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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.


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.


Taare Zameen Par

A mélange of colours, a myriad depiction of emotions, undefining love, magic on reel,  a dream with open eyes, the beauty of reality on reel and so much more. There are so many phrases that define Taare Zameen Par. This is one film that has touched me so beautifully in the recent times. Be it the innocence on Ishaan Awasthi’s face or the humane look on Aamir’s face, this film creates magic on celluloid. It is something that you would not get bored of even if you see it many times.

The film showcases the contrast that a human being lives in. His inner world and the outer world – Ishaan’s inner world is happy and full of imaginations. His outer world is as chaotic and troublesome as it can get. Ishaan gets into trouble every now and then because he fails in his tests and is least interested in studies. Ishaan loves to live in his own sweet world – his world which is full of colours, fishes, dogs, cats, butterflies, crayons and thoughts.

The treatment of the film is what makes it really a visual treat to the eyes. The way Ishaan’s look of the window in his classroom and notices the little sparrow, the way he imagines and adds up numbers, the way he makes his final painting and how the colors are mixing is all what makes this film beautiful. Plus add to that Aamir’s charm and his fantastic approach towards Ishaan. Aamir has perfectly pitched the role of Nikumbh Sir. His each expression is so well defined and so deep. Also, Tisca Chopra and Vipin Sharma in the role of Ishaan’s mother and father respectively have done a great job.

Taare Zameen par is one of the most successful films in the recent past especially because of its unique story, unique treatment, brilliant narration and wonderful bunch of actors!


Best actor award of 2009?

Many films released in the first half of 2009 but only Ifan Khan in Billu Barber and John Abraham in ‘New York’ managed to pull the audience’s attention. However, in the second half, i.e. from July to December many actors have been appreciated for their respective performances.

Saif Ali Khan was fantastic in Love Aaj Kal. Saif had quite a challenging role in the movie but he performed it beautifully. Imtiaz Ali directed Love Aaj Kal is a film that is super hit at the box office and one of its main reason was Saif who was brilliant in both the roles that he portrayed in the film.

Shahid Kapoor played a double role in Kaminey for the first time in his life and there are no doubts about Shahid’s acting. This was a challenging role for Shahid but he performed it brilliantly and he was outstanding in the film. Some critics believe that this was Shahid’s best performance so far.

He is the super star of the industry – Salman Khan has influenced the viewers so much after ages. His film Wanted has gone to become one of the top three hits at the box office. This film proved to be a boon for Salman Khan who reestablished himself as a super star after this film. Salman has a huge huge fan following and this is one of the reason that even a mediocre story starring Salman has the capability of becoming super hit.

This year has also been special for Ranbir Kapoor. All his films this year have been hit to average. His film Ajab prem ki Ghazab kahani is one of the top three hits at the box office. I believe that one of the strong reasons of this movie being hit apart from its script is Ranbir’s acting. He was superb – spontaneous and sensitive at the same time. He handled his role really well. His performance in Wake up Sid and Rocket Singh Salesman of the year is all appreciated.

And the best actor award in my opinion is deserved by none other than Mr. Amitabh Bachchan who was outstanding in the film Auro has indeed been the child sensation of the year. Auro was one of the biggest challenges for Amitabh Bachchan but the way he has performed his role, just leaves you flabbergasted.


Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan arrived in the Hindi Film Industry with a bang. He made his debut with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai directed by his father Rakesh Roshan in the year 2000 and movie was a grand success. It has been a remarkable decade for Hrithik where he got to essay all sort of characters with elan and authenticity. He has performed a variety of characters right from a lover boy to a historical character in Jodhaa Akbar. A multi-talented actor, he has kept improving himself one film after another. His dance moves are talk of the country and most of those steps are almost gravity defying. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to admit, his dance moves redefined the word dance in bollywood. Kaho Na Pyaar hai broke many box office records and collected huge number of awards for him.

His real journey began after that when he performed a diverse essay of characters. His acts in Fiza and Mission Kashmir are still talked about where he was more of a performer rather than a star. He also played a supporting role in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum to stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. His choice of roles has truly been amazing. In between he had a mild slump with releases like Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, Na Tum Jano Na Hum, Yaadein, Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage etc but he soon came back with a vengeance with his movie Koi Mil Gaya. It was typically a sci-fi movie that won many awards and huge commercial success as well.

Since then, it has continued to be a purple patch for him where he has chosen his movies very wisely and performed with utmost dedication. His next Lakshya was favoured by one and all. Dhoom-2 took his career to a new high and he clearly overshadowed his colleagues with this movie. His last release was Jodha Akbar and needless to say, it was a huge hit as well. Going by his upcoming projects and selection of themes, Hrithik is sure to enthral us in coming decade as well.


Bollywood Misses of 2009

Looking back at this year, bollywood will not be very happy with its performance. Some of the big budget, big names flopped miserably at the box office. At the same time, some movies came out of nowhere and registered good business. Quite unexpectedly, some movies despite having a nice story and wonderful production failed to excite the audiences. Well, you never know what might work at box office. Talking about some of the misses of the year, bollywood had high expectations from Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone starrer ‘Chandni Chowk To China’ but movie proved to be a damp squib. Akshay was on a roll after the success of Welcome, Singh is Kingg and others but that did not help the cause either.

It was also Akshay Kumar’s first release of the year and needless to say, Chandni Chowk To China was a disaster at the box office. The story had no innovation and humour was quite cheap. Critics thrashed the movie left, right and centre and over-expectation and under-delivery factor sealed its fate

Yash Raj banners poor run at box office continued this year. Dil Bole Haddipa was an eagerly awaited film starring a fresh pair of Shahid Kapoor and Rani Mukherji who was coming on screen after a long time. Movie is also said to be a copy of Hollywood film ‘She is the man’. Its long since we last saw a clear winner from Yash Raj’s stable.

Ashutosh Gowariker has earned a huge reputation for himself after making some of the best movies in this decade the likes of which include, Lagaan, Swadesh and Jodha-Akbar. Naturally, aam junta and critics alike had pinned high hopes from his latest release ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ but movie bombed at box office. People rejected it out rightly. Viewrs could not handle its length and tiring chemistry of 12 rashees. The absence of crackling chemistry between lead pair of Priyanka Chopra and Harmaan Baweja also didn’t help the cause.


2009 Bollywood highlights

January:

  • Farah Khan invited as jury for Berlin Film Festival
  • Shahrukh’s new year resolution: “I wont do cameos anymore.”
  • ‘Chandni Chowk to China’ was the first Indian film which got shot at The Great Wall Of China.
  • Slumdog Millionaire bags 11 BAFTA nominations
  • ‘Ghajini’ producer presents gold statuette to Aamir Khan
  • Legendary playback singer Shamshad Begum receives Padma Bhushan award
  • National award winner Bollywood playback singer Udit Narayan, receives Padma Shri

February:

  • Amitabh bags World Economic Forum award
  • Kareena Kapoor gets an award for Vocational Excellence
  • John Abraham will produce a film with director Milan Luthria
  • Hairdressers Association wanted Billu Barber’s title changed and it was to Billu
  • Sonam Kapoor will play ‘Emma’ in the screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel.
  • Sachin Tendulkar complimented hurman Baweja on his performance in ‘Victory’.
  • Kareena replaces Katrina in forthcoming Race 2
  • Aamir Khan refuses to get waxed at Madame Tussauds!
  • Ghajini celebrated its half century at the box office
  • Priyanka ranked second on the list of top-quality brand ambassadors of 2008
  • Kaizad Gustad to make his directorial comeback with ‘Bombil and Beatrice’
  • Freida Pinto’s secret marriage was revealed to Rohan Antao!
  • Sharukh Khan teams up with ‘Ghajini’ director A R Murgadoss
  • Akshay Kumar charges Rs 150 crore to host a reality show
  • Sharmila Tagore and Shashi Kapoor won the Living Legends of Entertainment award from FICCI
  • Big B to play Jim Corbett in Priyadarshan’s next ‘Grrr’
  • Hrithik’s Kites sold at a whopping amount of Rs 100 crore.
  • ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ bags 8 Oscars and Resul Pookutty becomes the first Indian to bag the best sound mixing Oscar for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
  • Saif and Kareena were presented the Most Stylish Youth Icon award

March

  • Owing to the Multiplex owners and Bollywood producers’ fights regarding profit sharing ratio, the former go on an indefinite strike.
  • Darsheel Safary asks for Rs 1.25 crore for ‘Padduram’
  • Ayesha Takia and Farhan Azmi’s ‘nikah’ was performed on the 1st of March
  • Asin heads back to Kerala to learn the martial art from, Kalaripayattu
  • Farhan Akthar will try his hand at comedy in his forthcoming film ‘Kartik Calling Kartik’
  • Hrithik Roshan plays a salsa instructor in his next film ‘Kites’
  • Neil Nitin Mukesh and Mugdha Godse agreed to cut their prices for ’Jail’ due to recession
  • The censor board passes ‘Gulaal’ with an A certificate and four cuts
  • Anil Kapoor offered a lucrative role in the American TV series ‘24’
  • Shahid Kapur had taken lessons on lisping and stammering for ‘Kaminey’
  • Mira Nair re-releases ‘Salaam Bombay’ after 21 years.
  • Farah Khan choreographs Kylie’s song for free as she is her fan
  • Censor Board asks Deepa Mehta to cut several violent scenes from ‘Videsh’
  • Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra buy a house in London
  • Abhay Deol lectures at Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania
  • Aishwarya becomes the Bollywood’s highest paid heroine by charging 6 crores for Rajnikanth starrer film ‘Robot’

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