Posts Tagged ‘soha ali khan


Movie Review: Soundtrack (2011)

Johnny Joker tells Raunak Kaul that he has taken it upon himself to entertain the world around him in such a way that he’s now addicted to doing that. By this time, Raunak Kaul has stopped wondering who Johnny Joker is and what he is doing hanging around all the time, and simply listens to what he has to say. Even though Raunak has gone partially deaf.

Despite the malady, the one thing that never leaves Raunak’s side is the bottle. Established right from the beginning, Raunak has the makings of an alcoholic. His love for music as strong as his weakness for drink and drugs (pot is all over the movie too), Raunak, ably played by Rajeev Khandelwal, hears music in every sound. It could be a train passing under the bridge he’s on, a motorcycle being started, or a beggar singing for money – for Raunak, there’s a beautiful melody in every thing.

But being a DJ at the nightclub Tango Charlie makes things go wrong for him; night after night of blaring music destroys his sense of hearing, and to save what’s left of it, Raunak must spend time in complete silence. Which angers his producer Charlie, whose villa cum studio Raunak is living in and recording music at. Charlie: owner of Tango Charlie and mentor/producer to Raunak, is a bald, chilled-out dude played by Mohan Kapur (in a strong performance).

Soundtrack has cameos by several Bollywood celebrities, who appear every now and then to face the camera to talk about the kind of fellow Raunak was. Even Raunak’s relatives and bandmates tell the camera what a special person he was. So, whether or not you’re interested in finding out how the deaf-mute Gauri (Soha Ali Khan) teaches Raunak how to talk in sign language or how their romance brews, you’ll surely want to watch Anurag Kashyap roll a joint. Yes, Sir. On the day I celebrate six months of being free of cigarettes, charas and ganja, I get to see Anurag Kashyap roll a joint.

With each segment of the story beginning with a quote from Ludwig van Beethoven (it’s pronounced Bay-thoven), Rajeev Khandelwal is shown coping with his problem and eventually overcoming it to make a masterpiece of an album. Mohan Kapur is overjoyed at this development – so much that he bangs at the window of the deaf couple in the middle of the night.

Soundtrack is a very sweet movie with smart ideas – Johnny Joker is the Indipop song (composed by Biddu; sung by Shweta Shetty) Raunak used to hate as a child. When Raunak realizes he needs to stay off the booze, Johnny Joker thrusts a bottle of Black Label at him, singing ‘Peelo na…’ and he stops at that. You expect him to finish it with, ‘Johnny, Johnny Walker,’ but he doesn’t. That’s smart. And Raunak’s interactions with the ear specialist – those are smart.  He actually cribs to the doctor about cocaine being very expensive, and even says that he tried heroin once but it didn’t go down too well because he must’ve been very drunk. Mix ho gaya hoga, says the understanding doctor.

It’s like a breeze of fresh air, this movie by Neerav Ghosh. You’ll leave the movie hall smiling, with a picture of two bombs on either side of Rajeev Khandelwal’s head, with the unconventional hero thinking that maybe he’ll hear a slight sound when they go off. But if a movie like this one comes every month, baaki sab ki vaat lag jayegi, baap.

RATING: 3.5/5



Movie Review: Tum Mile (2009)

-by Devdutt Nawalkar

Film:  “Tum Mile” (2009)

Director: “Kunal Deshmukh”

Actors: “Emraan Hashmi”, “Soha Ali Khan”

Emraan Hashmi is a strange one. He looks like someone who eats Brittania sliced bread and Kissan ketchup for breakfast but his movies manage to hold my ADD-riddled mind’s attention to a fair extent. He’s not a great actor by any stretch of the imagination but there is a certain mystifying quantity about the Serial Kisser that makes it well nigh impossible to hate him. I have seen a few of his movies without uprooting the scant remains of my rapidly denuding scalp, though going by the prolonged detours to the crapper that Bollywood’s been taking of late, that dubious compliment is more flummery than anything else. Regardless, I like Emraan Hashmi because he comes in and does his thing without bullshit histrionics. I put much stock in the mediocrely competent.

Tum Mile is a story of love, ensuing obstacles, and reconciliation, against the overarching backdrop of a natural calamity that I suspect to be the July 26, 2005 flood in Bombay. Directed by Kunal Deshmukh, it stars the delectably bushy-browed Soha Ali Khan and hogger-in-chief of the review opening, Emraan Hashmi, in the lead roles. The movie opens with the Bombay meteorological department forecasting, belatedly of course, a severe storm headed for town (On a tangent, is it just me or does the met dept. seem like it’s being worked out of the back of an Udipi joint?). Cut to an airplane headed for Bombay and we are introduced to our protagonists; Akshay (Hashmi) and Sanjana (Khan), who seem to share an awkward past and spend time exchanging furtive glances and inconsequential nothings. The movie narrates its story in a reverse chronological fashion using frequent cutbacks to the past to explain what’s gone on between the two. Lost, anyone?

Akshay was a struggling artist in Cape Town, South Africa (hurray! Another location sabotaged by Bollywood towards the unholy end of embarassing as many expats as possible) who met and fell in love with rich girl Sanjana. They courted, the dalliance taking up quite a bit of the movie’s time, moved in, and started playing house in fair fashion. Of course, all-conquering Mammon had to poke his green nose in the middle of conjugal bliss. Akshay fell on hard times, unable to whore out his vision and artistic integrity, and generally grew to be an unpleasant grump. To make matters worse, his muse deserted him at the most inopportune of times as well. Lovely, sacrificng Sanjana offered to help him out with her daddy’s money which obviously rankled Akshay something fierce. Their relationship soured over the constant bickering and ego massaging. They subsequently went their seperate ways when opportunity knocked for Akshay in faraway Australia and he, in the manner of all great chauvinists, expected Sanjana to pack up after him and come smother his bread with tomato sauce Down Under.

Cut to the present, which is 6 years after the events in South Africa, and the storm’s got a thing in for Bombay. The two, by happenstance, have some business in the city, and are caught unawares in the maelstrom. Sanjana’s the damsel in distress, and Akshay’s her knight in soaking armour. You get the drift. There’s nothing like a disaster for star-crossed lovers to work out their difference and assume the convivial pose again. There are nods to The Perfect Storm, The Day After Tomorrow, and Titanic – in other words, the holy trinity of cheese. There’s a bit of gratuitous killing too; Akshay’s friend Vivek, with a loving, docile wife back home, is popped off for no good reason. But I’m always up for some senseless deaths so it’s all good.

I hope that you, reader, don’t care that I’ve given out the whole story. Idhar kuch naya nahi hai, aage chalo..

Hashmi is competent without being stellar. Soha Ali Khan is one of the more promising actresses out there. She’s peppy when needed and does the serious bits to the hilt as well. Music’s not exceptional which is a bit of a let down considering that this is a Mahesh Bhatt, production and that his movies usually have a couple of nice tunes.

This isn’t a great movie or anything. I haven’t the slightest idea why I’m even writing this thing. But I will say that my brain’s reasonably unscathed, and that I won’t go to bed with my scalp flaming red. Another factor that may have figured into my benevolence is that I was one of the many trapped out in the city on that fateful day four years ago. I was in a completely strange locale in New Bombay, having joined a new job, and I spent nearly twenty hours bedraggled, trying to hitch my way back home and, in general, fearing for my life. No exaggeration that; there were times when I was inside cars and the water was upto the windshields and there were times when I was wading through chest high garbage. Terrifying and unforgettable.

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