Saturday, October 30, 2010

Four Friends review: Frustratingly senti & lifeless!!!

This week saw the release of "Four Friends" which is the 3rd venture by director Saji Surendran after the hugely successful Happy husbands & Ivar Vivahitharayal prior to this. With an enviable track record & a star ensemble involving veteran Jayaram, Meera Jasmine, Jayasurya & Chakochan in addition to a cameo by legendary Kamal Hassan, naturally there was a sense of anticipation surrounding its release. So will Saji make it a hat-trick??? The story basically involves the friendship between 4 people from different walks of life & suffering from cancer, after having met at the cancer speciality hospital run by Dr.Nandagopal (Ganesh). They decide to embark on a journey to fulfill their wishes....the question now arises as to whether they will be able to do it or will they succumb to cancer??? The answer to these questions forms the framework for the plot.

Coming to the story, there is no denying that it has been inspired by Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer "The Bucket List"...however Saji has definitely got it all wrong. His trusted script writer of the previous 2 hits, Krishna Poojapura just fails to come up with something that will grip the attention of the audience. The whole movie is melodramatic & doesnt leave the audience with anything to look forward to. To the amusement of the audience, Saji embraces friendship across religion (the protagonists being Roy, Surya, Gowri & Amir ); across gender & across class (Roy's a millionaire; Surya & Gowri : middle class & Amir's a rowdy). Another interesting thing which struck me is the family structure of the protagonists..Roy: orphan; Surya: son of loving parents & finally Gowri & Amir bereft of mother & father respectively (I presume even Saji didnt realise it!!! hahaha)

As for the performances, with not much of a well defined story to rely upon..all that the actors had to do was use loads of glycerine & rely on their acting prowess. Though all of them has given a decent performance that wont salvage the movie.

However, there are a few bright spots in this otherwise futile movie..the guest appearance by Kamal Hasan was just brilliant. His love for Kerala & his inspirational talk citing people from his professional & personal life was truly natural & moving. Jayasurya is one actor who always seems to try to bring something different to his character & here also..he deserves a pat for infusing life into his character with his varied appearance & Cochin slang.

Verdict: Taking a cue from its title..I dont think it will have substantial audience even for 4 days..So in short, dont bother watching this!!!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jhootha Hi Sahi review: Trite & Predictable!!!

The first thing that attracts us to the movie is the tagline "From the makers of  "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na".To be frank that was the only factor which was likely to attract the audience as the star cast wasnt well known & the hero John Abraham has been going though a lean patch since New York.Even "Jaane Tu.." didnt have any known faces but it was fresh & engaging. So were the makers able to recreate the magic??? The plot involves a nerdy bookshop owner John (as Sid) having to become a suicidal helpline due to a printing mistake in the papers. Things takes a turn when he receives a call from Paakhi (as Mishka) who is on the verge of committing suicide due to a failed relationship. The question is whether John could help her out & what change it brings to both their lives...

Frankly speaking, the biggest flaw of this movie is the threadbare prdictable script & lack of chemistry between the lead pairs. Paakhi is also the writer for this movie & it lacks any freshness or punch to keep us engaged. Abbas Tyrewala (the director & husband of Paakhi) couldnt be expected to do justice with such a weak script...& so naturally the film falls flat. The first half is an absolute bore with hardly anything happening while the second half does have it light moments involving the friends of John & that keeps you entertained. The climax again is totally filmy & as it was reminiscent in "Jaane Tu.." there's a race against time. The music by AR Rahman is below par & fails to lift the mood of the movie.

In the performance department, John is the only saving grace & has come up with a refreshing change as the Clark Kent type character as opposed to the hunk that we know him. Paakhi lacks impact & her chemistry with John is an absolute zilch. As for the support cast, Raghuram (as Omar) is really good & surprises us with his humour as we have been familiar only to his mean & sadistic attitude in MTV Roadies. The rest doesnt have much to do & seems fine with the performances that they render.

Verdict: The movie is bound to sink without a I dont see much takers for this, except for couples preferring some privacy in the coolness of the Multiplex. So in short, I would suggest that you guys give this movie a miss!!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rakta Charitra-1 review: Bloodbath & violence galore!!!

The much awaited first installment of "Rakta Charitra" has finally hit the theatres with lots of expectations. The movie had evoked much interest even before its release as it was based on the life of the slain Telugu leader & factionist Paritala Ravi. Ram Gopal Verma (RGV) is back to his home turf as picturising movies based on the linkage between violence & dirty politics has always been his forte.Here too, he delivers his product true to his name & with such a horrific real story at his disposal he just had to make the right moves.So has he delivered to our satisfaction????

The plot is basically the rise of the protogonist to power (Vivek Oberoi as Pratap Ravi)...however for those who doesnt have much idea about the subject,here's a peek view. Pratap's father(Veerabhadra) was the trusted lieutenant of the sitting MLA of Anantpur,Nagabhadra Reddy, which didnt go down well with the MLA's bro Nagamani Reddy (Kota Srinivasa). He poisons his bro's ears, who in turn orders the execution of Nagabhadra. What then follows is a Pratap's bro Shankar (Sushant Singh) seeking revenge also gets killed. This entices the entry of Pratap into the bloody battle & how he rises up the ladder of power with backing of Sivaji Rao (as NTR essayed by Shatrughna Sinha).

RGV employs the usual techniques with which we are now pretty much familiar it the chantings in the background, dangerous looking villains, frames with shades of grey,black & brown and finally camera zoomin in on the limbs or eyes. However, there is no denying the fact that he keeps us engaged mainly due to the fact that this is a true account of something which happened. We cant help letting out gasps at the way men are being butchered & women being mere objects of pleasure. One of the main turnoffs in this engaging violent movie is the eery narrator & loud background score which at times turns out to be a pain to the ears.There are certain areas where you might actually get bored due to excessive violence but the end will get you excited as it provides a sneak preview to the 2nd part..with Surya coming into the picture as his nemesis. The writer, Prashant Pandey has done a commendable job in covering all the important aspects of Paritala's life along with some slick editing work.

Coming to performances, I was totally blown away by Abhimanyu Singh (as Bukka Reddy..son of Nagamani) just cant help wondering as to how evil a man can be & to realise this man actually existed..really gives you the jitters. Abhimanyu was excellent to say the least & as played the role with such perfection that you actually hate him. Vivek has always been at ease playing the gangster role be it Company or Shootout at too, he is at his absolute best & Shatrughna Sinha with his stature & booming voice is apt for the role. As for other characters, they just shuttle in & out of the there isnt much to be said.

Verdict: Well the movie is definitely a strict "NO" for the faint hearted..coz in my view, this is one of the most violent Hindi movies that has ever released. The story is definitely engaging as its true with an interesting end though the treatment is nothing new. Will it be a hit??? pretty hard to say as it will have a very selective & limited audience as it will be a turn off for the fairer sex. So in my opinion, do watch it if you are a fan of RGV gangster movies or else avoid it!!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Aakrosh review: Refreshing change from Priyan!!!!

After churning out comedies by the dozen, Priyan has come up with an interesting venture "Aakrosh" which basically deals with the issue of honour killings which is hogging the headlines on a regular basis. Priyan has always shown that he is an expert when it comes to copying movies & making it palatable for the target audience whether its Malayalam or Bollywood. Over here also the story isnt much different, as Aakrosh is an Indianised version of the Gene Hackman-Willian Dafoe starrer "Mississippi burning", which was a brilliant movie & had many Academy nominations. The plot involves the missing of three medical students in the area of Jhanjar which happens to be the hometown of one of them.The CBI is brought into action to crack the case under the charge of Siddhant (Akshaye Khanna) & his subordinate Pratap (Ajay Devgan). As the movie unfolds it addresses the conflicts between castes & how even the police is hand in hand with the upper strata of religion. The crux of the movie lies in the fact whether the CBI can make the villagers overcome fear to become witnesses & can they get the wrongdoers behind bars????

The story is really hard hitting & a welcome change from the usual comedy fare of Priyan. Though the basic format is copied..Priyan has Indianised it really well by clubbing it with a prevalent issue. In the performance department, Ajay & Akshaye has done justice to their roles but for me the best was Paresh Rawal as the corrupt police officer. He is at his vintage best that you cant help hating the character he plays...a throwback to the yester years when he only did villainous roles.Bipasha as the wife of Paresh is decent while Reema Sen has given a credible job.

Another aspect of the movie which deserves special praise is the chase sequence of Ajay on the rooftops which is top notch stuff. The movie however has it downsides as fails to sustain the intensity at times which is natural as its a shade too long.

Verdict: So how will the movie fare???? hmm..thts a pretty tough question..Priyan has definitely delivered a good movie but the overall product is pretty grim & doesnt have any music or humour. So that might be a turn off for certain sections of audience. As far as my opinion goes, you will enjoy it if you like reality stuff or else its better you avoid it!!!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Anwar review : Disappointing!!!

This week heralded the release of  "Anwar" directed by Amal Neerad who is by now well known among the audiences for his stylish flicks be it  "Big B" or "Sagar Alias Jackie". After having worked the two stalwarts of Malayalam industry..he trained his eyes on the next big thing..the young superstar Prithviraj. He has been winning accolades for his performance in  "Raavanan" & was last seen in  the masala blockbuster "Pokkiriraja". So naturally there was a lot of expectation from the audience. Before going to the is a fleeting glance regarding the plot. The first thing which struck me about this movie is that its very clearly inspired from the Don Cheadle starrer "Traitor" with a couple of slight changes. It basically deals with Anwar (Prithviraj) being put in jail for a hawala case where he befriends Babu Seth (Lal),who is a suspect in the Coimbatore bomb blast. Needless to say, with time he becomes the trusted lieutenant of Babu...after having carried out a couple of blasts. This prompts Babu to entrust Anwar with a bigger mission by introducing him to Basheer bhai (Sampath).In the meantime, the police is hot on the heels of these guys under the leadership of ATS officer Stalin Manimaran (Prakashraj). The question remains as to whether Anwar can pull off the mission & why is he doing this or will Stalin track them down...for that you got to watch the movie.

The storyline is definitely a big let down...hardly anything happens in the first half & even in the latter half also when it tries to come up with something fails to inspire the audience. Another thing which is found is that many of the sequences are just a rehash of the previous it the hooded hero in the rain or climax in the beach or stun gun scene (Big B). However everything isnt negative...the biggest attraction of the movie is the excellent music by Gopi Sunder which is complimented by stunning visuals by Satheesh Kurup. "Kizhakkum Pokkum" rendered by Shreya Ghoshal is outstanding & is already a chart buster (reminds us of Kannalanae from Bombay)..along with "Kanninima Neele" By Shreya & Naresh Iyer (reminds us of Venilave from Sagar Alias Jackie). A special mention goes to the song "Njan" rendered by Prithvi & Mamtha which is really cool & has some great choreography as well.

Coming to performances, Prithviraj has performed decently given the scope of the movie. Prakashraj essays a role similar to Pashupathy in Big B, Lal seems adequate while Mamtha & Sampath is hardly seen. The editing of the movie is pretty slick just as in his previous flicks with the blasts being shot excellently..however there is no denying the fact that slow motion sequences are used a bit too that after a point of time you squirm in your seats.

Verdict: So coming to the verdict of the movie..I would term it pretty disappointing, as the movie definitely lacks a good storyline. It might garner good initials owing to the fresh combo of Prithvi & Amal...but I doubt whether it will become a hit. So in my opinion. its not worth enough to be watched in a theatre unless you are a Prithvi fan.. or else you may as well check it out when it comes online or on TV!!!!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Enthiran review: Best Sci-fi movie of India!!!!

The ultimate demi-god of Indian celluloid is back...the one & only RAJINI. Its been 3 years since his last film Sivaji was released & now he is back with an even better & bigger venture "Enthiran". Touted as the most expensive movie ever to be made in India...with a staggering 160 odd crores being pumped into the making of this ambitious project of Shankar. He has always come up with movies which has a huge canvas with money being spent lavishly. Enthiran was initially written with Kamal Hasan in mind..but when that deal didnt work out..he went to SRK, who also pulled out of the venture before finalising the venture with Rajini. After having always dealt with themes revolving around corruption...he decided to side step that & came up with a refreshing which involved a lot of vision & risk.The plot basically involves  Dr.Vaseegaran (Rajini), a brilliant scientist creating a humanoid robot resembling himself  (Chitti (also Rajini)). The intention of Dr.Vaseegara is to induct humanoids like Chitti into the Army & cut down on the loss of human life..however his mentor Dr.Bora (Danny Denzongpa), who has also been trying the same thing but for monetary benefits rejects Chitti stating its just an inference machine & could be detrimental to mankind itself. Things take a turn, when Vaseegaran inducts feelings into Chitti who in turn starts developing feelings for Sana (Aishwarya Rai), (Vaseegara's fiance) . What then follows, is a fight between man vs machine & how Chitti turns towards the dark side albeit some changes.

The story by Shankar is definitely refreshing..but some guys might say that it has similarilty to "Bicentennial Man",well that similarity ends with the humanoid developing feelings. He has written the story with a great deal of vision coz its very easy to get carried away with lot of special effects & end up making a movie which is a Hollywood copy. This movie is definitely Indian in all sense with Western technology incorporated in an appropriate way rather than making it appear awkward as has been the case in many of the previous attempts by Bollywood. 

The story however has its flaws, though the first half just breezes through..the second half is a shade too long. Though the story keeps you engrossed...a couple of scenes could have been cut to maintain the pace of the movie..especially the Kalabhavan Mani sequence which was added just as an intro to another song & the last song as well which seem to be forced into the script. Coming to music, Rahman hasnt delivered his best..with Irumbile & Kilimanjaro being the best among the lot. However,cinematography by Ratnavelu has been top it Macchu Picchu of Peru or the oasis of Brazil.

Coming to the performance department, Rajini as Chitti especially in the second half is just fantastic to say the least. He has essayed the role of the dark Chitti with such ease that you are left wanting for more. Aishwarya has done a decent job & looks as beautiful as ever with Danny in a brief role as the evil mentor being adequate.Aishwarya was just fantastic in the Irumbile song & also in the Chitti dance as the choreography by Raju Sundaram & Claudia Bruckmann was excellent. The comic relief provided by Santhanam-Karuna duo is hardly noticed...since Rajini just takes over all the roles with equal finesse.However, the main attraction & the biggest plus points for this magnum opus are the brilliant stunts carried out by Wong Poo (of Matrix fame),the special effects by Industrial Light & Magic (of Avatar,Star Wars,Titanic) & animatronics by Stan Winston Studios (of Terminator 2, Jurassic Park).

Verdict: All in all, its a must watch movie whether you are a Rajini fan or not...& definitely watch it in theatre coz the special effects are the best ever you would have seen in an Indian movie.To be frank, it even pales many of the Hollywood counterparts in terms of technical expertise. In terms of collection, as per official reports it grossed 200 crores in just 3 I have to say more???? Its on its way to being the biggest ever Indian blockbuster of all time!!!!! 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Anjaana Anjaani review: Average!!!

The impending Ayodhya verdict made the movie to be released a week later than expected..but then the verdict had also postponed. However that didnt seem to impact the excellent opening of Anjaana Anjaani in the North....while it was barely noticed in the South owing to the release of the magnum opus of Rajini "Enthiran". Well, Anjaana Anjaani was an eagerly awaited movie as it had a fresh star cast..with two of the most talented stars among the younger generation coming together for the first time. The promos were also able to create a buzz as it looked different..but is it actually good??. The plot basically involves two strangers meeting on a bridge with the intention of committing suicide...Ranbir (as Akash) had lost all his money when the stock market crashes while Priyanka (as Kiara) was coming off a broken affair. They eventually confide their problems to each other & plan to work out their suicide together...inspite of repeated attempts they fail to carry it off..eventually making them believe that they might have some unfinished stuff to do & decide on embarking on a journey for 20 days to fulfill all their wishes. What happens at the end of 20 days & whether they do find each other as their soul mates forms the crux of the movie.

Coming to the performance department, Ranbir has delivered a decent act though there isnt much he has to do here & the same goes with Priyanka as well. Ranbir is definitely at ease essaying his role to perfection but it definitely lacks a punch owing to not much variation in his characterization. As for the story by Mamta Anand...though it has a pretty unique opening, it falters thereafter. The idea of commiting suicide & the antics they really childish & fails to evoke laughs also. The predictable storyline also takes away much of the interest in the second half. However, the chemistry the two share on screen is top notch but other than that there isnt much to look foward to. Vishal Shekhar has definitely come up with some good music & thats definitely a plus point for the movie.

Verdict: With Ranbir & Priyanka being in the naturally harbours high hopes..but for me the experience was definitely disappointing.As far as my opinion goes, its just average & those who arent so much into Ranbir or Priyanka may as well avoid it.Its definitely not going to make the single screen theatres go gaga & much of its fate lies in the multiplex collections!!!!