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)

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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)

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Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Kavya from ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania’ saw the Women’s Rights movement making the rounds around the globe, jumped on the bandwagon and came out as a transformed modern day woman called Vaidehi on the other end to now become ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’.

‘Tis the story of a very real struggle of women who grow up in homes where an early marriage is the ONLY dream they are allowed to harbor and their parents bend their backs collecting dowry because grooms are sold according to the size of their daddy’s homes, cars and egos. Marriage brokers that come to your house and ask for “kitna lagaenge shaadi mein” as soon as they plant their derrières on your couch really do exist – I am speaking from experience that almost made me lose my composure and shoot darts at them before I nudged my parents to throw them out of our house.

There is a nice ying and yang between aspiration and realism in this movie which hits the pulse of today’s day and age. Though some scenes are really cliched and added for pure mass entertainment, such as Kritika’s swayamwar, her clarity in thought about who she is marrying is commendable. Vaidehi, too, is marrying “under her league” but she finds the unexpected in Badri which is all that a relationship sometimes needs to work out.

I found it interesting that the filmmaker chose to broach the topic of rebellion against a deep engrained system of patriarchy in which sons are merely puppets of their dangerously commandeering parents. Helping them move along with the times is as much their children’s responsibility as their own. For all the Vaidehis out there – if your Badri is not willing to create a reasonable environment for you two to live in within the fiefdom of his dad – run, run as fast as you can!

Alia Bhatt’s acting is like a cheese pizza from the same shop. Consistently good but always tastes the same. I can’t wait to see her in a more subdued, silent, thoughtful character. Even though Udta Punjab was quite different her angst filled role was very familiar.

Varun Dhawan tried visibly hard to act like the UP ke bhaiya but he was skirting at the edge of authenticity and childishness. Comic roles are not his forté. He did much better in a far more serious Badlapur.

Oh, and taking away a point for horrendously butchering Tamma Tamma when we know that remixes can be as good as the original – look at Humma Humma. (7/10)

 

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Befikre

India is a country of dichotomies: old and new, rich and poor, love and war, spice and sweet…who knew these contrasts were going to carry over to the world of media? 2016 is the year when India (for a short period of time) banned pornographic content in media and it’s also the year India came out with Befikre, which is nothing more and nothing less than soft porn. The movie solely sold on the 23 kissing scenes between the actors and the “clothing optional” attitude of the filmmaker. Based on its box office performance of merely 43 crore so far it looks like even that doesn’t really have a market.

Ranveer Singh took his off-screen personality just a notch too far. I can’t tell if his character changed at all throughout the movie because I couldn’t watch this waste of a patch of reel for more than half an hour but it’s exactly characters like him and his friend with benefits that are contributing to a rapid decline of any sort of relationship values.

Plot-less, cloth-less, sense-less – don’t let it lessen your bank balance. Stay home! (1/10)

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Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Sometimes images speak more than words. If I had to summarize this entire 2 hour 35 minute experience into an image it would be this:

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A loves B, but B loves C, and C loves D but because D is not reciprocating D kinda loves C again but not the way C wants.

What starts as a “new age,” fun, use and throw relationship drama with aspirational characters for every born-into-wealth youngster quickly turns into an inception like abyss of love stories. Karan Johar peeled so many layers of the love relationships onion that nothing of the onion is really left to cook with in the end.

Choke full of one-liners, poetic and filmy dialogues – at times it feels this entire movie is overscripted. You gotta learn to use the right spices, not all of them, when you are trying to get the dish right, KJo. No really, what type of wit are your characters born with to always have the perfect answer? There is a scene in the movie where Ranbir even makes fun of it.

Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma clearly saved this one from being a pain to watch. Their acting is spot on and truly entertaining. Particularly Ranbir’s character hit home with me…I know a thing or two about carrying your heart on your sleeve after all. 🙂

Fawad on the other hand disappointed. His intoxicating face is not meant to be hidden behind a caveman’s beard. I feel sorry for KJo for stirring up such a storm by casting him when he really had pretty much nothing to do in this movie.

Undoubtedly, the glamor of a Dharma Production is smeared all over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but at times you just want to disassociate with all of their past movies and not be reminded of them through the nose touches and the incessant Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam backdrop. All in all ADHM felt like the mis-orchestrated end of a firework. KJo pulled out all his pataake but the final show was a fuss. Happy Diwali! (6/10)

Special thanks to the little brother for organizing this family movie night the day I landed in Frankfurt!

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Mirzya

I read an interview of Rakeysh Omprakahs Mehra’s in which he said he was still looking for an answer to why Sahiba broke Mirza’s arrows when her brothers came attacking him. He went to many of his friends in the industry to seek an answer but could not fine one. Well, let me tell you, he didn’t find one through the process of making this movie either! Nor was he able to depict the characters in a way that the viewer could find one for themselves.

ROM keeps shifting between the old and the new views of the Sahiba-Mirza legend. The new fails to impress and the old looks more like endless slow-mo scenes from the gladiators. Who ran around with mohawks in ancient times in India??

Anil Kapoor’s children have a history of launching with horrible movies – remember Saawariyan nine Diwalis ago? If you don’t you are probably better off.

Harshvardhan Kapoor is just alright. Besides, I barely got to see him since he was hidden behind his hair and facial hair for most of it. It’s a Kapoor family thing, ya know? (3/10)

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Happy Bhag Jayegi

At least this was a movie one wasn’t expecting much from. So even if it’s mediocre it doesn’t disappoint as much. Diana Penty is simply not suitable for a Kangana Ranaut character. She tries way too hard to be the bubbly chirpy girl everyone loves and to make sure everyone gets it the director has to confirm it one more time by making the engaged Abhay Deol have a crush on her too. Brace yourself for a brigade of screaming brides because it’s apparently the cool thing.

Only Aziz knows what he was trying to do with the temporary rift in relationship between Abhay Deol and Momal Sheikh. It was too non-consequential to the story to even get fully noticed.

Poor Jimmy Shergill’s career never took off but his acting is actually on point with good comic timing. I wish he got more to do than be the funny sidekick in most movies. (4/10)

 

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