Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
I hope my reviews here are helpful and you enjoy reading them all with HIS BLESSINGS.
A worth watching gem in cinematic terms for sure but doesn't have that fine balance of art & entertainment as seen before in the thoughtful director's early hits.
With HAIDER, Vishal does manage to answer his strong opponents with a sheer poetry on the screen in terms of narration, execution and performances. A film based on HAMLET which happens to be one of the most complex plays written by William Shakespeare tweaked with his own master strokes taking the storyline into the breathtaking Kashmir, successfully completing his Shakespeare Trilogy in a time span of a little more than a decade. A gem in cinematic terms for sure which forces you to forget his last two duds instantly. And a film which brings back the beautiful Tabu on the silver screen after a long gap who truly is one of the finest actors of our times without any slightest of doubt.
No doubt HAIDER scores much above the director's recent attempts in comparison and breaks several grounds in visualizing a difficult subject on the screen like never before. But along with that another hard and blunt truth remains that the film fails to find that fine balance between meaningful and entertaining cinema as earlier cherished by we all in Vishal's MAQBOOL or OMKARA. And thus is not able to surpass the first two parts of the trilogy in my personal opinion.
In other words, yes HAIDER is indeed a brilliant film made by the visionary director for a certain section of viewers, but not as brilliant as MAQBOOL and OMKARA which were unanimously acclaimed by viewers all over quite deservingly. The film has it superb well- conceived highs in its various sequences coming at regular intervals but at the same time has a few major lows too (in its second half) which eventually take the magic away leaving the general public confused and annoyed majorly because of an over-stretched too classy end with some strange theatrical additions.
Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami (2014)
Do watch this brave, innovative and enjoyable political satire, promoting strong family values reminding you of Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
A small film offering an unexpected novelty expressed well through its bold and well written content certainly gives you a much better satisfaction than a forcibly hyped biggie supported by a known star. And that's the reason whenever there's a film like EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI thankfully bringing that much awaited relief and change, it rightly deserves an extra star and viewer's support too for encouraging its makers to continue doing the good work in the future.
With its subtle indications towards few real life political names, the film is a well written attempt to expose the silly but unknown backstage truths about the corrupt mindsets where everyone is willing to have the power eyeing on his personal monetary benefits be it a politician, a party worker, a journalist, a mistress, a brother, a son or even a mother having her 'ultimate end' closer than anyone else. And amongst these mean, dirty minds lives an honest Municipal Corporation worker superbly played by Anupam Kher, who gets slammed with a corruption notice on the very last day of his service in a shockingly insulting manner by his newly appointed superior.
Now since it will be a crime to disclose the film's extremely fresh and interesting story-plot killing its main attraction, I would simply like to add that ETKS is a two part film wherein the first half has some extremely powerful family sequences depicting the ideology clashes between the father-son reminding you of the works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. And the second is full of many satirical, comic sequences through which a strange wish is fulfilled making you recall another classic of the past JAANE BHI DO YAARON.
Personally I would strongly recommend the movie for its first half in particular as it may teach you a very precious lesson of life about how to respect our aging parents giving them our utmost love, care and time before its too late. Admitting our shortcomings, we do tend to lose our temper often facing the difference of opinion with the elders. But idea clashes with the old parents and ignoring/disrespecting or insulting them shamelessly are two different things altogether which need to be understood by every youngster urgently. Thankfully EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI does have that important lesson executed beautifully and thus deserves to be seen for those 30 minutes before the intermission as a must.
Coming to the second half, yes the film has few flaws and for many 'thinking minds' it might be quite weird and illogical too in its final hour. But to answer them all, I would like to remind that one of the most famous comedies of Hindi Cinema i.e. JAANE BHI DO YAARON also had all weird and illogical similar sequences in its second half which were never questioned by anyone (in the subsequent years) as the film enjoys an indisputable cult status accepted by one and all. However it's a different irony that JBDY which at present is immensely famous as an enjoyable laugh riot was in reality intentionally made as a strong political satire on the corrupt system by its makers raising some serious questions. Sadly the satire was forgotten fast and the comedy took all the limelight in the following decades disclosing the unconcerned public mentality as usual.
Returning to ETKS, it has many excellent satirical as well as entertaining sequences like the one revealing the truth behind the politicians great speeches, a spoof on the famous news anchor Arnab Goswami along with a renowned opposition leader, an interesting interpretation of a party symbol as a thumb shown to the public, the cunning change in outlook of an opportunist mother after the sudden demise of her politician son, the black money lying in the Swiss bank accounts and the evident corruption within the system regarding jobs and homes allotted to the Government employees. The soundtrack doesn't give anything great to write about but a tight script (moving at a great pace), fine cinematography and an apt background score contributes a lot to its overall impact in the end especially with the track "Break The Line" smartly used towards the climax.
Finding a unique plot for his enjoyable, thought provoking satire, director Ravindra Gautam surely deserves the praises for making a film straight from the heart and extracting many outstanding performances from his entire cast bringing that much needed freshness in our Hindi cinema. Certainly one of those promising names to look forward in the future who can represent the common man on screen so wonderfully proving to be a bright flashing light in the dark cloud of all commercial ventures targeting the first weekend earning alone ignoring the content.
Displaying their highly impressive individual skills it is really tough to pick up any one as the best performer in the well-chosen cast ensemble. ETKS has Anupam Kher once again giving a splendid, flawless performance as the honest father, despite having only few scenes in the script as per its novel storyline. In fact such is the sincerity in his realistic performance that one finds it really hard to believe that he is the same person hosting a talk show on the smaller screen looking quite young and entertaining. Next is Divyendu Sharma repeatedly proving his remarkable talent with an excellent, emotional performance as the younger son going through the sudden transformation. Manu Rishi Chadha gives another fine performance post KYA DILLI KYA LAHORE. Aditi Sharma is the surprise package of the film in an effortless moving act as Divyendu's love interest. Plus we have Neha Dhupia (with her much publicized tribute to the item numbers of the past), Rajesh Sharma, Uttra Baokar, Asif Sheikh and the entire supporting cast playing their given parts real well.
Recommended for everyone loving Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Rajkumar Hirani kind of cinema.
Chaar Sahibzaade (2014)
Do watch this finely balanced & well written attempt with your kids.
As a pleasant, surprising exception would certainly like to praise this well conceived, well written and finely balanced depiction of one of the most tragic events of Indian history titled CHAAR SAHIBZAADEY, which neither goes over the top while representing a particular cult nor disrespects the other religions despite the huge clashes between them witnessed by the history in those specific centuries.
Getting over its minor & ignorable shortcomings first, yes its an animation film (which a larger section of viewers doesn't opt for), but it never makes you feel so after few initial moments once its lead characters get established on the screen conveying the basic storyline. An otherwise fine attempt in getting the animated figures right, it does give you a feeling of something missing in the graphical execution (particularly looking at the clothes), but overall successfully delivers the message in a much better way than any of the earlier attempts made undoubtedly. The music is used well in its specific sequences along with some superbly written meaningful lyrics, but honestly I really wished there was a great heart touching composition too expressing the sensitive verses in its soundtrack making it more memorable. Plus released in both 2D & 3D format, the latter has nothing much in it as per 3D effects and hence its recommended to watch it in 2D only to get a more brighter vision without any forced discomfort of wearing the dark glasses.
Talking about the emotional quotient, it doesn't move into any sad mode ever and therefore remains a straight forward and fast paced historical account of a rare sacrifice by four young souls bravely contributing in their father's fight for justice. And due to this specific factor where at one end it will certainly reach the hearts of Sikhs in a much bigger way, there on the other will more importantly enlighten everyone else about what exactly happened with the four brave kids of Guru Gobind Singh and his entire family in those few intense months fighting with the Mughals.
In short, as an animation film made on a 'must know' chapter of our history, CHAAR SAHBIZAADEY is a fine attempt, executed well on the screen with a clear vision by its makers (as also conveyed in its insightful end).
Action Jackson (2014)
Not even close to 'Commitment' and far away from 'Appointment', with all rotten stuff offered by the reputed names.
Following Prabhudeva's fixed pattern of opening the film with a supposedly entertaining mix of action, romance and few songs having some surprising cameos, ACTION JACKSON actually reveals its storyline of lookalikes post 50 minutes of the film. And then has got nothing great to offer in terms of content apart from a well shot, brutal & bloody fight sequence just before the intermission. Sharing my personal experience of watching this terrible attempt, at first I thought that a weirdly dancing Ajay Devgun is having great fun here that should ideally build up later offering some fine enjoyable moments. But as the film moved further, I realized that this was in turn a great ham show put together by all the renowned names which is sure going to find one of the top places in the next "Golden Kela Awards" for the worst movie of the year unarguably.
To give you the exact idea about the amazing hamming sequences shot by the team hilariously, just sample the following and then give it a thought that how could such big names of the industry could even think of doing it on the screen in the name of entertainment. (Spoilers Ahead)
A. The leading lady accidentally gets to see the private parts of our hero and assumes that it is her lucky charm. So this is the romantic angle of the movie (involving all educated new age girls) to be rated as cheeky, cheap, disgusting or vulgar as per your own choice.
B. A scene dealing with the problem of primary school admissions has a principal who behaves more like a Kirana shop-keeper, undeservingly sitting at the reputed post.
C. The actions sequences go on throwing, stabbing, killing dozens of people like vegetables both in the country as well as abroad and our Police is more interested in working for the criminals than the government they wear their uniform for.
D. The two lookalikes are so overconfident that one even decides to go to Bangkok in place of the other along with his friend without any official hassles at all.
E. Our hero narrates his tragic story in the flashback, recalling the incidents which actually happened in his absence, as if he had the power of a gifted third eye.
F. A pregnant woman is stabbed pretty badly but she delivers a healthy baby later on surviving a 'big final operation' which is never shown. Also our hero's funny friend gets brutally stabbed in the back only to return looking perfectly fine in the end.
G. Played by an ambitious actress, the film also has the most hamming lip-lock sequence ever with the girl kissing the hero's funny friend only, to know the hero's whereabouts.
H. Despite having a reputed name in the lyrics department, AJ has some outrageously written songs such as "Surya Ast Punjabi Mast" (What do you mean by that really???),"Tujhse Milne Ka Keeda Ander Hai" (Now we have fallen down to the 'Keeda' level) and"Chhichhora Piya" revealing our foolish journey from "Dagabaaz Piya" to this disgraceful phrase calling the lover Chhichhora. (How could you even approve these dear Prabhudeva and Ajay Devgun?)
I. Along with a badly written, rotten script (can we even call it a script taking everything from here and there?) the film has some sick punch lines mocking two earlier cult hits WANTED and AGNEEPATH. Whereas in reality it is not even close to 'The Commitment' and far, far away from 'The Appointment' quite shamelessly.
J. The background score is another of those strong hamming elements of ACTION JACKSON, that turns out to be hugely loud as well as funny instead of terrifying at regular intervals.
K. Adding to the technical hamming, the over excessive use of illogical animation and special effects in the film's editing is so 'at your face' that it seems as if the editor has used this opportunity to showcase everything he had got in his editing machines and then tried to make a personal show-reel out of the film, acting smartly.
L. Coming to the performances, they all force you to question their cinematic intelligence loudly as Ajay Devgun seems to be all confused doing nothing new in the film apart from his weird, over confident 'left foot dancing'. Sonakshi Sinha looks like acting clever while giving her interviews only because the girl has done all exactly similar roles till date except LOOTERE. In straight words, If they are not offering you something different then who is stopping you to refuse all these stupid, identical roles one after another dear Sonakshi? Yami Gautam suffers again due to a bad project and we cannot really blame her completely since who can refuse a Prabhudeva film (with such reputation) as her third assignment only in the industry. The debutante Manasvi tries showcasing her every asset to grab your attention in vain along with those never seen before hamming villains contributing nothing. So among all these non-performers there is only Kunaal Roy Kapur doing a repetitive yet entertaining role of Ajay's friend generating some kind of laughter in his few sequences.
In all, ACTION JACKSON seriously made me think that did Ajay Devgun & Prabhudeva really had to do this, stooping to such a low? OR Do they have all reached their saturation point in reality, having nothing left in them creatively, hence trying these ridiculous mix-n-match remakes in order to skip the hard work of experimenting with some new subjects and scripts.
A slickly written part two of OH MY GOD with more focus on entertainment, coming just at the right time talking about the right things with some routine flaws.
Revealing the gist in the first line itself (with a purpose), yes PK is a slickly written, engaging film once again talking about that Supreme Power post OH MY GOD (2012), focusing more on providing entertainment and less on the emotional depth required by the important subject honestly. No, the film is not in the same league of Raj Kumar Hirani's earlier three brilliant films to be straight. But since it talks about the right things at the right time in a rare comical tone making the much needed impression, I would like you all to watch it before reading the review as a must.
The first half of the film is full of many enjoyable sequences that at once remind you of few famous jokes read at the social networks, like remember that picture of sleepers having a lock keeping them together so that they don't get stolen in front of a temple or few enlightening jokes mixing two or more Gods together. Beginning with a very amateurish kind of love relationship developing overnight between Anushka and Sushant, it never gives you a dull moment before intermission with Aamir Khan speaking in a different hilarious tone, making brilliant face expressions, raising many thoughtful doubts on the existence of GOD.
However the same cannot be said about its second half as here we go the same clichéd way with nothing novel as per the concept is concerned, having a completely predictable love angle thrown in (with the alien) thankfully not given too much footage in the narration. The last hour keeps reminding you of OH MY GOD with many similar settings and then the end offering few well-written twists and turns (involving the letter) brings smiles on your faces and tears in the eyes too as always expected from a Raj Kumar Hirani climax unconditionally. But overall, despite having that emotional end with another surprising cameo of a big star and all fixed ingredients of a Hirani film, PK is not able to give you that huge creative satisfaction, experienced in Hirani's earlier three films creating a big chemical locha in your hearts while walking out of the theaters.
In the performances section, no doubt, Aamir plays his part extremely well making the best use of his odd ears. He simply excels as the alien and doesn't let you think about the flaws throughout the film leading from the front. Carrying the film all alone Aamir gets some fine support from Anushka Sharma, who once again proves her effortless mastery in playing such lively characters. Sushant Singh Rajput impresses in his few scenes, whereas Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt and Boman Irani are not given any great roles to play quite surprisingly. Particularly it was really disappointing to see Boman Irani doing such an unimportant role after playing the lifeline of all three Hirani films till date, enacting three unique characters considered as benchmarks in the field of acting. Moreover here we have Parikshit Sahni once again doing the similar role of a father as seen in Hirani's previous movies along with Ram Sethi (Pyarelal) making a lovable cameo too.
Music remains another weaker section of PK as I couldn't remember even one song while walking out of the theater. And that certainly wasn't the case in any of Hirani's earlier films. Yes both the lyricists and the singers have done their job very well but it was the melody I couldn't find in most of the songs in the soundtrack putting it honestly. To pick out a few its "Chaar Kadam" and "Bhagwan" sounding fine while watching the film, mainly due to their fabulous rendition by the talented singers. Adding to the comparatively weaker departments, this time neither the cinematography nor the background score was able to make some major contribution in the film quit unexpectedly.
Coming to the major disappointment I felt while watching PK, first of all I wasn't really expecting a part two of OH MY GOD offering all seen before kind of sequences and dialogues. In fact this really puts me in doubts that whether Hirani had this idea of using the concept of GOD in his film before the release of OMG or developed it after that film getting some clear inspirations from its famous scenes. Having said that PK still has one big edge over OMG when it maintains the dignity of the concept of GOD as it is and doesn't interfere in its existence dragging him down to the earth giving it any commercial form.
Adding to my disappointments, no doubt PK is a slickly written, well edited film with only few dragging moments in the second half. Still I cannot rate it above any of the three Hirani films seen earlier as it does lack that novel punch and falters in many sequences making it a forceful attempt (in its dialogues too) put together.
Sulemani Keeda (2014)
A piece straight out of the real life of struggling writers in the film world.
If you can forget about any specific plot, ready to watch natural performers instead of superstars, can ignore some extreme abuses used and willing to experience something straight out of the real life of two struggling writers knocking at every promising door in Mumbai then do give this a try by making a serious effort as a must. Particularly if you are among the ones who themselves have experienced such time in the city of dreams as a writer, actor or a creative technician looking for work and your first crucial break in the film world.
Cleverly shot in a different, realistic mode by the debutant director Amit Masurkar, his SULEMANI KEEDA might not be a perfect winner, but it does have that much required freshness to offer post many mediocre projects supported by all big names. Its pleasingly authentic portrayal of two struggling writers, their try at girls in a bookstore, the unlimited rounds to the homes & offices of celebrities like Amrita Rao, Mahesh Bhatt, Anil Sharma and Aditya Chopra, their attempt to write something out of the box for their eccentric rich client, falling in love, fighting with each other and then surrendering to the corrupt system ignoring their own cherished art-form, truly gives you a quite mature account of the real life lived by such artists in Mumbai looking for that one major break.
With many admirably natural performances from Mayank Tewari, Naveen Kasturia and the entire supporting cast, who don't really seem to be acting, the film many a times gives you a feeling of watching something straight from the real life shot in a docu-drama style. And that's where it scores the most despite losing the grip in the middle (due to the repetitive love affair) and then becoming all predictable towards the end of its 90 minutes duration. Shot in a simple but impressive manner on all next door Mumbai locations, SULEMANI KEEDA remains a comedy throughout maintaining a fine balance between real life and its unique characters. But along with that also represents the deep pain felt by every single person who comes to the city in search of name, fame and money in big numbers.
It mocks at the film industry's way of functioning much better than the recent HAPPY ENDING and THE SHAUKEENS and has an interesting soundtrack and background score too adding to the overall impact. Yet admittedly it doesn't hit that hard in the end with the fun losing out to all familiar scenes in its final 45 minutes. Moreover, targeting only the urban youth or selected audience, the film is certainly not going to be seen and enjoyed by everyone as it seems. Having said that, it still gives you a name to watch in the future of its director Masurkar, who surely has a keen observing eye on the life around.
Ending on a different note, SULEMANI KEEDA might only be rated as a realistic, promising first attempt by the entire team performing well, but it definitely needs to be given a chance without any doubt. Specifically if you are film writer yourself or often write about films of the present or the past on your own blog/site as a passionate hobby.
And in case you are still not convinced then sample this one line from the film saying, "Agar Filmein Bechani Hain Toh Dukandaar Ki Tarah Socho, Writer Ki Tarah Nahin!"
A complete masala flick with ample dosage of heroism, patriotism and emotional drama written around the superstar.
If it's a project featuring one of the biggest superstars of Indian film industry eagerly awaited by his huge fan following in the south (coming after a long gap of three years ignoring the animated KOCHADAIYAAN), then its nothing less than a big cinematic festival in that specific region celebrating the event in an unbelievable style, not seen even in the case of biggest Hindi film stars to be honest.
However if the same film releases in its dub format in Hindi then it struggles to find viewers even in its very first show despite all the hype and publicity received. And I was really surprised to have this contradictory experience this Friday, when the theater owners told me that you will have to wait for a while as we need more tickets to be sold in order to run its first show as scheduled. Fortunately about 12- 15 people did come asking for LINGAA and I thankfully got to see it as desired in its dubbed version.
Moving on to the film, it has everything required for a Rajinikanth project supporting his larger than life image of both a superstar as well as a socially active person. But sadly the content has nothing fresh to say and gives you the same old feeling of watching a complete masala flick of the 80s with ample dosage of heroism, patriotism and emotional drama written around the superstar. In other words, LINGAA once again offers that standard mix of many typical sub-plots put together including a petty group of thieves, a casual heist, a romantic news reporter, the village link, an emotional flashback with the period theme, references of British rule and their brutality, a rich maharaja turning into a savior, an important dam built by him alone, misunderstandings being created, love affairs thrown in to fill the space and then a poor climax with some mediocre action heading towards a happy ending.
The dialogues are specifically written asking for claps and whistles in the theater, whereas few early songs are just added into the script like a five minutes relief item or a musical advertisement as usual. Beginning with all below average sequences, the narration goes into a long (nearly 100 minutes) flashback hindering the pace severely. And returning to the present you just have the routine end-fight to see, shot hurriedly with some mediocre special effects, strangely in a Rajinikanth film. Probably the length has something to do with the viewers phenomenal love for their icon, forcing the makers to give them more. But having nothing fresh to say in its nearly three hours, LINGAA struggles hard to make an impression and remains just an average film with the only saving grace being the Superstar.
Mentioning its plus points, the film largely works in its emotional or confrontation scenes alone and fails to deliver anything great when it comes to the basic storyline, songs, background score and performances. Where the action impresses in its early train sequence, it does exactly the opposite in the climax fight. Cinematography and Sabu Cyril's art direction visibly gives the film its much required support but A. R. Rahman's musical score remains the biggest disappointment undeniably. The master composes a very ordinary soundtrack for such a big venture and it was even more surprising to see the name of Gulzar behind some of its weird lyrics like "Mona Gasolina" and more.
Performance wise, Rajinikanth does manage to deliver a towering act as the generous Maharaja, but doesn't have anything novel to offer as the young thief (he has a double role in the film). Sonakshi Sinha does it well and is more appealing in her controlled act in the later reels. Anushka is charming as far as looks are concerned but gets to play a completely artificial character in the film. Plus the enormous supporting cast mostly comes up with all average acts as required in its flashback sequences.
In short, it's a project featuring one of India's biggest superstar, but again has the same predictable story to tell where the lead character first gets maligned and thrown out of the village only to regain his lost respect and image as the truth gets revealed with a hugely disappointing climax. Honestly we have seen this many times before since the last century and now actually wish to see something more innovative, path breaking and unexpectedly impressive when it comes to names such as Rajinikanth. Hope our Thalaivaa will deliver the same in his next venture rising above the routine soon.
A just OK, emotional sequel of the fantasy with some great graphics.
The third part of fantasy, once again revolving around all familiar characters begins differently from the year 1938 where a few archaeologists are searching for some ancient treasure and they accidentally find it too when a kid falls into a pit. Among the precious finds of that treasure is a magical tablet that later causes all the trouble by making everything alive at night in the museum. And our hero, the night-guard, once again has to set it all right after an unexpected chaos on the night of a big event organized within the museum itself.
Written around on a repetitive kind of plot, this time we have more love and emotion in the air along with the usual dinosaurs, Capuchin monkey, Wilson-Coogan's team and all others. Plus Ben Stiller is here in a double role with the hard to recognize one also falling in love with another lonely lady-guard of the British Museum. Supporting the romantic feel Robin Williams also finds a soft corner for Mizuo Peck in this probably final version of the series. And adding to its emotional factor, the film also has a sub-plot devoted to Stiller as a father and his relationship with his young son who wishes to be a DJ.
Beginning on an engaging note, the progression loses all its energy in its next hour with various sequences having some historical as well as mythological references too visualized brilliantly like that of a snake demon, exploding volcano and even a tiny Garuda interacting & dancing around in a hilarious manner.
In short, the film has its few engaging moments but is not a thoroughly exciting fun ride as one expected it to be. It entertains partially but then makes a soft emotional impact on the viewer towards the end with few moving scenes and the late Robin Williams saying goodbye with a smile. Just a time pass fantasy ride with much less adventure.
An above average thriller with all ugly but realistic characters offering quite less than what was being raved about.
Before moving into the review, I would like to give you the story behind this latest Anurag Kashyap film UGLY, post the mediocre UNGLI and FUGLY having confusingly rhyming names. Ready long before these two films, UGLY made into Cannes and other festivals around the world early last year and got some extreme mixed reviews from many reputed names. So for records, it was not any unanimous applause received by the film which was largely being speculated & discussed here at the social media before its release. Perhaps this has become another norm of promoting the films here in India, when it comes to off-beat cinema not exactly targeting the masses.
Anyway even after its completion, the film could not release for so long due to probably more than one reason including Kashyap's fight against the compulsory insertion of "Statuary Smoking Warning" with the Censors. But since the torrent of the film was reportedly out before its official release and the court case also failed to deliver the desired results, UGLY was planned to be released just one week post PK since many a times only one choice of new film in the theaters, apart from the bigger one, does bring in the viewer trying the odd one out.
Coming on to the review, I frankly found myself standing among those who couldn't find it as brilliant as was being raved about since long and enjoyed it only as an above average thriller featuring a director's personal indulgence more than anything else. For instance, discuss it with a viewer or read any review in the media, they all would emphasize on three major points of the movie unarguably in the exact sequence mentioned below.
First, it has to be the 8-10 minutes long sequence of Police Station when a puzzled father and his friend is there reporting a missing girl child conversing with the station officer. The scene is surely one of the best interpretations of real life situations on the screen in the recent times superbly played by Girish Kulkarni as the ignorant inspector weirdly chatting about mobiles, computers and incoming call pictures instead of writing a complaint. And the way his attitude changes knowing that its about the step daughter of his own senior officer, simply points towards the questionable functioning of our police and their rude behavior.
Second comes the final shot of the film, revealing the cruel ugliness behind the mystery shaking you real hard as it has never been so brutal on the Indian screen before, in any 'crime thriller' or 'who done it' movie to be straight. In fact such is the jaw dropping impact of this particular aerial shot that it doesn't let you ponder back on the entire film catching its various flaws and one comes out of theater pretty impressed recovering from the unexpected shock received all of a sudden.
The third common point in any view or review would be the worth praising realistic performances by almost the entire cast led by Tejasvini Kolhapure from the front along with Ronit Roy and Rahul Bhatt. The supporting cast plays its own important role worth noticing in the tense proceedings. Still despite Ronit's flawless portrayal, he plays nothing fresh and now sadly is being offered the same roles of an angry father/officer one after another by our talented film-makers following the sick, ages-old pattern of Bollywood.
Revolving around all ugly but truthful characters that evidently are an unwanted part of our social structure, UGLY takes no time to come to its basic storyline dragging you in. But then keeps stretching on the thin plot with many interesting angles of wicked relationships thrown in failing to make any emotional connect with the viewer. As a result post intermission the erratic ego clashes, ill ambitions and extreme graphical violence takes over the basic theme dropping its overall pace and the director gets too much indulged in these all forgetting the poor soul kidnapped. Meanwhile, within this tension he also finds time to mock the use of item girl/songs in our Hindi films, inserting the 'must- have' skin show too featuring Surveen Chawla who is fast becoming the 'ready to shed her clothes girl' of the industry willfully. The camera-work gives the desired eerie feel to the film perfectly depicting the poor locales of Mumbai and Background score/Soundtrack is as raw as required with a fine mix of pop and rock both designed and used efficiently.
Hence UGLY stays an above average dark thriller mainly because it keeps exploring the cunning, greedy characters throughout missing that emotional touch one should feel thinking about the kidnap of that helpless kid girl. Following his fixed feature of ridiculing the system (found in his every movie), AK gets more involved in this very mission diluting the overall suspense factor in the film which returns only in its final five minutes and the closing shot providing that much needed shock to the viewers. In short watching all its twists and turns revealing the hidden nasty side of its various characters, the one person you forget to think about completely in those two hours is the poor girl kidnapped in the beginning.
Sharing honestly, I always see a bit of AK's first film PAANCH, hiding somewhere in his every attempt intentionally or unintentionally. Probably the fact that his first baby remains unreleased till date, not reaching the audience as he wished for, gives him immense pain affecting his thought process even today. And that makes me think that had PAANCH released normally more than a decade before, we would have had an entirely different Anurag Kashyap as a director, coming out of his own gritty shell of dark realism with more love, warmth and meaning in his exceptional films.
Main Aur Mr. Riight (2014)
All seen before, childish take on friendship, love and relationships.
Ideally a smaller project with no big names should have such a solid content with some surprising novelty that it forces the viewers to take a strong notice of it as the word of mouth spreads post its limited release. In fact that's the only way of making it big for independent films, particularly for the debutant producers, directors and actors apart from the other tried and tested formula of having a hit soundtrack, which is another hard to find feature in the present times. Hence its always exciting to watch all the lesser known, small budget films looking for that exclusive, innovative content breaking the routine pattern. But sadly, a big disappointment is what they have to offer most of the times with all seen before stuff, strangely tried without any major names in the cast pointing towards the immature outlook of the entire team behind their making.
Incidentally, the present MAIN AUR MR. RIIGHT is also one of those poor films made on the ages old concept of a boyfriend/fiancé/husband hired by a successful lady for her own reasons for a specific period of time. And here we have Shenaz hiring a wannabe struggler actor (a Salman Khan fan again) as her Mr. Right for a few weeks in order to answer her group of friends asking her to marry or get engaged at the earliest. Now either the debutant director really had something else in his mind or on paper that couldn't get transformed on the screen as per his own visualization or he and his writers are perhaps still stuck in the same old formula of "a hiring turning into an eternal romance" used umpteen times before in our Hindi Cinema.
As a result, what we get to see is a completely immature and uninteresting film in those two hours, that can easily be called a quite childish (or rather funny) take on love, romance and changing relationships between few long time friends. It begins on a comic note with all fresh faces showing some promise, but then quickly falls flat once its clichéd plot gets revealed turning it into a completely predictable and boring fare post the initial 20 minutes.
Though the film is more about Shenaz looking stunning in her well chosen costumes right till the end, but the girl is nowhere close to the fairly enjoyable act of Barun Sobti playing the hired Mr. Right with a typical Punjabi feel and some good comic timing. So where Shenaz fails to impress due to her badly written character, Barun tries his best to deliver the only good moments in the film along with the other actors who probably are just their due to their personal contacts with the makers or straight taken from their ongoing short term courses in a known acting school.
With a tacky editing, average cinematography and a filler background score MAIN AUR MR. RIGHT has only one above average feature in its favour and that's a well composed and sung track "Bhool Na Jaana Mujhe" in an unplugged style from Astitva Band. The soundtrack also has a version of famous song "Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re"(SAAHEB) from the man Bappi Lahiri himself and few other noticeable songs such as"Khuda Khair" and "Desi Daru" trying hard to contribute something into this avoidable venture.
In short, this is another example teaching an important lesson to the budding producers, directors and actors, that unless a low budget, smaller venture has something fresh or novel to offer, it can be nothing more than a ignorable, wasted effort or may be a producer's own means to show some losses in a financial year.