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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: Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Pankaj Kapur

    Direction: Homi Adjania

    Rating: ***1/2


    Most of our films are sagas of love, revenge, struggle, survival and vindication; ‘Finding Fanny’ is a celebration of the mundane and of the irony inherent in a journey of five oddball characters.

    Homi Adjania’s ‘Finding Fanny’ is quirky. The characters, much like the story they are a part of, have no aspirations. They seem happy with their routine life in Pocolim, a sleepy village in Goa.

    Angie (Deepika), a young virgin widow, is lonely but is also completely okay living a sexless life. Even as she urges Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) to find the love of his life, Stephanie ‘Fanny’ Fernandes, you can’t help but wonder whether she really wants him to find love or whether her exertions and his quest provide a break from the monotony for her.

    Her mother-in-law Rosie (Dimple Kapadia) is a feisty woman who, all her life, has preserved the memory of a husband who abandoned

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Finding Fanny
  • Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumar, Sunil Thapa

    Direction: Omung Kumar

    Rating: ****

    First things first, loud applause for debutant director Omung Kumar – attempting a biopic on a boxing champion most of us had never heard of before her Summer Olympics bronze medal is worth plaudits.
     
    Then again, you can see why Kumar chose Kom as his subject – her life reads like a film script, complete with early struggles, hard-won victories, personal conflicts, hard training, amazing comeback. The nuts and bolts of the story exist in Kom’s life, but it still needs a competent director to pull it all together into a cohesive narrative, and to his credit Kumar accomplishes that.
     
    Priyanka Chopra plays Kom – and a large part of her performance relates to the science and art of boxing. Was the actress doing it right? Were her foot movements correct? Was her guard right? Did she carry off the one-two punches properly? I can’t vouch for any of that; I don’t watch boxing. What I can vouch for is that I found

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Mary Kom
  • Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Humaima Malick, Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon

    Direction: Kunal Deshmukh

    Rating: ** ½

    ‘Raja Natwarlal’ had the potential to become a good con film, albeit with a completely borrowed premise from several Hollywood films, particularly from ‘Oceans Eleven’. Our director, Kunal Deshmukh, however, finds the need to play to the gallery, interspersing the narrative with unnecessary elements that completely slacken the pace of the story.

    The basic requirement of a good con story is a crisp taut script that keeps the viewer engaged and hooked. An insipid romantic track and completely superfluous songs dilute Deshmukh’s screenplay.

    Most of the time, like planning a good holiday, plotting a heist is more fun than the actual deed. But, the loopholes are so evident and our cocky protagonist (Emraan Hashmi) is so indiscreet that it is impossible to ever really invest into their big idea.

    ‘Raja Natwarlal’ has some crackling performances by the likes of Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Raja Natwarlal
  • Cast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jisshu Sengupta

    Direction: Pradeep Sarkar

    Rating: ***

    ‘Mardaani’ had a lot of potential – it could have been a gripping police drama. Alas, the payoff doesn’t quite deliver on its promise. While the plot trajectory is immensely engaging, here again is a climax not only hugely disappointing, but also extremely problematic.

    Just as in ‘Singham Returns’, there is a tough, honest cop with an insight into the criminal mind. Inspector Shivani Roy (Rani Mukherjee) is calm and precise in approach and meticulous in execution, as is evident from her water-tight plan to bust a heinous crime racket. Drugs and sex trafficking being her primary concern.

    What deeply disturbs, however, is the protagonist’s utter lack of faith in the Indian judicial system. A film that glorifies and even espouses vigilante justice by a senior police officer can only be interpreted with dark tones in India, a country of over a billion of which a fair chunk suffers crime, inequality

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Mardaani
  • Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Amole Gupte, Mahesh Manjrekar, Anupam Kher

    Direction: Rohit Shetty

    Rating: ***1/2

    Rohit Shetty is no doubt getting better at his game. There are still a lot of vehicles turning turtle, gun-blazing machismo, smashing of glasses and damdaar dialoguebaazi in ‘Singham Returns’ but there is also a method in this madness.

    Even though Shetty tries to pack in a neat little message for Independence Day, masala remains his forte and he stays true to his style. He shows some restrain, going slow on the sermonizing and melodrama for the most part. Even the romantic track is a subtle insertion, which doesn’t slow the pace of the story.

    ‘Singham Returns’ meanders close on the edge of over-the-top drama but someone was keeping a tab on some kind of script and narrative and the fact that Shetty’s overenthusiasm had been reigned in more than once was quite obvious. In fact, I was quite impressed by the way we were progressing on collecting evidence and maintaining

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Singham Returns
  • Cast: Akshay Kumar, Tamannaah Bhatia, Mithun Chakraborty, Johnny Lever, Krushna Abhishek

    Director: Sajid-Farhad

    Rating: *½

    ‘Entertainment’ is one of those films where the people in the 2-minute end credit video seem to have more fun than you did during the entire run-time (2 hours 21 minutes) of the film. It is also the kind of film that makes me realize that this is one of those Fridays when I have lost a few precious hours of my life that I will never get back.

    I guess Sajid-Farhad had this novel idea where they wanted Bollywood fans to have their very own dog story and Akshay Kumar being a dog-lover conceded to share the limelight with a Golden Retriever. In fact, reports suggest that the plot has been inspired by a true story, where a Parsi gentleman had left all his assets to his pet dog. So our directors had a borrowed idea, but then they had no clue on how to weave a story around it. Therefore, they wind up packing in every absurdity possible to make this film work.

    We have

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Entertainment
  • Cast: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddique, Mithun Chakraborty, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra

    Direction: Sajid Nadiadwala

    Rating: ***
    1/2

    ‘Kick’ is the kind of film where I allow my better judgment to be blurred and just soak in this spicy potpourri. This delicious Bollywood masala fare is served with a dash of romance, a generous dose of action, dollops of melodrama and some pontification.


    Not only are there Salmantricks galore for every die-hard fan, but also two strong male supporting characters, which is a first. Randeep Hooda and Nawazuddin Siddique are perfectly cast and belt out commendable performances.

    Randeep Hooda plays a tough cop – intense, sharp and suave. Hooda stands tall in a film that is essentially supposed to belong completely to Salman Khan. You cannot help but notice this no-nonsense cop, who talks tough but is afraid to be jilted at the altar. It’s amazing how he blends the intensity with vulnerability, making him such an

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Kick
  • Cast: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Shukla, Ashutosh Rana

    Direction: Shashank Khaitan

    Rating: ***1/2


    ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ promises simple, unadulterated fun, that has become such a rare commodity these days. The film makes no bones about the fact that it is hugely inspired by Bollywood’s classic love story ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ but it is the little spins the director has weaved into the narrative that makes the film such a fun watch.

    While our NRI Simran in ‘DDLJ’ (1995) was engaged to a desi munda in India, feisty Punjabi kudi Kavya (Alia Bhatt) is set to be married off to an NRI doctor settled in the US. While DDLJ’s Raj had to fly down from London to win over the girl’s family, our Humpty Sharma (Varun Dhawan) lands in Ambala to build his case with the strict father of the bride. Despite the little variations, you might feel that you are watching ‘DDLJ’ all over again, but Shashank Khaitan’s irreverent treatment just makes ‘HSKD’ worth your while.

    It is

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
  • Cast: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Kiran Kumar, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Tanvi Azmi, Arjan Bajwa

    Direction: Samar Shaikh

    Rating: ***

    Samar Shaikh’s naïve detective is not savvy but despite the lack of sophistication, our lady Karamchand has a certain charm that keeps us intrigued. The same can be said about the film ‘Bobby Jasoos’, while it might not break new ground as a Bollywood detective film, it manages to keep us entertained.

    Bilkis aka Bobby Jasoos (Vidya Balan) has no formal training, no exceptional expertise, and no finesse and yet, this 30-year-old Hyderabadi girl from a middle-class Muslim family wants to become a famous detective. No one takes her seriously, neither her family nor a potential employer, except her two loyal sidekicks – Shetty (Prasad Barve) and Munna (Aakash Dahiya). In fact, when you see her go about her business, you realize that though she might be good with her many guises, she lacks a basic quality that any detective should possess – discretion. In fact, most of

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Bobby Jasoos
  • Sidharth and Shraddha in 'Ek Villain'Sidharth and Shraddha in 'Ek Villain'
    Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Kamal R Khan, Remo Fernandes, Shaad Randhawa

    Direction: Mohit Suri

    Rating: **
    1/2


    Mohit Suri has an exciting germ of an idea but instead of building on the suspense, the director bundles in every filmy element into ‘Ek Villain’. There is so much going on in this film that it leaves the viewer exhausted and exasperated.

    Here’s a plot that needs to be moulded into an intriguing psychological thriller; a story that is crying out for a “different” approach but alas, it falls prey to the typical tried and tested formula.

    For once the villain at hand has a very clear victimology, his psychosis has a definitive trigger and every kill is a false reaffirmation. It would have been interesting to see how this character developed from his first attack and how he is eventually found out. However, by the first half, Suri has already dished out both the conflict and a quick resolution, while the second half is a regular Bollywood revenge

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Ek Villain

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