bollywood

Namaste England – Such a waste of talent.

In a vocal interview, the veteran Paresh Rawal was asked whether he was aware about reception of a flop film before he did that film and what made him sign up for it anyway. To which he replied,

Sometimes you know it is not going to do well at the box office and you are fully aware how incompetent the story is, but you got to do it to earn your basic bread and butter.

Namaste England is probably chosen by Parineeti and Arjun (even after being such good actors) as their bread and butter film. Both have been a part of mediocre films since the start of their careers. No exceptional plots just as yet.

Since the film is not worth your while, let me make it easier for you to read and give you bullet points, stating the reasons for not watching this film and if you are adventurous, give you a few in favor of it,

  • Reasons to use those precious 3 hours to do something better in life,
  1. An amateur story for this era. Maybe, would have worked in the 2000’s.
  2. The film doesn’t lead to anywhere.
  3. Couldn’t match the prequel, Namaste London. In 2007, this kind of a story was new and it had Akshay Kumar in it, who made the film profitable and a box office hit.
  4. Even the direction doesn’t impress you.
  5. Arjun Kapoor looks bulky and uncomfortable when it comes to his physicality in the film.
  6. The repetition of the dialogue is quite frustrating.
  7. Seems like a soap opera at times. Overdramatic.
  8. Mostly elongated.
  • Reasons you might be brave enough,
  1. The music is okay.
  2. All the actors have performed well.
  3. The tad bit of comedy in the romantic war between the leads, only in the latter part of the film.

Vipul Shah, the director and producer of this flick probably has a lot of money to throw away, but he should really consider JUST producing films. Directing is clearly not his forte, especially after a series of flops, after his only two great films at the start of his career, Aankhen (2002) and Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005).

1.5/5

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bollywood

Andhadhun – Fifth one’s a charm.

It took FOUR years for any other film to get me to experience this feeling again. A feeling which, if described in layman’s terms, never lets your mind to stop thinking for at least the next few hours after the film. It’s a feeling where I feel like I am Sherlock Holmes, trying to use a large percentage of my brain, predicting all possible outcomes of a particular, puzzling situation or even trying to solve a mystery.

The last film which stirred me into such deep thinking was Imtiaz Ali‘s Highway in 2014. Sriram Raghavan has been known for his distinctive thrillers. At least someone is keeping this genre alive in Bollywood. However, 3 out of his 5 films have been a turn down at the box office. Badlapur, being the fourth, earned well at the box office, yet remained a so-so when concerned critically. Additionally, out of those three failed films, Johnny Gaddaar, according to me, was a real nice attempt!

I am currently mind-blown with a lot of things. Firstly, the cinematography is magnificently well done by K. U. Mohanan. The camera work just creates that sense of earnestness. Second is the screenplay, simple and yet so scarily effective. Just required a few locations within the city of Pune, Maharashtra. Third is the background score and music. The beautiful affiliation of the piano and it’s usage to compliment every scene, is the detail I became a fan of. Thanks to the mastermind Amit Trivedi, the talented and speedy Raftaar and Girish Nakod. Lastly, the slight garnishing of comedy just made sure of bringing the feeling of accomplishment.

Combined with a thriller is suspense. And a new one kept unfolding every twenty minutes TILL the last scene. Andhadhun almost gave me anxiety, post the film, making it difficult for me to calm down, concentrate on what I am doing at that moment. Films like these are raising the bar in Bollywood. Films like these are bringing down the high budget crap to the ground, showing them where they belong. Actors like Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika ApteBhumi Pednekar and a few others are responsible for this CHANGE. Just doing their beautiful work. Choosing the correct films and slowly, steadily reaching the skies.

Veterans like Tabu, Zakir Hussain and Ashwini Kalsekar are helping these aforementioned actors complete their good work. Not just these three, there are many to add to that list. Do watch this one, while it still remains on the big screen.

4.5/5

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Comedy, hollywood

Johnny English: Strikes Again – New comedy, monotonous plot.

You cannot blame anyone here. The producers want to earn their proceeds and the renowned Mr. Bean makes sure of that. And this time earning a little for himself even.

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Except here, the legend Rowan Atkinson is in as Johnny English, the spy who is needed on his duty only once every 7-8 years. A film that makes the producers a profit of more than four times it’s cost, is not that bad a deal. However, now, films are perceived in a more critical manner. All the analysis, ratings, two or three-lined comments by reviewers of big newspapers and magazines on social media, is what this era is all about. Something Johnny boy was trying his level best to understand in the film too.

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Atkinson is as usual at his best at what he does. It is usually appreciated in smaller episodes. Making a film to surround his acts to make it gigantic is a great idea to make some quick pounds but not so much for putting forward a beautiful story. Because the stories, and I speak for all the Johnny English films, have just been really okay. Maybe the previous two slightly better than the current flick. But just okay. Plus, this is the third change of director, previous ones being more experienced than the present one, David Kerr.

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Ben Miller (as Jeremy Bough) is back as his sidekick who was missing from the second part. A great actor. Furthermore, to put some more limelight, ex-bond girl, Olga Kurylenko (as Ophelia) is taken as the lead actress. The beautiful french model-turned-actress doesn’t only act well, but makes sure she carries herself elegantly in the whole film too. Lastly, I would recommend you, very bluntly, to sit this one out and wait for it to be on television. You don’t even have to spend a dime on the popcorn, you can make it at home.

2.5/5

 

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bollywood, Drama, Romantic

Manmarziyaan – Beaut of a direction.

It is amazing how the music of the film becomes this beautiful array of lights helping, guiding this film to be so mesmerizing. I am and surely you will also be grateful to Amit Trivedi for setting the stage so gorgeously for this flick.

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Truth be told, Manmarziyaan is a very simple love triangle. Sometimes the way you show it, becomes the winning point. There are not enough praises as to how Anurag Kashyap always beats the crowd to make something which is never seen before. This, marks his first full-fledged romantic film directorial. However, it isn’t unique in terms of the plot but the direction just blows you away.

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There is a very special act of and by a pair of twins, who are dancers actually, which compliment the background score. These kind of additions are which define Kashyap and make him distinctive from others. Not to mention, the authentic locations are magical.

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I like Abhishek Bachchan. No matter what the media and the world blurt about him. I like the guy as an actor and as a person. Admittedly, after Guru, Sarkar Raj and Dostana, there wasn’t any film which helped him boost his career. Although, I am really glad that just like Ranbir Kapoor, he is BACK with this pretty motion picture. He is involved in an impactful manner showing true subtlety. With the Icon Of Excellence honor by Forbes India and Outstanding Achievement award by GQ Men Of The Year, Vicky Kaushal is hitting the sky with not only delivering beautiful expressions but also being a part of 2018’s four super-hit features, Raazi, Sanju, Lust Stories (Netflix) and now Manmarziyaan. Taapsee Pannu on the other hand has been perfect in all her films and yet again makes us believe in the role she does as the confused, bold and cute punjabi kudi.

Just a small tip for you to successfully complete watching this motion picture without getting edgy is, be patient and calm. As Bachchan‘s role is.

3.5/5

 

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inspirational, Reality Check

A modern woman or still a bourgeoise?

Women, the most wonderful creation of God. Something we south-asians brag about. Although, these talks are nothing more than a mere lip service. Why? Well, let’s see.

On one hand, we talk about how women should be given more power and responsibility to grow and how they should be set free to fly. In reality, however, it all applies only when the woman in question is not from our family. Women from our families need to take permission for everything. Right from what they wear to what they talk about and with whom. Our hypocrisy laughs at us when we say, “Oh! I allowed my wife/sister to do so”.

Seriously? We think they need our permission to do things? Who are WE to permit them?

Wait a minute, let’s not jump into conclusion. I am not blaming men for what I said above. Women are equally responsible for this sorry state of theirs. They think that if a guy wants to do all this and keep total control then it is his right, after all, he loves her so much. They forget that if he loves her then so does she, only more intensely, dedicating her everything for his family. There is no trade deal involved in their relation which says that the guy will love the girl and she should take permissions before doing things in return, right?

Some of you will think now, “Come on! We are the new generation and we know what’s right and what’s not.” Yes, we do. But, is knowing alone enough?

When it comes to standing with the right, the first thing we see is who are we standing against. If they are from our family, then very conveniently, we try to justify the right. We all want to be politically correct. Just how can we say, “my family is wrong”, isn’t it?

Be it a girl’s family, who says, “try and adjust with their requirements” or the guy himself who sees his wife being treated rudely and remains a mute spectator.

So let’s see who really is responsible then for such a sorry state of women in our society,

1) Boys / Men, who are made to believe what they are doing is their right.

OR

2) Parents, who fail to reach their children to stand up for what’s right even if it means standing against everyone.

OR

3) Women, who shout on top of their voices about liberty in colleges and offices and go home and say, “Oh, my bro / hubby won’t allow me this”.

Where we say, “Set your goals and strive to attain them.” to our daughters before marriage and then, at a latter stage of their life, say, “Forgo everything as you are married now.” All this hypocrisy just because she is a daughter?

It is high time we stop this farce of empowering women and continue to celebrate how we grind them in the name of responsibility and love. Let us prepare the boys / men of the current generation and the next to face empowering women first, and then teach them to be respectful towards them. Otherwise, aren’t we creating a society of constant conflicts?

For every reader who can relate to something from above, just remember, it is your guilty conscience and if felt bad then please understand, it was purely intended.

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inspirational, Read A Book

State: Surprised. | Achievement: Unlocked. | Level: Next. | Task Completed: Reading A Book.

Bam! I hit the novel on my thigh as I completed it. Almost placed it in agony on the top of my shoerack with a big smile on my face, which lasted for a surprising minute. I thought to myself, this is my first proper book I read and what a plot it was! The last one was a tad, cute book known as Around The World In 80 Days. I loved that book. I read it when I was barely in my teens. At that time, I felt it was the best one I have ever read. Yet, after more than a decade, who knew I would start reading again.

I always despised books. Even in my school days, I didn’t like textbooks. Simply because I would get distracted almost instantaneously, losing my focus, eventually just keeping them aside. Not only in the childhood, I suffered this trauma in college too. Reading those photocopied notes. I hated them. I hated them all. After so much self-concincing, throughout the past couple of years, I finally read my first novel. First of many. Tilly Bagshawe‘s After Darkness. Tilly, writes her novels in the vein of America’s 7th best selling author of all time, Sidney Sheldon.

I told this to almost every person in my life, that I disliked books. And I could never read a novel. Obviously, because movies and television were way more easier to access and took lesser efforts. I used to be crazy about films. I still am. I can binge-watch like a nerd would study textbooks.

Honestly, I have become a sort of an addict to Netflix. I love exploring and watching new shows. The stories they show and those brilliant directions just put me in a state of awe, every single time. Plus, so many of Hollywood films and a few of Bollywood films impress me, surprise me very easily and make me crave to watch more.

I’d always think that nothing could explain a certain topic better than a film or a television show. Even after one of my cousins, one of my friends and my current boss, all of whom still are or at least used to be insane readers, urged me to start reading. As they believed that books and novels always have a better way of telling you the story than a film would. In addition, they gave you better knowledge. I always negated them. But now, not being a hypocrite, I am starting to agree with them.

A book too, has the power to keep you hooked, inclined towards them. Now, with better concentration (which came pretty easily to me), I am really happy that I finished the book, in about twenty days, with a lot of breaks. But I am sure, if I would have read it continuously, I would have finished it three or four days.

It’s not that I now think that I should’ve started reading much earlier. I was content with my decision then and I am glad with my current accord of starting to read, too. All in all, I can be affirmative about one thing, they are as intriguing as any television show or a good film can be. Maybe, even more.

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bollywood

Stree – A complete entertainer? Check.

It is an art to combine two completely opposite genres together and make it into something unusually fantastic to watch. It has been 11 years since such a deadly combination of horror and comedy were bound together for the film Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

Based on the apparently true incidents, which were given a name, Nale Ba, this film’s story is unexpectedly so captivating that it didn’t let me get up to use the men’s room. My biggest good fortune was that I hadn’t seen the trailer and while booking the tickets, it just showed “Comedy” beside the genre tag. However, the poster did seem a little odd for a comedic film. Thus, to my surprise, it wasn’t only comedy. A good portion of horror injected in whenever the plot required it. The best part of the film is, how these both blend so well together.

Limited music keeps the film intact, intense, horrific and hilarious. Kamariya, out of all the four songs in the film is too catchy on the lips and great to dance and hear to. Thanks to SachinJigar and the singers. Furthermore, I have now become a huge fan of Rajkummar Rao (as Vicky). This guy just performs with integrity and then sways away from how the results are going to turn out. Aparshakti Khurrana (as Bittu) from Dangal fame delivers another marvelous performance alongside debutant, Abhishek Banerjee (as Dana). And of course, we all know Pankaj Tripathi (as Rudra) and his outstanding screen presence and dialogue delivery, right from Gangs Of Wasseypur series to Fukrey to Newton to the current Stree. Shraddha Kapoor, on the other hand, always puts me in a state of confusion with every movie. Sometimes she’s over-acting and just not the right fit (ABCD 2), sometimes just too cute (Ek Villain) and sometimes completely effective and noteworthy (Aashiqui 2). In this one, too, she is quite convincing.

Sumit Arora on dialogue had everything ticked off on his to-do list, the typical Madhya Pradesh accent, their language, correct punches and great timing! Debutant director, Amar Kaushik has hit a double century in his first innings with an exceptional direction.

I just didn’t understand one thing, if you had to add in hidden adult comedy and genuine horror scenes then how come there were children allowed in the theater?

4/5

 

 

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