Tag Archive: movie 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.

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Sohini Dey

Film: Fast And Furious 5
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster
Rating: Average

Fast And Furious 5, the fifth film in the series is a no holds barred action entertainment, full of every masala from hot girls, hotter cars, goofy humour, elaborate chase sequences and ricochetting bullets to camaraderie and family bonding, all in the right proportion.  The lack of an engrossing plot has been compensated by spectacular visuals of car chases and crashes in this Justin Lin directed film which sees a re-union of all the stars from previous films in the same series. After Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is rescued from police custody by his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and her ex-FBI agent lover Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), they decide to plunder the corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) whose path they have crossed. To pull off a $100 million heist, they round up a team of sleek and stylish criminals who, in between chalking out the plan and rehearsing it keep the quotient of entertainment high by prattling enthusiastically. Obstacles to the task are two. For one, Reyes has locked his wealth up in a safe in the police station and secondly, DSS special agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is equivalent to an entire police force, is after Dom and his gang.
The stunts performed are entertaining no doubt, with some heart-in-your-mouth moments, but seem too convenient to be plausible. Take for instance the final chase scene where Dom’s and Brian’s cars drag the humongous safe along crowded roads manoeuvring the safe itself to smash enemy cars into smithereens. But you know it’s an action film and you know how it will end, so after a point of time you stop worrying about the truth value of whatever’s shown on the giant silver screen. Somehow you don’t even mind the predictability of it all and lie back and enjoy.
Everybody plays their parts well. Malleability is not a trait Diesel’s face is famous for, but in a film that requires him to display only three emotions at the most, and a lot of his rippling muscles, he is perfect. The same holds for Dwayne Johnson. But the physical and behavioural similarities between the two in the form of a chiseled body, shiny bald pate and steely determination make the chaser and the chased two sides of the same coin.
Apart from the unexplained bit about Vince’s betrayal and return, there are a couple of questions the film raises — Is the huskiness of a mafia lord like corrupt businessman’s voice an acquired trait or a pre-requisite for the role? Is the impending birth of a child in the family the only incident that can swerve criminals by choice off the path of crime?

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.

Diganta Guha

Bollywood’s famous music director Ehsaan Noorani of (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fame), was seen in Kolkata, recently, for an event. This year will be a busy one for the trio. They have scored music for a number of big releases and have also composed the theme song De Ghumake for Cricket World Cup 2011. And now, Ehsaan is trying his hands at something different.
He is going to launch his signature line of guitars soon. Talking about it, Ehsaan could not hide his excitement. “I think it’s a big achievement for a musician. Thanks to Jasbeer Singh, the India distributor of the Fender line of guitars, I got this opportunity,” he said.
“I have been in this industry for quite some time now. I have done well, received global recognition. Jasbeer proposed that I launch my own line of guitars. Fender is one of the biggest brands of guitars in the world and is used by all leading musicians,” he said adding it was not an easy process. “There were lots of meetings before the deal finally worked out,” Ehsaan said. 
The musician-cum-composer confirmed that this will be purely a commercial line and he will go all out to promote it.
So what is happening on the Bollywood front? “We have our hands full. Right now the music of Patiala House is out. Then we have Don 2, Chittagong, a British film West is Best, Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and many more,” said Ehsaan. He is also meeting artists outside Bollywood and working on building global collaborations.
We have seen music, director teams parting ways but Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have been going strong and there has never been any news about infighting or problem between them. What is the secret? “We love our work and our entire concentration remains on coming up with good music. We don’t have time for petty bickering. The moment politics creeps in, complications arise,” said Ehsaan.
Bollywood music has undergone tremendous changes over the years. Ehsaan said change was for the better. “There has been a lot of improvement in this field, production wise, technologically,” said the composer. What about hordes of new singers trying to get a foothold in Bollywood? “It’s good since everybody has something new to offer,” he added.
 What about the music scenario in Bengal? “I have followed some rock numbers from Bengal. There are many musicians from Kolkata on my Facebook list of friends. We were supposed to work with Rituparno Ghosh. But somehow it didn’t work out,” Ehsaan signed off.

Smitten by kkkkk….Khan!

 

Believe it or not, Shah Rukh Khan compelled author Sonali Ghosh Sen to drive for five hours in snow-bound Geneva 

 

 

Supreeta Singh

 
Sonali Ghosh Sen is desperate. She badly needs a vacation and requires an inspiration for her next book. After a whirlwind tour to promote her first work of fiction, K-K-Krazy About Khan, we don’t wonder why. As the name clearly suggests, the novel is about a young girl called Kriti Kapoor and her obsession with the Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). Written in a breezy language abound with trivias about SRK’s movies, the fan-fiction is both light-hearted and engaging. We caught up with the freelance copywriter and film critic-turned-author, just ahead of her book’s launch in Kolkata.

You have led a very colourful life.
Yes. My father was in the Army and I went to about seven schools all over the country wherever he was posted. Thankfully, college life was less nomadic. I graduated from the Shri Shikshayatan College in Kolkata. Thereafter, I moved to Mumbai for post graduation in Mass Communication at Sophia Polytechnic. I have worked in several advertisement agencies as a copywriter including Lintas (now Lowe), Clarion (now Bates), Mudra, Nexus Equity and Rediffusion. I was the creative director at Naukri.com, when I moved with my husband to live in Geneva and for a short time in Zanzibar. At present I live in Kolkata. This is where I finally finished writing this book.

How did you decide on the subject of the book?
The two passions in my life are books and movies. I read any book I can lay my hands on and I see all movies whether I know the language or not. I helped organise the Film Festival of the Dhow Countries in Zanzibar in 2004! Bollywood has a special place in my heart. The subject of this book was decided when a friend suggested that since I loved movies so much why not write a story about it. Thereafter, it was my own fondness for Shah Rukh, his background, his struggle and his great fan following that helped me pattern the book.

How long did you take to write the book?

I started writing this book in Geneva, more than three years ago. Of course, within this period I faced the dreaded writer’s block and couldn’t write a single word for about a year! While I quite like chick-lit as a genre that tells a simple story of love and romance, I don’t define this book as such. I think this is more of a fan-fic, or fan-lit.

Writing is a lonely process. What did you discover about yourself while you worked on this book?
True, writing demands a lot in terms of discipline and dedication, as no one else can step in to do your work. The hard part was sitting on the chair in front of the computer every morning, to type at least 1000 words everyday. Some days it was more like 10 words! However, once the characters took shape, they took a life of their own. From then on it became fun and I didn’t mind waking up even at 6 in the morning to write, or not having people around when I wrote. I had the company of my characters with me.

Is the book autobiographical?
Other than some incidental commonalities, such as a career in the advertising industry and love for Bollywood movies, I am not at all like Kriti. It is a story more about people I have seen and heard of but not necessarily known. At the same time, bits and pieces of all characters and incidents have a toehold in some experience or acquaintance of mine. I do have a friend totally into spiritual new age gurus like Amrita in the book. Similarly there are several Palika Bazaar incidents that I have seen happen, which I have incorporated in the book, albeit modified. I have freely used my creative license, thereby sketching characters and situations that fit into this ‘over-the-top’ story.

Since when did you become a fan of SRK?
I have liked SRK from his Fauji days and have followed his career keenly. I think I belong to what I would like to call a Shah Rukh generation. Films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or other movies made by director Karan Johar are part of a collective movie consciousness and it’s hard not be a fan of Shah Rukh.

Have you really watched all his movies?
Yes, in the first or as close to the first show as possible. It was a bitterly cold snow filled winter when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was shown in a theatre in Zurich. One show starting at 9 pm was all that was there. We drove all the way from Geneva, a five hour drive under freezing conditions, to reach just in time to watch it.
When I started writing this book, I had to start collecting all of SRK’s movies and watch them all over again – this time with a lot more concentration than what I had done the first time when they were released. However, my book is not a ‘deep’ film analysis of his movies but fun storytelling. I have intertwined his movie scenes, characters and songs within the story, creating an interesting reference layer for the readers.

Did you ever meet SRK? Does he know about the book?
Yes, once. He had come to Paris to inaugurate his wax statue at Musée Grévin. I had an invitation. It was a five-minute opportunity, just enough for a photo op before security took over! I have sent SRK a copy of the book and am waiting for a reply.

 

 

PostScript caught up with the model-turned-actor, Indraneil Sengupta, on the sets of Riingo’s System, an underworld saga…

 

Diganta Guha

He has made a mark as an actor in Bengali films working with directors like  Buddhdev Dasgupta, Kaushik Ganguly and Anjan Das. Excerpts:

Have you managed to settle down in Tollywood?
I don’t know whether I have or not but yes, I am working here.

Aarekti Premer Golpo is going places…
I am elated with the response. When we were making the film, I was under the impression that the film would go to various festivals, win awards, receive critical acclaim, both nationally and internationally. But I am amazed that it has also got such a good response from audiences. People are buying tickets in black, and those who are unable to see it are going back home disappointed. It was a bold subject, alternative sexuality, and we never thought the public would accept it so freely. The movie is being watched by one and all. This isn’t exactly the commercial everyday love story that you see on-screen and people appreciate the difference.

How was Rituparno Ghosh as an actor?
Rituda is brilliant. As an actor he is absolutely amazing. Working with him gave me the impression that he must be a great actor-director. He is very patient and his acting style is completely different. I learnt a lot from him…..
 
Did he guide you on the sets?
To a certain extent he did, but when you are acting yourself, it is not possible to guide your co-actor constantly, because you are busy with your own lines and parts. But yes he did help me with a few things. The character that I played was very complex. I am looking forward to working with Rituda, the director because then he would have the luxury to guide his actors.

You have done very meaningful films in Tollywood and not just run-of-the-mill stuff. Was it a conscious decision?
It’s a two way process. I have been choosey with my films, and I have got offers for certain kind of films only. I am really lucky that such scripts have come my way. Tollywood had a good run in 2010. Many small and medium budget films did very well. There are many talented, creative people in the industry. We have brilliant actors and directors. For me as an actor, Tollywood is important because of the kind of characters and scripts that I get. Hopefully, 2011 will see Tollywood doing even better.
 
Your wife Barkha is also working in Tollywood…
Barkha is hosting a show on Zing and doing a lot of live shows in Mumbai and Kolkata. She is consciously avoiding daily soaps because it takes up a lot of time. Even I suggested that she should skip daily soaps at the moment. In Tollywood she has done a cameo in Dui Prithibi which won her a best debutante award. She is also doing a full-fledged role in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Aami Subhash Chandra Bolchi with Mithun Chakraborty. She is very excited about it. Language is not a barrier for Barkha. She loves acting. If she gets more opportunities in Tollywood she would definitely work here more frequently.

Do you get time to meet each other?
When I am not working here, I am in Mumbai. When I am shooting in Kolkata, she makes it a point to take some time off to be with me. So, in a month we are together for about 15-18 days. 
 
What are your current projects?
I have just finished a film called Uro Chithi. Only the dubbing is left. I have System which is an action film, so if you think I haven’t done any mainstream film, here it is. I have also signed a comedy called Le Halwa. Bedeni is going to release soon. In System I play an underworld guy.
 
Do you have any projects in Mumbai?
No. I think I am too occupied in Kolkata to market myself in Mumbai.

 

 

The latest Coke ad, with the classic track, Aaj Ki Raat… has caught the imagination of Gen-Y

 

Ashok Chatterjee

Retro ads are gaining popularity with the Indian marketing gurus. Songs from the 1970s and 1980s are making a comeback in Indian commercials. Vintage is special. Success of Akshay Kumar with his printed shirt and big collars in Action Replayy and Ajay Devgn in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai are enough evidence of the retro making a big comeback in our lives. Advertising is known to capture the pulse of the people. So, the numbers Jata Kahan Hai deewane for the Coca Cola ad, Aaj Pehali Tarikh Hai for the Cadbury Dairy milk chocolate ad or Genelia D’Souza’s New Fanta ad surely grab eyeballs. The latest Coke ad, with the retro number, Aaj Ki Raat… has caught the imagination of gen-next.
The advertisers are not only scoring high with the catchy songs but also leaving no stones unturned in recreating the perfect look and feel. Take for example the Vivel Deo ad, which shows a boy and a girl playing badminton in whites, recreating the song, Dhal Gaya Din, from the Jeetendra-Leena Chandravarkar starrer Humjoli or the Himalaya Face Wash ad where the girl dresses up in retro style or even the Biskfarm cookies ad, where a strong retro concept of patriarchal society comes across with the famous dialogue ‘Pran nath, aap kya kha rahe ho?’.
Shah Rukh Khan has also changed his looks for Dish TV advertisement. He is seen as a 75-years-old man in the ad. He looks cool with a stick.
The ads of the late 70s or 80s still have their brand recall. It is hard to forget the Bajaj bulb ad with the jingle, Jab main chota ladka tha, badi shararat karta tha. Meri chori pakdi jati, Jab roshan hota Bajaj — now, there lies the charm. When ad agencies create ads, their goal is to make a commercial that is catchy and memorable. The use of jingles is to make it linger in your head and remind you of the product.
Another television commercial, which is still fresh in our memories, is the Vicks ki goli lo khich khich door karo number. The ad caught on with the audience so much that it led to a rise in sales of Vicks cough drops. If these were the ‘funny’ ads on TV, the classic Raymonds ad which showed the ‘complete man’ still rings in our head. Advertisers feel the same old magic can be recreated with the new products as well. As ad-man Prahlad Kakkar explains, “I’ve been observing this trend for some time now. It all started with the Close-up toothpaste ad, followed by Fevicol ads and the Cadbury ads. The retro theme breaks the clutter. But if the theme is used in abundance, then it becomes a clutter in itself,” he says.
“In advertising, we have been neglecting the Silvers (the silver jubilee club). Since a healthy 35 per cent of the elderly are the target audience, these retro ads not only make the elderly nostalgic but also get the youngsters notice it. We must always remember the moot point of selling a product is to hook the viewers. And these ads are doing it fine,” Kakkar adds.
But senior account executive, Versus Communications, Rahul Mehra, who also is the manager of music band, Insomnia, begs to differ. He says, “Corporate houses are trying to woo the youth. The IT industry has altered the audience base for products. Youngsters, just out of college are earning high salaries these days, working in BPOs. They constitute a major segment of the Indian population. And this population still loves to listen to ABBA and the Final Countdown for entertainment.”
If Jumping Jack Jeetendra once ruled the popularity charts, today Imran Khan is ruling the roost. The latest Coke shadow ad, features the Break Ke Baad hero Imran doing funny act with the classic Aaj Ki Raat playing in the background. No surprises, it is the most downloaded ad today. The song takes you back to the 1973 film, Anamika.
Talking about the success of the jingles, music composer and audio producer, Drono Acharya, says, “One of the major reasons for the success of these songs is the melody. But the advertisements can go wrong if they make mockery of these golden classics.”
Bollywood singer, Kailash Kher, who has many popular jingles under his belt, refuses to believe that retro is the latest craze for ad filmmakers. “I cannot endorse the view. In order to be different, some advertisers go back to the past for inspiration. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t,” says Kher. 
The person behind successful ad campaigns like the Kamasutra condoms and Emami Fair & Handsome, Alyque Padamsee sums up the phenomenon. He says, “It is just a fad. Agencies copy any success formula. The industry is full of copycats. If one retro-themed ad clicks with the audience, everyone follow suit. Personally, I want to be original,” he clarifies.
Fad or not, retro ads surely have got everyone talking.

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.

ALSO READ REVIEW: BAND BAAJA BAARAT

 

 

Sudipta Dey

 

 
Film: The Tourist
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Rating: Good

What would you expect from a romantic thriller that has two most popular actors of all time as the lead, an Academy award winning director and Paris, Italy and Venice as the backdrop?
The Tourist has Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp pitted against each other, where the former plays an under-cover agent (again) and the latter is a Maths teacher from Wisconsin, an average Joe.
The plot revolves around Jolie’s character, Elise, who is apparently chasing her former lover, who also happens to be an elusive gangster, Alexander Pearce. On his instructions sent through a letter, she picks up a random tourist who looks somewhat like him to evade Interpole, and that’s when the real story begins.
The film revolves around the same plot that we have seen in many such films about mistaken identities (like the more recent Knight And Day). Jolie, like most of her films, has the action-seeking streak in her, and Depp is the victim of circumstances.
The plot has nothing great to it. It has a lot of flaws, that could have been avoided. But the massive starcast makes up for it. Apart from the two American superstars — Jolie and Depp, the film has Paul Bettany as Inspector John Acheson chasing the duo, Timothy Dalton as the Chief Inspector Jones who only appears in phases, Rufus Sewell as the mysterious man who claims to be Alexander Pearce on the insistence of an unknown man.
British actor Paul Bettany, who is more popularly known for his characters in The Beautiful Mind, A Knight’s Tale and Da Vinci Code, has done a decent job as the frustrated inspector chasing Pearce for over two years. His character could have had more meat, if the director (who has also co-written the film) paid a bit more attention to characterisation, something which is expected from a director who won the best foreign film in 2007 for Lives of Other.
Though the film has a mixed starcast, it has a distinct European romantic vibe to it, with most of the beauty lent by the picturesque setting of Venice and Paris.
Jolie looks simply gorgeous is her diva avatar, as she is seen mostly in gorgeous designer dresses throughout the film unlike in her other action films. Depp is his usual suave self.
The script should have given more time to make the love angle between Jolie and Depp a bit more convincing. There are a few witty dialogues exchanged between the two, which are crisp and at times funny, but those could only be credited to Jolie and Depp’s acting prowess.
If you don’t pay too much attention to the story and script, the film is worth a watch, specially for the actors and the beautifully captured Venice, the city of lovers.

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