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23 reviews in total 
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Besharam (2013)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
movie to walk out from, 4 October 2013

I walked out after an hour. I could see other viewers getting restless too. What do you expect with the same old ghisi piti stalker story and screenplay .Why the girl falls in love with the annoying obnoxious title character is beyond me. Add to this , there are bad songs every 5 minutes.The movie suffers from poor production values and unimaginative direction . A surefire recipe for disaster. Avoid , even if you are a die-hard Ranbir fan. First misstep by him in choosing his roles. The new actress is so unremarkable that I don't even remember her name. The dabangg director needs some fresh ideas. Rishi kapoor and neetu singh are absolutely wasted .What were they thinking when they accepted this trashy film?

Raanjhanaa (2013)
3 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Stalker loves Beeatch, 4 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We have a stalker who threatens to slit his wrist to force a girl to love him back. We have the stalker leave Benaras and stalk his prey in Delhi. The lady who is the object of his affection is manipulative in her own way and extremely unlikeable. We have the stalker be physically abusive to the girl who silently loves him. We have a lead actress who cannot act. We have a crap screenplay. Dhanush is certainly fit for playing characters from the wrong side of the tracks that the single screen audience can identify with but I would like to see him play against type. His horrible tamil accented Hindi was very distracting. Why did a character who lived in Benaras for over 2 generations still talk with a tamil accent? There is no logical explanation. Abhay Deol was totally wasted in this role. The only thing going for this movie was the cinematography and the music.There is ZERO chemistry between the lead pair. I am not sure why this movie is lauded for its love story.The basic premise of the movie is repulsive that you can stalk your way into someone's heart. The so called heart rending ending was another sign of manipulative crappiness.Avoid this movie!

Saawariya (2007)
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Saawariya-A meditation on love, 22 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Saawariya is not your typical dancing around trees romance but a mood piece exploring nostalgia, melodrama, loss, loneliness and love in various forms - first love, obsessive love, physical love, and heartbreak.

The movie is directed by one of the last few auteur's of Indian cinema who imbues it with his expansive vision . Bhansali's unmistakable imprint is all over this work. He obviously feels great kinship for Hindi movies and characters of the 50's and 60's and takes elements from those films and combines them with a Moulin Rouge inspired mies-en-scene where old fashioned pimps and contemporary prostitutes with retro hairstyles congregate in a studio generated Muslim ghetto to create a cinematic landscape all his own. While the directors cinematic landscape may be off putting to some, this viewer bought it hook line and sinker! I can almost see Johnny Walker in the role of the front desk clerk at the seedy Momin Lodge in Oldtown and the casting of Begum Para definitely adds an element of credibility to the proceedings. Zohra Sehgal never ceases to amaze and the perfect casting for this movie sets the table for the deliciously angst-filled four course meal the director serves for us.

This timeless, nameless place befit a film that is grounded in abstract and existential themes rather than plot as the women characters are caught up in an endless cycle of waiting – Lollipop for her son, Sakina's grandmother for her tenants and her own son, and Sakina for her lover.

The central character is Ranbir Raj, a throwback to Raj Kapoor's persona from the 50s' - the lovable tramp, a bit of a goof-ball, who usually gets his heart broken.. There are many references to this , from the bowler hat to the umbrella . Ranbir does do a very good job portraying the complex emotional arc of his character from the "thunderbolt" of love at first sight to unrequited love. Sonam bears more than a passing resemblance to Waheeda Rehman in this film, especially the Waheeda from Chaudvin ka Chand and her character seems to be a direct inspiration for Sakina in this film, as she obsessively waits for her lover to return. Sonam has a complex many layered role, and she comes through in a more than adequate manner, considering that this is her first movie. Salman is an appropriate object of desire in his brief appearance and Rani steals the show with her clever one liners.

The music is melodious and woven easily into the film. It is truly a concept album, reflecting the various shades of love, from the dizzying heights of first love (Masha Allah, Jab SE Tere), to playful romance (Thode badmaash) ,to intense romance (Yoon shabnami, Jaan-e Jaan) to heartbreak( Daras bina nahin) .The many years spent on perfecting this soundtrack show and how! The fantastic and poignant song "Pari" which is beautifully pasteurized on the ladies of the night stands out in particular.

Of course, the movie is visually spectacular with many "Bhansali" moments. The lighting and cinematography is entirely suited to the theme , mood and atmosphere of the movie. At times the pacing is decidedly slow but just at the right moment, the movie picks up. A special mention should be made of the lyrical quality of the parting scene between the two protagonists. Ranbir and Sonam handled this scene beautifully, both with words said and unsaid . The ending could easily have become a maudlin affair, but it was genuinely affecting leaving a bittersweet aftertaste.

The movie recalls the slow languid pace, the claustrophobia and language of the Muslim culture of days gone by. I think this is Bhansali's homage to the era of Kamal Amrohi and Gurudutt. Nobody makes movies like this anymore and I applaud Mr. Bhansali for having the courage and conviction to stick to his vision.

I am sure most of the regular desi junta will not get this movie, but , oh well, its their loss.

Like someone said in an earlier review, this is destined to be a desi post modern cult classic!

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Nikhil Advani is a genius!, 9 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was somewhat apprehensive about Nikhil's ability to make the 5 stories hang together and flow and boy did he do that and then some! This is the work of a director at the top of his game, at the peak of his creative prowess. This is the ultimate directors movie( and to some extent the editor) and Nikhil deserves major props for taking something that had huge potential for disaster and creating something extraordinarily interesting.. He has created the ultimate Bollywood Masala potboiler but in a non cheesy manner,taken the rules of bollywood convention and turned them upside the head, to create something fresh yet familiar -complemented by the self referential humor and self reflexive editing . Nuff said about the director!!

The editing was key to the success of this movie and except for about 20 minutes in the middle,I didn't find the movie dragged at all.It was great how each segment lasted for not more than 5 minutes at a time. The pacing was perfect and the climax was raucous, rousing and irresistible and definitely left one with an emotional high .

The actors acted their guts out (which was to be expected from good actors like Anil, Juhi, Govinda, Akshaye, Ayesha and Vidya), but John and Priyanka did a good job too,and Sallu was Sallu- which was perfect for the role he was playing:) I loved all the individual story lines and the extent to which the director was able to develop them so that they felt complete.

If I had to choose a favorite ,it has to be the Govinda story.His Delhi cabdriver was one of the most lovable characters in the movie. The language barriers between him and the American gal and how they overcame it was extremely fun and poignant at the same time and they were given great lines to speak .This section was extremely well written.

Priyanka was a surprise package, I loved the back-story of her character ( seemed a little inspired by Mallika Sherawat) and the unpredictable way her storyline with Sallu proceeded. She did a great job contrasting the "diva" scenes ( necessarily overdone) with the scenes where her real self is revealed ( to Rahul). The one scene where she is supposedly crying for the cameras when Rahul "dies" was heartbreaking , because she was tapping into the " tragedy queen" thing while at the same time grieving the loss of the love of her life. Sallu was camp-ilicious in his trade mark fashion and looked good enough to eat! His mannered or "fake" acting was needed for the role since he was playing a mysterious poseur and nobody really knew what he was all about.

Anil and Juhi did well in the standard "mid life crisis" storyline. This was probably the least interesting subplot because it has been done to death before, nonetheless the 3 main players brought this story to life .

Ayesha and Akshaye's pre-marriage commitment blues story line was well done too and funny.I loved Akshaye, despite his facial contortions .

The John Vidya story was very interesting in that it tackled a very sensitive subject( inter faith romance) but the woman's accident proneness was getting a little out of hand! Thankfully the director spared us the agony of her getting "cured" by a second bang on the head - a favorite bollywood convention from the 70's .This is a segment which could have been shortened a bit. The scenes with Ashutosh's Dad were unnecessary and there was way too much crying on the part of John which got repetitive.

The Sohail-Isha storyline was strictly for laughs , aimed at the B and C centers but it was funny as hell! I enjoyed the songs and dances much more on screen with the visual reference than just listening to them cold.

Overall this is one of the best movies I have seen in a while.

You will laugh! You will cry! You will come to terms !!:) A whopping 9/10!!

Parineeta (2005)
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Movie of the year!, 12 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has got to be the best movie of the year.This was a directors' movie through and through and what a great job he did! Watching this movie also makes you wonder how Devdas would have fared with Pradeep Sarkar at the helm.This guy has an absolute mastery of the medium , thats for sure.

The cinematography and WRITING was amazing.It was after very a long time that I heard such beautiful dialogs on screen, brimming with subtext.There was this particular shot of Howrah bride at night which is still etched in my memory.The only OTT/false tone/temporary bhansali insanity occurred at the end..( toddo shekhar todddo!), somehow did not sit well with the tone of the movie.

The first song was brilliant in its exposition of the childhood of the major protagonists of the movie.The songs were VERY good and actually fit the tone/mood of the movie. There was a VERY authentic recreation of the 60's, Calcutta has not been captured like this in recent times.The art director of this movie deserves an Oscar ! The 3 major actors were on point, not a false note from anyone.Saif has given his most mature performance yet and damn he looks hot in a sherwani! Vidya Balan is very good for her first movie and more importantly she "fits" her role to a T.Sanju has this kind of role down to a science- his sad eyes and world weary demeanor speak volumes.There were some VERY sensually picturised love scenes! Also the cameos by raima sen , diya mirza and the guy who played ajeet were great!

What can i can , i LOVED this movie.

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
cute time pass, 18 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought the movie was unpretentious , cute and enjoyable!! It didn't want to be a masterpiece and I'm OK with that. Salman acted quiet well and has good comic timing, moreover, he looks better with age! A thespian he isn't but is pretty tolerable in movies like this .Sneha was really cute and has that special something about her on screen, her acting was not much to write home about, but then her character didn't require much acting either . She has screen presence, evident even in a movie like this, and more so than I expected from the promos. Mithun- he was funny @ times( when parodying old Hindi film dialogs), although he was OTT too!

The songs were VERY well picturised, the romantic moments between the lead pair were well done with requisite amounts of angst and didn't leave one with an uneasy feeling at all ( despite the age gap). They had good chemistry together on screen . The cinematography was awesome, the screenplay was OK in parts. There was suspension of disbelief involved but a good movie( like this one) should make the viewers WANT to suspend disbelief rather than make them irritated. The movie was well directed on the whole .All in all, a nice 2 hours 17 minutes at the cinema..

Raincoat (2004)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
good but not great, 17 January 2005

Raincoat is essentially a 2 act play masquerading as a self indulgent character -driven(not plot-driven)movie with resultant periods of non engaging cinema. Overall , a technically well made movie but I do have some reservations about the way the backstory of the ex lovers is unfolded . I would have liked some more exposition regarding the nature of their relationship? Why was Neeru resigned to getting married to someone else if indeed she loved Mannu. Was she in fact in love with Mannu at that moment in time? Or was her love fading away on the basis of Mannu's character flaws? Ghosh certainly did not potray their relationship as one for the ages. The direction was similarly ambiguous wrt to their current meeting. What were they feeling for each other? Love? Lust? Affection?? I also did not appreciate the intrusive editing devices used( with many fade to blacks), made for a somewhat disjointed feeling. Aishwarya Rai excelled as Neeru, she seems to have taken it upon herself to prove the naysayers wrong! She was entirely convincing in what was a complex and multilayered role as the bihari housewife who has'nt had much good happen to her in life lately . Ajay Devgan didn't really bring anything new to the table in his portrayal of Mannu. He can do the diffident understated act in his sleep!He could have at least spoken with a Bihari accent! He looked and sounded exactly like he has in most of his movies, though he remains a v good actor. Loved the use of music in the movie and the cinematography was brilliant.

Overall I would give this a 7

Tere Naam (2003)
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Salman's Show, 22 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After being put off by Salman's hair in promos,i delayed watching this movie for almost a year!! What a mistake..

Tere Naam was certainly one of the most enjoyable movies of recent times.. and I have gone from a Salman hater to Salman tolerator..


What an unexpectedly amazing performance. Salman's portrayal of an emotionally tormented lover was without a doubt his best work thus far. There are certain scenes where his desperation, pain and helplessness is almost palpable. He certainly seems to have tapped into some hitherto unseen reserves of acting talent to come up with his performance. Or maybe he just channeled the demons from his personal life.

And the hair, ah the hair.. I actually liked it ( after I got over the initial annoyance). I think it is gutsy of Salman to actually look THAT different from his usual chocolate boy looks. It fit in with his rebellious, good for nothing character.

Bhoomika was a perfect foil for Salman. I could totally buy why Salman's character would fall for her.Her innocence and freshness is very appealing.The lead players had GREAT on screen chemistry.

I think the friendship shown between Salman's group of friends was very real too.. nothing saccharine about it.

I loved the story /screenplay and direction. Definitely different.

Add in the awesome soundtrack, all in all, 3 hours well spent.

16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
terrible movie, What was Aish thinking?, 14 October 2004

Terribly unfunny unromantic "romatic comedy"

This is not the kind of role one was expecting from Aish after she had been so careful in selecting her movie roles in the recent past. The role seemed tailor made for your generic teenybopper bollywood actress.. not the actress from Devdas, HDDCS and Chokher Bali amongst others.

Her costumes in some of the dances were shockingly bad.. She would do well to wear Indian costumes more than western ones,, she looks breathakingly gorgeous in the former and like any other bollywood actress in the latter.

Vivek looked good but the role was so annoyingly juvenile and smug that it wld be hard to imagine a girl falling for him!

Add to that, there was absolutely no chemistry between the lead players

Amitabh was incredibly annoying,, as was the whole orphanage plot line..

The writers of this movie need a crash-course with Linda Seger asap.. what a poorly written script.. ( and vivek oberoi was partly responsible for the writing.. expected better from you vivek!)

The less said about the direction the better..

This will go down as one of the most forgettable movies of the year..

And the most disappointing

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
under-appreciated gem, Prashant Narayan is a future STAR, 11 July 2004

So this was the movie Kaizaad Gustad was trying to make.. !

This is Shashanka Ghosh's homage to Tarantino and the coen bro's and what a well made tribute it is..

excellently crafted screenplay, extremely well directed.., top notch acting..Prashant Narayan is a STAR!! what an intensely charismatic performance as the conflicted gangsta .. Watch out for this guy, he's going places!Pratima Kazmi as Gangu Bai was another stellar piece of acting.. The characters were overall very interesting and the writing clever...

If you like something " zara hatke" this movies for you!!

Bravo Shashank...

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