Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 24 August 2012


“38 B.White.” She says.
  He looks at her and says, “I think..36 B.”
When the first conversation between a 45 year old man and 40 something woman opens with a bra size discussion, it is bound to be funny and interesting. So is the movie, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But since it is also a Bhansali produced film, there is a mild dose of melodrama too.
 Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s story,(dialogues co-written by him and Muncher Wadia),directed by sister and editor, Bela Bhansali Sehgal; is like freshly baked bun served with liberal amount of maska, followed by lots of custard at Parsi Dairy. The beautiful chandelier and curtains settings reminds one of Guzaarish and Black and the wonderful solo dances by both Boman Irani and Farah Khan bring back fond memories of Manisha Koirala dancing to “aaj main upar,asmaan neeche” in Khamoshi.
Farhad  Pastakiya (Boman Irani) is a salesman at a lingerie shop. He is 45 and as his aunt puts it, he is a “reliable bachelor now, not eligible”. Less naughty, more mushy. His mom (Daisy Irani) tries to fix him up with every available single woman. Farhad’s honesty about his profession comes in the way more than his age until he meets the fiery Shirin Fugawala(Farah Khan).Farah is the secretary of Parsi Trust and keeps settling fights by throwing a few punches herself.
A few charming exchanges  later, Farhad falls in love with Shirin though he neither knows her name or number. Filmy moments like these are in plentiful, including the ending. The main leads in their 40s,real in looks, character and performance, balances out the unreal, in keeping with the rom com genre. A somewhat contrived subplot, involving an old eccentric uncle, Feroze who is waiting to propose to Indira Gandhi, makes the otherwise simple and sweet love story somewhat stereotypical. However, the narrative  in its simplicity, along with dialogues, is endearing and fun.
Cinematography by  Mahesh Aney  makes the beautiful Colaba streets and buildings stand out in their grandeur. Music  by Jeet Ganguly is pleasant  like all Bhansali movies except that Farah lip syncing to Shreya Ghoshal, takes away the conviction. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics entertain as usual with songs like “kukud ku… Daffar mein saala,Karti kya kaam bhi na poocha, Gadhera..”
Boman and Farah are a casting coup together. Farah Khan in her debut performance looks sweeter than lagan nu custard, is more graceful than Madhuri Dixit in her moves and has a fantastic sense of timing despite her flat dialogue delivery. Her demure smiles and emotional scenes makes one forget her real life avatar as a no-nonsense director and choreographer. Boman manages to slip into vulnerability with total ease as a 45 year old henpecked son who can make one cry even while mouthing simple lines like, ”You like red and I like white.” Daisy Irani and Shammiji as mom and grand mom are delightful together.
Bela Bhansali Sehgal as a debut director, is quite skilful in tying in simplicity, honesty, humour and emotion. Watch the film for a scooter car joyride and head for a coffee shop in Colaba. Book a table for two with chandeliers above. You don’t have to be 40 and naughty.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


There is a movie. Then there is a Bollywood movie. And then there is a Salman Khan movie.
In a scene, Katrina asks Salman if he is married. He tells her to ask instead if he has a girlfriend. She shakes her head and says, “Tumhari umra shaadi karne ki hai.” Knowing how his bachelorhood is a subject of constant scrutiny amongst the media and audience, Salman clearly likes to have a laugh at himself without caring if he is in character. And there lies the key to box office success: Salman Khan playing himself.
Salman kicks butt right from his cinematic grand entry. One kick makes hundreds of cigarette butts fly slow motion on screen as the ‘tiger’ arrives. Tiger, (Salman Khan) is a RAW agent introduced in a typical action sequence of impossible stunts performed with the ease and grace of a catwalk. He is hired to watch over a scientist for suspicious activities of selling missile secrets to Pakistan. Tiger who is known to end up killing someone at every assignment, turns into a tame puppy upon meeting the scientist’s part time  caretaker, Zoya (Katrina).Under the guise of a writer named Manish Chandra, he turns into a ‘romantic kaddu’ as Zoya calls him.
Tiger’s mission is almost forgotten as he follows Zoya around, discussing the stars and the moon, literally. All pretence at any story is totally done away with as Salman Khan takes charge, playing fully to the gallery. Light romantic scenes continue throughout with brief interludes of action made hilarious by Salman’s flying leaps across buildings and terraces, table tops, bar counter tops, car roofs, and bus roofs.
This time instead of his shirt, he just takes off his jacket while standing on top of a tram to rescue it from crashing. Bravo! In another instance, he does his Salman special. He quickly changes a T-shirt, flashing his muscled torso, while maintaining a serious faced discussion with his team members. Whistles and cheers from the packed theatre, follow. Self effacing dialogues like;”Tiger to kutte ka naam hota hai’’ keep the Salman brand of humour going. It’s a Salman show all the way. The movie’s job is done.
Salman’s sizzling chemistry with Katrina Kaif, who holds her own, makes this romantic thriller quite compelling. His easy presence is enhanced by a kindly, pleasant looking Girish Karnad and a sincere Ranvir Shorey.
Despite a bare, minimum and predictable story by Aditya Chopra, co writers Kabir Khan and Neelesh Misra keep the screenplay and dialogues engaging. Director Kabir Khan whose previous two films based on terrorism ,Kabul Express and New York lacked impact, now displays deft and skillful direction with Ek Tha Tiger. Aseem Misra’s stunning cinematography explores exotic locales of Istanbul and Hawana, captures speedy action brilliantly while pausing and lingering just enough on  dramatic slow, almost freeze frame for  Salman close-ups. Rameshwar Bhagat’s  tight edit deserves full marks along with adrenalin pumping action by Conrad Palmisano. The last song, “Mashaallah” written by Kausar Munir complements the picture perfect, good looking pair.
Ek Tha Tiger simply proves that a movie has one more genre. Being Salman. Shirt on or off.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


If violence was  a piece of music or art, it would look like GOW 2.Yes,gore can be a glorious bloodbath when a magnetic actor like Nawazuddin is handed an endless supplies of guns  which rain bullets endlessly  on a blood spewing body, orchestrated by direction maestro,Anurag Kashyap who is all out to break every boundary in Indian cinema.
The entire film, including the prequel  justifies its epic format as soon as the build up towards the climax, begins in the last 20 minutes. A gang of men surround a house and open fire.Inside, a camera follows a lungi clad Nawazzudin slowly, almost lazily, in long tension filled moments as he calmly dodges bullets, gives orders on his cell phone while pushing his large family into a room, crawls to the terrace, jumps across to another, stifles his cries of wrenching pain in his foot and slowly limps into the dark. Following this, the climax scene that takes mindless violence to a level of mindful orchestra, leaves you in awe of cinematic power more than horror.
GOW 2 though predictable and over cluttered like GOW 1, is more engrossing and entertaining. The dead Sardar’s (Manoj Bajpai) four sons from the first wife and one son from the second wife follow each mother’s revenge missions. The beginning sets the blood path tone with Sardar’s killers Sultan (Pankaj Tripathy) and Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) killing Sardar’s first son, Danish Khan. Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui)) snaps out of his stupor from the lost, Gaanja smoking ,romantic movie buff, moving on  to a ruthless gangster and greedy businessman as soon as he promises his mother,”Baap ka,dada ka,sabka badla lega Faizal”. Blade churning brother, Perpendicular and step brother, Definite (Zeeshan Qadri) are more ruthless than Faizal.Halfway; Faizal calls a truce with Ramadhir Singh, which is foiled by Sultan and Definite, forcing Faizal to be dragged into a vicious revenge gore.
Zeeshan Qadri’s story is structured better in GOW 2 by Zeeshan, Anurag, Sachin, Akhilesh .The script neatly weaves in the beginning of GOW 1 into the ending of GOW2.There are nuances and details galore. The changes over the years in GOW 1 were shown by Richa’s character using the new refrigerator and a vacuum cleaner. In GOW 2, we see Nawaz discovering the pager and moving on to a cell phone. Bihar hinterland with ample use of gulley names like ‘Aara mod’ and everyone speaking in typical Bihari accent, brings the place alive for the viewer. People’s  fascination for Hindi cinema is extended to bring out humour  and philosophy in lines like “Jab tak Hindustan mein sanima banega,public ch*****  banti rahegi ”. Funny chase sequence with characters discussing vegetables and fruits on their phone while following the victim and moments where Definte’s name is  brought up, provide some good comic relief.
GOW 2 is a talent goldmine in every area, especially the performances. Nawazuddin electrifies the screen as always with his mere presence. His easy body language, raw energy and sharp eyes along with a completely natural dialogue delivery, simply redefine acting.  Richa Chadda  and Reema Sen  easily slip into their characters of  older, toughened mothers raising hard core criminals. Huma Qureshi as Nawaz’s wife oozes charm. Zeeshan Qadri (also the writer)is  deadly as the sly Definite. Every single actor fits in amazingly, including a thanedaar with a perpetual grin on his face.
 Rajeev Ravi’s cinematography captures the dark, gruesome drama with unabashed relentlessness along with a slick edit by Shweta Venkat Matthew.Terrfic  action sequences by Shyam Kaushal  lifts up the script every time it slips into predictable areas. The wonderfully original, authentic music  by Sneha Khanwalkar is used extremely well, especially in the end with Piyush Misra’s haunting lyrics playing “ek bagal mein chaand hoga..”
GOW 2 like GOW 1, at best, can be immensely admired as a cinematic experiment but not necessarily liked as it remains overall, a pointless story.

Friday, 3 August 2012


    When the sensation savvy Bhatts  serve porn star Sunny Leone in red hot lingerie, they should  remember one cardinal rule of filmmaking. Action. Sizzling action with burning passion that should scorch the screen, story be damned.
Instead, we are subjected to deep,tearful,luminous eyes, a deadpan Hooda face, mouthing  lengthy, inane monologues, and tall, awkward Arunoday hanging around like a lost pole.
The film opens tantalisingly enough with Izna (Sunny Leone) in red lacy lingerie, black suspenders, leading on Arunoday  into a hotel room. Ayaan (Arunoday Singh) is a FBI agent who apparently hires help by sleeping with them. He is not to be blamed however, as his partner in crime, Izna, is the sexy as hell, sweet as angel, high class prostitute. She is hired to do what she does best - seduce. She is the hot honey trap for the cold eyed, hot bod asassin,Kabir( Randeep Hooda) who has a past with her. A trip to exotic Srilanka follows and thereon moves at a pace slower than Mumbai traffic. Despite better and skimpier lingeries and ample thigh  close-ups (a scene even has Arunoday flashing a torch up Leone’s sleeping half nude form),Jism 2 drags and falls to ridiculous depths in the end.
Expectedly, there is not much of a story or screenplay written by Mahesh Bhatt who sold his soul to the  marketing evil many ‘’Murders” and  ”Jisms” ago. Replete with lines like “joh mulk ki wafaadari nahi kar saka,woh jism se wafa kar baitha’ to “hum sab apne bitey huey ateet hain” or “meri is raat ki subah hogi ki nahin’ the effortful  and dramatic ,old world dialogues  merely elicit yawns. Full credit to Leone for trying hard to be emote and no complains with the otherwise talented Arunoday or Hooda who try to portray intensity and fail miserably.
As for the really awaited erotica, there is plentiful luscious skin and hard muscle at display but the kisses  and expressions beg for Emraan Hashmi’s passion and talent or displaying love and lust with a conviction that easily outweighs Bhatt’s every bad script.
Sunny Leone tries hard to come across both seductive and innocent as Izna, though marred by too many chest heaves which may delight most men amongst the audience. Both Randeep Hooda and Arunoday disappoint with their apparent discomfort in fairly simple roles. The three together make for great jisms but no jaan,thanks to an empty script and amateurish direction by Pooja Bhatt whose stamp of her own impressive, confident personality is sadly missing.
The only enjoyable song is ‘abhi abhi to miley ho’ written by Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Munish Makija with music by Arko. Nigam Bomzan’s cinematography is the only saving grace of the film.
Reasons to watch the film, besides the obvious: Sunny Leone’s beautiful eyes and exotic, colonial furniture of Sri Lanka. Those seeking the erotic, stare at the poster starring Nathalia Kaur. Those still hopeful, be warned: Jism 2 is injurious to sex.