Movie Review: Student Of The Year

Now, now! Don’t get me wrong. I was scared. Scared out of my wits. But I knew I had to do it. It’s one of those things you do for love. True love. And so, I did it. And to my surprise, I came out alive. And quite well, if I may add.

Student Of The Year, or SOTY as it has become, famously paraded for the gaana wala song, isn’t half or or one third as bad as I expected it to be. It’s breezy, designer led, well-edited, and with a heavy dose of skin show and brawny muscular aspirational crap. And it’s watchable. No, its not Heroine. It’s not Kuch Kuch Hota Hai either.

The first fifteen minutes of this movie are crappy. Really crappy. I have heard people review the introductions of these bozos with aplomb, but they suck. But thankfully, the rest of the movie is not as bad. Once the grand introductions where the under-age lady pouts with all her colors, the first dude murders a guitar (what’s the guitar murder count of bollywood btw?), and the second dude goes on to prove why we are such a wannabe soccer country.

After that, thankfully, KJo moves on to school antics, banter, reasonably immature doucheness in a mega-douche school, group of friends-turned-enemies, school stuff, and finally, dumbledore’s triwizard tournament opens up.

To be fair, both the actors (Siddharth and Varun) have acted well, Siddharth acting a touch better than Varun. For all the Alia conversations, she is what our industry has reduced most actresses to – a showpiece. She pouts, sings, dances, sheds a tear here and there, and gets a total of 90 seconds of acting time in a 150 minute+ movie. And yeah, she does not act that well. But that hasn’t been a deterrent in bollywood either.

The support staff is actually better than the core, and have a reasonably high amount of screen presence. The start is a little off-key for Kaizaad (played by Kayoze Irani, son of Boman Irani) but he comes back very strongly. Manjot Singh is kinda wasted. Rishi Kapoor has not been used to the max, but is good in limited doses. Ronit roy and Ram Kapoor hang in there. Everyone else (including Farida Jalal) has a 1 minute deal in the movie and they’ve all done their bit to keep the movie interesting.An extremely interesting sidenote is the behavior of families behind these students who study at this insanely posh school. In a brilliant 2 minute window, KJo smartly demolishes a lot of the glitter that went into the school.

The music did t really work for me as much. Surprisingly, Gaana Wala Song is still the best song of the movie, followed by Radha/Ratta Maar. The remixes of old songs is fine, but only so much. But there are a few songs too many. But then, KJo indulges himself when he directs, and accepts so.

Everything else is irrelevant. It’s a long movie which does not bore you. You may hate the idea of watching it, but most likely you won’t hate watching it. It’s KJo’s bollywood grandeur at display. And it’s a movie that will make serious money, esp. overseas.  I am not exactly recommending you watch it, but I did come out not hating the movie.

 

Oh, by the way, the movie has too many bloopers. So. don’t bother thinking about them.

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Movie Review: Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

I saw Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Friday night, and was fascinated by my end reaction to the movie. I did not expect it to be what I came out to be – Good!

I have maintained it for some time that Imran is Bollywood’s answer to Hugh Grant. Looks like a douche/chom, can’t act much, mumbo jumbos most of his dialogues, and is almost perfect for low involvement rom-coms.Remember Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa/ I Hate Love Storys?

Kareena, as well, is absolutely cut out for these roles. Chirpy girl with loads of attitude and brashness, keeping some of her issues under layers of enthusiasm, with about 15 minutes reserved for some sadness and drama. She is a reasonably good actress, who is lazy and risk averse.

The movie, I conclude, is a very pleasant rom-com. It is short, doesn’t prolong anyone’s agony (including that of the viewers), does not try to take things to an (Indian) logical conclusion, and keeps most of the songs in the background.The music is fine, though disappointing on the back of my expectations from Amit Trivedi ( after Dev D, Udaan, Aamir and the likes). Surprisingly, the chemistry between Imran and Kareena is quite good.

Sorter than 120 minutes is an achievement in indian cinema. Strike one.

Crisp editing is an aberration rather than a rule. Strike two.

Jokes are not necessarily loaded with sexual innuendos, and dive more from conersational wit and timing. Strike three.

 

I went in with low expectation, and mostof them were beaten. So, i was happy. Only one word of caution – either watch it in a theater where everyone loves commenting (or, “interacting” with the screen). Or, where no one does. BUT, not in a thrater where only the person next to you believes in repeating the onscreen dialogues, along with a laughter track for effects. Gubbare.. Ha ha haha. Dinner.. Ha ha ha ha.

 

This movie is (in another douchebag’s style) a “3 on 5 for me, along with a thumbs up”. Go watch it, because it’s not a genre that is usually well made in India.

 

Note: Watch it only once. Which means, that you should watch it with wife/girl-friend/… Because in case they drag you in for a second time because you saw it with someone else (colleagues/boyfriend/…), you may experience serious self-loathing syndrome (at this stage, it’s just a hypothesis).

 

Movie Review: Agneepath works… and quite well too

The first 15 minutes of Agneepath set the pace of the movie. Right from the idyllic Mandwa, to masterji and viju’s relationship, to viju’s deep rooted anger, and the two key lesssons – Pehelwan, and Ageneepath. Things happen fast, and then Kancha enters the screen. Kancha is a villain of the Gabbar Singh era. When he walks in, there aren’t too many other people that you notice on the screen. He is huge to the point of being grotesque, evil, insane, and cunning. He would not stop at anything to get his way. Things happen, and Viju is now in Mumbai. Now comes Rauf Lala. Its difficult (for me) to imagine that the ultimate candy star who survived the eras of many superstars can be made to look so mean and gross. You hate him. You hate his character. And in the middle of all this, the biggest thumbs up goes to that little boy Vijay (Arush Bhiwandiwala) who beats the crap out of Hrithik Roshan’s Vijay Deenanath Chauhaan. The anger, resentment, fearlessness of younger vijay overshadows the sad and despondent anger of the older Vijay. That does not mean I have anything against Hrithik’ portrayal. This would probably be one of his best performances till date (I haven’t see Guzaarish). But, this was one place where Amitabh’s Vijay was difficult to carry off. Amitabh’s Vijay was angry. Hrithik’s Vijay is as angry as he is sad and melancholic.

Agneepath of 2012 had a lot of weight to carry on its shoulders. Much like that scene where Hrithik lifts the bulky humongous frame of Sanjay Dutt. I read somewhere that he “really” did lift Dutt while doing that scene. I saw yesterday that Agneepath 2012 did lift the weight of Agneepath 1991. Commendably so. I would be a prude if I were to intellectualize the whole experience and find flaws with this version. Bottomline was that while the movie was on, I really enjoyed it. Agree, it’s a little long drawn, but hey!

The movie has its share of flaws. Few more loopholes than the earlier one. The 1990 version was a very intense movie, which but for the couple of Mithun-Neelam moments was fairly charged. This movie makes the same mistake, in somewhat greater proportions. The Romance of Mithun-Neelam is replaced by the Hrithik-Priyanka romance and the birthday song was definitely avoidable. Also, based on what I’ve seen of Hrithik so far, he can pull of the torn/sad hero quite well, but he is not the “angry young man”. On hindsight, I can picture Ajay Devgan do a better job of that. One sequence where the entire audience holds its breath in the 90 version, is when Shiksha is abducted by Shetty and Vijay runs through the narrow lanes of Dharawi to get to Shetty. That scene, despite a far more powerful Rishi Kapoor this time, does not have the same intensity. And the end, dramatic as it was in the earlier version, is a lot more idiotic this time (and I don’t meant Sanjay Dutt on top of Hrithik, literally speaking true though)

However, it’s a movie worth watching. Excellent performances from the lead cast including Priyanka Chopra. Arush (younger Vijay) is absolutely top class. Dutt and Rishi Kapoor are exception. Hrithik is brilliant and Priyanka is just about right. Zareena Wahab, Om Puri, Kanika Tiwari (Shiksha, played by Neelam in 1990 version) are all well-cast. The editing is good except for a few places and the movie moves at a very engaging pace. Some of the sequences are beautifully shot (especially the Ganpati Visarjan shot and the scene where Sanjay Dutt is dragging Master Dinanath Chauhan). Music, except for a couple of unnecessary songs, does not hamper the pace of the movie. Background score is good.

End Note: Brilliant masala movie with a lot of entertainment and some absolutely brilliant performances. 4 on 5 for me. Watch it, I say. 

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