Planet Bollywood

Thums Up - Thums Down for the Week - 4 Oct 2013
  ‘Besharam’ is no ‘Dabangg’!
  - Samir Dave
Selection based on Planet Bollywood critics recommendations           Let us know what you think about this

Ranbir Kapoor tries his best to save the uneven “Besharam” but only partly succeeds…in making the film watchable if not memorable.

Thums Up - Recent Films Worth Watching :-)
 PB Rating: 6.0 out of 10  Public Rating (by 413 unique users): 5.08
 Director: Abhinav Singh Kashyap  Producer: Sanjeev Gupta, Himanshu Kishan Mehra
 Music: Ishq Bector, Shree D, Lalit Pandit  Lyrics: Kumaar, Rajeev Barnwal, Nikhat Khan, Himanshu Kishan Mehra
 Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Jaaved Jaaferi, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Amitosh Nagpal
 Genre: Action, Comedy, Romantic  Recommended Audience: General
First off, the only sole reason this film is in the Thums UP section is due to the “ish”STYLE ™ of Ranbir Kapoor as the lead character Babli in director Abhinav Kashyap’s “Besharam”. The director’s previous film, “Dabangg” raised expectations for this one, and those expectations are only partly met. It suffers from moments of “say what” confusion, to moments of hilarious “right on” clarity. The uneven screenplay by the director and Rajeev Barnwal simply does not hold up throughout the length of the movie. Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor are so much fun to watch, but alas, this is not the best vehicle to be in with their son. The lead actress Pallavi Sharda doesn’t really impress. Oh she’s a fair actor, but shares absolutely zero “sizzle” chemistry with Ranbir. The music by Lalit Pandit (who is capable of better than his compositions here), is imminently forgettable. Again, when all is said and done, you’ll probably share some laughs and admire Ranbir Kapoor’s versatility (the actor should escape this so-so film unscathed), but one can’t help but feel that this movie could have been so much more. Do watch it, don’t expect much, and don’t make me say, “I told you so”. It’s a masala paan fillum full of nonsensical filling, fun and totally harmless to a point. Now, I think I’ll go back to watch “Dabangg” to see what director Abhinav Kashyap is really capable of!

 Shuddh Desi Romance
 PB Rating: 7.0 out of 10  Public Rating (by 413 unique users): 5.08
 Director: Maneesh Sharma  Producer: Aditya Chopra
 Music: Sachn Sanghvi, Jigar Saraiya  Lyrics: Jaideep Sahni
 Starring: Parineeti Chopra, Sushant Singh Rajput, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor
 Genre: Comedy, Romantic, Drama  Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Romance is so complicated today. Forget the flirting and come hither glances, it’s more like full on “dishum dishum” now (if you know what I mean). It seems like the modern life has left simple romance on the curbside waiting for cupid’s rickshaw to take it away. Enter the complicated romance based rom-com, “Shuddh Desi Romance”, in which director Maneesh Sharma (“Band Baaja Baraat”), brings forth a tale that sheds light on the growing trend of live in relationships. The film is entertaining yaar in a way that will make your parents blush. Sushant Singh Rajput leaves the ghost of “Pavitra Rishta’s” Manav Deshmukh way behind and proves that he is the actor for the new generation. Parineeti Chopra is quite frankly the best of the new actors, her performance is effortless, and Vanni Kapoor also is an actor to watch out for. The music by Sachin-Jigar is pleasant and unobtrusive. Kudos to Yash Raj Films for presenting writer Jaideep Sahni’s (“Bunty Aur Babli”) riveting take on the pursuit of love amidst the physicality of differences. Well worth your time to watch, the film will keep you guessing till the end. Today, it’s not about the simple romance, it’s all about the complex emotions of love and heartbreak that comes from frank honesty, “Shuddh Desi Romance” will certainly entertain you and get you thinking.

 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
 PB Rating: 7.0 out of 10  Public Rating (by 413 unique users): 5.08
 Director: Ayan Mukerji  Producer: Karan Johar
 Music: Pritam  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya , Kumaar
 Starring: Ranbir Kapoor , Deepika Padukone , Aditya Roy Kapur , Kalki Koechlin & Others
 Genre: Romantic  Recommended Audience: General
They say that love makes the world go around, and we have this ideal in our hearts that mystifies this feeling of absolute bliss. Then the real world comes crashing through, taking us through life, this way and that. Love gets detoured, but eventually finds its way. Such is the way of things in Ayan Mukerji’s “Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewane”. First of all, before you even begin to try to appreciate (or not) this movie, you need to forget for the moment how good “Wake Up Sid” was. If you compare this new film to that one, you might be ever so slightly disappointed. Unfortunately, to compare is to be human. “Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewane” is a fun, frivolous and fresh film that delights the viewer with its tarnished innocence. The best part of the film is of course Ranbir Kapoor who literally lights a fuse that never dies down with his portrayal of the lead character, Bunny. The other best part is of course, Deepika Padukone who simply is one of the best female actors in Bollywood today. Her performance is totally captivating and emotional .Of course, the basic premise of the film centers around the travails of love and loss from college to marriage. Pritam’s music is another highlight, especially “Ghagra” which has the always beautiful and timeless Madhuri Dixit dancing and reminding the audience how special she is. One caveat, though the soundtrack is really strong with tracks like “Badtameez Dil”, and “Kabira”, it is not as melodious or uniquely catchy as the songs from “Wake Up Sid”. I know, I know! I shouldn’t compare, but I can’t help it! “Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewane” will burn itself into your mind for the time being, is definitely a really fun movie to watch, and beats all the other new releases (so far) hands down. Director Ayan Mukerji is definitely the future of Bollywood, and I for one will be waiting to see what he does next. Until then, I’ll be living it up with my “Badtameez Dil”!

 Jab Tak Hai Jaan
 PB Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Public Rating (by 412 unique users): 5.09
 Director: Yash Chopra  Producer: Aditya Chopra
 Music: A.R. Rahman  Lyrics: Gulzar
 Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma
 Genre: Romantic  Recommended Audience: General
Alas, another legend along the lines of Raj Kapoor, has passed away. Perhaps Mr. Kapoor, and Yash Chopra are kicking back a few pegs of Johnny Walker blue label and watching everyone from heaven with a smile on their faces. It’s ironic that Mr. Chopra announced his retirement from films with “Jab Tak Hain Jaan”, and then unfortunately passed away shortly after that announcement and right before the release of his final film. So, it was with mixed feelings of sadness and trepidation that I went to see this last release from a master filmmaker. Going into the film, it struck me at how mundane sounding the music was, especially considering that Mr. Chopra (and his wife who has a superb ear for music) had joined forces with A.R. Rahman and Gulzar. Music has always been a highlight of every single Yash Chopra movie, yet each track on the soundtrack was good, but not great. Some tracks even flirted with greatness, but just couldn’t get there. So, prior to watching the film, I was hoping this was one of those instances, wherein after seeing the way the music is presented in the film, I would appreciate the music more. So how was the film (and the music presentation) you ask?

Well, the film`s story is certainly interesting. It focuses on Samar and Meera falling in love, then joining the army, then getting amnesia, all the while losing his love, gaining another love, and trying to get back his original love that he left behind. Whew! Got it?

First things first, “Jab Tak Hain Jaan” is an entertaining if somewhat uneven film. It doesn’t reach the heights of Chopra’s classics and certainly will not drive anyone to watch it repeatedly. It’s basically a one and done film, and how unfortunate is that? I wanted to love it, I really did as I am sure many who flocked to theaters to watch this movie did. After the showing, I asked some people around me what they thought and the common answer was that it had its moments but that it wasn’t great. There seems to be a distinct lack of the old Yash Chopra magic in the film.

It’s that certain sense of hopeless bordering on mystical romance that positively saturates his earlier efforts that is here only at certain parts as the reels unfold. Who is to blame here? The story by son Aditya Chopra (along with Devika Bhagat) is a bit uneven, though the premise is satisfying enough. The acting by SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) as Samar Anand is his usual in terms of effort. People either love his style or hate it. I would say that he does a really good job here though. The real star of the film is Anushka Sharma, and would that Bollywood operated purely on talent and not just connections, then perhaps she would be given more opportunities. She is effortless in her portrayal of Akira and truly steals the film out from under the lead pair’s proverbial filmi feet. Katrina Kaif as Meera, looks beautiful, but the problem with her is that she is unable to emote to the fullest degree of the character’s heart. She does her best, but something rings hollow with her performance. Unfortunately though the songs are presented beautifully (with cinematography by Anil Mehta that is just picture perfect), the music still doesn’t have the visceral impact of other Chopra films like “Veer Zaara”.

All in all, regardless of what I write, or what anyone writes, fans of Yash Chopra (and Bollywood in general) will see this film. Oh, you’ll enjoy it in parts but then you’ll be left reminiscing about his previous classics and wonder where the magic went. Nothing can take away from Yash Chopra’s contribution to Bollywood and his talent. He was one of the greats, and even though “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” falls short of being a classic, it’s still better than the average Bollywood film out there. Mr. Chopra, I raise my glass to you and thank you for all the wonderful years of entertainment bliss you have given us.

 PB Rating: 3.0 out of 10  Public Rating (by 412 unique users): 5.09
 Director: Madhur Bhandarkar  Producer: Ronnie Screvwala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar
 Music: Salim Sulaiman  Lyrics: Various Artists
 Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami, Divya Dutta, Lilette Dubey
 Genre: Social, Drama  Recommended Audience: Adult
Like it or not director Madhur Bhandarkar’s latest film is worth a watch for the sizzling performance by Kareena Kapoor and the continued exploration into Bhandarkar’s delving into the multi-faceted media industry. Yes, while watching the film, one can’t help but think about “Page 3” or “Fashion”, but perhaps that is intended. It probably helps to think of the other two as the first parts of a trilogy exploring the underside of each film’s respective industry. This one delves into the world of Bollywood, and it turns out it’s not all smiles and cheeky dance moves! The film centers on lead character Mahi (Kareena Kapoor), who seemingly has it all down pat. She’s got the moves, the attitude and the mental disorder to match. The film’s screenplay by Madhur Bhandarkar and Niranjan Iyenger is not perfect by any means, with some story tracks that bring the film to a standstill, but credit has to be given that the two writers do not shy away from delving into the controversies of the movie industry in India. So, back to the story, here’s all you need to know. Mahi loves superstar Aryan (played robustly by Arjun Rampal). How she goes about trying to get him and getting caught in uncompromising positions all while maintaining her super star status, makes up the backbone of the film. The music by Salim-Suleiman is catchy, with “Tujphe Fida” being a highlight (along with the par for the course masala track, “Halkat Jawani”). Watch “Heroine” for the hard hitting performance by Kareena Kapoor, who in the past may have been guilty of hamming things up a bit too much, but in this film, gives a strong and memorable performance. A personal favorite of mine, Shahana Goswami (a seriously under rated actress) does a remarkable job. One thing’s for sure; “Heroine” will make every woman who has had a dream of being a famous Bollywood actress, think twice.

Thums Down - Recent Films that Disappointed :-(
 Director: Bejoy Nambiar  Producer: Bejoy Nambiar
 Music: Modern Mafia, Bramfatura,Prashant Pillai,Remo Fernandes,Anirudh etc  Lyrics: Various
 Starring: Vikram, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Isha Sharvani
 Genre: Drama  Recommended Audience: General
I was honestly expecting a lot from this film as I had enjoyed director Bejoy Nambiar’s “Shaitan”, but this flawed movie with what could have been a very interesting premise, simply disappoints the viewer with tedium. Ouch! I know, perhaps I am being a bit harsh. Perhaps I got off on the wrong side of the bed today…perhaps not. Look, I love films with a great concept and even enjoy them when the film itself presents the concept in an uneven way, but “David” just doesn’t hold the viewer’s interest for its running time. The one shining star in this film is Neil Nitin Mukesh, who returns to the silver screen after a bit of time. His performance is perhaps the sole reason to see the film. The story focuses on three men named…David (of course). One story is set in 1975, the second in 1999, the third in 2010. Neil Nitin Mukesh is the primary character in the 1975 portion of the film, playing a mob boss protégé to perfection. Other than that, the rest of the film is okay. I wish I could get more excited about this movie, I really do, but unfortunately I just can’t. What’s more upsetting is that the film also has Tabu, but she is wasted in her role. The music is disappointing and all in all it’s best to catch the Neil Nitin Mukesh part of the film either streaming on the net or on DVD. Two thums down!

 Race 2
 Director: Abbas-Mustan  Producer: Ramesh S. Taurani Ronnie Screwvala Siddharth Roy Kapur
 Music: Pritam  Lyrics: Mayur Puri
 Starring: Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ameesha Patel
 Genre: Action  Recommended Audience: General
Gasp! You are probably wondering how I could place “Race 2” in the thums down section?!?! Well, let’s put it this way, I loved the first “Race” and this sequel simply doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Sure, it’s slick and stylish, the cinematography by Ravi Yadav is top notch, and the direction by white safari suit duo Abbas-Mustan Is in their usual efficient manner; however, the film sputters to the finish line on the back of a weak screenplay by Shiraz Ahmed (though the dialogues by Kiran Kotrial are quite good). On top of all that, while the original film had a smash hit soundtrack, the music for “Race 2” is pretty forgettable! It’s like that booze soaked killer party from last night that you can barely remember, but know it had moments of fun. Pritam really let us down with this one, which is especially disappointing considering his excellent compositions in “Barfi”. I want to race, I want to race, I want to RACE too! Sadly, my race gaadi just won’t start with “Race 2”. The story continues right off the first film (which in real time was released five years ago). There are twists and turns for sure and both Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham have a lot of chemistry that is fun to watch. Bipasha Basu is barely in the film, Deepika Padukone gives a great performance as always, Jacqueline Fernandez doesn’t really leave an impression, and Ameesha Patel doesn’t really gel. Finally, if you are going to make a film that is a sequel to the original that had a killer climax like “Race” had, you better come up with an even bigger climax (oh…oh) this time around! Stroll, don’t race to see “Race 2”. One and half Thums down!

Arre yaar! No amount of Johnny Walker Red or Black Label can make this “Joker” of a film paisa vasool in any way. The dictionary defines the word joker as: “a person who jokes in an obnoxious manner”. That’s the best way to describe this film. What was director Shirish Kunder thinking or smoking for that manner? Bhai, let’s make a film about aliens….and a village….and pelvic thrusting! Smash hit bhai! Smash hit! After watching this film, I truly felt like I took a trip to hell or Paglapur and back. The story is completely nonsensical. Take “Koi Mil Gaya” and mash it up with equal parts “Lagaan” with a splash of “Swades”, but with quarter of the entertainment and you get this completely “THUMS DOWN” film. It’s no wonder that Akshay Kumar did nothing to promote the film, he had to have known how bad it turned out to be, though why he picked this film to star in is anyone’s guess. Certainly it’s not due to the “excellent” screenplay. Perhaps as a mark of desperation, Shirish Kunder engineered the “accidental” controversy of the song, “I want Fakhta you” (which was eventually changed to the more pc “I want just you”). It’s about the only thing that got people interested in the movie. Sonakshi Sinha is wasted, as is Shreya Talpade. The storyline focuses on a village lost in time, Pagalpur. Founded by the inmates of an insane asylum, the village doesn’t appear on any maps. Somehow we have aliens mixed into this…and really, shall I go on? Please, please, if you have any sense of reason, avoid this film at all costs. Not even multiple glasses of alcohol can save this film. Watch it at your own risk! After seeing this, I truly felt, “fakhta-ed”.

 Bittoo Boss
 Director: Supavitra Babul  Producer: Kumar Mangat Pathak; Abhishek Pathak
 Music: Raghav Sachar  Lyrics: Kumaar, Luv Ranjan; Aseem Ahmed Abbasi
 Starring: Pulkit Samrat; Amita Pathak
 Genre: Comedy  Recommended Audience: General
What to say about this film? I am rarely at a loss for words (as my lengthy TUTD diatribes can attest), yet this film leaves me totally flabbergasted (now there’s a word you don’t hear every day)! “Bittoo Boss” is like an itchy rash that won’t go away for a couple of hours. The film could have been a smart, funny small romantic comedy, but instead is just grating to sit through. The direction by Supavitra Babul is so-so, and nothing out of the ordinary. The screenplay by the director and Gautam Mehra rings hollow. The music by the once promising, Raghav Sachar is so mundane that it drags the film even further down the drain. The story itself focuses on Bittoo (played by small screen star Pulkit Samrat of “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”), the videographer that everyone wants at their wedding. The girl of his dreams Is Mrinalani (Amitha Palak who is wasted here). Bittoo will do anything to prove he is the man of his girl’s dreams. Honestly, I thought the film would have been much better, I usually enjoy films like these, and who doesn’t love weddings? Yet, from the first reel to the last, I kept hoping for something that would make this worth watching. Though the lead pair try their best, with a particularly strong performance by Pulkit Samrat, the film unfortunately sinks the both of them. “Bittoo Boss” is definitely not a career notch on anyone’s belt. Thums way down for this one.

 Bheja Fry 2
 PB Rating: 4.0 out of 10  Public Rating (by 413 unique users): 5.08
 Director: Sagar Ballary  Producer: Mukul Deora
 Music: Ishq Bector, Sneha Khanwalkar, Sagar Desai  Lyrics: Shree D, Sonny Ravan, Shakeel Azmi
 Starring: Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon, Minissha Lamba, Suresh Menon, Amole Gupte
 Genre: Comedy  Recommended Audience: General
I love Vinay Pathak (in a buddy kind of way…high five dude), I really do. He’s a great actor and a true comedic talent. His work in “Bheja Fry” was truly sublime as his portrayal of wannabe singer Bharat Bhushan (the loveable buffoon) literally wormed its way into your mind. His scenes with Rajat Kapoor (who excelled as the cheating louse with the painful backache….Ranjeet Thadani) were an immersive experience to watch. The core of that superlative film were these two characters and the chemistry that they shared.

Unfortunately, in an effort to make the sequel bigger and better (supersized), Writer/Director Sagar Ballary (who also wrote/directed the first film), drops Rajat Kapoor and loses half the chemistry that made the first film what it was….a cult classic.

Instead in his place, we get a story that tries to tie into the current singing competition zeitgeist as Bhushan wins a singing competition and promptly heads off onto a 3-Day cruise. This time around Kay Kay Menon (as Ajit Talwar) is the lucky (?) soul who gets some one on one time with Bhushan. Oh, along the way we have Amole Gupta, Minissha Lamba, and Suresh Menon woven throughout the plot. Yet, the whole thing lacks charm. It’s just not….funny. Oh, you want to laugh so bad, you want to welcome back brother Bhushan with a pat on the back and a smile on your face, but this time around Bhushan is let down by the one weakness that seems to infect many Bollywood films….a weak script. I imagine that it must be difficult to write a follow up to such a quirky movie as the first “Bheja Fry”, but perhaps Sagar Ballary would have been better off keeping Rajat Kapoor’s character and setting the storyline in Mumbai…all the while keeping the story at street level. Beautiful scenery does not a movie make, and just because the film is a sequel, doesn’t always mean it has to be bigger. It just means it has to be better. Watch the film for a few chuckles, and then watch the first one to truly be entertained.

Previous Weeks Thums Up - Thums Down »
 • `Why "Krrish" 3 wasn`t so super!`
 • BWAHAHAHA….`Grand Masti`!
 • `Shuddh Desi Romance` Sheds New Light on Love!
 • Ranbir and Deepika ‘s chemistry burns up the screen in ‘Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewane’
 • `David` disappoints, while `Race 2` falters to the finish line!
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