Monday, February 24, 2014

Movie Review: Gunday

This was one of the movies I had huge hopes from. Hopes bigger than Sonakshi's forehead & Hrithik's biceps. This was despite knowing that it's written & directed by maha-sardard champak Ali Abas Zafar(same guy who made Mere Brother Ki Dulhan). Ali is that wannabe coolness which oozes out of Dehradun in childhood and was later on dumped to a random DU ka college-which-only-KRK-would've-heard-of when his super-rich parents couldn't stand him anymore.

It probably went something like this -:

Ali(5 years old): Mumma mumma mekko movie banana hai
Mumma: Awww...so cute my bachaaa..of course tu bade ho kar star banega
Pappa: Hahahahha..good good..ya ya..now go make me another peg of JD.

Ali(13 years old): Mom I have this amazing idea yo..I wanna make movies..I think I can make movies better than these peeps in Bollywood ya.
Mom: Awww..so cute my bachaaa..of course tu bade ho kar star banega
Dad: Pehn de takke army kya tera pyoh join kar da si? Chal aur ice daal iss peg mein.

Ali(18 years old): Mom you have to have to send me to DU. That's the shitz yo. Jugaad lagaao na.
Mom: Awww..so cute my bachaa..of course tu bade ho kar star banega
Dad: Bhainskieyes tumse na ho paayega. Ja yaar..paka diya. Acha jaatey jaatey ek peg aur banaata hua ja. Lagaata hoon judaad.

Ali is that mid-grounder who fails to give you the right blend of fiction and reality. When you watch the trailer of Gunday, you are given these false expectations of an amazing cinematic experience. Not just because it has two brazen hot bods with the right amount of facial hair running and smiling and tungtungtungtung, but because the trailer promised you an action-packed fun-filled twisted story of 2 goons. The trailer was well-composed and it pretty much ends there. 

You would've had a lot more fun watching the trailer than to have sat through the entire movie. While the first half is decent,the second half is full of cliches. From Priyanka's evolution of character to Arjun's wicked-smile-creepy-face. The background score is fantastic, the Bikram-Bala(can't remember which one is which) chemistry was more sizzling than any of theirs with Priyanka. The cinematography(Aseem Mishra) was mediocre with some moments of greatness. What really makes you cry is the poor, immature screenplay. 

Do not even taken into account Irrfan Khan starring in it given his role was as small as Katrina's in Dhoom 3. I'm guessing he took up this commercial to make some pocket money since all the other movies he seem to be doing are offbeat cinema. The Lunchbox doesn't exactly seem like a movie which paid him anything except for a money plant. 

Somewhere, you begin to also feel if Bikram-Bala are trying to pull off a Jai-Veeru in the second half which is just messed up because A. You can't remember to save a life who is Bala and who is Bikram and B. You thought they were pulling off a modern-day Ramayan somewhere in between. Ali attempts to write a stronger screenplay but falls flat on his dumbface. It's like he attempted to pull off an Ramesh Taurani with Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and then thought he might just get some success in being the next Tigmanshu Dhulia. Hate to add to your masala misery but sorry Ali baba, you're just failing in acting as a director too. Just staaaahp it. Staaaaahp staaahp staaaaaaaaarghhhhhthisisspartaaaaa. 

In short, Catchy-retro Music, Good Acting, Meh Cinematography, Meh Storyline, Meh Direction,Meh Editing.

My rating: 2.5/5 stars

Sohail Sen has given some great dhinchak songs. If not for Ranveer-Arjun, I would've not even watched this movie. I wouldn't even have given it 2.5 stars.  The movie tries to resurrect the feel of 70s-80s Indian Cinema,but somehow disappoints in its resurrection. Decent attempt. I have to say it's quite an improvement from MBKD Mr.Ali. 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Movie Review: Highway

Prologue

Amongst many commercial directors & art-film directors, therein lies the "mid-grounders". The mid-grounders are directors who fuse the two polar opposites of cinema. Sometimes, this kind of cinema works for the audiences, sometimes it doesn't. It's like how you need the right amount of sugar,spice and everything nice PLUS Chemical SEX to make Alia,Kareena & Deepika. There are those other times they just fail like a champu trying to pataao Uttam Nagar ki item.

*****

Highway is a movie that is going to strike a chord with travel junkies. It would either give them an orgasm or might just prove to be a dream gone bad like travelling through the pretty mountains & pop appears Subhash Ghai's face saying bazinga!

I love Imtiaz Ali. Not just for his perfect features and face and uncanny hotness, but also for his writing style,direction & height. Right from his directorial debut Socha Na Tha, he pretty much nails it in being the perfect mid-grounder. His movies have a hint of fictiondesi-drama in a pseudo-realistic setting. He's been said to extract the most juice out of his actors and that couldn't be more true 'cept in the case of Nargis Fakhri. But it's okay, we all make mistakes. We're willing to overlook one duckface.

In essence, Highway is a National Geographic Travel Documentary meets Bollywood Drama. If I was the Indian Tourism Board, I would've made Imtiaz Ali the brand ambassador of India by now. He should be the face of Incredible India! & "oh look mountains in India!" & "oh look chinky-people in our country speaking hindi!". With all those dopey eyes & curly-bush-of-hair, you can't blame him for the *cough*high*cough* he gets from mountains. Anil Mehta, the cinematographer, has done an impeccable job in relaying that love for India's beauty through his lens. FYI, he's the same dude behind the lens for Rockstar, JTHJ, Veer-Zaara, Wake Up Sid & so many more. Check out his Wiki page.

The movie touches on a refreshing subject and sheds light into an unknown territory. No, by territory I don't just mean undiscovered parts of India, I also refer to the unspoken bitter reality of kidnapping & highway goons. Playing on the themes of crime,travel,family,fear & love, the story has been paced rightly. It evolves smoothly, Hooda as expectedly essaying the character of a random highway-goon & Alia shocking the eye-sockets out of you with her impressive acting. She's never looked prettier & more innocent. Her face was so raw and the nostrils-flaring talent was something I squealed at and would like to nose-five with her for. The supporting cast,i.e. the Hooda-the-hotness ke gang ke laundey, were cheeky in their own way.

What brought the movie to another level altogether was A R Rahman's music. Don't know how this legend always does it but I guess that's what makes him a legend. His music was perfectly-in-sync with the roads & beauty of India. I can bet my almost 11,000 tweets' life that Highway is the music album every desi is gonna be listening to when they're on the highways of India. Especially Patakha Guddi & Mahi Ve. I still can't decided which version of Patakha Guddi I love more. It's soulful, it's catchy, it's upbeat and I haven't even praised the lords enough for Irshad Kamil's magical lyrics. For the socially-awkward person that Irshad Kamil is, he's quite the man with the pen in his hands. I don't know how I'd ever speak to him though..or thank him. I think they invented social media for him. Something to hide behind and yet communicate. Funnily enough, he isn't very active on social media. Okay now seriously,how does one talk to this guy? AND get him to write songs for you. AND not just songs,MIND-BLOWING songs usually.

So the music's great, cinematography on another level altogether, acting by leads was pretty convincing too. The flaws lie in the screenplay. Some of the reactions that Alia gives as an abducted young girl was very filmy. Last time I checked, an abducted girl isn't exactly Miss Chatterbox extracted from Mr & Miss Little series. Neither does a kidnapper ever turn into a little crier,least of all in the midst of kidnapping. Especially not a Haryanvi kidnapper. Oh but then again, a Haryanvi kidnapper is never this hot whom you'd die to be kidnapped from and fall madly in love with and want to marry and have 500 bacchey.  The movie also side-tracks to an episode of Satyamev Jayate Season 1 in the middle of nowhere, which was as random as Baba Sehgal's tweets. It took my friend and I a whole minute in figuring out whatthedouchery is happening. When we did figure out and thought(aloud) the response which Hooda should be giving to Alia on that randomness, we burst into laughter for being so in-sync with such humour.

Alia: *insert episode of satyamav jayate in the middle of kidnapping which has no link to being kidnapped or anything*
Hooda: Silent, stares
Friend 1 & I(as Hooda): Cool. Good to know.
*insert hi-5s and chuckles too loud*
Random audience mein baithi huyi ladi in the row infront: Excuse me, could you please keep your volume down.
Me: Sorry.
Friend 2: Sshhh..aunty police bula legi
*insert more khikhikhikhikhikhikhi*

It felt good to be in primary school again for that moment.

In a truck-shell, Scenic cinematography, Soulful Music, Smart Direction, Impressive Alia, Expectedly-Great Hooda, Refreshing Storyline, Some-Really-Witty-Dialogues

My rating: 3/5 stars.
It's worth a watch,but not necessarily in theatres. Watch it on your 42-inch Plasma TV at home.

*****

Epilogue

I love mid-grounders like Ayan Mukherjee & Imtiaz Ali. They bring you into this "fantasy world" with good-looking male leads and everyone else is so good-looking that it's like you're in charlie & the chocolate factory for life. On a serious note, you have to give it to Imtiaz for capturing love in the most bizzare of situations so finely. It's an art to master.