Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 21 September 2012


An image consultant tells a failing film star almost derisively that she has nothing about her that can be sold to the media: no relationship and no career. What she needs now is a sensational controversy. This belief pretty much sums up Heroine or any Madhur Bhandarkar film. Heroine is a series of sensational and controversial, high strung moments, presumably, from various actresses’ real lives, stringed together, as unimaginative, as the film title.
Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is introduced by a journalist as a bipolar, overemotional and impulsive -traits considered a must for a successful heroine. Every time someone mentions a rival’s success or her married and separated boyfriend’s non committal behaviour, she reaches out for a cigarette, or a drink or a pill. Her clingy, obsessive behaviour and erratic tantrums gets her unceremoniously pushed out of Aryan Khanna’s (Arjun Rampal) car. Realising she has fallen, literally, she tries to pick up her dignity and her career.
She hires an image consultant (Divya Dutta) who tells her that she has a confused image: neither a wild child nor conventional. The problem with the story begins here. Within seconds, Mahi comes out of her relationship trauma and emerges a confident woman who takes charge of her life.
Another journey begins with her learning manipulative tactics of using her next relationship to further her career. The real story of the life of a film heroine begins now, post interval and gets interesting. However, again like the first half, unnecessary scenes and caricature characters make this ‘filmy’ story more ‘filmy’ and flimsy, getting it’s by now over familiar Madhur Bhandarkar touch.
Be it Chandni Bar or Page 3 or Fashion or Heroine, Bhandarkar’s story is gripping and sensational but at the same time clichéd and stereotypical. Heroine is overcrowded with Page 3(movie) parties, Fashion (movie)characters(rival women, gay designers, affair with married men).Some  deliberate shockers  straight from Oscar winning Black Swan(2 women who bust their performance stress with drinks, drugs and sex),make the whole movie experience unnecessarily overwhelming  and unintentionally funny.
With a dramatic story and screenplay (Madhur,Anuradha Tiwari,Manoj Tyagi) and additional screenplay/dialogues (Niranjan Iyengar), Heroine has a really good base on which it could have been developed. The journey of a woman unsuccessfully trying to balance a difficult relationship and a ruthless career is an interesting premise. The ending as in most Bahandarkar movies is sufficiently shocking. Especially good moments are brought out in the heroine’s quiet bonding with her manager(Govind Namdeo) and her vulnerability manipulated by PR and the press. The very concept of portraying  the real struggle of an actress after success  has a lot of promise, unfortunately dealt with over clichéd treatment.
Kareena displays surprising sincerity(including no makeup when required) which gets marred by overacting occasionally. She performs particularly well in one scene when she stands in front of a mirror, insecure, nervously pushing back her hair and asks Divya and Namdeo, ”kya main ek achchi actress hoon?”,realising that it is not enough just to be a star. Divya Dutta and Govind Namdeo  are great in their supporting roles. Arjun Rampal is okay as a non committal but sincere lover. Randeep Hooda is not as convincing as a cricketer besotted with the heroine.
The director’s  tacky work  is reflected in below average cinematography, sound, music ,lyrics and sloppy edit. So much so that ,all these elements end up taking away from the story and performances and give the end product a very unpolished look and feel.
All in all, Heroine is a typical Madhur Bhandarkar  over the top take, at how lonely it is at the top. If Kareena’s character is a drama queen, this film is a drama king. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

1440 minutes
A road trip on the outskirts of Pune in search of Indian national bird,the magnificent peacock.It can sometimes take 1440 minutes only to understand life,not a lifetime.

Friday, 14 September 2012


Barfi is the sweetest slice of love soaked in Darjeeling freshness, poignant silence and visual brilliance.
There are moments and moments that draw you in like a warm embrace in the midst of Darjeeling Pine trees and linger like the aftertaste of aromatic tea. One such take home moment is a simple shot of Priyanka and Ranbir sleeping, their small finger entwined, evocatively tender in blissful togetherness.

Born deaf and mute , named after Murphy baby(made famous in commercials ), he blurts out his name as Barfi. This only makes him a master at Chaplinesque chases and charming expressions especially when it comes to love. The moment he sets eyes on the lovely Shruti Ghosh(Ileana D’Cruz) while cycling along with a train, his antics bring back the gentle, honest romance that can only belong in the hills. He follows her around, offers her his heart at her feet which she kicks playfully and so begins an affair to remember with playful bicycle races and stolen horse rides. Elaine’s engagement ring proves to be his heartbreak.
Destiny throws him a damsel in distress, Jhilmil( Priyanka)an autistic granddaughter  of a rich man.Barfi’s father is  her dad’s drive. Barfi has grown up, tossing his shoe in the air, outside her balcony, appearing somewhere like a cross between Romeo and Raj Kapoor of Awara days. In a desperate bid to save his ailing father from dying in hospital, he plans Jhilmil’s kidnap. A touching yet entertaining tale of lasting love follows, as 6 years later in a runaway trail, Barfi finds himself face to face with the married first love,Shruti
Anurag Basu’s story, screenplay and direction, co written by Tani Basu with dialogues by Sanjeev Dutta  weave together a beautiful take on love, straight from the heart. The naughty characterisation of Ranbir saves the tale of a deaf and mute boy and an autistic girl from getting either preachy or melodramatic. Treated with dollops of slapstick humour providing several laugh out loud moments, the non linear screenplay intrigues with the kidnap angle and engages with an otherwise regular love triangle. Barfi, mostly a silent film stringed together with several moments of innocent love, is told through Ileana’s narrative which makes it all the more poignant, bringing in unfulfilled love and painful regret along with the innocence of true love as seen from her eyes.

Basu’s blindingly dazzling  visual sense is heightened by Ravi Verma’s magical cinematography.Playful,clever shots are experimented with, bringing in amusing moments with a paintbrush and a canvas. Pritam’s super melodious music loops you in along with heartwarming lyrics(Swanand Kirkire) like “Phir le aaya dil…woh jo adhoori si baat baaki hai.. in Rekha Bhardwaj’s haunting voice that tugs at the tear ducts.

Magical wonderboy,Ranbir Kapoor steals the show with a performance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off his Chaplinesque acting leaving dialogues redundant. In a particular scene where he lets out momentary heartbroken rage melting instantly into loving forgiveness, Ranbir displays sheer brilliance in his agony. Priyanka manages to hold her own with eyes and body language that speak volumes. Iliana’s debut is very noteworthy, considering she essays a simpler role with remarkable conviction and endearing charm. Rupa Ganguly and Saurabh Shukla are noticeable as always with their realistic performances.

Barfi is a silent,powerful  Cupid’s arrow aimed straight at your heart.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Predictability, thy second name is Bhatt. The first name doesn’t matter. Be it Vikram or Mahesh. The product is the same. With a third dimension that only magnifies the horror of everything that is fake.
Yes, the creaking doors, the crazy weeping and moaning sound effects are there. So are the creepy crawlies. Coming out of sinks, going into ears, morphing into human flesh and body. When everything else fails to shock or horrify, flying cockroaches are let loose to make havoc while 3D winces. Then comes the Bhatt mastercard of sensation: a star stripped naked out of fear.
Shania Shekhar (Bipasha) loses a much coveted best actor award to a half sister and star in the making-Sanjana (Esha Gupta). Unable to take any sort of defeat, she resorts to black magic to wipe away the newcomer with the help of her lover, Aditya (Emraan).
 Least imaginative methods follow. She kisses, whispers and strips to talk Emraan into being her partner in crime. Scenes later, Emraan kisses Esha to stop her from screaming in fear. That takes care of the erotica required in the genre of horror.
Emraan soon switches sides .That takes care of the story .
Esha, the victim of black magic methods which involve her maid hanging from a fan, stuck with several broken glasses and ghastly hands springing out of TV screens, runs amuck rest of the time; screaming,crying,and stripping. That takes care of the horror.
Wear 3D glasses to watch this skimpy clothed horror and you don’t know if the story or the audience is 3 times dumb.
Written by Shagufta Rafique, the story gets overshadowed by unnecessary 3D effects. Steamy scenes between Bipasha and Emraan do nothing to save the film. Bipasha is reduced to laughing and crying hysterically, falling off to a white rugged floor, allowing the camera to linger on legs and cleavage. The rest of the performance is done by contact lenses. Emraan is back to kissing days, which is a pity after more impressive roles and performances in The Dirty Picture and Shanghai. Esha has the meatier part but barely does justice. Mohan Kapur as a doctor, tries his best to display sincerity while delivering ridiculous lines like,” schizophrenia aur bhoot prêt mein zyaada phark nahin hai”. Manish Choudhary  as evil aatma fails to appear anything sinister.
   Raaz 3 at best is 3D in the genre of dumb.