Aug 22 2014

Mardaani- Movie Review

Roochster

mardaani posterRani Mukherji Chopra is back with a bang! Long overdue but Mardaani is totally worth it! Here’s more.

Plot in short– Shivani (Rani Mukherji) works for the Mumbai Crime Branch and is always on the lookout for criminals that cause a menace in the city. Things get steamed up when a Drugs and Human Trafficker (Tahir Bhasin) who has been picking up young girls kidnaps her adopted niece Pyaari.

The Good– Rani Mukherji Chopra is definitely a major plus point for the film. Like Vidya Balan, she has the capability to carry the entire film on her shoulders. Even in an entirely deglamorised avatar, she looks great! We have seen too many actors playing cops but she’s one female actor who wins you over with her effortless acting. Tahir Bhasin who plays the bad guy is superb! He’s convincing and does make you hate him. All the other performances too are up to the mark and bring the movie forward. Director Pradeep Sarkar along with his entire team has created a film that must be watched by all. With a hard hitting subject like human trafficking, he brings out all the emotions that should be brought out while watching a film. The good thing is that there isn’t too much drama. The screenplay is well paced and well written. The cinematography by Artur Zurawski is top notch. About the music, I loved the fact that there were no songs during the course of the film. The one at the end was a brilliant composition and went well with the theme of the film. It focused on one thing alone, not diverting to any other subjects and got over in two hours.

The Bad– I can’t say that I disliked anything. To be honest, I quite enjoyed the entire experience and felt proud to be a woman at the end of the film. Yes but I do wish there were some twists and moments of suspense to make things more exciting.

Verdict– A great concept, well executed with some brilliant performances. Watch it, especially for Rani Mukherji Chopra!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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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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Oct 12 2012

Aiyyaa- Movie Review

Roochster

I had seen the trailers of Aiyyaa and I actually wasn’t very excited to watch the movie because it looked quite blah! But once I saw Rani Mukherji dance to ‘Agabai’, I was pleasantly surprised. Forget that the dance doesn’t match the song; Rani was dancing like a pro! So, I decided, chal, let’s give it a try.

Rani Mukherji plays a super filmy, happy and full of life girl who lives in a Maharashtrian middle class family. Her parents want to get her married and finally find the right man for their daughter after making her meet many. She wants to work and make some money so she can do something constructive with her life and so takes up a job at a college library. There she falls in love with Prithviraj, an artist, who always smells good and doesn’t have a very good reputation. Does she go for her parents’ choice or with the one she’s too scared to even talk to?

I’m surprised Anurag Kashyap produced a commercial film like this since it’s so not his type, if you know what I mean. The director’s done a good job but I felt the screenplay was a drag and they’ve overdone the smelling bit. There’s a lot of unnecessary repetition that takes away the surprise element in the climax. The setting, clothes, make up is all very real and visually beautiful. Each character is well defined. I like that the film is not too serious. It’s a ‘Rangeela’ type of movie if I may say, in terms of the look of the film.

Rani Mukherji is superb! She’s the life of the movie and gives a performance that makes the movie fun to watch. She looks lovely throughout even though she plays a very unglamorous role. Prithviraj doesn’t have much to say in the movie but he looks hot, especially in the ‘Agabai’ song. He’s portrayed the character well without having to say anything and that’s a good sign when you’re an actor.  Even the supporting cast was good, especially the girl who plays ‘Maina’ who had a crazy role and the guy who plays Rani’s brother in the film.

I wouldn’t say the songs are superb but they’re fun for the movie. I think the choreographers of all the songs have done a great job and they’ve made Rani move her body very well!

Overall, it’s a light hearted movie with great performances, very well choreographed songs, brilliant art direction and good cinematography. I just wish it was edited better!

Rating– 3/5

 

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Jan 7 2011

No One killed Jessica- Movie Review

Roochster

Eye opener- that’s what the movie has been for me. I was completely ignorant about the entire Jessica Lall murder case and so this movie was literally like news for me. News very well told.

As the title suggests, the movie is about the entire Jessica Lall murder case, from the day she died till when justice was done. The way her sister Sabrina tried to get justice and how the media took responsibility and brought the case back to track when it was almost dead because the killer was on the loose. It shows how even though there were 300 people present at the party where she died, 98% of them refused to tell the truth.

Director Rajkumar Gupta who’s made ‘Aamir’ before this is an awesome director. I think he’s chosen a fantastic subject and worked on it beautifully. The entire Jessica Lall ‘Hatyakaand’ is depicted very well except for maybe a scenes when it slows down. I loved the opening shot where Vidya’s mobile is ringing… just seems very real. The cinematography is very very good!

The two lead actresses- Vidya Balan (Sabrina Lall) and Rani Mukherji (NDTV reporter) have done a great job. I’d say Vidya more cause atleast in the first half, Rani was just reading out lines without expressions. Vidya Balan is a superb actress. Even though she’s worn really bad clothes, has no make up and not too many dialogues, she conveys everything she has to beautifully. Rani on the other hand looks gorgeous…I couldn’t stop staring at her eyes; but compared to her work from before, in this one she’s blah. Yeah, also the ladies who play mothers in this movie didn’t act too well… One of them just had one dialogue repeated thrice… “Mere Monu ko kuch nahi hona chahiye” or something like that.  And the girl who plays Jessica (Myra) is very sweet looking.

I think Amit Trivedi once again has made music that’s a class apart. What makes it awesome is that it’s not the kind of music you hear everyday. It’s different in a nice refreshing way.

So overall, No One killed Jessica for me is a Hit and I loved it! Dekho! Dekho!

Rating– 4/5

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