Saturday, June 25, 2011


Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 10th June, 2011
Time : ~130 minutes
Director & Co-Writer : Bejoy Nambiar; Co-Writer : Megha Ramaswamy; Music : Prashant Pillai, Ranjit Barot, Amar Mohile, Anupam Roy
Starring : Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki Koechlin, Rajit Kapoor, Pawan Malhotra, Shiv Pandit, Neil Bhoopalam, Kirti Kulhari, Gulshan Devaiya, Nikhil Chinnapa

Great styling. Interesting plot. Good cast. Weak characters.

A group of friends, high on various substances, are zipping around the streets of Mumbai (Marine Drive, where else) in their fancy yellow Hummer, when they hit & kill someone. They decide to rush home, try and cover up the traces and lie low but are found by an intrepid cop. Who asks for an exorbitant amount (ie the kind they cant take out of their pocket money) to hush it up. While implementing a particularly hare-brained scheme to try and get the money, they go deeper and deeper in the mire. And soon another cop, Rajeev Khandelwal, an angry, no holds barred, tough talking type, is on their trail.

I think it’s a fatal flaw, in terms of building a connect, if the cop interests you more than the errant friends. We never understand the personality of the individuals or what makes them bond or what demons they confront (as per the title of the film). I thought Shallow Grave did a much better job of all of the above, in terms of showing the friendship and how each of them react differently under pressure.

There is some lovely camera work, nice styling and an exceptional rendition (and video) of the classic ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ as part of the background score on the positive side (you will really struggle to get the tune out of your head). I also liked the way the director remained true to his vision (had heard his script narration before and he has managed to bring it to life). Everyone acts well, none more so than Rajeev.

Something different. Wish it could’ve scaled greater heights…

Hangover II

Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 27 May, 2011 (India)
Time : 102 minutes
Director & Co-Writer : Todd Phillips; Co-writers : Scott Armstrong, Craig Maizin; Music : Christophe Beck
Starring : Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti, Jamie Chung, Sasha Baresse

This time the venue is Bangkok, its Stu’s wedding and they manage to ‘misplace’ his wife’s kid brother (who also happens to be a Grade A student and the apple of his domineering father-in-laws eye).

The rest of the story follows a familiar pattern, this time the animal is a monkey, they again wake up in an unfamiliar surrounding, they have to retrace their steps of the previous night of which they again have no recollection and other characters include a villainous Paul Giametti, a monk who has taken a vow of silence and Chow, the bad guy from the previous film.

The film made me laugh in quite a few places but it wasn’t as spontaneous nor as loud as the first one. It seems to be following a format, which seems to have restricted its inherent plot creativity somewhat. Also, the characters all seemed eccentric, one-off types, especially Zach, and repeated exposure to them isn’t that much fun, they’re not fleshed out to that degree.

I’m hoping there isn’t a third one planned or if there is, it rests with a completely new set of writers, who decide to look at the characters in a new light.


Rating : 4/10
Release Date : 3rd June, 2011
Time : 140 minutes
Director : Anees Bazmee; Writer : Salim Khan; Music : Pritam, Devi Shri Prasad
Starring : Salman Khan. Special Appearances by the rest of the cast, including Asin, Arya Babbar, Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar, Puneet Issar, Manoj Joshi, Manoj Pahwa, Anooradha Patel, Akhilendra Mishra

This is several notches below Dabangg & about par with the crass, loud stuff that passes in the name of comedy today. It could almost be called the Salman show as he plays to the gallery, beats the baddies and loves the ladies.

The plot, for what its worth, has Salman as the spoilt brat, with his entire (wealthy) family wants to now get married in the vain hope that he will settle down. The guru maharaj suggests someone, Asin opportunistically arrives in her place (as she’s fleeing some baddies) and proceeds to win over the entire family. Salman soon finds out that she’s an impostor but by then its too late as he’s also fallen for her. The afore mentioned baddies arrive, some of whom get beaten and the rest cajoled just in time for the happy ending.

Salman wisecracks, removes his shirt, talks to the camera, does some fancy stunts, drives very fancy cars and behaves like someone on a high, in both reel and real life. Asin may have inveigled herself back into Bollywood with some of her dresses. The rest of the family tries to make up for their limited screen time (there are quite a few of them) by going for higher decibels.

Most of the audience laughed in all the right places for most of the film. Their sense of humour and mine clearly don’t match.