movie reviews...and more
without giving the movie away
Fan has rated 168 movies,
and has posted 653 comments.
Also check out the list of
wogma's top readers.
Indian movies often seem hollow and mediocre due to the lack of a strong story. The Indian film story writing business is not a creative work, more often than not hashing out masalas or inspired potpourri of ideas. That is the reason that the few films based on books tend to be a nice watch. Because a book is written by a more genuine and creative author, a film based on a book usually has a pretty good story line to support it. Same is the case for Raazi, that it makes an interesting watch.
For a thriller, Raazi seems to be moving at a very slow pace. There is no urgency in its purpose. At the same time it is full of gripping moments, twists, blood pressure pumping and heartbeat pumping moments. That combination of slow speed yet gripping and tense drama is rare to see in films, and even more rare to be a successful combo. And in Raazi it becomes a successful combo. The bakground music is apt, and matches the situations well.
The Pakistan angle is sensitively presented. No stereotyped characters. To the contrary we have an extra sweet and a pucca gentleman in Iqbal, the character played by Vicky Kaushal. So much so that it feels as if the producer/director wanted to go out of the way to appease Pakistanis.
On acting front Alia Bhatt trumps everyone else. Even though I found Vicky Kaushal very good, confident and controlled in his role.
Dharma productions also kind of did a prequeling by referring to the Ghazi Attack, a film already produced by Dharma a year or two ago.
A nice thriller to watch, a good way to pass a free afternoon or evening. Although I doubt if I would recollect this movie with fondness after a few months. So not a masterpiece, but an enjoyable film.
At the outset let me clarify that I am neither the sci-fi oriented nor the Avengers franchisee oriented.
I decided to give it a watch just as I had nothing to do, and the movie was breaking box office records.
What worked is the big screen. The film looks giant and magnificent.
What did not work: everything else.
I have never understood the success of such nonsensical franchisee as Star Wars or Avengers. In the name of story they never have anything. Bad guys v/s good guys, living in some unknown future year and unknown universe. Or is it galaxy? Does it really matter?? The good bad almost invariably fight over obtaining some gadget or some abstract matter. And then the film is made with laser fights and other heavy weight special effects based fights with characters going to various villages (or planets or galaxies) with unpronounceable and rarely used consonants!!!! Amidst all this hulla bulla you, as the audience, know fully well that at the end the good guys will triumph.
How does this stupid formula make such movies a commercial mega block buster has always left me confused. You watch one of them and all the others seem the same.
As regards my poorself in this film? Despite the heavy sound blasting off from every corner of the theatre due to the war scenes, I still managed to get a good half hour or more of sound sleep :-). I would have had dozed off further had I not made a conscient effort to forcefully keep my eyes open.
A yawn inducing special effects extravaganza that you have to pretend to enjoy if you don't want to get ridiculed in your social circle.
Amongst the other films that this movie reminds of is Chalo Delhi which in itself was a copy of the adorable Hollywood holidays film Planes Trains and Automobiles.
This girl meets boy, or should I say woman meets man, story reminds you of several films big time. Jab We Met coming to mind immediately, what with one non stop chatterbox partner, and the other slightly subdued partner - and of course missing planes trains automobiles.
Irfan Khan succeeds in getting under the skin of the character and annoying me all throughout. I cannot stand such pushy talkative overbearing characters that he portrays so very well. Parvathy looks your typical south Indian film heroine, and comes across alright as a straight no nonsense woman.
For a movie it is probably alright, but in real life I cannot see such diverse personalities falling for each other. It is an alright film, light hearted, with some straight-faced humour from Irfan Khan.
The film will not be remembered for a long time, neither the music. You can very safely skip this film if not yet seen.
The only reason I went to watch this at the theatre was Irfan Khan. But the film is a big disappointment.
The trailer gives an impression of a nice concept where the blackmailer is blackmailed by the blackmailee, almost everyone aware that blackmailing is going on, death, intrigue.
The movie is far from all that. Yes, the interesting concept of the blackmailer being blackmailed is there, but somehow it is not developed into an interesting watch. What we then have is a random middle aged guy, [comment partially deleted because it gives a detail of the movie away] being dumped by his wife for a younger fellow. The blackmailing follows, and even the blackmailer [comment partially deleted because it gives a detail of the movie away]. There are so many blackmailings going on that at the end of the movie I find it still difficult to figure out who made how much money and who lost how much money.
The first 30-40 minutes of the movie are excruciatingly slow - thereafter the pace seems to be alright. The characters are all typical stereotypes. Irfan Khan as the common man, all with a typical middle class home with stickers of Richie Rich on the show cases, and unpainted walls. Arunoday Singh, from his image that is stuck in my mind of a muscled idiot from Mein Tera Hero, seems to be doing the same character here - an idiot with blown up muscles. Omi Vaidya too stereotyped into the US returned Indian. Divya Dutt probably the only who is not stereotyped, and a pleasure to watch after a long time. And speaking of long time, yes there is the forgettable item number performed by Urmila Matondkar, back on silver screen after a long time.
The movie has twists, some innovative idea, but overall the theme of amateurs trying their hand at questionable and certainly criminal activities like blackmailing [comment partially deleted because it gives a detail of the movie away] falls flat. Got better things in life then to watch this film. One can easily give it the skip, even when on TV.
The film, based on a real incident, is one long Raid. It is interesting till a certain point. But beyond that it is just a plain simple Raid. No particular thrill, no particular looking forward to.
The promo gives a feel that the viewers will be treated to a Singham style film. I guess the promo is deliberately designed to make the viewers feel the connect with the film Singham. In reality the film has no similarity whatsoever with the film Singham, other than the intense and honest character played by Ajay Devgan.
Performance wise for Ajay it's a cakewalk having done similar intense role several times. Saurabh Shukla is good too. All the other are strictly alright.
On nudity and sexual content: there's a fleeting reference to all positions from 0 to 69. Children will not even realise what was said.
A Neeraj Pandey film is always awaited with lots of expectations. His track record is so fantastic, and he has not disappointed so far.
Aiyaari continues his legacy of hard hitting the viewers with the common man's voice and force. In the 1970s Amitabh Bachchan had set up the perfect common man's messiah with the angry young man fighting the unjust society and the unjust system. In the 2000s it is Neeraj Pandey who has reclaimed this role of expressing common man's anger and wishes. He continues this trend in Aiyaari.
A politico-military thriller which might not be the best of stories on celluloid but it is sufficiently right to work during its length. Armed forces, at the end of the day, is an organisation like any other organisation or corporate. And together with that comes its fair share of politics, greed, corruption, valour, team play, betrayals, agendas. Yes, a pendulum from vices to virtues to vices. And Neeraj Pandey mixes the story with real life events like major arms deals of questionable repute, Uri terrorist attack, scam in the name of Kargil widows.
The film is an enjoyable watch. Neeraj Pandey puts together his now trusted, talented ensemble of cast that we have come to associate with Friday filmworks (sans Akshay Kumar). And he delivers punches that only he can. Imagine punching the Lutyens media who is shamelessly selling the country in the name of journalism! And getting away with an applause despite naming and shaming the Lutyens media. He is the perfect balance that Indian cinema needs from the left leaning country bashing intellectuals like Kashyap, Bharadwaj and of late Raju Hirani. Neeraj Pandey has the balls and credibility to call a spade a spade in the most brazen manner, and he gets away with it laughing all the way.
Performance wise it is a feast with Manoj Bajpai and then in small cameos Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah thrown in. A new and worthy addition is Adil Hussain.
Nice watch. Do catch it.
The 12% statistics is just that, a statistics. To begin with, it dates at least from 2001 if not before. The film itself makes it clear that we are talking about the 2001 period. Also, the 12% is the percentage of the polled women who replied they used "commercial pads". The total number of polled women= 1000. That is not even representative number for a city, let alone a country of half billion women. Even if we accept 12% of 1000 women who gave this information in 2001 is still the same rate in 2017 and pan-India, it still doesn't mean that 88% of women are using unhygienic means. Thus the statistics are nice for a friendly discussion in a social party with a glass of red wine. Whereas if a real improvement is to be made then one needs to go behind such statistics and decipher the real situation.
Read more for extra awareness.https://swarajyamag.com/culture/why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution
The movie is more or less a complete depiction of Mr Arunachalam's life, difficulties, passion bordering on obsession, sincerity. Although I felt that the film went through very rapidly on his struggles, and focused more on his resilience and innovation.
The film is not making any effort to preach about the need for hygienic practices during the menstruation period. Yes, it has the required amount to highlight the reason for Mr. Arunachalam's fight to find a solution, but thereafter it doesn't touch or preach on the subject. The film can be categorised as a biography of Mr. Arunachalam.
Performance wise the show is shared equally between Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor. Of course Akshay gets the lion's share of the screen time.
There are several joyous moments that overflow via the happy tears. I hope that the money that the film makes is shared with Mr. Arunachalam's cause. As regards improving hygiene for Indian women during their monthly period, I personally believe that there will be no change - firstly because the majority of the audience who will watch this film are not the audience to be evangelized, and secondly because the audience to be evangelized will not receive any particular message on the subject as that doesn't seem to be the director's aim.
Constitution of India is very clear. Freedom of expression doesn't give the freedom to defame any community. We are talking of Indian laws. If you have any doubts then read up the constitution.
@Meeta: you choose not to be offended? Seems nice intellectually heavy progressive statement. Why doesn't it match up with your past statements on films like Masti series, or on bloggers like Anuj - a few examples where it offends your sensibilities. Suffering from selective choosing, like the intelligentsia? When it is Hindu bashing, I believe in freedom of choice. Otherwise, no derogatory, inflammatory, insulting, allowed?
The good quality of a person can be assessed if his/her behaviour remains identical in every situation dealing with the subject, and not when it changes based on religious/political/national affiliations.
I have no issues neither with the fact that not everyone is offended by the same matters. What is pitiable is that such so called progressive people are unable to accept that the sensibilities of a large number is affected and so let's show some empathy towards them. That's where such pseudos get fully exposed, and that's how they are labelled pseudo as they are unreal.
The selective portrayal of history by those who haven’t read anything properly is a grave threat to the historical legacy of the country.
I am a big fan of Sanjay Leela Bhansali brand of films. At the same time I know how much of a bloated self esteem Mr. Bhansali has of himself. He loves to pretend that a lot of research, hardwork and dedication has been poured into for each minutest object or frame portrayed. Important word in the previous sentence being "pretend". There is zero research, and the moment he is challenged he hides behind the pretext that the film is entirely based on a book, so if the book is right then the story is right and if the book is fiction then the story is fiction. Which makes him a highly irresponsible director, in the category of Bhardwaj and Kashyap. So coming to the opening sentence, pretending and twisting history is by no terms a creative liberty. It is blatant lying and even a criminal disservice to the people of the country.
Coming to the bullshit of freedom of expression. As per the constitution of India, freedom of expression cannot be granted at the expense of hurting a community's sentiments. This is written in black and white, and is non negotiable. And forget freedom of expression in a bigger world, there ain't no freedom of expression on this board where an Anuj with keen interest in films and film based economics is blocked for hurting somebody's feelings. All that is fine, but when it comes to Hindu bashing and Hindu culture bashing, suddenly freedom of expression becomes of paramount importance.
In the late 1980s a mediocre book by the name of Satanic verses hit the headlines. The book was banned in India by Congress party as it hurt the sentiments of the Indian Muslims. I chose to respect the feelings of the Indian Muslims and did not read the mediocre book. Now a mediocre film comes along that hurts the sentiments of the proud Rajput community. I will choose to respect the feelings of the proud Rajput community and not watch the mediocre film.
I still don't get it why did I watch this film when I had not at all enjoyed the original!! Similar reflections as with Himmatwala, why remake a horrible film?
I can't even be bothered to write anything about this film except that stay away from it if you are looking for good entertainment.
This film is supposed to be based on the film with the same name, Ittefaq. Personally I consider the original Ittefaq as one of the best thriller made by Bollywood. The film had tanked at the box office as it was considered too short, less than 2 hours running time in days when audiences wanted no less than 3 hours; it was considered bland - with zero songs in days when at least 5 songs was the norm; and a chocolate hero being shown with shades of grey? The film was well ahead of its times. Made for the 2017 audiences.
The 2017 version comes across as a very lazy attempt to recreate the tension. But it fails. Many reasons but principally it is very slow paced, kind of Lootera pace. One can be pardoned for saying that fast paced thriller only happens in films and not in real life, just as a hawaldar remarks in the movie that police paying an informer only happens in films.
The worst part of the film is the revealation of the crime. It just spoils whatever little interest was remaining in the story.
The only good part were the few moments of dry humour sprinkled across the film.
Akshay Khanna stands out but then we have seen him in this role, including dress and behaviour, in quite a few films now.
Watch it to learn how a classic can be massacred in the hands of novices.
Wishing a very happy 2018 to all wogma friends. And hoping for a much better filmy 2018.
And yeah, hoping to read more from Anuj and Anup in 2018.
Personally I have never understood why the Rohit Shetty Golmaal series is such a success with the audiences. All the way from the first installment till now. Never enjoyed any of them, and never understood what was so funny about any of them.
So, no surprises that this new installment did not tickle my funny bone neither.
This time around the band of inane idiots are joined by none other than Tabu, raising some hopes that are quickly dashed, powdered and blown away as soon as the band of 5 enter the scenario. The movie just goes from one stupid fight / argument / joke / situation to another, without any purpose whatsoever. It goes on like this till way after the interval. And the twists, if they could be called that, are so obvious from the moment the film starts. You have to have just arrived from Pluto to not guess what is cooking.
The overt attempts to make a Golmaal meets Singham didn't have any positive impact on me at all. Yes, there are a one or two genuine LOL moments, and a one or two lump in the throat moments. But that's too little to make this an enjoyable venture.
Tu tu tu tu tu Tara.Tiger aa gaya phir dobara.
Very often we come across promos that deceive. Tiger Zinda hai is one such case but the other way around, the film is a tad better than the promo.
It has been ages since Hollywood had a one man army annihilating a battalion of armed to the teeth bad guys in a tornado style upheaval. It took Bollywood ages to catch up, but catch up it did finally. A film full of bullets raining left right centre, bombs and drones firing away every so often, more gun firing sounds then actual dialogues, probably the Hindi film with the least dialogues ever. Action sequences are slickly shot but they lack imagination and originality. Every other scene reminds you of something already seen in a Hollywood film, whether it is high octane Bond like chase in the Alps, or True Lies style couple on a mission, or John McCane from Die Hard, or the most obvious one many army in the form of Rambo Stallone.
The Tiger is on a mission, and YRF has gone back to the ever successful 1970-1980 formula of having a crack team composed of wannabe stars, each getting his 2 minutes in the limelight. The wannabe stars from diverse ethnic background to highlight the unity of strength, together with a pakka Musalman who is more patriotic and loyal to his country than anyone who has walked on the planet Earth. Typical 1970s formula, often successfully played out by Pran-saab.
As regards the music department, you have the constant playing of the Tiger signature tune in the background. So much so that your ears keep on imagining that music hours after you leave the theatre. And the non stop noise of weapons going off all the time. Surprising that no environmental protection groups brought out a PIL to seek a ban on the noise pollution.
On the acting front, the only, one and only, character that made a positive and powerful impact, is Paresh Rawal. Rest all, including Karnad are just props. And yeah, for those who crave it, there is this prolonged topless scene of Salman.
All this is enough to ensure that this average product goes on to be a commercial success. For guys looking for good entertainment, brace yourself for a third installment because this is going to generate enough return on investment for YRF and brand Salman.
The promos look dull. Salman is turned into a desi Sylvester Rambo Stallone. Rehashed action sequences. If promos are so disheartening, I wonder what the movie is going to be like. YRF just milking on the success of Tiger of 5 years ago?
Everything about it is loud. Characters are loud, music is loud, dialogues are loud, treatment is loud. Every girl playing the prostitute thinks that she is either Jay or Veeru playing a role in Sholay. The situations are nonsensical. Dialogues are written by someone who seems to have had something illegal to smoke. This is a movie which might have worked in the 1980s but certainly not in 2017. Too dramatic, every one barring Vidhya Balan is trying to overact and over achieve in that department compared to everyone else. A stupid film about a brothel in the middle of nowhere where an international border is to be drawn. Why the drama and emotions? Just shift the kotha by few metres and all is well. Anyways the kotha is in the middle of nowhere, who the heck will care if it is moved few metres to the east or west.
Absolutely a pointless film.
Only saving grace is Vidhya Balan, and surprise of surprise Chunky Pandey. But still the two together are not reasons enough to suffer this cacophony.
Hello!Do you want to watch a light hearted, fun filled, enjoyable film? Tumhari Sulu is waiting.
Nice simple film, based on the struggling lives of a lower middle class Mumbai family (if Virar can be referred to as Mumbai). Your typical difficulties to make ends meet in between an upwardly mobile society with the constant money splashing temptations, social and family pressures, work doldrums, dreams of being an overnight success in a new enterprise, and amongst all this the life moving on.
At times I found the film over melodramatic, and situations too exaggerated, but all in acceptable proportions.
Vidhya Balan is the star of the film. She makes Sulochana Ashok Dubey so much identifiable as your next door Sulubhabhi. She is so very realistic that as audience you connect fully with each celebration of a joyful event, and you feel her tears at each stumble in life. She plays to perfection a simple, spontaneous, ever optimist, innocent, charming mother housewife sister daughter neighbour. She is endearing.
Neha Dhupia did a superb job too. As your typical 2017 professional woman entirely focussed on career (and thanks to the director for not straying into portraying other facets), she puts in a commendable performance.
Manav Kaul is very believable too.
This is a nice light film. Simple characters, simple story line, simple execution. As if Basu Chatterjee donned the director's hat once again.
@TimELiebe: I agree with your opinion i.e.Vidya Balan has more flops than hits because she takes more risks as an actress,
And I would also like to add that she is willing to take more risks as she is confident of herself, which reduces her insecurity. Very few Indian actresses fall in that category, I could off hand only think of Tabu from the current crop to be of the same league as Vidhya Balan.
The name Vidhya Balan associated to a project always gives rise to a real sense of anticipation.
Despite the fact that it has been 4 or 5 years since the last real superhit film delivered by Vidhya Balan. Despite the fact that due to the last 4 or 5 years of one flop after another she now probably has more flops than hits to her credit. Despite all this, every new project that Vidhya endorses gives you that feeling that this one will be an enjoyable film. That is the magic of Vidhya Balan.
And so I await this film. Of course, given the string of recent flops my expectations are bit tempered - but that should work out in the favour of the film.
Hoping to catch it in the theatre this weekend. However, if Meeta's review is not very positive then the plans might change ;-)
I love slapstick comedies, provided they are well made. Anees Bazmee films like No Entry and Welcome have an enviable commercial record. And with a twins with a twist storyline this film looks promising.
Alas, all's not tasty that looks delicious.
The film, your typical nonsensical logicless fare, doesn't have enough steam. The only one with superb comical timing is Anil Kapoor. He makes the proceedings enjoyable. Pawan Malhotra, not having comic scenes, is still a powerhouse of performance. Rest all are absolutely forgettable. For Ileana I would repeat what I wrote in some other review, she needs acting classes. Arjun Kapoor surprisingly still gets A category films despite his lack of skills in the acting department.
Just skip this film. Nothing of mentionable quality can be found in it.
Double role films have been a regular favorite of Bollywood producers and audiences. And so having watched the trailer that seemed to bring your typical Action Jackson and Comedy of Errors type of film I settled in to watch the film.
The initial look and feel is your typical Dharma flavoured candy floss of US life with a nerdy white shirt suited and tie wearing SUV driving and living the American dream male oriented film (watch Simran to get a real feel of your typical middle class Indian family home's interior).
The movie, as expected from the trailer, moves into the life of the other dare devil guy's lifestyle. And then the inevitable crossing of the 2 lives.
A fast paced but pointless film. You have seen this all before. A hash of several such films from Bollywood and Hollywood. Nothing remains in memory after the film ends.
After watching Simran I find myself in a dilemma. A dilemma where my gut feeling is not to recommend this film as a must watch. On the other hand I do feel that the way the director has captured the ethos of a typical non-white coloured economic Indian migrant to the USA is brilliant all with the complete out of synch with the 2nd generation American born child. Also a pretty good performance from Kangana who managed to pull me into her emotional world so much so that I found myself worrying for the lead character mid way through the film.
Then why this dilemma?
I guess because there is no visible objective to the film. Why is the film made? No particular reason. Also the notion of someone suffering from illness of gambling, stealing and manipulation might seem very alien to many and would miss the connect.
So overall 100/100 for brownie points. But very low marks on the other fronts.
Hollywood has at least half a dozen films based on prison breaks. Most notable of course being the WWII films, but once in a while a non WWII film like escaping from maximum prison of Alcatraz is also made. Having watched those films, I kind of expected the standard formula of escape from prison films.
Lucknow Central starts off along the formulaic films, and it would be fair to state that it has the elementary ingredients of these escape films. But then it changes course. Somewhere along the course, given the music background to the film, and the escape routine built in - I was also thinking along the lines of Sound of Music. Of course that was wishful thinking, Lucknow Central has nothing as sublime as the Sound of Music.
The first half of the movie, even though a bit long, was fairly gripping and engaging. It could have been shorter, but it is not boring. The second half unfortunately is where things go completely haywire. It disappoints and disappoints big time. And after a while you just give up on the entire film - it just stops making any logical or entertaining sense.
On the acting front, the only 2 faces that stand out are those of Deepak Dobriyal and Ronit Roy. Deepak outshines and presents a completely different personality of himself than what we have seen of him in other films so far. Ronit Roy too is magnificient in the role of the jailor - but I felt towards the 2nd half that his role was not written seriously. In the 2nd half he sways from a cunning wily jailor to a moron, and back to a cunning wily jailor. A bit like Prem Chopra in the 1970s. Other than these 2 all other are strictly alright, no particular marks.
Before signing off, I would like to give a few accolades to the creative use of the Nagin song - mein teri dushman, dushman tu mera. A truly laugh out loud moment in the theatre.
The only thing that I would like to say after watching this film is that "Ek Baar Bhi Na Dekho".
I was wary to watch this movie as I knew that it was made in a documentary format. However, after having watched it I can state that I immensely enjoyed the film. And I believe that most of the people would enjoy this film, even if they are not hardcore Sachin fans.
The film is nicely made with a mix of real life videos juxtaposed with reconstructed pieces with actors. It is always a pleasure to see the rise of a legend from humble beginnings. Lots of goosebump moments, lots of thrills to catch snippets of some of the proudest moments of Indian cricket. Special mention to the treatment meted out by a 16 year old to the arrogance of a senior Abdul Qadir - and scoring a swashbuckling 53 runs from 18 balls.
It is a nice film. It is the need of the hour, to recognize and give the freedom to our mother, sister, wife, daughter. Recognition might be there but often the giving part is missing.
Before deciding to watch the film, please read carefully the parental guidance rating above. Many scenes are extremely uncomfortable to watch in family. They are very sexplicit.
Coming to the censor board controversy. As per my understanding the bone of contention was not the adults content, that is easily managed with an "A" certificate. The issue on hand is the portrayal of Muslims as ultra conservative and patriarchal. Films should not and must not be allowed to malign an entire region, community, religion (remember the generic maligning of Punjabis by a certain Kashyap guy?). The film clearly gives the message against a community, even if that was not intended. There was no balancing act done by showing a liberal Muslim family. And that is incorrect to portray. This portrayal is equivalent to saying every Muslim is a terrorist; which as everyone accepts is wrong. Now we can always debate if it is the job of the Indian Censor Board to discourage films from inciting religious hatred. I believe that there has to be a watchdog, referee, umpire, whatever you want to name to ensure a fair match.
@Meeta: the promo is of the film "Secret Superstar" ;-) scheduled for Diwali release.
I must have now watched the trailer at least 5 times on the giant screen - and I am fed up of watching its promo. The first time I watched it, it seemed alright. Second time a bit less okay. By the 3rd time I started getting seriously annoyed by this trailer. By now I know the trailer by heart. Each time it is the exact same trailer.
I have not yet watched this film. Might watch it some day, but no plans in the near future.
Reading your review gives a feeling of being uncomfortably similar in plot to the Lucknow Central lined up for release in less than 2 week's time.
The movie starts off with stunning luxurious looks that can only be enjoyed on a giant screen. What with Rajasthan and its majestic palaces, a 50 inch screen would seem crammed.
Other than the larger than life effect what is on offer is a rustic almost Western kind of look and feel with a story that trudges along to reveal the planning, execution and the post portions of a dare devil heist. One can be pardoned to believe that Milan Luthria thought himself to be making a Quentin Tarantino film, replete with gory blood spurting.
The story that the film is narrating may be from the 1970, but the 1970s style of characterisations of whiter than white and darker than black are not carried forward. Barring that sole aspect everything about the story telling is from the 1970s films. So many loopholes, so many creative liberties, so many gaffes, in short a terrible treatment of the story. To be fair there is hardly any story to tell. Worst is the climax, which just carries on and on, with below par action sequences doing nothing in particular. I was literally yawning and fidgeting in my seat for it to get over. Another Tarantino attempt gone horribly wrong? A thriller genre film that doesn't keep you engaged becomes extremely fatiguing.
That brings us to the ensemble. Ajay Devgn is his intense self. Vidyut Jamwal's entry scene is decent but then I felt sorry for him for his poorly written role. Sanjay Mishra gets a minor role. Ileana is a misfit, needs acting lessons. Emraan in a playboy role, why am I not surprised?
The film is too slow for a thriller genre, and it has just too many things happening without any logic. This one can be safely skipped. I would not even recommend watching it on TV as the only good part is the visual treatment that cannot be enjoyed on the TV.
PS: since past several weeks, every Hindi film I watch is preceded by the trailer of the pseudo intellectual film secret superstar. Watching that did promo already puts me off mood before the start of the film, thinking on how bad my Bollywood Diwali be this year. And that peppers my appreciation of the actual film that I have gone to watch.
@Meeta: I read your review a few seconds ago. I had written my above post before reading your review, my way of trying to get the least influenced by the vocabulary used or the examples cited or subconsciously picking up the style.
I noticed the similarity in my opening style and in the style of your quick review. My apologies for the similarities, I can assure you it is sheer coincidence. I had no idea of this similarity until after I had posted my above comment. You might be tempted to say that great minds think alike, but I cannot claim to have a great mind :-).
Did I enjoy the film? Yes.Do I recommend it? Yes, with a rider.Is it a masterpiece? Not at all. An out and out entertainer.Does it generate awareness on erectile dysfunction? None whatsoever. No attempt is made to explain the medical causes, symptoms, modern medical solutions, the irrationality of the stigma attached it.What is the purpose of the film? Have an out and out sexual adult comedy film that can be enjoyed with friends or (in not so old) couples.What is the rider that I talked about? This is a full on adults comedy, have no two doubts on that. If you watch the trailer then you know what to expect throughout the 105 odd minutes. There is no respite from the innuendos. They are not vulgar or obscene. Nice, kind of 1980s Shaukeen type. Really enjoyable, but most likely a very embarrassing watch with parents/children/siblings for a majority of film goers.
As a film, not a great piece. I can cite several defects. But given the fact that the intentions of the producer are clearly to entertain and not to educate, I can accept those faults under the guise of entertainment.
The film's setting is clearly north Indian village/town/city. Ayushyaman is yet again very good as an actor. But this North Indian Hindi is now starting to get too much. There are just too many Hindi films with that Hindi Punjabi setting, I am just missing the good Bombaiya Hindi. Bhumi excels yet again. She is once again believable as the girl next door. All the other character artists are superb in their caricatured roles. Coming to annoying aspects other than the non Bombaiya Hindi is the umpteenth time this year that a Hindi film insensitively makes fun of certain Hindu rituals by exaggerating the act of marrying off a human to a non human to tide off some calamity. Enough of it guys, don't make fun of what you have not even bothered to understand the origin.
Finally, several critics and reviewers are giving brownie points to the film for increasing awareness on erectile dysfunction problem that plagues the society. I have already written above on this topic. But I would also like to clarify that less than 2% of men in the 20s suffer from this. Sad as it is, there are far too many other serious issues that affect more than 2% of a set of people, so there is no nobility in making a film on this subject. Especially as there is no intention to educate. The one and only noble purpose is to give unadulterated adults comedy film. And for that very high marks to the film on my behalf. Keep it up (no pun), heartily recommend watching this with peer groups or in couples.
This is a war movie like any other war movie anywhere in the world. Only difference is that this time it is under water.
The technical side of the film is very well done. The look and feel of the insides of a submarine are well portrayed. Gone are the days of the cardboard boxes made sets in Hindi films. There is enough naval vocabulary scattered all throughout to impress the layman. And you have your typical Hindi war film glimpses into the civilian lives of our uniformed heroes. A few goose bump moments of patriotism were also there.
Despite all this, and despite the liberal sprinkling of patriotic songs and chants, and despite the fact that India as a country is clearly and visibly going through an ultra nationalist phase in its history of 70 years - despite all these factors the film fails to strike a chord in the heart. It is difficult for me to pinpoint the reason for this failure. There are enough cat and mouse moments between the two enemy nations, the cast is composed of a fine set of actors, but the "real" feeling is missing. Too many coincidences, too many catches dropped by Pakistan, too many run outs missed. Just gives a feeling that it is a rigged match, even if it is rigged to make your home team look good.
The intention behind the making of the film is good, but I cannot say the same about the execution. It is between a "Thumbs down" and "so-so". Only reason I am going with a "so-so" is due to the overall under water submarine based theme which is a change from your regular land-based war films.
A sweet delicacy to savor by everyone.
Me and the family thoroughly enjoyed this film. It is a simple story, set in a small town whose claim to fame is being prominently mentioned in a famous 1960s song, Bareilly.
The promos set up the story as your typical Hrishikesh Mukherjee romcom. And if like me you have watched one a many films from the 1960s and the 1970s then you would almost expect a love triangle sob story. Whatever your expectations be, there are good chances that the film will entertain you.
In the middle of the film when you feel the pain of any character then the film works for you. That is when you wish a Hrishikesh Mukherjee style reveal of a barfi-esque sweet drama to make the pain disappear. Because you certainly don't want a Chetan Anand style tragic conclusion. And that tussle in your heart keeps you glued.
Performances from all are sincere. Kriti finally reveals her natural side in her 4th outing. She plays the role of a 2017 young gal with complete natural ease. Her act is totally believable and real. Unlike YRF and Dharma, whose standard formula to depict a girl being modern and progressive [comment partially delete because it gives a part of the movie away] the makers of BkB have succeeded in showing Bitti as progressive without resorting to such nonsense. Rajkumar Rao is top notch, he is simply amazing in his choice of films and gamut of roles that he plays. Ayushyaman seems to be getting repetitive but yet he delivers a fine act. Chaudhary, who plays Munna the pal to Ayushyaman, resembles heavily Shahid Kapur, and is fairly good. Tripathi yet again gets a magnificent role (previous time being in Nil Battey Sannata with more or less same production team as in this film). The film is short, to the point, gives you enough LOL moments, and keeps a smile on the face throughout most part of it.
It is a light watch, will not leave you exhausted despite a few "Bas kar, rulayega kya" moments. This Barfi can be savored by all, no side effects.
Dim lights, unusual camera angles, frequent long silent moments, heavy music replacing dialogues, camera fully focused on an irrelevant object thereby rendering other subjects present in the scene to get out of focus. The RGV signature is amply present and unmissable.
The dim light is the most annoying. Would Sarkar never switch on the lights?
Performance wise it is an Amitabh show all the way even if it is nowhere in his best 50 performances. Amit Sadh is uneven, brilliant at times and bland at other times. Yami is thoroughly forgettable. Jackie Shroff thinks that he is playing the joker in the Batman series. Ronit Roy is strictly alright.
Story could have been tighter. Characters are half baked, no effort is done to explain their context, background, reasons for affinity/enmity towards Sarkar. All this gives the perception of a contrived story. But if a highly contrived and half baked Dear Zindagi can be applauded then why not Sarkar. At least Sarkar has the scope of being made into a decent film.
Going with a so-so instead of a thumbs down because I can imagine the very limited RGV fans enjoying this film. And also for the fact that the same story and cast being directed by another director has the required steam to make a good film.
Every country has its own DNA, which drives the country. For each social and cultural change to happen successfully this DNA is used as the sole catalytic means. For some countries this DNA may be science, for some economy, for some like India it is religion. Despite the fact that Indian ancestors were scientifically far advanced than their peers, and despite the fact that their observations were empirical and scientific; to bring about a beneficial and perennial change in the society that change had to be packaged in the dominant DNA, in other words religion. One can take any Indian tradition or any act labelled as "superstition " by the intellectuals, and if the real origin is traced via reliable means or authorities then I can be sure that a completely rational and backed by science reason would be found. Over the centuries this reason might no longer be valid, but because the tradition has been woven into the unshakable belief called religion, it is extremely complex to change it. Which brings me to the crux of the film - desecrating in the open. Centuries ago, due to the lack of efficient sewage system, human excretion if accumulated in or near the house would obviously cause serious health concerns, even fatal in those age. But how to educate people on where to desecrate? Use the DNA, wrap it in religion, and people would follow it. Fast forward to 2017. Nowadays sewage systems allow human excretion to be flushed away far from the house in a hygienic way. Thus permitting people to have toilets at home. But as long as we are unable to leave emotions aside and explain this rationally to people who oppose this on cultural grounds, the battle becomes complex. At one point in time in the film the protagonist Jaya says that because she is brought up since birth with the custom of having toilet at home, so it is difficult, even impossible, for her to adjust to life without toilets. In the same token, her father in law has been brought up all throughout his 60 years of age (3 times more than Jaya) with the belief that it's a sin to have toilets at home. Imagine the difficulty that he would have to adjust to having a toilet at home!! As long as we as a society, do not understand this basic concept and do not accept it, there will be confrontation between the old beliefs and the new beliefs. Change MUST come, but with education and not with coercion.
Toilet Ek Prem Katha tries to get some of these messages through in a light hearted simplistic attempt. It is not at all preachy. It seems preachy to the "converted" city slickers like me. Because I know the necessity of having toilet, everything that Keshav says about virtues of toilets would seem preachy to me. But in the less developed areas, where there is nobody to explain this to the people with old beliefs, this important message must be sent. Visual media is very forceful. If an Akshay Kumar advertising a soap or drink could increase the sales of that product, imagine what it could do if the same Akshay Kumar explains the good points of having toilets.
The film is quite long, but it does not get boring at any stage. The affairs are kept light hearted most of the times. The film, evaluated solely on technical aspects as a film is an average fare. Should do a business of 80-90 crores. Even though it is long and the characters are simple, there are many downsides. The biggest for me are the frequent sexual innuendos both explicit and implicit. The entry scene of Akshay Kumar was a major WTF moment. The scene is obscene and totally irrelevant to the film. The characters suddenly having complete change of hearts, looks too filmy. The Akshay Kumar stalking Bhumi is a total no-no in 2017. Several such negative points can be found. But then the strong point in terms of social message, and in terms of strong performances from Akshay and Bhumi (who has given a confident act) far overrides the negative points. Once in a while, there are poignant moments too, like Panditji taking a bath - brilliant.
On the acting front, other than Akshay and Bhumi, Sudhir Pandey and Divyendu Sharma are noteworthy.
Some of the songs, and their picturisations, are very appealing. Special mention to Gori lath maar, and Has mat pagli pyaar ho jayega.
All in all, worthy effort. No cinematic brilliance, but important social pill wrapped in a sweet peda for our less contemporary co-citizens.
This kind of mass level push is needed to give a boost to the awareness, jagruti, and encouragement in the semi urban and rural areas. Being born and brought up in a city, I take it for granted to have toilets at home. And the lack of it is perceived to be more means related issue. But watching the film I realized that in the rustic regions it is more complex and deep rooted than what we think. When the Prime Minister of more than 1 billion people appeals for making the toilets universally available then we should have realized as to how complex a matter it would be.
More on the film and its social message in a separate post.
Do make it a point to watch it, if possible then on giant screen.
Indian languages at times have some fantastic vocabulary that allow to express a full detailed opinion with only one word. And "raddi" aptly and completely describes this Jab we met in Europe affair.
There ain't one thing worthwhile that I can think of in this film.
If it was supposed to be an intellectual film, then I question the stupidity of showing a 20 odd years old Sejal as a 60-year old Gujarati housewife with the accent associated with the 60 years old. And I question the jibe taken on JSK. Yes, thanks to the texting craze Jay Shree Krishna is shortened to JSK in text messages by many Gujaratis. But when it comes to speech, I have yet to come across a Gujarati in real life who does not say Jay Shree Krishna.
If it was supposed to be a commercial film, then I can ignore such blatant stupidities about accent of a 20- odd year Gujarati girl brought up in Mumbai and raised in an upper class society. I can accept it as innocent fun in a light film, but then I would have lot of difficulty to accept the weird ending in a commercial film - an ending where the makers tried to have intellectual pretensions.
Regardless of intellectual or commercial film, the ending of the film, keeping in line with the raddi tag, is complete bakwas. Yet another single word from Indian vocabulary beautifully expressing the situation.
SRK hams as always. Anushka, even though I am warming up to her as a producer, is still to impress me even once as an actress. Even though the heavily accented role that she was asked to enact by the makers is oddly attributed to a youngster, she does get the audible part of the accent correct. But the visible part is all wrong!! She had to make efforts every time that she put on the accent, her facial movements made it clear that it is not coming naturally to her.
As regards road trip through Europe, honestly there is nothing worth seeing. A less than 5 seconds glimpse of Zaans Schans, a long shot of Charles bridge, a close up of the Chain bridge making it even difficult to realise that we are in Budapest, and some lanes in Portugal. Watch a Hollywood film or a better Bollywood film than Jab we met in Europe to get a better view on Europe.
Finally, Bollywood needs to get over this false romanticisation of an upper class born and brought up girl meets lower class boy. Unfortunately in real life such combinations only generate sorrow.
One’s art and fame should not be wasted on trivial and vulgar matters but should be used for the benefit of mankind.
Phillauri as a cinematic journey can be split into 3 equal parts. The first part is your typical modern day comic caper built around a Big Punjabi wedding. The last part is steeped in emotions, varying from love, fraternity, patriotism, respect, etc. The middle part is the one that flounders and leaves you with a “could have been better” feeling.
Phillauri at the heart is a love film. It has been nicely woven into modern days concepts of love, contrasted with love of age gone by. The comic concept of a friendly ghost is also quite a creative and interesting idea. The idea in itself has lot of scope for making a full-fledged film, reminded heavily of Peter Ustinov in Blackbeard’s Ghost (recycled and heavily Indianized as Chamatkar for the Hindi world). But Phillauri uses that concept of the friendly ghost as a vehicle to narrate another story. A story that seems pointless and meandering along, with the heavy Punjabi dialogues not helping the situation a lot neither. But once you sit through this part, the story eventually grips you and involves you in the happenings as it reaches the climax. I felt that the scene which followed the climax and the revealing of the suspense was dragged on for a long time – probably the director got too carried away in the spur of the moment, but then alright it goes away eventually.
Coming to my starting statement, it very much resumes my point against established industry names like YRF and Dharma – who instead of using their fame on different but meaningful films are wasting away their resources on trivial and vulgar subjects. On the other hand film makers like Kashyaps and Bharadwajs are wasting away their art and fame on arrogant and irresponsible film making. That is where Anushka Sharma needs to be lauded as a producer. She is slowly but surely carving out a name for herself via “different from the rest” and yet significant films like NH10 and Phillauri. And I am ready to overlook the less than interesting middle portions of the film to give brownie points to her as a producer, and wish to encourage her to continue making good films. I had never thought that I would eagerly await the 3rd production from Anushka Sharma. Way to go girl.
Barring a few exceptions, most of the time the part 2 of any film is quite a mundane watch. But Jolly 2 falls in the exception to this rule category.
The first installment of this series was most likely a sleeper hit. First of all with (almost the full) Munnabhai leading characters, it gave the impression of being a Munna inspired film. Not only did it prove the perceptions wrong, it went ahead and carved its own niche place. The success of which leads to the second installment.
The second installement makes for an interesting watch. It has its melodramatic moments, it has its drama (in filmy style), it has its masala formula here and there - and still it worked big time for me. It started off giving a feeling of being a commercial version of Shahid - but soon it steered into its own territory and established its stamp.
The basic theme of Robin Hood style justice has always been the audiences preference ever since Amitabh Bachhan made it a super hit formula in the 1970s. Show some social injustice, revel before hand your darker characters, paint characters in more or less black or white (little space for grey characters), show your underdog/underprivileged hero as the champion for the victim (Robin Hood). And very soon you have the audience completely in the control of the director. Provided of course the lead actors, the story, the direction is good; which is the case with Jolly LLB2.
Akshay Kumar is in magnificient form. Hats off to him for delivering yet again an energetic and convincing performance. He is a wonder machine, delivering 3 to 4 hits a year with differing styles and roles. He is very ably supported by Annu Kapoor as your evil than devil lawyer. You have seen villains portraying such lawyers countless number of times in the films, yet Annu Kapoor does it with style and perfection that keep you staring at him with awe as the Advocate Mathur. The going-ons are also superbly supported by Saurabh Shukla who reprises his role as the judge who is so accustomed to the court proceedings that he gives an impression of being suffering a "life-time imprisonment sentence as a judge". He is amazing, once again gets a good share of the meaty role. Huma Qureshi has a relatively tiny role, but is still wonderful in that. Portrays very well the typical modern housewife in a conservative residential background in a B-town. Vinod Nagpal, as the father Siddiqui, does well too.
The film is a commercial film, and so has its drama. I am not sure real life courtrooms, even in Lucknow, would tolerate this kind of drama whilst the court is in session. But let us ignore that for a commercial Hindi film. The Kashmir issue, and the issues on terrorism (black or white) are discussed at large - but at the end of the day it is a statement once again on how our justice system is failing us due to the laborious nature and volume (1 judge per 1 lakh citizen was the figure cited). The proceedings get dull, technical, delaying, repeatitive, so much so that the lawyers judges bailiffs police etc. just consider it a routine without sparing a second thought for the victims who are knocking the court's doors for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied, but in our system even with delays the justice is not served correctly. Message comes across well, the execution of the script is fairly tight once the real film takes off, thankfully no songs are interspersed to slow down the speed or to loosen the grip. When the end comes, you might end up having goose bumps - even though you know that the film certainly does not reflect real life.
A nice watch, makes you proud of the few good men who do exist in India and who do fight against the system to make a small but significant change.
Welcome to 2017 family entertainer from YRF stable. What with cheap gimmicky dialogues like
She puts his hands in his *** He attacks her like a hungry Bengali man attacking samosas. Moaning! Yes !!
The hypocrisy of modern Indian socialite and upper class amazes and at times angers me. A C-grade film producer, using gimmicks like cleavage show and item numbers full of innuendos, to attract his target audience - the daily wagers - is greeted with scorn by these so-called socialites. And an established top ranked producer resorting to similar C-grade gimmicks to attract their target audience - college grads - is greeted with flowery praise for their product of progressive thought process.
Welcome to the lop sided world. YRF admirers and chamchas alike drooling on this so-so product and terming it as the next best thing to have happened after the birth of YRF himself.
Basically it is a boy meets girl story. The girl is supposed to be confused about commitment. Emphasis on supposed to be, because she is not that confused when it concerns marriage in general - but she is confused when it comes to marrying the lead character.
Over 2 hours we are made to go through the various ups and downs faced by these childhood friends, we are made privy to lots of their moments together, shots of typical 20 somethings life-style and life-choices in metro cities, etc. and then the film ends without any particular purpose being served out.
Performance wise I would give it to Ayushyaman and Parineeti - they are both sincere and have brought life into the characters they portray. Playing a spontaneous fun loving girl probably comes natural to Parineeti. Here is one actor who has (had) the potential to become number 1 in the industry but for the moment she is squandering it with priorities on other matters. Pity.
Overall you could easily skip this film. It has nothing new or entertaining to offer.
BTW other than reverences to Satyajit Ray, Tintin, and Hitchcock - the film is inspired by the Hollywood product Pure Luck. Don't remember seeing any credit given to this film.
A horribly boring film that entertains only in parts. The musical format looks interesting for exactly five minutes. Thereafter it just starts getting on the nerves, so much so that the few portions where it strays into normal Hindi dialogues format - those portions seem heavenly.
Yes the concepts are new for Hindi films, and the finishing has a superior feeling comparable to the Hollywood films. But it is long and pointless.
Katrina Kaif is once again looking gorgeous, just as she used to look till a few years back. Or is it because the film dates back a few years? Who cares.
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.