Oct 10 2012

Cafe Marina, Colaba- Review


I love open air places and ever since I read about Cafe Marina, I did want to try it but thought I’d wait it out because the prices were a bit much. So it was one of those random visits again and here’s what I thought.

Food– They mainly serve alcohol here so people would in all probability come here to drink; but they do have food too. We hadn’t gone there to drink though, and after seeing the menu we just decided to call for 2 veg starters among the 4 of us. One was garlic bread with cheese which was good but not something that you can’t make at home. They hadn’t even cut the pieces properly! It was more like 2 pieces of a loaf left upto you to slice! Next we tried the veg assorted platter with which we got a free beer (Fosters- big bottle). The Tandoori Veg Platter had 2 kinds of paneer, mushroom, cauliflower, babycorn, aloo, some other tikki). The variety and taste both were very good.

Ambience– The ambience is the USP of the place. Located in Colaba, walking distance from Gateway of India, Taj hotel, and super close to Radio Club, Cafe Marina is a terrace cafe atop Hotel Sea Palace. With tall tables and chairs facing the breathtaking sea, who will not fall in love with the place?! I did, for sure! Being an open air place with dim lighting and lots of peace, it would be the best place to go to on a romantic date, especially in the winter season.

Service– Now this sucks. We got there at 6 45 and placed our order by 7 max. Our food did not arrive till 8 30! And what had we ordered? Just Garlic bread and a Veg platter. To top that, the beer which was free also did not arrive till we had to ask them to get it at around 8 15! Ridiculous! It’s not the waiter’s fault; he tried his best to convince us that the food would only take half n hour to come. But there was some mismanagement and the cook probably wasn’t prepared to cook (strange to even say this)!

Prices– I understand that the ambience is amazing and all of that but the pricing could be better! The veg platter is for Rs. 475 (we were lucky to get a free beer with it). I don’t remember how much the Garlic bread with cheese was for, adding to that service tax, it came up to Rs. 184 per person. The platter was a good idea, more so because of the free beer. Also, they have some offers and happy hours for those wanting to drink.

Verdict– Ambience- Outstanding! Food- Decent, Prices- Too much for food but ok for alcohol, Service- BAD! You make your choice.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Oct 5 2012

English Vinglish- Movie Review


After so many years, the beautiful Sridevi make a comeback with English Vinglish. How could I not go?

So, Sridevi plays a housewife with two children. She’s not educated and so is often the butt of her children’s jokes. She doesn’t get the kind of respect she deserves as a wife either in spite of doing everything she can for them. Things change once she goes to New York for her niece’s wedding and decides to learn English to please her family.

What I really liked about the movie was the fact that it was directed in the simplest manner. No melodrama, no over-the-top humour, no item numbers, no ‘glitz n glam’ to make the film glossy. It was rich in terms of content and that’s that. The cinematography was real and well done. The production design, costumes and make up was very real and believable.

The entire story moved at a good pace with each character having their own graph. There’s abundance of simplicity and Indian culture that you’ll see in the movie. So much so that you’d wish you’d get to see Sridevi in atleast one western outfit; but the director decided to stay grounded and let the characters breathe independently. I actually shed a few tears towards the end when Sridevi made her speech.

Sridevi has been a star in her years so to watch her again was a treat but I felt that she did hold back a bit. Obviously there’s been a huge gap after which she’s made a comeback and her character’s not supposed to be the typical dramatic housewife we’ve seen in the movies but the ‘Srideviness’ in her was missing. People who’ve watched many films of hers (Chaalbaaz or Lamhe for example) would know what I’m talking about. It’s probably the age but she’s acted well nonetheless, especially in the second half. The actor who plays her husband too is a good actor and convinces you as the dominating husband. I loved the little boy who played Sridevi’s son. He was adorable and so much fun to watch! Every actor had a good role to play.

The music by Amit trivedi is ok but the lyrics, especially of the Manhattan song are very interesting.

This movie made me realise that sometimes we don’t realise that we make fun of our parents’ English or lack of technical knowledge and that even though they might feel bad, they continue to love us for the way we are.

Ok so this is a little out of context but I just want to say that I love and respect my parents too much and I’m sorry for everytime I say something that might hurt them; and now, I will be more conscious about how I say things, not just to them but to everyone around me.

Thank you Sridevi and Gauri Shinde for making English Vinglish.

Rating– 3.5/5

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Sep 28 2012

Oh My God! – Movie Review


OMG! Surprise Surprise!

So, Kanjilal Mehta is an atheist who lives life on his own terms. He owns an antique shop in Chor bazaar and fools people into buying God’s statues for a heavy price. Things change when his shop is the only one destroyed by an earthquake. To claim money for the damage, he approaches an insurance company which blatantly refuses saying its an act of God. Now his only way to get the money is to fight a case with God himself.

So, the film Oh My God is based on the famous Gujarati play- Kanji Viruddh Kanji. The director Ashvini Yardi has done a good job with it thanks to the powerful script and screenplay. You wont expect it to be that good but it is, surprisingly. The second half is very good. There is substance in the story and that’s what entertains you throughout without getting bored. The social message also comes across well.

Paresh Rawal as an actor is brilliant! He’s a natural and completely effortless in playing his character. Akshay Kumar also has acted well. His role sounds and looks very corny but he’s convincing enough to look the part (Krishna bhagwan). I also thought Mithun Chakraborthy was fantastic! He barely had dialogues and conveyed alot through his eyes and expressions. All the other actors are also very good.

The good part is that there aren’t any songs in the movie apart from ‘Go Go Govinda’ which is a fun track with Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhudeva.

Overall, OMG Oh My God is a good film. It was surpringly entertaining and fun to watch!

Rating– 3.5/5


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Sep 26 2012

Fire In Babylon- Movie Review


Well pictured and directed with entertaining insight from the cricketers of the time.

Rating- 3.5/5

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Sep 24 2012

California Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel- Review


I’ve tried the pizzas at CPK on two occasions, both times for free. Now, it’s a good thing because I love pizzas. Here’s my review.

Food– Apart from pizzas, they have soups, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, pastas, desserts, etc. I tried their thin crust pizzas- Margherita- super bland with a prominent taste of tomato, Spicy Cayenne (spicy cayenne pepper sauce with cottage cheese, sliced onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers)- too salty in some parts and bland in some. It was a weird pizza! Five cheese & Fresh Tomato pizza- Ok. Their thin crust pizzas are wafer thin and barely filling. For appetizers I tried the Mediterranean Wonton Spring rolls (Sautéed shitake mushrooms, grilled eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and cheese) and the Margherita Wonton Spring Rolls (Fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, cheese) and again, both were superb bland! The Margherita was better though because of the cheese. So, in a way the food in general at CPK is bland and not meant for Indians.

Ambience– Walk into Phoenix Mills at Lower Parel, reach centre. Turn back towards Palladium and go up the escalator to California Pizza Kitchen. The place is dimly lit with comfy couches, a long bar and lots of brown! It looks more like a corporate place to dine rather than a place for young people or children.

Service– The staff is courteous and efficient. No complaints.

Prices– The wonton starter costs Rs. 295 which includes 2 types of wontons. The Margherita thin crust costs Rs. 425 and the Spicy Cayenne Pizza costs Rs. 325! So eating at CPK is not everyone’s cup of tea! Actually it would be, had the food been even remotely tasty!

Verdict– CPK is a big let down with probably the worst pizzas ever! Don’t even think about it!

Rating– 1.5/5

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Sep 22 2012

Love Sugar & Dough (LSD), Khar (w) – Review


I’m not a big fan of cupcakes but the “trend” has somehow made me want to try them from different places and see which ones are really good. Not everyone can get cupcakes right. Is LSD one of the better cupcake places? You’re just about to find out.

Desserts– Love sugar & dough is what they claim their desserts have and to see that, I decided to try 6 different mini cupcakes (eggless). All the cupcakes I had were really soft and fresh!

Oreo cupcake- Tasty but could have had a more distinct Oreo taste which it didn’t.

Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese- Yummy in my tummy! Must have!

Rich Chocolate cupcake (blue) – Ok. It didn’t live up to its name.

Choco -vanilla cupcake- Good.

Strawberry cupcake- So-so. I would’ve preferred a better muffin base.

Red velvet butter cream cupcake- Yum!

There were so many other pastries staring at me in the face and I was super tempted to try them but decided to wait till the next time I go there; and I will for sure.

Where? LSD is located in Khar west. You take the main (Food lover’s, you know which one I’m talking about!) Carter road lane, cross Olive, go down the slope and you’ll see LSD right there on the left. It’s a small outlet right next to Butterfly cupcakes. They have a super small seating arrangement upstairs for 3-4 people as a mezzanine floor in case you want to sit and enjoy your dessert.

Prices– The prices are normal. Just like any other dessert shop. I got 6 mini cupcakes for Rs. 100 which is not bad at all. If you go for the normal sized cupcakes, they’re for Rs. 60 minimum and more if you want fancy ones. They also have pastries, cheesecakes and coolers at their outlet at decent prices.

Verdict– Lots of ‘mmmmmms’ happened while having the cupcakes which means it definitely is a good place for desserts. You can say there’s a lot of love mixed with the sugar and dough. Go try!

Rating– 4/5

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Sep 21 2012

Heroine- Movie Review


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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Sep 8 2012

To Rome With Love- Movie Review


A slice of life kind of film with beautiful visuals, background music, good performances and direction albeit a little slow.

Rating- 3.5/5

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Sep 6 2012

Raaz 3 (3D) – Movie Review


Raaz 1 was epic, Raaz 2 was ok and s Raaz 3 was ummm… you’ll find out soon. Read on.

So, Bipasha Basu plays this insecure actress who can’t imagine being anything but the best. When Esha Gupta wins the best actress award, Bips can’t take it and so goes to this creepy man from hell whose aatma bhatkos in India and he can help Bips make Esha suffer. By suffering I mean scary things. And yes, Emraan Hashmi is a lallu director who helps Bips (his girlfriend who treats him like shit) make Esha suffer.

First of all, I was totally freaked out! This is probably the scariest movie I’ve seen in the past one year.  Raaz 1 might have had just one or two scary scenes, but Raaz 3 was full of them! The broad story was good but the screenplay and direction was as shaky as watching a 3D movie without the 3d glasses. Some of the 3D effects were good but otherwise it was just a gimmick to draw audiences, especially to a paid preview show (which I went for). The ghosts’ make up was like ulti with worms even though the sound effects were very good. The set design was very good though. There was this one scene to wards the end where the bad ‘aatma’ tells Bipasha that if she wants to kill Esha, “Tumhe mere saath woh sab karna padega jo ek zinda aurat ek zinda aadmi ke saath karti hai”. And he’s got all these worms all over his body and flies and mosquitoes over his head. So yeah, it was pretty gross and pointless also.

Coming to the performances, Emraan Hashmi as the hero was good. Bipasha Basu also acted well but looked quite old even with all the skin show. Esha Gupta looked gorgeous but was alright. She can’t dance, that’s for sure!

The music is not that great. There’s just one song I liked- Deewana kar raha hai by Javed Ali which is quite melodious.

Jo bhi ho, for me Raaz 3 might not be the best horror movie to watch but it served its purpose. I was bloody petrified and it was entertaining to an extent. If you’re a horror movie fan and like Bollywood’s corniness, go watch Raaz 3.

Rating– 2.5/5


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Aug 31 2012

Joker- Movie Review


I was half expecting no one to come with me for this movie but luckily my friend Komal called and said she was coming! I couldn’t have been more thankful!

As we’ve seen from the trailers, Joker is about this village called Paglapur which is full of ‘pagal’ people but it does not exist in the map of India anywhere! Akshay Kumar (scientist in the USA) and also born and brought up in Paglapur along with girlfriend Sonakshi Sinha (sit at home girlfriend) go to India to meet his father who pretends to be dying. When they reach, they realise, that Paglapur is in a lot of shit and the people deserve a better life. Then they start weaving the alien story and things change for the good.

Ok so Shirish Kunder thinks differently from other directors. His stories are unique and might sound bizarre to most. He’s made Jaan-e-mann in the past which was worse than vomit. Joker looked quite retarded too but there was something about it which made me wanna go watch it. The story is not something I’ve heard of before. The dialogues are below average. The cinematography is very good and even the set design is quite interesting.  Shirish Kunder as a director seems a little shaky just like the script. Too much madness in the film and very kiddish humour but not that bad also.

Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi are back together after Rowdy Rathore and they were ok in this one. Anyone could have done their roles. Vindu Dara Singh is annoying as usual. Shreyas Talpade who’s supremely talented has got the kind of role Tusshar Kapoor gets but he still manages to do it well.

The songs are pathetic, even the item song with Chitrangda Singh.

Overall, Joker is just ok. It’s not that bad also. I didn’t get bored watching it and laughed at some scenes.

Rating– 2.5/5

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