Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Yahoo Movies Review: Shuddh Desi Romance

    Shuddh Desi Romance: The filmCast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor

    Direction: Maneesh Sharma

    Rating: ***

    Big fat Indian weddings make for a colourful backdrop and Bollywood loves using it to render its many love stories. Maneesh Sharma uses the same flashy canvas to mock the vibrant façade it manages to create.

    Modern relationships are caught in transition - some are being redefined, traditional mindsets are being challenged, the man-woman equation has many new aspects to it. Societal pressure sometimes try to thwart this change, the expectation that everyone has to be happily married by a certain age puts immense pressure on individuals and their families and Indian weddings are sometimes used to veil the changing dynamics of relationships.

    Maneesh Sharma tries to address the various nuances of love and commitment. He does raise some valid points but his treatment remains superfluous at best. It’s as if the filmmakers were scared to take a strong stand, afraid that it will

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Satyagraha

    Will Satyagraha work?Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Amrita Rao, Manoj Bajpai

    Direction: Prakash Jha

    Rating: ***

    ‘Satyagraha’ manages to stir the latent patriotic fervor in its audience but is deeply flawed in its execution. Prakash Jha’s storytelling not only offers simplistic solutions to very complex issues but I find his approach very problematic.

    ‘Satyagraha’ brings to fore a lot of systematic problems entrenched in the Indian society – corruption, government apathy, the collusion of the powerful and the helplessness of the common man. While all these issues are real, the director’s addressing of them is almost flippant. At the very onset, it is abundantly clear that even the protesters, with the exception of Dwarka Anand (Amitabh), have vested interests.

    Manav Raghavendra’s (Ajay) involvement is totally emotional; for Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena), a peoples’ protest against the state government makes for a good story for her channel and Arjun’s (Arjun Rampal) support

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  • Yahoo! Movies Review: Madras Cafe

    Madras Cafe: The filmCast: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, Siddharth Basu

    Direction: Shoojit Sircar

    Rating: ***1/2

    ‘Madras Cafe’ is an engaging tale. Commendable mostly because Shoojit Sircar manages to weave an interesting plot and well-executed conflict stories are a rarity in Bollywood.

    Any political thriller runs the risk of being biased and I am sure there will be an equal share of viewers who will be offended by the alleged pro-state stance taken by the director. To be fair to him, however, the narrative at various times does mention that every one has their version of the truth and it just depends on perspective.

    Or like our protagonist reiterates, one man’s revolutionary is another man’s terrorist.

    The director has also made it quite clear that the Indian state was quite ambiguous in its approach and subsequent resolution during the crisis. Prejudices aside, I am just looking at the cinematic merits of the film.

    The film provides a comprehensive context to the Sri Lankan civil war and a taut narrative

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  • Yahoo! Movies Review: Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!

    OUATIMD: The filmOUATIMD: The film

    Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan

    Direction: Milan Luthria

    Rating: ** 1/2

    ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara’ disappoints on various accounts. Most of all it is the labored pace and the tedious romantic track that makes the film a boredom-inducing watch.

    If you are expecting that the sequel to ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ would be a fast-paced action thriller, then you are in for a not-very-pleasant surprise. ‘OUATIMD’ is a long winding love triangle where the protagonist and his aide just happen to be gangsters.

    Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) is so busy chasing his object of affection and obsessing about her that he seems least interested in cementing his supremacy in the underworld. Akshay’s quest for both love and power is handled in such a flippant manner that neither manages to make an impact.

    Akshay Kumar’s act is high on style but the portrayal falls flat. It does not have the punch that Ajay Devgn had brought on screen as the brooding Sultan Mirza (in ‘Once Upon A Time In

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  • Yahoo! Movies Review: Chennai Express

    Chennai ExpressChennai Express

    Cast: Shah Rukh Khan,Deepika Padukone

    Direction: RohitShetty

    Rating: ***

    If you are familiar with Rohit Shetty’s craft and think SRK is one of the best things to happen to Hindi cinema, then ‘Chennai Express’ is a blockbuster. Shetty and SRK keep you entertained throughout.

    There isn’t a single original idea in the plot but a majority of the audience were sure not complaining. In fact, the whole idea of spoofing everything that SRK has done before and more adds to the entertainment quotient. ‘Chennai Express’ works at a level where ‘Himmatwala’ had colossally failed – it manages to successfully spoof the Bollywood-formula.

    I guess what makes the film watchable, is the fact that Shah Rukh and Deepika sure did seem to have a lot of a fun during the making of the film. It’s quite evident that while they approached the role with utmost seriousness, they treated themselves very casually. In a film like this one, it is pointless to mention that there was absolutely zero chemistry between the lead

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