Fan has rated 156 movies, and has posted 636 comments.

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  • Begum Jaan:

    Horrible film.

    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.

    posted 4 days, 12 hours ago
  • Tumhari Sulu:

    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.

    posted 5 days ago
  • Tumhari Sulu:

    @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.

    posted 5 days, 17 hours ago
  • Tumhari Sulu:

    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 ;-)

    posted 1 week ago
  • Mubarakan:

    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.

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
  • A Gentleman:

    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.

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
  • Simran:

    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.

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
  • Lucknow Central:

    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.

    posted 2 months ago
  • Baar Baar Dekho:

    The only thing that I would like to say after watching this film is that "Ek Baar Bhi Na Dekho".

    posted 2 months, 1 week ago
  • Sachin - A Billion Dreams:

    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.

    posted 2 months, 1 week ago
  • Lipstick Under My Burkha:

    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.

    posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Baadshaho:

    @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.

    posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Qaidi Band:

    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.

    posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Baadshaho:

    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.

    posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan:

    @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 :-).

    posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan:

    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.

    posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago
  • The Ghazi Attack:

    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.

    posted 3 months ago
  • Bareilly Ki Barfi:

    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.

    posted 3 months ago
  • Sarkar 3:

    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.

    posted 3 months, 1 week ago
  • Toilet Ek Prem Katha:

    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.

    posted 3 months, 1 week ago
  • Toilet Ek Prem Katha:

    Nice film.

    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.

    posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Jab Harry Met Sejal:


    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.

    posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Phillauri:

    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.

    posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Jolly LLB 2:

    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.

    posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Meri Pyaari Bindu:

    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.

    posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Jagga Jasoos:

    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.

    posted 4 months ago
  • Jagga Jasoos:

    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.

    posted 4 months ago
  • Kaabil:

    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.

    posted 4 months, 1 week ago
  • Mom:

    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.

    posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Mom:


    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.

    posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Mom:

    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.

    posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Tubelight:

    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.

    posted 5 months ago
  • Raees:

    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.

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
  • Noor:

    Noor is your typical upper middle class next door neighbor from Mumbai. Yes, Mumbai is very important, because it is all about the ethos of Mumbai (in the book on which it is based it would most probably have been about Karachi).

    Noor eats, drinks, wears, behaves like almost any of us. As a typical Mumbaikar, her life is hectic, even though she is not particularly doing anything other than interviewing weirdos in the name of serious journalism (!!!) Probably a comment in itself on how third grade the Indian (TV) media has become.


    So we are made to walk along Noor in her day to day activities, and in her ambition to be a topnotch journalist by not covering glamorous stories but following weirdos. Weird as that may sound. In between all this hectic Mumbai life, we are exposed to the dirty side of the city - and how Noor fights her conscience and her peers to come up tops. All this though seems very unnatural - especially the last 15-20 minutes.

    Performance wise, the film is predominantly on Sonakshi Sinha - probably not a single scene without her presence. Almost all the remaining cast are new faces (at least for me) - which helps in watching the film as there are no preconceived notions about the way they are going to be behave (unlike when we put stereotyped people in roles). The few shades of grey - were highly predictable - at least for me. No surprises then for guessing what is going to happen.

    Before signing off I cannot help noticing the heavy parallels with Bridget Jones. Replace a young book publishing professional by a young journalist - and you have your Bridget Jones. Every angle of the Bridget Jones film is covered in this film. The parallels struck me during the (totally unnecessary) scene of post making out blabber in bed. BTW: you missed that in the Nudity and Sexual Content part, Meeta. And that unnecessary scene reminded me of the similar scene in Bridget Jones and from there all the other parallels started falling place. Having said that, Noor is just a fraction of entertaining as the Bridget Jones' Diary was. If in any hesitation on which film to watch, I would heartily recommend the Bridget Jones' Diary over Noor any day.

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
  • Badrinath Ki Dulhania:

    I cannot understand what drives me to watch your typical Dharma or YRF film. Each time after watching the film I end up complaining more about the garbage that they dish out under the name of formulaic film. No difference then with Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

    You have your classic Dharma (or YRF, both are interchangeable) formula. Boy meets girl or girl meets boy. Some sparks fly before love blossoms. Then too much of senseless song and dance follows. In function of the mood of the director, they select between mustard fields of Punjab, colourful streets of Rajasthan, green valleys of Switzerland/Austria, Snow laden mountains of Switzerland, streets of NYC, or in this case Singapore. After about 1 and a half hours of some totally useless and irrelevant episodes the directors realise that it is time to end the film. And so within a few minutes all the speeches, heart-changes, habit-changes happen which did not happen over 6 decades of the life of the concerned characters. And lo and behold you have the chocolaty candy flavoured ending to the colourful extravaganza.

    Absolutely nonsense formulaic films first made popular by YRF but now equally milked by Dharma. The only reason this formula is used ad nauseam is that for whatever it is worth it still gives the return on investments to these producers. Whose only objective is to make money. Film-making, recounting an interesting story, presenting superlative performances in any particular department, etc. are nowhere on their priority list. Pure simple business arithmetic – make a film for X amount and generate X times 1.25 of revenues at the minimum.

    The cherry on the cake is the disclaimer at the very start of the film. In English (written and spoken), it could not have been slower for anybody to understand what is the disclaimer against. Why make this drama of disclaimer if you do not even want to give the sufficient amount of time for your audience to read it fully. And what about your non-English audience (in Jhansi and Kota BTW)? No disclaimer for them?

    Absolutely raddi film. Watch it if you have made it a point to give your hard earned money to Dharma and their ilks.

    posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Hindi Medium:

    Which Indian parent has not gone through the trauma of getting their children admitted to a school of their choice. The whole system nowadays is frightful and ridiculously nonsensical. And the promos of Hindi Medium make it amply clear as to what to expect in the film.

    The story of yet another hapless couple trying to get their child admitted to an elite school. Remove the elite tag and I guess that the challenges would remain the same.

    The movie starts off on a comic note. The first half in fact is a good guffawed watch. Irfan Khan being in repeat (and superb) mode from Piku, with his dry humour and ironical yet true observations.

    The trouble with the film is the second half, where the film starts dragging. To be quite frank there are only just a limited quantity of jokes and situational comedy that one can generate from the subject of trying to get your child admitted to a school. And so post interval the film loses steam. And then it just plods on from one event to another which would rarely happen in the real life.

    Performance wise, Irfan Khan is brilliant with his humour. The Pakistani import playing the role of the Mrs. is quite impressive, leaves an imprint. But the outstanding actor in the film is Deepak Dobriyal. He completely overshadows Irfan Khan. Rest all are fine. Wonder why Neha Dhupia and her male co-star agreed to do this film, their roles being extremely sidey oriented.

    Epilogue: I would have so loved the film to send a strong message against the nonsensical Indian education admittance system wherein 4 year olds have to go through plethora of tests, and the parents too. Also, with a name like Hindi Medium, I was half expecting a case being made for the vernacular schools. But that too was not to be. I suppose the producers wanted to make a light hearted bordering on comedy film, something like the Munnabhai duo-logy, to convey a message. If that was the intention then they failed. Stay away from the film, the trailers are a better alternative.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Half Girlfriend:

    ** every time a BOOK is translated into a film **

    sorry for the typo in the original post.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Half Girlfriend:

    Every time a film is translated into a film, the question and the comparison lingers - which was better?

    Personally for me, every time that I have watched a film adaptation of a book I have always been left a bit disappointed. So far I have always found the book to be more interesting than the film. And the trend (for me) continues with the Half Girlfriend.

    In fact, the book Half Girlfriend, is a much much better read than the film. The film adaptation, even though almost honest to the book all throughout, looks like a Half-hearted and lazy attempt. No character succeeds in bringing in the right emotions. The couple and their heart-breaks have no influence on the watcher, it is a very distant feeling - the chemistry and bonding was missing. The characters in fact are not even properly developed. It all gives the impression of a mish-mash kind of attempt to serve up a half-baked dish to the audience.

    The only silver lining are the songs that linger in the mind even after leaving the theatre.

    I guess one can fairly give this one a miss.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Bahubali 2 - The Conclusion:

    Saas bhi kabhi Bahu(bali) thi.

    I think it resumes well what plays out on the screen, in this much
    awaited Conclusion.

    The makers seem to have been heavily influenced by something that
    started out as a sidey joke by a B-grade comedian and which turned into
    a buzz-sentence "Why did Katappa kill Bahubali?" The whole movie seems
    to be geared towards answering this question, even though that is the
    most stupidest of things to ask. And when the moment finally arrives, it
    is stretched out and milked out to the most with heavy emotional music,
    slo-mo etc.

    The movie starts off without any introduction or explanation of the
    "story so far". It assumes that everyone who has come to watch the
    conclusion has watched the beginning.

    A large part of the initial half is straight out of your typical South
    Indian masala film, songs breaking out almost all the time, comedians
    mouthing loud comic stuff that cater to the South Indian audiences but
    fall flat on Hindi movie audiences, etc. And as with your typical masala
    South Indian film you have your [comment partially deleted because it
    describes a scene] - you name the South Indian audience pleasing stunt
    and it is in there. [comment partially deleted because it describes a
    scene], I just found it your typical masala gimmicky nothing more, but
    the girl in the young couple sitting next to us found it romantic, cause
    I overheard her telling her partner 'How romantic, would you do
    something like this for me?' So I suppose there are audiences who love
    such fantasies.

    I waited patiently for all these extra reels made to just have a high
    running time roll off. And then the real movie starts.

    The story is quite interestingly played out once it starts. The chess
    like steps played out by the baddies are quite interesting. Mahabharata
    kind of look and feel. The world of dynasties and royals all over the
    world, Asia or Europe, has almost always been a bloody affair. The lust
    for power has always pitted brother against brother. No different in
    Bahubali then.

    The ending is obviously easy to guess for anyone. It is the journey to
    the end which is made interesting. And there we come to the USP of
    Bahubali. What a journey. Grandiose, spectacular, breathtaking. The
    details, the camera spanning, the colours, the perfection, full marks.
    It makes for an incredible viewing, the visuals are the best seen in an
    Indian film. Sanjay Leela Bhansali might get an inferiority complex
    watching Bahubali. Another area worthy of mention are the action scenes.
    Beautifully choreographed. Clearly one of the best actions seen in
    Indian films too. Special mention for the fluidity in which [comment
    partially deleted because it describes a scene] whilst fighting against
    enemies, superbly choreographed - really music in motion. Although as in
    the first instalment some of those computer graphics are visible as
    computer graphics. But let's ignore some minor aberrations amongst the
    overall superbly produced effects.

    Overall, if you have to watch it then watch it on giant screen. Should
    you watch it? If you enjoyed Bahubali the beginning then go for it, very
    high probability that you will enjoy the Conclusion because it is a
    continuation of the first part in visuals, actions. As a film with a
    story probably not the best, but then neither was Bahubali - it is all
    about visual delight. And finally to answer why did Katappa kill
    Bahubali, your first guess was the correct guess. :-). In the end it
    just boils down to a saas-bahu(bali) soap that is aired on TV, with some
    spectacular visuals thrown in.

    posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Dabangg:

    On this day when Vinod Khanna has left the world, nothing better than to reminisce on what a wonderful portfolio of films he has left us. He was a small yet delightful part of Dabangg. His second innings (or third innings if we count his Osho days as a break) started with Wanted (Salman Khan) film, in a very lovable and memorable role, and went on to better form with Dabangg and the others.

    However, I remember him and miss him most for his first innings. There are simply too many films where Vinod Khanna has left an indelible mark. Where do I start and where do I finish, Mere Apne, Achanak, Haath Ki Safaai, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khoon Pasina, Hera Pheri, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Parvarish, Qurbani, and so on and on.

    A fantastic actor, a lovable star, a Greek God, a thorough entertainer.

    I hope that his soul finds the solace that he once was seeking when at the top of his profession. As a true fan of Hindi films, I will always miss Vinod Khanna and cherish the treasure of films that he has given us over the years.

    posted 6 months, 4 weeks ago
  • Naam Shabana:

    I am not sure where the makers of the film floundered. Did they spend way too much footage on showing how a rookie is identified, evangelized, trained and prepared to be a field agent? Or was it that the journey is depicted in a less engaging manner than one would have expected it? Either way, the film seems a drag - a story that is taking a long time to come to the main thriller part. I am of course assuming that the thriller part was the main point. If the journey from rookie to expert was supposed to the main part, then it was wasted thoroughly.

    As for the thriller part, it was too simple, short, and you-wish kind of an affair. That the best of the best field agents are overweight and of the shapes of your typical hawaldar did not help give much credibility to the already simple plot. That the most dreaded criminal being searched by several countries worldwide is roaming without any security could happen, but in a fictional film it seems very strange.

    Like in the "sequel" Baby, this film too is split in two distinct halves, each half having more or less its own independent story. No concerns with that as an approach. But whilst watching the pre-interval parts I am persuaded that the audience (who have watched the trailers/promos) knows very well that all this is a prelude to the real story that will follow. And as such it does not become interesting to watch as one is impatient to get to the real stuff. The assignments given before recruiting the rookie are also extreme, in my opinion. You can't expect a novice to perform such acts.

    The performances are strictly alright. Akshay Kumar's brief presence adds star power on the screen, but does not have any sensible purpose. Even Shabana questions his presence/purpose at a certain point in time. And in another sequence, repeated in the trailers, Akshay Kumar quips in that since I have been "invited" let me do something. Anupam Kher is wasted too. Prithvi also has no particular stuff to emote.

    All in all the film will not remain in memories for a long time. No particular department that stands out.

    posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Kabali:

    Looking at my comment of 8 and a half months ago, when I had not watched the film, I was hoping for a positive surprise. Well - I must say that I was thoroughly disappointed on watching the film. Whereas Lingaa and Kochadiyaan were commercial duds, at least they had a social message relevant to our times. Kabali did not even have that (but going by all media reports it was apparently a commercial superhit).

    Kabali, the first and hopefully not the last film, where Rajnikanth plays a role of his age. Yes there are a few flashback scenes with a younger Rajni-sir, to cater to the crowds that throng to watch his films. It is indeed a welcome change to watch Rajni-sir play his age.

    The film as is reviewed above, is all about gang wars. Gangs of people of Indian origin but based in Malaysia.

    The subject of gang wars a la James Hadley Chase novels, are not at all to my liking - and I seriously wonder as to how many Indians can identify with that theme. So half the battle was lost there by the film makers.

    A big part of the other half was lost by the over exaggerated expressions and loud mannered jokes that are so common in many massy Tamil films. It seems to work well with the audiences there, but being bred on Hindi films such attempts seem to garish to me.

    The story, if there is any, was just skimmed over. Ditto for the action sequences. Plenty of scope for adding all kinds of twists but very few opportunities were seized.

    No particular actor remains in memory long after the film. Rajni-sir is a treat to watch nevertheless, his signature movements are still impeccable. But honestly I would not recommend to sit through the entire film just to reminisce his swagger and other actions - it is much better to pick out a DVD of his other better films to watch his swagger. Radhika Apte does stand out, but she does not have much chance to showcase her abilities. The girl who plays the role of Yogita was probably the only normal behaving character, even though the first few minutes of her act were extremely filmy.

    All in all, a boring film. You have to be a real hardcore Rajnikanth fan to be able to sit through it.

    posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago
  • A Flying Jatt:

    If you watch it as a fantasy fairy tale (super man tale) with a liberal pinch of salt then it is an alright film. Do not expect anything serious from it.

    The first half with an unwilling super hero, or rather a hero forced into the super hero business by his extra hyper Punjabi mom, is pretty comic. Taking a jab at various preconceived notions about super heros, it does pretty well to provide several light moments.

    The second half, when the serious business starts, gets a bit preachy - but if you remain in the right mental comportment then it is a watchable film.

    On performances front, Tiger seems to be getting more and more into comfortable zone - quite at ease with his role. Amrita Singh does well as the hyper Punjabi mom - although she risks getting stereotyped in such roles if she continues like this. Jacqueline is straight out of the Archies comics books and into this film - her (colourful) dresses, her hairstyle, her mannerisms, etc. are all straight out of the Archies.

    And since we are in comics land, even the villain(s) KK and the Australian import, are human caricatures of your typical comic book villains.

    A very light hearted film, trying to convey the message on the importance of saving the environment in a different way. The message remains as long as the film is running, after that it evaporates faster than clean air evaporates in a polluted city.

    Watch it if you are a die hard film fan and have some spare time on hands. For all the others- give it A Flying Miss.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • rock on:

    It seems that sequels, Hollywood or Bollywood, are mostly a damp squib (Dhoom 2 being one of the few exceptions thanks mainly to Hrithik Roshan). The thumb rule stays honest for Force 2. The original Force, an extremely violent and gory film, was still something that stands out from the ordinary affairs hitting the screens. It was different, the stunts were of a superior quality, the story was entirely identifiable, the villain in the form of Vidhyut Jamwal was topnotch, and the characters were real and likeable.

    Force2 has retained only the top rated action sequences from the original version. All the rest is gone, well almost all the rest barring the villain who is not as good as Vidhyut Jamwal but still much better than the rest.

    Watching the cat and mouse chase in Force 2 reminded me heavily of the cat and mouse chase in Fan. Similar settings (Eastern Europe), similar issues (bad guy able to infiltrate everywhere and in general be one step ahead of the good guy), the action sequences.

    It is an alright watch, for hardcore film fans like me who generally have a budget to watch large number of films in a year. For the more discrete viewer, you can easily skip this film without missing anything important in your life.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Kahaani 2:

    Very few Hindi film thrillers have been executed superbly as was Kahaani. It was a sleeper hit to say the least - but it is a gem of a film to watch and rewatch.

    Fast forward to Kahaani 2, the franchise. And the least that can be said about K2 the better.

    The social message that K2 promotes is praiseworthy. But a good message does not equate to a good film making. If the film making (story included) is very weak and contrived then the message does not reach far, which is precisely what happens to K2.

    For anyone who had seen the social media video [comment partially deleted because it might give movie away] (the video is embedded in Meetu's review above), K2 is just a 2hour + version of the same video.

    Vidya Balan making a comeback after a hiatus of few years does not make any real impact. Arjun Ramphal might have appeared a too much glossy choice for the role of a semi-urban public services servant. But he does manage to fit into the role of a small town police officer relegated to doing petty cases - credit to him.

    The film, in my belief, goes down the drain due to an extremely weak writing. Also, I believe that Indians are yet to accept [comment partially deleted because it might give movie away] as a crime - despite many films (past and present) making a case that it is widespread in the Indian society.

    All in all, K2 is an also ran, nothing much to write about its performance.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • M. S. Dhoni - The Untold Story:

    In normal circumstances I would not have had watched this film. In general biographical Hindi films are not something that I am fond of.

    so what gave? Several factors, but the biggest being the commercial success that the film achieved, and secondly my soft spot for Neeraj Pandey.

    Quickly on the fact v/s fiction, I am unsure on how much of the film is factual and how much is fictional. So I will skip that aspect, and treat the whole film as fictional and rate it based on that.

    It is a very long film, but I did not mind the duration - it did not get tiresome.

    The performances are very good, from every character. Sushant Singh Rajput has very well mastered the mannerisms of Dhoni (walking style, batting style, etc.)

    I did enjoy the film immensely, but I find it very difficult to put my finger on the precise things that made it work for me. The overall package is simply good, and I think rewatching the historical wins all packed in 3 hours gives you an immensely feel good emotions filled with pride. Probably that was it which made it work. At least for me.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Dear Zindagi:

    After making the immensely likeable and down to earth English Vinglish, this one is a let down of a film.

    Nothing worse than a person / filmmaker having pretensions of being intellectual and able to do philosophical reflections. In today's day and age where many people are flooded with philosophical messages each day via Whatsapp, if what you have to offer is not far superior than the whatsapp philosophical message that was deleted instantly then the film also will be deleted from the memory.

    The film was a bore, characters were horrendous (star power allowed to stay glued to proceedings), story was pathetic, the reasons for Alia's psychological problems were infantile to say the least (seemed contrived and forced to provide the pretext for making the film), other happenings like the dislike for a single working woman in a heavily rich cosmopolitan Mumbai suburb is hallucination. And the solutions to all these problems, simplest of simple, work overnight and heavily soured relations become sugary sweet in an instant - come on guys just wake up and see how ridiculous the proceedings are.

    Worst of all was the performance of the Pakistani import, even in normal avtars he is a massive pain to watch but in this film continuously singing his third grade song, he was simply intolerable.

    Nothing works at all in this film, only the star power ensures that it gets a few footfalls.

    For your Dear Zindagi's sake stay far away from it.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Dangal:

    I would quote a part of what Anuj wrote,

    you need a star power to make a film work (unfortunate truth of our audience)

    When I look at Dangal, and when I compare it with another film that I loved dearly, Nil Battey Sannata, I see lots of similarities. And I see NBS the winner between the two as it is more realistic and near the heart. Unfortunately NBS did not have the star power to give it the success that Dangal obtained.

    Personally I have always been a strong demander and upholder of responsible film making. Films are a very powerful medium, and tend to influence heavily the audiences all across the country. And in that sense it is very important to have responsible films. And that's where Dangal fails, and fails miserably. The film heavily dipped in patriarchal tones (under the pretext of representing the real Haryana scene), and promoting dangerous physical training practices - the film is nothing but a celebration of Amir's stardom. That a large part of Haryana is patriarchal, is not disputed. But having the heavily followed star play and promote such practices is what I find very irresponsible. As regards the physical training schedule, the human body like any other machine needs a correct balance between stress and rest. The best of the best sportsmen and sportswomen too ensure the correct balance between these two, the lack of which can/will lead to serious bodily harm. And promoting an exercise schedule that is imposed by the coach and then doubled by the family coach is once again an irresponsible act.

    So, for everyone getting lump in their throats about a real-life film, I am sorry to state that the film is as fictitious as things can get in Bollywood.

    That part cleared, if we look at it as any other Bollywood film, it is indeed a good film - technically well made and well performed by the characters. So yes, do recommend it. But if you must select only one between Dangal and Nil Battey Sannata, then I would still recommend NBS - which has similar storyline, similar message, similar rebellion by daughter to discourage the parents, similar perseverance by a parent to ensure the child succeeds, and similarly brilliant performances.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Fitoor:

    A love story, inspired by one of the all time biggest global blockbuster novel, is enough to entice me to give a look.

    But Fitoor makes a half hearted product and thus very painful to watch. When your heart does not ache for the lead lover pair, then you know that the story is extremely poorly executed.

    The visuals (many done in Poland) are awesome. If the story and performance had been given the same importance then the film would have been a masterpiece, which it is far from being.

    The visuals seem to have taken the front seat so much so that the director keeps in flipping between autumn and winter in random order - making one wonder if any attempt was made to ensure continuity in story/climate.

    The story revolves around Noor, Firdaus, and Firdaus' overwhelming mother Hazrat. Noor (Aditya) and Firdaus (Katrina) are simply cold. And Hazrat (Tabu) seems to be in continuation mode from Haider. Aditi Rao Haideri impresses a little bit, all the others (lead characters included) disappoint big time. Ajay Devgan in a cameo is completely wasted. The Indianization of the English novel too did not work out well.

    Overall: a wasted opportunity. A waste of time (and money) for the viewers.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago
  • Akira:

    Akira as a film disappointed me. With A R Murugadoss at the helm of affairs and an A level lead actress, a lot was expected.

    The sequence of events and the way they play out seem just illusionary. Even if we are biased and want to believe what is happening, it is just difficult to do so as the events unfolding are simply unbelievable.

    Before signing off, a few words for Kashyap, whose works and statements I am the first to criticize most of the time. I must admit that he has done a very good job of playing the corrupt to the core policeman, and just his presence on the screen not only makes you abhor him but also fear him. Good discovery, good debut.

    posted 8 months, 1 week ago