5 sureshot gifts for men that will always work

I often hear from many of my friends especially women who are confused about what to gift the men in their life – father, brother, boyfriend, husband etc. Times have changed and these days you will find more and more women looking out for gifts for men. Often, women find it difficult to choose a perfect gift for their men and end up buying something that might be of no use to them. I have listed below five options that are always a sure-shot hit with men.

Image Courtesy: liveinstyle.com
Image Courtesy: liveinstyle.com
  1. White Shirt: Every man likes to have a nice branded white shirt in their wardrobe. White always makes them look smart and it goes with every trouser or jeans they wear. So when in doubt always gift your man a white shirt.
  2. XBOX or Gaming Device: Every man is a child at heart and therefore they fancy their ‘toys’. So if you are in doubt about buying gifts for him then a gaming device is a perfect choice. Gift one and you can see how the smile spreads on his face within seconds.
  3. Shaving Kit: Today’s metrosexual men love to groom themselves and if you can gift them a good shaving kit that has everything they need from razor to a cologne, nail cutter to scissors they will definitely thank you from their heart.
  4. Scotch: One of the most timeless gift option for any man in this world is gifting a bottle of Scotch. Surprised? Yes, every man whether it is your father, boyfriend, husband or brother will always like to cherish a bottle. I would suggest Scotch as a gift will always work and even if they are not into drinking, they will still keep it as a momento to show around to their friends when they come
  5. Swiss Knife: Every man has a hidden adventurer in him and always dream of having a good set of Swiss knife in his collection. So if you are wondering what to gift, then get one for him.

Disclaimer: This article is intended at audience above 25 years of age. 

Chai With Shai: Find out why Yuvraaj likes Salman without shirt!

Meeting friends over a cup of chai is something I love to do. After ages I met one such dear friend of mine Yuvraaj Parashar who recently starred in Dunno Y2. Today in Chai With Shai, Yuvraaj bares himself and talks about his life, struggles, movies etc. Here is an excerpt of our conversation that highlights the victory of an underdog. 


How did your journey with Bollywood start?
I am from a small town – Agra. My journey was not very easy. Basically I am a dancer and used to dance from my childhood. Whenever I used to go for shows, people around used to tell me to become an actor. I got encouraged by them and started dreaming of becoming an actor. In fact when I came to Mumbai, I didn’t even know where to go and how to start my career. I went around knocking the doors of many casting agencies and production houses and people used to shoo me off saying I can never make it. Those were depressing times. I used to come back to my room, look at my shields and trophies and question my talent. I often thought were these trophies given to me for my talent all a fallacy? However, I shook myself up and decided that I will definitely prove everyone wrong and achieve my dream of being an actor.

How did your family react to your decision to pursue acting and Bollywood?
My family always encouraged my decision however, initially my father was not in favour but seeing my determination he also gave in.

You said you are a dancer and since childhood you have been dancing. So have you taken any formal training in dancing?
I have taken training in Kathak and Salsa but not for Bollywood dancing. From the age of 3 or 4 I have been dancing.

If Remo D’souza offers you ABCD 3 would you do it?
Of course! I am waiting for that day (smiles).

Have you approached any director for work?
I have in my initial days but I was always rejected saying who told you, you can dance or act? But then today by God’s grace I am an actor and am doing some meaningful roles.


You have been surrounded by controversies ever since you became a part of Bollywood. However, you have always stood strong and faced them patiently, what gives you so much strength?
I get my strength from my God. The strength comes within me. Also my family. Any controversy, any bad situation then always stood by me and that gave me strength to face such situations in life (smiles).

(Laughs) Yes, touchwood!

I had read somewhere that your family disowned you for signing Dunno Y. How far is it true?
It is true but not after signing Dunno Y but when the movie was made and we were promoting it. My family obviously didn’t know what movie I had signed so they didn’t object to it then. But when the movie was getting promoted on TV and the posters were put up, people in Agra who knew my family starting talking bad about me and my choice of movie. They told my parents that I am doing some porn movie and the posters showed me standing naked. My parents were affected with those talks and stopped talking to me, especially my father, close to two years.

Then how did things sort out between you and your family?
I was in regular touch with my mother but dad was not talking to me. Zeenatji (Aman) came to know about it and she was sweet enough to talk to my parents and make them understand that if the movie was bad would people like her, Helenji and Kabir Bediji work in it? Would a legend like Lataji sing for the movie? Better sense prevailed and soon things were normal between us. Today my parents are my biggest supporter (laughs). They are proud of me today and when Dunno Y2 released my father called up each and every person he knew telling them that ‘my son’s’ second movie has released (laughs).

How did Dunno Y1 happen?
Kapil and I used to go to the same dance classes and slowly we became friends. During our conversations he told me about Dunno Y and how he was looking for an actor. When he asked me if I would be interested, I said why not and that’s how things fell in place and Dunno Y1 got made.

Did you have any apprehensions playing a gay man on-screen?
No. I loved the subject. The character was interesting and therefore I went with it. I never wanted to do conventional movies where I had a couple of songs, few fight sequences, dance around the trees etc.


I understand you had to go through a lot of struggle before and after Dunno Y1 was made. How did you sail through that period?
Before the movie I had to go through the normal struggling period however, after the movie was made and released, I went through the worst phase of my life. You might not know that I also became a partner in the movie. I had invested in the movie when it was completed and ready for release. I lost a lot of money when the movie didn’t get a proper release nor did it do well during its theatrical run. All those luxuries and comfort I had before I invested in the movie ran out. There were days when I did not eat and was in depression for a long time. When I look back I feel all those experiences only made me strong and determined to make it big in the industry.
Did the attitude of the industry people change after Dunno Y1 bagged many international awards and recognition?
Yes it did but then I believe people who judge you on the basis of a success or a failure are not the right people to be with. I like to keep myself far away from such people.

The songs are very melodious especially the songs sung by Lataji and Salma Agha. How did you convince Lataji to come out of her hibernation?
I would give all credit to Kapil (laughs). When we approached Lataji, she loved the story and the song, and she came on board. In fact apart from the Dunno Y series she has not sung for anyone and we consider it as a blessing (smiles).

Whom can you say are your friends in this industry?
Kapil Sharma and also his father Mr. K.C. Sharma. I share a very beautiful and warm relationship even with our age difference. He is a very positive person and always tell me if God has brought you to this industry then he will help you sail through.

Who conceptualized and designed the innovative posters of Dunno Y2?
(Laughs) It was a team decision.

Come on someone would have suggested it right?
Yes (laughs). It was my idea (smiles). We wanted to do something quirky to get our movie noticed and say that they want to see it…

…and it did work (smiles)
Thank you (smiles)


Any funny events that happened during the filming of Dunno Y2?
There is this scene where we are in a dance club and my character had to make Kapil’s character jealous as we are having some friction between us. So I had to approach this junior artist and kiss him, and to my surprise that actor actually smooched me and I was taken aback (laughs).

Have men hit on you?
Yes many a time but now I know how to handle it (laughs).

When Dunno y1 released 377 act was abolished and now when Dunno Y2 has released the act is back on. What is your take on this act?
I feel this is not justified and 377 should be permanently scrapped. Because you cannot punish someone for falling in love. Moreover, this act was introduced by British and even after independence we are still following the acts left behind by them. My last word on it, abolish 377 permanently (smiles).

If you look at Hollywood, there are movies made for every kind of audience eg: rom-com, action, porn, gay themed movies, historical etc. Why is it that we don’t see that kind of experiments being done in India?
I feel we should also make movies for each kind of audience because whoever wants to see a movie will definitely see his kind of movie. Like during our promotions we put up a post that said “Agar PK dekhke tu Alien nahi bana toh Dunno Y dekhkar tu gay nahi banega.”

Yes I have seen that post and had also shared it (laughs).
Agar movies dekhke log waise ban gaye toh we would have seen so many doctors and lawyers and criminals everywhere. So I feel as creative people we should strive to make movies that will appeal to everyone.

Gay characters are often used as an object to raise laughter in Indian movies, what’s your take on it?
It is totally unjustified. There are so many straight acting gay men, not every gay guy is feminine. So stereotyping people in movies is not good. Audience should see Dunno Y2 to understand what I am talking about (winks).

How did the Norwegien collaboration happen and what was the idea behind hiring a co-director – Tonje Gjevjon along with Sanjay Sharma?
They saw Dunno Y1 in a film festival held in Israel and approached us. We worked on the story together and Sanjayji always knew that it is a collaborative movie and he was okay with it. The entire shoot went up

premiere 1

Both movies had some great songs, so who chose the music?
Nikhil Kamath is the whole and sole person who should get all the credit. Not only the songs he has done a fantastic job with the background music too.

Great! Okay, Yuvi it’s time for some fun. Are you ready?
Fun??? (raises eyebrows)

(Laughs) Relax, I am going to ask you some questions and you have to give me some quirky replies. Done?
Phewww! Go ahead shoot (laughs).

What is your wildest fantasy?
What??? (laughs uncontrollably) I have never thought of this.

Give a thought and answer (laughs)
Okay… let me think (pauses and then starts laughing). Going on a date with Madhuri Dixit… is this good enough?

You are giving me this answer to please me (laughs).
(Joins laughter) Nothing like that.

Your dream date
Madhuri Dixit

Nice (smiles). Future Ahead?
I am part of a musical play Hyacinth directed by Sandip Soparkar and there are few movies that are in planning stage.

You suck at this, let’s play rapid fire, okay?
(laughs) Cool!

One person you want to romantically pair up on-screen other than Kapil for Dunno Y3?
John Abraham

The hottest male star in Bollywood?
Salman Khan

Your dream role?
Shah Rukh’s role in Devdas.

Favorite movie in Hollywood with a LGBT theme?
Brokeback Mountain

One night stand or dinner date?
Dinner Date (giggles).

Does size matter?
Depends what size are you referring to (bites tongue).

kapil yuvraaj zeenat

Hmm… Should I elaborate?
No! No! (laughs).

Dream director?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Salman with shirt or without?
Without (winks).

Who among the current actors you feel would have suited the role of Ashley and Aryan other than you and Kapil?
Ashley – Ranbir Kapoor Aryan – Varun Dhawan.

Wow what a choice! (Laughs) Hollywood or Bollywood?
Of course Bollywood!

Your favorite author?
Of course you!

You definitely made my day (winks). It was such a pleasure to catch up with you Yuvi, all the best for your future endeavours.
Thanks Shaiju.

Movie Review: A ‘Shaandaar’ Fairytale Blooper!


This week opened with the most anticipated movie of the year ‘Shaandaar’ starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, directed by Vikas ‘Queen’ Bahl. Queen was one of the surprise hits of 2013 and it not only gave a boost to Kangana Ranaut‘s career but also showcased a lot of promise from Vikas Bahl as a director. If Queen was his best then Shaandaar is his RGV Ki Aag!

The movie begins with an animated backstory narrated by Naseerudin Shah (voiceover) about an orphan girl Alia (Alia Bhat), who is brought home by Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor). The family headed by Bipin’s mother Kamla Arora (Sushma Seth) as well as his wife (Nikki Aneja) do not like Alia, but she gets welcomed by his daughter Isha (Sanah Kapoor).

Alia is an insomniac and therefore never sleeps at night. Bipin finds a unique way to make Alia sleep, he sketches and gifts her everyday interesting things which she can dream of, alas she never sleeps. Years pass by, granny fixes Isha’s marriage with Fundwani’s (Sanjay Kapoor) younger brother Robin (Vikas Verma) to further their business relationship. Fundwani is a gold loving Sindhi millionaire who sees Queen Elizabeth to Michael Jackson as Sindhis and justifies with his sick sense of humor. In walks JJ aka Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor) who is the wedding planner for Isha’s and Robin’s wedding.  It is attraction at first sight between Alia and JJ who is also an insomniac. What happens to Alia and JJ’s love story? Does the marriage based over a business deal work? To find out, watch the movie.

Coming to the story, there is none. The movie in totality is bad. There is nothing interesting in the script, dialogues or screenplay that will stay back with you. Vikas Bahl got overconfident with Queen’s success and thought he could make anything and the audience will like it but sadly you cannot fool the audience. Good actors, songs and scenic locations do not guarantee a successful movie.

Shahid, Alia, Pankaj Kapoor and Sushma Seth impress with their performances. Debutant Sanah Kapoor is quite impressive and leaves her mark with her performance. Sanjay Kapoor is as usual – BAD! The music by Amit Trivedi is good especially Gulabo and Shaam Shaandaar. The editing could have been crisper. The cinematography is wonderful and the locations have a fairytale kind of feel.

Overall the movie is a bad product and might not appeal to most of the people.

My Verdict: *

Chai With Shai: I want to kiss Deepika Padukone – Diganth Manchale

Diganth Manchale, lovingly called as ‘Doodh Peda‘ because of his fair skin, is one of the most sought after actors in the Kannada industry. Diganth who is making his debut in Hindi movies with Wedding Pulav starring Anushka Ranjan (daughter of Anu and Shashi Ranjan) took some time off his promotional schedule and met me over a cup of Chai. Here are some excerpts from our fun-filled conversation;


You are one of the most successful stars of Kannada industry. However, not many people know that you started off with a not so happening movie Miss California in 2006. How did your journey as an actor start?
Yes that’s correct. I did start out with Miss California which was a big disaster (laughs) and after that I had to struggle a lot. I didn’t know what to do next. I did a lot of print ads, modelling, TV commercials, walked the ramp for few shows before I signed my next movie which was three years after my first one. The movie was Mungaru Male.

Yes I have seen that (smiles)
It was one of the biggest hits and you can say it was the DDLJ of Kannada industry. Although, I had a very small role but I got noticed by people and the director Yograj Bhatt saw a lot of potential in me and offered me his next movie…

Yes (smiles)… you know a lot about me huh?

Of course, I keep track of all my guests who get featured in my series (winks).
(Laughs) I was one amongst the three main leads of the movie, and again Gaalipatta was a big hit. Then the director Yograj Bhatt once again repeated me in his next movie Manasaare which I would like to call my first movie technically because I was the solo lead and it catapulted me to the top league after it became a huge success (smiles). I would say from the year 2009 onward I became one of the established actors in Kannada industry.

Nice (smiles). Let me tell you, although I am not a huge Kannada movie buff, I did watch Mungaru Male and I just loved the movie. I still remember the last scene where your character is getting married to Pooja Gandhi’s character and I was surprised to see such a good-looking actor for the first time in a Kannada movie….
Yeah (laughs) I have heard that quite often. Initially, people didn’t accept me as they felt I am not a Kannadiga. My North Indian features made them think I was one of those north Indian guys who knows the language as I would have born and raised in Karnataka (laughs). In fact when I was giving interviews in Kannada during Gaalipatta, that time they came to know that I am a Kannadiga and forget Bangalore, I was from a small village near Sagara in Karnataka. After that I was accepted and considered as one among them. In Karnataka people want their heroes to be from their own motherland and actors mainly male get less acceptance if they are from outside Karnataka.


I think, the only actor from the North who actually made some mark in Kannada movies is Dhyan, right?

But then even he also fizzled out.
Ya… he is not in the league anymore.

Correct… Diganth tell me how did a boy from a small village with no filmi connections made it so far? Can you share anything about your family, your growing up days etc.?
I am from a small town called Tirthahalli in Shimoga district, Karnataka few kilometres away from Sagara city, where I was born and raised. My father was a professor and he always wanted me to study further and never wanted me to be a part of the showbiz (laughs). However, my elder brother and mother were in total favour of me joining the industry and therefore they encouraged me a lot. Soon after college I met this director Kudlu Ramkrishna who is also from Tirthahalli. Mr. Ramakrishna was looking for a fresh face and wanted to launch someone from Tirthahalli and after meeting me, he was impressed with me and put me in his acting school before he launched me in Miss California and that’s how my journey started with the movie industry (smiles).

Hmm… Tell me after Miss California flopped miserably there was a point in time when things were not happening for you. Did you ever think of packing you bags and quitting the industry for good?
Well I did think of doing that however, I felt if I have jumped into the ocean then it would be better for me to struggle and swim out of it. During that time someone suggested me that I should go for modelling. Till that time I felt modelling was only for girls (laughs).

What??? (Laughs)
Yeah (continues laughing) I was that naïve. Then I went for my first TV commercial audition and surprisingly I got selected (smiles). Soon I was doing a lot of print modelling and also walked the ramp for various designers at Lakme Fashion week etc… until I got Mungaru Male.


I see that you are a regular in every Yograj Bhat movie. How did you meet Mr. Bhat? Tell me the story of you bagging the role in Mungaru Male (excitedly)?
I was shooting for a TV commercial with Rajeev Menon when the production controller there one day told me that Yograj Bhat is looking for a good-looking actor who had model like features and can speak in Kannada. I was not very excited about the offer as the hero of the movie – Ganesh, was a newcomer while I had done a movie already and I didn’t want to play a small part. I was looking at doing something bigger and not just do timepass roles. The production guys of Mungaru Male kept on calling me as they had liked me and wanted someone who was better looking than the hero to make a real impact in the climax scenes. After a lot of coaxing I met Yograj Bhat and rest is history. Today when I look back I feel I would have really regretted if I wouldn’t have done Mungaru Male (smiles).

Did you always aspired to become a Bollywood hero someday?
Oh yes! In fact since childhood I watched a lot of Hindi movies and I was well versed with Hindi as I learnt the language in school. I always wanted to act in Hindi movies than Kannada and today by God’s grace I am doing Hindi movies (smiles).

Do you have an accent while speaking Hindi?
I do have a slight accent however it is not very strong and therefore am fluent with my dialogues apart from dubbing my own lines (smiles). In short, I had prepared myself for Bollywood since long time.

Most of the superstars from south especially men, couldn’t make it big in Hindi movies case in point Kamal Hasan, Rajnikant, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Chiranjeevi etc. What do you think could be the reason?
I don’t know (frowns). Maybe back then the acceptance was low however, now the geographical barriers are slowly diminishing. With movies like Robot and Baahubali doing well, I think ‘NOW’ is the right time for actors from the south to make a mark in Hindi movies. The audience is accepting and I am sure soon there will be more actors from the south making their presence felt in Bollywood.

Now that you are debuting in Bollywood, don’t you think you will have to struggle all over again to make a mark here?
Yes and I am ready for it. I love challenges and I am sure I will make my mark. I am in a comfortable zone in Kannada movies with lot many projects in hand. However, starting all over in Bollywood is something I have prepared myself for.

Diganth with Anushka Ranjan
Diganth with Anushka Ranjan

Great (smiles)…. So how did Wedding Pulav happen?
There is nice story behind it. Couple of technicians from the Kannada industry told me that Binod Pradhan was making his debut movie and was looking out for a leading man. They asked me to try my luck. I had never heard of Binod Pradhan but when I came to know about the movies he had done like Parinda, Mission Kashmir, Bhag Milka Bhag, Rang De Basanti etc. I wanted to be a part of his movie. I tried to source his number from all my contacts and the number I got was his old number. Whenever I tried that number it was always switched off. Then I had to leave for Romania for fifteen days for a Kannada movie shoot and I had kept my phone switched off. When I came back I got a message from Binod Pradhan asking me to contact him asap. I immediately called him and the next moment I was on a flight to Mumbai and soon signed the movie. Maybe I was destined to do it (smiles).

(Smiles) How was it working with the Ranjans’?
Ranjans’ (smiles) working with them was a great experience. They took care of me and treated me like I was one of them. Especially Anushka who is a nice person, a nice co-star, she is very confident for a newcomer.

Wedding Pulav is Anushka’s debut movie produced under her home banner, so did her character get more footage and importance compared to yours?
Not really. If you look at the trailer we have been given equal footage. If you see the movie you will again see that we both have equal roles and Shashiji saw to it that there was no partiality done.

How was your experience working in Bollywood?
Very good (laughs). I found it professional, in a corporate way. Would love to do more films here (smiles).

What are you future projects?
I have a Hindi movie called Ticket To Bollywood with Amyra Dastur which is 70% complete. In Kannada I have two movies up for release Sharpshooter and Prapancha with Yograj Bhat, and two more in the making.


Okay in my series I have a section where I ask few questions that you have to reply in one word preferably (smiles).
Alright (smiles)

Shall I shoot?
Yup (smiles).

Which is your favorite food item?

Not Wedding Pulav please (winks)
(Laughs) Anything and everything in vegetarian food.

One item please
Aah! That’s a toughie…

Okay… I will let it pass… but the next one is a killer and you cannot escape (winks)

Your wildest fantasy?
(Laughs) This is a bomb of a question… so I cannot pass it?

Nope (nodding my head)
Wildest fantasy (thinks)…. A kissing scene with Deepika (laughs) the Bangalore connection you see…(winks)

I do (laughs)…. Bollywood or Sandalwood?

That was fast… Favorite director?
Raju Hirani

Dream role?
Barfi… Ranbir’s role in Barfi

Diganth with Aindrita Ray
Diganth with Aindrita Ray

Hottest actress?
In Kannada Aindrita Ray and in Bollywood Deepika Padukone

Favorite co-star?
Nidhi Subbaiah in Kannada and Anushka Ranjan in Bollywood.

Biggest competition?
Yash in Kannada and Varun Dhawan in Bollywood (laughs).

Here’s a googly… One night stand or committed relationship?
(Laughs) I am a person who loves to be in a committed relationship… so no One Night Stands for me (continues laughing).

(Laughs) Okay… Last not the least, what is your message to your fans?
Please watch my movie Wedding Pulav and also support me the way you have supported all this while.

Thank you Diganth for taking some time from your busy promotional schedule and chatting with me. I wish you all the best in your new innings in Bollywood.
Thank you. Likewise (smiles).

Movie Review: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 – Old Wine In New Bottle!


This week opens with the sequel to the 2011 surprise hit Pyaar Ka Punchnama. It has become a fashion to ride on the back of one’s successful movies when your last movie is a flop. That’s what director Luv Ranjan does after the debacle of his last release – Aakash-Vani by following it up with Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2.

Coming to the story, there is nothing new apart from two new boys and one new girl added to the cast. The story, the premise and situations is similar to the previous movie with few added punchlines and better dialogues. Like in the previous movie, the three boys Gogo (Karthik Aryan), Siddharth (Sunny Singh) and Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) are best friends and roommates. Out of the three boys, Thakur has a steady job that pays him a lucrative pay, which also helps his pile on friends to lead a life of luxury. The three boys fall in love with three different girls on the same day and they even easily pataofy the girls.

After the initial honeymoon days, the boys realize their mistake of being with the girls. The girls, Ruchika (Nushrat Bharucha) being a spoilt brat is more interested in keeping her friends happy rather than her boyfriend Gogo and makes him do things that he normally wouldn’t. Kusum (Ishita Raj), Thakur’s girlfriend is an outspoken and controlling person, who in the name of handling his finances makes him spend more on her while Supriya (Sonali Sehgall), Siddharth’s girlfriend makes him do all the household chores to please her parents, only to approve of a guy selected by them. What happens to the boys and their lovers? Will the girls repent and try to pataofy the boys? Will the boys leave the girls and look for someone else are few things you will discover while watching the movie.

The story, screenplay is nothing new, it just plays around with the same concept as seen in the previous movie however, the dialogues by Rahul Mody, Tarun Jain and Luv Ranjan is praiseworthy. Musically the movie doesn’t boast of any chartbusters although the movie has three music directors Hitesh Sonik, Sharib Sabri and Toshi Sabri while the background music by Hitesh Sonik keeps the audiences hooked to the movie. The editing by Akiv Ali and Ajay Sharma is crisp while the cinematography by Sudhir Chaudhary is average.

Coming to performances, all the three male actors have done a wonderful job. Among the girls Nushrat takes the cake while Sonali and Ishita is average. Director Luv Ranjan does a decent job however, would want to see him do something better than just known for his PKP series.

Overall it is a decent one-time watch.

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: Jazbaa – Weak Script, Powerful Performances!


This week we have the most anticipated comeback movie of Aishwarya RaiJazbaa releasing. Like every top heroine who made a comeback after a long hiatus, Aishwarya too chose a woman centric role and I must say the decision was wise. However the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Jazbaa tells the story of prominent criminal lawyer Anuradha Verma (Aishwarya) whose daughter – Sanaya (Sara Arjun) gets abducted in broad daylight.  Anuradha who is a single mother, is informed by the abductor to defend and save a convicted felon – Nayaaz (Chandan Roy Sanyal), charged with rape and murder of a woman – Sia (Priya Banerjee), daughter of college professor Garima Chaudhary (Shabana Azmi), in return of her daughter. Left with no choice, she starts collecting evidence to free Nayaaz.

On the other hand, Yohan (Irrfan Khan) seeks his friend Anuradha’s help to fight his case as he is suspended from his services by Anti Corruption Bureau on corruption charges. However, as Anuradha does not respond back to him, he suspects that not everything is fine with her. Despite Anuradha’s warnings and requests, Yohan gets involved in her daughter’s kidnapping case.  Does Anuradha manage to save Nayaaz and get her daughter back? How is Nayaaz and the kidnappers connected etc. is answered during the course of the movie.

Aishwarya is in top form and delivers quite effectively (if you pardon few sequences where she goes over the top). Irrfan is quite effective as a street-smart cop and his one-liners are quite entertaining (however, after sometime it gets repetitive). Chandan Roy Sanyal stands tall with his performance as Nayaaz and so are the other supporting actors including Shabana Azmi, Siddhant Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni and Jackie Shroff. 

The movie is a rip-off of Korean film 7 Days however, if you compare the Indian version with the original then you can see some gaping holes in the screenplay. To make it appealing to Indian audiences, Sanjay Gupta along with Robin Bhatt has burdened the screenplay with too many dramatic situations and dialogues. If you eliminate the same this edgy thriller is quite a fun to watch.

Music by Amjad-Nadeem, Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Sachin-Jigar is wonderful. Background music by Amar Mohile is quite pacy and gripping. Cinematography by Sameer Arya is decent however,  editing by Bunty Negi could have been better to make the movie sleeker and crispier.

On the whole, I would say it is a decent one time watch movie.

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: Talvar – This sword is sharper than a pen!


This week the releases were as different as chalk and cheese. On one hand if Akshay Kumar entertained us with ‘Singh Is Bliing‘ then on the other hand Meghana Gulzar’s take on Arushi-Hemraj murder case, Talvar made us think twice about the justice system in our country.

Coming to the story. Talvar is based on the Noida double murder case which caught the headlines few years ago. Konkona and Neeraj Kabi play the victim’s parents while Irfan Khan plays an investigation office from CDI (Central Department of Investigation). Like the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon, Talvar presents three contradictory accounts of the case, which variously portray the parents as guilty or innocent.

There have been several crime shows on TV in the past that tried to replicate the Arushi murder case. There was also a movie by Manish TiwariRahasya loosely based on the same case, but the way Meghana brings out the story and shows the nakedness of our country’s police investigation system and judiciary system is applaud worthy.

Konkana and Neeraj Kabi as the accused in the double murder case puts in a very sensitive performance. Each and every emotion has been wrung out by the director from all her actors. Irfan Khan as usual fits into his character easily and delivers a power packed performance. Tabu in a cameo is quite effective. Prakash Belawadi and other supporting actors have done a great job.

In this movie the real king is Vishal Bharadwaj’s script. The dialogues are quite impressive and the background music is quite gripping. Music does not have much scope in this movie and therefore it is not something you are looking forward to.

On the whole it is a nice gripping thriller with a sharp edge.

My Verdict: ****

Movie Review: Singh Is Bliing – Total Paisa Vasool!


After a long time I could say happily that I saw a ‘total paisa vasool’ entertainer with this week’s big release – Singh Is Bliing starring Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and Lara Dutta, directed by Prabhudheva.

Coming to the story, the movie starts with a bang introducing Akshay Kumar as Raftaar Singh with the Tung Tung song. Set in the Bassi Patna village somewhere in Punjab, Raftaar Singh is a good for nothing young man pampered by his mother (Rati Agnihotri) who is given an option by his father to either take up a job with his friend (Pradeep Rawat) in Goa or marry an obese girl from the village. Raftaar chooses to go to Goa. Meanwhile, somewhere in Romania Sara’s (Amy Jackson) life is in danger and therefore her multi-millionaire don father (Kunal Kapoor) sends her to Goa to his friend who also happens to be Raftaar’s boss too. Sara comes to Goa with the main intention to track down her long-lost mother.

Raftaar is given the job to take care of Sara and as he is not able to speak or understand English, his sidekicks (Arfi Lamba and Anil Mange) hire Emily (Lara Dutta) to work as a translator. Emily with her intentional wrong translations create a lot of confusion between Sara, Raftaar and his sidekicks.

There is another parallel story where Boxer a local goon is trying to buy the casino owned by Raftaar’s boss, which he refuses to sell. In the bargain there are small fights happening and in one such fight Sara shows her fighting skills and injures Boxer and his men. In turn Boxer informs Marc (Kay Kay Menon) the man who is trying to hunt down Sara and kill her about her whereabouts. Soon the story takes a change. Will Sara find her mother? Will Sara and Raftaar fall in love and lead a happy life or would she get killed by Marc and his men? To find out watch the movie.

Performance-wise Akshay Kumar does a wonderful job as always. His comic timing is superb and his scenes especially with Lara Dutta, Arfi, Anil and Amy is quite hilarious. Amy Jackson as Sara is a perfectly cast. As her character happens to be born and raised in Romania all her dialogues are in English. Moreover, she has executed the fight sequences very well and it is a joy to see her kick some ass. Lara Dutta in her comeback role is superb. It is a small role but she has done justice to it and raises a lot of laughter throughout her screen presence. Arfi Lamba and Anil Mange as Akshay’s sidekicks have done a good job and so are the rest of the supporting cast including Rati Agnihotri, Pradeep Rawat and Murali Sharma.

Prabhudheva after his last disaster Action Jackson is in full form with Singh Is Bliing. Prabhu has entered into an unchartered territory and has come out with flying colors. The story, screenplay and dialogues are good. However, the climax could have been more powerful and the second half could have been edited better by Steven Benardi.  Cinematography by Dudley is wonderful. Music is credited to Manj, Sajid-Wajid, Sneha Khanwalkar and Meet Bros. Every song is a chartbuster and gels perfectly with the story and setup.

On the whole this movie will appeal to anyone and everyone.

My Verdict: ****