Movie Review: Rustom

It’s good to watch movies. Good or bad. Gives one an idea about the kind of things film makers are thinking about and if they do have the pulse of their audience. With Rustom they succeeded in breaking out of the run-of-the-mill Bollywood masala grist and yet failed to craft a taut film that makes the movie goer sigh/nod in appreciation.

Based quite obviously on the Nanavati case that rocked the India of the 50s, the movie has a very staged look and feel with the characters not quite coming across as convincing in the roles they are essaying.

Akshay Kumar looks good in uniform. For a man his age he is in fine form physically but is rather wooden. He doesn’t come across as a Parsi at all and wears his uniform throughout the movie without it ever getting creased or dirty even while he’s incarcerated. Full marks to the jail dhobi!

Illeana D’Cruz looks pretty as a picture. Wears simple and elegant sarees and is quite effective as an ornamental prop. She neither carries the weight or punch that the role requires.

Esha Gupta smoulders like a femme fatale would and is by turns slutty and pull of pouty attitude. If attitude was the only requirement that the role had then she aced it and how! Barring that, she too has very little meat in her role and comes across as a spoiled rich socialite and not much else.

Arjan Bajwa is quite well cast. You can feel the smarminess come off him in waves and I can see him getting typecast as a Lothario in future projects.

People like Sachin Khedekar are rather miscast and arereduced to being ranting buffoons who really don’t belong in a biopic; even a loose one.

Anang Desai, Kanwaljeet Singh and Usha Nadkarni in their supporting roles add the necessary flavor and yet, despite it all, the movie leaves you wanting.

It doesn’t end in a manner which satisfies but neither does it disappoint in toto.

A bit of a limbo of a film and yet it’s good to see Khiladi Kumar embrace more roles of this ilk. He’s moved way past his Churake Dil Mera days...

Movie Review- Tamasha

I went and saw Tamasha yesterday. And here’s why I liked it:

  • Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor work. Totally work. Their chemistry is palpable. Helps that Kapoor isn’t an aging Khan and an actual contemporary of the lead actress; playing his own age.
  • Corsica is beautiful. And the fact that they moved away from Capri and Greece is a novelty also.
  • The premise of the movie is always relevant for those who have been raised by overbearing albeit well-intentioned Indian parents.
  • Makes sense because the course of “love” doesn’t always run smooth and neither do people always know what they want in this day and age.
  • Because people do change their minds or it is changed for them so often about crucial things in their lives that they lose touch with who they are.
  • Because we grow up too quickly and childhood remains a dream.
  • Because life is extremely exacting and we aren’t always up to the challenge it throws down.
  • Because we all may have fantasies about that other person we could have (should have) been; in a different time and place.
  • Because getting into a relationship is the easy part. Staying in it, is what becomes tough.
  • Because the line dividing expectation from reality sometimes becomes too firmly etched to be erased or altered.
  • Because it was entertaining and I’m a soppy romantic deep down 🙂

Movie Review: Singh Is Bling

I say this with every bit of sincerity I possess: there’s a special place reserved in HELL for Prabhu Deva for making this movie.

I am not a snob about my movies. I prefer the light-hearted ones to the somber ones, that’s true but this movie was boring and it’s cliches had cliches and barring the opening sequence that could serve as a good advert for Punjab tourism, there was NOTHING to recommend the movie. AT ALL.

The story? That’s a laugh…oh well..the “plot” is this- Akshay Kumar is a good-for-nothing-well-intentioned “young”man living in his pind (village) of Bassi-something or the other. After the final edict from his father to make something of himself, he jets off to Goa (yeah…talk about Go, Goa Gone!) and sets about helping a friend of his father; a big shot in a rather picturesque part of the state.

Cut to the heroine of the movie, Amy Jackson, who hails from Romania and gives new meaning to the word Kick Buttowski. She lands up in Goa to search for her mother and crosses paths with AK, who is to guard her and keep her happy. How does he do it when she speaks only English and no Hindi and he no English and only Punjabi-accented Hindi? Well that’s where Lara Dutta comes in as the interpreter/translator.  And you wish she’d go back out again because it’s Lara Dutta and acting properly isn’t what she’s known for but she does what she’s supposed to viz provide the comic element.

Of course you wish she’d not have to sleepwalk or smash coconuts into men’s’ crotches to achieve that “hilarity” but then again, that was the least of what was wrong with the movie.

AK is loud and unfunny and so are the two buffoons who play his buddies. Amy Jackson has a lovely complexion and is understated. She is also…erm..did I write she has a lovely complexion?

There are films which are unpretentiously about the cheap laughs. The Naked Gun series, White Chicks…these are not movies that discerning audiences watch. They are about farts, body parts and bodily fluids and functions and full of innuendoes. And proudly so.

Singh is Bling didn’t show much bling to start out with and neither did it show the funny. A scene where a baddie is demonstrating his baddiness by cracking beer bottles on the heads of his minions has the entire crux of the movie encompassed into a single dialogue, “yeda hai kya?”.

And that ladies and gents is what you are if you watch this movie. Till the end. Go count sheep or something. Infinitely less boring.

The rest of the notable cast included Rati Agnihotri in all her puffy-eyed matronliness and a totally wasted Kay Kay Menon who clearly was stoned when he signed on for the movie or needed moolah very desperately.

By the way, I have no clue if the movie even slightly redeems itself since I walked out a little after the interval.

This movie rates an all toes down and wishes that Prabhu Deva would stick to dancing while invisible or on moving buses rather than making cameos in his own movies where he pees at people in the men’s room and tries to get them to run off. Dafuq anyone?

Movie Review: Welcome Back…Erm Don’t

Yup, that’s right. Welcome Back should have at rider attached to it- DON’T!
Where the first movie wasn’t a shoo-in for the comedy of the year award, it was still entertaining and doesn’t fail to elicit chuckles on reruns on tv. But the sequel has a couple of things which make it one of the main contenders for MOST LUDICROUS MOVIE OF THE YEAR. And here they are in no particular order:
1) Shruti Haasan– can’t speak Hindi. Sounds like she’s majorly distressed when she does. Very limited range of emotions. She was more believable in her AC ads. A pretty prop. Period.

2) John Abraham– should stick to promoting Mens’ grooming products. From Jism to Saaya to this movie, he has progressively gotten more wooden, unintentionally deadpan and extremely unfunny. That the man has also got more ripped and has a fantastic “V” should have zero bearing on his acting abilities. His screen presence is mainly felt once he takes his clothes off. The stunt where he ran on the backs of the camels was kinda sad. One felt for the camels. Really.

3) Dimple Kapadia– Finding Fanny, Dil Chahata Hai were roles she could do something with and she did. This movie showcased amply and repeatedly that she cannot emote the light hearted stuff and her comic timing is non-existent.

4) Naseeruddin Shah– Now this was the major head scratcher. I know Bollywood pays more than art house movies and theater but one would think that after decades in the business NS would be able to pick and choose his roles rather than be in a dead end movie which tickles you into laughing rather than evoking it.

5) Ankita Shrivastava- Oh Lord. Slut central. Nothing great to look at. Exposed everything that she had to and still couldn’t get anywhere. Has a great career playing a bar dancer or one of those skimpily-clad dancers who jiggle their booties at the drop of a pin. Emoting? What emoting? Incidentally this young lady’s Wikipedia page lists her as the “most promising Indian actress” yada yada yada. Boy are we in trouble if that load of tripe is even marginally true.

6) The OST. Lord. Boring. Boring. Boring. Barring the Tutti Bole Wedding Di track, none are foot-tappers let alone a good time for the ears. If anything, one wished to fast forward through the songs and the dance routines.

Shiney Ahuja and the people like Rajpal Yadav are wasted. The former because he has no career and pretty much might have to do anything that comes his way (despite being good looking and being able to actually act) even act like a “charsi launda”. And Rajpal Yadav because he is capable of so much more than being “bajaoed like a ghanta” while playing the fool.
This is the kind of movie that forcibly makes you laugh with its predictable punchlines and the antics of Parel Rawal, Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor. The latter not so much as before.
I wanted a movie that was a no brainer and I got it. Just goes to show, be careful what you wish for. One just wishes that none of the case survived the last scene (in the movie world and not the real one) and nip all thoughts of another sequel in the bud!

The scene at the graveyard was just mind-boggling. I mean it just made one wonder why Aneez Bazmee would direct a movie that had an Antakshari match between a so-called ghost and two mobsters. And one had to wonder at Shruti Haasan and her endless parade of hiiigh heels.

There are moments though, Anil Kapoor grumbling about having to dig a hole in a graveyard in Dubai whereas in India there would have been open ditches galore for dumping a body!

I will say this though, get stoned and maybe, just maybe this movie might be a laugh riot. If not, welcome to stale dialogues, lavish sets and loads of money spent on Humvees, Lamborghinis and massive chandeliers and the mother of all dust storms of all things. I mean, welcome back!