Posts Tagged ‘ Ram Kapoor ’

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)

Mere Dad Ki Maruti

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Mere Dad Ki Maruti
Release date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Ashima Chibber
Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Saqib Saleem, Prabal Panjabi, Ram Kapoor, Ravi Kishan

Situated in a peppy, vehicle and song-dance obsessed Chandigarh, Sameer (Saqib Saleem) is the relatively inexperienced lover-boy in college who can ‘lock and pop and drop’ and the literal drop of hat. His friend Gattu (Prabal Panjabi) is also a copy of Sameer, except that his English is better and his name rhymes with Fattu, forcing him to be the wiser of the duo.

Sameer and everyone else in his college drools at the very mention of Jasleen (Rhea Chakraborty), or as she likes to correct everyone by responding with an “Itz Jazzleen”. Tej (Ram Kapoor) – Sameer’s loud and stereotypical dad has a family tradition of buying a new Maruti car for every major milestone. He buys a new Ertiga to gift his daughter for her marriage.

Sameer decides to impress the college queen in his dad’s new Maruti by sneaking it out at night for a party. This creates a scenario where the protagonist loses the car and keeps finding ways to not let his dad know of this escapade.

The writing is very witty, modern, and very high on twitter-sms lingo. There’s the usage of hashtags, twitter usernames and the very awkward condition of our youth who like to flaunt their grammatically incorrect English. And no, they’re as frigid as proposing their love by a “Baby, I’m not like you, I’m love you.” Cheap, real and funny!

The makers exploit the quintessential Punjabi machismo by making the leads step out of rotating cars, dress up to the nines with a hole in the head and the types. There’s an unnecessary focus on the film’s music, as the background score also consists of actual songs and there’s never a particularly silent moment. The camera work isn’t flashy, but it is compelling at the right moments.

There’s a small dampener, in the form of a heavy Punjabi feel to each department of the film, from Tej’s angry mouthings or Sameer’s “waste fail gayi” to all the sound mixing. If you’re not high on that, you might not buy into the film. The actor who shines out with his every shot is Prabal Panjabi as Sameer’s sidekick. The comedy flows in at all vital junctures and the screenplay, however simple it may be, never appears dull.

The individual performances along with the ‘hip’ dialogue make up for a very good film, with no major expectations. This Maruti is much like the ‘Life Utility Vehicle’ (sic) with its sincere effort.

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

Agent Vinod Review

Agent Vinod
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Ram Kapoor, Shahbaz Khan, Ravi Kissen, Prem Chopra, Dhritiman Chaterji, Adil Hussain.

As the film starts to roll, you get a quote from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: One name is as good as another. Not wise to use your own name. One more reference to the mother of all classics drops by as a character’s ringtone is Ennio Morricone’s masterpiece. That was enough to get this viewer hooked on for the next hint of excellence. Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) is a secret agent (I hope I get the prize for being Captain Obvious here) he tries to be a turtle that doesn’t seem to be affected by the water on his back.

He cons his way out of tricky situations dangerously with all the oomph that James Bond could propagate with all of his arm-candy. There are a lot of charming beautiful women, one in Afghanistan, another one in Russia but their Hindi appears a few notches better than most of our current semi-Caucasian imports. Vinod is out to avenge the loss caused by Abu (Ram Kapoor) and his henchmen. Vinod disguises himself to find gateways into what appears a major threat to multiple nations’ security. The obvious loopholes start appearing. Not too cringe-inducing though. Yet.

Dr. Ruby Mendes (Kareena Kapoor) is a very complicated character, never really revealing what/whom she is working for. The first half ends at a point the viewer is bound by a clingy loose thread. That thread keeps breaking as the story advances. Sriram Raghavan constantly uses that odd old Hindi song that he always does, but doesn’t quite get the same magic of Ek Haseena Thi or anything closer to Johnny Gaddar. The movie pulls itself into a partial abyss, making it very difficult to ever come out of it. There’s a monumental feat that Vinod pulls out, a few thousand feet up in the air, but everything becomes insignificant.

Raghavan always gets his cinematography right, he does that this time as well. Sadly, that cannot hold the film string with its plot getting weaker as it progresses. The climax of a thriller film has to be a major draw, this is where this viewer stops caring altogether. Everything reduces to caricatures of all sorts. All potential for a slick & quick paced action film is totally down the drain.

Agent Vinod comes out as an avoidable film. If you have nothing to do this weekend, and you’ve already seen Kahaani and Paan Singh Tomar, I advise you to stay at home or catch Agent Vinod for Kareena and the few foreign import beauties along with the varying exotic locations.

My Rating: ** (2 out of 5)

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Review

ImageEk Main Aur Ekk Tu
Release Date: February 10, 2012
Directed by: Shakun Batra
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Imran Khan, Boman Irani, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ram Kapoor, Manasi Scott.

Las Vegas, one of the most renowned cities for getting laid, broke and married is the place where our protagonists live, with their dreary jobs. Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) is an architect brought up to excel in everything that he does, may it be vanity or swimming or both of them simultaneously. His parents are quite a pair of two different humans as well, played by Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah. Rahul is expected to get a gold medal that his dad has been yearning for. The beasts of burden have always haunted Rahul, he stays to be a bland and dull guy who often fumbles with his words.

Rianna Braganza (Kareena Kapoor), a hair stylist by profession is the ubiquitous opposite of Rahul. They both seek psychological help, albeit for different reasons. That is where their paths cross & you start to think it is gonna be another What Happens in Vegas. Yes, they do get married, but they are on terms for its prompt annulment. The journey that ensues is a lot of fun, since they get married on Christmas.

The film creates a bunch of refreshing situations: one where Rahul’s dad’s friend (Ram Kapoor) tries to help Rahul to get a bit ‘loose’, the date with Rahul’s ex-girlfriend. The story passes by at a steady pace in the form of days. Each day has a certain name attached to it. This rom com doesn’t make you cry, and still provides credibility. Peppered with not too imposing music by Amit Trived, the tracks remain hummable and easy to go on.

I wish not to be killed for saying this, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu has a new feel to it. It isn’t mushy nor intolerable. Director Shakun Batra attempts at a safe approach for a debut film, but doesn’t go down the tried and tested path all the time. He serves a dessert, that has a few different ingredients with the usual ones, making it scrumptious to eat while it lasts. Watch it for a delighting experience.

My Rating: ***  (3 out of 5)

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