Monday, January 30, 2017

Kaabil review: "Hrithik impresses but it is not kaabil enough to challenge Raees!!!"

It has been a Super Sunday thanks to Federer's 18th Grand Slam title & Bumrah's brilliant last over which made India stay alive in the T20 series. Since both the matches got over early morning, I decided to spent the rest of the day to check out "Kaabil". Along with "Raees", it had released on the eve of the Republic Day & have garnered decent response from the public. But will the blind protagonist be able to challenge the box office run of  the bootlegger???


Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) is a visually impaired individual who made a living as a dubbing artist. At the behest of his well wisher, he decides to meet a similarly visually impaired yet independent lady Supriya (Yami Gautam). They developed a liking for each other & decide to tie the knot soon after. Everything seemed to be perfect in their small world until Supriya gets gang raped by Amit (Rohit Roy), the local thug & brother of Corporator Madhavrao Shellar (Ronit Roy) & his friend, Wasim. They seek the help of the authorities to nab the culprits but they were up against an opponent who had the power to suppress anything that threatened them. Will justice be provided to Supriya & Rohan???

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The film has been helmed by Sanjay Gupta, a director who is synonymous for copying foreign movies & executing it in a stylish manner. Surprisingly, this is one of his least stylized flick as the CGI was pretty mediocre. The script is credited to Sanjay Masoom & Vijay Kumar, though it seems to be inspired from the Korean flick "Broken" (I have to admit that I haven't watched it). The first half of the movie breezes through, with the best scenes being the ones after the rape sequence which both Hrithik & Yami has performed well. As one would expect, the latter half is a usual revenge saga with the means employed rather repetitive after a point. Rajesh Roshan has given some decent tracks while Sudeep Chatterjee & Ayanika Bose's visuals were ok. 

As far as performances are concerned, Hrithik Roshan has given an impressive performance as the blind protagonist. Even Yami has done justice to her role & both of them made a fine on screen pair. Ronit Roy as the stone cold baddie was apt for the role while his brother, Rohit Roy was adequate as well along with Suresh Menon, though the latter didnt have much to do.

Verdict: There is no doubt that the movie has a feel good first half before changing gears into a revenge saga towards the end. The box collections will surely be affected as it will have to compete with "Raees" which caters to the interest of a wider audience. In short, it wont hurt to give a try for the performances!!!

Rating: 2.5/5

Regards...Ben





Sunday, January 29, 2017

Raees review: "SRK's time at the box office shuru!!!"

January is almost over & we have the first major releases of the year in "Raees" & "Kaabil" on the eve of the 68th Republic day. Since I was busy with my work commitments, I thought to watch them over the weekend after all both the trailers seemed to give the impression that it was worth watching. With the FEDAL match set to commence in less than 6 h, I decided to first check out SRK's "Raees" which has been in the news for quite some time be it for the Pakistani actress or the clashing of the movie with "Kaabil" which was frowned down upon by Rakesh Roshan. Anywaz it has hit the screens now & it remains to be seen whether it will be able to challenge the undisputed run of "Dangal"???


The film unfolds in Fatehpura in the 70s where Raees (Shubham Chintamani) his buddy, Sadiq (Shubham Tukaram) in their school years also doubled up as carriers for the local bootlegger. They later on join the gang of Jairaj (Atul Kulkarni), who was the kingpin in this business. With time, Raees (SRK) in Jairaj's words due to his "baniya ka dimag aur Miya bhai ka daring" becomes the trusted lieutenant of his boss. But Raees's dream to set up his own empire makes him loggerheads with Jairaj & Co. All their efforts to stop Raees fails, but a bigger threat for all of them was Jaideep Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), an honest police officer who was hell bent to wipe out the illicit alcohol business in Gujarat. Will Jaideep prove to be nemesis of Raees???

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Rahul Dholakia's credentials as a director needs no introduction as he was awarded the National award for "Parzania" in 2002 which was based on the Gujarat communal riots. His previous outing "Lamhaa" didnt make much stir at the box office; there are huge expectations from "Raees" after all it is a SRK movie. Even though Rahul & his team who had penned the script claim the characters to be fictional, there is no doubt that the protagonist is inspired from Abdul Latif, the king of illegal alcohol business in Gujarat. The first half is absorbing as SRK rocks the screen with his negative character shades. However post-interval, the character is mellowed down & made to play to the galleries showcasing him as a gangster with a heart of gold. 

In the technical department, there were some fantastic dialogues while K U Mohanan visuals deserve praise. The VFX effects weren't exactly top notch & the action sequences could have been choreographed better. Ram Sampath's music was ok with "Zaalima" rendered by Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur being the stand out one while Deepa Bhatia ought to have done a better job with the editing in the latter half.

Shahrukh rocked as the protagonist & carries the movie with his charisma whenever the screenplay faltered. His scenes with Nawazuddin were the best ones in the movie & the latter was brilliant as the police officer. Mahira Khan has done a very average job & her chemistry with SRK wasnt upto the mark. It was a role which could have been much better performed by any of our leading Bollywood ladies. Zeeshan Ayyub has done justice to his role while Narendra Jha & Atul Kulkarni were fine as well.

Verdict: "Raees" is creating waves at the box office as expected as it has collected close to 60C in the domestic market in just 3 days. It's been a while since SRK had a blockbuster & from the looks of it, this is likely to do just that. There is no doubt that the fans will love the movie while the rest can be assured that it is worth a one time watch provided you dont expect anything out of the ordinary. In short, you can give it a try!!!

Rating: 2.75/5

Regards...Ben

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ok Jaanu review: "Just about ok inspite of cracking chemistry between the lead pairs!!!"

Filmfare awards were announced last night & as expected the main awards were swept by "Dangal" which as I had predicted has become the biggest Bollywood grosser. Even though it is unlikely to be challenged at the box office until "Raees" hit the screens, we have the first significant release of the year in the form of "Ok Jaanu". So will it be able to create a stir at the box office, hmm... well it remains to be seen for reasons mentioned above. 


Adi (Aditya Roy) is a video game developer who had moved to Mumbai with the purpose of providing an impetus to his career, so as to land with a plump job in US. He meets up with Tara (Shraddha Kapoor), a talented architect & both of them hit off famously due to their similar outlook to life. In time, they decide to have a live in relationship & Tara moves in to Adi's place even though his family friend & landlord, retired judge Govind Srivastava (Naseeruddin Shah) needed some convincing. Though they enjoyed each other's company, neither of them were keen on a commitment which they believed would hinder their career. But as the days pass by, they come to realise that it was much more difficult to go back to their care free life than they anticipated. 

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The project has been helmed by Shaad Ali who began his career as an assistant to Mani Ratnam & made his directorial debut with "Saathiya" which was the remake of his mentor's "Alaipayuthey", His latest venture also follows a similar trend as it is the remake of "OK Kanmani", But the similarity ends there as it pales in comparison to the original in terms of execution & performance of the lead pairs. Though they share the same chemistry as in "Aashiqui 2", their characters fails to connect with the audience due to the lack of an engaging screenplay. Even the subject which felt fresh a couple of years back, doesnt feel the same as "Befikre" which was a scaled up version tackled a similar subject a few months back. Almost all the technical aspects are similar to the original be it Ravi Chandran's visuals or A R Rahman's music,except that it just didnt have the same effect.

Both Aditya & Shraddha has given commendable performances especially the former but the problem is that they didnt have the persona or acting capabilities like Dulquer or Nitya to make it endearing to the audience. Naseeruddin Shah rocked as the retired judge while Leela Samson who had also essayed the same character in the original was apt for the role. 

Verdict: Irrespective of "Dangal", this will struggle to keep itself afloat at the box office. Even though it is a frame to frame recreation of the original, it will fail to impress the audience. In short, the lead pair have done their part but the rather bland screenplay meant we will have to tell the makers that the movie is "Not ok Jaanu"!!!

Rating: 2.25/5

Regards...Ben


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bairavaa review: "Solely for Vijay loyalists!!!"

A fortnight into the New Year & finally we have a major release in the form of "Bairavaa" which happens to be the 60th movie of Ilayathalapathi Vijay. It might sound kinda weird but this release had a whole lot more significance in Kerala as our film industry was in a lock down crisis with the strike called by the Exhibitors Federation which had lasted for close to a month. The distributors issued a legal notice against the theatre owners for suspending the release which forced many of them to change their stand. Thankfully, it has paved the path for release of Malayalam movies as well. Now it remains to be seen if Vijay has created on screen as well even though the trailer didnt seem to inspire any hope.


Bairavaa (Vijay) is a collection agent working for a bank in Chennai who always got the work done no matter how hard the task would be, On the occasion of the wedding of his manager's daughter, he falls for her friend Malarvizhi (Keerthy Suresh),a medical student. But when he goes to propose his love for her, he comes to know that she was on the run from PK (Jagapathi Babu), a rowdy turned politician who was taken to court for the murder of her friend. PK was the Chairman of her college who had amassed wealth through real state & sub-standard educational institutions. With both power & money at his disposal, PK had ensured that whoever raised their voice against him would be silenced forever. Upon hearing about Malarvizhi's predicament, Bairavaa decides to resolve the issue in his own inimitable style.

"Bairavaa" was in the news ever since it was announced that Bharathan would helm Vijay's 60th movie. The duo have collaborated in quite a few projects in the past with Vijay starring in Bharathan's directorial debut "Azhagiya Tamil Magan". Even more than his directorial capabilities, Bharathan is known for his mass masala scripts with movies like "Dhool", "Gilli", "Osthe" etc to his credit. In his latest venture, he has taken up a relevant topic but the treatment is stale & offers nothing that we havent seen from Vijay's staple masala movies. None of the technical aspects stands out with Santhosh Narayanan's music being a major disappointment. 

Vijay is the heart & soul of the movie & carries the movie on his shoulders with ease. He is an expert when it comes to movies of this genre & knows it like the back of his palm. Keerthy Suresh has done a decent job along with Jagapathy Babu & Daniel Balaji. As for the rest, Aadukulam Naren stands out with Vijayaraghavan, Aparna Vinod etc doing their parts aptly.

Verdict: Well it's a typical Vijay mass movie which will have his fans lapping it up. As for the others, if people watch it with the expectation of it being a "Thalaivaa" or "Kathi", they will be disappointed. It is surely not as bad as his horrible wig, but it lacks the essential ingredients of his masala movies like comedy & catchy music tracks. In short, not worth spending time on it!!!

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben