Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thattathin Marayathu review: "Will overshadow many at the box office!!!"

Unlike previous years, though the monsoon has been sparse it has been raining hits at the box office. With Mammukka's son, Dulquer capping off the the first half of the year with the impressive "Ustad Hotel", it is now upto Sreenivasan's prodigy, Vineeth Sreenivasan to continue the purple patch. Going by box office reports, Vineeth's "Thattathin Marayathu" has done just that. Being in Bangalore, it's quite unfortunate that at times films doesnt get released on the same date. Anywaz, it finally released here yday & looking forward as to why the people were going gaga over it...


The film unfolds in the beautiful land of Thalassery, the political & cultural capital of the Malabar region known for its cuisine, communism & Muslim stronghold. Vinod (Nivin Pauly) is a Hindu lad who has been locked up in jail after an altercation at a Muslim household. Soon it becomes evident that Vinod was in fact head over heels for Aisha (Isha Talwar), the daughter of an affluent & influential Muslim family. As one would expect, the initial sequences showcases on how he meets her & garners courage to proclaim his love for her. But love can be a pretty tricky proposition especially when it involves individuals belonging to different communities. So can Vinod fight against all odds to win the love of his life???

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After the superhit "Malarvadi Arts Club" in 2010, Vineeth has treated the audience with a simple love story in his latest venture. Though the script as such doesnt offer anything new, the strong point of the film is undoubtedly the screenplay & dialogues which is in sync with the present day sensibilities. In addition, the brilliant music by Shaan Rahman just transports the audience to a whole different level as the effect of the score is experienced in each & every scene of the film. Jomon's visuals were equally impressive as the songs were picturised really well, not to forget the fresh feel it exuded to the screen.

Frankly speaking, I didnt find Nivin Pauly's performance as one of a kind, but he has definitely put in an earnest effort. The same goes for Isha Talwar as well, considering that she is a North Indian; & also the script demanded that her beauty be showcased more than her dialogues. The pick of the lot for me is definitely, Aju Varghese who had the audience in splits along with credible support from the rest.

Verdict: What makes this film endearing to the audience is undoubtedly Vineeth's presentation along with Shaan's fantastic music. Though the posters did bear resemblances to "Vinaithaandi Varuvaaya", this has a soul of its own and if given the liberty, I would like to say this is one of the best love stories since "Aniyathipraavu". In short, the script seems bland & cliched but the screenplay & music more than makes up for it !!!

Rating: 3.25/5

Regards...Ben

The Dark Knight Rises: "Befitting finale to the trilogy!!!"

Hollywood & superheroes have an undeniable bond which goes down to many decades starting with Richard Donner's 1978 blockbuster "The Superman". Many of the directors have tried their hand in churning out movies of this genre be it Richard Lester, Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher. The latter two were famous for dabbling with the Batman franchise following which the mantle has been handed over to the talented Christopher Nolan. Amongst much fanfare & hype, this week Nolan has come out with "The Dark Knight Rises" the final installment of his Batman series. So will it be an icing on the cake???


A lot of water has flown under the bridge since the events of "The Dark Knight", which witnessed the death of Harvey Dent & the brandishing of Batman as an outlaw. Now, Gotham City was in a state of peace while Bruce Wayne has confined himself within the sprawling walls of Wayne Manor. But little did the citizens of Gotham realise that it was the calm before the storm. At a function organised in honour of Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), who was the silent witness to the innocence of Batman prepares a speech revealing the truth but decides against delivering it. At this juncture, a Congressman gets kidnapped from the function & in the ensuing pursuit, Gordon's speech falls into the hands of the dreaded Bane (Tom Hardy). Bruce Wayne soon realises that it was time for him to don his mask & rescue the city of Gotham, as it seemed Bane's motives seemed much larger than what it seemed. So can Batman save the day once again or will he succumb to the greatest foe he ever met???

There is no point in wasting time proclaiming the brilliance of Christopher Nolan as he has already shown us in each & every one of his movies as to why the audiences adore him. The scenario isn't much different in his latest venture as well, as he has done an impressive job in scripting it along with his brother, Jonathan Nolan & David Goyer. However, I wouldnt say it has been all smooth sailing as the first half seemed pretty slow & dragging at times. But the latter half gradually picks up tempo with the last half an hour being a visual spectacle & an edge of the seat thriller. Nolan was more than adequately supported by Hans Zimmer's brilliant BGM and the awesome IMAX effects.

Christian Bale donning the Batman for the last time has done an impressive job as in the previous parts. There is no point in comparing the Joker & Bane as they had two entirely different mind sets & outlooks, so even though Heath Ledger will remain my favourite villain, Tom Hardy has been successful in providing an intimidating & powerful character in Bane. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman has done an apt job imparting the slithery yet mysterious nature with aplomb. As for the rest of the cast, they have all reason to smile on a job well done. 

Verdict: Nolan's track record & also the fact that this is going to be the final installment of his Batman series has upped the hype & expectations like never before. Though not as brilliant as "The Dark Knight", (thanks to the fantastic Joker, Heath Ledger), this is still a thrilling & befitting finale to the Batman series. There's no doubt that this has the potential of being a blockbuster with many of the factors working in its favour. In short, dont miss it primarily for the latter half!!!

Rating: 3.75/5

Regards...Ben


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Billa 2 review: "Thala rocks but the films fails to appeal!!!"

Every year there is a plethora of sequels & prequels coming out in all languages that you can hardly keep track of it. But if at all there is one that everyone eagerly looks forward to, then it has to be David Billa, the biggest don of the celluloid world. After having enthralled the audience with his own version of "Billa", drawing parallels with the original Billa (Rajinikant); "Thala" Ajith is back with "Billa 2", the prequel of the blockbuster. So will it be an early Diwali for the Tamil industry???


Civil War has broken out in Sri Lanka & that has brought David Billa (Ajith) to the refugee camp on the shores of Rameswaram. Inspite of being in an unknown land, there was no doubting the fire inside Billa as he stands up to all those who ill treats him or his fellow refugees. This naturally invites the wrath of many & he eliminates each one of them. Armed with the fierce desire to make it big, he takes on risk after risk which in due time takes him up to the very top of the power ladder. In short, the film traverses the journey of Billa from the refugee camp to Goa, Georgia & finally to being the dreaded arms dealer in the world. 

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Though Vishnuvardhan had called the shots in "Billa", this time around the responsibility falls on Chakra Toleti who had directed "Unnaipol Oruvan". Just as in all gangster movies, this one is also all about style, guns, babes & bloodshed. However, it's imperative along with these masala components the film should have the backing of a credible script. Unfortunately, that's where the film falters as it barely explores the character of Billa & resembles more of a boxing tournament where after each round he is faced with a stronger opponent until he has vanquished all of them. The opening sequences were fantastic & even the first half does build up the tempo, but the latter half also follows the same trend with hardly any twists or turns. 

If at all anything makes this film click, it is undoubtedly the charismatic "Thala" Ajith. He brings such style & flair to the character that you just dont mind sitting through the ordeal of the second half. Yog Japee, Sudhanshu Pandey & Vidyut Jamwal have done justice to their roles. As for the rest, I guess in order to avoid the issue of gender bias the females were included coz I dont quite recollect as to why Parvati Omanakuttan & Bruna Abdullah were there as they neither had any songs nor imparted oomph factor. Yuvan Shankar's music was a disappointment while Rajasekhar's visuals & Suresh's editing were top notch. Special mention also has to be made about the action sequences which were a treat indeed.

Verdict: Releasing at an unprecedented 2500 theatres, the film will gather a fantastic initial over the weekend. Though handicapped by the lack of an impressive script, the fans will surely lap it up & in all probability likely to be a blockbuster. So in short, you can give it a try purely for the panache of Thala!!!

Rating: 2.5/5

Regards...Ben


Cocktail review: "Concoction works in parts!!!"

With the advent of globalisation it wouldn't be prudent to admit that the world has become a smaller place. It could be seen in every walk of life & Bollywood is not to be left behind as evidenced by the splurge of rom coms in the past few years. This week we have one such rom com, "Cocktail", gracing the screens with the male lead essayed by Saif Ali Khan who is undoubtedly the best in that genre. The promos has already created a hype among the youth, but it doesnt seem as if it offers anything different. Hope I am wrong...


Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) is an eternal flirt, who doesn't flinch in using his lines to good effect. His latest bed mate was Veronica (Deepika Padukone), a wild hottie who has all the guys swooning for her. Having dealt with a troubled childhood, she was always on the lookout for a good companion until she meets up with the traditional beautiful Indian lass, Meera (Diana Penty). After having learnt that she was a victim of a hoax marriage,Veronica offers her a helping land & they end up sharing the apartment. Things goes along fine between the trio until Gautam's mom Kavitha (Dimple Kapadia) comes to visit them & is made to believe that Meera was going to be her daughter-in-law. What ought to be a convenient arrangement gets all messed up when Cupid strikes between Gautham & Meera. So can they resolve it or will it mean the end of friendship between the trio???

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After the off-beat "Being Cyrus" six years back, Homi Adajania is back in the reckoning with his latest venture "Cocktail". Though penned by the talented Imtiaz Ali, the film cant boast of being unique though the visuals by Anil Mehta were lively & colourful. It definitely has its moments in the first half which brings a smile upon the audience, but the latter half was a melodramatic drag. Pritam has done a pretty decent job with "Tumhi Ho Bandhu" rendered by Neeraj Sridhar & Kavita Seth along with "Daaru Desi" by Benny Dayal & Shalmali Kholgadi being the pick among the lot.

Though I did mention previously that Saif is a maestro in these kind of films, I think I might have to retract that statement as he seemed to be the weakest amongst the trio. It also could be the lack of zip in the writing as you dont feel amused or surprised by his gags, rather it gives you the feeling that you had seen it all before.  Deepika was fantastic as the wild, bindaas female while Diana in addition to having a beautiful face has done a impressive job for a debutant considering that her role was the difficult one. Dimple Kapadia & Boman Irani were first rate while Randeep Hooda was wasted.

Verdict: There is no doubt that the film will have an impressive opening courtesy of the catchy promos & chart busting songs. However, the lack lustered second half will hamper its collections tremendously. It will break even but nothing more as it's collections are going to be only from Multiplexes & Overseas market. In short, there's nothing new except the songs!!!

Rating: 2.25/5

Regards...Ben





Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bol Bachchan review: "Nothing different to say!!!"

Whenever the name Rohit Shetty pops up in the mind, we can be assured of a film which is teeming with nonsensical jokes, gravity defying stunts & flying cars; in short a film for the purely hare brained. It's easy to taunt his films but there is no denying that his films racks in moolah which is evident by the fact that two of his films have breached the magical 100 crore collection. This week Rohit is back yet again with his favourite actor, Ajay Devgan & Abhishek Bachchan in "Bol Bachchan", which promises to be another mad capper. So will it be a slap on the critics as always???


Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) has been deprived off his ancestral property by his avaricious kin, leaving him with no option but to migrate with his sister, Sania (Asin Thottumkal) to his well wisher Shastri's (Asrani) abode in Ranakpur. Now, Shastri happened to share a healthy relationship with his boss & head of the village, Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgan) who was a stickler for honesty & an avid lover of English, though it's a whole different thing that it brings tears to the connoisseurs of the language when they hear him speak. As one would expect, Abbas Ali gets the job as Prithviraj's accountant courtesy of a lie & before he knows he was sitting on a mountain of lies. Now how he is going to pacify Prithviraj's temper when his pack of lies comes tumbling down???
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Unlike Rohit's previous ventures, I would have to say that it's not as silly or outrageous as the Golmaal series. Actually, the premise of the story is borrowed from Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 1979 classic "Golmaal". There are definitely a couple of genuinely humorous moments courtesy of Farhad-Sajid's dialogues but as always there are times when he stretches the gags a bit too much, that you dont feel like laughing at all. Frankly speaking, Himesh Reshammiya & Ajay- Atul's music didnt impress me much though I liked the picturisation of the title track featuring Big B. The visuals by Dudley were colourful while the action sequences choreographed by Jai Singh were typical of Rohit's films. 

Ajay has always been an intense actor who burst into the industry as an action hero. His fore into the comedy genre didn't pose much of a trouble as expected & it actually improved after his association with Rohit's laugh riots. Here too, he is at ease & doesn't mind taking a back seat to Abhishek who delves into the characters with glee. Asin & Prachi Desai didn't have much to do other than provide scope for romantic numbers. Neeraj Vora & Krushna Abhishek were extremely good & gets to mouth the funniest lines, while Archana Puran & Asrani did their parts aptly.

Verdict: The film will have a fantastic opening & by the look of things I dont believe it would have much of a chance in Multiplexes. Just like the other masala films making waves, the single screen masses will lap it up. So in short, will it cross 100 crores.??? Hmm...I dont think so, as it's not on par with other Rohit's films as far as stupidity is concerned!!!

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben