Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 20 December 2013

DHOOM 3: Aamir Macha Le

 Standing bare backed, a black hat on his head, Aamir Khan’s entry in Dhoom 3 is met with complete silence in the packed theatre. Unlike the whistles and hoots that normally greet a hero in an adrenalin racing, action film. After all, Aamir is no action hero. He knows it. So do the makers. Both end up taking a giant risk, riding overconfidently on Aamir’s histrionics ranging from a peculiarly over intense expression while racing on bikes to an extremely endearing smile to rolling his neck and widening his eyes saucer sized.Yashraj Productions and writer/director, Vijay Krishna Acharya are clearly placing all bets on the wrong horse. What a pity when they had the right bike oiled twice for a sequel.

Dhoom 3 rides on a very tightrope between its own stylised, action filled, cop and thief chase sequences and a story that appeals exclusively to Aamir fans. But before one talks about Aamir who is more than centrestage here, Dhoom 3 has three very pleasant surprises.

First, there is actually a decent story to this action sequel. (There is both a plus and a minus here.)
Second, Abhishek Bachchan is actually good.
Third, Katrina has just that much screen time as one can tolerably enjoy.

 Dhoom has always been about the clever thief who plays ‘catch me if you can’ with an equally clever cop who loves challenges. And of course, kick ass stunts on buildings, trains and hot bods and bikini babes. Dhoom had John Abraham on his bikes and Abhishek Bachchan. Dhoom 2 became bigger and better with the glamorous Hrithik and Aishwarya playing ‘crazy kiya re’ with Abhishek. Now,despite the very capable director, who takes us to a brilliantly shot Chicago, Dhoom 3 unfortunately fails to meet the biggest challenge of getting a ‘thinking actor’ like Aamir Khan to rob banks and ride swanky motorbikes larger than himself.

Cleverly adapting itself to Aamir’s softer, persona, the script makes the thief a charming clown in “The Great Indian Circus” in Chicago. A backstory involves a child watching his father (Jackie Shroff, better than usual) struggling with debt against ruthless bankers. The child, Sahir (Aamir) grows up to take revenge against the bank.

The film begins well with all the anticipated moves and stunts as Aamir ,Abhishek and Udya Chopra are introduced. Uday Chopra makes his usual, goofy entry, his silly grin his only acting prowess.Abhishek Bachchan ,surprisingly, does full justice to Pritam’s catchy background score of “dhoom macha le..” with his perfect tough cop gait and expression. The delightful action moment kicks in when he packs a punch while in mid-air.

Once the regular Dhoom cop-thief scenario is established and the heroine, Katrina Kaif is introduced in a scintillating dance number as a circus artist, the story changes gears and takes you completely by surprise at interval point. The director takes a huge leap of faith that relies completely on Aamir for the rest of the film. While the actor completely outdoes himself and keeps one engaged and enthralled, Dhoom 3 starts losing its essential value as the game it has been between cop and thief. What could have been a subplot involving Aamir, becomes the main plot and the usual Dhoom chase sequences take a backseat.

The end disappoints with its double dose of Bollywood emotional drama, with the film by now forgetting its core strength of  playing clever clever with the cop.No vroom vroom, no dhoom.

So will you enjoy Dhoom 3? Aamir fans are likely to be delighted after the twist at interval point. As for strictly Dhoom fans, tighten your seatbelts. Speed breaker ahead. As a line in the film goes, it seems the makers are telling the audience.."teri aisi ki taisi.”

Friday, 13 December 2013


The cards are as dicey as any gamble at a casino. A filmmaker, who has made Katrina Kaif strip in her debut film, got the most successful actor, Amitabh Bachchan to star in it; yet brought doom instead of boom both for himself and producer, Ayesha Shroff. A former porn film actress who fared her indecent best in Mahesh Bhatt’s Jism 2. An actor par excellence, who has always been a delight to watch, be it in the classic, “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” or dancing to “Oye Oye”in Tridev. The trio: Kaizad Gustad, Sunny Leone and Naseeruddin Shah are a curious mix of cards; Shah, of course, being a trump card.As any gamble would play out, Shah, instead of lifting the other two, falls harder than the worst loser. The odds are definitely not in favour of Gustad’s Jackpot. After all, this is not about lady luck. This is about a story.

But then Gustad thinks it is about solving some kind of a puzzle. So we have 10 minute scenes or chapters (titles like ‘tedhi ungli’,’maza aaya’,’fullto bluff’) that go back and forth so many times that one is happy to give up and concentrate instead on Leone’s ample cleavage or Naseer’s long, white, knotted wig and his bright floral shirts. Incidentally, another character is constantly distracted by her ample assets.  She repeatedly tells him to look up instead into her eyes and focus. Gustad is apparently speaking to the male audience. Going back to the…story, the film is set in Goa. One star to the cinematographer( Artur Zurawski ) here for making it look stunningly beautiful. Except when he indulges in weird angles showing us Leone’s legs a la Ram Gopal Verma.

 Boss  (Naseer) runs a casino from his boathouse called,Jackpot.He  hosts a poker night, announcing 5 crores for the winner. The money goes missing. His ‘con artists’,Francis (Sachin Joshi) and Maya (Sunny Leone) are prime suspects. Boss in turn, plays his own con game with them.Makarand Deshpande,the local cop,investigates.The twists keep getting mixed up with every attempt at clever screenplay.

It is a marvel how Kaizad Gustad ropes in actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah.Clearly,he is some sort of a bluffmaster. More so when his films have the story value of a Joker in a game of cards. Not that it would have been that hard to bring in Sunny Leone. It probably was harder to explain to her the meaning of her dialogue, “Sarkar aur underworld mein kya farak hai”.She says it in her flat firang,sweet voice like she is discussing onions and potatoes. Or perhaps, lacy lingeries. Watching her walk casually in purple lacy underwear or simply stripping and whispering,”where is the money”,may not be all that gratifying either for those who secretly watch her earlier films. Sachin Joshi,her partner in crime, doesn’t impress either, with his muscles and tattoos.

Naseeruddin Shah tries hard to pull along, clinging aimlessly to his flamboyance. Sadly, he is anything but the trump card in this bluff of a Jackpot.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Club 60: Old is not Gold

The only reason to be even remotely interested in Club 60 is not the pairing of Farroque Shaikh and Sarika as most would believe, but the strong presence of actors like Tinu Anand,Satish Shah,Sharat Saxena, Vineet Kumar and Raghuveer Yadav in the film. However,when you have such a colourful palette of talent and you get the dullest of canvases in the end, you might as well throw the brush away.

The film begins Farooque in the back seat of a car, going past busy Mumbai streets. The longest ever voiceover probably seen in any cinema ,tells us his depressive thoughts in bookish words like how he lives in his “kaano ko behra karne waala sannaata” world. Tragedy has struck his idyllic life with wife,Sarika.The two have just lost their son to a shootout in Denver. Farroque, who is a neurosurgeon, has stopped working and now wallows in his balcony all day. Sarika, also a doctor, puts her grief aside and continues to lead her regular life. Incidentally, it is her strength and her scenes, that create deeply touching moments as intended by the film. However, the inherent melodrama throughout the film that harps on the couple’s tragedy, invariably pulls the movie down under its own slow pace.

An annoying neigbour,overacted due to overwritten lines, by Raghuveer Yadav, introduces Farooque to Club 60 where he and his friends play tennis. Forced attempts at humour on the court, follow.Emotional Shayar, Tinu Anand’s loud farts on the tennis court; the lusty, retired army officer,Saxena’s frustration with Yadav’s teasing ;Vineet Kumar’s PJ smses; stockbroker,Satish Shah’s miserly ways; simply fall flat with every scene. The more Yadav talks and talks, the dialogues get longer, the voice gets louder. Predictably, through all this, Farooque discovers that life is not all fun and games for the club 60 members.

The most jarring part of the film is the overhyped lead actor, Farooque Sheikh, himself. Farooque has probably been luckier in his career than Jeetendra is perceived to be. His nondescript looks have brought him the most fabulous parts in movies like Chashme Baddoor,Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Katha.Post these highly acclaimed movies, he has never reinvented himself. In Club 60,he has very few lines since he plays a depressed character. He fails to rise above the clichéd scenes and does not move you in the least, despite the tragedy in his life.

Sarika is the only high point on the screen. She looks extremely graceful and dignified as the understanding doctor-wife and plays her character convincingly enough for one to overlook her somewhat childlike dialogue delivery.

Tinu Anand and Sharat Saxena are the most endearing of the remaining actors. Raghuveer irritates as he hams his way through his jovial antics. His T-shirts with funny one liners, bring more smiles than him. A brownie point to the costume designer and the director ,here .Zareena Wahab appears briefly in the most clichéd manner possible. Mona Wasu lights up the screen in  what seems like a wonderful 10 minute break from the tiresome oldie, not so goldie buddy affair.

Writer/director,Sanjay Tripathi,has made science shows for BBC,National Geographic and Discovery. While he definitely has a great message to tell through his story, he ends up being more preachy than entertaining.

Sadly, there is nothing ‘heartfelt’ about Club 60. More heart ‘failed’.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

R…Rajkumar: R..ridiculously G..gandi

What’s with roadside Romeos that fascinate Indian filmmakers so much? Prabhudeva’s Rrajkumar has not one but two Romeos in love with ‘khamosh’ Juliet. There is Shahid Kapoor,who calls himself “Romeo Rajkumar” and calls the girl “Lollipop”. Reason enough for this love story to end before it begins.

 But Juliet aka Chanda  (Sonakshi Sinha) has other concerns.  ”Teri height mujhse kam hai,”she tells him.”  wajan dekha hai?”, he shoots back promptly. Then comes the filmy declaration,”pyaar dil se hota hai, height, weight se nahin”. Naturally, a song follows…”touch kar ke dil attach kiya re,kabhi chod diya dil, kabhi catch kiya re, saree ke fall sa kabhi match kiya re..” Pritam’s music with whacko lyrics like these and the popular chartbuster rocking nightclubs these days, “Gandi baat”, actually make these songs more enjoyable than even a minute in the rest of the film.       

Now that Mr Shorty has wooed Miss Heavyweight, it’s time for the villain to enter. Only he happens to be a wannabe street Romeo. He is Shorty’s own drug mafia boss, (Sonu Sood),the ‘dabangg’ man as he calls himself. Mr Dabangg  declares he will marry Ms Heavyweight on Dusshera. Mr Shorty flexes his tiny muscles, grabs the girl’s hand and challenges his boss, “silent ho ja warna violent ho jaonga”.Not to be left behind, Mr Dabangg lets go of the knives and guns and rises to the challenge like the Romeo he is. He decides to learn an English poem to woo the girl. The English teacher teaches him, “I am your bull, you are my shit..together we will make bullshit”. Predictably, the film continues to produce more of the bull yarn.

Prabhudeva who is best remembered for choreographing the fabulous dance in Pukar’s “Que Sera Sera”, is now clearly settling for anything that is crass and crazy. After a 100 crore success like Rowdy Rathore, it has been assumed that the story, character, lines and actions have to get rowdier with every film. Pyaar pyaar” and “maar maar” as used by the hero here, are the new formula words
Shahid Kapoor,desperately tries to fit in the Akshay Kumar kind of  silly action-humour hero mould but falls flat on all the valiant ‘violent’ one liners.

Sonakshi ‘Khamosh’ Sinha apparently continues to ride on her dad’s popular one word, “khamosh’ fame, used in the film in the most hackneyed manner. She does little to add any weight to the jokes or the romance.
 If the film’s only saving grace can be song with lyrics like “Gandi baat… and its music, you can well imagine, how bad the film is. So bad that even 2 same alphabets in the title cannot help.