Jul 17 2015

Bajrangi Bhaijaan- Movie Review

Roochster

Bajrangi Bhaijaan posterI woke up at 7am to watch my Salman Khan in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. Excitement was flowing through my system even as I was on my way to PVR Juhu, impatient to watch the 9am show, and before that hoping there wouldn’t be a long queue for tickets. So there I was in my seat, waiting eagerly for my Salman to appear on the big screen. But even before he came, the visuals before me took me in completely, making me forget that I was there, so early in the morning just for him.

Plot in short– ‘Shahida’ (Harshali Malhotra) a mute 6 year old girl from the Kashmiri side of Pakistan named after her mother’s favourite cricket Shahid Afridi gets left behind near the tracks of a train going from India to Pakistan in the wee hours of the night as she gets off trying to save a goat’s kid stuck inside a ditch. Finding another train to get onto, she hopes to go back home to her mother only reaching a village in Haryana where she meets our Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Salman Khan). Pawan or Bajrangi as he calls himself is a worshipper of Lord Hanuman, the monkey God and believes in always telling the truth. He meets Rasika (Kareena Kapoor Khan), his father’s friend’s daughter in Delhi and also stays in their house. They fall in love and want to get married but can only do so if Pawan can make enough money to buy a house.  Shahida who is mute and cannot read or write has no way to tell them where she’s from and so she too starts living with Rasika’s family and Pawan. As time passes by they find out that she’s from Pakistan and the only person who can take her there is Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Will he be able to cross the border and find her family? What are the obstacles that come in their way when he tries to?

The Good– Everything about the movie is good. I am not even exaggerating. Director Kabir Khan and his entire crew have let no stone unturned in making sure that the movie is made in the most honest and sincere way, not thinking of only Salman Khan and his superstar status. Salman Khan’s role is that of a very simple guy and he plays it with perfection. I can easily say that this is Salman’s finest performance and he made us cry this time. The pretty little girl Harshali Malhotra too is excellent as a mute child. She speaks volumes with her hand gestures and eyes alone. Kareena Kapoor Khan is merely a supporting actor here with not much to do but she looks gorgeous and does her usual Kareena stuff. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s entry scene is superb! The funny Pakistani reporter Chand Nawab’s scene is exactly like the one I had seen on Youtube ages ago and laughed my ass off. He’s one of the best actors we have today and is as natural as natural can get. Also, the screenplay is refreshing and moves steadily throughout. The camera work is brilliant. Beautiful visuals. The music is not the typical Salman Khan type foot tapping sorts that we’ve heard and danced to in the past. The ‘Selfie’ song is quite fun though. People in the theatre went crazy! Technically superb and emotionally perfect.

The Not-so-good– To be honest, I can’t think of anything. Just the fact that Salman Khan didn’t have any work to do apart from go and drop the girl to her mother.

Verdict– This has to be the best Salman Khan movie after Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun. Pure content with brilliant performances. Left me teary eyed in the end.

Rating– 4.5/5

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Jan 9 2015

Tevar- Movie Review

Roochster

Tevar movie posterMost of us women are looking for that ‘hero’ in our life who will sweep us off our feet, protect us, care for us, even sing songs and dance with us and make us feel like a princess. The existence of such heroes is all because of Bollywood and let me tell you that Tevar’s lead man Arjun Kapoor is surely going to make you swoon!

So glad to be back on Roochster and write my reviews again after a long wedding break! Now here’s my take on Boney Kapoor’s Tevar.

Plot in short- Pintoo a.k.a Ghanshyam (Arjun Kapoor) is a master at Kabaddi and bashes up any street lafanga who tries to mess with the women in Mathura. On a random day when he’s on his way to go and play kabaddi, he gets his hands dirty by crossing Gajender Singh’s (Manoj Bajpai) path. Now Gajender Singh is this corrupt politician’s brother who has the hots for Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha) and is on a mission to marry her whether she wants to or not. Will Pintoo and Radhika be able to match up to Gajender’s influence and power around town and free themselves from the chase?

The Good– The screenplay earns the film most points as you wont find yourself bored at any given point apart from a few long action scenes. Good direction by Amit Ravindernath Sharma for putting together a good end product. Some dialogues stand out but that’s because Arjun Kapoor shines. He’s acted very well and leaves you wanting for more. His character is perfectly sketched and he’s been lucky enough to get a role like this where the ‘hero’ of the film gets up even after being stabbed in his back, stomach and arms. No matter how silly and cliché that is, it’s a true Bollywood masala film that the masses love. Sonakshi Sinha too has acted well. She speaks volumes with her eyes and is convincing enough to play the damsel in distress with all the drama in her life. Together she and Arjun Kapoor sizzle on screen. Manoj Bajpai who plays the bad guy is perfect! All the supporting actors such as Raj Babbar, Deepti Naval, Arjun Kapoor’s sister, Kaakdi and all the other actors support beautifully. The music overall is just ok. My favourite number is the duet love song- Joganiyan and I also like Superman which is so typically a Sajid-Wajid number and has been choreographed well by Remo Desouza. Top notch cinematography by Laxman Utekar who has been working on every other film in Bollywood these days. But he is that good.  The background score by Clinton Cerejo is also well paced and takes the film forward. As much as I dislike action scenes, I have to say that the stunts are all well designed and the action sequences come off as well choreographed overall.

The Not-so-good– There aren’t many downfalls in the film apart from the fact that it is slightly longer than my liking. There could have been fewer action scenes and definitely 1-2 songs less to cut the length short. I would have liked better songs too in the film.

Verdict– Tevar has the right amount of attitude, romance, action, drama and comedy to make it a ‘paisa vasool’ entertainer for the masses. Arjun Kapoor is the next best thing! It was awesome to see a typical Bollywood film after so long! Jaake dekho!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Apr 18 2014

2 States- Movie Review

Roochster

2-states-posterWhat a refreshing start to my Good Friday birthday! Not expecting it to be too full, I left aaram se from home to watch 2 States only to be lucky enough to get the last available seat in the entire theatre! Believe it or not, it was house full at 10 30am; and it’s not even a Salman Khan film! It’s definitely got to do with Alia Bhatt because majority of the crowd was college students! Anyway, here’s what I thought of the filmy adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s ‘2 States’.

Plot in short– Ananya (Alia Bhatt), a Tamilian from Chennai and Krish (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi from Delhi meet and fall in love at IIM Ahmedabad. After being in a happy relationship for almost three years they decide to get married. The only problem now is- their parents. How far can they go to make their parents happy to be together?

The Good– Director Abhishek Varman might not be as fast paced a story teller as Chetan Bhagat but he’s done a good job nonetheless. 2 States as a film hits the right spot where emotions are concerned. I saw myself laughing, crying, relating and getting goosebumps throughout the film. Even though the film is adapted from the novel, the screenplay brings the film to life, giving it its own identity. I would have enjoyed it as much even if I hadn’t read the novel. The casting has a lot to do with making the film enjoyable. I can easily say that Alia Bhatt is the next big thing after her performance in the film Highway and now 2 States. She is fresh, effortless and natural in her performance; Arjun Kapoor is slightly thanda but true to his character. They both share sizzling chemistry on screen and it automatically makes the film more fun to watch. Amrita Singh and Revathy both fit their roles perfectly and are super convincing as the tough mother-in-laws. Ronit Roy as Arjun Kapoor’s father delivers a fine performance. I also thought that the styling is top notch! Superb clothes, make- up and hair and it all just adds to making the film look like a fancy Indian magazine. The simple and yet effective cinematography and art direction make the film visually stunning! I also thought that the music by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy is foot tapping and hummable. It went very well with the film. I loved the song ‘Mast magan’.

The Not-so-good– What I felt lacked, and most people would agree with me is the length of the film. The first half of the first half flows smoothly but starts getting very slow till the interval. The second half becomes even slower. So that is where the problem lies.  Pacing up the conflicts between the families or just editing better could have made it a lot more crisp and fun to watch.

Verdict– If you want to watch a good romantic comedy and have two and a half hours to spare, watch 2 States, especially if you are in or have been in a complicated relationship.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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Dec 31 2013

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2013

Roochster

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
Reviewhttp://roochster.com/2013/05/yeh-jawaani-hai-deewani-movie-review/

2)      Bhaag Milkha Bhaag- Inspiring and an award winning performance from Farhan Akhtar. Starring Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Reviewhttp://roochster.com/2013/07/bhaag-milkha-bhaag-movie-review/

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
Review-
http://roochster.com/2013/11/goliyon-ki-raasleela-ram-leela-movie-review/

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
Reviewhttp://roochster.com/2013/02/special-26-movie-review/

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
Reviewhttp://roochster.com/2013/03/saheb-biwi-aur-gangster-returns-movie-review/

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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Aug 8 2013

Chennai Express- Movie Review

Roochster

Chennai Express posterChennai Express was one of the biggest films releasing this year because of two reasons- Shahrukh Khan and Rohit Shetty. And guess what? Both were disappointing.

Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) makes a promise to his grandmother that he will go to Rameswaram from Mumbai to immerse his grandfather’s ashes into the sea. Now the real plan is to get a break from making sweets and go to Goa with his friends. And so he boards the Chennai Express. He meets Meena (Deepika Padukone) along with her four scary looking cousins and her father who wants her to marry Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer). From there, things go south and Meena and Rahul must find their way out of it.

I love Rohit Shetty’s films because they are pure entertainment. As a movie goer, one would want to watch two and a half hours of comedy, action, romance, songs, beautiful visuals and lots of drama but also a screenplay that holds you in place not matter how cliché the story. Shetty has of course spoofed the clichés to create another cliché (if you know what I mean) but he falls short of what he does best in this one unfortunately. There are some really funny scenes in the movie like for instance in the train when Shahrukh and Deepika speak to each other in the form of popular songs. Now that doesn’t quite work towards the end when the bad guy starts singing too. The story is obviously nothing to boast of but the screenplay and dialogues aren’t that well written either. Also there are too many Tamil dialogues which are fine but it would have been nice to have subtitles. The action sequences are typical of Shetty but somehow they didn’t quite work in Chennai Express. They seem forced and out of place even though they’re well choreographed.

Cinematographer Dudley has done a brilliant job except that the post production backgrounds are easily noticable. Otherwise, stunning visuals! The styling is bang on! Deepika looks gorgeous in her sarees and beautifully done makeup and hair. Shahrukh looks about 5 years younger thanks to the clothes and Botox. Superb art direction with a great choice of colours and props. The editing is too good!

The background music is good. The music by Vishal & Shekhar is a mix of good and ok. I like the songs ‘Titli’ and ‘1234’. The rest are unimportant.

To be honest, this is not a Shahrukh Khan film. Rohit Shetty and Shahrukh make an odd combo and it shows in the film. He’s supposed to exaggerate but not overact which he’s done here. Yes, he is funny in some scenes like when he starts speaking in a shaken up voice in the train in front of the baddies and maybe one or two more here and there. But that’s it. In this one, he’s quite awkward. The star of the film is Deepika Padukone without a doubt. She stays true to her character and that’s amazing. Her accent stays throughout the film and not once does she overact. She’s just throwing one surprise after another since ‘Cocktail’. With every movie she’s getting better as an actress. Nikitin Dheer who plays Tangaballi looks the part and does full justice to his character. Sathyaraj who plays Deepika’s father is alright.

As a film Chennai Express is a letdown and not something you need to watch at a multiplex. Watch it at home instead just for Deepika’s performance.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Jun 21 2013

Shortcut Romeo- Movie Review

Roochster

Shortcut Romeo posterGoing to watch a movie knowing it’s going to be stupid is kind of fun by itself but not when you have to go alone to a multiplex and spend 300 bucks on it! Ouch! Here’s my take on Neil Nitin Mukesh’s Thromance (Thriller-Romance) film Shortcut Romeo.

Suraj (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a brat who steals and fleeces people to live a rich life without having to work for it. After getting thrown out of his house, he lands up at his uncle’s place in Mumbai. On a random day he discovers two a Golf Course where he records a video of a rich lady (Ameesha Patel) and an instructor making love. In order to make quick bucks, he threatens Ameesha Patel to let him use her money freely as and when he likes. Things change for the worse when he’s with his friends in South Africa and realises she’s not an easy person to mess with.

I want to know what director Susi Ganesh was thinking! I would say that broadly the concept is interesting and with a little more attention to the story and screenplay, a good thriller could have been made. But there are too many things that make it a blunder film. The screenplay with its many twists and turns is all over the place. There is no flow or smooth transition from one scene to the next. It seems disjointed and amateurish. There are so many shots with a chroma screen behind that you can literally see how fake the set up is. The cinematography by N.K. Ekambram is brilliant but only in the scenes shot in South Africa.  Neil Nitin Mukesh is more like “Needs-a-haircut-Romeo”. Ameesha Patel looks good but poor thing had to do most of her scenes in a terrace-sized balcony. Superb locations in South Africa and gorgeous indoor sets otherwise!

The background score is fantastic! Do not miss the horse background sound at the time when NNM is chased by gundas at a racecourse and he tires them out by running almost 5 laps before the action begins. Pointless? Haha! The music by Himesh Reshammiya is catchy but forgettable. Again, the random flow of events with songs added in the middle spoil whatever interest level Mr. Susi tries to create.

Neil Nitin Mukesh’s performance is ok. He’s just not there yet. Ameesha Patel looks very good but I wish she could act that well too. She has the potential and I think she’d do great at negative roles. Puja Gupta looks hot in the first half and ok in the second. She can barely act. Vrajesh Hirjee is annoying and he just made the film ten times worse with his presence!

Shortcut Romeo is far from entertaining. Waste of money and time!

Rating– 2/5

 

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May 24 2013

Ishkq in Paris- Movie Review

Roochster

Ishkq in paris poster

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Preity Zinta in a movie. The last popular film we saw her in was Jhoom Barabar Jhoom in 2007. The she got busy with her love life (Ness Wadia), IPL, her chat show which bombed, and of course starting her new production company- PZNZ Media of which Ishkq in Paris is a product. So how was her comeback? Let’s get on with the review and find out.

Ishkq (Preity Zinta) who is half- Indian-half- French is a photographer who stays in Paris with her single French mother Marie (Isabelle Adjani). In a metro she bumps into Akash (Rhehan Malliek) who is an “agent” like in Jerry Maguire and since they’re both commitment- phobic and just want to have fun, they instantly hit it off. They decide to spend an evening in Paris (Before Sunrise, Hum Tum, Ekk Main aur Ekk Tu, Jab We Met, Anjaana Anjaani, anyone?) While they’re walking the beautiful cobbled streets of Paris, they meet a weirdo (Chunky Pandey) who sells them a dice. This dice tells them what to do- party, dinner, coffee, movie, sex…In that order, with no repetitions of course. Then it’s time for Akash to go back, only to meet again a few months later. Need I say what happens next? Of course, you already know!

Prem Raj as a director is as lost as the screenplay. What can they do when the story itself is so unoriginal and done to death? Paris looks beautiful though and cinematographer Manush Nandan has captured it so well that you’d it looks like a long advertisement to promote tourism in Paris. The locations, the art direction, the colours, the styling is all aesthetically done barring Preity Zinta’s hair. That didn’t make her look young. It just made her look stupid. Also, whoever did the casting forgot to get a male actor for the role.

Rhehan Malliek is so expressionlessly good looking that he should do modelling in Paris instead of trying to act. The chemistry between him and Preity is like tomato ketchup on a strawberry muffin. You get the drift? Preity is too old for roles like in this film and she might look very fresh with her mascara-filled eyes puffy lips but when she tries to act all young and bubbly like before, she looks like a wanna-be youngster! She only looked her normal self in the Salman Khan song. In fact, I think there was more chemistry between her and Salman in that one song than with Rhehan Malliek in the full film put together! Isabelle Adjani with her strange hair and dubbed Indian voice makes you wonder if you’re watching a badly dubbed Hollywood flop film.

The music in the film by Sajid Wajid is alright. Salman Khan only made the Punjabi song ‘Soni kudi’ better.

As a film, Ishkq in Paris fails to make a mark; but that was expected the moment you saw the trailer! Don’t watch it!

Rating– 2/5

 

 

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May 3 2013

Bombay Talkies- Movie Review

Roochster

Bombay-Talkies-posterCelebrating 100 years of cinema with four established film makers and their short films. What more can any movie buff ask for? Here’s my review of four ‘slice of life’ films that are all in some way very ‘Bombay’.

Karan Johar’s short film is about the relationship between a reserved husband, his confident journalist wife and a gay intern. Dibaker Banerjee’s short film is about a father who’s a struggler in life and doesn’t have work but lives to see his daughter smile. Zoya Akhtar’s short film is about a little boy who’s dream is to be a dancer. Anurag Kashyap’s short film is about a man who travels all the way from Allahabad to Mumbai to get Amitabh Bachchan to taste some ‘Murabba’ sent by his unwell father.

Let’s start with Karan Johar’s film first. We’ve only seen glossy, rich films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Student of the year, etc., from Karan Johar and everything’s always larger than life. But in Bombay Talkies, the characters, the setting, the story is so real that you’d be surprised that it’s made by him. I wish he’d do more films like this one. The cinematography in some scenes is lovely! The performances are superb! Rani Mukherji without a doubt stands out. Saqib Saleem was very ok in his previous films but is very convincing in this one. Randeep Hooda also played his part well. Even with its predictability, the film is well paced and has high entertainment value.

The next one is Dibaker Banerjee’s film which is slightly heavier as compared to the first one. Nizamuddin Siddiqui is a brilliant actor and he proves it time and again with every film he does. This one is no exception. The entire look of the film is strikingly real. All the actors look their part and deliver great performances. I love the cinematography from start to finish! The shadows, lighting, the angles all make the film a delight to watch.

Now, I personally am not a Zoya Akhtar fan but there’s something that draws you in while you’re watching this short film, probably the story. The beginning of the film was quite ‘filmy’ but I liked the end. Ranvir Shorey plays the little boy’s father but I felt he didn’t look or act the part convincingly enough. I can imagine Ram Kapoor acting like the tough daddy. The little boy and girl are a delight to watch. The Katrina Kaif as an angel part is quite lame. The camera work is simple.

Last but not the least; Anurag Kashyap’s short film is a bit of a disappointment. After seeing his work in the past, you’d expect better. The story is good but a bit of a drag. I felt quite restless while watching it, perhaps because it got a bit repetitive. The actor Vineet Kumar is decent but doesn’t have the screen presence to hold your attention. The camera work in this too is simple.

Bombay Talkies is a great concept with great individual stories. I’d love to watch more such movies in the future made by other film makers and artists.

Rating– 3.5/5

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Mar 17 2013

Mere Dad ki Maruti- Movie Review

Roochster

Mere Dad Ki Maruti posterI should’ve known that naming movies after cars would become a trend. Why, of course! Its movie full of advertising for them! Here’s what I think about the 1 hr 40 mins car ad!

Ram Kapoor is a strict father to a lallu son Saqib Saleem. The boy is trying hard to impress Rhea Chakraborty who is the college hotty. So in order to have the most perfect first date, he along with best friend Prabal Panjabi decides to take his brand new car (which is actually supposed to be gifted to his to-be-jijaji on his marriage day). Unfortunately, the Maruti disappears and then follow a series of misadventures.

Firstly, there’s nothing new about the story. It seems like you’re watching a teenage version of ‘Ferrari ki Sawari’ and of course, a much more exaggerated version (Punjabi style). The first half will make you wonder why you’re even watching the movie because everything is so OTT (Over-the-top) and for what? Even such a short movie felt really long! I agree that the cinematography is very rich and the overall production design is beautiful and so is the styling. But the screenplay falls flat on its face. The last fifteen minutes luckily act as the saving grace in an otherwise boring movie.

Saqib Saleem as the lead actor tries too hard but doesn’t match up to Prabal Panjabi who is naturally funny and cute. I think he was a lot better in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. Rhea Chakraborty who plays the bitchy Jasleen looks her part and to a certain extent acts it too but I guess teenagers and kids will be able to relate to her the most. Ram Kapoor as the scary father is convincing and has even acted well but the very fact that his character’s so over-the-top is a bit annoying. Ravi Kissen seemed a bit out of place in this movie but he’s a good actor and even with the small role did a good job.

There’s not much music in the movie, just a couple of songs but the background music is good and adds alot to the film.   I’m surprised this film is produced by Yash Raj Films because they’ve definitely done better films in the past even if they’re with new actors or a crazy story. This one’s a major let down.

By the end of the film I had seen enough of the red Maruti Ertiga which is spacious, is called a Life Utility Vehicle (LUV) and costs about 6 lakhs. Purpose served I guess.

Rating– 2/5

 

 

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Jan 4 2013

Table No.21- Movie Review

Roochster

Gripping, interesting story with a powerful message shot at beautiful locations with good performances by Paresh Rawal , Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae.

Rating- 3.5/5

Table-No-21-Poster

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