Movie Reviews
  • HimmatwalaCast: Ajay Devgn, Tamannaah, Mahesh Manjrekar, Paresh Rawal

    Direction: Sajid Khan

    Rating: **

    The problem with Sajid Khan’s ‘Himmatwala’ is the director can’t make-up his mind whether he wants to make a spoof or whether he wants to recreate the nostalgia of the 1980s. The film thus hangs in a precarious balance vacillating between the two extremes.

    Ravi (Ajay Devgn) is a street fighter who discovers that his widowed mother and sister are in dire straits in his native village. He returns to Ramnagar to avenge the death of his father and seek justice for the people of his village. Sher Singh’s (Mahesh Manjrekar) daughter is equally spoiled and walks around the village in very small dresses, brandishing a whip. The spoilt brat soon falls for Himmatwala Ravi and is then swishing around in salwar-kameez plotting her father’s downfall.

    A very typical Bollywood revenge saga like this one in the hands of a better director could have become a laughter riot. Sajid Khan however, hopelessly

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  • Cast: Bipasha Basu, Nawazuddin Siddique, Doyel Dhawan

    Direction: Suparn Verma

    Rating: **

    Suparn Verma makes sure that he has incorporated every horror film cliché in ‘Aatma’. The film’s linear narrative follows a very predictable plot trajectory that hardly delivers on the thrill quotient.

    Maya (Bipasha Basu) is a single mother, just divorced from her abusive husband Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddique). Abhay dies in an accident and his ghost is haunting Maya because he wants his daughter Nia (Doyel Dhawan) back. What follows is a very obvious series of events where anyone who offends the daughter meets a gruesome end. Maya has to battle with not only the cruel intentions of her dead husband but she also has to fight for her daughter’s life.

    I understand that horror is a difficult genre to get right but we can’t expect special effects to compensate for the lack of a good script. The story progresses with very little thought to character development, actors are introduced so that they can

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  • Movie stills: Jolly LLBCast: Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla

    Direction: Subhash Kapoor

    Rating:  ***

    Subhash Kapoor’s ‘Jolly LLB’ has its heart in place; the plot execution is not flawless but a relevant subject matter makes it worth a watch.

    Jagdish Tyagi (Arshad Warsi), struggling lawyer from Meerut, decides to move to Delhi to make it big. Once in Delhi, he decides to re-open a high-profile hit-and-run case, hoping that the case will give his career the mileage it needs.  The defense counsel on the case is the very famous and prominent lawyer Advocate Tejender Rajpal (Boman Irani). Power and money ensure that the rich have gone scot-free and there is no justice for the six pavement dwellers who have lost their lives. Not only have the eye witnesses gone missing, even the car involved in the case is nowhere to be found.

    Jolly is initially hesitant to take on the case and ready to take a bribe and withdraw his PIL (Public Interest Litigation). A dose on morality from his girlfriend (Amrita Rao)

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  • Photos: Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster ReturnsCast: Irrfan Khan, Mahie Gill, Jimmy Shergill, Soha Ali Khan

    Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia

    Rating: ****1/2

    Tigmanshu Dhulia had said in a pre-release interview that ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’ is more “opulent and intriguing” than its prequel and he has lived up to his claim. Dhulia weaves a complex tale of love, jealousy and revenge and the taut narrative ensures that it keeps the viewer engaged throughout.

    The sequel begins exactly where the first part had ended; Saheb Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill) is wheelchair ridden after he was shot in the last part and Biwi Madhavi Devi is now a MLA but seems to be heading down a path of self-destruction. Enter Gangster Indarjeet Singh (Irrfan Khan) who is looking to settle longstanding scores with the Saheb and is plotting revenge against him. Indarjeet and Princess Ranjana (Soha Ali Khan) are deeply committed to each other but Saheb also has his heart set on the young princess.

    It’s an intricate plot but Dhulia never loses the

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  • John and his leggy beautiesCast:  John Abraham, Chitrangada Singh, Prachi Desai

    Direction: Kapil Sharma

    Rating: **

    John Abraham had said in his promotional interviews that he was confident that the content of the film will ensure its success but alas, his confidence was misplaced. Kapil Sharma’s ‘I, Me Aur Main’ had a promising premise but the execution left a lot to be desired.

    Like the promos have made it abundantly clear, Ishaan Sabharwal (John Abraham) is a “man-child”, self-obsessed and narcissistic. He lives with his long-term girlfriend Anushka (Chitrangada Singh) but is too self-absorbed to notice that she is desperately in love with him and wants to take the relationship to the next level. Tired of being taken for granted she dumps him and throws him out of her apartment. Ishaan promptly moves on to a new house and girl next door Gauri (Prachi Desai).

    Needless to say Ishaan and Gauri soon begin to get emotionally involved but there’s an inevitable twist in the tale. And to slow the already snail pace

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  • Kai Po Che premiereCast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh, Raj Kumar Yadav, Amrita Puri

    Director: Abhishek Kapoor

    Rating: ****

    Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Kai Po Che’ based on Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘Three Mistakes of My Life’ is essentially a story about friendship. The story is however, layered with the protagonist’s passion for nurturing sports talent and is set against the backdrop of Gujarat at the turn of the century and depicts some of the key happenings of that time.

    Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput), Omi (Amit Sadh) and Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav) are best buddies, who have very different career objectives but are inseparable friends. Initially they pool in their resources to start a sports equipment shop and a cricket training ground but soon, differences fester and they drift apart.

    Abhishek Kapoor deftly handles the narrative; the first half is an endearing tale of friendship and male bonding as each friend tries to help the other. The second half is a sensitive portrayal of how the Bhuj earthquake in 2001

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  • Race 2Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Race 2’ promised to be high on the style quotient but the essential question was whether the film will deliver as a complete entertainer? The critics’ verdict is in and this is what some of them had to say:

    Sanjukta Sharma is clear about her expectations from a film like this one:

    Abbas and Mustan Burmawalla, brothers and director-duo, are Bollywood’s master recyclers of pulp action thrillers. They have a glossy, plastic idiom, heavily dependent on European locations and post-production gimmickry. Race cars can be in glitzy slow motion. In fact, slow motion in jagged loops is their trademark. The men in these movies are always rakish; they live in ritzy hotels and casinos, and are surrounded by women who are always fashionably styled and brain-dead. Sexist humour drives the subplots.

    But she adds that the “new action thriller is bad pulp; and a love story fit to be a television serial.”

    Race 2 ReviewWe bring you the review of the most awaited movie Race 2. The

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  • Why 'Inkaar' is relevant right nowCast: Arjun Rampal, Chitrangda Singh, Vipin Sharma

    Direction: Sudhir Mishra

    Rating: ****

    Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Inkaar’ is an intriguing tale about office romance, professional jealousy and sexual harassment at the workplace. It could have been a tedious linear narrative but the director’s layered approach keeps the viewer hooked till the very end.

    Maya Luthra (Chitrangda Singh) is a small-town girl who comes to Mumbai aspiring to make it big in the advertising world. Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal), CEO of the company mentors her as she begins her climb up the ladder in the professional world. They have a brief affair which soon falls apart. A few years later when she is back in the city as one of the board of directors of the company, there is a clash of ideas and egos between the lead pair. A sexual harassment case ensues but it is difficult to take sides as you hear both sides of the story and realize that this is a not a simple open-and-shut case. The film manages to draw you in and keeps

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  • 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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