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Monday, 30 June 2014
Friday, 27 June 2014
Filmmaker Mohit Suri's latest film Ek Villain is inspired by the South Korean revenge film I Saw the Devil. Although, it is quite evident that the action is toned down for the Indian audience.
It's a story of a serial killer who picks the wrong man's fiancee to murder.
Bad guy with a good heart Guru (Siddharth Malhotra) works for a local gangster (Remo Fernandez) in Goa. Life takes a pleasant turn once he meets the chirpy Aisha (Shraddha Kapoor) who wants to live her life to the fullest and has a joke for every occasion. Aisha's life is all about doing things for others and interestingly for one of her many cases she wants to take Guru's help. He doesn't seem interested but she for some reason is sure that he will agree and predictably so, he eventually does. A few scenes later, Guru and Aisha are married. The twist comes when a serial killer Rakesh (Riteish Deshmukh) on the loose kills Aisha. His is one of the many rude characters in Ek Villain. From doctors to the ticket collectors, everyone for some reason is arrogant and brash.
Now it's only certain that Guru will dig out Rakesh come what may, to the extent that even the countries best security officers from the CBI are worried, not because there is a serial killer on the move but they fear Guru's revenge which can be ugly. Devasted, Guru manages to find Rakesh but he decides to not take his life and instead will find him torture him every day.
The cops are the most useless lot in this film. They don't catch the serial killer, in fact at one point when they have information about him they pass it on to Guru so that he can seek revenge.
Ek Villain folds out quite contrary to its simplistic name. Told with an even pitch, the film isn’t anything like the run-in-the-mill stories we are subjected to watch every week. This is sheer compelling commercial cinema that has a lucid story and its heart in the right place, without indulging in anything stoop! Mohit Suri doesn’t depend on ‘signpost’ characters; surprising and gratifying you in equal measures. I don’t even care if this film is a rip off of some obscure Korean flick, this is a smashingly effective one! The film’s riveting rhythm, breathtaking performances especially from Sidharth and Riteish and the fantastic writing makes for a magnificent, racy and emotional watch.
Our Rating - 3.5/5
Friday, 20 June 2014
After Himmatwala, Sajid Khan returns with Humshakals which is out-an-out a comedy and stars Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta. As expected, this multi-starrer is nothing but a typical Sajid Khan film with over-the-top comedy. In fact, the first half is so boring that you’ll regret stepping into the theatre. Before the interval there are hardly any good comic punches. And though the second half is way better and managed to tickle my funny bone, the film fell flat again courtesy a drab climax which reminded me of Housefull . Yes, Sajid has experimented by bringing in the ‘triple role’ element but sadly it does nothing for the film as far as entertainment quotient is concerned.
What’s it about:
Ashok (Saif) is a business tycoon who is filthy rich. When I say filthy, I mean he goes back home in his chopper. Kumar (Riteish) is Ashok’s chaddi buddy and the duo is almost inseparable. Though Ashok is a millionaire, he wants to make it big as a stand-up comedian too. But the problem is – he sucks at it big time. So while Ashok is happy cracking boring jokes, his best buddy Kumar is tired of listening them. Well, that pretty much sums up the first 20 minutes of the film. Then enters Ashok’s Mamaji (Ram Kapoor). He is conniving and desperately wants to take over Ashok’s dynasty. Hence he plans to prove that Ashok is mentally unstable. And he almost succeeds in his mission. While Ashok and Kumar end up in a mental asylum, their humshakals are locked up in another ward of the same asylum. Coincidentally their names are also Ashok and Kumar. What happens next? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out…
Apart from the three ladies – Tamannaah, Esha and Bipasha, I found Riteish quite hot as well. I am serious… he looks stunning in second half when he dresses up like a woman. Even when it comes to acting, Riteish is the one who stands out from the lot. It’s not surprising coz comedy is his forte. His expressions are bang on and I am pretty sure he was the only reason why many people didn’t walk out of the film midway. Ram Kapoor has also done justice to his role. Not to forget, his bikini stint in the film is super hilarious. As for Saif, he is strictly okay. There is nothing much to boast about his performance. Coming to the story, it’s a Sajid Khan comedy so you can’t expect logic. From mind altering drugs to stage 3 OCD to plastic surgery, Farah Khan’s brother surely doesn’t believe in making meaningful films. But that’s okay coz Humshakals isn’t that bad. There are some solid rib tickling comic punches and the slapstick comedy is also good but in bits and pieces. Also, Sajid has taken a dig at his film Himmatwala which I totally loved. In fact, he has poked fun at Farah’s film Tees Maar Khan too and its genuinely funny. Lastly, the best part is when the credits roll. You get to see behind the scenes bloopers and trust me if Sajid had incorporated it in the film, people would have given thumbs up to Humshakals.
From acting like dogs to behaving like 5-year olds and then finally dressing up like women, you get to see Saif and Riteish doing all of it in this one film. So after a point it’s just annoying and not funny at all coz too much happening at the same time. Also, none of the female actors have prominent roles. They are just eye candies to feast on. It would have been better if Sajid hadn’t got them on board in the first place. There is Chunky Pandey too in the film but his role is absolutely irrelevant which is sad. However, the biggest disappointment is the music of Humshakals. It’s just plain blah. Period!
What to do:
Sajid Khan’s new film isn’t as funny and entertaining as Housefull or Housefull 2 however it wouldn’t hurt if you watch it once. But keep your brains aside and I am sure you’ll have fun.
Our Rating ; 2/5
Our Rating ; 2/5
Sunday, 15 June 2014
Director Kabir Sadanand's fourth film Fugly had potential but the film is riddled with improbabilities which does it in. The inconsistent narrative leaves you tearing you hair for being subjected to a film which starts promisingly and then meanders, struggling its way to a climax in a wannabe Rang De Basanti fashion. Before that for a while it tries to be a buddy flick a la Dil Chahta Hai and then traps itself into a Shaitaan like situation.
The film's plot of Dev (Mohit Marwah), Gaurav (Vijender Singh), Aditya (Arfi Lamba) and Devi (Kiara Advani) being blackmailed by Inspector Chautala for several lakhs of rupees to keep them away from prison was an interesting premise. Whatever happens after that makes this film highly unbelievable and in some places laughable.
A TV reporter lands inside an ICU to record the truth from a man who is critically ill. At another point a cop lands inside the ICU of a plush hospital to kill the critically ill man. Then there are scenes where the four youngsters are forced to organize some farmhouse parties where songs like Good in bed are belted out. By now you have lost interest in the proceedings and you are looking forward to the film's end. When that happens, you heave a sigh of relief.
The four young actors do not leave much of a mark with their acting abilities in a script which is befuddled with hackneyed plot points and unimpressive dialogues. Jimmy Sheirgill is the only actor who manages to leave an impact with his dunk-on-power Haryanvi cop act.
Fugly could have been a better film but in spite of its noble Rang De Basanti intentions it is nothing but frubbish.
Saturday, 7 June 2014
As the tagline goes, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is the story of an army personnel for whom duty and patriotism is the key motto of life.
Virat Bakshi (Akshay Kumar) is a Captain in D.I.A, a wing of the Indian Army. He comes to Mumbai to enjoy his leave with his family and go on a bride-hunt. But destiny has something else in store for him. His short Mumbai visit soon turns into a full-fledged mission to save the city from the terrors of a ‘sleeper cell’ headed by Farhad Daruwala and Zakir Hussain. Whether Capt. Virat is able to save the city? Or is the ‘sleeper cell’ able to accomplish their plans? All this mixed with drama, action and romance is what Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is all about.
Akshay Kumar‘s smart, yet rough and tough look has always worked wonders. As a Captain/Special Agent from the Indian Army, he synced perfectly with the character. Sonakshi Sinha had limited screen space in this flick, with nothing much to contribute. The bubbly actress definitely looked cute but the costume designer could have done a better job for her. The actress, however, needs to raise the standard of the roles she portrays on the silver screen. Sumeet Raghavan of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai fame was a sheer delight to watch. He played along with his character, shining through his scenes. Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty has introduced a new talent, Farhad Daruwala. His menacing role as the ‘sleeper cell’ leader was delivered with grace. The newbie delivers a promise to perform better with prominent roles. Ace actor Zakir Hussain was seen in this almost 3-hour long flick for hardly 3 minutes. His existence remains an unanswered question for the audience. Our beloved Govinda aka Chi Chi made a special appearance in the film. His presence added the charismatic charm to his role, but was totally out of place. Rest of the cast was just above average.
After a hiatus of almost 6 years, director A R Murugadoss offered two remakes to Bollywood. Jai Ho (earlier this year) and Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty follows the critically and commercially-acclaimed Ghajini (2008). All three are a remake of much popular South Indian counterparts. Ghajini was a remake of a Tamil film of the same name. While Jai Ho was the Hindi version of Telugu flick, Stalin. Holiday is a frame-to-frame copy of 2012 Tamil movie Thuppakki.
Though not as thrilling as Ghajini, Holiday was fun to watch in bits and pieces. The intellectual proceedings between the hero and the antagonist is quite absorbing. The action sequences will keep you at the edge-of-your-seats. But there are several elements in the movie that may be a let-down. Firstly, the length of the movie could have been cut short avoiding unwanted scenes and shots. The storyline and several scenes are quite unbelievable. An Army officer gets involved in a mission, while he is on leave. He goes on a hurting, amputating and killing terrorists spree, without getting noticed even once. And the weirdest scene of the lot, the hero knuckle cracks his right arm and the broken arm is back in shape, all by itself.
Nonetheless, one mustn’t forget that Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is meant to be a pure masala Bollywood entertainer. This film is definitely not meant for those who use their mind and try finding logic behind what unfolds on the big screen. Statutory Warning: Leave brains and logic at home before heading to the theatre to watch Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty.
The technical aspects apart from the action sequences were just above average, leaving nothing memorable for the audience to take back with them. The music is composed by Pritam. Apart from the song ‘Tu Hi Toh‘, rest two tracks are not even worth humming.
Why should you watch this film?
If you are a 3A fan – Akshay, Action and Adventure, then this is a recommended watch for you. Rest all, please take a pass on this Bollywood movie. Yet another reason why you must watch Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, is the beautiful message with which the movie ends. Dedicated to all the Army personnel and their families, the movie salutes every person serving in the Defence forces keeping the nation safe and secure.
Rating - 3/5