Sep 11 2015

Hero- Movie Review

Roochster

A typical Bollywood masala film with a screenplay written for the 90s era, made for star kids from 2015 who can barely act.

Rating- 2.5/5

Hero-2015-Movie-Poster

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Sep 4 2015

Welcome Back- Movie Review

Roochster

Ridiculously corny, not funny, not entertaining and not worth your time or money in spite of the huge star cast, production costs involved and the so called legacy of ‘Welcome’.

Rating- 1.5/5

Welcome-Back-Official-Poster

 

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Aug 25 2015

Box 8, Kandivali (W)- Review

Roochster

Box 8Being a delivery only service and having read a lot of unhappy tweets about the slow delivery, I was a bit concerned if my order from Box 8 would arrive on time because I was hungry AND PMSing! Surprisingly, the food came in less than half an hour. I was in Kandivali at the editor’s for editing my wedding video and we were pretty hungry so thought a meal would be the best to order in. I had to review Box 8 since a long time and hadn’t yet done it so naturally this was my first choice.

Food & Prices– I chose the Dal Makhani meal (Rs.88) and Honey, the editor chose the Chicken Maharaja meal (Rs. 238). The quantity is perfect for a single person and it comes in a microwavable plastic box with a fork.

The Dal Makhani is at the bottom, topped with rice, chutney and then salad.  Tastewise the Dal Makhani was rich, well cooked and cooked perfectly well. However, the quantity of Dal was a little less compared to the helping of rice because of which when I mixed it together, it was a bit dry. Making separate compartments for the salad and chutney would help.

Honey’s Chicken Maharaja meal was superb. He was very happy with the four types of chicken in Makhani gravy and with rice and salad. He said all the types of chicken tasted really good and that he would definitely order from there again.

As a surprise, they threw in a Coke and their version of Lemonade with added masala (Rs. 48) which was yummyinmytummy! For dessert we indulged in some mouthwatering mini Gulab Jamuns (Rs. 68) and  Moong Dal Halwa (Rs.68) which could have been less gheewala but tasted good nonetheless.

Their meals range from Rs. 88 to Rs. 208 in Veg and Rs. 118 to Rs.238 in non- veg and if you’d like a drink and dessert to go along with it, they also have Combo meals. If you wish, you can also order your choice of dishes separately from the menu. Apart from heavy meals, they also have sandwiches, wraps and salads all at very affordable rates. I would definitely like to try their wraps and sandwiches the next time around.

Verdict– Meals that are value for money and perfect to order in at your work place or at home for a snack. They just need to increase the quantity of the Dal/Gravy and work on timely deliveries at some of their outlets.

Rating– 3.5/5

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Aug 3 2015

Noodle Play, Powai- Review

Roochster

Noodle PlaycopyWhen I heard about the concept of food according to star signs, I was intrigued more than anything. How does the star sign of a person define their likes/dislikes of a particular dish? That one question was enough to get me excited to try Noodle Play.

Food– I am an Arien and Karan is a Virgo so the gravy and rice was selected by them accordingly. I got Thai Chili Basil Rice to go with a Mixed veggies in Hunan gravy. While the Thai Chili Basil Rice was perfect, every grain separated by a burst of exactly the flavours promised.  Karan got Egg Fried Rice with Chicken in Sopa gravy. He liked the gravy but felt the chicken could have been juicier. As a starter we got Paneer in Black Pepper which was superb! It wasn’t too spicy neither too sweet. Even though we had it cold, it tasted great so I can imagine how delicious it would be when it’s nice and hot. Great concept and so far they were pretty accurate about the food according to starsigns. However, I would love to try their Kung Pao gravy to get a better idea the next time around.

Prices- The prices are competitive with a lot of other Chinese and Thai places that have opened serving custom made noodles or rice in a paper container that surprisingly stays well inside. The starters are priced at Rs. 200, my Veg Thai Chili Basil rice was for Rs. 130, Egg Fried Rice was for Rs. 140, Gravies are for Rs. 150 for Veg, Rs. 200 for gravy with Paneer and Rs. 220 for gravies with chicken. They also have lemonade and Iced Tea priced at Rs. 60 if you’d like some. So a vegetarian would end up spending about Rs.250 if shared between two. Not bad at all!

Verdict– Apart from the star sign concept, which I think is just a gimmick, the food here is really good and I would definitely like to call from there again.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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Jul 31 2015

Drishyam- Movie Review

Roochster

Drishyam excels in many ways such as performances, cinematography and styling and will keep you gripped during most parts, giving special credits to Ajay Devgn and Tabu but falls short of a tighter screenplay that could have made the movie more thrilling.

Rating– 3/5

drishyam-poster

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Jul 6 2015

Wok Express, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

Wok Express 2It’s been a while since I’ve written a review of any restaurant. Well, I guess being married keeps you busy in some way or another whether it’s paying social visits to relatives or figuring out news ways to having a good work life. Since my husband is as much or perhaps an even bigger foodie than I am, he has been accompanying me to most of my Foodie meets where he tells me how the non-veg food is and I continue to enjoy my Veg food. Anyhow, here’s a place I went to recently at Pali Hill. This one’s another Wok place that’s now competing with several others such as Wok Hei, Wok in the box, Wok this way, Wok & Roll, All Stir Fry, etc. How good was Wok Express? Read on.

Wok Express 3Food– We started our evening with Bubble Teas by Boba. Now, we tried their Strawberry, Guava, Coffee Vanilla, Thai and Peach flavours out of which I liked Guava and Strawberry flavours the best but I would not recommend the bubbles (tapioca balls) ‘cause they’re chewy and taste weird, leaving an aftertaste I did not like. Karan liked the Thai Bubble tea the best. The coffee vanilla was more like watery cold coffee with the bubbles. Euh! Along with our iced teas we tried some Dim sums/Dumplings. The Crystal Dumpling (filled with carrot, mushroom and water chestnuts) tasted alright but the outlayer was super sticky. The other Veg Dumpling- Edammame & Truffle Dumpling was hands down the best dumpling I’ve ever had. Filled with Edamame flavouring, mashed potato, topped with carrot, we all agreed that it was melt in your mouth types and well made, an absolute MUST HAVE at Wok Express. Next we tried the Veg Bun. The sweetness and thickness of the rice bun mixed with the gingery, mushroomy flavours inside it didn’t go too well with my palette and I put it down after two attempts. It was now Wok time and like other Wok places, you choose your veggies, sauce, rice or noodles and garnishing. I chose the Udon noodles with veggies in Kung Pao sauce garnished with burnt garlic, peanuts and fried onion. I thought the Udon noodles were well cooked but the Kung Pao sauce lacked the sweetness and spiciness that I would expect. It was somewhere in between. It was a lot to finish though even though I had a medium size, the quantity is perfect especially if you plan to have just a Wok. Karan went for the Sambal sauce with chicken and left it at two bites because of how bland it tasted. For dessert we tried the Wok Kachang dessert which was more like a Roohafza flavoured Milkmaid Gola served in a plastic glass garnished with peanuts, or was it the Tab Tim Grob? Uhh…they tasted the same except that one had water chestnuts at the bottom and the other had peanuts on top. Avoidable.

Ambience– Wok in the box is located at Pali Hill, Bandra in place of Pinkberry Yoghurt and close to 5 Spice. They serve dim sums, bubble teas and of course customizable woks. The furniture is well spread out, giving each group their space. So even when it’s full, people can still walk up to make their Wok at the counter. They don’t have a washroom though so do all the deeds before getting there otherwise, like me you would have to go to the 5 Spice loo. Also, unfortunately on the day we went, their exhausts weren’t working and because of that, our eyes were burning and watering due to the spices and herbs used in cooking.

Wok Express 1Service– It’s all self service so there’s not much I can say in that department.

Prices– Given the fact that going to a restaurant now cannot happen too often because of the amount of taxes and cost of making food ends up becoming a burden on our head, Wok Express plays it safe between the reasonable eateries and the more expensive ones. Out here, if you have a medium sized wok and a drink, you pay about Rs.300 for a meal that will fill you up to the brim. The Veg Woks, medium size are for Rs.190 Chicken/Fish for Rs.210 and Prawns for Rs. 240. Large sized woks- Veg- Rs. 250, Chicken/ Fish- Rs.280 and Prawns for Rs. 310.a If you plan to share a starter plus wok plus drinks/ dessert it would make sense too. The Dumplings cost about Rs. 250. The Bubble teas are priced at Rs. 70 each. The dessert is priced at Rs. 100. Have it if you must.

Verdict– In a nutshell, Wok Express will have to up their game and make more flavourful food to want customers visiting again. Apart from the Edammame & Truffle dumpling, I don’t have any other reason to go back there.

Rating– 2/5

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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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Jan 9 2015

Tevar- Movie Review

Roochster

Tevar movie posterMost of us women are looking for that ‘hero’ in our life who will sweep us off our feet, protect us, care for us, even sing songs and dance with us and make us feel like a princess. The existence of such heroes is all because of Bollywood and let me tell you that Tevar’s lead man Arjun Kapoor is surely going to make you swoon!

So glad to be back on Roochster and write my reviews again after a long wedding break! Now here’s my take on Boney Kapoor’s Tevar.

Plot in short- Pintoo a.k.a Ghanshyam (Arjun Kapoor) is a master at Kabaddi and bashes up any street lafanga who tries to mess with the women in Mathura. On a random day when he’s on his way to go and play kabaddi, he gets his hands dirty by crossing Gajender Singh’s (Manoj Bajpai) path. Now Gajender Singh is this corrupt politician’s brother who has the hots for Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha) and is on a mission to marry her whether she wants to or not. Will Pintoo and Radhika be able to match up to Gajender’s influence and power around town and free themselves from the chase?

The Good– The screenplay earns the film most points as you wont find yourself bored at any given point apart from a few long action scenes. Good direction by Amit Ravindernath Sharma for putting together a good end product. Some dialogues stand out but that’s because Arjun Kapoor shines. He’s acted very well and leaves you wanting for more. His character is perfectly sketched and he’s been lucky enough to get a role like this where the ‘hero’ of the film gets up even after being stabbed in his back, stomach and arms. No matter how silly and cliché that is, it’s a true Bollywood masala film that the masses love. Sonakshi Sinha too has acted well. She speaks volumes with her eyes and is convincing enough to play the damsel in distress with all the drama in her life. Together she and Arjun Kapoor sizzle on screen. Manoj Bajpai who plays the bad guy is perfect! All the supporting actors such as Raj Babbar, Deepti Naval, Arjun Kapoor’s sister, Kaakdi and all the other actors support beautifully. The music overall is just ok. My favourite number is the duet love song- Joganiyan and I also like Superman which is so typically a Sajid-Wajid number and has been choreographed well by Remo Desouza. Top notch cinematography by Laxman Utekar who has been working on every other film in Bollywood these days. But he is that good.  The background score by Clinton Cerejo is also well paced and takes the film forward. As much as I dislike action scenes, I have to say that the stunts are all well designed and the action sequences come off as well choreographed overall.

The Not-so-good– There aren’t many downfalls in the film apart from the fact that it is slightly longer than my liking. There could have been fewer action scenes and definitely 1-2 songs less to cut the length short. I would have liked better songs too in the film.

Verdict– Tevar has the right amount of attitude, romance, action, drama and comedy to make it a ‘paisa vasool’ entertainer for the masses. Arjun Kapoor is the next best thing! It was awesome to see a typical Bollywood film after so long! Jaake dekho!

Rating– 3.5/5

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May 5 2014

Book Review: It’s Never Too Late- Shilpa Choudapurkar

Roochster

It's Never too late- Shilpa ChoudapurkarSynopsis– Avantika Mahajan is a fiction editor who loves her job and looks up to fictional characters. She falls in love with and marries Rahul Kalyankar who eventually asks her for a divorce. Just when life is beginning to feel normal, Alex Logan, the dashing CEO of an American multinational comes her way. Will she be able to get over her insecurities and accept the love he offers? Only time will tell.

Review– I’ve read books by many Indian authors. While some are descriptive in every sense and don’t leave even the minutest detail for the reader, there are some who dress their ‘relatable’ characters heavily with emotions that sometimes are too dramatic for words (like you see in Bollywood films). ‘It’s Never too Late’ by Shilpa Choudapurkar clearly falls in the second category.

What I liked– The characters seem quite relatable so people staying in India will relate. I like that the language is simple for anyone to read and it doesn’t take too long to complete the book. I read it in a couple of hours.

What I didn’t like– The story is very predictable. There are no turning points or surprise elements that can make this book memorable or a keepsake. While the language is simple, there are far too many grammatical and language errors and that is a major setback. I did not find myself glued to the book at all, to be honest.

Verdict– I’ve watched far too many Bollywood films and read several books by Indian authors and this was a below average read for me. Avoidable!

Rating– 1.5/5

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Oct 11 2013

War Chhod Na Yaar- Movie Review

Roochster

war-chhod-na-yaar posterWe’ve seen movies like Border and LOC based on the never-ending Indo-Pak war. And now we have ‘War Chhod Na Yaar’ which is a satirical comedy on the concept of war between the two nations. Here’s what I thought of it.

The concept is based on the title. India and Pakistan are at constant war with each other and the reasons just keep growing. In this movie, Captain Rana (Sherman Joshi) from India and Captain Qureshi (Jaaved Jafferi) are soldiers on different sides of the border but friends. They have no problems with each other except for the one the ministers from both the countries, China and USA have. News reporter Ruth Dutta (Soha Ali Khan), who is eagerly looking for a breaking story, finds that the whole ‘war’ scene doesn’t really exist but is created because of some really selfish politicians for their own selfish purposes.

Director Faraz Haider has smartly executed the concept even though the screenplay is not as good as one would have expected it to be. It could definitely have been written better. Like for instance there are some really lame situations like when chicken are released on to the other side of the border to distract the Pakistani soldiers. I understand that they were trying to be funny but it’s extremely stupid to see that in a ‘war’ situation. There are some funny scenes and the rest are just trying-to-be-funny. The whole antakshari part looks incredibly fake and pointless. Also, there’s a lot of hate for China from the writers and director and that is evident in abundance throughout the film.

The setting is bang on. The desert, the barbed wires, tents, etc. make it look very real. The background music is average and the music is not worth mentioning. The cinematography by Sejal Shah is good. Visually, the film is rich, well, atleast everything shot at the desert.

Coming to the performances, Sharman Joshi and Jaaved Jafferi are both at par with each other. They are fun to watch and very entertaining. Dalip Tahil who has multiple roles plays his parts with ease and a huge amount of confidence. He doesn’t make the US accent sound bad at all. Sanjay Mishra too is hilarious to watch and has played his part well. Soha Ali Khan is seen too many times as a reporter now so there was nothing challenging or different about her in this film. She was good but nothing to write about.

Overall, War Chhod Na Yaar is good but not as good as it could have been. There are a lot of drawbacks from the writing and direction department.

Rating– 2.5/5

 

 

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