Dum Maaro Dum – Lots of Smoke, too little Fire

This week’s latest Bollywood release is Dum Maaro Dum. The movie is a big film releasing after a long while and was eagerly looked forward to with its chartbusting song, cutting-edge promos and a drug-mafia story set in exotic Goa locales starring Abhishek Bachchan in a tough cop role out to clean the drug infested, mafia driven underworld of Goa.The film also stars Rana Daggubatti, Bipasha Basu, Pratiek and Aditya Pancholi amongst many others.

The film is set in Goa and here Goa is shown in a very different light from what we are used to seeing. Director Rohan Sippy has shown a realistic view of Goa unlike the fictitious view we get in past films. Goa shown here is neither the sweet romantic Goa of ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ or the south bombayish view of Goa as in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Goa’s underbelly is exposed, its drug trade, local life and sun-kissed atmosphere is thoroughly captured. Beach, beautiful women, booze and drugs they form the identity of Goa.

The first half of the film is real breezy and sets up back-stories of various characters very nicely. The movie moves at a feverish pace and sets up the meeting of all its leads at the Goa airport, almost reminder of ‘Yuvaa’ in which 3 stories collide on a Kolkata bridge. The movie also tends to remind one of gritty cop drama ‘Sarfarosh’ to an extent. The thriller is very well written by Sridhar Raghavan, at least the first half,  however in the 2nd half of the film the writing goes a bit haywire.

The movie is about Police trying to clean up Goa from the clutches of  local and international Mafias acting in various parts of Goa, ruling their various fiefdoms with the power of drug money. Abhishek Bachchan with ‘nothing to lose’ cop is the fearless cop out to topple mafia lord Aditya Pancholi’s world. Prateik is the teenager with dreams and hope and love but caught in the mafia trap, he represents what Goa was before the drug money came in, soft, hopeful, dreamy, lazy and romantic. Rana Daggubatti who has lost his past girlfriend Bipasha Basu to the greed and lure of drug money is initially a mute spectator to the sorry tale the youth gone haywire. He later gets into the act along with ACP Kamath in the hunt for the master drug-pin Micheal Barbossa. Rana represents the Goa of today which has seen it all and continues to be see the same story unfold yet again and again. The second half of the film slightly disappoints as the suspense when revealed isn’t a big shocker but almost expected and almost all the twists can easily be predicted by the viewer. The film could have been much better if the second half was handled in a better way.

Abhishek Bachchan as Inspector Vishnu Kamath lives up to his role and how much ever his critics hate him, one has to agree that slightly crooked and touch cop acts suits him very well. Abhishek is a star who everybody loves to hate and dislike partly for no fault of his, partly due to the expectations people had in him and also partly due to his lazy selection of roles. But he lives upto the role here although he needed a much better conclusion to his role in the end. Slightly disappointing to see him not in focus at the end. Telugu star Rana Daggubatti as the local Goan singer Joki has a nice presence and easy on the eye to look but has similar expressions throughout. He does have a nice role too and by the end he becomes the central figure to the story.  Bipasha Basu as the girl gone the wrong path is okay and is almost a predictable act. Aditya Pancholi is nice as the Mafia boss Biscuta and he is seen on screen after a while. Prateik as the teenage is okay and his love story with Anaita Nair looks cute, but he quickly needs to re-invent himself or else he’ll be doing this same kind of roles all the time. Also he needs to do something about his squeaky voice !! Deepika Padukone in the much hyped and publicized ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ remix song looks drugged out, which of course suits the look of the song. Govind Namdeo and Muzzamil as cops are wonderful.

Technically the film is  excellent and is very well shot and edited. The entire look of the film is superb and suits the mood and story of the film. The background score is catchy and the songs are nice. The film is smartly shot and some of the scenes are indeed dark but overall Goa is shown in a different light altogether. The concept and core idea is nice but script and screenplay goes wrong in the later portion and the ending doesn’t satisfy you completely with several loose ends. It could have been a huge bonfire in the making but leaves us only with lots of smoke.

Dum Maaro Dum is certainly a one time watch.

My Ratings –  7/10 –  Entertaining watch. Not great but good enough.

Thayn Thayn – Kickass rap song

Here’s the new rap song from the upcoming film’ Dum Maaro Dum’.

The song is called ‘Thayn Thayn’ and features Abhishek Bachchan in his ACP Kamath avatar from the film, rapping in his succesful ‘Bluffmaster’ style. Preetam has scored the music.

Abhishek had a super succesful R&B song sung by him in his previous Rohan Sippy directed Bluffmaster and to bear the same results he has sung this rap song mainly for the film promotion. Very nice beat and rhythm to hear.

Watch it…

Game – Weak Play

This one’s not about any Live Game I watched or any particular sport but is about the hindi film ‘Game’ released last week starring Abhishek Bachchan in the lead. The film directed by first timer Abhinay Deo also stars Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill, Kangana Ranaut, Shahana Goswami, Anupam Kher and former Miss India Sarah Jane Dias making her debut. The film is produced by Farhan Akhtar and just bsed on that ground I had some hopes from the film. Also a suspense thriller is always fun to watch. And then I watched Game.

‘Game’ is a mish-mash of many past hollywood and bollywood plots. It has 4 random people being  assembled on an island and all 4 are related to murders and then a vigilant cop investigating the truth kind  of plot. Problem here is the plot is really weak and suspense is hardly there. People would guess the  outcome very easily. The movie is very slow moving as well, strange for a suspense who dunnit. The  sequences in flashback and back story of each character hardly has any meaning to the actual plot and  some of the sequences like chase in Istanbul and Bangkok TV interview etc. have no real meaning and are  just there to justify shooting in exotic locales.

Abhishek Bachchan tries to do a Bond and doesnt quite cut it. He doesnt have the body language to be a  suave smart Bond like spy, he does try his best but somehow he doesnt fit in. Kangana Ranaut hams as usual  and her cop act is useless as she hardly does anything smart and is always moving around from one place to  another. She didnt even say ‘busssttterd’  even once. Other actors are more like fillers and have hardly any  role. Poor Sarah Jane Dias chose a horrible film to make her debut and Shahana Goswami looked  imprressive in her bit role.

Technically the film is okay. Well shot in exotic locales and quite glossy. The music disappoints though and background music is okay in parts. The director tried his best but the plot and the script wasn’t good enough in first place.

Overall a huge huge disappointment.

My Ratings –  4.5/ 10 –  Simply because I watched a movie in theaters after a long long time.

Dum Maaro Dum – Title Track

Here’s the much awaited song ‘ Dum Maarao Dum’ from the upcoming film titled the same. The song is actually called ‘Mit Jaaye Ghum’ and features Deepika Padukone and is set to a remixed version of the original classic tune. The song was released during the India – South Africa game in the ongoing World Cup Cricket at Nagpur

The song set in a smoke filled bar, looks okeyish and Deepika looks hot enough to be called ‘item girl’ now. Hopefully it will do what it is meant to and draw the audience in the movie hall.

Here it is..

Dum Maaro Dum – Killer Promo

A film whose title is ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ set in Goa, dealing with drug trade … What a tribute to the legendary song  from Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna !!

It  stars Abhishek Bachchan as cool Narcotics Cop. The movie also stars Bipasha Basu, Prateik and Telugu star Rana Daggubatti. The movie produced by Sippy films and Fox is directed by Rohan Sippy with story by Shridhar Raghavan and Music by Preetam. The movie releases 22nd April 2011

Here’s the first look, it looks classy and that background score is full of ‘dum’

Game – Theatrical Trailer – Could this be a gamechanger?

Abhishek Bachchan hasnt been having a good Box office run and he desperately needs a big film to work for him. Here is the trailer of his next release ‘Game’ starring alongside him are Boman Irani, Anupam Kher, Kangana Ranaut, Shahaha Goswami, Jimmy Shergill and Sarah Jane Dias. It directed by Abhinay Deo and produced by Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Films. The film is supposed to be a mystery suspense thriller.

Check out the theatrical trailer. This one does loook interesting and maybe this could be a gamechanger for its leading star.

Khelein Hum Jee Jan Sey – Theatrical Trailer

Here’s the first look and theatrical trailer from Ashutosh Gowariker’s next movie ‘ Khelein Hum Jee Jan Sey’ starring Abhishek Bachchan as revolutionary Surya Sen and Deepika Padukone as Kalpana Datta. Sikander Kher also stars. The movie is based on Manini Chatterjee’s book ‘Do or Die’ based on Chittagong Conspiracy of the 1930s.

The movie looks sharp and seems to be well made and detailed like most of Ashutosh Gowariker’s films. Abhishek looks like he can pull off the role of Surya Sen, he’s got the intensity and the fire in the eye.The movie has the look somewhat similar to ‘Lagaan’.  Finally a movie which wont be totally brainless. The movie releases on December 3, 2010.

Which of these year end Bollywood movies would be successful at the Box Office ?

Which of these year end Bollywood movies would be successful at the Box Office?

First of the block is Anjaana Anjaani – Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra crisscrossing across American Highways, directed by Siddharth Anand. The films release was pushed back by a week ancipating the ‘Babri’ trial verdict, but now even the verdict has been postponed. Lets see if the film is able to weather this storm and also Rajnikanth’s mega blockbuster Robot (dubbed in Hindi from Tamil original Endhiran) also starring Aishwarya Rai, releases on the same day.

Then there is Aakrosh starring Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna about the ‘honour killing’ issue directed by Priyadarshan. This movie has been postponed till 15th October and is currently battling the Censor Board about the sensitive issue it is tackling. Jhootha Hi Sahi starring John Abraham directed by Abbas Tyrewala releases the same day as well. In between Emraan Hashmi’s Crook about racism problems with Indian students in Australia and Knock Out starring Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan and Kangana Ranaut which seems like inspired from Hollywood movie ‘ Phone Booth’. Then there is Raktha Charitra – I by Ramgopal Verma starring Shatrughan Sinha, Vivek Oberoi and Surya about the noted gangster Paritala Ravi.

Diwali in early November sees two big releases confronting for the box office success. Golmaal -3 stars the usual Golmaal gang of Ajay Devgn, Tushaar Kapoor, Arshad Warsi along with Kareena Kapoor as one of the ‘boys’ this time. This film clashes with Vipul Shah directed Action Replayy starring Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai going back in time with the retro 70s look. 19th November sees Hrithik Roshan as paraplegic with nurse Aishwarya Rai in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much awaited Guzaarish. There is also Break ke Baad starring Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone directed by Kunal Kohli

December sees Ashutosh Gowariker’s  Khelein Hum Jee Jan Sey based on Chittagong Mutiny of 1930 starring Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone. End of December sees probabaly the biggest film of the season Tees Maar Khan directed by Farah Khan starring Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna and Katrina Kaif.

Apart from these big films there are many small films, medium films, art-house films all set to unfurl on the Box office during this end of the year period. Let us see which one amongst them are successful.

Raavan is a Brave Attempt – Film Review

‘Raavan’ is a Mani Ratnam magnum opus starring Abhishek Bachchan,  Aishwarya Rai, Vikram, Govinda, Priyamani, Ravi Kissen. It is an unique interpretation of the oldest epic in Indian History, Ramayana. Incidentally the movie is shot simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil with different set of actors. It is also dubbed in Telugu.

We had ‘Rajneeti’ inspired from Mahabharata, 2 weeks back and now is the turn of another epic Ramayana. Raavan is adapted from an episode of Ramayana where Sita is abducted by Ravan and Ram searches for her with the help of Hanuman. Abhishek Bachchan plays Beera Munda, the tribal outlaw who kidnaps Ragini Sharma played by Aishwarya Rai, the wife of righteous police Inspector Dev Sharma posted in Lal Maati in central India,  played by Tamil star Vikram. Govinda plays role of  forest guard Sanjeevani who helps Dev in his hunt for Beera.

I had read all the negative reviews the whole day on various blogs, websites, tv channels etc and was expecting nothing much, which I think was the best thing to happen. Most critics had blasted the film left, right and centre. The same critics who loved master pieces like BLUE, KARZZ and HOUSEFULL had called it the Waterloo of Mani Ratnam or Mani Ratnam ki Aag.  I was expecting to get bored and sleepy but I did not. I never felt bored at all and in fact liked most of the movie. Its not a perfect movie but then nowadays which movie is ?

Firstly, the good parts. Visually the film is superlative. Each frame is brilliantly shot. The  music adds to every frame along with decent songs. Technically when you have Santosh Sivan, Mani Ratnam and  A R Rehman there could be no compromises. The film has possible the best production design and art direction for a film this year.  Definitely the best cinematography and brilliant background score.The picture perfect never before seen locations of Kerala are breathtakingly beautiful and you can feel the atmosphere in every frame of the film. You want to visit the locations and the film makes you feel that in parts. The Camera detailing and lighting would surely make this film a contender for technical awards next year.

The story is simple enough, however in the first half there are far too many disjointed scenes and dialogues, one continuous chase and the story doesn’t move much ahead. Characters are established a bit randomly using montages. The kidnapping is shot well, however Govinda’s entry is bit ridiculous. The 2nd half is much better, the flashback is well made and story does make more  sense, however the end is debatable but very well shot according to me.  Ravan not only doesn’t kill Sita but also saves Ram and Ram in turn kills him mercilessly, while using Sita as a pawn justifies the central theme of the film  that “there is Ram in every Raavan and Raavan in every Ram”.

Lots of action and killing and blood everywhere. The screenplay is good in parts but not the best. Certain sequences look quite unwanted in fact.  Frankly speaking the film is bit slow at times and bit predictable as we constantly have the Ramayana reference in our mind. The songs in 2nd half were a bit of a hindrance. Reputation of Mani Ratnam is such that we all were expecting a much much better film from the master director.

However the film is not bad as portrayed by most of the media, news channels and honorary critics. The film is definitely worth a watch. I do not know what were the critics expecting from this movie but if anyone had to make a different adaptation of Ramayana, this was the way to do it. Else Barjatyas adapted Ramayana for Hum Sath Sath Hain and so did Ramanand Sagar  for TV and Manoj Kumar for his Kalyug aur Ramayan. I think Mani Ratnam has taken a brave step especially by showing the ending shot when Sita screams for the dying Raavan.

Acting wise Abhishek as Beera plays his heart out and looks real intense, although does seem to go overboard at times, Beera looks a bit maniac at times rather than scary, but then that’s the demand of the role. I cant see any other top star portraying this role as effectively as he has done. Aishwarya looks good and she acts decent too, if only she could scream a bit less. Her eyes do convey a lot. Vikram is okeyish enough and has a straight forward role initially, which turns greyish by the end. He is probably the first South Indian star with almost no south Indian accent in his Hindi, which is a welcome thing. He does tend to go loud at times though.  Govinda and Ravi Kissen do well in small roles. Nikhil Dwivedi and Ajay Gehi are ok with smallish roles. Why did Tejaswini Kolhapure did the role she did, is a mystery though. Priyamani in a brief role is fine.

Overall not a perfect movie but not very bad either and surely merits a one-time watch.

My Ratings: 6.5/10 –  Watch it once , better interpretation of Ramayana then the Ramanand Sagar one.

Raavan – Theatrical Trailer (2 Minutes)

Here’s the first look at theatrical trailer of the most anticipated film of the summer – Raavan.

Here’s link to detailed review of the film Raavan