Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 25 May 2012

                                            YEH KHULA AASMAAN:DULL CANVAS
Yeh Khula Aasmaan is like a dull grey sky without any sunshine or clouds or rainbow or any colour whatsoever.

Made by debutant director, Geetanjali Sinha, the film has been advertised as a winner in best foreign feature film, sports category,Los Angeles film festival. Such a choice certainly speaks poorly of film festivals which actually select cinema devoid of solid content.

The story  revolves around an 18 year old boy, Avinash (Raj Tandon) who loses confidence upon failing IIT entrance exam and goes to visit his Daddu, Gulab Rai (Raghuvir Yadav).Avinash’s father (Yashpal Sharma) is busy making money in London while he has been sent to Mumbai to study. Daddu used to be an ace kite flier in his village, known for defeating his arch rival, Mirza. Now the grandsons, Avinash  and Salim take part in a kite flying competition in keeping with the family tradition. Yadav believes that his grandson will regain his lost confidence if he wins the competition. He keeps inspiring Avinash with words like, “ho iraadon mein bulandi to zameen kya, aasmaan kya..”With the help of next door girl, Muskaan (Anya Anand),another childhood  friend and his Daddu, Avinash starts to prepare for the contest.

 Teenagers these days are growing up on Hollywood cinema, television and Youtube. It is unlikely that a slow, preachy story told like a moral science lesson, will keep their attention or interest. The story is too simple and without much conflict. The screenplay (Geetanjali Sinha,Samarth Lahiri)is  predictable and devoid of any drama. The dialogues (Ravi Chopra) keep you just about interested  but don’t reflect any particular character trait in anyone including a fine actor like Raghuvir Yadav.

Every character is stereotype-a loving grandfather, a negligent father and a kitty party going mother. All these would still be acceptable and interesting if the main character, Avinash could draw you in. Every time, there is a minor challenge for him, his only reaction is to head for the terrace and sulk. Daddu follows and preaches. The scenes are repeated throughout the story. Avinash’s parents shown indulging in blame game, have a sudden change of heart with just one incident. There is forced conflict with Daddu’s arch rival and his grandson, Salim, constantly taunting him and Avinash.

Basically, imagine everything that has been seen before, in slow motion. You get the gist.

The only redeemable feature is the pleasant, peaceful small town location and  a few nice shots of the skyline thanks to the adept cinematography by Vivek Shah.

Music by Anand and Milind Chandragupt is good and complete with suitable lyrics by the dialogue writer, Ravi Chopra.Tum mile toh karaar agaya,pyar pe aitbaar aa gaya” are sweet and simple. Zindagi bhi patang hai wo pyare,chal nikal ghar se pecha lada re, haar se pehle math haar jaa re--these lyrics  sum up both the theme and the story.

Raj Tandon and Anya Anand remain awkward and unconvincing. Raghuvir Yadav does not resort to any melodrama and remains natural throughout. Yashpal Sharma in his clichéd role of unattentive father and London based businessman, seems slightly uncomfortable.

Although well intended,this kite doesn’t fly high because of its kachche dhaage.

Friday, 18 May 2012

                                           DEPARTMENT:RAPE OF THE SENSES

There is a scene in which Amitabh Bachchan playing a mastermind politician, while having a drink with Rana, starts laughing. Rana asks him hesitantly, the reason. Bachchan laughs some more and shakes his head and says, “ Ek joke yaad aa gaya.Private hai.”

It seems that Ram Gopal Verma has a private joke of his own, which he translates into his movies. It’s so private and hilarious that he continues to entertain himself at his loyal audiences’ expense. Sometimes you react to bad jokes with one word:“sick”. When you see weird, low camera angles focussed on every body part but the face, be it man or woman, no prizes for guessing the one word.

Department, from the beginning to the end, takes you through a cruel roller coaster ride of rapid camera work and edit combined together. Wide angle, low angle, wide angle, low angle, close up on lips licking, hold on a woman’s swaying butt, close in on large hands or feet or shoes, superfast round trolley shots circling Dutt and Rana, upside down long legs of Bachchan and Rana. Switch to slow motion. Upside down. Dizzy yet? Not enough. Add a nonstop deafening, head splitting, music score. Next, throw in some gun games and fist fights, body tossing, slow motion chases. Plus, of course, an item number with pelvic thrusts and a costume that can make porn look prude. Then there are props like tea cups, teddy bears, lion heads in focus. Once one gets used to this abuse of the lenses along with the assault on all the senses, one can move on to the story that takes the underbelly plot too visually. Literally.

Written by Nilesh Girkar, the plot has an interesting dark side to it which is sadly not explored enough. It is about creating a department that links  ruthless cops, politicians   and the underworld for the larger good of defeating the mafia. So a corrupt cop, Mahadev(Sanjay Dutt) kills criminals and hires an honest cop, Shivnarayan (Rana Daggubati)who also does violent encounters, to work for his ‘department’. The aim is to destroy two leading gangs headed by Vijay Raaz and Ghori(a voice on the phone).The two Shivas have a blast, throwing bodies as if tossing a ball. The party turns from brawn sport to mind games as the tall, grey haired,  politician with wicked laughter, Sarjerao(Amitabh Bachchan) with a tiny bell on his wrist, lifts his little finger, summons Rana and changes the game.

The film is a character study of wierdos, nothing unusual in a RGV film. Bachchan wears a bell to remind himself that he got enlightenment at the Dharavi signal during his don days, turned a samaritan politician and to show “sabki bajti hai”. Vijay Raaz sports a white dhoti and lets his skinny body language do the evil talking. Two sidekick lovers in his gang, DK (Abhimanyu Singh)and his foul mouth girlfriend (Madhu Shalini)make violent plans while making love. Dutt and Rana are devoid of any characteristics mercifully and remain so non descript that they end up as good as props in focus. The screenplay has sufficient plot twists to remain pacy but meaningless. The dialogues are mildly entertaining in Bachchan’s scenes.

Dutt and Daggubati, though present throughout the film as main leads, fail to make their presence felt. Neither do  Laxmi Manchu and Anjana Sukhani  who play their respective wives. Vijay Raaz does his best within the limited capacity of his role. Abhimanyu Singh and Madhu Shalini  have the best parts in playing sick and disgusting but are not quite convincing. Deepak Tijori as one of the department cops is passable. Bachchan, this time, manages to look eccentric as well as likeable unlike his past RGV experiments. He seems to have started relishing roles that take him farthest from his iconic image.

The background music(Dharam-Sandeep) along with the SFX is an assault on the eardrums. The music (Bappi Lahiri,Vikram Nagi) which includes “Thodi si jo peeli hai “remix along with the lyrics –“Dan Dan Cheeni “(Vayu) ,remain average. The cinematography and the edit, only irritates in the name of experiment. The action is full of hideous, mindless violence.

The film repeatedly has lines discussing the good and the bad, the right and the wrong; stating there is no such thing. Watching Department, one can definitely say this is bad nightmare from someone who needs to be shaken up violently to go back to being the good filmmaker he was with Rangeela, Satya and Company. This is not how you want to remember a Ram Gopal Verma film.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Why this..
Why this..
Why this Karismaveri Karismaveri Karisma3D

White skin- girl- girl-
Girl- heart-no colour-
Eyes-eyes-don’t meet
Film future- past
Haan..why this 3D

The first time Karisma’s look was unveiled to show the poster of Dangerous Ishq, she was seen in posing in a thigh slit red gown, standing Oscar leg Jolie style. Did it raise curiosity? It did the opposite.

Her first scene in the movie is much like her comeback. We see her coming out of the shadows and walking on the ramp, facing the paparazzi lights. Looking picture perfect, she maintains the poise not through just one life but several past lives. The names change from Sanjana to Salma to Paro, The time period goes back to the partition to Mughal to Mirabai’s period. All in search for her lover and his kidnapper. So is this a love story or a thriller or a past life mystery? All in one and 3D at that.

Sanjana, a successful model decides to cancel her one-year trip to Paris suddenly as she fears that she may never see her boyfriend, Rohan, if she leaves. The fear comes true as soon after, Rohan gets kidnapped. ACP Singh (Jimmy Shergill) comes to investigate. Sanjana, miraculously sees herself with Rohan in a previous birth. So begins a series of previous births to identify the current birth kidnapper. As she regresses from birth to birth, so does the story. Sanjana is seen following the cop around, giving him all the leads with her new found vision and centuries’ broken heart. Apparently the kidnapper has never forgotten anything from any of the births and will do anything to get Sanjana. When the mysterious kidnapper’s identity does get revealed in the end, you are done with rolling your eyes 3D size.

Given the unconvincing concept and story, it can be a challenge for any actor to deliver what it takes. For Karisma, it takes a change in costumes and looks and forced dialect without the slightest change in expression. Not entirely her fault as the character she portrays could go by any name and yet be the same. Everything about her present birth character remains as mysterious as her past, right through the movie. The lover is equally a puzzle as one only sees his non committal smiles most of the time.

Director Vikram Bhatt has said in his interviews that he has experienced past life regression which has helped cure his asthma. If he had conveyed the conviction as easily, he might not have to resort to 3D.The whole 3D experience just brings the actors close to the audience in the theatre but the story, creates an unbelievable distance. Even the screenplay which does manage slight intrigue (Amin Hajee) and functional dialogues (Girish Dhamija) are unable to spare either the protagonist or the viewer.

Karisma Kapoor retains her star looks and presence but doesn’t offer anything beyond that. This once charming Zubeida actor deserved something better as a comeback role. Rajniesh Duggal, a newcomer, has no significant scene which might give him a chance to prove himself. Jimmy Shergill is wasted as he simply does a following around Ms Kapoor act. Divya Dutta, Natasha Sinha, Gracy Singh and Ravi Kishan try their best.

The average music (Himesh Reshammiya) with too much of background score along with lyrics, ”tu hi rab tu hi dua” (Sameer Anjan) fail to keep you awake.

Dangerous Ishq comes with the warning sign in its title. How does one say –dying many deaths- in 3D? 

Friday, 11 May 2012

                                     ISHAQZAADE : SOUND AND FURY

                                       Ishaqzaade is a love story that  can fill you with enough hate to call the hero a  #@*#zaade. There lies both  the USP and the challenge to make you fall in love with him and his love story.

Gunfire and Hindu Muslim ire block the path of true love. Our village Romeo is Parma (Arjun Kapoor), a local goon who points a gun at Zoya (Pareeniti Chopra) and picks up  Chand (Gauhar Khan),the sexy dancer to entertain his MLA grandfather. The fiery Zoya bites the bullet and brandishes her own gun to get even. So begins a love story with hate spouting forth through bullets, racing bikes and jeeps. The hate runs in their blood with the respective families engaged in political feud playing the Hindu Muslim card of sworn enemies.

Parma is from the Hindu family of Chauhans who takeS pride in carrying  out his grandfather’s policy of “mardon ki haweli mardon ki bhasha”. Zoya of the Quereshis,takes pride in wearing her father’s waistcoat, sells her gold earrings to buy a gun and displays more balls than all the town’s men. The two come together to make a deadly pair of sworn enemies who when struck with Cupid’s gun, are like lost puppies on the run from big bad wolves.

The movie is written and directed by Habib Faisal who made an impressive directorial debut with a good, simple story, ”Do Dooni Chaar”. Faisal has also written  “Band Bajaa Baraat” where the male character takes time to grow up, acknowledge and understand love, much like the character in Ishaqzaade. Like BBB, his female characters are full of fire, can take on the world and all the  ...zaades.

Ishaqzaade’s  strength lies in its ruthless, fast paced, contemporary treatment of the everblack story of  caste and religion based hatred in small towns. While the stronghold of political gang lords and family wars are well established, along with interesting nuances in the main characters, the story falls short in the emotional quotient of young and innocent love. The ishq in Ishaqzaade could have been a lot more powerful to match the hard and gritty tone of the film.

Taking off well with a good intermission twist, the film falls a notch in the second half into the clichéd territory of lovers taking refuge with a kothewali .Parma’s character which starts off as a “jaanwar” gets into a confused zone .The fast paced momentum of the plot deprives one of  any memorable romantic moments so crucial to a good love story that earns repeat watches like QSQT. The sound and fury of guns,takes over the heart.

Kausar Muneer’s lyrics, “main pareshaan… “, besides the title track “Ishaqzaade” and “Jhalla walla” written to Amit Trivedi’s fantastic music score, adds beautifully to the film’s gritty tone. The cinematography (Hemant Chaturvedi), well chosen locales and the edit (Aarti Baja) together blend in seamlessly with the narrative.

Arjun Kapoor makes a decent debut in a challenging role of playing a lover boy with grey shades. The movie belongs to Parineeti Chopra who is at ease being the fiery yet endearing girl with a gun. Gauhar Khan steals the show with both her role and two hot sizzling numbers superbly choreographed by Chinni Prakash. Her confidence and chutzpah is electrifying on screen.

 The relentless and ruthless theme of Ishaqzaade   packs in punch and passion with the well adapted age old Romeo and Juliet plot but lacks the sweet, memorable romance of Qayamat se Qayamat Tak. Watch it for the Ishaqzaadi urf Parineeti.

Friday, 4 May 2012


Woh  oh ho wo” ,the hummable signature song and tune of Jannat 2 is not the only woah factor about the movie. Bhatt movies usually sell on shock value which come from Emraan’s kisses and skimpily dressed new faces. In Jannat 2,they try to shock you with expletives. But here’s the unintentional shocker. The story has an alternate hero, not in Emraan Hashmi as the promos would have us believe but in the deadly Randeep Hooda.

Opening promisingly to the soundtrack of ‘Woh..oh..wo..o..” and Sonu Dilli KCC -Kutti kamini cheez(Emraan Hashmi ), a smart ass, mouthing lines like “abhi to goli di hai,baad mein goli doonga”, the movie comes to the point quickly. With its first well choreographed (Raju Khan)song, within ten minutes, “ Tera deedar hua..” we see Hashmi  is not quite the dog as he is made out to be. He is a small time gun supplier who falls in ‘Bhattesque’(romantic songs) blind love with Jhanvi(Esha Gupta) and dreams of making a ‘Jannat’ like life with her. His dreams are foiled by a half dead cop, ACP Pratap Raghuvanshi  (Randeep Hooda, hotter than the heroine)  who claims “jeene aur jaagne ki koshish karta hoon” as a reason for living with the bottle. The cop, seeking personal revenge for his wife’s death, wants to turn  Sonu, the dog into a police rat who will squeal on an arms dealer(Manish Choudhary).

By now, we know that Jannat 2 is not a sequel of Jannat. Secondly it makes you miss the prequel. It is an individual story which could have worked as well in any backdrop and with any title. Though clichéd, this one stands out not just with its popular songs and Emraan Hashmi’s familiar and growing charm but with a carefully developed but predictable plot . A cop plants a rat in the midst of an arms racket  and an engrossing and expletive loaded  cat and mouse embroiler game follows.

The director, Kunal Deshmukh shows more skill here in focusing on the central drama that involves a victim getting trapped into a deadly racket. However the story and screenplay (Shagufta Rafique) while engaging enough till a fascinating intermission point , doesn’t get a decent grip on the romance much integral to the plot and the eventual end. Also, the story ends up being Hooda’s story more than Hashmi’s. Dialogues (Sanjay Masooma)  as suggested by Hashmi’s name, are full of four letter words but at the same time do a decent job of weaving in emotion. The best part of the screenplay lies in the characterization of both Hashmi and Hooda. Again the characters are clichéd but succeed in involving you with their personal dilemmas. It would have been more interesting to see Hashmi’s character being as ‘KCC’ as he is supposed to be. The bonding  and fireworks  between him and Hooda surpasses the chemistry between Hashmi and Esha Gupta and provides more reason for drawing you in.

Although Jannat 2 is well shot (Bobby Singh)  and well directed, the movie fails to make the desired impact for two reasons. The premise is the same one repeated in every Bhatt movie - that of a gangster seeking escape from crime to a normal life. Secondly, the love story needs to be as intense as the crime drama. Here the romance is only expressed through songs and Esha’s presence does nothing to make us believe as passionately in Emraan’s love except his own sincerity.

The soundtrack and the music(Pritam) which has always been a Bhatt card, continues to rule here. The magical combination of Hashmi, Bhatt and Pritam brings out all the entertainment of a Bollywood movie. The title song “who ho oh..” written by Sayeed Qadri charms as much as his  “tu hi mera deen hai..imaan hai..Rab ka shukraana..” brings out the required intensity. “Sang hoon tere” is lovely on the ears and “Tu hi mera..”   as a looped line refuses to leave you.

Emraan Hashmi, gets better and better with every movie and comes across as an adorable, sincere pup instead of the dog his name makes him out to be. However, both his character and performance is out shadowed by Randeep Hooda who plays the intense, hardened cop tormented by his wife’s memories, brilliantly. Esha Gupta passes off with stiff smiles and Manish Chaudhary makes you miss a fearful villain on screen.

Those expecting Hashmi’s sizzling scenes, will be disappointed and those expecting simple entertainment, will be happy to watch the movie.

Jannat 2  one may not be a ticket to paradise but is far from the road to hell.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Want to watch speeding trains, cars and bikes for two hours without caring who, what, why? Here’s your chance to fulfill that fantasy of a video game without pushing a button.

The place is London. Aakash (Ajay Devgn) is caught by the police for being an illegal immigrant. Cut. His wife, Nikita (Kangana) screams and falls. Cut. Devgn is back in 4 years, with accomplices, Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy.They plan to plant a bomb in a train. Cut. Apparently, the deported man in depression has watched “Speed” and Japanese film “The Bullet Train” and learnt something. He calls Boman Irani, railway officer and warns him that if the train’s speed is below 60 km/hr, the train will explode. Enters the good Indian cop, Arjun Khanna (Anil Kapoor).He barks orders at an imaginary troop of men on the phone and looks suitably concerned.Cut.

Directed by Priyadarshan, with this abrupt style of rapid shots and cuts, the story ends and the chase begins. Now we know why the film is titled “Tez”. Except that time goes by even slower than you can imagine.
The train starts speeding at 110 km per hour. Another cop, Mohanlal is inside the train shouting orders at all and sundry. At the railway headquarters, Boman shouts orders and points at railway maps. Anil Kapoor shouts some more, gets into a police car and quickly locates Devgn who gets him to dump a suitcase of cash into the water. Devgn disappears.

A boat chase begins with Sameera Reddy bravely fighting the waves and gun shots from a helicopter. The chase continues with her speeding on a bike, followed by a fleet of police cars. The sequence is as follows: speeding cars, speeding bike, close-up of Anil Kapoor’s face, speeding cars, speeding bike, long shot of girl in helmet, speeding cars, speeding bike. Did we mention the film is so cleverly titled ‘Tez”? And that the hero is Devgn, not the bike superwoman?

Next chase. No car. Zayed Khan runs. Anil Kapoor in overcoat, also runs. He runs with admirable style. Zayed Khan runs faster. He even runs up a wall, like Superman. Despite a bullet in his leg, he jumps into the water with Devgn waiting for him. That’s quite “tez”, you notice. Devgn also runs. Not when he is chased but when his dear friend needs him most. Now you are not quite sure if he is the hero after all. He is not even seen in most of the film except when he makes phone calls on his cell and then throws it into the water.
So that’s the major part of action screenplay(Robin Bhatt) covered, which is an accomplishment as there is no plot and one line trying to sound like a dialogue (Aditya Dhar):“ek who  jiske paas haarne ke liye kuch bhi nahin aur ek main jo sab haar chukaa hai.”  Here is an action packed non story which has nothing to say and nowhere to go. The lack of a strong and believable motivation for Devgn to take on the entire city of London, makes the whole experience meaningless and silly.

The remainder is a blur between the speeding train, few rapid flashbacks cut to the present with Ajay Devgn chased by Anil Kapoor at a railway station. A dialogue exchange and a gunshot settles the issue so quickly that you start wishing for the mindless chase instead.

As to the speeding train, by now, one has lost track. One simply watches Mohanlal swinging between two trains and wonders why this great actor is reduced to this position.

The music (Sajid-Wajid) does not provide much relief or entertainment value, with the exception of “Tere Bina”. The simple  lyrics (Jalees Sherwani & Shabbir Ahmed) work well with Rahet Fateh Ali’s rendition.
The cinematography does most of the storytelling in the movie at it captures action sequences with great style. The only redeeming factor is  the action by Gareth Milne and  Peter Pedrero. However, the hero of the film, namely, the speeding train is eventually reduced to a guest appearance, as it  is shown mostly through brief ariel shots.

The actors do a good job of running, chasing, shouting into telephones and throwing cell phones into water. Each look as lost as the other when trying to say something important or emotional. What stands out are Kangana’s curls, Devgn’s  cell phones and Anil Kapoor’s  sneers and Mohanlal’s moustache. Mallika Sherawat’s appearance in an item song is for once, welcome.

If you enjoy speeding to reach dead ends, 'Tez’ is for you.