Reviews written by registered user

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425 reviews in total 
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Parched (2015)
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Parched Is bold and beautiful ... Don't Miss It !!!, 23 September 2016

There comes a time in life when you stuck up in a wrong place and feel suffocated. You feel like breaking the barrier and seek freedom as you have one life to live and it is you who can take the control of your destiny. Who do you listen to you – Brain or Heart ?

Parched (extremely thirsty) tells the story of three women in the rural village of Rajasthan – Rani (played by Tannishtha Chatterjee), a 32 year old widower, who is under the burden of home loan she took to marry off her son, Lajjo (played by Radhika Apte) who is beaten up mercilessly by her husband as she cannot conceive and Bijli (played by Surveen Chawla) who is a dancer and prostitute but has her own share of glitch by men in her life.

It is a good comeback for the director Leena Yadav, who gave couple of flops in form "Shabd" and "Teen Patti". The subject of "Parched" is definitely bold with nude scenes, abusive language and violence but I guess she was trying to make it more real. The highlight of "Parched" is defining each female protagonist character appropriately, the issue of women equality still existing in the Northern part of India and how these central characters overcoming the challenges to live their own life. Hats off to Leena Yadav for a fantastic effort and keeping the audience on their toes. Screenplay is crispy with beautiful cinematography capturing the princely state of Rajasthan. Art direction is outstanding along with nice background score. Full marks to the editor for completing the drama within two hours. On the flip side, the second half loses the grip to some extent but the climax showing the dusshera scene shot simultaneously with Lajjo's husband burning in fire is brilliant. I loved the scene where Surveen Chawla vents out her anger that why all the abuses ends with a female f..k but why can't it be male f..k.

"Parched" belongs to queens of desert – Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla. Tannishtha Chatterjee plays a sensible and matured widow character with aplomb. The brilliant actress has been in town for some time and this film will be an icing on cake for her. Radhika Apte is just growing well with each film. This will be her second brilliant performance this year after spellbinding act in "Phobia". I was completely taken aback with Surveen Chawla's performance. The gorgeous actress is mean, straight-forwarded but extremely compassionate for her friends. Watch for her as she has the perfect looks and talent to carry it forward. Rest of the star cast did justice to their role.

On the whole, "Parched" is electrifying and enigmatic. Another beautiful tale of women empowerment and equality after last week's "Pink".

Pink (2016/III)
21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Do Yourself A Favor, Leave Everything And Watch PINK !!!, 17 September 2016

I have always believed that the purpose of cinema is not just to entertain but also educate and empower the audience. The courtroom drama based movies are always engaging as the prosecutor and defendant both fight to solve the case with solid evidences and innumerable witnesses. Films like "Damini", "Jolly LLB","Talvar" or the recent "Rustom" has been immensely successful in keeping the audience engaged with impeccable dialogues and fantastic screenplay but what makes "Pink" different is the beautiful message on morality and equality of an independent woman when she is says "NO" to getting involved into any sexual preferences.

"Pink" tells the story of three independent girls in the city of Delhi who get involved in a crime in order to save themselves. Hell break lose when one of them, Meenal(played by Tapsee Pannu) file a harassment case against the Rajvir Singh(Angad Bedi), a nephew of a powerful minister. Little they know when their attackers turn their life miserable. Enter the scene, an old aged lawyer (played by Amitabh Bachchan), who wears anti-pollution mask every time he is on road, takes up the case to fight for justice.

"Pink" is one such hair-raising film which is definitely difficult to digest as it gives you goosebumps and eye-popping experience. The scene where Falak(played by Kirti Kulhari) calls her friend to compromise with the situation and immediately retaliate is jaw- dropping. The scene where Amitabh Bachchan asks Andrea (played by Andrea Tariang) where is she is from is a beautiful scene showing acceptance of her place in India. Couple of scenes in second half - interrogation scene between the female cop and Angad Bedi with Amitabh Bachchan in the court, the scene between Tapsee Pannu and Piyush Mishra is well-executed. A big clap for the director Aniruddha Roy for a fantastic characters details defined in 136 minutes. Screenplay is the hero with nail-biting moments. Art direction is fine while Cinematography is just about okay.

Amitabh Bachchan is a knight in shining armour. Watch out for him in the second half when he questions the witnesses in the courtroom. It is unforgettable performance which should be lauded for its sheer brilliance. Among the actors - Tapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari is mindblowing with their natural performances. Angad Bedi does well as menacing character. Piyush Mishra, as usual, is powerful.

On the whole, "Pink" is an experience that needs to be lauded for its impeccable direction, electrifying performances and beautiful message. Excellent 4/5

- Ketan Gupta

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"The Shallows" is a definite watch which has enough nail biting moments to keep you at bay, 16 September 2016

Recently, I saw a thriller "Don't Breathe" where bunch of thieves faces threat from an old blind army veteran when they are caught stealing from his house. The movie was completely based on a situation where your skills places an advantage to survive. "The Shallows" is one such film which has been brilliantly shot with commendable performances.

"The Shallows" tells the story of Nancy, who gets attack by a shark while surfing in a lonely beach of Mexico. She survives the first attack but is unfortunately stuck on a rock place 200 meters away from sea shore. She must use all her skills and will-power to swim back to shore before the high tide takes over the rocky place giving an edge to shark to attack her once again.

From the director of "Unknown","Non-Stop" and "Orphan", Jaume Collet-Serra creates a different film on a shark attack. "The Shallows" is not just a mere shark attack film like "Jaws" or "Deep Blue Sea" but more about Nancy's struggle and using all her survival strategy to come out alive from the deadliest attack. Hats off to Jaume Collet-Serra for building a unique concept and keeping the audience glued to the screen with admiring direction. Full marks to cinematographer Flavio Martínez Labiano for capturing the beautiful stunts of surfing and exotic location. It is definitely eye- catching. Screenplay is and will not bore you for a second. The first half is decent but it is second half which is highlight of the film with nail-biting moments. CGI is brilliant along with soothing background score building tension around. Blake Lively shines as Nancy. The gorgeous actress emotes expressively and has all the traits to become the next big thing.

So, overall, "The Shallows" is a definite watch which has enough nail biting moments to keep you at bay.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
"A Flying Jatt" is a BIG disappointment. Do not even take the risk of watching the film with your family let watching it alone., 26 August 2016

In Hollywood films, we have so many super heroes ranging from Marvel heroes like Spiderman, Iron Man and Deadpool to the DC solid ones like Batman or Superman but apart from Krrish and to some extent Shaktimaan being the popular ones in India, will "A Flying Jatt" create a new genre of Super hero category in Bollywood ?

"A Flying Jatt" tells the story of an ordinary Karate Trainer (played by Tiger Shroff) whose life turn upside down when he accidentally hits a extra-ordinary tree during a fight with bad-ass, Raka (played by Nathan Jonson). A super hero is born with the extraordinary power. However, he puts his power to a good use only when he meet his stiff competitor- the evil Raka , who himself inherits the power to destroy the world.

Though he is five films year old, Remo has created quite an impact as director after delivering solid hits like "FALTU", "ABCD" and ABCD 2″. However, he majorly disappoints with "A Flying Jatt". The problem with the film is that Remo created a mess with the super hero character which could never took off. The opening of the film is pretty decent and once Tiger Shroff gains the extraordinary power, the film is fun to watch. The way Tiger Shroff gains confidence and the his fight with the robbers in the bank is well- executed. After the second half , the film loses the steam and fails miserably. At one point of time, it become unbearable and you would love to leave the theater as early as possible. The screenplay is confusing and gives you headache. Art direction is decent. Cinematography is just about okay. Visual effects, which should be the highlight of the film, is decent at places but tacky most of the time. Action sequences are funny. Background score is bad. Music by Sachin Jigar is fine with "Beat Pe Booty" pick of a lot.

Performance wise, it is Tiger Shroff who is only the silver lining in this messy drama. I feel he has not been utilized appropriately since his debut "Heropanti", "Baaghi" and now "A Flying Jatt". Tiger Shroff is definitely a star in making and the action star has done very well to build his image. Nathan Jone is fine as the evil Raka. Jacqueline Fernandez is used to add glamour. Amrita Singh overacts as Punjabi mother.

Overall, "A Flying Jatt" is a BIG disappointment. Do not even take the risk of watching the film with your family let watching it alone. Poor 1/5.

- Ketan Gupta

Sultan (2016)
19 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
"Sultan" is a well-made wrestling drama which delivers a solid punch. Good !!!, 6 July 2016

There is something about Salman Khan. Either you love him for his charm, screen presence or bold attitude or you hate him due to his controversial remarks or brush with law but you cannot deny the fact that he is one superstar whose stardom and films are not impacted (morning shows were housefull at 8 AM everywhere for "Sultan" .. unbelievable.. isn't it ???) at the box office. Now let us find out whether "Sultan" (whose promo was aired one year before the film) lives up to its hype...

"Sultan" is the coming-of-age sports drama which tells about the story of Sultan Ali Khan (played by Salman Khan), a wrestler whose life is like a roller-coaster rides going through various ups and down both on and off the ring.

Though the trailer of the film looked promising but I had doubts about the director Ali Abbas Zafar who made an average film "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan" before. However, I was in for a big surprise after watching the film. Ali has definitely made a good comeback with "Sultan". The film begins well in the present scenario showing the life of a wrestler who lost his family as well as his championship due to his arrogance. The wrestling-drama goes back into the flashback mode showing the reason behind the fall of a champion. Here you will encounter typical Bollywood romance coupled with song-dance routine and light humor to keep you enlightened. The opening scene of Salman Khan (which always is the highlight of his films) is electrifying with well-executed fight scenes between Salman Khan and other wrestlers (though the makers made it easy for a hero to defeat 10 wrestlers at the same time). The first half is fine but it is the second half which is amazing and the climax is highly effective.

Couple of scenes do stand out - the hospital scene where Salman finds about his son, the training scene between Salman Khan and Randeep Hooda is intriguing and MMA fight scenes are pretty realistic. On the flip side, the editing is a weak point and the film definitely could go a long way to be trimmed by at least 15-20 mins. The fight scenes initially and when Salman Khan becomes the world champion is too easy to digest. Though the songs are tuneful to ears, the wrestling drama could definitely be more impacting barring few songs in the reel. Nevertheless, the screenplay is pretty tight and succeeds to keep you at bay. Background score by Julius Packiam deserves special mention. Cinematography by Artur Zurawski is good capturing the beautiful locales of rural India. Wrestling stunts are well-executed. I loved the folk song "Tuk Tuk" and the tuneful "Jag Ghoomeya" while others were ordinary.

Now coming to the performances, it is Salman Khan all the way. Salman Khan is Sultan and Sultan is Salman Khan. I cannot imagine anyone else playing the character of "Sultan" and that is where Salman proved his mettle. The actor deep dives into the character as if it was tailor-made for him and gives his best. Anushka Sharma as Aarfa is equally competent and shines in her well-defined character. Amit Sadh ( the guy from "Kai Po Che") finally gets the opportunity to show his acting skills and the actor does well. Last but not the least, Randeep Hooda will blow your mind with impeccable performance. The actor who plays Anushka's father does a fine job as well.

On the whole, "Sultan" is a well-made wrestling drama which delivers a solid punch. Good 3/5

- Ketan Gupta

Rainbow (2015)
15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
"Dhanak" is the perfect answer to the changing trend of Indian Cinema. Highly recommended !!!, 26 June 2016

Life is beautiful in every aspect, every moment and every breath. We forget to live and enjoy the life in present due to hectic schedule and aspirations. "Dhanak" is a simple story well told with a strong message embedded deep within.

"Dhanak" tells the story of siblings Chotu(Krissh Chabhra) and Phoolan(Sapna Singh) who embarks on an unknown journey of dreams and aspirations into a world never explored before.

Nagesh Kukunoor has come a long way from his early days of "Hyderabad Blues", "RockFord", "3 Deewarein","Iqbal" to the recent one "Lakshmi". Just like "Iqbal", "Dhanak" is a feel-good cinema that gives a strong message that anything is possible in life if you have a positive attitude. The screenplay, also written by Kukunoor, is superb keeping on your toes with comic scenes between brother and sister that will surely bring down the house. The movie was salvaged due to high publicity given to "Udta Punjab" but I would strongly recommend to watch it. The Art Direction by Haris Umar Khan and Cinematography by Chirantan Das captures the beautiful sand dunes of Rajasthan. The music by Tapas Relia explores the rich musical culture of beautiful state. I loved the English-Hindi fusion of "Damadam Mast Kalandar".

The young artist Sapna Singh and Krrish Chhabra are just fun to watch. The sparkling chemistry between these actors are applauding and will keep smiling throughout. Rest of cast were supportive in their respective roles.

On the whole, "Dhanak" is a perfect answer to the changing trend of Indian Cinema. Highly recommended. 5/5

17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
A bold and raw film which should be applauded for its genuine attempt., 17 June 2016

Controversies surrounding "Udta Punjab" finally comes to end as the dark-thriller drama releases today with high expectation thanks to the unwanted publicity it received. As the film was on the verge of getting released, I was wondering what led CBFC (Center Board Of Film Certification) to 89 cuts. We have seen films more violent and more brutal than this. Isn't the subject of "Udta Punjab" required to show the true facts and figures. I must say it was a bold and raw film which should be applauded for its genuine attempt.

"Udta Punjab" is story of 4 people whose lives have been influenced by the drug menace very much evident in the North Indian state of Punjab where it becomes easy money for peddlers selling heroin and opium through the safe hands of politicians.

Director Abhishek Chaubey, previously helmed the well-liked Ishqiya and not-so good Dedh Ishqiya, took a step forward and created a niche subject never been attempted on Indian cinema before. Hats off to him and definitely to the producer Anurag Kashyap for taking his stand through out the controversies surrounding the film. Now coming to the film, the opening scene caters to the subject of drugs easily being exported from neighboring county (an athlete throws a packet of heroin like a "discus throw") and falling into our motherland as if some UFO has landed from space. Subsequent scenes introduces the four main protagonist and each character has been defined appropriately. Till the 1st half, you will be completely kept engrossed thanks to the tight screenplay (ofcourse you will wondering why the film was censored). Second half starts with some promise but goes down the deep rabbit hole and never ever recovers from there. Too much of melodrama and unwanted editing loses the steam built by the engaging first half. The easy access to the drug factory by Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor and sneaking out with less effort with out even getting noticed by anyone is indigestible, the human connection between Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt is far stretched and the climax fight scenes are pretty abrupt which dilutes the impact of second half.

Nevertheless, the film is a brave attempt and nail-biting moments like Alia Bhatt fighting back from getting injected with drugs, her frustration venting out when she meets Shahid Kapoor after the concert and the chemistry between Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor are some of the highlights of the film. The art direction is splendid along with creative cinematography. Background score is good. Music by Amit Trivedi is mindblowing as it further sets the mood of the film. The title track "Udta Punjab" and "Da Da Dasse" is pick of a lot. "Udta Punjab" is definitely a performance oriented film and that is the key element to watch the film. Among the four main protagonist, Alia Bhatt steals the show. The gifted actor is simply superb as Biharan who lands herself as a migrant ( though she is state-level hockey player). Watch out for her when she kills the guy responsible for her messy state by continuously venting out her frustration. Shahid Kapoor was just about okay in the role that required more intense which was clearly missing. Kareena Kapoor was subtle as Preet. I like her when she plays more simpler characters. Diljit Dosanjh was a good surprise. The Punjabi superstar manages to make an impression inspite of his first Bollywood film.

Overall, "Udta Punjab" is definitely a gritty and dark film which should be appreciated for its solid facts and phenomenal performances.

Te3n (2016)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan will keep you alive with their powerful performances !!!, 11 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The best part of "Who-Done-It" thrillers are the excitement, curiosity and anxiety that will help you keep engaged and the twist in the end will surprise as well satisfy you. Does "Te3N" lives upto the excitement generated by "Kahaani". Let us check it out.. "Te3N" tells the story of a child who goes missing one day which involves an old man (Amitabh Bachchan), a priest (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and a police office (Vidya Balan). Directed by new comer Ribhu Dasgupta, "Te3N" is certainly a gripping murder mystery that will keep you glued to the screen but do not expect another "Kahaani" here. In fact, the makers of "Kahaani" have used the same settings using Kolkata's rich heritage and culture in "Te3N" but it is certainly far stretched out. "Te3N" does succeeds to build the thrills but it had its s of flaws as well. The first few scenes shows Amitabh Bachchan trying his best to find the solution to his grand child's kidnapping and murder. However, the main story begins when the same case leads to another kidnapping and the twist before the interval is pretty impressive. Second half loses the steam and confuses the audience. Few scenes do leads to the clue and are equally impressive - the pen given to Amitabh Bachchan at the Imambara, the symbol used in the property papers and verifying the voices using the voice scanner at the lab.

Art direction and Cinematography is splendid capturing the beautiful city of Kolkata. Background scores helps to create tension. Screenplay is average. Story(based on the story written in Korean film "Montage") Editing is bad and few scenes should definitely be trimmed to make the more crispy and smart. Performance wise, Amitabh Bachchan sparkles as an aging old man seeking justice to his grand child's murder. The legendary actor is simply powerful in the entire film. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is equally competent while Vidya Balan lends a good support. "TE3N" is definitely a good mystery-thriller but do not expect a surprising twist like"Kahaani".

Phobia (2016/I)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
"Phobia" is an enriching experience for the cinematic lovers !!!, 7 June 2016

"Agoraphobia" is fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness or embarrassment. Imagine the state of a person suffering from this rare disease. Hard right ? Well, "Phobia" is more than a horror film as it deals with psychology of a person and the result is well-made and a brilliant film.

"Phobia" talks about a painter, Mahek (played by ‪RadhikaApte‬), who suffers from anxiety disorder called "Agoraphobia" after she starts in a new house following her survival from a attempt-to-rape situation.

From the director of "Ragini MMS" and "Darr @ Mall", Pawan Kripalani takes a step ahead with an untouched story never attempted before. The trailer of "Phobia" was intriguing but after watching the film, you will be in surprised with a wonderful story that keeps you glued to the screen. The first scene at the party is itself unravels the clues leading to the consequences but Pawan Kripalani has played it smart and let the audience take a back seat and enjoy the ride till the end. In fact, this is one of the strongest climax scenes I have seen. Salute to the brilliant director for making my day with sincere efforts. The screenplay is absolutely thrilling with solid twist. Art direction is fine. Cinematography is catchy. Special mention to the background score which goes well especially when Mahek faces her fear and steps out of the house.

It is Radhika Apte all the way. She goes into the character of Mahek and gives her best. This will be her best performances of her life till now. Rest of the cast does justice to their part. Overall, "Phobia" is an enriching experience for the cinematic lovers.

Sarbjit (2016)
7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
"Sarabjit" is hard-hitting and splendid film with solid and riveting performances by Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai, 21 May 2016

Bollywood cinemas has definitely undergone a drastic change and it has gone for good. 2016 itself saw biopics like "Neerja", "Azhar" and now "Sarabjit". Coming few months will again witness like "Dhoni" and "Sachin". The good part of watching "Sarabjit" is to understand the events which changed his life while the sad part is the political pressure between India and Pakistan which has led many Indian prisoners suffers in Pakistan and Pakistani prisoners rot in Indian jail. "Sarabjit" tells the story from Dalbir Kaur's(played by Aishwarya Rai) perspective who goes above and beyond her capabilities to rescue her brother,Sarabjit (played by Randeep Hooda), from Pakistani prison wrongly accused as RAW agent detained for bombing in Lahore in 1990. There is certainly an improvement in the screenplay of "Sarabjit"( written by Utkarshini Vashistha and Rajesh Beri) when compared to Omung Kumar's last disappointing film "Mary Kom". Omung cleverly swipes the past and present scenes woven together to tell the story before taking it forward. The film opens with rescue mission for Sarabjit in the field of Bhikhiwind,Punjab. The search goes on until Dalbir receives a letter from Pakistan written by Sarabjit about his current status. From here onwards, the main drama unfold and will keep you engaged throughout the first half of the film. The second half loses the track with frequent interruptions in form of songs and unwanted scenes like caller from Canada trying to help Dalbir was never explained, the main accused Ranjit Singh's trial was never shown properly and the climax scene where the minister comes over to Dalbir's house to convey the message of Sarabjit's demise which could have been well-executed. Nevertheless, the film boast off some brilliant scenes I have not witnessed on Indian screen recently. The depressing condition of Sarabjit in the Pakistani prison will haunt you after the film gets over, the family meet at the prison between Sarabjit and his family is mind-blowing and will move you to tears. The scene outside the hospital where Dalbir screams at the Pakistanis that Indian do not do back-stabbing like them is electrifying. The art direction is nice along with good cinematography. Dialogues are punching. Music is tuneful which generally runs in the background. Editing could have been crispier and smart. Direction wise, Omung Kumar has certainly improved over his previous film "Mary Kom". He keeps you on your toes till the last scene which is appreciating. The main attraction of the film is performances. "Sarabjit" belongs to two actors - Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai. Randeep Hooda goes deep diving into the character of Sarabjit. he completely transforms himself from a wrestler into a skeleton-prison look and gives the best performance of his life. Watch for him when he reunites with his family at the prison. Aishwarya Rai surprises you with a powerful performance as Dalbir Kaur. She proves that she is more than a eye-candy and does a good comeback after debacle of "Jazbaa". A talent like Richa Chaddha is wasted as Sarabjit's wife.

Overall. "Sarabjit" is hard-hitting and splendid film with solid and riveting performances by Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai. Good 3/5

- Ketan Gupta

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