Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kaanchi - The Unbreakable

Cast: Mishti aka Indrani Chakraborty (Kaanchi aka Sigdi), Kartik Aaryan (Binda), Mithun Chakraborty (Shyam Kakda), Rishi Kapoor (Jhumar Babu Kakda aka JB), Adil Hussain (Arun Roy), Rishabh Sinha (Sushant Kakda), Chandan Roy Sanyal (Ratanlal Bagula), Pallavi Subash Chandran aka Pallavi Purohit (Savita Pathare), Sahil Vaid (Satyakam), Meeta Vashisht (Mita), Shakti Mohan & Neeti Mohan (Item Song), Mahima Chaudhary (Special Appearance)
Genre: Romance (Musical), Thriller
Direction: Subhash Ghai
Production: Subhash Ghai’s Mukta Arts
Writer: Subhash Ghai
Cinematographer: Sudhir K Chaudhary
Editor: Subhash Ghai
Music: Ismail Darbar, Salim-Sulaiman, Simaab Sen (Background Score)
Lyricist: Irshad Kamil
Release Date: 25th April, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 31 minutes

The Plot:
Kaanchi- The Unbreakable, a romantic-musical thriller, a much awaited movie of Subhash Ghai after a gap of five years (last movie was Yuvvraaj). Story of an ordinary girl Kaanchi from a village Koshampa (a village for army men) in Uttrakhand. It is about her grit, determination, courage to even question the system in her own manner. Subhash Ghai has gone for the blend of Romance with other issues viz. Patriotism, Political leaders’ ruthless / shrewd ways, corruption, even business leaders laying down the rules of the business, black money, helplessness of the common man facing unresponsive bureaucracy and government etc.         

The movie opened with Sub-Inspector Ratanlal Bagula (Chandan Roy Sanyal – Oh, I loved him in this movie, excellent work, refer the ‘Cast and their Performance’ header below) being questioned by a few Police officers and mainly by an investigation officer Arun Roy (Adil Hussain). Bagula is asked about the whereabouts of Sigdi Aka Kaanchi (Indrani Chakraborty, renamed by Subhash Ghai as Mishti). Arun asks Bagula to tell him the ‘truth behind the truth’. The story unfolds with his narration.

Koshampa is a village of retired army men and their families, in Uttarkhand and the heroine of the village is none other than Kaanchi. She stands for ‘what is right’ and Mr. Ghai has even projected her as giving abuses to men, if men trouble her, projected her fiery temperaments, never-compromising attitudes. Proud of her martyr father’s legacy, Kaanchi swaggers around wearing the thick khaki belt which was a part of her father’s military uniform.

Kaanchi is in love with Binda (Karthik Aaryan – Pyar ke Panchnama & Akaash Vani fame). Binda runs a Military Training School. He has three major philosophies:

  1. Fear no evil
  2. Do what is right
  3. Fight for what is right.

There are definitely wonderful moments of love and teasing between Binda and Kaanchi (minus ‘Jhand’, ‘Jhalli’ etc.). Then the entry of Kakda(s) in Koshampa: Politician Shyam Kakda (Mithun Chakraborty) and his businessman brother Jhumar Baba Kakda (Rishi Kapoor) and Sushant Kakda (Rishabh Sinha – Qubool Hai- Zee TV serial fame and in this movie, son of Shyam Kakda). Binda is fighting a court case against Kakda(s) for their land of Koshampa. Kakdas want to buy this Koshampa village for their Koshampa Vally Infrastructure project.

Sushant Kakda, an artist, (and in his words he is unlike his dad and uncle), happens to meet Kaanchi with whom he falls in love. Sushant’s humbleness and Kaanchi’s simplicity and beauty bring them closer. Sushant gets miffed up on being rejected by Kaanchi, which made him an obsessive beast (overnight!!!).

Kaanchi gets a major setback / blow in her life, and she becomes a witness to her own miseries. But Kaanchi doesn’t mourn, she just gets up, moves ahead and reaches Mumbai at Ratanlal Bagula’s (her childhood acquaintance and senior in school) house and seeks support from him. Now it is Kaanchi vs. Kakda (s). What ensues is to be seen.

How the story moves further? What actually made  Kaanchi to stand against Kakda (s)? Does Bagula join her journey ? Who all becomes partners to Kaanchi’s journey ? What is the motive of Kaanchi ?   Does her mission remains personal or it shifts gears to a wider arena – socio-political ? Does she get to see success in her efforts ? We generally sing Sare Jahan se acha Hindustan humara – is it really so ? Or we need to sing Sare Jahan se acha ‘hoga’ Hindustan humara ? Is it all about women empowerment and an ode to new-age womanhood ?

 Official Trailer:

Director Subhash Ghai definitely does things in a style. And there are lot of Subash Ghai moments in the movie, right from introducing the main protagonist of the movie Kaanchi to adding glitz, glamour and some typical bollywood masala of item number. Kaanchi is well handled by him. I just wished, he could have added moments of more romance of Binda and Kaanchi, but then, he had to do justice to 2.5 hrs of the movie.  Dialogues could have been much better. Overall a good effort by Mr. Ghai.

Cast and their Performance:
The very first actor whom I want to mention is Chandan Roy Sanyal as Ratanlal Bagula. Absolute delight to watch him. He is good, funny, and has done complete justice to his pliable character. He did bring lot of smiles to my face.

Mishti aka Indrani Chakraborty as Kaanchi aka Sigdi, is good. Looks extremely beautiful in certain scenes. But I think, she looked too soft to ill mouth. Her innocent look did not support certain scenes. And her voice cracked when she went on a emotional high or shouted. And in certain scenes, her struts did not look very impressive. But given the fact that, Kaanchi is  this Bengali Model’s first movie, we shall appreciate her. A ‘Mishti’ performance.

Kartik Aaryan as Binda is good. I wish, he had a few more frames. At times, he also went loud, but definitely his screen presence is worth a mention.

Rishabh Sinha as Sushant Kakda is also good. I loved him when he played an artist in the movie. I think, he has yet to break his shayari-spouting image of Qubool Hai, but a great work from him in this movie.

Now, about the veterans, Mithun Chakraborty as Shyam Kakda and Rishi Kapoor Jhumar Babu Kakda aka JB are definitely very very convincing and so beyond any comments. Mithun’s dialogue –  सब  पद्धति  से होना है (a planned approach for everything) is noticeable.

Other cast Adil Hussain as investigation officer Arun Roy, Pallavi Subash Chandran aka Pallavi Purohit (Savita Pathare, secretary of Shyam Kakda), Sahil Vaid (Satyakam, Jai Yuva Sangh activist), Meeta Vashisht (Mita, Jai Yuva Sangh activist) are also good.

Shakti Mohan & Neeti Mohan does an Item Song with Mahima Chaudhary giving a special appearance.

Music is composed by Ismail Darbar, Salim Sulaiman and one song by Mr. Ghai himself.

Songs from Ismail Darbar: Kaanchi Re Kaanchi (Sukhwinder Singh), the very first song is melodious. Tu sab Kuch Re (Sonu Nigam, Anwesha Datta Gupta, Ismail Darbar) is very good supported with good visuals. Koshampa (Aman Trikha, Sachita, Anweshaa, Subhash Ghai) has energy. Kaisa Hai Dard Mera (Ankit Tiwari) is also good. But Adiye Adiye (Sanchita & Avril Quadros) is just ok.

Song from Subhash Ghai: Main Mushtanda (Mika Singh & Aishwarya Majumdar)… Oh…the lyrics are crap.

Songs from Salim-Sulaiman: Thumka (Sonu Nigam and Suzane D’mello) has the energy, but somehow, just ok. Hindustan Kahan hai (Sukhwinder Singh, Mohit Chauhan, Raj Pandit), a patriotic number is with lot of energy, but sounds familiar, novelty is missing.

Item Song: Kambal ke Neeche – does Mr. Ghai want to create another Choli ke Peeche? But yes, need to mention about the three Mohan sisters: Neeti Mohan has sung this song along with Aishwarya Majumdar and Sanchita. And her two sisters Shakti and Mukti Mohan feature in this song. The split move shown by Shakti Mukti and  at the end of the song is good.

The movie is shot at Shimla and Mumbai. Sudhir K Chaudhary has given some great visuals through this movie especially that of Koshampa.

Moments to watch out for:
  • Kaanchi’s indomitable spirit
  • Kaanchi’s relationship with her mother
  • Kaanchi’s strength as a female protagonist

Thumbs up:      
Watch this movie if you love Subhash Ghai and also to understand the very spirit of Kaanchi.  

Thumbs down:
Dialogues! Was it necessary to make Kaanchi ill mouth or say slangs ? Jhumar Baba’s fling with girls… not impressive. The character Kaanchi’s strength is tried to be justified through her training visuals at Military Training School of Binda but still, it is difficult to comprehend and believe that she survives her jump from a high point to deep river.

‘Kaanchi – The Unbreakable’ is good to watch due to its ‘Unbreakable Spirit’...

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Cast: Johnny Depp (Dr. Will Caster), Morgan Freeman (Joseph Tagger), Rebecca Hall (Evelyn Caster), Kate Mara (Bree), Cillian Murphy (Donald Buchanan), Cole Hauser (Colonel Stevens), Paul Bettany  (Max Waters), Clifton Collins Jr. (Martin), Cory Hardrict (Joel Edmund)  
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Direction: Wally Pfister
Production: Broderick Johnson, Andrew A Kosorve, Kate Cohen, Marisa Polvino, Annie Marter, David Valdes, Aaron Ryder
Written by: Jack Paglen
Cinematographer: Jess Hall
Editor: David Rosenbloom
Music: Mychael Danna
Studio: Alcon Entertainment, DMG Entertainment, Straight Up Films
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures (United States & Canada), Summit Entertainment (International), Entertainment Film Distributors (UK)
Release Date: 18th April, 2014 (India)
Language: English
Duration: 1 hour 59 minutes

Transcendence is a sci-fi movie visualizing a world of artificial intelligence. The movie begins with Max Waters’ (Paul Bettany) visit to a house in Berkeley, which shows that the society has taken major technological steps backwards. The computers are useless now, and are literally used as doorstops, the networks have failed. A voice over by Max lets us know that many cities are without power. In fact chaos is there since armed soldiers are shown openly patrolling the streets.

Then the movie steps back by five years. Dr. Will Caster (Johney Depp), an artificial intelligence researcher is at the forefront of a team of scientists who are in the process of creating PINN (Physically Independent Neural Network), an artificially intelligent computer that possesses Sentience and Collective intelligence.  

Evelyn (Rebecca Hall, wife of Dr. Will Caster), who also wants to change the world, heal the planet through artificial intelligence, hosts a conference to attract potential sponsors. There, Will Caster suggests during his presentation that it would be so wonderful that if all the computers in the world, which are already smarter than us, become self-aware too. He talks of his research Transcendence i.e. convergence of artificial intelligence and human intelligence.

Will is shot by an anti-Artificial Intelligence (anti-AI) extremist soon after the presentation. Simultaneously, anti-AI attacks and kills many team members in various AI research facilities in the world. Will survives the bullet, but doctors discover that the bullet was laced with radioactive materials which will eventually stop the functioning of all vital organs, resulting to death. Will is left with just 4-5 weeks of life.

Evelyn, grief-stricken, thinks of saving Will, or at least his mind, by using the quantum processors of PINN to essentially upload Will’s brain (consciousness) into cyberspace, where he can live forever. She asks good friend and fellow researcher Max to do so. They almost succeed in their attempt, but Max soon feels that AI version of Will may not be Will at all. Max is shown the door by Evelyn who is very happy to feel the digital form of her husband and starts connecting Will to the cyber world.

Max is almost immediately confronted and captured by Bree (Kate Mara), the leader of Revolutionary Independence from Technology (RIFT), the extremist group, which had carried out the attack on Will Castor, his lab and scientists.

What happens next? How Will takes control over the situation? How he protects Evelyn? What Max is asked to do by RIFT? How does Evelyn survive with Will’s support? What roles FBI agents Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman, a friend of  Will and Evelyn) and Donald Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) play in getting Max back? How do they get to track down Max? What was the purpose of Will behind building Brightwood Data Center? What were Will’s intentions: was it to build a better society, or to destroy the society? Could he complete his research on Transcendence with Evelyn? Is digitally surviving Will dangerous? Does Evelyn ever lose trust upon Will? What shape does the relationship between Will and Evelyn take later on? Does Will become a threat to Evelyn? What does RIFT do? How does the movie conclude – with the global blackout or further chance of transcendence? Watch the movie to seek answers.

Transcendence is the directorial debut for the cinematographer Wally Pfister. Though he has not got great reviews from various critics for this movie, but I think, his efforts are appreciable.  
Transcendence definitely deserves your viewership.  

Official Trailer:

Watch it and find out whether Transcendence permeates real lives or not !!!

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dekh Tamasha Dekh

Cast: Satish Kaushik (Mutha Seth), Ganesh Yadav (Sawant), Tanvi Azmi (Fatima), Hridaynath Rane (Laxman), Vinay Jain (Vishwasrao), Sharad Ponkshe (Bandekar), Satish Alekar (Prof. Shastri), Apoorva Arora (Shabbo), Alok Rajwade (Prashant), Sudhir Pandey (Maulana), Santosh Juvekar (Badshah), Jayant Wadkar (Sattar),DHiresh Joshi (Kulkarni), Nikhil Ratnaparkhi (Deshpande), Angad Mhaskar (Rafiq Sheikh), Kishore Pradhan (Magistrate), Kishore Choughule (Constable Naik), Abhay Mahajan (Anwar), Spruha Joshi (Rafiq’s wife), Satish Tare (Hameed), Shashank Shende (Lawyer), Sunil Godbole (Lawyer), Rajesh Bhosle (Pandu), Chinmay Pataskar (Kulkarni’s Assistant), Datta Sonawane (Garage Owner), Ganesh Revdekar (Constable)    
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Direction: Feroz Abbas Khan
Production: Sunil A Lulla, Feroz Abbas Khan
Studio: Eros International, Bombay Local Pictures
Distribution: Eros International
Writer / Screenplay: Shafaat Khan
Cinematographer: Hemant Chaturvedi
Editor: Sreekar Prasad
Release Date: 18th April, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 49 minutes

The Plot:
Dekh Tamasha Dekh is a political and social satire from director Feroz Abbas Khan (a great work by him in the past “Gandhi, My Father”). It begins when a poor man got crushed to death under the weight of a politician’s huge hoarding. Both Hindu and Muslim community claim his body since he was a converted Muslim. The town is torn apart by the dispute over this dead man’s religious identity whether he is Kishan or Hameed.

Both fundamentalist Hindu and Muslim leaders fight it out in court so as to be able to prove the religious identity of the dead man and henceforth to claim his body as well. Even the dead body is dug out to check whether Hameed’s circumcision was done, an identity criteria.

What ensues is a series of incidents which would force one to be glued to the seat and think. The best part of the movie is that it is not opinionated or biased. It just gives us food for thought.

This film has dealt with the socio-political dynamics of the communal disharmony. It leaves one to wonder what exactly instigates the disharmony: The political leaders, the ordinary people, a particular community, clash in belief system, rituals, media assumptions …etc. The film takes a dig at the religious fundamentalism, governance systems, media highlighting the less prominent but sellable news etc.
What happens at the end? Who wins the legal battle – Muslims or Hindus? Does riot happen? What happens to the leaders ? What is the definition of being conservative and progressive ? What all happens under the cover of religion in our country ? Watch the movie…
Official Trailer:
Director and Story Writer:
Feroz Abbas Khan is successful in giving a satirical feel to the movie, though maintaining the depth of the concept. Shaffat Khan, the writer, deserves to be appreciated for his work. He does not try to answer but facilitates us to think and use our own discretionary ability. He does not conclude or opinionate things.
Cast and their Performance:
Satish Kaushik as Mutha Seth has given a great performance. Tanvi Azmi (Fatima, wife of the deceased) has emoted wonderfully. She has given so much depth to Fatima with her expressions. Ganesh Yadav as Sawant is also very good. Vinay Jain as new police officer in town is also good. Rest of the cast has also justified their characters.

Moments to watch out for:
  • Last few frames, of-course (not revealing the same)
  • Mutha Seth (Satish Kaushik) summons the newspaper editor and treats him like a pet dog
  • Fatima (Tanvi Azmi) grieve for her dead husband while women of the neighborhood join in to while away their time while waiting for the taps to supply water
  • Court-scene
  • Conversation between Fatima and her daughter Shabbo (Apoorva Arora) towards the end of the movie

Thumbs up:      
Watch this movie if you love offbeat movies, theater.

Thumbs down:
May not be a commercially successful movie.

‘Dekh Tamasha Dekh’… A good Socio-Political Satire… 

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

Lucky Kabootar

Cast: Ejjaz Khan (Lucky), Ravi Kissen, Kulraj Randhawa (Lakhsmi), Shraddha Das, Sanjay Mishra (Babaji), Madhavi Sharma (Billo)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Direction: Shammi Chhabra
Production: Karan Raj Kanwar
Studio: Inderjit Films
Written by: Shyam Goel
Cinematographer: Lenin Xavier
Editor: Kuldeep Mehan
Music: Santokh Singh
Lyricist: Sameer
Release Date: 18th April, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes

The Plot:
Lucky Kabootar did not make me feel lucky at all, rather I felt miserable after watching this awfully made film. It is claimed to fall under the genre of comedy and romance, but there was neither comedy nor romance.

There is a village Luckypur, where Lucky (Eijaz Khan) lives who lands up as a salesman in a tractor selling company in spite of graduating in B.Sc. Agriculture.  He fantasizes about Kamana aka Kammo aka  Gulabo (Shradha Das) but ends up marrying Lakshmi (Kulraj Randhawa). Even after marriage, he still fantasizes about Kammo. Rather the whole Luckypur is behind Kammo, but what was so special about Kammo… I could not figure out. Lucky has excuses of ‘Hath Tang hai’ always for not meeting Lakshmi’s needs. Another character is Sunny Paji (Ravi Kissen), brother of Kammo and Dabangg of Luckypur with whom Billo (Madhavi Sharma) is madly in love.

And then there is another annoying character Sexybaba (Sanjay Mishra). Oh! What a disappointment to watch him after his ‘Aankhon Dekhi’. He fulfills people’s desires with two female minions on either side – hard drive and pen drive. Movie is with lot of vulgar dialogues…

Situations unfold in such a manner that Lucky ends up believing that he has lost Lakshmi in an accident. What follows thereafter – Lucky’s journey of  mourning (or celebration) ??? Please don’t be even bothered to know it… I kept on wondering what these actors Eijaz Khan, Ravi Kissen, Sanjay Mishra, Kulraj Randhawa are doing in this horribly made film.
Official Trailer:
One-Liner: Lucky Kabootar, an awful film… Erase it off…   

Rating: 0 / 5 (Awful)

2 States

Cast: Arjun Kapoor (Krish Malhotra), Alia Bhatt (Ananya Swaminathan), Ronit Roy (Vikram Malhotra), Amrita Singh (Kavita Malhotra), Shiv Kumar Subramaniam (Shiv Swaminathan), Revathy (Radha Swaminathan), Sharang Natarajan (Manjuntah Swaminathan), Ankit Chitral, Achint Kaur
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Direction: Abhishek Varman
Production: Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala
Studio: Dharma Productions, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Distribution: UTV Motion Pictures
Written by: Chetan Bhagat (His novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’)
Cinematographer: Binod Pradhan
Editor: Namrata Rao
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Release Date: 18th April, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 29 minutes

The Plot:
2 States, a cross-cultural love story based on Chetan Bhagat’s semi-autobiographical novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’ (a bestseller), is light-hearted, maintains the core of the book, and presented in a very simple yet engaging manner. The movie begins with Krish Malhotra’s (Arjun Kapoor) session with a psychiatrist where he expresses his depression, suicidal tendencies. The movie unfolds further with the IIM–Ahmedabad campus rendezvous of Krish, the Punjabi boy with Tamil Brahmin Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt) at mess. Instant connect between the two is shown. Ananya keeps on counting the score of IITians who proposed her. Krish does not obviously want to be one amongst them. Their campus life, evolution of their relationship from being ‘just friends’ to the love-birds (physically and mentally), combined studies, and off-campus eateries’ hang-outs are all portrayed beautifully through songs – Offo and Locha-E-Ulfat. Krish and Ananya look good together with Krish being the quiet, reserved, yet assertive one and Ananya being the self-assured, expressive one. After two-years of courtship, both Krish and Ananya commit to each other. But then begins the real challenge of convincing their respective families. A typical face-off i.e. North Vs. South in between Ananya’s parents (Shiv and Radha Swaminathan essayed by Shiv Kumar Subramaniam and Revathy) and Krish’ mother Kavita Malhotra (Amrita Singh) during the convocation is portrayed realistically. Krish and Ananya chose the tough path to convince one another’s parents rather than just eloping. We can see the efforts taken by both of them to win parents’ approval for their marriage.

The plot projects the culture-clash, the discomfort and the pressures due to diverse culture, playful digs at one another’s culture, turbulent relationship between Krish and his alcoholic / abusive father Vikram Malhotra (Ronit Roy), impact of parents’ clash on krish’ character, northern culture of dowry being a very regular thing, Krish’ bonding with mother, Ananya requesting his father to be nice to krish, Krish’ mother being possessive of him, perceptual differences etc. without any melodrama.

Does Krish and Ananya succeed in convincing their parents that they truly love each other in spite of the culture, community, religion, language differences ? If yes, how ? And, if yes, how long the efforts continue ? Do their love survive the conflicts in between their families? Does actually some love is left between them in midst of uncertainties and family conflicts?
Official Trailer:
Director and Story Writer:
Director Abhishek Varman has done justice to Chetan’s book. Definitely the book is a delight to read, but the movie also showcases various aspects beautifully.   

Cast and their Performance:
Arjun as Krish is very good. It is great to see the way he handles his relationship with his mother. Even he projects his emotional vulnerability well as far as his relationship with father is concerned. I adored those moments when his eyes spoke his love towards Ananya.

Alia as Ananya has definitely given a very cute and wonderful performance. Though she doesn’t look much of a south-indian, but she has carried the character on her shoulders very well. She looks pretty, charming and sweet.

Amrita as Krish’ mother Kavita is so effortless and natural. Ronit as Krish’ father Vikram although has less frames, still, he is very very good. He brings lot of depth to the character.

Shiv and Revathy as Ananya’s parents are very good. Sharang Natarajan as Ananya’s brother Manjuntah Swaminathan is also noticeable.

Achint Kaur as Amrita’s sister also gives a good performance.

Music is composed by Shankar, Ahsaan, Loy. Lyrics are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya.

Mast Magan (Arijit Singh, Chinmayi Sripada) is very good. Offo (Aditi Singh Sharma, Amitabh Bhattacharya) and Locha-E-Ulfat (Benny Dayal) are full of energy. Iski Uski (Akriti Kakkar, Shahid Mallaya, Shankar Mahadevan), Chaandaniya (K Mohan, Yashita Sharma) and Hullaa Re (Shankar Mahadevan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Rasika Shekhar) are also good.

Binod Pradhan has covered Delhi, IIM-A campus, Chennai, Mumbai all very nicely.

Moments to watch out for:
Krish while trying to ask for Ananya’s hands with her parents proposes to the complete family: I want to marry all of you. He has actually brought rings for all of them. Krish hugging his father towards the end of the movie.

Thumbs up:      
Watch this movie, probably most of us would be able to relate with this simple movie. And for all those people who did inter-caste or cross-culture marriage are definitely going to relate with the story.

Thumbs down:
As such no thumbs down moments. The movie has its own natural flow. Probably the dialogue by Krish (to express that it was natural to feel towards Ananya) was not required: “Punjabi hoon. Khoon garam hota hai humara.”

'2 States' indeed reduces the gap between the two states. Enjoy this…

Rating: 3.5 / 5 (Good +)