Posts Tagged ‘ Rajit Kapur ’

Baar Baar Dekho

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Baar Baar Dekho
Release date: September 9, 2016
Directed by: Nitya Mehra
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif, Sarika, Ram Kapoor, Sayani Gupta, Rohan Joshi, Taaha Shah, Rajit Kapur

Katrina Kaif’s character keeps asserting that there are two kinds of people in the world, drivers and passengers. She says this to infuse into her husband’s confused demeanor, hoping him to finally take the initiative about something in their marital lives. Similarly, there are two kinds of films, ones that tell a story that we all know, and the others that focus on making something relatively new and light on cliches.

Nitya Mehra, self admittedly is fond of cliches. “I did not go out there thinking, “Oh I need to break away from the mould”. That’s what my upbringing has been and I am very inspired by world cinema. I don’t think there is anything wrong in clichés. Clichés exist because they connect with people. So I actually enjoy the clichés. Certain things like love and family, these are all universal and they are not going to be dated with time.” She says all of this here.

I agree with all of it. She takes old moral lessons and a few contemporary themes and weaves them into an ambitious story that bounces back and forth between the now and the very technologically advanced future. The film starts off with the opening credits along with a small montage of how Jay (Sidharth Malhotra) and Diya (Katrina Kaif) grew up together and fell in love. This footage is so well-made that it could have easily been passed off as a Taylor Swift number from late 2000s and early 2010s. Jay grows into a dork who has a thing for math, or “Vedic Maths” and he thinks that a family is expendable. A career isn’t.

Diya wants to make a marriage out of their decades-long romance. And just like in every other modern work of fiction, where a marriage is involved, we get a person questioning their choice of getting locked down with this another person for the rest of their lives. This has become so common, that every TV show, film, web-series, or a goddamned listicle can’t go without it. I’ll be surprised if someone suddenly shows me two very confident people sticking to their decisions.

Here starts the display of angst-ridden, commitment phobia and plain dickery by Jay who badgers the priest (Rajit Kapur) with questions about the “logic” behind all of the ceremonies in a Hindu wedding. I call it dickery, because he chose to be involved in this. He said yes to the proposal of a wedding from his girlfriend, and this isn’t a Christopher Hitchens invitational. His character could have set his foot down on the do’s and the don’ts of the whole affair, but he didn’t. Instead, he despises every part of the long drawn-out matrimonial procession.

There’s a breaking point for this already broken and feeble protagonist where he makes clear that marriage is a big, bad, ugly mistake. Okay, those may not be his exact words and could be mine, but he says something to that effect. Watching Rajit Kapur play that priest also felt like a big, bad, ugly mistake on the casting director’s part. Jay falls into a time spiral where he keeps taking exponential leaps in the future, and he sees how his life could be if he made different choices or stays unbent in his ways. He seeks the priest’s advice and every time Rajit Kapur spews his redundant verbiage about life and morality and blah blah blah, I couldn’t help grimace.

Minor factual inaccuracies pop up, like making people call the sport “soccer” and not “football” in England, and ordering a butter chicken and butter naan and extra butter and not showing it at all!? Where is all that glorious fat and diabetic goodness of butter and chicken gravy and naan, man?

The film needs to be lauded for its depiction of the future, be it 2018, 2023, or 2047. Technological advancements are omnipresent, reminding you of that large, sentient talking screen in Black Mirror. The scale of visuals is commendable, and the constant effort of burdening Sidharth Malhotra with emoting a lot is a bold decision. I opine that he isn’t a poor actor, but then his character is a confused customer. He only sees clarity in mathematical mumbojumbo, which in a way, contributes largely to him having a range of befuddled expressions throughout the emotional parts of the film.

The writing is potent at times, and even ends up developing a story for the supporting cast as well. The lines, not as much. Katrina Kaif, to her credit, in a role where she has to perform a bunch of feelings over and over again, in a recursive fashion, does mighty well. Though, she is incomprehensible in the scenes where she’s asked to cry and recite lines at the same time.

Baar Baar Dekho, with a cheesy name and a somewhat cheesy plot, isn’t particularly grating to watch. Rather, it’s an interesting film for the huge leap it attempts to make in futuristic storytelling. Then again, the protagonist’s resolution and transformation comes in a little too late and isn’t even fulfilling either. A heavier metamorphosis wouldn’t have necessarily helped the cause either, but the agents or harbingers of change are not very credible here.

A little bit more fun, and a little less labored contemplating would have probably made the film crisper.

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

Roy

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Roy
Release date: February 13, 2015
Directed by: Vikramjit Singh
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ranbir Kapoor, Shernaz Patel, Shibani Dandekar, Rajit Kapur, Anupam Kher

Crying babies and ringing mobile phones are an avid cinema viewer’s worst nightmare. There was one crying baby right behind me when I went in to watch Roy. I feared how it would ruin my whole movie experience. In the initial few scenes, I do admit to be disturbed by the shrieking and weeping of the kid.

As the film progressed, the baby was the least of my concerns.

Placed between heavy articulated and glossy ‘artsy’ sceneries, Roy is supposedly a romantic-thriller that offers absolutely no thrill or enduring romance. Kabir (Arjun Rampal) is an unchallenged filmmaker who rambles about some robbery on a talk show and that robbery is forcibly woven into a fictional character’s existence. The said fictional character is Roy, created by Kabir for his hit film franchise.

Kabir is incredibly pretentious and right until the end, he has no redeemable qualities to build any affinity or sympathy for him. He starts writing his next film’s script after fixing the cast and crew. There is a very pointless conversation about ‘inspiration’ with his father (Anupam Kher is wasted as the father here.) Once inspired, on the sets of his film, he meets Ayesha (Jacqueline Fernandez) who is also a filmmaker, except she’s an “intellectual”; which just means that she wears reading glasses and read books with a glass of wine in her hand. Some love involuntarily happens, some parallel track with Ayesha’s lookalike keeps developing. Will you care? Nope.

Kabir is said to have had 22 casual flings before he meets Ayesha, and then by some god-knows-what wizardry, he falls in ‘love’ with Ayesha. There is no insight on why he feels like how he does, no reasoning for why he was a complete douchebag before his heartbreak. The alternative parallel track has Kabir playing out moments from his real life in a cinematic manner, through the eyes of his film’s protagonist. He keeps incorporating events from his life into Roy’s life. The ‘smart’ Ayesha also breaks into rambunctious Hindi filmish song-and-dance too!

The relationships between Kabir and Ayesha, and Roy and Tia are shown to be the headlining points of the film, yet there’s virtually nothing between their conversations that should keep you interested in the proceedings. The characters mouth philosophical lines about, often ending these lines abruptly. Is it done to create a sense of mystery around them, I asked myself at various junctures, only to realize that there is nothing on offer.

In a certain scene, Kabir says to his assistant/deputy that he hasn’t even started writing the screenplay of a film which he’s just days away from shooting. This confession seems increasingly true as Roy (the film) keeps meandering directionless. No actor has any material to chew into, only stylish clothes to wear and exotic locations to roam around.

There is not a single indication of what the actual conflict of the film is, or what the payoff can possibly be. There are no real obstacles to conquer. There is absolutely nothing here. Just a bunch of well-dressed people playing “Let’s make a hollow film but just pretend to be serious about it.”

Ever come across someone who keeps talking in riddles, and those mindbenders have no clear answers or a purpose? If Roy–the film– were a person, it would be just like that. After the halfway mark, I couldn’t care about the crying baby because I was numbed with the constant frustration induced by the constant stream of garbage on screen.

My rating: ½ (0.5 out of 5)

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