Posts Tagged ‘ Jackie Shroff ’

Brothers

brothers_poster
Brothers
Release date: August 14, 2015
Directed by: Karan Malhotra
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Jackie Shroff, Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shefali Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ashutosh Rana, Kiran Kumar

Amongst the innumerable remakes that spring up in Hindi cinema every year, I can’t hold the remake against the original as a huge chunk of these films are unknown entities for me. I happen to be acquainted well with the film that Brothers is adapted from, i.e. Warriors. The 2011 original was supremely grim, slightly contrived and largely dramatic and ruthless in its handling of  severed bonds and their consequences.

Karan Malhotra willingly waters down every ingredient of the film, to accommodate two excruciatingly grating and intolerably long flashbacks and one of them is, to put it politely, quite useless. David (Akshay Kumar) and Monty (Sidharth Malhotra) are, you guessed it right, brothers. According to the film’s technicalities, foster-brothers, but yeah. The wedge driven between them is drawn by their alcoholic father Gary (Jackie Shroff) who is a former “underground fighter”.

The sons take off individually in their father’s flight and grow up to be… “underground fighters”! David has a family and is therefore forced to lead a more secure lifestyle. His daughter has an ailment which is mentioned verbally thrice in the span of thirty minutes and is almost forgotten thereafter. The film overloads itself with stereotypes and works up a formula for the order of proceedings, and that is how it plays out; emotions before the interval, and all the fighting humdrum after.

To be fair, the original film didn’t boast of being very innovative in the first place, but Brothers just goes on to kill any blemish of innovation or experimentation which could have possibly existed. It bludgeons your intelligence with mediocre storytelling, awful commentating and it thrashes your ears with its jarring background score and the painfully unimaginative soundtrack. The extensive length of the flashbacks rule out adequate screen-time and thus any scope for showing any range for the actors.

Jackie Shroff gets to be around as the bumbling, incoherent drunk and he’s a perfect 8 (8 because the film has obviously lowered its own set of expectations). Jacqueline looks good and talks her own limited Hindi. Who could have thought this would have been an achievement for an actor in a Hindi film! Kumar and Malhotra look their parts and immerse themselves in the often technically unsound action sequences. Kareena Kapoor does a faux striptease.

The film’s climax, which was very emotionally touching to see in Warrior, stands overwrought here as there is no empathy for the two pieces of beef grappling on the screen. You’re asked to feel an ocean of grief and a few more things when they fail to earn any of it.

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

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Dhoom 3

The boring-ass unimaginative poster.

The boring-ass unimaginative poster.

Dhoom 3
Release date: December 20, 2013
Directed by: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Cast: Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff, Tabrett Bethel (Is she the totally insubstantial post-colonial Victoria?)

First off, I saw Gori Tere Pyaar Mein recently and I enjoyed it quite a lot unlike many popular film reviewers. I couldn’t post a review ’cause I got a pseudo-anxiety attack after looking at my syllabus for the exam that week.

In a relentless Chicago, Sahir (Aamir Khan) is an illusionist-cum-acrobat-cum-tap dancer-cum-superb motorcycle rider. As the number of attributes attached with the presumed antagonist keep towering over his modest height, it’s safe to assume he’s the uber-cool antihero. He is Iqbal’s (played by Jackie Shroff) son. Trained and nurtured by his performer father, Sahir has a personal grudge to set right and an eternally six-pack flaunting untraceable criminal on a superbike is thus born.

The innumerable SWAT teams and Blue Mustangs are rendered powerless and “Indian Supercop” Jay Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) is invited with his sidekick Ali (Uday Chopra) to crack the already high-profile case. Whoa! With their Tom and Jerry shenanigans, they arrive in Illinois to bless us with a very limited range of buffoonery from Uday Chopra’s character. They don’t press on their earlier hot-and-cold gags and go straight for the hunt.

The only somewhat titillating poster.

The only somewhat titillating poster.

And Aliya (Katrina Kaif) joins Sahir’s The Great Indian Circus troupe too. She isn’t exactly Sahir’s romantic interest, but there’s a little chemistry relating Sahir and Aliya which leads to a certain implication. (Hush hush!) The approach of the screenplay towards cracking the case is smart and short, the drama is entirely concentrated on Aamir’s character which is understood given that he’s the attraction of the new installment. The logic and reasoning on the Supercop’s part isn’t exactly amiss in the post-intermission half, but it’s nothing very novel.

The struggles of Sahir’s character are drawn out and are also gripping to major extents. His robberies aren’t breathtaking. He’s the ordinary exhibitionist, it’s his buildup and the payoff which are interesting. Bridging the gap with his persona of a magic performer, there’s some meaty subtext here. Heck, Aamir even carries it off conveniently. He fluctuates his separate characterizations with ease. The rest of the cast is completely secondary. The writing is as unimaginative as the film’s posters. The dialogue ranges between pretentiously philosophical to inaccurately vague.

The songs, at least two of them, appear out of place. Yet, Dhoom 3 isn’t unbearable for a bashing audience-pleaser flick. It brisks fast enough for you to not continuously stare at your watch for it to get over. The fight between good and evil is grayed and as an afterthought, there isn’t any actual punching-kicking between the chor-police. No blood or any hardcore gore either. The stunts and action sequences don’t grate your ears with crushing iron rods and cars, they rather make you laugh (at times) at their ridiculousness. I don’t know what’s the criteria for you liking a film in IMAX, but no blood, no missiles don’t excite me into paying the flashy ticket price.

The Dhoom franchise’s latest offering is a safe film with an end that won’t affect the brand’s future, yet Dhoom 3 is a bearable film just because it doesn’t do a lot of things wrong, instead of doing many things right.

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

Aurangzeb

aurangzeb-poster
Aurangzeb
Release date: May 17, 2013
Directed by: Atul Sabharwal
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Prithviraj, Sasheh Agha, Sikandar Kher, Tanvi Azmi, Amrita Singh, Jackie Shroff, Deepti Naval, Swara Bhaskar, Sumeet Vyas, Kavi Shastri

Aurangzeb takes comfort in describing itself as an action thriller film, but it’s more of an etched out drama. Encasing an Indian family dispute into a game of power and a fight to the finish, definitely abiding by the long inculcated principles.

Prithviraj’s character Arya Phogat – a police inspector; plays the involved narrator who’s also one of the lead players of the story. His dying father (a brief guest appearance by Anupam Kher) asks of him a promise and Arya unwillingly starts his way towards fulfilling it. His uncle Ravikant (Rishi Kapoor) knows all about this and is also in the police. In fact Ravikant’s son Dev (Sikandar Kher) and son-in-law Vishnu (Sumeet Vyas) are also cops.

This isn’t good cop bad cop. Yet. Arya’s step brother Vishal and his long-lost twin brother Ajay – both the characters played by Arjun Kapoor; are the biological sons of Veera (Tanvi Azmi) and Yashvardhan (Jackie Shroff) who are separated due to some incidents and now they are required to swap themselves and convince the world around them. Sasheh Agha plays Ritu, Ajay’s girlfriend who is now used to his sadist tendencies.

The first half starts out with heavy drama and a few theatrical introductions, eventually building some intrigue at the halfway mark. Being the film that it is, the number of people in the cast is extensive but abused at times. Like Deepti Naval portraying a nameless wife to Ravikant, faces a shock that their son-in-law’s death wasn’t a suicide. She has a brief reaction in the background, probably aimed for greater consequences but sheared at the editor’s table.

That wasn’t the only awkward cut in Aurangzeb though. There are a few more loose ends and you begin to lose hope that this is just another semblance of family reunion fluff of the seventies, but the makers decide to emphasize on the builder-government-police corruption angle in Gurgaon’s ‘booming’ infrastructure sector and a beckon for the cops to act with a backbone and opt out of the influential cut.

Arjun Kapoor in his double role is flexible in ranging his emotions from the demure Vishal to the outlandishly cocky Ajay. Rishi Kapoor is entrusted to utter the forced Aurangzeb ideologies here and he doesn’t disappoint. What you take away with you after the film has ended, are the individual performances. Amrita Singh and Jackie Shroff shine here as well.

All in all, Aurangzeb has a story to tell, and with very less light moments, it does accomplish to make you believe in the what-is-he-going-to-do-next moments. For a film that takes itself so seriously, it flounders with technical absurdities at important junctures. (I haven’t specified because they could result in being spoilers)

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

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