Friday, 27 November 2015

Tamasha :: Movie Review

                                           Image result for 3 and a half stars out of five
Tamasha helmed by Imtiaz Ali is a very brilliant picturization of  a mirage-framed farce we play with our lives in our lives till someone comes as an Avatar and makes us feel special about those things which even we feel to identify in ourselves, "The Actual Me". And, in this journey of Tamsha, Imtiaz has been ably supported by his lead starcast i.e. Deepika & Ranbir who have enacted their respective characters to the tee. Tamasha, surprisingly is happening right inside us. We are the thread-holding directors of every emotion we enforce in the name of social race and mannerism. Life becomes fake when we follow traditions without questioning and then discarding them away in the absence of our own logical reach. Modernism suffers miserably when the old is not left as a gold, it directly splits our personality. Tamasha talks about how one leads a mechanized, pretentious life just for the sake of others making his/her inner desires take a back seat. 

Tamasha has been written by Imtiaz Ali, and trust Imtiaz for coming up with something different when he pens down. Imtiaz Ali doesn't adulterate his script with quintessential melodrama and sticks to his chosen line. Tamasha tells the story of Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) who loves to hear stories and has flair towards theater but his father (Javed Sheikh) coaxes him to become an engineer. So, Ved, instead of becoming a theater personality becomes a product manager. During a vacation in Corsica, France, Dev catches up with Tara (Deepika Padukone) who has lost her bag there. They begin flirting with each other by reciting dialogues from old Bollywood movies. They make a pact, not to disclose their real identities to each other. Ved comes across as a guy with cool demeanor to Tara and she begins to like him. After leaving Corsica, Tara realizes that she has fallen in love with Ved. Years later, both of them meet again in Delhi. While Ved proposes to Tara, she dumps him because she is not able to locate the free-spirited guy who met her in Corsica in Ved. Instead, she finds Ved to be a sophisticated, mechanized guy who is not the real him. What happens thereafter, is for you to go and watch at a theater near you. 

Tamasha is taken several notches higher by the spellbinding performances of its lead starcast i.e. Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone. Ved is not an easy character to portray as he is naively leading a life which he is not happy with but to his credit, Ranbir Kappor has enacted the character to pitch perfection. There are very few, most selective, rare breed of Superstars who are also Super-Actors in complete sense. Ranbir Kapoor is one among such an outstanding in Indian Film Galaxy. He has always proved to be a wisest choice for a director to cast him in desired mold of any given story. 
In most direct sense, Ved could never get scripted unless Ganesha like unquestionable and never-tiring God of Love attends his incarnation. The Ganesh of Love here is been en-skinned by Deepika Padukone. Deepika is one Astral Performer who takes every projection of given role as a Caterpillar and transform herself as one of most Beautiful Birth of Butterfly. The sillage of her presence remains with us as a mature love, wise inner-peek, re-defined relationship and album of newly identified feelings.
Amongst ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Javed Sheikh as Ranbir's father and Ishteyak Khan as Auto driver. 

The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by the maestro, A R Rahman whose melodious numbers have been intelligently woven into the screenplay. The cinematographer of the movie is Ravi Varman who has made Tamasha, a visual treat. His well captured vistas have captured the scenic locales of Corsica, Shimla with aplomb. Ravi Varman's well captured frames are a treat for eyeballs. The movie has been edited by Aarti Bajaj who has kept the run-time of the movie to 151 minutes. They say, a well traveled man is most leveled man. Imtiaz Ali gifts us not only with amazing bank of locations but a story well connected and message well delivered through his films. It becomes a new time to travel while watching his presentation and New Year's Gift while we leave the theater.

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Friday, 13 November 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo :: Movie Review

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo helmed by Sooraj Barjatya carries forward the legacy of Rajshri films "unambiguous & unwavering" commitment of making clean family entertainers imbibed with values, traditions and love for one's family. It would be pertinent to mention here that I've watched 2 back to back movies which deal with the issue of dysfunctional family. The last Hindi movie that I saw and reviewed was Kanu Behl's Titli whose premise also revolved around a dysfunctional family albeit in a ruthless and realistic manner and the plot of PRDP also is centered around a dysfunctional family. Ironically, watching both of these movies is not everyone's cup of tea albeit for different reasons. While Titli couldn't find resonance with family crowds because of its raw & ruthless treatment, PRDP might find it difficult to strike a chord with today's young generation because of its sugar coated treatment and melodrama. But, one major factor that could tilt the crowds in favor of PRDP is its lead actor Salman Khan. It is the star power and charisma of Salman Khan that makes PRDP sail through smoothly despite its predictable and age-old plot-line. Rajshri films is a banner whose name is synonymous with making family sagas. And, Sooraj Barjatya's directorial debut 'Maine Pyar Kiya' featuring Salman Khan as the main lead Prem struck gold at the box office. Sooraj's subsequent films with Salman Khan made him retain his name as Prem and presented him as a well behaved, Agyakaari child. PRDP brings back the formidable duo of Salman & Sooraj back together after a gap of 15 years. In PRDP, though, Salman Khan retains his name as well as good traits but also displays his own trademark style of dancing, comedy which might work hugely in favor of the film. So, in a way Sooraj Barjatya despite of sticking to the cliched storyline has evolved with time as far as characterization of Salman Khan is concerned and has given him the cinematic liberty to perform his jovial antics on-screen. PRDP is undoubtedly the most extravagant film that Sooraj has ever made with larger than life sets, lavish costumes and extravagant art direction, making PRDP visually appealing & huge in its grandeur. Sooraj Barjatya's films have always been about family ties and how families sail through turbulent times together. For the audience who like to watch films laden with values & traditions, PRDP is the perfect movie to watch. It's not that PRDP is a perfect film as it has its share of flaws too. Over-dramatic sequences, too many songs, run-time of 174 minutes are some of the glitches in the movie. But, Salman Khan coupled with belief in family ties imbibed in the storyline overrides these glitches and make PRDP, a clean family entertainer. PRDP comes like a whiff of fresh air amongst today's films that are laden with violence, item numbers or crude(obscene jokes).       

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                           ::            The story as well as screenplay of the movie has been penned down by Sooraj Barjatya where as the dialogues of the movie have been written by Aash Karan Atal. Though, Sooraj has been successful at delivering clean content as far as writing is concerned but PRDP lacks in etching out characters. All of Sooraj's earlier flicks had a collage of family characters be it in form of Babuji, Bua, Mausaji and others which is missing in PRDP. This time he has centered the entire plot around Prem, maybe realizing the present day box office pull of Salman Khan.  Also, the pre climax scenes of the movie are a big let down as the characters of antagonists have not been etched out properly.  The film begins in Ayodhya where we are introduced with Prem Dilwala (Salman Khan) who is a happy-go-lucky guy and performs for Ram Leela shows. He has a bosom pal Kanhaiya (Deepak Dobriyal) who enacts the role of Sita in Ram Leela. Prem is infatuated with Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor) who runs a NGO by the name of Uphaar Foundation. Prem donates his earnings to her NGO and desires to meet her. When he comes to know that she is coming to Pritampur, a close by town, for the coronation of her fiancee Prince Vijay Singh (Salman Khan), he decides to travel to Pritampur to meet her. Meanwhile, in Pritampur, Prince Vijay Singh is going through strenuous times as not only his step sisters Chandrika (Swara Bhaskar) and Radhika are having strained relations with him but his younger brother Ajay Singh (Neil Nitin Mukesh) harbors grudges over him. Vijay Singh has two trusted lieutenants in the form of Diwan Sahab (Anupam Kher) and Security chief (DeepRaj Rana). Before coronation ceremony, Ajay Singh along with CEO of their estate (Armaan Kohli) plots an attack to kill Vijay Singh. Timely intervention by Diwan Sahab saves Vijay's life but he is taken to an isolated place for treatment so as to save him from any further attacks. Deepraj Rana meets Prem at a local market and he is made to act as Vijay Singh to bluff his opponents who are after Vijay's life. Prem not only falls in for Princess Maithili but also tries his level best to clear all the misunderstandings between the royal family. Will Prem be able to re-unite the royal family, Will Maithili get married to Vijay Singh or Prem is what forms the rest of the story.

STARCAST                                                                   ::         It's double the delight for Salman Khan fans as they get to see him portray double role in the movie. Salman Khan is truly the heart & soul of this film as you can't imagine any other actor portraying the character of Prem in more effective manner. Though, both the characters that he portrays in the film are quite diverse in term of characteristics but to Salman's credit, he has carried off both the parts with equal ease. It is his portrayal of Prem Dilwala that is bound to win him lots of laurels. As Prem who is funny and emotional, Salman has simply nailed it. Salman Khan has carried off this movie on his shoulders right from the first to last frame. Sonam Kapoor not only looks ravishing as Princess Maithili but has also enacted her part with supreme confidence. She has delivered an earnest performance and carries her part effortlessly. Anupam Kher once again proves his acting prowess with his effective portrayal as Diwan Sahab in PRDP. His character's concerns as well as worries for the Prince were so genuinely reflected on-screen by Anupam Kher. Anupam's frequent banters with Prem lend several plausible moments to the film. Deepak Dobriyal continues with his streak of winning hearts after TWMR. Deepak once again manages to tickle your funny bones with his impeccable comic timing. Deepak's camaraderie with Salman has turned out to be really good in the movie. Neil Nitin Mukesh literally looks like a royal Prince in the movie. He has given his best to portray the character and it's a treat watching him as the Prince in the movie. Swara Bhaskar has portrayed the character of Vijay's estranged sister with utmost conviction. Swara is one actress who always manages to leave a lasting impression with her performance. Armaan Kohli who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus has stood his ground firmly in PRDP. As the principle antagonist of the movie, Armaan breathes fire unto his character.  Amongst the ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Deepraj Rana, Monoj Joshi and Sanjay Mishra.
TECHNICAL FINESSE                                              ::               The musical soundtrack that has been composed by Himesh Reshammiya is in stark contrast to Himesh's previous soundtracks. Its a typical Sooraj Barjatya kind of soundtrack which will make you reminiscent of 90's, is melodious and has couple of chart-buster tracks in it. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie must to go its cinematographer i.e. Manikandan who has done a swell job at capturing visuals. His well captured vistas are soaked in grandeur. Manikandan has ably captured the varied, pulsating emotions of the characters and documented them in well captured frames without distracting from the story or its telling. A special mention of Nitin Chandrakant Desai (Production Designer) and Alvira Khan, Ashley Rebello (Costume Designers) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Sanjay Sankla who has kept the run-time of the movie at 174 minutes. Editing is one department where the movie suffers as the run-time of the movie could have been trimmed. If some melodramatic scenes would have been trimmed and couple of songs done away with, PRDP would have been more engaging. As a director, Sooraj Barjatya scores full brownie points when it comes to delivering a grand film. Right from the lavish sets to the production design, everything is bang-on when it comes to portraying Royalty.  The biggest strength of the film is its simplicity while displaying the conflicts as well as bonding in the family. Kudos to Sooraj for believing and making such a film in 2015. Had he trimmed down some portions of the movie and reduced the run-time, this family drama would have made more impact.

CONCLUSION                                                               ::             Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a family drama by Rajshri Films for family audiences who like to watch clean movies replete with emotional content. Others, Watch it for Salman Khan.  

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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Titli :: Movie Review

Titli by Kanu Behl narrates a sordid tale about a dysfunctional family of small time criminals and movie's triumph lies in its meticulous detailing, raw & riveting feel plus well etched out characters that are soaked in reality and have been enacted in the same fashion. Mind you, Titli is not an easy film to watch or digest because the crude violence showcased in the movie stays with you for a long time after you have moved out of theater after watching the movie. None of the characters in the movie are what they seem like, with every character having his own web of lies. And, this is the most striking feature of the movie. 
            The movie exposes us to the underbelly of the Delhi and some nefarious characters who co-exist with you and me, probably in whichever town we reside in. The story & screenplay penned down by Sharat Kataria along with Kanu Behl sucks you in right from the first frame of the movie. This sordid tale about survival, deceits, tolerance and cruelty repels as well as compels you. The beauty of the script is that it doesn't offer everything to you on a platter, it requires you to invest your brains and read between the lines ; Like Bawla's sexual preference (gay leaning) or Titli's change of mind in the climax. 
             Titli (Shashank Arora) is the youngest member of his family which consists of his two brothers namely Vikram (Ranvir Shorey), Bawla (Amit Sial) and father (Lalit Behl). Titli's family is beyond dysfunctional and is a weird and warped family where patriarchism rules. Vikram has taken over as the patriarch of the family shoving his ageing father into background who is confined to dunking his biscuits unto his cup of tea whenever a fight erupts in the family. Titli's mother died when he was four years old and you can read in between the lines that she was at receiving end of her husband's abuse. It's an unspoken family legacy of sorts, much like clearing of throats and lungs, gargling making loud sounds while brushing in the morning. Titli's elder brothers are carjackers who hijack cars on the highway and use Titli to assist them. Titli's brothers are ruthless while conducting their business (carjacking) and use hammer to strike their victims. Titli is fed up from all this and wants to break free. He has a dream to buy a parking place in an upcoming mall for which he needs 3 Lacs. Meanwhile, his brothers think that they need a female accomplice, so they plan to get Titli married. They don't have a female member in the house as Vikram's wife Sangeeta (Sarita Sharma) has left the household and started living separately. So, they marry Titli to Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi) to add a female member to their gang. But, Neelu is already in love with a married man Prince (Prashant Singh) who is a builder and when Titli comes to know about it, the manipulative side of him seizes a opportunity in it. He allows her to meet her lover but in exchange charges a fees for it .Whether Titli is able to break free and realize his dream forms the rest of the story. 
                Apart from its novel story, it is the characters and some well captured scenes and situations that remain etched in your memory for a long time. After marriage, when an unaware Neelu becomes a part of carjacking by three brothers, she is so shocked to see Vikram and Bawla's blood soaked faces and clothes after they hit the victim ruthlessly with hammer, that she pisses in her jeans sitting in the car. Than, there is a scene where Titli breaks the hand of Neelu so that his brothers are not able to take her signatures to encash her fixed deposit. Neelu willingly allows him do so as Titli is helping in her secret meetings with her married boyfriend. Titli injects her with local anesthesia so that her hand goes numb before being broken. This scene in a way sums up the movie as you are actually made up to feel the pain, the characters feel. And, it's the sort of pain that is used to numb things out. 
         Also, Kanu Behl has lent an unapologetic tone to the film's female characters which is praiseworthy. Despite being victims, they are not wallowing in victimhood. Neelu who has been forced to marry Titli never allows him to have sex with her. She loves an already married man and announces to Titli (her husband) in an unapologetic tone, "Prince Love hain mere". She makes a business deal to get cosy with her lover right under her Husband's nose. On the other hand there is estranged wife of Vikram, Sangeeta who has started living with another man. She has collected ample proofs of atrocities inflicted upon her by Vikram and files a divorce case asking for alimony. When Titli visits her with his newly wedded wife to ask for a favor, all he gets is choicest of abuses for his family and his father. Sangeeta hits out at his patriarchal family saying how his father manipulated her family by saying all lies to get her married into his household.          
                         What lends a further impetus to the narrative is the realistic portrayal of characters by its well cast actors. Shashank Arora makes a impressive debut in and as Titli. As a crestfallen member of his family with a gloomy face and carrying cold, dry eyes, Shashank makes you feel for his character. Shashank has perfectly billed the character who is fed up from his dysfunctional family and wants to break free. Ranvir Shorey personifies patriarchy at its most complex with his brilliant act. On one side, you see his brutal side with him hitting his victims with hammer getting his clothes and face smeared with blood and on the other side you see his vulnerable side when he breaks down while signing his divorce papers. He displays his angst by using cuss words and cursing his family members for using him. This is unarguably Ranvir Shorey at his best delivering an outstanding performance. Amit Sial stands out as the middle brother who often acts as the mediator between family fights. Amit packs quite a punch as the demure guy with gay leanings. Though, he doesn't speak much but when he speaks, words such as 'Laundiya' & 'Dhandha' form a part of his vocabulary, showing his chilling and scary side. Amit has truly proved his mettle as an actor with his impeccable act in Titli.  Shivani Raghuvanshi manages to impress you with her honest portrayal of Neelu. She has looked damn confident in the movie. Be it as confident girl who argues with the sales person at a car showroom, or as a newly wedded wife who thwarts all attempts of her husband to make love to her, Shivani has stood her ground firmly. Lalit Behl has portrayed the character of ageing father who has surrendered his patriarchy to his eldest son and is now content with watching Television by continuously shuffling channels. He has essayed his character of being manipulative with utmost conviction. It's a treat watching his dance steps at Titli's wedding.  
               Dark, disturbing yet riveting, Titli truly represents the evolving face of Indian Cinema. If you prefer realistic over gloss and substance over style, don't even dare to miss Titli.    

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