Blog Posts by Kunal Guha

  • 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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  • Not a love story review

    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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  • Break Ke Baad review

    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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