Monday, 30 June 2014

Ek Villain :: Movie Review

Before, I went to see the movie, I had read all over that Ek Villain is a rip-off of South Korean revenge Drama namely  "I saw the Devil" & it might be one of those fluke remakes. But, Mohit Suri has done a pretty good job as Suri has taken the core of I Saw The Devil and turned it into a melodramatic, manipulative, pyaar-mohabbat-dardi-humdardi drama. Ek Villain begins with a massive plot twist right at the beginning. And just minutes into the film you’re left wondering, what will Mohit Suri do now, since he’s started with such a high point… That’s when his gripping reverse narrative comes into play. When you walk into the theatre to watch a thriller, you naturally expect the twists and turns in the tale to keep you at the edge of your seat. But that doesn’t happen in Ek Villain (you figure most of it out pretty soon). And by interval point, the suspense is out for all to see. However, the parallel past and present tracks blend intricately together to keep you glued to the screen. Told with an even pitch, the film isn’t anything like the run-in-the-mill stories we are subjected to watch every week. This is sheer compelling commercial cinema that has a lucid story and its heart in the right place, without indulging in anything stoop. 

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                            ::           The story of this flick has been penned down by Tushar Hiranandani & the dialogues have been written by Milap Jhaveri who have done commendable job.  Bollywood’s always been about the heroes. They hog the spotlight by thumping the baddies, pumping their muscles, flashing their six-pack abs and dancing with the beauties (heroines, and even the item girls). Basically, they make the movie. The rest of the cast get a raw deal, with the villains often left to growl, frown, roll their eyes, and get beaten before calling it quits. But, Filmmaker Mohit Suri with his writing team, however, decides to turn the tables, and elevate the state of the villains by telling a story that puts them in the spotlight. Only, his take on the bad guy is not really about the bad guy but a guy who poses like a bad guy. Diverting from the usual revenge dramas, the film’s narrative keeps the past and the present running parallel. The script is structured in such a way that at no point do these converge unnecessarily.  Coming to the storyline, Guru (Sidharth) is a gangster who works for the mafia man Caesar (Remo Fernandez). His dark past haunts him incessantly. But as fate would have it, his life crosses path with Aisha (Shraddha) the bubbly, vivacious girl who changes his life, adding sunshine to his morose being . The cold blooded murderer undergoes a stark transformation as love changes him completely. Just when the two were beginning to settle down into a happy, blissful married life, Aisha falls prey to a catastrophic event & is killed by a serial killer. Guru is lost without the love of his life and is determined to hunt down the culprit. Guru does find the miscreant Rakesh (Riteish) but cannot understand the reason behind his psychopathic nature. Does Guru understand Rakesh’s motives behind killing Aisha? Does Guru manage to get even with Rakesh? And mostly does Guru return to his dark, sinister world or carry forward in Aisha’s path of pristine living?

STARCAST                                                                           ::             Casting director of the movie is Aadore Mukherjee Mehra who has done a good job in choosing the right actors as per the characters. As far as performances go, Sidharth Malhotra’s brooding, painful act is a winner. He gets the angst and he gets the nuances of his chequered character so well that you wonder why people consider him as just a pretty boy. Sidharth Malhotra catapults himself ahead of all the young actors around, upping himself above the league of actors he is associated with. Riteish’s menacing act sends a shiver down your spine. Besides the fact that Ritesh’s Rakesh is probably one of the most complex and well-written negative characters Hindi cinema has seen in a while, the actor’s straight-faced wickedness is haunting. Deshmukh invests himself completely to the skin of his character and he is every bit damn good! Shraddha Kapoor is another revelation. She’s confident and she’s charming. The actress in Shraddha seems to have finally arrived. She fits into her character very neatly and does a stellar job. Shaad Randhawa who plays an intelligence cop manages to leave impression in his brief role & so does Aamna Sharief in the role of Riteish's wife's. Two actors who have not been able to do justice are Kamaal Rashid Khan & Remo Fernandez, although much is not expected out of them also. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                ::         The soundtrack of the movie which has been composed by Ankit Tiwari, Mithoon, Rabbi Ahmed, Adnan Dhool is already creating ripples in the music industry & is a chart buster. Two songs namely 'Teri Galiyan' and 'Banjare' are real soothing and stay with you. The cinematographer of this flick, Vishnu Rao has done a fabulous job. He has handled camera to perfection & has captured frames with utmost finesse. Some of the frames are a treat to watch. The movie has been edited by Devendra Murdeshwar who with his precise editing keeps you on the edge of your seat all through the run-time of 131 minutes. He has been able to keep the pace of the movie racy, taut and edgy. As a director, Mohit Suri has excelled manifold if compared to his previous works as, in Ek Villain, he tackles the complexities of all his lead characters beautifully. He breaks them down and delves deep into their minds to gratify the audience. Ek Villain may be a thriller but it tugs at your heart strings at various points with the way the main characters hold on to hope despite their obvious anguish and pain.

CONCLUSION                                                                                   ::             Though indulgent in parts, Ek Villain packs in a punch as it blends romance with an edgy thriller perfectly. Copy of a Korean film or not, it’s ‘good’ paisa vasool entertainment.

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Humshakals : Movie Review

After the debacle of Himmatwala, I thought Sajid Khan will not repeat the same mistake of testing Himmat of audience but Alias, he has proven me wrong. Humshakals is nothing but farcical potboiler marked by exaggerated performances, cheesy jokes and over-stretched song sequences. If you start questioning the logic and factual accuracy of Humshakals, you'll need valium instead of popcorn to survive the 159 minutes of the film. In the movie, Saif asks Riteish, " Will you take me for a ride " who responds in negative but i would like to request Sajid that please stop taking audience for a ride. In fact, the same can be said about his family as his sister Farha Khan made 'Tees Maar Khan' , Bro-in-law Shirish Kunder made 'Joker' & Sajid has made two in a row namely 'Himmatwala' n 'Humshakals' which all have been assault on our senses. Look at Sajid Khan's style of film-making :::: He packs in a bunch of old school PJs (poor jokes), hires three good-looking women and three men, who triple up into various shapes, sizes and hair-dos, to tickle us over two-hour-and-a-half-hours of screen time. Does it all add up to loads of fun and laughter? Well, not really. However, if I could’ve hopped on to a time machine and gone back to being a five-year-old or mastered the power to detach my brain from my body and leave it at home, then probably the outcome would’ve been a little different. The movie has enough moments to prove that Sajid is aware of his drawbacks as in this movie he has put a scene where mentally challenged patients are made to watch Himmatwala as a torture mechanism, I would like to believe that Khan understands filmmaking isn’t making the best use of skills. Filled with claptraps and puerile humor, the film does give you some engrossing & funny moments but they are too less & come too late as by that time, you are completely drenched with boredom. 

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                          ::                      The credit for the story writing goes to Sajid Khan & the credit for screenplay writing has been given to Robin Bhatt, Sajid Khan & Akarsh Khurana which amuses me to no end. In fact, I find it more amusing than the movie itself. Three people have jointly penned down a flimsy storyline, wafer-thin plot  which is nothing but a complete muddle. It’s plain mucky, if I put it politely. But Sajid Khan’s story has offended me beyond wits and I have no intention of being kind here. I understand the guy has no respect for cinema, and his idea of loving films is delivering crud! I am disappointed at the lack of subtlety.  The low brow variety of fun is not something I can pass off as entertainment. In fact, cloning Saif & Riteish by tracking facial expression points and adding a voice modulator chip to get theirs voices correct was the most horrifyingly ridiculous thing I have heard. Coming to the storyline, Ashok (Saif) is a rich business tycoon based in London, who might be the owner of a rich empire, but harbors the desire to become a stand up comedian. Ashok’s friend Kumar (Riteish) is his only confidant, but their hunky dory life is disrupted when Ashok’s Mama KANS (Ram) uses a medicine and pushes Ashok & Kumar into a mentally challenged state of mind. While they can’t recuperate, the same mental asylum shelters another set of Ashok and Kumar who are the humshakals of the original pair. That’s not all, when KANS frames them to inherit the business empire, Ashok and Kumar find KANS’ humshakal too. The story moves forward and another set of humshakals is revealed. So will the original Ashok and Kumar win over the original Mamaji is the story.

STARCAST                                                                    ::                 One of the few good things about the movie is its starcast who have performed their characters with aplomb but even they could not save this sinking ship. This is Saif Ali Khan's first foray into the genre of slapstick comedy and he has managed to do well. Of the three Saif Ali Khans, the effeminate one impresses the most because that’s where he appears the most natural. For the other two, we can’t help but get distracted by his Botox-frozen face, and an unflattering hairdo as Saif is not able to fit into the mould of stupidity that Sajid Khan creates for him. Of the three Ritesh Deshmukhs, the sane Kumar, who occasionally dresses as a girl is a treat to watch. His expressions and body language are spot-on, and was probably our only comic relief. His other two performances are equally faultless, displaying his superior comic talent. Although, the script he's given doesn't allow him to be genuinely funny, but he still manages to eke out a few microseconds of humour. Of the three Ram Kapoors, the best is Punjabi club owner, only because he’s fairly inoffensive and doesn’t spit out his lines. His take on the conniving uncle is decent, and so is his take on stage-3 OCD. The women are the perfect eye-candy. Bipasha Basu works hard to flaunt her toned long legs, while Tamanah flashes her body-tight dresses when not hosting telly show ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’. And Esha flutters her eyelashes when not holding a bone. They don't get much screen time actually. Satish Shah is hilarious and manages to raise some guffaws. Nawwab Shah as scientist friend of Ram Kapoor has come out impressive. Chunkey Pandey manages to entertain but unfortunately he has been given only a few scenes to appear in.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                      ::          Another, plus point of the movie is its music composed by Himesh Reshamiya. Although, the compositions are mediocre but still work wonders as they provide you the much needed respite during the dull proceedings. Two tracks namely "Callertune" & "By God" are peppy n pleasing to ears. The background music has been composed by Sandeep Shirodkar which is again average. The cinematography of the movie has been handled by Ravi Yadav who has done a fine job. He has ably captured some of the beautiful plush locales of London with finesse through the lens of his camera. The movie has been edited by Bunty Nagi who has kept the run-time to 159 minutes which is awfully long. There are lot of scenes which have been stretched and definitely needed to be chopped down. Sajid Khan has really disappointed & fared below average both as a writer as well as director with Humshakals. Lacking genuine-ity and filled with stupidity, my problem isn’t with the slapstick humor but with in-consistency of this movie. The film was absolutely flat in its first half and though post interval Sajid manages to emerge out of the self created chaos for a bit but the tapestry of litter is so elaborate, that Khan doesn’t quite navigate an easy way out.

CONCLUSION                                                                    ::              Humshakals is definitely the worst out of all the movies that Sajid Khan has made so far. Only go n watch If you have nothing else to kill time, also you can relax & enjoy some sleep during the first half of the movie as its only in the second half that movie entertains in bits & parts.

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Salman Khan's upcoming movie 'KICK' official trailer

Watch out the KICK promo........................ Looks to be another, sure-shot record shattering blockbuster.

Friday, 13 June 2014

F*ugly : Movie Review

Once upon a time, Bollywood was all about mushy lovers and their musical romances, but today those tales of ever-lasting love and dancing around trees have been sidelined for bromances. After Farhan Akhtar hit box-office fame with his boy gang in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, every filmmaker, including his own sister Zoya, is hopelessly piggybacking on friends and their road trips to make a quick buck. And, hoping to cash in on it is director Kabir Sadanand. He blatantly seems to be inspired from and lifts scenes from  ‘Rang De Basanti’ & 'Shaitaan' and spins his own tale, only he ends up with something which is very average and not that hard-hitting. Following a money-spinning trend isn’t baulked at in an industry that has relied only on passionate love affairs, coloured with peppy dance numbers, for so many years. But, if you had to imitate, you would at least need the talent to back it up. With a body of work that displays absurd titles like ‘Pop Corn Khao Mast Ho Jao’ , and a few acting escapades that appear tacky, it’s clear why Kabir leaves his inglorious foursome without much to do.But looking at the positive aspects,  F*UGLY is not the standard Bollywoodish fare that looks at life through rose-tinted glasses, unlike films of its ilk, which tend to get dark, gory and predictable after a point. F*ugly ably touches on many social issues — from women’s security to the steadily growing trend of drug, alcohol and sexual use/abuse in the higher echelons of society, to corruption in the judicial and political system.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                             ::        The story of the movie written by Rahul Handa & screenplay penned down by Sanjay Kumar seem to have been majorly inspired & influenced by earlier youth centric movies like 'Dil Chahta Hai', Rang De Basanti & Shaitan. There’s a minister’s son in ‘RDB’, and there’s one in ‘F*ugly’. ‘RDB’ boys sacrifice their lives in their fight against political intolerance, while only one from ‘F*ugly’ does the deed. “If I can’t achieve it, then you follow,” he says. Surely they've learnt their lesson from the ‘RDB’ boys and didn't want to kill the political bigwigs and turn them into martyrs.Among other things, 'F*ugly' also talks about women's safety and how "eve-teasing has become a national obsession". Coming to the story, the film begins with a young man — Dev (Mohit Marwah) — driving up to India Gate in New Delhi on a normal weekday morning and setting himself ablaze in the presence of hundreds. The self immolation, he describes to enquiring media at one of the city’s hospitals, was “for redemption”. Taking on Cheeni (Anshuman Jha), a lecherous rave party organiser, at a dance party under the headlights of gaily coloured cross-country trucks was easy for Dev, Devi (Kiara Advani), Aditya (Arfi Lamba) and Gaurav (Olympic boxing champion Vijender Singh), Dev explains. Real trouble starts when they get on the wrong side of Inspector R.S. Chautala (Jimmy Shergill). When Nanu, a small shop owner, fondles Devi’s butt, she justifiably slaps him. But he maligns her instead in front of his customers, claiming she made the pass. Of course, her casual, low-slung harem parents and tied-up, mid-riff baring shirt didn’t help Devi. A frustrated Devi vents in front of her friends who decide to avenge her honour. But an unrepentant Nanu threatens the group, which leads them to “take him on a drive” in the boot of their car. And they cross paths with Chautala. The inebriated Chautala, slighted at Gaurav’s boast regarding his minister father, decides to “teach them a lesson”, even though he is Gaurav’s family’s henchman. Killing Nanu, he frames and blackmails them for the murder.It’s from here that things turn from ugly to Fugly. To pay off Chautala, Dev, Devi, Aditya and Gaurav decide to host a rave party with one of Cheeni’s minions. But he double crosses them and Chautala comes to their rescue. Seeing all the money, the greedy policeman forces them into the lucrative business. Troubled by their conscience, the four friends try all means to get out of his trap, but to no avail. They get drawn deeper into the business until Chautala frames them. Dev finds a solution: people don’t want to hear the truth unless it’s coming from a dying man. Hence, the self immolation. F*ugly's determination to be off-the-wall makes it fall flat. The film gets overburdened trying to capture every Delhi cliche, from Parliament to Paharganj, and show how deep the city's ugliness has seeped. 

STARCAST                                                                                  ::               The film has been cast well too, though Vijender Singh may need a few more lessons to hone his acting skills — hey, he’s a boxer not actor, let’s cut him some slack. Each of them — Marwah, Singh, Advani — are well-suited for their characters of carefree, young souls. Mohit Marwah makes a confident debut, interpreting his character with insight and conviction. He has this amazing intensity which gels well with his character. Vijender Singh has screen presence and surprises you with an effective portrayal. Arfi Lamba underplays his part well and maintains the grip over his performance all through. At first, Kiara Advani gives the impression of just adding to the glam quotient, but the pretty newcomer catches you completely unaware as she handles her part with rare understanding. She has the combination of looks and talent, both. Seasoned actor Jimmy Shergil is impressive and outshines the rest of the cast. The manic charisma that Jimmy Sheirgill brings to his character leaves you bewildered. His fury and wickedness makes you detest him, which clearly indicates how brilliantly he has portrayed his character. Shergill is indisputably one of the film's biggest strengths.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                              ::        The soundtrack of the movie which has been composed by three composers namely Yo Yo Honey Singh, Prashant Vadhyar & Raftaar is quite average with just couple of songs having some repeat value. Good music is an essential part for movies of this genre as was the case with its contemporaries which is sadly missing from this flick. But, the background music given by Abhishek Mathur & Alok Punjani is commendable and in tandem with on-screen proceedings. The film's key weapon, besides drama, is its cinematography for which Milind Jog deserves an applause.  Milind Jog's cinematography is top notch, with the DoP capturing some wonderful frames on his lens.The movie has been edited by Shounok Ghosh who has a done a fine job & restricted the length of the movie to 134 minutes. As far as direction is concerned, Kabir Sadanand takes time to warm up, but once he does, there's no stopping him. He maintains his grip on the dramatic portions for most parts, expertly building up tension and handling a couple of episodes adroitly. Kabir invests in drama and the emotional bond amongst friends to make the proceedings captivating, but at the same time, makes the road back from hell compelling and lifelike. This is definitely his best work so far.

CONCLUSION                                                                               ::   If positive intent were enough to help a youth-centric movie pass muster, then F*UGLY could, at a stretch, be regarded as passably decent two-and-a-quarter hours of entertainment. 

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Filmistaan : Movie Review

FILMISTAAN is one of those rare Hindi films that juxtaposes drama, humor and emotions seamlessly. FIMISTAAN is probably every filmy insaan’s wet dream translated on screen. This film uses humor and subtlety to convey the dynamics of India and Pakistan without switching on the mandatory preachy mode.  "Filmistaan" would have been an outrageously funny film were it not for the profoundly moving underbelly that it secretes with such fluency and spontaneity. The film could have become a gallery of cliches about Indo-Pak harmony. A sort of Veer-Zara turned into Veeru & Zara-uddin who become friends in Pakistani soil while guns boom all around them.While Ghandhiji has been long hailed as the father of the nation, it is CineMaa that is the undisputed mother of not only India but also its neighbouring Pakistan.The much revered CineMaa blesses her devotees with business on both sides of the border, serving as a common thread between the protagonists -- Sunny (Sharib Hashmi) and Aftab (Inaamulhaq) -- in Nitin Kakkar's Filmistaan. Probably I am someone who eats, sleeps, dreams and talks cinema and hence Kakkar’s vocabulary made perfect sense to me. Employing crisp humour, often using famous dialogues from Hindi films, the film stresses on the shared culture (including the sanskaars given by Cine Maa) to remind us how easy it is to get along with our neighbours when we look at them as human beings.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                   ::               The story as well as the screenplay has been penned down by Ntin Kakkar who has done a fabulous job. The story is novel yet not an unthinkable or out of the world product. Nitin Kakkar deserves a salute for seamlessly binding heavy topics of infiltration, cross border terrorism, the ideals of right wing Islamists and yet the prevailing love for Bollywood. Anything dealing with the hostility of India and Pakistan gets sucked in by gloom but Kakkar manages to maintain his film consistently light hearted. This too like Queen isn’t much about the script, as it is about the moments. There is a lightness of being in the narrative which is well nuanced and still the film emerges as thrilling.  And if I understand the psyche of India well, Kakkar has managed to tell a story that will have many keen takers simply because the story is beautiful sans the sermonizing.The story of the movie is about a Bollywood buff and wannabe-actor Sunny [Sharib Hashmi] who goes with an American film crew to the remote areas of Rajasthan to work on a documentary film. One night, late after shoot, a terrorist group kidnaps him and takes him to Pakistan. When the leader of the terrorist group meets Sunny, he realizes that the inept terrorists have mistakenly kidnapped an Indian and taken him prisoner, instead of an American crew-member. With little choice, the terrorists decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. Sunny finds himself hostage in enemy land, amidst guns and terrorists. The house Sunny is confined to belongs to Aftaab [Inaamulhaq], a Pakistani, who pirates Hindi films but, like Sunny, loves Indian films and the two of them bond over the pirated Bollywood films that play in the village. Soon, they become close friends and Aftaab promises to help Sunny escape and cross the border from Pakistan back into Rajasthan, India. Filmistaan stands on the foundation of a solid plot and is beautifully built up with well developed characters. The story is refreshingly simple and yet manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

STARCAST                                                          ::                Another aspect that works wonders in favor of this movie is its casting. Sharib Hashmi dons the endearing role with a dazzling brilliance. The guy enacts every filmy keedas, keedapanti with sheer earnestness. In the scene, where he humors the children of village by showing the varied style of Bollywood actors shooting a gun to the next scene where he lies hurt and helpless are two diametrically opposite scenes place one after the other. It is hard to miss that the man redefines versatility and does so without airs. Bollywood has found a fresh and gusty actor finally! If Hashmi is brilliant, Innamulhaq matches up his caliber with a noteworthy flair. He is fantastic and the camaraderie with Hashmi is extraordinary. If Hashmi’s work is the pivot, Innam is just the icing on the cake. Kumud Mishra is translucent in his role which is written with virtuoso. Kumud Mishra revels in his solidly-written role and delivers a pitch-perfect, dynamic performance as the terrorist. Gopal Datt is another actor to watch out for. He's absolutely believable as Kumud's subordinate. Waseem Khan, portraying the part of Inaamulhaq's father, gets his part spot-on. Habib Azmi is first-rate as the haqim sahab. Sanjay Mehta, the leader of the extremist group, is appropriate. Tushar Jha, as Aftaab's younger brother, is okay. Manoj Bakshi, as the Indian cop, is efficient and has played his character with aplomb.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                      ::              The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Arijit Datta who uses soothing melodies to play alongside the warm story.  The use of mild music builds the gentle ambiance in a film that smartly gives a somber tone a miss.  Dialogues, penned by Sharib Hashmi, are well-worded and most appropriate. A special mention for Subhransu Das who has done a fine job at cinematography and has captured the locations beautifully. The film is shot in authentic locations by cinematographer Subhransu Das who brings to the table an enticing aaura of believability. The movie has been edited by Sachindra Vats who has done a fine job. Sachindra Vats edits the scenes down to the minimum when required. But generally he lets the charactes develop naturally even if the process takes some time. As a director, Nitin Kakkar has given audience a crackling movie to the core that doesn’t give you one dull moment in its lambent tapestry. This quirky charmer from first-time director Nitin is fresh in vision and enchanting in execution as it is Nitin’s ingenious thinking that makes the film winsome. He has made a a riveting film that will delight you with its innocence. 

CONCLUSION                                                       ::            I have never ever given stars to any movie but this movie made at a shoestring budget by fringe talent, is a sheer delight to watch & the movie owes five out of five stars. It is a must watch movie for every Bollywood fan & I am quite sure you'll not be disappointed after watching this as this is one of the best movie I have seen in recent times. 

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Friday, 6 June 2014


HOLIDAY - A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY, an action packed entertainer has released at the right time i.e. Summer holidays & succeeds upto a certain extent in providing you the right dose of filmy entertainment. Murgadoss' film (remake of the Tamil 'Thupakki') offers an intelligent plot, with blows, blasts and raw bone-cracking action (Greg Powell- of 'Skyfall' fame). It triggers a fear that anyone from your paanwala to pizza-delivery boy could be a 'closet' terrorist (Beware!). This one applauds the jawans who live in the jaws of death, and is a 'wake up' call for all the 'sleepers' that abound. Bravo! HOLIDAY  is not a typical Akshay Kumar film that tilts heavily towards humor or has an uninterrupted flow of gags. This one tackles a serious issue -- terrorism -- and how a lone soldier sets out to annihilate the sleeper cells that are out to create mayhem in Mumbai. Sure, a number of films focusing on terrorism have made it to the big screen, especially post 9/11, but Murugadoss marries the serious issue and good old romance [Akshay-Sonakshi] most effortlessly. Of course, much like the original source, HOLIDAY, veers towards the clash between a soldier and the terror forces, but the storyteller, who's eyeing the pan-India audience, makes sure he gives the masala movie lovers something more than that. Don’t miss Holiday for the sheer fun of watching a film that wins solely for its delicious brutish action. The narrative isn’t exactly a work of genius with the logical apertures frequently getting the better ​of you. But Murugadoss doesn’t let go off the breakneck speed that Holiday benefits from.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                          ::               The script as well as screenplay for the movie has been penned down by A.Murugadoss himself who has done a good job. In a majority of entertainers, the screenplay takes a backseat, while the star power takes precedence. HOLIDAY - A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY comes across as an exception because the smartly-packaged fare never loses focus from its core issue [the fight between an army man and terrorists], with the post-interval portions diversifying into race-against-time thriller mode. An army soldier Virat Bakshi is back home on a Holiday. While for most Holiday would be synonymous to taking respite from work, the script writers go all the way in establishing that army people don’t have the luxury of respite that civilians thrive on. Akshay Kumar’s elaborate speeches on the greatness of the Indian army borders on tedious and are perhaps amongst the film’s most slack moments. And yet, there is probably no reason to slam a otherwise ‘a could have been rubbish’ film Murugadoss made for you. Though the afterthought gives perspective and makes you realize the utter dumbness of the film, while watching it the filmmaker establishes the ongoings with such sincerity that you don’t quite get to sit back and seep the rantings of your logical brain. It is that much fun! As far as the story is concerned. Holiday begins with Captain Virat Bakshy (Akshay Kumar) coming back to Mumbai. On his advent, his parents take him to meet Saiba (Sonakshi Sinha), as a part of an arranged marriage proposal. While initially it doesn’t work out between them, with Virat assuming Saiba to be a shy and reticent person, he eventually gets to see a brighter, enthusiastic and feistier side of her. Meanwhile, Virat entangles himself in a case that involves a bomb blast. As the story advances, Virat tracks down the sleeper cells that have been plotting a bigger attack on Mumbai. Holiday traces the story of how Virat destroys the active sleeper cells and pushes them on to the comatose mode for a good while.

STARCAST                                                  ::                        Murugadoss abstains from casting over-familiar faces for pivotal characters, choosing actors who aren't known for featuring in Akshay starrers [except Sonakshi]. In Holiday, the scene-stealer is, without doubt, Akshay Kumar, who reinvents himself with this one. It's a power-packed portrayal, which the actor illustrates with complete understanding, without going overboard. It's a delight to see Akshay synced in a character this well, as if it was written for him. In the last scene where he kills the head of the sleeper cells, qualifies as adrenalin rush shot for any Akshay fan. Thumbs up to the cool man! This is Akshay's show unquestionably! Sonakshi Sinha is effervescent and contributes in making the proceedings lively whenever she appears on-screen although sadly its quite less. But, she has still made her presence felt, even though her role is quite short. Sumeet Raghavan,  who is best known for his role Sahil Sarabhai in the popular show Sarabhai VS Sarabhai is wonderful, absolutely in sync with his character of Akshay's best friend.  The lead terrorist in the film, Freddy Daruwala does his job well emitting the right emotion of spine chilling. The guy surely has promise and with a more prominent role, he can deliver better. Govinda, who has played a cameo in this movie manages to raise a few guffaws with his own inimitable style of acting. Zakir Hussain too effectively portrays his character.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                     ::              The soundtrack of this film has been composed by Pritam Chakraborty who has done an average job while composing this album. We have seen much better tracks belted out by Pritam Da in the recent past so the expectations from him especially in a Akshay film were definitely more than what he has delivered. The cinematographer of the movie is N. Nataraja Subramanian's whose camera gives the film good enough scale. Another duo, who deserve a special mention are Greg Powell & Anal Arasu, the action directors of this movie. The movie has been edited by Amitabh Shukla  who has kept the runtime to 172 minutes which is a kind of a hiccup especially with respect to some scenes that could have been avoided. But this is where director A.Murgadoss should be given the credit for making the film so absorbing in both its witty and silly moments that you don’t quite feel the pangs of its length. Murgadoss, definitely is a great task master who has proved that he knows his craft well by making a slick action-thriller that keeps you engrossed, enthralled and captivated all through.

CONCLUSION                                                               ::        Holiday is mostly a delectable film. With Akshay’s superfluous action sequences beguiling you to watch a film which isn’t even close to as brainy as it seems, I will still recommend you to watch it for the lump sum enjoyment it delivers via its slick action, thrill elements & some witty moments. 

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