Sunday, 30 November 2014

A pity that Zed Plus, a Brilliant Political satire is succumbing in front of useless formulaic films due to lack of star power.


I was surprised, shocked and agonized when I entered Cinema Hall to watch Zed Plus as there were bare minimum audience present in the theater to watch this movie. I feel Zed Plus is one of the finest, hard hitting, Political Satire to have hit Indian Screens in recent times which constantly makes you smile all through its run time. And mind you, unlike other movies the humor doesn't flow through poker faced characters or forced gags but flows through the situations which have been intelligently constructed in the screenplay. 
                                                            As per the trade reports, the movie has managed to collect a meager amount of Rs.10 Lacs on its opening day which is peanuts when compared to other commercial potboilers which collect crores on opening day only due to the presence of Big Stars in them. It's a pity that majority of audience are still flocking movie halls to watch movies which feature so called Big Stars ( Irrespective of whether they are good actors or not ).On the contrary, they reject some very well made movies only for the reason that they have lesser known actors ( Irrespective of the fact that they have given Stellar performances ). There are lot of sensible & meaningful movies who have met the same fate in the recent times.....Aankhan Dekhi, Rang Rasiya to name a few. It is a sad aspect especially for movie connoisseurs cause if distinctive, newfangled movies like these continue to garner poor collections, most of the producers would shirk away from making such refreshing movies and keep on churning out the same old typical Bollywood formulaic movies garnished with usual masala. 
                                       Movies like Zed Plus & its ilk, need support of Movie buffs who have a penchant for good cinema by going and watching them in movie theaters instead of watching them on DVD.     

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Zed Plus :: Movie Review

Zed Plus is a classic, breezy, rib-tickling & meaningful Political satire that has come like a whiff of fresh air amidst the superficial potboilers that we are being subjected to watch these days and is a must watch for all real Cine-Maa lovers. Director, Chandraprakash Dwivedi has given Indian audience a masterpiece Political Satire which deals with the issues of a common man with a good dash of humor and entertainment which deals with the previously untouched intricacies and issues associated with the Z security provided by the Indian Government. The best part about the movie is that since the concept of the movie is totally fresh, it engages you into the proceedings right from the first frame but without thrusting itself upon you & entertains you to the core in the first half. No doubt, the movie dips a little in the second half & needed some editing there but still it is worth a watch for its simplicity & unique story telling. It is one of those rare movies which is able to convey the message that it wants to in a light hear-ted manner & without sounding preachy at all. 
STORY & SCREENPLAY                                            ::           The story of the movie has been penned down by RamKumar Singh where as the credit for the screenplay as well as dialogues has been shared by RamKumar & Dr. Dwivedi. They deserve a big round of applause for not only choosing this novel concept for the story but also garnishing it with exquisite dialogues n screenplay. It is basically a movie about characters, their mannerisms, their everyday banters and how the politicians can go to any extent mould each n every situation to work in their favor. The plot in itself is a very unique one and audience will enjoy every bit of it. Even the treatment by Dr. Dwivedi is commendable as it never goes on to being preachy and lets you take home your own insights. The Kashmir metaphor and the super-witty dialogues are the icing on the cake. “Sarkar Karti Hai, Janta Bharti hai”, “ Paisa Aur Power ka ye daldal chaashni hai, jismein ek baar doob jao toh log bade paer chaat-te hain” “Pichwade mein teer toh yaad aaye Peer” are few of the outstanding dialogues in the movie. The story is set in contemporary India in a small town of Rajasthan. A coalition Government, troubled by corruption and communalism, is on the verge of collapsing due to fights within the coalition partners. In this time of political crisis the Prime Minister gets a call from one of his coalition partners who offers him the “perfect solution”. The solution is that Prime Minister should visit a Dargah popularly known as Peepal Wale Peer Ki Dargah in Fatehpur – a small town of Rajasthan. Prime Minister should offer a “chaddar” and bow his head in respect of the Peer and the Government would be saved.  Having exhausted all options, the Prime Minister decides to pay a visit to Peepal Wale Peer Ki Dargah in Fatehpur. Suddenly a sleeping town wakes up to welcome the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister visits the Peepal Wale Peer Ki Dargah and “Luck by Chance” he meets a puncturewala – Aslam. The highest authority of the country meets the lowest denominator of the society. Some strange conversation follows between a Prime Minister and a puncturewala and entire nation is surprised to learn that a puncturewala has been given Zed security by the Prime Minister! What follows is a unique story of a common man with Zed security.

STARCAST                                                          ::                       Adil Hussain as the Puncturewala who becomes famous overnight has given a commendable performance. He ably emotes & changes his mannerisms whilst he goes through  the transformation of fighting elections from being a common man. Mona Singh is a revelation through this movie as the amount of confidence, she has displayed while playing this character is app laudable. Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the Prime Minister is a riot with his penchant for English and his lack for reading political situations. K.K.Raina has played the role of Prime Minister's main aide with utmost finesse. Rahul Singh who has played the role of Zed Plus security Incharge has done an outstanding job. His body language, mannerisms, dialogue delivery make him look like a real security incharge. Mukesh Tiwari as the jealous neigbour of Adil is a treat to watch. Sanjay Mishra as the terrorist living on the other side of the border is bound to bring smile to your faces. Amongst, the ensemble cast Shivani Tanksale, Ekavali Khanna have given noticeable performances.    

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                          ::                 The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Sukhwinder Singh & Nayab who have used melodious traditional tunes in the album. The best part is that there are just couple of songs in the movie which come at the apt time without disturbing the narrative of the movie. The cinematographer of the movie is H M Ramachandra who has done a descent job behind the lens given the canvas provided to him. The movie has been edited By Aseem Sinha who has kept the runtime of the movie to 140 minutes. Although, his editing is taut & crisp but there are some scenes he could have done way with. As a co-writer & director, Dr. ChandraPrakash Dwivedi has done a commendable job as it is not an easy job to make a political Satire which sends across a message as well as make you laugh all through. He has proved his versatility as a director by making a movie which is totally in contrast to the last movie that he helm ed i.e. Pinjar. He has not only provided a novel cinematic experience to Indian Audience but also ably extracted the best from his cast n crew. 
CONCLUSION                                                        ::                        If you have a penchant for good cinema and brilliantly made Political Satires, don't even dare to miss this one. This one is bound to bring smiles to your faces.  

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Happy Ending :: Movie Review

HAPPY ENDING is yet another attempt by director duo Raj Nidimoru & Krishna D.K. to offer Indian cine audience glistening, newfangled & avant-garde cinematic experience by making a Kickass Romedy (As per Govinda in the movie) but it fails to strike the right chords.  If we look at their past directorial ventures, they have made contempo & modish flicks, be it their first movie 99 or Shor in the city and Go Goa Gone with the underlying tone of the movies being either satire or spoof. Happy Ending is an extension to that and in fact, it seems that this movie in a way represents their personal contemplative on the typical rom-coms that they have always shirked away from making. But yes, one thing is sure that despite this being their biggest big budget outing so far as this movie has it all ; picturesque locales, big stars n even bigger ensemble starcast, glossy frames and great technical finesse, it lacks the soul. Happy Ending is basically a spoof on the romantic comedies that Bollywood has been churning out with the underlying thought that every genuine and real life story in this world ends in two different ways, one happy and one sad. Being the optimistic kind, we always hope and wish for a Happy Ending. And this what our Indian Cinema has been feeding us and en-cashing upon, with most of our masala Bollywood entertainers after its usual dosage of rona-dhona pretty much always have a happy ending so as to keep audience happy while he/she exists the cinema hall. In fact, in the movie, Saif himself says in the intro, " Pyaar Picturon Mein Hi Acha Lagta Hai, Extra Baatein Edit Kar Dete Hain, Sirf Comedy, Romance, Gaane Dikhate, Hero Kiss Karta Hai, Aur Phir Kya Hota Hai......Happy Ending. The biggest hurdle in the success of Happy Ending is going to be its lack of appeal towards a larger section of audience which has been the case with earlier movies of Raj & D.K. as their movies generally appeal to a certain section of Multiplex audience only and have few takers in single screens of small centres.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                            ::                   The story as well as screenplay has been penned down by the director duo themselves i.e. Raj Nidimoru & Krishna D.K.  Although, the writers attempted to inject Hollywood sensibilities  into a Bollywood format, they struggled to keep it clever and witty. There’s even a hint at 'happy ending' massage parlour adventures as the credits roll out, but that’s hardly the tone of the film. DK and Nidimoru,  pick characters and scenes off Hollywood rom-coms, and weave them into a Bollywood love story brimming with romantic songs and plush international locations. It’s almost like they’ve taken the cues from their own megalomaniac superstar Armaan-ji, who is in search of a script that’ll win him the 'masses and classes.' On many levels, ‘Happy Ending’ is a reflection of its own effort. There are glimpses of promise, no doubt, but those are far too few. As the 150-minutes of a scattered love story comes to an end, we are left with something pretentious and unworthy of applause, or tickles. The movie starts off with Kareena Kapoor's character (cameo) confessing her love by telling those three magic words to Yudi (Saif), a one-book wonder author and someone who is (self-confessedly) not allergic to 'I Love You', but the baggage attached with it'. And when Yudi doesn't reciprocate her feelings, Kareena's character shows him the middle finger (quite literally!). No sooner does she exit Yudi's life, enters Vishaka (Kalki Koechlin), a dentist by profession, and is head over heels in love with Yudi. While she leaves no stone unturned in gaining his attention, Yudi is totally unmoved by her and her feelings and emotions towards him and wants to constantly break up with her. Whenever Yudi is in trouble or feeling lonely, the only two people whom he always looks upto are his 'ex-girlfriend-now-a-mother-of-three childen' Divya (Preity Zinta), and his best friend of many years Montu (Ranveer Shorey), both of whom lend him a patient listening and help him sort out the mess of his life. Because he blows up all the money that he had made from his book, he returns back to writing but, he gets dejected when he sees that the same publishers hiring the gorgeous Aanchal Reddy (Ileana D'cruz), whose romantic novels sell like hotcakes. What peps him up is the offer to write a script for 'Armaanji' (Govinda), an actor who wants to capture multiplexes after having conquered the single screens. To get a hold of 'success formula' in writing, Yudi decides to befriend Aanchal. Taking resort to a few tricks here and there, Yudi not only manages to befriend her, but also lands up spending 'quality time' with her. Right at the start of this 'relationship', the duo agree to be together without falling in love with each other. While Aanchal is clear about this relationship, it is Yudi who goes onto realize that he has actually fallen in love with her! 

STARCAST                                                                                   ::                  Saif Ali Khan, who is already a hit in the category of rom-com’s, is now trying his hands in comedy about rom coms. The word for him is fabulous. Saif knows when and how to use his comical sense and take the scene to an altogether different level. Also, Saif’s duplicate character named Yogi is hilarious. His dialogue delivery and expressions crack you up everytime. Ileana, who has played a mere damsel in distress in her earlier films, surely proves her worth in this one. She looks glamorous and delivers a praiseworthy performance. Ranveer Shorey has done a great job, who fortunately lands some genuinely funny lines, and delivers them with aplomb. Sadly, he’s got limited screen time. Another actor who dazzled despite landing a tiny, twisted part is Kalki, who excels as the na├»ve, yet annoying 'ex' girlfriend Vishaka. But, the star of the show is undoubtedly Govinda. There’s a reason why he’s called the king of comedy. Whether it’s flipping his sunglasses at random, or shoving Hollywood DVDs at his new scriptwriter, or paying for instant six-pack abs, he’s got it down perfectly. Even his disco number is 'kickass.'

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                              ::                        The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Sachin-Jigar who have charted out a descent album. Three tracks namely G Phaad Ke, Pussycat & Meherbaan stand out. The cinematographer of the movie is Chase Bowman who has done wonderful job behind the lens as the movie is a visual treat. He has captured the locales of L.A. with aplomb. The other sloppy point about the movie is its weak editing as the movie progresses at a very dull pace consistently without having any high or low points due to which it is not able to withhold the interest of the audience. To their credit, directors Raj & D.K. have managed to keep the frames uber-cool, fresh and the best part is that the movie is devoid of all those regular cliches that we are used to watching in regular love stories. They have definitely faltered in their writing department but when it comes to execution, they have scored brownie points. Had they worked more on the characters and the pace of the movie, chances of it being appreciated by audience would have increased manifold. 

CONCLUSION                                                                         ::                 The biggest drawback of Happy Ending is that the story doesn't have any interesting twist to it and keeps going on in a neutral manner. I suggest you can skip this one. 

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Kill Dil & Gunday may have same premise but both offer different cinematic experience


After the release of Kill Dil, YRF has received lot of flak with respect to Kill Dil being a replica or very similar movie to their earlier offering Gunday. I, personally found lot of differences in both the movies. Yes, the storyline of both is love blossoming in backdrop of Mafia & the protagonists in both the movies get indulged in criminal activities at a tender age but the screenplay of both these movies is very much different. I, would like to point out some major differences in both the movies :: 

  • In Gunday, young Ranveer & Arjun are initially tempted into criminal activities by circumstances and nurtured by Pankaj Tripathi but later on they set up their own crime empire on their own and work independently where as in Kill Dil, Ranveer & Ali are not only nurtured by Govinda but also they become his henchmen and sharp shooters working under him n on his orders.  
  • In Gunday, Priyanka is planted by cops to woo Arjun & Ranveer for their vested interests with Priyanka having no love interest in any one out of them initially where as in Kill Dil, Ranveer has a chance encounter with Parineeti in a night club and falls in love with her.
  • In Gunday, both Arjun & Ranveer fall in for the same girl and ultimately a rift is created between them with both becoming enemies at least for some time where as in Kill Dil, its only Ranveer who falls for Parineeti and Ali Zafar stands by them even during tough times. 
  • In Gunday, it is Priyanka who hides her real identity from the protagonists cause she has come with an hidden agenda to capture them where as in Kill Dil, Ranveer Singh does the same because he has fallen in love with her & does not want to loose her, hence he tries to reform himself. 
  • Gunday, basically is more about conflict between Cops ( Irrfan Khan, Priyanka ) & Gangsters ( Ranveer, Arjun ) where as Kill Dil is more about conflict between good & evil existing in an individual ( Ranveer Singh ).

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Friday, 14 November 2014

KILL/DIL Movie Review

KILL DIL is a stylish, suave flick which has got ample of LOL & ROFL moments in the screenplay with bullets flying in-between but its hurried n absurd ending spoils half the fun. Shaad Ali whose last directorial feature namely Jhoom Barabar Jhoom was a big time disaster has come up with a movie with Mafia world in the background albeit in a stylish way. If you are one of those who after watching promos formed an opinion that this movie along with its title KILL DIL has been inspired from Quentin Tarantino style of cinema than here's a reality check for you ; it is not. Although, the backdrop of the story is definitely mafia but the movie focuses more on romance, bromance and relationships. Kill Dil has its characters driven by fashion class. They love jackets and goggles even when they are gunning down the targets given or being punched by their foes. The makers have the cinematic liberty and we allow them to take its full advantage. But Shaad Ali despite taking much liberty for Kill Dil doesn’t kill the sole purpose of the entire movie. The drama has the tendency to keep you hooked to your seats without any forced scene to spoil the mood. Kill Dil features Ranveer Singh (Dev) and Ali Zafar (Tutu) as best friends who work as contract killers for their God-father Govinda (Bhaiyaji). While, beautiful Parineeti Chopra (Disha) plays the role of a sweet and free-spirited girl who soon becomes Ranveer Singh's dream girl and both fall in love with each other which provides the twist in the tale. The first half of the movie is real fun with both guns & laughter entertaining to the core but the narrative starts loosing its grip in the second half. The camaraderie between Ali Zafar & Ranveer Singh is too good and has to be seen to believed and so are the romantic scenes between Ranveer & Parineeti. In fact, it are these moments dished out by Shaad Ali that make the movie watchable. Had the ending been not that botched up & couple of songs less, the movie would have definitely done better.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                    ::           The screenplay of the movie has been penned down by the trio of Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain & Nikhil Mehrotra. Now, don’t be fooled by its deja-vu premise. Kill Dil has innovation with its altered screenplay and execution. Yes, the logics take a back seat here but not to an extent that spoils the flow. The director mostly uses the dialogues and his character, the blend of which helps in making this movie entertaining.  Little predictable but who cares when you are supplied with ample moving scenes. Take the camaraderie of the two friends- Dev and Tutu or their equation with ‘Bhaiyaji’, the moments never fall short of amusement. The movie begins with Dev ( Ranveer Singh ) & Tutu ( Ali Zafar ) narrating as well as recording the tale of their life in a camcorder. As children, both of them are found abandoned on streets by Bhaiyaji ( Govinda ) who nurtures and brings them up. Right, from childhood both of them indulge in notorious activities and instead of going to school bury their books underneath the sand. Gradually, both of them grow up to be henchmen of Bhaiyaji and become his sharp shooters. Though, Ranveer Singh and Ali Zafar both happen to be ruthless killers, Ranveer is seen as a rather innocent and childish guy while, Ali is a more practical man, both follow Govinda's orders with closed eyes. While, life was going as usual for both Ranveer and Ali, the former comes in contact with Parineeti Chopra and cupid strikes the duo. Ranveer and Parineeti madly fall in love with each other and Ranveer decides to quit all bad works to have a happy future with his lady love. Dev decides to leave the crime world and this time goes and buries his gun underneath the sand, the same way he buried his books in childhood. Now, he starts hunting for a job and also procures a M.B.A degree with the help of Tutu & his gun. Finally, he gets a job in an insurance company courtesy our age old Babuji Alok Nath  who sits in an office where garlanded picture of Nirupa Roy is hung on the back wall.( LOL moment ). However, fate strikes back and Ranveer's past did not allow him to have a better present. Thus, starts a clash between call of love and call of loyalty, on which the movie Kill Dil is based upon. To know whether Ranveer finally is able to come out of the dirty world and live a life happily ever after, you have to watch the film.

STARCAST                                                               ::                             Full marks to the Shanoo Sharma who is the casting director of this movie for choosing the apt starcast as per their characterizations. When i first heard that the chocolaty singer cum actor Ali Zafar was playing the role of a gangster, i was bit skeptical whether he would fit the bill. But, Ali Zafar has done complete justice to the role assigned to him. He looks every inch the character assigned to him and has proven his versatility as an actor by playing this role. Ranveer Singh is not only growing in popularity but also elevating his stature as an actor with release of every movie he acts in. After portraying intense characters in Lootera & Ram Leela, Ranveer Singh is back in action. He looks dashing, charming and adorable in the stylized avatar and his expressions change dramatically when he is on a killing spree. Ranveer has once again proved why he is rated so high in the industry and is definitely a superstar in the making. No other actress would have suited the character of Disha, the way Parineeti has. She has not only looked gorgeous but also portrayed her character in a very natural manner. But, standing tall amongst all these actors is Govinda as Bhaiyaji who has nailed the negative character assigned to him. The way he dances, laughs and delivers his dialogues is a treat to watch. He is simply brilliant as the menacing Godfather.       

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                   ::                                 The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by the talented trio of Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy who have charted out a brilliant album. The title track "Kill Dil " is hummable and stays with you for long time even after the movie is over.   "Sweeta " & " Bol Beliya " are also real good tracks. The lyrics of the songs have been penned down by Gulzar and are apt enough as per the situations of the songs in the movie. The cinematographer of the movie is Avik Mukhopadhyay who has done a wonderful job behind the lens as his cinematography is plush and passionate  and yet the film's visuals never topples over into the kingdom of the garish. To his credit, he has used myriad range of colors in the frames according to the requirement of the scene which really act as optical enhancement. The movie has been edited by Ritesh Soni who has kept the runtime of the movie to 127 minutes. The editing of the movie is taut n crisp albeit a couple of songs could have been done away with. Director Shaad Ali manages to woo you over and get you hooked into the movie as the movie begins but as the movie paces ahead, his hold begins to falter. He has ably extracted the best from his cast n crew and to add to Ali's credit, he doesn’t overdramatise situations by making it unnecessarily melodramatic. The confrontations, conflicts and its resolutions are swift. If director Ali had done away with the songs & hadn't given the movie an abrupt ending, he would have done his film a huge favour.

CONCLUSION                                                       ::                         Kill Dil isn't a completely write off movie as it begins with a stylized tone, has some endearing performances, good music but gradually the movie looses its steam because of bad writing, couple of extra songs & had the ending been not that hurried & warped, it would have been a good watch. 

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