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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Suddh Desi Romance

Casts: Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor
Banner: Yash Raj Films
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Writer: Jaideep Sahni
Music: Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya
Release Date: 6th September 2013


Story line: YRF's 'Shuddh Desi Romance' is a fresh, desi and a typical love story about the hair-raising minefield between love, attraction and commitment. It's a romantic comedy that tells it like it is.
Shuddh Desi Romance, by its name itself, is evident will be a pure, unadulterated rustic love story. And true to its name the makers have roped in Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor to star in this love triangle which is set in the backdrop of Jaipur, a lush locale in Rajasthan. The movie is the journey of three restless young people who junk the society's syllabus for finding love and decide to follow their heart. When their lives crisscross, their beliefs get challenged, and their loves are tested.
Sushant Singh Rajput plays the role of a casual "Boy-next-door" Raghu, and Parineeti Chopra plays the bold role of Gayatri as Raghu's lover. The film also stars debutante Vaani Kapoor, who plays the role of a contemporary girl. The characters of Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor are poles apart. While the former plays a desi rural girl, the latter plays an urban chick in the film.

Sushant Singh Rajput as Raghu is seen getting naughty and romancing individually with both the actress, Parineeti Chopra as Gayatri and Vaani Kapoor as Tara, along with some ifs and buts here. As a desi guy, he does not believe in love, and believes only in attraction. He is seen professing the same to the leading ladies who herself has no qualms in having a live-in relationship.

 Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:  Maneesh Sharma studied filmmaking at CalArts, Maneesh worked as an associate director on Trona (2004), an English-German student film shot in Los Angeles.
Two months after his return from the US, he got a break and started his Bollywood career as an associate director and an assistant director on a number of Yash Raj Films productions such as Fanaa (2006), Aaja Nachle (2007) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), before making his feature directing debut with Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) (English title: The Wedding Planner), based on his own story. Sharma's first outing as a director garnered him India's prestigious Filmfare Award in the Best Debut Director category.

His movie Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, produced by Aditya Chopra, was released on 9 December 2011. The critically acclaimed film stars Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. Sharma's latest film Shuddh Desi Romance (English title: A Random Desi Romance) screens in the Gala Presentation section of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

 My “Gut Feel” and preview:
In case of “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”, director failed to leave the lasting impression however it seems, that with “Shuddh Desi Romance” (SDR) he has hit the right cord. SDR would have the similar spark and energy that of his debut film “Band Baaja Baraat”.

SDR seems to have the enticement of light hearted romantic comedy with a mixed spice of both realistic and embroidered situations and performances. Lead actors Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra are looking great in the promos. Over all packaging of the film looks attractive and peppy, this will attract the audience specially the youth.

Yash Raj Films banner gives this movie an extra edge as this production house is known for putting the best of the efforts in marketing the product for optimum commercial benefit.

I am optimistic that SDR would offer entertainment with value for money to the audiences and will do decent box office business.

With expectation of not so complicated storyline , light hearted romantic comedy and decent performances I would give  “Shuddh Desi Romance”  3.5 out of 5 stars, five days before the release.


Zanjeer 2013

Casts: Ram Charan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and Prakash Raj
Banner: Reliance Entertainment, Rampage Motion Pictures Ltd, Adai Mehra Productions Pvt Ltd, Flying Turtle Films

Director: Apoorva Lakhia

Producer: Puneet Prakash Mehra, Apoorva Lakhia, Sumeet Prakash Mehra
Writer: Suresh Nair
Music: Chirantan Bhatt, Meet Bros Anjjan, Anand Raj Anand
Release Date: 6th September 2013


Story line: The thriller tells a tale about Vijay, a tough and honest police officer and his struggle against the system and his inner demons. Vijay is in charge of a case, where Ria, a key witness of a murder denies to co-operate with the cops. The murder is done by an oil mafia Teja and his gang. The movie highlights the battle of Vijay with Teja and also against his parents' cold blooded murderer.

 Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:  Before becoming a film director, Apoorva was an assistant director for Ashutosh Gowariker's period epic film Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. As Aamir Khan was looking for someone with Hollywood experience for Lagaan, Farhan Akhtar recommended Apoorva, who had worked with casts and crews in Hollywood. He also worked as the second assistant director for the film Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996).

He made his debut as a film director with the 2002 film Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. His second film Ek Ajnabee released in 2005 which starred Amitabh Bachchan in the leading role was a remake of the Hollywood film Man on Fire. His third film Shootout at Lokhandwala which has a multi-star cast released on 25 May 2007 and was based on real-life events involving the underworld gangsters Maya Dolas and Dilip Buwa. In late 2007 he directed a short story titled Sex on the Beach for the anthology film Dus Kahaniyaan. His next film was Mission Istanbul starring Vivek Oberoi, Sunil Shetty, Shriya Saran and Zayed Khan.[4] North American producer Vikas Kohli of Fatlabs studio collaborated with Mika Singh for the first time on the Mission Istaanbul soundtrack.
He has written the story of Hide & Seek (2009), which is directed Shawn Aranha. Lakhia wrote and directed all the movies from his debut to Mission Istanbul. His latest guest appearance was in a negative role in the movie Knock Out starring Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan.

My “Gut Feel” and preview:
Budget of this movie is approx. 49 crore and length of the movie is 2 hours five minutes. Initial  Zanjeer in 1973 introduced an angry young man in the form of Amitabh Bachchan. In that era the offered story was fresh and was appreciated by the audience however since then Bollywood cine goer has witnessed several films around the same story line.

I do not have the high hopes from this remake of Zanjeer as whole presentation looks dull and eroded with no ex factor which would create curiosity among the audience.   Priyanka would be as usual and same would be the case with Prakash Raj who was again seems to be giving rusty performance as he delivered in Police giri off late.

With repetitive predictable storyline, not so exciting star cast and dull screenplay I would give this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars, five days before the release.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Satyagraha

Casts: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpai, Amrita Rao and Vipin Sharma
Banner: Prakash Jha Productions and UTV Motion Pictures
Director: Prakash Jha
Producer: Prakash Jha,Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur
Screenplay: Prakash Jha and Anjum Rajabali
Music: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant, Aadesh Shrivastav, Meet Bros Anjan Ankit, Indian Ocean

Release Date: 30th August 2013

Story line: “Satyagraha” reflects the uprising of the middle class against a corrupt and unjust system that leaves it with no recourse but to form a spontaneous movement to challenge the status quo. It is the story of a dynamic and ambitious young man who is poised to take the elevator of corporate success when a personal tragedy exposes him to the shocking consequences of corruption in this country. Joining hands with an idealistic old man, he ignites a people’s protest that soon escalates into a massive movement with a national resonance, battling politicians determined to crush and discredit him. However, when people’s raw and unbridled anger is unleashed, the unintended penalty could be horrifying by itself.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:  Prakash Jha (born 27 February 1952) is an Indian film producer-director-screenwriter, who is most known for his political and socio-political films such as Damul (1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), multistarrer hit movie Raajneeti (2010), Chakravyuh (2012), and the upcoming Satyagraha. He is also the maker of National Film Award winning documentaries like, Faces After The Storm (1984) and Sonal (2002). He now runs a production company, Prakash Jha Productions
Facts And Figures:

        Budget of Satyagraha is approx. Rs 75 crore and the duration of the film is 2 hours 32 minutes.
        A social action group - the Bhopal citizen’s forum (BCF) has objected to the laying of a tar road and construction of a makeshift market at the historic 19th century Benazir palace, the location of Prakash Jha's upcoming film 'Satyagraha'. The issue caught the eye of the national monuments authority (NMA) as well. Benazir palace grounds come under the Gandhi medical college (GMC, Bhopal). The palace itself, not a protected monument, is held by the public works department (PWD)

My “Gut Feel” and preview:
Prakash Jha has always been associated with soulful story, driven by great performances; however “Satyagraha” appears to have deviated from the same owing to the commercialization through multi starrer approach. Transformation of stars into the characters looks like rather missing from the frame, which will make it difficult for the audience to accept them in their roles.

Movie aims at capturing the Anna Hazzare’s similar style of revolt against corruption and injustice which we all have seen in media recently. Driven from the same style, movies portrayal appears more on the dramatic end than being on the realistic side of the whole attempt.

Story and screenplay seems to be conventional with no out of the box thought process, where Amitabh Bachchan plays idealistic, Ajay Devgan the opportunist who after series of incidents turned in to the follower of Amitabh Bachchan and joins his movement. Kareena seems to be typical and same seems to be the case with Manoj Vajpayee who played similar characters in previous Prakash Jha’s projects such as “Aarakshan”.

Movies budget is high which increases the scale of the movie, however if the content of the movie is low it is difficult for it to make a mark. With Prakash Jha being the director expectations are high, however I am not optimistic about this project. This has been a trend now to do extensive promotion and try to mystify the audience in first week and recover the money. Box office success does not mean that the movie is always good; it simply means that the profit has been made.

I would like to be proved wrong and would be elated if the movie proves to be competence of Damul, Apharan and Gangajal which represents Prakash Jha in best possible manner.

With conventional storyline and average repetitive performances I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars, five days before the release.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Madras Cafe

Casts: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, Rashi Khanna.

Banner: J.a. Entertainment, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Rising Sun Films Production

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Producer: John Abraham, Ronnie Lahiri

Screenplay: Somnath Dey and Shubendu Bhattacharya

Music: Shantanu Moitra

Release Date: 23rd August 2013


Story line:Madras Café” is a serious political-thriller. This movie with an interesting name rotates around the tale of an Indian intelligence agent and an international reporter. It also centers on the topics like terrorism, which has largely prevailed in Indian society.
An Indian Intelligence agent (portrayed by John Abraham) journeys into a war torn coastal island, to break a resolute rebel group. He deftly maneuvers his resources to make significant breakthroughs, amidst a scenario where the enemy has no face and the only counsel is 'Don't get caught.' At various junctions, he meets a charismatic and passionate journalist (portrayed by Nargis Fakhri) who is following her will to reflect the truth behind the civil war. The story unfolds as their quest for the truth reveals a deeper conspiracy, by a faceless enemy, united to seize a common nemesisAs per John Abraham, "Madras Cafe brings us closer to what changed the political history of India."

The film, set in India and Sri Lanka, is a political spy thriller set against backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war. Vikram Singh (John Abraham) is an Indian Army special officer who is appointed by the intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing to conduct covert operations in Sri Lanka shortly after Indian Peace Keeping Force was forced to withdraw. As he journeys to Sri Lanka, with the intention of disrupting a rebel group, he discovers the larger issue. There he meets a British journalist (Jaya) who wants to reveal the truth about the civil war, and in the process he uncovers a conspiracy.

 Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:  Shoojit Sircar is an Indian film director and producer. He directed films like Yahaan (2005) and Vicky Donor (2012) and produced Aparajita Tumi (2012). He won the Indian Competition Special Jury Award at Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema in 2005 for Yahaan. He is now making a documentary film on Amitabh Bachchan. He is associated with Rising Sun Films and has made television commercials of Saffola, Reliance 2G, Apsara Pencils, Fair & Lovely, Maruti WagonR, Cadbury, Dove and many other brands.

He is known for making independent films. Aparajita Tumi is actually an adapted screenplay from Sunil Gangopadhyay's Dui Naari Haathey Torobaari. His 2012 film Vicky Donor was grand box office success, earning 13.40 crore INR in the opening weekend. His new film is Shoe bite which will be released soon.

 Facts And Figures:

        Budget of Madras Café is approx. Rs 35 crore and the duration of the film is 2 hours 10 minutes.
        Nargis Fakhri - Jaya (a British war correspondent in Sri Lanka (inspired by many war correspondents, including Anita Pratap).  As for Nargis, Sircar says her voice hasn’t been dubbed

        The film was entirely shot in India, where the city of Jaffna and large parts of inner Sri Lanka were recreated. "We knew we couldn't shoot this in Sri Lanka, so we shot most of it in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and converted it into a war zone. The second part of the film is based in India, which is the politics part."

        The film's alleged depiction of rebels in the Sri Lankan civil war raised concerns among India’s large Tamil population. Tamil outfit Naam Tamilar asked for a ban on the movie citing that it reflects the members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as terrorists. A still of actor Ajay Ratnam bearing close resemblance to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran also provoked controversies.
        A petition seeking to ban the release of "Madras Cafe" was filed in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in Chennai on August 14, 2013

My “Gut Feel” and preview:
My first reaction after seeing the promos and evaluating the resourceful team associated with this movie, is that it is an honest effort and sensible film depicting sensitive story with some realistic performances from lead characters.

I am a great admirer of John Abraham, the lead actor and one of the producers of this movie. He has been persistent and has crafted a niche in Hindi film industry with his dedication and hard work.  

On the other hand Shoojit Sircar the director of the movie also comes with bag full of promising work in the past. I am expecting the same magic being spelled again this time which appears to have resulted in a good sensible film. The promos do not seem to baffle the audience and claims to be a documentary; however it must be a hard hitting commercial Cinema dealing with a sensitive political drama based screenplay.

With expectation of levelheaded storyline and performances I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars, five days before the release.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Once Upon a time in Mumbai again

Casts: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan



Banner: Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd
Director: Milan Luthria

Producer: Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor
Writers: Rajat Aroraa

Music: Pritam Chakraborty, Anupam Amod
Release Date: 15th August 2013

Story line: The movie takes off from where the previous film ended with Shoaib Khan (Akshay Kumar) being the reigning don after assassinating his mentor, Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgan) thus earning the respect and reverence of the people. He is the charismatic and suave man with womanizing skills who has extended his empire up to the Middle East on the west. His sole companions and friends are Javed, who oversees his illegal and shady works for him, his old-time love Mumtaz (Sonali Bendre) and Aslam (Imran Khan), a youth spotted by Shoaib during one of his visits to the slums, where he once spent the early years of his life.
 The only obstacles on Shoaib's path to supremacy in Bombay are two enemies of Shoaib, Vardha and Arun. Sreenu, a police officer join hands with Vardha and Arjun as the trio's intention of ruining Shoaib coincides.

Although the city still being his first love a rising starlet, Jasmin has caught the fancy of Shoaib's heart. In due time this passion takes the shape of obsession and leads to a rift between Shoaib and Aslam as they both vie for Jasmin's love

 Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Milan Luthria is an Indian film director known for directing Bollywood films. He is best known for directing Ekta Kapoor's, The Dirty Picture (2011) and “Once upon a time in mumbai”(2010) and Taxi Number 9211 (2006).

Milan Luthria began his career by assisting to director Dharmesh Darshan in 'Lootere' in 1993. Luthria directed his first independent movie in 1999, called 'Kachche Dhaage' starring Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan which got mixed reviews. Luthria's next was romantic 'Chori Chori' (2002) starring Ajay Devgn, Rani Mukherjee and Sonali Bendre. In 2004, Luthria directed patriotic movie 'Deewaar' scripted by Anurag Kashyap. In 2006, he directed 'Taxi No 9211', his first success. It was appreciated for its originality and new concept. In 2007, Luthria's 'HatTrick' a movie with a backdrop of cricket, did not fare well.

Facts And Figures:
          “Once upon a time in Mumbai- Again”was budgeted Rs 28 crore however the sequel “Once upon a time in mumbai”again is budgeted Rs 85 crore which makes the sequel a risky venture as for return on Investment movie has to do exceptionally well at box office.  “Once upon a time in mumbai- Again” collected gross Rs 945 worldwide.

          The lead role was initially chosen to be played by Emraan Hashmi, who also appeared in the original film. However, director Milan Luthria was searching for an older actor, and hence chose Akshay Kumar. Kumar is to play the role of Shoaib Khan (Dawood Ibrahim).
          In February 2012, it was announced that there were two male leads in the film, and the second parallel to Kumar, was signed to Shahid Kapoor. However, in March 2012, it was finalized that Imran Khan was actually playing the second male lead. Many female actors were considered for the female lead, including Illeana D'Cruz, Kareena Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, however in April 2012, it was reported that Sonakshi Sinha had been casted.

          Initially, Shah Rukh Khan Starrer Chennai Express and Akshay Kumar starrer “Once upon a time in mumbai”Again ! both have been abandoned by Pakistani distributors and exhibitors in the interest of four of their own films releasing on the same day but now it has been finalized that both the films will be released in Pakistan

My Gut Feel and comments:
It’s been evident that whenever a sequel is made in Bollywood, the same creative team is not able to do the justice to the screenplay and overall packaging. Somehow I have the same hunch for “Once upon a time in Mumbai-Again”.  Although the costing scale is 3 times that of the prequel however the exuberance of the prequel appears to be missing has not been maintained.
“Once upon a time in mumbai- Again”, promos portraits that the movie revolves around the fact that both the male leads are fighting for the common lady love which seems to be the drawback of the plot and star cast is not as exciting as the prequel except Akshay Kumar who is playing different character after long time in comparison to his recent typical comic characters. Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan seem to be repetitive. On the other hand Ajay devgan, Emraan Hashami  and Randeep Hooda performed brilliantly backed by prodigious dialogues in the prequel.
Acquiring from the prequel’s success, extensive promotions and the strategic release of the movie on the occasion of Independence Day which is an extended weekend as well, would ensure the decent opening at box office. I am not completely writing off the movie, as the work done by the director Milan Luthria has been quite decent and respectable off late. I am sure with current offering we can expect an engaging screenplay and narration with decent performances however I have a feeling that it would not able to create the same magic that of its prequel. I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars, five days before the release.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chennai Express

Casts: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Sathyaraj.
Banner: Utv Motion Pictures and Red Chillies Entertainment


Director: Rohit Shetty
Producer: Gauri Khan, Karim Morani, Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur

Writers:  K. Subaash Music: Vishal, Shekhar and Honey Singh.

Release Date: 8th August 2013

Story line: Chennai Express movie hard-core commercial film with a romantic angle. The story is about this man's travel from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens during the journey.
The movie is based on a 40-year-old bachelor Rahul, who lands up in a totally unexpected journey that makes him realize the importance of Love, Life Relationships and Sacrifice! A stimulating train voyage that not only takes Rahul, accidentally to his destination but also makes him realize the power of True Love! A hilarious journey which teaches you about the serious relationships in life.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Rohit Shetty started his career at the age of 17 as an assistant director on Phool Aur Kante (Ajay Devgn's debut film). Since then he and Ajay Devgn struck a good professional and personal relationship. He made his directorial debut with Zameen starring Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan. Shetty has been responsible for some of the biggest box office hits like Golmaal, Golmaal Returns, Golmaal 3, All the Best, Singham and Bol Bachchan.

Facts And Figures:

   Chennai express’s budget is approximate Rs 90 crore and film length is 2 hour 35 minutes.
  The film is expected to release across 125 cinemas and 170 screens across the UK,          marking one of the widest Bollywood releases in the country.
  • Rani Mukerji, Kajol and Rajnikanth has done the guest appearances in the movie.
  • Rohit shetty has made almost all his movies in the past with Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd. This is the very first time he made a movie under Utv Motion Pictures and Red Chillies Entertainment.
  • Chennai Express along with Akshay Kumar starrer Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobara have been abandoned by Pakistani distributors and exhibitors in the interest of four of their films releasing on the same day.
  • Adopting an aggressive stance on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chitrapat Sena (Film Wing) threatened to disrupt and stop its release on August 8 as it reportedly attempted to dislodge ongoing popular Marathi movies from single-screen cinemas in the state. The party was upset with reports that the Rohit Shetty directed movie had demanded prime slots in single screen cinemas and even some multiplexes in the state where the superhit Marathi movie Duniyadari has been running to packed houses since July 19. Later, on August 1, 2013, both the film directors, Rohit Shetty and Sanjay Jadhav were called on Raj Thackeray to hammer out a solution. After listening to both parties, Thackeray ruled that if Duniyadari was not removed from single screen cinemas across the state, then the MNS would not object to the release and run of Chennai Express in Maharashtra.

My Gut Feel and comments:

Rohit shetty had made multi-starrers in the past except Singham. His USP has been light hearted multi-starrer comedy with great action made under moderate budget however with Chennai express it looks like he adjusted his style of film making as Shahrukh Khan as a super star has captured the canvas completely.

This movie’s budget is 90 crore which means even at box office movie hit the magic figure of Rs 100 crore mark it would be only Rs 10 crore up against its making cost. Although this movie has created the enough buzz which would ensure the bumper opening and principally Shahrukh’s movies do exceptional business overseas especially in Europe as compare to any other Bollywood star.  I am a great admirer of Shahrukh Khan and like him very much in Swadesh and Chak De India.
With Chennai Express not sure why I am not getting the vibes that this movie would be as entertaining as Om Shanti OM or Main Hoon Na which it claim to be. We recently witnessed the debacle of Himatwala where both Sajid Khan and Ajay Devgan went over the top and increased the scale of the movie without giving much attention to the script and content of the movie.
As a passionate Bollywood lover I am keeping my figures crossed and love to be wrong however my first reaction after watching the promps was that it’s a loud movie overpowered by Stardom of Shahrukh Khan with less funny moments and over the top action sequences. Again I would reiterate that I would love to be wrong and pray that this movie come out as a great entertainer and have all the success at box office however I use this forum to express my gut feel so I would go by my gut feel.   I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars, four days before its release.