Feb 20 2015

Badlapur- Movie Review

Roochster

badlapur-poster1Very recently, a friend asked me which film I thought was the best so far in 2015 and all I could do was think really hard until I gave up. Badlapur hadn’t released then. Today, I can confidently answer that question. This Varun Dhawan- Nawazuddin Siddiqui  starrer is one of the most intense, well directed and better films that has released since the past 3-4 months and you have to go watch it.

Plot in short– After a bank robbery In Poona, Layak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Harman (Vinay Pathak) accidentally kill a woman and her child during their escape from the cops.  Raghu (Varun Dhawan), the husband of the woman and father of the child is furious and sets out to avenge their deaths.

The Good– Sriram Raghavan has made movies like Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar in the past which were good films and then he made Agent Vinod which was awful. I didn’t know what to expect from Badlapur because I couldn’t picture Varun Dhawan in a serious, intense film. Also, after looking at the trailers I wasn’t expecting an outstanding film. I guess I was wrong. Badlapur caught me by surprise! The story is a simple thriller about taking revenge for something not acceptable. What we see in the film is a great show from start to end, scene after scene. Gripping screenplay, intense characters, brilliant execution of story, top notch performances by every actor in the film, crisp editing, expert camera work, good background score and music that lingers on.

Coming to the performances… Is it the same Varun Dhawan we saw in Student of the year and Main tera hero? I guess not. The actor has evolved and how! He is powerful and flawless in his performance giving us a clear indication that he must be taken seriously as an actor. Standing at an equally important level is Nawazudding Siddiqui who unflinchingly plays his role and makes us believe that he is Layak, the man who is responsible for killing two people, a faithful lover, the apple of his mother’s eyes. Another performance that stands out is that of Radhika Apte who plays Harman’s wife, ready to do anything for her husband. I have to say that the entire supporting cast too gives the film the respect it deserves. Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak, Kumud Mishra, Huma Qureshi, Pratima Kannan are all winners throughout the film.

The Not-so-good– I can’t point a finger at what I didn’t like because I was glued to my seat even during the interval anticipating the second half. If I had to pick on something I didn’t like it would be the last half an hour or so. I felt that was slightly dragged and could have been to-the-point.

Verdict– Badlapur is a must watch and most definitely in the list of movies to watch in 2015! Highly recommended!

Rating– 4/5

 

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Jul 12 2013

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag- Movie Review

Roochster

bhaag_milkha_bhaag_posterVery rarely do you come across a film that is nearly flawless. When you see the trailer and songs of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, you would never expect it to be so good but it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised now isn’t it?

The story is Milkha Singh’s. An athlete who’s struggle was not only about winning races but about overcoming his darkest nightmares and fears. His courage and willpower along with his coaches motivated him to such an extent that he’s known as ‘The Flying Sikh’ because of all the records he broke and all his achievements. The film also gives a huge account of his childhood days when he was separated from his family because of the India-Pak partition.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has made Rang De Basanti in the past and we already know how brilliant he is as a director. He chooses the most powerful stories and turns them into masterpieces. He did that with Rang De Basanti and now Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Yes, it is a lengthy film of 3 hours and 8 minutes and not everyone will think its ok to watch his love story and childhood story which take up so much time. However, if you’re making a biopic, there’s a lot to consider because as an audience you would want to know what made the person do certain things and if they had a connection with their past. Even a film like Titanic had a love story. The fact that its a period film means there are even more things to consider. For example the styling, the look and make up of all the characters and places. I did expect a bit more ‘vintage looking’ film though.

Prasoon Joshi has written the story and screenplay and I think he’s done a fabulous job!  From start to end, in spite of the length, the film is gripping and entertaining. There’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s action, romance, patriotism and so much more. The cinematography by Binod Pradhan is like visual poetry and beautifully done.

The background score is good. The music by Shankar Ehsaan & Loy goes well with the theme but the songs don’t stay with you for too long after the film. I liked ‘Mera yaar’ in particular though. Nice and refreshing. The song ‘O rangrez’ is sung beautifully by Javed Bashir and Shreya Ghoshal. ‘Angreza’ is well composed. The choreography of the songs also deserves a mention.

Farhan Akhtar has proved in the past that he’s an all rounder. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag only reiterates the fact that he’s a brilliant actor. Natural, subtle and powerful. He’s perfect for the role of Milkha Singh and it shows how hard he’s worked for the film in terms of the look and character. Pawan Malhotra and Divya Dutta as supporting actors deliver fantastic performances. They’re both superb! Even the little boy Jabtej Singh who played Milkha junior is good. Sonam Kapoor barely had any acting but she looked pretty and was not bad at all. Prakash Raj too has a small but fun role and as usual entertains. So basically, all the performances in the film are top notch.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a inspiring, entertaining and an amazing film. It might be a little lengthy but totally worth a watch. Farhan Akhtar’s best performance yet. Must see!

Rating– 4.5/5

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Jul 5 2013

Lootera- Movie Review

Roochster

Lootera PosterLootera looked beautiful from the time I saw the trailer and the song ‘Sawaar loon’ is lovely. There’s a charm which instantly draws you besides the fact that there’s Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh in this love story directed by Vikramaditya Motwane. Well, there’s more. Read on.

Varun (Ranveer Singh), a thug posing as an archeologist goes to a zamindar’s property in Calcutta with the intention of stealing all his expensive property. Whilst in the process, he falls in love with the zamindar’s daughter (Sonakashi Sinha) and likewise. Very soon though he has to get on with the purpose of his visit and so it’s almost like stabbing the father and daughter who are left with nothing but a small farmhouse in Dalhousie. A couple of years later, they are destined to meet again, only this time, she’s dying of tuberculosis and he’s trying to escape from the police and needs refuge. Is her Lootera here to stay?

Vikramaditya Motwane is a thinking director. With Udaan, he created magic. In Lootera, keeping in mind that it’s a period film, there would be a lot of research and background work before actually starting to shoot it. He’s done a great job as a director by letting the actors breathe and act so naturally. The story is well woven and so are the characters. The screenplay is a bit of a drag though. I wish the film was better paced. Visually it is amazing! From the forest to the snow, including all the grainy night scenes, there’s something very captivating about what you see. The styling, locations and set design has a lot to do with it. Sonakshi Sinha, though in sarees throughout, looks gorgeous. Even without make-up she looks great. Ranveer Singh is well styled too.

The music by Amit Trivedi goes very well with the theme of the film and is not pretentiously ‘old’. As mentioned earlier, the song Sawaar loon is beautiful.

Sonakshi Sinha is brilliant! She’s one of the best actresses we have today and with Lootera the scale goes one notch higher. Ranveer Singh has acted well but his voice is a bit unclear in a few scenes. Divya Dutta has a small role but is good. Adil Hussain as the tough cop was also very good.

As a film Lootera is well made and makes for a great classic romance but is too slow paced to watch it more than once.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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May 10 2013

Gippi- Movie Review

Roochster

gippi-posterGippi from the trailer itself looked like one of those typical teenage chick flicks where there’s a prom, a hot, bitchy popular bully with two chamchis (followers), a cute guy who is hard to get, a competition, troubled family background and lots of colours. This one is no different. Worth watching yet? You’ll soon find out.

Gurpreet Kaur a.k.a Gippi (Riya Vij) is a simple chubby teenage girl who goes to school in Shimla. She stays with her divorced mother and has a brother. With a handful of thick friends she’s happy and content in her world of food and Shammi Kapoor songs. She meets a young, handsome and charming Arjun (Taaha Shah) whom she is attracted to at her father’s party. In order to gain some popularity and show Shamira (Jayati Modi), the popular hotty that she is no less, she introduces Arjun as her boyfriend only to be embarrassed by him and his friends. The year is about to end and the school needs the right head girl. Will Gippi challenge Shamira and win?

Director Sonam Nair makes sure you’re entertained, especially if you’re below 15 years of age. Others will like it too but find it slightly kiddish, especially the acting. More on that later. So the story is nothing to boast about. What manages to work well is the screenplay and the glossy look of everything, like in all Karan Johar’s films. The styling is very good and so is the production design. So much colour and richness! Good cinematography Anshuman Mahalay!

The background music goes well with the movie but the music somehow doesn’t ring a bell. Vishal and Shekhar haven’t created the magic they did in Student of the Year.

Coming to the performances… You’ll find a bunch of new faces and expect them to know how to act a bit. Well, don’t expect. Gippi- Riya Vij doesn’t act and she doesn’t even pretend to act. Her way of talking (accent) will remind you of Sonam Kapoor from Aisha. Upscale and with no expressions on the face. Some people might think that’s natural but hey, I’m not paying money to watch a chubby girl with done up hair and cool clothes to say her lines with just a smile. The popular school girl Jayati Modi is another one of those Louis Vuitton types but still acts better than Riya Vij ‘cause you’d actually want to call her a ‘bi**h’. The boy who plays Gippi’s brother- Arbaaz Kadwani should have been the main character. He’s a natural in the real sense! Divya Dutta as the mother is subtle with the right amount of drama and I like that. Taaha Shah as Arjun is super cute and acted well too but I wish his character had a little more depth. The girl who plays Gippi’s best friend- Doorva Tripathi is naturally good and cute even though her expressions aren’t loud.

Gippi as a film has all the ingredients to make it a likeable film, even with all its predictability. What lacks is a dose of acting skills in the main character to make you enjoy the film like it should be. School and college kids might love it and even make it a ‘cult’ film but it didn’t warm my heart enough to recommend it to cinema lovers. Watch it at home.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Feb 8 2013

Special 26- Movie Review

Roochster

Special 26 posterNot many heist movies can have the kind of effect ‘Special 26’ has on you. This one’s a gem in Bollywood’s treasure chest. Here’s why.

So what’s the movie about? Well, in 1987, a man robbed jewellery worth lakhs from Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Mumbai by hiring 28 recruits who applied to work with the CBI. He claimed he was from the CBI and made the shop owner switch off all the cameras, phones and produce cash and jewellery for inspection. In thirty minutes, while the recruits searched for vital information, he walked out of the shop without being suspected by anyone. Special 26 is based on that event.

I must salute Neeraj Pandey, the director of the film for making a film on this incident. He is pure genius. The story is fast paced and gripping. You might feel a little restless in the first half but the second half makes you understand why that was important. The setting is so real that you’ll go back to the 1980s with all the Marutis and Ambassadors, the old school telephones, Vimal ads, etc. The background music is superb! Sanjoy Chowdhury, take a bow! Bobby Singh, the cinematographer’s done a good job with the camera work.

Coming to the performances… Anupam Kher is brilliant, especially in the scene where he’s caught and has to confess to Manoj Bajpayee; Akshay Kumar is good, Manoj Bajpayee is very good as a tough CBI officer,  Jimmy Sheirgill and Divya Dutta don’t have much to do but still make an impact. Kajal Aggarwal just had to look pretty as Akshay Kumar’s love interest and she did it well.

There’s not much music in the movie luckily but I really like the first song that plays when they introduce Kajal Aggarwal.

If you’re wondering what to do this weekend, watch Special 26 and I promise you, you wont be disappointed.

Rating– 4/5

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Sep 21 2012

Heroine- Movie Review

Roochster

Heroine was one film I just had to watch because the subject was so interesting. But the film was so disappointing! Here’s why.

Heroine is about this superstar who can’t act, much like some of our very own Bollywood stars. She’s hot and gets endorsements and movies just because she’s a star. Her love life sucks and as a result she’s always moody and not the first choice when it comes to working with other actors and directors. A PR person comes in who helps her reach a better stage in her career only to be let down because of Kareena’s erratic mood swings and what she does with them. And of course, Madhur Bhandarkar style we see various phases of a ‘heroine’ and those around her in the industry.

Ok now, what was Madhur Bhandarkar thinking?! Yes Chandni bar, Page 3 and Fashion worked because somewhere they were realistic and gave an insight into a world we all want to know about. Heroine is nothing but negative all through! Kareena Kapoor plays a star who has no friends even outside the industry, she gets big films like Katrina Kaif based on looks, she smokes and drinks a lot, she’s moody, she’s insecure about love and even career, she’s had a bad past and what not. So basically there’s nothing positive about her except the fact that she looks good. Madhur Bhandarkar must really hate people in Bollywood to show what he’s shown in the film. All make up men and designers are gay, a small budget film director has that unkempt look and is always more respected as compared to other directors, the main heroine has no friends only, everyone in the industry is a compulsive smoker… how many more clichés ya! To top it all, there’s a lameass ‘item number’ called Halkat Jawani which falls flat on its face because it’s as bad as the songs in his earlier movie ‘Page 3’. Remember ‘Kuwan ma doob jaaoongi’?

So yeah, Madhur Bhandarkar is somehow losing his tag of a ‘realistic film maker’. Heroine is incredibly exaggerated and negative, as if made to remove his bhadaas on some people in the Bollywood film industry. All the actors except for Kareena Kapoor look like they’re from the 90s and even dress like that. The story takes too long to end!

Kareena Kapoor is obviously the star of the film. She looks great and has even acted well but we’ve seen Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut doing the same thing in Fashion, Bipasha Basu in Raaz 3 and Vidya Balan, who was so much more realistic and better in The Dirty Picture if we talk about recent similar films.  Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda have done a good job even though they had small roles. Mugdha Godse said, “Shits!” which sums up her acting skills and how she talks in real life.  Lillette Dubey, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey and Divya Dutta are superb! Other than that, there are just a bunch of dumb actors excited to work with Madhur Bhandarkar.

Honestly, there could have been so much more to make Heroine a sure shot superhit but Madhur Bhandarkar screwed it up with stereotyping almost everything and creating a film full of negativity and the bad side of Bollywood. Not cool!

Rating– 2/5

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Oct 14 2011

My Friend Pinto- Movie Review

Roochster

Even with a great cast, decent music and beautiful locations, My Friend Pinto is a differently weird movie and not something most people will enjoy.

Rating- 2/5

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May 22 2011

Stanley ka Dabba- Movie Review

Roochster

I was out of town for 3 weeks and couldn’t watch a single movie so when I got back home, I decided I’d go for anything that looks interesting to me. Stanley ka Dabba looked interesting and I also heard good things about it from the peeps on Twitter so I decided to go and give it a shot.

Stanley ka Dabba is about an orphan child called Stanley, who has no one to make him a dabba to take to school and can just about eat one meal a day. He gets to school before everyone else, fills his stomach with water and yet doesn’t reveal his true identity to any of his friends. Even then, he’s a bright, witty and lovable child. He has a glutton of a Hindi teacher- Verma Sir who hogs the tiffins of the all the kids and teachers. The kids hate that and so make him chase them around. He gets fed up chasing them around and so punishes Stanley as he doesn’t get a tiffin to school. The story moves forward from there and reaches a touching climax.

I’d heard mainly good reviews of the movie and decided to go with an open mind. Out of all the reviews I got, only one friend told me that it’s ok to miss the first half. I agree with him. I felt that the movie was faaltu mein very long. What could have been told in less than half an hour was dragged for almost 2 hours. I agree that the concept is great and there’s a lovely ending that makes you melt but the journey to that end was monotonous, repetitive and dragged in many parts. The music is very ok.

The positives of the movie are the performances, dialogues and simplicity. I thought all the performances were great! I especially loved Partho’s (Stanley), Divya Jagdale (Science teacher) and the kid who got the biggest and best food to school. The dialogues by Amol Gupte are very real, simple and witty.

On the whole I didn’t think Stanley ka Dabba was that great. It was good but I’d have preferred it as a short film instead.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Oct 29 2010

Hisss- Movie Review

Roochster

Ummm ok… Where do I start from?! Ummm… well. Ok…So…

Hisss is the story about a sensual Naagin who is out for vengeance.  A desperate foreigner comes all the way to India to just get the naag mani* from the snake to cure his cancer and to do so; he kidnaps the male snake while he is mating with Mallika Sherawat (she is supposed to be a snake in the movie).

So besides trying to look for the man who took away her love, she kills atleast 5 other horny men trying to rape other random women, for reasons unknown. That was probably the director Jennifer Lynch’s idea- to add a social service message in the movie.

Let me tell you that I wanted to watch Hisss not because it would be stupid but because I’ve seen the old Naagin movies when I was a kid and I thought they were pretty cool so I thought this would be as cool if not cooler than them! But dude! This was soft porn! In the first five minutes itself, you’ll find two snakes mating.  Then Mallika Sherawat makes a semi- nude entry as a snake. In fact, she’s semi-nude throughout the movie! Ok I agree she looks very sexy but honestly, this movie required no acting. She has no dialogues (not complaining) and was just supposed to be seducing the audience with her eyes and naked body. Irrfan Khan plays a detective and Divya Dutta his wife. What a waste of two great actors!

I must admit, I didn’t really get bored, keeping in mind the pathetic acting and horrible direction. Some of the scenes were pretty entertaining. The special effects are not praise-worthy but there has been some effort put into making the snakes appear as real as possible!

Overall, Hisss is a really bad movie and Mallika Sherawat needs to get a life!

Rating– 1/5

* The Naag Mani is considered as one of the nine sacred pearls and  is formed in the mouth of the king cobra only once that cobra passes a 100 years of life on earth. Books also mention that it only happens in the cobra that passes one hundred years of life on earth. Once the pearl is formed, the snake achieves magical powers and can transform into any form it desires. The size and luster of Mani increases with the age of the snake. It is moon like pearl with blue tint and it emits light in darkness to play with it and to search for its prey in its light. Owning such Mani is considered good luck and it makes a person wealthy and fulfills all desires. It is also mentioned that when the gem is separated from the Cobra, the cobra dies.

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Aug 27 2010

Hello Darling- Movie Review

Roochster

Gul Panag, I have a question for you… WHY?! As much as I knew this movie would suck, I went to watch it only thinking that Gul Panag wouldn’t ever do movies like this! But well, popat ho gaya!

The movie is about 3 so-called “hot” women working together at some Fashion House and their boss who’s a horny bugger (Javed Jaffrey whose name is Harddick in the movie), trying his luck with all the women in the office. So basically these women do stuff to teach him a lesson.

The movie was so uninteresting that I don’t know what to say! Celina Jaitley can’t act and her fake eyes and ugly hair make her look stupid and I felt like slapping her! Eesha Koppikar was ok…her Marathi accent came in 2-3 times by mistake instead of a North Indian accent. Also, her stylist was pathetic and she didn’t look like someone working at a Fashion House from any angle! Gul Panag has acted well in the past… I wonder what went wrong here…Sad! Javed Jaffrey is a brilliant actor and he does comedy well but a movie like this…Tch tch tch! Chunkey Pandey is a monkey. He tries to act funny, but he really gets annoying! For the first time I thought Divya Dutta didn’t act well! She can’t play a Guju woman! Seema Biswas was wasted in the movie! Oh and Mr. Sunny Deol has a guest appearance in the end. His voice was dubbed and that was probably the only part when the movie was a little funny!

The songs are sad! The story is pakao! The jokes aren’t funny! The acting is pathetic!

Verdict– Waste of money!

Rating– 0.5/5

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