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The Web of the Witch More at IMDbPro »Makdee (original title)

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Fun filled movie particularly for kids.

10/10
Author: depalw from India
4 December 2005

This is an excellent movie not only for kids but also for elders. This movie runs around two about 10 years old identical twin girls and a myth in the village. One sister in simple and the other one is naughty. The myth is about a Churhel (Evil Soul) in the village. The naughty sister teases & make fun of the other one but when the other one falls in a serious trap, the naughy one plays with her own life to save the other. This is a fun filled movie. A pure and healthy fun and also gives a good message to kids in the end. The songs are lovable. Pertucularly kids will enjoy the movie. The acting of the girl artist is excellent. Shabana Ajmi is there in a different role. The direction of the movie is great. A must watch for sensible cinema viewers.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A treat for children (and adults)

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
14 February 2008

One of the better family films, especially for children, is what 'Makdee' is. Bharadwaj's commendable directorial debut, where he also composed the score and wrote the screenplay is a tremendous achievement. He tells the story with a simplicity and sincerity that would appeal to children. His inspiration from Grimm's tales is clear (one that particularly comes to mind is 'Hansel and Gretel') but he wonderfully makes 'Makdee' his own work. The playful cinematography adds to the larger than life quality of the story. The viewer is glued to the screen straight from the opening scene. The songs are cheerful, tense and add to the narrative (thanks to Gulzar's fine lyrics), especially the song that reflects Munni's fear of the spider-witch and her memory of her mother.

While some may find that the performances are over-the-top, it's very appropriate for a children's film because they love loud characters. But, this is not to say that adults won't enjoy it. Shweta Prasad fits the role, especially as Munni. Certainly one of the better young actresses and her following films e.g. 'Iqbal' only prove that she's getting better. Alaap Mazgaonkar lends adequate and hilarious support. Makrand Deshpande is suitably loud and hyper. And, a barely recognizable Shabana Azmi is terrific. Not only does she look completely different, she acts that way and stands among one of the memorable villains. However, on the downside, the extras look uninvolved.

Even though I felt the supernatural element fades away towards the end, the film does deliver a message. 'Makdee' is one of the finest children's films to emerge from Indian cinema. If only parents took there children to watch this instead of trash like 'Krrish' or rip-offs like 'Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii', one could have expected more such sensible children's film from the creative filmmakers of the country. Hats off to Bharadwaj (more so for making a risky attempt) and his cast and crew.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Vishal Bharadwaj perfectly sets the difference between children films and childish films

7/10
Author: xpics from India
4 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After Chota Chetan and Halo, Makdee is one of the finest children films to have hit the Indian screen.

Entirely set in a rural backdrop, the movie enthralls the viewer from its very first scene where a minor thief is chased by the villagers and soon after whisked by a spider-woman aka Makdee (Shabana Azmi). No one in the village dares enter this Spiderwomen's mansion for the legend has it that whoever enters the mansion comes out as an animal. Enter twin sisters Chunni and Munni (Shweta Prasad) who are like any other Bollywood twins – bindaas and darpok respectively. Everything goes fine until when one of Chunni's pranks leads Munni into the haunted house where the witch turns her into a hen. To get her sister back Chunni has to deal hundred chickens with the Makdee in exchange.

The climax is a surprise where the fairy (oops! witchy) tale turns out to be a conspiracy theory. But the surprise is not much pleasant, as the supernatural element is lost here. The movie still has its moments of ham-free humour and at times horrendously scary ones too (do accompany your kids). The narration is effective and editing perfectly crisp (just 95 minutes runtime but a pure delight).

Shabana and the other Makdee (MAKrand Deshpande as the mean butcher) are amazing. Master Alaap Mazgaonkar makes you laugh with his funny face and gestures itself. The movie undoubtedly belongs to Shweta Prasad who gives the best performance of the year (her talent has been much aptly explored than her minuscule bit in the television soap Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki). Kareena and Esha are recommended acting lessons from this little wonder.

Finally hats-off to director Vishal Bharadwaj for daring to attempt an offbeat theme – a children's film (when everyone else is busy with crappy love stories) for his debut venture and moreover extracting stupendous performances from the child artistes. He perfectly sets the difference between children films and childish films.

At last Indian kids have something sensible and more interesting to watch than Shakalaka Boom Boom and Shaktimaan.

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