Sunday, July 24, 2011

Singham review: "Ajay's turn for a Dabaang!!!"

We are into the second decade of the new millenium & it seems Bollywood have taken a sudden liking for the brand of action movies which was prevalent in 1970s & 80s. As a matter of fact,ever since "Wanted" hit the jackpot; the South Indian spice seems to be the most sought after flavour. The angry young man image immortalised by Big B is being revived, with every actor trying their hand & the latest to join the band-wagon is none other than Ajay Devgan. So this week witnessed the coming together of Rohit Shetty & Ajay, with their action masala "Singham". The question now is, will the duo enthrall the audience with the bulging biceps just as they did by tickling the funny bone in the "Golmaal" series.


Sivagad is a sleepy village on the border of Maharashtra & Goa, which is under the jurisdiction of the honest & upright police officer, Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgan). This village suddenly becomes a topic of discussion when the dreaded criminal, Jaikant Shikre (Prakash Raj) is adviced by the Court to register his presence daily at the station, for a period of 15 days as part of a bail agreement. Shikre tries to take the easy way out by assigning an accomplice to pose as him at the station, which is detested by Bajirao. From here, starts the rivalry of the protagonists & how it all pans out in this battle of good versus evil forms the framework of the movie. 

It's already a well known fact, that the movie is the remake of Surya's blockbuster "Singam". Just as in the original, the hero is an embodiment of all virtues while the villain seems to have gathered all the negative vices available. Whenever this type of a story is concieved, it's all about how to get the pulse of audience racing & Hari seems to have got all those bases covered. Rohit Shetty has gone on to show that he can also tackle the action genre with as much ease as comedy. The major plus point is undoubtedly the raw power & action sequences by Jai Singh which reminds us of the South Indian flair. As for the downside, it's just a hardcore regular masala venture which might not whet the appetite of the so called lovers of meaningful cinema.

Ajay Devgan has always given his cent percent irrespective of whatever role he dons. Here too, it was all about delivering bombastic dialogues & bashing up the goons single handedly. In short, a comparatively easy role by his standards except for the fact that he has pumped in quite a bit of iron enabling him to have a well sculpted torso. Rubbing shoulders against him, is none other than the awesome Prakash Raj; who emotes his anger & frustrations as easily as the blink of an eye. Kajal Agarwal doesnt have much to do than look good & she definitely was gorgeous. The remaining cast were mainly pawns to add in some spice to the story.

Verdict: The movie will have an outstanding opening in the single screens while the Multiplexes are unlikely to garner much interest. It definitely has all the ingredients of a hit as it caters to the taste of the masses. In short, I am expecting it to be a hit; however I doubt many of you guys will relish it after all its just routine masala stuff & Surya was better in the original!!!

Regards...Ben

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deiva Thirumagan: "Vikram comes up with an Award winning performance!!!"

Gone are the days when the Tamil film industry used to churn out movies which had just one agenda in mind i.e no matter how illogical the plot might be, the hero emerges victorious at any cost. The last 4-5 years saw the emergence of a steady change in the variety of scripts with new talents coming up. Vijay is one such director belonging to this new breed  who had impressed one & all with his previous venture "Madrasapattanam". This time around, he has chosen the talented Vikram to enact the role of a mentally challenged individual in his latest effort titled "Deiva Thirumagan". So will this combination cook up a winner???


Before divulging into the plot, its imperative to mention that it's the copy of the Sean Penn starrer "I am Sam", with a couple of minor changes. Krishna (Vikram) is a mentally challenged individual whose daughter, Nila (Sara) has been taken away by his rich & powerful father-in-law, Rajendran (Sachin Khedkar). Krishna seeks the help of the lawyers Anu (Anushka) & her partner Vinod (Santhanam) to get her back, but standing in their way is the successful & cunning lawyer,Bhashyam (Nasser). The film basically focuses on the relationship of Krishna & Nila, & his efforts to win the case. So will the law allow Nila to live with her mentally challenged father???

Vijay has come up with a winner yet again in terms of content, performances & treatment. Though it's basically a copy, he has done total justice to the plot as it manages to tug at our heart chords in various sequences. There is no denying the fact that he has been adequately supported by Nirav Shah's visuals & Antony's editing. However, there are a couple of shortcomings as it tends to be a touch too long especially in the second half. But the touching climax more or less made up for the flaws from my point of view. The music by G.V Prakash Kumar was fine with "Vizhigalil Oru Vaanavil" rendered by Saindhavi being the best both in terms of picturisation & rhythm.

Coming to performances, Vikram was absolutely awesome which is befitting of a National Award, however even if he doesnt win that there is no second thoughts that he will all the other awards starting from State to Filmfare. Equally impressive has been Baby Sara who was innocence personified & emotes the expressions with perfection. Their incredible chemistry is the life of the movie with two scenes namely one on the first day of school & the climax court scene being absolutely heart warming & tear jerking. Anushka was splendid as she totally utilizes the meaty role along with Nasser. Amala Paul though given a small role has done total justice while Santhanam provides the comic relief without ever exceeding the limits.

Verdict: Just like any other Vikram movie, this will also have a killer opening & should go on to do good business. But its offbeat nature & slow pace might be a turn off for many, which could impact its collections in the long run.  However in my opinion, I would suggest that you guys to definitely check this out!!!

Regards...Ben

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara review: "Cool & adventurous but for the urbane audiences!!!"

Friendship is one of the best relationships in this world as you have a free license to discuss anything under the sun, no matter how trivial or serious the issue could be. Each one of us would have done hoards of stuff with our friends be it the crazy parties, awesome trips, outrageous gags..the list just goes on & on. This very subject has been immortalised on the silver screen many a time with "Dil Chahta Hai" by Farhan Akhtar being one of the most famous ever. So this time around, his sister Zoya Akhtar has decided to touch upon the subject from her point of view, through "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara"; which is one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year with an awesome star cast. So will the hype be justified & strike gold at the box office???


Bachelor parties are always greeted with much gusto & mirth, as its basically a free rein for the guys to gang up together & try out some of the craziest things possible before being bound by marital bliss. Here too, Kabir (Abhay Deol) gets engaged to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin) & he plans on having a 3 week road trip in the beautiful land of Spain.Giving him company in this bachelor trip are his two friends Arjun (Hrithik), an uptight financial trader & Imran (Farhan Akhtar), a cool advertising copywriter. The only rule in this trip is that each one will have to try out an adventure what the other had planned. In short, its an adventure where these guys try to conquer their individual fears & find solutions to their inner grief.

Zoya Akhtar had impressed one & all with her debut venture "Luck by Chance" which peeped into the life of film stars. Here she has diverted her attention into male bonding which works big time as she has incorporated the subtlities of relationship in a realistic manner both in terms of dialogues & sequences such as gags, tiffs etc. However, the movie is unlikely to strike a chord with the audience other than those in the metros. The length of the movie is also likely to impact the movie as its a shade too long at many places which at times causes us to glance at our watches. There is no denying the fact, that the exquisite locales of Spain has been beautifully soaked up by the cinematography of Carlos Catalan. Similarly,  Shankar Ehsaan Loy also has to be credited for the soothing music which is quite distinct to what we are witness to nowadays.

Zoya Akhtar & Ritesh Sidhwani with the star cast
The biggest attraction of the movie was undoubtedly the awesome starcast & all of them have pulled their weight with their performances. Hrithik as always has given a stunning performance, while Abhay Deol yet again goes on to prove that his choice of movies though offbeat at times invariably gets the attention of the audience & critics alike. The winner however has to be Farhan who was just awesome as the super cool dude. As for the female leads, Katrina continues to evolve as an actress & seems to be totally at ease as the free spirited Laila while Kalki pulls off yet another winner as the irritating fiancee.

Verdict: The box office will open off to packed houses which should continue without fail for a week or so, which should be good enough to make it a hit. However it's a movie meant just for the plexes & unlikely to garner much revenue from the single screens. In short, check it out if you got time & like cool metro guy stories or else give it a miss!!!

Regards...Ben

Salt n Pepper review: "Lips will be licked for more of the scrumptious feast!!!"

Indian food is one of the most sought after cuisine in the world mainly due to the simple fact that its so varied & vast that each state itself has been blessed with their own distinct palates. Our very own Kerala, "God's own country" has such a huge spread which keeps changing from Trivandrum to Kozhikode like paal payasam to Aleesa. Interestingly, the Malayalis love for food is what has been chosen as the basic theme for Aashiq Abu's latest venture "Salt n Pepper". The question now is, will the dish be lapped up by the audience or will it go down the drain???


The moment the credits starts rolling, we are witness to a wide array of heavenly dishes that our salivary glands starts working over time. Kalidasan (Lal) who is the protagonist of the movie, is an archeologist by profession whose interest lies in unraveling the secrets of different cuisines rather than in historic relics. Assisting him in this quest for ultimate food glory is his talented cook, Babu (Baburaj). However things start changing in his life following a wrong number from Maya (Shweta Menon), a dubbing artist. What then follows is the budding of a relationship; but as one knows, life is a labyrinth of twists & that's what forms the framework of the movie.

After the debacle of "Daddy Cool", Aashiq Abu is back with his latest venture which has got food as its basic theme which is both refreshing & inadequately tapped territory. This tasteful delight has been penned by the new duo of Syam Pushkaran & Dileesh Nair. Though the story isnt path breaking, it's the treatment & screenplay that sets it apart. Another major plus point has been the situational comedy which is totally in sync with the events rather than been forced down the throat of the audience. Shyju Khaled has to be lauded for the fantastic savory visuals which will have the eateries earning extra bucks than usual during the interval. The music by Bijibal also deserves a word of praise especially for the track "Kaanamullal" rendered by Shreya Ghoshal & Ranjith. Last but not the least, the impressive promos & unique poster designs has gone a long way in creating an interest in the audience.

Official launch of the movie marked by making dosa by producer Naushad
In the performance department, I have no qualms in admitting that Baburaj was simply outstanding & easily the very best among an impressive star cast. Having always seen him as a rogue police, this was a delectable change & he has done total justice to the character. Lal & Shweta as always comes up with a winning performance yet again; while the youngsters, Mythili & Asif Ali seems to be picking up the tricks of the trade pretty fast.

Verdict: Definitely one of the best movies to have come out this year & Aashiq Abu has without doubt nailed it this time. The best clean situational comedy to have come out since "Pranchiyettan & the Saint", with the box office bells going to ring crazy for the next couple of weeks. In short, dont think twice, watch it without fail...with just a word of caution, kindly have your food before you watch the film or you will be swallowing your saliva the whole time!!!

Regards...Ben

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Three Kings: "Hilarious initially but torturous subsequently!!!"

July heralded us into the second half of the year & thankfully owing to some entertaining movies in the first half the public has been flocking to the theatres irrespective of the climate, which translated into the Malayalam industry being in good health. So it remains to be seen whether the trend continues, as this week witnessed the release of "Three Kings" directed by V.K Prasad whose "Gulumaal" & "Mullavelliyum Thenmavum" had garnered decent response. With Chackochan, Indrajith & Jayasurya coming together, his latest venture promises to be a no brainer laugh riot. So will the promise be fulfilled or will the audience groan at the antics???


As Prasad has admitted, the film is inspired from Stanley Kramer's classic "Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", which was remade in Hindi as "Dhamaal". Anywaz the film talks about the relationship of three cousins, Bhaskar (Indrajith), Ram (Chackochan) & Shankar (Jayasurya) who are the heirs to Krishnapuram family which had unfortunately lost all its glory of yester years. To make matters worse, they have been at loggerheads ever since their birth. It is at this juncture that they stumble across a person who tells them about a lost treasure that rightfully belonged to their ancestors. As expected, all three of them embark in search for it, but the question is will they locate it & if so, who will reach there first???

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The film has been packaged as a no-brainer full on comic entertainer & as expected the plot doesnt seem to have much of a significance here. There are many sequences in the first half of the movie which are hilarious causing the film to more or less breeze through. However, once the second half starts the comedy fails to evoke laughs & it tends to drag, making us cringe in our seats. The music by Ousepachan was average though the picturisations of "Paara" & "Chakkaramaavin" will have the audience in splits.

Coming to performances, all three protagonists have done a decent job with Indrajith being the pick among the lot. The female leads essayed by Ann, Samvritha & Sandhya were meant to be dumb but it more or less bordered on being irritating rather than tickling the funny bone. Suraj has only a few sequences but his different get-ups evoke laughs, while Ashokan does manage to get noticed with his antics.

Verdict: The film has already created an image of being an out out laugh riot, so that will have the audiences interested. It should be able to hold its own for a fortnight or so, which should be enough to reap benefits for the producer. In short, though the second half pales in comparison, it should still keeps your spirits in check provided you dont carry any hopes!!!

Regards...Ben

Delhi Belly: "Aamir strikes gold with this entertaining adult comedy!!!"

Aamir Khan productions has always come up with movies which more or less dealt with clean realistic social issue movies. Interestingly, ever since "Delhi Belly" was announced, there has been wide spread rumours that Aamir was taking an outright risk as the content of the movie was likely to damage his reputation. Anywaz that itself upped the hype & its impressive promos seemed to be the apt appetizer as it wetted the appetite of the audience even more. So was this all a publicity stunt or has Aamir again struck the jackpot???


"Delhi Belly" takes us into the life of three bachelor living in one of the most dingiest pads possible. They are the lads of today who mouths expletives as part of their normal lingo. These so called characters are Tashi (Imran Khan), a struggling journalist along with his photographer room-mate Nitin (Kunal Roy) & the cartoonist Arup (Vir Das) who has recently been dumped by his girl-friend.  Tashi is about to be married to Sonia (Shenaz Treasury), who in the opening sequence asks him to deliver a package on behalf of her friend. Little did they realise, that all hell was going to break loose due to this, as Arup misplaces the package for Nitin's stool sample in the clinic who suffers from the worst case of Delhi Belly imaginable after having chicken from a street vendor. It seems they had unknowingly become the couriers for the gangster essayed by Vijay Raaz, who threatens them of dire consequences unless the package was returned. So how will they get out of this mess???

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Undoubtedly, this is the best adult comedy to have come out from Bollywood. The biggest plus of the movie is its excellent script by Akshat Verma who gets the incidents interlaced in an engaging yet hilarious manner. The lingo is very much in sync with the youth of today & it doesnt give the impression that humour has been painstakingly incorporated into the film. Abhinay Deo has hit the bull's eye this time around after his not so successful debut "Game". Without doubt this film is likely to be the pioneer of thrilling adult comedies, as this genre has never been adequately explored in our country. Another USP of the movie was Ram Sampath's music which was totally hatke & had the charts scorching with "Bhag DK Boss", "Nakkhadwale Disco" & "I Hate you" being the most prominent among an interesting array of songs. 

Coming to performances, all three of them were awesome with their wavelengths being pretty much in sync. However, the show stopper has to be Kunal Roy who gets you into splits until your sides ache. Vir Das was impressive & Imran Khan comes up with his best performance to date. Vijay Raaz as the gangster was outstanding while the female leads by Poorna Jagannathan & Shenaz provides the boys with adequate support.

Verdict: Aamir's brand name & catchy promos will have the public rushing to get their tickets. Though very much bold in language, it doesnt feel obscene at all as it feels totally apt for the situation. I believe this is likely to be a trend setter & going to add yet another hit to Aamir's career graph. In short, I would suggest that you guys not to miss this one!!!

Regards...Ben




Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap: "Big B relives his angry old man image with panache!!!"

Big B is without doubt one of the most popular actors in the world & its reiterated by the fact that he is virtually worshiped in places as obscure as Mongolia. Despite being close to 70 odd years, he still packs a punch whenever he appears on screen with his meticulous acting skills. This is the very fact that makes him a favourite among the public & a director's delight. This week witnessed Big B gracing the screens with his latest offering "Bbudah Hoga Tera Baap", directed by a self confessed fan, Puri Jagannadh who is one of the most sought after directors in Tollywood with hits such as "Badri", Pokkiri" etc. in his kitty. So can he replicate his success in Bollywood with his idol???


Mafia is undoubtedly one of the most dreaded terms with which we are very familiar. Similarly here too the Mumbai mafia headed by Prakash Raj creates havoc in the city with his incessant attacks. The Mumbai Police under the leadership of ACP Karan (Sonu Sood), takes upon himself to clean up the city of its scum. Being frustrated with his relentless attacks on the gang, Prakash Raj decides to finish off the ACP but to no avail. Finally, Viju (Big B), a former Mumbai gangster & sharp shooter who comes down from Paris is entrusted with the task. So will Viju maintain his track record or is there any other hidden agenda as to why he takes up the assignment???

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Puri Jagannadh has liberally lifted the legendary dialogues mouthed by Big B from his various iconic films & incorporated it here. The film is basically a tribute to the awesome Big B where the audience is given a taste as to the original angry young man. Actually, neither the wafer thin plot nor the characters has much of a say here as from beginning till the end its meant to focus only on Big B. In short, the film has the flavour of a typical Telugu film coupled with excellently choreographied action sequences by Vijay. As for other technical aspects, the music by Vishal Shekhar was hip with the title track rendered by Big B & “Go Meena Go” rendered along with his son being already a rage.

There are no doubts regarding the caliber of Big B & he seems totally at ease essaying the loud and flamboyant Viju. His swagger, baritone & smooth talk are spot on which would have put colleagues half his age to shame. As for the remaining cast, Sonu Sood doesn’t seem to be overawed by Big B’s presence & delivers an impressive performance. Hema, though not given much screen space does manage to create chemistry unlike Raveena Tandon who was unbearable. Prakash Raj as the bad man wasnt offered much of an opportunity to display his wares but seemed apt for the role while Charmee offers some comic relief.

Verdict: The impressive promos & catchy music will ensure a good opening which will go a long way in recovering the costs to making it into a hit. In short, though the plot doesn’t offer anything of substance, it provides Big B in ample measure. So if you are a Big B fan do check it out as he can still give the Khans a run for their money!!!

Regards…Ben