Dekho! For the exquisite settings, larger than life drama and perfect cinematography. Every rope in place, every cloud with perfect colouring and the period costume such a welcome change from the glam and glitter of YRF films.
Thugs and Baaghi
Amitabh Bachchan as Azad, not just a title but an inspiration of freedom and the rebel princess, Fatima Shaikh set up their hideout in North India by the ocean and no amount of artistic license allows you to digest this geographic impossibility. Ila Arun as the medicine woman who doesn’t always get her potions right is barely funny.
One fleeting scene with the good looking thugs of the 1700s barely shows the horrors they wrought.
Cross ya Double-cross
Aamir Khan can’t make up his mind and neither will you, whether he is a good guy or bad. The curly hair and nose pin adds the swag that he lights up the screen with.
Aamir and his friend, Zeeshan Ayub’s comic timing not being bang on is disappointing though. Katrina Kaif as Suraiya Jaan with the exotic looks is the ultimate letdown as she just does not fit in with her glitzy costumes and jhatak phatak dance moves as a 18th century nautch girl.
Lloyd Owen and Gavin Marshall have played the mean ruthless role of East India Company officers very well.
Remake or Not
Perhaps remix or mashup of multiple movies and themes would be better suited descriptions. You can play a guessing game of ‘which movie..which movie’ for every scene.
3 on 10, No more
Wonder what director, Vijay Krishna Acharya really had in mind. Epic or fantasy? It’s sad that the stars are bigger than the story which seems to sink steadily right from the start.
Aiyaary…means the art of deceiving which seems magical. The promos, however, did look promising and magical and being a fan of Neeraj Pandey’s direction, it pulled me to theater to watch it.
As the promos suggests, the movie is based on the Indian army where Siddharth Malhotra is playing the role of Jai Bakshi who is a part of special force (a secret force/division) that performs the coveted operations of the Indian army. He is led by Manoj Bajpayee aka Abhay Singh, the “Aiyaar” of the movie along with 5 other members. Jai Bakshi, while doing his job finds out some dirty secrets of the army and the insiders behind it. Analyzing what would happen to him, his team, army or the country for that matter if the conspiracy he found out about an arms and ammunition deal cracks down. So, he decides to handle it his own way which, in turn, makes him go rogue and projects him as a traitor. Manoj Bajpayee gets on a mission to stop Jai Bakshi, the brightest and his favorite member of the team and his girl friend Sonia (Rakul Preet Singh), the internet hacker, from getting successful in their mission.
Aiyaary Acting Performances:
Manoj Bajpayee has done total justice to his character with his flamboyant acting skills. He looks convincing in the role he plays and steals the show. Siddharth, however, nowhere looks like a soldier…just by wearing the uniform, one can not become or portray an army man. Aiyaary as a film has a brigade of fine actors like Kumud Mishra, Anupam Kher, Pooja Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah, and Adil Hussain, but none of them were given the roles that they could have nailed it. In fact, their appearances were so short and untactful that it made me disappointed. The plot was not easily understandable or intriguing. It was a confusing story. Dialogues and screenplay were very weak. The direction was very poor. The only reason I kept glued to the movie was because I was waiting that may be something interesting would happen. The scenes were too exaggerated and boring at times. The climax of the movie was totally abrupt. It left you with a feeling that the plot defeated the purpose it actually based on. Didn’t feel like it was a Neeraj Pandey movie…It felt so amateurish. All n all not worth spending time n money.
When two stalwarts come together, you get a power packed film. When the plot is original and based on real-life events, you get to watch realistic, off beat cinema. When it’s embellished with top quality performance from the entire supporting cast and crew, you get an award-winning film!!
Raid is a brilliant political thriller movie. The story is so gripping, the dialogues so crisp, the characters so real and the plot so interesting that you are on the edge until the end. It is a treat to watch Ajay Devgn and more so, Saurabh Shula. He is outstanding! Amma ji (played by Pushpa Joshi) is another character that’s really fun to watch.
Despite the intense story-line, Raid packs more than a few laughs, keeping the mood light and interesting-great work with the screenplay and dialogues here. There is hardly any loose end or stretch, so full points for the editing. The realistic sets have recreated early 1980s that add to the character of the film. The only thing that I would have changed are the 2 songs. I understand why they were included but feel that excluding them would have helped the film.
Overall a very entertaining and inspiring watch. I won’t be surprised if Raid movie wins a National Award. Also hats off to the real-life hero who conducted this raid in 1981. Love the movies based on actual events.
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Japanese, Hindi
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Chungking Express Movie Review
I had a mixed bunch of feelings after seeing this film. I had seen Wong Kar-wai’s ‘In mood for love’ which is a visual stunner with a very impressive background score. Chungking Express is less about the story or content and more about the visual style of depiction blended with different music scores. The movie features a lot of 80s pop, romantic jazz (saxophone playing in a couple of scenes is awesome in creating a seductive feel), Bhangra, Indian classical. Also Fayes’s (Faye Wong) addiction to the song ‘California Dreams’ by Papas and mama’s and the Cantonese rendition of a popular song by ‘Cranberries’.
Chungking Express Story-line
In terms of content the movie talks about love, hope and loneliness. The movie is in two parts, both of which are love stories-the first one is more grim and the second one has a comic sense. Both stories involve a cop, in and out of love.
In the first story a young guy, Cop 663 (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) has had a break up and is looking for another woman to come into his life. His meditation on the fact that ‘everything in life comes with an expiry date, even love and relationships’, is kind of okay. The portrayal of the city life with all the hustle bustle and busy criminal world is lovely. The streets are filled with people and neon lights, a typical feel of urbanization. Here the visual style blended with a tapestry of musical scores, bringing out the existence of multi-ethnic city life is almost dizzying…at times intoxicating! I liked the way the film talks about our sometimes ‘bizarre’ existence in a city where millions live. We are nothing more than a product with an expiry date.
I could also very well relate to the desperation that comes out of loneliness, sometimes finding it difficult to find a person you can talk to. I liked the scenes in the second story where the Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro), in bout of loneliness keeps talking to the soft toys. I have rarely seen men communicating with a soft toy. Many say it makes men look sissy. I disagree. The cop here looks more humane trying to overcome his adversity. The scenes where this cop talks to a torn mop, as if it were a human, brings out anxiety, desperation and sense of urgency to the whole situation.
Faye Wong’s portrayal of a free spirited, fun loving girl is particularly impressive. Her big eyes are so expressive, filled with hope and freshness. I love the scene where she finds a long strand of hair on the cop’s bed and cries bitterly like a child. Its too funny!
My Verdict of Chungking Express
The movie beautifully expresses the fetish of the east for the western culture. Here western culture seems to be an escapade, a promised land that can take away all your worries!
Personally for me the treatment of the movie is nice and with a fine balance between the more serious plot of the first story and a refreshing, comic look of the second story. But I still feel the movie is a lot of stylization and treatment without any concrete content.
Chungking Express Trivia:
Quentin Tarantino, after watching Chungking Express said, “I started crying. I’m just so happy to love a movie this much.”
The directed Wong Kar-Wai-Wong is hailed by many as the new Godard!