Nov 28 2015

Tamasha- Movie Review


Even with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead and the song ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’, Tamasha remains nothing but a twisted, creepy love story which you don’t want to watch again, ever.

Rating– 2/5


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May 23 2014

Heropanti- Movie Review


A masala movie that works because of Kriti Sanon’s acting skills and beautiful screen presence, Prakash Raj’s brilliant performance and Tiger Shroff’s stunts and dance moves.

Rating- 3/5

Heropanti poster

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Apr 18 2014

2 States- Movie Review


2-states-posterWhat a refreshing start to my Good Friday birthday! Not expecting it to be too full, I left aaram se from home to watch 2 States only to be lucky enough to get the last available seat in the entire theatre! Believe it or not, it was house full at 10 30am; and it’s not even a Salman Khan film! It’s definitely got to do with Alia Bhatt because majority of the crowd was college students! Anyway, here’s what I thought of the filmy adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s ‘2 States’.

Plot in short– Ananya (Alia Bhatt), a Tamilian from Chennai and Krish (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi from Delhi meet and fall in love at IIM Ahmedabad. After being in a happy relationship for almost three years they decide to get married. The only problem now is- their parents. How far can they go to make their parents happy to be together?

The Good– Director Abhishek Varman might not be as fast paced a story teller as Chetan Bhagat but he’s done a good job nonetheless. 2 States as a film hits the right spot where emotions are concerned. I saw myself laughing, crying, relating and getting goosebumps throughout the film. Even though the film is adapted from the novel, the screenplay brings the film to life, giving it its own identity. I would have enjoyed it as much even if I hadn’t read the novel. The casting has a lot to do with making the film enjoyable. I can easily say that Alia Bhatt is the next big thing after her performance in the film Highway and now 2 States. She is fresh, effortless and natural in her performance; Arjun Kapoor is slightly thanda but true to his character. They both share sizzling chemistry on screen and it automatically makes the film more fun to watch. Amrita Singh and Revathy both fit their roles perfectly and are super convincing as the tough mother-in-laws. Ronit Roy as Arjun Kapoor’s father delivers a fine performance. I also thought that the styling is top notch! Superb clothes, make- up and hair and it all just adds to making the film look like a fancy Indian magazine. The simple and yet effective cinematography and art direction make the film visually stunning! I also thought that the music by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy is foot tapping and hummable. It went very well with the film. I loved the song ‘Mast magan’.

The Not-so-good– What I felt lacked, and most people would agree with me is the length of the film. The first half of the first half flows smoothly but starts getting very slow till the interval. The second half becomes even slower. So that is where the problem lies.  Pacing up the conflicts between the families or just editing better could have made it a lot more crisp and fun to watch.

Verdict– If you want to watch a good romantic comedy and have two and a half hours to spare, watch 2 States, especially if you are in or have been in a complicated relationship.

Rating– 3.5/5


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Feb 28 2014

Shaadi Ke Side Effects- Movie Review


Shaadi-Ke-Side-Effects-PosterI was really looking forward to watching Shaadi Ke Side Effects for multiple reasons. One- Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan are superb actors! Two- I loved Pyaar ke side effects. Three- My shaadi will happen soon so I wanted to see what the ‘side effects’ are! Haha well, here’s what I thought of the film.

Plot in short– Trisha (Vidya Balan) and Sid (Farhan Akhtar) are married and in love until they give birth to a challenging responsibility- a child. How complicated do their lives get after marriage and once the baby is born is what Shaadi Ke Side Effects is all about.

The good– The concept on the whole works. A funny take on the side effects of a marriage is a good enough reason to watch it and then you have two great actors- Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar who are natural and are blessed with an incredible ability to act effortlessly. I also thought Vir Das, Ram Kapoor and Rati Agnihotri who played important parts in the film were quite entertaining. Director Saket Chaudhary who’s also made Pyaar Ke Side Effects has done a good job with directing this one but only the first half. The screenplay works well in the first half of the film to a level where you relate and laugh out loud with all your heart. Farhan Akhtar’s styling goes with today’s times and he looks younger and fitter than ever! Vidya Balan looks good in some scenes but the open hair bothers me a bit.

The cinematography is lovely and the art direction is fantastic with the most gorgeous colours. The music however is just ok. I like the romantic peppy number- Tumse pyaar ho gaya.

The Not-so-good– While the first half of the film was a lot of fun to watch, the second half was a drag. The story started moving in a not-so-interesting direction so better editing would have made it shorter and better for sure. The songs too could have been better.

Verdict– Great performances, an engaging and entertaining first half that couples in love will enjoy watching together, especially those intending to marry.

Rating– 3/5


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Feb 21 2014

Highway- Movie Review


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 20 2013

The Lunchbox- Movie Review


thelunchbox posterSometimes you just know that a film will be outstanding the moment you see its trailer. The Lunchbox is exactly that and so much more.

A simple, middle-class, lonely man- Mr. Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) has a dull, routine life until he starts receiving a ‘dabba’ during lunch time that’s not really his. The dabba is meant to go to the husband of Ila, a woman who is lonely (Nimrat Kaur), has a child and a friend/ neighbour with whom she communicates via a window. She tries too hard to win her husband’s heart but fails every single time and hence starts to send new food items that might get his attention. As days go by, letters are exchanged in the dabba and thus a new relationship between two individuals who know nothing about each other is born.

Director Ritesh Batra who is also the writer of the film has created magic with his characters alone. Their personalities are so clear and strong that you’re keen to know more about them as the movie progresses. Each character has a presence that doesn’t just melt away with the story. In fact, they only get stronger. Without complications in their personalities, the story is told in the simplest manner possible. The director chooses to keep things as real as possible. The office environment, Irrfan Khan’s house, his neighbours, Nimrat Kaur’s house, the city, the Dabbawalas, the trains, buses, rickshaws, taxis all become an integral part of his story.  Superb art direction production design. I love that the clothes too are simple, repeated and relatable. No pretense whatsoever. No make up either. I also like the fact that there’s barely any background music. The only songs you will hear are the ones the Dabbawalas sing in the train and the ones played on the radio or ‘cassette’ as Ila asks aunty to play. What’s also nice is that Ila always writes to Mr. Fernandes in Hindi whereas Mr. Fernandes responds to her in English. They stick to their characters which don’t seek acceptance but just an ear to be heard or eyes to read in this case.

Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur shine like diamonds in their performances. They are natural, grounded and spontaneous in their acting. Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the annoying assistant does his part just the way he’s meant to do it. Another one of those Director’s actors. Auntyji played by Bharati Achrekar is not seen throughout the film but she has a strong presence in the film and is very entertaining. Lilette Dubey (the mother), Denzil Smith (the boss) and Nakul Vaid (the husband) all play their parts well.

The Lunchbox is a film that is for everyone to watch. Enjoyable, tasty and unique. Must watch!

Rating– 4/5


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Aug 30 2013

Satyagraha- Movie Review


satyagraha-movie-posterPrakash Jha’s films are always hard hitting dealing with political issues or issues related to the general public. Satyagraha is no different and we got that from the title and trailer itself. So how was it? You’re just about to find out.

Dwarka Anand(Amitabh Bachchan) loses his son Akhikesh, an engineer in a road accident. A politician looking out for his own reputation in public promises a sum of 25 lakhs as compensation for the mishap. As Akhilesh’s wife Sumitra (Amrita Rao) tries to follow up with the government officials, she realises that none of them are really bothered and are only heating up the chairs sitting in offices. Her father-in-law Dwarka decides to do something about the issue and slaps an official and gets imprisoned. To fight for their rights, Akhilesh’s close friend Manav (Ajay Devgan) and journalist Yasmin (Kareena Kapoor Khan) form a team along with wanna-be politician Arjun (Arjun Rampal) and involve social media and the public. How much of a fight can they put up against the strong politicians and corrupt officials?

The subject is powerful. What lacks is the screenplay. The film drags most of the time because of poor editing too.  Sadly Prakash Jha’s magic doesn’t entirely work this time. I found myself getting distracted by my phone’s constant beeps too often which is obviously not a good thing. Director Prakash Jha went a little too far with the political clichés which we’ve seen the most in his films. I understand that he wanted to stress on the issues that have affected India the most in the recent past, corruption being the most popular, but he forgot to give importance to the script. I would have liked to see less drama internally and more about the issue the movie talks about.

Great work on the costumes and art direction. The cinematography by Sachin Krishn is good in parts. There’s good use of light. The background music works well but weak music and I really didn’t get the point of an item number. The only song that stands out is Raghupati Raghav Rajaram which is not original as we know.

What works for the film are the performances. Amitabh Bachchan is top notch. Even though he underplays the character, he’s done a fantastic job as an actor. Ajay Devgan is brilliant and looks great. Kareena Kapoor looks gorgeous with her strong eye make up and is good. Amrita Rao looks nice but as an actress doesn’t make an impact. Arjun Rampal looked out of place with acting that is just ok. Manoj Bajpayee as the corrupt politician is perfect for the role.

As a film Satyagraha could have been outstanding with its relevance in today’s times but doesn’t quite impress as much or make you feel a strong emotion while watching it. I’d say Satyagraha is a bit of a let down.

Rating– 2.5/5

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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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Feb 22 2013

Kai Po Che- Movie Review


kai_po_che posterEver since I saw the trailer of the film, I knew I had to see it; and I did. Here’s my review.

The story of the film revolves around 3 friends, their struggle to do something out of nothing and achieve success. In the process, they live, learn and lose more than they wish for. The backdrop is of a troubled Gujarat with communal biases, conservative thinking but also filled with lovely colours, beautiful people and warmth.

Abhishek Kapoor is one of those directors who makes movies that are from the heart. I haven’t read Chetan Bhagat’s novel- ‘The 3 mistakes of my life’ on which this movie is based but after watching it, I do want to read the book. The characters are all well written. The cinematography is beautiful. I only wish the theatre I went to had better speakers to hear the dialogues properly. There’s subtle humour that adds charm to the film. The styling is just right.

I’ve seen Sushant Singh Rajput for the first time and I must say the guy has talent. He’s good looking, acts very well and is very likable. Amit Sadh I have seen in some serial before and he’s grown so much as an actor. He’s not likable but lovable. I’ve fallen in love with his smile. There’s something about him that makes him endearing and he expresses without saying anything which is an amazing quality to have as an actor. Raj Kumar Yadav who plays an innocent and simple character is effortlessly cute. He’s played his part very well. The actress Amrita Puri who was very ok in ‘Aisha’ is great in Kai Po Che. She’s pretty and a natural actor.

The music in the film is lovely. Amit Trivedi is one of the finest music composers we have today and his music is fantastic! I love the songs ‘Meethi boliyan’ and ‘Shubhaarambh’.

Watch Kai Po Che for its cultural richness and beautiful performances.

Rating– 3.5/5


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