Singham – review
Once upon a time in Bollywood masala-mass entertainer, with larger than life roles and red-hot dialogues, love and melodrama ruled the box-office cheered and whistled by the front bench crowd of singleplex. Enter 90’s and arrival of multiplex culture saw movies shot in glossy sets and locales, slapstick comedies, metro-sexual heroes and scripts targeting the city and NRI crowd almost made the genre history. While the southern film industry especially Telugu and Tamil movies propelled by their fleets of superstars took the masala-movie genre to new heights with numerous releases and many becoming blockbusters. Salman Khan with Wanted and Dabaang turned the clock back with his successful mega hits. Rohit Shetty tries to do a Dabaang with Ajay Devgn by remaking the 2010 blockbuster Tamil movie Singam which had Tamil star Surya in the lead.
Baji Rao Singham (Ajay Devgn) is an upright, tough cop much adored, admired and loved in his native, a nondescript small outpost somewhere in the Maharashtra-Goa border. Life is easy and simple for Singham till destiny brings Jaikand Shikre, a notorious criminal-businessman (Prakash Raj) to the small village and to the police station headed by Singham. Jaikand Shikre with his often repeated dialogue; Kuch bhi karneka mera ego hurt nai karneka has his brutal way all along till he bumps into the hero-cop and finds his ego hurt. Snarled, he gets Singham transferred to Goa, his fiefdom and then the fireworks starts with heady and loud dialogues – red hot accompanied with blaring music and at times corny best. At the hands of Rohit Shetty, the comedy king who gave us Golmaal series, most of the action parts are at its funniest best. Though Ajay performs gravity defying stunts, you cannot help laughing at some of the dishyooms.
Prakash Raj is at his mercurial best – juggling effortlessly from being a ruthless don to his comedy elements and back to his menacing acts. Tamil and Telugu film-goers know such roles are tailor-made for him and he has an effortless knack for it, having played such baddy roles in many movies. For Bollywood movie-buffs, he should be a refreshingly good and he never boring. Ajay Devgn has trimmed and toned his body for the role and he is at his macho-best but somehow I feel he is more stiffened and lacks an emotional connect with the audience. Yes, his eyes carry the intensity but the X-factor is amiss. May be years of mellowed down roles and comedy acts have made the gear shift to the larger than life a bit difficult. Kajal Aggarwal, his love interest in the movie looks out of sync and listless, surprising as she is a top actress in Tollywood.
The movie partially works. The initial 20 minutes are slow and sheepish and then when the Hero and Villain meets, the firework starts and the movie picks up steam only to loose the track again towards the end and the climax does not helps much too to add punch. There are certain moments that would bring the cheetis and some scenes you tend to identify with the script especially with corruption on the main focus of the nation. Especially, I liked the part when the cynical to-retire soon head constable has a word with Singham about the plight of the policeman and how the system changes even an upright men-in-khaki slowly.
GingerChai Verdict: Singham roars in part and meows a lot. You can call it a comedy-action masala though it is not exactly meant to be a comedy.
Murder 2 – review
Its the seasons of sequels, although most of the squels oflate has been disappointing. Mahesh Bhatt presensts the sequel to the 2004 blockbuster Murder. If Murder was hot, Murder 2 is much more hotter and steamier but.. well before I reaveal that let me tell you few other things. In this second outing, the movie gets an entire new team with a new director calling shots, a new plot having nothing to do with the Murder 1 and an entirely new star cast barring the main lead Emraan Hashmi.
This racy erotic thriller is set in Goa is loosely inspired by the Korean film The Chaser. Arjun Bhagawat (Emraan Hashmi) an ex-cop and now a drug peddler is approached by a pimp whose girls on pay roll goes missing. It turns out that there is a serial killer on a prowl. While trying to crack the mystery, Arjun asks the pimp to send another girl, if one particular suspect calls again, so that they can lure him and catch. Uknowing to Arjun, a college studying girl, who is lured into prostitution for money in a desperate move to give a good life to her family, is send to the customer. Later when he comes to know, he admonishes the pimp for playing with the life of a teen and is desperate to save her. But things turn more darker and grimmer when the serial killer turns out to be a neurotic serial killer. On a side track, Arjun has an affair with a model (Jacqueline fernandez) wh0 also gets into the attention of the psychopath.
The Murder 2 is good in patches, the first half is edgier and steamier and keeps you on a hook. Though in the second half, the director looses the plot and the story become more predictable and lackluster but the climax gets better. If Murder 2 manages to hold attention, it is not the steamy scenes or Emraan Haashmi but villain of the movie potrayed adeptly by Prashant Narayanan. Its been a long time Bollywood saw a villain taking honours of a movie and Prashant is chillingly brilliant in his role. Yes, Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline takes the definition of steamier to an erotic high for Bollywood standards but the scenes lack chemistry and it is more like a steamy condomn ad. Even their own stories does not strike an emotional chord. Sulagna Panigrahi, as Reshma, the college girl makes an impression too.
GingerChai Verdict: Murder 2 may not be upto the mark of Murder but the movie is definitely edgier in parts and watchable. Atleast for Prashant Narayan’s brilliant performance, you can give it a watch. Go with low expectation, you will be thrilled.
Delhi Belly – review
When it comes to movies, Aamir Khan knows how to gather the moss. People may hate it, love it, loathe it or hum it but the song “Bhaag DK Bose” did gathered the required hype for the Aamir Khan’s home production directed by Abhinay Deo and written by new comer Akshat Verma. The song also was a preview of how the movie would be – quirky, raw, starkly funny and outrageous but equally enjoyable.
The story is simple and straight. 3 messy, lazy, careless, crazy friends living in a messy bachelor pad gets into a diamond mix up situation and finds themselves chased by a gangster and how they extricate themselves from the knot. This one liner might be seemingly simple and seen umpteen times in many films but the treatment differs and that is what differentiates a movie from the rest.
Delhi Belly treats you differently. It is not for everyone. As much like the (in)famous song, the movie would also be either loathed or hated. Ofcoure one can safely say, it is sure to hit the sense and sensibilities of the most of the older generation. It is a far cry from the now regular Bollywood diet of Karan Johar style sweet romances and David Dhawan style comedies or even RGV’s treatment of movies. The expletives are as casual as a group of friends might swear within their circle, the dialogues as natural it can be without the gloss and niceties. When I said nicety, let me warn you don’t expect any nicety from the movie. It might hit you and the very lack of nicety also guffaws you, the crude jokes and sounds would make you laugh out loud right from your belly.
The movie takes the potty joke to the next level. It is almost an integral part of the entire movie. Kunal Roy Kapoor handles the potty and gassy part remarkably (nastily?!) well and he fits the role like a right commode (what an analogy?! Ok it’s the Delhi Belly effect on me) It would be unfair to the rest of the cast to say it is Imran Khan’s movie. It is not. The movie is a collective act and everyone deserves a pat. While Vir das was whacky best in the Jaa Chudail song. How could I forget Vijay Raaz. After a miniscule, almost forgettable and wasted role in Always Kabhi Kabhi, he has got enough space to flourish as gangster. As a ruthless gangster with a cool madness, he steals the show with an effortless, natural act laced with brilliance. Shenaz Treasury and Poorna Jagannathan are the two lead actress. While Shenaz has a light role as the lover of Imran, Poorna is the one who makes a better impression as his colleague, also gets two lip lock scenes with Imran, interestingly both the times in car.
The music of the movie is already chart toppers. In the movie, they are not forced upon us but mixed breezily into the plot. The much talked about Aamir Khan’s item song comes in the end. As Disco Fighter, Aamir spoofs Bollywood’s original disco dancer, Mithun da in a garish, outrageous makeup and costume and you might smile at his antics but for me the movie outshined the disco fighter. The movie does not need as such Aamir Khan’s item number; it is brilliant in its own way. Aamir, the producer could be proud of this fact.
GingerChai verdict: Like the song “Bhaag DK Bose” some of you might loathe it while the rest might like it. Personally I liked it and most of the crowd seems to love it too. If you liked the song, the chances are you would definitely like the movie too. The movie is on your face, unabashed, brazen entertainer, nasty and with no pretention to be nice but makes you laugh out loud right from your belly. Watch it with your friends or even alone coz most of our parents might not be comfortable watching together.
Always Kabhi Kabhi – review
Always Kabhi Kabhi is dull, duller and dullest and at its boring best always and Kabhi Kabhi. When it is a school campus, you very well know what to expect when it comes to characterization, props, costumes and story line. Very few movies pull the magic out of this stereotypical campus formula. Unfortunately, AKK just makes the stereotypical plot unbearable. So you have the good, bad and phunny students, stereotypical phunny teachers, short skirts, and campus songs etc but in a yawn inducing proportion.
AKK revolves around the life of 4 students, what is common in them is parents who are insensitive to their children’s needs. While 2G case co-accused papa Karim Morani is cooling his heels in Tihar Jail, his daughter Zoa Morani debuts in AKK as Nandini Oberai, a bullying brat who nurses emptiness and longs for love deep inside. Her high flying parents have no time for her and she grows up to be a bully who escapes the pain through bullying, partying and sexcapades with her “toy boy” hunk boyfriend. Tariq (Satyajeet Dubey) is bogged down by his father’s academic expectations. Aishwarya’s (Giselli Monteiro) mom wants her to become the next Aishwarya Rai while Sameer Khanna (Ali Fazal) is a reckless, care free guy. The school hosts a inter-college Shakespeare fest and Romeo Julliet bonds the 4 students. And I thought Bollywood is done with Shakespeare and Romeo Juliet in particular, long, long back. In the climax they use the stage to convey to their parents what their really want from them. If Shakespeare would hear that dance and song in a fest conducted in his name, he would cringe in his grave.
The screen characters complain that the parents are not in tune with their frequency or the Parents antenna is not working properly to receive them. But when you watch the movie you would agree that actually it is the director, Roshan Abbas who has utterly failed to tune to the frequency of today’s audience. A gang of students who were occupying the front row of my seat were yawning and restless throughout the movie and cursing one of them for goading them to this movie. To make the matters worst, we have the 40-something Shahrukh khan who comes to the aid of his producer wife and finishes of an already torturous movie with a glitzy song and dance voicing the student’s anguish. *sighs*
GingerChai Verdict: Always Kabhi Kabhi is disjointed as its name and torture kabhi kabhi and always.
Shaitan – review
Let’s make it clear. Shaitan is not a horror movie rather this Shaitan brings out the inner devil within a group of aimless, reckless and rich youngsters from dysfunctional family background, who party hard, live easy and stay afloat on dope that leads them into a quagmire of one crime after another.
Amy (Kalki Koechlin) , who has had a disturbed childhood witnessing the suicide of her mom returns to India with her father, now as a disturbed teen. In India she acquaints a group of rich kids, again from a set of dysfunctional homes, who introduces her to the world of drugs, sex and night life. One wild night in a speeding Hummer car changes the course of their life. It leads to crime, blood, kidnap plot that goes wrong and more blood. It’s the essence of the story which has been brilliantly directed by debutant director Bijoy Nambiar with a fantastic cinematography and music to accompany.
Everything about the movie is almost original and refreshing and it’s been quiet a long time Bollywood offered us such a riveting, original thriller with stellar performance by some not so popular star casts. I don’t see anybody would be so befitting for the role of Amy other than Kalki. Everything is so perfect about her for the character. Take a bow Bijoy for the star cast and bringing out the best of them.
The slick editing and cinematography along with the music perfects the movie. Cinematography by Madhie takes different hues, shades and angles depends on the mood of the story and the editing by Sreekar cuts, jumps and turns the events and maintains the grip throughout to engage us. The car chase, crash and the chase sequences were splendidly shot. The shootout and chase sequence with the remix techno version of old movie song “Khoya Khoya Chand” is simply innovative and brilliantly shot and made. The music credit goes to Prashant Pillai, Amar Mohile, Ranjit Barot and Anupam Roy.
If there is one let down in the movie it is the soft and subtle husband-wife off track story of the Inspector Arvind Mathur (Rajiv Khandelwal). I felt it is unwanted and could have been done away with or else bit paced up.
Welcome to Bollywood Bijoy, job well done. Take a bow. If I have to find some fault line, it could be with the screenplay which could have been handled bit more tightly but I am not going to complaint since the overall product is a brilliant experience for a movie buff, fed with a diet of nonsensical movies oflate.
GingerChai Verdict: A movie that is worth all your money. Go for it.
Ready – review
You have to be a Sallu fan to enjoy this movie, so all you Salman fans “Are You Ready?” After all this Aneez Basmee’s movie is a charming young one man show throughout.
Salman “Dabaang” Khan is back into his charming ways in Aneez Basmee’s Ready. The movie is a remake of the Telugu hit by the same name. Salman has discovered what suits him best and that is to bring out his charming best persona; smile, action and cheesy comedy along with his mandatory abs show and deliver a mass masala entertainer and did you say… acting? Who bothers about it till the time the actor brings out the whistles and claps in the theatres.
When our Indian joint family system is getting nuclear and sub-nuclear, our Indian film Khandaan vouches for the one happy set where the entire parivar eats, sleeps, sings, dances, schemes, plots, cries, laughs merrily together. So we have one such “specimen” family where Prem (Salman Khan) is the lovable brat pampered by the entire family. The family decides to get Prem married and their Guruji suggests a proposal from a NRI family. The girl, Puja is to arrive at airport and Prem to receive her. Enter Sanjana (Asin) who plots her way into the story family claiming herself to be Puja to escape from her two feuding uncles and their sons. So who is Sanjana? What is her story? Obviously Prem and Sanjana would fall in love and how Prem handles their feuding “don” uncles and in the process making them too into a one single happy family is what Ready made of.
The movie has a two dozen of characters – all a “specimen” on its own all doing their part of madness to enrich the brain-dead comedy. For Aneez this is definitely a better outing than Thank You and No Entry. Thanks to Ready being a family entertainer, we are spared of his usual diet of skin shows that was on the face in his previous movie Thank You. “Pee Break” and that is how they call the intermission and that is the only creative part of the movie that otherwise bears the trademark stupidity of the director. Though, it is bit restraint in this movie.
Preetam’s Character Dheela and Devi Sri Prasad’s Dinka chika (the later song is from the original Telugu hit) is are already topping the music charts and it strikes the chord of the audience visually too. Did I hear seetis from female audience? Yes and that speaks of the Sallu magic. Asin does not impress much but anyways this is just a Sallu’s world and all the characters are just to play second fiddle and hang around. But still, Asin looks lost.
GingerChai verdict: If you are a Sallu fan or like masala brain dead entertainer that bollywood gleefully offers, you will be entertained.
Ragini MMS – review
A weekend masti that goes scarily wrong. For a regular horror flick watchers, it is a time tested plot. Ekta Kapoor’s movie (yes, this is a producer’s child rather than the directors and very few producers can claim such a tag) picks over the masti from her previous outing Love, Sex and Dhoka blends it in the horror mixer, making of which is influenced largely by the English flick paranormal activity.
So it is a back to back haunted Friday releases. If last week Haunted tried to scare us (did it?), this Friday the 13th, Ragini MMS flaunts scares us with its sleaze and eeriness.
When Udhay (Raj kumar) and Ragini (Kainaz Motivala) arrive at the desolate farm house, the setting is a predictable and picture perfect for a horror flick. We know it is going to be a haunted place and we know the ghost is lurching somewhere there. While Udhay has his own plans to secretly sex-tape their love making to sell it for profit, the ghost in the house has its own plans!
Both Raj kumar and Kainaz fits their role to the blood T. Kainaz as a cute, city-bred English speaking, unsuspecting, sexually active girl friend while Raj as a restless, conniving boyfriend are very convincing both as a daring couple “raring” for their weekend secret fun as well as when their fun turns to a nightmare.
But the good points of the movie are not that much either. Yes, the movie has its own share of eeriness and can send some chillness through your bones but unfortunately the movie is quiet a plain jane horror. It lacks a sub plot and it lacks direction. The initial portions of the movie would remind you of dozen sleazy Hollywood horror flicks you would have seen earlier, where sex and lust is the precursor to the arrival of the ghost. The MMS in the title is just to justify the trigger jarring constant shaking of camera mode style cinematography coz our lead guy is trigger camera happy but that itself does not have much to offer in the movie as such. For the title Ragini MMS, I would have loved a serious movie on the subjects of MMS scandal sans the ghosts. The good thing is as any good horror movie should be it has some controlled, silent movements to scare you but also the bad thing is that you almost know it too. But hey, inspite of what other critics might say, it would definitely scare an ordinary movie-goer to some extend. The unconvincing part though is the climax – seems like the director went completely blank of his scary wits.
Ok, let’s me end the review with a sleazy cheesy thought that haunts pops after watching the movie: “If you want to have fun, have fun at home – don’t risk in an desolate unknown place”
GingerChai verdict: Sleazy, horror flick not entirely bad either. Ok, I did not say good either.
Haunted – review
Vikram Bhatt and RGV tirelessly love to haunt us with their horror movies. After RGV’s outing with Phoonk 2 , now its turn of Vikram to try scare us. And hey, this time he has set the ghosts on us on stereoscopic 3D format. Haunted announces itself as India’s first stereoscopic 3D horror film. But I found it rather a horror-comedy.
Mimoh, the son of Mithun da, has now rechristened himself as Mahakshay Chakraborty, though a stint in acting school would have been a better option than changing name. So Rehan (Mahakshay) , a US returned MBA from Stanford university arrives at a palatial, century old house, Eden Manor, in a hill station to facilitate the sales of the house. Upon arrival, he is told the house is haunted. Brave that he is, he rubbishes and drives into the house all alone. Now you know what to expect in a horror movie. Yes, the customary ingredients like the screeching doors, screams, lights on and off, moving chairs, music follows. I am not going to say much into it as you would have almost be prepared for what would be in store. The ghost pushes down a book which reveals a letter she wrote 80 years back just before her suicide. It reveals the ghost ki kahani.
80 years back, Meera, a young girl of the house played by Tia Bajpai kills her pedophilic music teacher, Iyer (played by Arif Zakaria) while he attempts to molest her. The ghost of Iyer haunts her for next 6 days, killing the rest of the household and finally raping Meera. (Yes, rapist ghost!) Meera commits suicide. The Iyer ghost further locks up the ghost of Meera and repeatedly tortures and rapes her since then (Yes, don’t faint a ghost raping another ghost!) So Rehan is determined to free Meera’s ghost from the evil Iyer ghost and how he does? He flies back into time with the help of a chillum smoking Sufi Baba in suit and pants! Now this is some imagination, isn’t it ?!
I found the horror story quiet amusing and thanks to the 3D effect there are few scenes, even if it is quiet predictable, that pushes you back to the seat (or to the edge of the seat, whatever) The ghost reminds us of the faces right from the decades old movies like Evil dead and in the climax even does a flying stunts inspired by Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon *sighs*
Thought of the day: Wonder why only bad ghosts have a menacing look while good ghosts are sweet looking!
GingerChai verdict: A horror movie that actually ends up a comedy-horror. Yes there are few predictable moments that assure you it is indeed horror movie and it is bit entertaining if you go watch it as a comedy-horror (spoof) genre. If you plan to watch it, then watch it on 3D format that would be the only saving grace.
Dum Maro Dum – review
The name and the much hyped item number suggests that the movie should be of drugs and narcotics and Dum Maro Dum is a full on psychedelic masala movie , based on the drug scene in Goa.
Prateik Babbar as Laurie the bumbling teenager , who gets caught in the web of the narcotic scene as a carrier is impressive and looks the part. Abhishek Bacchan as Inspector Vishnu Kamath , the ex corrupt but now clean cop, is his usual self. By usual I don’t mean bad ( I never considered him as a bad actor and if you don’t agree with me then just watch his Yuva),only spontaneous. Debutant Rana Daggubati as Zoki the musician and good Samaritan, strumming his guitar and wooing his lady love, Bipasha with Tee Amo is good looking and let us keep it at that only. We will have to watch a couple of movies more to really give a verdict about his acting. Bipasha Basu as the ambitious Zoe looks troubled throughout the movie. We see more of her frowns than her hot bod. We have Vidya Balan in a bit role and feel grateful that it is a bit role only. Some how she wouldn’t have suited the movie. Aditya Pancholi as the drug lord Biscuta is forgettable. Supporting cast of Govind Namdeo and Abhishek’s Lackey- Mercy is impressive but the plot os more riveting than the performances. The first half is fast while the second half drags at parts, but the last fifteen mins of the movie again turns interesting and non clichéd. The music makes you sit up (even Thaii thaii, the rap number) and Goa captured in Sepia with flashes of psychedelic lights and colours, and zonked out scantily clad foreigners is more realistic than the pristine blues and glosses of other movies like Golmaal etc . Few dialogues and scenes are good enough to keep playing in your mind on repeat long after the movie is over.The direction is wholesomely complete(almost) barring aside some loopholes, but as I said who cares for perfection in a masala movie?.…Did I miss something? Oh yes! The plot! Oh dear I did the review upside down, but that is drugs for you. Even the hint of it in the atmosphere is enough to mess up everything-from your viewpoint to your life to career to everything that you hold dear. Is that the message of the movie? Not exactly.
The movie in the first half brings the three key characters of Laurie (prateik), Kamath (Abhishek) and Joki in one frame through some fast flashbacks of their life. Laurie in need of some big money to finance his higher studies , agrees to become a carrier and gets caught. Joki a simple musician who lost his girl friend Bipasha to her ambition and Drug Lord Biscuta, decides to stand by Laurie and clear him from this mess. Abhishek Bacchan as the super cop who had no scruples, finds the purpose of his life after a personal tragedy and a second chance by the Goa CM to clear up the drug scene
Three of them are brought together after Laurie is caught with cocaine in the Airport and it is upto Abhishek Bachan and Joki to clean up Goa and hunt down an elusive yet key character in the drug scene, Michael Barbosa. The second part of first half and the second half is about the hunt for the elusive Barbosa and the usual cop and bad man chasing-bashing scenes. Action scenes are just about tolerable, but the movie in whole, if you turn a blind to the few imperfection, is a good weekend watch and more so if the last movie you watched was around a year back.
The song Dum Maro Dum? Need I say anything especially about it? Its just part of the package and is not much more than what it appears to be- a passable item number.
Ginger Chai verdict-The movie is not an example of perfection or brilliance, but who wants perfection? I think for a paisa wasool 3 hours , a movie that is better than bad suffices too, but here is news! Dum Maro Dum is good, not perfect or excellent but definitely good.
Thank You – review
If you liked Aneez Basmee’s No Problem, time to say Thank You.
Men are dogs and women are ever faithful – This is the one liner of the movie that has been woven into a brain dead comic script and which sadly entertains you too partially. Wonder why I mentioned sadly? Sad coz the comic element of our movies has stooped so low that even a slightly better dim wit comedy starts appealing. May be we are seriously carving for quality comedy movies.
Vikram (Irfan Khan), Raj (Bobby deol) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty) are thick friends, business partners and cheating mates who in spite of happily married to beautiful women are perpetually in heat and having affairs. Yogi’s dominant wife Radha (Celina Jaitley) introduces Kishen (Akshay Kumar) , a Sauvé, charming Akshay Kumar to Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor) when Sanajan suspects her husband of having an affair. The cat and mouse game begins with Kishen trying to catch the husbands during their sexcapades’ and Vikram masterminding their way out and finally Kishen reuniting the couples of course with the customary filmy dialogues of moral speak.
Among the three ladies, Rimi Sen stands out , while Sonam Kapoor cuts a sorry figure while Celina is miserable. Among the men Irfan Khan brings some respect to the nonsense story while Akshay does his part with restraint and charm. But boy, he badly needs a rock solid hit with a good story line else his star status is sure to nose dive into pits. In the multiplex I watched the first day; first show the movie attracted a dozen people. Hardly inspiring for a star’s home release.
The movie is shot entirely in Canada and is visually appealing. Music by Pritam is uninspiring. Malika Sherawat does an item number for the song Razia and is easily forgotten.
GingerChai verdict: A silly movie that you can watch only for Akshay , Irfan and Rimi Sen. If only Aneez has cared for sensible script and not relied on voluptuous bodies and brain dead, slapstick comedy, we could have told him a Thank you but alas it is not to be. With IPL entertainment started, you do have a choice but If you find cricket an over doze, you can watch once.