Guzaarish – Beauty sans Soul

Guzaarish is the new ‘art painting’ created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. In making this film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is inspired from opulent drama sets and Broadway musicals and is also clearly inspired from various international films like ‘The Prestige’ and the ‘Sea Inside’. The films storyline  and plot is taken mainly from the above 2 films.

Hrithik Roshan plays a magician who meets an accident and becomes quadriplegic from waist down. Aishwarya Rai is the nurse who takes care of him for 12 long years. Hrithik’s Ethan Mascarenhas is a survivor, fighter and doesn’t give up on life and becomes a Radio Jockey inspiring people, advising them about life and freedom and fun all the while being on a wheelchair. But then one fine day he decides to appeal to the court to allow him to die, justifying mercy-killing for someone like him who has suffered enough. The basic plot is alright but is clearly inspired from various sources and this plot is stretched right from the beginning to the end. There are other unwanted sub-plots such as a rival magician, Aishwarya Rai’s bully husband, Hrithik’s assistant and so on. They have nothing much to contribute to the main plot.

Nothing is original here, not the story, not the situations. The setting is a remote palatial home somewhere in Goa, straight out of a drama or perhaps remainder of the director’s past venture ‘Black’. The sets and the clothes and the acting everything looks artificial. The setting is Anglo-Indian and characters are undefined including ridiculous Nafisa Ali as mother, who stays away from Hrithik for the reasons nobody knows. Then there is hyper Jennifer Patel as the lawyer who behaves more like a school principal. She is certainly a stupid lawyer. Aditya Roy Kapoor is simply there because he is the producer’s brother and his afro hair cut and speech makes him look like a ‘south bombay yuppie’ more than a Goan magician. Suhel Seth as doctor takes the cake though. He is completely lost and a crying Suhel Seth evokes laughter in the audience. He was perhaps missing Arnab Goswami to argue with. The entire film, its sets and characters and ridiculous trial in court looks fake. The quadriplegic issue is almost ridiculed here. The film is like a body without a soul.

The only thing that  lifts the movie a bit are some scenes and the lead actor. What can one say about Hrithik Roshan who puts his heart and soul and whole body behind the role of a person destined to be in the wheelchair for life. He is intense and at times over-intense but he is the saving grace of the film. Aishwarya Rai is actually ‘good’ as compared to her other roles and is infact quite well cast in the nurse’s role. Other actors like Nafisa Ali, Makrand Deshpande, Jennifet Patel have little to do. Aditya Roy Kapoor as the young magician is okay in a limited role and looks quite amateurish, perhaps a better actor would have done the role in a mature way and Victoria’s Secret girl Monikangna Dutta is hardly noticeable. Chemistry between the lead pair is quite nice though like most of their past films done together.

Coming to the director, why oh why does someone as talented as Sanjay Leela Bhansali does this over and over? He creates a beautiful art form but then it doesn’t have life in it. He creates artificial world of his own and there  is absolutely no connect with today’s audience.  You feel bad for Hrithik’s character at the start but by the end of the film there is hardly any sympathy for him, one doesn’t feel like crying even when he is about to die. The feelings are all artificial here and the director is trying too much to evoke sympathy. The director is trying to create one masterpiece after other  without realizing that audiences are seeing through his work. He is trying to show-off his technical skills, which must agree are great to look at, but he has forgotten one basic ingredient in his past few films and that is entertainment. There is seriously no entertainment in his past few films including this one. You do not have to make a dull,boring movie if you are tackling a serious disease, you can make it heartwarming and interesting, prime example being ‘Taare Zameen Par’ which dealt with Dyslexia in a positive way.

He is also the music director, screenplay writer, story writer and whatever else that comes to your mind about film making. The music is average and you hardly remember a tune once the movie is over. In fact some of the songs are actually harsh and hurting to the ears. He goes into unwanted detailing at times which are clearly not needed. What we needed was a simple story, more realistic, more touching our heart. Clearly the filmmaker is in his own little narcissist world.

My Ratings : 5.675/10 –  Beautiful but slow and a blatant copy. Body minus the soul.

P.S. Watch ‘ The Prestige’ to understand the world of magicians, its a masterpiece.

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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.

Guzaarish – First Promo

Here’s unveiling the first promo of one of the most anticipated film of the year. Guzaarish stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai and is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film releases on 19th November 2010

Hrithik plays a paraplegic and Aishwarya plays his nurse. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is also the music director of the film.

Kites – Not flying High – Movie Review

Everybody had huge Expectations from the movie of the week Kites, starring Hrithik Roshan, seen in a leading role after 2 years and Mexican beauty Barbara Mori. The movie was produced by Papa Rakesh Roshan and directed by Anurag Basu, the new age maestro director in the making. The movie had a fantastic promotion and a mega release. The english version edited to 90 minutes by Brett Ratner and the traditional Hindi 130 minute version were the launchpad for Hrithik Roshan in north american markets. The Hispanic speaking audience were to be lured by their star Barbara Mori. However one important ingredient to the film was forgotten in all this mix. The story !!

Kites has such a simple and predictable story that it almost seems straight out of 1980s. The story is a mishmash of Revenge starring Kevin Costner’s revenge on-the-road saga , Ek Duje Ke Liye with its 2 lovers speaking different languages and Rakesh Roshan’s own Koyla where Shahrukh Khan runs away with the villains to-be-wife Madhuri Dixit. Infact the film has such a  predictable story line that you can sleep through it and still narrate the proceedings. The ending is a bit bizarre.

The music is average. The photography is brilliant though and the money seems well spent on the locales of New Mexico, Las Vegas and the American freeways. The car chases and the stunts are interesting and very well filmed but the dialogues and attempted comedy were ridiculous at times. ‘Mein ullu ki pathhi hoon’ was straight out of a flop Rakesh Roshan film.  The mix of English, Spanish with subtitles and Hindi is bound to confuse the user. I am sure the non-urban Indian audience will hate this part the most. Many would still wonder why the film was named ‘Kites’ . Hilarious to hear ‘Kaaipo Chhe’ and ‘Dheel De’ in the movie hall.

Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori both act decently, Kangana Ranaut as Casino owner Kabir Bedi’s daughter and and Australian actor Nick Brown, the villain, who is Barbara’s to be husband both have a very predictable  role. In fact Nick Browns screams and looks stupid in parts. Kabir Bedi has nothing much to do except shout orders. The movie tries to be a showreel of Hrithik Roshan more than anything. The extreme closeups, the slow-mo walk, the washboard abs, the smile and it goes on and on. But Hrithik Roshan overacts in scenes in which simple acting is needed. It seems everything he does it to showcase his talent and not as the script of the film requires.

Hrithik Roshan does 1 film in 2 years, yet he chooses a script like this where he doesn’t have a challenging enough role. He could have very well experimented with the role he chooses to do, what with the unlimited budget. He infact looks repeating his acts and even the dance moves now. At times it reminded me of ‘Hide n Seek’ Biscuit ads he does. As some people said Hrithik Roshan can only do the ‘extreme’ roles. either of a superhero, a super thief, a super king or a mentally retarded. Anything ordinary and he doesn’t deliver !! Luckily in his next film Guzaarish he is playing a ‘paraplegic’.  More a familiar territory for him. Both Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan  needs to understand that he isn’t ‘God’s gift to Bollywood’.

Barbara should stick to doing American and Mexican television. She smiles a bit more than required, I think. Kangana Ranaut looks sharp but her speech delivery looks weak and even Katrina Kaif’s Hindi sounds better than her. She needs a speech diction crash course.

All in all, a huge disppointment in the end for everybody who was waiting for this big summer  release. People will watch it  for Hrithik Roshan and also the fact  that there is no other big film release for next 2 weeks. But this Kite is not flying anywhere, absolutely no wind.

My Ratings : 4/10 –  Better to fly real kites, more fun. This one is really really boring.