Written & Directed by: Punit Malhotra
Starring: Sonam Kapoor, Imran Khan, Samir Dattani
I Hate Luv Storys is the latest offering from Karan Johar’s production house. It stars Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor in the lead and is directed by first time director Punit Malhotra. This movie is extremely critical to both the lead actors as both come into the movie with a spate of flops behind them. The movie, although a spoof on all the greatest romantic Hindi movies of the last two decades, does not disappoint.
The film is a story of Jay (Khan) an assistant director, a Casanova who does not believe in the concept of love, and Simran (Kapoor), an art director whose life is hugely influenced by all romantic movies she’s seen. She is a die-hard romantic girl and has complete belief in the concept of Love (as depicted in Hindi movies over the years). Moreover, she has already found the love of her life in her childhood friend Raj (Dattani). However, a series of events result in both Jay and Simran working together on the same movie. What happens when both of them (with their extremely opposite natures, attitudes and belief systems) end up working together and who manages to change whose conception about love is depicted in a very enjoyable way in the movie.
Written by: Prakash Jha, Anjum Rajabali
Directed by: Prakash Jha
Starring: Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah
My Advice: An excellent movie.
Raajneeti is the latest offering from Prakash Jha, who is back as a director after a long gap of five years. Praskash Jha had previously succeeded in a big way by handling socially relevant themes while giving them an excellent commercial touch, as well as delivering two consecutive hits– Gangaajal in 2003 and Aparahan in 2005. With this film, it is a political drama and one of the biggest multi-star films coming out of Hindi Film Industry in recent times, boasting the presence of Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Katrina Kaif, and Ranbir Kapoor. The movie also had its share of controversies (with assumptions that the movie is based on the life of Gandhi Family) which in turn brought it some excellent additional publicity. Now does this movie do justice to the star cast and does it deliver as a Complete Entertainer, matching the hype surrounding it? Yes sir, it does. Totally!
Written by: Mani Ratnam, with dialogue by Vijay Krishna Acharya
Directed by: Mani Ratnam
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Govinda, Vikram, Ravi Kissen
Raavan–written and directed by Mani Ratnam, one of the finest directors of our times–is a trilingual made in Hindi, Tamil and dubbed in Telugu. Anything offered from Ratnam is keenly awaited by the audience–such is the reputation he has developed over the last couple of decades. This movie is supposedly based on Ramayan (the greatest Indian epic which tells the story of Lord Rama). The movie stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Govinda and Vikram in pivotal roles. Does this thriller based on the modern adaptation of Ramayan deliver? It’s a difficult question; it does satisfy but not mesmerize, which it had the capability to do!
The story revolves around a Naxal group headed by Beera (Bachchan) and his two brothers, who are on a police killing spree in their Tribal dominated area. They kidnap Raagini (Rai), the wife of Superintendent of Police Dev (Vikram) with the intention of killing her. They intend to showcase to the police that they too can take lives at will. However, Raagini turns out to be a tougher and stronger woman than Beera anticipated, which increases his respect for her. What follows is a game of cat and mouse, with Beera and his gang on the run with their captive Raagini and the police force led by Dev and guided by Forest Guide- Sanjeevani (Govinda) on their back. Do they manage to save Raagini, or is there something else in store for them? And why are the Naxalites are hell-bent on killing the police officers? These are the questions which are answered as the movie unfolds.
Written by: Vishal Bhardwaj, Sabrina Dhawan, Abhishek Chaubey
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan, Salman Shahid
My Advice: If you’re looking for a non-traditional Hindi thriller, this is a good one.
Ishqiya, directed by first time director Abhishek Chaubey, comes from Vishal Bharadwaj’s stable. This is the movie coming from his production house after one of the best crime thrillers in Hindi cinema, Kaminey (which was directed by Vishal, and is an ode to Tarantino‘s kind of movies–this is a huge compliment in itself). The movie stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan in the lead roles. Going by the trailers, Ishqiya is a thriller involving characters smitten by love as its central theme and the movie does just about complete justice to all it’s set out to be.
Written by: Anurag Basu, Robin Bhatt, Akarsh Khurana, and Rakesh Roshan
Directed by: Anurag Basu
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, BÃ¡rbara Mori
Kites is one of the most awaited releases of the year, generating tremendous buzz with huge hype surrounding it. It marks the return of Hrithik Roshan on the big screen after a gap of two years and ropes in BÃ¡rbara Mori (a Mexican actress) as the lead. Produced by his father’s company Filmkarft, this is one of the most expensive films coming out from the Hindi film industry. The movie (as per reports) was designed to introduce Hrithik Roshan to the western world, and it has a complete English version which is being released as well. It’s directed by Anurag Basu, who has already proved his mettle in Bollywood as one of the new age directors to reckon with. Now, the all-important question: does it deliver as a movie AND in showcasing Hrithik? On the movie front yes, it does partly, and the showcasing…Totally!
Written & Directed by: Parmeet Sethi
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das, Jameel Khan
Badmaash Company is directed by Parmeet Sethi, a well known character artist in the Hindi and Punjabi film industry. This is his debut as a director. It is produced by Yash Raj films, which is one of the biggest production houses in India, with Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma playing the lead roles. Going by the title and the trailer, one expects a good film about con men. However, the movie ends up being just an average entertainer.
The story is set in 1994, and is about three fresh out of college friends: Karan (Kapoor), the leader of the pack who we are told is a topper in both academics and athletics; Zing (Chang), an alcoholic; and Chandu (Das), a womanizer, the latter two being just average students. All of them, in order to make a quick buck, help Ansari (Jameel Khan) in smuggling fashionable clothes in from Bangkok. During their first trip to Bangkok, they meet Bulbul (Sharma) who wants to be a model, but who also wants to make a quick buck and works with/helps Ansari in smuggling goods into India. Ansari runs a store which sells smuggled goods from Bangkok and other places around the world. During their trip, Bulbul and the three friends hit it off big time, and become thick friends.
Written by: Manish Achraya & Anuvab Pal
Directed by: Manish Achraya
Starring: Shabana Azmi, Ajay Naidu, Ayesha Dharker, Michael Raimondi, Seema Rhamani
Released by: IndiePix Films
My Advice: Good performances, but not as funny as one would like.
Loins of Punjab Presents was released in 2007, directed and co-written by first-time director Manish Achraya, and is now out on DVD. This is a movie targeting the “multiplex audience.” (The term is used for a movie that appeals to a niche audience group and expects to recover its cost through a long run at the multiplex with limited shows. Basically it is not a mass movie, which releases in single screens and has huge number of shows in the multiplex thanks mainly to the actors involved, or due to the latest trend (such as the director involved with the project)). The movie is supposed to be a laugh riot, a parody on the reality show American Idol (which has its own version across countries, including Indian Idol in India). Does it deliver? Well, the movie is provocative and is slightly racist–the racism factor is used to get in few laughs, but overall the movie is strictly okay, thanks to good performances and few good moments which are really far and few in-between.
Written & Directed by: Kaizad Gustad
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Gulshan Grover, Javed Jaffery, Padma Lakshmi, Katrina Kaif
Boom is written and directed by Kaizad Gustad. This movie came in after the director’s highly acclaimed and successful (in relative terms compared to other cross-over/independent films in India) Bombay Boys. The movie boasts of an ensemble cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shorff, Zeeenat Aman (in a sort of comeback to the silver screen, it was her second movie in fourteen years) and the three gorgeous models Katrina Kaif (this was her launchpad), Madhu Sapre and Padma Lakshmi. Again, with Kaizad one hopes we get to see something different from normal commercial pot-boiler stuff and here he attempts to make a dark comedy about the mafia. In doing so, he delivers as a director but falters as a writer.
The story revolves around three models Anu, Reena and Sheela (Sapre, Kaif, and Lakshmi) staying together in Mumbai. During a ramp show, Anu gets involved in a catfight with another model, who happens to be a part of a mafia gang smuggling diamonds. During their catfight, the other model–who is supposed to smuggle thirty antique diamonds–loses them on the stage, resulting in a stampede and the diamonds going missing. The other model “dissapears” and the mafia get to Anu and her two friends for payback. The gang is operated by Bade Miyan (Bachchan) from Dubai with his distant cousin Medium (Grover) and his keep (mistress) Alice (Zeenat Aman) along with their Indian counterparts, Chotte (Jackie Shroff) and his sidekick, Boom Shankar (Javed Jaffery), who along with smuggling diamonds also run a human trafficking chain.
Written by: Shibani Bathija with dialogue by Shibani Bathija & Niranjan Iyengar
Directed by: Karan Johar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Jimmy Shergill, Sonya Jehan, Yuvaan Makaar
Widge’s Note: I think everybody knows that I have a fondness for Bollywood films because there’s just nothing else like them. Apart from some exceptions, sadly, I can’t keep up with the output of the Indian movie industry like I would like, so I’ve called in some reinforcements. So please welcome our new Bollywood movie reviewer, Adarsh. Hailing from India and currently working here stateside, he’s going to check in from time to time with some Indian movie picks. Which I’m excited as hell about. Take it away, Adarsh…
This is Karan Johar’s fourth movie as a director–his previous three have been blockbusters all starring Shah Rukh Khan and two of them have had Kajol as lead actress. As a result, the expectations of this movie are sky high, particularly as these three are working together after a gap of nearly a decade. The subject of My Name is Khan is definitely the most different, realistic and risky they have undertaken as a team. Realistic and different mainly because their films before have all been typical Bollywood “larger than life” romantic movies. Risky because the audience for a movie with this theme is usually limited, but with Khan’s star power (capable of pulling in the initial audiences, which could grow if the material is Good) it’s a gamble that should pay off. I could as well call this Bollywood’s answer to Forrest Gump!