Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Film Review-Dhoom 2

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Bipasha Basu, Uday Chopra.
Director: Sanjay Ghadvi
Rating: * * * 1/2

I think sequels are working, not that D2 is better than Dhoom but its definitely bigger and grander. The sizzle effect is too high. The only problem with D2 is it has a weak script but it still does not fall flat. Despite the weak script all the chills and thrills make it an enjoyable movie.
The cinematography, the stunts and the special effects are on par with Hollywood. When each character makes an entry, the catcalls don't stop but everytime Hrithik comes on screen the whistles just grow louder.
The villains infact are the biggest hero's. No one in the audience wants Hrithik to get caught or die. The climax is slightly disappointing coz its its too thanda as compared to the whole film.
The songs are a disappointment especially "don't touch me" and "Excuse Me", I am sure D2 can do without them. "Crazy Kiya Re" is good and the title song is a treat coz of Hrithik's dancing. He's undoubtedly the best ever when it comes to dancing.
Speaking of the performances Uday Chopra does exactly what he does in Dhoom, so his job is to make people laugh and he succeeds to quite an extent. Bipasha is quite a set back, not because she doesn't perform well but because her role is so badly sketched. She starts as this super cop and suddenly vanishes. Post interval her identical twin who is a bimbo romances Uday Chopra (just coz he is Yash Chopra's son?) I mean they could have used someone else for this role. And whatever happens to Bips the super cop? Probably she doesn't get a visa to Rio, Brazil.
Rimi Sen in her 5 minute role is competent.
Aishwarya, I must say is quite not up to the mark. She makes a grand entry but as soon as she starts speaking you wish she played a mute character.
Abhishek on the other hand does a good job but does he stand a chance in front of Hrithik?? A big NO. He is completely overshadowed and that's quite a surprise.
And ofcourse the show belongs to Hrithik from the first frame to the last. He is a superstar. Be it his looks, performance, dance or stunts, all the actor does is excel. Its him who makes this film what it is. Without him this film would have been Doom instead of Dhoom 2.
Definitely watch it and watch it for Hrithik.

-Sanketh Rao.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Film Review-Don & Jan-e-man


Starring: ShahRukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Isha Koppikar/ Salman Khan , Akshay Kumar, Priety Zinta.

Director: Farhan Akhtar/ Sirish Kunder

Rating: * *

Writing a separate review for these two films didn't make sense coz they are really not worth it. The biggest problem is that both the films are competing one another for "the lengthiest film" title. I cant understand why we cant get the 3 hrs duration block out of our heads. Everything about Don is suave, hi-tech and sexy except the length ofcourse, which is excruciatingly painful. On the other hand the same problem with Jan-e-man, big sets, big actors, bearable story, but again the length of the film is annoying. It seems like you can go into the movie hall single and come out married with grown up kids, I swear I mean it.
Ok I agree, with Don, Farhan atleast gave two twists which were commendable. Those twists are the only things that don't make you tear your hair in frustration. And ditto for Jan-e-man, a few funny gags and some amazing visuals may help you not walk out of the hall. The biggest surprise is that Sirish Kunder who made this painful film is supposed to be a good editor.
Moving on to the music section, Don has nothing worthwhile except the two songs from the original out of which "Yeh mera dil" is a total disappointment, thanks to the over weight Kareena and puny lil Shahrukh. The other song "Kaike paan banaraswaala" is bearable and Sharukh has quite lived upto the expectation in this song, but Priyanka simply misses the boat.
I thought songs of Jan-e-man are good but to my horror when I saw them in the film, they are nothing but a piece of crap. The director tries to take the story ahead with the songs but unfortunately fails miserably.
A+ to cinematography in both the films.
The performances vary from bad to above average. Lets start with Don first. Isha Koppikar what are you doing in that 1 scene and 1 song role, on second thoughts, maybe you deserve it. Mr. Arjun stiff Rampal, I need not say more. Boman Irani does a good job , but when is that not the case? Kareena maybe needs another life to do a Helen. And the leading lady (I doubt I can call her that) Priyanka, she was overshadowed in Krrish and is sidelined in Don, and she's done what Zeenat Aman couldnt i.e faulter. And as far as SRK goes, I will try and be a little liberal this time, he's quite bearable. He tries to do something different and thankfully he doesn't play Raj or Rahul. So yeah, not bad.
Then there is Jan-e-man , Ms. Jan-e-man aka Priety Zinta enroutes a la Kal Ho Na ho so thats that, monotony at its best. Akshay is ok but his spastic laugh gets on your nerves. Salman is the best of the lot, but then again we have seen him in this avataar far too many times to appreciate it.
My advice , you can rather go to your terrace and watch the sparkles in the sky this Diwali instead of wasting time on "DON (Yawn)" or "Junk-e-man"

-Sanketh Rao.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Film Review-Woh Lamhe

Starring: Shiney Ahuja, Kangana Ranaut, Shaad Randhawa
Director: Mohit Suri
Rating: * * *

I don't understand why some movies are made and this one exactly falls into that category. As usual, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt glorifies himself like he did in his other autobiographies and the late Parveen Babi, I am sure wouldn't have been happy to go through this film which demerits her personal escapade.
And who is Bhatt referring to, the character played by Shaad, Aby Baby???? Too sad. All said and done, why I am not too happy with this film is coz I thought it would have a story as good as Gangster. The film only stays with you coz of the outstanding performances and flawless direction.
The music is good but again Gangster was better. "Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai" is a chartbuster. The other two songs go very well with the mood of the film.
The cinematography is excellent. I have to mention that the 25 year old director has done a commendable job. If his Zeher was bearable and Kalyug was watchable, this is just one step ahead in the right direction. Atleast hes capable of extracting superlative performances. The performances are a delight to watch. All the supporting actors are good, be it the lady who plays Sana Azim's (Kangana) mum or the character Rani who is Sana's hallucination. Shaad in a negative debut is impressive. Purab is just competent.
The show stealers are Shiney (in Mahesh Bhatt's role) and Kangana. As always Shiney shines, he emotes so easily. Perfect example of a natural actor. His role is not as authorbacked as Gangster but never the less hes outstanding. As far as Kangana is concerned, she is undoubtedly the newcomer of the year. Can hardly believe she's all of 20 and managed to do such mature and intense roles. Her beauty has no bounds and she looks absolutely stunning. With makeup or without it, she simply lights up the screen in every scene. An actress to watch out for.
All said and done, its a weepy, cranky movie which would be of relevance only to Bhatt, the three stars are for the three amazing performers. Tich.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Film Review-Lage Raho Munnabhai

Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Rating: * * * *

When was the last time we saw a film that was extremely entertaining and had a social message? All I can probably think of is RDB. Well here is another film which just fits that bill.
Frankly speaking , I thought Munnabhai M.B.B.S was just about good, nothing great but Lage Raho Munnabhai is way ahead of that, almost great. It's such a feel good film, it really touches your heart. The Gandhian principles, the love for the nation , et al, it's like a sense of deja-vu coz all of us have all these things somewhere at the back of our minds, but its just that our mind tells us that as of today these values are outdated. We have this apocalyptic feel about Gandhian principles. So this film will make you wonder. Maybe we will still remain the same but at least this will make you wonder which is quite an achievement in itself.
Coming back to the film. The setup is bigger and better this time. The cinematography is competent. The music is not great but suits the mood of the film. The feel good factor in the film is just too high. All the oldies in the film are simply adorable. Actually we see all the characters of the earlier episode and also Parineeta over here.
The dialogues are witty and keep you glued to your seat. The moment you think the gyaan in the film might just begin to bore you.....BANG comes a blob of funny lines that keeps you smiling.
Full marks to the dialogue writers, the script writers and the director for making something so original. Well with Gangsta M.D being made starring Will Smith in Hollywood we have enough reasons to be proud about.
The supporting cast led by Boman Irani, Dia Mirza, Jimmy Shergill are all adequate. Abhishek Bachchan's surprise entry just adds to the star value.
As far as Vidya goes, my friend thanks for breaking the one film wonder jinx. Her beautiful smile and clear face and dignified presence cannot not make anyone fall in love with her. Well babes if you are going anywhere its to the top.
I cannot imagine anyone else playing Munnabhai or circuit. Sanjay and Arshad were born to play these roles respectively. The unimitable charm and superb chemistry makes them extremely lovable.
Well if this is the quality of Munnabhai chapters that VVC banner is going to make then I must say Lage Raho Munnabhai forever.
Abhishek has a significant line in the film, similarly on the same lines I can say "If you watch this film maybe you will gain something but if you don't then you will definitely miss something."
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Film Review-Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerjee and Priety Zinta.
Director: Karan Johar
Rating: * * * *

Hello everyone!!! Trust me I would have given this film 5 stars had it not been for just 1 thing and that is the 'as monotonous as ever', Mr. Shahrukh Khan.
Ok first things first, not that I am a fan of Karan Johar but kudos to him for making such a bold and relevant film. I still have a hangover from the film. Its just not about outstanding camerawork, great locales, big stars, good music and lavish sets. This time along with all these ingredients is an amazing script and a strong screenplay that stays with you even after you get out of the theatre.
The cinematography in the film is as good as it can get and that is not a surprise. The colours used in the song "Rock n Roll Soniye" is comparable to "Nimbooda" of "HDDCS" if not better and ofcourse NY looks so beautiful in all its seasons spring, fall and winter. The maple leaves continue to look as vibrant as ever. The set direction is too perfect like every other film of his. The costumes just enhance the each characters personality, though I feel Priety looked slightly over done in few scenes.
The songs are beautiful barring one song picturized on Rani and SRK, I call it the blue song, this can be easily deleted keeping in mind the 3 hour 15 min duration of the film. The rest are just a treat to watch. "Rock n Roll Soniye" for the colours and Kajol. "Mitwa" and "KANK" for the lyrics. But the best song in the film goes to the Party song coz the energy in the song is so high it makes you jump out of your seat and not that they are great dancers but Priety and Abhishek get their steps almost perfect, they are so lovable.
What gets the film really high standards and all the class is Karan's almost flawless direction. I always underestimated the guy but it takes only a sensible director like him to churn out a script and direction of this strature. Some of the scenes for example, the scene where SRK is waiting for Rani with flowers in his hand but both Rani and Priety are approaching him without them seeing each other, can come only from an expert like him. I will not do Karan bashing anymore till I see his film.
Kirron Kher as SRK's mum and Amitabh's muse is wonderful, she plays her role with such elan and comfort that you always wanna see more of her. Arjun Rampal looks great and has a role bigger than I thought. He is competent. John in a 5 sec role as a DJ is passable. The kid also seen in Vaastu Shastra is phenomenal. You don't call Amitabh a legend for nothing. Anyone else in his role would have looked absolutely perverted and disgusting, but Sr.AB pulls it off really well.
And as far as the four main leads are concerned, I think Karan gets a little partial to his friends SRK and Rani which I think is not fair. Shahrukh Khan gets an awesome entry, and he is quite bearable as the frustrated , unsuccessful husband in the first half but just gets as irritating as ever in the second half. He hams like no ones business in scene after scene, I think that's what happens to actors who are not versatile, a point comes where they cannot be tolerated ditto for Govinda. Looks like its the end of the road for him. I think Saif would have been ideal (I can vouch for that after Parineeta) coz SRK looks really old among the three other young stars.
Rani, as the confused girl gives a decent performance that's all I can say and as far as looks go she doesn't stand a chance in front of Priety.
I think the film belongs to Abhishek and Priety, their characters are so just, so ethical and they truly stand out. Priety looks like some princess from some exotic land. And who says her role isn't good enough, I think she simply shines.
And Abhishek as the fun loving guy madly in love with his wife is just outstanding. He has such a lot of potential. I identify so much with the character. He stands out in every frame. The chemistry the father and son share on screen is the best there is and the best there ever will be. There is not one scene in the film where he's flawed. And like his father his comic timing is amazing. Watch the film for this guy, his best performance after Yuva. Way to go Jr., you are a rock star.
A must watch!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Film Review-The killer

Starcast: Irfan Khan, Emran Hashmi, Nisha Kothari.
Director: Hasnain Hyderabadwala and Raksha
Rating: * *
God knows how this film is getting good reviews, I think it's just about average. The film is just about two hours long and yet quite painful. What makes the film sour in taste are the pathetic C grade actors (I don't know if I can call them actors), ofcourse that is with the exception of Mr. Irfan Khan.
The story is how a professional killer (Irfan) hires a cab, the cabbie being Nikhil (Emran) for the killings that he is hired for and how Nikhil and his bar dancer girlfriend (Nisha) become scapegoats and eventually escape. Actually had it not been for the terrible cast, the film would have been a very fast paced, intelligent thriller. The dialogues are witty, the camerawork is sleek, the location is nice and the camaraderie that Irfan and Emaran share is the only highpoint of the film.
The directors have done a good job in adapting the story but have failed to get the performances out of the actors. The music is pretty ok, nothing to rave about. But the choreography especially in the "Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon" number is hilarious.
Emran, if he does one more film , I swear I will become his die hard fan (obviously in anti thesis). And the less said is better about Nisha aka Mrs. James , is this the only profession that she decided to excel in? I am sure she will take Bollywood to new heights (new heights of non performing). The only show stealer is Irfan , be it his dialogue delivery or his scary dead eyes, he excels and no doubt is the saving grace of the film).
Watch it if you wanna laugh over Nisha's funny gyrations or Irfan's good performance or Emran's stint with acting.
Otherwise Avoid!!!
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Film Review-Golmaal

Starring: Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Rimmi Sen, Paresh Rawal and Sushmita Mukerjee.
Director: Rohit Shetty
Rating: * * *

It's a totally silly, meaningless and mindless film, but yet its really funny. The very purpose of making this film is to make people laugh and it definitely succeeds in doing the same.
There isn't much to write about the story coz there isn't one!!! The film is full of moments of stupidity and gags and good performances by all the actors. The music is peppy, as is the cinematography.
Ajay Devgan's look is not convincing but his acting is. Paresh Rawal thankfully this time around delivers a controlled performance, and hence is likeable. Sushmita Mukerjee, I think is a really talented actress, whose got her due after a long time. The song picturized on Paresh and her is very well done.
Rimmi does what she always does, how many times will she keep doing that same role of all the boys falling in love with the same girl? Tusshar in the role of a mute guy is outstanding. Arshad and Sharman are also first rate.
I think it's an ideal weekend timepass.
-Sanketh Rao.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

To Mumbai - from my heart

I had written this poem long ago for the city of dreams, my lovely Bombay city. After what happened on 7/11, this poem is just a dedication to express my love for my beautiful city.

" She was re-christened over a decade ago, but I still call her by her old name,
because for me she shall always remain the same.
She is the most energetic and beautiful ever,
and to sleep, she goes never.
She is so hip and happening,
to be with her I always keep reckoning.
She was once devastated and destroyed,
but she fought back to become happy and joyed.
Many people on her, cast the devil's eye,
but the spirit in her will never let her die.
I am not with her at the moment,
and its more than two years since I started this advent.
Wherever I am, to be with her I long,
and for the love of her, I have written this song."

-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Film Review-Corporate

Starring: Bipasha Basu, Kay Kay Menon, Rajat Kapoor.
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Rating: * * 1/2
Probably after Page 3, my expectations were too high and that's why I was disappointed. Not that it's a bad film or something but it's just that it's not in par with Page 3. But still hats off to the director who came up with such a novel idea. The scripts originality is what makes it worth a dekho.
The problem with Corporate is that the first half of the film goes in making the audience realize what corporate culture is all about, how it works, what do the jargons mean, et al. The film only picks up just a little before the interval. From there on its captivating till comes the abrupt climax.
The film has no hero or heroine, there are just characters so everyone gets a good chance to perform. But the story revolves around Nishigandha Dasgupta (Bipasha Basu) who surpasses all hurdles in her life to reach a peak in her career. She is a no non sense business woman who also manages to stoop to any level to get her work done. But as luck may have it all her modern values get a horrendous bashing and she is reduced to a mere victim in the big bad corporate world.
Music wise there is just no scope in the film, Kailash Kher's "Sikandar" is passable. Camerawork is ok. But the clothes line from Allen Solly, especially that of Bipasha is really commendable.
Most of the performances are efficient. Be it Lillette Dubey, Raj Babbar, Minissha Lamba, Achint Kaur, The minister, Payal Rohatgi, Harsh Chayya all of them have delivered. Only Samir Dattani is the mute player with only one dialogue. Kay Kay Menon in the role of a "loser in life" is also ok.
But the knock out performances are delivered by Rajat Kapoor and Bipasha. Rajat as the manipulative boss has just given that perfect "is there a bigger bastard than me" performance, indeed very good. And Bipasha, I could never imagine that she could deliver a performance of this caliber. She is the biggest surprise element in the film. Be it her looks, her styling or performance, everything is just flawless.
The innovative subject and the brilliant performances get Corporate the "view it once" certificate.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Film Review-Krrish

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra.
director: Rakesh Roshan
Rating: * * * 1/2

Wow!! Finally a superhero film in mainstream Bollywood. Not that it's an outstanding film or something but still there are a lot of things that go in the favour of the film. The only thing that doesn't go good with the film is its painful length of over three hours. Few unwanted songs could be chopped and it would save us about 20 mins to half an hour.
The story you can go and see for yourself, it also has a small surprise element in it. Nothing is believable but then that's what super hero films are all about right?. The kids are gonna love it. Some performances are just not upto the mark but seriously it does not matter because Hrithik takes you through this film with such amazing talent that the rest of the cast can go and take a hike.
Speaking of the pluses, Hrithik's as well as Priyanka's entry is absolutely out of the world. Very well shot and stylish. The other commendable scenes are in the second half of the film, all the action scenes and the works. Incredible.
Also I know for a fact that people loved the action scenes, coz every time Hrithik wore the mask, the whistling from the audience didn't stop. The action choreography is par excellence that too for a Bollywood film its a big milestone achieved.
Of the actors everyone from Manine De, Sharad Saxena, to Rekha act their parts convincingly. The only two over the top performers include the overrated Mr. Nasseruddin Shah who is anything but likeable in his villainous avatar, ditto for the lovely Archana Puran Singh who misses the catch this time around. Priety Zinta in one flashback scene is wasted. Pryianka Chopra doesn't have a great role but she does whatever she is required to do. She is likeable in the bubbly role and runs around the trees with our super hero whenever required.
And finally the show belongs to none other than the man himself, Hrithik. He looks a million dollars, he dances like no ones business and his acting histrionics are simply commendable. He is a complete package, his honesty shows on screen and his hard work puts him way ahead of his contemporaries. Hats off boy, to you and to your dad.
Also the last scene convinced me that a trilogy is definitely coming up!!!!
-Sanketh Rao.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Film Review-Phir Hera Pheri

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Bipasha Basu, Rimmi Sen and Paresh Rawal.
Director: Neeraj Vora
Rating: * *
Probably its the first sequel of any film to hit the Indian marquee, but even that doesn't help this film. The original was just class apart with three unusual, real characters who potrayed their characters very honestly. But this time around the same three characters have gone completely over board, they are anything but likeable.
Only a few portions of the film are funny and the problem with the film is it has too many plots and sub plots woven into each other. The film could have been better if it followed a single track and if it had lesser characters. The film can easily be trimmed by 30 to 40 minutes.
The new characters which includes Jhonny Lever and Rajpal Yadav go over the top, I wonder whats wrong with them, they have become so repetitive. As for Bipasha, I wonder why she signed the film just for 3 scenes and 2 songs and as far as Rimmi is concerned she does what she generally does 2 songs and 2 scenes.
Akshay is good but again too much of anything is not good, ditto for Mr Shetty and Paresh Rawal.
Instead of watching Phir Hera Pheri one could do with watching Phirse (again) Hera Pheri (original).
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Film Review-Ankahee

Starring: Esha Deol, Aftab Shivdasani, Ameesha Patel.
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Rating: * *

What happens when you pick an old blockbuster "Arth", make a weak script out of it, then garnish it with a few tasteless songs and even worse caricatures? Well, the answer is you get Ankahee. In that respect, I don't have to talk about the story coz everyone knows what Arth is all about.
I always believe a good film is a good film, be it a commercial film or an art film, a romantic or a horror film. Likewise the same goes for a film that is adapted from another film or a book, a remake or an adaptation can be as interesting as the original. In this case as the rumours make rounds that is Vikram Bhatt's real life story and its a also known fact that Arth was Mahesh Bhatt's autobiographical all I can say is probably they have one similar chapter in their lives.
It could have been a well made, intriguing, sensitive enterprise but it turns out to be anything but these.
The characterization of the three leads Shekar (Aftab Shivdasani) a doctor, Nandita (Ameesha Patel) his homemaker and Kavya (Esha Deol) a model is very weak. Aftab's character is reduced to a "oh I cant express, I am so wooden" kinda character, Ameesha's character is so over enthusiastic and so unreal that the poor husband has no choice but have an affair. She plays the too good to be true kinda irritating wife who sobs at the drop of a hat. On the other hand Esha's character is strong with grey shades but then it eventually gets reduced to that of a possessive maniac.
The music is average, the title track sung by Kunal Ganjawaala featuring himself is the only one that stands out. Camera work by Subi Samuel is nothing to rave about.
Of the cast, as said earlier Aftab doesn't emote, somehow he is very stiff. The less said about Ameesha the better, a career change would be the best advice I can give her. The only one who rocks is none other than Esha. Such a power packed performance, truly amazing to see what she is capable of. There is some sense of mysticism in her eyes that make her perfectly suitable for the role. Every chance that the role has given her, she has grabbed that opportunity and given it her best shot.
All said and done, it would have been better if this story had remained Ankahee (untold). Rather watch Arth again.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Film Review-36 China Town

Starring: Akshaye Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Upen Patel.
Director Duo: Abbas-Mustan.
Rating: * * (and I am possibly being generous).

I would not want to waste more than 36 seconds to write a review about this absolutely not happening whodunit. I am surprised it comes from a director duo who are masters of this genre. Anyways there is not much to say about the story or rather the lack of it. There is some slapstick comedy, some hummable songs and some unwanted ones, some funny moments , good camerawork and average performances.
Of the cast, Akshaye Khanna as the cop is kool, Kareena and Shahid are cute, Jhonny Lever and Tanaz Currim are funny, Paresh Rawal and Payal Rohatgi are just below average and debutante Upen Patel who was always bragging about being launched by Mukta Arts as the main lead is reduced to a mere sidey. Priyanka Chopra in a blink and miss appearance is adorable.
The only saving grace is the song "Aashique Me Teri".
The climax is so poor, is not funny, when you get to know who the murderer is who will be guaranteed that you have wasted your time , energy and money watching this slick looking but no content flick.
-Sanketh Rao.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Film Review-Gangster

Starring: Shiney Ahuja, Emran Hashmi, Kangana.
Director: Anurag Basu.
Rating: * * * 1/2

After the forgettable Darna Zaroori hai, this film lightened my dampened spirits over the weekend. An amazing passionate love triangle after a long time.

The title role (Gangster aka Dayashankar) played by Shiney Aahuja bumps into Simran (Kangana) a bar dancer and is swept off his feet. He gets her out of that rut and takes her home. They find out that they love each other too much, so much that Daya strikes a gun at his foster father Khan (Gulshan Grover) when he comments on Simran. They flee to some place, adopt a child and try to live a normal life when a police officer guns their child in a shootout. Both the parents are totally traumatized. Daya puts Simran in a place in Seoul and tells her that he would return soon. But its longer than sooner and Simran turns into a total alcoholic. In this interim she meets Emran Hashmi (Aakash) a singer in a local Indian restaurant.
Aakash loves Simran more than himself and slowly due to Daya's absence she falls for him as well. So whom does she choose is what you got to see and the twists and turns in the tale will keep you on the edge of your seat till the last minute.

The story is strong, the screenplay and dialogues simply rock. It does get a little slow in the first half but catches up really well in the second half. The cinematography is average. Full marks to the director for delivering a film like this and also congratulations to the Bhatt camp who churned a sensible film after a long time and also made a film that is not sleazy to say the least.

The songs in the film are placed really well. "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" is so melodious whereas "Ya Ali" and "Humari Adhoori Kahani" haunt you even after you come out of the theatre. Good work.

As far as performances go, its silly to expect too much out of Emran Hashmi, he does his lover boy role mechanically and all I can say is he is passable. Newcomer Kangana flaws in some scenes but considering that its her debut film and the role is so complex, overall she does really well. She plays the role of a boozard with such conviction, is not funny. Her looks are so unconventional and there is some sense of mystery to it. Keep up the good work.
And obviously the film belongs to the lead man himself none other than Shiney Ahuja, its his film all the way. In terms of screen minutes and dialogues may be hasn't been offered much but then he doesn't need dialogues, he is such a promising actor. You breakdown with him and you can feel the pain when he does. Truly brilliant. Full marks to him otherwise which this film wouldn't have been what it is. Shiney truly shines.

A treat for the weekend!

-Sanketh Rao.

Film Review-Darna Zaroori Hai

Starring: Half the film industry
Director: RGV himself and half a dozen of his assistants
Rating: * *
It's exactly Darna Mana Hai revamped. And RGV has said he is gonna make one movie of the Darna... series every year. My advice is thanks but no thanks.
I mean imagine the trauma that we have to go through. I would have been happy , if the movie would have been scarier to say the least. The biggest letdown is that its not even close to being scary.
There are 7 stories out of which I like the title story where he introduces the new film Darna Zaroori Hai, its been directed by Sajid Khan and I like the story featuring Bipasha, Arjun and Makrand, but its very similar to Vivek and Nana's story in Darna Mana Hai and lastly Anil and Mallika's story.
Not that these stories are outstanding or something but atleast bearable, the others including RGV's piece featuring Amitabh and Ritesh are a complete let down. The cinematography and sound work look low budgeted and patchy.
The performances are average. The ones that stand out are Amitabh, Makrand, Manoj Pawha and Randeep Hooda.
Only recommended if you have nothing to do and even the weak hearts can scrape through this movie without flinching their eyelid.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Film Review-Shaadi Se Pehle

Starring: Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, Mallika Sherawat.
Direction: Satish Kaushik
Rating: * * 1/2

It's a cute, light, refreshing, timepass movie.
Ashish Khanna (Akshaye Khanna) falls in love with Rani (Ayesha Takia) for whom is also vying his best friend Aftab Shivdasani. Alls well and Ashish and Rani are all set to marry, until Ashish discovers that he has cancer. But it's a mistake. Now he doesn't want to ruin Rani's life so he does everything to farthen the distance between them even acts like a womaniser. His friend Kanpuria (Rajpal Yadav) helps him to do so and he uses Sania (Mallika Sherawat) as a prop. But what happens is Sania falls for Ashish and that's not it she wants him at any cost and to make that happen is her brother Anna (Sunil Shetty) who happens to be an underworld don.
One fine day Ashish realizes , he doesn't have cancer and wants to reverse everything. That is the confusion in the film and that's what forms the crux of the story.
The camera work is cool. Music is hummable especially the track called "Ishq Ki Bijuria".
The direction is as always very Satish Kaushik in nature. It has its funny moments, some rona dhona some light moments and he sticks to his same formula and style.
Among the actors Gulshan Glover, Anupam Kher and Mita Vashist are totally wasted. Rajpal Yadav this time around goes over the top, only funny in a few scenes. Boman Irani as usual, terrific. Sunil Shetty for a change is likeable.
As far as the main leads are concerned, Aftab Shivdasani is efficient. Ayesha Takia disappoints, she goes through her role mechanically. Also she has to watch her weight. Mallika Sherawat on the other hand is a surprise. She plays the role of a seductress and must say does it really well. And Mr. Akshaye Khanna, though his hairstyle is one of the ugliest to have happened in the history of Indian Cinema and his rude and shocking sense of dressing could give all the Govinda's in the business a run for their money and his dancing skills could put Sunny Deol to shame, but what goes in his favour are his acting capabilities. Despite all the odds, he stands out as an honest actor.
This movie is not some path breaking film nor does it claim to be one. It's just a simple , timepass movie for the weekend.
Seriously no one will be disappointed.
-Sanketh Rao.

Film Review-Banaras

Starring: Ashmit Patel, Urmila Matondkar
Director: Pankuj Parashar
Rating: * and maybe another 1/2
Set in Banaras, this is a weird love story of a upper caste brahmin girl Shwetambri (Urmila) and a low caste music teacher Soham (Ashmit Patel). Anyways I don't wanna waste my time reviewing this waste of a movie. Everything in the movie is crappy except the following:
1. The performances, be it Shweta's loving mum played by Dimple or her doting father played by Raj babbar or her lover Soham played by Ashmit all are first rate. Then there is the main protagonist herself Urmila who is simply turned out to be an outstanding actress in the last few years. The only flaw in her performance is her Kaun , Bhoot hangover. But nevertheless, she is brilliant.
2. The breath taking visuals, the cinematography is par excellence...........truly worldclass. That's it nothing more nothing less.
This movie is worth nothing but a miss.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Film Review-Being Cyrus

Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Nasserudin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Boman Irani and Simone Singh.
Director: Homi Adjania.
Rating: * * 1/2

A very dark, surreal and depressing film indeed. A moribund way of life. A tale about bad childhood. A tale about depressed people.
Its the story about a dysfunctional Parsi Family called the Sethna's. A retired sculptor Dinshaw Sethna (Nasseruddin Shah) lives with his voluptuous wife Katy (Dimple Kapadia) in Panchgani, while brother Farokh (Boman Irani), his wife Tina (Simone Singh) and father Fardoonjee (Honey Chhaya) live in Mumbai.
So a complete stranger Cyrus (Saif Ali Khan) lands at the Sethna house in Panchgani to learn sculpting from Dinshaw and ends up romancing his wife Katy, then he moves to their Mumbai house where he befriends the ailing Sethna patriarch Fardoonji and what follows then is a complete topsy-turvy of events that I cannot reveal.
What intrigues me in this film is the direction. The debutante director in his very first film proves that he is class apart. He has directed this film like a veteran. Another efficient member in the GenX directors list.
The camerawork and background score are slick.
The stellar starcast has given some top notch performances. Manoj Pahwa as the inspector with dwindling English is pretty good and so is Honey Chayya. Dimple Kapadia as the philandering wife overacts, whereas Nasseruddin Shah as the dumwit husband underacts. Simone Singh is efficient. Boman Irani is outstanding, he enacts his part with such conviction that you forget he is boman and feel he is indeed Farooq Sethna. And Saif Ali Khan is truly competent, he leaves no stone unturned to assure that his performance is world class. Truly my favorite Khan.
But despite many things going in the favour of the film be it performances or duration of the film, something seems to have gone wrong and hence the rating.
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Film Review-Taxi No.9211

Starring: John Abraham, Nana Patekar, Sameera Reddy, Sonali Kulkarni.
Direction: Milan Luthria
Rating: * * * 1/2

A very refreshing and fast paced caper after a long time. Another landmark in the category of changing Bollywood trends. Jai Mittal (John Abraham) has to challenge his dad's will in the court and has to appear before the judiciary on time. As fate would have it , he meets an eccentric cabbie Raghav Shastri (Nana Patekar) and from there on begins an exciting roller coaster ride which changes both their lives.
Sonali Kulkarni plays Nana's dutiful wife, whereas Sameera plays John's girlfriend.
The film has a very upbeat and contemporary look to it. The characters are very well sketched and the film is very racy. You actually don't get any time to think and before you know the movie is over.
There is only one song " Do lafzo", John's intro song which is quite hummable and the only other song " Meter Down" comes with the credit titles. This song really goes well with the audience and you go home smiling.
The humour in the movie is class apart, the dialogues are very witty and well written. The Kachche Dhage director has done a very neat job, full marks for that.
So with a good story, good background score, good actors and a good director what do you expect? A superhit and that's what this film is.
Sonali Kulkarni stands out in her small yet convincing role of a dutibound housewife. Acting comes to her naturally. On the other hand Ms. Reddy is not worth talking about, she manages to be quite average.
Ofcourse the show stealers are non other than John and Nana. Both give an outstanding performance. I always feel that Nana goes over the top but in this film he is so subtle and so restrained and gives a complete knock out performance. As for John, I think this is his finest performance and stands out tall even though he has been pitted against the vintaged Nana Patekar.
So all said and done this is a must watch, so hail this Taxi and say "Meter Down".
-Sanketh Rao.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Film Review-Zinda

Starcast: Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Lara Dutta
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Rating: * * *

This is probably the first time in my life that I am unable to decide if I liked or disliked the movie . I liked the movie in terms of narration, script, screenplay, performances, editing, cinematography, etc and what I didn't like about the movie is its brutality and its dark and gruesome setup, the overdone blood galore completely turned me off.
Balajit Roy (Sanjay Dutt) is a contented man, with a loving wife (Celina Jetley) and friend (Mahesh Manjrekar), a great software engineering job which has currently got him to Bangkok, et al. He is absolutely in love with his life until an unexpected turn of events flips his life upside down. He is kidnapped and lands in a dungeon where he is kept for 14 years and he doesn't have the slightest clue as to why he is there.
In the first year of being there, he comes to know about his wife being murdered in his house and the blame of that is also on him. After 14 years he is freed and there enters Rohit Chopra (John Abraham) an anonymous someone who is responsible for Balajit's state today. How is Rohit responsible forms the crux of the story. Jenny (Lara Dutta) a cab driver helps Balajit to reach his vindictive destination.
The cinematography by Sanjay F Gupta is unbeatable. The editing is crispy, the screenplay and script are sturdy. The only negative part is the film is that there is too much of blood, some scenes like sanjay Dutt plucking each and every tooth out of Raj Zutshi's mouth makes you feel sick. There are no songs in the movie, Shibani Kashyap's Zinda Hoon Main and Strings song happen to be just the background score.
Performances are good, Lara doesn't get much scope but she does well out of whatever she was offered. John could have been better, seems too plastic at times. The anger on his face should have been more evident. Supporting cast is ok. Celina and Mahesh go over the top as always. The show stealer undoubtedly being Mr. Sanjay Dutt, I doubt anyone could have performed this role better. Sanjay lives through the character, he plays Balajit Roy with such conviction that if you are not one with a weak heart you must see this film for him. This role was written just for him, the pain in his eyes make him very likeable. Outstanding performance.
Zinda will definitely not appeal to everyone, people with weak hearts, sensitive people, et al the film is definitely not for you. I came out Zinda after the movie, how about you?
-Sanketh Rao.