Rann : Review

Direction:      Ram Gopal Varma

Cast:   Amitabh Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Paresh Rawal, Mohnish Behl, Manisha Koirala, Rajat Kapoor, Gul Panag, Raima Sen, Rajpal Yadav

Ram Gopal Varma (RGV)’s latest offering is Rann. Movie managed to raise some eyeballs because of its media-bashing focus. RGV did not really had a successful time in his last few releases and people have started to questions regarding his once famous Midas touch. Since his now notorious ‘RGV ki Aag’, things have gone really haywire for this once considered as harbinger of new age Hindi cinema. That was a fine example of what actually happens when a moviemaker starts assuming himself bigger than the medium; movies.

Phhonk, Agyaat, 13B were some of his attempts that did not find any takers but thanks to Big B who salvaged his Sarkar series and now he is at it again in ‘Rann’. Even at this age, Amitabh Bachchan has continued to defy expectations by giving us ‘Paa’ first and now ‘Rann’. He alone has made this movie worth watching by the sheer force of his talent, charisma and personality.

On the face of it, ‘Rann’ had a wonderful premise and well, of course intention yet the film turns out to be a contrived social and commercial drama. The plot had every potential to be hailed as stark, sensible and thought provoking yet movie successfully manages to fail the vision of its maker. Rann tries hard to expose the media blunders but when you come out of theatre all that you will term it as is simple average neta media story on the surface of a T.V. channel. That’s all.

The story revolves around founder of a private news channel, Vijay Harshvardhan Malik played brilliantly by Amitabh Bachchan. His channel is facing hard times because of its ethical and moral way of reporting news. Enters, Jay (Sudeep), his son, for whom, this is just a business that must earn profit to survive the cut-throat competition. Other end of the spectrum has unethical and immoral Mohnish Bahl who is running a hugely successful news channel because of its focus on sensationalism. Accompanying him is corrupt politician, Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal) who plays games to his advantage by using Vijay’s son-in-law Navin (Rajat Kapoor). Pandey aspires to be the Prime Minister and his game plan includes Navin and Jay and stopping them becomes the responsibility of Vijay and an honest reporter played by Ritiesh Deshmukh.

All the lead actors including Big B, Ritesh, Paresh Rawal, Rajat Kapoor and Mohnish Behl have given commendable performances. Watch out for Big B’s 5 minutes speech during the end moments of the film. It’s simply outstanding. All in all, you can go watch the movie if you are feeling bored and get a dose of ever growing feel of Mr. Bachchan’s acting prowess.


Ishqiya : review

Banner: Shemaroo Entertainment,Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Pvt Ltd

Production: Vishal Bhardwaj,Raman Maroo

Direction: Abhishek Chaubhey

Cast:   Naseruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan

Music : Vishal Bhardwaj

Lyrics : Gulzar

Ishqiya was one of the most talked about releases primarily because one, It was coming from Vishal Bhardwaj stable and secondly the promo managed to raise the curiosity level among the viewers. No wonder, movie has managed to prove itself ‘different’. Though, the tag of ‘different’ is an overused one yet debutant director Abhishek Chuaubhey has shown glimpses of his talent in this dark comedy cum thriller genre film. Vishal Bhardwaj has become a master in this style and every time viewers are left gasping for more.

Ishqiya thrives on wonderful performances and apt dialogues. Movie is a bold step towards new age of Hindi film making. Yet, it is strongly recommended that parents should leave the bachcha party at home and rejoice this cinematic experience. Talking about lead actors, Naseruddin Shah, as usual is in peak form whereas Vidya Balan has surprised one and all with her bold scenes. She is pretty different from what we viewers are used to watching her on-screen exploits. Ishqiya is definitely another feather in her cap after giving a stunning performance in ‘Paa’.

Arshad Warsi has matched his co-stars step by step and seems like a perfect match for the role of Babban. Movie revolves around two thieves Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) who are on the run from their boss, Mushtaq. During their course of journey they seek refuge at a friend’s house, but instead meet his widow, Krishna (Vidya Balan). Thereafter, movie takes a different turn as duo find themselves mesmerised by Krishna who had some other sinister plans of her own. But eventually, they all have to face the past realities and slowly new secrets start pouring out of cupboard.

Ishqiya is a must watch because of its eastern UP backdrop, fascinating dialogues and of course for ‘Dil toh bachcha hai’. Songs are already chart toppers adding to crisp editing and wonderfully captured background of the movie. Vishal Bhardwaj gives us another winner and this time its desi flavour in western style.


Bolo Ram Review

Not every small budget, multiplex movie manages to impress. Considering its star cast, ‘Bolo Ram’ had managed to raise expectations of movie fans but sadly, things were far from impressive. How could you justify assembling together stalwarts like Naseruddin Shah, Om Puri and Padmini Kolhapure (her comeback vehicle) and making something like this? Movie fails on all counts whether, its screenplay, script, predictable twists and even songs. Movie was tagged as a thriller but trust me, in first 20 minutes you are sure to figure out what turn movie will take.

 The movie fares badly on its screenplay and lack of character development. The characters are half baked and yes, not at all established. Well, the story revolves around lead character Ram played by newcomer Rishi who is in a state of shock. The reason? Well, he has been charged with murder of his mother (Padmini Kolhapure). Om Puri plays the role of an investigating officer who has been assigned the job of getting the truth out of our lead character who in turn is seriously struggling with some serious psychotic disorder.

 Comes, Psychiatrist Dr. Ns. Negi played by veteran Naseruddin Shah on request of Inspector and tries to determine the cause of Raam’s state of mind and the reason for his silence. As movie progresses, you start losing the interest and proceeding becomes monotonous. The last nail in the coffin comes from the climax where you are literally forced to wonder, ‘what was that, Really’? All in all, avoid if you can and better stay at home.


Veer Movie Review

VeerI awaited Veer eagerly but it is a big disappointment. Most of us thought that after the success of 3 idiots, Veer will the next hit in queue but Salman Khan and even his star power fails to do so. VEER is about a warrior and at the same time, it’s a love story too but the story or should I say the screenplay of Veer is so poor that you really cannot sit through the whole film. Most people who were coming out of the theatres had similar views.

The story goes like this: As the British enslave India with their Divide and Rule policy, kings and nawabs give away their kingdom to the foreigners but for the brave Pindaris, take a oath to fight till their last breath to save their motherland. One such brave and strong Pindaris is Veer which is played by Salman Khan. As Veer takes on the might of the British Empire, he has to fight the King of Madavgarha. He falls in love with princess Yashodhara played by Zarine Khan, daughter of his enemy. The story becomes weak when it shifts to London. The climax is so long drawn that the ending looks absurd. At times the story looks fake that you feel you are living in a world of coincidence! Salman Khan has been credited with ‘storywriter’ but honestly this is where the film lacks. Had the story been tighter, crisper with some tweeking, Veer would have worked! Director Anil Sharma may have made Gadar which is one of the biggest hit of modern times but the fact remains that Veer has appalled the audience who were expecting from the director something better!

Hard core Salman fans may help the movie to recover its exhorbitant costs (100 crores) but on the whole this one is a big disappointment especially after so much time, effort and money has gone into making a period film.


Chance Pe Dance Review

Seems like this movie failed to dance at the box office. Most critics have given it a one or two star rating which goes to show that this one hour 58 minute movie does not work for the audience despite its fresh pairing – Genelia D’Souza and Shahid Kapoor. Chance pe Dance is a story of a struggler who comes to Mumbai from a small town to become an actor. This may remind us of Zoya Akhtar’s Luch by Chance or Ramgopal Varma’s Naach but apart from the concept, the movie in no way bears any resemblance. However, this concept has been repeatedly used in a number of movies and thus one lacks freshness in the subject. Shahid is no doubt really good as far as his acting is concerned but if a film quintessentially lacks in its story then the audience will not be attracted to the movie.

It was said that dance was the main attraction in Chance Pe Dance but the story has so many loose ends that it was difficult to hold on to your attention in spite of Shahid’s moves and groves. There is no doubt to the fact that Shahid is an exceptional dancer and that he has really put in a lot of effort in his performance but Shahid alone too was unable to hold on to the audience’s attention. Genelia was given no importance except for looking good. She no doubt looks good but I wished to see her act. Since Genelia is the support system for Shahid in the movie, the makers could have evolved Genelia into a very strong character! After Kaminey and Dil Bole Hadippa, Chance pe Dance was an important film for Shahid but unfortunately this film has not done well at the box office.

This film tells the story of a talented and passionate guy named Sameer [Shahid Kapoor]. With a positive attitude, Sameer juggles various jobs to keep him afloat while pursuing his one dream to get a break on the big screen. In his quest, Sameer has a lot of ups and down, hopes and disappointments. Sameer fights every hurdle that comes his way because achieving your biggest dream is never easy is what he believes in. In this journey, he is helped by a spirited choreographer Tina [Genelia D’Souza] and eventually, Sameer realizes that sometimes life gives you that one chance.

The problem with Chance Pe Dance is its writing, which is tacky and bland at the same time. In today’s times, when every film-maker is striving so hard to narrate a new story, this film harps on the same-old clichéd, stuff that you’ve watched again and again.


Movie on Jessica Lall and National Film Awards

These days, Hindi movies are churning out different flavors. It has literally become a trend to make Hindi movies based on real life events. This is definitely a welcome sign. If reports are to be believed then, a movie is being made on notorious Jessica murder case. Tentatively titled, ‘No One Killed Jessica’, movie is being produced by UTV Spotboy. It will be a non-fictional drama. Movie will be directed by Rajkumar Gupta of Amir fame.

 Movie will star two powerful actresses of bollywood, Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee. While the earlier will play the role of Jessica’s sister, Sabrina Lall whereas later will play role of a journalist. Seems like an interesting movie in making.

 Lately, Rani didn’t actually have a very fruitful box office record thanks to duds like ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag’, ‘Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic’ and ‘Dil Bole Hadippa’. It is also being rumored that she has opted out of Yash Raj Banner and seeking to make new beginning with outside banners. We all know Rani’s talent and together with Vidya, this pair can prove to be a real hit.

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 Recently, 56th National Film Awards for 2008 were announced. Hindi movies have performed significantly well in different awards categories. Seems, Madhur Bhandarkar has some happy relations with National Film Awards. This time again, the lead actresses of his hit movie Fashion, Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Raut have fashioned their way to National Awards. While the Priyanka has won the National Award for Best Actress while Kangana Ranaut got the Best Supporting Actress.

Let’s have a look at the awards.

Best Hindi Film: Rock On

Best Supporting actor: Arjun Rampal (for Rock On)

Best Debut Film: A Wednesday

Best Child Actor: Shams Patel (for Thanks Maa)

Best Popular Film: Oye Lucky Lucky Oye

Best Film on Social Issues: Jogwa

Best Animation Film: Roadside Romeo

Best Editing: Firaaq

Best Costume Designer: Neeta Lulla (for Jodha Akbar)

Best Special Effects: Mumbai Meri Jaan

Best Choreography: Jodha Akbar

Best Male Singer: Hariharan (for Antaheen)

Best Non-Feature Film: AFSPA 1958

Best Actor: Upendra Limaye (for Marathi film Jogwa)

Best Film: Antaheen (Bengali film)

Best Female Singer: Shreya Ghoshal (for Antaheen)

Best Film on Family Values: Little Zizou (English, Gujarati)


Classic Hindi Comedies

Indian cinema has produced all genres of classic films since its inception. One of the crowning genres of bollywood is comedy films. The comedy movies make people laugh, forgetting all their worries for at least three hours. Some comedy films also contain socially relevant messages. The screenplay of comedy movies are usually light hearted and it seeks to entertain and provide enjoyment to people of all classes. Strangely, some of the biggest tragedies act as best source of comedy situations. There are several day to day situations or usual frustrations in our life that later on act as source of fun and merriment. It is also true that making people laugh is a huge challenge so producing quality comedy movies that can make people laugh is no mean achievement. Let’s talk about some of the all time great comedy movies made in bollywood.

One movie that distinctly comes to my mind is ‘Chalti ka naam gadi’. By all means, this movie was a true classic comedy. Directed by Satyen Bose, movie had wonderful songs and starred three real brothers Ashok Kumar, Anup kumar and Kishore Kumar. Movie was primarily a situational comedy and is still considered as a benchmark in Hindi comedy movies.

Talking about great Hindi comedies, who can forget ‘Golmal’, directed by one of the finest directors Indian movie industry has ever seen, Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Movie is immensely witty and lead stars Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar simply make it an unforgettable experience. A must watch if you truly want to experience best of Hindi cinema.

‘Padosan’ is an all time great Hindi comedy. This was a movie that had all the elements of typical Hindi cinema; comedy, romance, melodrama and wonderful music. Movie has many hilarious scenes and is strongly recommended for comedy fans.

The last in the list would definitely be ‘Chupke chupke’, another masterpiece by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It had impressive star cast of Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya, and Om Prakash. A true classic, it has to be seen to truly understand the nuances of subtle comedy. There are many more classics that we will talk about in upcoming posts.


Aamir’s December Hits

Seems like there is no stopping Aamir Khan. This ever growing young actor has kept belting one hit after another. In fact, it is hard to remember which one was his last flop? Anyone? Mr. Perfectionist has chosen his movies very wisely and has kept outgrowing himself as an actor. He chooses diverse genres every time and gives it 120%. He is pretty good at marketing strategies as well and one can remember his Ghajini and Rang De Basanti marketing gigs. His recent release 3 Idiots is already making waves and this movie might be helping bollywood in finishing the year on a high. That also reminds me of Aamir Khan’s penchant for December releases and how all of them have performed so well in last 2 years.

December 25 witnessed release of 3 Idiots and whether it is a coincidence or plain planning, his last two December releases had set box office on fire. Taare Zameen Par was released during the same time in 2007 whereas 2008 witnessed blockbuster Ghajini. 3 Idiots has already earned Rs.4 crore through paid previews and is going very strong on box office thanks to no other releases and extended holiday season.

Taare Zameen Par was also Aamir’s directorial debut and movie earned rave reviews because of its different theme and amazing acting. The movie was   released on Dec 21 in 2007 and it hit the bull’s eyes. Reports say, movie earned more than 37 crore at the box office. Aamir’s next release Ghajini hit the theatres on Dec 25, 2008 and it broke almost all the box office records. A remake of a Tamil film by the same name, it reinvented action genre. December or no December release, we hope Aamir continues with his hit path.


2009 Bollywood highlights and coming 2010

October

  • Ranbir’s succeeds with ‘Wake Up Sid’, outfits auctioned
  • Bollywood’s first underwater thriller ‘Blue’ releases
  • Katrina Kaif walks the ramp in a dress hand painted by Salman himself at HDIL couture week
  • Danny Boyle and SRK together attend the Doha 21st Century Leaders Award

November

  • Malika Sherawat goes under the knife for a lip surgery
  • Neil Nitin Mukesh organized a special screening of his film ‘Jail’
  • Shilpa shetty and Raj Kundra tie the knots
  • Eesha Kopikar and timmy Narag marry
  • Suneil Shetty bags the best actor award for his role in ‘Red Alert – The War Within’.
  • Abhishek Bachchan plays revolutionary nationalist Surjya Sen in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s next
  • Waheeda Rehman inaugurates 40th international film fest
  • Abhay Deol and Miss Great Britain 2006, Preeti Desai are no longer a couple
  • Ranbir and Kat together, Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani goes on to be a super duper hit!

December

  • Paa becomes super hit (Amitabh’s best performance in recent times)
  • Four and a half star rating to 3 idiots which means that this has become the top hit of 2009
  • Sushmita Sen adopts Another Baby Girl Alicia

2010 awaits:

2010 too brings special bonanza! Salman Khan’s Veer releases in January. This film will clash with Shahid Kapur’s Chance pe Dance ! February will witness My Name is Khan !!! Karan Johar after 8 years gets together, Shah Rukh Khan aur Kajol in this exceptional Love Story. 2010 summers will witness the ultimate romantic story Kites which features   Hrithik Roshan and Barabara Mori and is directed by Anurag Basu ! Aishwariya Rai & Akshay Kumar’s film Action Replay will also release in 2010. Prakash Jha’s film Rajneeti and Sanjay Leena Bhansali’s film Guzarish will also releasein 2010.


3 Idiots

3 Idiots was definitely one of the most hyped movies of the year and currently movie has opened to packed theatres. The names associated with the movie were big enough the likes of whom include, Amir Khan, Raju Hirani and Vidu Vinod Chopra to name a few. Movie is based on ‘Five Point Someone’, a hit novel penned by famous writer Chetan Bhagat. Movie is based on lives of three friends in a college campus and usual matters pertaining to youth, academics etc. Recently, it has been heard that 3 Idiots might be a part of case studies in the management institutes of the country. At some places in Mumbai, movie is being offered for viewing from 6 AM in the morning. Blame it on extended holiday season but that has definitely helped movie in raking more moolah.

The production team of 3 Idiots has taken some innovate steps to pull the viewers out of their houses and watch the movie as first thing in the morning. Amir khan, as we all know is a smart marketing alek and he is leaving no stone unturned in raising the curiosity factor for the movie. Recently, he was travelling across different cities in different get ups during the promotion of the movie.

The movie takes a hit at education system of the country. There are fair enough chances of 3 Idiots along with Rocket Singh changing the way parents perceive education system and consequent careers. Amir Khan is known to work in selected movies and superior marketing strategies that see film doing great business at the box office. Hope, 3 Idiots extends the ‘Jaadu ki Jhappi’ touch of Chopra production. However, one thing is pretty sure. Because of 3 Idiots bollywood will be finishing the year on a relatively high note.


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