Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 28 June 2013


She is in a red polka dotted dress, a matching polka dotted fat hair clip, huge flower shaped earrings, eating with a flashy, coloured fork when we first see her. Authoritatively, she asks her husband, how is the food. He quietly eats it and doesn’t say much. His mother calls to ask if he has eaten. The wife makes fun of her. He ignores it.

She changes from loud attire to a flashier, tackier one from the latest Femina or Vogue magazine. He comments on it. She laughs it off and defends her garish style, calling it fashionable. At one point, she dons red horns, fish nets, a small, fake guitar, high heels and stands atop the bed with unabashed, horny flamboyance, a veritable delight to watch.

With all their quirks, they are like any husband (Emraan Hashmi) and wife (Vidya Balan) who bicker a little. The wife has an upper hand but is an adorable, loud mouthed Punjabi. The husband is a simple and obedient man who loves to watch TV and sip red wine.

Only he is not that simple. He is a skilled thief required for one last bank robbery. The wife is not any housewife fussing over food either. She wants the big moolah. So she does what she knows best. She throws a loud fit and turns over and sleeps. And of course, he goes and robs a bank.

Three months later, he has met with an accident, forgotten he has robbed a bank and where he has hidden the money.

He is still the simple husband who dare not offend his wife at the dining table when she asks him about the food. She is still the domineering wife who refuses to leave her fashion magazine even when she is kidnapped.

Yet, while the hilarious chase for the money and the husband’s memory continues, the screenplay very subtly plays with dynamics between the husband and the wife. Slowly, doubts and jealousy creep in and before you know it, you are witness to the best screaming match between a couple in a train across two compartments.

Few moments like these and a delightful characterization saves Ghanchakkar from its weak ending. The director, Rajkumar Gupta, has made Aamir and No one killed Jessica, both thrillers based on true events. Ghanchakkar displays his mastery over setting a certain tone and giving it a great build up, retaining lightness even in some serious moments.

Emraan Hashmi as the henpecked husband losing his memory, is most endearing in his innocent expressions and mild manners even when he constantly takes beatings at the hands of goons. Vidya Balan makes up for her weak accent just by having fun, making fat look cute and wearing her over the top Punjabi look with elan.

The second half makes up for a slow beginning marred by the most irritatingly bad acting by the two supporting goon characters (Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das) unfortunately present throughout the film.

Those waiting for the high point of the film- “Lazy Lad” song, a wonderful Amit Trivedi composition,written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, are in for a disappointment. It is purely for the promos.

Despite the flaws, Ghanchakkar is watchable for a good plot and the adorable Emraan and Vidya . Vidya’s hilarious costumes, a banana and a fork in the end, get a delicious brownie point each.

Friday, 21 June 2013


Kundan (Dhanush) has grown up in the lanes of Benaras, the city of temples. He is the son of a Hindu, Tamilian priest. He has grown up loving a Muslim girl, Zoya(Sonam). When as a child, he first laid eyes on her; she was saying her Islamic prayers. ”Benaras ka bhang, Bholenaath ka zehar,mujh mein aa gaya tha…namaaz who padh rahi thi ,dua humari poori hui thi..”Such is his fervor and intoxication of love at first sight.

The madness continues to grow with each Holi. A.R.Rahman’s  brilliant music and Irshaad Kamil’s lyrics,…”tum tak...tum tak”…the splash of colours; set the tone for playful love that knows only a passion for joy and endless hope.

The optimism only grows with time. Kundan knows Zoya doesn’t love him. But it is only a matter of time and several slaps from her that he will win her over. So like all the hopeful lovers of Uttar Pradesh, either he will go stalking her…”apne Uttar Pradesh mein ladkiyaan do tarah se patayi jaati hai,ek to mehnat se..subah se sham peecha karo, school ke bahar,bazaar ke bahar, sadko pe, cycle pe, riksha mein, tempo do, khana khana chor do, wazan ghata do, aur ladki ko itna thaka do ki woh thak ke haan bol de.” Or he will try scaring her by cutting his wrists…”Doosra tarika hai,ladki ko dara do.”

He tries both. He chases her during school days, says “I love you” every day, gets slapped every time until she agrees to meet him alone. She comes. There is awkward silence. He tells her his name is Rizwaan and gives her a “I miss you’ musical greeting card. He starts reciting poetry, forgets the lines halfway, she completes them, comes close to him, her hands on his chest touches his janieyo (religious thread).Realising he is Hindu, she slaps him and leaves. This is not just one scene full of humour, laced with Benaras mannerisms which starts with one tone and ends with the opposite. The entire film gets better and better with every scene, every line and every twist. The latter half stretches in parts but maintains the crazy characterization.

It is not just Kundan who can be mad in love. His childhood neighbour , Bindiya ( Swara Bhaskar,striking ), will go any length to win him over. His best friend, Murari ( Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub,great diction)  will root for him and take him to hospital very time he cuts his wrists. Simply because he understands the pain of silent one sided love from the film “Saajan” where he watches Sanjay Dutt  look longingly at Madhuri Dixit and cries out with desperation..”Sanjuuu..” in the cinema hall. Then there is Zoya who too stops at nothing to marry her love (Abhay Deol,miscast) even if it means changing his identity from Sikh to Muslim.
So we see Kundan’s every effort at romance, every fall and every rise in his passion. He gets slapped by Zoya 16 times but dances with joy every time she slaps him. Such is his optimism that even when she turns down his marriage proposal, he asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend on a bike ride. He chirps happily,” Mere peeche bethna padega,main brake maaroon to mere upar girna padega, meri baaton par hasna padega, girlfriend na sahi,feel hi de de“ She agrees, sits on his bike, her arms around him and laughs at his jokes.

Soon, the mood gets intense. Rahman’s background score is ominous. Kundan is no longer smiling. He drives the bike straight into a river, deaf to Zoya’s screams. She lands up alone, shivering in the cold water as he walks away in painful silence.

The anger erupts later.”Tumse pyaar karna mera talent hai,tumhara koi haath nahin…ab maine tumhara naam liya to main ek baap ki aulad nahin.”
His love reaches a boiling point, the drama builds into a shocking and unpredictable screenplay, plunging you into the agony of love. We see Kundan madly rushing around in a bright orange sherwani ,sobbing bitterly ,tearing down the streets and forgetting his own wedding day. It is to the director, Aanand Rai’s credit that the scene is both funny and  tragic.

The actors, especially, Dhanush (of Kolaveri fame,Rajnikanth’s son in law)) despite his Tamil accent,  lend utter credibility to their roles. Sonam, very pretty in Delhi salwars and stoles, surprisingly matches Dhanush in his spontaneity and intensity. Both are outstanding in a particularly crucial and emotional scene towards the end.

Watch Raanjhanaa to experience the madness of love,the joy, the craze, the pain and the agony. Watch it to see how a Benaras ka launda is a lover crazier than Shakespeare’s Romeo . As the lines by Himanshu Sharma (Tanu Weds Manu) say, watch because ”ek ladki bagal mein baithi thi, ek dost tha, Benaras ki gaaliyaan thi..”

Friday, 14 June 2013


 Why would the makers of “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”—Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar back a film that has F for failure, written all over it starting from the title. Probably because it looks great on paper but fails miserably on execution.

Fukrey pronounced as  fookrey is nothing but phook-rey. Apparenty it means losers who are winners at street smart ideas. As the title suggests, it is the story of four failures.

Zafar, (Ali Fazal,Joy Lobo from 3 Idiots) strums a guitar with lifeless fingers, dreams of making it big and chooses his dream over his girlfriend. But whenever he gets a chance to perform, he says,”nikal nahin raha hai.”Instead he hangs around at a college, looks longingly at his ex ( Vishakha Singh), a teacher and sings. So that’s the first F… F for failure.

Miss Ex gives private tuitions in Accounts to a Sardar student, Lali (Manjot Singh of Oye Lucky Lucky fame), son of a restaurant owner. He stares hopelessly at her while she teaches and then mugs up, ’debit what goes in, credit what goes out.” This is repeated a few times in the movie like a punch line supposed to make the audience laugh. Funny? That’s F for  (not)funny.

Here’s the good part. Hunny ( Pulkit Samrat ) has a  buddy,Choo Cha (Varun Sharma )who sleeps and sleeps. Then he dreams. He wakes up, tells his dreams to Hunny.Hunny interprets the dream, adds up two and two, literally and comes up with a ‘lucky’ number. That’s their big ticket to lottery dreams. The dumb buddy admits to a cop, ”hum log padhai mein zaroor fail hote hain,lottery main nahin.” The two have been failing their 12th boards and are now looking to buy leaked exam papers. The problem is that the more the script tries to inject humour in the dream narrations, the more irritating and boring it gets.

The four losers desperately need money. All roads via the college watchman (Pankaj Tripathi) lead to Sindrella’ tatooed, foul mouthed (F for foul) “Bholi Punjaban” (Richa Chadda, as fiery as she was in Gangs of Wasseypur) whose vocabulary is littered with “pichwara”. Despite that, the four of them forget to watch their backside which gets kicked around in more bizarre situations than their dream buddy, can think of.

Each of these characters makes for an interesting and quirky premise. However, director, Mrigdeep Singh Lamba, fails to take the film beyond the concept. The jokes fall flat. The lines (Vipul Vig) are forced. The actors except for Richa Chadda and Pulkit Samrat  are incredibly slow in their sense of timing. The music by Ram Sampath lacks the upbeat feel it had in Delhi Belly. The pace drags and drags.

Fukrey’s end credits abruptly roll in and you are left wondering what the F was that??