D Day Movie Review

D-day

Rating: 4/5 stars (Four Stars)

Star cast: Irfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi, Shruti Haasan

Director: Nikhil Advani

What’s Good:Great story telling!

What’s Bad: Editing could have been better.

Loo Break: None.

Watch or Not?: Must Watch

Paisa Wasool: Yes!

 

Tales of espionage in Bollywood seldom manage to arouse or sustain the tension that the genre demands. Director Nikhil Advani, however, delivers splendidly on this account, weaving a taut narrative complete with unpredictable twists and turns. Not only does he spin a thrilling tale, he infuses the story with sensitivity and emotion.

Four RAW agents have been trained over the years for one specific task – capture India’s Most Wanted man and bring him back to the country alive, so that he can be punished for his crimes. Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan), one of the RAW agents who infiltrated into Pakistan, has spent the last nine years of his life there hoping to find a trail of the elusive Iqbal Seth.

Just when the Indian sleuths are about to give up pursuit, the most-wanted Iqbal Seth (Rishi Kapoor) gives them a glimmer of hope. He is adamant to make an appearance at his son’s wedding. This is their only chance to abduct him.

The team swings into action. Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) and Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) are key players in this covert operation. Rampal has often been criticized for being expressionless. However, in ‘D-Day’, this apparent criticism works to his advantage. As a former army officer and now an undercover agent, Arjun is intense and sharp, his body language apt and his performance precise. Huma is a pleasant surprise, especially in the action sequences.

Irrfan Khan, as usual, delivers another ace with a well-nuanced performance. In the nine years that Wali Khan has spent in Pakistan, he has acquired a new life and his identity no matter how fabricated is as true to him as his own existence. Khan has a choice to make. Will his emotions supersede his loyalty towards his country? Irrfan’s silence and his skillful portrayal convey his internal conflict and his quiet resignation with equal effect. Here is an actor who is as believable as a barber as he is as a RAW agent.

In this fast-paced action thriller, Nikhil Advani creates moments that remain etched in memory. There is a scene when Rudra exacts revenge for the ghastly scar on a beautiful prostitute’s (Shruti Haasan) face. The way water pours down his face in slow motion when he is washing off the blood is symbolic of the way gods are anointed with milk in India.

Later, when Rudra recounts the horror that must have befallen his moll, it is a particularly disturbing scene but has been shot superbly. Shruti has a cameo but are eyes speak louder than any dialoguebaazi.

Bombay Talkies

Bombay Talkies

Rating: 4/5 stars (Four Stars)

Star cast: Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda, Saqeeb Salim, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vineet Singh

Director: Karan Johar, Dibakar Bannerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

What’s Good:  First of its kind four well known directors directing a single movie with full of their potential.

What’s Bad: The film talks about celebrating 100 years of cinema but four different stories doesn’t quite reflect that!

Loo break: None

Watch or Not?: Must Watch

Paisa Wasool: Definitely yes! Finally a movie which deserves applauds from audience.

Four stories directed by four contemporary Bollywood directors emerge and merge with seamless splendor into a brilliant art of pain and pleasure. Like four scoops of ice cream, one yummier than the other, “Bombay Talkies” serves up a flavorful quartet of delights that leave us craving for more. It’s like that song written by the immortal Sahir Ludhianvi – “Abhi na jao chhod kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin”.

t’s delightful to see Karan Johar recognize that his core strength is relationships and not mush. KJo steps away from his usually voluptuous colours and glossy sets to tell a very real story about a married couple which stumbles upon the realization that they have actually been living a lie. Each actor Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem essay understated performances with flair and sincerity. Randeep’s arrogance conceals a raw vulnerability while Saqib’s brash and presumptuous personality has a certain inherent charm. Rani is subtle and effective. For once it’s admirable how Karan Johar deftly handles his gay characters, successfully steering clear of a stereotypical portrayal.

Dibakar Bannerjee’s story about a failed actor who gets a chance opportunity to do a bit role in a Bollywood film is a captivating tale. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s sheer brilliance in the hands of an adept director wipes out disappointing memories of his last film (Aatma). Two remarkable scenes that stand out; first, where Nawaz practices Big B’s famous dialogues before he realizes that his little role hardly has any lines to mouth and second, the last scene where he doesn’t have a single dialogue but his histrionics speak louder than any other line in the whole film. Siddiqui’s face conveys myriad emotions as he runs home to his daughter after his performance.

Zoya Akhtar’s little child star is pushed by his ambitious father to learn football because that’s what boys should be doing. Our 12-year-old however aspires to become a dancer like Sheila (Katrina Kaif in ‘Tees Maar Khan). It’s a heartwarming story as an indulgent elder sister understands her kid brother’s dreams and they are oblivious of the implications that this unusual choice of vocation might have.

Anurag Kashyap’s protagonist travels all the way from Allahabad to meet Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai because his ailing father believes that will save his life. Vineet Singh is spot on as the fan desperate for a glimpse of the superstar. He gets even the little nuances right like, calling Big B, “Amita Bachchan” instead of “Amitabh Bachchan”. Kashyap’s story is an honest tribute to the Shahenshah of Bollywood.

“Bombay Talkies” is segmented and layered, yet cohesive and compelling from the first frame to the last. While unravelling the magic of cinema and its impact on the minds of audiences, “Bombay Talkies” also displays how much cinema has evolved over the generations.

 

 

The Attacks Of 26/11 Movie Review

26 11

Rating: 3.5/5 stars (Three-and-half-star)

Star cast: Atul Kulkarni, Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal, Ganesh Yadav

What’s Good: The cinematography, the lucid flow of the narration, all performances.

What’s Bad: The style of narration suits the news-mode more than the movie-mode.

Loo break: None.

Watch or Not?: For reliving the intensity of the attacks and this well retold narration, boasting of power packed performances by all, especially Nana Patekar, this one is definitely worth a watch.

It is not a story being told. Not an accident either. The Attacks Of 26/11 is the set of terror attacks that hit Mumbai on November 26, 2008 being produced into reel with some really appreciable cinematography and mentionable performances.

Some native fishermen trek in to the Arabian looking for a rare fish that is found only in deep water. After a while they realize they might have entered international waters, in this case, that of Pakistan. In the mean time they see a Pakistani trawler in distress. While the Indian fishermen try to find out what is wrong, they’re faced with the terrorists coercing them into helping the 10 terrorists to reach Mumbai. All fishermen are killed and dumped at sea by the time they reach a shabby Mumbai port.

Here on begins the communication between the terrorists and the commoners. The 10 break into smaller groups and attack pre designed areas. The back grounds of the terrorists are not focused upon much as are the little details of the victims. There is often shown some moments of sanity and human considerations on the part of Ajmal Kasab, played by Sanjeev Jaiswal, which were suppressed without delay by his companion in the ruthless strikes.

The climax shows Kasab’s sentence to be hanged till death in action. Crude scenes of violence make the movie unsuitable for the feeble hearted. By the end of the movie the Joint Commissioner of Police, played by Nana Patekar, Mumbai, passes with distinction in the departmental scrutiny and goes to head the Anti Terrorism Squad.

The whole movie sees the Police in a very glorious light. And the attacks are being narrated by Nana Patekar, giving a concrete feel to the content. For the viewer, it is reliving the shame of religious extremism, the pain of loss and the rise of bravery from amongst the common.

The Attacks of 26/11 Review: Script Analysis

It is not much of a script. If you have been watching the news during and post- 26/11 attacks, you probably know it all. Even the case updates with regards to Ajmal Kasab will provide you much of the information that Nana Patekar goes on the reveal. So may be for a movie based on a highly spoken-about terrorist attack, The Attacks Of 26/11 fails to break any ice with the script. But keeping that in mind, the movie has a fresh feel that makes you want to sit through and view the very well sequenced script. Sunil Wadhwani does commendable work at editing.

The Attacks of 26/11 Review: Star Performances

We miss Atul Kulkarni, though it makes sense to say his performance was critically well placed. Nana Patekar, if we can ignore, at times, unwanted voice modulation, does an amazing job of playing the Joint Commissioner of Police to a city that did not even have time to recover from an attack before having to face another one of similar or higher magnitudes.  About Sanjeev  Jaiswal, his expressions are commendable though his lines only match them up pretty late into the film.

The Attacks of 26/11 Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects

Director Ram Gopal Verma went to the scenes in November 2008 to do some 1st hand research. Well, we can see the effect. The film is well directed keeping in mind it put together a massive number of abstract characters. Cinematography however wins over anything else.  Harshraj Shroff and M. Ravichandran Thevar liven up the shades of the sky and the cityscape to explain the pathos in vivid visuals. Vikram Biswas worked pretty well keeping in mind the sound score of the movie set the theme of a psychological thriller (from the terrorists’ point of view ), in combination with that of an incidental narration.

The Attacks of 26/11 Review: The Last Word

We have seen it too many times, the quotes from the Holy religious texts being explained to the wrongdoer after the deed is done. We see it here again. That said, in the aftermath of the recent Hyderabad blasts; see this just to know the larger picture.

Kai Po Che movie review

kai-po-che-2013

A Chetan Bhagat novel is akin to reading a screenplay. You start visualizing the characters, the occurrences and episodes, the myriad emotions… like it were occurring in front of your eyes. What also makes Bhagat’s novella interesting are its characters and the fact that they are hugely identifiable since they are based in India.

After ‘one night @ the call center’ [HELLO] and ‘five point someone’ [3 IDIOTS], the author’s much-talked-about novel ‘the 3 mistakes of my life’ gets picked up for the big screen adaptation called KAI PO CHE. So what does the title [KAI PO CHE] mean, a question I have been asked more than a few times by cineastes. Translated simply, it’s a call of triumph in Gujarati, when one kite flier cuts another’s kite. Besides sounding different to the ears, the title metaphorically suits the premise of the story that’s set in Gujarat. And how close is the motion picture to the much-acclaimed novel? Well, the episodes and characters are the same, except that Abhishek Kapoor tweaks and fine-tunes it [adapted for the screen by Pubali Chaudhuri, Supratik Sen, Abhishek Kapoor, Chetan Bhagat], since the medium is cinema.

KAI PO CHE cannot be slotted in any particular genre, in my opinion. It depicts unconditional friendship, it portrays bromance as well as romance, it illustrates politics, it exemplifies the passion for a sport [cricket], it talks of the events that unfolded in Gujarat [earthquake, Godhra massacre and the riots]. Multi genres, you could say. But, at heart, KAI PO CHE remains an emotional saga of three friends and how it stands the test of time. Very similar in spirit to the director’s previous outing ROCK ON!, Farhan Akhtar’s DIL CHAHTA HAI and Zoya Akhtar’s ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, yet different.

In KAI PO CHE, Abhishek brings alive the characters and events most persuasively. He borrows from the novel, but at the same time adds a lot to it with his deft execution. Resultantly, what emerges is a movie that evokes myriad emotions in the viewer. You smile, chuckle, get anxious and jittery, also moist eyed on several junctures. Attention-grabbing in entirety, absorbing you into its world from the onset itself, KAI PO CHE blends fiction and facts dexterously, recreating a story on celluloid that’s credible and noteworthy.

KAI PO CHE narrates the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmedabad. The plot sees a young boy in Ahmedabad named Govind [Rajkumar Yadav] dream of starting a business. To accommodate his friends Ishaan [Sushant Singh Rajput] and Omi’s [Amit Sadh] passion, cricket, they open a cricket goods and training shop. However, each has a different motive: Govind’s goal is to make money; Ishaan desires to nurture Ali, a gifted batsman; Omi just wants to be with his friends. The events that transpire against the backdrop of all that occurred in the city during that time change the lives of each of the friends in very different ways.

Abhishek Kapoor has the trappings of a first-rate storyteller — a fact that was evident in his first two endeavors [ARYAN, ROCK ON!]. In several ways, ROCK ON! and KAI PO CHE are analogous, yet divergent. While ROCK ON! was urban and metro-centric in terms of content, KAI PO CHE has the raw emotional appeal of three middle class guys that strikes a chord with just about anybody and everybody. In any case, a film like KAI PO CHE is damn difficult to make. It has several layers and sub-plots… a bigger canvas actually. And like I pointed out at the outset, it encompasses not just the story of three friends, but also real incidents that send a shiver down your spine.

Abhishek gets out of the comfort zone to attempt a daringly different movie. Also, with KAI PO CHE, the supremely talented craftsman takes giant strides as a film-maker. What’s truly credible is the fact that he doesn’t follow the rules or diktats prescribed by his peers in Bollywood. Instead, he charters a path that’s pure and uncontaminated. Also, he opts for relative newcomers this time [casting director: Mukesh Chhabra], which could’ve boomeranged if the actors were incapable of infusing life in their respective characters.

After ROCK ON!, which had a lilting soundtrack, KAI PO CHE too has a winning musical score, composed by the inimitable Amit Trivedi. The songs are uncomplicated and mirror the spirit of the film wonderfully. More importantly, it’s an unadulterated Indian soundtrack, not a cacophony of tunes put together to western beats. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are poignant and leave an impression. The background score [Hitesh Sonik] is subtle where required, but electrifying when necessary. Anay Goswamy’s cinematography is top notch, capturing the emotions as well as the rustic atmosphere to perfection.

The three pivotal parts, enacted effortlessly by Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Yadav and Amit Sadh, are the heartbeats of the enterprise. Sushant is a terrific actor, is blessed with wonderful screen presence and gets the timing of his character right. I see tremendous potential in him! Rajkumar Yadav has proved his credentials in the past and shines yet again in a role that’s in sharp contrast to the other two characters. He’s excellent! Amit Sadh is another remarkable talent to watch out for. Sure, he too has a couple of films to his credit, but his performance in this film will make people notice him. Besides, their on-screen camaraderie is truly infectious. Amrita Puri leaves a strong impression in a movie that’s an all-boys’ show predominantly.

The supporting cast is equally super. Manav Kaul is magnificent, taking his character to another level. Asif Basra does a splendid job. Digvijay Deshmukh [as Ali] is a revelation. He’s incredible!

On the whole, KAI PO CHE is brimming with solid content. Watch it for the spirit it is made in. Watch it because it’s the kind of cinema that pushes the boundaries. Watch it because movies like KAI PO CHE need to be encouraged. A film that deserves an ovation!

 credits- nachgana