Let’s Talk Films With Sumeet ‘Mikesh’ Vyas!

Today in Let’s Talk Films With… I have one of my favorite actors and a very good friend who does not need anymore introduction – Sumeet Vyas talking all about being filmy. 

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Sumeet, not many people know the filmy side of yours and therefore, here is the first googly question to you – What kind of movies you love to watch & how many in a day can you watch?
Hahaha… Hmmm (takes a deep breath and animatedly thinks for a moment) Well… I’m a sucker for drama films. Twisted family films and rom-com’s are my favorites. I can watch say 3-4 films at one go.

Still in the Tripling mode huh?
Well, you can say that (smiles).

Hmm… tell me since what age are you watching movies?
Since the age of three. The first word I learned to speak was Chitrahaar!!!

Well interesting, I think our generation grew up on Chitrahaar and Rangolis (smiles) Okay, now tell me one movie that you remember where the main lead has done a great job as an actor?
Joaquin phoenix in HER.

Have you ever imagined yourself to be a superhero and tried to wear your briefs over your pants and tried to save the world?
No, I’m not into that kinda kinky stuff… (winks and burst our laughing)

What is your secret fantasy when it comes to movies and movie stars?
My secret fantasy is to win an Oscar, I’ve been rehearsing the speech since I was 5. And I want to always wear sun shades and be like Jack Nicholson. He’s my favorite movie star. Do you want to hear the speech? Nah! Let’s save it for the actual event for now (winks) 

Hmm… let’s move ahead. What is the most bizarre movie you have ever watched?
Void.

And, your favorite movie and why?
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind. It’s my all-time favorite film. Because it’s so universal.

The corniest dialogue you have ever heard?
Thappad se darr nahi lagta, pyaar se lagta hai(says in a baritone) I’m going to be stoned for this (burst our laughing).

A movie dialogue you tend to use often or comes to your mind now?
‘Who the fuck are you? I’m the guy who does his job… You must be the other guy’ – from Departed.

Any filmmaker you would want to maroon in an island for making crappy movies?
Not my scene. I love watching crappy films after I’m drunk.

(laughs) Okay, so what’s your message to fellow movie buffs?
There’s an audience for all kinds of films. Don’t hate the ones you don’t enjoy.

Future projects?
Ribbon to be directed by Rakhee Sandiliya starring Kalki and Sumeet Vyas tada! (animatedly)

It was a pleasure to have you on LTFW… and I wish you all the best for your future projects
Thank you and I would also wish you the same for your next book Alfie The Elf and I am sure it will do well. By the way, I need the first author-signed copy and I am serious (smiles).

Of course! It goes without saying…. you will be one of the first people to get a copy of Alfie when it releases in November.

You watch Sumeet on TVF’s Tripling on every Sunday and also on Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza on Colors.

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Movie Review: ‘PINK’ Is The New Black!

This week apart from the sloppy horror fest Raaz Reboot, one also witnessed the release of a small but dark movie by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury – PINK. Produced by Rashmi Sharma and Shoojit Sarkar, starring megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Tapsee Pannu, Kriti Kulhari, Andrea Taring, Angad Bedi and Piyush Mishra, PINK is a gritty and dark take on crimes done on women in a city like Delhi.

Three girls – Minal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) are staying together as tenants in a posh South Delhi locality and are normal working professionals in their respective fields. One night, after a rock concert they accept a dinner invitation from Rajveer (Angad Bedi), who is a relative of a powerful politician, and two others to a resort in Surajkund, Haryana. Rajveer is known to Minal through a common friend and therefore they go with the boys. Rajveer and his friends get drunk and try to molest Minal and her two roommates. Minal in the heat of the hour smashes a bottle on Rajveer’s face hurting his eye, leaving him bleeding.

In retaliation, Rajveer and his friends try to vacate the girls from their houses, threaten them over the phone and also abduct Minal and physically assault her. Minal is forced to file a FIR against Rajveer and his friends. Upon realization Rajveer lodges a wrong FIR against the girls, labeling them as prostitutes, using his powerful connections. Minal is charged for ‘Attempt to murder’ and for soliciting, where she could face imprisonment for more than 10 years if convicted.

Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) is a lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder who experiences frequent mood swings and has an ailing wife. He is also a neighbor of the three girls and witness their troubles & agrees to represent the girls in the court. The film revolves around how Deepak fights the girls’ case against these influential boys in the court.

Performances in the movie are a highlight. Every actor justifies their respective characters. Among the girls Tapsee Pannu and Kriti Kulhari do a wonderful job. This is the first time that these two actresses have got a meaty role to dig their teeth into. Amitabh Bachchan is in a great phase of his career. The legend is getting some of the best characters in his second innings which would make any actor from his generation envious of him. Angad Bedi is quite effective and so are the actors playing his friends. Dhritiman Chatterjee and Piyush Mishra in the role of a judge and prosecutor  quite remarkably.

The story, screenplay, and dialogues are quite powerful and not only gives the debutant director (in Hindi) Aniruddha a good scope to showcase his skills. The cinematography by Abhik Mukhopadhyay is quite nice and so is the editing by Bodhaditya Banerjee which is quite crisp. The background score is quite gripping however there is no scope for music in this realistic movie.

On the whole, this is a very good movie that everyone should watch at least once.

My Verdict: 4/5

Movie Review: Raaz Reboot A Great Spoof On Horror Movies!

Vikram Bhatt‘s obsession with the supernatural subjects is widely known and after making some really good movies  in this genre viz. Raaz, 1920, Haunted 3D etc., he seems to have run out of ideas. Proof? In the last few years, movies like Raaz 3D, Shaapit, Creature 3D, 1920 London Returns etc. written or directed by him did not offer any novelty. However, I did go to watch Raaz Rebooted with a lot of expectations. One, for the franchise and two, I thought after few setbacks Vikram would have upped the game to bring back the audience’s faith back in him. Alas, I was much disappointed. Anyway, more on that later. Let me start with my review.

Raaz Rebooted tells the story of Rehaan (Gaurav Arora) and Shaina (Kriti Kharbanda) who move back to Romania after Rehaan gets a lucrative job offer. The couple although married seem to have a lot going on between them after they shift to Romania. Although they stay under the same roof but they live in different rooms. Soon Rehaan gets busy with his work and Shaina seems to experience paranormal activities in the house, making her believe that the house is haunted. However, Rehaan dismisses her claims and chooses not to believe her which makes her feel more lonely and distant from him.

One day Shaina runs into her ex Aditya (Emraan Hashmi) who tells her that he is been getting nightmares about what is happening to her at her house. Although, she chooses to not believe him, but when Aditya explains each and every incident in detail which she is privy to, she believes him. Aditya also tells her that he knows the reason behind all these activities and Rehaan is keeping a dark secret with her. To find out if Aditya can help Shaina get rid of the evil spirit and what ‘Raaz’ Rehaan is hiding from her, you need to watch the movie.

Like pointed out by me in the start of the review, Vikram Bhatt disappoints the audience’s expectations by making a ‘khichdi’ of all the horror movie plots he has made in the past and also from others and tries to serve as a new movie. The story does not offer anything new. The sequences do not provide anything new, nor does the movie offer any chills or thrills popularly associated with this genre. All the more, one can easily predict how the movie is going to unfold and there is no surprise element. The scenes with the Raven, wall crawling and bent backward pose by the possessed woman or the possessed woman eating insects, eye in the wash basin etc are done to death. The only twist he has given is that no mantra just ‘Mangalsutra’ is the biggest ‘hathyar’ against evil spirits. If Vikram Bhatt had put it across that he is making a spoof of horror movies then I am sure this would have been a great show and tell example

Performances by the lead actors are again a mixed bag. Emraan brings on board his years of acting experience and therefore does not disappoint. Gaurav Arora is promising, although the first sequence of the movie when he and Kriti’s character are shown entering the house, his expression seems to be flat and wooden, however, if you excuse that one scene, you will see a potential powerhouse of a talent in the rest of the movie. Few scenes stand out like the confrontation scene with Emraan Hashmi and the emotional breakdown scene towards the end of the movie, Gaurav stands his ground. A great outing for Gaurav and I am sure in the coming days he will only get better. Kriti Kharbanda in her debut Hindi movie seems to be quite amateur and does a bad job, especially in emotional scenes and her possession scenes. If any other actor would have got an author backed role, she would have made a kill for it, alas, Kriti falls flat on her face. I would rather blame Vikram for not extracting the best out of her, the way he did with Bipasha in the first ‘Raaz’ movie.

The music by Jeet Ganguly and Sangeet-Siddharth Haldipur is quite nice but not as good as the first movie in the series (I am sorry for comparing both movies, as I feel, the first movie was the best in this series and I am glad even the producers Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt has realized that they do not have anything fresh to bring to table, therefore, announcing this to be the last in the series.)

The cinematography by Manoj Soni is superb, the way the snow laden landscapes of Romania are captured is breathtaking. Also, the set designer has done a great job bringing to life some really great pieces of Romanian furniture on screen.

On the whole, the movie is a spoof on horror movies, rather than being a horror fest. Moreover, I would like to give my rating only for the music and performances by Gaurav and Emraan. Sorry, this movie didn’t work for me at all.

My Verdict: 1/5

Movie Review: Baar Baar Dekho – A Total Letdown!

A news like Dharma Productions and Excel Entertainment joining hands is something to celebrate, as both premier production houses are known for some pathbreaking and good movies. However, after watching Baar Baar Dekho, I must admit that even best in the industry can also come up with a bad product. Debutant director Nitya Mehra had everything going in her favor viz. Big stars – Katrina Kaif and Siddharth Malhotra, big names/banners – Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar & Ritesh Sidhwani, good songs – Kala Chashma, Nachde Ve Saare, Sau Aasman etc, big budget, picturesque locations and a grand release, alas all gone waste.

The movie tells the story of childhood friends turned sweethearts Diya (Katrina) and Jay (Siddharth) ready to tie the knot. However, on the day of their marriage, it dawns on him that they are different and he chickens out of the marriage. Then comes the time travel part where Jay with every sleep he wakes from finds himself in different time zones and he keeps aging and so does his relationship with Diya which is going for a toss and how he goes back to mend the relationship forms the rest of the story.

There is nothing new in the story or the premise as we have seen many similar ones churned out by Hollywood in the past. Also, if we jog our mind, there were few examples in Hindi movies too, eg: Love Story 2050, Kal Kisne Dekha and Action Replay. The first 30 mins are quite exciting and build up the expectations of the viewers, however, post the first time traveling expedition, the movie nose dives. Nitya Mehra needs to work harder as a director in her future movies as she is not able to leave a stamp with her abilities.

The screenplay, story, and dialogues by Sri Rao, Anuvab Pal, Nitya Mehra and Anvita Dutt is not up to the mark. Katrina and Siddharth do not deliver any noteworthy performances. There are not many surprises from the supporting cast either. The music is good, the editing is very average. The cinematography by Ravi K Chandran is breathtaking.

On the whole, you will not miss too much if you do not watch this movie.

My Verdict: *

Movie Review: Akira – A Gritty Woman Centric Movie!

AR Murugadoss is the first director who gave started the 100 crore club with his debut Hindi movie Ghajini way back in 2008. He continued his successful stint again with Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. In this week’s release, ARM presents a gritty woman-centric movie Akira starring Sonakshi Sinha. Frankly speaking this time again, ARM does not disappoint. Yes, I do agree it is not in the mould of Ghajini or Holiday, however, he brings to life a real life situation that could be faced by anybody.

Based on Tamil movie Mouna Guru, Akira starts with the voice introduction of Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha) by Sub-Inspector of Police Rabia (Konkona Sen Sharma). The movie goes back in time when Akira is a kid living with her parents in Jodhpur. One day she witnesses an acid attack while returning from school and she testifies against the culprit. This tragic incident encourages her deaf and mute father (Atul Kulkarni) to enroll her for the martial arts classes. The guys against whom she had testified catches her one day to teach her a lesson and in the ambush accidently she throws acid on one of them. As a result, she is sent to a remand home for three years.

Once she is out of the remand home, her brother urges her and their mother to go with him to Mumbai. Reluctantly she leaves for Mumbai and gets enrolled in a college.

There is a parallel story happening in the interim wherein corrupt ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap) and his three trusted aides come across a car accident victim. When they try to help the victim, one of his aides find a bag filled with notes. Finding it as an opportunity to get rich instantly, they kill the victim. Unknowingly, Akira gets involved in the case and finds herself locked in a mental asylum. What happens to her is the rest of the story.

This is Sonakshi’s best performance till date. She lives the character of Akira and convincingly plays the part of an action lady. The way she fights, her body language, dialogue delivery, facial expressions, everything shows how diligently she worked hard to play this role. Anurag Kashyap as ACP Rane is too good. He delivers his part in the villainous role and is a sheer delight to watch. Konkona Sen Sharma in a brief role of Inspector Rabia is quite delightful. However, the part where she plays a heavily pregnant lady does not do any justice to the entire plot. It looks like a forced fit. In the supporting cast, Raai Laxmi, Amit Sadh, Smita Jayakar, Atul Kulkarni and the guy you played the transvestite have done justice to their parts.

Director AR Murugadoss does a fine job. I will not call it as his finest product, however, he does deliver a decent product. Story by Santha Kumar and screenplay by Santha Kumar & AR Murugadoss is good, although they have taken a lot of cinematic liberties, but no complaints there. However, the climax could have been better. Being an action movie, the fight sequences are good but very few. Dialogues are average and music by Vishal-Shekar is plain okay. If you look at it, there is no scope for music in this action packed movie. Background score by John Stewart Eduri is mind-blowing. Editing could have been crisper.

On the whole, I would say Akira delivers and with word of mouth publicity this small budget woman-centric movie should appeal to it’s target audience.

My Verdict: ***