Lootera, enchanted.


Get ready for some arresting, beautifully filmed images and songs that will melt your heart away.

Sonakshi Sinha has never been more charming and Ranveer Singh makes us fall in love with him all over again in Lootera.

Not only does the movie take place in 1953, it gives you the feeling  you are watching a movie of that era. It flows easy and gently through the first half, a romantic lullaby. It picks up drama and temporarily pace, only to level out again. The last quarter is quiet and introspective. No great Dabanggs here. Inner turmoils. A tale of redemption, of love conquers all and makes wrongs right.

The movie is set in West Bengal and captures the essence of Bengali films. It reminded my of the quietness of deep mountain lakes. You jolt a stone and it will create gentle ripples on the surface whilst it cuts through the deep waters, never to touch bottom.

Sonakshi Sinha graces each frame with her quintessentially Indian beauty. She conjures images of goddesses. As if somebody rubbed an oil-lamp, releasing a genie. She is greeting you from old paintings of a bygone era.  Sonaskhi is so beautiful you want to freeze time to keep her that way forever. I will always want to see her draped in colorful saris, not in skimpy Kareena outfits. The role of Pakhi was written for her.  I was glad to hear that she quit her agent over the refusal to take part in “Welcome.”  She is a character actress like Vidya Balan, a powerhouse, wasted on dumbed down movies. She should be weighing carefully her roles and remain true to herself.

Ranveer Singh plays his character Varun with depth and complexity.  Not to say I was surprised. I loved his nonchalance, energy and charisma  in Band Baaja Barat. This role as Varun,brings out a new side to him, the turmoiled, torn, emotionally charged.  Ranveer reminded me of Ralph Fiennes in The English patient, when he opened the door of his room to Pakhi. Or Ruldolfo Valentino in The Sheik. I bet every woman’s heart stood still for a moment.  This movie is heartbreakingly beautiful. I savored each minutet. Maybe it’s also the nostalgia of going back in time, before computers, before cell phones. A movie without the gadgets of our time felt so good all for sudden. Life seemed so different then.

If you want to spoil it for yourself, read all the reviews and storyline upfront. Or don’t ready anything about it and let the movie do its magic.

In a nutshell, a young archeologist, Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh), comes with a friend  to excavate a temple site situated on grounds of a local Zamindar. He gains his trust and confidence of the kind Zamindar’s , whose most valuable asset is his daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha). Her feeble health is of great concern to him. From the first encounter  Pakhi feels increasingly drawn to  Varun and falls under his spell.  He is not what he seems to be though and things take an ugly turn.

If you are a guy, who loves action movies, don’t watch this movie. If you suffer from attention deficit disorder, don’t watch this movie. If you haven’t slept in days, bring a comfort pillow.

It’s a good date movie, if you want to reach out to the woman of your dreams. You might get lucky.

Writer/director Vikramaditya Motwane is a filmmaker after my heart. He has shown his talent with Udaan and DevD. He has worked on Devdas (2002) as associate director, as the choreographer in Water (2005)  and it must have inspired him. This movie is ripe with the tone and color of those two films, but Lootera is his masterwork.

I hope the movie makes it to the Oscar’s.

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Son of Sardar


 

 

I still cannot decide what to think of whacky movie Son of Sardar. Maybe by tomorrow the dust will settle and I will know better how I feel about it. Sometimes if a day passes clarity returns. Living through the torture of the first 20 minutes I realized pretty much what I had done to myself fighting rush-hour and jetlag just to get there in time. All I could do is lean back, relax and laugh at the infantile slapstick humor. A loving caricature of a revenge drama, one of these ancient family feuds that only Sicilians, Indians and middle-eastern men can relate to. Family feuds that are so old no one can remember how and why they started. In this case all we know is that is was  trivial. But somebody died in family A, in response somebody will need to die in family B.

Jassi (Ajay Devgn) comes to India to claim his ancestral property, not being aware of the fact that the family feud with the Sandhu clan isn’t settled yet. His father for better or worse had killed Billu’s (Sanjay Dutt) brother. On the train Jassu falls in love with Sukh (Sonakshi Sinha) who is part of the Sandhu clan. Hapless Jassi reveals his identity to a Sandhu clan member. Luckily tradition says you can’t kill anyone while being guest in your home. And that’s exactly where Jassi has landed when the stinkbomb goes off. He realizes that his only way to save himself is stay put as Billu’s houseguest. And for two and a half hours we have to suffer through the skinny plot. Billu can’t marry his longtime love played by the eternally young Juhi Chawla, nor can he eat ice cream or have ice cold drinks (until the score with Jassi is settled) – (whoever came up with that plot idea must have been drunk)

This rollercoaster entertainer at once makes fun and validates a mentality that thrives subliminally on bloodthirst and vendetta. I thought to myself, this movie might do better in rural areas and single screen theaters or middle aged urbanite who are missing the good old days. A nostalgia for times where feuds weren’t about money and status but honor and solved by swords not lawyers. A desi Groucho-Marx Romeo Juliet combo saga transported into Punjab and transcribed into color. Le Nozze di Figaro Bollywood style.

 

Okay: this is “tomorrow” —  I remember laughing a lot, mostly in an effort to bridge the time til the blissful resolution that comes to the astonishing result: WHY are we FIGHTING? and LUV conquers ALL. Ajay is in good shape, although it was hard for him to pull off Sinha  smitten with him with her to-be-fiance being so much hotter. Sonakshi is some hardcore eye-candy and he is a tiny bit beyond his prime. Not exactly a killer chemistry between those two, but this movie relies on the unrealistic to begin with. The WTF-list is pretty long BUT ALWAYS ENTERTAINING! :-) Yeah, I think I had a good time. some good situational comedy. Some good stunts. Lots of over-the-top flying and crashing stuff. To make guyz happy.

 

The movie is a remake of theTelegu movie Maryada Ramanna.

 

Directed by Ashwni Dhir.

 

 

 

 

Akshay tweeting OMG songs but mum on Joker


You always wonder what it means when actors are not available for the promotion of their upcoming movies. Sometimes their schedule won’t permit and they are shooting somewhere else, but often it means there are differences and the actor is not happy with the end result. Or there was a mega fight on set, 8 on the richter scale.

I remember Abhay Deol shining through absentia during the promotion of “Aisha” – which I didn’t think was such a bad movie. It wasn’t GREAT but certainly enjoyable. And I loved Sonam Kapoor as his filmi love interest. I never figured out what happened there.. did he feel unappreciated? I thought it looked really awkward that Sonam was doing the promotional stuff all by herself. Doesn’t look good when the heart of the movie is a love story and only one half is showing up on the promotional parcours.

Now here with Joker we know it’s not exactly a love story, it’s about a village. But why isn’t Akshay Kumar mentioning the movie on twitter or anywhere else? What’s behind that? Apparently he is not so shy in promoting OMG Oh My God. a movie that won’t come out until end of September.

If you google News for promotion of the movie Joker, you will see that the Bollywood media octopus is scratching its head. The moloch doesn’t know what’s going on either. Farah Khan is stated as saying they want to promote the aliens and not Akki. What the….? Is she kidding us?  and that Akki and Sonakshi were ‘overexposed’ during Rowdy Rathore? Hey, that was a pretty bad movie! Not that it was Akki’s fault.

Now we learn that Sonakshi Sinha might skip all promotional gigs too. Akki complained about the lyrics of a song “I Want to Fakt You” not being family-friendly. Haha. He has a point there, I guess.  But  doesn’t FAKT refer to FACT and the A is pronounced as in PACKED? He complained also apparently about the fakt that Joker wasn’t released or shot in 3D, as originally planned.

Now my feeling is that if the end product is good and the actors believe in the movie, they will be happy to promote a film, regardless of differences, creative, financial or other.

So in this case,  are the actors pushed out of the picture and replaced by aliens in a new marketing strategy, as Farah Khan (the damage controller) wants us to believe or are Akshay and Sonakshi jumping from a sinking ship before it goes nosedown Titanic?

We shall see in the next few days.

Personally I have nothing against aliens promoting their flicks. It’s about time they get full recognition as a minority on this planet. I also pledge they should have access to free education and healthcare.

http://photogallery.indiatimes.com/events/mumbai/Farah-promotes-Joker/articleshow/15555009.cms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shirish Kunder’s Joker hitting the cinemas


Shirish Kunder is back in the headlines, this time with his first cinematic oeuvre “Joker” and Akki is back with his irresistible smile. Sonakshi Sinha his leading lady. Choreography by Farah Khan.  I am in.

the trailer looks entertaining, the story, if I may say so,  ridiculous… which doesn’t mean it cannot be fun. Here is the synopsis I found on Imdb:

In 1947 when the maps of India and Pakistan were being drawn, an oversight ensured that the village of Paglapur didn’t find a place in either country. The village had the distinction of housing the largest mental asylum in the region and in the mêlée that ensued during partition, the asylum inmates broke loose, drove away the villagers and established their own republic in Paglapur. And that’s how it stayed for the next 60 years! While the world outside changed, Paglapur remained isolated, with no electricity, television or sanity. Now, decades after the world forgot this village, a NASA scientist of Indian origin, Agastya and his beautiful wife find themselves on the road to Paglapur. Agastya is working on a top secret project for creating a device to communicate with aliens. So why is he in a village whose colorful inhabitants include a man who speaks in gibberish, another who thinks he is a lamp post and everyone else who think Mahatma Gandhi is still around, fighting for independence? And more importantly, what are they going to do that will soon turn the universe’s spotlight on this forgotten village?

Son of Sadaar


this romance slash drama [garam] masala flick lures us with the stellar cast of

Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Arjan Bajwa and Juhi Chawla.

Interestingly, the movie is originally a remake of a 1923 American silent movie starring Buster Keaten, called Our Hospitality, which was then the base for the Telegu movie Maryaada Ramanna.  well, how about that!  You never know where good ideas come from..

S.O.S is directed by Ashwani Dhir. cinematography Aseem Bajaj.  music by Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid Wajid

The screenplay is written by the prolific and talented Robin Bhatt, brother of Mahesh Bhatt, in collaboration with Ashwani Dhir.

Robin Bhatt looks and sounds to me like the more optimistic and solar counterpart of Mahesh..correct me if I am wrong. here is ( I think) an older interview with him.

x9z4ne_simon-singh-interviews-robin-bhatt_shortfilms

Robin Bhatt, Ajay Devgan and Ashwani Dhir and Aseem Bajaj work together like a well-oiled machine. So we can anticipate a highly professional production.

And I love Ajay in a turban. He should always wear it.

Joker


I just watched the trailer today for the first time on Namaste America. Not a big fan of Farah’s husband, whatshisname,  just kidding, but this movie looks like idiotic, moronic  and mega sillyonic fun. Not to be missed.

 

 

Maybe it’s just because I love Akki to death.. he can do no wrong in my eyes :-)

But a movie making fun of crop circles and UFOs is right up my alley.

I hope the movie is as much fun as its trailer.   And If it is, I take everything back I ever said about Shirish Kunder.  Or half of it.  Three quarter.

Oh man, I am just like a Bollywood villain, who at the very end of the movie asks the audience for forgiveness.  Be that as it may, I hope the movie will do well, not for Shirish exactly, who’s been mean to my idol Srk,  r’member that? but for Akki’s sake.

Ever since Slapgate, I’ve waited to thrash this movie, but now that I’ve seen the trailer, the wind is out of my sails and I am actually looking forward to it. But don’t be surprised if I go back to bashing once I’ve seen the whole film :-)

Bottomline, of course, is that I want EVERY Bollywood movie to succeed at the box office, since it keeps my passion well-financed and floating.  Wishing Shirish, Akki, Sonakshi and everyone else all the best for Joker’s release in August.

Question is, will it release here in the US?

 

Rowdy Rathore or Purring Pussy Cat?


Rowdy Rathore or Purring Pussy Cat?

what’s the verdict going to be at the Box Office for this new cinematic venture? :-)

Since Akki has an established fan base, especially when it comes to action movies, people will come to see it but my gut feeling is, after watching the trailer and some of the songs,  that it might sizzle out in single screen theaters.  I hope I am wrong because I desperately want my Akshay Kumar back in high demand.

Shiva (Akshay Kumar) is a small time conman in love with Priya (Sonakshi Sinha), a pretty girl whom he met at a wedding he wasn’t invited to. Into this picture perfect world enters six year old Neha who inexplicably believes Shiva to be her dad! And if this wasn’t bad enough, Shiva also becomes the object of a series of life threatening attacks by a gang of deadly criminals who seem to know something he doesn’t. While trying desperately to save his life and love, Shiva stumbles upon a deadly secret. A secret that will take him to a small town in Bihar; a town terrorized by a ruthless politician and the mafia he controls; a town whose inhabitants only hope for redemption is …

This movie is considered Akshay’s comeback vehicle into the genre of action movies. As much as I love Akshay in action movies, I somehow worry about this one. It gives off some 80s  vibes, none of the songs I have listened to makes me want to listen to them again.  And I can’t figure out if this is going to be a comedy or an action movie. A parody of an action movie or the real thing. But hey, why bury it before its release? It could be a surprise hit! I wish it for him and the rest of the crew!

We shall see. Meanwhile I am happy to have Akshay back in action. I just love watching him, he can bring to life mummies with his killer smile.

I loved him in Desi Boyz and that was a great comeback for him already.

Just keep the man working, Bollywood! :-) We love the guy.