Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Bhag Jayegi review: "Film zaada nahi bhagega!!!"

The Olympic flame has been doused after a fortnight of exciting competitions with Japan’s PM Abe dressed up as Super Mario being handed the baton at the end of it.  Unfortunately we haven’t been able to achieve as much as expected but thanks to the brilliant Sindhu & Sakshi the ignominy of returning empty handed was averted. Since there was hardly anything else to do this weekend, I decided to watch “Happy Bhag Jayegi” & hopefully the movie will be able to make me happier as opposed to India’s medals’ tally.



The film unfolds in Amritsar where arrangements are in full swing for the wedding of Happy (Diana Penty) with the local corporator Bhagga (Jimmy Shergill). However, this was pretty much against the wishes of Happy who harboured feelings for the jobless aspiring musician Guddu (Ali Fazal). They decide to elope but their plans go awry when she ends up travelling on the wrong truck which takes her to Pakistan. She eventually lands at Bilal Ahmed’s (Abhay Deol) residence who is the son of an ex-Governor & being trained to be the next big thing in Pakistan politics. In order to avoid his family name being tarnished, Bilal proposes to deport Happy to which she disagrees & he is forced to come up with a plan which will unite Happy with Guddu. But how will Bilal manage to do it without his father getting wind of it???


This is the second venture of Mudassar Aziz who had a forgettable directorial debut with “Dulha Mil Gaya” in 2010.  As in his previous movie, he has scripted this one as well & though it is definitely much better it is hampered by the predictability and unnecessary sub-plot that fails to provide any added impetus. However, the screenplay makes the movie enjoyable with humorous dialogues and situational comedies being pitched in. There is surely a whiff of “Tanu Weds Manu”, which indicates that Anand Rai might had an influence in the making rather than being solely concerned with the production. None of the technical aspects deserves special mention as the visuals were average while the music was passable.

It’s been almost 4 years since Diana Penty made her return back to the silver screen after her debut in “Cocktail”. Since her character of Happy has distinct similarities with Geet in “Jab We Met” & Tanu in “Tanu Weds Manu”, comparisons are inevitable & I would have to admit she falls short. Abhay Deol has done his role aptly inspite of his character not being properly etched while Jimmy reprises a variant of his role from “Tanu Weds Manu” adequately. Piyush Mishra rocked as the Pakistani cop while Ali Zafal was average and Momal Sheikh seemed quite stiff.

Verdict: With “Rustom” going great guns, it will be tough for this to have a foothold at the box office. To add to their woes, the film fails to offer anything unique which the audience hasn’t seen. In short, the actors though let down by a lack luster script makes it watchable!!!

Rating: 2.25/5

Regards…Ben





Monday, August 15, 2016

Mohenjo Daro reviews: "Give it any random name, it would still be the same!!!"

On the eve of our Independence day, I would like to request to my fellow Indians that let us all strive to make our nation better with our rightful thoughts & actions  rather than always point fingers at the Government. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Dipa Karmarkar for her brilliant performance at Rio. After a day of disappointments, her performance brought smiles to many of us & gave me the interest for some entertainment in the form of "Mohenjo Daro". So will Ashutosh Gowariker's effort strike gold at the box office???


The Indus Valley civilization was considered as the cradle of the early civilization in the Old World & Mohenjo Daro was one of its prominent settlements apart from Harappa. The film unfolds in 2016 BC where we are introduced to Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) who with his brave acts is shown to be the darling of his village. Though he led a contented life with his uncle & aunt, he had a recurring dream of a unicorn (not exactly..seemed like some other animal) as well as making a visit to the famed Mohenjo Daro. Finally after much coaxing, he is allowed to make the trip & as expected, it turned out to be life changing. 



Prior to the start of the movie, there is a disclaimer which states that the makers doesnt support or dispute any interpretation of the Indus Valley civilization. Well I do accept that it is pretty difficult to vouch for the authenticity, but attention was barely given to that aspect as it was all about a typical Bollywood hero who had come as a messiah as well as for vengeance. The movie could have been named Harappa & we wouldnt have noticed any difference to be frank as Ashutosh's script was downright ordinary. C K Muraleedharan has done a decent job with the cinematography while Rahman's music was impressive though it fails to linger due to the trite screenplay. The art direction manages to catch the eye but the costumes & computer graphics were mediocre.

Coming to performances, it's been a while since we have seen Hrithik on the big screen but this role barely challenged him & he does try his best to carry the movie but is let down by the weak script. Pooja Hegde is attractive for sure, however she has a long way to go before being addressed as an actress. Kabir Bedi was an ideal choice as the evil chieftain while the rest were just about average at best.

Verdict: This film has been in the news for quite a while primarily because of the people involved i.e Hrithik & Ashutosh. If the audience is expecting an encore of "Jodha Akbar", then they are bound to be disappointed as this cuts a sorry figure in comparison. In short, it would struggle at the  box-office & if you ask me, it wont hurt to give it a miss.

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rustom review: "Lacked the sensationalism of the actual case!!!"

It's been a while since I saw a Bollywood movie & that was primarily due to a dearth of trailers that caught my fancy. However, this Friday we have two big starrer movies lined up with the producers hoping to cash in on the long weekend. With the Olympics in full swing & the new season of EPL kicking off, it is a matter of what the audience want to spent their time on. Anywaz I found the time to check out "Rustom" which was inspired from the Nanavati murder case that had caught the fancy of the public in 1959. But will the movie reap similar results???


Just a decade into Independence & India was finding its feet in the new world order. Our defense forces were making steady strides through the efforts of dedicated officers with Commander Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) being one among them. Rustom was a decorated naval officer who led a happy married life with his wife, Cynthia (Ileana D'Cruz). His duty required him to be away from home for months together which provided the fodder for his friend, Vikram Makhija (Arjun Bajwa); a playboy businessman to work his charm on Cynthia. Eventually he managed to swoon her which Rustom discovers in due time that leaves him distraughted. Seeking a closure to his pain, Rustom kills Vikram & surrenders to the police. What subsequently followed was the drama which unfolded at the courtroom that left the judicial system bewildered.



Based on the Nanawati murder case, even to the point of naming characters which sounds quite similar to the real ones; there was absolutely no excuse for the director Tinu Suresh Desai to mess it up. The actual event had all the ingredients of a potboiler but it seemed the writer Vipul K Rawal had other ideas. His plan to include a sub-plot barely provided an impetus to the movie but also diluted the main thread. Hardly anything happens in the first half as Tinu takes his sweet time to set the ball in motion while the second half also doesnt quite arrest the attention of the audience. Apart from the trite screenplay, even the whole watching experience wasnt gratifying as it looked extremely artificial thanks to the mediocre art direction, makeup & visuals by Santhosh Thundiyil. The music done by a host of individuals fails to leave its impression & also proved to be undesirable appendages.

In recent times, Akshay has made conscious efforts to juggle with a variety of genres & kudos to him for that. Even as Rustom, Akshay has given a decent performance as he seemed an ideal choice as the officer but somehow the emotional aspect of the character doesnt get displayed for some odd reason. Pawan Malhotra has done a fine job as the investigating officer while Kumud Mishra was wasted in a comic relief role & lacked the impact that the real character had on Nanavati's release. 

Verdict: Since the movie is based on a real life event, there is definitely a certain deal of curiosity which the makers would hope to cash in. There are a couple of factors which could work in its favour such as the relatively lower budget, long weekend & patriotic fervor due to Independence day. It will be able to recover its investment but making a sizable profit seems like a long shot. In short, the basic thread had the content but the makers made a mess of it!!!

Rating: 2.25/5

Regards...Ben