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Shahrukh's Don 2 – The King Is Back

I am a huge fan of Shahrukh Khan's Don. In fact, I liked it even better than Amitabh's original Don. OK…Alright.....Amitabh fans…don't go ballistic on me. Amitabh’s Don was a great movie for its times. But to me, Shahrukh’s Don is the perfect package! A totally engrossing story adapted and modified to suit modern tastes and expectations. Narrated in an amazingly slick and modern fashion by the very capable director Farhan Akhtar. Shahrukh's impossibly charismatic Don haunts you in every frame. And the catchy, foot tapping music and fast paced action complete the package.

Watch Don (Free) on YouTube. See the link below.

Obviously, I have been looking forward to the release of Don 2. The promos look amazing and I can’t get enough of the 'Don Says' snippets. The reality was a little different than my expectations though. Shahrukh Khan is still mind blowing as Don, but the story itself leaves so much to be desired. Also, a crisper screenplay would definitely have helped the cause. Farhan Akhtar does a decent job of directing the film but I wouldn’t put this one in the same league as Dil Chahta Hai or Don. The supporting cast appears to be there just because of the demand of the script. I was surprised that even accomplished actors like Boman Irani (Vardhaan) and Om Puri (Malik) leave no mark on the audience. Priyanka Chopra as Roma is totally ineffective. Her role is minimal and her look/make-up is disastrous. In fact, all through the movie I kept thinking about who would be a better fit as Roma, the Junglee Billi. Maybe Kareena Kapoor or Deepika Padukone? Or even Sushmita Sen……as a friend pointed out later. In contrast, I liked Lara Dutta in her almost non-existent role as Ayesha, Don’s girlfriend. She looks glamorous. The music is forgettable, the only saving grace being ‘Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo’.

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So, what’s the story? Well, the protagonist Don (Shahrukh Khan), establishes his supremacy in the Asian underworld. Now he wants to rule Europe. So he comes up with a complex plan of looting the currency printing plates from a German bank. He enlists the support of Vardhaan (Boman Irani), Jabbar (Nawab Shah), Sameer Ali (Kunal Kapoor), J.K. Diwan (Aly Khan) and Ayesha (Lara Dutta) to carry out the plan. Malik (Om Puri) and Roma (Priyanka Chopra), an Interpol detective are closely following his case. Are they successful with the plan? What unfolds during the bank robbery and how does it end? 

All in all, Don 2 is a one time ‘dekho’. Watch it mainly for Shahrukh’s performance and the overall look and feel of the movie. I do recommend that you watch ‘Don – The Chase Begins Again’ beforehand. It will give you a sense of continuity and also a comparison point. If I had to summarize Don 2 in a sentence, I would definitely say that it is Shahrukh Khan’s movie through and through. Yes, the King is back!!

Watch Don (Free) on YouTube

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Shahrukh's Don 2 – The King Is Back

Panjaa - Pawan Kalyan's Telugu movie wins the match

PanjaaI have a confession to make; I love chick flicks and have read the entire Twilight series. So here's an action movie review from a chick flick loving chick.


We want all the batsmen of the Indian cricket team to score a century in every match, we want all the Indian bowlers to throw maiden overs all the time. India, get real, such dream matches happen only once in a while. All that matters is whether India wins the match.
The same goes with cinema. We want all the movies to be perfect. The story, the acting, the songs, the dance, the editing, the photography, everything to be perfect. Such movies are made only once in while. All that matters is whether the movie is entertaining and paisa-vasool?


Pawan Kalyan's Panjaa is good entertaining paisa vasool movie. I think the movie got unfair reviews; I think it is a total paisa vasool movie and I liked it. Pawan Kalyan is so stylish in the movie, I loved his bearded avatar. Whoever, picked his costume, did well. I loved his stylish layering of shirt, sweater, blazer and the cool sun glasses. His acting was the backbone for the movie and he delivered a restrained performance as demanded by the character.

Tanikella Bharani, Jackie Shroff and Atul Kulkarni, the seasoned actors that they are, gave a competent performance. Sesh Adavi was the surprise and did noticeably good. The heroine of the film Sarah Jane looked pretty and reminded me of young Moonmoon Sen.The story was predictable but gave the movie a good pace. Brahmanandam's comedy gave the usual comic relief and the actor has definitely carved a niche for himself. The background score was excellent, the music for Pawan Kalyan's character beats SRK's Don. Excellent camera work, loved Kolkata through the lens, the old Kolkata with the narrow lanes, the yellow ambassador taxis, the tram, Howrah bridge, Vidyasagar Setu and the Victoria memorial.Though I have to mention, the hustle and bustle of Kolkata residents was missing. The village was captured equally well. The scene with Chiranjeevi's poster and Pawan Kalyan was heart warming while not showing more of Pawan Kalyan's dancing talents was truly missed.


The one scene that really bothered me in the movie was showing the gruesome murder of the character Jahnavi. Personally, I find showing violence against women very unsettling.


Bollywood is always lifting movies from the south and repackaging them into hits like Bodyguard and Singham. I find a Rohit Shetty style Singham-Panjaa or a Govind Nihalani style Thakshak-Panjaa written all over Panjaa. Some crisp editing, less fiery pyretic and more superhuman Singham style action, polishing the rough edges on storyline and new set of songs under another director and there will be yet another repackaged Bollywood hit.


All in all, Pawan Kalyan wins the match for Panjaa.He delivers the film; it is an entertaining film and worth a watch.

Panjaa - Pawan Kalyan's Telugu movie wins the match

Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge

Mujhase Fraandship KarogeA fresh, young and hip bollywood offering of college romance, real friendship and fake identities in the world of Facebook. Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge is a romatic comedy with Facebook playing a pivotal role just as the AOL emails played in “You got mail”. This movie has a lot going for it. There is enough story to keep the movie at a nice pace and the songs support the storyline very well. The songs are very peppy, foot tapping and hummable, Raghu Dixit has done a good job with the music. The star cast is mostly all new comers and they have delivered a very good performance. The dialogs of the film are well penned and makes the college setting very believable. A must watch movie from Y-films.

Now for the most fun part on how to watch the movie. The movie was released a few weeks ago on Oct 14 and is already available on the internet. Watch it in HD, watch it in crisp, good quality and watch it legal, only on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=YKBXFM1SKsc Youtube offers quite a few Indian movies that you can buy and will have access for a certain amount of time; and MFK is currently price at just under $5.00 for a 72 hour access.
Aditya Chopra seems to have a good model going here. Get a good story, debut new star cast, debut a good Indie music director and release it on Youtube. There may be a lot more revenue in this long tail than ever imagined before.
Netflix, move over, I liked watching the movie over Youtube. Here’s another nail in Netflix’s coffin.

Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge

Of Chillar Party and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Mere Brother Ki DulhanI had made plans to see “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” with my friends. I had about 30 minutes to kill before I said my goodbyes to my kids and so I started watching “Chillar Party” with them. The film had my attention from the first frame. The story begins with introduction of the “Chillar Party”, the “limbu timbu’ kids of apartment society. The next interesting character is Fatka, an orphan urchin who comes into the society to clean cars. Fatka has a dog named Bhidu, his only attachment in this world. This sets the stage for interesting clash between the chillar party and Fatka, ultimately resulting in friendship and an introspection on the class divide between Fatka and other kids his age. The movie seems to be about the kids and Fatka’s grit and determination and worth a dekko. Bollywood has a very dismal track record at making good children’s movies, Chillar Party is an exception. The first 30 minutes were very riveting and left me with a desire to complete the movie, it's a movie not just for kids but for adults as well.

I had to pull myself to go see Mere Brother Ki Dulhan.
Mere brother ki dulhan is an out and out Kat movie and she has delivered!!!
Kat carries the movie with her spirited performance and Imran Khan as Kush provides the right balance with his restrained acting. In the reviews, the movie was touted as modern day “Chupke Chupke”! It is nowhere near the classic Dharmendra-Amitabh starrer. The movie is enjoyable and has it's funny moments. It has a very weak storyline, but the fine performances of Kat and Imran lift the movie from sinking. The third actor Ali Asan was suitable but not great. The man needs o develop his own style. He  seemed to copy Shah Rukh in some scenes and Arjun Ramphal in others.
Katrina rocks in her rocking avatar in the song Dhunki. The title song with Imran Khan is catchy while Choomantar has nice beats.  Sohail Sen has given a good range of music. Isq-risk has a very sufi-esque quality while the panghat pe nache madhubala is very earthy. The songs are pictured well too, with signature steps from other famous songs like Shah Rukh’s Chaiyya Chaiyya, Salman’s Dabangg and Hrithik’s Maula mere maula are incorporated into the songs.
Kat is one of the prettiest in the industry and she looks very pretty in all her avatars. She looks good in skirts, salwars, kurtis over capris and even in a shameez (or a dress that looks more like a shameez). I loved her jewelery, be it the big jhumke or her rings and the bangles from wrist all the way to half her elbow.
Kat is developing her acting skills for comedy. I noticed her comic skills in Tees Maar Khan.Although that movie was pathetic, there were a few very funny scenes with Akshaye Khanna and Kat. Her comic skills in her interaction with Piali were decent. Imran Khan, some times reminded of Aamir Khan in Andaz Apna Apna, especially as the old Muslim cleric.
All in all, it is a good watchable movie and a must watch for Kat fans.

Chillar Party, still has me intrigued and I want to know what happens to Fatka, Bhidu and the Chillar Party.



Of Chillar Party and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Sholay

Sholay posterAn iconic movie of the Hindi cinema and if you want to be a well versed in Indian movie watcher, this is a must see movie. Supposedly inspired by the John Wayne, Clint Eastwood style American Westerns, the movie is based in the beautiful, stark dry and harsh ravines of Chambal, a real life hot bed for dacoits. However, the movie was actually shot in a village called Ramanagar, Karnataka. The story is a revenge drama of Thakur Baldev Singh played by Sanjeev Kumar and Dacoit Gabbar Singh played by debutant Amjad Khan. Veeru and Jai are two thieves who aid the Thakur. Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra play Jai and Veeru while Hema Malini plays Basanti; Veeru’s love interest. Jaya Bhaduri plays the widowed daughter in law of Thakur and is Jai’s silent love interest. Incidentally, both the leading pairs ended up as real life couples too. The cinematography is amazing. Music by R. D. Burman is one of his best and the item number “Mehbooba” sung by RD himself and danced superbly by Helen is as iconic as the movie itself. Here’s a link to Kronos quartet performing Mehbooba  The dialogs of the movie are still fodder to a lot of creative ads and messaging. The poster for Sholay shown here used to be huge bill boards painted by actual painters on canvas. India's renowned artist M. F. Husain used to paint such movie posters early in his career.  Sholay is not just a movie; it has influenced more than one generation and defined Bollywood.

You can watch Sholay on Netflix

Or, buy a copy for your collection.

 

 


 

Sholay

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