Friday, 26 December 2014

UGLY :: Movie Review


Ugly is one of the darkest, hard-hitting, gritty thrillers to have hit Indian Screens in the recent times which manages to keep you glued to your seats till the end credits roll out. Neither Mumbai's streets nor her morally bankrupt citizens are a pretty sight in "Ugly", the latest crime thriller helmed and written by Anurag Kashyap. Coldly scrutinizing the shadowy motives at play during the investigation of a young girl's kidnapping, the grittily stylized film boasts a scattershot narrative that frustrates as much as it illuminates. As a director, Anurag Kashyap has made movies which have always carved a niche of their own in terms of cinematic experience. The best part about his movies is that they are devoid of the regular formulaic elements which are integral part of most Bollywood movies that are churned out these days and Ugly is a step ahead in that direction. Ugly is devoid of any songs, loud jarring background music or any of the regular cliches that most Bollywood thriller movies thrive on but still it manages to engage the audience into the on-screen proceedings due to its realistic treatment. If we take a look at earlier movies of Kashyap be it Black Friday, Gangs Of Wasseypur, they were packed with political and social innuendos. Ugly is quite contrary to that as its main focus is on dark side of human emotions and human follies. It ably reflects how the relationships have gone for a toss in today's modern world. Each n every character in this movie has a dark side with negativity attached to them which has been crafted masterfully. Every character in the film looks to be hiding something, everybody’s lying to somebody around them, and as things heat up and masks are worn and discarded, Kashyap makes all his characters supplicate in front of the deity of Opportunism. People are selfish, greedy and violent. In real life redemption is as rare as innocence. Our past and our baggage govern how we behave and react in the present. That is the Ugly truth. And that is why Anurag Kashyap's latest film deserves its name to the hilt. This crime thriller is the ugliest form of reality you'll ever watch. It will shake you up, churn your emotions in a grinder and spew it out for nothing. 

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                  ::                  The movie has been written by Anurag Kashyap who has done a fantastic job out of it. The underlying sense of peril and the unrelenting tension grips you through a sweat breaking two hours. And when the climax of Ugly arrives you’re dealt a killer blow. It’s so dark and inconvenient that it’ll wrench your gut. And yet, it’s so simple that you’ll hate yourself for not guessing. More so, you’ll hate the characters for being so ignorant and misguided. Ugly is a film that draws the deepest and darkest behavior of men. This is how you write a great film. Every frame has a dark undertone and Ugly does not conclude until every possible avenue of audience empathy is explored. With a run time of two hours and eight minutes, 'Ugly' will end up leaving you gasping for more. An unending police interrogation with Rahul that turns into a argument about smart phone features and a police officer singing a few lines of a song to understand its relevance to the case provides the necessary comic relief to the otherwise grim storyline. Dismay permeates the film from the very first frame, in which Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure), wife to powerful police chief Shoumik (Ronit Roy), contemplates various methods of suicide before she’s interrupted by her 10-year-old daughter, Kali (Anshika Shrivastava). It’s Kali’s scheduled day out with her father, Rahul (Rahul Bhatt), whose pipe dreams of becoming a movie star caused Shalini much grief during their brief, troubled marriage. Still vain and negliigent as ever, Rahul leaves Kali in his car to go to an audition. By the time he’s caught up with his casting agent and sidekick, Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh), his daughter has disappeared. Rahul and Chaitanya’s search for police assistance soon devolves from Bollywood-referencing farce to noir nightmare, when the case is turned over to Shoumik. His henchmen take turns interrogating and torturing Chaitanya and Rahul, intending to pin the blame on them; though this is only the first of many scenes of sickening brutality, it’s the film’s most shocking, revealing how much the police will abuse their authority to serve their personal ends. The “suspects” prove more slippery than expected, however, and they’re temporarily let off the hook. As Rahul takes a different tack to save Kali, possibly less out of concern for her than out of a desire to defy Shoumik, their clashes reawaken old grudges that date back to their college days. Meanwhile, Shalini has an axe to grind with both her ex and her current husband, though it comes to pass that she’s no docile, chaste wife herself. Kashyap’s tone of sneering cynicism drains the potentially kitchen-sink material of any sentimentality or uplift, placing the characters in sordid scenarios that reveal their unsavory sides; the mind games between Rahul and Shoumik in particular lend the procedural its most gripping drama. However, as the web of deceit spreads out to include Shalini’s spendthrift brother, Siddhant (Siddhant Kapoor), and her unhappily married friend Rahki (Surveen Chawla), the plot becomes too busy and intricate for its own good.
STARCAST                                                                     ::   As a casting director, Mukesh Chhabra has once again proved his mettle by choosing the appropriate starcast for this movie. Sans any big stars, lesser known actors have ably carried the weight of this movie on their shoulders by giving earnest performances. There could not have been a better choice than selecting Rahul Bhatt to play the role of an struggling actor as his character has an uncanny resemblance to his real life. And that is one reason why Rahul Bhatt has played his character to utmost perfection and given a very realistic performance. Vineet Kumar Singh as Rahul's best friend, casting director and producer has given one helluva performance. His character had various shades of grey n black to perform which Vineet has nailed to perfection. His performance in this movie is nothing short of sheer brilliance. Tejaswini Kolhapure plays Shalini with shrill theatricality, which sometimes enlivens the film’s downbeat progress; she generates real pathos in scenes in which she’s treated like a virtual hostage, as if echoing Kali’s captivity. Ronit Roy is particularly masterful as vengeful, despotic police chief who seems right at home in a corrupt bureaucratic system. Another performance worth mentioning has been given by Girish Kulkarni who has portrayed the character of Inspector Jadhav. The scene where he interrogates Rahul & Vineet when they come to lodge missing report of Kali is a treat to watch. His dead pan & straight  expressions in that scene are sheer brilliance. Surveen Chawla as Rakhi gets less screen time but stands out in her performance and same can be said about Siddhant Kapoor. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                   ::                                 The background score of the movie has been composed by Brian Mcomber which is neither loud nor jarring. His background score is apt enough to further elevate the cinematic experience and provides a further impetus to the visuals that we watch on-screen. The cinematography of the movie has been handled by Nikos Andritsakis who has done an excellent job. Visually, the film is no treat as it's set mostly on the mean streets of Mumbai's poorest areas, though the chase scenes and in-your-face violence has been effectively captured. The movie has been edited by Aarti Bajaj who has kept the run-time to 128 minutes. Kudos to Aarti, for not only her crisp and taut editing but also for managing the show where there are ample of strong characters jostling with each other for screen space. As a director, Anurag Kashyap has excelled once again by providing you edge of the seat entertainment via this dark thriller. Kashyap's film is anti establishment and it highlights the faulty setup that exists in the country. But the deftness with which Kashyap weaves these issues into the plot makes Ugly relatable.The scenes are filled with uncompromising vitality while he tries to weave in systematic problem in the film. Surveillance-obsessed procedural detail, emotional meltdowns, and swindling schemes are pieced together without cutting down the pace of this thriller. 

CONCLUSION                                                               ::                  This is a must watch for those who have a penchant for dark, cynical thrillers but mind you it is not cut out for weak hearted and children below eighteen. 

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Friday, 19 December 2014

PK :: Movie Review


PK is a delightful, meaningful, out of the box Satire on Self styled Godmen  which not only entertains you to the core but also awakens your logical senses regarding some prevalent social issues making it a must watch for cine-lovers. Director, RajKumar Hirani made us wait for five years before his PK hit theaters but it is worth the wait as he has crafted a masterpiece which is in a league of its own. It is a lavishly mounted, big budget production by Vidhu Vinod Chopra & RajKumar Hirani Films and Hirani has ensured that every single penny has been well spent whilst filming the movie as the movie is flawless with respect to all departments of film making apart from its soundtrack which is just about average. There are myriad number of emotions on display in  PK as it makes you laugh, weep, smile, think and even self introspect. Though, the theme of the movie has an uncanny resemblance to Akshay Kumar starrer Oh My God as the story of this movie also revolves around existence of God but the screenplay of the movie makes it an entirely different cinematic experience than the previous movie. The film in an entertaining way revolves around the question as to Who or What is God ? The movie makes us sit and think about what actually religion means and how some selfish people for their own vested interests have been playing games dividing people on the basis of religion. It also hits out at self styled Godmen who have been fooling people on the name of God and religion to make monetary gains. How, they have created 'Darr' of Bhagwaan in the minds of people and are capitalizing on it. Although, Hirani has made a movie on a sensitive subject but he has wonderfully layered the plot, never crossing the line so as to hurt the sentiments of deeply religious people in the world. He has cleverly concocted the tale from the eyes of an alien who lands on this earth and how he deals with humans around him. This is one movie which is not only a fulttoo Paisa wasool fare but also makes you put your thinking caps on. Hats off to Hirani as he has crafted this sensitive subject in a playful way without sounding preachy at all. Although, PK is not a out an out comedy, but still it leaves no stone unturned in entertaining you.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                              ::   The story as well as screenplay of the movie has been co-penned by RajKumar Hirani & Abhijat Joshi and what a fantastic tale they have concocted. Not only is the storyline of the movie interesting but it also has several layers attached to it which keep on unfolding as the storyline progresses. As I have mentioned earlier that the movie has uncanny resemblance to Oh My God as both the movies have dealt with the subject about existence of God and self styled Godmen but the writers here have played a safe masterstroke by letting the drama unfold through the eyes of an alien. Where as in OMG, Almighty himself turns up on earth, here it is left to an alien to question the credibility of Godmen and how they are fleecing people. The movie raises several questions and interesting facts which have been presented in a humorous way like, Is it in our hands to be born into a particular religion or country ? PK asks the same question to a Godman and asks him to prove it by showing a birthmark that God puts on every kid for letting him born in a particular religion. He challenges the belief of people in Godmen by asking that How can God grant wishes of people only through Godmen and not directly himself. The screenplay is a perfect blend of both mockery and sarcasm. The film starts off with PK (Aamir Khan), an alien, landing on earth, in the desert of Rajasthan, to study about human begins and life on earth. Arriving stark naked on a earth, PK has a rough start on the planet when his tracking remote, that helps him send signals back to his spaceship, gets stolen. He now has to find the remote to contact his spaceship and till then survive on earth on his own. Unaware of human mannerisms, language or life in general on earth, PK finds it difficult to adjust. However, fate brings him in touch with Bhairav Singh (Sanjay Dutt) who becomes his dear friend and helps him with life on earth. But destiny takes PK to Delhi. From here on starts a whirlwind story of a stranger in the unknown city of Delhi asking questions that despite their innocence hold a valuable and deep meaning. On the other side is Jagat Janani alias Jaggu ( Anushka Sharma ) who while studying journalism in Belgium falls in love with Sarfaraz ( Sushant Singh Rajput ) who is from Pakistan and they plan to get married. Due to certain misunderstanding, their marriage gets shelved and she flies back to Delhi and starts working in a news channel. Here she meets PK, who has his own way of seeing the world, his own signature styling sense and she finds him distributing pamphlets of Gumshuda ki talaash having picture of God on it. She immediately senses that she can find a story for her channel in him and asks him about his story. After listening to his story, she is bewildered and decides to help him. Aided on by Jagat Janani who teams up with him on this journey, PK challenges some of the oldest rituals of religion that are ruling life of people on earth. I won't like to reveal the rest so that you can go and enjoy PK on big screen.  

STARCAST                                                                          ::  Kudos to casting director Mukesh Chhabra for choosing the apt starcast of this movie as per their characters. Almost, all the characters fit in to the shoes of their characters as if they were tailor made Ooops Cobbler made for them. Aamir Khan as PK is gonna bowl you over with his antics on-screen. He is simply flawless. He is such a methodical actor that whenever you watch him portraying a character on-screen, it becomes difficult for you to distinguish him from his character as he delves deep into the skin of his character. I have read that he preferred to chew close to almost 10,000 paans whilst filming for this movie instead of coloring his lips to give his paan chewing character an authentic look. His expressions, body language, walking style & mannerisms in this movie are quite different from what we have seen him portray in his earlier movies. Anushka Sharma, has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus but she has nailed her character of Jagat Janani / Jaggu to utmost perfection. I mean, its not an easy task to stand in front of Aamir but she has stood her ground firmly. She has not only looked ravishing, pretty but has also acted well as per the needs of her character. Sushant Singh Rajput who has proved his mettle as an actor in his last couple of flicks further gets a chance to consolidate his stature as an actor by playing an extended cameo in this movie. He is also one of those natural characters who portrays his character with ease. He has looked real suave in this movie & I am sure his female fan following is gonna increase after this movie. Sanjay Dutt as Bhairon Singh is pitch perfect. His timing in this movie is impeccable and has given a delightful performance. Same goes for Boman Irani who amuses you to your wits end. I feel, Sanjay & Boman share a great chemistry with Hirani as he is always able to extract the best performances from both of them. Not to forget, Saurabh Shukla who has portrayed his character of Self styled Godman in an enthralling manner. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                   ::    The soundtrack for the movie which has been composed by Shantanu Moitra along with Atul & Ajay Gogavale is quite average. You enjoy the songs while you are watching the movie but none of them stays with you, once you exit the cinema hall. The background music has been composed by Sanjay Wanderkar along with Atul Raninga. They have done a descent job as their music provides further impetus to the on-screen visuals. The Cinematographer of the movie is C.K.Muraleedharan who has done a fantastic job behind the lens. His cinematography is plush and passionate and yet the film's visuals never topples over into the kingdom of Garish. And what visuals as he has made the antics of PK, an occasion for optical enhancement. The movie has been edited by RajKumar Hirani who has neatly packaged the whole movie in run-time of 153 minutes. His editing is crisp, taut and doesn't even give you a chance to go out for a loo break. As a director, RajKumar Hirani has hit the bulls eye once again and proved that he knows the pulse of the audience as he is able to woo you into the movie right from the first to the last frame. No wonders, why he is considered as one of the finest directors of Indian Film Industry today. He is a master storyteller who always packages some meaningful social messages along with entertainment and that too without sounding preachy in all his movies which is a rare trait to be found in todays' directors. How I wish, If RajKumar Hirani could make movies more frequently and audience could have the privilege of watching them.  

CONCLUSION                                                                                        ::             PK is a must watch not only for its entertainment quotient but also for multiple messages it conveys. And, its not a must watch for only you but for your entire family. So, rush to a theater near you as this movie deserves to be seen on Big Screen. I am giving it a generous 4 and a half stars out of five.        

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Main Aur Mr Riight :: Movie Review


Main Aur Mr. Riight is a light, entertaining, honest Rom-Com ( albeit an Avant-garde Rom-Com ) as its not only candy floss romance but it delves deep into human psyche especially when it comes to relationship complexities in today's modern world. Director, Adeeb Rais has ably conveyed that how striving for perfection some people subdue their emotions just for the sake of others. They keep on jostling with their lives with context to what is right and what is wrong, where as the answer lies in their heart. It is we who have made our lives complex for no reason. How, we have a put up a smiling mask over our faces and are always pretending in front of others especially when it comes to inner happiness. It all might be sounding quite heavy and preachy but Main Aur Mr Riight portrays all this in entertaining and breezy manner. To quote couple of examples, when female lead ( Shenaz Treasury ) of the movie gets fed of being pretentious and the mask she has put on, she picks up a bottle of wine and climbs up-to the flat of male lead ( Barun Sobti ) from outside with the help of a wooden ladder. Similarly, she takes her junior office assistant ( Manav Bhinder ) out on a dinner date. The message is plain and simple.......Stop pretending to be what you are not, for the sake of others and just follow your heart. Undoubtedly, the movie has taken inspiration from couple of Hollywood flicks but who gives a damn, when the movie is entertaining and keeps you engaged. Its not that movie is pitch perfect without any glitches in it. Too many audition scenes, bit shoddy screenplay, weak performances from some of the ensemble starcast and loose editing are the weak points of this movie. Without these shortcomings, this movie would have fared much better at the box office.    

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                                     ::                           The story of the movie has been penned down by Adeeb Rais where as the credit for the screenplay goes to Adeeb Rais and Aseem Rais. The story of the movie had big time potential but the screenplay fails to elevate it to the level where it could have hit the right chords with all sections of audience. Still, Kudos to Adeeb Rais for writing a story which is not superficially sugar coated and which doesn't revolve around only the main protagonists but also gives ample importance to their close group of friends. I like the way, he has sketched out the characters of two of Shenaz's female friends' who gradually come out of their shell and decide to live their lives for the sake of self happiness leaving their spouses for better. Reason being their hubbies ....One of them is always busy in his business talks even when they are out partying and the other is shirking away from the responsibility of raising a child. And, even when the guys realize their mistake and plead them to give them a second chance, they never relent. As far as the storyline goes, Aliya Raj ( Shenaz Treaury ) is a stylish, classy Casting director who is a perfectionist. She is still single as she is yet to find her Mr. Riight. She hangs around with a close group of friends who are all couples, leaving her the odd one out. Her friends include : A workaholic husband and his wife who yearns for his attention, a handsome hunk with a snooty girlfriend and a rich guy whose girlfriend gets pregnant. Needless to say, she becomes the butt of their conversational jokes and they even term her as being a case of mental imbalance for still being single and unmarried. Now, enters Sukhi ( Barun Sobti ) who comes to her agency in search of a role and leaves his photographs on the table. Unable to take the constant nagging from her friends, she decides to 'create' her Mr. Right by engaging  wannabe actor cum struggler cum a hardcore Salman Khan fan Sukhi by telling him to play her boyfriend, for which he will be paid handsomely. The lure of money and the 'opportunity' to play a role makes Sukhi accept the offer. Then begins the transformation of the struggler Sukhi into the suave foreign based Hridaan Dalmiya, who is 'Mr. Right' by all means, courtesy Aliya's intensive grooming. And when she flaunts Hridaan at a friend's wedding, needless to say that he becomes the apple of the eye of every girl and the object of envy of every guy in the group. As time passes, Sukhi aka Hridaan teaches the group many a thing about being honest and truthful to each other, which creates many revelations in the close knit group, which makes him even more dearer to everyone in the group. At the same time, knowingly or unknowingly, Sukhi actually starts falling in love with Aliya. Everything goes on perfectly as per Aliya's foolproof plan... till the time a hotel waiter recognizes Sukhi in front of the whole group. Does Sukhi spill the beans about Aliya's plan of 'Hridaan' in front of her friend circle, or does Aliya confess the real reason to her friends about her plan to create a fictitious Mr. Right, and does the high headed Aliya reciprocate the struggler Sukhi's feelings for her, is what forms the rest of the film. 

 STARCAST                                                                       ::        Undeniably, Barun Sobti & Shenaz Treasury are the soul of this movie as both of them have taken this movie on their shoulders with their earnest performances. Right from the moment, Barun walks into the frame, he is oozing with confidence. He has delved deep into the character of Sukhi who is a die hard Salman fan and a pure Punjabi. His charming performance bowls you over. Here comes another actor with great potential and hopefully a great future ahead. Shenaz Treasury looks every inch the classy, stylish Casting director, the character that she portrays in this film. She gets ample opportunity to showcase her talent in this movie being the main protagonist of this movie. And Oh Boy ! She doesn't disappoint. She is a bundle of energy and has displayed abundant emotions in this movie. Kavi Shastri has proved that he too has a penchant for acting and is not cut out for commercials only. Eijaz Khan & Makrand Deshpande also jump in to play cameos in this movie. Amongst the ensemble starcast Serahh Gosain, Varun Khandelwal, Danny Saru, Maia Sethna, Anagha Mane & Manav Bhinder can be seen in the movie.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                    ::          The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by a battery of composers which include Bhappi Lahiri, DJ Akhil, Shibani Kashyap, Astitva Band, Ravi Shukla, Dony Hazarika and Sunil Singh who have charted out a good album. The soundtrack also includes famous old track " Yaar Bina Chain kahaan Re " which acts as icing on the cake. The cinematographer of the movie is Pathan Parvez Khan who has done a good job as per the resources available to him as most of the movie has been shot indoors. The editor of the movie is Anupama Chabukswar who has kept the run-time of the movie to 129 minutes which seems a tad too long for the movie of this genre. There are some scenes which act as spoilers and needed to be trimmed down. As a debutant film director, Adeeb Rais shows sparks and proves he knows his craft well. Further, I feel it is commendable on Adeeb's part to choose such a subject to make his debut movie over the commercial potboiler scripts laden with formulaic elements. His movie making depicts a sense of honesty while portraying relationships with no sugar coated elements in it. Despite having some weak starcast, shoddy editing and an uneven screenplay, he has been able to make an interesting and watchable movie. 

CONCLUSION                                                                                  ::         If you have a penchant for movies with honest take on modern day relationships minus the sugar coated candy floss romance, this movie might make for an interesting watch for you. I am giving it two and a half stars out of five. 
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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Bhopal - A prayer for Rain :: Movie Review


Bhopal- A Payer for Rain is a hard hitting, heart wresting meticulously crafted docu-drama that stirs your soul with on-screen depiction of the biggest Industrial disaster that not only left tens of thousands killed but many more to suffer with after effects of it.  This film aims at chronicling the negligence that led to the tragedy, fuelled by collusion between the US’ Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Indian politicians. The events leading up to the world's biggest Industrial disaster are dutifully recounted in Ravi Kumar's docudrama arriving three decades after the disaster took place. The movie never quite summons the necessary dramatic urgency, but it well conveys the conditions that precipitated event and the permissiveness accorded to multi-national corporations that will no doubt result in future such occurrences.  The entire industrial scenes are so realistic. It’s surprising to see such perfection in Bollywood cinema. The climax is visually challenging to watch without embracing your hearts. It makes you reason and reflect over the hazardous effect of being careless when it comes to safety.  Before the credits rolled, I learned that yet people are suffering due to the gas leaked 30 years ago. Yet families have not been given the justice they deserved. The Union Carbide has never apologized till date for their heinous crime. This movie is a blast from the past that wants to make the lives of the people in Bhopal healthy and secure after suffering for 30 long years! Poverty, Greed & carelessness, seem to be the driving factors towards this tragedy. Poverty of the local inhabitants lures them to work for this corporation even after they know that safety norms are being flouted, Greed of local politicians who accept bagfuls of money from Corporation Officials and carelessness on the part of some Corporation employees who turn a blind eye to safety norms just for the sake of saving money for the sake of profitability of Corporation.
What can you say about a film made on a true-life disaster? Not a natural disaster. A disaster created more by human apathy than by greed; more by turning a blind eye to the things you can fix than keeping yourself covered; more by believing you are doing the right thing than by convincing yourself that you did your due diligence; more by shirking your responsibilities than by being unapologetic about your negligences. The incident itself was of course unfortunate, and Bhopal - A Prayer for Rain brings about the events that led up to the eventual disaster in an engaging format. - See more at:
What can you say about a film made on a true-life disaster? Not a natural disaster. A disaster created more by human apathy than by greed; more by turning a blind eye to the things you can fix than keeping yourself covered; more by believing you are doing the right thing than by convincing yourself that you did your due diligence; more by shirking your responsibilities than by being unapologetic about your negligences. The incident itself was of course unfortunate, and Bhopal - A Prayer for Rain brings about the events that led up to the eventual disaster in an engaging format. - See more at:
What can you say about a film made on a true-life disaster? Not a natural disaster. A disaster created more by human apathy than by greed; more by turning a blind eye to the things you can fix than keeping yourself covered; more by believing you are doing the right thing than by convincing yourself that you did your due diligence; more by shirking your responsibilities than by being unapologetic about your negligences. The incident itself was of course unfortunate, and Bhopal - A Prayer for Rain brings about the events that led up to the eventual disaster in an engaging format. - See more at:
 STORY & SCREENPLAY                                     ::                       The story of the movie has been co-penned by Ravi Kumar along with David Brooks. The movie begins with a disclaimer " Based on true events but certain cinematic liberties have been taken for dramatic effect ".Writers Ravi Kumar and David Brooks’ Bhopal is a well-researched documentation of what led to “the world’s worst ever chemical disaster”. It carefully, meticulously, chronologically tells the story of why and how, at around 12.30 am on December 3, 1984, water entered Tank E610 containing 42 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at the Union Carbide India Limited’s (UCIL) plant in Bhopal. It shows how Union Carbide Corporation’s CEO, Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen), reacted when, in 45 to 60 minutes, about 30 metric tons of MIC vapours leaked silently into the atmosphere the plant’s warning siren was kept switched off, deliberately. It makes us watch what happened as clouds of toxic gases drifted through residential areas surrounding the plant, how the local hospital tried to cope with hordes of patients coughing, choking, their stinging eyes bleeding. Kumar and Brooks manage to sketch a few knottier sociopolitical crevices into the film's dialogue than you'd expect—but not by much. When a backpacking fashion journalist (Mischa Barton, making a two-scene cameo as the face of Western humanitarianism) hitches a ride in Edwards's motorcade, she turns inexplicably intrepid, challenging him for "choking" Bhopal. Edwards replies, "We're not making perfume here, but this factory feeds this town." The point isn't that the filmmakers agree with Edwards, but that Sheen is giving him the full range of corporatist fat-cat self-justifications—and his Edwards looks like he really believes every one. Bhopal brings us living, breathing human beings in the form of the impoverished rickshaw-puller Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) who takes up a job in the UCC factory, his wife Leela (Tannishtha Chatterjee), the local journalist Motwani (Kal Penn) who is determined to expose UCC for storing dangerous chemicals in hazardous conditions, and Rekha, the widow of the worker Rakesh who was killed by one of those chemicals much before the leak. When the film is telling the story of the slum dwellers around that Bhopal factory, it is moving and realistic. The poignancy is exacerbated by the fact that, knowing what we know about the night of December 2, 1984, we assume they will be dead by the end of the film. We grow attached to Dilip. And that hurts. As the story rolls along, Dilip realises that the factory is unsafe. He can’t afford to leave though, because of his desperate circumstances. Dilip epitomises the tragedy of Bhopal – of abject poverty, of how corrupt netas and a heartless business empire exploited that poverty. In the portrayal of Dilip, his milieu, Motwani’s crusade and Indian politicians, the film can’t be faulted. The portrayal of the UCC players from overseas is extremely troublesome though. There are three of them in the film: Carbide CEO Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen), Edward “the accounts guy”, and Shane Miller (David Brooks) who is the company’s fixer in Bhopal. They are the big bosses whose larger machinations controlled the goings-on at this UCC plant in India, leading to the leak of the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas. Yet, the film makes every effort to make them likeable to viewers, while giving the culpable Indians – the factory supervisor Choudhary (Vineet Kumar) and the bribe-taking Madhya Pradesh politician (Satish Kaushik) – a sleazy air about them. The film’s American Nice Guy No. 1 is Shane. He may be shown delivering a bribe, yet he is the voice of everyone’s conscience, constantly slamming Edward’s ruthlessness. Nice Guy No. 2 is Anderson. The Carbide CEO is shown repeatedly justifying negligence at UCC Bhopal; he knows that cost cutting at the factory has translated into unskilled labour being used to run machines requiring expertise; one assumes he knows that the plant’s air-conditioning has been turned off despite the in-house safety officer’s protests; yet Bhopal works hard to get us to like him. The dominant image of Anderson from the film is as a sweet – even if patronising  white man who stops to speak to the little son of an Indian household employee; a jolly old, hard-working, all-American blue collar worker who rose to riches from humble beginnings. These men did not have to be portrayed as cliched villains with fangs and horns. Of course they could have had with shades of grey. But what purpose was served by having Sheen play the Carbide chief with a charming, avuncular air of benevolence? Most frustrating is the fact that the film doesn’t make any statement about what happened post the tragedy.

begins with the disclaimer “Based on true events but certain cinematic liberties have been taken for dramatic effect.”  - See more at:
STARCAST                                                                   ::                      Rajpal Yadav as Dilip is simply mind blowing. He has portrayed his character with such utmost conviction that he simply draws your attention unto him as the movie progresses and you begin to get attached to his character. Rajpal has once again proved that he is one of the most versatile and talented actors that we have today. Tannishtha Chatterjee, who plays his wife, brings intensity to what is a small part. She has played the role of a housewife with ease and conviction. Martin Sheen as the Carbide Chief towers above the entire cast. He brings to his role of the carbide chief, killer elements of motivational integrity that make the monster humane yet pardonable. Kal Penn has impressively portrayed the character of reporter Motwani and it is his character that induces some humor in the movie though sarcastically. Vineet Kumar has given a commendable performance as the pan chewing supervisor. Joy SenGupta is impressive as the safety incharge of the corporation who resigns from the job when he sees that all the safety norms are being flouted. In the ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been given by Mischa Barton, Fagun Thakrar, Manoj Joshi, David Brooks and Satish Kaushik.
it’s Martin Sheen who towers above the entire cast. He brings to his role of the Carbide killer elements of motivational integrity that make the monster humane yet unpardonable. - See more at:

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                             ::                            The music for this movie has been composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. Music is crafted very well and traditional folk songs in the background bring nostalgia.  Anil Chandel’s cinematography brings to life the dirt and squalor of the life of the slum-dwellers, who lived around the plant and bore the brunt of the poison gas and are still fighting its after-effects. Chandel also marks the immediate aftermath of the disaster -- dead bodies strewn across railway tracks and hospital corridors, people jumping into polluted water to alleviate the impact of the gas but suffocating to death, children and aged people vomiting blood, the doctors and the medical staff at the government hospital struggling to cope with the onslaught of an entire city knocking at their doors. The movie has been edited by Chris Gill & Maria Valente who have kept the run-time of the movie to 103 minutes. They deserve accolades for their crisp & precise editing as despite this movie being a docu-drama, they manage to keep the audience hooked on unto the movie. Director and writer Ravi Kumar has portrayed every scene in the most realistic atmosphere, detailing each incident with dramatic pauses and genuine expressions. He has ably built and portrayed the story with emotions which came rolling down in tears by the end of the climax.

CONCLUSION                                                            ::                     It is a must watch especially for cinema connoisseurs for its effective portrayal of what all went behind the biggest Industrial disaster that mankind has ever gone through. I am giving it three stars out of five. 

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Action Jackson :: Movie Review

Action Jackson is a tacky, cringy, puerile potboiler and is a classic example justifying that when a director tries to put in excess of every element of formulaic filmmaking in a single movie for inducing entertainment, the movie falls flat. For audience, who want to go and enjoy this movie.....I warn them in advance that this movie comes with certain terms & conditions apply tag attached to it, namely.....1. You have to have surrender your  brain to the cinematic vision of Prabhudheva, the moment this movie begins.  2. You can't even dare to awaken your logical senses and put them into practice while watching this movie, else the makers won't be held responsible for your going insane watching the on-screen proceedings. What can you expect from a film in which heroine needs to see hero without pants to get lucky? High flying unrealistic action drama, romance in bits n' pieces and a few comic scenes, this is all the film has for the audience. There is utter chaos & mayhem written all over on each n every frame of the movie. In this completely botched up movie, there are few sparkling moments in the first half but the second half is totally ruckus and works like anesthesia by putting you off to sleep. That's because, the premise of "Action Jackson" looks like an outdated cinematic chimera or rather "partridge and quail cross breeded" kind of cine narration which is created while being in a state of deliriousness. As soon as the narration of "Action Jackson" takes off it straight-away starts bothering you with its logic defying stodgy content. In-fact it won't be wrong to say that sans anything heart or mind quenching in it first half of the "Action Jackson" is tediously overstretched, where everything looks redundant and topsy-turvy. The question that arises after watching Devgn & Devgn (yes, there are two of them in the film ) plus girls, guns, gore and garbage, is....what is "Action Jackson" about ? Is it a tale so deep that we perhaps confuse the trees for the wood? Or inversely, is it a tale so shallow and crass that it parades bombastic and brash tripe as mass entertainment? Tragically the latter option repeatedly stares into our face.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                           ::                                       The story of the movie has been written by A.C.Mugil & the credit for the screenplay has been shared by Shiraz Ahmed, A.C.Mugil & Prabhudheva. The script for Prabhudheva's film seems to have been scribbled on a series of paper napkins in crowded cafe where fights often break out, quite like the ones we see break out in the public places in Prabhudheva's designer-inanity. Even the screenplay of "Action Jackson" has got a high degree of parity to the narration, where it copiously adds to the amount of disaster created by the story-line The biggest flaw of the screenplay of this movie is that it lacks soul and it looks as if the characters have been set on Auto mode. It gives you a feel as if you are watching a South Indian movie with the only difference being that it stars Bollywood actors in it.  Probably the entire concept or the premise of "Action Jackson" would have looked great on papers to its makers, but in reality it turns out be as disastrous as one can expect, where it has nothing except obnoxious characters, weird dance routines, numerous inane situations sans any entertainment, Southern Movies styled action sequences, raucous music and a few below the belt gags.  As far as the storyline goes, the film starts off with the entry of Vishy (Ajay Devgn) in his regular fashion that's combined with √©lan and style. For reasons unexplained till almost the interval, Vishy is at the target point of many goons who follow him left, right and centre to bump him off. As if this wasn't enough, there comes Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha) who 'experiences good luck' in succession after seeing Vishy 'family jewels'. With this, Vishy adds one more 'stalker' to his list! It's only towards the interval that the audiences get to know that Vishy has a doppelganger by the name of 'AJ', who by profession is a killer. And then it becomes clear that the goons actually mistook Vishy to be AJ and hence followed him everywhere. And when AJ and Vishy meet, the former explains the reason to the latter and his friend (Kunaal Roy Kapur) that since he refused to marry the dreaded goon and mafia kingpin Xavier (Anand Raj)'s highly obsessed sister Marina (debutante Manasvi Mamgai), the goons are out to kill him and the love of his life Anusha (Yami Gautam). Tracking down AJ in India, Xavier sends his henchmen to India to kill AJ, which is when AJ devises a plot with the help of Vishy to destroy Xavier and his crazy sister Marina and protect his wife and new born baby.

The question that arises after watching Devgn and Devgn (yes, there are two of him) plus girls, guns, gore and garbage, is... what is "Action Jackson" about? Is it a tale so deep that we perhaps confuse the the trees for the wood? Or inversely, is it a tale so shallow and crass that it parades bombastic and brash tripe as mass entertainment? Tragically the latter option repeatedly stares into our face. There is no mistaking the motivation behind the mayhem and melodrama. - See more at:
STARCAST                                                              ::                     'Ajay devgn has come to this?' This was the question that gnawed me right from the word go. This dusky-super-sexy man has an acting potential that has over the years churned out some seriously great cinematic experiences. But after watching him in 'Action Jackson', truly, I am disappointed. He has a double role in the movie which could have been a big plus point but alas the script lets him down. Both Devgn's haven't met in throughout their lives, they still have the same hairstyle, beard style, action style and what-not. He has been able to made act loud which doesn't suit his persona at all. Kunal Roy Kapur is a fine actor who just doesn't fit in the plot anywhere & has been made to portray a character which is not cut out for him. Humor is his thing, but in this film he couldn't even make me smile. As for the ladies, Sonakshi Sinha and Yami Gautam, I had to really calculate as to who had lesser screen presence and in the end, Sonakshi won the race. Sonakshi. as a part of pot boilers is now almost an acceptable fact and with Prabhudheva, this being her nth association, she manages to get under the skin of her character. She has ably provided some comic relief in this dud of a movie. As for Yami Gautam, ouch ! The fair and lovely girl just had one song and for the rest of the film, the pretty lady was either getting beaten up by goons or confined to a bed in hospital. Not so fair and lovely after all !Also the movie features Manasvi Mamgai, former Femina Miss India 2010, in the shoes of an obsessed-psycho fan of AJ. In her debut attempt, she has managed to impress by portraying her character to utmost perfection. Ananth Raj looks less frightening and more silly as the bald Xavier Fonseca. Amongst the ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been given by Ketan Karande as Pedro, Puru Raj Kumar as police Inspector, Razzak Khan as Lala & Shawar Ali as Nawab. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                            ::                                          The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Himesh Reshammiya which is of very average standard with none of the tracks staying with you as you move out after watching the movie. The background music has been composed by Sandeep Chowta whose decibels are so high, they could split eardrums provided you can stay put in your seat through the ordeal. The very talented Sandeep Chowta provides helpful pointers in the background score: "Vishy Vishya" goes the score when Devgn is on the screen. "Bangkok Bangkok" is the chant on the soundtrack for those who like their locations well mapped. The cinematographer of the movie is VijayKumar Arora who has done a fine job. He has captured the outdoor locales brilliantly. The action director of the movie is K. Ravi Verma who has helmed the action sequences and stunts with finesse. The editor of the movie is Bunty Nagi who has kept the run-time of the movie to 144 minutes. The editing of the movie is a bit botchy with lot of disjointed scenes coming into play one after another testing the patience of the audience. As a director, Prabhudheva has failed this time as he has delivered a very average cine flick when the expectations from him were quite high. He has relied too much on the silly humor quotient and action sequences without even bothering to build up a gripping storyline to take the sequences forward which is his biggest flaw. 

CONCLUSION                                                    ::               If you want to sit and crib and test your patience and tolerance levels then you might wanna watch it. Otherwise it can surely given a miss! I am giving it one star out of five.
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