My Review : Andhadhun

My Review : Andhadhun

Prelude :

Before I get down writing and talk about Andhadhun, I would like to mention that the plot idea of ‘Andhadhun’ has been inspired by a French short film called The Piano Tuner by Olivier Trainer, which is the tale of a failed pianist who pretends to be blind to obtain the empathy of his customers.

Until, at one of his client’s visits, he stumbles into the pool of blood. I won’t pretend it is a mastery of the craft, it ain’t, but this french short film is pretty well thought……So nothing seems to be an original piece of work in Bollywood but master craftsman Sriram Raghavan’s vision and the intricacies of the screenplay will take you by surprise.

You’ll be faced with a string of bizarre moments every five minutes in AndhaDhun, accompanied with melodious music.

The quirky posters and the intriguing trailer had left the audience asking for the more…the film is another ball game altogether.

It is probably also the kind of film which we deserve……

Plot :

Akash is a talented pianist who pretends to be blind inorder to enhance his skills. A jaded film star Pramod Sinha, is highly impressed by his talent and invites him over for a private performance to surprise his beautiful young wife, Simi on their anniversary day.

Unfortunately on the due date, Pramod has been killed by Simi’s lover and the ‘blind’ piano player witnesses the duo disposing off the body. He soon finds that his fake blind act isn’t going to help him save his life.

Technical : (No spoilers ahead)

Andhadhun will remind viewers of  Mr Sriram Raghavan’s previous films ‘Jhonny Gaddar, Ek Hasina Thi, which are built on a string on deceits.

As the events unfold , you’ll often find yourself into a TICKING BOMB range of possibilities towards the climax. Whenever you introduce a ticking bomb as your situation, there are only three ways to end your movie: the bomb blows, the bomb is disarmed, fade to black with the tick-tack. Whenever you place a main character in a situation like Andhadhun you’re starring at a ticking bomb.

The ending not exclusively creates a visual impression the viewer will carry, but also expose the layers of the tone you presumed the spectator would take home with him. And how you handle with a ticking bomb is what commonly separates the good from the bad. How you twist your ending to lead into a very specific idea you want to transmit when the credits start rolling is crucial for a successful thriller film.

In the particular case of Andhadhun, we would wonder if the protagonist would getaway or die. This will keep your attention till the credits roll.

The first half is unexpectedly funny and well paced…the second half loses steam and tends to go off tune but is finally saved with great moments and twists.

Performances :

Ayushman Khurana once again proves his mettle and does fine justice to the character Akash. He is one actor who is slowly and steadily gaining momentum and making a mark in the industry.

Tabu is simply amazing, delicious and is most delightful among the rest…you will fall in love with her…a true ‘Lady Macbeth’

Ayushman and Tabu share the maximum screen space and hold the film together.

Zakir Hussain’s character of a corrupt doctor adds a good dose of humour and support to the film. Surprisingly, Radhika Apte gets no scope to explore…her character is more of an extended cameo and she is hardly seen in the film.

Special mention goes to Manav Vij and Anil Dhawan for their excellent support.

AndhaDhun marks the debut of a cat who made its first appearance on one of the posters with Ayushmann Khurrana and has been a constant part of the film thereon.

 

Music :

Amit Trivedi’s soulful music is mainly dominated by piano pieces but the seasoned composer does not let that come into the way of the album’s range. He puts together a soundtrack that is sweet, edgy, peppy and maintains a good balance through out.

Naina Da Kasoor is my favourite…..

 

 

Verdict :

Overall, Andhadhun pays a perfect hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and will break all your preconceived notions….it out forms all the Bollywood thriller films till date.

A Must Watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review : Pataakha

My Review : Pataakha

Prelude :

Film Pataakha is based on Charan Singh Pathik’s short story titled ‘Do Behnein’ and it revolves around two sisters who share a difficult relationship with each other. Earlier titled Chhuri, Bhardwaj believed that people would confuse it with Chhodiyaan or Chhoriyaan. The film is out and is ‘explosive’ indeed.

The relationship between two sisters in the film as a metaphor for the relations between India and Pakistan who keep fighting each other for no reasons.

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Plot :

Badki  and Chhutki  live in a small town in Rajasthan. They are sisters who quarrel about everything and anything. Dipper is their nosy neighbour, who is always on the lookout for an opportunity for some entertainment and quick buck while making the sisters go to war, and their only father is always trying to make peace between the sisters .

 

Technical :

Pataakha doesn’t showcase a series of average sibling rivalry; this is explosive and purely violent in nature. The sisters literally want to strangle and kill each other. Since it is based in Rajasthan, the Rajasthani language and the background setting shown is definitely a side of Rajasthan that you haven’t seen before.

Giving full marks for the making, Pataakha as a film is not an easy watch. Understanding the strong Rajasthani dialogues might prove to be a challenge for the average viewer.

You will often find yourself struggling to comprehend the dialogues. Perhaps, more dialogues in Hindi would have made it easier for the audience to connect with situational humour.

For over 2 hours, the films stands strongly on the fact that the sisters can’t live without getting into a fight and it tends to get a little monotonous. During the second half the film briefly explores a psychological reason for the sisters’ tendency to fight feels stretched and boring.

The music is rustic, yet very pleasing. The interesting background score adds a lot of value to the film and keeps the momentum going. ( The Malaika Arora dance number ‘Hello Hello’ was missing from the film)

The cinematography of Ranjan Palit brilliantly brought out the vibrancy and simplicity in a beautiful way..but in few sequences the hand held camera movement will make you head spin and badly jitter on screen.

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Performances :

Actors Radhika Madan & Sanya Malhotra are brilliant in their respective characters, I loved the way they transformed by putting on weight during the second half was impressive. Both of them complimented each other and were nothing less than a fire cracker.

Special mention goes to the talented Vijay Raaz, Suni Grover and Saanand Verma for being a great supportive cast.

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Verdict:

Overall, Pataakha is a very well made film and lives up to its title. A  Good watch indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

My Review : Sui Dhaaga

My Review : Sui Dhaaga

How many of know of remember the 2010 Bollywood blockbuster ‘Band Bajaa Baaraat’ – Yes the same film which introduced interesting characters Shruti and Bittoo, two youngsters from Delhi, start a wedding planning enterprise called Shaadi Mubarak. Their professional relationship is jeopardised when Shruti falls in love with Bittoo. The film had inspiration, freshness and utterly captivating moments.

Frankly, I was expecting a little more surprise, a little more fun, given that it was the same makers of ‘Dum Laga ke Haisha’ & Band Bajaa Baaraat’ which had so many unexpected touches that were pure gold.

What really went wrong with Sui Dhaaga? It seemed to be  a very carefully knitted and a safe film.

Sui Dhaaga is a well-meaning, simply woven, feel-good entertainer that delivers as much as it promises.

Plot:

Mauji an incompetently illiterate young man, has a secured job and an individual life. His boss treats him like a dog, his father never stops putting him down.Due to lack of space at home, he has never got the opportunity to get intimate with his wife. Inspite of all odds, he always carries himself with a big smile.

Although he appears to be a illiterate man, Mauji is a gifted tailor, which his father  believes to be an insecure and uncertain profession.

One fine day, with the help of Mamta’s encouragement, Mauji decides to self-employ himself and set off with his own ancestral sewing machine. Although his parents are strictly against his decision, Mauji and Mamta work hard and in no time, the couple sees positive results.

The couple then faces a lot of hardships and struggle due to their innocence and family responsibilities. Mauji and Mamta fight together to solve it.

Technical:

Sui Dhaaga delivers exactly what it promises….but becomes damn predictable.

First half the film offers you several moments that warm the heart, and will make you cheer and clap for Mauji and Mamta.

But you always knew the ending, didn’t you? Half way through the film…the film tends to rush and takes a very convinient turn…the ending looks crafted and ‘tailor-made’

The film could have been more flavoured, If the writers could have included few  insights about tailoring or showcased a special talent of the central character ‘Mauji’ as the character lacked heroics.

Sui Dhaaga is well acted, but the story could have been more layered.

The film did have a few interesting and routinely good dialogues, but despite all that this film fails to get interesting towards the second half.

Lyricist Varun Grover writes well but Anu Malik music fails to make an impact.

Performances :

Varun Dhawan plays the character ‘Mauji’ to perfection. He is undoubtedly evolving as an actor and experimenting with his potential and looks. He is a delight to watch.

Anushka Sharma has done a swell job as ‘Mamta’ she is hardly recognisable sporting the simple saree and no make up look

Veteran Raghubir Yadav does exceedingly well as Dhawan’s  father, and special mention goes to Yamini Das and her real life son Namit Das — who does exceptionally well.

Verdict :

Overall, Sui Dhaaga falls well short of perfection, but it is definitely worth the price of the ticket, if not more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review :

My Review :

Prelude :

Many of us have experienced high/inflated electricity bills every month (Including me) Do we do anything about it ? last month I ended up paying Rs 7K for nothing…but don’t the electricity company owe me an explanation ??

You know about the lack of electricity in many parts of our country and the kind of bills some people get since it has got privatised.There are many challenges to overcome mainly due to the implementation problems faced in our country and the gap that exists between what is actually planned what is implemented.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a humorous take on the privatisation of electricity in the country.

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Plot :

Sundar, Susheel and Naughty are childhood friends. Susheel is a fraud lawyer, who likes making money from out of court settlements. Naughty is an aspiring fashion designer

Things were Hunky Dory until Sundar opens a small town Printing Press. Within few months, he is charged with an Inflated elctricity bill of 1.5 Lakhs, which escalates to 54 Lakhs in the following months.

Not finding another solution, Sundar commits suicide. Susheel decides to fight out against SPTL , a Privatised Electricity Company responsible for the Inflated Bills.  Whether or not he is able to sue the company forms the rest of the story.

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Technical :

Batti Gul Meter Chalu (BGMC) is a film that talks about a very relevant issue, a fundamental right of every individual which is often denied to the common man in most parts of our country.

Shree Narayan Singh has a flair of portraying such subjects with a lot of finesse, and after the heart warming Toilet Ek Prem Katha, he does it once again. But the screenplay by Siddharth-Garima spends too much time establishing their interpersonal relationships of the three characters which weakens the impact. A tighter editing was required too at-least for shortening the film by 30 mins (Edited by the Director himself)

The movie also has a parallel track of two characters named Vikas and Kalyan, narrating the story, but I didn’t quite understand the metaphor well.

The movie picks up pace once Sundar commits suicide and that’s when the actual story begins.

The second half unfolds in the court, as Susheel is in full form as he attacks SPTL in full force. This portion of the movie makes up for the first half and entertains you through out.

The cinematography by Anshuman Mahaley manages to capture the beauty of Uttarakhand’s hills very well.

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Performance :

Shahid Kapoor is in full form and delivers a great performance. His dialogue delivery is simply superb.

Shraddha Kapoor plays her character with a lot of conviction. Divyendu is brilliant in the good guy role. Yami Gautam looks beautiful but lacks the impact.

A special mention goes to actors Atul Srivastav, Sushmita Mukherjee, Farida Jalal, Supriya Pilgaonkar for their performances.

Verdict :

Over all Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a good watch…With a tighter runtime and more focus on the plot of the story, this social drama has the potential to make a mark.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

stree movie review,stree movie shraddha kapoor,stree movie review rajkummar rao

 

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.