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.