Posts Tagged ‘bollywood


Movie Review: Horror Story (2013)

horror-storyVikram Bhatt is the reigning king of horror in Bollywood, but then he’s the only filmmaker churning out scary movies with increasing regularity. Still, Bhatt truly loves the horror genre, and tries to outdo himself with every movie – mostly failing, rarely succeeding – but he really cares about scaring people. As the producer of Horror Story, he lets Ayush Raina take a shot at it.

Seven friends during a farewell celebration ignore the weird barman’s ominous warning and head to the deserted Hotel Grandiose, which has claimed many lives including that of the owner, whose suicide we get to see as the opening scene of Horror Story. The youngsters make a backdoor entry and find themselves trapped in the hotel and are killed one by one by the ghost of Maya, a deranged girl who was undergoing treatment at the mental hospital that once stood where the hotel was built.

Horror Story has a lot of potential but the script is terrible. As two boys attempt to reach the terrace where there will be enough network for them to make phone calls and ask for help, a nurse calls out to them, telling them the doctor is now ready to see them. If I made the grave mistake of breaking into a haunted hotel that hadn’t been opened for years and a nurse came up and said, “Excuse me!” I’d have a heart attack and still manage to run the fuck away. Nobody minds bad acting in horror films, really… it makes the movie more fun. The problem with “Horror Story” is that it uses the same old chudail (learn the difference between a chudail and a daayan here) and she isn’t scary and neither are the scares. There’s no buildup to anything, and what we have is the ghost of an insane girl who only wants to kill all those who enter the hotel.

When I reviewed 1920 for Buzz18 in 2008 or 2009, I found it absurd that Vikram Bhatt showed that the Hanuman Chalisa was more effective at blowing the ghost away than Christianity. In Haunted (read my review of that film here), the lead pair seeks refuge in a mosque, and the maulvi manages to give the ghost some grief. In Raaz 3 (read my review of that movie here), the ghost is killed with Ganpati’s power. I’m mildly pleased to say that in Horror Story, director Ayush Raina hasn’t brought in anything as ridiculous: it is a an old table fan that comes to the rescue thanks to the ghost of the hotel owner.

Horror Story is less than two hours long, mercifully has no songs or blossoming romances, and unfortunately no skin show or scares either.


Horror Film Reviews: The Conjuring | The Cabin In The Woods | Phoonk 2 | Bhoot 2 | Question Mark


Film Review: Madras Cafe

Shoojit Sircar’s film is a political thriller that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously. This movie review doesn’t contain spoilers

bollywood-madras-cafe-posterMadras Cafe is a Hindi movie that has nothing to do with Eid, Diwali, Ganpati, star power. It is a political thriller that isn’t adulterated with romance, and it doesn’t have songs for the masses to hum. Madras Cafe is that rare Hindi film which has nothing in common with the Bollywood fare that is thrown at you every week.

Madras Cafe is about the LTTE (LTF in the movie), why they plotted the assassination of Indian ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, how they executed their plan, and how a few men unsuccessfully tried to stop it.

A peace force is dispatched from India to Sri Lanka to restore calm before the upcoming elections, but the Senalese, who have been wiping out ethnic Tamils, are now constantly being attacked by the LTF – a Tamilian militant outfit created by Anna Bhaskaran (remember LTTE chief Prabhakaran?), and John Abraham, RAW’s most efficient agent, finds himself in Jaffna.

nargis-fakhri-in-madras-cafe-movieIt’s hard to get over how unlike everything else in Bollywood this film is. Shoojit Sircar is an excellent director, and I came out of my hiatus to watch Madras Cafe only because I loved Vicky Donor (read my review of that movie here), and I’m happy to tell you Madras Cafe has no songs, no heroes flexing their biceps and thrashing twenty goons at a time, no flying cars… you get it, but let me go on… nobody’s trying to be witty or macho, and there isn’t even a hint of the possibility of a love angle. Nargis Fakhri (read my review of her film Rockstar here) is a journalist, and nothing happens between her and John Abraham… they don’t even seem remotely interested in flirting or even smiling at each other. Madras Cafe is all about the story, and because of the way it has been told, written, edited and directed, is what you should watch if you’re interested in seeing a Hindi movie that doesn’t embarrass you in any way. It’s a fictional story that takes place in a dark chapter of Indian history.

john-abraham-madras-cafeI tip my hat to John Abraham for, despite being very much a part of Bollywood, having the balls to not make Madras Cafe “salable” at the box office. This is his second triumph as a producer and perhaps his first as an actor (read my review of his action flick Force here). Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafe is a film that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously.

RATING: 3.5/5

READ: An update about my band Solar Deity’s new album Devil Worship on Eight Octaves


Music Review: Priyanka Chopra – In My City

Joining the long list of auto-tuned singers who make mediocre bubble-gum pop music is Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra. Once my favourite, PC is taking herself down the drain by doing everything possible to stay afloat in a film industry which can’t make up its mind about whether to use her talent as in arty films or exploit her looks by casting her in commercial crap. Priyanka herself seems to be confused about what to do, and as a result has been underwhelming in the offbeat movies she’s been selecting, and has now come to us in the garb of a singer, with her single “In My City”.

In My City has Priyanka Chopra welcoming everybody to her city for hell-knows-what reason, considering it’s already overpopulated, and to party, of all the reasons. Helping her usher the world’s moronic teens into amchi Mumbai is, who couldn’t come up with anything creative to do with his name.

“We do it all night long,” sings Priyanka Chopra, talking about partying, of course – but that’s a lie, considering we have policemen disciplining even roadside stalls before midnight. Priyanka could also be talking about having sex all night long, but it sounds like a fake promise going by the low energy of the song. The zeal is obviously fake, the energy is clearly low, and the song neither catchy nor worth a second listen.

That Salman Khan heard it thrice back to back itself says a lot. That guy can’t act and neither does he understand music. He makes Sajid-Wajid work in all his brainless movies, so you can’t really take him seriously. Only Salman Khan can appreciate and be moved by the boorish tunes Himesh Reshammiya comes up with, so yeah.

Anyway, Priyanka Chopra’s In My City is a crap song; it sounds manufactured and will please only the masses who will be thrilled because it sounds western. Look at Priyanka’s behaviour and you’ll notice she’s got a massive Cheryl Tweedy-Cole hangover.

RATING: 1.5/5

MUST SEE: James Hetfield in Mumbai

Movie Review: Barfi | Court Verdict on the Gutka Ban


Movie Review: ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’ is a major disappointment

It was too good to be true. Anurag Kashyap has bitten off more than he can chew. Part One of his revenge saga is a superbly crafted film worth quite a few watches, and it deserves a hell of a follow-up that should explode in your face. Several new characters are introduced in Part Two, and each has his unique style that’s supposed to set him apart from the rest and earn him a place in your memory. Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is supposed to be a lot of things: a mind-blowing continuation of GoW 1; a movie powerful enough to stand on its own; the thunderous conclusion to a riveting tale of vengeance.

Gangs of Wassepur 2 is Anurag Kashyap losing the plot. Kashyap juggles with too many objects to impress, and all fall down. GoW 2 is a botched collage in which everyone has a bone to pick with someone. You don’t need to have a brass band performing at death ceremonies because that kind of contrast (it’s so… RGV) doesn’t impress you anymore. It’s a mockery of a very serious situation, and the same can be said about Gangs of Wasseypur 2. Even the wacky music and the attempts at humour start to feel excessive, and the less said about the tributes to the Hindi film industry, the better. Bollywood is seeping out of every pore of GoW 2. If you want to go filmy, take a break from the offbeat filmmaking and just go filmy – don’t use Bollywood to evoke laughter throughout the movie only because you’re secretly dying to be all that and are too embarrassed to do it openly.

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is a bloody mess of a movie that doesn’t let itself be taken seriously.

RATING: 2.5/5

Movie Review: Gangs Of Wasseypur 1

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Movie Review: Cocktail (2012)

An exaggerated ass shake may have convinced you to go for the film, but Cocktail is a movie that doesn’t even start being fun. Deepika Padukone sashaying her way into nightclubs without being stopped can fool anyone into thinking they’re in for a party, and there end the good times. Veronica (Padukone, ‘Veeru-paaji’ to Saif Ali Khan) welcomes into her home and life the very desi Meera (newcomer Diana Penty), and Gautam (Khan) joins them soon enough. Having sex with Veronica, and not on very friendly terms with Meera, Gautam is played by Saif Ali Khan the way you’ve always seen him do it. Khan yet again plays the happy-go-lucky goofy yuppie who can charm the pants off most women.

Khan’s Gautam shows us that even the corniest of lines can work on the most stunning of women, while director Homi Adajania is out to show that he doesn’t know how to take the story where he wants. Cocktail moves at a tired pace, with Gautam’s mother (Dimple Kapadia) visiting her son to see the girl he has fallen for. Kapadia is the conservative mother, admonishing everyone in sight because there’s no other way such beings can be affectionate. A cross-dressed Saif Ali Khan presents fuckbuddy Deepika as a friend and the seedhi-saadi Diana Penty as his choice. The movie, which anyway wasn’t made to take cinema forward, tumbles terribly after that. The threesome go on a vacation with Dimple Kapadia, where Diana Penty and Saif Ali Khan fall for each other, and the promiscuous Deepika decides she wants to impress the old lady.

Cocktail, keeping in mind that it has no depth, should have at the very least been a breezy watch, but the writers (Imtiaz Ali and Sajid Ali) and Homi Adajania don’t know how to package melodrama. The movie rushes through the motions of every film that is made to appeal to youngsters and stretches like a bad dream during the dramatic moments. Add Pritam Chakraborty’s music to this mix and you have the soundtrack to a nightmare.

Cocktail is a concoction you should avoid unless you want to experience a three-hour hangover.


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Movie Review: Ghost (2012)

Director: Puja Jatinder Bedi

Actors: Shiney Ahuja, Sayali Bhagat, Tej Sapru

“Don’t call me sister, Saxena” says the nurse, “Call me Lea.” Any guy who has sex with a nurse in a hospital toilet or anywhere else would say liya. But Saxena, zipping his trousers, says, “Don’t call me Saxena, Lea, call me doctor.”

A few minutes later, still in the loo, Lea is looking at her reflection in the mirror, when she sees the ghost.

Now we have a church scene. Sayali Bhagat (Dr. Suhani) in a tight dress prays to god. She’s off to her first day at the new workplace, and there’s where Dr. Saxena hits on her till she gets up and walks out of his office.

Three days later, the nurse goes over to the doctor’s house and, while making out with the doc, after a hilarious item number (she’s an Oriental chick lip syncing to a Hindi song), she disfigures his face and rips out his heart. But not just like that. She walks on her hands with her feet in the air, and crawls on walls and rests on the ceiling. Jesus is right next to her and all her victims. For what, we don’t know yet. But he’s got the crown of thorns, and he’s got an owl on his left shoulder and a pigeon on the right. Coo.

Turns out that Suhani, after some eerie happenings – like a morbidly silent ward boy bringing her a cup of coffee without her having asked for it, the door opening and closing without him having even touched it, and the cup falling off her desk just like that – walks towards a dusty room in the hospital. She reaches there after hearing strange sounds which include the bleating of a goat. Goats bleat, right? Or is it lambs? Anyway, she finds the corpse of nurse Lea at 3 am, which is exactly when Lea was dancing and ripping Saxena’s heart out. After which Jesus said, “I am evil, and I’m going to take you to hell.” And then there were the worst special effects on earth trying to show us hell by showing a skull and fake fire, and I thought it was a screensaver.

Shiney Ahuja, the best detective around, is given this case to solve. Shiney cruises in a fancy car, rides a high-end sports bike, grabs a bite while reading a novel, drinks coca cola on a holiday, has fun on his personal watercraft, and then, finally arriving at the hospital in his flashy car, is hugged by a spirit.

He then meets Sayali Bhagat, who should just become a porn star if she wants another shot at acting, and they decide to solve the mystery together. They bond by spending time with each other, making coffee together, going on a holiday, dining at swanky restaurants etc.

Now this ghost is getting predictable. She has killed four employees. All at 3 am, each left with a screwed-up face and without a heart. Shiney Ahuja, after a lot of investigating, finds out that he suffers from retrograde amnesia. He doesn’t remember a certain phase of his life, and that phase happens to be the one in which he married a firangi girl. Convenient.

His dad (Tej Sapru) got the girl killed right after their Christian wedding, and told the ones hired for the job to “crucify her like Christ.” So they whipped her with chains of nails and crucified her and she was brought to the hospital with her heart beating but she was butchered alive anyway. By the staff members Shiney’s father had stuffed with cash. So it was this bunch who got killed and Tej Sapru dies in the end, after running here and there from the dozens of ghosts that plague him. With Jesus standing right there. After Tej Sapru dies, Jesus says, “Satan is defeated.” The ghost goes to embrace Jesus.

When the end credits are rolling, the blonde who plays the ghost is dancing to the chinky girl’s item number. Since you won’t be going to watch Ghost, there are two more pics of Sayali Bhagat at the end of this post for you.


Movie Review: Chaalis Chaurasi


Film Review: Players (2012)

Incompetent acting and a messy script make Abbas-Mustan’s ecstasy of gold an underwhelming affair

It’s a good thing that there’s so much that needs to happen in Players that the movie doesn’t slow down, but with those many predictable twists and turns, it comes back to the same point time and again. The two warring sides play tug-of-war with gold bricks worth ten thousand crore rupees, and eventually, it becomes a question of who can outsmart whom how many times.

The actors are so incompetent that they’re not even worth mentioning, except for Neil Nitin Mukesh – the only ‘artist’ (it’s a word the film uses) who gets into the skin of his character. Speaking of skin, the most watchable parts of the movie Players are the scenes which have the actresses in flesh-revealing clothes, and the car-chase scenes are not too bad either, if you can digest that a few Indians can go to Russia and New Zealand and create so much havoc without being apprehended by cops.

But even if you tell yourself that it’s a movie and unbelievable things can happen in movies, Players’ biggest problem is that its incompetent cast is saddled with a messy script, which goes into the tiniest detail to explain each and every thing happening in the story. The heists aren’t hot, but the babe in the black bikini (‘Shyla’/’Shehla’/’Shaila’ is her name in Players) is hotter than the film’s lead actresses. It’s a shame I don’t know her real name.

RATING: 1.5/5

Movies: Hide & Seek | 7 Khoon Maaf

Food: Sernyaa | Purepur Kolhapur

Pubs: WTF | The Biere Club

Bars: On The Rocks | Cafe Mailoo

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