Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jhonny Gaddar (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4.5/5

Cast: Neil Mukesh, Dharmendra, Rimi Sen, Vinay Pathak, Zakir Hussain, Govind Namdeo
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

This movie is a must watch. I wonder why it did not get enough publicity in spite of being one of the better movies released in 2007. Classic crime novel with perfect twist and turns and an awesome ending to the brilliantly directed and executed movie.

Five people who are partners in running a shady dance bars and obviously involved in shady business get a deal where they invest a small sum of money to make a very big sum that will be split five ways. The head honcho of the gang is Dharmendra and the youngest in the group is Neil Mukesh who has an affair with the wife (Rimi) of one the group members.

Everybody makes a plan to move the money over to Bangalore for the deal while Neil makes his own plan to rob the money. In order to do so he kills one of the gang members and hide the identity of the traitor he commits one crime after an another...does he get caught in the end? There is no fun if I reveal the entire story here especially in a crime story...

Definitely a must watch as well the songs are a must hear. Total party mix and cool music. A couple of songs are available in Tamil and Telugu too. The screenplay is awesome and the story is brilliant...I cannot repeat it more...just watch it.

Water (2005) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Lisa Ray, John Abraham, Seema Biswas, Sarala Karyawasam
Director: Meera Nair

This is definitely a brilliant movie showcasing India's religious and social practices around the time of Independence along the banks of Ganges. The story is about young and old widows alike who are banned from their regular life and sent to a hostel for widows where they have to spend the rest of their lives away from family, friends and fun.

Little girl Chuyia (Sarala) a widow gets sent to a widow hostel in Varanasi where she is expected to spend the rest of her life. Shakuntala (Seema) takes Sarala under her wing and keeps the young blood from making too many mistakes and offending people. Sarala who does not even understand clearly why she has been sent away from home finds it difficult to conform to the norms of the hostel and keeps getting in the way of the warden more than once.

Kalyani (Lisa) is a beautiful widow who also lives in the same hostel but does a few things differently as she is a breadwinner for the hostel while she sleeps with many powerful men across the ghat. Kalyani is taken by a eunuch pimp who is in liaison with the warden for taking Kalyani across the bank of Ganga. Kalyani is frustrated with the hypocrisy of the system and wants to escape from it.

Chuyia on one of her escapades with Kalyani meets Narayan, a young graduate who has come home for the vacation. Narayan falls in love with Kalyani and wants to marry her. Kalyani with the help of Shakuntala leaves the hostel to marry Narayan. Only half way through to Narayan's house does she realize that Narayan's dad was one of her night time client. Dejected and heart broken Kalyani commits suicide.

What happens to Shakuntala and Chuyia forms the rest of the story...

Very heartrending but I am sure most of it is still in practice in parts of our country. We cannot completely get rid of our social evils but we can always hope for reforms...

Brilliant performance by young Sarala and the rest of the cast too. Wonder why this movie did not make a cut for Oscar...

Gandhi My Father (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Dharshan Jariwala, Akshaye Khanna, Bhumika Chawla, Shefali Shah
Director: Feroz Abbas Khan

The story is about the neglected son Harilal Gandhi (Akshaye) of M. K. Gandhi (Dharshan) better known as Bapu or the father of India. Harilal left with his family in India to fend for himself while his father and mother (Shefali) work in South Africa fighting inequality. Harilal gets married even before graduating from school or getting a job. Gandhi does not approve of it. Harilal later leaves his wife Gulab (Bhumika) to join his father in SA only to find that his father does not show any nepotism and at the same time does not encourage his son either. Harilal fights alongside his father but in the end tries to come back to India disowning his father.

His life goes through many downs and few ups...and the few ups also brought upon due to his getting influenced by wrong people. Every time he strays he comes back home to his
mothers comforting shoulder and a father who wants to help but is not sure how to. A father of the nation could not take care of his own son...such was the irony.

The reason I have given such low ranking for this critically acclaimed film is because of the fact that it is a little too slow and feels like forever. I was totally impressed with the acting aspect as well as the story but the movie could have had a better pace. There were a lot of things about Gandhi's life that was revealed here that I never knew before and it surely shows a different perspective on his life than what we have always been exposed to.

Movie can definitely be seen once though it does not boast of any entertainment value...a documentary of Harilal Gandhi's life at best.

Parzania (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Parzan, Sarika, Naseerudin Shah, Corin Nemec
Director:Rahul Dholakia
Music: Zakir Hussain

Millions of movies are made on riots. And then they dedicate it to the people who have suffered in them. Do the people who suffer in these riots really care to see their life made into a money making machine? Is a movie on how they suffered really going to help them in any way? I hate to see such movies and the ranking I have given is my personal opinion. As much as I love watching movies I don't like to see or hear people suffer however much it is a part of our generation. Plundering and rioting have always been happening and chronicling it over the past thousands of years has not changed the basic inhumanity in our human nature at times of instability then why make a movie out of it and generate income out of it? Somehow this seems like blood money to me.

The story focuses on Godhra riots in Gujrat and how people inside a Muslim community are affected from it. It narrows into the life of a Parsi family of four. The son is lost during the riots and the parents agony of searching for him.

The actors have done a good job and the movie is good too...but I did not want to hear graphic details and get scared. Certainly not one to watch with children.

Vivah (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Shahid Kapur, Amrita Rao, Aloknath, Seema Biswas, Anupam Kher
Director: Sooraj Barjathiya
Music: Ravindra Jain

So this movie is one of those safe movies that do not deter from the norm set by HAHK and DDLJ kind of movies. They are long, melodramatic, and no villain kind of movie...even if there are villains they become good all a sucky movie if you are not the Hindi soap opera kind of a person.

Amrita Rao is the neice of Aloknath (master of tears) who raises her alongside her daughter and feels more close to her which triggers jealousy in the mind of Seema Biswas who is concerned about the well being of their own daughter.

Aloknath's friend brings in an alliance from Anupam Kher for Amrita's hand in marriage to Shahid. It is love at first sight for both of them. The engagement is done and date for a wedding set.

The entire household of Aloknath and Anupam Kher decide to meet for a vacation at Somsarovar and they sing and dance together until they have to cut the vacation short and head back to town for a business deal. Shahid leaves abroad to score something magnificent in business and life is all great...

The night before wedding, Aloknath's house catches on fire and in an attempt to save her cousin Amrita is engulfed by fire. Thanks to something...god knows what, her face remains untouched. Shahid the gentleman that he is marries her in the hospital bed as promised on the day of the wedding...See I told you na...these people are suckers for sentimental stuff...

Anyway all's well that ends well in this movie that is a family entertainer, if your family is into boring movies...this can definitely take a miss if you have better things to do.

Dus Kahaniyan (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 3/5

Now wondering why I have ranked the movie above average in spite of it bombing at the BO? Well there are some stories that are really interesting whereas a couple that are blah and a couple that are cliche. So reviewing all 10 stories in short form...

Cast: Arbaaz Khan, Mandira Bedi
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Verdict: Interesting
Arbaaz and Madira have been married for quite a while with neither happy in the relationship. Mandira is cheating with her boyfriend who is in the army and is leaving back to his post. So he gifts her a diamond necklace that she is not sure how she would wear in front of her husband. So she plots with a jeweler to make a coupon out of it so that her husband can pick it up and thus make black into white. Her husband sure enough picks it up but Mandira is in for a shock when she heads out to pick it up from him!

High on the Highway
Cast: Masumeh, Jimmy Shergill
Director: Hansal Mehta

Verdict: Blah!
Two college graduates who are in love with each other have a habit of getting high and taking a walk along the highway. One such night after their graduation when they are walking down the road a bunch of goons try to kidnap Masumeh and succeed in spite of Jimmy putting up a fight...Masumeh gets helped by the cops but what happens to Jimmy???

Cast: Amrita Singh, Parmeet Sethi, Minisha Lambha
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Verdict: Good
Amrita's daughter Minisha has just been engaged and her father is out on business once again leaving the ladies alone. Amrita has led life without love mostly and on this particular day her daughter dons her mother with a colorful dupatta and comments on how pretty she looks. Amrita realizes that it is the night of full moon and that as her lover had promised would be waiting outside the door. For once she decides to open it and let her desire take over her. After spending the night with him in the fields she returns home while many villagers notice the colorful dupatta on her head and mistake her for her daughter...

Strangers in the night
Cast: Mahesh Manjrekar, Neha Dupia
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Verdict: Good

Both Mahesh and Neha have the habit of discussing past distractions in their relationship on their anniversaries. Mahesh's forces Neha to tell about her experience and she does so with passion about the guy's whose hands she kissed and by whom she was so taken in a railway station's waiting room alone in the night and with whom she would have done anything...As we see Mahesh getting jealous Neha unravels the twist in the story!

Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Diya Mirza
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Verdict: Cliche

Manoj moves into the same apartment as Diya Mirza and they become good friends. Zahir wants to take the relationship to another level but Diya shuns him away. He is ashamed. One night while spending a night with his friends visiting many bars in the town Manoj sees Diya who is a dancer in a dance bar. Angry Manoj rapes her without hearing her protests when she comes back home from work...

Cast: Neha Oberoi, Aftab, Anupam Kher
Director: Jasmeet Dhodi
Verdict: Bore

Neha meets a lady on the train on her way home where she was getting engaged. The lady gives her a earring and vanishes at the next station which happens to be Lovedale. Neha wanting to return the earring alights and follows the road to a house where Aftab is painting. They become acquainted. Aftab attends Neha's engagement and feels hurt. Neha is also unhappy and her father questions her doubt...Neha tells about Aftab and her father tells her his flashback about how he met a lady on the train to whom he had gifted one earring before the train left the station. Neha and her father compare the earrings and decide that her meeting Aftab was no coincidence and she breaks the engagement to join Aftab...

Sex on the Beach
Cast: Dino Morea, Tarina Patel
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Verdict: Extreme Bore

Dino picks up a book on the beach with the title Death and writes his name and date of birth as instructed and starts to read the book. A seductress steps out of a jet ski and sits down next to him and she invites him over to her house for dinner. Dino goes over well prepared with wine and condoms only to see the girl also very eager...but when Dino falls into a short sleep he wakes up to see her dead when he goes close to examine her she is actually alive and chases him to the beach...

Rice Plate
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Naseerudin Shah
Director: Rohit Roy
Verdict: Cliche

Shabana plays a staunch brahmin widow on her way to visit her grandchildren by train. In a hurry she forgets her wallet in her house and heads to the station. She orders a plate of rice in the station with the change she has and leaves her table to wash her hand. When she comes back she sees Shah eating it...Angry that Shah was stealing her plate Shabana forgets that Shah is a Muslim starts eating out the plate...

Cast: Nana Patekar, Anita Hassanandani, Rohit Roy
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Verdict: Cliche

Anita and Rohit are newly wed on a bus who start a small quarrel and Anita moves away from Rohit to sit adjacent to Nana who is carrying 11 smiley baloons with him. On questioning he tells her how he has to present his wife with the balloons everytime he has angered her and how she bakes a cake if she angers him. He explains to her how life is too short to spent fighting...When getting down at the stop he forgets to take with him the sorry card that he had written for his wife. Anita follows him to give it to him...

Rise and Fall
Cast: Suniel
Shetty, Sanjay Dutt
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Verdict: Okay

Sanjay has been called by Suniel at a lonely place to have a last meeting. Suniel advices Sanjay to leave town and settle down while he can take care of business here. Sanjay realizes that his friend has invited him to murder him and challenges him...realizing his fall Suniel tries to call off the the background we see young Sanjay and Suniel trying to make it in the big bad world....

Ratings by outbrain