Reviews by Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN
Arbaaz Khan, taking his first stab at direction, delivers a harmless and inoffensive film, but one that doesn't have any of the unpredictability of Abhinav Kashyap's Dabangg from two years ago. Arbaaz, for his part, comes up with little that's original, repeating both those bits in Dabangg 2, only tweaking them slightly. That's true of the entire film, to be honest, which feels like a pale imitation of Dabangg. Between the dozen-odd action scenes filmed in slo-mo to suggest the impact of every punch, and the obligatory bosom-heaving item song, you've seen it all before. Clever punch lines are few and far between, and even Sajid-Wajid's music has a recycled quality to it. What this film needed was personality and character; what it's left with is sameness. But that's probably enough for Salman Khan fans.
Too long by about twenty minutes, the film could’ve done with some tightening – perhaps the clunky treasure hunt sequence could go? Nitpickings aside, this is a breezy, enjoyable film by a director who knows his craft. The debutants, in turn, put their best foot forward: Sidharth Malhotra is earnest and has a pleasing presence, while Alia Bhatt is cute as the clueless Shanaya, if a little raw. It’s Varun Dhawan who stands out with a confident, charming turn, able to tackle both comical and vulnerable scenes with ease. If fun is what you’re seeking, you won't be disappointed.
Sadly, Basu’s film goes on too long and drags its feet in the end. Barfi had the potential to be great cinema, but as it stands it’s a respectable film that’s still better than a lot else you’re likely to see. It’s a treat like the mithai it takes its name from. Go on, indulge your sweet tooth.
Despite its obvious flaws, 'Ek Tha Tiger' is far from unwatchable. It's a welcome change from the harebrained films we've seen Salman Khan in lately, and for what it's worth he's playing a character and not himself for a change. The question you have to ask is – Is that enough? At best, it's a satisfying watch. Just don't go in with high expectations.
'Ishaqzaade' benefits considerably from Amit Trivedi's excellent soundtrack and Hemant Chaturvedi's sharp cinematography. Faisal creates a believable world with charming characters, and his leads have crackling chemistry. It's far from perfect, but you won't be bored.
For a large portion of Agent Vinod, you don't know where things are going… and then it all stretches on so needlessly that you stop caring. Given that this is a film that sees itself as a desi-style Bond, it has glaring loopholes that are embarrassing. The action in the film is choreographed slickly, but you can't help feeling a tad let down. Director Sriram Raghavan ,who gave us such taut thrillers as Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gadaar previously, injects Agent Vinod with so many varied influences that it never finds its own distinct identity. Agent Vinod is a spy who knows how to save the day; he just needs a better plan.
'Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu' is a narrative that unfolds mainly through dialogue, and the lighter moments come at you as the odd couple gets to know each other. The humor hits the mark many times and falls flat occasionally, but the movie doesn't grate because the characters aren't trying too hard to be cute At 1 hour and 50 minutes, the film is light and breezy, and mercifully never turns too syrupy for your taste.
'Gali Gali Chor Hai' doesn't say much that hasn't been said before, and it doesn't say it interestingly either. Never smart enough to be described as a satire, it fails ultimately because it's dreadfully dull. Even a sleazy item song by Pakistani starlet Veena Malik is unlikely to shake you out of your slumber.
What fails the film after all, is the over-enthusiasm of its makers, who overstay your hospitality by dragging the film on for an unforgivable 2 hours and 45 minutes. Also, harsh as this may sound, the film suffers considerably on account of its dull cast. What could have been a satisfying entertainer doesn't quite achieve its potential.
Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar' is a far-from-perfect film, but it has honesty and depth, which is mostly missing in Hindi movies today. 'Rockstar' is never as surefooted as Imtiaz's breakout hit Jab We Met, but it's a braver, riskier film than any he's previously made. In these times of instant gratification, here's a film that makes you think. Not a perfect film, but one that stays with you long after the lights have come back on.
The film is a waste of time and money on the part of those who made it and those who're brave enough to watch it. It's the kind of film that critics must suffer so you don't have to!
My favourite scene is one in which Mahaakshay's character goes next door to demand that a noisy neighbor turn down his blaring speakers. In reply, the neighbor pours his glass of beer on Mahaakshay's head. If only the audience could do the same to the perpetrators of this lousy comedy.
The main culprit here is the sloppy script. The writers interrupt the basic storyline with such repeated distractions as a romantic track between Esha and Arjan Bajwa, a long-drawn sermon against female foeticide, and even some badly timed humor from Johnny Lever. Intended as a starring vehicle for Esha Deol, this 80s-style melodrama might have benefited from smarter writing and slicker direction. Plodding on for what seems like eternity, this is an earnest but exhausting film.
If the film still doesn't hold, it's because it's underlined by an uneasy comic tone that's working at cross purposes here. In one tasteless comic sequence, our hero rubs his ex-girlfriend's face in the fact that he has a new lover now. It also doesn't help that Himesh Reshammiya offers an affected performance as the conflicted lover. What could've been a sweet, simple love story turns into a confused film that never justifies its spirited title.
What's missing from 'Ra.One' is a sure-footed director's touch. Anubhav Sinha fails to bring all the elements together, and while this superhero film has plenty sound and fury, it's sorely lacking slickness. Like the spaghetti and curds concoction that Shah Rukh digs into in an early scene, 'Ra.One' is clearly an acquired taste.