Pages

Friday, May 24, 2024

Murder Mubarak

You are reminded of Hercule Poirot when Bhavani Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) comes to investigate death of a fitness trainer in a fictitious club in Delhi (Royal Delhi Club or RDC). Autopsy reveals traces of a drug and an apparent accident transforms into a murder. What follows is development of the plot by revealing dark secrets of everyone’s lives and finally telling the audience who the actual murderer was. The rest of the star studded cast consist of veteran actors such as Dimple Kapadia, Sanjay Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor, Tisca Chopra and present generation guys such as Vijay Varma and Sara Ali Khan. 

While the architecture and interiors of Royal Delhi Club transport you to a regal era, you will find yourself wondering who would have committed a heinous crime such as murder in such a pristine place, whose members are all rich and belong to higher sections of the society. Slight comic element has been brought in when Pankaj Tripathi refers to weird tales about his deputy during investigation.

Sara Ali Khan looks good but she really needs to work on her acting and dialogue delivery, although she shines in some scenes. The kleptomaniac nature of her character is not utilized in the film whereas the script for other characters could have been better. The film relies on Vijay Varma and Pankaj Tripathi.

Image courtesy: Google

Friday, May 17, 2024

Mamla Legal Hai

A webseries built around real life challenges faced by lawyers, variety of cases they have to handle, internal politics, and more. Can you imagine witness boxes being moved from one courtroom to another? Or someone being framed for a foul-mouthed pet parrot?

Veteran actor Ravi Kishan, originally from Bhojpuri film industry, plays the central character of V.D. Tyagi, who is also President of Bar Association in Patparganj Court. Donning few streaks of grey, Tyagi is also a smart lawyer who does not hesitate to pull a few strings to his own benefit. The series culminates in V. D. Tyagi losing an election but being offered the role of a judge.


The support cast have also come together to deliver a stellar series on court-room drama, which interwines comedy with many subtle layers. Young actors playing the role of Ananya Shroff (Naila Grewal), Vishwas Pandey (Anant Joshi), Sujata Negi (Nidhi Bisht) have done justice to their characters.   Vijay Rajoria, who plays the role of a senior lawyer Munshiji, adds balance to the series.

Not a drop of vulgarity is there, no cheap jokes, yet this is such a well made comedy series. There are no breathtaking locations, but drab court rooms. Yes, some chambers and homes look swank, but essentially the camera stays in court premises.

Image courtesy: Google

Friday, May 10, 2024

Dream Girl 2

I am someone who strongly believes that men cannot look good if they attempt to disguise as a female, and even if one manages to look good, it wont be possible to walk, dance, sing and talk like women. But all my biases are proved wrong by Ayushmann Khurrana in this movie, which I downloaded just out of curiosity.  The story begins with a lovely dance number with Ayushmann and Ananya Pandey, both of whom look gorgeous. Circumstances take unexpected turns that force the hero to dress up as a bar girl. One lie leads to another, and Ayushmann finds himself entangled in a messy situation.



There’s nothing much of the type of a story here. But great acting by Ayushmann, Annu Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and the support cast pull of comic sequences and provide you some light entertainment, wherein you don’t ask questions but just go along the flow.

Highlight of the movie is how flawlessly the hero plays his female character, Pooja. He not only looks good, but he also moves very gracefully and attractively. His male version will make you fall in love with him too. So much so, that I found myself looking for the first movie made in this series, although the stories are unconnected.

 Image courtesy: Google

Friday, May 03, 2024

Amar Singh Chamkila

Once in a while, most of us would not mind a song with double meanings. But our society forbids us from discussing such things openly. In the very first few minutes of the film, the lead pair (Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra) are shot dead.

Set in backdrop of a far flung town in rural Punjab, in late 1970s and early 80’s, the protagonist, Amar Singh Chamkila reaches heights of popularity with his raunchy songs. He was in a completely different profession initially, but he followed his heart to join the troupe of a popular singer named Jatinder Jinda. But fate has other plans for him when Chamkila rises to fame on his own talent, even in the crisis of 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. He was hiring female singers until he met Amarjot Kaur, who was a major factor behind his success. They get married to preserve their success streak.


Needless to say, some sections of the society oppose the theme of Chamkila’s songs. He chose to switch to devotional songs, which resonated with people very well. However, he had to go back to his original songs on public demand, which later led to his death.

Brilliant acting by all characters have recreated the real life story of Amar Singh Chamkila, who was touted as the Elvis Presley of Punjab. A lot of research has gone in making the film - some photographs and video clips are included wherein you would be able to relate to both real and reel Chamkila and Amarjot.

Image courtesy: Google

Friday, April 26, 2024

Fighter

Calling out all Hrithik Roshan fans! Set in the context of political hostility between India and Pakistan, this movie revolves around air force officers posted in Sri Nagar and Jammu. The lead characters played by Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, are both pilots. The support cast, led by Anil Kapoor, look good as well. The antagonist camp, lead by a long haired terrorist, succeeds in bringing your blood to boil when his intentions are revealed. The attack on unsuspecting Indian soldiers at Pulwama sets the stage for a fightback by Indian soldiers. Hrithik and his colleagues start an aerial retaliation; including some incredible stunts mid air. Two officers get captured, and are focus of the movie shifts towards their rescue.

 


The story has been narrated in multiple layers, which gently touches upon cameradarie between officers, Hrithik Roshan’s past and his martyred fiancĂ©, reunion of Deepika with her parents who had disowned her.

If you are a Hrithik fan, you can watch the movie just by looking at him. He flaunts his physique in a couple of occasions. On the other hand, Deepika’s flawless figure complements his good looks. There are few songs where dancing skills of both Hrithik and Deepika can be seen. It is a well directed movie shot in beautiful locations, and you’ll love every second of it.

Image courtesy: Google

Friday, April 19, 2024

The Family Man (Season 1 and 2)

This is a web series I had downloaded just because I love Manoj Bajpayee’s acting. But the other actors also left me impressed. A big high five goes to the cast selection - Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee) looks like a next door man whom you cannot guess to be part of police force, whereas Priyamani, an actress from South Indian film industry, looks perfect in the role of his wife. Sharad Kelkar, Dilip Tahil, the children, in fact everyone, look tailormade for their respective characters.


Season 1 revolves around Moosa, who looks innocent at first but turns out to be a terrorist. He is guided by Major Sameer (Darshan Kumar), who look sinister and handsome at the same time. And there is Sajid, who is a key member in carrying out missions. Season 1 ends in a clumsy manner, leaving many ends open. They are tied up quickly in Season 2 which wants to develop around a new storyline. Tamilian rebels under cover planning an attack on the Prime Minister of the country when she intends on signing treaties with Sri Lankan Government, revolving around Bhaskaran and Raji. Major Sameer and Sajid join in their camp as well. Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who plays the character of Raji, has let go off her usual glamorous roles and has carried out lot of action. A total surprise, although unnecessary, is when Srikant Tiwari is shown to have moved into corporate world. However, his heart lies in the NIA and he joins back. You will get chills when it is revealed that Srikant’s daughter is befriended by a young terrorist.

 

I heard a new season is expected shortly – looking forward to that!

Image courtesy: Google

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Pippa

After having watched a handful of commercial movies, I chanced upon this film on Amazon Prime. I am usually someone who would avoid films centering around army, because I think there is too much bloodshed. That reason did not stand in the way as I got drawn by the innocent smile of Ishaan Khatter. With his chocolate boy looks, I was sceptical about how he would fit into a serious role – and has he pulled out a surprise for me!


He plays the role of the youngest son of a family of military men – his late father and elder brother were in the army, and he got drawn into the forces by them. He was the commander of an amphibious tanker, one which could operate both on land and swim in water, but gets posted to clerical duty as he defies orders of his senior officers. In the meantime, his elder brother is sent on a secret mission to Bangladesh, but gets captured by Pakistani forces. Ishaan is called to duty – to modify design of tanks to accommodate four persons and make it worthy for deployment in war. In recognition of the hard work put in by him, he gets to join the war. His sister, played by Mrunal Thakur, gets to know about capturing of their elder brother and informs Ishaan. He takes it as a personal responsibility and fights bravely not only to rescue his brother, but defeat Pakistani army and contribute in the independence of Bangladesh.

This is a real life story and has been narrated very well with realistic feel – blood, torture, bullets…and more. The movie is worth much more recognition than it has got so far.


Image courtesy: Google

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Bhakshak

Sometimes good movies are not lauded enough, maybe because they touch upon sensitive topics. This one centres around young girls, all orphans, being abused in a shelter homes in a small town in Bihar. On the other hand, Bhumi Pednekar plays the role of a journalist, who runs her own news channel, almost singlehandedly, gathering information herself with her cameraman in tow. Upon being tipped about the notorious activities against girls, Bhumi fights a sole battle against powerful people, her family members who are concerned about her safety, a police system that chooses to remain silent and more.


The narration is tight and you would not want to miss a single moment, be it heinous crimes against helpless girls, their purporment by powerful men and strong determination showcased by the protagonist to help the exploited. The characters speak in a strong Bihari accent, which gives a realistic feel. Although the end was a little hurried up, I felt this is a strong movie and should be watched by everybody. We need to raise our consciences beyond our ownselves. At the end, the movie urges you to raise your voice if you notice anything wrong being done to others, and not wait till something happens to you or your kin.

 Image courtesy: Google

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Indian Police Force : Season 1

I was attracted to this web series rightaway when promotions started. It featured Vivek Oberoi, who was looking good in police uniform. Siddharth Malhotra and Shilpa Shetty promised some good action to look forward to. And the topic: Bombing by terrorists is something close to my heart.

The series opens with serial blasts happening in various parts of Delhi, challenging capabilities of Delhi Police. Vivek Oberoi and Siddharth Malhotra jump into action, with assistance of Shipa Shetty. The role of the kingpin is played by Rituraj Singh (Rafeeq) and his right hand man is Mayank Tandon (Zarar). Rafeeq and Zarar move to Jaipur and then to Goa, wrecking havoc.


 

The web series tries to underline the fact that Police can do anything if they wish to, and stresses that there are people who divert young minds into terrorism in the name of religion. Siddharth and Shipa look good as police officers, who showcase fitness and carry off action scenes effortlessly. Vivek Oberoi’s role is too short. Mayank Tandon deserves some praise, as he switches between his versions: an innocent man named Haider, who is romancing his lady when not being Zarar, who is brainwashed towards his mission. Expect some cars flying around, being a series made by Rohit Shetty. There are some loose ends, but it is ok to overlook them.

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Dunki

The movie opens with Tapsee Pannu in a hospital, that too in an old version. While you are wondering why the heroine is so old, the film quickly goes into flashback mode and Shah Rukh Khan looks out of a train entering a small town in Punjab. Quickly you are introduced to the protagonists, who dream of going abroad in pursuit of better lives for their families. They are also joined by Vicky Kaushal, in a special appearance. All of them enrol for English classes and try honestly to appear for screening exams for Visa. However, only one of them gets through. While questioning the system for screening, Shah Rukh encourages his friends to reach England through illegal means, which bear tremendous risks – Going the Dunki route.

You would love the peppy characters of Tapsee Pannu and her friends. The short role played by Vicky Kaushal will leave your heart bleeding – it has won much recognition already. The greenery of rural Punjab will mesmerize you. However, there is nothing much in the movie for anyone who is not a Shah Rukh fan. If you are part of his fan club, then go for it.

It seems Shah Rukh was shooting for another movie (Jawan) simultaneously with this one, as his make up looks similar to his various versions in the former.

Image courtesy: Google

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Shastry virudh Shastry

This is a story about a 7 year old child who lives with his grandparents in a small town, Panchgani. His parents visit in the weekends from the nearest big city, where they have to stay due to their employment. Tiff between parents and grandparents begin when parents want to take their child with them to Mumbai, and grandparents don’t want to let the kid go because they think adequate care cannot be given to him while parents are out of home all day. The rift becomes wider when Malhar, the father, gets a business proposal in the US. The climax culminates in the court when senior Mr. Shastry (Paresh Rawal) files a case on his son, claiming the custody of his grandson.

The story attempts to showcase the challenges faced by working parents, and how they may end up neglecting their kids. One scene where both parents are looking at their phones and the child silently stares at them, tells the tale. The importance of having grandparents, who try their best to support the development of the child, inspite of their own health issues, is also touched upon.

Casting of characters is good. The central character of Yaman Shastry is played by an incredibly cute child. It is a pleasant surprise to see Mimi Chakroborty, a popular actress in Bengali films, in role of Yaman’s mother. Paresh Rawal is brilliant as the grandfather.

Image courtesy: Google

Thursday, February 22, 2024

12th Fail

What would you say to someone who had to resort to cheating to pass his exams, dreaming of becoming a civil servant? To crack the exam itself is a dream of many. It requires a combination of intelligence, perseverance, hard work and support of family and friends.

Vikrant Massey, almost unrecognizable in the rural boy makeup, plays the role of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who fails his Class 12 board exams because he is not allowed to cheat, due to the intervention of a local DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police). Inspired by him, Manoj gives up on unfair means and decides to become a police officer. Fate introduces him to Pritam Pandey, who brings him to Delhi. The story unfolds with failed attempts, endurance, friendships, guidance from seniors and finally culminates in Manoj becoming an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer. The romantic aspect of the story is presented finely, with Shraddha (Medha Shankar) playing a key supporting role in Manoj’s life.

Acting wise, Vikrant Massey has already gathered lot of recognition for his excellent and convincing performance. Anant Joshi, as Pritam Pandey, has also delivered a good supporting role. The rural flavour and its stark contrast with chaos in Delhi has been captured very well.

 This is an inspiring tale, which encourages one to pursue his dream to the best of his abilities, surpassing all challenges. Also, it is a real life tale.

Image courtesy: Google

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food

Lot of controversy started around this film just after I had finished watching it. I failed to understand it at all, because I had loved it a lot.

The story is about a talented girl who goes against traditions to follow her dreams, breaks stereotypes and surpasses all shackles to become a successful chef. The film rides on shoulders of the very lovely Nayanthara, who plays the central character very convincingly. No one rises to the top without the support of family and friends, and Annapoorani is also no exception. She is brought back to her destined path when in doubt in challenging moments..her grandmother stopping her marriage, her friend Farhaan convincing her to cook non vegetarian, her friend’s father attending college instead of her own father, and many more.

 

An unethical act by a jealous chef whom she had almost displaced, results in Annapoorani’s total loss of taste. Devastated, she is on the verge of giving up her profession when her father stands by her and takes her back to Chef Anand, who also happened to be her mentor. Annapoorani takes the setback in her stride and goes on to win a prestigious competition. At the end, she comes back to empower underprivileged women with interest in cooking to  pursue their interests.

So what is the controversy about such an inspiring plot?

Poorani offering namaaz before preparing biriyani: Biriyani was never her forte and Poorani could somehow never get it right however much she tried. Farhaan’s mother, who happened to cook the said dish very well, had once told her that she would cook in her usual way but only after offering namaaz. When faced with the challenge to cook biriyani in the final round of the combination, Poorani seeks blessings from God in the form of a naamaz before starting her preparation. Needless to say, she goes on to win the round and competition. 

Claims that Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman may have consumed meat during their exile in the forest: Tell me why not. They were Kshatriyas. They had weapons with them and killing an animal or two for the sake of survival is not such a bad thing to do. There is no proof to establish the veracity of this theory – it may or may not be true.

Then, why create hype? Does not make sense to me at all.

I loved the movie and I am sure you will too.

Image courtesy: Google

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Tiger 3

If you are a fan of Salman Khan, this movie has been made for you. Infact, this entire series is .. Ek Tha Tiger, Tiger Zinda Hain, and now this. Keep your brains aside. Just watch the hero playout his role. He does not look like he is in his fifties at all, and he carries off all the action with his natural swag.

You are bound to be amazed by the action scenes filmed on Katrina Kaif. She’s a pretty damsel, who could have spent her career romancing heroes on screen. She has raised herself beyond that and her action scenes reflect how hardworking she is.

If you happen to have watched a film named “Pathaan” starring another popular hero, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), you would recall a cameo by Salman Khan in it. The favour is returned in this film where SRK comes to Salman’s rescue when in a fix. The duo entertains the audience with their ageless charm.

Another actor who has stepped out of his comfort zone is Emraan Hashmi, who has played the villain’s role. He has delivered a performance worth taking note of.

Needless to say, the budget of this movie is huge. Wonderful locations, helicopters, vehicles, all the action, etc are all in large scale. This has been made for plain entertainment and not for critics.

Image courtesy: Google