Friday, August 23, 2013

Madras Cafe: A Tasteless Affair

Political thrillers in India are too few to even count on your fingertips. A volatile political set up that changes from state to state makes it a risky proposition. So when John Abraham and Shoojit Sircar came together for Madras Café I thought our filmmakers are ready to take the risk and treat us to better cinema.
With these thoughts I entered the dark theater. The morning newspaper was also full of praise and thus the investment looked safe. Nothing prepared me for what the makers of Vicky Donor had presented in the name of Madras Café.

The problems are at various levels starting from the script. The director has so many things to tell that it all becomes too confusing in the end. Add to it the poor editing. The film could do away with some 30 mins and may look slightly better. The director can also do away with stock chopper sequence every time there is a shot of Indian army. Thankfully there are no songs to prolong the ordeal. 

Coming to performances: John Abraham will take a lifetime to act and this movie reinforces the fact. He just does not look the part and is a very bad actor. Siddharth Bash carries his quiz master hangover and never for a minute looks like the RAW chief. Piyush Pandey in his two minute appearance makes a sorry figure. He is playing the cabinet Secretary and the reaction when the prime minister announces his resignation is so laughable. Nargis Fakri looks comfortable as a journalist. It helped that she had to play a London based reporter. Few characters that stand out are Bala and local Lankan leaders.

A better script and cast would have done wonders. This dish served is just too bland by all standards.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lootera Movie Review: Poetry In Motion

Sonakshi Sinha in Lootera
Before we left home I had warned my kids not to expect their kind of regular bollywood masala. No item songs. No comedy.  I was expecting requests for toilet breaks/something to munch or some such excuse to leave the hall. But not only they waited patiently for the interval but after the movie ended they wanted to watch it again. This to me is the biggest victory of team Lootera.

My daughter loved the film especially Sonakshi and her simple style while the son wanted a revisit for that tiny winy action-chase sequence. There was a group of youngsters which came hoping something else and left half-way through disappointed. But I believe they remain a minority.

What makes Lootera exceptional is the treatment of the story. You feel it is slow. But never for a minute you want to leave the hall. The movie may not have something for the mango people. But if they can appreciate the masala (leave your brains behind kind of films) they can survive this 135 minutes of pure, unadulterated emotions of love, hate, betrayal and loneliness.

Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh in a still from Lootera
As Pakhi and Varun, Sonakshi and Ranveer, are completely in control and you get the feeling no one else could have done justice. Sonakshi can be pardoned for her earlier masala outings and she is here to stay. Her future releases will be eagerly awaited. It helps that her next release is going to be Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaraa which is directed by Milan Luthria.

As for Vikramaditya Motwane: He is going to be in a different league after this. What makes his achievement more commendable is the impossible feat he has achieved with actors like Sonakshi and Ranveer. That perhaps is the biggest USP of the film.

The other two stars of the movie are its cinematography and music. They both complement each other so well that it becomes difficult to see them as two different components of a scene. Amit Trivedi once again proves his mettle with both the songs and the background score.

Lootera can be as commercial as any other movie and at the same time it has loads of Wow moments that makes it so different from the typical bollywood films. Go watch one of the finest love stories of the decade.