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General News Film Reviews
#41
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Freaky Ali: Not a great tee off


Nawazuddin Siddiqui holds it together as a golfing hero for this over the top entertainer

This Friday, Bollywood spans the class divide: from the uber rich of Baar Baar Dekho to the underprivileged of Freaky Ali. But there’s very little to choose between the two when it comes to compelling viewing.

Freaky Ali is predictable to the core replete with every cliché of a typical sports film that you can possibly think of and, is marked by old fashioned story-telling and over the top, slapstick humour. The added layer is also a done and dusted one, that of a poor man taking to a rich man’s game — golf — and succeeding at it at that.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Ali, an undergarment seller and an extortionist who purely by chance becomes “Golf ka Sachin”. As he grows in the game, his attire — the trousers and T-shirts — progress from the cheap and loud to the chic. Other than the rich golfing rival (Jas Arora), all the people that surround Ali are essentially good at heart. That is, even the bumbling, harmless goons, who seem to be leftovers from the sets of Munnabhai. Add to it a sweater-knitting maa (Seema Biswas) and a friend-cum-sidekick (Arbaaz Khan) and the picture is complete.

It is Siddiqui, the underdog hero, who holds the film together, with his sharp tongue and ready retorts. The simmering anger and a hunger to succeed that are so embedded in his edgy personality work well for his character.

There is some Kader Khan like dialoguebaazi written by Raaj Shaandilyaa – “Gareeb log jeette hain ya seekhte hain, haarte nahin” (The poor people live or learn, but never lose). However, most times it lapses into crude jokes and some cringe-worthy inanities like “Garments aur undergarments mein bahut farak hota hai” (There’s a lot of difference between garments and undergarments). Who doesn’t know that? To top it all, women (aurat) are spoken of as a trophy/achievement in life for the man, in the same vein as izzat, shohrat aur daulat (respect, fame and wealth). Not cool at all.

Director: Sohail Khan
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, Amy Jackson, Seema Biswas, Jas Arora
Run time: 120 mins

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#42
Sully: Captain America


For earth to sprout life, a considerable number of precise conditions needed to be met. The survival of the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 is a bit like that too, as Sully shows. Following a bird strike that causes the loss of the plane’s engines, everything that could potentially go wrong… doesn’t. It’s a film for the optimist. Walking out of the theatre, I experienced the viewer equivalent of a face stuffed with cotton candy. In that sense, Sully acted as the antidote for the wounds I’ve long harboured from experiencing the gut-wrenching United 93. It’s the other side of the coin.

The film recounts the US 1549 emergency landing on the Hudson River — not in, as the First Officer Jefferey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) cheekily points out — and the ensuing investigation. Sully’s not so much about the crash (though you get to see it in IMAX grandeur at least thrice); it is about the little-known details of the investigation launched into finding out if Captain Sully Sullenberger (Tom Hanks in top form) could have done better. The filmis full of such delicious ironies. The Captain has saved 155 lives, but could he have saved them without damage to the aircraft—a fact that is of great interest to the insurance company? Could he have avoided risking their lives in the first place? Captain Sully may have emerged triumphant against the Canadian geese, and the Hudson, but can his human frailties overcome the cold computer simulations that seem to suggest that his choice wasn’t the best under the circumstances? What about the irony of being regarded as a national hero, even as an internal investigation threatens to countermine the achievements of a 40-year-old career? In Sully’s own words, “I’ve flown millions during the 40 years of my career. But I’m going to be judged on 208 seconds.” Is Sully “a hero or a fraud?” A question that haunts his nightmares.

Sully’s among the most satisfying films I’ve seen. It’s a nerd’s playground, an inquirer’s paradise. Tyler Durden may have scoffed at the utility of safety demonstrations in airplanes, but Sully hadn’t been released then. It’s gratifying that the accident is shown from several perspectives—of those within the flight, of the person manning a Coast Guard ship on the Hudson, of the traumatised air-traffic controller who blames himself for the crash… even of a man in a skyscraper adjoining the Hudson. It’s comprehensive, a word that interestingly, I wouldn’t quite use when describing the depiction of Captain Sully’s problems. I’d have loved for the film to show us a bit more of Sully, the person; a bit more of the PTSD that he’s apparently struggling with; and definitely a bit more of his relationship with his wife (a horribly under-used Laura Linney). The attempts at humanising the plane’s passengers are also half-hearted at best, necessitating the narrator to explain how 155 (the number of passengers) may seem like a number, but when you remember they had names and relationships, it begins to seem like a lot more.

But these only cause minor turbulence in an otherwise unfussy journey that is littered with many delightful little moments. I loved that Sully’s wife learns very late that her husband’s flight journey has become an issue of national importance. It’s also fascinating how Sully, who retains his composure through an almost impossible emergency water landing, seems ruffled in a media interaction. Tom Hanks is wonderful in these scenes, and betrays just the right amount of discomfort, without once overstating it. Similarly understated is the music. The piano bits quietly, effectively slip into the background, much like Jefferey Skiles himself likeably does, during the accident and its aftermath.

Thanks to Sully, I now know — as much as there is to be known safely at least — what it must be like to be part of a incapacitated plane. Isn’t that why we go to films, after all? So, we can live the compelling lives of others… at least briefly.

Genre: Biography
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Storyline: The story of Captain Sullenberger who became a national hero after safely landing a plane on the Hudson.
Bottomline:A rewarding flight with some minor turbulence.

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#43
Pink: Old wine with a new treatment


MUMBAI: Three independent young girls, night out, boys, molestation and Delhi as the location. The leader of the molesting boys is from a political family with whom the cops don’t wish to mess. Put these factors together and you have a story to tell and the result is Pink.

There may be comparisons with No One Killed Jessica and many such stories from real life cases based TV programmes on Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India.

So, what is new about Pink? Nothing much really except that it stars Amitabh Bachchan and that it has been vigorously promoted.

TaapseePannu from Delhi, KIrtiKulhari from Lucknow and Andrea Tariang from Meghalaya share a rented apartment in a typical Delhi raw house colony. They are independence loving working women who, like all other such girls, like a night out on occasions. On one such night out, the girls are enjoying among themselves at a joint at Surajkund (near Delhi in Haryana) when they are invited to join a group of boys because one of them happens to be known to Taapsee since her school days.

The group moneybag is AngadBedi, hailing from a family of a politician and used to getting away with his evil ways. The boys do what Delhi boys are known to do. They invite the girls to rooms where the boys make their move and expect the girls to be chalu and, hence, reciprocate. While Andrea breaks loose and runs away from the room, Angad tries to be more aggressive with Taapsee who breaks a bottle on his head. Angad who is almost blinded in one eye and ends up with stitches on his forehead is livid with one of his sidekicks adding fuel to fire.

The boys have decided to make the girls’ life miserable. The girls start receiving threat calls and their landlord is asked to evict them from the premises.

Amitabh Bachchan is a keen observer of these girls’ movements. A retired lawyer, he occupies a house right opposite theirs. He watches Taapsee on her morning jog in a park he also visits and, otherwise, places himself behind a curtain and watching on girls go about their lives!He notices the sudden change in the girls’ behavior. They look scared. That is when he witnesses a car full of boys come into the colony and kidnap Taapsee.

Bachchan is a renowned lawyer even if retired and he does what he can: call up the police commissioner informing of the kidnap to no avail. Nobody seems interested in the plight of these girls except Bachchan. Next, a Surajkund lady police comes and arrests Taapsee on charges of attempted murder of Angad. That sums up the first half of the film.

Time for retired lawyer Bachchan to step in. He is back to donning his lawyer’s garb and neck piece. The second half is about the court case as Bachchan fights for justice for Taapsee while PiyushMishra, who is a public prosecutor, seems to fight for the boys instead. He is more interested in proving that the girls are professional escorts and of loose character while the case is about establishing the case of attempted murder!

It is a court case like no other as Piyushgoes berserk shouting, stripping the girls of all their dignity, resorts to name-calling and making them look like culprits by design. Bachchan asks equally shaming questions to the girls; his purpose is to prove just that whatever the girls may be doing in their personal life and may have had other boyfriends but, when a girl says NO to a man, it means NO and a man has no right to force himself on her. While Piyush indulges in histrionics, Bachchan is matter of fact.

As for molestation and putting up a fight go, Pink would be compared to No One Killed Jessica (2011) while, as a court drama for a woman’s honour, it would be with Damini (1993), both of which had more powerful content.

The script is simple, tell the story with references to things that appear in news like how girls dress, plight of North Eastern girls in Delhi, reluctant police, et al besides the girls’ safety. It turns out to be a court drama sans drama. Director lets viewer assume a lot of things; like who is the bedridden woman in Bachchan’s life. Why should a public prosecutor behave like a mad man in court? Why Bachhcan who does not react to the prosecutor’s provocation be shouting at his own client. If that is supposed to add excitement to the proceedings, it does not. The judgment delivered also goes beyond the scope of the case! The direction is passable;the incidentthat leads to the case, is finally shown in the end title! Cinematography is fair. Editing is weak. Background score is apt. As for the dialogue, only Bachchan gets some good lines.

As for the performances, TaapseePannu shines with her restrained act. KirtiKulhari uses the dramatic moments given to her ably. Andrea Tarinag has little to do except represent aggrieved North East. Amitabh Bachchan plays the moody lawyer with ease. Piyush Mishra is over the top.AngadBedi suits the role.Dhritiman Chatterjee as the judge lands some credibility to the proceedings.

Pink is a court room drama with which the female audience may identify more and help the film score at select multiplexes, especially during the weekend.However, the range at the box office remains limited as it happens with such films.

Producers: Rashmi Sharma, ShoojitSircar.

Director:Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, TaapseePannu, KirtiKulhari, Andrea Tariang, AngadBedi, Piyush Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee.

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#44
Raaz: Reboot


Raaz: Reboot is the fourth instalment in the Raaz series from Vishesh Films, the earlier ones being Raaz(2002), Raaz:The Mystery Continues (2009) and Raaz 3D (2012). Raaz: Reboot is directed by Vikram Bhatt, who also directed the first and third instalments (the second one was directed by MohitSuri). Raaz: Reboot, like its predecessors, is also a horror thriller.

KritiKharbanda and Gaurav Arora are married and decide to move to Romania. Gaurav needs better prospects which he seeks in Romania of all places. However, the shift is despite Gaurav’s reluctance who has agreed only on the wishes of Kriti, who thinks his job here was not up to the mark and he deserved better.

Things seem to take a turn for worse once they move to Romania. Kriti feels that the things are not the same between her and Gaurav and no explanation is forthcoming from him. Saddened and disillusioned Kriti has more troubles in store for her; she starts getting that eerie feeling about the house they occupy. Also, Gaurav is no help when she tries to tell him about her discomfiture.

Kriti then comes across Emraan, her ex and a fashion photographer who is also in Romania. Having found an ear to unload her problems, Kriti tells her fears to Emraan who is quite forthcoming unlike Gaurav. He also has some secrets to share with her. What follows is the usual mumbo-jumbo for exorcism while what some of the public may have expected from Raaz franchise, sex, is missing. Of course, Emraan’s forte, kisses, are not compromised.

It has been a long time since Raaz (almost 15 years) and the franchise has only deteriorated in content and treatment. What is more, a lot has been happening in this genre on various television channels and there is no novelty left. Sadly, the film offers nothing better than such television shows.

The script being predictable and routine, director Vikram Bhatt too goes about dealing with it as just another chore. The music, which usually is the scoring point in Bhatt-T Series ventures is not up the mark here. Dialogue is routine, considering that the film aims to find its target audience in masses, the use of English dialogue is a deterrent. The length, at 127 minutes sans substance, needed to be curtailed. The cinematography is good with Romania backdrop coming as a bonus.

Emraan Hashmi sails through in the role he has played often before but the negative trait in his character may not be appreciated. KritiKharbanda passes muster. Gaurav Arora is okay.

Raaz: Reboot has little to expect from multiplexes but will find its audience at single screens, especially away from metros.

Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Vishesh Films.

Director: Vikram Bhatt.

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, KritiKharbanda, Gaurav Arora.

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#45
Banjo


MUMBAI: Banjo is a musical love story of a young man with a mastery over the stringed instrument. The banjo is said to have its origin in Africa. The instrument is seen to be more popular during festivals in India.

Riteish Deshmukh is shown in the movie to be excelling in playing banjo and leads a group of friends who play music as a hobby as well as to make some extra money besides their regular jobs. He has three partners, each specializing in playing an instrument. Riteish works for a local corporator collecting haftas (extortion) for him.

The demand for the musical group is seasonal, but there are a number of such banjo groups. The competition is stiff. However, the rivalry between two such groups is severe, which often leads to fist fights. On one such Ganesh festival, Riteish and his band come up with a number which becomes instantly popular with the local folk.

Sitting far away in New York, Nargis Fakhri hears the number which catches her attention. Nargis is preparing to participate in a music show and has been scouting for talent. She thinks she found the group she has been looking for. She arrives in India and lands up right near his house.

Banjo playing is not considered a glorious art and, though appointed as a guide to show her around the settlement and help her search, he does not disclose his identity to Nargis. While he helps her, he also falls in love with her.

Nargis goes on auditioning group after group, only to be disappointed. She is finally ready to give up and decides to go back. Riteish is heartbroken. He wants to drown his sadness in music, and asks his friends to play though they have just returned from a gig and are tired. Nargis catches the sound from afar and realizes who he was. So close yet so far. Nargis is still sent back in disappointment, for, the group members have parted ways. Riteish has been framed in the murder of the corporator and sent to jail. The happy ending is certain but not so soon.

Banjo moves on predictable lines of an underdog whose dreams are in the process of being realized as well as the usual underdog falling in love with the first girl showing concern. While the story or scripting don’t inspire much, the main drawback is the lack of good music that is mandatory for a musical. While the songs are good for gully dances due to the heavy beats played to Maharashtrian taste, the Bappa song being the mainstay, the only sober number worth humming is Rahemokaram.

The cinematography is good. Riteish performs well and Nargis tries. The supporting actors make sincere efforts.

Banjo could have been made for Marathi audience where the industry is thriving presently. Going for pan-India market has not helped as the opening is poor and so are the prospects.

Producers: Krishika Lulla

Director: Ravi Jadhav

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakri, Mohan Kapoor.

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#46
Dil Sala Sanki

[Image: dil-sala-sanki_banner1_1466071978.jpg]

Another film about UP bahubalis and their love story! Dil Sala Sanki is a love triangle based in the city of Jhansi.

Jimmy Shergill is playing the local don in Jhansi. He has inherited the reign from his foster father who wished for Jimmy to share it with his adopted son. But, Jimmy would have nothing of that sort. He kills both, the other heir as well as his father. He wishes to rule alone.

While the rest of the city is scared of Jimmy and his goons, he has a fan in Yogesh Kumar, the son of a local barber, Avtar Gill, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Jimmy. Yogesh goes around beating up people and expects to be feared for his acts.

Yogesh takes up small assignments like settling disputes. On one such case, he is asked to get vacated a house occupied by goons as the landlord’s new tenant, Shakti Kapoor, a school teacher, has rented it out. True to the tradition of goon stories, Yogesh falls in love with Shakti’s daughter, played by Madalsa Sharma. He starts with the usual routine followed by all filmy lovelorn goons: stalk.

It is raining and Manalsa is shown as going berserk dancing on a lonely road. Jimmy happens to pass by, sees her, and falls in love too although he has a loving wife at home, played by Harshita Bhatt. Being a bahubali who is not answerable to anybody, he simply kills Harshita.

Jimmy soon realizes that his protégée, Yogesh, also loves Madlasa. The fight to finish begins.

Dil Sala Sanki is a routine, humdrum love story lacking imagination or the grammar of filmmaking. The casting is curious as the hero, Yogesh Kumar, has zero acting skills or screen presence. Jimmy has a limited role. Madalsa is okay. Rest of the aspects merit no mention.

Dil Sala Sanki has no prospects despite its limited exploitation at few screens in single show a day.

Producer: SK Pictures P Ltd.

Director: Sushi Kailash.

Cast: Yogesh Kumar, Madalsa Sharma, Jimmy Shergill, Shakti Kapoor, Avtar Gill.

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#47
M S Dhoni: The Untold Story - Review


M S Dhoni: The Untold Story’ is one biopic that has caused enough curiosity in the trade circles as well as amongst moviegoers. While most biopic come years after the person and his/her heroics have faded from the public memory, this one comes just in time. Even as Indian cricketer Dhoni probably now is closer to calling it a day, the legend and excitement is still very much alive.

The first half is all about the untold part of Dhoni’s life: his dreams and struggles. Something that few have known or cared to know as long as their idol was excelling on the field.

The coach of the school cricket team, Rajesh Sharma, is at his wits end as the lad he counted on as the team’s wicket-keeper has ditched him. It is only two months to exams and his parents think studies are more important than cricket. Can’t blame the parents since, till then, cricket had remained more a metro-centric game. At least, as far as team selections and spotting new talents were concerned. Cricket as a career had no future for small town lads.

Sharma happens to watch the school football team practicing and the goalkeeper catches his eye. The lad does not let a single shot get through to the post. But, Dhoni, (Sushant Singh Rajput) would have none of it: playing with a small ball is not his idea of sport. Also, when it comes to cricket, he would rather bat than field. Finally, when Rajput agrees, his father, Anupam Kher, is reluctant. As he grows, Dhoni, keeps on improving his skills and makes progress locally moving from a Rs 600/ pm stipend to Rs. 1500 and, finally, landing a job with the Railways as a ticket checker.

Dhoni keeps taking big strides but local authorities’ negligence results in him missing a chance to be selected for the Under-19 Indian team. The budding cricketer is depressed as his career is stuck as a ticket checker.

Dhoni’s luck seems to brighten up eventually. The chairman of the Indian cricket board (late ex-Chairman Jagmohan Dalmia lookalike) decides to spot talent from the hinterlands of India instead of just concentrating on big towns. Dhoni’s skills are noticed. But, there are four other contenders for the wicket-keeper’s job. Finally, it is Dhoni’s batting, coupled with his wicket-keeping abilities, which earns him a spot in the national team.

After failing badly in initial matches, Dhoni makes his presence felt with a century and, for him, there is no looking back thereafter. He is selected to lead Team India and scales glories as his team wins both the One-Day as well as T20 world championships.

The long first half is all about Dhoni’s struggles and the ultimate rise to the top.

The second half deals mainly with a celebrated cricketer’s life beyond the game. Dhoni comes across his first love, Disha Patani, at a time when he has failed on his debut. While Dhoni is in Pakistan playing for the country, Disha, out to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for him lost in the thoughts, meets with a fate that alters the love narrative.

Dhoni meets Sakshi (Kiara Advani), a trainee with a 5-star Kolkata hotel who has no knowledge about cricket. Taken in by her innocence, love happens to Dhoni again.

The film attempts to go too much into the details of Dhoni’s life and takes its own time doing so. In the process, its run time extends to three hours and five minutes. The film misses out on the vital junctures of his life like his appointment as the captain bypassing many senior players of the time.

Rather than showcase the cricketer’s prowess as a wicket-keeper, which was his forte, most of the footage is devoted to his batting capabilities and how it often helped India win. All that should have come in the latter part of the film that lacks in cricket and concentrates more on his love life. The matches and crowd footage acquired by the makers from various TV networks saves the film from shoddy crowd scenes seen in most cricket-oriented films. The film has songs in the background that are soothing.

Replicating a living and still active cricket legend is tough, but Sushant Singh Rajput slips into the role easily within few scenes into the film. He has done an able job. Disha Patani and Kaira Advani are good in small roles. Anupam Kher and Bhumika Chawla lend good support, while Rajesh Sharma, Mukesh Bhatt and Brijendra Mishra impress as usual.

`M S Dhoni: The Untold Story’ generated enthusiasm during pre-release period and is now getting positive response from the audience, thanks to the popularity of Dhoni. The film has all the makings of a hit were it not for its high cost of production.

(The film is being released simultaneously in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu versions.)

Producers: Arun Pandey, Fox Star Studios.

Director: Neeraj Pandey.

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani, Rajesh Sharma, Mukesh Bhatta, Brijendra Mishra.

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#48
Hyper- Movie Review

Nothing Commendable in this Love Story


Cast: Ram, Raashi Khanna, Sathyaraj, Murali Sharma, Rao Ramesh.
Director: Santosh Srinivas

Surya (Ram) falls in love with Bhanumathi (Raashi Khanna) just because his father, Narayana Murthy (Sathyaraj), thinks that she’ll be a good daughter-in-law. That’s not the point you should roll your eyes for.

Here comes the bouncer. Surya doesn’t know how Bhanumathi looks as he has seen only her ‘back’. When people say, “Love is blind,” this is what they probably mean. Without having an idea of what Bhanumathi looks like, Surya roams around the town with his friends to eye the woman his father has spoken highly of. That should tell you the level of adoration he has for his father.

Making a film on the father– son relationship is not entirely a bad plotline. Nannaku Prematho, which released earlier this year, constructed a building of respect for films of such scope. But, Hyper takes a lengthy route to drive a fragile show home, and that’s where boredom sets in.

Sathyaraj plays the role of an honest government employee who doesn’t mince words when it comes to his policies. Even if a Minister (Rao Ramesh) asks Murthy to sign a piece of document that’ll allow him to come up with a mall in the center of the city, Murthy won’t give in. The middle-class government officer has obviously ruffled the egoistic Minister’s feathers.


Hyper offers space for Ram to perform almost every scene with unnecessary loudness. It brings to mind numerous Balakrishna films where his punch dialogues are enough to send the audiences into a hyper-active mode of whistling and cheering. Dialogues that don’t add any weight make their way into Hyper. Where’s the silver lining of a masala film if the lines are all punch-less?

Sathyaraj is becoming a key supporting actor in Telugu cinema. The character he plays in Hyper is closely related to the one he played in Brahmotsavam. If it was togetherness that put Sathyaraj’s character on a pedestal, it is honesty in Hyper. Rao Ramesh delivers a clear winner with his portrayal of an evil Minister. Though, we are used to his range now, he keeps pulling one rabbit after another from his hat. It’s hard to imagine some other actor in his shoes. Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha’s Murali Sharma resurfaces in Hyper. This time, however, he’s a little less foolish.

If you want to know why Indian cinema doesn’t take into account the strength of a female character, the curious case of the female lead in Hyper is a good place to start. The pretty lady, Raashi, does nothing but pack her heart in a cute box called love and courier it to Ram. Her purpose is to serve the needs of songs, and pump imbecility in the name of innocence (she gives Rs. 10,000 on the spot to a stranger after listening to a dumb story. The stranger happens to be the hero, but that’s an argument reserved for another day).

The volume in the title is certainly present in the film, yet the meandering streams of ridiculousness are too many to make this a commendable one.

Rating: 2 out of 5
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#49
Mirzya...Dud with a thud!


MUMBAI: Mirzya is a fantasy, romantic, thriller as the tagline describes it. The inspiration is claimed to be the folk story of Mirza Sahiban which is one of the four Punjabi love stories popular to date in local folk. As with others, the love story of Mirza Sahiban made it to folklore mainly on the strength of its tragic ingredients.

To start with its descriptions, Mirzya is neither a fantasy nor a thriller and, when it comes to love, it backfires on just about every count -- be it depth or chemistry. As an inspiration from Mirza Sahiban, it does injustice to the folklore. The film runs on two tracks, that of the folklore and the other being the maker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s contemporary version. To what avail a viewer is at loss to know.

In a small town in Rajashthan, Harshvardhan Kapoor’s character goes to the same school as Saiyami Kher’s, the daughter of a policeman played by Art Malik. The two are inseparable and share a bond. Once the teacher asks Kapoor to submit his homework which he does but the teacher can make out that it is copied from Saiyami’s notes. When he wants to compare the two, just to save Kapoor from teacher’s lashes, she lies and says she has not done her homework. The lashes are for her now as is the school’s tradition. At every lash that Saiyami bears, her winces make Kapoor lose his mind. He steals Malik’s pistol and shoots the teacher.

Consigned to a children’s home, he does not plan to stay there for long. He has to go back to Saiyami. He breaks out but, as it happens in films, Saiyami has left the town with her father not to come face to face with Kapoor any time soon.

Time has elapsed and Saiyami is returning from wherever she was all these years. She is engaged to the local prince, Anuj Chaudhry. Her father is now the commissioner of police and fit enough for a family bonding with royalty headed by K K Raina. Rajasthan may be old-fashioned when it comes to traditions but Saiyami makes the palace her home where she is being trained in to the royal ways. Her first lessons are in horse riding and, guess who the stable head is? Kapoor, of course.

Soon, as if on cue, Saiyami starts rattling to Kapoor the story of her childhood and the boy she knew who cared very much for her. The love is rekindled. Saiyami, who just a few scenes back was coochie-cooing with her fiancé, Anuj, is now in love with Kapoor.

The romance of Kapoor and Saiyami blossoms with no holds barred as they romp around town, its forts and the countryside. There are no prying eyes, no gossip. So what if Saiyami is the royalty’s bahu to be? That is till the time the duo plans to elope. Eloping is always reserved for the wedding day and, in keeping with the tradition, Saiyami has escaped while her groom, Anuj, waits for the rituals to start.

Mirzya starts off with a deceptive title; the name has nothing to do with any character in the film. It is just an attempt to give the film a pretentious air. The love story of star-crossed lovers offers no novelty even if branded after Mirza Sahiban. Scripting is poor. The direction borders on mediocre. Dialogue lacks the required feel (Raina even mouths his dialogue in Punjabi!). Lyrics writing is uninspiring which reflects on soulless songs. The one positive in the film is its cinematography.

As for performances, a newcomers’ love story hinges majorly on the chemistry between the lead pair which is totally lacking in this film. Kapoor and Saiyami both lack screen presence and, as far as acting talent goes, they have a long way to go. Anuj is the one who does a sincere job. Rest fill the bill. MIrzya is one of the poorest films to hit the screen in recent times.

Producers: Rohit Khattar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, P.S. Bharathi, Rajiv Tandon.

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhry, Anjali Patil, Om Puri, Art Malik, K. K. Raina.

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#50
Tutak Tutak Tutiya..Nothing to sing and dance about!


Tutak Tutak Tutiya (also made in Tamil as Devi and Telugu as Abhinetri) is a comedy film with a touch of horror to its story. As such, the film features actors whose faces are well recognized by the southern India audience. It has a blend of south and Hindi film actors with the Hindi actors being ones who have done a number of films in southern languages.

The character of Prabhu Deva (used to be Dheva for a while) has settled in Mumbai to make a living and made progress from a dispatch boy to a decent post. He is recalled to his native place in Kerala because his grandmother is on her deathbed.

Once in his village, the grandmother now wants to see him married to a nice girl. After seeing a dozen or so girls, the grandmother approves of Tamannaah. Deva is a habitual proposal maker. He approaches every single but English-speaking girl in sight and always carries his CV printout.

Coming back as a married man, Deva keeps pretending he is still single for this is not the kind of girl he had in mind for marriage. After all, she is a village girl and can’t speak English!

Deva shifts into a rented house with his new bride. Tamannaah surprises him on many counts as against his expectations, she can speak fluent Hindi and also cook the dishes he desires. But, the biggest surprise she springs on him is when he takes her along for a film awards function where he suddenly sees her on stage in trendy short dress dancing like a star and later also joins Sonu Sood, the award function’s best actor award winner, over drinks. She even speaks English now!

Deva can’t figure out what got into his wife because next morning she does not remember a thing from the night before. To add to Deva’s troubles, Sonu is besotted by Tamannaah and wants her to do a film with him. Deva is trapped because he does not want anybody to know he is married to Tamannaah.

Tamannaah not only keeps alternating between a simple village girl to a modern-day city girl who also agrees to do a film with Sonu. When she is his village-bred wife, she is comely, homely and caring while, otherwise, she is aggressive, bent on acting and there is no way can Deva stop her.

That is when the touch of supernatural comes in. The house they have shifted into was earlier occupied by a girl called Ruby, an aspiring actor who was signed for a film against Sonu but dropped at the last moment leading her to suicide. Her ghost gets into Tamannaah to fulfill her desire to act.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya had a good idea going for it but somewhere on the writing table, it has not been expanded on sincerely. The comedy lacks in this comic film. The direction is average. Music does not meet the requirements of a film counting on dances; the songs lacking in popular appeal.

Dialogue is good at places but too subtle. Editing-wise, the second half needs some trimming. Deva looks fresher but disappoints his fans as he has few dancing moments in the film. Sood dancing in his stead is no consolation and shows it is not his forte. Tamannaah does very well. Murli Sharma shines.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya has no drawing power and will make the list of also rans.

Producers: SonuSood.

Director: Vijay.

Cast: Prabhu Deva, SonuSood, Tamannaah, Murali Sharma, Amy Jackson, Esha Gupta and Farah Khan in guest appearance.

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