Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tournament review : Interesting idea but poor execution!!!

Lal is one name which is trusted by the audience to always come up with some entertaining movies be it the ones he made in combination with Siddique such as "Godfather","Ramji Rao Speaking" etc, or alone such as "2 Harihar Nagar". This festive season saw the release of Lal's "Tournament", which is an ensemble of new faces. Coming on the back of hits such as "Best Actor" as an actor & "In Ghost House Inn" as a director...will his latest venture live up to the expectations of the audience???

The script is by Lal himself & he has definitely adopted a different style in narrating the story by showing two different view angles for the same scene. Its pretty hard to explain it without revealing the plot, so I will put that matter to rest for the time being. The plot basically involves 3 friends Balu (John), Viswam (Fahad) & Usman (Pravin) getting selected for participating in the official selection trials in Bangalore for Kochi IPL team. However before their journey begins itself, Balu meets with an accident & is bed ridden. The other two unwillingly proceed with the journey but their flight gets cancelled, however on the insistence of their friend Aswathy (Rupa) they hit the road & is joined by Bobby (Manu),another selected participant whom they met in the airport. What all happens during the course of this journey forms the crux of the movie.

Coming to performances, the new comers has definitely delivered a decent act. Fahad is slowly turning out to be a fine actor while Rupa is also totally at ease. Prajin as John, who turns up in the latter half of the movie deserves a pat on his back & so does John in his brief role. Salim Kumar has been able to tickle the funny bone at times. The music by Deepak Dev is top notch & all the numbers has been ruling the music charts be it "Heyyo" by Vinod Verma & Maya; "Manassil" by Naresh Iyer, Deepak Dev & Megha or "Nila Nila" by Karthik & Megha.

However, the movie has it share of flaws which could very well spell its doom. Though the idea has been unique...the storyline lacked the punch to sustain the interest of the audience. It goes without saying that after the first few sequences, the audience gets an idea as to what is going to happen next. The climax was another major letdown, with a little more bound plot this could well have been a good thriller.

Verdict: The movie will find it hard to get a good opening owing to the lack of big names. In such a scenario, its the script that will have to do the trick as in the case of "Malarwadi Arts Club", however that is not going to happen here. In my opinion, the movie is just average..watch it if you feel like or else forget it!!!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Marykkundoru Kunjaadu review: "Simple yet enjoyable!!!"

Christmas is finally here & Dileep intends to wish the audience a very happy festive season through his latest offering "Marykkundoru Kunjaadu".The audience are definitely looking forward to this movie as this brings together the hit combination of "Kalyanaraman" , Dileep-Shafi & Benny Nayarambalam. So have they been able to recreate the magic yet again ???

The plot involves Solomon (Dileep) who is a lazy & cowardly young guy who aspires to be a film director. Due to his peaceful nature & inability to stand up to his adversaries he inevitably ends up being the object of beatings from all;but primarily from his sweetheart Mary's (Bhavana) brothers. Ittichayan (Innocent) is Mary's father,a wealthy person who was at loggerheads with Dileep's father (Vijayaraghavan) as he had married Innocent's bride years back. Things take a turn when Biju Menon turns up in the village & Dileep sees this as an oppurtunity to get even with his detractors by making use of Biju's strength claiming him to be his long lost brother Jose. But in reality who was Jose & will Ittichayan allow Solomon to marry Mary...the answers to all these forms the basic thread.

Benny Nayarambalam has come up with a simple storyline with not much unexpected twists or turns..however there is no denying the fact that the screenplay was entertaining. Shafi is always known to come up with movies with good humour & here too he has exploited the comic forte of Dileep to the hilt.The music by Berny Ignatius has been well appreciated & already a rage in TV channels.

Coming to performances, Dileep comes up with a delightful act as the cowardly yet lovable village rustic. He is totally at ease with the character & comes out in flying colours. Biju Menon has delivered a knock out performance especially in the first half with impressive performances from Innocent & others also.

Verdict: Taking into account the holiday season & "feel good" nature of the movie...I believe this is going to be yet another hit in Dileep's kitty thereby capping a very successful 2010 for him. In short, I would suggest that you guys watch it for some relaxing clean humour!!!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Kandahar review : "Half baked mission!!!"

The much awaited "Kandahar" finally hit the screens across the country with around 125 prints, making it to be the biggest ever release  for a Malayalam venture. Mohanlal movies' inevitably draws a huge initial & with this one having the added attraction of one of the biggest legends of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan; the expectations & anticipations were going through the roof. So will the movie do justice to the caliber of two of the finest actors in the world????

Mohanlal is back once again as Major Mahadevan & this time with his team of commandos is involved in foiling a hijack. The first half of the movie focuses on the life of Surya (Ganesh Venkitaraman) , the only son of Loknath Sharma (Amitabh Bachchan) who is an idealistic & well known teacher in Ooty. Though a trained pilot, Surya fails to land with a plump job. By chance, Major Mahadevan meets up with Surya & advices him to join the Army. As expected with time Surya becomes a fine officer & thats when an Air India  flight gets hijacked with the demand that the dreaded terrorist, Masood be released in exchange for the passengers. Can Major Mahadevan & his team pull this off or will bureaucracy bow to the demands of the terrorists???

Just as with his previous ventures, the script is by Major Ravi. But sorry to say, this is definitely his weakest to date. The first half focuses on the relationship between father & son.; with the latter part  on his Army training,. Though a touch too melodramatic at times, its pretty fine & doesnt take a toll on the audience. With the intermission creating a build up, one is naturally looking forward to the second half, for the mission. But this is where Major Ravi has got it all wrong. The mission is just too amateurish & looked too damn easy...not to forget the appalling climax . He spent way too much time focusing on melodrama rather than on the actual mission. The thread of the story is obviously the Kandahar hijack incident of 1999 & he has fictionalised it in his own way. There's no problem with that, but atleast have a proper vision rather than making it so gawky.

Major Ravi with Big B & Lalettan
Coming to performances, Mohanlal has once again enacted Mahadevan's role to perfection, though I cant help thinking that he has been woefully wasted owing to a below par script. Big B also delivers a memorable performance & the scenes between the two veterans are truly the highlights of the movie. However, Ganesh was disappointing & fails to impart naturality to his character especially in the first half. The beautiful Sumalatha & Ananya is hardly noticed & makes you wonder as to why they were even there in the movie.

As for other technical aspects, cinematography by Ravi Verman was decent while the editing by Don Max was top notch with a special mention  for the title tracks. The soul of most patriotic movies are powerfully worded songs & this has been given life by Shamir Tandon with "Aye Janani" & "Ho Chup He" rendered by Sonu Nigam & Kailash Kher being the best among the lot.

Verdict: With around 6.5 crores riding on the movie, such a huge opening will go a long way in helping it to break even. However, with such a weak script to harbour hopes of this being a hit will be to be too optimistic.Personally speaking, I dont expect nothing more than an average run at the max . In short, watch it just for the sheer pleasure of watching these great actors sharing screen space or else its better to give it a miss!!!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Band Baaja Baaraat review : "Interesting theme but lacks punch!!!"

Yash Raj films is synonym in Indian film industry for churning out lavish, larger than life sets & inevitably they have been tasting success time & again. However, since the last few years their success rate has taken a beating; which has forced them to think out of the box. As a result of that they have been trying out movies with interesting scripts rather than the usual run of the mill. "Band Baaja Baaraat" by debutant Maneesh Sharma seems to be one such movie & now it remains to be seen whether the audience accepts it.

The first thing which struck me is that it has touched upon the subject of wedding planners which has never been explored as such in our movies. The plot involves Shruti Kakkar (Anushka Sharma), a confident, straight forward female who nurses the dream of becoming a wedding planner. Apart from her, there is Bittoo Sharma (Ranveer Singh), a Delhi University product who enjoys life viling away his time. In short, a diametrically opposite character of Shruti. Bittoo gets smitten by her, but things doesnt pans out the way he wants as she has all her life plans well laid out. However, due to certain circumstances they end up being business partners of their wedding planning enterprise "Shaadi Mubarak". Both of them compliment their abilities & in due course of time, "Shaadi Mubarak" becomes the leading enterprise. Things take a turn when they end up sleeping together...what issues later on forms the crux.

The script by Maneesh Sharma is fresh & tackles a new subject; though there is no denying the fact that the second half is predictable & repetitive. The music by Salim-Sulaiman deserves a pat on their backs with "Ainvayi Ainvayi" rendered by Salim & Sunidhi being the best among the lot. Aseem Mishra has been exceptional in capturing the ambience & vibrance of the weddings. 

Anushka Sharma has come up with her best performance till date, though it will be appropriate to say that she has been offered ample opportunity in this as opposed to "Rab Ne.." & "Badmaash Company". Debutant Ranveer Sharma has been impressive in the first half  with his bindaas attitude however he needs to work a lot in the emotional scenes. As far as chemistry goes they do create sparks but at times it seems like she is an elder sister rather than a girl friend.

Verdict: The movie definitely tackles a new subject but it loses much of its punch in the second half. Anywaz considering the way, Yash Raj movies has been tanking in recent times; this will do decent business. As far as my opinion goes, its fine to give it a try if you are free or else forget it!!!


No Problem review: "Full of problems!!!"

Anees Bazmee is one of those directors who has been instrumental in racking in a lot of moolah on the basis of no brainer slap stick comedies. His array of hits belonging to that genre includes "No Entry", "Welcome" & "Singh is Kinng; all of which had nonsensical story lines but somehow managed to tickle the funny bone. This weekend witnessed the release of his latest venture,"No Problem"; which is also of the same genre & produced by Anil Kapoor. So will this one also add onto his success list???

Coming to the plot, as expected its having an absolutely stupid story. It basically involves two crooks,Yash (Sanjay Dutt) & Raj (Akshay Khanna); who robs a bank headed by manager Zandulal (Paresh Rawal). Since both these crooks happened to stay in his house for a day prior to the robbery, the blame naturally falls on Zandulal; who vows to catch them. In the meantime, a heist happens in the Diamond Centre,Durban carried out by Marcos (Suneil Shetty) & his gang. The investigation charge falls on the crack inspector Arjun (Anil Kapoor);who is married to Kajal (Sushmita Sen);who in turn has split personality disorder. Zandulal in search of the crooks also lands up in Durban & what follows later on is too stupid to be even discussed.

The biggest flaw with the movie is that it is full of problems. There isnt a single aspect which deserves a word of praise.Frankly speaking, I never expected anythng logical but even the comedy is so down-rite stupid that you feel like banging your head rather than laughing. Except for "Mast Punjabi" rendered by Anand Raj & Sunidhi Chauhan;the others are below average...considering the fact that 4 music directors worked in this fim namely Sajid-Wajid, Anand Raj & Pritam. The background score is one of the worst that I have come across in recent times; even a amateur would have done it better.

As for performances, its a well known fact that slap stick comedies works totally on the timing & comic flare of the performer. I didnt feel that any of them has done a credible job though Paresh Rawal & Anil Kapoor did manage to infuse a couple of laughs, the others were trying too hard.

Verdict: The North Indian audience has a habit of taking a liking for absolute nonsensical comedies like Golmaal 3 etc etc; but this time I dont believe even they would tolerate this. In short, dont even bother watching!!!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Phas Gaya Re Obama review : "Innocently funny!!!"

The last few years especially since the super hit "Bheja Fry",we have been witness to the release of a large number of low budget movies, which relied mainly on their script rather than on star power & it wont be wrong to say that many of them has been impressive. This year has also seen many such movies making their mark such as "Peepli Live", "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" etc, to name a few. "Phas Gaya Re Obama" is another such movie trying to repeat the feats of its predecessors. The unique title does create some hype especially since Obama has been here just a month back. So will its storyline be able to create magic ????

The story is written by the director himself, Subhash Kapoor & he has to be applauded for choosing a pretty unique subject. The plot basically involves, the impact of recession in all walks of life but mainly focusing on the gangsters. Om (Rajat Kapoor), is a US NRI who has been hit hard by recession, causing him to lose everything & now virtually on the brink of being kicked out from his house by the bank for non-payment of the mortgaged amount. Seeing no other option, he decides to come to India & sell his ancestral home so as to garner the amount that he requires. Within a few days of landing, he is kidnapped by a band of gangsters whose leader is Bhai Saab (Sanjay Mishra); who is going through a lean patch owing to recession. This sets off a sequence of events among the various rungs of gangsters who all wants a piece of Om, quite oblivious of the fact that he is a financial wreck. Will Om be able to escape from the clutches of the gangsters & collect the amount that he needs to sustain his family forms the framework of the story.

The star cast consists of Rajat Kapoor (as Om) who again comes up with a winning performance as the clever NRI guy. Sanjay Mishra (as Bhai Saab: the boss of the lowest rank of gangsters) is absolutely brilliant & his side-kick Manu Rishi (as Anni) is equally good. Neha Dhupia as Munni Gangster aka Female Gabbar delivers a power packed performance along with Amol Gupte as Dhananjay Singh (Minister for Animal Welfare). The real winner without doubt is however the script, which keeps our spirits high with its hilarious moments without ever resorting slap stick comedy,which is so prevalent nowadays.The music by Manish Tipu doesnt have much of a say, but the dialogues has been spot on. The movie does have its minor pit falls at places but thats pardonable when you look at the bigger picture.

Verdict: Being made on a shoe-string budget of approx 3 crores (as per Bollywood standards), the film should be able to recover its costs with a couple of good shows. Since its endowed with an interesting script, I wont be surprised if it becomes a hit as it would have the benefit of word by mouth going in its favour. So in short, I would suggest that you guys to definitely watch it for some clean humour!!!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Best Actor review: "Mammotty pulls out yet another ace!!!"

December is one of those months which the film industry always looks forward to for cashing in on the holiday season coming up. Unofficially the release of big films begins from today with Mamukka starrer "Best Actor" being the first among many to follow in the subsequent weeks. Coming on the back of a pretty good year for Mammotty, will this directorial debut of photographer Martin Prakatt continue his purple patch??? The promos has been pretty promising & the music has been ruling the charts...hmm, lets check it out!!!

The story by Bipin Chandran & Martin Prakatt is interesting & keeps the audience engaged for sure. It basically tells the story of a school teacher, Mohan (Mammootty) who nurses his childhood dream of making it big on the silver screen. Inspite of repeated efforts, his dreams fails to acquire wings; but his wife, Savitri (Shruti Krishnan) & son,Unnikuttan (Master Vivas) stands by him. Finally an opportunity comes knocking in the form of a hit director Sreekumar (Sreenivasan), who happens to shoot a film in Mohan's school. Mohan is made to believe that he would be offered a role in the film, but it turned out to be a hoax. This prompts Mohan to make a last ditch effort to realise his dreams & he ends up going to Cochin to meet up with a friend who is making a movie. As expected he faces flax there as well, & he is asked to imbibe the character of a gangster by living among such people. Being true to his efforts, he ends up meeting with such a band of gangsters.So will Mohan realise his dream or will he get sucked into the gangster world ??? The answers for these questions forms the highlight of the movie.

Mamootty has come up with yet another spell bounding performance, he imparts such an innocence to the character that you end up loving the character. Just to cite an example, the scene in which he is told by Sreenivasan that he cant be offered any role is brilliant to say the least; the way he emotes his feelings has to be seen to be believed. Shruti Krishnan has done a decent job though she doesnt have much of screen space. As for other characters like Lal, Nedumudi Venu, Salim Kumar & Vinayakan as the gangsters keeps us entertained with their witty one liners.A host of guest appearances by noted directors like Lal Jose, Renjith, Blessy along with Sreenivasan makes it for an interesting watch.

As for other aspects of the movie, the music by Bijibal though ordinary is pretty hummable especially the track "Swapnam Oru Chak" by Arun Elat. Another aspect which really got my attention were the colourful posters which makes you feel like watching the movie. However, there are a few pitfalls as well....though the first half breezes through...the second half has certain sequences which seems to be too hollow giving it a dragging effect. The background score is below average & its absence at times is one of the main reasons for the above mentioned flaw.

Verdict: The movie has definitely got a decent story coupled with a good climax making it for an interesting family entertainer. It should be able to get the box office bells ringing...I dont feel it would be a super hit but its going to be well above average or hit as well. In short, I would suggest that you guys to definitely watch it!!!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey review: " Credible effort on patriotism!!!"

Finally, Ashutosh Gowarikar is back with his patriotic celluloid venture after the debacle of "Whats your Rashee???". With AB Jr. & Deepika Padukone paired together for the first time, will this venture based on the Chittagong Uprising of 1930 bring back the glory days of Ashutosh...it waits to be seen. Anywaz I will give you a feedback as to how I felt about it & then the ball is in your court.

As I had mentioned earlier, the story is based on the Chittagong Uprising of 1930 & the intricate details regarding that revolt has been adapted from the novel " Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-1934" by Manini Chatterjee. Just to give you a brief idea, it basically involves a series of attacks carried out on 5 strongholds of the British on the night of April 18th,1930 in Chittagong which was then a part of the undivided Bengal province. The revolt was headed by Surjya Sen, popularly referred to as "Master Da"; since he was a school teacher. The significance of this revolt is that it was carried out by 64 teenagers under the leadership of Surjya Sen & his trusted team of revolutionaries.

Coming to performances, Abhishek Bachchan (as Surjya Sen) has given a very restrained act which at times doesnt seem to match the character of the revolutionary. However, there is no denying the fact that he has given a very sincere effort. Deepika Padukone (as Kalpana Dutta) has been offered the first deglam role of her career & though not endowed with much screen space; she has been able to be noticed. The role of the revolutionaries essayed by Sikander Kher & others, were natural & earnest. The biggest applause is deservedly reserved for the teenagers, who has been able to impart an innocence to their roles & which makes it for an endearing watch especially in the second half.

Verdict: The movie is definitely not going to create wonders at the box-office & will recover its costs at the max. It has been successful to make us aware of a significant part of our Independence efforts as its not been covered in detail in our history books. In short, if you are not much into history..its better you give this a miss!!!


Rakta Charitra 2 review: "Surya rocks in this engrossing vendetta saga!!!"

The much awaited Bollywood debut of Surya is finally here & we couldnt fault him in biding his time before making the plunge into Hindi. The prequel had been released barely a month back & it goes without saying that it was one of the most violent Hindi movies to have ever released. As expected, RC-1 achieved rich dividends from the Telugu version while it recovered its costs from Hindi. The climax of RC-1 created immense excitement with a sneak peek into what could be happening next. So was this bated anticipation totally justified ????? Hmm...just read on & you will know what I felt.

The plot basically picks from the climax of the prequel with the emergence of Surya , who turns out to be the nemesis for Prathap (Vivek Oberoi). The movie begins with Surya carrying out a failed bomb attack on Prathap & how Prathap retaliates to get even. If the first part showed us as to how Prathap became the person he was, in the sequel Surya takes the centre stage & throws light as to why he wants him dead. As many would be aware, Surya is enacting the real life character of Madichelu Suri, however giving more information regarding the character would be like giving out the entire plot.

With such a strong thread to rely upon, it was just a matter of having a good screenplay & Prashant Pandey has done total justice to his craft. Though the movie isn't filled up with as much events as in the prequel, nevertheless this will keep you engrossed.The emotion of vengeance hasnt been ever depicted with so much of clarity.Both the primal characters seems to have valid reasons for their situations & the audience totally gets to understand this. As for other aspects of the movie, the background score by Dharam-Sandeep deserves a pat on their back while the cinematography was the usual RGV style.

Coming to performances, Surya is totally awesome; he is the show stopper & the intensity he imparts to the character has to be seen to be believed. Vivek Oberoi has also done a credible job but the limelight is mainly on Surya this time. Priyamani (as Bhawani, Surya's wife) is equally top notch & exudes confidence. Sudeep (as DCP Rathod) is suave,manipulative & clever...though appearing only in a few sequences, he definitely leaves an impression.

Verdict: The sequel isn't as gory as RC-1, however it also has its share of violence which is still way beyond the palatable range of many. The Tamil version which is released as a single installment is bound to make the producers laughing to the bank & I believe a similar fate awaits the Telugu version also. Just as I had predicted for RC-1, the Hindi version this time also wont be going great guns but it will definitely be a bigger success. In my opinion, I would suggest that you guys to watch it...preferably the Tamil version!!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Again Kasargod Kadherbhai review : "A disgraceful sequel!!!"

Finally the last month of 2010 has arrived with a stack of movies lined up for all the weekends leading upto New Year. This week witnessed the release of the sequel of one of the biggest hits of Malayalam "Mimics Parade" & its sequel "Kasargod Kadherbhai".Since the prior two ventures being huge successes, naturally a lot of expectation has been attached to the 3rd installment titled "Again Kasargod Kadherbhai". So can this live up to the box office success of its predecessors???

The plot is basically crap to say the least...Father Tharakandam (Innocent) is still in charge of the troupe Kaladarsan which is carrying out cultural programmes with mimicry being its highlight as in prequels . On the occasion of Father's 60th bday, the troupe decides to hold a grand function & calls up its former star performers for a get together. With the exception of Siddique, the remaining guys (Jagadish, Biju & Ashokan) all make it for the function. These guys ends up performing a programme for the Central Jail inmates on the behest of Father. Incidentally, Kasim Khan (Babu Antony),who had been jailed courtesy of the Kaladarsan team in the prequel, is here as well. As expected, that leads to an altercation & it so turns out that he gets murdered. The blame falls on the Kaladarsan troupe owing to circumstantial evidence...so did they actually do it??? if not, who did it & why???

After the debacle of "College Kumaran" a couple of years back, Thulasidas is back at the helm of things. However, things doesnt seems to have changed much this time as well... with this movie being an equally worthless venture. The script by Kaloor Dennis doesnt have anything which would keep the audience interested. As for other aspects of the movie, the background score played when Gautham appears (enacting the role of  SI) is totally outrageous & blares out at times. Ratheesh Vegha's music is average with a track rendered by Vineeth Srinivasan being the best among the lot though its picturisation is appalling.

Coming to performances, though a galaxy of comedians are present here, there isnt much to write home about. Suraj does manage to infuse a couple of laughs while the female lead essayed by Radha Verma of "Crazy Gopalan" fame doesnt have much to do except apply oodles of makeup. A special word of mention definitely goes to Siddique for having being clever enough not to have acted in such a whimsical movie.

Verdict: Without doubt,one of the worst movies of this year. It would be lucky if it gets through this weekend. In short, I would suggest that you guys to avoid it!!!!