Movie Reviews
  • Akshay's high octane shootUmesh Shukla's 'OMG Oh My God' makes very pertinent points about commercialization of religion, religious symbolism and the farce that "devout" godmen manage to pull off. The intention was good but was that enough to make a good film?

    Baradwaj Rangan in his review says:

    Actors, sometimes, can annoy us with their omnipresence. At one time, Paresh Rawal was everywhere, and because our mainstream cinema does not offer a character actor too many notes to hit — it's either the well-intentioned friend of Baghban, or the shrill comedian trying to outshout everyone else in a Priyadarshan comedy — we began to tire of him. Cutting down his assignments has done the actor a world of good. He is in rip-roaring form as Kanji Bhai in Umesh Shukla's Oh My God. Kanji Bhai is a cheerfully unscrupulous wheeler-dealer, whose shop in Chor Bazaar specialises in religious memorabilia, ranging from Draupadi's sari to bottles of Gangajal whose contents come from the tap. (Kanji Bhai is an equal-opportunity

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  • Akshay plays godCast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty

    Direction: Umesh Shukla

    Rating: ***

    Umesh Shukla's film, 'OMG — Oh My God!' is a well-intentioned film but the execution could have been better. Shukla very competently succeeds in conveying the message that God has been reduced to mere symbolism in the modern world.

    Inspired by a Gujarati play, the plot is simple. Kanji Bhai (Paresh Rawal) is an atheist who owns an antique shop, he manages to cash in on the gullibility of blind believers to make a few extra bucks on the sale of their favourite deities. All is good till one day; the Gods decide to destroy only Kanji's antique shop after an earthquake. Even his insurance claim is rejected because of the "act of God" clause, which basically means since there was no theft, fire or fraud, there is no coverage for a victim of a quake or tsunami. When Kanji bhai's livelihood is at stake, he decides to sue God and claim compensation either from the various Godmen (who evidently run a

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  • Acid test for Kareena's stardomMadhur Bhandarkar dabbles with blacks and whites in 'Heroine', as usual his protagonists are a study in the extreme and therefore, there is very little scope for anything unpredictable. Bhandarkar's so-called 'realistic' portrayal of the Hindi film industry blatantly stereotypes Bollywood.

    Raja Sen says in his review that "Heroine is an unbelievably trashy film":

    It's called stereotyping, and Madhur Bhandarkar has parlayed it into a career. Film after film he embraces cliches -- about businessmen, models, journalists -- and exaggerates them, revelling in caricature and tacky dialogue. It's like a recreated dramatisation on a sensationalist television crime show, with marginally better actors and production values.

    It's almost like Bhandarkar enjoys sensationalizing his plot and 'labelling' is characters to a point where they start looking like caricatures. Baradwaj Rangan says in his review:

    Acknowledging the positive dimensions of fame would leave Bhandarkar with nothing to expend his

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: Heroine
  • Spotted on the sets of HeroineIf you have seen one Madhur Bhandarkar film, then you have seen them all; there is not even a feeble attempt at novelty. It is surprising how such blatant stereotyping of the glamour world is not offensive to the celebrities who the director claims to be 'realistically' portraying. In Bhandarkar's films there is no one place for the grey: celeb town just consists of people who are psychotic, adulterous, do drugs and are homosexual.

    There is a passing mention that Bhandarkar's protagonist in 'Heroine' has bipolar disorder; if the central character of the film is psychotic then whether she is a heroine or a housewife, she will be insecure and hysterical. Fame, or the lack of it, has nothing to do with it. Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is an A-list heroine whose insecure relationship with her co-star drives her to desperation and she puts her stardom at stake. Every attempt at reviving her sinking career fails which further pushes her to the edge.

    It is hard to look for a silver lining in a

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  • Heroine review

    Hit me Bebo one more time!

    Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Divya Dutta, Govind Namdeo, Lilette Dubey

    Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar

    Welcome to the cesspool of enchantment or ‘glamour ka daldal’ as director Madhur Bhandarkar would like to articulate. Films about people behind the films tend to get preachy as filmmakers believe they know more about their own kind than anyone else. And in this case, the misplaced confidence ensures that the research department is sacked and most dialogues begin with ‘Humaari industry mein’… and end with ‘manipulate karo ya ho jao’, ‘zip aur zabaan sambhalke kholna chahiye’, ‘confidence se bolo toh jhooth ko bhi sach maana jaata hain’, ‘heroines ka waqt bohot kam hota hain’ and everything else in between. Basically, Bhandarkar likes to spell it out like the backbenchers aren’t paying attention.

    The naughty kahaani being narrated here is that of Bollywood’s most wanted actress Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor). She may be conquering new heights with every film but in her

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  • Barfi! inspired by Raj KapoorAnurag Basu's 'Barfi!' had left me overwhelmed, on hindsight the narrative might not have been completely flawless but sometimes, we need imperfect fairy-tales that reassure us that there's still a lot to be happy about.

    Anupama Chopra says in her review:

    In Barfi, writer-director Anurag Basu creates a gossamer, fairy-tale world. Sometime in the 1970s, somewhere in the misty hills of Darjeeling, a penniless but irresistibly charming deaf-mute boy named Barfi gets the prettiest girl in town to kiss him. But their sweetly awkward love affair comes undone, after which Barfi embarks on an adventure with an autistic girl. Somehow these two, on their own, manage to survive the city of Kolkata - Barfi gets a job and even a ramshackle house with a spectacular view of Howrah Bridge. To point out that this is unlikely seems churlish. Because Barfi is designed to be a bittersweet, tender fable.

    Whatever may be the pitfalls in the storytelling; critics remain unanimous that Ranbir Kapoor has

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: Barfi!
  • Click for Barfi! promotion photosAnurag Basu's 'Barfi!' manages to string together beautiful moments: moments of love, friendship, loss and discovery. It's commendable how much the film says through unspoken words. There are few movies that strike a chord and leave you overwhelmed when the lights come on and 'Barfi!' is definitely one such movie.

    It's interesting that this film has a deaf-mute hero and an autistic female lead and yet, has one of the most coherent narratives we have seen recently. As Basu's plot unfolds, his characters tell an endearing tale of love, longing, togetherness and hope. There's the rush of first love, the mirage of impossible relationships, the compromise of right choices and eventually the acceptance of irrational emotions.

    Ranbir's performance is well nuanced and each expression is priceless. RK just keeps getting better with each performance. As 'Barfi!' his Chaplinesque antics are the most endearing but we see him play a whole gamut of characters in this film, there's his mischief, his

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  • Barfi! review

    Bina kehke lunga
    Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz, Rupa Ganguly

    Directed by Anurag Basu

    When a movie begins by revealing the grim end, no matter how cheerful the following flashback journey may be, you’re left dreading the inevitable. But ‘Barfi!’ manages to make you forget just that by narrating a lighthearted tragedy that wins particularly for what it doesn’t do: It doesn’t draw a pitiful picture of the deaf-mute lead. It doesn’t attempt to do anything that would suggest that it has been made to attract foreign festival ferns on the DVD cover. It doesn’t make the lead character overcome his disability to do something no man, woman or dog (without that disability) would ever think of attempting. Still foggy? Here’s what it doesn’t do: Click here to learn how to make a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film in a few easy steps.

    United expressions of Barfi
    Barfi! is a whistled version of Murphy, the name of our deaf and mute hero (Ranbir Kapoor) or how he would call himself. He sits on the fence between village idiot andRead More »from Barfi! review
  • Raaz 3 review

    A still from the movie Raaz 3

    Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Bipasha Basu
    Directed by Vikram Bhatt
    Rating: 1/2*
    The world is made of up of good and evil forces. Aatmas and Parmatmas. Those with chalk-smeared faces and those who merely appear as blinding lights and speak with an echo. But none of them can be immortal enough to live through a show of 'Raaz 3'. The prospect of getting horrified in three-dimension could be promising. But Indian horror films, as pioneered by the Ramsays, have rarely gone beyond junior artists in Halloween costumes grunting like death-metal vocalists. Here you have just that, and perhaps a few mouth-to-mouth adventures and some Kentucky fried frights. Yes, it is no raaz that you're up for some good ol' Bhatt kicking.
    Bips, don't lie

    Pat! Pat! Shanaya Shekhar (Bipasha Basu) whacks her five-inch lashes uncomfortably as she has just lost the best actress award to budding newcomer Sanjana Krishnan (Esha Gupta). Her obvious assumption: There is no God or he has better films to watch. Luckily, an

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  • Movie stills: JokerWell, Shirish Kunder has done the impossible; he has outdone himself at bad filmmaking, 'Joker' is worse than 'Tees Maar Khan'. I guess it's time that Kunder considered outsourcing some of his work because clearly, story, direction and editing was too much on his plate.

    Raja Sen in his review says that 'Joker' is a daft comedy:

    So what happens if a film -- one ostensibly in the guise of a comedy -- doesn't try too hard? The humour here isn't grating, overdone, outrageous, offensive, excruciating, unwatchable. This, then, may just be an approach that could be called a step forward in an Akshay Kumar comedy if only the aforementioned humour wasn't also nonexistent. There isn't a single line in Kunder's film that actually works, leaving us with a film that, while commendably brisk in a 100-minute package, refuses to get going at all.

    Maybe you thought star power would make this film work but even Sonakshi Sinha's good luck charm seems to have failed this time. Anupama Chopra writes:

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: Joker

Pagination

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