Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review of 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey'

Now onwards, please read it as KHJJS.

There are two prominent ways period movie based on real incidents works with audience. One, if you have a captivating script and make it in an EPIC scale (e.g. Lagaan, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Jodha Akbar, Gadar,Border etc) and two make it as a PURE documentary with no-frills (e.g Blood Diamond) . Although there are not much 'Hindi' examples in this category, but looking into documentaries like 'Peepli-live' which have done extremely well in box-office, I dont see any logic that says same would not be applicable to period-films . But surely enough, if you are lost somewhere in between, then the result will be something as disappointing as 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey'

Yes, disappointing because the 'Rahman-like' music of 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' (by Sohail Sen)deserved a better foreground. The die-hard fans of such epics as Lagaan and Jodha Akbar deserved better screenplay. From a director who has time and again justified his ability to paint using patriotic colors (Lagaan and Swades), here is a school-play that even mayn't inspire school children or teenagers.

I sincerely appreciate (and admire) Ashutosh for his idea/objective of making 'Chittagong Uprising' 'THE Chittagong Uprising of 1930' by motion-pictuRISING 'Do and Die' : a book written by Manini Chatterjee. The story of our freedom fighters need to be told/retold however small they may be as we should never forget the pain, suffering, difficult times and hardship through which our fighters and revolutionists went to achieve what they dreamt yesterday and we enjoy today : THE FREEDOM. And hats off to these genre of directors who continue telling such inspiring stories. But given the motive and background of this movement, a much better option would have been to make a documentary by retaining the original set-up that could have gone well with an ALL-BENGALI cast and original language (Bengali) (with a Hindi/English sub-titling). What's more, a close look on the screenplay, reveals that the first half has taken the shape, although unintentionally, of a play with unusually small scenes (Remember : 'Gandhi, My Father') and dramatic dialogue delivery . This could have been easily avoided.

Strangely enough, Abhishek Bachchan as Surjya Sen is miscast. His character was supposed to be THE Protagonist of KHJJS, THE leader of Indian Republic Army, THE mastermind behind 'Chittagong Uprising', THE driver of the 'Do-and-die' movement. Instead he lacks leadership, he lacks attitude and more importantly, a single heroic-scene which will inspire generations not to mention the audience. The legendary war cry 'Inquilaab Zindabaad' has been (badly) given the form of an unknown 'Kranti Amar Rahe' which fails to excite the audience. There is no mention of the dare-devil attitude of the beginner of "Do-and-die' ( sometimes Surjya seems unsure of the 'Die' part). Adding to this woe, the much admired music has been grossly misused. Not only the awe-inspiring songs like 'Vande Mataram' and 'Yeh Desh Hai mera' have been moderately picturised, but also they have been made to start abruptly and fade away in the background even before half of their lengths. Sadly, its difficult to imagine this from a director who has been known for his understanding of importance of music , from a music-lover who has been much acclaimed for his grand creations like the song 'Marhawa (from movie Jodha Akbar)' . The only motivating (if not captivating because of its clear resemblance with 'Chale Chalo' of Lagaan) song is the title track.

And its high time for Ashutosh to try 'purity' . 'Jodhaa Akbar' worked in spite of all controversies because it was after all about the romance not the war. Ashutosh somehow fails to understand that the story of Chittagong uprising is just the opposite. It can never be in his hardest of attempts be a story of Surjya -Kalpana or Ambika-Pritilata romance. In this movie, the more he tries a romantic sub-plot/scene, the more the original-war-based-plot fails. The story should have been only about war and never about the 'no-evidence-yet' romances .

Far from expectation, the movie actually belongs to the characters played by Ganesh Ghosh, Lokenath Baul, Nirmal Sen, Ambika Chakrobarty, Naresh Roy, Sasanka Datta, Ardhendu Dastidar, Harigopal Bal, Tarakeswar Dastidar, Ananta Singh, Jiban Ghoshal, Anand Gupta and Pritilata Waddedar, who have their moments through execution of the planned attack which constitutes core of this plot. Feroz Wahid Khan as Loknath Bal is brilliant and manages to tickle funny bones in the disguise of British Officer. Samrat Mukherjee as Ganesh Ghosh is (pleasantly enough) to be the only true Bengali among the lead roles and impresses everyone through his role as a trainer for 'the army of teenagers' . Anant Singh played by Mahinder Singh is brave enough to press the trigger in front of armed policemen. And as a pleasant surprise, the real entertainers are the teenagers who have given a wonderful performance through their innocence, simplicity , humble, fear for death, anger for the British Raj, their demand for 'freedom to play football' and above all the passion to be a part of Revolution. Be it their sheer innocent discussions on 'What does the war cry Vande Mataram' actually mean' or a young rebel's assassination of SP ( a British) after cleverly reaching him defending a football, its these minors who make the movie worth the watch.

Art Direction and Cinematography as expected are praise-worthy. Undoubtedly, Ashutosh once again gets distinction for detailing and successfully recreating the pre-independence era.

Although most of the audience like me would have skipped 'What's your Rashee ?' (looking at the casting alone : Harman Baweja - A wanna-be Hrithik Duplicate and Priyanka Chopra - as if 'Lovestory 2050' was not enough), but after watching 'KHJJS' , one would surely like to know about the success of KHJJS/AGPPL (for starters, that's Ashutosh Gowarikar Productions Pvt Ltd) and uncontrollably ask Ashutosh 'What's your Raashee ?' :-)

Overall Rating : *** (3 Star)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Lord for Engineers !!!

BnR films wishes u a Happy Engineers Week !!! :-)

(i got to know dat Thursday was Vishwakarma Puja- The Engineers Day...
i'l say gone are the 'days' of days..its the weeks of weeks)

...Baba Rancchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad (The new lord of 'True Engineers') ki jai !!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Aal izz well that ends well !!!

Although the madness, the nostalgic phase will take time to settle down, I guess its high time to FINALLY write the review.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review of Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na !

Release Date : 4 July 2008 * Review Release Date : 13 July 2008


You are about to go through the review of a DIE-HARD Fan of Aamir Hussain Khan who loves Aamir’s movies and waits for the Audience Reaction much before their actual start of shooting. The Critic bears no responsibility for any ‘biased’ or insane opinion/view published in this article.

This story begins at the airport.With a story.

When Rotlu,Jiggy,Bombs and Shaleen offer to tell Mala the tale of Jai and Aditi,a match made in the pastry shop of heaven- Mala is convinced that she in for yet another clichéd love story with joys and sorrows,happiness and heart-breaks,laughter and songs,fights…and a climax at the airport.

And indeed Jaane Tu..Ya Jaane Na is all of that. And more !

Review of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na


21 years ago (1 March 1988 to be exact) Aamir’s uncle
Nasir Hussain (production,screenplay,dialogue)launched him in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak which was directed by Aamir’s cousin Mansoor Khan.Now it is too obvious for anyone to have this superstition that this is Aamirs turn to launch nephew Imraan.However after watching the movie one realizes that contrary to popular belief this movie was never designed or produced as a Launchpad for Imraan. As usual Aamir focuses or believes only in one critical thing,i.e the script. As stated by Aamir , it turns out that Imraan just fits perfectly with the character of Jai. And hence incidentally Jaane Tu marks the directional debut of famous script writer Abbas Tyrewala’s as well as debut of Imraan Khan.

But the coincidence doesn’t stop there.

Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (or QSQT as it is known) came as a breath of fresh air when it was released in 1988.Not only did the film go on to become the biggest grosser of the year, but it also gave the Hindi film industry two sensational stars in Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla besides being one of the most memorable stories of young love ever seen on the Indian screen.
What takes the film that one notch above the commonplace is the treatment and the sure-handed direction by Nasir Hussain's son, Mansoor Khan making his directorial debut. Mansoor Khan takes much of the very same elements of Nasir but gives them his own take and modern sensibility and comes out with a glossy and technically slick (for its times) yet extremely believable young romance that caught the imagination of youngsters across the country. The storytelling had an innocence, cuteness, freshness and simplicity that was the film's biggest asset.


Now Jaane Tu.. seems to repeat almost all the elements of QSQT. Be it the, relatable freshness that characterises
Abbas Tyrewala's delightful directorial debut or the deftly made story about friendship, fibs, and falling for the obvious or Imraan being Ranjhore ka Rathore (Remember Raj (Aamir) in QSQT was a Rajput), there is no denying to the fact that History repeats itself.
Abbas The One-Man Army : Direction and Lyrics
Three years ago,the prolific writer of Munnabhai MBBS, Maqbool and Main Hoon Na -- e appeared rather reluctant to direct a movie.Besides a story to tell, today, this 'one-man army’ has taken the resposibilty of directing the movie (apart from the script and screenplay) as well as penning the lyrics. Surely enough, he has done a great job of working within the constraints of the genre and budget to come out with the ultimate, clichéd college romance of our times which keeps the audience interested right through. As writer, director and lyricist, he’s understood his material brilliantly and not deviated from his own brief ever.
Storytelling Redefined : The Script and the Screenplay
The story as all of us know by now never claims to be a never-seen-before kind of love story.Instead we have saw it so much so that almost each scene in the movie reminds you of a similar sequence in some film or the other. Be it the climax at the airport ( similar to Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai), the Love Triangle between Jai,Aditi and Megha (reminds you of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) or the overall story which ressembles with “Socha Na Tha’ to an extent that you’ll feel it’s a copy.
What casts the magic here is certainly not the story but surprisingly the story-telling.
When Ratna Pathak Shah, playing Jai's mother, is shocked to see a sobbing Aditi being led into the house. Jai (
Imran Khan) explains that she has just realised college is finally over. Aditi (Genelia D'Souza) nods, saying she doesn't know how the last five years vanished. Shah, fantastically supercilious and affectionate at once, delivers a line that will have mothers in the audience blowing wolf-whistles: ‘Phone pe beta. Phone pe.'
So welcome to the Gen Z style of story-telling. Informal, straight, humourous and to-the-point.Unlike Yash Raj movies (they were once the Moghuls of Romance),the hero here instead of claiming to be a great singer/musician, admits that “Gaana to aata nahin hai magar, phir bhi hum gaate hain”. Similarly during a serious discussion between Amit (Aditi’s brother) and Aditi where Aditi wants to know whether Amit likes Jai or not, Amit doesn’t hesitate to say “Ofcourse I hate him (Jai) as he is a very good boy “.Gone are the days of Karan Johar/Aditya Chopra,where we needed a bunch of Superstars, high-intensity dialogues followed by a whole lot of Songs and dance sequences in either Sarson-da-khet or snow peeked mountains ( locations preferably in Switzerland or New Zealand) This film marks the arrival of the era where even plain talk between friends just about anything can turn out to be an amazing love story given that the screenplay has been given justice.

Although technically,Chetan Bhagat was the one who introduced us to this new method through FIVE-POINT SOMEONE; his movie,a Bollywood version of his 2nd book One Night@ Call Centre (starring Salman and Katrina) has just come to floor and will be released much later. My sincere regrets for this talented writer.

Hats off to Pakhi (Abbas’s wife) : The Casting

As is the case with most films about friendship –what makes the film work is a rock-solid ensemble cast that is mouthwateringly perfect. Hats off to Pakhi, the Casting Director, this is a helluva nice set of good actors, with refreshingly unfamiliar faces.
Unlike the usual characters played by Debutants in their first movie Bollyood,here the hero is neither a good singer nor a Great Dancer and definitely not a fight-lover. Instead there's Imran, who comes out to be a disarmingly natural actor who grows on you sneakily. Before you know it, you're totally buying his act. And it's a simple, candid, relatable act -- no frills, no fuss, no muscles, no attitude. It's a solid, restrained acting job carried off with more dazzle than is evident.
Khan plays the peace-loving Jai Singh Rathore, and he's the straight man in his madcap gang: Alishka Varde does well as Bombs, the slow one; Karan Makhija adds character as the pessimistic Rotlu; Nirav Mehta is excellent as Jignesh, the one persistent yet affectionately etched caricature in the film; and then there's Sugandha Garg as the spirited, nickname-giving Shaleen.
Seriously though, the acting is top-notch all around. Ratna Pathak Shah is magnificent. Paresh Rawal as inspector Waghmare, Arbaaz and Sohail Khan as Ballu and Bagheera bhaiyya have their moments of glory with their one-liners.
Naseeruddin Shah as Jai's father, who speaks with his wife, Ratna Pathak Shah, from a painting in the wall, has played a perfect cameo.
But the best character that leaves his mark with his hatred and jealousy for Jai is Aditi's brother, Amit (Smita Patil and Raj Babbar's son making a brilliant cameo). The paintings -- when he takes Aditi for the first time into his room -- visually speaks for his loneliness and indifference shown by his sister after she meets Jai.

Rahman means Rejuvenation : The Music

The soundtrack is undoubtedly fresh and zippy which was an obvious expectation from the legend.The exuberant fragrance of teenage-hood serenades the air with the infectious beats of the opening track -- Kabhi Kabhi Aditi. Rashid Ali's funky rendition and Rahman's stylish and rhythmic pace makes this a case of love-at-first-sound.Up next, there's Pappu can't dance. Pappu mightn’t be a dancer,however Pappu and his left feet are a great entertainer on their own. It's remix by Krishna Chetan is a pleasant add-on!
The lines that caught my attention were
“Papa Kehten Hain…Bada Naam Kare Ga..
Mera Pappu To Aisa Kaam Karega…”
Which basically is a mimicry (executed perfectly) of Aamir's introductory song in the film, QSQT, where he is introduced at a college farewell party with guitar.The capricious melody of Nazrein milaana, nazrein churaana reflects the playful, dreamy and perplexed state of young 'uns with warm results. The mercurial tempo of the album continues with a nifty Rahman jazz-up the scene, quite literally and lovingly, if I may add in Tu bole... main boloon. It's a wonderful experiment and introduction in the Bollywood music scene and deserves much applause.Rashid Ali, accompanied by an exquisite Vasundhara Das, makes a surreal return in the soundtrack with the waltzing glory Kahin to. Rahman's frothy tonic of vibrant and breezily-tempered creations in Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na has already created waves among the audience.

God lies in details : The Production

Jaane tu..marks the HATRICK of Aamir Khan Productions. Aamir was once famous for his versatility in handling different kind of on-screen characters.But these days he is proving his versatility beyond acting. In his first production (Lagaan) he played Bhuvan as well as Aamir the Producer. In Taare Zameen Par , he played Shankar, Aamir-the director and Aamir-the producer.
No surprise that this time, in his third venture, he has played another different role Aamir-the Uncle along with Aamir-the Producer J .

It must be said that he has set a new benchmark in terms of Hindi film production.And as far as Aamir’s Characteristic ‘Perfection’ is concerned, needless to say that every technical aspect of the film is honed to perfection - be it Rajeev Soorti's vivid cinematography or AR Rahman's marvellously fountain-of-youth soundtrack. And Aamir understands that God lies in the details, which is why it's no coincidence that Imran's bedroom sign 'Deadlines amuse me' returns to bite the character in the posterior during that insane climax.

Box Office Collection :

Aamir Khan's Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na has worked wonders at the box-office by registering 100 per cent collections in the six days after its release on 4th July. This is not surprising, because even before the release, the excitement generated by Jaane Tu...- the debut film of Aamir's nephew Imran - was phenomenal and bookings began five days before the release.
It is a feat no movie so far released this year - not even the previous hit Race - could accomplish at the box-office.The exact up-to-date revenue from domestic and overseas markets is not available as yet. But judging from the box-office trend, it is roughly estimated that Jaane Tu... has crossed Rs 300 million mark by Wednesday, exactly the amount PVR cinemas invested in the puppy love story.Apart from the Movie’s own strength, this spectacular box-office performance of Jaane Tu... can also be attributed to Aamir's marketing plans. Instead of spending millions on production, he spent freely on promoting the movie.And he has been rewarded handsomely for taking the right decision.


Release Date : 15th Feb 2008 * Review written on : 16th Feb 2008

There are basically two ways in which u can watch this movie. 1) Go on commenting each and every character or scene 2) Just get engrossed in that forgotten ERA and start getting the EPIC feel.
I did the second one.


Period Films were a STRAIGHT ‘NO’ ‘NO’ for Bollywood until Lagaan was released .Then came a series of films including Saheed Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey,Umrao Jaan. Some of them did fairly well, some failed miserably. But this hasn’t stopped Ashutosh to stop dreaming about period films.

JODHAA AKBAR is Ashutosh’s answer to that world which believes MAINSTREAM CINEMA can’t go hand in hand with Period Movies. But this time he tells his story even with a new Dimension called HISTORY .He has yet again proved and outscored his class of movie making thru JA.

At a time, when people consider laughing at our own culture as ‘Cool’, he dares to present it even with more depth and vigor. Be it the Mughal or the Rajput, be it the Agra Fort or the Jaipur, each and every aspect of the movie has been done with mind blowing perfection. The cinematography and picturization is comparable to any International movie. A R Rahman’s scores have already created waves among the audience. The background score is even more inspiring. I doubt how many Music Directors can compose a devotional song as exceptional as ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’ At times ,Amitabh Bacchan’s narration seems just enough to make people stay glued to the screen.

The Choreography by Raju Khan in Azeem-O-Shaan Sahansa (Title Song) is one of its kind. The circular formations made by 400 odd dancers as well as their expressions give the ultimate thrill and excitement. I just can’t stop myself appreciating the Costume Designer who had designed the costume of each and every cast in the movie with great care giving the movie the much required ‘Period look’

Hrithik’s acting as well as expressions are just awesome in this movie. As they say ’Hard work never go in vain’. His dialogue delivery also needs to appreciated. Through sheer hard work, he has mastered even the extremely difficult Urdu words.And the flow of words were just too natural.

Aishwariya has also given complete justice to the character of JODHAA. The mastery Jodha had in Sword fighting or the Beauty she possessed as per history has been perfectly expressed thru Aishwariya

Each frame of the movie has been beautifully crafted by the extremely talented designer Nitin along with Ashutosh. Perhaps The ‘EPIC’ part of it lies in the EXTENSIVE RESEARCH done by Ashutosh and the toil thru which the crew has undergone to give it the shape which Ashutosh dreamt.

But of course, this no way means that the movie is all SHOW-YOUR-EXTRAVAGANZA or SHOW-YOUR-SETS or JEWELLERY- without –content. In fact surprisingly, the Larger-than-life Royal Era has been shown with such admirable substance and style that the EPIC feels come as natural as History. Contrary to the claim by the Director, the movie has more to offer than just Romance. The far stretched War fields echoing the Warriors war cries and the perfectly choreographed War scenes are perhaps India’s answer to the world as far as Capabilities are concerned..

LAGAAN, SWADES and then JODHAA AKBAR. One thing is clear that apart from the crew, Ashutosh has also retained his Class, level of creativity and film making.

I personally think this was the BEST POSSIBLE presentation of an historic ERA thru the tale of JODHAA and AKBAR.

EPIC : Exemplary and Perfect Indian Cinema

Even being a story of Romance, the pace at which the plot proceeds is wonderful. That’s why, at the end, only few ppl took the challenge of moving their eyes from the screen just to realize that 3 hr and 30 mins have passed.

The line


( from the song Azeem-O-Shan Sahansha) perfectly matches with the fact of such a wonderful team work of AGPPL group (Ashutosh Production company) coming together to make such a Marvellous movie.

U’ll love it if u can appreciate our centuries rich Indian culture, heritage and trend .Or u love to watch that unique blend of HISTORY and Geography presented with a commendable maturity level that is at par with any Hollywood movie..

Apart from the huge collection, undoubtedly, the movie will get applauds from all genres of people (Historician, archeologist, Cultural Groups and of course Movie Critics)

Hats off to the Creative Genious !!!

Hats Off to A R RAHMAN !!!

Hats Off to the whole crew and cast !!!

A promise is a promise !!!

Just while I get ready for THE PHONE CALL from Way Automotives, Jeypore (Orissa) - the Tata Motors dealer who is about to deliver THE NANO, THE EXAMPLE of a promise well kept , I realize that its high time to deliver what was promised to the readers ages ago : ‘Posting of all my previous reviews and articles in this blog’.

And can I have a better occasion than the Auspicious Birthday of my elder brother Babubhaina ? Before u ask the Obvious 1, please allow me to decode the links in a phased manner. Wait...did I say it has got something to do with my latest movie review ?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy 'New Year' !!!

There are two words in ‘New Year’. ‘Year’ being a celestial phenomenon is obviously in no one’s control. However ‘New’ is a word which purely reflects the excitement, curiosity, hope and dreams of a fresh beginning, something which is in our control.

May you live every moment to the fullest, so that the very next moment welcomes you with the same spirit and excitement which a ‘NEW YEAR’ unfailingly brings year after year on 1st of January…

Happy ‘New Year’ !!!