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General News Film Reviews
Budhia Singh- Born To Run' - a must watch

[Image: screenshot_www_indiantelevision_com_2016_08_06_0.jpg]MUMBAI: Budhia Sing- Born To Run is a biopic about a five-year-old lad from Orissa who, at that tender age, hogged the media limelight nationally and created for and against opinions about his promise to someday become a marathon runner of the Olympics standards. At this young age, he showed that kind of talent, stamina and inclination. While the whole of Orissa hailed his strengths making him a hero, the media too basked in the stories of his achievements and relished splashing them. He was the youngest marathon runner.

Manoj Bajpayee runs a sort of Judo school for the homeless and for children from poor background along with the help and support of his wife, Shruti Marathe. Besides training them in self-defense, he also feeds, clothes and houses them under the same roof. That is when he brings along Budhia, played by Mayur Mahendra Patole, to join the rest. Shruti mentions the space constraint but Manoj convinces her saying there are already 22 of them around so one more won’t matter.

Shruti is as enthusiastic about the kids and their wellbeing as Manoj but, while tending to the kids in the house like a mother, she also feels the need for a child of her own.

Budhia is a mischievous child who refuses to take orders from Manoj. As a punishment, Manoj asks him to make rounds of the judo arena until ordered otherwise. Manoj leaves on an errand and forgets all about Budhia till he returns and is informed that the lad has been running since he left without stopping. He has not stopped for water or nourishment nor has he complained.

Manoj realizes that the boy is gifted and has a solid stamina. He sees the potential in the boy to run long distances with little or no demands. The boy lives up to Manoj’s hopes, who sees an Olympic-level marathoner in him and starts training him for 2016 Olympics.

Budhia is full of enthusiasm and small things like an extra share of milk, fruits and a pair of new running shoes in his favourite red besides a promise of a red-colored cycle are enough to propel him to the goals set by Manoj.

Budhia goes on setting new milestones as he starts small and goes on to run a full marathon of 42 kms. The lad is now a media star across India and the toast of Orissa state. But, the controversies follow on the merit of making such a young boy undergo such a strenuous regime and running such long distances. Politicians decide to use the controversy to their advantage.

Manoj now decides to make Budhia run a 70 kms distance between Puri and Bhubaneshwar. At the event, covered by national and international media and backed by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), Budhia almost makes it, collapsing just a few of kilometers before the destination. This incident gives enough fodder to the politicians. Manoj is put behind bars for a while as Budhia is taken to the state sports hostel.

Politics get the better of a budding star.

Despite being a biopic, Budhia Singh - Born To Run has been made interesting on script level starting with keeping Budhia in the centre while changing other players in the story and also rewriting some stuff. Till the end when the politics enters the story, it is more fun as Budhia blends instantly with the other 22 kids in the house and they also accept him as one of their own. No envy is in play when Budhia is given special attention or rations. Budhia’s character is sketched to be stubborn but determined in the goal set by Manoj while also enjoying running.

Direction is taut and competent. Full marks to writer-director Soumendra Padhi. Cinematography complements the concept very well. Dialogue is true to life yet funny. Editing is skilful.

Performances by Manoj and Shruti are seasoned but the one who steals the limelight is Mayur as Budhia; not for a moment do you think he is not the real Budhia. Tillotama Shome supports well along with rest of the cast.

Budhia Singh-Born To Run is a must watch film. With a National Award in its kitty for Best Children’s Film, it does deserve a tax-free tag to help it cater to the kids.

Producers: Gajraj Rao, Subrat Ray, Subhmitra Sen.
Director: Soumendra padhi.
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Mahendra Patole, Shruti Marathe, Tillotama Shome,


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The Legend Of Michael Mishra‘Bad’ time story!

[Image: screenshot_www_indiantelevision_com_2016_08_06_0.jpg]Love story is one of the popular genres, especially if backed by good music and a thriving chemistry between the lead pair. While such love stories also work with new stars, the preference by filmmakers has generally tended to popular pairs which have jelled well on screen on a regular basis.

There are teenage love stories and then there are mature love stories. In The Legend Of Michael Mishra, Warsi is Michael Mishra; no explanation given for his mixed identity. And you expect him to portray a comic character. But, a love story of Arshad Warsi? Now that is plain suicidal! The casting is only the beginning, what follows in the name of entertainment is utterly and unbelievably confounding.

There is a town in Bihar where Warsi has graduated to becoming a local don from stitching clothes and retailing mutton. Such a background to sudden transformation as a don makes no sense. The whole town seems to be scared of him including the police, and he lords his way around.

Earlier in his teens, Warsi had fallen in love with a young girl and given her a locket with his picture as a parting gift. One fine day the don remembers his childhood love at first sight and he is determined to find her. All he has to remember her by is the way she said ‘Hello’! The girl grows up to be Aditi Rao Hydari who loved to dance since her childhood. Warsi, always in search of her, lands up at a “Bihar’s got talent” kind of show where she is putting on a dance show.

Warsi finds out where she lives and shifts into the same housing complex to be close to her. Soon, the sign language exchange of love messages starts flying between the two, later turning into written messages. As Warsi professes his love for her, a reply comes saying he must change his ways before she contemplates his proposal. Warsi, whom no police dare touch, gives himself up to the police.

As happens in all such films, Warsi is welcomed to the jail by veteran jailbirds who gang up against him and get him into a fight. However, the don in Warsi comes to the fore and he licks all the goons. But, he still has the jailor to contend with and he is one tough cookie. Again, as used to happen in last-century’s films, Warsi saves the jailor from a tough situation and the jailor becomes his sympathizer!

The jailor hears Warsi’s love story and advises him to escapes from the jail which, according to him, was the only way he could find his love. Warsi duly obliges. So much for paying for his crimes and taking to the honest way of life!

When Warsi comes back to Hydari, it turns out that all that messaging was not meant for him; it was for the lad staying above him! Warsi is heartbroken but Hydari changes tracks to soon profess her love for him—she loved him from the time he gifted her the locket which she has completed by adding her own picture on the other side of Warsi’s picture!

The Legend Of Michael Mishra has no story, script or sense of any sort. Nothing to be said about the direction and other aspects, all of which amount to zilch.

The Legend Of Michael Mishra is filmmaking at its worst.

Producers: Kishor Arora, Shareen Mantri.
Director: Manish Jha.
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kayoze Irani, Boman Irani, Yuri Suri


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Fever….If you watch it!

[Image: screenshot_www_indiantelevision_com_2016_08_06_0.jpg]Fever is a suspense thriller with its claim to recognition being two foreign female actors gracing its cast. These foreign actors being ex James Bond star, Caterina Murino, and a British TV actor, Gemma Atkinson, are supposed to give the film some draw! Besides that, the film is sought to be made to look like one out of Hollywood with a subject to match. The film is shot extensively on the picturesque locations of Switzerland.

Rajeev Khandelwal is lying in a hospital with most of his memory lost. His amnesia is total except that he remembers his name that he is from Paris and the visuals of a murder that haunt him. Soon he meets Gauhar Khan and he tries to piece together his past.

As it turns out, Rajeev is a contract killer as efficient with guns as he is in his approach with women. While Rajeev tries to recall his past, he demonstrates his memory loss with long drawn pauses to talk about it. Also, while recalling his past, he comes up with what is supposed to be the USB of this film that is steamy sex scenes with women in his life.

When inspired by numerous past masters of the suspense thriller genre, better would be to just stay inspired and not pick their props and treatment. While many have tried to create a really thrilling script of the suspense genere in past many decades among Hindi filmmakers, here too the attempt is bland and falls flat. Direction is average in keeping with the script. Music is soothing and would have worked had the film worked. The cinematography is a plus considering the film has beautiful locales to shoot at.

Performances are purely functional with Rajeev doing okay. The two foreigner actors contribute nothing to this department. Gauhar is passable.

Fever has had a poor opening and is expected to remain so through rest of the week.

Producers: Ravi Agrawal, Mahesh Balekundri, Ajay Chabbria and Rajath Manjunath.
Director: Rajeev Jhaveri.
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Gauhar Khan, Gemma Atkinson, Caterina Murino,


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Jason Bourne - Movie review

Matt Damon is back but the thrill is missing

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Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Riz Ahmed, Vincent Cassel

The CIA Director spending the entirety of a film himself working the phones to eliminate an agent? While bodies are splayed throughout Europe and mayhem left across Las Vegas? Yes, the Agency has come that far from Iran-Contra and “plausible deniability”. However, then, Jason Bourne is a film of the Trump era — being ‘deniably plausible’ is enough.

And so not only does America show its muscle, on the ground and in the sky, with how quickly it can spot a needle in a haystack — because this haystack shall not be needled — patriotism and treachery figure high up there as points of discussion.

For even Jason Bourne must be proved a true blue American patriot (yes, for all that, he seems a Democrat, knowing his countries, summoning one comrade in the fight for the free world under the statue of Athena in Athens). He also spends his time “off the grid” (CIA for hiding) doing prizefighting on the Albania-Serbia border. Who is looking there?

You must go by those symbolisms to look for some larger narrative here, for there is but one scene of people actually sitting across a table and talking. They are too busy ordering the kills otherwise, generally in front of impersonal monitors. The one finished sentence mostly is “He (Jason Bourne) got away.” The frown on the impassive but beautiful face of Heather Lee (Vikander is actually called that), the CIA cyber expert, just shows another slight furrow.

This is Jason Bourne’s fifth film on the run, four of which have actually featured Bourne, and Damon as him, trying to escape the CIA and his bloody past therein. Greengrass has directed two previous ones.

In the inter-continental chase fest this time around, the other guy called upon to prove his patriotism is a man in sneakers and jeans, introducing his free search platform to the world and resisting CIA efforts to co-opt him in its global surveillance effort. Yes, Aaron Kalloor (Ahmed, Kalloor is Indian no matter how they pronounce it) is meant to stand in for the man in sneakers you are thinking he is. And if you are not, this film also written by Greenglass nudges you in that direction by talking about whether privacy matters in the war against terror.

While that T word gets thrown around a lot, as CIA Director Dewey (Lee Jones) talks about “how many lives we have saved”, what Jason Bourne is about is leaving them dead. It is mostly him that they want killed, of course, but as Dewey sends his “asset” (a one-note Cassel) after him, the latter doesn’t particularly care who all are squashed in the way.

And squashed there are many, starting with democracy activists in Greece, serving as the unfortunate backdrop for a very lengthy, very poorly shot and very unimpressive opening sequence (Greengrass’s hand-held camera style to approximate chaos is simply chaotic here); previous Bourne residue Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles); very many CIA agents; and tens upon tens of cars and slot machines in Vegas.

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Chauthi Koot - Movie review

You’ll watch this marvelous film with your heart in your mouth

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Cast: Suvinder Vicky, Rajbeer Kaur, Taranjit Singh, Harleen Kaur
Director: Gurvinder Singh

The state of Punjab in the 80s was full of ‘dehshat’, a word that’s hard to translate. It approximates closest to a combination of dread and fear, and it was widespread, especially in the areas where the deep blue-robed ‘khaadkus’ played hide and seek with the military. It was the time when the Khalistan movement was at its peak, and the battle-lines were clearly drawn between the militants and the security forces: in between were the people of Punjab, torn between the two, not knowing which was the lesser evil.

Gurvinder Singh’s Chauthi Koot is a marvelously authentic re-creation of that time. Those with long memories will remember how the charismatic ‘leader’ Jairnail Singh Bhindrawale and his well equipped ‘army’ was flushed out during Operation Bluestar, how the unrest which had long spilled over to the capital peaked with the assassination of Mrs Gandhi and how it led to the bloody riots in which thousands of Sikhs were killed. The pogrom, for that is what it was, was a fall-out of the mishandling of the situation in Punjab right through the end of the 70s and the early 80s.

Singh’s film, which was screened in Cannes in 2015 and which won the Best Punjabi film at the national awards this year, is based on Waryam Singh Sandhu’s stories, ‘Chauthi Koot’ and ‘Hun Main Theek Thaak Haan’. It weaves both tales into one narrative, the first of which shows us a group of people, Hindus and Sikhs, heading towards Amritsar in a train, and the second which flashes back into the countryside and a family of farmers and how it dealt with that most difficult of times.

The father, mother, two children, uncles, aunts, grandparents — a group which would be doing the `giddha’ and the `bhangra’ in the `ganne ke khet’ surrounding their house, in a mainstream Bollywood movies — are aware of the danger that lurks in the tall green stalks. The guns could belong to either side, but they are the ones caught in the crossfire.

That sense of growing dread is evident in each frame, especially the threat that is held out to their beloved dog, Tommy. His barking alerts the security forces to the movement of the militants: clearly, he needs to be got rid of; equally clearly, here are people who love their pet as much, if not more than themselves.

The narrative unfolds at an unhurried pace and yet you do not stir, not even when you can see it stretch. You watch, heart in mouth, willing for the safety and well-being of all the innocents in the frame, both two and four-legged.

Singh’s signal achievement is the manner in which he makes us forget that there is a camera, despite the formalism of his style, just the way he did in his debut, Anhey Ghode Da Daan. His characters (some theatre people, some non-actors) appear rooted in the milieu; their faces are creased and lived in, and we believe in them.

Chauthi Koot ( the Fourth Direction) is a worthy successor: it is, in a way, more accessible than the first but equally layered, and establishes Singh as one of the most exciting young voices of independent Indian cinema.

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Suicide Squad - Review

A messy plot meandering to nothingness

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Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman

Director: David Ayer

“We were lucky the Superman shared our values. What if the next superman is a terrorist?” That’s the central idea driving Suicide Squad, that when ‘metahumans’ are sprouting all around, humanity’s only answer is unleashing supervillains. As someone dares question this tactic at a meeting, the boss, a formidable Viola Davis as Amanda Wallace, snarls, “Getting people to act against their self-interest is what I do for national security.”


Even if you try to figure that one out, Suicide Squad, you soon realise, is not one for logic. At the start, it seems like design, as a desperate DC Comics tries to shed the dourness that has engulfed its universe — a lot of it brought upon by the lumpen Batman v Superman recently — with this string of men and women wearing their crazy villainy on their sleeves, faces and Robbie’s unmissable butt. By the second half, as a “witch” reduces “Midcity” to a “swirling load of trash in the sky” (their words), you tend to wonder whether lunacy is just a convenient excuse for a messy plot meandering to nothingness.

Ayer is coming off the well-received Fury, but Suicide Squad bears the unmistakable imprint of the aforementioned Batman v Superman and its unmanageable cast, needing to be steered to some kind of an ending.

The leader of the pack is Smith as Deadshot, the man who never misses. However, in a fact that must be celebrated, the one holding up the rear, also literally, is Robbie as Harley Quinn. As Joker’s love interest, who has been electro-shocked and acid-bathed by him into half-crazy and full-psychedelic mode, Robbie just outshines everyone else in view. With Smith disappointingly tamped down, it is left to her to interject some much-needed levity into the proceedings.

The other members of the Suicide Squad include Captain Boomerang (Courtney), Le Diablo (Hernandez), Croc (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and, fleetingly, Slipknot. They are called Suicide Squad because the government is setting them out for missions that would either leave them dead, or if they survive, land them back in their high-security prisons but with reduced sentences. They also have bombs injected into their skins for officials to keep them on a tight leash. Most of them have incidentally been put in jail by Batman, who pops up a few times.

The bonafide soldier guiding and guarding the Suicide Squad is braveheart Rick Flag (Kinnaman), who has a super guardian of his own, a magical sword-wielding samurai called Katana.

It’s here that the story gets funniest. Flag is in love with an archaeologist, June Moone (Delevingne), who in turn has been possessed by the witch or Enchantress we talked about earlier. This is how it works: Wallace controls the Enchantress’s heart, which in turn allows the US government to control the Enchantress, who in turn is to keep the Suicide Squad in line, while closely watched by her never-questioning but deeply devoted boyfriend Flag.

Rarely has national security rested on such, literally, ephemeral shoulders. And sure enough, the moment the Enchantress gets a chance, she turns her attention on destroying Midcity, her heart be damned. Much, much later, when a lot of water has flown under the bridge and a lot happened over it, Flag notes of the whole plan, “Needless to say, it was a bad idea.”

That is around the time all of them have decided to hop into a bar in the middle of the battle against a witch gone mad — what’s a man to do? — and do some soul-searching and chit-chat.

Wish the Joker could have dropped in. Leto does try hard, real hard, but that villain is a very tough act to follow, and the reds of the lips and the greens of the eyes don’t hide the effort. We must say it, musn’t we: Why so serious?

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Rustom - Movie Review

Akshay Kumar’s Rustom is a One-Time Watch

Akshay Kumar’s Rustom is inspired from the true story of a high profile case of the 1950s. Back in 1959, Naval Commander K.M. Nanavati was tried for the murder of his wife’s lover Prem Ahuja in Mumbai. This case had got a lot of media attention.

Tinu Desai’s Rustom brings this story back for today’s audience, a lot of young moviegoers might not even know about this case. So it is definitely and interesting story for them. Commander

Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) who has been sailing, makes it back to Mumbai shores before time and when he gets home he finds out his wife Cynthia (Ileana D’Cruz) is having an affair with a friend, Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa) and that makes him very angry. He goes to the ship, picks up a gun and walks into Makhija’s house and shoots him. He immediately surrenders and tells the cops what he has done, the case takes a drama turn when one day Rsutom pleads not guilty, from there the film follows the courtroom drama. It’s decently made film and the setting is just right. It drags in many parts, music by various composers only adds to the duration.

The best part of the movie is the lead actor Akshay Kumar, who holds the film by himself and entertains you throughout with a good performance in this average entertainer. The setting is perfect but the film drags in many portions.

Should you watch Rustom? Yes, you can definitely watch it once. We give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

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Mohenjo DaroBad idea!

[Image: screenshot_www_indiantelevision_com_2016_08_13_0.jpg]Ashutosh Gowariker is said to have been inspired by the sites of the ruins of Dholavira, an excavated city from an ancient civilization in Kutch, Gujarat. That made him think of Mohenjo Daro, (now in Sindh, Pakistan) where the biggest city of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization was excavated in 1922 and, then, declared a Heritage Site by the UNESCO in as late as 1980.

All that is known about the find is its name, Mohenjo Daro (Mound of the Dead, when translated in English), there is nothing more on record or known to the archeologists who worked on the sites. While some assumptions may have been made about the culture as it existed then and the lifestyle of the people, there are no myths, legends or folklore related to Mohenjo Daro available anywhere or with anybody. In such a situation, a great imagination is needed to build a story around this civilization.

Here goes the story: we have Hrithik Roshan is a tiller of neel (indigo) in a small town in pre-historic land mass, later called Hindustan. Like all small town lads, he aspires to go to the big city, Mohenjo Daro, on the banks of Indus River. These days, all those who come to big cities become dons or their goons. In the good old days, they became saviours of the masses. Hrithik arrives in the new city and is impressed by its sights, its architecture and the scope for enterprise since people from other worlds also come here to trade.

The city is throbbing with people all around so much so that there is even a traffic cop to control these people and direct those like cops nowadays direct traffic in big cities! As he learns the tricks of the trade, Hrithik realizes that such big cities have two strata to society: the mass and the elite. Here too the city is divided between them demarcated by Lower City and Upper City settlements.

Like all such cities, Mohenjo Daro too has its share of evil in the form of Kabir Bedi, who rules the place with an iron hand, and his son, Arunoday Singh. Seeing their tyranny and having his first brush with Singh, Hrithik soon decides to leave the place and return to his own village. But, that is when he spots Pooja Hegde and it is love at first sight. For her sake, he now wants to stay put. In the process, he gets involved with events in the city and sees how injustice is being meted out to people by Bedi and Singh.

Hrithik has competition when it comes to Pooja as Singh wants her for himself and that has been decided at her birth by the prophesy makers of the city. Determined to stay back and fight with Singh and Bedi for the girl as well as the people, Hrithik’s resolve is only strengthened when he learns that his father, Sharad Kelkar, was one of the ministers in the darbar of Bedi but was murdered for opposing him.

As the film, which started bad, goes on to becoming worse, there are more treacheries by Bedi and Singh and some song and dance and some fights including an arena fight a la old Hollywood films, between Hrithik and two monstrous cannibal men. Hrithik overcomes all odds and vanquishes the evildoers. Don’t know why maneaters fight with Hrithik instead of just eating him up and be done with it? This was probably their idea of cooking their meal!

Talking about the imagination needed for a story to fit into the Mohenjo Daro civilization, there is none. In fact, whatever has been conjured up in the name of a great saga is childish to put it mildly. For instance, Hrithik is named Sarman and Singh is Munja; Sarman Munja was the name of a don in the city of Porbandar in Gujarat after whose death his wife, Santokba, went on to become India’s first all-powerful woman don who also has a film to her name. Kelkar is a good guy so Surjan while his brother who fails to stand by him is Durjan! It can’t get any more juvenile!

The story as such can fit into any B grade film of today if you replace the locale but keep the characters and the story same.

A poor story idea and a poorer script make for a directionless film: here we have props that loom totally out of place in the viewer’s perception of Mohenjo Daro. There are regular ration shops, costumes few can identify with! There is also word Haramkhor in Bedi’s vocabulary. The romance does not convince and there is no music to back it save for one song, Tu hia…. Dialogue lacks spirit. Cinematography is fair.

Choreography is good. Special effect are routine. Editing is not evident in this film.

Performances are routine with Hrithik Roshan carrying on with same expressions from Koi… Mil Gaya. Pooja Hegde looks charming but can’t perform. Kabir Bedi is okay. Arunoday Singh is the victim of a routine role. Of the rest, only Manish Choudhary shows some conviction with what he is doing.

Mohenjo Daro is a poor film in all respects. If cost is considered, worse still.

Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Sunita Gowarikar.
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker.
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi, Arunoday Singh, Suhasini Mulay, Nitish Bharadwaj, Kishori Shahane, Sharad Kelkar, Manish Choudhary, Narendra Jha, Casey Frank, Diganta Hazarika.

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Happy Bhag Jayegi - A comedy that loses the plot

Cast: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Momal Sheikh, Ali Fazal, Jimmy Shergill, Kanwaljeet, Piyush Mishra
Director: Mudassar Aziz

What if an Indian girl wakes up in Pakistan one fine morning? And what if she finds, gasp, the one she’s looking for across the border?

The premise of Happy Bhag Jayegi, promises you some good chuckles because, well, who doesn’t like the idea of a pretty girl on the run in search of her Prince Charming? And the Pakistani locations—the scenic spots around Lahore– should inject some freshness, right?

We smile in the beginning. Spirited Amritsar kudi Happy’s (Diana Penty) heart beats for Guddu (Ali Fazal) but the path of true love is strewn with stern fathers (Kanwaljeet), local bad boy rival Bagga (Jimmy Shergill) and an accidental Pakistani gentleman named Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol).

But all too soon, the pleasures of the film dwindle, and we are left to fend for ourselves, looking for something that will make us laugh, even if it is weak laughter. There is some of it, but it is far too intermittent.

Read: Can Happy Bhag Jayegi hold off Akshay Kumar’s Rustom?

The film spends a substantial amount of time in Pakistan, and a whole bunch of colourful characters trying out their Urdu.

Fervent Pakistani cop (Piyush Mishra) who loves some things Hindustani (Taj Mahal, Yusuf saab), Bilal’s father (Javed Sheikh) who wants him to join politics, and his beautiful betrothed (Momal Sheikh) who looks askance at this new girl: is the Indian Happy about to sink her hooks into her all-Pakistani Bilal?

Done well, Happy Bhag Jayegi could have been a rollicking comedy. But despite its occasional throwaway lines, and nice touches, it never comes together. If you want me to suspend disbelief and buy into your wholly contrived plot, you have to be able to write your way past the contrivances. This doesn’t happen.

Some of the casting choices are suspect. Penty has a wide-eyed appeal and an infectious smile but she is not a good fit for a Punjabi ‘pataka’. And some are too familiar: Fazal has a thankless part and never lifts off the screen; Shergill has some funny lines but he is essentially doing a repeat of his Tanu Weds Manu part. In fact, the film has several striking resemblances to TWM, which makes sense because Happy Bhag Jayegi is an Anand L Rai production too.

Good to see Abhay Deol back in the groove after his disastrous previous outing One By Two, and the very pretty very swish-in-her-designer-threads Momal Sheikh (a popular TV actor who also happens to be Javed Sheikh’s daughter) gives him something to work on. The third angle in this triangle is touched upon but its potential is never fully realised. And that goes for the film as a whole. When will our films be better written?

Watch: Happy Bhag Jayegi trailer

This ‘Happy’ should have left me much happier.

Some of the gentle Indo-Pak banter is funny but it becomes too stretched. And what was the need of the risible : ‘Kaisa desh hai, bandook na dikhao toh koi sunta hi nahin hai’?

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UnIndian- Movie review: Brett Lee brings his flair but can’t win the match

Cast: Brett Lee, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Maya Sathi, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Akash Khurana, Arka Das, Sarah Roberts, Nicholas Brown, Gulshan Grover
Director: Anupam Sharma

Can East and West meet, fall in love and live happily ever after? This forms the premise of this film, which marks the debut of fast bowler Brett Lee. He plays Will who falls in love with Tannishtha Chatterjee’s Meera, only to be told — repeatedly — that he is UnIndian.

The film begins with single working mother Meera (Tannishtha) whose very Indian parents want her to get married again. While their attempts to fix her marriage fail, she did catch the attention of Will. And our Will is a persistent boy. He doesn’t take no for an answer and pursues Meera.

An Aussie-English teacher, he tries his hand at Hindi too, telling a bemused hall full of people, “Maine kuccha nahin pehena.” Hardly creative or nuanced that dialogue but Brett manages to carry it off, just as he does the rest of the film with his honest performance. Now, watch UnIndian for this man and his fun debut.

Tannishtha as Meera also bring depth to her performance but they are both failed by the one-dimensional script and verbose dialogues. The script also feels hackneyed and oft tried.

It is disappointing to see actors like Gulshan Grover (as Meera’s first husband), Supriya Pathak Kapur (Meera’s mother) and Akash Khurana (Meera’s father) being failed by the bad writing and dialogues. They fail to rise up to the occasion and the film also loses some of its froth because of this.

If you really want to watch UnIndian, do it for Brett’s Will and Tannishtha’s Meera.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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