My Review : Love Sonia

My Review : Love Sonia

About the film :

Directed by Tabrez Noorani, “Love Sonia”, inspired by true events, is a shocking story of a young Indian village girl who gets entrapped in the global sex trade while trying to save her sister.

Debutante Mrunal Thakur is in the title role, with another newcomer, Riya Sisodiya, as her sister.

Womark, who co-produced “Life of Pi” with director Ang Lee and Gil Netter, says “sexual slavery, among other social malaises, emerges from the lack of gender balance in the society”.

After a long time, audience will get to see an unique cast from Bollywood as well as Hollywood in one film.

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Synopsis :

A poverty-ridden farmer (Adil Hussain) struggles hard to fight poverty and desperation. Despite the poor circumstances, his daughters — Sonia (Mrunal Thakur) and Preeti choose to be happy.

But their happiness is short lived, when their frustrated father decides to sell off Preeti to a local landlord (Anupam Kher) for money. Naïve, shattered and hopeful, Sonia sets off to look for her missing sister without anticipating the ugly repercussions. Her search drags her to Mumbai’s dark underbelly and entraps her in the horrific world of flesh trade and prostitution.

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Technical :

Love Sonia is not an easy watch. It narates a disturbing account that makes your stomach churn. You begin to cringe as the horror unfold layer by layer right before your eyes.

Disturbing, gritty and Dark, Noorani’s honest execution almost suffocates you and also  gives you closer look at reality, which is hard to believe. There are scenes in which the girls are transported like objects in containers are pretty shocking.

The film scores well on an awareness level and will give you a good amount of shock value, but the story isn’t very emotionally compelling. The bond between the sisters isn’t established well for you to feel for their separation.

The first half  is tight and riveting but the second half the film becomes deliberate and predictable nature, especially the bits in Hong Kong and Los Angeles don’t deliver the same emotional layer. The film fails to unfold organically and loses its grip on your attention. Situations look convinient and hurried towards the end.

Cameos by American actors Demi Moore and Mark Duplass add no value to the film

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Performances :

The USP of ‘Love Sonia’ is its Spectacular Cast -Debutante actress Mrunal Thakur essays the  lead character Sonia with sheer conviction.

Richa Chadha in a significant role leaves her mark as an actor once again and Rajkumar Rao shines in his cameo. Freida Pinto is a revelation.

Manoj Bajpai is simply brilliant.

Special mention goes to our very own Anupam Kher and Sai Tamhankar for their significant contribution.

Verdict :

Overall, Love Sonia is a powerful film sans the emotions…. worth a watch.

 

 

 

 

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My Review : Manmarziyan

My Review : Manmarziyan

Prelude :

I don’t know how many of you know this? originally the film ‘Manmarziyaan’ was suppose to be directed by Mr Samir Sharma ( Director of Luv suv the Chicken Khurana) and it starred ‘Ayushman Khurana & Bhumi Trivedi’.

But due to creative differences between the producer Anand L Rai & director  Samir...the project had to be stalled for sometime and was later offered to the talented director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari ( Director of Neel Battey Sanata & Bareilly ki Barfi) but due to other professional engagements Director Ashwini Iyer had to step out and finally and surprisingly while producing ‘Mukkabaaz’ Mr Anand L Rai offered the film to the prolific film maker Mr Anurag Kashyap.

Review :

Director Anurag Kashyap loves music. If his first commercial hit film Dev D had been sold as a musical, there is no reason why  ‘Manmarziyaan’  shouldn’t be left out. But without quibbling over details, we must tell you it’s a treat to watch

As in innumerable films, the story’s about a love triangle. But the subject has been handled well and the actors perform up to par. Ah, before we forget, it’s also a tearjerker.

In other words, Manmarziyaan will remind you of the classic ‘Hum dil de chuke Sanam’ with the the Tinder and GeN X punch.

Though the film is perpetually busy over its 150-odd minutes, there’s little forward movement, and a lot of sideways shuffling.

Synopsis:

Rumi (Taapsee Pannu)a free-spirited, strong headed young woman and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal), a young man waiting for his music break are in love and they can’t keep their hands off each other.

When they’re caught red-handed by Rumi’s family, pressure builds up to get married. But Vicky has cold feet and keeps avoiding Rumi’s request to bring his parents over and ask her hand in marriage.

Eventually, she gives up on him and agrees to an arranged marriage.

That’s when Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), a banker, enters the proverbial love triangle. What happens next, is the rest of the story.Manmarziyan Review

Technical : ( No Spoilers Ahead…Promise)

To begin with, Kanika Dhillon’s script is fairly entertaining and enjoyable in the many ways, the film gets its grip within 20 to 25 minutes into the film. The usage of wandering musicians just like in “Life…In A Metro” A pair of (real) twin sisters Poonam and Priyanka Shah coming in at intervals to dance during apt junctures. They are characters totally unconnected with the plot…overall, the script is ‘Old wine in a new bottle’

You will undoubtedly enjoy the energy of the first 60 minutes or so of the film, the chemistry between Rumi and Vicky, the interpretation of songs, actor Vicky Kaushal‘s infectious charisma and Dhillon’s hilarious dialogues is the icing on the cake along with the excellent comic timing of the cast.

I have another issue, Why does Bollywood always portray a strong and a bold woman as a smoker, a consumer of alcohol, sexually wild, abusive and rebellious ??  A tough woman is not always matches with the points above ( reminds me of Tanu in Tanu weds Manu)

Though the film is perpetually busy over its 150-minutes, there’s little forward movement in the second half as sequences and moods keep repeating it self..the first half is long but the second half is even more lengthy as the writer and the director struggle to fill in the missing spaces and maintain the momentum and take you towards the long drawn climax.

 The best part about this film are the performances, songs and Sylvester Fonseca’s cinematography, Amit Trivedi’s songs are well-researched and he has relied heavily on punjabi and rock music.

The song ‘Dhayaanchand’ is beautifully picturised. Another good song is the opening song ‘Grey Wala Shade’, which begins slow and slowly grows into you. By itself, again, like the other songs, it’s beautifully picturised.Manmarziyan Review1

Performances :

The USP of the film is Taapsee, who is simply splendid again after “Pink,” “Naam Shabana” and “Mulk.” She effortlessly shines in all her scenes with every co-star, and her beauty will keep you mesmerised throughout.

Vicky Kaushal does it again after “Raazi” and “Sanju” and is extremely natural as the hyper short tempered Vicky of the film. You just want to see more and more of him.

Abhishek Bachchan is back with what he does best….he skilfully underplays his role, and will remind you of his character ‘Prem’ in ‘Prem ki Diwani Hoon’. It’s a delight to watch Junior Bachchan after a long time.

A special mention goes to Neelu Kohli and Vikram Kochhar for their brilliant performances in their respective roles.

The climax is long yet remarkable. No violence, no emotional drama etc– just an extended walk-and-talk between Rumi and Robbie ( Bas no more spoilers).  The ending looks fresh as it is so beautifully written and acted that when the movie ends…you will be bound to have a smile on your face.

Verdict :

Overall, Manmarziyaan is Anurag’s first love story film and its definitely worth the watch. You might feel afraid to fall in love or find love complex. Strongly Recommended.

My Review : STREE

My Review : STREE

Prelude:

O Stree Kal Aana’ is a popular folk legend which features prominently in rural areas across India – namely Andhra Pradesh, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka. ‘O Stree Kal Aana’ has been found written on walls of small towns and villages for years now. Villagers write this on walls to deter the entry of ‘Stree’ into their homes. So when the ghost reads it and it goes back to come again the next day and the cycle repeats.

‘Stree’, which literally means lady or woman, is believed to be a bridal ghost who roams around the town in search of her husband. She is known to take away the man of the house who is often the sole earning member of the family, therefore, bringing bad luck to the entire household.

Nale Ba was an urban legend viral during the 1990s in Karnataka. The myth goes “a witch roams the streets in the night and knocks the door.

There is no definite origin or proof of this tale, but superstition has lead villagers to still keep the tradition alive.

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Review :

The conceit of Amar Kaushik’s new movie offers immense promise: It talks about a unsatisfied witch who drifts along the margins of a small village named Chanderi in order to abduct men and trap them. The witch visits on the four nights of the annual puja and abducts only the menfolk while leaving their clothes behind.

Synopsis :

A tailor in Chanderi, Vicky suddenly falls head over heels with a mysterious beautiful girl who only appears during festival season. Her frequent disappearing acts makes his friends suspicious about her and they start believing that she could be the witch who is haunting the town.

After one of Vicky’s friends disappear, Vicky attempts to find out more about this urban legend. He comes across a book in Rudra’s library which tells the story behind the witch Stree but finds that some of the pages are missing. He notices a picture from the book and realises that he knows that place. He visits that place with Rudra and his friend Bittu to find out more about her story.

No more bloopers….watch the film now.

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Technical :

With a more cohesive, tighter screenplay, Stree is an extremely entertaining film – after all it’s got a solid plot, and unlike most of recent horror comedies, it’s not tasteless and entirely pointless either. But because the screenplay quickly find its feet, the film smoothly travels through its first half keeping you at the edge through out.

Take away all that puerile humour in the film’s first half involving, Stree is not so bad after all. However, the star of the film, no questions asked, is Rajkumar Rao who has evolved into a bankable actor, he’s the reason to watch this film.

The second half could have been written more cleverly as the film rushes towards a messy climax that feels convenient and easy.

The cinematography by Amalendu Chaudhery is top notch as he successfully gets us enthralled into the gritty, scary and narrow lanes of Chanderi.

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I have a big question/query – If this Stree phenomenon has been happening every year, what was so special about this year ? why was Vicky and his friends so oblivious about it ? Why didn’t Pankaj Tripathy’s character who seem to know everything about ‘the Stree’ reveal the story in the previous years?

I still couldn’t understand the Climax clearly… ( No spoilers please)

Performances :

Rajkumar Rao is in full form and delivers flawlessly. Shraddha Kapoor is passable and decent. A special mention goes to the talented Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee and the best Mr Pankaj Tripathy for their amazing performances.

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Verdict :

So then that’s 4 out of five and a top rating for director Amar Kaushik’s debut Stree it’s a film that could have easily been so much more. But simply because it’s different from anything else you’ve seen recently, give it a chance. spread the word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review : Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

My Review : Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

The First Instalment of Happy Bhag Jayegi reminds you of the Julia Roberts starrer Runaway Bride, although in both films the plot is set into motion after the female protagonist, a bride-to-be, makes a disappearing act on her wedding day. Treating that idea as merely a starting point, writer-director Mudassar Aziz constructs a sequel to carry forward the story but introduces us to a new ‘Happy’ protagonist which is played by the talented Sonakshi Sinha.

The film is once again co-produced by Anand L Rai, and like his Tanu Weds Manu movies, Happy Bhag Phirr Jayegi also benefits from crackling dialogue and colorful supporting characters who often steal the scene through out the film. Piyush Mishra, playing a bumbling Pakistani cop gets some of the film’s best lines and funniest moments like when his chaste Urdu raises Bagga’s hackles. ‘Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi’ review: inconsistent and farcical

Plot : 

Diana reprises her role in a cameo in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi even as it diverts its gaze to another Punjabi girl called Harpreet aka Happy, this one played by Sonakshi Sinha.

The Chinese Mafia wants to get hold of ‘Happy’ and take her hubby ‘Guddu’ hostage as they want to black mail Happy to strike a political deal with her friend ‘Bilal’ in Pakistan on behalf of the Chinese.

On the day of kidnap, a different ‘Happy a.k.a Harpreet Kaur gets wrongly abducted and hence the chase and the confusion begins.

According to me, the plot /premises seems very fragile and unconvincing. The mafia gang can kidnap any of Bilal’s close associates…but why a friend Happy??

Diana Penty and Sonakshi Sinha in a still from Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi. YouTube

Technical :

This premise is absurd and the filmmakers try and maintain a light and breezy tone throughout. The laughs come forced but frequent in the first half as we watch the chaos that ensues on either side in the wake of this incident.

But the film loses some of its steam post intermission when the over the top comedy takes over. The suggestion of a love triangle involving Khushi, Happy and Bagga never rings true, and the climax feels rushed and a tad convenient.

Although the film retains it’s original title from its female protagonist, the new Happy is frankly a very colourful and compelling of the film’s characters. It’s a well written part and Sonakshi successfully gets into the skin of the character.

Clocking in at a little over two hours, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is mostly fun despite its shortcomings, because the humor is earned. The jokes are mined from the characters and the scenarios they find themselves in; they’re never merely slapped onto the narrative like in so many films. It’s far from perfect, but it’s unlikely you’ll be bored.Image result for happy phirr bhag jayegi movie

Performances :

If you have to compare, Sonakshi Sinha does great justice to her character ‘Happy’ much better than Diana (no hard feelings) Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi gives her the chance to showcase her comic timing and she does so with a lot of ease, leading the charge in an ensemble cast of talented actors.

New entrants Denzil Smith and Jason Tham, show up as the Chinese Mafias , and get a lot of scope on screen. Veteran actors like Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra, reprise their Bagga-Afridi ‘jodi’ and become the saving grace in most of the parts.

Punjabi Actor Jassi Gill shines through out and delivers a good performance. You will miss ‘Bilal’ (Abhay Deol)

Aparshakti Khurrana is full of surprises.

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Verdict :

Overall, Happy Phirr Bhag jayegi scores despite its flaws…a must watch this weekend

 

 

 

My Review : GOLD

My Review : GOLD

Prelude :

The Indian men’s hockey team won the country’s first Olympic medal as a free nation in 1948 at the 14th London Olympiad. The captain of the new team was Kishen Lal,with KD Singh (Babu)being the vice-captain. This was the first time when India marched holding the tricolour, as a free nation, in the opening ceremony at the Wembley Stadium.
This was the fourth consecutive gold medal for India in the sport, and its first as an independent nation.

The film is apparently said to be based on the life of hockey player Balbir Singh who was in the team that won the first Olympic medal for India as a free nation in 1948at the 14th London Olympiad.
Even after having some unbeaten records written in his name, the legendary player never got the recognition he deserved.  Even after retiring from the field, Balbir Singh didn’t part ways from the national game of the country. He remained associated with the game as a coach and a manager of the Indian Hockey Team.

Director Reema helms the film, who is known for films like ‘Honeymoon Travels PVT LTd’and ‘Talaash.

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Plot :

Gold is the basic, every-single-sports-movie story of a Bengali junior manager Tapan Das who puts together a team of aspiring hockey players to do the impossible — here winning the Olympic gold. 

This is undoubtedly a challenging role for Akshay Kumar, the superstar doing decently well as he tackles a talented cast and makes the film a believable piece of work . Stop looking up Miracle, A League Of Their Own or The Mighty DucksDVDs –– it’s a straight sports film, and you walk into the theatre knowing how it’s going to turn out.

The focus/ spotlight squarely on Tapan Das, a team manager grappling with his own set of issues in a battle to stay relevant in free India’s hockey plans and how he motivates an entire team to win the Olympic Gold.Gold Movie Review: Akshay Kumar Is Biggest Weakness In Film That Glitters Only Intermittently

Technical:

The first half takes its time to buildup, predictably. There’s no surprise as the tale unfolds, and the horrible, overwhelming background score tries too hard — this is, after all a Bollywood film, and considering that they’ve gone for a no-heroine authentic sports movie, we ought allow them that major concession — and is further undercut by trite, jingoistic dialogue. Granted, these come at occasional moments, but the melodrama truly jars. Tapan Das holds the film together as Reema and the rest of the cast gradually get to grips — with both lines and sticks.

The second half tends to dip due to its long length and unwanted scenes. The film becomes less compelling, constant, and leaves a lot of room for filler.

‘Gold’ isn’t quite a Lagaan or a Chak De selecting the sport more trodden rather than the one conventionally heralded, and so it isn’t likely to expect applause in the aisles as the team manages to unite together. It is, however, more of a sports film talking about the story of an individual overshadowing the story of a team.

Reema’s film struggles a bit, clearly trying hard to strike a balance between classic melodrama and the sporting genre. There are times when it tries to straddle the fence hastily, even failing badly, and as a result the movie, while a perfectly good sporting film, seems to have lost the edge we might have expected from the ‘Talaash’ director. It’s a fine, true-blooded sports movie though, and ek watch banta hai.gold movie review,gold movie akshay kumar,akshay kumar

Performances :

Akshay Kumar has done his best but is the weakest link as far the performances are concerned. Amit Sadh and Sunny Kaushal ( Vicky Kaushal’s brother) shines through out. Vineet Kumar Singh and Kunal Kapoor are at their best.

Verdict :

You know what’s going to happen, but it’s a Good watch — and especially satisfying to see the Indian flag being hoisted during the climax.

My Review : Mulk

My Review : Mulk

Prelude :

While all of us want to stay away from the court of law and the legal matters in our personal lives, Don’t we love watching the courtroom drama on big screens? The drama, the arguments and the tension till the judge announces the final judgement are the things which make the scenes intriguing and interesting.

In order to create such attention-grabbing courtroom dramas on screen, a solid script, thorough research and strong groundwork. When it comes to such films, the makers have to follow original rules and guidelines of the law and ethics. Although not many films have been made on this fan-favourite genre, Bollywood has successfully delivered some brilliant creations centred on courtroom drama and the latest released flick ‘Mulk’

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Plot :

The story revolves around : Murad Ali Mohammed (Rishi Kapoor), a well-respected lawyer in his small mohalla of Benaras. His daughter-in-law, Aarti Mohammed, (Taapsee Pannu), is also a Hindu and a lawyer by profession.

Following a bomb blast,  Murad Ali’s younger brother Bilal’s son, Shahid Mohammed (Prateik Babbar) becomes a suspected terrorist but refuses to surrender to the police and gets shot.

This horrific incident changes the lives of everyone in the family and Shahid’s father, Bilaal Mohammed (Manoj Pahwa) is taken into police custody under suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities also. The entire mohalla turns against them, and Murad Ali has no other option but to defend his brother and prove that they are as patriotic as anybody else in the country.

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Technical :

Director Anubhav Sinha sets out to lay bare the prejudice that often precedes people’s perception of the Muslim community in our country and also throws light on how people fall prey to political agendas and earn a bad reputation. The film clearly tells us that terrorism has no religion.

The first half is light and slow but post intermission, the film turns into a dramatic courtroom sequence, which will make you think about the  impression we have on the religion Islam. Cinematography by Evan Mulligan was top notch, right from hand held shots to capturing  the bylanes of small town India.

The music is average but the dialogues and writing keeps you hooked through out.  Mulk undoubtedly focusses on some hard-hitting and relevant issues, while also highlighting the crucial role that the people and various media play in dispersal of the right news and facts to everyone.

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Performances :

Rishi Kapoor and Tapsee Pannu holds the film together along with a few strong supporting star cast like the talented Neena Gupta and the talented Manoj Pawah. A Special mention goes to the talented Kumud Mishra and Pratiek Babbar for their respective performances.

Verdict :

Mulk is Anubhav Sinha’s best film till date and it deals with a very relevant topic. A Must Watch for all.

 

 

 

 

 

My Review : Karwaan

My Review : Karwaan

Prelude:

It’s not the first time that critics and me are not on the same boat coz there were many films in the past which were panned by them but loved by me…So creativity is subjective especially in the field of ‘Cinema’ How and why an individual gets connected to a certain film is never known or well defined. I hated ‘Sanju’ but there was a large majority of people who immensely loved it….So ‘Karwaan’ is such kind of film…which has been heavily panned by the critics but believe me, I immensely loved it and want to watch it again.

Plot :

After the forgettable comedy flick ‘Hijack’ writer and director Akarsh Khurana’s second flick is based on Director Bejoy Nambiar’s story,  with its own flavour and touch. The story revolves around three individuals – IT professional Avinash (Dulquer Salman), his friend Shaukat (Irrfan) and Tanya (Mithila Palkar) – belong to different age groups who are quite radically different from each other as individuals. One is reticent and introvert, other is outgoing yet conservative and the third one is rebellious, bold and always ready to experiment. The only point that seems to bind them are their father issues. Tanya lost hers to cancer when young, Shaukat couldn’t take the violent streak of his own, while Avinash seems to be suffocated under the strict, conservative ways of his dad.

Their destinies collide as all three of them undertake a long road trip for exchanging two bodies (of Avinash’s father and Tanya’s grandmother) that have mistakenly delivered to the other address. However, despite this extraordinary theme, the journey itself is as much about day to day moments and few funny situations that the three land themselves in.

Technical : ( No spoilers ahead)

The script /writing did seem to be a little cold and lazy…the first half seems tight and relatable but post intermission the film takes a very convenient turn and takes a lot of time to get to the point where the major portion of the film is almost over. The second half is only filled with random events but fails to progress. Hence, it feels a little contrived.

The films does begin to grow on you after a while but you don’t get very emotionally attached to any of the characters but you kinda impressed with their respective performances. Inspite of the sloppy writing, Karwaan will make you laugh and will shower you with everyday wisdom and its bitter insights.

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Performances :

The performances are the key high point of the film, all the three actors are finely tuned with each other. Mithila Palkar is fresh and sweet and portrays her character with a lot of ease.

Irrfan is the only actor who makes comedy seem effortless and seamless with his deadpan look and the impeccable comic timing along with Hussain Dalal’s hilarious lines.

Malayalam Heartthrob Dulquer Salman makes his Hindi film debut in a very fine way. You do notice interesting touches in the young actor’s performance — from the natural expressions to the body language (his hindi accent was decent).Dulquer brings in something special and endearing.

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Verdict :
Overall, Karwaan is a fun ride and a watchable flick…ignore the reviews and go ahead. If you have missed Irfan Khan..this flick is a must watch.