Reviews by Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN
This all-too-familiar tale channels ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ in its core ideology, but doesn’t seem to possess the conviction of either film. There is a tedious predictability to the plot, and the characters are all bland caricatures that mouth clunky lines like: “Tumhare modern peedhi se mujhe yehi ummeed thi!” It’s hard to relate to the film’s impossible idealism or its one-dimensional leads. Watch it if you’re a sucker for those archaic family melodramas!
'Mirch' is let down by its slab-of-stone lead, Arunoday Singh who stars not only as the writer-director protagonist, but also appears as a recurring actor in the other stories. Between his wooden acting and his heavily accented dialogue delivery, you can't help but think he was possibly cast because he was willing to show more skin than the ladies! A stronger male lead and some tighter editing might have turned this into a crackling film. As it stands now, it's as appetizing as a half-cooked meal!
'Band Baaja Baaraat' is a rather unlikely offering from Yash Raj Films, a studio that has seldom deviated from its tradition of making extravagant movies featuring larger-than-life stars. This charming entertainer directed by Maneesh Sharma is set in middle-class Delhi and tells a story of two ordinary characters. Band Baaja Baaraat benefits enormously from its two core strengths - sharp writing, and shooting on location. Both, in fact, give the film and its characters a real, believable feel. It's a romantic comedy done correctly. Fun, but with warmth at its heart. Don't miss it.
'No Problem', as you can see, is a rather ironic title for a film that is offensive on so many levels. The gags in No Problem, however, fall flat repeatedly because the actors participating in them are in auto-pilot mode, and because the jokes are just not funny. Move over 'Housefull', 2010's most abysmal comedy has arrived!
'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey', directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, has the earnestness of a school play, but lacks the cinematic sweep of the director’s most accomplished film, 'Lagaan'. Alas, despite its important subject, what’s missing in this film is drama, conflict and outrage. It’s precisely why 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' ends up boring. The director who made audiences leap to their feet and cheer as Bhuvan’s team of villagers won that nail-biting match in 'Lagaan', fails to turn the Chittagong Uprising into engaging cinema. It’s a noble effort that gives you a glimpse of forgotten history. But this hero has feet of clay.
Unlike the earlier film, which had some plot to speak of, 'Rakht Charitra 2' is an unabashed orgy of gory action. Some scenes, however, are thrillingly filmed. Rakht Charitra 2' belongs to Surya, and is watchable only for the sheer presence of the Southern star, and for the intensity he brings to his part. The film pits both men against each other, and illustrates how they may have more in common than either would like to believe. It’s an interesting point, and one that’s made in the film’s final scene, almost as a cliffhanger for a third film. But that would be too much to endure. Ramgopal Varma, are you listening..? More blood and more killings leave you numb your seat.
In "Allah Ke Banday", Vijay and Yakub are two young slum-kids who peddle drugs instead of going to school. When they rob a nearby jeweler, the local gangster demands their loot. A scuffle follows, and the gangster is killed. An eardrum-shattering background score, uneven editing, and a plodding screenplay are the chief criminals here. Sharman Joshi, who stars as the grown up Vijay, is saddled with a silent, brooding character, while Faruk Kabir himself plays Yakub, the more showy role. The film, in the end, is well-intentioned but sloppy. I'm going with two out of five for "Allah Ke Banday".Both, unfortunately, don't make much of an impression.
As romantic comedies go "Break Ke Baad", starring Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone, is arguably more engaging than recent films of this genre. Yet this film suffers from one key problem that plagued all those movies - clumsy writing. "Break Ke Baad" doesn't finish with the same promise you glimpsed early on in the film, but it has several moments that are enjoyable. Director Danish Aslam makes a respectable debut with a reasonably engaging film that is watchable largely for the performance of its leading lady. You won't be entirely bored!
"Guzaarish" is beautifully shot and has a larger-than-life operatic feel to it. But it's also shamelessly manipulative. It's hard to care for Bhansali's characters because the emotions never feel real. But to be fair, there are some lovely moments that jump out and surprise you. Unfortunately moments like these are few and far between in what is ultimately a slow, silly film. The magic is missing in this one!
Even though the film is set in the slums of Mumbai, it strongly needs a reality check. A subplot about a local journalist relentlessly pursuing Laali's story doesn't ring true, and the film's muddled climax makes little sense. Deshpande shows a glimmer of promise, particularly in his convincing representation of secondary characters, but the story runs out of steam quite early on. Even Shah Rukh Khan himself, popping up in a tiny cameo, can't lend this film any sheen. Watch it, but only if you must.
Sorely lacking in drama and genuine humour, Action Replayy is mind-numbingly dull because there’s no conflict or plot progression, and everything seems to fall into place too conveniently. The dialogues are clunky, the music unimpressive, and the performances indifferent - except for Aishwarya Rai who gets a chance to show off her mean side for a change. The only use for a time machine after watching this film, will be to wipe your memory clear of it.
Following a pattern set by Golmaal Returns, this film is not so much about story or plot as it is about stretching a joke till breaking point. How many cars can be destroyed in a single set-piece? How many junior artistes can you beat up in a slo-mo action scene? How many hi-speed entries can Ajay Devgan have? This is pedestrian comedy that evokes desperate laughs. If you must, watch it for Mithun, who shows us he’s still got his mojo!
It's the scattered script that plays spoilsport here, taking too long to bring up key conflicts, and meandering in too many directions along the way. It goes on and on and on with no destination in sight. It's tiring yes, but also a respectable first film. If you have an appetite for the quirky and unusual, you might not be too disappointed.
Much of the film’s problem lies with the fact that it’s trying too hard to be cool. To be fair, the central conflict appears too trivial for a film trying so hard to be contemporary. Add to that the rawness of leading lady Pakhi, and the indifferent direction by Tyrewala, and you can see why this film doesn’t work. Save for John Abraham who offers an earnest, endearing performance, and a few light moments between the friends, this film is a plodding bore. I’ve seen school plays that are more entertaining!
Rakta Charitra is compelling and draws you into its drama. It’s a bold, disturbing film that’s bursting with the kind of confidence we haven’t seen from the filmmaker recently. If the sight of blood doesn’t make you uncomfortable, chances are you’ll enjoy this film.