Latest News

Movie Review “ Ek Villain”

Movie: Ek Villain
Director: Mohit Suri

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor

Rating: (2.5 / 5) :   (Average)

A reformed villain named Guru (Malhotra) begins to live a Saathiya-style Mumbai life (airy makeshift terrace home) with an unnaturally exuberant soul named Aisha (Kapoor)—the girl responsible for humanising him. Unfortunately for them, another villain, in the form of a tragically unbalanced serial killer (Deshmukh), decides to invade their little bubble. Their identities are no mystery, and a large chunk of this peculiar revenge drama is bitten off in the first 10 minutes of the film. If this sounds intriguing already, it is because the plot is a direct derivation of the 2010 South-Korean thriller I Saw The Devil.
Director Mohit Suri and his team seem to be convinced that not more than 15 Indians are aware of the source, and they are probably right, but it wouldn't hurt to acknowledge obvious inspiration(s) (Murder 2 from The Chaser) instead of dismissing resemblances on record.
There is no doubting that Suri's vision is clear in its own space—evident from the usual heady cocktail of lilting tunes and brooding antagonists—but his storytelling leaves much to be desired. Ek Villain is a prime example, and even as a standalone effort (as it will be, for most viewers), it is perhaps his weakest.
The (abundance of) dialogues are the real villain; this could have been Riteish Deshmukh's defining performance, but he ends up as more of a mere slave to an emphatically dumbed-down screenplay. His backstory and motivation to kill—an aspect rarely touched upon in Korean dramas—makes him the most fascinating face of conflict since Naseeruddin Shah in A Wednesday. But he is let down by the writers' obsession to make every character painfully self-aware. While we're used to cinematic killers spelling out their master plans in climax sequences, I struggle to understand psychopaths that are exceptionally knowledgeable about why they are the way they are.
Moreover, Suri tends to concentrate overwhelmingly on his lead characters, leaving secondary roles to be added with cliched lines and questionable dubbing skills. Some of them—a Goan don, a cop with intentions I never fully grasped, a nagging boss and an overly religious child—are caricatures of the highest order.
Aamna Sharif, who plays Riteish's wife and a crucial plot instrument, and the mystical presence of Kamaal R. Khan could have been handled far more tactfully. Shraddha and Sidharth, when they're not playing second fiddle to music and lush flashbacks, barely convince us that they're a couple worth feeling for. For starters, they meet under frightfully contrived circumstances in Goa. In a quest to create an aura of doomed tragedy around them, the writers fail to shape them into honest full-blooded beating hearts.


Movie Review “ HUMSHAKALS”

Movie Review “ HUMSHAKALS”

Rating:  ( Comedy)

 (2.5 / 5) : Average


Banner: Fox Star Studios, Pooja Entertainment India Ltd.

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu, Tamannah, Esha Gupta, Ram Kapoor

Direction: Sajid Khan

Production: Vashu Bhagnani

Music: Himesh Reshammiya

Humshakals is about two friends Ashok (Saif) and Kumar (Riteish). Ashok is the owner of a huge business empire but during his time off work he tries his hand at standup comedy. His is particularly bad and all he manages to get as feedback is people's ridicule. And then he meets Shanaya (Tamannaah) who actually laughs at his jokes. He instantly falls in love with her.

Reminds me Sajid is single (apparently) and these days no one is laughing at his jokes either. Wonder if a girl could make her way into his heart by just faking her fondness for his films. Now, that could be a story. No? Ahem!

Back to the film, while love blooms there is the evil uncle (Ram Kapoor) who wants to take possession of the nephew's property and conspires to turn him into a dog. Yes, a scientist friend gets him a potion which could turn a man's DNA into a dog's DNA for 24 hours. Alice in Wonderland anyone?

And while the evil mama finds a way to get Ashok and Kumar to the asylum, a turn of events bring these three characters face to face with lookalikes - all diverse in characteristics. Thrown in is a fair dose of romance, songs and picturesque locales.

To be fair, it is not an easy job to write a screenplay with some many lookalikes. To keep the story moving and also keep the humour content high requires a lot of effort. Unfortunately whenever the story has been pushes, the humour falls flat and whenever you feel like laughing you realize the characters have actually stopped behaving like they were actually supposed to.

Well I did laugh during one scene where Ashok and Kumar are trying to escape the asylum. Riteish is outstanding in the scene and more importantly Sajid shows traces of the director that he could be.

The director also misses the target in his primary casting. While Riteish is an ace as usual, Saif Ali Khan looks out of place. And considering the film practically on his shoulders, that's a big problem. Ram Kapoor does well. The girls have little to do.

Slapstick as a genre is difficult to execute. It is something that many people do not associate with. However there have been enough films in the genre that have left me rolling on the floor laughing. This movie fails to do that. Though it is notches higher an effort from Sajid's last Himmatwala, Humshakals is not the film that would help him redeem his fate.­

Tammanah Bhatia makes so many faces in every frame you wonder if she's auditioning for a film against cocaine addiction while pretending to be in a comedy about three sets of identical characters wackily whopping it up.

Bipasha Basu who plays one of the female misleads.... sorry, leads, in the comedy of ghastly errors, has gone on record to say she was extremely disturbed by the end-result of this film.

So, to be honest, are we. And the end that Bipasha talks about seems to take forever to reach as we watch three grown-up ostensibly evolved actors lapse into a collective state of incurable retardation.

"Humshakals" seem to be designed for the mentally challenged. Even they would cringe at the way the two protagonists Ashok and Kumar (Ashok Kumar, gedddit?) are depicted. Moronic and misconceived, the duo seems to revel in crass mediocrity. As inmates in a mental asylum in London(no less), Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh raise the ante for lunacy to a point where sanity begins to seem like a state of mind invented to make us believe there is a world, a relatively sane one, outside what comic filmmakers in Bollywood consider to be funny.

The comedy, ha ha, moves with the screechy stealth of a choir boys singing Yo Yo Honey Singh's numbers when the head priest is on a vacation. Every member of the cast and crew seems to be in a vacation mood. Many of the gags stretch themselves out languorously as though the director commanded the camera to roll and then went off to sleep.

Saif and Riteish vacillate between being spoofy and spiffy with some help from Ram Kapoor who gets to play two characters, one of them suffering from what the medical experts on board for this specialized comedy refer to as "OCD Level 3".

Riteish, as regular in Sajid Khan's cinema as titles beginning with "H", makes a better impression than Saif who tries hard to show us he's in the fun no-brainer mood. Saif is clearly out of his depths indulging in the slapstick lunacy of a world that has no logic except to create a chaotic humour out of a stockpile of mistaken identities.

Oh, there are three ladies in the show who wriggle and pout whenever the plot is in doubt (which, as you can tell from the nature of the material, is very often). Even the opposite-sexiness is handled more engagingly in the hands and chests of the three heroes wooing their own doubles in voluptuous drag. While Saif woos Riteish in drag and vice versa, bizarrely Ram Kapoor wooes himself in drag to create a kind of auto-eroticism that has no bearing on the film's predominant mood of sexual innocence.

To shock us, there are lots of gay jokes popping up when you least expect them to, as though the director wants to remind us that political incorrectness is not only about mistaken identities but also about identity crises.

Don't even try to make sense of the world that Sajid Khan builds. The sand castle of goofiness can any time be washed away by the high tide. The director doesn't really care.

Sajid Khan takes potshots at himself and his sister Farah Khan by showing "Himmatwala" and "Tees Maar Khan" as part of torture curriculum in the mental asylum. Don't be surprised if the DVD of "Humshakals" shows up in "Humshakals 2" as a torture device.

In one of the rare genuinely funny sequences, Saif and Riteish try to impress Ram Kapoor by pulling off the tablecloth from a table filled with food, promising as they do, that nothing will spill.

Of course all the food comes crashing down. But does the fear of falling ever hold back the broad comedy of ill manners which Bollywood thinks to be funny?

Wish we had as much fun watching this film as the team seems to have had making it. Saif is shown to be a bad stand-up comedian. The film never outgrows its hero's character's craving to make people laugh.



Movie Review " 2 STATES "

Movie Review " 2 STATES "

Star Cast:

Arjun Kapoor , Alia Bhatt , Amrita Singh , Revathy, Ronit Roy , Shiv Subrahmanyam, Achint Kaur
Director: Abhishek Varman

Krish's relationship with his family, particularly his mother, is better explored than his relationship with Ananya, which results in 2 States being more of a deep and meaningful family drama than a romance.

2 STATES is based on Chetan Bhagat's bestseller '2 States: The Story Of My Marriage' and since the film is set in the present times, when a lot of people have liberal viewpoints on love and marriage, one wonders why the principal characters -- the North Indian boy [Arjun Kapoor] and his South Indian sweetheart [Alia Bhatt] -- do not oppose their parents' wishes and get married? Both are in love, both are free-thinking individuals, both have lucrative jobs and aren't dependent on their respective families... so what's the hitch? Conversely, in this day and age, why do *some* people feel that since their kid has done so well in life, he/she deserves a partner from their own community?

2 STATES, directed by Abhishek Varman, attempts to answer the varied questions crossing the minds of the lovers and their respective families. The love birds here are no rebels. Instead, they decide to persuade their families, win their trust, besides making the families overcome the prejudices and misconceptions of cultural differences. In a way, the film motivates you to look beyond the community -- a message that comes across vigorously towards a vital stage in the film.

2 STATES is a story about a journey of one such couple, Krish Malhotra [Arjun Kapoor] and Ananya Swaminathan [Alia Bhatt]. They meet at the IIM-Ahmedabad and fall in love. Complications arise when they decide to get married. Krish and Ananya belong to two different states of India: Krish is a North Indian Punjabi boy from Delhi, while Ananya is a Tamil Brahmin girl from Chennai. They take a conscious decision; till their parents don't agree, they won't get married.

Everything goes downhill when the parents meet. There is a cultural clash and the parents oppose the wedding. To convert their love story into a love marriage, the couple faces a tough battle in front of them. For, it's easy to fight and rebel, but much harder to convince. Will Krish and Ananya's love for each other sustain the battles? Will they manage to convince their parents?

Director Abhishek Varman stays faithful to Chetan Bhagat's bestseller, adapting it delightfully on the big screen. The diverse cultures, the discomfort and the pressures when people talk of inter-caste liaison, the unyielding love and the resolve to win the parents' trust... each and every aspect -- the emotions included -- are captured meticulously by the storyteller. Abhishek also makes us peep into the mindset of the two families, highlighting the doubts that arise in such a scenario, yet he makes sure he doesn't belittle or demean any community in the process.

Abhishek makes a significant debut as a storyteller. His eye for detailing, the sensitivity with which he handles relationships, the complex story that he narrates without resorting to gimmicks catches your attention. The story flows seamlessly, the sequence of events follow a rhythm, the balance between the couple's desire to get married and their mission to make things work between the two families is picture perfect. Having said that, one shouldn't overlook or sidestep the contribution of the writer [Chetan Bhagat], who packs in ample meat for cineastes looking for relevant and relatable, yet engaging and entertaining stuff at the same time.

The soundtrack [Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy] gels beautifully with the genre. While a couple of compositions are harmonious, you relate to the songs more when you view them in context. Binod Pradhan's cinematography bathes every single frame in lush colors, making it a visually enticing experience. Hussain Dalal's dialogue are articulate and convey the emotions wonderfully.

On the whole, 2 STATES is one of the finest movies to come out of the Hindi film industry of late.Strongly recommended!

Movie Review " Main Tera Hero"

Main Tera Hero


Main Tera Hero is a glittering vehicle for star son Varun Dhawan to drive, which he does with practiced panache. However, even more than Junior, MTH has his dad David Dhawan stamped all over it. Hence, eternally smiling Seenu (Varun) is unfazed by failure or goons. Seenu pauses from cheeky grinning only to dance and romance, falling for Sunaina (Ileana), stalked by violent Angad (Arunoday) and sidekick Peter (Rajpal). More superhero than hero, Seenu shows Angad his mean fight moves, but finds himself captured by ardent Ayesha (Nargis), whose 'Dadduz' Vikrant (Kher) is the biggest don of Asia and Africa too! How can Seenu get out of so many clutches?
Sheenu (Varun Dhawan) is a young school drop out who seeks an admission in a Bangalore college. He meets the ravishing Sunaina (Ileana D'Cruz). Just when their love is on its full bloon, Sunaina gets married to Angad (Arunoday Singh), a merciless goon. While Sheenu and Sunaina are being drawn apart, another girl, Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri) has already fallen head over heels for Sheenu. She is the girl Sheenu once saved from the goons in the train from Ooty to Bangalore. In order to get Sheenu married to his daughter, Ayesha's father (Anupam Kher) gets Sunaina abducted. Sheenu is now stuck in a messy love triangle. On its way till the end, the film has a twist and turn at every step.

First things first, the film relies on a done-to-death concept. It is unninovative and unoriginal. But David Dhawan has done a fairly good job. Varun Dhawan's energy and zeal has been tapped very efficiently to keep the audiences entertained throughout, despite the predictable plot. The film does have a fresher, younger and more glamorous feel to it than a lot of other releases lately. The cinematography is top-notch and the film is high on masala. It has something for every one - romance, comedy and action.

Varun Dhawan is a power-packed performer. He literally carries the whole film on his shoulders and does a rather good job. His comic timing is something to watch out for in future, so are his dancing skills. Ileana D' Cruz does justice to her part, but fails to live up to her 'Barfi' reputation. Nargis Fakhri has never looked hotter, but she needs to take acting lessons. Anupam Kher is just fine and Arunoday Singh tries too hard to be funny.

Varun is still a greenhorn but he does a decent job and also has good screen presence. He has a long way to go before he reaches Govinda’s league so it might be better for him to carve his own path. Illeana and Nargis are the pretty props and they do just that. Poor Arunoday Singh seems to be the most confused as his character changes as per the scriptwriter’s whim and fancy, without any warning whatsoever.

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Rating:   (4 / 5)  : Very Good (Very Good )     
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Running time: 136 minutes Cine21
Prequel: Captain America: The First Avenger
Costume design: Judianna Makovsky

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy-the Winter Soldier.
This mission isn’t just to save hostages, though. Cap’s buddy Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has to secure a special hard drive loaded with secrets that could change the very balance of power as we know it. You may need an advanced degree from George Lucas Academy to suss out the specifics during all the World Security Council scenes, but when Senator Palpatine – I mean, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) – says that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised, it isn’t hard to know who the bad guys are.

Steve Rogers is a man out of time, but learns he has to learn to trust a few people. Black Widow proves herself in combat and his jogging buddy Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) shares some of the same PTSD battle scars. They – and some other familiar faces – join forces to root out the evil that’s been festering within the very highest corners of S.H.I.E.L.D., an evil that has a surprising Teutonic bent.

It’s amazing, really, how the suspension of disbelief works. There are moments during ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ where audiences will shake their heads. Why risk going to an Apple store in public to decrypt a secret hard drive when you are chums with the world’s greatest computer whiz, Tony Stark? But, believing a man can take down a hovering plane/chopper/spaceship hybrid by leaping atop it from a motorcycle and whamming it with a shield? No problem.

The action in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is some of the best of the Marvel Movie Universe outside of ‘The Avengers‘. The fact that Cap is almost a regular guy is used to great advantage – he winces as he blasts open locked doors with nothing but his own brawn. His signature shield is used often and to great effect in this episode, almost as if it is a part of his body that he can remove, bank off three concrete barriers, thrust inside of a carbine and then yank free in one acrobatic arc.