Dear Zindagi (HINDI)

srk-alia-dear-zindagi-movie-new-look-posters

Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and many more
Editing : Hemanti Sarkar
Music : Amit Trivedi
Cinematography : Laxman Utekar
Directed by: Gauri Shinde

Four years after her much-appreciated debut with ‘English Vinglish‘, filmmaker Gauri Shinde is back with another female protagonist-centered story. This time she has got the youngest actor for the lead role along with support from a popular actor. Lets see what the movie has to deal with life.

Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a cinematographer by profession is seeking an opportunity to shoot a full length feature film. As she tries to move on with her producer-colleague Raghu (Kunal Kapoor), memories of her recent messy break-up with Sid, a restaurant owner, hold her back. She thinks that she is in love with Raghu but he gets engaged to someone else. She leaves to Goa and meets Rumi (Ali Zafar), singer and musician. Kaira fails to get her emotions together feel the same for him. Feeling depressed, she meets Dr.Jehangir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) for counseling. What happens next forms the major crux of the story.

To have a female lead presented as possessing a profession from the get-go, and excelling at it, still feel like a significant step for a Bollywood movie. But does not hold for long as the movie progresses. The movie only picks up just before the interval. The second half is way better and more interesting than the dull and boring first half. Right from Shahrukh’s entry speech to his therapy sessions with Alia very scene involving them are the best thing to happen in this tedious film.

Alia Bhatt ends up giving one more path breaking performance. She is so natural in the movie. Shahrukh is fantastic in his calm and natural character and supports well in the movie. Cameos by Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar and Aditya Roy Kapur are great as all of them manage to charm us and add presence to the story. Movie is fantastic, but only in parts and is lethargic in most. The concept of the movie is superb, but fails in its execution over the silver screen. Overall its a half-hearten soulful film..!! 🙂

Advertisements

Udta Punjab (HINDI)

udta-punjab-posterStarring: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit and many more
Editing : Meghna Sen
Music : Amit Trivedi    Background Score : Benedict Taylor
Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey

Its become a trend that whenever any controversy or negative publicity happens before the release of a film, it surely manages to raise the curiosity and expectation level among the viewers. The curiosity factor keeps increasing as the controversy keeps growing thicker. Unfortunately, I too saw this film purely because of the above said reason. Lets see how the film has worked.

The narrative intertwines the lives of a popular youth icon, rock-star-cum-(c)rap-singer Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), migrant labourer Kumari Pinky (Alia Bhat), who unwittingly gets caught in the clutches of the drug mafia, doctor-cum-activist Preet Sahni (Kareena Kapoor), Inspector Sartaj Singh (Diljit) and his younger brother Bali. All these people come and join for the single main reason of the plot which is drugs. What begins as a satirical retort to Punjab’s social situation slowly turns into a thriller. Three of the film’s four principal characters are utterly imperfect, but they are, pretty much like Punjab itself, not beyond redemption.

The only dull point in the movie is that the narrative part becomes a bit slow at times followed by few dragging scenes in the middle of the film. The movie could have been bit trimmed down in order to keep its pace and intensity intact. Shahid Kapoor, with his tattooed physique and funky hair style, portrays Tommy Singh to the T. He lives the character of an artiste constantly under the influence of drugs and he demonstrates it with his meteoric moods, which he displays with alarming, bone-chilling precision. Alia Bhat, the show stealer, carries no baggage and delivers the performance of a life time. From accent to body language, she has got almost all of it right.

Diljit Dosanjh is nuanced and likeable and carries his ambiguous morality with ease. Kareena Kapoor is well cast as Preet, but not quite given as much to do, save for looking so perfect she eats up the words in the mouths of those around her. The songs are situational. They add flavor to the film, but do not propel the narrative. Witty and humorous, the movie works mostly because of its tone and stand against drugs, though the second half is no match for the first. Can watch for the plot and the top-notch acting performances..!! 🙂

Kapoor and Sons (HINDI)

KapoorStarring: Rishi Kapoor, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhat, Ratna Pathak and many more
Editing : Shivkumar
Music : Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Arko, etc    Background Score : Sameer Uddin
Cinematography: Jeffery F Bierman
Directed by: Shakun Batra

Another hindi film which I watched with the help of subtitles. The only point in seeing this film is that it’s widely been in news on its plot and also on how Rishi Kapoor looks so artificial in his makeup. Man that’s disaster to see him as such. Also this film is one of the many multi starrers that comes in Bollywood. So come lets peep into these Kapoor’s.

90-year-old Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) stays with his son Harsh Kapoor (Rajat Kapoor) and daughter-in-law Sunita Kapoor (Ratna Pathak Shah). One day Amarjeet Kapoor gets heart attack and his grand sons Rahul (Fawad Khan) & Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra), who are staying abroad, returns back. The family reunites after a long gap and along with the family bonding many other internal issues keep emerging, due to which fights and heated arguments takes place between all of them. Amarjeet’s final wish is to have a photo consisting of all his family members and ‘Kapoor & Sons’ written below it. But quarrels, inner desires, dark secrets and romance come in between Amarjeet’s dream and that’s what the entire film is all about.

There’s a strong Karan Johar impression on the film, but that was expected. With several parallel tracks running through, Shakun Batra crafts a refreshing tale of family problems and the art of sweeping them under the carpet. A special mention for the scene where a plumber gets unwillingly stuck in a family fight and leaves everyone in splits. The nuances in the story are reflected brilliantly in all aspects of the film from the performances to the technical aspects like production design, music, editing and photography.

Rishi Kapoor is cute and charming. Every scene of his enhances the viewing experience. Fawad Khan is intense and perfect for his character. Sidharth Malhotra lends good support. Alia Bhatt is lovable in her parts. Rajat Kapoor is soulful. Ratna Pathak Shah is marvelous. Together Rajat and Ratna acts like the main pillars of the film. Jeffery F Bierman’s camera captures the essence of Coonoor in the best way possible. The music is soothing. This is a decent, neat and a clean family drama which will be loved and connects with everyone who loves films from this genre. Nice watch..!! 🙂

2 States (HINDI)

bollywood-2states-poster

Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amrita Singh, Revathi and many more
Editing : Namrata Rao
Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography : Binod Pradhan
Written by : Chetan Bhagat
Directed by: Abhishek Varman

The film is entirely based on a popular novel and the writer also involved in its making keeps us glued on the film, that too after his previous films which were made into feature films were runaway hit (3 Idiots, Kai Po Che). Even the lead pair selection was also interesting. So what does this surprise package offer us.? Lets see.

Krish Malhotra (Arjun) and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia) meet on the IIM A campus and slowly develop their love in the form of joint study and some sharing of food. Ananya’s parents are conservative, strait-laced and simple. Krish is saddled with a loving but melodramatic mother who insists on calling Ananya’s family ‘Madrasis’ and an alcoholic father with serious anger-management issues. How each other resolve this and finally get married forms the rest.

The movie has some superb performances and hillarious punch lines and surely has a lot of freshness in the seemingly not so fresh story. The film does have some moments of inspiration, like when the hero, armed with four rings, proposes collectively to the girl’s family over lunch. But these are too few and far between to add up to much in the final analysis.

Arjun was superb with his effortless performance while Alia’s expressions are enough to make your eyes stuck to the screen. The on-screen chemistry between Alia and Arjun surely did wonders for the film. Amrita Singh plays the typical Punjabi mother perfectly and the clash of cultures makes for a highly amusing watch. Revathy is indeed a nice choice for the Tamilian mother character. Ronit Roy makes you remember Anil Kapoor towards the end.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s songs plays the perfect supporting role to the film and they are quiet enjoyable. Camera work picks the best of North and South of our country. The movie directed by Abhishek Varman has few poetic touches to the screenplay as the story is already very familiar for many. The mission to make both the families to accept each other and the father son episodes make the film to feel good. If you are in a mood for a Bollywood family comedy drama with measured senti elements and the right amount of music, please go for it… 🙂

Highway (HINDI)

bbm9zgfcuaa5mok_large_1387202355_540x540

Starring: Randeep Hooda, Alia Bhatt and many more
Editing: Aarti Bajaj
Music : AR.Rahman
Cinematography : Anil Mehta
Written and Directed by: Imtiaz Ali

The team of Rockstar joins together again with a different backdrop this time where the theme is loosely based on a road trip. Not a big star cast but the crew is top class and lets see what does this road trip offers us.

Veera (Alia Bhatt) daughter of a big shot goes out for a break with her reluctant fiance. Veera steps out in a petrol bunk and gets kidnapped by violent criminal Mahavir Bhaati (Hooda) and his gang. She is tied-up, beaten, Veera’s thrown onto a terrifying truck that drives off on a never-ending highway, leaving established society far behind. What does Veera experience on this trip and what does Ranveer and his gang gives to Veera forms the story.

The film would have been a bigger triumph had the plot, which just hangs on a collision between two diametrically dissimilar individuals and worlds, packed a little more punch. It adopts a novel mode to address issues pertaining to the class and culture divide, the exploitation of women in feudal communities, and the safety, or lack of it, of the girl child within and without the family.

Highway belongs undoubtedly to Alia Bhatt. Veera gains as she takes control of the situation, captivating her charm, confronting assault. Hooda’s Mahavir is frightening, tightly controlled, the actor portraying dark dislike with crackling tension, switching to bewilderment with comic ease. The film’s dreamy visuals are perfectly complemented by AR Rahman’s terrific tracks, and a minimal background score that’s never intrusive. Shot remarkably by Anil Mehta, whose camera captures not only the astonishing beauty of India’s landscapes but also the chemistry of the lead.

The film – a brave experiment on Imtiaz’s part, who uses long stretches of silence, improved dialogues, and characters over plot to drive the narrative – doesn’t necessarily work. It’s meandering and indulgent in many parts, tiring you out well before it’s over. This Highway starts with many potholes and then runs good which eventually has many lows which is not suiting for the road.