Karthik Calling Karthik Review

Karthik Calling Karthik poster
Karthik Calling Karthik poster

Directed by Vijay Lalwani
Produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Written by Vijay Lalwani
Starring  Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Vipin Sharma
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Release date 26 February 2010
Running time 155 Minutes

For once again I’ve been irregular with my blogging, its been 112 days or 3 months, 20 days since I last posted a blog entry. Somehow blogging has really lost my attention, maybe its due to twitter, lack or time/topic or just my laziness to post something. Anyways been a long time since I had blogged, thought of posting my review of Karthik Calling Karthik which I saw on Saturday.

I normally wait for movie reviews these days, I don’t want to repent my decision of booking tickets before checking the reviews, but I didn’t follow the pattern for KCK aka Karthik Calling Karthik. Primarily because the promos had got my attention (yeah they do for most of the movies and then the movie disappoint, but this was an exception) and then Deepika’s new look was all that I needed to get convinced (Yeah I like her, love her rather, she’s all over me these days). Enough of chatter, lets get to the point.

Normally a thriller survives on its suspense factor, KCK was no exception, but the title somewhat gave the hint what it was all about. Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) gets phone calls from Karthik (his alter ego? some well wisher?), now who the other Karthik was left to your imagination. I for once considered him to be his alter ego. But then that’s what I thought, the movie somewhat surprised me on what really it was about.

KCK starts off well, portraying Karthik as a overworked, invisible person whom everyone thinks of as a nobody. Which I found quite silly considering that he was a topper in IIMs and broke some records in CA exam results! Isn’t that a confidence booster is itself already? But then I can probably neglect that part, for he might be having something bothering him so much which can make him forget what value he could be to some big corporate. What was he doing in a construction company in the first place! Anyways he starts getting those mysterious calls from Karthik which changes his life, he gets the credit he deserves, gets a promotion, and most importantly gets the girl, Shonali Mukherjee (Deepika Padukone) whom he secretly loved. It all turns ugly when he reveals about those mysterious calls. By this point you probably try to figure out whats gonna happen, but then just when you thought you’ve cracked this one and decide that Karthik’s imagination is getting the better of him, director Vijay Lalwani drops the bomb when the phone calls turns out to be real! I was left to wonder what could be the real deal. But sadly that’s the last good impression the movie leaves on you, from then on its all downhill. Instead of taking it to a different level the movie suddenly drops down and ends abruptly leaving some unanswered questions.

Performances are what I liked a lot. The way Farhan Akhtar got into the character and was believable as a sorry fella Karthik. He was very natural the way he reacted to the situations and for once let off his steam by breaking the poor phone. Then when he gets his confidence back he still retains the charm needed in the character and still continues to be believable. He really shines as an actor here. The chemistry between him and Deepika was quite natural and likable. The romantic sequences, esp those fingers mimicking walking thing was really cute. Some dialogs were quite funny and managed to make the pair more believable. Deepika was effective but I wanted to see more of her (not just because I like/love her, but because her character didn’t give much to judge her on) did a great job in a few sequences though. And after Love Aaj Kal you did expect her to get better and better, which I could see. Ram Kapoor as the bad boss was pretty good. Shefali Shah as the psychiatrist and Vipin Sharma as the bugging landlord both were effective.

Screenplay was a bit weak,should have been better in the second half. Cinematography was top notch. Captured some scenes perfectly as needed in a thriller. Use of shadows and dark areas added to the effect. Background music by MIDIval Punditz & Karsh Kale was awesome. It added to the dark and mysterious tone of the movie. Songs were good, and Hey Ya! and Uff Teri Adaa (My favorite number these days) were the pick of the movie.

Overall the movie turned out to be a decent watch, a bit of a let down from what I expected, only if the ending had been better, or maybe the whole of the second half, it would have been a great watch. Still not a disaster at all, was a nice watch. Watch it for a great performance from Farhan Akhtar.

Rating: 6/10

Wake Up Sid Review

Wake Up Sid poster
Wake Up Sid poster

Directed by Ayan Mukerji
Produced by Karan Johar
Written by Ayan Mukerji, Niranjan Iyengar
Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak, Rahul Khanna, Kashmira Shah
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Distributed by Dharma Productions, UTV Motion Pictures
Release date(s) 2 October, 2009
Running time 138 Mins

Its been 264 days, or 8 months, 21 days since I last wrote a movie review. Its not that I’ve stopped watching movies, no sir! That can’t happen. I’m a BIG movie buff if you don’t know already, and I’ve seen a lot of movies in that time, just that ever since I started using twitter, my blog took a backstage. Not anymore though, I’ll try to be regular from now on. Anyways on to the movie review now.

Initial promos of the movie didn’t really inspire me to go and watch the movie, but slowly and steadily the movie gathered good ratings and with good word of mouth recommendations, I decided to give it a watch. A lot has been said about the movie able to connect with the youth, which I found quite true. I could relate how it is to go through that transition phase from the no responsibility college going youth to a guy working and starting his important phase in life. So that way a lot of people can somehow relate to the events in the movie.

Plot (spoiler warning)
The plot was pretty simple, Sidharth Mehra aka “Sid” (Ranbir Kapoor) is a lazy rich boy who is in his final year of graduation and doesn’t have a clue about whats next in store for him after he completes studies. His friends have started moving on in life and he is still not decided. His parents Sarita (Supriya Pathak) and Ram Mehra (Anupam Kher) run out of patience when he fails in his exam, and out of the heated arguments he decides to move out of the house and starts living with a new friend Aisha Bannerjee (Konkona Sen Sharma), whom he met at the farewell party. So slowly Sid starts realizing that he needs to do something and get a job, which he eventually gets and then he returns to his home, with his parents happy that their son is now a grown up man. Sid and Aisha realize about the feeling they share for each other and profess their love. A Happy Ending!

Ranbir Kapoor was at the center stage in the movie and he did a solid job. He really looked like a spoilt brat who doesn’t care about the world and was realistic. He’s getting better and better. He fits in the youth-type roles pretty well. Konkona Sen Sharma is a great actress, does a great job with every movie she is in, and this was no exception. Her character had maturity and she looked realistic as well and complemented Ranbir. Anupam Kher and Supriya Pathak, who played the roles of the parents were really good. Rahul Khanna and Kashmira shah didn’t have much to do, and were just fine. The friends of Sid were all really good.

Ayan Mukherji has handled the subject pretty well in his directorial debut. He was the assistant director to Ashutosh Gowariker in Swades and Karan Johar in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, so he has learnt his craft from two well known film makers and he did a pretty good job himself. Cinematography was top notch. Mumbai is a beautiful city and we could see great parts of the city in superb visuals and angles.

Music of the film was pretty good, effective and gels with the theme of the movie. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy got it spot on and title track “Wake Up Sid” & “Iktara” were both pretty good.

Overall the movie was a good watch. It should connect well with the youth and gives an example of how important it is to seriously think about what lies ahead. Some scenes in the movie were done pretty well. When Sid meets his father and tell him about the job and hands over the first pay check, that was a touching scene. So in all its a decent film and should be able to get favorable response.

Rating: 7.5/10

Chandni Chowk to China Review

Chandni Chowk to China poster
Chandni Chowk to China poster

Directed by Nikhil Advani
Produced by Rohan Sippy
Written by Sridhar Raghavan (screenplay)
Starring Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Mithun Chakraborty, Ranvir Shorey
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date 16 January, 2009

What on earth was the team of CC2C (Chandni Chowk to China) was thinking about? I mean everything went so wrong. Ok the action was very good, but that just doesn’t save the movie from being a disaster. And neither does Akshay Kumar, who in the past has saved some movies just because he was so good in them. CC2C is horribly wrong in almost every department.

Lets begin with the story. Read the plot on Wikipedia (Spoiler Warning). So it could have been much better, but it just wasn’t enough for a movie which carried so much hype and one which Akshay Kumar himself claimed to be a semi-autobiographic film. So with that into equation it makes it all the more worse.

Acting, oh dear oh dear. Akshay was trying too hard to impress, and sometimes things were just off for him. Ok he made us laugh on several occasions, but somehow, I felt he wasn’t where he usually is in performance terms. His action scenes were very good though, probably the best movie of Akshay till date where action is concerned. Deepika Padukone didn’t do much, although she had a fight scene which she did very well, but rest she was just about ok. Mithun Chakraborty was a real waste. Ranvir Shorey could have been more interesting.

Action scenes were very well done. Every scene was very well shot and done. And sadly thats the only good thing about this movie. I expected to see some more good locales of China, but all they showed was the Great Wall of China. Some songs were just not needed, and they really made a very big mess of Tere Naina. Its such a nice song, and the people in theatre broke into laughter when the song started, its supposed to be a nice romantic song with nice picturisation. But all they showed was Akshay and Deepika floating in Chinese airspace by an umbrella. I mean what the hell was that? Seriously a big blunder.

Nikhil Advani seriously needs to think more about his movies. He’s letting himself and everyone down. His first movie as a director was good, Kal Ho Naa Ho. Then  Salaam-e-Ishq failed terribly, and now Chandni Chowk to China.

So to sum it up. I’d advice everyone not to watch this movie in theatres, really a waste of money and time. I certainly regretted watching it, and learnt a lesson. Never to book tickets before Friday and always wait for the reviews and friend’s word on it.

Rating: 3/10

2008 Movies Review

I’ve been trying to do this blog entry for sometime now, but never got much time, now that I have, I finally bring out this review of the 2008 year in movies. I had a “My Summer Movie Preview” thing way back in May 2008, where I covered a lot of blockbusters in the sort of 2008 Preview, 5 months late but then the biggest and much awaited movies hadn’t arrived. So it can be considered as a Preview. Anyways, its been a great year for movies. Lot of very good movies came out and I really loved most of them. So lets begin. Continue reading “2008 Movies Review”

Ghajini Review

Ghajini Movie Poster
Ghajini Movie Poster

Directed by A. R. Murugadoss
Produced by Aamir Khan, Allu Arvind, Tagore Madhu, Madhu Mantena
Written by A. R. Murugadoss
Starring Aamir Khan, Asin Thottumkal, Jiah Khan, Pradeep Rawat, Riyaz Khan
Music by A.R. Rahman
Distributed by Studio 18, Adlabs
Release date December 25, 2008
Running time 181 mins

I became a huge fan of Aamir Khan after I saw Taare Zameen Par, and with all the hype surrounding Ghajini I was anxiously waiting for its release. The initial promos did let me down, a bit, when only the song “Guzarish” was being shown on the television. Make no mistake, its a great song, but Aamir Khan movies are much more than just music isn’t it? So then while watching Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, I also saw the theatrical trailer of Ghajini. And I was taken aback by it, and I really wanted to see it. Now that finally I’ve seen it, TWICE, I must say its really a wonderful experience to watch such a film. Bollywood movies have really come a long way now, and its all really getting better and better. Its much more of a real cinematic experience now. Ghajini only took it one step further. Lately there have been many movies with the hatke storyline. But not everyone of them carried this level of commercial cinema in them. Welcome to Ghajini.

This might be a remake of Memento, which I haven’t seen yet. I want to see it sometime soon,  anyways comparisons it might draw, none are needed. Ghajini is a Bollywood film with the superb performance by the brilliant Aamir Khan, good direction by A. R. Murugadoss and some wonderful music and background score which makes it a great experience. Ghajini is about Sanjay Singhania, a businessman, and how his lovely life suddenly takes a very wrong and unintended turn and changes his life forever. Read the complete plot here.

First things first, Aamir Khan, he really deserves all the accolades out there. He really puts in a fabulous performance. The role demanded a lot and Aamir did all the justice he could. He carries the movie brilliantly. He really worked out his body for the movie, which looks great. Asin Thottumkal is not a newcomer by any means. She’s already won Filmfare awards for her Tamil & Telugu movies, but being her first Hindi film, she really did a great job. I was impressed by the way she handled the various kinds of dialogues. Her dialogue delivery was pretty apt in whichever situation. Not to mention she looks great too. Jiah Khan was somewhat a bit off color at times. I didn’t like her much, but she did a couple of scenes well. Rest of the actors did a good job. A. R. Murugadoss handled the direction well, but just one concern here, the action scenes were too South Indian movie style at times. Rest all of it was very good. What I really liked was the way the whole story was carried and shown.

Another big strength of the movie was its music. A.R. Rahman as always brings out another fantastic album. Guzarish is a very nice song. Aye Bachchoo & Latoo were not that great, but Kaise Mujhe is a wonderful track. I’ve been hooked onto this song ever since I have heard it. Behka is an ok track, but the picturization was very nice. Background music was also superb. Added to the quality of the whole experience. The starting credits sequence was again very thoughtful, going with the theme of the movie. Cinematography was also very good.

All in all definitely a must watch. Aamir Khan puts in a stellar performance and the movie really keeps you hooked onto it right till the end.

Rating: 8.5/10

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Review

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Theatrical Poster
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Theatrical Poster

Directed by Aditya Chopra
Produced by Aditya Chopra, Yash Chopra
Written by Aditya Chopra
Starring Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Vinay Pathak
Music by Salim-Sulaiman
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release date(s) December 12, 2008

I’m a big fan of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge aka DDLJ, and Shahrukh Khan is my favorite actor, and the movie is directed by Aditya Chopra, so you can probably imagine how much I was looking forward to this movie. Expectations were high, but not skyhigh that it would make it unrealisticly unachievable. The movie marks the return of Aditya Chopra after a 8 year hiatus, and although I still haven’t seen Mohabbatein, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi aka RNBDJ was a must watch.

The movie had generated enough curiousity and publicity for the new look that Shahrukh Khan had in this movie, which I didn’t like much. Although it was what the movie required, but he looked really very thin in that plain look. The movie is about a love story of a common man, read the complete plot here (Spoiler Warning). The movie is set in very ordinary environment, unlike YRF movies which mostly has a foreign location with big houses and rich clothes. RNBDJ has pretty ordinary locations, ordinary clothes and it all looks very apt for the storyline. Shahrukh Khan once again gives a first rate performance, really he always does a great job, and this time again he doesn’t disappoint. He portayed the role of a normal common man very well. Maybe why I didn’t like him much in that look was because I’ve never seen him in that look, but anyways he did a fantastic job, he really looked like a common man and did an equally impressive job with the other role that he plays of Raj. Anushka Sharma really impressed me a lot in her first movie. She really pulled it off very well. Even in her first movie, she showed signs of supreme comfort and confidence. She shares the screen space well with SRK. Looks really pretty and beautiful I must say, and is a fantastic dancer too. I just hope she gets good movies and gets good roles. Vinay Pathak is a fantastic actor. He plays the role of SRK’s best friend, and he was really very good in his role.

Music was good, I’ve been listening to the songs for quite sometime since they were released, and Haule Haule was really a sweet number. Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai is also a nice song. The background music was also good with the signature tune played very well whenever required. Locations were of a ordinary man’s world, so everything looked pretty realistic. Direction was fine, but I must say that Aditya could have done a little better with the movie. It was not what we really expected, but then don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad by any means, it was really a lovely movie, but unlike in DDLJ where there were so many scenes which are in our memories forever, RNBDJ hardly had that many. Its just that this movie wouldn’t be remembered that long as DDLJ.

Its really a nice way to show a love story of a common man, and so the SRK fans would love it and so would be the aam janta. It might not be a blockbuster material but is far away from a disaster. Do watch it for having a nice time in a lovely story with nice flavor of simplicity. Oh and yes before I forget, dont miss the end credits, its worth the watch.

Rating: 6.5/10

Dostana Review

Dostana movie poster
Dostana movie poster

Directed by     Tarun Mansukhani
Produced by     Dharma Productions
Written by     Tarun Mansukhani
Starring     Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra
Music by     Vishal-Shekhar
Distributed by     Yash Raj Films
Release date(s)     November 14, 2008

A movie based on a subject based on homosexuality? Its got to be just a lot of those “Kantaben” jokes like in Kal Ho Na Ho right? Wrong! Dostana is not ridiculing or just making fun of the subject, instead its just a theme, which has not made fun of but rather shown pretty normally and very well handled by the debutant director Tarun Mansukhani. Its a story about how two friends pretend to be gay to find a place to live. Read the complete plot here (Spoiler warning!).

So its ofcourse a relatively very new theme, and a first movie completely dedicated to the idea of homosexuality (not counting that Girlfriend movie which come out sometime back starring Amrita Arora and Isha Koppikar and turned out to be a disaster). So it was a fun ride all the way, well not all the way for half way for sure, and then on occasions in the second half. But I guess the first half makes the movie worth watching. It was filled with hilarious scenes surrounding the actors. Everyone just burst out laughing on numerous occasions, especially when Abhishek narrates his and John’s lovestory, that was really funny.

The movie as such didn’t have a great story, its just that the humor content saves the movie from a average film. Its just the amazing first half that makes it a very good watch. The location is set in Miami, but I wanted to see more of it as its a very beautiful. And when normally Bollywood movies show a lot of the town in the films set in foreign locations, Miami well known for its beaches, only showed well in the opening title song of the film. Direction was fine but had some places to improve. The first half was a fun ride, but second half was a big let down, should have been better. Songs were nice, “Maa Da Laadla” was a funny song. “Jaane Kyon” and “Desi Girl” are also good songs. Good music overall.

Acting wise a great performance from Abhishek Bachchan. He was really good and handled the funny sequences and role splendidly. John Abraham was also quite good, but he was better in a comic role in Garam Masala. He wasn’t bad mind you, and yeah he looked great. Priyanka Chopra, boy she looked sexy and stunning, and acted pretty well too. Shilpa Shetty also looked amazing in the song in opening credits. Boman Irani was funny, but his role was very short, same for Kirron Kher. Kirron Kher normally plays a lot of time on screen, but this time her appearance was very short, should have been more. Bobby Doel is credited for a special appearance but he was pretty much in the main starcast I believe.

Anyways its a really entertaining movie, havn’t seen a good bollywood movie in recent times, so this is a welcome watch. First half is really amazing, but the second half is a bit of a let down. Still a very good watch overall, nice entertainment.

Rating: 7.5/10

Dostana Official Website

Quantum of Solace Review

Quantum of Solace movie poster
Quantum of Solace movie poster

Directed by Marc Forster
Produced by Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli
Novel/Story by     Ian Fleming (Characters), Michael G. Wilson (Plot)
Screenplay Joshua Zetumer, Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Starring Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Gemma Arterton, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini
Music by David Arnold
Main theme “Another Way to Die”
Composer Jack White
Performer Alicia Keys, Jack White

I have seen hollywood movies releasing here, in India, usually later than in USA. And if its a big movie, its on the same day as USA. But Quantum of Solace was released here in India on 8th November,  a full week ahead of USA! That’s remarkable!

To fully understand the movie one needs to see Casino Royale, the prequel to Quantum of Solace, because the movie has lot of things related to it. The movie starts off from where it ended in Casino Royale. Read the complete plot here at wikipedia (Spoiler Warning!).

Sequels always bring comparisons to the previous prequels and Quantum of Solace is no exception. And I’ m afraid its not the good news for the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the movie isn’t bad, but somehow the execution wasn’t perfect, or maybe we shall say it wasn’t the way we expected after Casino Royale. Direction was not that good, although action scenes were plenty, and good  other than the starting car chase scene where the camera had lot of jerky movements, and the bond chasing a guy scene on the rooftops had some jerks too, other than that it was fine. Daniel Craig was fine, but I liked him more in Casino Royale. Mathieu Amalric was very good, he plays the bad guy role of Dominic Greene. He played his part very well. Olga Kurylenko plays Camille Montes and was fine. Judi Dench plays M, and was much more visible in the movie than Casino Royale, and was quite fine.

Direction was somewhat poor. The movie could have been better, had flaws in some areas as it was sometimes too fast. The initial chases sequences could have been better shot. Action sequences otherwise were good. It does atleast liveup to the action demands of the movie. Locations were really good. One thing which I saw missing, rather two of them, were lack of real cars and real bond girls. Other than the Aston Martin which Bond thrashes here and there in the initial chase scene, doesnt get close to another exotic Aston in the movie again, and Olga Kurylenko, although is a good looking woman, didn’t appear much as a bond girl, and where bond is usally seen romancing girls, he shares just one kiss with Olga. Casino Royale took James Bond series in a different direction, in a good way, but then this is going in a wrong direction, I hope Bond 23 turns out to be better where Quantum of Solace wasn’t. Music was fine, Casino Royale’s music was much intense and carried more Bond signature with it. But to sum it up, with not many good movies out there, I think Quantum of Solace is a fine movie and will be a entertaining one, under 2 hours and fast paced should be a good watch.

Rating: 7/10

Quantum of Solace Official website

See Also: Casino Royale Review

The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight poster
The Dark Knight poster

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Produced by Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas
Written by; Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Story: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Characters: Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson
Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
Music by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard
Distributed by     Warner Bros.
Release date(s) North America: July 18, 2008, Australia: July 16, 2008, United Kingdom: July 24, 2008

Every once in a while comes a movie which shocks you with something which you never expected, something which you never imagined, something which will reinstall faith in the sequel/comic book movie/big movies business. Yes The Dark Knight is simply a mind blowing experience and one which will surely be an all time favorite for many.

Continue reading “The Dark Knight Review”

The Incredible Hulk Review

The Incredible Hulk Poster

Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt
Music by Craig Armstrong
Distributed by Universal Studios

I know more about Hulk than I know about Iron Man, with this is mind I thought I can watch Hulk as well. I still don’t know much about Hulk, just that he is a green mean angry giant. About Iron Man, I didn’t know a thing, oh maybe just that he is a man with a Iron suit. I would also like to mention that I haven’t seen Eric Bana starring Hulk which was released in 2003.

The Incredible Hulk is about scientist Dr. Bruce Banner aka Hulk, who during a research project about a super solider, is turned into Hulk due to exposure to gamma radiation. So Bruce Banner is now a fugitive from the United States Army is on the run. He then is tracked by the Army and he eventually manages to escape them and return home where he meets his old colleague Betty (Liv Tyler). And then there is another man who is given the supersoldier serum, who eventually becomes an even bigger and meaner version of Hulk. So Hulk must now fight him and defeat him.

So that was the story, it might sound boring to you, but trust me its not, especially when you see it on the screen with all those superb visual effects. Acting wise Edward Norton did a fantastic job. His acting seems to be very natural and gave a good performance. Liv Tyler plays the love interest of Edward Norton and was pretty good. Tim Roth, who plays Russian-born British special operations expert Emil Blonsky did a great job too. The rest of the actors were good. The CGI work done for Hulk was very good and he looked very real without loosing any of the strong character that Hulk is. He looked mean, strong and big, and ofcourse green. The action scenes of him fighting Emil Blonsky were really good.

So overall, the sound effects were good, locales were great at times, action scenes were well done, visual effects were top notch. All in all a good summer action movie.

The Incredible Hulk Official site

Rating: 7/10