Friday, February 21, 2014

Highway - A journey that is Beautiful and Captivating!

The Real People:
Directed and Written by Imtiyaz Ali
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala & Imtiyaz Ali
Cinematography by Anil Mehta
Music & Background Score by A.R. Rahman
Alia Bhatt as Veera Tripathy
Randeep Hooda as Mahabir Bhati

At A Glance:
The movie cannot be summed up in a glance! From the aesthetics of the visuals to the depths of the characters to the sound details captured in the experience. There is simplicity in this story and there is depth; There are moments and scenes in the movie that touch you and completely captivate you! Imtiyaz sums up the movie in the following lines: (more or less)
Mai Jahaan se Aayee hoon,
Mujhe Wahaan waapis nahi jaana.
Hum kahaan jaa rahe hain,
Mujhe Nahi Pata...
Par Yeh Raasta...Yeh Raasta bass chalta rahe!

The people on screen:
There were only two....
Randeep Hooda as Mahabir. If you thought Hooda is an underrated actor...well, this movie will confirm that! Hooda gives a performance like never before and not as much through his dialogues as he does via his expressions! 
Alia Bhatt as Veera. Wow! Who would have known that there is so much talent and brilliance residing behind that cute and innocent face? Who else but Imtiyaz Ali. Alia Bhatt not only proves herself but she effectively sets an unachievable benchmark in performance for the rest of the year for the rest of the actresses! Its very uncommon and unexpected that you get to see such a wonderful performance from an actress who is only one formulaic-college-romance-movie old! She is simple and honest and makes you wanna fall in love with her character just as "Preet" does in Jab We Met! Wow Alia Wow!! 

The Tunes:
When Rahman is composing the entire music of a movie, there is hardly any room for a review! The music of the movie is simply fabulous, especially "Patakha Guddi, "Kahaan Hoon Mai" and "Maahi Ve". Alia Bhatt's voice in "Sooha Saaha" sounds as innocent as she looks in the entire movie. Irshad Kaamil of course writes the perfect lyrics and adds so much more meaning to the scenes on the screen! The single theme score composed and used through the movie is "Implosive Silence" and it is moving and haunting at the same time! 
This movie requires a special mention on the Sound Design. There are so many moments of total silence, so many moments where the natural sounds are used to create the ambience. If the cinematography completely enables you to visualize, the sound makes you feel the wind and the water as if you are right there! Resul Pukkutty proves his brilliance in this movie yet again!

I rate the movie 4.5 out of 5
Its only February and I think one of the best movies that one could expect of Bollywood is already out! No doubt that this movie's awesomeness can be attributed to the excellence of many departments like, cinematography, sound design, music, etc. but the real reasons are Imtiyaz Ali and the performance he extracts out of Alia Bhatt! Imtiyaz, as always, shows how his protagonist achieves a feeling of freedom when she breaks free from her life of comforts and luxury and ends the movie, as always, by showing us that lost love does not equal to pain and despair, but in fact it empowers you and helps you break-free from all your chains in order to live a life of happiness and of your choice!
Not only was I in love with what I was seeing but in fact, I did not want what I was seeing to get over. This Highway should have never come to an end!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gunday Review: All fun no regrets!

The Real People:
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar (also directed Mere Brother Ki Dulhan)
Produced by Aditya Chopra
Music by Sohail Sen (also composed for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Ek Tha Tiger)
Background Score by Julius Packiam (also gave the score for Dhoom 3, Badmash Company, Kabul Express)
Ranvir Singh & Darshan Gunjar as Bikram & young Bikram
Arjun Kapoor & Jayesh Kardak as Bala & young Bala
Irrfan Khan as ACP Satyajeet Sarkar and also the Narrator
Priyanka Chopra as Nandita

At a Glance:
Paisa Vasool! Thats what you call a movie like this one! Oversimplified, full of flaws, and yet loads of fun! The movie is a typical bollywood style entertainer and so much so, that like most movies of this type, it has a pathetic climax too! I would not say it is a must watch...but I can tell you that if you do watch it, you will like it!

The People of Screen:
Bikram & Bala jr. 
The two kiddos play their part with extreme confidence and although very brief, they establish the characters very well right at the onset of the movie! The minute they both walk out after their first coal adventure, you know that you should expect a lot typical bollywood punch lines and slow motion walkings scenes and "yaari-dosti" cliches in this movie!

Bikram & Bala
Ranvir and Arjun are the terrific duo and they seem to be having a lot of fun doing this 80s style masala drama. They both are extremely likeable and even though their affection for each other reaches the dangerous heights of being qualified as "Dostana"they portray the old school filmy dosti very nicely! They both get powerful punches to deliver, literally and figuratively (rather verbally). The best part about their performance in my opinion is that even though they play the roles of the notorious "Gunday" very nicely, yet they perfectly depict the characters' innocence and the purity of hearts at the same time!

ACP Satyajeet Sarkar
As usual, you cant help but luv the way this guy acts! Irrfan...from the middle aged government officer in The Lunchbox to this cunning ACP who not only orchestrates all the twists and plot surprises but also narrates the story with some great dialogues in Gunday! My favorite pick of the lot..... "Jis tarah har aag ke saath paani hota hai, iss kahani ka Sailaab....Mai Hoon!"


No surprises here, Priyanka plays the role of the troublemaking, love inducing, morality changing, woman! She looks great, is always decked up wearing the best of sarees and why she plays the role of a Cabaret dancer? Beats me completely! I meant she could have done "Asalam-u-Ishqum" anyway! Her acting however is strictly average and could have been done by anyone, even Katrina! ;)

The tunes:
Sohail Sen churns out, once again, some  good music! Jashn-e-Ishqa is the most crucial track here as it is almost the theme of the entire movies background score. Mankunto Maula is a great track as well with both, the classical and the contemporary tracks being used effectively in the movie. Jiya is a very "Saiyyara tu Saiyyara" type of composition, but nevertheless as impressive and with Arijit at th vocals, it sounds magical. Tune Maari Entriyaan but of course is a total chart buster.
The background score is loud, filmy and yet very apt and catchy! Good job Julius!

I rate the movie 3.5 out of 5.
The movie is completely flawed, has no feeling of it being set in the 1980s (except from Bala's and Bikram's weird sense of dressing), uses every cliche in the books of bollywood of friend-turning-foe-and-back-again-to-friend, and yet....the movie is paced in a way that you get no time to think, you get engrossed in the twists and punchlines only to realize 130 minutes later (about when the 20 minute climax starts) that "damn! This is such an old school thriller-drama and I am having a good time!". The climax should have been edited out completely however! Watch it if you have nothing else to do, watch it if you want to have a good time at the movies. You will not regret it!