Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 : The Year that Was

2007 was full of surprises some pleasant ( like Taaren Zameen Par, Manorama & Johnny ) and some not so pleasant ( like JBJ,
LCMD & Aaja Nachle) and though it was not as good as 2006 , still some new trends were set . The high point for year was no doubt , the never before media frenzy and publicity of the Diwali releases and low point was the acting of Mega - stars in Script-less movies like CASH & Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom .

Talking of stars , some were created (Deepika & Ranbir) , some were re-born ( SRK with 6-pack) and some got recognised ( Akki with 3 blockbusters ) . The year belonged to SRK with the Years two biggest hits Chak-De India and OSO . SRK's luck shined at anything he touched whether it is Hey Babby or the 20-20 Finals .Though SRK did not do much to publicise his better " Product ", Chak-De , it still stood up on its own . The Award Trophies are waiting for SRK's fingerprints .

Enough of SRK , the other Big star of the Year was undoubtedly Akshay Kumar with three Back-2-Back hits . He has proved that apart from SRK & Hrithik , he too sells big-time . Among female stars the year belonged to Katrina Kaif with three good films at box-office ( Namaste London , Partner & Apne ) . Rani's throne has fallen with LCMD and she would be seriously thinking of marrying and settling . And talking of partners both Salman & Ash found one . Ash got AB baby and Salman got Govinda ? The marriage of the year goes to Ash-Abhi with "Out-standing" performance by Media . Father in Law AB senior was more in news for wrong reasons ( Land Acquisition and Rifts with stars like SRK , Aamir and Hrithik & not to forget romancing young girls) . Hrithik took a break with no movie releasing this year and did only Ad-campaigns .

After stars come Directors & Producers . Mani Sir's GURU did better than his last movie and AB got something to cheer about . Two Big Directors ( both being one of my favourites) RGV and SLB got self absorbed and carried out " Mann-Maani " and paid the price . RGV got burnt in his own Aag and SLB didn't found his Saawariya . Over-confidence can kill anybody . Aditya made wrong decisions through-out the year and worked more on budget rather than scripts . SONY got peanuts for their first Indian Film and ADLABS & EROS bought films like vegetables. Vidhu Vinod Chopra made Eklavya with stunning visuals but again weak story killed it . He got happy with american reviews and comments . Brother-Sister , Farah - Saajid got richer and made dozens of stars dance in one song each . And before the year ended one more Director surprised in the form of Aamir Khan . He is also now a PDA ( Producer,Director & Actor) . Mahesh Bhatt rightly said in a recent interview that he pushed this decision too long , he should have gotten into it quite early . I wonder , if this movie would win awards who will take it , Aamir being the PDA , probably the kid.

For me the best part of year was the variety of cinema I got to see whether is it a sports movie in Chak - De or a gripping suspense-thriller in Manorama & Johnny Gaddar . Not to forget the movie based on kids - Taare Zameen Par
which is also one of the best in the year . Comedies like Partner & Bheja Fry both released in a year and did well . OSO with all the 70's drama and glitter and Khoya Khoya Chaand with all the Nostalgia .There was something for youth of today also , in form of Mp3 , Dil Dosti etc. & Mumbai Salsa . Nice to see movies like Jab We Met and Shootout doing well than Saawariya & Salaam-e-ishq. Big disappointments in form of Cash & Traffic Signal . Films like Aapka Suroor did better than excellent cinema like Black Friday & Manorama . I feel for the producers . Anyways the big releases of this year were not as good as last year but the small ones made for it .

Music wise the year was quite good with GURU in the beginning and Khoya Khoya Chaand in the end . Every album had at least one song worth listening and some albums had it all , like Metro & OSO . Tara rum pum 's songs did better than the movie . Saawariya's 11 songs made the movie fall even low and Partner's numbers didn't make sense yet minted money .

Aamir has got into Direction and Blogging ( like me ) and looks like he is going to do it all with utmost perfection . Hrithik has new agent in the LA and is ready to breach the international screens . Ash is doing Pink Panther and Mallika is also ready to go to the express way . Shilpa found Big-Brother and no husband yet . Oscar buzz surrounds
Irfan & Tabu and Indian films and stars knocking the world's door .

The final nail in the coffin is my list of the best & worst of year which has many categories just like any Indian award "show" . Here it goes :

Best Films (Popular) :

1. Om Shanti Om .

2. Chak De India.
3. Partner.
4. Guru.
5. Heyy Baby & Bhul Bhulaiyaa.

Best Films (Critical Acclaim & overall):

1. Chak De India.
2. Taare Zameen Par.
3. Guru.
4. Johnny Gaddar.
5. Manorama Six Feet Under .

Best Trailers (new category):

1. Saawariya - Teaser Trailer.
2. Bhul Bhulaiyaa - Teaser Trailer.
3. Gandhi My Father - Trailer .
4. Jodha Akbar.
5. Khoya Khoya Chaand & JBJ-teaser .

*Guru and Salaam-e-Ishq trailer not included because they released in 2006.

Best Songs (Popular):

1. Chakde - Chak De India.
2. Dard-e-disco-OSO.
3. Its Rocking - Kya Love Story Hai .

4. Soni De Nakhre - Partner.
5. Hare Ram - Bhul Bhulaiyaa.
6. Move Your Body - Johnny Gaddar.

Best Songs ( Lyrically):

1. Tere Bina - Guru.
2. Baatein Kuch Ankhahi Si - Life in a... Metro.

3. Maula Mere - Anwar.
4. Main Jahan Bhi Rahoo - Namaste London.

5. Jab Se tere Naina - Saawariya.

6. O re Pakhi - Khoya Khoya Chaand.

Rotten Eggs Of the Year :

1. Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom.
2. Cash.

3. RGV ki Aag.

4. Fool n Final.
5. Aapka Suroor - The Movieeee .

Some other films like Saawariya , Nishabd and Shaka laka Boom Boom gave good competition to these films .

That would be it for now , some more will come soon , keep checking .

Here's wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy and Prosperous New Year . I hope the New-Year resolution for big banner producers would be to work on good scripts along with the commercial ones .

Taare Zameen Par --- Movie Review

There are some films that while watching you forget that you are watching a film and start feeling that what you are watching is something that was always at the back of your mind and it is just been taken out from there . Taare Zameen Par is one such film . Aamir Khan is known to be among the brightest man in the industry but what came out was an another Aamir khan that dreams and feels those dreams very passionately . Direction has brought out a piece of Aamir who has always been media shy . He kept on saying in the interviews that he felt for the story and hence decided to direct it , and after watching TZP I feel that he was damn serious about it .

Talking of the film , its an experience and you need to watch it for yourself to feel it . The movie is not at all for kids though it revolves around kids . It is more for the parents who groom kids and also for a little mature kids who can understand and feel what is shown . The best thing about TZP is that it is shown through the eyes of a kid . It very clearly puts across the fact that how creative the children are when they are young . They see things and think about it with a free mind , without any constrains . But today , parents are putting constrains to that free mind and soul . And it is this thought that whole movie brings out .

The film starts in a very unique and creative way . The title credits are itself a creative master-piece . All credit to Pankaj Khandpur of Tata - ELXSI & his team who worked on all the graphics and visual effects of the film . The special effects added to the creativity of film .

The film revolves around a child of third standard - Ishan Awasthy , who is very weak in studies and despite of all the punishments he doesn't study .He is very creative and makes beautiful paintings of whatever he sees and feels . He has an elder brother , Yohaan Awasthy who is very bright in studies and always stands first in class . Yohaan is a bright student but he is not very proudy about it and this very trait in his character is what moved me . He supports his brother throughout the movie whenever he is able to do so and doesn't make fun . He acts very maturely according to his age . After being fed up of complaints and failures , the angry father - Vipin Sharma , sends Ishaan to a boarding school so that he learns discipline and starts studying . Ishaan unwilingly gets admitted to the school and gets very sad . There he is constanly beaten by the strict teachers . He makes a very good friend over there who is himself suffering of polio yet he is brightest in his class. Ishaan shows no progress and the same story starts repeating , scolding and beating but no one understands him . Being lonely and sad he stops painting also .

Then comes a new art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir) who has a very different style of teaching . He sets children free and makes them think freely just like Robin William's character in Dead Poet's Society , only difference he deals with small children . His character has no similarity to Robin's except the distinct style of teaching and free thinking philosophy . He comes across Ishaan and gets concerned for him . He does a little bit of research onhim and realizes that he suffers from a disorder called Dislexia (unability of understanding alphabets and characters ) . He then undertakes Ishaan and grooms him and makes him get over his problems . He also teaches his parents a lesson or two and makes them think like him . Then slowly - slowly everything changes and Ishaan's love for painting gets recognised by evryone and applauded . The movie ends with the end of term and Ishaan showing remarkable iprovments in his Progress Report . His painting also gets published on cover page of school Year-book .

The acting by all actors is just top notch with Darsheel Safary (Ishaan) being the best . He has acted just like a child should and brought out the emotions perfectly . He deserves an award . Aamir is as usual perfect and all the other cast is also brilliant . Tisca (Ishaan's Mom) is beautiful and graceful .

The music is very good and melodious with the song "Maa" that can move any damn soul that exists on this face of earth . The music is very simple and sweet and melodious matching the movie's feel . Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Lyricist Prasoon Joshi do a great job .

There are many-many small moments in the entire film that will not only make you emotional but teach you a thing or two . It is these moments that make it so special and watchable . I am so glad that year has ended with such a excellent piece of cinema . I am more happy for Aamir who has delivered more than what was expected from him .

Movie Rating : Four Stars , for fantastic acting by Darsheel & excellent direction . If you want to end your year on a right note , go and watch it . Take your kid along .

Aamir if you read this then I would like to tell you that when I was watching this movie , there was a young couple sitting next to me who had a very small baby . I heard the wife say -" We will buy a DVD and keep watching the movie so that it reminds us that how we should be to our children ." Do you need anything more ?

One more thing Aamir , the scene where you make the small boy who works in a restaurant eat and drink from your cup , hit me the most . I don't know how many but there will be at least one preson who would copy that in real life and imagine how happy the kid would get . Great start to an exciting new career . This one surely stands a chance at the Oscar .

Monday, December 24, 2007

SUNDAY --- Music Review

The Music of the upcoming film Sunday is out now and this album is also unique as the name of film is . The Album has music from not one , not two but Six Different Music Directors (probably one for each day of week except Sunday). The music is new in its feeling and so is the album . The film is directed by the director of 2006 hit "Golmaal - Fun Unlimited" , Rohit Shetty . The album of Golmaal was a huge hit and it also had completely groovy and new feel about it . Same would be expected out of this album .

The First Track of album is "Missing Sunday" and is sung by three singers Mahua Kamath, Suraj & Earl Edgar . The Music is by Sandeep Chowta (Company fame) .The title track of Golmaal was also sung by new singer Anushka Manchanda and her voice & style became a huge hit . This song is also pretty same in the feeling , a bit more cool and groovy . All the singers do a pretty good job yet it won't be as big hit as the Golmaal title track . Kajol listened to Golmaal's music and said that it was very cool and new . I hope she says the same for this one .

The Second track is " Pyar to Hona hi Hai " is by Pakistani Band " Suroor " and is sung by the lead singers of the band Kamran Bari & Mohammed Ali . It is the romantic pick of the album and is the only song of the album rich in Lyrics . The song has a Rock music feeling blended in Romance . This one is similar to the songs by another Pakistani Band - Jal . With good use of guitar and powerful vocals , this one would surely work in the masses .

Then comes " Loot Liya " sung and composed by Daler Mahendi along with Sunidhi Chauhan . This one is a typical Daler Mahendi track with his distinct singing style and punjabi music with dhol . Sunidhi Chauhan has given good company to him and has sung it like a Punjabi singer . This one would probably work in small town and also in Punjab where his die hard fans are . This song might look good in the film accompanied by some funny acting by actors .

After this comes " Kashmakash " which is sung snd coposed by Shibani Kashyap . This one is also a typical Shibani song with his distinct singing and music . She is a talented girl and I don't remember any other Female music director cum singer . This song has a Suspense element and feel in it and would work in mysterious situations .The music is good and lyrics by Virag Mishra are also according to the feeling of song .
The next song on album is "Manazar" , composed by Raghav Sachar , is much faster track than the earlier ones and is well sung by the trio who sung the title track Missing Sunday . There is a bit of rap in between by Earl which is cool . The song is short of lyrics yet it will be liked .

After Manzar is the Theme of SUNDAY which had been played in teaser trailers in the background . The music is by Amar Mohile with very new sounds and works for the theme of the movie . The Malaysian or Chinese renditions in the starting and throughout the song are a plus point and sound great . The english lyrics in between are sung by Joy and Clint add a good feeling to the music

After these there are three remixes comprising of a " Kashmakash-Remix" by DJ Suketu and the other two by Tanay and Gaurav comprising of remix versions of "Pyaar to hona hi hai" & "Missing Sunday" . The remix are quite fast and rocking and would work in Discos . The best among the three being of "Missing Sunday" .

Overall the Album is good but nothing very exciting . The songs are not boring neither are they catchy . The best in the entire album is "Missing Sunday" , "Pyaar to hona hi hai" and "Sunday-Theme" . The album would look good in the movie but probaly won't sell that much . In totality , it is a new experiment and can be heard once .

Music Rating : Two And Half Stars .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Welcome --- Movie Review

One of the last big releases of the year , Welcome is a tough competitor for TZP and probably would out-do TZP in terms of Box-office numbers . The movie is Directed by No Entry fame Anees Bazmee and produced by Firoz Nadiadwala . The movie is quite different from Anees's first offering No Entry in terms of comedy style and also actors . The main drawback of the movie for me was the fact that it was not at all situational based comedy and situations were created hypothetically , just like in any David Dhawan's film . If you are a big fan of David's cinema then you would for sure enjoy this movie a lot .

The movie is not meant for intellectual type of people and it may disappoint them . The film targets the common audience and hits a bulls eye . The Movie has many comic scenes that would tickle your funny bone for sure . But I am dissapointed because I expected more from Anees after his last film. But it is not his fault . All the movies made under Nadiadwaala's production are same because they interfere in the film for sure and hence Anees won't be having freedom . Once Saajid Khan rightly said that they are the Bruckheimer's of India and follow the same formula .

Talking of the film , it moves around Akshay & Katrina who want to get married but Akshay's uncle Paresh Raawal wants to get Akshay Married to some respectful Family people . But Akshay and Katrina fall in love and then starts the game of turning Nana & Anil into good honest people from goons . Though Akshay is suppose to play the lead role but in my opinion its Nana who stole the show and walks away as a lead of the film . Akshay and Katrina just perform the romance part of the movie with very few comic scenes for them . Nana is just outstanding as he is and has the best dialogues in the movie . Anil has done just regulation stuff and got laughs only for his abusing on screen . Mallika got to do more "Acting" than Katrina though her role was short . There is a whole Bhaagambhag in the end as there is in any comedy movie .

Just go out to watch this movie without thinking of story and other things . No Entry had a new story and great situations . This one doesn't , but still I would refer the movie for Nana fans and also David Dhawan's fans . It wont disappoint you . If you liked Partner then you would love this one . Akshay's and Paresh's fans may get disappointed for their small role in the movie and not much comedy from them .

The Music is average and looks good only in movie . Malaika does an item number in the movie which is so-so and only one thing was noticable in that song - Malaika's ugly Pregnancy Strech Marks . The make-up man failed over there . Cinematography is good and involves UAE like any other Nadiadwaala movie does . Overall it can be watched once if you want to laugh a bit and enjoy mindlessly . Considering Partner ,the Movie do very well at the Box-office and Akshay would have a perfect new year . This time probably he edited his own part by mistake .

Movie Rating : Two and a half Stars for fabulous acting by Nana Patekar.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Strangers --- Movie Review

This is probably the third Suspense thriller of the Year after Manorama & Johnny Gaddar , but is very Mediocre and Slow as compared to the other two . What came across to me as a surprise was that actors like Kay Kay and Sonali Kulkarni starred in such an ordinary movie . The entire experience of the movie was very so so and just excited me just once before interval .

The first half of the movie is very slow and goes about in a very unusual manner . The main characteristic of any suspense movie is that it should keep the viewer thinking about the plot and an unexpected outcome . But this one has neither of it . The suspense is not at all mind boggling and the end is also very expected one .

Talking about the story the movie starts off with two strangers meeting each other in a train to London where they talk to each other during the journey and tell each other the story of there lives and how both of them are fed up of their wives . Then Kay Kay decides that only way to get out of this is to kill each others wives . After this the first half ends with a scene showing Jimmy Shergill getting arrested and Kay Kay being bewildered , leaving the suspense right there .

Then in the second Half which I expected to better turned out to be even slow and nothing thrilling about it . While watching it I just expected some excitement but my wish wasn't fulfilled . The only thing best about this movie is that it does not have any boring song sequences otherwise I would have slept and is just 2 hrs long .

The acting performances are remarkable with Jimmy looking good . Kay Kay is one of my favourite actors and he was also one of the reasons that I went to watch this movie but the story and direction was just so mediocre . The two movies which I mentioned earlier set new benchmarks for suspense thrillers whereas this one is nowhere in comparison . The movie reminded me of Roman Polanski's "Bitter Moon"
a bit which is at least better than this one .

Overall the movie is just a waste of time . Better watch the other Kids Movies that have released . At least they would be a little entertaining . Go watch Air Buddies or Surf's Up instead of this if you are feeling bored . Don't waste 100 bucks on this one .

Movie Rating : One Star ; Not Recommended .

Friday, December 7, 2007

Khoya Khoya Chaand --- Movie Review

Movies with the central character as a female lead are seldom made in our Film Industry . Sudhir Mishra is one such director who does it very efficiently . His past two films Chameli (*ing Kareena) and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (*ing Chitrangada Singh) were also based female characters in lead . This one is also the same and the entire movie revolves around Soha who plays Nikhat in the movie .

Before reviewing I'll say that this movie is not for everybody and will be liked by only a selected group of people . The movie starts off with the main lead of the movie Nikhat whose mother is running around different directors and producers to get a role for her daughter . Nikhat plays small roles in different movies until she is spotted by Prem Kumar , the superstar . Prem is a complex and manipulated character which is played by Rajat Kapoor . Prem is more flamboyant in nature and has had physical relations with many co-stars . He works with a co-star Ratanbala who is also a superstar . Prem spots nikhat and makes her a star and Nikhat does everything that Prem says and even gets physical with him . Then comes Zafar (played by Shiney) who is son of a very characterless man with four wives . Zafar is introduced to Prem Kumar by Shaymol (played by Vinay Pathak) who is a good friend of Zafar . Zafar is a Writer and he impresses Prem Kumar by his writing and then Prem gets him on his film . Zafar meets Nikhat through Prem Kumar and he becomes a good friend of Nikhat . She slowly becomes a superstar and Prem goes on to marry an another girl who is selected by his parents . Due to this Nikhat gets sad and she slowly slowly gets attracted towards Zafar . When Prem comes to know about Zafar & Nikhat's affair , he tries to remove both Zafar and Nikhat from his next film but instead of them the Director removes Prem Kumar and signs a new actor . Then Nikhat becomes the biggest superstar and Zafar decides to Direct a film which revolves around his relationship with his father . He writes this story for Nikhat but she refuses to act in his film because she already gives a commitment to other films . Then , due to this differences start to creep in their relationship .

Zafar completes the film with Ratanbala and it bombs and he gets destroyed . He leaves the industry & Nikhat and goes to London . Nikhat being alone developes a drinking habit and also starts to fall from her star status . She lives with Shaymol and slowly becomes quite ill . Then after many years Zafar comes back from London and when he sees Nikhat he realizes his mistake . He writes another script which is based on their own lives and goes on to make it . Nikhat in spite of being ill works hard in his film and later the film goes on to be a success . Both Nikhat and Zafar marry each other but she dies soon and their movie " Khoya Khoya Chaand " becomes a classic film of all time.

Now talking about the acting , Soha Ali Khan is brilliant in her role as Nikhat . She perfectly portrays the Innocence perfectly in the starting of her career as an actress and later gets mature . She really fits in perfectly for Nikhat's role and performs her best . Her character is inspired by Meena Kumari and she matches the elegance of the great actress . Shiney is an amazing actor . He also plays Zafar really well and delivers his goods very well . Zafar is also inspired by Guru Dutt to some extent and he also plays it relly well . The other actors including Rajat Kapoor also act brilliantly and fit their roles.

The cinematography by Sachin Kumar Krishnan is also top notch . It does moves you into the 50's era and gives you a detailed look of the industry at that time .The story is slow in its pace but movies like this are always a bit slow . Sudhir knows his job very well and he delivers his best . He really shows the complexity of relationships very well .
The music is also according to the movie and really keeps the film going .

Overall the movie is about the complex nature of relationships that exist between different people working in same industry . The movie revolves around Passionate and Ambitious characters who live simultaneous lives at a time to get successful . The movie won't be able to attract good Box Office numbers because of its selected audience and it is not for people who expect entertainment and happiness from each film that is made . This movie has its moments and will stand high on critics list .

Movie Rating : The movie gets Three out of Five for fantastic acting and Direction .

Thursday, December 6, 2007

SUNDAY -- Trailer Review

Rohit Shetty , the Director of GOLMAAL - Fun Unlimited , is back with his latest offering for the viewers in the form of SUNDAY . The first trailer is out now and I am quiet impressed . It definitely leaves an impression on your mind .

The trailer starts off with a Dog Barking and then there is an Introduction of the starcast which starts with Ajay Devgan who plays a Corrupt Cop , then Arshad Waarsi who plays a Crook Cab Driver , then Irrfan Khan who plays an Actor (funny one) and at last there is a mystery Girl , guess who , none other than Aayesha Takia .

After a quick intro the trailer shows all the different scenes of the movie which exhibit the Following Six Elements in the same order :
1. Thrills
2. Fun
3. Dance
4. Suspence
5. Romance
6. & last but not least Action .

During the entire trailer (122.3 sec to be precise) the title song of Sunday keeps playing in the background and the scenes keep changing rapidly with very few dialogues . Well there is another surprise before the trailer ends , a sneak peek of one more actor of the film Esha Deol . She is a secret . Then at last Ajay says " इसका मतलब तुम्हारी life से एक दीन missing है । " & that is of-course SUNDAY .

The entire trailer is very fast paced and the Director has shown many things in just 2 minutes . This one promises to be a Good One , the stunts and action sequences are also quite amazing . Ajay is best in the Action sequences and the movie also has a mystery and Comedy . This would be quite enough to attract the audineces to the Cinema halls .

The producers are Kumar Mangat ( which means Ajay also is a Ghost producer ) and EROS International . Considering the success of Golmaal this one also looks promising but expectations would be running high after Golmaal . I hope this one also turns out to be as entertaining as the first one . The movie is set to release in Jan 2008 and would be New Year's gift from Ajay and company .

Check out the trailer :