Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘assassin

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!


My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


Raajneeti

A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites

Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


Raavana

A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.


Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.


Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Houseful

Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.


No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.


Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


Guzaarish

The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.


Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.


Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Aisha

Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.


Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.


Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.


I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


1-800-Love

When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.


Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.


Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.


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By Taran Adarsh, November 27, 2009 – 10:52 IST

Be forewarned. DE DANA DAN is the most bizarre film from the maharaja of laughathons, Priyadarshan. Not even in your wildest dream you’d think that Priyadarshan would place almost an entire film in a hotel and have its entire cast, comprising of 26 [or is it 27?] characters, most of them weirdos, interacting with each other. Brings back memories of BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY? May be!

But Priyadarshan needs to be credited for pulling it off. There are times when you laugh hysterically at the most outlandish jokes and situations. There are times when a raised eyebrow or a wide-open jaw makes you break into a guffaw.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Be cautioned. DE DANA DAN is a loud film, with each and every character screaming on top of his/her voice, with the characters shouting, running, even floating and swimming in the end.

But what do you expect in a Priyadarshan film that has a title like DE DANA DAN? The promos never promised path-breaking or thought-provoking cinema that would give birth to debates and discussions. So why look for logic in this one?

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DE DANA DAN makes no qualms of narrating a story you haven’t heard before. Here, the story is non-existent and it’s left on Priyadarshan to mix-n-match those two dozen characters and keep the momentum alive for the next 2.45 hours.

DE DANA DAN promises laughter and entertainment and sticks to its promise. This one’s not for the hard-nosed types, but for those who worship escapist cinema. Who want to chuckle, giggle and chortle at those mindless jokes. In short, DE DANA DAN is a pure dhamaal entertainer!

Nitin [Akshay Kumar] is a butler, cook, driver, watchman, gardener to a wealthy female industrialist [Archana Puran Singh] in Singapore. Like any young man, Nitin too dreams of a better life. He desperately wants to become rich and marry the love of his life, Anjali [Katrina Kaif], who supports him financially.

Ram [Suniel Shetty], Nitin’s best friend, also came to Singapore with the dream of striking it rich, but ended up a courier delivery man. He falls for Manpreet [Sameera Reddy], but her high society parents will never approve of marriage, not unless Ram has lots and lots of money.

In the midst of all this is Harbans [Paresh Rawal], a shrewd businessman, who’s looking for ways to multiply his income and avoid his debtors. He decides the best way would be to marry his son [Chunky Pandey] off to a girl whose parents can give him a large dowry. He is introduced to Manpreet’s parents at a function and is impressed by their social status. He introduces himself as a well-established businessman, impresses them and they decide to get Manpreet and Harbans’ son married.

With several factors working against them, Nitin and Ram soon reach a dead end in their relationships. When both receive ultimatums from their girlfriends, they realize that only a life of vice can help them out of their misery. They come up with an audacious plan to kidnap someone important and demand a ransom.

The kidnapping goes awry and both hide at a local hotel while waiting for the ransom money. But misfortune is never far and the kidnapping spirals out of control.

Meanwhile, Manpreet’s wedding reception is being held at the same hotel that Nitin and Ram are hiding in. Soon, they are joined by a motley set of characters including a Chinese Don [Asrani], a hired assassin [Johny Lever], a ACB police inspector [Sharat Saxena], a club dancer [Neha Dhupia], an ambassador [Vikram Gokhale], a young frustrated double crossing wife [Aditi Govitrikar], a letch [Shakti Kapoor], a drunken waiter [Rajpal Yadav] and a dead body nobody wants to check into the hotel.

DE DANA DAN is atypical Priyadarshan film that has the unmistakable stamp all over it. But, at the same time, DE DANA DAN is erratic and uneven – energetic at times, lethargic at places. Also, the culmination to the film is very similar to the director’s earlier works, with the entire cast running helter-skelter.

On the flip side, you miss Akshay’s presence in the second hour. He disappears [gets locked in a cupboard] for at least 20 minutes and the focus, hence, shifts to the other characters. His fans will miss his presence, for sure. Besides, the film tends to get very lengthy towards the second half and overtly verbose too.

Director Priyadarshan is synonymous with comedies and the ace storyteller promises laughter in abundance. Handling so many characters, plus making a film on mistaken identities could be very tough, but the director gets it right. Pritam’s music is alright, while the RDB track, ‘Paisa’, is the pick of the lot. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is energetic. K. Ahambaram’s cinematography is alright.

The review would be incomplete if one ignored the dialogue writer’s [Jay Master] contribution to the film. The lines are laced with wit and soaked in humour and bring the house down on several occasions.

DE DANA DAN has so many characters that it gets difficult to pinpoint or single out any one actor. Akshay is at his best in a Priyadarshan film and DE DANA DAN proves it. Suniel is natural to the core. Paresh is incredible; he pitches in a superb act. Katrina and Sameera don’t have much to do. Amongst the plethora of actors, Johny Lever, Neha Dhupia, Manoj Joshi, Asrani, Vikram Gokhale and Archana Puransingh deserve special mention.

On the whole, DE DANA DAN is targeted at the masses and it delivers laughter in abundance. Leave your brains behind to enjoy this madcap entertainer!

Shiney Ahuja’s character in Sudhir Mishra’s Hitman has been changed from an assassin to a repentant assassin, lest the role hampers his case

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 06, 2009)

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who has been a mentor and friend to Shiney Ahuja, has once again proved his affection for the actor. Sudhir, who is doing Hitman with the actor, is shaping Shiney’s lead role in the film in such a way that it doesn’t harm his precarious position vis-à-vis the judiciary.

 

Sudhir Mishra Shiney Ahuja

The actor is out on bail after being imprisoned for alleged charges of raping his domestic help.

Confirming the news, Sudhir says, “Hitman is the story of an assassin who looks back on his violent life the day that he thinks he will die. We will certainly not show him in a light that will hamper his case or image. My writer, Vinitesh is putting together the character in a way that it doesn’t clash with Shiney’s interests. In my film, he is a repentant hitman. We want the law to take its course, but at the same time, we want Shiney to feel he is part of the mainstream.”

Sudhir, who speaks regularly with Shiney, who’s now in Delhi, says the actor had not quite recovered from his 100-day trauma. “He probably never will. No one can fully recover from such an ordeal. But at least friends should make him feel welcome and comfortable. If, as you say, he is being ostracised, then it’s really sad. Now that he is out, Shiney needs to lead a normal life, which he is struggling with currently. At the moment, he’s struggling hard to get back to being the way he was. I introduced Shiney because I had full faith in him as an actor and a human being. The only reason Shiney is not in my recent films is because he didn’t suit the roles.”

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Dan Brown-the name is enough to arouse curiosity! While the film adaptation of Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (TDVC) was above average, Angels And Demons succeeds in being better than the former. More about it later!

The story of the movie: Under the leadership of Father Silvano (Carmen Argenziano), scientists at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva succeed in getting hold of three vials of antimatter. But soon, someone breaks into Silvano’s lab, kills him and runs away with one vial of antimatter. Dr Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer) is the first one to find Silvano’s dead body. On the other hand, the Vatican is mourning the death of the Pope. It starts preparing for the Conclave of the Cardinals, which will decide who the next Pope will be. Until then, the Carmerlengo Patrick (Ewan McGregor) assumes the day-to-day control of the Vatican. But all hell breaks loose when the Illuminati, a 400-year-old underground rival society, becomes active and kidnaps the preferratti (i.e. the four most likely candidates to become the next Pope). The Illuminati even threatens to kill the candidates every hour starting at 8pm and then destroy the Vatican at midnight. It soon becomes clear that it was this kidnapper who stole the antimatter and he’s all set to explode the Vatican at 12 using it. The Vatican summons Dr Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Dr Vittoria to help them find and rescue the preferratti, and search for the antimatter before midnight. An expert that Dr Langdon is, he soon finds a clue that should lead him to his goal. Will he be able to race against time and save the Vatican’s glory?

I had not read the book so I had no clue what would happen the next moment. And thankfully, the film will not confuse those who haven’t read the book before and that is surely one of its big plus point. There is enough happening in the film to keep the viewers engrossed. Robert Langdon giving lessons on history to explain the situation better was a treat to watch.

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Undoubtedly, the best scene was when Langdon rescues the fourth candidate. The climax was well-shot. However, just when you feel everything is over, the film still goes on and on. It was at this point that the film turns a little dull. But then comes a big jatkedaar moment which was very impressive!

However, there are some glaring flaws in the film. Knowing that there is just an hour to save the 2nd candidate, still Dr Langdon, the Swiss Guards and the Vatican police are doing their job at a snail’s pace. They would pace up only when 10 minutes are remaining. Same happened when they were searching for 3rd candidate. It instantly reminded of the Mumbai police reaction of 26/11!

Performance wise, each actor was perfect. Tom Hanks was brilliant and much better than in TDVC. Of course, it was his wonderful dialogue delivery that impresses maximum. And watch out for his entry scene. Ayelet Zurer was wonderful and makes an impact from the first scene itself. Ewan McGregor’s performance was at par with Tom Hank’s. He was at its best in the second half wherein he gets more screen time. Nikolaj Lie Kaas as the assassin/kidnapper was marvelous. Watch out for his cold-blooded looks! From the supporting cast, Pierfrancesco Favino, Victor Alferi and Armin Mueller-Stahl leave a mark.

Salvatore Tontino’s cinematography was superb, instantly reminding of TDVC. The lensman was its best esp in those scenes which were shot in the interiors of the Vatican buildings (Sistine Chapel particularly).

Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman (who also wrote TDVC) and David Koepp (who has written some of my fav films-Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, War of the Worlds, Spider-Man, Jurassic Park and Mission Impossible) was near perfect. Of course, adapting a book into a film is no easy work and both these talented guys deserve the appreciation for their nice work.

Finally, Ron Howard shines as the director this time. I haven’t seen any of his films, except TDVC. In case of TDVC, the film fell in several places and emerged as an okay product. Angels and Demons, however, keeps one on the edge of the seat right from the beginning and with all its flaws notwithstanding, it still emerges as an entertaining product.

Before the release of the film in India, the Catholic Bishop Conference of India called for its ban saying that it would hurt the religious sentiments of the people. But after a private screening for Catholic groups, the ban was lifted. However, they requested to add a disclaimer in the film stating it is completely a work of fiction. However, they were so cautious of this that the disclaimer is flashed twice in the movie-one in the beginning and the other as soon as the film ends and before the titles roll!

Some of the best scenes:
1.   Antimatter captured at the CERN
2.   Langdon at the Swiss Guards headquarters
3.   Langdon and Vittoria at the Vatican archives (funny scene!)
4.   The scene at the Raphael’s chapel
5.   The intermission point
6.   Langdon being confronted by the assassin at the 3rd alter
7.   Langdon at the 4th alter
8.   The final 20 minutes

On the whole, Angels And Demons is a nice entertaining product that will appeal to the audiences. It has some goofs but still succeeds in impressing. With no other interesting film releasing, watching this film during the weekend will be a nice option!

Note: The film has released in India in single screens only!

My rating-**** out of 5!

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