Posts Tagged ‘ Adil Hussain ’


Lootera (2013) Movie Poster
Released date: July 5, 2013
Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Adil Hussain, Arif Zakaria, Vikrant Massey, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Shirin Guha

As one of the two on-the-run men is fallen, and the accomplice manages to escape, snowflakes start falling. A pensive autumn tree losing its leaves being looked upon from the misty windows of a house in Dalhousie. The restless fiddling with a light switch depicting a young lady’s constant reveling in the same. These are just a few from a series of charmingly beautiful visuals from Lootera.

Set in newly independent India of the 50s, in an affluent zamindaar household of bright and sunny Calcutta, Pakhi Roychoudhry (Sonakshi Sinha) is an aspiring writer with gleaming eyes and perfectly tucked in saris. She is playful yet contained, portraying an innocence of a bygone era. Cushioned by a formerly royal lineage, she makes time to cherish the smaller things.

Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh) is a state archaeologist in search for ancient figures and in that pursuit lands in front of the Roychoudhry house. He starts his excavation on the property and finds a soft spot with the hospitable hosts. He creates a wooden canvas on his every assignment, and on being asked about his interest with blank canvases, he reveals he’s waiting to draw an eventual masterpiece.

From a head-on collision in a chance encounter to charring Varun’s hand deliberately; from stealing glances to sitting next to each other by the lakeside and whispering sweet nothings; from being passionately in love to forcibly injecting asthma curing drugs– it is this natural progression of Pakhi and Varun’s story that renders an intimate and uncontrived vibe to it. Abstaining from heavy declarations of feelings, Lootera thrives on situations and their power of carrying them through without unnatural dialogue.

Motwane and his cinematographer Mahendra J. Shetty elicit a vibrantly enthusiastic feel to the first half and at the same time juxtapose them with darker shades to consistently maintain a contrast that goes with the different characters. Open spaces are highlighted as diligently as the confined rooms and windowpanes. Amit Trivedi’s music and background score is more of a match tailor made for the film.

Sonakshi Sinha delivers one of her most valuable performances as she ranges between being young and chirpy, and morbid and gloomy. She is in such form that you’re often distracted by her expressions from her ethereal appearance. Ranveer Singh is not on her level here though, but even that’s enough to hold your attention. O. Henry’s short story, “The Last Leaf” is finely woven into the film’s narrative, so much that you relinquish a certain emotion and start cheering for one of the protagonists in a certain scene. (I don’t give away any spoilers.)

As much adjectives I’ve used up to this point to describe Lootera’s brilliance, I’m still left with a few more. But I’d rather not delve in the depths of its excellence again for that will simply not end. There may be a blemish or two, which I won’t tell you.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

P.S. Excuse the shoddy rhyme in the last line and go watch Lootera with compassion and all silence.

Lessons In Forgetting

Lessons in Forgetting
Release date: April 19, 2013
Directed by: Unni Vijayan
Cast: Adil Hussain, Roshni Achreja, Maya Tideman, Raaghav Chanana, Amey Wagh, Karan Nair, Anuja Vaidya, Veena Sajnani, Lakshmi Krishnamurthy, Uttara Baokar, Srilekha

Based on Anita Nair’s book of the same name, Lessons in Forgetting has the author herself to handle the story, screenplay and dialogues; thereby guaranteeing the actual flavor of the book to be retained. The film presents the issues pertaining to female foeticide and the general disdain and contempt for a woman’s integrity in India, small towns and metros alike.

The film fluctuates between a misty flashback, the present and the retelling of past incidences by the participants. The apparently three distinct approaches are structurally connected to each other. The first is J.A. Krishnamurthy/JAK’s (played by Adil Hussain) journey to find out what happened to his daughter. On his way he’s accompanied by Meera (Roshni Achreja) who’s faced a separation from her husband. She’s assisting him with his research work as she’s got a family to support by herself now.

The second is that of a college street play group enacting a musical on the illegal sex determination and dangerous abortions on the south coast of India. The subsequent entry of Smriti (Maya Tideman) as a young, and outgoing student with a modern outlook. Shivu (Amey Wagh) and Matthew (Karan Nair) are smitten by her, only to discover that she’s interested in Rishi (Raaghav Chanana)

The recurring memory flashes of JAK’s moments with his daughter on the beach form the misty flashback. All of these finely intertwine as the narrative progresses. Few mannerisms of the ensemble cast seem out of place but that’s compensated by the naturally fitting arguments between Meera’s mother (Veena Sajnani) and grandmother (Lakshmi Krishnamurthy) and Chinnataayi’s son being a loudmouth.

The screenplay and direction exhibit their strengths by being outright blunt and subtle where it’s required. A particular scene where a protagonist unearths a murky conspiracy, the buildup is more effective than the actual discovery. I am not revealing the entire situation, but it’s the one with placenta hanging outside a bin. And intentionally paradoxical is the the scene where Chinnataayi (Srilekha) recalls what she saw happening on a beach in Minjikapuram – bound to make you feel uneasy however tough you are.

The pathos of the film is perfectly captured in its climax where brutality and redemption are manifested with grace. The individual performances are impressive and offer a constantly forward moving pace to the story. Also, the camera stays with the characters so as to provide more of an insight or even to weather the storm that’s called “abrupt cut”. Instead of making the usual awkward cuts, the makers decide to embrace a much sophisticated style of letting the characters exit the frame completely or conclusively.

Lessons in Forgetting delivers an important message and in an emphatic way. It’s a deserving National Award winner and it deserves your attention.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Life of Pi

Life of Pi
Release date: November 21, 2012
Directed by: Ang Lee
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Suraj Sharma, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Gérard Depardieu, Rafe Spall

Caution: Please don’t hyperventilate at the generous use of the word ‘beautiful’.

Life of Pi, adapted from its original namesake book, has a premise that borders on theism (rather, believing in yourself) and the contrast it shares with realism.

The plot is built upon a particular trying predicament in the life of Piscine Patel (Irrfan Khan) that solidified his faith and belief. He gets his name from Piscine Molitor – a swimming pool in France. How he’s rechristened to Pi is an endearing tale in itself. Pi’s mother (Tabu) reveres her religion and revels in the exuberant Hindu mythology by reciting tales of Vishnu to his brother Ravi and him.

Piscine’s father (Adil Hussain) is a businessman in Pondicherry, where the French colonial tastes still prevail. He starts a zoo within a restaurant as an attraction and gets a wide range of animals, i.e. a Royal Bengal Tiger, a zebra, orangutans, hyenas and  monkeys of course! Due to the Emergency of ’75 and the economic hardships of running a zoo in a cash-crunched country gets difficult for them, and Pi’s parents decide to relocate to Canada. What happens on their journey to Canada is what holds the spine of the film.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, dangling against winds and waves, Life of Pi makes the optimum use of 3D effects. Whether it’s the underwater or radiant blue skies  with the sun shining and fading away, you’re immersed into the scenic gallery of nature’s wonders.  You absorb the sounds and somber background  score, gasping and heaving at the thrilling encounters on the boat. Dialogue takes a backseat and the narrative does manage to make it look sensible and perfect.

Adil Hussain gets a balanced Tamil dialect to his English, Suraj Sharma displays tenacity and desperation as the young Pi. Though the start of the story does seem a bit clunky, but the visual imagery is beautiful throughout. The underlying theme might appear as something which establishes a ground for religion and its relevance but it entirely isn’t that. I won’t reveal what it is for it’ll just give you freeloaders a kick.

To sum up, Life of Pi is what the title tells us, which he calls “Irrational as pi (the numeric value of 22/7)” And you don’t actually need to know what mathematical background pi belongs to. Life of Pi is enchanting and surreal, yet ethereal and binding. Watch this beautiful fest of marvelous creations to wonder about.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Agent Vinod Review

Agent Vinod
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Ram Kapoor, Shahbaz Khan, Ravi Kissen, Prem Chopra, Dhritiman Chaterji, Adil Hussain.

As the film starts to roll, you get a quote from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: One name is as good as another. Not wise to use your own name. One more reference to the mother of all classics drops by as a character’s ringtone is Ennio Morricone’s masterpiece. That was enough to get this viewer hooked on for the next hint of excellence. Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) is a secret agent (I hope I get the prize for being Captain Obvious here) he tries to be a turtle that doesn’t seem to be affected by the water on his back.

He cons his way out of tricky situations dangerously with all the oomph that James Bond could propagate with all of his arm-candy. There are a lot of charming beautiful women, one in Afghanistan, another one in Russia but their Hindi appears a few notches better than most of our current semi-Caucasian imports. Vinod is out to avenge the loss caused by Abu (Ram Kapoor) and his henchmen. Vinod disguises himself to find gateways into what appears a major threat to multiple nations’ security. The obvious loopholes start appearing. Not too cringe-inducing though. Yet.

Dr. Ruby Mendes (Kareena Kapoor) is a very complicated character, never really revealing what/whom she is working for. The first half ends at a point the viewer is bound by a clingy loose thread. That thread keeps breaking as the story advances. Sriram Raghavan constantly uses that odd old Hindi song that he always does, but doesn’t quite get the same magic of Ek Haseena Thi or anything closer to Johnny Gaddar. The movie pulls itself into a partial abyss, making it very difficult to ever come out of it. There’s a monumental feat that Vinod pulls out, a few thousand feet up in the air, but everything becomes insignificant.

Raghavan always gets his cinematography right, he does that this time as well. Sadly, that cannot hold the film string with its plot getting weaker as it progresses. The climax of a thriller film has to be a major draw, this is where this viewer stops caring altogether. Everything reduces to caricatures of all sorts. All potential for a slick & quick paced action film is totally down the drain.

Agent Vinod comes out as an avoidable film. If you have nothing to do this weekend, and you’ve already seen Kahaani and Paan Singh Tomar, I advise you to stay at home or catch Agent Vinod for Kareena and the few foreign import beauties along with the varying exotic locations.

My Rating: ** (2 out of 5)

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