Fenil and Bollywood

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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

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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!

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A month and a half back, I had mentioned in my Kambakkht Ishq review as to how it’s disgusting to see so many shoddy entertainers being released this year. But then a week late came the entertaining Sankat City which brought a respite. And Life Partner, released a week back, also manages to entertain and bring a smile, thankfully. This sweet-n-simple film also teaches some lessons on love and marriage. More about it later!

The story of the movie: Karan (Fardeen Khan), Bhavesh (Tusshar Kapoor) and Jeet (Govinda) are three friends based in Cape Town. Karan works in bank and is in love with the ‘untalented’ Sanjana (Genelia D’Souza), a spoilt daughter of a rich man (Anupam Kher). Bhavesh, on the other hand, doesn’t feel the need to date and believes in arranged marriage. He is an obedient son of a disciplinarian (Darshan Jariwala) and has reserved all his romance for his wife. He finally meets the women of his dreams, Prachi (Prachi Desai), daughter of a multi-millionaire (Vikram Gokhale). And Jeet is a divorce lawyer who can convince anyone to get divorced within minutes! In short, he was world’s best divorce lawyer! He doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage at all. He feels that ‘divorce ki sabse badi wajah hai shaadi’! He persuades Karan and Bhavesh and advices them not to fall into the trap of marriage. But they don’t pay any heed and get married to their women. The later part of the film is all about the problems the newly-wedded couples have to face.

Life Partner is executed in a simple manner. The director doesn’t waste time at all in the beginning and comes right to the point. By exploring the lives of Karan and Bhavesh and their marriage, the director throws light on the plusses and minuses of both love marriage and arranged marriage. The film also gives a wonderful insight on the joint family system, headed and controlled by a patriarch. But the film doesn’t turn melodramatic or preachy at a single place. There are also lots of funny moments throughout the film, which help maintain the light mood of the film. Also, the humour content is not slapstick-it manages to raise quite a many laughs!

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The first half is completely funny and has many hilarious sequences. The sequence where Tusshar with his family and Fardeen and Genelia visit Prachi’s palatial residence in India was excellent. The intermission point provides a shock! The second half is all about the problems the couples face. Although Fardeen-Genelia’s look a bit illogical, the scenes of Tusshar and Prachi seemed quite real. As for the climax, well, it was nonsensical but at the same time, it helped to give a film a justified finale. Most importantly, the viewer comes out of the theatre with a smile!

Every actor performs wonderfully. The best part is, Fardeen-Genelia and Tusshar-Prachi look excellent together and share a great chemistry. Fardeen Khan was terrific. He has already proved that he can carry off well in comic capers and his performance in Life Partner confirms it. He wasn’t seen in a single film last year. Before Life Partner this year, he starred in Jai Veeru which failed miserably. He still has three more releases this year-Acid Factory, Dulha Mil Gaya and All The Best and it seems Fardeen’s popularity will once again soar with Life Partner and the forthcoming films!

Genelia D’Souza rocks! Her role required her to be loud and she does it convincingly. She looks stunning throughout the film too, esp in the songs. Tusshar Kapoor got into the skin of the character and performed perfectly. Watch out his amazing expressions and acting in the scene where Prachi agrees to marry him! Prachi Desai, who impressed one and all in ‘Rock On!!’, does a fine job. She gets maximum scope in the 2nd half and does quite well in some of the important scenes.

Darshan Jariwala was excellent as the staunch patriarch. Same goes for Vikram Gokhale. Anupam Kher was okay. Jagdeep was hilarious, even though he was there for just a scene. Himani Shivpuri also provides laugh in just a single scene. Shoma Anand was a perfect mismatch for her role. The film also has Amrita Rao in a special appearance.

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And finally, Govinda is the scene-stealer of the film, although his was a supporting role. The screen brightens as soon as he comes in! He looked cool, uttering his theory on marriage. A great job indeed!

Pritam’s music was good, but not as great as his accomplished works. Songs come at regular intervals but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film. ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aage’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh Zindagi’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’ are nicely composed numbers. The Amrita Rao track doesn’t quite work.

Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were perfect for such a film. The funny one-liners were too good. Yunus Sejawal’s screenplay was just perfect.

Finally, Rumy Jaffrey, the director and writer, manages to come up with a fine film. He doesn’t go overboard in a single scene and none of the sequences in the film (except the climax) looked nonsensical. However, it’s unfortunate to see such a nice film not getting enough audience. The film released simultaneously with Kaminey and got overshadowed by it. Coincidentally, Rumy Jaffrey’s debut film last year, God Tussi Great Ho, was also released in the Independence Day weekend. And it also got overshadowed and flopped as it was released with Bachna Ae Haseeno. Let’s hope Life Partner doesn’t fail commercially too.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Karan racing with an aeroplane
2.   The song ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aagee’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’
3.   Karan making fun of Sanjana behind her back
4.   Bhavesh at Prachi’s residence in India
5.   The intermission point
6.   Bhavesh persuading Prachi to apologize to his father
7.   The washing machine sequence
8.   Bhavesh and Prachi’s honeymoon
9.   Prachi’s father at Bhavesh’s house

On the whole, Life Partner is a sweet and simple film with lots of funny and lovely moments. It also gives some lessons on love and marriage without getting preachy. If you have already seen Kaminey or if you aren’t interested in it, then go and watch Life Partner. And go with your entire family!

My rating-*** ½

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Life_Partner-173420-1.html

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By Taran Adarsh, August 12, 2009 – 22:14 IST

A few questions cross your mind when you’re about to watch LIFE PARTNER…

  • Haven’t I watched something like this in the past? Isn’t it getting repetitive?
  • Haven’t I had enough of mindless potboilers?
  • What’s Rumy Jaffery going to serve now? A rehash of what he’s made in the past?

There’s so much negativity surrounding LIFE PARTNER, even though you don’t have a clue about its content/material. Even though you have no inkling what it has to offer. Also, the buzz is clearly missing.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

But, but, but… never judge a book by its cover. To answer the questions I raised at the very outset, let me say that LIFE PARTNER isn’t innovative or ground-breaking, but it’s interesting and entertaining. One may assume that it’s a nonsensical comedy, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s a ‘family film’ [a popular term for socials/paarivaarik films within the industry]. It gives you a sneak peak into the lives of two couples — one, who believes in love marriage and the other, who believes in arranged marriage.

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LIFE PARTNER also surprises you because Rumy Jaffery incorporates vignettes from real life. Most importantly, LIFE PARTNER entertains, makes you laugh [at even silly jokes] and keeps you hooked for most parts of the film. It’s only the climax that acts as a spoilsport. But more on that later!

To sum up, LIFE PARTNER carries no buzz and also the baggage of zilch expectations. But this film springs a pleasant surprise. You leave the auditorium with a smile, not a smirk!

Karan [Fardeen Khan] and Sanjana [Genelia D’Souza] are madly in love with each other. Marriage is the next step to cement their relationship. But is ‘love marriage’ the right way to be?

For Bhavesh [Tusshar Kapoor], his life partner, Prachi [Prachi Desai], comes with the approval of his family. But is ‘arranged marriage’ the way forward? Is it right to prioritize family over marriage? Does Prachi have to prove herself as a worthy daughter-in-law to qualify as an ideal wife?

Jeet [Govinda] is an accomplished divorce lawyer who does not believe in the institution of marriage. He can’t be monogamous and is often responsible for his getting his clients divorced. But is ‘no marriage’ the right policy? Will Jeet ever find a partner and accept matrimony?

LIFE PARTNER is about three protagonists struggling on the marital marathon, but on different tracks.

LIFE PARTNER is a simple story told in a simplistic manner. Director Rumy Jaffery comes to the point at the very outset and the principle characters and their characteristics are well established at this juncture. The film is laced with funny incidents initially, but gets serious as it reaches the interval point. In this case too, the interval point is a shocker and you await the second half for several reasons. The post-interval portions get more real, since the two marriages go through a crisis and the transition is depicted wonderfully.

However, the climax is a downer. Ideally, the writer should’ve come up with a better thought of conclusion, instead of the one that’s depicted now.

Rumy Jaffery shows ample improvement over his previous film. He has handled a number of scenes very well, especially the Tusshar – Prachi – Darshan Jariwala portions. Pritam comes up with an ordinary soundtrack. ‘Kuke Kuke’ is the best of the lot. Yunus Sajawal’s screenplay has several appealing moments. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues are first-class. Sameer Arya’s cinematography is admirable. The locales of South Africa are a visual treat. In fact, the film sports a rich look all through.

Govinda is in terrific form this time. After PARTNER, the talented actor gets a role that does complete justice to his abilities. He seems to have worked on his looks and that only enhances the impact. Fardeen Khan is very likable. In fact, the role requires him to go overboard at times and he does that so well. Genelia D’Souza is the scene stealer. She’s superb and one of the prime reasons that makes LIFE PARTNER watchable.

Tusshar Kapoor pitches a remarkable performance yet again. He looks so perfect for his part. LIFE PARTNER is yet another film that showcases his talent well. Prachi Desai showed abundant promise in ROCK ON!! and excels in LIFE PARTNER too. This pretty girl has the potential to carry off most difficult scenes with aplomb. Amrita Rao [sp. app.] doesn’t create magic. Anupam Kher is just right. Darshan Jariwala is proficient. Vikram Gokhale is good. Jagdeep is superb in a brief role.

On the whole, LIFE PARTNER may lack the hype, but this one springs a pleasant surprise. It’s aimed at the families and that section of movie-going audience should take to it gradually, with a strong word of mouth. The holidays in its opening weekend should help the film grow!


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