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Kick

Kick

(2014)
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Review : Kick (25 Jul 2014)

Three good things about this movie -
a) Salman Khan has shown effort and has incorporated method acting (though not throughout), instead of just banking upon his inimitable charm and loyal fan following. May be the fate and reviews of his last flick 'Jai Ho' have a lot to do with this.
b) Salman Khan's dress designers have input considerable effort and the result is apparent. With time, Salman has established his impeccable look, which is woven around imported jeans and jackets. And though they must cost a fortune, unlike in this flick, they kind of look the same in most of his flicks. As per the film credits, perhaps Ashley Rebello and Alvira Khan are to be applauded for the same. Only if they can spare the superstar with the 'kurta' on jeans combination. It makes him look aged!
c) Though Nawazuddin Siddiqui enters pretty late in the movie, he steals the show with his portrayal of a whacko usurper. Displaying such confidence and not letting any slip-off in the character in front of Salman Khan is no mean feat. This is Nawazuddin's first commercial biggie and he has done full justice to it.

Three not so good things about this movie -
a) It's apparent that both the lead actors - Salman and Jacqueline have put in considerable effort in their acting as well as their chemistry. But the 'X' factor in their chemistry is simply missing. In fact the only time, you can find the lady holding absolutely on to her own is while performing the small, titillating and extremely well choreographed and picturized dance number in the song 'Jumme Ki Raat'.
b) The movie plot starts with deep etched sorrow albeit etched in designer wear and picturesque foreign locale, then shifts to Punjabi style dysfunctional family humor, then dangles between 'Krrish' style robbery by vigilante and 'Dhoom' style cop and thief chase! All these flavors of film making are touched with good enough production design , art direction and casting. But none is pursued to it's extremity. All these sub-plots, get you ready for the upcoming pulsating act, only to push you to an altogether different act!
c) For sure, this movie is Salman's debut as a method actor, or maybe he has simply followed the lead actor of the original Telugu 2009 release of the same name. But, his new style of acting is now and then penetrated by his old one, which bores unmistakable holes in the portrayal of such a complex character, as played by him in 'Kick'.

Three technical mistakes in the movie -
a) The protagonist's wall is adorned with the degrees of a civil engineer, but he is always shown working and experimenting with chemicals!
b) A 'youtube' bash up-and-preach video sequence of the protagonist is shown using the same camera angles and close-ups as that of the film. How can a secret mobile video recording have different angles and close-ups?
c) Prior to any kind of surgery, generally all traces of chemicals are removed from the patient's body. But post the little girl's surgery, while she gesticulates with her palm and beckons the protagonist, you can see clear traces of nail polish on her little finger.

Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez) is a Poland based psychologist who is getting over her separation from her lover, Devi Lal Singh (Salman Khan). Due to family pressure for marriage, she meets a visiting Indian cop Himanshu Tyagi (Randeep Hooda). Pursue of 'Devil', a masterminded vigilante has brought Himanshu to Poland. This vigilante is sought by the Indian Police for his theft of few hundred crores of rupees in India. Both of them are unaware of the fact that Devi Lal and Devil are same.

Prior to becoming Devil, Devi Lal Singh was an extremely intelligent, muscular and do-gooder forty years old lad, who lead a happy-go-lucky life. He could pursue only those things in life, which gave him a 'Kick'. Normal mundane routine (read - a regular job) bored him and he could never hold onto them. While performing a do-gooder act, a chance meeting with Shaina made him hooked to the lady. This initial one sided love gradually turned into a mutual one. During marriage planning stage, Shaina and her father (Saurabh Shukla) became dubious about Devi Lal's capacity to earn and support a married life and hinted about him becoming a 'ghar jamai'. This irked and hurted Devi Lal and it resulted into - his separation with his lady love, and his solemn oath to himself to thereupon devote his life in earning big money.

The movie then gradually unfolds few robberies with cat and mouse sequences between the Devil and the cops and the human reason behind Devi Lal's becoming the Devil, One such grand robbery entwines the black money of a corrupt politician and his maniac nephew (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Thereupon, they also get seriously involved with the cops till this chase is brought to an end.

The movie's script is more or less point-to-point copy of the Telugu movie 'Kick' (2009). As a producer, in the past, Sajid Nadiadwala has given good hits with Salman Khan. His directorial debut in 'Kick' is an ok job. Screenplay could have been meatier and more seamless. Songs are good and a couple of them (Hangover) have been voiced by Salman Khan, who has made his debut as a singer with this film. Apart from the heroine, the casting is apt. As the leading lady, an Anushka Sharma would have better suited the role.

Jacqueline looks good and dresses with dignity. She has made good effort. But still has miles to go. Randeep Hooda has managed to hold his own in front of Salman Khan. A conscious but easy camaraderie can be seen between them. Rest of the star cast is pretty seasoned and they have delivered as expected. An item number by Svelte Nargis Fakhri is good as well.

Though the movie unceremoniously shifts from one gear to another, it still has a rampant energy and star power of Salman Khan. It's grand 'Eid' release with a well targeted 'Jumme Ki Raat' song will definitely give handsome box office returns. Last but not the least, don't miss the impromptu 'Saat samundar paar' dance performance by Salman Khan towards the end. It's totally 'paisa vasool'.

Bobby Jasoos

Bobby Jasoos

(2014)
46 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It seems that this film has been made with two primary objectives. Firstly, to encash a small budget meaningful cinema using the gem of an actor, Vidya Balan, thereby replicating the success of 'Kahani'. Secondly, to showcase an under-represented Hyderabadi community in Bollywood cinema. May be the Hyderabad ties of the producers have something to do with this.

'Kahani' was a blockbuster because stalwart Vidya's acting was well supported by strong script and direction. 'Bobby Jasoos' has Vidya in her full form. But the scripting needs a lot of fine tuning and the direction is average. In 'Kahani', Sujoy Ghosh presented Kolkata, 'the city of joy' like never before. In comparison, Samar Shaikh's presentation of old Hyderabad is plain vanilla. In spite of the casting of all acclaimed actors as character artists, the required energy and richness in the scenes is missing.

The backdrop of the movie is the over populated Mughalpura region of old Hyderabad. Bilkis (Vidya Balan), the eldest daughter of the conservative Ahmed family is a self taught and self proclaimed detective aka 'jasoos'. She has no formal training in this area. But she avidly watches the hindi detective serials and calls herself 'Bobby Jasoos'. She gets mundane detective jobs and roams fearless in all nooks and corners of Mughalpura at all times. In fact, she is the only one who takes her profession and her professional skills seriously till she is contacted by an elderly Anees Khan (Kiran Kumar). He maintains a rich but secretive personality and asks her to find three people, one after the other. For each endeavor, he pays her handsomely (a bit too much by her standards). But, as for the clues, he can only provide the name, age and birth mark of missing persons and not any photo. Bobby along with her working allies - Shetty (Prasad Barve), Munna (Akash Dahiya), Suhail (Tejas Mahajan), works on the assignments in her trademark 'na´ve but full-of-drama' style. She gets success. But somewhere she gets suspicious of the whole operation and decides to unravel the root of the matter. Also, somewhere alongside she discovers mutual liking and love with Tasawur (Ali Fazal), a popular tv presenter who also lives in Mughalpura and assists her in her endeavors.

As expected, Vidya is flawless in her scenes. In her bid as the detective, she dons a wide range of makeovers - hobbling fakir, funny toothed palmist, fatso tv producer etc. She does a terrific job with each one of them. But most of these avatars simply zoom off the screen, without taking the required time and leaving the desired impact. Ali Fazal looks younger to her. But he acts well and matches her performance in the scenes where they are together. Arjan Bajwa (Lala) plays a goon and inspite of soorma and stubble, he looks like a hunk in all his scenes. His acting is nonchalant. As such, not many lines are given to him to deliver. Kiran Kumar has a substantial role and he could have made it impactful. Surprisingly, he did not. Instead, Supriya Pathak (Zebo, Bilkis' mother) and Tanvi Azmi (Kausar, Bilkis' khaala) have simple roles, but they leave impact! Rajendra Gupta (Bilkis' father) and Benaf Dadachanji (Noor, Bilkis' sister) are good as well. Rest are OK. Cinematography is good. Music is average. However, the number 'Arziyaan de raha dil' is good.

All in all, it's a sweet and clean movie with Vidya occupying more than 90% of the screen time.

Humshakals

Humshakals

(2014)
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A multi cast comedy with the three male protagonists in triple roles each and all of them being successful in their respective genres and media, gives you the natural expectation of a fun filled and light headed movie time. Instead, you watch the movie with exasperation as you witness the 'fun' element slipping out of most of the funny lines and comic expressions and you have a thumping headache calculating what all went wrong with the movie.

In order to obtain temporary rights to run billionaire Ashok's (Saif Ali Khan) business empire, he and his friend (Riteish Deshmukh) are wrongfully sent to a mental asylum by his General Manager who also happens to be his Uncle (Ram Kapoor) aka 'Mamaji'. The mental facility already holds all of their duplicates i.e. 'humshakals'. They are child-like Ashok (Saif), Kumar (Riteish) and third stage OCD (hygiene freak) patient Johnny (Ram). Attractive lady doctor Shivani (Esha Gupta) discovers that the former Ashok-Kumar duo are not mental and in her bid to release them, out of mistake, releases the latter duo, who are spotted by Ashok's girlfriend Shanaya (Tamannah Bhatia) and taken to his home. Ashok's sister like secretary Nikita (Bipasha Basu) is incidentally Kumar's girlfriend and apparently stays in her boss' home to manage all his affairs. The home also houses Ashok's father who is in coma.

To add to this confusion, the original Ashok and Kumar also flee from the mental asylum and reach home, only to perform Sajid Khan's mandatory multi cast night time dance in the deserted house! The original duo are caught and carried back by the asylum warden (Satish Shah). In the mental asylum, an attendant (Darshan Jariwala) introduces them to Johnny. Now 'Mamaji' is equipped with duplicates of original Ashok-Kumar in the house and original Ashok-Kumar are equipped with 'Mamaji's duplicate Johnny in the mental asylum. Both the original parties plan to use their valuable possessions in the shortly upcoming board meeting of Ashok's company, so as to obtain the entire control of his business. The remaining movie caters to the implementation of their respective plans and an expected mayhem climax. Don't even bother to understand the third role of each of the protagonists.

To start with, the movie has one of the weakest opening scenes. Also, herein Saif who is almost always impeccably dressed (a Tom Ford loyalist), sports an ill fitting and unappealing blazer! His house's entrance is super rich, interiors are rich and the kitchen is poor (small in size and with metallic workareas)! There is absolutely no chemistry between Riteish and Bipasha, though Bipasha seem to be trying hard to establish some. Last but not the least, the scenes lack continuity and impact.

Only two well crafted long scenes bring about the Sajid Khan school of comedy. The one wherein the original dup try to escape from the mental asylum, and the other wherein all the three protagonists woo their own female versions. The movie is filled with smart pun intended one-liners. Though the deliverance of most of them fall flat in the face, none of them are cheap or repulsive.

For some reason, Riteish appears taller and broader than Saif in the movie! He has built good muscle and looks wiser than his early appearances. Also, this is his comfort genre, and he makes the best of it. With enough movie experience, now he is a pro at playing a seductress. In fact apart from his eyebrows, if dressed wisely in female gear, nothing will give away that he is a man! Saif has dared to experiment with a new genre, but he has miles to go before he can make hay out of it. However, he has worked hard to deliver. Ram is the surprise package. He is the only one who has maintained clear distinction amidst all his three roles. Also, in spite of his tall and bulky frame, when required, he does manage to look cute! All the three heroines basically fill the glam quotient. They somehow don't appear in tandem with each other. However, it's noteworthy that, you can see a hinting resemblance of Sophia Lauren in Bipasha and Angelina Jolie in Esha. Tamannah is very confidant. Satish Shah and Darshan Jariwala have small roles and Chunky Pandey has an even smaller one. They do make the required impact.

As usual, Sajid Khan has released his movie sans any competition. With no other A-lister new movie around to snatch the audience, and with the three protagonists aimed to attract all kinds of watchers - Saif for classes, Riteish for masses and Ram for TV watchers, the movie is bound to have a strong opening. But the audience is still waiting for Sajid to repeat his 'Heyy Babyy' magic.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

(2014)
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

'Edge Of Tomorrow' is a sci-fi thriller. In short, it is military science fiction combined with time travel (read time loop) and alien attack! It is based on the book 'All You Need Is Kill' by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.

Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), who is kind of a figurehead with no combat experience, is forcibly thrown into a doomed-to-die warfare with an alien race called 'The Mimic'. As expected, soon upon entering the battlefield along with his peers, he faces death. But shockingly, from there itself, he enters into an infinite loop of death and resurrection.

He realizes that the best way to end this in his favour, is to demolish 'Omega' i.e. the brain of the Mimic. Apart from him, only two other people aware of this death and resurrection phenomenon are - Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a Special Force Warrior and her scientist associate. In true blue Tom Cruise style, Cage along with the two aforesaid military people, uses his each new life to further strategize his mind and train his physique, so as to decrease the distance between him and Omega by at least a few steps, before he meets his new death!

Like a video game in play, with every death, Cage is required to restart his life from the same time stamp (or level). And like a video gamer, with every new life, though he is required to play the same set of scenarios with pre destined (or planned) succession, he is wiser and better equipped to play the game a tad bit further. So, throughout the movie, he is mostly plotting and preparing for the next day battle, with as many variations as possible. Hence, the movie is titled 'Edge Of Tomorrow' and it's tag line reads 'Live.Die.Repeat'.

In the world of movies, this plot is rather new and tricky to handle. Director, screenwriters, cast and other crew members deserve full marks for pulling this off in as much audience friendly manner as possible. A noteworthy scene is the one wherein, just prior to one of her deaths, Rita divulges her middle name to Cage. This scene has a subtle tenderness which is aptly absent throughout the movie. In most parts, the film looks like a gothic mesh of bulky metal combat gear, metallic octopus-like high powered aliens, advanced weaponry and repeat upon repeat!

Approximately, twenty years back, Tom Cruise successfully carried off the internationally acclaimed sci-fi thriller, Mission Impossible (1996). And even today, he is carrying such a film with great aplomb. The kind of distinct continuity he has maintained in the film, is no mean feat. Emily Blunt looks extremely athletic and agile. It is impossible to compare this avatar of hers from her stint in 'The Devil Wears Prada'. Herein, she is referred as 'Full Metal Bitch'. But the significance of the same is lost in the book-to-film translation. Others have performed good as well.

This movie successfully entwines you to the psychology of the protagonist.
Alongside him, you will experience the same time frame and level of confusion, mirth, determination, fear, boredom and frustration. And just because, it already has so many repeat scenes, it is impossible to see it more than once.

Holiday

Holiday

(2014)
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This movie is the second Bollywood release of the southern maverick director Murgadoss, and it's better executed and more apt for the Bollywood audience than his first mega hit flick 'Ghajini' (Aamir Khan). But as expected, the southern director could not stay away from the curvaceous heroine and unnecessary songs. Amidst a serious and thrilling storyline, except for the first song, all the rest seem highly disturbing.

Virat Bakshi is a special agent from DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency), who works undercover as an Indian Army personnel. During one of his holidays to his hometown Mumbai, he chances upon a notorious terrorist plan, and uses his entire holiday to unearth and disable the same. Throughout the operation he is well aided by a Mumbai police official who is also his close friend. Amidst all this, the director finds enough frames to accommodate a love angle between Virat and Nisha!

The movie is a remake of Tamil flick 'Thuppakki'. But if you are unaware and unexposed to the original, then it's definitely a new and interesting plot to watch. It deals with the terrorist unit called 'Sleeper Cells'. And this concept is well described and depicted in the movie. As expected of Murgadoss, the movie is filled with blood and gore. But subtly it also stresses on the need to risk small collateral damage in a covert operation that is undertaken to save hundreds of lives. Meaning to stay that, if a security official is taken for granted to give his life for the country, then why can't a civilian's life be put to risk to save many others?

In its own way, the movie is also an ode to all the security organizations of the country i.e. the Indian Police, the Indian Intelligence and the Indian Army. They work under all kinds of taxing situations to keep the country safe. Their scope of work and action is kind of undefined as the anti social forces constantly change and update their terror techniques! Since they are expected to be 100% fit by both body and mind, any work mishap that results into weakening or amputation of their body, sadly pushes them towards an early retirement. But their training is such that, in time of need and short notice, they can still make good use of their skills and prove worthy enough for a security cause!

Beneath their rough & tough and ready-to-kill exterior, each of them is actually a simple family man who is regularly required to stay away from his near and dear ones for long months. This fact is beautifully depicted in the last scene of the movie

Akshay Kumar (Virat) looks very fit and as always is very good with the stunts. However, when the camera is at close angles, he does appear a little aged. Sonakshi Sinha (Nisha) has performed as per expected of the role of the hero's arm candy. In the initial scenes, the lady is required to be athletic and its worth mentioning that she throws a neat and powerful punch in the boxing ring! This is unseen of any Indian actress till now. Maybe Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom will add to this soon. Freddy Daruwala in his debut as the new Bollywood villain needs to work a lot more on his expressions. He looks very fit though. Sumeet Raghavan as constantly aiding the operation police man could have had a more powerful appearance. Govinda has a small guest appearance. Herein, he has donned tasteful fashion wear and he looks endearing in his performance. Seeing him, you do wish to see him as one of the main protagonists in a movie soon.

All in all, it's an impactful movie, with a balance of north and south style sensibilities. But it's definitely not for the under aged.

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