Category Archives: Indian Movies

Dhanak Movie Review

Movie: Dhanak                                      Release Year: 2016

Country: India (Bollywood)                 Language: Hindi (Rajasthani Dialect)

Genre: Adventure, Drama

 

Dhanak Movie Review:

I have not watched many of Nagesh Kukunoor‘s films, but I have great respect for his kind of cinema. When a friend shared the trailer of Dhanak I couldn’t wait to watch it.

Dhanak Storyline:

It’s a road film where 2 kids travel through rural Rajasthan to meet Shah Rukh Khan. The lead pair – sister Hetal Gadda and brother Krrish Chhabria are both a treat to watch. Hetal Gada as Pari is very convincing as the elder sister – simple, caring, protecting and also cursing the little brother at times. Krrish Chhabria plays the younger blind brother and oh boy! He’s a rock star. He has too much spunk for someone who’s blind, but it’s so entertaining that you don’t complain.

The chemistry between the two and their constant banter makes you believe they are really siblings. There is no doubt that they care deeply for each other yet there is not one mushy moment between the two, their love for each other shines through their playful leg pulling and teasing – typical of most sibling relationships.

During their adventurous journey the kids meet a variety of people on their way, make new friends, fall prey to a trick, get sick but it all ends well. Even though the situations and people are too good to be true in real life, you want to believe in them.

You want someone to offer food to the hungry kids, someone to be kind to them, someone to save them when they are in trouble and someone to make their wish come true. Nagesh Kukunoor has beautifully captured the innocence of the children, whether it’s how easily they trust strangers or how they dream about building a house of sweets or how the boy is perpetually hungry and not ashamed of asking a stranger for ghewar (a sweet famous in Rajasthan).

There is a fair share of humor in the film, partly contributed by the conversations and partly by the characters. The film stands true to its name (Dhanak means Rainbow) with the colorful details such as Bullet Baba shrine which thrives on offerings of liquor bottles, a Godwoman who confesses she was an aspiring actress before switching ‘careers’, an opportunist who makes money by letting people take a selfie with the selfie he took with the superstar; all adding to the fun element.

The delight in the girl’s eyes in the last scene makes you forget you are watching a film. There’s too much sincerity in those eyes.

Dhanak Verdict:

Overall, Dhanak is a feel good film, infused with Kukunoor’s trademark elements of love and friendship. I enjoyed watching it immensely and am sure others will find it as entertaining.

Reviewed By: Aparna Kunal Jain

She manages a Facebook Group called “The Movie Club“…!

Mohenjo Daro Movie Review

Movie: Mohenjo Daro                          Release Year: 2016

Country: India (Bollywood)                 Language: Hindi

Genre: Adventure, Action, Drama

Mohenjo Daro Movie Review:

When I was told Mohenjo Daro is directed by the man who gave us Swades, Lagaan and Jodha Akbar, my expectations from the film increased many-folds and I ended up watching it today. BIG MISTAKE!

The film is such a disaster that writing the review also feels like a waste of time. The opening scene paints a larger than life picture of the orphaned small town Hero who longs for big city charms. Sounds familiar??? Well, this is just the beginning. The film is the same song and drama that has been done to death in Bollywood. I was shocked to see a Director of Ashutosh Gowariker’s calibre couldn’t give a single creative twist to the age old story. The film partly reminds me of Baahubali and partly of Harry Potter but neither it had the grandeur of the former, nor the magic of the latter.

The only ‘new’ thing about Mohenjo Daro was the backdrop of an ancient civilization. I guess Ashutosh Gowariker got so carried away with the idea of making a film on a unique era that he didn’t focus on the story at all. His only focus seems to be on the historical detailing which also is far from authentic. It is a period film but the characters use modern day abuses, the head gear and dresses of the female lead are very elaborate and revealing, the ancient sets and festivities can beat the modern day rural areas and there clearly hasn’t been made much effort in the language. The characters have weird names, say janawar in place of jaanwar, son in place of sona, sat in place of satya and turantu in place of turant… and that’s where Gowariker’s creativity ends.

I don’t understand why the heroine always get to wear sexy clothes irrespective of the backdrop of the film, how Hero & Heroine romance in public yet the villain staring at them is oblivious to the chemistry, how Heroine rushes to hug Hero in the arena itself after his fight, how Hero gets beaten black and blue in a major fight but comes around and beats his rivals to pulp later, why do the rivals come one by one and not attack the Hero together, even the cannibals seem to keep the discipline. These are extremely silly yet very common scenarios in Bollywood, but one doesn’t expect Ashutosh Gowariker to fall prey to these cheap tactics.

At the end when the Hero wins over the Villain, gets the kingdom and the girl, you feel the torture is finally over but no! The Director wants the Hero to be the saviour of the civilization as well. There is just no end to the heroism of our Hero. Also, there was a huge deal about Chaani being Sindhu Ma ka vardaan or something and that she will save the civilization one day throughout the film, yet all she does is romance the Hero and tell him she has to keep her father’s promise and marry the villain. I kept waiting until the end for this prophecy to come true but seems like the Director got so busy helping the Hero do one super human act after the other that he forgot to tie this loose end.

The only thing that I liked about the film was the song Tu hai. It’s soft and melodious. The performances are mediocre. Pooja Hedge is pretty but she sucks at acting. Nothing else stands out.

My suggestion: Don’t watch even for Hritik Roshan. AVOID!!!

Reviewed By: Aparna Kunal Jain

She manages a Facebook Group called “The Movie Club“…!

Madaari – Movie Review

Movie: Madaari                                    Release Year: 2016

Country: India (Bollywood)                 Language: Hindi

Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama

Madaari 2016 Movie Review:

The film got many of us intrigued with its trailer. The punch line ‘बाज़ चूज़ पे झपटा.. उठा ले गया, कहानी सच्ची लगती है लेकिन अच्छी नही लगती! बाज़ पे पलट वॉर हुआ कहानी सच्ची नही लगती पर खुदा कसम बहुत अच्छी लगती है!’ got our attention. Add to it Irrfan Khan, a socio-political back drop and the Director (Nishikant Kamant) who gave us Drishyam and you think you have the perfect recipe of a super hit. Only, it fails to reach anywhere close to our expectations.

The story is fairly predictable and constantly reminded of A Wednesday. It keeps going back and forth, which, instead of adding to the experience took away the impact of some intense scenes. Irrfan Khan is the lone shining star of the film. He’s brilliant and his performance stands out in each scene. You really feel sorry for him when he’s sharing his story with the young boy. Sadly, all other actors are mediocre, including Jimmy Shergill. There was so much potential for Jimmy Shergill’s character but he didn’t deliver much.

Besides Irrfan Khan, the only thing I liked in Madaari was the alternate ending. The Director has shown two possible scenarios – one realistic and one idealistic. The unrealistic one is where you really feel you have had enough. No matter how much you want to believe in the system or in the power of the common man, you know there are some things that will never happen, that can never happen. The alternate end is one of those.

Madaari Story-line:

The film seemed to revolve around father son relationships – Irrfan Khan with his son, the old man who’s collecting compensation for his son’s death, Home minister and his kidnapped son. However, the Home Minister didn’t really seem to care much about his son. Even towards the end when he gets to see his kidnapped son, he shows terrible lack of emotions that a normal person would feel under the same circumstances. I also didn’t understand why the Director needed to bring in the element of Mother who left Irrfan Khan and her son but roots for him on social media years later. Why not just show she died or something!

Rating & Verdict:

Overall, Madaari is an average film, there’s no punch, not enough thrill and the takeaway message is also something that has been done many times before, in better ways. With the little time I have for watching films these days it seemed like a waste of time.

Reviewed By: Aparna Kunal Jain

She manages a Facebook Group called “The Movie Club“…!

 

Bangistan Review

Movie – Bangistan

Release Year –  2015

Country of Origin: India (Bollywood)

Languages – Hindustani (Urdu+Hindi), Polish & English (Few Dialogues)

Genre – Comedy

Bangistan Review:

I am sure by now everyone must have either seen or decided not to see Bangistan at all. And, the reason is obvious Bangistan is a small budget film that even failed to match its budget. The critics have literally abused Bangistan everywhere. People have made fun of Karan Anshuman’s “unique effort”.

But, if you trust me then Bangistan is not that bad a movie. It is a kind of “social experimental” in nature that awfully fails to create any impact on the society. The reason is quite simple to understand. This film has “exaggeration” everywhere in the script. The fact that it stars Ritiesh Deshmukh ( Hafeez Bin Ali/Ishwarchand Sharma) & Pulkit Samrat (Praveen Chaturvedi/Allah Rakha Khan) doesn’t help the cause either.

Story-line & Plot:

The movie is about a region called Bangistan that’s divided between North (Muslim Majority) & South (Hindu Majority). It is a satire on “fundamentalism” that exists in ample form in our present society. There is a conference in Karakow, Poland. The two religious leaders of North & South Bangistan decides to give a message of peace for the people of their country.

But, some people are not happy with their motive of peace. Al Kaam-Tamaam (North Bangistan) and Maa Ka Dal of (South Bnagistan) decides to send their “suicide bombers” to the conference. Hafeez Bin Ali a Muslim, disguises as Ishwarchand Sharma and Praveen Chaturvedi a Hindu, turns himself into Allah Rakha Khan.

Coincidently, they both stay at the same place in Karakow. Gradually, both explore the truth” about their respective religions from each other. Suddenly, there is a change of heart for Hafeez Bin Ali and he decides to stop Praveen.

My Rating & Verdict:

I rated Bangistan 7/10, and felt that it was a good effort by Karan Anshuman. But, it lacked maturity in narration as well as direction. Karan has dealt with a very sensitive topic of “Hindu-Muslim” in a comic way. And, I feel this is the reason it doesn’t go down well with viewers. The story too is light and hardly feels intriguing enough.

Anyways, if you have some free time and nothing worthy of watching. Then at least give Bangistan a chance. May be you will understand the lesson behind the satire which unfortunately most people didn’t…

Stay-tuned for many more reviews to follow…!