Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag review: "Farhan will sweep the awards!!!"

It's almost a fortnight since the Farhan starrer "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" has hit the screens & though I wasnt keen to write this review as it's too late for one...a couple of my friends coaxed me to do so. The question that everyone has is whether this was indeed a befitting tribute to Milkha Singh, the greatest athlete that our country has produced. Well as always there are mixed reactions to it & this is how I felt about the film.


1960 Rome Olympics, the finalists of the 400m has been called out & the person who garnered the maximum cheer was Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar)...after all he was the one of the favourites to win the gold following his World Record performance a couple of months back. But alas... it was not to be & to this day India's search for an elusive Olympic athletic medal continues. A couple of months passes by, before Milkha Singh is summoned by Nehru (Dilip Tahil) to lead an athletic contingent to Pakistan on the invitation of Pakistan President General Ayub Khan. But Milkha Singh denies to take up the honour & the authorities seeks the help of his coach, Guruji (Pawan Malhotra) to coax him to take up the challenge. What subsequently follows is a brief peek into the making of Milkha Singh through the narration of Guruji.

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is finally back after a hiatus of 4 years to calling the shots & must be hoping that he has churned out something far superior than the mediocre "Delhi 6". Well he has done a decent job with the help of Prasoon Joshi's writing skills...but it's nowhere near the benchmark that he had set with "Rang De Basanti". Most of the athletic sequences are grippingly shot which is amply supported by the BGM of Shankar Ehsaan Loy. However, an overdosage of melodramatic sequences & songs pretty much hampers the flow making it over run by almost half an hour. 

There is just one word to describe Farhan Akhtar's performance...BRILLIANT!!! He has done an outstanding job of getting into the skin of the character & even chiseled his torso and mannerisms to be as similar as possible to the legend. In all probability, he will sweep all the awards unless someone comes up with an inspired performance in the latter half of this year.  In addition, Divya Dutta, Pawan Malhotra & Yograj Singh (Yuvraj's dad) were equally impressive & has done total justice to their roles. Inspite of a small role, Sonam Kapoor also gets noticed.

Verdict: The film is far from perfect & there is no doubt that the length will act as a deterrent to many considering the fact that it doesnt necessarily add as much substance as expected. Though the box office collections arent as swift as the Flying Sikh, it's slowly gathering pace. Whatever it is, check it out for Farhan Akhtar!!!

Rating: 2.75/5

Regards...Ben




D-Day review: "Rishi & Co. rocks in this impressive espionage flick!!!"

Dawood Ibrahim, the most wanted terrorist of India has been fiercely pursued by our Government for years to no avail. So much so, his life has been fascinated to the extent that myths & folklores were being crafted. In recent years, Bollywood has been so fixated by him that movies inspired by his life has been churned out with surprising regularity be it "Company", "D Company" or "Once Upon a Time in Mumbai" The latest to join this bandwagon is Nikhil Advani's "D Day", whose promos & Rishi Kapoor's uncanny similarity to the Don has been the talk of the town.


Iqbal Seth aka Goldman (Rishi Kapoor), the most wanted terrorist of India is on his way to a 5 star hotel in Karachi to attend the wedding of his son. Inspite of foolproof security arrangements by the Pakistani authorities, the Indian undercover agents manages to wreck havoc at the venue but falls short of their plans. Their mission code named "Operation Goldman", the brainchild of RAW Chief Aswini Rao (Nassar) was to kidnap Iqbal Seth & bring him to justice in India. Considering the sensitive nature of the Indo-Pak relationship, the Indian authorities vehemently denies any covert activities in Karachi. In short, the Indian authorities washed their hands off their undercover agents. Without any support, can the team ever make it back to India with or without completion of their mission???

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Nikhil Advani is always known to make safe movies with huge stars has taken a detour this time around, with a slicky action flick & sort the help of a set of talented yet uncommon mix of actors. Along with Ritesh Shah & Suresh Nair, he has come with a captivating script which draws inspiration from real life events as well. Equally impressive were the action sequences choreographed by Tom Struthers & Tushar Ray's visuals. Shankar Ehsaan Loy has done a praise worthy job with "Alvida" being the pick among the lot. Though the film has its own share of melodrama & predictable climax, there is no denying that it still makes for an enjoyable watch.

Frankly speaking, I am absolutely floored by Rishi Kapoor's performance. With each passing film he seems to be rediscovering himself & I am damn sure no one else could have done the role of the dreaded terorist with as much ease & flair. Irffan Khan's work doesnt need much description as he was equally fantastic playing the role of the family man & agent imparting a sense of vulnerability & grittiness at the same time. Arjun Rampal has come up with one of his best performances to date while Huma Qureshi inspite of a small role shows she is here to stay and Shruti Hasan impresses for once. 

Verdict: The gritty nature of the film & Ramzan season might not make it an overwhelming favourite at the box office. But the film is definitely bound to garner positive word of mouth which should do good for the film in multiplexes. In short, watch it for the fantastic performances!!!

Rating: 3.25/5

Regards...Ben