My Review : Phobia

Prelude :

According the the english dictionary, the actual meaning of ‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing or group.
So, after watching the film, I asked myself “What is my Phobia”? Do I have an extreme fear ? Do I fear a particular thing ??
After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that I do have certain fears ( will not reveal it) but no extreme ones.
But, there is a group of people who go through and constant fears and experiences.

Pavan Kirpalani’s third directorial venture (after Ragini MMS and Darr @ the Mall) juggles with familiar ingredients of the genre – fear, shock, surprise – with a strong plot revolving around fear.

Synopsis :

A sexual assault survivor, the film’s main female protagonist is an independent artist Mehek Deo who is trapped and terrorized by sounds and visuals in her empty apartment.

At the beginning, I did not feel the freshness as it showcases all the ingredients of a regular horror flick. Right from a flat with an eerily locked room, a cracked mirror, a bloodied bath-tub, a black cat etc.
I will not call this film a flawless film or a logical film but the riveting performance by Radhika Apte as a painter lifts the film to a different level.

Phobia is a effectively filmed psychological thriller about a woman whose mind plays with her.

Mehek believes that the house she lives in is the same house where the previous occupant, another woman, was murdered and she suspects the funny looking architect next door, Mannu (Ankur Vikal) of performing that crime.

Late in the second half, the protagonist, her ‘I dont believe you’ boyfriend Shaan (Satyadeep Mishra) and a chirpy young neighbour Nikki (Yashashvini Dayama) get together to perform a ritual (Planchit) in order to call the spirit that they think is hovering over the house.

A couple of scenes will put you on the edge of the seat, and the suspense is definitely nail biting.
The intermission scene will definitely scare the hell out of you.

Performances :

The supporting cast were just about okay: Satyadeep Mishra a friend who only wants sex, Ankur Vikal as the creepy neighbor who has a funny laughter, the newcomer Yahaswini Dayama as a friendly, inquisitive girl who keeps showing up even when she’s not wanted.
The USP of the film is the bold n beautiful Radhika Apte who keeps you glued and reeled in. She’s consistently been doing interesting work. With this one she has raised the bar and it has to be one of her best acts so far.

Verdict :

Though there are parts of the film that are left unexplained. ‪#‎Phobia‬ is a decent thriller which will surprise you after a long time.
A Must Watch

My Review : Sarabjit

Prelude :
Before, I get down with the review, I would like to shamefully confess that I did not know or was aware of an individual name or the sensitive unfortunate case about an individual named ‘Sarabjit’ until Mr Omang Kumar announced that he was making a film on Sarabjit’s life.
Feeling like an illiterate, I quickly googled ‘Sarabjit’ and was quite shocked and heart broken to hear his actual story and how his sister Dalbir fought the battle of justice.
So, naturally I was very thrilled and was looking forward to watch this very biographical film which has been produced by Vashu Bhagnani and directed by Omung Kumar.
Actress Aishwarya Rai played the role of Singh’s sister, Dalbir Kaur, while, Randeep Hooda and Richa Chada essayed the role of Sarbjit Singh and his wife, Sukhpreet, respectively.
The film finally released yesterday and I managed to watch it yesterday it self …..but Alas ! I was not at all impressed watching the the loud and insistent melodrama which tends to take away from the pathos of the main protagonist’s story.

Review :

Plot :

Sarbjit’s story has been well-researched.
He lived with his family—old father, wife Sukh and fiercely loyal sister Dalbir in a Punjab village close to the Indo-Pak border.
He accidentally in a drunken state strayed over the border line one night, and was nabbed by the Pakistani patrol.
That’s when he was put behind bars , tortured, whacked and hung upside down till he was forced into a false confession, and jailed.
His sister Dalbir ,takes up the fight on his behalf. And goes through the hard grind .

Technical :

There script is written in good intention, which talks about the horror of a human forced to suffer physical and mental torture, and later used as a political pawn between two countries.
But the treatment is tiresome and sentimental, and forces you into weeping without actually feeling or relating with the characters.
A real-life tale about a sister’s struggle to free her brother looks artificial but I guess Bollywood lacks that finesse.

-Despite being a very loud film, there are a few good scenes :

1)The Mini flashback scenes of Sarabjit with his family are touching.

2) In one of the sequence, we also see a shocked Aishwarya clinging on to her still-born child. Randeep convinces her to give up the infant’s body. a well written scene, containing rare winning subtle moments.

3) Another rare well written scene where Sarbjit’s family goes to meet him in jail. The frisking of the women in his family is disturbing and also offers a moment where the scene looks authentic in the movie.

Omang debut film, Mary Kom, had no flow from scene to scene and played random scenes on the life of a boxer.

This time the director relies entirely on disjointed narrative with ill-suited songs.

Performances :

Randeep Hooda suited the character and gives a very convincing performance..he stands out in the film.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan did not suit the part as she only screams, shouts and makes the character look very fake.

Richa Chadha and the talented Darshan Kumaar are totally wasted but are decent in their respectable parts.

Verdict :

Overall, Sarbjit Movie is a one time watch or you can give it a miss…It fails to deliver a touching, evokes a keen sense of sadness …instead shows us only melodrama. Give It A Miss !!!

.

My Review : Sairat

Prelude :

Yesterday, thank fully I did not have shoot and got an entire day off to myself.
So, apart from just lazying around I decided to watch the most ‘talked-about’ latest marathi film Sairat.
I being a total film buff, dont usually get an opportunity to watch or follow marathi films coz I do not understand the language Marathi.
One of my colleagues confirmed that this particular film has released with subtitles, so thats why I decided to go ahead and watched it.

Sairat, will be my second Marathi film at the theatres after ‘Tujhya Vin Mar Javaan’

I have always supported and showed keen desire to watch regional cinema .
I’ve watched a few acclaimed films already and found some films fascinating like ‘Dombivili Fast’ and ‘Pune 52’, Duniyadari, Harish Chandra Fcatory etc Then there’s ‘Natsamrat’, which I unfortunately missed-(
It’s not about difference in themes but freshness in treatment.
Most of our life stories are similar. Only the screenplay is different. Marathi and Malayalam cinema portray similar stuff and believe in same knid of cinema and ‘realism’

Review :

Frankly speaking, there is nothing new about the poor-boy-rich-girl love story in Sairat. Talented Director Nagaraj Manjule has said that his film is a tribute to the classic love stories of mainstream Hindi cinema like QayamatSe Qayamat Tak and Ek Duuje Ke Liye.

Unlike the Bollywood films, Sairat is not a very stylish n colourful romantic film showcasingnice rich colourful frames
or a good looking pair. It doesnot involve the cuteness of Bollywood love sagas.

The plot outline of Sairat basically talks about a ultimate protest against any kind of opposition to two individuals in love.

Synopsis:

A fisherman’s son, a Kale, is in love with the landlord’s daughter, a Patil.
The fall in love and they start seeing each other.
Secretly at first, but their meeting gets frequent with passing time. The problem is that Aarchi is not just from the upper class, her father (Vishwakarma) is a powerful politician, and her brother Prince (Pawar) is following his footsteps.
Their entire affair becomes a recipe for trouble, and as expected, trouble arrives.
Parshya with the help of his friends, Baalya (Galgunde) and Salya (Shaikh), they decide to make a run for it, but fate has other plans. They run away to Hyderabad, and make a life there. They get married, have a kid. The rest of the story is about their struggle..the climax will give you goosebumps.

Technical :

The Director Mr. Manjule didn’t feel the need to make the pair look perfect, the real treatment of the film doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

The script is strong and keep you hooked through out. Birds are well used in the film.
Sometimes you will notice the birds flying in the air in complex formations, shapes seamlessly bending inwards and inverting to become other shapes, as when Parshya and Archie first admit their love for each other.

The film is visually good and few shots scenes and shots have been very creatively designed and executed.

1) When Parshya decides to give Archie a love letter ..the transition shots beween the scenes are well executed and shown.

2) The high speed shots of Parshya swimming and running looks rich and brings about a good build up.

3) The top angle shots using Drone look breathakingly beautiful.

The dramatic scenes look realistic, effortlessly manipulating your emotions.

I personally found the film very disturbing and heart breaking, The film’s narrative is realistic, gritty, intense and will give you goose bumps.
I really cannot say how many people will enjoy it but it will have a lasting impression on your mind for quite some time.

My only complaint is that Sairat is too long and could easily have been shorter by at least by 30 minutes.
This would have helped greatly in the overall impact. Ther films tends to drag a little post climax.

Performances :

The characters are all stereotypes with a slight difference in the shades. All the performances are real and well balanced..no one seems to go over the top or look superficial.

Verdict :

Overall, Sairat is not a real version of Shakespeare’s Rome & Juliet but a real film which talks about a love story about two socially unequal people.

While I recommend it, I’d also warn the audience to watch it with a strong heart and please spread the word after you like it.

My Review : Azhar

Prelude :
I have an early morning shoot tom & guess what ?,
I m still up this time of the night, full awake, feeling enthusiastic and very energetic coz I am writing the review of a film ,which I just watched half an hour ago…its not just a film..the name of the movie is ‪#‎Azhar‬

Frankly speaking, I have never been a fan or have much followed the work or matches of the Ace Cricketer Mohd Azharuddin but I still so wanted to watch this film because of Mr Emraan Hashmi…trust me he will impress you through out…but the film fails-(

The film begins with a verbose disclaimer telling us that while this is a film on former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, it is not a biopic and that the characters in the film are fictionalized along with situations etc.
I will also not like to call this film a biopic because most of the scenes are fictionalized and true names have not been disclosed..in other words, it is loosely based on true events.

Review :

Synopsis :

The film opens in New Delhi 2000 showing a cricketer called Manoj participating in a sting operation that implicates the Indian test captain Azhar. Later the South African cricketer Hansie Cronje accuses the Indian batsman in a match fixing case.
Hence,Azhar is banned when he has completed 99 matches for India.

A helpless Azhar (Emraan Hashmi) who has no other option but to his seek help from a lawyer friend Reddy (Kunaal Roy Kapur).
The other side of the case is being represented by the UK-based lawyer Mira (Lara Dutta).
As Reddy begins his background research, Azhar takes us through his life story.
We are taken down the memory lane of his birth in 1963, his grandfather (Kulbushan Kharbanda’s who is the most important person in Azhar’s life.
The second half only deals with Azhar proving himself innocent.

Technical :

According to me, the movie ‘Azhar’ was presumably made because it had such a controversial figure at its centre, arising out of the fixing-matches-for-money controversy itself, which had such a deep- impact on the game not just nationally but internationally.
This movie has been made to clear the real player’s name and also to glorify him.

There is no intelligence or sharpness in the script — and follows the same predictable template and the same ingredients of commercial cinema.
This could have been a great inspiring tale about cricket or the cricket culture, which at the time fell prey to big money and glamour and never-ending temptations.
But the film, instead becomes a regular stuff Bollywood churns out, the cricket just becomes the background for masaledaar dialogues and songs.

The shots and blocking techniques are not good in the film..the director lacks imagination and has only used and played with C/S Shots through out the film. You will hardly notice the scene or the environment being established in the frame.

the first half is fast paced, but in the second half, as the facts become unclear and the narrative becomes convenient , the film ends up dragging towards the end.

But , Azhar overall is a commercially sound film and will appeal to the masses.

Performances :

Emraan Hashmi is good and he plays himself in the film with the same swag and style.

Prachi Desai is decent and plays her part with perfect ease.

Kunaal Roy Kapur is the best and pays the role of the lawyer friend Reddy with a lot of conviction and perfection.

The rest of the cast is totally miscast – Nargis Fakhri did not look and act the part Sangeeta & none of the supporting actors look anything like their real-life counterparts especially Gautam Gulati as Ravi (Shastri) and Varun Badola as Kapil (Dev).

Verdict :

Overall, Azhar is a watchable film but falls short of being either insightful, or inspiring. Emraan Hashmi has done a swell job..watch it this weekend-)-)