Jul 6 2016

Sultan- Movie Review

Roochster

Sultan poster‘Khoon mein teri mitti, mitti mein tera khoon. Upar allah, neeche dharti, beech mein tera junoon…Aye Sultan!’

Just when you thought Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s got to be his best performance till date, Salman Khan gives us Sultan. And what a film it is!

Plot in short– Sultan (Salman Khan), a young man without an aim in life falls in love with a wrestler Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) who wants her husband to be a strong, dedicated wrestler too, just like her father. To win her heart and some respect, he works hard and becomes a world class wrestler. After a few years of being married and having great wrestling careers, Sultan’s arrogance goes up with his popularity while Anushka must leave wrestling to start a family. Things go awfully wrong and Sultan loses Aarfa and his purpose in life. A few years later, he gets an opportunity to wrestle again, only at a deadlier level. Will he risk it all to bring his old life back?

The Good– Salman Khan! Man! Every Eid he’s just been giving us brilliant films! Sultan too, without a doubt falls into that category. I’m not saying this just cause I’m a huge fan of his but seriously, he’s just doing better films and his performances are so much more real. This is probably the first time he’s done a role as inspiring as this and his hard work clearly shows; whether it’s his Haryanvi accent or the way he expresses himself when he looks at his fat belly in the mirror or the way he wrestles. Anushka Sharma plays a simple girl and totally rocks the look. She’s also so sincere in her performance that you can’t help but love her. Ali Abbas Zafar, whose directed movies like Gunday and Mere Brother ki Dulhan has outdone himself in Sultan. The screenplay is gripping and interesting, the film is well shot, the fight sequences are decent, and the music by Vishal and Shekhar is great. I can’t really tell which one’s my favourite song cause they’re all so good. I love the choreography in the songs. Especially that ‘bum step’ from ‘Baby ko bas pasand hai’. I could watch Salman do that step a million times and never get sick of it! The background score too is fantastic! The supporting cast plays an equally important part in making sure there’s never a dull moment. The actor who plays Salman’s best friend- (Anant Sharma) is one to watch out for! Great talent! Randeep Hooda has a small role but a great screen presence and performance. Amit Sadh is there in bits and parts and is good.

The Not-so-good– Except for the length of the movie which is two hours and 50 minutes (lots of Salman time which is not a bad thing for fans like me), there’s really not that much I can point out that would make this film any less awesome.

Verdict– Sultan is a must watch! Don’t ask why. Just go watch it and then come back and thank me.

Rating– 4/5

 

 

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Jun 19 2016

Udta Punjab- Movie Review

Roochster

A hard hitting film filled with top notch performances that brings out all kinds of emotions and opens your eyes to harsh realities from India’s very own Punjab.

Rating-4/5

Udta Punjab poster

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Apr 15 2016

Fan- Movie Review

Roochster

fan-movie posterI hadn’t seen the trailer of Fan and neither did I know Shahrukh Khan was playing a double role until I came home and opened a website to read the names of the cast of the film. Hawww! How could I not know it was him only!

Plot in short– Aryan Khanna (Shahrukh Khan) has a huge fan following but there’s one in particular called Gaurav Chadna (Shahrukh Khan)  who would do anything to get just five minutes with the star, to show him his trophy that he won in a talent contest and to offer him some Son Halwa sent by his parents. But one incident spoils everything and turns the fan into a creep and imposter. Will this madness ever stop and how?

The Good– Shahrukh Khan is definitely the best part about the film. In terms of creepiness, remember how creepy-scary Darr was? This is that multiplied 5 times. I was quite creeped out and my heart was beating fast thinking of what would happen next throughout the film. Shahrukh Khan as the fan is actually better than Shahrukh playing Aryan Khanna. The make up and hair artist and stylist play a huge part in making him look the way he looks. Kudos to them! The screenplay and direction is fantastic! Maneesh Sharma takes the story to another level by using the actors’ full potential.

The Not-so-good– There are several things that I found a bit stupid. For example how people barely notice the Aryan Khanna look-alike when he’s walking on the street or when he fools the guards of Aryan Khanna’s mansion and reaches the star’s house inside, almost fooling the wife. But suddenly people recognize him in London at Madam Tussaud’s museum. Also, I felt that it was rather lame for the star to be chasing his fan single handedly when he has the power to call the cops, involve goons and what not to get rid of pschopaths like Gaurav.

Verdict– Ignore the stupidity and enjoy ‘Fan’ for what it is. A thrilling, engaging and entertaining film that one must watch. Hats off to Shahrukh Khan for his best performance yet. For once I can say he deserves an award.

Rating– 4/5

P.S.- Prepare to be totally creeped out!

 

 

 

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Apr 10 2016

The Jungle Book (Hindi)- Movie Review

Roochster

the-jungle-book-posterAs children we’ve all seen ‘The Jungle Book’ and have a special liking for all the characters. Who can forget the song ‘Jungle jungle pata chala hai’ everytime the show came on TV? The Jungle Book as a film in 3D goes one step further and makes us relive our childhood in the most fun way.

Plot in short– Mowgli (Neel Sethi) has been brought up by wolves and a black panther (Om Puri) since childhood and living with them, he adapts to their way of living in the jungle. But how long can he stay? After all, there is Shere Khan, the tiger (Nana Patekar) who is out to kill him. Will he be able to escape from the dangerous Shere Khan and go to the land of humans?

The Good– The best thing about the film is the breathtaking visuals! The computer graphics artists definitely know their shit. The voice overs of Bagheera by Om Puri and Baloo by Irrfan Khan are superb! Little Mowgli played by Neel Sethi is so natural that one would never think he’s not from the jungle. I also thought that Kaa’s voice over by Priyanka Chopra was fantastic but very short. I wish we got to see more of Kaa. The story is perfect for the first part. It leaves you wanting for more. The flow of the screenplay is perfect. The songs are great to listen to. The Hindi version of Bare Necessities is not bad but at all.

The Not-so-good– I think Shere Khan has a huge part to play and Nana Patekar is excellent as an actor but somehow his voice just didn’t go with the majestic Tiger’s appearance and character. I would have liked to hear a deeper voice for Shere Khan. I can’t really think of anything else except that I wish this is the first of many more parts to come. If it doesn’t, me and Jungle Book’s many fans will be very upset.

Verdict– Go back in time and relive ‘The Jungle Book’ in 3D. This is way better than the series we used to love watching every Sunday on Doordarshan. Go! Go! Go!

Rating– 4/5

 

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Apr 1 2016

Ki & Ka- Movie Review

Roochster

Ki & Ka posterThis year so far Bollywood has made some fantastic films and its only April still. Everytime people compare Bollywood with Hollywood’s standards, totally degrading Bollywood, it angers me. There is so much beauty in the films we make even though they may not be technically as superior or may not have the budgets as they do. Whatever it is, Ki & Ka would be a slap in the face to all those Bollywood haters.

Plot in short– The tagline of the film says ‘Striling, pulling, samething.’ In Kia’s (Kareena Kapoor) world, there is no time to cook, clean or socialize with the neighbours. Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) on the other hand, is a builder’s son who doesn’t want to live off his father’s money but be a home maker and look after his family. They meet and fall in love and decide to get married. Can this role reversal result in a happy marriage?

The Good– This movie is meant for those who are open minded and non- judgmental. If you’re not one of these, then please go watch it with an open mind. Director R Balki who is also the writer of the film, has brilliantly executed a concept that works in today’s day and age. Many may not agree but that is only because of the kind of image one has in their head of what a man and a woman are meant to do in their lives. What Ki and Ka show is how wonderful life can be without the pressure of doing something you don’t want to do or being someone you don’t want to be.  A home maker deserves as much respect as a corporate slave. With the crisp screenplay and editing, you will find it an absolute pleasure to watch. Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor may not look like the ‘ideal’ on screen pair but both share great chemistry together. Kareena with her un-Kohled eyes and natural make up looks gorgeous while Arjun Kapoor on his Segway looks like the most chilled out person on Earth! They’re both so comfortable in their roles that it looks so real. Swaroop Sampat who plays Kareena’s mother in the film is effortlessly lovable in her character. I also thought Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan’s appearance was great! I found myself laughing and crying in the film and could relate to so much.

There’s a whole lot of research and mehnat gone into making the sets and locations come to life, trains being a huge part of it. The cinematography works its magic in several scenes and makes every frame look fresh.

The Not-so-good– While many will embrace the subject with open arms, most will turn it down due to narrow mindedness and stereotyping. So this turns out to be a negative because people aren’t even accepting the idea. It may be a little slow in parts but it doesn’t overpower the good in the movie. I wish Arjun Kapoor’s character tried atleast a little to do something with his time instead of acting so lukha at the age of 28. The final thing that didn’t go too well with me was the music. There’s no song that I would like to have on my playlist from Ki & Ka.

Verdict– Ki and Ka is a progressive film about a progressive ladKI and ladKA. Open your mind and I promise you will love it.

Rating– 4/5

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Mar 18 2016

Kapoor and Sons- Movie Review

Roochster

kapoorandsons posterYou know how some movies take you in emotionally and leave you speechless. Kapoor and Sons is just that kind of movie. Who would’ve thought!

Plot in short– Arjun, the younger brother (Sidharth Malhotra) works as a bartender and a struggling writer in New Jersey while Rahul (Fawad Khan), the older brother, successful writer and entrepreneur is happy in London. They’re forced to come back to their roots, in Coonoor when their 89 years old grandfather (Rishi Kapoor) suffers a heart attack. During their time together at home, they find out that their parents (Ratna Pathak and Rajat Kapoor) are going through a rough marriage and financially, their father is finding it difficult to cope with the times. They also meet Tia (Alia Bhatt) and develop fondness and friendships individually. The brothers too have their own issues which need to be sorted amongst themselves. How will this dysfunctional family who throws crockery at each other while fighting be able to be happy and together again?

The Good– There are very few movies that have a mix of everything, the kind we call ‘Masala movies’ in Bollywood. The perception one has for this label is that these movies have music, dance, romance, melodrama, action and comedy. Movies like DDDLJ, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Dil to pagal hai, Dil, Om Shanti Om, Jab We Met, etc. are great examples. I could see myself feeling all the emotions that were meant to be felt while watching the film. Director Shakun Batra is fantastic! He knows how to draw your attention and not let it leave the screen. I swear I did not look at my phone except for in the interval to say how much I’m enjoying the film. The screenplay writing is so perfect that I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s written for the audience of today, an audience that will relate and accept and love. There are a lot of lovely colours and beautiful looking sets that make Coonoor look picture perfect. And lets also give some credit to the performances. The actors, all of them- Rishi Kapoor, Rajat Kapoor, Ratna Pathak, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan are brilliant. Even the guy who plays the Kishor, the servant is such a natural. I don’t think the film would have been so good without the realistic performances. It’s just overall such a fun, emotional and happy film that I can’t help but sing praises of it.

The Not-so-good– While I loved the film in its entirety, there are some flaws which can easily be ignored because you’ll be having such a good time. Things like chemistry- Alia Bhatt with Sidharth Malhotra… just didn’t see any. Also, funny how staying in Coonoor or abroad, they all have a typical ‘Bambaiya’ accent. The Mandakini and potty jokes were a bit too much.

Verdict– Get out and watch Kapoor and Sons NOW! You just can’t miss it, dude! Once you see it, you will know why I said so. Ok bye!

Rating– 4.5/5

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Mar 2 2016

Zootopia- Movie Review

Roochster

Brilliantly written and executed with a very skilled animation team, Zootopia is fun, charming, witty and cute.

Rating- 4/5

Zootopia poster

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Feb 26 2016

Aligarh- Movie Review

Roochster

The proverb ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ holds true for Aligarh as Manoj Bajpai’s flawless performance takes you through his emotional journey in the most sensitive and intense manner leaving you with a heavy heart.

Rating- 4/5

Aligarh poster

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Feb 12 2016

Fitoor- Movie Review

Roochster

Fitoor posterIn Kamaal R Khan’s words, “What a Wahiyat, Ghatiya, Pakaoo film #Fitoor! It will beat #BombayVelvet easily. Abhishek has defeated Anurag Kashyap by far”. So, I thought it would be boring and slow too but that’s ‘cause sometimes movies like these that look too ‘artsy’ turn out to be complete rubbish. Now, here’s how it turned out to be for real.

Plot in short– As a young boy from Kashmir, Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur) falls in love with Begum Hazrat’s (Tabu) daughter Firdaus (Katrina Kaif) and she too somewhere has feelings for him. They are separated when Firdaus moves to London for further studies. When he’s old enough to make a living, Begum makes Noor meet the gorgeous, sexy and totally different Firdaus in Delhi, where she now lives. She helps him make a career out of his passion that is art and painting and pushes him to go after Firdaus about whom he’s already smitten. Will their love stand the test of time and materialize into something?

The Good– One thing about Fitoor you can’t deny is that it is visually stunning! The snow falling like musical notes onto their faces, the houses, Begum Hazrat’s creepy yet beautiful mansion, Katrina’s red hair, Aditya’s body and natural acting which we have never seen before, Tabu…everything about her, the dialogues, the soulful music, the red and yellow dry leaves dancing around with the breeze… There’s basically a lot of beauty in the look and feel of the film which I loved. What I like about director Abhishek Kapoor is that like in Rock On and Kai Po Che, he makes sure his characters are well sketched and each stands out from the other making their own presence felt in the film. With Fitoor too, Tabu’s sadness is seen in the way she’s lying on the diwan, smoking sheesha and the longing she has in her eyes for love. I also absolutely loved Aditi Rao Hydari. She’s one of the understated actresses in Bollywood and I think she should get more recognition.

The Not-so-good– Although the film moves at a pace of its own, it could have been crisper in terms of screenplay and editing. I can’t really think of anything major that I did not like because there was so many wonderful things to watch.

Verdict– With a fairytale-ish feel to it, Fitoor is engrossing, visually  beautiful and Tabu is just brilliant!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Jan 29 2016

Saala Khadoos- Movie Review

Roochster

Saala khadoos posterA couple of days before release, I read tweets from so many celebrities and movie critics who got to attend preview shows of Saala Khadoos, all saying the same thing- that the film is brilliant and the actress Ritika Singh is a great performer. Well, maybe not brilliant but the film is very gripping and entertaining and yes Ritika Singh is a fresh face with a rawness in her which stands out.

Plot in short– A boxing coach Adi Tomar (R. Madhavan) from Hissar (Haryana) is transferred by the Sports Association of India to Chennai on false charges of sexually harassing the players. Knowing this is because of the old enmity between Adi Tomar and a villainous coach from the association (Zakir Hussain) he agrees and goes, hoping to find gems to participate at the national level. He doesn’t quite see the fire he wants in any players until he meets Madhi, a Macchi-bechnewali (Ritika Singh) who is aggressive and fights like her boxing idol Mohammed Ali. He convinces her to play, bribing her with 500 bucks a day which is good to keep her poor family happy. Will she be able to be the boxing champion as Adi, her coach had imagined her to be?

The Good– The character sketches were vividly drawn out in a mish-mash of a story that is scripted really well. There is never a dull moment. In fact, I think there is a lot of energy in the performances, songs and background score. The film is action packed and it’s fun to watch the journeys of both the protagonists. Ritika Singh is like any other girl without all the girly nakhras except for maybe one scene where she’s all dressed up in a saree when she’s going to tell her coach about her feelings for him. R. Madhavan is fantastic as the rude, angry coach. He’s bulky, looks like a mess but has the arrogance and confidence that women like me love. I wish he spoke more clearly though. Zakir Hussain, the selector coach has become an expert at doing these villainous roles and is perfect. Nasser with his south Indian accent and funny scenes, especially where he’s talking about alcohol and eating liver is a lot of fun to watch. All the other supporting actors have made it movie worth watching. I like that the actors are wearing as good as no make up, natural, junglee hair and old faded clothes to keep it as real as possible.

The Not-so-good–  Even though the movie as a whole is entertaining, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some recent movies which are almost the same; namely, Chak De India, Mary Kom and Million Dollay Baby. Also, I find it a little funny that the girl who stays in the slums of Chennai and sells fish for a living doesn’t have a south Indian accent and neither does her family. Only the Junior coach (Nasser) has an accent for that matter. Nobody else in the entire film. Also, there was nothing in the film I didn’t expect. It was all quite predictable, fun to watch nonetheless.

Verdict– First time director Sudha Kongara’s Saala Khadoos is worth a watch for the performances and the quick paced screenplay.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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