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Let’s Talk Films With Sameer K Singh

Today on Let’s Talk Films With, I have one of my older associates and now a dear friend Sameer K Singh who is the Founder of Yoola. A fellow filmy guy and the biggest fan of Akshay Kumar, let’s hear what he has to say about his ‘Filmyness’.

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What kind of movies you love to watch & how many in a day can you watch?
Well if there’s anything apart from my work and family that can excite me then it’s movies. I would rather watch an already seen movie again than going out to party. My favorite genres are comedy and thriller or something that can keep me on the edge of my seat. If it’s about my favorite Akshay Kumar and if my schedule allows, I can watch from 2 to 3 movies of his in a day be it same or different, doesn’t really matter.

Since what age are you watching movies?
I don’t remember exactly, which somehow suggests that I started watching movies from a very young age, not that I am not young now (laughs) but I assume I must be around 10-12 (smiles).

You being a business guy… tell me one movie that you remember that has the main lead playing a businessman to the T?
Well, there are so many that I am little confused here, if you watch Bollywood movies closely, you will get some or other entrepreneurship tip from every 2nd movie that releases. I will name few of my favorites which are Guru, Rocket Singh Sales Man Of The Year, Band Baja Baarat, Badmash Company, etc but the one that would be on top of my list would be Lagaan. Yes, you must be wondering what has Lagaan to do with business? But as you go deep into it, there can be no better motivational character than Bhuvan as an Entrepreneur. The character goes against all odds, builds a team, leads it till the end and wins because of team work, belief and his determination and of course a little luck (tongue out). These are the characteristics of a true entrepreneur.

Have you ever imagined yourself to be a superhero and tried to wear your briefs over your pants and tried to save the world?
Haha!! I am a 90s kid, pure desi who grew up watching Shaktimaan, pointing a finger towards the sky and rotating 360 degrees was more me. Never tried wearing my briefs over my pants at least not that I remember but yes I did wear capes and act like I could fly.

What is your secret fantasy when it comes to movies and movie stars?
My secret fantasy is to be immortal and the only medium that can make me immortal is movies. I believe whoever comes on the silver screen becomes immortal, we have lost so many legends in past but because good movies have that charm to connect with its audience by heart, actors stay with us forever. Like for example, I was watching DDLJ recently and didn’t realize that Legendry Amrish Puri isn’t between us, this sudden realization saddened me but at the same time, I was cheering that he will always remain with us throughout our lives because of his work. So yes, if given a chance I would love to try my skills to act as well, not immediately but definitely (smiles).

The most bizarre movie you have ever watched?
Believe me, I try and watch each and every movie that comes across. I have watched Bollywood movies that many don’t even know the names of. I do survive even the bad ones but one of the most bizarre movies was Jism 2, it was like a nightmare and I wanted to leave the theater but to maintain my track record of watching every movie till the end, I stayed and survived.

Your favorite movie and why?
It has to be Garam Masala on top, I watch it when I am upset, it makes me cheer up, I can watch it again and again and it will never be enough for me. I remember I once watched Garam Masala thrice in a day, it sounds crazy but yes that’s what I am when it come to Akshay Sir and his comic timings in his movies. Other favorites would be Dil Chahta Hai, Hera Pheri, Race, Taare Zameen Par, Munna Bhai, etc.

The corniest dialogue you have ever heard?
Can I mention my favorite instead?

Go ahead (smiles).
Okay, there’s this dialogue from the movie Ishq where Kajol and Amir Khan burns property papers to make a cup of tea and later after tasting it says, “Dhai crore rupaye jab ek cup chai ka zaika nahi badal saka toh hum pyaar karne walon ka irada kya badlega” Sheer brilliant!!

A movie dialogue you tend to use often or comes to your mind now?
“Kyun Thaak Rahe Ho??” from Houseful 2 is one of the funniest and can be used in day to day life. I am very good with dialogues and easily relate to any situation with apt dialogues to express myself.

Any filmmaker you would want to maroon in an island for making crappy movies?
Yes please, if possible, let’s sponsor a one-sided ticket for the maker of Jism 2, it was such a disaster that I still can’t forget the trauma after so many years of its release.

Any actors you want to add with the director in the same island ūüėõ ?
Imran Khan maybe?

Any message to fellow movie buffs?
I have messages (laughs).

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Alright (laughs) let me reframe my question… Any messages to fellow movie buffs?
1) Don’t support piracy, a movie requires a lot of effort, time and hard work of a team. Piracy kills the enthusiasm and charm of watching a movie on the silver screen, ultimately making it less attractive.
2) Not all movies are same and comparing two different movies isn’t right. There are good movies and bad movies but every movie has a target audience if you go to watch an adult comedy, make sure you are in that mood and don’t expect it to be classic PK or 3 idiots. If you do so, you will be disappointed but if you don’t you will definitely enjoy it.
3) Don’t compare Indian Film Industry with Hollywood, If you do, compare the ticket prices and budget too. Indian films are as good as they should be. Movies are meant for entertainment, get entertained.

Wish you all the best for Yoola and may you have a great year ahead Sam!
Thank you and wish you all the best for your next book Alfie The Elf… I believe it is releasing in a couple of weeks?

Yes it is and like movie piracy, please do not ask a free copy from any author (winks)
Arre nahi, I will be buying my copy, First Day, First Show.

Err… it’s not a movie (laughs)
I know, sometimes the filmy keeda makes me say such things (laughs). On a serious note, I will be buying the book and I am sure it will be magical like your previous one.

Thank you (smiles)
So guys, if you are in Pune, then please do download Yoola and try it out. I am sure you will love the features of the app. Get more details at http://yoola.co/

Movie Review: Shivaay – A Feast for Ajay Devgan Fans!

The second BIG movie of the week is Actor, Producer and Director Ajay Devgn’s second directorial – Shivaay. After a round of controversies surrounding the movie courtesy Kamal R Khan aka KRK, this action packed movie released with much hype and expectations. Let’s find out if the movie was able to live up to the expectations or not.

Shivaay ( Ajay Devgn) is a mountaineer who conducts treks in the Himalayas and lives in a small house. On one of his tours, he meets the Hindi speaking Bulgarian student Olga (Erika Kaar) and falls in love with her after he saves her life in a deadly avalanche. Olga becomes pregnant and is not willing to give birth to a child but on Shivaay’s insistence, she agrees to deliver the child Gaura (Abigail Eames) but refuses to raise it with him and returns to Bulgaria.

Nine years later, Gaura who was told by Shivaay that her mother is dead, learns about her existence through a letter. The peaceful life of Shivaay is shattered when Gaura confronts him about this learning and forces him to take her to Olga. So, Shivaay and Gaura go to Bulgaria to meet Olga who is now married to a Bulgarian, however, in a twist of destiny, Gaura gets kidnapped by a child trafficking gang and thus begins Shivaay’s cat and mouse chase with the kidnappers. Will Shivaay be able to save Gaura? How far will a father to go for the safety of his daughter? Find out by watching the movie.

The plot is very good slightly inspired by Taken but the script lacks punch, However, the father-daughter angle is explored very beautifully by Ajay.  Ajay Devgn as a performer and director does a superior job but his writers Robin Bhatt and Sandeep Srivastava pull him down. The action in the movie is interesting. As Shivaay, Ajay Devgn lives the role and Abigail Eames as Gaura does a wonderful job. Erika Kaar and Saayesha Saigal are good in their respective roles, however, as the story is about Ajay and Abigail, the other actors get less importance in the narrative.

Music by Mithoon is average but the background score is impactful. Cinematography by Aseem Bajaj is beautiful. The snowcapped mountains are captured wonderfully. Editing by Dharmendra Sharma is average, he could have done some crispier cuts in few sequences especially the chase sequence which is too long and tends to get boring.

On the whole, Shivaay is a good attempt by Ajay Devgn and his fans will love this actioner from him.

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil!

Diwali is the biggest festival of India and like every year, this year too, two BIG movies are clashing with each other to ¬†get audience’s attention. The first movie I am reviewing is Karan Johar’s much-anticipated, much-talked and controversy surrounded – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Without much talking, let me dive into the story of ADHM.

The movie starts with ‘private-jet ameer’ Ayan (Ranbir) trying to¬†hook up with ‘Raees’¬†Alizeh (Anushka)¬†after a chance encounter at a London pub. However, instead of they ending up in bed and bidding farewell later, they strike up a friendship instantly. They‚Äôre both Bollywood-crazy goofballs who love cheesy ‚Äô80s songs, poke fun at each other‚Äôs partners and fit into each other like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. But Ayan wants more from the relationship while Alizeh wants to have him as her ‘bestestest’ friend forever after reeling from her break-up with her ex DJ Ali (Fawad).¬†Although, Ayan is a good singer, but Alizeh feels there is no feeling in his singing as he has never experienced heartbreak. Which he does when a chance encounter with Ali while Alizeh and Ayan are holidaying in Paris, makes her slip back into his arms, leaving him distraught.

Alizeh goes back to Lucknow and gets married to Ali against her parent’s wishes. Ayan tries to make Alizeh understand his love for her, but she rejects him as she is not in love with him. A distraught and heartbroken Ayan then finds solace in a physical relationship with an older divorcee Saba (Aishwarya), who helps him get a new perspective on one-sided love.

Will Alizeh fall in love with Ayan and accept him as her lover or will Ayan find his soulmate in Saba? To find out, watch the movie.

The story by Karan Johar is a mixture of his earlier movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu etc. and Rockstar. There is no originality in the story or script, however, performances by the lead actors keep the movie afloat and entertaining. Ranbir, as usual, does a fantastic job and Anushka is a dream to watch. Their chemistry is crackling and you don’t turn your face away whenever they mouth those typical filmy corny dialogues from the 80s and 90s. Aishwarya looks beautiful and does a decent job in her small role. Lisa Haydon is hilarious and makes the ‘Vaatavaran’ exciting with her presence. Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas are just okay and do not have too many screen time (there was no need for the entire controversy to be created around their presence in the movie). Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt lightens up the screen with their short cameos.

Dialogues by Niranjan Iyengar and Karan Johar is good and the first half is quite entertaining because of the dialogues and the lead pair’s chemistry. The second half drags in the first 20 minutes and then picks up once Anushka and Ranbir meet again. The music by Pritam is outstanding especially the title song and Channa Mereya which has a haunting presence even in the BG score.

Cinematography by Anil Mehta is very good and you will fall in love with the lighting and every frame which gives you that typical KJo signature style. Editing could have been crisper, especially in the second half.

Overall, ADHM is a feel good movie and keeps you entertained and therefore I would recommend you to watch it at least once if you are a fan of KJO movies.

My Verdict: ***

Let’s Talk Films With Maanvi Gagroo!

If you have watched the much appreciated short series by TVF – Tripling recently, then you would not have missed the vivacious and goofy Chanchal the sister of Chandan and Chitwan. Today, we have the most talented and beautiful Maanvi Gagroo talking about films with me. So here are some excerpts from our fun chat.

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What kind of movies you love to watch & how many in a day can you watch?
Oh, I can watch movies all day, every day! That’s why I love attending film festivals because you just go from one film to another. My favorite genre is drama. A film with strong characters and a good story about these characters. About real characters with real issues.

Since what age are you watching movies?
For a non-Bollywood family, my sister and I grew up on a fairly filmy diet. Both my parents are big movie buffs. I remember them showing us ‘Sound of music’, ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘My fair lady’ as kids. They also loved giving trivia while the films were on. So yeah, there was always an interest in films.

How did your acting journey start?
Quite by chance actually. There were these auditions going on for a Disney show called ‘Dhoom Machao Dhoom’, I tested for a part on a whim, got the role and the rest, as they say, is history.

Your breakthrough role that made viewers sit up and notice you?
I think my first film ‘Aamras’. Although the film didn’t do well at the box office, I’d get great reviews. I remember all the reviews had mentioned and praised my performance and that was such a great feeling.

Tell me one movie that you remember where the main lead has done a great job?
I think Konkona Sen Sharma in 15 Park Avenue was outstanding. She played her part with such nuance and subtlety. It was a delight to watch her.

Have you ever imagined yourself to be a superhero and tried to wear your superhero cape and skirt and tried to save the world?
Nope, never. (giggles)

What is your secret fantasy when it comes to movies and movie stars?
It wouldn’t be a secret then, would it? (winks)

The most bizarre movie you have ever watched?
Tees Maar Khan (laughs). I am putting myself in a spot, but, I just didn’t get the film.

Don’t worry you are not alone (winks and laughs). Your favorite movie and why?
Revolutionary Road. I thought the idea itself had me impressed. And then the performances were so real and felt. I remember thinking the entire time how great it would be to play that part (of Kate Winslet).

The corniest dialogue you have ever heard?
Umm…(squints and thinks for a moment) I don’t remember which film but there was this scene where a police officer is reporting to his senior and it goes like this;
Junior cop : “Sir something is wrong”
Senior cop : “You mean something is not right?”
Yeah, that’s an actual scene in an actual film!

A movie dialogue you tend to use often or comes to your mind now?
I know all the dialogues from DDLJ (winks). See I told you I am total filmy (smiles).

Any filmmaker you would want to maroon in an island for making crappy movies?
Hahaha..too many man, too many!

Any actors you want to add with the director in the same island? (winks)
Oooh..all the good female actors so I can do all the films they’re getting offered.

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Message to fellow movie buffs?
Don’t go by the frills of a film. I often find people going to the movies for the wrong reasons and then getting disappointed. And I find myself asking them “yeah what else did you expect? ” So my advice would be to watch a film for its story, script, and performances and not for the music or the locations it’s been shot at!

So tell me about your future projects?
My film ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ is premiering at the BFI London Film Festival so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve done a few ads which should be coming on air soon. End of the year I’ll also be traveling overseas with my play. And apart from that, I’m looking for more exciting work (smiles).

Wish you all the best for your future projects Maanvi and thank you for being a part of my chat series.

 

What Would I Like To Be Remembered For?

Have you ever thought of leaving a mark in the world? After such a long time, I saw something that really touched and intrigued me –¬†Seagrams¬†100 Pipers‘ commercial. This made me introspect about what I should be remembered for?¬†The inner voice echoed the sentiments conveyed in the commercial viz. ‘Be Remembered For Good’. The goodness you bring out in others, the goodness you want to spread through your writing, the smiles you can spread on the faces of others with your stories and characters. That motivated me to give wings to my new character¬†Alfie¬†(from my upcoming novel –¬†Alfie¬†The Elf) who is a 14-year-old midget and is one of the closest characters I have given life to.

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To give you a heads up about the book and character of Alfie, let me tell you he does not have a great life. He is an orphan and he is a midget due to which he gets ridiculed and taunted every day by everyone around him, and after few failed attempts to increase his height, he writes to Santa to fulfill his wish. When his wish is not fulfilled by Santa on a Christmas Day, he goes out in search of Santa along with his two friends Bullet Рa pug and Pedro Рan Owl to demand a reason for not fulfilling his wish. On his journey, he meets a lot many mythical creatures like the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, a Snowman and an evil wizard hell-bent on becoming the master of the Universe. Through his innocence and lovely demeanor he is able to spread joy to everyone he meets in the journey.

Source: blog.celoxis.com
Source: blog.celoxis.com

It made me think if¬†Alfie¬†as a character brings joy to so many characters he meets in my story, why not extend that to real life kids too who are like him – orphan and underprivileged. Therefore, I decided to come up with a Trust named –¬†Alfie¬†For Kids where I will be donating the entire proceeds from the sale of¬†Alfie¬†series which could be used for the benefit of educating and upkeep of underprivileged kids.

When I look back and see, great authors like Enid Blyton, Jane Austin or near home Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan. These great legends are remembered for their characters viz. The Famous Five kids, Rusty, Swami, Elizabeth Bennet or Mr. Darcy, etc. Like them and every other author and storyteller in this world, even I want to be remembered for my stories and characters. However, now I want to go beyond and do something for the world. Something that my character Alfie and his friends in the story believes in doing. So this Christmas season when my new book gets released and Alfie comes knocking at your door, welcome him to your life and give him your love and appreciate him for the cause he stands for. As, with every sale of the book, he will get more power and magic to fulfill the wishes of any underprivileged kid in this world. This will not only help Alfie and the kids but will also give me a reason to smile as somewhere in time, I might be remembered for the good cause I was associated with through my character Alfie.

PS: Let me share the video that inspired me to ‘Be Remembered For Good’

Alfie The Elf – My New Novel!

Source: blog.celoxis.com
Source: blog.celoxis.com

It’s been a while since Knocked Up my debut novel released and I have been getting a lot of inquiries from my fans and readers asking about my next book. So finally after 6 years my next novel is going to release this ‘Children’s Day’ i.e. 14th November, titled Alfie The Elf.

Alfie is one of my favorite characters I have created and I am proud to say that I finished the manuscript in 7 days flat. Alfie is cute, he is brave, he is magical and he believes in making this world a beautiful place to live for each and every kind of being. He goes through a lot of hardships in life but he never gives up on hope and faith which leads him to become a real life HERO!

I approached a lot of publishers in India who discouraged me from releasing this book saying Christmas and Santa Claus themed books will never do well in India, as readers will not accept a local author writing about the same. They also told me that because of this reason, there are no Indian books based on these themes. I was also advised by few literary agents to change my name to a foreign sounding name so that publishers and readers will accept my book. However, when I did a small research group study involving 100 individuals of different age groups, where I handed over chapters of Alfie they all came back saying that it is a wonderful story and they want to read the full book, in turn giving me the confidence to release my book independently.  Sorry if I sound pompous and trying to pull up your expectations for the book, but wait until it is released, I am sure you will love Alfie :).

Now you might ask who is my target audience. Then the answer is anybody and everybody who has a child hidden within him/her will love this book :). Now, here is the synopsis of Alfie The Elf for you all. Also, I will be posting a few sample chapters along with the original cover for the book in a couple of days. I hope you love the book and Alfie the way I loved creating him ūüôā

Synopsis: Alfie is a 14-year-old orphaned midget. He has just one wish ‚Äď to grow tall. He believes that would help him gain lots of adoring friends and even impress Charlene, the girl of his dreams. He tries all tricks and tips to increase his height, but to no avail. Finally, he pins all his hopes on a miracle by writing to Santa and stays ‚Äėgood‚Äô through the year. Christmas arrives, but Alfie‚Äôs wish doesn‚Äôt get fulfilled. Hurt, and deeply disappointed, Alfie runs away from his orphanage to look for Santa. That is only the beginning of a fantastical journey that takes him across mythical lands where he meets creatures straight out of fairy tales. With a wicked wizard out to dominate the universe and a worried Santa with his share of woes, Alfie has his hands full. Will he be able to achieve his dream? With the help of his best friend, Bullet, a pug and Pedro, an owl, he just might!

To grab a copy of Alfie The Elf please visit any of the leading bookstores eg; Amazon.com, Amazon.in, Flipkart, Branes&Noble, Infibeam, Shopclues etc. or just click here

Alfie The Elf Shaiju Mathew
Meet the gang of Alfie

You can reach out to me on authorshaiju@gmail.com or on my twitter – @shaijumathew profile ūüôā

Let’s Talk Films With Tara Alisha Berry!

In the hordes of so many star kids in the industry, there is one girl who stands high because of her talent and talent only. I am not saying this because she is my bestie but she has truly defined herself in that mold.¬†After entertaining us with Love Games, Mastram, and The Perfect Girl, I have Taasha Alisha Berry talking about her ‘filmygiri’! So here are excerpts from our conversation.

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Welcome to LTFW Taasha, it’s a pleasure to have you back on my web chat (smiles)
Pleasure is all mine Shy (smiles)… and you know how I lovveeeeee to have a fun chat with you (animatedly and giggles)

Okay… I get that… so shall we start?
Yup… (hesitantly)

What happened? The Yup didn’t sound too confident.
I am still figuring what controversial stuff are you going to ask me this time (giggles)

Hmmm… don’t worry this will be plain fun…Okay so let me start with the first question
Okay.

Tell me what kind of movies you love to watch & how many in a day can you watch?
I love all kinds of movie except horror films hahaha get too scared! I can and have watched three/four movies back to back. Also, LOVEEE Hollywood TV shows and can finish entire seasons in a day. My mother, aunt and I have had movie marathons since my childhood!

Since what age are you watching movies?
Gosh, ever since I could remember! Everyone in my family loves watching movies so I started literally the minute I could! Hahaha

You being an actress… tell me one movie of actress that really moved you?
Nutanji in Bandini, Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music… so many more!

Have you ever imagined yourself to be a superhero and tried to wear your superwoman cape over your blouse and tried to save the world?
Hahaha YES! When I was a kid I loved playing these fantasy games, makeup stories and scenarios and act them out! Even now though would LOVE to portray a female superhero on screen!

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What is your secret fantasy when it comes to movies and movie stars?
My secret fantasy when it comes to movies and movie stars is something quite simple actually Рjust want the opportunity to work in the best films with the best directors and best actors…haha not asking for much na? That’s the dream! But yeah a major dream of mine is to work with Wes Anderson!! In any of his films!

Wow! Okay tell me the most bizarre movie you have ever watched?
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Brilliantly bizarre film!

Your favorite movie and why?
I have many favorite movies! To name a few… Bandini, Sujata, Chandni, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Prestige ! Mainly because all these movies have blown me away and made me want to jump into the screen and be a part of them! They inspire me and solidify my passion to be in the movies!

The corniest dialogue you have ever heard?
Oh god… um hahaha! This answer will get me into trouble!

A movie dialogue you tend to use often or comes to your mind now?
‚ÄúKitne aadmi the!‚ÄĚ is what comes to mind right this second! Hahaha and also ‚ÄúThappad se darr nahi lagta sahab, pyar se lagta hai.‚ÄĚ But haven‚Äôt had the chance to use either in reality! Hahaha

Any filmmaker you would want to maroon in an island for making crappy movies?
Hahaha I think your aim is to get me in trouble!

Okay… let’s move ahead (winks). Any actors you want to add with the director in the same island?
Really Shai….? Hahaha You really want to get me in trouble!

TAB2

Just trying hard so that you can give me a name (laughs) Okay… fine let’s move to your future projects… details?
I am currently prepping for a film which I am super excited about although can’t talk about it yet! The producers will make an announcement soon!

Okay cool… Any message to fellow movie buffs?
Keep watching, keep loving, keep obsessing! I know I can’t stop!

Nice… thank you so much for being a part of LTFW and may you achieve a lot of success with your future projects (smiles)
Thank you and yes all the best for your next novel ALFIE… I read the synopsis… it’s amazing… (smiles)

Hey thank you (smiles)
Waiting for the release… I want to read this book at one go… (smiles)

Thank you and I am sure you will definitely love it and thank you once again for being a part of LTFW!

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.

tripling

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 РPINK. 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