Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dabangg is shameless fun!

Dabangg is possibly the most awaited Salman Khan movie of the movie of the year after the debacle of Veer, more so because the publicity and marketing of Dabangg has been more than most movies I have seen in the recent past. You look anywhere on TV, print media, hoardings etc. all you will find is Dabangg. This is Salman Khan starpower. Let's face it. A majority of cinegoers in India are idiotically Salman Khan fans, people for whom cinema is all about entertainment. They do not wish to apply their brains in a movie and they do NOT care if the movie has a storyline or cannot comprehend as much. All they want to do is to go into a theatre and re-assert their chauvinistic mindset that year after year, their hero in the movie behaves like a true hero who can possibly do anything. They go in to re-affirm that yes, its been a year and Salman can still do better stunts and kill more people. Through this write-up, I wish to urge those people to open up to real cinema and appreciate it.

So where does Dabangg stand? Honestly, I am not all negative about this Salman Khan starrer. Salman may have played a cop in 9 out of 10 movies he has done in his career but Dabangg is different and the movie will work big-time with the audience described above and beyond them also. Dabangg is slick, crisp, stylish and action-packed. Its a journey of shameless fun in which Salman is in top form. I can safely say, it took Salman 21 years to deliver a performance that would win my heart. Dabangg is shameless, because it does not care to rest on a storyline, infact it cares to rest on Salman and his histrionics. Dabangg is fun because all I was doing for those 2 hours was clapping at the one-liners or laughing at what Chulbul Pandey can do. The two biggest plusses for Dabangg are Salman Khan and the editing of the movie which has made the movie super-slick. Complete brainless entertainment package!

Dabangg tells the age-old story of a cop, his half-brother, estranged father, dead mother, simple girl, and a over-shadowing villain who is a politician. It has NOTHING new to offer except the character of Chulbul Pandey, a complete heart-winner. Chulbul is a delightful watch, he is corrupt but honest at heart. Its interesting to watch his relationship with his family, his fellow policemen, his rivals and his wife. It gives you the raw uncouth feeling coupled with someone who doesnt intend harm. Dabangg could have been much better had Abhinav, the director, focused on putting in more storyline content. The first half is very stagnant. The second half atleast dares to pitch in something different but what they offer is merely an excuse for a good story and its nothing out of the box. The action scenes are unrealistic from first reel to the last reel but they still make you laugh all through. The stunts have been co-ordinated very well. Direction is weak in most part but Salman tries to lift it up. Cinematography is good, if not great. I must mention again, the editing of the movie does wonders for it. Dialogues are cheap and those which would work well to invoke seetis and claps in all theatres, but they do strike a chord to develop the character of Chulbul who calls him Robin Hood Pandey. Music of the movie is actually good and is working well with the masses, however too many songs interrupt with the screenplay a lot. I also feel its redundant for Salman to dance on a song and call himself Dabangg, they should have rather used it as a background. Munni is a hit and the song is the only well fit in song of the screenplay. Lalit Pandit can take a bow for this composition.

Arbaaz Khan knew he had to cast Salman to pull off a no-brainer as a hit and he did it rightfully to ensure that his debut production venture is a hit. And yes, Salman does live Chulbul Pandey. I saw him in a never-before avatar. He is corrupt, lovable, bad-ass, cute, dumb, superman, uncouth all at the same time. He is the lifeline of this movie. Sonakshi Sinha is COMPLETELY wasted in her debut with a screen space of 15 mins maximum. Arbaaz does okay as the second lead. Mahesh Manjrekar, Anupam Kher and Vinod Khanna are very stereotypical. Mahie Gill is impressive in a short role. The other performance which would catch your eye is Sonu Sood as the villain. He has a physique that can match upto Salman and that works well for the movie to strengthen the character of the anti-hero. He delivers a very good performance, yet again and completely lives the young bihari politician in Chhedi Singh. I wish to see more of him in movies.

All in all, Dabangg is an entertaining movie which portrays Salman like never before. Leave your brains at home and go and enjoy for 2 hours. I would just call it a commercial pot-boiler and not even a masala movie due to the lack of content. The movie has already taken a big start and would continue to set more records considering the Indian audience and the love for Salman, who is truly in great form in this one.

Rating - 3/5

Sud :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Aashayein is a piece of shit!

Aashayein, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, is one of the worst movies of all time which fails to make a point. Nagesh has held the name of delivering movies which maybe off-beat but are generally pretty good stroylines. Aashayein fails in all aspects of movie making almost, except music probably. The movie had no buyers for almost 2 years and it would have been better if it never released. I would rarely say that for a movie after all the effort that goes into movie-making but Aashayein doesnt leave me with a choice.

The storyline of Aashayein fails to make a point at all instances. The story of a dying man who wants to live his last days well is cliched and the treatment is worse. The story tries to pull of some supernatural stuff also along with a mini-Indiana Jones story. Its a schizophrenic script which doesnt hold your attention even once. John Abraham is not so convincing as the dying man and he the script fails him at more instances than he fails as an actor. All the other actors are not even worth-mentioning. Cinematography is average. Music of the movie is the only respite in this barren land. Salim-Sulaiman deliver a score which works well with the audiences of today and many songs have already become chartbusters. Director Nagesh Kukunoor gives his worst product till date in this movie. The story does not even reach a proper culmination and the viewer is left puzzled.

Strictly not recommended!

Rating - 1/5

Sud :)

We Are Family is a good film, but not for everyone!

The Indian Film Industry has held a tradition of taking scripts of obscure and not so obscure Hollywood movies and plagiarizing them illegally and making a hindi movie out of it and you realize this only when you actually see the movie. In this light, the 'official' Stepmom remake comes as a breather where the original rights were bought and the original screenplay re-worked to suit indian audiences. So the question is, does it live upto the Julia Roberts-Susan Sarandon starrer classic? Well, for me personally, it does and it also fares better. The last 10 minutes of We Are Family and the re-structured climax scores well above Stepmom.

We Are Family is not an average fare for many reasons. Dharma Productions has taken a bold step with this project. Long years ago, Dharma moved away from making family sob sagas to more entertaining and more realistic cinema with the likes of Dostana, Wake Up Sid and My Name is Khan coming in. Its been a while for the Indian Film Industry since it gave an outright family saga which gets you to shed more tears than you want to. I believe this is because Indian audiences have grown out of it and the youth today doesnt really wanna see a family drama or sit in a theatre to cry. Even if the movie is astoundingly well=made, they will fail to appreciate cinema and just pass a judgement on the movie sitting on the fence. In such a scenario, film-makers are scared to come up with something that strong on emotions. Comedy and cheap laughs, nice-looking locations and better looking actors have substituted everything else. People would love a brainless Wanted but not love a We Are Family which has its heart at the right place. This is what makes me say that We Are Family is NOT for everyone. Kudos to Dharma, KJO and Siddharth Malhotra for attempting it.

We Are Family stays very true to its orginal screenplay of Stepmom, but also adds an Indian Tadka to it. This Indian tadka gives it a few points above Stepmom. On the downside, the movie gets too dramatic at times but these are minor glitches. The music score is not upto the mark except for Reham-o-Karam which is a brilliant song. The cinematography is good, but could have been better considering they were shooting in Australia. Kajol is the hero of We Are Family. She has nothing left to prove as an actor but she still outdoes her past performances and brings life to Maya, more than anyone could do. Kareena Kapoor gets kinda over-shadowed by the mammoth performance of Kajol and she fails to re-live Julia Roberts completely. Arjun Rampal is good in a role strictly defined for him. The three kids are the best part of the movie specially Anjali and Aaliya. Anjali is a sweetheart and brilliant actor. Aaliya displays her emotions well.

Director Siddharth Malhotra picked up a difficult debut but does well to pack in the lighter moments with the heavier ones. The climax portions are brilliantly handled by him. KJo deserves a clap for making this happen. We Are Family is definitely better than most movies we see today. Its emotional, not depressing. Its heartful, not melodramatic. I think you should go for it for a change from routine cinema today. There has not been a movie that made me cry ever since Taare Zameen Par, and this one just did it for me. Haha, I may sound as if its a good thing to cry in movies, but truly, We Are Family will win the hearts of all families across India and abroad, not sure about the youth though.

Rating - 3/5

Sud :)