Movie Reviews
  • Matru Ki Bijlee Ka MandolaCast: Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Kapoor, Shabana Azmi

    Direction: Vishal Bharadwaj

    Rating: ***

    ‘Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola’ has a lot of things going for it but somehow it lacks the edge of other Vishal Bharadwaj films. Except his last production (7 Khoon Maaf), Vishal Bharadwaj’s productions are commendable for their tight, flawless scripts but in ‘Matru…’ too much time is spent on background and creating context before the story unfolds.

    While the plot is basically about illegal land acquisition; here the story revolves around industrialist Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapur), his daughter Bijlee (Anushka Sharma) and Mandola’s odd-job man Matru (Imran Khan). Bijlee is all set to marry the local politician’s (Shabana Azmi) dumb son Badal (Arya Babbar). The wedding is a mutually beneficial deal between the industrialist and the politician. But of course, there has to be the typical Bollywood-style twist where Bijlee falls in love with Matru, putting the entire arrangement in

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  • Rajdhani Express castCasting: Leander Paes, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Jimmy Shergill, Sayali Bhagat

    Direction: Ashok Kohli

    Rating: .5

    There are a lot of stories that go wrong, that don’t play out the way the director conceives it, that has drawbacks that pull down the pace of the film but this one is so disjointed and incoherent that it makes you wonder what was Ashok Kohli thinking when he decided to make ‘Rajdhani Express’.

    Actually it took me a while to wrap my mind around the actual premise, if any. A fashion designer (Sudhanshu Pandey), an item girl (Pooja Bose), a scriptwriter (Priyanshu Chatterjee) and an impostor (Leander Paes) are all aboard the Rajdhani Express. Since they are all traveling in the same compartment, they decide to get drunk and play a game where they will reveal each other’s secrets. Each secret reinforces every Bollywood stereotype possible – the item girl has sex for money, so much so, that she starts soliciting her co-passengers, the fashion designer says he is gay but has no

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  • Movie stills: Dabangg 2Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prakash Raj, Arbaaz Khan

    Direction: Arbaaz Khan

    Rating: ***

    Arbaaz Khan knows that he owns a very successful franchise and to score big with ‘Dabangg 2’ he needed to do more than just replicate the same format. ‘Dabangg 2’ tries to deliver on its promise as much as possible and our hero indulges his fans in true Salman Khan-ishtyle.

    Chulbul/Robinhood Pandey (Salman Khan) has now taken a transfer to Kanpur where goon-turned-politician Thakur Bachcha Lal (Prakash Raj) needs to be tamed. There are quite a few encounters between Chulbul and Bachcha bhaiya’s men and every time our supercop manages to beat the bad boys to a pulp in his inimitable style.

    Chulbul has made peace with his stepbrother and stepfather and is a more domesticated man now. He is no longer the brash, presumptuous lover but a more romantic and understanding husband. While some of the interaction between Chulbul and his once-estranged father and brother is endearing, I somehow liked

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  • Movie stills: Khiladi 786Cast: Akshay Kumar, Asin, Himesh Reshammiya

    Director: Ashish R Mohan

    Casting: **

    This is Ashish R Mohan's directorial debut but having assisted on the 'Golmaal' series, he is quite familiar with the shortcut to the 100 crore club; sign up a popular Bollywood actor, pack in a few well-choreographed Matrix-style action sequences, pepper the narrative with clichéd slapstick humour, throw in an item song complete with pelvic thrusts and you have the perfect blockbuster that will set the cash registers ringing.

    'Khiladi 786' has a plot, okay may be a mishmash of several other plots that we have seen before. Khiladi 786 aka 72 Singh (Akhshay Kumar) belongs to a family of thugs who work in collusion with the police in Punjab. While the brave fake cop has a heart of gold, his search for a life partner is proving futile. On the other hand, underworld don TTT (Mithun Chakraborty) is looking for a suitable alliance for his sister Indu (Asin).

    Enter Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya), his father runs a

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  • Talaash: The movieCast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor

    Direction: Reema Kagti

    Rating: ****

    Reema Kagti's 'Talaash' is a suspense thriller that not only boasts of a taut script but has a multi-layered structure that manages to pack in enough surprises to keep the viewer hooked till the very end. The storyteller's craft lies in the fact that the modus operandi of the plot seems as intriguing as the motive of the crime.

    Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) is investigating the death of actor Armaan Kapoor (Vivan Bhatena) whose car seems to have suddenly veered out of control and plunged right into the sea. Considering the actor was neither under the influence of alcohol/drugs nor was he suicidal, the death throws up a lot of unanswered questions. The plot thickens when Armaan's widow informs the police that the actor had withdrawn Rs 20 lakh on the day of his death, raising suspicion that he might have been a victim of blackmail or extortion.

    One of the prime suspects in this case is a pimp and

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  • Photos from 'Life of Pi'Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

    Direction: Ang Lee

    Rating: ****

    Ang Lee takes on the arduous task of translating Yann Martel's 'Life of Pi' into cinema, a book that deeply philosophizes faith, hope and illusion. Ang Lee transports you into Pi's world; as a viewer you might be captivated by the visual spectacle that the director has managed to create on screen but you are also fascinated by the young boy who is struggling to survive at sea and is trying to come to terms with his relationship with God.

    Photos: Special screening of 'Life of Pi'

    Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) is quite a spiritual boy from his childhood. His family runs a zoo in Pondicherry and Pi is distraught when they decide to relocate to Canada. As the family sets assail in a ship with the zoo animals, a terrible storm leaves Pi (Suraj Sharma) shipwrecked, stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. They manage a miraculous feat of surviving 227 days at sea braving storms, hunger and a carnivorous island among many

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  • Behind the scenesCast: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt

    Direction: Ashwni Dhir

    Rating: *1/2

    Ajay Devgn's Diwali gamble didn't quite pay off this time. A film like 'Son of Sardar' can work on two accounts, either on the merit of star power or on the quantity/quality of amusing gimmicks that the makers can pack in. However, with a flimsy plot and inadequate humour, the story fails to take off.

    Simply put, it is a bloody revenge saga where Jassi (Ajay Devgn) and Billu (Sanjay Dutt) belong to the opposite camps. Jassi comes to India to sell off an ancestral property and wants nothing to do with the existing family hostility but the Sandhus are still waiting to settle the score. Predictably he falls in love with Sukh (Sonakshi), the girl from the enemy camp and he must now, not only fight for his life but also his love.

    Jassi discovers that the only way to save himself is to remain a guest in the Sandhu household and thus, follows tedious hide-and-seek sequences where the Sardar tries to pull off one

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  • Yash Chopra's lastCast: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

    Direction: Yash Chopra

    Rating: ***

    There is a reason why Yash Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan are called the Kings of Romance, they have managed to weave one unforgettable love story after the other that remains etched in our memories. 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan', Yash Chopra's last directorial venture had created ample pre-release buzz and the anticipation in the theatre was palpable. 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' is yet another impossible love story made believable by the conviction of the makers.

    Samar Anand (Shah Rukh) does odd jobs in London for sustenance, needless to say our quintessential Bollywood hero is multi-faceted; he croons, he grooves, he has a heart of gold and he is charmer all the way. On a cold London night, while cleaning snow from the sidewalks, Samar falls for the beautiful Meera (Katrina Kaif), Indian billionaire's daughter who is always negotiating with God and cutting deals to accomplish her unfulfilled wishes. Quite obviously their

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  • Jackky Bhagnani
    Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Nidhi Subbaiah, Arjun Rampal, Kirron Kher
    Direction: Sanjay Gadhvi
    Rating: *

    I am convinced 'Ajab Gazabb Love' was just made so that Jackky Bhagnani could add another film to his filmography. The plot follows the most predictable trajectory possible, there's not even a feeble attempt at anything original and it hardly qualifies as a romantic comedy.

    Rajveer Grewal (Jackky Bhagnani), spoilt rich kid who has built a dream car very innovatively called DC, falls hook, line and sinker for dusky girl coming down the escalator. Lovestruck hero manages to track down the 'escalator' girl with the help of a passing glance at a sociology book she is carrying. Before he can express his love, he realizes the object of his affection hates rich people and gets all high-pitched and angry when she sees them.

    How must our hero amend this impossible situation? Quite simply by pretending to be a poor, educated and hard working mechanic. Predictably one lie leads to another and before Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Ajab Gazabb Love
  • Movie Stills: ChakravyuhCast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpai, Esha Gupta

    Direction: Prakash Jha

    Rating: **1/2

    Prakash Jha picks a sensitive subject of social relevance but in his attempt to pander to popular cinema, he incorporates too many Bollywoodisms that prevent 'Charavyuh' from becoming an intense political drama. Jha spends too much time trying to make the film entertaining rather than focus on the nuances that make a coherent plot.

    'Chakravyuh' is a political drama set against the backdrop of the Naxal Movement. Jha brings to forth many pertinent aspects of the Naxal ideology — the issue of little or no development for the tribal communities in India, illegal land acquisition from the farmers, the collusion of the powerful (the politicians and the industrialists), police brutality and systematic failure of the law and order system. The intention is good but Jha flounders on the execution.

    Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) is the honest and courageous police officer who has been assigned the arduous

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