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firstcut - Mon 20 Oct, 2014 3:53 PM IST - Actor Rajkummar Rao, who won his first National Award this year for his role in Ha…

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Alia Bhatt
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First Cut

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  • Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumaar, Deepti Naval

    Direction: Navdeep Singh

    Rating: ***

    NH 10 reeks of confused storytelling. Is it just a road film meant to deliver the thrills? Or is it addressing a larger issue – problems implicit to a patriarchal society where misogyny is a way of life? The director of NH 10 picks up a topic of relevance but fails to contextualize it.

    It's about a road trip gone wrong but NH 10 is not just that – what we have here is the fallout of an incident that is steeped in chauvinism. However, the treatment is flippant.

    When Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) meddles in what seems like a case of honour killing, it’s hard to commend him for his spunk. He doesn’t step in to rescue a hapless girl; all he wants to do is avenge his slighted ego. He exhibits the typical North-Indian-guy recklessness and foolhardiness that fails to prompt any empathy.

    Arjun’s wife Meera (Anushka Sharma) comes across as the more sensible one and yet in the face of a crisis her

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: NH 10
  • Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra

    Direction: Sharat Katariya

    Rating: ***1/2

    Dum Laga Ke Haisha continuously makes you smile. This is a film with a big heart and you’ll also love watching this one for the kind of nostalgia it evokes.

    It’s a simple love story; not unlike many romantic tales that we must have watched in the 1980s – an era this film is happily reminiscing. Our hero is emotionally blackmailed into getting married, he is almost repulsed by his new wife but in our films people eventually find a way to each other’s heart.

    Nothing new there, but the treatment is different and there are rare moments of genuine fun. This is probably the first time that we see a newlywed couple’s first fight play out over their personal selection of Hindi film songs.

    Our protagonist Prem (Ayushmann Khuranna) is a huge fan of Kumar Sanu and has a modest shop in Haridwar. But our fitness freak has failed his class X exams and cannot speak a word of English. Thus, some

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Dum Laga Ke Haisha
  • Cast: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vinay Pathak, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Radhika Apte

    Direction: Sriram Raghavan

    Rating: ****1/2

     

    It’s violent, it’s disturbing, it’s stifling, but it is also bloody brilliant.

    Sriram Raghavan has crafted his characters with care, highlighting how grey each character is: there is no place for the black and white in this film. Who do you sympathise with? Who is the real victim?

    Hindi films give us the hero and the villain, clearly outlined characters - you know who to root for and who to despise for their dastardly acts. Raghavan’s Badlapur blurs these lines – you wonder whether two wrongs really make a right?

    Our protagonist is blinded by grief and over the years, you see Raghav (Varun Dhawan) transform from the suave, young professional he used to be into a man driven insane by the hunger for vengeance. Sometimes there seems to be just no method to his madness. The pain is understandable, but the premeditation and the relentless persuasion

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Badlapur
  • I had always wondered what he was really like in real life – was he like the suave tough cop from Kahaani or was he more like Faisal Khan from Wasseypur: crass and ruthless? In real life – he is not very tall (5’6’’ to be precise) but he has a staggering personality. When he quietly slips out for a quick smoke, he seems unaware that the bodyguards are busy looking for him. In an industry where images and egos rule, it’s almost impossible to find unassuming personalities like him.

    My voice had a slight quiver when I started talking to Nawaz saab but he speaks softly and has very precise answers. As we chatted about his filmi journey and I discovered little details about his life, I was bowled over by Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Q. You had once said that you are short and probably that’s why are offered only bit roles but now, you have big films to your credit. How has this 16-year journey been?

    A. It feels great – I started my career with a 40-second role and I

    Read More »from Face-to-face with Nawazuddin Siddiqui
  • Varun Dhawan is quite a charmer. He has had a busy day promoting his forthcoming film Badlapur but there isn’t a hint of irritation or fatigue as he talks to members of the media. He has already done half-a-dozen interviews, recorded teasers for local radio stations, flashed his disarming smile for all the women around him, and yet he is calm and focused when he settles down to chat with us.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Q. What was your first reaction when you were offered the role of Raghu in Badlapur?

    A. I though that the makers are mad. They wanted me to do the role of a boy who would then become a 38-39-year-old man. I found it very interesting. I think the whole idea of transforming myself and becoming something I was not, was very exciting.

    Q. How difficult was it to prepare for a role like this one?

    A. It was difficult, I was lost, I didn’t know which way to go, but Sriram helped me graph this character. He speaks a lot through silences and with his eyes in this film.

    Q. In your

    Read More »from In conversation with Varun Dhawan
  • Cast: Arjun Rampal, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ranbir Kapoor, Rajit Kapoor, Anupam Kher

    Direction: Vikramjit Singh

    Rating: **

    I never thought that I would say this about a Ranbir Kapoor film, but Roy is an excruciatingly boring film. Nothing, absolutely nothing, seems to break the monotony of the narrative.

    There is no thrill in this romantic thriller. Yes, there is romance but this is an insipid and predictable love story. The emotions, the separation and the redemption remain superfluous entities, never really weaving a compelling tale.

    Our filmmaker (Arjun Rampal) wants to tell the fascinating story of a thief (Ranbir Kapoor), who has intrigued him since childhood. His chance encounter with another director, Ayesha Amin (Jacqueline Fernandez), inspires him to craft the much-awaited sequel for his mysterious protagonist. The only thing is the brooding, pensive thief sounds interesting on paper but the character just doesn’t seem to translate into a suave swindler on screen.

    Vikramjit

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Roy
  • Photo: Rummana AhmedPhoto: Rummana Ahmed
    Arjun Rampal seems to gravitate towards grey characters. In his forthcoming film, 'Roy' he plays a storyteller but it's highly unlikely that the character will be a linear one. Rampal says, that he wants his characters to be multi-dimensional and that's the foremost thing on his mind when he decides on a script.

    Jacqueline Fernandez is attempting a double role for the first time in Bollywood and Arjun applauds her performance saying that she has indeed done a great job - it's as if the parts of Tia and Ayesha have been played by two different people.

    The Srilankan beauty queen had an awesome time shooting on this film but who was the more fun co-star we asked and Jacqueline said,"Most definietly Arjun because Ranbir is very reserved on the sets."

    Directed by Vikramjit Singh, 'Roy' this Friday on Valentine's eve this year. Arjun says the film is an apt release for the romantic weekend, "The film might be a thriller but it's all about relationships."

     

    Read More »from Jacqueline: Arjun is the more fun co-star
  • Cast: Dhanush, Amitabh Bachchan, Akshara Haasan

    Direction: R Balki

    Rating: ***1/2

    ‘Shamitabh’ has a fascinating concept. While Balki’s tale seems to hit the right notes at regular intervals, in its entirety it fails to strike a chord that resonates.

    The story also seems to have all the ingredients for an emotional pay-off; nothing better than a tale that tugs at your heartstrings and a climax that leaves you misty-eyed. Why did I not feel wowed by this film?

    Having said that, ‘Shamitabh’ brings to fore a very important aspect of every relationship – mutual respect.

    Our mute protagonist from a nondescript town in Maharashtra (Dhanush) is catapulted to super-stardom through an extraordinary partnership with another artist (Amitabh Bachchan). He is an alcoholic who has been repeatedly rejected because his baritone was unsuitable for the roles he auditioned for. He rents a place in a cemetery, drowning his failure in alcohol, till he meets this aspiring actor, who believes he is destined

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Shamitabh
  • This 28-year-old actor was first seen in Raju Hirani’s ‘3 Idiots’. Even in a cameo as Aamir Khan’s batch mate (Joy Lobo), Ali managed to create quite an impression. Since then he has moved from strength to strength: from featuring in an ensemble cast in ‘Fukrey’ to Vidya Balan’s romantic interest in ‘Bobby Jasoos’, this talented actor is sure carving a niche for himself in the Hindi film industry.

    He talks to us about his maiden experience of working in an erotic thriller.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    You have played a ‘good boy’ in your past films, while your forthcoming film is an erotic thriller. How was the experience?

    It was fun, it was breaking the rhythm, for me, especially – like you said, the good-boy roles have been a step ahead for me but this was something very drastic that happened.

    I am so very grateful to everyone – to Karan…. to Mahesh Bhatt, especially. I am grateful that they trusted me with this role because I have played a very layered character and yet, the role is

    Read More »from Ali Fazal on 'Khamoshiyan'
  • Cast: Ali Fazal, Sapna Pabbi and Gurmeet Choudhury

    Director: Karan Darra

    Rating: *
     
    There’s very little to say about ‘Khamoshiyan’ – it has silenced me into a kind of horrific disbelief that its makers would have found entirely unintended. How long before we are able to even attempt a reworking of our horror flicks?

    This, ostensibly, is an “erotic thriller”. The erotica and thrills, however, are sorely missing. Most saas-bahu serials on the telly these days have racier content.

    To say nothing of the absurdities provided by way of purported thrills. No degree of suspension of disbelief would make the audience buy what’s on offer here: sketchy blood-drinking villains, vile possessed hounds, and zombies that look less scary than most mothers-in-law on TV.

    It is also baffling to see the one-book wonder protagonist continue to inhabit a dwelling place that is a source of such terror and anguish to him. I mean, consider this, would you carry on living in a setting with such massive
    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Khamoshiyan

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