Archive for July, 2012

Kya Super Kool Hain Hum


Kya Super Kool Hain Hum
Release date: July 27, 2012
Directed by: Sachin Yardi
Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Ritesh Deshmukh, Neha Sharma, Sarah Jane Dias, Anupam Kher

(‘Witty’ one-liner alert. Scroll down to the last line before the final rating. That sums up the entire review.)

What you expect is not what you’ll get and what you don’t expect you’ll not get it either. That is the lesson Kya Super Kool Hain Hum taught me. A film that brands itself as an adult comedy, you’re bound to get a few below the belt jokes and a few abuses thrown out in between.

But hey, what you get is one-liners stolen from the ‘popular tweets’ section of newspapers, tons of indirect references to the protagonists’ sexuality in some morse code that is obviously bereft of the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’. I’m sure homosexuality is some devious monster that is more sentimentally hurting than a ‘chutiya’ or  a ‘machodunga’ or horrific camera angles.

The plot is as forced as me trying to type out the plot. The palmist from the first part (Kya Kool Hain Hum) is replaced with a tarot card reader who tells Adi (Tusshar Kapoor) that a girl whose name starts with the letter ‘S’ will bring him luck and rejuvenate his ailing acting career. Deja vu! DJ Sid (Ritesh Deshmukh) is his room-mate. Sid makes more money by breeding his ever-sexually-potent dog than by DJ-ing at events. Wow!

Sid gets a gig spontaneously and it’s a fashion show where Anu (Sarah Jane) trips on the ramp and faces a wardrobe malfunction. Anu holds Sid accountable for this and starts looking for revenge. Don’t even think of understanding the logic behind a DJ being responsible for a nip-slip. You won’t even get one! Meanwhile, Adi finds his lucky girl Simran (Neha Sharma) who is a rich girl who wants to get all independent by not marrying her parents’ chosen boy. The two girls are obviously friends.

Now that we have a plot, we’re witness to random skits taken straight out of comedy shows and more not-so-funny one liners. Even Razzak Khan makes a appearance with the same schtick from the last film. I’m not just complaining about the silly storyline or random gags, the cameras and flipshots are painfully ugly and the overall setup of the film is too improbable to be true.

And this one is my own ‘one-liner’ to the film’s director Sachin Yardi in the same rhyme scheme way that he’s used profusely in the film. Here it goes,
Yaar Sachin Yardi, tune to picture ki gaand maar di.”

My rating: *1/2 (1.5 out of 5)

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Harud (Autumn)


Harud
Release Date: July 27, 2012
Directed by: Aamir Bashir
Cast: Shahnawaz Bhat, Reza Naji, Shamim Basharat, Salma Ashai, Mudessir Ahmed Khan, Rayes Mohiuddin

The sudden disappearance of a family member, a suffocating existence, or a gut-wrenching feeling of helplessness. Either one of these could render us paralyzed in our lives with a void inside for a very long period of time. Rafique’s family has an unenviable fate of facing all of the aforementioned predicaments.

Rafique (Shahnawaz Bhat) lives with his small family in Kashmir. With limited resources and restricted choices, his friends – Ishaq (Mudessir Ahmed Khan) and Aslam (Rayes Mohiuddin) – and a major part of their generation make attempts to move out of their said misery to different parts of India. Rafique’s brother Tarique has disappeared, like thousands of other young men from Kashmir. The police and the powerful beings put up a doll face that never acknowledges these ground-breaking reports.

Ishaq wants to be a singing star and hopes to break into the scene by participating in a reality show, but fondly accepts “Vote kaun karega? Kashmir ki janta to election me bhi vote nahi karti.” (Who will vote for me? The citizens of Kashmir doesn’t even vote in the constituency elections.) Grappling with the hard realities of their respective positions, the trio hangs out at the local park playing football and dreaming about the bleak but charming possibilities of their strangled futures.

Rafique’s father, Yusuf (Reza Nazi of the “Children in Heaven” fame) is a traffic cop struggling with a feeling of being defenseless even in his uniformed demeanor, who’s still making an effort to help his son out by asking him to lead on with his life. Yusuf’s shell cracks when he watches a militant blow up in front of him, rendering him a mental condition. Rafique discovers his brother’s camera and gets his last photos printed and finds out a similar disappearance of a boy. That boy is Shaheen’s (Salma Ashai) brother. Rafique finds a mutual connect between the two of them and in lieu of stepping into his brother’s shoes: opts for a job at a photography studio.

A small glimmer of hope that arises out of strong will and innumerable hardships still somehow isn’t enough. Aamir Bashir creates a pathos on the tenterhooks of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act imposed in Kashmir by refusing to break into a monologue piercing the entire system. With a much realistic approach on emotions, camera angles and landscaping shots, producing a raw and biting picture of how vivid the conditions are in Kashmir. The film, due to the lack of a more engaging dialogue fails to keep up with the sluggish pace and some times, the profound symbolism gets lost in the bargain. At a few moments, invoking a sense of incoherence Harud isn’t your average run-off-the-mill joyride and took two years in the cans to see the light of the cinema projector.

Harud is a limited release and if you are patient enough for a moving scenery of a grave, deep-rooted problem with a no-nonsense approach, I strongly advise you to watch it while it does the rounds of the few cinema halls in your city.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5)

The Dark Knight Rises


The Dark Knight Rises
Release date: July 20, 2012
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

Before I get to the actual reviewing part, I make a promise to not dole out any spoilers and ask you to resist clicking even on the Wikipedia page of this movie. I am also going to stay away from the usage of any fanboy terms like: ‘epic’, ‘awesome’ or (in rare cases) ‘godlike’.

Christopher Nolan has given us two of the most absorbing Batman storylines, perhaps in decades. Does the third installment have the same impact? You will not be blown away with flying explosions with painful 3D. As this is a conclusion of the three-part series, we get a final showdown of elements that have played out their roles in the earlier parts.

Harvey Dent, Gotham’s fallen hero-cum-villain in disguise has made way for stringent laws & a much lower crime rate under the order of Police Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is much older, as 8 years have rolled by and he’s a weaker Batman now. Gordon & Wayne are the only ones who know about who the real savior of Gotham was but they still manage to keep it a secret.

Bane (Tom Hardy) has his intentions of overthrowing the existential Western Civilization and create a new one, that puts the oppressed and the poor in power and lead a lawless land. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is a non-whip carrying Catwoman, much to my displeasure. With an unclear intent of getting a ‘clean’ ID, Kyle strikes a deal to get some fingerprints and burgles her way out. Marion Cotillard plays Miranda Tate, trying to get Wayne back into his much glorified past avatar. That of a swashbuckling, suave and philanthropic   billionaire.

Bonus poster

Bonus poster! I couldn’t stop myself from adding this.

The tale is of an incapacitated and weakened Batman trying to fight his fears and salvage Gotham’s dilapidating integrity and serenity. Nolan digs into the insecurities of a megalomaniac and secret identities. But along with that, there is a stronger struggle of separate forces that fail to make you connect with the characters’ problems. Surely, the production design and the costumes are brilliantly done. There are a few inconsistencies in the plot which I won’t point out in particular because that would just add up to being a spoiler. But the back-up Batman suit is purely ridiculous.

Apparently, Nolan has taken a liking to Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as they appear in his two consecutive ventures, i.e. Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. They justify that liking with fine performances. At the end, The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t cut through the skin of this viewer although it is entertaining and builds a riveting climax. It is the individual struggles that don’t quite blend in perfectly with the collective plot.

The Dark Knight Rises has the right twists and turns in the story which could possibly elevate it into a superleague of successful third movies from a franchise. It isn’t as magnificent as it was expected to be.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5) 

Sabbatical

I don’t know how many people actually read these reviews that I post here, but I know I do write them with honesty and impartiality. I won’t be reviewing moves for perhaps a few days/weeks or even months. I don’t know for how long. Obviously there is a reason, but I won’t cry for sympathy any more. Blast A Trumpet is temporarily out of business.

Cocktail


Cocktail
Release date: July 13, 2012
Directed by: Homi Adajania
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Saif Ali Khan, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia

The film is set in London, and we do get the stereotypical wide shots of the city that help us to know, nothing. Sorry. But the long shots and extensive coverage of the picturesque landscapes and swish streets get a tad too imposing. Yes, they so first-world and we so third-world.

For the plot: Meera (Diana Penty) is our grief-struck damsel stuck in a foreign land with nowhere to go. Veronica (Deepika Padukone) lives alone in an expensive row house with endless nights of partying and more partying. She’s a photographer by profession, but all her demands are met by her invisible parents. Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) is approaching his thirties with no stable relationship around him. He likes to get laid, easily. Meera and Veronica are poles apart, in every parameter that counts. Yet, Veronica befriends Meera and tries getting her into the party loop.

And mind you, Veronica always gets by the bouncers at the local nightclub & all the patrons know her! Yay! Alright, that is a bit cliche. She dances her ass off while everyone cheers for her and two party numbers go by. Gautam, who had tried his ‘charm’ over Meera right at their first incidental meeting now gets served by Veronica and soon they are an item. They even share a toothbrush. How cute. Boman Irani plays Randhir, Gautam’s uncle and calls himself his guardian when his sister Kavita (Dimple Kapadia) calls him to coax Gautam to get married.

Soon things start mixing up when Kavita shows up at Veronica’s house where Gautam is swaying wildly to Sheela Ki Jawaani and is heavily cross-dressed. Meera pretends that she is Gautam’s fiance and Kavita takes an instant liking to her coy and sweet future daughter-in-law. They go on a vacation and hormones start to run haywire. Gautam and Meera get close and realize that they are in love. Meera tries to suppress her feelings and Veronica also realizes her feelings for Gautam. Love triangle commences.

The three protagonists go through longing and a throbbing pain in the absence of their crossed-up lovers. Veronica ends up on a self-destructive path, while Meera tries running away and Gautam is stuck between the two. The film’s first ‘artistic’ or emoting sequence shows up in the form of a lash-out by Veronica at Meera in an inebriated state. The second half of the film tries making more sense than the first, actually making some sense.

Things get completely sorted out over the course of two sad songs playing in the background. Disappointing. But the overall product doesn’t bear a stale stench, thus keeping it fresh and somewhat touching. We’ve seen better romcoms & we’ll see more (hopefully) but this one isn’t too bad either.

Cocktail proves to be entertaining and enjoyable while it lasts. You won’t regret going to this movie even if you aren’t a mushy romantic film-buff.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5)

Bol Bachchan

Bol Bachchan
Release Date: July 6, 2012
Directed by: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai, Asrani, Krushna Abhishek, Archana Puran Singh, Neeraj Vora

I knew this film was a take on Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal. But I went in to discover what’s new or rather what’s screwed up. Gol Maal has been used and the derivative plot has been inherited from another film, Chor Machaye Shor, which was also a take on the aforementioned classic.

Ajay Devgn is getting into the skin of a hamming hamster with his each ‘home production’ and he gets into the non-emotive, muscle flexing character, Prithviirrelevantlongname pehelwaan with an age-old rivalry with his cousin, another ridiculouslylongnamed guy. Did I mention there’s a guy uncannily similar to Sabu – Chacha Choudhary’s accomplice – and coincidentally he’s also named ‘Sabu’. How creatively liberating! A tale of lies is spun by Abbas (Abhishek Bachchan) to raise a livelihood. Trust me, you won’t even sympathize with any of the characters even after a ‘financial calamity’ strikes Abbas and his sister, Sania (Asin)

Prachi Desai gets to play the filler, smile-flashing, stupid lovestruck Radhika. There’s no reason why she gets involved in a romantic angle with Bachchan and you are not even expected to question it, or else, Rohit Shetty might topple a Mahindra Scorpio on you. Or he could put you into a Mahindra Scorpio and make it go through a truck and then make you topple.

P.S. Mahindra Scorpio has in no way offered me any kind of endorsement deal, as of yet. Though I’m not sure about Rohit Shetty.

The self-proclaimed  modern day messiah of ‘family entertainment’ laces the narrative with double entendres, mild expletives and inappropriate hand gestures, and the families applaud! Yet, the protagonists shy out of saying the word ‘homosexual’ or samlaingik and prefer to whisper it into ears, with the melodiously irritating loud background noise. Not just once, but twice, or maybe thrice.

You are expected to laugh at a used and shamelessly copied plot, and even plagiarized characterizations. One particular sequence where Rohit Shetty plays out his another fetish, the urge to watch big, burly men making homosexual poses with Abhishek Bachchan, while old and new hit Hindi numbers play in the background. The humor is as forced as the romantic angles or the car-chasing scenes or the entire movie itself. Ajay Devgn’s schtick, where he makes use of wrong English words to concoct a ‘funny’ phrase is as old as Anil Kapoor’s Bhaiyya ji in Tashan. Yes, I just mentioned Tashan.

The ladies don’t have much to do, except for Archana Puran Singh’s loud Zohra Bai and Asin’s disturbingly differentiating breast size. The men either do their parts badly, or they go overboard. There’s no middle ground perhaps. Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Krushna Abhishek and Neeraj Vora even commit the blasphemy of hamming up scenes from the underplayed & subtle Gol Maal.

This isn’t a tribute, it’s a murder of the original Gol Maal and Chor Machaye Shor. If you’re going in for the senior Bachchan, then you’ll get a reason to walk out right at the start when Amitabh Bachchan burps out that he isn’t in the film and only his name is used. Now only if he could have told us that in the TV promos as well.

My rating: * (1 out of 5)

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