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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Jun 5 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do- Movie Review

Roochster

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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Sep 5 2014

Mary Kom- Movie Review

Roochster

Brilliant direction, acting, screenplay, cinematography and overall execution of the story of a real life hero from India so that makes it an absolutely inspiring and must watch film!

Rating- 4/5

Mary Kom poster

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Feb 14 2014

Gunday- Movie Review

Roochster

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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Nov 1 2013

Krrish 3- Movie Review

Roochster

Krrish 3 posterThere’s something about superhero movies that draw the attention of both children and adults alike. I went for Krrish 3 because I enjoyed watching Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish. I’m afraid Krrish 3 just wasn’t as entertaining as its prequels but wasn’t bad either. Here’s my review.

Krrish a.k.a Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) is happily married and stays with his father Rohit and wife (Priyanka Chopra) and protecting the city from day to day crimes. Kaal (Vivek Oberoi), an evil genius is all set to destroy the world by spreading a poisonous gas made by him that can kill and cause permanent damage to people. Krrish along with his scientist father must do everything they can to save the people and destroy Kaal’s powers.

Rakesh Roshan is a great director and we’ve seen that in all this previous films. So with Krrish 3 he’s carrying forward the story of a superhero that actually looks like a superhero unlike the one we saw in Ra.One.  Ahem! The story has its drawbacks in terms of content. There are too many clichés that we’ve seen in numerous films in the past and so Krrish 3 is just another rendition of what we’ve already seen. Having said that, it still is entertaining because of the way the screenplay progresses. There isn’t a dull moment. It has an emotional connect and that’s what makes the difference. From start to finish the story moves at a consistent pace. There’s a lot more action that we see in this film as compared to the previous two. Some of them might not be right for children to see considering it’s a film and a character children relate to and love.  The styling of all the actors is right except for the superhero. Priyanka and Kangana look ultra-glam in their clothes and make up.

When you see the visuals in front of you, sometimes they seem extremely amateurish and in some you get to see real talent where visual effects are concerned. So in a film where computer graphics play a major role this one alternates between good and bad.  The cinematography by S. Tirru is lovely, especially for the song ‘Dil tu hi bata’ with Hrithik and Kangana which also sounds great. It’s good to hear Alisha Chinoy singing after so long. I didn’t enjoy the other songs that much though. So overall the music is strictly ok. The background score by Salim-Sulaiman is good and goes well with the theme.

Hrithik Roshan is in my opinion the best looking superhero Bollywood has had yet. He can totally take your breath away with his gorgeous mysterious eyes behind that mask except for the fact that his costume looks really bad and makes you forget all about his eyes. As an actor, he’s excellent and in Krrish 3 he is very good too. I’d like to quote a little boy sitting behind me in the theatre who said, ‘Actor ho toh Hrithik jaisa’.  Even as an old man, he does a fine job. Priyanka Chopra doesn’t have much to do except for add a little drama but she’s done it well. Kangana Ranaut for once didn’t have to use the word ‘Bastard’ or act drunk. She does full justice to her negative role and looks hot. Vivek Oberoi is brilliant as Kaal and will make you hate him. He’s totally into the character and acts effortlessly. I wish we would get to see him act in more movies.

So, I wouldn’t recommend taking children below the age of 10 for the movie because of all the violence but otherwise Krrish 3 is entertaining and I’d definitely like to see more sequels in the future.

Rating– 3/5

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Sep 6 2013

Zanjeer- Movie Review

Roochster

zanjeer-posterZanjeer was a film I was so not excited to watch. From the trailer it looked quite bad and Ram Charan and Priyanka Chopra somehow look extremely odd together. But then it’s a remake of the film that made Amitabh Bachchan a star. I just had to watch it to see if this new one was any good.

Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan) is an ACP and an extremely serious cop who gets transferred time and again because of the way he deals with the bad guys. He’s had a painful past where his parents got murdered when he was eight years old and ever since then he’s been looking for the killer. Mala (Priyanka Chopra), a NRI is in India for a friend’s wedding and she accidently witnesses a murder in a zone where something fishy is going on. Ever since the Oil Mafia Teja (Prakash Raj) finds out about this, he sends his men after her. Vijay comes to the rescue and gives her shelter in his house. He becomes friends with Sher Khan (Sanjay Dutt) who deals in illegal buying and selling of cars. Will they be able to beat Teja and find the killer of his parents?

Director Apoorva Lakhia tried his best to make a 2013 version of the superhit film Zanjeer that people loved. To be honest, after watching this, I want to see Zanjeer even more only to see what made it so good. The screenplay by Suresh Nair and dialogues by Chintan Gandhi leave no impact. For a genre like this I would have expected some really hard hitting dialogues. Also, the entire effort by the cast and crew seems half-hearted or like they were expecting it to be a flop film. The cinematography by Gururaj is excellent. He keeps pace with the various actions scenes and does a good job with his lens. The costumes and make up I felt were a bit over-the-top. It was totally unnecessary for Ram Charan to have such huge biceps and dress up like a stud half the time. I understand he’s the hero but dude! Seriously?!

The background score of the film is excellent! It brings in some energy to the film. The music by Meet Brothers, Chirantan Bhatt and Anand Raj Anand is very very bad. The movie could have been way better without them.

Coming to the performances… Ram Charan as an actor does not do justice to the role at all. Being fit and chiseled does not make one a good actor. He’s got this one expression throughout and looks like a robot. Priyanka Chopra is extra loud and seems more wanna-be-ish in this film than she has ever been in her acting career. This is probably one of her worst performances. Sanjay Dutt is good. I wouldn’t say he’s excellent but he convinces you as Sher Khan and looks intimidating. Prakash Raj with his comic-villain role is perfect. He’s just too good! Mahie Gill as Teja’s mistress is alright; a bit annoying at times. Atul Kulkarni has a small role but does it well.

I can say that Zanjeer 2013 was as per my expectations- quite bad. Looking at the story though I want to watch the old Zanjeer and then I’ll be able to really tell how bad this one is. Watch when it comes on TV.

Rating– 2.5/5

 

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May 3 2013

Shootout At Wadala- Movie Review

Roochster

Shootout at wadala-PosterDirector Sanjay Gupta is back with yet another stylized action film- Shootout at Wadala which tells us the story of Manya Surve, a notorious gangster who was killed in an encounter in Wadala in the 1980s.

John Abraham plays Manohar (Manya) Surve. In college, he’s a good guy, has a steady girlfriend and even scores well in his exams. So what made him become a gangster? A murder accusation leads him to jail because of which he gets aggressive and wants to kill the people behind his imprisonment.

This is a film only for the masses, rather only for guys who love violence. I went to watch it at a single screen and it was housefull! Sanjay Gupta’s style of film making is typical- action, dialogues and the women all must stand out. The action is very good, the dialogues are killer and the women are nothing but sex objects. In spite of having good dialogues, the screenplay fails to find a steady ground. It goes all over the place and doesn’t do much to tell the story properly. Sanjay Gupta as a director must realize that the film should be beyond violence, abuses and women. The writing is so weak that you wont feel for Manya Surve or his girlfriend. Also, there’s no special effort made by the production team to work on the look of the film. Apart from using old cars, Kangana Ranaut’s styling and Sonu Sood’s clothes in a few scenes, you wont feel like you’re back in the 1970s or 1980s.

On the bright side, the cinematography is rich, the editing for the action scenes is outstanding and yes Milap Zaveri does cause a stir among the audience with his powerful lines.

John Abraham as Manya Surve is surprisingly good. This is by far his best performance to date; probably because he hasn’t got the chance to do any challenging roles in the past. Tusshar Kapoor is alright. Anil Kapoor as always delivers an effortless performance and looks so young! Sonu Sood and Manoj Bajpayee are very good. Mahesh Manjrekar has a small role but is amazing to watch! Kangana Ranaut looks gorgeous but is stuck with the same crying and cribbing kind of role. She still reminds me of a pigeon.

The music by Anu Malik is ok. The background score is very good. What is annoying is that the songs just come up randomly during the movie. Sunny Leone as an item girl has nothing to flaunt but her physical assets. She’s not that great a dancer and can’t mesmerize you with expressions. Priyanka Chopra’s dance number is better.

Shootout at Wadala has nailed it in the camera, dialogue and edit department and can be a major part of John Abraham’s showreel but fails to make an impact as a film based on true incidents. I got quite bored during the course of the film.

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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Dec 30 2012

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2012

Roochster

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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Sep 14 2012

Barfi!- Movie Review

Roochster

I was super eager to watch the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Barfi! because of how awesome it looked from all the promos. Here’s what I think.

Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) plays a lovable and full of life deaf and mute guy who is in love with Shruti. She feels the same but because of parental pressure; she succumbs and marries a normal guy who’s rich. Then, Barfi meets Jhilmil, a simple girl who is mentally challenged. Years later, Barfi bumps into Shruti and sparks fly again, this time only from Shruti’s side. I will not disclose more than this.

Let me be completely honest with you. I am disappointed. Yup! The story is simple and nice and the treatment is good but the pace is not how I imagined. Yes, the background music and comedy is good but the screenplay is a bit of a drag. In the course of the movie, you’ll be looking for the direction the film is going in. I really liked the production design and look of the film though and Anurag Basu has directed the film well with whatever content he had in hand.

Ranbir Kapoor, as usual shines with his performance. He’s effortlessly lovable and totally convinces you that he is indeed Barfi! and no one can play it better than him. Priyanka Chopra’s performance is shockingly superb! I can say it’s her best performance till date because there wasn’t even a spoonful of Priyanka I could see in her acting. She’s played the character of Jhilmil very very well and even looks it! Ileana D’Cruz was also quite decent in her acting and looks so delicate and skinny that Priyanka looks like Tuntun in comparison. All the other actors also have acted well.

The music by Pritam is different and refreshing, especially the song that plays before the movie starts with the credits. I like the title song and another one that has a bit of a classical edge to it.

So, Barfi! is sweet as the name suggests with outstanding performances from Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor who definitely deserve awards.  Only, I wish the pace of the film was quicker and I wish there were more funny scenes with Ranbir Kapoor.

Rating– 3/5

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