Slumdog Millionaire | Slumdog Crorepati review

January 14, 2009 by  
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Awesome! Excellent! Incredible! Unbelievable! Gem of a movie! … I had the privilege to watch Slumdog Millionaire a few days ago and I still do not know in what words should I describe this great movie. I have been talking about Ghajini and RNBDJ recently but after watching this movie I can surely say that the story of Slumdog Millionaire or Slumdog Crorepati as it is known in India is a thousand times more powerful and touching than any of these films. In spite of being a Hollywood movie directed by a British director Danny Boyle (co-director Loveleen Tandan is an Indian) the movie depicts the real situation in the Mumbai slums. The movie is based on the Vikas Swarup’s popular novel Q & A. The story of the movie revolves on how a boy from a Mumbai slum wins 20 million (2 crore rupees) at Indian version of game show “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. Even though it is a Hollywood movie still it is Indian in its entirety. I am not saying Indian only because it has a substantial Indian cast in Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Mahesh Manjekar and others but it is Indian because it touches every aspect of the poor people residing in the Indian slums. Anil Kapoor says “Who wants to a Millionaire” in the same way as Amitabh Bachchan used to say “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the music of the game show is exactly the same background sound as we used to hear in KBC and prize money is 2 crore rupees as it used to be in KBC 2. Unlike any Hollywood movie, Slumdog Millionaire has got almost three or four songs in the movie and all of them are either in full Hindi or are multi-lingual. Half of the conversation in the movie are in Hindi with English subtitles. And surprisingly enough I am referring to the original Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire and not the Indian version Slumdog Crorepati which will be released in India on January 23.

The movie starts as the main protagonist in the movie Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is being interrogated by the police inspector (Irrfan Khan) and his constable (Saurabh Shukla) as they are pretty sure that he must have cheated in the game show. The host of the show (Anil Kapoor) and the police are not ready to accept that a poor guy from the slums could answer so many questions. Then Jamal reveals how he knew the answers from the adverse conditions he had faced throughout his life. He narrates about his life and his relationship with his brother Salim and his love interest Latika (Freida Pinto) which made him answer the questions in the game show. The movie has a lot more to offer even after this interrogation and you can watch the sequence of things that follow when it releases in India on January 23. The screenplay in the movie is excellent and it makes you get to the edge of your seat on many occasions to know what happens next. The movie touches many aspects of India including poverty, communal riots, child exploitation, prostitution, outsourcing and the Indian masses’ interest in cricket and Bollywood. The movie also shows the unending love of Jamal towards Latika for whom he makes a lot of sacrifices. Jamal in fact joins the game show because he believes she would be watching it. Danny Boyle’s art of storytelling is brilliant and many Hollywood and Bollywood directors have a lot to learn from him. The songs and music in the movie are mesmerizing which you can almost always expect from A R Rahman composition. Jai Ho is the most popular song in the movie and the lyrics have been penned by Gulzar. The song is sung by Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer and the energy in the song is evident. The songs are versatile and O Saya is one of my other favorites. You can get the feeling of old Bollywood movie songs in some songs like Aaj Ki Raat and the raunchy Ringa Ringa.

Overall the movie is simply brilliant and I advise everybody to watch this movie when it releases on January 23. If Ghajini and RNBDJ has become success recently then I believe the Indian audience should give this movie its due too. It would release in Hindi as Slumdog Crorepati and it would also have its normal English release Slumdog Millionaire on the same day. I would advise everybody who knows even a bit of English to watch the original version Slumdog Millionaire. The movie has got a very simple accent which even a school going kid should be able to understand (50% of the movie is in Hindi anyways and the English part is also spoken by Indians mainly) and so it is advisable to watch the original version when it releases on January 23 all across India. And last but not the least I would like to say that I had watched this movie before it won the Golden Globe awards and so this review does not express my feelings only after it won the Oscars. Slumdog Millionaire is a gem of a movie and the Golden Globe win has only added a few feathers to its cap. I am quite sure that it might even sweep the Oscars next month. Great going Slumdog Millionaire and hope it would reaches many more heights.

Slumdog Millionaire | Slumdog Crorepati review

Ghajini movie review

December 26, 2008 by  
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Aamir Khan is also known as Mr. Perfectionist and he always portrays the characters in his movie to their skin. He is regarded by many as the best actor in Bollywood in terms of acitng. To add to that he only acts in a handful of movies and not more than one or two movies per year. That results in making an Aamir Khan movie nothing less than a festival and this year the release of Ghajini is a mega festival bundled with Christmas and New Year. The hype of the new Ghajini look of Aamir Khan is also very high and with more than 1100 prints Ghajini is almost sure to become a superhit.

However, apart from business does Ghajini also give all movie goers a worth of their money. Happily I can say that Aamir Khan has delivered the goods yet again. According to me this might be just one of his best acts till date. The movie has got a lot of violence but everybody knew it was an action flick and not the chocolate boy image of Aamir Khan. Many viewers are also saying that perhaps it is the best Bollywood movie in the past few years in terms of performance and storyline. The storyline is mostly the same as the Tamil Ghajini except for the climax but this Aamir version of Ghajini is just awesome. I am not saying about the tamil actor or his acting skills but Aamir Khan is a class apart as everybody knows. The movie is a revenge saga and the only small point that can be said is that it is a 3 hour long movie. But to tell the truth you cannot miss even a minute of the 3 hours as is expected from a Aamir Khan film. The screenplay and direction are excellent and director A. R. Murugadoss deserves accolades for sure. The music by A R Rehman is excellent as expected.

In the movie, Aamir Khan’s girlfriend Asin is violently murdered resulting in his memory loss. But Aamir tries to work around this short-term memory loss and avenge the murder of Asin. The storyline is not much different from the Tamil version except for the climax. Most people already knew the story long before the movie was released but it is the magic of Aamir Khan who can make a remake so exceptional. Aamir Khan is an actor par excellence and he has answered once again about the No. 1 actor in Bollywood through his acting. Ghajini is going to be superhit without even a tinge of doubt and if my predictions are right it might even become the biggest Bollywood grosser of all time. I would advice everybody to watch this movie without even a tinge of doubt. You will not only get the value of your money in this movie but a lot more than that.

I would give this movie a 4.5/5

Ghajini movie review

Jumbo movie review

December 26, 2008 by  
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I have been an ardent fan of Hollywood animation movies ranging from Shrek, Bee Movie, Madagascar and almost every big Hollywood animation movie. But the animation movies in India did not give me much hope for 3D animation movies in India but Jumbo has changed my view. Hanuman was a very good movie in terms of story but I would still not compare it to Hollywood animation movies because the quality of animation had a long way to go. I watched the Yashraj movie Roadside movie but it was much too Indianised and looked like they were trying to include Bollywood masala into an animation movie which was really pathetic. But Jumbo gives some sigh of relief.

Jumbo or Jaiveer is a baby elephant who dreams of following his missing father’s footsteps and becoming the royal elephant. He moves out in search of his missing father and meets with a female elephant (later his love interest in the movie), a messenger bird and a kindly elephant trainer. Then he becomes a war elephant and defends his kingdom against opponents.

Although it has taken a small step towards Hollywood animation movies, but it still seems to be directed to cater to an Indian audience which disappoints me a bit. I believe that animation movies much reach beyond boundaries and only then will they become popular. I have watched a lot of Hollywood animations and I do not remember any of them made specially attractive for western or US audience. I hope that in the next Bollywood animation venture it would be catering to a global audience but Jumbo is still a much better relief than the previous attempts by Bollywood in animation movies.

I would give this movie a rating of 2.5/5

Jumbo movie review

Golmaal Returns movie review

December 26, 2008 by  
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Golmaal was released in 2006 which was an excellent comedy by Rohit Shetty. This inspired Rohit Shetty and the producers to bring a sequel to that movie in Golmaal Returns. But bringing a sequel has always resulted in comparisions to the original movie Golmaal. Golmaal Returns fails to match the expectations of the original Golmaal.

The biggest negative of Golmaal Returns is the insane script which is filled up with zero-brain and bizzare mindless comedy. Gopal (Ajay Devgan) is married to Ekta (Kareena Kapoor) who keeps suspecting her husband inspired by the K-serials. Gopal is stuck on a yacht with sister Esha (Amrita Arora), brother-in-law Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor) after he saves an attractive girl Meera (Celina Jaitley) from some goons. Both of them spend the night in the yacht and when he returns home the next day Ekta feels there is something fishy going on. Then the storyline goes ahead pathetically as the audience gets irritated with the mindless comedy.

The best positive of the movie is Tusshar Kapoor who has again acted brilliantly with great comic timing in this movie too. The movie has got some jokes and gags but fails as compared to the original Golmaal. The screenplay is pathetic and the script of Golmaal Returns is the biggest golmaal. This movie is only watchable on the big screen if you are a fan of mindless comedy and surely not more than a one time watch.

I would give it a rating of 2.5/5

Golmaal Returns movie review

Fashion movie review

December 26, 2008 by  
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Fashion has been directed by Madhur Bhandarkar who is known for his realistic movies like Page 3, Chandni Bar and Corporate. Madhur Bhandarkar made the movie Fashion to expose the dark side of the fashion industry too. The movie went through a lot of controversies and the movie even received an “A” rating from the censor board. It was expected that the film would touch the sex, sleaze, drugs, compromise and all other negative aspects of the fashion industry. Many people in the fashion industry also felt that this pessimistic view of the industry might give a wrong impression to the masses about the industry.

But Madhur Bhandarkar has again showed brilliance in directing realistic cinema with absolute flawlessness. The story is about Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) who wants to become a supermodel and she walks the ramp for various designers and makes it to the top in the fashion industry. But she has to pay the price soon and her decline from the position starts very soon. She also meets a lot of people during this period especially Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut) and Janet (Mugdha Godse). But she does is not ready to give up so easily. The storytelling, screenplay and cinematography are excellent in the movie. There is skin show in the movie to some extent but the script demads it and it is not unnecessary glamour and skin show as used by Bollywood filmmakers. There are some great situations in the movie like Shonali’s wardrobe malfunction and Janet marrying a famous gay designer (Samir Soni) even after knowing about the situation.

All the actresses in the movie have done absolute justice to their roles. Mugdha Godse is natural although she is a newcomer while Kangana Ranaut has performed brilliantly and might be in nominations for supporting actress award next year. But Priyanka Chopra stole the show with a career best performance. She is excellent throughout the movie more towards the second hour. She is not only gorgeous but has acted exceptionally well in the movie. The best scene according to me is the one when she falls in her own eyes and breaks down infront of the mirror.

This movie is excellent and Madhur Bhandarkar has again proved that he can touch the masses with realistic cinema.

I would give this movie a rating of 4/5.

Fashion movie review

Hello Movie Review

December 26, 2008 by  
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Hello was released on October 10 and is based on the famous book One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. The promotional videos of the movie mainly showed Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. But to everyone’s disappointment, both Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are only in special appearances in the movie. The story is of six call center executives – Shyam/Agent Sam (Sharman Joshi), Varun/Vroom (Sohail Khan), Radhika (Amrita Arora), Eesha (Eesha Koppikar), Priyanka (Gul Panag) and Military Uncle/VP Chauhan (Sharat Saxena) who have been in the same call center for six years. Their boss Mr Bakshi (Dalip Tahil) is hated by all of them. The story revolves around their personal lives and struggles for most of the movie and it is only towards the end that they receive a call from God. The story is a bit messed up and the screenplay is very weak.

The actors and actresses in the movie have done a decent job though Sharman Joshi has done considerably better than the rest. The book is good for reading but the adaptation of Chetan’s Bhagat’s book by Atul Agnihotri is average.

I would give this movie a rating of 2.5/5.

Hello Movie Review

Drona Movie Review

December 26, 2008 by  
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Drona is a big budget movie with a big starcast and claimed to be the second bollywood movie after Krrish based on the idea of a superhero. However, it is far behind Krrish in every field and lacks proper direction and script.

The screenplay of the movie is pathetic and the story is very weak. It looks more of a fantasy film than a superhero film. The opening of the movie reminds of cindrella as Aditya (Abhishek Bachan) is humilated in a foster family. In some other part of the world, Riz Raizada (Kay Kay Menon) is an evil magician who wants to get the precious secret – the amrit and become the most powerful person. Then Sonia (Priyanka Chopra) enters into Aditya’s life making him realize his supernatural powers. She also tells him about his descendents and his mother Queen Jayati Devi (Jaya Bachan). Then a love affair between Aditya and Sonia also takes place. The movie does not have a good plot and there is little scope for the the director Goldie Behl or any of the actors to give a good boost to the movie.

The movie fails to appeal and I would give it a rating of 2/5

Drona Movie Review