Posts Tagged ‘film reviews


‘Satya 2’ Movie Review

Ram Gopal Varma plays with the camera as if it were a toy and then turns it into a weapon. Satya 2 is a very exciting sequel to RGV’s cult classic, and here’s my review

satya 2 puneet singh ratnEvery Hindi film made after 1998 that is about the underworld or has any violence wants to be Satya. Ram Gopal Varma’s magnum opus left everyone who saw it breathless back then and along with RGV’s horror classic Raat and his Bollywood debut Shiva, now enjoys cult status. The director, for those who don’t know, has a vast body of work; for those who chuckle every time his name his mentioned, the man has several terrific movies to his name – a few great films in his sewer of flops. But it is Satya that is destined to forever be hailed as the maverick filmmaker’s finest among his best works. As a line from that great, great movie goes (and every line from it is pure gold), “Kabhi-kabhi keechad mein bhi phool khilta hai.”

Satya 2 doesn’t have an Anurag Kashyap and a Saurabh Shukla writing mind-blowing dialogues and the tightest script known to cinemankind. It doesn’t have amazing actors, and I won’t name one or two or five because that would be bloody injustice to the rest. You know how perfect the casting in that underworld masterpiece was.

What Ram Gopal Varma does have is unbelievable command over storytelling and a mastery of his own unique style of direction. There’s also this weird thing he does with the camera… he plays with it as if it were a toy and then he turns it into his weapon. Once you accept that Satya was a magical fluke, a spellbinding film that had everything going right for it, a cinematic accomplishment which cannot be equaled… see, it wasn’t one man’s brilliance; it was luck, deftness, talent and finesse having an orgy; it was technical wizardry and aesthetic perfection having great sex.

satya 2 movie posterSatya 2 begins the way Satya does: the narrator tells you about a man without a background whose arrival in Mumbai will change the city’s destiny by creating a new underworld. Immediately after, the movie slips into typical RGV mode with a song that has the protagonist and his ladylove singing poetic lines, giving you a sense of dread, making you wonder if the rest of the film will turn out that way. Satya’s friend Nara, a character styled after Bhiku Mhatre is pitiable because he just can’t top or even come close to Manoj Bajpai’s jaw-dropping performance. Nobody can. You understand that clearly and you think it’s okay. This Nara chap’s girlfriend Special (Aradhna Gupta) is quite sexy, unlike Satya’s, who is sugary and the sort of dumb belle only RGV would fantasize about. Once the exchange of wise-ass one-liners is over, and when the mandatory scene of camaraderie the two men and their women share is done with, Satya 2 moves ahead smoothly.

Satya too in Satya 2, played by Puneet Singh Ratn, is an RGV hero: unsmiling, not much of a talker, overconfident…  but it is this one-dimensional role which makes Satya 2 a solid watch. Puneet Singh Ratn’s intensity increases gradually, and the more he eases into his role the more powerful it becomes. The guy could do with not looking dreamy-eyed around his woman all the time, though. The lines could have been even fewer, but thankfully there aren’t too many wisecracks or attempts at being humorous; this is Ram Gopal Varma getting back in form.

There is probably nobody here that you have seen before in any of his previous movies, and even though there’s no personality that stands out, you’re glad there are none of RGV’s boorish stock characters hamming it up. The background score of Satya 2 isn’t jarring and is actually effective. You remember the ‘Govinda, Govinda’ chant from Sarkar, and ‘Sab ganda hai par dhanda hai yeh’ remained stuck in your head for a very long time after you watched Company, and here we have the main tune from Satya‘s background music along with a chant that teaches you that you will get some if you ask for it but you can have it all by snatching it. That’s another thing – the wisdom I gained from Satya is on parallel with the knowledge I received from The Satanic Bible, and Satya 2 too has its sagacity. The line which made me raise the horns at the press show: Power ki asli taaqat usse chhupake rakhne mein hai.

Ladies and gentlemen, my ass has been kicked.

Aradhana-Gupta-Satya-2Satya 2 has a lot of extracts from Satya, Company, Sarkar and even Shiva, but it is now understood that all films based on the underworld are derivatives of Satya. RGV has crafted the film brilliantly and the way he stretches its boundaries will make you sit up. Being the fanboy I am, I had tears rolling down my cheeks and the only reason I controlled myself from breaking down and sobbing like a sissy was that I didn’t want to miss even one frame of Satya 2.

Satya 2 isn’t a classic and some might say it should never have been made, and those expecting classic scene after classic scene will be underwhelmed because there isn’t even one, but I say it is a worthy sequel to Satya and is very exciting. The madness goes on and you gape unbelievably at the screen as the body-count increases, half-expecting a bullet to, without a warning or sign, hit you right between the eyes or pierce your black heart. Boys and girls, this is Ram Gopal Varma fully in control. Satya 2 is his way of setting all his wrongs right, and it is the director rectifying all his past errors, and this is him indulging himself without taking you for granted. Satya 2 is a treat from RGV, even rgv_ramgopalvarmathough he still likes to show ugly, almost disfigured gents as henchmen, and makes his actresses strike the most absurd poses and dance in the tackiest of ways.

And just when you start counting on your fingers how much of Satya the man is giving a spin to, Satya 2 takes on a life of its own. Satya made me want to own a gun. Satya 2 makes me want to buy a baseball bat. And just when you thought RGV was dying of thirst in a desert under a merciless sun, you see him wiping the sweat off his brow and walking towards you, dragging a loaded canon.


RGV Film Reviews: Satya | Company | Rann | Phoonk 2 | Not A Love Story | Department | Bhoot Returns

DOWNLOAD EVIL MUSIC: Devil Worship | The Darkness Of Being | Snowless | In The Name Of Satan


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


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: Jism 2

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Cast: Sunny Leone’s body, Arunoday Singh’s ears, Randeep Hooda’s uncertainty

On reading that Canadian porn actress Sunny Leone was going to star in Jism 2, I downloaded a porno clip of hers to get a taste of her acting skills. To my delight, what I’d illegally acquired was the first anal-sex video of the adult movie star. What a natural actor, I said to myself, for the way Sunny got her ass pounded didn’t look like pretend.

That round ass, along with amazing boobs, are present in almost every scene in Jism 2. The filmmakers are nursing a secret desire to make a XXX movie, but have instead attempted to tell a laughable story, so that the masses may flock to theatres to look at Sunny Leone.

“I am a porn star,” admits Sunny Leone, right at the beginning of Jism 2, with her naked back to us. The script is as bare, we learn out soon after. Mahesh Bhatt has written this film for those who were missing B-Grade movies of the 80s, and his daughter Pooja Bhatt has directed it for a reason that isn’t entirely clear.

The hardcore-porn actress looks gorgeous in every scene, and she is the reason Jism 2 was made. There’s nobody other than Sunny Leone who could have sold this trash. With glowing cleavage and the sexy thighs always on display, Sunny Leone whimpers her way through Jism 2, making viewers notice that her cute face goes very well with her hot body. To her credit, she’s a famous porn star who has made it to the biggest film industry in the world, so it’s okay if she looks like she wants to get humped all the time.

Porn star Sunny Leone must use her body to help this nation; she must give her jism to both the men in the movie, so that one of them can nab the other and get vital information from a laptop. That is the story of Jism 2, a tacky Hindi film that desperately wants to be a porn movie.

RATING: 1.5/5


Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

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Christopher Nolan gives his fantastic trilogy an exhilarating end

It’s fitting, really, that a comic superhero this revered has movies made on him by a filmmaker whose vision penetrates deep into what seems impossible to think up. Christopher Nolan has taken a tired franchise (fuck you, Joel Schumacher) and recharged it for eternity. The Batman has been elevated to a place so high that it will make us laugh if anybody as much as talks about attempting to revive him in cinema after Chris Nolan’s trilogy.

The reluctant crusader with inner demons to fight must battle Bane, a monster of a man with a goal to terrorize and blow Gotham to smithereens.  Tom Hardy plays the bald beast in a mask Hannibal Lecter might like to try, and imposes with physical presence and an absurdly gruff voice. Here’s where you can forget about the Joker and understand that different villains can do things differently as long as they’re menacing enough.

The Dark Knight Rises has Bruce Wayne struggling to make his comeback as the Batman, a role Christian Bale is very familiar with. While we already know what he’s like as the billionaire with little to look forward to and the vigilante who hammers the hell out of bad guys while making sure he doesn’t kill them, it is Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway who have your attention. Caine, as the caring, witty and lovably shrewd Alfred, keeps the chuckles coming, dry as they are. Hathaway, not once called ‘Catwoman’ to her face, is slender and agile and looks irresistible in her suit.

What’s really going to stay with me is Joseph’s Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake – there’s no way you can’t love the last thing you learn about him.

Christopher Nolan succeeds once again in telling a superhero story the way it needs to be told. The Dark Knight Rises is a motivational and inspiring tale of a man as human as us you all, and teaches us that heroes are men of action; the ones who see something wrong and fix it with their hands. The Dark Knight Rises is a gratifying watch that will thrill the hell out of you, and this reviewer’s claps and whistles weren’t for the Batman as they were for Christopher Nolan as he ended his fantastic trilogy with an exhilarating ride. Now if only we could get one of those machines.

Sexy Bollywood Actresses 2012

Rolling Stone India Metal Awards 2012

Film Review – Supermen Of Malegaon (2012)

Ashwin Dutt’s long journey from Kinky Ski Munky to The Riot Peddlers



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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Pooja’s Movie Recco: Takeshi Kitano’s Hana-bi (1997)

By Pooja Channe

Film: Hana-bi 
Language: Japanese
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Actors: Takeshi Kitano, Ren Ohsugi, Susumu Terajima and Kayoko Kishimoto

Takeshi Kitano’s Hana-bi (fireworks) is the first non-English foreign language movie I saw. At first, the film appeared a bit loosely plot. The scenes are sporadic, and most of them are even incomplete. There is no commentary and the dialogues are very few. But still, I found the character development quite faultless. It takes a while for the plot to develop and make sense. With the most unique filmmaking style, Takeshi has put his soul in the film.

The movie is about the lives of two ex-cops who have come to terms with apathy. The character Nishi, played by the director himself, is an emotionally restrained ex-cop. Throughout the movie, Takeshi‘s face is devoid of expressions and you can hear him talk only around six times in the movie. Nishi is dealing with the sorrow of his beloved wife Miyuki‘s (Kayoko Kishimoto) health: she has leukemia and only a few days to live. The couple lost their daughter at a very young age.

Horibe (Ren Osugi) is a fellow ex-cop and a good friend of Nishi’s. Horibe gets shot in a stakeout and loses his legs while one other cop loses his life, for which Nishi considers himself responsible. After the accident, Horibe’s wife and children leave him and he becomes socially evasive. He seeks solace in painting and mostly paints animals and humans with flowers in the place of their heads. The paintings shown in the film are actually the director Kitano’s original work. Nishi. who had taken a loan from Yakuzas (Japanese mafias) for Miyuki’s treatment is now unemployed Nishi and neck-deep in debt; he decides to rob a bank and does it successfully. With the stolen money he pays off the loan (without interest) to the Yakuza, buys his disabled friend materials for his paintings, a gift for his friend’s widow, and with the remaining money. he decides to fulfill his wife’s wishes. Miyuki lives her last days like a child. Even in silence the  comic moments between Nishi and his wife are well expressed. Horibe eventually kills himself.

It’s impossible to ignore the contemporary classical background score by Joe Hisaishi –  it gives a serene feel to the tragic film. Hana-bi is roughly a 95 minute film and it puts across a lot of emotions. With so much less being said in the movie you’d be surprised how brilliant the film turns out. I am sure that most of the you, after watching this minimalistic film, will understand and acknowledge the genius that is Takeshi Kitano. Do not watch this film if your mind cannot process silent films – you will get bored.


Gerry | Satya | Chhoti Si Baat | Halo | Road, Movie | Deool | Ram Ne NaamPaanch | Sadma | Company


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