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  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    other than timing if you have other criteria to declare it as propaganda then do let me know, as it is possible that I missed observing something that your keen eyes and notepad recorded.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    That you have liberal left leanings is your worry. As a well wisher, I can only wish you a rapid recovery.

    That your ideological leanings drive you to destroy a good film like Uri with labelling of propaganda is a sin and a crime. Sin because you know very well that it is a blatant and well timed lie. Crime because such words rob the people who made the film from wider recognition.

    You are influencing the choices that the loyal followers of your blog make. You are unconciously pulling them away from the film by usage of unjustified tags and are responsible for unrecognition of the work done by the hundreds of people who colletively made the film. Just one rash ideological word PROPAGANDA.


    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    Coming to your classic defense argument that you use to shield yourself when you defend poster boys of liberal lefts and when you destroy all others - this is my "opinion".

    I liked the film or I did not like the film can wash as opinion. I like liberal left films made by Raju and I do not like right of centre films made by Neeraj Pandey can wash as opinion. I like romantic films but I don't like war films can wash as opinion.

    All the above can be disguised and paraded as opinion.

    But what cannot be paraded is the judgement that film is propaganda. It is not an opinion - it is a judgement of the film based on certain tangible objective observations. The film did not even have the highly anticipated chanting of the national anthem with the tricolor flying. You have mentioned timing as the only reason so far for calling it propaganda. Have you other reasons to label it as propaganda, or that is the only reason?

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    Coming to your argument of "timing" to explain that it is a propaganda. Films (not only Hindi but nationwide and worldwide) have always been timed to prevailing moods and times. ALWAYS. So it makes every film a propaganda. I can find multiple examples from the times of previous governments, but let me stick to recent times. Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Halka some examples. For Halka I even teased you that your are liking the film but not the person, the Honorable Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi, whose thoughts and active work on this front have inspired people to make such movies. You do not find them propaganda. Films like Raazi, Satyamev Jayate, I can go on and on.

    So what is so special about the timing of Uri to make it a propaganda?

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    The reason I used the example of Sanju is to show to you what is a PROPAGANDA.

    The intention of Sanju is to give a character certificate to a criminal convicted at each level of justice available in the country. That was PROPAGANDA. But not for you. Your defense against the charge of propaganda for Sanju was that I do not watch it linked to real life events, I watch it as a film. Fair enough. But then where did that detachment disappear whilst watching Uri? I hope you see the connect with Sanju?

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    @Meeta writes: be warned, the forced and never-ending emotional drama is a bit much and the propaganda is inescapable

    ????????????? W H A T ??????

    Do you care to elaborate based on what objective criteria did you reach the conclusion that is a propaganda film? And propaganda for what or for whom?

    And sorry Meeta, as a professional journalist/blogger you cannot hide behind "this is my personal view". If you are labelling something as propaganda in your professional capacity then you need to show integrity to explain what propaganda did you find?

    And the same Meeta defended the serial womaniser and poster boy of leftist liberals the maker of Sanju and the issuer of a good guy character certificate by stating that when I watch a film I disconnect it from the person and see the story!!!! Seriously??? Where did this disconnect disappear in Uri?

    As I mentioned in my note above, there are ZERO references to any political party, there are ZERO references to any personality (political or others), there are ZERO utterances of vande mataram, there are ZERO utterances of bharat mata ki jai, there are no patriotic songs. Nothing.

    Please show journalistic integrity and explain what in the film made you say that it is a propaganda film? Looking forward to hearing your explanation.


    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike:

    Better late than never - I did watch this on the big screen. And boy am I glad to have watched it on big screen - it is a sheer treat. With the night based scenes (as the real strikes were done during the night) watching it on TV even with original print DVD/BlueRay/streaming would not have given the exact effect as on the big screen.

    War movies produced by Bollywood had a standard template established by Chetan Anand via films like Haqeeqat and Hindustan Ki Kasam. This template, due to its sucess, being also used in other successful war films like Lalkar and then later on by J P Dutta in Border and similar films.

    The refreshing part of Uri: the surgical strikes is that it moves from this tried tested template. No more are the soldiers carrying photos of their wives or beloveds. No more are they singing patriotic songs and reminiscing of mustard fields in Punjab. They are your typical next door neighbour friend leading a perfect civilian life now. And next moment when duty calls they are ready to focus 100% on duty.

    The look and feel of the film is similar to any Hollywood war films of recent times (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, ...) That is another thing that sets apart the film.

    As expected from the trailer, this is a fictionalized dramatized recount of the Uri strikes done by the Indian armed forces on the Pakistan harbored terrorists. The film succeeds in highlighting how Pakistan is waging a dirty proxy war, how terrorists target our brave soldiers, how meticulous are the Indian intelligence community in capturing information showing Pakistan complicity in such affairs, how complex and important it is to plan such an operation, the amount of teams involved and the coordination involved, and above all the dangers that our brave soldiers accept. Full marks to the producers on each of these points.

    The film stays away from any love angles distracting the story of the film. As part of showing that the soldiers are also a normal part of the society like you and me, yes there is a small peep into their personal lives. But this is more to show the civilian side of their lives and nothing to develop a love angle.

    Absolute top marks to the producers for making it an apolitical work. There is no reference to any political organization or institutes. There is no reference to any political figure. There is zero jingoism despite the ample opportunities. I could have been mistaken but I did not find even once the words "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" or "Vande Mataram". Absolute restraint from the film makers to stray away from anything that is the story of the film.

    A film based on real life event kind of takes away the surprise element of how is it going to end? We all know what the end is even before we enter the hall. And so it is very important to ensure that the story build up has enough grip and enough suspense to keep you engaged and on the edge of the seat. Uri succeeds entirely. Of course the strikes are the highlights of the film, yet for me the winner is the final scene of the film. Just watching it and getting the goosebumps my chest filled up with so much pride that I could feel during the scene that it has expanded several inches.

    I heartfully recommend this film to everyone. You will not be disappointed. And do watch it on big screen.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Total Dhamaal:

    @Meeta: in terms of number of words used this is probably your shortest review in recent years.
    ;-) :-)

    posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Total Dhamaal:

    Old wine in new bottle? But this time the wine has gone stale.

    A few decent gags that make you laugh out. But not at the pace as in the original Dhamaal. Worth it for the star power, otherwise no particular appeal.

    @TimELiebe: the original Dhamaal was a copy of the film It's a Mad Mad Mad World (1963). Including the hint at where to find the buried treasure. Nothing was changed as regards the story. Only freshness in Dhamal was that there were a lot of crisp jokes and one liners introduced as per Indian context - and so was a damn good copy of Its a Mad Mad Mad World. But still, it remains a copy.

    posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Dhadak:

    I did take the time to watch this one finally. The expectations were not met for me. I found the movie way too long. The detailed portions trying to establish how the love couple is settling to life together were too detailed and dragged the film.

    On performances front, both the newcomers were good at their characters.

    posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Kedarnath:

    Try how much ever as I want I just cannot shake off the feeling of having watched Titanic. The similarities are simply too many. The underdog pitthu being drawn into a fatal relationship by an upper caste Rose. The jealous fiancee, who happens to have more or less the same build + hair style + mannerisms. And above all the overpowering water.

    The special effects don't live up to the expectations. I guess it's not easy to recreate such scenes with the Himalayas as a backdrop.

    The story is predictable from the word go in the trailer. The lady love's character is haphazardly written. Although she gets ample opportunities to act, unlike in Simmba.

    Overall nice translation of Titanic to Indian conditions and Hindi film genre. But otherwise not much to offer.

    posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Badla:

    Can't wait.

    Let's hope it is more of Kahaani and less of Kahaani2.

    posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Halkaa:

    As often, I enter my review before reading your review @Meeta. Simply to avoid being influenced by your choice of words.

    Reading your review now, especially the ending, you confirm what I mentioned above, i.e. the film is only for people who watch anything and everything under the sun. No wonders then that you were the only in the theater, isn't it?

    Another observation, even though you might not readily give the credit to the current government and especially to the Honorable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi, don't you agree that films on such topics are being made primarily due to the swachh Bharat and the other similar pushes done by Mr. Modi? Had the Honorable PM of India not given voice to such ideas, I don't see any film maker being interested in making films on such topics.

    posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Halkaa:

    The movie works for the performances especially from the young artist who plays the role of Pichku. The only real celebrity in the film, Ranveer Shorey, gets his role spot on too. What with the dirty unkempt look and all.

    The movie is nice in limits. Personally I found it nauseating to be talking almost all the time about toilets. It is a uni-focus film. It does have twists a la real life - nice ones.

    Having said all that, the film is only for people who watch anything and everything under the sun. It is too simple in its executions and even the intellectuals might not enjoy it a lot, even though they would not openly criticize it.

    posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Badhaai Ho:

    The problem with watching a super applauded film a few weeks after its success is that the expectations are so high that it ends up disappointing you. Same I guess has happened to me.

    The idea is a novel idea in Indian society. But once the lol scenes of announcing the arrival of a new family member is over there is practically nothing left in the film. It just moved along to the expected ending without any serious twists or surprises. This all gives an impression that it is a hyped up film. And yet again Ayushmann in a Delhi boy avtaar. This Delhi Hindi is getting on my nerves.

    I could not recommend this film, especially if you have watched the trailer. Nothing new is added beyond what is shown in the trailer.

    posted 10 months ago
  • Newton:

    As a film it is nicely made. As a propaganda machine for the ultra leftists in the Indian diaspora it is even much better made.

    Personally I hated the ultra left touch given to the film. I would have rated it as so-so due to this leftist tendency sprinkled all over the film including bashing the armed forces. However, overall as a film experience it is a damn good watch and so going with a thumbs up.

    posted 10 months, 1 week ago
  • Stree:

    Comedy films and horror films are two extremely difficult genre of film making. And combining the two to a winning combination is naturally extremely rare in Bollywood. Having said that, Bhool Bhulaiya in recent times has been a success story and so is Stree.

    Amazing to see the role reversal amongst men and women in India. So amusing to see men being told not to stray out of home at nights, not to walk the streets alone, stay fully clothed at home (preferably in woman's attire), etc.

    Refreshing film.

    posted 10 months, 1 week ago
  • Simmba:

    @Tim: I would not rate it as personal top N. But knowing dynamics of North Indian region, this type of cinema is a sure shot winner. I believe that all the right ingredients and proportions are used.

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Simmba:

    That's it then. Just one more day left in 2018 as I type this post in. And with that comes to an end one of the worst years in recent history of Hindi films. A look at the various ratings I gave to films of 2018 would reveal that more than 50% received a Thumbs down.

    The Khans came and tried and failed outright. I sincerely hope that they disappear from the Bollywood screens, their brand of cinema propped up by paid journalists, is crumbling. It is time for youngsters and fresher themes - like Andhadhun and Badhai Ho (yet to watch it). Vicky Kaushals, Rajkumar Rao, Ayushyman Khurana - guys sans glamour - are winning over audiences. And rightly so. Is it the starting of a new dawn, where star power is no more relevant? It might seem like that but it is not yet there given the successes to films of Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor (both synonymous to star power). What ever it is, just the pleasure of seeing the rejection of the Khans is a positive trend - they are substandard actors responsible for the substandard films being dished out to us since the 1990s. Yeah yeah they gave some commercial successes, but so did Rajendra Kumar have a line up of 20+ consecutive silver jubilee films in his heyday - would you consider him a great actor?

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Gold:

    Time and again I have stated that I am not a big fan of sports based films. For the simple reason that we know exactly how they are going to pan out. Start off with a high point, then go down on one or more difficulties only to be resilient and bounce back at the end with a Gold.

    No difference than with Gold. Yes, it is patriotic - in few doses. But has nothing more than that.

    Coming to the harsh criticism by @Kanishka Chaudry - did it ever occur to you Kanishka that there could have been issues to obtain rights to mention somebody? Or that the film, even though based in a real life period, could have lot of fictional additions to make it difficult to associate names of real life people with fictional events? Given the nonsensical level of political correctness going on India by intellectuals (take Kanishka's post for example) that the makers of the film preferred to avoid all controversy by referring to a legend. That could be just one explanation. I am sure there could be many more. So dear Kanishka (and all other intellectuals), stop ranting and supposing and alleging at anything and everything that you don't like. There could well be an explanation, if only you would care to look for it.

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Simmba:

    B L O C K B U S T E R !

    I am using this word to describe a Hindi film for the first time and the last time in 2018.

    Let me clarify: this is no intellectual fare. Anyone searching for a technical or cinematic masterpiece that crosses every "t" and dots every "i" should stay away from this. This is an out and out Hindi masala commercial film. Mind is blowing film :-)

    Simmba's story is as presented in the trailer. The brilliance comes from the execution. The first half is, as expected, full of LOL moments. Ranveer Singh as Simmba gets the choicest and wittiest one liners. Despite the fact that he is shown as an unashamed corrupt police officer, he manages to win over audiences' hearts.

    Beyond the fun and frolic of the first half the film has a serious message. The second half is dedicated to this message. It makes the film seem a wee bit slower and losing steam. But it still manages to hold through and reach the seeti blowing climax.

    Performance wise the film belongs mainly to the men. Barring Aswhini Kalsekar none of the women make a mark. Even the lead actress is more of a prop.

    Simmba is certainly not the best film that I have seen. At the same time it ticks all the boxes that will guarantee a blockbuster status. I give it a few extra points for the dignity and maturity with which it has handled the horrific reality of rape. It has clearly stayed away from the temptation to visually portray rape. Many a Bollywood director would have gone into the graphic details under the pretext of making realistic films but with the real intention of drawing more footfalls from perverts. Hats off to Rohit Shetty for maturely handling the subject.

    Before signing off, India as a society faces multiple challenges. Rape is one of the challenges. It is a most heinous crime. And every convicted rapist must be given the harshest of punishment. Rape related cases must be treated by the courts in the fastest track possible. This social evil can only be eradicated if the rapists are named shamed and severely punished within a least amount of time.

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi:

    This is the most ludicrous plot on which a film is made. Even Happy (2) says so when she learns the reason for her kidnapping. So as soon as you realise this and thereafter accept the illogical part to the story it's then that you (just) might start enjoying the film. And even then it is amusing only in very small portions.

    No wonder then that audience bhaag gayi from this film and made it a commercial dud.

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Simmba:

    The trailer kind of tells it all. So was the case with Singham's trailer. But then Singham went on to be a blockbuster entertainer. So all depends on how Rohit Shetty has executed the film. Knowing his track record of an entertainer I am looking forward to my visit to the theatre tonight. Let's hope that Simmba lives up to the expectations. Hakuna Matata ;-)

    posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Zero:

    First things first. The special effects to transform someone into a dwarf sized person is top notch.

    For the rest, it is all a big zero. Special effects alone are not enough to sustain a film. There is no real story to keep you glued. The second half seems heavily dragged on. Anushka Sharma overacts as always in a role heavily inspired by Stephen Hawking.

    Thoroughly disappointed.

    posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Ok Jaanu:

    @Meeta: :-) he he he
    I am asking myself the same question???

    I guess I had nothing better to do and I didn't want to repeat watch any film. And so I zoomed on this one.

    posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Ok Jaanu:

    Horrible third rated film. Even if you have nothing better to do, I would suggest to the viewers to stay idle but not watch this film.

    posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Karwaan:

    Yet another road trip, yet again Irfan Khan.

    I watched the film with very low expectations - and I enjoyed it. But I suppose that as a standalone film it is nothing great. We all know the now too familiar formula for road trip films that end up in discovering a side of oneself that one didn't know existed.

    What stuck out like a sore thumb in the story is the ease with which in the Indian heat one can move around with dead body without once having the need to close one's nose. In that sense, the pretext of the road trip seemed jocular.

    As often Meeta advices, watch it if you have nothing better to do.

    posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Mulk:

    I did end up watching this.

    I found the treatment highly clichéd to say the least. The irony of the film is that it pretends to bridge the gap between us and them, and in order to do that it paints the Muslims as whiter than white and the Hindus more black than black - watching which could dealienate "them" who were already on the verge.

    Situations are so much contrived that you lose interest. Just to show helpness of the good Muslim in court, he is given only "objection milord" dialogue without any other words. And then when the end nears the same side has the choicest of dialogues to make one shed tears. Extremely contrived. The overall courtroom proceedings too are highly questionable in treatment. Defence presents witnesses and one after another they are all dismissed without the judge even asking the prosecutor to cross examine.

    A forgettable film. Such stupid attempts, milking the leftist and fake media's attempt to sow unrest amongst communities, must be rejected by one and all.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Thugs of Hindostan:

    Hi TimELiebe

    I was exaggerating the price keeping in line of the exaggerated tone of the trailer. Ticket prices in dollar terms should be comparable with the Western countries, although the comfort of the seats and the acoustics sometimes might not be of comparable level. What changes though is the muscle power. YRF muscles out every other film from the theatre. And YRF forces the exhibitors to increase the ticket price. A monopolistic situation.

    BTW great to learn that you have been doing good work of helping people vote. I followed Tuesday's elections quite closely.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Thugs of Hindostan:

    Wishing a Very Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year to Meeta, Anuj and the readers of Wogma.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Thugs of Hindostan:

    Whilst waiting for your review Meeta, reading the reviews of celebrity critics it confirms exactly what I predicted above. All the reviews so far speak of a colossal disaster. Boy am I happy? I can almost predict now what Meeta is going to give as score. :-)

    posted 1 year ago
  • 12 Angry Men:

    The English and the Hindi version of this film are in my all time favorites list. More so the English version. Having watched both the films multiple times.

    The brilliance of this film is the story followed by acting. Recommended for everyone to watch.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Thugs of Hindostan:

    Thanks Meeta. Your rating is something I am counting on to sway my decision. Looking forward to your review in 1 week's time.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Thugs of Hindostan:

    If there ever was an extremely tired looking trailer of a big budget Hindi film in recent times then it has got to be that of YRF Thugs. Whatever miniscule chance there was that I might go to the theatre to watch this junk was shattered completely by this unimaginative trailer.

    This Pirate's Kranti against Lagaan in the Caribbeans caper has the only sole purpose to cheat people of their hard earned money on Diwali time by dishing out a horrible fare, charging the premium prices for tickets without money back guarantee.

    The trailer gives enough insights into what one will get for their 2000 Rs. First half hour will be full of special effects powered introductions of the various celebrities to highlight how each is the ace in his field (notice HIS). Next half hour would then have stupid situations where the celebrities will get further opportunities to show how smart they are in various situations - and at the same time how fair they are all at the same time as flaunting their nationalist credentials. The next half hour will be full of how people and pirates are exploited victimized made to suffer by the evil Britishers, forced to pay Lagaan and other arbitrary taxes, made to work in sub-human conditions, etc. The last half hour will see a return to high voltage special effects driving home the point that the celebrities are aces in their fields. And in the last 10 minutes, as with every YRF film, there will be a sudden unexpected illogical twist to bring the film to an end. In between all this, expect some Thugs to ally with Britishers for settling score with other thugs, only to have a twist in the end when they decide to switch loyalties for the sake of Hindustan and for the sake of people.

    It is to be noted that the film is written and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya – the man behind super-duper debacles like Tashan and Doom 3 (see my posts on Doom 3). BTW there is no spelling mistake in the previous sentence ;-)

    This is modern day version of the British extortions - YRF doling out as always a sub-standard fare, muscling out each and every film from this auspicious date, increasing prices, and torturing the audience with inane film making. Looking at the trailer, my partner was wondering if it is time to leave the country, to be spared from such atrocious films monopolising every theatre in the country.

    Thanks to people like me who are crazy for films, this film will go on to make a bumper earnings in the Diwali period. Only change is that I am slowly waking up from my slumber and refusing to pay for such nonsense - even if it is Diwali time. It's a shame because Diwali time pe ek picture to banati hai. But this year I will skip it, and I am sure I will not regret it as the time saved will be spent with family - and the money saved will be spent for family. I only hope that more blind fans like me wake up and start boycotting Thugs like YRF and the hyped celebrity marketing this product.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Baazaar:

    This is one big let down, especially after the way it starts off which had promise.

    The story used is a simple, unbelievable, rise from rags to riches in few weeks. Films with such miracle stories used to work till 1990s but no more. I expected a much more serious acumen from the layman admirer of the stock market Mughal to earn his stripes. That was sourly missing - a simple and stupid speculations see him turn from a middle town normal qualifications guy to an overnight Dalal Street wizkid. Those incidents lacked all sense of reality.

    Similar dejection with the ending - all too simplistic approach and miracles happening everywhere.

    As regards the games being played, everything was too predictable from the word go. Hindi films need to reinvent themselves as this type of film making with supposed twists and secrets are getting too obvious to figure out.

    It is a pity because casting wise Saif does look like the ruthless businessman, even though his Gujarati accent was pathetic. He could have taken some diction lessons to get the correct accent. Chitraganda Singh looks gorgeous and acts reasonably well - pity that she does not do many films - she too needs diction lessons for Gujarati. The new kid on the block is absolutely forgettable.

    This is one of those films that could have been super interesting to watch if the story was solid. Alas, that was not to be.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Fanney Khan:

    I was pleasantly surprised with this film. My only hesitation was the presence of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. All my apprehensions were proven wrong.

    The film works very well. It slowly grows on you, fanned by all round fabulous performances from Anil Kapoor, Divya Dutta and Rajkumar Rao.

    The story about a commoner who wants his daughter to achieve the success that eluded him, and the lengths that he would go to get that success. The story is endearing. The treatment is light yet effective. Music is alright, keeps you interested.

    High marks for this entertainer.

    posted 1 year ago
  • Andhadhun:

    Andha-dhun: literally translated means blind-tune, and colloquially means blindly (as in blindly accepting or following something). And one can blindly go and watch this Sriram Raghavan film which is based on a blind musician. You will enjoy it especially if you enjoyed Johnny Gaddar. The grim look and treatment as was evident in Johnny Gaddar is also evident in Andhadhun.

    Based on a French short film L’accordeur (10 minutes watch, available on YouTube with English subtitles) this is a full length feature film based on the concept propounded by the French film. To convert a 10 minutes short film into an engrossing 2 hours long film is highly commendable.

    The film is a taut thriller, keeps you guessing till the very last frame on what is going to happen next. The first half of the film is very believable. The second half of the film, edge-of-the-seat and tense as it is, has a fair bit of the classic Hindi film lucky escapes that make the story look just that tad bit unbelievable – the too good to be true sort of feeling. Still, it is many levels superior to your typical Hindi film fare.

    The Sriram Raghavan signature style of having a liberal sprinkling of vintage Hindi songs (audio and video) across the film is intact. The casting coup of getting Anil Dhawan to play an ex-film star is a master stroke, allowing a creative usage of the evergreen classics filmed on Anil Dhawan in his heydays. The reference to Chhayageet (and not Chitrahaar) in the initial credits is so refreshing; although Chitrahaar too is mentioned next to it.

    Performance wise the main actors Ayushyaman Khurana and Tabu are magnificient. The other regular actors from Sriram Raghavan films (Zakir Hussain, Ashwini Kalsekar, …) are reliable as always.

    If you liked Johnny Gaddar type of noir treatment, then you are very likely to enjoy this film. In the same analogy, if you did not like Johnny Gaddar then stay away from this film. Overall a good film, although I cut off a few points for the adult theme (see Nudity and Sexual Content) – it was uncalled for in the context of the film.

    posted 1 year, 1 month ago
  • Pataakha:

    So the verdict is out. Paying audience has rejected this too, like his previous film Rangoon.

    @Meeta: regarding the concept that you mention, i.e. the futility of differences between countries, I am surprised that you did not detect that in the trailer!! That concept stood out like a sore thumb when I watched the trailer before the release of the film.

    posted 1 year, 1 month ago
  • Batti Gul Meter Chalu:

    The disconnect between the title and the contents of the movie is enormous. Often such disconnect can have significant impact on the earnings of the film. A name like Batti Gul … can attract younger audience hoping to find some masti and would end up disappointed with the serious drama. On the other hand, audiences looking for serious drama might stay away thinking this is another comic caper type of film.

    The above short introductory paragraph would have made it clear that we are not into a nonsensical comic caper, even though it has its nonsensical fare to start with. The film takes a contemporary subject, which over the 7 decades of freedom the Indians have ignored under “what can we expect from utilities company”, and transforms it into a basic rights issue. It speaks volumes of the shift in mindset and the enormous expectations that everyone has from the current government of India. Earlier such subjects were ignored by the masses as nothing can happen, and now with the government leading and showing how things can be improved the expectations get so high that we expect miracles overnight in the name of progress and welfare. Something for which we didn’t bother to agitate over 70 years of mis-governance now becomes an absolute priority of everyone. I agree that it should be an absolute priority, but I would have preferred setting the context correctly by stating that over 70 years we were complacent about such matters.

    Coming to the treatment of the film, it is a straight forward film. All twists, if any, were very easy to predict. The reveal (notice the lack of adjective BIG) of a twist too was anticipated by yours truly and did not give any surprise element. The courtroom drama, reminding from time to time about Jolly LLB, was also too much drama and less seriousness – I don’t think any Indian court (or abroad) would tolerate such tom foolery. Despite all this the film remains watchable, which is a big plus. The dialogues, even though very filmy, come through nicely. Performance wise the top 3 billed performers do a good job. Shahid Kapoor reminds once again as to what a fine actor he is, even though once again his film might not come out on top in the commercial race. Divyendu Sharma chips in with a very good performance and Shraddha Kapoor too is fine. Although I did find it funny to see her dressed in modern clothes in the first half and draped in shawls in the second half. Very stereotypical.

    I do empathize with the topic on hand, although I feel that in real life it is a big hurdle to fight for such causes.

    posted 1 year, 1 month ago
  • Sui Dhaaga:

    An extremely boring trailer of a heavily over acting pair of celebrities. Seems a typical YRF film spending a big part of reel time to establish how down trodden the character is. Followed most certainly with the Eureka moment that I can do something on my own. And let me guess what comes next: some obstacles in the home grown business. Followed by yet another Eureka moment from the Mrs. to save the day and end the film on a happy note.

    I cannot see in which possible way the film is going to offer something fresh and enjoyable.

    And if a trailer is supposed to highlight the best bits of the film then I shudder at how awful the film is going to be looking at the absolute hamming from Varun D and Anushka Sharma in the few minutes of the trailer.

    This is a film I am safely going to skip.

    posted 1 year, 1 month ago
  • Satyameva Jayate:

    Sorry for delayed reply.

    It didn't stick in particular (the calls to holy prayer). It so happened that at a certain point in time during the film I realised the 1980s formulaic treatment. And if you recall the 1980s Hindi films then you will recall too that everyone stuck to a formula. Like there should be at least 2 romantic happy song, at least one sad song, some child artistes, a good hearted but poor Robin Hoodesque character, if a rich family is involved then a family doctor who is more family and less doctor, etc. So once this realisation of 1980s treatment dawned upon me, the exercise that was left was of ticking the boxes. Which formula ingredient is added - tick it. Including the climax related tick box - do we respect the formula or not.

    So it was more box ticking and less of (s)ticking.


    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Parmanu - The Story Of Pokhran:

    Recently having watched Parmanu, and watching another simple film Poorna (by Rahul Bose) - I wondered why cannot such nice simple film makers be encouraged instead of running madly behind the mediocre products of big banners?
    Poorna (based on a real life achievement) was such a nice warm watch.
    Simple in execution yet so heart touching. The characters, barring Rahule Bose, are all amateurs most likely - but still they made us feel their pain, their moments of happiness, their success. Rahul Bose himself is in top form, totally subdued and into the character he plays. Watching Poorna going through her life in a village in Telangana reminded me so much of Bhibhutibhushan's fiction Pather Panchali and the protagonist of Pather Panchali i.e. Durga.
    Every frame is filled with love and care and goodwill. We need so much more of such films like Poorna or Parmanu - simple innocent straight from the heart story telling.

    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Mulk:

    I am simply citing the track record of the director.

    The track record of someone who has made Cash, Dus, Ra.One does not entice you much to look forward to his next. :-)

    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Satyameva Jayate:

    @Meeta: yes, there were verses running. My statement was in regards to similarities with 1980s formulae and everything "masala" that was retained (dialogues, child artistes, loyal Muslims, ...) It was not intended in any derogatory manner - it was purely intended to bring out the similarities between 1980s formula and this film.

    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Satyameva Jayate:

    How times have changed. A film that would have been a reasonable hit in the the 1980s seems such crass in 2018.
    I had watched only one trailer of Satyameva Jayate, and watched it only once. My first impressions after watching the trailer was that this is a kind of Singham treatment to the vigilante justice subject. Singham in the sense of good v/s bad, but also with adrenaline pumping verses being chanted regularly. The trailer also revealed (to anyone who has not recently landed up in Bolly land) what exactly to expect from the film, reel by reel. And myself not having landed up in Bolly land recently knew what would unfold. So the visit to the theatre was certainly knowing fully well what the story line is going to be – and the only curiosity factor was to see how the story line is executed and presented on celluloid.
    Oh how I regret that my curiosity got the better of me.
    This film is 35-40 years behind its times. I have my doubt if in the 1980s it would have made a bigger dent – but at least it stood a better chance then as compared to 2018. Everything about the film screams the 1980s. Everything!! Let’s start with dialogues. You have the typical Kader Khan / Prayag Raj / etc. type of dialogues heavy on words – great to utter – but really useless in 2018 scenario. There is a more than generous portion of melodrama doled out. The child artistes remind of the 1980s too with obnoxious acting skills and made to say dialogues that make the kids seems way older than their age. As with the 1980s films there is the mandatory good Muslim guy or girl, doing their duty towards the country and being loyal to good values till death. You have the Muslim holy prayer in the background at critical junctures. You also have the comic relief on the side (although much subdued in Satyameva Jayate than in the 1980s).
    Already half an hour into the film my expectations were so low that I was pleasantly surprised at some minor twist presented in the story at midway point. I just did not see it coming, as I was expecting something seriously banal at that point.
    With such a terrible content, then the only straw of hope that I was clinging on to was to see how the climax is presented. Do we stay loyal to the 1980s formula or do we at least move to 2018 way of film making and storytelling? I will not spoil it for anyone who still plans to watch the film – you can discover yourself how the climax is presented.

    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Mulk:

    Let's look at the track record of the director. Cash, Dus, Ra.One, Tum Bin. There is a reason why these are all commercial duds thoroughly rejected by the paying public. And there is a message in that track record. Message is: stay away.

    posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Parmanu - The Story Of Pokhran:

    A very nice film.

    It is 20 years since India officially announced its capacity to detonate nuclear bombs, even though it seems like yesterday that the event occurred.

    India is constantly monitored by USA, and all questionable movement of personnel or equipment is immediately questioned by USA. Whoever gave them the right only God can say. But then might is right, and if they complain then we have to bow to their pressures. How then did we accomplish an event on this giant scale all the time maintaining the required secrecy and also fooling the technology deployed by the giant?

    Even though the main story and proceedings are most likely fictionalized, Parmanu makes for an interesting watch. The noble intention of the film makers to inform the audience stands out tall and clear. There are no hidden agenda like promoting the dead career of a terrorist or a handicapped Prime Minister. This one is pure genuine sincere effort.

    Commercial considerations are clearly not the goal. There were so many (tempting) opportunities for product placement, especially for splashing logos of eminent TV channels during TV news - but the makers correctly stayed away from all such considerations. A simple film, made simply, with only the purpose of informing. Everyone should watch this film, if only to encourage film makers to produce more of this kind of sincere products.

    And this makes an interesting nationalism case, without forcing the idea down our throats.

    Vande Mataram.

    posted 1 year, 3 months ago
  • Fanney Khan:

    Thanks @Meeta.

    posted 1 year, 3 months ago
  • Fanney Khan:

    @Meeta: let's hope so. Will look forward to the hints in your review. If indeed she is subdued then I might (might) give a rethink to my choice.

    Ever since Dhoom2 (including D2) her acting has been annoying to the power of thousand. Only exception in that period was Jodha Akbar, I believe thanks to the director who controlled her histrionics.

    Let's wait a few hours for your take on Fanney.

    posted 1 year, 3 months ago
  • Fanney Khan:

    Barring Aishwarya the promo is promising. Based on a successful Belgian film. However, Aishwarya looks so over the top, as she usually is. And that is much more overwhelming compared to all the rest. And so as far as I am concerned, for this and only this reason, this movie will be skipped.

    posted 1 year, 3 months ago