Jul 6 2016

Sultan- Movie Review

Roochster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating– 4/5

 

 

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Jul 25 2014

Kick- Movie Review

Roochster

kick movie posterI have been down with a viral flu and resting at home since the past 4 days! I must have seen atleast 6-7 movies on TV because that’s how bored I was! Luckily Kick released and I got to go watch my Salman Khan on big screen! I was really looking forward to watching Kick after Jai Ho. Another film in Salman Khan’s 100 crore club? Ummm maybe!

Plot in Short– Devi Lal Singh (Salman Khan) is a 40 yr old unemployed genius who doesn’t dedicate himself to one place of work simply because it doesn’t give him the ‘kick’. His relationship with Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez) doesn’t last because she wants to be with someone more stable in his career. After parting ways, he begins to take life seriously and now has a purpose- to make lots of money by stealing from the rich only on festival days, mind you; and help the children who need medical treatment (Being Human/ Robinhood?) by hiding under a mask and calling himself ‘Devil’ while Jacqueline decides to forget him, continue working as a psychiatrist and get married to a cop (Randeep Hooda) who is chasing Salman. Sigh!

The Good– Salman Khan is the number one reason to watch Kick. He’s not got many applause-worthy dialogues and neither is his performance exceptional in this one but with the French beard he takes all the ‘Hot’ points. Jacqueline Fernandez only had one expression throughout and she really tried but all she could do was look pretty. Randeep Hooda was actually the best where acting is concerned. Apart from that, to be honest, I can’t find too many reasons. The first half is very different from the second half. I personally thought the second half made more sense and had some substance as opposed to the first half. The chase sequences were well done. Also, the cinematography in general is very good. Kudos to Ayananka Bose and Alexander Witt. The music by Himesh Reshammiya is not bad at all. I like the songs ‘Yaar na miley’ and ‘Jhumme ke raat’. The styling is good.

The Not-so-Good– So besides the good things, the not-so-good list is quite long. Starting with debutant director Sajid Nadiadwala’s work as a director, the story, the screenplay, the editing, and the ‘Hangover’ song. Bleh! I was pretty disappointed because the message was good but the execution not-so-good. It reminded me films like Dhoom, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Jai Ho, etc. I wish it was more original.

Verdict– Unfortunately not a Paisa Vasool film. You can watch it for ‘Kicks’ if you’re a Salman Khan fan and you looooove him like me. He gets half a mark for being Salman Khan in an otherwise flop film.

Rating– 2/5

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Feb 21 2014

Highway- Movie Review

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Highway Movie PosterHighway looked like a great film from the trailer itself. Also, the song Maahi Ve created quite a ripple in our hearts. So how was the movie on the whole? Here’s what I thought.

The plot– Right before her wedding, a young woman finds herself abducted and held for ransom. As the initial days pass, she begins to develop a strange bond with her kidnapper.

The good– Alia Bhatt is definitely the best thing about the movie. She’s natural, effortless and expressive. I misjudged her in Student of the year as a dumb actress and I have to admit she’s proved me wrong with her performance in Highway. Randeep Hooda’s a great actor and has acted really well in Highway but there are some dialogues he speaks which are unclear. The story is simple and its one of those movies that you can watch many times. Imtiaz Ali, the director who’s made romantic comedies like Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met knows how to connect with his audience in the most subtle and simple way. He lets his characters breathe and lets silences speak for themselves through the film. Even with less dialogues and melodrama, there are some funny moments that make the film enjoyable.

Visually, the film is stunning! Amazing locations, gorgeous frames captured through the cinematographer’s lens and it will make you want to go on a road trip for sure! It gave me a strong urge to see Himachal Pradesh for sure with all its beauty! The background score and music by AR Rahman is brilliant! The song Maahi Ve is undoubtedly a favourite!

The not-so-good– I’m a sucker for romantic movies so I really liked this one but I’m not sure if realists will as much as idealists like me do. You know what I mean? There’s a lot of dreaminess in this film that might not appeal to the masses. I can’t actually find too many not-so-good things in the movie but yes, I would have liked the first half to be better paced.

Verdict– I loved Highway! Alia Bhatt gives a top rated performance and Imtiaz Ali as a director passes with flying colours! Watch it!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Sep 13 2013

John Day- Movie Review

Roochster

John Day posterJohn Day looked extremely interesting when I saw the trailer and of course Naseeruddin Shah and Randeep Hooda have the biggest part to play in that. Well, I should have just stuck to the trailer. Here’s why.

John Day’s (Naseeruddin Shah) daughter lies to her parents to go to a romantic forest outing with her boyfriend but dies mysteriously. Two years later, Day’s wife (Shernaz Patel) is attacked at their home, again mysteriously and she goes into coma soon after. At the same time, the bank he’s a manager of is robbed leaving behind a file which has information about the same place his daughter was murdered. This affects John Day to a great extent and from there starts his journey to find the murderer of his daughter and justice for his wife. Randeep Hooda plays a corrupt and a violent cop (so scary that he bites off people’s ears and breaks heads with thick sticks lying around!) who’s had a seriously damaging past that affects him and people in his present. He’s involved in this situation too. Sigh!

The first half was very interesting and gripping. I liked the pace and the way things were going. But the moment the second half started, things started getting extremely complicated and difficult to understand the point. Make a dark film with thrills, understandable. Make a dark film with too many things happening and not getting to the point can be a waste of time. In this case, I was getting impatient for the film to end because of so much going on. Ahishor Solomon (debutant director) got too carried away trying to make his movie as thrilling and intense as he could. The screenplay went a bit haywire. The cinematography by Prakash Kutty is good, especially the scenes where natural light is used. Nice locations and realistic setting.

Superb background music by Sandeep Chowta as usual. There are lots of scenes in which all you can hear is the sound of the cigarette burning while Randeep Hooda takes a drag. It takes courage to have so much silence in a film. It’s a good thing there’s no music in the film because without it too, it gets quite a bit.

The performances are the saving grace of the film. Randeep Hooda and Naseeruddin Shah are both brilliant actors. They are effortless and natural in their acting.  Even though Naseeruddin Shah has the whole film named after his character, I think Randeep Hooda is outstanding in the film. His performance is top notch and his good looks don’t come in the way of that. Shernaz Patel is a great actress too and so motherly that you instantly feel for her. Elena Kazan who plays Randeep Hooda’s girlfriend has a strange accent but acts well. Sharat Saxena and Makarand Deshpande too are actors of another level.

As a thriller, John Day is a big let down. I saw ‘Horror Story’ on the same day and trust me I enjoyed that more!  So yeah, if it weren’t for the performances, I would not have liked the film at all.

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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Feb 15 2013

Murder 3- Movie Review

Roochster

Murder-3-posterMurder 2 was quite bad and I wasn’t expecting much from Murder 3 but I went only because I thought Murder was good. Ha! Now, coming to my review…

Randeep Hooda is a photographer with a steady girlfriend- Aditi Rao Hydari. His job demands him to shift to India from South Africa and he does exactly that. Girlfriend tags along. While he’s working, she becomes suspicious of him having an affair with a hairstylist. Due to that, she decides to leave him and goes missing. Enters new girlfriend- Sara Loren who he starts dating within days of his previous girlfriend going missing. She stays with him in his house and notices scary things happening and suspects there’s a ghost in the house. But everything changes in the second half and I wont reveal any of it to you.

I don’t want to reveal the second half because that is what makes the movie worth watching. The first half of the movie is so stupid that you’ll find yourself laughing at quite a few scenes which are supposed to be serious. It’s as if both the halves of the movie were directed by two different directors. The twist at the end was definitely a good surprise and I liked that it ended that way. The cinematography is very good, the make up could have been better for Aditi Rao Hydari in the second half. The styling is good but Randeep Hooda’s hairdo doesn’t suit him or make him look younger.

I kind of missed Emraan Hashmi who’s become an almost permanent member of every Bhatt movie but seems like Randeep Hooda is the second best option for an actor who also does steamy scenes. I felt this was one of Hooda’s weakest performances. Aditi Rao Hydari looks sweet and also acted sweetly. She’s got good screen presence. Sara Loren looks good in parts in the movie and delivers a decent performance.

The music is hummable just like all the other Bhatt movies but not something I’d listen to everyday. For me Murder 3 is a good thriller which could have been way better with better direction in the first half of the movie.

Rating– 3/5

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Sep 21 2012

Heroine- Movie Review

Roochster

Heroine was one film I just had to watch because the subject was so interesting. But the film was so disappointing! Here’s why.

Heroine is about this superstar who can’t act, much like some of our very own Bollywood stars. She’s hot and gets endorsements and movies just because she’s a star. Her love life sucks and as a result she’s always moody and not the first choice when it comes to working with other actors and directors. A PR person comes in who helps her reach a better stage in her career only to be let down because of Kareena’s erratic mood swings and what she does with them. And of course, Madhur Bhandarkar style we see various phases of a ‘heroine’ and those around her in the industry.

Ok now, what was Madhur Bhandarkar thinking?! Yes Chandni bar, Page 3 and Fashion worked because somewhere they were realistic and gave an insight into a world we all want to know about. Heroine is nothing but negative all through! Kareena Kapoor plays a star who has no friends even outside the industry, she gets big films like Katrina Kaif based on looks, she smokes and drinks a lot, she’s moody, she’s insecure about love and even career, she’s had a bad past and what not. So basically there’s nothing positive about her except the fact that she looks good. Madhur Bhandarkar must really hate people in Bollywood to show what he’s shown in the film. All make up men and designers are gay, a small budget film director has that unkempt look and is always more respected as compared to other directors, the main heroine has no friends only, everyone in the industry is a compulsive smoker… how many more clichés ya! To top it all, there’s a lameass ‘item number’ called Halkat Jawani which falls flat on its face because it’s as bad as the songs in his earlier movie ‘Page 3’. Remember ‘Kuwan ma doob jaaoongi’?

So yeah, Madhur Bhandarkar is somehow losing his tag of a ‘realistic film maker’. Heroine is incredibly exaggerated and negative, as if made to remove his bhadaas on some people in the Bollywood film industry. All the actors except for Kareena Kapoor look like they’re from the 90s and even dress like that. The story takes too long to end!

Kareena Kapoor is obviously the star of the film. She looks great and has even acted well but we’ve seen Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut doing the same thing in Fashion, Bipasha Basu in Raaz 3 and Vidya Balan, who was so much more realistic and better in The Dirty Picture if we talk about recent similar films.  Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda have done a good job even though they had small roles. Mugdha Godse said, “Shits!” which sums up her acting skills and how she talks in real life.  Lillette Dubey, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey and Divya Dutta are superb! Other than that, there are just a bunch of dumb actors excited to work with Madhur Bhandarkar.

Honestly, there could have been so much more to make Heroine a sure shot superhit but Madhur Bhandarkar screwed it up with stereotyping almost everything and creating a film full of negativity and the bad side of Bollywood. Not cool!

Rating– 2/5

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Aug 3 2012

Jism 2- Movie Review

Roochster

I think the movie should have been called Sunny’s 2. More on that. Read on.

So, umm, the story, right. Sunny Leone places Izna, a sexy porn star who fasaos this psycho assassin (Randeep Hooda) in her love, rather sex ka jaal for an Intelligence Officer (Arunoday Singh).

Looks like Pooja Bhatt wanted to take Jism one step ahead and so chose Sunny Leone, who is sexier, bustier and more famous as compared to Bipasha Basu who got extremely popular with her smooching scenes with boyfriend John Abraham back then. The look of the film is good, cinematography, locations, styling, acting, make up all good. The problem is the story, screenplay and lack of focus. The dialogues were cheesy and sleazy. Also, the music is very ok, not half as good as the music in Jism. It feels like the only reason for making this film was Sunny Leone. She’s probably in every scene, wearing push-up bras, low neck tops and short skirts to titillate every man sitting in the theatre. It was clearly expected which is why the theatre was almost full with 90% men and only 10% women that too for a 1:30pm show.

Sunny Leone looks sexy and we all know that, but the good part is that there was scope to see her acting also which was not bad at all. Even though her voice was dubbed, she acted really well and if I didn’t know she was a real life porn star, I would have just thought she’s another model. Her make up was superb! Randeep Hooda was very good as usual and has that intensity in his eyes which speak a thousand words. Arunoday Singh is a good actor but it seemed like he was struggling with his Hindi.

The music was ok. Unfortunately, even though it’s supposed to be an erotic thriller, it seemed more like a Sunny Leone commercial. It really should have been called Sunny’s 2, if you know what I mean! So yeah, avoid.

Rating– 2/5

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Aug 1 2012

Jism 2- Movie Preview

Roochster

So, Jism 2 directed by Pooja Bhatt  releases this Friday and I’m looking forward to see whether it’s actually a movie worth watching or just focusing on Sunny Leone the pornstar. Here’s what I think after watching the trailer and songs.

 

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Sep 30 2011

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster- Movie Review

Roochster

I hadn’t seen a single trailer of this movie and went for it aise hi that too at one of the shadiest theatres in Mumbai- New Empire. Ha! Read on!

So basically, Jimmy Shergill is the angry-young- Saheb who has a slightly twisted Biwi (Mahie Gill). They are husband and wife but don’t exactly share that kind of relationship as he’s busy banging another woman who he says is his ‘aadat’. They live in an old palace-like building but they live off his mother’s ‘jaaydaat’ and a dirty hand in politics. He has enemies and among them a Gangster named Babloo (Randeep Hooda) is hired to kill the saheb. Things turn around when Babloo and the biwi start having their own thing going and develop feelings for each other.

The movie was quite gripping even though it seemed a little long. I’d say men, more than women will like it. It has that element in it which just makes it a for-a-guy movie if you know what I mean. The setting is very real and I loved the haveli they’ve shot at. So beautiful! The cinematography, dialogues and direction hold the film very well together making it interesting to watch.

Performance-wise I felt all 3 lead actors were great! After watching Mahie Gill in ‘Not a love story’ she looks 100 times better in this! Jimmy Shergill and Randeep Hooda I feel are two actors who don’t ever overdo acting. They’re very real and convincing in their roles, which is a good thing.

I just felt that the songs were not needed at all. Yes, the Jugni track is brilliant and was even placed well in the movie but apart from that, none of the songs really should have been there! That kind of took away from the flow of the film. Also, I felt that the bold scenes were ok but they sort of overdid them.

So, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster is an above average movie and men will enjoy watching it more than women.

Rating– 3/5

 

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