Sunday, November 28, 2010

Break ke Baad reviews: "Different yet average & predictable!!!"

Yet another film in the genre of contemporary romance where everyone is cool & independent . The trend started with "Dil Chahta Hai", after which hoards of movies had released with "Anjaana Anjaani", "IHLS", "Aisha" etc being the last few released in the past 4-5 months. So will the directorial debut of Danish Aslam "Break ke Baad" be different or will it be just another old story in a new bottle???

One thing that I liked about the movie is that for a change the storyline is different, though it transverses an oft used path in the latter half. Abhay (Imran Khan) is a dotting boyfriend who places his girlfriend Aaliya (Deepika Padukone) above everything else. He is the understanding, romantic & level headed guy in the relationship while Aaliya is the loud, career oriented, rebellious character who takes Abhay for granted. Things reach a point where she wants to pursue her acting career & pushes off to Australia; with hardly a thought for Abhay or her mom (Sharmila Tagore).Abhay as expected follows her there & due to her insistence they have to break up. Will Aaliya realise Abhay is the source of happiness & balance in her life??? Hmmm...for that you got to watch it.

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The screenplay by Danish Aslam & Renuka Kunzru though different & endearing in the first half becomes totally predictable & boring "break ke baad". The reason for saying different is in terms of the character given to Imran & Deepika. Vishal Shekhar tunes are hummable but not worth mentioning except for "Adhure". As for other aspects of the movie, there is nothing which deserves a special mention.

Coming to performances, Deepika has come up with an act on par with "Luv Aaj Kal" while Imran as always seemed confident & totally at ease in doing characters like these with "Jaane Tu..", "IHLS" etc being his predecessors. Lilette Dubey (as Imran's aunt) delivers a couple of punch lines which gets us into splits while Shahana Goswami has been wasted & so is Sharmila Tagore. In short, the others dont have much scope with the film focusing on Deepika, & Imran playing the supporting act literally.

Verdict: The movie opened with a lot of promise but fizzled out in the 2nd half, with an ending on the lines of "Kannamoochi Yenada".It will recover its costs but going on to become a hit..is too tall an ask. Anywaz, the movie is worth a one time watch if you are into urban Bollywood love stories or else forget it!!!

Regards...Ben

Cocktail review : "Impressively executed!!!"


After more than a month since its official launch, "Cocktail" finally released in Bangalore. This marked the directorial debut of Arun Kumar who is very popular as being the favourite editor of Priyan,with their relationship even extending upto his last released venture "Aakrosh". Hmm, so will this talented editor be a smart director as well...lets see how he fared in my view.


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The plot is definitely lifted off Brosnan-Gerald Butler starrer "Shattered" / "Butterfly on a Wheel".For the benefit of those who havent seen the original, here's a peek view. The story showcases Anoop Menon (as Ravi Abraham) being a successful architect happily married to Samvrutha Sunil (as Parwathy) & blessed with a daughter, Ammu. Inevitably, with success comes enemies & the initial portions of the movie throws light on the professional life of Ravi. Their life gets turned upside down with the kidnap of their daughter, masterminded by Jayasurya (as Venky) who had hitched a ride with them on the pretext of his car being broken down. What then follows is a gripping story as to what all they are made to sacrifice & perform on Venky's orders so as to save Ammu. What was Venky's motive??? why were they chosen ??? & will they escape from his grasp...the answers to all these is revealed in the latter half of the movie.

Coming to the directorial debut of Arun Kumar, he has definitely inculcated the traits of ripping off a movie to perfection from Priyan & then remaking it in a way palatable to the Malayali audience. Though the story by Anoop Menon didnt have any variations with respect to the original, it was definitely able to hook up the attention of the audience. The music composed by Alphonse & Ratheesh Vegha didnt have much to write about with "Neeyaam Thanalinu" rendered by Vijay Yesudas being the best among the lot though the background score was very much in tune with the mood of the film.

The real star of the movie is undoubtedly Jayasurya; just as I had mentioned even in my previous reviews..he always tries to do something different in terms of script selection & actual characterization with variations in slang, appearance etc. Here also he is totally at ease easing the negative character, who seems hell bent in making the life of others a living hell. Samvrutha has delivered a decent performance though Anoop Menon could have been a little more convincing coz at times his facial expressions is not in sync with the situation of the movie.A special mention goes to Kani, who had impressively essayed a 5 minute role of a sex worker. She continues to amaze the audience with her naturality be it the girl friend of Prithvi in "Kerala Cafe" or the Naxalite in "Shikar"

Verdict: Its undoubtedly one of the best movies that has released in Malayalam this year.The lack of an imposing star cast has been its bane on the initial days, but the movie is likely to pick up by word of mouth. It will definitely entertain you with its suspense & my advice to all of you guys would be to watch it!!!

Regards...Ben


Monday, November 22, 2010

Guzaarish review: "Well executed but appealing only for a niche audience!!!"

After a long hiatus since the debacle "Saawariya", Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back to woo the audience with his latest offering "Guzaarish", which is brought to life by two of the most sought after on-screen couples of Bollywood. SLB is always known to present movies which leaves us awe-struck with his way of treatment of the subject. The question is will SLB be able to come up with a winner after his previous cropper & will the Hrithik-Ash chemistry create magic a third time also???

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The plot involves the story of a well known magician, Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) who has been rendered quadriplegic when one of his acts went horribly wrong. The movie begins about 14 years after the prior mentioned incident took place & presently he is taken care of by his nurse,Sofia (Aishwarya Rai). Ethan has been a source of inspiration for many through his books & radio show "Radio Zindagi". However, now he decides to file a petition for Euthanasia after years of suffering & asks his lawyer friend Devayani (Shernaz Patel) to do it for him. As expected, Sofia & Devyani is shocked & angry at this decision of Ethan. The question that remains is will the Constitution of India allow such a plea to be accepted????

Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Coming to the story, SLB just as it has been in his previous ventures also, derives inspiration from a couple of movies like "The Prestige" & "The Diving Bell & the Butterfly". But its the Oscar winning Spanish movie "The Sea Inside" that he copies liberally from. The execution is brilliant to say the least, as always he takes us to a whole different world untouched by contemporary times ranging from the settings to costumes,all of which has a SLB touch.
        

                                                             
The visuals by Sudeep K Chatterjee were captivating & delivers the beauty in all its finery. The costumes by Sabyasachi though looked Victorian, was however very much in keeping with the mood of the story. Another commendable aspect is the music by SLB himself, some of the tracks like "Udi Udi" & "Guzaarish" were really good.

In the performance department, Hrithik as Ethan has done justice to his role & looked perfectly apt especially in the sequences he appears as the magician. However, its Ash who is the best in the movie...she was brilliant in all aspects imparting a sense of elegance & stature...& seems to be totally at ease. Aditya Roy (as Omar), who comes to study magic from Ethan provides the comic element, deserves a word of praise as well. As for other characters, Shernaz Patel was adequate while Ranjit Kapoor just had to harp all the time.

But the movie definitely has its share of flaws as well, the main being the subject of Euthanasia not explored adequately. With no much light moments & the whole tone of the movie being on the sober side there isnt much to look forward to in the movie. They should have added a bit more content & it should have been more touching. Another thing which will be a turn off for the mass audience is the over excessive use of English...SLB is being true to the subject as the movie is based in Goa, but he should have realized that the movie isnt goin to be released only in a particular region.

Verdict: There is no doubt that this is one of the finest work of Sanjay...but I doubt it will translate into money. If it manages to break even, it would be lucky...but in the present scenario, I dont see takers for it except for Multiplexes. In short, watch it only if you like slow, larger than life, with a canvas set in a different world kind of movies or else you wud cringe in your seats!!!

Regards...Ben

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best of Luck review: "May God have mercy on the makers!!!!"

The so-called future stars of Malayalam industry beckons the public to the theatres for this Bakrid season with their comedy venture "Best of Luck". After having made commendable debuts with "Neelathamara" & "Rithu" respectively, the star couples are brought together for the first time by director M.A Nishad. With an added attraction of having a special guest appearance by Megastar Mammootty in addition to the support provided by the veteran stalwarts like Prabhu & Urvashi, the makers would be expecting to make the box office bells ringing.But will they do so????



The story involves Surya (Kailash) & Manu (Asif Ali) being friends; who dreams of becoming musician & film-maker respectively with Neethu (Archana Kavi) & Diya (Reema Kalingal) playing their love interests. Surya is living under the support of his wealthy step brother Vinayaka Naykar (Prabhu) & finds it hard to have a jolly time with the meagre monthly allowance provided by Prabhu.  Things take a turn when Manu & Diya meets up with Mammootty who agrees to do a movie for them if they could come up with a good script. Then its a matter of arranging money thru money lenders to finance the movie in addition to mistaken identities etc etc

Coming to the story, its absolutely stupid & the comic element is just not good enough. Actually its the copy of the hugely successful Sanjay Dutt starrer "All the best". M.A Nishad after having delivered movies like "Vairam"...tries his hand in something different..but in the process burns his hand.

In the performance department, Asif Ali seems to be the one who is comparatively better, while the other youngsters seems to be totally lost. After having enacted many memorable roles, I was really surprised as to why such a fine actress like Urvashi would agree to do this & to say the least, she was unbearable...thanks to a poorly etched character. Prabhu seemed fine while Sooraj didnt bring anything new to the plate along with Jagathy. As for other aspects of the movie, there is nothing which deserves a mention.

Verdict: One of the worst movies to come out in recent times...even the guest appearance by Mammootty wont translate into a run for a couple of days more. In short, avoid it or else "Best of Luck" watching it!!!

Regards....Ben

The Thriller reviews: "Anwar reloaded: a better version however!!!!"


Bakrid is finally here & it ushered the release of the "young superstar" Prithvi's "The Thriller". After "Anwar", not being able to create any mileage for Prithvi, he would definitely be looking forward to his new release to seal his position in the Malayalam industry as the rightful heir apparent to the Megastars Mammootty & Mohanlal. So will this movie finally be the stepping stone that Prithvi is hoping????



The plot involves the murder of a young turk of a business empire on a highway. There is no doubt that the events has been clearly inspired from the Paul Muthoot George murder case & the movie moves along predictable lines with some interesting twists as well. Prithvi as Niranjan is the DCP, who is entrusted with the duty of cracking the case. With an underworld don in the form of Martin Dinakar (Sampath) & current issues like Cricket league, cut throat media etc...the movie in short is a mixed bag. So who are the big fishes behind the murder & what was the motive????; the answer to these questions forms the highlight.

Hmm...the thread of the story was really interesting & definitely had the scope to be a winner if tackled well. However for me that is where this movie falls flat, B.Unnikrishnan definitely lacks the caliber of a Renji Panicker..but that is no excuse for having executed it so badly.With an unwanted romantic angle & too much of time for each action sequence; the movie reminded me as being a Malayalam version of  Surya's character in "Singam". There was way too much of heroism & daredevilry...not to mention the slow motion. Unnikrishnan seems to be in competition with Amal Neerad as to who will impart more time for slow motion.

Coming to the performance department, Prithvi just rocked...he has done total justice to the role offered to him; though at times the mannerisms & English punch lines reminded me of Suresh Gopi. There is no doubt that this role seemed to be tailor made for Suresh Gopi, but Prithvi has more than satisfied the requirements. Sampath as the negative shade has delivered a decent performance & is making a name for himself in our industry. As for others, Katherine playing the female lead was hardly noticed & looked a misfit in the movie while Lalu Alex & Siddique seemed adequate.

One of the highlights of the movie are the action sequences choreographed by Anal Arasu of "Naan Mahaan Alla" fame. It was good & definitely imparted a Tamil touch..though personally speaking, I felt each of the action sequences didnt have to be so long. Coming to music by Dharan, "Priyankari" rendered by Mamtha Mohandas seemed fine;while the others were average. The choreography of the title track was cool & seemed to be the hangover of the last song of "Anwar"

Verdict: The movie will definitely have a bumper opening with not much of a competition from other movies. However it will not be able to sustain it, coz of the poor direction; though it will be able to recover its costs. In my view, its a one time watch if you dont mind watching a Tamil style movie!!!

Regards...Ben

Monday, November 8, 2010

Golmaal 3 review : A No Brainer slap stick comedy!!!!

Rohit Shetty is back with his Golmaal franchise to tickle our funny bone in this festive season of lights. After having struck gold with his previous 2 Golmaal ventures...this one promises to be bigger,better & more funnier than the others. So does it live upto its brand name???? The plot involves two sets of siblings namely Ajay Devgan & Shreyas Talpade on one side with Arshad Warsi ,Kunal Khemu & Tusshar on the other side under the parentage of Mithun Chakraborthy & Ratna Patnaik respectively They are constantly at loggerheads & all hell breaks loose when their parents decides to marry each other with Kareena playing the Cupid after she realises that they were one time lovers until fate splits them apart.

Is there any use talking about the script....coz none of the Golmaal movies had much of a story & the same trend follows here as well. The one thing that gets Golmaal running is the pranks, jokes & slap stick comedy. So in short, the vital aspect in such a framework is the tongue in cheek dialogues & that has been given in ample measure by Farhad Sajid & Bunty Rathore. The music by Pritam is average with the title track & "Ale" being the best among the lot. Rohit's movies are always known for its vibrance & bright colour schemes..not to forget the entry styles of the protagonists..be it the Ajay perching on two bikes in Golmaal...then on 2 hummers in Golmaal returns & finally on 2 cars running on its sides in Golmaal 3.

In the performance department, Mithun Chakraborthy has graciously donned the famous Disco dancer act, together with a wig reminiscent of his yesterdays. He is completely at ease with this avatar though at times here he has become the spoof of his own movies, Ajay has got a makeover with earrings, tattoos & a half crack character as opposed to the previous Golmaals. Tushaar has been the best in the previous two movies & here too he maintains that. Arshad has always been confident with comedy be it the Munnabhai series or the others. Kareena being the only female in this all guys star cast has been impressive & able to stand up with the guys.

Verdict: The Golmaal brand name will definitely give it a killer opening at the box office..however will it be able to sustain is the question. Personally speaking, I didnt like it....but considering the reception that the North Indian audience gave to the previous Golmaal ventures, I think this would turn out to be a hit. In my opinion, unless you like slap stick comedy watch it or else run far from it!!!!

Regards....Ben

Action Replayy review: A damp Diwali cracker!!!

Akki is back this Diwali with one of his favourite directors Vipul Shah with whom he has had 3 hits to add along with "Singh is King" where Vipul was the producer. The concept of time travel has been explored in Bollywood before also & here too they have made use of that concept. The movie is definitely the copy of Michael Fox starrer "Back to the Future", though the makers intended to give the credit to a Gujarati play. The plot involves Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor) being afraid to enter into a marriage with his girlfriend Tanya since he has been witness to his parents being on each other's throat at every moment. Tanya's grandfather Prof.Antony Gonzalves (Randhir Hapoor) has created a time machine & when he gives Bunty a deadline to decide on Tanya...Bunty decides to travel to the past & make things right between his parents.

The subject matter definitely had scope to be explored well..however the screenplay by Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah and Aatish Kapadia falls flat. There isnt much of a plot & everything looks so easy...it lacked the punch to keep the audience interested. One major thing which I felt wanting was the humour element...it was just not sufficient..a couple of chuckles here & there wont do the trick. They should have added more substance & packed with some more comedy. However, there is no denying the fact that the humour element is really enjoyable & definitely not of the slap stick genre which has been the case in recent Akki movies. The music by Pritam is pretty average & doesnt linger on after watching the movie..though "Zor ka jaktka" is amusing.

In the performance department. Akki (as Kishen: Bunty's dad) has given a good performance varying from being a loser to a winner. Ash (as Maya: Bunty's mom) has essayed the role of being an arrogant shrew to perfection. Aditya Roy (as Bunty) is really likeable & though this is his 2nd venture following the debacle London Dreams, it should hold him in good stead. Rannvijay (as Kundan) who plays the negative shade is disappointing & fails to make an impression. As for the remaining cast, the veteran stalwarts like Om Puri & Kiron Kher has been wasted while Neha Dhupia is hardly noticed. Rajpal Yadav (as Bhiku) does infuse laughs but he has been under utilised.

Verdict: The combination of Akki & Ash should get the box office bells ringing atleast for the initial few days owing to the long weekend due to Diwali. However I doubt it would be a hit....though it would recover its costs. In short, watch it if you are an Akki fan or else forget it!!!

Regards...Ben

Karyasthan review: Mediocre yet entertaining in segments!!!

This Diwali witnessed the release of Dileep's 100th film "Karyasthan" directed by debutant Thomson. Coming on the back of a personal hit "Pappy Appacha" & a hit in "Malarwadi Arts Club" as part of his production house...Dileep would definitely be looking forward to this latest release to make a killing at the box-office to celebrate his ton in style. Anywaz this review will throw light as to how I felt about the movie.The plot basically involves two families Kizhakkedath & Puthezhath headed by the patriarchs Madhu & G.K Pillai respectively who are at loggerheads owing to a family dispute which dates back to many years. This paves the way for the entry of Dileep as Karyasthan for the Puthezhath family & in the process he plans to bring peace between these two warring factions. What connection does Dileep have with these families ??? how did these families became arch rivals...the answer to these questions forms the crux of the movie.

The story by Udaykrishna & Sibi.K.Thomas just doesnt bring anything new to the plate..its basically a rehash of many of the movies that we have seen before like Hero No.1 to cite an example. The first 15-20minutes of the movie is definitely one of the worst that I have seen in Malayalam in recent times...giving the impression of a B grade film. However after that, the film picks up & makes it a much more enjoyable venture thanks to the humour element. The debutant director doesnt have much of a story to rely on but still its execution is decent (except for the beginning) though he has used the conventional oft used path.

In the performance department, Dileep doesnt have much to do in this movie & being his ton, I naturally expected something different. He tries to play to the gallery with his humour & to a certain extent wins at certain places. Akhila (host of Munchstar Junior Singer) as Sreebala has given a pretty decent performance & gets to prove her dancing credentials in the song "Krishna" after all she was the runner up of Vodafone Thakadhimi in 2007. Suraj is back to one of his humorous best & though bordering along the "chalu" side...he was definitely able to evoke laughs. With a host of other characters being projected...most of them are just for numbers rather than performance.

The songs by Berny Ignatius are pretty average & at times seems unwanted as well...however there is one song where an array of stars from the silver screen descends to render a performance which makes for an interesting watch..reminiscent of Om Shanti Om or Serial Artists 20-20.

Verdict: It will garner a good initial being the festive season & also due to the added attraction of being Dileep's 100th movie. It will definitely recover its cost, but will it be a hit???  Well it could... since his previous venture "Paapi Appacha" wasnt even as good as this...however a good deal will depend on the humour element. In my opinion, if you dont mind a surfeited storyline & want some laughs..watch it or else avoid it!!!

Regards...Ben