Tag: farhan akhtar

Lucknow Central Review: An underplayed prison drama that works

What can you expect from a prison-break drama? I mean what ‘unique story’ can you expect from one? Having watched quite a few over the years, I wasn’t looking forward to ‘Woah! That’s new’.

I wasn’t entirely wrong. The story is most definitely ‘an-innocent-jailed-trying-to-escape’ with a Hindi heartland story and a musical twist to keep you interested. But there is more to the Lucknow Central apart from the music and the obvious escape strategies. The underplaying of every character by all the actor is something unique about this movie. Not one or two, but almost the entire ensemble has made sure to keep themselves in check to not go overboard to the point that the first half buildup appears a tad bit slow apart from a few high moments.

Farhan Akhtar takes time to grow into the UP Bhaiya role he plays in the movie but as you progress with the plot, you realize maybe they wanted to play a low-key and grounded role, instead of an over-the-top-emotionally-draining role. The character is part-fun part-helpless, whose dreams are what every small town guy can relate to. Making it big. However, he still doesn’t outshine the slew of amazingly written characters of Ronit Roy, playing the jailor, and other inmates who plan to escape with him. This includes, Gippi Grewal, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma and InaamulHaq. Each of them putting their best foot forward in aiding the central character of Kishan, played by Farhan, by making a mark of their own. Credit definitely goes to the writing for well-written characters.

It was also good to see no romantic involvement between Kishan (Farhan’s Character) and Diana Penty who plays the role of Gayatri Kashyap, helping in prisoner reformation. Considering how Bollywood movie stories are written, this is a good change.

One scene where he walks next to the projector where they’re playing Amitabh’s Vijay Deenanath Chauhan is the right amount of epic. Same goes with many of the prison-drama scenes, the ragging, the gang-fights and the fun. Each of them characteristically giving you an insight into what goes on behind the jails.

Music isn’t overpowering the narrative and that in a way is a good thing. So are the dialogues.

Lucknow Central has a slow 1st half start and picks up towards the second half as the screenplay goes. However, the beauty of the movie is in the underplayed performances by its ensemble and some action-packed second half and a good climax.

Lucknow Central is a decent watch in the theatre for how it deals with a concept that isn’t alien to audiences and for its mature handling of the subject.

I’m going with a 3/5 for Farhan Akhtar starrer, Lucknow Central.

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.

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.

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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!

Dil Dhadakne Do: My Review

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Runtime: 170 Minutes (Really Long!!)

Great ensemble of star cast in Anil Kapoor, Shefali shah, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. Did I miss anyone? Oh yes, Rahul Bose. Someone else? Ohh yea, Director Zoya Akhtar’s brother Farhan Akhtar, who plays a cameo. (Yes, that was the one reason I went for the movie!!).

Zoya’s two previous movies, the perfectly written and charming Luck by Chance and the more famous Zindagi na milegi Dobara. Sadly, she’s more known for the latter. While LBC, was an insight into Bollywood through an outsiders’ perspective and how he gets lost in that. ZNMD was about three friends on a journey looking at their own existing lives through borrowed glasses.

dil dhadakne do review

In this new movie, Dil dhadakne do, Zoya attempts to capture the high-society Delhi family of Mehras. But this time, she just takes us directly into their world. A world of phony unapologetic characters. She definitely tries to bring the outside perspective in the form of a dog, brilliantly voiced over by Aamir Khan, something which appears to be a feather borrowed from Raju Hirani’s book.

Coming back to the plot, A family where the son is given preference even though the daughter seems to be the qualified one. A family where the women feel they are at the mercy of their husbands. A family where marriage decisions are subject to business deals. And a lot more clichés which one might have heard of, or seen in movies from time to time. This Mehra family is a mix of all those into one.

Anil kapoor, who tries to look really old as part of the role, plays the part to perfection. Ranvir Singh is brilliant in his act, playing the role of the Anil’s son. But apart from them, there are no notable performances. Anil Kapoor and Ranvir Singh seems to have the meatiest roles. While others have been tried to fit into allotted roles. Farhan Akhtar, is not even there!!! And the kind of heavy-duty dialogues being given to his character is just pointless!! Don’t get me wrong, everyone acts well. You’ll end up laughing on a lot of occasions. But, oh yes there’s that but, you’ll feel out-of-place to relate to any of it. The story is so-much centered on the high-society social drama that even with so many important issues raised, you’ll still come out with a confused expression.

ZNMD, made us go wow over Spain. It made us be part of their travel journey. But with D3, it is so focused about the issues plaguing the Mehra Family, when even though it has a travel-backdrop, doesn’t do any justice to Istanbul or any other place the cruise takes the story forward. It sure has its moments which make you laugh and appreciate the issues being raised about women-empowerment, but they are very disconnected in the long stretch of the film.

It is not a bad movie but isn’t very entertaining too, just a one-time watch to have a few momentary laughs. I’m going with 2/5 for Zoya Akhtar’s cruise which didn’t quite reached its destination as I would have liked it to.

What it means to be a Farhan Akhtar Fan

The music of a new movie based on rock band was released, the songs were really catchy.

It was the first time that I had got addicted to not one but an entire album.

I was in High school, and I still remember those jamming sessions in the last bench with classmates, where it didn’t mattered how bad one sang. Even I was a singer. Of sorts.
No, really.

One needed to know the lyrics. And I did.

Singing songs of this movie, in classes, in corridors, in playgrounds, on bike rides. To tell you the truth, it was actually and actually shouting. Shouting our lungs out.

If I’d say that the songs were the only reasons for me to get addicted to them, I’d be giving too much credit to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.  No disrespect. Love their composition.

Another reason was the entry of this new guy, well, not “new” per se.  But yes, new in the avatar of an actor and singer.
Had liked him for his directorial skills in the coming-of-age movie Dil Chahta Hai and then Lakshya, even seen him quite a number of times in chat shows showcasing his good sense of humor.

But you know, back then he was just a director, son of a famous lyricist and story-writer.

What changed things was, Rock ON!! Those long locks gave way to curls of a rockstar and yes, an onscreen rockstar singing in his very own husky voice. Yes, that was Farhan Akhtar and that was the time he added another fan among many. I head-banged my way to the list. I became one of the many die-hard fans of him with Rock on.

farhan's look in rock on

If Rock On marked his debut, along with a relatively new cast and director in Abhishek kapoor, his next venture Luck By Chance marked the debut of his sister Zoya Akhtar in the director’s hat.

Although, the film didn’t do that well at the box office, yet I’d rate it as Farhan’s best performance till date. Each scene of this movie is so etched into my mind, that as soon as the name of the movie pops up, the whole movie, scene by scene slowly plays down before my eyes.
Special mention to this particular scene.
Dimple Kapadia, who is the lead heroine’s mother and a yester-year actress (in the movie) . Farhan, playing a struggling actor, ends up in the success party of a movie. Walks down to Dimple and chats up. He tells her, how he is there in this world because of dimple.
Shockingly, she replies, “What??!!”

And then he explains, that how both his parents ended up together because of both being her fans. As cheesy as the line may sound, it is portrayed pretty well.
And this is not the only scene, there are numerous others too, in this particular movie itself. I advise you, to watch it a.s.a.p if you haven’t done already.

farhan and depika

His next acting installment came with Karthik calling Karthik, where he was paired with Deepika padukone. The film was a psychological thriller and dealt with concept of split personality. Although, the film didn’t do that well in the box office, his chemistry with Deepika was much appreciated and so were the songs in the movie. What I thought of it was, the first half was really great, but in terms of describing the plot in the end, they couldn’t do much justice. Still, a brave attempt.

Zoya Akhtar’s next, starring Farhan-Hrithik-Abhay in Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara, was a breath of fresh air.
Who can forget Imran, which was so easily by Farhan and his poetries? Even the “bagwati” is something that everyone remembers. So much so that, there is a twitter handle dedicated to it too.


Of course, he was not just limited to, his new avatar of acting in one movie. He remade Don, starring Shahrukh Khan, and added his own touch to the cult classic. He even went on to do a sequel to it, which turned out to be another hit for his Excel entertainment. He owns the Excel entertainment, along with his childhood friend Ritesh Sidhwani. All the movies that he has acted in have also been produced by the same. Talash being the last movie to come out from the Excel’s stable. He even came out with a celebrity chat show, “Oye! It’s Friday!!” on NDTV-imagine, which had his trademark style and was really entertaining. How, I wish, he could again come back with that show.

Farhan started his filmography by assisting in movies like “Himalayputra” and “Lamhe”, and he only got his director-writer debut with Dil Chahta hai. If, there is one person in bollywood who is truly versatile then that has to be Farhan. From assisting directors to being a director and writer to being an actor, singer and producer to writing dialogues and lyrics, he has done them all. A jack of all trades, who excels in everything he does.

chat show hosted by farhan

Now, eyes are set on Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, an official autobiography of the legend Milkha singh. The teaser has just blown away the audience. The well chiseled out body has surely taking breaths away, and the whole look of farhan have become the talk of the town. And the movie is months away from release. Wishing all the best to Farhan akhtar, for his next movie and the future which promises to look great with every little thing he does. One of the rare celebs, who does not fear voicing his opinions on any social issues and his tweets bear a healthy testimony to it.

[Read the review of the amazing Bhaag Milkha Bhaag here]

meeting with milkha

chiseled body


Right now, he is relaxing at home after getting a haircut from his hairstylist wife Adhuna and celebrating his birthday with his two lovely daughters.

his wife and two daughters

Here’s wishing him a very happy birthday on his 39th birthday. Farhanaitte for life. 🙂


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[Post Edits: Farhan’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag became a superhit, and is Wazir is on his way to become another hit]

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