movie reviews...and more
without giving the movie away
Fan has rated 136 movies,
and has posted 609 comments.
Also check out the list of
wogma's top readers.
Kaabil proves yet again that after Amitabh Bachhan if there is a real actor comfortable in various kinds of roles and genre of films then that is Hrithik Roshan. Hrithik has nailed very well the mannerisms of a blind person, the previous time that I can remember of such an effort being that of Naseeruddin Shah in Sparsh.Other than Hrithik’s sincere and top-notch performance, Kaabil is an interesting watch thanks to its novelty value on how can a visually impaired person plan and execute the perfect revenge crimes. Had the protagonist been a person with normal fully functioning physical body then the revenge drama might not have held the interest, but here it is different. Unconsciously we perceive being blind as a handicap, simply because for us doing things with eyes closed is difficult. But for the handicapped person, it is no longer a handicap. [Comment edited because it gives a part of the movie away] Premise is nice, plot has been executed fairly well, and the interest is kept intact till the end.On the basic revenge and vigilante justice system, of course it is not to be encouraged. On the other hand, given the often under-performing law and order system to bring justice to rape victims, such genre of films reflect the growing anger of people against this social vice. Hrithik and Yami portray well the victimized couple, your heart bleeds for them. Once that is achieved, the rest is easy – the audience is already craving for the blood of the perpetrators.The film although is not very crisp. It could have been shorter (reduce the introduction, remove the regular occurrences of Hrithik’s thoughts spoken out aloud, etc.). Also: as in real life things do not go as planned (which makes the thriller part exciting), and then it is difficult to accept the twists and opportunities that favour the blind man regularly. It becomes too much of a “lucky” or “coincidental” break. But thanks to the intensity of Hrithik’s act, one can sit through it and even accept it.
On the main characters other than Hrithik Roshan: Yami risks getting seriously stereotyped[Comment edited because it gives a part of the movie away] (Action Jackson, Badlapur, and now Kaabil). Ronit Roy is brilliant, there are traces of Nana Patekar in his act (probably due to the Maharashtrian character that he plays), all other characters being just alright.
Overall: watch it to get a glimpse of the range of Hrithik's ability. And also for the novelty aspect on how a perfect crime does not require a perfect 36 quality human being.
Disclaimer: I was never a big fan of Sridevi despite her being a Numéro uno for several years, and despite Sadma. The strong nasal tinge in her voice, the facial expressions, etc. were nothing exceptional. I strongly believed that if she reached Numéro uno status it was more due to the vacuum left by the decline of Hema Malini and the few years before the arrival of the next generation in the shape of Juhi Chawla and others. But honestly Mom is a game changer for her at the age of 50+. The strong nasal tinge, expressions etc. are still present in Mom, even though a bit subdued as compared to the late 1980s. But the gamut of emotions that she presents in Mom is huge. From a cheerful mom of two, to a strict yet caring teacher, to the typical mom worried to death with her daughter partying out at midnight, to the trauma of seeing the daughter in a near death situation, to the trauma of coming to terms with a post sexual abuse tragedy, .... she performs superbly. I had never realized that she is capable of portraying such high levels of emotions and be able to move effortlessly from one mood to another.
Extremely rare are those occasions where I get the honour and privilege to watch a film where as soon as the end is signalled and the entire audience bursts into a spontaneous applause. Mom is in that category.
The main 3 characters are in the best of form. Sridevi has packed so much power in her act that one can be forgiven to forget Sadma and believe that this is her career best performance. Akshay and Nawaz are equally brilliant in their acts.
The film is a taut thriller. The pressure is built relentlessly. So high is the pressure that the few and excellent comic moments serve as valves to ease off the pressure. The climax is built superbly. You, as a regular film watcher, can sense that the climax is approaching. And then in a classic Hitchcock style the inevitable is stretched out a few minutes later thanks to a song. Which only increased the palpitations.
Dialogues are from the heart too. The best of course being their tagline. Background score is perfect, helping mount up the pressure.
All in all a movie not to be missed. If you have to skip one meal to be able to have the money for the tickets then do skip the meal. This is classic. Straight in the category of A Wednesday or Kahaani.
Just a word of caution. The film is not for the faint hearted. It is extremely heavy watch. If you can't handle such type of films then don't force yourself to watch it. For all the rest, enjoy the film.
Glad to read in your "Nudity & Sexual content" section that rape is implied but not explicitly shown." Sign of a responsible and mature film maker who does not resort to sensationalism or cheap erotic stunts. Looking forward to watch the film tonight - already much reassured by your nudity ratings.
I don't know where to start the review. But since it is a Salman Khan film, let us start with him.
Salman plays a dim witted guy, thus the reason for the name of the film. His act is horrible, to say the least. Clearly he has not even bothered to spend some time with mentally handicapped people to observe their mannerisms. In the 70s style he just plays an exaggeratedly stupid act. Nevertheless he cries well, and frequently he makes you cry with him. The previous time Salman did a good crying act it was in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Apart from acting, Salman (and Sohail) look over bloated and middle aged guys. I don't think that was intended, and so it reflects more their actual physical conditions. Flabby everywhere, and age appearing on the faces.
Let's move to the others. Personally I was tremendously impressed by Isha Talwar (Maya) and Zhu Zhu. Isha's presence was sheer sunlight. She is extremely delightful to watch, a natural act be it in happy situations or less happy situations. And Zhu Zhu was another gem. That her character was made to speak Hindi throughout the film is admirable. Her lip formations were perfectly aligned to what she was speaking, very commendable if in real life she is not from India. And her expressions were following the words being said in the dialogues. Thus a doubly difficult act if in real life she is not an Indian and new to Hindi. Kudos.
All the rest of the cast, including Matin, are alright. Matin is adorable mainly because he is a child and has oriental features. Beyond that nothing great on the acting front.
The special effects, if they could be called that, are the worst to see in recent times.
The movie in itself over simplifies a complex problem of war. The message of 'in a war nobody is right, and nobody is left' is there but gets buried under lots of other things. An overt attempt to continue on the Bajrangi saga, but not with solid material it simply fails to deliver the goods.
As a pure cinematic experience the film is average or even below average. But being Eid time, and being a Salman film, it will do fairly well commercially. Even though it might fall far behind the Bahubalis and Bajrangi Bhaijaans.
You have seen it all before, and many times. Provided you have watched the films produced in the late 70s and early 80s - several times the role being incarnated by no less than Amitabh Bachhan. In case you are not the 70s type, then you still had the opportunity to watch it a few years back with the magnificient Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. And the remake of Agneepath. Despite so many films, if you still feel that Raees had something new and interesting to offer than you are either a hard-core admirer of SRK otherwise welcome to Bollywood. For all the rest, it is just a mashup of several Amitabh films (glimpses of Adalat, Agneepath, Deewar, ...), several mafia films (Dharmatma, ...), Surprise, surprise, even a famous dialogue of Singham has been picked up as-is without any changes.
It is a known fact that SRK suffers from a severe inferiority complex - he would like to do everything that his seniors did and his peers are doing. Thus not satisfied with remaking Dilip Kumar or Amitabh classics remakes, he also makes an Ajay Devgan remake this time round - and also (once again) copies Amitabh in applying kohl to his eyes throughout the film (remember the terrible Agneepath?).
That leaves us with the Pakistani import playing the lead actress. Before having watched the film, I was wondering as to why was an imported face used in this film? After watching the film, and realizing how totally irrelevant and even ludicrous at times the character was - I fully understand that no leading lady from Bollywood would have agreed to take up this role. Needless to say that she is horrible, in every aspect, and I would not be surprised if this is her last Bollywood film.
Nawaz is good, of course. But then he is just being natural, no particular effort to overshine and leave a lasting image.
Overall: Nay Thumbs down.
Noor is your typical upper middle class next door neighbor from Mumbai. Yes, Mumbai is very important, because it is all about the ethos of Mumbai (in the book on which it is based it would most probably have been about Karachi).
Noor eats, drinks, wears, behaves like almost any of us. As a typical Mumbaikar, her life is hectic, even though she is not particularly doing anything other than interviewing weirdos in the name of serious journalism (!!!) Probably a comment in itself on how third grade the Indian (TV) media has become.
So we are made to walk along Noor in her day to day activities, and in her ambition to be a topnotch journalist by not covering glamorous stories but following weirdos. Weird as that may sound. In between all this hectic Mumbai life, we are exposed to the dirty side of the city - and how Noor fights her conscience and her peers to come up tops. All this though seems very unnatural - especially the last 15-20 minutes.
Performance wise, the film is predominantly on Sonakshi Sinha - probably not a single scene without her presence. Almost all the remaining cast are new faces (at least for me) - which helps in watching the film as there are no preconceived notions about the way they are going to be behave (unlike when we put stereotyped people in roles). The few shades of grey - were highly predictable - at least for me. No surprises then for guessing what is going to happen.
Before signing off I cannot help noticing the heavy parallels with Bridget Jones. Replace a young book publishing professional by a young journalist - and you have your Bridget Jones. Every angle of the Bridget Jones film is covered in this film. The parallels struck me during the (totally unnecessary) scene of post making out blabber in bed. BTW: you missed that in the Nudity and Sexual Content part, Meeta. And that unnecessary scene reminded me of the similar scene in Bridget Jones and from there all the other parallels started falling place. Having said that, Noor is just a fraction of entertaining as the Bridget Jones' Diary was. If in any hesitation on which film to watch, I would heartily recommend the Bridget Jones' Diary over Noor any day.
I cannot understand what drives me to watch your typical Dharma or YRF film. Each time after watching the film I end up complaining more about the garbage that they dish out under the name of formulaic film. No difference then with Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
You have your classic Dharma (or YRF, both are interchangeable) formula. Boy meets girl or girl meets boy. Some sparks fly before love blossoms. Then too much of senseless song and dance follows. In function of the mood of the director, they select between mustard fields of Punjab, colourful streets of Rajasthan, green valleys of Switzerland/Austria, Snow laden mountains of Switzerland, streets of NYC, or in this case Singapore. After about 1 and a half hours of some totally useless and irrelevant episodes the directors realise that it is time to end the film. And so within a few minutes all the speeches, heart-changes, habit-changes happen which did not happen over 6 decades of the life of the concerned characters. And lo and behold you have the chocolaty candy flavoured ending to the colourful extravaganza.
Absolutely nonsense formulaic films first made popular by YRF but now equally milked by Dharma. The only reason this formula is used ad nauseam is that for whatever it is worth it still gives the return on investments to these producers. Whose only objective is to make money. Film-making, recounting an interesting story, presenting superlative performances in any particular department, etc. are nowhere on their priority list. Pure simple business arithmetic – make a film for X amount and generate X times 1.25 of revenues at the minimum.
The cherry on the cake is the disclaimer at the very start of the film. In English (written and spoken), it could not have been slower for anybody to understand what is the disclaimer against. Why make this drama of disclaimer if you do not even want to give the sufficient amount of time for your audience to read it fully. And what about your non-English audience (in Jhansi and Kota BTW)? No disclaimer for them?
Absolutely raddi film. Watch it if you have made it a point to give your hard earned money to Dharma and their ilks.
Which Indian parent has not gone through the trauma of getting their children admitted to a school of their choice. The whole system nowadays is frightful and ridiculously nonsensical. And the promos of Hindi Medium make it amply clear as to what to expect in the film.
The story of yet another hapless couple trying to get their child admitted to an elite school. Remove the elite tag and I guess that the challenges would remain the same.
The movie starts off on a comic note. The first half in fact is a good guffawed watch. Irfan Khan being in repeat (and superb) mode from Piku, with his dry humour and ironical yet true observations.
The trouble with the film is the second half, where the film starts dragging. To be quite frank there are only just a limited quantity of jokes and situational comedy that one can generate from the subject of trying to get your child admitted to a school. And so post interval the film loses steam. And then it just plods on from one event to another which would rarely happen in the real life.
Performance wise, Irfan Khan is brilliant with his humour. The Pakistani import playing the role of the Mrs. is quite impressive, leaves an imprint. But the outstanding actor in the film is Deepak Dobriyal. He completely overshadows Irfan Khan. Rest all are fine. Wonder why Neha Dhupia and her male co-star agreed to do this film, their roles being extremely sidey oriented.
Epilogue: I would have so loved the film to send a strong message against the nonsensical Indian education admittance system wherein 4 year olds have to go through plethora of tests, and the parents too. Also, with a name like Hindi Medium, I was half expecting a case being made for the vernacular schools. But that too was not to be. I suppose the producers wanted to make a light hearted bordering on comedy film, something like the Munnabhai duo-logy, to convey a message. If that was the intention then they failed. Stay away from the film, the trailers are a better alternative.
** every time a BOOK is translated into a film **
sorry for the typo in the original post.
Every time a film is translated into a film, the question and the comparison lingers - which was better?
Personally for me, every time that I have watched a film adaptation of a book I have always been left a bit disappointed. So far I have always found the book to be more interesting than the film. And the trend (for me) continues with the Half Girlfriend.
In fact, the book Half Girlfriend, is a much much better read than the film. The film adaptation, even though almost honest to the book all throughout, looks like a Half-hearted and lazy attempt. No character succeeds in bringing in the right emotions. The couple and their heart-breaks have no influence on the watcher, it is a very distant feeling - the chemistry and bonding was missing. The characters in fact are not even properly developed. It all gives the impression of a mish-mash kind of attempt to serve up a half-baked dish to the audience.
The only silver lining are the songs that linger in the mind even after leaving the theatre.
I guess one can fairly give this one a miss.
Saas bhi kabhi Bahu(bali) thi.
I think it resumes well what plays out on the screen, in this much awaited Conclusion.
The makers seem to have been heavily influenced by something that started out as a sidey joke by a B-grade comedian and which turned into a buzz-sentence "Why did Katappa kill Bahubali?" The whole movie seems to be geared towards answering this question, even though that is the most stupidest of things to ask. And when the moment finally arrives, it is stretched out and milked out to the most with heavy emotional music, slo-mo etc.
The movie starts off without any introduction or explanation of the "story so far". It assumes that everyone who has come to watch the conclusion has watched the beginning.
A large part of the initial half is straight out of your typical South Indian masala film, songs breaking out almost all the time, comedians mouthing loud comic stuff that cater to the South Indian audiences but fall flat on Hindi movie audiences, etc. And as with your typical masala South Indian film you have your [comment partially deleted because it describes a scene] - you name the South Indian audience pleasing stunt and it is in there. [comment partially deleted because it describes a scene], I just found it your typical masala gimmicky nothing more, but the girl in the young couple sitting next to us found it romantic, cause I overheard her telling her partner 'How romantic, would you do something like this for me?' So I suppose there are audiences who love such fantasies.
I waited patiently for all these extra reels made to just have a high running time roll off. And then the real movie starts.
The story is quite interestingly played out once it starts. The chess like steps played out by the baddies are quite interesting. Mahabharata kind of look and feel. The world of dynasties and royals all over the world, Asia or Europe, has almost always been a bloody affair. The lust for power has always pitted brother against brother. No different in Bahubali then.
The ending is obviously easy to guess for anyone. It is the journey to the end which is made interesting. And there we come to the USP of Bahubali. What a journey. Grandiose, spectacular, breathtaking. The details, the camera spanning, the colours, the perfection, full marks. It makes for an incredible viewing, the visuals are the best seen in an Indian film. Sanjay Leela Bhansali might get an inferiority complex watching Bahubali. Another area worthy of mention are the action scenes. Beautifully choreographed. Clearly one of the best actions seen in Indian films too. Special mention for the fluidity in which [comment partially deleted because it describes a scene] whilst fighting against enemies, superbly choreographed - really music in motion. Although as in the first instalment some of those computer graphics are visible as computer graphics. But let's ignore some minor aberrations amongst the overall superbly produced effects.
Overall, if you have to watch it then watch it on giant screen. Should you watch it? If you enjoyed Bahubali the beginning then go for it, very high probability that you will enjoy the Conclusion because it is a continuation of the first part in visuals, actions. As a film with a story probably not the best, but then neither was Bahubali - it is all about visual delight. And finally to answer why did Katappa kill Bahubali, your first guess was the correct guess. :-). In the end it just boils down to a saas-bahu(bali) soap that is aired on TV, with some spectacular visuals thrown in.
On this day when Vinod Khanna has left the world, nothing better than to reminisce on what a wonderful portfolio of films he has left us. He was a small yet delightful part of Dabangg. His second innings (or third innings if we count his Osho days as a break) started with Wanted (Salman Khan) film, in a very lovable and memorable role, and went on to better form with Dabangg and the others.
However, I remember him and miss him most for his first innings. There are simply too many films where Vinod Khanna has left an indelible mark. Where do I start and where do I finish, Mere Apne, Achanak, Haath Ki Safaai, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khoon Pasina, Hera Pheri, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Parvarish, Qurbani, and so on and on.
A fantastic actor, a lovable star, a Greek God, a thorough entertainer.
I hope that his soul finds the solace that he once was seeking when at the top of his profession. As a true fan of Hindi films, I will always miss Vinod Khanna and cherish the treasure of films that he has given us over the years.
I am not sure where the makers of the film floundered. Did they spend way too much footage on showing how a rookie is identified, evangelized, trained and prepared to be a field agent? Or was it that the journey is depicted in a less engaging manner than one would have expected it? Either way, the film seems a drag - a story that is taking a long time to come to the main thriller part. I am of course assuming that the thriller part was the main point. If the journey from rookie to expert was supposed to the main part, then it was wasted thoroughly.
As for the thriller part, it was too simple, short, and you-wish kind of an affair. That the best of the best field agents are overweight and of the shapes of your typical hawaldar did not help give much credibility to the already simple plot. That the most dreaded criminal being searched by several countries worldwide is roaming without any security could happen, but in a fictional film it seems very strange.
Like in the "sequel" Baby, this film too is split in two distinct halves, each half having more or less its own independent story. No concerns with that as an approach. But whilst watching the pre-interval parts I am persuaded that the audience (who have watched the trailers/promos) knows very well that all this is a prelude to the real story that will follow. And as such it does not become interesting to watch as one is impatient to get to the real stuff. The assignments given before recruiting the rookie are also extreme, in my opinion. You can't expect a novice to perform such acts.
The performances are strictly alright. Akshay Kumar's brief presence adds star power on the screen, but does not have any sensible purpose. Even Shabana questions his presence/purpose at a certain point in time. And in another sequence, repeated in the trailers, Akshay Kumar quips in that since I have been "invited" let me do something. Anupam Kher is wasted too. Prithvi also has no particular stuff to emote.
All in all the film will not remain in memories for a long time. No particular department that stands out.
Looking at my comment of 8 and a half months ago, when I had not watched the film, I was hoping for a positive surprise. Well - I must say that I was thoroughly disappointed on watching the film. Whereas Lingaa and Kochadiyaan were commercial duds, at least they had a social message relevant to our times. Kabali did not even have that (but going by all media reports it was apparently a commercial superhit).
Kabali, the first and hopefully not the last film, where Rajnikanth plays a role of his age. Yes there are a few flashback scenes with a younger Rajni-sir, to cater to the crowds that throng to watch his films. It is indeed a welcome change to watch Rajni-sir play his age.
The film as is reviewed above, is all about gang wars. Gangs of people of Indian origin but based in Malaysia.
The subject of gang wars a la James Hadley Chase novels, are not at all to my liking - and I seriously wonder as to how many Indians can identify with that theme. So half the battle was lost there by the film makers.
A big part of the other half was lost by the over exaggerated expressions and loud mannered jokes that are so common in many massy Tamil films. It seems to work well with the audiences there, but being bred on Hindi films such attempts seem to garish to me.
The story, if there is any, was just skimmed over. Ditto for the action sequences. Plenty of scope for adding all kinds of twists but very few opportunities were seized.
No particular actor remains in memory long after the film. Rajni-sir is a treat to watch nevertheless, his signature movements are still impeccable. But honestly I would not recommend to sit through the entire film just to reminisce his swagger and other actions - it is much better to pick out a DVD of his other better films to watch his swagger. Radhika Apte does stand out, but she does not have much chance to showcase her abilities. The girl who plays the role of Yogita was probably the only normal behaving character, even though the first few minutes of her act were extremely filmy.
All in all, a boring film. You have to be a real hardcore Rajnikanth fan to be able to sit through it.
If you watch it as a fantasy fairy tale (super man tale) with a liberal pinch of salt then it is an alright film. Do not expect anything serious from it.
The first half with an unwilling super hero, or rather a hero forced into the super hero business by his extra hyper Punjabi mom, is pretty comic. Taking a jab at various preconceived notions about super heros, it does pretty well to provide several light moments.
The second half, when the serious business starts, gets a bit preachy - but if you remain in the right mental comportment then it is a watchable film.
On performances front, Tiger seems to be getting more and more into comfortable zone - quite at ease with his role. Amrita Singh does well as the hyper Punjabi mom - although she risks getting stereotyped in such roles if she continues like this. Jacqueline is straight out of the Archies comics books and into this film - her (colourful) dresses, her hairstyle, her mannerisms, etc. are all straight out of the Archies.
And since we are in comics land, even the villain(s) KK and the Australian import, are human caricatures of your typical comic book villains.
A very light hearted film, trying to convey the message on the importance of saving the environment in a different way. The message remains as long as the film is running, after that it evaporates faster than clean air evaporates in a polluted city.
Watch it if you are a die hard film fan and have some spare time on hands. For all the others- give it A Flying Miss.
It seems that sequels, Hollywood or Bollywood, are mostly a damp squib (Dhoom 2 being one of the few exceptions thanks mainly to Hrithik Roshan). The thumb rule stays honest for Force 2. The original Force, an extremely violent and gory film, was still something that stands out from the ordinary affairs hitting the screens. It was different, the stunts were of a superior quality, the story was entirely identifiable, the villain in the form of Vidhyut Jamwal was topnotch, and the characters were real and likeable.
Force2 has retained only the top rated action sequences from the original version. All the rest is gone, well almost all the rest barring the villain who is not as good as Vidhyut Jamwal but still much better than the rest.
Watching the cat and mouse chase in Force 2 reminded me heavily of the cat and mouse chase in Fan. Similar settings (Eastern Europe), similar issues (bad guy able to infiltrate everywhere and in general be one step ahead of the good guy), the action sequences.
It is an alright watch, for hardcore film fans like me who generally have a budget to watch large number of films in a year. For the more discrete viewer, you can easily skip this film without missing anything important in your life.
Very few Hindi film thrillers have been executed superbly as was Kahaani. It was a sleeper hit to say the least - but it is a gem of a film to watch and rewatch.
Fast forward to Kahaani 2, the franchise. And the least that can be said about K2 the better.
The social message that K2 promotes is praiseworthy. But a good message does not equate to a good film making. If the film making (story included) is very weak and contrived then the message does not reach far, which is precisely what happens to K2.
For anyone who had seen the social media video [comment partially deleted because it might give movie away] (the video is embedded in Meetu's review above), K2 is just a 2hour + version of the same video.
Vidya Balan making a comeback after a hiatus of few years does not make any real impact. Arjun Ramphal might have appeared a too much glossy choice for the role of a semi-urban public services servant. But he does manage to fit into the role of a small town police officer relegated to doing petty cases - credit to him.
The film, in my belief, goes down the drain due to an extremely weak writing. Also, I believe that Indians are yet to accept [comment partially deleted because it might give movie away] as a crime - despite many films (past and present) making a case that it is widespread in the Indian society.
All in all, K2 is an also ran, nothing much to write about its performance.
In normal circumstances I would not have had watched this film. In general biographical Hindi films are not something that I am fond of.
so what gave? Several factors, but the biggest being the commercial success that the film achieved, and secondly my soft spot for Neeraj Pandey.
Quickly on the fact v/s fiction, I am unsure on how much of the film is factual and how much is fictional. So I will skip that aspect, and treat the whole film as fictional and rate it based on that.
It is a very long film, but I did not mind the duration - it did not get tiresome.
The performances are very good, from every character. Sushant Singh Rajput has very well mastered the mannerisms of Dhoni (walking style, batting style, etc.)
I did enjoy the film immensely, but I find it very difficult to put my finger on the precise things that made it work for me. The overall package is simply good, and I think rewatching the historical wins all packed in 3 hours gives you an immensely feel good emotions filled with pride. Probably that was it which made it work. At least for me.
After making the immensely likeable and down to earth English Vinglish, this one is a let down of a film.
Nothing worse than a person / filmmaker having pretensions of being intellectual and able to do philosophical reflections. In today's day and age where many people are flooded with philosophical messages each day via Whatsapp, if what you have to offer is not far superior than the whatsapp philosophical message that was deleted instantly then the film also will be deleted from the memory.
The film was a bore, characters were horrendous (star power allowed to stay glued to proceedings), story was pathetic, the reasons for Alia's psychological problems were infantile to say the least (seemed contrived and forced to provide the pretext for making the film), other happenings like the dislike for a single working woman in a heavily rich cosmopolitan Mumbai suburb is hallucination. And the solutions to all these problems, simplest of simple, work overnight and heavily soured relations become sugary sweet in an instant - come on guys just wake up and see how ridiculous the proceedings are.
Worst of all was the performance of the Pakistani import, even in normal avtars he is a massive pain to watch but in this film continuously singing his third grade song, he was simply intolerable.
Nothing works at all in this film, only the star power ensures that it gets a few footfalls.
For your Dear Zindagi's sake stay far away from it.
I would quote a part of what Anuj wrote,
you need a star power to make a film work (unfortunate truth of our audience)
When I look at Dangal, and when I compare it with another film that I loved dearly, Nil Battey Sannata, I see lots of similarities. And I see NBS the winner between the two as it is more realistic and near the heart. Unfortunately NBS did not have the star power to give it the success that Dangal obtained.
Personally I have always been a strong demander and upholder of responsible film making. Films are a very powerful medium, and tend to influence heavily the audiences all across the country. And in that sense it is very important to have responsible films. And that's where Dangal fails, and fails miserably. The film heavily dipped in patriarchal tones (under the pretext of representing the real Haryana scene), and promoting dangerous physical training practices - the film is nothing but a celebration of Amir's stardom. That a large part of Haryana is patriarchal, is not disputed. But having the heavily followed star play and promote such practices is what I find very irresponsible. As regards the physical training schedule, the human body like any other machine needs a correct balance between stress and rest. The best of the best sportsmen and sportswomen too ensure the correct balance between these two, the lack of which can/will lead to serious bodily harm. And promoting an exercise schedule that is imposed by the coach and then doubled by the family coach is once again an irresponsible act.
So, for everyone getting lump in their throats about a real-life film, I am sorry to state that the film is as fictitious as things can get in Bollywood.
That part cleared, if we look at it as any other Bollywood film, it is indeed a good film - technically well made and well performed by the characters. So yes, do recommend it. But if you must select only one between Dangal and Nil Battey Sannata, then I would still recommend NBS - which has similar storyline, similar message, similar rebellion by daughter to discourage the parents, similar perseverance by a parent to ensure the child succeeds, and similarly brilliant performances.
A love story, inspired by one of the all time biggest global blockbuster novel, is enough to entice me to give a look.
But Fitoor makes a half hearted product and thus very painful to watch. When your heart does not ache for the lead lover pair, then you know that the story is extremely poorly executed.
The visuals (many done in Poland) are awesome. If the story and performance had been given the same importance then the film would have been a masterpiece, which it is far from being.
The visuals seem to have taken the front seat so much so that the director keeps in flipping between autumn and winter in random order - making one wonder if any attempt was made to ensure continuity in story/climate.
The story revolves around Noor, Firdaus, and Firdaus' overwhelming mother Hazrat. Noor (Aditya) and Firdaus (Katrina) are simply cold. And Hazrat (Tabu) seems to be in continuation mode from Haider. Aditi Rao Haideri impresses a little bit, all the others (lead characters included) disappoint big time. Ajay Devgan in a cameo is completely wasted. The Indianization of the English novel too did not work out well.
Overall: a wasted opportunity. A waste of time (and money) for the viewers.
Akira as a film disappointed me. With A R Murugadoss at the helm of affairs and an A level lead actress, a lot was expected.
The sequence of events and the way they play out seem just illusionary. Even if we are biased and want to believe what is happening, it is just difficult to do so as the events unfolding are simply unbelievable.
Before signing off, a few words for Kashyap, whose works and statements I am the first to criticize most of the time. I must admit that he has done a very good job of playing the corrupt to the core policeman, and just his presence on the screen not only makes you abhor him but also fear him. Good discovery, good debut.
Without the slightest of doubt this film rates in the top 3 films of 2016. And definitely should be part of the best of the best all time collections.
The subject is so pertinent in Indian context, but even in global context (very few countries are untouched by this social threat).
All throughout the film one pines for the girls, and that is no mean feat to achieve by the director. Amitabh Bachhan as the retired lawyer is simply amazing. One of his finest acts.
Only thing that was unclear to me was why mix the personal background of the character played by Amitabh Bachhan in this drama? Still wondering.
But overall, I do recommend everyone to watch this film at least once, and more importantly to imbibe the lesson that it says. NO is a NO.
@Anuj: Sorry, I had not seen your post. And I would have most likely missed it had not my explorer by chance positioned the screen after refresh on your post.
Let me make an attempt to answer it.
With the exception of Pink and MSD, for all the other films that you have mentioned in your post I have put my rating on the relevant wogma review pages. Nevertheless, to summarise:I enjoyed watching all those films (probably Airlift a bit less), and if I am not mistaken then I have given a Yay Thumbs Up on their individual pages. Having said that, I do not feel like watching them again, not even in parts. Let me explain:
Often I have nothing to do, and am just switching the TV channels in an effort to find something that I might like to watch whilst whiling away my time. At that time, if I come across any channel playing any of these films, then I would not stay on the channel for a few minutes to give it a relook. I would just continue switching the channels. So, even though I did enjoy them when I watched them, having watched them they do not hold any special attraction for me to give a full or partial re-look.
This is not the case for the 2015 films. For instance, a Bahubaali or a Bajirao or a Drishyam would make me want to see a couple of scenes before continuing on my exercise of channel switching. Similarly, a Kahaani or A Wednesday would make me pause and take a re-look. None of the 2016 films that you name give me that urge. And that leads me to say that they are good films, but they all are at the same level. None is better or worse than the other. And certainly they are not exceptional.
Coming to the special case of Airlift, as I wrote in my review on the wogma page, I found it like a documentary. Does not mean it is bad, but it did not have the filmy touch. Yes, the goosebumps were there. Yes, Akshay Kumar gave one of his best performances. Yes, it gives a pretty good patriotic feel. But it still looked like watching a documentary. I cannot put my finger on the real reason for that, but I never got the feeling of watching a film - with the inherent anxieties, adrenaline, what-next, etc. I think that what also probably spoilt it for me is the massive hype that was already built up by the time I saw the film. And most likely the hype made me to expect something out of the world. And these expectations (which were unrealistically high due to the hype) not being matched, the experience was not ecstatic (artistically speaking).
Anyways, so in short, enjoyable films to watch once, but nothing memorable. At least for me.
I was under the (false) impression that Befikre is in 2017. Hence missed it from my list.
@Anup: see my earlier posts on Salman being a convicted criminal before shooting. I am quite consistent in my position. As regards Amir, sorry but his actions speak louder than your words. The guy is a hypocrite, and has selective pangs of hurt and human rights awakenings. And selective is unacceptable.
Human rights must not distinguish on religion, color, creed, caste, gender, age, ... If you agree on this basic principle then you would see through the pattern of Amir. You need to remove your adoration goggles to see the true colors of the guy.
@Anup : my remarks are on money made. I mentioned second highest around 125 cr and the rest below them. I did say that Force2 looks interesting, but I doubt that it would break commercial barriers. Kahaani2, the first trailer was horrible, the second trailer is alright. Befikre is for 2017, isn't it? As regards Dangal, I don't want to give too much credit to someone who regularly makes racist and communal remarks against only one community.
Okay, so the year 2016 is coming to an end. And from the last few drops that remain in the pipe, nothing spectacular is expected. Yeah yeah I know Amir Khan is lined up, but after his disguised communal attack exactly a year ago he has lost all forms of credibility.
From the rest that is still in the pipe: Force 2 might be an alright watch, if it continues where Force left. But still it would not be a force to reckon with and to upset the 2016 tables.
Kahaani 2: all promos lead me to think that this is going to be the biggest disaster of this year. It will make Mohenjo Daro look like the finest film ever made. Kahaani is so high in esteem (par with a Wednesday), and the promos of the 2nd installment are completely cheesy and Vidhya seems to be hamming all the way (despite the fact that she is a brilliant actor in the current generation of actors).
What does that leave us? Some Zindagi crap - I leave it for die hard SRK fans (who are dying faster than I am typing).
And that is about it.
So: all in all after an exciting 2015 with the Bahubalis and Bajiraos and Bajrangis the year 2016 has been a completely banal year. Commercially Sultan leads, but artistically or technically it is an average film. Followed by MSD in 2nd place with an approx. 125 cr collection. That's it. All the others just trying to make a difference but failing.
On star power, Akshay Kumar still reigned. With 3 movies released, and all 3 crossing the 100cr marker, his aggregate in 2016 is 300cr +
Maybe the absence of Deepika Padukone film made the year lose out? In the past few years, she has been at the spearhead of each commercial blockbuster.
On the hatke films, very few remain in memory. Neel Battey Sannata is very high. Aligarh is a good attempt. And that is about it.
So good riddance to a rubbish year (from Hindi films aspect). Year marked by stupid commercial driven controversies created by Kashyaps and Johars. And the year is not complete, wait for Dangal to contribute in the controversies.
Looking forward to 2017, with Kaabil to start the year. Going by the promos, if the love track is kept within a song sequence, then the movie promises to be a great watch. If the love track is going to take up one hour, then the movie will go down the drain.
@Anup : you say That extended climax after the last fight almost made me angry
It is a pity that you felt that way. The irony of the situation that the writer director wanted to convey is lost.
Think of it this way. Here's a father who can go to any extent to stop his child being separated from him. Fighting the known and visible bad men. But life has so many ways to force the separation. How many battles are he going to fight? What is the point of fighting such battles? Can we win all the battles? If not then why bother about winning any?
So many questions come to mind. So many emotions rush in. So many profound thoughts occupy your mind in that "5 minutes of extended end". Leaves a Kashyap film far behind.
But then again, if the irony is lost on the audience then it is a real pity.
@Gokul: to answer your question, it depends on what is the criteria used to define a winner. More footfalls, or more money. Or a combination of both. It is not straightforward as who made more profit, which is easier to say. Another factor (other than money, footfalls, etc.) is the technical and artistic excellence. Shivaay, is long but action is top rate once it starts going. The other I have not watched, and have no intentions of paying to watch - so difficult for me to compare both, but in my friend circle whosoever has watched the other has complained heavily that it is a bakwas film. So the (paid) media hype of catch it in theatre with 4 stars is visible for many to see. The word of mouth for both the movies has been average, with Shivaay having an edge in the word of mouth (at least in my circle).
So going only by footfalls, which Anuj equates to popularity in his above post, then Shivaay is the winner - even if it made lesser profits.
@Gokul: 100 crore depends on what is measured and how is measured. I am hearing 100 cr since day 4, but then bollywoodhungama etc is displaying 70-80 cr at least around day 8 or 9. So, the 100cr is whatever anybody wants to make of it.
Regardless of this reference point, in whatever business article you read, Shivaay collections are approximately 10% less. Thus if one is at 100 cr (in a given reference) then the other is at 90cr in the same reference. And given that the average ticket price paid for one is 300 Rs it would give a footfall of 3.3 Million. For the other, with an average ticket price of 150 Rs (which is on the higher side still considering smaller towns of India - and talking of average prices): gives a footfall of 6 Million for Shivaay. Even if you throw in the lopsided overseas collections thank to the Muslims of UK, you could still not match 6 Million footfall.
Of course I am simplifying a lot, but even with a complex algorithm it would be more than evident which was the number one choice of audience.
Considering that as of today, Shivaay is hardly 10% below some wannabe in terms of money collected. And given that Shivaay's main patrons are in smaller cities where movie tickets are at least 50% less expensive as compared to metros wherein lies the main patronage for the wannabe. It is amply clear that the number of footfalls for Shivaay are much higher than the wannabe. Power to the people who ignored all the paid superlative reviews of the wannabe.
Shivaay is not the finest of movies to come out of Bollywood but this Diwali it is the clear winner.
Anuj's prediction that Shivaay will pick up during the week seems to be coming true. Collaborated by industry figures/statements:
Shivaay is at 7.4 out of 10 on imdb.
Another product vying for attention gets 5.4 out of 10.
Even though imdb is full of trolls, it is clear that even the trolls are dumping some crappy product.
Almost a decade ago Ajay Devgn had made a brave attempt via U Me Aur Hum to increase awareness on the sensitive and painful issue of Alzheimer. This time around Mr. Devgn makes a brave attempt to highlight the issue of paedophilia, human trafficking and human organs dealing. Gruesome as it sounds it is a fact that India is faced with this problem (remember Mardaani?) and Eastern Europe is rampant with it. The Eastern European mafias are ruthless and have successfully infiltrated the important institutes to guarantee a smooth running of their operations. In India too this is a serious and widespread menace which the Burhan Wani sympathising media chooses to ignore and keep out of news.
It's with this context, crime and injustice that the film deals with.
The film starts off with the finest Himalyan visuals to be captured on the celluloid. It is simply breathtaking. Watching this on a 50" TV or an even smaller tablet would rob the viewer of the grandiose views that the makers had envisaged. Yes, I agree that this "introduction" part was lengthy and could have been shortened to 10 minutes. But sit back and relax because the story kicks in about 1 hour into the film.
The anxiety and pain felt by a father who knows that he is confronted with paradoxically an extremely efficient mafia to save his mute daughter, and with single focus of saving her from the sex traders is played out brilliantly by Ajay Devgn. There are enough "lump in the throat" moments, and the "bas kar rulayega kya" moments. Yes the second part of the film is loaded with top rated action. And it can be accused of being extremely violent often gruesome too. But that is the context. Eastern European mafias are not known to deal, discuss, negotiate; they go after the enemy with one sole purpose - eliminate the bastard. In that situation the only possible way to advance is to fight them and kill them before they kill you.
On the performance front it is Ajay Devgn show all the way. Abigail as the mute child was outstanding too. Some of the Bollywood leading ladies should take lessons from her.
The film does have aberrations and a few cliches - somebody must stand up. Yes, somebody must standup and take the (right) position.
Several factors will certainly work against the film; ie the name. Had it been called Sikander or Ali or Pervez the film would have fared better. The absence of a known face for the female lead or for the bad guys will also put off many people from appreciating this valiant attempt. And finally the cause of paedophilia and human trafficking does not resonate with many Indians - which is a shame IMHO.
Final words? If Ajay Devgn had kept the exact same story and execution of the film, but would have replaced the father by a simple god fearing Pakistani who is fighting against (not Eastern European) Indian politicians who are also sex traders to save his mute Pakistani daughter - then the movie would have broken all commercial records and would have scaled high peaks to make even Lord Shiva proud.
What's in a name, asked Shakespeare. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Well Shakespeare did not know the Indian intellectuals and minorities, who are willing to dump a film because it's title has Hindu connotations. Poor Shakespeare.
BTW : Happy Diwali to all.
A nice film, that is more fiction than fact - even though going into it I was under the impression that it will be the other way round. Although not a problem to have a fictional story based on a real life incident.
Knowing the real life incident, and having seen the first Bollywood attempt on this story (Achanak by Gulzar starring Vinod Khanna), I was expecting Rustom to be an open and shut case. But I was surprised. The film had sufficient twists to keep the viewers engaged. Although probably not required to show Rustom as the greatest of all in a way that nobody is able to figure out what he did and why he did it - and then allowing Rustom to explain it calmly. The same (showinh Rustom unbeatable) could have been done differently and better if the director would have chosen to do so.
Songs are good - well balanced in the film.
Performances are a let down though. Ileana has to wear the guilty look throughout, and Akshay is in full decorated navy uniform all the time (well almost all).
Akshay pulls off yet another film on soldier / loyalty to armed services and country / patriotism. He has really mastered this genre. Maybe he will be known as the Mr. Bharat of the 2000s?
@Meeta: to each their preferences. :-)
@Meeta your bias for mediocre Dharma productions and Ranbir Kapoor shows through the 2 previews you wrote including that of Shivaay. Where the Dharma product is banking on the most repeated and chewed up formula of a love triangle, you are calling it something to look forward to in your preview. And in the same breath you are labelling Shivaay as a film with similar stories to some films and by consequence nothing great to look forward to other than probably the action.
Ajay Devgan's track record with high budget home production is highly shaky. In all his past endeavours he has confused money with substance. He has spent lavish amounts on his films in special effects and other polishing without concentrating on the contents of the film. Result? Terribly flop Raju Chacha, Toonpur ka superhero.
That is what is making me worried about Shivaay. I sincerely hope that he has learnt his lessons, and that he has a top notch story which is being recounted with the help of slick effects. If that is the case then nothing can stop Shivaay being the Diwali superhit.
Fingers crossed tightly, hoping that Ajay delivers the blockbuster.
Like many people around the world, I have read all the Dan Brown books. Including the books without the character Robert Langdon. Restricting myself to only the Robert Langdon adventures, I must say that Inferno was not my number one on that list.
If the book did not interest me as much as the other books, then why would the movie be different?
But being a Dan Brown and Robert Langdon fan, I did make it a point to visit the theatre and watch this on the large screen. It is an alright watch - even for someone who has read the book and knows all the twists and turns that are likely to come up. Although I must admit that my recollection of the details in the story was very vague, the only character that was very clearly etched out in my memory other than Robert Langdon was that of the Provost (played nicely by Irrfan Khan). The movie adaptation however does not do justice to the plethora of historical information (facts) that was scattered liberally all across the book. Just one or two passing remarks or statements of historical facts - and the rest was a nice modern day thriller. Nevertheless, for someone who has not read the book, I can imagine that this can be a nice thriller to Watch.
Performance wise, Tom Hanks can now play the Boston based symbologist professor with eyes closed. Amongst the others, Irrfan and Omar were good. BTW: is it a coincidence that the last 2 Irrfan Hollywood big ticket films also featured Omar Sy, albeit always in a minor role compared to that of Irrfan. And closing this post on Irrfan, I was pleasantly surprised to see him billed 3rd in the credits, and only his single name on the screen!!! I had not realized that he had become so influential in Hollywood.
Very long and disappointing film. Barring the last 15 minutes the film has nothing special to offer.
@Anup: one can't ignore history. Every successful director (India or elsewhere), eventually delivers at least one mega flop in his/her career. They eventually lose contact with the (changing) audience tastes, and keep on delivering in their past (comfort and) success zones.
It is bound to happen, with every successful director. It is incorrect to expect a hit every time.
I do not believe that Mohenjo Daro failed commercially due to Hrithik. And anyone saying that is simply exposing his lack of understanding of film business.
As regards "Directors except Raj Hirani do not guarantee success with their films." let us wait for Sanjubaba's biography with no less than Ranbir before counting one's eggs. Every top director meets super failure in their career at least once, whether it is a Raj Kapoor, or a Manmohan Desai or a Prakash Mehra (not to be confused with Rakesh Om) or a Ashutosh Gowariker.
@Anuj: yes, he had a cameo. Playing Virat Kohli. When Fawad refused to criticize the terrorist attack on Indian soldiers, Neeraj removed the cameo parts. Good thing, in my opinion.
I have yet to watch the film. As noted in one of my initial comments on this film, it is not something for which I was waiting with bated breath. I very much enjoy watching Dhoni as a cricketer, but I am not a fan of his overhyped image of captain cool.
However, I must appreciate Neeraj Pandey for his integrity, courage and position on country coming before everything else. To have the guts to remove each and every scene featuring Fawad Khan is surely commendable. The last thing we need in times of crisis is to encourage foreigners who are refusing to condemn terrorist acts against Indian soldiers, thereby accepting that they support the terrorists more than the soldiers. If for that one single reason, if I have to watch every Neeraj Pandey film, then I shall do so.
On the one hand we have Neeraj Pandey who did not mind sacrificing the solidness of his film for the right cause. And on the other hand we have the champion of mediocrity, Dharma and YRF, who for some monetary gains are backing Ali Zafar and Fawad Khan who refuse to condemn terrorist act against Indian soldiers. That those monetary gains are delusional will be known by Diwali, when Karan will lose money instead of making money due to his lack of guts to take a position for the right cause.
Even more proud of you Neeraj Pandey.
My views on censorship are quite known (I hope). When Anurag Kashyap is told by censor board to clip certain dialogues as it hurts sentiments, all pseudos including those on the wogma site, are up in arms.
When @Anuj or somebody else does an Anurag, the admins are quick to remove everything that they deem as objectionable.
Why the double standards? Or basically nobody has the courage to the stand up to industry bullies?
Now this is a movie that the makers would be better off putting in the freezer for some time till things cool off with a rogue state called Pakistan. Shrewd and selfish business attitudes will portray the businessmen as peaceniks and messengers of love and peace, and urge all to watch the film. It is up to the smart crowd to see through such pretenses and recognize the shameless undermining of national policy, policy that is aimed at permanently resolving a major security issue. On one hand the country in its vast and diverse majority wants the entire world to hit Pakistan with sanctions, and on the other hand shrewd businessmen want exceptions made to sanctions for selfish personal financial gains.
I register my protest against Dharma and all other who believe personal financial interests are higher than the sacrifices made by families of brave soldiers in giving the luxury and freedom with which Dharma can go about living their lives. A strict no for this film.
I have no issues with film makers successful in one particular genre trying their hand on another genre. In that sense Neeraj Pandey shifting genres is alright. But of all things why select a biopic on a still serving player - and that too a player whose life has probably no secret aspect thanks to the 24x7 social and other media barrage?
The only aspect in a Dhoni film would be a rags-to-riches tale. But that saga has been the staple income of Bollywood producers over the decades, and thus cannot be made further interesting.
I cannot say that I am really waiting with bated breath for this Neeraj Pandey film to release.