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Movie Review 'Raees'

Movie Review  'Raees'

U/A; Action/Crime/Drama
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Rating: 3/5

This underworld drama is so over-packed with material that either 148 minutes of this film will seem too long to you, which it is; or in fact, far too short to patiently absorb the story of the rise and fall of an Ahmedabadi bootlegger don — without the audience feeling slightly hung-over by a breathless narrative-overload.

At its core though, this script is a very Salim-Javed 'angry young man' type from the '70s. There is, of course, the prologue — a boy who grows up to become a don. The story itself is centred on the reigning hero (Shah Rukh Khan), playing a character with shades of grey, and a conscientious cop (Nawazuddin Siddiqui, striking swagger) — making this equally a fine battle of morals, and tremendous wit. But of course, there are loads of punch lines: "(Acche) Din aur raat logon ke hote hain. Sheron ka zamana hota hai"; "Gujarat ki hawa mein vyapar hai sahib"; "Baniye ka dimaag aur Miyanbhai ki daring."

Most of this you would've already heard or seen. Which is the issue with over-promoted pictures that break down a film's favourite scenes and dialogues into several trailers. It does kind of mess with the novelty of a first-time viewing, with pop-corn and coke, right in the front row of a packed, single-screen theatre, which are the ideal coordinates for this film that I'm joyously reporting from.

It isn't that Salim-Javed's Amitabh Bachchan actioners haven't been made since the '70s. There was 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai' (2010) more recently, even if you ignore its dud sequel. Bachchan himself, at 48, altogether altered his voice and posture to play the immortal Vijay Deenanath Chauhan in 'Agneepath' (1990).


'Romantic king' Shah Rukh Khan (51; but looking so much younger) makes no special effort in voice training, for instance, to get his Gujarati accent pat down. He makes up for much of that with his clothes and body language. Over the past year or so ('Fan', and now this), it does appear that SRK has been working hard to unlearn playing the super-star he's known to be, gradually gravitating towards painstakingly written, alternate characters you can also remember him for — along the lines of Aamir, if you may. You know that's a trend of sorts, when even Salman has to do the same. Last year was the first time in 19 years that all the three Khans were nominated for Best Actor Filmfare.

Slightly floppy hair, tanned skin, an earthy style, headband, and glasses (although I didn't quite get the constant 'battery' reference for a bespectacled fellow), if anything, SRK reminds you more of how he began his career as a street ruffian in Deewana (1992). He has a gorgeous love-interest (Mahira Khan) in the film, but that angle is hardly explored, which is only for the better.

The film mixes research, realism, and more than a whole lot of 'Bollywood' to look exclusively into the politics and the inevitable underworld around the booze-trade in prohibitionist Gujarat of the '80s. Being an anti-prohibitionist myself (how can any sane human not be), you align yourself with the heroic anti-hero instantly. The character is ostensibly based on the real-life rags-to-riches don Abdul Latif. The pesky cop seems more like a high-level Dhoble, although he's merely doing his job.

Between the don on the run, the cop on the chase, there are so many facets to 'Raees', recounted through a gasping episode after another that you wished the filmmakers had calmed down just for bit, given us few moments to pause and soak in the material. They could have turned this into a fantastic 'Narcos' like television series. There's nothing niche about a Spanish show being loved by global mainstream audiences anymore, by the way. Yeah, we'd love to see SRK attempt his own version of a Pablo Escobar.

For now, Raees will certainly do.

Movie Review " KABALI"

Movie Review " KABALI" 

Cast: Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, ​Winston Chao, Dhansika, Kishore, Dinesh Ravi 

Director: Pa Ranjith

Rating:   (4 / 5)  : Very Good (Very Good )       ( 4/5)


The Kabali movie deals with the plight of migrant Indian community, specifically the Tamilians, who lived in Malaysia. About 30 years back in time, many of the Indian laborers working in Malaysia, used to work as drug traffickers and goons under Chinese mafia gangs. One man, Kabaleeswaran alias Kabali (Rajanikanth), takes a stand for the betterment of his community. Himself a gang member working under gangster Sitaramaraj (Naazar), Kabali takes over the gang leadership on Sitaramaraj’s untimely death. With the gang leadership, also come the rival gang confrontations especially with Gang43 lead by the ruthless drug lord Tony Woo (Winston Chao). In his position as a gang leader Kabali also aids his community. He founded the Free Life Foundation, a non-profit organization to help poor uneducated Indian laborers in Malaysia. However, the violence of heading a gang takes its toll on Kabali’s family life, weaving into the movie a family element with the pursuit of Kabali’s wife. The rest of the movie comprises of Kabali and Gang43 trying to overpower each other.

Talaivar fans and general audience alike, will be wowed by the mesmerizing first fifteen minutes. However, as the narration switches to the core story, the movie suffers a slow pace in the screenplay. The highly popular teaser ‘Kabaaali … Da…’ has set the audience to expect a larger than life heroism spearheaded by a revolutionary Talaivar. However, the director sticks the script and takes his time to narrate the story – something that might not sit well with today’s fast tracked generation. Extra care was taken to portray the life of an immigrant Indian community in Malaysia in the 1980s. The mafia world and their operations are picturized well. The family thread between Kabali and his wife acts as a speed breaker (to an already slow paced narration) and might just not appeal to the audience. Amazing interval block with unexpected action scenes will thrill the audience. All in all, a satisfying first half. The masses might find it difficult to comprehend the struggles of an overseas blue collar worker. Adding to it, expect for the key roles, the supporting cast are Malaysians and Chinese. The story, the backdrop and the characters make it difficult for the common audience to connect with the movie. This might be a bigger problem with the Telugu dubbed version than with the original and might impact box office prospects. The second half starts off with Kabali leaving to India looking for his wife. Cue in thirty minutes of boring scenes which do nothing to help the film. The narration accelerates with Kabali’s return to Malaysia as he takes on Gang43. The well-executed pre-climax and the climax action episodes in which Kabali kills Tony Woo will have your heart beats soaring. The cinematography by G.Murali is world class. He captured the elegance of the Malaysia skyscrapers and ruggedness of mafia locales very well. Santosh Narayanan’s background score is another asset to this movie. Radhika Apte is ill suited for the Kabali’s wife’s role, it failed to get the emotions flowing. Dhanshika who played Kabali’s daughter role is better.


SUPERSTAR RAJANIKANTH – After a series of mediocre films, Superstar Rajani strikes back with a stellar performance in Kabali. Leaving behind the over the top mannerisms, the Superstar brings in his magnanimous style in its full glory and his screen presence fills the screen with energy. Outstanding cinematography with slick visuals of Malaysia backdrop. Introduction, interval and climax scenes


At times the very slow narration test the audience’s patience. Not many commercial elements Nativity issue for Telugu Audience


Even if we overlook these inadequacies for the sake of the brilliant scenes scattered in between, it's very hard to forgive the last half an hour, which comes across as a definite dampener, with forced ideological dialogues and a complete lack of imagination. But beyond all that, you need to give to Ranjith for the sheer guts of having conceptualised that climax for a Rajini movie. 

To be happy seeing the Superstar in this new avatar where he absolutely kicks ass transporting us to his 'raw-actor' days or feel frustrated thinking about the innumerable ways the movie could have been scripted and staged better... the choice is yours!


Salman Khan's "Sultan" Review

Salman Khan's Sultan Review, Rating

Movie Review : Sultan (2016)
Star Cast : Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Randeep Hooda
Director : Ali Abbas Zafar
Producer : Aditya Chopra
Releasing on : July 06, 2016

Rating:   (4 / 5)  : Very Good (Very Good )       ( 4/5)

‘Sultan’ is now all set to hit the silver screens all over the world, on EID, 6th of July, 2016. The film also stars Anushka Sharma as in a principal role, while Randeep Hooda in the supporting role. With its official trailers and songs movie has already created lot of buzz among the audience. And also came out on positive notes from critics. So, through this most anticipated flick Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan is giving special treat to all his die hearts fans on the occasion of EID.

Touted to be a sports action drama, Sultan will feature Salman Khan in the role of a wrestler. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Sultan will also see Anushka Sharma also essaying the role of a wrestler.

After the roaring Blockbuster Sooraj Barjatya’s directorial venture, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the superstar Salman Khan returns to Yash Raj Films with all new flick Sultan. The movie is all about the real strength of character Sultan who pushes himself to cross his boundaries. The movie lead by Salman Khan and beautiful B-town actress Anushka Sharma is sports drama which revolves around Sultan Ali Khan’s personal as well as professional life who is a famous Haryanvi wrestler. In Sultan flick Salman Khan would play a 40-year old wrestler and Anushka Sharma as the leading lady who is also playing a role of wrester. In this forthcoming flick, he is seen as a wrestler overcoming with his problems & how he raises himself even after a footfall in his life. It is full on action packed movie, which sure to gained lot of positive response from the people.


Randeep Hooda will play the character of Salman's wrestling coach and Amit Sadh too has a key role. "Sultan" is one of the most awaited films of this year and is expected to have a huge box office opening as it is releasing on the festive time of Eid. To be released on July 6, the film will enjoy a five-day-long opening weekend..


Sultan movie plot: The Story revolves around a wrestler Sultan Ali Khan. He is from Haryana. Being a small town wrestler, he achieves global fame by winning Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, FILA Wrestling World Championships in Istanbul in 2011, The London Olympics in 2012. Sultan Movie plot is all about the problems Sultan (Salman Khan) faces both in personal and professional life.He falls in love with Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) who is also wrestler.

Anushka in the film which is the highlight here. Much of his rise and fall is due to this proximity. Next, the actor has learnt mean moves for this film. Like really cool moves wrestling moves which will pin his opponent down like anything!


The runtime of the film, that releases on 6 July, is 168 minutes - 2 hours, 48 minutes including the start and end credits. The teasers and trailer of the film have been well received and the wrestling drama is expected to open with a bang at the Box-Office.

The film is enjoying as much as 14 shows in a day at the multiplexes. Most night shows for the opening day have already been sold out. Some multiplexes are ‘only’ playing Sultan which is a record of sorts.


Movie Review "FAN"

Movie Review "FAN"

Rating:   (4 / 5)  : Very Good (Very Good )       ( 4/5)
Cast:Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha de Sousa, Sayani Gupta, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Deepika Amin, Yogendra Tikoo
Director:Maneesh Sharma
Editor: Namrata Rao
Production company: Yash Raj Films
Music director: Andrea Guerra, Vishal–Shekhar

A double dose of a Bollywood superstar intent on pushing himself into new zones as an actor makes for a passably watchable spectacle in Maneesh Sharma's Fan.

The film might, however, have yielded decidedly more than just superficial delights had the director not resorted to standard means to wrap up his tale of an obsessed movie fan run amok.

The besotted admirer of the title is Gaurav Chandna (Shah Rukh Khan, with protruding teeth and looking years younger than he is), a West Delhi boy who is a lookalike of a fictional matinee idol, Aryan Khanna (Khan again).

Maneesh Sharma's directorial thriller drama "Fan," starring Shah Rukh Khan in a double role, has received positive reviews from critics. The film was released in the UAE market on Thursday, a day before its worldwide release.

Critics from the UAE region have praised Shah Rukh-starrer "Fan" and said that it is definitely worth a watch. The first half of the film is good, but the film slacks in the second half. However, critics feel that the film can be watched in theatres.

Gaurav is unabashedly obsessed with everything that Aryan Khanna does. The walls of his room are plastered with cutouts of the actor in his various movie roles.

Even the cyber cafe that Gaurav runs is named after his favourite actor: AK Cyber Chat.

The fact that he resembles the showbiz icon makes Gaurav a bit of a star in his own right in the neighbourhood.

He impersonates Aryan Khanna at the annual Dussehra mela organized by Inder Vihar's DDA Colony and walks away with the best performer trophy every year.

Trouble is Gaurav takes his ardour beyond acceptable limits. When slighted by the object of his fantasies, he engineers a bitter confrontation between fan and idol that plays out in London, Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Mumbai.

Fan is a rather odd admixture of the real and the make-believe. The former works quite well; the latter not so much.

In the first half, the fact that Gaurav bears an uncanny likeness to Aryan Khanna does not invite any public gasps of surprise from those who run into him in the street and elsewhere.

Neither the guards manning the entrance of Aryan Khanna's Mumbai bungalow nor the hundreds of other fans milling around the place take any notice of Gaurav.

But in the second half, visitors at Madame Tussauds as well as the London police are taken in by his visage and believe him to be the movie star the world knows.

The repeated identity switcheroos that Gaurav pulls off are contrived to the point that even Aryan Khanna's wife falls for the ruse.

When Gaurav is on his Aryan Khanna trip - which is almost always - he is egged on by his parents despite the mother occasionally fretting over his college grades.

These portions of Fan are largely believable. But when one fine day, Gaurav decides to undertake a ticketless rail trip to Mumbai to meet Aryan Khanna in person, the film begins to stretch credulity.

The travelling ticket examiner and the railway police force men give Gaurav a long rope and he makes it to Mumbai instead of ending up in jail.

The film comes close to careening completely out of control after the hounded movie star decides to take matters into his own hands and confront his rogue fan head-on.

If it doesn't, it is solely because of the flair SRK brings to the film, especially in the guise of the misguided fan.

It is difficult to fathom why a Bollywood star who has a retinue of men (and women) at his beck and call would go gunning for his tormentor all by himself, chasing him through Delhi's chaotic traffic.

These liberties dim the impact of what is otherwise a screenplay that has enough going for it.

Also, for a songless Hindi film, Fan needed to be much shorter than it is. At its nearly two-and-a-half-hour length, it overstays its welcome by at least 30 minutes.

After Gaurav is left disillusioned by Aryan Khanna's refusal to grant him the five minutes that he seeks with him, the former vows to ensure that it will be the star who will now do all the running.

The film takes that line literally and Aryan Khanna is actually reduced to shed his starry cloak and chase the seriously bothersome Gaurav.

Fan does have several redeeming features, not the least of which are the flashes of intelligence in Habib Faisal's screenplay.

As with many a recent SRK vehicle, there is no dearth of self-deprecatory humour here.

On a chartered flight from London to Dubrovnik, Aryan's assistant (Sayani Gupta, making a mark despite limited scope) advises him to ignore Gaurav. "He is neurotic," she tells him. The star retorts rhetorically: "What, am I?"

At a flashy wedding where Aryan is slated to perform, the wealthy host berates him for arriving late. "Mr Bhutiani, I will make it up to you," he says.

"You better do, I am paying you a bomb," Bhutiani says.

Especially commendable is the manner in which the writer and the director imagine the spaces that the deceptively vicious anti-hero occupies: they are tangible and easy to relate to.

For the record, any similarities that Fan might have with Tony Scott's 1996 film, The Fan, seems only superficial and incidental.

The Hollywood psychological thriller was set in the world of baseball and the fan, played by Robert De Niro, wasn't a lookalike.

Fan works for the most part because it has the fabulous SRK act as a 'young' star-struck boy. His energetic performance is worth the price of the ticket - if not more.

It is fascinating to watch the actor making the transition from a gawky movie-crazy youngster to a swaggering Bollywood star mimic on stage to a psychologically unhinged stalker who pulls out the stops.

Fan is proof that even if SRK isn't 25 years old, he certainly has the kind of enthusiasm that might put many 25-year-old actors to shame.


 Movie Review "ROCKY HANDSOME"

Cast: John Abraham, Nishikant Kamat, Diya Chalwad, Nathalia Kaur, Sharad Kelkar, Teddy Maurya, Shruti Haasan
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Rating: 3.5 ( 3.5/5 )
With the long weekend in place, this definitely looks like a fun week for movies. On the films' front, this week sees the release of the action packed ROCKY HANDSOME that stars Bollywood's action hero John Abraham. While there have been many action films that Bollywood has witnessed, this week's release promises to be a bit different as it also shows a strong bond between John Abraham and a small girl. Will ROCKY HANDSOME prove to be a 'handsome' hit at the box-office or will it meet an ugly fate, let's analyze.

The film starts off with an extremely silent Rocky (John Abraham) buying fishes and flowers. The very moment he smells the flowers, the film goes into a 'flashback mode' followed by the introduction of Rocky's beautiful wife Rukshida Kabir Ahlawat (Shruti Hasan). When the movie is brought to the present day, a cute little girl by the name of Naomi (Baby Diya Chalwad) gets introduced. She is a frequent visitor to Rocky's pawn shop. On one such visit, when she starts conversing with the ferocious looking Rocky, she confesses that all her friends call him as 'Handsome' and that, she has been deliberately told to stay away from him because 'he had committed a crime', something that her heart refuses to believe. As days pass by, she opens up about her dreaded life before Rocky. She confesses that her mother (Nathalia Kaur) is a hardcore drug addict who gets beaten up always by some men. The unsaid bond of friendship gradually increases between the two and Rocky (without saying) becomes extremely protective about her. One fine day, when Rocky enters his shop, he becomes shell shocked to see that his shop has been broken into and that some men are driving away with Naomi in their captive. All of this leads to a deal that Rocky strikes with Naomi's kidnappers Kevin (Nishikanth Kamath) and his psycho brother. As per the deal, Rocky should deliver a certain (drug) consignment to an assigned place, in return of the freedom of Naomi and her mother. And when Rocky lands up at the assigned place for the delivery, he realises that the police has cordoned the area. What follows after that is oodles and oodles of violence including many merciless killings and brutal murders all for a single reason. Amidst all this, the police department discovers Rocky's past that shocks the daylights out of them. What is the reason for all the killings, what is Rocky's past and what reference has it got with his present, does Rocky become successful in tracing out Naomi and her mother... is what forms the rest of the film.

The film's director Nishikant Kamat, who has made varied films in the past like DRISHYAM, FORCE, MUMBAI MERI JAAN, brings an action packed entertainer in the form of ROCKY HANDSOME, which happens to be an official remake of the South Korean film THE MAN FROM NOWHERE). He has effortlessly blended style and content and has maintained a fine balance between jaw-dropping action and heart-rending emotions. One has to give it to the action directors for raising the bar for action films, with ROCKY HANDSOME. Full credits go to Nishikant Kamat, John Abraham and the film's stunt directors (Suniel Rodrigues, Kecha Kammpakdee)

ROCKY HANDSOME has a story (Ritesh Shah) that is extremely average, which could have been much better. The same holds for the film's screenplay (Ritesh Shah) that definitely could have been tighter at many places. Despite the fact that the film has a small runtime, the film's story and narrative looks highly disjointed at places, which may just act as a speed breaker with the audiences' likings. The film also sees many clichés, which just could have been avoided. The flip side is that the film boasts of some of the high-octane action drama (including the blood soaked action punches and gun fights) that Bollywood has never witnessed before. The film's adrenaline rushing action provides reasons enough to keep the audiences engrossed till the end of the film. The film's first half takes some time to firmly establish the plot; the real story starts post the kidnapping of the girl and her mother. One has to give it to the director Nishikant Kamath for having wonderfully combined nail-biting action in the song 'Teri Toh Yaad Sataye'. One word to describe the unusual combo of fight and song is 'outstanding'. The USP of the film, however, has to be its climax, wherein John Abraham enters the villain's den and the action that follows after that. One really has to applaud Nishikant Kamath for the way he has presented the film - extremely stylish.

As for the performances, it's an out and out John Abraham flick, in which he leads the way from the very start. Even though he may not have many dialogues in the film, his breath taking action is what does most of the talking. Readers may know that, ROCKY HANDSOME is his second film with Nishikant Kamath, the first being FORCE. With ROCKY HANDSOME, John Abraham (who can rightly be called as the 'soul' of the film), takes the film notches above what one has seen in his earlier films. He has very sensitively handled the strong bond of relationship between him and the little girl. Even the reason for which he saves the girl in the film seems extremely valid. In simple words, one can very rightly say that John Abraham has carried the film on his brawny shoulders, essaying a part that fits him like a glove.

He is followed to a close second by Nishikant Kamath himself, who does full justice to his villainous avatar. The conviction and the confidence with which he has acted in the film, he lands up spitting terror with a capital 'T'. Shruti Hassan, who has a special appearance in the film, does justice to whatever little screen time that she gets. Baby Diya Chalwad delivers a very innocent performance, which is bound to strike a chord with the cinegoers. The other actors help the film in moving forward.

Even though the film's music (Sunny Bawra, Inder Bawra, Ankit Tiwari) is average, it's the film's outstanding background score (Sunny Bawra, Inder Bawra) that makes the film feel very international. While the film's editing (Aarif Shaikh) is watertight, the film's cinematography (Shankar Raman) is superlatively spellbinding.

On the whole, ROCKY HANDSOME is for people who like action films. Despite the film having a simple plot, it has been garnished with engrossing drama and action stunningly. One can find the right mix of tension, action, emotion under one roof. A well-made action thriller!

Theatrical Trailer "ROCKY HANDSOME"