Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Trailer

Here’s the awaited summer blockbuster. ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ stars Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol Katrina Kaif and Kalki in a road movie set in Spain. The film directed by Zoya Akhtar relases on July 15 and promises lots of eye-candy, masala entertainment and youth centric theme of going on an all boys trip. Sounds suspiciously similar to first half of Dil Chahta Hai and Hollywood film Hangover. Hopefully Zoya Akhtar director of ‘Luck by Chance’ will not disappoint and it wont be a copy of any film we have seen but something original.

Spain countryside looks pleasant and the 3 stars shine along with both the female leads. It does indeed look an upmarket product.

Bollywood – What next in 2011?

The year 2010 is gone, well almost. The films have come and films have gone , some have succeeded and many have flopped. The latest release ‘Tees Maar Khan’ did get a big opening weekend but then audiences saw through it and the movie failed from the 4th day and it would barely manage to cover its huge investments of 65 Crores knocking the poor distributors and  taking with it the reputations of its director Farah Khan and actors Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. Many of the small films released this year have done lot better than many big budget disasters.

2011 has quite a few big films releasing in first few weeks itself mainly to avoid the World Cup Cricket to be held from February 2011. First of its release would be Rajkumar Gupta directed thriller ‘No One Killed Jessica’ based on the infamous Jessica Lall murder case starring Rani Mukherji as the firebrand journalist following the case and subtle Vidya Balan as Jessica’s sister. The film does have quite different music loved by many and the promos of the films are quite a Hit with people. The  film does have lot of potential and is eagerly awaited.

Next up is the mad-cap Deol trio comedy ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana‘ starring the 3 Deols. The film’s promos are loved by all and the film promises to be a laugh riot. The music is quite popular and the dialogue promos make the film an exciting prospect. This film releases on 14th Janury.

21st January sees perhaps the biggest film if this half of the year, although not a conventional movie but a movie starring Aamir Khan is always a big proposition. ‘Dhobi Ghat‘ directed by Kiran Rao starring Aamir and Prateik Babbar promises to be a great film and based on early reviews from Toronto Film Festival where this film was shown, this one could perhaps be the best film to come out in a while.

‘Dil toh Baccha hai Jee’ starring Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Omi Vaidya is another comedy releasing this month in the last week. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar this film does look different from regular slapstick comedies we have been watching.

Early February also looks busy with Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ staring Priyanka Chopra and ‘Patiala House’ starring Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma releases. There are many other smaller budget and medium budget films releasing as well.

Let us see if any of the above big budget films succeed in first couple of months of the year 2011 or the trend of small films doing better continues in 2010.

My Bet for the first 2 months – Dhobi Ghat would be the best of the lot,  Yamla Pagla Deewana to collect good box office money and No One Killed Jessica to be the ‘dark horse’.

Tees Maar Khan – Horrifying Misadventure

Farah Khan’s previous 2 films ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’ were inspired from 1970s Bollywood Cinema. In her third outing as director of Tees Maar Khan she mercilessly copies from little known Hollywood film ‘After the Fox’ starring Peter Sellers. TMK is almost an unofficial remake of that movie with of course the Bollywood twists, turns, item numbers and utter nonsense thrown in.

Akshay Kumar plays  Tabrez Mirza Khan or ‘Tees Maar Khan’ who is the most dreaded conman in the world !! He escapes from right under the nose of Police  every time he is caught. As the film progresses he and his faithful hencemen called dollar, soda and burger are given a task of looting Antiques worth crores from a moving train. For this he portrays himself a Hollywood director and decides to hire services on hundreds of innocent villagers on the pretext of making a Film in their village Dhuliya. Katrina Kaif plays the dumb girlfriend who aspires to be an actress in the film. Akshaye Khanna plays a superstar aspiring to win an ‘Oscar’ by doing such a film. The film is shot, villagers are fooled, banks is robbed, ghosts are caught, the loot happens and TMK is caught but once again he escapes in the end. This above paragraph somehow summarizes the story but then there are supposedly comic scenes and spoofs and item numbers and jokes and cliches all in this 2 hour long movie. All kinds of weird acting funny characters are assembled in this film including chief villains being conjoined twins, a bumbling police commissioner, village buffoons of all kind and so on !!

I always trusted Farah Khan to come up with something nice and witty especially as she loves to play tributes and homages to past films and makers and she is as ‘Bollywood’ as one can be without feeling guilty about it. But this time she has gone overboard with spoofing everybody that came to her mind and making spoof after spoof  and over spoofing. It seems either she has run out of fresh ideas and repeating her own cliched ideas of filmy maa, dumb heroine, everybody in village being so glamor struck and dumb etc. She has gone the ‘Priyadarshan’ and ‘Anees Bazmi’  way of making stupid films and then overdoing it or maybe she is just influenced by her not-so-smart husband who is not only the editor, but story writer, music director ( for title song), lyricist, producer and what not for this film. The film tries to mock everybody and everything but unlike her previous film ‘Om Shanti Om’ most of her jokes fall flat and people almost know what is coming even before the joke starts.

There are jokes and there are jokes within jokes and then there is Tees Maar Khan where the joke starts at the beginning and never ends, it goes on and on. Katrina Kaif plays the dumbest heroine you would ever see on film screen and you do not even laugh at her dumbness after a while. You can laugh at Avatar Gill spoofing A.K. Hangal’s blind man act once  but not every time he comes on screen, it gets irritating after a while to see Akshaye Khanna obsessed with the Oscars.  The dialogues like ‘Tawaiif ki lootati ijjat aur TMK ko jail mein rakhna na-mumkin hai’ and ‘ khanon mein khan- tees maar khan’ gets to you after a while. The conjoined villainous twins are ridiculous. There are racial jokes, jokes on poor villagers and crass humor. What on earth was that plot about headless ghost and missing children growing ‘Ganja’ in some jungle and that villager sitting on top of the tree?? The end credits gives ‘ oscars’ to all those who were involved with this film and Farah in the end gets a Filmfare as all Oscar trophies are with her husband !!

Farah Khan who was my choice for Manmohan Desai’s ‘heir apparent’ in Bollywood has clearly disappointed this time. From situational comedies and genuine spoofs she has come down to the level of Golmaals and Housefulls with slapstick comedy. I always thought Farah Khan as a filmmaker was much superior then her weirdo brother Sajid Khan or for that matter most commecial Hindi filmmakers, but after TMK, I need to re-think that.

The film did have an interesting plot to begin with and lot could have been done with it but it seems the makers decided the plot, the funny characters, the dialogues and Akshay Kumar’s charisma would make the film sail. But the dialogues are cliches, jokes are hardly comic, comedy is of slapstick genre and Akshay Kumar’s charisma is fading. Item numbers can only do so much and after watching ‘Sheila ki Jawani’ about 1000 times on various television promos, it hardly registers when you watch it in movie hall, although it indeed is very well choreographed  like most songs by Farah khan are. Katrina Kaif was never a good actress and here she shows how dumb she can be. She is just a glamor doll fit to do roles where she doesnt have to speak. She hams throughout the film. Akshaye Khanna and his horrendous wig,  what is he doing in the film, only he and his fat bank-cheque knows, he is paid to overact at every scene and he succeeds there, overdoing his bit at times  but then his role is meant to be like that.

It is an out an out Akshay Kumar movie, almost a portfolio for things he can do but this time it fails miserably. Akshay Kumar plays the role effortlessly but is so repetitive that people were yawning at some of his cliched lines which he keeps repeating. Akshay Kumar tries to do everything from hamming to overacting and playing it out loud and romantic at the same time. We have been watching this Akshay Kumar show reel in so many of his films that one more attempt looks boring.  Other actors like Arya Babbar, Sachin Khedekar, Ali Asgar are caricaturish. Salman Khan in a small cameo in the ‘wallah’ song almost promises to give some relief and there is no doubt about who is the biggest crowd pull in a theater these days.

Since this is the big holidays season and most people here and everywhere else have nothing better to do, they go out and watch films. Most times films are tailor-made for this season and most times they succeed. This film too might get the large numbers in at the box office and huge amount of money, in fact it has already begun on 100% openings at most places, but as far as cinema goes this film pushes Bollywood 5 years behind. What have you done Farah ?

My Ratings – 4.5/10 –  I am generous because of Christmas

P.S. I heard they have already decided to make a sequel !!.. * faints*

Sheila ki Jawani – Tees Maar Khan – Item Song

The Item number from the year end release Tees Maar Khan called ‘Sheila ki Jawani’ featuring Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar. The song is sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and music is by Vishal-Shekhar.

Katrina Kaif gives her best possible jhatkas to woo the audience in this item number. In my opinion she is still not match for the ‘Munni’ song though.

Tees Maar Khan – First Promo

Here’s the first promo from the year ending blockbuster ‘Tees Maar Khan’ starring Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna, Katrina Kaif and directed by Farah Khan

The promo looks quite cheeky with a nasal toned song introducing the scamster ‘Tees Maar Khan’ aka Akshay Kumar. Katrina Kaif looks sizzling and Akshaye Khanna’s hair wig looks quite different from what we are used to. The movie is a 50 crore adventure from Farah Khan and it would certainly be marketed heavily and open to a strong box office performance. However, we cannot say the same about the content as this would be yet another ‘Masala Entertainer’ from Farah Khan after ‘Om Shanti Om’.

The movie releases on Christmas weekend 2010. Watch Out !!

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.

Tees Maar Khan – First Look

Here’s the First look of ‘Tees Maar Khan’ – the year end bonanza to be released on Christmas. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna, Katrina Kaif and is directed by Farah Khan.

CONNING Soon

Raajneeti is Powerful – Film Review

Prakash Jha’s multistarrer Rajneeti released to packed houses last weekend. It boasted the starcase of Nana Patekar, Naseeurrudin Shah, Arjun Rampal, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Ranbeer Kapoor and Katrina Kaif amongst others. The story is inspired from the greatest epic Mahabharata and set in todays’ times amongst the dirty world of state politics.

I found the film very interesting to begin with. The first half is very riveting and keep you hooked when every character is introduced. Of course you have the Mahabharata story at the back of your mind so you kind of know how each character is going to turn out to be. Although there are quite a few surprises as well. The movie gets more and more interesting as it progresses however in the last 30 minutes it becomes highly predictable and bit weak. The 3 hour length is not at all a problem as it keeps viewers engrossed throughout even though there are no songs to break the monotony of serious scenes. The film depicts the behind the scenes working of a party and politics within the party and a family. It reflects todays’ times and happenings very aptly. The election rallies, the slogan chanting, the crowd scenes look quite genuine and gives you a real feel of what elections are like in India, especially in rural and semi-urban India.

I do have some issues and questions with the film like what happened to Naseerudding Shah’s left- wing character, surely making 1 woman pregnant did not force him to leave his politics and life. I was hoping for that character to be back at some stage in the film. Also Katrina Kaif is truly expressionless and one things is sure that she was not selected for the role  for her acting skills or her Hindi speaking skills. Her character was not even foreign-returned or of a foreginer then why the silly accent?  Why couldn’t the director chose anyone else?  Maybe because she looks beautiful when she doesn’t speak and is a salable name at the box office !! Also the film has no real central character with whom you identify. All the characters have grey shades, which is good to see but you need to have one central figure with whom you want audience to empathize, here that was missing.

One big logical error which has mostly gone unnoticed is that the initial rally is shown to be taking place in the year 1983. Assuming that Ajay Devgan was concevied the very same night, he couldnt havt been born before 1984 and that would make him about 25 years old in 2009 and since he was the eldest amongst all, the other characters like Arjun Rampal, Ranbeer Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee  and Katrina Kaif all have to be under 25 and as far as my Civics knowledge goes one has to be 25 years to fight an election in India !!!  Did the story writer and the director miss this point ???

Acting of the leading characters is top-notch and Nana Patekar as Brij Gopal of course has the best character although I think that character is bit restrained and needed to have lot more witty dialogues. Ajay Devgn suits perfectly well in the role of Suraj/ Karna but again his character needed lot more depth. He looked confused in quite a many scenes. Arjun Rampal is perfectly cast as Bhim/Yudhistir combo and looks good and surprises us by acting decent enough as well. Ranbeer Kapoor’s ‘Arjun’ shoulders the film completely in 2nd half and his character is lot more like Abhishek Bachchan’s character in first Sarkar movie. Although it goes without saying that both Sarkar and this movie are inspired from Godfather. Manoj Bajpayee acts very well and his mannerisms perfectly suit his character. Finally he has a got a role worth his talent. Shruti Seth in a tiny role was a surprise too and she looks good enough for slightly lengthier roles in future. Even Sarah Thompson acted quite well and much better than plasticky Katrina Kaif, who I think should have been replaced by an actress with better acting skills. Also the lady playing ‘Kunti’s role was not so effective.

Technically, I wouldnt comment much but editing seems to be sharp and kept the viewers hooked for the entire duration of 3 hours. I missed some of the songs especially Aadesh Srivastava number  ‘Mora Piya Mosse..”, but the film didnt require any songs and am glad that the director stuck to his conviction. The film had quite a few crowd scenes and it must have been some effort to pull them off convincingly.

The film could have been much much better but I guess in today’s times of Houseful and Kites this film comes as a welcome relief to all cinegoers. The Box office performance of the initial weekend suggests that the film is bound to recover all its cost and make some good money for its makers. This is definitely a good news and films with better content need to do well on box office so as to inspire other makers to make films with even better content. Its not the stars and the marketing gimmicks that make a film work but a well written story and novel concept in story telling that does.

My Ratings : 7.5 /10 –  Do Not Miss

Raavan aur Badmaash Company ki Rajneeti ne Kites ko Housefull kar diya

IPL is over, well almost. The Films are back. Since last 6 weeks or so thanks to the IPL, barring few low budget movies, art-house cinema stuff, made-for-multiplex movies and Prince ( don’t know  which category that film can be in….maybe absurd) no major films released.

From Next Friday this drought would be hopefully over starting with Housefull starring Akshay Kumar and gang ,directed by Sajid Khan, the film will open to full houses thanks to the songs, the stars, big budget setup, funny promos and a recent drought of quality film entertainment. Will it live up to the hype is another story.

Next up is Yash Raj venture Badmaash Company starring Shahid Kapur, Anushka Sharma and directed by Parmeet Sethi this film is targeted towards youth with its young starcast, foregin locations, casinos and theft theme. The film has a young and fresh look and an average music but would certainly appeal all fans of such movies.

Kites will be the biggest release of the month starring Hrithik Roshan,  Barbara Mori and the rest. Hrithik Roshan has a great box-office pull and his last major release Jodhaa Akbar was couple of years ago ( if you do not count Luck by Chance – where he was more a supporting role) . This film with supposedly hot scenes of the leading pair, fantastic action and romance appeals to young and old. The film has an international song less version as well and would certainly open the biggest this year, at least so far.

Rajneeti is the first major release which comes 2 weeks after Kites and promises to be an interesting political thriller loosley based on the mega-epic Mahabharata and featuring hottest actors like Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Rampal , Katrina Kaif and this generation’s hottest young actor Ranbeer Kapoor in possibly a role with grey shades. This film based on Indian politics in the Hindi belt and directed by Prakash Jha is sure to attract both masses and classes to the cinema. People are loving the promos and cannot wait for it to release.

Mani Ratnam’s bilingual Raavan starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Govinda and ensemble cast is the next one, releasing on 18th June. This film based on another mega-epic Ramayana is shot simultaneously in both Hindi and Tamil, has music by A R Rehman and is a modern day adaptation of the epic from the point of view of Raavan. The film shot in jungle of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh would surely be the one to watch out for simple because of Mani Ratnam’s magical touch.

Thus the next 2 months promises to deliver great new exciting films to the lovers of Hindi Cinema and hopefully the box office will not remain barren for long time.

May the best film win.