Jab Harry met Sejal : The Review.

Just when you thought that SRK’s Schengen visa had expired for good, he goes and renews it in Imitiaz Ali’s latest and almost traces the route he took in DDLJ two decades back.This movie has to be an extended tribute to DDLJ and if anyone could’ve pulled off this time tested tale of “girl meets boy in Europe”, with a pinch of yearning for homeland thrown in, its the King Khan himself.Its the only logical explanation that i could come up with as to why SRK and Imtiaz Ali decided to do this movie in the first place.Now, i wasn’t bored and certainly didn’t find it as unbearable as some of the reviews going around would have you believe but its not for everyone either, strictly for fans i’d say and that’s something SRK has in plenty if the full house was any proof.In the same breath i admit that the banality of the whole premise of the film did made me burst into laughter towards the end ,much to the chagrin of the viewers next to me.

Its impossible for this film to do bad at the box office financially i think, but then i could be wrong too.Imtiaz Ali could’ve considered strapping a GoPro on his head and following Anushka and SRK all over Europe, just saying you know, for capex’s sake.The movie almost entirely relies on and revolves around Anushka and SRK.There are no other significant characters or subplots to distract you or them for that matter.The film is almost all about conversations between the lead actors and if it weren’t for their earnest performances this movie would’ve been unbearable indeed.They manage to bring a smile to your face more than once, especially Anushka.SRK has rightly been called a superstar and i realized why, long back while watching Chalte Chalte, it was his ability to carry a film with a basic plot entirely on his shoulders and manage to pull in crowds to watch him do that.No one can do romance like the King of Bollywood ,you have to give him that.

For all its cliched storyline and setting, if you look closely you’ll see that Imtiaz Ali has tried his best to bring some originality in the dialogues at least,especially in the climax.Having said that,I am all for poetic licenses and i never prod and pry into the working details of a scene as a viewer but i just can’t let this one go.By Imtiaz Ali’s logic, Punjabi singers have a higher pitch because they’re farmers and they have to sing above the noise of the tractors they’re riding on the job.Does that mean there weren’t any loud Punjabi singers around before the tractors came along?Beats me.And with the current plight of the Congress party, wouldn’t blame him for naming SRK’s character Harry and not Rahul.He’s past that age to be a Rahul too, if you ask me.

What do Michael Bay, Rajiv Rai and I.V Sasi have in common?

If a cinematic parallel is drawn across film industries the world over, for every kind of film making out there, the names Michael Bay,Rajiv Rai and I.V Sasi would figure on the same line for more than one reason, I’ve felt for a long time now.For one, their films were always intended to do just one thing mostly, to entertain the audience that is.All three of them have a penchant for featuring ensemble cast in their movies too, apart from being synonymous with big budget blockbusters in their home turfs.While the critics have rarely been kind to Bay and Rai, Sasi has had the best of both worlds i’d say.They have always played to the gallery and have been the favorites of the viewers if the box office records of their movies are anything to go by.Goosebumps are what they dealt in primarily and its no mean feat to draw those kind of emotions from audiences irrespective of their color, creed and race on a consistent basis.

Some of the best names in the Malayalam film industry, from script writers to actors to technicians frequently collaborated with I.V Sasi to deliver the most memorable films of our times. Devasuram, the film that redefined Mohanlal’s image as an actor and marked the birth of his larger than life on screen persona is seldom spoken of as an I.V Sasi film but the signature is evident throughout, if you care to notice.The scene where the antagonist played by Napoleon, literally makes his thunderous debut on screen in the film is a fine example and is a personal favorite.

With movies like Tridev,Vishwatma,Mohra and Gupt, Rajiv Rai proved on more than one occasion that he had a direct line to the pulse of the Indian masses.The bad guys of Rajiv Rai movies had a sense of humor and a colorful persona too with actors like Amirsh Puri,Raza Murad and Gulshan Grover making regular appearances.He also gave those champions of serious cinema, Nasseruddin Shah and Om Puri, their most memorable turns in commercial cinema.Om Purim’s deadpan delivery in Gupt is priceless and is almost a tribute to his roles in the Nihlani films if you ask me.Viju Shah faithfully delivered his best work in the Rai films every single time they collaborated too though he had his moments of “inspiration” if you know what i’m talking about.

Michael Bay of course had all the privileges and options that the studios of Hollywood endows up on their artists and though he’s been a director that the critics love to hate, has delivered some of the most popular action flicks of our times,The Rock being his magnum opus.Sean Connery in his mid 60s was nothing less than the rock star he already was, in The Rock, with a classy Ed Harris in full throttle and Nicholas Cage at his “Cagiest” best keeping him company.If Bay were to make a western, the cowboys- yeah there would be more than one for sure- would be riding into the sunset for ever in slow motion with the most rousing of scores playing in the back ground.

If you still feel that i am not making any sense at all, this scene from the first Transformers movie where one got to see a glimpse of the Michael Bay signature for the last time in a long time might help, though i admit i would have a hard time explaining what’s so damn overwhelming about a scene where – no, i’m not talking about Megan Fox- a truck just rumbles up a dark alley to a BGM thats so “Hans Zimmerish”(for obvious reasons).


Dangal : The Review.

Game over Hollywood,authentic,rousing sports movies are no longer just your forte, there is a new contender in the ring, so to speak.I’d decided that i wouldn’t write anything about this film even before i watched it simply because as a viewer you know already that Aamir Khan wouldn’t disappoint you ,being the perfectionist he is and to even try and dissect a movie with those kind of standards would be something that’s beyond me.I honestly can’t recall the last time when an Aamir Khan movie turned out to be a disappointment.But now that I’ve watched the film, i have to share my thoughts on this movie.There it seems ,is no other go.

Sports to us is mostly just cricket and with the kind of space and encouragement rest of the sports gets in the country, its hardly any surprise that we don’t have many genuine sports movies either,except for a Chak De or a Bhaag Milkha or a Lagaan ,to an extent.This Aamir Khan movie where he delivers the restrained performance the character demands to the T, is not just about him and every character you see on screen leaves an impression on you, in fact Aamir Khan is absent from the frame in the most riveting moments of the film.If the child actors carry the film in the first half not just with their charm but with the sheer physicality of their roles, the older girls deliver an endearing performance in the second half.Yes, there are the customary song and dance sequences that Bollywood can’t live without but trust me once the film is done with you, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

The film has two Commonwealth wrestling bout sequences and these scenes are so perfectly choreographed, shot and performed that the viewers end up forgetting for those last thirty minutes that its a movie and not the actual Commonwealth wrestling match of 2012 thats unfolding before them.The scenes are truly world class and i can’t think of a movie from any other part of the world where a contact sporting event was so authentically filmed.Dangal’s wrestling sequences are in the same league of perfection as the F1 racing scenes in Rush.It is a highly fictionalized account of the true story and cinematic liberties have been taken, obviously but this movie is indeed a milestone and it does justice to story of the struggle and triumph of the Phogats.The first thing i did after the movie was to lookup Geeta Phogat’s 2012 Commonwealth wrestling match on YouTube and I know I’m not the only one who must’ve done that. #Dangal

Pink: The Review

You know some movies are going to work for you irrespective of what the general public would think about it,right when you catch a glimpse of it in the form of a trailer .For me Pink was one of those movies and the theme was as much a reason for anticipation as the presence Amitabh Bachchan and in fact it lived up to it’s promise too, on both counts.

Rajnikanth once said that in the world of movies he’s a King probably but that Amitabh Bachchan is in fact an Emperor.If you wonder why The Superstar made that statement, Pink is the movie for you.Legal thrillers are almost unheard of in this industry and all of us have grown up watching the same age old dramatized court room sequence in every other bollywood movie over and over,but when the title credits start rolling without any background music on a pitch black screen in white font, you have an inkling that the filmmakers mean business here and that you’re in for some serious cinema.There are moments when the film falls back to it’s bollywood roots though, but it does little damage at the end of the day.

Amitabh Bachchan makes his entry pretty early and though it takes another thirty minutes or so for him to utter a proper dialogue, in that time, using just his lanky frame and eyes he gives you one hell of a crash course on what screen presence is all about.The intensity that he brings to every scene is the soul of this film and that’s exactly what the theme demands too.Tapsee and the girls translate the vulnerabilities and anger of a group of women subjected to harassment and ridicule for standing up to oppressors, convincingly to the screen.

It’s a coincidence that the movie is released around the same time when the verdict is out for one of the most brutal rape murders reported in Kerala and the apex court’s judgement was under intense scrutiny and criticism.This movie is a slap in the face of the patriarchal system that ensures everyday that the women are always the victims and tells them that they’re at it’s mercy,that they will be judged relentlessly in the name of morality and that even justice is not a right but an elusive gift based on terms set by the society.It essentially tries to drive home a simple point, that when a girl says no to a boy that’s exactly what it means, No.I rest my case.