Of late, the trend is to make entertainers that don't tax the viewers' brains. The mantra is simple: Plonk yourself on the cushy seat, munch popcorn, sip cola and enjoy the on-screen antics. Just don't ask questions. Just don't look for logic. No-brainer comedies are what the doctor ordered to keep the industry's heart live and ticking.
ONE TWO THREE, helmed by debutante Ashwani Dhir, follows the rules faithfully. But…
Like most films of its ilk, ONE TWO THREE rests on a waferthin plot. No issues with that, but after a point you don't react to the on-screen jhamela. Substituting a cohesive script with witty one-liners and funny situations has never been the shortcut to success and never will be.
Besides, the masti-mazaak works at times, but falls flat on several occasions. The on-screen characters try their level best to tickle your funny bone, to evoke mirth, but the viewer sits motionless and expressionless like a mannequin.
Comedy is serious business and Ashwani Dhir has proved his skills in the past [he had penned the immensely likeable OFFICE OFFICE], but cinema is a different medium altogether. Sure, Dhir has worked hard on wit-laden dialogues and individualistic sequences, but how one wishes he would've worked on presenting a tighter script.
It's like promising a sumptuous meal, but being offered just starters. The main course is conveniently forgotten!
Diamonds belonging to a Don [Manoj Pahwa] get stolen. The diamonds accidentally fall in the hands of Chandu [Upen Patel] and Chandni [Tanishaa], who hide them in a car. Papa [Mukesh Tiwari] and his henchmen [Vrajesh Hirjee and Sanjay Mishra] are desperately hunting for the diamonds, while hot headed police office Mayavati Chautala [Neetu Chandra] is on the prowl looking for offenders of any kind.
Enter the first Laxmi Narayan [Tusshar Kapoor]. He's from a khandani mafia family and his mother prays that with a few murders under his belt, he will be settled for life. He's got a final chance to redeem himself as a Bhai. He comes to Hotel Blue Diamond because he's taken a supari to bump off Papa.
Enter the second Laxmi Narayan [Suniel Shetty]. He is sent to Hotel Blue Diamond to collect a new car for his boss from Laila [Sameera Reddy]. The third Laxmi Narayan [Paresh Rawal] is a hawker who has made so much money selling under-garments on the footpath that he has set up a lingerie factory now. His son sends him to Hotel Blue Diamond to collect lingerie samples from upcoming designer Jiya [Esha Deol].
The three Laxmi Narayans are at the same place, at the same time. They get letters and photographs meant for the other. The first Laxmi Narayan gets lingerie designer Jiya's photo and goes to kill her, only to end up falling in love with her. The second Laxmi Narayan gets Papa's photo and goes to collect the car from him, only to be mistaken for a killer and gets beaten black and blue. The third Laxmi Narayan gets Laila's photo and asks her to show him the under-garments, only to be branded an old pervert.
Meanwhile, Chandu and Chandni are determined to stop anybody from buying the car where they have hidden the diamonds.
Lock your brains at home when you watch this movie, for ONE TWO THREE, like its predecessors, is more of a stress buster than anything else. Unfortunately, the absence of a strong screenplay evokes mixed reactions. You do laugh when you're supposed to laugh, but even those jokes are forgotten as you breeze out of the cineplex. You don't carry the story, the film, the gags and punches, the witty one-liners with you at the end of the show.
Ashwani Dhir is a far more accomplished dialogue writer than a screenplay writer. Directorially, the choice of actors is right and a few scenes are well canned. Raghav Sachar's music disappoints. Barring the title track, the remaining numbers are forgettable. Cinematography is inconsistent. It looks like a hurried job at times.
The film has a number of characters, but the one who actually makes you laugh the maximum is Sanjay Mishra, who impersonates the yesteryear villain Jeevan to perfection. Suniel Shetty too has his moments, but his 'Left-Right' dialogues, in scene after scene, tend to get monotonous. Tusshar does a decent job. Paresh Rawal is okay, but not the scene stealer -- something you've started expecting from him.
The girls enact their parts mechanically. The performances are in this order -- Sameera Reddy [okay], Esha [dull], Tanishaa [no scope] and Neetu Chandra [loud]. Manoj Pahwa excels. Mukesh Tiwari is alright. Ditto for Vrajesh Hirjee. And what is Upen Patel doing in this film? Murli Sharma doesn't deliver this time.
On the whole, ONE TWO THREE falls below the ordinary mark. At the box-office, don't expect much!
Mar 29, 2008
Mar 28, 2008
New Movie Coming
Sunil Shetty...... Laxminarayan
Tusshar Kapoor...... Laxminarayan
Paresh Rawal...... Laxminarayan
Upen Patel...... Chandu
Esha Deol...... Jiya
Sameera Reddy...... Laila
Tanisha Mukherjee...... Chandni
Neetu Chandra...... Inspector Mayawati
Manoj Pahwa...... Pinto
Vrajesh Hirjee...... Albert
new Movie coming
Rahul Bose...... Major Siddhant Chaudhry
Minissha Lamba...... Kaavya Shahstri
Kay Kay Menon...... Brigadier Rudra Pratap Singh
Javed Jaffrey...... Major Aakash Kapoor
Deepak Dobriyal...... Captain Jaaved Khan
Amrita Rao...... Apecial Appearance
"Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed,
We vowed our true love though a word wasn't said
The world was in bloom, there were stars in the skies,
Except for the few that were there in your eyes.
The night seemed to fade into blossoming dawn,
The sun shone anew but the dance lingered on.
Could we but relive that sweet moment sublime,
We'd find that our love is unaltered by time."
- Lyrics to "The Anniversary Waltz," composed by Dublin/Frankl
The first time Ajay saw Pia, she served him drinks. She affected him more than the alcohol, and he found true love. He was a leading psychiatrist, but she messed up his mind.
The first time Pia saw Ajay, he had too much to drink. She watched him make a fool of himself, and was relieved when he passed out. She was a woman who followed her heart, but despite his claims of true love, she had made up her mind.
Thus began the story of Ajay and Pia.
A love story, that begins at sea. Ajay is on a cruise with his friends - Nikhil and Reena, unhappily married, and Vicky and Natasha, happily unmarried. Ajay is having a wonderful time dealing with martial strife, lots of bad language and huge hangovers, when he finds Pia, and time stands still. After a disastrous first meeting, Ajay tries everything to woo her. He wants her, by hook, crook or even her little private notebook. She's not an easy catch at all, but finally, by sheer perseverance, he dances his way into her heart.
Ajay and Pia develop a strong and special bond. In each other, they find an anchor. But the tide goes against them. Weighted down by lies and deceit, their boat is rocked, and their relationship drowns.
But even oceans cannot keep true love apart. Against better sense, Ajay waits for Pia. In Pia's case, better case prevails, and she comes back to him. With no doubt in their minds about the way they feel for each other, they rush into marriage, despite the advice and failing relationships of their friends.
Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry. And Ajay-Pia, love each other dearly, and their marriage flourishes, setting an example for their friends.
But no marriages can be complete without problems, and Ajay and Pia have also have to face hurdles, some of which seem insurmountable. We are taught in school how to do sums, how to read and write, and how to conduct scientific experiments. But what do we really know about the greatest social experiment of all, namely our ability to keep the love alive in our marriage, especially in the face of crises?
But even as things get much worse, and sometimes unsolvable, Ajay and Pia don't give up. They realize that marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner. And Ajay and Pia are used to dancing together.
So they battle all odds, and dance, and sometimes they fall. But every time they fall, they fall in love. And that's what a successful marriage requires. Falling in love many times, always with the same person.
This is the special love story of Ajay and Pia. There may be no monuments dedicated to them and perhaps their names will soon be forgotten. But in one respect they succeed as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: They've loved each other with all their heart and soul; and in life and marriage, that has always been enough.
New Movie coming... under Banner of Bhanwar Lal Sharma Production
Dino Morea...... Vikram Singh Sisodiya
Minissha Lamba...... Jia Rao
Aarti Chhabria...... Anamika
Jatin Garewal...... Special Appearance
Juhi Chawla is Dr Sonali: As a psychiatrist she knows what's wrong with her patients; as a sensitive woman she firmly believes that if you really want to make them well, you should treat them with your heart, not just your mind.
Arshad Warsi is Raja:Truly the angry young man! His blood boils, his fists clench and he's ready to beat the daylights out of anyone who upsets him in some way.
Irrfan Khan is Dr Mukherjee: He has decided that he's the Captain of the team! But so obsessed is he by the need to be in control of a situation, he doesn't realise he's totally lost control of himself and his mind.
Rajpal Yadav is Gangadhar: He's marching to a beat only he can hear; he's fighting for a cause that's long over. But in his muddled mind he's still fighting for Swaraj; still hobnobbing with the likes of Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.
Suresh Menon is Dabboo: Cute and adorable, he's everybody's pet and however far gone the rest may be, when it comes to Dabboo, everybody's super protective. Even if he can hear and understand, Dabboo refuses to speak. And nobody knows why!
Dia Mirza is Shikha: As a TV reporter she controls the news on the channel, but as a woman she's unable to control the unruly and unmanageable rage of Raja - the man she loves.
Rajat Kapur is Industrialist R K Sanyal: who's also Dr Sonali's husband. But in his quest for power and money he takes a step that will have alarming consequences for his wife and her patients - the krazzy 4!
Zaakir Hussain is Srivastav: He is so neck deep in illegal activities that now he'll stoop to anything - even kidnapping and murder - to keep him ahead.
Gopi (Sunil Shetty) a simpleton, arrives in Goa from Hoshiyarpur. His mission – to hand over an incredibly tiny piece of land to his childhood friend Kishen, which was his father’s last wish.
Kishen (Arshad Warsi), now a conman, swindles people with a little help from his accomplice, Babu (Atul Kale), to earn enough money to educate his sibling Divya (Mahima Mehta) who’s studying in London.
Kishen, however, has managed to hide his profession from Anuradha (Rashmi Nigam) merely saying that it’s Hari, his twin, who is the bad guy.
Kishen avoids Gopi like he’s bad news. He’s not going to give up his flourishing business and travel to Hoshiyarpur just to take possession of a measly piece of land!
Gopi, in his mission of chasing Kishen, is given a helping hand by Tanya (Anishka Khosla), daughter of the owner of KG Resorts.
Flash: Diamonds worth crores have been stolen in a breathtaking heist by three gorgeous girls who are now holed up at KG Resorts.
Kishen, Babu and everyone else learns about this and they all make a mad rush for KG Resorts. Gopi finds himself a part of the gang.
Who gets the diamonds? Does Gopi manage to take Kishen to Hoshiyarpur? And was the land just a meager piece of land or something more? The answers are out in black and white by the time you go through this hectic cinematic maze!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has once again proved that she is really a Princess of Bollywood as her recent film Jodhaa Akbar has become a hit as it has collected a whooping sum of 96 crores in 1 month. According to the director Ashutosh the film has fetched quite a good amount in western countries than in India.
Now all eyes are on Mani Ratnam’s next which will again feature Abhi-Ash as a pair on screen. It is reported that though Mani has signed Vishal to act opposite to the diva, he also succeeded in tailoring a role for Abhishek. After GURU this film will gain be under the direction of Mani Ratnam which will feature Abhishek and Aishwarya on the silver screen again.
But will the audience accept them after marriage is a suspense which can only be read when the film shapes out and releases.
Mar 26, 2008
HOW can it be that a movie as beautiful to look at as "Saawariya" is so . . . boring?
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the love story, directed by Sanjay Lella Bhansali, is the first Bollywood movie produced in Hollywood, which has an annoying habit of sucking the life out of material.
The setting is a fairy-tale land where a Hindu boy (annoying Ranbir Kapoor) falls for a Muslim girl (drop-dead gorgeous Sonam Kapoor) who is waiting for her lover who has been gone for a year but had promised to return. (Both leads come from famous show-business families, but are not related.)
The sets and costumes are gorgeous, and the blue-hued cinematography (by Ravi K. Chandran) is pleasing. But the story drags, despite the fact that at a little over two hours, it's short by Bollywood standards.
The characters fail to grab our interest, and the songs (10 of them) are instantly forgettable.
"Saawariya," which translates as "beloved," is yet another example of Hollywood trying to please everybody and, as a result, pleasing nobody.
Mar 25, 2008
Directed by - Rajat Kapoor
Starring - Naseruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Ranvir Shorey, Harsh Chhaya, Saurabh Shukla, Vinay Pathak, Iravati Harshe ...
We're experiencing a whole new world in cinema. Themes that were considered abstract and offbeat are slowly making inroads into Bollywood. These films are a complete contrast to what we've been experiencing thus far. You could actually mistake it for European cinema in general and French cinema in particular. MITHYA, directed by Rajat Kapoor, is one of those films. Conceal the faces of the actors and you'd never believe it's a Hindi film.
In this case, MITHYA, you can't draw parallels with any film, past or present. That's because something like this has never been attempted before. And that happens to be the flip side as well, for MITHYA is not everyone's cup of tea, everyone's idea of entertainment. It caters to a niche audience, those with an appetite for 'different' cinema. It's for the discerning viewer that wants a change, who wants to watch a new story unravel on celluloid.
Write your own movie review of Mithya
Seen individually, MITHYA is an experience you cannot forget easily. It leaves a solid impact, especially if you're receptive to out of the box experiences.
VK [Ranvir Shorey] has come to Mumbai, chasing big film dreams, like thousands of others. When fate makes him a pawn in a master game plan of the underworld, he unknowingly gets drawn into a whirlpool of events that will determine his future. Then an unexpected accident turns the tables for everybody involved.
Now begins a chase that won't stop at anything. VK is too deep into it now to step back. Unknowingly, he has become an imposter, an imposter who wasn't.
On script level, a film like MITHYA has layers and more layers and is indeed a complex theme to handle. Not everyone can attempt it, since a theme like this has to be handled very, very carefully, else it may boomerang. That's where an expert storyteller like Rajat Kapoor steps in.
You get instantly sucked into the struggler's world and gradually forget that you're a viewer. You become a bystander. You feel it's happening right there in front of your eyes, experiencing everything firsthand.
The best part of the script [writers: Saurabh Shukla, Rajat Kapoor] is that you cannot predict the next moment. Its unpredictability is its USP. The film moves about in a serpentine manner and as it reaches its culmination, you're emphathizing with the struggler, who started somewhere else and ended at an altogether different destination. That's destiny, isn't it?
But the best part is the concluding moments. The culmination to Ranvir's character -- the way it has been filmed -- leaves you stunned, speechless and of course, sad! Its execution cannot be described in mere words.
Director Rajat Kapoor takes a giant leap as a storyteller. If you understand cinema or are associated with it, you'd realize that MITHYA is more of a director's film, than an actor's. Although it's premature to talk at this juncture, but MITHYA should feature prominently in the 'Bests of 2008' when the year draws to a close. The writing too is topnotch. Ditto for the camerawork, which gives the film a cold, gloomy look.
Lavish praises must be reserved for Ranvir Shorey, who delivers an extra-ordinary performance in the central role. You've known him as a funster, now watch him in a role that you could never place him in. A brilliant performance! Naseeruddin Shah, as always, is hugely competent. Neha Dhupia is one of the most under-rated actors around. Watch her in this film as she slips into a role with such effortless ease. She deserves better roles for sure. Iravati is fantastic. Saurabh Shukla is first-rate. Harsh Chhaya excels. Vinay Pathak is relegated to the backseat this time; he's good. Brijendra Kala is excellent.
On the whole, MITHYA has the courage to tell one of the most novel stories we've ever watched on celluloid. Sure, it caters to the multiplex junta, but honestly, some films are beyond box-office and should just be lauded for the sheer strength of taking Hindi cinema beyond the stereotype.
Wait, here's a grievance. The promos give an impression that it's a comic fare. You may also believe that it's a laugh-riot in view of the fact that MITHYA comes from the BHEJA FRY team. It's not! The promos are misleading and ought to reflect the content to tap its potential.
Directed by - Ashutosh Gowarikar
Starring - Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Raza Murad, Punam Sinha ...
Let's get one thing straight: You haven't watched anything so opulent, so magnificent like this in a long, long time on the Hindi screen. It's not just body beautiful, but there's soul as well.
It requires courage, prowess, patience, aptitude, knowledge, passion and of course, loads of currency to attempt a movie like JODHAA AKBAR. But more than anything else, it requires your firm belief in the subject, the belief to attempt a historical when historicals are considered an absolute no-no in the industry, the belief to spend almost Rs. 40 crores in a film that could go either ways.
Write your own movie review of Jodhaa Akbar
Only when you're convinced yourself can you convince millions of moviegoers. And convinced you are after watching JODHAA AKBAR, a film of epic proportions.
Now let's clear a few misconceptions pertaining to the film…
It's blasphemous to compare MUGHAL-E-AZAM and JODHAA AKBAR. While MUGHAL-E-AZAM was primarily about the legendary romance between Salim and Anarkali, a subject that has been attempted quite a few times on the Hindi screen before, JODHAA AKBAR is about the relationship that the young Akbar shared with Jodhaa.
A lot has been said and written about its length [3.20 hours]. Does the viewer of today have the patience to watch a really lengthy film in today's times? But once into JODHAA AKBAR, the sequence of events, the drama, the romance, the war… every aspect keeps you mesmerized. Oh yes, the length does pinch you at one crucial point [second hour, which is relatively shorter], when a song breaks out. Otherwise, the 3 + hours are very well spent.
When you watch historicals like MUGHAL-E-AZAM and RAZIA SULTAN, the usage of chaste Urdu is difficult to comprehend at times. Not here! The language is simplified - Akbar speaks in Urdu, Jodhaa in Hindi - and it's easy to decipher.
As a cinematic experience, it would be wrong to compare JODHAA AKBAR to any of Ashutosh Gowariker's previous endeavors. Why, it would be erroneous to compare the film with any film ever made before in this genre. This one stands out and stands out the tallest.
To sum up, JODHAA AKBAR leaves you spellbound, enthralled, entranced and awestruck. Ashutosh Gowariker makes the legendary characters come alive on screen. Take a bow, Ashu!
Set in the sixteenth century, JODHAA AKBAR is a love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa. Little did Akbar [Hrithik Roshan] know that when he married Jodhaa [Aishwarya Rai Bachchan], he would be embarking upon a new journey -- the journey of true love.
The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer [Kulbhushan Kharbanda], Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar's biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of this defiant princess.
One of the prime reasons why JODHAA AKBAR works is because the present-day viewer is unaware of the romance between Akbar and Jodhaa. Sure, we all know of Akbar as a great emperor, but the love story makes for a refreshing subject. And the execution of a number of sequences makes JODHAA AKBAR extremely special.
* The war sequence at the very outset. You realize the scale and magnitude of the film at the very beginning.
* Hrithik taming an out-of-control elephant. It's hair-raising.
* The two pre-conditions set by Jodhaa, before her marriage to Akbar. Very interesting.
* The confrontation between Ila Arun and Ash at the kitchen, when Ash decides to make the meal herself.
* The immediate sequence, when Ash is asked to taste the food herself by Ila before she's about to serve the food to the Emperor and his associates. Once done, Hrithik demanding that he be served the meal from the same platter that Jodhaa had used.
* The intermission point, which sows the seeds of a misunderstanding between Hrithik and Ash.
* Post-interval, Hrithik returning to Amer to get Ash back to Agra and the welcome ceremony by his mother-in-law [Suhasini Mulay].
* The sword fight the very next morning, between Hrithik and Ash.
* The 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' track, when the entire kingdom hails Hrithik.
* The fight in the climax [reminds you of the fight between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in TROY].
Amazing moments indeed…
Ashutosh Gowariker knows that historicals have to be simplified while narrating on celluloid so that the moviegoer is able to grasp and comprehend the plotline and the sequence of events. Thankfully, JODHAA AKBAR is not in the least difficult to decipher. Gowariker's handling of the subject deserves the highest praise, for it's not everyday that you come across a film like JODHAA AKBAR.
A.R. Rahman's music is not the type that you take to instantly, but yes, it gels beautifully with the mood of the film. 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' and 'Jashn-e-Bahara' are the best tracks in terms of tune. In terms of choreography, 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' is awe-inspiring, while the execution of 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is outstanding. Rahman's background score is simply extra-ordinary.
There's no room for dullness in Haider Ali and Gowariker's screenplay. The writing is tight, the drama keeps you hooked and the romantic track is wonderful. The film also talks of secularism, an issue so vital in today's times. K.P. Saxena's dialogues are amazing. At places, soaked in acid. The writer comes up with several gems, yet again. Kiran Deohans' cinematography matches international standards. The movement of camera at various places, especially in the battlefield, is breath-taking. Also, the D.O.P. captures the grandeur to the fullest. The production design [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] is, again, awesome. Recreating the bygone era requires not just money, but also the vision and Desai proves his supremacy yet again.
Be it the war sequences or the sword fights or general action, Ravi Dewan's contribution to the film is incredible. Especially noteworthy is the fight between Hrithik and Nikitin Dheer in the climax. It's simply outstanding! Editing [Ballu Saluja] is perfect, although the romantic song between Hrithik and Ash can be shortened in the second hour. The costumes [Neeta Lulla] as also the jewelry also deserve special mention.
JODHAA AKBAR also works because of the right casting. It's difficult to imagine anyone else in the role of Emperor Akbar. Hrithik seems born to play this role and he enacts it with such precision, such flourish, such confidence that it leaves you asking for more. A mind-boggling performance without doubt!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is superb. Oh yes, she looks ethereal -- a compliment she has heard a trillion times before. What's new in that? But watch her emote in this film. You realize the amazing talent that has hitherto not been tapped by any movie maker. A flawless performance indeed!
JODHAA AKBAR has a host of characters, but the ones whom you carry home, besides Hrithik and Ash, are Sonu Sood [excellent], Nikitin Dheer [fantastic], Ila Arun [electrifying; her finest work so far], Punam S. Sinha [graceful], Kulbhushan Kharbanda [perfect], Raza Murad [effective] and Rajesh Vivek [good]. Amitabh Bachchan's rich barritone voice adds lustre to the magnum opus.
On the whole, JODHAA AKBAR is, without a shred of doubt, a brilliant film in all respects. This historical has all it takes to prove the first blockbuster of 2008. Very strongly recommended!
Directed by - Subhash Ghai
Starring - Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Chhaya, Aditi Sharma, Habib Tanvir, Akash Khurana, Sai Tamhankar ...
Subhash Ghai is synonymous with larger than life movies. Movies that cater to the popular tastes. With BLACK & WHITE, Ghai changes lanes. Deviating from the large canvas, extravagant sets and soulful-music-with-lavish-settings, he comes up with a film that’s real, that pricks your conscience… a film that’s in sharp contrast to his earlier accomplishments.
It truly requires courage to swim against the tide. With BLACK & WHITE, Ghai enters a lane not many master storytellers would dare to venture into.
BLACK & WHITE signifies the coming of age of a seasoned storyteller. Sure, he has made great entertainers that have tremendous recall value, but BLACK & WHITE is a gutsy step. It’s realistic, it’s thought-provoking, it’s topical, but not dark, depressing or preachy.
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As a storyteller, Ghai has handled the subject with maturity and a few scenes do leave an indelible impression. But BLACK & WHITE could’ve done with a shorter length and a tighter screenplay. Yet, all said and done, Ghai deserves marks and praise for this courageous step. Watch it for a different experience!
Rajan Mathur [Anil Kapoor] is a Professor in Urdu literature. He resides in Chandni Chowk with his activist wife Roma [Shifaali Shah].
Professor Mathur comes across Numair [Anurag Sinha], who introduces himself as a victim of communal riots in Gujarat. But, in actuality, he is a suicide bomber commissioned by a Muslim fundamentalist group to detonate a bomb near Red Fort on 15th August.
During his fifteen-day journey, Numair manages to take shelter in the Professor’s house and wins the trust and fondness of the couple. While helping Numair to get an entry pass for 15th August celebrations at Red Fort, Professor Mathur introduces him to the warm and loving people of Chandni Chowk.
Amidst all the tension, he is caught in an emotional dilemma whether to go ahead with his mission. Despite his deep-rooted fundamentalist beliefs, he sees this as one of the most colorful and loving areas. Nevertheless, he moves on with his mission. But something is disturbing the mind of this young lad…
The story of BLACK & WHITE [Varun Vardhan] is one of its USPs. BLACK & WHITE tries to peep into the psyche of a human bomb, a fanatic who has a change of heart gradually. The transformation of a heartless, cold-blooded murderer to someone whose inner voice tells him to revolt against his ‘masters’, the change is well depicted on screen.
But BLACK & WHITE is not without its share of hiccups. The romantic track, for instance, stands out like a sore thumb. It could’ve been avoided. Also, the reasons that change the fanatic’s thinking aren’t powerful enough. To be specific, the portions from Shifaali’s brutal murder, to her last rites, to Anil and Anurag entering the Red Fort premises, to the cops arresting the terrorists – the sequence of events should’ve been more dramatic and convincing.
But the last few minutes, when Anurag confronts Milind Gunaji and assaults him brutally, is simply outstanding. One of the finest sequences ever filmed in this genre!
Directorially, Ghai rises beyond the script and has canned a number of sequences well. The portions depicting Afghanistan as also the pre-climax [Anil’s emotional breakdown] are exemplary. Sukhwinder Singh’s music has a soothing effect. ‘Jogi Aaya’ and ‘Main Chala’ are melodious compositions. Somak Mukherjee’s camera captures the bylanes of Delhi well. Dialogues are well worded.
BLACK & WHITE belongs to new-find Anurag Sinha. The newcomer carries the cold, murderous look with gusto, living the role with his electrifying presence. Ghai has been instrumental in carving the careers of several names in the past. Now add Anurag to this illustrious list.
Anil Kapoor proves his versatility yet again. In his last outing [WELCOME], he enacted the role of a person who was on the other side of law. In BLACK & WHITE, he’s a law-abiding citizen and Anil is memorable in this film too. This performance should occupy a coveted place in his impressive repertoire.
Shifaali Shah is excellent. Although the length of the character isn’t substantial enough, the actor stays in your memory thanks to a highly competent performance. Aditi doesn’t get much scope. The senior citizen is first-rate. Aroon Bakshi is efficient. Milind Gunaji does a good job.
On the whole, BLACK & WHITE is a fine effort from a master storyteller who dares to change lanes with this film. In that respect, an effort like BLACK & WHITE needs to be lauded. Targeted at the thinking viewer, the makers and distributors have rightly released the film at multiplexes primarily and the multiplex junta should appreciate the effort, at big centres mainly. It will have to have the backing of a strong word of mouth to climb the ladder.
More than anything else, a film like BLACK & WHITE deserves to be tax-exempted, so that it reaches out to a wider audience across the length and breadth of the country.
But the million dollar question is, does it live up to the humungous expectations? Does it have its heart in the right place? Thankfully, it does!
RACE is Abbas-Mustan’s most accomplished work, after BAAZIGAR. Any thriller works if and only if the story has the edge-of-the-seat moments and which catches you unawares as the reels unfold. RACE has that quality. The story moves in a serpentine manner, there’s a twist every fifteen minutes and it’s impossible to guess what the culmination would be.
In a nutshell, RACE is a first-rate product all the way. It’s not just style, but there’s substance as well. It has the merits to get catapulted to the Bests of 2008, when you reflect on the year. Bravo!
Ranvir [Saif Ali Khan] and Rajiv [Akshaye Khanna] are step-brothers who own a huge stud farm in Durban, South Africa. They breed horses on their huge ranch house and are also the biggest bookies in the horse racing circuit. Ranvir, the elder of the two, is known to be a very shrewd man. He is very aggressive and is always on the move. Rajiv, on the other hand, is very laidback and is also a chronic alcoholic.
Sophia [Katrina Kaif] is Ranvir’s personal secretary. She adores her boss and loves him. Ranvir is totally unaware of her feeling and regards her adoration as her efficiency. Sonia [Bipasha Basu] is an upcoming Indian ramp model in Durban.
Sonia loves Ranvir, but through a twist of fate gets married to Rajiv. When she discovers that Rajiv is a chronic alcoholic, her world is shattered. Ranvir too is disturbed as he has sacrificed his love for his younger brother because Rajiv had promised him that if he gets married to Sonia, he will leave alcohol forever.
After marriage, Rajiv breaks his promise and the story starts getting complicated. In a weak moment, Ranvir and Sonia come very close to each other and an affair starts between the younger brother’s wife and the elder brother. When the younger brother starts suspecting his wife, all hell breaks loose.
A murder is committed, a contract killing is issued, double crossings become the order of the day… A sharp-tongued investigative officer R.D. [Anil Kapoor] starts an investigation with his brainless assistant Mini [Sameera Reddy].
Director duo Abbas-Mustan are in complete command this time around. Everything is so well synchronized that the end result leaves you awe-struck. The 2 + hours of your precious life that you’ve spent on this film are absolutely worth your while. In 36 CHINA TOWN and NAQAAB specifically, one disagreed with the climax. But the penultimate reels of RACE are foolproof.
Abbas-Mustan get it right this time. Right from the choice of subject, to the choice of actors, to the thrilling moments, music and locales, this thrill-a-minute saga works big time. The game of one-upmanship indulged by the two brothers is electrifying and easily the hallmark of the enterprise.
Writer Shiraz Ahmed’s screenplay has several moments that merit a mention. The best part is, the writing is full of energy and surprises, not once does it take the been-there-seen-that route. It would be foolhardy to single out a few sequences since the film gathers speed from its inception itself. One of its USPs is that every character is out to double cross the other, each character has grey shades and the dangerous games they indulge in make it an exhilarating cinematic experience.
Ravi Yadav’s cinematography is topnotch. The stunning locales of Durban, Dubai and India are captured lucidly by the DoP. But, most importantly, the movement of the camera at several places deserves the highest praise. Note the very start of the film [the aerial view, right till the gruesome accident] or the car chase in the climax [never seen before on the Hindi screen], the camerawork is stunning.
Pritam’s music rocks. Generally, in most thrillers, the music takes a backseat, but not here. ‘Allah Duhai Hai’ [foot-tapping], ‘Pehli Nazar Mein’ [with soulful rendition by Atif Aslam], ‘Touch Me’ [very saucy] and ‘Sexy Lady’ [the new track; trendy] are terrific compositions all and their filming and choreography are masterly. The fact that the yuppie crowd has taken to the songs in a big way, says it all. The race at the start and the chase in the climax [Allan Amin] are fantastic. You haven’t witnessed something like this ever before on the Hindi screen, that’s for sure! Hussain Burmawala’s editing is razor-sharp. It’s one of the best edited works!
Dialogues [Anuraag Prapanna, Jitendra Parmar] are excellent. Styling [Anaita Shroff Adajania] is superb. Background score [Salim-Sulaiman] has the international feel. Choreography [Bosco-Caesar and Ganesh Acharya] is top class.
Every actor in RACE puts his/her best foot forward. Saif has been coming up with sparkling portrayals and films like KAL HO NAA HO, EK HASINA THI, HUM TUM, SALAAM | NAMASTE, OMKARA and EKLAVYA – THE ROYAL GUARD portrayed the actor’s acting skills to the fullest. Now add RACE to his illustrious repertoire. He’s marvelous all through and the bearded look suits him very much.
Akshaye is so perfect. To carry off a difficult character like this is a Herculean task and the supremely talented actor handles it with aplomb. He’s like a chameleon; he slips into various roles with remarkable ease. But the fact cannot be denied that Abbas-Mustan bring out the best in Akshaye. Watch his body of work and you’d agree that Akshaye’s performances in the director duo’s films have always stood out.
Anil Kapoor comes at the interval point, but takes charge in the post-interval portions. With such serious characters in the film, Anil’s role comes as a big relief. Sure, the viewers may find some of his dialogues crass, but the masses will take to his performance in a big way.
Bipasha looks stunning and delivers her best work so far. She’s superb. Katrina is a complete surprise. The actress looks gorgeous, but most importantly, her character gives her ample opportunity to shine in the latter half. Sameera excels as the dumb girl. Actually, it’s a tough job and she does it well. Johny Lever is there for one sequence and his role is aimed at the hoi polloi.
On the whole, RACE is a superb entertainer all the way. It’s not just style, it has substance as well. At the box-office, the tremendous hype coupled with the holidays in the opening week as well as the extensive release will ensure huge numbers in the initial week. But, most importantly, the film has legs to enjoy a spirited run at the box-office. Smash Hit!
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