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Movie Review: Happy New Year

Movie Review: Happy New Year

Rating:   4.5 (4.5/5)  Good
Starring:
Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah
Genre:
Comedy
Directed by:
Farah Khan
Written by :
Farah Khan, Althea Kaushal,
Mayur Puri (dialogues)
Story by:
Farah Khan
Narrated by:
Shahrukh Khan
Music by:
Songs:
Vishal Shekhar

Background Score: John Stewart Eduri

Cinematography: Manush Nandan

Edited by: Anand Subaya

Production company: Red Chillies Entertainment

Distributed by: Yash Raj Films

Release dates: October 24, 2014

Language: Hindi

Budget: Rs.1.50 billion (US$24 million)

Producer/s: Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan

Music Director: Vishal-Shekhar

Having had two huge box-office hits with ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’ – the successful pairing of Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are back with a new film – ‘Happy New Year’.

The premise is simple. It’s the Christmas–New Year holiday season. The biggest dance event in the world, the World Dance Championships, is being hosted in Dubai. While all eyes are on the different world-class teams that have gathered, there are a few unlikely entrants who have somehow managed to stumble into the competition.

Happy New Year is built around 5 disparate characters who are fighting a most unlikely battle.. a battle of international proportions.. but it’s a battle being fought on a dance floor. Where the rest of the world’s competitors are battling for national pride and glory on the world stage, our 5 are dancing for a different cause.. revenge, retribution and closure. This is Team India, a group that has no confidence in its own dancing abilities, but is competing for a cause very important to them.

With the city of Dubai as the backdrop, and its global village ambience as its setting, Team India set about their task of staying in the competition. What follows is a manic run to the finish, where our characters face several challenges in their quest for victory as the film reaches its climax, a climax that is full of national pride, diabolical revenge and triumph.

How this bunch of losers transform themselves into a team that performs really well and how they win over the hearts of the people in the city and across the world, forms the rest of the story.

The movie Happy New Year directed by Farah Khan is one of the most high budgeted films of this year and is expected to become one of the most highest earners also.

Multi-starrer movie Happy New Year featuring Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone is the film trending everywhere now. With the hit pairing of Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone coupled with other stars including Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah, Farah Khan's Happy New Year has been one of the most awaited flicks this year. After breaking all records with Chennai Express, Shahrukh and Deepika's pairing in Happy New Year, along with SRK's eight-pack abs, will certainly be a pleasure for the fans. Although, the movie Happy New Year's storyline is not anything out of the box, but as they say, 'When King Khan is there, have no fear'. The story of Happy New Year revolves around six loosers who decide to turn their fortune as they believe every looser gets a chance to become winner.

And in order to turn their fortune, the bunch of loosers led by Shahrukh Khan take part in an international dance competition in an attempt to rob a bank locker full of diamonds in Dubai which belongs to Jackie Shroff. While, Shahrukh Khan along with his team of awkward dancers offer silly yet interesting humour, the film also includes some high-flying action.

All the characters of Happy New Year, Shahrukh Khan as Charlie, Deepika Padukone as Mohini, Abhishek Bachchan as Nandu Bhide, Sonu Sood as Jagmohan Prakash, Boman Irani as Temhton Irani and Vivaan Shah as Rohan Singh have some different and unusual qualities which come together as a team to try the impossible. To know whether they come out victorious or remain same bunch of loosers, you will have to watch the film. Combination of Farah Khan's direction along with Shahrukh Khan's charisma and Deepika Padukone's glamour leaves little scope for the audience to give Happy New Year a miss. However, performance by other stars also seemed promising.

 

Movie Review :"KICK"

 

Movie Review :"KICK"

Star cast: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mithun Chakraborty, Archana Puran Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra, Kavin Dave, Sumona Chakravarti

Director: Sajid Nadiadwala

Rating: (3/5)

 

The star-performer carries the weight of the entire film comfortably on his broad shoulders. Everything he does on screen is emulated by his fans pronto: styling, hair style, killer dialogue, dance steps et al. Referred to as 'Bhai' by those close to him, he is now the 'Bhai' or the iconic on-screen characters he has portrayed over the years -- Prem, Radhe, Chulbul Pandey, Lovely Singh, Tiger -- for zillions of fans across the globe.

Salman, the star machine, is the Pied Piper of Hindi cinema. He *doesn't* promise path-breaking or art house cinema. The focus is on those three magical words: Entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. And that's what matters to a wide majority of movie-going audience.

Sure, the charismatic star's newest outing KICK is a remake of the super-successful Telugu film KICK [2009; directed by Surender Reddy and starring Ravi Teja, Ileana D'Cruz and Shaam]. But there's a world of a difference between KICK, directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, and Salman's last few entertainers. This one's more stylized, has opulence and gloss reeking in every frame and is very international in terms of execution.

At some point, a canny producer was sure to realise that all that matters in the kind of movies Salman Khan does nowadays is Salman Khan.

After looking at, for example, Bodyguard or Ready -- hideous, tacky eyesores that nonetheless rule the charts -- it was only a matter of time before he'd see little need for an expensive, credit-hogging middleman and chuck this "director" fellow out.

Blasphemous, I know, but with films like this, it's hard to argue.

I remember a Mithun Chakraborty interview many moons ago where the actor -- speaking of his heartland-conquering B-movies -- described a continuity error, a fight scene where he was wearing a red shirt in one shot and a blue shirt the next.

The director asked Chakraborty to reshoot but he laughed off the idea, saying it should be released as it was, and that his audience bothered only about him, not trifles like that.

He was right, the film was a hit, and, alarmingly enough, our biggest blockbusters today seem to run on the same principles. Especially those that star Salman.

It is a pleasant surprise, thus, to see producer Sajid Nadiadwala taking his directorial debut seriously, making sure every part of the engine is slickly oiled.

The loopy script coasts along breezily, Ayananka Bose's cinematography is lush (and frequently more artful than you expect from a Salman project), the girls are considerably attractive, and -- perhaps most importantly -- the film smartly avoids the self-serious drivel that can ruin a shamelessly silly action film. (Case in point, the ponderous Dhoom 3, Kick, in one line, is basically Dhoom done right. But more on that later.)

The plot is threadbare enough to not matter.

Shaina, a psychiatrist narcissistic enough to wear her name on a chain and depressive enough to turn 'sex' into 'sorrow' while playing Scrabble, is lamenting the loss of her lover.

She tells her new suitor, a cop, about her ex, a guy called Devi Lal who did anything for kicks. (Including, presumably, always refer to them in the singular.) Devi quirkily won her over, but things soured and he dumped her, and she's oh so heartbroken.

The cop, Himanshu, tells Shaina he can empathise, because he too has someone in his life: a masked master-thief he just can't get a hold of. (Ahem.)

No points for guessing the man of their dreams is the same. Salman Khan doesn't often bother to act these days, swaggering through most of his parts without any consistency, yet he seems to be playing this Devi/L properly and in character, perhaps freed by the insouciance of the anything-goes role.

Even in weak scenes, his screen presence is extraordinary. He's clearly having a blast not having to mouth lewd lines or take his shirt off.

Every now and again, Kick delivers flashes of that gleeful spontaneity we saw in him back in Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya when he was hopping around one-legged in a chicken-coop calling himself Murgaman.

Kick perfunctorily skips through most of the emo stuff -- inevitable scenes showing character motives and changes of heart -- in its quest to find the shiniest Bhai moments.

The film is predictable, the script is lazily convenient, and yet there's a surefootedness in the way Nadiadwala jauntily carries on increasing the tempo, piling on the Khan.

His cinematographer shows some masterful framing and composition, capturing the energy of the moment very well most times, and at other times making things look very pretty.

Jacqueline Fernandes looks good as a bimbette taken in by Khan and, despite her unfortunate dialogue delivery, isn't ever around in stretches long enough to be grating.

Mithun (yes, he of the red/blue shirts) plays Salman's father; Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes bottle-popping noises with his mouth and borrows Manoj Bajpai's Aks laugh to play villain; and Randeep Hooda is the cop who intriguingly enough appears to be quite turned on by the crook he's after. If all that sounds trashy, well, it is.

But it's mostly fast enough to feel like a blast. At its worst -- and there are more than a few scenes that are too long, too mawkish -- Kick is at least entertainingly cheesy in a drinking-game sort of way.

It's never objectionably bad, and that hasn't been said about a Salman Khan film for around fifteen years.

While on the 90s, there seem to be peculiar (but again, amusing) tributes of some sort: a kooky flashback about Salman's childhood is animated a la Def Leppard's Let Get Rocked; and an item song starring the ravishing Nargis Fakhri takes place in some freaky netherworld equally fit for both Alisha Chinai and The Undertaker. It's almost trippy.

The rest of the film is The Salman Khan Show.

Movie Review “ Ek Villain”

 

Movie: Ek Villain
Director: Mohit Suri

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor

 

Rating: (2.5 / 5) :   (Average)

A reformed villain named Guru (Malhotra) begins to live a Saathiya-style Mumbai life (airy makeshift terrace home) with an unnaturally exuberant soul named Aisha (Kapoor)—the girl responsible for humanising him. Unfortunately for them, another villain, in the form of a tragically unbalanced serial killer (Deshmukh), decides to invade their little bubble. Their identities are no mystery, and a large chunk of this peculiar revenge drama is bitten off in the first 10 minutes of the film. If this sounds intriguing already, it is because the plot is a direct derivation of the 2010 South-Korean thriller I Saw The Devil.
Director Mohit Suri and his team seem to be convinced that not more than 15 Indians are aware of the source, and they are probably right, but it wouldn't hurt to acknowledge obvious inspiration(s) (Murder 2 from The Chaser) instead of dismissing resemblances on record.
There is no doubting that Suri's vision is clear in its own space—evident from the usual heady cocktail of lilting tunes and brooding antagonists—but his storytelling leaves much to be desired. Ek Villain is a prime example, and even as a standalone effort (as it will be, for most viewers), it is perhaps his weakest.
The (abundance of) dialogues are the real villain; this could have been Riteish Deshmukh's defining performance, but he ends up as more of a mere slave to an emphatically dumbed-down screenplay. His backstory and motivation to kill—an aspect rarely touched upon in Korean dramas—makes him the most fascinating face of conflict since Naseeruddin Shah in A Wednesday. But he is let down by the writers' obsession to make every character painfully self-aware. While we're used to cinematic killers spelling out their master plans in climax sequences, I struggle to understand psychopaths that are exceptionally knowledgeable about why they are the way they are.
Moreover, Suri tends to concentrate overwhelmingly on his lead characters, leaving secondary roles to be added with cliched lines and questionable dubbing skills. Some of them—a Goan don, a cop with intentions I never fully grasped, a nagging boss and an overly religious child—are caricatures of the highest order.
Aamna Sharif, who plays Riteish's wife and a crucial plot instrument, and the mystical presence of Kamaal R. Khan could have been handled far more tactfully. Shraddha and Sidharth, when they're not playing second fiddle to music and lush flashbacks, barely convince us that they're a couple worth feeling for. For starters, they meet under frightfully contrived circumstances in Goa. In a quest to create an aura of doomed tragedy around them, the writers fail to shape them into honest full-blooded beating hearts.

 

Movie Review “ HUMSHAKALS”

Movie Review “ HUMSHAKALS”

 

( Comedy)

Rating: (2.5 / 5) : Average

Banner: Fox Star Studios, Pooja Entertainment India Ltd.

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu, Tamannah, Esha Gupta, Ram Kapoor

Direction: Sajid Khan

Production: Vashu Bhagnani

Music: Himesh Reshammiya

 

Humshakals is about two friends Ashok (Saif) and Kumar (Riteish). Ashok is the owner of a huge business empire but during his time off work he tries his hand at standup comedy. His is particularly bad and all he manages to get as feedback is people's ridicule. And then he meets Shanaya (Tamannaah) who actually laughs at his jokes. He instantly falls in love with her.

Reminds me Sajid is single (apparently) and these days no one is laughing at his jokes either. Wonder if a girl could make her way into his heart by just faking her fondness for his films. Now, that could be a story. No? Ahem!

Back to the film, while love blooms there is the evil uncle (Ram Kapoor) who wants to take possession of the nephew's property and conspires to turn him into a dog. Yes, a scientist friend gets him a potion which could turn a man's DNA into a dog's DNA for 24 hours. Alice in Wonderland anyone?

And while the evil mama finds a way to get Ashok and Kumar to the asylum, a turn of events bring these three characters face to face with lookalikes - all diverse in characteristics. Thrown in is a fair dose of romance, songs and picturesque locales.

To be fair, it is not an easy job to write a screenplay with some many lookalikes. To keep the story moving and also keep the humour content high requires a lot of effort. Unfortunately whenever the story has been pushes, the humour falls flat and whenever you feel like laughing you realize the characters have actually stopped behaving like they were actually supposed to.

Well I did laugh during one scene where Ashok and Kumar are trying to escape the asylum. Riteish is outstanding in the scene and more importantly Sajid shows traces of the director that he could be.

The director also misses the target in his primary casting. While Riteish is an ace as usual, Saif Ali Khan looks out of place. And considering the film practically on his shoulders, that's a big problem. Ram Kapoor does well. The girls have little to do.

Slapstick as a genre is difficult to execute. It is something that many people do not associate with. However there have been enough films in the genre that have left me rolling on the floor laughing. This movie fails to do that. Though it is notches higher an effort from Sajid's last Himmatwala, Humshakals is not the film that would help him redeem his fate.­

Tammanah Bhatia makes so many faces in every frame you wonder if she's auditioning for a film against cocaine addiction while pretending to be in a comedy about three sets of identical characters wackily whopping it up.

Bipasha Basu who plays one of the female misleads.... sorry, leads, in the comedy of ghastly errors, has gone on record to say she was extremely disturbed by the end-result of this film.

So, to be honest, are we. And the end that Bipasha talks about seems to take forever to reach as we watch three grown-up ostensibly evolved actors lapse into a collective state of incurable retardation.

"Humshakals" seem to be designed for the mentally challenged. Even they would cringe at the way the two protagonists Ashok and Kumar (Ashok Kumar, gedddit?) are depicted. Moronic and misconceived, the duo seems to revel in crass mediocrity. As inmates in a mental asylum in London(no less), Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh raise the ante for lunacy to a point where sanity begins to seem like a state of mind invented to make us believe there is a world, a relatively sane one, outside what comic filmmakers in Bollywood consider to be funny.

The comedy, ha ha, moves with the screechy stealth of a choir boys singing Yo Yo Honey Singh's numbers when the head priest is on a vacation. Every member of the cast and crew seems to be in a vacation mood. Many of the gags stretch themselves out languorously as though the director commanded the camera to roll and then went off to sleep.

Saif and Riteish vacillate between being spoofy and spiffy with some help from Ram Kapoor who gets to play two characters, one of them suffering from what the medical experts on board for this specialized comedy refer to as "OCD Level 3".

Riteish, as regular in Sajid Khan's cinema as titles beginning with "H", makes a better impression than Saif who tries hard to show us he's in the fun no-brainer mood. Saif is clearly out of his depths indulging in the slapstick lunacy of a world that has no logic except to create a chaotic humour out of a stockpile of mistaken identities.

Oh, there are three ladies in the show who wriggle and pout whenever the plot is in doubt (which, as you can tell from the nature of the material, is very often). Even the opposite-sexiness is handled more engagingly in the hands and chests of the three heroes wooing their own doubles in voluptuous drag. While Saif woos Riteish in drag and vice versa, bizarrely Ram Kapoor wooes himself in drag to create a kind of auto-eroticism that has no bearing on the film's predominant mood of sexual innocence.

To shock us, there are lots of gay jokes popping up when you least expect them to, as though the director wants to remind us that political incorrectness is not only about mistaken identities but also about identity crises.

Don't even try to make sense of the world that Sajid Khan builds. The sand castle of goofiness can any time be washed away by the high tide. The director doesn't really care.

In one of the rare genuinely funny sequences, Saif and Riteish try to impress Ram Kapoor by pulling off the tablecloth from a table filled with food, promising as they do, that nothing will spill.

Of course all the food comes crashing down. But does the fear of falling ever hold back the broad comedy of ill manners which Bollywood thinks to be funny?

Wish we had as much fun watching this film as the team seems to have had making it. Saif is shown to be a bad stand-up comedian. The film never outgrows its hero's character's craving to make people laugh.

Movie Review " 2 STATES "

Movie Review " 2 STATES "

Rating:
 
4.5
Star Cast:

Arjun Kapoor , Alia Bhatt , Amrita Singh , Revathy, Ronit Roy , Shiv Subrahmanyam, Achint Kaur
Director: Abhishek Varman


Krish's relationship with his family, particularly his mother, is better explored than his relationship with Ananya, which results in 2 States being more of a deep and meaningful family drama than a romance.

2 STATES is based on Chetan Bhagat's bestseller '2 States: The Story Of My Marriage' and since the film is set in the present times, when a lot of people have liberal viewpoints on love and marriage, one wonders why the principal characters -- the North Indian boy [Arjun Kapoor] and his South Indian sweetheart [Alia Bhatt] -- do not oppose their parents' wishes and get married? Both are in love, both are free-thinking individuals, both have lucrative jobs and aren't dependent on their respective families... so what's the hitch? Conversely, in this day and age, why do *some* people feel that since their kid has done so well in life, he/she deserves a partner from their own community?

2 STATES, directed by Abhishek Varman, attempts to answer the varied questions crossing the minds of the lovers and their respective families. The love birds here are no rebels. Instead, they decide to persuade their families, win their trust, besides making the families overcome the prejudices and misconceptions of cultural differences. In a way, the film motivates you to look beyond the community -- a message that comes across vigorously towards a vital stage in the film.

2 STATES is a story about a journey of one such couple, Krish Malhotra [Arjun Kapoor] and Ananya Swaminathan [Alia Bhatt]. They meet at the IIM-Ahmedabad and fall in love. Complications arise when they decide to get married. Krish and Ananya belong to two different states of India: Krish is a North Indian Punjabi boy from Delhi, while Ananya is a Tamil Brahmin girl from Chennai. They take a conscious decision; till their parents don't agree, they won't get married.

Everything goes downhill when the parents meet. There is a cultural clash and the parents oppose the wedding. To convert their love story into a love marriage, the couple faces a tough battle in front of them. For, it's easy to fight and rebel, but much harder to convince. Will Krish and Ananya's love for each other sustain the battles? Will they manage to convince their parents?

Director Abhishek Varman stays faithful to Chetan Bhagat's bestseller, adapting it delightfully on the big screen. The diverse cultures, the discomfort and the pressures when people talk of inter-caste liaison, the unyielding love and the resolve to win the parents' trust... each and every aspect -- the emotions included -- are captured meticulously by the storyteller. Abhishek also makes us peep into the mindset of the two families, highlighting the doubts that arise in such a scenario, yet he makes sure he doesn't belittle or demean any community in the process.

Abhishek makes a significant debut as a storyteller. His eye for detailing, the sensitivity with which he handles relationships, the complex story that he narrates without resorting to gimmicks catches your attention. The story flows seamlessly, the sequence of events follow a rhythm, the balance between the couple's desire to get married and their mission to make things work between the two families is picture perfect. Having said that, one shouldn't overlook or sidestep the contribution of the writer [Chetan Bhagat], who packs in ample meat for cineastes looking for relevant and relatable, yet engaging and entertaining stuff at the same time.

The soundtrack [Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy] gels beautifully with the genre. While a couple of compositions are harmonious, you relate to the songs more when you view them in context. Binod Pradhan's cinematography bathes every single frame in lush colors, making it a visually enticing experience. Hussain Dalal's dialogue are articulate and convey the emotions wonderfully.

On the whole, 2 STATES is one of the finest movies to come out of the Hindi film industry of late.Strongly recommended!