Naam Shabana

Just like the second kid can rarely be as good as the first one (hoping my sister is not reading this!) the sequel to a movie often doesn’t measure up to the expectations set by the original.

The Director tried to use Baby’s recipe, including many of the key cast members but wasn’t able to replicate the taut storyline and magic of Baby. Danny’s scenes got cut down from four to two, Manoj Bajpai has been added as another layer of administrativia, and Akshay Kumar has only been hired to hold Taapsee’s arm and drag her through buildings as if she can’t walk on her own. Also, who in the world hires someone as handsome as Prithviraj Sukumaran as the bad man?

Awkward dialogues, lack of a good story and absolutely no explanation as to why they needed to cast a woman in the role of the secret agent when Akshay Kumar could have done all she does makes this a meh watch. Everyone these days is just trying to ride on the feminism gravy train which failed in this case. (5/10)

ns

Advertisements

Kaabil

Same story. I lost the draft that I wrote on the plane but in this case it was actually regretful. I watched this movie with very little expectations knowing that Hrithik Roshan mostly acts like a five year old in the body of a very – umm, handsome – adult. But buckle your seats because Hritik Roshan takes you on a surprising ride with his outstanding acting in Kaabil. Even more so because acting to be blind is likely more difficult when you can actually see.

Sanjay Gupta crafted very likable characters for Hrithik and Yami. They were underdogs to begin with but there was an ease in their personalities that instantly drew me to them. As the story unfolds they meet with an evil fate and their world turns upside down. It becomes a story of revenge in absence of justice by law.

Some of the dialogues stuck with me as they were unexpected and quite thoughtful, delivered flawlessly by our hotter-than-legally-allowed protagonist and a very skilled Ronit Roy, who is one of the finest underrated actors Bollywood has.

Yami, too, fit her role of a delicate girl full of grace and positivity well. She looked particularly gorgeous as a simple bride.

Glad to see Indian cinema bringing awareness to differently abled people even if in ways that are uniquely Bollywood. (8/10)

Naam Hai Akira

Promising topic treated poorly. Who doesn’t want to see a girl with integrity, mental courage and physical strength set things straight? There’s so much A.R.Murugadoss could have done right with a plot this novel in a film industry where women have little to do except dance around trees. However, he forced scene after scene into the screenplay in an endless recursive loop of “she’s gonna win” – “setback” – “she made it” – “setback”. Over the 2.5 hours you are trained to keep expecting bad stuff to happen making you go limp at the edge of your seat. Even the climax is anything but feel good. Someone with a sense of fairness like me felt cheated.

Sonakshi Sinha took a bold step by taking on this script but her acting needs more work. Konkona Sen Sharma was “handcuffed” by her limited role too. (4/10)

 

akira

Dishoom

When a director and script writer doubt their abilities they fall back on what they think will draw the Indian masses – cricket!

This Dhawan flick is mediocre in every sense: action, thrill, songs, acting. It’s a me-too of Baby but not nearly as exciting. Varun Dhawan really needs to rethink what he is signing on. How can the Badlapur star fall off all his graces and sign on sidekick roles such as this one? John Abraham is chiseled as ever, intense as ever, but he really needs to try another genre for a change. (4/10)

Sultan

A bit overdue but it hardly matters since most of the Bolly-world is split into either religiously watching Salman Khan films or boycotting them.

Salman Khan’s standard formula is at play again: buffed body, little brain, a semblance of innocence, rural setting, underdog status. If I could code I would write an algorithm to churn out his next predictable script.

With almost 600 crore INR in the bag who am I to say this was a futile attempt at entertainment? Salman rules the masses and that’s where the money lies.

Catchy songs, dusty action (literally), some female empowerment – to be undermined eventually – and a few signature hip shakes later I still had a hard time rooting for this underdog the way I did for Iqbal or Bhuvan in Lagaan. (4/10)

Sultan

Fan

It took me a full week to come out of the Inception like maze this movie has created in my head to be able to write this review. The only problem is I almost passed out finding my way out from the overload of narcissism created in this 2.5 hour mind-numbing piece of Shah Rukh Khan propaganda.

SRK plays himself and his own die-hard fan and then there are a million more instances you have to see his face postered all over the movie. Unlike many other bad Bollywood movies where the hero shares 10% of screen time with a B grade heroin SRK couldn’t even spare a minute of these reels on someone else so they removed the concept of a heroine entirely.

I have a feeling that he tried to maximize being on screen as much as he could because after four disasters (Chennai Express, Happy New Year, Dilwale and now this!) he feared no one would ever want to see him again…I certainly don’t. (1/10)

fan

Phantom

The near consecutive releases of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Phantom aptly personify the old adage of “everything is fair in love and war”. The India Pakistan topic is one that has been discussed, dissected and deliberated on by many Indian film makers. It works because it moves a nation of a billion and some. Phantom looked like it wanted to do what Baby did but it was not nearly as gripping as the later. It starts with good pacing and then slips into a lull never giving you a chance to really connect with the protagonist. (6/10)

Phantom