Friday, 31 July 2015

Drishyam :: Movie Review

                                       Image result for 4 stars out of 5
Drishyam helmed by Nishikant Kamat is not only a riveting, gripping tale that leaves you spellbound with its skillful art but also makes you sit in the theater with bated breath, never wanting to miss a moment of the film on screen. Drishyam (2013) was initially made in Malayalam and since than it has been made in three different languages namely Kannada, Tamil & Telugu before its Hindi version hitting the theaters in 2015. All the remake versions of the movie have fared well at the box office, suffice enough to prove about movie's content quality. Needless, to say that the ace of the movie is its script which has a novelty factor attached to it. While most of the thrillers bank upon whodunit factor, Drishyam concentrates on how the crime is committed and than flawlessly concealing it. This gives Drishyam a cutting edge over most of the other thrillers that Bollywood has offered so far. Drishyam is definitely a movie which is in league of its own. The biggest strength of Drishyam is its unpredictability along with milieu around which story has been set giving it a real authentic look. With no superficial over-dramatic flourishes, ear shattering BGM, unwanted item numbers, Nishikant Kamat has delivered a perfectly toned film. And, lot of credit for this perfectly toned film must be given to its story writer i.e. Jeethu Joseph. He has penned down the storyline in such a way that the steam never dries out. Though, the film takes its own sweet time in setting ground for the drama in the first half by drawing the picture of a conventional family but soon it develops into a fascinating thriller with its unpredictability factor looming large. It engulfs you completely unto the movie and makes you put your thinking caps on as it becomes very difficult to predict exactly what will happen next. The very ordinariness of the family makes their reactions and those of the other characters unexpected, while the developments in the screenplay keep you surprising at every turn. There are few moments where the story flounders a little, but overall it's an intelligent piece of writing that showcases the effects of a unforeseen exigency and how imperative it is for a family to stick together while going through catastrophic times. Amalgamation of family ties with a classic thriller format makes Drishyam a fascinating watch.

STORY & SCREENPLAY   (SPOILERS AHEAD)                                            ::                       The storyline of Drishyam has been penned down by Jeethu Joseph who also directed the Original Malayalam version of the movie where as the screenplay of the movie has been written by Upendra Sidhye. The most important factor while penning down an absolutely gripping thriller is detailing, as closing every open end in the most logical way is most imperative. The narrative of the movie has been so intricately woven that by the time second half of the movie begins, you have been entranced by the on-screen proceedings. It compels you to include yourself in the guessing games of the movie but the story doesn't allow you to rise above being a mere spectator by throwing more surprises at you. It is very rare that a story is able to compel audience into playing thinking mind games but Drishyam is successful in doing that making it helluva thriller. The film is based on psychological fact that visuals make more impact on human brain than sounds. The film begins at Pandolem police station in Goa with Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) in frame. Flashback ensues and we are taken back in time to recount the events as to why Vijay is there at the police station. Vijay is fourth class failure academically but hardworking businessman who runs a cable TV business in the area. He is a such hard core movie buff that  he generally puts the receiver of his landline phone down while he is engrossed in watching movies. He lives in Goan countryside with his wife Nandini (Shriya Saran) and daughters Anju (Ishita Dutta) and Anu (Mrinal). His family means the world to him. He is quite honest, upright and helpful and because of these qualities, he is looked down upon by a corrupt cop Gaitonde (Kamlesh Sawant). Life is going smooth for Salgaonkars till Anju goes for a school camp. At the school camp, Anju is stalked by Sam. Sam is a notorious guy who plants a hidden camera in Anju's washroom at the camp. After returning from camp, Sam approaches Vijay's daughter and shows her the MMS. He asks her to meet him late night at the courtyard of her house. Anju gets worried and tells all this to her mother. When Sam arrives, he is confronted by both mother and daughter to delete the MMS but Sam asks for sexual favor in order to delete the SMS. Vijay's world is turned upside down when Sam goes missing and he is made the prime suspect in the case. To add to his woes, Sam is the only child of IG Police Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). From here on, a cat and mouse game ensues between the cops and Vijay. Gaitonde who is already at loggerheads with Vijay inflicts torture on Vijay and his family. Is Vijay able to protect himself and his family from clutches of law, What is Vijay's foolproof plan to dodge the cops is what forms the rest of the story.        

STARCAST                                                                            ::         A special mention of Vicky Sidana (Casting director) for choosing the appropriate cast as per their characterizations in the movie. For all the Ajay Devgn fans out there, especially those who were complaining about him performing more of gravity defying stunts in his last flicks with Rohit Shetty and not portraying realistic, grounded and intense roles, just go and watch Drishyam. Go and watch Ajay Devgn deliver one of the finest performances in his highly illustrious career. You can watch him in sheer disbelief as he gives subtle acting a new meaning in Drishyam. He has fit into the character of a common man having extraordinary intelligence with remarkable ease. Ajay Devgn has emoted a common man's struggle to prevent his adored family from falling apart mostly through his smoldering eyes. Watch out for him in the scene when he goes to his cable office and his assistant asks him about his well being finding him in a pensive mood. Ajay Devgn immediately changes his tone and expressions in a brilliant manner so that everything seems normal to his assistant. It's one of Ajay Devgn's finest performances till date. Tabu, once again proves her mettle as an actress with her extraordinary performance in this film.She is seen in two different avatars in this movie ; a top notch, intense Police Officer and a worried, emotional mother. And, to her credit Tabu has stood her ground firmly while portraying both these avatars. She has enacted the right amount of intensity, aggression and emotions that her character was supposed to portray in the film. Pertinent to say, Ajay Devgn and Tabu are the two solid pillars of this movie. Shriya Sharan has given an earnest performance as Ajay's wife. She has ably emoted the expressions of fear when the family goes through crisis and covers them up commendably when interrogated by Cops. Rajat Kapoor has given a restrained performance as Tabu's husband who is worried about his son's whereabouts but is also against the torture being inflicted upon Ajay's family. Rajat is such a natural actor and it is a treat watching him perform in Drishyam. Ishita Dutta & Mrinal shine as Ajay's daughters and have given a commendable performance. Not to forget, Kamlesh Jadhav who looks every inch the corrupt cop that he is supposed to portray on-screen.    

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                          ::                          The musical soundtrack of the film that has been composed by Vishal Bhardwaj comprises of some melodious numbers which are in tandem with the on-screen proceedings. The background music of the movie has been composed by Sameer Phaterpekar who has done a splendid job. Drishyam thrives on the tense moments it creates and the source of the tension is partly, its background music. Sameer's background score is a huge strength to the film as it underscores every scene without hammering in the situations and is not that loud and jarring. The cinematographer of the movie is Avinash Arun who has done a splendid job behind the lens. Avinash Arun's rustic and realistic visuals sans the artificial filters and gloss, capture the true colors and natural prosperity of Drishyam. At the same time, his contribution is not just a functional one. The overall slowness in the composition adds a tinge of curiosity, thrills suspense and grip to the film. A special mention of Rita Ghosh (Art director) and Sukant Panigrahy (Production designer) for their effective contributions in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Aarif Sheikh who has kept the run-time of the movie to 163 minutes. Aarif has done a wonderful job at the editing table by keeping Drishyam taut & razor sharp. Though, the pace of the movie is slow to begin with especially in the first half yet Aarif manages to keep your interest alive in the proceedings with his precise editing. As a director, Nishikant Kamat has proven his mettle by making a gripping, taut, riveting remake of a movie that has already been made in four other regional languages. It is not an easy job to make a perfectly balanced and riveting remake because the original film serves as a hard benchmark while filming the remake. It is tough to replicate something while maintaining the interest of audience in the same. Nishikant has done this job to more than satisfying extent. Nishikant attempts a stunning mix of the real with imaginary, and the result is an unpredictable cinematic artichoke that takes you by surprise at every turn the movie takes.

CONCLUSION                                                                     ::             Drishyam is undoubtedly cladded with exceptional story telling combined with bravura performances. An exceptional film as far as the content is concerned, the movie is a must watch for all the audience who love to watch family and thriller movies.  

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Friday, 17 July 2015

Bajrangi Bhaijaan :: Movie Review

                                           Image result for 4 stars out of 5
Bajrangi Bhaijaan helmed by Kabir Khan takes you on a journey to Pakistan, without Visa albeit with plethora of emotions, exhilarating drama, high octane action, transcendent performances, mesmeric visuals, adroit craftsmanship making it a top notch motion picture. The last flick in which Salman Khan was directed by Kabir Khan namely "Ek Tha Tiger" turned out to be a blockbuster. So, when both these names decided to team up together for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, expectations were bound to be high. Generally, when you go to watch a movie with high expectations in mind there are chances of you getting disappointed but on the contrary Bajrangi Bhaijaan supersedes those apprehensions and engulfs you unto the movie right from its first frame. Is Bajrangi Bhaijaan at par/better than previous Salman starrers? The answer is affirmative for the sole reason that this movie has its heart and soul at the right place. So numbed we are by the the onslaught of mindless southern remakes heavy with punchlines and raucous slapstick that an action film where the leading man (Salman Khan) doesn't loose his shirt automatically feels special. In this new film, Salman Khan is seen in a new emotional avatar who on his own travels to Pakistan to reunite a mute girl with her parents. Clearly this is a departure.  As a standalone film, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is enthralling and most significantly an entertaining motion picture. On the exterior, it is a compelling sentimental story/thriller. But beneath the entertainment it offers, it carries a message as well. Loud and Clear. If the audience can see through the coating, great. Even if they don't, they will yet go back in high spirits. There are two conflicting factors in Bajrangi Bhaijaan ; Salman Khan's overriding principle of portraying silly antics on-screen and Kabir Khan's intrinsic liking for seriousness. But so overwhelming is Bhai's past aura that serious keeps threatening to slide into silly, and the moment you give in to that in-between space, the film becomes something that you enjoy to the core.Most of the time. Though, its a formulaic film yet it is not a typical Salman Khan kind of cinema. It ably brings the message of humanity, peace and human bonding to the forefront. How a person rigid about his religion can happily, peacefully co-exist with the unique ways of other religions. In fact, Salman's character is closest to #Being human (his charitable foundation) in this movie when compared to all other characters that he has portrayed in past. I could see a lot of moist eyes at the end of this movie which is proof enough that the movie tugs on the heartstrings of the audience.          

STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD)                 ::           The story of the movie has been penned down by Vijayendra Prasad where as the credit for writing the screenplay goes to Kabir Khan, Parveez Sheikh along with Asad Hussain. Together, they have concocted a cross border tale infused with sentiments, drama, wit and human bonding even in extreme conditions. While most of the films made on Indo-Pak either relied on Pak bashing or jingoism & preachiness, this film takes a different route altogether. The film captures the tension of India-Pakistan without any negativity albeit in a skillful and charming manner. The script ably brushes upon various social issues that include patriotism, religious barriers, corruption, human trafficking in a balanced way. Dialogues written by Kabir Khan & Kausar Manir are quite effective and add up to the entertainment quotient of the movie. Like in Pakistan when Salman says to Nawazuddin, "Bajrangbali hamari madad Kareinge", he jokingly responds, "Yahaan Pakistan mein Bhi". The movie begins in snowy hills of Pakistan where a speech impaired girl by the name of Shahida (Harshaali) is born in a family. Her parents want to take her to a Dargah in Delhi to seek the blessings for her speech problem. While returning back from Delhi, when the train halts because of some repair work going on, Shahida alights from the train. The train suddenly leaves leaving her stranded on Indian soil. Shahida climbs up another train which takes her to Kurukshetra where she finds a Devout Hanuman bhakt Pawan alias Bajrangi (Salman Khan) dancing with other worshipers. She begins to follow him and on understanding the plight of little girl who cannot talk, Pawan takes her along to his home in Delhi. His family members are not very happy with Pawan for bringing the girl along but his fiancee Rasika (Kareena Kapoor) stands by his decision. One fine day, they come to know that the little girl is a Muslim and belongs to Pakistan. Now, a determined Pawan takes a pledge to reunite Shahida with her parents. Braving all odds, Pawan manages to cross Indo-Pak border along with the girl but he is caught by Pakistani cops who label him as an Indian spy. Meanwhile, a freelance news reporter Chaand Nawab (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) gets a whiff that an Indian spy has been arrested and he comes to cover the story. Pawan is able to dodge the cops and escapes from their custody but is followed by Chaand who wants to cover his story. When Pawan tells Chaand that his real purpose behind coming to Pakistan is to reunite the little girl with her parents, Chaand decides to help him. Meanwhile, Pakistanis have issued a look out notice for Pawan branding him as a spy. Will Chaand be able to help out Pawan & Shahida, Will Pawan be able to reunite Shahida with her parents, Will Pawan be able to prove his innocence of not being a spy, Will Pawan be able to return back to India alive is what forms the rest of the story.

STARCAST                                                                         ::          A pat on the back to Mukesh Chhabra (Casting director) for choosing the apt actors as per their characterizations in the movie. When you have Salman Khan in a movie titled Bajrangi Bhaijaan, the director doesn't need to convince the audience that he is Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Salman looks the part! His intro in the movie is colossal that is accompanied by a deafening applause.  Clutching the movie with his dynamic presence & performance, Salman is, without doubt, the lifeline of this film. He pulls off the part with flamboyance. Also, he brings in so much visceral rousing energy to the film, every time he appears on the screen. Salman and Kareena pair up after a hiatus in Bajrangi Bhaijaan and their chemistry is electrifying. Though an out-and-out Salman starrer, Kareena is not relegated to back seat. Neither, is she Salman's arm candy here. She has a well etched character and to her credit, she handles it with aplomb. Nawazuddin Siddiqui.....What an actor. The sheer effortlessness with which he skips into the shoes of a Pakistani reporter is remarkable. His body language, mannerisms and  especially dialogue delivery is a delight to watch. The way he says "Bariking news" is bound to bring smile to your faces. His camaraderie with Salman has come out really well in this movie especially when he convinces Salman to wear a Burqa and pose as his wife. His lively entry scene at the railway station where he is getting irritated by flow of commuters speaks volumes about his acting finesse. Nawazuddin has shown that he has amazing knack for comic timing and he is a treat to watch in this film. As a child actor, Harshaali Malhotra wins you over with her charming effervescence. The confidence with which she has conducted herself before the camera, makes it difficult to believe that this is her debut film. It's not an easy task to play the part of a mute girl in your debut film and that too as a child actor, but Harshaali has done it with aplomb. Amongst ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been delivered by Sharat Saxena (Rasika's father), Om Puri (Maulana Saheb), Harsh Singh (Channel Head), Krunal Pandit (Passport Agent) & Rajesh Sharma (Pakistan Intelligence Officer).

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                       ::                 The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by Pritam Chakraborty is diverse with one of the numbers "Selfie Le Le Re" already making it to the top of charts. The background score by Julius Packiam is terrific and works really well for the movie. Bajrangi Bhaijaan travels across the Kashmir to capture some of the exotic locales in the valley and Aseem Mishra (Cinematographer) captures them with flourish. The cinematography by Aseem Mishra is seamless and brilliant, not once invading the space of characters at work in the foreground. Aseem's cinematography is excellent, bringing out the vision of Kabir Khan eloquently.  A special mention of Rajnish Hedao (Production designer) and Sham Kaushal (Action director) for their effective contributions in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Rameshwar S Bhagat who has kept the runtime of the movie to 159 minutes. He has done a wonderful job at the editing table by keeping the flow of narrative brisk enough, never giving you a dull moment or a chance to go out for a loo break. In Salman's movies its his show all the way but with his adroit direction, Kabir Khan makes you acknowledge his directorial skills. He banks on Khan's stardom, no doubt, but ensures he makes a spectacle of it. "I'll show you how to do it in style" - his film seems to be telling other directors aiming for box office gold. Kabir Khan, who has earlier directed Kabul Express (2006), New York (2009) & Ek Tha Tiger (2012) has a firm grip on the story and the screenplay, without compromising on the entertainment quotient of the film.

CONCLUSION                                                                           ::    Bajrangi Bhaijaan gives a passe to the usual commercial formulaic elements that Salman Khan movies bank upon. It has a able structured plot, wit, mesmeric visuals, heart tugging emotions and most importantly its heart and soul at the right place making it a wholesome family entertainer.

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Friday, 10 July 2015

Bahubali :: Movie Review

                                            Image result for 4 stars out of 5
Bahubali is a monumental epic saga which has been served with grandeur, peppered with magnificent C.G.I & V.F.X., mind blowing action sequences, stunning visuals that boast of being wallpaper material ably backed up by some power packed performances making it a big screen watch. Touted as the biggest motion picture of India, Bahubali has been made in two parts at a whopping cost of 250 crores. Director S.S.Rajamouli deserves salutations for not only believing in this project but also leaving no stone unturned to portray this tale on-screen in the best possible manner. He has given a perfect silver lining to the epic tale that has been penned down by Vijayendra Prasad. Conceiving a fantasy story itself is a very practical creativity but more challenging is to get in the shoes of the writer, understand his dreamed visuals and to than project it powerfully on the screen with utmost justice to the subject & imagination is something which has been very geekly achieved by S.S.Rajamouli. Besides, to convince Indian audience who normally avoid watching epic sagas of such kind has been more challengingly dealt by the director. After watching 300, Immortals and several other such Hollywood flicks, there was a rising hunger in Indian audience to watch such kind of technically, digitally advanced, visually breathtaking epic sagas featuring Indian legends.  India, surprisingly has this time and for the first time has showcased a screen to the same audience quenching their need with equal brilliance to that of Hollywood. Indian Film Industry,  perhaps the largest producers of films in the world, has been cowardly scared of producing well made epic sagas. Reasons are many and intentions are remotely genuine. After this movie, it will grow up hopefully. But, one thing is sure that with Bahubali, Rajamouli has raised the bar. With able assistance from his technical crew, he has created spectacular visuals like the magnificent Mahishmati Kingdom, captivating waterfalls and spellbinding war sequence. He has ably created a beautifully imagined fantasy landscape with intricate detailing which is visual treat for eyeballs. Rajamouli has ended the movie on a very clever note giving a glimpse into what lies in store for the audience in the movie's sequel that will hit theaters next year.  

STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD)                      ::           The story of the movie has been penned down by Vijayendra Prasad where as the screenplay of the movie has been penned down by S.S.Rajamouli. The writers have ably conjured up a tale of bravery, romance, betrayal and revenge driven vendetta. The best part about the writing is its imaginative plot which comes across as original epic and not borrowed or inspired from our favorite Hindu epics. The writers have created new Heroes or Princes who have no resemblance to our mythological heroes. They have concocted a fantastic tale which is not only novel, interesting but has got several layers attached to it which keep on unfolding as the movie progresses. The film begins with some soldiers chasing Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) who is carrying a child in her lap. She is badly injured and falls into a river but the child is saved by some tribals who are unaware about his identity. The child grows up as Shiva (Prabhas) who has a penchant for climbing up rough terrains surrounding the waterfall as he is curious about the world on the other side of waterfall. One fine day, face mask of a beautiful girl, Avantika (Tamannah Bhatia) falls down the waterfall and Shiva catches hold of it. The lure of catching up with Avantika makes him pass to the other side of waterfall. He secretly chases her and comes to know that she is a part of a rebel group who are on a mission to free Devasena (Anushka Shetty) from the clutches of Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati) who is the present ruler of Mahishmati kingdom. Soon, chemistry develops between Shiva & Avantika and they fall in love. When Avantika is assigned the mission of going to Mahishmati for freeing Devasena, Shiva decides to help her. Shiva, on his own goes to Mahishmati and is able to bring Devasena back from there after fighting a battle with soldiers there. He is followed by Kattappa (Satyaraj) who is an old guard & loyal soldier of the royal family. As soon as Kattappa comes face to face with shiva, he falls on his feet and calls him Bahubali. This bewilders Shiva as he is unknown about his past. Flashback ensues and Kattappa starts narrating the tale about his family background which involves Royal family of Mahishmati. What is the real identity of Shiva, What is his relationship with the Royal family, Why is he being called Bahubali and what were the reasons that led him to land up in hands of tribals who raised him is what forms the rest of the story.   

STARCAST                                                                               ::                The actors, in keeping with the no holds barred ambience that the film exudes, take recourse to grandly expansive gestures for expressing the minutest of emotions. Prabahas with his on-screen antics proves why he was chosen to play the main lead character of Bahubali. He ably imbibes the qualities of the character that he is portraying so much so that it becomes difficult for you to differentiate him from the character that he is portraying on-screen. With his brawny physique, when he lifts the Shivalinga it comes out as a very natural scene. Whether be it his flirtatious scenes with Tamannah, constant nagging with his mother for trying to climb up the waterfall....Prabhas seem to be in his elements in all the scenes. But, Prabhas is at his best when he leads the army of soldiers tearing up his opponents with a wrath of fury. Watch out for him in the scene where he boosts up the morale of his army by delivering them a pep talk when opposite army has outweighed them. Rana Daggubati looks every inch the mean and menacing ruler that he is supposed to portray on-screen. Rana gets ample scope to flex his muscles and showcase his well chiseled body. Rana has delivered a commendable performance with his inherent effortlessness. Tamannah Bhatia has proven her acting prowess by playing the character of Avantika to the hilt. It's not a mean task to play the character of a rebel soldier who's operating from a hideout but to her credit, Tamannah Bhatia fits into the shoes of her character with effortless ease. She has not only looked gorgeous but has also come out good in action sequences. Anushka Shetty as Devasena has got limited screen time but she has made the most out of it by giving an apt performance. Rather than dialogues, her red eyes filled with anger for betrayal and vendetta do most of the talking which speaks volumes about her acting finesse. Another actor who deserves a mention is Satyaraj for his brilliant performance as Kattappa. He has performed the character with a certain degree of subtlety. Not to forget, Nasser who shines with his apt portrayal of Bijjaladeva, a disabled member of Royal family who is always plotting to ensure his son sits on the throne. His face expressions, body language are a treat to watch. Ramya Krishnan who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus looks dignified, powerful as Sivamani and has done full justice to her character.      

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                  ::         Undoubtedly, Bahubali is a technical marvel with effective contributions from each & every department in their respective fields. The musical soundtrack as well as background music of the movie has been composed by M. M. Keeravani which is in sync with the movie and provides a further impetus to the on-screen visuals. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie must go the cinematographer of the movie i.e. Senthil Kumar who has captured stunning visuals with the roving eye of his lens. His camera has not only captured the scenic locales, grandeur of the sets and the battlefield shots with utmost finesse but his usage of color palettes as per the requirement of the shots is praiseworthy. A special mention of Sabu Cyril (Art direction), Rama Rajamouli (Costume designer) & Peter Hein (Fight director) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Venkateswara Rao Kotagiri who has kept the run-time of the movie to 159 minutes. The editing is taut and precise as all through the movie your yearning for it never fades away. As a director, S.S.Rajamouli has done an outstanding job and helmed a masterpiece to such an extent that every frame of the movie is enriched.  It's not an easy job to helm an epic saga as you need to be precise in detailing with respect to every department and this is where Rajamouli has hit the bulls eye. With his directorial finesse and able assistance from his technical crew, Rajamouli has crafted a cult epic saga with a mix of myriad emotions that will invoke a range of sentiments in your heart while watching this movie. S.S.Rajamouli has once again proved that he is one of the finest storytellers having a knack for envisioning something novel and than further executing it on-screen with precision.

CONCLUSION                                                                           ::           Bahubali is a 159 minutes epical saga with its inescapable gritty tone. The film delivers on its promise and takes you an fantasy ride with its gargantuous scale, stupendous action, mesmeric visuals and superlative performances.  It's a must watch for movie connoisseurs.
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Friday, 3 July 2015

Guddu Rangeela :: Movie Review


Guddu Rangeela helmed by Subhash Kapoor is a quirky, fun laden film which not only paybacks your ticket's money worth in form of entertainment unlimited but also ably sheds light on prevalent social issues of social diktat & honor killing. Recently released movie NH10 also revolved around the subject of honor killing but in a thriller format where as Guddu Rangeela brings up the same issue albeit in an entertaining & amusing manner. As a director, Subhash Kapoor's last two flicks were satires based on prevalent social issues. First being, Phas Gaye Re Obama that talked about Global recession and the second was Jolly LLB which took a dig at the anomalies inherent in India's Judicial system. And, this time through Guddu Rangeela he takes pot-shots at the issue of honor killing by cleverly infusing it in the movie. Subhash Kapoor is one of those rare directors who has this amazing knack of crafting entertainers that speak about social issues but without sounding preachy & Guddu Rangeela is a step forward in the same direction. Guddu Rangeela talks about a serious social issue in a comic way via the shenanigans of two bumbling petty criminals. Though, the film projects itself to be a work of fiction but it seems to be inspired from the famous Manoj-Babli case who were victims of honor killing. The film ably touches upon the deep fault lines & savagery that run through the hinterland of Haryana where both life and love hang by a precarious thread. Making a jovial film on such a serious issue is not a mean task with chances of it going horribly wrong always lurking, but Guddu Rangeela ably succeeds on that front. The fun quotient of the film begins from its first frame where a celebration is going on by calling an orchestra party because the son of a village landlord has got Visa approval for Kenya. This scene sets the tempo of the movie enabling you to judge about the rest of the proceedings that are to follow. As the film proceeds, it sheds light on various issues prevalent in society ; how still Khap Panchayats are ruling in the hinterland, how honor killings are still taking place making a mockery of law & order including court judgements, how cops cough up money to grab plum postings & than recover them from gullible citizens and female foeticide. These all issues might be sounding heavy to you making you think whether its a serious piece of cinema but the director has cleverly infused these issues into the movie in an entertaining manner. This is the first typical masala entertainer from Subhash Kapoor having all the ingredients that a commercial potboiler needs be it quirk, drama, action, bromance, emotional turbulence and revenge driven vendetta.         

STORY & SCREENPLAY   (SPOILERS AHEAD)                                                     ::    The story as well as screenplay of the movie that has been penned down by Subhash Kapoor is laden with all the ingredients that are required to make an entertaining film. Moreover, when the script of a movie has been penned down by the director itself, it becomes all the more elementary for him to portray his vision on celluloid in the most apt way. The highlight of this movie apart from the brilliant performances by its starcast is its perceptive writing which leaves no stone unturned to take digs at the current socio-political scenario. On top of it, script has been laden with boisterously funny dialogues and one-liners. The best part is that the script breezes past without any major breakdowns primarily because it sticks to its chosen line and to top it all, it delivers some quirky detours that are made all the more engaging due to consistent quality of acting by most of its artistes. The film begins with cousin brothers Guddu (Amit Sadh) & Rangeela (Arshad Warsi) performing at the house of a village landlord. Though, they own an orchestra party but in actual they are informants for local gangs to whom they supply information about the wealth of parties in whose houses they perform. A corrupt Police Inspector catches up with them and threatens to implicate them in cases of dacoity until they pay him 10 lakhs. As they are grappling with this problem, a self confessed PRO of underworld namely Bengali (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) approaches them with a deal. They have to kidnap a speech & hearing impaired girl, Baby (Aditi Rao Hydari), bring her to Delhi and for this they will be paid 10 lakh. They both agree & kidnap the girl but things turn out otherwise.  Neither is Baby deaf & mute nor she was to be kidnapped, instead it's all a plan of Baby with a hidden agenda. On probing, Baby reveals that she is sister in law of ganglord turned politician Billoo (Ronit Roy). Her sister was killed by Billoo & she wants to seek revenge. Now, Rangeela understands why they were chosen for this job by Bengali as both Guddu & Rangeela have a past equation with Billoo as being a Khap Panchayat leader he had wrecked their past. They are also dying to settle scores with Billoo. Meanwhile, Baby is in possession of a C.D. that contains footage of Billoo in uncompromising position with several women which if revealed to media can destroy the political career of Billoo. They hatch a plan to extract 10 crores from Billoo in lieu of that C.D. Will they be able to extract money from Billoo, What is the past connection between Billoo and Guddu-Rangeela, Will they be able to seek revenge from him is what forms the rest of the story.  

STARCAST                                                                            ::     Undoubtedly, Starcast of Guddu Rangeela is one of its main strengths as all the actors including ensemble starcast have been perfectly cast as per their characterizations & they have left no tables upturned to showcase their skills. Arshad Warsi as Rangeela is simply first rate. Arshad Warsi is a powerhouse of talent who is one of the underrated and underutilized actors of today's times. He is such a natural actor who fits unto the shoes of the character that he portrays on-screen effortlessly and with remarkable ease. As Rangeela who shares a love hate relationship with his cousin Guddu, Arshad ably portrays various shades of his character which include quirk, nervousness, confidence as well as frustration over his troubled past with aplomb. But, the surprise package of this movie has turned out to be Amit Sadh as Guddu by imbibing and portraying the finer nuances of his character. Amit has evolved as an actor with every subsequent movie of his. It's but natural to expect hearty banter from Arshad Warsi because of his impeccable comic timing but matching him step by step is Amit Sadh. His sincerity & hard work towards portraying this character can be gauged from his performance in the movie. As a flirtatious guy having penchant for easy money, Amit Sadh wins you over with his fine performance in the movie. Ronit Roy is particularly masterful as Billoo, the gang lord turned politician. He looks every inch; the ruthless, dreaded, mean & menacing displaying all the shades of grey that his character of being antagonist of the movie required him to portray. He looks so convincing as Billoo that it hard to imagine any other actor who could have pulled off this character in such masterful manner. Aditi Rao Hydari plays Baby with shrill theatricality which speaks volumes about her acting finesse. Another actor who manages to entertain you is Rajiv Gupta who essays the role of a cop (Gulaab Singh) in the movie. His innocent face expressions coupled with his dialogue delivery invoke aplenty of laughter. Rajiv Gupta with his funny antics has been able to uplift each n every scene that he has appeared in especially the Antakshari scene. Rajiv is one of those fine, natural actor who needs to be seen more frequently on-screen in more meatier roles. Not to forget, Brijendra Kala who with his own finesse of comic timing & distinctive dialogue delivery manages to bring a smile to your faces. His styling in the climax of the movie is awesome. Dibyendu Bhattacharya shines as Bengali and has given an earnest performance. Amongst ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been given by Shriswara, Amit Sial and Achint Kaur.         

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                   ::     The musical soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Amit Trivedi & the quirkiest number of the album i.e. Mata Ka E-mail has been composed by Subhash Kapoor himself.  Cinematography by James Fowlds is at its best and he has been able to capture some stunning visuals that too in country-land. James has astoundingly captured a sense of purity in the frames, luscious with light, undaunted by grain in the dark which is remarkable. The use of color palettes be it in frames, background, outdoors or even inside premises is so audacious that it enhances the visual appeal of the movie. A special mention of Suman Roy Mahapatra (Production designer) & Pradyuman Kumar ( Action coordinator) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Arindam Ghatak who has kept the run-time of the movie to 124 minutes. His has done excellent job at the editing table with his editing being pacy, breezy giving you no chance to out for a loo break. As a director, Subhash Kapoor has hit bulls eye again. It can be said that Subhash Kapoor with his immense talent & precision has handled such a major upsurge social issue in a quirky satire form and that too so deftly. He has packaged the movie very cleverly with lot of insights, quirk, laughs, hard hitting words along with outstanding performances from the cast. I'll say that he is a fine example of a master storyteller who not only deftly handles the narrative but also concentrates on each & every character of his movie without bothering whether his movie will be able to enter that 100 crore club. Presently, I can think of only two directors who have been able to make good meaningful entertainers infused with prevalent social issues ; One is RajKumar Hirani and the other being Subhash Kapoor.   

CONCLUSION                                                                                      ::           Guddu Rangeela takes you on a fun ride comprising of grit, quirk, drama, action, intricacy backed up by commendable performances from its cast. It is a descent one time watch not only for its entertainment quotient but also for the messages infused in the film. 

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