Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Badmaash Company

Yash Raj Films has been requiring a hit since sometime now, and Badmaash Company would give them some relief in this regard.
Debutant Director - Parmeet Sethi, credited for story, dialogues, screenplay n direction, does impress with the story concept. By seeing the promos, one did get the feeling that it would be 'inspired by' the 2008 Kevin Spacey starrer '21'. Also one did wonder what sort of 'badmaashi' would the lead characters come up with, which we have not seen before?
The story starts off reminiscing the Mumbai of the 90s, in the pre-Mcdonalds/ Coke era, 'jab yeh Bombay tha'. The first con is good, making use of a very 'believable' loop hole in the system, in the pre-liberalisation era. The various getups used by the 4 characters are good, but the screenplay could have been taken higher by many notches, if we could have seen more verbal interaction of the characters in their get ups. Post interval, when the US segment starts, fortunately there is no time wasted on unnecessary screenplay. The plot moves quickly from one con to another and then the cracks start showing up. The break up of the 'company' is also quick, leading to an exciting climax.
All in all, the story is different, music pleasant with credible performances by the cast. Director Parmeet Sethi has done a good job for not only a first timer, but also in coming up with a 'different' product rather than the love story, inane comedies or revenge dramas that keep coming out week after week.
Anupam Kher & Pawan Malhotra deliver competent performances from whatever role has been offered to them. Kiron Juneja is a waste.
Anushka looks beautiful and also has acted well. A good follow up to her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Meiyang Chang & Vir Das should have been given meatier roles. They both have acted well and do provide a good spark to the ongoings in the movie. At the end of the day, it is they who along with Shahid & Anushka are the company.
Shahid Kapoor has given a mature performance as the ring leader. His handling of the break up of the company is commendable. He looks fab and gets into the skin of the character. His arrogance post interval actually makes you pity him as you can see his forthcoming descent from the 'highs'. He single handedly lifts the movie on his shoulders.
The movie should do good business since it has a good 2 week gap before the much hyped 'Kites' releases.
Definitely a must watch once, as this is an attempt of bringing different plots to the audiences.
Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

House Full

After 3 years of Hey Babyyy, (the Sajid Khan version of 3 men & a baby) & the disastrous Kambakht Ishq, both the Sajids have teamed up to come up with their version of various Hollywood flicks, (The Cooler, Meet the Parents etc) and present to you, HouseFull.
So it is a given that when you enter the cinema hall, you leave your logical reasoning in the car park. In today's stressful times, at times you just need something which is non-taxing on the brains. The reason why IPL is so successful with the audiences, inspite of the controversies, match fixing allegations...because it is a 3 hour entertainment where people go to watch their favourite cricketing gods come down in the colosseum type stadiums as gladiators and battle it out for those 15 minutes of glory!
Coming back to HOUSEFULL - (without narrating the story)- the movie starts of with an identical scene from the 2003, William Macy starrer - The Cooler. Set in the backdrop of the Venetian, Macau, (with again all Indian staff, the hairy Vindoo as the security guard) the movie starts of on a rather slow note. The introduction of the characters, Akshay, Ritesh, Lara, takes its own sweet time, at times getting the audience somewhat restless. (Reminded me of the Anees Bazmee starrer, No Entry). To some extent it would not be wrong to say that it is the character of Samtani who actually takes the story forward, as it is he and his desi daugther, Devika, (Jiah Khan, could do with some weight loss) who set things in motion for the roller coaster ride post interval.
Till the interval the gags are good, coming up in bits and pieces, interspersed with all the songs to show the lovely locales with the 3 women providing the oomph factor to set the screen sizzling! Post interval, the movie is a non-stop roller coaster ride, a house 'full' of people, balancing like a 'pack of cards' based on the eternal truth 'jis jhooth se kisi ka ghar basta hai, woh jhooth 100 sach se accha hai'. The climax could have been a tad bit better handled, but we were not expecting a masterpiece of cinema here, were we?
Direction - Sajjid Khan, proves once again, you do not have to be intelligent to make a hit movie, you need to be practical! Housefull, like Ghajini & Wanted, does not take itself too seriously and hence is completely unapologetic about its chain of events. This gets highlighted in the characterisation of Chunky Pandey as ' Aakhri Pasta'. There are various such instances, in the movie where you can see, that it is Sajjid's personal touch coming across. For example the entire proposed 'love scene' between Lara & Riteish in the beginning where they enact a hindi film fight scene! When Sajjid started the movie with the note 'humbly' offering this movie as a tribute to the greats of Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Feroz Khan etc. you know he means it! After a long time have we got 2 couples singing a love song on scooters with the girls standing behind the guys, typically late 70s / early 80s. Felt nice. Sajjid has got his package right, be it the post interval screenplay, the characterisations, the music, the locales and the actors. His casting of Boman, Ritiesh & Randhir Kapoor is excellent!
In the acting department - Akshay Kumar carries on his image as the bumbling simpleton from all of his recent films. The only thing new being here is that his dressing style for once is intentionally shown bad, to fit his character's image. Doing complete justice to the character of the 'eternal loser', one cant help but remember Welcome time and again. Butm worth it.
Jiah Khan should try and get some acting lessons as then maybe she would get better roles, cos you feel that she is the only character in the movie that was cast with an actor to 'fill the role'. No great shakes, even Stella, the cocktail waitress had more dialogues than her!
Lillette Dubey is a treat to watch in a role which seems to be an extension of her Kal Ho Na Ho cougar character. But it is pleasant to see her onscreen, as she really livens it up. Goes to show that if you are a good actor, the length of the role is immaterial. The same goes for our good ol, Suresh Menon & Manoj Pahwa. They were howlarious! Literally, acting as the 'catalyst' for the 'laughathon of a climax'.
Daisy Irani was cute, wish they had taken her character too, to London, would have just 'spiced' things up more!
Deepika Padukone - has one of the most expressive eyes and she uses it to her advantage repeatedly in the movie. She lives upto her character completely i.e. she looks sexy, dances well and to top it up, has also acted well. The scene where she enacts her brother's introduction to her would be groom was very good.
Chunky Pandey - as the lecherous, publicity hungry, Indian Italian, is the epitome of the Indian 'Italian' dishes which get served in majority of our 'speciality' restaurants. It is in his casting where the Director has shown brilliance in casting!
Lara Dutta - The Gujju ben marrying the Maharastrian boy, her accent only comes up when she talks to her 'papppa'. This has to be Lara's best performance till date. Again not only does she look hot, but her comic timing has improved phenomenally. Guess the training with the God of Comedy, David Dhawan, has done her good!
Arjun Rampal - Although a relatively small role, lenthwise, Arjun's character literally takes the screen by storm! His entire persona, is well etched out and makes it that much simpler for him to deliver a 'rock solid' performance after 'Rock On'. So strong is his screen presence, that whenever he is there on screen, one tends to ignore every other character sharing space with him, which just goes to speak volumes about his performance as the suspicious brother. Although inspired heavily from Robert DeNiro's character from 'Meet the Parents' he reminds one constantly of Vinod Khanna from Amar Akbar Anthony, when he mouths the 'I hate liars' dialogue and gives a back hand slap to the 'terrorist'.
That brings me to the Top 3 performances of the movie - it is this trio which sets this movie apart from the rest slapstick comedies which keep being churned out every second month.
Ritesh Deshmukh - His Maharastran Boy act, Baburao, is a hit with the audiences from the word go! Inspite of having a role as a sidekick to the 'loser Arush' he holds up his own and more! Be it his stammering, when stressed out, or the 'homos' scences with Akshay, Arjun and Boman are mindblowing. His was the one act which had the entire audience in splits for the entire 2 minutes non-stop, from 07-70!
Randhir Kapoor- Wonder how did Sajjid manage this casting coup. It would have been very easy to get an Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal to play this character of Samtani, the casino owner. But the element of style, arrogance, humour that comes naturally with Randhir Kapoor cannot be got from any of the others mentioned, with all due respect to them. Whenever Randhir comes on screen in his cameo performance, he steals the scene away!
Last but definitely not the least, the actual show stopper, scene stealer, whichever adjective you use for him, will be less for the performance of Boman Irani. From his intro scene, to the his emotional relationship with his mother, he delivers an effortless performance, yet again. The minute he sets foot in London, post interval, he literally takes the movie single handedly to a great extent. One has not seen such a rocking performance for a long time, and this is what makes the 2 Sajjids deliver you a home run! Be it his reaction to the relationship between Arush & Baburao, or the 'muh dikhai' of his grandson! Even just typing about it has me in splits.
The music is good, the songs well shot. But it is in getting his cast to deliver their respective performances which really makes one wish that these 2 SKs continue to make such movies. IT IS ENTERTAINING....and the last time I checked it up, that was the reason one went to the movies!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


One should watch JAANE BHI DO YAARO whenever feeling low or depressed....if the movie does not click with you, or seeing the aspiring directors of those days like sudhir mishra, vidhu vinod chopra in cameo roles,  then the climax will surely will......something which like JOHNNY MERA NAAM has never been replicated....and cannot be!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Film Awards

Got an opportunity of seeing the Star Screen Awards last evening. Usually it is always IIFA or Filmfare which usually rule the awards season due to their production values, locales (IIFA) etc. But must say, this year it seems to be a difficult one, first with the Apsara Awards finally coming off age with a brilliant show. Now, saw the Star Screen Awards last night, and what a show! The set, the feel, the acts of the show were different.

Shahid Kapoor, hosting was a gem, but his segment with Shahrukh Khan was the highlight of the show. It was just brilliant to see the 'chemistry' between the stars.

Madhavan did a good job, along with Omi Vaidya, who is milking in his success like nobody's business, well deserved though.

The jokes were good, even though they did bring out the truth, it was much more classy in its presentation, unlike last year where the 2 comperes thought that the only way to crack a joke was to be rude to the person on stage or in topic. Shahid's Aamir act, will be one of the best for some time to come. Likewise, SRK and Shahid's stint about 'copying' styles, was fantastic.

Mr. Bacchhan proved once again, that whenever he is on stage, you do not see anyone else! Be it the promotional Teen Patti dance, or when he came to collect the Jodi No.1 award, your eyes cannot see SRK, SK at all, forget AB Jr.

Katrina's item was very good, fortunately the dance tracks that she had last year, helped her performance that much more.

Kareena in comparison was not so great last night. Maybe it just shows your true 'star power' when one can enthuse that life in the performance and take it to the another level, or hold your own compared to other 'star' performers.

Bipasha's act was nice, it was a unique way of presenting the 5 Best Film Nominees, but her dance not so great.

Javed Akthar's Lifetime Achievement Award was another highlight of the show. For once I felt, that the organisers, and I speak with regards to all award shows, had got the right people to award him, Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bacchhan. Javedsaab's speech was not only from the heart, but it was truly inspirational.

I always have this complaint with award shows, the people who come to present the awards, do not justify the recipient's talent at all. I mean, with all due respect, AB Jr. & Ash are hardly the people fit enough to present a Best Actor's trophy. They make a good couple, but that's it. That is one aspect all our award shows should start thinking about, because even though the Oscar format is good, of last year's winners giving this year's awards, in our case that does tend to get a little difficult as our 'presenters' depend mainly on whether they have any releases coming up.

But yet once again, must say, if SRK & Shahid's segment was the highlight of the hosting segment, in the dance performances, it was none other than SALMAN KHAN who stole the show. His performance was not only lively, but it showed that he was thoroughly enjoying himself with the children performing with him. That is what differentiates a star from the rest.

With respect to the winners, I guess one more or less knows that the Best Actress will rotate amongst Priyanka (Kaminey), Vidya (Paa) and Kareena (3 Idiots/ Kurbaan) but thought even Katrina's performance in APKGK was deserving.

Likewise for the Best Actor, it will be GOD (Paa), Shahid (Kaminey) or Ranbir (APKGK/Wake up Sid)

Well am sure now Filmfare and IIFA have a lot to think and plan about.  

Sunday, January 31, 2010


A lot of people did check with me, which of the two promising movies should they watch this weekend, the cool, rustic love triangle, or the supposedly comeback venture of an entertaining director - actor duo. My suggestion to all was the latter.

Maybe it is my bias towards him, but then who doesnt have a bias for Amitabh Bacchhan. Hence, inspite of being in Chennai and leaving the company of two wise magi, I went and saw Rann.

The story is narrated in a very simple manner. Although for any avid movie buff or a regular RGV fan, one can tend to predict certain aspects of the film (Jay Malik's suicide was expected since Yasmin had a terrace flat.) But lets leave all that aside and try and evaluate Rann for what it is.

Here is a RGV film, which is not trying to highlight the dark side of the news industry (a la Madhur Bhandarkar) but he presents his story with the news channels trade as a background. The writing is simple but the screenplay I feel could have been tighter in places, especially post interval.

The cinematography by Amit Roy is commendable. Not because of anything else, but the fact that he has dared to shoot the movie in the way it has been shot. Not withstanding the by now standard RGV camera angles, the movie has been shot differently. At times it feels very nice, but sometimes too much of something also tends to get boring. But you cannot count that as a negative because had he changed the treatment half way through, then he would have been blamed for inconsistency. But I did like the cinematography.

The background score is fantastic. I have heard the songs of Rann and some of them are worth listening to repeatedly, mainly due to the lyrics. Kanch ke, Sikkon ki Bhook, Rann Hai are 3 fantastic songs and have been placed very well in the film.

The director's victory, in this case, comes across in the way he has managed to extract good performances from the entire cast. Besides Simone Singh and Gul Panang (looking gorgeous) everyone else has had a well etched out character, making it all the more easy for the actors to perform effortlessly.

Neetu Chandra puts in a decent show, the horror in her eyes in the climax is well portrayed.

Suchitra Krishnamurty also delivers an exellent performance as the COO of the news channel.

Ritesh Deshmukh, moving away from his favourite comic genre, has given a first rate performance. He has shown that if given a good meaty role, he can act. Though at times, his expressions tend to get repetitive, but he is showing that he is improving.

Rajpal Yadav does complete justice to his character. His performance is impeccable.

Rajat Kapoor once again lives upto his reputation. His portrayal of the wannabe industrialist tycoon is excellent. The evil shows in his eyes and that speaks volumes about his performance.

Paresh Rawal, teaming up with RGV after a long time and playing the 'baddie' after a long time on screen, comes up yet again with an excellent performance. He brings about fear, loathe and menace in his character so well, that you just dont want him to leave the screen.

Sudeep (Phoonk), has the major chunk of the role and lives upto the expectations. His breakdown scene makes one feel for him, although he is the only 'grey' character in the movie. All the rest are either creamy white or jet black.

Amitabh Bacchhan has a relatively small role in terms of screen time, but when it comes to screen presence, he eats all the actors on the screen. Amitabh once again proves why he is nothing short of GOD of Bollywood. RGV has used him very well in the role of the idealistic Media Moghul. You just dont want the movie to end because one expects more of Mr. Bachhan.

But, according to me, the real person who steals the show, one whose performance you come back remembering fondly, is Mohnish Behl! He has got the role of a lifetime, and has shown that if given a proper character, he would repeat such mind blowing performances. Hope the award cartel remember him next year.

Comparisons to Sarkar in the initial half will be inevitable, especially the dining table scene, but thats not too much to crib about. There are certain glitches, which could have been avoided, but nevertheless, it was serious entertaining cinema.

A must watch for any RGV or AB fan and if both, why have you not seen it yet.