Saturday, September 27, 2014

Movie Review:- Daawat-E-Refreshing!

Sometimes in the midst of commercial potboilers and movies made for critical acclaim, comes a Kahaani or Script that takes in the nuances and mixes sensibilities of both worlds. That’s when it stands apart from the routine and leaves an impression on you. You come out refreshed post the movie having seen something new. And Dawat-E-Ishq just does that.
Here the central subject revolves around the unfortunate and grim-Dowry system in India. A well guarded secret in most Indian families.  Mostly observed in arranged marriages amongst families, who themselves are the initiators of the match! This is one evil in our society that has withstood the test of time and is deeply entrenched across all earning classes. Even literacy has done little to eradicate this evil mindset. All it has managed is change it to more ‘polished ’ words like gift or help.
Doesn’t matter what achievements the girl has, what background she comes from. Her personality is too meager a point to even consider. Apparently every girl is priced! Her rate or dowry sometimes becomes a catalyst for marriages to get solemnised or broken . What is sickening in this case is that their own families are a part of it. Feel the one in which she's getting married and her own parents are equally guilty/responsible for this. One for asking and the other for obliging. There are enough and more cases in India of browbeating happening as to how much one has spent in his/her’s daughter’s wedding. at the other side some say "dekha humne kitna vasoola"! Am not saying all do it. At least I know my dad’s family didn’t and a couple of others i know. But then that does not represent the majority here. There are stats that claim that every hour a bride is burned in India on account of this. This is sickening. What gets worst is when a greater evil offshoot from this system results in rampant female infanticides. Looks like we still have a long way to go when it comes to achieving gender equality.
So yes coming back, the movie deals with the above issue but has a lighter take to it. Gullu (Parineeti Chopra) plays a smart middle class Hyderabadi girl. Disillusioned with love, because of constant refusals on account of dowry, she decides to get back at life for treating her like an item on sale.Her dream is to make a career in shoe designing post doing the course in US. Alongwith her dad , Anupam Kher she plots to con any prospective guy & his family under the anti-dowry act and use the money to fuel her ambitions. What starts off then is a complete unexpected turn of events. Tariq ( Aditya Roy Kapur) gatecrashes into her life and turns it upside down. The moments that they spend together make her realise that he is the guy she had been looking for all this while. Caught between possibility of jail for coning/ losing her love and running away with the money to fulfil her dreams, it's anybody guess how the hindi movie would end. However what is refreshing is the treatment of the subject. The entire journey till the climax is kept engaging by the actorsand the storyline. Parineeti plays her part well carrying off an Hyderabadi accent  with ease. Aditya Roy Kapur has shown tremendous growth as an actor and you just can’t miss his mannerisms on-screen. But the one actor who takes the cake is Anupam Kher. He pulls off the middle class-muslim-helpless father act with such elan that leaves you spellbound. This is definitely one of his best performances.
The review would be incomplete without a special mention for the song-Mannat sung by Sonu Nigam. Beautifully composed and solefully sung by the master this song just might just make you trip for a while.
Do catch it before the feast is over, because this Daawat-e-ishq is definitely the flavour of this season. Daawat-E-Refreshing Indeed!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Movie Review: A Punch for Fanny and a Letter somewhere

Finally got a weekend after quite some time from my busy work schedule recently. The only thing that i wanted to do was to relax and not go out much on those two days. Usually on such lazy holidays prefer either to read or watch movies. Had just finished reading a book so thought will catch up on some film releases. This time around even the options looked interesting . There was Mary Kom which had released recently and Finding Fanny which had hit theaters a day before. While people were going gung-ho about Mary Kom and Priyanka Chopra’s role in it, Finding fanny had Deepika Padukone, a reason enough for most guys in this country to watch a film!  And from the trailers one could make out that, not only was she looking gorgeous, even the story had a nice feel to it. A letter posted by a young guy never reaches his sweetheart and comes back to his life during his twilight years. Add to that a good cast of talented actors set against the lovely Goa landscape and your expectations only swell up.
Decided to catch up on Mary first and then Fanny. Movies I meant! While watching Mary Kom couldn’t help myself from comparing to the last biopic on an Indian Sportsperson which I had seen . Bhaag Milkha Bhag . Maybe that was the reason why it didn’t move me the way Milkha did. The movie has its punches. Priyanka’s acting, the inspiring story of Mary Kom, the sad state in which our country’s sports body treats its athletes. However still feel what made the movie Milka different was the screenplay and direction.  Also the songs and storyline were more engaging.  Farhan looked liked an athlete and also acted brilliantly. Here Priyanka does not look like a boxer. She lets her acting do the talk more than her muscles.
Mary Kom builds on, but then most scenes fail to take it to the next level in terms of their treatment. This leads to many causalities. The opening scene, where Mary’s husband is escorting her for delivery amongst rioting in the state, a scene which eventually frizzles out in the midst of flashbacks to oblivion.  Even the fights apart from the climax could have been handled much better. Then it would have really packed a punch. However still the movie doesn’t bore you much. It is definitely a onetime watch. Looks like Bollywood will have many more biopics of Sporting personalities soon.
Finding Fanny on the other hand was a bigger letdown. On the characters front, Deepika Padukone looks wow , Naseruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapur do full justice to their parts, Dimple is nearly wasted and Arjun Kapoor looks totally lost! The quirkiness that each character was expected to bring on-screen, just does not arrive and all you get are some ‘here and there’ moments which one easily forgets by the time Fanny is finally found! The movie again doesn’t inspire much on the Music front.  By the time it ends most members in the audience will indeed wake up and cry- Oh Fanny Re! This is a movie good in concept but gone terribly wrong in execution. 
In fact for people who have seen it or who wanted to, will recommend a Hollywood Movie of a very similar and maybe original plot- Letters to Juliet.Released in 2010 , Letters to Juliet is a story that revolves around a cute Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) , an aspiring writer/journo who while visiting the beautiful by-lanes of Verona (made famous by William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet) comes across a letter. She discovers it tucked away behind a brick in the wall below Juliet’s Balcony, written by a young Claire for her lover Lorenzo.
Her curiosity leads her to meet the secretaries of Juliet, a secret society whose job is to reply to all such letters. Sophie takes it upon herself to reply to this letter and what happens next sets the pace for this movie and her life. Claire lands up at the society with her Grandson looking for her lost love in response to Sophie’s letter.
The journey that begins then is beautiful. Nicely woven scenes create a mix of emotions and keep you engaged throughout. And what happens at the end is straight out of the Romeo-Juliet balcony moment. Even the scene where Claire reads out Sophie’s reply to her letter is moving. Perfectly crafted for the romantic ones in the audience to pass a few tears.
Had to see it on Sunday night after Finding Fanny nearly spoilt the lunch earlier that day. So for all those who haven’t seen, do watch Letters to Juliet and you will know what Finding Fanny could not achieve, even though its approach to the concept was much lighter. Deepika’s fans might cry less post watching this movie, but nevertheless lament her choice of this role at a time when she’s ruling the roost in Bollywood. On second thoughts, maybe I should write this on a letter to the Bollywood's on-screen Juliet I mean… Fanny!