Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘content

By Taran Adarsh, January 1, 2010 – 12:31 IST

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Sometimes, the expectations from a movie are zilch, but what unfolds on screen is beyond expectations. It surprises you, to put it simply.

On face-value, BOLO RAAM looks like it’s straight out of 1970s cinema. A movie with predictability written all over it. A movie that carries zero hype and matches it with zero content. But BOLO RAAM isn’t archaic, isn’t the usual masala, isn’t zero content.

A remake of the Tamil film RAAM [2005; starring Jeeva, Saranya, Rehman, Murali], BOLO RAAM has an interesting plot with an engaging screenplay that compels you to look at the screen for most parts of the movie. But, of course, there’re hiccups. A few non-actors and a done to death climax could’ve been avoided.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Raam [Rishi Bhutani] is charged with the murder of his mother Archana [Padmini Kolhapure]. Raam falls into a state of shock, brief psychotic disorder, after his mother’s death and becomes silent, refusing to talk or react in any manner.

The investigating officer, Indrajeet Singh Rathi [Om Puri] is puzzled and unable to make Raam speak. He consults a psychiatrist, Dr. Negi [Naseeruddin Shah], to determine the cause of Raam’s state of mind and the reason for his silence.

Rathi interrogates various personalities for the case, questioning Raam. Every possible motive that Raam might have for murdering his mother is explored. Furthermore, Raam’s neighbours, Sub-Inspector Sajid Khan’s [Govind Namdev] daughter Juhi [Disha Pandey] and son Sameer [Krishan Khatra], are summoned by Rathi for interrogation. Will his silence solve the puzzle?

Without wasting any time, BOLO RAAM takes off from its opening titles itself. The story goes back and forth, several new characters are introduced, but the narrative stays faithful to the main plot. The best is reserved for the second half. Layer after layer is peeled with expertise. The viewer is keen to know the identity of the killer and that’s when the film fumbles and tumbles.

The culprit’s track is sloppy and a major put off. In fact, the circumstances that lead to the murder are quite amateurish and look far from convincing. Surely, the writer could’ve thought of a better culmination. Also, the one-sided love affair is functional.

Debutante director Rakesh Chaturvedi ‘Om’ makes a confident debut, although he should’ve cast some better actors for key roles. There’s not much scope for music [Sachin Gupta] in the film and hence, just one song merits mention – ‘Maa Tere Jaisa’. The background score [Sanjay Chowdhury] deserves special mention.

Newcomer Rishi Bhutani does a commendable job. He oozes confidence, despite sharing the same frame with accomplished actors. Om Puri gets into the skin of his character and is impressive, while Padmini Kolhapure is a pleasure to watch after a long gap. She is beautifully restrained. Naseeruddin Shah has a brief role and the veteran does it well. Govind Namdev is very good.

Rajpal Yadav is wasted. Both Disha Pandey and Krishan Khatra are non-actors. Manoj Pahwa does his usual act.

On the whole, BOLO RAAM has decent merits [hence those 2 stars], but the problem is its wrong release timing. It won’t stand a chance in front of a hurricane called 3 IDIOTS.

Idiot Box will show how the Indian male suffers on account of the saas-bahu soaps

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 15, 2009)


S B Singh heard the alarm bells ringing when he noticed that his wife preferred television soaps over him. Ekta Kapoor’s string of K-serials and their clones had the women in Singh’s family glued to the television.

This is when Singh, owner of a sweetmeat chain, decided to make a film to show how his personal life was affected by the saas-bahu sagas. He said, “My friends have also gone through a similar ordeal. My film will speak for them.” The film has been appropriately titled Idiot Box.

SB Singh Jyoti Gauba

Talking about his experience, Singh said, “I usually get home by 8.30 pm after work. But my wife remains glued to the TV till 10.30 pm. I told her to watch the reruns in the afternoon. But she uses the afternoons to take a nap.” Singh, who lives in a joint family, faced this problem with all the women in his household. “But nobody seemed to listen,” he added.  To add to his woes, they kept talking about the storylines and the characters in those shows.

Singh decided to retaliate. “I started returning late,” he said. “I went out with my friends. My wife questioned me and I clearly told her about my problem. Agar woh 11 tak TV dekhegi, toh main ghar pe aake kya karoon?”

Singh and his wife discussed the issue. He said, “She accepted that she was wrong. But there are many such couples, who haven’t resolved their differences. I don’t have anything against television producers or their content. I simply don’t want anybody to see television at the cost of their personal life.”

Idiot Box has a character that has been inspired by Ekta Kapoor, who is called Anekta. Newcomer Jyoti Gauba will play that role. Singh added, “The film’s director, Sunando Mitra, used to work with Balaji Telefilms earlier. He gave me a lot of insight into Balaji. It became easy for Jyoti to adopt Ekta’s looks, style and mannerisms.”

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BLUE WILL GIVES YOU BLUES!!

No matter how grand a film is, how wonderfully it has been promoted or which big names associated are with it, if its content is bad, then nothing can save the film. Blue comes in this category. The film was so nicely publicized, the promos looked rocking, Akki-Sanju pairing seemed electrifying and Lara Dutta’s bikini scenes had sent the youth in frenzy. Unfortunately, the film’s story is pathetic and thus, the film disappoints…big time!

The story of the movie: Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) is an honest guy staying in Bahamas and has a girlfriend, Mona (Lara Dutta). His best friend is Aarav (Akshay Kumar), a rich and over ambitious businessman. One fine morning, Sagar’s younger brother, Sameer aka Sam (Zayed Khan) arrives at Sagar’s place after staying in Bangkok for 5 years. Sam hasn’t come there just to meet his folks for a few days-he had ran away from Bangkok after taking panga with a gangster Gulshan (Rahul Dev) there. On the other hand, there is a treasure lying deep under the sea, somewhere near Bahamas, and Aarav persuades Sagar to join him in finding the treasure. But Sagar has reservations about it which is connected to his past.

In just 15 minutes, you get a hint that the director is unfit and doesn’t know his job well. The opening credits scene was brilliant. But the following scenes and also the boxing sequence hold attention initially but the interest soon wears off. The movie then focuses on Zayed Khan which was the best part of the first hour. But the story hardly moves once Zayed comes to Bahamas and joins Sanju and his team and this happens till the intermission point. In between, there two songs are thrown in, ‘Chiggy Wiggy’ and Blue Theme, which serve no purpose to the main storyline.

The actual treasure hunting begins in the last 30 minutes and you expect fireworks right till the climax. But alas…it was plain lackluster. The director could have included added more thrills or at least some twists and surprises. Sure, there is a twist in the end but that doesn’t work big time. Also the climax was so lame!

Talking about flaws, there are plenty. What is striking is-the treasure is part of India’s wealth and was coming to India in a ship in 1949. But when the ship sank, no effort was made by the Indian Govt or for that matter, any adventurer to get hold of it. Although there were stories that the captain of the ship took away the treasure, still no one tried even investigating this case and that too for 5 decades! Very hard to digest!

However, the film scores at a few places. The bike race and the following chase scene involving Zayed Khan rocks! Another bike scene post-interval, which also involved a train, was also well-shot. And the best scene of the film was when the goons attack Sanjay’s place. Simply outstanding! So you can see, only the action sequences hold attention. And the film, overall, is a damp squib!

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It’s a treat to see Sanjay Dutt in every film and in Blue too, he does a great job. Although he looked a bit fat places, overall, he gives a smashing performance. Akshay Kumar steals the show. He also raises a few laughs in between and was perfect for this role. However, it’s really disappointing to see Akshay Kumar in pathetic films lately. Let’s hope De Dana Dan (his next with Priyadarshan) works. Zayed Khan looked dashing and charming. The world may denounce him but I feel that he has the potential and can reach the top, if given an opportunity.

I really feel bad for Lara Dutta. When she signed Blue, she didn’t know swimming and she dedicatedly learnt how to swim in just three months and became a pro. However, she hardly has any contribution to the main plot of the film. In fact, one can argue that there was no need for her character in the film at all! Really very unfortunate! Rahul Dev was okay and Kabir Bedi doesn’t have a single dialogue in the film. Katrina Kaif is stunning while Kylie Minogue oozes oomph!

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A R Rahman’s music was good, but nothing special. The Blue Theme, Chiggy Wiggy and Aaj Dil are the best songs of the lot. Rahman’s background score sounded modern and fresh.

Laxman Utekar’s cinematography was eye-catching. The underwater cinematography by Pete Zuccarini was outstanding and the underwater scenes really looked stunning. Oscar winner Resul Pookutty strikes a sixer with his marvelous sound designing. Fantastic job! The locales (Bahamas) are excellent.

Some of the dialogues (Mayur Puri) stand out. While the crew did their job wonderfully, the story and the script (Anthony D’Souza and Jasmine D’Souza) spoil and ruin the show. Same goes for direction by Anthony. He had everything-a producer who was ready to invest large amounts of money, top actors of the current period, an excellent crew (including some from Hollywood) and what not. But alas! Did Anthony feel that people are going to praise his film just by showing them some wonderful underwater scenes and handful of action sequences? The producer, Dhilin Mehta, is equally to blame. What was he thinking when he invested 90 crs+ on such a flawed script and on a debutant director? My blood boils to see huge amounts of money going waste, which could had been utilized in a better way. We are a pro when it comes to lifting/copying/inspiring from Hollywood flicks. Then why can’t we have a Hollywood-like terrific direction and screenplay? Really very very disappointing!

Some of the best scenes in the film:
1. Sam in Bangkok
2. Sagar and Aarav having a drink at the edge
3. Sam being chased in Bahamas
4. Gulshan’s attack on Sagar
5. Sam, Sagar and Aarav searching for treasure
6. The final scene

On the whole, Blue is a big time disappointment. The film’s cast and crew have done a brilliant job but the film fails to impress because of its faulty script. Blue should fail (and it will, for sure, keeping in mind its high cost) at the Box office so that it gives a lesson to all producers in Bollywood that investing large amounts of money on faulty scripts and taking audiences for granted will result in big losses and disaster.

My rating-** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Blue-177340-1.html

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By Taran Adarsh, September 25, 2009 – 11:54 IST

Let’s come to the point straight away. When you’ve films like LAGAAN, SWADES and JODHAA AKBAR to your credit, every step you take, every move you make comes under a microscopic view. Naturally then, the expectations from Ashutosh Gowariker’s WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? are monumental.

There’s another reason why WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is special. Casting the same actor in 12 different roles is nothing short of a challenge – for the film-maker, for the writer and also for the actor in question.

BY BOLLYWOO HUNGAMA.COM

Now let’s analyze. WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? works in parts. There are 12 raashees, which means 12 independent stories, plus there’s a story of the dulha [Harman Baweja] and his family as well, also there’s a story of a family-friend [Darshan Jariwala] running concurrently. That makes it 14 stories, 13 songs, approx. 3.20 hours running time…

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Now to the vital question: Does WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? work?

Let me answer this question by raising a vital point. Did the running time [of 3 + hours] of SHOLAY, HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN, LAGAAN, JODHAA AKBAR and GHAJINI bother you? I am sure, it didn’t. The problem with WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is not its length/running time. The problem is its content.

If any film stands on a weak foundation [writing], even 1.30 hours seem never-ending. Conversely, if the writing is power-packed, even 3.30 hours of entertainment seems less. Let’s not blame the length, for the biggest grosser of the world to date – TITANIC – also had a running time of 3.17 hours.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE?, unfortunately, lacks the power to keep you hooked and that’s the prime reason why its running time/length is sure to be criticised.

Oh yes, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? has some wonderful moments and award-worthy performance[s] by Priyanka Chopra, but everything pales into insignificance when the written material is weak.

To cut a long story short, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment from one of the finest storytellers of India.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is the story of Yogesh Patel [Harman Baweja], a young man who, in his heart, has always wanted a love marriage. Till suddenly he is told that he must find his dream girl within ten days to save his family from utter ruin. Finding the dream girl is tough enough. Finding her in a hurry is even tougher.

His solution is simple; he will meet one girl from each raashee – sun sign, as he feels that is the best way to make sure he finds a suitable wife, while also giving himself twelve chances to fall in love. Two meetings per day gives him six days to meet them, three days to make the final decision and he can get married on the tenth day, or so he thinks.

Based on the novel ‘Kimball Ravenswood’ by Madhu Rye, the concept of WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is interesting, but the big screen adaptation isn’t. To start with, you connect with barely a few stories, mainly the one who has a past and also the final one, of an underage girl. But several stories appear ridiculous and hence, ruin the impact generated by several wonderful moments. The jeweller’s daughter, who believes in punar janam, falls flat. Ditto for the other jeweller’s daughter, who pretends to be childish so as to test the intentions of the dulha. It’s farcical. But the most ludicrous one is the businesswoman who has a pre-nuptial agreement in place, even before meeting the dulha.

Even Darshan Jariwala’s track, towards the end specifically, tests the patience of the viewer. The detective drama is also ludicrous. Besides, the climax is far from convincing. The nanaji appears suddenly with a bagful of currency and the dues of the moneylenders and goons are settled soon after the saat pheras. How convenient!

Even the choice of the girl is debatable, since she has chosen him on a rebound [when she found that her lover was cheating on her]. In fact, the dulha had, rightfully, thought of the girl with the past and should’ve settled with her instead. That would’ve been a convincing finale.

Ashutosh Gowariker gets it wrong this time thanks to the poor screenplay. The writing is the biggest culprit here. Sohail Sen’s music is easy on the ears, but why so many songs? A few songs can easily be deleted. Piyush Shah’s cinematography is perfect.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? belongs to Priyanka Chopra. No two opinions on that. Words would fail to do justice to the remarkable portrayal of twelve different characters by this actor. This is her finest work to date. Harman is extremely likable and enacts his part with complete understanding. Darshan Jariwala is alright. Anjan Srivastava is as usual. Visshwa Badola is first-rate. Pratik Dixit does well.

On the whole, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment.