wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)
No ishtyle, No chaaram, no kewl action, no ROFL jhokes (1.5 LOLs, tho). Fitting it into a stereotype - a very 90-ish film!Read more
NOT A REVIEW - Getting the pre-conceived notions out of the system to give Tashan a fair view -
You know Tashan is clearly targeting that part of the audience that likes style-laden movies and have that rough-and-tough western-ish charm about them. The cool guys who are cool enough to pronounce style as "ishtyle" and Formula as "pharmoola" (We should thank their limited vocabulary since they couldn’t find words that could be misspelt to replace "Goodluck", "Gang", and "Fans"). None of this can take away from the fact that the dudes and dude-ette look super-suave in the promos. Until they open their mouths, that is. Saif Ali Khan's lines are lame and Anil Kapoor's style of delivering his is extremely annoying.
And as if to confirm that the target is the 18-25 age group, the landing page of the official site has three out of the six links taking you to facebook, orkut, and youtube communities of the movie. Or at least we know what faction of web users they are targeting. So, I guess, it only falls in line to have skimpily-clad Kareena Kapoor middle of frame dancing her oomph out in "challiya". I surely hope Ms. Kapoor has more to do than just that in Tashan. Especially after having a movie that completely revolved around her character in Jab We Met. Both the quantity and quality of her character description on the site don’t look too promising.
The character descriptions too sound like they are trying too hard to address a specific target audience. As in, I cannot imagine my parents wanting to watch the movie after having seen the site. Not to mention that they are making an extra effort to make you laugh, but right now I have a smirk on face when I read,
"QUALIFICATIONS: MMS from KingKong University, JKL in Botany from BingBong University, BBMS from Kaun Sa Desh, Currently getting made English Honours marksheet, also Three more degrees made in progress"
in the resume style character description of Anil Kapoor's character. Though I must say that Akshay Kumar's character name 'Bachchan Pande' made me laugh out loud.
The name Vijay Krishna Acharya brings back memories - shudders, et al - of Aishwarya Rai having the word "like" form 25% of her dialogue in Dhoom 2. On the other hand the same man is credited for dialogues in Guru and Pyaar Ke Side Effects, which I remember enjoying. Yet, none of this has anything to do with the kind of director he is.
There, so I have it out of my system. Now, let's go in there with a clean slate.
- meeta, a part of the audience
I thought a film marketed with a rugged look would be an action flick. But, surprise-surprise Tashan is an out-and-out comedy. The action makes you laugh, the romance makes you laugh louder, and it is so funny that the characters make you laugh even when they are seething with anger. And the beauty is I haven't been able to figure out whether any of this was intentional!
Speaking of beauty, after a long time have I seen India shot so beautifully. Kerala, Rajasthan, (Ladakh?) were all saturated with color, alright. Nevertheless the way the intrinsic beauty of these places was shot made me want to find out exactly where those places were and when I could go there.
But alas! Come action sequences, and the camera blows its horn too hard. It doesn't allow the audience to register the seemingly interesting stunts. Similarly, there were glimpses of interesting editing decisions. Like when a character says 'BITCH' with a long 'i' and the scene cuts to a long shot of a beach or when "kabhi kabhi" is playing and a car falls down a cliff when the song reaches "tujhe zameen par bulaya gaya" (you have been called to the earth) part. That the car flying in the air was very shoddily animated is a different story altogether.
However, what really surprised me is that the four main characters in the film had actually different traits which were more-or-less consistently adhered to. What's more, each one had a story arc too!? - Very atypical of a Hindi movie in this genre. An underworld don, a wannabe don with super-powers, a supposed simpleton, and a lady with a mission - all with brain and brawn. (yes the girl too! YAY!!) Sounds like a decent enough premise. But something grossly went wrong in the execution. And I could complain about artistic liberties taken, if only there was any art in sight.
A big fat finger can be pointed at the dialogues. My fears came true, as in the word "the" was overused. I think the writer was pretty sure people are going to go off to sleep. Which is why the name of the movie is repeated every half hour - to orient the people who have just woken up! Also, Hindi-fying of English was done in such abundance that I was soon immune to it. So, while it didn't bother me, it didn't make me laugh either. Sure, there were obvious tributes to Deewar, Sholay, and Jaane Bhi do Yaaro. Would have been good if they were done well, though.
What is amazing is that despite really lousy dialogues, each one of the four actors has given a good performance. Having the right expressions (exaggerated as they might be) to rise above the bad lines must be applauded in any case. Certainly, the roles must have looked interesting at script stage for established actors like them to give Tashan space in their portfolio. Of course, Kareena overshadowed the male trio put together in the "looks" department. By the way, am I the only one here to sense that Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan are too old and too mature in this industry to flout their 'sexiness' in such an inelegant, uncouth way?
The songs functioned like the snooze button for me. I felt like muting it off when a song started and suffered the familiar rude shock five minutes later when it ended giving charge to the louder background music. So loud that it overshadowed dialogue at many points. The lyrics, the choreography and of course the music, all seemed too generic and random. Actually a level below generic. We can see Kareena not only sporting the golden "Aishwarya look" from Dhoom 2 but she also has a few of Aishwarya's dance moves! And why was Saif Ali Khan made to look like he couldn't dance to save his life?
Despite the things done right, while leaving the theater I was praying that Vijay Acharya hadn't over-dosed me with whatever anesthetic it was he was using. The numbness I felt in the brain region was really scary. Anyway, all's good, I'm out of it and hoping to keep you away from it
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Yasser Usmaan, DearCinema : ...The screenplay, specially of the first half is very taut and interesting though he falters in the second half but his dialogues compensates for that... full review
Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, indya.com : ...For those who loved Yash Raj's earlier action flick Dhoom, Tashan goes a step higher. The fight sequences and Akshay Kumar especially is brilliant.... full review
So-So, by Subhash K Jha, All Bollywood : ...If the bizarre brew of the cunning and the cool holds together it's mainly because of Akshay and Kareena, who create a kaleidoscopic chemistry of crime and no punishment.... full review
So-So, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...But even if the film is a let-down in terms of writing, which is mostly clumsy and inconsistent, lacking any real wit or inventiveness, the cast does manage to keep things somewhat upbeat... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Tashan moodily swings from the dark alleys of Bhaiyya's savaging and often double-meaning humour to crass exchanges between Bachchan and Pooja to characteristically 'Saif' moments every time he candidly talks to the camera.... full review
So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Anil Kapoor, dipped into the most outrageous wardrobe conceivable, topped off with red-dyed hair and a thick UP accent struggling with English, just shows the actor is game for anything - and still cool enough to carry it off.... full review
Thumbs down, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Three reasons why ‘Tashan’ overcomes your urge to walk out of the theatre – 1) Akshay Kumar. 2) Funny dialogues. 3) Vishal Shekhar’s music.... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...a masala movie is, by definition, pitched over the top, so let’s pitch this way over over-the-top, and instead of shaping our ‘story’ through a masala narrative, let the masala – the songs, the fights, the dialogue, the humour, the style – be the narrative.... full review
Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...as Tashan unfolds, you realise the makers probably expected every viewer to have the IQ of an imbecile and fathom every hard-to-digest explanation the film offers.... full review
Thumbs down, by Vivek Kumar, Passion for Cinema : ...When a good script is missing and it has holes, then nothing…and I mean nothing…can redeem it, cause the most basic human instinct is one of brains and intelligence.... full review
Thumbs down, by Shruti Bhasin, Planet Bollywood : ...I was smart enough to shut off my brain before watching the movie and ended up laughing a few times intentionally and unintentionally.... full review
Thumbs down, Upper Stall : ...The cinematography is adequate but suffers from poor and unimaginative use of the wide angle lens and the usual misuse of Digital Intermediate (DI) giving the film a most synthetic look... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.
Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan) falls in love with Pooja (Kareena Kapoor). Pooja falls in love with Jimmy too, however they are employed by Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) who has reasons to not let them go. Bachchan Pande (Akshay Kumar) who idolizes Bhaiyaji is employed by the latter to take care of a situation that Jimmy and Pooja have created.