Tag Archive: Akshay Kumar

Jaya Biswas

Film: Thank You
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Suniel Shetty, Irrfan Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Celina Jaitley, Rimi Sen
Rating: Average

Men hate him, women simply adore him. Anees Bazmee’s latest film, Thank You, sees Akshay Kumar playing a detective who specialises in extra-marital relationships. Akki tells heartbroken wives about their promiscuous husbands, enlightens them with signs of a cheating man and how to catch him red-handed. He educates women and makes them wiser. Well, now you know why!
The basic premise of the plot dwells on ‘Men are dogs’ and ‘Women are dumb’ philosophies. Raj (Bobby Deol), Vikram (Irrfan Khan) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty) are three married men trying to have some fun outside their marriage. Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor), Karthika (Rimi Sen) and Radha (Celina Jaitley) play their lovely wives.
All seems to go well until Sanjana senses something fishy about her hubby’s smooth-going life. On Karthika and Radha’s suggestions, Sanjana hires the perpetually flute-playing private detective Kishan (Akshay Kumar), who promises to teach the three philandering husbands a lesson that they’ll never forget. Sounds familiar? Thank You, sadly, comes across as a not-so-appealing concoction of erstwhile releases like Shaadi No. 1, Biwi No. 1, Masti et al. But most prominently, it is hugely inspired by Bazmee’s own film, No Entry.
While nothing significant happens in the first half, the storyline gets slightly better post interval. But just when you feel the end credits are about to roll, it starts stretching like a chewing gum with Raj’s ‘realisation’ phase in focus. That’s not all. It’s followed by an unnecessary and predictable flashback of Akshay and his wife played by Vidya Balan.
Pritam’s music is uninspiring except for Mika’s Pyaar do Pyaar lo number (from Jaanbaaz-1986), which is already climbing the music charts. The song sounds more like a remix and looks very much like trying a re-do of Apni To Jaise Taise from Housefull.
Akshay delivers an average performance; he does nothing that we haven’t seen him do before. One wonders if Akki doesn’t get tired of playing clichéd roles. Irrfan Khan is simply brilliant with his superb comic timing. Suniel Shetty’s character seems an extension of Hera Pheri. Bobby Deol is decent. As far as the leading women are concerned, Rimi Sen is good but not very different from what she did in Dhoom, Sonam Kapoor looks the prettiest of all. But that’s about it. As far as performance is concerned, this is certainly not one of her best performances. Celina Jaitley doesn’t really stand a chance as she remains absent most of the time. Mallika Sherawat with her item number fails to tickle you.
Annes Bazmee should perhaps say “I’m sorry” for directing Thank You. Watch it for Irrfan, if you must.


Jaya Biswas

Film: Tees Maar Khan
Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshaye Khanna, Ali Asgar, Apara Mehta, Aman Verma, Murli Sharma, Sachin Khedekar
Rating: Poor

As the title suggests, the film is about the sharpest conman of all Tabrez Mirza Khan alias Khanon mein Khan’ Tees Maar Khan (Akshay Kumar). Here Akshay is a master criminal who learns to steal even before he is born, the foetus fed on crime thrillers his pregnant mother watched.
What begins as a regular comedy gradually becomes the story of the great Indian train robbery undertaken by Tees Maar Khan for the conjoined conmen, played by MTV’s twin baldies, Raghu and Rajiv. They assign Khan to retrieve their loot which the government has seized. Khan pretends to shoot a patriotic train robbery film, Bharat Ka Khazana, while managing the act for real. He also picks a village and casts its inhabitants to act in his film; bluffs them into participating in a crime.
And in all this, Tees Maar Khan deceives the audience by claiming to be a funny movie. If you’ve seen the promos, you know the brand of humour (or the lack of it). And when it comes to the business of conning, it’s only talk and no shock! Though the first half is bearable, the second half becomes Tashan — Part 2, if you know what I mean.
The film’s story, put together by Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder, is a complete mess. But you can’t blame him either. After all, he had to take care of background score, screenplay, story, editing to refreshments on the sets and God knows what else, evident from the credits.
The dialogues written by Shirish Kunder and Ashmith Kunder desperately try to be humorous but fall flat at most instances. Sample this: Tube se nikli huyi toothpaste aur Tees Maar Khan ki di huyi zubaan kabhi wapas nahin jaati or Mere nange haath tumhare nange gaal par — you don’t expect such scary lines in a Farah Khan film.
There is a lot of screaming, grimacing and heaving. Here is an example of the level of the jokes — Khan as Hollywood director calls himself Manoj ‘Day’ Ramalan (Grrrr…)
The eponymous role is custom-made for Akshay Kumar and while he plays it effortlessly, he is clearly getting repetitive in his comic act (a concoction of Hera Pheri 1 & 2, Tashan, Khiladi series et al).
Akshaye Khanna as Aatish Kapoor, an Oscar-hungry actor, whose only mission in life is to groove on the Day-Ho number (akin to Anil Kapoor’s joyous leap on Jai-Ho when he was called to receive one of the Oscars for Slumdog Millionnaire), is brilliant. He is expected to act terribly and he does that with such perfection, that it gets on your nerves.
Farah’s fascination for Manoj Kumar (remember Om Shanti Om controversies?) continues in this one too. It’s high time the filmmaker realises that spoofs don’t work — not always!
Composer duo Vishal-Shekhar’s music has mass appeal. As Khan’s girlfriend in the film, Anya (Katrina Kaif) is categorically roped in only for her sex-appeal and she has oodles of it. Anya, a struggling actress is also cast by Khan in his fake film and her role in it is as questionable as her role in TMK. But Farah Khan’s raunchy choreography of the item number, Sheila Ki Jawani, portrays Kat at her sexiest best. Apara Mehta is a cheap imitation of Kirron Kher in Farah’s previous film Om Shanti Om.
Sachin Khedekar, Aman Verma and Murli Sharma as police officers are hardly amusing on screen. Salman Khan shows his ‘jalwa’ yet again in a cameo. TMK may take a smashing opening at the box office, courtesy Sheila and her jawani, but there is every chance of it fizzling out soon.
Though funny in bits and pieces, too much of hamming makes it a boring watch.


Film: Action Replayy
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Rannvijay Singh, Kiron Kher, Om Puri, Neha Dhupia.
Director: Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Rating: Good

Jaya Biswas

When it’s a potpourri of bedazzling colours, polka dots and over-the-top drama, you know ’70s era is knocking on the door. Well, Action Replayy — in Eastman colour, out from the kitty of ace director Vipul Shah — is everything mentioned above and more.
The film takes off with Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor), a commitment-phobic boyfriend, who blatantly refuses to marry Tanya (Sudeepa Singh). Reason? He sincerely believes that marriage means the end of life. His parents, Kishen (Akshay Kumar) and Aishwarya Rai (Mala), are forever fighting and arguing as an aged couple.
But Tanya’s grandfather, Professor Anthony Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor), gives him an ultimatum to get married or stop seeing her. Now Bunty feels threatened. He needs to do something fast, his dreams of living happily ever after with Tanya will never be possible. Bunty plans a surprise party for his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary but it turns into yet another bitter spat between Kishen and Mala. A frustrated  Bunty decides to turn back the clock and rewrite his parents destiny and alter their disastrous marriage into a romantic affair.
Bunty rushes to Tanya’s uncle and despite his warnings, takes his time machine and lands up at the time when Kishen and Mala were not married. Yes, here the plot might remind you of Robert Zemeckis’ sci-fi comedy Back To The Future. But that’s okay. To his surprise, the past has more problems than the present. Kishen’s father Rai Bahadur (Om Puri) and Mala’s mother Bholi Devi (Kirron Kher) are sworn enemies, Kishen is a certified nerd, bullied merciless by Kundan (Rannvijay Singh) and Mala, a headstrong girl who takes great pleasure in ragging Kishen.
Now Bunty helps transform his father from a silly guy to an eligible bachelor and his mother from a tomboy into the soft beautiful girl- next-door and make the two fall in love with each other. How Bunty manages to make the impossible into reality is for you to find out.
Dialogues, written by Ritesh Shah and Aatish Kapadia, are excellent. In fact, several comic scenes and dialogues show that a lot of effort has gone into penning the comic caper. It is also a bit inspired by Shah Rukh starrer Om Shanti Om complete with scarlet-jacketed protagonist holding a stuffed tiger and a cabaret song with Neha as an item-girl wearing the gold Helen outfit which doesn’t even try to be original. Akshay repeats his character as a stupid young guy who metamorphoses into to a handsome hunk as in Jaan-E-Mann.
Vipul Shah sets up gags —there is a singing contest a la Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin and a fete scene that could have invoked the Padosan lip sync but these are hardly entertaining.
Akshay is fantastic in the funny sequences. The scenes where he is seen turning over a new leaf and trying to become bold are truly mind-blowing. He deserves kudos for the outstanding performance. His awaaz neeche dialogue is a master stroke. How one wishes, he had not been made to look so ugly in the initial drama of the retro look with a stupid wig and bunny teeth. Ash looks pretty throughout and her appearences are in sync with her character. Aditya Roy Kapoor is a bundle of energy and makes his presence felt. But the guy needs to hone his acting skills a bit more. Rannvijay Singh is good; especially his singing songs in two voices are entertaining. Kiron Kher, like always, is terrific. Om Puri plays Akshay’s father to perfection. Rajpal Yadav leaves a mark with his comedy. Neha Dhupia lends adequate support. Sudeepa Singh is nothing but a prop in the film. Even Randhir Kapoor is a complete waste.
Pritam is back with a peppy track Zor ka jhatka, already a hit with the youngsters. Choreographed by Ganesh Acharya, the video looks stylish. Overall, a fun film; take it with a pinch of salt.

BY Jaya Biswas

Paparazzi, eat your hearts out, celebs are on a roll capturing their candid moments all by themselves and uploading those on the internet to connect with fans What were Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor up to when they were shooting for Anjaana Anjaani in the US? Has Karan Johar finally managed to find a title for his new film? So, how do we know? Well, they are just a click away… And that is not all. One can also find Imran Khan enjoying a piggyback ride on Sonam Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan shaving, Akshay Kumar sleeping in the isle of an aeroplane and all these are supported by interesting titbits posted by the stars who want to share their personal moments with their fans. Not bad at all! From updates to promotions, film stars have wisened up to all the right tactics to engage and interact with their prospective audience. The latest being Twitpic – the new photo uploading section on Twitter. In India where Bollywood is as good as religion Twitter’s popularity amongst celebs is a definite indication of its rising popularity amongst the masses. There are many more to go in this list, Preity Zinta, Shahid Kapoor, Uday Chopra etc. are all hooked on to Twitter and Twitpics now. Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan is always on the move. Though sometimes he takes a commercial flight, SRK generally takes off on a private jet. When he is not abroad promoting his latest films, he enjoys time with his family and friends. Check out the Twitpic posted on his page. Starlet Sherlyn Chopra made it to the headlines yet again! This time she posted her nude photos on Twitter to lure voyeurs. Twitter is used to organise impromptu get-togethers between celebrities and their fans just before the release of any film. Karan Johar was one of the first few filmmakers in Bollywood to post the sensational first look of Kurbaan poster which was picked up by the media and fans in no time. When quizzed, KJo replied on his Twitter page, “I like the concept. I love to get an instant feedback from across the world.” Says Radhika Nandi, a BMM student from Mumbai, who was lured into accessing Twitpic by her favourite stars tweeting personal pictures, “When I came to know that SRK and Karan Johar have been regularly uploading pictures about their forthcoming ventures, I had to join. You wouldn’t get to see these pictures in magazines or on TV. It makes the stars seem approachable and accessible too. It’s great.” Fahmida Rahman, a school teacher from Garia, Kolkata, is a die-hard Salman Khan fan. Ever since she heard of Salman joining Twitter, she has been following him to collect his candid pictures. Fahmida sincerely believes stars’ getting closer to their fans is a good idea. She reasons, “When Sallu joined Twitter and started posting his photos from the sets of his new movie, I was thrilled. I also learnt about his humorous side when he tweeted ‘I’m with a fan of mine’ and it actually was a picture of an electric fan.” The best part about the whole exercise is one can download these pictures without any copyright hassle. Actress Gul Panag reveals, “The internet has unleashed a tsunami of data about stars and fans are spoilt for choice. Copyright? It’s a grey area. Anything to do with the law in India is cumbersome, painful and utterly slow.” One of the most active Bollywood celebs on twitter with 12,849 followers, Gul not only keeps posting updates, she responds to tweets of her fans on a regular basis. Despite no release, Gul because of her tweets is definitely a hit among the tweeple. National Award winning director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury shares his side of the story. “I was very excited to join Twitter. I agree it takes away people’s privacy to some extent but I suppose it also helps filmmakers like us to let everyone know about our work. But then there are two sides of the coin. We shouldn’t misuse our resources,” he says. How to promote subtly could be learnt from Priyanka Chopra who tweets in a way where she manages to promote her upcoming movies by interacting with her fans. Actor-turned-filmmaker Kabir Sadanand believes in enjoying freedom with responsibility. He shares, “The world is opening up every minute to some new technology. It’s a great to touch base with your audiences. Join the ride or you will be left behind. Copyright can fly out of the window but some amount of discretion is a must. You need to be aware and accountable enough to use the medium.” Considering the influence which stars have on Indian consumers we wonder if the next trend will be celebs endorsing brands on Twitter or promoting services among their followers. What say?

Youngsters and Spirituality

Supreeta Singh

When Akshay Kumar sings Hare Ram Hare Ram, Hare Krishna Hare Ram sporting a saffron bandana and branded glasses, the whole nation chants along. A jilted Justin Timberlake croons What Goes Around, Comes Right Back Around about karma. Amish Tripathi’s debut novel The Immortals of Meluha portrays an upright man deified as Shiva.
Clearly, fate and destiny are no more the concern of only the elderly or unemployed – and god-men. Kismet, or divine will, now fascinates and enthrals the youth too. Are terrorism, degradation of the environment and racial-religious fault lines plunging humanity into pre-ordained violence? And what’s the purpose of life? Do human beings really have a soul? Is soul timeless? Does it survive death?
Teenagers, besides young men and women in their 20s, are grappling with these questions as never before  – and want answers. 
Amish Tripathi is floored by the response to his book. “Readers as young as 12 are writing to me. A few of them said they were afraid of God but now they see God in a new light. Others have described my book as a wild ride, while many have changed their Facebook profile picture to the book cover.”
Moreover, the character of Shiva impressed a reader so much that he got the book cover tattoed on his arm. A 16-year-old called Shiva a cool dude. “What I find most gratifying is that the response not just from Hindus but Christians, Muslims, Parsees, Jews and foreigners who know very little about India”, adds Tripathi.
Youth is breaking free of the shackles of religion it seems. It sees God as a supreme power. Period. Riddhima Toshniwal, who has a post-graduate diploma in journalism and mass communications, says: “I am spiritual rather than religious.
True, I’m a Hindu by birth and read the Hanuman Chalisa every night. But I also visit churches often and have also been to gurudwaras. I really don’t have a name for the God I pray to. In that sense, my birth certificate doesn’t tell the full story”, says Riddhi. 
In an age of strife, God clearly is a source of strength. The distinction between good and evil is inevitably highlighted when one has to choose between right and wrong. But many don’t see it from a religious or spiritual perspective. Debak Das, a student of International Relations at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University remarked that good and evil cannot be defined in absolute terms. “I am neither religious nor spiritual. Incidents like murders, for example are circumstantial. Caste conflict stems from socio-political
reasons. So I try to be as objective as possible. You could call it a scientific approach. We can shape our own destiny with hard work and time management.”
There are many who do not believe in God at all. They want to experience what they call the “truth” sans religion. According to them, religious belief is rooted in fear which leads to superstitions. Student Amoha Das says, “Beliefs distract people from the beauty, grandeur, splendour and divinity of existence. Priests across religions inspire people into believing in God, heaven, virtue
and sin. But spirituality is more individualistic: it’s all about communicating directly with a supreme power.”
“While religions have everything to do with the past and the future, spirituality is about the present moment.”
Abhishek Basu, an MBA student, says: “What you do today will have a bearing on your future. I cannot control everything that happens to me but I can definitely control I how react to them. To remain truthful is my mode of worship. I am not
concerned with spirituality per se. But I believe in giving my best and living as honestly as possible.”
A thoughtful Riddhima says: “There is a purpose behind whatever happens. And while you may not get what you want, you get what’s good for you at that point of time. I have seen this happen in my own life. So I see God as a protective force prodding me in the right direction.”

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