Oct 18 2013

Shahid- Movie Review


shahid-posterAfter watching the trailer, I read up a bit about Shahid Azmi and was looking forward to watching the film mainly to see if they’ve done justice to his real life story. Well, you’re just going to find out.

The film is based on Shahid Azmi who lived a short but eventful life. He was born in a Muslim family and after the Mumbai Riots in 1993, things changed for him. He joined a militant group in Kashmir to oppose the injustice done towards Muslims but ran off because he could not take the cruelty and violence adopted as a method for justice. He returned to his family but was arrested soon after under TADA. He serves seven years in jail where he studies and decides to become a lawyer to fight for innocent people typecast as terrorists.

Director Hansal Mehta has dealt with this subject extremely delicately and dedicatedly. The movie spans from 1993 all the way to 2010, covering all the important events and struggles of Shahid along the way including his marriage. I wish the screenplay was a little more fast-paced because you may get a little restless. Sharper editing would have helped surely. What is wonderful is the treatment. Very real and believable. All the characters and their lines are not filmy which is a definite plus point. The courtroom scenes are brilliantly executed adding a great amount of drama. In fact, the last half an hour was the best part of the film. The setting is bang on. Even the styling and make up is unpretentious which is what makes it cool. The cinematography is great for the theme.

The background score is perfect! There are barely two songs in the film and they too fit in very well. Soothing and apt for the theme of the film.

The performances are brilliant throughout the film. Raj Kumar is very convincing as Shahid and acts effortlessly. All the other actors too play an important part in making the film gripping. Kay Kay Menon has a small role but is as good as always. Baljinder Kaur who plays Shahid’s mother is so natural that you wont even think she’s acting. I’d say the same about the lady who plays a female lawyer towards the end. She’s fun to watch.  Tigmanshu Dhulia who plays the boss is not bad either.

Overall, Shahid is a good film to watch; slightly slow but yet well made.

Rating– 3/5


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Aug 8 2013

Chennai Express- Movie Review


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 28 2013

Ghanchakkar- Movie Review


Ghanchakkar-posterPut Vidya Balan in a movie and you know it’s going to be worth your time and money. Ghanchakkar is a film that must be watched for its twisted story. Here’s more.

Sanjay (Emraan Hashmi), a thief is married to Neetu (Vidya Balan) who loves dressing up in the most outrageous clothes, picking up ideas from fashion magazines. An offer to make a huge sum of money by being a part of a bank robbery gets him and Neetu tempted and he decides to do it so that he wont have to steal again for a long time and can chill in his house doing nothing. The stolen money is hidden in a secret place which only he knows about. Three months after the robbery he finds himself forgetting things including where he hid the money. It becomes a matter of concern when the two men who robbed the bank with him threaten to kill him and his wife if they don’t get the money in a week.

Director Raj Kumar Gupta has made movies like Aamir and Noone killed Jessica in the past and has been much appreaciated. With Ghanchakkar, he’s attempted comedy along with thriller and has done a good job. The concept is bizarre of course! You can’t imagine anyone marrying a thief knowing he’s a thief who just sits at home the whole day. So yes, the entire concept it fun and different but I wish the screenplay was a bit tighter. It is a bit lengthy for my liking even though you wont really find yourself getting bored. Better editing could have done the job. There are some really funny scenes which are both subtle and loud. The entire robbery scene was hilarious because of something as simple as face masks of popular actors. Also, the thrilling aspect continues to make you think till the very end and somehow, you wont be able to guess the climax which is the point of a thriller.

The look of the film is real and believable even though Vidya’s clothes are not. I get that the character is fictitious and is meant to look like that but I think it was overdone somehow. Emraan Hashmi’s small ponytail and worn off look don’t suit him at all. The cinematography by Setu is good.

The music by Amit Trivedi is ok in this film even though he’s given us some brilliant music in the past. The background music could have been better.

This is not the first time Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi are seen together but this time they lack chemistry. Even the kissing scenes are quite blah. Both are capable actors that have done good work in the past, especially Vidya Balan but in this film their acting comprises of yelling at each other. They’re both ok. The stars of the film are Namit Das and Rajesh Sharma who play Idris and Pandit and are just hilarious! They probably have the best lines in the film but even with just expressions they’re superb!

Overall, Ghanchakkar is fun but could have been better in terms of pace and better screenplay.

Rating– 3/5

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