Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

In Film Reviews on July 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

To cut a long story short
Life. Soul. Energy. Spirit. Friendship. It will bring you closer to life and living. Must watch!

The long story

So first the commercial bit. Yes, its a film about three friends who go on a road trip to have fun, and come back rediscovering who they really are. Sounds cliched. Yes it is. Three friends, road trip – Dil Chahta hai again? Not really. It’s got all the ingredients for a successful commercial film, and yet it stands apart from the crowd.

The movie has a soul, and a life of its own. It is a film about discovery and spirit. And yet, its much more than that.

Anyone who has struggled with the concept of living in the present will feel right at home here. Hrithik’s character struggles with his own identity, and is lost to the meaning of life. His preconceived notions of the material life are shattered with one life changing experience. Farhan’s character battles with his own identity as well, but in a different context. He is on a journey to find his roots.

And Abhay’s character – well, I don’t want to give it all away.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state here that only a woman could have brought out the emotional side in these guys – and the woman in question here is Zoya Akhtar, the director. She’s right on the pulse of her characters, and her audience. Outstanding direction and screenplay by Zoya.

The music is given my Shankar Ehsaan Loy, and once again, their magic comes alive. Very youthful and summery tunes. I especially love Senorita, and the great amalgamation of Spanish lyrics with Hindi – fantastic.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, at the end of it, will probably leave you wanting more – more films like these! This film proves that the Indian film industry has the creativity and passion to make intelligent films. If only everyone thought like Zoya Akhtar. Kudos.

IMDB Link for more info

Delhi Belly

In Film Reviews on July 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

To cut a long story short
Gritty. Bold. Youthful. Energetic. Real. Watch it if you want to see and experience intelligent film making. Perhaps even a trend-setter.

The long story

We have been so tuned to the masala movies of our times that I’m not surprised Delhi Belly has not received mass market acceptance and appeal. It is a very intelligent film, and shows the seriousness of the craft that some pioneers like Aamir Khan are involved in.

The story is about three friends who get entangled in a crime syndicate through no fault of their own, and have to fight for survival. Sounds serious? It’s not. It’s very humorous with bold innuendos and real situations. I loved each character’s profile and how they remain true to it throughout, i.e. no herogiri, break dancing, love songs and emotional overtones.

Aamir Khan is a master film maker and marketer. He has been bold in his attempt to break the mold and bring to us a story of the real youth. I read an interview of Akshat Verma (the writer) where he points out that todays movies do not depict the youth as they are, i.e. with the language they use, the clothes they wear, the attitude they carry. The movies of today are glossed up for audiences abroad, whereas Akshat was desperate to see his friends on screen (not literally).

The screenplay is amazing and every scene is handled beautifully and executed with great attention. The film is only 110 minutes in length – blasphemy by Bollywood standards! But you come out of the cinema wanting more.

The soundtrack is used as background score throughout the film, and fits in aptly with the films attitude. Ram Sampat is a gem of a find by Aamir Khan. The actors – Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapoor – have done an outstanding job. One of my favourite characters in the film is Vijay Raaz, a.k.a. Somayajulu the don. His wit, humour and persona shines through and through. He was outstanding in Monsoon Wedding and once again really gets into the skin of the character in this film.

Finally, this film would not be an Aamir Khan film without his most talked about item number – I love you like I hate you. Aamir’s tribute to the Disco Dancer era of Mithun and Govinda. Outstanding!

Delhi Belly will be classed as a cult film in the years to come and perhaps be used as a case study in film making institutes. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. Bhaag DK Bose!

IMDB Link for more info

Yamla Pagla Deewana

In Film Reviews on March 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

To cut a long story short
It will go unnoticed. Nice music, but poor story, poor screenplay, average acting and average direction. If you don’t watch it, you won’t miss anything.

The long story

I have to be fair. It’s a very average film, and I only watched it because I didn’t have anything better to do. But somewhere deep down, I was really hoping and praying for the Deol family.

I have grown up watching Dharmendra and Sunny Deol films. The magic of Sholay and Ghayal still lives with me, and even today, the drunken tank scene of Sholay and the climax sequence of Ghayal are mesmerising! Bobby Deol is a new entrant comparatively and he does not have any such legendary movies to his credit, and hence he’s always trying to play catch up with his brother and father.

But to think that a movie like Yamla Pagla Deewana would do well on any level just because the name makes you nostalgic is a fallacy. Dharmendra’s and Bobby’s characters in the film are not at all well defined and they don’t suit their individual personalities. Dharmendra seems to be trying very hard to re-live his younger days whilst Bobby is still struggling to find his feet.

Sunny Deol is average and does his best given the character and screenplay. The script seems to have been cobbled together over a few pints on a sunny day without much thought to screenplay and cinematography.

The music has been given by various composers like Anu Malik, RDB, Sandesh Shandilya and others. This brings in a great mix of sounds and flavours to the album. My favourite from the album (as I’m sure it will be for many others) is Charha de Rang – the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan version. It’s beautifully sufi like and sung with a lot of heart and passion.

As a final note, whilst I didn’t really enjoy the film, I would still like to see the Deol’s come together in more movies. I love the Indian film industry and to know that actor-families still come together just to enjoy the movie making process is worth looking forward to.

IMDB Link for more info


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