Movie Reviews
  • Game review

    It's a game!
    Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill

    Directed by Abhinay Deo

    Rating: 0.5 *

    Each time Bollywood tries to ape the west, it twists its ankle and trips over a puddle of poop, face-first. And Game is such a poop-drenched, wannabe-whodunit thriller that on watching, you might want to find out who's done this movie, why and couldn't he just light a bonfire with the disposable money used to produce it?

    The movie begins as billionaire Kabir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) invites an odd mix of people from across the globe to visit his personal Greek island of Samos for a chance to enrich their sorry lives. As the recipients scan their letters, the name Samos pops up often and can spark a sudden craving for the savoury snack (Samosa!). A tip: keep munchies accessible.

    Anyway, the lucky invitees include, drug-lord cum club-owner from Turkey, Neil Menon (Abhishek Bachchan), who's suited, booted, wears designer shades and beats people to pulp, usually when they

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  • Saif Ali Khan in Agent VinodIt amazes me how filmmakers think that stylized and slick production qualities give them the license to toss the script and logic out of the window. Big banner productions that go all out to publicize their films often turn out to be box office duds but Sriram Raghavan and Saif Ali Khan had successfully collaborated on 'Ek Hasina Thi' earlier. In fact the first 30-45 minutes looked really promising but post interval the film turns out to be a most tedious watch.

    The film is about a fearless RAW agent (Saif Ali Khan) who is investigating his colleague's (Ravi Kishen) death and stumbles upon a terror plot which will kill millions in India. While he's racing against time to find the bomb and the perpetrators of the crime, he comes across the mysterious Dr Ruby (Kareena Kapoor). Is Ruby a victim, a spy or is she working in connivance with the criminals?

    Saif gets the physique and the body language right but what about the script? Was it just narcissism, that the plot gets stretched beyond

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  • Saif in action
    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor, Gulshan Grover

    Directed by Sriram Raghavan

    Rating: *

    The best way to diffuse a bum is through butt crunches. Unless one is referring to the Hinglisized word for a bomb. And the much-awaited dhamaka that this thriller hoped to detonate at the box office might just be diffused once you read this review.  Despite miraculous leaps in production values, spy thrillers in Bollywood end up looking like Chinese equivalents of western products. And here, the characters are even stereotyped to the extent of detectives wearing trench coats and moles being obvious, shifty-eyed and literally uncomfortable in their own skin. So let’s just say foreign locales, weapons to annihilate the world, designer suits and not-so-excruciating interrogations don’t cumulatively justify ‘Agent Vinod’ as a thrilling movie-watching experience.

    RAW agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) divides his screen time between being questioned (when he is captured) and playing

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  • Vidya in KahaaniA lot of us might have completely written off Sujoy Ghosh after box office disasters like 'Home Delivery' and 'Aladin' but he has managed to score big with 'Kahaani'. Ghosh manages to weave a compelling, well-nuanced tale that skillfully transforms from a drama to a gripping suspense thriller.

    Gaurav Malani in his review says the narrative is the star of the film:

    Kahaani rightly lives up to its name and reinstates the fact that the core criterion for a decent film is a strong story. And if that story is in competent hands, you don't need anything else. No big stars, songs, budget or even a customary male lead. For a (pleasant) change, the script is indeed the hero here!

    What's interesting about 'Kahaani' is that different elements work for different people. Kaveree Bamzai in her review says:

    Kolkata is the star of the film. Kolkata early morning, with people drinking tea, brushing their teeth, waking up from the pavement. Kolkata going home, on the tram, with the obligatory call from

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: Kahaani
  • Vidya Balan in KahaaniSujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani' is such a compelling watch that it makes it difficult for the audience to sit back and relax. The tight script manages to keep the viewer's hooked till the end and the climax has a payoff that's completely worth the wait.

    The premise is simple: Vidya Bagchi's (Vidya Balan) husband who had come to Kolkata on a short assignment has suddenly gone missing. A pregnant Vidya comes down from London to find Arnab Bagchi, who seems to have either disappeared or never made the trip in the first place. The way a simple search story unfolds, weaving a complex conspiracy is most intriguing.

    The storytelling is taut and the momentum builds to a grand climax, the pace not slacking even for a moment. The possibilities are infinite: Did Arnab Bagchi just desert his pregnant wife? Are the police trying to somehow cover up his Kolkata visit? Does Arnab Bagchi exist or has he given his naïve wife a false identity? Is it possible that he has gone missing because he was mistaken for

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  • n Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee n n Directed by Sujoy Ghosh n Rating: **1 /2 n n “Computers are like a cycle for the mind, ” is something the late Steve Jobs once said. His analogy works just as well for suspense thrillers. Some love them for the uneasiness of being unsure of what will happen next, others enjoy putting the pieces together before the climax. And if they can ’t, they love it even more. ‘Kahaani ’, with a few loose ends, manages to score with an ‘unpredictable end ’ but the tension on the screen doesn ’t translate into an anxious audience. Not throughout the film at least. A pregnant woman seeks her absconding husband. She has flown down from London for the very first time to our colonial junkyard- Kolkata, precisely to do that. Now just this as a starting point could be used to terrorize the audience. A strange city full of people speaking an incomprehensible language can be portrayed cinematically through sweeping shots of crowds,

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  • Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Kulraj Randhava,

    Directed by Samir Karnik

    Rating: Minus Chaar

    The writers of ‘Chaar Din Ki Chandni’ and CAPTCHA writers serve the same purpose: waste your time and question your being (considering your taste in films!). Nonsensical has always been Bollywood’s version of slapstick. A wafer-thin plot, exaggerated characters who believe comedy means screaming out lines and repeating jokes which weren’t funny the first time around. But CDKC, miraculously, even manages to insult this disreputable genre. While a romantic comedy surrounding a wedding would be an impulsive 'paisa-daalo' for any financier, the unaccounted risks surface from the cracks in the characterization. And even for a person with superhuman tolerance, they will seem unnecessarily quirky and embarrassingly desperate in their attempt to entertain. If you’ve seen the promos of this film, you know the type. But you’re wrong. It’s not even worthy of being a no-brainer that you gape at on TV during aimless

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  • London Paris New York

    Debutant director Anu Menon's 'London Paris New York' is an effortless watch and the fast pace of the film doesn't give the viewer too much time to ponder over the flaws.

    I have realized the least I expect from a film, the better it works for me and Shubhra Gupta seems to echo the same sentiment in her review:

    A film that sounds like an itinerary of newlyweds on an international honeymoon manages to deliver a desi rom com with flavour and zing, coasting on a guy and a girl who look like they can't wait to get it on. That last is such a rarity in a Bollywood flick that it makes us willing and able to overlook the saggy bits.

    Kunal is definitely not willing to overlook the flaws and he gives 'LPNY' a 0.3 rating:

    Often directors believe the city their film is set in is a character in itself. By that logic, this one has three and if you watch this movie, they perform better than the lead cast. 'Accidently in love' is the most jaded theme in Hindi films and orchestrating that in foreign

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  • Cast: Ali Zafar, Ali Zafar's 33 teeth, Aditi Rao Hydari

    Directed by Anu Menon

    Rating: 0.3 * (0.1 for each city)

    Often directors believe the city their film is set in is a character in itself. By that logic, this one has three and if you watch this movie, they perform better than the lead cast. ‘Accidently in love’ is the most jaded theme in Hindi films and orchestrating that in foreign locations is like a prototype. But this celluloid catastrophe trashes tried and tested formulas to prove that sometimes even marking all the ticks can produce a big cross at the box office.

    The duo that laugh, cry, make love, sneer across the three megacities include Nikhil Chopra (Ali Zafar), an aspiring filmmaker and Lalitha Krishnan, a stereotypical social activist. Nikhil and Lalitha meet by chance (about time we have a premeditated love story!) at London airport, where the latter is stalled as her New York flight gets postponed. Nikhil decides to grin his way into playing tour guide to Lalitha.

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  • Cast: Irrfan Khan, Mahie Gill

    Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia

    Rating: ***

    A biopic on a non-public figure is like felicitating a Martian, no one on earth cares. Little known is often the same as little cared for but it could also mean little to compare with. So you have the world to improvise on the character and dress up his life to achieve cinematic victory. And that is just what this film has managed to a large extent with our super ‘daaku’ and national champ, Paan Singh Tomar. While legendary filmy dacoits like Gabbar Singh are remembered for their deliciously daring dialogue-baazi, Paan can be betokened with prefixes like selfless, considerate and even humane, making him as endearing as a ‘daaku’ can get.

    Predictably, Paan Singh is a victim of society and unavoidable circumstances push him to pick up his rustic double barrel. And like many other Bollywood baddies, he meets his inglorious end. But the journey of his life makes for a delightful watch. It begins from when he was a lad in

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Pagination

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