Baapjanma (2017)

Once a Father, always a Father…

Baapjanma is the new family-drama Marathi film co-produced and directed by Nipun Dharmadhikari. It is his debut film as a director and he proved his caliber to articulate the complex topics in his first shot itself. Once again, Sachin Khedekar is shining in his lead role of a senior citizen and a stubborn but caring and loving father. It surely is the film which Marathi audience has been waiting for a long time.

The film starts with Bhaskar Pandit (Sachin Khedekar), a widowed senior citizen, living in solitude with his servant Mauli (Pushkaraj Chirputkar) and a pet dog Tiger. Even after being a parent of two, his relationship with his elder son Vikram (Satyajeet Patwardhan) and Veena (Sharvari Lohokare) has been worsened periodically because of the breakdown in communication and keeping himself distant from the complexity of relationships for the sake of his job. Soon after learning about his severe medical conditions, a brain cancer, this deserted father sets out on a way to bring his family back together. Rest of the film brilliantly and incredibly executes the efforts of this restless father, who is trying join the pieces together before he leaves this world.

Even if the plot seems familiar and the topic about the lack of communication between parents and children has been handled previously in the films, but the artistic way of storytelling and beautiful execution of complex topic with the flavor of situational comedy makes it outstanding. Performances of the actors are excellent and worth remembering. There are some moments where story loses the pace but picks it up eventually. Every time when the moment goes to the emotional peak, it is dissolved down by very clever comical gestures, and it works really well in those situations. It’s a gripping family drama with lots of fun moments that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat till the end.

Verdict : A complete family entertainer, definitely worth watching.

Rating : 3.5/5

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Newton (2017)

To Improve is to Change…

Newton is the latest satire comedy-drama co-written and directed by Amit Masurkar, starring Rajkumar Rao in the lead role. The tone of this satirical drama is so well-focused that it brilliantly and clearly pinpoints the things.

The film starts in the times of Loksabha elections in India in the small village of the state of Chhattisgarh, the part of eastern/central India. The honest government clerk, the man driven by rules, Nutan Kumar/Newton Kumar (Rajkumar Rao), has been sent to the conflict-driven remote jungle of Chhattisgarh for conducting elections for two Naxal affected villages, having altogether 76 voters. Now being an honest and noble in his election duty, he must stay firm with the apathy of armed forces which are commanded by Aatma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) and the totally out of the world and illiterate voters/villagers. Participating with Newton in this job, his colleagues, Lokanath (Raghuvir Yadav) and Shambhoo (Mukesh Prajapati), and a local teacher Malko (Anjali Patil). These officials come together and set up the election booth in the school of the burnt remote village. Rest of the movie shows the struggle, Newton has to go through in order to drive the fair and transparent election.

The film, Newton doesn’t get too heavy on the doses of social messages or boring and instead of overdramatizing the script, the director very brilliantly uses comedy to hit the bullseye. Performances of all the actors and the people we see on screen are unmatchable and at their best. Sanjay Mishra in the guest appearance steals the show. Rajkumar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi with their versatile acting skills just rule the every screen they are in. The screenplay of the film is so beautiful that there’s hardly a dull moment. The harsh reality of the tribes/people living in the remote villages has been portrayed in much presentable and entertaining way which unknowingly touches viewers’ heart.

Verdict : Not everyday such brilliant and beautiful films are made. Without any second thought just book your tickets.

Rating : 4/5

 

Daddy (2017)

Intense Performances but lacks Integrity of Biopic.

Daddy is this year’s highly anticipated crime drama biography film written and directed by Ashim Ahluwalia focusing on the rise and fall of India’s most feared gangster Arun Gawli. The film stars Arjun Rampal in a lead role portraying gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. Arjun Rampal also co-wrote and produced the film.

The film starts in the Central Mumbai of 70’s and 80’s when employment crisis strikes in mill-workers’ life which ultimately affected their next generation and their inclination towards illegal business and underworld. The trio of mill-worker’s son Arun Gawli (Arjun Rampal), Babu Reshim (Anand Ingale), and Rama Naik (Rajesh Shringarpore) comes together and starts a small time ‘B.R.A.’ gang working under Dawood Ibrahim, here named as Maqsood (Farhan Akhtar). The story also focuses on the family and love life of Arun, who eventually get married with Asha Gawli (Aishwarya Rajesh). Arun decides to leave the underworld life back for his family, but unfortunate killings of his mates Babu and Rama force him to emerge as the Don of Dagadi Chawl and the greatest enemy of Maqsood he has ever faced. In midst of all this, Inspector Vijaykar Nitin (Nishikant Kamat), with his hidden agendas keeps on chasing Arun. The rest of the movie revolves around gang war between Arun and Maqsood, and Arun trying to make his clean social image by stepping into Indian politics.

The story of the film is interesting but predictable at the same time. The outstanding narration is one of the best things where director and screenplay writer has done it flawlessly by exploring the story in the past-present fashion. In sense of acting, performances of leads as well as supporting cast are real and intense. The excellent art direction has brilliantly recreated the Bombay (older name to Mumbai) with very much detailing discovering dark alleys of the underworld and Dagdi Chawl (fortress of Arun).

There are very few gory and disturbing scenes but having very less bloodshed and less dark in nature. The only flaw of the story is that it does not have any thrilling moments with unexpected twists and turns, which audience generally expect in the crime genre movies. The story as a whole seems biased to Arun Gawli like he is trying to justify his side in the court which feels character focused and hence loses the integrity of biopic. Apart from this, the recreation of Mumbai underworld era, gang wars, killings, and intensity in character performances deserves appreciation.

Verdict : Definitely worth your time if crime drama genre is your cup of tea.

Rating : 3/5

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)

Stand Up For Love

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan directed by R. S. Prasanna is a remake of his own Tamil comedy film Kalyana Samayal Saadham (2013). After impactful performances and chemistry in Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar are again sharing the screen together with a simply awesome fresh story.

The film starts with Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) and Mudit (Ayushmann Khurrana) brought together by love-cum-arranged-cum-love-cum-arranged fashion are getting engaged, with never seen before introduction scene comparing things which happened/happening with the old school Bollywood movie moments. And that’s where it drops the hint that what is the tone of the movie and how much light-hearted and fun it’s gonna be. After engagement their wedding preparations are booming. On an occasion where both are alone at Sugandha’s house, the two get intimate but they face an unforeseen hardship and things don’t go as planned. And it’s the same point where Sugandha learns about Mudit’s “Gents Problem” and the real drama starts.

In the movie, this problem is always described grossly as the “Gents Problem”, which is actually an erectile dysfunction which we learn from very much clean and tasteful gestures at different moments, and the way they discussed it is really great. Now at one side, Mudit is trying to fix his problem; while on the other side Sugandha seems really firm and emerges as the strong and surprising character who rather running from it, faces it alongside Mudit. Even after having the unusual premise and the conversation which nobody would be like to have easily, makers have approached this particular topic in a very cute and funny way.

Along with leads, the supporting cast has really done a great job who sprinkled the spices of comedy at very good timings and made it a laughter riot from the start to the end. The screenplay and dialogues only written by Hitesh Kewalya are fantastic which serves as the combination of loud entertainment, sensible comedy, and subtle romance. The analogy, given from the Arabian Nights is just to the point. The film’s best scene which smoothly transforms from comic to heartfelt, where while on picnic Sugandha reveals her frustration and desperation from her deeper inside to fix their falling apart relationship is just applauding. There are some moments where we feel the genuine warmth and script gives enough room to explore love, commitment, and adjustment in the relationship.

The one and only drawback of the movie is the climax, which is not up to the mark. Absolutely rest of the movie remains in the memory, with audiences reciting the fun moments and dialogues.

Verdict : Undoubtedly the most enjoyable movie of the year till date. Definitely worth your time.

Rating : 4/5

Baadshaho (2017)

Not as Badass as it seems.

Baadshaho is the fictional action thriller directed by promising director Milan Lutharia reuniting the duo of Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi from Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010). And for the same reason expectations from this film are bit higher.

This period drama is inspired by real-life events during the Emergency and revolves around the armored truck full of gold. The story starts with young Rajput queen Rani Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D’Cruz) stands against the one who could impose emergency on the country. As the result of this enmity, the government takes charge of her royal gold treasure and locks her behind bars, which is then to be transported to Delhi in a truck no less than a battalion under the protection of army officer Seher Singh (Vidyut Jamwal). Then trustworthy loyal Bhawani (Ajay Devgan), who is Queen’s personal security in-charge and a lover set out on a heist to regain her gold treasure and royalty. In this heist, Bhawani takes help of a quirky all-rounder Dalia (Emraan Hashmi), all time drunk lock picker Tikla (Sanjay Mishra), and Queen’s loyal friend Sanjana (Esha Gupta). The story takes us to the ride of these mysterious characters whose loyalties remain unknown till the end with twists and turns in both characters and plots.

Ajay Dengan’s portrayal of angry action hero is intense and justifiable but seems familiar. Emraan Hashmi’s quirky dialogues and Sanjay Mishra’s accurate comic timing brings feel to some moments. The duo of Ileana and Esha are good maintaining their retro look as they did it in Rustom (2016) with just OK performances. Vidyut Jamwal tries to add some nicely done stunts and action sequences to the story; even his retro army officer look gives weight to the screen.

Even after having such a diverse and excellent star-cast this movie lacks some fundamental things like weaker script and its execution which offers zero novelty. On the ride of this, we get action, thrill, and romance but its central characters just feel shallow. It lacks the much needed high-octane climax. Characters are more defined by their dialogues than by their appearance/deeds. For such kind of heist-centric movie, not only characters and action but also precise moves are important.

Verdict : A good watch for action junkies if you can overlook some glitches here and there.

Rating : 2.5/5

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz (2017)

The hunter has arrived.

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is the latest quirky thriller starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a lead role. It’s a crime-drama reiterating the story of the same world which Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) has created, but with comparatively smaller aspect and magnitude. It is directed by Kushan Nandy, after being in the industry for so long this movie seems his breakthrough.

It is the crime saga of a small time contract killer, Babu, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The story takes place in a small lawless town of Uttar Pradesh, where killers operate under the patronage from local politicians, mainly for Didi (Divya Dutta). It is the whole system/world in which the story is set, gives it the solid foundation. While on the hunt Babu comes across his lady love Phulwa (Bidita Bag). Here at one side, he is playing the brutal sharpshooter, and on the other, he is being portrayed as the soft-hearted lover. He has given justice to both of these roles and pulled off these two extremes flawlessly with his excellent acting skills. Bidita does not only give the steamy intimate scenes with great comfort but also delivers the impacting performance with raw intensity, her eyes alone talk so many things, much appreciated.

Further, in the story, Babu’s path crosses with the Bankey (Jatin Goswami), his friend cum rival. Bankey stands as the challenge for Babu in this dark gray world, rest of the movie spins around his love, his friends, his rivalries and his betrayal and revenge. The story showcased the inner conflicts of its characters and the monstrosity inside, even for hired guns at the different points it becomes difficult to operate honestly. The seamless transformation of Nawazuddin from carefree killing machine to the revenge seeking die-hard lover is just well executed.

The movie delivers a lot of gory content with quirky dialogue lines which add grit to the storyline, along with scenes of spontaneous laughter keeps the audience invested, and makes it highly entertaining. Despite the fact of its high entertainment value, the shallowness of the plot and the inclusion of useless conspiracies makes the story slow-moving. This leads to the conclusion that the screenplay could have definitely been more tighter. Without any moral compass, the story moves in unexpected directions and twists which are actually needed to keep the audience stick around but feels unbelievable sometimes.

Verdict : Must watch for crime-thriller genre lovers. Definitely, not a family entertainer.

Rating : 3.5/5