Bollywood, Drama, Reality Check, Romantic

Qarib Qarib Singlle – Just another undervalued stunner.

In the Bollywood year of 2017, a lot of films released. While some being box office flops, critically failed or even unknown, films like TubelightTiger Zinda Hai, Judwaa 2, Baadshaho, Raabta, A Gentleman, Poster Boys, Lukhnow Central, RangoonMeri Pyaari Bindu, Munna Michael, Noor, Bhoomi, Simran, Haseena Parker and Chef couldn’t be borne by the audience.

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On the contrary, some barely hit mediocrity but still earned their proceeds, some became the low-budget hits or a couple even went way beyond average, critically. In the massive, fast-paced crowd of films like Raees, Hindi Medium, Golmaal Again!!!, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Baahubali 2, Kaabil, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Newton, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Jab Harry Met Sejal, MubarakanNaam Shabaana, Ok Jaanu, Fukrey Returns, Phillauri, Jolly LLB 2 and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, somewhere along the road, people forgot about this beautiful motion picture, originally penned by Kamna Chandra, called as Qarib Qarib Singlle.

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Magnificently presented by the daughter of the writer, Tanuja Chandra, who also wrote the screenplay alongside Gazal Dhaliwal, this film will astonish you. It will give you goosebumps, make you smile and giggle. It will give you hope. You’ll be enchanted by the whole experience of the cinematography. You’ll be surprised to hear, post watching it, that it’s all shot in India.

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Who could imagine, at this day and era, Irrfan Khan could play a romantic hero and that too so thoroughly with his excellent comic timing, given his usual genre of films. Making the debut in Bollywood industry with this one, Parvathy Kottuvata proves the reason she won those numerous awards and nominations. She is a detailed actor. Made for the camera. Promoting and marketing dating websites, this motion picture proves that you could find love at any age and at a very unusual time, only if you want to.

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Without watching the film I had come across a track from it, the lyrics of which gave me goosebumps, the melody soothed me and Atif Aslam garnished it exquisitely with the softer version of his voice. Now, there was a point in the film, around the middle, when this song played. And the moment was so right that I was sold with that one five-minute sequence.

I had been meaning to watch QQS since it’s release but missed it in the theaters and thanked the people at Netflix later, for still keeping it in their library. The plot is strong, the cast is adroit, this is my Netflix recommend.

4/5

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Bollywood

Jazbaa – Trial and error.

Balance is quite the necessity in our lives. To an extent, it is also required in motion pictures. Jazbaa is an imbalanced failure of a come-back for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, even after being based on a hit and worthily praised Korean film, Seven Days.

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A very speedy first half of the film befuddles me in every way. In addition to that, comes the inutile direction which definitely rose a question onto my mind that whether Sanjay Gupta has directed a film before. There are visual effects which kept popping in every now and then, which obviously weren’t required. There is a lot of over-acting by Aishwarya (as Anuradha Verma) [it could be because the director wanted her to do so to give it all in her come-back flick]. The background score is being naively mixed up with the music. There are three music directors involved in one film which is a bit odd. Plus, the tracks just hit the level of mediocrity. The second half being mostly predictable, eliminates the charm out of the film, just except the one last suspense which unfolded during the end.

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However, there were two things which kept me from sleeping during the film, one is the one liners given to the extraordinaire, Irrfan Khan (as Inspector Yohan) and two, the performances of the supporting cast, especially Shabana Azmi (as Garima/Sia’s mother), Chandan Roy Sanyal (as Miyaaz Sheikh), Siddhant Kapoor (as Sam), Atul Kulkarni (as Ronit) and the legendary Jackie Shroff (as Mahesh Maklai).

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The above two reasons are all for which I am giving any ratings to this film. Otherwise, there is nothing in it to like or love.

1/5

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Bollywood, Comedy, Drama

Piku – Hit ’em with a shit bomb!

I guess I’ll never talk about any kind of shit for the next 365 days at least, I swear it. This one’s a fast-paced yet a peaceful film. It’ll get vexatious and will make you laugh.

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Okay first off, hats off to the casting director, for selecting a great cast to complete a rather simplistic story. It is of a very orthodox family drama genre, where there is our lead character, Piku (Deepika Padukone), who is logical, egoistic yet sweet, stubborn and is unable to settle down because of the overloaded responsibilities on her head. Out of those responsibilities, one is her blunt, over-cautious, and a very determined single father, Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), who has taken a mere problem of constipation very seriously. Then comes along this happy-go-lucky Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan) who takes them to an unforgettable and rejuvenating journey to Kolkata, in order to make a decision, whether to sell their ancestral property or to keep it.

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I think, post this movie, Bachchan has set a whole new level of an on-screen performance. At this age, this guy has all the guts to pull off the role so well, that he made other artists seem inconsequential. His dialogue delivery fooled me for a while, making me believe that he is actually a Bengali. Deepika is one of the finest actors of Bollywood and Irrfan Khan is absolutely exquisite. Balendra Singh (as Budhan) added a very comical essence to the film. On the other hand, Moushami Chatterjee and Jisshu Sengupta gave this film a nice Bengali aroma.

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Shoojit Sircar is known for his excellence in film-making. Additionally, I would actually applaud for the rapid-fire cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi which made Piku peculiar from other Bollywood films. It really felt like [as a member of the audience] I am sitting in their house and watching everything happen in front of my eyes. Moreover, the background score and the music by Anupam Roy [who sung eighty percent of the songs himself] is pertinent to the flick.

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The movie doesn’t give one direct message for the audience but it does sew up to send out multiple messages relating to the most basic practices of our lives, which people usually forget. Plus, they also relate to the misconceptions which people [especially who reside in India] have concerning their “health” and the safety measures they take following these fallacies.

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By only considering the star cast, you should definitely be up for this swiftly smooth film. The plot won’t bore you out. Plus, flakes of comedy are stirred well in the recipe!

4/5

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Based On True Events, Bollywood, Comedy, Drama

Haider – A work of art.

After a couple of stupid and purely commercial films, it is very delightful to see Shahid Kapur finally choose the right film. A very challenging one, I must say.

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Vishal Bhardwaj who was first a music composer and has given his voice and music to many films (who actually came in the industry for the same purpose), turned out to be a great director after 2002, when he was critically acclaimed for writing, directing and giving music to a film named Makdee. He is a William Shakespeare admirer. He has made successful films which have been based on the poet’s plays before. Hence, there was only a slim of chance of it being a complete failure.

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The story and the film combines of many of the incidents which happened in 1995 in Kashmir, which I feel is a state which dissentingly has their feet in two boats and has been a big rationale for the Indo-Pak war. In this chaos, there was Haider (Shahid Kapur), who comes back after he was forcefully sent out of Kashmir by his mother for higher studies, to find his missing father. There were a lot of mysteries which unfold. I would deeply appreciate the dialogue writers of the film, Bhardwaj and Basharat Peer (who also are screenplay writers), especially the ones which were in a form of poetry.

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Obviously, it can’t be a complete serious film so the comedy sections were filled in by Sumit Kaul and Rajat Bhagat who are shown as big Salman Khan fans. As it is, he was in a lot of hits and news in the era of when the story is shown. Thank the goodness that Kay Kay Menon (as Khurram Meer) is back with a detailed role, because actors like him complete the film. Tabu gave more than just justice to her role of Ghazala. She is fabulous as always. Irrfan Khan has a short but effective role as Roohdaar. Shraddha Kapoor (as Arshia Lone) is cute and is known for her acting and singing, so she lived up to it. I also wanted applaud for the typical village vocabulary which was added in the dialogue by Bhardwaj, just to make it look realistic. Music is as intense as the film, out of which Bismil was shot and choreographed outstandingly. This film was shot in the beautiful sights of Jammu, Kashmir and Srinagar. Dynamic.

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Even if you see it without the knowledge of Hamlet, it is a way better film than what’s out there (Chutzpa). What is Chutzpa? You will know once you watch the second best film of 2014. There was some fantastic acting going on, there were some fantastic expressions and scenes. YES, this is Shahid’s best work in a film till date. YES, it is a must watch.

P.S: I like the way Vishal names his films on the same initials as the plays/books they are adapted from.

4/5

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Action, Bollywood, Comedy, Crime, Romantic

Gunday – Valentine’s Day heart-break.

My valentine’s day seemed to be going superbly and then a few goons [Gunday] appeared in front of me [on the big screen] towards the late evening, to spoil it. This film should have released on friendship day instead of Valentine’s portraying their sodality.

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As far as the trailer was concerned, the film looked superb but post watching it, I felt that I was cheated. The reason being, yet again, I was able to predict what EXACTLY is going to happen next. Yet again, Ali Abbas Zafar, the director, fails to show us something unusual. Of course, this had to happen as he has been associated with flop films like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Tashan, New York and a few more unknown films.

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The cast being so strong, I didn’t understand how this flick turned out to be such a bad one. I surmise, the cast do so much for promoting the film, that more than half of their audience is derived from it. They become so captivative on reality television shows and daily soaps that viewers/moviegoers are forced to believe that the plot is really strong and that they should go watch it. Moreover, the slow motion fight sequences are so overrated nowadays after the Salman Khan films and I’m so tired of watching them. I am sure all of you also go through the mill too when they punch in.

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Already, I was bored with the humdrum story and this fight scene rolls in with both of the actors’ bodies oiled and the slow-motion tussles happening. What is this, a sophisticated game of Kabaddi? Maybe, their target audience is all those illiterate people in India who cheer & whistle at the fight scenes or even when the actress is showing too much skin, in the theater.

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All I can say is that these all these actors are too good for the films or stories they work in. May it be the multi-talented Ranveer Singh or the just-above-mediocre Arjun Kapoor or the natural and the most experienced of all, Irrfan Khan. I wouldn’t talk about Priyanka Chopra because her choice of films hasn’t been so great. I don’t know how she pulled off the role of Jhilmil so well in the brilliant-but-not-so-regarded film Barfi.

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To end this with, what little I liked about this film were a few dialogues, a few songs and the performances of the actors which I praised above BUT again, it wasn’t worth the ticket money I spent.

2/5

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Bollywood, Drama, Hollywood, Reality Check

Life Of Pi – Worthy of an applause.

Breath-taking and electrifying, the only two words which I shall use to describe this film. It is a formidable experience to watch some parts of this film.

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Ang Lee, the director, with his superb vision to create such a story which changes the outlook of the Indian audience and takes it to an unconventional level. Hats off to the casting director for bringing out such great talent, i.e. Suraj Sharma. His facial expressions, dialogue delivery and just about everything is perfect. Irrfan Khan with his brilliant narration. Just one thing Irrfan, please don’t try to speak in a fake american accent. Let it be natural, perchance. David Magee and Claudio Miranda giving us some great screenplay and cinematography, respectively.

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To be honest, with all the movies I have seen so far, this isn’t the best. However, in the film, the way the script plays out is discernible. A few of the graphical presentations in the latter duration of the film are mesmerizing to watch. Although, the 3D version of Life Of Pi isn’t worth paying for because there are no such effects which could blow one’s mind. Rafe Spall, Tabu and Adil Hussain provide an impactful support to the cast.

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Notwithstanding, according to me, the James Franco starrer 127 Hours made by Danny Boyle was a better execution of such kind of inspirational stories, which are based on memoirs or novels, as this one is, on Yann Martel’s novel from 2001, of the same name.

4/5

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