Jhootha Hi Sahi

Chanced upon this really cute romantic drama seven years after its release. It is to some extent modeled after the American sitcom Friends but still turned out refreshingly sweet and charming.

Seeing John Abraham in a sensitive romantic role for a change, instead of his action movies, was a real treat. Rarely have I seen such a pleasant, natural and real-life-like actress. This was Pakhi’s second movie ever and she clearly outshone many other “popular” actresses that unfortunately get a lot of footage in Bollywood.

The protagonists develop a relationship over a suicide prevention hotline not knowing each other’s identity and then happen to meet in the bookshop run by Siddharth. From there a beautiful story of double identity unfolds. Deep down what I loved most about the plot is that Mishka didn’t give up on Siddharth even after she felt betrayed not once but twice. What counted for her were his pure intentions and his heart of gold. People with an eye like hers and the patience to accompany it are rare to find these days.

Taking away one point from a perfect 10 for the overly filmy and unrealistic climax scene. (9/10)

JHS

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Anaarkali of Aarah

Some believe that every legal means of earning your living is respectful. Some judge the worthiness of a person by their profession. Too often we jump to conclusions about someone based on their work when, really, all that should matter is their character, personality and their core values.

If a girl is born to a village dancer what are the realistic chances she will become anything else but a village dancer herself? Very few make the rags to riches stories. Reality looks a lot more different. This is the story of Anaar, a girl who sees her mother being shot at an early age and fends for her life as a village singer for male entertainment.

One particular man of power misbehaves with her thinking that women like these will go to any length and won’t mind it, but Anaar – despite facing severe repercussions – plots to set this man straight.

It was interesting that Avinash Das introduced characters that not only ogled at Anaar but also some that actually revered her and treated her with utmost care and respect.

Swara Bhaskar’s and Sanjay Misra’s acting is mind-blowing as expected. Small town story with a big message and simple execution. (8/10)

AofA

Jab Harry Met Sejal

I wish he had never met her so I would have never sat through this 150 minute ordeal of a non-story. A complete dud with the only thing going for it being gorgeous European settings and high production quality.

You would need to consult a Psychologist to understand all the things that are off with Sejal’s character. She starts searching for a ring given to her by someone she can’t stand, becomes complete chipku to a tour guide for no logical reason whatsoever, despite multiple warnings that he may not be the right person to hang out with and turns a womanizer inside out within a week or two.

Even from a stylistic perspective there was nothing going on here except her red and black jackets. SRK completely fell into the black hole of my memory in his permanent black/grey garb.

I was just so infuriated by the crappy story and frivolity of this movie that I couldn’t quite tell if I liked the acting or not. Had this not been set in the beautiful cities of Europe these two location points would have also gone down the drain. (2/10)

JHMS

Mom

Sridevi had her second come back with a bang. An actress of her caliber deserves strong stories like English Vinglish and now Mom. She is looking as ravishing as a 53 old can possibly look and the way she gets under the skin of her character really carries the movie on her two dainty shoulders.

A well made thriller except I am not sure it was necessary to bring in a stepmother – stepdaughter twist into it. It served more as a distraction to me rather than an enhancement to the story. Also, there was no need to alter Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s appearance so much since it wasn’t required for his character to come across any more authentic.

When you a make a movie that’s otherwise pretty flawless small things, such as unnecessary humor between Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is not required. All it did was interfere with the severity of the matter at hand.

All-round stellar acting by everyone and a story that is not at all unimaginable in today’s India. (9/10)

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Trapped

Low budget. High thrill.

A story can barely get any simpler than this yet here is a one hour 45 minute movie keeping you glued to your seat. Love story turns into urgent housing situation turns into desperate apartment search turns into unfortunate lock in turns into a mind-boggling thriller.

There is barely any dialogue in the movie and yet you feel so attached to the protagonist’s fate. After all, you could have been Shaurya.

What would you do if you were trapped in an apartment on the 35th floor of a completely empty building without electricity and water? (8/10)

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Noor

Refreshingly simple and effective story revolving around a female lead character. I haven’t yet fully made up my mind about Sonakshi Sinha. I think her acting is better than some of her contemporaries’ and her atypical of Bollywood looks make her more “real” than them.

Sit through the first half as the second one gets better and touches upon morals in journalism and the role of media in shaping a society rather than just being the mirror of decaying social values.

I should mention that Purab Kohli has rarely looked better but then we already know douchebag characters require hella good looking people to play them.

Particularly enjoyable were the witty dialogues between the characters and Noor’s authenticity in her monologues. (6/10)

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Hindi Medium

In the face mockery of the Delhi social scene. Shall I call it a circus or a zoo? The show-off-giri in Delhi (and for that matter in many other places in India) is getting out of hand. “My sari is more bling than yours.” “My car is bigger than yours.” “I have more servants than you do.” “I eat at fancier restaurants than you.” “My kids are more accomplished than yours.” “My dog poops silkier than yours.” “I dare not speak Hindi with my kids lest I be considered downmarket.” Phew!

A couple tries to buy, trick, steal their way into the “upper echelons” of Delhi society to be able to send their daughter into a top Delhi school. While the topic clearly deserves attention, the execution lacks finesse. Great talent like Irfaan’s has been overshadowed with juvenile direction and a tad bit too much drama. (4/10)

Hindi Medium