Hulla poster


wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

With sub-plots repeating themselves, the entire plot leans towards boring. But it's realistic enough for you to sense your housing society on the big screen.

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Director: Jaideep Varma
Running time: 110 minutes
Genres: Comedy
More Movie Info

Hulla - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just curious to see on screen what I've been following for almost a year on the movie's blog.

I'm sure all moviemakers are as passionate about their product as the team of Hulla. It's just that you can read their experiences first hand on their blog. There are snippets of their experience from the pre-production days all the way till the constant postponement of the release.

It all seems unedited, because you can hear the Chief Assistant Director complain about the rest of the crew. Similarly you see the director talking about his vision and insecurities. He also pours out his angst against all and sundry - from his frustration with the producers, right down to the costume designer. He talks about what he learnt from the way his core team disintegrated. He even makes a generalized comment on FTII alumni.

Finally, the film has been received well by people who have seen it at festivals and by people who have seen the movie on its way to the release. Here are the director's words describing his reaction -

The responses to the film from unlikely sources make me feel optimistic, but I daren’t give full rein to it. High standards, low expectations – as Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram says. The Foley guys loved the film, the DI people made a special reference to how “enjoyable and fresh” it was, the Dolby guy said he was “pleasantly surprised” at how “intelligent” the film is, and the Censor board viewing had a member calling up a person from the cast he knew and raving about the film. These are people who see several films a week, and are not given to undue enthusiasms, so who knows what signs their reactions bear? But the film and its creators have been through too many disappointments in the last 4 years, so enough said.

I, for one, am as eager as ever to watch a mostly fresh crew make its debut.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Noises in his apartment society made Raj Puri (Sushant Singh) a cranky man. This irritability introduced his wife, Abha (Kartikadevi Rane) to a new facet of his personality. The same crabbiness egged the middle-class secretary of the society, Janardhan (Rajat Kapoor), to take more pride in implementing the safety measures causing the crankiness. Repeat. Repeat. And repeat once more. With each round though, the aggravation increased. A piece of anyone's life - the noises replaced by any other irritant that cause tiffs in apartment complexes. But, the repetition made me too lazy to even yawn.

Sure, the simplicity of the plot had a Hrishikesh Mukherjee feel to it, and so does the style of narration. But Hulla misses out big time on keeping me engaged. Though, the underlying commentary on the sham that security systems are was amusing, staying attentive throughout was an effort. And I assume it was intended to be a light smile-your-way-through comedy, but these smiles were only occasional.

None of which can be blamed on the lead cast. The noises begin annoying you as a viewer despite Raj's clearly unreasonable demands. Thanks to the pained expression Sushant so consistently carries. It's just fascinating to watch the man behind most of the pain, Rajat Kapoor. Watching him as a struggling businessman from a not-so-affluent background was refreshing and it looked like he was enjoying the difference too. The casting of the two is really creative and has worked, because on paper anyone would have been tempted to swap them. Hail versatility!

Kartikadevi absolutely comes across as the combination of girl-next-door cum career-minded woman cum home-maker. And 74-year old Chandrachoor Karnik, as the ever-obedient watchman, reminded me of Shaikh chacha, a watchman in our building, who would always nod his head to all instructions. But, the rest of the cast came across as caricatures. They were sketchy representatives of each 'type' of person any apartment complex would have. The writing here surely looked flimsy compared to the lead cast.

It is very obvious that this is a fairly low-budget movie from the relatively low-profile cast and the out-of-focus scenes every once in a while. And yet, something different has been tried. Interestingly, though, another "housing society + stock exchange" themed movie has released on the same day! Anyway, there is this urge to tell a simple story well. It might not have succeeded completely this time. Come on, how much of another person's boring problem can I be expected to watch? But I'm sure the movie-makers, especially the writers will learn from their follies and meanwhile members of the audience like yours truly will learn to deal with ennui.

- meeta, a part of the audience

25 reviewers(?) - 7 yays 7 so-so 11 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bikas Mishra, DearCinema : ...“Hulla” masterly captures the unique relationship that Raj and Janardan share... full review

Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, Express India : ...The plot’s simple. But the treatment makes it a whimsical, affectionate study of people... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, : ...Bid adieu to fancy designer mansions to make way for one bedroom matchbox apartments with dull pista green walls... full review

Thumbs up, Live Mint : ...While the satire in ‘Hulla’ isn’t as heartless as it needs to be, it’s certainly dispiriting for anybody who believes that Mumbai is India’s urbs prima.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anurag Kashyap, Passion for Cinema : ...What no review saw in the first place was that here Sushant’s Raj puri was not the protagnist and Rajat Kapoor’s “Janardan” was not the antagonist. They were just two characters at different ends of a problem... full review

Thumbs up, by Kenny, Passion for Cinema : ...Hulla had me and even my NRI buddy laughing from start to finish, and it did so without insulting my intelligence, which is all I bloody ask of a movie... full review

Thumbs up, by Subrat, Passion for Cinema : ...It’s an intelligent film that takes its intelligence lightly and yes, almost flimsily.... full review

So-So, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...Jaideep Varma shows audacity in picking a mundane, yet relatable, subject and stretching it to a full-blown story... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, : ...Rajat Kapoor as the building secretary who is also into investing in shares apart from his private business enacts his role to the 'T'.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Hulla doesn't quite work in the end because it overstays its welcome... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...After setting up things so beautifully in the first hour, you expect an encore in the second hour. But it's not engaging at all... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, MSN Entertainment : ...there's only this much it can be stretched.... full review

So-So, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...To send laugh on the viewers’ face is difficult and the film certainly tries to send smiles.... full review

So-So, by Patcy N, Rediff : ...The film seems to take you to a high pitch, and then drop unexpectedly.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanskriti Media, AOL INDIA : ...The director seems to have never lived in Mumbai. The protagonists Raj and Abha have presumably shifted to a Mumbai suburb to find peace!... full review

Thumbs down, by Preeti Arora, Buzz18 : ...Unfortunately, the humour has been handled in a clumsy, slipshod fashion... full review

Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...When you start to think that the film is drawing to a close, you are greeted with the 'Interval' sign... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...thanks to the believable performances by Stockbroker and Chairman, you don’t actually run out of the auditorium to check your own ear drums.... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...while his idea is novel, his approach is rather repetitive... full review

Thumbs down, by Amit R Agarwal, merinews : ...Rajat Kapoor has given better performances, same for Sushant Singh.... full review

Thumbs down, by Meena Iyer, Mumbai Mirror : ...Varma even comes up with a few witty lines but post interval the film clearly loses steam.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...the characters and conflict aren't energetic or compelling enough to sustain a two-hour film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Eye TV India Bureau, : ...hat's why the viewers were found saying that the writer has stretched the story too far, making the climax unjustifiable... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...this could easily be one of the most exasperating attempts at humour in recent times... full review

Thumbs down, by Filmbear, Upper Stall : ...makes some unique observations on life in suburban Mumbai and at least these are noteworthy... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Raj Puri (Sushant Singh) cannot sleep because of the noises the watchman (Chandrachoor Karnik) is asked to make at night to prove that he's awake.

What Worked

  • The love-making scene and its interruption.
  • The picturization of the two songs describing the situations that the two characters are in.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Sure, people lose their cool in society meetings, but the one shown here was one sudden outburst. Also, would love some of the people in my society o settle their temper as this gentleman did.
  • I'm sure the lady who yelled Nita, Mrs. Shenoy, was meant to annoy, but the overacting made her look out-of-place. So, did the couple who loved loud music.


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Was the watchman once mentioned as a 68 year old and then as a 74 year old?
  • A shadow on the left of the screen in the climax scene with Abha and Raj.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Sexual content: One very short love-making scene
  • Concept: It's an everyday life situation that adults find themselves in, I seriously doubt children will find it interesting.
  • General Look and Feel: Again, very realistic color palate, no glitter, glamour, dance, etc.

Hulla - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Background Score:
Music Director:
Running time:
110 minutes

Comments (1)

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Thanks, ankit!

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