Posts Tagged ‘ Murli Sharma ’

Badlapur

Badlapur Poster

Badlapur
Release date: February 20, 2015
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Yami Gautam, Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vinay Pathak, Huma Qureshi, Pratima Kazmi, Radhika Apte, Ashwini Kalsekar, Murli Sharma, Divya Dutta

In a war, there are excesses. In the modern world, these war crimes amount to conviction and greater ignominy. Badlapur harbors on being a metaphoric representation of that. Two forces of Raghu (Varun Dhawan) and Liak (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) against each other, the initially wronged force goes to extents that go far beyond the narrative of a hero’s struggle (revenge here)

Raghu’s wife and kid are victims of a bank robbery outrun involving Liak and his partner. Liak is caught and jailed, Raghu is caught in the web of his misery and jails himself in faraway Badlapur until he exacts revenge. Liak is unrepentant, and unwilling to give up his charade even in prison. Raghu plots and schemes his vendetta methodically by tracing everyone who is beloved to Liak.

Right from the beginning, there are no shades of white and black attached to the supposed protagonist and antagonist; the deeds of the protagonist border on misogynistic and outright psychotic, and even the antagonist might claim that even he wouldn’t go so far.Kanchan (Radhika Apte) and Jhimli (Huma Qureshi) are women who defend their men for any crime they may or may not have done. Raghu viciously uses their vulnerability to inflict pain and humiliation on the men they love.

The cause behind the revenge is sympathetic, yet the revenge itself isn’t as sympathetic. All of this imbalance in a conventionally stacked universe is what makes Badlapur greater than it actually is. Extensively shot in rainy conditions, the mood is rightly kept grim and so is the look on Raghu’s face. All of the ensemble cast, which is lined up to relay good performances, have quirks and traits that flesh their individual characters with broad strokes.

Varun Dhawan is being lauded for “making a brave choice” by playing Raghu, rather it should be the other way round. His portrayal of Raghu lends credibility to his  so-far-one-dimensional acting profile. Nawazuddin Siddiqui cannot be ever praised enough for his performances, and I am not even going to try to read out his strenghts as Liak. As neither Dhawan’s part is a complete pity-case, nor is Siddiqui’s Liak an entirely unlikable bad guy.

Sachin-Jigar’s background score sets the mood perfectly well for the ghastly acts of violence and/or the relatively new (for mainstream Hindi films at least) moments of hate-sex. The violence on display in this quite literal revenge porn is scarce and powerful, owing to its intricately shot techniques. Director Sriram Raghavan extracts long continuous takes in confined spaces such as a basement, a bathroom and an open street, thus rendering a chaotic feel to the order of events.

Badlapur also traverses a time period of almost twenty years in its runtime, and yet doesn’t resort to cliched flashbacks to the start of the story or any other overused instruments of raking mystery. Raghavan smartly touches upon incidences of solitary confinement for Liak in prison and yet doesn’t delve indulgently. He knows that this is the age of understating, and throwing melodrama out of the window, and he executes it darn well.

In all its glory, Badlapur is adamant on hammering the point by ‘telling’ and not ‘showing’–breaking a basic rule of filmmaking. Though, this isn’t the only rule it breaks here. Only this one seems slightly unpleasant at the end with a character verbally spelling out what the climax means.

This here, is a very fun filled revenge story, except the definition of fun is slightly different.

My rating: ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5)

Chakravyuh


Chakravyuh
Release date: October 24, 2012
Directed by: Prakash Jha
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Esha Gupta, Om Puri, Manoj Bajpai, Anjali Patil, Murli Sharma, Chetan Pandit, Kiran Karmarkar, Kabir Bedi, S.M. Zaheer

Surrounded by the Kauravas, Abhimanyu is lynched by the ‘chakravyuh’ and Arjuna sees light and rides onto his stallion into the battleground. This is what Mahabharata signifies the importance of chakravyuh as. Does this film actually stands true to its supposed symbolism? A few more paragraphs, perhaps.

Set in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh and its surrounding states, Prakash Jha presents an urban tale of Naxalism with a strong undercurrent of a moral dilemma situation between its protagonists. Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) is an honest and daring cop. His wife, Rhea Menon (Esha Gupta) is also a cop and works with him in the same department. Adil and Kabir (Abhay Deol) are thick friends and the former even pays for the latter’s college fees through his own scholarship.

A small tussle of egos is depicted with utter irreverence and a feeling of being irrelevant to the subsequent plot. Adil is posted in a Naxalite area, Nandighat and he takes the challenge head on, he eventually creates a plan with Kabir to help him infiltrate the Red Army and make him work as a police’s rat. Kabir, being the volatile rebel, slowly immerses himself into the skin of a Marxist.
Rajan (Manoj Bajpai) and Juhi (Anjali Patil) along with Murli Sharma – whose character’s name I can’t recollect,  sorry – are the heads wanted dead or alive with a bounty on them. They are at the front of Naxalite operations in Nandighat where Adil is newly posted. Om Puri plays Govind Suryavanshi, who is their spiritual and ideological leader.

The actual story of Chakravyuh isn’t the struggle of the Naxals in their own country or the pressing of innocent civilians between the crossfire of the Government and the rebels. It’s the collective infighting of a countryman against another one of his own tribe. There are a lot of moments that border on fringe polarization and straightforward sensationalism, creating a painful view while those scenes last. The background score and the limited music are exceptionally loud most of the times, again, painful. The dialogue isn’t too memorable for such a bold venture as well, but it isn’t quite too finicky and old either.

Overall, Chakravyuh is a well-intentioned film that left this viewer underwhelmed. The film somehow never carries on to that ‘next level’ and the first half turns out to be very slow. Hence, pacing into the climax.  Though bold in its approach (not exactly) and names (yes, totally) with Mahanto, Nandighat you know what Jha’s aiming for, but eventually the film lacks the required finesse.

Chakravyuh is a smarter film compared to a lot of its competition, but that can’t be reason enough for everyone to watch it.

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

OMG Oh My God


OMG Oh My God
Release date: September 28, 2012
Directed by: Umesh Shukla
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Govind Namdeo, Lubna Salim, Murli Sharma, Mahesh Manjrekar, Poonam Jhawer

More than any other source of rationale, the internet and different forms of entertainment have caused the most amount of disbelief in our respective faiths. OMG Oh My God borders on the lines of agnosticism, atheism and theism and the fake godmen business.

Adapted from a Gujarati play Kanji viruddh Kanji (Kanji vs. Kanji) OMG is a tale of an atheist Kanji Lalji Mehta who ironically runs an antique store where he stocks idols of Hindu Gods. Kanji never leaves an opportunity to gain a quick buck off the believers’ blind faith. His wife Susheela (Lubna Salim) is also a ‘god-fearing’ woman who disapproves of her husband’s tactics.

Kanji plays another game off the faith of the people on the occasion of Janmashtami angering a religious guru Siddheshwar Maharaj (Govind Namdeo) which leads Kanji’s family to believe that an earthquake that damaged only his shop was a punishment by God. Soon, he discovers it was indeed only his property that got affected. Being the one who never easily gets discouraged, Kanji files for a compensation from his insurance company.

As his claim gets rejected because the earthquake was an ‘Act of God’, Kanji decides to file a case against God. This is where the actual plot kicks off. Mehta transcends on to a path to make his case work when no lawyers offer their services. Akshay Kumar plays Krishna Vasudev Yadav or GOD! and helps out our protagonist to defend himself in a life-threatening attack on a motorcycle, a chopper bike! The whole sequence isn’t an action masterpiece but it kinda suits the production value of the film.

The second half of the film provides more content to the main lead’s fight against God and the eventual fight with the parasitic God’s men i.e. a few more Babas, a Mata and Muslim maulanas and a priest from the Church. Kanji becomes a mass hero for similar sufferers of a horrible calamity meted out on them by ‘God’. The film shows a journey of a non-believer who finds God in his own being and more importantly of the rich God’s ‘men’ who fool the God-fearing and self-beneficiary tycoons alike.

This story’s underlying theme is a much stronger one than the overlying virtue of believing in God. The early portions of the film aren’t too special, heck even the later serious sequences aren’t too magical either, but there are small glimpses of symbolism and the Kailash Kher song is a strong epiphany of that. Paresh Rawal does a fine job of balancing his portrayal of a sarcastic and ever-inquisitive rationale. The ensemble cast also supports him, except for a few bits of hamming.

OMG Oh My God borders on downright mainstream and socially enlightening applause-fest. The overall film connects but somehow you won’t see anyone taking it seriously.

My rating: **3/4 (2.75 out of 5) 

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