Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jaan-e-mann [movie Preview]


Suhaan Kapoor (Salman Khan ) is a cool dude, the long-haired rock singer, the wannabe star. He's immature, full of himself and his dreams.

Only when he's on the verge of losing everything, he finally wakes up to what really matters in life.

Agastya Rao (Akshay Kumar), as the bespectacled geek, the frilled shirted, desperate suitor, is sure to melt many hearts.

He cannot talk to save his life, gets tongue tied with the woman he loves. He's sweet, shy and simple and believes in the power of love.

Both Suhaan and Agastya love Piya Goyal (Preity Zinta) who is strong yet strangely vulnerable.

She appears to have everything - beauty, brains, wealth and heartache that refuses to go away.

Piya is a college beauty. She is the princess whom every guy wants to fall in love with.

College gets over and all three of them go to their respective paths.

Ten years have passed. Suhaan has achieved his ambitions, lives in the perfect world, he has everything except Love.

Agastya is in his own world doing what he did the best. Work hard. He works hard so that others can earn money. He still hasn't found his love.

Piya now lives alone with no luck in love for her too. Then suddenly, one sunny afternoon all three meet…Accidentally….

But there are going to be happy times again. And they will fall in love once again. To utter the divine word - Jaan-E-Mann! 

Khosla Ka Ghosla

Khosla Ka Ghosla

Cast: Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Parvin Dabbas, Tara Sharma, Ranveer, Naveen Pathak
Director: Dibakar Banerjee

Kamal Kishore Khurana(Anupam Kher) with a plot in hands of Land Mafia, a son Chiraunji Lal Khurana(P Dabas) changing name 'n going out 'n Gastric Dreams ;)

Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher), is a simple man by nature with simple desires who always brings a smile on the most serious of situations.

His only dream in life is to build his own house on a plot of land which he intends to buy - a plot where he would build his small little 'ghosla' (meaning a nest).

To his horror he realises that the plot he thought of buying had already been booked by a land shark (Boman Irani).

And this man is sure about the fact that the only way Khosla gets his 'ghosla' is if he pays up a large sum of money.

Not only does Khosla sees his dream shattered, but also finds that his life savings is dwindling. That's because his own son now wants to settle down in America and wants dad to pay up.

What's more, Khosla's dream of staying with his entire family of children and grandchildren in the house of his choice now seems to be an impossible dream.

All attempts at getting back his property fall on deaf ears. Will it be possible for him to gain all that he has lost?

His colleagues decide to help him. But before he can agree to go ahead Khosla must make sure that they genuinely want to help or do they have a plan of their own?

A hilarious comedy in the making, the film focuses on relationships, trust and togetherness.

Dibakar Banerjee makes his directorial debut with this film which was screened at the Cannes film festival earlier this year.

Don [the remake of a Classic]


Farhan Akhtar's Don is a remake of the classic Amitabh Bachchan starrer DON (1978). The story starts when a huge Indian contingent embarks on a dangerous cat-and-mouse trail of capturing DON (Shah Rukh Khan) - the ruthless drug mafia in Malaysia.

When Don gets seriously injured in a police encounter, the word that he is dead begins to do the rounds.

The reality, of course, is that Don is held captive in a secret location, while his bumpkin of a look-alike, Vijay, is polished and sent to take down Don's gang.

In a bizarre twist of fate, when the man shielding the humble and streetwise Vijay, is killed, the latter comes to terms with the horrifying realization that both the police and the gang are out to nab him for different reasons.

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, he is aided by the glamorously staggering Roma (Priyanka Chopra), and handsomely striking, Jasjit (Arjun Rampal), who owes Vijay a favor for care-taking his son during his imprisonment.

But will Vijay be successful in his mission?

Based on the successful erstwhile classic of the same name, which featured the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, the contemporary and stylishly crafted DON, features Bollywood czar Shah Rukh Khan playing a double role in one of the most defining performances of his career, teamed for the first time with former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra.

The biggest and most keenly awaited motion picture of 2006 and will be released on 20th October 2006

Zindaggi Rocks

Zindaggi Rocks

Starring: Sushmita Sen,Shiney Ahuja, Moushumi Chatterjee
Written & Directed by Tanuja Chandra
Rating: ***

Hey, this film rocks! Tanuja Chandra's Dushman and to some extent Sangharsh and Sur, were incredibly sensitive films. After a long hiatus the director returns to form with a film that's heartbreakingly real.

Colonized by a cluster of believable characters, Zindaggi Rocks showcases Sushmita Sen's awesome personality in a tailormade role of the fey-and-fab Kriya.

A stage performer and a single mother, the role acquires a tangy flavour and an abiding character that only Sen knows how to create.

"But have no fear," her 13-year old utterly endearing son Druv (Julian Burkhadt) mischievously tells the doctor who's getting interested in her. The mom ain't married. Nor is she an unwed mother.

Kriya, trust her to be unpredictable, adopted Druv when he was 2. Dhruv's majestically malfunctional family comprises only of wacky women, mom Kriya, Kriya's mom (Moushumi Chatterjee) and her wacked-out twin sister (Moushumi, in a double role, a carryover homage to Kajol's twin act in Tanuja's Dushman ), a squeaky secretary (Kim Sharma) and an assistant (Ravi Gossain) who believes he's a cowboy.

Into this mad-house of malfunctional wackos comes the hesitant repressed Dr Suraj Rihan (Shiney Ahuja).

The Sushmita-Shiney relationship grows in full of view of the fingers-crossed hospital staff and the equally curious and encouraging family of Kriya's relatives.

Tanuja Chandra portrays the warmth at work, at play and within the defined comforts of domesticity with a deftness and warmth that you'd come across in the finest works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Or more with the times, the cinema of Mira Nair.

From little domestic vignettes the director constructs a big-little film with moments where a giggle grows grim, right in front of our riveted eyes. The emotional control of the narrative is exceptional.

The support provided to the film's frail yet strong narrative by dialogue writer Mudassar Aziz, is beyond substantial. The words, specially those spoken by narrator Shiny Ahuja convey deep home truths with a throwaway casualness.

You smile and you sob almost simultaneously as Kriya's life as a professional, a mother and a woman in love (in thar order) comes together in a fluent and virile clasp.

The film's deeper thrusts on life and death emerge effortlessly from the rhythms of the routine.

Indeed there are so many endearing moments in the narration that you wonder if the warmth of lived-in emotions comes from the characters or their ability to be true to ambience that they represent.

The film has a charming ensemble of actors, instilling optimum conviction in the plot without losing their innate charm as stars of substantial longevity. As contrasting twin sisters Moushumi Chatterjee comes into her own after ages

. As for Shiney his tentative eyes filled with the pain of a tragedy that paints his past and threatens to colour his future, and his coming out of his self-imposed shell is mapped by the actor in fine and sharp strokes.

A special word for the boy Julian Burkhardt who plays Sushmita's son. The boy's winsome personality is so unders-tated, you wonder if actors are made from their childhood.

But it's Sushmita Sen who holds you in a thrall. As a working woman struggling to remain chuckle-motivated as life comes and kicks her from behind, Sushmita makes you wonder once more.

There's no one quite like her? If in her musical numbers she whips up a vigour that breaks your heart, in key emotional scenes she rips the screen apart with emotions that comes straight from her guts.

After Chingari earlier this year Sushmita again pours a volcanic intensity into a role that would work with no other actor in the world.

And a word for Sunidhi Chauhan's vocals,. If Sushmita provides the body and soul to her part of a fiercely protective mother who will give a new life to her ailing son no matter what it takes, Sunidhi is the voice that caresses the actress's soul…and then she's gone!

In a year that's cluttured with remarkable films, Tanuja Chandra has emerged with a work that lodges itself in your heart.

But I wonder if it would've worked so well without the amazing Ms Sen!

Woh Lamhe

Woh Lamhe

Starring Shiney Ahuja, Kangana
Directed by Mohit Suri
Rating: ***

Woe lamhe….wow lamhe! Bitter moments, ecstatic moments, gut-wrenching trauma and heart-breaking ecstacy …these are feelings that define the moments between the director and his muse in this accomplished take on man woman and guile.

Welcome to Mahesh Bhatt's world of dark desperate shadows where the fragile are broken and the sensitive damaged beyond repair.

Ripping chapter after chapter out of Parveen Babi's lacerated life, director Mohit Suri has created a pastiche of pain that lingers in the mind.

Love always hurts in Mahesh Bhatt's vision of life. WohLamhe shows love at its painful best. Moving away from the glitzy make-believe world of films, media and other fable-manufacturers the director Aditya (Shiney Ahuja) rescues the 'trapped' actress Sana (Kangana Ranaut) from a life of dungeon-like professionalism.

The trapped actresss and the knight in a shining armour is nothing new to Hindi cinema. We've seen the pair in films like Sone Ki Chidiya, Tere Mere Sapne and Mast.

What gives Bhatt's brackish fable that cutting edge is the sense of reality as experienced from eyes that are gradually losing focus.

The director-actresss love story is so devastatingly workable because of the ball-and-socket impact created by the two principal performers.

It isn't easy to portray a character who must stand by a woman he loves even if she's losing her mind. Shiny Ahuja plays the director like a a therapist who can see his heroine's tortured soul through the lens of his camera. He brings a clenched anguish to his character.

But it's Kangana who makes the story of the tormented actress cross the brorders of brilliancy. Unlike other leading ladies playing women beyond the brink (notably Smita Patil in Mahesh Bhatt's Arth) Kangana keeps a tight control over overt articulations of expressions, so that when the outbursts happen they've a whiplash effect on the audience.

A hugely expressive actress with a phemomenal ability to convey torment hurt and incredulity through the eyes, Kangana is the first female performer of Bollywood since Smita and Shabana who isn't scared to strip her soul naked for the camera.

Not surprisingly she's far more effective expressing the vulnerable state of her character's mind in the privacy of her beloved's bedroom rather than 'playing' the superstar at filmy parties with her caddish boyfriend-cum-secretary (Shaad Randhawa) egging her on to grin for the cameras.

In a way the partial discomfort in Kangana's personality aids the film's theme. Showbiz isn's for the soft at heart. And this isn't a film for those who believe all love stories are about roses. Often a relationship is based on thorns rather than flowers.

Watch Shiney pluck those thorns out of Kangana's soul as her silent screams fill the soundtrack with images of unspoken nightmares.

You wish some of the supporting characters were less stereotypical….the heroine's brutish boyfriend, the hero's jovial sidekick, the actress' uncaring mother and sundry fringe people don't add any vigour or even a dash of vinegar to the meal.

That again is a blessing in disguise. We get to see Kangana's ability to exteriorize the demons within her character, in a no-frill flight into panic. 



Starring: Gul Panag, Ayesha Takia, Shreyas Talpade
Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor
Rating: **** ½

How far would you go for love? That's the question which the narrative softly raises.

How far would YOU go to see this film? That's the question every movie-enthusiast should ask loudly.

Very frankly, Dor takes you by complete surprise. Of course you expect a certain aesthetic and technical finesse in a Kukunoor creation. But nothing he has done so far—not the under-rated 3 Deewaarein and certainly not the hugely-feted Iqbal—prepares us for the luminous spiritual depths and the exhilarating emotional heights of Dor.

The stunningly original screenplay sweeps in a caressing arc, over the separate yet bonded lives of two women, Zeenat (Gul Panag) in the snowscapes of Himachal Pradesh and Meera (Ayesha Takia) in the parched sand-storms of Rajasthan.

The picaresque pilgrimage of one woman into the life of another is charted in the resplendent rhythms of a rather zingy symphony played at an octave that's at once subdued and persuasive.

Dor could any time lapse into being one of those tedious works on women's emancipation. Kukunoor controls the emotional tide with hands that know when to exercise restrain and when to let go.

Dor flies high and effortlessly in an azure sky, creating elating dips and curves in the skyline without ever letting go of the thematic thrusts that take the director as far into the realm of realism as cinematically possible, without losing out on that wonderful quality of cinematic splendour that separates poetry from sermons.

Join Zeenat,then, on her bizarre impossible quest to find a achingly young newly widowed woman whom Zeenat has never seen, met or even heard of until her husband's sudden tryst with crisis.

The way Kukunoor weaves the two unconnected lives in contrasting hinterlands is not short of magical.

The eye for detail (take a bow Sudeep Chatterjee, Munish Sappal, Sanjeev Dutta and Salim-Suleiman for conferring a subtle but skilled splendour through your cinematography, art direction, editing and music) is so keen, you tend to stare not at the screen, but at feelings and emotions that aren't visible.

From the initial scenes of tender bonding between between the two women and their respective spouses , to the indelible sisterhood between the two bereaved women that constitutes the end-notes of this sublime celluloid symphony….Kukunoor's world of wistful peregrinations is as fragile as it's powerful.

The quality of fire-and-ice is not just all-defining, it also provides a subliminal text to the narrative's inner world where ideologies and 'isms' fade, only pain hurt and betrayal remains.

There're moments of unbearable poignancy in the film. The sequence where the child-woman gone from bright bride to wan widow in months, opens her dead husband's suitcase, is remarkable for creating a disturbing sense of spatial disharmony…The frailty of the widowed girl is weighed against the huge expanse of the crumbling room containing that one tiny accusing blue suitcase that symbolizes her shattered world.

Scenes of female bonding between Ayesha Takia and her dead husband's grand mother (Uttara Baovkar) convey a familiar yet refreshing genuineness.

But it's the Takia-Panag sisterhood that sustains the narrative. Both the actresses are huge revelations, Takia winning more sympathy votes for the sheer poignancy of her character's predicament.

Scenes such as the one where she falls unconscious while hearing the news of her husband's death over the only cellphone in the village, or the one where she furtively dances to You're my sonia stay etched beyond the frames.

Chunks of the film where Zeenat tries to locate Meera are designed as an ongoing travel-adventure. You wish Kukunoor hadn't introduced Shreyas Talpade's character ….He adds nothing to the central theme of female bonding. In fact Talpade's drunken confessions of love to Panag in the wilderness, and Kukunoor's obtrusive appearance as a engineer who has designs over Takia, are somewhat embarrassing.

It's not as if such things don't happen in real life. It's just that these situations don't belong to a world that Kukunoor has built out of the finest threads of humanism compassion and empathy.

Is Dor one of the most poignant films in recent times? Most probably it is. When it comes to portraying a forlorn yet undefeated sisterhood it stands tall and stately right up there with Deepa Mehta's Water.



Starring Zayed Khan, Isha Shravani, Minissha Lamba
Directed Suressh Krishna
Rating: *

Aeons ago Suressh Krishna directed the mighty Kamal Haasan in a psycho-traumatic double role in Abhay.

The interesting but unsettled thriller about twins on the rampage didn't work. Krishna returns to Hindi cinema with what looks like Abhay going the Sylvester Stallone way.

Remember the boxer Rocky and how his junoon in the boxing ring was restrained after a traumatic incident?

Cleverly(?) the writers of this routine actioner wrench our new-age Cocky Rocky out of the boxing ring. And put him in the far more sinister ring-with-a-sting known as the concrete jungle.

Cocky Rocky—God bless his bleeding heart—can't bear to see goons pulling at ladies' unmentionables or invading a suspiciously studio-staged cyber café to disrupt what looks like a bunch of guys peering at porn sites(we can't be sure because they all sport stock- expressions of forced concentration).

Cyber Café's villainous visitors are goons sent by a super-goon named Anthony(Rajit Bedi, trying hard to look like a mean cocaine sniffer). Recently I've noticed filmy villains have Christian names. Maybe filmmakers are scared of going into the other minority community for goon- sukoon.

Call them by any name, these graduates from goon school look like left-overs from Ram Gopal Varma's Shiva. They run helter-skelter on the roads and recreational spots of the metro, trying to scare the daylights out of law-abiding citizens. The god-fearing types include Cocky Rocky's scared father(Sarath Babu from the South sporting an accent so thick, you could mistake him for an owner of an Udipi restaurant instead of the banker that he plays) and a surprisingly happy and over-the-top Mom played by Smita Jaykar.

Papa tells sonny-boy(a.k.a Cocky Rocky) "No fighting!" after the boy's gilrfriend no.1(Isha Shravani) is done to death by Anthony.

But have no fear, there's girlfriend no. 2 Minissha Lamba in London who chases Cocky Rocky and chases down Black petty criminals with equal out-of-breath sincerity.

Cocky Rocky's stocky daddy realizes there's a Goon School in London too.

"Let's go back, Beta, to beat the hell out of Anthony in Mumbai," Daddy commands.

Make up your mind, Dad! Not that anyone seems to have much brains in this mindless homage to metrocentric mayhem.

Rocky looks thoroughly confused all the time … Zayed Khan who plays the title role gives deadpan acting a new definition and vigour.

You really can't get any more deadpan than Zayed Khan. And you really can't make a more straightforward clichéd actioner than this one.

The actors fake the fear and the retribution. Not that you care much about either. But at least when the going gets tough you expect the tough to get going.

There's just no escape from this one. Rocky just assails your senses with a bit of sub-standard cinema.

Unless you are a diehard Zayed Khan fan who likes to see him grin and grimace with equal placidity, don't bother.