Posted in Action, Based On True Events, Bollywood, Comedy

Kesari – Legendary.

It is true that followers of the Sikh religion are one of the most sacrificial people in the world. It is the ninth largest religion in the world, by the way. You must already have seen what the story is about as Akshay Kumar is providing the synopsis of the film, wherever he is going to promote it.

It is unbelievably emotional, the film. It is realistic. It is almost well depicted. Being not longer than a hundred and fifty minutes, Kesari highlights one of the most iconic last stand battles in the history of battles – The Battle of Saragarhi. It gives you the patriotic vibe, most definitely. And an inspirational one too.

The best part about the film is the soundtrack, composed (by various artists) with such authenticity, innocence and purity. I am glad that this story is out there for the public to view and know about. Just for your information, there is no record of this battle being regarded by UNESCO in any way. Please don’t believe any rumor mills [by a lot of websites] spreading this false news.

For the Sikh audience, the background score of the film might add a little devotional feel. Apart from that, the only drawback of this film is an excess of slow-motion action scenes and over-dramatizing a few other scenes, which isn’t required at all. After all, the whole plot was only to show a day’s battle. Hence, they had to stretch it somehow. However, it is mostly the second half which might give you this irked feeling. I liked Anurag Singh‘s direction. Wasn’t the best though. Anshul Chobey‘s cinematography is great though. The writing, by him and Girish Kohli could have been better, too.

I almost forgot about Parineeti Chopra (as Jeevani Kaur). She had a cameo, playing the love interest of Kumar. She was probably added to the cast to add a romantic touch to the film. After seeing her in this, I finally am relieved of the torture of her previous film, Namaste England. Moreover, I didn’t find any actor in the list of twenty one actors portraying the roles of 36th Sikhs regiment’s brave soldiers, not capable enough to act. Even the negative characters who played the Pathans/Pashtuns, acted stupendously, adding the magnitude, emotion and power, the story demanded. Especially, Rakesh Chaturvedi Om (as Saidullah). Oh, and Akshay (as Havildar Ishar Singh) is his usual best. Maybe got a little carried away with the role.

3.5/5

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Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Romantic

Photograph – Quiet and torpid.

Sometimes it felt like this film is getting on to my nerve. Sometimes it felt like it’s so simple and pristine [after I kept a lot of patience].

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a romantic role? I don’t buy it. Some of you might think or believe this. But trust me, if we talk about playing a role, this guy masters it. How he has played a simple, village-born and a shy Muslim is commendable. On the other hand, Sanya Malhotra, who I have been admiring since her debut film Dangal, has played a shy, reserved and a distinctive Gujarati girl, Miloni, who is studying to become chartered accountant. However, she, very randomly meets Riazullah (Siddiqui), who clicks photos for tourists at the Gateway Of India for a living. And my my my, what chemistry the pair had between them. Quite astonishing.

Their love story is unplanned and purely coincidental. But, the way Ritesh Batra (director & writer) unfolds the story, taking his own sweet time, defines how unintentional life is and how, a love story can still seem vintage, without the use of social media, instant messaging and smartphones. I really liked how he has executed it, but his screenplay could have been a little better, somehow bonding well with the quality of the direction. Photograph is inclusive of a little bit of satire. It also consists of some cute comedy. Some double-meaning jokes. Not too vulgar though. Plus, minute roles of Geetanjali Kulkarni, Sachin Khedekar, Vijay Raaz, Akash Sinha, Jim Sarbh and Saharsh Shukla added a zest of their own.

The flick has it’s good and innocent moments. Although, it is hard to find an audience who would prefer to watch a film like this in a theater. Patience is an obligation here.

3/5

Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Romantic

Luka Chuppi – Funny & stretched.

Honestly, it’s not the first flick based on the topic of live-in relationships. We have seen rom-coms of this type before.

What’s new about this? There are a few crazy characters. There is sort of a role reversal between the lead male and female characters on some occasions – where something what you’d expect from a man, you’ll see a female doing. This particular feature I was really happy about. Then there is Vinay Pathak in a lengthy role after eons. Plus, the film would genuinely make you laugh and giggle.

Two things which I was disappointed with were, a) the songs – which were just inclusive of revamped tracks and nothing original and b) the elasticity of a few scenes which was completely inessential.

I am glad that someone thought of putting this couple together on screen because Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aaryan genuinely look amazing together, with even better chemistry than expected. As it is they are established actors and hardly have any flaws.

Of course, the leading pair would have been handicapped without the talented fortifying cast, Aparshakti Khurrana, Pankaj Tripathi, Atul Shrivastava, Alka Amin and others. All in all, I am happy that Laxman Utekar, a cinematographer-turned-director who has worked his magic on some outstanding Hindi films before this and has directed a couple of Maharashtran films, marks his debut with directing a motion picture of this genre.

3.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Comedy

Total Dhamaal – Baselessly crappy.

I regret even buying tickets for this film. I was shocked to see people laugh and cheer during it.

My aunt almost slept. I sat there, waiting, for the film to actually begin. Total Dhamaal has the exact same plot as it’s previous parts. The only reason it gained attention is because of the new additions to the star cast.

When I discovered the amount of business it’s making, I was wondering how dumb are the Indian audience to give this stupidity so much attention rather than giving it to a masterpiece like Gully Boy.

In fact, I saw this film a few weeks ago and was so disappointed that I didn’t even feel like writing something about it. Now, when I complete this review, I remain shocked after checking the business this film has made and how it has exceeded the business of Gully Boy.

Even the music was pathetic! It is as bizarre as the film. There is an item song by Sonakshi Sinha [out of all the actresses/dancers, the makers chose her], where she is wearing clothes which don’t even suit her body structure. Alongside, dances the legend Ajay Devgn, moving just one hand in the whole song.

Ten minutes after the second half of the film, I had borne enough. I, with my aunt and elder cousin left the theater. Sanjay Mishra is the only reason Total Dhamaal gets this half point. Rest others were just very normal, trying to revive an expired plot.

0.5/5

Posted in Action, Animation, Cartoon, Comedy, Hollywood, Romantic

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Cute.

It had already been a different concept in the world of animated films, with a little more mature aspect. Without it being a kiddish musical, the story had comedy, action and something to be inspired by.

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The enterprising How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World takes a different angle in the passable story. It is probably the only film franchise which makes a dragon look pretty, lovable and in different kinds. I love the fact that how Jay Baruchel (as Hiccup) possesses the magical voice of a teenager even after him being double in age in actuality. Just the one new addition to the third edition of HTTYD is the villain. Grimmel The Grisler (played by F. Murray Abraham) is this more of a bragger but gets things done and is quite slim and dangerous. Abraham makes sure of that.

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A few stunning sceneries. Full points to the graphics and director Dean Deblois. It is a flowy, action-comedy-adventure animated film with it’s own uniformity. Plus, this part has an increasing amount of romance infused. Nevertheless, not a bad watch at all. Make sure to watch the prequels to enjoy this one fully.

3.5/5

Posted in Based On True Events, Biographical, Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Political

The Accidental Prime Minister – Simply spread the awareness.

With mixed to negative reviews, this film sure didn’t do well, critically. We shall wait to see it’s proceeds. I feel, it is the second film after Uri: The Surgical Strike to have just released with an intention to indoctrinate a simple point of view for political gains.

Here’s what I also think of it – It is to educate the public, who are unaware of the actual happenings inside the prime minister’s office during the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh. It is to make people learn, what made Sanjaya Baru write the novel, on which this film is based on, which stated nothing but the truths during his occupation as the media advisor and chief spokesperson to the prime minister.

Straightforwardly, I will give three points to this film for four valid reasons,

  • Anupam Kher (as Dr. Manmohan Singh) – We all know how acting is his true passion and how it runs through his veins. His past work has been more than commendable and he truly is one of the finest most experienced actors in the Indian film industry. In the film, the way Kher mimicked him, was seeming pretty cute and funny. But, before writing my views on this film, I glanced at some of Dr. Singh‘s actual videos of him giving speeches, his style of walking and his hand gestures. Kher actually managed to do it 99% right and that is a massive percentage.
  • Akshaye Khanna (as Sanjaya Baru) – His confidence, persona and wardrobe in the flick are extraordinary. He makes himself look vital and seem like he’s come with a titanium sword, licensed to kill. I have loved his performances, since the beginning. Positive or negative, he makes sure of displaying his integrity to the character or role he is playing. He is the star of the show.
  • Comedy – It had quite a few funny moments, especially where Rahul Gandhi‘s character, which was played almost adroitly by Arjun Mathur, is in front of the camera. The Accidental Prime Minister is inclusive of funny, witty and high-browed dialogue, which makes it applaud-worthy.
  • Direction & CinematographyVijay Ratnakar Gutte does a fine job here. Sachin Krishn aids him well with the camerawork.

On the contrary, a couple reasons to avoid this film completely,

  • Censorship – My mouth is dried after complaining repeatedly about this. Cutting scenes out of a film is outdated now. Herein, it literally had all limits crossed. They literally muted the words of a few dialogue which supposedly would create a “controversy”. But we could read them in the subtitles. Disappointing, really.
  • Strictly Political – You need to have a basic knowledge of Indian politics in order to relate to this film’s dialogue, plot and characters. Otherwise, it is a waste of time for you to even consider it.

There is no music, not that it’s anywhere necessary. Yet the background score is as appropriate as the supporting cast. Vipin Sharma, Aahana Kumra, Suzzane Bernert and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam and the others gave their best.

Bharatiya Janata Party fans would love this one. Indian National Congress and fans wouldn’t. People who don’t care about Indian politics at all, shouldn’t buy the tickets.

3/5

Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Romantic

Badhaai Ho – A light-hearted drama delight.

Last weekend, I probably saw the worst film of this year and this one helped me recover from the trauma. After losing my attention somewhere in between the first half, the plot marched forward after regaining it and never showed a sign of deterioration thereafter.

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A good fusion of comedy and drama keeping all ages entertained, Badhaai Ho explains us how a middle class family deals with an atypical situation. At first, to accept it after being intruded by the most interfering society and relatives. Second, to deal with it and the people who blabber without any cause or involvement in the scenario.

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It is a game of expressions more than dialogue in this motion picture, really. However, there are a few dialogue which will make you applaud, whistle and ignite you from within. EVERY actor chosen for this flick fits and transcends with what’s expected out of him or her. Neena Gupta (as Priyamvada / Jeetendra‘s wife), with her profound screen presence, creates a sensuous aura along with her motherly behavior which made me a fan of her. Ayushmann Khurrana (as Nakul) doesn’t seem to stop. Showing immense talent with every progressing film, he is opening new doors with the kind of performances he is delivering. Sheeba Chaddha (as Sangeeta / Renee‘s mother), Gajraj Rao (as Jeetendra / Nakul and Gullar‘s father), Sanya Malhotra (as Renee), Shardul Rana (as Gullar / Nakul‘s brother) and especially Surekha Sikri (as Dadi) just lit the film as if it’s Diwali season with their extraordinary, yet so conventional roles.

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The peppy and romantic music by Tanishk Bagchi and Rochak Kohli contains limited but effective tracks. Culminating this, I wouldn’t say that Badhaai Ho would make you roll on the floor laughing but it will give you a bit of romance and a bit of genuine family drama included in the package which is labelled ‘great comedy’.

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Amit Sharma (the director) sure didn’t start well with Tevar, but this one’s going to change everything for him. Well thought and well made!

3.5/5