Monday, March 31, 2014

O Teri

Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Bilal Amrohi, Sarah-Jane Dias, Mandira Bedi, Vijay Raaz, Anupam Kher, Sara Loren (Special Appearance in a Song), Salman Khan (Special Appearance in a Song), Lulia Vantur (Cameo)
Genre: Comedy
Direction: Umesh Bisht
Production: Atul Agnihotri
Written by: Umesh Bisht, Neeti Palta 
Cinematographer: Ganesh Rajavelu
Edited by: Devendra Murdeshwar
Music: GJ Singh 
Singers: Jaspreet Jasz, Roshni Baptist (Butt Patlo), GJ Singh, Jaspreet Jasz (Akhan Vich), Mika Singh, Lunia Vantur (Ummbakkum), Manish J Tipu (Phollo karta)
Studio: Reel Life Productions
Release Date: 28th March, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 47 minutes
The Plot:
O Teri is a meaningless comedy film inspired from the yesteryear movie Jaane bhi Do Yaaron. The movie opens with Prantabh Pratab aka P.P. (Pulkit Samrat) and Anand Ishwaram Devdutt Subramanium aka AIDS (Bilal Amrohi) partying in a nightclub.

Both P.P. and AIDS are investigative reporters. They report to a female television anchor Monsoon (Sarah-Jane Dias) who consistently humiliates them and make them chase various scandals or scams so that they can boost their channel / programme’s TRP. Her funda is, "Logo ko scandal chahiye, scam chahiye...rape, dakaiti. Ye sab kuch ho to lao warna shaqal mat dikhana. (The public wants scandals and scams. If you have something sensational like stories on rape or dacoity, bring it to me, else do not show me your faces)".

These reporters end up doing one blunder after another. They find themselves caught up in a mess with a slain CBI officer’s dead body being dumped into their vehicle. The situation gets worse further (absolutely in an unwitting manner) with them trapped amongst the vested interests of the corrupt politicians, greedy industrialists, corporate lobbyists, puppet bureaucrats, unethical female editor and fraudulent media houses and the dead body’s appearance / disappearance act. O Teri takes a dig at real incidents / scams/ scandals through various characters : The commonwealth games scam, nexus  between journalists, PR professionals’ lobbying, sex scandal etc.

Official Trailer:

Direction & Written by:
The director Umesh Bisht fails to deal with the concept. He along with Neeti Palta has written the same. The approach is very very distasteful.
Cast and their Performance:
Pulkit Samrat as P.P. has done justice as a stupid reporter. Bilal Amrohi as AIDS disappoints.

Sara-Jain Dias as Monsoon is just fine.

Vijay Raaz as opposition politician Bhanwar Lal Kilol, otherwise a great actor, is lost in this movie.

Anupam Kher as Games organizing committee chief, and Mandira Bedi have nothing much to do.
Music is very average. Songs are absolutely misfit. Lyrics are awful.
Moments to watch out for:
Thumbs up:
A dialogue by P.P. to AIDS: "Jab chhote log chori karte hain to wo chori hoti hai. Magar jab bade log chori karte hain to wo scam kehlata hai."
Thumbs down:
Difficult to sit through the movie.
One Liner:
O Teri, what a movie!!!

Rating:0.5 / 5 (Poor)


Cast: Harmaan Baweja, Sunny Deol, Ayesha Khanna, Aditya Pancholi, Prashant Narayanan, Anand Tiwari, Sumit Nijhawan, Hasan Zaidi, Rajit Kapoor, Harsh Chaaya
Genre: Action, Crime
Direction: Sanamjit Singh Talwar
Production: Shilpa Shetty, Sunil Lulla
Cinematographer: Axel Fischer
Music: Palash Muchhal, Amar Mohile (Background Music) 
Singers: Palash Muchhal, Arijit Singh, Kunal Ganjwala, Gayathri Ganjwala, Mika Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Sneha Kanwalkar
Studio: Essential Sports & Media
Distributed by : Eros International
Release Date: 28th March, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 09 minutes

The Plot:
Dishkiyaoon is another crime / action film based upon the Mumbai Underworld. It is the story of a Mumbai-based gangster who wants to achieve the top-notch position. The film begins with the narration of Viki Kartoos (Harman Baweja) to Lakwa (Sunny Deol) in regard to the events that landed him in the jail. Viki always wanted to be a gangster from the very childhood itself. He continued his studies, simultaneously pursuing gangster-giri under the wings of Mota Tony (Prashant Narayanan), a local crook. Viki falls in love with Meera (Ayesha Khanna). Further, the plot unfolds to project how Viki pursues his journey to grab the top position. He rubs his shoulders with Inspector Khan (Aditya Pancholi) and other people as well.
Official Trailer:
The debutant director Sanamjit Singh Talwar fails to impress through Dishkiyaoon. There are so many glaring loopholes.
Cast and their Performance:
Harman Baweja’s performance as Viki Kartoos is noticeable though it turns out to be weak due to poor storyline.

Felt sad to see Sunny Deol as Lakwa. He has been given weird hairdo, accent. What a waste of a talent who has given Sohny Mahiwal, Gadar, Hero – the Spy, Damini etc. to Bollywood.

Ayesha Khanna as Meera is alright.

Prashant Narayanan as Mota Tony is a relief in the movie, although, he has been given dialogues with double meaning at times. Certain frames where Prashant and Harman are there together is ok.

Sumit Nijhawan as Iqbal Khaleefa and Anand Tiwari as Rocky have given good performance.

Other Cast viz. Aditya Pancholi, Hasan Zaidi, Harsh Chaaya, Rajit Kapoor are not utilized optimally.

Shilpa Shetty looks hot in the item number.
Music is average. But what needs to be appreciated is that 18 year old Palash Mucchal has composed four songs in this movie. The song Tu hi Hai Ashiqui sung by Palash Mucchal and Arijit Singh is good.
Moments to watch out for:
Thumbs up:
Harmaan Baweja, Prashant Narayanan
Thumbs down:
Weak story-line.
One Liner:
Dishkiyaaon to Dishkiyaaon !!!

Rating: 2 / 5 (Average)

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Kayoze Irani, Mita Vashishth, Boman Irani (Guest Appearance)
Genre: Romance, Drama (Political)
Direction: Syed Ahmad Afzal
Production:Vashu Bhagnani
Banner: Pooja Entertainment India Limited, Multi Screen Media Motion Pictures
Story: Syed Ahmad Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan, Maitrey Bajpai
Dialogue: Syed Ahmad Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan, Maitrey Bajpai
Screenplay: Syed Ahmad Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan, Maitrey Bajpai
Cinematographer: Amalendu Chaudhary
Editor: Anuradha Singh
Music / Lyrics / Singers:
  • Daata Di Diwani : Shiraz Uppal / Shakeel Sohail / Rafaqat Ali Khan, Shiraz Uppal
  • Mere Khuda : Shiraz Uppal / Shakeel Sohail / Shiraz Uppal
  • Suno Na Sangemarmar: Jeet Ganguli / Kausar Munir / Arijit Singh
  • Tanki Hai Hum: Sneha Khanwalkar / Afzal Ahmed Syed, Jackky Bhagnani /  Apeksha Dandekar, Bhavin Dhanak, Hard Kaur, Mika Singh, Sneha Khanwalkar
  • Youngistaan Anthem : Sung by Shree D, Ishq Bector
Release Date: 28th March, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes
The Plot:
Youngistaan is a romantic movie set up in the backdrop of political scenario. It is a very light movie and indeed different from the usual ones. No melodrama neither when the romance is handled nor when politics is handled.

Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani) is happily settled in Japan Professionally (in a high flying job) and also personally (in a live-in relationship with Anwita Chauhan essayed by Neha Sharma). Everything is going great and that is when he learns about his father Dashrath Kaul’s (Boman Irani) ill-health who is the Prime minister of India. On father’s demise, Abhimanyu is propelled into the nation’s highest political seat i.e. of Prime Minister. Dashrath Kaul before dying leaves him in the trusted care of his PA and Advisor, Akbar (Farooque Sheikh).

The movie is the journey of a young man who has strayed into politics as the acting Prime Minister until the next election, which is six months away. He tries to handle the not so popular ruling party (of his father), the Akhil Bharatiya Kranti Party (ABKP) and its seasoned party members, at times tactfully, and at times in a shrewd manner. He does take efforts to balance his professional and personal life.

The flip side of the movie is that it neither showcases hardcore politics nor romance. We have a young Prime Minister who is unconventional in his thoughts, who feels, it is absolutely alright not to follow typical neta type dress-code or even to have a live-in girl friend carrying his child.

But I feel that, Lok Sabha election being around the corner, the timing was absolutely perfect to launch Youngistaan. But somewhere the effort has fizzled since no current issues are highlighted, no specific change is suggested and no specific message is mentioned. 
Official Trailer:

Direction, Story, Dialogue and Screenplay:
The Director, Syed Ahmad Afzal, has taken a different approach to project this film on political drama cum romance. He has tried to convey the message very very lightly without emphasizing on serious things. Probably he did not want to make a hard core political or romantic movie.

Story, Dialogue and Screenplay by Syed Ahmad Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan, Maitrey Bajpai are simple without much of melodrama. Even the speech at UN assembly by Abhimayu is written at a very ground level.

Personally, I liked one dialogue of Abhimayu: When the person whom you love is angry with you, don’t question him/ her, just go and hug him / her. That person simply needs you.

Cast and their Performance:
Jackky Bhagnani as Abhimanyu Kaul comes across a very lovable personality who is very presentable on screen. He is cool, composed even in midst of uncertainties, romours, oppositions, criticisms. His temperance is appreciable.

Neha Sharma as Anwita Chauhan doesn’t have much role apart from playing a girl-friend of acting Prime-minister, who suddenly finds herself in house arrest due to security issues. One can not deny that she has done justice to her role who is possessive, freedom loving, and at times immature and overbearing.

Boman Irani as Dashrath Kaul , father of Abhimanyu, has a guest appearance only, but his presence is felt throughout the movie.

Kayoze Irani as Zafar, Abhimayu’s friend and Mita Vashishth, Abhimanyu’ office personnel are good.

But I want to make a special mention of Akbar, Abhimanyu’s PA and Advisor, essayed by Farooq Sheikh. I adored every frame in which he was there. Loved his expressions and the way he dealt with Abhimanyu and his relationship with Anwita. Super cool. I am going to miss him on screen since this was his last movie.

Music is ok. Arijit crooning Suno na Sangemarmar (music by Jeet Ganguli and lyrics by Kausar Munir) is very good, and it is ranking high in the chartbusters. Youngistaan anthem (sung by Shree D, Ishq Bector) is good with its meaningful lyrics.

Moments to watch out for:
Farooq Sheikh on screen (unfortunately for the last time). Implementation of e-voting. Youngsters shouldering the responsibility to choose the leaders.

Thumbs up:      
The very thought behind making the movie : Be the change, if you want change. A very light movie without political bloodshed.

Thumbs down:
The film fails to focus on either of the theme – Romance and Politics. Script and the idea is good, but less clarity as far as the screenplay is concerned. Abhimanyu’s victory is not justified : what exactly he achieved during his tenure as Acting Prime Minister, which prompted the country to choose him ? His personal life and its issues were more in focus rather than the Election & winning strategies, Country’s issues etc. The story does not develop at all till interval.

Youngistaan is not the 'Voice of Change', but definitely an initiation towards the same.

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Cast: Monali Thankur, Satish Kaushik, Ram Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Nagesh Kukunoor, Gulfam Khan, Flora Saini, Vibhor Chibber, Priyanka
Genre: Social Drama
Direction: Nagesh Kukunoor
Production: Nagesh Kukunoor, Elahe Hiptoola, Satish Kaushik
Story: Nagesh Kukunoor
Cinematographer: Chirantan Das
Editor: Sanjeeb Datta
Music: Tapas Relia
Lyricist: Manoj Yadav
Singers: Kailash Kher, Ankita Joshi, Papon, Monali Thakur, Suchi
Release Date: 21st March, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes
The Plot:
Lakshmi is a movie inspired by a true story which deals with immoral trafficking of girls, and child prostitution. Monali Thakur plays the role of the protagonist Lakshmi. She is a victim, who at the age of 14 finds herself in a brothel, run by Reddy Garu (Sathish Kaushik) and Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor). What follows after Lakshmi being sold by her father and pushed into this dirty world of prostitution at Dharam Vilas, is quiet disturbing, suffocative. Jyoti, the hard-hitting, dirty-talking head madam of the brothel (played by Shefali Shah) is assertive enough to manage the girls as well as the clients. No sigh of relief for Lakshmi since she is continuously battered and bruised. But then Lakshmi gets the courage and support to fight back with the legal support for all the miseries which she faced. Post-interval, her journey of triumph is just incredible. Credits at the end of the movie say that this is the first case in which the accused were convicted in Hyderabad and this became the precedent for many other cases of immoral trafficking.
Official Trailer:

Director and Story Writer:
Nagesh Kukunoor (Direction and Story) has done a great amount of justice to the movie. No exaggeration at all. He tells the pain-staking story of Lakshmi in a commendable manner. He depicts the murky world of prostitution realistically. Indeed he has given a story of hope, courage and victory.  

Cast and their Performance:
Monali Thakur as Lakshmi is extremely good. As Lakshmi, she is fresh, innocent, bewildered, helpless, grief-stricken…displayed all the emotions with so much perfection.   

Nagesh Kukunoor as Chinna raises so much of anger and hatred. One would end up hating this brutal man every time when he tortures girls in the brothel and no sense of mercy towards them even when they are physically unfit.

Shefali Shah as Jyoti has given a great performance as the head madam of the brothel. She is strict and at the same time kind and full of empathy. A brilliant work from her.      

Satish Kaushik as Reddy Garu forces us to think that there are such men also in the society who is sexually abusive for their own weird reasons.

Ram Kapoor as Avinash, the lawyer brings hope and respite. He is empathetic and sensitive while handling Lakshmi’s case.

Flora Saini as Swarna, Lakshmi’s room mate has also given a great and noticeable performance. There are scenes where she teaches Lakshmi to dress up, do make-up and ways to woo a client.

Rest of the cast also have done great work viz. Gulfam Khan as Corporator Radha,, Vibhor Chibber as Amma, Ramakrishna Shenoy as Mohan, Vinita Joshi as Asha, Priyanka Vir as Uma Didi, Sumit Sharma as opposition lawyer, Suresh Kumar as judge, and Subhash Gupta as Dr. Murali.

Chirantan Das has taken shots in such a manner so as to make the frames very very realistic. Even the narrow lanes are shot so nicely.

Music by Tapas Relia is good and it brings tears into our eyes especially when the songs are clubbed with disturbing visuals.

Moments to watch out for:
Lakshmi’s journey towards triumph, a beautiful relationship which developed between Lakshmi and Avinash (advocate), Lakshmi doing the make-up just before facing the media on her victory…

Thumbs up:      
Watch this movie since it conveys a great social message. A story of an entirely different India, where having a girl child itself is supposed to be cursed. And then the girl is being sold to pimps, or forced into wrong profession, at a very tender age.

Thumbs down:
Oops! No ‘Thumbs down’ moments. But yes, this movie is not for you if you just seek entertainment through movies. It might force you to grieve along with Lakshmi.

Best Film – Mercedes Benz Audience Award
Best Narrative : Palm Springs International Film Festival 2014

Lakshmi does ask us : Are we being human?

Rating: 4 / 5 (Very Good)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Aankho Dekhi

Cast: Sanjay Mishra, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Pahwa, Namit Das, Manu Rishi Chadha, Brijendra Kala, Maya Sarao, Taranjit Kaur, Chandrachoor Raj, Alka Chawla, Mahesh Sharma, Anil Chaudhary, Shrikant Verma, Manish Karnatak, Dhruv Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Danish Hussain, Yogendra Tiku, Chaitanya Mahawar, Chetan Sharma, Shivam Sethi
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Direction: Rajat Kapoor
Production: Manish Mundra
Story: Rajat Kapoor
Cinematographer: Rafey Mahmood
Editor: Suresh Pai
Studio: Mithya Talkies
Music: Sagar Desai
Lyricist: Varun Grover
Singers: Kailash Kher, Ronkini Gupta, Shaan, Mansheel Gujral
Release Date: 21st March, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes
The Plot:
Aankhon Dekhi is a movie in which the lead character Bauji (Sanjay Mishra), in his late fifties, seeks answer to the very question of ‘Truth’. He stays in an Old Delhi small house with his family as well as extended family. His exploration begins when an acquaintance gossips about Ajju’s (Namit Das) of ill-repute, with whom Bauji’s daughter Rita (Maya Sarao) is in love. But Bauji finds Ajju to be just the opposite on meeting him. And that is when, Bauji’s journey towards developing the Power of Discernment begins. The movie is woven around this theme where Bauji through his excellent acting conveys a great message that every human being has his / her own truth which is unique in itself. Bauji’s philosophy is not to believe anything that hasn’t been validated by his own experience. But when he tries to adopt this in his life, lot of events happen which is full of humour. Bauji’s eccentricities do embarrass his family at times. He does earn his gang of cronies.

Official Trailer:

Direction and Script Writing:
Another great work from the director Rajat Kapoor. The story (by Rajat Kapoor) has been presented in a thought provoking manner, yet very lightly. He engages the audience through this delightful work and quaint sense of humour. Dialogues have been carefully crafted. No element of preaching, yet would facilitate people to reason their own reasons.

Cast and their Performance:
What a delight to watch Sanjay Mishra as Bauji. Nobody else could have pulled Bauji’s character better than him, he has actually gone into the skin of the character.

Rajat Kapoor as Rishi (Bauji’s brother) has carried his reticent character so nicely. He is calm and at times ferocious and arrogant as well.

Seema Pahwa as Bauji’s wife is also great. She is very convincing – at times loud, at times very expressive, at times nagging, at times caring.

Rest of the ensemble cast also add lot of value to the plot and pitch in noticeable performances: Namit Das (Ajju), Manu Rishi Chadha (Sharmaji), Brijendra Kala (Shibbo Babu), Maya Sarao (Rita), Taranjit Kaur (Chachi),Chandrachoor Raj (Shammi), Alka Chawla (Sarup Bua), Mahesh Sharma (Bagga), Anil Chaudhary (Chaudhary Sahab), Shrikant Verma (Masterji), Manish Karnatak (Jeevan), Saurabh Shukla (Boss), Dhruv Singh (Dhruv), Danish Hussain (Gopi), Yogendra Tiku (Pandit), Chaitanya Mahawar (Ashok), Chetan Sharma (Anil), Shivam Sethi (Arun).

Movie is shot at old Delhi’s location. Cinematographer Rafey Mahmood has captured the feel of Old Delhi & its narrow lanes wonderfully through his shots.

Music by Sagar Desai suits to the tone of the movie. Lyrics (by Varun Grover) are good.

Moments to watch out for:
There are many such moments: Bauji’s argument with one of his customer and Maths teacher, his bland & affable manners, his relationship with daughter (rather with family & neighbours), his way of looking at things, bauji going to zoo to check whether a tiger really roars etc.  

Thumbs up:      
Watch the movie for its thought-provoking theme and of course for Sanjay Mishra’s splendid performance. If you are offbeat movie lover, you must not miss this movie. You won’t get bored, guaranteed.

Thumbs down:
Probably no ‘Thumbs down’ moments.

Aankhon Dekhi is to be experienced.

Rating: 4 / 5 (Very Good)