Posts Tagged ‘ Arif Zakaria ’

Lootera

Lootera (2013) Movie Poster
Lootera
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.

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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