This is the biggest disappointment of the year. Bombay Velvet is Technically brilliant but it suffers from a narrative inept that takes away the soul of the film. There is not a single scene in the film that can be qualified as Anurag Kashyap’s trademark style. It’s 2+ hours of complete nothingness.
This is the best action movie that has ever graced the face of the earth. 2 hours of non-stop, breath-taking, adrenaline-rushing action set pieces with a very subtle feminist ideology. This mad, mad movie needs to be seen by every single person who enjoys films.
There are so many disaster movies cliches in this one that you almost feel like drawing yourself. The sad part is, this film makes Dwayne Johnson’s screen presence look like a total dud.
A film that lands between a tale of a dysfunctional family and the tale of finding oneself. It also lies between light and dark comedy. Even though the film has brilliant performances, specially from the kids the uneven story-telling is what I din’t appreciate much. It’s Still Watchable.
The DUFF has some interesting things to say, like the use and influence of social media on the supposedly innocent high school kids and the fact that everyone is someone they never want themselves to be. But overall its yet another cliched high-school-romantic-comedy that is cleverly directed in order to hide those things. But they are quite evident, aren’t they?
Before I can praise anyone for this wonderful, wonderful film I would take a minute and congratulate Ms. Juhi Chaturvedi for her flawless, fearless and weirdly amazing writing. Because, before there is a camera there is a pen and a paper, a laptop and a keyboard, a typewriter and a cup of coffee and sometimes people like us forget to appreciate it. So Juhi Chaturvedi, wherever you are remember there’s someone, somewhere who believes you are one of the best in the business.
How can you make a film that is basically toilet talk throughout? The same way you can make a film about sperms? Shoojit Sircar’s Piku is like a Sunday breeze that doesn’t always have the most soothing and fresh air but it’s a Sunday breeze after all, you have to go out and feel it. There are no cartoon caricatures, moving pictures and peppy number in the opening credits of the film. All you see are black-and-white labels with a singular red-dot (symbolizing the red bengali bindi) and a soothing sitar playing in the background. Almost instantly you can see the resemblance to a good old Hrishikesh Mukherjee film.
The film opens you up to a chaotic Delhi-based Bengali household and its almost impossible to gather everything that is going around. You see a father-daughter duo fighting over how good and bad, walking will do to his morning poop. Opening up the movie like this, Shoojit insures that you get used to the loud and messy duo and almost instantly fall in love with them. There are no grand-moments no innovative gags just pure realism in daily lives that ignite an unpredictable yet fresh comedy.
Piku is a special film, not because it has Bacchan saab and Deepika Padukone at their best but because it asks a lot of questions that every single one of us has to face at some point or the other. What do we do when our parents, the same one’s who have made us, need us to take care of them? Do you cringe and run away from things? Or do you stay and help them, not because it’s you duty but because of sheer love? Do you define a girl’s intelligence by how she perceives things? Does a girl needs to get married in order to survives in the 21st century? There are million other important questions and strong themes around which the movie weaves. Even though the film doesn’t answer all of them, it’s surprising how the writer and director manage to make those strong themes sound very familiar and easy to digest. Piku the film has charming humor and an incomparable chemistry between everyone who graces the screen in this 2 hour 5 minute long rasogulla of a film that’s drenched in the sweetest chaashni you can ever imagine.
If that’s not enough you have Irrfan Khan playing Rana Chowdhary, the owner of a private taxi service who is forced to drive the uptight father-daughter duo from Delhi to Kolkatta. There is a quirky road-trip film hidden behind this family movie that brings out the best out of everyone. Irrfan Khan with his trademark dry humor manages to make you laugh as he tries to convince the old man about his bowel movements and constipation problems. Even though the film is filled with toilet jokes its never crass. For an Hindi feature film the conversations are too long but take my word every single one of them feels like its written with great valor.
Almost everything in the film is perfect. The musical score by Anupam Roy leaves a lasting impression, wherein the songs do not hinder the flow of the narrative. The camera pans out to the right things at the right time. For example you see see the camera pan into a Satyajit Ray portrait in Piku and Bhaskor’s home, while later she leaves a date just because the bloke does not know any of Ray’s work. There are at least 10 other supporting characters that come in and play their respective parts. When the film ends you actually remember every single one of them. Be it the three time divorced aunt played by Moushumi Chatterjee or Raghuvir Yadav playing the doctor who promises to miss the old annoying bloke as he embarks on a journey to his old home in Kolkatta.
The only sore to the eye are the half a dozen product placements. But Mr. Smarty Pants Sircar has very intelligently placed them so that they are not annoying, at least not more than the adorable Bhaskor ji. I know I don’t praise Deepika enough, just because I can’t stand her but even I couldn’t disagree to the fact that she is too good here. She actually holds her own in-front of the legend himself. I simple loved the subtle ending to this endearing film. Shoojit Sircar doesn’t leave any half-measures here because even in the sad moments of the film he manages to make you smile and love the characters more than you should.
Final Verdict: Piku has more heart than all 2015 films combined. Gather your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather and that kachori-eating aunt/uncle who constantly irritates you about how bad the generation is and go watch the film! It’s wonderful!
His idea of a party is calling a few IT friends and their wives home, while her idea of a party is throwing one of those whiskey bottle on one of those strange stereo-type wives. Everyone faces problems post-marriage but seeing the fate and circumstances that lead to the marriage of Tanu & Manu in the previous film, one would never imagine that their marriage would turn out to be just like millions of others.
He complains that she should be a bit introvert and she complains that the spark and excitement in their life is long gone. Tanu Weds Manu Returns opens with the couple arguing over their problems at a couple-counselling-cum-mental-asylum (Yes! In the world of Mr. Anand L. Rai it exists), somewhere in London. As they say “Never judge a marriage by its wedding”, the couple soon break-off and go into separate modes. While Tanu reconnects with the people of her locality in Kanpur (including Raju Awasthi played by Jimmy Shergil) , Manu stumbles upon a Tanu-look-alike Delhi University student: Kusum and instantly falls for her. What follows is a tale of confusion, hatred, love, marriage and an off-and-on laugh riot.
5 years after the first film, Anand L. Rai brings us the tale of what happens to the polite and Introvert launda and the pungent and care-free laundi after the marriage chores are done with. The sequel to the sleeper-hit Tanu Weds Manu has love and commitment as its crux, even though women empowerment and a lot of other themes and ideas are shoe-horned in the film, the basic idea is the same. What makes both of Rai’s film different is the midas touch of Indian family clichés which he meticulously brings out in all his films.
In one of its best scenes of the film, Manu’s father tries to persuade him when he decides to leave Tanu while Manu’s mother blabbers random gibberish in the background. He suggests his son that every marriage has to face this and the answer is not running away but sitting down and listening to everything. He also says that you need to break the fuse when it gets out of hand.
The sequel is filled with great one-liners and has some hilarious laugh-out-loud scenes in the first half. Pretty much like its prequel the post intermission part loses some of it and slides into a narrative that sounds really idiotic when you think about it. But the immense charm of the cast and Himanshu Sharma’s brilliant writing manages to outshine it all.
The ever so giggly Deepak Dobriyal manges to tickle your funny bone every single time. Even though Tanu Weds Manu Returns has a number of similar characters their actions and chaotic tendency also remain the same. He manages to change some basic forms of the characters making them mature through time. What’s astonishing is the fact that the new character of Kusum A.K.A Datto that has been introduced here feels an eternal part of the tale from the beginning. That’s entirely because Kangna completely disappears into the role and makes you love both the character she plays, equally. Rai never over-does anything. His songs are not songs but essential part of the narrative, they don’t sound forced for some strange reason.
Coming back to the other themes the film touches, allowing two totally different characters to be played by the same women, Rai signifies two unique faces of feminism. Their face-off in a later part of the film shows how both of them signify two strong women. The sad part of the film is neither the writer nor the audience care why Tanu’s character behaves the way she does. She sways away just in a towel, flirts around with ex-lovers and still has a part of her that makes us feel bad for her. Its strange how the film never shows why she is bored of her marriage to an extent of getting out of it. We never see it yet we don’t complain because there’s a lot of other things going on.
The film belongs to Kangna. Her relentless yet hard-working attitude has done her real good. After the amazing Queen, she has played all her cards well. There’s no denying the fact that she could be the next big thing in Bollywood if she chooses her projects wisely. R. Madhvan is a few pounds heavier but his polite and naïve performances boosts the film higher than it already is. Everyone else including Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, K K Raina, Eijaz Khan, Swara Bhaskar and most importantly Jimmy Shergil are amazing in their respective roles.
Final Verdict: Tanu Weds Manu Returns can be a lot of things for some people but to me it’s a well-made romantic-comedy that needs to be seen. It’s as good as the first film if not better.
There are two things that this fairy-tale-esque film does right, for one the film looks stunning and the other is Blake Lively and her beautiful self. Other then that, the film is too bloated and un-engaging to be recommended to anyone.
There’s less teeth and more roar, and all the roar comes down to form a big sack of cheesy thrills and popcorn fun. I am sorry to report, but Jurassic World is a humongous disappointment. Even though anything I say here will not mean anything as the film will make copious amount of money at the box-office. But someone needs to govern the cause of calling this catastrophic mess what it really is: A big, clumsy, cheese-ball that has all ingredients of greatness but even with 4 writers on board, couldn’t cook up a film that can be even called a ‘great-monster-film.’
While Jurassic World is far better than the third Jurassic Park film and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) does his very best in bringing out his A-game, its eventually the stupid writers who are to be blamed. Yes I know the film is meant to be enjoyed, yes I know I have no right to hurt all those people who used to shit their pants back in 1993 and just can’t say anything wrong about what the film is; it doesn’t cover up the fact that the film has a premise and a screenplay that could have been written by a five-year old playing with his monsters in a kindergarten classroom.
Jurassic World relies far too heavily on the tried and true and decidedly cliched plot points of a monster movie. From its young protagonists Gray and Zach (Simpkins and Robinson), who are vacationing in the allegedly “safe” corporate theme park run by our very own Irrfan Khan with an even stupider Saudi/Iranian (or whatever the fuck it was) fake accent. To the very stupid Beth (Bryce Dallas Howard) who runs things over at the park, and also runs all through the film in her high-heels. Only when things can’t get even more unintentionally funny: she has a change of heart almost half way through the film, instantly.
Then there’s Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) doing his own funny bit of being an asshole. But primitively its the dinosaurs whom Mr. Spilberg made us love that are the baddies. The film tries hard to get you to love a few of them, but except for a scene or two everything else feels so washed-out of human or animal emotions that you don’t give two shits about it, sooner or later.
Talking about the ‘Oh Waooh’ factor, this monster film does have its moments. Somewhere in the first half I found my jaw-hanging when the Indominus rex; a playful, intelligent and over-all destructive dinosaur gets away from the leash. But these moments come up randomly and the homage that director Colin Trevorrow wishes to give to the age old franchise don’t hit the right spot. I still remember cheering up in joy when I was a kid. Jurassic Park films have a huge impact on me and while I was never expecting anything similar here, the film plays with your emotions of getting there, and never getting there almost simultaneously. Which makes this even less appreciable with every passing second.
The comic relief from the mayhem is quite good and Chris Patt tries real hard to make this one work but when you simply don’t have intelligent people in the writing room its destined to be a train-wreck.
There’s a scene in the film where a small velociraptors runs towards a bigger one trying to help him out. I wouldn’t lie but the way this specific scene has been portrayed, takes you back to the old Suraj Barjatiya films where the family dog runs in slow-mo on seeing that the master of the house is back home. There’s another one where a dinosaur looks at his human-alpha and almost gestures saying “I got this under-control.” Its moments like these which make you love the film for all the wrong reasons and that’s not what I expected from the film.
Final Verdict: Jurassic World is an enjoyable fest for the first timers, specially the kids. For others it has moments of joy and moments of utter stupidity. Watch it at your own risk, you might end up enjoying it for all the wrong reasons.
(ALSO PUBLISHED IN JAM MAGAZINE)
There are moments of brilliance in Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, but they are far-stretched and too insipid to leave a mark. As the film came to a long and halted close, I stretched my legs and felt something a miss. Even though nothing substantial happens, Akhtar makes you hold your pee pre-interval just because you have faith in her and the people on-board. But as the movie proceeds you just crave for something good to come your way. The emotions don’t hit the right spot, the screenplay drags leaving you helpless with every passing second, and quite like The Mehra’s you want to shout at the film to get a kick-start but you don’t just because you are too nice.
Much like Zoya Akhtar’s previous film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do basically deals with people suffering from First World problems. The film travels across the world as their perspectives about life, people and everything that’s wrong with them, changes.
I never complained about the theme of the film, because I knew that Zoya Akhtar could pull it off. But alas! she had me in splits here. First of all, even though ZNMD was about people from the First World, it was quite relate-able as it had quirky characters and touchy and realistic moments. Dil Dhadakne Do has all the potential to do what it was supposed to do, but the tiresome screenplay and the snail-pace doesn’t work in its way.
The film is about The Mehra’s and their 10 day cruise where they are to celebrate their anniversary. The odds are not in their favor. The filthy rich couple is on the verge of being bankrupt and their only way out is getting their son who is a good-for-nothing-nobody to marry one of their associates’s daughter. On the other hand, their own daughter, who is a self-made women is not happy with her marriage and wants a divorce. The film is about a lot of things but mostly its about acceptance. The greatest problem that a family faces is accepting their loved ones for who they really are. The Mehra’s are decisive but naive, inert but greedy, rich but stupid. Their greatest strength lies in them bonding together, but pretty much like every other family the words that are needed to make things right never leave their mouths.
Dil Dhadkne Do is not half as bad as millions of other commercial films but only if it had relied on real emotions and feelings to convey its central theme. Like Javed Saab’s poetry in ZNMD which was a midas touch to the already good film, we have a strange voice-over where the family dog walks you through the film. The sad part is, rather than relying on the subtlety of the moments, we are forced to listen to the voice-over describing every single thing to you. I’m not saying that the Animal vs Human analogy used is bad but after a certain period of time it just doesn’t feel right. Imagine a man fishing in the sea while someone describes every single emotion on the man’s face. How strange would that be?
If you are really going to watch Dil Dhadkne Do, watch it for the amazing locales and breathtaking cinematography. Its strange how even in a mediocre film everything looks so beautiful. Also, the performances are great. Specially by Shefali Shah and Anil Kapoor. There’s a scene where Shefali stuffs her mouth with chocolate cake. It’s moments like these which could have made the film an amazing drama, but sadly didn’t.
Final Verdict: I really liked the third act of the film, but to get there you need a truck-load of popcorn and a lot of patience. There’s a good film in here but it got lost somewhere in the sea.
(ALSO PUBLISHED IN JAM MAGAZINE)