Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince-3.9/5
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simpering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again. –© Warner Bros
John Abraham is good in some of the torture scenes but in the rest of the movie he has the same dumb expression in every scene. Neil acts well in a few of the initial scenes only to deceive as his performance turns mediocre later. Katrina Kaif looks ridiculous when she is trying to be cool and just proves that she can’t act in the emotional scenes. Irrfan Khan, the only good actor in the movie sleep walks through his role and this is probably his weakest performance to date and yet looks better than the rest of the actors. His role just reminds us of his role in Slumdog Millionaire. The American actors in the movie give amateurish performances and look like they never faced a camera before. The performances are so horrible that one never feels for the characters.
The cinematography is good and the songs are ok. The background music seems out of place in important scenes. The dialogues are ridiculous and Kabir Khan’s direction is horrible. The WTC scene is just cringe worthy with Katrina crying on John’s shoulders and all the americans crying. The ending is horrible and Roshan’s justifications and sermons come across as insincere. The problem with the movie is that it tries to be all – a serious issue based movie, a thriller, a romantic movie and in the end it is nothing but a bad masala movie.
Kambakkth Ishq is a crude version of the Tamil movie Pammal K Sambandham.
Kambakkht Ishq is a remake (may be copied – the story hasn’t been credited though) of the Tamil movie ‘Pammal K. Sambandam’ and the screenplay is credited to four writers but it’s basically the same screenplay as the Tamil one except that it’s obscene, crude and vulgar. The setting is changed to Hollywood which itself is ludicrous. Now Why would an Indian stuntman be a body double to caucasian Hollywood actors. He is shown riding horses (Man those Hollywood actors can’t even ride horses) and in the very first scene itself, Akshay plays body double to Brandon Routh but is shorter than him. Setting the movie in Hollywood and having actors in bit roles is all a gimmick. The movie could have been set in Bollywood itself.
You can snip off the ‘barber’ from Billu, but you cannot take off Billu from Barber. In other words, you can get Irrfan Khan to alienate himself from his persona, but you cannot get the actor to get away from his character! His act is complete. And his Billu is a believable character, who could be you.
Irrfan fascinates in his portrayal of a struggling family man with a wife and two kids, with no knowledge of where is next income will come from. His barber’s shop in a village in Gudgude is doing bad business, he has no clients left and even his barbers chair can give way any moment. His acerbic tongue, peppered with humour (the joke life has played on him is evident here) does not leave him with many friends and he is constantly requesting the school principal for more time to pay off his children’s school fees. Even his children take off after him, where giving a repartee is concerned. BILLU takes it all in good humour and continues his struggle while adding some laugh to his measly existence. His wife (Lara Dutta) is a perfect foil to his character. No one understands Billu better than her.
The StoneMan Murders-2.5/5
Manish Gupta has touched upon a very interesting subject and perhaps something very tricky for the Mumbai Police force. He dwells on the murders, which took place in Bombay in the early 1980s between Sion and Matunga. At the site of every murder, there was a huge stone found by the investigating officers. After nine such murders the killings stopped. A few years later, similar killings were reported in Calcutta. While the police files have termed these murders as ‘unsolved’, the director has nailed the culprit. Is this cinematic liberty or plain fact? Also, the reasons for the Calcutta murders have been touched upon giving ample evidence of the truth. So will the files now be reopened? Just a thought!
The severe spanking Anurag Kashyap received from critics and audience alike for NO SMOKING, propelled the director to delve deep into his creative reserves to come up with a rabbit out of his hat. He gives us Dev D, a movie, whose main protagonist, is loosely inspired by the novel Devdas written by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. Herein ends the ‘inspiration’. This DEVDAS hits the bottle, snorts coke, visits brothels and then finds the rainbow. In short, he is virtually the prodigal son, who returns to find his bearings.
Take a bow, Kashyap, for this wonderfully directed movie scripted with finesse. Every character stands out; every scene is a dream. Kashyap takes ordinary moments and peppers it with rappers to skillfully drive home the point with lyrics to match the mood. You know this movie is a winner when the scene opens to a young Dev and Paro and his parents. You see the immediate bonding between Dev and Paro, and between Dev his dad. On the surface, his dad appears to be his greatest enemy. But scratch it, and you see a wonderful bonding between the two, especially in the latter half when he indulges his son with whatever he asks for.
This one will do well in the interiors of India; in the small towns where there are aspiring cricketers. VICTORY is all about a small town boy with ‘rare’ cricketing talent who is suppressed by the system; where selection to the state Ranji team is becoming a nightmare.
Luckily for him, the National team is in Jaipur for a conditioning camp and Vijay (Harman Baweja), who has lost all hope of donning the national colours, is given hope by his coach who has an idea. He wants Vijay to bat against the Indian bowlers and inspire the coach (Dalip Tahil). Vijay, the small town lad from Jaisalmer, makes the trip. He approaches the coach and tells him that he has read his interviews where he says he would give any talent a chance and asks for his chance. The coach scoffs. Vijay walks off. The coach has a change of heart and asks him to prove himself. Bowling to him are Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra. Balls are hit out of the stadium. Lad makes entry into Ranji team. Scores double hundred on debut, storms into the national team.
Luck By Chance-2.5/5
As luck would have it, Zoya Akhtar’s directorial debut LUCK BY CHANCE, is an offshoot of Sudhir Mishra’s KHOYA KHOYA CHAND, which released on December 7, 2007. Mishra explored the underbelly of Bollywood through the journey of his central character, Soha Ali Khan. Here, Zoya, uses her brother, the now established actor Farhan Akhtar, and Konkona Sen Sharma to take us through the machinations of the film industry.
In a subtle way, Zoya explores the dark side of film-making; of aspiring starlets, wannabe actors, struggling script-writers, star tantrums, harried producers, failed actors turned directors [all because they have a family business in Bollywood], scheming mothers, and the ever so omnipresent directors and producers waiting to exploit that girl who is desperate for a break in films.
Raaz-The Mystery Contiues-3.9/5
There is no Raaz in this film. There is not story in this film either. And there are just two scenes that jolt you. Also, there are only two performers. One is Kangana Ranaut and the other, Adhayan Suman. The lad has improved after his HAAL-E-DIL disaster.
In the first few opening shots, we are treated to Kangana walking the ramp. You ask yourself, is this Fashion Part II. It could jolly well have been.
What do you say of a movie that has won four Golden Globe Awards and is nominated in 10 categories at the Oscars? What do you say of a movie that has already wowed the critics and audience alike in the West? What do you say of a movie that has released with such rave reviews [minus doctored media hype]? Well, I just have this to say, it’s a masterpiece! You don’t even need a review to make up your mind to watch a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience in Indian cinema. Just go for SLUMDOG CROREPATI (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE in English).
For an Indian to watch the underbelly of poverty is just another day on the street. This is not to say that there is no poverty or crime in the West or the dirty underbelly to explore there. It’s just that it’s so exposed and ‘in your face’ here, that for us, instead of shocking, it has become a way of life. But for Danny Boyle, the director from the West, he came, he saw, he sketched and then he captured… and how! It takes a person of intense creative intelligence to do what Boyle has done.
Chandni Chowk To China-1.5/5
Is Bollywood regressing to the formula films of the 80s? Buffoon to hero. Villain chases down inspector’s family. Wife loses life. Twins are separated. One in India, the other in China! Inspector in the wilderness for 20 years. Back in the force without explanation. Buffon plays a big part in the twins meeting their lost father and helping wipe out the villain. In the end, alls well that ends well. Only thing here, there is no posse of police officers who turn up at the grand finale when villain is killed. GHAJNI is the latest example of going back to the 80s. However, this film was cleverly packaged.
Aamir Khan takes great pains to promote his movies, whether he is the producer, director or even an actor. I don’t know the financial stake he has in A R Murugadoss’ GHAJINI, but the way he has gone about promoting the movie, it appears as if it’s his production or direction. But then, he is Aamir the perfect perfectionist. So it would be in line to first highlight the technical flaws in the screenplay, which leaves you asking many questions
- Like for instance, why is the death of the police officer, tracking down Aamir who is on a killing spree, not investigated?
- Also, he (the police officer) is locked up in Aamir’s house for at least a day if not more, why did no one in the force miss him?
- Also, with the help of just one bus ticket, after the first killing, how come the said police officer ‘zeroes in’ quicker than the Scotland Yard on the right conductor of the BEST bus, who even knows where Aamir boards the bus from?
- Also, what happens to the chaddi advertisement, Aamir (Sanjay) agrees to do for Asin (Kalpana). Now here is the Chairman of Air Voice, a mobile company, has not anyone seen him in the ad? Moreover, Asin is blissfully unaware of his ‘super rich’ status even though she claims to be his girlfriend. When he goes for the shoot, the film breaks into a song in Namibia, with the much-talked about six looks of Aamir. Was it a dream sequence, or were the audience dreaming?
- And how come Jiah Khan, who plays a medical student, easily comes upon Aamir’s medical file, wherein, the movie introduces Aamir and his medical problem – that of ‘Short Term Memory Loss’. More importantly, the doctor taking the class knows that Aamir’s is also a police case, so how come when he is arrested trying to kill Jiah, the police have no records about him.
- Also, when Jiah Khan is trying to figure out what happened after June 2006 to Aamir, she goes to an archive that stores newspapers when all she had to do is ‘Google’ the names Sanjay and Kalpana!!
- Finally, when RAB NE BANA DE JODI released two weeks ago, the ushers and staff at Big Cinemas, Wadala, sported the GHAJINI haircut, like many from other multiplexes. The least they could have done, or Aamir could have looked into, was to see that the look was maintained at the time of release as well and all through the week. Their hair has grown and the trademark lines on the scalp have been buried!
I’m sure Aamir would like to look into these flaws, or again, knowing the perfectionist that he is, he is aware and since this is a typical masala Bollywood film, he has let it be.