM