Monday, July 25, 2016

Review of Madaari

Image Courtesy: Click Here
Cast: Irrfan Khan (Nirmal Kumar), Vishesh Bansal (Rohan Goswami), Jimmy Shergill (Nachiket Verma), Tushar Dalvi (Prashant Goswami), Nitesh Pandey (Sanjay Jagtap), Sadhil Kapoor (Cheeku)
Directed by: Nishikant Kamath
Produced by: Irrfan Khan, Shailesh Singh, Madan Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar, Shailaja Kejriwal
Written by: Ritesh Shah (Dialogues)
Screenplay: Ritesh Shah
Story: Shailaja Kejriwal
Production Company: Paramhans Creations & Saptarishi Cinevision
Distributed by: Pooja Entertainment & Films
Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj, Sunny-Inder Bawra, Background Score by Sameer Phaterpekar
Cinematography: Avinash Arun
Edited by: Arif Shaikh
Release date: 22nd July, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes

Madaari, a Social-Thriller film by Nishikant Kamath, is one more attempt by a filmmaker to take head-on with the corrupt systems existing in our country. It is very much inevitable to draw parrallels with Neeraj Pandey’s 2008 film ‘A Wednesday’. A Wednesday was an engaging thriller with an unimaginable and unpredictable dramatic twist, which was set on the premise of terrorism. The underlying concept of Madaari is also the same, i.e. when a common man decides to raise his voice against the powerful, it does make a difference. I would admit that Madaari might lack the action-packed thrilling sequences as that of Wednesday, but Madaari has its own strengths and it also very successfully conveys the message. Although as a viewer, I did feel disillusioned. Not because the film is not good, but because, the subject of the film is so relevant. We are aware of these shortcomings of our society, system, government, hardly doing anything to change the system, still unable to bring any changes. But atleast an effort to convey a pertinent point through such films generate hopes of changes in the outlook towards world and also making world a better place to live.

Madaari begins with Irrfan’s voiceover, which in fact is the essence of the whole film:
बाज (hawk) चूजे (chick) पर झपटा, उठा ले गया, कहानी सच्ची लगती है लेकिन अच्छी नहीं लगती,
बाज (hawk) पे पलटवार हुआ, कहानी सच्ची नहीं लगती है, खुदा कसम बहुत अच्छी लगती है I

Yes, it means that when the powerful crashes the weaker segment, the story does sound true but does not sound good. But when the weaker segment attacks the powerful one, the story does not sound true but does sound good. That is what happens in Madaari.

Soon after the voiceover, we see the back profile of Irrfan Khan with a child at a railway station. Simultaneously various news flashes in regard to the various contemporary incidents happening in various corners of the country, right from the collapse of a bridge to increase in the vegetable prices to farmers’ suicides, inflation, unemployment, water crisis etc. The frames move to the breaking news of kidnapping of Home Minister Prashant Goswami’s (Tushar Dalvi) son Rohan Goswami (Vishesh Bansal). Then we get to see bearded Irrfan Khan in a moving train. Frames move to the flashback of how Irrfan manages to kidnap Rohan from a school hostel in Dehradoon. In Delhi, Rohan’s parents Prashant and Jaya are worried due to Rohan’s kidnapping. Prashant and the Chief Minister Nimbadkar deputes Nachiket Varma (Jimi Shergill), a cop, to find out the what, why and how of Rohan’s kidnapping and also to rescue him. The biggest challenge before Nachiket is that the face / whereabouts of the kidnapper are unknown. Meanwhile Irrfan continues his journey along with Rohan in different hideouts with different makeovers. Slowly a bond develops between Rohan and Irrfan. Irrfan’s story slowly unveils through various scenes. The film does evoke strong emotions. Irrfan, who is a distraught father, describes himself as an ideal voter, who is just busy bringing up his son as a single parent. His whole world is his 7-year old son Apoorva. What happens to him, when his whole world itself crashes and he loses the very meaning of life ?  

How the story develops further? How Irrfan handles the high profile kidnapping? How does Nachiket gather various clues, and interconnects various leads ? Is Nachiket able to crack the kidnapping case and rescue Rohan? How does Irrfan save himself from the world’s eyes? How and when does his identity from a Anam Kumar (a person who does not have any name) to Nirmal Kumar is revealed ? What was Nirmal’s motive behind Rohan’s kidnap ? How the movie ends? Who wins in this hide and seek game?      

I could not stop myself from comparing this film with A Wednesday. Certain commonalities between both the films: The very underlying concept of the common man rising against the system. The technical set up preparations done by Irrfan Khan gives the same feel as that of Naseeruddin Shah’s set up in Wednesday. Jimmy as an actor is another common factor in both the films.

Irrfan Khan as Nirmal Kumar is just fabulous. He brings so much depth to his character. His role as a happy father to a distraught father, an ordinary voter to be a man to challenge the system / powerful etc is so nicely projected by him. His eyes speak a lot. Jimmy Shergill does his cop act with finesse. It is just that, we have seen him in such roles / mannerisms earlier too. Vishesh Bansal as Rohan also has given a very heart-felt performance. Rest of the cast are also nice. Rajeev Gupta as Cheeku’s father does generate humour through his act. Nitesh Pandey as Sanjay Jagtap, a loud news anchor of Swantatra TV, is also very nice.

Music is also good and lyrics are thought-provoking. The song Masoom Sa is very nice.

Certain dialogues are very much thought provoking. Pros and cons of social media are also shown, how people’s perception changes in minutes under the influence of social media. The dialogues in regard to the rivalry of ruling party – opposition party fights being just political gimmicks, and either parties having win-win scenario whether they have the chair with them or not.

My only concern with the screenplay is that it is a very much predictable film and could it have ended in a different manner?

The film’s credits in the end are shown with voiceover of Irrfan Khan reciting the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Do stay back to listen to this.

Madaari is a thought-provoking film, and it does evoke strong emotions. Irrfan is brilliant as a distraught father who dares to fight the system. On one side, the film hits the bull-eye by exposing the powerful, on the other hand, it also conveys an underlying fact that we are responsible for the mess we are in. Madaari prompts us to enhance our power of discretion and be change agents.

Rating : 4 / 5 (Very Good)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review of Kabali

Image courtesy: Facebook Page of Kabali

Cast and Crew Details (Source: Wikipedia page)

Cast: Rajnikanth (Kabaleeshwaran), Winston Chao (Tony Lee), Radhika Apte (Rupa), Dhansika (Yogi), Dinesh Ravi (Jeeva), Kishore (Veerasekaran), Kalaiyarasan (Thamizh Kumaran), John Vijay (Ameer), Riythvika (Meena), Rosyam Nor, Mime Gopi (Loganathan), Nassar (Ramprasad), R Amarendran (velu), Uday Mahesh (Durai), Gajaraj (Marthandam), Charles Vinoth, Nandakumar (Anbu), Vittal Prasad, Johny Hari (Tiger)
Directed by: PA. Ranjith
Produced by: Kalaipuli S Thanu
Written by: PA. Ranjith
Production Company: V Creations
Distributed by: Gemini Film Circuit
Music by: Santosh Narayanan
Cinematography: G Murali
Edited by: Praveen KL
Release date: 22nd July, 2016
Language: Hindi (originally made in Tamil)
Duration: 2 hours 32 minutes

Kabali is the much awaited film of the superstar of our country Rajnikanth, directed by PA. Ranjith. It is even a futile attempt on my part to review films of living legend like Rajnikanth. Everytime, when Rajnikanth aka Talaivaar’s film releases, it is a celebration time for the viewers. And this time, Rajnikanth-Kabali-mania went up to the extent of states declaring holiday on its 1st day of release, scheduling early morning shows like 4.30AM also in the list. As per a joke circulating in the social media, it is true that when Rajnikanth’s film is released, holiday is declared. I really don’t want to review this film which is going to be recorded in the history of Indian Cinema for the kind of hype and hysteria it created much before its release.

Image Courtesy: Click Here
Having said all these, I would like to convey through this piece of writing that Kabali is a very mediocre film. Many of you might feel that I am not doing justice to a film of Rajnikanth by calling it a mediocre film. How a film with an artist of such caliber can be a mediocre film? But as I have always maintained, my film reviews are absolutely my personal opinion about how a particular film came across to me. The plot had the potential, but it actually didn’t work at all. It is also said that Rajnikanth’s character Kabali is inspired from a real time don of Chennai. I strongly feel that Kabali lacks Rajnikanth elements.

The film begins with high profile police officers of Malaysia discussing the pros and cons of releasing Kabali. Ultimately, decision is taken to release Kabali. After 25 years of imprisonment in Malaysian jail, Kabali (Rajnikanth) is released who was convicted for being an initiator of a massacre that killed many including his pregnant wife Rupa (Radhika Apte). Ameer (John Vijay) is the right hand of Kabali, who arranges a grand welcome for Kabali. Once released from the jail, Kabali goes to visit his charitable school Free Life foundation, which is basically a rehabilitation center for kids, teens, youth who got involved in some criminal activities. Kabali has no qualms in accepting that he is a Gunda, although an educated one. Jeeva (Dinesh Ravi) joins Kabali as his aide. Tony Lee (Winston Chao) and Veera (Kishore) are constantly in look out for Kabali, and they do damage lot of business of Kabali. Tony Lee, a Chinese person, runs lot of rackets that of drug trafficking, prostitution, gambling etc.  
Image Courtesy: Click Here

When the story moves to the flashback, one gets to understand that how Kabali, grandson of a poor migrant labourer, grows to be the leader of a gang by fighting for the rights of Indian workers working in Malaysia. The demand was to get equal rights for the marginalized Indian workers with the locals and Chinese people working there. Kabali was always well-dressed in suits, he took pride of the same, and it was all about creating an impact. He even conveys a dialogue that there was a reason Babasaheb Ambedkar always wore a suit and Mahatma Gandhi never did.

Image Courtesy: Click Here

As he grew to the leadership position, he developed many enemies also in and around him and became victim to one such conspiracy, where mass killings happened and he was jailed for being accountable for the same. And now, released after a period of 25 years, he does intend to take revenge. But his enemies Tony Lee and Kishore plant Yogi (Dhansika) to kill Kabali.

Film moves ahead with a very much predictable and clichéd plot. Rather the film is in fragments, and does not generate any pathos at all. What happens to the revenge saga of Kabali? What all challenges Tony Lee and Kishore throw in front of Kabali? What shape does the inter-gang rivalry take? Does the film is dominated with just the gun shots? Does Yogi become successful in killing Kabali?

Kabali film as such has lot of challenges, it never picks up, be it its story, screenplay, dialogues, music, logical sequencing of events, editing etc. I watched Hindi version, so, I have no idea, whether the dialogues lost its essence while translating from Tamil to Hindi. Very poorly written dialogues. Somehow, Kabali is not a Rajanikanth film at all. Radhika Apte’s presence is indeed noticeable. Rest of the cast are loud, weird at times.

Kabali just falls flat. As a fan of Rajnikanth, I never wanted Kabali to fail, but with great pain and disappointment, I have to ignore the incredible screen presence of Rajnikanth and the beautiful frame of Radhika Apte. I choose to rate Kabali as an average film.   

Rating : 2 / 5 (Average)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Star Trek Beyond – Reboot

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Cast: Chris Pine (Captain James T. Kirk, Commanding officer of the Starship Enterprise); Zachary Quinto (Commander Spock), Kal Urban (Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy, MD, Chief Medical Officer; Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Nyota Uhura), Communications Officer; Simon Pegg (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, Second officer and Chief Engineer; John Cho (Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, third officer and helmsman; Anton Yelchin (Ensign Pavel Chekov, ship’s main navigator; Idris Elba (Krall, a ruthless military commander); Sofia Boutella (Jaylah), Joe Taslim (Manas), Lydia Wilson (Kalara), Deep Roy (Keenser), Harpreet Sandhu, Melissa Roxburgh (Ensign Syl), Anita Brown (Tyvanna), Doug Jung as Ben, Danny Pudi (Fija) Kim Kold (Zavanko), Shohreh Aghsashloo (Commodore Paris), Ashley Edner (Natalia), Jason Matthew Smith (Hendorff), Bryce Soderberg (Satine), Shea Whigham
Directed by: Justin Lin
Produced by: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci
Written by: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung (Based on Star Trek by Genre Roddenberry)
Production Company: Skydance Media, Alibaba Group, Huahua Media, BadRobot Productions, Sneaky Shark, Perfect Storm Entertainment
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography: Stephen F Windon
Edited by: Greg D’Auria, Dylan Highsmith, Kelly Matsumoto, Steven Sprung
Release date: 22nd July, 2016
Language: English
Duration: 2 hours 02 minutes

Image Courtesy: Click Here
Star Trek Beyond, a film by Justin Lin, is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek Film series. This journey of very famous Star Trek film series began in 1966 as a weekly television series. The first film of this franchise was in 1979 (Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Thirteen films have been categorized into 3 phases: ‘The Original Series films’ having six films, ‘The Next Generation films’ having four films and ‘Reboot Series’ having 3 films, including the latest one ‘Star Trek Beyond’. Star Trek Franchise also has games, novels, toys, comics, magazines etc. This series is also cited as inspiration for many technological inventions including the cell phones and computers. Their films, technologies were almost always ahead of time. The franchise has chosen to celebrate 50th anniversary with ‘Star TrekBeyond’. This is also dedicated to two departed souls of the Star Trek Family – Leonard Nimov (original Spock) and Anton Yelchin. This one is full of action, rather breathless action.

Image Courtesy: Click Here
Star Trek has tried to promote the film in India in unique ways. Mumbai skyline has a poster of a giant Starship Enterprise. Promoters also decided to do a ‘Spaceship Activation’ in a Mumbai suburban mall with a huge remote-controlled ‘spaceship’.

The film begins with Captain Kirk’s efforts to trying to bring peace between the Federation and extra-terrestrial planet. Initial frames also show the bond between Spock and Kirk. Whereabouts of a ship and the instructions of rescuing the same make Captain Kirk and crew of the enterprise travel to the alien planet for one of the most dangerous mission. Rest of the story revolves around, what all challenges they face during their journey. The major challenge comes in the form of antagonist Krall, whose real identity is revealed towards the end of the film. Even the reasons / logic of Krall to destroy the Enterprise are shown in the last frames.Although action dominates in the film, it has its own moments of romance, humour etc.

Trailer Courtesy:

Star Trek Beyond’ turns out to be brilliant with its visual appeal, technological brilliance displayed and also the message conveyed to have a vision of humanity that is undivided due to caste, creed, sexuality. Watch the film.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review of Sultan

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan
Cast: Salman Khan (Sultan), Anushka Sharma (Aarfa), Amit Sadh (Akash Oberoi), Anant Vidhat Sharma (Govind), Randeep Hooda (Fateh Singh), Parikshit (Gyan Oberoi - Akash Oberoi’s father), Kumud Mishra (Barkat) 
Directed by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Produced by: Aditya Chopra
Written by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Screenplay: Aditya Chopra
Production Company: Yash Raj Films
Distributed by: Yash Raj Films
Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
Cinematography: Artur Zurawski
Edited by: Rameshwar S Bhagat
Release date: 6th July, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes

Sultan, a film by Ali Abbas Zafar, is an awesome gift to Salman Khan fans on the occasion of Eid. Last year Eid, it was Bajrangi Bhaijan which won people’s hearts with the backdrop of Indo-Pak relationship. After doing many not so good films like Ready, Kick, Jai Ho, it was a welcome break to have Salman in Bajrangi Bhaijan. And this year on Eid, Sultan releases, which is indeed an entertainer. Salman Khan’s efforts to portray the character of Sultan are remarkable. There are four shades to Salman’s character in this film, and Salman does complete justice, be it the innocence, arrogance, self-pity due to guilt or never-to-quit attitude. Sultan, a love story set up in the backdrop of wrestling, prompts you to win over self and also conveys that there is only person who can defeat us in the game of life and that is one’s own self. Ali Abbas Zafar certainly knows the pulse of the audience, and he has ingrained the film with the right mix of emotions, action, music, fun, drama (a bit of melodrama too), and of course the star power of Salman Khan as the titular character. Although, one cannot expect any unpredictable twists and turns in the plot, Sultan is a clear-cut winner at box-office as well as in people’s hearts.

Akash Oberoi (Amit Sadh), a young businessman, is requesting other board members and investors of his venture Pro-Take Down to give him one more chance to revive the same. His idea of bringing mixed Martial Arts contests to India through Pro-Take Down is not working out. Two seasons of Pro-Take Down was a loss and investors and the market writes it off, but Akash is determined to move ahead for the third season. Pro-Take Down brings wrestlers, boxers to the ring. He needs investors to trust him and put the money. His father (Parikshit Sahni) asks him to get Sultan (Salman Khan) in the ring. Akash travels to a village Baroli in Rewari to get Sultan. Frames move to Rewari, where Sultan is shown to be leading a very monotonous life. He works in Water Authority. He collects donations from his colleagues on Salary-day. Akash meets him and asks him to enter into wrestling ring. Sultan turns down Akash’s offer saying that he has left wrestling. Akash was also determined to have Sultan as one of his wrestler, he gets in touch with Sultan’s friend Govind (Anant Sharma). It is Govind, who narrates the much-talked about love story of Sultan and Aarfa (Anushka Sharma), and their fall-out.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan
Sultan, a fun-loving guy in 30s, runs a Mehbooba-Mehbooba cable company, loves to take up challenges to be a kite-runner. During one of such kite-running exercise, he encounters Aarfa (Anusha Sharma) with whom, it was love-at-first-sight for Sultan. Aarfa herself is a wrestler, state level winner, has done her education in Delhi, and runs a wrestling training school along with her father Barkat (Kumud Mishra) in the village. Barkat and Aarfa are very passionate of wrestling and their dream is of Aarfa winning Olympic Gold Medal. To win over Aarfa, Sultan decides to be a wrestler and reaches Barkat with the request to train him. It was not easy for Sultan to win Aarfa’s heart. Sultan ends up challenging himself and ultimately does win over Aarfa.

How does a non-wrestler train himself to be a world-class wrestler? How does Sultan persuade Aarfa to marry him? What happens to Aarfa’s dream of winning Olympic Gold Medal? What actually transpires between Sultan and Aarfa that they are no more together? What made Sultan leave wrestling ? Once an ordinary lad, is Sultan able to handle adulations, success? Yes, it is predictable that Sultan would accept Akash’s offer of Pro-Take Down so as to earn money too, but what was the real objective of Sultan ? Why he is collecting donations from his colleagues on the salary day? How does Sultan, who is now 40, able to survive the physical challenges of stamina, strength, form etc. ? What happens when Sultan is pitched against all international wrestlers, boxers in the contest ? Does Aarfa come back in Sultan’s life ? How does Randeep Hooda’s character Fateh Singh fit the screenplay? Watch the film to unravel the answers yourself.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan

Salman Khan as Sultan is indeed very good. He is able to win people’s hearts with his performance. Anushka as Aarfa has given a very convincing performance. Both Salman and Anushka have picked up Haryanvi accent well. Anant Sharma as Govind is very good, he is effortless in portraying his very much affable character. Kumud Mishra as Barkat and Amit Sadh as Akash Oberoi are also very good. Randeep Hooda as Fateh Singh enters the film as a coach for athletes, and his cameo is a significant part of the film. Randeep, as always, has given a great performance as a tough coach. Farrukh Jaffar as Sultan’s grandmother has a small but very amiable role. Parikshit as Akash’s father is also good.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is very good. The song ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is excellent. Background score is also very nice.

One scene, I would like to specially mention, which probably missed editor’s precision (although mentioning this point is a spoiler). Soon after pregnancy confirmation of Aarfa, in a dialogue with her father Barkat, she says that they would train Sultan to win Olympic Gold Medal. But immediately after that, she is shown to be training with Sultan, rather running with him. A pregnant lady running, that too in the early pregnancy stage, isn't it unlikely ?

A scene, where Sultan breaks down looking at his out of shape physique, fights with his guilt, pain, is very beautifully portrayed. There are many scenes in Sultan, which would inspire us, evoke the fighter’s attitude in our mind. Sultan inspires us to fight with our inner demons and emerge victorious, since nobody on this earth can defeat us, unless and until, we surrender, yield and accept our defeat. It also tells us that it is not necessary to always win, but it is also important to fail, since failures will lead us to appreciate success and winning. Sultan conveys that it is important to be humiliated at times to understand the importance of self-respect, prestige. It also tells us that in order to fulfill dreams, we must not move ahead so much that our people are left behind; relationships are equally important.  

Sultan, a love story set up in the backdrop of wrestling, inspires us to fight with our inner demons and emerge victorious. “Winners don’t quit and Quitters don’t win”, that is what Sultan believes and makes us believe too. Although, devoid of any unpredictable twists and turns in the plot, Sultan is a clear-cut winner at box-office as well as in people’s hearts.

Rating : 4 / 5 (Very Good)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review of Junooniyat

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Cast: Pulkit Samrat (Capt. Jahaan Bakshi), Yami Gautam (Suhani Kapoor), Taran Bajaj (Tullu), Gulshan Devaiah (Yash), Hrishitaa Bhatt (Mishti)  
Directed by: Vivek Agnihotri
Produced by: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar
Production Company: T- Series Films
Screenplay by: Priti Singh, Vivek Agnihotri
Story by: Priti Singh
Music by: Ankit Tiwari, Meet Bros, Jeet Ganguli
Cinematography: Attar Singh Saini
Edited by: Antara Lahiri
Distributed by: T-Series Films
Release date: 24th June, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 07 minutes

Junooniyat, a romantic flick by Vivek Agnihotri, explores a few of the favourite theme of films i.e. love, romance, passion, relationship. Although, the plot of Junooniyat has no novelty, music, cinematography, and Pulkit-Yami pairing (their chemistry is definitely better in this film in comparison to ‘Sanam Re’) gives a fresh look and feel to the film. Junooniyat means passion, madness, insanity, obsession etc. I felt that the film could not do the justice towards its title, since the story / screenplay did not incorporate the protagonists’ junooniyat in the film. The love happened easily, interim separation also happened easily and then the ‘getting-back together’ also happened without much of a hassle. So, somehow, there was no scope for the junooniyat to be displayed. If I need to mention, Junooniyat was there in films like Veer-Zara, Silsila, Qayamat se Qayamat Tak or even the most recently released Marathi film Sairaat. I did find junooniyat missing from this film. But if I keep this point aside, the film is indeed watchable and it also keeps the audience very much engaged.

Jahan Bakshi (Pulkit Samrat), an Indian Army Captain, believes that everything in life is a choice and there is nothing called destiny. He does write Shayaris and expresses with much confidence that there is no such riddle which he cannot solve. Jahan rescues Suhani Kapoor (Yami Gautam) swimming in a restricted area in Sonmarg (this scene of Jahan rescuing Suhani reminded me of Veer-Zara, where Pretty Zinta was lifted by Shah Rukh Khan). Suhani who is originally from Amritsar has come along with her friends for a camp. Jahan brings Suhani to his army camp for interrogation in regard to her intruding the restricted area. Suhani manages to get away due to her gregariousness. She accuses Jahan of manhandling her during the rescue operations. She demands an apology letter from Jahan. There follows a series of banters between Suhani and Jahan and also songs. Their paths cross a few times, and ultimately the inevitable happens i.e. the love between Suhani and Jahan. Suhani is brought up in a very protective family environment, where she is being loved a lot by her parents, grandparents and sister-in-law. In her family, two uncles and brother are martyrs. Suhani and Jahan’s love catches the attention of her family. Her father is dead against their marriage.  

What is the reason of Suhani’s father resisting her marriage to Jahan ? What happens when Suhani is restricted from meeting Jahan? What are the various sequence of events ? What happens to the love of Suhani and Jahan? Are they able to overcome family’s resistance ? What happens, when life itself becomes a riddle for Jahan? What happens, when destiny plays its game in Jahan and Suhani’s lives ? The second half sees the entry of Yash (Gulshan Devaiah), what role does he play? Mishti (Hrishitaa Bhatt plays the role of Suhani’s sister-in-law; is she in support of Suhani-Jahan’s love? How the climax of the film is set up?

The film is more of a musical melody. In the first half, there are songs every 10 minutes. Most of the songs are indeed very nice.

As far as the performances are concerned, Pulkit and Yami does inject freshness into this usual plot. Gulshan has a very brief role, but he does mark his presence. Taran Bajaj as Tullu, neighbour of Suhani, who openly claims to her about his love, does make one smile. Rest of the cast are also good.

Indeed, there are some flaws with the screenplay. Vivek could have taken some amount of risk in telling the story without following a safe story-telling path and the cliché.

Junooniyat, although with a clichéd plot, has a fresh feel due to good pairing of Yami-Pulkit, the breath-taking visuals of the snow-capped Kashmir mountains, and enticing music. Watch the film.     

Rating : 3 / 5 (Good)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review of 7 Hours to Go

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Cast: Shiv Pandit (Arjun Ranawat), Sandeepa Dhar (ACP Nandini Shukla), Natasa Stankovic (Maya), Varun Badola (Ramesh Dhadke), Vipin Sharma
Directed by: Saurabh Varma
Produced by: Nitika Thakur
Production Company: Krian Pictures
Music by: Hanif Shaikh, Sugat Shubham
Cinematography: Milind Jog
Edited by: Nitin FCP
Release date: 24th June, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours

7 Hours to Go, is another thriller released this week, which is directed by Saurabh Varma. Though the plot had great potential to be an investigative thriller, but the effort fails. Although all the characters are introduced with their name and specific role in the film, this appeared a bit lengthy. The screenplay has lot of loopholes.

The film begins with a shootout effort by Ramesh Dhadke’s (Varun Badola) and his team in Khemka Towers, when intruders entered the premises. After an odd 6 months, the frames move to Arjun (Shiv Pandit), who comes to Mumbai City to support his girl friend Maya in Mumbai High Court, who is a witness in a high profile case. Arjun takes 7 passersby as hostages at Mumbai High court itself, when Maya is shot dead in front of his eyes. Within few minutes, Arjun is able to set up the hostage site in high profile technical manner. Ramesh tries to have a conversation with him, but Arjun wants ACP Shuklaji within an hour and he is adamant that he would have conversation only with Shuklaji.

Shuklaji is basically ACP Nandini Shukla (Sandeepa Dhar), whose entry in the film is by chasing criminals. She comes to strike a conversation with Arjun. Arjun feels that only ACP Shukla can give him justice. He gives her 7 hours to arrest Kabir Khemka (Rohit Vir), a rich businessman, whom Arjun considers to be responsible for Maya’s slain. Otherwise, he threatens to kill one hostage every hour. The clock starts ticking, but the film moves forward in a forced speed.

How ACP Shukla handles the case? How Ramesh becomes a part of the investigation? How other characters viz. childlike psychopath serial killer becomes part of the story? What happens to the hostages ? How does Arjun yield? Does he kill any of the hostages? What is the real enmity between Arjun and Kabir ? Is ACP Shukla able to gather evidence against Kabir and arrest him ? The film tries to weave the answers to these questions very loosely.

There are many scenes in the film which makes it absolutely unbelievable. Usage of high-tech gadgets and security vaults are unjustified. There are two scenes in the film where the female characters ACP Shukla and Maya change their tops in front of a male colleague. What was the intention behind these scenes? What happens to the character of ACP Shukla, whose energy falls in the second half of the film?

As far as the performances are concerned, Varun Badola and Shiv Pandit are good, but poor screenplay makes their performances falter. Sandeepa looks good. Vipin Sharma as one of the hostage has a brief role. Music is loud.

7 Hours to Go, although had potential to be a good investigative thriller, falters due to poor screenplay, loud music and forgettable performances.  

Rating : 1 / 5 (Poor)