Saturday, 30 November 2013

BULLET RAJA : Movie Review


If Ram -Leela gave an impression of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's particular cinematic style, BULLET RAJA carries bold stamp of Tigmanshu Dhulia's vision of real raw cinema at its best. This movie is Tigmanshu's best political thriller till date with everything in perfect Black and White. The tagline of the movie which says that " Aengein to garmee badaeinge " stands true with context to the raw power packed screenplay that Tigmanshu has penned down for this movie. Mind you, this movie is not everyone's cup of tea especially in context to its raw treatment and intertwined screenplay which becomes too complex at times. It takes guts to turn the conventional formulistic cinema about male bonding and revenge into a tightly wound intelligently scripted and judiciously executed drama of political subterfuge in Uttar Pradesh. This is a film about the scummy people who govern our country from the fringes. Politicians and entrepreneurs hobnob with criminals and criminals end up becoming heroes of the masses just because democracy in India gives us little to choose from.
 
 SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                  :             The  highlight of this movie is its storyline and screenplay which has been penned by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Amaresh Mishra. Bullett Raja is woven around characters who aren't particular about the company or the morals that they keep. They are the kind of characters who either end up rich or dead. We can only curse them under our breath. And yet the spoken language of the characters remains liberated from overt profanities. The same goes for the characters themselves, so lowly and yet redeemed by unexpected bouts of humour and even compassion. The way Saif's Raja Misra meets Sonakshi's sketchily-written character and the manner in which the script allows him to warm up to her without wasting time is a marvel of scriptural balance. Indeed, Dhulia in his most nakedly commercial outing, catches the routine friends-on-a-rampage plot by its lapels and goes for the kill with splendid skill. This is a fearless film. And then, Dhulia takes his audacity from city to city in Uttar Pradesh. The jagged but constantly coherent plot takes the very conventional characters (good-bad heroes, bad-bad villains, a damsel in distress and lots of decadent politicians) on a bumpy journey across the politics of the cow-belt where there are no sacred cows. Only brazen wolves. Dhulia, in his most mass-oriented cinematic outing to date, brings a lot of Jai-Veeru's Sholay bonding into play. They gamely sink their teeth into the morass of Indian politics, giving a stirring dignity to inherently unsavoury episodes from the murky politics of Uttar Pradesh.


STARCAST                                                   :                               Another, major highlight of the movie is its cast ensemble. Each and every actor, whatsoever character they are playing has done his job commendably and have fit in the mould of their characters to the hilt of perfection and leading from the front are Saif and JimmySaif Ali Khan's Raja Misra ( no 'h' in the surname, plij ) is a scummy sort of Robin Hood who is a mix of goon and boon, gun and grins doesn't tire of reminding his adversaries of his Brahminical roots. Here's an actor who can bring gravitas to his character without weighing it down in self-importance. Saif has great support from the ever-reliable Jimmy Shergill. Even, Jimmy has portrayed with utmost conviction and has looked totally at ease while performing which speaks volumes about his acting skills. Sonakshi Sinha plays her 'typical' Bollywood heroine role, and does not have much to contribute.    Gulshan Grover and Raj Babbar in negative characters make you nostalgic for their performances in the 90s. Even Chunky Pandey, who plays a negative cameo in the first half is really commendable. Ravi Kishen plays a character with a lot of potential in the movie and could have been utilised better. A special mention should go to Vidyut Jamwal as he delivers a power packed performance and the jaw dropping stunts in his special appearance of say around 45 minutes. In the ensemble cast, the noticeable performers are Vipin Sharma, DeepRaj Rana, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Mahie Gill, Sharat Saxena, and Rajeev Gupta.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                    :                     The music for this flick has been given by Sajid Wajid  which is fairly average and yes, one track, " Tamanche pe Disco" has has been composed by RDB. But, Sajid-Wajid have provided a good background score with a true Hollywood western style mouth organ playing at the pauses and the intense parts of the movie. The cinematography of the movie is by P.S.Vinod who has captured locales of U.P, Chambal, Mumbai and Kolkatta with fine tuning and aplomb. Another person who deserves due credit is Rahul Srivastava who has edited the movie and controlled the film's reckless momentum and hit the right notes while taking a route that hardly affords safe options. Now, coming to the master craftsman Tigmanshu Dhulia, who has written the story, screenplay, dialogues as well as directed the movie and fared exceptionally on all the fronts. Apart from the screenplay, his dialogues are crisp, brazen and in tandem to the screenplay..sample this..Brahman bukha to sudama, samjha to chanakya , rutha to ravan. Dhulia's skills as a raconteur of remarkable aptitudes is most evident. He merges mythological and historical allusions into current politics and he weds heroism and hooliganism without causing any discernible damage to his work's aesthetics. Dhulia's treatment of violence in the hinterland is sharp and constantly tongue in cheek. Midway through the mayhem he brings in Vidyut Jamwal ( described picturesquely as (Chambal Ka Chowkidar) to bring our scummy hero Raja Misra under control. Tigmanshu has become a director to reckon with and undoubtedly is one of the best when it comes to making raw, unadulterated cinema.  



WOW MOMENTS                                                    :     Watch the camaraderie between Saif & Jimmy as it has to be seen to be believed. After, a lot of time Filmy dosti has come which matches and reminds you of Jai -Veeru of Sholay which one of the characters refers to in the the movie itself.

 CONCLUSION                                                      :      It is a conventional, formulaic cinema made in raw, brazen, unadulterated and tightly wound way which is a treat for genuine movie lovers. It is definitely not the run of the mill kind of cinema and has been intelligently made and presented.

  ROHIT SHARMA.
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

RAM LEELA : Movie review













                                              Just when you think you have seen it all, there comes a film that reminds you of how far the cinematic medium has come....And how far it can go in the right hands. And let’s face it. Bhansali is Bhansali. Every image, every frame tells a story. Every shot in this brilliant film has a place in his cosmos. You won’t be left wondering for even a split second why you saw what you just did. Yup, size matters. And in the case of Ram Leela you can say that with a wink. Bhansali’s Romeo and Juliet are unabashedly sexual in the body and verbal language. None of that traditional coyness and hesitation that characterizes traditional courtship when Ram and Leela discuss one another’s vital statistics. He runs a porn video parlour. She comes from a family of gun-wielding criminals helmed by a steely matriarch (Supriya Pathak, brilliant). As far as Ram & Leela are concerned, he comments on her ‘136 inch’ chest, she talks about his, er, trigger. They are in love and they know lust is an integral component of their relationship. No two lovers derived from a classic romance have celebrated their mutual sexual desires so frankly and fearlessly. 
SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                           :          Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is Bollywood’s third stab at ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in a year and a half. Full marks must be given to its writers that include SLB, Siddharth and Garima who have embellished this tale by blending traditional tale along with modern elements.  It’s violent and vicious Verona all over again; this time around the theatre of action is relocated to a village in the Rann of Kutch. In the bargain, the essential spirit of the Bard is left by the wayside. Bhansali’s Romeo is Ram (Ranveer Singh), a rakish, hunky Lothario who believes that physical love is as essential as acts of violence are avoidable. Needless to say, he falls prey to both. Juliet is Leela (Deepika Padukone), an epitome of feminine grace who thinks nothing of giving free rein to her sexuality. Boy and girl are so smitten by each other that, after the initial moments of tentativeness, they aren’t sure where lust ends and love begins. But once passion blossoms, there is no stopping the duo.But in their path are their respective families. One clan peddles guns, the other spreads terror. Venom flows free, and so does blood. Bullets fly thick and fast and lives are snuffed out with a thought. The young lovers have no choice but to turn their backs on their folks and elope.Amid all the ballyhoo, the village manages to produce a newspaper of its own. It’s called Ranjhar Times. Wonder who has the time! Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is neither Romeo and Juliet nor your friendly neighbourhood Ram Lila, where the audience knows exactly what the outcome is going to be. The pacing also dips rather badly in the middle and whenever Ram and Leela are separated, since from a dramatic standpoint their tandem star power is the engine that makes the whole thing run. Those caveats aside, visual splendor and hot-blooded melodrama mostly win out over rickety pacing and scripting.

STARCAST                                                          :        The actors, in keeping with the no-holds-barred ambience that the film exudes, take recourse to grandly expansive gestures to express the minutest of emotions. What makes the ride as enjoyable as it is, are the performances of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the leads. Singh prevails over a very odd (even by masala hero standards) mustache to give a deeply affecting and rich performance as Ram, but it's Padukone, as is increasingly the case, who steals the show with pure, deliberate, ferocious star power. The striking thing about her performance as Leela is how tightly coiled and tense it seems; she's ready at a moment's notice to kiss or kill (or both), never passive, never merely a photographic subject.  Padukone, who's very close—if she isn't there already—to becoming the star among stars in her generation. Her every gesture is fascinating.  Apart from the leads, three male performers who stand out are - Sharad Kelkar who has played the part of Leela's brother. Supporting a stubbed beard, he manages to impress even in the short duration of his screen presence. Secondly, Abhimanyu Singh who we saw as Bukka Reddy in Rakht-Charithra has delivered an astounding performance as Ram's elder brother. He looks really mean & menacing and his expressions are really convincing while portraying the character of a Don. Thirdly, Vishnu Devaiah as Leela's greedy cousin who wants to become the leader of clan by hook or crook has given a commendable performance. Similarly,  in females three performers who stand out are : – Supriya Pathak Kapur as Leela’s mother, Richa Chadda as the heroine’s sis-in-law and Barkha Bisht Sengupta as the widow in the enemy camp. Especially impressive is the way Chadda nails the local accent even as it fluctuates wildly all around her. So, all in all, SLB has extracted the best performances from all his actors and it is a treat to watch them portraying their characters onscreen and credit should also be given to the casting directors i.e. Shruti Mahajan & Parag Mehta.   

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                          :     On technical front, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a well set, festooned moveable tableau where all the ingredients seem to be outshining each other that ultimately its difficult to ascertain whose the best. The music for the flick has been composed by SLB himself, and if not very good still he has done a descent job out of it. Monty Sharma, has given very good background music. I will also like to give due credit to the Production Designer, Wasiq Khan whose art work too unfurls a spiraling tapestry of kaleidoscopic colours that find a place in the hectic frames without jostling or crowding the canvas. S.Ravi Varman's cinematography is plush and passionate and yet the film's visuals never topples over into the kingdom of the garish. And what visuals as he has made the desi Romeo and Juliet's turbulent togetherness an occasion for optical enchantment. Varman, let me state, uses the camera like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan uses the Sarod. It’s an instrument to converse with divinity. Movie has been edited by SLB himself along with Rajesh Pandey who have kept the length of the flick to 154 minutes which i feel could have been restricted or better fine tuned by editing some of the lengthy scenes. Now, coming to the man himself i.e. Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has written, produced, composed music, edited as well as directed this opulent movie. So much has been said about Bhansali’s cinematic sense. But not enough. The way he composes the shots to convey the passionate desperation of lovers who know they’re running out of time is a subject that textbooks can be written about. With a magician’s dexterity Bhansali weaves the characters into frames with seamless splendour magically making space for the passionate and the tender. You could say Bhansali’s cinema is the visual equivalent of Lata Mangeshkar’s singing. And you wouldn’t be wrong.

WOW MOMENTS                                          :          Of the innumerable imperishable images that emerge from Ram Leela’s tumultuous tale, I’d single out two. The first shows Barkha Bisht as Ranveer’s widowed sister-in-law running away from a gang of attackers. As she runs through the rugged hinterland her brass vessel tumbles down-slope with her. The sequence, caught in a desperately dying light, is probably the most vivid image of impending doom I’ve seen in any recent film. The other unforgettable image features Deepika, her hand bloodied after an injury, lying on the wet ground in a streak of blood which reminded me of Aishwarya Rai’s slashed wrist creating a pond of blood with her hand in Bhansali’s Hum...Dil De Chuke Sanam.

CONCLUSION                                                          :      Ram Leela’s visual poetry is so eloquent you wonder at times if the filmmaker is a closet-painter. Really, you’ve never seen anything quite like this before. Exhilarating, tumultuous, passionate, flamboyant, fluent and quite simply fabulous....Sanjay Bhansali’s Gujju take on Romeo & Juliet would have surely made Shakespeare giddy with joy. Brimming with exuberance and energy Ram Leela’s exalted aesthetics and powerhouse narration once again prove Bhansali to be an incomparable storyteller.

ROHIT SHARMA.
Follow me on twitter at  https://twitter.com/smgr105
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Monday, 18 November 2013

BHAJI IN PROBLEM : Movie Review



" BHAJI IN PROBLEM " was being expected to deliver lot of goodies in form of comic entertainment especially when most of its predecessor Punjabi flicks have failed to make a mark in the recent past. But, alias it also fails to sustain laughter or even your interest throughout the movie. And, it becomes all the more disappointing because of the big names involved with the flick like Gippy Grewal, Smeep Kang, Akshay Kumar and Viacom 18. Keeping in mind, the track record of Smeep Kang, most of the audience was expecting fireworks of laughter which although is present in movie but in patches only.  It is nowhere in league if compared to earlier flicks of Smeep that we have seen. The movie fails to hold your interest throughout and picks up and delivers good comic punches towards the ending of the movie in the last few reels.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                   :             The story as well as screenplay of the flick has been penned by Smeep Kang who has doled out a comic script but the biggest drawback is that it has uncanny resemblance to the scripts of his previous flicks. Since lot of scenes have been lifted from earlier  flicks so they kind of infuse half hearted laughter. It is the script and screenplay which has let this flick down although some of the dialogues that have been written by Naresh Kathuria & Gurpreet Ghuggi are real funny. The basic plot of the movie revolves around two characters played by Gippy Grewal and Gurpreet Ghuggi. Gippy belongs to a landlord family of a village who is always engaged in fights cause of a rivalry between his father (Avtar Gill)  and another landlord(Rana Jung Bahadur) of the area. Now, to end the enmity between these two clans a cop played by cricketer Harbhajan Singh suggests both the families to become relatives by marrying Gippy to the other landlord's daughter played by Japji Khaira. Gippy doesn't want to marry her so he decides to go to his Mamaji played by Om Puri who is a theatre artiste and lives in a nearby town. His father is totally against this as he is angry with Om Puri as he has married a girl from theatre troupe against their wishes. But, our typical hero is relentless and goes to him. There, he meets and falls in love with leading lady of the movie played by Ragini Khanna. Thereafter, enters Gurpreet Ghuggi who has married twice and the confusion of all kinds begin leading to some hilarious moments.

STARCAST                                                      :                    Coming to the performances, Gippy Grewal who has played the main lead has given an okay kind of performance as per the character he has played. Lately, he has matured as an actor and has given better performances in his last couple of flicks but in this movie he has acted on an average scale. It is two actors who have out shined on the comic front as per their characters  i.e. Gurpreet Ghuggi & B.M.Sharma. Both of them have done descent job as per their characters and have been able to provide lot of guffaws in the movie. Coming to the actresses, Ragini Khanna has made her d├ębut in Pollywood through this flick but unfortunately for her there is not much scope in this movie's script itself as she has little screen presence in this movie. Japji Khaira too has limited scenes but has done well in her limited screen presence. In fact, it is Misha Bajwa & Khushboo Grewal who have got more screen presence who have portrayed the character's of Ghuggi's wives. Amongst, other actors Om Puri, Karamjit Anmol, Avtar Gill & Rana Jung Bahadur have been kind of wasted as they haven't been given meaty roles. Oh ! yes, Cricketer Harbhajan Singh has played a cameo as a cop and has not done a bad job out of it keeping in mind that he is not an actor. And, Finally you can see our Khiladi i.e. Akshay Kumar also in this movie playing a spoof on himself by playing the character of his duplicate called Bhakshay Kumar and entertains you in his guest appearance.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                       :        The music for this movie has been provided by Jatinder Shah who has given an average score with a couple of songs being chart busters. The cinematographer of the movie is Neelabh Kaul who has done a descent job of it and has captured good locales. The editing work of the movie has been handled by Manish More who has kept the length of the movie to 124 minutes although even that seems a tad bit too long because of some shoddy screenplay. Coming to the direction front, Smeep Kang has disappointed this time as he is capable of making much better cinema which he has already proved in the past by making good comic movies. He, probably got carried away by his past two hit movies and hence penned down a storyline which is quite similar to his past flicks. Although, in late second half once laughter ball sets in, it keeps on rolling and makes you laugh and kind of makes up for earlier dull proceedings to a certain extent but audience definitely expects much more from Smeep Kang  movie.

WOW MOMENTS                                                      :           The scene where Ghuggi & Gippy ask B.M.Sharma to marry his daughter to Karamjit Anmol is a laugh riot. The penultimate scene where Karamjit is getting engaged to B.M.Sharma's daughter is too hilarious. And finally the climax scene of Gippy's marriage where most characters get together will make you roar with laughter.

CONCLUSION                                                            :        Although It is a good comic attempt with laughter punches throughout but still it works in parts as lot of comic punches have been lifted from earlier flicks. If you dont go with much expectations, you will relish this movie and will definitely laugh your heart heart out towards the end of the movie.
 
ROHIT SHARMA.
Follow me on twitter at  https://twitter.com/smgr105
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

KRRISH 3 : Movie Review


All supermen stories, whether desi or firangi, are hair-brained constructs where superheroes are created out of gibberish. And in these comic-book narratives the victory of good over evil is ordained. Yet, because they play on our complexes, superman and superiority, as well our fear of mortality, they work wonderfully for us. The superhero of atrocious superhero filmmaking has struck again, and its not a pretty sight. Take the most superficial components of X-men, Batman, Superman, Spiderman and even Shaktimaan ; mix them together in a typical bollywood screenplay and Krrish 3 is ready for audience to watch. But when mainstream Bollywood retells our favourite stories, they strip them down to the basics. Stories that could have evolved into a more nuanced battle between good and bad, become whittled down versions where black is jet black and white is radiant and glowing. All that our writers and directors do is throw in more and more prejudices to make the bad badder. Here writer-director-producer Rakesh Roshan has made the villain a wheel-chair bound bundle of neurosis and complexes. But political-incorrectness is hardly the issue here, being underwhelmed is. 

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                            :                   The story for this flick has been written by Rakesh Roshan and the credit for the screenplay has been given to Robin Bhatt, Honey Irani, Irfan Kamal, Akash Khurana & Rakesh Roshan also. And the biggest cliche of the movie is its writing and screenplay. So, its a big surprising and amusing factor that five writers have together penned this storyline which is the biggest disappointment of this movie. The screenplay, though involving a range of conceits has its a** covered and movie begins with  — Kaal (Vivek Oberoi) — who lives in a steel capsule atop a snow-clad cliff and slithers about in a wheelchair. In this strange world, Siberian and supernatural, where transparent touch-screens have glowing figures and enlarging circles, he breeds stuff — creatures and deadly viruses, for insaniyat ka khatma. In India, meanwhile, scientist-daddy Rohit (also Hrithik Roshan), who lives with his TV reporter bahu Priya (Priyanka Chopra) and superman son Krrish (Hrithik Roshan), is involved in a home project.  Kaal is a genius scientist who is paralysed neck down except for two fingers. He is in search of a particular bone marrow that will put life into the rest of his body. He creates creatures called Manvars — a bilingual sandhi of man plus var of janvar. Wife Priya announces she’s pregnant, and this is occasion for Hrithik to dance and delight us, even if it’s to a song with strange lyrics. Soon there’s an outbreak of a deadly virus in Namibia, and this brings to us the film’s chief villainess, Kaya (Kangana Ranaut). Made from the blood of Kaal and a chameleon, she has some stunning properties. But Kaal’s next plan, to hit this country, comes to nought when Rohit creates an antidote to the virus all by himself. This alerts Kaal — the antidote can only be made from his DNA — and the story begins to unravel, but only after an exchange programme involving ichcha-dhari girgit Kaya and Priya is activated. You can guess what this means — both for Kaya and Kaal. If you are still interested in remaining storyline than you go and watch the movie in theatres. 


STARCAST                                                 : 
  Undoubtedly,the movie belongs to talented Hrithik Roshan who doesn't disappoint with his acting,emoting,dancing abilities & has once again delivered a power packed performance. He is present in double role i.e. as Rohit as well as Krrish and manages to convince audience in both the characters. But, i feel pity for him as his efforts and skills might go wasted & not get him the rewards which he deserves as the story & screenplay has let the movie down. Priyanka Chopra slips into the character of Priya effortlessly and to perfection and once again proves why she is known to be one of the best actresses in Bollywood. But it is Kangna Ranaut who has managed to impress the most in the role of chief villainess Kaya who is ichcha-dhari girgit. I would personally rate it as one of the best performances that she has given so far. Vivek Oberoi, as the wheel chair bound genius but mean and menacing scientist, Kaal is also well cast. In the ensemble cast there are Arif Zakaria, Rajpal Yadav, Rakhee Tandon, Mohnish Behl who have given a noticeable performance.       

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                          :          Now, coming to the music which has been composed by Rajesh Roshan is also very average with most of the songs not being that catchy. The background score by Salim Suleiman is definitely good in tandem with the movie. Undoubtedly, the movie is amazing and excellent as far as the technical aspects are concerned and Roshans have taken a brave step ahead by trying to imbibe mutants of hollywood as Maanwars on Indian celluloid but alias it hasn't clicked that well. Cinematography by S.Tirru is excellent and he has captured some enchanting visuals on-screen. Sabu Cyril also deserves applause for his production design and so do Mike H.G.Bates and Mike Stringer for their contribution in make-up department. The movie editor Chandan Arora has done a fine job but it could have been better, had he restricted duration of some scenesRakesh Roshan as a director excelled in both the prequels to this but this time he went overboard by adding too much of technical glitz and super elements. Most of his earlier flicks had a soul along with sentiments attached to them which appealed to major section of audience which is missing from this one. It is not a very bad movie and may be certain section of audience especially kids might like it but this is not that typical Rakesh Roshan kind of a movie. His movies had a typical USP of having emotionally turbulent screenplay which is missing from this flick.  

OVER THE HEAD                                       :               Some of the costumes and sets in this movie are so mind boggling that they remind you of old Ramanand Sagar's serials like Vikram -Baitaal. Buildings crumbling like card-boards and destruction is at par with old Godzilla movies. On top of it, in every other scene you will find a product placement as if its an advertising movie with product categories like pen, juice, ice cream, airline being promoted.  In fact, in one of the scenes when Priyanka and Hrithik walk into the frame from either sides, the camera focuses more on two brand hoardings instead of them. 

CONCLUSION                                                :                   Its an out n out  sci- movie which might appeal to a certain section of audience but it is no-where in league when compared to its prequels. So if you have penchant for those technology ridden fictions featuring super hero versus various caricatures, than you can go and relish it.        
  
ROHIT SHARMA.
Follow me on twitter at  https://twitter.com/smgr105
rohitreview@gmail.com