Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Besharam Official Trailer | Ranbir Kapoor Pallavi Sharda

After a long gap, comes Abhinav Kashyap's second film Besharam. He debuted with a bang with Dabbangg.

He did not get to make the sequel, but considering he got Ranbir Kapoor on for his next, looks like he has a chance at making another box office blockbuster.

The trailer doesn't say much about the film, but Ranbir is upto his antics and some more. Irreverent seems to be the aim. Look out for Rishi and Neetu Kapoor playing a cop couple.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

My Review - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - Flying Long Distance

Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Starring Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Pavan Malhotra, Divya Dutta, Art Malik, Dalip Tahil

Two names, Dara Singh and Milkha Singh are part of my first memories of sports. My grand-mom (Dadi) and my Dad, both have told me amazing anecdotes about these sportsmen. My Nana (mom's dad) was from Lyallpur, the place where Milkha Singh was born.

So yes, I was waiting to watch Bhaag Milkha Bhaag from the day it was announced. 

For those who have heard the name but are not familiar with the life story of the most decorated athlete of India, BMB shows the journey of an orphaned Milkha who fights the odds and goes on to win big as a running champion. The life of Milkha Singh is dramatic, inspiring and legendary. 

Now coming to the actual film. Mehra has picked stories with a personal connect in recent years. In RDB, it was his dream to become a pilot, Dilli 6 he went back to his own years lived in Old Delhi, and in BMB his own story of how he met Milkha Singh in a sports selection meet sowed the seed of making this film. 

In a real story full of twists and turns, Mehra has added bits of his own, thrown in romance and songs, which to me just took that edge away which could have made this film into a legend, a cult film like his very own Rang De Basanti. The length of the film is its short coming. When it becomes clear on the first watch where to put in and out points to edit out scenes, it is a problem. 

Having said that, Rakeysh Mehra has managed to pretty much infuse the spirit that is Milkha in the film. His direction is assured, has its own pace and delves deeper into characters than most films today have the patience to. You know Milkha well by the time you come out of the theater. It made a non-athletic person like me feel rejuvenated and full of hope, and that to me is the victory of BMB. 

The transformation of Farhan Akhtar into the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh itself is a reason enough to go watch this movie. I admire him for his dedication to the craft and doing such a convincing act, mind, body and soul, all in sync. Bringing alive Milkha on celluloid. You forget him and remember Milkha as you come out. And it has been a very grueling journey to get this body which is as close as you can get to the real thing. 

Another star of the film is Pavan Malhotra, crackling in every scene, spot on as Milkha's trainer. 

The film captures the partition and the pain it brought to millions beautifully. Here I need to mention the child actor playing the young Milkha and Divya Dutta playing his elder sister. Doing total justice to their roles. The ones which did not fit in were Dalip Tahil as Nehru and Yograj Singh as his Trainer in the championships. Yograj looks the part, but is obviously not a good actor. And of course, there is Mehra in a cameo himself, sweet, though jarring. 

The montage that is Sonam Kapoor in the film, not worth talking here, not her film, not a role to discuss even. But what it does, is to bring out the tenderness, a Milkha still looking for direction, and how he leaves his days of thuggery behind and enrolls in the Army. Rest as we know is history.

The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is average. Used mostly to underline, the lip synced Angrezan is easy on the ears. Binod Pradhan has done a good job, as usual. Some of the racing shots are lovely. 

There will be moments where you will find the races repetitive, but I was expecting that in film made on the life of an athlete. They also show his victories and losses, and I am not being literal. 

The end of the film, the biggest moment in his life does get a bit heavy on Indo-Pak rivalry, but let me remind you, it was soon after partition, people were still hurting and no, all was not hunky dory. I will not simplify by using the term "jingoistic".

I would definitely suggest go watch Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Yes it is very long at 3+ hours, but I came out without a butt ache. And doffing my hat to the real and reel Milkhas.

Rating 3/5

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Official Trailer - Shuddh Desi Romance Sushant Singh Rajput Parineeti Chopra

Directed by Maneesh Sharma and Produced by Aditya Chopra. Its written by Jaideep Sahni.

The trailer looks interesting, I hope the film has more to offer now that one has an idea of the feel of the film. Jaipur looks lovely and I love Sushant!


Friday, 5 July 2013

My Review Lootera Searching For The Soul

Director Vikramaditya Motwane

Starring : Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Barun Chanda, Adil Hussain, Vikrant Massey, Arif Zakaria

Love, an emotion that is so all encompassing, that reason loses its footing and we stumble in it with our eyes wide open. Lootera promised to be a love story, set in the slumberous West Bengal zamindari of early 50s. Characters that are steeped in the era, subtle and beautiful, propped with the sweeping canvas of color, lyrical frames and a pace that breathes gently and engulfs you as they move towards the final act.

Udaan was to me a bar raising, path breaking film, which gave me hope that there is space for unique stories and storytelling. Though indulgent in the time it took on screen, I still would give it a place in my favorite films from young film-makers. So, my expectations from Vikramaditya's second outing were already high. Add to it Anurag Kashyap's name, who has also penned the dialogues for Lootera. Curious also, because the palette is so different. From an angst ridden modern story to the old worldly charm and romance, a true blue love story. 

The premise taken from The Last Leaf, a short story by O. Henry. Motwane has done his own additions, making the character of Behrman different from the original story, apart from other plot points. The story is of Pakhi (Sonakshi), whose father (Barun Chanda) is a Zamindar, whose zamindari is soon to be repealed by the newly formed Indian government in early 1950. Enter the young strapping architecture Varun (Ranveer). She falls in love with him, only to be betrayed. What is Varun's real agenda, why is he so nonreciprocating to Pakhi's love, what will happen, will love find its way in the end...

Good things first.

I must say, it does paint a pretty picture. From the opening frame to the last, Mahendra Shetty's camera makes love to each frame, yet fires up when a chase sequence unfolds, and retreats to wider vistas when the snow covers everything in sight. 

I have always liked Sonakshi Sinha, though definitely not her choice of rowdy films, and I feel almost mother hen proud of her in this film. She has managed to deliver her best performance till date in Lootera. From a chubby, spoilt, motherless daughter of a Bengali Zamindar who falls in love the moment she sets eye on a young stranger who enters her life suddenly, to a pained woman who has been betrayed, she holds fort with ease that I had not expected. Looking lovely in saris and ethnic Bengal jewellery, she has allowed herself to open up in the hands of the director.

Another discovery for me was Barun Chanda playing the Zamindar. I could feel the pain as his Zamindari is taken away and he has to adjust to "new India". His deliveries were spot on. 

Amit Trivedi's music is another plus. From the innocent Sanwaar Loon, to the Baul based Monta Re, to my favorites Ankahee and Manmarziyan, he delivers a score to match the era and camera. If I felt an over use of background score in the first half, the second half he delivers. Barring one important scene in the film where instead of a change-over, it continues as if nothing of import happened on screen. 

Now coming to what did not work.

Ranveer Singh. Limited, and the limitations magnified. Whether they were purely his or they point out a failure on part of the director, one would never know. There were scenes where his delivery was so garbled, I had no clue what he was saying. The tone remains the same mostly, from beginning to end. So for me, he took away a lot from the film.

Zilch Chemistry. How can my heart move when the protagonist share no chemistry on screen. They are cheek to cheek and lip to lip... yet nothing, nada. This is a huge problem in the film which is a love story.

The Screenplay (Motwane and Bhavani Iyer) That for me is frankly the biggest let down. No where does it rise above the expected. The dialogues are so average, despite Anurag Kashyap being at the helm. Actors like Arif Zakaria, Adil Hussain and Divya Dutta are reduced to mere props. I understand it is set in the 50s frame of mind, but stories were told better even then, I am sure. 

The film feels so much longer than it actually is. By the time the emotional (expected) end comes and is one of the most beautiful sequences, I have tuned out. Its a film that could have been a master-piece indeed, but with a missing soul, it just remains another beautiful painting. 

Sigh.... I hate it when a director I so admire falls short.

My Verdict 2.5/5

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Loveline Teaser Shuddh Desi Romance

Written by Jaideep Sahni and Directed by Maneesh Sharma of Band Baaja Baaraat fame, comes Shuddh Desi Romance.

I like both Parineeti and Sushant, the film looks fresh from the teasers. Promises to be hat-ke!