Posts Tagged ‘ Lillete Dubey ’

One By Two (Mini Review)

one-by-two-poster
One By Two
Release date: January 31, 2014
Directed by: Devika Bhagat
Cast: Abhay Deol, Preeti Desai, Lillete Dubey, Darshan Jariwala, Yudishtir Urs, Jayant Kriplani, Geetika Tyagi, Anish Trivedi, Rati Agnihotri

This is a mini review. I will try to restrain myself from crossing a certain word limit.

First off, One By Two is not a straight off rom-com. The plot has a continuous parallel approach where Abhay Deol’s Amit Sharma and Preeti Desai’s Samara Patel live their lives separately yet slightly connected. Both of them have a plush South Bombay family background and their needs are sufficiently met, yet they are going through a quarter life crisis.

Amit hasn’t got over his girlfriend who has outrightly dumped him and publicly cheated on him. Samara won’t get seriously involved with her romantic partners. The plot devices used to form the seven degrees of separation are not exactly desperate, but not completely smart and subtle either.

The songs transition into the narrative smoothly, yet test your patience with their generic textures. The soundtrack even has an Arijit Singh number, here’s me placing my ten bucks on he’s gonna be the next Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in the coming six months. I am Pakaao’d packs the most powerful punch. Darshan Jariwala as Amit’s uncle is appreciable in his parts, Agnihotri and Kriplani are fun, even though a bit stereotypical.

One By Two is unconventional. I love unconventional. I don’t exactly love One By Two. I liked the effort, but the faults just kept haunting me.

My rating: ** (2 out of 5)

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The Lunchbox

The_Lunchbox_poster
The Lunchbox
Release date: September 20, 2013
Directed by: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Nimrat Kaur, Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bharati Achrekar, Denzil Smith, Nakul Vaid, Lillete Dubey, Yashvi Puneet Nagar

Delectably assorted tiers of steel boxes, make their way from the homely kitchens to the hustling offices and other workplaces, with the dabbawalas playing the role of the messenger–a regular urban activity, is picked up by Ritesh Batra and he gives vivid roles to all the three parties involved. Where the dabbawala is the inadvertent cupid (in denial) between an unlikely couple.

Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is a modern housewife, in need of validation from her husband Rajiv (Nakul Vaid) She gets the wanted and unwanted advice from the Deshpande Aunty (Bharati Achrekar’s voice) be it cooking or listening to endless cassettes from the 80s and 90s, they do it all together. In a bid to win Rajiv all over again, Ila cooks the most scrumptious meal she has ever cooked yet.

On the other end of the spectrum, rather the receiving end, is Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) a bank employee working for the claims department for the past 35 years, and is about to retire in a month. He’s a widower, who smokes and watches TV while he’s at home in the evening. He doesn’t dole out free smiles either. Two common emotions between these disconnected characters is the longing for a loved one, in the absence or even the presence of that person.

The tiffin packed with the spices and an effervescent letter becomes the ritual and what they bode on are the general changes in Bombay, their personal habits, their fancies. All of it, without seeing each other through the entire film. The actors deliver perfect emotions that resemble intimate moments, even in isolation. Siddiqui plays the enigmatic yet annoying newbie at the bank, Aslam. He keeps pushing Fernandes to the limit only to catch him off guard enjoying his tiffin.

However, as perfect this film appears, I was baffled at the subsided treatment given to the fringe characters, like the co-employees at the bank, thus adding to inconsistencies with Fernandes’s character (with respect to what Aslam says he’s heard from the other guys at the bank). There’s a certain feeling of holding back, the cards seem just a bit too close to the chest. Perhaps more of these flaws get masked by Khan’s crowning realistic acting, Kaur’s timed insecure expression and the sheer delight of receiving yet another letter. If there’s a film about Bombay’s current face and its constant battle with overcoming nostalgia, it cannot be better than The Lunchbox.

Ritesh Batra’s transitions are simplistically captivating. He takes the usual and turns it into fitting devices for the screenplay to forward. Shot on real locations with camerawork that resembles the same innocuous stolen glances which the characters share with the letters exchanged through the lunchbox, Michael Simmonds is impish as he delves into the character’s camaraderie with the same fringe characters, thus making them inclusive again.

I don’t know about Oscar selections or National Awards, but The Lunchbox is as close as a film can get to your heart, even if no one uses a mobile phone in the entire film. It’s just food, Bombay and the memories here.

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

Heroine


Heroine
Release date: September 21, 2012
Directed by: Madhur Bhandarkar
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Govind Namdeo, Harsh Chhaya, Shahana Goswami, Mugdha Godse, Sanjay Suri< Rashmi Nigam, Lillete Dubey, Ranvir Shorey, Helen, and a few Bhandarkar regular junior extras.

Stereotypical gay characters, the usual “You bastard” utterances from the female lead, and extreme portrayals of every circumstance are what you expect from a Bhandarkar film. And you do get them! But there’s obviously more nails in the coffin of this ‘heroine’. (All the pun in the Bhandarkar universe intended)

Heroine is a tale of a delusional and insecure actress Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) who’s struggling with her professional and personal life alike. But hey, there HAVE to be sidetracks that don’t mean anything to the narrative of the film. So Mugdha Godse plays some Riya Mehra who is also a rising ‘heroine’ and somehow you get a bisexual male director/producer in an after-coitus scene with a guy who just has three syllables in his verbatim, i.e. bro, dude and babes. He also delivers a line about how the zipper of one’s pants and lips should always remain carefully locked in the movie industry. WOW.

Mahi has a small support staff of three people on the move: an overtly gay fashion designer, a bitchy good-for-nothing-does-nothing friend Rats, and a secretary Rashid bhai (Govind Namdeo) This support staff appears and disappears with no reasoning and logic when our protagonist’s life is hit by hard times. But she still has a personal bar, iPhone, Blackberry, beautiful apartment and a bartender-cum-cook-cum-cleaner-cum-human-robot. If you’re troubled by my use of hyphens in that sentence, that’s how I felt while watching this film.

The caricatures never end. There are tons of inward pointed controversies picked upon here. Almost every controversy EVER! Ranvir Shorey plays an independent small time film director Tarun and gives Mahi achance to act in his first Hindi feature. Here Mahi is in a state of breakdown and in the process of getting back up. Oh wait, she’s always in a state of breakdown. Shahana Goswami tries to guide Kareena’s character to bring out her inner passion for ‘acting’ and slips into a small lesbian sequence. By the way, we have a new symbolic reference for two ladies making out in our films now, it’s two glasses of wine kept together and the women pass on to the bedroom. I hope the gay men don’t complain cos there’s finally a lesbian and bisexual reference as well.

Heroine is a compilation of the worst possible scenarios from different real stories all rolled into one. Nothing good happens. I’ll have to pick out one, for the sheer idiocy of it – Mahi is in the middle of a big spiral downwards and she reaches at an orphanage to adopt a child. Sushmita Sen won’t like it. And I’d advise all of you to contemplate on adopting a child whenever you’re staring into a deep abyss of financial instability and mental trauma. Helen plays out Shgufta, a yesteryear actress who ALSO tries to guide Mahi.

Kareena’s character never really grows with you to make you feel any kind of pain or sympathy whatsoever, because she’s been screaming and screeching right from the start. Heroine remains immature, crass, unrealistic and even stupid at some points. Unrealistic because it just encapsulates every goddamn issue/controversy/hardship that anyone has ever faced in the movie industry in the form of a handful of people.

Heroine is so bad I’m falling short of adjectives to tell you how Bhandarkar it is.

My rating: * (1 out of 5)

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