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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bajirao Mastani

Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Produced by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Screenplay by: Prakash Kapadia
Story by: Prakash Kapadia
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Mahesh Manjrekar
Music by:  Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sanchit Balhara
Cinematography: Sudeep Chatterjee
Edited by: Rajesh G. Pandey
Production company: SLB Films
Distributed by: Eros International
Running time: 156 minutes
Budget: 150 crore
Release dates: 18 December 2015

Story line:
Bajirao was the Peshwa during 1720-1740. He's considered to be the most powerful of all Peshwas, and the best Maratha administrator and military general after Shivaji himself. At the time of his reign, Chattrasal was the ruler of Bundelkhand. He was constatntly warring against the Mughals and the Nawab of Oudh/Awadh. In one of his military campaigns, when his kingdom was at great peril of being completely overrun by his enemies, he sought the help of the Marathas under Peshwa Bajirao. Bajirao responded and helped Chahtrasal save his kingdom and his life. As a mark of respect, Chattrasal gave him 1/3rd of his kingdom, and his beautiful daughter Mastaani (who was from a Muslim wife) in marriage to Bajirao. Mastaani was trained in both political administration and military skills.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:
Bhansali began his career as an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and was involved in the making of Parinda, 1942: A Love Story and Kareeb. However, both had a fall out when Bhansali refused to direct Kareeb and made his directorial debut with Khamoshi: The Musical, the commercially unsuccessful but critically acclaimed narration of a daughter's struggle to communicate with her deaf mute parents. His second film was a triangular love story, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, starring Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, and Ajay Devgan which established his individualistic stamp for visual splendor and creating auras of celebration and festivity. The film was a great success and won numerous awards. His next film, Devdas, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, was Bhansali's ode to the novel of the same name which became the highest grossing film of 2002. It also was India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It stood eighth in Time magazine's "The 10 Greatest Movies of the Millennium (Thus Far)" Then came Black, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, which stood fifth in Time (Europe)'s "10 Best Movies of the Year 2005" among films from across the world. Bhansali's Saawariya was met with sharp criticism and poor collections at the box office.

In 2010, Bhansali released Guzaarish starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. He also made his debut in music direction with this film. Later in 2012, Bhansali produced Rowdy Rathore, a remake of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha; and directed by Prabhu Deva.

In 2013, Bhansali directed Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, starred Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles.

My Gut Feel and comments:
Bajirao mastani is a dream project of Sanjay Leela Bhansali which he saw more than 12 years back.  He did announce this movie in 2003 however project didn’t kicked off.  As per him he was waiting for right moment and now finally his vision taken a massive shape and size on canvas.
One can imagine what kind of effort and hard work director like Sanjay must have put in. As Bajirao mastani which is a decade old dream project of his and that too a period film which any ways is quite demanding in conceptualization and execution.
Going by the promos Bajirao mastani seems grand, dramatic and exciting with lot of twists and turns. Sanjay is capable of doing justice to subject like this and chances of him going wrong seem less. Star cast is impressive and seem they have put heart and soul to bring the epic  historical characters alive on screen.
Bajirao Mastani is a big budget movie which is clashing with Shahrukh starrer Dilwale.  This clash will impact the box office collection of both the movies for sure. Although personally I have less hopes with Dilwale however knowing the taste of masses it is going to give tough competition at box office over first weekend. After first weekend thing would settled down and both movies would move forward on merits.


Going by my gut feeling I am giving this movie 3.5 stars out of 5, one night before the release.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tamasha

Directed by : Imtiaz Ali
Produced by : Sajid Nadiadwala, Imtiaz Ali
Written by : Imtiaz Ali
Starring : Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone
Music by : A.R. Rahman
Cinematography : Ravi Varman
Edited by : Aarti Bajaj
Production company : Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Window Seat Films
Distributed by : Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Running time : 139 minutes
Release Date: 27th November 2015

Story line:
Tamasha is a love story. Film tells the story of an individual who loses his self by living according to the social conventions expected of him. Principal photography of the film began in Corsica, France in July 2014. Director Imtiaz Ali said about the film, "There is something special in you. Don't ignore it. Don't change yourself to fit into this world. Please... give yourself a chance. She reminds him of who he is. He is the small town boy who has grown up in the world of stories. He belongs to that world. He is not suited to the corporate rat-race. The journey he goes through to reach himself is the stage for Tamasha. It's a personal journey - passionate and quirky - that dismantles his life so that he can become how she sees him - the exuberant story-teller." Some portions of the film have been shot in Corsica, France, Shimla and Kolkata.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:
Imtiaz began his career directing TV programs including Kurukshetra for Zee TV and Imtehaan for Star Plus. He moved on to Bollywood films. In 2005, he made his directorial debut with Socha Na Tha starring Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia. Despite its box office failure, the film won critical acclaim.
His second film, Jab We Met, starred then real-life couple Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, and became his first box office success. His Love Aaj Kal starred Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, and emerged as his biggest commercial success to date. Ali's latest film Rockstar, starring Ranbir Kapoor, did well at the box office despite mixed reviews.
He has a production company called Window Seat Films. The first film under this banner is Highway starring Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt.

My Gut Feel and comments:

Imtiaz Ali’s creations have been somewhat a mixed bag full of excitement, from a complex entertainer movie such as “Rockstar” to a simply projected movie like “Highway” and “Socha Na Tha”. For some, including me “Rockstar” was not a movie that was appreciated in the first instance, however once you outgrow the experimental experience it starts to seep in and the canvas of his imagination starts emitting color and strokes of his marvelous creation. To the contrary he has also created movies that are loved by masses in the first watch itself owing to witty, humorous storyline that was woven in his style of simplicity of story-telling, to name “Jab we Met” and Love Aaj Kal”.

To me, “Tamasha” appears to be a movie that he has experimented in terms of subject and overall packaging of the film. I’m very keen and excited to see how he has projected the never ending battle between heart and head. Time old battle to, whether, be part of the rat race existence or carve out a different path by following ones heart?
Message that Imtiaz is trying to delivery is relatable with today’s youth who believes in “startups” and taking risks.
Both leading actors Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika are looking awesome. A.R. Rahman’s music is as always complementing the film’s flavor. And movie is being aptly supported by the cinematography.
Till now Imtiaz haven’t failed in meeting the expectations of its loyal targeted audiences. I personally appreciated his sensibility of cinema and hope that this time also he would live up to the expectations of his audiences including myself.

Going by my gut feel I am giving this movie 3.5 star out of 5 stars, 2 days before the release.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo



Director: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Producor: Ajit Kumar Barjatya, Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya
Screenplay: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Story: Sooraj R. Barjatya
Starring: Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Anupam Kher
Music: Sanjoy Chowdhury, Himesh Reshammiya
Cinematography: V. Manikandan
Editor: Sanjay Sankla
Production company: Rajshri Productions
Distributor: Fox Star Studios
Release date: 12 November 2015
Running time: 164 minutes
Budget: 80 crore




Story Line: The film narrates the story of Prem Dilwala, a happy go lucky and innocent man who does Ramleelas (stage plays based on Lord Rama) in Ayodhya, India. Whatever he earns, he donates to a charitable fund which is run by a gorgeous Princess named Maithili (Sonam Kapoor). Prem is enchanted by the simplicity of her nature, how despite she being a princess, leads a normal life and is kind enough to help people constantly. He decided to meet her and express his respect to the causes that she undertakes. What follows next, is dramatic, visually grand and a test of love and relationships. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, is a complete family film that has dollops of emotions laced into the dramatic plot of the story where the do-gooder Prem has to rely on his instincts and purity of his soul to win over people and every dramatic situation that he is faced with.
Khan would be seen playing dual role - a king and a common man. Ratan (king) will rule the kingdom, while his identical twin brother in the film will be a common man. "Sooraj has written the character of Ratan with Salman in mind. He's the ideal raja who is loved and worshipped by his subjects. Sonam Kapoor plays the role of a princess. Salman has given a lot of inputs for both the characters, Prem and Ratan, which are positive roles," a source close to the production told Mumbai Mirror.
Also, the film features Sonam Kapoor as a princess and Neil Nitin Mukesh will be seen as Khan's evil step-brother.
"Neil is playing a vengeful prince who is King Salman's step-brother," the source added. But a report in IBTimes UK says that the storyline is similar to American author Mark Twain's popular tale "The Prince and the Pauper".
A popular version from the tale that relates to the Salman starrer is as follows:
A king, who is loved by his subjects, wants to lead a normal life away from all the responsibilities and his kingdom, while his step brother plans to steal the throne from him. But things are changed when the king finds out the common man who looks exactly like him and they change their identities with each other temporarily.
Not only "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo", but other old classic films are also inspired from Twain's tale, which includes "Raja Aur Runk".

"Raja Aur Runk" is an Indian adaptation of Twain's novel, which was released in 1968. The film, directed by Kotayya Pratyagatma featured late actor Sanjeev Kumar in the double role and Kumkum as the princess.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Sooraj has made his directorial debut with Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) starring Salman Khan which was a huge box office hit and launched both his and Salman's careers. The film also won him the Most Sensational Debut of the Year award.

He teamed up with Salman again for Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) which became one of the highest all-time blockbusters and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999) which was a huge hit as well.

His fourth film was Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan and his last film was Vivah (2006) starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao, which has proved to be one of the biggest blockbusters in his career. He has named the lead actor of all his movies 'Prem'.

He is a trendsetter and ushered in an era of family based themes in Indian cinema.[citation needed] He had said in an interview that "Ours was a joint Marwari family and I grew up witnessing grand functions and wedding ceremonies in the family. The opulence shown in my films is based on my impressions as a child".
Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Sooraj Barjatya's two consecutive blockbusters, are still placed among the top ten most successful films of the last 80 years.

Vivah proved to be one of the biggest grossers of 2006, having celebrated a silver jubilee run at 25 centers across the country. The film was nominated for more than 15 awards.


My Gut Feel and comments:

Sooraj came back with the bang in his own sweet innocent style. Although comparing to his previous movies this time he seems to have experimented with a tricky subject where Salman playing double role and story has typical gray shed characters as well,  played by Neil Nitin Mukesh and Arman Kohli which we had not seen in Sooraj’s previous movies.

Although Sooraj is associated with simple highly emotional family drama films however not many knows that he do lot of preparation as director and work very hard on preproduction stuff which results in seem less execution.

This time production scale is gigantic as story revolves around a royal family.So handling a huge cast and crew and doing justice to massive sets as per schedule do required a diligent ground work and timely execution which Sooraj did managed to carry out well.

Salman is looking awesome as Sooraj’s prem once again, although if given a chance I personally would have preferred Sonakshi against Sonam in leading lady’s role in this movie however I am sure  Sooraj would have his own reasons for casting Sonam.

Film is releasing in over 4500 screens across India and already recovered 71 %( 57 crore) of its production cost by selling satellite and music rights as per trade analysts. This means from business perspective this would be a sure short profit making venture as movie is releasing on the next day of diwali (Wednesday) which will result in higher foot fall by Sunday.
Overall chances of Sooraj going wrong dramatically in his offering is negligible.  Salman has not charged movie fees and will share profit with Sooraj as per sources.

Holding today’s audience attention for more than two and a half hour would be difficult and film would have its own share of flaws here and there still once can expect a clean family entertainer as expected from Rajshri Productions.


Going by my gut feel, I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 stars, one day before the release.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Main Aur Charles

Director: Prawaal Raman
Producer: Raju Chadha, Amit Kapoor, Vikram Khakhar
Writer: Prawaal Raman
Starring: Randeep Hooda, Adil Hussain, Richa Chadda, Tisca Chopra, Alexx O'Nell
Cinematography: Anuj Rakesh Dhawan
Editor: Nipun Gupta
Production company: Wave Cinemas, Cynozure Networkz
Release dates: October 30, 2015

Story line: The movie revolves around Charles, an enigmatic con man and a vicious killer, and the lives he touched with his inescapable charm and mysterious personality.We follow Charles, who is literally evil personified, as he manipulates innumerable people to facilitate his jail break. The thin line between his victims and accomplices include a copywriter of an international ad agency clinging on to Charles for hope, a royal princess seeking adventure in an otherwise bland life, a young hippie girl hopelessly drawn towards him, and an innocent law student Mira madly in love with the dreams sold by Charles amongst various others - from a financial wizard, an extortionist from Haryana to a helpless prison supervisor. Bit by bit, the character of Charles is revealed through all those who encountered him. Probably the only person who interacted with Charles the least, Commissioner Amod Kanth, was affected by him the most. We see the impact of Charles on all through the eyes of Amod Kanth - and their ever raging battle of good and evil, where good eventually wins but evil always resurfaces. This story, set in the 1980s, shows how Charles escapes from Indias most securely guarded prison and is then subsequently arrested once again in Goa. It reveals the story behind the seemingly simple cat and mouse game between Amod Kanth and Charles. But more importantly, the movie gives the world a peek into the dangerous mind of Charles, how he led different people to perceive him differently, how he filled the vacuum in their lives and ultimately, his dark world where right and wrong blend into a charming and mystique grey existence.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Prawaal Raman started his career as an assistant director to Ram Gopal Varma and assisted him as second unit director in "Jungle" and "Company ". Post Company, Ram Gopal Varma assigned the project "Darna Mana Hai" to him as the director.The multi starrer film released in 2003 was one of the most critically acclaimed film. His next directorial film, Dr. Ajoy Kumar is in its pre production phase. He has produced documentaries for Prayas, an NGO in New Delhi operating in more than 7 states in India

In 2012 Due to the increasing suicide amongst school students, Prawaal Raman organised an anti-suicide campaign with Jeevan NGO and Loyola School which had a series of seminar. Guest speakers were Randeep Hooda, Rahul Bose, Sunita Menon, Nishikant Kamat, Satyakaam Gupta and Prawaal Raman, himself.

He has been a guest speaker for leadership training program for Praxair, organized by Abacus Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi in 2012 where he spoke about mutual faith and trust within a corporate structure. He has also been a guest speaker along with Tisca Chopra at Masina Metro Hospital and spoke about how to deal with people suffering from bipolar disorder

My Gut Feel and comments:
These are very few trailer I have seen in recent time which appealed me in one go and “Main aur Charles” is one of them. Look and presentation reminded me “Once upon a time in Mumbai” trailer.

This movie is not a biopic of Charles Sobhraj however revolved around one incident of him breaking out from Tihar jail.

Prawaal Raman the director of this movie started his career assisting Ram gopal verma and delivered two good movies as director “Darna Marna hai” and “404”. 

Main aur Charles he scripted 5 years back and waited for right  time and production team who would do justice to his vision which seems experimental, interesting however extravagant at the same time as it demands recreating the magic of 80s which add to production cost.

Randeep Hooda and supporting cast seems well in shape and in character which add spice to dish and makes it an appealing film to watch out coming weekend. Chances seems low , Prawaal Raman going wrong this time as it looks like whole team seems had put honest efforts and delivered a decent movie with acceptable  flaws and presented a commercial movie captivatingly.

After reviewing all the facts and figures and going by my gut feeling I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 stars one night before the release.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shaandaar




Director: Vikas Bahl
Producer: Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Karan Johar, 
Madhu Mantena
Writer: Anvita Dutt Guptan (Screenplay & Dialogue)
Story writer: Vikas Bahl, Chaitally Parmar
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt
Music director: Amit Trivedi
Cinematography: Anil Mehta
Editor: Sunil Nayak
Production company: Phantom Films, Dharma Productions
Distributor: Fox Star Studios
Running time: 167 minutes
Release date: 22 October 2015

Story Line: A big fat ''Shaandaar'' Indian wedding, which is actually a business merger between two of the biggest business families of India, is happening at an exotic castle in Europe. Mrs. Kamla Arora, the grandmother of the Arora family, the sole owner of the billion-dollar business and the property, has planned their wedding. Kamla Arora is a bitch, treats everyone like her servants including her three sons, Bipin (the eldest), Vipul and Vinay. Mr.Fandwani, the groom's father is a loud Sindhi businessman who is the counter to Kamla Arora: The Fandwanis dress in gold, accessories in gold and if possible they drink and eat gold. 
Based against the backdrop of the Shaandaar wedding, is a love triangle between (our protagonists) Aliya and Jagjinder Joginder and Bipin (Aliya'sfather). Bipin believes there's no guy that will be good enough for his daughter while Aliya is a dreamer but her dreams are whacked out and Jagjinder Joginder is a doer, he can make anything happen! ...And for obvious reasons Bipin hates Jagjinder Joginder.
 
The journey of Aliya, Jagjinder Joginder and Bipin in the chaotic and lavish wedding is the story of Shaandaar.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Bahl started his career with advertising, working for several years in client servicing, before joining UTV Spotboy. In 2011, he started Phantom Films, along with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. Over the years as a director he has worked with film directors like Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Gupta and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Also in 2011, he co-directed Chillar Party and won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay, along with Nitesh Tiwari and Vijay Maurya. The film also garnered the National Film Award for Best Children's Film. In 2014 came his independent directorial venture, Queen starring Kangana Ranaut, which received critical and popular acclaim

My Gut Feel and comments:

I have watched the trailer of “Shaandaar” three times back to back, just to figure out why it didn’t appeal to me in the first place. One can relate a film like this to Dharma production, however not sure what is there in this project that made Anurag Kashyap co produced it. Although yes in recent time Anurag and Karan have shown mutual admiration for each other. Anurag also directed Karan in Bombay Velvet.

I find it hard to correlate the movie to its director Vikas Bahl who has been associated with experimental cinema both as an associate producer and as a director. He was the creative producer of “No one killed Jessica”, associated producer for films like Udaan and Dev D. Co producer for films like Aamir and Welcome to Sajjanpur. He has also produced and directed two awesome films named Chillar Party and Queen.

Somehow I’m getting a feeling of everything getting forced upon in this movie, be it the humor or characters. It seems to be a bumpy ride with inconsistent screenplay and stretched second half.
Although films like this do well at box office these days just because of strategic selection of dates and releasing multiple prints, where movie do recover the money in first weekend only.

I am not writing off this movie out rightly as I am sure it would have some funny interesting moments however as a package it does not appeal to me. 

Going by my instinct, I am giving “Shaandaar”  2.5 stars out of 5 stars three days before the release.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2

Director: Luv Ranjan
Producer: Abhishek Pathak
Writter: Rahul Mody, Tarun Jain & Luv Ranjan
Screenplay: Deepak, Vaibhav Suman, Sumit Saxena
Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sonalli Sehgall, Ishita 
Sharma, Omkar Kapoor, Sunny Singh
Music: Toshi Sabri, Hitesh Sonik, Luv Ranjan, Clinton Cerejo
Cinematography: Sudhir K Choudhary
Editor: Akiv Ali
Release date: 16 October 2015
Running time: 159 minutes

Key Information: It is sequel to 2011 hit film Pyaar Ka Punchnama. The sequel is directed by Luv Ranjan and produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Panorama Studios Production. The film stars Kartik Aaryan and Nushrat Bharucha. The trailer of the film was unveiled on 3 September 2015.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Luv Ranjan is an Indian film director, writer. He has directed movies like Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Akaash Vani. He is an alumnus of the Asian Academy Of Film & TV. He was also termed a misogynist after the release of Pyaar Ka Punchnama, which he tried to shrug off.

My Gut Feel and comments:
Luv Ranjan’s debut film “Pyaar ka Punchnama” came across as a pleasant surprise for the audience as it came silently however created a buzz at box office after positive word of the mouth publicity among youth. It was a good movie with new star cast, interesting relatable characters backed by great sense of humor.
I have seen few interviews of Luv Ranjan and found him a strong headed person who has his rational reasons about his film making style and selection of subjects.
After Pyaar Ka punchnama he made “Akaash Vani”, which was an above average movie with reasonable budget. Despite being an above average movie it did not succeed at the box office.  “Pyar ka Punchnama” was a treat and as an audience I was thrilled to know that part 2 is going to hit the screens soon. After seeing the trailer of part 2 the only word that came to my mind was “disappointment”.
It appeared like any other sequel or a part 2 which is grander and has been scaled up as compared to its prequel or part 1; however missing the substance or X factor that was there in the original version.

“Pyar ka Punchnama 2” (PKP2) without Liquid (one of the most interesting character of part 1) is like Tanu weds mannu without Pappi Ji.  I am sure Luv Ranjan would have his own reasons for not having the same character being casted in the sequel.
To be honest, I would love to be wrong however  I think PKP2 would lack the punch and chances are that it will not live up to the expectations that were created by part 1.
On the other hand, if I see it as a standalone movie without comparing it with its part1,chances are it can manage to find its share of audiences and has a potential to do decent business.

Going by my gut feeling I am giving this movie 2.5 star out of 5 two days before the release.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jazbaa

Director: Sanjay Gupta
Producor: Sanjay Gupta and Anuradha Gupta,Nittin Keni, Akash Chawla and Sachin R. Joshi and Raina Sachin R. Joshi
Screenplay: Sanjay Gupta and Robin Bhatt
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Irrfan Khan, Shabana Azmi
Music: Sachin-Jigar, Amjad-Nadeem and Arko
Background score: Amar Mohile
Cinematography: Sameer Arya
Editedor: Bunty Nagi
Production Company: White Feather Films and Viiking Media & Entertaiment
Distributor: Essel Vision Productions
Release dates: 9 October 2015

Story line: Jazbaa movie is a suspense thriller. It is a remake of the 2007 South Korean film Seven Days.
The film is about a lawyer whose daughter is kept hostage while she is asked to fight a case for a man who has been charged of rape and murder five times and win it within seven days.
While Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will play the role of the lawyer, Irrfan Khan reportedly will essay the character of a suspended cop and Shabana Azmi will play his onscreen mother who is also a professor.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Gupta started his career with Aatish: Feel the Fire. Later he went to write and direct films including Ram Shastra, Khauff and Jung. The filming of Jung (2000), lasted over two years. Gupta and producer Satish Tandon had a dispute about the release of the film, with Tandon pushing for a release while Gupta wanted Sanjay Dutt to re-dub some lines, which Dutt was refusing to do.
While filming Kaante in the Los Angeles in 2001, the events of the 9/11 attack forced the film to relocate planned scenes from several areas that were then considered sensitive. Commentators noted a similarity in Kaante to Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs. Gupta says that he was inspired by a number of other films as well, including The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, and the film that inspired Reservoir Dogs, City On Fire. Gupta's Zinda (2006) has been described as a unofficial remake of the Korean film Oldboy
He also produced the films Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007), Dus Kahaniyaan, and directed and co-produced Shootout at Wadala the sequel to Shootout at Lokhandwala.

My Gut Feel and comments:
Jazbaa is a remake of 2007 South Korean film “Seven Days”. “Seven Days” was a commercial and critical success for its targeted market. So we can safely predict that Sanjay Gupta has a tried and tested engaging plot to start with. Now the question is that, is he capable of adapting a thrilling plot and presenting it as per Hindi cinema audience sensibility. The answer is Yes, as he had success fully done it in the past with Kaante and Zinda.

His way of film making emphasizes on styling the central characters of his movies. He takes optimum leverage that falls under the purview of typical bollywood masala movie. And through this differentiation, he is able to strike a chord with his targeted audience.

Same is the case with Jazbaa, where Irfan Khan has been given few one liners which are catchy and enhancing his screen presence in the movie. Aishwarya has selected a sensible role that presents her in a very refreshing look. She is playing the central character in this film and is looking captivating in the role.

Soulful music has always been the notable point in Sanjay Gupta’s features, music of Jazba is yet another addition to the list. My favorite song of the movie is, “ Jaane there shehar ka kya irada hai, asmaan kam, parinde zada hai” , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJdgJ_UeX0A

I am expecting few flaws in the screenplay, especially in the second half. However I am sure that the chance of this movie going completely off track is negligible. It should keep the audiences engaged throughout the movie.

It appears to be a decent movie, if not as exceptional as last week’s release movie “Ttalwar”.

Going by my instinct, I am giving Jazbaa 3 out of 5 stars two days before the release and will look forward to it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Talvar

Director: Meghna Gulzar
Producer: Vineet Jain, Vishal Bhardwaj
Writer: Vishal Bhardwaj
Screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj
Based on: Noida double murder case
Starring    : Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Sharma
Music Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar
Editor: A. Sreekar Prasad
Production companies:  Junglee Pictures, VB Pictures and Mirchi Movies Limited
Release date: 2 October 2015
Running time: 132 minutes

Story line: The film is based on a 2008 murder case in Noida, in which 14-year old Aarushi Talwar was found murdered at her home. The family's missing 45-year old servant Hemraj was initially sought for the murder, until his dead body was discovered in another part of the building on the following day. The police first suspected Aarushi's parents, Rajesh and Nupur, for the murders. They theorized that Rajesh had murdered the two after finding them in an "objectionable" position, or because Rajesh's alleged extra-marital affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi. The case was then handed over to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team led by Arun Kumar, who exonerated the parents, and identified another group of suspects, based on narco tests. The new suspects included a compounder who worked at the Talwars' clinic and two domestic servants who worked in the neighbourhood. However, these suspects were not charged due to insufficient evidence. After Arun Kumar's tenure at CBI ended, the case was transferred to a new CBI team. The new team's investigating officer AGL Kaul believed the parents to be guilty, but his superiors Nilabh Kishore and Javed Ahmed considered the evidence to be insufficient. In its 2010 closure report, the new CBI team identified Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect, but recommended closing the case due to critical gaps in the evidence. However, a court rejected the recommendation, and initiated proceedings against the Talwars. In 2013, the parents were convicted based on circumstantial evidence, and remain imprisoned, while their appeal is pending before a higher court.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Meghna started her writing journey as a freelance writer for The Times of India and the NFDC publication Cinema in India. Her poems have been published in anthologies of the Poetry Society of India. After completing her graduation in Sociology, Meghna worked with noted filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza as an assistant director. In 1995, she went on to do a short course in filmmaking from the Tisch School of Arts, New York University, New York. Upon her return, she joined her father writer - director Gulzar, as an assistant on his notable films Maachis and Hu Tu Tu. Meghna simultaneously began scripting her own film along with directing documentaries for Doordarshan and music videos for several music albums.

She directed her first film “Filhaal” in 2002, starring Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen and Tabu. Her second movie was “Just Married” in 2007. She also directed a short film "Pooranmasi" for Sanjay Gupta's Dus Kahaniyaan starring Amrita Singh.

My Gut Feel and comments:
Going by the trailer, it appears that a real life case which was highly talked about and was extremely sensitive in nature has been captured skillfully on reel. Creative time seems to have done justice to the plot, where scope of deviating from facts and figures was limited.

It looks as if, Vishal Bhardwaj and Meghna Gulzar have done all the required ground work related to the “Noida double murder case” while making this movie. They have handled the subject well and have presented it with great conviction.

Both Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma are established actors and other supporting casts also seems to have done justice to their roles. In addition to this, length of the movie is 2 hours 12 minutes which, boosts the chances of keeping the audience engaged throughout the movie. I am hoping movie will live up to the expectations and would be a treat to watch for audience coming extended weekend.
Going by my faith in Vishal Bhardwaj, Meghna Gulzar and other creative team members involved in the making of this film, I am giving it 3.5 stars out 5, one day before its release date.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Calendar Girls

Casts: Akanksha Puri, Avani Modi , Kyra Dutt, Ruhi Singh, Satarupa Pyne
Banner: Mangal Murti Films PVT. LTD., Bhandarkar Entertainment
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Producer: Sangeeta Ahir and Madhur Bhandarkar
Writers: Madhur Bhandarkar
Music: Meet Bros Anjjan and Amaal Mallik
Release Date: 25th September 2015
Story line: The film focuses on five girls who hail from different regions of India, and who have been selected to pose for the country's most prestigious annual calendar which is a joint effort between business tycoon Rishabh Kukreja and his photographer friend Timmy Sen. Suhel Seth and Ronit Roy have also played significant role in 'Calendar Girls'. Five new actresses are making their debut in Hindi film industry with 'Calendar Girls'.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Madhur Bhandarkar is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. He made his directorial debut with Trishakti.
Madhur Bhandarkar worked as a video cassette delivery boy in Khar, a suburb of Mumbai and delivered video cassettes on bicycle. This gave him access to a large collection of movies and he studied film-making through it.

After working with many film-makers, he made his directorial debut with Trishakti which took more than three years to make and released in 1999. The film had a relatively low key cast and was largely ignored at the box office. After two years he directed Chandni Bar (2001) starring Tabu with a budget of Rs 15 million. The film was critically acclaimed and a box office success, which took Bhandarkar into the top league of filmmakers in Bollywood. He received his first National Award for this film and thereon won National awards for his films Page-3 and Traffic Signal. His movie Fashion (2008) also won National Awards for Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and for Best Supporting Actress (Kangana Ranaut). He is known to create realistic films that receive critical acclaim and box office success.
Madhur was awarded the Gangasharan Singh Award (2009) by the HRD Ministry of India; this Presidential Award was given to him for his contribution to Hindi Cinema. Madhur was then conferred PL Deshpande Award a.k.a. Zenith Asia Award for significantly shaping the film making culture in his unique works and he has been described as ‘the Film Maker of the First Decade of the 21st Century’.

The National Film Archive of India preserved Bhandarkar’s films- Chandni Bar, Page-3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail- in the Government’s Archival data for Indian Films.
Recently, he received the Raj Kapoor Smriti Award (2014) by the Government of Maharashtra for excellent contribution to Indian Cinema.
In July 2015, Madhur received the TSR TV9 Award for “Bollywood Creative Film Maker”.

My Gut Feel and comments:

“Calendar Girls” seems no different from previous Madhur Bhandarkar directed films. It is stamped with his way of  story telling.
Madhur’s last few offerings “Heroine”, “Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji” and “Jail” were average movies as they lacked the punch and ex-factor as compared to his earlier movies such as “Page 3”,”Ccorporate” and “Chandani Bar”. Or one can also say that his earlier movies brought an innovating, refreshing style of  storytelling and subjects for the Bollywood audiences. However over the time it has started to appear monotonous and cyclic is nature to the audience. It’s about time for Madhur to evolve as a director and start experimenting with new subjects and more interesting narrations.

One fact that stands out for Madhur is that apart from one or two movies, all his movies managed to recover the cost at box office or have done profitable business. Reason for the same appears to be his business sensibility to keep low budget for all his creations.

I assumed that his last two offerings “Heroine” and “Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji” were flop however during my research on him I discovered that actually “Heroine” was budgeted at 23crore and did box office collection of 44 Crore’s apart from satellite rights and other means. Similarly “Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji” was budgeted 22 Crore and managed to earn 31 crore at box office.

Similar to  Mahesh Bhatt camp, Madhur puts deliberate efforts in keeping the production cost low. His concentration is more on the content of the movie, which leads to higher chances of them into commercially viable projects.

“Calendar Girls” is no different. Going by facts mentioned by Madhur in his recent interview, production cost of “Calendar Girls”  is 9 crore. I am sure in today’s scenario of multiple screens , extensive promotions and on top of it extended weekend owing to holiday this Friday, there is a higher chance for it to do decent box office business.

I am giving this movie 2.5 stars out of 5, one day before the release going by my instincts about this movie.