Tag Archive: film review


 

 

Jaya Biswas
 

Film: Luv Ka The End
Director: Bumpy
Cast: Shraddha Kapoor, Taaha Shah, Shenaz Treasuryvala, Pushtiie Shakti, Jannat Zubair Rahmani and Ali Zafar
Rating: Good

Luv Ka The End is all about one crazy night as three girls discover love, life, friendship and more… Now, that’s not something which Yash Raj Films hasn’t tried before. It was attempted earlier in Pyaar Impossible and more. With the new Y-Films coming into picture where the focus is on making films of, for and by the young, one can expect the production house to go full throttle keeping youth in mind.
The story of Luv Ka The End also runs somewhat on the lines of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na or Wake Up Sid! in the beginning, with the plot revolving around a gang of girls just out of college, but soon takes a twirl and an interesting one at that.
The film focuses on Rhea (Shraddha Kapoor), who is the quintessential girl next door. She is lovable, cute, lively, vivacious and always dressed in funky clothes that she puts together for herself. Her dream is to watch her favourite rockstar, Freddie Kapoor. Rhea is madly in love with Luv Nanda (Tahaa Shah), the richest and the most popular boy in college. Luv, who so far has been easily befriending almost every hot chick in college, and has even ‘made out’ in the library with a treacher Miss Naaz, now eyes Rhea for a reason. He wants to be the highest scorer at ‘Billionnaire Boys Club’, an online portal that ranks them in the order of their ‘female conquests’. It is Luv’s personal mission to take Rhea’s virginity.
On the eve of her 18th birthday, Luv and Rhea plan to take their relationship to the ‘next level’. Accidentally, Rhea finds out that Luv is not as nice as she thought he was. Rhea decides not to cry but to give it back, in style — to get even and bring Luv Nanda down — and all in the span of one night with the help of her two friends. While most rom-com musicals start with a mushy number, this one is different as it aims to put love to an end.
The song, Tonight by Suman Sridhar is a slow, dreamy number about a young girl in love. Suman has really crooned the song well, effectively capturing the mood. This is followed by the title track of the film Luv Ka The End, sung by Aditi Singh Sharma, which is definitely the second best in the album.
Another interesting fact is debutant director Bumpy’s Hitchcockian screen presence. In almost all of his films, Hitchcock made an appearance much like Bollywood’s showman, Subash Ghai.
Last but not the least, popstar Ali Zafar’s special appearance as Freddie Kapoor adds cherry on the cake. Performancewise, Shraddha Kapoor and Taaha do justice to their roles. However, Pushtiie as Shraddha’s friend is the real show stealer.
Overall, Luv Ka The End is hip and zappy; a fun film worth a watch.

Shauli Chakraborty

Film: Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath
Director: Sanghamitra Chowdhury
Cast: Abhishek Chatterjee, Arpita Mukherjee, Angshuman
Rating: Average

This year being Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, a lot of people have decided to commemorate the occasion in different ways. Filmmaker Sanghamitra Chowdhury too has, in her own way, paid tribute to Tagore through this film.
Sanghamitra explores Tagore’s grief after suffering various personal losses. He saw the deaths of Notun Bouthan Kadambari Debi, his wife Mrinalini Debi, his daughter Madhurilata and son Samindranath. Tagore is said to have attempted planchets in order to reach out to the souls of the departed.
It is a film within a film. Jeet (Abhishek) is a filmmaker who is planning a documentary on Tagore. He loves Bolpur and makes it a point to visit Santiniketan whenever he can. Jeet’s brother has a gang of friends who think this is the perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway and convince Jeet to let them accompany him to Bolpur. Like most youngsters these people know very little about Tagore and are on a constant lookout for opportunities to dope and booze and show very little respect for all things Rabindrik. How Jeet deals with this bunch and manages to shoot his film is for you to find out!
The music is heartwarming and soulful. In fact, it is the music which keeps much of the film afloat. There is a tribal dance sequence that has been shot in Bolpur and is pure delight to watch.
As far as performances are concerned Abhishek Chakraborty alone is worth a watch. None of the other actors manage to make an impression. From body language to fake accents — nothing seems to work for this motley crowd, most of whom are first timers. They seriously need to attend grooming classes before attempting another celluloid appearance.
The film deals mostly with Tagore’s dealings with the supernatural and the kind of impact those episodes had on his life. It is more of a docu-feature than a full fledged documentary. However, editing is poor and a number of scenes could have been easily done away with.
This is not a great film – as the filmmaker has acknowledged herself. But this is
definitely a positive beginning. We hope such films encourage other filmmakers, old and new, to make more documentaries on Tagore and other greats
as well!

Film: Just Go With It
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nicole Kidman
Rating: Average

Imagine how wonderful or awful it feels, depending on which film industry you swear by, to see a Hollywood romantic comedy being ‘inspired’ by a Bollywood one. Remember Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya, a romantic comedy starring Salman Khan, Sushmita Sen and Katrina Kaif, where Salman plays the doctor falling for the much younger bimbette Katrina and Sushmita plays the assistant who has to pose as his soon to be divorced wife- well, Just Go with It is a little less complicated and a lot more sexed-up version of the same. That’s what should strike the audience who don’t know that the Hindi film itself was ‘inspired’ by the 1969 comedy Cactus Flower. So there, illusions put to rest, let us proceed with the story.
Adam Sandler is a huge-nosed would-be cardiologist simpleton Danny Maccabee, who turns smart and sly, becomes a plastic surgeon and gets his nose in shape, after discovering that his is a marriage of convenience for his scheming bride. But the ring remains on his finger, drawing sympathy and favours of a physical nature alike, at the expense of an imaginary adulterous and shrewish wife, till he meets the right girl (Brooklyn Decker). To marry her he needs a divorce and to get a divorce he needs a wife. His long-time assistant plain-Jane Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) comes to the rescue. A regular comedy of errors ensue and yards of yarns are spun till a praise-each-other session and a passionate Hula dance competition brings the truth out.
Adam Sandler is the perfect choice for a role he has played so many times before that by now it must be difficult playing anything else. Brooklyn Dekker in spite of all her prettiness is bland as the good and kind-hearted girlfriend. One wishes her character wasn’t this flat. Jennifer Aniston clearly carries the film forward with her natural smartness and sparkling eyes. She does the ugly-duckling turning beautiful swan act gracefully but every now and then you spot good ol’ Rachel peeking out of the screen. It is no surprise that Nicole Kidman makes her presence felt even in a cameo. Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck are adorable kids, the former playing the role of a precocious little girl with elan.
Though the concept is cliché, there are some genuinely funny moments. However, most jokes are discriminatory, in bad taste and at the expense of people who have undergone and are suffering from the negative effects of plastic surgery. Sometimes the jokes and the acts, especially the ones by Nick Swardson are so gross that they are anything but funny. There is no chemistry whatsoever between Sandler and Brooklyn, but he and Aniston make a very warm, cute couple, past their prime. The comfort between the two that seems to reflect in the camaraderie they share on screen easily makes the film a one-time watch. — SD

Sayandeb Chowdhury

 

 

Film: 7 Khoon Maaf
Director: Vishal Bhradwaj
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Naseruddin Shah, Irrfan Khan, Anu Kapoor, Usha Uthup, Aleksandr Dyachenko, Ruskin Bond, Vivaan Shah and Konkona
Rating: Excellent

Vishal Bhardwaj made Maqbool. And that was it. A new school of cinema was born in Bombay. Cinema that was tough, unrelenting, atmospheric, harsh and full of power. In case of Maqbool, and its successor Omkara, the author was none other than William Shakespeare (Macbeth, Othello). By the time he reached Kaminey, Bhardwaj had already acquired a kind of an unsparing vision of a life and its assorted idiosyncrasies that he had harnessed to remarkable effect. Kaminey, the gangster movie about Mumbai underworld and the horse racing mafia was but cool. In 7 Khoon Maaf, Bhardwaj manages to pull his aces together to create what is perhaps most Shakespearean of his films. In what is a virtuoso adaptation of Ruskin Bond short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, Bhardwaj shows how he has internalised the Shakespearean eye for the imminent and the immanent, to what beauty he can build an atmosphere of genuine suspense even in the everyday, how premonition and clairvoyance resides in ordinary acts of human kindness and insight. And most importantly how behind chilling acts of crime are often the most tragic and lonely of human beings who are otherwise pilgrims of love.
Priyanka Chopra in what is an author backed role plays Susanna to almost perfect effect, falling for love every time when actually there was none. She lives and breathes her role as a love-seeking, vulnerable woman, who gets accosted by and seduced by six brazen men, who turn out to be different from who they were supposed to be. Her vulnerability is however her biggest weapon in her troubled life and as she grows old, she learns to use them more effectively than ever before. And like any woman who has passed not once but six times, alone, through the territory of impertinent men, she learns to use the craft of her sexuality too, even as her bones and skin turn thicker and thicker under her beauteous, if wrinkled skin. 
The story moves fast and uncontrollably towards its denouement, which is nothing short of revelatory. On the way, Priyanka changes her religion twice, visits Kashmir and Pondicherry, get’s married to a Russian attaché and a Bengali doctor apart from a Rajput rockstar, a Goanese General with one leg and a UP police inspector. Her milieu changes from the brazenly feudal world of the landed military, to that of an Urdu poet with special affection for sadomasochism, from the heroin-induced world of skirted rock singers of early eighties Goa to that of naturopathy of a bankrupt doctor. Her only witness and confidante is the narrator, Arun, who remains the distant young lover and the only normative influence in her mad life, perhaps the only one who could have survived her audacious search for love in a battered human landscape that includes her husband and her band of murdering minsters.
The film’s premise and period moves from the swinging ‘70s to 26/11 and beyond and the details are brought out with total attention and care. Ranjan Palit’s superlative, atmospheric photography is the highpoint of the film, apart from, of course, Bhardwaj’s superb ear for music which includes a rock ballad, a sufi lovenote and of course the Russian folk inspired Darrling, which remains the film’s chartbusting number. 
7 Khoon Maaf is vintage Vishal Bhardwaj, sensible, sensitive, powerful and sparsely illuminating of the darkness that we all carry inside.

Return of the native

 

 

Pritish Nandy comes to the city which was once home, to rediscover the poet in him

 

Sayandeb Chowdhury


It was an evening that the city would relish for some time to come. Be it the lush spread at the Tollygunge Club, or the tony crowd that arrived in their finery, or the chirpiness of the birds that gave a more than fitting setting for reading of poetry, it is clear that such evenings do not come often. Those who matter in Calcutta seemed to be there. It was just a book launch session. But then it was just not another book that was being launched. On the dais, to talk about the book, the poetry, about writing and cinema were a galaxy of stars who had just descended. There was Anupam Kher, a friend of the author whose book was being released. There was Javed Akhtar, as poet and lover of letters. There was Prasoon Joshi, yet another man of words. There was Farrukh Dhondy, novelist and screenwriter and there was APJ Abdul Kalam, a man for all seasons and a poet at heart. But the chief attraction was the man whose book Again was being released along with the launch of  Nandy’s republished book Tonight the Savage Rite, co-authored by Kamala Das .  And he, in a white short-sleeved shirt coupled with a black waist jacket and Ray Ban shades looked as far from a poet as one can be. But that is what Pritish Nandy is all about: dandy and delectably cerebral at the same time, and it was he who had made sure that Calcutta gathered at the Tolly lawns on an early February evening.
The proceedings were no less interesting. Tapan Chaki, Nandy’s old friend, talked about the itinerant traveller, lover and performer in Nandy, the man who has more firsts to his name than most others before others took turns to talk about the man, his poetry and poetry in general. The poems were vintage Nandy. And they attained power when the beautiful and effervescent Vidya Balan , who called herself a wannabe Bengali, read out poems from Again along with Nandy, the latter’s voice reverberating across the foyer and lashing on to the great greens nearby. Surely poetry, even though Calcutta is a steady supplier of many of its famous practitioners, hardly finds itself at the centre of such bonhomie and sophisticated affection, that too in such salubrious settings. But one thing is for sure. Nandy who has been there and done that and has never looked back, seemed to have returned to poetry when he is riping inside and may be outside. This was his return to the comfort and warmth of letters. And the city which gave him words.

Ranveer-Anushka’s day out!

Siddharth Kak of Surabhi Foundation hosted the Dhamaka Art & Craft Festival at Urban Haat, Belapur recently. We spotted Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh (of Band Baaja Baarat fame) at the event trying a hand at pottery with child prodigy Priyanshu. The event reminded Ranveer of his school days when, while making a clay pot, Ranveer had fallen asleep. When he woke up, his teacher told him, that his pot was the best. Geeta Kak and Pamela Chopra the trustees of Surabhi Foundation were also present at the venue. For Anushka Sharma this was a completely new experience and she enjoyed every bit of it. It was altogether an evening to remember.

 

 

Diganta Guha

 

 
Film: Turning 30!!!
Director: Alankrita Shrivastava
Cast: Gul Panag, Purab Kohli, Ira Dubey, Jeneva Talwar, Siddharth Makkar, Tilottoma Shome
Rating: Good

 

 

Small and medium budget films have been invading  the front row for a while.  They do not need big stars and neither do they need huge production costs. They have all that in a compact script — that is what makes the film a big hit. And director Prakash Jha has caught the trend right. Alankrita Shrivastava’s Turning 30!!! belongs to that genre of movies. It focuses more on the script and story rather than taking the star value route. Add the entertainment to it and you have a box office hit.
The film traces the journey of Naina (Gul Panag) who is facing a mid-life crisis. The character of Naina evolves along with the movie, of course for the better. As mentioned earlier, the film works because of the screenplay. It has its sad and as well as funny moments and the director weaves them all together to present an interesting two hours.
In the film, Naina is seen as the rough-and-tough kind, who breaks down after splitting up with her boyfriend. However, as the saying goes, whatever happens, happens for the best, a new horizon opens up for her. And that’s where the film has its best moments. The sequences between Gul and her friends are memories in the film that you can bring home.
Let’s face it, Turning 30!!! is a modern film. And it definitely has all the ingredients of an entertainer. Yet, it creeps into the hearts of today’s girls who struggle to cement their place in this age. The language of the film Hinglish is more English than Hindi. Well, no surprises there, that’s what today’s dialect is and the films are just keeping pace with it.
A word on Gul without whom the film would have been incomplete. Nobody else could have portrayed Naina better than Gul who essays the character with elan. Add to it, her body language and the emotional turbulence she showcases, she absolutely captures your imagination.
In some of her sequences, thanks to the costume designer, Poornamrata Singh, Gul looked stunning.
Purab Kohli who plays The cry-on-my-shoulders kinds, has been impressive in the film.
A chick-flick targetted at the multiplex audience, the film’s future depends a lot on word-of-mouth publicity. Let’s keep our fingers crossed

 

 

 

Ananya Ghosh

 

 
Film: Yamla Pagla Deewana
Director: Samir Karnik
Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kulraj Randhawa, Mukul Dev and Anupam Kher
Rating: Average

 

Yamla Pagla Deewana starts with a montage and a hilarious narrative on the ‘bhichhda hua family’ phenomenon of 70s’ Bollywood and the sepia-toned scenes from the blockbusters or yesteryears make way for a modern day family where Paramveer Singh (Sunny Deol) lands in Benaras from Canada in search for his long lost father, Dharam Singh (Dharmendra) and his brother Gajodhar Singh (Bobby Deol); and the first person he meets on the busy streets of the holy town is of course the kid brother! It turns out that the father-son duo has quite a reputation as petty thugs. Nonetheless the big brother promises their mother (Nafisa Ali) that he will unite the family. But, before that he must ensure his brother’s love story a happy ending by tackling the girl’s (Kulraj Randhawa) tough brothers (Anupam Kher, Mukul Dev and the rest).
After the melodrama that was Apne, it is refreshing to see the Deol sharing screen space in a comedy film and making the most out of it. It can be regarded as a tribute to the Deols as well. The black-and-white photographs of the stunning Dharmendra of 60s makes your heart skip a beat, the songs of Barsaat and Kareeb playing in the background during the climax reminds one of the curly-haired, cute Bobby Deol in his initial days, and Sunny dancing with a tube-well on his shoulder makes you remember the famous scene from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. This is where you will get to see them in their asli rang. The scene where Bobby re-enacts the famous ‘suicide scene’ of Sholay is quickly silenced by a straight-faced Sunny who snaps, “Woh din gaye jab larkiya ise maan jaati thhi,” takes you off guard and then makes you burst out in fits of laughter.
The Deols compliment each other with their comic timing and Anupam Kher remains the brilliant actor as usual. However, it is Mukul Dev who is the surprise package in the movie. His acting is absolutely effortless-this kid has surely come a long way since his Ekse Badkar Ek days!
Kulraj, famous as Kareena of Kareena Kareena, has little to do than look pretty- in the first half as she sashays through crowded streets of Benaras in hotpants (which of course reminds you of Sonali Bendre’s Nirma act) and post interval she enacts a bit of Kajol of DDLJ, a bit of Kareena of Jab We Met and a bit of what not- but all through the film she looks pretty indeed!
What begins as a spoof on the masala films of the 70s, turns out into the modern version of the classic love story of Mirza-Sahibaan, but YPD is certainly not a Kameenay or Dev.D. The movie is an out-and-out masala film, replete with unbridled goofiness, Punjabi stereotypes, one-liner PJs, raunchy item numbers and unpretentiously over-the-top fight sequences. The cinematography is good, the songs apart from one are atrocious. A better script and better direction might have made a far better movie out of YPD but on the whole it is a movie for the aam-janta and a must-watch if you want a hearty laugh sans any brainwork. Same goes if you are a Deol fan. But, if you are a Rajinikanth fan then lookout for the scenes where Sunny holds up an entire balcony with one hand, or where he fights 50-60 people alone with his hands stuck in his pockets, or where he shouts and breaks all the window panes.  What Rajini can…Sunny can too!

 

 

 

Debutante director Kiran Rao talks about Dhobi Ghat and more…

 

 

Diganta Guha
How did the idea of Dhobi Ghat come up?
Initially, the story of the film revolved around the life of a dhobi or a washerman. That’s how the film was supposed to pan out. The entire story idea was borne out of experiences of living in a city like Mumbai where there are so many things happening all the time. A person living in this city cannot afford to waste time or energy. But everytime he leaves a place for another there is something he takes with him. That’s how the character of Arun (Aamir Khan) is born who stumbles upon ‘something’ that changes his world. 

Aamir is a perfectionist. How tough was it to convince him for the role?
I wouldn’t say he is just a perfectionist. I’d say he is extremely passionate about everything he does. I was initially nervous while narrating the script to him because there aren’t too many scripts that he ends up liking. But I’m glad he could relate to the stories of my script and his answer was ‘yes’. 
 
How was it directing Aamir Khan?
Aamir is a great actor, committed and extremely gifted. The rest of the actors were mostly first timers. With Aamir it was a different ballgame altogether. He kind of elevates your own skills while working. 
 
Some say, he interferes too much…
Honestly speaking, he didn’t give too many inputs on the sets. But yes,  during editing of the film, he was a great help. He is a very good editor and I sought his inputs on that.   
 
Tell us something about Prateik Babbar…
His character Munna has shaped up really well in the film. Prateik is so versatile he can get under the skin of any character. I find glimpses of Smita Patil in him.

Having stayed in Kolkata for a good period of time, would you be interested in doing a Bengali film?
Well it won’t be unusual if I say that I would love to situate a film in Kolkata because Kolkata has always been nostalgic for me. Kolkata is a photographer’s dream. And how can I forget the food!
 
Have you drawn inspiration from any Bengali director?
I am a great fan of Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray. I have also seen some films by Tapan Sinha. I saw Unishe April and Bariwali directed by Rituparno Ghosh. I loved both. 
 
What’s your message to your fans in Kolkata?
I was brought up in Kolkata and I am really looking forward to getting a good response here.

Do you want people to go to theatres with a pre-conceived notion because of all the hype being created around the film…
Dhobi Ghat is a film for the common man. I am sure people would find some details of their daily lives reflecting in the characters of my film. My mission would be accomplished once the audience manage to relate to the film.

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