Movie Review: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Yesterday, I subjected myself to this movie. To survive, I tweeted throughout the movie. Rather than write a review and, in that process, hate myself again, I present to you – the storified tweets.



Bajrangi Bhaijaan – The Jaan Is Shahida

bajrangiI think it has been forever that I got down to watch a movie on its release day. And that is not to say that I was so excited by the prospects of watching Bajrangi Bhaijaan on Day 1 that I broke the well-defined norms of parenthood. I went down to watch Baahubali (having heard people rave on and on about its scale and grandeur), and since there were no shows of Baahubali, or any other movie for that matter, I watched a significantly overpriced Bhaijaan. Overpriced has a definition here. Each ticket of PVR Gold Class was 800 bucks. Without any popcorn or cold-drink included in the ticket price. Why did I not turn back? Because I don’t do that. No, I don’t. And if I try to, the missus does not let me do that. Not when movie watching events with just the two of us have become so preciousssss.

Now, you know, I am a fan of Bhaisms. That mindless over the top drama with dialogues like “main dil mein aata hoon, samajh mein nahi” or “mujhpe ek ehsaan karna…”

The movie is about a mute girl from Pakistani who finds herself stranded in India, only to be rescued by Bajrangi Bhaijaan, urf Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi, a naïve lad from Pratapgarh, who lives in Delhi, but finds the girl in Kurukshetra. Bhaijaan promptly decides that it is his duty to take the girl back to Pakistan, against all odds, and help her unite with her parents.

Can you imagine the hand pump sized opportunities here? A Pakistan full of stereotypes, an army full of good for nothing soldiers, an occasional world-unifying-Muslim-with-a-heart-of-gold, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan going “Hulk Smash” on them? The number of grey haired preachy sermons being delivered to tikka and akshat wearing nincompoops?

It does not happen that way.


Read the rest of the review with the sarcasmometer aside.

The movie is fairly heart-warming. But for the last 15-20 minutes, its reasonably well-toned and not over the top. The kid-Bhaijaan equation is not full of melodrama. In fact, it’s lovably cute. In fact, it is this that makes the movie very very warm. It’s not a typical Salman movie. [Spoiler alert]: Salman does not bare it all this time. There is a total of 2 minutes of serious Salman kinda violence in the movie at the end of which one guy is found hanging by the electric wires of purani dilli, and a policeman in Chawra, Pakistan is seen nursing his neck and apologising for letting a jasoos escape. Few broken tables and a few broken glass doors. That’s all.

Salman tries to act this time, and not play Thalaivar. And for most of the movie, gets it right. By his sheer charm, not by his acting skills. There is something about his chemistry with Shahida (the kid, Harshaali). Their scenes together are almost perfect. Shahida, by the way, without a dialogue, is so awesomely perfect and cute in this movie that even before she is stranded in Pakistan, you start waiting for her to cheer for Pakistan Team. She is not just a cute prop. It is she who really elevates the movie to being a genuinely lovable movie. I can safely imagine quite a few tears being shed across the theatre, so heart-breaking her pain is in quite a few scenes. On second thoughts, it’s good that she does not have dialogues. Most adult script writers don’t get kiddy dialogues right. They make them either too cute or too preachy. Kareena Kapoor Khan  is an unrequired prop in the movie. She provides enough support to the emotions of the movie, and her eyes still light up the best in the industry.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui. You were waiting to hear about him, right? I think Nawaz confessed in an interview somewhere that commercial movies help pay the bills better than the movies with great scripts and direction. Nawaz is spot on. He more or less always is, these days. He pulls off that “Eid mein Karachi se andruni mulkon ki” video copy. Interestingly, his character is named Chand Nawab (just as it was in the original video here). I was so hoping that they allow him to swear freely, but I guess censor board would not have liked it. In a way, he owns the screens when he is there. And he may just have the problem that Irrfan Khan had some time back. He overshadows the “superstars” too easily. The only place where he falters a bit is that last passionate appeal of his exhorting people to come support Bhaijaan. But by then, it’s all over.

The others in support – Rajesh Sharma, Sharat Saxena, Om Puri, etc. are extremely well cast and right on the money.

For a change, Salman decided to start off with a script this time. Or, maybe, Kabir Khan decided not to throw away the script in his excitement of having signed Salman for a movie which was getting an Eid release.

One of the biggest positives of the movie – it’s neither preachy nor pedantic. Mostly.

The movie has its flaws, the biggest of which is its ending, and the long standing gripe I have against the “need to conclude”. I don’t think there was a need for Shahida to get her speech. I don’t think it was important to have the army general drama about forcefully trying to prove Bajrangi a spy. I don’t think there was a need to apologetically convert a staunch Hindu Bajrangi and make him do an Allah hafiz slow-mo. More importantly, I don’t think there was a need to stretch the movie too long to accommodate all this.

The music is not much to write about. Bhar de jholi meri + Adnan Sami is the high point. Selfie le re will always be the song that you don’t confess to liking, but are bound to hear on every radio channel 15 times a day, just because it’s so popular and catchy.

Camerawork / DOP deserves some mention too. The opening shots, and some of the shots of Pakistan part of the movie (the corn truck scenes/ the sunsets, etc.) are beautifully shot. For some reason, the last shot of the movie, between the two borders, reminded me of Henna.

The movie runs much longer than I would have liked. But the charisma of Bhai is such that directors always think more is better.


In short – it’s a very decent, un-Salman movie which has done well to encash his stardom. I do have my doubts about it being a 150Cr movie though. And – “pehle pata karo ye Boo Ali kaun hai”


Dabangg2 – Shamelss Fun With Salman At His Best

Dabangg2 – is not like the last 3-4 movies of Salman. But it is exactly like Dabangg. Where it all started. While, like many, I consider Wanted to be the real turnaround of Salman Khan, I believe that Dabangg has created a juggernaut of sorts in the industry. Singham, Khiladi 786, Rowdy Rathore, etc. are branches of that same formulaic execution. A larger than life hero, punchlines, slo-mo action sequences, item numbers, a villain who’s good for punchliners and has perfected the art of looking menacingly at the camera, a few comic actors thrown here and there. That’s it. The big difference between 70s-80s and these ones right now is slo-mo action sequences, IMO. And a thought must be spared for Abhinav Kashyap who made the first installment, but will not be missed this time round.

Now that I have classified the movie, let me tell you that Dabangg2 is a brilliant Salman Khan movie. Right up there with Dabangg. I am actually inclined to say that it’s better than D1. So, it’s a 10-salman rating kind of movie.

The setting/story is as simple as it should be – Pandeyji takes a transfer to Kanpur (to earn more and play a bigger role). Someone kidnaps a school kid. Cut to the grand entry of Pandeyji. Cut to slo-mo fight with enough comedy moments as well. Cut to product placement. Cut to more slo-mo. Villain/Big Brother of town is worried. Run in is unavoidable. And one thing leads to another. Till such time that Salman Khan’s shirt is off. You know that the end is near if Salman has had to reveal his dashavataram/noshirtavataram roop.

Salman stays true to the Salman image. Buffoonry, Fights, Angry Eyes, “apparently” witty repartee (and its “apparently” because he is the first one to start laughing at his jokes, like a true PJ God). He is his best when the humor is self-deprecating. And Salman wins hands down in that genre. Since Govinda is not fighting fit anymore. The most endearing comic moments, however, are his prank calls to his father, Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna). Salman, yet again, carries the movie. And his beefy self will deliver, yet again.

Vinod Khanna has more screen time (if we take out the songs) than Sonakshi Sinha in the movie. That should be considered good news. But the bad news is that one item number features Malaika (but Sonakshi joins in too soon to let it be an item number) and the second features Kareena (with due respect to the Nawaaban of Pataudi, Kareena should not take up pure dancing assignments).

It’s sad to see Deepak Dobriyal play the role he did. And as badly as he did. After Omkara, Dilli 6, etc. one always waits for him to leave his imprints on a small enough character in the movie. Sadly, not this. He is a flunky who acts like a flunky.

Prakash Raj, the veteran menacing guy, has not been able to better his Singham act this time. Or, the Wanted act. Bollywood has reduced him to a unidimensional character, while we all know that he is capable of this and much more. He is good. He is fine, actually. Because this is stuff that he can do sleepwalking, most likely.

The poor guy who took his shirt off in Ready is the third villain, and takes off his shirt in this movie as well. He is the same guy who had a pretty impressive antagonist role in Jodha Akbar. Now, you remember?

Chaubeyji, Tiwariji and Siddiqui and others along with Mathur saab (the Bhatia saab of office office fame) support adequately. They are the equivalents of Mahmood, Asrani, Keshto and co in the modern era.

The opening sequence is a montage of well remembered scenes from the previous installment, sans the dialogues.

The music is not Munni-esque but is good enough to be chartbuster. Fevicol, Seeti bajaye, Dagabaz, etc. are all just about there to make it to the charts. And stick on long enough to make the movie work.

The movie has some very (seemingly) force-fitted scenes to project Sonakshi as ‘sexy’. Jeans on a bike, backless blouses, a morning-after scene , etc. Maybe not a big personality, but she has a face big enough to fill an entire screen. You’ve got to give her that much. She continues to be a well cast bad actress.

In short, it’s a great Salman movie. Enjoy it if you know how to enjoy it. By the way, did I tell you watching Salman’s movie with his real fans at single screen theaters is the best way to watch his movies. And because it’s true, the number of fake whistlers is going up, sadly. When you watch a movie at Chandan, it’s very easy to distinguish between those who love Salman, and those who want to project that they love this Salman-ism . You know that point where doing rusty stuff is the ubercool chic thing? So, it would be typically be – “Oh my god, did you see that Versace bag ya? Ooh. I am like soo going back there after the movie. You know what. We should learn how to do these whistles ya. It’s so much fun. Oooh.” And at this point, I leave you with King Julien and his whistling skills.

Watch from 0:20 till 0:48

Movie Review: Ek Tha Tiger

It’s almost an insulting thing to do. An attempt to review Salman’s movies of late. It is. And yet, with my love for his irreverent acts, I do it. However, I have realized how to solve for it.
From here on, if I do a rating on his movies, I would use a rating scale of 1 to 5 salmans, instead of 1 to 5 stars or something like that. How much of Salman-ism did you see in the movie. And on that token, I think Dabangg was a solid 5 Salmans, Wanted was 4, Ready was 4 and Bodyguard was 3.5 or so. Each of these is a MEGA HIT. So, my conclusion right now is that a movie which has more than 3 Salmans rating will easily cross 100Cr+

Now, to ETT – Its a 3.5 Salman movie. My prophesy puts this one close to 200Cr.

This one actually has a plot, and if they had kept the topsy turviness for a bit more, it would have been great for the movie. They could have snipped a couple of emotional scenes for that.
This one has a brilliant Salman. It has some awesome action and chase sequences. Now, one of the gold standards for me is the initial chase sequence in Bond’s Casino Royale when Daniel Craig chases the dude forever. This one, due to the lack of similar athleticism, tries to make do with slo-mo camera work. And there’s more than one of them chases in the movie. SO, that was kinda neat. I think, and I think I am alone in thinking so – Katrina was brilliant in the movie. Some part of her accent still kills the dialogue, but for most part of the movie, she was the perfect foil to Salman. And believe you me – during the action sequences, I heard as many hoots and whistles for her as there were for Salman. So, dear body double of Katrina for the jumps and hoops, you were brilliant.

The let down is the music. This one does not have a Munni or a dheela character. Mashallah is an afterthought. The rest of the songs are not sticky. And in some ways, spoil the pace of the movie.

Kabir Khan’s life is not going to get bigger than this. I don’t think he has talent. I think he is an average guy with better than average luck on his side.

Ranvir Shorey is wasted, and barring a couple of scenes, Girish Karnad too. The movie is all about Salman. And Katrina. Katrina – you’re finally coming of age. And if my movie reviews are worth much, than you can see how my opinion of you has been evolving steadily. Just as your career.

Sallu bhai – tussi too much ho. Too much.

Dear Readers – those of you who love Sallu bhai – this movie, again, is a must watch. However, this time, the pseudo intellectuals can give it a try as well. I don’t think I know any real intellectuals visiting this blog – so I think I can skip that part.

Movie Review: Bodyguard

Oops! I did it again. Another Sallu movie. Another almost First Day First Show. Well, it was the second show. Yes. At Chandan. Yes, the movie left a few things to be desired. No. The Chandan Experience was perfect.

Before I say something about Bodyguard, let me remind you all that I absolutely enjoyed Dabangg and I did not enjoy Ready at all. So, if you’re one of the purists who cannot differentiate between Dabangg and Ready because apparently they both were trashy movies for you, stop right here. You should not watch Bodyguard. Having got that out of the way, let me also tell you that this movie is going to hit the 100Cr mark, for sure.

Salman’s intro shot in the movie is as interesting as it should or could be. The title song is a wacko with Salman winking and flexing his biceps as the key dance step, Katrina Kaif making a customary item song presence through the song. Immediately after, Salman gets into gravity defying stunts and action sequences which are so unreal that you cannot but fall in love with the dude. As greatbong pointed out in his Singham review, there are only two people who can pull that kind of stuff – dhai kilo ke haath wale sunny paaji, and maine ek baar commitment kar di to wale salman bhai.

Then, with almost a pitch perfect beginning, something seems to fall apart. Which is, that Siddique decides not to continue with the same over the top treatment of the movie. Rather, he decides to put in emotions, drama, college fun, etc. He decides that he will let Kareena (Divya) play a prank on the superstud bodyguard. She has a preachy friend by her side. Salman has been given a ridiculously fat Rajat Rawail as a comedian flunky. Why on earth do you need a comedian flunky if Salman is already there? His earnestness while doing the most ridiculous scenes makes up for all the comedy I ever need out of his movies. Remember the “tera hi jalwa” ringtone based fight sequence in Dabangg. Yeah. That one.

Kareena gets all emotional while Salman continues to carry the movie on his shoulders. Rajat Rawail kills the sense of humor of the movie with his weight and cheap humor, while Salman continues to carry the movie on his shoulders. Raj Babbar and Asrani ham the crap out of the movie, while Sallu carries the movies on his shoulders. And in between (before the interval) and towards the end, there are two more extremely endearing fight sequences. The kinds where one of the bad guys is kicked hard and while he is still in the air, two more bad guys are punched, only to allow Sallu some more time to crash kick the first guy again. Awesomeness! Aditya Panscholi does his friendly hamming. Mahesh Manjrekar too. All the usual masala. Couple of songs booted here and there, which are working, but are not in the league of Dabangg music (or usual Himesh Reshammiya music). Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is there. Mika too. Shreya Ghoshal too. All boxes ticked.

Towards the end, is where the surprise really lies. Usually, you expect a grand fight with Salman resulting in massive disaster for the bad guys. In this movie, that happens. And then some shit happens with Salman. I will not reveal the mega plot twist. But that mega plot twist itself makes the movie a massive torture in the last 10-15 minutes of the movie. See it to believe it.

Back to Chandan Experience – Movie was supposed to start at 12:30. Did not start till 12:50 or so. In those 20 minutes, there were die-hard fans trying to break the door open (to Chandan’s credit, the doors are quite durable), brought the large size movie hoardings of Bodyguard and Mere Brother ki Dulhan to ground before tearing them into pieces, whistled, cat-called, hooted, booed. And then the door received the loudest ever cheer for opening, that any door might have received ever. At that time, the end credits of the previous show were going on, but the enthusiastic crowd did not mind cheering Salman in the goofiness based end spoilers either. Every song, there was an “interactive” crowd that would take off their shirts, or start dancing in the isle. At the end, there were a bunch of 15 odd kids that climbed the screen area and decided to showcase their Sallu bhai dancing skills right there. Before the show, we also spotted a dude who’d come in Sallu bhai getup (shiny black coat with sunglasses and the whole drill from the Desi beats song), and was getting himself clicked in style in front of a Mahindra Xylo. Life, as they proverbially say, was good.

EndView – Not bad. Not great either. I’d prefer a Dabangg over this. The elitist reader base of this blog would most likely not like the movie. But then, who cares. The movie’s going to make another 100Cr+ for Bollywood. By the time Salman is done with another few such movies, including Dabangg 2, the debate about who’s the biggest “Star” would be settled. Aamir needs script. Shahrukh needs senti, dialogues, script, and a whole lot of marketing. Salman, though, needs only himself!

Chillar Party: The Premiere, The Evening, and The Movie Review

Thanks to @narendodi, Missej and I landed at the premiere of Chillar Party today. That, I guess, was about the only right thing about the evening. Missej had been fighting multiple fires at work. I had an important call right in the middle of the screening of the movie. Missej’s office was reminding her of the favour they had done to her by letting her watch the movie.

Now then. This is the first time I was attending a movie premiere. So, bear with me my ignorance of how it all works. There were multiple shows of Chillar Party running sequentially, with different types and layers of guests being invited for them. The big one was later in the night where all the big celebs would have come. The show before us had a special screening for kids from various NGOs. The show we were attending had a lot of B-listers – the friends, wives, girlfriends, inspectors, et al from movies. So, we spotted Rajeshwari (Sachdeva), the chick who played Rajeev Khandelwal’s wife in Shaitaan, the bribe taking cop of Shaitan, the other girlfriend of Jaane tu ya jaane na (Manjari?), lots of small time villans (the londry villain of Delhi Belly, etc.). Of course, we saw Sohail Khan welcoming most of the important guests personally, and the kiddie star cast of Chillar Party who did their ho-ho at the beginning of the movie. The drinks and snacks were on the house (meaning you could have the chicken burger or popcorn served at PVR for free). And so, we cribbed about our respective lives and went in, picked comfortably placed seats closer to the isle, considering we were sure about not watching the whole movie.

I will come to the movie in a bit. But here is what happened to us. At 8:25, intermission happened. We walked out of the theatre. I dialled onto the conference call I was supposed to attend at 8:30 (yes, one of those where you dial a toll-free number and no, not one of those where you just dial in, put yourself on mute, and act as if you are doing something important). I promptly punched the passcode, put the phone on mute while I continued walking out of the theatre, and put the Bluetooth dongle in my ear. I could not hear anything. Not even the usual music that you hear while the host hasn’t opened the conference. I looked at the phone. I couldn’t see anything. And I realized. Shit! Phone’s battery had run of juice. (Someday, I will write a post about how many important occasions the smart-phones cannot smartly save juice for). I turn to missej. She seems stressed. I ask her – where’s your phone? She replies – I have given my office fellas your number to call in case my phone dies. I look at her incredulously. She continues – why do you ask? My expression changes to helplessness. I still take her phone. Mumble something incoherently. And see that her battery is down to zero as well, though not dead. And she is solving CEO level shit. I pray to the heavens. I send an SMS to a trusted lieutenant asking him to carry on with the charge and message me on missej’s number should something go wrong. And by then, we are outside the theatre. Missej, amidst all the fireworks going on in her corporate life, decides to shop for clothes at Shopper Stop. We do that. She notices a lot of clothes while trying to resolve some high level fiascos, on the phone. I notice more and more modernly dressed rich/ pretending to be rich uber cool people go to the theatre for that all important celeb release. We leave through the front door. Get to the valet parking. See an orange convertible Audi with a UP number plate. See bunch of BMWs and Mercs and LandRovers and what nots. And with all the big cars, there is a mini-traffic jam outside. One ways have become reverse one ways. Etc. Etc. We drive back home. We both put our phones on charge immediately after reaching home. Furiously reply to a few emails that we think are super important. Attend calls. Take stock of world. Lie down on our back. Think we are very important. And get ready for the next round.

Chillar Party : The Movie Review

It won’t be fair for me to review it in totality since I only saw the movie till the intermission. But the summary is that I liked what I saw. Disclaimer – it’s an out and out kid movie. So, if you’re a grown up who does not enjoy those movies, then stay away. With me, you know how it is. My mental age is on a reverse cycle already, while my body shows all signs of wear and tear.

The bunch of kids in the movie – Phatka, Janghya, Akram, Encyclopedia, Silencer, Panauti, Aflatoon, etc. have all acted very well. Bunch of very likeable kids who do things the way kids would. Do not go on long preachy missions. And are easy to soften and quick to gang up. The story has its intentions right. Middle income colony with kids in a certain age group getting attached to a car cleaner boy and his dog, and some twists here and there. There are funny moments. Some of the dialogues are quippy in a childish way. And the movie goes along nicely. Even the oldies’ support cast does not destroy the movie. Hardly any songs to notice in the first half. Merged well in the background.

But for the situational errors, I’d have watched the movie. I believe it has great potential to be a successful TV movie – one that you will find frequent re-runs of on different channels. It might end up being a My friend Ganesha equivalent.

Would I have gone to the theatre to watch the movie? Unlikely. Am I asking you to? Maybe. You could. It’s not a waste of time like several other movies (I am reminded of Bheja Fry2 and Double Dhamal and Tees Maar Khan). But it’s not a movie that my peer demographic would probably relate to. It’s definitely a movie that tier 2 cities should relate to a lot more. But if you have done your rounds of the movies you wanted to see, and are still looking for something more to watch – its not a bad bet. It’s a 3 on 5 movie for me.

Review: READY is a concealed kick for Sallu lovers

There are few things that can help you sail through a movie as beautifully well as the energy of the crowd around you, at a theatre like Chandan Cinema (Juhu), cometh to watch the first day first show of a Salman Khan movie. In cities where Multiplexes offering the comfort of booking tickets online for 250 bucks or so, and with an increasing dearth of single screen theatres, a theatre like Chandan is not always thronged by the people that we go out dining with. But they love their cinema. And they make bollywood tick. For instance, when I parked the car, I competed with three autorickshaws for space. Those guys hadn’t booked the ticket online. They had come earlier to book the ticket from advance booking window. And they had come to see Salman bhai (how do so many of them have such a strong rapport with sallu). At 60 bucks for stall tickets, I don’t think they come inexpensive, but way cheaper than what you’d pay at the shiny PVRs. And they offer a lot more. It’s a place where suddenly bursting into a dance is not weird, nor is hooting/seeti maaroing or expert commenting.
Yet. Ready. Disappointed. And before you bring me down as a pseudo intellectual, I present my candidature as the lover of Dabangg, Gunda, All The Best as well as Stanley Ka Dabba, 3 idiots, Kanoon, etc.
Here’s how it happened. When I walked into the cinema hall (that’s the right word, not theatre), the crowd’s energy started at the same level as that of an India-Pakistan match with Tendulkar on song. Several trailers (Murder 2, Chillar Party, Singham) later, even a pedestrian initial credits/casting sequence was cheered for. Salman entered with Character Dheela, and a Katrina Kaif imitation Zareen Khan was gyrating to the latest chartbuster. So, what happened? In about 5 minutes, a barrage of guest appearances (Katrina Kaif.. sorry, Zarine Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, Arbaaz Khan, Kangana Ranaut) are thrown at you. And for some reason, as I look back, those were the somewhat better 5 minutes of the movie. From that point onwards, the movie goes downhill. It has its occasional sparks. And they are bound to be there when you have Salman, literally, playing to the gallery. Half the dialogues are spoken to the audience, and have nothing to do with other people on the screen. People tried hard to cheer even the worst-est of things, to keep their hopes alive. Every now and then, Sallu would give people hope. Like Ajay Jadeja. But that’s match-fixing. You keep hoping for some of the Wanted and Dabangg awesomeness. But, it’s just a ploy to make you watch the entire goddamn thing. The crowd energy by the end of it all is at that level of surrender, as the point when Wasim Akram might just have taken a hat-trick to polish off the Indian tail. Yet, all is not lost. For Ready would have already recovered the bulk of money over the weekend. People have booked, hoping to see another National Award winning movie after Dabangg (how many “g”s did we have in there?). And I like that. Industry needs to keep trying these movies – just so that every once in a while there is a flash of brilliance. OR, just so that you appreciate other movies. I appreciate the existence of Akshay Kumar and Khatta Meetha, just because they make the rest of the world look like a better place.
The high point of the movie are the two songs (Character Dheela and Dhinka Chika), with DC coming up trumps, in the spirit of the movie. The choreographer (most likely Raju Khan) deserves credit for making a double footed Sallu look like he is dancing, while he is largely standing at just one place making an insanely cool twist with his hands. Almost like there are wipers in his pocket, set at speed 2.
The reason I am alive is – Salman. He is a star. Even when he doesn’t actually, he manages to show off his shirtless body. And then ask you – mazaa aaya kya? The movie is so full of star-juice-extracting one liners like – “jiske paas ho family ka support, use nahi kar sakta koi deport”, “koi to rok lo yaar”, “tumhara shauq poora karoonga”, “jeans ki fitting kaafi achi hai”, “jahan pakadna hai pakdo, jo karna hai karo” – you could have called the movie – Cornflakes, or, Salman Juice Stall, or something like that.
I don’t blame anyone. I blame myself. I went to see a Salman movie. I forgot that its an Anees Bazmee movie. The man with a magical sense of humour. The man who believes in a suraj barjatya world, where there should be at least 15 people in 90% of the movie. And they should all, usually, shout when they talk. Akhilendra Mishra (Kroor-Singh of Yakku fame), that guy I love (the boxing villain from Ghulam), Mahesh Manjrekar, etc. etc. They all shout. Bazmee – Don’t you ever buzz me again. If it ever in my power, I’d bring you down some day. From that place from where you keep throwing these rotten tomatoes at us, just for getting your personal laughter.
Ah. A special mention for Asin. She is beautiful. And she has a very expressive face. Someone, anyone, please give her some better roles to work with. I am sure if Tusshar Kapoor can get a Shor, and if Sunil Shetty (what’s the right spelling these days?) can get a RED, someone can give her a decent role, no?
Endnote – Don’t watch it if you are a pseudo intellectual. Don’t watch it expecting to see a Dabangg. Watch it if you love Salman’s style of doing things. Watch it if Housefull, Thank You, etc. worked for you. And extract as much value as you can through the 4/5 trailers you get to see, and the two songs. Sallu bhai – please avoid Anees bhai. I love your movies (of this genre), but I can’t stand that idiot’s movies.

Movie Roundup

Haven’t been writing a lot lately, so thought I would summarize my views of some of the movies I have watched in the last 3-4 months. How’ve y’all been?

How To Train Your Dragon

Excellent movie! Extremely adorably, excellent screenplay, great characters and some wonderful animation. Not the usual kids acting beyond their shoes lamentation in any part, no pity when something sad happens, and no masochism when something big is done. Everything that happens, happens smoothly. And that’s the beauty of the movie. The Night Fury dragon’s character, just as much as Hiccups, the kids and the Vikings in general, was a delight. I can keep gushing about how much fun it was to watch the movie, but I would let you go and enjoy the movie yourself. And by the way, watch it in good quality 3D if you have an option.

Badmaash Company

Decent, but suffers from the usual Indian problem. No closure. We drag everything to infinity and beyond, but not the way Buzz Lightyear does. Many of our movies are known to have a great start (like Sehwag) but seem to falter somewhere in the middle (like Ravindra Jadeja). I liked the first 40-odd minutes of the movie reasonably fine, which was just about the time the director decided to put the same print in spools. The pace of getting through the cons was a drag, and so was the high pitched melodrama. Surprisingly, Chang  (of Indian Idol fame) was not too bad, though most of the jokes on him were about his chinese face/origins. Anushka seemed to be in a hurry to change her image. Her entire first half presence is dedicated to wearing dresses that break the Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi mould, and the smooch sequence is the final frontier in Bollywood these days. Vir Das is ok. Anupam Kher and Pawan Malhotra are wasted largely. So is Kiran Juneja (the Ganga of B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat). Worst though is Shahid Kapoor. He needs to have a middle name starting with R, so that he can also start calling himself SRK. Hamming like a rooster, his acting skills seem smaller than the size of a pimple on the butt of a mosquito (that’s a phrase borrowed from one of my bosses). Anyways, its not so bad that its not watchable on DVD/ cable TV, but should be avoided in theatres, unless you are watching it with the comfort of a large recliner sofa.


Not sure why some of the fanboys seemed to have loved the movie. The movie is far too patchy for my taste. And as Anand said after we walked outta the theater, there is no epic crisis in the movie, which is essential for a superhero movie. You don’t want to watch a total of 3 minute conflict/exchange between the superhero and the epic villain who is almost about threatening to unleash 50 Ironmen on the mumbling (Robert Downey) Jr. Ironman. More so, when it ends with a lame dialogue like – “you lose”. Someone like me can still manage to enjoy bits of the movie, and not feel completely cheated, but I do not see how most people would like it. It has a bad screenplay, some fairly average editing, some great action sequences, and a lot of patchy technological brilliance thrown in here and there. Watch it if you are a comics lover.


Arrgh! Why do I agree to watch such movies? Why didn’t I learn from Hey Babyyyy (did I get the number of ‘y’s correct)? Anyways, the long story short is that I took the plunge because 7-8 of us from the office were going together, and the idea seemed fine. For such mindlessness, you need the comfort of numbers. However, not good enough. Housefull is full of such inanities and ridiculous sequences that even mayhem would feel threatened sitting in the theater. The jokes are not funny, and actors far too many and wasted, the usual gags of gay-ism and mistaken identities, make your life miserable. But what Sajid does in the last 15 minutes of the movie is a housefull of idiocy. Why would you make a stump-faced Arjun Rampal try and act under the influence of laughing gas. That good looking goofball cannot act normal scenes. Knowing the limitation of your team doesn’t seem like a skill that directors have these days. Anyways, Sajid Khan has an extremely long and idiotic 15 minute sequence which is an attack on the not-so-discerning senses of people like me. Yet, I know, and know it really well, that the movie would do great business. As Dodi and I were discussing yesterday, we no longer represent the average audience in our tastes, especially when it comes to identifying hits and misses. Though, to my credit, I knew “Wanted” was going to be a rage the moment I saw its first trailer.

A couple of other movies of note –

Wanted! Please watch it if you haven’t. But watch it with a sense of detachment that you can’t have when you are watching a Karan Johar movie. And you’ll love it. I would have loved to see it in theater, but I missed it. Loved it on TV as well. I wonder why Ayesha Takia did not become more successful. She seems quite decent, especially when I look at the competition we have to suffer.

Karthick Calling Karthick – quite a decent one time watch, though the pace of the way is way too erratic. And again, this is a movie which could have been 20 minute shorter with good editing.

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge – I liked it. Light, Hrishikesh Mukherjee kinds. Some of the gags are old, but some of them are quite refreshing. Paresh Rawal is brilliant, and Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen Sharma don’t disappoint either. Definitely, a decent DVD/TV watch.

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