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  • Mausam review


    Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Aditi Sharma, Supriya Pathak

    Directed by Pankaj Kapoor

    Rating: *1/2

    Mausam can have many taglines. Mausam- 'a season to snooze'. Mausam- 'come fall asleep (with or without recliner seats)'. But the original one sticks best, 'Mausam: a timeless love story…' The ellipses only reinforce that this film might just never end. A tip: carry a day pack comprising essentials when you go to watch it.

    A disclaimer at the beginning says that the film doesn't depict true Indian Air Force procedures and tactics. So, dare you roll your eyes when a fighter pilot in the film prepares for an aerial raid by locking and loading his pistol into his holster (in case the missiles get jammed?).

    The film opens to a charming village in Punjab called Mallukot, home to our hero, Harry/Harinder Singh (Shahid Kapoor) who is somewhere between Top Cat and village idiot. In true Punjabi spirit, every dialogue begins with 'Dekh oye!' and everyone loves saying 'Haan

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  • August saw Bollywood experimenting with a mixed bag of genres- From the pretentious shining India films 'I Am Kalam' and 'Gandhi to Hitler' to socially relevant Aarakshan. Next up was a lukewarm real-life drama in 'Not a Love Story', followed by comic caper 'Chatur Singh Two Star' and finally the most awaited Eid release, 'Bodyguard'. But the only thing common between the films was the fact that all made for a painful viewing. Our in-house critic Kunal Guha picks out five films that failed to live up to the audience's expectations.

    I Am Kalam: Films produced with the intention of acquiring leafy film festival logos on the DVD cover, can end up being dangerously pretentious, even if they stick to the formula. And 'I am Kalam' is a perfect example of such a film. More

    Aarakshan: Films about social issues are like primetime debates on news channels, opinionated yet inconclusive. And even 'Aarakshan' neither takes a firm stand, nor provides the way forward. More

    Not A Love Story: One of

    Read More »from Bollywood’s report card for August
  • A still from 'Mummy Punjabi'

    Cast: Kirron Kher, Kanwaljit Singh, Jackie Shroff, Divya Dutta, Viraf Patel, Sachin Sharma, Simran
    Directed by Pammi Somal
    Rating: Bummer Punjabi

    Unlike the wrapped remains of pre-historic Egyptians, the Punjabi mummy has a lot to offer. From hip-shaking jhatkas to jaw-chilling phatkas (slaps), this mother of melodrama, can give any K-serial bahu a run for her money. Cumulatively, 'Mummy Punjabi' compiles an eclectic collection of stereotypes from Hindi films, past, present and even those lost in time.

    Set in the semi-metro of Punjab, Chandigarh, the film presents the life and times of Baby (Kirron Kher). Fondly called as Babyji, she is the mother of Simran (who has a misplaced calling for Bolywood) and two sons, Karan (Sachin Sharma) and Arjun (Viraf Patel). They're often seen squinting as Baby squeezes their cheeks while muttering, "Mere Karan-Arjun…". One is a smart-ass doctor and the other a timid club owner. When a mother is called 'Baby', her babies end up being rotten as hell.

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  • Bodyguard review

    A still from 'Bodyguard'

    Cast: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Asrani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Chetan Hansraj

    Directed by Siddique

    Rating: 0.25

    The beauty of a Salman Khan film is that it doesn't claim to be anything but just that. But when you pack in sappy melodrama, clichéd characterisation, a pathetic love story and action scenes choreographed in outer space, not even a Katrina Kaif item number can save the day.

    The film is based on the life of a certain Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) who is, (as his name suggests?), a bodyguard. An unshakeable, unbreakable, fighting machine, who leaps out of a train to land on top of another zipping through in the opposite direction. David Blaine: be ashamed, be very ashamed.

    Lovely's first vulgar display of power is when he swings by a certain port to rescue a group of girls being trafficked to Thailand in a container. After busting several noses and cracking a dozen skulls, one of the baddies unleashes a huge container that lands on Lovely. But our

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  • Cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Ajay Gehi, Zakir Hussain, Mahie Gill, Mahie Gill's legs, Mahie Gill's freckles, a goldfish, a fishy perverted neighbour etc

    Directed by Ram Gopal Varma

    Rating: Gruesome

    One of the biggest challenges in filming a real life story is that it has already been told. So, how do you make it exciting, unpredictable or entertaining? Also can you really do any of these things without altering the original story? RGV's 'Not a love story' takes reality, slices it into tiny pieces and serves it with bloody sauce. Based on Maria Susairaj and her graphic encounters, this film provides enough visual distractions to have your jaws touching your feet through most of its 105-minute runtime.

    For those who haven't bothered to follow the Neeraj Grover case, here's a quick download. The film is about Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill), an every-girl from small-town India who migrates to Mumbai, hopeful of cutting it into big-bad-Bollywood. In doing so, she leaves behind her obsessively

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  • Aarakshan review

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee, Pateik

    Directed by Prakash Jha

    Rating: ** ½

    Films about social issues are like primetime debates on news channels, opinionated yet inconclusive. And even 'Aarakshan' neither takes a firm stand, nor provides the way forward.

    The story is about a college principal, Dr Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) who's the 'mai-baap', godfather, Big B of Bhopal. Every second cop, lawyer, bank manager etc falls at his feet, having graduated from his prestigious STM institute. He also believes that charity begins from one's verandah, since his doubles as a free coaching class for weak students who belong to faint income homes. His favourite mentee, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan), a backward-class individual who owes his education to Dr. Anand, also helps out with the balcony classes, apart from teaching in STS. Anand's daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone) seizes this opportunity to get flirty with her father's obedient disciple

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  • Dhobi Ghat

    Rating: * 1/2

    Watching a 95-minute-break-free movie (no interval here!) means a break from munching, slurping and burping (unless you stock up before you enter the screen). But for 'Dhobi Ghat', unfortunately, this undivided attention was completely undeserved. What was portrayed as a film on Mumbai diaries, came across as obvious lines scribbled on a notepad. Perhaps it would be perceived differently by a non-Mumbaikar, but if you've lived in this city, you don't need to be told why people go to Marine Drive or why The Gateway of India is thronged by click-happy tourists. It's like telling Mary about her little lamb (she doesn't want to know!).

    So, the movie is about four unrelated characters, who happen to discover each other accidently and then continue leading their lives just as they were before. So basically, if they hadn't met, the result of this film would remain unchanged (right?). Anyway, Arun (Aamir Khan), a suave smoker and artist (in that order), has an overnight hump and

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  • BreakRating: **

    Tired of pretentiously 'different' love stories that end up being the same? Then "Break Ke Baad" is just for you. It doesn't promise to be different and it isn't. It is like every other love story ever told in Bollywood. Boy meets girl, falls in love, differences lead them away from each other (called a 'break' in this case), eventually realise their mistake and how they're meant for each other, run back into each other's arms. Closing credits roll. Now this is a format that will probably not change for another century. But what's refreshing here, is the portrayal of a shiny, young bubblegum generation grappling with relationship issues. And although the style is casual, the issues are just as real and relatable.

    The film is about Abhay (Imran Khan) and Aaliya (Deepika Padukone) who went from school friends to kissing teens to dating even before they learnt to flirt. Abhay is every girl's ultimate fantasy. He cooks, he's unpredictable, believes in commitment and marriage,

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  • Mirch review

    MirchRating: ** 1/2

    A title like "Mirch" could surely tickle your imagination to assume a lot before you actually watch the film. But pre-conceived notions aside, Godmother director, Vinay Shukla will surely manage to surprise you (if not excite you) a few times, through the 128 minutes you spend watching this movie. The film projects itself as a feminist revolution, by claiming to pack in four stories of female infidelity. But when you watch the film, the stories only prove that the female leads are just taking charge of their sexual destiny which makes it a fair call in most cases.

    The plot revolves around Maanav (Arunoday Singh), a filmmaker who takes pride in the two adjectives that define him- idealist and struggler (are the two forever married?). Along with sidekick and successful film editor girlfriend Ruchi (Shahana Goswami), he pitches a film story to producer Nitin (Sushant Singh). This narration comprises four short stories tweaked to match the 'mirch' quotient as prescribed by

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    Rating: **

    The first part of KHJJS (Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey) will make you feel nostalgic. Not because you were a part of the freedom struggle but because you've either participated or witnessed a school skit. Yes! Mr Gowarikar's depiction of 1930 Chottogram (Chittagong) finds everyone excited to get on with this historical costume drama. And the costumes are well researched too.

    Only problem, some of the characters seem like perfect misfits in their freedom fighting avatars. Best example, Sikander Kher (Nirmal Sen) who could pass for a Juhu brat in soiled Khadis (can't bring about a revolution in clean kurtas no?). You can imagine, the minute the director calls for a break, he would slip on his aviators and sip on his low-cal cola. It's like casting Antonio Banderas to play a rickshaw driver. Then you have the stunning Deepika Padukone (Kalpana Dutta), who tries hard but fails to de-glam herself. Even in her rural garb, one can't miss her perfectly drawn eyes that seek your

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