Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tamasha review: "Producers in for a rude tamasha at the box office!!!"

Among the high profile releases of the year, one of the most eagerly awaited was Imtiaz Ali's "Tamasha" which had hit the screens this week. With Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone cast as the lead pairs, the sense of anticipation was palpable among the audience considering their credentials & past history. The trailer promises it to be a rocking movie & seemed to be along the lines of "Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaani". So does it deliver what it projects???


Tara (Deepika Padukone) had the worst start to her holidays when she loses her baggage the moment she set foot on the beautiful French island of Corsica. Luckily for her, she meets up with Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) who helps her out & within moments they hit off famously. However, the duo decide to withhold their true identities so as to avoid any emotional baggage later on. Though they part as planned with no questions asked, Tara couldn't stop thinking of Ved who had swept her off her feet. Four years down the lane, they meet yet again but will everything be same as before???

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Imtiaz Ali brand of films have always been unique & exudes class be it "Jab We Met", "Rockstar" or his last release "Highway". In his latest venture, though the film does set off in a rollicking manner after a point of time it gets lethargic & doesnt seem to offer anything sprightly enough to keep the audience engaged. It would be fair to say that this is the most complex protagonist that Imtiaz had created who is weighed down by the inability to pursue his dreams but unfortunately for him the audience doesn't sympathize with his situation. In the technical department, Ravi Varman's visuals were awesome while A R Rahman's music didnt quite strike a chord with me.

Ranbir Kapoor hasn't been having the best of times with his last couple of releases being box office duds but there is no denying the sincerity that he invests in each character that he portrays. Even as Ved, he was fantastic exhibiting the myriad of emotions that the protagonist goes through. When it comes to the female lead, Deepika was brilliant & for me, she actually outshines Ranbir inspite of playing second fiddle to him. As for the rest of the cast, none of them really mattered.

Verdict: In all likelihood, the film should be able to garner a decent initial though how it fares depends solely on the multiplex audience. Unluckily for the makers, the film is unlikely to appeal to the audience which will hamper it's gross collections. In short, the lead pairs are fantastic but that doesn't quite salvage the movie!!!

Rating: 2.25/5

Regards...Ben


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Spectre review: "Thrills in spurts & induces yawns for the rest!!!"

It's been quite a while since I have reviewed a Hollywood movie & what better than one which belongs to the James Bond series, undoubtedly the most famous franchise of all time. The latest to arise from the Bond stable is "Spectre" helmed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig reprising the famed protagonist for the fourth time. So the question is whether the movie could live upto expectations after all performing better than its predecessor is never an easy task.


The film unfolds in Mexico at the danse macabre where Bond (Daniel Craig) is in hot pursuit of a group on the posthumous orders of the previous M (Judi Dench). Bond eliminates the group & attains a ring from one of the assassins whose insignia reveals that they were members of the terror organisation "Spectre". At the same time in London, the present M (Ralph Fiennes) is having his hands full as C/Max Denigh (Andrew Scott), the head of the Joint Intelligence Service had almost drawn curtains on the "00" program in favour of the "Nine Eyes" a global surveillance & intelligence initiative of nine nations. Though suspended by M, Bond decides to dig up further info on Spectre & manages to infiltrate one of their meetings where he learns that it is being led by Franz Oberhauser (Christpher Waltz), who was believed to be dead. The mission gets all the more personal as Bond & Franz had their pasts intertwined which meant both of them had a measure of each other. So can Bond emerge triumphant yet again & if so, at what cost ???

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About 3 years have passed since "Skyfall" had released which was brilliant to say the least & so it was always going to be a gargantuan task for Sam Mendes right from the onset to produce something similar to that. Well the fact is "Spectre" fails to live upto its predecessor inspite of a credible script on offer. The problem is its too long and dreary at times that it takes a toll on the audience that we struggle to suppress our yawns. However, the action sequences were awesome as always (though it was too less) which was brilliantly picturised by Hoytema. As for other technicalities, Thomas Newman's music didnt quite have the punch while the rest were top notch.

Daniel Craig was brilliant as Bond as he excelled in the action sequences but the romantic scenes which are integral to any Bond movie seemed forced and lacked passion. The Bond girl tag belonged to Lea Seydoux this time around & she didnt seem an apt choice at all as she shared no chemistry with Craig. Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris as Moneypenny & Ben Whishaw as Q have all done utmost justice to their roles. However, Christopher Waltz barely evoked terror that the character required while Monica Belucci barely got a chance to shake her booty.

Verdict: Well it's a Bond movie, so it's naturally going to garner mind boggling collections; but will it challenge "Skyfall's" collections...hmm, I dont expect it to. From my point of view, it's definitely one of the blandest Bond movies to have released in recent times. In short, you can give it a try if you are a 007 fan or else, wont hurt to give it a miss!!!

Rating: 2.5/5

Regards...Ben





Monday, November 16, 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo review: "Salman ensures that the producers rake in all the dhan!!!"

It's been a couple of days since Diwali festivities have come to a close but the box-office is still in cruiser mode with Salman's Diwali offering showing no signs of slowing down. Actually I got to see an article about the movie having crossed 100 C in just 3 days. Gosh!!! was it so good & is it worth enough for my friends to shell out cash to further swell the collections??? Hmm...well this is what I felt about the movie.


The film unfolds with Vijay Singh (Salman Khan), the crown prince of Prithampur in keeping with age old traditions and customs was going to be ceremoniously ordained as the ruler of the region. However, behind the glitter & privileged life that he led; all was not well with the prince as he shared an estranged relationship with his half-siblings & a rather icy chemistry with his fiance, Maithli (Sonam Kapoor). So bitter was the hatred that brewed within his younger brother Ajay Singh (Neil Nithin Mukesh) that he hatches a plot to kill Vijay with the help of their manager Chirag Singh (Armaan Kohli), which almost succeeds as Vijay is rendered bed ridden. It is at this juncture that Vijay's look alike Prem Dilwale, a stage artist turns up at the palace & at the behest of Diwan Sahab (Anupam Kher) masquerades as Vijay so that the latter could recover in hideout without any threat to his security. As his name suggests, Prem lightens up the life of everyone & manages to reconcile with the siblings. But the threat to Vijay's life was still imminent & it remained to be seen how that could be solved.

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It's been close to a decade since Sooraj Barjatya had called the shots, with his last venture being "Vivah", Well I am not quite complaining after all I have never been a fan of his movies except for "Maine Pyar Kiya" & "Hum Aapke Hain Kaun". Over the years, his template has remained exactly the same, be it the joint families, protagonists who are the epitome of virtue, numerous song sequences etc. In his latest venture as well, it's basically a rehash of the same formula & though many of the scenes does make us cringe, surprisingly we dont detest it primarily due to Salman who is the lifeline of the movie. The script is as lame as possible as it belongs to a bygone era but it provides ample opportunities for Salman to endear the audience with his charm. In the technical department, Manikandan's visuals varied from being impressive to pedestrian and the same goes for the art direction as well. As for the Himesh Reshammiya's music, there were way too many & none of them lingers long enough with us to even hum.

Salman absolutely rocks in his dual role especially the one as Prem Dilwale which seems to be a lift off from his Bajarangi Bhaijaan character. The film works solely on his aura & Sooraj has ensured that the star is there in all the frames. Sonam Kapoor & Neil Nitin seemed apt as royalty but their acting skills wasnt quite upto the mark. Anupam Kher & Deepak Dobriyal were fine while Swara Bhaskar barely had much scope apart from scowling & shedding tears. As for Armaan Kohli, his woody expressions (not by choice but rather it's innate) were apt for his character.

Verdict: Well where will this golden run end??? Hmm...tough to tell, though at the rate it is progressing (which surprised me to be frank!!!), I expect it to garner around 300 C. As for my friends, who havent seen the movie, there is nothing worth watching as the script is pretty mundane unless of course you are a Salman fan!!!

Rating: 2.5/5 (solely coz of Salman)

Regards...Ben