Posts Tagged ‘reviews


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


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: 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.

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Music Review: Burzum – Umskiptar (2012)

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Neither language nor sound has ever posed a hindrance to understanding Burzum‘s music. Varg Vikernes’ in-depth narration of tales you might have never even have heard of, in a language Greek (it’s Norwegian, actually) to us makes the listening even more interesting. His guitar tone on Umskiptar is rounded, at least compared to all his previous works, but there’s absolutely nothing that can take away from the honesty of his music. The distorted vocals have not only clean singing but also soft whispers for company this time. The riffs are even simpler on this album; Varg Vikernes mesmerizes yet again, and this time without repetitive guitar noise. I’m not complaining; I love everything Varg does, and in fact, after a few listens, I wondered how Umskiptar would sound with his typical fuzzy droning. But as all Burzum fans come to realize in good time: Varg knows best. There isn’t one weak moment on the man’s glittering discography. Even Daudi Baldrs, which I earlier thought was a pointless exercise and a joke Varg released during his prison sentence, gets repeated listens and numerous bows from me, so you can imagine how I’m going to gush if we get into the other Burzum albums. Chapters in Black Metal is what the man writes, even if he calls it Skaldic Metal. It’s time for us to accept that there will be a Burzum release every year, to realize that this music doesn’t need reviews or discussions, and to look forward to the annual blessings this man will be sending our way.

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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


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


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Review – Anjaana Anjaani

Man, I wouldn’t have bothered going for this if Priyanka Chopra wasn’t in it. Clumsy pacing can be a real drag, but the good news is you can sit back and look at Priyanka Chopra for almost three hours.

For all those who’ve just resigned from the Taliban: Priyanka Chopra is the hottest actress of my generation, and she actually takes on worthwhile roles, and both her career and body are in great shape.

Let me tell you the story of Anjaana Anjaani quickly so we can get back to talking about Priyanka Chopra’s shape, er… her career, I mean.

So this guy Ranbir Kapoor’s life is fucked because “the market has crashed”, and he goes to jump off a bridge. Here he meets Priyanka Chopra, who has similar plans because of boy trouble. A very drunk Priyanka Chopra is sitting pretty on the bridge with a vodka bottle, and do I want her babies or what.

RK and PC don’t die despite many varied attempts; jumping off a bridge, suffocation, trying to set the house on fire… no points for creativity then.

They then make a pact to fulfill all their wishes in the next few days and to commit suicide together on New Year’s Eve.

Now guess what happens because I don’t feel like telling you that they go to Las Vegas and have fun and fall in love and all that.

The only problem with Anjaana Anjaani is it’s too long; I didn’t mind it because I’d had a couple of FLPs and I’d gone there to admire Priyanka Chopra. There are plenty of close-ups of PC, and the rest of the time I was observing the subtle movements her ass was making. I don’t care about tits but PC’s cleavage was glowing with health, and the rest of her fine bod was looking perfect as always.

The movie’s not bad; it warms your heart a little, feels fake at times, makes you miss people, and has a couple of genuinely funny moments. But there’s no way I can sit through this again.

Guys won’t complain because of Priyanka Chopra, girls will be happy looking at Ranbir Kapoor, and old people; I don’t know what the fuck they’re gonna do… lament the loss of their youth, I guess.

RATING: 2.5/5

ALSO READ: What Happens When Priyanka Chopra Stops Drinking Alcohol For A Whole Month

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