Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Striker (2010) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 3/10

Cast: Siddarth, Aditya Panscholi, Ankur Vikal, Padma Priya, anupam Kher
Director: Chandan Arora
Music: Various Artiste

For some odd reason the story reminded me of Slumdog Millionaire. Probably because it was set in Dharavi or probably because of the pace of the movie but it was was an interesting movie.

Surya (Siddarth) starts playing carrom at a little age and becomes a national pro before he gives it up. One day he picks up a fight against a local goon Jaleel (Aditya) who challenges him for a game of carrom. He gets back his hand at the game again and plays at betting games making small amounts of money on and off. All the while he is unaware that his best friend Zaid is using him to pinch money from Jaleel who is also Zaid's boss.

Then the Bombay riots happen and Jaleel is behind it. Surya looses his sister and her husband during the riots that were carried out by Jaleel and his men. How Surya meets out his revenge forms the final part of the movie.

The whole time I was seeing the movie I was praying that nothing should befall Surya. Siddarth with his childlike face and good acting convinces you that he can be naive yet shrewd. I think this guy can act but his only problem is that he is cute in a very childish/boyish way.

Definitely I would watch the film during Grown-up time because kids can ask a lot of embarrassing questions.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Athithi Tum Kab Jaoge (2010) - Hindi Movie Review

Rating: 3/5

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Konkona Sen Sharma, Paresh Rawal
Director: Ashwani Dheer
Music: Pritam

This one is a hilarious family entertainer. The movie has a feel good touch to it and is sadly also super predictable but nevertheless entertaining.

Puneet (Ajay) and Munmun (Konkona) live in a nuclear family in Mumbai with their only son and surprisingly they never have a stay-over guest visit them. Their son longs for a guest to come and bingo! To their surprise an old man arrives at their door step in the name of Lambodhar Chacha (Paresh).

Now Paresh is a very demanding guest, he is demanding and imposing is constantly keeping both M and P on their feet. He is very nosy, interfering and embarrassing but brings out the entertaining parts of the movie. He affects both Puneet's as well as Munmun's work and personal life as well...

Numerous attempts to get rid of him only lands P and M in more trouble and eventually how they get him booted makes the end of the story.

The songs are funny (most of them remake of popular Hindi songs adapted for the situations in question), the story is smooth and fast paced, and it is light, and non-taxing to the brain. It is not one of those must-watch movies but again you wont feel like you wasted an afternoon if you saw it...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - English Movie Review

Rating: 4.8/5

Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Frida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Danny Boyle
Music: A R Rahman
Story: Based on Vikas Swarup's Q & A

Plot: A street dweller makes it to the hot seat on "Who wants to be a Millionaire," in India. The cops take him to interrogate and find out if he is cheating on the show. From him they hear a tale of loss, jealousy, love, hatred, murder and much more that can make you cringe and which helped him answer all the questions. The boy does not want the money, all he wants to do is find his lost childhood love.

Review: The first fifteen minutes of the movie makes you cringe, at the pain that is inflicted on Jamal (Dev) as well as the pain and misery that Jamal has been through in his childhood. The movie does not dwell too much on any sorrow, it has a pace to maintain, so it keeps moving on in a fast pace. Which also helps us not get tied up to one event and sink in its sorrow. Until after the movie is over you are not wasting time pondering on every single detail but when you walk out of the theater everything hits you. That is the beauty of the movie, you actually remember everything.

In some way, most of the Indian viewers will find most of the story predictable, not in terms of how the kid answered the questions but the plot. We have seen many Indian movies with similar background storyline, but the amazing part is the narration, the screenplay that makes the movie powerful and unique.

Sitting in the big theater you wonder, is this what the world thinks of India? big slums and kids being sold off to be made into beggars? Is this what the world is going to see? But then you also feel that the director has caught the essence of India that only we know and no one else, at least until now.

Synopsis: Jamal Mallik (Dev) is on the hot seat and Anil Kapoor is asking him a question and he seems to know it all. The chaiwala knows everything and is one question away from winning the grand prize. Jamal is watching himself on TV as the cop (Irfan) is questioning him on how he figured the answers for the questions out, considering Jamal has had no formal education. Irfan is confused how a slumdog is able to answer the questions while doctors and MBA's have failed.

Jamal is hoping that his childhood live is watching the show and he is hoping to reunite with her through the show. If I by chance reveal any more than this, then you would not enjoy the movie much, so go and watch the movie and enjoy it. It is one of a kind.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ramchand Pakistani (2008) - Hindi Cinema Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Nandita Das,
Director: Mehreen Jabbar, Syed Fazel Hussain, Maria Wasti, Noman Ijaz
Music: Debatyoti Mishra

From the time the movie began and almost until more than half of the movie I kept expecting to see something very bad happen. Thankfully that was avoided and

it made the film watchable. If you are looking for pace and twist and turns then this is not the movie for you, but on the other hand if you are looking for

a one line story with simple narration and decent acting which at times can start becoming a drag then you might probably enjoy this movie. I have to

definitely commend the acting by all the cast members including the little boy playing Ramchand. The background score is simple and the locales where the

movie has been shot is rustic.

The story is about a Dalit family that lives on the border of India and Pakistan. The village is so small that even the luxury of watching TV or radio on a

daily basis is not available to everyone. Most of the villagers are living blissfully ignorant about a war ranging between the two countries. During these

troubled moments, a little kid after having a childish tiff with his mom accidently crosses the border from Pakistan and enters India. Promptly he is

abducted by the sepoys who are guarding the border. The child's father also wanders into the border to bring his son back also only to be abducted by the

Indian sepoys too.

Dad and son are in the Indian jail and the son sees the dad getting beaten and tortured to prove that he is not a spy. Both of them share a large room with

other criminals and those who are also falsely accused of being spies or such. The kids goes through a transformation and you can see the father trying his

best to keep his child innocent and far from the corruption that jail cells see. The child finds a caretaker in a lady cop who tries to give him the basics

whil keep him at a bay because of his caste.

My worst fear was that they might show some gruesome scenes (like what you saw in Chandini Bar) with the kid and I kept trying to look away but thank god the

director sheilded us from all those kind of information. Do the kid, his dad and mom get united? For that you will have to watch the movie.

The acting in the movie is impeccable, it is truly an art movie and not for the ones who crave commercial masala. The story like I said earlier is slow and you need a lot of motivation to watch it. I even stopped to wonder what the purpose of the movie is, considering there is nothing dramatic or drastic in the movie after the first 10 minutes. It is like a movie that was shot on a webcam placed on the boy and then edited to consolidate four years into 2.5 hours. I am not impressed with it but it can definitely be seen once when you have absolutely nothing better to do.

Dostana (2008) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol
Director: Tarun Mansukhani
Music: Vishal-Shekar

First off, for those who think this is a rip off a "I pronounce you Chuck..." I am sorry but it is not. The concept is similar but the story is not. The movie is funny, right from the word go. Definitely seems to be the fantasy movie the K.Jo would enjoy making considering there are more scenes that expose John A's rear than we see Piggy Chops. Even though actually have Piggy wearing only the shortest of short skirts and shorts, the camera always seems to land on John's well toned chest or his butt...and of course there is a scene where John gets wet in the rain wearing a white shirt...If this K.Jo had a choice probably he would have made this movie with just John A in it.

Anyways, enough of that and moving to the story...Neha (Piggy) owns a posh apartment in Miami and is looking to lease two rooms to girls only. Sam (Abhi) and Kunal (John) are two bachelors who are trying to find an apartment in a short time and they keep bumping into each other all the time. Realizing that they both have a common need for an apartment and after falling in love with Neha's apartment they decide that the only way to move in would be to fake gay.

Right from the time Sam and Kunal meet, the movie starts rolling and you are always at the edge of your chair laughing. The love story of how Sam met Kunal, or when they are introduced to meet M, Neha's boss M (Bomman), or when Sam's mother (Kiron Kher) lands in Miami to see if her son is really gay, and her departure back to London is so well entwined into the film that it is brilliant.

Usually a K.Jo movie formula is like this, the first half you roll on the floor and laugh, the second half right after the interval you are crying your heart out waiting for the movie to end...but thank god since this movie was only produced by K.Jo I am glad that the first 3/4 of the movie is hillarious and the typical cheesy, corny, annoying parts of the movie are short and crisp and shoved to the end.

So continuing the review, Sam and Kunal being straight fall in love with the obviously hot Neha who is oblivious to it and instead falls in love with her new boss Abhimanyu (a stone faced Bobby). Abhi seems to suffer from facial paralysis and you cannot see any emotions from his stone face. Happiness, anger, sadness, excitement all looks the same. He is the only annoying factor in the entire movie and we could have probably had Akshay or someone else in that role.

This comes as a shock to Sam and Kunal who are already fighting each other over Neha. The rest of the movie is goes about how Sam and Kunal try and foil the love budding between Neha and Abhi. What happens? Watch the movie.

This is definitely a fun watch. The movie is very cool, and set in uber modern times, but certainly not one you will watch with mom and dad. It caters to both gay as well as straight community as you get to see loads of John A stripping down to undies at the blink of an eye and you rarely see Neha fully clothed. I absolutely loved all the dresses she wore though I am pretty sure they will look good only on girls with good figures but I am sure that I can carry a saree off better than her. The only saree she wore in the movie was vulgar and annoying and she herself did not look comfy in it.

Did I talk about the music yet? here it is, even the music and its choreography is hillarious. All the songs are catchy and funny and they do not slow down the pace of the movie. I love the "munda satta dol chadgaya..."

Anyways, enjoy the movie and if you don't let me know why.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Maan Gaye Mughal E Azam (2008) - Hindi Movie Review

Rating: 4/5 on humor scale

Cast: Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon
Director: Sanjay Chel

The most random movie ask me what the story is? and I ask you the question back...because there is no story. The best thing about the movie is that it does not pretend to be a movie with a purpose or a good movie or a great movie or anything like is a funny movie and does not disappoint you at all...wonder why Indian media was so mean to this one...but I have to agree that this is best watched on a DVD in your home with family (esp. ones that understand Hindo to translate stuff to you incase you are like me in Hindi department). Also it is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and also repeat a few dialogues in real life situations...

Mallika is married to Paresh and both of them are stage actors...while Paresh thinks he is the greatest actor ever, Mallika is vying to move to Bollywood when she starts having an affair with Rahul who is an undecover detective trying to stop Dawood from planting bombs in India...Of course there is a ghazal singer Kay Kay who works hand in hand with the bhai...and of course he also falls for the charm of Mallika as does anothe rlocal goodn Kayuum Cable (dont know his real name...sorry)...anyways in the end all's well that end's well with roaring laughter...

I know that MS has been reduced to the role of a pin-up girl but she is not bad in the acting department okay...I really thought that she carried her comic timing very well in this movie...she is funny and the role suited her perfectly...Rahul was a little out of place but was just funny to see both Rahul and Kay Kay, two serious actors doing a randomly hillarious role...

Must watch...can make a dreary day fun!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Rock on (2008) - Hindi Movie Review

Rating: 3.75/5

Cast: Farhan Akthar, Prachi Desai, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kolhi, Luke Kenny, Koel Puri, Nicolette Bird, Shabana Goswami
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy

I liked seeing this movie as cliched as it was...There was nothing new about the movie or the was just the screenplay and the acting that gave it the freshness...Right from the very start you can predict the movie and act as a pseudo director knowing exactly what the next shot was going to be...but the point it the movie was not slacking or nagging at any just flowed from one scene into the other and from past to present in one continuous motion...

Aditya (Farhan) is an investment banker married to Sakshi (Prachi). They lead a rich but loveless life with Adi using his work as an excuse to shy away from family life...Sakshi bumps into KD (Purab) during one of her trips to a jewellery store which his dad owns. From then on Sakshi discovers a new side to her husband which she never knew existed. She requests KD to get all of Adi's friends for a surprise birthday party that she had planned for him.

KD gets back in touch with Rob (Luke) and also with Joe (Arjun) to join him for the party. Everyone but Joe make it to the party. Adi is also reluctant to mingle with his decade old friends. That very night after the part Adi and Sakshi get into an argument and she leaves the house asking him to rethink the life he has been leading.

From the flashback we know that KD (Killer drummer), Rob (Keyboard player), Joe (Lead Guitarist), and Adi (singer, composer, and guitarist) used to be in a band called magik...which of course disbanded due to difference of opinion and when they split Adi and Joe did not see things eye to eye...

Will Sakshi's digging into past help reunite the band? Guesses?

So ya the movie is a definite family viewer and it is an entertainer too...I am not fond of very dark movies but this one is kinda sorta an exception for me...I still wish the director had used a bit more light...I have to go and kick Santosh Sivan's ass for starting that trend and Mani Ratnam's too!

Not many actors can become good directors but on the contrary most good directors can act well...not just in the role of can be anything...because they know what they want to see on the screen and what they have to do to get the correct effect...Farhan Akthar falls into this category...He is definitely a good actor and in the movie he has done a great job...

The rest of the cast is also very impressive...From Arjun to is all work done amazingle well...the casting director needs kudos! I loved watching this movie and hope you do too :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Amu (2007) - Hindi/English Movie Review

Rating: 3/5 if you like riot movies...if you are like me then 0/5

Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Ankur Sharma
Director: Shonali Bose

I hate it...absolutely...when people make movies on riots and then dedicate it to people who died in it or people who suffered through it...don't make a dedication of movies that the victim's relatives and friends have to live through once again...dedicate something fun instead...or how about build a school in the money you spend making a movie on the subject? However and noble the motive is, it affects people who were affected by the riots and trust me not in a positive bringing awareness to the riots you are going to make the government change its stance or do anything for the let sleeping dogs sleep and do something more productive...thanks...

I am writing this post after seeing an Indian movie with English dialogues (also available with Hindi dubbing) called Amu. When G picked it up at the Punjabi store I saw that the Singh behind the counter was very happy at his choice...I wondered why...when we got home it was already 10 in the night so G decided that we can watch the other DVD's later and see this one now as it is should be a short one and we could go to bed at a decent time.

The movie started out pretty fine...the casting is also good...the story seems tight...Kokona as Kaju visits India from LA. She is an Indian born but American raised girl and she visits her hometown to figure out her roots...she befriends Ankur Khanna as Kabir and he helps take her around the city of Delhi. Slowly she starts unravelling the truth behind her identity, which is not very pleasant...

The movie revolves around the 1984 riots in Delhi which followed the assasination of Indira Gandhi during which as many as (apparently) 5,000 Sikhs were hunted down and killed mercilessly because the people who killed Indira were Sikhs...the movie has done a decent job in terms of not showing too many visuals regarding how rape/murder/torture happen in such circumstances...but the fact is we can feel the is imminent...

I should say the movie is well shot and everything is good...but I personally hate such movies...the same reason why I was not in favor of watching movies like Bombay, Parzania, and Hey Ram among others...I get scared and being a girl the very fact that we are more vulnerable under such situations scare me a lot and render many a unpleasant dreams...and now that I have a daughter I only get more and more protective of her everytime I see such movies...

I am sorry I just cannot understand what drives people to watch such movies and also claim that it was shot so realistically...when you should not be enjoying reality of this nature...the tears that roll down my cheeks after seeing these movies cannot describe the feeling of hatred that arises inside me for these directors...they are torturing people who are seeking movies as a medium of entertainment by calling their movie a work of art...I would rather watch boring Sawariya ten times over than watching Amu, Parzania, etc...

IMHO...the movie was good...but I regretted watching it...bad after taste!

Ratings by outbrain