Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Review: Heroine

    Spotted on the sets of HeroineIf you have seen one Madhur Bhandarkar film, then you have seen them all; there is not even a feeble attempt at novelty. It is surprising how such blatant stereotyping of the glamour world is not offensive to the celebrities who the director claims to be 'realistically' portraying. In Bhandarkar's films there is no one place for the grey: celeb town just consists of people who are psychotic, adulterous, do drugs and are homosexual.

    There is a passing mention that Bhandarkar's protagonist in 'Heroine' has bipolar disorder; if the central character of the film is psychotic then whether she is a heroine or a housewife, she will be insecure and hysterical. Fame, or the lack of it, has nothing to do with it. Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is an A-list heroine whose insecure relationship with her co-star drives her to desperation and she puts her stardom at stake. Every attempt at reviving her sinking career fails which further pushes her to the edge.

    It is hard to look for a silver lining in a

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  • Y! Meta Review: Barfi!

    Barfi! inspired by Raj KapoorAnurag Basu's 'Barfi!' had left me overwhelmed, on hindsight the narrative might not have been completely flawless but sometimes, we need imperfect fairy-tales that reassure us that there's still a lot to be happy about.

    Anupama Chopra says in her review:

    In Barfi, writer-director Anurag Basu creates a gossamer, fairy-tale world. Sometime in the 1970s, somewhere in the misty hills of Darjeeling, a penniless but irresistibly charming deaf-mute boy named Barfi gets the prettiest girl in town to kiss him. But their sweetly awkward love affair comes undone, after which Barfi embarks on an adventure with an autistic girl. Somehow these two, on their own, manage to survive the city of Kolkata - Barfi gets a job and even a ramshackle house with a spectacular view of Howrah Bridge. To point out that this is unlikely seems churlish. Because Barfi is designed to be a bittersweet, tender fable.

    Whatever may be the pitfalls in the storytelling; critics remain unanimous that Ranbir Kapoor has

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  • Review: Barfi!

    Click for Barfi! promotion photosAnurag Basu's 'Barfi!' manages to string together beautiful moments: moments of love, friendship, loss and discovery. It's commendable how much the film says through unspoken words. There are few movies that strike a chord and leave you overwhelmed when the lights come on and 'Barfi!' is definitely one such movie.

    It's interesting that this film has a deaf-mute hero and an autistic female lead and yet, has one of the most coherent narratives we have seen recently. As Basu's plot unfolds, his characters tell an endearing tale of love, longing, togetherness and hope. There's the rush of first love, the mirage of impossible relationships, the compromise of right choices and eventually the acceptance of irrational emotions.

    Ranbir's performance is well nuanced and each expression is priceless. RK just keeps getting better with each performance. As 'Barfi!' his Chaplinesque antics are the most endearing but we see him play a whole gamut of characters in this film, there's his mischief, his

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  • Y! Meta Review: Joker

    Movie stills: JokerWell, Shirish Kunder has done the impossible; he has outdone himself at bad filmmaking, 'Joker' is worse than 'Tees Maar Khan'. I guess it's time that Kunder considered outsourcing some of his work because clearly, story, direction and editing was too much on his plate.

    Raja Sen in his review says that 'Joker' is a daft comedy:

    So what happens if a film -- one ostensibly in the guise of a comedy -- doesn't try too hard? The humour here isn't grating, overdone, outrageous, offensive, excruciating, unwatchable. This, then, may just be an approach that could be called a step forward in an Akshay Kumar comedy if only the aforementioned humour wasn't also nonexistent. There isn't a single line in Kunder's film that actually works, leaving us with a film that, while commendably brisk in a 100-minute package, refuses to get going at all.

    Maybe you thought star power would make this film work but even Sonakshi Sinha's good luck charm seems to have failed this time. Anupama Chopra writes:

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  • Review: Ek Tha Tiger

    Salman and Katrina back togetherIn Kabir Khan's 'Ek Tha Tiger' Jason Bourne meets Chulbul Pandey. Kabir's protagonist tries to tread the fine line where an undercover RAW agent, who by definition needs to maintain a low profile, has to also appeal to the masses. The big challenge for the director was to find a way of resolving this dichotomy and capitalizing on the 'Salmantricks'.

    The premise is simple enough: India's top spy goes by the name Tiger (Salman Khan) and though few know his real name, they all known of his daredevilry and grit. He is sent to Ireland on a relatively harmless mission where he meets Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and promptly falls in love with her. However, in their world of dark secrets, multiple identities and impending threats, there is no space for love and emotions. Tiger and Zoya's love story follows a predictable trajectory where they must run and hide to exotic locales so that they eventually become untraceable.

    Salman's entry and the Matrix-ishtyle fight sequences in the very first scene were

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