Apr 10 2016

The Jungle Book (Hindi)- Movie Review


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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May 8 2015

Piku- Movie Review


piku-posterSo there was PK and now there’s Piku. Yeah it’s been a while since I’ve written a review. NH10 was the last one and then came tons of social events, travels and laziness galore. Anyhow, let’s get down to my review.

Plot in short– Piku (Deepika Padukone), an irritable, eccentric, crazy Bengali woman of 30 has been taking care of her baba- Bhaskor (Amitabh Bachchan) ever since her mother passed away. Due to his own securities and old age health problems, constipation being a major one, he just cannot do without Piku to an extent where she can’t even get married. Originally from Kolkata and staying in Delhi, Bhaskor wants to visit his ancestral home and brother in Kolkata but that can’t happen without darling daughter Piku. But then comes a shitty problem- Bhaskor’s constipation cannot handle the claustrophobic loos in the plane or the discomfort in the train. So they decide to travel 1500 kms by car. Irrfan Khan, the owner of the cab service ends up driving them there because none of his drivers can take Piku’s eccentricities or mood swings to tolerate her for so long. Will Piku’s life ever be straightened out?

The Good– When you have three outstanding performers- Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone what can go wrong? Well, not much. I love how natural they all are in their performances, often making you forget that you’re watching a film. Amitabh Bachchan as the grumpy, finicky and difficult father whose Bangla accent is perfect and body language bang on; Irrfan Khan didn’t have much of a challenging role but he was good. Deepika Padukone just gets better with every film. She was great for the part of Piku and expressed herself beautifully in every scene. Moushmi Chatterjee too was rather entertaining. The director Shoojit Sircar has paid attention to every detail and made the setting as real as possible. Everything from the styling to the set design to the background score, screenplay, cinematography and editing make Piku a very interesting story to watch.

The Not-so-good– Although I really enjoyed myself through the course of the film but there were certain parts which felt like a drag and in totality they did make the two hours five minutes film seem like it was atleast three hours. I also felt that the ending could have been slightly better.

Verdict– Piku is a delightful film that will take you through a journey that’s rather unusual and yet heart warming.

Rating– 3.5/5


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Oct 2 2014

Haider- Movie Review


haider-posterYou know its a Vishal Bhardwaj film when you walk out of the theatre with a heavy heart. Haider is not your typical Bollywood flick and Shahid Kapoor is far from being the ‘Chocolate Boy’ in this powerful film. Here’s my review.

Plot in Short– Inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Haider, the film tells the story of Haider (Shahid Kapoor), a poet who returns to his home after several years only to find that his father is missing, his house is burnt and his mother is having an affair with his uncle. Something’s fishy and Haider does not plan to let it be.

The Good– The adaptation has been brilliantly executed. To have Kashmir as the backdrop of the film only made it more interesting. Vishal Bhardwaj has played his cards well and made a masterpiece of a film. Superb screenplay written by him along with Basharrat Peer. I actually made an effort to read the credits online once I got home because making such a powerful film like this, rich in content is not common. Each character has been given life, making the viewer completely engrossed in watching the film from beginning to end no matter how long it is. The cinematographer Pankaj Kumar has captured beautiful moments on camera, making Kashmir look splendid in its most raw form. The most amazing part about Haider is the stunning performances by each and every actor. Award winning performances especially by Tabu, Kay Kay Menon and Shahid Kapoor. Its films like these and a director like Vishal Bhardwaj that bring out the best in these actors. I can easily say that this is Shahid Kapoor’s and Shraddha Kapoor’s best film yet. The music and background score which is intense too goes very well with the theme of the film. The song ‘Bismil’ has been choreographed very well and is well composed. I also really really liked the song ‘Aao na’. I couldn’t imagine anyone but Vishal Dadlani singing it!

The Not-so-good–  There’s not much I didn’t like in this movie apart from the fact that it is slightly long and a bit disconnected in a few parts but I guess that’s the beauty of it.

Verdict– Get blown! Haider must be watched for its performances, direction, story, music, Kashmir, cinematography, background score and almost everything else. I loved it!

Rating– 4.5/5

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Feb 14 2014

Gunday- Movie Review


Gunday-Movie-PosterFor Gunday I wasn’t expecting any theatre to be housefull; that too a show at 1:30 pm. But you know what?  I was wrong! I had to watch it in a theatre that stinks of pee (Central Plaza) ‘cause that was the closest theatre and the next show wasn’t too far away. Anyway, getting down to my review.

Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) both Bangladeshi refugees escape from Bangladesh as Gun Couriers. In Calcutta they take up a job at a small restaurant where they get thrown out from. They decide to make money to survive by stealing coal from trains and selling it. As time goes by, they become greater and more successful at smuggling coal and soon become the most popular ‘Gunday’ in Calcutta. A tough cop (Irrfan Khan) is all set to catch both of them and put them behind bars for all the criminal evidence he has against them. Will their ‘gundagiri’ be successful?

Director Ali Abbas Zafar definitely knows how to make his actors give their finest performance. If you see the story, it’s a typical Bollywood film from the 70s or 80s where revenge and blind love are the basics. The screenplay is alright and the background score really adds pace to the film which seems a bit slow at times. I wish the twists weren’t so predictable. I could guess every single one! The dialogue delivery though is superb! The action scenes are decently choreographed.

The styling is good. Both the actors have killer bodies that you can’t help stare at! The setting could have been better for sure. It all feels too polished and fresh for the 70s, 80s and 90s. The cinematography is great but then, all of Yash Raj’s films have the best cinematographers and use the best equipment to get the most splendid results.

When we speak of performances, there’s no denying that Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor are fantastic actors! They’re smooth, expressive and say their dialogues with style. While Ranveer Singh has his body to score lots of points, Arjun Kapoor impresses with the way he plays a grey shade to his character. Their chemistry is free flowing and entertaining and the best part is that both complement each other. Priyanka Chopra doesn’t have a major role but it is still significant and has done a good job. She looks as scintillating as ever! Irrfan Khan by default makes his presence felt in a large way. He is an actor of another level. Just too good!

The music by Sohail Sen is not exceptional and not that bad either. ‘Tune maari entry’ is my favourite. The other songs are alright. The visuals are beautiful in the song with Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh.

On the whole, Gunday is a one time watch. Masala entertainer with superb performances!

Rating– 3/5



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Dec 31 2013

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2013


Best movies of 20132013 has seen more downs than ups where Bollywood films are concerned but there have been some pretty awesome films that I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching. Here’s a list of the ones I loved and would recommend if you haven’t seen them already!

1)      Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani– This is undoubtedly my favourite film of the year! A must see Rom-Com! Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapur & Kalki Koechlin. Directed by Ayan Mukherji

2)      Bhaag Milkha Bhaag- Inspiring and an award winning performance from Farhan Akhtar. Starring Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

3)      Goliyon ki Raas leela Raam Leela- A very well made modern day Romeo & Juliet. Starring Ranveer Singh & Deepika Padukone. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali

4)      Special 26- A great heist story based on a real robbery that took place in 1987. Starring Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpai & Jimmy Shergill. Directed by Neeraj Pandey

5)      Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns- A rare instance of a sequel which is more fun to watch than its prequel. Starring Jimmy Shergill, Irrfaan Khan, Soha Ali Khan & Mahie Gill. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia

6)      Jolly LLB- Small film with a big heart. Starring Arshad Warsi & Boman Irani. Directed by Subhash Kapoor

Review- http://roochster.com/2013/03/jolly-llb-movie-review/

7)      Go Goa Gone- A fun zombie film that was different and pretty twisted! Starring Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Vir Das & Puja Gupta. Directed by Krishna D.K & Raj Nidimoru.

Review- http://roochster.com/2013/05/go-goa-gone-movie-review/

8)      The Lunchbox- An unconventional and light hearted romantic comedy for all ages. Starring Irrfan Khan & Nimrat Kaur. Directed by Ritesh Batra

Review- http://roochster.com/2013/09/the-lunchbox-movie-review/

9)      Shuddh Desi Romance- Two great non-commercial actors in a love story that’s brave and very today. Starring Sushant Singh Rajput & Parineeti Chopra. Directed by Maneesh Sharma

Review- http://roochster.com/2013/09/shuddh-desi-romance-movie-review/

10)   B.A. Pass- A very bold film that’s brilliantly executed. Starring Shilpa Shukla & Shadab Kamal. Directed by Ajay Bahl

Review- http://roochster.com/2013/08/b-a-pass-movie-review/


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Sep 20 2013

The Lunchbox- Movie Review


thelunchbox posterSometimes you just know that a film will be outstanding the moment you see its trailer. The Lunchbox is exactly that and so much more.

A simple, middle-class, lonely man- Mr. Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) has a dull, routine life until he starts receiving a ‘dabba’ during lunch time that’s not really his. The dabba is meant to go to the husband of Ila, a woman who is lonely (Nimrat Kaur), has a child and a friend/ neighbour with whom she communicates via a window. She tries too hard to win her husband’s heart but fails every single time and hence starts to send new food items that might get his attention. As days go by, letters are exchanged in the dabba and thus a new relationship between two individuals who know nothing about each other is born.

Director Ritesh Batra who is also the writer of the film has created magic with his characters alone. Their personalities are so clear and strong that you’re keen to know more about them as the movie progresses. Each character has a presence that doesn’t just melt away with the story. In fact, they only get stronger. Without complications in their personalities, the story is told in the simplest manner possible. The director chooses to keep things as real as possible. The office environment, Irrfan Khan’s house, his neighbours, Nimrat Kaur’s house, the city, the Dabbawalas, the trains, buses, rickshaws, taxis all become an integral part of his story.  Superb art direction production design. I love that the clothes too are simple, repeated and relatable. No pretense whatsoever. No make up either. I also like the fact that there’s barely any background music. The only songs you will hear are the ones the Dabbawalas sing in the train and the ones played on the radio or ‘cassette’ as Ila asks aunty to play. What’s also nice is that Ila always writes to Mr. Fernandes in Hindi whereas Mr. Fernandes responds to her in English. They stick to their characters which don’t seek acceptance but just an ear to be heard or eyes to read in this case.

Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur shine like diamonds in their performances. They are natural, grounded and spontaneous in their acting. Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the annoying assistant does his part just the way he’s meant to do it. Another one of those Director’s actors. Auntyji played by Bharati Achrekar is not seen throughout the film but she has a strong presence in the film and is very entertaining. Lilette Dubey (the mother), Denzil Smith (the boss) and Nakul Vaid (the husband) all play their parts well.

The Lunchbox is a film that is for everyone to watch. Enjoyable, tasty and unique. Must watch!

Rating– 4/5


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Jul 19 2013

D-Day- Movie Review


D-Day posterI saw D-Day and Ramaiya Vastavaiya on the same day. Guess which one was better! Guess! Don’t worry! You’ll get you answer soon enough.

Rishi Kapoor (Iqbal Seth) as we’ve seen in the trailers plays a terrorist/don staying in Karachi. 4 Raw agents- Wali (Irrfan Khan), Zoya (Huma Qureshi), Rudra (Arjun Rampal) and Aslam (Aakash Dahiya) are sent on a mission to bring Iqbal Seth to India to face justice.

Nikhil Advani who’s first directorial venture was ‘Kal ho naa ho’ has come a long way and not in a good way. D-Day might sound and look really interesting but it lacks what makes a good film- a well written story. The screenplay is so badly written that I was yawning through most parts of the movie. No dialogue made an impact even though there are a couple of them that were meant to. Apart from the last 15 minutes or so, the entire movie was a bore! I didn’t understand why the love stories were given so much importance. 3 songs are wasted on Arjun Rampal and Shruti Haasan out of which one made sense. The way that entire song ‘Alvida’ is shot is beautiful. The cinematography otherwise by Tushar Kanti Ray is nice.

The art direction and visuals on screen are realistic. There are a lot of action scenes but none too gripping. The styling of the actors is alright. The music by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy is ok except for the song ‘Alvida’. The background score could have been better to give the film a bit more character.

Irrfan Khan and Arjun Rampal are the pillars of the film. Arjun Rampal especially is only improving with every film. Huma Qureshi is a good actor and has done a decent job in this film. Aakash Dahiya as Aslam is very good. Rishi Kapoor is a brilliant actor but I think his role in D-Day doesn’t do much for him. With barely any scenes and dialogues, Rishi Kapoor’s role is more like a long cameo. Shruti Haasan is good in some scenes and not so good in some but she looks lovely. Nasser (who plays the RAW chief) is a superb actor and could have had more to do in the film.

So, D-Day might have looked promising in the promos but as a film it lacks a lot apart from the performances which are top notch. I would not recommend it.

Rating– 2/5

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Mar 9 2013

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns- Movie Review


Saheb-Biwi-Aur-Gangster-Returns-posterSaheb Biwi aur Gangster has returned and how!

The sequel goes one step ahead of the prequel and has an independent story keeping the 3 central characters in mind. Irrfan Khan plays Soha Ali Khan’s love interest. He wants to kill Saheb (Jimmy Sheirgill) whose grandfather had killed Irrfan Khan’s grandfather in some war. Mahie Gill is the ‘Biwi’ of the crippled ‘Saheb’ and is mostly drunk throughout and wants to finally have her own identity but needs a mastermind to help her. That mastermind turns out to be the ‘Gangster’ (Irrfan Khan), Saheb’s enemy.

Tigmanshu Dhulia and his team have outdone themselves with the sequel which is better than it’s prequel which seems to be a rarity in Bollywood films. The way the story unfolds is interesting and gripping. The setting is real, rustic and not over-the-top as they show in most movies. The styling is also tastefully done to suit the characters. The cinematography is good in some parts and bad in some.

Jimmy Sheirgill is a delight to watch in the film. I think he’s also extremely underrated and should get his due by doing more interesting roles. Mahie Gill is a little annoying with her forever drunken voice. She looks really good in the movie though. Irrfan Khan is natural and effortless. Soha Ali Khan is superb! I think it’s her best performance yet and she too should get her due by doing films with substance. The supporting cast is good too except for Pravesh Rana who should stick to doing reality shows.

The music of the film can barely be spoken about except for the song ‘Jugni’ which is not new anyway. Sandeep Chowta was briliant once upon a time but now should stick to background scores which he’s very good at.

Overall, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns is entertaining and I enjoyed it more than the first one.

Rating– 3.5/5





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Dec 30 2012

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2012


Best Movies of 2012

1)      Kahaani- Mind blowing story and well paced thriller. Starring Vidya Balan. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh.

2)      Rowdy Rathore- Paisa Vasool masala film. Starring Akshay Kumar & Sonakshi Sinha. Directed by Prabhudeva.

3)      Ek Tha Tiger- Entertaining thriller. Starring Salman Khan & Katrina Kaif. Directed by Kabir Khan

4)      Barfi- The performances make the film fun to watch. Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’cruz. Directed by Anurag Basu.

5)      OMG Oh My God! – Very Good movie with a beautiful message. Starring Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar & Mithun Chakraborthy. Directed by Umesh Shukla.

6)      English Vinglish- Simple, emotional and moving. Starring Sridevi, Priya Anand & Mehdi Nebou

7)      Talaash– Slightly slow but superb thriller! Starring Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherji & Kareena Kapoor. Directed by Reema Kagti.

8)      Paan Singh Tomar- Unpretentious & endearing with a great story and gripping  performance by Irrfan Khan. Starring Irrfan Khan & Mahie Gill. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia

9)      Vicky Donor- Surprisingly fun and real with natural performances. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gupta & Annu Kapoor. Directed by Shoojit Sircar.

10)   Ishaqzaade- Charming, different and entertaining. Starring Parineeti Chopra & Arjun Kapoor. Directed by Habib Faisal.


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Nov 23 2012

Life of Pi- Movie Review


I haven’t read the book…yet. The movie has inspired me to. Here’s why.

Pi’s father decides to move from Pondicherry to Canada for a better life. He owns a zoo and supports a family of 4 including Pi. They decide to go by sea and encounter a deadly storm. The only survivors- Pi, an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and a tiger find themselves in a lifeboat. In barely any time, the tiger eats up all the animals except for Pi who strives to save himself from being eaten. As the food and water supplies on the lifeboat get over, Pi thinks of various ways to keep himself and the tiger alive in a beautiful adventurous journey.

Ang Lee is pure genius! The way he’s woven the entire story into a blanket of beautiful visuals and storytelling makes it a film that everyone will love. Yes it is slightly slow, especially in the first half but then you forget all about the pace as you’re busy taking in the beauty of imagination and Pi’ journey with Richard Parker- the tiger. I’ve seen the movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks which was fantastic! I think this one’s pretty similar but goes up by several notches for sure. What makes it even better are the breathtaking 3D effects and the cinematography which play a major role in making the journey worth it.

Coming to the performances… Suraj Sharma who plays Pi for most of the film speaks the unspoken. His performance makes you feel what he feels. I think that’s the biggest compliment I can give him. Irrfan Khan and Tabu don’t have big roles in the film but still deliver beautifully as usual. All the other actors, including the animals, especially the tiger contribute largely to make the film what it is.

On the whole, Life of Pi is an inspiring film that must be watched by everyone! Do not watch it at home! Thank you Yann Martel for writing such an amazing story, a masterpiece and Ang Lee for making it come to life.

Rating– 4/5


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