My Review :Brahman Naman

Prelude :

So, Yesterday night, once again I got the opportunity to attend the
All India Premiere show of the upcoming english language film Brahman Naman. ( uncensored)
Thanks to my twin bro Jeet Basu for arranging special exclusive passes for me ( Your MAMI contacts came in handy bro).

I was in two minds, before watching this very film uncensored, because I had already watched the trailer and trust me it was raunchy as hell with no-holds-barred raunchiness.
On one hand I was curious and on the other hand I was a little uncomfortable.

After getting rave reviews at Sundance, the coming of age nerd sex comedy will stream exclusively on Netflix worldwide later this year.
This global push for Brahman Naman feeds into both the company’s expansion plans in India as well as targeting the large Indian fans of Indian cinema around the world.

Review :

Coming back to the film, this time the maker of the cult movie Gandu Q who is considered one of India’s most provocative indie filmmakers; his filmography includes Gandu, Tasher Desh and Ludo brings you a teen sex comedy, Brahman Naman,talks about three sexually-starved teenagers who set out to win the National Quiz Championship.
Their goal is not only to win the championship but also to lose their virginity.
The mood and the style of the film is set to a classic rock soundtrack (including Rod Stewart’s ‘Infatuation’ and Jethro Tull’s ‘Locomotive Breath’),along with a number of scenes hinting at masturbation and oral sex.

Technical :

Barring the story/ plot,Mr Q is technically sound and I just love his visuals. According to me the story could have been better as it somehow loses track and gets boring.
Though no doubt there’s enough meat here already to trouble local censors lollsz
The team imvolved in making this film is pretty renowned such as the co-producers are Celine Loop and Steve Barron, whose credits as a director include 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and iconic music videos such as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing.”

Performances :

Brahman Naman stars Shashank Arora (who starred in Titli ) as the title character who leads his quiz-team members, with Tanmany Dhanania and Chaitanya Varad as his colleagues.
The cast also includes Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy and Sid Mallya.

The entire cast were simply amazing and energetic.

Verdict :

Brahman Naman is Indian cinema at its boldest and unpleasantly funny, I was a bit uncomfortable watching it..I do not know about you guys. watch it at your risk.

My Review : Raman Raghav 2.0

Prelude :

So, who is Raman Raghav ?
A series of murders occurred in the outskirts of Mumbai in August 1968. Pavement dwellers were bludgeoned to death while they slept. All the murders took place at night and were committed using a hard, blunt object.
This was witnessed by Krithika who then released this information to the Mumbai police. At the time a suspicious looking man found loitering in the area had been picked up by the police.
His name was Raman Raghav, a homeless man, and he was already in police files, having spent 5 years in prison for robbery.
He also raped his sister before he killed her with several stab wounds. However, as no hard evidence could be found against him (none of the survivors had seen this man) the police let him go.
Very little is known about Raghav’s early life or circumstances that led him to commit the crimes. These crimes consisted of murder, assault, and many others.
Raman Raghav is thought to be India’s worst and most horrific serial killer.
Indian filmmaker Sriram Raghavan produced a 70-minute short film on Raman Raghav, starring Raghuvir Yadav in the lead role.

But, Anurag Kashyap (director)‘s latest flick Raman Raghav 2.0 is not based on the life of Raman Raghav or its a biopic ( I wish it was)…
it talks about how Raman meets Raghav or what is the actual meaning of Raman Raghav 2.0 ? the movie is as bizarre as it sounds.

After the failure of ‘Bombay Velvet’ I still had a lot of faith in Mr Anurag Kashyap as I have always loved his work and cinema…but I was once again disappointed with this latest flick.

Review :

Frankly speaking, the maverick director Anurag Kashyap is clearly going through a story crisis at the moment, I seriously miss his previous work and films. Is this a work of his arrogance ?? or has he forgotten how to churn out good stories ?? has he sold his soul?

All these questions kept cropping up in my mind, while I very reluctantly sat through the boring film having wasted my money.

Synopsis :

Set in the present day Mumbai, tells us the story of a brutal serial killer from the 1960’s, Ramanna and his strange obsession with the cop Raghavan…he follows and spies on him without his knowledge and often creates situations where both of them come face to face. So does Raman finally meet Raghav ?

Technical :

I was so eager to know more about what made Raman become such a monster, what made him who he is, what makes him do the things he does.
The best part of the film is with his sister (Amruta Subhash), which briefly talks about the disturbed past and is the most effective part of the film, but it is too brief.

Another good scene – Raghavan, Kaushal has a scene in his home with his father ,which showcases us a hint of an unusual father-and-son relationship.
But the film doesn’t explore much or talks about these two aspects, it goes back to its brutal gory murders.

We don’t get to know Raghav very closely-( why is he so brutal ? why does he commit murders ? why is he so addicted to drugs ? we just have to accept him the way he is..I found it so half baked.

The lack of detailing in the script reduces the potential of the story line and the character played by Nawazuddin whose shining eyes and the chilling presence doesn’t add to up to showing us what he really is.

The major problem with this film, is that it doesn’t give its characters enough nuance to carry on with and that is one reason we don’t get the layers which will lead us into an understanding.
Through this film, Kashyap tries to draw parallels between a serial killer and a cop: how they can at times be a reflection to each other, by mercilessly commit crimes and get away with them, but he doesn’t explore their relationship.
Raman Raghav 2.0 feels like watching two separate short films, where one film is made just about watchable, by a talented actor, while the rest of the film is a boring affair-(

I don’t see any kind of cinematic blocking of scenes and shots in this flick, Mr Kashyap has shot the entire film with very close shots and handheld movements making me feel very suffocated.
Unlike his previous films he never opens the block or plays with wide shots-(

Performances :

Vicky Kaushal – He is the USP of the film, he excels right from the first frame with his top notch performance. I seriously found him better than Nawaz . This guy will go a long way.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui– He does not offer u anything new or fresh. He is exactly the same with his Badlapur hang over. He should seriously take a break from negative roles as he is getting repetitive.

New comer Sobhita Dhulipala looks hot but doesnot get much scope to showcase her talent.

Other performances, by Mukesh Chabra, Vipin Sharma & Amruta Subhash were terrific.

Verdict :

Overall, Raman Raghav 2.0 is not interesting, not scary, not fast paced as the trailer promised..it does fail to make a larger point.
Give it a miss…Not recommended-(-( Hindi film Industry deserves better…

My Review : 7 Hours to Go

Prelude :
Frankly speaking, I rarely get passes or invites to movie premieres or screenings.
This time, I was kinda lucky..Thank you to my friend cum brother Ujwal Heffa, who was sweet enough to invite me for the Premiere show of the upcoming hindi film 7 Hours To Go Movie which releases this Friday.
So, if I have to count..this is my 6th Movie premiere experience..and like always, I have no regrets with this one too.

Review :

It’s difficult to explain ‘what a decent watch’ the film 7 Hours to Go. is without giving away too much about the film.
Coz believe me, it’s a film best seen without any expectations or impressions. It’s a film whose charm lies in its unraveling.

Films about terrorists holding a city to ransom aren’t a novel concept anymore.
It’s a theme that’s been exploited many times over in the movies, especially in standard Bollywood action films & also Hollywood Films

What elevates 7 hours to go from an average action hostage thriller is the fact that it comes loaded with a very solid tight first half and It’s well-intended and makes its point emphatically.

Synopsis :

After the success of ‘Mickey Virus’ directed by Saurabh Varma gives us 7 Hours To Go is pegged a “crisp thriller” about a man who witnesses an incident in a courthouse in Mumbai and is forced to take hostages. He gives the Mumbai police seven hours to solve the mystery.

Technical :

The movie begins absolutely to the point and keeps us hooked till the intermission point. The fast cuts, steady cam movements, fast visuals keeps the first half fast paced and intriguing.
The first half will tend to confuse you and make you ask a lot of questions..I guess the director consciously executed this way inorder to keep us guessing till the end.

The second half, post intermissiom lies the problem, the entire plot ends up to a convenient & hurried ending. Few explanations seemed unconvincing and remains un-solved.
The motivations towards the climax did not sound novel & believable.

The jarring background score used to create suspense and the overdramatic slo-mo stylization and jump cuts of the characters are about the only things that irritated me.

Dissecting the film in further detail would amount to giving away too much, and I don’t want to make that mistake.
7 Hours To Go may not be a perfect film – there are clichés that could have been easily avoided, and you may or may not agree with the convenient end – but the film still makes a very important point, and does it bravely, so you’re willing to overlook its handful of flaws.

Performances :

The director assembles an ensemble of fine actors who perform their roles competently .

To begin with Varun Badola does an amazing job as the ACP ghatke, he is undountedly one of the USP of the film.

Shiv Pandit – shines in this film with a performance that is measured and meticulous. It’s the most challenging of all roles in this film and the other actors allow Pandit to steal the film.

Meanwhile, Sandeepa Dhar is decent but I some how feel she doesnot have the screen presence or the body language of a tough cop, she is only made for romantic flicks.

New comer RJ Rohit Vir does a swell job as the main villain, he has a great screen presence and a strong deep voice ( A reputed Mumbai RJ afterall). he will go a long way.

I was very happy to see my buddy Aakash Dabhade who plays his character with a lot of conviction like always. ( Best Hai !)

Verdict :

Overall, 7 Hours To Go is a watchable thriller with a lot of twists and turns.
It belongs in the same space as the ‘A Wednesday’ & the Speed.
This flick releases this Friday, you can give it a try this weekend.

My Review : Udta Punjab

Prelude :

So, before I get on with my review..A big shout out..a loud one-)
I have finally watched the most awaited, most controversial, the most hyped,the most talked about film UDTA Punjab.
Btw, I have a shoot tom & I am awake at this time of the night and penning down my review..trust me this very film is absolutely worth all the fuss.

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career… But why would I want to do a thing like that?” Even if you haven’t seen Udta Punjab or Trainspotting, you’ll be aware of the opening lines of Danny Boyle’s 1996 masterpiece. ( this film reminded me of it).

There have been plenty of films about the drug culture, almost all of them adopting a moral tone that liberals can conveniently call ‘responsible’. But there have been none quite like Abhishek Chaubey’s Latest flick Udta Punjab.

When this film was announced, I initially thought it to be a romantic Punjabi Love story..but trust me..I was wrong-(

Review :

I wish everyone I care about would see ‘Udta Punjab. Not because they will like it, or that it will teach them something they did not already know, but that it’s a rare piece of work that will challenge and probably change them.
It’s a film that has never been made before, with nothing to compare to it – a rarity these days. I often find myself recommending films to people that I am unable to briefly describe.
These are usually the most involving and affecting ones. I’d like my family to see this, but I doubt I’ll be in the frame of mind to watch it again.

This movie shows the brutal honest side of addiction and over-indulgence.
Not just drugs, although it heavily shows drug addiction. Also shows how damaging it can be for you.
Seriously, this is a brutal film.

Synopsis :

Director Abhishek Chaubey showcases his story with a lot of promise and takes the audience through a terrific journey only to give us a real feel. Grass is not always greener on the other side.

We are introduced to the fading rockstar, Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), who is most of the time doped through his career. He is caught, beaten and put behind bars for his sins.

Then enters the Bihari hockey player (Alia Bhatt) who aspires for a better life gets stuck in the entire drug racket and her life gets doomed. It’s not her cup of tea.

Similarly Sartaj (Diljit Dosanjh), a junior officer in Punjab Police, has questionable morality. He doesn’t get a hang of the reality until Dr Preet (Kareena Kapoor) shows him the actual picture and how his own brother is a druggie and destroying his life.
Rest of the story talks about these 4 lives and how are their ‘ war against drugs’

Technical :

Witty, sleek, cocky & humorous, Udta Punjab works mostly because of its strong script and the characters, though the second half is no match for the first. Sometimes though, the narrative keeps dragging in search of closure.

Udta Punjab is brave enough to bring a humour and levity to the subject of drug abuse, without ever ignoring the accompanying and unavoidable self destruction and devastation. We might laugh at the antics of Tommy but can’t ignore the harsh truth he is going through.

Often hype about films lead to disappointment and after waiting and hearing about it so much before release for my local cinema to show this film, I was done thinking about it.
Thank goodness too, rather than challenge my brain (not hard to do unfortunately) this film went straight for the heart, got me hooked for more than 2 hours.

The cinematography of Rajeev Ravi gives total light on the characterizations of the actors inhabiting the sick world of drugs from the steady cam movements to the exaggerated wide angle shots and the beautifully sad and haunting lush green fields of Punjab.
This film suggests a certain beauty amidst all the sadness and depravity.

Performances :

According to me, I loved Diljit Dosanjh & Kareena Kapoor Khan‘s story track the most interesting and lovable. Punjabi super star Diljit Dosanjh is likable and has done a convincing job.

Alia Bhatt steals the show and Shahid Kapoor‘s track is the most boring of them all but funny and hilarious sometimes.

All performances are the high point of the film.

However, if you believe that cinema is an important tool in helping us understand ourselves and that we will only achieve self awareness then you must watch Udta Punjab

Verdict :

Overall, Udta Punjab is not a movie for everyone. It is the essence of independent filmmaking, a daring, engrossing, artful film that stays with you long after you leave the theater. Bollywood bubblegum this ain’t. A MUST WATCH…please watch it in the theater and don’t support Piracy….

My Review : The Conjuring 2

Prelude :

Before, I get on to my review, I would like to give you a small intro about the ‘Enfield Poltergeist’ case.
In the late 1970s, the Warrens investigated an alleged poltergeist in an Enfield, North London council house.
The people included were, Peggy Hodgson, her 13 year old daughter Margaret, her 11 year old daughter Janet, her 10 year old son Johnny and her 9 year old son Billy.
This case was the inspiration for the film The Conjuring 2.
Reports of further incidents in the house attracted considerable press attention and the story was covered in British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, until reports came to an end in 1979
On Halloween 2011, BBC News featured comments from a radio interview with photographer Graham Morris, who claimed that many of the events were genuine.

Review :

The Conjuring released in Summer 2013, was undoubtedly one of my favorite films of 2013 and remains one of the best horror movies of the past decade.
This was one film, which not only had the scares, but it was also character-driven and classy, recalling an age where horror movies were not in fashion.

Naturally, after a terrific first installment , the sequel ‘The Conjuring 2 ‘ ranked high on my most anticipated films of 2016 list and I was immensely looking forward to it..
Although I will not compare to the first installment, this is one of the best horror sequels ever made, capturing what made the first movie so special.

Plot :

Let’s take a closer look at what makes The Conjuring 2 work so well
The Conjuring 2 takes the basic shape of the first installment. Like its predecessor, the sequel opens with the Warrens investigating a case that is seemingly unrelated to the main plot, an opening scene that helps the audience to establish a mood.
In the sequel, the movie begins with the haunting at Amityville. They take one of the most famous haunted houses of all time, the most famous case of the Warrens’ career, and they connect it to the opening moments.

Also like its predecessor, the film then proceeds to put Ed and Lorraine out of the main topic for long time as we are slowly introduced to another family who are being troubled by a haunting.
In this case, it’s the Hodgsons, a London family consisting of a single mother and four children who find themselves under assault by a violent ghost with evil intensions.

By the time Ed and Lorraine show up, the strange occurrences have caused a media circus and led many to question whether the whole thing is a hoax put on by Janet.
The echoes continue. Ed and Lorraine begin their investigation.
They get to know the family. They help out around the house and try and become a part of their family.
Other investigators, consisting of both believers and skeptics, join the circus. And then things begin to get really bad and the identity of the threat is revealed. The case is some what connected with the Warrens – it gets personal. They have to solve it for the family and for themselves.

Technical :

The structure of The Conjuring 2 feels less repetitive and will look fresh and new . I felt like I would gladly watch a new case from the Warren files and kept me hooked throughout.

On the negative side,The Conjuring 2 would probably be a better film if it was twenty minutes shorter.

In fact, The Conjuring 2 is simply bigger than the first film. It’s not just longer: the scares are better, the threats more scarrier, the ghosts more real, and the set pieces visual effects.
You can tell that this is a haunted house movie made by the same man who just made Furious 7 – it is undoubtedly one of the loudest horror movie to come along in quite some time.

The most important thing about The Conjuring 2 is that it’s frightening Director James Wan is good at, it’s delivering a few good scares.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga build on the charming chemistry they had in the original as real-life paranormal investigators and married couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. They are so real, smart and always on the same page.

Verdict :

Iverall, Conjuring 2 : Le cas Enfield is scarry, intriguing, frightening and A Must Watch….

To My Fav actor Mahira Khan ( From India with Love)

TO,

My Fav Actor Mahira Khan,

Dear Mahira Khan,

I know that you’re a very famous and a top actor in Pakistan right now (obviously) and every guy out there says you’re the ‘woman of their dreams’ and they’re your biggest fan.

But Mahira, trust me when I say this – I am your biggest fan. Don’t let all of those other male fans fool you. I guess you have also noticed my tweets n my constant love towards you.

It’s genuine and has been since the last one n half years.

The first time I realized you could very possibly be my favourite female celeb of all time was when I saw you in ‘Humsafar’ playing the character Khirad (without make-up lolzz…still looked breathlessly beautiful)

The day I received your first tweet, wishing me on my birthday might, not might..infact it was one of the best days of my life so far– it was a magical moment, Mahira.

So yeah, I’ve pretty much been obsessed with you since then. Like, I could watch ‘Humsafar’ & ‘ TUC –The lighter side of Life’ every day and not get tired listening to you and watch you perform.

Your interviews, songs and your talk shows are pretty much my fav YouTube videos of all time.

I’d like to say I do have pictures of you on my bedroom wall,at my work desk as well on my Laptop wall paper, my Coffee mug, My T-shirt & of coz my Cell phone wall paper. And when you won Asia’s top 10 Sexiest Actor this year… well, let’s just say I was so ready to protest on your behalf coz I wanted your name to be on number one lolz.

So, my favourite actor here’s what I’m really trying to say: we can be really good friends.

It might not seem like we have anything in common, but we totally do: we both love Woody Allen Films, ’Pyaasa’ seems to be both our top favourite films.  We even make the same verbal expression ‘Uff’, when we spot something extremely beautiful.

You live in Karachi and I live in Mumbai, so we’re totally on the same page.

Waiting for the day that we meet. When you come down to Mumbai, try calling me..would love to meet you ( my fav actor).

I am not a bore..I m quite entertaining trust me.. I will keep writing to you and give my love to you, hope you get to know me more.

PS: If someday you think of quitting films (Hope never)..But if you do…I will still be loyal and devoted to you. ..That’s a promise.. After all A fan is fan…for life…I am a true #Mahirian.

Love

Your Favourite Fan

DEEP BASU –  Mumbai  (MyContact – 9619023659)

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My Review : Te3n

Prelude :

So, the most anticipated Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazzudin & Vidya Balan starrer Te3n releases the previous day and guess what? I have already watched it.
Yesterday Post Work, I managed to get two tickets ( my brother and I) for the 11 o’clock show and enthusiastically went ahead and watched it.
When, the movie began, I automatically got more and more involved in it and loved each and every frame of the film.
I told myself that whatever is the faith of the film or what ever the film turns out to be towards the end..I will give it a good review because this entire fllm’s story is based in my city ‘Kolkata’, which I have not visited since 2015 ( one n half years).
So watching my city showcased so beautifully in the film made me pretty nostalgic and walk down the memory lane.
But, I dint quite stand by my words towards the end of the film…let me tell you why ?

Review :

The dark and gripping film tells us the story of a man whose granddaughter died in a tragic kidnapping incident. The movie has an eerie deja vu like feel to Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani’.
I cant help but state that the the basic plot of the movie seems to have drawn a lot of inspiration from a 2013 Korean movie called ‘Montage’.

Both have the same element of a kidnapping being repeated in a similar fashion. And both the movies have an obsessed grandfather and a guilt-ridden cop who failed to solve the case in the first go.

Btw this wouldn’t be the first time Bollywood has drawn inspiration from Korean cinema. ‘Murder 2’ was a blatant rip off of the Korean movie ‘Chaser’. ‘Awaarapan’ draws heavily from ‘A Bittersweet Life’. The most famous ones, though, are ‘Zinda’ which is an almost scene by scene copy of the Korean cult classic ‘Oldboy’ and ‘Ek Tha Villain’ from ‘I Saw The Devil’.

Technical :

It’s never an easy task to take on a subject that’s quite new and rare in Bollywood all the more when you’re still a novice filmmaker.
Murder mysteries have not been an important part of Bollywood cinema . Hence, it’s getting harder for directors to deliver breathtaking suspense without referring to some well-known plot elements.

Newcomer Director Ribhu Dasgupta (his debut film Michael did not release) tries to set the bar high for his first feature.
The movie never actually looks clichéd as its source of inspiration.

The storyline begins off well but tends to become sluggish as the plot thickens.
The film looses grip and gets boring and slow paced in order to arrive at a climax that’s as surprising as it is compelling.

Plot :

The film begins introduces a 8-yeard old kidnapping/murder case of a young grand daughter , thus making the prime suspect, who’s still hiding somewhere in the open, untouchable.
This horrifying incident left two people completely devastated – John Biswas , the grand father of the dead girl and Martin the policeman assigned to the case .

Finding himself in a state of utter helplessness, Martin quits his job, while John Biswas confronts his worst nightmares and chooses to look further for clues all on his own.

A few days later a young boy is abducted while spending time outdoors with his grandfather and all signs point to the same kidnapper.
Knowing Martin’s expertise, the perplexed policemen ‘Sarita Sarkar decide to give him a call.
Not very eager to get on with the same case, he reluctantly accepts an invitation to join yet another intense manhunt, but soon finds himself at odds with former co-workers, who start searching for the truth in all the wrong paces.
On the other hand, John Biswas simply can’t agree with the proceedings, and once again goes solo in pursuit of an unpredictable and sharp-witted criminal, who outsmarts the police in a similarly effortless manner like he did 8 years ago.
Rest…The climax has a major unexpected twist.

Well, the title of the film is Te3n because the plot centers on three characters, each with their own reason to be interested in the recent case.
Ribhu concentrates on creating a sharp and steady atmosphere of mystery but loses sight of the main characters.

Performances :

Amitabh Bachchan – He is the USP of the film. He holds the entire film on his shoulders and keeps you glued with his remarkable performances.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is not very well exploited in the film and the same goes with Vidya Balan .

Performances of the supporting cast is decent and good.

Overall, Te3n’s main strength comes from its ability to stay plausible until the very end, without leaving any questions unanswered.
Ribhu tries very cleverly to manipulate the audience with a number of deliberate plot holes not only in the investigation but also in the retrospection, yet somehow arrives at a conclusion that is truly unpredictable.
But, I personally feel that film could have been better, fast paced and more intriguing.

When the last plot twist arrived I din quite find myself in awe of how effective Te3n really was as I could easily connect the dots before the movie ended. A one time watch…watch it for Big B.