Jan 29 2016

Saala Khadoos- Movie Review


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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Jan 22 2016

Airlift- Movie Review


Airlift-PosterWhen I saw the trailer of Airlift it reminded me so much of Argo which has a very similar story. There may be the similarity of fleeing from the hostage country to their own, but apart from that, Airlift is based on a true story.

Plot in short– Airlift highlights the 1990 Iraq- Kuwait war that left about 1,70,000 Indian nationals hostage in Kuwait.  Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based Indian businessman along with his wife (Nimrat Kaur) and his office staff helps free the Indian hostages from the war zone in Kuwait during the reign of Iraqi emperor Saddam Hussein.

The Good– The performances for one are top grade. From Akshay Kumar to Nimrat Kaur to Purab Kohli to all the other supporting actors, they all make the film interesting to watch thanks to their fantastic performances. The screenplay writer has handled the story well and written the script in a way that engrosses the audience. The movie is well paced. Director Raja Krishna Menon has put together a team of people who know how to do their work well; taking the art director, stylists, cinematographer, producer and every single person involved. There’s no melodrama or filminess to make the film look larger than life, which I like.

The Not-so-good– I felt that even though the story and screenplay are well written, there could have been more heroic scenes where you feel more proud of Akshay Kumar. I also felt that there was no need for so many songs during the film.

Verdict– Airlift is another one of Akshay Kumar’s best films in the recent years. Go watch!

Rating– 3.5/5


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Dec 1 2015

The Good Dinosaur- Movie Review


The Good Dinosaur is a fun, well animated film children may enjoy but there’s nothing original about the story and screenplay and the predictability is disappointing.

Rating– 3/5

the-good-dinosaur poster

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Nov 12 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo- Movie Review


prdp-posterI had been seeing every single ‘Dubsmash’ of the much awaited Salman-Sonam starrer ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo’ since about a month and it only made me more and more curious to know how it would be as a film. Salman Khan of course was my biggest reasons but Sonam Kapoor definitely made her presence felt with all the social media posts everyday with regards to her outfits and all the promotions that the duo were doing.

Plot in short-Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) belongs to a Royal family with an evil brother and the CEO (Armaan Kohli) who want to kill him and two step sisters who are not in talking terms with him because they think he wants to rule with all the wealth from his ancestors. His manager (Anupam Kher) somehow saves him and has doctors attending to him 24/7 so he can attend his coronation ceremony with his Bride-to-be Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor) in four days. In Ayodhya, Prem Dilwale, who looks exactly like Prince Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) is a small time actor who does Ram Leela shows for a living. Not knowing if Prince Vijay would be able well enough to attend his coronation ceremony, he requests Prem Dilwale to pretend to be Prince Vijay for those four days until Princess Maithili is with them. Turns out that Prem and Maithilee fall in love and the family comes together as one. What happens to the Vijay then? D’oh! The film’s title is only ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ so that would be an easy guess.

The Good– Salman Khan is the biggest reason to watch this film and I would totally watch it again. It’s so nice to see him in movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sooraj Barjatya films like these where he plays the kind of person you want to marry. I wont deny that Sooraj Barjatya went a little overboard with trying too hard to instill good values and old school romance but we’ll come to that a bit later. What I really like about the film is that human emotions are shown in the most simple, pure form, not sliding towards ‘just- an- adult- audience’ to get eyeballs. The sets and styling add to the grandeur of the film. I also thought Sonam Kapoor was not that bad compared to her previous really bad performances. Anupam Kher, Armaan Mallik, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Swara Bhaskara are all a great support to the film.

The Not-so-good– Sooraj Barjatya has great intentions but he has forgotten that an audience in the 21st century is watching his film. The story is kacha and the characters are not sketched out properly, leaving a very incomplete-ish, half-hearted story that could have been written better. The screenplay is all over the place, especially in the first half where you’re like what the hell am I watching and from which generation! It’s a little too corny and most people, who are not Salman Khan or Sooraj Barjatya fans, will wait to run out of the theatre! The visual effects are quite amateurish; especially the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ parts. The music by Himesh Reshammiya is not appealing at all. I’m surprised I was actually waiting for the title song to play till the end because all the other songs were so stupid and unnecessary. Not that I love the title track but it’s an example to tell you how bad the other songs were. So yes, quite a few flaws in a film that also has a very funny title.

Verdict– Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is not the kind of film most people would like but if you’re a Salman Khan fan and also a Sooraj Barjatya fan, you wont mind sitting through the entire film and even get teary eyed. I did, multiple times.

Rating– 3/5

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Aug 28 2015

Phantom- Movie Review


An average thriller that is gripping in parts only and otherwise a long, never ending story.

Rating- 3/5

phantom poster

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Jun 26 2015

Inside Out- Movie Review


A charming, positive and well scripted film skillfully animated, that teaches you the value of your every emotion and how it affects your life.

Rating- 4/5

inside-out movie poster

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Jun 5 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do- Movie Review


Dil dhadakne do posterAfter Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Dil Dhadakne Do has been the most awaited movie this summer and boy was I excited to watch it! Here’s a quick review.

Plot in short– A dog by the name of Pluto tells the story of a Punjabi family that’s got quite a lot of issues in their lives. The husband (Anil Kapoor) and wife (Shefali Shah) are rich but have their own set of problems. The business is going downhill and so is their married life. Their son (Ranveer Singh) is an obedient boy (so they think), following his father’s footsteps and trying hard to do well at the business but sadly can’t so they’re trying to marry him off to a rich man’s daughter. Their daughter (Priyanka Chopra) is married unwillingly to rich businessman Rahul Bose. There’s everything but love in their marriage and she can’t wait to break free and get back to her one time love Farhan Akhtar. It’s their parent’s anniversary and to celebrate, invitations are sent out to close friends and family for a cruise holiday in Turkey and Greece. On the cruise, Ranveer meets Anushka Sharma, a dancer, Priyanka Chopra meet her ex boyfriend Farhan Akhtar and bitter truths come out between the anniversary couple. Will this dysfunctional family come together?

The Good– Being a Zoya Akhtar film, this one is a pure family entertainer with witty dialogues by Farhan Akhtar, a super stylish ensemble cast, setting, production design, beautiful cinematography and very good performances. She brings out the best side in all her actors. As you will see, Anil Kapoor, with his salt and pepper hair looks like the charming 50 year old who barely looks his age. He’s fantastic as the authoritative and hyper father. Shefali Shah as the wife and mother plays her part with finesse. Priyanka Chopra flaunts her taunt body and delivers an outstanding performance. Ranveer Singh is superb! Naturally witty with his own style, he creates a screen presence like no one else. All the supporting actors- Farhan Akhtar, Rahul Bose, Anushka Sharma, Zarina Wahab, Riddhima Sud, the gossiping aunties, and the others equally contribute in making the film a fun 170 minutes to watch.

The Not-so-good– Even though the film is entertaining, there are some things which are extremely underplayed. For instance, Ranveer and Anushka’s love story doesn’t seem to have enough depth to go fighting for it in the end. Also, the first half is a bit of a drag. Too many people, maybe? The music by Shankar Ehsaan & Loy is alright. Luckily not too many songs. The humour in the film may not appeal to a large audience. The classes may love it but the masses may not because of the ‘upper class humour’.

Verdict– A movie with a happy ending and some great performances, this one’s a fun, light humoured family entertainer.

Rating– 3.5/5




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May 15 2015

Bombay Velvet- Movie Review


bombay velvet posterSince the time I saw the trailer and heard the songs from Bombay Velvet, I knew the film would be absolutely brilliant. Well, umm I wish that was the case for real!

Plot in short– Balraj a.k.a Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) has one dream- to be a big shot. Impressed with his dare devil attitude, Kaizad Khambata ( Karan Johar), editor of a tabloid called ‘Torrent’ appoints Balraj to manage his club named ‘Bombay Velvet’ and also wipe out Jimmy Mistry (Manish Chaudhury), editor of another tabloid called ‘Glitz’. Jimmy appoints the gorgeous Rosie (Anushka Sharma), a jazz singer to lure Johnny and destroy his competition among other things. Meanwhile, Johnny and Rosie fall in love and are in too deep to fall out of it. What happens to Bombay Velvet?

The Good– I haven’t seen any period film look so rich and real. Every set, every costume, props, graphics, hair and make up done take you back to the 60s and 70s. There’s a tremendous amount of effort that went into the research and ground work plus the magnificent camera work that make it a visual delight, this Bombay Velvet. Apart from that, the actors are all superb! While Ranbir and Anushka draw you in with their performance and chemistry, Satyadeep Misra, Kay Kay Menon, Manish Chaudhury and Karan Johar are good. Raveena Tandon in her special appearance looks more ravishing than she has ever looked. I’d like to point out that the music and background score of the film are fantastic! Amit Trivedi makes jazz come alive with some of his compositions. I like Anurag Kashyap’s Tarantino-like story-telling style, however there is room for improvement. The part where Karan Johar, unable to keep his straight face, breaks into an infectious giggle away from everyone is one of the best scenes in the movie, without a doubt.

The Not-so-good– While there are so many nice things about the movie, the screenplay and editing could have been way better. The first half is a bit of a drag and overall, there is something amiss, perhaps more attention given to the script.

Verdict– Bombay Velvet is visually stunning and has some great performances and music but falls short of a script that’s interesting enough to hold a two and a half hours film.

Rating– 2.5/5


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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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Mar 13 2015

NH10- Movie Review


NH10 posterThere’s a lot more to NH10 than Anushka Sharma’s funny looking lips. Let me tell you.

Plot in short– Married couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) are off on a holiday for Meera’s birthday and they are looking forward to being away from the chaos of work and the hustle bustle in Delhi. While they’re on their way, they get involved in a very nasty mess, a very bad situation. Will they be able to get out of it?

The Good– I knew this would be a brilliant film the moment I saw the trailer. I am so glad I saw it first day first show although watching it first thing in the morning may not be the best thing because of how gory, dark and intense it is. So unless you’re ok with it being a heavy morning, I suggest you watch it right before dinner. As a film, NH10 is extremely gripping. The screenplay does full justice to the story and everything else falls in place perfectly. Director Navdeep Singh has executed the story to the best of his ability. The cinematography, background score, music, styling and setting all are top notch and in perfect sync with the script. Coming to the performances, I love Anushka Sharma more than ever before! She’s badass and has everything in her an actress should have (not the post lip job lips).  Her performance in NH10 deserves an award or two for sure. Certain scenes like towards the end when she pulls out a cigarette from a pack on the floor, lights it and smokes it slowly while the killer of her husband is lying on the floor, bleeding and struggling to get up. The moment she’s done smoking, she gets up and beats him to death, in style. Neil Bhoopalam has a small role in the film and is not bad but not outstanding like Anushka either. Darshan Kumaar who plays the villain a.k.a actor in a negative role is good. He could have been more evil. All the other supporting actors have played their parts well.

The Not- so- good– To be honest I can’t think of what I don’t like about the film. The one hour fifty five minutes just went off without any distractions or dull moments.

Verdict– An absolute must watch NH10 is another intense film in early 2015 after Badlapur that is making Bollywood and us Indians proud. Go watch it today!

Rating– 4/5


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