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Report Dated January 14, 2017 10:55 AM
CAST: Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Leela Samson
DIRECTION: Shaad Ali
DURATION: 2 hours 16 minutes
OK JAANU STORY:
Millennials Adi and Tara are in love and must deal with the most millennial of problems: commitment phobia and the pressure to appear emotionally detached.
OK JAANU REVIEW:
Throughout the movie, Adi (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) seem to be running after trains or buses in motion, barely getting in before it’s too late – a great metaphor for the love lives of people of today’s generation.
Adi is a video game developer with the American dream; Tara is an architect, destined for Paris. But they lock eyes at a wedding and all their plans go out of the window. They flirt, take a trip together, move in and decide to date for as long as they’re both in Mumbai.
The thing that works most in OK Jaanu’s favour is its screenplay, kept intact from its Tamil predecessor. It is a scene-for-scene remake and capitalizes on great moments from the original film. The music (largely retained) with Gulzar’s new lyrics also does a throwback to OK Kanmani in the best way possible.
In this seemingly tailor-made role, Aditya Roy Kapur shines as a goofy, shorts-wearing man-child. Shraddha is mostly sincere too, but there are scenes where you can’t help but flashback to Nithya Menen, who had charmed people’s socks off with her performance in OK Kanmani. Adi and Tara’s impulsive infatuation is countered by Gopi uncle (Naseeruddin Shah) and Charu aunty’s (Leela Samson) golden-jubilee marriage; both senior actors grounding the movie and saving it from becoming frivolous.
In spite of its pros, one can’t deny that unsure young lovers and their battle with commitment phobia is a tired topic to begin with. Moreover, if you’ve seen the original Tamil film, it’ll get tedious after a while, knowing exactly what’s coming next.
If you haven’t seen the original though, you’re sure to walk out of the theatre with a warm-fuzzy feeling.
Report Dated December 30, 2016 6:37 PM
CAST: Sharman Joshi, Gurmeet Chaudhary, Rajneish Duggal, Sana Khan
DIRECTION: Vishal Pandya
DURATION: 2 hours 16 minutes
WAJAH TUM HO STORY: A hooded vigilante is broadcasting murders on a news channel. Will the police catch him alive before he live-casts another death?
WAJAH TUM HO REVIEW: Wajah Tum Ho is the latest product on the assembly line of half-baked sex-thrillers. Which is unfortunate, because the idea isn’t half bad.
A tech genius hacks into a TV channel owned by Rahul Oberoi (Rajneish) and starts streaming a murder on it. Rahul – the prime suspect – is interrogated by inspector Kabir (Sharman) and defended by his lawyer, Siya (Sana). Siya’s boyfriend Ranveer (Gurmeet) is hired by the government to prosecute Rahul. The plot thickens (by about an inch) when another suspect is killed off on live TV.
On the surface level, live murders on national TV followed by a manhunt sounds like an intriguing plot. But minutes into the movie, intrigue gives way to intimate scenes, cringe-worthy dialogue and highly predictable twists.
At one point in the second half, you realize that a whole chunk from the first half was unnecessary; hacking is explained in a powerpoint presentation; several references are made to how a woman who sleeps with her boyfriend should not complain about rape and the big reveal at the end is devoid of logic. Another gripe: the shocking English pronunciation of all the actors. A speech coach would have been a good investment.
Rajneish, who changes his name’s spelling in every film, has to realize that the change has to be made elsewhere. Gurmeet flaunts his abs and not much else and Sharman, the only credible actor here, goes a little over-the-top with his enunciation. Sana, a Bigg Boss alumna, is still play-acting for 94 cameras instead of performing sincerely for one.
Three of the four songs are recreations of older hits and pop-up dutifully when there’s a lull in the screenplay. The background score refuses to die down and accompanies you throughout the movie.
There is no justifiable reason to recommend this one.
Report Dated December 23, 2016 11:53 PM
CAST: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra
DIRECTION: Nitesh Tiwari
DURATION: 2 hours 41 minutes
DANGAL STORY: When Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir), a wrestler from Haryana, loses hope of having a son, he trains his daughters Geeta (Fatima) and Babita (Sanya) to make wrestling history, thus breaking the taboo of Indian women participating in a sport thus far dominated by men.
DANGAL REVIEW: In the story department, Dangal offers few surprises because Geeta and Babita’s historic wins at the Commonwealth Games and following championships are common knowledge. However, this screen adaptation serves as a recap of their arduous journey and it vigorously recaptures their stubborn father’s resolve to make them professional wrestlers against the odds. Since it encapsulates the historic wins of the Phogats, who brought India glory, the film is also bound to inspire more women to seriously consider kushti as a sport.
What works wonderfully here is the writing. Director Nitesh Tiwari, along with Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra should be complimented for their tongue-in-cheek quality, peppered with humour and several poignant father-daughter emotions all through. Of course, a little bit is lost in translation because of the Haryanvi twang. But, messages on our obsession with the male child (prevalent since the dark ages), myopic stand on bringing up our daughters and the administration’s pathetic disposition towards sports, are loud and clear.
It is to the film’s credit that though Geeta and Babita’s wins are documented, it still manages to engage the viewer with the wrestling tournaments and bring patriotic emotions to the fore. Most importantly, Dangal scores with its first-rate performances. An ungainly Aamir (22 kilos heavier) with grey hair is pitch-perfect as the ziddi yet sensitive parent. The 51-year-old actor should be complimented for experimenting with his roles, unlike his contemporaries who prefer to play safe. Sakshi as his wife, is restrained, yet effective. And, the debutants Fatima and Sanya are easily this year’s best finds.
Music director Pritam and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya manage an earthy soundtrack with Daler Mehndi’s title track pumping up the adrenaline. Also, the soft track Gilheriyaan, the Haryanvi rap and hip-hop Haanikarak Bapu and the Dhakaad number, are in perfect tandem with the narrative.
Report Dated December 17, 2016 12:09 AM
CAST: Atul Kulkarni, Sakshi Tanwar, Sanjay Mishra, Vijay Maurya, Baia Marbaniang, Pawan Manda Kale
DIRECTION: Rahul V Chittella, Pratik Rajen Kothari, Satish Raj Kasireddi, Amira Bhargava, Supriya Sharma, Annie Zaidi and Arunima Sharma
DURATION: 2 hours 5 minutes
Story: An omnibus of seven films on the subject of noise by debutant directors, each of who was mentored by a senior filmmaker.
Review: Given our shrinking attention span, short films may turn out to be an important medium through which content will be consumed in the future. But can we handle a bunch of them, say seven, in one go? Looking at Shor Se Shuruaat, it’s evident we can. The film delves into the subject of noise through seven stories, each presenting a unique take and dealing with real-life issues.
Sound here, is not just presented as one of the five human senses; the filmmakers deal with the word in its entirety. There’s the starting film Aazad where, not just the writer but also those around him, pay the price for his habit of saying the truth. Then there is Aamer, which tackles sound purely as a sense through the eyes of a young street kid in Mumbai.
Decibel, takes a dystopian look at sounds being banned in the future and how that may affect us. Dhwani is another dark yet life-affirming short on how an inmate on death row, who is scared of dying, peacefully accepts the fate that awaits him.
The omnibus has its low moments in the form of Hell O Hello, a take on shrill advertisements. When you feel the short film drags, in comes a song. Yellow Tin Can Telephone is about cross connection between senses. It tells its story in a refreshing manner. Though an overkill of style and colour, it leaves you happy. Mia I’m is based in the North-East and deals with MMS scandals and their effect on the victim. It has a lot of strong moments and talks about teenage angst and how one bounces back after life-altering events.
The performances are strong, especially those by Sanjay Mishra, Vijay Maurya, Pawan Manda Kale and Baia Marbaniang, the last two who are untrained actors.
Overall, Shor Se Shuruat is like a string of crackers where some burst beautifully while a few just make noise.
Report Dated December 9, 2016 11:23 PM
CAST: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor
DIRECTION: Aditya Chopra
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
DURATION: 2 hours 10 minutes
STORY: What starts as a crazy one-night stand ends up in a relationship. But Dharam and Shyra fall out of love just as quickly. Where will life take them now?
REVIEW: Can two temperamental, volatile exes become friends? In a Yash Raj film, sure they can.
Dharam (Ranveer Singh) and Shyra (Vaani Kapoor) have recently broken up and can’t see eye-to-eye. In song-filled flashbacks, we see their meet cute, how they dared each other to do crazy things and got into a live-in relationship, only to realize that they were incompatible.
They soon come to terms with their break-up but decide to remain friends. When their individual love lives restart, the friendship gets tested.
Befikre is a victim of the inevitability of love stories. There really can only be two outcomes, and then, the journey to those outcomes makes the movie. The plot is unoriginal, but the sparkling chemistry between the leads pulls you through most parts of the movie. Essentially, it’s like the same banner’s Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, but in reverse.
Dharam is every feminist’s nightmare: a homophobic straight boy from Delhi who slut-shames girls, thinks lesbians will sleep with him and is offended by the lack of remorse a girl feels after breaking-up with him. Only Singh could have pulled off this character without being obnoxious. He’s fun to watch in a departure from his intense Bajirao role, but to be fair, he’s familiar with this territory. Shyra is a sorted girl with a good head on her shoulders and Vaani’s breezy act makes you wonder why she hasn’t worked more!
There are innumerable throwbacks to DDLJ and most bring a smile to your face. One that particularly stands out is a mother-daughter scene, much like the Farida Jalal-Kajol scene. There, Jalal’s character told Kajol’s that women have to suppress their feelings; in this updated version, Shyra’s mother tells her to stand up for herself.
Befikre has some honest, funny moments and the attempt to upgrade the genre is apparent, but you don’t come away with anything new.
If you care for some laughs, some YRF nostalgia and are, well, promiscuous with your choice of romcoms, you could take a chance with this one.