Monday, July 28, 2014

Review : Kick

Cast: Salman Khan (Devi Lal), Jacqueline Fernandez (Shaina Mehra), Randeep Hooda (Himanshu Tyagi), Navazuddin Siddiqui (Shiv), Saurabh Shukla (Mr. Mehra, Shaina’s father), Mithun Chakraborty (Devi Lal’s father), Archana Puran Singh (Devi Lal’s mother)
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller
Direction: Sajid Nadiadwla
Production: Sajid Nadiadwla
Screenplay : Rajat Arora, Keith Gomes, Sajid Nadiadwala, Chetan Bhagath (Additional Screenplay and writer)
Story: Vakkantham Vamsi
Cinematographer: Ayananka Bose
Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Meet Bros Anjjan, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Julius Packiam (Background score)
Editor : Rameshwar S Bhagat
Distribution: UTV Motion Pictures
Release Date: 25th July, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 26 minutes
Kick a movie by Sajid Nadiadwala (he is donning the role of a director for the first time, otherwise, generally he produces movies) turns out to be an average flick as a collage of tids and bits of Dabbang, Jai Ho, Tiger and gets us to meet the same Salman Khan, whom we have seen so much. The beginning of the movie with Jacqueline’s   entry with a soothing background song seemed to be promising, but the impact fizzles down. The movie is about what gives Salman Khan the ‘Kick’ – the adrenaline rush for which he keeps experimenting with his jobs, adventurous things till he finds the real ‘Kick’. It seems that Salman’s movies these days are afflicted with forced Social Responsibilities, his good Samaritan activities, dialogues with the mention of his brand ‘Being Human’ (even Jai Ho had the same shades). There appears to be some conscious effort to build an image. Lot of unrealistic scenes. The first half of the movie is dead slow. The pace in the second half of the movie picks up a bit but the end leaves me confused. I wonder, is it a cue to the audience that the sequel Kick 2 is in process. I am clueless, what and how does a movie gets into 100 crore club. Either we love our actors so much that, let whatever be the movie, its plot or presentation, we definitely want to watch the same. And this sensitivity of ours makes the movie a blockbuster.
Devi Lal Singh (Salman Khan) loves kicks in his life, for which he keeps exploring. The kicks during his journey from mother’s womb till adulthood are shown through digital animation. A psychiatrist Shaina’s (Jacqueline) encounter with Devi Lal happens in a dramatic scene where he is trying to help Shaina’s friend (Samona Chakravarty) flee with her boyfriend (Kavin Dave) and get married. Devi Lal has kept Samona’s mother (a MLA) and other people also informed regarding the couple’s whereabouts. Shaina finds him completely crazy. Shaina decides to make Devi Lal a case for her studies to understand his ‘kicks’. Devi Lal gets the kicks out of strange acts: beating the eve-teasers (oh yes, this is still great), jail doesn’t bother him, rather he ends up giving headache to the inspector (Sanjay Mishra- who keeps wondering, why did he arrest him at all). And there is the quintessential Mithun chakroborty as Salman’s father continuing to do so since his ‘Veer’ days and Archana Puran Singh pitching in as his mother still under the spell of her TV show ‘Comedy Circus’.
A bond strikes between Devi Lal and Shaina but soon it goes through a rough patch and Devi Lal gets the kick to make money and moves away from Shaina. Shaina’s parents are interested in her match with Himanshu Tyagi (Randeep Hooda). He is a Police officer, reaches Poland following ‘Devil’ – a masked mysterious thief, who keeps robbing rich people on festival days and also goes around pulling off spectacular stunts. There is a cat and mouse game between Himanshu and Devil.
And there is Shiva Gajra (Nawajuddin), who says –“aakhir main bhi to dekhum ki mujhse jyada devil kaun hai?’ He is into healthcare business with no ethics.
How does the story move further? Does Himanshu able to nail down Devil? Is he able to confront and finish the Devil? What happens to the relationship between Himanshu and Shaina, does it ever grow? Though you can guess very easily, does Devi Lal comes back to Shaina ever? What choices Devi Lal makes to fulfill his kick for making money? What is the intention of Devi Lal behind trying to fulfill his kick? What role Shiva plays in the movie and is he also in search of Devil?
Salman Khan, otherwise an entertainer, fails to give something new. Oh, there is Salman in different styles – with / without French beard, in hoodie at times… lot of styles are tested for him. Jacqueline looks good on screen, but then, that is not sufficient. Talented actors like Mithun, and Sanjay Mishra are wasted in the movie. Nawajuddin, although in a short role, seems to make his presence felt, superb as usual. I just wished, he could have got more screen time.
And there the movie ends – Main samajh me nahi aata, sirf dil me aata hum…
Kick throughout doesn’t ‘kick’. Even, Dhoom’s bike and Krissh Mask clubbed with Sallu Bhai may not save Kick. Watch it, if you are a diehard fan of Salman Khan.
Rating: 2.5/5 (Average+)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: PIZZA

Cast: Akshay Oberoi (Kunal), Parvathy Omanakuttan, Dipannita Sharma, Arunoday Singh, Rajesh Sharma, D’Santosh, Hussain Dalal, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Sonali Sachdev
Genre: Horror
Direction: Akshay Akkineni
Production: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Bejoy Nambiar
Written By: Karthik Subbaraj, Akshay Akkineni
Cinematographer: Jaya Krishna Gummadi
Music: Mikey McCleary, Saurabh Kalsi, Shamir Tandon, K (Background Music)
Editing : A Sreekar Prasad
Distribution: UTV Spotboy
Release Date: 18th July, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 47 minutes

PIZZA is a movie in the horror genre by Akshay Akkineni (son of editor and multiple National Film Award winner A Sreekar Prasad). This is supposed to be the remake of Tamil superhit film by the same name. Efforts have been taken to make this a great piece of supernatural thriller, premise has been set, but somewhere, towards the end, one feels disillusioned (and probably cheated) since a horror movie moves from its basic theme. I experienced almost the same feeling as an audience when I saw Aamir Khan’s Talaash, I felt, that the end was least expected by revealing Kareena’s character as that of a ghost. Here, though I don’t want to spill the beans, this is the cue which I would like to give you.
Kunal (Akshay Oberoi) works with a PIZZA outlet. His wife Nikki (Pavathy Omanakuttan) is an aspiring horror story writer. Kunal does not believe in ghosts, whereas Nikki believes in them. For her, ghosts are fascinating. She practices effectiveness of her horror stories by narrating the same to Kunal and then laughs at him, who is terrorized.
The challenges begin when one day on his Boss’ demand, Kunal goes to deliver a chocolate pack to his Boss’ wife. He noticed something abnormal in her. Boss did admit to Kunal that his wife is probably possessed. After this incident, one day, when Kunal goes to deliver Pizza to a lady (Dippanita Sharma) in a big mansion, he gets locked up. Then follows a series of supernatural things happening over there, right from Dippanita getting murdered followed by husband Arunodaya Singh’s entry and also getting murdered, worms on remaining pizza, a child addressing Kunal as Papa.     
As far as the fear factor is concerned, much of the fear factor was not there, but definitely, it raised a curiosity to know further, although am completely disappointed with the way things towards the end is being handled. Can we put this movie actually under horror genre? Horror elements are clubbed with a few other themes (let me not reveal the same). 3D impact has come out well in certain areas. Akshay is convincing in his role.

PIZZA has the topping of horror and logic, might not go down with you, still you can taste it. An average film.

Rating: 2/5 (Average)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Amit Sahni ki List

Cast: Virr Das (Amit Sahni), Vega Tamotia (Mala), Anindita Nayar (Devika Dev), Kavi Shashtri (Pushkar, Amit’s childhood friend), Natasha Rastogi (Amit’s Mother), Anu Menon (Cameo)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Direction: Ajay Bhuyan
Production: Pyxis Pictures, Tina Nagpaul, Kavita Kulkarni, Sujata Vemuri
Screenplay: Shiv Singh, Rohit Banawlikar
Cinematographer: Maneesh Chandra Bhatt
Music: Raghy Dixit, Palash Muchhal, Alien Chutney, Shivi R Kashyap, Karthik Iyer
Editing : Shakti Hasija
Release Date: 18th July, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes
Amit Sahni Ki List is a simple rom-com movie by director Ajay Bhuyan. You can watch this movie with a smile on your face. Consciously or sub-consciously, we all have a ‘criteria list’ for our ‘perfect’ would be. Are we able to manage to get the ‘Perfect person’. Once we figure out the ‘Perfect Person’, does the relationship also turn out to be perfect ? Are we able to live happily forever thereafter? This movie tells us that the relationships, frequency match between two people and the happiness / peace felt in the relationships are much beyond any list. Life does not move on the basis of a list, calculations, luvo-meter (app to measure love). Relationship is not technical / mechanical, it has to be nourished and taken care. Can a list really be a road-map and lead one to his / her soul-mate? Amit Sahni’s journey is peppered with funny situations, and smart takes on relationship shallowness.
The titular character of this movie- Amit Sahni (Virr Das) is a successful investment banker. On facing heartbreak after being dumped by the first teenage love Natasha, Amit decides that now onwards, he won’t allow any girl to reject him. He goes on to complete his education from IIT, followed by IIM and gets into high-paying job as an investment banker, drives a BMW, lives in a condo. When he gets ready for marriage, he prepares his own list for the ‘Perfect Girl’ for him. He rejects many girls just because the qualities in the girl were not matching his list. It is a hilarious scene, where he rejects one girl because she doesn’t have interest in cricket and doesn’t follow Sachin Tendulkar. His father is shown to be interested in reading newspapers and mother as a gregarious one, who enjoys talking in acronyms viz. BTW (by the way), IMHO (in my humble opinion), BTM (behanji turned modern) etc. His childhood friend Pushkar (Kavi Shastri), a self-proclaimed good cook, keeps giving weird advises to Amit. All these characters together make the movie worth a watch.
On mother’s insistence, Amit meets Mala (Vega Tamotia), completely opposite personality as per his list. Mala is an adventurous person whereas Amit is just the opposite. Mala seems to be a carefree, dog-loving, creative girl. In spite of the differences, something works out between Amit and Mala and they commit to each other. Things seemed to be great for both of them, but then the entry of Devika Dev (Anindita Nayar) happens. Gradually Amit realizes that Devika matches his list completely.
What does Amit do next? Does he decide to go ahead with Devika? What happens to his relationship with Mala? Which relationship Amit choose at the end – Devika – the perfect match as per his list or Mala – the total opposite to his list ?
Virr Das is effortless, witty. Vega Tamotia and Kavi Shashtri have also given great performances. Noni Singh as Mala’s pet dog is also cute.
Another hilarious scene, where Anu Menon does the entry as a Break-up consultant and gives a presentation on why the couple should part ways. It highlights, how romance these days has become more ‘practical’ and romance is no more done with the heart.
Music could have been better. There is an instrumental music piece played on a Violin (performed by Mala in the movie), which is mesmerizing.
Amit Sahni ki List is a smooth ride of a rom-com without much of roadblocks. You can walk out of the theater with a happy feeling.

Rating: 3 /5 (Good)

Review: Hate Story 2

Cast: Surveen Chawla (Sonika), Sushant Singh (Mandar Mhatre), Jay Bhanushali (Akshay)
Genre: Thriller
Direction: Vishal Pandya
Production: Bhushan Kumar, Vikram Bhatt
Screenplay: Madhuri Banerjee
Cinematographer: Raju Khan, Swarup
Music: Mithoon, Meet Bros Anjjan, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Rashid Khan
Editing : Kuldip Mehan
Distribution: T-Series Films
Release Date: 18th July, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 19 minutes
Rating: 3.5 /5 (Good +)
Hate Story 2, a film by Vishal Pandya, is a complete justice to its genre. It marks the Bollywood debut for Jay Bhanushali (TV fame – Actor and Anchor) and Surveen Chawla (TV Personality and Punjabi film actress).  What a performance from Sushant Singh and Surveen Chawala. Yes, it is true that, it is painful and difficult to watch such a movie. There was not a single moment in the movie where one would yawn. Even though predictable plot, one would be completely at the edge of the chair. We have seen Sushant giving powerful performances in the past and this is not an exception either. It is difficult to take eyes off Surveen when she is in the frame. Plot revolves around a politician who is obsessed with his keep. When he finds that she is involved with somebody else, he makes their lives difficult followed by revenge from the girl…this forms the story. We have even seen stories of vengeance in the past, but the actors and the director together have made this movie a great one to watch. This movie may not be for the people who just want some comedy from the movies.
The movie begins with the rescue of Sonika (Surveen Chwala) from a coffin in a graveyard who was almost dying due to asphyxia. She is brought to the hospital, and given police protection as well. On realizing that she is not safe even in the hospital, she flees from the hospital. Flash backs reveal that she is the politician Mandar Mathre’s (Sushant Singh) mistress, who doesn’t even give her space and time to breath, forget about letting her live. Sonika is physically, emotionally and sexually abused by him. A chess board is always laid out in her apartment, and Mandar always plays his moves autocratically. Mandar’s tough ways are reflected through his dialogues as well: (Baba Kahte the) Chinti ke par aur nagin ke sar shuruwat me hi kuchal dene chahiye; Kaidi ki rihaai ki arzoo aur rakhail ki azaadi ki arzoo, sar uthaayegi jarur; chuhe ko maarne ke liye uske peeche nahi daudte, vo khud apni badle ki bhookh mitaane ke liye chuhedani me aayegi etc. He does not even mind humiliating his wife in front of others.      
Sonika pursues her passion of photography by taking lessons on it. There she meets a happy-go-lucky Akshay (Jay Bhanushali) and falls in love. Mandar sniffs that Sonika is hiding something from him and physically assaults her like anything. On discovering the relationship of Sonika with Akshay, it is not to be even mentioned, what Mandar does to both of them. Rest of the story is about how Sonika takes revenge from him.
I felt, probably her journey of transformation i.e. to gather courage and strength to avenge Mandar and his henchmen could have been shown and justified in a better manner since she was physically and mentally frail. And what could have been avoided absolutely was Sunny Leone’s Pink Lips item number.
Jay Bhanushali’s role is small, yet, he is able to do complete justice to his character.
Song Aaj fir Tumpe Pyar aaya hai, behad aur beshumar aaya hai… by Arijit Singh and Samira Koppikar is very good.
Hate Story 2, gives us some powerful performances through Sushant and Surveen. Watch it if you like this genre.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good +)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Preview: Bollywood Movies releasing on 18th July, 2014

Three Bollywood Movies are releasing on 18th July, 2014 (L-R): 

Amit Sahni ki List, 
Hate Story 2 and Pizza

Amit Sahni ki List : A Romantic Comedy. Directed by Ajay Bhuyan. Vir Das, Vega Tamotia, Kavi Shastri and Anindita Nayar are in lead roles. Story of an Investment Banker, who is searching for the woman of his dreams (who fits into his ‘List’ of Ms. Right). Every time, he goes out on a date, he secretly checks to see if his date matches the list. The interesting twists and turns that take place on account of the list and his quest for Ms. Right form the plot.

Hate Story 2 : Erotic Thriller. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri. Surveen Chawla (of TV and Punjabi films fame), Jay Bhanushali and Sushant Singh are in main roles. 

Pizza : A Supernatural Thriller. Written and directed by debutant Akshay Akkineni. The film features Akshay Oberoi, Parvathy Omanakuttan and Dipannita Sharma in lead roles, while Arunoday Singh, Rajesh Sharma, Omkar Das Mankipuri and Sonali Sachdev play supporting roles. It is supposed to be the remake of 2012 Tamil Hit film Pizza (directed by Karthik Subbaraj). A Pizza delivery boy is sent to make a delivery of Pizza at a home full of dark secrets. How he is able to overcome this situation – this forms the story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Cast: Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace Lancaster), Lily Kenna (Young Hazel Grace Lancaster), Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters), Nat Wolff (Issac), Laura Dem (Frannie Lancaster), Sam Trammell (Michael Lancaster), Willem Dafoe (Peter Van Houten), Lotte Verbeek (Lidewij Vliegenthart), Mike Birbiglia (Patrick)
Genre: Romance, Drama
Direction: Josh Boone
Production: Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
Written By: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Based on: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Cinematographer: Ben Richardson
Editor: Robb Sullivan
Music: Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott
Production Company: Temple Hill Entertainment
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox                                                        
Release Date: 4th July, 2014 (India)
Language: English
Duration: 2 hours 05 minutes

The Fault in Our Stars, a film by Josh Boone, is based on the novel by the same name by Josh Green. It is emotionally intense. There are so many moments in the movie which gave a lump in my throat. It is a tragic love story of two cancer-stricken people who are almost dying. Yet, characters are so positive. One knows that much time is not left in life, but still, one has the desire to live life in the best manner possible. One character fears oblivion after death, and another character feels that it is inevitable. One is worried, what will happen to her parents after her death and another character takes efforts to write his own eulogy. The family goes to any extent to keep the diseased as happy as possible. No tone of self-pity in the movie. The film is not about crying over what we don’t have or what we may lose, but learning to live life in what we have and what we do. It is not the fear of the death that makes one bitter, but lack of love does. The protagonists understand that “The world is not a wish-granting factory”, yet they want to make the best of their wishes come true in the limited lifespan. It is true that ‘Pain demands to be felt’, the pain of the diseased demands to be felt. What a wonderful movie, which makes you cry and laugh with the characters. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ – yes, this could be true, we may not be able to fight with the destiny but still we can choose how to respond towards that destiny.

The movie begins with the narration of a sixteen-year old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), who is suffering from thyroid cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of thirteen, and cancer has metastasized into her lungs. So, she is on oxygen support all the time, breathing with the help of a nose cannula. She repeatedly reads a book ‘An Imperial Affliction’ by Peter Van Houten, which is about a girl Anna dying from cancer, and it ended mid-sentence. Hazel always wanted to seek answer to the question that what happens later after Anna’s death.  Her parents Frannie Lancaster (Laura Dem) and Michael Lancaster (Sam Trammell) feel that she is depressed whereas Hazel is not ready to accept the same.

On parents’ insistence, Hazel, though reluctantly, agrees to attend a cancer patients’ support group. Hazel embarks a different journey altogether. There she meets many people suffering just like her. One of them is charming and cheerful Augustus Waters aka Augustus (Ansel Elgort). Augustus suffered from osteosarcoma, which led to amputation of his leg, and now almost recovered. Both of them bond together and start hanging out. Augustus clamps an unlit cigarette in his mouth as a metaphor- allowing the instrument of death to sit between his teeth powerless. Hazel starts looking at life with a new perspective, discovers the world beyond hospitals, medication, pain and cancer. Their heartfelt exchanges give great moments in the movie. Issac (Nat Wolff) also joins them in between, who is getting blind due to cancer. Issac brings lot of humour into the scenes.

Even when things are not fine in their lives, the lead protagonist’s good-bye is ‘okay’.

Understanding Hazel’s love for her favourite book’s (An Imperial Affliction) author Peter Van Houten and her desire to seek answers for cryptic end of the book, Augustus takes efforts to contact the author.

Does Hazel manage to meet the author Peter Van Houten and seek answers from him? How does the relationship between Hazel and Augustus shape up? How do they fight their disease and the harsh reality of their lives? How do they prepare for the toughest acceptable fact i.e death ? Watch the movie. What an earnest performance from everyone in this movie.  

The Fault in Our Stars, a heart-rending tale of two dying teenagers gives tears in your eyes, and it makes us appreciate what we have in our lives.

Rating: 4 / 5 (Very Good)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Cast: Humans: Jason Clarke (Malcolm), Gary Oldman (Dreyfus), Keri Russell (Ellie), Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Alexander), Jocko Sims (Werner), Kirk Acevedo (Carver), Enrique Murciano (Kempt), Kevin Rankin (McVeigh), Keir O’Donnell (Finney), James Franco (Dr. Will Rodman, cameo)
Evolved Apes: Andy Serkis (Caesar), Toby Kebbell (Koba), Judy Greer (Cornelia, Caesar’s wife), Terry Notary (Rocket), Karin Konoval (Maurice), Nick Thurston (Blue Eyes), Doc Shaw (Ash)
Genre: Science Fiction
Direction: Matt Reeves
Production: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver (Chernin Entertainment and Dune Entertainment)
Written By: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on: Characters created by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Premise suggested by Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
Cinematographer: Michael Seresin
Editor: William Hoy, Stan Salfas
Music: Michael Giacchino
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 11th July, 2014 (India)
Language: English
Duration: 2 hours 11 minutes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a film by Matt Reeves, is extremely high on emotional side. It is great to see the emotional connect between humans and the apes. This movie really explores what happened after ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’. If ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ was spectacular, this is super-spectacular. The presentation of the movie is so natural and simple that one gets to relate with almost all the characters. Everyone has the right to live on this earth, be it animals or humans, one cannot afford to become the threat for the other. The evolved apes are trying to live their own lives and humans are in the struggle to survive. Each character, whether humans or apes, has been so well crafted and detailed. We get to feel their loss, fear, insecurity, efforts for survival etc. It is great to see the sentient apes, talking, expressing emotions like humans. Apes are shown to be quite rational and forgiving in comparison to humans. In spite of them having experienced human cruelty and imprisonment, now they want peace and just want to be free in their own world away from humans. This movie tells the story of how the declining humans and the ascendant apes come to be at war.

The movie begins from where the ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ finished. In the first film, humans gave the apes their intelligence with an experimental drug. Ten years later, humans have largely been wiped out by contagious and deadly side effects of the same experiment. A quick montage gives us an idea of all these happenings since Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It narrates the wake of a flu epidemic, followed by violence and chaos. As a result, Dr. Willman (James Franco) and other millions of people are dead.  Human civilization has become almost extinct. The survivors have cobbled together a society in the ruins of San Francisco, with Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) as their leader.

On the other side, apes are in the initial stage of their civilization. Initial frames of the movie shows Ceaser (Andy Serkis – what an amazing performance), leader of the apes, with his family and fellow apes in a forest. Outstanding scenes with the apes swinging off the trees, jumping off the walls. Blue eyes (Nick Thurston), teenage son of Caesar and Cornelia (Judy Greer) is shown to be impulsive and short-tempered. Koba (Tony Kebbell), Caesar’s adviser feels that Caesar is too affectionate towards humans. Koba has lot of angst towards human beings since he was a test subject for them all his life before he was freed by Caesar. Caesar’s second-in-command cum great friend is Rocket (Terry Notary), who is also the honorary uncle of Caesar’s children.

Humans and apes are almost oblivious to the existence of each other, but the situation changes when humans come face to face with Blue Eyes and Ash (Doc Shaw), Rocket’s teenage son. Humans had come there hoping to tap an energy source, basically to gain access to a hydroelectric dam (in apes’ territory) which could provide long-term power to the city. Ash is shot at by one of the human Carver (Kirk Acevedo). While Carver calls for rest of his fellow armed survivors, Blue Eyes calls for the other apes. Caesar orders the humans to leave. Prompted by Koba, Caesar brings the apes to the city where he orders the humans to never enter ape territory again.

Dreyfus believes that humans can survive only when the last ape is killed. According to him, after all, apes are just animals. Whereas, Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Ellie (Keri Russell, Malcolm’s second wife) and Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee, Malcolm’s son) feel otherwise. Malcolm convinces Dreyfus to give him three days to reconcile with the apes to gain access to the hydroelectric dam in their territory, which Dreyfus, distrustful of the apes, arms survivors using an abandoned armory. Caesar allows Malcolm to work on the dam's generator, provided they surrender their guns. Humans stand in stark contrast to the mostly peaceful apes, who are willing to accommodate the humans if that’s what it takes to avoid a war. As Malcolm, his partner Ellie, and son Alexander work, they bond with the apes.

Things are smooth when someone does a foul-play and humans and apes clash. Who plays the villain? Who emerges as the planet’s dominant species? Does the movie answer as to who is truly at fault for the ultimate destruction of humanity. Watch the movie.

The motion capture technology used here is also so perfect, which translates minutest details into animation. Andy Serkis as Caesar tops the list of performers in this movie. Caesar’s emotions, rage, sympathy, concern everything is so beautifully captured.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a Visual Extravaganza and has the right mix of emotions, actions, performances and technology. 

Rating: 4 / 5 (Very Good)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review : Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania

Cast: Varun Dhawan  (Rakesh “Humpty” Sharma), Alia Bhatt (Kavya Pratap Singh) Ashutosh Rana (Pratap Singh-Kavya’s father), Sidharth Shukla (Angad Bedi), Kenny Desai (Mr. Sharma – Humpty’s father), Gaurav Pandey (Shonty), Sahil Vaid (Poplu), Mahnaz Damania (Swati), Deepika Amin (Pammi-Kavya’s mother), Jaswant Daman (Kavya’s grandmother), Guncha Narula (Gurpreet)  
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Direction: Shashank Khaitan
Production: Karan Johar, Yash Johar
Banner: Dharma Productions
Written by, Dialogues and Screenplay: Shashank Khaitan
Music: Sachin-Jigar, Sharib-Toshi
Cinematography: Neha Parti
Editor: Manan Sagar
Release Date: 11th July, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes

Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, Shashank Khaitan’s film, is an attempt to relive the magic of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but definitely in its own way. DDLJ was one of the major blockbusters that Bollywood industry saw and it gave a new attitude to the youngsters. Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania may not be the DDLJ of this decade, but yes, it is a movie in a true filmi style and it would bring smile to your face for sure. It does not ride high as far as logic is concerned. The movie definitely has some warm and emotional moments. The story is definitely predictable - girl meets the boy, both fall in love in spite of girl’s engaged status, and then the pursuit for marriage by taking efforts to get the approval of family. The movie sticks to its core purpose – entertainment in filmy style, romance, comedy … This movie is for that segment of audience who just wants to watch movie for sheer entertainment and can’t tolerate rona-dhona.

Attitudes of the lead protagonists Rakesh ‘Humpty’ Sharma and Kavya Pratap Singh (Alia Bhatt) are shown initially itself in almost parallel frames, one being a carefree ‘cool’ Delhi guy, who flirts, always ready with witty one-liners and the later one a feisty Ambala girl. Humpty has friends Shonty (Gaurav Pandey) and Poplu (Sahil Vaid) who are always there for him. Humpty is shown to share great friendly relationship with his father (Kenny Desai). Humpty is a hard-core DDLJ movie fan, who still weeps towards the end of the movie. Kavya wears her attitude through the tattoo ‘Pataka’ on back side of her neck. According to her - “Main to paida hi hot hui thi”. She is part of a rich family and is engaged to a NRI doctor. She negotiates with her father Pratap Singh (Ashutosh Rana) to get her designer Lahanga worth 5 Lakhs. The logic is she did not get a chance to choose the guy, so atleast she should get the right to choose her lehanga.  Also, her friend Gurpreet of Delhi has bought a Lehanga of 2.5 Lakhs, so she should go for a lehanga of atleast double the price. Kavya makes all these scenes very very enjoyable with her innocence. When Pratap Singh sweetly says no to her lehanga demand, she informs the family that she is going to Delhi (her uncle stays there), would earn and buy herself designer Lehanga and return after attending her friend Gurpreet’s (Guncha Narula) marriage.  

Kavya meets Humpty in Delhi in a hilarious situation. Let me not reveal the same. Humpty and Kavya hit off instantly. They do fight, enjoy parties, competes over guzzling beer. Banter between the two is fun, natural, lovable. Both move ahead without any serious ties. They collectively help Gurpreet get out of a messy situation. And then the moment comes, when Kavya has to come back to Ambala. Shashank Khaitan has not redone Raj-Simran here, when Humpty and Kavya bump into bed soon after they feel for each other.

Both of them try to move on in their lives in their respective cities, but unable to do so. Humpty comes to Ambala along with Shonty and Paplu. Yes, a series of physical assault happens once family learns of Humpty’s love for Kavya, but the tone of the violence is mellowed down and almost nil. Humpty manages to get some time from Pratap Singh to prove him that he is the right choice for Kavya, better than the NRI Angad Bedi (Sidharth Shukla). Humpty’s challenges increase when Angad does the entry into the scene as Mr. Perfect.

How is Angad as a guy? We know that Humpty and Kavya would unite at the end, but how? The treatment to the plot is done in a very light-hearted manner. How does Pratap Singh yield? How does Humpty win Kavya’s family’s hearts?

Cast is just superb. Ashutosh Rana as Kavya’s father is very good. What a wonderful actor he is. He pours his intensity as well as sense of humour into the character. Varun Dhawan has done complete justice to his character. Alia is also wonderful. Her face has the right combination of innocence, chirpiness, traditional, bindass attitude. She makes Kavya so much lovable. Sidharth as Angad Bedi has great screen presence. I just wish, Sidharth’s role could have been a bit longer and his vanishing from the last frames could have been given different treatment. Both Sahil Vaid and Gaurav Pandey as Humpty’s friends and Kenny Desai as Humpty’s father are all adorable, excellent performances from them. Rest of the cast are also good.

Music could have been better. The song ‘Samjhawan’ composed by Toshi-Sharib and sung by Shreya-Arijit is very good.

Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, though predictable and low on logic/ reality parameters; yet one will enjoy watching it unfold along with very much likeable lead pair and other cast.

Rating: 3.25 / 5 (Good +)