Movie Reviews
  • Dhobi Ghat

    Rating: * 1/2

    Watching a 95-minute-break-free movie (no interval here!) means a break from munching, slurping and burping (unless you stock up before you enter the screen). But for 'Dhobi Ghat', unfortunately, this undivided attention was completely undeserved. What was portrayed as a film on Mumbai diaries, came across as obvious lines scribbled on a notepad. Perhaps it would be perceived differently by a non-Mumbaikar, but if you've lived in this city, you don't need to be told why people go to Marine Drive or why The Gateway of India is thronged by click-happy tourists. It's like telling Mary about her little lamb (she doesn't want to know!).

    So, the movie is about four unrelated characters, who happen to discover each other accidently and then continue leading their lives just as they were before. So basically, if they hadn't met, the result of this film would remain unchanged (right?). Anyway, Arun (Aamir Khan), a suave smoker and artist (in that order), has an overnight hump and

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  • BreakRating: **

    Tired of pretentiously 'different' love stories that end up being the same? Then "Break Ke Baad" is just for you. It doesn't promise to be different and it isn't. It is like every other love story ever told in Bollywood. Boy meets girl, falls in love, differences lead them away from each other (called a 'break' in this case), eventually realise their mistake and how they're meant for each other, run back into each other's arms. Closing credits roll. Now this is a format that will probably not change for another century. But what's refreshing here, is the portrayal of a shiny, young bubblegum generation grappling with relationship issues. And although the style is casual, the issues are just as real and relatable.

    The film is about Abhay (Imran Khan) and Aaliya (Deepika Padukone) who went from school friends to kissing teens to dating even before they learnt to flirt. Abhay is every girl's ultimate fantasy. He cooks, he's unpredictable, believes in commitment and marriage,

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  • Mirch review

    MirchRating: ** 1/2

    A title like "Mirch" could surely tickle your imagination to assume a lot before you actually watch the film. But pre-conceived notions aside, Godmother director, Vinay Shukla will surely manage to surprise you (if not excite you) a few times, through the 128 minutes you spend watching this movie. The film projects itself as a feminist revolution, by claiming to pack in four stories of female infidelity. But when you watch the film, the stories only prove that the female leads are just taking charge of their sexual destiny which makes it a fair call in most cases.

    The plot revolves around Maanav (Arunoday Singh), a filmmaker who takes pride in the two adjectives that define him- idealist and struggler (are the two forever married?). Along with sidekick and successful film editor girlfriend Ruchi (Shahana Goswami), he pitches a film story to producer Nitin (Sushant Singh). This narration comprises four short stories tweaked to match the 'mirch' quotient as prescribed by

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    Rating: **

    The first part of KHJJS (Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey) will make you feel nostalgic. Not because you were a part of the freedom struggle but because you've either participated or witnessed a school skit. Yes! Mr Gowarikar's depiction of 1930 Chottogram (Chittagong) finds everyone excited to get on with this historical costume drama. And the costumes are well researched too.

    Only problem, some of the characters seem like perfect misfits in their freedom fighting avatars. Best example, Sikander Kher (Nirmal Sen) who could pass for a Juhu brat in soiled Khadis (can't bring about a revolution in clean kurtas no?). You can imagine, the minute the director calls for a break, he would slip on his aviators and sip on his low-cal cola. It's like casting Antonio Banderas to play a rickshaw driver. Then you have the stunning Deepika Padukone (Kalpana Dutta), who tries hard but fails to de-glam herself. Even in her rural garb, one can't miss her perfectly drawn eyes that seek your

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  • Cast: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Omi Vaidya, shraddha das, Shazahn Padamsee, Shruti Haasan

    Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar

    Rating: **

    With Gulzar's beautiful song as its title, "Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji" (DTBHJ) surely gets one curious about what to expect. And while Madhur-reality-Bhandarkar venturing into rom-coms reminds you of the 'stuck-in-the-wrong-job' ad, he just about manages to pass here.

    The film, as the promos suggest, is about three guys with varying amounts of testosterone, in search of love and lust. Naren Ahuja (Ajay Devgn), a divorced bank manager is still hopeful for a second innings. Milind Kelkar (Omi Vaidya), a self-confessed virgin is cautious of opening his innings only when he finds true love (yawn!). Abhay (Emraan Hashmi) is like an omnibus of all the characters that Hashmi has played in his previous films (they're all the same-a smooth talking slime ball). Naren invites the other two into his giant family home as tenants and to keep him from sinking into

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  • Cast: Gulshan Grover, Harsh Mayar, Pitobash Tripathy, Husaan Saad, Beatrice Ordeix, Namrata Dixit, Meena Mir, Garima

    Directed by Nila Madhab Panda

    Rating: *

    Films produced with the intention of acquiring leafy film festival logos on the DVD cover, can end up being dangerously pretentious, even if they stick to the formula. And 'I am Kalam' is a perfect example of such a film. A pseudo-intellectual masterpiece that could be revered by those who're connoisseurs of 'I can so feel his suffering' and 'I can so read the subliminal quadruple messages that the director has intricately woven into the screenplay'. As for others, check what else is playing.

    I am Kalam (and I am not a scientist?), is the story of a little boy, Chotu (Harsh Mayar), who works with his jolly uncle Bhati mama-sa (Gulshan Grover) at a dhaba in a dusty touristy small town in Rajasthan. The place is embellished with yawning camels and local instruments are blown out of proportion to make for a background score. Chotu's

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  • Bubblegum review

    Cast: Dilzad Hirale, Apoorva Arora, Sohail Lakhani, Suraj Kumar, Tanvi Azmi and Sachin Khedekar

    Directed by Sanjivan Lal

    Rating: ***

    Indian movies on childhood have mostly focused on issues that adults believe children deal with. And real kids and their issues (for whatever reason) are rarely deemed worthy of being essayed on the screen. In the bargain, we're subjected to overtly dramatic, smart-ass little devils who spout one-liners like laughter show contestants. In such a state, Sanjivan Lal's 'Bubblegum' breaks the mould created for screen kids and even gets terribly close to at least one fragment from each of our childhoods.

    I mean, who hasn't been a love-struck teen, when the whole concept, though fuzzy, makes one gulp at the very idea of confessing the feeling. When just the very sight of the person required pre-meditated stalking and division of attention would lead to unparalleled jealousy. We've all been there, we've all done that. If not, here's a chance.

    The story is based

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  • Cast: Om Puri, Govind Namdev, Manoj Pahwa, Mohnish Bahl, Anooradha Patel, Uvika Choudhary, Sarrtaj Gill

    Directed by Ajai Sinha

    Rating: Honour spilling

    'Khap' sounds like a blunt instrument cutting through flesh and ironically refers to Khap Panchayats or village bodies that brutally skin young couples who marry within their own clan, village (or cow-shed?). Although, the Supreme Court of India has banned Khaps from exercising medieval methods to simulate the phrase, 'till death do us apart', no court has proof-read the script of the film, 'Khap', so here we go again.

    Luckily, movies made on grave topics are usually intercut with a lighter parallel screenplay to balance the mood. Unluckily, 'Khap' takes the parallel story so far, it leaves the core issue like an abandoned baby outside a deserted church. So amidst the barbaric chopping, tractor mowing and sword stabbing of couples marrying within their 'gotra' (clan) in a quaint village called Sajod, lies a diabetically-sugary urban

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  • Singham review

    Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kajal Agarwal, Prakash Raj, Ashok Saraf, Sachin Khedekar, Sonali Kulkarni

    Directed by Rohit Shetty

    Rating: **

    Many will be quick to point out the similarities between 'Singham' and the numerous air-headed Salman Khan blockbusters. But low-gravity action, punches that propel bodies into mid-air ballets and cars walking on two feet, make it obvious: 'Singham' is a remake of a Tamil film (Singam) and is directed by Rohit Shetty (who is obsessed with blowing up cars in his films). And one has to be a bit lenient with remakes as they are like miniature models of famous monuments. If your little 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' is chiseled too acute, live with it, it's just a souvenir, right?

    The film is about a humble village cop, Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) who enforces law like a preschool moral science teacher. All accused and convicts are let off with a warning, as they're usually his friends and/or belong to the good ol' gaaon ki mitti, which is later distinguished from

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  • Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin

    Directed by Zoya Akhtar

    Rating: ***

    Films dealing with life-altering epiphanies are always shot in stunning locations. And Hindi films dealing with the same, need a stunning cast as well. A possible rationale: beautiful places relieve stress and bring things into perspective. And beautiful people experiencing divine realizations can hold your perspective on the screen, often resulting in a 'ka-ching' sound at the box office. 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' (ZNMD) is one such film.

    In true 'Hangover' meets Vikas-Krishna-Barcelona spirit, the film deals with a bachelor adventure marinated with stories of finding, losing and forgetting love. Kabir (Abhay Deol), an affluent construction tycoon is about to take the marital plunge. But not before he completes a much-postponed trip with school buddies, investment banker (and constantly grumpy) Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) and freestyle flirt Imraan (Farhan Akhtar).

    So, the

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