Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thozha review: "Excellent camaraderie between the thozhans!!!"

On this auspicious Sunday, I would like to wish all my friends & well wishers a peaceful & joyful Easter. It's been a while since I had watched a Tamil movie & when I happened to see the trailer of "Thozha" which is actually a bilingual with the Telugu flick titled "Oopiri", it kinda enticed me to check it out. Actually the primary reason for that being the combination of Nagarjuna & Karthi which seemed to ooze oodles of bromance. So was it as good as the tempting trailer???


Sreenu (Karthi) is a petty thief who was out on parole & on the look out for a suitable job which would earn him brownie points with the judiciary to earn an early release from prison. His search eventually leads him to the quadriplegic billionaire Vikram (Nagarjuna) who was seeking the assistance of a caretaker. Inspite of numerous qualified applicants, Vikram appointed Sreenu as the latter seemed to impart a positive vibe which lifted his spirits. As for Sreenu, he couldnt have hoped for a better job & though reluctant decided to take it up seeing the posh lifestyle that he could enjoy being there. In due time, both of them warm up to each other & as to how each one proves to be an inseparable part of each one's life forms the crux of the movie. 

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Since I am not so well versed with Telugu movies, I would have to admit that I haven't watched much of Vamsi Paidipally's previous ventures except for "Yevadu" which was inspired from "Face off". To be frank, I had watched it since I am a huge fan of Allu Arjun (like many other Malayalis) & though it didn't quite blow me off I was kinda satisfied with what the film offered. His latest effort is an inspiration yet again as it is the official remake of the French movie "The Intouchables". Since I haven't watched the original, there is no point of reference which is good in a way as we inevitably tend to be biased towards the original. The biggest positive of the movie is undoubtedly the chemistry between Nagarjuna & Karthi which was brilliant to say the least. A special word of mention for the dialogues by Raja Murugan which was both hilarious & insightful. However, rather than being crisp Vamsi chose to touch on a myriad of issues including the sequence in Paris that was way too long & laborious making the audience look at their watches which doesnt augur well for Praveen's editing credentials. As for other aspects, Gopi Sundar's music was average while P S Vinod deserves praise for his visuals.

Karthi was aptly casted as Sreenu since the character had to be mischievous & project a declasse attitude which comes quite naturally to him. Even Nagarjuna has given a praise worthy performance as the serene billionaire with a heart of gold though I felt he wasn't as effective when it came to displaying the vulnerability of a disabled person. As for the rest of the cast, Prakash Raj & Jayasudha was impressive while Vivek barely got noticed & Tamannah had more to do being an eye candy rather than perform. Even Kalpana was there in a small role which I believe was the last movie she had worked on before she breathed her last in Hyderabad. There were a host of cameos as well which included Anushka, Shriya etc which didnt provide them much scope for performance. 

Verdict: With an enviable star cast the film should have the initial hype working in its favour & with the story also being reasonably good, I would expect it to become a superhit or maybe even a blockbuster. It's surely a feel good movie with ample dosage of bromance. There is no doubt that the film would have been much better off if they have edited about half an hour, but inspite of that it's worth watching. In short, wont hurt to give it a try!!!

Rating: 3/5

Regards...Ben



Saturday, March 19, 2016

Kapoor & Sons review: "Emotional drama which draws laughs in equal measure!!!"

Just a couple of hours more before arch rivals, India & Pakistan draw swords in Eden Gardens in the mother of all clashes. So before that high stakes match, I decided to check out "Kapoor & Sons" which coincidentally also focused on clashes but within the family. Actually whichever reviews that I had written for Bollywood movies this year, it's all been enactment of real life events, so I was looking forward to check out some light-hearted mirth for quite some time & this one seemed to fit the bill. So was it able to satiate my expectations???


Nestled in the lush green scenic beauty of Connoor was the house of Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) & his family. He was a nonagenarian who was always upto some tricks to garner the attention of his son and daughter in law. Eventually, he suffers a heart attack and expresses his desire to see his estranged grandsons. Rahul (Fawad Khan) was the elder & was the personification of the perfect son with a successful career as a best selling author based in London. On the other hand, Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) was struggling to make a name for himself to match his brother as he felt his parents harboured a soft corner for Rahul. Even their parents relationship was in rough waters as Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) & Sunita (Ratna Pathak) frequently fought over their finances and fidelity issues. Will this disharmonious family ever be able to resolve their arguments before it tears them apart???

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The biggest positive of the movie is the realistic take on family problems without ever going over the top & we do actually feel for the characters. All credit for that goes to Shakun Batra, who did give us a rather distinct rom com in the form of "Ek Main Aur Ek Tu" a couple of years back. Over here, in the company of Ayesha Dhillon, he has weaved a script which is both hilarious & emotional at the same time. The manner in which the climax unfolds with numerous relationship issues does make us sit up for sure. With regard to the technical aspects, music has been done by a host of people with my favourite tracks being "Bolna" & "Buddhu Sa Mann". As for the visuals by Jeffrey Bierman & editing by Shivkumar Panicker, both of them have done a decent job.

Talking about performances, it's kinda difficult to rate them coz I felt all of them have done a wonderful job. Ratna Pathak was fantastic as she shows vulnerability & haughtiness with ease while Rajat Kapoor as always rocked. Fawad Khan is the one who actually got the meatiest role which had numerous layers to it and he has done a fine job along with Siddharth. Rishi Kapoor's prosthetics might not be exactly top notch but he brings the roof down with his hilarious one liners while Alia Bhatt did justice to her spunky role. 

Verdict: With the T20 WC in full swing, the initial that the film might garner over the weekend will be affected for sure. However, at just 2 h it wont hurt to check this out as it would make you laugh & teary eyed over the course of the movie. In short, it is not thrilling as an Ind-Pak match but it does have its moments which deserves a one time watch!!!

Rating: 3/5

Regards...Ben


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jai Gangaajal review: "Predictable template with praise worthy performances!!!"

Corruption, intolerance, suicides etc are some of the words that we do come across on a daily basis with the media bombarding us with news of this nature across the nation. Numerous movies have focused on these topics with some even being inspired from real life events. One such movie was Prakash Jha's "Gangaajal" which was inspired from the Bhagalpur blinding incident. More than a decade has passed since its release & now we have the sequel "Jai Gangaajal" awaiting its verdict at the box office. Well it's more like a "name-sake" sequel as none of the characters are similar though the situations are. So will it have a similar response from the audience as its prequel???


Abha Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) was assigned charge as SP of Bankipur, a place which was rather infamous for wide spread corruption & violence spearheaded by the ruthless MLA Babloo Pandey (Manav Kaul) & his brother Dabloo Pandey (Ninad Kamat). Their latest agenda was to usurp the land from the farmers to set up a thermal plant & all seemed to progress to plan thanks to the crooked cop BN Singh (Prakash Jha) facilitating their endeavors. However Abha's entry put a spanner to their schemes & seemed to provide a new lease of life to the public. But can she stand up to the might of these rogues especially when her own subordinates were hand in glove with them???

Prakash Jha is known for his movies which takes up topics of relevance of the current political scenario and weaves his craft about it. His latest venture also traces a similar template which however fails to inspire the audience as it doesn't provide anything that we haven't seen from him. However, he springs a major surprise as he effectively plays the protagonist inspite of being understandably packaged as a Priyanka Chopra movie who has significantly lesser screen space than him. Even though the script is trite & tedious to sit through, the performances by the main cast makes it watchable. Apart from the performances, none of the other aspects deserves a special mention.

As mentioned earlier, the protagonist is actually Prakash Jha who I have to admit has done utmost justice to the character. Though not quite of the class of Ajay Devgn, Prakash's expressions & body language kinda reminded me of the former. Equally impressive was Priyanka who apart from her acting abilities was damn good in the action sequences. As for the rest, Manav Kaul also deserves mention for an aptly essayed role.

Verdict: It's kinda expected that the movie wont make the box office go bonkers but I believe it has the capability to do well in the single screens in North India. Well I wont quite recommend the movie as it's kinda boring to be frank except for the performances. So in short, wont hurt to give it a miss!!!

Rating : 2/5

Regards...Ben