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Film/TV Series

Ahwaan Padhee
Ahwaan Padhee : Film Critic

Ahwaan  is a avid movie watcher as well as a remarkable movie critic. A software consultant by profession, he began penning reviews for Hindi movies during 2005 while was working in Chennai.

His movie reviews get published in multiple magazines such as Filmfare, Cineblitz and CNN IBN Readers reviews on a regular basis,  which have won him many movie review contests. He takes keen interest in both commercial as well as offbeat cinema and has anenvious collection of DVDs.A very meticulous person by nature , he keeps track of all the recent happenings in Bollywood–box-office successes and failures, musical chart busters, TV attractions and aspires to write on varied trends that he observes.

KRISH 3

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From dabbling with reincarnation-oriented sagas to being a pioneer in introducing aliens and superheroes in Bollywood arena, director Rakesh Roshan has come a long way. His latest offering, Krrish 3 begins almost after five years where Krrish ended. Krishna, played by Hritik Roshan, is now a happily married man who takes up odd jobs ( security guard , waiter !!) to keep his alter-ego concealed while Papa Rohit is busy with his research pursuits, accompanied with Bournvita! Things are hunky dory until Krrish’s  nemesis – Kaal(played by Vivek Oberoi) unleashes a trail of terror with his evil mutants and the cat suit-clad Kaya(Kangana Ranaut), a chameleonisque human who shifts loyalties and falls in love with Krishna. With all its melodrama, twists involving an inventive face-off formula and blatant merchandising, it boils down to the philosophical triumph of good over evil.

For superhero movie buffs, Krrish3 would resemble a concoction of several Hollywood biggies (Superman, Spiderman) and Roshan seems to recreate the action sequences amidst sprawling and dazzling skyscrapers ( in Mumbai !!) copying the Hollywood counterparts, without quite building a pressure-cooker urgency. The screenplay is footloose and the EQ which resonated with every Filmkraft venture is brazenly misplaced. The second half does raise some hopes with a catchy soundtrack( Dil Tu hi Bata, simmering with the beauty of the exotic locales) but Roshan’s team of writers eventually fall into the trap of juvenile story-telling replete with clumpy dialogues, downgrading the intrigue factor.

All said and done, Krrish 3 is only worth watching because of Hritik’s regaling performance. With a beefed-up musculature, he delivers a committed and the most sincere act displaying an array of palpable emotions. As the paunchy Rohit, he brings in the composure and child-like mannerisms which makes us nostalgic as memories ofKoi Mil Gaya flash before our eyes. While all the entities around him are irresistibly ridiculous including the most sketchily written character of Priyanka Chopra,it is Kangana who ably compliments him with striking vulnerability and sensuality. There is a devilish aura around Vivek Oberoi and he cashes on it to play the wheelchair-stuck villain with impeccable perfection. Really , if Kaal says “Fusion is the future”, then we gotta agree that this baddie will shine in the future!

I go with Two and Half out of Five for Krrish 3.All the jazz, the startling visual imagery can barely compensate for the soul which the film lacks. We see a tremendous scope for a sequel with another child prodigy born, but the Roshans must reinvent themselves and come out of the archaic treatment they meted out to his ambitious film.

 Rating : 2.5 / 5

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MICKEY VIRUS  

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Welcome to the world of hackers and Trojans – with enough idiosyncrasy and meticulousness, writer/director Saurabh Varma narrates a story which is seldom witnessed on the silver screen. With its titular  resemblance to the sleeper hit of 2012,Vicky Donor , Mickey Virus is a complete departure in its theme and subject which delves into the murky world of cyber-crime and hacking keeping the humor quotient intact.

 Set in New Delhi, the plot is centered around a lazy  mastermind , a genius hacker Mickey Arora (Manish Paul ) who is hired by the Delhi Police led by  ACP Sidhant (Manish Chaudhary) and his assistant Bhalla(Varun Badola) to crack the racket of the cyber gangsters  who have created ruckus in the city through serial murders. Mickey is a slacker , hangs out with his gang – Chutney, Floppy and Panjo who are wiz-kids in their own admissions and is smitten by the sexy lady, Kamayani(Elli Avram). After a lot of resistance due to his work-phobic attitude, he succumbs to the demands of the ACP who is hell-bent on this ‘Hacking ki duniya ka Sehwag’ but little does Mickey know that he is sucked into the whirlpool of dangerous nexus with life-threatening ramifications. What happens next !

Varma picks the nuances of Saddi Dilli with flourish – the grey marketplace of Nehru place where people even sell  ‘W’ alphabet of the keyboard as ‘M’ (After all , its oolta M !)are captured with great details. He has done his research on the subject well and this becomes more apparent from the plethora of information bombarded on the average viewer related to internet and software lingos(server crash, firewall, buffering..).After a few funny sequences in the beginning, he throws us altogether into a different orbit of intrigue and mystery and keeps us riveted till the climactic revelation. There are particularly no glaring flaws but I wish Varma could have been more innovative while dealing with the serious portions and the romantic angle involving Manish and Elli. He appears myopic while handling the cat-and-mouse game where every tick of the clock matters.

Manish Paul is a delight to watch ! As a debutant (with a passable cameo in Farah Khan’s disastrous TMK  as Master India), he exudes charm and confidence with his impeccable comic timing.His vocal rendering(Pyar China ka maal hai ) is equally quirky !Elli Avram looks jaw-dropping gorgeous and is sincere in her part. Mickey’s hack-gang comprising of Raghav Kakkar, Puja Gupta and others give him a credible support.Manish Chaudhry is very convincing as the stern cop, but the real combat machine here is Varun Badola who triumphs with his ingenious straight-faced humor and mouths crackling dialogues with typical Haryanwi accent.

 If suspense thrillers are your cup of cake, then go for it – You will have a good time ! And that’s not all, there is a scope for its sequel too !

 My Rating : 3/5

 

 

THE LUNCHBOX

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Bollywood has long been known to have its own standard template for fluffy love stories, following the boy-meets-girl-and-love-happens routine. But once in a while, it surprises us and strikes a chord in our heart with unusual tales of the unlikeliest of bonds between random people, who come together by a sudden quirk of fate.

Helmed by debutant film-maker Ritesh Batra, The Lunchbox tells one story of two strangers who fall in love without ever having met each other which starts with a misplaced dabba delivery. In the age of hi-tech gadgets and social networking with WhatsApp ruling the roost, Batra narrates this poignant tale where the protagonists develop a platonic relationship through routinely exchanged letters tucked in a lunchbox.I don’t know whether this is a novel idea but the aroma emanating from its sensitive and persuasive narrative transcends all linguistic and ethnic confines with its universal appeal to become a true Oscar contender.

Shot in the bustling metropolis of the maximum city, the film traces the journey of a middle-class housewife, Ila(Nimrat Kaur) trying to add spice to her married life through her culinary skills, but all in vein.On the other side of the fence, is Saajan Fernandez(Irrfan Khan)a soon-to- retire accountant and widower ,a grouch avoided by all with no zest in life.One day, Dabbawala goofs up..a lunchbox prepared by Ila for her hubby reaches Saajan instead who devours it and returns the box empty.Disgusted by his discourteous demeanor, Ila sends a sarcasm note the next day to which he responds! Gradually, the two start writing daily , share their jokes and apprehensions. And finally a desire to meet.

The delicacy of the Lunchbox lies in its simplicity and utterly- believable diversity. Irrfan’s workplace is a government office stuffed with musty files while Nimrat’s is a middle-class household where neighbors share ingredients across floors by lowering baskets over the balconies! Batra makes simple things in life look so poetic.Without any tangible interaction, there is a strong sensuality between the two characters which overshadows the inner turmoil and loneliness ravaging their hearts.Adding quirkiness to the snail-paced proceedings is Aslam Shaikh(Nawazuddin Siddiqui),Saajan’s assistant who signifies the optimistic spirit of Mumbai.Shaikh’s pesky antics and quoting her non- existent mom’s anecdotes in every single conversation are real master-strokes.Batra also gives a dash of inventiveness with the voice of Aunty(Bharti Achrekar) who is only heard but never seen.

The Lunchbox is delicious performances galore. Irrfan Khan leads all the way with his committed act and gives the much-required emotional impetus to Fernandez’s moribund existence.Watch him catching himself in a street- painter’s drawing or blushing while reading Nimrat’s letters,you would be doubly sure that only an actor of his caliber could pull off this part with such deftness.Playing a man at late 50’s and displaying those array of emotions is no mean feat! Nimrat,who melted our hearts with the Cadbury’s Silk ad matches up to the towering actors – Irrfan, Siddiqui with her classy histrionics.The warmth with which she liberates Ila from a turbulent time and mundane routine is noteworthy. Lillete Dubey impresses in a two-scene cameo as Ila’s ill-fated mom.

One of the film’s trump card is its unconventional climax which was left to the audience’s interpretation.Now there would be an inevitable disappointment if we don’t find a tray of desserts after a sumptuous meal.However, its a story which is deeply insightful and thought- provoking,narrated with so much of compassion.Treat yourself with The Lunchbox, I am sure you will relish it !

A special note of thanks to Karan Johar and the band-wagon of co- producers who came aboard to distribute the film after its critical acclaim at the various International film festivals.

RATING : 3.5/5

JOHN DAY

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How much of John Day you would like depends on the quantum of onscreen blood and gore you can assimilate.Produced by Anjum Rizvi(AWednesday) and directed by Ahisor Solomon, this thriller examines the transience of a saint to a beast and the thin blurred line which divides their psyche in the cold brutal world with no comic relief.

John Day(played by Naseeruddin Shah),a bank manager by profession, and a doting father loses his daughter in a brush fire and years later serendipitously discovers the fire was not the result of an accident but rather subterfuge. John swears revenge and finds himself embroiled in a web of intrigues involving corrupt bureaucrats, mafiosos and other criminal elements which also includes the nihilistic cop with a terrible past,Gautam(Randeep Hooda).

Solomon unfurls the suspense quite lazily.The motivations of the characters are never revealed,is deeply layered and this well-crafted drama gets busy and stays busy with a coolly cerebral approach which avoids extremes of emotion,romance, and other visceral appetizers though there is blood letting aplenty.In one scene we see the almost-psychopath cop,Gautam tearing off the tongue of a criminal and devouring in the sadistic pleasure when blood squirts out of his mouth.In another one,John in a move of self-protection, bites and rips apart the neck of one of the goons who is recklessly after his life. Now this is definitely not for the faint-hearted !

John Day assembles the impeccable Naseeruddin Shah and the intriguing Randeep Hooda in the cat-and-mouse chase and bother are equally sincere in their performances. A rather-talented Shernaz Patel who plays Shah’s wife ,disappointingly, spends almost all her reel hours in coma while Vipul Sharma,playing Hooda’s apprentice, gets his act right.Makrand Deshpande and Bharat Dhabolkar make pleasing cameos in this inky kingdom of betrayal,power-play and greed.

An edgy plot of the doomed and the damned,I would recommend John Day for those who fathom violence and profanity.Its like Hooda’s character stuffing biriyani till his prey’s throat and when he suffocates in despair, he cynically retorts ,” Tu Dal-Chawal kha, Biriyani tere bas ki baat nahin hai”

Rating :2 /5

Ahwaan Padhee : Film Critic Ahwaan  is a avid movie watcher as well as a remarkable movie critic. A software consultant by profession, he began penning reviews for Hindi movies during 2005 while was working in Chennai. His movie reviews get published in multiple magazines such as Filmfare, Cineblitz and CNN IBN Readers reviews on a regular basis, …

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