Posts Tagged ‘katrina kaif’

If you are a fan of Hindi films, just watch Jab Tak Hain Jaan (JTHJ) for the beautiful tribute to Yash Chopra, at the end. For the wonderful entertainment that he provided to us, all these years, the excellent 3-4 minute salutation (almost certainly, an Aditya Chopra piece of work) with the titles at the end, was very touching.

There are other reasons to see this film too, though many of those connect back to the man himself, Yash Chopra.

1. Yash Chopra uses the camera like a pen, and creates poetry out of the sheer brilliance of the camera. And this is not just the superb locations that he has caught on camera or the near perfect sets, but also the emotions that he captures from the actors, just via his camera.

2. Beautiful sites of Ladakh revisited in a film again, the countryside of UK, made for great viewing on the screen.

3. Gulzar for lyrics and A R Rahman’s music. Two of the best proponents of their respective trades contributing to the beauty of the film. On their own merits, and without any other support, these two giants would lead a movie to great heights. Here of course, they are a part of a large canvass.

4. For a change, Shah Rukh Khan does not overact. In fact, he acts “just right”. The intensity of his face, the underplay of his emotions, serves his character really well. Thank God for the absence of his hee-haw way of talking (or is that reserved only for Karan Johar films – either ways, thank God!). I am sure Yash Chopra had a role to play in bringing out the best from SRK.

5. Anushka’s role could have easily have been a two-bit extra kind. But the spunky girl that she is, she makes the most of the opportunity and turns the role into a substantial one. Comes out strong and significant.

6. Katrina looks good. Period. 🙂

7. After Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, once more Katrina is shown on a two wheeler with a helmet on, and then getting more to her lips than the Slice mango drink, viz. another lip lock scene, this one with SRK, of course. After ZNMD, directors who cast her, may make this a habit, and she could soon challenge Emran Hashmi for being most kissed star?! #JustSaying #NotThatIMind

8. The trench coats. Burberry, I presume. The bike rides in the mountains. Looks majestic.

9. Aditya Chopra’s poetry and dialogues. Some good lines through the movie.

10. Katrina looks good. Did I already say that earlier?

So is it all good? Not really. There are some misses, and some questions, and some general observations:

1. Not much of  a story. A bit far fetched. But the glitz covers up for this.

2. Are there really so many bombs needed to be diffused all the time? And while the one guys playing with death can walk into it, unprotected, do the other folks around him have to be equally casual??

3. Does a foreign country policeman allow a brown faced Indian to casually walk in, claim himself to be an Indian Army person (no checks) and attempt to diffuse a bomb? It’s like on a flight, someone falls sick, and they call out, “is there a doctor on the plane?” – don’t think they’d do that for bombs, “is there a bomb diffuser around here?”!!

4. The second time in a Yash Chopra film that someone bought birthday gifts year after year, but did not give them to the child. Saved them till later, with letters, and the person ended up getting them all together, years later. Lamhe and now, JTHJ. No new ideas around this, Yashji?

5. The film was looong. At least in our theatre. Perhaps because of a long interval too, with lots and lots of ads running in the break. Took nearly 4 hours by the time we were done and out. The film could do with a tighter edit too. Cut 15 min off at least.

6. What’s this obsession for moms to give their wedding wear for their daughters to wear?? Don’t they realize that: a) 25 years is a long time for that dress to be totally out of fashion and b) don’t you feel for the fashion boutiques who will go out of business, if this trend continues and becomes popular?! 🙂

7. The other characters in the film, like SRK’s cronies in the army and in UK, Anupam Kher, and all others, have pretty much, no role. Those characters are just not developed. Seems like a waste.

Outside of the film, noticed that advertisers are back with in-theatre advertising. For the multiplexes having rare full houses, the additional income from other sources, including advertising, builds sustenance.

A closing word on Yash Chopra. Where other directors of earlier times seem to have lost their connect with the new audience, Yash Chopra continued to evolve himself, kept pace with the changing generations, and kept making his films look good for the times. He made his heroines look good, with the best fashion of the times, even as he evolved from silk and chiffon sarees to bright and colourful short dresses.

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** Spoiler alert ** : There is some mention of the storyline here, and if you do not want to get any such hints, and you do plan to see the film, then you shouldn’t read this blog post!

I have little memory of the old Agneepath. Except for the legendary dialog that spoke, “Vijay Dinanath Chavan.. aaj maut ke saath apna appintment hai.. appintment!”, there is not much else that I remembered of that film.

Yet, the new Agneepath brought back memories of the 1980s, and the angry young man genre that Amitabh lived and thrived on. And while that was good for nostalgia sake, the genre: a) is out of place in today’s age of style and panache, even in thrill, and b) has Amitabh written all over it, whether you like it or not!

That seems to be the movie’s biggest challenge to overcome.

With no decent film releasing in recent times, and with the Hrithik magic, and the Agneepath remake curiosity,  full houses were ensured on the first day, which happened to be a national holiday as well. Whether the initial will convert into reasonable sustenance of a couple of weeks or not, is questionable?

So let’s look at the good parts first.

It is an out and out action film. To the point of saying that it is one of the most violent Hindi films released in recent times. Lots of blood, knives, bullets, punches.. in short, gore. Now, I put this in the good part, and also in the bad, I guess. Good, because as pure action genre, it is power packed. But beyond a point, it gets to be a little much.

Priyanka in her small role, does a good spunky Mumbai chawl, bindaas girl. Like K3G’s Kajol was from Chandni Chowk!

Sanjay Dutt looks a menacing Kancha. Yes, after a long time, a Hindi film has shown a truly villainous look. Compliments to the visualizer of the look.

It is nice to see Rishi Kapoor coming up with a good performances, every now and then. Also good to see him getting nice, meaty roles.

Another old timer, Zarina Wahab is seen on screen after a long time. But her role is miniscule, with not much room to emote!

Katrina Kaif’s Cheekni Chameli had become a hit well before the release of the film. Unlike a lot of other item girls who do not put much energy into their dances, but let the movement of the camera and the glamour of the look (think Deepika in Dum Maro Dum) make it happen for them, one has to grant Katrina full marks for hard work. With a Brit accent, hardly being able to speak decent Hindi, if she has made it to the top today, it is not just because of her looks, but also because of the intense effort she seems to be putting into her work. This song is an example of the same.

My only worry about this song is.. no, my fear in fact.. that this will be played a lot at parties. And I shudder to see socialite women making the moves that Katrina makes in this song. Oh my God!!

Finally, Hrithik is fabulous as an action hero. Quiet, intense, angry.. he brings alive the Amitabh of the 1980s.

So that said, what are the minuses then?

The extreme violence for one. It gets to be too much!

Also that where the storyline is based, is certainly not contemporary, and would not quite qualify as ‘period’. And which is where it hangs in the middle, sort of. We don’t know whether to view it as a ‘now’ story – it isn’t – and whether to view it as historical – which again, it isn’t.

Rauf Lala peddling drugs galore AND doing human flesh trade openly in Mumbai, and the police being aware, but unable to do anything, seemed strange. Unless I have NO idea of what the real Mumbai was / is like?!

Also where the protagonist, the angry man looking for revenge, attempts to get sympathy / understanding from the audience, that he is killing many with his cocaine trade (while he is shown to release the girls from the flesh trade of Rauf Lala) is questionable.

Finally, the way I see it, for a movie that has anger as an undertone throughout, the anger itself is not very visible. The storyline is not developed that well, or the emotions do not come out that strongly, somehow. Unlike say, a Deewar, where Amitabh’s anger is permanent virtually.

So all in all, if you can tolerate oodles of violence, do give it a shot. And if you can’t, then you must totally avoid this one.

I could have just said what I say in the title, viz. “What Shit”, and that would suffice to describe my reaction on Rajneeti. But to share with you, why I feel this way, I will dwell on this some more.

I was really looking forward to Rajneeti. God knows, I have let it be known via Facebook and Twitter. The promos had impressed me. And there is a lot of potential in a political drama. But the film disappointed sorely!

Two great epics that a lot of filmmakers have drawn inspiration from, are the Mahabharat and Godfather. Prakash Jha takes inspiration from both. Which is fine by itself. Except that Prakash Jha forgot that he was making a political drama, and not a gangster film. Turned out that he made it more of a Godfather, than a Chanakya-esque political play.

And that is my biggest problem with the film. The excessive and random violence, which just seems unbelievable. Can you really win an election by gunning away all the top political leaders of your opposition? Like, what’s going on?!

** SPOILER ALERT: If you are planning to see the film, and want to be surprised, you should not read further! **

So here are my thoughts on the film. First the good parts – yes, there are few:

The initial was decent. There clearly seemed like there was potential here, and that the film will turn out to be an interesting dramatic screenplay. Most performances are decent, especially Arjun Ramphal, Ranbir and Nana Patekar. The sets are decent, and give you a feel of the political landscape.

Yeah, guess that’s about it. From here on, its all downhill.

And so here are the rants – what I found strange or incomprehensible, or purely unbelievable:

1. A fundamental inconsistency in the characters:

a. Ranbir – he is the Al Pacino from Godfather, like a reluctant entrant into the dirty world of politics. But what is the person that is his character?? He is supposed to be clean, sincere, educated, a man of the world, a person with genuine feelings. That he can be smart to do political manipulations is fine, but can he be ruthless to go on a killing spree, or to trade his close relationships for political gain. And who again, still feels for his unborn child or his American girlfriend. If there are shades to his character, why and how he shifts from one to the other shade, is not powerfully shown. I mean, if he is clean, but there is a frustration that drives him to violence, the development of that frustration, his internal agony, a despair that drives him to be so different, is not apparent at all. Its more like a comfortable Jekyl and Hyde existence, it would appear!

b. The mother: one who at one time, rebeled against her politician father, and joined up with a revolutionary leftist, but meekly accepts a political marriage. And also allows herself to be a pawn in the political battle, while planning a wedding with Katrina, for her son. One who’s spent 30 years doing donations at a temple, for her first son, whom she lost, but who, after locating him 30 years later, in her first meeting with the son, makes him a political proposal. What is her real character??

c. Nana Patekar feels for the son of his sister, whom he locates, and does not kill him. Cries for him, in fact. But who at the end, comfortably encourages Ranbir to finish him off. So what was the real Nana?

d. Katrina, proud, confident, independent girl. But easily agrees to a wedding of manipulation, without any serious resistance?

What are the real people like? Such swings in the character map. Does not show consistency at all.

2. So what was the problem that Prakash Jha and Nana Patekar had? I think Nana has a very interesting role, a combination of a Bheeshma and Chanakya. If anyone should have a grouse, it should be Ajay Devgan! His character has not been given a chance to develop and he just hangs around, sort of. Likewise, Manoj Bajpai who could have been a strong Duryodhan, is made to look like a comedian, almost. Not sure if its the ensemble cast that has prevented Prakash Jha from developing better characters for everyone. But Manoj’s was a real let down. Katrina’s like a fly on the wall. So much for it being a momentous role for her career. No big deal at all.

3. So you are trying to show reality in politics, Mr. Jha! At high places, at levels of CM, we do not have a reality of random killings. Perhaps in Bihar, smaller level of politicians could be getting bumped off, every now and then. But do we have Godfather like mass killings? No, we don’t.

4. If at all, crucial CM-level candidates are killed, and more than one, I would believe that Emergency would be imposed in the state. You can’t just shoot out opposition leaders, and election still goes on fine, and you can come out winner. That is a little unbelievable.

5. Why the annihilation finally? When you have already lost lives at your own end (and hence you know how vulnerable you are), and with some efforts, you have secured the political victory, why would you still go after opp leaders / your cousins, to finish them off?? Its not a gangster film, with only the “last one standing”?! It is not a Mafia film?! But Prakash Jha makes it look like one.

6. And what about pregnancies?? At the rate at which single night stands convert to pregnancies, right through the film, one would wonder about the fertility levels! Also hasn’t anyone heard of birth control methods??

I think finally, what caused my ultimate adverse reaction were two things:

1. The end was really bad. And that is what remains with you, as you walk out, and ponder about what just happened.

2. Like in case of Kites, it is an expectation thing. In Kites, I went with low expectations (as by that time, people had run the film down), and was reasonably satisfied with what I saw. Here I expected a lot. Reviews were good. So really thought this would be one good film to watch. And it turned out to be drab!

In fact, looking at the violence that prevalied, I almost expected at the end, that when Ranbir’s being taken to the airport, driven by Ajay Devgan’s father, he’ll blow him up too. In keeping with the rest of the random violence!!!