Fantastic beasts and where to find them

fantastic-beasts-sequel-03aug16

At the outset JK Rowling must recognise the fact that not all book writers can write screenplay. With the last movie of Harry potter series in 2011, the director David Yates had set a bar for us and when the same guy comes up with FBAWTFT (wow, even the acronym is too long) the expectation are high. But unfortunately, the essence of magic is lost the moment you look at Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne in his underacting methods. Eddie Redmayne is the same guy who delivered a brilliant performance in ‘the Danish girl’ but unfortunately he is not the right cast selection for Newt.

The rustic world of magic is upgraded to a slightly modern version in its new setting in New York and most of the daily magical awe is replaced with ‘seen that before’ graphics. The spells are unrecognizable except ‘Alahamora’ and at the final scene ‘Revealio’ and the muggles are called ‘no-maj’, as in no magic, Really?

Collin farrel looks like count Dracula instead of a ministry official and the leading lady Katherine Waterston looks and acts like the unmarried aunt of the house.

The cast selection is uninteresting and in the attempt to bring back the magical world the animators have gone overboard, and so the result is excess magical intervention which is unappreciated, but the 3D effect is very good. The beasts themselves are adorable animations but have very little screen space.

In conclusion, a simpler non-glamorous direction and tight editing could have improved the experience but the screenplay itself is the biggest drawback.

Verdict – trust me, finding this beast of a movie is not worth it.

 

Rock On 2

rock_on_2_poster

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

force2

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.

Doctor Strange

logo

So, the big news is that Marvel Studios has come up with a new logo animation which is way cooler than DC Comics logo.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the arrogant yet genius neurosurgeon doctor Stephen Strange. The good doctor soon meets with an accident and his hands are subjected to multiple fracture leaving his hands shaking just like the movie itself. As is the case usually in situations like these there is no cure – or is there?

Halfway through the movie people starts missing Rachael McAdams and so she is brought back in the action and is seen wheeling patients into an operating theater, twice with confused looking staff all around.

The best performance without any doubt is by ‘special effects’. The inception style dimension change and of course the journey through multiverse (not universe) is very well designed. Tilda Swinton as ‘the ancient one’ is not convincing at all and the baddy is played by Mad Mikkelsen, the same guy who was the bad guy in James bond Casino Royale, he was much meaner and terror invoking then but here he just falls flat with black kohl makeup below his eyes.

In conclusion, this is a movie for those who already know the history of Doctor Strange or has a fetish for 3D visual effects. Direction by Scott Derrickson is crisp but a bit of creative screenplay could have done wonders to the movie experience.

Verdict: Watch the animated movie instead – ‘Doctor Strange – Sorcerer Supreme’ or If you are a Bendict Cumberbatch fan – wait for Sherlock Season4 premiering on 17th Jan 2017.

 

 

 

Shivaay

shivaay

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.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

ae-dil-hai-mushkil

The entire ordeal is 2 hours & 38 minutes long. After a while people feel – ‘theatre mein baitna hai mushkil’ in fact a few patrons got up from their seats thinking the movie is over and sat back realizing it is not, and this happened twice.

Karan Johar is still in the hangover of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and completely ruins kuch kuch hota hai in multiple occasions. The storytelling is over the top, the casting is just about ok and I am pretty sure there was no editing done at all.

The only thing holding the movie together is Arijit Singh’s soulful voice, Amitabh bhattacharya for his amazingly deep lyrics and Anushka Sharma for taking the movie forward throughout even when she is off the screen.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan falls face flat in the few screen footages she has been allowed and Fawad Khan Stands out like a sore thumb, rest of the casting is non-existent. The first half is sort of watchable with déjà vu of bachna ae hasino, anjaana-anjaani, & tamasha. The movie goes a steep downhill from the second half, the damage is so much that even a guest appearance from the king khan himself is unable to salvage the wreckage.

But, there is one good news take away – finally after 18 years from release of Kuch Kuch Hota hai finally Karan Johar eats his words and declares – ‘Ladka aur Ladki Dost Ban sakte hain’

Verdict – watch it if you must but you have been warned.

 

Pink

pink

Pink is the truth, be prepared to face it even before you enter the theatre or multiplex premise. This is not a movie which you can watch while munching a pop-corn or sipping coke. Prepare yourself for anger and self-disgust for what is to come.

The last time we saw Taapsee Pannu was in chashme baddoor, this is not the same girl for sure, after a long time Amitabh is playing a supporting role and it is refreshing to see that the focus is not really on him. Wherever Shoojit Sircar is involved the level of intellectual content is scaled up quite high, each and every scene in the movie is content rich and thought provoking.

The lives of three office-going Delhi girls are portrayed here, along with the brooding & sulking old man next door played by Amitabh. When the crisis is at hand nobody stands with the small group of truth, instead everyone sides with power. The director Aniruddha portrays gray, brown and other darker shades with finesse. The editing is sharp and the screenplay is brilliant. Few glitches in supporting actor casting can be easily overlooked.

When the movie gets over you realize that you are angry. Mainly for two reasons – first is that you feel that the punishment is not good enough and second you realize that this is the truth and not just a movie. This review is short because the 136 minute inside the theatre has to be felt and not written about.

Verdict – watch it because you need to