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Category: Movies & Entertainment (Page 2 of 6)

rock-on-2-review

Rock On 2 Review: There’s just too much going on in the Sequel

There’s just too much going on in the second installment of Rock on which was first released 8 years back marking the debut of Farhan Akhtar. On the face of it, this looks like a completely new film. Or perhaps too many films packaged into one.

Rock on was not a unique story but its subtlety in storytelling binded it all together with some great music. The best song of this movie is the new version of the original Rock On title song, which still cannot beat the original.

The first half has been edited nicely and the build-up keeps you interested but as soon as second half starts, the melodrama suddenly overtakes the storyline. So much so that the song “Jaago…” sounds like a wakeup call for the audience.

The sequel follows the band “Magic” and the changing life of its members. The lead singer, Aditya Shroff(Farhan), lives a life in a village in Meghalaya helping farmers with a co-operative. Joe Mascaranhas (Arjun Rampal) is a reality TV judge and KD (Purab Kohli) again seems to be the guy that brings the band together to make “music” again. Why did they stop? That forms part of the central plot of the movie.

Jia’s (Shraddha Kapoor) father in the movie is a well-known Music legend who disapproves of “fusion” music. While Uday (Shashank Arora of Titli fame) is a Sarod player who comes into Jia’s life and they together end up meeting the Magik band. Although Shashank seems to have been wasted or probably wasn’t needed at all!

The movie would have been sufficient had they stopped adding more to the storyline and just kept one theme as its central plot. But like many other sequels before, this one, also falls into the trap of “doing something more” than its prequel. The prequel worked because it focused on one thing, bringing the band together. Here it is not only about that (again), but bringing it together for a “cause”, then trying to tell how music isn’t limited to “one-definition”, relationships between children-parents, and a lot more. And all that in just 2 hours! Phew!

The time needed by the audience to invest in characters, especially when it comes to a drama, is missing.

What works for the movie is its acting. It is also commendable to notice the presence of local actors to provide it a refreshingly authentic look. Farhan, Arjun, Purab have done a good job. Shradha, however, ends up singing better than her acting and she appears out of frame in many of the scenes. The best scene of the movie is perhaps when a dejected Farhan after having come out of a tragedy drives around the hills. The Cinematography is amazing as well.

However, elements like these are far and few and the movie needed more of this than the over-the-top ones which have been pushed together towards the end of the movie.

Shujaat Saudagar, who dons the hat of the director for the first time, has put in the hard work to put life into the story and its characters. However, apart from the leads, the depth lacks in the characters. The presence of Abhishek Kapoor who directed the first one with perfection can be easily felt and a stark difference in approach can be seen.

I’m going with 2/5 for Rock On 2. If you’ve loved the first movie and your expectations are high, you might be disappointed. It isn’t a bad movie and is definitely a one-time watch for the acting of the ensemble cast.

shivaaya-movie-review

Shivaaya Movie Review: A mountain might be easier to climb than watching this

Shivaaya has some of the best breathtakingly good looking shots throughout the movie, an attempt to up the action sequences where it swings pops up to superhuman level and Ajay Devgan at his best acting levels.

Unfortunately, that’s where all the good things I can talk about the movie ends. Yes, there are numerous emotionally charged scenes which are good but when they are in patches and in a 3-hour long movie, what’s the point? The problem is not only it is long, but it feels really long. As a viewer you can’t help but say, “What was the need of this scene?”. Clearly conflict between the director Ajay and the actor Ajay had troubling in cutting down the movie.

Shivaaya is about a mountaineer with superhuman skills of scaling Himalayan peaks like it was the tree in his backyard. He not only helps the Indian Army but also takes completely untrained people to trek or if it’s your 16th Birthday! Not only this, when he gets stuck in an avalanche with the leading ladies, swinging literally in a cliffhanger, he can make out with the ladies. Superhuman skills. And if all this sounds ridiculous to you, then you’re in for a treat.

Comparison with Liam Neeson’s taken were already being made and it was expected to be a Bollywood-version of Taken with added Drama. And even though you see shades of it here in the action-part and some might say even better, there’s just too much of build-up. The first half, comparatively, sails a little smoother as the story unfolds and gets your attention. However, the second half, especially the last 30-40 minutes are bluntly put, “Torturous”.

The actor Ajay has put immense effort to bring his A-game to the table but cannot say the same for direction. The casting of Ajay’s love interest in Erika Karr and his daughter (played by Abigail Eames) are appropriately essential to the storyline. But everyone else appears to have been stuffed in. In order to bring the concept of father-daughter story to the forefront, Ayesha Saigal (who debuts with this movie) and Girish Karnad have a parallel story running as well. Not just that, a forced induction of Vir Das, seems an addition that could have been not needed.

The movie might have worked better if they had tried not to do way too much in making the story complex. It is an honest attempt and filled with amazing action sequences but one can be easily disappointed, all thanks to the expectations.

Shivaaya is definitely avoidable and even if you are an Ajay Devgan fan, the length of the movie is definitely going to put you off.

I’m going with a 1.5 for Shivaaya. It’s a movie which takes too much time to preach its message and bores you out. A mountain will be easier to climb (as Devgan shows :P) than watching this.

shivaaya-movie-review

Shivaaya Movie Review: A mountain might be easier to climb than watching this

Shivaaya has some of the best breathtakingly good looking shots throughout the movie, an attempt to up the action sequences where it swings pops up to superhuman level and Ajay Devgan at his best acting levels.

Unfortunately, that’s where all the good things I can talk about the movie ends. Yes, there are numerous emotionally charged scenes which are good but when they are in patches and in a 3-hour long movie, what’s the point? The problem is not only it is long, but it feels really long. As a viewer you can’t help but say, “What was the need of this scene?”. Clearly conflict between the director Ajay and the actor Ajay had troubling in cutting down the movie.

Shivaaya is about a mountaineer with superhuman skills of scaling Himalayan peaks like it was the tree in his backyard. He not only helps the Indian Army but also takes completely untrained people to trek or if it’s your 16th Birthday! Not only this, when he gets stuck in an avalanche with the leading ladies, swinging literally in a cliffhanger, he can make out with the ladies. Superhuman skills. And if all this sounds ridiculous to you, then you’re in for a treat.

Comparison with Liam Neeson’s taken were already being made and it was expected to be a Bollywood-version of Taken with added Drama. And even though you see shades of it here in the action-part and some might say even better, there’s just too much of build-up. The first half, comparatively, sails a little smoother as the story unfolds and gets your attention. However, the second half, especially the last 30-40 minutes are bluntly put, “Torturous”.

The actor Ajay has put immense effort to bring his A-game to the table but cannot say the same for direction. The casting of Ajay’s love interest in Erika Karr and his daughter (played by Abigail Eames) are appropriately essential to the storyline. But everyone else appears to have been stuffed in. In order to bring the concept of father-daughter story to the forefront, Ayesha Saigal (who debuts with this movie) and Girish Karnad have a parallel story running as well. Not just that, a forced induction of Vir Das, seems an addition that could have been not needed.

The movie might have worked better if they had tried not to do way too much in making the story complex. It is an honest attempt and filled with amazing action sequences but one can be easily disappointed, all thanks to the expectations.

Shivaaya is definitely avoidable and even if you are an Ajay Devgan fan, the length of the movie is definitely going to put you off.

I’m going with a 1.5 for Shivaaya. It’s a movie which takes too much time to preach its message and bores you out. A mountain will be easier to climb (as Devgan shows :P) than watching this.

ms-dhoni-movie-review

MS Dhoni Movie Review: It’s entertaining but nowhere close to perfect

Watching the untold story unfold in a theater is an experience that takes you back in time. Back to where “tum” is “hum”. Back to a place we call home.

For every Bihar/Jharkhand native, this movie is more than just the story about MS Dhoni. It is more than being about Cricket. It is about the journey that many have lived and only a few like the man himself have succeeded in. It is about the friends who’ll stick with you in thick and thin. Your family who wishes the best for you. Where your success is everyone’s success too.

If you happen to be a Dhoni fan or have grown up in the old Bihar or the younger Jharkhand, you’ll have a ride full of goosebumps. Instead of just being a movie, this is more of a melodramatic Documentary.

The research done to make places, people and scenarios appear as real-like is tremendous and kudos to the team for choosing the right brushes to paint.

Sushant Singh Rajpoot is believably a good reel version of the Captain Cool and this is perhaps one of his biggest role till date. There’s nowhere you’ll feel he has not given his 100 percent in essaying the role.

Anupam Kher’s portrayal as the father strikes chord with the familiar sense of concern visible across every father’s face and the joy of success when their kids succeed.

In a particular scene when MS calls up his father and asks, “Aap khush to hai na ?”, he replies, “Khud ko galat saabit hote dekh, kaafi khush hoon”. It makes you search for your own dad in him.

Another great insight the movie gives is on how Dhoni handles the setbacks from his life and how he doesn’t allow anyone else to know what goes behind the perceived “coolness” associated with him. How he lets himself away from the crowd to process emotions and tries to hold it all in, and how that has shaped him, is baffling.

Neeraj Pandey’s MS Dhoni biopic is unlike any of his movies and yes it does have flaws. The biggest is in its editing. The effort to fit in everything ends up making the movie long. As a fan, you’d feel like more could have been added to the story, however as a regular movie-goer you’d feel that a lot could have been edited out. The purpose of few of the scenes are to highlight, Dhoni doesn’t drink or that he meets his old-colleagues even after becoming a “big sensation”. The execution here just doesn’t seem right.

Another thing that irked me was the choice of superimposing Sushant’s picture on a young Dhoni which could have easily been played by any other youngster. A case in point is the much appreciated Netflix drama- Narcos, where the real-life Pablo Escabar features in the original footage to keep the story appear real. They could have even left the real-life footage of matches untouched and it would have brought even more cheers than it actually did.

Songs are good but the addition of this many could have been avoided. The leading ladies of the film, Priyanka played by Disha Patani and Sakshi played by Kiara Advani in the movie have done their part well. Although they do appear to essay almost the same character. But maybe that’s how they both were in real life as well.

However, even with all this, it does click the boxes of being an entertaining movie. The movie doesn’t bore you at any point in time. Neither the pace nor the content makes you take your eyes off. Even the authenticity of the accent and the life in general always keeps you hooked.

MS Dhoni: the untold Story is entertaining even with editing issues, gets you high and gives access to what goes in the mind of one of the most successful Indian Captain. Watch it for the entertainment value it brings with it. It is a good attempt to bring out the untold story of the Cricketer’s life but could have been perfect.

I’m going with a 3/5 for Ms Dhoni: The Untold Story. Go ahead and watch it. It’s Entertaining but nowhere close to being perfect.

 

pink-movie-review

Pink Movie Review: Why Pink is a must watch!

Pink Movie Review: Why Pink is a must watch!

The best thing about Pink is that it isn’t melodramatically over-zealous nor does it solely rely on the emotional appeal of the subject at play. It captures the deeply entrenched male chauvinism of our society subtly and yet packs a powerful punch. The message isn’t just another footnote in the ending but the entire movie itself.

pink-movie-review

Powerful performances from Tapsi Pannu (who plays the role of Meenal) and the seasoned Amitabh Bachchan who bests his Piku and Wazir performance. Kirti Kulari (plays the role of Falak in Pink), who had previously acted in Shaitan, also adds in a powerful performance.

Related: You can check Amitabh’s Piku and Wazir reviews here

The movie’s story follows an after-concert party-gone-wrong resulting in an assault case filed against the “outgoing” and “independent” girls. Pink is about the struggle of women against law (and society) and how a retired lawyer, who’s battling his own illness, comes to their rescue.

The story isn’t limited to the plight of the girls but is also about the society’s reactions. Reactions, deeply embedded with chauvinism, directed against them. It describes the general perception of our men-centric society and how they measure the ‘character’ of the women by the length of the clothing she chooses to wear. This attitude has seeped too deep in our society and has made even the women become part of it. This, among other things, is what Pink tries to uncover.

The film is a mirror for the society and to every viewer to watch and introspect. How loosely used terms, for e.g., calling every random girl a “slut” (or an equivalent term in their own regional language) just based on what they wear, how they speak or whom they chose to befriend, is bizarre.

Apart from the story, the strong performances, and the message, there are a few issues that did irk me. Is the world around so superficial that no one comes to stand alongside the girls in this fight? Sure we as a society have deeply rooted favoritism for men but does everyone lack even this much of an empathy towards the female gender?

Definitely, the makers might not have wanted to tread down the same path of media activism and public outcry and the strong story doesn’t let you think of any of it. More than anything the way every emotion, frustration and the pain, has been captured and brought out by the characters, is powerful.

This happens to be Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’ first Hindi movie and I’m intrigued to start watching his Bengali movies. Yes, Pink is that good.

Any movie which has Shoojit Sarcar’s name attached naturally adds certain expectations and each time he surpasses those. Credits to Ritesh Shah for a binding story and screenplay. Interestingly, we are only shown as to “what actually happened that night” in the end credits. This keeps us, as viewers, to keep questioning the narrative and be involved.

The movie Pink makes you think of the society, while you’re watching it, but also makes you take away a part of it, long after you’ve left the theater. Pink is a must watch for all men, all women, and even the grown-up kids to realize why “NO means NO”. It strikes hard where it should.

Final Ratings: Pink Movie Review

I’m going with 4/5 for Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary’s Pink. Without a doubt, it’s a must watch. Go catch it in a theater near you. It is hauntingly tensed and wakes you up with a strong message.

Fan Movie Review

Fan Movie Review: Fan isn’t FANtastic, but Shahrukh will make you believe it is

We all have been waiting for this. Fans, non-fans, the closet fans and everyone who watches Bollywood movies have been waiting for SRK to make a film and not blow up another marketing puff in front of them. Looks like he finally listened to everyone. When will Shahrukh not make masala movies ? When will he work with actual directors ? When do we see a movie where he acts?

Fan is the answer to all those questions. It’s Shah Rukh Khan all the way. And no one else. Fan isn’t FANtastic but Shahrukh will make you believe it is. Remove him, and you have just another story.

There is a fine line between being a fan and crossing it to being obsessed. Fan is about one such fan whose life is a result of this obsession.

Maneesh Sharma, who has directed “Band Baaja Baraat”, “Ladies Vs Ricky Behl” and “Shudh Desi Romance”, has a knack of bringing out the typical Dilli wala characters live onto the screen, is at the helm here. His crisp storytelling and holding the plot to not move out of place has been his biggest achievement. Apart from making sure he uses SRK in evey possible way.

Fan is all about SRK. I’m pretty sure that people will be raving about the character of Gaurav played by Shahrukh, which undoubtedly everyone should, but it is playing the superstar that he is flawless too. The subtle arrogance of a star, the frustration of too many expectations and anger if things don’t go his way. Aryan Khanna is good at what he does and doesn’t shy away from feeling proud of what he has acheived.

The best part about Fan is, it never treats the hysterical Gaurav as the villain and neither it turns the superstar Aryan Khanna as the hero/victim. Maneesh loves to play with gray hinges and Fan helps him put forth that idea of reality through the story lens. Definitely, no one could have done it better than the superstar himself.

Fan isn’t bereft of plot-holes though. The first half, with its fast pace and sleek story unfolding, doesn’t give that away but the second half initially exposes the evenly spread out flaws. The extremities of how fans and media treats you doesn’t accurately match up to reality and follow a similar trajectory of Bollywood drama, and neither does a fan stuck in the 90’s in the year 2015. Perhaps it was easier for Maneesh for this transition of Gaurav from an obsessed fan to someone out there to destroy the star.

Ignoring the evident flaws is not very difficult, and as soon as the amazing chase sequences follow, you’ll soon be lost into “What would Gaurav do next?”.

And O.M.G, the action! Frankly, I wasn’t expecting an action of this sort and I was blown away by what I saw. There are 3 amazingly done Action sequences which propells the movie to another level. I was wondering who is the Action Director of Fan ?

It is Oh Se Young, who has previously also acted as action director for Avengers 2! Undoubtedly, the action here was bound to be awesome.

This is where I usually add inferences to the rest of the cast, but in this Double SRK bonanza, there’s hardly anyone who made a lasting impact. Such is the aura of Khan in Fan. There is Sayani Gupta as Arya Khanna’s PR, Shreya Padgaonkar as Gaurav’s one-sided love interest, Yogendra Tiku and Deepika Amin as Gaurav’s parents, who’ve helped the plot develop further.

The reason you should watch Fan, apart from the excellent work by SRK, is that it leaves you with a thought. The film ends with Gaurav saying, “Rehnde yaar, tu nai samjhega”, but you will.

I’m going with 3/5 for Maneesh Sharma’s Fan.

Fan isn’t FANtastic but Shahrukh will make you believe it is.

Kapoor and sons Review

Kapoor and Sons: A Family Drama you should not miss

An emotionally draining and yet not over-the-top drama that peeks inside the turbulence of the family bonds of the Kapoor’s. Mind you, it’s the least bit dysfunctional. You’ll get glimpses of your own, your grandparents, the perceived “favoritism” by parents, fights between siblings, the discords, and of course the love. The Kapoor family has it all.

Kapoor and sons Review

 

The plot centres around the 95-year old Sr. Kapoor, played by the amazing Rishi Kapoor, who is simply the coolest grandpa you’ll come across. His ultimate wish is to have a family photograph for which he summons everyone back to Conoor, the beautiful hill station near Ooty. How his two grandsons come back from abroad, their unspoken brewing discord, to visit their grandpa. How his son’s financial and marital issues pops up new fight scenes and how in the middle of it all, everyone seems to be lying about something or the other.

The star of the movie is the amazing screenplay which binds the complexities like beads of a non-matching rosary which works in a charming way. Apart from that, the characters’ effortless performances involves the audience in the story. You laugh, feel, smile and even cry as they take you through this amazing journey.

The film is close to 2 and a half hours and yet there’s hardly anything which gives the impression of just having pushed in there. The flow is justified by the buildup each portion requires. The credit goes to the ensemble cast as a whole. Although Rajat Kapoor and Fawad Khan deserve special mention. Rajat brings out the troubling mid-life crisis onto the screen perfectly and does that so effortlessly. Fawad is superb in doing complete justice to the character and his screen presence is unmatchable. This Pakistani actor can make a lot of Bollywood actors run for their money.

Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor and Ratna Pathak make it worth the time and are equally great. Siddharth Malhotra appeared a little out of place in a few scenes, although it might also be due to being overshadowed by a great cast. He has a long way to go.

The music by Armaan Malick (& others) is good, but it is the background music which brings a lot of value to the finished product on screen.

Kapoor and Sons’ Director Shakun Batra, in only his second Directorial venture after Ekk main aur Ek tu, deserves a pat on his back for doing justice to the story and the starcast.

Kapoor and Sons is Drama that works in connecting your own self with the character plots and remembering your own family. This might well be the Piku of 2016. I’m going with a 5/5 for this flawless emotional adventure which is filled with some amazing light hearted moments that will press the nostalgic buttons in your head and make you laugh and cry at the same time. Yes, it’s perfect. Go and Watch it.

Here’s how you can help DiCaprio win an oscar

There is no dearth of jokes whenever Oscar is near, especially when it concerns Leonardo DiCaprio. Apart from some really exceptional roles played onscreen, he is also famous for not getting the Oscar till date.

Usually, there is some “better” performance which overshadows his, every year at this religiously followed festival of entertainment.

The line launched a game on to “help win DiCaprio an Oscar”. This 8-bit browser game is called, “Red Carpet Rampage” and is super fun. Of course it plays on the joke of the “unlucky” DiCaprio running towards the coveted Oscar.

The game consists of other nominees trying to outrun him in the Oscar race, while he battles the papparazi as well as obstructions, mostly characters and props from his previous movies.

Spoiler alert: There’s an iceberg too.

I tried to help DiCaprio but couldn’t make him win. Can you ?

Here is the link of the game: RedCarpetRampage

Leonardo diCaprio oscar game

So, how often has DiCaprio been nominated before?

Including this current years’ nomination, he has been nominated 5 times. In the previous 4 times he has been unlucky.

Leonardo has been nominated for Oscars for which movies ?

  1. What’s eating Gilbert Grape
  2. Aviator
  3. Blood diamond
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. The Revenant

The chances look great this time. Although the same was there when he got for Blood Diamond.

Let’s wait for the Academy Awards (Oscars) to see whether DiCaprio finally gets to make that Acceptance Speech or not.

Till then, enjoy this game: RedCarpetRampage and let me know if you get the Oscar for him.

Farhan Akhtar in Wazir

Wazir Movie Review: It makes the right moves

Wazir plays out like a game of chess, every move played in a symphony akin to the game, as the story unfolds towards the amazingly crafted climax. The build-up is strong enough to make you believe that you’re in for a good ride in this amazingly well written story. By the time you’re nearing the end, you’ve already enjoyed an amazing story which captivates you from the first shot. And then, in the end, Wazir hits you, you’ll end up replaying the movie from the start to grasp-in the beauty.

Wazir is like a puzzle which is interesting while you’re out solving it, but only becomes perfect when you’ve finally finished it.

Wazir Movie Review

[Picture courtesy: BollywoodCat]

How wrong can you go when Sonu Nigam fills the life into the slow-motion prologue for the romance between Farhan and Aditi, with “Tere Bin”, playing in the rain-filled backdrop. The song sequence brushes you like how a calming drizzle makes you feel on a hot day. The camera work is brilliant in the movie, but this sequence remains my favorite. Terming Ruhaana and Danish’s love story sweet would be an understatement.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/fvrrMJYanlM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

ATS Officer Danish Ali , played by Farhan Akhtar, redefines the Angry young man with charm and earnestness, while essaying this role alongside the original Angry young man. Farhan ensures you’re by his side as he makes you travel through the transition of how a happy family man’s life goes downhill with just one wrong move. There is a certain easy-to-the-eye effortless performance delivered by Akhtar through Danish Ali’s character. You won’t find Farhan but only Danish.

Farhan Akhtar in Wazir

[Picture courtesy: Indianexpress]

Pandit Omkar Nath, played by Amitabh Bachchan, moves around in his wheelchair due to his paralyses. His eyes bring out the pain irrespective of whether he’s joking around with his friend, Danish, while playing Chess or being angry while remembering his daughter. Amitabh gets the best dialogues of the movie. This man, delivers another splendid performance after Piku.

Aditi Rao Hydari acts as gracefully as she looks, and her chemistry with Farhan is effortless. With Wazir, she finally gets a good role to boast about.

Aditi Rao Hydari in Wazir

[Picture courtesy: Indianexpress]

Roles played by Manav Kaul (Yazaad Qureshi) and of course the mysterious Neil Nitin mukesh (Wazir) convert the storyline into a powerful narrative.

But the real hero of the movie is in its direction by Bijoy Nambiar. The entire buildup would have been lost, the great content could have been wasted, actors like Mr. Bachchan and Farhan not utilized, but no, none of this happens (thankfully). We can all thank Bijoy for that. From showing the happy side of the rains when the film startsoff, to a weeping father about to shoot himself near the graveyard of his daughter, the contrast value of rains has been effectively captured by Nambiar.

The beauty of the movie is when you’ve seen it all, and you just replay it in your mind and you immediately understand how solid an effort this was. It sets a benchmark for dramatic thrillers for Bollywood movies. The dialogues are intelligent and not pushed-in. The camaraderie between Farhan-Bachchan, or Atrangi Yaari, as they call it, brings out some of the best dialogues from the movie.

The Background score lends the perfect balance to the story as it moves from one Chess move to another. The fight sequences have been done brilliantly. The first fight features a sleepy-headed Farhan who completely owns it with his performance. This is his first action movie and he just hits the right notes.

The only visible flaw is how a few scenes have been dumbed-down to suit the audiences for a mass appeal. An extra dialogue to explain a few things or an extra scene to make sure everyone is on the same page. Something which the Hindi remake of Drishyam is also guilty of doing as compared to its original, Malayalam version.

But even with that, this is a movie which is based on a powerful story and can be appreciated in its entirety. Expect a good climax in this action-packed thriller. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

I’m going with a 4/5 for this Farhan-Amitabh starrer Wazir. Khel Khel me, khel khel ye aajaega!

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2015

2015 wasn’t particularly the best year for Bollywood. Of course, there were a few which did entertained us.

This list is a list of Top 10 Bollywood movies released this year. Do let us know which one was your favorite of them all.

10. Manjhi- The Mountain Man

Manjhi_Best_Movies_2015
At number 10 is Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s breakout solo movie where he pushes the boundaries of his acting talent to the limit. The movie is about a man’s determination to avenge the death of his wife from the mountain. The village which remained disconnected without a proper road due to the mountain acts as the arrogant villian who in Manjhi’s eyes is reponsible for his wife’s death during childbirth. It is amazing what an actor like him brings to the table. The movie is his own and only his. Radhika Apte who plays the role of his wife supports him well but it is hard enough to take your eyes off Nawaz’s performance.

9. Bajrangi bhaijan

Bajrangi_Bhaijaan_Best_Movies_2015
Thank you Salman Khan for doing a movie which actually had a story. It is a feel good mass entertainer and one of the rare ones to release this year along with Baahubali. Salman brings out a great performance through his portrayal of bajrangi bhaijan while trying to rescue the little Pakistani girl. The film is message-oriented, albeit melodramatic, but entertaining. Salman plays a mellowed down character who is religious and good-hearted. Film strikes a chord in terms of cross-border bonding and drives home a positive message.

8. Nh10

NH10_Best_Movies_2015
Perhaps one of the few India movies where you see a woman beating the shit out of bad guys. And no it isn’t a Charlie’s angels or a kung fu master remake, but raw action circumstantial tragedy. Produced and acted by Anushka who ensures you take the NH10 ride to the end and applaud the bravery. Deepti naval also brings a brilliant performance in her portrayal of the haryanwi Sarpanch by bringing the grey shades of patriarchy to her character.If you’ve seen Anushka Sharma in bubbly characters all along, this one changed a lot of perceptions.

7. Badlapur

Badlapur_Best_Movies_2015

Pushed to the wall after the death of his wife and kid, an angry man waits to take his revenge from the killer. You can argue over whether Varun Dhawan did justice to this amaingly meaty role or not, but did a good job to do something different than the chocolate-boy image he has. Nawazuddin is as usual brilliant and even though the limelight is on the protagonist, Varun, he brings the best out of what he got. Supported brilliantly by great background music, this one was a good watch.

6. Tanu weds Manu returns

Tanu_weds_Manu_Best_Movies_2015
Fun riot. How could you not love Kangana ? That too 2 of them. If you had liked the romantic Tanu weds Manu then you’d love the comedy that this sequal is. Who said sequals aren’t good? This one will prove you wrong. Madhavan brings the same earnestness to teh character like in the last one. The best part of this series is the screen space given to the supporting cast, which essentially ensures, you never get bored. Especially when you have the likes of Swara Bhaskar and Deepak Dobriyal. One of the fun movies, which you’ll love and watch again and again.

5. Zor lagake haisha

Dum_Lagake_Haisah_Best_Movies_2015
Can you love your wife who happens to be fat ? Well that’s the question which this movie answers. Of course, you know how the plot will unfold but that’s not the beauty of the movie. The overweight bride( played by Bhumi Pednekar) and the easily hate-able husband who is not only unemployed but also unhappy with his married life. Yet, Ayushman Khurana makes sure you do end up empathizing with his as well which is amazing. It’s a sweet movie which sends all the right signals and even after playing over stereotypes, ensures it doesn’t add to it, rather is a feel-good entertainer.

4. Titli

Titli_Best_Movies_2015
Wow. Each frame brings a sense of understanding to the lives of this lower-class family . The background music-less scenes which hit you hard. While the push for aspirations and changing lives have been the forefront, the scary sad lives become the background reality. You actually get to experience the difficulties of life through their eyes. It is tragic to see what people end up doing to reach what they aspire to be. They try to do everything for their family by being totally against the concept of living like a family. The craving to be with a family and push all boundaries to achieve that. Shashank Arora, Ranvir Shorey and Amit Sial throw in brilliant performances. Shashank is someone to watch out for.

3. Talwar

Talvar_Best_Movies_2015
A powerful movie script based on a real life incident that the shocked the whole of India and ensured months of TRP based coverage on 24×7 news channels. Of course it entirely focuses on One version of the incident but is powerful enough to make you believe that. Talwar comes with brilliant central performances from Irfan Khan and Konkana sen Sharma, and supported by Neeraj Kabi.
Even actors playing 10 minute roles bring a sense of unmistaken originality to the table. Irfans’ performance is going to blow you away.

2. Masaan

Masaan_Best_Movies_2015
When movies bring forth reality and make you feel their pain, anxiousness, while going through the tragic realities of small towns. Richard chadda is a protagonist which isn’t necessarily likable yet strikes a chord. This swindling story of love, death and small town brings a sense of calm towards the end of it. The imagery is hard to get off your mind and the music fills your heart. It’s hard to not get yourself thinking and appreciate the movie. Characters played by Shweta Tripathy, Vicky Kaushal and Sanjay Mishra are so perfect that they make it easier for you to connect to the story. It is a movie which gets made not very often.

Piku:

Piku_Movie_Review

This has been the best movie of the year 2015 for me. I gave it a 5-star when I reviewed it. If I was at all looking for faults in the movie, I just could not have found any!! I was immersed into the saga of an old man and his “motion”. To my surprise, the humour is not at all crass, as one can imagine with such a subject( It is about shit, literally!!) The whole subject has been dealt so well. Deppika Pdukone has had an exceptionally great year and Piku is just the tip of the iceberg she has conquered. Amitabh Bachchan makes you recall how your own Grandfather was, while Irfan is at his usual brilliance .Shoojit Sircar, Respect!! Have loved, Vicky donor as well as Madras Cafe. The way this guy deals with the subject, is class.

dilwale movie review

Dilwale Review: You’ll need a big heart to like this movie

dilwale movie review

In Dilwale, Shahrukh‘s character, Kaali (Yes!!), takes out Kajol (Meera) on a 5-minute date in a typical European setting in Bulgaria. Romatic! And given SRK-Kajol, you’d expect it to work, huh ?

Not when the Car-izmatic Rohit Shetty is the director.

Dilwale has too much of Rohit Shetty and less of SRK’s charm, something which saved Chennai Express and made it bearable. A song like “Gerua” picturized in an overtly photoshopped setting. I mean how hard is it to get it done in an actual location? Allocating a little extra budget to this, instead of those cars might have helped! Rohit?

 

The biggest crowd puller of Dilwale, SRK-Kajol, just doesn’t click together. The magic one would expect from the pair seems to be vacationing somewhere.

It’s not even one of those story-less movies, because (Surprisingly) it has a STORY!

The Plot of Dilwale is filled with layers of unnecessary complexity and would give a South Indian masala movie complex. The platter comprises of action, the kind where SRK fights like the Arrow and beats the baddies mercilessly, there’s Bhai-Bhai and Behen-behen drama too and comedy inserted to keep you laughing once-in-a-while and take your attention off your watch, which you keep looking at!

It’s good to see Johny Lever and the amazing Sanjay Mishra who gets the best lines anyway in a Rohit Shetty Comedy. Comedy, of course, of Rohit Shetty standard.

Songs are good, and the background music as well. Kajol looks ravishingly beautiful in every frame and is so pleasing to the eyes. SRK in the movie appears super casual and is akin to Salman acting in one of those South Indian remakes.

Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon fill in the scenes  to take the “story” forward. Varun still appears in the Modern-day Govinda mode, while Kriti does decent in whatever little she had. However, the central characters of Dilwale, SRK-Kajol, fail to make you fall in love with them, like they’ve done always.

Yes, you can go down into a few nostalgic trips as thy appear onscreen, but the “old-wine-in-a-new-bottle” doesn’t work this time.

Dilwale just doesn’t deliver and being this long (155 Minutes!) doesn’t help at all. It is not as bad as Happy New Year, but then that’s no benchmark. Especially not for SRK! The movie just doesn’t seem to end!

I’m going with a 1.5/5 for Dilwale. It is watchable (Bearable is the correct word) , but it’s wiser to not waste your money on this one. You’ll need a big heart to like this movie. 

Creed movie review

Creed Movie Review: It’s not about Rocky, but Rocky!

Creed Movie Review: It’s not a Rocky movie, but a Rocky Movie.

 

We’ve all seen how every Rocky movie starts off. Right ?

With a recap fight from the previous one!

Well, Creed doesn’t do that. Why? Because, it isn’t about Rocky. It starts with Creed, played by Michael B Jordan, fighting it out in a correctional facility for juveniles. Yes, the Baby Creed, the kid born out of an affair of Rocky’s nemesis-turned-friend Appolo Creed. The junior Creed ends up getting a home at Appolo Creed’s wife, Mary Anne’s and the story unfolds. [In case these characters don’ ring a bell, check out the first Rocky Movie]

Creed movie review

 

Plot of the movie:

Growing up to fight his way into building his own identity through boxing, Creed tries to get the very old and reluctant Rocky onboard to train him. The scene where Rocky gives him a few tips on paper, and the tech-savvy Creed plays smart is nicely done.

The fights, which have been the central plot of all Rocky’s movies and yet mostly about everything else. In Creed, the fight scenes are more polished and what makes them better is the amazing camera work. Not just in the Ring, but even outside of it. The locker-room scene leading to the Final fight of the movie, leads you from the silence of the locker room to the noise of the Ring area. Splendid. It is more like moments before a sky diving scene, where you feel the rush. The camera makes you feel it.

Music:

Background Score is central to a movie like Rocky. Creed’s music doesn’t disappoint either. Pumped up energy filled workout sessions, Balboa being at his quirky witty self and the final ultimate fight scene, makes Creed an amazing movie to watch. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Creed is a good watch and makes me want to watch more from Ryan.

Characters:

Unlike previous Rocky Movies, there are only a very few central characters. Apart from Sylvestor Stallone and Micahel C Jordan, only Tessa Thompson (who plays Creed’s love interest) has a bigger role. Jordan shines in his depiction of an angry kid who wants to make a name of his own and show that he’s worth something. Sly, obviously carries forward his own legacy.

What works in the Creed Movie:

When Franchisee movies lose steam, Rocky Series has only gained its tempo, much like this particular movie where it is difficult to point anything wrong.

It’s good to see nothing being overdone. Just the right amount of everything and you have Creed.

What doesn’t work in the Creed Movie:

Yes, iconic scenes which defined previous Rocky movies. Like scenes between Mickey (Rocky’s Trainer) and Rocky. Or even the one with his son in the movie prior to this. There are many such amazing scenes, but they go to that level and just doesn’t cross that threshold. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t doing anything wrong, but I guess perhaps those iconic scenes are so etched in minds that you seem to find them missing a note of two.

The movie is mostly about molding Creed’s personality into the Rocky shape, and the director does a pretty decent job of making the audience see it. It is like the relay torch has been passed on successfully to Creed from Rocky.

Ratings for Creed Movie:

I’m going with 4/5 for Rocky. An additional .5 for the amazing cinematography in the movie by Maryse Alberti. Don’t miss this movie. It definitely packs a punch. Even though it is not a Rocky Movie; in essence it is a Rocky Movie. And even if you haven’t seen the previous movies, you’ll still love it.

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