Aurangzeb movie review
Money is thicker than blood and kingship knows no kinship is the one liner of the movie, Aurangzeb starring Arujun Kapoor in double role, Rishi Kapoor, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Jackie Shroff in this Yash Raj Films.
The film is set in the backdrop of Gurgaon, a village-cluster turned fast growing high-rise city and when every inch of land is like gold, power struggle ensues with a dark underbelly of police-corporate nexus thriving on greed, corruption and power.
Bumpy spoiler roadblocks ahead. So, if you want to take off-route skip the next two paras.
Yashwardhan (Jackie Shroff) is an erstwhile gangster turned real estate tycoon whose only son, Ajay (Arjun Kapoor) is a short fuse. On the other end is cop family of ACP Arya (Prithhviraj Sukumaran) who helds in high esteem his paternal uncle Ravikant (Rishi Kapoor), a police commissioner whose son and son-in-law are also police officers. Barring the son-in-law, the rest have no qualms being corrupt. Arya’s father, a honest but suspended police officer before dying confides he has another family and a son. When Arya meets the ‘other’ family, to his surprise he realizes the mother-son duo are the supposedly presumed dead family of Yashwardhan in a misfired encounter case for which Arya’s father was suspended.
While Arya wants to redeem his father’s name, Ravikant hatches a plan to infiltrate Vishal, Ajay’s look-alike twin brother into his place and bring down Yashwardhan’s illicit empire through him. With Vishal in, the plan goes smooth for Ravikant but not far long. What follows is trail of events where blood is spilled for greed and lives taken for power.
What is commendable about the movie are the performance with southern actor Prithviraj, standing out. Aiyaa might not have been his perfect Bollywood debut but in Auranzeb, Prithiviraj sizzles with his performance as well as his Hindi diction. For Arjun kapoor it’s a bit familiar role but nevertheless manages to pull it off in his double role, though it would be better for him to show his different shades in future movies. A fine actor that he is, Rishi Kapoor excels yet again in a negative role and I hear it’s the first time he dons a cop role in his long career.
Jackie Shroff and Amrita Singh are back but could have been given more screen space. Jackie Shroff’s look and body language is brilliant but sadly under-used. It brings to the main grouse of the movie, with too many characters, the characters are under-developed.
There are thrills and surprises and to his credit, director Atul Sabharwal does manage to give the movie a fresh coating which has a otherwise formulaic undercurrent but in entirety the movie is half-done, under-cooked.
Finally, Aurangzeb is not a bad movie but leaves you thinking it could have been much better.
Go Goa Gone Movie Review
Horror movies are one of my favorite genres but amidst all the scary population of horrorland, Zombies are different breed. The undead are unique in that they can scare you as well as make a perfect ensemble for a zomcom, Zombieland being my all-time favourite in the sub-genre.
While bhoot, bhootnis, chudail are Bollywood’s horror attractions, Zombie’s were buried under, undirected till Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh brought the undead alive on-screen in Rise of the Zombie released last month. Though the very first movie did not warm up well at box office, Go Goa Gone tries to make the zombie culture popular taking the zomcom route and manages to pull it off amidst the blood, gore, madness and laughter!
No haunted house nor rocking chairs and shutting windows with their minds of their own or revenge seeking bhoot in owl hooting dark nights here but you are treated with a summer cocktail set in a Goan island with virgin beach and greenery.
Luv (Vir Das), a just-dumped guy which made him shed his new changed-to-better status and Hardik (Kunal Khemu) just-fired-from-job whose simple and only pleasures include smoke, women and alcohol, tag their studious working friend-roommate-colleague, Bunny (Anand Tiwari) who is going to Goa for a business presentation while the other want to smoke it up there.
In Goa, Luv meets Luna who invite him for a rave party organized by a Russian mafia don. Thrilled, Luv and Hardik manages to entice Bunny to sail with them to the island and to the party. They wake up from their wasted night only to see things have changed overnight with Zombies on a hunger spree looking out for their ‘living’ prey.
The three friends and Luna are stranded in the island and need to flee it but how? While the friends fumble around to find their way out and with almost all the party guest turned into zombies ,enters Boris, the mafioso with guns and barrels.
Saif Ali Khan also the co-producer of the movie needs to be applauded for the gutsy effort to play the blonde-haired pretending-to-be a Russian don caricature. He has allowed the trio of Luv, Hardik and Bunny to take the center-stage throughout the movie allowing himself to savour the madness and be part of the madness.
Go Goa Gone is heavier on the comedy than the horror and works to its favour as a rarefied air. For unassuming audience who came looking out for a plain horror stuff it might surprise them but most may not complaint either.
The trio especially Hardik and Luv constantly spout one-liners making the zombiescape a hilarious watch along with the heavy Russian accented Boris uttering i-keel-dead-people and hunting down the zombies.
Director duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK maintains the zombie escapade a healthy pace, cleverly sprinkled with witty wisecracks and over-the-top, ridiculous, mindless zomcom caper.
The whole film is tons of fun and there are great silly, goofy moments throughout the movie you will enjoy .
Ek Thi Daayan Review
Most Bollywood horror films has treaded the same path consuming the formulaic horror recipes and we are tuned to expect the expected. So I assumed Kannan Iyer’s Ek Thi Daayan to be no different but I was treated to a surprise creepiness. Written by Vishal Bharadwaj and Mukul Sharma and based on a short story by the latter, it deviates from the clichés for most of the reels.
Bobo The Baffler (Emraan Hashmi) is a renowned and successful illusionist with a traumatized past having lost his father and young sister during his childhood. He begins to get images of his dead sister and screams which his girl friend (Huma Qureshi) dismisses as imagination while the little orphaned kid whom they take care of also witnesses. Troubled he take psychiatric treatment and during one hypnotic session, he dwells into his past where he is shown interested in magic and witchcraft even as a kid living with his caring father and a charming little sister, Misha. Btw, the kids are too adorable and acting brilliant! The evil does not unleash on them but walks in gently as Diana (Konkana Sharma), a neighbor who soon wins the attention of the father and become the kid’s step-mom much against the liking of Bobo, who is convinced the lady is not Diana but a daayan.
The first half takes you through the childhood flashback and reminisces of the witchery as we have heard in our childhood stories or rumours and unlike the clichéd bootnis we seen in elsewhere Bollywood movies. In the second half, the film hurries up after wakening up from the flashback which I felt was the best reels of the movie, full credits to Visshesh Tiwari as the young Bobo and Sara Arjun as Misha and also Konkana Sharma, the lady just gets into the ‘Raat ki Rani’ daayan in an unassuming and realistic role. It is as if the daayan we heard in our grandmother’s tales come true.
The second half hurries to an end with the introduction of Lisa Dutta (Kalki Koechlin) with trails thrown in to mislead the audience for a climax. Much to my relief, the movie does not meddle with usual route of religious exorcism, tantric etc but refreshingly conjures up the imagination of fairytale and witchery stories where we hear the power of the dayaans are hid seven oceans away or lie in her long hair that is tied into “choti” or knots.
Emraan Hashmi as a loner and in search of answer to his traumatized past excels and so is the rest of the cast. One does not expect music to be the highlight in a horror movie but with numbers like Yaaram and Kaali Kaali Vishal Bharadwaj makes an exception.
Ek Thi Dayaan is refreshing and metes out a different treatment for its genre. Forget the climax but the movie is smartly made and has more original flavours, it is not those jump out of your seat scary movies but nevertheless whips eeriness in our mind.
Chashme Baddoor – Review
Season of awful remakes continues. Last Friday we got literally tortured by a stale, unimaginative and probably the worst remake of recent times, Himmatwala and this week David Dhawan remakes 1981 classic film Chashme Buddoor. If the original was classic, the remake is just a colorful plastic.
To begin with David Dhawan’s movies has a completely different entertainment quotient so much that it would be unfair to him if we expect a classic remake of the original.It cannot be. Going by past records,any remake by David Dhawan’s has to have his trademark mindless and reckless EQ thrown in which he has done with gusto in his (unofficial) remakes of films.
David Dhawan has stuck to the original movie’s basic plot of three friends Sidharth (Ali Zafar), Jai (Sidharth) and Omi (Divyendu Sharma) with the later two constantly chasing women. To fit into the second decade of the millennium’s Bollywood’s commercial comedy identity (read: over the top mindless, reckless, senseless) which comes easy to David Dhawan the movie is glossed with shayaris written by what one critic says lifted from pages of a last bencher sitting in an engineering college. Well, I cannot disagree more on that. Slaps as comedy seems to be compulsory for Bollywood comedy and so we have in this remake the heroine’s granny who every now and then for no reasons slaps her son who happens to be poor Anupam Kher who by now has mastered the comic mood Bollywood expects from him and tirelessly repeats here too. David also adds as a side story the romance between Rishi Kapoor and Lilette Dubey which again is bland and very predictable.
Ali Zafar looks like he is desperately trying the best to look cool on-screen but then he just looks stiff and has a lot to work on the dialogue delivery. Looking cool, funny and at ease is Sidharth while Divyendu also manages his part well but clearly out of the three Sidharth steals the show. What is expected from a heroine in commercial Bollywood entertainer, Taapsee does well and looks good too. My sympathies with Anupam Kher, Bollyood please show mercy on this wonderful actor. We want to see him in more roles like Special 26′s P.K Sharma and not as a clown. Rishi Kapoor is covered with Tattoos to look like a cool Goan but that is the only cool thing about his role.
Having said all this, there are few moments that are good in this movie but then they are far and few. The movie looks colorful on-screen but the screenplay dulls it completely and David Dhawan’s EQ does not help either in this remake. Only consolation is it is now that horrible like last week’s Himmatwala. If it is any good news for you, then go watch it.
Life of Himmatwala – review
80′s Bollywood is the golden period for asli men for whom brawn is mightier than brain and blood is thicker than water. It also belonged to village sarpanch who ruled the people with iron fist, muscular henchmen, a funny sidekick and a heroine who dances in Indralok costumes. Not to forget the Hero’s mother who mostly weeps and clad in white clothes, a dear sister who always gets into the nefarious plans of the villain and then the Mother of all revenges. Revenge. Ah! Every scriptwriter’s favourite plot.
Sajid Khan who has a knack to deliver hits much to the horror of every critics who diligently thrash his every movies has taken the job of remaking the 80′s hit film of the same name that starred ‘Jumping jack’ Jeetendra, Sridevi, Waheeda Rahman, Amjad khan and Shakti Kapoor. In this remake Ajay Devgn, Tamannah, Zarina Wahab, Mahesh Manjarekar and Paresh Rawal ‘spoofs’ the orginal cast to recreate the 80′s look and feel.
Did I say spoof? Well, Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala is more like a spoof of the original film rather than a remake. It intends to relive the 80′s but Bollywood and our movie taste has come a long way since then that the remake feels rather like a spoof.
Ang Lee’s Life of Pi brought to life Richard Parker, a digitally created Royal Bengal Tiger and not to be outdone we have Sajid Khan recreate our own Bengal Tiger that our hero fights with bare hands and finally has a chit chat with it. In the climax, the very tiger comes as a divine appearance to give helping hands to the hero to fight the group of fighters who appears to have arrived right out of the world wrestling federation ring. Life of Himmatwala is definitely worthy for the Razzies award.
Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala takes the central plot of the original movie but the script makes a few changes though sticking faithfully to the Bollywood rulebooks of 80′s. Ravi (Ajay Devgn) returns to his village which he fled as a child. Now a macho man Ravi unites back with his mother and sister and wants to take revenge on the village sarpanch and tyrant, Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjerakar) responsible for his father’s suicide. How he goes about his revenge drama in-between romancing the villain’s daughter Rekha (Tamannah) makes for the life of Himmatwala told with plenty of stale comedies at the expense of Sher Singh’s side kick Narayandas (Paresh Rawal) with his supposed-to-be funny hairstyle and mannerisms, over-the-top heroism and colorful ‘songs’ that includes remakes of the hit songs from the old version of the film, “Taki O Taki” and “Nainon Mein Sapna.
I am not commenting on the box office collection as Sajid khan has defied every critical opinions and went on to have the last laugh at the box office. The movie is staid spoof which gets boring at lengths, silly at breadths and clumsy in bits and entertaining if you are hardcore Bollywood masala fan of 80′s. Sorry it doesn’t work for me but then hey am wearing a critic’s hat.
Movie Review: The Attacks of 26/11
No one ever in India imagined an atrocious attack of the scale of 2008 Mumbai attacks were ever possible. Even the often repeated Mumbai resilience took a deep hit, it weakened the Mumbai spirit as well as the entire Nation’s as the 10 men from across the border, entered the waters of India, landed in Mumbai and went on spraying the bullets and bombs to plant a death field.
The brazen attack of 26/11 is reminiscent of 9/11 US attacks. Many Hollywood films and documentaries were made based on September 11 attacks notably United 93 and World Trade Centre. The Attacks of 26/11 by maverick director Ram Gopal Verma tries to retell the horrific events of the attacks that most of us never forgot. When RGV visited the ill-fated Taj Hotel soon after the incident along with CM, it invited a lot of criticism as people believed it was his first-hand recce for a movie to be based on the incident. Well, finally he did plan the movie and it releases this Friday, taking us back to the fateful night, India would never forget for a long time to come.
RGV has chosen a documentary style of story telling with Nana Patekar reprising the real life role of Rakesh Maria, then Joint Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. The movie is seen through his oral testimony before a panel of juries on the events of the night and how it unfolded. So it takes us right from the Indo-Pakistan sea waters where the 10 men capture the fishing trawler MV Khuber and begin their monstrous dance of death and in Mumbai where it retells the attack in Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Hotel, VT station and Cama Hospital and the eventful capture of Ajmal Kasab.
It’s delicate and risky task to retell an emotional and overwhelming incident which still haunts us into a movie. We all know what happened and to retell it needs a special attention and a directorial caliber. RGV has tamed down his eccentric camera antics to bring out a somewhat controlled recapture of the events true to the nature. Though he chooses to skip many incidents and abruptly stops the events with the capture of Ajmal Kasab to conclude the movie with anguished and angry Nana Patekar’s lengthy sermon on secularism and real insights of Islam to Kasab.
So does the movie work? A wee bit but not enough. It started well with the event at sea and capture of the trawler but after the initial shooting spree in Mumbai, it becomes repetitive with blood and slow-motions. Add to that the pauses and sl-mo emotional moments of Nana Patekar that interprets the events of the night slows down the movie. From the movie point of view, it lacks the pace and an end which is a stereotypical classroom speech, though Nana Patekar’s deserves a pat for controlled act though at times we feel he is just restless in his constrained role.
The Attacks of 26/11 could have been better if it is not heavily a documentary style or it chose to opt for retelling the entire sequence till how NSG ended it in a brisk pace. Or better, it would have been great if it was told from a common man’s perspective who got in the middle of the mayhem for no fault of his.
Kai Po Che – review
When the title Kai Po Che was announced, it intrigued many and made them guess the meaning, if you had no Gujarati friends or colleagues around to help you. Atleast in Tamil it had a semblance of meaning translating something like hand-gone. Then it came out to be that it is a Gujarati phrase “I have cut the kite‘ , that is often used during kite festivals as a victorious shrill, when someone successfully snaps another kite. Kai Po Che, let me snap my rant and talk about the movie, which is based on celebrity author, Chetan Bhagat’s third novel ‘The Three Mistakes of my Life’. Incidentally, it is also his third book to get a Bollywood dressing down. Though the movie Hello that was based on Chetan Bhagat’s second novel ‘One Night @ The Call Centre’ was truly a director’s life time mistake. 3 Idiots, the cult movie based on the author’s debut novel ‘Five Point Someone’ stirred controversies with the author taking the director to court for not giving him opening credits. Finally with Kai Po Che, Chetan Bhagat takes his full plunge into Bollywood by involving himself in the screenplay of the movie.
Kai Po Che is a simple, honest story about three friends with different personalities who live in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The story takes you to the early 2000, during the period Gujarat was troubled, wounded and ravaged by earthquake in 2001 and religious riots in the following year. Amongst the three friends, Govind, played brilliantly by talented Raj Kumar Yadav, has the business acumen typical of Gujarati men and works hard for a prosperous future, giving tuitions and starting a sports shop cum training academy with his other two friend, Ishaan and Omi. Ishaan played energetically by Sushant Singh Rajput, is cricket obsessed, good guy who takes emotional decisions. Omi, played by newcomer Amit shad, is a follower who gets easily influenced by others, especially by his maternal uncle, Bittoo Joshi , an ambitious right-wing politician.
All the hard work and meticulous business plan of adept Govind is tested first by the Gujarat earthquake and when the friends rebound from it, the Gujarat riots happens that changes their life forever. Ishaan, spots a prodigal talent in Ali, a neighbourhood Muslim kid. While he is almost obsessed to shape the career of Ali, confident that he would become an Indian cricket sensation someday, the events take a different turn that would change the friends life forever.
The first half of the movie is light-hearted and refreshing and slowly gathers momentum to the tumultuous second half. Though the movie revolves around the three friends, Amrita Puri who comes as Ishaan’s sister, Vidya falls in love with Govind, who tutors her maths whips a soft fragrance of love amidst the proceedings.
Previously Rock On! and now Kai Po Che, director Abishek Kapoor does know how to tell a story of friendship and emotional turbulence without sinking us into finding any connected knots. Here he excels again with his adept handling of the book adaptation. It is always difficult to adapt a book to a movie and condense it into 2 hours. Abishek has brilliantly handled the book picking the right essence and ingredients and in the process has instilled more soul to the movie than even the book delivered. May be having Chetan himself in the screenplay process, helped him achieve it. Not to be missed out is the editing by Anay Goswami and cinematography by Deepak Bhattia, both of them making sure the kite soars high.
Kai Po Che is a finely crafted movie that would please the critics as well as the regular audience. With no superstars and glamour to bank on, Abhishek kapoor banks on the emotions, turbulence and dreams of the three youngsters and the endurance of their friendship. Eventually, their life does touch the audience’s pulse. A movie not to be missed, a good movie deserves to be appreciated and watched in movie hall. Do watch it.
Murder 3 – Review
The first half of the movie make you wonder if it is a horror movie. A spooky house, rattling windows, something-inside-the-water-tap made me look around the empty rows of the movie hall and wonder if it was a wise decision to watch the movie alone. Luckily the chills and shivers were in parts and later it transpired it is not a horror genre.
Murder 3, the third installment in the Murder series produced by Mahesh Bhatt and this time helmed by Mahesh bhatt’s nephew Vishesh Bhatt. The movie is a remake of Colombian thriller ‘The Hidden Face’. The face of Murder series, Emraan Hashmi is replaced by Randeep Hooda in Murder 3.
Wild life photographer Vikram (Randeep Hooda) and his girl-friend Roshini (Aditi Rao Hydari) shifts to Mumbai from Cape Town on a year-long assignment. In Mumbai, the wild life photographer becomes a fashion photographer (so that we can have a bit of glamour in the songs! who wants to see a Geographical channel on big screen, right?!). The movie in fact begins with a brooding Vikram looking at a video camera message by Roshini, telling him she is going away from him. Dejected and taking recourse to drink, Vikram befriends a lounge waitress, Nisha (Sara Loren). Nisha moves to the palatial house in remote Mumbai and finds something strange in the bedroom and water tap and hears some noises. The second half of the movie reveals that Roshini doubting Vikram’s relationship with his hairstylist decides to test him. I am not going to give away what the test is and make it very obvious. In turn, Roshini gets self-trapped and if she manages to squeeze out of the trap? What happened to their relationship? What about Nisha’s affair makes up for Murder 3.
Murder series is synonymous with eroticism, bracketing it as erotic thriller, Murder 3 might disappoint those who look for it. The basic story knot in fact sounds good but somewhere Vishesh falters and the movie disappoints.
As far as acting, Aditi both irritates in partial especially when she laughs but partly excels in few scenes. Less said about Randeep, the actor simply refuses to emote. Then you have Rajesh Shringarpure and Bugs Bhargava who unintentionally makes us laugh with their murderous acting.
Final words… Murder 3 is good in patches but the full potential of the story is under-utilized and disappoints.
Special 26 – Review : A Perfect Indian Job
If you thought Neeraj Pandey is a one film wonder, the man proves you wrong with his second film ‘Sepcial 26′. After much acclaimed Wednesday released way back in 2008, the director took his own sweet time to come with this heist-thriller starring Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpai and Kajal Aggarwal and does a desi con-giri thriller to perfection.
The film is set in 80s and is said to be based on real incidents. A group of men goes on a perfect con-jobs across India posing as CBI officers. The victims? businessmen and even politicians, who remain silent so that their shady black money is not exposed to media and Income tax departments. As a final heist, they plan big but by this time the real CBI manages to sniff them and trails them to make a perfect red-handed arrests. So who gets the perfect final job done? The asli CBI or nakli CBI?
The movie opens with pencil-thin moustached Akshay and Anupam Kher along with two other accomplice ‘raiding’ a politician’s house after informing local police. As the politician gapes in shock and sweats out his fear, the four men uncovers the hidden black money and ‘confiscates’ them. As the police stands in awe at the ‘integrity’ and ‘honesty’ of the ‘officials’, they make an exit telling the cops to wait till further orders. A perfect job done. The opening con-job sets the pace of the movie peppered with light humour and brilliant acting that is to continue throughout the remaining reels.
Akshay Kumar happens to be one of my favourite actor in Bollywood and it annoys me when he chooses ‘joker’ of roles oflate. Among the Bollwyood superstars, he is one who could do with better guidance on his choice of movies and credit should g to Neeraj for his faith on Akshay and the actor himself for the accomplished acting. What a changed Akshay we see on-screen! Posing with thin moustache and controlled expressions, he along with the rest of the cast bring more realistic mood to the film and keeps us enthralled. Talking about acting, the entire casting of the film does a perfect job. Anupam Kher is simply brilliant, so is Jimmy Shergill and Manoj Bajpai both of them as policeman and CBI officer respectively on the trails of the four con men.
The screenplay is tight and if at all any flaw is there, you would never realize it. Was there any flaw? Well, I am not sure I was just sucked into the mire of sheer cinematic pleasure.
Special 26 is a perfect Indian con-giri job. Don’t miss the heist.
Race 2 – Review
Like the 2008 hit film Race, its sequel Race 2 too is all about mokka, dhokka and plan pakka with twists pe twists.
Armaan Malik (John Abraham) is a street fighter turned top Asian mafia who runs many casinos in the picturesque city of Istanbul along with his co-sister, Elena (Deepika Padukone). Enter the race ka original khilladi, Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) who manages to win the goodwill of Armaan Malik but with a sinister plan on his mind. Armaan comes to know about it through twists pe twists played by his girl friend, Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandez) and the fruit and nut combination of Anil Kapoor and his new secretary, Amisha Patel. With each one playing their own part in the maze of twists, the story sets the pace for a racy action-thriller with abundance of what I said in the begining, mokka, dhokka and plan pakka but low on substance, logic and energy.
To set the adrenalin racing, Race franchise relies on showcasing the bodies, glitz and glamour and double meaning dialogies along with convoluted twists.
We have abundance of all with John and Saif flaunting their beefcakes, the trio of leading ladies moving around in skimpy clothes and the fruit and nutty combination of Anil kapoor and Amisha Patel dishing out double meaning salads ridiculously.
Only racy element in the movie is the action sequences by Peter Hain, which has been executed very well although the lead up to the action sequences are sloppy.
Istanbul makes a pleasant backdrop for the movie and Ravi Yadav’s camera captures it well. One can only wish the directors had added dollops of creativity into the script.
So do you want to Race? Depends on the kind of movie buff you are. The movie to its credit has a decent pace but relies more on glitz, glamour and dizzy deliberate twists. Two and half hours of race with couple of yawn inducing pit-stops, might interest you if action, overdose of glamour, crude double meaning jokes and script lacking logic can excite you.