Friday, 26 July 2013



ISSAQ is a contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in the backdrop of Varanasi in the UP heartland,complete with naxalism, sand mining mafia and of course the timeless love story.  The director gives new skeins to William Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers and transports the duo to the holy town on the banks of the Ganges, where an unholy war is raging between two bloodthirsty clans. The movie begins with colour-saturated beginning, with everything springing up with such vividness : the picturesque Banaras, which never dims despite a million sightings : the young man, who like all young men, is desirous : the girl who has a freshness to her. And a tale which looked like Machiavellian in its Shakespearean ambition, it was clear that Issaq was going to layer the love story with high decibels, and a constant rampage of characters. But Alias ! it could not sustain the same level all through and unfortunately too many cooks spoilt the broth especially in the second half. But, still I'll commend the efforts of Manish Tiwary (Director, not to be confused with our I.B. minister) for not choosing to tamper with the original Shakespearean ending (down to the apothecary's potion working cruel deceptions on the couple's turbulent destiny), he makes radical changes in the Shakespearean play's politics. And indeed doom has seldom seemed so desirable on screen. Old Willie Boy might even exclaim at some points of the tale of the tender and the titanic, “Damn, why didn’t I think of this?”

STORY & SCREENPLAY                               :  Manish Tiwary along with two of his talented contemporaries in writing field i.e.Padmaja Thakore-Tiwary and Pawan Soni has penned down a raw, rugged and rapacious desi version of "Romeo and Juliet", which has not focused on so called commercial writing but yes have surprisingly managed to portray, our desi Juliet as a proud virgin till the end. The deviations apart, "Issaq" is a frightfully fertile film filled with images of rancour and tenderness. Writers have wasted no time in getting into the thick of Montague-Capulet feud. Here they are named the Mishras and the Kashyaps - but what's in a name? Families teeming with gun-toting leery men whose voracious appetite for killing is matched by their libidos. They have brilliantly tried to portray that Life’s most traumatic cemetery is surely the memory of pain, for it is buried but not dead. Communities have to find the spirit that can liberate them from the bonds of past anguish, to discover a future in a new perspective as Violence destroys both perpetrator and victim. Script & screenplay blends such moments of free-flowing sensitivity with the darker, murkier reality of blazing guns and furtive fornication without letting the sleaze touch the purity of the central romance. Finally, a brief of the storyline is that The Kashyaps and the Mishras are old rivals. The third beneficiary in this battle for power, money and control over local natural resources is a Maoist group led by a brutal and charismatic leader (Prashant Narayanan). Rahul Mishra falls in love with Bachchi Kashyap in an afternoon of holi hysteria. After the families discover their affair, Rahul is on the run. In pain, oppression and much melodrama, the couple waits to reunite. The tragic end is unintentionally facilitated by a levitating baba (Makarand Deshpande). There are many Benares staples, among them a white-skinned woman in awe of her spiritual guru’s puerile ideas about romantic love.

STARCAST                                                       :  The biggest asset of Issaq is its cast who have delivered impeccable performances and hence credit must be given to Romil Modi( Casting Director). Prateik Babbar's performance as a love-smitten Romeo is so apt that you tend to forgive his past embarrassing performances. There's a marked improvement in his diction delivery. The Uttar Pradesh accent does fall off. But what the heck! This Romeo is real. Amyra Dastur is a prized find. Precocious, pretty, expressive and agile, this girl is a star in her very first film. True,she does come across as slightly too 'convent' to be a Varanasi girl, but her radiant sincerity simply melts your misgivings. The surprise package has turned out to be Ravi Kishen who is simply outstanding as Amyra's protective angry violent uncle. Whenever Ravi is on screen, it's hard to look at any other actor. Rajeshwari Sachdev as Amyra's stepmom steps into a randy role with relish. She is in splendid form, bringing to her character both a sexual frankness and a moral ambivalence on which hangs the impact of the tragedy. Not to forget, Prashant Narayanan who has played the role of a naxalite to perfection and its a treat to watch this actor display his acting histrionics.  Makrand Deshpande who has essayed the role of a Sadhu virtually lights up the screen whenever he appears and brings a smile to your face. In the ensemble actors it is Neena Gupta (Amyra's Aaya), Sudhir Pandey (Amyra's father), Vineet Kumar Singh (Prateik's buddy) & Prashant Kumar (Amyra's fiancee) who have played their part with aplomb and definitely deserve a mention.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                              :         Music for this flick has been composed by Sachin-Jigar as well as Krsna but the music which generally plays an important part in a love story has not been able to become that big a rage in case of Issaq. I'll make special mention of production designer Ashwini Shrivastav for giving Varanasi a look of lived-in and loved-in splendour.  Vishal Sinha's cinematography is plush and passionate and yet the film's visuals never topples over into the kingdom of the garish. And what visuals as he has made the desi Romeo and Juliet's turbulent togetherness an occasion for optical enchantment. Film has been edited by Manoj Kannoth who has shown his finesse and has packaged the action in run-time of 148 minutes. As a director,  Manish Tiwary knows his Shakespeare as well as he knows the rugged north Indian hinterland of blood savagery and abuses which he has showcased through this movie. Tiwary cleverly holds back the boorishness. There's little or no vulgarity and uncouthness in the script and Tiwary manages to project the perky innocence of first-love without getting over-cute, cloying or cheesy. He is definitely a good director and holds lot of promise.

WOW MOMENTS                                                    :  .Watch out for the shot of Prateik falling from the rooftop into a yellow-coloured water tank which is so brilliant that you fear the director's visual aptitude may overpower the basic plot. Also, a sequence where Amyra is being married off to the cop-suitor(Prashant Kumar) and Rajeshwari applies the haldi on her grieving stepdaughter. Watch out for Rajeshwari's expressions which within seconds go from contempt and smugness to feminine empathy and compassion.

CONCLUSION                                                         :      Issaq is truly a daring cinematic experience which is quite different from the general run of the mill kind of movies and has portrayed Love and war coming together in a passionate embrace. A sense of desperate longing runs through this adrenaline-pumping drama driven forward by a cast of actors who know there is something vital happening here.This is one of the most innovative adaptations of Romeo & Juliet shown in Bollywood and despite some shortcomings is still worth a DEKHO for who like unconventional cinema.

Follow me on twitter at

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Once again, within a short span of time i cant help myself from writing the same prelude which i wrote for movie Lootera  that D-DAY is not just a movie but an acutely accomplished work of art helmed by Nikhil Advani who has masterly crafted a great, taut thriller. The biggest compliment for NIKHIL ADVANI is that when i went to watch D-Day, i took a friend along who was very reluctant to go ( Her Viewpoint being it is gonna be full of gory violence n bloodshed like previous gangster flicks) but while coming back she was so impressed that for the first time in our movie viewing history, she was more than keen to watch this intelligent flick for the second time. Reason being we walked in to the cinema to watch a sleek, crisp gangster movie but what we came back with was experience of watching  haunting love stories, one between a mysterious Indian intelligence agent and a Pakistani whore, both wounded and scarred for life. She, in ways, that we can see and he in intangible ways. Second, between an intelligence official whose mind is going through a brutal turmoil whether he should still be Allegiant for his nation (Whose officials have already deserted & disowned him publicly) or towards his family consisting of his wife & his son. Third, where-in a female agent has to make harshest decisions & compromises in-spite of being in unblemished love with her fiancee. But pain, at the end of the day is pain and it is what binds together the whore and the ex-army man. But D-Day, has a lot more to showcase and depict with a tone of unfussy, enrapturing elan that invites us into its mindset without using any gimmicky methods of enticement. Though, a deeply patriotic movie, D-Day does not indulges in that often shown flag waving scenes on celluloid. The Indian flag makes only one guest appearance, and that too at the end. God bless Manoj Kumar.          

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                           :   D-Day narrates a story that will resonate with every Indian.The film is set against the backdrop of some of the most heinous terrorism in India over the past several years.The credit for the story goes to Nikhil Advani, Ritesh Shah and Suresh Nair who have smartly constructed a collage of characters hell bent on a collision course. Though rigorously researched the erudition sits easily, spontaneously and unobtrusively on Advani's narration. The story about India's undercover agents on a mission in Pakistan to nab and extradite India's Most Wanted is told in a tone that favors a detached distance from the proceedings while ensuring we see each character's life in prismatic close-ups. Every character in D-Day, even the dreaded Liturgical Don, named Goldman, is a prisoner of his own lost dreams and aspirations. The raw agents are thrown in our face without elaborate preamble but yet they manage to hold our attention right from the word go without any character sketching with the help of commendable screenplay and excellent technical finesse. The very talented Huma Qureshi as the RAW agent Zoya has her personal life in shambles but we never see her husband and only hear him. It is the brilliant hold and vision of Advani over the screenplay that we feel relieved to only hear her fiancee speak about their distressed relationship in the voice of talented actor Raj Kumar Yadav. In fact every character, visible or invisible, speaks to us in urgent desperate tones. And within 20 minutes of the playing time we are consumed by these doomed lives that seem to have lived on the edge forever and have nowhere to go except the abyss. The film is set against the backdrop of some of the most heinous terrorism in India over the past several years.Unfolding over a period of four days, it tells the riveting story of a group of government agents who enter Pakistan in a bid to capture the man responsible for the acts of terror, a man who has evaded justice for over two decades. The operation to nab India's most wanted man is carried by four undercover agents and is truly absorbing. Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan) is sent to Pakistan to keep an eye on Goldman (Rishi Kapoor). But Wali falls victim to to dilemma of duty Vs family, one that most undercover succumb to. Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) ex personnel of Indian armed forces, Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) who is a RAW explosives expert and Aslam (Akash Dahiya), a pretty thief from Mumbai, are recruited by RAW and infiltrate Pakistan to join Wali and fulfil the mission - to bring Goldman back to India. On the eve of Goldman's son's wedding, the mission that will result in the downfall of the notorious don is carried out, but is it successful ? How brilliantly the climax is tied up by with surprise elements and action sequences makes D-Day an unparalleled production to watch.    

STARCAST                                                      :       Kudos to Mukesh Chabbra (Casting Director) for assembling the rightful mixture of stars and actors as per their character sketches in the screenplay. The best part is that D-Day is crammed with remarkable actors furnishing the anxious proceedings with a riveting life-like force giving impetus to the screenplay. Rishi Kapoor as the Don is like picture-perfect and has looked every inch the character he has portrayed. While conveying the sinister slimy side Rishi also gives a comic interpretation to the rotund goggled perpetrator of mayhem. For sure, this guy is having a blast at this juncture of his career and is entertaining audience to the core. The other actors too are entirely in their element. Arjun Rampal and Shruti Hassan have portrayed their tragic love story in muted mellow muffled shades. Arjun seems to have evolved with every role that he has played in his last flicks and this is perhaps what we expect from a National Award winning actor. Shruti has also managed to shine in her performance.As for Irrfan Khan, his portrayal of a man on a suicidal mission trying to hold on to the memory of his wife and son is so vivid you can just feel n touch his anguish. Huma Qureshi as the third member of of the RAW team is effortlessly appealing and effective apart from being the stunner that she is. Newcomer Sriswara is extremely credible and appealing as Irrfan's wife and newcomer Akaash Dahiya as the fourth RAW team-member is so much on the edge, you want to hold him back from toppling over. Tamil actor Nasser delivers a well measured performance as RAW chief, Ashwini Rao.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                        :     Music for this flick has been composed by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who have once again been triumphant in providing the apt musical score as per the movie's requirement. The song "Alvida"  playing in the background (when Arjun watches battered body of Shruti) is definitely one of the best heart rendering compositions.The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray uses cluttered garish spaces to create a sense of spiritual emptiness during times of tremendous stress and anxiety. Shot in expertly constructed brothel sets with the crowded colors of lurid sex suggesting the tragedy of lives lived in borrowed beds is something which has been masterly shot. Undoubtedly, editors of the flick Aarif Sheikh & Unni Krishnan need ovation as they have very intelligently edited a complex subject and that too without giving you a chance to blink your eye during the run-time of 154 minutes. The Direction by Nikhil Advani is unblemished in every aspect of filmmaking and the film's affinity to the business of unfinished lives gives a cutting edge to Advani's narration.Filmmakers have made films on Dawood earlier too, but they tended to loose the finesse because they gave importance to glorify the gangster rather than realistic story-telling. But none could come close to the brilliance of Nikhil's subject,vision,treatment and the purpose with which he has created this film. That's where Nikhil scores - by sticking to the theme without any deviations.His interpretation is simple and acceptable rather than being unduly drawn out or lecturing just for the heck for it.    

 WOW MOMENTS                                      :    Watch out for the climax scene where Rishi Kapoor gives a sneering contemptuous speech on the Indian government's inability to control terrorists and terrorism and featuring in reality show BIGG BOSS. The scene where we see the scarred Shruti's torture and death through eyes of Arjun Rampal as though he were present there when it happened, when he was not even there has been helmed and edited with extreme craftsmanship.   

Follow me on twitter at

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra‘s biopic of Milkha Singh is one of the rarest sports movies to come out of the Indian film industry in such a cinematic form. BHAAG MILKA BHAAG is neither a simple sports-to-glory tale like Chariots Of Fire and nor just a film about a sportsperson who brought big sporting glory & medals to our nation. On the contrary, it is the story of an individual's journey from nullity to pinnacles of success in a world where politics and violence are constant reminders of how little an individual's aspirations matter in the larger often murkier scheme. Rakesyh Mehra looks at this life of stunning serendipity with tremendous warmth, hope and longing. It is the kind of cinema that doesn't tempt us to share the protagonist's life with many false hopes. Who said life could ever be easy for those who aspire to fly higher than the rest ? The beautiful irony of Milkha Singh's life that this consummate biopic captures so ably, is that he really didn't aspire to anything, he ran simply because he had to. It’s a solid biopic drama one that doesn’t unnecessarily glorify its subject. Yes it shows Milkha Singh’s sporting achievements but it doesn’t portray him like a cliched cinematic hero. But apart from Rakyesh n Prasoon we must not forget one name who has made this movie a not to be missed biopic, i.e. FARHAN AKHTAR. Farhan doesn’t ‘play’ Milkha. The actor occupies Milkha’s mind body and soul and he has delivered a superlative outstanding performance n deserves an ovation.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                      :   History is created in several ways. One of them is cinema. And if Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag seems like a near-flawless homage to the flying spirit of India's greatest runner, it is partly because the story, so nimbly woven into a pastiche of drama, emotion, humour and pathos by story & screenplay writer Prasoon Joshi,  who shows no hurry to keep pace with the onscreen Milkha's breathless sprint.The story of super-sprinter Milkha Singh unfolds in this exceptional biopic at its own volition. The synergy in the storytelling seems subliminal. Still, we the audience, fed week after week on mediocrity masquerading as cinema, are riveted to the story of Milkha Singh for over three hours of playing time. Well, to begin with it is Milkha Singh’s own powerful life as India’s superstar sportsperson that sweeps us into the bio-pic. Milkha was so poor he couldn’t afford running shoes, and when he got them he didn’t know how to run in them. When milk was offered in the army in exchange of running practice he grabbed it (the run and the milk) with both hands.A victim of India’s brutal partition, Milkha’s story was waiting to be told. As we see it, Milkha never stopped running since the trauma of partition.The ‘run’ as a metaphor of life’s expedient circumstances, runs through the narrative.Partition plays a crucial part in defining The Flying Sikh's life, and the film alludes a significant second factor that shapes him: his trysts with women. The first half seeks to list Milkha's motivating factors to run: His first exercise where he discovers he can run; a flashback within a flashback to his childhood with his proud father; his quick, fun, simple courtship with his first love Biro (Sonam Kapoor) that first inspires him to glory. Finally an evil rival within the Services, India's champion 400m specialist, who galvanizes Milkha into running along side for national selections after assaulting and humiliating him..During a training session, he is spotted by coach played by Pawan Malhotra who discovers the athlete in him and takes him to national level. On becoming a national champion, an able trainer essayed by Yograj Singh ( Father of cricketer Yuvraj Singh ) takes him under his wings and hence begins the journey of Milkha to be known as legendary The Flying Sikh.  

STARCAST                                                           :    FARHAN AKHTAR, can not get a better award when compared to the statement of Legendary Milkha Singh himself who said that he could not hold back his tears while watching the first rushes of the movie as he could not believe he was watching Farhan on screen and not himself. Farhan Akhtar dances the Bhangra as well as any Punjabi. Actually, he doesn't dance but he just flows with the rhythm. In fact I've never seen any actor dance or even run with such rhapsodic abundance. Method acting ? Farhan as Milkha takes us beyond that level. His body language and emotion-expression as Milkha is so pitch-perfect (pun intended ) we forget this is not the real Milkha in front of our eyes. This is as real as it can get. Sonam Kapoor, who although has a short but powerful role has once again managed to impress and that too as a village belle. She is on a up-spree as this is flick has come just weeks after Raanjhanaa and in both of these flicks she has managed to floor both audience as well as critics. Divya Dutta as Milkha's sister has given an astounding performance and her expressions are as real as they can get while portraying pain as well as joy on her face. I remember her being launched as as an sultry heroine in a movie called Suraksha (1995) ,but with her hardwork & dedication she has developed into one of the finest actresses. Similarly,  Pavan Malhotra as Milkha’s coach as a Sardar G  is as usual, first-rate. Really, this actor should be doing a lot more work cause he one fine actor who manages to impress you whenever he appears in any character he portrays on-screen.Yograj Singh, who got an excellent role as Milkha's training coach, has given it his best and has managed to impress by portraying a stern and serious coach. Amongst other noticeable ensemble actors who deserve an applause are Prakash Raj, K K Raina & Dalip Tahil. So,definitely, Aadore Mukherjee Mehra & Dilip Shankar who are the casting directors of this film, deserve a big applause.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                        :         Music for this biopic has been composed by the talented trio of Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy who deserve kudos for the excellent music compositions they have composed as it is never an easy job to compose music for a biopic They have done full justice while delivering the background music also which is absolutely in tandem with the inspiring theme of the movie. The cinematography by Binod Pradhan is Immensely gratifying as his camera glides across Milkha's inner and outer world searching for a meeting point between the two worlds through visuals that suggest a comfortable kinship between feelings and their geopolitical counter-point. We often see Milkha on screen in situations where his emotional world is manifested in the interaction with the people around him. The brilliant unsparing editor P Bharathi follows no predictable pattern which is something daring but has worked well and paid off. The film has been very stylishly cut but not at the cost of loosing that Saadgi, the innate asceticism of the sportsman-hero.One more person who deserves accolades is the costume designer of the movie who is none other than Dolly Tewari ( Mother of Vicky Donor) who is coincidentally living in my neighborhood in Chandigarh) as she has given all characters apt costumes as per that era.Director RAKEYSH OMPRAKASH MEHRA, has undoubtedly given a befitting tribute to India's super-sprinter Milkha Singh by making a cult biopic with a mix of myriad emotions that will evoke a range of emotions in your heart while watching this movie.An average director with cinematic palate and sensibilities could have easily fallen into the trap of glorifying Milkha's achievements as an athlete who has won 77 times of the 80 races that he ran. But Mehra has chosen to portray emotions over victories and hardships over glories of his protagonist to narrate an absorbing tale. There are no exaggerated dramatic flourishes here, no playing to the galleries. Unlike other period films which have conveniently and lazily restored to antiques, artifacts and vintage songs, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag simply and effortlessly emerges from the character and his milieu.

WOW MOMENTS                                       :  Watch out for a sequence where-in Farhan after loosing a qualifier goes to a washroom and repeatedly slaps himself while standing in front of a mirror for messing up on the field.Each slap makes us flinch as they don't look or seem like fake slaps. Also, the scenes depicting Milkha's rigorous training with his coach have been picturised with utmost perfection and are a treat to watch.

CONCLUSION                                            :   All in all, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is certainly a movie worth watching for many reasons. The movie makes an earnest attempt to tell a biopic in an engaging and the most sincere way it could have been told. Although its a bit long long having a run-time of close 200 minutes but you get truly inspired to see Milkha take those giant leaps of faith to win the race of his life.

Follow me on twitter at

Friday, 12 July 2013


' FER MAMLA GADBAD GADBAD ' which has hit cinemas today has added up another feather in the cap of mindless yet entertaining comic capers being churned out by Punjabi movie industry which has come to be known as Polly wood. Whatever be the case, but one thing is sure that in regional scenario Punjabi cinema has come on front foot with a new Punjabi flick being released every other Friday which is heartening news. FMGG is another attempt to tickle your funny bones with various laughter punches and several finicky situations which lead to various hilarious moments during the movie's run-time. While watching the movie i got an impression that although makers were clear about making an entertaining flick but yet at several junctures the movie skidded from its original plot in order to infuse other genres apart from comedy. And in fact it is because of this aspect only that couple of earlier Punjabi flicks fell flat when makers tried to put in all kinds of emotions which virtually turned the movie look like a potpourri. So, FMGG also dips after some time but fortunately it comes back on track after some time since its main focus is basically on entertainment unlimited. Although it is not a great movie but yet it can be watched for good performances, witty screenplay laden with comic punches and some delectable moments which one can certainly enjoy if he doesn't apply too much of mind.( Which most audience prefers these days ).

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                           :       The story as well as screenplay of this movie has been composed by duo of Padamjit Singh & Harpreet Singh who are famously known as Rimpy Prince in Punjabi movie fraternity. Earlier, they have directed numerous music videos and also one Punjabi Flick called Mini Punjab starring maestro Gurdas Mann which was a movie with fusion of various genres having an emotional touch along with a underlying message too. This time they tried to  play safe and worked out a script with amalgamation of all the commercial elements which when put together should blend good enough to serve audience an entertaining fare in form of cinematic experience. This movie runs like a sea saw  with some excellent moments followed by some cheeky scenes with the story-line being a mixture of various scripts which although overall is amusing. Had they sketched and baked the characters more, the movie would have turned definitely more interesting. The story begins with Jassi, who wants to become an actor with the aid of his friend cum director Rambo, while Jassi is in deep love with Roop who is a doctor but in turn she wants to marry him only once he establishes himself and has a standing of his own. So Jassi wants to become an actor but Jaasi's father Mohan Singh is dead against the aspirations of his son and refuses to give him money to finance movie  In order to gather finances Jassi starts working as a fake witness, an impersonator & he gets an offer to go and break marriage of a girl Geet who is getting married to an N.R.I. Jassi goes and breaks the marriage but trouble ensues when the village folk with Sarpanch get him forcibly married to Geet and send her along with Jassi. Here onwards ensues Gadbad time with each scene bringing more trouble in his life through various characters running in his pursuit to nail him.   

STARCAST                                                     :      ROSHAN PRINCE as Jassi has performed with so much of ease and aptness that he simply charms everyone with various antics of his character. He has shelved deep into skin of his character which speaks volumes about his determination and hard work. Just a few movies old, but with these kind of expressions he has proved that he means business & is here to play a longer innings and not just for few flicks. JAPJI KHAIRA, whom we last saw in Singh Vs Kaur has not only looked enchanting but has also delivered the goods through her acting skills while portraying the character of Geet. She has turned out well as a leading lady and excels especially in her comic timing. Coming to Bhanu Sri Mehra ( Roop), who although was born in Amritsar but has acted in other regional movies down south makes her debut in Pollywood as leading lady. Her character of Dr. Roop is very subdued and matured when compared to the other leading lady's character of Geet played by Japji. Bhanu has given a fine performance as per the character required and has given an outlook of a sober yet modern girl.(Although if you watch her in the movie's opening track "Put Sardaran De", she is looking stunning in glamorized avatar with Roshan Prince). But it is Ranbir Rana as Rambo & B.M.Sharma as Pooja who have turned to be most amusing characters and are able to invoke laughter in most of their screen -time and are a treat to watch. Another actor who impressed me is Hobby Dhaliwal who plays the character of a Sarpanch opposite to Jassi's father played by Shavendra Mahal. Amongst other noticeable actors in the ensemble cast are : Karamjit Anmol, Rana Jung Bahadur, Surinder Sharma but the biggest pleasure was to see Satish Kaul coming back in action after a long gap in Punjabi movies.   

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                          :         The music for the flick has been given by Jaggi Singh which can be rated as an average fare with just a couple of tracks being impressive. Out of the complete track list it is Rab Jaane & Dil De Varke that stand out as soulful renditions. As far as background music is concerned, its credit goes to Salil Amrute who has done a descent job keeping the music in sync with screenplay. The man behind the camera who is responsible for the visual beauty of the film is Cinematographer Harpreet Singh who has done a fairly descent job taking into account the resources available to him. The editing of the movie FER MAMLA GADBAD GADBAD has been done by Harpreet Singh. The movie has been helm ed by director duo Rimpy-Prince who are also the writers of the story as well as screenplay. Although, it is a good attempt with the storyline being interesting and witty but i feel probably to make movie more commercially viable they loose their way somewhere. The story was such that it could automatically lead to loads of hilarious situations and the movie should have completely focused on that track rather than bringing emotional track in between and apart from that some of the scenes have been unduly extended. It is basically mergence of these two factors which breaks the flow of the movie's screenplay, tweaking the interest of audience in the proceedings. Had the direction and editing been more crisp this script could have been much more joyful but still apart from these factors, movie gives die hard Punjabi fans good enough comic moments to have a hearty laugh and enjoy.

OVER THE HEAD                                                   :    Despite of being choked and surrounded by troubles from all sides, how-come Jassi with his aide Rambo start shooting the movie is the kind of logic that only a person with utmost high intellect can understand (Although i know logical minds should be barred from watching movies these days). Secondly when Roop oh sorry ! Dr. Roop impresses Jassi's parents in a miniscule meeting, it makes me wonder why the hell he did not introduce her to them all this time.(Or Probably if he would have done that,  we would have missed out on watching all this fun in FMGG).

WOW MOMENTS                                                           :   Watch out for the scene when Jassi is being forcibly applied Henna and being readied for marriage against his wishes as it brings some good hearty laughter. Also the scene where three goon brothers go after Jassi and his accomplices and beat them black n blue invokes fun. The scene where B.M.Sharma goes to Jassi's house after his marriage and has to escape from a Dhaba after getting food packed being peniless n especially his conversation on phone when he says " Bheng" several different tones is a classy comical moment.

CONCLUSION                                                                :  FER MAMLA GADBAD GADBAD is again the same run of the mill kind movie which is kind of half baked but still it manages to entertain you via its fun plus witty quotient and some good performances. Another biggest positive factor and asset is that the movie has no crude dialogues, no double meaning punches and not even a tinge of vulgarity, which brings it in the category of those rare movies which you can go and enjoy with your complete family.

Follow me on twitter at

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

LOOTERA : Movie review

Friday, 5 July 2013

" JATT & JULIET 2 " : Movie Review

      " Jatt & Juliet ", is a cult movie which changed the scenario of Punjabi flicks as it offered almost everything right -from the good looking stars,brilliant performances, eye catching locales, fine plot and in fact it can be credited as the movie which catapulted the genre of Rom-com in Punjabi cinema. So, when sequel to such a movie is planned and that too with almost the same team, the expectations of the audience is definitely going to be sky high. Although, Jatt & Juliet 2 is not in league with the prequel as far as content and originality is concerned but still it makes you smile with some brilliant performances, laugh-riot punches n charming chemistry between the lead pair. Well, it's always easy to propound something, but once it turns into a landmark then it becomes all the way too difficult to maintain it's legacy and repute. The immense pressure that director Anurag Singh might have felt while making this sequel can only be fathomed, since the prequel is said to have acted as a catalyst for Punjabi Cinema's second renaissance. One thing which works in favor of the movie is that the plot as well as the story line of the sequel is not an extension to the first one and it is an absolutely different saga that can be savored by even those who have not seen the prequel.        

STORY & SCREENPLAY                            :  The story has been penned down by Dheeraj Rattan & Amberdeep Singh who have tried all the tricks available in the book to write down a laughable script along with a romantic angle attached to it. Just like the first one, the sequel also displays the similar characteristics n traits of the two main protagonists who not only practically disagree on everything but are also complete opposites n poles apart to each other. The first half has light moments to make you laugh aplenty. The interaction between Diljit Dosanjh & Neeru Bajwa in Vancouver is truly enjoyable and takes the graph of the movie upwards. Diljit's funny antics are commendable and the way he both pokes fun at and later, strengthens the image of ' Punjab Police' in front of all those 'Goras' speaks volumes about this man's ability as an excellent actor. Although, the post interval portion begin on a promising note but things begin to deteriorate in this half when movie starts venturing into the intense ,romantic zone which thankfully are savaged by the camaraderie between Diljit n Neeru. Moving on the storyline, a hawaldar in the Punjab Police, Fateh is aching to break the tradition of his family tradition of being hawaldaars and become an inspector. His dream seems to find wings when his immediate senior , inspector Joginder played by Jaswinder Bhalla , asks Fateh to travel to Canada in order to convince the Commissioner's estranged daughter Pooja to return to India. Little does Fateh know that Joginder is an insecure senior who wants Fateh out of his way. On the pretext of finding a fugitive called Shampy Daaku, Fateh boards a flight to Canada, where officer P.Singh ( whom he later learns is the Commissioner's daughter ) has been asked to help him on the case. From the Pakistani cabbie who hates Indians in the day and becomes friendlier after taking pegs in night, to Preeti ( Played by Bharti Singh ), an Indian who runs a beauty parlor and who Fateh mistakenly believes to be Pooja- every character adds richly to Fateh's incidental encounters and mix-ups.        

STARCAST                                                  :      Diljit Dosanjh as Fateh is so apt that it would be hard to imagine anyone else who could have essayed this character of being cute, witty, funny and strong willed too. He is simply outstanding and delivers a performance that certainly deserves an ovation. His captivating performance is sure to increase his fan following manifold. One of the scenes, where he speaks to to himself looking into the mirror is one of the major highlights of the movie and he truly steals everyone's heart with this heart -touching monologue. Throughout the movie, he takes us into him completely and we not only laugh and cry with him- we take back his emotions and innocence as we exit the movie hall. He is such a natural actor with almost perfect sense of comic timing that helps him deliver punches that hit at the intended spot. Coming to Neeru Bajwa, she is really charming and pretty and she is the only leading lady who could have and as a matter of fact, has managed to sustain herself in the movie despite the powerful character and performance of Diljit. Her effervescent personailty infuses Pooja with charm, and her act as a tough cop is a treat to watch.Later, she shows her vulnerable side too which surely earns her some brownie points. She is a wonderful charming actress and her title of being undisputed queen of Punjabi Cinema is completely justified.Jaswinder Bhalla is always and raises enough guffaws through his character of being a senior cop to Diljit.  Rana Ranbir is fine enough and  B.N. Sharma as his Dad gives his character a sheen that only a veteran like him can.and his voice module is stupendous. Rana Jung Bahadur is first-rate as a cabbie, Bharti Singh sends us to splits of laughter every time she appears on screen.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                     :  Musical renditions for this movie that have been composed by Jatinder Shah are catchy but not that impressive when compared to its prequel. Akhiyaan ( featuring RJ Priyanka n Amber Vashist ) and the two renditions of Naina by Sukhwinder and Kamal Khan are soul stirring. Most of the movie has been shot in Vancouver, Canada, and the man behind the lens as cinematographer of the movie is Anshul Chaubey who has done a descent job, if not brilliant. He has captured some good moments in his camera and has especially utilized some good locales while shooting the songs. The movie has been edited by Manish More, the man who has edited some of the last very popular Punjabi flicks. Although, the length of the movie has been restricted to 137 minutes but some of the scenes seem to have been stretched which bug you at times.As the director of this movie Anurag Singh succeeds on two fronts, he has shot the movie exceedingly well and has also extracted fantastic performances from not just the lead pair but also from every character in the movie. Anuragh also should be praised for allowing his characters to evolve in a new setting and not let an easy sense of Deja-Vu set-in, a possibility that every director making a sequel is inevitably faced with. One aspect where he faltered is the climax of the movie as the movie finishes with kind of a hurried ending.    

OVER THE TOP                                         :    Firstly, the confusion of Bharti Singh being Pooja is dragged a lot which looks quite unconvincing. Secondly, antics of Shampy and his Daddy which are supposed to lighten you up also to irritate after a certain time frame.

WOW MOMENTS                                      : The poker faced act of Diljit while delivering a lecture to Canadian Police on the effective ways adopted by Punjab Police in Nabbing criminals, is a laugh riot. Also, the scene where Diljit stands in front of a mirror and talks to himself is too hilarious.

 CONCLUSION                                                 :  On the whole, ' JATT & JULIET 2 ' has laughter in abundance, with very less emotions moving alongside. However, while the prequel was about extremity of JATT & JULIET both, the sequel relies heavily on comic talent of our 'Jatt' and charm of our 'Juliet'. It is a kind of movie that you along with your family can go and watch for some light humor based entertainment.

Follow me on twitter at

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

GHANCHAKKAR : Movie Review

GHANCHAKKAR, is a movie which i & most of cine-lovers were looking for with bated breath for multiple reasons which include good actors known for giving excellent performances, a fine acclaimed director and even the promos were so promising enough that they further soared our expectations to the hilt. But Alias, this over expectation from the movie in fact has worked against it with audience as well as critics feeling disappointed despite of the fact that movie is not that bad. I've always liked Raj Kumar Gupta's cinematic vision as he has given cine buffs refreshing,daring and interesting cinema like Aamir (Hardboiled look at urban terroism ),  No one killed Jessica ( Critique on the laxity of law & order). His latest offering "Ghanchakkar", was marketed like a romantic comedy (the posters tell you He’s Lazy, She’s Crazy), Rajkumar Gupta’s Ghanchakkar is nothing like the promos make it out to be. It’s not a romcom. In fact, there is no romance. It is is a domestic comedy that gets progressively dark and sinister. The pace of this black comedy is so somnolent that all the characters, and not just the ‘lazy lad’ of the film’s quirky opening song, appear to be sleepwalking through it all. The rigmarole that ensues revolves around the hero’s struggle to recall exactly what he did that night and his two angry accomplice’s desperate attempts to get their share of the plunder. The characters are half-baked and aren’t given any context at all. Especially feckless is the figure of the hausfrau who reads Vogue and Cosmo for fashion inspiration and then goes and dons the most outlandish of outfits.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                           :   The story as well as screenplay of  "Ghanchakkar" is the brainchild of duo Parvez Sheikh & RajKumar Gupta but lack of contemplation by Raj and Parvez Sheikh while penning down the premise, turns "Ghanchakkar" into a tedious tale predominated by monotony, and less entertaining. The film’s heist-quotient is substantially sustained and aggrandized by the crackling hissing and snarling chemistry between the bold and fearless Balan and the endearingly restrained and under-the-top Hashmi. Their mutual suspicion of one another’s marital integrity is delightfully irreverent and yet disturbingly relevant in today’s times when distrust is a dowry gift in a majority of marriages.In their delightful love-making sequence Gupta and his astute co-writer Parvez Shiekh turn the politics of the bedroom on its head. Hashmi appears seductively at the bedroom door wearing the night-wear that his wife has brought him...Underwears and condoms are shyly mentioned. What follows is funny and, er, unforgettable.The incidental characters appear unannounced... an inquisitive neighbour, an over-friendly real-estate agent, a nosy mother/mother-in-law whom we only hear on the phone, a sinister crimelord who pops out of nowhere to create an illusion of a climax, and an end-game on a local train that could have been more sharply rounded off....But then all said and dumped Ghanchakkar is nothing like anything we’ve encountered in the genre of dark comedy. Ghanchakkar may not be every moviegoer’s cup of tee-hee. The laughs are often so ominous they cloud our comic responses to the characters. For instance in the bank-heist sequence Emraan Hashmi, Rajesh Verma and Namit Das wear Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Uptal Dutt masks. In the police-identification line-up that follows three men show up in the same star-masks.“Haan, yehi teenon they,” says the excited bank watchman. Every character in this out-of-the-box comedy is a bit of an ineffectual self-important clown. In trying hard to be cool, they end up looking like fools. And they don’t even know it.

STARCAST                                                  :      Emraan Hashmi's blank gaze has rarely been used to better effect than in Ghanchakkar, RajKumar Gupta's third movie. The actor, who has put his mouth and lips to work in most of his earlier films, deploys his peepers in Gupta’s comedy, about a retired bank robber who is coerced into one last multi-crore heist by two no-gooders but who experiences partial memory loss after the job is done. There is definitely a marked improvement in his expressions and body language but his character in this flick is such that he has to look lost which comes naturally to him. Now coming to the character of Vidya Balan (Neetu), she is one helluva crazy Punjaban whose kookie cooking drives her sullen husband up the nearest wall..She is not only imperfect in her culinary skills but also in her hideous fashion sense which she keeps on copying from models featured in fashion magazines without realizing her own body shape. As usual, Vidya Balan has given her best shot and has even put up lot of weight to justify her character in the movie and has managed to floor audience as foul-mouthed Punjaban. But a whole lot of fun ensues because of two notorious characters,namely Namit Das ( Idris ) n Rajesh Sharma ( Pandit ).   Rajesh Sharma has further cemented his place in industry by giving another superlative performance in this movie and he is an actor who essays his characters convincingly whether it be his role in Special 26 or Luv Shuv tey Chicken Khurana. Coming to Namit Das, whom we saw earlier as friend of Ranbeer Kapur in Wake up Sid has also portrayed his character with applomb.So performance wise all the actors have given a good show.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                     :         Music for this flick has been given by immensely talented Amit Trivedi who has given some real techno mixed chart-busters in his previous attempts but has failed to keep upto his standards this time. Music is catchy but has nothing extraordinary to sustain its presence in your mind for a long time. The background music has also been composed by Amit Trivedi which is perfectly in tandem with the proceedings on-screen. The movie has been shot by the camera of cinematographer SETU  and while watching the movie Setu’s camera looks at Mumbai’s middle class with affectionate disdain, not judgmental but certainly not aloof either. Also, the movie being a dark comedy there is not much brightness or colors that are a part of visuals or even the background to give it a more peppy or charming feel. The movie has been edited by Aarti Bajaj who has kept the length of the movie to 137 minutes but even that looks a tad long. Some of the scenes seem to have been stretched a little extended which spoil the charm especially as most of the comedy movies these days are being made in short and crisp format. Coming to the director RAJ KUMAR GUPA, he has tried to create a world high on eccentricity in the uncaring city.  Gupta opts for a mix of deadpan and mental, slowing down the movie ever so often to let a joke play out, and then speeding it up in order to reach the next humour zone. The best bits cover the time Pandit and Idris spend in Sanjay’s flat to get him to remember better. There, they encounter his voluble and sartorially challenged wife Neetu and endure her terrible cooking—the dinner-time running gag pays rich dividends each time it is played.  Many chunks of Gupta’s storytelling seem excessively quirky capturing in languid motions, the vagaries of everyday life without whipping up an over-punctuated drama either through the background score or fancy editing patterns.

OVER THE HEAD                                                  :  The climax scene of the movie becomes a tad too dramatized and extended where-in action happens at such a fast pace that you you go bonkers while digesting it and feel like rushing to a rest room. Apart from that the whole plot around Pravin Dabbas is very whimsical.

WOW MOMENTS                                                    :   Watch out for the bank robbery scene which has been shot exceedingly well and depicts hilarity at its natural best through expressions only. The scene where Emraan is chased by Rajesh n Namit ( who's chasing wearing a frenchie ) also raises guffaws and of course the NOK -JHONK between married couple of Emraan -  Vidya in some of the scenes is real funny.

CONCLUSION                                                      :     If the truth be told, we’ve never seen anything like this film before. Gupta’s third film is wacky whimsical dark scrumptious and though not as lightly humorous as your average comedy, wonderfully innovative in the sparing use of dramatics. Its sinister thrusts especially towards the end eat ravenously into the comedy. This may not work for those who are comically regaled by the typical bolly comedies as the comedy in Ghanchakkar is entirely reliant on the principal characters’ ability to penetrate and make sense of the squalid world of greed and acquisitiveness that they seem to inhabit so casually.

Follow me on twitter at