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

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


Ahaan is a movie that revolves around an adult with down syndrome. In the fast paced world around him, he is surrounded by a judgemental society, including his parents, who are protective, sometimes much more than required. I have seen first hand how parents of special children feel, how they behave, how protective they are, how affected by social stigma they become. With due respects to them and their grit to face challenges, this movie can give a streak of hope to them.

Free of any false sense of superiority, or inhibitions, Ahaan has aspirations similar to that of normal people: to have a family of his own, a house, car, job, etc. He is befriended by Ozzy, whose wife had left him because of his behavioural issues. As the movie progresses, Ahaan’s simplicity overwhelms not only Ozzy, but the audience as a whole. I could not help loving him.

What do you want to be in 10 years?

There is a scene when Ahaan is being accompanied by Ozzy for a job interview and Ozzy asks him this mock question. His answer is “Ahaan”. I was absolutely floored by authenticity of the response, straight from the heart.

Good acting, believable story-line. A streak of positivity. Also a subtle message to society to be more inclusive towards people with special needs.

Image courtesy: Google

Wednesday, January 10, 2024


An intelligence agency has identified an internal mole, and wishes to nab him red handed. The intent is also to identify the reason – catch the puppet and puppeteer both. The film is led by Tabu, an actress par excellence. She is not making any attempt to hide her age. Along with her senior officer (Ashish Vidyarthi), she embarks on a journey to uncover the prime suspect, Ravi Mohan, played by Ali Zafar. I have seen him on screen after a very long time and I totally loved Ali’s bespectacled look.

Wamiqa Gabbi comes across a very strong actress too. I had seen her in a small role in Mai, a web series starring Sakshi Tanwar. I have observed her in a TV commercial and in yet another very successful web series (Jubilee). Wamiqa has definitely travelled a long way to reach her present level of acting.

Tabu and her team are surprised to learn that it is not his wife, but his aged mother, who is Ravi’s accomplice in crime. The storyline is tight, and full of twists and turns till the very end. The mission behaves like a sine curve, troughs happen when Ravi manages to smuggle sensitive information across to a rival country, and crests can be sensed when you have him cornered; till he manages to flee again. The fact that everyone has to balance their personal and professional lives is underlined yet again. An extra flavour is added in this thriller for me as quite a few dialogues are spoken in Bengali. You'll love Khufiya also because of the directional excellence of Vishal Bhardwaj.

Image courtesy: Google

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Dhak Dhak

Biking is something that is essentially associated with men. This feisty movie breaks the stereotype and revolves around four women, all from different backgrounds, who choose to ride to Khardung La in Leh, Ladakh on Royal Enfield bikes. This is a dream destination or holy grail of bikers, men or women. Circumstances are different, inspirations are different for each. The screenplay has been weaved with their journey and individual stories of the characters. The name of the movie, Dhak Dhak, refers to beating of one’s heart once the engine of a heavy bike gains acceleration.


It is not about the journey alone. There are multiple challenges that one has to overcome to reach the final destination: punctures, health issues, loss of connectivity... you name it. Your belief that there are still some nice people out there gets reinforced as you watch a truck driver lend an extra phone to Sanjana, or when a fellow traveller comes forward to assist the girls in times of crisis. The movie subtly touches upon modern day risks such as videos going viral or phones getting hacked.

The star of the movie is Ratna Pathak Shah. She’s so good and lovable. The very beautiful Dia Mirza, Sanjana Sanghi and Fatima Sana Shaikh look well suited to their roles. You’ll love the empowered women and stay hooked till the very end.

Image courtesy: Google

Happy New Year!!