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601 reviews in total 
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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The Trauma Will Stay For Days. ♦ 21%, 14 September 2014

A good friend told me how "Fanny" also is a vulgar slang for the female reproductive organ in the UK and it could be the makers' ploy for using that name in their film title. Why? Of course, to attract audience. It is funny how the makers failed to concentrate on the film, probably being worked up in choosing the title, which only reminds me of the greatest animation film of all time (No prize for guessing).

Consider this: Five half-baked characters with nomadic idiosyncrasies set out on a journey to find a sixth character. This, in the writers' words, should be "a sexy widow (Deepika Padukone) persuades her pre-nuptial boyfriend (Arjun Kapoor) to take her friend/uncle/father figure/taciturn idiot personage (Shah; looks unhappy throughout the film maybe because his recently released memoir's sales doesn't look good) to find his long-lost (read ill-communicative chapter) love Fanny (short for Stephannie Fernandez), accompanied by an absent- minded abstract painter (Pankaj Kapur) who is head over heels in admiration with the final visible character (Kapadia). In the journey of life and love where orgies are considered taboo, and since the math won't be right for five people to get into a relationship and satisfy the nature's preconceived equation, one wanders off and the remaining four get together."

If you could totally understand the above written synopsis in a single read, then you would definitely understand the film, for it is a Goan drama based on rambunctious ridicules, scruples, and clichés under the disguise of romance and all the things that come with it (sans sex). The actors play out like they never rehearsed. Homi Adajania (of Being Cyrus fame, and now Finding Fanny infamy) flashes his over- confidence all over the place. First, by not directing the thespian actors Kapur & Shah to their thresholds, and second, asking Kapoor & Padukone to portray pretentious crowd-pleasers in analytical love.

The film starts off without a bang and that is fine, but when the story unfolds and ends like a firecracker soaked in water, you start to get the feels that the film makes no point whatsoever. It promises love, but delivers boredom, it promises romance, but delivers aged cleavage show, it promises a happy journey, but delivers a dead cat. Literally speaking, the title is misguiding and if you do not get agitated with the climax, you ought to get yourself medically checked. I tried to pull few strings so as to try to reap some sense out of the 100 minute-drama, but I failed.

Still, I cannot write bad things about the cinematography & the art department for they bring out a stunning visual experience. Dialogs are poorly written and I can't even dream of thinking of watching this melodrama unfolding in Hindi. It tries to convey a message, but in this technological age, I'll say it is filled with noise. White, unwanted, destructive noise.

BOTTOM LINE: "Oh, thy invisible force, give me strength to forget this journey." "Don't worry, my son, why don't you watch Bipasha Basu's comeback film Creature 3D?" "Goodbye oh Lord and my dear folks, I prefer my grave instead."

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES (But would you?)

Mary Kom (2014)
9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Lost In Adaptation. ♦ 34%, 5 September 2014

Lets first salute the real M C Mary Kom for her feats. She is really a fighter and a role model for aspiring sports-persons.

But at the same time I am disappointed with this clumsy adaptation, which has the worst screenplay I have seen in a mainstream Bollywood film. A little over 2 hours, the film non-linearly narrates the life story of M C Mary Kom (Chopra) as she chases her dream to become a boxer while facing resistance from her family. The plot is similar to those inspiring stories we hear and read in media about how a person should fight for his/her dream, and since this is non-fiction we are talking about here, I refrain from commenting about it. But I am agitated with the way the story was narrated. All blame Mr. Nobody, Omung Kumar for picking a potential subject and beating the life out of it.

Piggy Chops is not directed well at all and all her hard-work is now down the drain. The only credible character build is that of the hero's and that guy manages it properly, too. Supporting cast has no idea what they are doing as the limelight is only on the protagonist. The plot points make no sense and only depend on the facts that may or may not be true. The action sequences could have been more persuasive and powerful. It is evident about Chopra's hard-work, but when the foundation is crooked, even the ground-base can't do anything. The narration focuses on few hardships and then instantly the phase where the protagonist defies it. There is no cohesion between plot elements and it even looked like a video from an amateur teen's YouTube channel.

I was bored in the first 40 minutes itself as the story rolled like a bullet train from here to there to beyond, jumping from the 90s to 00s and present time like a bunny, until I lost track. I remember hearing at least 6 songs throughout and let me not talk about how the makers messed up the romance section, which I hear played a significant part in the real story.

We don't see much biopics in Bollywood, but when we do, they are in the extremes: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was an 8/10, while the much anticipated Mary Kom will be lost in time, with a 3.

BOTTOM LINE: Even if you have a penchant for sports (other than cricket), it will require great patience and stubbornness to follow this film, which was probably made with lots of drama and hope, but no imagination or creativity. Move along, there's not much to see here.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

Peruchazhi (2014)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Welcome To The Circus. ♦ 22%, 2 September 2014

Regarded as the first Malayalam film to be released worldwide in over 500 theaters, Peruchazhi could have been dubbed as a mass-murderer for numbing its audience's senses if it were not for the hardcore Mohanlal fans.

In a hall with 60 to 40 ratio of Mohanlal fans and general public respectively, the former managed to clap, shout, whistle, dance, and even mob their non-Mohanlal fan neighbors while we, the general public lapsed into multiple thoughts about Mohanlal's film career. We all came up with a unanimous conclusion: that this film will do to Mohanlal what Mr. Fraud did, NOTHING. I'm positive tha Mohanlal (his Nadodikattu is my most favorite Malayalam film, FYI) will continue to do films, genres notwithstanding.

Starting off with how Sunny (Vijay Babu) is desperate to find an Indian political consultant for his boss' governor campaign, the film follows his recruitment of political man of savoir-faire from Kerala, Jagannathan (Lal) and his peers (Baburaj & Aju Varghese) and how they showcase their antics in the US of A in order to succeed in the election campaign. The plot is hands down, ridiculous and that is if you find out what it is. Because, around 3 hours of running time, and all I could see is Lal exercising his portly made-up pinkish brown lips. Jagannathan is supposed to be a politics genius and he tries his local Indian ways to bring about a change in the election in California. The whole US setup is just namesake, because if you were to think about how the story unfolds, you will want to strangle the writers for coming up with such a baseless story. It is flawed, yes, but the proportion of flaws is astronomical.

Since the beginning I had a bad feeling about the film because the titles took about 10 minutes to finish and had this auditory dialogs from famous Malayalam films. The jokes are hardly funny, yet the Mohanlal fans managed to overlook that and laugh their stomachs off. He wore a goggles, they clapped. He wore a suit, they clapped. He wore another goggles, they clapped. He wore the US flag as lungi, they clapped. He pouted, they clapped. He shat, they clapped and so on.

The direction is bad and I have proof for that. Have you, an Indian, ever seen an American, in films, with poor acting? No, right? Well, you watch Peruchazhi and you will find dozens. The cinematography is the only thing that is average. Lighting, setup, art, music, lyrics (peruchazhi and bandicoot makes about 80% of it, probably written by BlaaZe, last heard from in Casanovva), make-up, choreography, editing, CGI, screenplay - everything is poor. To say that these were poorer than a Santhosh Pandit film would rather be an understatement.

Because, the cast, from whom people now have started to expect gold are only delivering cheap copper. It is the time of newcomer directors and writers, but what made Mohanlal take up this project? Why, even the English subtitles were marred with mistakes and typos! Mr. Fraud was a 5/10 for me and when I see my own score for this flick, I am rather worried about what is happening to Malayalam films? Last year, we saw some great films in its history and now, what? Jayaram as a joker in Ulsaha Committee? Mammootty as a joker in Praise The Lord? And now Mohanlal as a joker in Peruchazhi, who falls in love with a fair- complexioned prostitute? Come on!

The item song is pure cabaret and has Lal's character ogling at the supposed beauties. Few adults jokes and rants at current affairs of Kerala may have satisfied the niche. Other than few chuckles, brought about by using some famous Malayalam tracks and Lal's old film dialogs, there is nothing to consider. You may as well go and enjoy Apothecary or Mammootty's comeback film, Munariyippu instead.

BOTTOM LINE: Peruchazhi, like my partner said after leaving the hall, is only for kids below the age of 10. Because, a kid named Jagannathan, who was sitting beside us was the only person who enjoyed the film the way a person enjoys a film. 2/10 for this debacle. If you were to make a robot watch this film, it would plead you to dismantle it, and after continuous forcing, would do it by itself.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

Everyone Has A List. ♦ 64%, 26 August 2014

We all should start embracing independent films than going for potboilers.

Movies like Amit Sahni Ki List gives me hope that indie films CAN work in this masala-film and item dance times. Vir Das is a great comedian and as an actor, he not only beefs his resume but also manages to narrate a story. His performance in Delhi Belly was very good, but in here is better.

Starting off with his character searching for the perfect girl which matches all those points in his list, Vir Das explains his problems to the audience through montages, texts, flashbacks and straight monologues. Every alternate sequence is polished with humor, constantly depicting the digital generation we live in. It essentially focuses on eligible bachelor's hunt for the right girl, largely affected by the opinions of his peers, family and his own heart.

The screenplay is good enough for the starters (producers and director). The women in here are excellent and play their roles with finesse. Songs and dialogs do only good to the film, although the plot does depend on cliché. This builds up few dull moments in the first half, but the second half is terrific. Climax could've been edited, but I can't complain.

BOTTOM LINE: It is time that we watch and appreciate films like this, which is the only way to save the greatest film industry in the world.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

Mardaani (2014)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Engaging Drama Conveys An Important Message. ♦ 74%, 25 August 2014

Mardaani is a good film released at the right moment.

I say that because of the high proportion of news about rape and sexual assault and attacks on women in the national newspapers in India. Pradeep Sarkar succeeds in retelling the acclaimed Hollywood story (Liam Neeson's Taken) of how an officer single-handedly taken on the traders of flesh. He charms the audience by filling all holes that would've crept up had it been a poorly researched film, like all other recent Bollywood films are.

Here in, we have inspector Shivani (Rani Mukherji) who uses her manliness to search and kill the young boy, a flesh trade kingpin who kidnapped and sold her adopted child into overseas sex rackets. There are chiefly two villains in the film, both of which are good. But I am awestruck by nobody Tahir Bhasin's brilliant performance as the vindictive boss who speaks like he was a born criminal. His air, his diction, his portrayal - all upped my ante in cinema-watching experience. Come climax, this same villain goes through a paradigm shift and seems to have lost all his qualities, which drives the predictability ahead.

But I am not complaining because the 2 hours were never boring. Plus, since it conveys a message that women should stand up with a touch of power for their rights hits the right chord with the large number of women that were present in the theater hall.

Coming to the cuss language, I didn't mind it because it was a necessary component. Mukherji is good, as well. The supporting cast is fine. The title track is surely to hit the charts.

BOTTOM LINE: One of the very few watchable films in 2014 Bollywood, Mardaani is an unexpected treat. If you have 2 hours to spare this weekend, go watch it and come home entertained.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES (You should!)

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Spare The Horror. ♦ 14%, 16 August 2014

The film gradually builds up to become a torture.

If you have watched Singham, then consider that you have watched Singham Returns as well, because other than few character build ups and Devgn's weight loss, nothing has changed in the film filled with explosions, gunfires and cliché.

It is a good example of "been there, done that" type of cinema which uses the same old technique of storytelling about a grumpy villain and a crowd-backed hero. And at the end, we all know who wins. While Ajay Devgn is average as the titular hero, I may totally stop watching future Kareena Kapoor films.Jab We Met was fine, but her over- acting shoots up the star here, annoying as ever when she shares the screen space. Amol Gupte is fine, although I hated his non-vindictive character who looks more like a joker.

The blame is on the writers for creating half-baked characters who fool around with the janta who are both shrewd and dumb at the same time. It samples various current affair elements but provides no explanation or solution, other than violence and selfish righteousness. I can understand the emotion behind the film-making and releasing it on Independence Day, but when the plot lacks substance and logic, deviating extensively from reality, I wonder if the definition of cinema has not been understood by the makers.

It is a crime in itself in expecting good stuff from Rohit Shetty, but after the prequel, I was expecting something powerful from this franchise. I also don't know whether it is an exact remake of the Tamil version, but hell, I don't even care anymore. The first half is average, but the scenes after the interval is either the chants of "Singham, Singham" played as Devgn walks here and there or eye-straining melodrama. And what's with the superficial touch of Marathi and its infamous expletives?

BOTTOM LINE: There's not a single point that I can write about this film that will stand as a reason for me to recommend it. And if it's the Indian Constitution's IPC or CrPC that you are interested in, why don't you buy the book and spare this horror?

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

13 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
The Pilot Was Rad. ♦ 91%, 11 August 2014

I haven't watched Dexter, House MD, or Grey's Anatomy. So this makes my first medical TV drama.

And boy, am I impressed?!

Steven Soderbergh has always fascinated me with his thematic films, the last being Behind The Candelabra. And now when I learned that he will be directing Clive Owen, my hopes instantly crept up. And I was not disappointed. Telling the story of the Knickerbocker hospital of New York in the 1900s, The Knick follows the lives of Owen's character and his medical team as they struggle to find panacea for ailments. The pilot gives insights to what, how and when.

It further succeeds in forming a perfect introduction to what may or may not be a breakthrough story-telling. I know it is fiction, but when it samples topics like race, medicine, authority and the period which saw the largest inventions, I can't complain. However, I am lauding the makers for giving me the pie.

It has thrills, it has drama. Moreover, it has a story which it narrates rather finely. The performances are great and so is the wicked music.

BOTTOM LINE: Definitely have a look at few episodes and if it hooks on to its fabulous story-telling, continue. Otherwise, we have plenty of new series to watch out for.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

Gore: Infinite

3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Review Of Pilot. ♦ 70%, 10 August 2014

We can only conclude the capacity of a new series after watching at least 5 episodes. So this here is a review of just the first episode and boy, am I not impressed!?

Set in two different centuries, the story follows a mysterious time travel by a WWII nurse into the Civil War period. As her teacher-husband explores his gene roots, she sits beside him introspecting. The cause of time travel is not exactly unclear as of now but I like the premise. People who say it looks like women's reply for Game Of Thrones need to take a reality check; a sequence involving cunnilingus does not necessarily stand as a reason for comparison.

Things that impressed me are: the ethnic, orchestral background score with samples of one of my favorite instrument, bagpipes, the cinematography and the editing. The score is both haunting and mystical. The light use of humor is useful as the tale is narrated by the lead lady with absolute finesse. Performances are good enough for the pilot; moreover the setting is promising. I'd definitely give few more episodes a go and if it deviates into some timid strokes of randomness and does not stick to story-telling, I'll edit this review for good (pun unintended).

There are no particular things that bothered me, yet the direction needs a little sit-down. Also, attention to details (do not read anachronism) is weak.

BOTTOM LINE: Science-fiction surrounding two of the most inquisitive time periods, 1940s and 1700s. A good first episode.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO

Nudity/Sex: Strong | Vulgarity: Mediocre | Violence/Gore: Strong

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Adds Humour To Heroism. ♦ 73%, 9 August 2014

Come on now, we all know (and pretend that we don't) that all superhero movies are alike. But we still go and see them and come out of the hall enthralled by the visual effects, stunts, 3D, et cetera. So let me not focus on the story here, but the things that entertained me.

To start with, I'm in complete awe with Chris Pratt. His brief dance performance is what kick-starts the films and continues to keep us hooked with his character, the main hero. Next, I found myself laughing and grinning all the way through 2 hours because of the large amounts of humor that this film succeeds in executing. Every single sequence is painted with a comic tint, thanks to Cooper, Bautista and others. I have no reason to blame the cast, nor the production unit.

Here in India, there were few cuts that annoyed me but I believe we were spared more than we were in The Wolf of Wall Street.

While I thought that the CGI was a tad premature at some parts, the story is narrated quite nicely. The action sequences are not much of a surprise as it showcases the futuristic gadgets and stuff. There aren't any twists that could have saved the second half from being a little itchy.

Coming to the best part: the soundtrack. The Pina Colada song never felt so good before and it was also years since I heard that. Right kind of music used at perfect times throughout the film. Vin Diesel's Groot voice needs a pat in the back.

Guardians of the Galaxy succeeds in holding the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it conveys few implications here: that tree life is so much more significant than we think. It touches topics like space and gravity and galaxies and science and stuff superficially, although stops right there when it introduces typical superhero formula of an ancient ball that has some celestial power and the heroes and the villains are behind it. Blah blah blah.

BOTTOM LINE: A typical superhero film, embezzled with good humor, great music and an unconventional character ensemble. A raccoon plays a superhero, what more do you ask?

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Lots & Lots & Lots Of Puns. ♦ 20%, 9 August 2014

The base of the film is ludicrous. So if you are a thinking person, then it is obvious that you will leave the theater hating the film for all reasons but one. The film conveys an already established message about pets (especially dogs), being loyal.

I wonder if the screenplay and the story was analyzed by anyone from the production team because nothing makes sense. Talking about how a late affluent diamond merchant names all his possessions worth 3000 crores in the name of a dog, the film dusts itself into the clay-brained category. And the name of this dog happens to be "Entertainment." This confirms the shallow imagination of the makers. What follows and occurs around this illogical, wildly idiotic plot is scornful. Akshay Kumar again enacts a character centered around slapstick which made me chuckle a few times in the first half. As I grew more into the funny happenings on- screen, the tasteless, rotten recipe of the plot, screenplay, fancy cinematography (with Dolby effect and all), poor editing (apparently Windows Movie Maker, version 6 was used) and unpleasant acting by some of the cast made me gag and turned me off, temporarily damaging my senses.

The second half is slower than a snail's pace and even the puns (on Bollywood actors' names and certain local terms like Star Plus and Balaji Telefilms) starts irritating. The characters act funny, but they don't induce any emotion other than disgust.

The songs may come to few people's rescue, if you are fascinated by modernized nursery rhymes, that is. Towards the end, even the dog gets all exasperated with the shindig. While it heavily borrows from international as well as our own South Indian films based animals, it falters due to the zero-pointer plot. And let me have the liberty to not talk about Prakash Raj and Sonu Sood and their sissyfied characters.

(I truly feels sorry for that epitome of fairness, Tamannah for this is her third Bollywood film that has bombed and the worst part is that she has done only three films here. While she is bubbly and some men dub her to be the smoking' hot, she seriously can't act. And those dialogs that were given to her in this film would have been rejected even by that dog)

BOTTOM LINE: Bollywood has come to a point where filmmakers are gasping for a good story and plot. This film is a good example. If the makers had dogs in mind as audience, then they are in the wrong planet and if at all I am wrong and was a dog myself, I would have rated not more than 3. Easily forgettable.

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

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