Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Missed Reviews : August-September

Again, my views on seen films last two months in short…

Hindi : 

Entertainment : 

This year I think I am ending up watching lot of movies that deserve 1 or less than 1 star rating. The trailer itself was bad, but still went to see if there’s a surprise in store, and indeed it was, it turned out to be a total nightmare and headache. In Jacqueline words from kick, this was a totally unjhelable movie. Right from 1st scene where you see Akshay in total fatty make up, a sight you would prefer not to see. Then, over the top comedy lines, with terrible irritating Krishna (same one from Bol Bacchan) speaking idiotic written dialogues that have filmy names and actors. One scene that I remember I laughed at, was when Akshay goes to meet Mithun at his place and Mithun is saving electricity by having candle light meeting with his future son-in-law, also the sofa end broken at one side, one of rarest funny scene in movie. Also, Johnny Lever provides some good moments in movie with his still present great comic timing. Tamannah it appears has decided to do only nonsense movies in her career, that gives no scope to showcase her acting.  Sonu Sood and Prakash Raj 1st scene is hilarious, after that their plot is terribly predictable. Akshay does nothing new, you have seen him do same comedy in numerous movies, in between he choses good films like Special Chabees, Holiday and then he returns to undo the good work with films like Entertainment.
Verdict : 1/5 

Singham Returns : 

In the first scene, when you see Singham trying to advice a young boy in what direction he should be using his anger, the tone of the dialogue tells the film might attempt to preach which it does in few other portions too, and then you see the iconic dialogues of 1st film in franchise like ‘aata maajhi satkeli’ and ‘aali re aali’ etc used by Ajay Devgan all of a sudden making you feel like seems Singham just realized he forgot to use his famous lines. One good aspect in this film is, that Kareena-Ajay love angle is given very less importance and unlike last movie, there’s very less comedy based on them. But the bad aspect is, the villain played by Zakir Hussain and Amol Apte aren’t even half as effective as Prakash Raj alone was in last movie. Yet, you enjoy watching Singham beat the wrong guys and let Police win over corrupt minister and hypocrite baba. If only the script was better, and Rohit preferred to film it like new movie, and not trying to use heroics of last one, this movie had in it to work. A okish one time watch…
Verdict : 2/5

Mardaani : 

Rani in another bold avatar since No One Killed Jessica, this time playing a senior inspector at Crime Branch trying to find a missing girl and solving clues to reach the mastermind behind the child trafficking racquet. As expected Rani gives a solid performance, watch her helplessness when in front of her eyes she watches her husband face turned black with shoes necklace over him, or the next preceding scene where Rani challenges Tahir Raj Bhasin (the mastermind) over phone with tears rolling her eyes after she ends call being still in a state of shock over her husband’s treatment. But for me the real stars of the movie were Pradeep Sarkar and Tahir Raj Bhasin. Sarkar’s direction is top notch, can you fucking believe that the film has just one song that actually comes at the final scene of the movie. And he never indulges into any sub-plots, like the relationship of missing girl Pyaari with Rani and her daughter, just given 1-2 scenes. Even Rani’s relationship with her hubby isn’t given importance. From the promos, Tahir looked pretty amateurish to me, but I was wrong. He has acted brilliantly, infact at times I was enjoying his performance more than Rani. He gets his mannerisms, and dialect perfect. Also, his way of calling Rani ‘Maam’ was cool. The screenplay keeps it Tahir vs Rani, chess piece like scenario, one move followed by opponent’s move. Anil George (from Miss Lovely film) plays a good supporting role of Vakeel. The background music from Julius Packiam was once again terrific, he started with Dhoom3, decent in Gunday, then Kick and now Mardaani, easily becoming a reliable person in background music department. If there’s something that bothered me in film was, two scenes, one where Rani tries to be over-smart as a cop while dealing with a person at CP, and other was the key fight scene between Rani and Tahir which should had been shooted skillfully without dialogues like ‘lokpal bill’ and all. Leaving these aside, the movie works pretty much, but you are more than likely to remember Tahir’s performance when you come out of theatre (not talking of Rani fanatics).
Verdict : 3.5/5 

Raja Natwarlal : 

This is a good con movie made in our hindi industry, but it had great potential to be remembered for many years if and only if the writers plus director wanted the focus on main plot more than the un-necessary romantic songs that keep popping up as if asking viewers ‘bahut thrill ho gaya, thora rest ho jaaye’. Emraan Hashmi in such awara type roles isn’t new, and hence he looks at ease portraying it. Paresh Rawal is fantastic in his part playing the eldest con artist, love the training scenes in Dharamshala. Kay Kay Menon is shown menacing which he does look, but still he gets conned too easily to my liking in the end. Humaima Malick has got looks, acting wise I would give another film a go before saying anything, she gets limited scope in this movie. Even the songs except for ‘Tere hoke rahenge’ and Mika’s, aint catchy enough. The ending reminds of ‘The Prestige’ which didn’t really bother me, as it looks good but you don’t really feel the impact because the director ends up going the routine mixing everything in a thriller that would had been best kept as a thriller movie only. Yet its worth a watch once for the performances and all the con sequences.
Verdict : 3/5 

Mary Kom : 

As it appeared from trailer, Mary Kom couldn’t turn out to be another great biopic film like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Priyanka Chopra unlike many others, looks like Mary Kom to me in appearance and quite expectedly gives a great performance but its the screenplay and writing that disappoints. Firstly, we get to see the rise of Mary Kom in boxing happen all too quickly with a montage as if the struggle had to be limited to get that first chance of training only with coach (Sunil Thapa playing it). I was very much okay to see how a woman once a great champion quit it to get her family going and now wants to get back to it feeling a void in life, and the whole training she has to get her body in shape. These were some of best parts of movie, along with that scene in bus where a small girl and her father couldn’t recognize Mary Kom. And then in the climax, they mess it up terribly with forced drama. Why would a husband tell his wife that their daughter has fallen ill again one night before his wife goes for a very important boxing match in her life. Even if I accept it, then why would he tell her after deciding to keep the reason for her child’s illness a secret, suddenly moments before match he calls her to tell it just as to help the match get added drama, totally disliked it to a extent I felt like Mary should lose this match. Two other things that don’t gel with me, one is the relation of Mary with her father, how he all of sudden starts cheering his daughter after all the time having hatred towards boxing sport, the sudden change of heart was unconvincing. Then, there’s a scene where Mary shaves her head off because she feels this will help her control her anger, again completely un-necessary. Even the music except for dil yeh ziddi (which is again nothing special) and the training song in 2nd half, is very ordinary. Darshan Kumar is quite effective in his supporting role. Mary Kom certainly deserved a better movie.
Verdict : 2.5/5 

Creature : 

A different kind of horror movie, where the ghost for a change isn’t a aatma or badly make-uped person… but a creature that has human structure although looks like a raakshas and runs like tiger. So much effort in all the creative effort goes into vfx effects and making sure the creature should look scary, that they forget the movie required a story too. What we get is another same old cliched story of a lady living in a far away hilly place where a hotel placed right across jungle starts to get famous for all the attacks the guests living in it face with the creature. The acting of most of these supporting cast is so terrible that you simply plead that they die especially Bikramjeet Kanwarpal who plays the forest officer always seen chewing paan while speaking a dialogue. The romantic track between Bipasha and Imran Abbas never interests you, with Imran’s acting skills hardly visible. Even Bipasha gets very little chance to shine in this dull movie. The scare elements are far and few, with no suspense at all except for the reason why creature is attacking that hotel guests which really ain’t something we all are too keen to know either. The only part of movie that thrills to some extent is the final 20-25 mins when the creature makes it hard for Bipasha and all people helping her to find a way to kill it. If only our film-makers first write a good horror script and then think about all other aspects to enhance it, but if you follow the pattern oppositely then its gonna be a film that would not appeal at all.
Verdict : 1.5/5 

Finding Fanny

Quite unusual movie, yet funny in various parts and a story where Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) gets back a letter he had posted to Fanny 46 years ago where he had proposed her. Ferdie is heart-broken to learn that the life he lived till now in regret was a waste as Fanny never read his proposal. So, Ferdie and his friends set on a journey to find Fanny and a lots more about each other. Naseeruddin and Pankaj Kapur are the real stars of this movie in almost every frame they are in. Now take this, Pankaj Kapur plays a very vulgar character and yet you can’t help but love his act, or the way he addresses Dimple in the movie. Naseer makes Ferdie look so child-like and innocent guy who you feel sorry for and thereby you want him to find Fanny. Deepika and Arjun were not so convincing in their performances. Deepika irritates a lot in those voiceovers which she speaks as if a teacher told her to stand up in class and start reading lesson from 1st line without stopping. Dimple Kapadia at places hammed, still was pretty likable specially the scene where Pankaj paints her portrait and you feel sorry for her when you look at that painting. Also, I felt there wasn’t a need to give endings to every character, a happy ending to be precise. There was a clear case of ending the movie on a open end where you were left to guess who would had gone in with what life in future.  I do feel there was a case of more insane situations in the screenplay. Love the scene where Naseer breaks into a song, or when he makes Arjun stop the car to give a speech or when Deepika tells Arjun next time their love-making would be even ‘better’ which Arjun finds offensive. And yea the best of all, the cat getting killed accidently. Still Finding Fanny is a attempt at something different, instead of routine comedy movies that hardly makes you laugh. This one will give many moments to laugh at.  And also Anil Mehta’s camera captures some stunning visuals of Goa that may not have been seen before. Its not a great movie, but if you got a appetite for watching hatke hindi movies, this one is definitely for you.
Verdict : 3/5

Khoobsurat : 

Watching a Sonam Kapoor movie is always a headache due to her non-existing acting skills. But Khoobsurat doesn’t really bore you and she actually fits the character a lot even though at some places her acting falls flat. I haven’t seen Rekha version of Khoobsurat, so no idea of similarities and changes. The story is totally predictable, but what is likable is the interactions of Mili (Sonam Kapoor) with the royal family where she goes to live as physiotherapist  and finds everyone living a boring strict life.  Her opening scenes are definitely ones that should had been edited out. Fawad Khan can definitely act, love the scene where he goes to talk to his dad probably after years and the conversation sounds so formal, and his reply to Mili’s mom in the climax. Also, the dialogues both Mili and Vikram (Fawad Khan) speak to each other in their heart makes for a lovely watch. Kirron Kher playing mom of Mili is hilarious despite being a dejavu of her past punjabi mom roles. Fawad-Aditi plot looks weak, and ends in abrupt manner. Even Cyrus Sahukar looks miscast. Also, too much of melodrama is forced with 2 emotional numbers in 2nd half.  Preet na Koyi is the best song of album, and very well used. The weird way to come over the breakup shown for Mili looks very silly to me. Khoobsurat is a watchable movie, one of few films where Sonam won’t annoy you for atleast 75% of the movie which in itself is a hell lot, plus performances of Fawad, Kirron, Ratna Pathak and rest make it a decent watch.
Verdict : 2.5/5 

Daawat e Ishq : 

When a film is on dowry, and you see a girl trying to cheat guys to get money through 498 act of law and fulfill her dreams.. you aren’t quite pleased with it though we are given enough scenes before to show how broken she feels to see guys not marrying her due to less dowry. Yet Habib Faisal makes the 1st half enjoyable, especially the entire sequence when Anupam and Parineeti reach Lucknow followed by the hotel and interview scene. Anupam Kher does has shades of his character of Special Chabees here, in the way he is scared and brave at same time to help his daughter. But the 2nd half falls flat, partially due to Aditya Roy Kapur whose act as Lucknow nawab doesn’t come up convincing even though his mannerisms are upto mark, his acting isn’t.  Also, a predictable climax, and average songs except the title doesn’t help the proceedings. Parineeti is once again very good in her performance, but its high time we see her in something different than these very modern and muhfat girl characters. Daawat E Ishq is at most one time watch, different way of showing dowry concept but not good execution, and lots of foodie scenes that may make you hungry.
Verdict : 2/5 

Hollywood :

Into the Storm : 

Visually the movie was a jaw dropping experience, for all the tornado and big big tornado sequences. But where the movie lacked was the screenplay and story. Too many cliches of son-father issues, boy trying to impress girl, and father trying to save his boy are used. What bothered me most though was the narration style, using cameras that are shooting the film all the way, on one hand a college guy fond of shooting with camera in hand all the time, another is shooting for the college project, two jerks are trying to shoot and get famous for youtube and then there’s storm trackers who are trying to go as closer to the tornado as possible just to get that one camera shot even at risk of their lives. It eventually became like Chronicle kind of movie. Also, in one tiring scene, we see guy and girl whose character’s have hardly been invested in, sharing each other’s final thoughts on their lives as they are drowning and feel will die before anyone could save them. Its like a movie where gorgeous visuals (with good special effects) are saddened with all possible cliches, and non-interesting drama with no proper character build up done at all. And even the performances of most actors, except for Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies (even their’s was nothing to boast about), was pretty ordinary.
Verdict : 2/5 

The Hundred Foot Journey : 

Another of good foodie movies to have come out this year. Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) comes along with his family to Europe, where a accident makes them stay somewhere in France which in result makes his father Om Puri believe that this was destined to happen and they were bound to stay here and open a restaurant. But they end up opening restaurant right opposite to Madame Mallori (Helen Mirren) famous cuisine restaurant. The tussle between Madame and Om Puri is lovely to watch, also the various Indianised stuffs he does, from the look of restaurant to the music played or the way he brings first customers was hilarious. How with time the relation between Madame and Om Puri becomes sweet from sour, and they share better bonding. On other hand, Hassan is helped by Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), who herself works at Madame Mallori restaurant. Marguerite gifts Hassan various books and good adviceable knowledge about various food he ain’t aware of. What I didn’t like was the jealousy she starts to have when Madame hires Hassan to work for her so as he could get better training and become a famous chef. The jealousy looked out of context and only forced drama. What I did like was the conflict Hassan faces to choose between his profession and family/love, which was pretty well carried out without any cliches. Was slightly mifled with Indian censors to cut out the make-out scene totally from movie. AR Rahman’s background score was nice, nothing special though. Overall, the film has a good vibe for major portions and the performances by everyone is very good. Om Puri specially makes you laugh a lot during early half of movie. Also, you will see lots of dishes being made, so the usual say ‘film may make you hungry’ suits this film too.
Verdict : 3/5 

The Maze Runner : 

Another movie on the lines of Hunger Games and Divergent, difference here is that the boys who are sent in a compound they call as ‘Glade’ have their memory erased and now need to find answers while surviving. The story gets told through the point of view of a new arriver Thomas (Dylan O Brien), and suddenly things change at Glade as Thomas turns out to be lot more curious to find a way out than rest who have tried since last 3 years. New twists and stuff is known with every new move made by Thomas. All the maze sequences are stunning, and I just felt there should had been few more of it instead of maybe emotional conversations of Thomas with fellow people at Glade. The end of movie leaves you with lots of questions especially if you haven’t read the books like me. Also, the end isn’t properly executed either, while the answers to questions one can expect to find in the next two movies of franchise. Performances of entire cast is very convincing, and some very chilling moments when the Glade people are made to fight with grievers behind the mazes at night specially the first encounter of Thomas with it. The Maze Runner is pretty entertaining if you keep the expectations of lots of maze scenes to a slight minimum. I am certainly keen to see next parts, and probably read the books before it.
Verdict : 3/5