Baby – Movie Review

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Stars – 4.5
Rarely you come across an Indian movie that doesn’t hit a single false note. BABY is one such film. Writer-Director Neeraj Pandey has made a brilliant film that is not only technically at par with the best in the world, but it’s also a dispassionate non-judgmental take on terrorism that’s completely devoid of jingoism and is extremely gripping. Full marks to Producer Bhushan Kumar for believing in such a landmark film, backed by exceptional marketing especially when it’s devoid of songs.

Firoze Ali Khan (Danny) heads a special operations wing of commandoes called Baby. In a conversation with a senior minister in the beginning of the film, he states that the Government ought to win the confidence of the Muslim community in India, for Pakistan is taking advantage of the community’s sense of alienation within India. In another scene Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) tells an ISI agent Taufeeq (Mujeeb Khan) how he defended a Muslim family during the Gujarat riots and why he puts ‘Indian’ in the Religion bracket in all forms that he fills. Somehow this sets the tone for the film that terrorists don’t have a religion and no particular community ought to be associated with terrorism.

The screenplay is the hero of BABY. It flows lucidly, taking you on an engrossing journey of thrills, intrigue and surprises. Dialogues are peppered with bullets of dry humor that keep you entertained throughout. The verbal-expletive-laden warfare between Shuklaji (Anupam Kher) and Ajay is a case in point in this regard. Or when Ajay matter-of-factly tells Priya (Taapsee) as they’re on the flight to Kathmandu to “stop being my wife” when she informs him about his snoring. The precarious uncertainty in the life of an Officer involved in covert operations has been portrayed in a subtle but telling manner. Ajay’s wife (MadhurimaTuli) isn’t aware of her husband’s job profile but does tell him now and then, “Bas marna mat.” The scene where Ajay slaps the personal assistant of a minister (on his frivolous remark on the death of his colleagues) will result in an applause from the audience in the theaters.

The narrative of BABY flows like a well-made Hollywood film. Actors filter in only where required and they’re not repeated just because it makes a commercial sense from a typical Bollywood perspective. Taapsee is part of one operation. Anupam Kher and Rana Dagubatti join the team in the scorching climax sequence shot in Abu Dhabi. Sudeep Chatterji’s cinematography deserves a special mention. He has done an exceptional job especially in the chase sequences in Istanbul and the desert escapades in Abu Dhabi.

Akshay Kumar has done an incredibly good job in BABY. He’s razor sharp and there’s never a dull moment whenever he’s on screen. In a scene in an Airport washroom when he bandages himself despite excruciating pain is superbly done. He’s exceptional during all his action scenes as well. The entire supporting cast is excellent. Danny is a picture of precision in giving the right expressions. He doesn’t bullshit nor lets anyone else do the same. Anupam Kher weaves in magic in a cameo. He’s entertaining and he gets the job done. Kay Kay as the dreaded terrorist Bilal makes his striking presence felt. Sushant Singh is effective in bringing in humour in a least expected situation. Rana Dagubatti as the tough officer Jai is competent. Taapsee is a sharp Commando. She shall be proud of this film. Rasheed Naaz as Maulana Mohammad Rahman has an interesting appearance and an even more interesting way of dialogue delivery. Mikal Zulfiqar, another Pakistani actor makes his presence felt in a cameo.

Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background score is the heartbeat of BABY as it instills the necessary emotions at opportune moments in the course of the narrative. Shree Narayan Singh’s editing is exceptional. Even though the duration of the film is over two and a half hours, the taut pace keeps you hooked. The last 45 minutes of the film are simply extraordinary and fast paced.

On the whole, BABY is one of the finest films ever made in the history of Indian cinema. Not only because of its excellent cinematic credentials but also because of the balanced ‘Thought’ behind the film. Neeraj Pandey once again proves that he’s a genius. This time he proves, it’s possible to better Perfection. We say, hey baby, don’t think, just go for BABY. Cinema at its very best!

By Taran Adarsh

Dolly Ki Doli Movie Review

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Stars – 3.5
The last few releases have been low key affairs when we take a look at their overall box office collections. However this Friday the audience is in for a treat with the release of the comedy film DOLLY KI DOLI.

After her appearance in the fairy tale story KHOOBSURAT, come this Friday, Sonam Kapoor will be seen playing a runaway bride. While the story of DOLLY KI DOLI follows Dolly (Sonam Kapoor), it begins with her fake brother, Raju (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) identifying prospective grooms, who are eventually duped by Dolly after she gets them to fall in love with her. Once the prospective grooms are madly in love with Dolly, she marries them; however on the night of the ‘suhagraat’, Dolly offers them ‘drugged’ milk making them unconscious after which she along with her gang wipes the house clean of all the valuables. On the other side of the law is Robin Singh (Pulkit Samrat), a police inspector given the task of catching Dolly. Does Robin manage to catch up with the runaway con-bride or does Dolly find her true love and give up her life of crime…makes for the rest of the story.

Good writing and right casting can make a lot of difference. It is perfectly exemplified by Abhishek Dogra’s fun film DOLLY KI DOLI that has one of the most perfect ensemble cast in the recent times. The running time of a mere 100 minutes is another highlight of this saucy entertainer.

Dolly is a compulsive bride-on-the-run aided by a motley group of crooks head-lighted by a grand mom who brings the house down especially in one scene in a police station. Dolly, better known as ‘Looteri Dulhan’ cons many cash-heavy grooms and their families but her dalliance with Sonu Sehrawat (Rajkummar Rao) and Manjot (Varun Sharma) is especially interesting. Then there’s the unrequited love with tough cop Robin Singh. Also, there’s a star cameo, which is Royal, literally. The climax has a quirky surprise factor that goes nicely with the irreverent humour of the film.

Umashankar Singh and Abhishek Dogra’s writing is the big highlight of the film. Even though the basic idea isn’t extraordinary, the treatment of the screenplay keeps you interested. Umashamkar’s funny one liners dot the entire course of the film and keeps you entertained. Casting Director is the hero of DOLLY KI DOLI as rarely you find such a wonderful ensemble supporting cast and each one doing exceedingly well. Brijendar Kala, the giant of an actor, has some exceptionally crackling moments as Inspector Khan. His ‘Jigyasa’ is hilarious. Archana Puran Singh as the loud mouthed Punjabi mom-in-law is a laugh riot. Rajesh Sharma makes you fall in love with him in each scene that he appears in. Zeishan is a hugely talented actor and he impresses here as well. Ishtiaq, the wonderful actor who played Varun’s salacious friend is a delight to watch.

The growth displayed by Sonam Kapoor as an actor in DOLLY KI DOLI is excellent. She oozes varied shades of an Indian woman and her stylist ensures that she gets to showcase this Khoobsurat actress in a buffet of traditional finery and modern chutzpah. There’s a steeliness in her performance that filters out in a subtle manner. Even though she’s enjoying the con act, there’s an underlined air of enigmatic mystery which is engrossing. Rajkummar Rao is a mammoth actor who floors you completely with his flawless Haryanvi Jat act. Rao makes you fall in love with him each time he bursts on the screen with his conned-tomfoolery. Varun Sharma is entertaining while Pulkit Samrat promises appeal.

On the whole, DOLLY KI DOLI is a stress buster that will make you smile as you’ll leave the theatre. Debutante director Abhishek Dogra has competently extracted superb performances from the entire starcast. The unpredictable climax of the film works to the advantage too. But the four day weekend will help this Dolly ensnare many patrons. The word of mouth will be the key in witnessing the growth. We say, it’s a roller coaster entertainer. Enjoy it with your families.

By Taran Adarsh

PK Movie Review

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Stars – 4.5

It has become a trend of sorts now that the year ends with a major release by none other than Aamir Khan in the month of December. After the release of DHOOM 3, as we gear up for the Christmas holidays, Aamir Khan brings his new film PK.

Said to be a comedy-drama, the makers of the film have managed to keep the story tightly under wraps, despite the film’s heavy promotions. As already reported in the media, Aamir Khan plays the role of an alien, something that is relatively new in Bollywood. Add to that, director Rajkumar Hirani wielding the megaphone after three back-to-back hits, PK has managed to generate tremendous hype prior to its release. However, does the film manage to live up to the expectations, will the past success (3 Idiots) of the Aamir Khan – Rajkumar Hirani combination work its charm in enticing the audiences to the theatres, will PK be a Christmas gift to cherish for the film loving audiences? Lets analyze.

The film starts off with PK (Aamir Khan), an alien, landing on earth, in the desert of Rajasthan, to study about human begins and life on earth. Arriving stark naked on a earth, PK has a rough start on the planet when his tracking remote, that helps him send signals back to his spaceship, gets stolen. He now has to find the remote to contact his spaceship and till then survive on earth on his own. Unaware of human mannerisms, language or life in general on earth, PK finds it difficult to adjust. However, fate brings him in touch with Bhairav Singh (Sanjay Dutt) who becomes his dear friend and helps him with life on earth. But destiny takes PK to Delhi. From here on starts a whirlwind story of a stranger in the unknown city of Delhi asking questions that despite their innocence hold a valuable and deep meaning. Aided on by Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma) who teams up with him on this journey, PK challenges some of the oldest rituals of religion that are ruling life of people on earth.

As for the performances, Aamir Khan excels in the title role. This is probably one of the most challenging characters that he has played so far and with his stellar performance, Aamir Khan carries the film all the way. His childlike innocence, his Bhojpuri accent and his love for ‘paan’ only adds layers to the character of PK. Anushka Sharma, who has in her previous releases earned quite a bit of critical acclaim, does a good job as Jagat “Jaggu” Janani. She stands shoulder to shoulder with Aamir through the entire film. Sushant Singh Rajput is impressive in an extended cameo. Saurabh Shukla, though good, seems to be underutilized along with Boman Irani who too could have been given a meatier part. Sanjay Dutt, on the other hand, manages to carry off his role as a Rajasthani man with panache.

Music of PK is composed by Shantanu Moitra, Ajay-Atul and Ankit Tiwari and the lyrics are penned by Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Varma and Manoj Muntashir. Songs like ‘Nanga Punga Dost’, ‘Tharki Chokro’ and ‘Love Is Waste Of Time’ have already gained popularity and they take the story forward in the film. ‘Chaar Kadam’ featuring Sushant Singh Rajput and Anushka Sharma is a soft number that sets the mood for romance just right.

Rajkumar Hirani, known for his films like 3 Idiots and the Munnabhai series tries to live up to his reputation of telling an engaging tale with a message. Though the storytelling is seamless, PK does seem to lack the punch that his earlier films had. Though the screenplay (Abhijat Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani) of the film is comprehensive and engrossing, with humorous situations and entertaining dialogues, the narrative does get slow at certain points. PK however hits the right notes and entertains.

Overall, PK that releases during the Christmas holidays enjoys a three week free run at the box office. Despite the film having its share of ups and downs, it is surely a good entertainer. Being a film that deals with the topic of God and Godmen, audiences are bound to draw a few similarities between PK and the previously released Akshay Kumar-Paresh Rawal starrer OMG OH MY GOD! But while latter dealt with a lay man asking some prominent questions about God and the almighty himself coming down to earth, PK differs with an alien not directly questioning God, but instead questioning the belief system that humans have created to reach God. But with high level of anticipation and a massive release (approximately 5000 screens domestically and 800+ screens overseas), PK is sure to create new box-office records.

On the whole, Aamir Khan’s PK is a solid entertainer that will surely entertain the masses and classes alike. An outstanding film. Go for it.

By Taran Adarsh

Badlapur Boys – Movie Review

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Stars – 1.5

As we know, ‘Kabaddi’ is an old Indian sport and has since gained popularity in the International sports arena as the only game that requires a strong combination of ‘knowledge’, ‘concentration’, ‘strength’, ‘stamina’, and ‘combat skills’. Although, this sport has its roots in our country, there was little respite in the form of the recently concluded Pro Kabaddi League. This film is an attempt to revive the spirit of the game and rekindle the passion of the game in the hearts and minds of the people of India.

BADLAPUR BOYS is set in a village named Badlapur (in Uttar Pradesh). One of the villagers named Rampravesh Pasi (Vineeth Sharma), who is so sincere and dedicated in his efforts to build an irrigation system in his village, that he threatens self immolation before the concerned officer, if the demands are not met. Because these pleas fall on deaf ears, as per his word, Pasi immolates himself in front of the whole village, who act as mere spectators. Because of his dramatic death, he gets termed as a ‘mad person’, which then echoes on his family. Pasi’s son Vijay (Nishan), in order to support his lonely mother (Kishori Shahane) starts working as a domestic help to Ayodhya (Aman Varma). Vijay, who is extremely passionate about Kabaddi ever since his childhood, starts playing truant at work because of the game, which makes Ayodhya angry and takes a promise from him to leave the game forever. But his passion for the game doesn’t die, and he remains being an extra player in his village team and watches his friends play while he practices in solitude. During one such ‘practice session’ a renowned kabaddi coach Surajbhan Singh (Annu Kapoor) spots his talent and encourages him in the same. Because of the local team player’s egos, Vijay never finds a place in the team, despite being talented. The ‘USP’ of this team remains that they have lost almost every kabaddi match which they have played. One day, they decide to take part in the state level kabaddi championship (75th Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi Tournament), because they feel if they win ‘by fluke’ they will be able to gain the respect of all the villagers, who otherwise have always treated them like mere laughing stocks. On the D-day, one of the players doesn’t turn up for the tournament; this paves way for Vijay to take part in the same, but not before Ayodhya freeing him from the oath. On D-day, coach Surajbhan Singh who christens their team as ‘Badlapur Boys’, reasons that they can’t play at this level because of the norms and regulations and also because of their inexperience playing the handicap. Despite all these ‘rules and regulations’ an opportunity comes when the ‘Badlapur Boys’ become eligible to play the game at the state level, but that requires tweaking of the rules and bending the regulations of the game.
Do the ‘Badlapur Boys’ get to play at the state level, does the federation tweak the rules so as to accommodate the ‘Badlapur Boys’ team, does Vijay become successful in erasing his father’s ‘mad-image’and does the village get its much needed irrigation system is what which forms the rest of the film.

BADLAPUR BOYS is the directorial debut of Shailesh Verma, whose efforts look sincere in highlighting the game of kabaddi on a national level. But his inexperience as a director starts showing in the film every now and then. The film has its share of ‘less of ups and more of downs’ right from the word go. Varma, in an attempt to tell too many things within the stipulated time frame, loses the plot in the bargain. Despite having two heroines in the film, he fails to do justice to even one.

As far as the performances are concerned, the film’s hero Nishan, whose acting is strictly average (a few scenes notwithstanding), needs an immediate crash course in dancing. Even though the film has two heroines in the form of Sharanya Mohan and Puja Gupta, the sad part is that you just do not remember them and their screen presence by the end of the film. The heroines are reduced to mere props in the film. Annu Kapoor, who was last seen in a commendable role in THE SHAUKEENS, tries to do a SRK of CHAK DE! INDIA in this film, but the sad part is that he fails in his attempt. There are only a few scenes which does justice to the persona of his character. Kishori Shahane tries too hard to justify the nuances of her character. Even though she succeeds in parts, her makeup is a big letdown (especially her gray hair). Aman Varma is reasonably good, even though he doesn’t have too much of a role. The rest of the characters help in moving the film forward.

The music (Shamir Tandon and Sachin Gupta) of the film is nothing to write about except that it sounds totally outdated like the lyrics of the songs. The same applies to the choreography (Saroj Khan) as well. On the technical front, the DoP too does a very average job.

On the whole, BADLAPUR BOYS is an average film which can be avoided.

BY Taran Adarsh

Action Jackson – Movie Review

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Stars – 2 Star

By now, we all know and agree to the fact that Bollywood is all about mix and match. A pinch of one film’s plot mixed with another film’s climax is something we have witnessed on the silver screen many a times. Does this week’s release ACTION JACKSON by Prabhu Dheva also fall in the same category or does it have something really fresh and innovative to offer? Let’s analyse.

The film starts off with the entry of Vishy (Ajay Devgn) in his regular fashion that’s combined with élan and style. For reasons unexplained till almost the interval, Vishy is at the target point of many goons who follow him left, right and centre to bump him off. As if this wasn’t enough, there comes Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha) who ‘experiences good luck’ in succession after seeing Vishy ‘family jewels’. With this, Vishy adds one more ‘stalker’ to his list! It’s only towards the interval that the audiences get to know that Vishy has a doppelganger by the name of ‘AJ’, who by profession is a killer. And then it becomes clear that the goons actually mistook Vishy to be AJ and hence followed him everywhere. And when AJ and Vishy meet, the former explains the reason to the latter and his friend (Kunaal Roy Kapur) that since he refused to marry the dreaded goon and mafia kingpin Xavier (Anand Raj)’s highly obsessed sister Marina (debutante Manasvi Mamgai), the goons are out to kill him and the love of his life Anusha (Yami Gautam). Tracking down AJ in India, Xavier sends his henchmen to India to kill AJ, which is when AJ devises a plot with the help of Vishy to destroy Xavier and his crazy sister Marina and protect his wife and new born baby.

Does the simple man Vishy say yes to be a part of this risk taking plan and go to meet Marina in a foreign country, does the dreaded villain Xavier get to know about the plan of the duo, does AJ get to save the love of his life and does Khushi become truly lucky and unite with Vishy again is what forms the rest of the story.

Prabhu Dheva, seems to have gone all out to infuse every possible element in this film and has tried to mount it on the same canvas as that of WANTED, ROWDY RATHORE AND R… RAJKUMAR! The sad part is that this time round, he fails miserably and falls flat on his face. Going by the looks of it, it seems like Prabhu Dheva was in a tearing hurry to recreate the same magic of the aforementioned films. Despite ACTION JACKSON being a Bollywood film, the look and feel of the film is that of loud South Indian films. While the film drags in the first half endlessly, the second half too barely has anything in it to hold the audience’s attention. The film has no script whatsoever and has been put together haphazardly on the editing table glued together which non-sensical graphics and animation.

As far as the performances are concerned, even the seasoned and ever dependable actor like Ajay Devgn couldn’t save the film from drowning ever since the word go. The otherwise composed Ajay seems to be confused himself as to what exactly was being required of him to do in the film. There is hardly any element of Ajay Devgn which we haven’t seen in his previous films. The same applies to Sonakshi Sinha, who seems to be repeating all of her previous acts in this film too. She appears in the first half and completely disappears until the climax. Yami Gautam has a sort of extended cameo and her character is just subject to unbearable violence with the goons bashing her up in every second scene. Sadly for the debutante Manasvi, this film does no good, as her character is shown to be plain psychotic to disturbing levels. The young actress is just made to play a bold part and do ample of skin show.

One can easily blame the writers of the film for having written a disastrous script (if there was one) which is heavily inspired from the 70s and 80s potboilers. The music (Himesh Reshammiya) of the film is nothing to write about, and background score (Sandeep Chowta) is loud. This only means that the film’s choreographers (Vishnu Deva, U. Jogasekhar, VJ Sekhar) also will be at the suffering end because of the bad music and songs which seem to have been infused in the film. What’s shocking is that, Prabhu Dheva, despite being an ace dancer and choreographer himself, wasn’t able to help Ajay who seemed to be struggling with his dance steps. The film’s editing (Bunty Nagi) has no logic or pattern.

On the whole, ACTION JACKSON is a highly avoidable affair.

By Taran Adarsh

Happy Ending – Movie Review

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Stars – 3

In the years gone by, Bollywood has been a witness to many changing trends (read ‘genres’). Amongst all the genres that we have experienced so far, what reign supreme and are considered to be the most privileged genres are romance, action and comedy. This week’s release is the Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D’Cruz starrer HAPPY ENDING, which too, falls in the genre of rom-com.

Needless to say that, Saif Ali Khan, after the debacle of BULLETT RAJA and HUMSHAKALS, has got all his hopes pinned on this film. Will this film manage to catapult him to the top slot where he once belonged and will this film also manage to make its filmmakers and audiences ‘Happy’ by the ‘Ending’ is what we will find out. Let’s analyze.

HAPPY ENDING starts off on a ‘happy starting’ (no pun intended here!). It starts off with Kareena Kapoor’s character (cameo) confessing her love by telling those three magic words to Yudi, a one-book wonder author and someone who is (self-confessedly) not allergic to ‘I Love You’, but the baggage attached with it’. And when Yudi doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, Kareena’s character shows him the middle finger (quite literally!). No sooner does she exit Yudi’s life, enters Vishaka (Kalki Koechlin), a dentist by profession, and is head over heels in love with Yudi. She loves Yudi so much that she even installs a mobile app called ‘Nospace’ on his cell so that she can keep track of his whereabouts. While she leaves no stone unturned in gaining his attention, Yudi is totally unmoved by her and her feelings and emotions towards him and wants to constantly break up with her. Whenever Yudi is in trouble or feeling lonely, the only two people whom he always looks upto are his ‘ex-girlfriend-now-a-mother-of-three childen’ Divya (Preity Zinta), and his best friend of many years Montu (Ranveer Shorey), both of whom lend him a patient listening and help him sort out the mess of his life. Because he blows up all the money that he had made from his book, he returns back to writing but, he gets dejected when he sees that the same publishers hiring the gorgeous Aanchal Reddy (Ileana D’cruz), whose romantic novels sell like hotcakes. What peps him up is the offer to write a script for ‘Armaanji’ (Govinda), an actor who wants to capture multiplexes after having conquered the single screens. To get a hold of ‘success formula’ in writing, Yudi decides to befriend Aanchal. Taking resort to a few tricks here and there, Yudi not only manages to befriend her, but also lands up spending ‘quality time’ with her. Right at the start of this ‘relationship’, the duo agree to be together without falling in love with each other. While Aanchal is clear about this relationship, it is Yudi who goes onto realize that he has actually fallen in love with her!

Will Yudi gather the guts to confess his feelings to the very practical Aanchal, what happens to the status of his relationship with Vishaka, and does Divya and Montu’s advice really make a difference in Yudi’s messed up life and lastly, does Yudi manage to stage a writing comeback with Armaanji’s film is what forms the rest of the film.

The director duo of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK (popularly known as Raj and DK) who have previously made films like 99, SHOR IN THE CITY, GO GOA GONE, have tried to move an inch ahead of their comfort zone, but are not very successful at it as one would have expected them to be. They seem to be struggling with the film’s plot mid way. While the first half of the film is enjoyable and bearable, it’s the second half which tends to drag at many points. Even though the film is really funny in parts, a crisp hand at the editing table could have saved this semi-drag fiasco. The irony of the film is that the film falls into the same cliched category which the filmmakers have tried to make a mockery of! The film shows deep traces of the hit American show ‘CALIFORNIFICATION’ and Saif’s own film HUM TUM.

As far as the performances of the film is concerned, HAPPY ENDING is a Saif Ali Khan film all the way… right from the word ‘go’. This is a script which Saif can effortlessly carry and he does just that. He hardly falters in either of the two roles (we won’t spoil the suspense of his second role) played by him. His chemistry with both Ileana and Kalki is sparkling and believable. There are places where his character reminds you of his earlier film COCKTAIL. One has to admit that, Saif has really come a long way in his double role as compared to his triple role in HUMSHAKALS. Ileana D’Cruz, on the other hand, continues her stint with sweet and bubbly character, much like her last film. A strange thing about this girl is that, despite having somewhat stereotyped roles, her performances just don’t look repetitive at all! Maybe it’s something that’s got to do with the camaraderie that she shares with the camera and her co-stars. Kalki, who is back after her last hit film YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI, is as usual, a delight to watch. When her real life quirkiness combines with her reel life character, the resultant is sheer magic. As far as the veteran actor Govinda is concerned, he shines in his role which seems like was written keeping him in mind. The only drawback is that the length of his role could have been increased in order to get the much-needed impact in the film. But, the cinegoers will surely rejoice to see him back on the silver screen in a comic part, as shown in this film. Ranveer Shorey lightens up the film’s moments with his comic timing. Special brownie points to Preity Zinta, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Ileana’s real life boyfriend Andrew Kneebone (blink and you miss role) for their cameos in the film.
The music (Sachin-Jigar) of the film is hummable. The songs that really stand out in the film are ‘Paajitussi such a pussycat’ and ‘G phaadke’ (despite its suggestive lyrics). Because of the film’s hummable lyrics, the film’s choreography (Remo D’Souza) also becomes praiseworthy. Raj and DK, who also double up as the film’s writers, do a reasonably good job, if not splendid. Call it as their good luck or Censor’s overlooking, one really wonders as to how Raj and DK managed to get away with a handful of expletives/ cuss words in the film, even though it goes with the ‘flow’ of the film.

On the whole, HAPPY ENDING is a film which leaves you with a happy feeling. It drags in parts but is worth a watch, at least for Saif’s performance.

By Taran Adarsh

Kill Dil Movie Review

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We all know that Bollywood is all about mix and match and also permutations and combinations. While the last few offerings from Yash Raj Films stable have been of diverse genre like action (GUNDAY), romance (DAAWAT-E-ISHQ), this week’s film KILL DIL seems to be a mix of both the genres. Will KILL DIL be able to live upto the expectations which is generally attached to any YRF film, let’s analyze.

KILL DIL, which is set in North India, starts off with a shaky camera which introduces the two protagonists Dev (Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar), who are self-confessed ‘haraamis’. The duo reveal that their childhood was all about learning ‘M for Maaki’ and ‘B for Behenki…’ in place of ‘A for Apple, B for Ball’. It was their ‘Godfather’Bhaiyaaji (Govinda) who handpicked them up from the dustbin and not only gives them shelter, but also nurtures them to become professional killers. Life goes on absolutely smooth for these two free spirited and trigger happy killers till the time Dev saves the ‘criminal-transformer-into-human beings’ Disha (Parineeti Chopra) in a night club. What follows after that, are a few meetings, a surprise birthday party and a handful of romantic outings… all of which are enough to pave way to a blossoming romance between the two. Despite opposition from Tutu, Dev still falls head over heels in love with Disha, and gives up all his criminal activities to lead the life of a common man. Ironically it may sound, but the fact remains that Disha changes the direction of Dev’s life forever. And when the fifth standard fail Dev decides to become a common man, Tutu helps him to ‘acquire’ a MBA degree. What follows after that are series of interviews (worth watching), which sees Dev going in search of a job. Do not miss his audition for ‘Cobra’ brand product. This reformation and transformation of Dev shakes up Bhaiyaaji totally, who then calls up Disha (who is still unaware of Dev’s criminal background) and reveals to her about Dev’s tinted past.

What happens when Disha gets to know about Dev’s background, does Dev manage to win her over or lose her, and does the villainous Bhaiyaaji allow Dev to lead a normal life away from his pangs, is what forms the rest of the story.

Stars – 2
Let’s face it that, KILL DIL is a film which clearly lacks the ‘YRF’ style. With this film, director Shaad Ali has terribly failed to recreate the same magic which he had earlier exhibited in films like SAATHIYA and BUNTY AUR BABLI. He falters big time with KILL DIL, which goes onto prove that a film cannot solely survive on music, performances or story plot. It has to be the right proportion of the three.

As far as the actors are concerned, what starts off as an equal balance between the two actors Ranveer and Ali, gradually becomes a Ranveer show, who makes no mistakes in his screen time. The only problem is that he seems to be looking stereotyped now. A few scenes do remind the viewer of his performance in GUNDAY, but he ensures that the viewer sticks to the premises of his character in KILL DIL. His camaraderie with Ali Zafar is admirable. Following him is the multi-talented Ali Zafar, who for some reason seems to be holding himself in a few scenes, which gets translated into a self-imposed restrained performance from him. Parineeti Chopra, on the other hand, is as effortless as ever. But again, her ‘effortlessness’ seems to be getting repeated in every film of hers. She really has to ‘reinvent’ herself soon. The jack of the pack in the film is indeed the veteran actor Govinda, who makes a comeback in Bollywood with this film. Even though he has grown old, there is nothing in him which prevents him from moving shoulder to shoulder with Ranveer, Ali and Parineeti. There are a few places wherein his character becomes too loud, which could have been duly restrained. Leaving these four actors, there is hardly any rest of the cast who contribute constructively to the film.

Music definitely forms an integral part of this film. The trio of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa seems to have got all their rhythms and beats right in this film. The only problem is that a few songs (despite being melodious) seem to be out of context and in quick succession. But the tracks of ‘Sajde’, ‘Sweeta’, and ‘Baawra’ remain fresh in the memory even after the movie is over.

While the film struggles to establish itself within the first half, the second half not just loses its pace, but also the direction in which the film is heading towards. The film’s editing (Ritesh Soni) is commendable and is watertight (minus a few scenes). The film’s dialogues (Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra) score big time because of its memorable one liners. While the film’s screenplay (Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra) fails to match up with the story and pace, the film’s action (Sham Kaushal) is very average.

On the whole, KILL DIL is a film, which could have been worth watching, had it been handled and directed properly. This film’s definitely worth a miss.

By Taran Adarsh

Shaukeen – Movie review

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Stars – 3.5

Remaking a classic is a tough task and producers Murad Khetani and Ashwin Varde are sure that it will be a smooth ride when it comes to THE SHAUKEENS. When the original SHAUKEEN released in the 80s, it may have not have set the box office registers ringing but it surely made an impact that has lasted for over two decades now. Hence, THE SHAUKEENS comes with a bucket of expectations and let’s see if the 2014 remake manages to fulfil it.

Keeping the essence of the 80s film intact, THE SHAUKEENS follows a similar plotline where three lonely men take the path of lust to add some fun to their monotonous life. Laali aka Lalchand (Anupam Kher), is a shoe-shop owner and a family man but his wife has taken the ‘sanyashashram’ and has sacrificed all sexual relations in order to attain salvation. On the other hand, we have the evergreen KD (Annu Kapoor) a bachelor brooding over his unrequited love. Then we get to meet the third ‘shaukeen’ Pinky (Piyush Mishra), a widower trying to find love once again amidst a huge family of two sons and his grandchild. The three, after many unsuccessful plans decide to fulfill their wishes abroad and take off to Mauritius for a fun filled trip. While they rent out a house of a young girl, they come across their ‘land-lady’ Aahana (Lisa). Young, free spirited and hot, the three try to woo the girl in their own way. Unaware of their lecherous stares, Aahana shares her life with them and when she undergoes a nasty break-up, she decides to end her life. But her plans go for a toss when she spots her hero Akshay Kumar performing at a mall in Mauritius. What starts later, are attempts by three oldies who try to impress Aahana by promising her to make her meet her idol Akshay Kumar – an alcoholic superstar.

Light-hearted, humorous and a complete rib tickling ride, THE SHAUKEENS manages to keep you entertained all throughout. The script, which is a tad different from its 80s counterpart, has enough punch lines to keep you gripped till the end. The first half where the script tries to reveal the life story of the three old men who are trying to find fun in their life is dealt delicately yet with the tinge of comedy,without making it sound vulgar or demeaning! The second half, however, has a lot more of those fun moments that will keep the smile constant on your face. The antiques, the quirks though resemble the original, they have been very aptly adapted to the contemporary times.

What adds to this fantastic comic caper is the performances of Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor and Piyush Mishra. They are equally crazy and creepy that will make you laugh and cringe at the same time. Annu Kapoor brings out the gorgeous lecherousness beautifully. He charms wonderfully and as a man he seems the best bet for actually wooing the attention of Aahana. Anupam Kher has been having a great year with one fine performance after another. This one’s a more nuanced performance with a special care being taken of his self-conscious body language. Piyush Mishra internalises his frustrations masterfully. The manner in which his Dam of self-control bursts open towards the end is commendable.

A critic once famously drew similarities between Akshay Kumar’s acting and the wooden furniture that doesn’t do much. Kumar takes a dig at himself in ‘The Shaukeens’ when a National Award winning Bengali Director tells him, “The furniture in the frame can act better than you. “The hilarious interactions between Akshay and the Bengali director elicit unbridled laughter. If you’d want to watch ‘The Shaukeens’ the second time around then Akshay’s tug of war between the ‘competition’ to get into the coveted 200 Crore Club and his ‘dream’ to win a National Award, will be a big reason. Akshay Kumar steals the show.

But what comes as a surprise package is Lisa Haydon. After her much acclaimed performance in QUEEN, there were doubts if she would be able to pull off a lead role but she does it with panache and how! Blonde, bizzare and a complete fan girl, Lisa Haydon plays the role of Aahana supremely well. She has a much longer screen space, looks deliciously vulnerable and her tremendous sex appeal is hugely tantalising. She stays true to her dim witted child-like character throughout the film. Cyrus Broacha is equally good in his special appearance. Other actors merely help in taking the movie forward.

After TERE BIN LADEN, Abhishek Sharma does what he is best at – making a completely hilarious entertainer. From retaining the stunt man aka KHILADI image of Akshay Kumar in the film to interconnecting the paths of Aahana and her three old men, Abhishek Sharma does a good job. Though the direction is perfect for the kind of entertainer THE SHAUKEENS is, there is nothing different or unique to mention.

Catchy music is another highlight of THE SHAUKEENS. ‘Meherbaani’ written and composed by Arko is a beautiful melody backed by wonderful picturisation. ‘Alcoholic’ and ‘Manali Trance’ by Yo Yo Honey Singh are chart busters that are going to rock the charts for a long time. Lisa’s smouldering dance in ‘Manali Trance’ is breathtakingly captivating.

The let down factor of the film to some extent is its pacing. The editing could have been tighter. The simplistic manner in which the three oldies relegate themselves to their fate at the end is somewhat unconvincing.While you expect a drastic climax considering the way the contemporary films are made, it turns a little disappointing that the end has been treated very mildly.

On the whole, THE SHAUKEENS is a full on Bollywood entertainer that you wouldn’t want to miss.

By Taran Adarsh

Rang Rasiya – Movie Review

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Stars – 2.5

After a six year gap, RANG RASIYA that was made in 2008, finally gets to see the light of the day this year. While the film did not find any takers initially, for years together the film has been facing controversies.

Based on the life story of iconic painter Raja Ravi Varma as depicted in the novel named on the artist by Ranjit Desai, RANG RASIYA releases this week. So let’s analyze if the film has fulfilled the expectations.

Raja Ravi Varma (Randeep Hooda) is an artist for whom painting is worship. When he is marries to the princess of a Kerala state (Tripta Parashar), he decides to paint his wife as an inspiration. But when she demeans the art form and shoos him away, he decides to look for beauty beyond and finds it in Kamini (Rashanaa Shah), one of the servants in the palace. While she inspires him to paint one of the masterpieces that is responsible for him to win the title ‘Raja’ from the King of Travancore, the death of this old king leaves Ravi Varma shattered and he decides to shift base to Mumbai where he attempts to rediscover the love for art. So when he meets the gorgeous Suganda (Nandana Sen) in a temple, she becomes his inspiration for his future works. In an attempt to impress his biggest patron, the Raja of Baroda (Sameer Dharmadikari), Ravi Varma undertakes the task of showcasing Indian culture through the language of art with his paintings. While his paintings become available to the common man, the ‘so called’ guardians of the Hindu culture raise objection and Ravi Varma is arrested for using human face for God and also for portraying aesthetic art through nudity.

With the bright colours, the gorgeous Indian beauties, the delicate Indian architecture, Ketan Mehta manages to paint a beautiful picture on celluloid that will prove to be a treat to art lovers. Though the filmmaker captures the nuances of the artist, Varma’s struggles, his success, his downfall well, the switch between the past and present frequently makes it difficult to focus on the subject.

While the film moves at a fairly quick pace throughout, the climax seems to be a little stretched. Sometimes adapting an entire book in a span of approximately 120 minutes can prove to be an almost impossible task and RANG RASIYA too seems to be a victim of it. The film which starts with an auction of one of Raja Ravi Varma’s famous painting seems to have had an abrupt ending too.

As far as the performances are concerned, the film solely rested on Randeep Hooda’s shoulders. Though Randeep struggles to make his act work in the first half, it is the second half that he manages to pull off some stellar scenes with aplomb. Nandana Sen, as the muse of Ravi Varma looks stunning in every attire of Goddesses. Paresh Rawal as the business minded Govardhandas, though an extended cameo, suits the role perfectly, Darshan Jariwala as the guardian of Hindu culture and Chintamani Pandit do a good job. Others like debutants Rashanaa Shah, Feryna Wazheir and veteran actor Vikram Gokhale help the movie move forward.

With this period drama set against the backdrop of the British Raj in 1800s, there is enough scope for melodious music that would have given a boost to the artistic portrayal of characters but somehow the music fails to make a mark. Except’Kahe Sataye’, the rest of the tracks aren’t worth mentioning.

On the whole, RANG RASIYA is for the artistic and creative people who believe in freedom of expression but it surely won’t woo the janta who are looking for entertainment and a getaway this weekend.

By Taran Adarsh

Super Nani

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Stars – 1.5

Bollywood films had and will always have its audience for every genre. There is something for everyone here. While the last week we saw the multi-starrer HAPPY NEW YEAR which was a visual extravaganza, this week will see the family drama SUPER NANI, a film which announces the ‘comeback’ of the ageless wonder cum diva Rekha, who will be seen in a central role after a long time.

Based on the hit Gujarati play ‘Baa Ae Maari Boundary’ by Imtiyaz patel, SUPER NANI is about the protagonist who is constantly being scorned and taken for granted by her full family. This film is about regaining one’s lost respect and that too in front of one’s own family members. Will SUPER NANI find its place in the hearts of the viewers and will it be able to garner ‘respectable’ position at the Box-Office, let’s analyze.

SUPER NANI starts off with an NRI Mann (Sharman Joshi) teaching the value of ‘Mother’ to young candidates through the ‘medium’ of an interview. Even though he resides in the overseas, his heart is very much Indian and he understands the value of family, mother and most importantly, his ‘Nani’. His ‘Nani’ Bharti Bhatia (Rekha) is a selfless lady who has only been sacrificing her life for the sake of her own family members, without sparing even an iota of a thought for herself. Her family consists of her superbusy business tycoon husband R.K. Bhatia (Randhir Kapoor), son Suketu (Rajesh Kumar) a wannabe share market expert who believes that ‘There are indeed shortcuts to success and earning money’. Besides them, there’s her daughter-in-law Aastha (Shreya Narayan) who holds sky high aspirations to become an actress, so much so that, when it comes to ‘adjustments’, she can even ‘adjust’ herself to act opposite a duplicate of Shah Rukh Khan, despite being promised the original. Lastly, there’s her daughter Gargi (Anchal Dwivedi) who is loaded with ultra modern values and someone who will not even blink an eyelid before saying yes even to marry a man who is already in the process of undergoing a divorce and with two children. For her, even the concept of live-in relationship is more appealing and acceptable than her own mother’s simple, traditional Indian values.

Life becomes miserably monotonous and stereotyped for the ‘never-say-complain’ Bharti, who remains mum despite all the tortures done to her by her own people within the four walls. All is not well, till the time her grandson Mann decides to come to India in order to shoot a documentary on Indian heritage. But when he witnesses the inhuman behavior that’s been meted to his favorite nani, he decides to take things in his hands and give her a much-required transformation (read ‘ makeover) with the help of Sammy aka Bamboo (Anupam Kher), Bharti’s long lost childhood friend and also a proud owner of ‘Seven Continent Advertising agency’. The duo of Mann and Sammy leave no stone unturned to transform ‘Mother Mary into Maa Durga’, despite opposition from everyone in the family.

What is Mann and Sammy’s actual motive to transform Bharti from a simple housewife into a supermodel, will Bharti become a supermodel at sixty years of age and will she win back her respect from her very own family members is what forms the rest of the film.

SUPER NANI not only marks the return of Rekha, but also the return of director Indra Kumar to his family drama genre after films like DIL, BETA, etc… With SUPER NANI, he has tried to visit the eras of the late eighties and nineties where morals, values, family and traditions were the key words. Since the film is in the hands of such an experienced director, it doesn’t lose its momentum, except for the song and dance sequences, which could have been shot in tune with today’s time and age. He also tried to infuse some humor angle with Rekha doing ‘take offs’ on Amitabh Bachchan, Nargis, Madhubala and likes. While there is no question about his direction, what one really wonders though is what made him incorporate scenes which are straight lifts from popular videos on youtube, or add dialogues that are famous SMS forwards and also the infusion of a ‘gay Yamraj’!

Of the cast, no prizes for guessing as to who is the star of the film. It is indeed Rekha’s film all the way, right from the word ‘go’. She has really put in her everything in this role. The film totally rests on her shoulders and she does full justice to her role, except that the word ‘beta’ could have been used a lesser number of times by her. Sharman Joshi as her grandson looks the part and also does reasonable justice to his role. If only the makers of the film had done away with his ‘gender-blender’ language, his character could have come across a bit more believable. Randhir Kapoor, on the other hand, looks convincing as a CEO, although he brings nothing new to the role. Shweta Kumar, despite being the ‘heroine’ of this family drama, hardly gets any convincing screen space, except for the song and dance sequences. Her presence in the film makes no difference to the film’s plot. The ‘head-nodding’ Anupam Kher brings nothing new to the table. The rest of the cast, which includes the likes of Shreya Narayan (do not miss her hilarious audition of ‘ek chutki sindoor’), Varsha Usgaonkar (effective cameo), Rajesh Kumar (stereotyped by now), Anchal Dwivedi (who, for some strange reason, comes across as Rakhi Sawant in some places), Vishakha Subedar (as the domestic help) put their best foot forward to justify the film’s storyline.

The music of the film (Harshit Saxena, Sanjeev-Darshan) is lackluster and suffers the same fate as its lyrics (Sameer, Sanjeev Chaturvedi) and the background score (Raju Singh). Despite the genre of ‘family values and tradition’ being a time tested formula, it works for SUPER NANI majorly because of its storyline (Vipul Mehta) and apt editing (Sanjay Sankla). As mentioned earlier, the film’s songs fail to register in the audiences’ mind, which also means that there’s hardly any expectations from the choreography (Saroj Khan, Shabina Khan). Cinematography (Rituraj Narain) is average.

On the whole, SUPER NANI is a wholesome family fare, which can be watched once… only for Rekha.

By Taran Adarsh

Roar – Tigers of Sunderban

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Stars – 1.5

Bollywood filmmakers have always had a fascination of making movie based on wild animals. While some movies in the 70s and 80s showed wild animals as man’s best friend, others featured stories of human settlements under threat by the attacks of the wild beast.

This week’s release ROAR: TIGERS OF THE SUNDARBANS is about a man’s mission to kill a white tigress in order to avenge his brother’s death. Does ROAR: TIGERS OF THE SUNDARBANS really live upto its name and does it really have what it takes to do a ‘roaring’ business at the Box-Office, let’s analyze.

The film starts off with Uday, a young and raring-to-go photojournalist who is on an assignment in the jungles of the Sundarbans. While he is busy capturing the wildlife at its best, he stumbles upon a cub of a white tiger, who gets ensnarled in a poacher’s trap. Taking fancy for the young one, he ‘rescues’ it by bringing it to his room in a cardboard box. This creates panic and unrest amongst the villagers. That’s when a Forest Officer (Achint Kaur) comes in with her team takes the cub away. Around the same time the cub’s yearning mother (a full-fledged white tigress) follows the smell of its young one and sniffs her way to Uday’s room. Eventually, she not only kills him, but also drags away his body to an unknown destination. Learning about his brother’s death, a dashing Army Officer Pundit (Abhinav Shukla) enters the scene in order to claim his brother’s body for the last rites. When he sees no positive reply from anywhere and anyone (including the Forest Officer who tells him that the case is closed), he decides to take things in his own hands and get justice to his brother by avenging his death. His plan is to kill the white tigress that killed his brother.

As a part of the plan, he ropes in a set of best officers, viz., Cheena (Virendra Singh Ghuman), CJ (Nora Fatehi), Hero (Ali Quli), Sufi (Aaran Chaudhary) and Kashmiri (Aadil Chahal). Joining their team are a local guide Madhu (Pranay Dixit) and Jhumpa (Himarsha V). Even before they tackle the tigress, they have yet another job in hand in the form of tackling the evil ways and methods of the dense jungle’s self-confessed ‘best poacher’ Bheera (Subrat Dutta).

Does Pundit become successful in avenging his brother’s death by hunting down the white tigress, does his team help him fulfill his mission and does the team ever get to know the evil ways and hidden motives of the villainous Bheera is what forms the rest of the film.

The actor- turned-director Kamal Sadanah who has directed ROAR, is also the film’s story writer (along with Abis Rizvi), editor (along with Muzzammil Nasir), screenplay writer and dialogue writer (along with Swati Goradiya and Aanand Goradiya). As far as his direction is concerned, Sadanah has a long way to go. There are places which make the film look boring and monotonous, but the film’s photography and camera work overshadow the flaws in his direction. The film tends to drag its way with a dull first half, however, the second half is comparatively interesting and engaging, especially towards the end of the film.

As far as the performances in the film are concerned, it is Abhinav Shukla, in true sense of the word, who leads them all. Trailing a close second is Himarsha V, in the role of Jhumpa. Despite being the ‘lead’, there is hardly any romantic scene of them together (the climax ‘kiss’ notwithstanding). Achint Kaur, although having a short role, looks a bit outspaced in the role of a Forest Officer. The rest of the cast offer their support in whatever way possible in taking the film’s story forward.

The film falters mainly because of its poor screenplay and average dialogues. The film’s music (Ramona Arena) is also a letdown. The film scores its brownie points solely and heavily because of its background music (John Stewart), cinematography (Michael Watson) and action (Allan Amin), as these three departments are the film’s saving grace. The icing on the cake is the VFX of the film, which helps in giving the viewers a first-hand experience of a gigantic white tigress.

On the whole, despite its decent VFX work, ROAR: TIGERS OF THE SUNDARBANS is a weak film.

Happy New Year – Movie review

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Stars – 4.5

Exactly ten years ago, the famous choreographer Farah Khan made her directorial debut with MAIN HOON NA, a Shah Rukh Khan starrer film that gave a major career boost to many names associated with it. She followed it up with yet another mega blockbuster OM SHANTI OM, again with Shah Rukh Khan. Circa 2014: Farah Khan teams up back again with Shah Rukh Khan, with yet another multi-starrer HAPPY NEW YEAR. In a nutshell, HAPPY NEW YEAR is a film about the underdogs (referred to as ‘losers’) and their quest to pull off the biggest diamond theft ever. With a runtime of almost 3 hours, does the film manage to live upto the hype and expectations, let’s analyze.

The film starts off with a world dance championship finale, wherein ‘Team India’ goes missing. Team India is led by the ‘Boston University topper’ Chandramohan Manohar aka Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan), whose ‘entry’ is shown in a illegal kick boxing match, wherein SRK mouths the rehash of all his famous one liner dialogues from his previous movies. Charlie is out on a mission to take revenge for his father, Manohar (Anupam Kher), who is conned by the evil mind Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff) and imprisoned for 12 years. Charlie’s plan is to steal Rs. 300 crore worth diamonds that are under Charan’s security in Dubai. His partners in crime are: A partially deaf Jagmohan Prasad aka Jaggu aka Jag (Sonu Sood) who is an ex-army bomb squad member, a self confessed Parsi ‘stud’ Tammy Irani (Boman Irani) who is an expert at opening sophisticated lockers and who carries a mini supermarket in his bag, a young hacker Rohan Singh (Vivaan Shah) who is a ‘loser in real world, Nandu Bhide (Abhishek Bachchan) whose ‘USP’ is that he can puke anytime, anywhere, and then there’s Mohini (Deepika Padukone), who is a bar dancer with a dream of opening a dance school for young girls. Mohini has a huge weakness for English speaking people! She is someone who lives by the saying ‘Haaro toh haaro, Ijjat mat utaaro’, which means for her ‘ijjat’ is everything. The plan is to not just steal expensive diamonds from Charan, but also to restore the lost glory of Charlie’s innocent father, by putting Charan in jail. To execute this plan however, the team needs to participate in the ‘World Dance Championship’ which takes place in the Atlantis hotel, exactly where Charan will be keep the diamonds for a one day display in Dubai. Charlie and his team enroll in this competition and despite all the boys being non-dancers, they use their antics to survive amongst the best dancers in the world.

True to the saying ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’, Charlie and his team go all out to successfully execute the plan, even if that means to win the dance championship, despite being non-dancers. Will Charlie and his ‘Team India’ be able to steal the diamonds from Charan’s sophisticated locker, will they be able to win the dance championship despite being non-dancers and will Charlie ever be able to restore the lost glory of his father forms the rest of the story.

With mega blockbusters like MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM behind her, director Farah Khan (who also doubles up as the film’s writer along with Mayur Puri and Althea Delmas Kaushal), by now, seems to know audience’s taste when it comes to masala movies. And maybe that’s why she makes absolute no mistake while serving the dish called HAPPY NEW YEAR. While the soul and the story of the film remains truly Indian with Bollywood masala, comedy et all… Farah has managed to make a glossy film with stunning visuals. The film is a bit stretched with its run time going to almost 3 hours, the comic moments, dance and music keeps you engaged.

As far as the acting department is concerned, no prizes for guessing as to who the captain of the team is. It is Shah Rukh Khan, who leads the film on his able shoulders right from the word go. Be it his quintessential romance with his lady love Deepika Padukone or the fight sequences, or his acting performance as Charlie, Shah Rukh Khan excels in every department. In this film, he has been portrayed more as an action hero who can sing and dance, which again, the King Khan has done full justice to. If he sported a 6 pack abs in OM SHANTI OM, he moves ‘two steps ahead’ to flaunt a whopping ’8-pack abs’, which looks undeniably good on him! Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, does full justice to her character Marathi bar dancer. After CHENNAI EXPRESS, this is yet another quirky character that the actress has played in one more SRK film. Deepika has definitely evolved a lot as an actress and she proves that yet again with her comic role in this film. Do not miss the scenes when even her silent love for Shah Rukh Khan speaks volumes. Sonu Sood excels in his role and looks convincingly funny. Abhishek Bachchan is back to doing loud comedy in this film after BOL BACHCHAN. In this film, be ready for a double dose of Abhishek as he is seen in a double role. Do not miss his take on his father Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic dialogue ‘I can talk in English and walk in English’. The ever-versatile Boman Irani, yet again proves that he is a bankable actor and such roles are tailor made for him. Full marks to him for proving right the saying, ‘Age is just a number for real performers’. Vivaan Shah also performs well with so many experienced actors around him. After his ‘fatherly act’ in DHOOM 3, Jackie excels in this film as well, but, in a villainous role. He seems to be on a mission to redefine ‘villain’.

Like her previous films, this film too includes many cameos, including Sajid Khan, Prabhu Dheva, Malaika Arora Khan, Sarah Jane Dias, Dino Morea (as a host), Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani. Do not miss the camaraderie between Anurag and Vishal, who are romantically inclined in this movie. Anupam Kher is convincing in his ‘emotional appearance’, despite having a brief role.

The music of the film (Vishal-Shekhar) is indeed one of the film’s major highlights. Most of the songs (a couple of them notwithstanding) seem to be apt for the film’s situations and helps in moving the story forward. The choreographers (Farah Khan and Geeta Kapoor) do total justice to this extravagant dance movie. The film’s background music (John Stewart) is quite good. The film’s editing (Anand Subaya, Tushar Parekh) is crisp. Manush Nandan does full justice in the cinematography department, so does writer Mayur Puri, who doubles up as the screenplay writer and the dialogue writer for this movie. The action sequences (Suniel Rodrigues and Dave Judge) are choreographed really well. Also, as committed by Shah Rukh Khan, this film too sees the name of Deepika Padukone (heroine) appear before his name in the opening credits. The makers have spared nothing to make the film look extravagant and visually stunning. Red Chillies VFX team requires a special mention for the same.

All in all, HAPPY NEW YEAR is definitely a smash hit film, which has blockbuster written all over it. The film will set new records in the days to come. Go for it!

By Taran Adarsh

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