Bahubali – the Conclusion

Jai Maheshwati!

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The first thing that one has talk about this 2 Hrs 47 min feature film is the visual spectacle it showcases. The sets are so spell bounding that Sanjay leela Bhansali should enrol for a crash course with SS Rajamouli. The dancer movements, battle formations and even the daily court sessions are so perfectly in synchronization that the person with the highest OCD like Monica will approve.

The plot takes up from exactly the point where it left of in the part-1. The expected cast reprise their respective characters in the sequel. About 90% of the story is in the flashback so Devasena (Anushka) is shown in her youth. Rest of the characters are differentiated by their facial hair colour from the 1st part. Everyone have black hair, black beard and some of them even black heart. Rana Daggubati have worked super hard on his body to build those muscles which have been given the screen space for the entire 12 seconds of the movie.

The plot is so detail oriented that even a fly cannot get in, editing is very tight. Prabhas dominates the entire screen space in most of the shots and his absence is very strongly felt in the sequences he is absent. Special mention of brilliant acting by industry veterans like Nassar (as the handicapped father) and National Award winner Satyaraj (Katappa of course!) and the large angry eyes of Ramya Krishnan (Rajmata Sivagami devi)

Ok, agreed that this is an era movie but the over the top unbelievable VFX graphics becomes annoying after the 1st few times of – Oh really, he broke that? or Oh really, he jumped that? But overall the cinematic experience is quite good especially if you are watching in 4K Ultra HD enabled theatres. The song Hamsa Naava features a flying ship (this is not a spoiler!) with exceptional cloud swan animations which would easily put pirates of the Caribbean ship graphics to shame. Interesting trivia is that the title song – Saahore Baahubali major portion is sung by Daler Mehndi himself.

Watch the movie for everything – the plot twist, the action, the graphics, the songs and not just to get the answer for that one question that’s haunting you for the last 2 years.

Verdict – Yes! The movie answers the question and its totally worth it.

Naam Shabana

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Its good to know that like marvel & DC even Indian movies are getting into origin stories. The familiar characters portrayed in BABY (2015) resurface again minus Rana Daggubati who is busy with Bahubali2 release.

There is no doubt that Naam shabana is a no non-sense kick ass action thriller. The story starts with establishing the normalcy of the college going Shabana with a past. Manoj Bajpayee as the handler and recruiter is near perfect. The supporting cast include familiar faces including Anupam Kher and his ridiculous wig playing Shukla. Of course Akshay kumar had to be a part of this movie, how else would you establish the making of BABY-2 which I am quite sure is already in Neeraj Pandey’s pipeline.

The direction is handled by Shivam Nair. Shivam nair is more famous in the TV circuit. His notable contribution was ‘Sea Hawks’ of the 90s in DD Metro. But Neeraj Pandey has kept the Production, writing & screenplay to himself. Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the suave arms dealer, being the main baddie he could have been given more screen space as he is brilliant when it comes to negative roll (Kana Kandaen – 2006 tamil movie) and also can hold his own (Aurangzeb – 2013, Hindi)

Tapsee herself is absolutely fantastic; it’s difficult to acknowledge anything other than her when she is on screen. Her transformation from South masala movie heroine to character roles likes Pink and now this is truly mind blowing, The plot is tight, screenplay is crisp, the song ‘Zubi Zubi’remix is foot tapping. The action choreography is realistic along with the actors themselves.

A bit more editing to bring the entire movie under 2 hours would have made it more watchable. The climax mission could have been a bit detailed whereas the prep could have been cut shorter. As a result the execution is not that great

Verdict – If you liked BABY in 2015, you will like this as well

Dangal

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There is a reason Amir Khan is called a perfectionist. Ignoring all the comments about Amir’s weight Dangal is a brilliant piece of art.

This is the biography of struggle by Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two daughters. A national level wrestler himself in his prime years Mahavir decides to realize his dreams through his daughters. This movie is crude, realistic and a tad bit rustic. The entirety of 2 Hours and 41 minutes the audience sits with rapt attention. Everything is just perfect – the severity, the comic relief, the emotion, even the local Haryanvi dialect spoken.

The hardwork put in by the girls is seen in plain sight, the sport choreography is very realistic and not even one song is out of place. Both girls Fathima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra are excellent casting discovery. Sakshi Tanwar as the silent, caring but helpless mother of four girls is brilliant.

Once again Amitabh Bhattacharya lyrics are very deep and Pritam hits the right notes. Title Song is by ‘Daler Mehandi’ and is pure brilliance (reminds a bit of rang de basanti title song) ‘Dhaakad’ by ‘Raftaar’ is also quite refreshing.

In conclusion – After a long time such a beautiful movie is on screen which has such a microscopic eye for detail, the first half has the energy of ‘Chak De India’ and the second half has the struggle of ‘Saala Khadoos’ but leaps and bounds better execution than either of these movies.

Verdict – haven’t booked the tickets yet?

 

 

Befikre

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Yes, Befikre is definitely a love story.

Set in the beautiful city of Paris the story shuttles between the 1 year gap showing the relashionship-development between Dharam and Shyra. The flashback and present transitions are signified by hum-tum style drawings and feels a bit unnecessary to the screenplay.

Dharam is a stand-up comic from Delhi recently arrived in Paris and Shyra is a free-spirited girl brought up in France by her Indo-French chef parents. The relationship starts with a dare and the free-spirit modern attitude is portrayed quite effectively.

The cast and crew have quite a few French involvements and the lead actors have adopted their characters very well. When it comes to the intimate scenes both look at ease and the onscreen chemistry is pleasant to watch. The director is very seasoned in love stories and hence is almost flawless, editing is very efficient. Music by Vishal-Shekhar duo along with Mikey McCleary is quite refreshing.(BTW…Mickey is the Brother in Law of Lucky Ali) ‘Nashe Si Chad Gayi’ by Arijit and ‘Ude Dil Befikre’ by Benny Dayal are already topping the charts. The surprise number ‘khulke dhulke’ by Punjabi Rock-star Gippy Grewal has turned out quite good.

Both the lead pair can dance quite well and has done justice to all the peppy songs

In conclusion this is a feel good love story which reminds you of ‘love aaj kal’, ‘Friends with benefits’ and maybe a bit of ‘The ugly truth’.

Verdict – Watch it – Befikar

Rock On 2

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RockOn was released in 2008 which was directed by Abhishek Kapoor. The main reason for its success was the fiery rebel music and the story itself and of course the smart direction. But RockOn2 is a complete contrast. The director was changed, glamour added to the cast and of course the entire movie genre became different. This is no longer a musical journey instead this is a complete masala movie with too many boring songs.

Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) and his husky voice both relocate to Meghalaya and that’s not for the scenery alone. Joe (Arjun Rampal) is now a successful (read wealthy) club owner and reality show host with a bad haircut and KD (Purab kohli) is narrator of the movie taking time out from his…..wait what is his job again ? no clue. Anyway, so enter Shraddha Kapoor with utmost confidence which is the same expression she gave in ‘ek villian’

Direction is pointless as the best moments of the movie are ruined by bad camera. Sometimes it is way too zoomed in and at other times it is microscopic zoomed out. Shraddha Kapoor does not look as good as you expect with every frame zoomed to her nose or her long forehead (seriously? I hadn’t noticed her forehead before).

In this five years’ flash-back/flash forward storyline the screenplay could have made a lot of difference but was completely wasted just like Prachi Desai looking clueless with another bad haircut.

The songs are long and just refuse to get over. Only the “Hoi Kiw/Chalo Chalo” by Usha Uthup and SummerSalt Band showed some promise. The best song still is the Rock On title track from the original movie.

In conclusion, as said before this is a masala movie which has all elements for a flop and the humanitarian angle is unappealing. The music is soddy and the beautiful Indian locations are not capitalized.

Verdict – Rock Off.

FORCE2

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Let me begin by saying that this apple has fallen quite far from the tree. It is way better than the original Force in every aspect. The plot is very tight and keeps you on edge throughout the 1st half. Abhinay Deo is the guy who shot to fame with debut direction ‘Delhi Belly’.

John’s ripped muscles and the 8 pack abs are put to good use that the lack of expression on his face can be easily forgiven, there is a towel scene as well. Sonakshi maintains her no nonsense ‘Akira’ attitude. But the highlight of the cast is Tahir Raj Bhasin. Remember the baddie in ‘Mardaani’. Even here he is his nasty best. Slewed remarks and sarcastic tidbits brings about a rawness in the character which makes it believable and at the same time fear him.

Rest of the cast just goes unnoticed but the cameos by Raj Babbar, Jenelia Deshmukh and Boman Irani are welcome surprises. The direction is neat; cinematography is exceptional and editing is strict keeping the slag moments at a minimum. The fight sequences could have been shortened a bit.

Special mention to the innovative first person camera at the climax fight sequence in the style of ‘Quake arena’

Verdict – if action thrillers your favorite genre then you should not miss it.

Shivaay

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This is a through and through Ajay Devgan movie. He has written the story, directed, produced, and named the movie in his character name. The expat female leads look almost uninterested on the whole affair. Sayesha looks out of place and a tad bit confused. Ajay Devgan himself looks very tired and worn out playing so many roles associated with the same movie.

Shivaay is potrayed as a Himalayan mountaineer guide who has tattoos of snake& trishul and smokes chillam while pulling impossible stunts using just a pair of hooks. He is shirtless in extreme cold weather and expressionless throughout the movie. It takes about an hour to even build up to the story.

The 1st half has been shot in Missouri and the 2nd half in Bulgaria and is really picturous. The car chases and fight sequences are too much over the top and the story reminds that of taken series. The flying cars and uncalculated bridge jumps indicates towards the director’s ‘rohit shetty’ hangover.

Girish karnad and Vir Das have been wasted and not been given virtually any screen-space. Otherwise soulful songs by Arijit and Kailash kher go unregistered in the background but ‘Raatein’ by Jasleen Royal is quite prominent and well timed.

Few father-daughter moments are shot quite well and the rap-chant by Baadshah – ‘bolo har har’ is utilized in almost all action sequences appropriately.

Verdict – Taken 1 & Taken 2 put together running time is 191 Minutes and Shivaay alone is 173 minutes long. Interested patrons are advised to carry lunch, pillow & blankets to the theater.