Author - Adarsh

Raanjhanaa – Movie Review

Raanjhanaa movie poster

Written by: Himanshu Sharma
Directed by: Anand L. Rai
Starring: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Shilpi Marwaha, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub

Raanjhanaa marks the foray of the Tamil movie industry superstar Dhanush into the Hindi film industry. Over the years, several superstars from down south have tried their luck at cracking the Hindi film industry with varying degrees of success. Dhanush, who became a household name with his hugely popular gone-viral song “Kolaveri Di” makes his debut with Anand Rai’s (who previously made the slightly successful Tanu weds Manu) love story set in the heart of the holy-town of Banaras. The movie also stars Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol in pivotal roles. Going by the trailer, the movie’s main purpose is to give Dhanush a launchpad in this new arena of films. Does it succeed? Yes, it does!

The story is about a Hindu Brahmin boy Kundan (Dhanush) who as a young kid falls head-over-heels in love with a Muslim girl, Zoya (Sonam Kapoor). Through his high school, through several tries and various antics with the help of his best buddy–he manages to get Zoya to reciprocate his feelings. His best buddy’s sister, meanwhile, pines for Kundan, who does not reciprocate. However, her father gets to know about it, and decides to send her out of town for her college, under the supervision of her uncle. On the day of her departure, Kundan professes his love and lets her know that he would wait for her till eternity.

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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) – Movie Review

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani poster

Written by: Hussain Dalal, based on a story by Ayan Mukerji
Directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kalki Koechlin

The magnum opus–the much talked about, much hyped presentation from producer Karan Johar–starring ex-flames Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone as the leads finally hits the screen! With its songs already becoming chart-busters and sizzling chemistry between the leads being the high point of its trailer, it is surely one of the must-watch movies releasing post-the IPL (Indian Premier League). It is the second movie of director Ayan Mukerji, after the extremely well made Wake up Sid. Now with all the high expectations and the people involved with this we certainly expect nothing short of a master class. Does it deliver? Well…unfortunately, it falters and how!

The story revolves around three friends: Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor), the determined and focused man waiting to be one of the world’s best journalists; Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur), who considers Kabir his best friend and is always looking to score; and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin), who is in love with Avi.

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Nautanki Saala – Movie Review

Nautanki Saala poster

Written by: Charudutt Acharya, Nipun Dharmadhikari & Rohan Sippy, based on the original story by Benoit Graffin & Pierre Salvadori
Directed by: Rohan Sippy
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca

Nautanki Saala has generated a lot of publicity thanks to it being the follow-up to Ayushmann Khurrana’s highly successful and acclaimed Vicky Donor. Also it marks the return of Rohan Sippy to the director’s chair after the blow-hot/blow-cool Dum Maaro Dum in 2011. Saala is an official remake of Après vous… (After You…), a French movie. I have not seen the original, so do not have any reference to pit it against. As a stand-alone product, the movie works well up to a certain extent…and then the length kills it!

The story revolves around RP (Khurrana) who is a theatre actor/director in a famous mythological Ramayana play. One day, on his way back home, he saves a jobless, depressed and lovelorn Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) from committing suicide. Soon after that he starts feeling responsible for Lele. He starts helping Lele develop a positive attitude towards life, gets him a job and tries to get Mander’s love life back on track. However, RP’s involvement results in complications aplenty in his work, his relationship with his girlfriend Chitra (Gaelyn Mendonca) and his relation with Mander’s ex-girlfriend Nandini (Pooja Salvi). Whether RP succeed in achieving what he set out to do or destiny has other plans for him–this question forms the main plot.

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Jolly LLB (2013) – Movie Review

Jolly LLB

Written & Directed by: Subhash Kapoor
Starring: Arshad Warsi, Amrita Rao, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla

After the hugely entertaining and popular movie Phas Gaye re Obama in 2010, writer-director Subhash Kapoor is back with Jolly LLB. The trailers try portraying the movie as a light-hearted take on the Indian judicial system starring Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Amrita Rao and Saurabh Shukla in the key roles. The movie pans out in an exactly opposite way: the movie deals with the ineffectiveness and the loopholes of the system with some good courtroom drama and situation comedy peppered in.

The movie is about a hit-and-run case in which a scion of a very rich influential family is the accused case. (The case resembles the the superstar/actor-Salman Khan’s hit-and-run trail). He is initially acquitted thanks to the advocating skills of a Senior Advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani). However a junior lawyer Jolly (Arshard Warsi) files a Public interest litigation and reopens the case with the sole motivation of shooting into limelight given the high media frenzy the case has generated. How he undergoes a change of heart and goes on to actually fight the case so that he can get justice for the family of the people killed in the accident forms the crux of the story.

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The Attacks of 26/11 – Movie Review

Attacks of 26-11

Written by: Ram Gopal Varma & Rommel Rodrigues
Directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Starring: Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal

Ram Gopal Varma is back with his new movie The Attacks of 26/11. After a spate of non-performing movies, he helms the project which deals with the sensitive topic of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on Indian soil. It happened in Mumbai, leaving over 166 people dead and more than 250 people injured. Given the theme, which is so sensitive, the movie is a huge risk and can result in a massive backlash from the critics and public alike if not presented well. So how does it fair? It does pack a punch, but it had the potential to do much more.

For starters, the movie does not exactly trace the entirety of 26/11’s events. It concentrates entirely on the lone inhuman terrorist Kasab, who was captured alive by the Mumbai Police. In the movie, the entire sequence of events that happened through the attack is explained by the Joint Commissioner of Police (Played by Nana Patekar) to a Bench comprising of his seniors. The movie traces the path of the terrorist Kasab from the point he gets onboard a boat en route to India to wreck havoc in Mumbai, to his self realization and his end–hanged as a repenting prisoner disowned by his land (Karachi, Pakistan) and guilty of committing mass-murder.

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Special Chabbis (2013) – Movie Review

Special 26 - Special Chabbis - movie poster

Written and Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Kajal Aggarwal, Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Kishor Kadam, Rajesh Sharma, Divya Dutta

Neeraj Pandey, the writer-director of the highly acclaimed thriller A Wednesday is back after five years with his new venture. This time he’s roped in Akshay Kumar (who is on a HIT spree of mindless comedy and action movies back-to-back, with the sole exception of Oh My God) to secure all the hype required to get the movie going at the box office. The trailers were interesting and promised an entertaining heist movie and does it deliver? Yes–it does!

Special Chabbis is supposedly based on true incidents which rocked the nation in the late 80s, wherein con men disguised as CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) officers and income tax sleuths raided the rich ministers and socialites who hoard illegal wealth. Their modus operandi to target only people with illegal wealth is because their victims, once they found out they were conned, always feared filing a police complaint, as they felt it might attract unwanted attention to their illegally amassed fortune. Hence though the con men made use of this weakness and continued conning more and more such people, they were never on the police’s radar due to lack of any cases against them, giving them a free hand.

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Ragini MMS (2011) – Movie Review

Ragini MMS

Written by: Vaspar Dandiwala & Pawan Kripalani, with dialogue by Mayank Tewaari
Directed by: Pawan Kripalani
Starring: Kainaz Motivala, Raj Kumar Yadav

Finally this horror movie–which has been all over the news for its tagline and publicity campaigns–hits the theatres. The trailers gave a good insight into what to expect from this movie, which is trying to make a mark in the Bollywood Sensuous Horror genre–and it delivers what it promises. It is a low budget movie with relatively unknown actors, however that does not deter it from what it tries to achieve: namely, thrill the audience. The movie is about a couple who are on a romantic weekend getaway, and end up in a house which is haunted. What transpires over the weekend in the haunted house forms the story.

First things first. Yes, there is good amount of inspiration taken from Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity in terms of how the movie unfolds and some of the scary moments. The premise of the movie is really simple and almost the entire run-time of the movie occurs inside a single set–that of the haunted house–and the whole movie revolves around the couple and the paranormal activity which they experience. The movie starts off slowly but gathers sufficient pace as it progresses. All the happenings are depicted through a handy-cam and fixed cameras, which add to the realistic sense of the proceedings. A big positive is that the amount of camera jerks are minimal, when compared to the two Hollywood blockbusters which inspired it. However, the movie holds its own as the story unfolds and the supernatural activity begins.

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No Problem (2010) – Movie Review

No Problem movie poster

Written by: Ikram Akhtar, Nisar Akhtar & Rajeev Kaul, based on a story by Anees Bazmee
Directed by: Anees Bazmee
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Sanjay Dutt, Paresh Rawal, Suniel Shetty, Sushmita Sen, Kangana Ranaut

The trend of movies trying to tickle the funny bone were flocking in throughout 2010: the latest addition to the list was No Problem. Co-written and directed by Aneez Bazmee who has given Mega Hits previously in his career with comedy being his forte. The movie boasts of a huge star cast: Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Sanjay Dutt, Paresh Rawal, Suniel Shetty, Sushmita Sen and Kangana Ranaut plus the chartbuster song “Mast Punjabi.” With all these ingredients one would expect a good entertainer, but No Problem definitely has problems.

The movie has several parallel tracks, all of which get interlinked as the movie progresses. One is about two thieves, Raj (Khanna) and Yash (Dutt) who rob a village and escape to Cape Town, South Africa. Zandulal (Rawal) is from the village which has been robbed; he comes to Cape town in search of the two thieves. The other track is about a dumb-wit cop (Kapoor), whose wife Sanjana (Sen) suffers from a split personality. He holds a good rank at the police, thanks to his father-in-law, played by Shakti Kapoor, who is the head of the police force.

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Tees Maar Khan (2010) – Movie Review

Tees Maar Khan poster

Written by: Shirish Kunder
Directed by: Farah Khan
Starring: Katrina Kaif, Anil Kappor, Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna

Tees Maar Khan–the most awaited movie in the Hindi film industry in 2010 from the time it was announced in early January 2010–finally hits the screen. This was news for quite a few reasons: a major one being Farah Khan directing a movie without Shah Rukh Khan for the first time after their extremely successful and fruitful association previously in Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. The hype and buzz surrounding Tees Maar Khan has reached unimaginable heights thanks to the sexy sultry super-hit item number “Sheila Ki Jawaani” featuring Katrina Kaif.

But now, coming to the movie itself: it’s supposed to be a comical heist film. With Farah Khan known for making “Masala entertainers” and king of comedy Akshay Kumar in the lead with his lucky mascot Katrina Kaif (with hit music as well), one surely expects nothing short of a complete fun-ride. But the film blows both hot and cold.

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Rakta Charitra (2010) – Movie Review

Rakta Charitra poster

Written by: Prashant Pandey
Directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Starring: Vivek Oberoi, Suriya, Shatrughan Sinha, Sudeep, Abhimanyu Singh, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Sushant Singh, Priyamani, Radhika Apte

Rakta Charitra, based on the life of slain communist/Naxal/political leader/cabinet minister Paritala Ravi, is the latest offering of Ram Gopal Varma. The movie is being released in two parts: first tracing his growth and the next about his fall. The subject is bloody–just going by the trailers alone, this surely is not a movie for the faint hearted. This is one of the most violent movies coming out from the Hindi film industry. The movie almost manages to meet the expectation it has set through the trailers. However, falls short of being a classic, though it had all the ingredients for it!

Rakta Charitra is the story of Pratap (Vivek Oberoi) who gets dragged into a family feud started by a political family (in Rayalaseema District of Andhra Pradesh, a south Indian state) which disowns his father and kills his father and brother. Once Pratap gets dragged into it, he transforms from being a normal college student into a bloodthirsty revenge-seeking son, who goes on a rampage, killing everyone involved in the deaths caused in his family. However, there is a big hurdle in the form of Bukka (Abhimanyu Singh), the nephew of the leader of the political family whom Pratap kills; he is now baying for Pratap’s blood. Bukka is a short-tempered man, who tortures and kills people at will, abducts and rapes women and stays out of the hands of police thanks to his money and political power. Shivaji (Shatrughan Sinha) is a leading film personality who steps into politics and tries to widen his base in Rayalaseema, but gets chased out of there by Bukka. Seething in anger, Shivaji seeks the help of Pratap, and offers him a post in his cabinet, with the condition of removing Bukka. How Pratap goes about doing it and how he rises up the ranks of both rowdyism in Andhra Pradesh and Shivaji’s cabinet along with the obstacles he faces is shown in this part of the story.

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