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.