Peepli Live (2010) – Movie Review

Peepli Live

Written by: Anusha Rizvi
Directed by: Anusha Rizvi & Mahmood Farooqui
Starring: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuvir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Farrukh Jaffar, Malaika Shenoy, Vishal Sharma, Nowaz

The call to fame of Peepli Live? The production house it’s coming from: Aamir Khan Productions. Aamir, who over the recent years has become the most powerful star in Bollywood in terms of money earned by his films at the box office–and who has successfully ensured over this decade that any movie that has his name attached with it (either as an actor or producer), is a symbol of Good Quality. They have been consistently turning out to be big hits. Now, coming to Peepli Live, it is a satire on the life of Indian farmers and the pathetic state of the plans implemented by the government for their well being. Also targeted is the state of journalism in India. This continues Aamir’s dream run as a producer, as this is an extremely simple but very well made film.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:48:36+00:00 September 21st, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

House Full (2010) – Movie Review

House Full poster

Written by: Vibha Singh & Milap Zaveri
Directed by: Sajid Khan
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, Randhir Kapoor, Jiah Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Ramphal, Boman Irani

House Full is directed by Sajid Khan, coming back after 2007’s successful Heyy Babyy. So now we have almost the entire team (actors, producer, writer and director) of the previous film back with this one. Going by the trailers and “tall claims” of its director, it is a full-on comedy, urging the audience to leave “their brain behind” and watch the movie. Now, one expects that from almost all David Dhawan movies and one can be totally assured that its going to be a laugh riot! But this…well, there are simply no words to describe it. Beyond these: “What trash!”

The story is about a loser, Arush (Akshay Kumar), who is a cooler at a casino (thanks to the bad luck he brings along). He ends up quitting his job after getting dumped by his girlfriend and then travels to London to meet to his best friend Bob (Ritesh Deshmukh). Bob is happily married to Heetal (Lara Dutta), who has run away from India after marriage. Both of them work in a casino owned by Kishore (Randhir Kapoor). Kishore wants to marry his daughter Devika (Jiah Khan) off to an Indian and Bob convinces them that Arush is the best bet and yes, they are married and are off to their honeymoon. There Arush learns she is in love with someone else and married him due to pressure from her father to marry an Indian…else she would not got a single penny from his billion dollar property.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:48:42+00:00 September 12th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Rann (2010) – Movie Review

Rann movie poster

Written by: Rohit G. Banawlikar with lyrics by Sarim Momin, Prashant Pandey, Sandip Singh & Vayu
Directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Mohnish Bahl, Paresh Rawal, Gul Panag

Rann is produced and directed by Ram Gopal Varma (RGV), coming in after the disastrous Agyaat. Rann is a hard hitting take on the prevalent media, journalism and political system in India. It has a plethora of actors playing vital roles in the movie and it does sufficient justice to its theme. RGV seems to be completely in his element here and this movie is surely an engrossing affair.

The story revolves around two news channels vying for the top spot in viewership and TRPs (Target or Television Rating Points). India 24X7 is headed by the morally upright Vijay Mallik (Amitabh Bachchan), who believes in getting the plain truth out to his audience. His news channel is in need of sponsors and money as they are losing viewership…given the fact that they don’t focus much on news sensationalism. He is supported by his son, Jay Mallik (Sudeep), who believes the news channel should be a source of good money irrespective of the correctness and truthfulness of the news being broadcasted. The other channel is Headlines 24X7, headed by Amrish (Monish Bhel), which believes more in making profits through sensationalism. In a desperate attempt to get his channel to gain more popularity and make money, Jay enlists the help of his industrialist brother-in-law, Naveen (Rajat Kapoor), and the corrupt opposition party leader with a criminal track record, Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal), to wrongfully accuse and charge the Prime Minister of masterminding a bombing–accomplishing this through news on his channel showing tampered evidence.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:48:56+00:00 August 25th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010) – Movie Review

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai poster

Written by: Rajat Arora
Directed by: Milan Luthria
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai, Randeep Hooda

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is about the life of gangsters who ruled the underworld in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1970s. It has Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai in the lead roles. It is loosely based on the life of gangster Haji Mastan (one which inspired cult classics like Deewar and Nayagan). There is a visible effort to make it different from the two previous classics by including inspirations from the life of the notorious gangster Dawood Ibrahim (something which the other two had not done). It is different from them and manages to hold on to its own for most of its running time, but does not manage to create anywhere near the impact.

The story told in flashback, is as seen through the eyes of ACP Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) is about the rise of Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgan) from being a child worker in a coal factory to becoming one of the most sought out gangsters in Bombay. He is a wanted man for smuggling, using the sea as his means of entry into Bombay. He basically smuggles electronics and other goods which are banned by the Government, however he enjoys a lot of goodwill and gets a lot of respect from the people as he helps out the poor and needy. He firmly believes in making friends out of enemies and preventing bloodshed–and he ensures there are no warring factions in the Bombay Underworld by making mutual settlements. Rehana (Kangana Ranaut), who is a top heroine of the time, is his love interest.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:49:01+00:00 August 22nd, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Striker (2010) – Movie Review

Striker DVD Cover Art

Written by: Sunita Rajwar, Chandan Arora
Directed by: Chandan Arora
Starring: Siddharth, Ankur Vikal, Aditya Pancholi, Nicolette Bird

My Advice: It’s an ordinary affair and you would not miss much skipping this.

Striker is directed by Chandan Arora and has Siddharth (a very successful leading man of the Telugu and Tamil Film industry) in the lead. This is Siddharth’s first film as a lead in the Hindi film industry. Chandan, who has previously made excellent character-oriented movies depicting human emotions in a convincing way (Main Meri Patni Aur Woh and Main Madhuri Dixit Bannana Chahati Hu), comes back with a film revolving around the 1992 Mumbai Riots. This is a theme which is oft repeated and got the best reception in Mani Rathnam’s Bombay. However, these two films are as different as chalk and cheese. Coming back to Striker, the film starts off incredibly well and sustains it for the first hour, and then it’s simply downhill from there.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:49:25+00:00 August 11th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

I Hate Luv Storys (2010) – Movie Review

I Hate Luv Storys poster

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.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:49:32+00:00 August 2nd, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Raajneeti (2010) – Movie Review

Raajneeti

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!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:50:15+00:00 July 6th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Raavan (2010) – Movie Review

Raavan

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.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:50:27+00:00 June 29th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Ishqiya (2010) – Movie Review

Ishqiya

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.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:51:08+00:00 June 11th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Splice (2010) – Movie Review With Spoilers

Splice poster

Doesn’t Stick the Landing.

Vincenzo Natali’s Splice was a great film. It made me think, it made me uncomfortable with certain assumptions, and then it tore those assumptions asunder. It is not a “horror movie,” so much as it is a movie about horror, about ethics and responsibility, and about the things we become when we confront the Other, and it handles the complexity of these questions extremely well. Like I said: a great film. Right up until the last ten minutes.

Synopsis: Two bioengineers named Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody) are a small, independent research outfit working for a fairly large biotech firm, making crazy breakthroughs in the creation of hybridised artificial life and medicinal science. Through their work, they create two iterations of a completely new kind of chimeric life form from many animals with known medicinal traits. Their plan is to use the chemicals these creatures create in their bodies to treat everything from degenerative eyesight to cancer. When they announce their breakthrough to their big bosses, they also break the news: they’re ready for human splicing. The bosses tell them that they’re very proud, and they’ve all done great work, but that now it’s time to make some cash. No more gene splicing shenanigans for these two–now it’s time to hunker down and synthesize the proteins that have such wonderful properties. But Elsa and Clive are scientists, dammit–and there’s so much more that can be done!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:51:23+00:00 June 9th, 2010|Movie Reviews|2 Comments