Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 22 February 2013


Chetan Bhagat's 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life', has got a fantastic,fresh lease of life on celluloid.

Adapted brilliantly by a team of four:Abhishek Kapoor, Pubali Chaudhary, Supratik Sen, Chetan Bhagat; Kai Po Che stands out in its casting and plot.

Comparisons with two films are inevitable here. Bhagat's 'Five Point Someone',was made into the super hit, "3 Idiots”,a tale of friendship set in an IIT campus. Kai Po Che (which means a victory yell in kite flying)is also a friendship story but has a bigger canvas of politics,cricket and historical events.Since this tackles issues of religion and political hatred,it is much more moving and powerful in its plot.

Director Abhishek Kapoor has also made a film on friendship,'Rock On', which though an engaging watch,now pales in comparison with Kai Po Che.

The film is plot heavy,based in Ahmedabad and revolves around three friends and a 10 year old whose lives are turned around by cricket,Gujarat earthquake and Godhra riots. Ishan (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a failed cricketer who wants to achieve his dreams by coaching children.He gets together with his friends,Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav)and Omi(Amit Sadh) and starts a small sports shop along with a coaching institute, with the help of Omi's mamaji (Manav Kaul),a politician.He spots a ten year old, Ali who has an exceptional gift with the bat and the ball.Everything suddenly falls apart as the earthquake in 2001 and Godhra riots in 2002 overtake their city and Mamaji's politics come into play.

Reasons to watch Kai Po Che are multifold:beautiful cinematography(Anay Goswami), great sound and background score(Hitesh Sonik ),fabulous music (Amit Trivedi )powerful lyrics,especially “Manja” (Swanand Kirkire),clever edit (Deepa Bhatia)-deft for a multitrack story like this and above all,wonderful, heartwarming performances by one and all.The central locations - temple and the sports ground in Gujarat,integral to the plot are very well used.So are some playful moments with the game of marbles which are bound to bring back memories for those who grew up honing their aim.

Sushant Singh,who has done secondary roles in television,makes a surprisingly strong mark with both his acting and screen presence.Amit Sadh,also a television actor who shot to fame with the first season of Big Boss,makes a decent debut on the big screen with the most pivotal role of Omi whose decisions affect everyone he loves.His characterisation in its underwriting,displays fine crafting in the screenplay.

Raj Kumar Yadav as Govind,the Baniya friend and simpleton seduced by his friend's sister,steals the show.His shy and nervous body language and earnest and flustered reactions to everything happening around him,add a great deal of humour to the otherwise dark story.His clumsy romantic scenes with his best friend's sister, played to perfection by Amrita Puri (Ayesha fame) are very well written and performed.

Every other supporting actor including Ali,his father and Manav Kaul add authencity to their roles.
The best thing to look out for is the way events are orchestrated around a particular India Australia 5 day test match in 2001,a delightful work of cinematic drama.Another powerful sequence that stays in the mind is the tension filled climax which is particularly well shot, edited and performed.

Kai Po Che is a must watch for its gripping plot,direction and performances.The entire team makes no mistake here.

Friday, 15 February 2013


With so many sequences, be it a Murder or a Jism, the Bhatts seem to be getting more and more formulaic yet manage a better than a C grade spin.

Every known gimmick in the genre of thriller is used. No surprises here: hot girl in a towel, in a shower, in a bathtub, steamy lovemaking scenes and lovelorn songs. All is neatly played out with a certain Bhatt expertise. The shower and the bathtub scenes actually have a twist to them. Not that such scenes demand an excuse any more. Even their remakes used to be unapologetic earlier. Now they officially attribute Murder 3 to a Spanish thriller, “The Hidden Face”.

Written by Mahesh Bhatt with additional screenplay by Amit Samurkar and dialogues by Sanjay Masoom, the film is quite slick in the hands of debutant director, Vishesh Bhatt. The story begins predictably with Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari) breaking up with Vikram (Randeep Hooda) and disappearing. Vikram, a famous and moody photographer who lives in a spooky bungalow somewhere in the wilderness, hires two cops to locate her. Meanwhile his drunken Devdas bouts lead him to bed with a bar attendant, Nisha (Sara Loren) who falls for him. She has a few spooky encounters in his bathroom. The screenplay now moves out of boring song sequences and smoothly interweaves her love life with Roshni’s mysterious disappearance. It takes quite an engrossing turn in the second half.

Randeep Hooda as the lover disappoints with his ghostly voice and expressions.Emraan Hashmi is much missed yet again. Sara is equally average but makes up with her bare back. Aditi Rao who has done some charming work in her last film, “London, Paris, New York” is decent in her performance despite her whiny dialogue delivery.

Pritam has composed better music in the past. Here it is quite standard including the lyrics by Sayeed Qadri especially when compared to his own work in Murder.

Suffice it to say that Murder 3 is a cheating couple’s fantasy and nightmare put together. Call it cheap thrill or cheat thrill.

Friday, 8 February 2013


When Special Chabbis ends with a fabulous thriller twist, the revelation behind its title makes this con plot doubly special.

Wednesday writer/director, Neeraj Pandey, made quite a mark with his first film. His second film, again, a one man show in story, script and direction, carries his distinctive racy, breezy and funny style of storytelling. The concept of a real CBI officer pitched against fake CBI people, inspired from real events of a famous jewellery store heist in  1987, is cooler than the cool. The execution is simple and fun, marred slightly by repetitive use of background score and a love story angle that falls flat.

The film opens with a documentary footage of Rajiv Gandhi on Republic Day, playing on TV while a very serious looking, patriotic, CBI officer, P.K.Sharma (Anupam Kher) and Ajay (Akshay Kumar) summon a police officer, Ranveer (Jimmy Shergill with a brilliantly donned daft expression) to accompany them on a raid on a corrupt chief minister. A team of grim faced, duty conscious,four men - Sharma,Ajay, Iqbal (Kishore Kadam),Joginder (Rajesh Sharma) - march in, announces their identity and proceeds with practiced efficiency. Picture frames are taken off the walls, a home temple is uprooted, car seats unzipped, mattresses are slit open, bookshelves are knocked apart, locks are broken. The minister’s black money is quickly packed into several cases. The minister tries to bribe Sharma who slaps him hard and makes a small speech to the impressed newbie inspector, Ranveer , “real power lies in the heart.”Ranveer stares in awe and admiration of honesty. Except that the CBI team is just the opposite, the brainchild of con master Ajay. Deeply affronted and insulted at being taken for a ride, the inspector approaches a real CBI officer, a muscled tough nut at work and honest to the core, Waseem(Manoj Bajpayee) to get the con raid men exposed.

The film’s first half reveals bits of each one’s personal life along with a couple of con raids. The second half narrows down to the entire planning of the final raid on a jewellery store in Bombay, with the real CBI team keeping a close watch. Everything is shown in such realistic detail that one forgets the identities; like Sharma says at one point, ”By God, ek minute ke liye to bhool hi gaya that ki hum chor hain.”

The director has repeated two of the main actors from Wednesday, namely Kher and Shergill, both of whom deliver thoroughly enjoyable performances. Akshay Kumar, in an ordinay 80s look, indulging in slow balcony romance, is a pleasant change from his usual filmy hero image.

Manoj Bajpayee as the real CBI officer, is at his best with a permanent scowl on his face and a body language to match. In the end, his outburst of mixed emotional laughter, playing to a whirlwind of past events, captured in circular camera work, is simply outstanding.

Music by Himesh Reshammiya and M.M.Kreem along with most lyrics by Irshad Kamil, could have been better.

Wednesday with its serious statement, has stayed in public memory. Special 26,throwing a tongue-in-cheek light on corruption, remains a fun ride. Make that a double special fun ride.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Post interval, one of the characters says to another perpetually bewildered character, ”yehaan par sab ke double role hai.” That may apply to most except Kamal Haasan who plays multiple roles both on screen and off screen.

Haasan, writer, director, co-producer and hero, packs in more looks, names and religions as possible in keeping with the Tamil title, Vishwaroopam. The 95 crore budget film in Tamil, was banned for a few weeks in Tamil Nadu by Muslim communities. This may have helped increase the curiosity and loyalty factor amongst regular film goers. Just what was offensive in the movie is still a mystery. This is nothing but full-on, pure, action packed entertainer.

Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan) is a long haired, effeminate Kathak teacher based in New York, married to a nuclear scientist, Dr Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) much younger than him. Pooja has married him for his green card. Now she is in love with her boss and to assuage her guilt, she hires a detective to follow her husband so that she can find something against him too. The detective is found dead, she finds herself kidnapped along with Vishwaroop who admits to the kidnappers that he is a Muslim. The kidnappers’ boss, Omar (Rahul Bose) has more than an axe and a leg to grind with his new found, old enemy. Action filled, dramatic, flashback moments from Afghanistan follow, and the story gets more and more intriguing, with Omar planning to attack New York with a “cesium bomb”. However, too much drama eventually renders it wearisome and it does not matter anymore whose side the hero is; right or wrong; Americans or Jihaadis.

The screenplay is full of interesting, long moments of past friendship shared between the hero and the villain. This could have been made more complete with a present day confrontation instead of a revenge chase. Rahul Bose as the unlikely Afghani Al Qaida Jihadi despite his short build, lends a great deal of credibility, modulating his voice well to match his one eyed, cold look. Shekhar Kapoor makes a special appearance and looks more amused than involved, especially when he does the famous slow motion team walk with Kamal Haasan in the end.

Dialogues by Atul Tiwari are both entertaining and meaningful. “Marne se paap dhul jaate hain kya? To chalo Hitler ko maaf kar dete hain,”says the hero at one point.
In another scene between Pooja Kumar and a foreigner, a discussion of religion goes like this..
”My God has four hands..”.
”How do you crucify him?”
“We don’t.”
“We dunk him in the sea.”

The delightful part of the movie as expected is Kamal Haasan’s performance. He moves with complete ease from playing a long haired effeminate dance teacher, Vishwaroop (the most graceful dancer ever seen on screen)to a turbaned and bearded Wasim Kashmiri training Al Qaida terrorists to a regular face in New York. 

Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyrics by Javed Akhtar are in keeping with the theme, with simple lines like..”is basti main hai maut sasti..”Another song is both a treat to listen to as well as watch Kamal Haasan dance to.. ”main Raadha teri,mera Shyam tu”...

Vishwaroop, ultimately, is a wish fulfillment journey in acting by the multitalented supremo,Kamal Haasan. Expect a laboured work of entertaining fiction rather than a serious comment on Global terrorism.             .