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.