Posts Tagged ‘ram gopal varma


‘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: Not A Love Story

It’s in the second half of Not A Love Story that Ram Gopal Varma displays his brand of intensity, speeding things up after a man has been killed by his previous night’s fuck’s boyfriend. Based on the Neeraj Grover murder case, the film is RGV’s interpretation of how it happened and was shot in the building Maria Susairaj lived in, where the murder happened.

Between shots of the voluptuous Mahie Gill and a grimacing Deepak Dobriyal, RGV does manage to tell you a story. But it can get too much – it would be an understatement to say Not A Love Story has skin show, because a flesh parade is what it is. Mahie Gill has been shot from every possible angle, and even when she’s panicking about something, you expect to see a flash of her vagina, and there is a scene that has her wiping blood off the floor and a boob nearly pops out. It’s excessive, yes, and it’s Ram Gopal Varma indulging himself again, directing his heroine to shake her booty to a song from one of his superhit films. Rangeela’s title track also doubles up as Mahie’s ringtone, and it does grate the nerves after a point.

Had I known nothing about the Neeraj Grover murder case, I would have greatly enjoyed this movie, because Not A Love Story is how Ram Gopal Varma imagines it took place. My biggest problem is with the personalities of the people involved (pardon the pun), for Deepak Dobriyal plays the possessive, always-simmering boyfriend with the permanent scowl – it’s hard to perceive Emile Jerome Mathew that way, but this is a Ram Gopal Varma film, where at least one man needs to be grouchy all of the time. Ajay Gehi’s Ashish is an affable chap, whereas Neeraj Grover came across as a sneaky guy who fucked a woman after promising her a movie role and the unlucky soul who got stabbed to death by her boyfriend the morning after. Mahie Gill, to Maria Susairaj’s advantage, is made to look like less of a whore-bag, even if she lied to her boyfriend that she had been raped by the man who was walking around naked in her home.

Still, big points to the filmmaker for the stunning camerawork; all the toying around with the camera he did in his last many films seems to have paid off, even if all the camera does for a good part of the first hour is follow a full-bodied Mahie Gill around.

After Neeraj Grover has been chopped into pieces and burned and, after the interval, is reported missing, Zakir Hussain steps in as the cop investigating the matter, and that is when RGV shows his true form. What follows is pure intensity you wish would never end. When Ram Gopal Varma is fully in control, he can paralyze you and leave you breathless and make sure everyone in the movie hall walks out satisfied, and the kind of tension this man can still create… it has to be seen to be believed.

Ram Gopal Varma irons out most of the flaws that plagued several of his films, but some new quirks spring up in their place. Not A Love Story is by no means an easy tale to tell, and at times it may seem that this director isn’t the best man for the task, but there isn’t anybody who can do it better. The good news is the man still knows how to lock you in a death grip. Welcome back, RGV.

RATING: 2.5/5


Rann Review

Satya Review

Company Review

Saurin Parikh, On Why RGV Is Losing The Rann

Rakta Charitra Should’ve Been Called Fucked Vichitra


Film Review: Company

After directing the greatest Hindi movie ever made, RGV stunned me once again with another underworld flick. As written by Jaideep Sahni and narrated by Makrand Deshpande, “Company” is the name the jaat se dramebaaz press/media gives the gang run by Malik (Ajay Devgn) after Chandu (Vivek Oberoi) joins it.

Company is a thriller that keeps reminding you it has been made by the guy who made Satya: a lukkha gets inducted into an established gang, wins the don’s friendship and commands respect within the gang, which prospers by extorting money from rich builders/businessmen who are scared shitless. Even the humour is in the exact same vein as Satya.

Ram Gopal Varma is excellent with pacing and establishing other characters, the dialogues are smashing, and it’s such a delight to watch two men fire guns at a bunch of people! Watch top cop Sreenivasan (Mohanlal) grill a film star and mind-fuck an associate of Malik’s to ensnare the gang, which then decides to run the show in Mumbai from Hong Kong. Because of a clash of ideals, Malik and Chandu turn foes and the enmity grows rapidly.

Jaideep Sahni’s story progresses excellently because of his tight script, and the screenplay is engrossing! RGV made a wise decision by not inserting songs (there’s an item number but you can ignore it), and the background score is by Sandeep Chowta. The film ends with the gang’s downfall and a mention that the top cop, at some later point, writes a book called about the gang, called “Company.” Slick!

MORE RGV MOVIE REVIEWS: Rann | Department | Bhoot Returns | Not A Love Story

2012 FILM REVIEWS: Jab Tak Hai Jaan | Heroine | Barfi | Agent Vinod | Supermen Of Malegaon | Oh My God


Movie Review: Phoonk 2

Film: Phoonk 2

Writer/Director: Milind Gadagkar

Producer: Ram Gopal Varma

Actors: Sudeep, Amruta Khanvilkar, Jeeva, Ahsaas Channa, Neeru Bajwa

Guess what, losers? This might be the only positive review of Phoonk 2 you read but I’m going right ahead with it. Brothers and their sisters, please welcome Milind Gadagkar, debuting as director with Ram Gopal Varma’s Phoonk 2. Unlike Phoonk, the sequel will not be called a ‘sleeper hit’ because it will wake the fuck out of you.

Milind Gadagkar moves a family into a bungalow in Alibaug, with a beach for a view and a forest as its neighbour. Wasting some time trying to establish the characters and getting the family adjusted to their new home, Phoonk 2 has a few silly camera angles that might please only the producer.

To engage people with a poor attention span like mine, there are two beautiful women – Amruta Khanvilkar and Neeru Bajwa. Amruta plays Sudeep’s wife Arati and Neeru plays his sister Arushi, and some more reel is wasted showing everybody having a gala time on the beach.

Anyway, when the main girl Raksha (Ahsaas Channa… she’s too young, let’s not talk about her) finds a doll ugly as Rakhi Sawant, things start happening. The first half of Phoonk 2 is wasted trying to build up scary situations, but nothing happens and there is only one good scene.

Rajiv (Sudeep) finds out his wife is now the ghost; Madhu has taken control of Arati’s fine body, and everyone in the theatre was unhappy to realize that the married bitch is a possessed slut. People stopped munching popcorn for awhile.

At some point, everybody in the house realizes that something is very wrong, and that’s when the shit starts flying. Post-interval, we see the previous tantrik Manja (Zakir Hussain, Rashid in Sarkar) get lifted by an invisible force and go headless with his body in flames. Next on the list is the gardener/sweeper Balu who gets attacked by Madhu (she’s back, baby) and his body is found on the train tracks. Sudeep’s pal Vinay too dies a lovely death – he drives his car through Madhu and the next moment she’s sitting next to him and bam, he rams into an oncoming truck.

Now it’s time for a new exorcist to come in, and it’s none other than motherfucking Jeeva. I’m sorry to say but Jeeva’s character could’ve been welcomed with a lot more pomp because this is one dude who can carry it off. His eyes have always been yellowish-red (in Satya as Jagga, in Ab Tak Chhappan as Police Commissioner Suchak, in Sarkar as Swami) and he’s either got jaundice or he’s perpetually stoned. Who cares, check out his dialogue delivery!

Things turn comical because the ghost knows what everyone is up to. While youth icon Jeeva is starting a bonfire in the forest, the doll approaches him giggling like SRK. Ho, what’s this? The doll grabs Jeeva by his legs and goes round and round. Close your eyes and imagine Jeeva being swung round and round by a fucking doll. That’s right, the ugly doll sends Jeeva flying and he gets stuck on a tree, a thick branch going through Jeeva’s pure heart. But even while dying, he catches the doll like a lech and thrusts her into the bonfire. Some pyromaniac he turned out to be.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well. The maid is found nailed to the wall upside down, and Neeru Bajwa’s corpse is found floating in the pool. I’m not quite sure how Madhu’s ghost leaves Arati’s supple body, but that is something others who see the flick have to explain to me. If you think this review is entertaining, go watch the damn movie. And don’t go by this review; some eight-ten boys sitting in the row before ours were making a lot of noise during the first half, passing silly comments and all that. Well, they shut the fuck up during the second half, and that should tell you something about how scary Phoonk 2 turns out to be.

Showing the (famous by now) crow only once, pleasing RGV with strange camera antics and women with less clothing, and showing a ghost pissed off as fuck, Milind Gadagkar has taken it to the next level. Ram Gopal Varma, I want Phoonk 3!



Why RGV Is Losing The Rann

By Saurin Parikh

It pains me to see what has become of Ram Gopal Varma. The maverick filmmaker who has given us cinematic – as well as critically acclaimed – hits in his hey days has somewhere down the line lost his gentility at an alarming rate. The last few movies that have come out from his stable have been sorrowful attempts at reclaiming the cinema that he was once acclaimed for. His last couple of films have been particularly lambasted by everyone with a mouth, and rightfully so. However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel that is RGV, in the form of Rann.

Rann has been in the news ever since it was first talked about, even before its filming began. Rann was expected to elevate RGV back to his throne; it was expected to once again hail RGV as the king of off-beat cinema. But anyone who has seen Rann knows that it won’t do any of that. The only thing that Rann will do is push RGV back into a tunnel of depression. Another failed movie won’t go well with the master, the heavy media-bashing won’t help either and I just hope he doesn’t give up filming altogether. RGV is a genius, right now he’s in transition, but a genius remains a genius and he will be back to his best some day.

But this time, RGV is himself at fault. He can flay everyone from the critics to the media to the audience for being too harsh, but the truth is that Rann has numerous flaws – many of them highly obvious – that he could’ve avoided. And mind you, these flaws are things that are commonplace in Bollywood, but not something that you expect from RGV. He has faltered at things that have been his hallmarks.

The first flaw is the story. Rann’s story is not concrete, not at all living up to the stories of his earlier movies. The story is loose; it has a number of obvious holes that raise questions, a large amount of whys and hows, questions that kill the story. Questions like: Why didn’t anyone else other than Purab Shastri (Ritesh Deshmukh) recognize Khanna? Why didn’t Khanna’s friends and family inquire about his sudden disappearance? How come no one knew who Khanna was despite his face being shown on TV? When did the Indian political system start having only two ministerial candidates? These are just a few questions that are at the top of my mind. I’m sure a dozen others can be unearthed by any willing mind. Any story with so many unanswered questions is bound to be doomed. What is sad is that RGV could have covered these loopholes.

The second problem with Rann is that with it, RGV decided to become a preacher. Now, RGV is many things, a preacher is not one of them. His films have addressed socially relevant issues, but without being preachy. Rann is preachy and that is where it fails. It’s almost as if RGV has adopted Madhur Bhandarkar’s brand of cinema. The 15-minute long speech by Vijay Malik (Amitabh Bachchan) towards the end of the movie is not something you expect from a RGV film. What he is good at is telling the same things through incidents and sequences, not by having his main lead give a speech.

The other thing was the hoards of clichés. An RGV story doesn’t have a single expected twist and turn. Rann has only expected twist and turns, not a single one of them was unanticipated.

One of RGV’s strengths has been his characterizations. The same can’t be said about the characters in Rann, every one of them has serious flaws. The continuous flipping open of a Zippo doesn’t make a character ambiguous, nor does wearing a sweater vest make a character serious. (Wearing a sweater vest in Mumbai, irrespective of the time of the year, only makes a character look foolish.) A politician can be mean even without something red spread across his forehead. I don’t know why Paresh Rawal was made to wear sunglasses in every scene; the actor’s eyes could have made him look meaner than the red paste. The other character with obvious flaws is Yasmin (Neetu Chandra) – she dresses like a modern woman, but cowers like a villager every time her boyfriend gets angry. The other characters are mere stereotypes – the Hindu housewife who doesn’t want a Muslim bahu, the industrialist out to make more and more money, the employee who shares company secrets, the son who tries to come out of his father’s shadows, the highly ethical media baron, the highly unethical media baron, the aficionado who wants to be like his guru… and so on and so forth. Sure, stereotypical characters, who behave like real people are important to a story. But the problem in Rann is that the movie has two sets of characters – one set is too banal and the other is too unbelievable.

I know that telling a story on celluloid ain’t easy; a director has to be given a few allowances. But RGV was one director who didn’t need any allowance. His stories have been tight; finding flaws in his good films would be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Sadly, not anymore. Rann is not even ambitious, as most of RGV’s films have been. It’s just sad to see one of our very few brilliant filmmakers going down the drain. By the sheer length of this piece you can imagine how disappointed I’ve been about RGV’s decline.

Well, his next is Rakta Charitra. I hope I don’t have to drown my sorrows in whisky after that one too.

Film Review: Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann

The Best Hindi Film Ever Made


REVIEW – Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann

Forty minutes have passed by the time Ram Gopal Varma begins telling you the story of Rann. The attempt at establishing the characters is futile, and the endless close-ups get on your nerves after awhile. Worsening matters is the background score, with music being inserted in just about every frame. Instead of creating a suitable atmosphere, it just doesn’t let you get into the movie.

The main characters of Rann are far too sour to have any kind of appeal, except Amitabh Bachchan, who somehow manages to pull it off. Instead, comic relief comes in form of Rajpal Yadav, who is an embarrassment. Mohnish Behl steals the show from Paresh Rawal, Ritesh Deshmukh and Rajat Kapoor from right under Amitabh Bachchan’s nose.There are some women in the movie; Simone Khan if you like. Suchitra Krishnamurthy is a MILF and Neetu Chandra is a skinny hot chick. I’d fuck them both, but not at the same time.

Self-indulgent, unexciting camerawork teams up with unbearable background music to take the fun out of a promising story. Ram Gopal Varma has rediscovered his magic formula but he’s overdosing on it. Rann is disappointing.


READ: The Best Hindi Film Ever Made


The Greater Of Two Evils

Dec 02, 2008

Terrorism has cast a shroud over the city of Bombay (not Mumbai, no), and its people have forgotten how to smile. Everything’s so gloomy, the sad Doordarshan tune would go really well with it. A big deal is being made out of Ram Gopal Varma visiting the site of carnage, probably because he will make a realistic film from whatever he absorbs from the remains of the hotel. As long as the movie doesn’t have Urmila Matondkar, I don’t see why people should complain. There’s a movie made on 9/11 and pretty much every other such tragic event, so let’s not pull this man up for doing what any filmmaker worth his pepper would.

Of course, I wasn’t expecting any of our politicians to barge inside the Oberoi and do anything fancy. I wasn’t expecting them to hide under their beds, either. Like a lot of other people, I didn’t exactly have a soft corner for the lot, but my loathing has reached a new level after watching them spout piles of arse on news channels. All the hooligans who were making noise and staking claim to Bombay (nope, still not Mumbai) by performing silly rituals like pelting stones at lifeless bus-stops and burning pink buses, have been squatting at home, perhaps wondering how they developed another ass-crack.

Forget saving Mumbai (I write it that way on my postal address) from the baddie outsiders (they came from outside outside), they didn’t offer our heroic outsiders snacks or even a glass of water. Maybe they’re saving it for some pretentious pooja which will screw the city in a righteous way. It’s okay now, boys…you can come out from under the bed and continue enjoying your zhunka bhakar.

My pretty girlfriend (who hates pink buses being set afire) has threatened me with dire consequences if I don’t exercise my right to vote. But who do I vote for? Politicians should come with a label stating who the lesser evil is so I can vote the uncouth, illiterate idiot into power.

By the way, I can speak, read and write three languages fluently and have decided I don’t need to learn Marathi. If anyone has a problem with that, I’m ready to throw the first rock. Buzz off!

Coming soon…Fictional Reality

Posted by Aditya Mehta { 10 } Comments
[From my Buzz18 blog “Lashkar-E-Shaitan”]

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