Don 2 – My Review

I will get straight to the point – Don 2 is pretty good action thriller, where the hero is the script (very rightly so). Screenplay is engaging, never letting you breathe, and there is no point of restlessness. You watch each and every frame with attention, because you know some of this will be the answer to the twist which might come later. It is this anticipation of the twist and turns which is very important to engage any viewer, that keeps Don 2 always engrossing. And there are twists galore, most of which are unexpected. The climax twist is also unexpected till the very last scene, just before the end.I watched in 2D, and may watch 3D in coming days.

Story is basically the same as Don. Don wants to now save himself from the Europeun mafia who are after his life as he is ruining their business from Asia. The rest of it is better not told. The film gets you engaged right from the beginning, and the basic plot is quickly established. Don’s introductory scene is awesome and sets the mood & tone for the rest of the movie. The sole song is in the first 30 mins & gels with the movie, Lara looks amazingly HOT!

The movie then shifts from Asia to Europe, Don’s look changes and Europe serves as a fresh & scenic backdrop for another adventure. The other characters are introduced quickly and Hrithik’s cameo is very well thought. He’s doing what he does best, look godly, dance amazingly & behave mysteriously. A masterstroke from Farhan & his team of writers, to their credit, the cameo doesn’t appear gimmicky and is actually very well woven into the narrative. There are many action scenes, car chases which are really very executed and lavishly done. You actually feel that Don 2 is costlier than Ra.one!!

All the standard ingredients of a good engrossing thriller are present – blackmail, double crossing, chases, gadgets, heists, etc. Farhan has managed to rightly mix all these and come up with a good concoction. It is not something novel, but it is all well integrated and smartly done. The movie is Smart, which Indian thrillers rarely are, and it really keeps the audience guessing and watching every scene with the intention to figure out the big picture, the twists. And the movie still manages to surprise at regular intervals.

Of course, it is not the perfect film. There are flaws, like Lara’s character is totally wasted! She hardly has one song and 10 mins of dialogues. Kunal’s character is not well-etched and his motives are not really explained. Om Puri is given unintentionally funny dialogues to speak, his character is more of a caricature. But as these characters are sidekicks, the flaws are not noticable. The main characters, Don, Vardhaan, Jabbar, Roma do well enough. Aly Khan is also good.

SRK is the life of the film and his performance was the highlight for me. He looks really good after a long time, and his dialogues are witty, charming and cool. He plays the role with such nonchalance that you can’t help but root for him. His voice modulations, mannerisms, and expressions are apt and Farhan has managed to bring out the best in SRK as an action hero. Boman Irani is the surprise package and he shines. His role is the second most important in the film (yes, it is not Priyanka’s), and he does complete justice to it. His scene with the German expert doctor is awesome, making you laugh even while something tense is going on parallely. Priyanka Chopra does well with whatever is given to her. She is confused about her feelings for Don, and she portrays it convincingly enough. She could have looked better, but I beleive her look is more realistic compared to her character here. Nawaaz Shah does well, and I hope we see him more in villanous roles. Kunal Kapoor’s character is not well etched, but he performs with sincerity.

To sum up, Farhan outperforms himself with Don 2. While Don was a good movie only because it managed to fool the audience till the end, Don 2 is a slick & well executed complete package with continuously engaging screenplay and unexpected twists & turns. There are points where the movie slows down a little, but its followed by an adrenalin rush scene immediately to boost. The best action in the movie is undoubtedly the Car chase scene between SRK & Priyanka, and the most classy and well executed mysterious part is the Hrithik scene. Although the basic premise is of heist, the bigger picture is something else, and heist is used as means to achieve that goal. Don 3 might be on the way!

Guys, have a blast with your wives, gf, kids. I say guys, because this is completely a guy’s movie (and young girls). If you have loved MI, Bourne, Ocean’s etc., now enjoy Don-2.

PS: I think Don-2 is going to break this year’s opening records in UAE. It is having the max no. of shows I have seen this year. A single multiplex (Sahara Center in Sharjah) was showing 7 shows between 9.30pm & 10.30pm (Ra.one had 3 shows, BG had 4), and all were fully booked in advance when I checked 3 hours prior to the 22.30 show I wanted to go (except for first 2 rows!). I then called another newly opened theater which is normally always somewhat available, as it is situated far away from major population and is not an old big chain (Cinemacity @ Arabian Center). They had their 11pm show full and had just added another show at 10.25pm, and thankfully I got the last row seats for that show.  My show was almost full, except for the first 2 rows.

Ra.one Movie – My Views (Spoilers)

Being an SRK fan is really hard these days. While his comptetitors have created history repeatedly, all SRK has managed is MNIK, apart from some really bad productions (AKK for example) & guest appearances. While MNIK was salvaged by the Overseas numbers, as an SRK fan, it was saddening to see so much potential in a movie squandered by a couple of instances of ridiculous screenplay. The consolation was that SRK outshone everyone & rose above the movie, and Johar was blamed for the lapses. MNIK managed to barely standup to the monstrous hits of other stars due to the overseas gross and a good opening.

To say that Ra.One carried the hugest burden on its shoulders would be an understatement. Ra.One was the 3rd Lifeline for SRK (4th & last being Don-2) as an Actor, and the biggest gamble by SRK the producer. With Screenplay credits also being shared by SRK, it was also a test for SRK the writer. Hence, as an SRK fan, it was scary because you could not blame anybody if the story, screenplay or visuals would be bad. But even that could not deter me from FDFS of Ra.one (good that it was Diwali, I had a reason for skipping Office!) with my entire family. It was also heartening to see 40-50 odd people in the theater on a Wednesday morning in Sharjah (UAE). Of course, I avoided 3D because I wanted to watch the original vision, not the converted commercial version. My philosophy is simple, if its 3D, it has to be shot in 3D. Its hard to ask that from Bollywood, but to take the 3D risk with my huge expectations was too much for me as an SRK Fan. I chose to play safe, specially considering my family too.

So the movie started with Shahana Goswamy laying the foundations with the virtual reality mumbo-jumbo which would make the basic premise of Ra.one believable (somewhat at least!). The very next scene was awesome. Although the SFX was subpar here compared to Hollywood, it was still good for Bollywood.  Khalnayak, Desi Girl & Li-trio made the scene worthwhile. Everyone laughed in the theater. Felt a sigh of relief as an SRK fan. First round was won!

Then came the first instance of Vulgarity. The teacher being shown as an S&M addict, and how the hell did SRK’s kid have access to the video? Why coudnt this have been replaced by a cleaner & more kiddish funny video to prove the point that the kid is a wizard? No excuse, SRK is the screenplay writer as well. Felt somewhat embarrassed with my mom sitting beside. The only silver lining was that the Vulgarity was short-lived. Somehow consoled myself that NRI audiences ke liye this might have been there – even though being one myself, I dint like it!

The dinner scene was funny and had emotional quotient. You could feel a father trying hard to get his son’s love & respect. It was weird though that the Son loved villains. Odd kid, they should have had some background for that. But I consoled myself – who the hell cares? There are always exceptions, and specially in movies! Then came another instance of Vulgarity, and this time it was worse than the previous one. Damn, why the key had to fall in the cleavage? Why not in a bald man’s wig instead? It would have been funnier and less vulgar. Another bout of sadness as an SRK fan. The worst part were the dialogues in the scene.

Thankfully after the above scenes the movie went on smoothly till Ra.one came out of the Game. Comedy worked, SRK as Shekhar charmed with the “aiyyo” tamil, and Kareena looked gorgeous. The Kid was restrained and natural. Tom Wu and his mom brought some laughs with the Jackie Chan portions. Ra.one & G.one formation was well explained, and the Game details animation was good.  One crucial thing was missed here. The powers of G.one & Ra.one were not explained at all. Like whether they could fly, what was behind their strength, any special powers, etc. This is a big mistake, I told myself. How can you have a superhero when you don’t know what makes him super? How can you have a bad-ass villain if the evil powers are not explained! It wasn’t enough to just state that Ra.one could take any human form, although I admit it was cool and novel. Come one man, there are more details on Ra.one website and they could have shown some of it! HART concept was nice, the same device would give you powers & make you mortal. Criminal song was nice. Although the big booties close-ups could have been avoided. All in all, it went quite well till Ra.one came out, but there was nothing so extraordinary yet.

Then came the extraordinary part, which took the film to another level. The 20 odd mins with Ra.one coming out, and killing Shekhar and taking the form of Akashi after killing him was thrilling and chilling. The action was awesome, SFX topnotch. The Funeral was well shot too with the nice song. Then came the best part of the movie (well it aint good if the best comes before interval). The  entire chase scene and G.one’s entry and the scenes thereafter took the film to an all time high. At interval, I was happy. Not ecstatic, because the couple of instances of vulgarity had dampened some of it.

Post interval, was surprised to see Rizwan Khan in G.one. Not a good sign this, I told myself. Thankfully, only an SRK Fan will notice it, I consoled myself. Then came the worst vulgarity in the movie, the gay scene. The blatant nipple display, the cheap expressions on the security guard’s face, damn it! They could have just seen KHNH, it had Gay jokes in abundance but wasn’t vulgar. I told myself, maybe the single screen crowd will love this, so the commercial angle might have forced this scene. You understand how a Fan’s mind works by now, don’t you!

The fight scene at the Airport was the second best scene in the movie. It was funny, entertaining and the Taxi driver’s antiques got some loud applause. But Robot-Chitti’s scene could have been better. Having said that, it was definitely good and this scene sustained the momentum of Interval. The portions after that were good timepass. But coming after the breathtaking pre-interval portions, they just couldn’t sustain the momentum. But my family and the crowd in general loved these scenes. G.One managed to make us all laugh with his antics. But kept reminding me of Rizwan constantly. One glaring loophole here, how come Shekhar’s death was forgotten so easily by the kid? How did the grief disappear so fast? G.one could not have done that for sure, I told myself. But hey, who cares, after all G.one is what matters when the movie is Ra.one. Shekhar’s mourning period was covered by that funeral song anyways, the fan in me replied. The karva chauth scene was cute.

Then came the two highlights of the movie. One, when Ra.one is reborn (or rebuilt?). Amazing VFX, surely the best in Bollywood ever and easily matching any Hollywood film. But I also wondered, why did Ra.one take so long to be reborn? They should have explained the catalyst behind Ra.one’s rebirth. No timeframe, no reason, no funda there. Hell, how does it matter, the fan in me said, just enjoy the best SFX in Bollywood man. Any how the hell did Ra.one travel to India? If they could show G.one acting all gay at airport, they should have shown Ra.one acting all brawny as well. Hell, at least some SFX could have been used to show how Ra.one used his evil powers to muscle his way to the flight by destroying the Heathrow Airport. Better still, they could have shown Ra.one taking the form of a sweet air-hostess and acting all lesbian with another air-hostess to take her place in the flight? That could have been awesome, G.one gayish and Ra.one lesbianish! But guess lesbian isn’t a tried and tested formula considered funny in Bollywood! Bet it would have been good for single screens though!

The second highlight, or course is the Chhammak Chhallo song. How come G.one started dancing all of a sudden? Maybe Shekhar had programmed it or some video might have been left in the “Shekhar folder” inside G.one? Nevermind, the fan in me said, this is THE CHHAMMAK CHHALLO! Then came the only genuine twist/surprise in the movie with Kareena becoming Ra.one (or the other way round, as your prefer). Masterstroke that. Then came what could & should have been the best action scene in Bollywood ever (it had immense potential). The train scene was really amazing, but I wish Anubhav had some more imagination, or for that matter, any one out of the 5 writers had used some imagination. The way the other passengers were saved by simply cutting off the link was an anti-climax. And why did SRK run along the train if he could just fly? Maybe they could have shown some fire coming out of G.one’s feet and shown him having a jet-propulsion to the driver’s room. That’s why I rued earlier, there ought to be some superpowers in superheroes. Running, jumping, etc. is common. We have seen that before. What was missed here was something novel, imaginative like Robot’s climax. SFX were great, but the only real bit of imagination came in the destruction scene of the Station. That was great, but not extraordinary. The SFX could have been more polished. It is of course unfair because I am comparing to Hollywood, for Bollywood it is by far the best even SFX. No two words on that. Still, for a movie to have spent 150 crores and not having the best SFX for the only really novel scene is CRIMINAL! The fan in me popped up again: for most of the Indian audiences, this is more than enough. But then why did the promotions promise so much? The fan said, thats what Promotion is for, to make promises such that you are lured to the theaters. Overall, 8/10 for this scene. The third best for sure.

What really killed the fan in me and made it silent was the Climax fight. Complete downer. And let me say this, worst possible final fight for any superhero movie ever made (Havent’ seen DRONA, so please don’t give that example). I mean seriously, what the fuck were they thinking after that almost awesome train scene? Or did they run out of money. Tacky Set piece, unimaginative hand to hand combat, really tacky 10 Ra.ones, and both shooting “Aag ka golaas” at each other. come on man, you cant forgive that. How on earth can Anubhav as a director have this scene, he’s had better scenes in Cash & Dus. The bullet flying slowly (gotta admit though that identifying the correct Ra.one was another surprise, dint see it coming!), isnt it all seen before umpteen times? This was the platform to showcase really cool one-to-one superpower battles and all they showed was hand combat? Fizzzzzzzzz.

All is well that ends well. Well Ra.one did not end well. Did I forgot to mention Satish Shah, Dalip Tahil and Mushtaq Sheikh? Duh, the fan in me never cared for them anyways, and I couldnt remember them while writing the above review because these characters were just props.

Sorry SRK, but fan in me is extremely disappointed. And this time, I cannot blame Johar, scriptwriters, whoever etc. SRK, you must take the blame this time for the sheer disappointment that is Ra.one. The only silver lining here was your vision, and your belief in the movie. Sadly though, the belief was on the wrong screenplay and bad climax. Still hats off to you for even attempting this, and matching Hollywood at places. Pretty good for any Indian action movie. Sadly, not good enough to be SRK’s dream.

Guzaarish – Movie Review

Guzaarish is the story of a quadriplegic who has fought for 14 long years, has been a source of inspiration for all with his book “Learning to Fly”, runs a Radio channel called Radio Zindagi from his 16 x 20 room. It is his quest to die with dignity in the same way that he has fought and lived with dignity. It is the story of a magician whose magic cannot cure him, whose charms bewitch everyone around him, and whose life after being paralyzed is nothing short of magic itself. Guzaarish is Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB)’s most understated work till date, devoid of any melodrama (well, almost), without any clap-trap emotional cliches, and probably his most heartfelt film.  Guzaarish works, and it makes you feel the pain of a quadriplegic without actually highlighting or exploiting his disability.

Guzaarish works primarily because of 3 reasons. Humour, Performances & Positivity. Although the basic premise is of negativity (of killing oneself), the positivity is that even to kill himself, the protagonist chooses the right path of Mercy-killing with court approval. He does not take the easy way out (simply dying and letting someone else’s life be destroyed), he fights for his death in a positive and compelling manner. Disability is possibly the biggest curse in life, yet SLB treats it with respect and does not try to emotionally manipulate the viewers by obvious sympathetic situations. The protagonist has attitude, wit, humour, and above all, acceptance of his condition. Of course, he has realized after 14 years of fight that slowly his body is deteriorating and before it completely gets damaged, he wants to exit with flying colors. Hrithik’s character really inspires. He cracks jokes on himself, he exudes warmth and love, he laughs when sad, and he cries when alone. His character is a magician throughout the movie. Before disability, he performs magic with his body; after disability, hes magical with his words and attitude. You can feel his zest for life, and his quest for death at the same time. He wants to die not because he’s given up on himself, but because his body cant support his undying spirit. His liver and kidneys are almost damaged, and he will soon need a respirator as well. He does not want that situation to arise, hence the need to die.

Hrithik lives and breathes Ethan. I cant imagine any other actor playing this role. He expresses a lot through his eyes, his smile, and his voice modulations. His character rubs off on the viewer. He flirts, he jokes, he loves, he cares, he teaches, he sacrifices, but above all, he inspires. He sings very well too.  His chemistry with Aish is electrifying. Every scene between them is awesome. Aish complements Hrithik beautifully. Her character has sacrificed everything for Hrithik and been with him for 12 years. She loves him, nurses him, expresses his anger, fights with him, and supports him even though she does not want him to die. The only thing I did not like about her was the dark red lipstick shade. Seriously, it distracts. SLB has always made her perform well, this time she surpasses SLB’s previous films with her. Aditya Roy Kapoor is effervescent, charming, and performs well. The rest of the cast too play their parts well. Hrithik’s lawyer played by Shernaz Patel stands out. Nafisa Ali as his mother really touches your heart in the few scenes she’s in.

Technically, I am happy to say that Blue is not omnipresent this time. It is there, but not so much that it overshadows everything else. Music by SLB is soulful and gels well with the film. Songs are well woven with the narrative, and complement the movie wonderfully. Special mention for the song Udi by Sunidhi Chauhan. Aish & Hrithik are wonderful in this song. Hrithik’s own song is also melodious and he sings with all his heart. Camerawork is as usual great, although the movie is mostly shot indoor. The magic scenes are very well captured.

To sum it up, Guzaarish is SLB’s redemption after the overtly melodramatic Black and blue-blob Saawariya. He redeems himself with subtlety, humour, positivity and class. There are several scenes which remain etched in your memory. But above all, it is the triumph of Ethan the character, and Hrithik the actor, that elevates this movie. Of course, there are flaws, and it is by no means a classic, but an extremely honest and sincere attempt. Some might not accept and identify with the basic premise of the movie, but even then, it cant be denied that it not only treats quadriplegics with dignity, but also inspires normal human beings. Although the ending is somewhat predictable, it is still positive. Guzaarish implores you to always be positive and make the best of what God has bestowed you with, and thats where it succeeds.

Delhi – 6 Movie Review

I am unable to decide whether I Love the movie or not! Honestly, after a long time I have come across such a movie, where there is an abundance of absolute brilliance coupled with really sad cliches. I think overall, I will say that its a very different, engrossing, exhilarating, yet ultimately unsatisfying movie.

The film starts off brilliantly, and the camerawork is the best I have seen in a long long time! Delhi has been captured like never before; in fact, that itself makes this movie worth a watch. The first half is really exhilarating, very pacey, and its a sheer joy to watch Delhi in its myriad hues. The problem here is that Abhishek is hardly there in the first half. There are so many better etched characters around him that he’s completely overshadowed! Sonam looks ravishing, and is an absolute natural in front of the lens. The interval raises your expectations, and that proves to be the undoing of the movie actually!

It seems that Mehra did not know how to really weave some story around Delhi, and thats where the movie fails in the second half. The central plot is cliched, and I wish Mehra would have chosen something different here. Still, Rehman’s music and the realistic ambiance keeps you hooked. I wouldn’t give away the main plot which unfolds in the second half, all i would say is that Mehra should not have chosen this path. The climax is somewhat better compared to the second half, but still leaves a lot to be desired. I am sure there could have been a better culmination to the movie. that said, there are magical moments scattered here and there throughout!

The songs are a real treat, and utilized well. “Dil dafatan” song is one of the best picturized songs I have ever seen, and this movie can be watched just for that song. Take a bow for that Song Mehra!

Ramleela scenes get on the nerves after a while, and specially during the climax. Honestly, I could not decipher the intention of the final Ramleela scene during the climax!

My biggest complaint against the movie is the character of Abhishek, and the way he has been utilized. In fact, he is the weakest link here by far. He is really miscast as an American desi. Also, many of his dialogues are not audible and unclear. When you watch the movie, you don’t feel that you are watching an Abhishek movie. The movie’s real hero is Delhi city, and Abhishek is relegated to the backseat till the climax. There are the typical NRI scenes, but they are expected and cliched. Only the climax sees him in form. His outburst with Waheedaji, and the finale stands out for me.

Overall, I would give this one a 7.5/10. 4.5/5 for the first half, 2/5 for the second half, and +1 for the song Dil dafatan. Do watch it once!

Babul – Movie Review Mini

In a nutshell, Babul is just what you’d expect it to be, a syrupy family flick, with dollops of emotions, melodrama, nice locales, melodious songs, and great performances. Maybe that’s why I wont watch it again, because it did not surprise me!

That does not mean I did not enjoy the movie. I did enjoy it a lot, but there are myriad reasons for that enjoyment (Secrets!). So Babul basically tells us the story of a widow, and about her return to normality, acceptance by society, through her remarriage. It addresses some worthy issues commendably, but misses out on some too. More on that later.

The first half is a breeze, with nice feel good scenes and some good comedy by Rajpal Yadav. It concentrates on the love story between Salman and Rani, while balancing it with the family bonds between Salman, Big B and Hemaji. John Abraham is just about there in the first half. There are songs galore, which flow smoothly with the movie, but not the types that you would want to go and listen at home.

The second half is complete tear jerker, with Salman’s accident at the interval, and the consequences thereafter. There are some really touching scenes, which resonate with your raw emotional chords, but they are in bits and pieces. There are some moments which just seem forced. The climax song by John Abraham is awesome, and so is the title track sung naturally by Big B himself which plays in the background.

The editing is the worst culprit in the movie, it seems the movie had become too big, and so there are some highly unbelievable transitions between scenes, and a few seem incomplete. The music, as I said, is pleasant, but there are just a couple of songs which stay with you. Cinematography is usual, background score is effective.

Salman is endearing while he is there, but a college return is too much to digest! Rani is good, but nothing different from her other movies. There are two scenes though which really show her prowess. Hema Malini is a treat to watch. She looks good, speaks eloquently, and acts effortlessly. The real performance, yet again, comes from Big B. He is just amazing! He carries the movie in the second half almost alone! Special mention must be made of John Abraham, I just loved him in the movie. His expressions at his childhood love Rani choosing someone else, and at her marriage, are just so real, and so painful, it just broke my heart! It is better than being a smiling sacrificer, this portrayal is more real.

Now coming to the issues I had with the issues discussed in the movie. The director Ravi Chopra shows that Rani remarries not because she loves John, but because Big B shows her the way. This is understandable, since it is hard to love someone after being with your love for so long. But, surely there could be some reasons for a woman herself to feel like remarrying, other than the kid getting a father! I mean, being practical and progressive, physical needs, emotional support, friendship, companionship, there are myriad reasons why a woman can wish to wed again! This movie misses those reasons. But then again, that wasn’t expected! So, all in all, money well spent, and movie well enjoyed, for reasons not limited to the merits of the movie!

Dhoom 2 – Movie Review

I will put it in plain and simple words, Dhoom 2 did not work for me on the whole! The sequel to the surprising Dhoom overdoes what it is supposed to do. It’s lavish, it’s breathtakingly beautiful, it’s the most hyped film this year, with a huge starcast! But, somewhere it lacks something…

It is the same cops and robbers story, but this time it is mounted on a global scale, from the beautiful deserts of Namibia to the hitherto unexplored Brazil, sandwiching Aamchi Mumbai in between too! Hrithik plays the greatest thief Mr. A, and Abhishek and Uday continue where they left. Add Aish and Bipasha to the mix, and voila, you get Dhoom 2!

The opening sequence is unbelievable, but Hrithik manages to make it believable! Namibia looks awesome! The second heist is great too, and Hrithik’s disguises are cool. Bipasha plays a double role, as the cop Shonali Bose, and the NRI in Brazil, Monali Bose. She looks a million bucks, but adds nothing to the plot. Aish plays Hrithik’s muse, and looks stunning and acts well. The couple looks great. Abhishek’s role is paled compared to Hrithik’s but that was expected. Uday Chopra is a scene stealer. Rimi Sen has a 5 minute role as the pregnant and jealous wife.

The main culprit is the plot. The screenplay is not worth calling a screenplay. It tries to balance romance with action and coolness, but fails! While the heists are cool, the romantic portions drag endlessly. There are loopholes galore, but I will ignore them here. There is absolutely no real surprise/twist anywhere in the plot, it is very predictable. Simply put, the movie is basically some sequences of heists and romance strung together in a convenient fashion. There are very minor and expected “twists”, for the lack of a better word.

What did work for me was Hrithik, Aish, Uday, and Abhishek (not completely). This is Hrithik’s movie from start to end. Abhishek looks supporting type, and in fact Uday has more meat in his role than Abhishek. Bipasha is wasted, and Aish should do more such kind of roles. Hrithik carries the movie on his shoulders. In fact, Hrithik overpowers the movie, and makes it watchable at least once. He is not the villain, I would call him an artist instead, a superhero, with a demented mind. He looks better than the two hotties Bips and Aish. Aish looks scorching and does justice to her role. Watch out her “trust” scene with Hrithik, she rocks there. Uday steals every scene he is in, and brings the much needed comic relief every now and then. This guy has a lot of potential, Priyadarshan where art thou? Bipasha is wasted, but looks good in the bikini.

I think the biggest problem here is that Abhishek’s character has been relegated to the background for most of the movie, and the guy has to maintain the same expressions throughout the movie. There should have been more shades and nuances to his character. The ending scene of the movie is the best for Abhishek. Abhishek, to his credit, does well with whatever he has been given.

There are great one liners, the dialogues are witty, cinematography is top notch, and background music is great too. But the music is the weakest link here. Songs come randomly, and none of the songs, barring Hrithik’s dances, work here. They slow down the movie excruciatingly, and make the viewer restless. Action is good, some of the best action seen in Indian cinema, but the SFX should have been better, specially considering the budget of the movie. But one feels the slow motion technique has been overused here. There should have been more action, but instead, some jarring romantic scenes are interspersed.

Instead of being cool and slick, the movie comes across as overcool and too smart to be good. There is really too much slick to digest, and many elements are overdone. Director Sanjay Gadhvi does a fine job, but his previous two efforts were better. This movie doesn’t come across as his movie, any other director with the starcast and budget would have made the same movie, and who knows, maybe even better! There is no real “direction” in this movie, and this is precisely what the movie lacks. It goes haywire trying to add every masala ingredient, out of which, only some work.

There are far too many Hollywood inspirations to count, so I would not go into all that. So for those of you who follow Hollywood closely, Hrithik is your sole reason for watching this movie. Even Aish pales in comparison.

To sum up my thoughts, I would recommend watching this once, just for Hrithik. Other than that, Namibia and Brazil are beautiful, and Uday makes you laugh. The rest of it is all been there, seen that. Expected much more from this, and I am disappointed!

Casino Royale – Short Movie Review

This is the first time I am attempting a concise review of an English film, so give me some room here fellas!

I havent watched the earlier Casino Royale, and so I cant make any comparisons here. This one though, rocks!

A fairly simple plot is complemented beautifully by a great screenplay, and great performances. But what really impressed me was the very “UnBondish” action. Yes my friends, the raw, intense, and awe-inspiring action scenes are used deftly to forward the plot, and there are hardly any SFX. There are no out of this world gadgets, no real vamps tricking Bond into some situation, or a hi-fi car working more than any other weapon. There is the gorgeus Aston Martin DB5 though, but its life is pretty short!

So this time around, our great double ‘0’ is trying to bust the terrorist funding business in post 9/11 era. This basic plot comes alive with various elements like manipulating shares, using terrorist money to make money to make money for oneself, while at the same time making their finance available to them anywhere.

There movie grips you in the initial 15 minutes itself, with probably one of the longest chase scenes in recent times. You have got to see it to beleive, it is jsut amazing. There are clever dialogues all over. Sample this: Bond tells the agency accountant, played by Eva Green “You are not my type”. She retorts “Smart?”, and Bond says “Single”.

Daniel Craig is amazing! He is more convincing then Pierce Brosnan in many ways. He has a great physique, tough brooding face, piercing eyes, and fantastic screen presence. He comes very close to Sir Sean Connery. A great new Bond is born my friends! Dame Judi Dench is convincing as usual, this time a bit more stricter, yet more funny. Eva Green looks a million bucks, and actualyl steals the show in many scenes. The “bloody tears” bad guy money launderer looks coolly evil.

The real winner here is the director Martin Campbell. Three cheers for him for showing us what Bond can do on his own, in the most realistic fashion possible for any James Bond 007. The track during opening credits is a pleasant departure from the usual stuff. Cinematography and editing are crisp, complementing the film very well. Not once during the 2:30 length you feel bored. You are constantly on the edge of your seat.

So guys, go and watch this great popcorn flick, and kick in your comments!