Dabangged.

Yesterday when I heard from the counter boy at nearby Fame, I was angry and disheartened, as I knew there weren’t very good chances of getting a ticket. I wasn’t very wrong as I saw Marathahalli’s Innovative multiplex getting four of its five shows filled within half an hour while I was looking for company. Finally, I got Twitter buddy Arun and we went to Rex.

Anyway, as I started watching the movie, I was not as thrilled as I had been to watch the movie. During the first half, there were a lot of comic scenes, some of them much better than Rohit Shetty’s movies (by Rohit Shetty movies I mean popular, full-fledged comedies of present day), and there were quite some fight scenes, but it seemed that there was not much story, not in the foreground at least.

But as the movie proceeded, I could see something like a story coming up while I was thoroughly enjoying what was there on screen even with less story, be it Salman Khan’s Rajni-ish fights or his family-dramedy with Dimple Kapadia, Vinod Khanna and Arbaaz.

Still, in the second half there is some story and somehow I felt that whatever I was watching yet was part of that story too as I see Salman-Vinod’s relationship turning into more than just comedy and his childhood rivalry with Arbaaz becoming something to find a ‘Vibheeshan’ for the local politicians. By the time Anupam Kher enters the story, you actually feel there’s a movie going on, and not just a collection of ‘best of Salman Khan’ scenes. But the phase doesn’t last forever, at least not in the same intensity. Even then, by the climax you have some story behind those wonderfully choreographed and animated fights, enough to enjoy the fights. The last 30-45 minutes of the movie definitely make the best part of Dabangg.

Salman has no doubt played the character of Chulbul Pandey perfectly, and even the surroundings are quite well designed. Though there is logic missing at various points in the movie, it’s slight and the movie could be top-notch if only we had a better story. Talking of others, Sonakshi looks quite good in her role but her screen presence is less than what I had expected. Sonu Sood gets much more time on screen than her even though he looks more of a body builder than actor. Dimple is good though Vinod Khanna doesn’t get a lot to do. Anupam Kher is definitely fine in his small role while Mahesh Manjrekar is interesting, and it took me some time to recognize him. Arbaaz is a bit of let-down though while his ‘munni’ makes people dance to her tune.

Fights are good but at times you know they are animated. Songs are a bit too much, though enjoyable. But above them, dialogs of the movie is something that makes you enjoy the movie throughout.

In short, with some more story, Dabangg could be worth archiving, though in its present form, it’s nothing less than enjoyable. And if I’m allowed to use words of other reviewers, I would like to agree with Anupama Chopra where she says she’d be happy to see more of Chulbul Pandey and with a better script.

I really want more of this Salman. Dabangg ho!

Rajneeti: Review

When i was in school and we were asked to write essays on our favourite books i always wrote Mahabharata. There is a saying in Bengali :”Ja nei bharate, ta nei bharate” which means anything that did not find a place in the great epic, does not exist in India. Politics forms the crux of the epic. Dynastic politics, feud over property, power tussle between blood relations make each page of the greatest story ever told so gripping. But an adaptation of the same with Indian electoral politics as the backdrop fails to impress much. Specially so because this film comes from the kitty of Prakash Jha (who had raised the bar of film making with Gangajal). Had Karan Johar made this film i would have been all praises (like i was in MNIK; that film was pathetic too). Rajneeti works because Mahabharata works.

I will not go into the story of the film. I would just try to talk about certain aspects of the film which if absent could have made Rajneeti a classic. First is the screenplay. In the first half of the film it almost resembles a Yash raj drama! Specially the scenes between Ranbir and Katrina! The scenes went by too fast and editing was really bad which hampered the flow of the film. The songs were complete misfit and could have been given a miss! Prakash Jha should really learn how to use songs as background scores. Some concepts were cliche ridden. Dialogues were stale in most parts and evoked laughter in some serious scenes (like “tum mere jyesth putra ho”). The director’s attempt to adapt Mahabharata boomerangs. He lets many strings loose which becomes very difficult for him to sort out by the end of the film.

This is an extract of Aagan‘s review. Complete Review at Aaganzworld.

Update: I watched Raajneeti and absolutely loved it. My suggestion, Do watch it, if you like or have any interest in that bad game called Politics. I have. 🙂

Kites: Movie Review

Preview show. Rupees 250. n yes, for those sitting 2 rows behind me, Rs 270. Fame cinemas at Whitefield’s Forum Value Mall had 3 preview shows on Thursday, and all three were housefull. No wonder Fame chose Kites to fly their rates even higher, adding rupees twenty to every ticket.

Worth that much? I guess not.

OK. Kites is a good movie. Doesn’t have that much of story but then Anurag Basu knows how to make a movie and when you have all the money from BIG Pictures and Rakesh Roshan and all the time of a talented actor like Hrithik, he can create magic, and he almost did, as through the entire movie, you know the end, but still, somehow, it keeps you hooked. All points to Anurag for that (But then, he had done it so much better in Metro, though it had a bit more story than Kites).

Other than the story thing, Kites is fabulous. Take any department, acting, music, background score, cinematography, and where it comes, choreography, all of them are awesome. Hrithik and Barbara do share a chemistry and you can watch it on-screen. The small cast, Hrithik, Barbara, Nick Brown (the guy playing the villain), Kabir Bedi, and even Jamaal, the chauffeur played by Yuri Suri are all good. Kangana gets a smaller role than expected though.

The best things about Kites are the music, the background score, the cinematography, and of course, its direction, though I had expected more than this from Anurag after Life in a Metro. He has tried new things (eg, the picturization of Tum Bhi ho wahi) but in a few places it becomes clichéd, maybe because of the story. Salim-Sulaiman have been really wonderful with their background score and I absolutely loved that. Cinematography is good in general and the desert scene looks superb.

I guess there isn’t much more to say though I can keep on going. So I would like to summarize it with a tweet of mine.

Not a great story. But otherwise, almost everything is great. Watch it once I’d say.

(follow me on Twitter at @hg6)

Road, Movie and Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge: Movie Review

It was a bit strange Friday as neither of the two movies I saw today had a strong storyline even though both had strong actors. While Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge was expected to be so, Road, movie was a not-so-pleasant surprise as time and truck kept moving but not the story. Here is my review, or reviews as you may call it, of the two movies, in the order I saw them. So Atithi comes first.
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Teen Patti: Movie Review

I had huge expectations. But they started dying when the movie with a less than required quotient of suspense started becoming a rat race. But then the second half came as the pleasant surprise that I was expecting for at the time of intermission, and I got at least something for my expectations.
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Toh Baat Pakki: Movie Review

I would not suggest you to go and watch the movie in a theater. But do remember that you need to buy a CD/DVD when it’s out. I guess you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Toh Baat Pakki is a sweet film on a good story and a not-so-good screenplay where actors deliver some okay to very good performances and give you a clean movie that you might like to enjoy with your family. At the same time, I do not think it’s good enough to waste your money in a multiplex and there are not many cinema halls where you go watch family movies in single screens nowadays. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is not about the situation of cinema halls in India. I’m just trying to explain what type the movie is, while expecting you to have some rough idea about the type too.

To start with, toh Baat Pakki is a comedy that makes you laugh on the subtleties of life, about the small things that happen when it comes to an arranged marriage and when it comes to boys and girls and above all, their elder sisters and their husbands. The movie makes you laugh a bit in the starting sequences, a bit more when you see the family drama of Tabu’s family and more than that her personal drama, but fails to make you laugh as it starts moving towards the climax. The good thing about the movie in these last sequences is that right near the end the director decides to go fast and skips a few scenes of drama NOT making you wait like hell for the movie to end.

Though, the director has not been as good as his intentions in many parts of the movie. While he tries to showcase the middle class family of Tabu keeping everything on earth, there are many things that go so dreamy as if I were watching Saanwariya. For example, the director’s Jaunpur is no less than Mussoorie while you see all buildings of Mumbai in a song going on in Palanpur. Bank Cashier Ayub Khan’s vintage car might be funny but is not very real for sure. Same can be said for the beauty of Sharman’s college, the village of his Mama and so on.

The best thing about the movie is… Tabu, as she acts so natural in the movie. Though there are times when her role goes a bit over the top, she mostly makes the most of her not-so-great role purely on her acting. Sharman Joshi is good but seems he’s getting typecast. Not very good for him. Vatsal Seth, for the first time, looks big enough to be a hero. Yuvika Chaudhary looks cute. Upasna Singh goes over the top. Ayub Khan is perfect in his small role. And overall, actors make a big part of the movie.

Interesting thing, though, is that kind of surprisingly, the songs of the album are good. Sonu Nigam is at his lung-stretcher best in Phir se, while Pritam sings Karle mujhse pyar with Rana and Soham, not bringing in KK for this one. Read the music review for that.

Overall, Toh baat Pakki is something that could be good or even more than that but lacks a sincere effort, by the team, not by it’s actors. So, at best, keep the movie for a viewing at home on a CD or television.

My Name is Khan: Movie Review

Want to know how is My Name is Khan? Go to Google and start typing, “My Name is Khan and ” Stop. You will see the first suggestion there. My Name is Khan and I am not a Terrorist. Yes, you get an idea about the movie.

The best thing about My Name is Khan is that finally Karan Johar moves over himself. With the same Shahrukh Khan and Kajol with whom he made his debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Though this very fact makes me wonder how much of his typical audiences are going to like it. Who knows what’s on girls’ minds after all?
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Striker: Movie Review

I was wondering what would be the fate of striker after such less promotion. But now I think the movie can run on word of mouth. Yes, I loved striker. Or at least most parts of it. Though it was a one man show by Siddharth, and it’s only his second Hindi film, the Bomarillu guy knows what he is to do here, and to say the least, he is here to stay, however the movie fares.
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Ishqiya: Movie Review

Frankly, after watching Rann, Ishqiya is quite out of my mind. But one thing which I can surely tell you is that when I was watching it, I was loving it.

Ishqiya is an entertainment package. While the story of the film is okay with an old cliche given a new form, the direction of the movie is good, acting of Naseer, Arshad and Vidya is high quality, Vishal’s music is awesome and Rekha’s voice is beyond words.

And then, there is Dil to Bachcha hai ji. 🙂
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Movie Review: Rann: Yeah, Rann Hai!

If you ask me how many stars I would give to Rann, I won’t go for anything less than four if I gave a four to 3 Idiots. The movie may have it’s own shortcomings, which even 3i had, and may not even be that entertaining, but then, it’s not always about entertainment, as the movie itself says.

Rann is a lot. It’s a good movie on a good topic. It’s Ram Gopal Varma back to the form; quite as he was in Sarkar. It’s an actor’s wonderful entry in Bollywood (though he was in Phoonk and is a well known Kannada hero). And above all these, it’s something that we should see.
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Movie Review: Veer: It’s Salmanism

No. This is not a so-called ‘critical’ opinion on the movie. Nor is it a bashing of the Salman’s Veer, so in case all you’re looking for is bashing and thrashing of the movie, switch over to other critics, there are many who have done that.

Of course, I had read so many reviews before I saw the movie and that was one of the reasons I saw the movie pretty late. But once I entered the theater, there wasn’t one time I felt I shouldn’t have come.

I know Veer is not the so-called sophisticated movie with right facts and logical script/screenplay. But if you are a Salman Khan fan and ready to join the madness which can be called Salmanism, you ARE going to enjoy the movie. After all, Veer still accommodates more mind than, with all due respect, Rajnikant movies do. 😉
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Chance pe Dance: Movie Review

It’s predictable. It’s typical, old Bollywood material, with hardly anything new. As they say, Kahani poori filmi hai. It doesn’t have absolutely stunning performances. But Chance pe Dance is watchable, at least if you have nothing better to do, or, if you are a fan of Shahid’s dance.
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Pyaar Impossible: Movie Review

It wasn’t really what I was expecting. I thought of a college, a girl, a guy, an impossible love story and the guy running behind the girl while Salim-Sulaiman’s beautiful songs were in the air. Thankfully, Pyaar Impossible isn’t that. The movie has a good story. But since it’s a YashRaj, the kahani gets filmi at times and movie loses a lot of its potential.
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Accident on Hill Road: movie review

This movie review isn't spell checked. Cannot revisit the movie once again.

When I started watching accident on hill road I was wondering if this would be my sure shot worst movie. Thankfully, it wasn’t that sure shot. But it certainly was one of the worst.

Celina jaitley might have found a script with a good role for herself, but neither the direction was as good as the small story needed, nor Celina was good enough for the job with her limited acting skills.

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Raat Gayi Baat Gayi Ratings

After winning the best movie award at the New York South Asian International Film Festival, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi has become a hot property. And now that the movie is out, so are all reviews. Here is a brief analysis.

Taran Adarsh trashes yet another movie with RGBG as he gives the movie a mere one and half. CNN IBN’s Rajeev Masand is better in the choice of his words and gives a balanced review but his rating of 2 sounds a bit low after his words. Times of India’s both reviewers, Gaurav Malani, and a later updated Nikhat, both give the movie a good review with a 3. Anupama Chopra on NDTV almost trashes the movie as she gives away almost entire movie in the review (worst part) even though she gives the movie a 2. By the way, although the end of Anupama’s review is a spoiler I would not like to discuss, it’s something she has rightly found through her sharp eye (The Navneet Nishan story).

Personally, even with its slow pace, I liked the movie. As Rajeev says, the movie somewhere lacks the energy, I quite agree with his words but am not ready to agree that the movie is bad, or bad enough to be given a 2 at least. May be the reason for Rajeev’s (or even other reviewers’ too) bad response is that they thought of it as a full fledged comedy which may change opinions. Anyway, my personal opinion on the movie is Good, that means a 3 out of 5.