Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dilwale :: Movie Review

Dilwale helmed by Rohit Shetty takes you on predictable lanes of love, betrayal, action, melodrama making it an average masala affair. Since last flick that Rohit Shetty & Shahrukh worked together in i.e. Chennai Express was a monstrous hit, so the expectations from this movie were quite high. And when Kajol was announced as the leading lady opposite Shahrukh in this movie, expectations soared to an altogether different altitude. And, fortunately for Rohit Shetty it's the charming chemistry between Kajol & SRK that has saved this convoluted drama from going haywire. In fact, all the actors in the film have given earnest performances but the basic plot which is the pillar of strength for a movie is missing. Dilwale isn't like a typical Rohit Shetty film in many ways apart from the cars. Dilwale is more of a love story and an emotional drama between siblings. Even, Chennai Express was a love story but it had dollops of humor quotient interlaced in the narrative which is missing from Dilwale. No doubt, there is humor in Dilwale too but it is quite few and far in-between. Dilwale is more like a potpourri with Rohit Shetty throwing in a bit of everything in the movie ranging from romance, action, comedy, drama, heartache. But, there is no cohesive storyline to back up all these elements making them fall flat. Still, Dilwale can be watched once for its slick action, well choreographed songs and earnest performances by its starcast. 

Dilwale like many other Rohit's films begins in Goa where Veer (Varun Dhawan) is living with elder brother Raj naam to suna hoga (Shahrukh Khan). They own a car garage where they modify cars. Why ? Arre Bhai, It's a Rohit Shetty film where cars play a pivotal role in the movie and characters appear in-between. While going on a test drive, Veer meets Ishita (Kriti Sanon) and after a few meetings they fall in love with each other. Veer has a run-in with some local drug dealers who rough him up. There, we get a hint that amiable Raj has a violent past as Raj along with his two old trusted aides (Mukesh Tiwari & Pankaj Tripathi), raids the hideout of drug dealers and beats them black & blue. While the drug dealers threaten him of dire consequences from their boss King (Boman Irani), Raj tells them to tell their King that Kali aaya tha. Kali.....Whatta name but hey wait, there's more to come. A flashback ensues and the scene shifts to Bulgaria where Raj was Kali, son of Mafia Don (Vinod Khanna) engaged in a bitter turf war with a rival (Kabir Bedi). In Bulgaria, Kali meets Meera (Kajol) falls in love with her and takes her out on a five minutes date.  Meera ditches Kali only to fall in love with him later. After a love song and few reels, some misunderstanding ensues and Meera thinks Kali has ditched him. Confused ? Wait! There's more to follow.....Let's move ahead as now we come to know that Ishita is sister of Meera who disapproves of her sister's alliance with Veer because he is brother of Kali (who is now Raj). Now, Veer, his bosom pal Sid (Varun Sharma), Ishita and a petty thief (Johnny Lever) try their level best to reunite Meera & Raj. What happens thereafter, is a typical Bollyood Formula Film photo finish. 

Shahrukh Khan once again proves why he is known as King Khan or King of romance with his impeccable act in Dilwale.  His majestic presence lifts up some very ordinary scenes in the movie. While his younger Avatar where he romances Meera will make many a hearts go aflutter, his chiseled physique coupled with his profound voice and apt expressions lend a certain aura to the character of Kali. His eyes belie many emotions as the angst ridden Raj wanting to clear the misunderstandings with his lady love.

Kajol, as expected, is simply brilliant in the movie and delivers a memorable performance. She truly excels not only in the emotional parts but also takes you by surprise in a scene which gives twist to the movie in the first half. Her chemistry with Shahrukh has to be seen to be believed.

Varun Dhawan has portrayed the character of Veer to pitch perfection. With his endearing act in the movie, Varun is bound to increase his fan-following manifold. The best part about Varun is his chameleon like fluidity which makes him a great versatile actor. He has not only come out good in comic scenes which is his strength but also in emotional scenes especially with SRK.

Kriti Sanon not only looks like a million bucks but also portrays her character to the Tee in Dilwale. She might be just one film old in Bollywood but she has stood her ground firmly amongst stalwarts in Dilwale.

Varun Sharma is growing in strength as an actor with each subsequent movie of his. His penchant for comic timing is in full florid display in Dilwale. In fact, Varun's monologue where he explains how difficult it has become to maintain a girlfriend in today's times is a scene stealer.

Amongst ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Sanjay Mishra, Boman Irani, Mukesh Tiwari, Pankaj Tripathi and Johnny Lever. 

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Bajirao Mastani :: Movie Review

BajiRao Mastani helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a soulful pageant that not only smittens you but also transports you into a land of passion, grandeur, love and war making it a Big Screen watch. When it's Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bollywood's Maximum Man, rest assured that half measures are never an option. Unbridled cinematic hedonism is par for the course. With every film, Sanjay has taken the expectations of audience to a higher altitude. This has been the dream project of Sanjay since long, hence he has left no stone upturned to make Bajirao Mastani, a grand affair. The attention-grabbing visuals, the effervescent colors, the intense drama intertwined in the screenplay and the powerhouse performances by its lead starcast, captivate and suck you into the movie right from its first frame. Sanjay does what he knows best ; using Bollywood elements like song, dance, larger-than life protagonists and their epic love affairs- and attempting to redefine the form of Hindi movies and telling them in his own auteur style. What stands out most about the film is passion ; the filmmaker's, that of his actors', and even in the film's characters. It is impossible to watch this film impassively. There are enough magical scenes, to make you feel you have to watch it a second time to soak it all in. The film and the viewer gets its biggest adrenaline rush from the strong, pulsating chemistry that the lead pair Ranveer and Deepika unfold from the time they meet till the climax of the film. There is an alluring magic in the film that will enchant you. There is exhilarating energy,  passion, thrill and romance in the movie that unspools on-screen via its characters especially Bajirao played by Ranveer Singh. Those who were skeptical about Ranveer portraying Peshwa's character because of his off-screen persona & antics, will be biting their tongues after watching his performance in the movie.     

This time, Bhansali has showcased the Maratha history in his own impeccable style. The story of the movie has been penned down by SLB where as the screenplay and dialogues have been written by Prakash Kapadia. The movie elevates the legendary Peshwa Bajirao, 18th century warrior-hero determined to establish Hindu rule across the Bharatvarsha to the level of a selfless crusader for love in a climate of hate and bigotry. Though the movie features the key battles of Bajirao, yet its more focused on his passion for Mastani, the courageous and beautiful half Rajput, half Muslim Princess of Bundelkhand. The movie ably conveys the message that all religions preach love but love has no religion. Love, is a religion by itself and those that swear by its tenets become immortal like Bajirao and Mastani.  At its core, Bajirao Mastani is all about love. The movie tells the tale of Bajirao Peshwa (Ranveer Singh) who has won all the 40 battles that he ever fought and wants to create one united Hindu Nation. How he meets, falls in love and marries Mastani (Deepika Padukone), who is half Rajput and half Muslim despite being already married to Kashi (Priyanka Chopra).    

Ranveer Singh....Take a bow. What a performance. I have no qualms in saying that this is Ranveer's best performance till date. The ease with which Ranveer Singh has imbibed the traits of Peshwa and further portrayed them on-screen is truly commendable. Ranveer's hardwork & dedication towards enacting this role is visible from his tenacity on the character. He is virtually perfect in each & every frame of the movie. He looks very convincing as the blazing Bajirao in the fight scenes. But, the scene in which he pines for his love Mastani with sad, bloodshot eyes will be etched in your memory for a long time. It won't be a surprise if he sweeps away with the best actor trophies at most of the award functions for his performance in the movie. 

Deepika Padukone mesmerizes you with her portrayal of Mastani in the movie. She looks and enacts her part of being the warrior princess with utmost conviction. She looks fiercely determined as a warrior and passionate in the love scenes. The intense love scenes between her and Ranveer are a treat to watch. Deepika is proving her versatility by playing diverse characters as her role in the movie is in stark contrast to her roles in Piku & Tamasha which released earlier this year.     

Priyanka Chopra hits all the right notes and delivers a bang-on performance as Kashi in the movie. It's a delight to watch Priyanka emote her character's journey from being child-like innocent in the beginning to a mature lady standing tall after the second marriage of her husband. Priyanka Chopra has ably captured the finer nuances of her layered character and essayed them on-screen with her acting prowess. Priyanka's body language and her rendition of typical Marathi catch phrases lend a authentic feel to her character in the movie.

Amongst, the ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been delivered by Tanvi Azmi, Milind Soman, Mahesh Manjrekar, Raza Murad and Aditya Pancholi.

And finally, as with all SLB movies - the craft is something to look forward to. It is evident that every technical department - stunning visuals captured by Sudeep Chatterjee's cinematography, Production Design by Saloni Dhatrak, Sriram Iyengar, Sujeet Sawant, Costumes by Maxima Basu, Anju Modi, Stunts by Shyam Kaushal - has worked hard and in consonance to realize Bhansali's meticulous, ravishing frames, a signature single-source backlighting bursting through palaces and warzones. 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali deserves all the accolades for making a colorful and rich historical film on such a big canvas. His biggest attribute is his eye for detailing which is evident in each & every frame of the movie. It would not be wrong to say that he has painted the film in a myriad of colors and exrtacted the best out of his cast & crew.      

Bajirao Mastani has each and everything that you expect from a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Picture perfect frames, huge colorful sets, beautiful heavy costumes, emotions, poetic lines and melodrama. It's a spectacular show !

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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Angry Indian Goddesses :: Movie Review

                                               Image result for four and a half stars out of five transparent               
Angry Indian Goddesses by Pan Nalin is a intelligent, well made, must watch Indian motion picture which rakes up some real issues that are prevalent in today's hypocritical society albeit in an entertaining manner. From the surface, AIG looks like a female bonding story but scratch the surface and a diverse range of issues ranging from gender discrimination, rapes, homosexuality, legal battle and revenge crop up. The beauty of AIG lies in its well etched out characters and their respective stories. And, when you have talented staracst portraying their respective characters with aplomb, it acts as icing on the cake. Another major highlight of the movie is that all the leading ladies of AIG represent the true picture of today's modern urban women with none of them faking the sanskari culture. Though, our sanskari censor board once again plays the spoilsport by muting several dialogues in the movie which acts as a deterrent. 

The opening prelude sets the tone for this wonderful movie which celebrates womanhood as you watch Pammy (Pavleen Gujral) dropping gym weights on the guy's foot who is teasing her in the gym ; singer Madhureeta (Anushka Manchanda) attacking the interrupters during her performance ; photographer Freida (Sarah Jane Dias) quitting a fairness cream shoot ; Corporate honcho Suranjana (Sandhya Mridul) after tearing apart her subordinates, strips to her bikini and dives into a pool ; a wannabe Bollywood starlet Joanna (Amrit Maghera) fails to obey her director's instructions of being a damsel in distress during a shoot and Lakshmi (Rajshri Deshpande) catches hold of a eve teaser literally by his balls. 

The women in AIG are brave, sexy and candid. They have the guts to barge into a men's toilet, drink, smoke, use cuss words, share sex jokes and break a drinks bar with a cricket bat. But, all of them have had their share of high/lows in life and are fighting their respective demons. While, one of them who has been the college topper feels that she has just been reduced to being a mere commodity at her in-law's place ; the other is pissed off with judicial system as her brother was gunned down in front of her eyes and is still awaiting justice. Another, a budding Rockstar is miffed off because she is not able to cut down the album of her choice as everyone wants her to sing typical Bollywood songs. But, when they get together, they set the house on fire. Their sitting together, drinking and talking their hearts out is what lends the most plausible moments to the film. They are women of substance and steel....., a domineering bunch they sure are. All of them are trying to live their life at their own terms and all of them gather at one place, Goa. The reason of their coming together is impending marriage of one of them. Hereafter, begins the revelry, bonding, some masti and discovery of their own selves. 

But, remember Nalin has called his film Angry Indian Goddesses. They are angry and he tells you why right from the beginning. If the film's prelude showcases the hypocrisy of our society in perceiving women, the pre climax portions of the movie lend a further impetus to it. The dialogues spoken by a cop (Adil Hussain in an effective cameo) reek of the typical mentality with which young free spirited women are looked at. Cigarette peeti ho, Ye kapde kaise pehne hain, itni raat ko beach pe party, open jeep mein ghumti ho.....all these comments make women look like culprits rather than victims. And this takes AIG to another level, much beyond a film about female bonding, a feminist statement or a tribute to women power. It's a film that reveals the innermost feelings/desires of every girl/woman and most of the females will be able to relate with one or the other part of the movie. 

Sandhya Mridul carries off her part of being the corporate honcho with the right amount of confidence and attitude. She looks perfectly poised while in board meeting or during her telephonic conversations, ably displays her vulnerable side when she comes to know about qualities of her girl child and also when she sets out to seek revenge in the climax.

Sarah Jane Dias not only displays a cool demeanor throughout the movie but also proves her caliber as an actress. As Freida, the photographer,  Sarah packs quite a punch in her character. I am sure she is gonna win lot of hearts with her apt performance in AIG.

Anushka Manchanda  literally enlivens the character of Madhureeta in AIG with her brilliant act. With AIG, Anushka has proved that she has a penchant for acting too apart from singing. 

Pavleen Gujral is at her natural best as the Delhi based, housewife,Pammi in AIG. The scene in which she confides to Madhureeta about her loveless marital life speaks volumes about her acting prowess.

Amrit Maghera has portrayed the character of Joanna to the tee in AIG proving her mettle as an actress. Her expressions while having a wet dream, while convincing Lakshmi to forget about revenge and while being teased over her British-Indian accent are so very comprehensive.

Rajshri Deshpande gets to play the most complex character in AIG with several dimensions attached to it  which she has done with effortless ease.

Adil Hussain stands out and makes his presence felt while playing a effective cameo in AIG.

Arjun Mathur shines in his guest appearance as boyfriend of Madhureeta. The concerns of his character about well being of his girlfriend were so genuinely reflected by Arjun that we could walk in his shoes. Subtle yet powerful act.  

As writer-director, Pan Nalin has conceived and crafted the tale eloquently on-screen. He scores all the brownie points for making a flawless movie where every single scene conveys, a very powerful, undercurrent message without being loud about it.   

Angry Indian Goddesses is a must watch movie for every individual who wishes to grow and come out of his/her closet.                  

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