Movie Reviews
  • Parineeti and Siddharth Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Siddharth Malhotra, Manoj Joshi, Sharat Saxena, Adah Sharma

    Direction: Vinil Mathew

    Rating: ***

    ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ is not a frothy romance, bubbling with KJoesque romance. It’s a slow love story that requires your patience, especially with the pace at which it progresses. You either need to have a lot of time at hand or need to be a total emotional fool to completely invest in this story.

    At the heart of this tale are two endearing characters – they might be weird, quirky or even stupid at times but you somehow buy into their story. They take you through their unusual experiences and you play along simply because most of it is infused with so much genuine fun. You are even ready to indulge their idiosyncrasies and the general stupidity of the situations because Parineeti is so damn adorable as the nerdy scientist.

    If you scratch a little deeper under the surface you realize that besides the eccentricities, Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) is a person that no one gets

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  • Abhay Deol and Preeti DesaiCast: Abhay Deol, Preeti Desai, Lillete Dubey, Rati Agnihotri

    Direction: Devika Bhagat

    Rating: *

    ‘One By Two’ deserves an award for the most uninspired piece of work. This is the kind of experimental film, which should have been probably been a film school project and never made it to the big screen.

    Abhay Deol sleepwalks through a film that reeks of shoddy writing and dull characterization. Amit Sharma (Abhay Deol) is a lousy employee, a boring lover and basically a loser who loves to wallow in self-pity after his girlfriend ruthlessly dumps him. Instead of channelizing his energy into something worthwhile, he continues to be obnoxious to people around in more ways than one.

    In a parallel world, Samara Patel (Preeti Desai) with a size zero body and very long legs aspires to become a successful dancer. Her mother (Lillete Dubey) is an alcoholic and she has a spate of bad luck before she can realize her dream. Unlike what the trailers would have you believe, the two lead characters actually

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  • Jai HoCast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Tabu, Danny Denzongpa

    Direction: Sohail Khan

    Rating: **

    Salman Khan’s box-office draw is indisputable but you can’t circumvent every rule in the book and hope to just ride on star power. The least expectation from a Salman film is that despite it’s complete disregard for logic, it will succeed in entertaining but ‘Jai Ho’ fails even on that account.

    Jai (Salman Khan), a former army official, espouses fervent humanism and to champion this noble thought he doesn’t refrain from using all forms of violence possible. The problem with a thought like this one is that brutal force is offered as a simplistic solution to many complex issues that plague contemporary Indian society. Impassioned speeches fail to strike a chord, when you realize that the aam aadmi is basically hapless, unless they have someone like Salman to bail them out of their misery.

    Salman as the slightly unscrupulous Chulbul Pandey (in ‘Dabangg’) was a treat to watch but Jai Agnihotri, as the upright

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  • Dedh Ishqiya: The filmCast: Madhuri Dixit, Naseerudin Shah, Huma Qureshi, Arshad Warsi, Vijay Raaz

    Direction: Abhishek Chaubey

    Rating: ****

    Abhishek Chaubey renders a delectable mystery. He seems to have mastered the art of perfectly executing thrillers laced with dark humour.

    I love the way ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ seems to build-up like a romantic story – Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit), a widow, is looking for a suitor to fulfill her dead husband’s last wish. Nawabs from different parts of the country have assembled to display their prowess, especially to brandish their eloquence as poets.  You realize that there is some underlining tension to the prolonged romantic idling but Chaubey never falters on the pace, taking his time to peel the layers and reveal the true nature of his female characters.

    Chaubey’s male characters are uncomplicated, their motives crystal clear, almost helpless in their naiveté. Blinded by love or the notion of it, they repeatedly succumb to manipulation even when they are convinced that they are

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  • Aamir's high-enery actionCast: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Katrina Kaif

    Direction: Vijay Krishna Acharya

    Rating: ****

    ‘Dhoom 3’ is big on style and completely delivers on the entertainment quotient. The fact that it comes at a cost of suspension of logic at times, I guess is a given. What rankles is that a film with Aamir Khan is expected to have some kind of coherence to rationale. The film’s adherence to plot points slips every now and then but they make up for it with super chase sequences.

    The ‘Dhoom’ franchise has always been obsessed with the anti-hero. From Hrithik Roshan’s different looks in ‘Dhoom 2’ to the suspense around who will be chosen as the next villain has always garnered attention. Much before the shooting started we were already discussing who would be the female lead opposite Aamir Khan, what would be his look, what would be different in this installment of the action flick?

    I guess as far as the anticipation around the anti-hero is concerned, ‘Dhoom 3’ does complete justice –

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  • R...Rajkumar promotionsCast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Ashish Vidyarthi, Asrani

    Direction: Prabhu Dheva

    Rating: *1/2

    Just when you thought that Prabhu Dheva had perfected the art of churning out potboilers with typical southern spicing, ‘R… Rajkumar’ disappoints like nothing else.

    ‘R…Rajkumar’ is the kind of formulaic film that was very popular in the 1970s. When made well, it works because of nostalgic value but unless there is at least one unique thing in the plot, the action formula has become so passé.

    Rajkumar (Shahid Kapoor) decides to become the right-hand person of a local goon after he’s struck by love at first sight. His research is so bad that he doesn’t even realize that he is helping the rival gang. By interval the director has exhausted all his ploys and yet we are forced to sit through another hour of mindless violence and slapstick humour.

    If stories like this one need to have some sort of structure, we have already seen the set-up, the conflict and have a fair idea of the

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  • Bullett Raja's historical connectionCast: Saif Ali Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Sonakshi Sinha, Vidyut Jamwal, Raj Babbar

    Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia

    Rating: ***

    Tigmanshu Dhulia’s films usually boast of very nuanced writing. However, in his attempt to make an out-and-out commercial film, Dhulia sacrifices the many intricacies that we have come to associate with his storytelling.

    ‘Bullett Raja’ plays shamelessly to the gallery, starting with a raunchy item song even before we begin to establish the lead characters. That kind of sets the tone for the rest of the film; the narrative follows the predictable formula, interspersing a gangster movie with redundant song-and-dance numbers, peppering it with a tepid romantic track, liberally adding some dialoguebaazi, all of which fail to add the desired zing to this masala flick. I am sure there is a better way to churn out a typical Bollywood potboiler.

    ‘Bullett Raja’ does have some first class action sequences; Saif Ali Khan and Vidyut Jamwal are fit and effective. The easy camaraderie

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  • Imran and Kareena go all outCast: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Anupam Kher

    Direction: Punit Malhotra

    Rating: **1/2

    I have always maintained that Karan Johar teaches his protégés well; they almost always get the entertainment quotient and the slick productions qualities right but alas that can’t be said about ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’.

    The production is so slick that even when Dia Sharma (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and Sriram Venkat (Imran Khan) choose to stay in a dusty Gujarati village, they are always impeccably dressed. Imran’s white linen shirts don’t even have a speck of dust on them, Kareena’s kohl-lined eyes are always perfectly done and she exhibits the most extensive cotton kurta collection possible in a poor village. I guess she dresses immaculately to express solidarity with the impoverished village folk.

    And this in effect is what exposes the inherent superfluousness of the plot. Sriram actually makes a very valid point when he erupts and blames Dia of being a hypocrite. The fundamental

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  • Ram and Leela sizzle togetherCast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak Kapur

    Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

    Rating: ***1/2

    So what do we know about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films? Bhansali creates a visual spectacle that (when done well) transports you to his make-believe world.

    A viewer is overwhelmed by the opulence of the sets - the colour, the grandeur, involved in the tragedy that strikes the star-crossed lovers, ready to suspend rationale and inhabit the director’s universe for a few hours. The question is whether you remain engaged for all the time that you decide to suspend logic and participate in Bhansali’s flight of fantasy? While first half of ‘Ram-leela’ is an engrossing watch, the second half seems too long – the feuding families spend so much time trying to level scores that after a point you really don’t care.

    ‘Ram-leela’ is yet another Bollywood love saga inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. What really stands out in this one is how Bhansali has managed to deconstruct the

    Read More »from Yahoo Movies Review: Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela
  • ShahidCast: Raj Kumar, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Prabhleen Sandhu, Kay Kay Menon and Tigmanshu Dhulia

    Direction: Hansal Mehta

    Rating: ****

    Shahid Azmi’s life was both fascinating and tragic and Hansal Mehta renders his tale displaying exceptional craft. A taut narrative and commendable performances ensure that the director never loses grip despite a sometimes labored pace.

    The director does complete justice to a complex story like ‘Shahid’ that is at once disturbing and inspiring. We follow Shahid’s early life - his resistance to systematic brainwashing, his refusal to bow down to unfortunate circumstances and his undaunted will to rise above injustice and prejudice.

    There’s a big lesson to be learned here – our response to situations, no matter how unfair they might be, defines us and who we chose to become. Shahid dispelled the notion that succumbing to violence is probably the only fitting reply to discrimination by an apathetic state. He emerges an unlikely messiah, his own unfortunate

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