Monday, 15 October 2012

This week releases - Nightmare for a critic!!

Film: Makkhi
      Producer: Sai KorrapatiSuresh Babu
Director: S.S Rajamouli
      Cast: Sudeep, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nani
Genre: Fictional
Rating: Very Good

Synopsis: It is a simple story of love, revenge and reincarnation where a beloved is reborn as a fly and protects his beloved from the villain.
Plus points: are the fantastic animation and the conviction in the script. Director Rajamouli is a revered name down South and has made the same film in Tamil and Telegu- both 100 crore films.
Minus points: the film could have been shorter by 10 minutes and excluded superstition stuff about tantriks. Also there is a strong South flavour which could have been reshot to make it Hindi audience friendly.
If you are Spiderman, Rajnikant fan: you cannot miss Makhi.


Film: Chittagong               
Producer: Bedabrata PainAnurag Kashyap
DirectorBedabrata Pain
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat
Genre: Social
Rating: Very Good

Synopsis: Set in the turbulence of the 1930s British India, Chittagong is a true story of a 14 year old Jhunku, and of his journey to find where he belongs.
Plus : it is an authentic representation of history, well researched and earnestly presented. It excels in all the departments – cinematography, action, locations and first rate performances.
Minus : it is a slice of history with nothing frivolous about it so those looking for entertainment, stay away.
Kindly note: Ashutosh Gowariker made a film on the same subject a while ago titled Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se.


Film: Aiyya
Producer: Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18
Director: Sachin Kundalkar
      Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj, Subodh Bhave
Genre: Rom-com
Rating: Average

Synopsis: Meenakshi Deshpande (Rani Mukerji) lives in a dream land and is forever possessed by her fantasies. She falls in love with a Tamil artist Surya (Prithviraj) and is drawn to the scent of the man.
The minus point of the film is that: everything – the plot, presentation and the characters are over the top.  The first half is entertaining but post interval the director loses the plot.
What works is: Rani Mukherji who can sing, dance, emote, romance, make you laugh and empathize.
Recommended for: Rani fans.


Film: In The Name Of Tai
Producer: Ujjwal Thengdi
Director: Ujjwal Thengdi
Cast: Nishigandha Wad, Asrani, Vilas Ujawane, Mahesh Thakur, Ujjwal Thengdi
Genre: Drama
Ratings: Good

Synopsis: Inspired by a real story that of an ordinary woman who struggle for 20 years against the powerful lobby of land mafia.

What works about the film: is that it stays true to the real story and has no pretensions. All performances particularly Nishigandha as tai is noteworthy.
What does not work: is that it appears more as a Marathi film than Hindi – the locales, characters, dialect are strongly Maharashtrian.
The message: more than makes up for the presentation.


Film: Bhoot Returns
Producer: Jitendra Jain
Director: Ram Gopal Varm
Cast: Manisha Koirala, Alayana Sharma, Madhu Shalini, J.D. Chakravarthy
Genre: Horror
Rating: Average

Synopsis: it is yet again the story of a haunted house and a tormented family.
The plus of the film: is it marks the comeback of Monisha Koirala – it is good to have her back even if this is not the best vehicle for the actor.
The minus of the film: is that the horror does not strike you in the 2D or the3D.
Poster reads- First was a warning. Fear returns. I don’t think so.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Sridevi sparkles

Film: English Vinglish
Producer: Sunil A Lulla, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, R Balki
Director: Gauri Shinde
      Cast: Sridevi, Mehdi Nebbou, Adil Hussain, Priya Anand
Genre: Drama
Ratings : Spectacular

Shashi is an efficient housewife who is made to feel inadequate because she cannot speak English. Her family often cuts crude jokes on this but she takes it in her stride. She is an excellent homemaker and her clients devour on delicious laddoos prepared by her. While visiting America for a family wedding, she makes most of the trip by taking a crash course in English language and this small adventure transforms her life.

What works about the film?
The story, treatment, script and the characters, writer director Gauri Shinde portrays the chronicle of a self employed house wife with amazing insights. Shinde is familiar with her characters and their anxieties and does not sideline anyone. They speak believable dialogues which are a mixture of Hindi English and at times Marathi. The city of New York is used as a character that the protagonist learns to befriend.  Swanand kirkire’s lyrics tug your heaqrt strings woven into Amit Trivedi’s composition.
French actor who loses his heart to the desi girl is a super actor and devastatingly handsome. Adil Hussaian as Sridevi’s husband is effectively chauvinistic and Priya Anand as Sridevi’s elder sister amazingly natural. The film however belongs to Sridevi who makes certain that you cannot blink while she is in frame. She transforms the mundane into magical with her reactions and often her actions speak louder than her expressions.

Scenes to remember
There is no way you are going to forget  a nervous Sridevi traveling by plane to New York, her encounter with the woman at the cafĂ©, the laddoo disaster at the wedding and her final speech. Superbly scripted and superbly performed.

It is all about woman power and this time even the box-office will have to bow to this special actor called Sridevi

The review appears as it is in Blockbuster, a newly launched trade magazine.
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