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Movie Review: Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon – ZZzzzzzz

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This week there are four releases out of which Kis Kisko Pyar Karoon directed by Abbas-Mustan stands out along with Madhur Bhandarkar‘s Calendar Girls. The movie is also special because it is the debut movie of Kapil Sharma who has a huge fan following post his widely appreciated and watched comedy show ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil‘. However, the novelty of the movie ends with Kapil because there is nothing new in the story. It seems as if someone has stitched several Govinda hit movies of 1990’s together and served in the name of Kis Kisko Pyar Karoon.

Coming to the story. Kumar Shiv Ram Kishan aka Bholu (Sharma) is a guy who drives fancy cars, works in a fancy building and regularly wears a three-piece suit in Mumbai to show to the world that he is a rich man. In a year’s time or so he acquires three wives and blames his mother for the same. Surprised? So was I ;). It is shown that his mother always told him one should never break a woman’s heart or home, and in his attempt to live by that maxim, Bholu finds himself saddled with three wives. This reminded me of our Puranas, especially Mahabharat where one gets to read about how Draupadi ended up with five husbands. Now there are more such brain-shattering things showcased one after the other eg; Bholu parks all his wives in the same building – ‘Cocktail Towers’ on different floor with none of them getting to know about each other’s existence.

There are few more characters introduced like Bholu’s estranged parents and a father-in-law whom he gets to park in each of his wife’s apartment. Bholu also falls in love with Deepika (Elli Evram) and wants to get married to her (maybe he is not tired of three wives he has already gathered).

The story is a mixture of Saajan Chale Sasural, Gharwali Baharwali, Sandwich etc. from the 90’s directed by David Dhawan. Abbas-Mustan who are known for their stylish thrillers like Baazigar, Khiladi, Race series, Humraaz etc. ventures into unknown territory – comedy and tries to piggyback on Kapil’s popularity. Alas, it attempt is a huge disaster.  I would totally blame the writer (Anukalp Goswami) and director Abbas-Mustan for churning out this outdated fare.

Kapil sleepwalks through his role and shows sparks of ascending the throne left vacant by Govinda. However, if given a chance I would never want to see the 90’s kind of comedy movies coming back in vogue if this movie clicks, which I doubt. Among the actresses Manjari Phadnis does a decent act however others fall flat on their face including Elli Evram. Johny Lever’s daughter Jamie who has debuted with this movie has done a fantastic job as the Marathi speaking house-maid and so has Varun Sharma who plays Bholu’s friend.

The music by Tanishk Bagchi, Dr Zeus, Javed Mohsin and Amjad-Nadeem are no great shakes. Cinematography by  Dilshad is average while editing by Hussain Burmawallah is good.

Overall the movie is not even a one time watch and might not even gather it’s investment at the box office unless Kapil’s luck rubs it otherwise.

My Verdict: *

Movie Review: Calendar Girls – A rehash of all Bhandarkar movies!

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Madhur Bhandarkar is known for his female oriented movies which are closer to life. Movies like Page 3, Fashion and Heroine showcased the dirt and grime behind the glamorous world. This week’s release – Calendar Girls is a continuation of his glamour world bashing movies but this one takes the cake and the bakery ;).

The film starts off with the introduction of  Nazneen Malik (Avani Modi) from Lahore,  Nandita Menon (Akanksha Puri) from Hyderabad, Sharon Pinto (Kyra Dutt) from Goa, Paromita Ghosh (Satarupa Pyne) from Kolkata  and Mayuri Chauhan (Ruhi Singh) from Rohtak. Pheww! So many girls and difficult to keep track of their names and characters ;).

These five girls fighting all odds become the chosen ones for the annual ‘calendar girls’ which is one of the pet projects of flamboyant industrialist Kumar (Suhel Seth) – character inspired from Kingfisher baron Vijay Mallya. On the night of their calendar launch, the girls are introduced to the real world of glamour. They gather a lot of media and paparazzi attention and soon they sign up newer opportunities that guarantee them a great career and life ahead. However, as the popular adage goes ‘Man proposes, God disposes’, similarly the girls get to learn their lessons in a very harsh way.

Starting with Paromita who accidentally bumps into her overambitious ex-boyfriend Pinaki (Keith Sequeira) for whom her heart still beats, at a social function in Mumbai. They get together once again and she continues to love him unconditionally, unaware of his motives. Pinaki uses her as a honey-trap to do match fixing with cricketers for the cash-rich cricket league matches. Things soon take a ‘U’ turn for her and she falls under the radar of the cops.

Nazneen Malik on the other hand, is forced to return the signing amount for a movie she signed with a leading moviemaker because of the anti-Pakistan movement in Mumbai. With no options available for her, Nazneen lands up being a high-society escort with the help of Ananya (Mita Vasishth) who is a ‘broker’.

Sharon gets signed up by a leading talent management company. She soon gets to hear some fictitious and not so pleasing stories about her spread by the agency owner Aniruddh Shroff (Rushad Rana). Being a self-respecting girl she approaches Aniruddh about the same and slaps him in front of his employees. In turn he uses his might and power to ban her from the advertising world. However, as destiny has it, a chance encounter with a leading journalist at a bookstore gets her a job as a television anchor.

Nandita even before her glamorous filled life takes wings gets married to the scion of the wealthy Narang family – Harsh and settles down as a trophy wife while Mayuri charters her path to become a successful movie actress using her networking and PR skills.

The rest of the story tries to capture what ultimately happens to these glamour struck girls and would they be able to survive their destinies and become successful.

On the premise the story is quite promising however with multiple tracks and characters it becomes a typical ‘Khichdi’ doing no justice to any one character. Madhur like his previous movies should have stuck to one character and explored her journey while keeping the other characters as supporting tracks eg: Fashion.

Coming to performances, each of the new girls has done a decent job. Although female dominated, the male performers also get some meat to chew on especially Rohit Roy, Atul Parchure and Suhel Seth.

The music by Amaal Malik and Meet Bros Anjaan is a huge let down. Not one track stays with you after the movie is over. The editing by Devendra Murdeshwar and cinematography by Hari Vendaantam is good.

On the whole the movie might appeal to people who love Madhur Bhandarkar brand of movies. However, at the box office the movie might not recover its cost due to lack of big names in the leading roles.

My verdict: **

Movie Review: Katti Batti – Only Katti, No Batti!

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I was still recovering from the torture I suffered from Nikhil Advani‘s last release Hero when I was struck by another bout of suffering with his this week’s Imran Khan-Kangana Ranaut starrer Katti Batti.

Kangana is one actress who is hot in the industry circuits these days after Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns. She is also being compared with Aamir Khan for her script sense and that was the only thing that motivated me to go and watch this movie. I have decided to be ‘Katti’ with Nikhil for life after the double dhamakas.

The movie tells the story of Madhav aka Maddy (Imran Khan) and Payal (Kangana), and the on and off relationship with each other. It is love at first sight for Maddy and he keeps on pursuing Payal who is not interested in a serious relationship but ‘timepass’. Somehow the couple get into a live-in relationship, but after a slew of fights and incidents, Payal leaves him, forever, and Maddy is shattered. But, there is a ray of hope for him as he feels somewhere deep inside that Payal can’t be so heartless. And this realisation brings him back to life and he goes Payal-hunting. The rest of the movie is all about him trying to get her number, gatecrashing her marriage and attempts to woo her back.

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The story and screenplay by Anshul Singhal is a big let down and the constant flashbacks is a huge hindrance to the narrative. The dialogues are funny but no movie can run only on the basis of dialogues. Nikhil has proved once again that he is a mediocre director who needs to go back to assisting Karan Johar to learn more tricks about moviemaking. Performances are average especially Imran Khan’s who struggles to act but he couldn’t get it right. I blame the director for the same because even Kangana (a great performer) does an average job in this movie. However, Imran has a lengthier role compared to Kangana who is hardly there in the movie.

Coming to music, it is no great shakes. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has given better music in Nikhil’s previous movies like Kal Ho Na Ho or Salaam-E-Ishq. The cinematography is first rate and one should applaud Tushar Ray for the same. The movie could have been edited further to make it look crispier because most of the parts in the first half drags a lot.

On the whole, the movie is a rehash of several Hollywood movies which we have seen and is not even worth a dekho.

My Verdict: *

Movie Review: The Perfect Girl – Small Movie, Big Heart!

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Apart from the much awaited Hero starring Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty, this week also saw the release of The Perfect Girl, starring relatively new to movies Teeshay and Tara Alisha Berry. What Hero couldn’t achieve this small movie with a BIG heart did, i.e. ENTERTAIN!

The movie starts with a unique and quirky parody on the ‘anti-smoking‘ commercial that is run before every movie for public interest which always bugs me to the core. Here they have shown how unrequited love is equally dangerous to your health :).

Now coming to the story. Jay (Teeshay) is a single 35-year-old guy staying with his parents with no purpose in life. Although he aspires to become a filmmaker one day. His parents are bride hunting for him and his mother feels that solution to all his problems is marriage. However, oblivious to people closer to him, Jay had a chance encounter with a girl – Vedhika (Tara Alisha Berry), 14 years back in Goa at a bus stop.  After spending some time together, sparks fly between Jay and Vedhika and soon they begin to fall for each other as they realize they are perfect for each other. However, as destiny has other plans in store for them, they cannot take their relationship forward. Years later they do cross each other’s path but what happens after that? Would Jay and Vedhika come together and explore a life together or will they move on in life? Will destiny give them another chance? Watch the movie to know the answers.

Coming to performances, Teeshay and Tara both are apt for their parts and they bring life to their characters – Jay & Vedhika with their brilliant performances. Tara is cute, bubbly and loveable. She gets into her character effortlessly and makes the character of Vedhika her own. The chemistry between the lead pair is quite electrifying and you want to see more of them together onscreen. The story and screenplay are quite simple however the dialogues in parts showcases the quirky sense of humor of the director / writer.

Prakash Nambiar has done a decent job with his directorial attempt and shows a lot of promise. With a nice script, bigger budget and wider release he will shine out in his future projects. Music by Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil Sringarpure is quite fresh. Cinematography by Girish Kant is good capturing the Goan locales imaginatively through his lens.

On the whole, it is a decent attempt by the entire team and I am sure the youth will connect to the movie if promoted well. In short, it is a SMALL movie with a BIG Heart that ENTERTAINS!

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: This ‘Hero’ is a BIG Zero!

Hero

I am a BIG Salman fan but that does not put me away from writing an honest feedback about any film where he is involved in any capacity like in the case of this week’s release – Hero produced by him.

If Bajrangi Bhaijaan gave Salman Khan Films accolades and box office success then I am sorry their new venture is a disappointing fare. With huge expectations I entered the movie theater to see the much hyped remake of Subhash Ghai’s 1983 classic that kick-started the careers of Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri. However, where the yesteryear movie scored high i.e. the script department and direction, the remake loses heavily.

The Nikhil Advani directorial starts with the heroic entry of Sooraj (Sooraj Pancholi) who is a gunda with a golden heart who cannot see any injustice. He beats the henchmen of Changezi (Chetan Hansraj) and then immediately later goes clubbing where he meets Radha (Athiya Shetty) and sparks fly between them after he shows her some of his dance moves.

On the other hand Sooraj’s ‘Baba’ Pasha (Aditya Pancholi) gets imprisoned for killing a journalist by Radha’s Baba (Tigmanshu Dhulia) who is the Inspector General of Police, causing friction between the two senior citizens. IG is adamant of nailing Pasha with hardcore evidences and send him to jail for a longer time. Result? Baba tells his black sheep oops sorry ‘Sooraj’ 😉 to kidnap Radha and keep her hidden safely somewhere away from her family. Immediately Sooraj gets into action by disguising himself as a police-escort and kidnaps Radha.

In the snow-clad mountainous environs, ‘cupid’ plays its own games and strikes his arrow at the youngsters making them fall deliriously in love. In-spite of knowing Sooraj’s reality Radha stands by him. Would Radha’s love reform Sooraj and make him show his back to the world of crime, and his Baba? Would IG be able to nail Pasha forever? What happens to the young ‘Prem Deewane‘ are few questions answered during the course of the movie.

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Performances of both the debutantes are average, although Sooraj shows some promise in the action scenes. Tigmanshu Dhulia is a total misfit (I feel directors should just mind their job which is to direct rather than exploring other avenues – more on this topic, I will save it for another day and another article). Aditya Pancholi still needs some crash course in acting.

Music is a sore point here. If the original had some wonderful songs then the remake has nothing to harp about. I honestly feel that they should have taken the original songs and remixed it (something what they did with the story). The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is good while the action sequences choreographed by Ravi Varma and Dave Judge is wonderful.

Nikhil Advani seems to be quite uncomfortable directing a movie which is not conceptualized by him and it is quite evident. Hero is a huge let down making Nikhil’s previous disasters Salaam-E-Ishq and Patiala House seem classics in front of this remake.

Overall the movie is a below average fare and might not even appeal to hardcore masala movie viewers.

My Verdict: **

Movie Review: ‘Welcome Back’ to Mindless Comedies!

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Anees Bazmee is a name who is associated with many comedy movies as a writer as well as a director. His last movie to release was Ready starring Salman Khan and Asin in 2011. This week he makes a comeback with the sequel to his Blockbuster comedy Welcome (2007) that starred Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

In Welcome Back, Anees has retained the three main characters from his previous movie i.e. Dr. Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal), Majnu Bhai (Anil Kapoor) and Uday Bhai (Nana Patekar), and added new characters to take the Welcome series ahead.

The movie is set in the picturesque Dubai where the now-transformed-but-still-single bhais come to know that Uday has one more half-sister Ranjana (Shruti Hasaan) who is of marriageable age. The bhais decide to look out for a suitable boy for their sister and marry her off. However, Ranjana meets Ajju bhai (John) who is a Mumbai based goon and step-son to Dr. Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) and falls in love with him. In order to impress Uday and Majnu, Ajju ‘disguises’ himself as a decent, sober, well-mannered guy when he comes to Dubai. But when the Bhais realize the true identity of Ajju they seek the help of the deadly Wanted Bhai (Naseeruddin Shah) to eliminate Ajju.

To add more fun many other characters are introduced in the plot like Maharani (Dimple) and Babita aka Rajkumari Chandni (Ankita Shrivastava) who are actually con-women and are out to trick the Bhais and run away with their riches.

On the whole there is nothing new from the previous movies apart from few new twists and turns, and characters to add some fun element. This is a brainless comedy so please do not try to seek logic, just sit back and enjoy the movie for a hearty laugh.

Coming to performances Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal are outstanding and every sequence and scene rises above the script with their performances. John Abraham is average, Shruti Hassan is decent, Ankita Srivastav is okay, Dimple and Naseeruddin Shah are outstanding, and Shiney Ahuja in his comeback movie is again average. The direction by Bazmee is as usual – Good. The dialogues are ordinary but when mouthed by the trio (Anil Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Nana Patekar) they sound quite hilarious.There are few hilarious sequences in the movie especially the one at the cemetery. The music by Mika Singh, Anu Malik, Meet Bros & Anjjan is average and none of the songs stand out however, the background score by Adesh Srivastav is brilliant.

On the whole if you are a big fan of mindless comedies then go for it!

My Verdict: ***

Review: All Is [Not] Well!

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This week saw the release of two movies Maajhi directed by Ketan Mehta and All Is Well by Umesh Shukla. Compared to Maajhi, Shukla’s directorial offering held more promise because of the his last Blockbuster Hit movie Oh My God! (2012) starring Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal. The movie was also remade in other languages where again the concept worked well with the audience and the Box Office. However, I have to sadly say that apart from the title of the movie, there is nothing “Well” about this movie.

The movie starts with Jr. Bhalla (Abhishek Bachchan), a performing rock artist in Bangkok, whose shows supposedly sells out like hot cakes approaching a shady producer (Tiku Talsania) to get a Bhangra record out. However, he has to rush back to India to be with his family struggling with financial issues.

Meanwhile, Sr. Bhalla (Rishi Kapoor) runs a bakery in Chandigarh. For some strange reason, instead of baking, throughout the movie  we see Sr. Bhalla always yelling and shouting at his wife (Supriya Pathak) suffering from Alzheimer’s and Jr. Bhalla.

In between the father-son tension add Nimmi (Asin) who is Jr. Bhalla’s college-mate who nurses feelings for him and pursues him only to be rejected time and again. To add some more excitement and to thicken the plot there is also a long-haired goon called Cheema (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) from whom Sr. Bhalla has borrowed a huge sum of money.

The movie turns into a cat and mouse chase when the Bhalla family along with Nimmi is on the run with Cheema and his goons, Nimmi’s family and Police hot on their trail.

The makers thought of revolving the plot around an agonizing son and a father with bladder issues but it fails to connect the way Piku did few months back. The story, screenplay and dialogues are a big downer. Umesh Shukla tries to rise above the script but falls flat with a weak plot.

The performances are average. Rishi Kapoor is the best in the lot. Supriya Pathak is wasted. Abhishek Bachchan and Asin misses the plot. The songs are not chartbusters and you hardly hum them even after you leave the theater.

On the whole, I would like to say Umesh Shukla – Better Luck Next Time!

My Verdict: 1/5

Looking Back in Time – Dil Se…

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I was a teenager when Mani Rathnam’s touted classic Dil Se… released. Being a huge Manisha Koirala, A.R. Rahman and Mani Rathnam fan I was looking forward to the movie. The songs by Music Maestro AR Rahman coupled with Gulzar saab’s lyrics were already a rage  – Chaiyya Chaiyya made everyone dance with joy, Satrangi Re and Ae Ajnabi conveyed the seven stages of love and pathos of a longing heart beautifully, Jiya Jale was sweet and Dil Se Re quite poetic and visual. The performance by Manisha, fresh after Bombay, Khamoshi and Agnisakshi was one of her career highs. For a welcome change I loved Shah Rukh after a long time (maybe Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was the last movie where he actually impressed me and later in Chak De India and Swades).

The movie released and I was one of the eager fans to stand in a long queue 3 hours prior to the screening time to collect my tickets for the first day first show . The movie was like a painting in motion. The introductory shot of Manisha sitting on the platform covered in a blanket that is ripped of by a strong gush of wind revealing her beautiful makeup-free face was sheer poetry. I feel again in love with this timeless beauty while Shah Rukh sang Chaiya Chaiya in her praise 🙂

Most of the sequences in the movie were quite grim and realistic and to compliment the mood it was shot in various locations like Ladakh, North Eastern parts of India, Kerala, Delhi etc. Cameraman Santosh Sivan captured the rustic locales of Ladakh, wintry Delhi and backwaters of Kerala beautifully.

The performances by the lead pair as I mentioned earlier, were class apart. In this grim love story to bring freshness and spunk, Mani Rathnam added a tinge of debutant Priety Zinta who even with her limited screen presence, stood ‘pretty’ tall with her performance in front of Manisha and Shah Rukh.

The climax is one of the high points ever seen in a Hindi movie and today even after 17 years gives me goosebumps. The movie was complete in itself however, humongous expectations backed with lesser knowledge of the terrorism issue in the North-Eastern part of India gave the movie away at the Indian Box Office.

Like Guru Dutt’s Kagaz Ke Phool, Dil Se… is regarded today as a classic which was way ahead of its time!