Blog Posts by Kunal Guha

  • Why Barfi can have a bitter fate

    A still from 'Barfi'

    When film historians of the future look back at cinema today, they would discover two kinds of films: those with subliminal morals and films like 'Barfi!' While it's unfair to slot a film based on its trailer, there's no harm in having an opinion and here is mine. Going back to Ranbir Kapoor saying it all without actually saying anything (he plays a deaf and dumb person in the film) can seem like a celebration of life. And if you've seen the trailer, it's impossible to miss the captions, 'be happy', 'be crazy', 'be loved', 'be charming’, 'fart generously'. OK, the last one wasn’t spelt out. But the point is and this is the scary part, does everything have to be spelt out? Does Anurag Basu have to subscribe to the Bhansali school of filmmaking? Do we need a desi Chaplin to tell us how to knead our dreary lives into something that makes it all seem worth our existence? Why not ‘be someone who has a mind of his own’ and doesn’t need to be injected with emotion’? Do we really need to do
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  • Cocktail review

    Keeping up with the Khan-dashians
    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Dimple Kapadia, Boman Irani, Randeep Hooda

    Directed by Homi Adajania

    Rating: *1/2

    Those who love judging a film by its trailer will be quick to assume that this is another version of ‘Love Aaj Kal’. Those who watch American reality shows would spot similarities with ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’- as Saif looks old enough to father the two leading ladies in this film. But those who actually watch this film will know that it’s neither. It’s a hollow approach to relationships that leaves you with an empty feeling of nothingness. Here’s a cocktail mixed with laughs, dances, songs, tears, stunning beaches but the cumulative effect of this mix: permanent sobriety.

    Welcome to present day London, where Veronica’s (Deepika Padukone) present is all about making her presence felt wherever she goes. So if she’s at a club, she has to get nasty on the platform, if she’s getting wasted in a limo, her bladder will be the first to give up. Read More »from Cocktail review
  • Bol Bachchan review

    Bore Bachchans

    Cast: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai, Neeraj Vora

    Directed by Rohit Shetty

    Rating: 0.25 *

    Just after a cameo jig in the title song, Big B offers a disclaimer: he isn’t a part of this film, even though his name is. And that is hint enough for the wise. But for those who don’t know, Bol Bachchan (BB) jams chopsticks up the nose of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comic classic ‘Gol Maal’ and digs itself six feet under with it. While the story is same in theory, being a Rohit Shetty film only adds some cars nailing somersaults, trucks attempting a ballet, baddies playing mid-air Garba after being biffed and Ajay Devgn drawing his eyebrows close enough to show that he means business.    

    Presenting the mightiest gunda of Ranakpur, human Google translator (Hindi to nonsensical) Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn). He comes, he punches, he delivers a line in two languages and he leaves. His opening shots and exits are in slow-mo and his lines leave you with loose motions. Lost in

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  • ‘I’ve not watched TV in 1.5 years’

    Veena Malik in 'Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai'

    Veena Malik shot to fame when she tip-toed in her stilettos on reality show Bigg Boss. Having been a Pakistani actress and model, being on the reality show seemed like an ideal platform to display her skills to Indian producers and directors who could check if she were an ideal fit for possible roles. And while Sunny Leone became an instant hit with the Bhatts, Veena has managed to use her reality TV clout to bag 5 films in India which have already been filmed and are awaiting a release date. But the verdict for her Bollywood debut is out in 'Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai' which released last week. While the film didn't manage to get her the national attention and interest she had hoped for, she is still hopeful and comfortable with the fact that the industry has accepted her. In a casual chat with Kunal Guha, she talks about her debut, the kind of roles that fit her like a glove and characters she would rather avoid playing. Here's a transcript of the conversation:

    What excited you

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  • Maximum review

    Mooch is the secret of my energy: Sonu Sood in Maximum

    Cast: Sonu Sood, Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Vinay Pathak, Amit Sadh

    Directed by Kabeer Kaushik

    Rating: Minus five

    Contrary to popular belief, this film isn’t about a nighty-clad mother (maxi-mum). It is about Aamchi Mumbai- the maximum city. But director Kabeer Kaushik’s film takes minimum interest in Suketu Mehta’s interpretation of the city and if anything, only curdles it into a milkshake of clichés. So Mumbai isn’t about the ‘Mum-bhais’ anymore. It’s about trigger-happy encounter cops, dance bars which can’t be distinguished from item song shoots and a lot of people lying mum in a pool of their own blood; pretty much like the theatre screening this film.

    Pratap Pandit (Sonu Sood) is an encounter cop of few words and many bullets. A family man by every right, he is sorely disappointed when his wife- Supriya (Neha Dhupia) succumbs to a bullet later in the film. That said, unlike every self-respecting family man, he is a regular at dance bars and has his way with item girls who

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