Blog Posts by Kunal Guha

  • Why wannabe thrillers don’t work anymore

    With ‘Agent Vinod’ managing to impress very few, we wonder if the genre has been jinxed. Find out

    There was a time when anything futuristic tickled the curious mind and offered a form and flesh to the unknown. And while the values of VFX have progressed by epic proportions, we still end up with duds like Agent Vinod, Players and Game. This brings us to question whether the concept of a thriller is to just look like one or is there a deeper reasoning to it? Lately, wearing fancy suits and skipping across the world trying to find clues to a global propaganda seems to be the ultimate recipe. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews of the big-budget turkeys that have subscribed to this ultimate formula for failure in recent times.


    It's a Game!
    Each time Bollywood tries to ape the west, it twists its ankle and trips over a puddle of poop, face-first. And Game is such a poop-drenched, wannabe-whodunit thriller that on watching, you might want to find out who's done this movie, why and couldn't he just

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  • Game review

    It's a game!
    Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill

    Directed by Abhinay Deo

    Rating: 0.5 *

    Each time Bollywood tries to ape the west, it twists its ankle and trips over a puddle of poop, face-first. And Game is such a poop-drenched, wannabe-whodunit thriller that on watching, you might want to find out who's done this movie, why and couldn't he just light a bonfire with the disposable money used to produce it?

    The movie begins as billionaire Kabir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) invites an odd mix of people from across the globe to visit his personal Greek island of Samos for a chance to enrich their sorry lives. As the recipients scan their letters, the name Samos pops up often and can spark a sudden craving for the savoury snack (Samosa!). A tip: keep munchies accessible.

    Anyway, the lucky invitees include, drug-lord cum club-owner from Turkey, Neil Menon (Abhishek Bachchan), who's suited, booted, wears designer shades and beats people to pulp, usually when they

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  • Agent Vinod review

    Saif in action
    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor, Gulshan Grover

    Directed by Sriram Raghavan

    Rating: *

    The best way to diffuse a bum is through butt crunches. Unless one is referring to the Hinglisized word for a bomb. And the much-awaited dhamaka that this thriller hoped to detonate at the box office might just be diffused once you read this review.  Despite miraculous leaps in production values, spy thrillers in Bollywood end up looking like Chinese equivalents of western products. And here, the characters are even stereotyped to the extent of detectives wearing trench coats and moles being obvious, shifty-eyed and literally uncomfortable in their own skin. So let’s just say foreign locales, weapons to annihilate the world, designer suits and not-so-excruciating interrogations don’t cumulatively justify ‘Agent Vinod’ as a thrilling movie-watching experience.

    RAW agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) divides his screen time between being questioned (when he is captured) and playing

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  • The Dhishoom! Hall of Fame

    The Dhishoom! Hall of Fame

    While films like Tezz and Agent Vinod promise slick action, filmi fights have been characterized by crude dhishooming. Here's a tribute

    Girl getting teased by roadside mavaalis, boy surfaces out of thin air to sock their winds out. And nothing avenges father’s honour more than bashing up his killer to pulp. And while today our hero manages to leap across buildings and swing through canyons thanks to technological leaps, we still have low-gravity kicks, punches that propel bodies into mid-air ballets and cars walking on two feet. So it is heartwarming to learn that somethings never change. Here’s a fist-up for the great dhishooms of Bollywood. Wham!

    Talwaar ki dhaar

    While fencing was never been a Bollywood favourite, this desi version of swaying talwaars to chop heads and puncture bellies has always excited audiences. Watch this action scene from the movie ‘Heera’ where Sunil Dutt gets his blade crossed with Shatrughan Singha.

    Nahin Chodunga!

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  • Kahaani review

    Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee

    Directed by Sujoy Ghosh

    Rating: **1/2

    “Computers are like a cycle for the mind,” is something the late Steve Jobs once said. His analogy works just as well for suspense thrillers. Some love them for the uneasiness of being unsure of what will happen next, others enjoy putting the pieces together before the climax. And if they can’t, they love it even more. ‘Kahaani’, with a few loose ends, manages to score with an ‘unpredictable end’ but the tension on the screen doesn’t translate into an anxious audience. Not throughout the film at least.

    A pregnant woman seeks her absconding husband. She has flown down from London for the very first time to our colonial junkyard- Kolkata, precisely to do that. Now just this as a starting point could be used to terrorize the audience. A strange city full of people speaking an incomprehensible language can be portrayed cinematically through sweeping shots of crowds, flashbacks

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