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.

Tanu weds Manu – Shaadi North Indian Ishtyle

‘Tanu weds Manu’ is a small budget movie releasing in middle of the Cricket World cup but inspite of that getting fair amount of patronage and positive reviews. The movie is directed by Aanand Rai and boasts almost of a fresh unknown crew and caste.

Its an Indian story with Indian characters, small town settings and music thats as earthy as it can be. It stars relatively under appreciated Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut along with host of ensemble characters. The story is more or less like many other films when boy likes girl, the girl likes someone else and then the boy wins over her by the end. Here the girl is portrayed by Kangana aka Tanuja Trivedi from Kanpur and the boy is Madhavan aka Manoj Sharma, an NRI doctor from London. We expect the NRI doctor to be all modern and the Kanpur girl to be sedate and shy but the scenario is totally reversed here with Tanu the firebrand, bindass girl representing the modern India and Manu the shy gentleman.

The movie is shot in real locations of Kanpur ,Kapurthala, Lucknow and Delhi and it shows. The characters are very real and the importance given to detailing of various things is very impressive.  The characters walk and talk Hindi but the little difference in dialects and accents in Hindi spoken by a Punjabi or a Bihari, a Delhite or a true blue UPite is subtly captured in the language. That detailing uplifts the movie and makes it cut above a normal Indian wedding film.

The movie has some superb character artists portraying various roles.  Special amongst them is Deepak Dobriyal playing Hero’s best friend role to the tee and winning our hearts. Eijaz Khan as the Sardar friend is quite apt too. Jimmy Shergill is nice and almost steals the show but has small role. Special Mention to Swara Bhaskara, the beautiful girl who portrays Kangana’s best friend who looked charming and acted superbly too. How we wish she was the heroine of the movie !! Speaking of which the film belong to Ms. Kangana ‘accent’ Ranaut and Madhavan.

Madhavan as I said before is very under appreciated perhaps for not having conventional Bollywood look and physique but he is a fine actor and this role is tailor-made for him. You can say Kangana is both perfectly cast and a total miscast in the movie !! She is perfect sas the rebellious girl, representing modern India, brash and abusive and rebel for the sake of being rebel, however we all cringe at the time she opens her mouth. Her dialogue delivery is horrible and perhaps the single biggest negative factor in the film. She is born and brought up in India, is a north Indian and yet she cannot get her Hindi right !! This is inexcusable. She has an image of playing roles of mentally disturbed, drug addicted, lunatic modern woman. Here she tries to fit into the role of middle class, small town Indian girl but without letting go her earlier image. If only she could improve her Hindi and dialogue delivery she could be one of the top stars.

Overall the movie is a pleasant watch, although it does get dragging in the 2nd half and tries to be a ‘Jab we Met’ and all that. The music is rustic north Indian with mix of UP and Punjab sound. ‘Sadi Galli’ is a big rage already.

My Ratings – 7/10  Watch it for true blue North Indian Tadka….

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.

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai – That 70s Show

Its time to rewind to the 70s.  When it was fashionable to smuggle gold and ‘imported’ swiss watches were in demand. The era when gangs ruled  Mumbai. Once Upon a time in Mumbaai creates that age and time. It presents to us the Mumbai of 70s or Bombay as it was known then.

The disclaimer says that lead characters are  ‘NOT’ based on any person living or dead but we all know that Ajay Devgn’s Sultan Mirza is based on Haji Mastan and Emraan Hashmi represents the menacing Dawood Ibrahim. The movie shows the rise and fall of Haji Mastan and subsequent rise of his protege Dawood through the eyes of a Police Officer. It depicts how the gangs worked, how smuggling was carried out and empires were built. How one man’s greed and immoral nature splits the Bombay gangs and leads to the situation that is now. Its also a movie about ‘generation gap’ between father and son, an older wiser don and his rogue younger protege.

Director Miltan Lutharia in past has made some interesting films like Taxi No. 9211 and Kachche Dhhaage but this one would perhaps be his best work so far. Technically the film is well shot and the 70s era, the costumes, the cars and generally the city of Mumbai are authentically shown. Ttoally ‘filmi’ Dialogues are the best part of the film. Music is good enough but according to me the background score of the film is KILLER, whoever has done it has done it wonderfully to elevate the mood of the era, it binds the film at times. If it was possible to buy just the background score of the film, I would buy it. Background score is what you take home, although the songs are nice and well fitted. ‘Duniya Mein’ remix has some bad choreography though, just like the good old days.

Acting wise, Ajay Devgn lives the role of Mastan nicel, he has done it all in past, he has played Dawood in RGV’s Company where he was the undisputed Don, here he plays a similar character of Haji Mastan, but a don with a different morality and sort of robin-hoodish nature,  Emraan Hashmi fits his Dawood role even better as he resembles the look of Dawood as we know, but he is okay in certain scenes and looks bit confused in some. Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai follow the tradition of heroines of the 1970s, they have hardly anything to do. Kangana plays a ‘normal’ woman for a change and doesn’t say ‘Bastard’ even once !! Prachi Desai looks a bit misfit on the big screen and why her character likes the rogue Emraan Hashmi is anyone’s guess. Randeep Hooda playing the Policeman, whose story is this, looks well fitting in some parts and awkward in some, but overall he is nice in smallish role, although he could do well with few more expressions on his face.

The movie is good entertainment and watching it in packed hall reminds you of that long gone era when watching a movie in theaters was an event in itself. But the movie is not a great one, it reminds you of Ramgopal Verma’s far superior ‘Company’ and not-so-good prequel ‘D’. You tend to compare it with ‘Company’ every time. This film doesn’t have much of action or violence and deals more in drama of the era. The romantic parts also do not fit in with the mood.

Incidentally now all the 3 leading actors in the film have played Dawood Ebrahim’s role in 3 different films.  Ajay Devgn in Company and Randeep Hooda in D played the role which Emraan Hashmi played in this movie. Dawood himself is a more a myth than real for most of us in India, but now we can safely he must be looking like Emraan Hashmi, acting and behaving like Ajay Devgn and hopefully falters like Randeep Hooda, pretty soon.

My Ratings :  6.5/10 – Worth taking a trip back to that era.

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.