Movie Review: Dishoom – Lacks A Solid Punch!

After delivering a mediocre Desi Boyz, David Dhawan‘s son and Varun Dhawan‘s elder brother Rohit Dhawan makes a comeback of sorts with this week’s solo release – Dishoom. Starring John Abraham and Varun Dhawan in the lead and ably supported by Akshaye Khanna, Jacqueline Fernandez, Rahul Dev and whole lot of cameo making stars, Dishoom reminds you of many cop-buddy movies starting from Main Khiladi Tu Anari to Dhoom series. Does this high on octane movie with beautiful visuals packs a punch or not, let’s find out.

36 hours before an India-Pakistan cricket match in the Middle East, India’s star batsman Viraj (Saqib Saleem) gets kidnapped. The kidnappers demand Rs.400 crore for the release of Viraj or else they would kill him. India’s external affairs minister entrusts the brooding, chain-smoking top-cop Kabir (John Abraham) along with Junaid (Varun) who has a rare distinction of never solving any case, to solve the case and bring back the national hero before the news spreads and creates riots.

While on the journey of solving the case, Kabir and Junaid come across many suspicious characters that includes the heroine of the movie Ishika (Jacqueline Fernandez), Wagah (Akshaye Khanna) and Altaf (Rahul Dev). Does Kabir and Junaid find out the real person behind the kidnapping and save Viraj is all what the movie is all about.

The plot is a done to death one and we have seen many cop-buddy movies in the past (as mentioned above) where one character is brooding and strict while the other one is a bumbling buffoon. However, here Varun takes the cake and the bakery with his charming performance and innocence. Varun is proving himself to be a bankable and versatile actor with movies ranging from Badlapur to Humpty Sharma to Dishoom. It’s a sheer pleasure to see him perform on screen. John on the other end does not show much promise as an actor. However, he is exceptionally good with the action scenes. Jacqueline Fernandez has pretty nothing much to do. Akshaye Khanna in a negative role after a 5 year sabbatical shows promise and makes me feel that he is one actor who has never got his due. The rest of the supporting cast from Nargis Fakhri to Vijay Raaz to Rahul Dev and yes we do have a special cameo by Akshay Kumar here, does a great job.

Rohit proves himself to be a massy director however, he fails to have control on the script. The script by him and Tushar Hiranandani is pure average however some of the punchline does evoke laughter. The first half is bearable but the second half needed some trimming to make it more crisper and tight. Cinematography by Ayananka Bose is extremely breathtaking. The action sequences are well executed and music by Pritam is catchy especially the title track, Sau Tarah Ke and Parineeti’s first item song Janeman Aah.

On the whole it is a massy movie however, it still lacks a solid punch.

My Verdict: **1/2

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Movie Review: Great Grand Masti – Typically Boring!

A decade ago Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria – once upon a time big shot director-producer duo came up with a fun movie Masti which did reasonably well at the Box Office. Like all other director-producers who after hitting a rock bottom take shelter under their hit movies, trying to make them franchises (I would term it milking cows). The duo came up with Grand Masti a sex-comedy which had the same characters and situations with a new set of heroines which became a HUGE hit. Now three years later an overconfident Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria in a joint production with Ekta Kapoor‘s production house has released a very substandard movie – Great Grand Masti!

Like the earlier two movies, the premise starts off with the three characters Meet (Vivek) Amar (Riteish) and Prem (Aftab) who are living in a sexless marriage with their wives Sapna (Pooja Banerjee), Nisha (Shraddha Das) and Rekha (Mishti). To break their mundane life and to have some Masti, the trio goes to Doodhwadi to sell an ancestral bungalow owned by Amar. There they encounter the beautiful enchantress Shabari / Ragini (Urvashi Rautela), a ghost waiting to get her fill of love and sex. Shabari traps them in the haunted haveli until the trio fulfills her wish. To add to the mayhem their wives and their extended families end up in the haveli. What happens next has to be seen on the screen.

First thing first, the story by Tushar Hiranandani and screenplay by Madhur Sharma and Akash Kaushik is very basic and does not add much to the franchise. Apart from the fact that like in the first part where the guys were crazy for one girl the same is repeated here but it does not evoke the emotions of Masti nor the crass comedy of Grand Masti. The dialogues are not great to evoke laughter nor does the sequences that are supposed to be funny make you laugh.

Performances of the lead actors fall flat as there is no meat in their characters to put up a great act. The new actresses are below average and does not show any spark through their performances. Urvashi Rautela had a bigger and better role but she falls flat in her antics. Usha Nadkarni and Sanjay Mishra as Antakshari Baba does a good job. Cameos by Shreyas Talpade and Sonali Raut is plain okay.

Music was a highlight of Masti but here barring two songs Resham Ka and the title song, none of the songs are worth listening to even though they have a long line up of music directors viz. Sanjeev-Darshan, Sharib-Toshi and Superbia. Cinematography by Nigam Bomzan is strictly average and the editing by Sanjay Sankla could have been crispier.

Overall, this is a movie that does not offer much to the masses nor the classes. My advice skip it!

My Verdict: *

Movie Review: ‘Sultan’ has BLOCKBUSTER written all over it!

No EID is EID without a Salman Khan blockbuster releasing every year. This year YRF and Ali Abbas Zafar bring in the much-anticipated Salman Khan  movie of the year – Sultan. Set against the backdrop of wrestling this Salman-Anushka starrer is actually a love story.

The movie begins with Akash Oberoi (Amit Sadh) who is one of the stakeholders in Pro-Take Down (which is one of its kind MMA wrestling tournament) trying to save it’s existence. His father Parikshit Sahni advises him to get Sultan (Salman Khan) who was once the world champion in wrestling, on board to change his fate. Inspired by the story told to him by his father, Akash reaches the village where Sultan leads a non-existent life. After Sultan refuses Akash’s offer to wrestle in Pro-Take Down tournament, he goes searching for the reason that made a world champion leave his glory and game forever.

The movie then moves into a flashback revealing Sultan and Aarfa’s love story. Sultan Ali Khan, who was once an aimless man dabbling with cable TV business, finds his passion for wrestling when he falls head over heels in love with the fierce and independent wrestler Aarfa (Anushka Sharma), daughter of a famous wrestling coach who teaches the sport in an authentic and rustic Indian akhada. Their love story turns into marriage after Sultan turns into a passionate wrestler who gears up to take down the world with his unique moves and starts winning championships. As pride takes over the mind of a talented Sultan, a loss of his loved one reduces his fame to ashes. In an attempt to regain his lost love and respect in the eyes of Aarfa, Sultan once again takes up a challenge – he joins Aakash to fight against the world champions of Mixed Martial Arts and is ready to go to any lengths to regain everything he has lost.

Ali Abbas Zafar after two failed attempts – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Gunday, comes up trumps with Sultan. The script in it’s whole is an entertaining one and has all the ingredients to make it a huge hit among the audience. Although, let me clarify here that it is not a very unique or never-done-before plot but still it is a sheer pleasure to watch this love story set in the background of wrestling. The dialogues are wonderful, the screenplay is flawless although the editor could have trimmed down few scenes in the second half to make it more pacier. The first half is absolutely filmy and entertaining while the second half is more dedicated towards the rise of a fallen hero showing more of wrestling matches and training.

Performances by every actor are top notch. Salman Khan shows why he is at the top of his game. He gets into the character of Sultan as if the character was just made for him. You forget he is the superstar we all like to idolize instead you will see the character taking over the frames like his earlier release Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Anushka has given a very strong performance. She looks, acts, talks like a Haryanvi wrestler. Amit Sadh is a pleasure to see on the screen. He should be given more meaty roles and movies so that a talent like him can be nurtured and not lost to anonymity. Randeep Hooda is powerful but wasted in a cameo. The actor who has played Sultan’s friend Govind (Anand) is awesome. He is another actor to look out for. Kumud Mishra as Sultan’s coach and Aarfa’s father is quite impactful.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is quite nice especially Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai, Jag Ghumeya and the title track. Background score by Julias Packiam is nice and goes with the theme of the movie. Cinematography by Artur Zurawski is excellent while action choreography by Larnell Stovall is praiseworthy.

On the whole, Sultan is definitely a movie to watch out for as it has BLOCKBUSTER written all over it!

My Verdict: ****