Monday, December 12, 2005

Film Review-Neal 'N' Nikki

Starring: Uday Chopra, Tanisha Mukerjee
Director: Arjun Sablok
Rating: * *

This film is so Hollywoodish!! Right from the smooches to the clothes to the story to the look and the feel of the film and even the duration of one and half hours everything straight out of Hollywood. But what is the end product, well that is like a taangawaala driving a Rolls Royce. We can ape the west no worries with that but atleast we should do it well, we shouldn't look like wannabe's and if we cant imitate them well then I think we should stick to our Indian sensibilities. That's exactly where this film goes wrong.
Neal aka Gurneal Ahuwalia (Uday Chopra) is all set to be married to an Indian girl Sweety (Richa Pallod) so he decides he wants to enjoy his last 21 days of bachelorhood by sleeping with 21 women and goes to Vancouver where he meets Nikki aka Nikita Bakshi (Tanisha Mukerjee) who spoils his plans unknowingly each time. They fight and before they know they are in love and obviously no points for guessing what happens in the end.
The music is not great despite the fact that the film comes from the Yash Raj camp. "Halla Re" and the title track are hummable, that's about it. The costumes sorry to say, especially that of Tanisha don't look sensuous but look cheap. The cinematography is chick so are the Canadian slopes. The director's luck continues to dissuade him as he fails to strike gold again after his first dismay "Na Tum Jaano Na Hum"
Gaurav Gera as the Sardar with a Guitar manages to generate a few laughs. Richa has no scope but looks pretty. Abhishiek Bachchan makes a 'blink and I am gone' kinda insignificant appearance. Last but not the least the lead pair, Uday doesn't have any credentials except his last name that can qualify him as a lead actor, lets see how far his last name can push his lady luck. My sincere advice change your profession.
Superstar Kajol's not so great sibling, she can still be excused coz she's just started, maybe if her talent is exploited well she could do wonders. But unfortunately for her, in this film the director thought her talent lies in prancing around showing off lingerie and getting drunk at the drop of a hat. Sorry better luck next time.
Avoid it, anyways I have rechrisened the film from Neal 'N' Nikki to Nudgy 'N' Nonsensical.
-Sanketh Rao.

Film Review-Ek Ajnabee

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Perizad Zorabian
Direction: Apporva Lakhia
Rating: * * 1/2

When I got out of the mutliplex after watching Ek Ajnabee, I felt a sensation of deja-vu just a similar feeling when I saw the director's debut debacle "Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost". The feeling that I am talking about here is "what is the purpose of making the movie" feeling. Ok, understood everything is taken care of, right from the stunning locales, to the background music, outstanding stunts, but what about the weak script and shoddy screenplay???

Bangkok is the place, Perizaad, Vikram, Rucha are the family, The kid is the one who needs protection coz some group has been kidnapping Indian Kids in Bangkok, hence Amitabh is the bodyguard and Arjun is his sidekick, both being ex suspended army officers.

Obviously the kid is kidnapped, so who's who, and whodunit, et al is the story. There are definitely some twists and turns but somehow the zing is missing. Though the editing is crisp, the film is still boring and lengthy in parts. The action is awesome, the costumes, location and Arjun's and Big B's look are fab. Arjun's item number is also not bad......

Perizaad truly excels as Rucha's helpless mother, she's a complete natural. Vikram Chatwal as Perizaad's hubby can't match up to her. Arjun looks great, acts well but the character is not well sketched at all, anyways things are looking brighter for him now. But the show stealers are Rucha Vaidya and Big B. The kid is such a sweetheart, her annoying arrogance in the first half and her love for her bodyguard cum friend in the second half is very cute. She really matches Mr. bachchan in every scene and every frame. And what can be said about the legend himself, a total powerhouse performer, he just steals every scene. His energy and freshness are just indispensable. Absolutely knock out performance.

Abhishiek and Lara's special appearances in the end add to the star power. Not great cinema but not disappointing either. Meet the stranger if you want to pass time......

-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Film Review-Kyon Ki and Garam Masala

Kyon Ki
Starring: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rimii Sen.
Garam Masala
Starring: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Rimii Sen and 3 new finds.
Director: Priyadarshan
Rating: *

Mr. Priyadarshan (director of the above blockbusters).

Dear Sir,
First and foremost I would like to personally thank you for ruining my long weekend by releasing these two films viz Kyon Ki and Garam Masala. I wonder what made you create films like these which are completely lacklustre. If a rookie would see this, he would be completely averse to films made in Bollywood. I am so surprised that these two films came from you, who has given us Virasat, Hera Pheri and Hungama.

Let me first talk to you about Kyon Ki, what in the god's name is this? You tried to make the first half of the film funny but it turned out to be anything but funny. Those silly gags in the mental hospital are so so crude and disgusting. The physical abuse of the patients there is highly questionable. Overacting seems to flow in the skin of all the characters be it the lead pair or the supporting cast.

First of all Rimii is eyeing Salman and when he starts stalking her she pretends to be so naive and declares herself to be a nun. The father of that church also needs a special mention here, unacceptable. The chemistry between Salman and Rimii is very poor and they just don't seem to be so much in love that Salman can go bonkers when Rimii dies. And the poor Rimii Sen needs to take some Hindi lessons and change her diction drastically.

Kareena is a talented actress but even her histrionics are not used well. She gets Salman Khan out of amnesia so easily by just singing their love song and by writing I Love You on the cars window. On the other hand you have Jackie Shroff with some ghesa-pita over melodramatic angle to the story.

The music has one good soundtrack sung by Kunal Ganjawaala "Dil keh raha hai" and the title song and "goli maare" are hummable and the rest are absolutely avoidable. Om Puri and Suniel Shetty are wasted, I wonder why that character of Mr. Shetty was ever sketched. Kareena does her bit but she cant be blamed at all. Salman does what he always does so I will just leave it at that.

And the climax that you finally give us, maybe you think its a Kahaani Me Twist but sadly it puts you off totally. I think the title of this film must be changed from Kyon Kii...Its Fate to Kyon Kii...It's Illfate, illfate of all the people who have or will see this movie.

Coming to your second film Garam Masala, I agree its definitely better than Kyon Ki but nowhere as compared to your earlier comedy films. This film suffers because it has no story, no plot. None of the events that are happening in the film make any sense at all.

For example why does John get promoted and go to America and many such things which make no sense at all. Akshay Kumar the playboy is dating three air hostesses at a time and juggling between their flight schedules, buoy that is so funny that I feel like crying.

Seriously just because Masti and No Entry have done well it doesn't mean that directors can saturate people with these kinda films. Akshay overacts and John underacts. John thinks that jumping around and toppling the sofas can tickle our funny bone, but both he and you are sadly mistaken.

Rimii Sen again has precious little to do and ofcourse Paresh Rawal is the only one who atleast brings a smile if not a laugh on the audience's face. All said and done this Garam masala is neither hot nor tasty absolutely bland.

Hope we will not be undergoing such kind of torture in the near future. God Bless!!

-Sanketh Rao.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Film Review-Chocolate

Anil Kapoor in Chocolate

Starring: Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Irfan Khan, Arshad Warsi, Emran Hashmi, Sushma Reddy and Tanushree Dutta.
Director: Vivek Agnihotri
Rating: * * *

Chocolate, is very edible and even crunchy at times, but let me warn you not every one will like it, probably an average cinegoer cannot associate with it at all. But I give full marks to the debutante director to write a story and make a film of this stature in his very first attempt.
Welcome to the dark, mean streets of London. London as it's never shown before (and definitely not.... as in Yash Raj films), seven characters who are going to blow you of your wits.
Krish Pandit (Anil Kapoor) an egoistical lawyer for whom manipulating facts is like drinking a cup of tea.
Rocker (Suniel Shetty) the head of the rock band, who is madly in love with Sim.
Pipi (Irfan Khan) an artist (painter) cum musician whose slyness will put a fox to shame.
Chip (Arshad Warsi) a computer wiz cum musician with a whacky sense of humour.
Deva (Emran Hashmi) a soulful musician and a sleazy bloke.
Monsoon (Sushma Reddy) a clumsy, yet successful journalist.
Sim (Tanushree Dutta) a sensual hooker and a budding singer.
Pipi and Sim are arrested for a certain blast case and robbery of some billion dollars because of Monsoon's report on the same. On Monsoon's request Krish takes up their case, to breathe them easy out of London. Chip, Deva and Rocker are dead in the port blast.
The pluses in the movie are the performances, the outstanding cinematography, brilliant screenplay, impressive casting, thrilling suspense and an intelligent end.
The minuses would be the slightly loose editing at times, surprisingly too many songs, and above all it gets too confusing for the Indian audience, sometimes you feel, "I dunno wot's happening" and then when its about to end you feel, "I didn't understand a thing" and then boom the climax where everything falls into place, basically it gets frustrating at times.
The songs "Halka Halka" and "Mummy" get a thumbs up but the rest need to be dropped.
Speaking of performances, Arshad and Emran are reduced to mere sidekicks. Suniel Shetty is passable as always. Acting to him is what grapes is to sky, absolutely no connection. Sushma Reddy also debuts in this movie, has a striking screen presence and looks really nice but in terms of the role, its not very well sketched. The film belongs to Anil, Irfan and Tanushree. Anil gets into the skin of the character, goes slightly overboard at times but overall another bravo performance. Irfan Khan too, no one but him could have done that role. Impressive. Last but not the least, the temptress Tanushree is the surprise element in the film. This film being only her second, surprisingly acts like a veteran.
All said and done take a bite, only if you like this particular flavour (dark, deep, over the egde, thrlling) of Chocolate.
-Sanketh Rao.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Film Review-Salaam Namaste

Saif Ali Khan and Priety Zinta in Salaam Namaste

Starring: Saif Ali khan and Priety Zinta
Director: Siddarth Raj Anand
Rating: * * * 1/2

I describe this film as an urbane, cosmopolitan, suave, chic and debonairish film. Another GenX director Siddarth Raj Anand has done a commendable job. This is a breezy, light entertainer that all youngsters would love.

Here's the story. Nikhil Arora aka Nick (Saif Ali Khan) is an architect graduate who has turned into a headchef in Australia in a restraunt Nick of Time. Why chef? coz he loves being a chef, the architect stuff was just to please his dad. Amber (Priety Zinta) is a student studying surgery and is a RJ partime in an Indian Radio station "Salaam Namaste".

So far so good and so different, but then the film goes through some cliche`d stuff and then becomes a copy of Hugh Grant and Robin William starrer "9 Months".
They meet
They fight
They like like each other
Song (Salaam Namaste)
They live in
They like each other even more
Another song (Dil Bole Ummmmmmmmmmm)
They love
She's pregnant
They fight
They split
Sad Song
They miss each other
They try to reconcile
Some more fights
A very irritating song
They patch up
Then ..... you know.....they are back again.......and they live happily ever after.

But the good part is even the cliche`d stuff is so fresh, so its not boring at all. They are some shocking lip locks as well and even though it's a live in relationship, it doesn't look ugly, very aesthetically shot.

The music is a complete let down, very surprising, since it's coming from the Yash Raj camp. But the good part is that there are only 4 songs out of which the first two are quite hummable and hip. Melbourne looks as beautiful as it can get.

Ron (Arshad Warsi) as Nick's best friend and Tania Zaetta as Amber's best friend are first rate. Jugal Hansraj is passable. Javed Jafrey and his wife bring the house down with their silly funny gigs. Abhishiek Bachchan in a special appearance in the climax as a first timer doc has the most undeserved role. Forgotten and excused. Tich.

But obviously the show belongs to none other than Priety and Saif who share a superb chemistry on screen and are nothing but perfect. Priety proves she's here to stay and ofcourse she has never looked so ravishing before. Saif the next king Khan for sure, absolutely brilliant, he his outdoing his best each time with every passing film. For sure he is a lambi race ka ghoda.
So say Salaam Namaste to the slickest and coolest film of the year.
-Sanketh Rao.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My articles in

Hello all,
I have been writing for a Bollywood website called on and off for the past two months. But from now on I have started writing weekly, so dont forget to check the site every week
Here's my latest writeup

And these are some of the old ones

P.S My review for Parineeta has been published in the August 2005 Filmfare issue.

-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Film Review-No Entry

Lara Dutta, Fardeen Khan, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Celina Jetley, Bipasha Basu and Esha Deol in No Entry. Posted by Picasa

Starring: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Fardeen Khan, Lara Dutta, Bipasha Basu, Esha Deol, Celina Jetley
Director: Aneez Bazmee
Rating: * * 1/2
Is No Entry a take off on Masti? No, not really. How good is it? Its passable, worth a watch. Its about three friends and their silly lives and even more sillier wives. There is nothing much that I can write about the story, but hell yeah I can write about the performances.
No Entry makes a dull start, an interesting mid and an overtly funny second half. If anyone would see the film it would definitely be for its second half. The director, I must appreciate has directed the second half extremely well with all the chaos and confusion woven extremely well.
The music is nothing to speak about, infact to make the film a racy, fast paced comedy all the songs except the title song should be deleted. The background score with the title song tune fits really well. It would have been a really good and memorable comedy caper had the characters been chosen carefully, no one suits the role what he or she has got except Lara and Bipasha.
Here's my advice to each of the lead actors.
Celina Jetley, ok I understand you are improving but behaving hyper and prancing like a cat is not acting and the clothes I shall not comment but they seem to be slipping everywhere, especially in the song "Ishq mein".
Mr Fardeen Khan the doggy faces that you make in the film is not acting, the final verdict is you cannot act.
Esha, what are you doing in this movie? it's not even a lead nor a good guest appearence.
Bipasha, you have performed well and very naturally , but something is drastically wrong with the make up and clothes, its ghastly at times. Keep a check.
Lara, the only saving grace in the movie, keep it up.
Salman Khan, how many times will you jump around the beach in a bikini? Aren't u fed up? WE ARE.
And finally Anil, you are one of the best actors of our country and one of my favorites too, I really find very difficult to write this despite the fact that you have acted well, as always , Uncle please do roles that suit your age. Roles like My Wife's Murder in which you were simply outstanding and which do justice to your age and acting capabilities.
Enter the No Entry zone bindaas, despite all its flaws its still not disappointing.
-Sanketh Rao..

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Film Review- Mangal Pandey~The Rising

Aamir Khan in and as Mangal Pandey~The Rising
Starring: Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens, Rani Mukerjee, Amisha Patel.
Direction : Ketan Mehta
Rating : * *
Four scenes and one good song doesn't make a memorable film. I don't know how the film is being critically acclaimed everywhere, but I think its a big disappointment. After a sabbatical of four years and a memorable Lagaan what we get from Mr. Perfect Khan is a half baked history lesson with some unwanted filmi fiction added for reasons only known to the director and the writer.

Ok whats good in the movie, a scene where Amisha is offered as Sati, another scene is where Aamir Khan is agitating against the British and comes forward alone as a rebel, also the scene where Mangal is being taken to be hanged to death and a haunting title song.

And whats not good, well everything else, I just cant believe I got such a film from Aamir Khan. The cinematography rocks. The music by Rehman is absolutely lacklustre except the title song. The direction is patchy, screenplay and script are weak.

Om Puri as the narrator cannot match Amitabh Bachchan, Kirron Kher in a 45 second role is good. Tom Alter, gawd knows what he is doing there, Varsha Usgoankar (if you remember her) is hilarious in her 5 second Rani Laxmibai avatar.
The only actor who gets a thumbs up is, Toby Stephens. Whether its his acting capabilities or his Hindi dialogue delivery with the right expression, he excels. Amisha Patel (Jwaala) in her 3 scene role, cannot rely on this film at all to do her any good. I hope Rani doesn't end the year with this film, coz although she plays the role of a prostitute (Heera) to perfection she is hardly there, even her song Mai Vaari Vaari is unimpressive. And the funniest is when she turns from a pros to a sepoy in the climax, my question is WHY?????????
Last but not the least Aamir Khan can never be bad, rite? but yes he can be odinary at times and this is the perfect example.
With all due respects to Mangal Pandey one of our prominent freedom fighters, I would still say you haven't missed anything if you haven't seen this flick. If you really wanna know about the real Mangal Pandey, I think you can refresh your memory by reading that one chapter about him in the history textbooks.
Jai Hind!
-Sanketh Rao.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Film Review-Dus

Abhishiek Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Zayed Khan and Suniel Shetty in Dus.

Starcast: Sanjay Dutt, Abhishiek Bachchan, Zayed Khan, Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, Esha Deol, Dia Mirza, Raima Sen
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Rating: * * 1/2

I shall make it simple, U DECIDE
1. The screenplay disappoints, the film starts well, suddenly goes bonkers and then revives back in the end.
2. It's something similar to 16th December.
3. Sanjay Dutt dancing.
4. Gulshan Glover, the original badman, makes a phenomenal entry, but then there is a twist in the tale and his character takes an abrupt ending, totally wasted.
5. What Abhishiek Bachchan does in the climax, the effect would have been same even otherwise, he didn't have to do what he did, you will know what I am saying if see the movie.
6. Esha's hairstyle, its so funny.
7. The emotional crap, that too in scenes where there is 2 minutes left for the bomb to explode.
8. Zayed Khan - Vaada ditto Shabd ditto Dus, I need not say more.
9. Suniel Shetty, I mean, Thanks but no thanks.
10. The girls disappoint bigtime, Dia just has about 1 dialogue, Raima keeps yelling "Dan" (her hubby Sunil Shetty) about 50 times and Esha Deol does a la Dhoom again and Shilpa Shetty does good of whatever is offered to her, but I thought it would be one class action role, but it isn't. The only good stunt that she does is the one shown in the promos.

1. If you have nothing better to do, on a Sunday.
2. An attempt in making something different.
3. Good editing.
4. The well co-ordinated action stunts.
5. Pankaj Kapoor
6. The two kaahni me twists are really nice and well presented at the right time, just when it starts to get really boring.
7. The background score and slick cinematography.
8. Sanjay Dutt, not a great performance, but very likeable.
9. Abhishiek Bachchan, the film wouldn't have been what it is without him, he is a superstar in the making. Another good performance and hes let gone his two left feet as well, he can now give all the item girls a run for their money.
10. Deedaar Ve is ok, but Dus Bahaane the title track of the film, simply rocks.
-Sanketh Rao.

Film Review-Sarkar

Amitabh Bachchan in Sarkar Posted by Picasa

Starcast: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishiek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Tanisha
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Rating: * * * *
I don't know if this is Ram Gopal Varma's best work till date as he claims it to be, but it definitely is one of his best.
Subash Nagare (Amitabh Bachchan) an autocrat catalyst in politics, a la Bal Thackerey ( just the inspiration of the character, that's all) is all powerful and has all the public adulation but has refrained himself from the rat race in politics. Everyone from the chief minister to his cabinet members are the puppets whose strings are in the hands of Subash Nagare alias SARKAR.
He has a suppressed and dutiful wife (Supriya Pathak) and two children Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon) and Shankar (Abhishiek Bachchan). Vishnu is the black sheep of the family, he's a producer in Bollywood, chases his heroines, mouths foul language and has a rift with his father et al. Shankar is the foreign returned obedient son, who is never introduced to the family business but inevitably goes on to be a part of it.
What is this family business? Well it's social service. Subash Nagare is the law, the poor and oppressed come to him with their problems and he sorts them out. Now he doesn't do anything that his conscience doesn't approve him of, so obviously he has many foes. Many of his enemies are his students who have learnt all the tricks of the trade from him.
Every dog has its day and Subash's enemies have found theirs, they kill a leader who badmouths Nagare, so the blame is on him. Even his older son Vishnu is an accomplice of his father's enemies. His son Shankar gets him out of the rut and takes over from the aging Sarkar to become one himself and continues the family legacy.
The cinematography is dark and slick like every other RGV film. The dialogues are exceptional, most of them are "taali bajao" types. The cat calls from the audience says it all. The editing is crisp, the film turning out be just about 2 hours. The background score "Govinda" is superb.
The starcast is impressive, though some added unnecessarily. The supporting cast does a great job. Sarkar's two aides are pretty good. The south Indian gangster is awesome and his dialogues will leave you laughing in splits, his laugh sounds like a snake hissing, really funny. The sadhu is good too. Kay Kay Menon is first rate, gives a very convincing performance. His on screen wife Ruksaar earlier seen in D, is totally lacklustre, I think she has about 10 words (not dialogues) in the whole film. Supriya Pathak shines.
Coming to the main cast, Katrina as Abhishiek's foreign returned girlfriend who dumps him, makes her presence felt in a small role and moreover, she looks gorgeous. Tanisha, his childhood sweetheart is really funny not because she has some funny lines or anything, she's funny coz she's emoting. Hahhaha. But atleast she has an A grade film in her kitty to rave about.
Last but not the least the show stealers, the father and son duo give a mind blowing performance. A father and son jodi like this has never been witnessed in Hindi Cinema ever before. They just rock together, their chemistry is awesome! I hope we see more of them together. Sr. Bachchan can add another splendid performance to his list. He completely gets into the character, doesn't have many dialogues but his eyes say it all. The first half belongs to him.
Jr. is as brilliant if not better, the second half belongs to him. His eyes have a fierce intensity that can give anyone cold feet. He is so comfortable in what he's doing that it just reflects on screen.
He truly deserves to be Aby's baby. Bravo.
How can anyone miss this totally "Paisa vasool" film?
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Film Review-Parineeta

Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt in Parineeta

Starcast: Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan.
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Rating: * * * *

I must confess, I might be partial as I write this review, coz a pretty girl Vidya, who lives opposite my house in Mumbai signed this film called "Parineeta" (The married woman). This is the film that I have been waiting for almost 1.5 years now and here it is.

1962 Calcutta, a love story that will sweep you off your feet, the story goes like this, two families who are neighbours, 1 affluent family that of Shekar (Saif Ali Khan), who has a loving and suppressed mother and a father who will put Hitler to shame. The other family being that of Koel (Raima Sen) and her not so rich, loving parents. At a very early age Lollita's (Vidya Balan) parents die in a car accident and she finds home at her uncle's house who happens to be Koel's father. So the three kids Shekar, Lollita and Koel grow up together.

Lollita wants a toy but she doesn't have the money, when Shekar finds this out her drags her to his cupboard and tells her she could have as much as she wants and she doesn't even need to ask him. They grow up and their chilhood romance turns into an unbreakable bond and passionate love of their youth.

Now Lollita's uncle is under debt. He is indebted to none other than Shekar's ruthless father. Shekar's father had lend Lollita's uncle 10,000 rupees and mortgaged the house which has accrued interest and has turned into 1.5 lacs. But what that would mean is, it would be a complete rip off coz the house costs 25 lacs.

Timely entry is made by Girish (Sanjay Dutt) who is another very close family friend's brother who is completely bowled over by Lollita's simplicity and beauty. He helps Lollita and her family to come out of the rut. An event of such things leads to misunderstanding between Lollita and Shekar due to which he is ready to marry his father's choice, an affluent father's daughter (Dia Mirza) and this leads to the most heart warming climax which I cannot reveal.

As far as the technicality of the film is concerned, its par excellence. The cinematography and set design is simple but will leave you spellbound. Actually the script is the medalist, which is an adaptation of Sarth Chandra Chatupadhaya's novel. The songs are beautifully stitched to the film each being absolutely timeless. Be it "Piyu Bole" or "Yeh Hawaye" or "Kaisi Paheli" all of them are just "Wow".Amitabh Bachchan is the Sutradhar (narrator) and Rekha does an item number, now that's a scoop isn't it? Vidhu Vinod Chopra delivers another winner. Sanjay Dutt, Raima Sen and Diya Mirza just deliver what they are expected to. The actor playing Saif's father, is worth a mention you will love to hate him. The conquistador is Saif Ali Khan, he goes a complete image makeover and how.... truly brilliant.

But the show belongs to two debutante's i.e. the director Pradeep Sarkar and newcomer Vidya Balan. The director has translated the novel into the film with such great conviction, the only defect being a scene in the climax where the whole family yells "Tod Shekar Tod", seems a little tooo filmy. But except that 1 scene the film is simply flawless.

And for Vidya, not every newcomer can boast of a debut film like this. She acts as if shes a veteran. Right from the title song till the end, she sparkles in every scene, in every frame. Its her show only hers and after seeing the movie I cannot imagine anyone else but her playing Parineeta. I truly cannot wait to see her again.
Unmissable flick.
-Sanketh Rao.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Film Review-D

Randeep Hooda in D

Starcast: Randeep Hooda, Isha Koppikar, Ruksaar and Chunkey Pandey
Direction: Vishram Sawant
Rating: * *
Truly a lacklustre fare! I do not know the purpose of making this film, we saw Satya, I think we saw it all. And of course we had Company, but that had many pluses like Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi and most importantly "Khallas".

So Deshu, son of a constable gets a chance to become a constable, refuses and goes on to become an underworld don. He joins hands with Hashim (Goga Kapoor) an aging lion and his gang and proves his mettle along with fellow accomplice Chunkey Pandey.

So far so good, now Deshu has some problems with Hashim's sons Sushant Singh and the other guy from Lagaan and the father takes stride in his sons instead of ostracizing them.
This leaves Deshu angry, yet he obeys his boss' order and goes to Gujarat a complete non starter for their business.

He and Chunkey turn this land of dust into a pot of gold and outshine Hashim's sons. Unable to bear the brunt the sons kill Chunkey and his wife (Isha Koppikar, who is a bar dancer turned wife, tell me we haven't seen this before) and our hero takes revenge by killing the sons and leaving the aging lion to die by himself and flees off to some foreign land with actress love (Ruksaar). The End.

The item number featuring Rajpal Yadav which was not supposed to be in the film has been added but frankly speaking is not even worth mentioning. The only other song "Khud Ko Maar Dala" is an ugly twin of "Sapne Me Milti Hai" from Satya.

So this two hour gangster flick is just nothing more than I mentioned, any buyers? I doubt. Chunkey Pandey and Isha Koppikar (in her 3 scene 1 song role) are efficient. Ruksaar the Parveen Babi look alike is forgettable. The show belongs to Randeep Hooda (earlier seen in Monsoon wedding), he tries playing the role to perfection. But since his character looks like a complete take off from Company (that of Vivek Oberoi), he shall not get the acclaim he would have otherwise. Period.
-Sanketh Rao.

Film Review-Bunty Aur Babli

Abhishiek Bachchan and Rani Mukerjee in and as Bunty Aur Babli
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishiek Bachchan, Rani Mukerjee
Director: Shaad Ali Sahgal
Rating: * * 1/2

What a disappointment!!! I expected so much out of this movie and from Shaad Ali after Saathiya but what I got was a complete letdown.

Two small towners Rakesh aka Bunty (Abhishiek Bachchan) and Vimmi aka Babli (Rani Mukerjee) are ardent dreamers, he dreams about being a Tata or a Birla and she dreams of becoming a model. In the desire of fulfilling their fantasies they leave their small towns towards their city. But sooner they realize that life is not as easy as they thought. Destiny brings them together and they find an alternate route to fame i.e. conning people. So the con game begins and the whole nation is going berserk about Bunty and Babli's charlatanry (P.S They help the poor as well.). So eventually their dreams have come true in a different sense, they have an exciting life and also the entire nation knows them by name.

Life's rocking until one day Dasharth Singh (Amitabh Bachchan) is given the job of tracing the swindlers. After the long cat and mice game he finally manages to hitch them but leaves them coz he knows they have changed and will never enroute that ways.
It's a desi version of Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks. Now the highlights of the movie are very few, ofcourse it manages to generate a few laughs but thats about it.

The screenplay is diseased and the editing is patchy. It gets extremely boring in portions and it has a climax that never ends, unnecessarily long. A crisp editing of 45 minutes could cure this film.
The music in the film dosen't live upto the Yasraj banner standards but is not bad either. The problem is that they are there in the wrong place at the wrong time with the exception of the introduction song Dhadak Dhadak" and the background score of "Bunty aur Babli". Another song called "Nach Baliye" is a total misfit and the costumes in this song are the ugliest I have seen in a long time. "Chup Chupke" is really nice but unwanted and finally the Aishwariya Rai number something like a qawwali is an absolute no-no. This should have been a number that should have exploded the screen, coz it's the first time ever the father and son shake their leg together on the silver screen and also have Ash accompanying them, but it's no where close to that.

Well on the starcast front Rameshwari, Raj Babbar as Abhishiek's parents and Kiron Joneja Sippy and Punnet Issar as Rani's parents are apt in their respective miniscule roles. Tania Zaetta the Australian game show host makes her unipmressive debut in this movie, has hardly anything to do.
The film rests on the shoulders of the lead pair and Bachchan Sr. and how much I hate to say this but Amitabh Bachchan disappoints, coz the odinary is unacceptable from him and thats what he delivers. Abhishiek and Rani play their roles to the T, they share an awesome chemistry and look great together. Abhishiek is the next star provided he takes care about the choice of his films and Rani needless to say is the reigning queen bee, but i think its time again to shed a few kilos.

The high point in the film for me is when my friend Kapila Agrawal makes her debut in a cameo and guess what she also gets to abuse Rani Mukerjee (way to go kapi , we r proud of you!)
All said and done the film's title should be changed from "Bunty Aur Babli" to "Boring and Bumpy".
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, May 09, 2005

My review in FILMFARE

Hello all,
I sent some of my reviews to Filmfare magazine, and they published one of them in their May 2005 issue.
Below is the direct link to my review in the magazine

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Film Review-Kya Kool Hai Hum

Tushar Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Isha Koppikar and Ritesh Deshmukh in
Kya Kool Hai Hum
Starring: Tushar Kapoor, Ritesh Deshmukh, Isha Koppikar and Neha Dhupia
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Rating: * * *
Hahahahahahheheheheheh. Very funny. Finally Ekta Kapoor got it right. After the debacle of her earlier movies Kuch Toh Hai and Krishna Cottage, here is a winner. Ekta once said "I was the only one who was scared after viewing Kuch Toh Hai and Krishna Cottage, I hope I am not the only one laughing after Kya Kool Hai Hum", dont worry Ekta you have company, anyone and everyone who has seen the film is laughing.

Two thick friends Rahul (Tushar Kapoor) and Karan (Ritesh Deshmukh) are fashion designers, looking for jobs. Rahul is a nice, shy, introverted, honest boy, whereas Karan is a flamboyant casanova who dreams of marrying a rich girl and living happily everafter. Isha Koppikar is opposite Tushar and plays a krude (all c's shall be k's) , krass, loud and ruthless cop called Urmila Mar-tod-kar. Neha Dhupia (Rekha) plays a shrink, who is in love with Ritesh.

There is also mockery about Ekta's "K" fixation in the movie. There is a serial killer doing rounds of the city, killing women from suburbs starting with "K". So when psychiatrist Mr. Screwala (Anupam Kher) is asked to solve this case, he says he has only two suspects in mind, one is a lady who makes serial's with "K" and the other is a guy who makes films with "K".

A series of events make the kops think that Tushar is the killer and send female kop Urmila to seduce him so that they kan katch him red handed. Lots of khaos, till the film reaches its klimax when the leading pairs ressolve all the konfusion.

Obivoisly in a film like this, music has no scope and maybe they can trim the songs for a more crispier pace. All the performances are good even from the supporting cast, only Yashpal Yadav is wasted. Anupam Kher is likeable after a long time, he is as krazy as ever and brings back memories of Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin. Ritesh Deshmukh is apt, delivers his double meaning dialogues naturally and is an extension of his role in Masti. Neha Dhupia has precious little to do.
The show clearly blongs to Tushar and Isha. Your heart goes out to them, coz even in a krude film like this, they have put in so much hardwork, its evident. Both of them play their roles to the T. Isha is so uncouth, unkempt, unsophisticated and un... everything, that you wonder how she did that. All's well that end's well and everyone in the Balaji factory are having the last laugh.
As far as vulgarity is concerned, this one will put Masti to shame, but who cares we are all grown up's, leave ur brains home, get some popkorn, die laughing for two and a half hours and forget it. Kyunki, the Kahaani of Kya Kool Hai Hum is Kompetent and Kamaal.
Katch it for sure.
-Sanketh Rao.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Film Review-Kaal

Lara Dutta, Vivek Oberoi, Ajay Devgan, John
Abraham and Esha Deol in Kaal

Starring: Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, John Abraham, Lara Dutta and Esha Deol
Director: Soham
Rating: * * * 1/2

If Bhoot scared you, this one will kill. Another talented boy Soham Shah added to the breed of Gen X directors. He is greatly influenced by his mentors Ram Gopal Varma and Karan Johar and gives us a product which is the best of both world's, it has the chills and thrills of Varma productions and the gloss of Dharma productions.

Two researchers, Krish (John Abraham) and wifey Ria (Esha Deol) are out on an expedition to find out the mystery about the unnatural deaths of people in the Orbit jungle by the wild cats. Also on a joy ride are four friends Dev (Vivek Oberoi), Ishika (Lara Dutta), Sajid (Kushal Punjabi) and Vishal (Vishal Malhotra). Their cars collide and they meet and they move on together as their destination is common.
The picnic turns into panic when Sajid is killed and all these guys wanna do, is get out of this jungle, and to help them out enters Kali Pratap Singh (Ajay Devgan), the jungle mougli. Remember Ajay's grand entry in his debut film Phool Aur Kaante or the stylish one in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, this is another phenomenonal one with 3 tigers.

That's all I can reveal about the story. Some of the scenes are shot so brilliantly, looks as if it is coming from a very experienced director. For example Sajid's death scene or Vishal's death scene, Ajay's entry, Lara's dream and Esha's well scene, just first rate. But what makes all these scenes extremely bloodcurdling is the back ground score by Salim-Sulimaan, the best ever after Gupt or Bhoot.
Each one gives a convincing performance, but the girls dont have much to do besides screaming and vociferating in dismay. Vivek as the arrogant dude fits the role to the T. John delivers another winner, another feather in his cap. Ajay Devgan as likeable as ever, a legend in the making and above all are the extremely hunky dory tigers, they are so adorable.
Also the two songs, one title song by ShahRukh Khan and Malaika Arora and the second one Tauba Tauba at the end with the 4 lead actors draws a lot of whistles. All said and done, Kaal is definitely a winner and the young director needs an applause for his grotesque and chic style of filmmaking.
A must watch, especially for lovers of the thriller genre.
-Sanketh Rao.