Ford v Ferrari
Blinded by the Light
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No user info supplied.
'Khoobsurat' is the remake of 'Khubsoorat' (1980), a family drama, well directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and very ably enacted by Rekha.
Both these movies have some superfluous similarities - the name (with 'u' and 'oo' being swapped), the leading ladies Rekha and Sonam being the real life fashionistas, and hard core disciplinarian role essayed by Dina Pathak in the original and her daughter Ratna Pathak Shah in the remake.
The original 'Khubsoorat' was the celebration of emergence of free spirited but downright loyal and homely lass of modern India who attempted to break through the strict and stifling family codes of the old world with her smile and chirp intact. It was a real world scenario and the masses very well identified with both the situation and the solution. Whereas the remake 'Khoobsurat' shows a gawky but urban working woman unable to merge in with the codes of the royals, but still managing to achieve success in her task at hand with her enthusiasm intact. It is a kind of dream world scenario and the masses will identify with the bits and pieces of the same.
Dr. Milli Chakravarty (Sonam Kapoor) is a visiting physiotherapist at the mansion of the Rathores, one of the Rajasthan royals. Along with a train of staff, the mansion occupies the wheel chair bound family head aka Milli's patient (Aamir Raza Hussain), his boisterous, business savvy and disciplinarian wife, Nirmala Devi (Ratna Pathak Shah), his handsome and workaholic son Vikram (Fawad Afzal Khan) and his underage daughter (read seventeen) who nurses secret acting aspirations. Milli is gawky and free spirited, wears unmatched outfits, eats with hand and noise, stumbles every now and then, and video chats for all her big and small problems with her equally eccentric mother Manju (Kirron Kher), whom is refers as 'Manju' only! Everyone is courteous and patient with her. But she is trapped in a hostile environment - where her patient shows no wish or effort in getting well, Nirmala Devi's disdain towards her presence is quite apparent and the handsome son thinks of her as 'aafat' (problem). As expected, Milli finds her way around the place, reignites the passion for life in her patient and also manages to flutter Vikram's heart.
This is the first Disney Bollywood flick and it has total Disney world feel - larger than life setting, beautiful people, gentle comic approach and no real villain. But the movie also lacks well researched characterization and depth. The protagonist's wardrobe is color fanatic, so much so that, by the time the movie ends, you actually cannot differentiate one color from the other! With father and sister being the co-producers (Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor), Sonam Kapoor is handled with utmost respect by the hero as well as the chanced upon villains!
Sonam Kapoor has given an OTT (over the top) performance. It's quite in your face. But still its somewhere better than her other flicks. Fawad Afzal Khan is a famous Pakistani singer and TV & movie actor. This is his Bollywood debut. With his chiseled good looks and baritone voice, he very well suits the character and has performed well. One looks forward to see his performance driven flick. Ratna Pathak Shah looks immaculate like ever. You expect her to be the lady with the iron fist. But she comes across as the one with strong head but broken will. And you get confused because you cannot really understand if it's successful enactment of a complex character or stepping away from the character. Kirron Kher has become a pro in playing a OTT Punjabi mother. Still, she could have adorned a little less of the countless oxide jewelries. Aditi Rao Hyadari plays a cameo (Vikram's girlfriend) and looks very royal. The director Shashanka Ghosh is known for well directing small budget eccentric flicks. You miss the expected eccentricity here. Music is OK. 'Engine ki ceeti' track is good and catchy.
All in all, it's a simple flick, best to be seen with tinted glasses and not much logic. Last but not the least, when Milli comes to confront her patient in the garden, her earrings magically change.
'Happy Ending' is like an age old and time tested multi course meal served in a new diner which calls out the name and necessity (also read as state-of-no choice) of each course before serving the same. It seems as if the sellers don't really believe in their wares, but end up offering the same (albeit packaged differently) acting on the law of demand and supply. But neither do they fulfill the buyer's expectation, nor is their new packaging attractive enough to hold the buyer's interest!
Yudi Jaitley (Saif Ali Khan) is a USA based 'one book wonder' writer and a casanova. He is phobic of love/marriage and has thus indulged into a trail of shallow relationships with the opposite gender. He likes to enjoy his relationships without any strings attached. So, the moment a girl utters the quintessential 'I love you', he mumbles and fumbles, but never reciprocates the same. Only two steady relationships of his life are Montu (Ranvir Shorey), his long time BFF and Divya (Preity Zinta), his ex GF, the one he actually loved. Both are married. Yudi also has a paunchy, beardy, bespectacled, shorts clad and ever-eating alter ego Yogi who forecasts the impending turn of events.
Yudi's free spirited lifestyle and the state of no new publication since five and a half years, result into his bankruptcy. While scouting for new assignment, he witnesses a rival writer, Aanchal Reddy (Ileana D'Cruz) gaining momentum with his publisher. As expected, in due course of time, their rivalry gives way to attraction and companionship. But this time, the tables are turned. And Yudi is the one who utters the magical three words in vain!
Alongside, Armaan (Govinda), an aging actor visits USA for dual purpose. First - to avail the top notch cosmetic surgery to attain a younger face and toned up body (read six-pack), and Second - to approach Yudi to pen down a highly inspired (read copying from a plethora of hit movies) rom-com that will change Armaan's status from a single screen actor to a multiplex actor. And yes, there is also the nutcase Vishakha (Kalki Koechlin), Yogi's dentist, who is in love with Yogi and too mesmerized to break up with him, in spite of him repeatedly trying to do the same!
As per the movie title, the protagonist is expected to avail happiness aka success in both love and career. And the movie progresses on the similar lines.
The movie has a story, but its execution is not up to the mark. It is a classic case of casting gone wrong. Also, in spite of good effort, there is no chemistry between the lead actors. Preity Zinta just plays a cameo in the film and surprisingly there is perfect chemistry between Saif and Preity. Alter ego concept could have been made so much interesting, but it comes out as plain vanilla. Saif has been a pro in playing such roles. But the well settled real life mid forties 'nawab' with his diva like new wife, grown up kids and estates galore, can no more look or act like a playboy. Music is average and a bevy of singers have been used. The track 'G Phaad Ke' will be a hit amongst the disc goers. Cinematography has well covered the west coast of America.
Saif looks charming and is good with comedy. Ileana has acted well. She looks stylish and confidant, in fact a little too confidant. Kalki appears like a psycho in love. Whether the role demanded the same, or it was her style of execution, its debatable. Ranvir and Shivani are OK. Its Preity, who doesn't try too hard and still brings the life in the couple of scenes that she is in. Govinda is especially good with his action-reactions and dancing. While dancing, he simply captures the screen. But you do miss the 'connection' that he had with his co actors in all of his earlier films. Call it computer wizardry or something else, but the scene towards the end where Govinda appears with a much younger face, six pack abs etc. is a pleasant surprise.
Producer - director team of Vidhu Vinod Chopra - Rajkumar Hirani is known to belt out brilliant movies that impart social message with humor and old world romance. And 'PK' is this duo's latest offering. Herein, the social message is very much on the lines of 'OMG - Oh My God', but the treatment of the subject is very unique and different.
Jagat Janani aka Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), a budding New Delhi TV journalist, in her perennial quest for scoop or 'breaking news' stumbles across P.K. (Aamir Khan), who is highly weird, amusing and different in his attire, walk and talk. In the recent past, Jaggu's heart has been broken by Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh Rajput), who apparently left her at the altar! Jaggu first spots P.K. while he is distributing pamphlets for missing persons, only the names and photos of the missing persons are those of different Hindu deities (Lakshmi, Ganesh, Shiv etc.)! Out of curiosity and professional interest, she trails and observes P.K. And she realizes that P.K.'s expectation and understanding of the environment around him is very different from that of a normal human being. It's stupid, humors law and at times also causes embarrassment. But it's definitely not illogical.
P.K. is also on a one track quest of his usurped belonging. With his never say die attitude, he is continuously learning, adapting and devising new ways to accelerate his quest. But his unconventional methods, often land him into trouble. During her following up, Jaggu witnesses one such crisis and lends a genuine helping hand, thereby winning P.K.'s trust. Upon askance, he readily agrees to tell her more about himself and obliges, which leaves Jaggu confused and bewildered. Initially, she brushes off his tale as absurd and fake. But further probe into the matter, establishes the fact that P.K. is actually an alien from a far off planet who is stuck on Earth because his remote control was forcefully taken from him in Bhiwandi region! Bhairon Singh (Sanjay Dutt) of Bhiwandi told him that his usurped remote control will be sold in a big city like Delhi, which prompted him to come to the city. Apparently this alien species looks exactly like humans, except for their protruding ears and walking style. Also, in their own planet, they neither wear clothes, nor are required to speak, as they are advanced enough to know the mind, just by holding each other's hands!
For some reason, this precious and big locket like remote control is found in the possession of Tapasvi ji (Saurabh Shukla), an acclaimed guru, who propagates it to be a broken end of Lord Shiva's musical instrument i.e. 'damru'! Tapasvi ji is known for his direct connection with God. Devotees flock his meetings to tell him their problems, to which he provides solutions after discussion with God! Coincidentally Jaggu and her boss Cherry (Boman Irani) also have their individual personal scores to settle with Tapasvi ji. Thus, Jaggu convinces Cherry and using the power of media and logical oration of P.K., devices a plan that will bring to light the fakeness of Tapasvi ji and also enable P.K.'s return to his planet.
'PK' is a brilliant movie with an amazing script. The whole ruckus of myriad relegions and self appointed religious managers aka God men has been questioned from the view point of an alien, who is like a blank canvas with no prior understanding or reflex of the human race. And when this canvas is exposed to a series of brush strokes carrying different colors, pressures and stroke styles, he needs to attach a unique purpose to each type of brush stroke. Whenever there is a breach in this uniqueness, he gets confused, and whenever the result is illogical, he questions the stroke itself! His confusion and questions seem bizarre, but are in fact very logical. In fact, due to years of wrong practice, we humans have unnecessarily got tuned to absurd practices. God is one, but we have divided Him into a number of relegions. God is to be loved, but we have associated Him with fear. God is same for everyone, but we seek God men to feel closer to God!
The movie also highlights the fact that the original purpose of clothing and speech has been lost upon the humans. They were simply meant to protect against the weather and provide a medium of expression. Instead, they are being used to create myriad sects and spread aggression and lies. A civilization sans these provisions may actually be superior and better, like that of P.K.'s planet!
The beauty of the movie lies in its simplicity. It doesn't cater to any burning social issue or condemns any social practice. It simply questions and expresses amusement over conflicting practices and ready subservience of the human race. The overall feel is of humor and amazement. Bhojpuri language was never better used in a Bollywood movie. Usage of words like 'gola' (planet) and 'lool' (meaningless) are bound to bring smile on the viewer's lips. Songs are situation based. The track 'Tharki chokro' has a nice rustic flavor and is also well picturized. Casting is also appropriate.
However, wherein the past productions (Munna Bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai,3 Idiots) of the makers of this movie have successfully focused upon a single issue, herein you get confused, whether the focus of the movie is diverse relegions or God men.
Aamir Khan as usual is brilliant. He is like Tom Hanks of Bollywood. Every new performance of his is a refreshing surprise. No one else can enact P.K. like him. In his own head, he understands the pulse of the character and develops the required persona and body language, complete with small nuances. Can anyone believe that such a young, innocent and gleeful looking character is actually an actor nearing fifty! Except for her daffy duck lips (no thanks to cosmetics), Anushka Sharma with her good height and flawless complexion, looks like a million bucks. She has also acted well and managed to hold her own opposite Aamir Khan. Sushant Singh Rajput is also a revelation in his small role. He has well matched the effervescence of Anushka. In fact, his dialogue delivery is better than many experienced actors. Saurabh Shukla, Parikshit Sahni and others have also acted well.
Last but not the least, in this movie, the heroine is considerably taller than the hero, and the movie is devoid of any attempt to camouflage the same. This is very much evident in the 'stress removal dance' performed by the lead pair. The dance is beautiful, but more beautiful is the journey of Indian cinema, where now the hero no more needs to be the taller one.
For both its director and lead actor, 'Baby' is the third super-sixer in their respective hat-trick of movies. Back to back direction of 'A Wednesday', 'Special 26' and 'Baby', clearly makes the young, dynamic and three films old director, Neeraj Pandey, a pro in terrorist based or equivalent thrillers. Similarly, power packed performance by Akshay Kumar in 'Special 26', 'Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty' and 'Baby' transition him successfully from a 'romancing, dancing, fighting Punjabi puttar' to a no-non sense, well trained and ever vigilant intelligence officer. Bye bye leading ladies. This macho man is now past your 'nakhras and jhatkas'!
Implementing the saying, 'Precaution is better than cure', post 26/11 (terror attacks in Mumbai), a Covert Counter Intelligence Unit is crafted, so as to nip the terror attacks in their budding stage, as well as to prevent their execution at any cost. Before making anything permanent or glorified, a five year trial period is granted to this Unit, and hence its termed 'Baby'. The movie 'Baby' showcases the final and fifth year of the Unit 'Baby', when only five of its officers are still alive! The Unit is headed by Feroze Ali Khan (Danny Denzongpa) and chiefly enacted by agile and fearless counter espionage agent, Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar), along with his team mates, which include - hulk-like Jai Singh Rathore (Rana Daggubati), comical and brainy computer whiz, Om Prakash Shukla (Anupam Kher), and docile looking but fearsome in fighting, Priya Suryavanshi (Taapsee Pannu).
The movie goes on to show, how these special agents travel far and wide (read Istanbul, Delhi, Mumbai, Kathmandu and Abu Dhabi), following their clues, collecting their targets, and last but not the least, preventing the terror attacks, ranging from bomb explosion in a mall, to that in multiple cities. All throughout, these agents are on their own, without any kind of diplomatic immunity or direct government aid. Their family life is highly unpredictable and their lives are in constant danger of termination as well as gruesome torture. In case of being assassinated, the government will never recognize them. If required, they have to be prepared to leave in lurch, or even kill their own teammate! In spite of knowing all these facts, these unsung heroes readily do, what they need to do, to protect their country and countrymen.
The best thing about the movie is its non-stop pulsating rhythm. From the onset, till the end, it keeps you glued to the screen. Throughout, you are curious to know what happens next. And this is no mean feat to achieve. Neeraj Pandey deserves full points for achieving this. The film does not cater to a new subject, but the screenplay and adaptation is good. Background music, cinematography, production design, editing and casting are apt. Thankfully, the movie has only two soundtracks, each of which appear twice. They are - 'Beparwah', which establishes the mood of the movie, and 'Main tujhse pyar nahin karti', which is good to hear and see, but could have been avoided. First half of the movie creates the platform, and the second half depicts the execution of the mega counter espionage act. At the end of the movie, rolling credits are shown along with Esha Gupta's item number.
However, the movie is mostly on the lines of 'the diary of a counter espionage agent', meaning to say, that it is made from the perception of an intelligence officer, rather than the perception of a common man. So, it does not cater to the actions-reactions of country men in the event of occurrence or seize of a terror attack. Thus, unless you survive on heavy dosage of international fiction thrillers via books/serials/movies, you will most probably enjoy the vintage wine, simply for its distinct taste and without any realization of its vintage quality!
Akshay Kumar lives and breathes his role, even in the scanty family based scenes. He sleep walks his role sans any glam-sham and kind of carries alone the first half of the movie. Rana Daggubati has a powerful muscular presence. Anupam Kher brings the much needed comic relief. But it is Taapsee Pannu, that totally takes you by surprise in her small but very effective appearance. She beautifully carries off a long hand-to-hand combat scene with the terrorist Waseem Khan (Sushant Singh). Her natural and lethal performance, very much remind you of Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) from the American soap 'The Americans'. In fact, in this film, Taapsee even resembles a lot like Keri. One cannot say if it is mere coincidence or the basic fact behind her getting this role. Madhurima Tuli as Akshay's wife shows a lot of resilience in her performance. Kay Kay Menon and Jameel Khan are expectantly good as Bilal Khan, the chief executioner of terror attacks, and Taufeeq, the ISI agent who stays hidden amongst Indian Muslims, respectively. Pakistani actors Rashid Khan as Maulana Mohammed Rehman, the terrorist leader, and Mikaal Zulfiqar as Ashfaq, the Unit's Abu Dhabi based asset, have also performed well. The former has good control over dialect and the latter can give many a models a run for their money. The actor who plays the role of Abu Dhabi based intelligence officer is pretty charismatic in his persona.
Congratulations to Neeraj Pandey for forming a successful team, which is successfully carving out meaningful and well researched hits.
Every time you shake and look through a kaleidoscope, you see a different and beautiful pattern. Thus, in general, you repeat the process a few times and pamper your visual senses. But, if the repeat mode exceeds the required loop, will your visuals be still as entertaining? Will your mind, still absorb the beauty or register the differences between two successive formations?
'Shamitabh', the movie, is a brand new and excellent concept, captured by an excellent team, with an amazing first half, but half baked and mindless iterations in the second half, and an unnecessary sad ending.
Danish (Dhanush) is a born dumb but not deaf Maharashtrian lad from Igatpuri. Since childhood, cinema is everything to him, and his only dream and ambition in life is to become a big Bollywood hero. Ironically, though his handicap in no way barricades his favorite activity i.e. watching any cinema on any medium, it definitely acts as a stone wall for fulfilling his dream. And this is exactly what he realizes after coming to Mumbai, post his mother's death.
Soon, Akshara (Akshara Hassan), a young and feisty assistant director, enters his life as the fairy Godmother. She not only realizes his potential, but also provides the means to showcase the same. She introduces him to a new Finland based technology, wherein implantation of a microchip in Danish's throat and wearing of Bluetooth type ear-devices by both Danish and an actual speaker, and coordinated speaking by the speaker and lip syncing by Danish, will make appear, as if the voice is coming from the latter's throat! It does not need saying that, as of now, this technology is a fiction.
Post the implantation, the duo's search for the right speaker ends at Robert aka Amitabh Sinha (Amitabh Bachchan), a drunk old man with loads of attitude, but a strong baritone voice. Ironically, around forty years back, Robert himself could not make it big as an actor, as the film industry found his voice unsuitable!
Together, Danish and Amitabh create 'Shamitabh' i.e. Danish's screen name and presence. Akshara plays the able moderator between them, as well as between them and their first director. Together the 'Shamitabh' duo touch an altogether new height in the film world, till their day-to-day minor bickering, take the form of gigantic ego clash, wherein the voiceless actor and faceless speaker, refuse to abide by or bow down to each other, with each striving to become the primary beneficiary of new impounding limelight and recognition. Surprisingly, none of them is bothered about the money part. It is left to see, who will win out of the two and what has fate got stored for both of them.
By sixty, most actors, either retire or shift from main leads to character roles. Thanks, to R. Balki, Amitabh Bachchan is still playing the main lead, and that too with dignified success (Cheeni Kum, Paa). By now, the director, R. Balakrishnan aka Balki is very well versed with Amitabh's physical and theatrical extravaganzas and limitations, and he has used this knowledge to the 'T'. Hats off to him, for working on a super fresh and unusual script and carving out an interesting outcome out of it. But, since he is an ad man (Chairman & CCO of ad agency Lowe Lintas) by first profession, he has vastly used his movie canvas as ad films for products and services, like - Lifebuoy, Amazon etc. It may be a smart financial move, but such, on the face, advertisements cannot go down well with serious movie enthusiasts. Latter half of the movie, focuses a lot on ego clash. Unfortunately, to support the same, neither Danish appears thanklessly robust, nor Robert seems the one with the unfair deal. Also, with his impeccable reputation, international recognition and designer clad appearances, it's a tad bit difficult to imagine Amitabh Bachchan thriving and kicking for recognition!
Both of Balki's earlier movies were unusual, well appreciated and both showcased a demise towards the end. This one follows the same trait. Now, whether this is done to maintain the so-called superstition for hit movies, or, to appeal better at international film festivals, unlike his previous movies, this one does not create the aura of hope and good life towards the end.
The movie has six songs and cameo appearances by various celebrated personalities of Bollywood, including Rekha! 'Sha sha sha mi mi mi' and 'Piddly Si Baatein' tracks are nice. The latter is voiced by Amitabh Bachchan himself and its picturization is full five minutes of toilet humor! Barring, Amitabh's performance, the remaining movie transcends considerable dosage of South Indian sensibility. The movie also draws a lot of similes from its lead actor's lives. Like rejection of Amitabh Sinha for his voice vs. Rejection of Amitabh Bachchan for his voice, by All India Radio; Danish working as a bus conductor before becoming a hero vs. Dhanush's father-in-law aka superstar Rajnikanth practicing the same; etc. Art Direction is very good. Whether it is the swank new and themed urban apartment of Danish, or graveyard situated and rupees five hundred rented dump of Robert, there is distinct beauty and harmony in both the establishments.
Amitabh Bachchan is superb in soliloquy, as well as action-reaction scenes. Crossing seventy and with evident wrinkles, this great personality still manages to look quite a debonair, even when he is dressed in rags. In this film, arrogance, mirth, humor, nonchalance, despair, going into oblivion, and every other possible shades of emotion have been rolled into one and only Amitabh Bachchan. Dhanush, is again a different shade card with his own rich plethora of different shades. He simply stands out in the scenes, wherein he emotes frustrated arrogance, and that too in a speechless mode. Not for a single second, you as an audience will happen to miss the voice of his dumb character! Managing to stand tall in front of Amitabh is no mean feat, and Dhanush has successfully achieved that. Akshara, the debutante, appears a combination of Riya Sen and Kareena Kapoor, from their respective debut movies. She looks very young, boyish, genuine and strong minded. However, she will be required to work over her South Indian dialect. Rest of the cast is good as well.
In addition to, such great concept and execution, only if there was more humor, less altercations, and that too packed in lesser duration, the movie would have emblazed on an altogether different level.