movie reviews


February 2014 witnessed fat budget, big star cast movies releasing on all of its Fridays, but surely the best was saved for the last. ‘Shaadi ke Side Effects’ is a roller coaster ride that leaves you with pangs of laughter.  Simultaneously, it delves deep into the emotions of the post ‘just married’ period where Sid (Farhan Akhtar) & Trisha (Vidya Balan) try to manage an unplanned parenthood. The struggle comes with financial constraints and professional aspirations, along with lost sleep, social life and freedom.

The Plot

The baby daughter they are ‘blessed’ with soon turns everything around. The ringing violins and saxophones turn into the baby’s wails, Sid’s marketing jingles turn into lullabies, intimacy evaporates, romance takes a backseat and their life enters into a different phase bundled with troubles. While the now idiosyncratic full time mom Trisha, still adjusts to the new life, Sid longs for the old carefree moments and seeks precious advice from his bro-in-law (played by Ram Kapoor) that twists the story in an interesting manner.

The Positives

The movie is garnered with commendable performances of talented actors like Vidya Balan, Farhan Akhtar, Ram Kapoor, Vir Das, Purab Kolhi and Ila Arun. Vidya succeeds to look as adorable as always despite of her character’s nagging nature. She has justified her casting for this role with her amazing comic timing and dialogue delivery in the first half as well as with her ability to pull of emotional scenes with utmost grace. You can hardly take your eyes off her, courtesy her simplicity and grace.

The movie is Sid’s point of view, and revolves around his experiences, and Farhan has very well carried it well with his powerful expressions, innocent looks and amazing talent of cracking funniest jokes without a smile on face. The characters are largely relatable due to the outstanding performances by the actors.

The dialogues are very well written, are funny as well as they provide valuable pieces of advice to the married duos. Check this out:

Farhan’s tip to a happy married life:  “When I’m in the wrong, I say sorry. When she is in the wrong. I say sorry.

The Neutrals

After long Vidya Balan has featured in a movie wherein she isn’t the main protagonist, however this nowhere means she is less of an actor, or her character in the movie is sidelined.

The music of the movie is catchy, but it is clear that it isn’t here to stay.

The Negatives

The performances of the leads as well as the supporting cast are amazing but the movie’s story doesn’t attract much of audiences’ attraction. It is a predictable B-wood movie, extended aimlessly to around 2.5 hours that might put people’s patience to test.

A rich and cultured soon-to-be married young lady is unwittingly abducted by an uncouth and violent truck driver. What follows is quite a clichéd tale of love, loss and learning, but it’s told in a refreshing manner. Highway is the story of two seemingly opposite people who slowly grow together only to realize that they are not so different while on a road journey.

Veera and Mahabir, played by Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are strong and sound characters, both with an intense background story. Alia sheds the Barbie image with her stellar portrayal of a girl finally breaking free from shackles of a hypocritical society. But even though the actors executed their parts beautifully, the script somehow fails to lend any real depth to the characters.
The movie in itself has ups and downs. It’s unconvincing in some places, such as when Veera becomes too candid a little too soon with her captors; light and funny in others; it even reaches a point where the movie continues with absolutely no addition to the actual story.

Imtiaz Ali also manages to address the issue of rape of minors by their own family members without it sounding preachy or overpowering the entire essence of the film. The music by A. R. Rahman compliments the movie well without being invasive as is the case with many Bollywood movies.

To summarize, Highway is an unorthodox spin on a story we’ve all heard before. Watch it for:

  1. Great performances by both the actors
  2. Visual treats from Rajasthan to Punjab to Kashmir
  3. The virtue of not being a run- of- the- mill romantic movie

The third instalment of the spirited ‘Dhoom’ franchise that hit the box office this Friday delivers the audience three hours of highs and lows. The movie bumps across its peaks and valleys courtesy the amazing performances, electrifying action and beautiful locations. Not to forget, the movie seriously defies logic and consists of songs where leads dance halting the story and portions of no significance.

The Plot

The movie is about a circus magician and acrobat Sahir (Aamir Khan) and his mission to ring the financial death knell for the Western Bank of Chicago and its director Mr. Anderson (the most expressionless foreigner ever). All this, to seemingly avenge the suicide of his father (Jacky Shroff) due to the bank’s bid to shut off their ‘Great Indian Circus’ to indemnify itself against the loss due to former’s inability to pay back the loans.

What follows is a series of action sequences where the protagonists summersault on bikes, drive autos down the slum roofs, and jump down the sky scrapers. The bikes run on ropes, they float; jump, fly and what not till the final faceoff wherein the ‘chor-police’ chase ends in an unexpected manner. Unlike common parlance, your heart races, quite confused, as you can’t decide if you really support the police or want the thief to escape.

The Positives

Aamir Khan is what you call the USP of the movie, ‘Mister Perfectionist’ as he is; he has acted meticulously pulling off the role well, sporting an amazing body and showcasing expertise on the acrobatic ropes along with his co-star Alia ( Katrina Kaif). Both of the leads have mastered the art well. The sets are grand, the wardrobe appealing and being directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, a Kirori Mal (DU) alumnus and screenplay, dialogue and Story writer of previous Dhooms, the movie is well shot without any compromises on detailing.
The choreography is wonderful, special reference to the energetic tap dance movie begins with.

The Neutrals

Abhishek Bachchan in his shades and leather jackets and the tapori Uday Chopra have nothing new for audience to see. They are called to Chicago to catch Aamir, for the Chicago forces and SWAT teams aren’t able to, maybe. The music isn’t music to your ears, as you hardly come out of the hall humming any.

The Negatives

The movie is alarmingly lengthy with portions of no significance added to give screen time to other actors as the camera hardly spares Aamir who hogs for all the limelight. Also this movie unlike others, doesn’t show the theft happening, and emphasises more on chases that disappoints audiences. The currency notes fly in sky, and chase begins. (Really!)
And like I said, it defies logics and science.

With a background score which pains the ears and song sequences which hurt the eye, one can wrack their brain and wonder how there’s a 200 crore markup for Krishh 3. The only inviting aspect about the movie is that you can relive your favourite Hollywood movies from the past and have a quick look at all of them in three hours. Krishh 3 has all the spices a Bollywood movie would have- a doting-loving father, a manic pixie dream girl wife, the third vertex to the love triangle and of course a villain. Rakesh Roshan has used the usual except with a little leap of faith in technology. Hrithik Roshan makes the roles of Dr. Rohit Mehra and Krishh believably disparate by donning the double role well. Vivek Oberoi plays a commendable villain despite his actions being physically restricted throughout the movie. Kangana Ranaut too carries off her role well, however it seems Priyanka Chopra has been merely used to bear more children and welcome more sequels to the franchise.

With an incessant romantic dance number between Ranaut and Roshan, with no new action sequences introduced to cinema, the same old superhero movie storyline and an extremely poor background score- Krishh 3 highly disappoints as it is nothing but an amalgamation of Hollywood flicks we’ve grown up watching. If only Rakesh Roshan realised that Indians do watch Hollywood superhero films, He’d probably have thrown in some originality and a tinge of creativity; that way Krishh 3 would have lived up to the expectations and hype.

With inputs from: Raashi Nahata

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty is the story of a CIA officer, Maya (Jessica Chastain) who is working in the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, on the mission to locate and eliminate Osama-bin-Laden, the al-Qaeda leader responsible for the 9/11 attacks that claimed 3000 lives. The title, though it sounds curious, simply refers to the military term for thirty minutes past midnight, the time when the US Navy SEALs raided bin-Laden’s residence.

Completely dedicated to her mission, Maya is not very social and appears to be friendless, except when with Jessica (Jennifer Ehle) and Jack (Harold Perrineau). She is not a coward and one to sit back, as her bold statement to the CIA Director, that she located Laden’s whereabouts, makes you want to clap for her. This is proof that Maya is a woman of steel and ready to fight conventions that hold women back. However, even though Bigelow is known to push aside stereotypes, we see in Maya the anxious and worried woman who is left behind while the men go out to save the day.

In the first half of the movie, the torturing of the detainees fails to grab your attention and you wait for something better to happen. Bigelow tries to show that the torturing didn’t lead to Osama, but proper detective work and technology did. Maybe that is why the first half doesn’t seem to be very appealing.

The movie becomes interesting the moment we see and recognise the house that we saw on TV when Osama’s death was broadcast all over the world. Even though the viewers know the climax of the movie, what happens in the second half tends to get the pulse racing and makes the wait to see bin-Laden’s demise even more excruciating. Truthfully, if the movie receives an Oscar for the Best Film, it must be for the second half of the film.