Blog Posts by Kunal Guha

  • Guzaarish review


    Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Monikangana, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shernaz Patel

    Directed: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

    Rating: *

    A song in the film Guzaarish warns you about the film. It goes something like, "Sau gram zindagi hain..." so think twice before wasting some of it watching this film. But if you're not convinced, read on. The film is based on mercy killing (a legal way to allow a terminally suffering patient to end his life painlessly). But endure this film half-way and you want to legalise mercy stabbing and mercy skull-smashing, to end the suffering you'll experience.

    Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik) is Goa's very own David Blaine, a paraplegic since 14 years following an on-stage injury. He lives in the part of Goa which falls in Eastern Europe, complete with castle, nurse Sofia D'Souza (Aishwarya Rai) who is perpetually dressed as a Spanish witch (wearing blood red lipstick) and several domestic help who look like milkmaids of different shapes and sizes. The film is a playground

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  • Chaalis Chauraasi review

    Cast: Reetu Jain, Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kissen, Shweta Bhardwaj, Rajesh Sharma, Zakir Hussain, Manoj Pahwa

    Directed by Hriday Shetty

    Rating: **

    Squeezing in a series of events that take place over a night can make for a deliciously pacey watch. But Bollywood’s interpretation of this format hasn’t always managed the meat of the bat. While ‘Ek Chalis Ki Last Local’ had a crisp screenplay, ‘My Friend Pinto’ was an embarrassing take on Chaplin and ‘Chameli’ seemed pretentiously art house. Neither had the gritty zing of an ‘After Hours’ or the shivering tension of a ‘Rope’ and yet, it is refreshing that this one manages very well to keep you awake and interested if not anxious about the what would follow. Somewhere between overwhelming and underwhelming is a slot that is called unobjectionable and that is just where this one-night comic-thriller fits into.

    Bollywood has explored themes like cops breaking bad, baddies trying to start afresh and every other one in

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  • Ghost review

    How many tomatoes does it take to fix a light bulb?
    Cast: Shiney Ahuja, Sayali Bhagat, Julia Bliss

    Directed by Puja Jatinder Bedi

    Rating: Full moon, no stars

    ‘The past never dies, it kills’ is a promise made on the poster of this film and that for one, is well-fulfilled. Step out of the screen and you will find your brain cells ready to be zipped up like a carcass in a body bag. ‘Ghost’ follows the most reliable format for Indian horror films: Bhoot is evil; God isn’t and if you pray hard enough or atleast pretend to believe in good over evil, God will take the time out to smash evil’s nose. And as a bonus, we not only have chalk-faced spirits cackling around noisily, we also have the almighty himself sashaying in his biblical robe through dark corridors, managing very well in not tripping over.

    The film begins with a mythological TV show voiceover, announcing the beginning of time or end of good times or something very prophetic that you won’t be bothered to care about. What you would care about is the following unaesthetic potty sex

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  • Players review

    A still from 'Players'

    Cast: Bobby Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Sonam Kapoor, Omi Vaidya, Sikander Kher, Vinod Khanna, Johnny Lever

    Directed by Abbas-Mustan

    Rating: Game Over

    Desi versions of Hollywood thrillers are like ‘first copy’ bootlegs from Thailand. They initially look approximately the same but later the threads begin to wriggle out. So when director duo, Abbas-Mustan took on ‘The Italian Job’, Benny Hill became Neil Nitin Mukesh, everyone double-crossed and obvious lines were exchanged with a grim face. Now, tough guys don’t snigger until they’ve outwitted someone or unless they’re delirious like Mogambo! But our bad boys are, firstly, not all boys and their badness is mostly restricted to the leather jackets rented from MJ’s ‘Bad’ music video. So looking grim is a ritual observed throughout the audience.

    Most would vaguely know about the original gold heist comic caper so let’s go straight to the singular flourishes added here. Veteran robber, Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna)

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  • Y! Meta Review: Don 2

    DonThe first time Farhan Akhtar decided to remake the cult classic 'Don', the film was weighed down by comparisons to the Bachchan starrer. This time around it does not have the baggage of the past. 'Don 2' is definitely high on the style quotient but does it deliver as a complete entertainer?

    Well Nikhat Kazmi certainly seems to think so. She writes in her review:

    Don 2 is a classic action/crime thriller that doesn't let go, even for a moment. More importantly, the plot has been finely crafted, with every twist and turn falling into place like a complicated albeit neat little jigsaw. With a canvas that goes on a cross-country ride -- Thailand, Malaysia, Zurich, Berlin -- the film challenges you to hop aboard its high speed scuttle and attentively follow the exploits of its glamorous gangster. One who oscillates between two avatars -- Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible) and James Bond -- without losing out on his desi charisma.

    Raja Sen in his review says, "Don 2, Akhtar's

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