Posts Tagged ‘ Mohan Kapoor ’

Aatma

aatma_poster
Aatma
Release date: March 22, 2013
Directed by: Suparn Verma
Cast: Bipasha Basu, Doyel Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shernaz Patel, Jaideep Ahlawat, Mohan Kapoor, Dashan Jariwala, Shivkumar Subramaniam

Aatma, as the title suggests, has something to do with souls and the supernatural. A child thrown in the mix along with ghosts, does sound similar to the staple films of the horror genre and Aatma has the same premise.

Maya (Bipasha Basu) and Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) are a couple with marital problems. Their daughter, Nia (Doyel Dhawan) is a one dimensional, ordinary child character with nothing much to do except for forcibly crying and being just a cute kid. After instances of domestic violence, Maya decides to separate from Abhay.

After the divorce, Abhay’s love for Nia is still the reason why he can’t let go of her and accept the court’s order; as much as outrightly disregarding the law in front of the judge. The custody is rested with Maya and Abhay simply can’t take it. Scared by her husband’s obsession, so much that even after his death Maya has an inherent fear and soon the aatma (soul) business starts.

There’s a strong list of names in the supporting cast category here, but that’s wasted by the sloppy and inconclusive writing which has an absurdly high number of pleasantries exchanged at very awkward junctures. It’s almost as a murder happening in the next room, and you ask them to keep it low, and thank them for obliging. The last example isn’t an exact scene from the film, but you get the gist.

The Hindi dialogue is so vague, and cliché that you just can’t take it seriously. The spooky bits are limited and satisfying, but the plot devices are jaded and repetitive. Nawazuddin’s character, though limited, is well etched. His first frame makes for an impact which is more than  Shernaz Patel, Shivkumar Subramaniam and Bipasha Basu’s combined first thirty minutes.

Suparn Verma’s attempt at developing the emotional aspect rather than just deploying jaw-dropping, cringe-inducing VFX is commendable, but the conversations that take forward the narrative range from absolutely painful to barely passable. Sophie Winqvist’s lingering camerawork creates the much required haunted theme, thus rendering a special touch to the overall mediocrity.

Aatma also cuts down on the usual screaming by not sticking to a jarring background score. The minimalistic approach could have led to a better product, which the entire horror genre could have referenced for a new direction, but it’s just another misspent venture.

My rating: ** (2 stars out of 5)

Advertisements

Jolly LLB

jolly-llb-poster
Jolly LLB
Release date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Subhash Kapoor
Cast: Amrita Rao, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurab Shukla, Manoj Pahwa, Mohan Kapoor

Jagdish Tyagi Jolly (Arshad Warsi) is a lawyer in a small district court of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His career is floundering  and he’s looking for ways to make it big. Soon he encounters another small time colleague getting mainstream media coverage for filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

A hit and run case accused is let off and Advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani) is the savior for the typical rich boy. Jolly moves to Delhi for bigger prospects and explores the same PIL alternative for a chance at fame. Rajpal is an accomplished and snobbish bigshot who wears exemplary suits and sips whiskey while discussing cases.

Presented with a moral dilemma, catalyzed by a few plot devices, Jolly has to now make a decision if he’s going to fight for justice or for his earlier goal of attaining a formidable status. Amrita Rao plays the protagonist’s cute and supporting love interest, Sandhya. She’s a teacher in middle-school (that’s what I am guessing) and not hesitant to correct him.

Jolly LLB employs a great satirical theme which keeps you consistently entertained with its lines and quirky characters. Saurabh Shukla does his crony shtick finely with his burps and farts. The sequence where he finally takes a strong stance and asks Rajpal to “shut up” is specially hilarious. The two conventional song-and-dance numbers are short but not too relevant, perhaps placed to legitimize the film as a completely commercial venture.

The strengths of Jolly LLB are the realistic depiction of a court and the shady fake witness nexus with a much sophisticated connection, and the apathy of the law-holders and caretakers. The said apathy transcends into a few fairly ludicrous scenes, like where the judge asks the lying driver to get down on his knees in the court. Also the collective applauds at the end of Rajpal and Jolly’s ‘speeches’ inside the courtroom nullify the said realism.

Arshad Warsi does well in his underdog portrayal and Boman Irani is just the exact amount of smug and pompous for his character. But it’s not the monologues at the end that I object to, it is the placement of a fun-filled flashy promotional music video where all the actors do a red carpet dance juxtaposing the end credits that I feel is patchy and dampening to the mood of the climax. It’s almost as “Hey,  that was only a movie and now stop thinking about what we just delivered ‘cos we’re simply entertainers.”

Again, it is not the makers’ message that I have a beef with, it’s just the suddenly serious and similarly sudden laidback approach that I find not fitting. Jolly LLB is a good film with its own flaws, but it has a heart and you simply can’t resist being all smiles where the film flaunts its charm.

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

Inkaar

Inkaar Poster
Inkaar
Release date: January 18, 2013
Directed by: Sudhir Mishra
Cast: Chitrangada Singh, Arjun Rampal, Deepti Naval, Vipin Sharma, Shivani Tanksale, Mohan Kapoor

The premise of a corporate fixture that has a serious accusation of sexual harassment lingering is quite interesting in itself. Throw in some confusing emotions between the victim and accused in it and you have a muddled plot.

Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal) is an established advertising professional and while at an ad award function he spots Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh) She’s a newbie copywriter with a headstrong approach to her job. Their first encounter gets off of a more of a condescending note where Rahul tells Maya that her ad didn’t deserve any award since it didn’t focus much on the product. Soon he starts mentoring her and there is the harmless flirting turning into something more than that.

The relationship that they share becomes complicated with the commitment issues and trust problems forcing the protagonists to separate their paths. When Maya returns, she’s much refined and more goal-oriented than ever. Also engaged to another ad executive who lives in the States. Rahul’s stand over her return remains dubious with his residual feelings coming off as competitive and ego hassles.

The film runs as a background to the sexual harassment investigations held by an independent social worker (Deepti Naval) assisted by other employees of the same firm. The eventual incident which causes the stir is revealed much later in the second half thereby progressing the story between the leads. There are uncomfortable closeups, probably to cause that discomfort that the characters face. But there are moments that perhaps don’t go with the overall look and the feel of the film resulting in overdoing cinematographic gimmicks at many junctures.

The ensemble cast of Vipin Sharma as the sleazy Gupta and Shivani Tanksale as the suspecting co-employee along with Mohan Kapoor perform well, but again there are things that happen out of turn and for no significance. NOT TO FORGET: Saurabh Shukla’s atrocious lipsync to a rock number in hiphoppish attire. Also the dependence on Kanwaljit Singh’s character as Rahul’s dad to sneak out a moral high ground seems weak.

Though many would not agree with the movie’s ending, I, on the other hand find it somewhat reasonable. The message that the makers are trying to put forth is that of maybe acting on instinct and morally right decisions. Though all of this doesn’t make up for the clunky and patchy design of the film.

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

%d bloggers like this: