Sunday, October 20, 2013

Anamika (released in 2008) - Starring Dino Morea, Minissha Lamba, Koena Mitra and Gulshan Grover

Rebecca is an incredible novel and an incredible movie. So, when you start making a movie that seeks to draw inspiration from (or rather take the entire concept from). And when start comparing this movie to the original 1940 movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, there are very few movies that will come up to the standard; and to tell the truth, Anamika is not even a superb Hindi movie, so any comparison with Rebecca will be far from fair. However, reading the book Rebecca or seeing the movie Rebecca can prove interesting, because it provides an important context to this movie. The movie is made by Anant Mahadevan who has directed a number of movies in the past, but this once cannot be said to be his best movie. The movie slips a bit, but is still watchable to some extent. Need to give some marks for trying, although it might have been better if he had taken some better actors - this after all is a movie that can provide some great acting parts (one after can pretend that it is the next Rebecca). Music directed by Anu Malik, but really no great shakes.




So what's the movie about ? There is this rich guy from a Gajner Palace in Rajasthan, who is a rich and successful industrialist. He comes to Bombay for a convention, with plans for doing what so many other people in Rajasthan have done - convert his palace into a posh heritage resort. However, being a young man, he hires from an escort service, and gets Jia Rao (played by Minissha Lamba), who does not exactly do great service to the work of an escort. He teaches her how to be an escort, and also falls in love with her (shades of Pretty Woman, maybe). They marry, and she comes back to his palace in Rajasthan. And that is where the inspiration from Rebecca happens.
The caretaker is this lady Koena Mitra, and how along with other members of the staff, keep on referring to the first wife of the industrialist, to the point that it starts to bother Jia. Jia decides to convert herself into the proper wife, and becomes more and more like the first wife, but this also bothers her husband who did not want his second wife to become like the first wife. And then, Vikram (played by Dino Morea), the rich industrialist, is accused of the murder of his first wife, things get more complicated. And then the body of his first wife gets found in the desert. What does all this lead to ? Is Jia herself in danger ? Watch the movie.

Anamika (released in 2008) - Starring Dino Morea, Minissha Lamba, Koena Mitra and Gulshan Grover

Saturday, October 19, 2013

U Me Aur Hum (released in 2008) - A tearjerker starring Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Divya Dutta, Isha Shervani, and others

U Me Aur Hum is a romantic movie, although one with a difference. The movie takes a look at what love means, and how does love deal with a case where a person loses their memory, cannot even remember basic details, and what that does to the person who is living with them. The movie was the first movie made by Ajay Devgn as a director, and was also the last one. The movie did okay the box office, but gained more through word of mouth where people liked the story. Critics however had a mixed tale; they liked the story, they liked the performances, but found the direction and the progress of the movie somewhat weak, with the movie getting slow in certain parts. The music for the film won some praise, but nothing outstanding, with music by Vishal Bharadwaj, and lyrics by Munna Dhiman. Some of the other actors in the movie besides Ajay Devgun and Kajol were Karan Khanna, Isha Shervani, Sumeet Raghavan, and Divya Dutta.
The story of the movie is being done as a flashback, where a middle aged Ajay Devgn is on a cruise ship. His son is with him and likes another lady. Ajay pushes him to go talk to her, and his son asks him to first go and find an old lady to charm, and as a result, Ajay goes to an old lady and starts telling his story, with this story drawing in more crowds all around them. The story is from 25 years back, from a cruise again, where Ajay is enjoying a cruise with his friends. One of the couples with him are having some tension in their marriage.




At the bar, Ajay meets Kajol and falls for her. In the morning, when they meet, out of his booze, Ajay tells her that he still loves her. She does not tell him yes, so he pursues her by trying to find what she likes. He even manages to read her diary and from this learns that she wanted to dance. So he learns enough that he can give her training in dancing, and this makes the position better. However, she finds out that he had seen her diary and is upset. However, he still believes that things will work out the way he wanted.
He calls his friends over, and they learn to their surprise that she accepted his efforts and they finally got married. But their romantic life suddenly starts getting into problems - she starts forgetting things. When such incidents happen, they consult and find out that she has a disease, Alzheimer's, and her current pregnancy will cause more problems. He manages to handle the situation, but after the baby is born, he has to worry that if she forgets who the baby is, this can cause harm to the baby. He decides that it is best if she is put in a place that handles people with such problems, although this decision hurts him a lot.
But, then does he get her back ? Watch the movie to find out.

U Me Aur Hum (released in 2008) - A tearjerker starring Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Divya Dutta, Isha Shervani, and others

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Krazzy 4 (released in 2008) - Starring Juhi Chawla, Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Suresh Menon, Dia Mirza and Rajpal Yadav

Rakesh Roshan has produced and made many great movies over the past decades, but sometimes even a guy like him can slip up. You have to be somewhat crazy yourself to like such a movie, although there are some parts that make you laugh. The cast of characters are all great character actors, and that helps the movie somewhat, and the same with the concept, where they take 4 people who have been locked up in a hospital for various mental illnesses and the mess which ensues when they are outside the hospital, and how they help their doctor though all this, the same doctor who has been kidnapped right in front of them.
In order to get some more star power, the movie had guest appearances from some superstars and others - Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Rakhi Sawant.
The movie was directed by Jaideep Sen, with the story by Ashwni Dhir, making this a rare movie, a movie produced by Rakesh Roshan, and not directed by him. There was some controversy related to the music of the film, with music composer Ram Sampath filing a case that a couple of the songs were essentially copied from work that he had done, and finally the case was settled out of court (with the court however ordering the producers to delete these songs from the movie).




So what is the movie all about ? It is about these 4 patients of the mental hospital, all of them with different illnesses (although why all of them need to be admitted is not clear given their problems):
Raja - Gets very angry (explosively angry) - Played by Arshad Warsi
Gangadhar - Obsessed with the freedom struggle and has friendships with long dead freedom fighters - played by Rajpal Yadav
Dr. Mukherjee - Diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a cleanliness freak - Played by Irrfan Khan
Daboo - A man capable of speaking, but has not done so for many years - Played by Suresh Menon
In addition to this, Juhi Chawla plays their married doctor who wants to take them out for a day to get them to see a cricket match between India and England, and who gets kidnapped right in front of one of them, as a part of a serious plot.
Dia Mirza plays the role of a journalist who was in love with Raja, but left him. She runs the news for a TV news channel.
Overall, the movie deals with the time when she takes them out of the hospital for the break, but when she leaves them in the van outside for some work, one of them steps out and sees her being kidnapped, and motivates the others to find her. They run into a whole host of issues but try and determine who has kidnapped her and why, and since they are inmates from a mental hospital, have to get her convinced when they tell her about the reasons why she was kidnapped.

Krazzy 4 (released in 2008) - Starring Juhi Chawla, Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Suresh Menon, Dia Mirza and Rajpal Yadav

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shaurya (released in 2008) - Starring Rahul Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Javed Jaffrey and Minissha Lamba

When you make a film on such a sensitive target, you cannot make a very simplistic movie, it has to be deep enough to present the different perspectives of the situation. And when you are trying to copy an iconic movie, then all the more so, since it is quite plausible that your audience would have seen the original movie and will end up comparing the original movie with this one, and it better be good, or the comparison will fail.
Now consider a situation where a defense lawyer, in an army setting is apathetic, not really caring about the cases of the client. However, he is asked to defend an army officer who is being prosecuted for killing his own superior officer, that too in the conflict zone of Kashmir, and he is on trial for his life. The evidence is against him, and there is a senior officer who is pushing the prosecution case. Does all this sound familiar ? Well, even though the exact situation may not be similar, no one who has seen the Tom Cruise movie, 'A Few Good Men', can fail to make the association. Even more so, since the movie was not an action thriller or something like that, it had some commanding performances, especially from Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, and trying to catch upto those performances can be a tough act, even for actors such as Rahul Bose and Kay Kay Menon. I would like to say that I found the movie great, but the English movie was in my mind, and Shaurya cannot catch up to that movie, especially because I found the script and direction to be one of the weaker aspects.




So what is the story ? In Kashmir, the young officer, that too a Muslim officer, Javed Khan had shot his superior officer, Major Rathod during the course of a search operation in a village. Now, he is on trial, and to stand as his lawyer is the cynical Major Siddhant Chaudhary (played by Rahul Bose). He is opposed by his friend, Major Akash Kapoor (played by Javed Jaffery) who is the prosecution lawyer. And a superior officer is in the shadows, Brigadier Rudra Pratap Singh.
Do I need to say more ? Rahul Bose gets more involved in the case, trying to decipher the motives of the young Javed Khan, who does not want to reveal any details of what had happened. And there is the journalist played by Minissha Lamba who reveals more of the truth to Rahul Bose and forces him to start thinking more about what Shaurya means, and how is this related to the actions of the Briagdier, the dead major and the non-speaking Army office on trial for murder. Where is the honor of the army and its officers also figuring in all this.
At the same time, it is still one of the better experiments in Indian cinema, and if you fed of nonsensical movies that become super-hits, then get hold of this movie and watch it. I hardly ever see any re-runs of the movie on TV though.

Shaurya (released in 2008) - Starring Rahul Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Javed Jaffrey and Minissha Lamba

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Two Three (released in 2008) - A comedy movie starring Tushar Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Suniel Shetty, Esha Deol, Sameera Reddy, and others

When you make such a movie, you are doing an experiment hoping that enough people will like the jokes and make the movie earn more than the cost. So, one way of helping this process along is by having a host of characters in the movie (and with none of them being the mega stars who charge a whole host of money and decrease the chance of your movie becoming a hit); then you add in some jokes of all varieties (including jokes that are more adult - and this seems to work, with the very adult jokes full movie, Grand Masti, becoming a big hit this year, 2013). There are a number of movies that have come in with the concept of people getting mistaken for each other, and the resulting comedy capers. Add in the concept of all of them being in a confined space such as a hotel, and things get even more chaotic (for an example of how action inside a hotel can be converted into a massive comic scene - just watch the movie, De Dana Dan which had most of the sequence inside a hotel with chases and what-not inside the hotel itself).
One Two Three takes 3 different people - played by Tusshar Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty all in a hotel, all coming from very different backgrounds and with different personalities. So what brings them all together ? All of them have come to the same city, staying in the same hotel, and with the same name, Laxminarayan. And you can guess the rest of the confusion that erupts when they are all in the same hotel, especially when you have Dons also involved, and when one of them sells undergarments, you can understand where the adult humor comes in. Some of the other cast include Esha Deol, Sameera Reddy, Upen Patel, Neetu Chandra and Tanisha. A whole host of characters, but none of them are of the mega-star kind who would charge an arm and a leg, and who would throw a tantrum if you did not revolve the movie around them.




Tusshar is the poor guy from Mumbai, living with his widowed mother, with the ambition being to become more of a successful gangster, kill some people, make a name and then marry the daughter of another don. So, he comes to Pondicherry to kill another Don, on whom he has got a contract.
Suniel Shetty is a secretary, come to the city to buy a vintage car from a dealer (and who would not want to buy a car from a dealer such as Sameera Reddy).
Paresh Rawal is a dealer in undergarments, who has come to Pondicherry to meet up with a new supplier (Esha Deol). Both of these ladies have their own struggles, with both of them being under debt and desperate to strike the deals for which Suniel and Paresh have come to the city. And then Upen Patel and Tanisha are there in the auto showroom, but actually are doing diamonds, hiding in the car which Sameera is trying to sell. And of course, the police is also hunting for these diamonds. A sleeper movie (since not too many people remember the movie), but it made money and even though it is easy to dismiss as another of those crank comic capers, it did reasonably well.

One Two Three (released in 2008) - A comedy movie starring Tushar Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Suniel Shetty, Esha Deol, Sameera Reddy, and others

Monday, October 14, 2013

Black and White (released in 2008) - Starring Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Shah, and Aditi Sharma

This is a serious movie, on a serious topic. India has seen one spectacular suicide bomber, in the form of Dhanu who blew up in 1991, killing the former Congress Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and a number of others (including his security personnel) in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. But even though India has seen a huge number of terrorist attacks, with such terror attacks at many different regions of the country; there have been very few such suicide bombers in India (it has occurred in many other movies though, another one being the film Dil Se ). There have been many cases of terrorists attacking the police or acting in a conflict where they are not likely to survive (including the Mumbai attacks where the terrorists would have known that they would not come out alive), but no suicide bombers.
The movie starred a few known actors such as Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Shah, and Aditi Sharma. The movie was directed by Subhash Ghai, more know for romance movies, and other such movies (Taal, Karz, Pardes, and many others). However, over a period of time, Subhash Ghai also contributed to meaningful movies, such as the movie Iqbal. This is a movie of a disaffected man, whose passion have been bought to a boil and he has agreed to be a suicide bomber, and in turn takes on the identity of a man who has been brutally affected by the horrible communal riots in Gujarat. He has been recruited to strike at one of the most significant celebrations - the speech of the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15th.




He (taking on the identity of Numair Qazi - played by the actor Anurag Sinha) comes to Chandni Chowk in the older section of Delhi (right next to the Red Fort, a crowded area where Hindus and Muslims live next to each other and take part in each other's celebrations). The idea being that he will make friends with a college professor Ranjan Mathur (played by Anil Kapoor) who lives in Chandni Chowk along with his wife Roma Mathur (played by Shefali Shah). He is the perfect example of a person living in harmony in Delhi - he is an Urdu professor at Zakir Hussain College, and lives with both Hindu and Muslim neighbors.
When in Chandni Chowk, Numair discovers a lot of things that are alien to him. Hindus and Muslims live among each other, they help out in the religious activities of each other (the Chandni Chowk area takes on an air of celebration during festivals of all religions - Hindu, Sikh and Muslim), and even those local politicians from either religion who supposedly play to religious fervor are actually friends of each other and are doing all this for political reasons. He was supposed to be tricking the professor by getting his help and managing to sneak in bombs and blow himself up. Does this experience of communal amity that he sees change his plan ? With the CBI and the police on the trail of terrorists, can he be caught before he can blow himself up ?
This movie was not a big hit commercially, but it is a serious movie for those who are interested in such a topic, and is decently well made with good acting. Well worth a watch.

Black and White (released in 2008) - Starring Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Shah, and Aditi Sharma

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunday (released in 2008) - Starring Ajay Devgn, Ayesha Takia, Arshad Warsi and Irfan Khan

Rohit Shetty is now counted as one of the most successful Directors, with the tag of the most money making movie in Bollywood in his pocket (through the release of Chennai Express - the quality of the movie is not up for discussion in this post). He has been making movies which are over the top, with cars flying all over the place; when a person is hit, he can go flying for long distanes, almost to the extent of behaving like you would expect in a cartoonish movie. However, this film somehow did not carry the Rohit Shetty traditional feel, and did not so well at the box movie (which may be why Rohit Shetty has been making all his movies post Sunday as over the top, and most of them have been known only as entertainers, but painful for critics to review). The movie starred his traditional stars - Ajay Devgn and Arshad Warsi, and also starred Ayesha Takia and Irfan Khan. Music was by a whole host of music directions, with almost every song having a separate music director, but the songs were not particularly impressive - which is the story of the movie (nothing was really that impressive). The movie is actually a remake of a 2005 Telugu film.
So what is the story all about ? It seems like you have heard of this one before. A girl has a strange disease, whereby she can forget entirely what she been doing, even for as large a time as a full day. And somebody is murdered, and the girl cannot even remember what happened. In fact, initially she does not even realize that she is missing a whole Sunday from her life. This girl is Sehar (played by Ayesha Takia). She stays with another girl called Ritu, and one day, almost forcefully, Ritu takes Sehar out to a local club - because Sehar tends to forget where she has been, she prefers not to socialize like this.




Her mother wants Sehar to link up with a policeman, ACP Rajveer Randhawa (played by Ajay Devgn), who is a typical cop in the sense that he can be corrupt when he wants to be. His mother and Sehar's mother know each other and want both of them to get married, but Sehar has rejected the idea since she got to know about the corrupt ways of Rajveer. After the club, Sehar wakes up in her flat, but soon realizes that something is wrong - that she is missing something. She meets a couple of strange characters - one is a taxi driver and one is a struggling actor. After some discussion with Rajveer, they come to the conclusion that she given something in the club because of which she totally went out and forgot what happened on Sunday.
Slowly, Rajveer finds out that Sehar is related in some way to a murder of another girl that happened, and that the taxi driver had left Sehar near where the girl was murdered, and surprisingly the corrupt cop did a quick investigation and finally caught the guy who had murdered his own cheating girl-friend and then later killed the one with whom she was having an affair. Because Sehar was nearby, he thought that she had witnessed the murder, and was after her for that reason. Finally Rajveer manages to solve everything.

Sunday (released in 2008) - Starring Ajay Devgn, Ayesha Takia, Arshad Warsi and Irfan Khan